Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

A Holiday Party Eye Makeup Look With Purple, Bronze and Gold

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

holiday makeup tutorial bronze purple

I received a few requests to see a tutorial after a look last week with pink cheeks and bronze, gold and purple eyes, so here it is!

I keep this one in my back pocket for date nights and parties because it’s a little bit dressy, but not full-on formal. Could be a nice look to wear to a work holiday party.

Last week I used a couple of limited edition products from BECCA that are out of circulation now (the Halcyon Days Palette and Cabrera Liner Duo), so this time around, to make things a little easier to duplicate, I replaced those pieces with similar colors from MAC’s permanent line (the other BECCA products here are still available).

The products

holiday makeup tutorial bronze purple swatches

Swatches from the left: BECCA Eye Tint in Gilt, MAC Soba Eyeshadow, MAC Woodwinked Eyeshadow, MAC Prunella Eye Kohl, MAC Teddy Eye Kohl, BECCA Marcella Eyeshadow, BECCA Lychee Beach Tint, Becca Damselfly Blush, BECCA Flowerchild Blush, MAC Sublime Culture Cremestick Liner and Illamasqua Intimacy Lipgloss

Step by step

holiday makeup tutorial bronze purple

  1. Start by patting the shimmery bronze eyeshadow all over your lids.
  2. Next, sweep your satiny golden brown eyeshadow directly on top of the bronze eyeshadow you just used.
  3. Then, pat a warm peachy gold from your lashes down into the crease.
  4. Line your upper water line and upper lash line with your plum liner, and then smudge out the edges with your golden purple eyeshadow.
  5. Line your lower lash and water lines with your reddish golden bronze liner.
  6. Fill in your brows, and apply mascara.
  7. Now, blend the pink blush on your cheeks, and layer the peach and pink powder blushes on top.
  8. Lastly, line and fill in your lips with your pinky nude liner topped with a layer of nude gloss.

holiday makeup tutorial bronze purple

Additional makeup worn in this look: MAC Concrete (brows), BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Foundation in Bamboo (all over face), BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone (around the center of your face) MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer in NW25 (under your eyes), Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder (all over your face) and Le Volume de Chanel Mascara (lashes)

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Share a Tip Tuesdays: Lost Your Gel or Cream Liner Brush? No Problem. Pencil in This Tip to Try

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

Share your best makeup or beauty tips in the comments!

The new YSL Creme D’Eyeliner in No. 7 Gold Star ($25), and MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl ($15)

My house is like the Bermuda Triangle for makeup brushes.

In other words, lots of unexplained disappearances. Especially for brushes I use to apply gel and cream eyeliners. It’s like they get sucked into that same alternate universe where all the missing socks and earrings go…

But now I have a trick that’s been saving my booty when I want to wear a potted gel or cream liner but can’t find the perfect brush. I just use a pencil liner as a brush.

Dip the pencil into the cream or gel liner you want to use, and run it along your lash or water lines, as if it’s a brush! :)

You can either use a pencil in a color similar to the cream or gel liner you’d like to wear, or use a pencil in a different shade to spice things up.

The color of the pencil in the pic up top, MAC Powersurge, is similar to the shimmery, bronzy gold YSL Creme D’Eyeliner in No. 7 Gold Star (available now at YSL counters and behind it.

That’s an example of the matchy-matchy approach…

But to take a varsity-level dive into the world of eye-lining improvisation instead, use a pencil liner in a completely different shade. I’ve tried that same YSL gold liner above with pencils in black, plum and green and created some really neat duochrome effects. Every one puts its own unique twist on the gel or cream.

Be careful not to overload the pencil if you use it this way (took me a few tries to figure that out), and don’t forget to clean the tip when your done to keep it from getting all icky. I wipe mine down with a clean paper towel or a Wet Ones Wipe.

Oh, and sometimes, when my water lines feel extra sensitive — too sensitive for brush bristles — I find that a pencil feels a little gentler against my skin.

Welcome to another exciting installment of Share a Tip Tuesdays! :) Thanks to you, this series is really turning into a great beauty resource. Last week’s edition received more than three dozen tips! Here are a few…

I have mild rosacea, and so I find it really hard to create the flawless base I like to start with, because no matter what, the red always shows through. I think I’ve actually figured it out now, though. I’ve got a killer combo that ALWAYS gives me perfect ivory flawless skin that I can then layer blush or bronzer on top of. I start with MUFE’s green primer on just the areas of rosacea, and use a different non-colored primer for the rest of my face and an oil-control primer for my nose. I picked up Physician’s Formula green concealer, and I spread that in a thin layer over my rosacea areas. Prior to putting on my foundation, I look pretty weird, but once I use MAC NC 15 (which has a yellow base that helps counteract the red) on top of the primer/concealer combo, it’s perfectly even and gorgeous. Great tip for anyone with extra redness.

I have hooded eyes, so I usually favor smudgy eyeliner on my lids and top lash line. It also helps to wear a lipstick that brings out the best in my skin tone. Blue reds and peachy pinks tend to work well for me.

Water lining is quicker than trying to do a neat eyeliner. I water line my eyes, quickly smudge a little cream or gel eye liner on my lids and have a killer smoky eye in very little time. Also, tinted lip balms or sheer lipsticks are more forgiving when you only have time for a quick swipe. And grab a pretty berry-colored one to add brightness.

Not using white on the water line. I watched Lisa Eldridge’s video about the makeup for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and she mentions that they sometimes used a light blue on both George Peppard and Audrey. I picked up a few different very light blues to try it out, and I love the effect! You don’t see blue waterlines. It’s more that it cancels out the pink, but isn’t stark like white. My favourites are Gosh’s light blue liners.

Best thing ever? Primer + BB Cream + Blush. If you have an extra minute, curl and apply mascara. And extra two minutes? Creamy concealer (for the eyes) + Highlight for the inner corners + cupids bow of your lip. Wakes the face right up! I already have glosses in my purse so I slap those on in a pinch. Gorgeous for little effort!

Pagyamanan! :)

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. Do you have any suggestions for ways to remove your makeup quickly?
  2. If you’re a busy mom, do you have a streamlined beauty routine?
  3. For the single ladies, any tried-and-true date-night makeup (hair or fashion) tips?
  4. Best waterproof products for rain, sleet and snow?
  5. What’s your routine (if you have one) for flawless red lips?

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,


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,


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