Sunday, November 23, 2014

Look of the Day: Fall Smokey Eye

I mentioned that I was loving MAC's Coppering eyeshadow in my October Favorites, and I still am. I was inspired by this super fall-appropriate color to create a smokey eye in all the perfect shades for the changing season. This warm toned, neutral, copper-ish smokey eye will work on every skin tone and every eye shape. The technique is pretty standard for a smokey eye, but I really loved the color combination. I loved it so much as I was doing it that I just kept going with more colors. In the step-by-step guide I'll put below, I will tell you where you can stop if you want to, and where I just kept going.

It looks like a lot, but I promise it's easy!

1) Start with a clean, moisturized face
2) Apply an eyeshadow primer like Urban Decay's all over the eye area
3) Pack MAC Naked Lunch all over the eyelid
4) Buff Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in 536 into and above the crease as a transition shade
5) Use windshield wiper motions to blend MAC Texture into crease, and then go just above it with a bit of MAC Coppering. Use a clean fluffy brush to blend it all out so there are no harsh lines between the colors and they all start to smoke out together
6) Pat MAC Swiss Chocolate onto the outer third of the lower lid, and again, blend.
7) OPTIONAL: Pat some Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in 608 on top of that Swiss Chocolate to bring some red tones into that warm brown. This makes a gorgeous combination, especially on green eyes. You can go back in and add more of any color that you like, or that in the blending process may have kinda gotten lost.
8) Pat Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in 124 in the inner corner, going just slightly along the lower lash line, about the space from inner corner to the iris
9) Take a pencil brush and messily buff MAC Texture under the eye, all the way around and connect it to the outer corner of Swiss Chocolate
10) Take a flat liner brush and MAC Swiss Chocolate along the lower lash line, right against the lashes. There will still be Texture below it, but they will kind of smudge together as well.
11) Put a little MAC Naked Lunch under the brow, above the crease color
12) Take a clean, big, fluffy brush and go in circular motions all over the top lid and crease. The key to a smokey eye is to blend, and keep blending. Each color we used should kind of fade into the next, and have no lines between them.
13) Apply black gel eyeliner to the top lash line in whatever shape you prefer
14) Curl your lashes and apply mascara to top and bottom
15) Fill in your brows. With a smokey eye they can be pretty strong.

Products Used 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Original
MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in M536
MAC Eyeshadow in Texture
MAC Eyeshadow in Coperring
MAC Eyeshadow in Swiss Chocolate
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in 608
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in 124
MAC Fluidline Eyeliner in Blacktrack
Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Taupe
MAC 219 Pencil Brush
MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush (for Fluidline)
MAC 217 Blending Brush
Sephora Collection Pro Shadow Brush #14
Sephora Collection Classic Crease Brush #73
Sephora Collection Pro Crease Brush #10

If you want any more detail on how I did it, what I used, what's on the rest of my face, anything, let me know and I will be happy to share!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Favorite Foundations

There's a reason Foundation has the name Foundation. It is the base, the core, the building block, for everything else you do. You can be wearing the most amazing eye and/or lip look, but it just doesn't pop, it doesn't come together unless the face it's on looks flawless. I feel like a lot of people struggle with finding the right foundation for them, and with applying it (I will be doing my foundation routine soon). Foundation is also a very personal product, everyone has preferences for their finish, their skin type, their price range, etc.. I am going to list all of my personal favorite foundations. In the list there is definitely one for every price point, every finish, and every skin type.

I have had a lot of requests to do my favorite foundations for pale skin.  I am almost as fair as they come (a few natural redheads might have me beat) so for each foundation, I will tell you exactly what shade I use. If you have fair skin, these are the best foundations and shades for pale skin. If you aren't fair, these are still my favorite foundation formulas, and there will be another shade that works for you. These all have pretty diverse shade ranges.

For each foundation, I will list my shade as I said, and I will also list price, finish, skin types, coverage, and why I love them. Price and skin types are pretty self-explanatory, but before we start let's define finish and coverage.

Coverage is how pigmented the foundation is. Sheer coverage has the least amount of pigment and skin will show through the foundation. Full coverage has the most amount of pigment and will completely cover your skin. Medium coverage will be in between these. Buildable coverage means it is either a sheer or medium coverage, but will become full coverage with more application.

Finish is the look it has after is it applied, much like house paint. A Matte finish will have no shine or reflection and dries to a powdery finish. A Satin finish is not shiny, but does have a little more sheen than a matte. A Luminous finish can also be called a Dewy finish, which will give the skin a light reflecting, almost shimmering finish. A Natural finish will mimic the natural look of skin. 

Here are my faves. I couldn't rank them, so they are in descending price.

Dior Star Fluid Foundation SPF30 in 021 Linen

Price: $50
Finish: Luminous
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Medium
Why I love it: Illuminating, brightening, smooth finish, great in photos. I was very excited to try this when it first came out, and then after hearing more great reviews of it. I got a sample at Sephora and I will definitely be buying this one next time I need foundation. Pricey, yes. It's Dior...but you won't need a ton of other products for your face with how gorgeous this makes skin.

Lancome Teint Miracle in Ivoire 4

Price: $42.50
Finish: Luminous
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Buildable
Why I love it: Illuminating, oil-free, fragrance-free, lightweight, dewy, smooth finish. This one is honestly my go-to. I love the soft luminosity it gives skin, which you can actually see in the bottle (and why you need to remember to shake your foundation before you pump it). This formula also comes in a shade range with not just cool or warm undertones, but SEVERAL neutral undertone shades, which not many formulas can say. The formula and shade range are both impressive, which don't usually happen in unison.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in Alaska

Price: $42
Finish: Satin
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Medium-Sheer
Why I love it: Lightweight, smoothing, soft, buildable, moisturizing. When I hear "tinted moisturizer" I think it's not going to have enough coverage, but this has terrific coverage and is very buildable, meaning one application is relatively light, but you can keep applying and work up to full coverage. Not only that, but the formula is so smooth that you can keep applying and not end up looking like you have frosting on your face like some foundations.

 NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Mont Blanc

Price: $38
Finish: Luminous
Skin Types: Normal-Dry
Coverage: Buildable
Why I love it: Great for drier skin, smooth finish, adds moisture, lightweight, won't cling to lines or dry patches. The convenient package and smooth formula also make it great for taking with you and using for touch ups over the day. This has more coverage per application, but still very buildable.

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair Sand

Price: $38
Finish: Natural
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Medium-Full
Why I love it: Smooth, buildable, lightweight, blendable, long wearing. This foundation has a gorgeous finish that looks so delicate and airbrushed. I normally love dewy finished, but this natural satin finish is just so gorgeous. Great coverage, and the finish is completely flawless, yet natural and so touchable.

M.A.C Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation in NC15

Price: $35
Finish: Dewy
Skin Types: Normal-Dry
Coverage: Full-Medium
Why I love it: Smooth, blurring, soft, radiant dewy finish, feels like silk. This is another one that leaves your face looking and feeling so flawless and smooth you just want to touch it (but you don't really because you don't want to mess it up). This finish is VERY dewy and leaves you looking hydrated and healthy. So dewy that I find the finish can be a bit much in the hotter humid months, but in the cooler months and the rest of the year, my face cannot get enough of this one.

M.A.C. Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation in NC15

Price: $32
Finish: Satin
Skin Types: All, but especially Normal-Dry
Coverage: Medium
Why I love it: Buildable, buffable, creamy, comfortable, long wearing. This is a very buildable foundation (notice a pattern here??). You can use one application for a sheer, smooth coverage, or a couple more for a very flawless, full coverage finish. The finish of this is also so natural and smooth. A friend once told me "OMG your skin! You look like a china doll!" when I was wearing this.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup in N3 Natural Buff

Price: $12.99
Finish: Luminous
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Medium
Why I love it: Buildable, dewy, very thin almost water-like consistency so it feels like nothing on but still has very buildable coverage. This consistency is so unique. It's so thin it almost runs off the back of your hand after you pump it, and this thinness makes for a very light feeling foundation. It also has luminosity in it, which is visible in the bottle and looks just like the Lancome one. This is a great foundation for people who don't like the feel of foundation, or anyone who wants a drugstore foundation with a luminous finish, which can be hard to find. This is by far my favorite drugstore foundation.

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Makeup in Classic Ivory

 Price: $8.99
Finish: Natural Matte
Skin Types: All
Coverage: Medium to Full
Why I love it: Smooth, looks airbrushed, great for a more matte finish. This provides a much more matte finish, but without being chalky. It has great coverage and does leave an almost airbrushed finish on the skin. I would call this not quite a dupe, but maybe the best drugstore alternative to the tarte Amazonian Clay foundation.

I will be doing another post on my foundation and concealer routine for you soon so that after you decide on which foundation is best for you, you can start applying it flawlessly. If you are still struggling with choosing a foundation, please let me know in the comments and I will either help you out, or I can make that another post! 

Have you tried any of these, do you plan to? If you have, what do you think? Are there others that you love that I didn't mention?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to do Winged Liner-The Easy Way

Winged eyeliner is one of those things that I feel like every person likes. I also feel like it is one of those things that a lot of people feel is hard to do. I am going to show you a technique that looks completely ridiculous while you are doing it, but will leave you with winged eyeliner that looks absolutely flawless, every time. For this technique, I will be using my favorite, which is gel liner. I used MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack. You can also do this technique with a pencil, just using the pencil in place of the brush. So, grab whatever liner you want to use, and the most important tool for this technique, a Post-it note. You can also use Scotch tape, but I like a Post-it better because it comes off easier and does not irritate my skin.

We are going to take a Post-it note and apply it along our eyes in the exact line that we want our eyeliner in. In general, to find the angle you want to follow, either connect the outer corner of your eye to the end of your brow, or follow the angle of your lower lash line (I did a little closer to the second here). After trying this different times at different angles, you will start to learn what angle you prefer or what angle you think looks best on you. Once your Post-it is in place, grab your angle brush and gel liner, or pencil if you prefer.
You are now going to simply apply your liner right along that Post-it. The beauty of this technique is that you do not have to worry about being perfectly precise, you can get product all over that piece of paper and when you take it off, you will have a clean line with a perfectly precise edge. You do have to be relatively careful not to slop the liner everywhere because the Post-it is only perfecting the bottom edge, but that's pretty easy. I like to start by applying the liner along the paper (like in the photo) and then draw along the lash line. Once you have those two lines drawn, you can make your wing as subtle or strong as you want, simply by continuing to go over them and build them up, or just leave the one line you did. Then, just remove the Post-it, and you're done.

This is by far the easiest way to do winged liner. The technique gives you the exact angle you want with a clean line, and without you having to free hand it. Once you get more comfortable with this technique, you can start trying it without the Post-it, and soon you will be surprised how quickly and easily you can free hand a wing. It looks weird, I know, but I promise you you will be surprised how easy it makes it. I plan to do another tutorial on how I do my free hand winged liner, but this is a great method for people just starting to experiment with it, or someone who wants to make it quicker and easier.

If you have tried this technique, or if you have any other suggestions on great ways to simplify or start with winged liner, please share in the comments, I love hearing from you guys!

Monday, November 10, 2014

October Favorites

I didn't have a lot of favorites this month, but I feel like that's because I have been really loving the few I do have. I have been using these over and over this month, and not using many others in their place. October is my favorite month, and I love fall makeup looks, with deeper, warmer hues, and I have clearly been feeling that this month.

L-R, Top-Bottom

MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Coppering

I have been wearing this eyeshadow non-stop this month. It is a gorgeous copper, with warm red undertones and soft shimmer. I find some coppers are very brown based, which is nice, but I have always been on the hunt for an orange based copper, more like the color of the actual metal, and this is it. It is beautiful for fall, and I think part of why I like it is because it reminds me of fall leaves. This color will look good on a lot of different skin tones too. I used to be scared of orange based tones because I have so much pink in my skin, but they are gorgeous!




Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream 

I have been really liking this eye cream this month. The texture is the perfect happy medium. Thick enough to use at night and really hydrate the eye area, but also thin enough that you can use it in the morning, under foundation and concealer, and not have creasing concealer within an hour like you normally would if you used a heavy eye cream. It says it "instantly de-puffs and reduces dark circles", and I have to say it does. I have very puffy eyes in the morning, and this does seem to help. It feels instantly cooling when you put it on, which also nice and refreshing. It also has minimal scent, which I always like in a skincare product, and does not irritate my sensitive skin.

Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in 1995

I know, I know, this lipstick is everywhere, but that's because it's gorgeous. The Gerard Cosmetics website crashed the day this was released, but I don't wonder why. This was another creation from Jaclyn Hill with Gerard Cosmetics, like the Rose Hill lipgloss I love and talked about in a previous post. It kind of looks like the Kyle Jenner lip that everyone is obsessed with at the moment, but it also reminds me of the 90's supermodel look, which I love, when everything was very brown based and matte. It is a very matte, deep mauve, with some pink and brown in it. The pinky, brown, mauve makes it a very flattering color for both warm and cool skintones. And can we talk about the formula? Like I said, it is very matte, but it manages to still be creamy at the same time, which means it's comfortable to wear, unlike some mattes. And the matte finish is so refreshing after years of glassy shine being all the rage. It is also super pigmented and opaque. One swipe and you are good to go.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold

This is just, wow. I don't even know how to describe this. It is technically a highlighter, but it also has warm pink in it. It is described "soft gold infused with rose tones", which is exactly what it is, but I feel like that just doesn't do it justice. It is very shimmery, but not in that sparkly, shiny, obviously fake way. It gives the most gorgeous light-from-within finish to cheeks. I like to use it in place of blush, on top of blush, or if I'm doing a seriously contoured look, just above blush, maybe mixed with another vanilla highlighter. For someone darker than me (NC15 or 20), this would be a gorgeous highlighter, but for someone as fair as me, I like to use it mostly as blush or on top of it. I always get asked what I have on when I'm wearing this.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Berry

 I am loving this formula. I talked about the Melted Violet color in my Purple Lips post, and I liked it so much I had to get another color. I love berry lips, especially for fall, and this is a perfect raspberry shade. I was initially going to describe the shade as "bright", but something about this formula almost adapts to the lighting you are in (more than others), as you can see in the pictures. In direct sunlight, it is a very punchy, bright shade, and in darker lighting, it is a much vampier, moody shade, and I love both. The formula is super pigmented and opaque, and lasts forever. The liquid formula, which comes in a tube with an angled sponge on the end for application, is called Liquified Lipstick, but I would compare it to a stain. However, unlike some stains, it does not look dry or flaky when it sets, it still looks creamy and smooth. As for the applicator, I do find it a little hard to controlr, especially for the precision you want with a bold color like this, so I prefer to squeeze out the color and apply with a lip brush, but the sponge is not bad, especially if you are on the go.



Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sugar Scrub in Eucalyptus Spearmint

This stuff feels and smells so good, I'm addicted. It is a very coarse scrub, and it has essential oils in it, which stay on your skin even after you wash off the scrub. The scrub/oil combo works wonders on my skin. I scrub my dry skin off, and then the oil is left on your skin to moisturize and protect that newer, softer skin that the scrubbing revealed. This is like the express lane to softness. I am also obsessed with this scent. I love everything mint, and this combination of Spearmint and Eucalyptus is so luxurious. It smells like you just walked into a divine, exotic spa the second you open it. The smell is both calming and refreshing at the same time, which I guess would explain why they call it "Stress Relief". It definitely is. Both the scent and the formula feel so luxurious!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Drugstore Dash/Haul #1

First, I have been gone for a while, and I am so sorry it's been so long!! I have been sick, and it took forever to kick it. While I was waiting for a prescription at the drug store, I did some shopping, and I am of course going to do a haul for you. This weekend I was finally feeling better and did some major shopping with Sephora's once a year coupon, which I will do a haul of for you later this week!

Now, time for the haul.

Clockwise from top left:

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in 810 HD Orchid

(There is no link because this is new and I cannot find it anywhere online yet).  I like most Revlon lip products, so when I saw a new one, I had to try it. The new line of HD Lipsticks are supposed to be their most pigmented shades, which I also had to try. I am still obsessing over purple lips, which I wrote about here, so I picked a very on trend for 2014 shade of Orchid, a purpley-fuchsia. The formula is very creamy, and feels very nice. I would compare the feel to their Color Burst Lip Butter. It feels very similar, but it is more pigmented. However, it is not as pigmented as I was expecting. It does have a lot of color payoff, but it is not completely opaque. It manages to somehow be very pigmented, but still semi-sheer at the same time, if that makes sense? This fact makes it a good option for those who want to try a bold lip, but want to ease their way in, or for a daytime bright or bold lip.

L'OREAL Infallible Eye Shadow in Glistening Garnet

I already own a few of these in different shades, and I really like them. The formula is not a typical eyeshadow, but more of a pressed pigment. I really like these for how metallic and foiled of a finish they have, especially if you wet your brush first (remember when wetting your brush to do so with eye drops or setting spray, not water). I love shades with red undertones on my green eyes, and MAC's Cranberry has always been one of my favorites. I love the soft shimmer, and the fact that is is a red based shade, but still has warmth to it. I would not necessarily say this is an exact dupe, but that is mostly because of the texture, the color itself is a pretty good dupe, and at half the price. If a cranberry eye, which is especially on trend for fall, is something you've wanted to try, this is definitely a good place to start.

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor in Neon Red

This is another of the "I already love the formula so let's buy more colors" purchases. The Color Sensational Vivids are my favorite drugstore lipsticks. They are smooth, creamy, don't bleed, last well, and are SUPER pigmented. They do not come in a large number of shades, there are only about 10, but those 10 are quite a good variety. I talked about the Brazen Berry shade in my Purple Lips post. This Neon Red shade is gorgeous, and a pretty dead on dupe for MAC's Lady Danger, a cult favorite. It is a bright, tomato red, with a slight orange undertone. This color would be very flattering on a lot of people, as it has both the blue-based red to it, but also has some warmer orange undertones, making it actually pretty neutral. However, when I say neutral, I mean in terms of undertones. In terms of pigment, this is bold. Very, very bold.

L'OREAL Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer


I have such mixed feelings about primers. I feel like I should love them, but I honestly don't usually think they make that big of a difference. I do like the ones I have used, but they are just not a product I reach for every day. As I have said time and time again, I love looking as dewy and luminous as I possibly can, and this had the word "lumi" in the name, so I decided it's finally time to buy it and try it. I have seen and heard many people use it and like it for the luminosity the pearlescent formula gives. And let's be honest, we are all more willing to try something after we've seen Jaclyn Hill use it, as she did recently with this. It seems like a lot of makeup addicts have the same mixed feelings with primers that I do, but I am going to give this one a try. You'll know how I feel about it by whether or not I ever mention it again.

L'OREAL Butterfly Intenza Mascara


I talked about how much I love the original Butterfly mascara in my post on My Favorite Mascaras, so obviously when I saw a new version of it, I grabbed it. It is almost like they took two of the original Butterfly wands and put them back to back, combining the two into one, double sided brush. It looks like it will provide the same combination of volume and definition that the original does so well, but even more intense. Again, you'll know if I like it if I talk about it later. I hope I like it as much as the original, if not more!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in 330 Redgy


I wrote a review of this polish a while ago, and I am still in love and expanding my collection. I went into great detail about why I love it so much in my previous post, but lets just say that I have not found any faults with continued use, it is still terrific. I like buying the duo packs with one color and one top coat (which I could not find online for a link to, but they are in lots of stores) whenever I find them because it does end up being cheaper than both individually, and the package has a $2 coupon inside for your next purchase, which you will be making because you will love it. I am eclectic with my nail shades, but I did not own a classic red of this formula yet, so I went for that shade.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Trio


I know this one isn't very exciting, but it was necessary.  I liked that these were mini so I can stash them in a pocket, purse, wherever I go. I also liked that it came with three varieties, original (which I was also using on my nose where it was irritated from all the tissue usage, and it does a great job of instantly soothing and healing that irritation), cocoa butter, which I absolutely love the smell of and I was using on my lips while sick, and rosy lips, which is actually a light pink tinted version of the original, which I thought would be great once I was no longer sick and wanted some color on my lips. Like I said, boring, but necessary and effective.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Full Color Lip Liner in Pure

I had been looking for a lip pencil in a nice, rosy shade. I find rosy shades to be really flexible. A lip pencil in a rosy shade will look great on it's own, can lighten up a red or mauve, or can add a little more brightness and punch up a nude. I am a big fan of using pencils under non-matching lipsticks or glosses to create my own shade and tailor a color to what I feel like at that moment. I went in depth with this technique in another post here. In that post I also used another of the Exaggerate pencils from Rimmel, which I really like and wanted another of. They are very smooth and do not drag like some lip pencils really can. I also really like the angled, round tip, which really easily follows the curve of your lips when applying.

Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer in Fair

I tried a friend's Match Perfection concealer once, and was intrigued (which doesn't usually happen with any drugstore concealer) so I bought one of my own. I like that it has a brush on the end of the tube, so you can easily apply and blend relatively well on the go. The formula was nice when I tried it, very creamy and not cakey, blendable, and pretty full coverage. Don't get me wrong, nothing will trump the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which I raved about in my September Favorites, but for a drugstore concealer, and for a concealer you can stash in your purse for on the go touch ups, I think this will work very well. Again, you'll know if I talk about it again.