Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bags Belong On Your Arms...Not Under Your Eyes

It has been WAY too long since my last blog post so I decided that it was time to get writing. Over the past few weeks, several people have given me some great ideas to write about. Though this is true, I'm ignoring all of those ideas... (just kidding, I'm just putting them on the back burner for now). Today's blog post will be about concealing those dreadful under eye circles that we all have. While a good night's sleep and plenty of water help combat those pesky suckers, we all know that life is chaotic and we don't always get that. So, are my four simple steps that will help eliminate under eye baggage.

Step 1: Prime
Recently, I started using MAC's Mattifying Gel ($19). This is an amazing product because it helps your concealer last all day AND reduces the concealer build-up that is all too common, under the eyes.

Step 2: Conceal
It is important that you pick a concealer that has a peachy/orange base. These colors help take out the purple and blue undertones in the skin. You also want a concealer that has a gel-like consistency. This will help reduce that "cakey" look. My favorite concealer is Eve Pearl's Salamon Concealer ($30). When you apply this, you want to use your ring finger and smooth it out, along your under eye area.

Step 3: Foundation
Apply your favorite foundation. To do this, you can use a stippling brush, a Beauty Blender, or your fingers. Some of my favorite foundations at the moment are : MAC's Pro Longwear ($29.50), Tarte's Recreate Anti-Aging Foundation ($37) and Revlon's ColorStay Foundation ($12.99).

Step 4: Set with Powder
This step is EXTREMELY important. You need to use a setting powder to lock in the gel/cream that is in the concealer and to set your foundation. If you have dry skin, you may only want to apply the powder to your t-zone (forehead, nose, chin, and under eyes). You do not need a lot of powder, as a little goes a long way. To avoid over application, I recommend using a soft puff, like NYX's Flocked Puffs ($3). My favorite translucent powder is Makeup Forever's HD Microfinish Powder ($30).

Voila! That is it!! While this may seem like a time consuming process, it really will only take 5 minutes to do, and will make a world of difference on your face! You will LOOK well-rested... even if you haven't slept for days!

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's All About The Brushes!

It is hard to achieve the perfect smokey eye, flawless skin, or contoured cheekbones without the right tools. In this (quick) blog, I will show you some brushes that really make the difference.

There are several basic brushes that I use on daily basis. If you do not do all of these steps, you can choose the brushes that you feel will help with your makeup regimen.

Flawless Foundation- this is my NEW favorite. This brush helps to create an airbrushed finish. It is important that the bristles are a little firm or else you are going to see streaks.
This is the #130 Short Duo Fibre Brush from MAC. It costs $30.

Cheekbones to DIE for-this is a great multi-purpose brush. It can be used for contouring under the cheekbones or for applying powder blush. The soft bristles do not pick up too much color and help make blending a cinch. No harsh lines with this brush!
This is the #168 Large Angled Contour Brush from MAC. It costs $32.
Cheaper alternative (Yes, please)-Crown Brush #C405. This brush costs $7.49.

Heavenly Highlighter-this is the perfect brush for highlighting your cheekbones. The bristles are super soft and because of this, they don't pick up a ton of product. This is ideal for applying any shimmery powders. It helps give you that glowy look, without looking like the Tin Man.
This is the #188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush. It costs $34.
Cheaper alternative- Crown Brush #C404. It costs $6.95

Bronzed Beauty- this brush will help give you that beautiful bronzed look, without making you look like a cast member of the Jersey Shore (even though I love it-don't judge me). The short, stacked bristles apply and buff in the perfect amount of bronzer. And the best part...the PRICE!
This is # SS014 and costs $13.86 (This picture got a little bit distorted. Sorry!)
Because I love eyeshadow, I have purchased many shadow brushes over the years. What a waste of money! Below you will find the four brushes that I use religiously.

Shade/Blend Away- this soft and dense brush is perfect for applying shadow, pigments, and paints to the lid. Because the bristles are dense, the brush picks up the a lot of color.
This is the #239 Eye Shader Brush by MAC. It costs $24.50.
Although you could probably find a cheaper alternative, this brush is one that I think is HIGHLY worth the money.

Smokey... Eye LOVE You- this shading brush is fantastic for blending colors to create the much loved, smokey eye. It can also be used for adding color to the crease.
This is the #217 Blending Brush by MAC. It costs $22.50.
Cheaper alternative- Crown Brush #C433. It costs $5.49.

Soft Tapered Blending Brush (can't think of a fun name for this one)- Because this brush is so fluffy, it creates a much softer look. You can use it to highlight under the brow bone and apply a lighter application of color to your crease. This brush can also be used to apply translucent powder under the eyes (so that concealer won't crease).
This is the #224 Tapered Blending Brush. It costs $29.
Cheaper alternative- Crown Brush #C412. It costs $4.95.

Smudgy Brush-this brush is used for smudging shadow under the lower lash line, liner on upper lash line, or for creating more dimensions of color in your crease. It's "pencil-like" tip allows for almost perfect precision.
This is the #219 Pencil Brush. It costs $24.50.
Cheaper alternative- Crown Brush #C431. It costs $3.95.

As I said earlier, you certainly do not need ALL of these brushes to create YOUR perfect look. They just make the process easiesr. I hope this was a helpful little brush up on brushes!
Enjoy your week!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Makeup That Won't Make You Look Like A Ho-Ho-HO!

Move over candy canes, holiday music, and presents; the time to party is finally upon us! New Year's eve is right around the corner, and with that comes one of the toughest decisions we will have to make to start the new year; what to wear ... on our faces?
Because there are so many looks out there, your cosmetic sensibility might be on overload. Fear not makeup mavens, I am here to help! Below you will find some glamorous holiday makeup looks that will work for the most courageous AND the most unadorned makeup wearers around. Get ready to make(up) an entrance ladies!

Luscious Lips That Won't Kiss Off- Want to make a bold statement? Do it with your lips. Use vibrant colors, like hot pinks or reds. Once you've decided on what shade works best for you, use lip liner first, to lock in your color. Want this look to last even longer (maybe even through a hot holiday kiss)? Blot lips on a tissue and then apply a translucent powder over it. Your lip color will last longer than you do!
But what about the rest of your face? When using a bold lip color to make a statement, you want the rest of your makeup to look subdued. I recommend just adding eye liner (maybe a winged look for those of you with liner experience), a soft, peachy blush, and black mascara. Voila! Look completed! Fluidline Set Powder Mascara X Powder Blush
Sample colors, all from M.A.C. - Tartan Tale Lipstick in Full Fuchsia, $14.50, Fluidline eyeliner in Blitz & Glitz, $15.00, Powder Blush in Melba, $18.50, Mascara X, in Black X, $14.00, and Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, $22.00

It's Goooooold, Baby- Nothing better than some shimmer and shine on the holidays, and this simple look is easy to achieve. Start with a gold or bronze cream shadow and sweep it all over the lids, up to the eyebrow bone. You can add shadow to the lower lash line, as well. For cheeks, I suggest using a bronzing powder to give this look some added warmth. By using a highlighter, you can add some contouring (on and under the cheek bones, on the bridge of the nose, and on the eyebrow bones). Add a lip gloss with flecks of gold in it, and you are ready to shine!

AQUA CREAMmineral powder bronzer

 Cream Colour BaseLip Gloss
Sample Colors: Make Up Forever Aqua Cream 11-Gold (not shown), $22.00, available at Sephora; Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess, $29.00, available at Tarte and Sephora; M.A.C Cream Color Base in Pearl, $16.50, available at M.A.C; and Nars Lip Gloss in Belize, $24.00, available at Sephora.

Dramatic Eyes for a Dramatic Night- While a smokey eye is a bit more challenging to accomplish, it is definitely worth the extra time. When trying this look at home, remember, less is more. Start out with a little color on your brush and then layer colors accordingly. The more colors you add, the more dimensions your look will have. I also recommend adding black eyeliner and mascara.(see above)
Hint: you are going for dramatic, NOT shocking.
For a fun contrast, pair your smokey eyes with a pale pink lip.

Viva Glam GagaViva Glam Gaga Lipglass

Sample Colors: YSL Ombres 5-08 Midnight, $56.00, available at Sephora; M.A.C Viva Glam Gaga Lip Glass, $14.50, available at M.A.C; M.A.C Viva Glam Gaga, $14.50, available at M.A.C

Well, makeup enthusiasts, I hope these EYEdeas have helped add some color to your holiday look! Please feel free to comment or email if you have any questions. Happy Holidays!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Test post

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Bronzer Bonanza

I have always been envious of those people that can get a tan within the first five minutes of summer. Growing up, I was determined to be one of these people...even though I lost several layers of my epidermis in this process. After years of burning, peeling, and freckling, I (partially) surrendered myself to the sun gods, and decided to go another route...BRONZER (hallelujah)!
Over the years, I have collected my fair(..get it, because I am pale) share of bronzers. I have learned one major lesson in this process...not all bronzers are created equally. Here is a list of some of the bronzers I have tried over the years (both good and bad).
1. Park Avenue Princess by Tarte- This bronzer is fantastic--it goes on smooth and even, and has an almost-matte finish.
2. Multiple Bronzer by Nars- This bronzer is one of my favorites! It has a smooth, creamy texture and isn't greasy AT ALL! You can dot this on your cheekbones, and then blend with your fingers, sponge or makeup brush. My one caution with this product is that you have to blend it immediately because it sets quickly. Because you only need a little dab of this, you will have this product for quite a while...definitely worth the money!
3. Laguna/Casino Bronzing Powder by Nars- While I like this bronzer, it has a lot of sparkle. Sparkles tend to make your pores look bigger, which is NOT okay in my book! Though this is true, this bronzer adheres well to skin and is long lasting.
4. MAC Bronzer- While I have always been a fan of MAC, I must admit that I don't particularly love their bronzers. This is just a personal opinion and everyone is different. Though this is true, they have great shade options. There are five different bronzer shades to choose from--three of the shades have high shine/shimmer, and two shades are matte.
5. Bronzed Godess by Estee Lauder- This is a good bronzer and provides a soft, tanned glow. It is best for light to medium skin tones.
6. Dior Bronze Matte Sunshine SPF 20- BRONZER = PHENOMENAL.... PRICE= NOT so PHENOMENAL. This bronzer provides a beautiful glow and has an added kick...sunscreen! Although I wouldn't suggest wearing this in replace of sunscreen at the beach, it is nice to have the extra sun protection, while looking tanned at the same time. I have Honey Matte, but there are also other shades.
7. Baked Bronzing Powder by Urban Decay- If shine is what you want, this bronzer is for you! Enough said!

Bronzers can be a tricky thing. What works on one complexion, may not work so well on another. It is a process of trial and error. These are just my opinions based on the products that I have tried. As always, please feel free to share your favorites too!
Sunday, May 30, 2010

What to Expect, When Expecting....Wedding Makeup

Many brides begin their trial run with the assumption that clear, flawless skin, can be achieved WITHOUT the use of makeup. Well brides, I've got some news for you,... this is NOT the case (said with a gentle pat on your shoulder)!
On your wedding day, these are the things that you have to contend with: nerves, the bright lights of a professional flash, (nerves), tears, heat, humidity, rain, (nerves), and usually your makeup is applied a few hours before the event even starts (did I mention nerves?). In order for your makeup to withstand all of the above, your makeup artist will generally follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Moisturizer is a MUST. Enough said.
Step 2 - Primer, Primer, Primer.
Your lovely makeup artist will usually begin your makeup application with a facial primer, eyeshadow primer, and sometimes, even a lip primer. These products will help guarantee that your makeup stays put.
Step 3 - Eyes on You!
Eyeshadow: When I do makeup on my clients, I like to start with the eyes. I find this eliminates the chances of shadow falling/smudging on my foundation application. If you are an eyeshadow lover (like myself), you can expect your "wedding eyes" to be a little heavier than usual. You may see many scary eyeshadow colors being put on your eyes. Fear not...these colors are usually layered on top of each other to create beautiful dimensions of color.
Waterproof Eyeliner/ Mascara: Shedding a few tears on your wedding day...not embarrassing. Having your eye makeup run down your face, ruining your perfect makeup....SUPER embarrassing. Need I say more?
False Lashes: While I feel like a smarter, cooler, thinner person when I am wearing false lashes, they are not for everyone. I highly recommend going to MAC (or any makeup counter that does lashes) and try wearing them for a night out (before your wedding). That way, you will know what to expect on your big day.
Step 4 - Put Your Best Face Forward.
Foundation: When foundation is applied properly, it will give your skin the perfect pick-me-up, balance uneven skin tones, and also cover those lil' imperfections that we all have. Once you fully embrace the magnificent glory of foundation, you will realize just how much you can do with it (more to come on this in my next blog).
Concealer: Most concealers are designed to erase all skin imperfections:dark circles, broken capillaries, sun damage, blemishes, large pores, redness, and more. If it could just make me look like I dropped 50 pounds, it would be my most favorite product out there. I like to put the concealer on after my foundation because I feel like it provides double coverage. Every person does their makeup routine differently though, and that's okay.
Contouring/Highlighting: (optional) Contouring is a simple way to enhance the natural bone structure in your face. This is usually done by using a darker color (usually a cream base) and applying it to the areas of your face that have a natural shadow. The highlighter is used to boost the sculpting effects. With the use of contouring and highlighting, you can make your nose appear more narrow, raise or create cheekbones, strengthen your jawline, minimize a full chin, and SLIM YOUR FACE. Loooooove it!
Loose Setting Powder: This product will help set your foundation and slightly matify the skin (good-bye oily T-zone) without changing your coloring. It also softens the appearance of imperfections. Because it is translucent, it works on all skin tones.
Bronzer: Hello lovaahhh! Bronzer can be used to give your skin that tanned glow. Buyer beware! You do not want your bronzer to be too glimmery or shiny-- although shimmer looks good on some body parts, it can also magnify the look of large pores and skin imperfections.
Blush-Cream or Powder: Depending on your skin type, your makeup artist may choose to use a cream or powder blush. Usually, artists use cream blushes on dry skin and powder blushes on oily skin. Either way, you can expect your blush color to be a bit heavier than your everyday color.
Step 5 - Lips That are Ready to Be Kissed.
A clear gloss is perfect for everyday, but not for your wedding day. While you may not be used to wearing a color on your lips, you need a highly pigmented color for the big day. This does not mean you have to wear Bozo red, but you want enough color so that when the camera flash goes off, you don't look like you have muted out lips. It is possible to have a "natural" lip, using other colors besides clear. Ask your makeup artist to play around until you find a color that is a compromise-- enough color to be seen, but not enough to make you feel like our good friend, Bozo.
Remember: This is the day that you will remember for the rest of your life. You want to be happy with the way you look. While your makeup artist has some expertise in knowing what looks good, you also have a say too. I would never want to leave a client knowing that she wasn't 100% happy with her look. Don't be afraid to speak up...we will not be offended!

"The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good on you!"
- Coco Chanel

Monday, May 24, 2010

Make-up vs. Makeup

Makeup vs. Make-up
Ummmm, apparently while I love to use makeup, I don't actually know how to spell it. :) At 31 years of age, I just learned that makeup is spelled WITHOUT the hyphen. I'd like to thank my lovely friend, who shall now be referred to as " The Black Widow," for pointing out my spelling error. Please continue to be my spell checker! Love you!

Disclaimer: Luckily, makeup is not a first grade vocabulary word. Parents fear not...I promise I am a qalified teachaaaaaa. :)
(I meant to spell those words wrong :)

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