Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Share a Tip Tuesday: Get/Keep Those Pans in Great Shape With This Easy Eyeshadow Tip

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

Do you ever wet your brush heads when you apply powder eyeshadows? It’s one of my favorite color-intensifying tricks, and I’ll usually use MAC Fix+ or Charged Water. They crank up the color intensity and, if it’s a shimmery product, the shine as well.

Thing is, after taking a wet brush to a pan a few times, the pans can get crusted over, and the shadow itself can harden like clay.

To get around this, or at least to minimize it, when I use a wet brush, I work the same part of the pan every time. So, instead of swiping the brush across the whole surface, I swipe the same, small spot. It still hardens…but just in that one little area.

If you have an eyeshadow pan that you’ve been using with a wet brush, and it’s already hard like concrete, here’s something to try: gently scrape away the top layer using the edge of a spoon, with “gently” being the key word here.

Too much pressure, and you could shatter the pan into a zillion pieces…which would not be good.

Welcome to another fun-filled installment of Share a Tip Tuesday! :) You were awesome in last week’s edition and left a ton of great makeup, beauty and brush tips in the comments. Here are some of the ones I’m eager to try…

The best eyeliner that I’ve found that stays put on my waterline and anywhere else is actually drugstore–Physician’s Formula! The ones that come in a set of three are my favorites. So easy to use and so dependable.

Here is a tip Lisa Eldridge taught me (bless her for recommending so many amazing products, too) – using eye liner brush for concealing small blemishes. It works wonders actually!

have to say that my favourite brush is a tie between Lunasol Cheek Brush and RMK Cheek Brush S, as I’m only learning up proper eye makeup so can’t really comment on eye brushes (Am still on the lookout for good eye brushes). Anyway, both the Lunasol and RMK brushes are incredibly high quality and fluffy and soft, and work very well for loose powder or pressed powder application- foundation, compact, blush, bronzer, highlighter… anything face-related, really! Who says they should only be cheek brushes?

My favorite favorite favorite multitasking brush is the smudger brush from Medusas Makeup. It retails for about $10 but it packs a punch! I use this baby to wing my shadow out, smudge liner for a smoky look, apply cream eyeliner, put eyeshadow along my lower lash line. This is possibly one of the best brushes that I own and I constantly find myself going back to it.

It doesn’t matter what brand you have, having at least two good fluffy blending brush is a must. I have two because when I can use one for blending out my eyes, then another for putting subtle highlights on my face, blending out concealer, wiping out my lips, or contouring out small areas.

Thanks for adding to our arsenal of knowledge. :)

Now, today let’s talk about eyeshadow…

Like, what are your favorites (the shadows you keep buying over and over again)? And what about eyeshadow brushes — which are your must-haves? While we’re at it, can you recommend any bodacious bargain shadows?

Knowledge is power, so let’s pool our resources, okay? Leave your current top tips/tricks/techniques/awesome drugstore finds here in the comments, or tweet ‘em to me on Twitter @karenmbb using the hashtag #shareatiptuesday.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Share a Tip Tuesdays: Your Brushes Are Major League Masters of Multitasking

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools

Brushes are useless…

Oops! I meant “useful.” Brushes are useful. :) And you can use ‘em for way more than just the purpose they’re usually marketed for, because who says that a blush brush can only be used to apply blush? Hogwash! A brush is just a tool, right? And like any tool, it can be used for different things.

My tip for today’s installment of Share a Tip Tuesdays: think of your brushes as tools, and look for new and different ways to use them.

When I started really getting into makeup, I also started investing in brushes. I did my research and picked up the best brushes I could afford, only using them according to each brush’s official description. Eyeliner brushes for liner, blending brushes for blending, and so on like that. It never occurred to me to use my brushes for more than their designated tasks…

Until it finally did. Now, I regularly use crease brushes for concealer, concealer brushes for lips, angled brushes for liner, blush brushes for foundation — why not?

Play with your brushes, because you never know when you’ll find one that excels at doing something it wasn’t originally designed to do. :)

Welcome to another edition of Share a Tip Tuesdays! Last week we talked liner tips, and you guys/gals left some great ones in the comments…

I use UD Perversion for my water really reeeallly black and stays put without too much of a fuss. I find applying a bit of primer along the lash line (on the skin, not the lashes, of course!) helps avoid raccoon eyes.
– Rads

My fave trick for lining my waterline (and I do so almost everyday) is to use a long wearing gray eyeliner. Things like UD 24×7 in Gunmetal, Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Charcoal or MAC Grey Utility Powerpoint Liner.
Its less harsh and finishes softer, making it more forgiving and easier to correct (use a pointy QTip to correct, its cheap and works wonders).
– Nina

My trick is to use a primer, like UD in Sin or Eden, along the area of the waterline. I have found it really makes a difference and helps my cheaper liners, like Rimmel Exaggerate in Deep Ocean, and my NYX Slide On Glide On liners, really stay put all day.
– Katherine G

I sometimes use a gel liner like MAC Blacktrack. I will also carry a mini Smashbox pencil in my bag for touch ups.
– Chris25

I don’t use liner on my waterliner (my eyes are incredibly sensitive!) but to keep my liner on my top lash line I layer, layer, layer! First, Primer – Usually Too Faced Shadow Insurance) then I set it with Cover FX Setting Powder. Next I apply a long wearing liner – usually gel, then set it with a matching shadow! Poof! All day liner!
– Shaylee

Try Guerlain Kohl powder, it is designed for the waterline. Its a kolh powder, so i will line it on my waterline, blink and reapply.
– Rena

This week, let’s open the floor up to any makeup/beauty topics, and here are a few ideas to get the conversation started: what’s your favorite multitasking makeup brush? Can you recommend a long-lasting beige, nude or white eyeliner with all-day staying power? What are the best eyeliners for gals who wear contacts?
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How Do You Do MAC Face and Body? MAC Face and Body Foundation Application Tips

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

mac face and body foundation application tips

When MBB reader Indoorkitty asked me a question about my current foundation love, MAC Face and Body, I thought, “Great time to gush!”

But first, allow me to gush for a minute… :)

Wait — what?! You haven’t tried MAC Face and Body before?? Check it — it’s a total beauty staple, like bread, gravy (for Tabs) and milk. I love that the coverage is flexible, so I can wear it sheer or build it up, and the finish? Oh, the finish… mostly matte, but with a hint of glow. Dewy, like I just walked under a mister, but not all wet-looking like I loitered underneath it for long. It’s just enough dew to keep your skin from looking flat.

And it does all of its awesomeness without feeling heavy at all. In fact, it feels like I’m hardly wearing anything at all! Yup, my previous MAC foundation affair with Studio Sculpt ended on my first date with MAC Face and Body.

mac face and body foundation in c5

Okay, okay, I’m done gushing (for now)… Let’s talk about Indoorkitty’s question:

“Karrrren! This used to be one of my favorite foundations but I’ve forgotten how I put it on. I’m doing a bunch of work travel and srsly considering just bringing it with me + playing with each brush I own in my spare time to find the mojo again. I think I used to use a stippling brush then buffed it out… Which brush do you use to apply/buff it? Please share! It pains me to have such a massive bottle of this in the right shade without being able to put it on successfully.”


Hi Indoorkitty,

First things first: love your screen name (and always have!). Second, and more relevant to your question, Face and Body’s texture can make it a little tough to work with, especially if you’re out of practice. It’s kinda runny, but don’t give up on it! You’ll get the hang of working with it again. Ultimately, it all depends on the level of coverage you crave.

If all you want is a sheer semblance of sheer sheerness (in other words, very sheer coverage), use your fingers and really work the product into your skin. That’s what I do sometimes. It gives a light hint of tint, which is usually enough to mask my red areas but not enough to cover blemishes.

When I’m in the mood for more coverage (with this, anywhere up to medium), I’ll use a foundation brush instead of my fingers, and apply it in thin/light layers.

You could use a traditional flat foundation brush for this, one like the MAC 190, but I usually steer clear of those. For some reason, when I use them with MAC Face and Body, I get foundation streaks.

I like to apply this using a brush with a rounded head — feel like I get more of an airbrushed finish that way — and my fave is the Hourglass Foundation/Blush Brush No. 2. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap, but there are some good budget options, like the $10 Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush, which has a similar shape.

mac face and body foundation application tips

Most mornings I’ll apply 2-3 sheer layers, swirling the brush head, and then once I reach a level of overall coverage I like, I zoom in and target the areas where I want a little more coverage, pushing the product into my skin there, rather than swirling.

Also an indoor kitty…

Optional: After I’m done doing my layers, I like to gently buff my entire face using a MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush. I think it just sort of settles everything down… Sometimes I skip this step, but when I do, I’m really careful to blend in the foundation after my swirling/patting.

mac face and body foundation application tips
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Let’s Do a Marilyn Makeup Look While We Wait for MAC Marilyn Monroe

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

mac marilyn monroe tutorial final look

I can’t wait for the new MAC Marilyn Monroe collection to arrive on counters October 4! I’m serious. I can’t wait!!

I tried, but I couldn’t, so I didn’t. :)

Today I decided to try my paws at a look inspired by Marilyn and Hollywood pinup girls using products I already have. For the heck of it, I tried to use colors that at least sounded similar to the ones from the upcoming release, based on the official MAC color descriptions.

I left myself lots of leeway here and basically just tried to have fun, Marilyn-style.

The products I substituted for MAC Marilyn Monroe collection colors…

  • MAC Eyeshadow in Shroom in place of MAC Eyeshadow in Preferred Blonde (described as a pale champagne beige)
  • A mix of MAC Eyeshadow in Swell Baby and Waft in place of MAC Eyeshadow in Showgirl (a dark blueish grey)
  • MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger in place of MAC Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis (a bright orange-red)
  • MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick in place of MAC Lip Pencil in Redd
  • MAC Pro Longwear Lipgloss in Boundlessly Beige in place of MAC Dazzleglass in Phiff! (a sheer yellowish peach)
  • MAC Blush in Blushbaby in place of MAC Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek (a neutral pinkish beige)
  • MAC Beauty Powder in Pearl Sunshine in place of MAC Beauty Powder in Forever Marilyn (a sheer pale peach)
  • MAC 36 Lash in place of MAC 35 Lash

I snapped some pics, too, in case you wanted to follow along. :)

If you’re ready, let’s jump right in!

The first thing I did was apply my foundation and fill in my brows…

mac marilyn monroe tutorial 1

Then, I spread MAC Paint in Sublime Nature all over my lids.

mac marilyn monroe tutorial 2

After that, I patted Shroom on top…

mac marilyn monroe tutorial 3
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An Everyday Plum, Beige and Peach Fall Makeup Look for Work, School or Walks With Your Cat

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

mac prunella sable tutorial final top

Shh… Do you hear that? Wait — let me open up my window so it’s easier to hear.

That rustling sound outside? That’s the sound of fallen leaves from the old oak tree blowing in the wind. Haven’t heard that sound in a long, long time…

It’s even a little chilly out today. I noticed it earlier when I took Tabs outside for his walk. That crunch-crunch-crunch of brown and yellow leaves under our feet, the crisp edge in the air — you know what’s up! Fall is back.

And as the seasons change, so does my makeup. I’ve been wanting to wear more fall-ish looks lately, like this little number with plum, beige and peach.

A few weeks ago I was all about dewy finishes and glow, but now I’m really interested in mattes, I think because they just seem polished and appropriate for this time of year.

From start to finish, assuming everything goes well and I don’t get distracted by, oh, say something like Friday Night Lights, this look normally takes me about 15-20 minutes. This time took a little longer because I wanted to snap these pics for a tutorial.

If you’re looking for a new fall makeup look for work or school, I hope you give this one a try, and if you do, let me know how it goes. :)

First, before we get started, let’s round up all of the tools and products we’ll need… Brand-wise, I mostly used products from MAC, Becca, Burberry and Hourglass here, but of course, you can swap out any of these things for similar colors from other brands.



Next, using the Hourglass Foundation/Blush Brush No. 2, I prepped my skin with primer (I’m using MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance) before applying MAC Face and Body Foundation in C5 all over my face, and where I felt I needed extra coverage, like on my chin (dumb-@ss hormonal breakouts!), I applied a little more, pressing the product into my skin with the brush.

mac prunella sable tutorial 1

Then, I filled in my brows with a MAC 266 Small Angle Brush and MAC Eyeshadow in Concrete and curled my lashes with the always reliable Sonia Kashuk Lash Curler.

mac prunella sable tutorial 2

Next up — eyeshadow! I spread MAC Paint in Sublime Nature all over my lids with a finger. It served as a base for the next eyeshadows layered on top, helping them stay put and intensifying their colors.

mac prunella sable tutorial 3

Here, I lined my upper lash lines with MAC Prunella

mac prunella sable tutorial 4
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