Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Use a Nude Lip Pencil First for More Symmetrical Lip Looks

Published in: Lips, Makeup Tips/How To

nude lip liner for symmetry 3

I can haz symmetry?? Because I don’t haz it naturally. :)

I’ve read somewhere that it’s actually very common to have asymmetrical features, like in my case, one side of my lips is slightly thinner than the other, so when I do my lips, I cheat a little to make that side look just as full as the other.

I notice asymmetry a little more when I wear darker colors than when I wear nudes and neutrals, and I think it’s more obvious in pics than it is in real life.

nude lip liner for symmetry 2

For example, when I wear darker lip looks, with like dark wines, reds, browns and purples, I’ll start by lining my lips first with a nude lip pencil. I’ll sort of sketch out the shape, following my natural lip line on the fuller side of my lips, and then I’ll slightly overdraw the other side, the side that’s not as full, to make both sides match.

Then, I’ll trace over that nude lip line with a darker lip pencil that matches the dark color that I plan to wear.

nude lip liner for symmetry 3
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For Smoldering Smoky Eyes, Always Conceal and/or Brighten Your Under-Eye Area

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

concealer smoky eyes

The last time I left the house wearing eyeshadow, mascara and liner, but WITHOUT under-eye concealer, was probably 1998. Even if you don’t feel like you need concealer because you don’t have dark circles, apply at least a little bit anyway (or an eye brightener, at the very least) when you’re doing smoky eyes, because smokey eyes are one of those looks that can look incomplete without some brightening/concealing under the eyes. It’s one of those little touches that pulls the whole look together.

It’s like getting all gussied up and putting on a cute outfit…but then leaving the house without shoes.

There’s also an annoying side effect of wearing dark colors like gray, black and brown on your lids and lower lash lines. They can make your eyes look just plain tired.

concealer smoky eyes

But a brighter under-eye area counteracts the effect, and it also adds some nice contrast. You’ve got the dark eyeshadow contrasting with the brighter concealer under your eyes, and that makes your smoky eyes look even smokier. :)

Latest food obsession: The acai bowl

nekter acai bowl
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10-Minute Smoky Eye

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

10 minute smoky eye final look top

It is entirely possible to bang out a smoky eye in 10 minutes. Hand on heart, hair to the sky, I’m serious! — it’s totally true. And I know this because of a little something called “the disco nap.”

dis·co nap
/ˈdiskō nap/

  1. Sleeping when ya got something goin’ on later for which you need to get ready.
    “I was about to go to the club, but I needed a disco nap to feel refreshed.”

When I’m getting ready to go out with my friends, and I know it’s going to be a loooong night, I have very clear-cut priorities. I devote less time to my makeup so I can devote more time to my disco nap.

I know, sacrilege! — but you gotta do what you gotta do. I know myself well enough. If I can’t squeeze in at least a short nap before leaving the house, I’ll be dozing off in da club by 11, what-what!

10 minute smoky eye final look down

So my fallback look for late nights is this 10-minute smoky eye, and what I like most about it (other than the fact that I can crank it out pretty quickly) is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to still look pretty good. You don’t have to be perfectly detail oriented with the blending because it’s purposefully undone. In fact, the messier it is, the more ya look like a bad-@ss rock chick. Plus, if you are going somewhere for dancing, odds are the lights will be low anyway, so nobody’s really going to be able to tell if you’ve got like four colors transitioning into a gradient in your crease.

Save yourself the effort! — and spend less time doing your makeup, so you have more time to disco nap. :) Zzzz…

10 minute smoky eye final look eye closeup

Now let’s get started, shall we? First things first, gotta get the gear.

What you’ll need…

10 minute smoky eye products-final

  1. A brow filler
  2. A matte brown cream shadow
  3. A black kohl pencil
  4. A shimmery black eyeshadow
  5. A matte brown eyeshadow
  6. A shimmery, peachy beige eyeshadow
  7. Under-eye concealer
  8. Mascara

Now for the step-by-step…

1. Fill in your brows

10 minute smoky eye brows

I like to start by doing my brows first because they’re sort of like my roadmap. Once they’re done, I think it’s easier to gauge how far I want to sweep my shadows out.

Also, particularly when doing smoky eyes, and this is doubly true when using black eyeshadow like we’re going to use here, I think it really helps to do your eyes first, then clean up any makeup that drops down under your eyes (because there will be some fallout, especially if you’re working quickly).

So set aside your base makeup for now. We’ll come back to it a little later.
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5 Lip Colors to Wear With Brown Smoky Eyes

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

From the left: MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme D'Nude, MAC Amplified Lipstick In Fast Play,  MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La,  MAC Satin Lipstick in Mocha and MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

From the left: MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme D’Nude, MAC Amplified Lipstick In Fast Play, MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La, MAC Satin Lipstick in Mocha and MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

Of all the many makeup machinations, styles and takes on smoky eyes (and there are A LOT of them; we’d seriously be here until next Tuesday if I tried to list them all), brown smoky eyes are among my favorites.

I know, so predictable. Homegirl loves brown, so of course she’d love brown smoky eyes, LOL! Yes, you have permission to laugh at me. It’s totally cool. We’re all friends here.


There are many legit reasons to love brown smoky eyes. One is their versatility in terms of what you can wear on your lips with ’em. Like, with green or blue smoky eyes, I feel like there aren’t as many lip colors you can wear with them, but brown smoky eyes go well with so many different shades! This is music to your ears, I bet, if you’re a lipstick hoarder like yours truly. :)

And what you choose to pair them with completely changes the vibe. Just for fun, here are five ideas for lip colors to wear with a brown smoky eye.

1. A nude beige

mac creme d nude lipstick

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme D’Nude ($17)

This one’s a classic smoky eye-lip pairing combo: the nude beige lip. The trick is to find something pale, but not so pale that you look like you’re under the weather. I like nude shades with a little bit of peach in them to warm things up, and an extra smooth formula, because some nudes look patchy on my dry, flaky lips.

Right now I’m all about MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme D’Nude, a creamy, peachy nude beige.

Tom Ford’s Sable Smoke is another really good one.

2. A neutral pink

mac fast play lipstick

MAC Amplified Lipstick In Fast Play ($17)

You can’t go wrong with a neutral pink lip. They go with just about anything and work for day and night. You can also wear them with warm or cool-toned brown eyeshadows, and Fast Play by MAC is a current fave.

3. A berry

MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La ($17)

MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La ($17)

If you like more color on your lips, a berry shade, like MAC Brick-O-La, will draw attention to yo’ pout but won’t take over your entire look.
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A Smoky Eye Application Tip: Start Applying Your Eyeliner in the Middle of Your Lash Line

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

line-from center final

Here’s a tip I discovered recently, and it’s been very helpful! If you’re using pencil liner for smoky eyes (or just using pencil liner in general, really), start your application in the middle of your lash line. That way if you accidentally apply too much (she said, accidentally applying too much for probably the one millionth time!), all you have to do is drag the excess left or right.

Control! — it’s one of the toughest things about makeup for me. Controlling the product.

Of course, I probably have some minor control freak issues (more like definitely), so this could be a bigger issue for me than it is for most people, but I like to know that if something should go wrong, and Murphy’s Makeup Law says that if something can go wrong, 99% of the time it will, at least this way I can correct it.

I used to always start applying my pencil liner in the outer corner, and then when I’d accidentally apply too much, I’d turn it into improv winged liner, but when I start my liner in the center instead, it’s easier to control how much product ends up in the inner and outer corners.

Just a quick thing to try if you ever have a hard time with pencil liner.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Totally not liner or smoky eye related AT ALL, but The Unauthorized Full House Story on Lifetime is REALLY GOOD (please don’t judge).

Well…good for a Lifetime movie, LOL! But this one isn’t good because it’s so bad that it’s good… It’s actually good! I think so. Even El Hub, who vigorously begs me to turn the channel whenever I start watching a Lifetime movie, could not look away!

Basically, it’s what you expect. It’s a dramatized behind-the-scenes look at Full House, which I watched and loved back when it was first on TV in the ’90s.

It’s not brain food or complicated like War and Peace, but if you’re in the mood for candy-coated sugary brainlessness, it’s satisfying. :)

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