7 Ways to Win a $50 eGift Card From Sephora! (Ends Monday)

Published in: Giveaways, Just For Fun

 Win a $50 Sephora e-gift card from Makeup and Beauty Blog

Win a $50 Sephora e-gift card from Makeup and Beauty Blog

Rise and shine, pal o’ mine. Happy caturday. :) Right now I’m watching a small bird hop up and down on a branch on the old oak tree outside my window and listening to it chirp. It sounds like she’s saying, “Hey, everyone! This branch here is the best! You gotta check it out!”

This week sure went by fast… I can’t believe it’s already Saturday. I hope you did something fun last night. I made a kick-@ss TJ’s frozen veggie pizza (added some extra artichoke hearts, tomatoes and broccoli) and rented a Liam Neeson movie (A Walk Among the Tombstones; wasn’t bad).

Now I’m gonna hop on the treadmill, and then? I don’t know what we’ll do today. Maybe drive into the city because it’s supposed to be pretty warm. There’s an awesome crab place at Pier 39 I’ve been thinking/dreaming about.

Good luck in the giveaway. Talk to you soon.

Win a $50 gift card from Sephora

  • One (1) Sephora eGift card containing $50 sent to the winner by email (international readers, you may opt to receive $50 sent by PayPal instead).

  • Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
  • Open to U.S. and international readers.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter (or otherwise an adult based on your local laws).
  • Your comment can be about anything at all, but here are some ideas if you’re stuck:
    • Close your eyes and tell me about everything you hear and smell…
    • What’s the coolest thing you did all week?
    • Who makes the best French fries?
    • How often do you iron your clothes?
    • Something on your nightstand right now?
    • Prettiest perfume bottle?
  • You can enter in up to seven ways to boost your chances of winning.
  • The giveaway ends on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time). :)
  • Full terms and conditions are available in the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

How to Build Your Courage for Crimson Lips

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

5 tips to build your courage for crimson lips

Don’t be scurred!

Dude! Valentine’s Day? I know it’s hella commercial and cheesy, but I don’t even care. Chocolate, love and baby cherubs? You can’t go wrong with that. Plus, crimson lips? If there’s a day to go crazy with crimson, it’s gotta be V-Day.

But what if you’re scared to wear really red lips? What if you like the idea of going full-tilt Gwen Stefani, but you’re too terrified to try?

These five baby steps will build your courage for crimson lips. Remember, Drake was on Degrassi Jr. High once upon a time. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

1. Keep calm, and start with a red lip tint or balm

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry

Wearing Fresh Sugar Lip Tint in Cherry ($22.50)

Before going all the way with opaque red lips, you can take a baby step with a tint.

Red balms and tints are like crimson kitten heels, and years from now, when you’re strutting around town in the red lipstick version of 5-inch stilettos, you’ll think back to your starter balms…

When you wear a red balm or a tint, you’ll get a sense of what it’s like to wear red on your lips without the full-on shock of something opaque like MAC Ruby Woo.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

Ease your way into red with something like Fresh Sugar Lip in Cherry (pictured in the center)

And that shock at seeing yourself in red lipstick for the first time is a legitimate thing. The first time I wore red (I think it was in high school, which would place it in the early Cretaceous Period), I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. A red lip balm reduces that risk.

Some tints/balms to try…

Fresh makes a great one called Sugar Lip Tint in Cherry ($22.50). Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia is also gorgeous (and affordable at $6.99).

2. Shine with a sheer red gloss

NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie

Wearing NYX Cherry Pie

If you’re more of a gloss girl, you could skip the balm, and go for a sheer red gloss instead. It’s the same idea of easing your way into red with a baby step.

Look for a sheer red gloss that lets most of your natural lip color through. That way you won’t have to worry about the gloss migrating outside your natural lip line.

Check out Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Taylor ($19) or NYX Butter Gloss in Cherry Pie ($4.99).

3. Text a friend

Think of her as your makeup training buddy. Here’s the scenario: you’re visiting a makeup counter and trying to choose your sheer red gloss, but you can’t decide. Do you go with a sheer blue-based gloss or a warm-toned yellowish red? Sparkles or no sparkles?

Gah! These decisions are tough. :)

If all of the reds start to look the same, swatch the top contenders on your arm or the back of your hand, then take a quick pic with your phone.

Text it to a friend who (hopefully) knows a little bit about makeup, and ask her which shade she likes best for you, because it never hurts to have a second opinion.
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NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder: I Got 99 Problems But This Powder Ain’t One

Published in: Collections, Face, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

The new NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powders ($36)

These days, my pores run the show. They drive the car. They’re the CEOs of my face, and every face-related product I use, from foundation to primer and powder, like the one I’m wearing here, new NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder, has to keep the CEOs happy.

And $36 NARS Soft Velvet does.

NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

$36 NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

What is it exactly?

Honestly, it’s a loose powder. It does not exist to bring about world peace, but it will, however, set your foundation and concealer (and it does so without appearing thick or heavy), blur those pores (yea!), smooth the texture of your skin, and soak up that pesky oil patch in the middle of your forehead. You can wear it all by itself on bare skin, or on top of other products.

My skin always gets dry this time of year, so this isn’t the best time for me to assess an oil-controlling product, but I’m guessing that if I were in one of my oily skin phases, like when I could fry egg rolls with the grease on my forehead (throughout my teens and early 20s), this would have laid a decent smack-down, although it probably wouldn’t have gone home with the championship belt.

Before NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

The before shot: Wearing NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation on my face

The before shot: Wearing NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, but without powder.


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5 Fine Ways to Introduce a Little Chanel Spring Into Your Step

Published in: Chanel

Clockwise from the upper left: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardoise, Jardin de Chanel Blush Camerlia Rose, Chanel No. 19 Poudre and Les 4 Ombres Mluti-Effect Quara Eyeshadow in in Tisse Rivoli

Clockwise from the upper left: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardoise, Jardin de Chanel Blush Camerlia Rose, Chanel No. 19 Poudre and Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quara Eyeshadow in Tisse Rivoli

At any given second of any given day you’re likely to find at least one or two pieces of Chanel in my makeup bag.

What can I say? I worship at the altar of the double CCs.

Chanel is always (always) a good idea, and to that end, here are five fine ways to introduce a little Chanel into your life this spring.

1. Chanel Jardin de Chanel Blush Camelia Rose ($55)

Chanel Jardin de Chanel Blush Camelia Rose

Chanel Jardin de Chanel Blush Camelia Rose ($55)

Let’s be real. The last thing on this earth I needed was to fall in love with another pricey Chanel blush, but I have. The flower pattern on the pan always brings a smile to my face (and it isn’t just brushed away after the first few swipes).

Technically, it’s a pinkish peachy mauve with a dash of plum and a finish somewhere in the heavenly ether between matte and satin. Un-technically, it’s like blasting Taylor Swift and dancing around your room first thing in the morning. :)

This is one of those Chanel blushes that I’m sure I’ll remember years from now and think of fondly with a sparkle in my eye…

Wearing Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Tisse Rivoli on my eyes, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Longn-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardoise on my lash lines, Chanel Jardin de Chanel BLush Camelia Rose on my cheeks and Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque on my lips

Wearing Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Tisse Rivoli on my eyes, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardoise on my lash lines, Chanel Jardin de Chanel BLush Camelia Rose on my cheeks and Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque on my lips

Availability: Limited edition, and available now at Chanel counters and online at chanel.com.

2. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque ($35)

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Romanesque ($35)

In The World According to K-Dawg (publication date: soon), hot pink lips are always a good idea, and La Romanesque is a fresh take on the concept.

While in tune with the current matte lipstick revival, it has a velvety matte finish, so it isn’t as flat as most mattes. It has the faintest whisper of shine, which makes it kinder and more approachable.

Whenever I wear it, I like to blur the edges. First, I’ll apply it directly from the tube, smack my lips a few times to disperse the color, then I’ll push it out to the edges of my lips with a lip brush, and pat a few times with a finger for a casual, barely-there edge, effortless and ladylike.

Availability: Permanent, and currently being re-promoted as part of the Chanel Spring 2015 Reverie Parisienne collection. Available now at Chanel counters and online.

3. Chanel Quadra Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow in Tissé Rivoli ($61)

Chanel Quadra Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow in Tissé Rivoli

Chanel Quadra Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow in Tissé Rivoli ($61)

A satin finish and a dash of plum spice up Tissé Rivoli’s shimmery golden taupes.

Whenever I wear this quad, which is one of the permanent collection quads in the recently revamped baked eyeshadow fam, on my lids, I’m sure I have a little extra spring in my step.

I think it’s one of the most universally flattering Chanel quads, and its mix of shimmery golden taupes and plums suit a wide range of skin tones because they aren’t excessively cool-toned or warm, so I have free rein over the cheek and lip colors I wear them with.

I like to do a soft wash of color with one of the lighter shades and mix one the darker or mid-toned shades for a hazy, smokey eye.

If you’re tired of the pastels that typically dominate shelves for spring, try Tissé Rivoli.

No rush though. It’s in the permanent collection, so it isn’t going anywhere.

Availability: Permanent, and available now at Chanel counters and online.

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Is a Lightweight, Long-Lasting Jill-of-All-Trades

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48, available in 20 shades)

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation costs $48, and with a $48 foundation, you basically want that scene from When Harry Met Sally. Like, you want to feel that way when you use a $48 foundation, and then you want the lady next to you to say, “I’ll have the foundation she’s having.”

I mean, I wouldn’t actually pretend to have a big O in the middle of Sephora or anything, because hello! — we live in a digital age of smartphones and video, and knowing my luck, I’d blurt out “It feels like I’m hardly wearing anything at all! Yes, yes, YES!!! It’s so natural looking on my skin!” inevitably, some pervert would be filming me, and it would get around on the Interwebz, and my mother would see it…

The way NARS describes this foundation, you’d think you’re reading about the invention of time travel in Scientific American. With new “Even Tone Technology,” one drop/pump is supposed to deliver 16 hours of weightless, oil-free full coverage, and with long term use, it’s also supposed to make skin tone appear more even.

It’s an all-encompassing Jill-of-All-Trades foundation without SPF (meaning that it shouldn’t produce a white cast in pictures with a flash), and it’s available in 20 shades.

So, how well does it really work?

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Pretty well. It’s not the CERN of foundations or anything, and the claim to offer full coverage from a single pump seems like a stretch to me, but you can build it up for more coverage (with a caveat, which I’ll get to in a minute).

I’d say it has one foot in the medium-coverage pool, and the other foot in the full-coverage pool. Of course, “full coverage” is open to interpretation, and one person’s full coverage is another person’s medium. My definition might be skewed by Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fluide, one drop of which covers every. Single. Thing on my face.

One pump of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation gets rid of any redness around my nose, cheeks and forehead while unifying the skin tone all over my face, but I still have to do some spot concealing on the freckles around my eyes, and I can still see the patch of skin above my upper lip that appears gray on camera unless it’s fully covered.

You can build the foundation up for fuller coverage by using more product, but then that interferes with its natural-looking mojo…

Being a curious kitty with an inquisitive nature, I’ve tested this in a number of ways — atop one primer, atop two primers (which is what I usually do with Laura’a Flawless Fluide), by itself, with a powder on top, applied with my fingers, applied with a Beautyblender, applied with a foundation brush, and at the end of the day, the simplest way works best. Just the product all by itself applied with fingers on bare skin (well, bare skin prepped with my skin care). That’s it.

Before NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli…

Before applying NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli

Before applying NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli


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