Tips and Tutorials

5 Minimalist Makeup Marvels You Might Want To Try

Published in: Chanel, Eyes, Laura Mercier, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Yves Saint Laurent

5 Minimalist Makeup Marvels

Minimalism!

It’s not just for Smurfs anymore.

This time of year it also describes my appetite for makeup, as in not wanting to wear a ton of it on my face, and if your makeup cravings are also leaning toward the minimal side, here are five of my current favorite minimalist makeup products.

These are all in active minimalist makeup rotation right now.

1. The marvelous MAC Paints! ($20 each)

MAC Paints

The MAC Paints

These $20 cream shadows dry to a powder finish and come in five natural-looking neutral shades.

If you don’t blend them out perfectly, no worries, because the colors are all pretty low contrast, so you can’t really mess up — or, rather, if you do, you can’t really tell.

Perfect for people who are frequently running behind (she said, raising her hand in the air while saying, “Ooh! Ooh! Like me.”).

All five shades also have a hint of a sheen to ‘em (it’s very subtle and nothing dramatic like a frost), which makes them quite forgiving of fine lines — something I greatly appreciate.

MAC Paint Swatches from the left: Bamboom, Stilife, Untitled, Sublime Nature and Bare Canvas

MAC Paint swatches from the left in Bamboom, Stilife, Untitled, Sublime Nature and Bare Canvas

Beyond all of that, they’re also just straight-up easy to use. Creamier and more viscous than many other cream shadows like the MAC Paint Pots, they’re a breeze to spread and blend.

Just squeeze a small amount from the tube, and pat and blend that on your lids with your fingers. You can even skip primer with them if you want. I usually do (saves time).

My favorite color? Golden beige Bamboom.

I also love that name (although Bare Canvas is also pretty cool).

2. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks ($28 each)

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

No, these sticks do not contain caviar (as far as I can tell). If the MAC Paints are for work, then Laura’s Caviar Sticks are for fun. :)

These cream shadow sticks come in a wide range of colors and finishes, from mellow mattes to shimmering jewels.

Like the MAC Paints, brushes are totally optional. I usually just swipe one of the shades (Rosegold is my personal fave) directly on my lids, and then blend out the edges with a finger.

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks Swatches from the left: Cocoa, Moonlight, Rosegold, Copper and Burnished Bronze

A handful of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks from the left in Cocoa, Moonlight, Rosegold, Copper and Burnished Bronze

Because they glide on the skin and contain oodles of pigment, one layer is usually enough. You can literally be done with your eyeshadow in less than a minute.

3. Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Volupte Lips & Cheek Color ($40 each)

YSL Kiss & Blush

YSL Kiss & Blush

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Five Kitten Steps to Purr-Fect Black Cat Eyeliner

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

Easy cat eyeliner

Here kitty, kitty…

I love the look of crisp black cat eyeliner…

And that’s not just because I’m a card-carrying CCL (although I admit that’s a contributing factor).

I just think it’s timeless, elegant and pretty much goes with everything.

Still, sometimes, like when Tabs is threatening to shred my ankles if I don’t immediately drop everything I’m doing to prepare his morning gravy, I’m not in the mood to concentrate and fuss over getting those jagged edges crisp and clean.

So, what’s a liner-loving cat lady to do when she wants a cool cat eyeliner look but doesn’t have the wherewithal to fret over getting sharp, crisp lines?

Answer: incorporate a black powder eyeshadow into her cat eyeliner routine by following these five easy steps.

1. Now we’re gel-ing!

When I do this trick, which is a path to a softer, easier cat eyeliner look, I start by lining my eyes with gel liner using an angled liner brush, and the way it turns out, you can probably see that the edges could use some extra refining.

2. Clean that brush

Gotta make sure my tools are in tip-top shape for this next part, so before smoothing out the edges I created in step one, I clean the same angled liner brush I just used by swiping it across a paper towel to remove any excess product.

3. Loading zone

Next, I load the brush with a black powder eyeshadow, and tap the head against something (like the side of the sink, or I’ll just tap it with my finger) to remove some of the excess and any little wayward bits.

Products I used for these pics…

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Sunday Funday 5-Minute Makeup

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

5-minute makeup

Fresh-faced in 5

Most of the time I’m happy to blend out 6 different eyeshadows, but sometimes…I simply don’t want to.

Like on the weekends (hey, man, it’s summer!). The last thing I want to be doing on a sunny summer Sunday is spend 20 minutes making those little circles in the outer corners.

Bluh…

That’s time I could be hiking or walking my cat or eating an ice cream cone outside.

So, along those lines, here’s the 5-minute makeup (using just one brush) I wore to run errands and hang out with my girlfriends last Sunday in SF (we went to a spa!).

It’s not fancy or fussy at all, but I think the whole thing still looks reasonably well put together.

5-Minute Sunday Funday Makeup

As easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Good evening…skin

Evening, as in “evening out the skin.”

Since time is of the essence in a 5-minute makeup look, sheerer face products like BB creams, sheer foundations and tinted moisturizers are great (they make it easier to get away with mistakes than full-coverage, opaque products). They also make blending a whole lot easier.

Here I used MAC Face & Body in shade C5 and applied it with my fingers.

And, uh…because of that whole dark circle action happening under my eyes, I also used concealer, specifically a brightening concealer, YSL Touche Éclat in 4.5. It comes in brush pen packaging, which makes it really easy to swipe.

Then I blended that out with my fingers…

Sunday Funday 5-Minute Makeup: Products Used

Speaking of targeted brightening, I’m a big fan. :) So, for some extra highlighting on my skin, I also swiped Touche Éclat in the middle of my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, just above my Cupid’s bow, and around the corners of my mouth, blending all of that in with my fingers.

2. Define the eyes

We’re looking for big impact steps here because we don’t have much time (just 5 minutes), and with eyes, I like filling in my brows, because I think does a lot for the overall look, and adding some thickness along the upper lash line, which I think just makes you look more awake.

I used a brow pencil that has a brow brush on one end (that’s some tool efficiency right there!), quickly filling in the outer tail and middle portions of my brows but leaving the inner portion alone (just to save a little time, but I think it also looks more natural).

To thicken your upper lash lines, grab one of your go-to waterproof pencils. This way you can skip eye primer (ding-ding-ding!), saving you even more time.

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For a Chic Twist on a Neutral Look, Try Pairing Dark Blue Eyeshadow With Dark Blue Nails, and Use the Shadow as a Liner

Published in: Chanel, Dior, Eyes, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Nails, NARS

Blue liner and nails with NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

Here I’m doing a Vulcan mind meld on myself… Kidding. I’m wearing Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove as a liner on my lash lines and Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage on my claws.

QUESTION: Why use a blue eyeshadow instead of a blue liner?

ANSWER: Why not?

Picture it: dark blue liner coupled with super deep, dark, almost black nails, only, instead of using a pencil, gel or liquid liner, you use a powder eyeshadow.

NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

Incidentally, that’s Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal on my lips.

Do you ever just get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re wearing nothing but brown and beige? Feel like trying something different but don’t want to go over the top?

I’m always looking for ways to keep things interesting for myself, especially when it comes to wearable makeup looks — ideally chic and wearable, but not totally snooze-worthy, if you catch my drift.

One day I decided to pair dark blue liner with dark blue claws, and the first thing I thought when I finished was, “Why haven’t I done this before?”

Seriously, though, why use a blue eyeshadow as a liner instead of an actual blue liner?

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove

Ciao, NARS Giove!

Using a dark blue eyeshadow as a liner, instead of a dark blue pencil, gel or liquid eyeliner, creates a more diffused edge, so the overall effect looks softer.

I’ve done it with lots of different liner styles, too, like spicy cat eye looks, and even soft washes of color, where the liner is smudged along my upper and lower lash lines.

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a blurred edge (and the accompanying less attention to detail).

Just for fun: add dark blue nails

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage, $27

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage, $27

I like seeing the flash of dark blue on my fingers whenever I tuck my bangs behind my ears or push my (nerdy Gamma Ray computer glasses) up.

And it think it sort of reinforces the blue liner, too. You know, more blue.

I also like how the softer liner contrasts with the harder edge of the dark blue nails, so you also have that contrasty thing going.

I call this liner look the Tabby T-1000 (after the liquid metal Terminator from T2)

NARS Giove and Chanel Orage

I’m wearing a blend of two Chanel Joues Contraste blushes — Innocence and Malice — on my cheeks, coupled with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun used as a bronzer, and Hourglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light used as a highlighter

For this cat liner look, I applied metallic dark blue NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove ($29) with an angled brush.

First, I applied it dry to create the shape of the cat eye and get that softer edge. Then I wet the brush head, dipped it back into the pan, and applied the shadow on my lash line close to the lashes, to sort of intensify the metallic finish and crete a subtle gradient.

You could definitely keep it simpler by picking one — just wet or just dry — but ya know. I’m just saying.

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove

NARS Duo-Intensity Eyeshadow in Giove, $29

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Do You Reuse False Lashes? (I do)

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

How to reuse your false lashes

Reusing your false lashes

Toss ‘em or keep ‘em? Which way to go?

First of all, if you liked a pair of false lashes you wore and wouldn’t mind wearing them again, ain’t no shame in that game. I reuse mine. All. The. Time.

Might as well get the most bang for your buck, ya know, and save some extra dough for your cat’s gravy fund.

We all know how that is. :)

So, if you liked a pair of false lashes enough to reuse them, here’s what you can do…

False Lashes, Take 2: Reusing Your False Lashes

  1. First, after carefully removing the lashes, I soak a Q-tip with regular isopropyl rubbing alcohol from the drugstore, then gently run the Q-tip along the band and the false lash fibers to sanitize them and remove any remaining adhesive, bits of mascara and other eye makeup.
  2. If that doesn’t take care of every last bit of glue or other gunk (and it usually doesn’t get every last tidbit of glue), I gently finish the cleaning with my fingers, peeling away the last shreds of tiny glue globs.
  3. Then, I just place the lashes back into their original packaging (the one for the right eye on the right side, and the left eye on the left side), which retains their shape and keeps them clean until the next time I use ‘em.

This is probably pretty obvious, but I think it’s worth mentioning anyway: reusing lashes worn by someone else is a big no-no for sanitary reasons (pinkeye, anyone?). I’m sure you already knew that because, hello, it’s pretty gross, but I’m just putting it out there. ‘Nuff said.

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