Light Trails Los Angeles

Published in: Daily Photo

It’s the light trail, man. It’s where all the lights crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains back before the trains started…

LOL! Sorry, that was crazy talk.

Light trails! — those pictures with the long lines of swirling light that look a little fantastical and science fiction. They’re created by keeping the camera shutter (the “eye” thing that opens to let light into the lens) open longer than usual.

And nowadays you don’t even need a giant fancy camera to create them. A lot of smaller cameras let you adjust the shutter speed (in this case, increasing it up to a full second or longer). I used a point-and-shoot (the Sony DSC-RX100) — actually, my favorite point-and-shoot of all time.

You want to look for the setting on your camera that controls the shutter speed. On my Sony, it’s the “S” setting on the dial.

To get this shot, I set the shutter speed for 20 seconds.

That’s a while, and the key is to keep the camera as still as possible, ideally setting it on a tripod or windowsill (an improv tripod), which is what I did.

Normally, the shutter opens and closes in a fraction of a second, usually a fortieth or sixtieth of a single second, but by leaving it open a full 20 seconds while the camera itself remains still, the static objects in the shot, like the buildings and highways, appear to be still, while the moving objects in the shot, like the lights on the cars, are captured as beautiful trails of light. Everything also appears brighter (making it a great way to capture stars in the night sky).

(Side note: conversely, by setting a quicker shutter speed, like to a thousandth of a second, time appears frozen. That’s how photographers do things like capturing a baseball player’s swinging bat, or a flying hummingbird with wings that aren’t blurred, or capturing a single drop of water, or a certain blogger girl jumping in her dress.

To keep the camera as absolutely still as possible, I also used the two-second timer feature. That way I didn’t even have to press the shutter button, which would have caused the camera to move a little.

I was also sitting in a pitch black hotel room like a psycho creeper, LOL! But there was a method to my madness… I turned off the lights so they wouldn’t interfere with the final pic (I also turned off the camera’s built-in flash).

The end result? Light trails of LA cars on the freeway!

These Fresh and Luminous Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors Don’t Have Time for Fine Lines

Published in: Daily Beauty

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors in YE216 Lemoncello and BL620 Esmaralda

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors in YE216 Lemoncello and BL620 Esmaralda, $25 each

Creative trick.

To start this post, I gazed at Shiseido’s $25 Shimmering Cream Eye Colors and asked myself, “Self, what are the first two words you think of when you look at these?”

And I answered…myself. I said, “fresh and luminous!”

See, the trick is to ask yourself questions when you can’t think of something to say. :)


These potted cream eyeshadows come in a bunch of colors that, gloriously, do not settle into my fine lines, and since they aren’t fully opaque, some of my natural skin color peeks through when I wear ‘em, which sort of gives them a casual effect like, “Yes, I did spend the day relaxing and reading on a sunny park bench.”

I like to wear Esmaralda (the teal one) or Lemoncello (the golden yellow) on top of NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. With Pro-Prime, I get 8-9 hours of wear.

You can find both of these shades, along with about a zillion others, now at Shiseido counters and online.

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in BL620 Esmaralda

BL620 Esmaralda

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in YE216 Lemoncello

YE216 Lemoncello

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors in YE216 Lemoncello and BL620 Esmaralda

Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colors in YE216 Lemoncello (left) and BL620 Esmaralda (right)

YE216 Lemoncello (left) and BL620 Esmaralda (right)

Giorgio Armani Beauty’s New Fall 2014 Eyes To Kill Liners Have Killer Shine

Published in: Eyes, Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Product Reviews

Wearing Giorgio Armani Beauty's Eyes To Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Wearing Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Eyes To Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Eyes to killWith his heat ray vision, Superman has eyes to kill.

Medusa has eyes to kill (well, turn you to stone, but that’s basically the same thing).

And now, with new Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Liners (called Ametista, Oro Oscuro, Perla Nera and Quarzo on the website), we mere mortals can also have eyes to kill.

Shiny eyes to kill, because when I wear these liquid liners on my lash lines, I feel like I have shine for days, yo!

But it’s an unusual shine…

Starting at the finish

“Muted metallic.” That’s how I describe the finish. Mind you, it’s not as frosty or shiny as some metallic or glitter liners, like the kind you might see at Urban Decay or MAC, some of which reflect so much light that you can look like you’re wearing a costume if you go too far with them.

There’s no mistaking these for matte — that’s for sure — but the shiny finish seems softer to me, more diffused and more elegant than the finish that a lot of other shiny liners have.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Rose Iron on my lash lines, MAC Smolder on my water lines, and Armani’s Black Ecstasy Mascara on my lashes

Not everyone is gonna get the distinction. Like, El Hub, adorable yet clueless dude that he is, he probably wouldn’t get it. “What’s the big whoop?” he’d say. “They just look shiny to me.”

Now, if you’re the kind of guy or gal who carries eight different black liners in your makeup bag and can quickly rattle off their names and differences, you’ll probably appreciate these and their muted metallic finish.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liners from the purple shade on the left: 3 Mercury Nude, 2 Acid Gold and 3 Rose Iron

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liners from the purplish shade on the left: 3 Mercury Nude, 2 Acid Gold and 3 Rose Iron

Easy-peasy application

As for the formula itself and the way these feel, one word: bomb. They’re sort of halfway between a liquid and a cream, almost like a watery gel, and it makes them easy to control, especially with the included, fine-tipped brush applicator. With it, I can easily draw skinny and thick lines with sharp edges in a single swipe.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liner

With a MAC Lipglass for scale

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Published in: Hourglass, Lips, Unsung Heroes

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Wearing Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage ($30) by Hourglass, an unsung makeup hero!

Ironically, my favorite lipstick (this week) is a modern twist on a traditional idea. It’s called Vintage, and I think of it as a modern twist on a traditional nude lipstick for fall.

I’m kind of loving that idea, the idea of lips that are slightly richer, and maybe a few shades darker, than your natural lip color.

Tom Ford’s fabulous new rich, rosy brown Lip Color in Negligee has some of that same vibe.

The whole idea is just so different from what I picture in my head when I think “nude lips,” which over the past few years have meant a lot of light peach, pink and beige.

Barbie lips, so to speak.

I was digging around in my lipstick collection last weekend for something modern and nude when I re-discovered this old friend’s charms — Vintage ($30), a shade in the Hourglass Femme Rouge lipstick line, and one of my unsung makeup heroes.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage, $30

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Next Time You Have a Wedding, Prom or Other Big Event To Go To and Have a Lot of Crap To fit Into a Teeny, Tiny Purse, Keep This Makeup Tip in Mind

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Clutch

My Emmys accessories: Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Clutch (which fit everything I needed during the show), cuff is by Erickson Beamon, earrings by Alexis Bittar @alexisbittar @whitingdavis @ericksonbeamon

Why are dainty, diminutive clutches so darned popular at fancy parties and events?

I mean, they’re kind of inconvenient. Because they’re so tiny, they don’t steal any thunder from the dresses (always a good thing), so I guess that’s probably the reason, but dang if they aren’t totally impractical.

Carrying the Whiting & Davis Purse

Carrying the Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Clutch, on loan from @dove for the Emmys

In my hotel room on Monday, as I rushed to get ready and struggled to squeeze everything I wanted/needed to bring with me to the show into the spritely Whiting & Davis Gold Mesh Clutch, I started to panic a little.

The clutch was just too small.

I’d planned to do a heavier full-coverage look for my foundation and powder and touch it up at night with a powder compact, rather than just with blotting papers (I felt like the powder would do a better job keeping everything intact).

But between my phone, keys, one lipstick, a lip liner, gloss and, um…a cardboard cutout of my cat, there was no room left in the clutch! — which was incidentally smaller than my size 7 shoes.

Whiting & Davis Purse with my heels

The shoes were bigger than the clutch, man!

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