Topic: Makeup Tips/How To

Why Paper Towels Are a Blending-Challenged Girl’s Best Friend

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

I’m writing this in part because this is something that I always forget, but then I remember, but then I forget, and I want to remember it because whenever I do remember it, I’m like, “Dang, girl! You have to keep doing that!”

It’s just this: whenever you’re blending multiple colors on your lids — like more than three — it helps A TON to have a couple of clean paper towels handy that you can use to remove product from your brushes along the way while you blend your eyeshadow.

This is my big issue with blending: sometimes when I blend multiple colors, they start to get muddy, so instead of seeing a gorgeous gradient that transitions from one color to the next, and the next, I end up with a single mixed, muddy shade that’s made up of a combination of all of the colors from my lash line up.

If you want to look completely insane, take a picture of yourself holding a roll of paper towels…

I think that my blending brushes end up with too much product on them. With all the swiping and the tiny little circles, the bristles on my brush get overloaded, so instead of lifting and pushing each eyeshadow along the skin, the bristles end up just depositing more product, instead of moving it around.

Bottom line, everything muddles together.

To prevent this, I’ll gently run my brush back and forth across a clean paper towel a few times, and I’ll do it several times along the way while I do my eye makeup, to clean the brush as much as possible without actually cleansing it.

It’s a little thing, nothing fancy, but it keeps the muddiness away.

Try it sometime! I know it’s super simple, but I think it’ll help. It sure helps me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection James Kaliardos Spring/Summer 2017: Easy, Edgy, Low-Key Eye Tutorial With Strategic Shimmer and Shine

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

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Decked out in makeup from the MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collection James Kaliardos Spring/Summer 2017 (one of three sub-collections in a 50-piece launch)

Ever since I started doing different makeup looks for the #MBBInstachallenge, I dunno… Something cool happened. My mind has been opened to different ways to wear makeup, and not just in the traditional sense — like whether I’m going to wear a smoky eye or light color on the lid/darker color in the crease. I feel like I’m thinking outside the box a little more than I used to.

I love looks that are “traditionally pretty” (air quotes), and I have for years, but I feel like I’m more open to trying edgier looks now and wearing them in, like, everyday life.

I did a look today using products from the new MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Collection: James Kaliardos Spring/Summer 2017 (there’s some info about the launch, swatches and pics of some of the products down below if you’re interested), and, basically, this look is very much my current style. There are classical elements to it, but it also has an edgy twist.

I feel like I’m entering a new phase in my makeup life where I still like classic makeup or “traditionally pretty” (there are those air quotes again) makeup, but there’s also something unexpected or surprising about it.

Let me walk you through how I did the eyes because, really, that’s what this look is all about.

Start with your basic winged liner

I didn’t do anything fancy with the liner. It’s just a thin line along the top of my lashes with a flick at the end.

My lids, I kept simple and clean, but you could skip eyeshadow altogether. I used MAC Soba Eye Shadow (a MUST HAVE from the permanent line), my favorite satiny golden brown in the whole wide world, and applied that as a wash all over my entire lid, concentrating the color near the lash line.

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It starts with a kitten flick and nude lips

Then, I took the Jumbo Rapidblack Penultimate Liner from MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics James Kaliardos and dotted it between my lashes to create an illusion of a thicker lash line before drawing my wing using MAC Into the Well Eye Shadow in Midnight Tryst (a dark matte burgundy brown). It’s a powder eyeliner that you apply with a wet brush, and it’s really good when you want liner with a soft, diffused edge.

Incidentally, I’m wearing the MAC Full Face Kit: Moons of Saturn on my cheeks and MAC Lustre Lipstick in Almondine on my lips, both of which are also from the James Kaliardos sub-collection (there are also two other sub-collections in the MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics collection. Together the three sub-collections comprise the 50-piece release, and each one is a collab with a different MAC makeup artist. In addition to this one by James Kaliardos, there’s one by Diane Kendal and one by Kabuki.

At this step, this is a look you could wear every day, right? It would be fab for running errands, going to school or going to work.

But let’s kick it up a notch! ๐Ÿ™‚

Time to strategically place some sparkle and shine

I used two of the Pressed Pigments from the James Kaliardos collection to do this. First, I applied Light Touch, the light pinkish beige, and packed it into the inner corners of my eyes with a wet flat eyeshadow brush.

I wet the brush because I wanted to intensify the shine and make it VERY reflective.

Once that dried, I buffed out the edges with a tapered blending brush so that the pigment looked like it was concentrated in the inner corner. I wanted it to fade out as it moved up toward the inner part of my brow (I did my best to keep it out of the lid area).

Next, I dotted the darker pigment, deep shimmery grayish purple Black Grape, along the center of my lower lashes and purposefully left it messy, because I wanted it to look grungy and imperfect.

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Add sparkle in strategic places

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A Tip for Going Bold: Pair Bold Eyeshadow With Sharp Brows

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Bold eye colors love sharp brows

Any time I wear bold colors on my lids, I like to pair them with sharp brows…but by “sharp,” I don’t necessarily mean hyper sculpted, super chiseled, pointy Insta-brows. I just mean a neat, filled-in, well-groomed pair of eyebrows to balance out your look.

When you wear brights on your lids and leave your brows messy or untamed, it can look like something’s amiss at the top…like something isn’t quite right, or like your eye look is bottom-heavy.

If you’re going to go to the effort to wear bold eye colors — be it a simple wash of pink or blue, or a magnificent Mardi Gras of multicolored makeup โ€” going the extra mile to fill in your brows and run a brow gel through them can really tie your look together.

And the bold shadow/sharp brows pairing seems to go well with all kinds of different bold eye looks, too. Basically, when my brows aren’t part of the equation, something definitely looks off…

Next time you wear bold eyeshadow (and I hope you do soon!), keep this tip in mind to take your eyes to the next level. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy Tuesday.


Try This Tip When You Want to Look Like You Aren’t Wearing Any Foundation or Concealer (But You Still Want to Wear One or Both)

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Oh, hi, freckles!

Good morning, my friend. How are you doing? I hope you’re hanging in there…

So, you know me pretty well, and I think that you know that my whole makeup agenda in life is to do my skin — my foundation, concealer, powder, etc. — and have it look like I’m not wearing any makeup at all, otherwise known as “no-makeup makeup.”

One trick I use is to use very little product (and in some cases, no products) on strategic areas of my face, namely on the bridge of my nose and my upper cheeks.

I have some freckles there and a small beauty mark next to my mouth, and I feel that freckles and beauty marks tend to make us look more youthful, so I try not to cover all of mine. Also, skin isn’t naturally perfect. Most people do have some freckles and pigmentation and textured areas somewhere, and when you allow some of those “imperfect” (air quotes) areas to peek through, your coverage looks more natural.

Try this

Apply your foundation and concealer strategically. Use the least amount of product possible on your strategic areas. Sometimes I leave mine completely foundation- and concealer-free (and, if that’s the case, sometimes I’ll just use primer and maybe a little powder on those areas).

Then, blend the crap out of those edges!

Now, if you’re going to do this, it really, really helps to pay close attention to your blending; otherwise, it can look like you just forgot to put foundation or concealer on those areas. So it really helps to use something like a wet beautyblender on the edges to seamlessly blend them into your skin.

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This Simple Makeup Swap Will Make Your Eyes Look Younger

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Let’s talk about liner today…

Let me start this by saying that I love black eyeliner.

I love ๐Ÿ’– it. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, buuut as I get older, I feel like when I wear a deep, dark, righteously rich black liner, it can make me look older.

It depends, though, on how much and where I apply it. Like, I do feel that black liner is ideal for certain types of makeup looks (like smoky rock-and-roll eyes), but it can look too harsh and stark for my liking in everyday natural looks.

That’s why I’ve been swapping out the black liner for something off-black or brown these days, like with a charcoal shade, a grayish black, a brownish black or something similar. You can get almost the exact same effect, whether you’re tightlining or emphasizing your lash lines or elongating your top lash line with liner to make your eyes look longer, but the overall effect is softer, subtler and more forgiving.

I kinda stumbled on this one day by accident. I ran out of my usual steez, Chanel 88 Noir Intense, so I grabbed a dark charcoal gray shade instead, Chanel 914 Feuilles (a Stylo Yeux Waterproof Liner), which has a little bit of shimmer.

When I saw myself wearing it in pics, I loved it! I think it looks softer isn’t aging.

Of course, in makeup land, there are no hard and fast rules. I still use black liner sometimes, like in smoky looks, or just when I’m feeling rock ‘n’ roll, but I’ve been using an off-black liner more and more often.

Give it a try one of these days if you feel so inclined. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and here are a couple of wonderful brown liners that also work well for this: MAC Teddy and MAC Costa Riche.

A workout texting buddy

So, it’s a new year, and I wanna get in shape, yadda yadda yadda. I’m trying very hard to stay with — what I’m not calling resolutions! I’m calling them my short-term health and fitness goals. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m trying to stick with them through at least March 1.

One thing that really helps is having a workout buddy, even if that workout buddy is someone who doesn’t work out with you…like if they’re just someone you text.

My friend Naaman and I both want to get in shape, so after we work out, or if we have plans to work out, we text each other quick encouraging notes. Like, today I texted him a picture I took at the gym, and he told me that he was going to do 50 push-ups.

It’s fun and also makes me feel more accountable to tell someone that I’m supposed to do those sit-ups or track my food or whatever. I don’t know why, but it weirdly increases the chances of me actually doing it.

Accountability through the power of texts. Go figure.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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