Section: Tips and Tutorials

A Makeup Trick to Travel Lighter

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

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For the chronic makeup over-packers out there, I feel your pain! Whenever I travel, my natural inclination is to bring everything and the kitchen sink (I blame it on my need to always feel prepared for anything).

But I’m always looking for ways to trim down my makeup bag because, really, am I going to spend 30 minutes in the morning blending three shades of brown into the crease?

Probably not.

I’ve learned that most of the stuff I end up bringing, I actually don’t use, so to stop myself from packing 15 pounds of makeup, now I dump out everything I want to bring on a towel…and then I just remove half of it.

That’s what I did when I packed my makeup to bring to Tahoe.

I realize that compared to die-hard makeup minimalists, I still brought quite a few things, but this is pretty darned streamlined for me, LOL!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

ASK MBB: Workouts and Crock-Pots (and Everything Else)

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

treadmill-time

Got a question about makeup, relationships, careers, cats or anything else? If you do, ask MBB! I’ll try to help, for what it’s worth. I’m not an expert in anything, but sometimes it just helps to have another opinion. Hopefully someone else reading might have some insight, too.

Here’s a question Kellie asked in the comments a few days ago

“What time of the day do you squeeze in workouts Karen? Still trying to figure that one out for myself! And that soup looks bomb! Would you mind sharing the recipe? 😺”

Hey, Kellie!

I just started working out again regularly after a looong hiatus (my doc didn’t want me doing more anything more strenuous than brisk walking when I got pregnant with Connor), and to be completely honest…getting back in the saddle has been a struggle, but here are a few things that have helped.

1. What time of day do you have the most energy?

For me, it’s mornings. Not right when I roll out of bed, but after I’ve been awake for an hour or two.

I’ve actually tried working out immediately after getting out of bed, and my body straight refuses to do it, LOL!

2. Schedule your workouts on your calendar

Hook or crook, I need to be sweating for one hour at least 3-4 times per week, and for that to happen in the mornings, I have to get up early enough to have breakfast, tend to Connor, and write like a maniac for at two hours (because I also feel better when it comes to writing in the morning) before my workout.

That’s why I schedule my workouts on my calendar, because it’s like etching them in stone, and it forces me to act accordingly and efficiently.

Because if I’m not strict about it, something always seems to come up, and I end up putting off my workout ’til the afternoon, but by then I’m usually exhausted.

3. Join a class of some kind

Seriously, I think it’s the easiest way to commit to an exercise regimen, because then you have a block of time that’s sort of out of your hands, and you can’t push the deadline even if you want to. The class is going to happen with or without you, and I think it’s also much easier to exercise with other people.

If joining a class isn’t an option, try something where you have to follow along with someone else, like in a workout DVD or a Youtube video.

4. Establish a reward system

Let’s get real — if I don’t bribe myself to exercise, I’m just not gonna do it. 🙂 That’s why reward systems work me.

I use a small desk calendar and cute stickers. Whenever I finish a workout, I put a new sticker on the calendar, and after I fill a page with stickers, I can reward myself with a small treat, like a lipstick or earrings.

It’s simple and old-school, but it works for me!

As for your soup question… 🙂 I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, but I tweaked it a little by adding a can of drained corn.

It turned out great! — but next time I think I’ll add another can of beans, because I like A LOT of beans in my soup.

OK, Kellie, I hope there was something in there that was helpful.

Does anyone else have any questions for me? I’ll do my best to help.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

Why You Absolutely Need a Duo Fiber Face Brush in Your Life Like Yesterday

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools

A finishing brush, otherwise know as your new BFF!

My “well-loved” (a.k.a. dirty) Laura Mercier Finishing Brush

Duo fiber face brushes, which are sometimes called skunk brushes, are great if you like wearing foundation or tinted moisturizer and really like it when your face makeup looks natural.

The one I’m holding here is the Finishing Brush by Laura Mercier, and it’s my favorite duo fiber face brush because of how wide it is, which I love because it covers a large area and speeds up blending, but really, there are lots of them out there that work well.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that the higher-priced ones usually don’t shed as much as drugstore versions do and tend to last longer.

But that’s not a hard and fast rule.

I use ’em to fine-tune my blending and thin-out my face products — liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers, stick foundations, powders, etc. — wherever I’ve accidentally applied too much. I’ll gently run the brush across my cheeks, nose, mouth, chin and forehead after I’ve applied whichever face products I happen to be wearing, and that helps everything look more even and seamless.

One of the things I’ve been super obsessed with lately (in case you haven’t noticed) is even skin tone, except without my makeup looking heavy, caked-on or obvious, and duo fiber face brushes really help with that. Their brush heads and bristles usually aren’t as dense as regular powder and blush brushes.

Ones like the this one from Laura have a very light touch that really blends and pushes product across the skin, while other, denser brushes will often lift foundation and tinted moisturizer away from the skin, thereby removing it.

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:)

My Hair Wants to Run Wild and Free! — and I’m Cool With That

Published in: Bumble and Bumble, Hair, Makeup Tips/How To, Product Reviews

bumble and bumble surf infusion

Gonna let this hair run wild and free!

Sleek and structured is fun sometimes, especially when you get a new set of bangs, but I’ve realized that my hair wants to figuratively go where the wild things are, so if it wants to naturally go wavy and run free, I’m totally down.

For the wavy, “wild thing” look in these pics, I used two beachy wave products from Bumble and Bumble.

I started by washing my hair and drying it with my trusty Aquis Hair Towel.

Then I sprayed Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion ($29) on it from mid-shaft to the ends before letting my hair air dry.

Surf Infusion has been around a while. It’s similar to the O.G. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray for beachy waves, but instead of giving your hair a matte finish with waves that have a slightly crunchy texture, it leaves a sheen and coaxes your hair into waves that are soft to the touch.

To use it, spray it on damp hair, and let it air dry to do its thang.

bumble and bumble surf infusion

For this look, after my hair completely “air dried,” I created the loose waves on the top layers with a ghd Classic Curl Iron. Then I sprayed Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Spray Blow Dry on top for texture and used my fingers to softly scrunch the product through the top layers.

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Layer Glitter on Top of Shiny Liquid Liner for Wicked Wings (And ConnorClaire.com Clue #2)

Published in: Connor Claire Store, Eyes, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Urban Decay

Winged liner gives me wings! (and there’s another clue in this pic about connorclaire.com…)

Winged liner gives me wings! This is clue #2 for connorclaire.com

Oh, winged liner… If this had been 1988, I would have put you on the mix tape I made by recording songs off the radio.

I love you. 💖💓💞

You’re so eternally chic, and you make me feel juuust rock ‘n’ roll enough to hang out with Stephanie Seymour during the height of her Guns N’ Roses phase.

urban decay deep end 2

But because womankind cannot subsist on black winged liner alone, sometimes I like to remix that ish by layering a glittery eyeshadow on top of a super shiny liquid liner to reach the next level of winged liner realness.

Truer words were never spoken...

Truer words were never spoken… (source: connorclaire.com)

This time I started by drawing an exaggerated wing with Urban Decay Razor Sharp Liquid Liner in Deep End, a deep, iridescent green chorus of long-haired headbangers belting a power ballad, upon which I layered a mix of two of the Urban Decay Moondust shades from the new Moondust Eyeshadow Palette on top.

First, I dabbed my angled brush into the pan of bright green Lightyear, then took it over to teal green Galaxy. Then I spritzed the loaded brush head with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to crank up the glitter EVEN MOAR. Then I just layered that on top of the liner.

After that, I tightlined both my upper and lower water lines with an old-school (and, sadly, limited edition) dark greenish black called Mars, one of UD’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils.

On my lips I'm wearing NARS Audacious Lipstick in Stefania and on my cheeks I'm wearing Hourglass Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes in Luminous Flush and  Incandescent  Electra

Wearing NARS Audacious Lipstick in Stefania on my lips, and Hourglass Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush and Incandescent Electra on my cheeks

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