The Importance of Priming Skin Before Makeup Application

4 Nov

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A lot of people assume that priming this skin consists of using a makeup primer underneath their makeup.  It’s true that a good primer will help create a smoother surface and prolong your makeup wear time.  However, the process of properly priming the skin starts BEFORE applying the actual makeup primer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Good skincare and good makeup go together hand-in-hand.  If your skin is properly prepped for makeup you will find that your makeup will look and perform so much better!  The first step is to cleanse the face with a gentle cleanser.  After that, applying moisturizer is crucial (that’s right, crucial).  It helps replenish moisture in the skin, moisturized skin looks and feels much healthier than dehydrated skin.  It also helps create a smooth surface for you makeup application.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo and Wrinkle Revolution Complex

When choosing a moisturizer, you want something that is suited for your skin type.  The Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex is a great choice for any skin type.  It’s anti-aging and also includes light reflecting properties that help brighten and lessen the appearance of wrinkles.  It’s also lightweight, which is good news for those oily skin types!  And the best part?  This is a moisturizer AND a primer!

Olay says: Create a beautiful canvas for makeup with this cashmere-soft, skin-perfecting primer. The micro-filler formula with light-diffusing particles helps to reduce the look of pores and fine lines to instantly smooth the skin’s texture. Wear under foundation or alone for a velvety-smooth finish. This advanced skin-perfecting primer instantly smoothes skin texture while hydrating the skin to provide anti-aging benefits over time. 

You also want to make sure that your eye area is prepped and primed for makeup application.  You need a product specifically formulated for the under eye area because the skin around the eye is 16x thinner than the skin on the face.  Moisturizers for the face aren’t meant to be used in that area.  That’s where eye cream come in to save the day.

The Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream is super gentle and hydrating.  It also comes with a Lash Serum that instantly thickens the lashes, which also helps create a youthful appearance.  What’s unique about this eye cream is that it’s formulated to treat all around the eye (360) AND the eyelid.

Olay says: Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo combines a hydrating Eye Cream with a nourishing Lash Serum to provide smoother-looking lids, firmer skin and instantly thicker-looking lashes. You’ll see younger-looking eyes that are brighter and firmer in just one week. The first eye cream and lash serum product from Olay, this innovative duo is designed to treat lids, lines and lashes for a total eye transformation.

Both of these multitasking products are great for properly prepping the skin for makeup application!

Where: Olay (Wrinkle Revolution Complex, Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo). Price: $25.99/1.7oz (moisturizer), $15.99/0.34oz (eye).
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My Halloween Makeup

31 Oct

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  I’ve been all about stepping out of my comfort zone this past week.  For some reason, I was never into “Halloween” makeup up until this year.  I was only into “pretty” makeup.  Well, I had no idea what I was missing out on!  Halloween makeup is FUN!  I’ve had fun trying new techniques and working with new mediums.  Luckily, since I work at a makeup store I get to wear my crazy looks to my workplace.  Check out some of my creations!

Zipperface

The zipperface.  After I finished the look I started making a jillion notes on what I would’ve done differently.  But it still turned out pretty cool/gross.  I used lash glue (Duo) to glue the 7in zipper to my face.  I used a real zipper from the fabric store, I thought it looked better than the big silver costume zippers.  Then I used liquid latex to smooth out the edges and applied concealer and foundation over it.  I then used a combination of gel and liquid blood.  I also used the red and black from my MUFE flash palette to create some dimension.

Glitter fairy makeup

My glitter fairy/drag queen look.  I really went all our for this, the blonde wig just pushed it to over the top.  I used some unknown glitter from my kit, a bright pink, light lavender, and iridescent.  I used different shades of pink and purple on my eyes and black to create the outer V.  Giant lashes from the Halloween store.  I used lash glue (Duo) to get the glitter to stick to my brows (drew over them with a white base (NYX Jumbo pencil in Milk), then filled in with pink and purple eyeshadow, then applied glue with an angle brush, then glitter with an angle brush).  Used Too Faced Glitter Glue to get the glitter to stick to my lids and temples.

Stitched Doll Makeup

Another look for work, a “stitched doll.”  I used a light foundation and contoured my face with a gray eyeshadow.  Dramatic smokey eyes using black and grays.  I used my giant Halloween lashes on the top and Red Cherry 747S on the lower lash line.  I covered my lips in concealer and simply drew on the lines with black pencil liner.

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The Perfect “No-Makeup” Makeup from Smashbox

29 Oct

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Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream

Smashbox says: A CC cream that fades imperfections, evens complexion, and prevents future discoloration. Makeup with the benefits of skincare? Yes, please! This color-correcting cream is a game-changer with its proven ability to visibly lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and post-acne marks instantly and over time. The advanced, lightweight formula neutralizes and brightens skin for a more even complexion, while it primes, perfects, protects with SPF 30, moisturizes, and controls oil. CC the difference!

You know those days when you want to look put together, but you don’t necessarily want to put on a “full-face?”  Maybe you just need to run to Target, or you’re just sitting around the house and you want a little something to help perk yourself up… whatever your reasons (I don’t judge).  The Smashbox CC Cream has become my newest go-to for an easy, polished complexion.

It’s medium coverage, you could build a little with it but if you want more coverage I would suggest adding concealer and using a powder over it.  I tried several different application techniques, but my preferred technique is using my Sephora #56 brush.  I find that the dense brush helps give me more coverage while buffing it into my skin for a flawless finish.  It has a satin finish, which I thought I wouldn’t like because of my oily skin.  Surprisingly, it looks natural without being too shiny.

Since this is a CC cream, it claims to have ingredients that help get rid of dark spots (aka: sun/age spots, hyperpigmentation).  While I certainly have issues with my skin, dark spots isn’t one of them.  Therefore, I can’t say whether if helps correct it not.  However, I did some research on some of the ingredients:

Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Titanium Dioxide:  Chemical and physical SPF.

Wheat germ extract:  Skin protectant and conditioning agent.

Licorice root extract:  Skin lightening agent.

Apple fruit extract:  Vitamins, skin conditioning agent.

Cucumber fruit extract:  Skin conditioning agent.

The most important ingredient in regards to preventing dark spots is the SPF.  And whether you have dark spots or not, you should be wearing SPF everyday!  SPF is your friend!

Overall
It lightweight and gives a good medium coverage.  The satin finish doesn’t make my oily skin look shiny.  I use it with a touch of concealer and find that it’s enough coverage for my every day look.

Glitter Rating: 4 / 5

Where: Smashbox, Sephora, Ulta. Price: $42/0.1oz.
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3 Minute Eye Treatment

24 Oct

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GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment

GLAMGLOW says: A reverse action undereye and orbital eye treatment. Non-Dry Tapwipe™ Bioactive Mud consists of powerful actives that help minimize puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines while brightening and hydrating the eyes. Natural high bioactivity materials and bentonites absorb toxins delivering high nutrients and minerals essential for ultrabright, amazing eyes. Simply tap-on to deliver the range of advanced active ingredients into the skin then wipe-off, leaving a micro layer of actives for extended results.

I remember when GLAMGLOW first came out last year.  My initial thoughts: ERMAHGERD THAT’S EXPENSIVE.  $70 for a mask is a little… shocking to say the least.  The mask has been very popular (and I have to admit, I rather like the clearing treatment) so it was only natural that the brand come up with some followup products.  That’s where the BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment comes in.

This product provoked the same reaction from me… ahem, $69 for 12 treatments.  They suggest doing it 2-3x/week.  That’s about 1.5-2 months worth of treatments.  But hey, if something works we’re willing to pay for it, right?

I opened one side of the package and noticed that there was quite a bit of product in there.  I lightly tapped it on my lower orbital bone until it was completely covered.  I still had quite a bit product left in the package (even without opening the second half).  After about 10 seconds the activity level underneath my eye jumped to about a 9 (out of 10).  It started to go down after about a minute.  The muscle in my inner tear duct started to twitch, which I found strange.  After the 3 minutes, my activity level was at a 2.  I wiped away with a dry tissue.

I immediately noticed that my under-eye felt softer, so there definitely was some exfoliation.  I really didn’t see a difference with my dark circles.  As far as puffiness, I really don’t suffer from puffy eyes so I can’t speak about those claims.  I’ve used this product 4 times now and I still don’t see any major differences.  I like how I can feel some activity, but ultimately I haven’t noticed any changes.

GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment

Overall
If you’re someone with minimal eye “issues,” I’d say you can skip it.  It’s kind of fun to try something new instead of the ‘ol eye creams, but I really just didn’t see any major results with it.

Glitter Rating:  2 / 5

Where: GLAMGLOW, Sephora. Price: $69/12 ChromeCells (0.42oz).
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Infinity Uses for One Balm

16 Oct

GratisAffiliated Brand

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil

Josie says: An innovative 99%-natural creamy oil with an infinite number of uses such as hydrating skin, conditioning lips, and illuminating complexion. One creamy oil, infinite possibilities. This makeup-artist must-have delivers all the moisturizing benefits of argan oil in a portable, nongreasy, creamy oil form. The innovative formula starts as a cream and melts into an oil, making your complexion more luminous while tightening facial contours and preventing inflammation. Use it to hydrate and gently soothe undereyes, smooth flyaways, keep eyebrows in place, and condition lips. Mix it with powder blush or eye shadow to instantly transform it into a cream.

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Can you believe we are halfway through October?  Holy moly, I haven’t even decided what I’m going to be for Halloween yet!  Usually I have it figured out by August.  I guess I’ve been too consumed with work… does that mean I’m officially a grown up?

Well even though I’ve been busy I still find time to test out beauty products!  It is, after all, part of my job too.  This balm has all of the great properties of the original argan oil, but it’s in a cream form.  I love love love the vitamin E and essential fatty acids in argan oil, but it can be a bit messy (I’ve even spilled the bottle on my counter before.  Tragedy).  So having this miracle oil in a balm form was definitely appealing to me.

Here are the “infinity” uses listed on Sephora.com: Deeply moisturize dry areas of the face. Soothe irritated skin caused by rosacea, wind, or sunburn. Soften elbows, heels, and other rough patches. Keep stray eyebrows in place. Smooth flyaways. Moisturize at night. Prevent razor burn and irritation. Prevent skin dehydration during airline travel. Apply as a lip conditioner before lipstick. Apply over lip stain for a silky finish. Lightly dab on eyelids before applying eye shadow. Apply before or after using cheek stain to improve blendability. Transform powder eye shadow or pigment into a cream by mixing with Infinity Cream. Mix with a powder luminizer to create a light, shimmery lip balm. Use as a subtle face highlighter to illuminate cheekbones, lips, and brow bones. Mix with a powder blush to create a silky cream blush or colored lip balm. Hydrate and plump dry, swollen undereyes. Apply to fingertips and toes to hydrate and soften cuticles. Quench skin post-sunburn.

That’s quite a list.  I’ll admit, I haven’t tried EVERY single one of these, but I used it in all the ways that I usually use argan oil and I found myself very satisfied.  The consistency is very unique, it starts out very creamy, like a typical lotion.  But after you start to rub in and it warms up, the product turns into an oil.  It’s feels similar to petroleum (NOTE that it’s petroleum free) but a bit creamier.  It also has a slight citrus scent due to the tangerine peel oil.

My favorite use is for my hands, but it does leave a slightly greasy residue (especially if you use too much).  I use a pearl sized amount and apply to just the backs of my hands.  I also like to apply a TINY bit to my under eye area before concealer, it makes for a smooth application.  This has been amazing for my lips, which have been peeling like crazy lately.

My least favorite uses:  Hair.  Even to smooth out flyaways,  it’s just too greasy for me.  I’ve tried mixing it with cosmetics (luminizers, blushes) and it’s too shiny.  I can get away with it if it’s under my makeup (and I’ve only tried it under my eyes), but when it’s on top it looks greasy.  As for using it with eyeshadow… well I don’t suggest it unless you want your eyeshadow to crease.

I’ve gotten some feedback from various clients who LOVE this product.  Some say that it helps a lot with eczema.  I’ve had a few people tell me that they use it like a shaving cream and it’s the only thing that works for them.

Overall
I love this all natural multipurpose balm because it has all the same great properties of argan oil PLUS some other amazing ingredients.   It has a unique consistency, starting off like a lotion but turning into an oil after it warms up.  It’s too greasy to use on my face and I don’t like the way it feels on my straight hair.  Other than that, I use this anywhere that needs to be moisturized!

Glitter Rating: 4 / 5

Where: Exclusively at Sephora Price: $28/2.2oz.
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Eyeliner that you’ll never have to sharpen

9 Oct

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Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner in Sumantra

Smashbox says: Ditch your sharpener, but stay sharp! Inspired by Smashbox pros who sharpen before every use on set, this first-of-its-kind pencil has a sharpener inside the cap for a perfect tip–so you’ll always get a precise line.

When I first learned about this eyeliner, I heard all the usual stuff that I normally hear.  “It’s amazing!”  “Great color payoff!”  “Lasts all day!”  “It sharpens itself!”  … wait, back up.  That last part definitely made my ear perk up… it does what?!

It’s a retractable pencil that self sharpens.  How cool is that?  This is achieved by the magic that lives within kohl in the eyeliner.  Ok not really, it’s because the cap twists off (instead of just pulling it off) and in turn, sharpens the tip.  A simple but ingenious concept.

The liner comes in 7 colors, including a nice nude that looks lovely in the waterline.  I have the matte brown (there’s also a copper brown).  These guys are legit, a new liner favorite in my book.  The kohl is very soft so it doesn’t take much pressure to get opaque color payoff.  After applying, you do have a little time to smudge if you desire (about a minute until it sets).  These don’t smudge out as much as some of my UD 24/7 liners, but you can still achieve some smoky-ness.  Or you can use the tip to get a precise line.  The color is a neutral brown, it doesn’t lean warm or cool on me.  I get 8-9 hours wear time, 4-5 hours in the waterline.

I’ve been using the for about 2 weeks and I will admit I’m wondering when the product will run out.  I mean, if it’s sharpening EVERY time I open it… it’s essentially shaving off a little bit of product… you get where I’m going with this.  I don’t use it every day so I can’t really say how long it’s going to last me, but it’s just something to keep in mind.

Overall
The self sharpening tip makes them stand out from other retractable pencils.  They are long wearing, waterproof, and pigmented.  Since it essentially shaves off a bit of product each time I open it, I am concerned with the longevity of the pencil.  I’m wondering if the having a precise tip every time means quickly running out of product.

Glitter Rating:  4 / 5

Where: Smashbox, Sephora, Ulta. Price: $20/0.01oz
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What I’ve been up to, September 2013

4 Oct

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September was a busy month.  Two words:  wedding season.  Unfortunately my blog has suffered because of it, I only managed to post 10 times last month (sad face).  But my other business has been going well, so yay for that!  :)

Makeup artist kit.  Repressed blushes.

I feel like I spend half of my life cleaning my kit.  Okay, maybe not that much but it’s definitely time-consuming.  I’ve been thinking about getting come Clean, I’ve heard it’s the HG of all brush shampoos.  I also accidentally shattered some blushes, but I used my handy repressing skills to bring them back to life.

Pink glitter manicure.

I also did another Deborah Lippmann mani.  Does this look familiar? …

Living proof flex shaping hairspray.

I’ve been trying out some new hair products!  Last month I was all about the Bumble Dryspun.  This month it’s the Living proof!  I love soft hold and subtle scent!

Senior makeup.

In between all of the wedding maddness, I’ve managed to do some senior shoots!

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X Marks the Spot: Formula X Review

3 Oct

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Formula X Review and Swatches

Formula X says: With our groundbreaking NO COMPROMISE technology, now you can finally have everything you want from a nail polish. A dazzling spectrum of over 200 shades and never-before-seen effects gives you the freedom to supercharge your creativity.

I’m excited to show you something NEW today!  It’s the newest member to the nail polish world:  Formula X.  It features brand new nail technology that is exclusive to Sephora for the next 6 months.  I’ve been hearing about this for months now so I was excited to FINALLY check it out!

So there is a system that you’re supposed to use with it.  Unlike gel polish, you don’t HAVE to use it and there isn’t any curing light involved. However, they say that using the system is supposed to give you optimal results.

1) You start off with the cleanser.  I believe that it’s mostly alcohol, but it also has witch hazel, vitamin E, and cucumber extract in it.  You simply brush it on your nails and it dries within a minute.

2) You then apply the base coat, which provides a sticky surface to prime the nails.  It is “infused with Okoumé AE extract, a rare ingredient found deep in African rainforests.” Whatever that means…

3) Now it’s time to apply your polish.  Each color has been infused with “luminescent ingredient that enhances color and overall shine, it also features a fast-drying agent that gives you a smooth, flawless finish in no time.”  It’s also a 3 free formula.  Fahrenheit is a cool red, it photographed a bit brighter than it actually is.  I found that I had pretty full coverage after one coat which makes me one impressed girl.  Usually one coaters are thick and hard to apply, but this one goes on with ease.  I did end up applying two coats to even out some of the slight streaky-ness (and the directions say to apply 1-2 coats).

Time for the fun part:  the Xplosives top coat!  These claim to be “a next generation graffiti art nail lacquer that fuses matte glitter particles in assorted shapes and sizes for a paint-splatter effect.”  I imagine some indie brands have stuff like this, but I really haven’t seen any top coats like this for the mass market.  You use a patting motion to apply these.  The base isn’t thick at all so it’s easy to build it up if you wanted to.  I find “paint splatter” to be the perfect description.  Chaotic has black and white confetti glitter, but it’s not metallic at all.  The particles are mostly round and vary in size, but there’s some hex and bar glitter in there too.  I patted on one coat and I LOVE the way it turned out!

4) Lastly, you add the top coat.  It has “patented formulation delivers invisible anti-chip technology and resistance to water and detergents.”  It’s has a very glossy finish.

Dry time was about 10 minutes.   Actually, it may have even been less, but that’s how long I sat still before I decided to go eat dinner.  Lets backtrack:  5 coats of polish.  10 minutes to dry.  That’s crazy talk.

Formula X in Fahrenheit and Chaotic

Overall
The color Fahrenheit could easily be a one coater, it packs a lot of pigment without being too thick.  Chaotic literally looks like a paint splatter on my nails, I love the effect.  I can’t speak in terms of longevity yet, but so far I liked the easy application.  The quick dry time is also a huge plus.  I will be interested to see if using the entire “system” really makes a huge difference.

Glitter Rating: 5 / 5

Where: Sephora (cleanser, base coat, Fahrenheit, Chaotic, top coat) . Price: $10.50/0.4oz (cleanser, base and top coat, Fahrenheit), $12.50/0.4oz (Chaotic)
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Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup, 10/2/13

2 Oct

Poll: Do you color your hair?

28 Sep

Poll: Do you color your hair?

{via}

I say. . .

Regularly.  I used to be a “nope, never” girl.  But earlier this year I decided that I hated my dark brown hair and wanted to go lighter.  I went with a “J Lo” and “Jessica Alba” type of color.  Parts are bleached but my natural color is still in there.  I love it!  Root touch up is a pain, but I try to tell people it’s a new type of ombre…
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