Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall/Winter Trend 2011- VAMP Lips! Retro Inspired

Nope, not vampire, vamp, meaning sexy and bold! When I think vamp, I think of the gorgeous ladies of the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. These ladies rocked the vamp lip.


In every piece of art there is one focal point. A focal point is the first thing your eyes go to when you stare at a painting, drawing, or face. Having more than one focal point or bold color at a time is just physically unappealing to the eyes, so we have either dramatic eye makeup w/ neutral lips, or neutral eye makeup w/ dramatic lips to choose from. Get it wrong and you just might end up like this:

I'm thrilled that the retro look is making it's comeback. I love how simple yet elegant this makeup is.

Arched brows, winged eyeliner, red lips- ANYONE could pull off it off with the right choice of colors that look great with your skintone.

 Here is everything I used for my retro inspired look--

Revlon PhotoReady Foundation (Ivory)
mixed with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation (Ivory)
Amazing Cosmetics Under Eye Concealer (Ivory)
NYX Powder Blush (Natural)

Urban Decay Naked Palette (Naked, Virgin)
Coastal Scents Gel Liner (True Black)
ELF Cream Eyeliner (Coffee)
Loreal Voluminous Mascara (Carbon Black)
Palladio Herbal Eyeshadow Primer

NYX Slim Lip Pencil (Deep Red)
NYX Round Lipstick (Snow White)

1. Apply concealer and foundation, prime the eyelids.
2. You want to pick 2 or 3 eyeshadows: One that matches your skin color for the lid, a warm or cool neutral (depending on your undertone), and a brow highlighter is optional. A little shimmer won't hurt.
3. Take the eyeshadow that's closest to your skin color and apply that all over the lid.
4. With a crease brush or blending brush, apply your neutral eyeshadow to the crease. You can take this color into the outer V but it's optional. My eyes are small and hooded so it looks better with out it.. I usually try to keep the crease a matte shade. Blend it up with a blending brush to give it that natural shadow, sultry effect.

5. You can use the lid color on your brow bone, or a more intense shimmery highlight. Apply w/ a blending brush.
6. If your lower lids are quite red like mine, you can use your crease color along the lower lash line to cover the redness.
7. Line your upper lids with a black liner. Winged eyeliner is easiest to apply with a liquid, cream, or gel formulation. Pencil is a pain in the butt. Your line should be thinnest starting at the inner corners or mid way. It should gradually get thicker as you reach the outer corner. If you're having trouble aligning the wings, draw a line from the outer corner of the eye in the direction of the end of your brow, this will guide your wings in the right direction.

8. You can apply false lashes or apply mascara to bottom and top lashes.

9. Choosing the right reds can be difficult. It has more to do with intensity than it does tone. Just remember that the paler you are, the more intense your red will be. So apply your lip liner, and your lipstick on top. With bold colors, I always feel the need to reshape the lips so they are even but this is optional. Remember that when your lipstick fades off your lips, it still stains the skin above the lips, so try not go out too far from the natural lip line.

10. If your lipstick is blue toned, apply a cool toned blush. If your lipstick is orange toned, apply a warm toned blush. Use a light hand while applying to the apples of the cheeks.

11. Lips and eyebrows are VERY important with this look. Fill your brows in with a matte powder, brow mousse, or eyeliner and shape them well. You want them high and arched to frame your sexy, sultry eyes. The brows make this look unique so they need to be defined, pointed and angular instead of rounded.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drugstore Haul, Review, & Swatches

Bari Cosmetics Love My 2 In 1 Glitter Stick (Tail Spin)- $1??
This is probably the worst eyeliner I have ever used. I bought it at Walmart for about a dollar, and I had low expectations for this product. The pigmentation, finish, consistency, and smell of this liner is just terrible. I will never buy from this company again. Does a decent cheap white eye liner even exist? :(

NYX Slim Eye Pencil (Dark Brown, White)- $1.75
These pencils are pretty average, they aren't creamy and super long lasting like the Urban Decay 24/7 ones, but they aren't overly dry and cheap either. The pigmentation of White is awful. I most likely will not be repurchasing.

ELF Essential Liquid Eyeliner (Black, Silver, Coffee)- $1

This is just another crappy product from the ELF $1 line. It has almost no staying power, and the formula is thin. The applicator is pretty decent, but the shape of the bottle is pretty impractical for storage.

NYC Liquid Eyeliner (Black)- $2.99
I'm not a fan of this liquid eyeliner for 3 reasons. It takes too long to dry, the applicator is too long, and the brush is too long for my tastes. My lashes are really unruly at times, and it's hard to get underneath them neatly with this liner. BUT, it has pretty decent staying power, great pigmentation, and the liquid isn't messy and all over wand like most liquid liners are.

NYX Eyebrow Powder (Auburn/Red)- $3-5??
I can't seem to find these online anywhere? I bought Auburn/Red at my local grocery store for about $5.00. The reddish brown is probably the more natural/wearable shade and the red looks amazing if your hair is dyed a bright cherry red. These shades have decent drugstore pigmentation, and I like that it comes with two shades so you can mix the two together, because we all know how red hair dye fades like crazy and we have to keep our eyebrows matching. It comes with a mini spoolie and a mini angled brush which work quite well, IMO. I will probably repurchase these again (If I can find them???) because they have a wide array of colors to choose from and I'm always changing my hair color.

NYC Smooch Proof 16 Hr LipStain (Endless Spice)- $4.99
Lipstains are meant to last and sadly, this one didn't meet up to my expectations. BUT, it wasn't super drying like a lot of drugstore lipstains, it has great packaging and good color pay off.

Maybelline VolumeXLSeduction Lip Plumper (Clearly Plump) $4-$7

First of all, this product has a ridiculously large name. Secondly, the packaging is terrible. You twist the bottom and the gloss squeezes out 6 little holes from a plastic tip applicator. Applying lip gloss with hard, flat, plastic isn't very affective. It's a little bit thick and sticky, but tolerable. However, it has a pleasant citrus scent, the tingle didn't hurt too bad, and it did plump my lips a little.

NYX Candy Glitter Eyeliner (Silver)- $3.25
Although I will never wear this out in public, I thought it would be fun to play around with and see what looks I can come up with using it. The pigmentation is good, it's long lasting, it isn't watery thin and doesn't smear my eyeshadow around. The applicator is great, but the tassel is annoying (but cute!).

Wet N' Wild MegaLash Clinical Serum- $6.99
I've been using this product for the past 5 months or so and I felt that it made my lashes grow a little and even made them thicker and stronger. At first, it burned the hell out of my eyes but I used it anyway because I don't believe in wasting anything more than $2. lol The burning, the pain, and the tears eventually stopped after the fourth week of using it. After it dries, it starts to peel and flake off your lashes which kinda sucks. The applicator, the instructions, and the time and effort needed to put into it is quite bothersome. The instructions were really vague, they don't tell you to apply from the root to the tip, or both sides. It says you need to apply it twice a day and you should start seeing results in your lash length after 4 weeks. Twice a day???...Sorry Wet n' Wild but that's a bit impractical for someone that puts on makeup everyday. And why couldn't they just make this product with a spoolie!? That applicator sucks. I DO like this product, and I believe the pros outweigh the cons for what you're paying because I've seen results in my lash length.

Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine Lip Lacquer (Flirtatious)  $1.99

To be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this lipstick, I was just quickly searching for the cheapest ruddy brown I could find. I haven't tested the staying power but the consistency and pigmentation turned out to be really good and really moisturizing. I love the small size, it applies easier than most lipsticks since my lips are pretty thin. The way it's packaged is kinda crappy because the lipstick doesn't twist all the way down into the tube, and if you aren't careful, you can scrape some off onto the cap while taking it on and off. I think I'll pick up a couple more of these.

Burt's Bees Nourishing Lip Balm (Mango Butter) $2.99

This is definitely my new HG chapstick. It actually soothes, moisturizes and it doesn't feel thick and sticky on my lips like Carmex does. It claims that the ingredients are 100% natural, which it should be considering the price tag. Not that it's too expensive, it's just a fair price for the quality. I love the scent and I will repurchase when I run out!

Up and Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion (Normal Skin)-$4.99

For those who don't know, Up and Up is Target's store brand and this is supposedly like Olay's moisturizer but I haven't tried Olay to test out how similar they are...but I will say that this is a good moisturizer. It does contain SPF, vitamins and all that other good stuff. I normally use a Clean And Clear moisturizer for acne-prone skin but I started getting really bad dry patches last month and I needed something a little stronger. The patches cleared up completely within 2 days and I moisturized them twice a day. No break outs from it so far, and when the patches start to come back I only have to moisturize once and they are gone by the next day. It smells like babies, and it's a little slow to dry but I don't mind.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ELF Haul and Mini Reviews

Studio Daily Brush Cleaner- $3.00 
I really like this cleaner, it's in a spray bottle so it's a lot less messy than other cleaners. It takes quite a while to get all the product off, but I believe you're getting what you pay for. I'm tight, so I will be repurchasing this. The scent is pretty strong, which might not be tolerable for some people.

Studio Makeup Mist and Set Spray- $3.00
I love this stuff.  The smell is TERRIBLE and rotten within the first 5 seconds, but after that it goes away. While I don't have much experience with setting sprays, at first, I honestly couldn't tell whether or not this worked because my foundation is formulated to last all day. So I tested it on my wrist and it surprisingly held up pretty well.

This is a black shimmery eyeshadow I applied on my wrist with a sponge around 2:30 PM. The one on the left was sprayed, and the one on the right wasn't. (I covered it with a paper towel)

This was taken at 6:00 PM. Between 2:30 and 6:00 I did do some dishes, cooked dinner, and I snuggled in bed and watched TV with the hubby. As you can see, the one on the right is quite faded compared to the sprayed one on the left.

Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer- $6.00

This stuff is surprisngly AWESOME. It's a lot like the Smashbox primer because it's silicone based, so it really creates a smoother base for the foundation. If you have pores, wrinkles, and dry skin, this product will be your new b.f.f.

Natural Radiance Blusher (Glow)-$1.00

The packing for this blush is really annoying and cheap. The lid slides up and it's really hard to open the first time. It's also a lot smaller than what I thought it was going to be, it's about the size of an eyeshadow pan. However, it's incredibly pigmented, a little on the powdery side, but it's still really beautiful warm peach with a golden glow.

Studio Translucent Matifying Powder- $3.00
I really like this product. The packaging is sleek and sturdy, the mirror is quite large and perfect to throw in the purse. I'm not a huge fan of the sponge because it picks up too much product, but it's good to take with you on the go since it fits inside the compact. In the morning I prefer to use a small powder puff with it. I might re-purchase this.

 Mineral Mineral Lipstick (Natural Nymph) - $5.00
This is a pretty good matte lipstick but was it worth the $5? Nope. It doesn't have much coverage and it fades too quickly. I'll be sticking to my NYX lipsticks.

Studio Eyebrow Kit (Medium, Ash)- $3.00
Best 3 dollars I've ever spent, seriously! The wax in these kits are amazing! The powders are extremely soft, but really powdery. They work great though. The brush isn't too bad either, it's great if you're on-the-go. You have to apply the wax first, and put the powder over top. The wax helps the powder actually stick to the hairs making them appear thicker, rather than just shading the skin underneath and I can honestly say I have never used a product that has made them look as natural as this. Taupe will be awesome for blondes, and Medium is great for medium-dark brown hair, it has a reddish undertone though so it may not work for everyone.

Cream Eyeliner (Midnight, Coffee)- $3.00
These liners are OK. Midnight was really dry and doesn't come off as intense as it looks in the jar. However, Coffee was quite creamy and wasn't too reddish like most brown liners I've tried. I've had it for almost 2 months and it still isn't drying out! I went back a few weeks ago to pick up Midnight and I was really disappointed. They aren't as creamy as Loreal's HIP but they don't dry out as fast either. I will probably be re-purchasing Coffee.

Little Black Beauty Book (Cool Collection)-$5.00

This was one of the first products I purchased from ELF, and I'm glad I didn't let this one ruin for me. The packaging is cheap, every eyeshadow is chalky or powdery, and the color payoff just sucks. The lipglosses are mostly sheer and sticky. I regret buying this, it's not even worth swatching, and I will never buy another ELF eyeshadow or palette again.

Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush- $3.00
I'm not sure how I feel about this brush yet, the bristles are very stiff and it kinda hurts my eyelids, it's not like the other ones I've tried.

Studio Blush Brush- $3.00

This works pretty well, it's just your standard blush brush, no shedding, it's packaged well, no complaints.

Studio Small Angled Brush- $3.00
I was really diasappointed in this one. All of their Studio line brushes are really sturdy and are of pretty good quality but sorry, ELF. This one is sucky, the hairs are too soft and they separate.

Essential Eyeshadow Brush- $1.00

The packing is SO cheap for the brushes in the Essential line. As soon as I took this out of the plastic, I dropped it on my kitchen floor and it fell apart. I'm not too picky about shader brushes, so it didn't bother me. It works well, I'll just have to superglue it back together.

Essential Blushing, Bronzing, and Blending Brush- $3.00
I'm on the fence about this brush. It lacks the density and thickness that I look for in an angled blush brush. It applies straightly and precise, but it doesn't blend at all.


Easy DIY Hair Flower Clip Tutorial

Items you will need:
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Metal alligator clips (typically sold in craft stores)
-Artificial flowers. OBVIOUSLY

I highly recommend buying your clips at Hobby Lobby. Michael's has a very poor selection of size and variety. I also recommend purchasing your flowers from a dollar store or Walmart. I find it easier to work with the cheaper flowers because they aren't as stiff, bulky, and they look better in your hair. Don't worry about petals bending in different directions because you can just glue them down later. Be on the lookout for frayed petals, they look tacky.

1. Heat up your glue gun. Put it on high, because you'll need a high temp when glueing metal pieces. My mini glue gun usually take about 5 minutes to heat up.

2. Take the flower off the stem and remove the plastic leafy base thing.

3. Cut the stem as far up as you can with your scissors.

 Keep it pinched and tight so the petals don't loosen and fall out of place.

4. Apply a dab of glue to your stem nub. Don't worry about the messy strings of glue because they're easy to remove once they're dry. 

5. Apply your clip! Try to glue the flower in the center so either side of the clip doesn't show when it's in your hair. Be sure to apply it asap because hot glue dries within 15 seconds! Pinch and hold it like this for at least 10 seconds to let it dry.

 As you can see, the petals look really loose and sloppy but this can be fixed!

 6. Place a thin line of glue on starting from the bottom of the inside of the outer petals. Don't go more than halfway up the petal with your line because the glue will look to obvious. After glueing, press the outer petals against that back of the inner petals and hold for a few seconds to let the glue dry.

 7. (Optional) If your petals are going crazy and they're a little bent like in the photos shown below--

 put a dot of glue on the bent piece and glue it to the petal in front of it to make it straight. Press and hold for a few to let the glue dry.

8. (Optional) Cut off a little rectangle of felt and place it in the clip, directly above your spot of glue. You'll need this to secure the clip on a little better, and it also prevents the metal teeth from snagging on your hair. (Some clips are worse than others. :P) Also, choose a felt color that is similar to your flower color so it doesn't pop out when it's in your hair.

9. Place glue under the pieces like so, then press and hold to dry. Do this to both sides of the felt.

All done and ready to be worn!

~You can also add dots of glue to the petals for a rain drop affect, you can add glitter glue, sequins, beads, whatever floats your boat!

~There are 3 general sizes, if your flower is 1-3 inches in diameter, get the smaller clip. If it's 3-4 inches, get the medium size, for 4-5 inches, get the large clips with the round base.

~If you have the alligator clips that are square like this, I REALLY suggest using felt because they can pull your hair and it's hurts. :(

~You can use ALL kinds of clips, some craft stores have a large variety to choose from; Little plastic ones for small children/babies, bobby pins, and clips with a clamp and pin for hair AND clothing. The clip and clamp has a round metal base which works a lot better for larger flowers. All of these clips come in small packs, all under $3 at Hobby Lobby.

~Put them in cute party favor bags and give them as gifts to your friends and loved ones!

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