Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

Smudge Shadow Along Your Lower Lash Lines for More Balanced Smoky Eyes

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

smoky lower lash line

Before and after

Next time you do a smoky eye look, if you’re not doing it already, try smudging a little shadow along that lower lash line, babe. It’s a revelation! — especially when you do it with smoky eye looks.

If I were forced by a sorcerer stylist/cosmetics conjurer queen to wear just one type of eye look every day this winter and fall, I choose smoky eyes (but winged liner would come in a close second).

They’re my favorite eye look of all. You can go messy and grungy, super polished and perfect, soft and subtle, or dramatically diva with them, and they range from simple (a cream shadow with a smudgy kohl) to complicated (with hella shades in the crease and on the lid).

They’re very versatile and pulsate with personality, and I think they’re fun to do.

There’s usually a lot of stuff going on when it comes to smoky eyes, but some of the biggest bang comes from the subtlest touches. They’re the little things that can take your look from “pretty good” to “DAMN, GURL! Did you get your makeup done at the counter today!?” :)

One of those high-impact subtle touches: smudging shadow along your lower lash line.

In the before picture at the top, my lower lash line is bare. There is a little liner on my lower water line, but that’s it, other than concealer, and I think the eye looks slightly top heavy and unbalanced.

Not a lot though. It’s not a big deal, and I don’t think anybody is going to stop me on the street to shake the living daylights out of me and yell, “Excuse me, miss, but you need to fix that top smoky situation!!”

At least I hope not.

But compared to the after eye on the right, where I’ve smudged shadow under my lower lash line, I think that eye looks more balanced. The smoky effect envelopes the eyes, making it look larger, better balanced and more dramatic.

smoky lower lash line
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Why You Should Never Skip Eyeshadow Primer When Doing Smoky Eyes (Quick Tip)

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

why you should never skip primer smoky eyes

Of course you can skip wearing eyeshadow primer when you’re doing smoky eyes, and if you do, the world as we know it will not fall apart.


But I do think that primer is usually a good idea, especially when doing smoky eyes, because primer makes your lids smoother, which, in turn, makes your eyeshadow less patchy. Primer also extends the wear time of your eye makeup. Both are good things!

Since smoky eyes usually involve a lot of layering and blending — you do a little layering, then a bit of blending, more layering, more blending — and they’re a big part of the fun, you don’t want to be working *too* hard, you know? And that’s another way in which wearing primer can help, because it makes your life easier. By enriching the color of the eyeshadows you apply on top of it, primer makes those shadows more vibrant and more intense, which in turn equals less layering!

So, on top of all the other good things primer does, it also makes smoky eyes, as well as many other eye looks, easier and faster. That way you get to spend less time on your makeup, and more time harassing your cat. :)

Nowadays, there are many different kinds of eyeshadow primers out there and different ways to use non-primer products as improv primers. Classic eye primers that are dedicated to priming your lids are available from most of the big brands, and my favorite one for the past few years has been NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof. I think it’s seriously the best one out there now, hands down, and I’ve yet to find one better, particularly for smoky eyes.

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CONCEALER TIP: Put a Little On, Take a Little Off, Repeat

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Pictures

My current concealer love, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Guess who found a college graduation picture of herself at her parents’ house last weekend from 1998 (!).

k 1998

OK, there’s sooooo much to talk about here, between the hand on the hip pose (why?), to the wanna-be Rachel haircut, to the brows (OMG, I just can’t!) and the lip, around which, if you look closely, you’ll see a carefully unblended darker lip liner (believe it or not, that was totally on purpose).

But I’d really like to direct your attention to the under-eye situation, namely 1) the lack of dark circles, and 2) the lack of concealer.


I mean, it blows my mind! Seriously, though, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Fast-forward to today, and you’d literally have to pry the concealer out of my T. rex claws. Ain’t nobody taking away my concealer without a fight, but getting full coverage that doesn’t look heavy is a pain. All I want is to cover my dark circles without it looking like I’m wearing a 10-layer cake.
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A Cocktail Party Makeup Look

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

cocktail party makeup tutorial 1

pink-cocktailI can tell you the last time I had a cocktail, because it was last June at a jazzy lounge on Frenchman St. in New Orleans, and when in NOLA, you must drink fruity, froo-froo drinks with silly names like Champagne Supernova, but I can’t tell you the last time I went to an actual cocktail party.

Because I can’t remember.

It may have been 2005. Or 2006? Possibly in Toronto? I’m not sure. My memory gets progressively fuzzier in my advanced age. If I could only take the places in there that store the lyrics to Chris Brown songs and reallocate them to more important things, like dates involving cocktail parties…

Anyway, I’d very much like to go to more cocktail parties, but not for the cocktails or the convo (although they’re usually pretty great too). More for the fun of just getting dressed up and putting on fancy makeup (two of my favorite things to do!).

Dear El Hub,

If you’re reading this, let’s go to more cocktail parties.


Your darling wife.

P.S. Please make tacos for dinner tonight. :)

cocktail party makeup tutorial 2

cocktail party makeup tutorial 3

cocktail party makeup tutorial 4

So, this look here. We’re coming up on holiday party season (it’s really not that far away), so I thought it would be good practice to turn it into a tutorial.

I wanted to do something a little different than standard-issue black winged liner and a bright red lip (although that’s a good look, too, and it never goes outta style), because parties are the perfect excuse to try something new, am I right?

I went for a slightly smoky taupe and navy eye with a hint of light blue iridescent sparkle, but I think the special sauce is the bright white on the lower water line and the shimmery white highlight on the lower tear duct. They give the look a bit of a subtle edge and elongate the eye. A warm nude lip and peachy cheeks complete the ensemble.

There’s a little color in the look, which might be intimidating if you’re unaccustomed to wearing anything other than browns and beiges, but I think it’s very wearable.

You could couple something like this with a little black dress, of course, or maybe a gray or white dress (a body con one would be cute if you’ve got the figure to pull it off). Basically, anything neutral would allow the color on your eyes to really pop.

Now, take a dainty chug from that cocktail glass, and let’s get started!

1. Apply primer and powder

cocktail party makeup tutorial 5
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End of Summer Shimmery Mermaid Makeup Tutorial

Published in: Benefit, Chanel, Dior, Essie, Eylure, LORAC, Makeup Tips/How To, Tom Ford Beauty, Urban Decay

1 mermaid tutorial

There is absolutely no freakin’ way that matte-heavy eyeshadow looks are even remotely acceptable among members of the makeup-loving mermaid community, and I know this for a fact.

Actually, I don’t really know that for a fact, since I haven’t kicked it with any of my mermaid friends lately, but if I had, they would DEFINITELY be rollin’ with shimmer.

So…why am I talking about mermaids??

Excellent question.

Well, because it’s late August, and even though I’m excited about fall, I’m still sad to see summer go. *sad tabby face* :(

I was thinking about the beach this morning (I haven’t been once this year!), and that led me to think about mermaids, and about mermaid water babies basking on the rocks with their shimmery tails swishing in the crystal clear waters and their subtle blue and green eye makeup sparkling in the sun…

So that’s what I was going for here.

2 mermaid tutorial

For the record, this look is also appropriate for landlubbers, so you don’t need to have a mermaid tail to wear it, although that would be pretty rad.

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

I think this is a good look for late summer parties and barbecues, or maybe a back-to-school party where everyone gets kinda dressed up. Or, if you’re heading someplace fabulous that just so happens to have lively nightlife and be located near a warm body of water. Or, if you just want something shimmery to wear while you walk your cat around your neighborhood.

It’s a good look for multiple occasions. :)

mermaid tutorial eye closeup

Now, honey, if you just scrolled down, I know this look might seem impossible based on the number of steps, but you can do it! — even if you’re a straight-up beginner.

If you’ve never attempted anything like this before, though, cut yourself some slack. It’s OK and perfectly normal if it looks like shimmery poo the first few times, and it probably will, unless you’re a makeup wunderkind. But so what? Rome wasn’t built in a day.

OK, enough gabbing… Let’s do this.

1. Apply foundation, concealer and powder

3 mermaid tutorial foundation

Get yo’ base on that face, because we’re not about to leave the house without a little something-something. For this shimmery mermaid look, I like a full-coverage base because I think it balances out the bold eyes and false lashes.

Go with your fullest coverage foundation, concealer and powder, if you need to. Doing a goofy face while you do this is completely optional but highly encouraged. :)
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