Archive - Guest Post

Unsung Makeup Heroes: OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) Lip Tars

Published in: Guest Post, Lips, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Unsung Heroes

Guest blogger Celia San Miguel wearing OCC Lip Tar in Anime

Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than AverageAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Celia San Miguel of sickathanaverage.com. You can also find Celia on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The word “tar” might not conjure up beautiful imagery, but don’t let that dissuade you from checking out Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ range of oh-so-sexy Lip Tar shades ($18 each). Introduced in Fall 2008, OCC Makeup’s Lip Tar coats lips with super-saturated, astoundingly opaque pigments with a satin-y finish. The formula, meanwhile, incorporates several beneficial botanical ingredients — chiefly hemp oil, which is rife with nourishing and softening omega fatty acids; peppermint oil, which has a cooling effect and also boasts antimicrobial properties; and antioxidant-rich vitamin E, which protects lips from free radical damage and prevents premature skin aging.

Swatches of some of my favorite Lip Tars: Anime, Lovecraft and Electric Grandma

Each 100% vegan lip color is packaged inside a tiny, pocket-sized tube that, although small, will last surprisingly long given that you’ll only need a bead-sized amount for each application. Ideally, you should use a lip brush when applying the Lip Tar shade of your choice since the color saturation is almost mind-blowingly high, and you’ll want to be precise when smoothing the color onto your pout (and that goes double if you choose an ultra-bright shade like Beta, Anime, or Demure).

There is literally no product on the market that compares to OCC’s Lip Tars in terms of consistency, texture, color payoff, or longevity. Each Lip Tar shade packs a mighty punch in the opacity department, balking at the notion of wimpy sheer hues and instead embracing a bold, flamboyant, adventurous and bodacious approach to color. Pigment saturation aside, I find the Lip Tars to have a delightful texture — they’re not sticky or tacky like some glosses nor do they have the clump-prone creaminess of a lipstick; instead, they have an almost oil-like feel, though their consistency is by no means runny or watery.

OCC Lip Tar in Lovecraft


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I’m Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than Average, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life

The charming Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than Average

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Celia San Miguel
Location: New York, NY
Day job/current gig: I’m a freelance writer for a number of magazines (mainly LATINA), and I’m also a social media manager for a leading digital agency in NYC. In addition to that, I’m also an on-air style and beauty expert, working mainly with Telemundo here in NYC.
Hangouts online: sickathanaverage.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
Current favorite product: Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge lip color and Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner
Beauty inspirations: Markets, flappers, can-can dancers, Chinese hibiscus flowers, pink peonies, parakeets, butterflies, Mick Rock’s glam rock photographs, Brazilian samba dancers, punk fashion…. The list is endless!
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Exuberant ;)


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

The list of products is endless! Starting with the basics, I can’t live without my Clarisonic Mia 2 for a really deep and thorough cleanse. I’m always testing different facial cleansers, but I tend to come back to the Korres Wild Rose Daily Brightening Cleanser, the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash, the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser, and the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. As far as moisturizers and anti-aging products, I like using the Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15 over the Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator during the day and, at night, I apply the Clarins Double Serum and then add my nightly moisturizer (either Caudalie’s Premier Cru or L’Occitane’s Immortelle Precious Night Cream). And that’s just skincare!

As a makeup junkie it’s so hard to pick just a handful of products! For the face, I love Tarte Cosmetics’ BB Cream, Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Veil Fluid Makeup, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Ambient Lighting Powder, and NARS’ blushes (Orgasm is still one of my all-time fave shades). For eyes, I swear by Urban Decay’s eye shadow palettes (the Naked 2 palette is so fantastic!) and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Shadow pencils. And, since I’m all about bright lips, I tend to gravitate to Illamasqua’s lipsticks and Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist lipsticks or, for a more liquid, slick look, I’ll use Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge lip colors or OCC Makeup’s Lip Tars.

When did you start getting into makeup?

I think around the time I was five or six! I remember watching my grandma getting ready in the morning, and she had this ritual that seemed so glamorous to me as a wide-eyed little girl. I still remember the facial massages she gave herself while applying her Pond’s Cold Cream and the way she’d blot her lips after smoothing on her favorite shade of lipstick (a wine-ish red from Estée Lauder). It was magic to me.

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

A healthy, glowing complexion and a bright lip goes a long way. When in a rush, I’ll typically reach for one of my favorite tinted moisturizers (I adore Hourglass’ Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and Tarte’s Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer), and then I’ll mix that with a drop of luminizer, like the NARS Illuminator or one of Make Up For Ever’s Uplight shades. When you apply the mixture to your face, you’ll get that nice bit of coverage with an added glow that makes you appear lit from within. Add a nice, creamy lip color in a vibrant shade and you’ll be good to go!

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

I’m currently obsessed with the TRIA Hair Removal Laser. I always suffered from ingrown hairs on my legs and, since I started using the TRIA a year ago, it’s ceased to be a problem (and, of course, there’s less hair growth overall, which cuts down on shaving time). Given how costly in-office laser removal treatments tend to be, this tool is as an absolute lifesaver.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

Hmmmm… So many things come to mind! I think some of the greatest advice I received involved the art of using concealer. For example, to cover a reddish patch or a blemish, you want to use a concealer with a mint-y, light green tint so as to neutralize the redness and then, afterward, dab on a neutral shade that matches your skin tone. Similarly, to cover purplish or blue under-eye circles, you’ll want to reach for an orange-tinged concealer and, again, dab the neutral shade above this one. It’s all about make up color theory and learning which hues neutralize each other, which complement each other, and so forth.

What’s your skincare routine?

Check out the answer to the No. 1 question. ;)

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

There were several peels that were a bit scary (to say the least), but I think some of the weirdest things have involved at-home, DIY treatments that I attempted (like coffee scrubs and hair masks with egg yolks and mayonnaise and avocado). I’ve learned over the years that I’m not particularly gifted at whipping up these all-natural beauty remedies and treatments, so I pretty much steer clear, since having to clean up the mess afterwards is never fun.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Not really! I love to experiment with different looks — it’s part of the fun for me. That being said, I love color, so you’ll usually find me wearing either bright eye colors or vibrant lip hues.

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

Of course! I wore acrylic nails as a teen and twenty-something and I thought I looked so fly but, really, it was a hot mess! And then, of course there is the plethora of botched hair color experiments, which include a jet black color that left me looking like Wednesday Adams and a bright, orange-tinged red that was Carrot Top all the way.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love Sephora, of course, as well as Ulta, but I also love going into drugstores and roaming along their beauty aisles — whether it’s Duane Reade, CVS, or Walgreens.

Anything else you want to share?

For one, I own over 50 perfumes, and I wear them all since I firmly believe in switching up scents depending on your mood, your outfit, and your destination. What else? I have tiny feet, so even my 11-year-old stepdaughter wears a larger shoe size than me (it’s kind of embarrassing). Oh, and you’ll never catch me without earrings on — I even wear tiny studs when I sleep! What other random factoid can I give you? Oh yeah: some kids used to call me Punky Brewster as a kid, which I secretly loved since I always thought she was so scrappy and funky. Oh, and I used to have the hugest crush on Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest when I was a teeny bopper, and I still get hype every time “Scenario” comes on!

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer

Published in: Eyes, Face, Guest Post, Unsung Heroes

Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur

Xiao Lim of Messy WandsAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Xiao Lim of MessyWands.com. You can also find Xiao on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

Just to prove the HG-ness (Holy Grail-ness) of this concealer, in the picture above the tube is completely extended. I am almost at the stage where I have to dig the stuff out with a brush, and I’m close to tears. After all, at $95 these things cost an arm and a leg to replace.

Said concealer, Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur in Light/Medium, is the first concealer I would ever use up. Prior to this, my favorite concealer was by Cle de Peau, and though that concealed discolorations and under-eye circles very well, it felt a little dry, and the blending wasn’t as seamless as I hoped it would be.

LMdB Peau Vierge Correcteur is creamy, but not heavy, and from the get-go it merged with my skin as if it were a part of it. I may never know whether it’s my eye cream or the Peau Vierge treatment in the concealer that keeps (most) of my dark circles away, but you won’t see me chancing it by changing my routine.

Without any makeup (except drawn-in eyebrows!)


With concealer

(It’s just my luck that when I had to take an important picture, a giant pimple popped up.)

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I’m Xiao Lim of Messy Wands, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life

The gorgeous Xiao Lim from Messy Wands!

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Xiao Lim
Location: New York, NY
Day job/current gig: I work in the marketing division of a start-up company.

Hangouts online: messywands.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+
Current favorite product: RMS Luminizer (one-stop highlighter for all skin tones)
Beauty inspirations: Keira Knightley, Tao Okamoto, Michelle Williams in that recent Louis Vuitton ad, and Gong Li
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Experimental


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

My Shu Uemura retractable brow pencil in Seal Brown. It’s not available in the United States anymore, so I have to buy it in bulk when I visit home (Malaysia).

When did you start getting into makeup?

I was 18 years old when I *really* stepped into a MAC store for the first time…

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

Use fingers. You can blend out eyeshadow in the crease with your fingers if you want it badly enough!

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

Oh, dear. I suppose if my apartment were burning and I could only save one thing I’d say my brushes (it took years of shopping on different continents to amass my current lineup), but skincare is more essential to me.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

My mom told me not to put on so much makeup. I still disagree with her when I want to have fun with my face, but I try to remember that behind her gentle admonishment is a reminder that I should take good care of my skin so it’ll last me through, oh, forever hopefully.


What’s your skincare routine?

In order: Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream, then it’s a choice between Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil, Tatcha Ageless Enriched Renewal Cream, Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

I racked my brain and couldn’t think of anything that’s truly out of this world. I’ve actually managed to enjoy facial extractions?

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Arianne of The Glitter Geek fame coined my trademark blog photo pose as “deer in headlights,” which is pretty accurate. As for makeup, I go from no-makeup makeup to full on 1920s excess in the space of a single post.

“Deer in headlights”

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

My batwing eyebrow phase, though that’s less a “decision” than an unfortunate (and unfortunately well documented) period of my life when I just didn’t have good eyebrow drawing technique.

Batwing eyebrows

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love Nordstrom.com and Sephora.com for their great testing (otherwise known as return) policies. I try not to return products unless I absolutely have to, but the ease of shopping through those two places is the reason why I’m increasingly relying on e-shopping. As for clothes and shoes, Shopbop.com and Zappos.com have similar policies!

Anything else you want to share?

Puppies are adorable, too!

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Chanel Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush

Published in: Chanel, Face, Guest Post, Makeup, Unsung Heroes

Chanel Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($43)

Sunny of Mostly SunnyAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Sunny Hu of mostlysunnyblog.com. You can also find Sunny on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Have you ever gone from feeling lukewarm about something to realizing that life without it would be pretty tough? Well, that’s my story with Chanel Rose Initiale Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($43). I’d read that it ticked all of the boxes for a good blush when I first got it, but I wasn’t in love. It just seemed so…ordinary.

It turns out, that’s the secret to its versatility!

The long-running Makeup and Beauty Blog Unsung Heroes series features much-loved permanent collection products from a variety of bodacious beauty brands.

Neutral Pink Chanel Rose Initiale is just pigmented enough to show up easily, and the blendability makes sure you never have to fear going too far with it! The tiny shimmer in there looks like a satiny sheen on the cheeks, which gives it a natural finish and keeps it from looking dull.

On the left: Chanel Rose Initiale swatched heavily; on the right: blended out

While Rose Initiale might look like any other pink, it works with absolutely everything! It’s magical! When I can’t decide which blush to wear, I go for Rose Initiale. When I want to take face shots for five different lipsticks in one go, I reach for Rose Initiale. From berry to wine, from nude to red, I have yet to find one single lipstick Rose Initiale doesn’t work well with.

Chanel Rose Initiale on my cheeks

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