Showing posts with label Beauty How-to's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beauty How-to's. Show all posts


What's in my makeup bag?

Everybody probably thinks highly of their own makeup bag. I have taken great pride in researching certain products and getting to know what works for my face and my skin type. After all, I've been doing makeup on myself and others since I was an inexperienced youngen.  I'd skip P.E. in middle school and hide out in the locker room with an eager line of 11 and 12 year old's waiting for me to artfully apply that day's current eye-shadow trend. Point being, I love makeup and have blogged about it frequently herehere and hereAnd while I practically have a MAC/Sephora-medley makeup counter in my own bathroom drawer, I'm very particular about the items I actually carry with me.  I realize, most people don't carry 2 of everything, but you never know when you need to spruce things up a bit.  Here we go! 
Lips - I have talked about my love for nude and pale pink lips over and over again!  But now, I can get the same sexy lip and keep it on through dinner and kisses because I have fallen for YSL's lip stain; {it. is. amazing. extraordinary}.  Lipstick staples include:
Concealer - Some of us have searched for years, but I am staying true to MAC.  I have tried Cle du Peau {so-called number 1} but I demand more coverage and there's nothing like it.
Liners - I daunt a mini-cat-eye liner everyday either in brown or black.  Not only does Benefit's Magic Ink last all day, it has a very easy brush for application. Lancome's Artliner in brown is also a keeper. I also carry pencil liners as well for inside my bottom eyelid in MAC's Teddy and Engraved.
Eye lash curler - If I were stranded on a remote island, I would need this bad boy with me.  The second I found out that Shu Uemera pulled all their products from the US, I teared a little.  It made our last stop in Milan on our honeymoon all the more interesting as I dragged my husband from Sephora to Sephora to find the one that carried the Shu Uemera eyelash curler.  Well I found it, and I will be stocking up on my next Europe trip. Be careful of fakes online!
Mascara - I was probably the number one fan of Lancome's Définicils  Pro. I was also crushed when it was mysterously taken off the market. In its place: Chanel's Inimitable Mascara - Similar to Lancome's Définicils Pro, so I am a happy camper.  Lancome's Hypnose Drama in excessive black - Exactly as advertised; for those nights your lashes need extra drama. 
Face - After setting my powder, I apply Guerlain's Terracotta Bronzing Powder #3 and Sephora's Microsmooth duo blush in Tea Rose Tickle on just the apples of my cheeks.  My tinted moisturizer, foundations and setting powders all stay at home along with my shadows.
Makeup bag - I recently found this Be&D bag at Nieman Marcus.  It was exactly my style, chic yet edgy with the snake skin print and gold studs.  I snagged it up and I didn't regret it, as it has enough space to comfortably store all my items. Lucky for you, it's now on sale here.

What are some of your favorite makeup bag staples?


Face on. Face off.

One thing my mother taught me from a young age is how critical facial skincare is and that you're really never too young for anti-aging creams and serums.  She's in her early 60's with absolutely flawless skin {better than some 40 year olds out there}.   With my combination skin, I have found that many... okay, most facial cleaners seem to dry out my skin and strip them of all moisture.  When I found Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser, it was quite the opposite.  It removed makeup and dirt from my skin without leaving it dry and flaky.  After cleansing, I spray my face with Epicuren's Protein Mist; a gentle toner that smells divine.  Moisturizing is a must for everyone {men, its time to listen up}.  Be sure to moisturize morning and night and even in between on a dry winter day.  I also use Derma E's Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Creme, which I swear by.  It's inexpensive, completely moisturizing and smells like a dream.  Make sure you apply generously to your neck and décolleté can always tell a woman's age by her neck so take extra good care of that area ladies! And lastly, is Lift Fusion, a firming and wrinkle eye serum that I use for smoothing smile lines and crows feet.  Yes, I smile that much!


Brights Besos

I am probably one of the laziest people when it comes to putting on makeup. Don’t get me wrong I love dressing up at night and getting all glammed up, but for some reason I loathe wearing a full face of makeup every day.  At the same time, I hate that I don’t look “put together” no matter how cute of an outfit I’m wearing. . . Enter bright lipstick! This little trick has become my go-to on days where I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup but looking for a little glam factor.  All I do is put on some tinted moisturizer, dab some concealer under my eyes, finish the look with a coat of mascara and my newest obsession….orange lipstick! I used to shy away from color lipsticks because many formulas were dry and when they would wear, off my lips would be left with uneven color. I recently expressed my concerns to the salesperson at Sephora and he pointed me in the direction of YSL’s new lip stain and their notorious lipsticks {which we already loved}. Usually lip stains are very matte and dry, but not this one. It has a glossy finish and was surprisingly moisturizing.   I started with the glossy stain in #8 Orange De Chine and then topped it off with their Pure Color Satiny Radiance in #13 Le Orange {it also has SPF 15…double score}. The color lasts for hours and my lips never felt dry or cracked.  On top of it all, it's perfect for Spring.  

P.S.- Another favorite orange lipstick on a budget is Revlon's Orange Flip! 
What are your favorite bright lipsticks?



< Beauty How to >
Smokey Eyes

From left to right clock wise: NARS creme shadow in Mykonos, Trucco by
Sebastian powder shadow in Brun, NARS duo shadow in Cordura, NARS
shadow in Night Clubbing
Clea de Peu concealer in Beige, UltraFlesh mascara in The Gold Standard //
We also recommend Lancome Definicils Pro & Hypnose Drama mascaras
We love a smokey eye.  Who doesn't? The result gives a sultry but striking look to the eyes, especially if paired with a nude lip (as last discussed here).  Many people have asked us how to achieve the smokey eye look, so we decided to share our secrets with you!  There are many ways to get the same look with various dark shades, it's not always necessary to use black or dark grey shadows which most people mistakenly believe. I personally like browns as opposed to grays and black because they are not as harsh as black and yet still compliment my skin tone because they are warmer colors.  

Always stick to these basic color pairings:  Blacks/grays (See NARS colors above and MAC Knight Divine); browns/taupes (NARS above, or MAC Amber Lights, Woodwinked); purples/light purple shades (MAC Sable, Nocturnelle), dark blues/metallics (MAC Blue Edge),  dark green (MAC Humid)/metallics.  Just play around with the colors that you feel compliment your skin tone, and go from there.

Creme base; Apply shadow; blend blend blend!!
Continue blending; add highlighter; liner and mascara
Here is how to apply: 
  1. Rub NARS Mykonos creme shadow on the entire bare lid.  If you want to start with a dark creme base, MAC's Dangerous Curve also works.    
  2. Go over the creme base with a matte brown. I like Trucco's Brun, but any brand will work. This will set the creme base. 
  3. Take a more vibrant brown {ie: MAC Woodwinked or Amber Lights} with some shimmer and start from the inner corner of your eye covering your entire lid and move towards the outer corner of your eye
  4. Take the darker brown shimmer in the NARS Cordura duo and using a more precise brush sweep the shadow along the crease of your eye.  Your brush is key here for precision. 
  5. Finally take a matte black shadow {actual shadow not pictured} and dab it only on the outer corner of your eye and BLEND BLEND BLEND. Blending is the key to achieving this look {with any color}.
  6. Take an eyeliner brush and dip it into NARS Night Clubbing and follow the natural curve of your eyelid and wing the ends out. {A tutorial on winged liner is coming soon}.  Use your brush to smudge the line so it doesn't look too perfect.
  7. Proceed to cleaning under the eye so no excess shadow changes the concealer color.  Using a brush or your finger, gently dab concealer under the eyes and blend. 
  8. Add liner under the bottom lashes and smudge.
  9. Don't forget your highlighter shadow {very subtly} on the top arch near the brows.
  10. Lastly, finish with applying lots of mascara {on top and bottom} to complete the look.

Good luck and most importantly, have fun and experiment with other colors and add your own twist to it!  If you have your own tips, share them here with our readers!  What are your favorite colors to get this look?


< Beauty How to >
Dewy / Glowing Skin

We all see it on TV and movies and wonder, "How can I get dewy glowing skin?" Light radiates off the skin, making you look luminous, refreshed and flawless. Who wouldn't want it? We understand celebrities have makeup teams meticulously working on them, however there is a way to get that glow at home. We have been around the block, done the legwork and got our hands dirty from testers at Sephora, and we're bringing you the know-how for dewy, glowing skin:

Makeup Forever Uplight Face Luminizer Gel

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Makeup Forever (remember this?).  The line is geared for  a flawless finish for photos, film and TV. Uplight is an oil-free luminizer gel that gives an ultra-natural glow that will last all day.  They have various shades, so pick the one that matches your skin tone. I use #22.
Since I literally have my own make up counter in my bathroom (the mornings are a blast), I have a slew of illuminizing products that I will recommend in this area. I usually use one or the other, but test each out, and go with one that suits you best.  
My second pick would be a relatively new one by Josie Maran.  It's called Argan Illuminizer made with Argan oil which is rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which have anti-aging benefits.  This product is 100% organic and healthy for skin.  I am currently obsessed with this product.
MAC Fix Plus
And lastly, when all makeup is complete, gently spray some of MAC Fix +. This refreshing spray will set your makeup into the skin while allowing any illuminizer to shine through.  As the spray sets, it gets rid of any powdery finish and keeps the skin hydrated all day. Another plus, its packed with vitamins and is infused with Green-tea, chamomile and cucumber.  
Here's how to apply:
  1. Apply moisturizer on clean skin and allow skin to soak it up.
  2. Apply tinted moisturizer or foundation.  Feel free to apply one pump of either the Uplight or Argan Illuminizer into the moisturizer or foundation if you want an all around glow.
  3. For a more concentrated glow, apply your tinted moisturizer or foundation and blend.
  4. Take one pump of either Uplight or the Argan illuminizer and apply to upper cheekbones lightly dabbing as you move up around the sides of the eyes, and very lightly apply remnants above eyebrows for full effect. 
  5. Lastly, dab a tiny smudge down your nose, on the top of your lips where they curve into each other, and in the curve of your chin.
  6. Dust on Makeup Forever's HD loose powder.
  7. Proceed to Bronzer and blush, and apply rest of your make up normally.
  8. Final touch after all makeup is complete, a few spritzes of MAC's Fix + and you will see the glow coming through as your make up sets.
Tell us, how did it all turn out?  Leave a comment below to share.  We hope you love the results.  More extensive "how-to's" are coming soon!