Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tutorial: Cat Eye and Nude Lip

Here is a quick tutorial for a fun look.  The key product for this look is eyeliner, of course!  I used a gel eyeliner and a thin brush, but you can use a liquid liner or even a powder eyeshadow with a damp eyeliner brush to achieve the same look.  I would advise against using a pencil liner, which makes it difficult to achieve a sharp line.  Otherwise, you can use whatever you want, and you can easily change up the lip color or blush to suit your needs.  

1.  Apply your favorite foundation, tinted moisturizer, mineral foundation- whatever you like!

2.  Apply a primer to your eyelids and then swipe on a skin-toned eyeshadow.  Otherwise, you could just apply a skin-toned cream eyeshadow.

3.  Using the eyeliner of your choice (I used Bobbi Brown Gel Liner), draw a thin line across the upper lash line, sweeping up at the outer corners.  Draw a thin line along the lower lash line as well.  The best trick to achieve a flattering wing is to use your lower lash line as a guide- basically continue to draw a guide line in the direction of the tail of your eyebrow.  Don't feel like both sides have to match exactly upon eyeliner application.   You can always use a pointed cotton swab dipped in makeup remover or moisturizer to clean up any mistakes or correct a wing. I connected my eyeliner at the inner and outer corners for this look, but you don't have to.

4.  Once you have perfected your eyeliner, curl your lashes and apply your favorite mascara.

5.  Fill your brows lightly and set with brow gel or wax.

6.  Apply a orange cream blush with a brush (or your fingers) to the apples of your cheeks.  I used Stila Convertible Color in Gladiola here.

7.  Apply your favorite nude lipstick.  I had just purchased Hourglass's Femme Nude Lip Stylo ($30) in shade 3.  The cool thing about this line of lipsticks is the shade offering covers various shades of nude.  You could also use my concealer trick from my "Lip Tip" post to save a few bucks:)

Done and done!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tips for Mature Skin

One request I frequently get is to provide tips for the mature ladies out there.  Here are ten tips that will help those women feel confident, put together, and youthful.

1.  Moisturize and prime-  Using a good moisturizer (whatever suits your skin type) will keep your skin supple and prevent makeup from looking cakey over top.  A nice primer, such as Revlon Photo Ready Color Correcting Primer ($14), can be used to help plump up wrinkles and fine lines and provides a smoother surface for foundation application.  

2.  Do NOT use a ton of foundation-  One of the biggest makeup mistakes for any age is attempting to use makeup to conceal skin texture rather than color.  Makeup, for the most part, can only do so much for concealing skin texture (primer can help with texture to a degree).  You actually need less foundation then you think; just a light layer to even out any discoloration and/or age spots.  I love silicone-based formulas for mature skin because they provide a youthful glow and also address some texture issues.  One to try: Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-touch Foundation ($10).  I would also suggest using a damp Beauty Blender sponge to apply foundation because it helps press foundation into the skin (so it does not appear to sit on top of the skin).  

3.  Do NOT use a ton of under eye concealer-  This echoes tip #2; you only need a light swipe of concealer to correct under eye discoloration.  Applying too much concealer can cause caking, creasing and settling into wrinkles and lines that end up exaggerating them rather than masking them.  I would recommend a concealer that contains a primer, like Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser ($9) and apply a light layer by dabbing into the under eye area with your ring finger.  

4.  Stick to matte or satin eyeshadows-  Using matte or satin eyeshadows look the most flattering on mature women.  Too much shimmer or sparkle draws attention to fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.  I prefer to use neutral browns and plums since they tend to flatter nearly everyone.  

5.  Apply eyeliner and then smudge it into your lash line-  Avoid harsh lines around the eyes, since they can exaggerate darkness in the eye area.  Try applying a cream or powder eyeliner and blend it with a brush or cotton swab to smudge it.  Smudging the liner into the lash line also makes lashes appear thicker- another benefit since most of us tend to lose eyelashes as we age.  

6.  Curl lashes and apply mascara-  Curling lashes opens the eye area up, since most people start encountering droopiness, and applying mascara thickens lashes.  

7.  Groom eyebrows-  We also tend to lose eyebrow thickness as we age, so filling in brows with a little pencil and/or powder helps define them.  Brows that are too thin can be aging, so this creates a more youthful look.  

8.  Invest in a good cream blush-  Cream blush is a must for mature skin.  It can be pressed into the skin to create a natural flush, while powder blush tends to sit atop of the skin.  Choose a color that suits your skin tone; try pinching your cheeks and see what color they turn.  You should look for a shade close to that color.  

9.  Use a lip liner-  We tend to lose fullness in the lips as part of the aging process, so using a neutral lip liner can help define and also prevents lip color from bleeding outside of the lip line.  

10.  Avoid too much powder-  This is basically just to reiterate that most powder products end up looking cakey on the skin, since it tends to settle into fine lines and wrinkles.  If you tend to be oily or shiny, try applying a light layer of setting powder only to those areas.  Better yet, try using blotting papers instead.  

As always, I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any questions, please let me know!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Product Love: Lorac Pro Palette

Over the years, I have been pretty much used Urban Decay eyeshadows exclusively, mostly because of their palette product offerings.  A couple weeks ago I decided to try something a little different, and came across the Lorac Pro Palette ($42) at Ulta.  This palette contains 16 eyeshadows, half of which are shimmery and half of which are matte.  The shades are all neutrals, with a range from pale nude to dark plum and black.   It also contains a mini bottle of Lorac's eyeshadow primer to ensure your makeup lasts longer.
The pigmentation is amazing, which means the product will last you a long time since you don't need to apply as much for good color payoff.  The matte shades look rich and not chalky at all, and the shimmery ones are not overly shimmery.  I have been using this on all of my clients lately, and have nothing but good things to say about it.  You can obtain anything from a very natural, everyday look to a dramatic evening look with this palette.  I would definitely recommend the Lorac Pro Palette if you want a broad range of eyeshadow colors, but tend to stick to neutral shades.

This is what the palette looks like; as you can see, mine is already well-loved:)

These are the shadows, exactly as they appear in the palette.  I did not use primer for the swatches. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Product Love: Facial Sprays

Facial sprays seem pretty unnecessary if you have never tried one.  However, a good facial spray can  help tone, refresh, and moisturize the skin in a quick and very easy step.  

I have been using Mario Badescu's Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($12) to set my powder foundation if it is feeling a little cakey.  It is also awesome as a refresher after being outside in the hot, humid weather.  Plus it smells SO good!

On my clients, I have been using Caudalie's Beauty Elixir  ($18) to tone and/or set makeup.  This facial spray contains essential oils (herbal-smelling) which help boost radiance as well.  The Beauty Elixir is formulated without synthetic fragrances and colors and contains no parabens, sulfates or any other junkie stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lip Tip

If you want to create the perfect nude lip shade but don't want to spend the time and money to buy a new product, just take a neutral lipstick (I think is safe to say that must of us have a light pink or rose color lying around) and add a tiny bit of your concealer to it.  Mix it around and apply.  Add a small amount at a time, so you can control the amount of pink to nude ratio.  By using your concealer, you will have the perfect shade of nude that suits YOUR skin tone, since your concealer should coordinate with your skin to begin with.  Plus, you can save some cash!

If you really like what you come up with, buy a small plastic jar with a lid and create a bigger batch of the shade so you have it on hand the next time you need it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tutorial: Easy Summer Makeup

Generally in the summer, we don't feel like piling on makeup.  Most of us are a little tanner and don't feel like we need as much makeup, plus we don't want to worry about makeup melting and sliding off of our faces.  We also would rather enjoy the nice weather rather than spending a long time getting ready.  Here is a very quick and easy summer makeup look that anyone can pull off.

Just wanted to point out that the eyeshadow pencil I used in this photo is on SALE for $5 on the Urban Decay website!!!  The color I used was "rehab."

1.  Apply your favorite moisturizer (regular or tinted).

2.  Conceal under eye area and any redness on the face.

3.  If you prefer, apply a mineral powder foundation to even out the skin tone.

4.  Apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits the face- around the hairline, on the top of the nose and cheekbones, and along the jawline.  A lot of makeup artists will say to use a number 3 motion on the sides of the face, starting at the hair line then swooping down to the cheeks and then the jaw (on both sides of the face).

5.  Swirl on your favorite blush.  This look is especially pretty with a cream blush.

6.  Apply your favorite highlighter on the top of your cheekbones.

7.  Using a soft eyeshadow pencil in a gold or bronze shade, swipe all the way across your eyelids (lash line to crease) and under the lower lash line.  Then using a blending brush to blend the shadow pencil all over, concentrating on really buffing it into the crease.

8.  Line the waterlines (top and bottom) of the eyes with a waterproof eyeliner pencil.

9.  Curl lashes and apply your favorite waterproof mascara.

10.  Fill brows and use a little gel to keep them in place.

11.  Apply a bright pink lipstick to your lips and blot.  I used Nars Semi Matte lipstick in "Funny Face".  A good dupe is Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color in "Fifth Avenue Fuchsia".

Done and done!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Quick Lesson: How to Conceal a Zit

One of my best friends requested that I write a post about concealing zits, since unfortunately this is a beauty issue most of us face from time to time.

Depending on whether you use a powder or liquid/cream foundation formula, you will change the order of these steps slightly.  If you use a powder foundation (i.e.: mineral foundation), you will conceal prior to applying foundation.  If you use a liquid or cream foundation formula, you will conceal after you apply the foundation.

You will need four products aside from your favorite foundation: a small, pointed makeup brush (like this one), a small blending brush, a creamy concealer that matches your skin tone, and a loose powder.  I personally use Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in Light 2 and Mineral Veil (original).   If you have spots that are very red, you may also want to use a green color corrector prior to the concealer, which will neutralize the redness.

1.  Dip the brush into the concealer.  You only need a little bit of the product on the very tip of the bristles (no need to waste product!).  Apply directly to the zit using a stippling motion, making sure not to conceal the area around it.

2.  Using your finger, lightly tap over the concealed spot.  This helps to press the product into the skin (so it does not look as if it is sitting on top of the skin) and will give the most natural look.

3.  Using a small blender brush, apply the loose powder directly to the concealed spot to help set it. Use a delicate touch so you do not uncover the concealer you just applied.

4.  Repeat as necessary for additional zits/red spots.  

There you have it- pretty simple.  The most important thing to remember is that makeup will only help conceal the redness or discoloration; it will NOT change the texture of the skin (i.e.: erase bumps/inflammation).  To help zits heal quickly, do not pick and use your favorite spot treatment daily.  You may want to try hydrocortisone cream, which I find helps speed the healing process.  I also rub an ice cube over the inflamed area to help reduce the swelling (for those painful cystic acne spots).