Oh, Beehive! A 4-Step Halloween Hair How-To

Published in: Beauty Tips, Hair


Do you hear that? Um, I think it’s coming from my hair!

Marge came over today to help me brainstorm Halloween costumes and dish about the World Series (we both think the Giants will win in 6).

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do/wear to the Monster Bash tomorrow night, but if worse comes to worst, I could always wear some go-go boots with a mini-skirt and build a big Marge-inspired beehive.

What do ya think? This was my first one ever, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Hair’s how to get this obnoxiously high hairdo (mine measured 8 inches from my crown to the tip of the hive, yikes!) in four easy steps.

What you’ll need:

Countdown to big hair in 3…2…1!
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Smashbox Reign Fall 2009: 4-Step Eye Makeup

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

smashbox reign fall 2009 karen 2

This year’s fall makeup collections have begun to trickle in, and the one I’m spending quality time with today is Smashbox’s new Reign ($19-48/item).

Inspired by England’s Tudor period (circa 1485-1603), a time that encompassed Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, the eight pieces feature shades of berry, peach, plum, black and champagne.

Smashbox Reign Eyeshadow Palette in Majesty ($42), Lip Gloss in Crowned ($22)

For today’s 4-step eye makeup look, I grabbed the Smashbox Reign Majesty Eye Shadow Palette ($42), one of three eye palettes in the collection. It comes with three baked eyeshadows (a champagne, a reddish plum and a black), each with a dollop of matte shadow surrounded by a shimmery version of the same shade.

Top row: shimmery shadows. Bottom row: matte shadows.

I was in the mood to wear something soft today but wasn’t sure if I could make the red shade work for a daytime look — that is, until I discovered that with enough blending the shade looks somewhat reddish brown (!).

smashbox reign fall 2009 eye


Smashbox Reign 4-Step Eye Makeup

  1. First things first. I grab my MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush and wet the head with a spritz of MAC Fix+ Rose. Applying shadows with a wet brush like this intensifies their color. I load the brush with the shimmery champagne shadow from the Smashbox Reign Magesty Palette and apply it over the entire eyelid and along my lower lash line.
  2. Next, with a Sonia Kashuk Crease Brush, I apply the red eyeshadow (mixing the matte with the shimmer) from the same palette into my crease, concentrating more of the color toward the outside (closer to the ear), and use a MAC 217 Blending Brush to soften the edges.
  3. Then, to make the whole look really pop, I apply a mix of the shimmery black and shimmery red shadows with a Sonia Kashuk Angled Eyeshadow Brush, drawing a thick line along the upper lash line and smoothing out the edges with a MAC 217.
  4. Finally, with the same brush and a mix of the shimmery and matte black shadows, I line the lower line.

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Easy 4-Step Eye Makeup with Illamasqua

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup Tips/How To

illamasqua sirens fotd final final

Hiya, ladies. I had fun with this week’s Benefit 4-Step Eye Look, so I decided to try another one — this time using products from the UK’s rising makeup star, Illamasqua.

More on the Illamasqua brand…

It’s a shimmery and smokey black, gray and bronze eye, and it makes heavy use of Liquid Metal in Enrapture (a shimmery bronze cream) and Powder Eye Shadow in Lestat (a matte black).

Blend till you can’t blend no more!

illamasqua sirens-eye closeup

Like the Benefit look from a few days ago, this look involves just four steps, but it can still take a while to complete, thanks to the amount of blending required. Seamlessly transitioning the black matte into the bronze cream shadow isn’t something I’d try if I only had a couple minutes to get ready, so if you’re gonna give this one a try, consider budgeting a few extra minutes to blend.

I had to restart this look twice, wiping everything off each time, and had to remind myself not to get frustrated. If you end up with black eyeshadow all over your face, no worries! Wipe it off and start over again. That’s the beauty of makeup, right? You can always start with a clean slate.

Illamasqua 4-Step Eye Makeup Look

illamasqua sirens map final

  1. I start the look with Liquid Metal in Enrapture applied over my entire eyelid and along the lower lash line with a MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush. I take care to concentrate most of the color on the lid, gradually decreasing the saturation of color as it moves toward the brow bone.
  2. Next, I use a MAC 217 Blending Brush to apply a light layer of Lestat into the crease, diffusing the edges and blending into the the bronze shadow.
  3. For a smokey effect, I pat several layers of Lestat onto the outer half of the eye, concentrating most of the color in the outer corner (the side closest to my ear), and blend away any harsh lines with my trusty MAC 217 brush.
  4. To finish the eye portion of the look, I load a MAC 219 Pencil Brush with Lestat, smudge it along the outer half of my lower lash line, and use my MAC 217 to gently diffuse the edge.

Illamasqua Sirens for Lips and Cheeks

For the rest of my makeup, I went with a hot pink and gold lip with shimmery golden peach cheeks. Illamasqua’s new Sirens collection helped. 🙂
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Easy 4-Step Eye Makeup with Benefit Cosmetics

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Makeup Tips/How To


I love crazy, complicated eye looks as much as the next makeup junkie, but some mornings I just can’t get it together — I’m either running late or just plain lazy as all hell.

I’ve been wanting to do something with my eye makeup for a few days but haven’t wanted to do anything *too* complicated, so I limited myself to four steps.

Why four steps? I guess it’s my happy medium. Five steps feel like too many; three not enough.

Oh — I’m not counting curling my lashes or applying mascara as individual steps… I probably should, but I don’t like the sound of six steps as much as four. 🙂

Benefit four-step eye look


The look is a shimmery neutral eye with a bit of gray, and I think it’s a great look for beginners.


Here’s how I get the look…

  1. To start, I apply Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Samba-dy Loves Me (a shimmery peachy gold) on the lids and just up into the crease with my fingers, smoothing away any harsh lines.
  2. Next, using a Sonia Kashuk Large Eyeshadow Brush, I sweep Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow in Leggy (a shimmery peachy pink) over the entire eye.
  3. With the same brush, I pat Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow in Where There’s Smoke (a shimmery blackish gray) onto the lid and into the crease.
  4. To finish, I line my upper and lower lash lines with Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Liner (a true black) and smudge out both with a MAC 219 Pencil Brush and Where There’s Smoke Eyeshadow.


Cheeks and lips

You could pretty easily dress up this look with bold pink or red lips, but since I’m not really going anywhere special today, I shot for light and breezy with Benefit Posie Tint (a semi-matte peachy pink) on my cheeks and Benefit Full Finish Lipstick in Thrillin’ Brazilian (a shimmery golden peach) on my lips.
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4 Steps to Clearer Skin With the Neutrogena #LetsSolveIt Campaign (SPONSORED)

Published in: Neutrogena, Skin Care, Sponsored Post


As a participant in the #LetsSolveIt campaign sponsored by Neutrogena, I’ve received product samples and/or compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #sponsored @Walgreens @Neutrogena

Somewhere between trying to squeeze in as much outdoorsy time as possible in the second half of summer, a bunch of stressful side projects, a particularly bad bout of insomnia (I keep waking up around the Witching Hour and then can’t fall back asleep) and the steady stream of ice cream I’ve been eating after dinner (even though I know what happens when I have too much dairy), I’ve started breaking out.

It’s nothing too bad…yet (knocks on wood) — definitely not as bad as the huge humdingers I get sometimes along my jawline. These are just little whiteheads on my chin and around the edge of my forehead, and a couple of body breakouts on my chest and booty.

Yes, girl, booty — specifically my left butt cheek, if you must know.

Is that TMI? Probably…but it’s not like I’m the first person (or the last) to get a painful pimple on their bum.

Anyway! When Neutrogena and Walgreens asked if I was down to switch up my acne-fighting game with their #LetsSolveIt campaign and take the quiz at SolveMyAcne.com, I thought, “Good timing!”

I’ve had great luck with Neutrogena skin care over the years, and I dig Walgreens (I used to go there on my breaks every day when I worked in SF), so I said “sure!”

Getting back into the swing of things at school after summer break is stressful enough. Who needs the ADDED stress of a bad breakout? Get expert skin care recs with the Neutrogena #LetsSolveIt campaign by taking the Acne-Fighting Quiz at SolveMyAcne.com, and feel fabulously confident in clearer skin.

First step: the quiz. And it’s not one of those quizzes that they say is only going to take two minutes but ends up taking 20. It really is just a handful of easy questions.

Like so…

Based on my answers, here are the four products the quiz recommended for me and my combo dry/oily skin…
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