Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

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. :)

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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