Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Concealer Question: Do You Use the Same Shade to Cover Dark Circles and Blemishes?

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

concealer makeup tips

I’m all for streamlining my makeup bag and only carrying the products I know I’ll need (although I do like to have options when it comes to things like lipgloss), and I’ll never turn my back on a great multitasking product, like MAC Bare Study Paint Pot, which can work as a base or a standalone shadow, but when it comes to concealers? — I generally like to keep my bag stocked with two different shades, one a few shades lighter than my natural skin tone for concealing dark circles and for brightening my under-eye area, and a second shade that more closely matches my skin tone for covering up blemishes, small scars and discolorations on my face.

A lesson learned the hard way…

Back when I first started wearing concealer, I was all about keeping a streamlined makeup bag, so whenever I left the house, I’d bring just a single light concealer shade, which I used under my eyes, and wherever else I felt I needed to on my face.

Little did I know at the time, but the light shade I was using, which was a little lighter than parts of my cheeks, chin and forehead, was actually drawing more attention to my trouble spots, like a makeup spotlight.

Oh, noes!

A few department store concealers to try

Nowadays, I usually bring 2-3 concealer shades with me (usually two, but sometimes three). For my under-eye area, I’m back to using an old love of mine, MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer ($18).

That area up there under my eyes gets really dry, but Moisturecover couldn’t care less. It handles my dry under-eye area better than anything else. The medium-coverage formula also looks natural and doesn’t settle into my fine lines (yea!). The only downside, and it’s not a deal-breaker for me, is that I do have to reapply it after about eight hours of wear.

concealer makeup tips

Most of the time I wear it in shade NW25, even though I’m color matched to NC42, because I think the peachy tones better counteract the purple tones under my eyes (especially when I’m dog tired, like today).

Ladies and gents with hyperactive sebaceous glands (read: oily skin) might want to try MAC Select Cover-Up ($18), MAC’s version for oily skin, or MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($18).

Speaking of Pro Longwear Concealer, I think it’s really great for my face in general. Being super concentrated, a little goes a long way, and it’s awfully stubborn, in a good way. In other words, it doesn’t budge. :)
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A Fall Trend to Try: Matching Tips and Lips

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

Butter London Toff
Butter London Lippy and Nail Polish in Toff on my lips and nails

Looks like matchy-matchy is in this fall. Quite a few lines have been releasing matching lip and nail products lately, like MAC, Sonia Kashuk and Butter London for fall 2012 (shown below), and can I just say? — I love this trend! :)

It reminds me of the sirens of the silver screen — so classic, elegant and pulled together — and with so many colors out there to choose from, it’s one of those rare trends in which everyone can find something to wear.

As some food for thought, here are three combinations featuring Butter London’s new Lippy Butter ($17 each) and 3-Free Lacquer ($14 each) shades, available online now at

butter london toff la moss queen vic
From the left: Lacquer and Lippy Butters in Toff, La Moss and Queen Vic

If you prefer more neutral/natural-looking colors, you could try a creamy rose like Toff.

Butter London Toff
Butter London Toff…I use hands a lot when I talk, so I think it’s kinda cool to have nails that play off the the color on my lips!

But if you want more drama-for-your-mama, then how about something vampy, like dark wine La Moss?

butter london la moss
Butter London Lippy and Nail Polish La Moss
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Easy on the Eyes: A Wearable, Easy Eyeshadow Look With Purple and Brown

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

easy on the eyes purple eye makeup tutorial

As Usher so famously said, “These are my confessions.” :)

I have three of them today…

1. I’ve been bopping in my chair all afternoon to this song by Canadian singer, Lights

So catchy!

2. My obsession with Jeremy Renner just reached critical mass…

…and it’s all because of Jeremy Renner’s Arms.

I found out today that his (J-Ren’s) family is from Modesto, which is only about 100 miles East of here.

I’m tempted to drive out there next weekend and walk around downtown yelling, “JER-eh-MEEEEEEEE! I LUUURVE YOU!”

3. I used to be utterly dumbfounded by purple eyeshadow

I just couldn’t figure out what to do with it (this was back when I mostly wore browns and beige), and whenever I tried to wear it, blech! — I looked like the loser in a barroom brawl.

But I’ve never given up on purple, because I like it too much to throw in the towel.

In fact, just this last weekend I gave it another try, setting my sights on something easy and wearable (been burned too many times before), and this is what I came up with…

purple eye makeup tutorial side view

Fun! :) I kinda like the way it turned out.

I’m wearing a brown matte shadow over a shimmery golden beige base with a flash of purple on the lids. I think the thin line of black liner along the upper lash line gives the look some extra depth and makes my lashes look a little thicker, while the shimmer in the inner corners opens up the eyes.

Why purple?

Well, why not? Purple shadows can really do a lot for your eye color. I think they can be super pretty with brown, hazel, green, blue and gray eyes.

I know they can be a little scary, especially if you usually stick to neutral shades, but fear not! This look here is actually pretty wearable. When the eyes are open, you mostly see the brown, but when you blink, there’s a pretty flash of purple.

Could be a good look for a casual (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Friday.

Plus, it’s not that time consuming or difficult. No heavy duty blending, and the whole eye should take between 10-15 minutes.

First things first

Let’s pull together our ingredients for this little recipe (I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows lately)…

Here I’m using a few different products from Urban Decay, MAC, Bobbi Brown and Dolce & Gabbana, but nothing here is irreplaceable. Please mix and match with any brands you have on hand or swap out colors that you feel better suit you.

purple eye makeup tuturial products
Clockwise from the purple pan on the left: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Flash, MAC Eyeshadow in Vex, MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study, MAC Eyeshadow in Soft Brown, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Jet, MAC 219 Pencil Brush, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, MAC 217 Blending Brush, Dolce & Gabbana Blending Brush, MAC 266 Small Angle Brush

Starting with your shimmery golden beige shadow (or similar shade)…

Sometimes my lids are like a Chevron refinery (read: oily). When they are, I start by priming them. In this look, after priming, push a shimmery golden beige cream shadow like MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study on your lids and into the crease with a finger, and use your fingers to blend out the edges.

purple eye makeup tutorial 1
That’s RGB Nail Polish in Minty on my nails
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Brow Shaping Basics: How to Find Where Your Brows Start and Stop

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

eyebrow makeup tips 4

It took about two seconds today for my afternoon photo shoot to devolve into this…

eyebrow makeup tips 2

And then this…

eyebrow makeup tips 3

LOL! Yeah (I’ll spare you the other 12).

Despite all appearances, these pics do more than merely document the fact that I’m way too easily amused. They also help us segue into talking about brows. :)


They’ve been on my mind more than usual lately… First, because they’re all over the promotional pics for this year’s fall makeup campaigns, and second, because of super-spy/former makeup artist Jeremy Renner.

Yes, the new Jason Bourne (or at least, another member of the Treadstone Project).

“Brows, lashes, lips.” Jeremy advises. “Frame the face.”

Also, my friend Cindy asked me a brow-related question while we prepped homemade pasta last Saturday night.

“Where should my brows start, and where should they stop?”

Great question, Chef Cindy! It’s something I think about every day as I’m filling in my brows.

Finding your brow start point

The easiest trick I know of is to take a makeup brush (or a pen/pencil if you don’t have a brush nearby; just be careful not to poke your eye out!), look directly into a mirror, and hold the brush vertically, straight up and down, and parallel with the length of your nose, resting it in the nook where your nostril begins.

eyebrow makeup tips 1
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TGIF and Two Tips to Get a Flawless Foundation Look

Published in: Face, Makeup Tips/How To

Where’s Elliott, and can I get some Reese’s Pieces??

Um…I only just realized it, but in that picture up there, don’t I look like I’m trying to phone home with my foundation brush?

E.T. phone home! E.T. phone home! :)

All part of the process of getting close to that fetching flawless foundation look I like so much.

Speaking of E.T., poor little guy couldn’t take advantage of one of my favorite foundation tips for even skin tone — running a foundation brush over my ears (because he didn’t have much in the ear department).

It can really help if, say, your ears are a little sunburned or tan, like if you’ve been wearing your hair up and exposing your ears. Dusting them with a small amount of foundation can even things out a little more (just remember to remove your makeup from your ears at the end of the day).
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