Friday, October 30, 2009
Hey guys and girls, remember my tutorial called "How to Make Your Own DSK Jewelry"? (If not, please refer to September 27 in my blog archives). Well, I went crazy and started making a whole bunch of them, passing them out like candy to my friends and family. I think this is an awesome gift idea, especially since December is right around the corner, and people will be expecting their really cool gifts.
And, if you buy in bulk from www.JewelrySupply.com, the price per unit gets cheaper. On top of which, their shipping is pretty fast. If I ordered today, I could probably expect to receive my order by Tuesday or so. Of course, shipping times may be different if you're farther away. They usually have everything in stock; I have not run into any issues with their items being sold out. Also, their prices are really reasonable, and I can tell you this with a fair amount of certainty, having been a jeweler in a past life.
I am too excited to wait until December to give out my gifts, though. My mother-in-law is visiting today, and she is moving to the east coast in a few days. Since this is one of the last times I might see her in a long while, I decided to give her hers when she comes by. She just loves her wedding ring, which is diamond with sapphire, and so I tried to match that with some AB Swarovski crystals. It is pictured below, and I am crossing my fingers she will like it!
Anyway, with the gift-giving season around the corner, I thought I might bring this idea up again. I hope you will find this helpful and useful. Again, if you are interested in learning how to make this jewelry, please refer to my September 27 post. Thanks, and good luck!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Are your lips a little on the thin side? I guess my own lips can be categorized as normal-sized, but still, everybody wants those really full lips. Full lips are supposedly a sign of your youth, and we could all use some of that.
Well, lately I have been trying out the Physician's Formula Plump Potion available at your nearest drug store, and let me tell you, it is wonderful! Aside from the initial tingling sensation in the beginning, it is a great experience. It works really well to make your lips fuller. My lips have definitely grown in size (starting to sound like those commercials for men, I know), but seriously, this stuff does what it says it will! It is pretty awesome, and my lips look so much better bigger and all plumped up.
On top of the fact that it plumps up your lips (a much better alternative to painful Botox injections), the Physician's Formula Plump Potion is available in a wide range of different colors. The colors range from clear to pinks to reds to nudes to purples, so check it out! There's something for everybody. You can use it like a handy little lip gloss this way. Mine is pictured below, and the color is called "Pink Potion." It is light and shimmery, a great color for if I decide to have intense eyes that day.
I hope this helps you if you have thin lips, and even if you don't have thin lips, I think you will find that this gives a big boost to your sexy and youthful appearance. Either way, go for it and give it a try! I am sorry I do not remember how much it costs, but I think it is different every time I go to the drug store because they have sales going on sometimes. Go for the youthful appearance, and good luck!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
In trying to expand my makeup collection, I researched all over online as to which items I would need in order to have some of the basics. I put together a list, and then ordered the items on the list, as well as a few extras. Below are the items I ordered, and I hope to be able to review these items for you in the future, in case you would like to make any of these purchases, also.
Items ordered online, in no particular order:
- Brule Eye Shadow
- Satin Taupe Eye Shadow
- Sketch Eye Shadow
- Woodwinked Eye Shadow
- Mulch Eye Shadow
- Naked Lunch Eye Shadow
- Ricepaper Eye Shadow
- Antiqued Eye Shadow
- Sushi Flower Eye Shadow
- Shroom Eye Shadow
- Vanilla Eye Shadow
- Twinks Eye Shadow
- Swish Eye Shadow
- Embark Eye Shadow
- Bisque Eye Shadow
- Amber Lights Eye Shadow
- Gorgeous Gold Eye Shadow
- Kid Eye Shadow
- Honey Flower Lustre Lipstick
- Love Nectar Lustreglass
- Ornamental Lustreglass
- Roman Holiday Dazzleglass
- Extra Amps Dazzleglass
- Pinch Me Powder Blush
- Sunbasque Powder Blush
- Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in C30
- 2 3x5 Eye Shadow Palettes
That's all I bought this round, I am on a budget and my hubby doesn't like me spending too much money on makeup. If you already have these products, please let me know about them. And if you think I am missing something from this list, please let me know this, too! Thanks!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Victoria's Secret eyeliner in Extreme Black is not very black. In fact, I would say that it is more of a dark grey than a black. I am kind of disappointed in this purchase because I had heard rave reviews on it, and I was hoping that it would really deliver the color that I was looking for.
It glides onto my skin very easily, I can't complain about that. And it comes with a smudging sponge on the other end, but even this smudging sponge does not work very well. When I go to try and smudge out the eyeliner, there is still the very sharp line that I had originally drawn, and then something of a light grey hue around it. When trying to create smokey eyes, this eyeliner would not be very helpful, in my opinion.
I guess what adds to my disappointment in the VS eyeliner is the performance of MAC's Eye Kohl eyeliner in Smolder. Now, this is a color that I can pass as black. MAC's Eye Kohl eyeliner also glides on very smoothly, and it really packs in the color punch that I really want. On top of this, it is a lot more blendable and smudgeable than the VS eyeliner. If you take a look at the picture below, you can see that MAC's Eye Kohl eyeliner (left) is much blacker than the VS eyeliner (right). In fact, the VS eyeliner looks almost like a dark brown on top of my skin tone.
Wow, the VS eyeliner was indeed a disappointment, but I think I might keep it around in case I would like to try dark grey around my eyes instead of black. If you would like to try it out yourself, it is available online at www.VictoriasSecret.com in the beauty section for $8.00. If you would like to have a go at MAC's Eye Kohl eyeliner, it is also available online at www.MacCosmetics.com for $14.50. I hope this helps you decide, and good luck!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Before you go out and buy that new makeup item you've been eyeing, make sure that you stop by www.MakeupAlley.com. Before you make an investment in that really expensive makeup item, you can read lots and lots of reviews on it. Just type in the name of the product in the search box and people from everywhere will let you know whether or not it's a good buy, and for what reasons. From there, you can make an more informed decision before you spend your hard-earned money.
And let's say you didn't know about this website, so you bought a perfume and tested it out only to find that it's a terrible smell and you can't get a refund for some reason. Well, this website can connect you with someone who has been looking everywhere for this perfume and is willing to trade for something you would like to have. This option is available under the "Swap" tab on the website, and there you have the ability to search people's wishlists, as well as browse through the items that are available. Then you would contact them and bada-bing bada-boom, you are able to get rid of this terrible perfume and instead receive something you would actually like. How awesome is that?
Let me warn you, though, that trading makeup items such as used lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows and such, is not very sanitary. As much as the swappers claim they have cleaned the product after use, I would not trust them--especially considering the fact that disease and sickness can be spread through these items. I would highly recommend that you avoid swapping for these items, and instead, go for items that are labeled BNIB or BNIP (Brand New in Box/Brand New in Package).
And try to do a fair trade: if you are giving someone something that is brand new, make sure the item you are going to receive is brand new. Specifically ask them if their item has ever been tested or used. Also keep in mind the cost of your item vs. the cost of their item. Make sure they are honest by looking at their trading stats: the more 'swap tokens' they have, the more trustworthy they are. I don't have very many swap tokens right now because I've just started trading, but I have available for swap a BNIB MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep (never tested or used) if anyone is interested, and the picture is below.
I hope this website helps you make an informed decision before you actually buy a makeup item, and that you will be able to get the things you want through swapping (preferably BNIB for BNIB). Here is the website again, www.MakeupAlley.com, and good luck!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
MAC's Oil Control Lotion is amazing! If you are concerned about shine on your face like I am, try this product out! My makeup artist applied this stuff on my face as a primer for my makeup, and it worked just as well as any other primer I've ever tried, but even BETTER. I had been using the Smashbox Photofinish Primer before, but when it came to oil control, I would have to say that it was second rate compared to MAC's Oil Control Lotion.
I tried running around all day with MAC's Oil Control Lotion on, and by the end of the day there was no shine at all. And even when I constantly wiped the sweat running down my face, my makeup stayed put. I did not have to blot my face at all or add any extra powder because MAC's Oil Control Lotion had absorbed everything. It was just amazing, how my makeup really adhered to this lotion.
Actually, its effectiveness is evident when you first apply it to your face, because it goes on wet, but then it dries really fast and takes away any shine you had before. Then during the day you don't have to worry about refreshing your makeup because it will always look fresh with this lotion. Plus, it is really beneficial to your skin since it contains antioxidants and a balanced pH level to help you prevent future breakouts. What more could you ask for, really?
I would highly suggest that you give this product a shot. It really works wonders! Think about it: you wouldn't need to worry about the shine on your face, you wouldn't have to run to the bathroom to touch up your makeup throughout the day, and you can go out in the world with the confidence that you have a fresh face! If you are interested in getting this product, MAC's Oil Control Lotion is available at www.MacCosmetics.com for $29.50. And trust me, it is sooo worth it.
Friday, October 23, 2009
So you're out and about and all of a sudden you look in the mirror and you see that your falsies are falling off! What do you do? If only you had brought the eyelash glue with you!
This has happened to me a few times, and for most of those times, it was my hubby who noticed my falsies falling off. This is a bad situation, and since I didn't bring my eyelash glue, I would have to rip my falsies off (along with some of my eyeliner) and try to get home before I embarrassed myself anywhere else. Because of incidents like these, I have found out there are several items one MUST carry around at all times.
Currently, these are the makeup items I am carrying around:
- The lipstick I put on this morning, because an hour later I've eaten all of it off my lips.
- Eyeliner, for in case I have to rip off my falsies and redo my eyes.
- The eye shadow I put on this morning.
- A couple of eye shadow brushes, to apply the eye shadow.
- A couple of eye shadow brushes, to apply the eye shadow.
- Tweezers, because I may have missed something. Plus, it's a handy tool.
- Eyelash glue, in case the falsies come off.
- Concealer, in case it needs refreshing.
- Concealer brush, to apply the concealer.
- Studio Fix Powder, in case it needs refreshing.
- The Sephora brush I posted about last month, to apply the Studio Fix Powder.
- A small mascara sample, to redo my eyes.
- A small vial of a nice perfume sample, in case I forgot to put some on in the morning.
Below is a glimpse into my makeup bag.
All of these I carry with me in a small makeup bag I found at CVS (I think it was $4.99). After searching forever for the perfect size makeup bag online and at department stores, I found the perfect size at, of all places, the drug store. It always amazes me that sometimes what I need is right under my nose!
Anyway, I consider these items essentials for me to carry around, and hopefully you will find this helpful. Although, I would suggest that unlike me, you should probably carry around items that are not pressed (like my Studio Fix Powder and my eye shadow quad) because they may break up while banging around in your purse. I guess it depends on how much you throw your purse around, or how harshly you dig around in your purse. But try to carry things like eye shadows and foundations that are in powder form.
If you can think of any other essentials I need to be carrying, please let me know. And good luck!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
My favorite liquid foundation for right now is the Studio Fix Fluid in NC30. It's hard for me to find the right words to describe how awesome it is. I used to loathe liquid foundation because it always felt really heavy, but when I found Studio Fix Fluid, I changed my mind right away.
It is the opposite of what I expected out of a liquid foundation: it's light, it's got really good full coverage, it's a great base for your blush and bronzer, and it has really great staying power. It gives such awesome coverage that I don't really need to worry about any red areas on my face, and trust me, my cheeks are always red.
It creates such a nice, clean canvas on which you can really bring into focus the makeup you want to have accentuated. Blemishes, scars, and other discolorations are all covered up really well by this foundation. In fact, I don't really have to worry so much about concealer, except the dark circles under my eyes.
And sweat? It stays on even if you have been sweating all day. During the summer, I was a sweat monster, and this foundation stayed put until the end of the day! It also does the same thing with oil. It absorbs and disperses oil, so it's perfect for my oily skin.
On a side note, I have heard of people getting breakouts from this liquid foundation, but I have not had that experience. However, if this is the case for you, then I would highly suggest switching from Studio Fix Fluid to any of the liquid foundations that are offered by Clinique. Clinique is known for its sensitivity to people with allergies. They allergy test everything over and over, and all of their products are fragrance-free.
Personally, I have only tried Clinique's Superfit Makeup, and I have to say it just doesn't offer the same amount of coverage that Studio Fix Fluid does. Gosh, I can't tell you how much I love Studio Fix Fluid. It's just sooo magical. I don't think there's a better foundation out there. If you are interested, it is available at www.MacCosmetics.com for $26.00. There is also a pump offered for $5.00, but I haven't really had to use it for some reason.
If you haven't already, I hope you switch over to Studio Fix Fluid!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The title sounds gross, I admit, but I believe you will find this information is very helpful for your wallet! After years of paying thirty bucks a pop so the lady at the nail salon will paint French tips on my toenails, I thought man, this is so expensive! And stupid! I mean, I could probably do this myself!
Below, I will show you exactly how the lady at the nail salon does it. I will try to have a picture for every step of the way so you can see how to do it in detail. (By the way, sorry if my gross toenails offend, I just want you to get the idea).
You will need:
- A bottle of 100% acetone (available at your local drug store)
- A bottle of 100% acetone (available at your local drug store)
- A bottle of white nail polish
- A bottle of top coat nail polish
- A bottle of nail bed color (it is by American Manicure, and I got mine from www.ebay.com)
- A small but dense brush
- Some rhinestones for decoration (optional)
To get that French manicure look on your toenails:
1. Cut your toenails and clean them in preparation for the nail polish.
2. Take the white nail polish and apply it to the tips of your toenails. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it will look like a retarded person painted your toenails. Just make sure that your tips are covered. And make sure you do two coats.
3. Take your small brush and dip it into the acetone. Make sure you don't have too much acetone on your brush, maybe touch it to a paper towel once. Then clean up your toenail tips. Shape them to whatever thickness you would like your white tips to be.
4. Take your nail bed color and apply it to just the pink part of your toenails. This will make your toenails look cleaner and it will also make the line between the pink and white sharper. Do not cover the white tips!
5. After this has dried, cover all of your toenails, both the pink and white parts, with your top coat nail polish.
6. If you would like to have rhinestones on your toenails, dab the end of a toothpick into your top coat nail polish, and place a dot of it onto your toenail. Then grab a rhinestone with your toothpick (it should still be sticky) and place it onto that same dot of top coat on your toenail. Repeat until you have the design that you want. I just put three pink ones together below.
7. To secure the rhinestones in place, I would highly suggest you do another top coat over your entire toenail, making sure to cover all the rhinestones.
And that's it, you should have a nice set of French tip toenails! Yay! You can't really tell from the picture below, but my toenails are nice and shiny. Hope this helps!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Having acquired two more powders from MAC, I tried to figure out the difference between these two, along with the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Select Sheer Powder makes your skin matte and creates a soft focus finish for your makeup. The name may be misleading, because this powder actually has some color to it (mine is NC25). My makeup artist told me that because it has color, it can be useful for when you need to set your makeup. It can also be great for issues with wrinkles, because it has a special coating that creates a look that minimizes the appearance of fine lines. If wrinkles are a concern for you, I would probably go with this product.
Then my makeup artist explained the Blot Powder to me. She told me that it, too, is great for setting makeup, but without adding any color or texture. And it is especially advantageous for people with oily skin, because it is geared toward shine control. From my own experience with this product, I agree that it is great for shine control, but I will have to disagree with the claim that it does not add color.
I would argue that there IS color in Blot Powder, and there is also a color difference between when you first apply it and at the end of the day: it is lighter when you first apply it, and by the end of the day it gets darker from absorbing all the oil on your face. Currently, I have the Medium Dark version of Blot Powder, but I am thinking about switching it to Medium because of its tendency to get darker over time. I am kind of disappointed in this product because of this issue.
I guess it all depends on what your concern is. If you are worried about wrinkles, I would go with the Select Sheer Powder. If you have issues with shine control, I would go with the Blot Powder (but I would go with one shade lighter because it turns darker).
Personally, I do not use either of these products right now. They are sitting in the back of my drawer gathering dust because I am setting my makeup with Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, and if I need any touch-ups throughout the day, I bring along my Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. Eventually, I may carry around the Blot Powder with me instead, but right now I have it in the wrong color. If you are interested in either of these products, they are shown below: Select Sheer Powder is on the left and Blot Powder is on the right. You can get the Select Sheer Powder and the Blot Powder for $21.00 each at www.MacCosmetics.com.
I hope this helps you with your decision between the two products. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. And thanks for visiting!
Monday, October 19, 2009
When it comes to concealing, the name of the game is Neutralizing. Any spots you have on your face that are considered a discoloration, you want to counterbalance the color with the opposite color on the color wheel. Remember my post called "A Solution for Dark Circles"? I will give you the website for the color wheel again here (www.colormatters.com/colortheory.html), but basically the approach is the same for your entire face as it is for your dark circles.
For example, let's say you have some brown discoloration on your face. With which color should you cover it up? Well, if you take a look at the color wheel, the closest color to brown would be the dark orange, and if you look opposite the dark orange, there is light blue. Therefore, you would want to conceal your brown spots with a light blue color. Unfortunately, light blue concealer is not very popular. I have not seen any light blue concealers available anywhere except from www.CoastalScents.com, so you might want to try there first.
For me, the Lise Watier Portfolio concealer has been very helpful, and so has MAC's Studio Finish concealer (shown below, and available at www.MacCosmetics.com for $16.50). However, even though the concealer is supposed to do the brunt of the work when it comes to neutralizing, it is always important to remember that your foundation also plays a key role in concealing your spots. Neutralizing your discolorations means that you have balanced the discoloration so it is not so dark or conspicuous anymore; the work of concealing your concealed spots must be done by your foundation. In other words, it is never enough to just conceal and then walk out the door.
Also, when it comes to liquid foundations, I have found it helpful to conceal first, and then apply liquid foundation because it all blends together better this way. And if you use a powder foundation, I would strongly discourage concealing with anything cakey. MAC's Studio Finish concealer is great with liquid foundation, but under a powder foundation, its emollient-based moisture content would show through as a dark spot on your otherwise lighter-colored face. Trust me, you don't want to go out with this look. Instead, use a concealer that dries completely, and then apply your powder foundation. An example of this type of concealer might be Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind concealer, available at most drug stores (I don't know the price, sorry).
Remember, conceal with the opposite color on the color wheel, and never forget to do your foundation. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
As long as you're not sharing your makeup with other people, there is a pretty predictable shelf life to your makeup. You can use each type of makeup from between three months to several years, depending on how you use it.
Mascaras and liquid eyeliners can be used and kept for up to three months. They're liquid, and they're bacteria-ridden, so it's best not to keep these around for too long.
Lip glosses, eyelash curler refills, and concealers (the cakey kind) have a shelf life of six months.
Lipsticks, liquid foundations (as long as you're not touching your fingers to the bottle to apply), and nail polishes last up to one year. For lipsticks, it's best to clean it off with a tissue between uses so there will be less bacterial growth.
Blushes, powders, eye shadows, and bronzers can be kept for up to two years. These are the drier makeups, so they will have a longer shelf life. If you are concerned about the cost of makeup, then I would suggest that you choose the drier makeups, such as powder foundations and powder blushes because these will last longer. In other words, avoid anything liquid or creamy, like the 3-in-1's.
Your brushes can also be kept for up to two years, but provided you clean them after each use. I would suggest cleaning them with the MAC Brush Cleanser between each use, and then wash them once a week with Johnson's Baby Shampoo.
You can keep falsies around for about up to ten uses. Pencils, such as eyeliner pencils or lip pencils can be kept for several years, provided you sharpen them between each use.
This is very important because if you are not careful you may cause breakouts on your skin, or even worse, have a bad reaction to the bacteria in your makeup. It's better to be safe than sorry. It may seem expensive to throw away makeup like this, but if you are concerned about the cost, try not to use the makeup unless you really need to. For example, I try not to use my new mascaras until I've completely run out of my old one.
If you are not sure about the age of your makeup, try to look for indications that it's on its last leg. The mascara may be dried out, or your liquid foundation may be separating, or just try smelling your makeup. There will be tell-tale signs that you need to throw them out.
And one last thing: please, please, please do not share your makeup with anyone else! This is so bad for you, I can't even begin to explain! Please, just don't go there. I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Get thee to a dermatologist! Pronto! As a veteran of the scary storms of cystic acne, (I have the scars to prove it!) let me say that if you have cystic acne your only option is to visit the dermatologist. I'm not talking about the three little pimples that come to a head the next day. If this is the case for you, then please see my post called "Skin Care Routine" and I'm sure your new friends will disappear in a jiffy.
What I'm talking about right now is the deep, inflamed acne that never comes to a head and makes it look like you have a red ping pong ball sticking out of your face and basically ruins any social life you have in high school so you can't make any friends or go to the prom. This type of acne ALWAYS leaves scars, even if you don't pick at it. And there is very little you can do to cover this acne up with makeup because the skin around the pimple is so stretched out from the inflammation that when you try to apply concealer or foundation, everything just slides right off since there is no texture to your skin.
If you know what kind of pimples I am talking about right now, I can tell you that there is no product under the sun that will save you. For me, my doctor had to prescribe a medication called Accutane, which had such strong side effects as thinning of hair and flaky lips. And even though it got rid of most of my acne, I am still suffering from small bouts of cystic acne. So please, don't wait too long like I did to see the dermatologist, because the longer you wait the more scars you will form. And these kinds of scars you cannot ever laser off or cover up with makeup since they are just deep pits and trenches on your face.
Listen, don't treat it as a 'phase' you're going through, or a symptom of being young and having hormones. It's serious, and it leaves its mark! When I was a teenager with this problem, I don't think my parents understood the gravity of the situation, since they seemed to take it as a rough rite of passage into adulthood. If you are a teenager dealing with cystic acne, you have to somehow get it across to your parents that it's a big thing.
I know this news is hard to hear, but honestly, you will not find a cure-all at the drug store. Again, my suggestion is that you find a dermatologist, and a good one. And if they suggest some kind of spa treatment for your cystic acne, such as a glycolic peel or a salicylic peel, then you have run into the wrong kind of dermatologist. Don't waste your time or money on these kinds of dermatologists, they are only addressing the result of your issue with acne; you want someone who's going to treat you from the inside out.
I hope this helps, and if you need help finding a dermatologist in your area, here is a website to help start you on your way: www.ucomparehealthcare.com/drs/dermatologists. Good luck, and don't worry, there is hope for your cystic acne!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A few pointers for when you do your eyebrows. First, please DO your eyebrows! Do not forget them! They're so important because they really frame your face and give you structure. A face without enhanced eyebrows makes it look like the eyes, nose and lips are just floating around, and we don't want that.
Second, your eyebrows do not need to be exactly the same! Actually, it would be better if they weren't mirror reflections of each other. Have you ever seen someone who drew in their eyebrows and obviously used a stencil to do the job? It looks just fake, and terrible! The more natural look is ideal, and nobody has eyebrows that are exactly the same. Remember, they're sisters, not twins.
Lastly, if you have black hair, you do not necessarily need to fill in your eyebrows with a black color. It largely depends on your skin tone. I have black hair and Asian skin, and my makeup artist suggested I not use black because it will look tacky against my NC30 skin tone.
Rather, he applied a dark brown color, and it looked wonderful! He explained that even though people have black hair, no one's hair is jet black. Exposure to sun lightens your hair to a certain extent, so it is better to go dark brown. Currently, I am using MAC's Mystery eye shadow to fill in my eyebrows. If you are interested, the picture is below, and this color is available at www.MacCosmetics.com for $14.50.
The opposite is true for people with blond hair, of course. If you have blond hair, you will want to go a few shades darker than your hair color to fill in your eyebrows. Experiment with different colors and see which looks the most natural and beautiful. I would probably start with the light browns. I hope this helps, and don't forget to do your eyebrows!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My sister and I swear by Urban Decay Primer Potion, but I'm sorry sis, I may have to stray every once in a while because I found MAC's paint.
Urban Decay Primer Potion is an awesome makeup item that once you rub it on, it disappears into your eyelids and allows for a crease-less and long-lasting application of your eye shadows.
But there are two cons I have encountered with the UDPP. First, it dries clear so that you don't really have any color to serve as a base for your eye shadows. This may be good or bad, depending on your preference. Personally, I like to have my options open, and the UDPP doesn't give me much choice but to go clear, so this is a con for me.
Second, the UDPP's packaging does not allow for you to get to most of the product, as the shape of the bottle is curvy and does not allow the wand to reach every nook and cranny. Unless you take a knife to the bottle and somehow manage to gather all of the product into another airtight container, I might venture to say it could be a waste of money.
An alternative to the UDPP is MAC's paint. MAC carries its own line of eye shadow primer in Light, Medium, and Medium Dark, but I find MAC's paint just as useful. It has a bit of color to it so you can have a color upon which you can base your eye shadows, and it is easy to blend so you shouldn't have too much trouble making it harmonize with the rest of your look.
Also, I noticed that even if your eye shadows are matte, MAC's paint has a sort of shiny quality to it that shows through, and I have seen that this is especially apparent in photographs. And I know that we are all concerned about the creases that may show up on our eyelids, but MAC's paint does address this issue and ensures that crease-less look along with the long-lasting effect, just as the UDPP would. But MAC's paint might also be a better buy because it comes in a tube, and so there is less wasted product.
Decisions, decisions! MAC's paint is probably the better choice, but for now I still keep the UDPP in the back of my eye makeup drawer, for sentimental reasons and for days I would like a clear base for my eye shadows. I'm crazy about MAC's paint, but I still love my UDPP.
MAC's paint is available at www.MacCosmetics.com for $16.50. It may seem expensive for its size: it is smaller than the UDPP container, but I am not willing to do the whole routine with the knife and I feel like I am getting just as much product out of my MAC paint. Below is a picture of my UDPP in XL (available at www.Sephora.com for $22.00), next to my MAC paint in Bamboom.
Hope this helps!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Remember my post on how to find your ideal foundation? Well, I think that this gadget might help you!
It's a vanity mirror, with two side panels so you can see your face up close from all different angles. The middle panel flips around so you can either view yourself with a regular mirror, or a mirror that magnifies x5. The most helpful part is that the lighting around the mirror can be adjusted so you can see what you would look like under different types of lighting.
There is day lighting, office lighting, home lighting, and evening lighting for your different options. When it comes to choosing your foundation or looking at what your eye shadow might look like under different lighting, I think that this mirror might be especially helpful. Remember, different lights reveal things differently.
I just love this mirror, it is so helpful. I guess the only con about it is that I'd have to admit it is not as sleek and shiny looking as the round, chrome mirrors. Basically, it is a square mirror with white plastic, LOL. But until they invent a mirror that is sleek and shiny AND also has options for different types of lighting, I think I'd rather stay with function than form. Plain and simple, this mirror does the job. I'd rather feel confident when I go out, knowing exactly the way I look in that lighting.
If you would like to acquire it, I have seen it available on www.Amazon.com for $34.99. Hope this helps when you are making decisions about your vanity mirror.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Before putting on your falsies or applying your mascara, it is important that you curl your eyelashes. It is especially important if you have heavy lids that tend to make your eyelashes point downward. No matter how long your eyelashes are, you should try to make those babies stand up and curl for you so your eyes look bright and beautiful. But what kind of eyelash curler should you use?
I have seen two kinds of eyelash curlers: those with a round rubber refill and those with a square rubber refill. Let me explain. If you take your eyelash curler and pull out the rubber refill (the disposable part to which the top metal piece clamps down), take a look at it from the side. Is the top of it round or square? Ideally, you want it to be round. Below is a picture of a round rubber refill. (Sorry about my gross nails, I haven't had them done in a while).
Square rubber refills are effective to a certain extent, but if you imagine your eyelashes being squeezed in this type of eyelash curler, there will not be very much curling because the top of the rubber refill is flat. Round rubber refills are more effective because when you squeeze your eyelash curler, your eyelashes are being clamped down by a thin metal edge into a more cushy situation, and therefore, your eyelashes will stand up more.
I hope I am getting this across clearly! It's so hard to explain via blog post! The bottom line is, no matter where you buy your eyelash curler, make sure it has a round rubber refill. I don't remember if any of the drug stores carry an item like this, but I know that for sure you can get one from www.MacCosmetics.com for $16.00.
I hope this helps, and good luck!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Coastal Scents palettes are a real money-saver if you are looking for a huge variety of colors. Each of the Coastal Scents eye shadow palettes contain a wide spectrum of 88 colors, so there will never be a time when you are in a situation where you are desperately looking for a specific color.
And if you are just starting out with makeup and need to experiment with different looks on your eyes, this would be just perfect for you to try out different colors. You would have so many choices at your fingertips! Also, Halloween is coming up, so these palettes might come in handy for creating those dramatic effects needed to support your costume.
You can get these Coastal Scents eye shadow palettes from www.CoastalScents.com. The ones shown below are the 88 Warm Palette ($24.95) and the Ultra Shimmer 88 Eye Shadow Palette ($19.95). The shimmery palette is also available in matte ($18.95).
I also bought their Contour & Blush Palette, which contains six colors for your face ($18.95), shown below.
Personally, these palettes have been very helpful to me when I am trying to create new looks. I am not looking to create extreme looks, I just want to be able to expand my options so that I can have everyday looks without having to wear the same colors every single day. So far, this palette has been awesome to have on hand so I know better what compliments my eye color and skin tone, and what kinds of colors go well together.
If you want to have more options, these Coastal Scents palettes might be a good investment. Try experimenting and dare yourself to try colors you were too afraid to try before! Spice up your Halloween costume with a crazy dramatic effect on your face! Good luck!
Friday, October 9, 2009
As of late, I have not been sleeping too well. I don't know if it's the change in weather or if it's my hubby's snoring, but sleep has just been eluding me! As a result of this, I seem to have developed some dark circles under my eyes. Covering my dark circles with foundation does not work because they still show through, and using my MAC Studio Finish concealer will not help much. The problem is that the dark circles under my eyes are a bluish hue, and the yellow-based concealer and foundation will not counter this color.
A solution I have found is Lise Watier's Portfolio concealer. As you can see below, it is comprised of five colors, but the one I use for under my eyes is the salmon color. If you take a look at the color wheel (www.colormatters.com/colortheory.html), you will find that the color opposite blue is orange. This is why the salmon or orangish color will be the most effective at combating the blue color of your dark circles.
The other colors in Lise Watier's Portfolio are helpful in other ways: two different skin tones for regular concealing, a green tone for countering any redness on your skin, and a lavender tone for brightening up any areas you would like to highlight. It is also soothing to your skin because it contains chamomile and vitamins E and C. I would highly suggest that this concealer be included among your makeup staples because you might find it to be a handy multi-tasker.
Lise Watier is a Canadian brand, but you can still order this item from www.Naimies.com for $29.00. If you have dark circles, try Lise Watier's Portfolio.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
OK. So although I did not approve of the NARS Super Orgasm blush, I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water! NARS makes some good products, too, one of which is their bronzing powder.
Currently, I have the NARS bronzing powder in the color Laguna, which is a light brown color with a tiny bit of shimmer to it, but not so much that it highlights your pores. It is a good color for people with Asian skin tones, but I have seen many makeup gurus with lighter skin tones still use this color.
I would say that it serves the same function as Bare Minerals' Warmth, but with a lighter color: it makes you look like you are healthier, and more tan. Just brush a 3 on either side of your face with it so you touch upon your forehead, lower cheek and right under your jawline.
And when you first get it you will notice the size of the product! It is a pretty big compact with .28oz of powder, almost twice as big as NARS' Super Orgasm blush. But even though there is plenty of product, beware: a little bit of the powder goes a long way. It is very pigmented so it is easy to get carried away and put too much on your face.
Hope this helps. NARS Laguna is available at www.Sephora.com for $30.00.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I don't know how to describe a smell to you, but I will try my best right now. This smell is so awesome, sometimes I find myself trying to get high off of it. The perfume smells like you are walking through a vast meadow of flowers. Each different flower smells so exquisite, and all of them put together creates a combination smell that is so delicious that you just want to eat them! I would also describe this perfume as sweet-smelling and very feminine.
This perfume, actually an eau de toilette, contains the smell of Cassis, Ananas, Pomme Pink Lady, Mangue, Freesia, Pivoine, Ambre, Musc Blanc and Bois de Santal. Listen, I don't even know what most of these are, but whatever it is, it is to die for! In my opinion, it is rightly called Incanto Dream, because the smell is sooo dreamy.
You MUST get your hands on one of these! I haven't seen this perfume in any department stores, but I believe these are still available online. I accidentally ordered a tester version, hence, no cap in the picture below, but oh well. I'm not giving it away as a gift or anything. It smells REALLY good. Below the picture I have put the full name, price and where you can buy the thing. Try it out!
Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Dream - $24.25 at www.Amazon.com
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
OMG, I am very excited to tell you guys about this awesome lip gloss. How cool is this??? It's a lip gloss, with lights built into the wand and a mirror on one side, so if you need to reapply your lip gloss in the dark, you can actually see yourself up close to do this. Personally, I don't travel a lot at nighttime but seriously, if you are the type of person who is always on the go, I would highly recommend this lip gloss. I just love this invention!
You can get the Hollywood Lights lip gloss from www.Avon.com. There is a sale going on right now for this item, so it has gone from $7.99 to $6.99. The color I have shown above is called Red Carpet.
No more driving at night and relying on your car lights to apply your lip gloss; it's much safer now because you can apply while walking from your car to your destination! Hope this helps!
Monday, October 5, 2009
For a while I was stuck in a quandary as to whether I should use Mineralize Skinfinish Natural or Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation to set my makeup. I had questions that needed answering: what is the difference between the two? And which one is better for people who have oily and acne-prone skin? I did some research, so perhaps my findings will help you, too.
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is more of a sheer formula. Its two main ingredients are talc and mica, with mica providing your skin with a natural, dewy look. Mica has light-reflecting properties, so your skin will look luminous. But because it's so sheer, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural does not really provide any coverage for your blemishes. So if you have blemishes and are trying to incorporate this item into your foundation routine, your liquid foundation and concealer would have to do the brunt of the coverage work.
Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, on the other hand, does provide coverage: a medium to full coverage. Its two main ingredients are talc and silica, with silica providing and maintaining the matte look on your skin. Silica works to absorb any sweat and oil on your skin and thereby keeps the makeup on your skin longer. If you are looking for convenience, the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation compact also comes with a mirror and round sponge, whereas Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is just the pressed powder.
I guess your choice would depend on the kind of look you want: dewy or matte? Low coverage or medium to full coverage? Personally, I think the choice is clear for me. Having oily and acne-prone skin, I would have to say Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation would be the way to go when setting my makeup. If you are interested in either of these products, below the picture are their names, prices and where you can buy them online.
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - $25.00 at www.MacCosmetics.com
Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation - $26.00 at www.MacCosmetics.com
Hope this was helpful!
Sunday, October 4, 2009
For a while now I have been faithfully using my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It is absolutely wonderful. It acts like a moisturizer that my skin just drinks in and at the same time it is an awesome base for blending your foundation. Although it feels somewhat oily when you first apply it onto your skin, it is absolutely oil-free. The consistency of this product is like no other. It's just magical!
But today I decided to try something a little different. I had received this sample from Sephora a while back with something else I had ordered, and it had been sitting around asking for my attention the whole time. Agh! OK! I will try you, Smashbox Photo Finish Light! I grabbed the small tube and rubbed a dab of it onto my skin. Wow. I was amazed by the original Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, but this Light version really took things to new heights.
The Light version of this product is less thick but still does the same job. Actually, it feels very light, and it is still very moisturizing and lets you blend your makeup with ease. Reading up on the reviews of this product, people seem to really like it because it is better for oily and acne-prone skin, like mine. It also contains properties that help your skin become healthier and more flawless over time.
Wow. I think as soon as I finish my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, I am switching to Light! And if you have oily or acne-prone skin, I highly suggest you do the same, too! You can get it at www.Sephora.com for $36.00. You'll love it!
Friday, October 2, 2009
A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your foundation. First, there is no one foundation that will match you perfectly under every single type of lighting. The guy at the MAC counter who did my face thought he had found my perfect match in terms of foundation, but when I looked at myself with outdoor lighting, it was a different story. My second point, though, is that there is hope! There are ways to try and avoid that jaw 'line.'
If you really study your jawline under different types of lighting (check out fluorescent lighting, home lighting, outdoor daylight, and outdoor moonlight), you will find that your foundation looks different under each. And this is okay. But try to figure out where you will spend most of your time today. If you spend 40 hours a week in the office, then I would suggest you try to match the foundation to what works under fluorescent lighting, and perhaps keep a different shade of foundation for when you stay at home (personally, I prefer not to wear makeup if I don't have to, plus my hubby hates makeup).
So you're not going to get your foundation to be perfect under every single type of lighting, but you can still come darn close. I would highly recommend that you first take a look at the veins on the insides of your wrists. If your veins are blue, you will try to get a foundation with a cool tone. If your veins are green, you will go for the foundations with the warmer tones. Then go to the store and try rubbing a few foundations on the inside of your wrist. Take a q-tip and remove the makeup through the middle of these spots. I have done so below and written the foundation numbers where I cleaned it with a q-tip.
This way, you can tell which foundation is the closest to your skin tone. Ideally, it should seem like a seamless blend between your skin tone and the foundation. For me, it appears NC30 is the closest to my skin color. It's a tiny bit darker than the skin inside my wrist, but this much allowance is still okay. And try to keep a darker and lighter shade on hand. During the winter you get little exposure to the sun, while in the summer you get a lot of exposure to the sun.
If your forehead is darker than the rest of your face (as mine is), then you can try blending a combination of the darker and lighter shades on your face, with the darker shade on your T-zone and the lighter shade everywhere else. And as always, try to blend really well all over, especially your jawline. Don't be afraid to put foundation on your neck.
These are the only tips and tricks I know, please let me know if you have any others! And good luck finding your ideal foundation!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Fix+ is really awesome. It's a spray that can be helpful in many different ways. Many makeup gurus suggest using Fix+ as a way to set your makeup, but I do not necessarily agree with them on this, because if you finish your makeup off with a finishing powder, Fix+ would wet and thereby clump the powder you have on your face. Then you would have to redo your makeup all over again because you had to wipe the stuff off.
Another method for using Fix+ is to use it as a refreshing spray in the middle of the day. I would agree with this method if by the middle of the day I have lost that powdered finish on my face. On top of which, I would highly recommend that you not spray Fix+ so close to your face because you don't want to ruin your makeup. I would hold Fix+ back real far, so that your face receives just a mist of the solution.
And if you are only using Fix+ as a refreshing spray for the middle of the day, it might be cheaper to just go to the drug store and buy yourself a canister of Evian water. Evian water would do the same job, as it has proven to be helpful for refreshing and reviving makeup.
Fix+ has also been suggested as a mixing medium, and I have to admit I have yet to try this technique out. I have had no experience in which I found myself having to use Fix+ in this way, but many women find it helpful to mix some of Fix+ with their dry eye shadows and apply it wet.
Personally, I find Fix+ most practical as a toner in the morning, and especially on days I find myself with a pimple. This is because Fix+ has anti-inflammatory properties, and so it helps to calm the skin. Applying it to my face is still a strange feeling because I feel like it's counter-intuitive to spray something in my face, but once it's on your face, it feels nice and refreshing.
Whatever the method, I would suggest that you incorporate Fix+ into your makeup routine because it is really good for your skin, and at the same time it is very pleasant and refreshing. You can get your hands on Fix+ at a MAC store, or online at www.MACCosmetics.com for $18.00. Good luck!