Archive - My Makeup Life

I’m Tiffany Nguyen of Will Work for Makeup, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life

The terrific Tiffany Nguyen of Will Work for Makeup

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Tiffany Nguyen
Location: Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Day job/current gig: Pharmacy student
Hangouts online: willworkformakeup.blogspot.com, Twitter and Instagram
Current favorite product: Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in 04 Sun Blondes. Instantly believable sun-kissed skin? Yes, please.
Beauty inspirations: My best friends, clear blue skies, tropical beaches
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Ever-changing


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

Armani Master Corrector in 1 to neutralize under-eye darkness, Urban Decay Primer Potion, Dior Matte Bronzer in 002 Honey Matte (bring it back, Dior…or else!), Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Volumizing Mascara, and C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm, for the softest lips ever come morning.

When did you start getting into makeup?

I’ve been enamored with makeup for as long as I can remember, and I think my mom not allowing me to wear it during my teens just made me obsess over it even more. It had become a full-blown addiction probably by the time I turned 16.

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

Skip the foundation. Instead, I like to dab liquid concealer liberally on any spots and hyperpigmentation, and blend it out using a big buffing brush, so that it kind of spreads the concealer all over like a foundation, while still being concentrated in the areas where I need the most coverage. In a time crunch, a good full-coverage liquid concealer like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer can serve as a foundation, spot concealer and under-eye concealer, all in one. I like to think of it as a one-stop shop for all of my complexion perfecting needs.

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

Hands down, my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. My lashes are nothing without them, regardless of what mascara I use.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

Makeup comes off. For this reason, I don’t really care if in 30 years I look back and think I looked ridiculous with neon pink lips or glitter on my cheeks. To me, makeup is a form of self-expression that requires little to no commitment. 


What’s your skincare routine?

In the morning, I just wash my face with the Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and moisturize with Embryolisse.

At night, I remove my makeup with Shu Uemura Fresh Cleansing Oil (it takes off waterproof mascara like nobody’s business!) and cleanse with Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. Then, I followup with a chemical exfoliant like DDF Glycolic Toning Complex and a hydrating serum (I love Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Serum) before topping it all off again with a healthy dose of Embryolisse.

Once a week, I’ll use my Clarisonic with some Cetaphil cleanser and maybe throw on a mask or two.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

Surprisingly, nothing I can think of off the top of my head! Makes me feel like I need to venture out more.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Not really. I’m not particularly attached to my hair, and I’ve had it short, long, and every length in between, one day loving it and the next day hating it. I’m pretty boring when it comes to hair — I usually wear it straight, down and unstyled….due to laziness, not preference!

As for my makeup, it really all depends on how much time I have. If I’m not running against the clock, I like wearing winged liner and making sure my lower lash line is defined with some shadow or soft liner. I just think it makes my eyes stand out more. There are, however, three things that are non-negotiable: 1) under-eye concealer, 2) blush, and 3) something on my lips, although it doesn’t necessarily have to be the three specific products pictured below.

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

For my 8th grade Awards Night, my best friend and I wore turquoise eyeshadow with matching turquoise loose glitter patted on top…from lash line to eyebrow. Let me just tell you, there is no amount of blending in the whole world that could’ve made that not look cray cray. But, you know what? We had fun and loved how we looked that night. Though I don’t regret it necessarily, I wish I could’ve told my 13-year-old self that loose glitter is not eye safe!

Oh, the horror.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

For makeup: Sephora. If I’m buying products from a luxury brand not available at Sephora, I’d rather just buy online. I hate makeup counters. Too much pressure. For clothes: H&M and Nordstrom Rack. For anything and everything: Target.

I’m Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than Average, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life

The charming Celia San Miguel of Sicka Than Average

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Celia San Miguel
Location: New York, NY
Day job/current gig: I’m a freelance writer for a number of magazines (mainly LATINA), and I’m also a social media manager for a leading digital agency in NYC. In addition to that, I’m also an on-air style and beauty expert, working mainly with Telemundo here in NYC.
Hangouts online: sickathanaverage.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
Current favorite product: Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge lip color and Ouidad’s Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner
Beauty inspirations: Markets, flappers, can-can dancers, Chinese hibiscus flowers, pink peonies, parakeets, butterflies, Mick Rock’s glam rock photographs, Brazilian samba dancers, punk fashion…. The list is endless!
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Exuberant ;)


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

The list of products is endless! Starting with the basics, I can’t live without my Clarisonic Mia 2 for a really deep and thorough cleanse. I’m always testing different facial cleansers, but I tend to come back to the Korres Wild Rose Daily Brightening Cleanser, the Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash, the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser, and the L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. As far as moisturizers and anti-aging products, I like using the Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15 over the Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator during the day and, at night, I apply the Clarins Double Serum and then add my nightly moisturizer (either Caudalie’s Premier Cru or L’Occitane’s Immortelle Precious Night Cream). And that’s just skincare!

As a makeup junkie it’s so hard to pick just a handful of products! For the face, I love Tarte Cosmetics’ BB Cream, Make Up For Ever’s Pro Finish Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Veil Fluid Makeup, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, Hourglass Cosmetics’ Ambient Lighting Powder, and NARS’ blushes (Orgasm is still one of my all-time fave shades). For eyes, I swear by Urban Decay’s eye shadow palettes (the Naked 2 palette is so fantastic!) and Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Shadow pencils. And, since I’m all about bright lips, I tend to gravitate to Illamasqua’s lipsticks and Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist lipsticks or, for a more liquid, slick look, I’ll use Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge lip colors or OCC Makeup’s Lip Tars.

When did you start getting into makeup?

I think around the time I was five or six! I remember watching my grandma getting ready in the morning, and she had this ritual that seemed so glamorous to me as a wide-eyed little girl. I still remember the facial massages she gave herself while applying her Pond’s Cold Cream and the way she’d blot her lips after smoothing on her favorite shade of lipstick (a wine-ish red from Estée Lauder). It was magic to me.

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

A healthy, glowing complexion and a bright lip goes a long way. When in a rush, I’ll typically reach for one of my favorite tinted moisturizers (I adore Hourglass’ Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, and Tarte’s Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer), and then I’ll mix that with a drop of luminizer, like the NARS Illuminator or one of Make Up For Ever’s Uplight shades. When you apply the mixture to your face, you’ll get that nice bit of coverage with an added glow that makes you appear lit from within. Add a nice, creamy lip color in a vibrant shade and you’ll be good to go!

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

I’m currently obsessed with the TRIA Hair Removal Laser. I always suffered from ingrown hairs on my legs and, since I started using the TRIA a year ago, it’s ceased to be a problem (and, of course, there’s less hair growth overall, which cuts down on shaving time). Given how costly in-office laser removal treatments tend to be, this tool is as an absolute lifesaver.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

Hmmmm… So many things come to mind! I think some of the greatest advice I received involved the art of using concealer. For example, to cover a reddish patch or a blemish, you want to use a concealer with a mint-y, light green tint so as to neutralize the redness and then, afterward, dab on a neutral shade that matches your skin tone. Similarly, to cover purplish or blue under-eye circles, you’ll want to reach for an orange-tinged concealer and, again, dab the neutral shade above this one. It’s all about make up color theory and learning which hues neutralize each other, which complement each other, and so forth.

What’s your skincare routine?

Check out the answer to the No. 1 question. ;)

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

There were several peels that were a bit scary (to say the least), but I think some of the weirdest things have involved at-home, DIY treatments that I attempted (like coffee scrubs and hair masks with egg yolks and mayonnaise and avocado). I’ve learned over the years that I’m not particularly gifted at whipping up these all-natural beauty remedies and treatments, so I pretty much steer clear, since having to clean up the mess afterwards is never fun.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Not really! I love to experiment with different looks — it’s part of the fun for me. That being said, I love color, so you’ll usually find me wearing either bright eye colors or vibrant lip hues.

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

Of course! I wore acrylic nails as a teen and twenty-something and I thought I looked so fly but, really, it was a hot mess! And then, of course there is the plethora of botched hair color experiments, which include a jet black color that left me looking like Wednesday Adams and a bright, orange-tinged red that was Carrot Top all the way.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love Sephora, of course, as well as Ulta, but I also love going into drugstores and roaming along their beauty aisles — whether it’s Duane Reade, CVS, or Walgreens.

Anything else you want to share?

For one, I own over 50 perfumes, and I wear them all since I firmly believe in switching up scents depending on your mood, your outfit, and your destination. What else? I have tiny feet, so even my 11-year-old stepdaughter wears a larger shoe size than me (it’s kind of embarrassing). Oh, and you’ll never catch me without earrings on — I even wear tiny studs when I sleep! What other random factoid can I give you? Oh yeah: some kids used to call me Punky Brewster as a kid, which I secretly loved since I always thought she was so scrappy and funky. Oh, and I used to have the hugest crush on Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest when I was a teeny bopper, and I still get hype every time “Scenario” comes on!

I’m Xiao Lim of Messy Wands, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life

The gorgeous Xiao Lim from Messy Wands!

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Xiao Lim
Location: New York, NY
Day job/current gig: I work in the marketing division of a start-up company.

Hangouts online: messywands.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+
Current favorite product: RMS Luminizer (one-stop highlighter for all skin tones)
Beauty inspirations: Keira Knightley, Tao Okamoto, Michelle Williams in that recent Louis Vuitton ad, and Gong Li
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Experimental


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

My Shu Uemura retractable brow pencil in Seal Brown. It’s not available in the United States anymore, so I have to buy it in bulk when I visit home (Malaysia).

When did you start getting into makeup?

I was 18 years old when I *really* stepped into a MAC store for the first time…

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

Use fingers. You can blend out eyeshadow in the crease with your fingers if you want it badly enough!

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

Oh, dear. I suppose if my apartment were burning and I could only save one thing I’d say my brushes (it took years of shopping on different continents to amass my current lineup), but skincare is more essential to me.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

My mom told me not to put on so much makeup. I still disagree with her when I want to have fun with my face, but I try to remember that behind her gentle admonishment is a reminder that I should take good care of my skin so it’ll last me through, oh, forever hopefully.


What’s your skincare routine?

In order: Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream, then it’s a choice between Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil, Tatcha Ageless Enriched Renewal Cream, Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

I racked my brain and couldn’t think of anything that’s truly out of this world. I’ve actually managed to enjoy facial extractions?

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Arianne of The Glitter Geek fame coined my trademark blog photo pose as “deer in headlights,” which is pretty accurate. As for makeup, I go from no-makeup makeup to full on 1920s excess in the space of a single post.

“Deer in headlights”

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

My batwing eyebrow phase, though that’s less a “decision” than an unfortunate (and unfortunately well documented) period of my life when I just didn’t have good eyebrow drawing technique.

Batwing eyebrows

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love Nordstrom.com and Sephora.com for their great testing (otherwise known as return) policies. I try not to return products unless I absolutely have to, but the ease of shopping through those two places is the reason why I’m increasingly relying on e-shopping. As for clothes and shoes, Shopbop.com and Zappos.com have similar policies!

Anything else you want to share?

Puppies are adorable, too!

I’m Sunny Hu of Mostly Sunny, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life, Skin Care

The sensational Sunny Hu of Mostly Sunny

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Sunny Hu
Location: Leuven, Belgium
Day job/current gig: Translator, but I’m really more like a professional feline entertainer typing a few lines when my bosses are taking their naps!
Hangouts online: mostlysunnyblog.com, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest
Current favorite product: It’s a tie between Guerlain Bronze Ora Iridescent Eyeshadow (incredibly stunning and complex shade that functions well on its own) and Dior Bikini Diorblush Cheek Creme (you can apply and blend it out in a pinch, and it sticks around).
Beauty inspirations: I wear a lot of dresses with bold prints, and the prints inspire me to try new color combinations!
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Happiness


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

Hourglass Soft Brunette Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is the only product I don’t want to be seen without, and everything else is extra! Some other products that get a lot of love around here include a black gel liner (I’ve tried several brands and they perform equally well on me), Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum, Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl (my favorite mascara. Period), Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow, Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss, and Dior Spring Ball Addict Extreme (if I had to stick to one lipstick for the rest of my life, this would be it).

When did you start getting into makeup?

I had a couple of counter makeovers when I was in high school and some basic pieces when I was in university, but I really started getting into makeup about 3 years ago.

Urban Decay Naked Palette was all the rage, and I went through a lot of trouble to score one. I started watching tutorials and reading blogs to figure out how to work with it. Several months later, I made my first luxury makeup purchase (Chanel Mademoiselle Rouge Coco and Peridot Le Vernis). One thing led to another, and here I am with quite a collection (and a blog about it)!

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

Cream/stick eyeshadows! Some shades are pretty enough on their own. If you find a formula that lasts well on you, you can cut down the time you need for eye makeup to about 30 seconds.

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

Le Métier de Beauté Eye Shadow Brush. It places color, blends, and feels like a soft breeze on the lids.

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

This comes from my mama: eat healthy and go to bed early. I don’t always follow it to the letter, but I try!

What’s your skincare routine?

This could get really long, despite the fact that I’ve tried my best to streamline the process. A few tried-and-true skincare products in my bathroom cabinet include Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask, Omorovicza Copper Peel, Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Pai Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream, La Roche Posay Effaclar K & Duo, Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid, and Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Treatment.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

I had my eyelashes permed! It was years ago, so I might have blocked out most of the memory. I do remember the curl wasn’t all that natural. Suffice to say, I’m pretty happy sticking to my eyelash curler.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

Neutral eyeshadows, winged-out eyeliner, and a bright pop of color on my lips!

This would be pretty typical

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

Most of my beauty woes are related to my brows. I’ve plucked out too much hair and filled them with unnatural-looking shades because I didn’t know any better. I also used to over-apply eyeshadows before I discovered eyeshadow primers because they would fade before the end of the day/night. I might soon need to do a thorough job destroying pictures in which I have purple eyeshadows all the way to my eyebrows!

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Locally, ICI PARIS XL for my luxury purchases and pharmacies for brands such as Caudalie, Bioderma, and La Roche Posay. Beautybay for a large selection of brands that are not available in Belgium. I also sometimes beg friends who live in the US to order stuff from Sephora for me!

Anything else you want to share?

I’m an introvert (probably not the first thing you’ll notice about me, but I assure you it’s true), but I have a desire to share and make people laugh, which is why I started a blog! I spend a lot of time with my cats, Tango and Muffin. They have taught me patience and mellowed me out over the years.

Tango being his typical self


Muffin is tired of having a camera pointed at her face

I’m Monika Wykurz of Rocaille Writes, and This Is My Makeup Life

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun, Makeup Tips/How To, My Makeup Life, Skin Care

The marvelous Monika Wykurz of Rocaille Writes

The My Makeup Life series asks beauty biz insiders, bloggers, makeup mavens and artists to share their holy grail products, tricks, tips and favorite beauty tools. Is there anyone you would like to see featured in My Makeup Life or questions you think I should ask? Let me know here.

Name: Monika Wykurz
Location: Bellevue, Washington, United States
Day job/current gig: I’m a part-time retail sales associate at a small Northwest beauty supply and salon chain, and a full-time wife.
Hangouts online: rocaille-writes.blogspot.com, Twitter and Instagram
Current favorite product: The Body Shop Honey Bronzing Powder in Fair Matte 02 (the perfect summer glow for pale skin tones!)
Beauty inspirations: Urban lifestyle, rock ‘n’ roll scene in the ’60s and ’70s, San Juan Islands, French Symbolist poetry, So-Cal, Audrey Hepburn, travel photography
One word that best describes your outlook on beauty: Eclectic


What makeup/beauty products can’t you live without?

A good concealer is an absolute must for any skin emergencies, and MAC Studio Finish and Becca Dual Coverage Compact concealers are some of the best out there. I also can’t leave the house without a hint of blush on my cheeks, and Laura Mercier Second Skin Powder Blush in Lotus Pink suits my complexion particularly well. Last but not least, a good brushing of black mascara, like Covergirl LashBlast Volume.

When did you start getting into makeup?

When I was a little girl, I really wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and become an actress; I even played a minor part in a Polish movie when I was 12 and remember being fascinated by the make-up artists’ trailer. Then, in my early twenties, I stumbled upon YouTube make-up tutorials when getting ready for a 1930s-themed costume party, and that sealed my interest.

What’s your best beauty time-saving trick?

Mineral foundation! My skin is my greatest insecurity so a super quick application of a powder foundation, like Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15, does wonders for my self-esteem. I also think that a slick of bright lipstick equals instant glamour.

What’s your favorite beauty tool?

I love the luscious softness of my bdellium tools makeup brushes. I use no. 776 (MAC 217 dupe) for a quick one eyeshadow look and to blend out the crease, no. 995 kabuki to buff in my mineral powder, and no. 975 is my favorite for bronzer. The green and yellow handles always manage to cheer me up!

What’s the best beauty advice you ever received?

The best and most difficult to follow piece of advice I’ve ever come across is to understand that we often are our worst critics. Being a perfectionist, I sometimes really struggle to look past my flaws.


What’s your skincare routine?

In the a.m., I wash my face with Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser and tone with the Ultracalming Mist. I followup with Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion and always wear Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ when I’m not staying in.

In the p.m., I remove my makeup with Dermalogica Precleanse oil, cleanse with either the same cleanser as in the a.m. or my REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, tone and apply John Masters Organic Vitamin C Anti-aging Face Serum. I also treat my acne-prone areas with either a prescription retinoid or some good ol’ salicylic acid.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

I think neem oil takes the prize for this one. I’d read that it was amazing for clearing up the skin, but the garlicky chive smell was so pungent that I wasn’t able to use it long enough to see any results.

Do you have a trademark look (hair/styling/makeup)?

My fellow Lipstick Bandits seem to agree that I gravitate toward perfected skin and often wear a peachy pink lip; but overall, I love wearing a winged-out eyeliner and a vibrant lipstick with cool undertones.

Are there any beauty decisions you’ve made that you look back on and ask yourself, “why?!”

I like to experiment with my look and usually embrace the results. I’m definitely not the type of girl to cry at a salon over a cut or color service; however, when I was a teenager and couldn’t find a concealer to match my fair skin, I used to apply a skin tone powder eyeshadow on my spots. Maybe not such a big crime in itself, except that it was a pearl finish…

Highlighted pimples, anyone?

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I purchase most of my makeup from Sephora, but I also love browsing Nordstrom’s beauty counters. For fashion, I tend to shop at H&M and Forever21, although recently I’ve become obsessed with Asos.com. My most loved shoes usually come from Nordstrom as well.

Anything else you want to share?

Apart from being an irrevocable beauty addict, I’m also a huge bookworm. Snuggling on my couch under a soft blanket with a cup of Cream of Earl Grey tea is one of my favorite pastimes! Since summer is typically the season for all sorts of getaways and lounging by the pool, I thought I’d recommend a couple of books I’ve been enjoying — The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley for all mystery lovers, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami for a bit of magical realism, The Character of Rain by Amélie Nothomb for language geeks, and lastly The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for some self-reflection. Happy reading!

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