Topic: Makeup Tips/How To

The Accent Nail Files: Find Common Ground to Create Unexpected Pairings Like Purple and Burgundy

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, Smith & Cult

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme paired with Lo-Fi

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme nail polish teamed up with Lo-Fi lacquer

ME: “Oh, Magic 8 ball, will my attempt at nail art today turn out to be epically flawless and fabulous and absolutely everything I’ve ever dreamed nail art could be?”

MAGIC 8 BALL: “All signs point to hell naaaaw!

That particular accent nail combo up top was the result of an epic nail art fail last Sunday.

I’d started out trying to do something involving negative space and jerry-rigged Band-Aid cutouts and… Anyway, it didn’t work out, but it led me to the purple and burgundy combo here, ’cause you know I’m all about that accent nail life. 🙂

After the Band-Aid cutout disaster (long, sad story), I started thinking about creamy purple nails and got this picture in my head of a hand with bright violet nails wrapped around a glass of red wine.

So I dug through my stash and pulled out this vibrant violet shade by Smith & Cult called Check the Rhyme, which I paired with a burgundy called Lo-Fi, also from Smith & Cult.

By the founders of Hard Candy, Smith & Cult is a new line with some really cool colors, packaging and names. They only came out a few months ago. Wear time is OK, like 4-5 days with a base and top coat, so not as sturdy as OPI, but good enough if you like to swap out your polish every few days. The bottles are kind of expensive though at $18 each, but I like a lot of their colors.

Smith & Cult Check the Rhyme paired with Lo-Fi

The purple: Check the Rhyme. The burgundy: Lo-Fi.

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3 Steps to Fuller, Natural-Looking Brows

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

3 Steps To Full, Natural-Looking Brows

3 steps to full, natural-looking brows

Brows — my sweet, sweet joy and my sweet, sweet pain.

I’ve reluctantly come to grips with the painful reality that I will very likely never be one of those lucky gals/guys who wakes up in the morning with immaculately lush, gorgeous brows, and I’m OK with that.

Because that’s what makeup is for.

Although, truth be told, I’ll always be jealous of my BFF Jen for being one of those naturally big-browed babes…

Let me tell ya, it’s really annoying, LOL!

Back in the ’90s, when everyone was plucking their brows into oblivion, Jen was constantly bemoaning her beautiful brows, saying that they were too damn full and sooo difficult to tame. 🙂

Yeah, what I wouldn’t have given for that problem. I’m always having to fill in mine (freaking Raul!).

On the positive side, at least I’ll probably never run out of new techniques and brow products to try. There’s an endless supply and lots of room to play.

Last year I was really into filling them in with eyeshadow for a full, kinda in-your-face brow look, and sometimes, let me tell ya, those big brows entered a room before I did, haha!

These days I’m more chill about my brows… I still like them big and full, but a little less blocky and more textured, so that they look more natural and real, if that makes any sense. I want brows that look like they just naturally grew out of my head that way.

There are different ways to get a full, but natural brow look, but here’s mine. I use a brow pencil, brow gel, and follow these three simple steps.

First, you’ll need the following…

  • A brow pencil with a skinny tip. I like Brow Wiz by Anastasia Beverley Hills ($21). It has a twist-up pencil on one end and a brow comb on the other.
  • A brow comb (if your pencil doesn’t have one; see above)
  • A clear brow gel, and my favorite of the moment is unsurprisingly called Clear Brow Gel ($22), also by Anastasia. I like it because it dries to a matte finish and has a very strong hold, so those little brow hairs don’t move a muslce once it sets.

3 Steps To Full, Natural-Looking Brows

Step 1

Begin by filling in your brows with your brow pencil starting at the inner end using short strokes, light pressure, and moving in the same direction that your brow hairs grow, with the goal being to go with the natural flow.
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Go Straight From Work to the Party With This 5-Minute Makeup Upgrade

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

arte Tartlette Palette and MAC Smolder on my eyes, Le Metier Cheeky Chic Kaleidoscope on my cheeks, and MAC Ultimate Lipstick in Femme de Luxe and NARS Easy Lover Gloss on my lips

One of my New Year’s resolutions? Go to more parties.

But the free food and drinks and great excuse to wear heels are not the primary drivers here (although, not gonna lie, they’re all super fun reasons)… My main reasons are “research.”

No, seriously. Parties are perfect places to talk to people about makeup!

Case in point: at my BFF Cindy’s birthday lunch a couple weeks ago (aka Carb Fest 2014!), I sat next to a gal named Stacy. When I introduced myself, the first thing she said was, “Oh! You’re Cindy’s makeup blogger friend!” which, of course, opened the floodgates. 🙂

We covered so many bases! We talked about under-eye concealer (run to the closest NARS counter, and pick up Pure Radiant, ASAP), highlighting, and traded makeup ideas for parties.

Stacy wanted ideas for fast ways to crank up her makeup after work, but she said she didn’t have the best blending skills.

I suggested three things — a black pencil liner, a bright lipstick, and five minutes.

First, the before…

The before/work look

the Tarte Tartlette Palette on my eyes, Le Metier Cheeky Chic Kaleidoscope on my cheeks and Tarte Ethereal Pink Lipstick

Here’s the before look. I’m wearing the Tarte Tartlette Palette on my eyes, Le Metier Cheeky Chic Kaleidoscope on my cheeks and Tarte Ethereal Pink Lipstick on my lips.

This would be a typical standard-issue work makeup look for me with neutral eyes, cheeks and lips.

Step 1: Reducing shine, and applying black liner

Tarte Tartlette Palette and MAC Smolder on my eyes, Le Metier Cheeky Chic Kaleidoscope on my cheeks and Tarte Ethereal Pink Lipstick

MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder

First, blot or reapply powder on any shiny spots, and then line your upper and lower water and lash lines with a creamy black pencil eyeliner. Next, soften the lash lines with a pencil brush, then create a smokey haze around them.

Now, to intensify the look, apply a new coat of mascara to your upper and lower lashes.

Stop here if you just want to end with a smokey eyes/nude lips combo.
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Look Book: Save Time With Big Lashes and Bold Lips

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Lips, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Too Faced

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted StrawberryToo Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Strawberry

When you’re trying to look cute but your hair is crazytown

Big lashes + bold lips = a purr-fect pairing! The combo is one of the fastest ways to get a dramatic makeup look without using a ton of different products.

There are times when “I’ll be done with my makeup in 20 minutes” really has to mean 20 minutes…and not 45, and in order to prevent El Hub from yelling things like, “You said you’d be done in 20 minutes an hour ago!” I’ll pop on the biggest, fluffiest, most dramatic pair of false lashes I can find (I keep a few pairs around because you just never know) and a bold lip color — usually a fiery red, hot pink or colorful coral (basically, if it’s a color that could stop traffic, it’s a contender).

I love doing this look because it’s so much quicker than looks with intense and complicated blending on the lids or dramatic winged liner, and I can play up both my lips and eyes with minimal effort.

Melted Liquified Lipstick in Melted Strawberry is one of several new Melted Lipstick shades available now at Too Faced counters and online for $21 each. Melted Strawberry’s a smooth, lightweight full-coverage creamy red. When I use it, I prep my lips first with a lip balm because these lipsticks can be kind of drying, and then I apply it with a lip brush to get a nice crisp edge.

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A Quick Makeup Tip: For Fiery Red Lips, Set Boundaries

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Makeup Tips for Red Lips

Red lips, like fire, are hard to contain. They’re also hard to resist. Every gal I’ve ever known has wanted to wear red lips at one time or another. Even my staunchly anti-makeup BFF Cindy, who will get in her car and drive 50 miles away from me if I approach her with a lip brush, craves crimson sometimes.

MAC Red Red Red Lipsticks

One trick to controlling the fiery power that is red is containing it within a boundary, like by lining the edges of your lips with lip liner. For a defined, distinct boundary around your red, use a liner shade slightly darker than the red lipstick you plan to apply, then fill your lips with the same liner, except for the middle of your top and bottom lips (to create subtle variations between the color in that middle area and the other parts of your lips for extra dimension).

Now, soften any harsh edges with a lip brush, while keeping that open area in the middle of your lips clear for the next step: your lipstick.
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