Friday, February 25, 2011

I Don't Like This: Mascara

I recently picked up the L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara in Blackest Black. I am a big fan of their Voluminous line of mascara's so I thought I'd give this one a try also. I'm forever on the hunt for a good drugstore mascara. The Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara claims to give thicker lashes, more impact as well as longer and separated lashes. When I first opened the tube I was pretty impressed with the size of the brush. It's a very thick brush so I assumed it would give me just as thick and voluminous lashes. Wrong. The formula was way too wet and instead of separating and thickening my lashes, it just clumped them together. The more I tried to drag the brush through my lashes to try and separate them, the worse it got. The mascara for sure made my lashes longer but because they also had no definition my lashes just looked like gross spider legs. Maybe if I let the formula dry out a bit it will be easier to work with...but I don't have time to wait around for my mascara to dry out. On to the next one! Don't buy this mascara. Unless you're into the spider lashed look.

Au Naturale...Sort of.

I love the look of a fresh, clean face but unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to have clear and perfect skin. I would kill to be able to walk out the door without a touch of makeup on, but I would never dare! Instead, I like to use a few simple products to help me achieve a fresh-faced look. Here are some products to help you fake that natural glow.

When I think of a natural, put together look I always think of Jessica Biel or Kate Hudson. Their skin is flawless and dewy and their eye makeup is very subtle. They never look overly made up but are always effortlessly beautiful.

To begin, a tinted moisturizer is key. They are lighter than foundation and act as both a moisturizer and a light coverage. Benefit You Rebel is a light beige color that blends easily into most lighter skin tones. The formula is pretty moisturizing but I still layer my regular moisturizer underneath it to keep my skin extra hydrated. When you're going for a natural look like this you want to make sure your skin is smooth and dewy, and not dry or flakey. You Rebel also contains SPF 10 which is an added plus for the summer months.

A good concealer is really important for this look to conceal any dark circles, redness or blemishes you may have. You want to make your skin look as naturally flawless as possible so go for products that do not look cakey or heavy but have a high level of coverage. I like creamy formulas that can be easily blended into your skin with a brush or your fingertips. Benefit Boi-ing is a super creamy concealer that is really pigmented and covers any imperfection. This is a perfect concealer for blemishes and redness because it really masks your imperfections without looking too dark or heavy and stays on all day without having to reapply. The Bobbi Brown Corrector is great for minimizing dark under-eye circles because it is pink-based, which neutralizes the dark blue shadows. It can be layered under a yellow-based concealer for extra coverage or worn on its own to add brightness. Another great brightener is the YSL Touche Eclat. It is a brightener pen that adds a touch of gleam and highlight to wherever you put it. It's perfect for the inner corners of your eyes and even on top of under-eye circles to totally awaken and liven up your face.

It's important to set your concealers and brighteners so they don't fade or crease throughout the day. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder is a great translucent powder to mattify your skin and set all makeup. It leaves your skin feeling super soft and adds a pretty glow to your face. If you find that your skin is more on the dry side, skip this step because it will take away any shine or oil you may have and dryer skin needs that extra moisture. But if you do have oily skin, this is a great way to minimize the shine. Apply all over with a big powder brush.

To achieve a natural pink flush go for a matte cream blush. Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera is a bright coral-pink. It adds a non-greasy glow to your cheeks and can even be used as a lip color. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks with your finger-tips for a pretty pop of color.

Finish your look with a natural-looking mascara to add definition to your eyes and a natural pink lip balm. Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara gives a great natural looking lash. It adds volume and length and separates your lashes in one coat. It's really important to define your eyes with a mascara to make your eyes pop and not get lost in your face. Use any natural balm or light lip color of your choice on your lips. I love Dior Addict Lip Glow. It's a light pink color that contains an SPF of 10. Plus the packaging is super cute.

If you want a more defined eye and can't leave the house without a little shadow, try the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette. It comes with 9 shades that can be used for natural daytime looks or builded and mixed together for nighttime options. Most of the colors are light enough to be used on their own during the day. For a really natural eye I love using Velvet Revolver all over my lid and Heaven on my brow bone. The palette is a great mix of matte and shimmery colors to satisfy any shadow lover.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Face of the Day: Vivienne Westwood Fall 2011

The makeup for Vivienne Westwood's Fall 2011 show at London Fashion Week was stunning. The looks are very fantastical and fairytale-like. They really remind me of Alice in Wonderland.
Images: The Huffington Post

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Always Sunny in February

During this time of year, the dead of winter, my skin starts to look dull and pale and all I keep thinking about is how many more days are left until summer arrives. During the winter months I like to play with tan, bronzey and gold colors to warm up my face and give off the appearance that I spend my days lounging on a beach. These are a few of my favourite products to fake that summertime glow while the snow is still coming down.

My top bronzers are Benefit Hoola and NARS Casino. Hoola is a great light brown matte color that works with pretty much every skin tone. You can really build up the color depending on how pale or tan your skin gets throughout the year. It's also great for contouring your cheek bones or just used as an all-over bronzer. Casino is a much darker color, a dark chocolate, with lots of shimmer running through it. You only need a little of this stuff so apply it with a very light hand. I like to use BOTH of these colors together (I know, I'm entering Snooki territory...) but applying Casino to just your cheek bones and Hoola all over your face gives a quick, easy and surprisingly believable tan.

If you prefer a pop of color to your cheeks instead of only the bronzers, Benefit Coralista is the perfect coral blush. It's been compared to the holy grail of blushes, NARS Orgasm, but is much less sparkly and a little more matte. It's a perfect coral color to really liven up your face.

On top of the bronzers I like to dust a shimmery highlight onto my cheekbones to add a dewy glow. Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond is a great highlighting color and really adds a pretty gleam to your face. You can also dust it down the bridge of your nose and your brow bones for some extra glow.

For eyes I love to do an all over bronzed look similar to the smokey eyes that Mary-Kate Olsen and Kim Kardashian always wear. This kind of look is super easy to achieve and is wearable for daytime or nighttime.

MAC Constructivist Paint Pot is the perfect all over cream base to begin your smokey look. Paint Pots are like a primer for your eyes. They help your shadows to stay on longer and not crease and really make the colors more intense when they are applied over it. Constructivist is a warm dark brown color with a little gold shimmer. I like to layer it underneath any brown or pink shadows to really make the colors pop, or you can wear it on its own for a fast coppery eye.

For shadows I always turn to MAC Mulch, Bronze, Amber Lights and MAC Pigment in Melon. Mulch is probably my favourite and most used MAC shadow. The color is dark chocolate brown and has a silver shimmer in it. I like swiping it all over my lid up till the crease.

Bronze is a golden brown frost with golden bronze shimmer. Its perfect as an all over lid color or a crease color to darken up your eye.

Amber Lights is a golden peachy-brown frost with golden shimmer. It's perfect for a brow highlight and the inner corners to really brighten up your eyes.

Melon is a peachy pink color that I use all over the lid as well as on top of my cheek bones. MAC Pigments are just that, really pigmented. The color is bright and intense and adds a great glow to your eyes.

Instead of buying a bunch of single shadows like the one's I've suggested, a great natural and bronze palette is the Urban Decay Naked Palette. The palette comes with 12 shades that range from neutrals to golds to browns and even some darker shimmery silvers and blacks. Countless looks can be created from just this palette for both daytime and nighttime looks.

To intensify my eyes more I add a dark brown liner to my top lashes and lower waterline. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Duck is a great brown option, or a black liner will work as well.

For my lips I like to use light pink colors to add a touch of glossy sheen to the bronzed look. You can go for a more translucent pink lip like Chanel Glossimer in Mica or for an opaque nude-pink like NARS Turkish Delight. Both of these colors are really versatile and can be layered on top of any lip stick color or easily worn on their own.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Face of the Day: NYFW Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de le Renta's Fall 2011 collection paired a strong brow with a natural pink flushed cheek on its models.

Get the same look by filling in your brows with the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo. I use Brunette, a dark warm brown. I also use the Sephora Professional Angled Liner Brush to apply the powder. Use small strokes and work with your natural brow shape. The powder is used to enhance your brow color and fill in any gaps, not to create an entirely new brow shape. I also like to mix both colors together to match my hair color. These powders come in a wide range of colors to choose from so you can find your perfect match.

For a pink cheek, MAC Well Dressed Powder Blush is just the right amount of pink flush. The color is bright but applies delicately and can be intensified by building the color.

Summer Nails

Dior recently released this image of their Summer 2011 nail color, Aloha. It's a bright ripe orange shade. I can definitely see this becoming a new favorite for me. I want it NOW! But...we all have to wait until it is released on May 16th. Lame. But I'll be first in line to get it!

Drugstore Favorites

Recently I went on a mini drugstore haul and picked up some really amazing products. Most of my favorite make-up brands are higher end, but I always come across little surprises in the drugstore aisles.
I really love L'Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black. The brush does not compare to the size of Benefit Bad Gal (my all-time favorite) it's about half the size, but the brush is pretty thick and it does a great job of separating and thickening my lashes the way Bad Gal does. The formula is also really good; it doesn't flake off and it's not too wet. It makes my lashes really full and thick in just two coats. The only downfall? I wish it was a darker black color. I find that I need to apply an extra third coat in order to get my lashes really dark. Other than that it's a great drugstore dupe if you're a fan of Bad Gal.

I always do my own manicures so a good nail file is a MUST. I really like the Revlon Shape n' Buff file. It has 6 different surfaces that you use together to achieve a smooth and well shaped nail. Each surface does a different job and they are numbered so you know which to use first. The surfaces are Even Out, Smooth, Buff and Shine. The other sides are the files themselves that are used for shaping and filing down the nail. I LOVE this file. I've gone through a bunch and will continue to repurchase it!

I just recently started getting into wearing a thicker line of eyeliner on my top lashes a la Lauren Conrad. I passed by Maybelline and picked up the Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner. It comes with a little pot of gel eyeliner and a small liner brush, perfect sizes for traveling or throwing in your bag. Since I'm still teaching myself how to apply a straight line I figured a gel would be a good starting point because it's creamy and easy to blend in the case I make a little mistake. I was SHOCKED by this product! The brush makes applying the liner super easy. I got a perfectly straight line in just one stroke. Unbelievable precision. Great liner!

Whenever I straighten my hair I always end up with little fly-away hairs standing straight up on the top of my head. Great look. Instead of trying to mattify your hair down with gels or serums or other goop, I found a GOD SENT product. John Frieda Full Repair Touch Up FlyAway Tamer is a light gel that comes in a mascara tube and wand. All you do is brush the wand onto your pesky little strands and VOLIA! Totally sleek hair. I ADORE this product. And it smells great. AND it doesn't leave my hair looking hard or greasy. Amazing.

Nivea Essential Care Lip Blam is the BEST lip balm I have tried. It's super moisturizing and lasts for hours. It gives no color and has a subtle creamy smell. I literally keep one everywhere: My purse, my desk, my night stand, my bathroom, my school bag...The perfect balm.

A really great drugstore cleanser is the Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser. It has tiny little beads in it that gives the cleanser a scrub-like feel but it is gentle enough to use on your face every day. I like to keep this cleanser in the shower when I want to quickly was my face while showering. It leaves my skin smooth and soft after.

My last favorite isn't a beauty product, but they are good for your health! Flintstones Gummies Vitamins are my vitamin of choice. They taste soo good I could finish an entire bottle in one sitting! Delish!