I love dramatic eyes, but when it comes to my complexion, I want to look natural. And in the winter, I want that perfect just-came-in-from-the-cold look.
Liv Tyler does it so well!
The secret? Ditch your powder blush and snag a cheek stain instead. Try Benefit's Benetint (Sephora, $29). At first, it looks a little intimidating; when you unscrew the cap, it looks like a nail polish applicator, and the stain appears quite dark in the bottle. Don't be scared; it goes on lightly and the application technique is a snap. To apply, dab a little on the apples of your cheeks with the included applicator (I usually make three lines on the apple of my cheek) and blend back toward your temples with a sponge. Use over foundation (if you're a full-coverage girl) or under (if you're using sheer-to-medium foundation or tinted moisturizer).
Top it off with a dab of highlighter, blending just along the cheekbone to give you a dewy, natural look (I'm a fan of Stila's multi-tasking Smudge Pot in Kitten (Sephora, $20), then polish your look with your favorite setting powder (I like BareMinerals Mineral Veil, SPF 25 (Sephora, $20).
Ever tried a cream or stain blush? What do you think?
In the spirit of the holidays, I'm doing a giveaway!
The winner will receive:
Benefit Watt's Up Soft Focus Highlighter
NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Buxom Lip Tarnish in "Caught on Tape"
Ulta Eyeshadow Single in "Bayou"
Make Up For Ever HD Powder
Josie Maran Argan Oil
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in "Confidence"
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Serum
How to enter:
1.) Follow my blog (required to enter)
2.) Follow my Twitter (+1 entry)
3.) Tweet about the giveaway with a link back to this post (+1 entry)
4.) Post about the giveaway on Tumblr with a link back to this post (+1 entry)
5.) Post about the giveaway on your own blog with a link back to this post (+2 entries)
Once you've entered, comment on this post. I'll need your first name, the username you used to follow my blog, your e-mail address, and links to anything you followed/promoted me on. If you don't want to post your e-mail address publicly, send the information in an e-mail to me.
Winner will be selected via random.org on New Year's Day.
It's no secret to those who know me that I adore television from across the pond. If you ever catch me in front of the TV and there's not a hockey game on the screen, you can bet it will be something British. Enter my latest addiction: Merlin! My husband and I were recently introduced to it and we marathoned the whole thing until we caught up.
While trying to think of a theme for my latest nails, I immediately thought of doing something Camelot-inspired. Here they are:
I used a single tool for the whole thing though, in hindsight, I wish I'd have used a fine paintbrush for the Fisher King's trident and maybe the crown and Grail. Here's the tool, which I got in my brush set:
I picked mine up at a local craft store... you should be able to find a similar brush set at any decent-sized craft store.
Chime in: what cool nail designs have you seen lately... or what British show should I watch next? ;)
Let me say right off the bat, if you use these the way they're packaged, you'll go mad trying to get the product out. The pigment tends to clump in small balls, which don't go through the sifter. And if you dip your brush in it, you'll get quite a bit of fallout; you can use a brush, but be sure to use a small, tightly packed one (like Sephora's Smudge Brush), and smash up the shadow in the lid a bit first. My modus operandi when I buy a new True Romance pigment (oh yes, I've been collecting them): pry off the sifter and toss it in the trash, then apply the shadow with a pinky finger.
This sounds like a hassle. It is. But you do get some pretty results:
Kat Von D True Romance Pigments: Torment, Johnette, and Conquer
Eyeliner: Lorac Front of the Line PRO
Mascara: Urban Decay Lush Lash
Can be used dry or wet
Shadow gets clumpy
Hard to get out of sifter top
Hard to apply with brushes
Verdict: I'll be honest. If I could find a better formula with Kat's bright colors, I'd ditch True Romance in a second. They're a pain in the posterior. But until then, I'll put up with the clumps.
(Also, if you're thinking about getting some, there are more colors inside Sephora stores than they show online. In addition to the ones online, they carry Rooftop, a dark maroon, and Conquer, the green pictured above).
My skin has been going through a yuck phase. Once upon a time, I had perfect skin; now karma has caught up with me. Now that my husband and I are trying to get pregnant (!) my hormones have gone crazy, and my face has become a tad acne-prone.
Miraculously, this morning, my face was breakout-free (always do your masks when your skin is clear; if it's never clear, don't put a mask over an active blemish, just work around it!) so I decided to try the mask I've been waiting to try: Boscia's Luminizing Black Mask (Sephora, $34).
First of all, it's not a mud; though it has clay in it, it's more of a thick gel. It's also a peel-off mask, which appealed to me because I love the idea of yanking all that dirt and dead skin right out of my pores (which is why I love the pore-unclogging strips). The downside to that is how much of the product you have to use to make it peelable. I'm used to getting several uses out of a mask, but I'm estimating you'd get only about six or seven uses out of this, if you put it on as thickly as they suggest.
I applied the mask thinly in a few places just to see how it would work. In those spots, I couldn't peel it off at all, negating the benefits of a peel-off mask. Even where I applied it thickly, it was tough to remove; lots of picking at my face to get it off, which was unpleasant. When I do any sort of facial treatment, I'm not looking to hurt my face by scratching it up with my fingernails afterward. In total, it took me about fifteen minutes in the bathroom mirror; then I had to use a warm, wet washcloth to remove the bits that wouldn't peel.
After, my skin felt good. Not great, but good. Though it promises instant, visible results, I didn't see a brightening effect at all. It did do a fabulous job of cleaning out my pores, though. Overall, this wasn't a bad product, but I'm glad I went home with a sample instead of shelling out the money for a full size.
-Cleans out pores like a charm.
-Not enough product in package.
-Hard to remove.
Chime in: what's your favorite mask on the market?
As you can probably already tell from the photos I've posted, I'm an eyeshadow girl. I love playing with bold, bright looks on my eyelids, which means I only add a touch of color to my lips to keep a nice balance.
My interest in stains has surged after my latest love affair with Benefit's Benetint. I've tried lip stains before, but they only dried my lips out; Tarte boasts that their LipSurgence increases moisture content by 6000%, so I decided to try one out to see if the claim was true.
These fat pencils come in three varieties: Natural Lip Tint, Natural Matte Lip Tint, and Natural Lip Luster. I picked the Natural Lip Tint.
When I got it on, I barely noticed the color and thought I might have to go for a matte instead. After a while, though, the peppermint oil kicked in, my lips plumped up, and the color appeared. It was a bit different than the color shown; it's almost as if it adjusts to you, similar to Smashbox's O-Gloss. To make sure you like the color, I'd definitely try it on in the store if you have the chance.
I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did this not dry out my lips, it delivered on its promise of mucho moisturization! However, the stains I've tried last for hours without budging; this only has about 2 hours of wear. It's sold as a stain, but it does NOT wear like a stain. When I next get time to pick out a nice everyday neutral at Sephora, this will officially replace the lip balm I keep with me.
Very natural and sheer; great for those who don't want too much color.
Plumps the lips without unpleasant stinging.
Application could be easier; I'd prefer a slimmer design or a pencil with built-in sharpener, as the tip tends to get dull.
Sold as a stain, yet doesn't wear as a stain.
Verdict: A fabulous product... if you want a lip tint. If you're looking for a stain, don't buy it.
Chime in: Have you used this product before? What's your favorite lip stain?
A wonderful thing has happened: I got into Pottermore early and was sorted into Slytherin! In celebration, I'm going to share my nails.
For these nails, I used a variety of techniques and tools. The chain, the crown, and the crest were all created with paintbrushes. I used the water-marbling technique on my index fingernails, and created the straight-edge designs with clear tape.
Along with my regular job as a beauty consultant, I do some work as a makeup artist. I've done a few weddings, but most of my work is for local photographers. Sometimes, this requires me to create some crazy and bright looks.
Since my summer was packed full with other responsibilities, I haven't booked any jobs over the last few months. Now that I have a few lined up for late summer/early autumn, I decided to break out my kit and experiment.
Eyes: To prime, I used my go-to primer, Lorac Behind the Scenes (Sephora, $20). Then came one of my all-time favorite products: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream (Sephora, $22). I started in the center with the red (#8), using my fingertip to apply, and blended it out with a sponge brush. To draw the top black line, I used my Almay Liquid Eyeliner in Black (Target, $5.04). It may be a drugstore eyeliner, but it's one of the best drugstore products you can buy. While I prefer other products for daily wear, I love using this eyeliner for photoshoots; the felt-tip applicator lets me use it like a pen, and since it's not self-loading, I can control the amount I'm putting on. Then, I used my pinky finger to apply the Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in gold (#11) all over my lid.
Once I had my base of color, I wanted to tone down the shine of the gold, and also create some smoke. I tapped Urban Decay's Deluxe Eyeshadow in Honey (Sephora, $18) all over the lid in order to even out the shimmer, and covered the outer 1/4 of the lid, from lash to crease, with Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in matte black #4 (Sephora, $19). I blended with my fingertips, taking care to blend up and out.
To line, I grabbed my Lorac Front of the Line PRO (Sephora, $23) and pressed it right against the top lash line, creating an incredibly thin line, then lined the top waterline. I wanted to create some definition without adding a thick line to disrupt the thick lines of color on the eye. On the bottom, I used the same Lorac liner on my waterline, then used a liner brush to sweep Buxom Lashliner in Leatherette (Sephora, $16) along the lower lid. I finished off the eyes with Urban Decay's Lush Lash Mascara (Sephora, $20).
After all the makeup was applied, I held a makeup brush to my face and lined up the outer corner of my eye with the outer tip of my brow, which is where eyeshadow should stop. To make the nice straight line, I kept the brush in place, dipped a Q-Tip in makeup remover, and followed the side of the brush to erase any makeup that had gone over the line.
For my brows, I chose Smashbox's Brow Tech Trio in Auburn (Sephora, $24), filling the inner part of my brows with the lighter color and the outer part with the darker color.
Lips: For the lips, I used the same two Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream colors I used on my eyes, and lined them with the Almay eyeliner.
Chime in: what colors/looks should I play with next?
Left to Right: Bobby Dazzle, Sabbath, El Dorado, Woodstock, Retrograde, Demolition, Radium, Smog, Perversion, Siren, Revolver
I love new products! This eyeliner is very true to its name. The swatches you see above had been on my hand for six hours when I photographed them; they stayed put through a long day of hand sanitizing and handwashing and didn't budge. However, you'll want to make sure you have a fabulous waterproof makeup remover, because otherwise they're not going to come off too easily. I tried using Philosophy's Purity foam, and still had to scrub pretty hard. It wasn't until I grabbed my Make Up For Ever SensEyes (which removes anything with just a swipe) that it came off easily.
My only complaint is that they go on a little thick and heavy. If you're looking to create a very fine line, have shaky hands, or aren't comfortable with using liquid liners, these liners may not be for you. Make sure to shake them well before applying, otherwise they will clump.
Verdict: Fabulous for the waterline, in, heat and humidity, and for active people. Not for first-time liquid liner users.
Chime in: What's your all-time favorite liquid liner?
My mom's been wanting a new look for a while, and I finally got the time to put her in my chair and give her a fresh face. She's got naturally bronze skin that girls would kill for (not to mention that she looks MUCH younger than her age of 54), so I decided to emphasize that fabulous glow she has.
Next, I used Lorac Breakthrough Performance Foundation (Sephora, $38). This, too, is an anti-aging product, formulated with ingredients to boost cell turnover. It has an SPF of 14, which will keep skin looking younger for longer. What my mom and I liked about this one is that it provided medium coverage while looking natural and leaving a glowing finish.
Left to Right: Perfect Peacock, Perfect Purple, Perfect Black Orchid, Perfect Storm, Perfect Brown, Perfect Black
These liners are, by far, the smoothest I've ever used. The swatch of Perfect Peacock up there was taken with nearly no pressure; I just held the pencil lightly in my fingers and let it sweep over the back of my hand. They also come with a little rubber smudger attached to the end of the pencil, which was a bit too stiff for my taste and pulled on my skin more than smudged my liner. Speaking of smudging, I loved that I was able to smudge right after applying, but the liner didn't budge after that.
Eyeshadow: Currant Couture Trio, Lancomé
Eyeliner: Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Orchid
Mascara: Urban Decay
The photo was taken after six hours of wear, which included extremely watery eyes and a half-hour drive in the hot, humid weather. As you can see, it stayed put through all of it, even on the waterline.
Verdict: I'm in love! I need them all and, if you have trouble finding a liner that won't give you raccoon eyes, so do you!
Chime In: Have you tried this product before? What's your experience? Are there better liners out there? What colors do you love?
To start off, let me tell you a little bit about myself and why I've started this blog. I'm a 25-year old model, makeup artist, and beauty consultant. I've found my little niche in a very exciting industry, and I'm so passionate about what I do that I want to share it with the world!
The most fulfilling moments in my job are the moments when a woman or man looks at him or herself in a mirror after I'm finished applying makeup and their face lights up. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and I want to help everyone gain the tools and know-how to feel their best-- whether that means a clean, clear face with no makeup, an easygoing natural eye and a pop of lipgloss, or a dramatic look with a whole palette of colors.
My plan is to draw on my experience to bring you tips & tricks, tutorials, complete reviews, new ideas, and more. I hope you enjoy the blog, and don't hesitate to drop me a line!
Coming up: a review of Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner.