Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

A Foundation Makeup Tutorial With NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder

Published in: Face, Makeup Tips/How To, NARS

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Sir, Mr. Tabs? I think I have an answer for the riddle you gave me.


Yes, well, it’s obvious, really. I mean, not at first, but I’ve given it some thought, and well…What do good houses and faces have in common?


It’s foundation, sir. Houses and faces should start with a good foundation.

“Meow! Meow!”

Thank you, sir. It was a good riddle. You’re a very clever cat.

Yup, today we’re talking faces! — namely face makeup, like the combination I’ve been lovely lately, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder.

Together, they deliver medium-to-full coverage in a lightweight blend that looks like real skin, and so far, knock on wood, it hasn’t given me breakouts.

In this tutorial, I’ll describe how I apply ‘em for pictures, and/or whenever I have a good chunk of time to get ready.

Just a quick reminder, though — this is just one of many ways to apply foundation, and that includes techniques and brushes. As always, it’s all about what works for you. :)

Before we get started, let’s gather the products we’ll need…

how to apply foundation tutorial products
From the left: Hourglass Oxyen Foundation Powder in No. 4, Tarte Foundation Brush, Hourglass No. 2 Foundation/Blush Brush, Laura Mercier Finishing Brush, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz and Cuba

how to apply foundation tutorial swatches
Swatches from the left: NARS St. Moritz, NARS Cuba and Hourglass Oxygen Foundation Powder No. 4

And because there’s nothing else you really can do but smile when posting bare-faced pictures of yourself on the Internet…

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Yep, that’s me without makeup. :) Not a drop!

As you can see, I have a few dark spots around my chin and mouth left over from a gnarly breakout last spring and some darkening beneath my eyes… Hopefully, after we’re done here, most of it will be covered.
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Easy on the Eyes: Flaunt Your Inner Feline With This Soft and Simple Cat Eye

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

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Even if you feel like your previous attempts at eye makeup left you looking like a horror movie zombie clown (been there, done that!), trust me, babe, you can do today’s easy cat eye makeup look.

Because it relies on forgiving neutrals, as opposed to saturated brights, and doesn’t require extensive blending or complex brushwork, it’s a great confidence builder. Perfect for when you want a quick, elegant eye look easy to dress up or down.

Before we get started, let’s go over the products we’ll use…

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From the left: MAC 217 Blending Brush, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, MAC 266 Small Angle Brush, Dior 3-Couleurs Glow Palette in 651 Nude Glow

Like last time, these are only suggestions, so feel free to substitute any similar colors you already have. As you browse through your collection, look for 1) a neutral (beige, brown, peach, taupe, gray, etc.) powder eyeshadow, ideally one within a few shades of your natural skin tone; 2) a complementing glittery shadow; and 3) a black, brown or gray shadow for the cat eye itself.

(Note: For this cat eye look, I find that soft powder shadows are easier to work with than eyeliners. The shadows don’t look as intense as liners, and you don’t have to worry as much about buffing out the edges.)

I’ll be using the new Dior 3-Couleurs Glow Palette in 651 Nude Glow because it has a good selection of shades for this particular look, but you could also use shadows like NARS Cyprus, MAC Soba, MAC Patina, or MAC Arena as your main neutral; NARS Night Star for your shimmer/glitter shadow and something like MAC Carbon for your darker shadow shade.

Okay, here we go! Let’s get started. :)

First — and this is really only the first step if you have oily eyelids — starting with a primer can really help extend the wear time of your shadows. If it’s not a problem for you, you can skip ahead.

Now, using a flat eye shader brush like the MAC 239, pat your main neutral shadow, which for me is the darker golden brown shimmery shade in the upper left of the Dior palette, on your lids starting at the lash line and slowly working up into the crease.

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Try to concentrate more of the color near the lash line than the crease, as this creates the gradient/transition effect, and also gives the eye more depth, and the overall look more polish.

While you’re still holding the same brush, take the leftover product, and run it along your lower lash line.

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Then, grab a domed blending brush like the MAC 217, and gently buff the edges, further diffusing the color, by running the brush along your brow bone…

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Do Your Brows Need a Trim? Here’s One Way to Tell

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Before we get to brows (in just a sec), first things first — happy Friday! :) Here, have a celebratory cup of chocolate macadamia kona coffee with me…

Mmmm, chocolately goodness…

I gotta power up today with some extra caffeine because your nephew kept me up with his shenanigans last night. He was being NAUGHTY! — in bold, all caps like that.

He kept running up and down the stairs all night long, who knows why, and then this morning, he used El Hub’s back as springboard, leaping into the air and landing in the middle of the bed.

But the worst — THE WORST — was the incessant pawing at the bottom of the linen closet door.

I don’t know why, but he’s become obsessed with opening and closing it. He hooks his claws under the narrow space at the bottom and pulls and pulls and pulls. It makes an incredible racket, starting off as a quiet bah-dump, bah-dump, bah-dump that turns into a fast and feverish thump-thump-thump-THUMP-THUMP! as he gets more and more fired up.

Finally, after about the third episode of this, probably around 3 a.m., I rolled out of bed and propped open the door. Of course, that took all the fun out of it for him, so he moved on to wreaking havoc somewhere else.

This is not the face of an angel…

Cats! You just can’t tell ‘em what to do, but I guess that’s what gives them so much personality.

Now…I may have absolutely no control over Tabs, but I do have some control over my brows.

I usually maintain my brows myself at home because I’m a little reluctant to trust those little caterpillars to strangers (yes, I have control issues, LOL!), so I pluck to keep the strays at bay (always from below the brow, and never, ever above) and trim from time to time, too.

To determine if/when my brows need trimming, I grab a brow brush and brush my brows upward. If I see any long hairs that go past the natural shape of the brow, ding-ding-ding! — we have a winner. That’s when I’ll trim ‘em down with a pair of scissors.

I just have to remember to work slowly, so as not to poke an eye out or snip away too much brow.

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Easy on the Eyes: A Super Simple Smokey Eye With Brown and Black

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

A simple smokey eye tutorial

Of all the eye makeup looks I’ve worn over the past — let’s see, I started wearing makeup when I was 14, and I’m 37 now (LOL! First I typed, “…and I’m 27 now.”) — 23 years (!), this simple smokey number with brown and black has to be one of my favorite five.

It’s one of my best conversation starters, because whenever I wear it and bump into fellow beauty fiends (MY PEOPLE!), there’s a pretty good chance they’ll ask what I’m wearing.

I like that it’s easy and elegant, and even though it’s more dramatic than the look earlier this week, I still think it fits within the “natural with a kick” category.

In terms of products you’ll need, there’s not much to it. Just a few things…

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From the left: MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, MAC 217 Blending Brush, MAC Kohl Power Pencil in Feline and MAC Eyeshadow in Soba

Like last time, I’m mostly using MAC products here, but there are literally dozens if not hundreds of similar shades out there from other brands. There’s no reason you couldn’t use some other colors and brushes you already have on hand.

Right. Now, on to the look! :)

First, it’s time to prime — at least if you have oily lids. If not, let’s skip ahead.

Next (or maybe first, if you didn’t need to prime), grab something like MAC Kohl Power Pencil in Feline, and apply all over your lids.

Don’t worry if it looks a little messy at this point, because we’ll be doing some blending in a minute. Right now we’re just trying to start with a good base and give the overall look some depth.

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You can probably guess one of the reasons I’m a fan of Feline, but it’s also super soft and easy to blend.

For this step, I’d probably steer clear of quick-setting, long-wearing pencils like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion that might not allow enough time for blending, but other than that, any good black liner should do.

Now, take your blending brush (I’m using the MAC 217 here), and gently start buffing out the edges; your smokey look should start to take shape.

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Get More Bang for Your Brows With This Eyebrow Makeup Tip

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

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LOL! That’s me trying to make a “Shhh!” face, as in “I have secret to tell you, shhh!” Believe it or not, getting it just right on camera is a lot harder than it looks, shhh! Who knew?

Before I get distracted yet again by goofy pics and this delicious cup of coffee (GOOD MORNING!), can we talk brows? :)

If you fill in your brows with brow powders, pencils or gels (or maybe a combination of all three, which I do sometimes), do you ever find the products vanishing halfway through the day? It can be kind of a pain.

With that in mind, here’s a tip to help keep those beautiful brows from disappearing.

Start by grabbing your favorite colorless eye makeup primer. If you don’t have one yet, there are lots of good ones out there to choose from, like Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Tarte Clean Slate and Urban Decay Primer Potion, among others. I’m using NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base here, which is my current go-to eye makeup primer.

Apply a small amount of your primer directly atop your bare brows…

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Then, pat it down with a finger to work the product down between the follicles into your skin.

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