Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

3 Makeup Packing Tips for a Weekend Trip

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To

Reason No. 3,456 why I like to travel? — learning new packing tricks (makeup or otherwise).

It’s like a personal challenge of mine, figuring out new ways to help my makeup bag streamline and be all it can be!

Here’s a few things I tried on this last trip…

1. Ditch the palettes

You can do a lot with as little as two eye shadows — one neutral matte or satin slightly darker than your skin tone, and one flattering metallic or shimmer that you really, really like.

It hit me in La Jolla last weekend. I was getting ready for dinner one night and started thinking about how I got by with just two makeup brushes that time in Redding when I forgot my brush bag at home. I wondered if I could do the same with just two eye shadows…

Turns out I could! For a few days. I wore MAC Soba, a golden brown with a satin finish, and MAC Woodwinked, a warm, shimmery gold, three nights in a row and didn’t feel like I needed another eye shadow.

On my eyes: MAC Eye Shadows in Woodwinked and Soba (lids and lower lash lines), Chanel Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Santal (upper and lower water and lash lines), Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (lashes) and MAC Veluxe Brow in Deep Dark Brunette (brows)

Wearing MAC Eye Shadows in Woodwinked and Soba on my lids and lower lash lines

On each of the nights, I contoured and added depth to my eye looks with Soba and used Woodwinked for a flash of bling on my lids.

As for options, even though I didn’t wear a smokey eye at all last weekend, I know that I could have banged one out by layering either shadow atop a smudgy black pencil liner. Or, as another option, for something more colorful, I could have lined either my upper or lower lash lines with a bright teal, purple or green pencil liner.

You can cover a lot of looks and bases with two versatile shadows like Soba and Woodwinked. YES.

2. Forgo your foundation brush

To save every precious ounce and square inch in your carry-on bag, you can always use your fingers instead of a brush to apply and blend foundation.

Most of the time.

It depends on the foundation, of course. This doesn’t work well with all foundations, but it works pretty great with MAC Face & Body and Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick.

Oh, the sonnets I could sing to MAC Face & Body

It won’t budge and yet doesn’t look or feel heavy, and it covers everything. Plus, it’s finger friendly. It looks great even when you just apply it with your fingers.

mac face and body foundation application tips

With my fingers, I can really work it into my skin, and the result doesn’t look heavy or unnatural.

Because it doesn’t move or migrate, it’s a great choice for oily or combo skin types, or if you’re en route to someplace hot and humid (and hopefully wonderful).

Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick is another fave, especially when I’ll be passing through airports, because it doesn’t take up valuable space in my TSA-approved bag of liquids

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Honey (a good match for MAC NC42)

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3 Makeup Packing Tips To Fit More Fun in Your Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

I can always count on one thing when I travel. I’m definitely going to learn something new — meet new people, try new foods, figure out new ways to squeeze even more makeup in my carry-on bag.

After all, necessity is the mother of invention. :)

Here are three travel makeup tips I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Slice it up! (I’ll take it.)

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

Dr. Bronner’s All-One Magic Soap is also a great brush cleanser

If there are any bars of soap/moisturizer/other products you use every day, cut off a small piece to pack in your bag. That way you don’t have to bring the whole thing.

Honestly, I can’t believe this one only occurred to me a few days ago! It hit me while I was looking at my bar of Dr. Bronner’s All-One Soap, which I use every night to clean my makeup brushes.

I was thinking, “I don’t want to bring this whole thing…” So I sliced a small wedge off the end.

BAM! Instant travel size.

2. Brush up on your streamlining

Two Brush Makeup Tutorial

I used just two makeup brushes for this look

I am totally guilty of overpacking brushes. I always like to be over-prepared instead of underprepared, and they’re just so small that I figure they can’t weigh a lot or take up much room. Might as well bring more.

It’s true. Two or three of them don’t take up much room, but 10?

Yeah, they start to add up…

But it turns out you really don’t need that many makeup brushes when you travel.

Last May El Hub and I drove up to Redding, a town about four hours north of the Bay Area, to visit family, and I didn’t realize until we got there that I’d forgotten all of my brushes back home!

For more travel makeup tips, don’t miss 3 Lessons Learned About Travel: Perfecting the Art of Packing.

I stopped by a MAC counter and picked up two emergency brushes, and they worked out perfectly the whole trip.

For this trip down to San Diego, I sort of compromised… Less than 10 brushes but more than two (baby steps!). I brought 1) a Burberry Angled Brush, 2) a MAC 217 Blending Brush, 3) a MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, 4) a MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush, 5) a MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush and 6) a MAC 109 Small Contour Brush.

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How to Take a Good Selfie

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To

How to Take a Good Selfie: Tips and Tricks!

How to Take a Good Selfie

Maybe I’m an everyday voyeur, because I sure do enjoy seeing pics of people go about their business on Instagram (here’s me).

It’s interesting! Even the boring stuff, because it’s happening all over the world. Breakfast in Hong Kong, lunch in Toronto, drinks in New York. Every day I get to visit with people’s pets, accompany them on vacation, and indulge in cheat meals (without the calories, whee!). :)

I also get a kick out of seeing so many self-portraits, or selfies. Makes me feel like I’m right then and there.

As someone who’s taken her share of blurry selfies, I can tell you that a sharp, cool self-portrait isn’t always as easy as point and click, especially in bad lighting. You’d think it would be pretty simple, right? Just smile, point and click.

In a moving car with a camera phone? Uh, not exactly.

But we have tips! Here are some things you can do to take a fantastic selfie.

Double-check your hair and makeup

How to take a good selfie

Before you actually take your selfie, hold your camera right out in front of your face, straight on, and snap a quick test shot of your hair and makeup.

I do this all the time, not just for selfies, but whenever I finish my makeup. Even better than a mirror, seeing a picture helps me tell if my brows, liner, blush and eyeshadow are even. A test shot can help you target areas that need fixing.

While you’re at it, glance at your clothes to make sure your bra straps aren’t peeking out or your collar’s wonky.

Choose a clear background

How to take a good selfie

I remember reading an Us Weekly article at the salon a while back (my guilty pleasure!) about Tori Spelling’s husband posting a pic on Twitter with Tori’s naked breast in the background.

Not that you’re going to have boobs hanging out behind you in your selfie, but there’s a lesson here. Always check your background before you post pics.

Look for solid colors, like walls, to stand in front of, and de-clutter. Move laundry baskets and messy piles of books — anything you don’t want the world to see. For serious! I can’t tell you how many cute selfies I’ve seen with bras hanging in the background.

I try to find a nearby wall or textured curtains. Generally, the less cluttered your background, the better.

Don’t move a muscle

How to take a good selfie

Do your iPhone pics always look blurry? It’s usually caused by camera shake, which happens when you tap the shutter button while the phone is moving. Even the slightest shake or wiggle can produce a blurry pic, especially in dim light.

Hold your phone as steady as possible. Here’s a trick I borrowed from sharp shooters…

Right before I press the shutter, I take a breathe, exhale and hold for a couple seconds. Very still. Then I tap the button.

Find your light

How to take a good selfie
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Crank Up Colors Along Your Lash Lines With This Easy Eye Makeup Trick

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To, Rimmel

How to get super bright lash lines

Super bright lash lines are just a swipe away

Something about a super bright swoosh of color along my lower lash lines just says “summer” to me.

Have you ever lined your lower (or upper, for that matter) lash lines with a bright eyeliner or shadow and have it not turn out as bright or eye-catching as you expected it to be?

Um…me too.

One trick I use to wind up the wattage along my lash lines is to line them with a creamy white eye shadow stick first.

It intensifies colors and brings out more of the brightness of whatever you layer on top, making greens look greener, blues look bluer and teals…well, more teal. And it does the same thing for other colors.

Rimmel’s Whitness White Scandal Eyes Eyeshadow Stick kicks arse with this trick, and it costs less than $5! It’s so pigmented that it’s almost opaque, and once it sets, it’s not going anywhere (has a waterproof and smudge-proof formula).

Plus, it doesn’t tug at my skin. It glides… (And have I mentioned that it’s less than $5?) :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Brighten Up: 3 Bold Summer Makeup Looks, Step-By-Step

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup Tips/How To, Sponsored Post

Brighten your lids, your look and your summer days with these three bold summer makeup looks

This summer inspiration is brought to you by Target. Find more fun and surprises all season long on Target’s #SummerUp Pinterest board.

“No fear!”

I think we should make that our summer makeup motto… After all, it’s only makeup, right? Nothing to be afraid of (we can always wash it off).

And summer is a perfect time to shine. The longer days, the warmer nights, flip-flops and loose-fitting clothing.

Why be daunted by daring, dynamic duos and multidimensional eye looks? In the spirit of adventure! — let’s kick off the season and face our fears right now. :)

Flashes of teal, shimmery oceans of blues, gleaming golds and juicy pinks and corals crank up the heat and fun-factor in these three bright, bold makeup looks.

Everything I’m wearing on my eyes, cheeks and lips in these looks comes from Target, so it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Your beauty assignment today: nothing! And you will not be graded.

We only have one goal here: no fear! Just have fun.

Purple, Teal and Fuchsia

A look featuring purple lids, with shimmering teal on your lower lash lines, bronze cheeks and hot pink lips. This one’s for fearless felines unafraid of color. In other words, you.

  1. Begin by applying a shimmery beige cream shadow, like Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Metal in Barely Branded ($6), all over your lids and along your lower lash lines.
  2. Next, sweep a matte brown eye shadow in a shade close to your natural skin tone into your crease. I ended up mixing two shades from the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette ($20) to create a custom color (just for the heck of it).
  3. Then, sweep a shimmery coral shadow just above your matte brown. If you’re stuck for ideas, try Pacifica’s Coral Sand from the company’s new Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette ($12). I’m lovin’ it so far.
  4. Pat a dark black matte shadow, like the black matte from Sonia Kashuk’s Eye on Neutral Palette, into the outer corners of your eyes, and then blend away any harsh lines you see.
  5. Blend a gray matte shadow directly on top of that to create a soft gradient of color by dragging the gray into the middle of your lids. I used Sonia Kashuk’s Eye on Neutral Palette again here. :)
  6. Now, wet a flat eye shadow brush with water or a makeup setting spray, and use it to pat a bright purple shadow in the center and at the inside of your lids (the side closer to your nose). Aim for blending the purple into the black and gray gradient from the previous two steps. I used Urchin, the purple shade from the Pacifica Enlighten Palette in step 3.
  7. Next, line your upper lash lines with a black gel liner, like L’Oreal’s Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Blackest Black ($7).
  8. Then line your lower water lines with a vibrant teal blue pencil, like Pixi No. 6 True Teal Endless Silky Eye Pen ($15).
  9. To intensify the effect, sweep a bright teal shadow along your lower lash lines. I like L’Oreal’s 24HR Infallible Eye Shadow in Endless Sea ($7) for this…
  10. Lift your brows a bit by drawing a line beneath them using a flesh-toned matte liner like Rimmel’s Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 005 Nude ($5), and blend.
  11. Buff a beige shadow just beneath the arch of each brow to appear to lift them even more. I chose Skinnydip, a shimmery beige from the Pacifica Enlighten Shadow Palette.
  12. Finish your eyes with a couple coats of black mascara. I’m using COVERGIRL LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara ($7) here.
  13. Now for your cheeks and lips! Blend a shimmery bronze blush, like Bronzed from Pacifica’s Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples Palette ($12), on the apples of your cheeks, and tie a ribbon around the entire look with a bright fuchsia gloss like Physicians’ Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Glossy Stain in Hot Pink ($9).

Cat lady says “meow!” to these white cat eye sunglasses, which are only $12 at Target

Blue, Teal and Pink

Mermaid eyes! A blue and teal gradient will dance across your lids like dolphins dancing across a beautiful blue lagoon, while coral and pink serenade your cheeks and lips.

  1. Begin by blending a shimmery peachy pink cream shadow like Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen in Shell Sheen ($18) all over your lids.
  2. Next, darken the outer corners of your lids with a matte black shadow pencil. I used Rimmel’s Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Stick in Blackmail ($5) here.
  3. Deepen your outer corners by patting a black eye shadow, like the black shade from Maybelline’s Eye Studio Palette in Sapphire Siren, directly on top of the black shadow pencil.
  4. Pat a shimmery blue in the center of your lids and at the inner corners, and then drag a small amount of it into your crease to connect the two areas.
  5. Then, creating a gradient with the blue from step 4, pat a shimmery bright teal in the center of your lids. I used a teal from Maybelline’s Sapphire Siren Palette.
  6. Soften the edges of the blue and teal on your lids by sweeping a matte brown shadow, like the lid shade from the ELF Beautiful Browns Flawless Eyeshadow quad ($2), into your crease.
  7. Now, give your brows a lift by lining the arches with a flesh-toned matte liner like Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 005 Nude ($5), and blend.
  8. Dust a beige on top of that, like the pearly base shade from ELF Beautiful Browns.
  9. Line your water lines with a black liner (can’t go wrong with L’Oreal’s $7 Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in Black, a true black without any blue or green undertones), and give it some depth by lining the outer third of your lower lash lines with the same pencil.
  10. Line your lower lash lines with the same shimmery blue shadow you used on your lids (layering it directly on top of the black liner from the previous step).
  11. Make your eyes the focal point of the look by lining the inner corners along your lower lash lines with the teal shadow you used a moment ago on your lids.
  12. Coat your upper and lower lashes with a good black mascara like COVERGIRL LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara ($7).
  13. Now, get cheeky by blending a bronzer just below your cheekbones for definition, and then buff a coral blush on the apples of each cheek for color. I used Sonia Kashuk’s Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glisten ($13).
  14. At this stage, I was going to say, “Don’t gloss over your lips,” but that’s exactly what we want. Slick a pink gloss like Sonia Kashuk’s Ultra Luxe Lip Gloss Prettiest Pink ($9) on your lips to wrap things up. :)

Mint green glasses! These are the Gelato Sunglasses in Mint ($12), available now at Target stores and

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