Friday, January 31, 2014

All About Brushes Part 1 | The Basics

This is rather a complex subject so I am going to break down this issue in three separate posts. The first thing you should know is the bristles come in two different types- Synthetic and Natural... and you should have both! The main difference between synthetic hairs and natural hair is its capability to pick up and release the product.

Synthetic Hairs

Synthetic are usually made with taklon or nylon, which is what most synthetic paint brushes are compromised of as well, or any other matter that imitates animal hair. As I raved in my Makeup Essentials (<<< Read Me) blog, I am obsessed with Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki brush (made of synthetic hairs). Because it is not real hair, it does not essentially grab & hold the product within the hairs... it picks it up & releases it directly on the surface. Synthetic brushes are used best with liquids, creamy eyeshadow, or eyeliner. Traditionally, you should avoid powder based products with synthetic brushes. However, some companies are creating synthetic hairs that so closely resemble natural hairs you can hardly tell the difference. (Just know before you buy)

Recommended brushes: Sigma F80 - Flat Kabuki
Sigma  F88 - Flat Angled Kabuki

Sigma E05 - Eyeliner 
Sigma F70 - Concealer 

Natural Hairs

Natural brushes are a little more complex, as they are made from a variety of animals. The most common being goat, squirrel, sable, and pony. ((Don't worry, they are not harmed.. we all get hair cuts)). Adversly from synthetic brushes, natural hairs are best used on powder products. The reason being, the hair is is going to absorb moisture as our own hair does. A powder product is just going to vacuum inside those cuticle scales (below), and when enough pressure is applied (it doesn't take much) the powder will fall off

resulting in a softer application than synthetics.  This comes in handy when blending products. Natural brushes tend to move more generously than synthetics, which is why they are so amazing with blending & buffing out. (<< Does all that make sense?) Avoid using liquids and creams, as they will cling to the hair's texture & will have a difficult time releasing.. resulting in uneven application & cakeyness (ewww).

Recommended brushes: Sigma E35 - Tapered Blending

Sigma E25 - Blending
Sigma F40 - Large Angled Contouring
Sigma F10 - Powder/Blush

(I believe Sigma's Natural brushes are hairs from the belly of a Goat)


And then there are combination brushes.. which consist of both natural & synthetic hairs. You will not come across these brushes as much... as there are few brushes I know of (or at least tried) that is compromised of both. My favorite is MAC's 242 Shader brush. This little puppy is awesome for packing on color and even works with creamy concealers. It's the best universal brush known to man-kind. If you do stumble upon a combination brush, I would choose a very reliable brand, such as MAC so you know you are getting the best quality.

Recommended Brush: Sigma F50 Duo FibreMAC 242 Shader 

** Please Note: I chose to link all Sigma Brushes not only because they are amazing, but it was easier for me to stay with one brand. I am no way affiliated or sponsored by Sigma.

Brushes Part 2 HERE

Brushes Part 3 HERE

Monday, January 27, 2014

Makeup Tutorial | Viva La Glam

You're going to have to forgive me on this one for lack of photos. I was literally so stinkin tired last night I just could not bring myself to do the other side of my face... yep that's right. I only did one eye ball.. not to mention my losing battle with the falsies. ((Not that I need them... I just wanted to intensify this look)). ANYway, here it is.. Viva La Glam.. 

P.S.-- excuse my brows, I ran out of brow wiz & had to improvise.

Step 1 - The Basics

Prime the eyeballs.


Apply a white/creamish color to the brow bone. I used Mac Gesso. 

 Step 2 - Crease 

Using a crease brush, apply Makeup Geek Creme Brulee (light brown with peachy undertones) to the crease, blending out to the length of your eyebrows.

Step 3-- The Tape Method

Take a piece of Scotch Tape & Apply to the back of your hand & peel off 2-3 times to get rid of some of the adhesivenizz. Line up tape with edge of the eye as if you were creating a wing.

Using a dark grey (Mac Typographic) apply alongside the tape with any brush that has a flat edge. I used MAC 242. With the tip of the brush create a V on the lid. Reapply Creme Brulee with a blending brush & blend these 2 colors together. You can be messy. I promise it's IMPOSSIBLE to mess this up.

Step 4- Cat Eye

Reapply Typographic in that V formation. I wanted mine to go up slightly higher than I originally had it . Darken with a Matte Black and trace along side the tape. Keep blending & re-applying until desired.
Peel off Tape...... and you have the perfecttttt Cat Eye!

Step 5- Add the Glitz

Spray a spritz of MAC FIX+ into your hand & dip an application brush soaking in the FIX+.
Dip the wet brush into a loose pigment (Utopia- Makeup Geek)... P.S.-- Loose pigments are everywhere! Maybelline Hip High Intensity has a variety of glittery choices. Jessie's Girl from Rite Aid also sells like 36764 shades of loose pigment (they are more shimmery than glittery).

Apply on lid & Let Dry.

Step 6- Touch Ups

This goes to show how tired I was because I deleted all photos of the rest of the process from here on out. After pigment has dried, touch up any "empty" spots (as you can see, mine needed touched up toward the center of the crease area). Let that dry & use the Matte Black to re-define the crease with the same brush edge (MAC 242--- eyeliner or flat, angled brushes work for this too). Blend out if necessary. 

Step 7- Put Your Face On

Apply a gel or liquid eyeliner & follow edge lines. Add falsies if you wish. I planned on throwing them on & they just were NOT having it.. sometimes we don't get along.

Apply the rest of makeup (primer, foundation, blush, bronzer, etc..)

** Utopia is a VERY messy pigment. I had glitter all o'er my face, so you might need to wipe off excess glitter or shadow fall first with a damp wash cloth.

Step 8- The Final Touch

Slightly smoke out the bottom lash line. Do this subtly because of how intense the lid is. Pop ANY color in there. I used purple because it enhances green eyes (From BH Cosmetics Day & Night Palette).

OR smoke out with a dark brown. (I say this instead of using Typographic, because I don't like grey standing alone on the eye.. it's just not flattering, in my opinion. It needs to be mixed or washed out with something else). But I promise, if the brown is dark enough you won't even notice. Ex- MAC BRUN.

Apply a white, or light shimmery shade in the tear duct (MAC Nylon).

The End.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Makeup Tutorial | Pretty Simple

Now that the essentials are covered, here's a little tutorial fun.  I was going to go into makeup brushes & some fundamentals (the building blocks of fun), but I didn't want to bore you. I call this look Pretty Simple, because that's exactly what it is-- pretty.. and well.. simple. It is literally SO easy & takes zero effort & talent. It's so easy a caveman could do it.. plus it will give you a little feel for using brushes. This is one of my favorite on the run looks, it takes like 30 seconds, literally... not to mention it is versatile and looks good on ANYBODY! 

Using Lorac Pro Palette:

Apply "Cream"over the entire eye-- lid to brow bone with a shader brush (Mac 242). With that same brush, add " Lt Pink" to the lid. Take any small brush (I used Real Technique's Accent Brush) & apply "White" in the tear duct & blend into brow bone. Apply "Mauve" in the crease using a blending brush (Sedona Lace EB09) stroking back & forth and then in small circular motions as if you are painting loops. Blend out any harsh lines with a Tapered Blending brush, such as Sigma E40. On the bottom, using a smudge brush, apply a thin line of "Sable" as close to the lash line as possible & blend out to your desired smokey-ness. Add a winged eyeliner & voila! (I used MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder + e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner + Sedona Lace EB 19)


For a Natural/Relaxed Look: MAC Close Contact (nude) 

Or-- a More Lively/Dramatic Look: Rimmel Kate Moss Collection 01 (red)


Benefit POREfessional

Mary Kay Eye Primer
Make Up Forever HD in N128 + Sedona Lace 928
MAC Prep & Prime- Light Boost + Beauty Blender
NARS Creamy Concealer- Custard + Beauty Blender
Mary Kay Mineral Foundation - Ivory 0.5 + Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush

Benefit Hoola Bronzer under cheek bone + Sigma F84
Mary Kay Mineral Cheek color in Cinnamon Stick + Sedona Lace 980

Brows & Lashes:

Anastasia Brow Wiz- Brunette
Anastasia Brow Powder- Dark Brown

Maybelline Mega Lash
L'Oreal Voluminous
Rimmel Lash Accelerator
Benefit They're Real!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Makeup Essentials 101

The most frequently asked question I receive is, "what makeup do you use?" Well, that's rather a loaded question, because the products I use vary on a day to day basis. If you are just starting out in the makeup world, these products are staples for your every day routine!  

Now, grab a snack, a glass (or bottle) of wine & enjoy! It's a long one :)

** All products mentioned are solely my opinion based on experience. There are endless options for each product category. These are merely recommendations **

I cannot stress enough how important primers are to create that flawless look. SOMETHING has to be the meat in the sandwich between your skin and makeup. I have combination skin so I do not like to moisturize under my foundation as I get oily in my T zone. Don't get me wrong, it is IMPORTANT to moisturize everyday! Yes, everyday. Those with dry skin may get away with a moisturizer in the place of a primer. 

Face Primers:
* Benefit POREfessional $30.00- Minimizes the appearance of pores & creates a smooth canvas for perfect, long lasting application.
 * Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser $6.99 
* Mary Kay Foundation Primer SPF 15 $16.00 (Snaps for Sunscreen!!)
* L'Oreal Miracle Blur $19.97
* Smashbox  Photo Finish Foundation Primer $15-36.00

Eye Primers:
Eye primers are so important because they create a clean, crease resistant palette to gurantee shadow stays in place all day. Primers also have the tendency to boost pigmentation on the lid (colors will show up better on a primed eyelid).
* Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion $20.00
Mary Kay Eye Primer $12.00

* Too Faced Shadow Insurance $20.00

Foundation & Application
Let's be honest, every one wants flawless looking skin so we'll just cut to the chase. No explanation needed here. Again, there is plenthura of foundations available, each cattering to a specific skin type, tone, and preference. These are just ones I love, and actually consider pretty universal.

* Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation $42.00- Soft, light weight liquid foundation that is formulated to provide a flawless finish

* L'Oreal True Match Lumi (Dry Skin) or L'Oreal True Match(I prefer this over the lumi, again, because of my skin type. The True Match has a thicker, less oily formula than the Lumi. The one that will be best for you depends on your skin type.

-- Applied with: Flat Top Kabuki Brush (Sigma Beauty & Sedona Lace have great ones) . Applying 1.5 pumps to the back of the hand, lightly dip brush in foundation pulling up about half of the product. Dab "dots" onto face. Repeat until all product is used. Blend out with brush in circular motion. Using a flat kabuki brush will ensure an even, flawless foundation as opposed to a "flat foundation brush." These brushes are made of synthetic hairs, meaning the brush will NOT grab & hold makeup inside the brush, it directly picks up the product and transfers right onto your face. Flat brushes can cause "streaky lines" and uneven application.
Not This.

** Both Sigma & Sedona Lace brushes are low cost & the best!! MAC's professional brushes are literally, I kid you not, literally the SAME brushes, they are just double the price & say "MAC" on them.  

Concealer + Application
Concealer should be a NECESSITY in your makeup routine to brighten up that area under your eyes (especially if you have dark circles like me). The most common mistake made is buying the wrong kind of concealer. For under eye application, concealer should be in liquid form. DO NOT purchase a compact/thick like cream concealer for this. These types of concealers are meant for covering up blemishes. When applied under the eye, they will cake up without a doubt.

* MAC Pro Longwear Concealer $19.00 - Medium coverage concealer, provides up to 15 hours of wear, Creaseless.
* NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $28.00
* Maybelline Instant Age Rewind $7.94
* Maybelline FitME Concealer $5.48
** Concealer for blemishes: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage $32.00
( I still have yet to find a drugstore concealer for blemish treatment, but will be on the look out! )

Applied With: Beauty Blender $19.95 I cannot even begin
to explain how amazing this little sponge is. It's so awesome & cute I could cuddle with it! (JUST KIDDING.. but it's great). I've bought knock off versions at TJ MAXX & they even sell them at Wal Mart now too, but none of them come close to the real thang. Simply soak your BB in water, squeeze all excess water out & you're ready to go. Apply concealer & gently dab BB repeatedly over to blend. This gives you the most flawless finish I kid you not! (( Tip: Can also be used to apply all over foundation.. score! ))

Why It Works: Most sponges will absorb up all your make up resulting in uneven application. Because of the soft 
lightweight material & dampness of the BB sponge, makeup repels off the sponge & directly onto your skin. Concealer brushes can do the same as flat foundation brushes mentioned above (streaky lines.. ain't nobody got time for that).

Eye Shadows
The most exciting part of this post! Every gal loves ooohhing & aaahhing over pretty eyeshadows :) But which palette(s) suits you best? << (See what I did there? Lord knows we can't live with just one)

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $52.00
Consists of Taupe/Neutral shades. This was my very first palette & I still find myself reaching for it at least 2 or 3 times a week. The shades are just so beautiful, highly pigmented & versatile. The only downside is there are only 2 matte shades, but still gorgeous shadows nonetheless!

Lorac Pro Palette $42.00
Perfect for everyday wear. If I recommend ANY product to you, it's this one! I could literally only own this palette alone & be satisfied. Combination of shimmery & matte shades.

BH Cosmetics Day & Night Palette $9.00
This palette is for the explorer. For the one who wants to experiment with a wide variety of shades (There's 60!! Yes, 60 shades for $9.00!!!) I will admit, some of these are not highly pigmented, but that's what you get for 9 bucks, right? I love this palette when I want a pop of color here & there, it includes nearly every single shade in the color spectrum. Worth every penny.

NYX Wiked Dreams Palette $14.99
I'm going to be honest. I do not own this palette, nor have I ever tried it. I've eyeballed it quite a few times & find myself resisting, only for the fact most of the shades are comparable to the Lorac Pro, with the exception of a few. This a great combination of matte and shimmer shades, also offering a few colorful shades too. I have heard nothing but great reviews on this palette. Definitely worth a try if you don't want to splurge on the Naked2 or Pro Palette.

Maybelline Eye Studio Eye Shadow Quads $7.94
Perfect for the gal who isn't sure what the F@%k she's doing with makeup. These quads are full proof. All are cheap & highly pigmented. Of all drug store eye shadows I have ever purchased, these are by far one of the best and least chalky.

Downside: Pretty sure they are all shimmery shades (no mattes). This can be overwhelming if you're more of a plain Jane.

Maybelline "The Nudes" Palette $10.00
This palette is everything. The whole shit shabang. These are the perfect combination of neutral shades, also providing a well balanced ratio of mattes to shimmers. Not only are these highly pigmented, but the quality is insanely comparable to high end products. They are even more beautiful in person... and for $10.. can't beat that!

Eyeliner can be tricky because it comes in many different forms: pencil, liquid pencil, gel, cream, liquid. Gahhh give me a break will ya? The best advice I have is to find one of these variations you are comfortable with and stick with it. Here's a few great liners--

* MAC Eye Kohl $16.00 - Soft & silky eye pencil, glides on smooth & lasts all day!
* Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner $20.00 - Perfect for the lazy gal because this puppy never needs sharpened. Every time you put the cap back on, it self sharpens (amazing, right!)
* L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil $7.97 - It is exactly what it says- a liquid pencil. Never have experienced an eyeliner that goes on as smooth as this one. (I'm obsessed with the smudger at the end) Downside: If you do not have a steady hand, this product is NOT for you. It can be a mess if not applied with ease. Also, it almost always needs sharpened, & when done be careful, this product is very delicate & will break off in a sharpener so it cannot ever be fully sharp sharp.
* NYX Slide On, Glide On, Stay On, Definitely a Turn On Eye Pencil $7.99 - Offers many shade options, is long lasting and glides on very effortlessly.

* Makeup Geek Gel Liner $7.99 - A true BLACK gel liner, goes on smooth & easy.
* e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner $3.00 - (link is to Walgreens, but it's available at Walmart). EASY EASY EASY. I just can't even begin to explain how easy & smooth this eyeliner is. PLUS it comes with a little brush! ahhh (love!)
----Applied With:
* Sedona Lace EB 19 Eyeliner Brush $8.95 - Dip this in those ^^ & you're guaranteed a perfect, clean wing EVERY time. Tip: Brush excess liner off onto a paper towel after each use as any left over product left on the brush will harden.
* KatVonD Tattoo Liner $18.00 - Offers the most precise point for that perfect winged liner. Is also extremely long lasting and a true black. Has little 'shine' to it as most liquid liners do,
* Maybelline Line Stiletto  $5-8.00 - Another great liquid liner that has a sturdy enough point to give you control, but is also a bit flimsy for easy strokes.
(I like pairing these 2 together-- Line Stiletto on the lid, and Tattoo Liner for a wing)
* NYC Liquid Liner $3.00 - This liner comes in a pen form and has a very dense tip. Very easy to apply and nice color payoff.
* Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool $22.00 - An all in one eyeliner. This is very unique because it has a fork like tip. This design makes it easy to tightline and really get into the spaces between each lash to make the lashes look 5x as thick. Don't be afraid by the 3way tip, it's actually very easy to apply a wing liner this this cowboy.

I wouldn't consider ALL these mascaras as a necessity 9okay yea they are), but every one always asks about my lashes so here it is. Applied in this order:

Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara $5.94

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara $5.84

Rimmel London Lash Accelerator $7.97

Benefit They're Real! Mascara $23.00

Eyebrows are perhaps the most over looked part of a makeup routine because when talking about filling them in, it is common to think of one of these three: 

The fact of the matter is, filling in eyebrows PROPERLY can completely polish off your look.

P.S.-- If your brows look like those, you need to stop that. Now.

* Anastasia Brow Wiz $21.00 WIN WIN WIN!! Hands down best brow product of all time. It's precise tip mimicks actual hairs. It is the best brow tool on the earth!
* Maybelline Define-A-Brow $5-6.00 - A close second to the Brow Wiz. Not as precise, but still provides a nice color payoff for natural looking brows.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo $23.00- There are other dupes out there for this, but I shop at Sephora so very frequently I just always pick this one up. Maybe I'll venture out soon & do some experimenting! Be careful when substituting eyeshadows for a brow powder-- they don't always look as natural, which is why I always stick with the brow powders!

* Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse $28.00- Though pricey, this small jar of brow mousse will last you for a very very very long time! It's a lightweight formula that goes on smooth, making it the perfect product to fill in natural looking brows.

Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel $6.49- Again, there are several options out there for a brow gel-- a necessity for those with curly brows like myself! ((This one is 3/4 the price of Anastasia's)).

Adding lipstick just completes the whole look of the face. If you're not into the very colorful tones, you will be surprised what a neutral toned pink or peach will add to your look!

* MAC Lipstick $15.00- MAC carries ANY lipstick shade your heart will ever desire (Not to mention they smell Uhh-mazing!) A Few of my favorites:
Ruby Woo (red)
Diva (dark red with brown undertones)

Rebel (deep plum)
Candy Yum Yum (hot pink)
Close Contact (Nude)
Brave (light mauvey pink)

These lippies are well worth the price for their high quality in color payoff and lasting power.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss $4.97 - I am a straight up lipstick junkie & literally have to try everything. I picked this up at CVS the other day after making my boyfriend wait a half hour in the car for me on a "quick" makeup run. Anyways, I am very impressed with this lipstick-- creamy & yet matte, stays on ALL DAY. No touch ups needed. I see myself purchasing the whole collection in the near future. Snaps to Rimmel & Kate Moss (a perfect low cost option)

Blush can be like a drink of fresh water for your face! Even on those lazy days, applying a little blush on the apples of your cheeks can make you appear more awake & "glowing." Whatever you do, no not skip this step in your makeup routine!

* Milani Baked Blush $6.99- I Can'y say enough great things about this blush. Some of the shades really aren't that highly pigmented, but for blushes, that can be a good thing. Sometimes less is more! No one wants grandma or clown blush right?!
(Luminoso is my favorite!)

* Mary Kay Mineral Cheek Color $12.00 -- These were one of my first blush purchases and I still use these blushes on the regular. They are highly pigmented, long lasting and offer a wide variety of shades.

* Benefit Hoola Bronzer $28.00 - Beautiful matte bronzer that looks good on any skin tone & is perfect for contouring.

* NARS Laguna Bronzer $38.00 - A pretty hefty price tag for something that goes on your cheeks, but it sure does payoff! It's the perfect shade of bronze, and when paired with the Hoola Bronzer, creates the most absolutely natural looking contour.

* I'm still on the look out for a good drugstore bronzer I really like, as most I come across are either tiled/mosiac and/or shimmery. Shimmery bronzers should not be used for contour purposes, only to add shine and glow to the face.


* e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen $3.00 - This is the most genius product ever designed because we all make those F*%Ktard mistakes sometimes. The pen makes it easy to undo those mess ups (especially helpful with winged liner). I bought at Walmart, but have not been able to find it since. It is available on and possibly at Target. 

P.S.-- Not sure what this cat has to do with a Makeup Remover Pen.. I just love cats :)

* Mary Kay Mineral Power Foundation $18.00 - in IVORY 0.5-- Not sure who in our galaxy is actually pale enough for this powder. It is so pale it is nearly translucent so I use it as a setting powder. Using a small brush I apply this over my T-Zone (oily & highlighted spots). Even if you do not have oily skin, setting your foundation with a powder completes the flawless look. 
-- Make Up Forever Microfinish Powder ($34.00 loose, $22.00 pressed) is designed to do the same thing. I also love Neutrogena's Shine Control Pressed Powder $11.99

MAC Fix+ $21.00 -- Last, but not least, this is the holy grail of all cosmetics. This spray can be used to moisturize skin, as a setting and/or prepping spray, to add pigmentation to shadows, bind together loose & glitter pigments, and as a "re freshening spritzer." Talk about all in one! This solution is saline based so basic eye drops can substitute for many of these functions.

The End! 

P.S.S.-- A BIG Thank you to my co-workers who bugged the living crap out of me every week to teach them how to do makeup. You lovely girls are 100% my inspirations behind this blog. This one is for you beautiful ladies!