Blur the line

I’ve been wearing liquid liner the same way since I was about 14. Now, at 26, the brands I use might have expanded but my technique is pretty much the same on most days.

When I want a more dramatic, pin-up, jet black line on my upper lash line I stick with traditional liquid liner. Lately, though, I’ve been mixing it up to create a more subtle, soft look using eye shadow and a small angled brush.

You can choose to use gel, liquid, or pencil eyeliner as your first step. I usually go for black, but this works with any color. You can also use brown, grey, or something different like eggplant or emerald green (Pantone’s color of 2013) for something fun.

  1. Line your eye as you would normally with the color and texture of your choice
  2. When you get the shape you like, go over the very top of that line with your eye shadow using your angled brush. Wing it out if you’d like a lifted, cat eye look. (This will blur the harsh edge of your liner, making it look soft and faded, and it also makes your eyelashes pop a bit more)
  3. Go over the line until you have your desired color depth, then apply mascara and you’re done with the eyes

You can also choose to skip the liquid, gel or pencil altogether and just line your eyes with a darker shadow if you want a very soft and natural look. It all depends on what you’re going for.

I like this particular technique because it’s the best of both worlds– between a defined eye and a smoky look. You have the bottom portion of your liner still pigmented, maintaining the shape of your eye, but as it goes up the color becomes gradient and it’s very feminine and flirty.

Products I use:

  • Maybelline Line Stilleto liquid liner in “Blackest Black”
  • MAC eyeshadow in “Espresso”
  • Sonia Kashuk angled eyeshadow brush

Image                 Image

Quick, Classic Nude Lip

It seems that no matter the season, the classic Brigette Bardot nude lip is in. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s definition of nude is different, and it depends on skin tone and personal preference.

I’m not a big fan of MAC’s Myth or the like that serve to entirely blank out your lips, making you resemble a corpse. Those type of lipsticks can be used to tone down deeper colors or manipulate shades, but worn alone they’re quite terrifying.

My idea of a nude lip is more of a neutral lip, and can be worn with any eye look be it smoky and dramatic or soft and natural. Most of the time I lean either true nude, peach, or pink.

When I’m rushing out the door on my way to work, I rarely have time for the 3-step liner, lipstick and lip gloss routine. Lately, I’ve been just using a lipstick and gloss and my lips are still nicely defined.

I use Maybelline’s “Afternoon Tea” and Revlon’s “Peach Petal” to create a quick and pretty pout. I love the smell of Maybelline’s lipsticks, and I don’t quite know why. It’s not offensive or strong, though, if you have an aversion to cosmetic smells.

Afternoon Tea is a pretty, slightly rosy, neutral shade. The shape of Maybelline lipsticks makes it almost so you don’t need a liner, as the product comes to a rather sharp point. It allows you to glide over your lips with a clean line. The formula is creamy and smooth.

To lighten the color just a tad and add some shine, I use Revlon’s Peach Petal lip gloss. I’ve talked about Peach Petal and Revlon’s Super Lustrous glosses before and I’m still in love them with to this day. Wait until they’re on sale and snatch one up in every color if you haven’t already.

Give these two products a try and let me know what you think. Remember, if you don’t like either color, have a little swatch fest until you find what works for you.

Image

New from Revlon

I get pretty excited when I hear about a brand releasing a new item and/or collection. I get doubly excited when it’s an easily accessible and affordable brand like those carried in your local drugstore. Add to that the term “limited edition” and my interest is peaked. Women seem to go nuts over limited edition products. I don’t know what we think we’ll miss out on but hey, this tactic works.

Luckily, the new items set to release from Revlon are reported to be part of its permanent line, or will be eventually. I’m referring to a new line of lip balm/stains and a line of whipped foundation. I’m interested in trying both products and I’ve kept my eye out for them but no luck yet. The lip stains look comparable to Clinique’s Chubby Sticks or Tarte’s LipSurgence, but Revlon’s are a mere $7.00, depending where you find them of course.

These are the first I’ve seen of this kind of lip product offered from a drugstore brand. They are really stepping up their game both in terms of quality and product variety. The foundation is also unique on the drugstore market, being somewhere between a cream and mousse product. It might be a tad heavy in terms of coverage for the summer, but I have yet to try it out so I can’t offer a concrete opinion.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J’Adore Dior…usually

I have a few favorite Houses when it comes to designers, and the House of Dior is in my top 5. I won’t get into couture and my irrational love of it, but rather concentrate on the subset of Dior that the average woman can get her hands on: the cosmetic line.

Dior cosmetics and fragrances are sold at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and the like, but I prefer to have my swatch fests at Sephora. I was doing just that and fell in love with the spring collection, specifically the Garden Palette.

This palette was love at first sight. Well I suppose you could say it turned out to be lust because I got the palette home and was totally over it. While the five shades of soft pastels look beautiful in the pan, there is absolutely no color payoff when applied to your eyelids. The palette contains a pink shimmer, buttercup yellow shimmer, pale green shimmer, golden green shimmer and teal green shimmer. Note how they all end in “shimmer” because that they are, so I would not advise using only this palette to create a look. They are embossed with a rose print that’s undoubtedly gorgeous and makes you not even want to use the palette, which is exactly what would have happened had I not returned it. Sephora thankfully has a great return policy.

I bought the palette because when I heavily swatched them with my fingers the colors looked pigmented and felt smooth. But when I got home and applied some shades, it just looked as if there was shimmer all over my eyelids. This is fine if that’s the look you’re going for, but there was no color distinction at all. So at $59.00, this palette went back. It’s too bad because the colors are unique and beautiful…if only they actually showed up when applied.

I haven’t tried any other Dior shadows so I can’t offer a comparison…but I’m hoping this was a one-time fluke.

Back to Basics: Lip gloss

My recent obsession is going to sound like no big deal. And really, it’s not. It’s been around forever and you can find it anywhere from the drugstore to Bergdorf Goodman. It ranges in packaging, finish, color and price. Of course what I’m describing can be almost anything, but I happen to be alluding to lip gloss.

I used to be, and still sometimes am, a believer in the multi-step lip combination with your standard liner, lipstick and gloss. If I’m feeling particularly adventurous I’ll even highlight my cupid’s bow to give the appearance of fuller lips. This can be done by blending in a light shade of highlight or eyeshadow with some reflective properties, usually of golden or white tone. Along that same line, a light eyeshadow can also be dotted on the center of your lower lip, giving your lips a pouty Playboy look.

Back to my original topic. When we were experiencing our summer preview a few weeks ago, I was spending some time outside. I didn’t take Mother Nature too seriously and ended up with sunburned lips. Ouch. So I decided to forgo lip liner for a few days, but there was no way I was walking around with no lip product at all. So I thought, how about just a simple gloss? It’ll provide some color, shine and moisture. That it did.

My lip gloss of choice lately has been from Revlon, and it’s a Super Lustrous gloss in “Pink Whisper.” I also have “Peach Petal” which is a fantastic milky nude that pairs perfectly with a smoky eye or can be used to tone down a bold color. At first I was wearing only gloss in order to give my lips time to heal (never neglect your SPF!) but I soon noticed that my lips appeared just as full as they did with liner and lipstick, but more youthful and fresh. Not to mention it cut down on my time getting ready in the morning. Hallelujah.

You can wear any gloss from any brand you like; my current favorite is Super Lustrous by Revlon because of its smooth application, creamy consistency, easy accessibility and affordability. It’s around $6 or $7 depending on where you purchase it, and there are almost always Revlon coupons that’ll allow you to snap it up cheaper. The packaging is sleek, portable and easy to use. The gloss is 0.2grams and has an SPF of 15. Lesson learned.

Some other products of note are Tendertones by MAC. These are fantastic little pots of lip balm that are quite moisturizing while giving your lips a hint of color and tons of shine. They are unfortunately discontinued; they were recently re-promoted though in MAC’s Shop Cook collection. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to spot one or two at a CCO, and if you do I suggest you partake. They also have an SPF of 12 and smell like strawberry kiwi. From the drugstore we have Maybelline’s new Baby Lips line. I find these to be very moisturizing, much more so than Revlon’s new lip butters. Baby Lips are offered in fewer shades, but do the job much better. They’re basically a chap stick with a bit of color, and they are more hydrating. They contain SPF 20. Watch out for those coupons and give them a try!

 

Summer on the Nails- Van D’Go

My nail color of choice for the last few days (which says something about wear, no chips yet) has been Essie’s Van D’Go. It’s a gorgeous, creamy shade of coral that looks stunning on medium skin tones, but it’s not terribly offensive on my fair skin.

Depending on the light, the color can lean more orange or more pink, but the important factor here is that it looks beautiful no matter what light you happen to find yourself in. The formula can apply a bit streaky, not unlike another favorite of mine by Essie: Fiji. This can be remedied either with some patience and repeated application, or my preference which is applying a matte base coat like Essie’s Fill the Gap. This polish provides a smooth canvas for any nail color to go over. It’s fantastic for reds and darker shades because it prevents any staining of the nail bed, and it’s perfect for pale pastels that may be streaky because it’s a strong base that holds onto color.

Van D’Go immediately inspires thoughts of spring and summer, and it adds a lovely and unexpected pop of color to any ensemble. I’m wearing it today with grey, if you can imagine. If you’re looking for a more wearable, softer shade of orange, this may be the one for you. I usually recommend starting off with more of a coral like Van D’Go before making the jump to a true shade of orange, but if you’re ready take the plunge!

Van D’Go premiered with Essie’s Spring 2010 collection, but I believe it is now a permanent shade as I have seen it at Ulta. Essie is also now carried at Target and Walmart if you’d like to peruse the nail polish section. Go out and have a look if you’re interested, and don’t forget your Ulta coupon for $3.50 off a $10.00 purchase this week.

Happy shopping!

Sephora + PANTONE

This gallery contains 9 photos.

I’m not usually one for a bold lip. Let alone anything orange. I usually stick to a pinkish nude or a classic red. But when it was announced that Sephora was teaming up with Pantone to create a collection surrounding … Continue reading

Beauty Tip: Blush

We’re usually taught, at least I was, to apply blush directly on the apples of our cheeks. I constantly see women smiling while they put on blush. While there is nothing wrong with this technique, especially if you’re in your younger years, I’d like to remind you of another way to get that natural flush.

Blush is a staple in any woman’s cosmetic wardrobe, and it’s really up to you whether you prefer cream, powder or a liquid/stain. Some women are drawn to the natural look of cream blushes, as they are easy to blend and leave the cheeks with a dewy finish. Powder blushes are the most common and arguably fastest to apply, and the shade range across brands is endless. Liquids/stains can give you that pinched cheek and just bitten lip look à la Snow White, and their staying power is unbeatable.

No matter what texture you choose, next time you’re applying blush to perk up your complexion, try placing it where you would place your highlight, so right on the cheek bone. Applying blush a bit higher than you are naturally inclined to do will instantly lift your face and make you look fresh and awake. When you smile, the apples of your cheeks are lifted. As soon as you stop smiling your face drops, and your blush drops with it making it lower on your face than you’d like.

Try this technique and see what you think. You may hate it, or you may love it. Once I gave it a shot I was hooked. And if you choose a blush with shimmer in it, you don’t need to worry about a highlight. If you have problematic skin I’d stick with a matte blush as any shimmer will draw attention to things you’d rather ignore. While you’re applying the blush higher on your cheek bone, be careful not to take the color too far in towards your nose. It should stop below the center of your eye.

Happy blushing!