Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Big Bang Theory! Pump Up Your Volume With This Hair Tutorial for Big Bangs

Published in: Beauty Tips, Hair, Makeup Tips/How To

Yet another hairstyle to try if your mane ever starts looking like this…

LOL! (Note to self: call the salon first thing tomorrow morning. For realz!!)

I wore this big bang hairstyle last week for the Xenia Onatopp Bond Girls look, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine to keep my shaggy mop in line. It’s a little bit Joan Cusack in Working Girl, with some Marge Simpson and a dash of rock ‘n roll, and best of all, it’s pretty easy to do — 10 minutes, tops.

Maybe you’re growing out your bangs. Maybe you’re neglecting your long layers. Or maybe you’re just in the mood for something kind of casual and messy to wear to a concert or a club. Whichever the case, try big bangs. :)

For this style, I start by sectioning off my bangs and spraying my roots with a lightweight hairspray. Right now I’m loving Suave Touchable Finish because it doesn’t flake or leave my hair uber-crunchy. Plus, it’s only $3.

Next, I aim a hairdryer at my roots to get things moving along. It usually only takes about 10-20 seconds for the hairspray to fully stiffen.

Then, I start building some volume at the roots…

I couldn’t find my teasing comb today, so I improvised with a boar’s hair brush. The stiff, dense bristles tease the heck out of hair, and they’re great for adding lots of lift.

Now it’s construction time. I start shaping the bangs, BIG, gathering them and kinda pushing them up in the back.

Then I secure them in place using several bobby pins.

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Easily Corral Crazy Hair and Long Layers Into Place With This Step-By-Step Faux Bob Hair Tutorial

Published in: Beauty Tips, Hair, Makeup Tips/How To

No matter how many mystical chants and dances I do, no matter hard I will it to happen, there are some things I just cannot seem to control…

Like the weather, or Tabs (why do lurvies and lap time always have to be on his terms and never mine?), or the relentless drive to consume large quantities of Nutella, or the passing of time, or the mop of hair currently partying on my head like it’s 1999.

Yeah, my hair’s extra cray at the moment because I’m waaaaay overdue for a salon visit. My layers refuse to layer correctly, my roots are like, “OH, HAI, LADY!!” and the situation with my bangs? — let’s not even go there.

I’ve had to resort to hair trickery and disguise to get my mane looking semi-presentable, and one trick I’ve been loving lately is a little something I like to call, “The Faux Bob.”

I got the idea from a similar hairdo Taylor Swift wore a while back. I can’t remember exactly where or when, but I recall that her hair was long at the time, and it looked like she’d tucked it underneath, almost like a shoulder-length bob.

I’ve been wearing mine this way on the weekends because it’s just so easy to corral my hair into place.

If you have long, chin-length layers or side-swept bangs that frame your face, or if you just want the look of a shorter ‘do but don’t want to chop off all your hair, it’s easy and might be worth a try.

First, I start by gathering my hair into a loose, low pony and securing it with an elastic.

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Share a Tip Tuesdays: Beauty Shortcuts for Busy Girls

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

Share a Tip Tuesdays: 5 Minute Makeup

I’m smiling in this pic because it only took me five minutes to do my makeup.

Sometimes it seems like no matter what I do to manage my time better — keeping to-do lists with action items, reminding Siri to remind me to pay the PG&E bill tomorrow, using stopwatches and timers to stay on task, organizing and reorganizing my files (and reorganizing them again), avoiding Twitter and my email for a few hours, waking up at the butt crack of dawn to get a head start on the day — there’s never enough time.

I don’t know about you, but this whole 24-hour day thing just isn’t working for me. :) How do I go about getting a longer day…?

There are some things that help, though. Definitely. Time-saving tips do make it easier to get more done in the day, and when I’m really feeling the crunch, like when I only have five minutes to get ready, I fall back to my most reliable makeup tricks like…

  • Using a (kick-arse) tinted moisturizer. In my opinion, the best one out there now is NARS Pure Radiant. It’s lightweight, applies quick as a bunny (I just use my fingers), covers almost everything and doesn’t give me breakouts. My fussy dry/oily/acne-prone skin adores it.
  • A bronzy blush. Bronzy blushes can also double as bronzers, and there’s always a few in my makeup bag, like right now, I’m carrying NARS Madly, Benefit Dallas, MAC Harmony, MAC Format and Sisly L’Orchidee.
  • A superhero, one-coat mascara capable of doing it all. My new fave is Le Volume de Chanel in Noir. It’s a little expensive, but it lengthens, separates and thickens my nap-worthy lashes in a single swoop.

Separating my makeup into three different bags also helps me stay organized when I have to get out the door quickly.

I stash my makeup essentials in the first one (tinted moisturizer, concealer, powder, brow filler, blush and mascara), and my brushes in the second. In the third bag, I store cleansers and cleanup products — makeup wipes, Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks and packets of Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes (for cleaning my fingers and removing gunk from dirty brushes) — just in case I have to fix a mistake while I’m out and about.

Welcome to another edition of Share a Tip Tuesdays! :) Okay…you were awesome last week. You left so many fantastic tips in last week’s installment. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, but here were some of the ones that perked up my tired eyes…

Use a peachy highlight in the inner corners of the eyes and brow bone to perk up tired eyes. Since I know that peach correctors work well for under-eye dark circles, I don’t know why it was such a huge surprise to me when I tried it with MAC Arena, but whoa! A shimmery peach works so much better than champagne, which used to be my go-to highlight shade.

If you mix a brown eyeshadow with the more dramatic colors in your eye look, you’ll get a softened version that usually translates into a more comfortable look. This tip is especially good for people who are just starting to add brighter/deeper colors to their eye looks. ie: If you’re worried about blue eyeshadow being too BLUE!, then throw some brown in there. Just make sure the brown you’re using complements the overall tone/darkness of the eyeshadow that you’re adding it to.

I use the ELF Lip Lock pencil to keep my lipstick from feathering — it’s a $3 wonder!

The absolute best way to make tired eyes look perky is to skip liner on the lower lashes (even if it’s not black), and apply a flesh toned or white pencil to your waterline. Then apply a satin or shimmer eyeshadow to your eye’s inner corner. If you have large eyes, use a satin or matte eyeshadow, a shade lighter than your skin color.

Liquid liner has been MY JAM since sophomore year in high school! My ultimate savior when it comes to cat eyes: the pointed q-tip. Take either a sharpened pencil or some dark shadow on an eyeliner brush and lightly sculpt out the shape you want. Getting the eyes symmetrical is as easy as just removing any mistakes with the pointed q-tip (I like to go by the angle my lower lash line makes – just run the q-tip up from that angle to get a perfectly sharp line). Then go over with liquid liner. A bit more time-consuming, but it beats having to mess around with smeary liquid liner in order to correct a mistake.

Hvala! :)

So, let’s get to it. As usual, any and all of your makeup/beauty/hair/skin tips are welcome, but here are a few conversation starters…

  1. What are your top quickie beauty tricks for mornings when you don’t have a lot of time?
  2. You’re taking a one-week trip to the Bahamas. What’s in your travel makeup bag?
  3. What are your top three blushes, and why do you love them?
  4. What’s your 5-minute makeup routine?
  5. What’s been the most helpful makeup or beauty technique or tip you learned this year?

Leave your tips/tricks/suggestions here in the comments, or tweet ‘em to me on Twitter @karenmbb using the hashtag #shareatiptuesday. :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Bond Girl Makeup Looks Inspired by the OPI Skyfall Collection: From GoldenEye, Xenia Onatopp

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Guerlain, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, OPI

bond girl looks xenia onatopp 1

A Xenia Onatopp Bond girl makeup look inspired by the OPI Skyfall collection nail polish in GoldenEye

“M, what on earth is this contraption?”

“That, Bond, is a Thighmaster. Google it.”

“My thighs need no mastering, M.”

“Famous last words, Bond. Famous last words.”

. . .

Can I just say how hard it is to find a frickin’ Thighmaster these days? Because really, if you’re gonna dress up as Bond girl Xenia Onatopp, you want your thighs to be like BAM! — straight-up killing machines!!

I’m not kidding either. In 1995’s GoldenEye, Xenia, played by the gorgeous Famke Janssen, is the Bond babe who famously kills by crushing people to death with her thighs (wha?!).

(Keep in mind, this was before MMA was popular, LOL!)

In fact, Xenia almost takes out Pierce Brosnan’s Bond in one of their encounters…

Hurts so good!

I sure love Xenia’s makeup in the movie. She smolders in a smokey eye and rich red lips while she seduces her prey.

Psycho on the inside, but she keeps it classy on the outside.

Nice. :)


This afternoon I thought I’d pattern my makeup after hers — not literally copying it, but I tried to capture the same feel, with the biggest difference being that I used a rich gold eyeshadow to play off the OPI GoldenEye polish on my nails.

opi goldeneye

OPI GoldenEye, from the new Bond-themed Skyfall nail polish collection

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Wearing three coats of OPI GoldenEye

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Bond Girl Makeup Looks Inspired by the OPI Skyfall Collection: From Skyfall, Savarine

Published in: Face of the Day (FOTD), Hourglass, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, NARS, OPI, Too Faced

bond girls severine skyfall look

A Savarine Bond girl makeup look inspired by the OPI Skyfall collection nail polish in Skyfall

“Bond, I’m going to need you to be on your toes for this next assignment. This group is very dangerous.”

“Whatever you say, M.”

“I’m serious, Bond. Cat ladies are the real deal. They’ve been known to actually persuade spies to abandon their missions and join the cat crusade. They will not stop until the world goes full-on feline!”

“So…does that mean I have to keep my paws to myself?”

. . .

Yeah, so if the curmudgeonly cat lady thing doesn’t pan out for me over the next couple of years, I might just become a full-time, self-employed Bond girl. Seriously! I’d have no problem slinking around the house by myself all day long looking all mysterious and sultry like Savarine, the Bond girl from Skyfall, the latest installment in the series.

I’d be totally fine with that.

In the movie, which opens this Friday across North America, Savarine is played by French actress Bérénice Marlohe. I’ve forbidden myself from reading any spoilers, even though I desperately want to (just two more days!), but movie stills are okay, especially when the makeup, hair and nails are to die for, like they are in these pics of Savarine.

bond girls severine

Ooh, I love that gray eye look… It’s kinda smokey, and I dig the cat eye shape.

bond girls severine

See how the shadow slightly wings out at the ends? I feel like it elongates the eye. Oh, and peep the inner corners, and how her eyeshadow tracks her tear duct, ending in a slightly pointed tip. Makes it look even more feline, meow! :)

I was really inspired today by Savarine’s look, so I thought I’d give it a try this afternoon and wear it with OPI’s dark plummy red Skyfall nail polish.

The eyes: step by step

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