Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

A Cocktail Party Makeup Look

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

cocktail party makeup tutorial 1

pink-cocktailI can tell you the last time I had a cocktail, because it was last June at a jazzy lounge on Frenchman St. in New Orleans, and when in NOLA, you must drink fruity, froo-froo drinks with silly names like Champagne Supernova, but I can’t tell you the last time I went to an actual cocktail party.

Because I can’t remember.

It may have been 2005. Or 2006? Possibly in Toronto? I’m not sure. My memory gets progressively fuzzier in my advanced age. If I could only take the places in there that store the lyrics to Chris Brown songs and reallocate them to more important things, like dates involving cocktail parties…

Anyway, I’d very much like to go to more cocktail parties, but not for the cocktails or the convo (although they’re usually pretty great too). More for the fun of just getting dressed up and putting on fancy makeup (two of my favorite things to do!).

Dear El Hub,

If you’re reading this, let’s go to more cocktail parties.


Your darling wife.

P.S. Please make tacos for dinner tonight. :)

cocktail party makeup tutorial 2

cocktail party makeup tutorial 3

cocktail party makeup tutorial 4

So, this look here. We’re coming up on holiday party season (it’s really not that far away), so I thought it would be good practice to turn it into a tutorial.

I wanted to do something a little different than standard-issue black winged liner and a bright red lip (although that’s a good look, too, and it never goes outta style), because parties are the perfect excuse to try something new, am I right?

I went for a slightly smoky taupe and navy eye with a hint of light blue iridescent sparkle, but I think the special sauce is the bright white on the lower water line and the shimmery white highlight on the lower tear duct. They give the look a bit of a subtle edge and elongate the eye. A warm nude lip and peachy cheeks complete the ensemble.

There’s a little color in the look, which might be intimidating if you’re unaccustomed to wearing anything other than browns and beiges, but I think it’s very wearable.

You could couple something like this with a little black dress, of course, or maybe a gray or white dress (a body con one would be cute if you’ve got the figure to pull it off). Basically, anything neutral would allow the color on your eyes to really pop.

Now, take a dainty chug from that cocktail glass, and let’s get started!

1. Apply primer and powder

cocktail party makeup tutorial 5
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Promoted Content

End of Summer Shimmery Mermaid Makeup Tutorial

Published in: Benefit, Chanel, Dior, Essie, Eylure, LORAC, Makeup Tips/How To, Tom Ford Beauty, Urban Decay

1 mermaid tutorial

There is absolutely no freakin’ way that matte-heavy eyeshadow looks are even remotely acceptable among members of the makeup-loving mermaid community, and I know this for a fact.

Actually, I don’t really know that for a fact, since I haven’t kicked it with any of my mermaid friends lately, but if I had, they would DEFINITELY be rollin’ with shimmer.

So…why am I talking about mermaids??

Excellent question.

Well, because it’s late August, and even though I’m excited about fall, I’m still sad to see summer go. *sad tabby face* :(

I was thinking about the beach this morning (I haven’t been once this year!), and that led me to think about mermaids, and about mermaid water babies basking on the rocks with their shimmery tails swishing in the crystal clear waters and their subtle blue and green eye makeup sparkling in the sun…

So that’s what I was going for here.

2 mermaid tutorial

For the record, this look is also appropriate for landlubbers, so you don’t need to have a mermaid tail to wear it, although that would be pretty rad.

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

I think this is a good look for late summer parties and barbecues, or maybe a back-to-school party where everyone gets kinda dressed up. Or, if you’re heading someplace fabulous that just so happens to have lively nightlife and be located near a warm body of water. Or, if you just want something shimmery to wear while you walk your cat around your neighborhood.

It’s a good look for multiple occasions. :)

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

Now, honey, if you just scrolled down, I know this look might seem impossible based on the number of steps, but you can do it! — even if you’re a straight-up beginner.

If you’ve never attempted anything like this before, though, cut yourself some slack. It’s OK and perfectly normal if it looks like shimmery poo the first few times, and it probably will, unless you’re a makeup wunderkind. But so what? Rome wasn’t built in a day.

OK, enough gabbing… Let’s do this.

1. Apply foundation, concealer and powder

3 mermaid tutorial foundation

Get yo’ base on that face, because we’re not about to leave the house without a little something-something. For this shimmery mermaid look, I like a full-coverage base because I think it balances out the bold eyes and false lashes.

Go with your fullest coverage foundation, concealer and powder, if you need to. Doing a goofy face while you do this is completely optional but highly encouraged. :)
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When You’re Applying Liquid Foundation, Always Give It Enough Time to Set Before Applying Powder

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

foundation with iphone

Here’s something that helps when I apply liquid foundation: ya gotta give it time. Always give it enough time to set before you jump in with powder, so like four or five minutes, because if your foundation is still wet when you apply your powder, all sorts of terrible, horrible, frightening things happen…

OK, not really. But sort of. :) The powder won’t apply evenly, because the wet areas will collect more of it, and that’s not great.

Another happy side effect of waiting until your foundation sets is that it’s easier to gauge your coverage. If I just layer all willy-nilly, and just keep building my foundation up in layers while each layer is still kind of wet, I can’t gauge how much coverage I actually have, and I end up in Cake Face Town.

Because nine times out of 10 I like to wear as little foundation as possible, I’ll apply my first layer, and then wait for it to set. Then it’s easy to tell if (and where) I need to add more.

Just another hopefully heartache-saving tip I learned the hard way.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. North & South! Where the heck was I when this show came out? I’m marathoning it on Netflix tonight. Episode 3 is about to start. :)

So. Much. Drama! I love it, but those 19th century British dudes didn’t have a lot of game. How would you feel if someone rolled up to you and said, “Marry me, miss,” seemingly out of the blue? You do one little thing like push your hair behind your ear, and they think you want to marry them.


For Better Blending, Try Holding Your Brush at the End

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

tapered blending brush mac 224

Instead of holding your blending brush like a pen or pencil on the ferrule (the metal part on the end with the brush head), try holding it waaay back on the other end instead.

Just to try it.

You might find yourself naturally applying less pressure on the brush head and making nice, soft circles with the bristles.

Sometimes when I hold the brush up near the ferrule, aka the standard way, I press really hard without even realizing it, like, I dunno…I’m trying to literally force the eyeshadow particles into my skin. Holding the brush from the other end, though, encourages lighter pressure, which makes for nicely diffused eyeshadows and gorgeous gradients.

tapered blending brush mac 224

tapered blending brush mac 224

It’s one of those tips I picked up somewhere along the way but promptly forgot about (whoops!), but I’ve started doing it again, and now (again!) blending is a completely different world. I feel like the brush is doing the work now, instead of my fingers and wrist, if that makes any sense. Try it sometime! And let me know how it goes. :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


For More Precise Eyeshadow Placement, Try Applying Your Crease Color With a Flat Brush

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

flat eyeshadow brushes

Oh, my gosh! So helpful. Give this a try one of these days when you’re doing your eye makeup: use a flat brush, instead of a domed or fluffy tapered brush, to apply your crease color.

I’m serious, MIND BLOWN. I watched a makeup artist do this recently, and to put it mildly, it was a freakin’ revelation, like with the clouds parting and the choir of chubby cherubs singing in five-part harmony, aaaaaah!

It’s just a tool thing, but it’s been incredibly helpful, and I think it could really help with your application if you have limited lid real estate on which to work, and/or you have a shallow crease (I have both of these issues).

It seems like most people apply their crease colors with fluffy tapered brushes or domed brushes, and that’s what I always did, too, because…well, it’s pretty much what most people do, ya know?

fluffy tapered brushes and domed shadow brushes

Whenever I’d see someone doing their makeup, fluffy tapered brushes and domed brushes were standard operating procedure for crease work.

And they still are.

But whenever I use a fluffy brush to do my crease makeup, I almost always end up getting color where I don’t want it. The fluffy brushes work great for generally placing color in the crease and quickly diffusing edges, but I have a hard time using them when I want to be precise. Whenever I use one, I end up taking my shadow too high up into the crease or too far into the outer corner.
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