Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

What’s Your Basic Skin Care/Skin Prep/Makeup Process? Here’s Mine…

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

your basic skin care process

What’s your basic skin care/skin prep/makeup process? Here’s mine…

1. Hydrating mist all over my face

MAC Fix+ ($22) has been my long-time and still current jam. I almost always have a bottle with me, and I even bring one of these travel-sized one with me on trips.

But I’m eager to try Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater. It’s only $7, so a third the price of Fix+, and my friend Kwmechelle (hey gurl, haaaaay!) swears by it. Right now it’s at the top of my never-ending list of things to get next time I visit Ulta.

2. Face cream (with a separate eye cream around my eyes)

Because I don’t usually start doing my makeup right after I wash my face and do my morning skin care, I usually take a few minutes to moisturize once more before putting on le face paint. I’ve been using Embroyolisse, which is available online at Sephora for $28, for my face and MAC Fast Response Eye Cream ($31) for my eyes.

3. Primer

I use one primer for my face — currently Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer ($36) — and a separate primer for my lids, and you can probably guess which one that is! :) Yes, it’s NARS Pro-Longwear Smudge-Proof ($25).

As for under my eyes, I rarely apply primer under my eyes, but I know it’s a step that a lot of people do.

4. Color correcting around my face (if necessary)

I have a few spots of darker pigment around my left eye and the left side of my lip, which I sometimes color correct with either an orange primer ($36 Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Radiant Primer Peach) or an orange concealer (The Burnt Coral side of $25 MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Duo in Rich Yellow/Burnt Coral).

*sigh!* It really does take a village…

5. Foundation or tinted moisturizer

Which one I use depends on what I’ll be doing that day and how my skin’s behaving, like whether it’s been more oily lately, or dry, or if there’s a pimple par-tay on my chin, but most of the time, if I have the time, I’ll use some kind of medium- or full-coverage serum foundation.

You probably already know this, but I really like Diorskin Nude Air in 40 Dore ($53) for full coverage, and now I’m also liking MAC Studio Waterweight in NC 42 ($33) for medium coverage.

Or, if time is of the essence and I barely have five minutes to go from zombie Karen to full-blooded, real-life Karen, I’ll wear a tinted moisturizer like Chanel Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid SPF 15 in 40 ($45) instead.
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Beauty Basics: 3 Essential Things To Do When You’re Applying Powder Eyeshadow…

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

nars pro prime smudge proof top pic

1. Start with an eye primer

nars pro prime smudge proof 1

Aye, primer! And ahoy, matey! As any self-respectin’, makeup-lovin’ pirate be knowin’, ye should always start yer eye looks with a bit o’ eye primer fer the best eye looks, yargh!

OK, that was wackadoo. Sorry! But it’s about 93 degrees in my house right now, and I feel loopy.

No joke, though, eye primer is such a crucial step, and one I never skip, barring extenuating circumstances (like 10-minute makeup looks because I’m feeling lazy or I’m running way behind), when I wear powder eyeshadow.

Just like the kind of primer painters use, eye primer fills the little gaps on the surface of the skin, making lids nice and smooth, which in turn makes products layered on top of them last longer without settling into fine lines or applying unevenly on dry patches. Eye primers also keep your eye makeup from shifting around while intensifying powder shadow colors, which are all great things!

Most (but not all) eye primers have a creamy consistency similar to eye creams, and they come in lots of different kinds of packaging. Some come in a tube that looks like mascara and have a doe-foot applicator. Others come in squeeze tubes, and others come in pots.

They usually come in different shades, too, although some are un-tinted — with the idea for those being that they won’t interfere with any other colors you layer on top. Some lightly tinted varieties can also color correct discoloration on the lids, and those tinted ones aren’t supposed to interfere with whatever shadows you pop on top of them, but I find that they usually do tweak them a little.

I think un-tinted colorless primers are good choices for beginners because they can be used with a wide variety of looks, and my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE one of all time is NARS Pro-Prime Smudge-Proof (not just for beginners, but for anyone), which I know I mention every 10 or 15 minutes. :) But I totally stand behind it. I try new primers all the time, and I have yet to find anything I like better.

A tube will last me about half a year. Your mileage may vary, but for what it’s worth, I wear a LOT of eye makeup.

2. Invest in some quality brushes

From the left: MAC 239, MAC 224 and MAC 217 brushes

From the left: MAC 239, MAC 224 and MAC 217 brushes

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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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