Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Fall Favorites: The Makeup I’ve Been Using and Loving This Fall

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Video

OK, so I know I’m talking waaaay too fast in this video and I’m super stiff (like a robot version of myself, haha!), but I was very nervous.

I assure you — this is not an android stunt double. It’s me, Karen. It’s just that it’s been ages since I filmed one of these, so please forgive me for rambling and staring off into space like a crazy person.

With that said…I actually enjoyed doing it, so I might do more vids in the future.

Anywho, fall faves! Here are prices and links for the products I mention in the video…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict (no, not the robot version),


Promoted Content

Do You Have Any Wear-Time Boosting Tips To Help Your Makeup Last Longer?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

Hey, what’s that over there?

I never would’ve guessed that one of the truest ways to test the longevity of my makeup would be during a massage, as drool slowly works it way down the side my chin, and my cheeks and face are smushed into that toilet seat-shaped contraption thing at the end of the massage table.

You know, that thing they have you put your head into when you lie down on your tummy so they can work on your back. It’s very strange… I always close my eyes to block out the weirdness.

Anywho, after my last deep-tissue massage, when I left the room and met up with my friend Jen in the ladies’ lounge, Jen looked really surprised.

Jen: Wow, how was your massage?

Me: Good! She tenderized me like Rocky on a side of beef.

Jen: I can’t believe your makeup stayed put.

Me: It did? Cool.

Jen: You must have tricks.

Me: Not really, but there are a bunch of different things you can do. It just depends on how much time you want to invest in the process.

1. Spritz and spray, the makeup way

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

That’s my jam!

Perfect for low-maintenance ladies, a makeup setting spray is one of the quickest, easiest ways to help your makeup last longer. My favorite one — like, literally, I’m almost never without it — is Urban Decay’s $29 All Nighter.

Basically, it sets your makeup so it lasts longer and won’t scoot around throughout the day.

It’s just a spray, so there’s not much to it. Hold the bottle about an arm’s length away from your face and spritz. I use it after I finish my makeup but before mascara.

I mean, you could use it after your mascara, and I’ve seen girls do that, but I always do mine before, thanks to the advice of a Sephora makeup artist buddy of mine named Chelsea. That way, you don’t risk your mascara running due to having wet lashes.

2. It’s prime time, baby!

Starting with a face primer also helps boost your wear time. Just apply it before your foundation and concealer.

It doesn’t take much. I use a bit all over my face, let it sink in for a minute or two, then take a tissue and dab it lightly to remove any excess. Then I continue with my regular routine.

I wear primer, oh, every day, mainly because I really think it makes my skin look smoother in pics, but it also has the side effect of making other products last longer. I use this one form MAC that I love called Prep + Prime Natural Radiance, which is so good for dry skin, and it doesn’t give me breakouts!

But there are plenty of other good ones out there.

If you can’t decide, or you want to do some research, stop by a Sephora, Nordstrom or any beauty counter that gives samples. That way, you can try some first to see which ones work best for you and your skin and makeup routines. You want something that will layer well with the products you’re currently using.

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Ask MBB: What’s Your Favorite Foundation for Pictures?

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To

I was wondering what is your favorite foundation to wear when you are taking pictures?

–Jeannie Tran

Hey Jeannie,

Wow! I’ve actually been getting asked this a lot lately (YAY!), so it must have something to do with the changes I’ve made to my foundation routine.

The whole shebang’s kind of involved so, uh, maybe the best way to handle this is to just go step-by-step.

1. MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Base Visage

My first step — the product I use as a primer all over my skin — has been a staple of my makeup bag for a really long time. I never, ever skip this step when I’m going to be taking pics and have any say in the matter because I sincerely see a difference between when I do and I don’t.

It just makes whatever foundation I’m wearing look…better, and more natural, and mellows out my pores.

There are so many different face primers out there. I’ve tried a bunch, but one’s my favorite. I think I’m on my third of fourth bottle now. I love it that much.

I love how the formula feels — like a face lotion, and not like a regular primer just sitting on top of the skin, like the kind that have a lot of silicone. It’s also moisturizing, but it doesn’t give me breakouts, which is great, especially this time of year when my skin gets dry.

2. MAC Face and Body Foundation

mac face and body foundation application tips

LOVE! I’ve written a few posts about MAC Face and Body Foundation (I use shade C5) because I absolutely love it. Long story short: it’s lightweight, more like a tinted moisturizer than anything else, but you can layer it to build up the coverage. I love that it doesn’t look obvious or heavy in pics (you see it used on a lot on movie sets), once it dries, it won’t budge.

Seriously, I’ve worn this out and about on 16-hour days, and it’s never caked, streaked or gotten funky.

It does have a dewy, slightly shiny finish, which I actually like for everyday wear, but for pics, which is what we’re talking about here, I set it with a powder to tone down the shine.

3. NARS Radiant Concealer

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Pictures

This is one of the more recent adjustments I’ve made to my routine. I had been using Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation wherever I needed more coverage, but I ran out a while back and grabbed NARS Pure Radiant Concealer on a whim.

I wear the shade “Biscuit.” I dab a little on the areas where I want more coverage — usually my cheeks, around my nose, around my mouth and along my jaw line. Then I buff it into the Face & Body with a skunk brush.
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Ask MBB: How Can I Blend a Better Smokey Eye, and What Brushes Should I Use?

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

“You do such a fantastic smokey eye… Mine needs so much work.

I think part of my problem is just not having the right tools to blend with (brush recommendations would be appreciated!)… I love how, in your looks, the colours seem to flow together seamlessly. I also know NOTHING about eyeshadow bases beyond eyeshadow primer (I’m such a noob), so any tips on that would also be super helpful!”


Hi Jess,

I’m on it! OK, so it really helps to have a good blending brush — scratch that. A good, clean blending brush, because even a good brush with a lot of gunk in the bristles will just scoot the shadows around your lids, instead of blending the colors together seamlessly.

I have a couple of favorites I love and use all the time, like the mighty MAC 217 and 224.

The 217’s brush head is a little denser and smaller than the 224’s, so I prefer it for blended eye looks with more distinct transitions between the color gradients or when I’m working with hard-to-blend eyeshadows.

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette 2013

For this look with the new Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes, I blended it with the MAC 217.

And when I want smoother color gradients and a smokey effect that looks really blown out, I grab the 224, which has a fluffier, wider head.

Basically, when I don’t have to be terribly precise, I go for the 224.

Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things

Blowing it out with the Too Faced My Favorite Things Palette and the MAC 224…

Between the 217 and 224, you really can’t go wrong with either one.

Too Faced also has a tapered blending brush similar to the MAC 224 that I like. It’s a little thinner than the 224 and great for guys/gals with small lids. It’s available in their $39 Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set, which also comes with a flat shadow brush and a small smudger brush. The whole kit is top-notch, come to think of it.

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5 Ways To Go From the Office to Your After-Work Party With the RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection

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

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection

Go straight from work to your after-work party with the new RiRi Hearts MAC holiday collection

It’s almost that time…

Yup, it’s almost — GASP! — the holidays! YIKES!

If your calendar includes after-work fetes, congrats. But how ya gonna get to all those shindigs on time?

Between the TPS reports piling up on your desk (you and me both, babe) and your overflowing email inbox (with tasks like “organize feather toys for feline employer” marked as, “URGENT”), who has time to transform herself from cubicle cutie to party hottie?

Not to worry, fellow MAC mavens and makeup lovahs. The new RiRi Hearts MAC holiday collection has you covered.

The New RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collectiono, coming December 2013 to all MAC locations in North America and internationally except China

Ten of the 11 pieces from the new RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection, coming December 2013

The new 11-piece limited edition collection is loaded with products perfect for going from the office to your after-work parties.

You can even employ these quick and easy party prep tricks from your desk. Just make sure your office crush isn’t lurking…because it’s kind of weird when someone you like hangs around to watch you line your water lines.

Trust me on this.

1. Swap that daytime nude lipstick for a bright, bold shade.

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection: RiRi Woo, Pleasure Bomb and Badgal RiRi Lipsticks

Lipsticks from the left: Pleasure Bomb (a matte fuchsia with a Matte finish), RiRi Woo (a matte cool red with a Retro Matte finish), and Badgal RiRi (a taupe-y nude with a Matte finish); $16.50 US and $20 CAN each

Nude lipsticks like taupe-y nude Bad Gal RiRi keep you looking polished and professional throughout the day, even when you’re this close to beating the crap out of that prehistoric copy machine (why is that thing always broken!?).

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Bad Gal RiRi Lipstick

Rockin’ the cubicle with Bad Gal RiRi Lipstick on my lips…

But when quittin’ time rolls around, swap that nude lippie for a brighter shade, like cool red RiRi Woo or fuchshia Pleasure Bomb.

BOOM! Just like that, you’re one big step closer to a party-ready look.

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Pleasure Bomb Lipstick

Getting ready for the party with Pleasure Bomb Lipstick; Nail Lacquer in RiRi Woo ($17.40) on my fingertips

A bright lip pumps up the jam but takes very little effort. Plus, this one’s long-wearing matte finish photographs very well, and it’ll last through dinner and drinks, so you won’t even have to touch-up throughout the evening.

MAC  RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection Lipstick Swatches from the left: Bad Gal RiRi, RiRi Woo and Pleasure Bomb

Lipstick swatches from the left: Bad Gal RiRi, RiRi Woo and Pleasure Bomb

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Bad Gal RiRi Lipstick

Bad Gal RiRi

MAC  RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday RiRi Woo Lipstick

RiRi Woo

MAC RiRI Hearts MAC Holiday Collection: Pleasure Bomb Lipstick

Pleasure Bomb

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