Friday, December 16th, 2011

5 Holiday Lipsticks

These are five of my favorite (trust me, I could have probably done a dozen or more!) picks for your holiday lipstick this season!

  1. MAC Rebel — true berry
  2. Dior Nocturne — played-down red with copper shimmer
  3. NYX Chic Red — bright red
  4. Guerlain Gigolo — deep red with a glossy finish
  5. MAC Ruby Woo — retro matte red

What are your favorite holiday lipsticks to wear?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

5 Holiday Makeup Looks

Reader Jenelle asked for some suggestions for holiday makeup, what with all of the holiday parties in full swing!  I’m a huge fan of shimmery red/berry lips for the holidays, so I tend to go more neutral on the eyes.  I still have a soft spot for smoky golds, bronzes, coppers, berries, and greens, though :)  Here are my five picks…

  1. Easy neutral eyes + red lip
  2. Bronzes + greens
  3. Intense, smoky purples
  4. Golds + berries
  5. Matte neutral eye + shimmery lips

Do you have your holiday look planned already? Share!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011







5 Beautiful Taupe Eyeshadows

Ahh, taupe! The mysterious shades of taupe, because it’s one of those shades that is more of a mix of shades we can easily recognize. I feel taupe is one of those “you know it when you see it” shades, but the best way for me to describe it is: gray-tinted brown. I associate taupe with mushrooms; the color of mushrooms in their many varieties is a tangible way for me to envision it. Sometimes you can have a shade that’s more brown than gray but still more taupe than either brown or gray; other times, it’s almost gray with a hint of brown.

Is it me or are many taupes limited edition? The five picks below are all permanent shades, just to make it easy, but there are many other fantastic shades that have come and gone over the years.

What are your favorite taupe eyeshadows?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011


5 Things Beauty Brands’ Websites Need

I really feel like the online shopping experience for beauty leaves something to be desired! I wish beauty brands would put a little more into their websites.

  1. INGREDIENTS should be mandatory!  Not only is it frustrating that many brands don’t list their ingredients online, but when you inquire via e-mail, they refer you to call a 1-800 number. Is it really appropriate to have that kind of information–with all of those scientific ingredients–read over the phone?  They have to be on the box, so it’s not like it’s forever secret information.
  2. REAL PHOTOS seem to be more than just lacking but nigh on impossible to find on major beauty brands’ websites.  I know that Illamasqua has lip swatches, which is something you rarely see from bigger brands, that are much appreciated. I guess I’d be out of a job, though :)  You just see a lot of template photos that have the color altered in Photoshop rather than brands taking actual photos of each shade.
  3. QUANTITY should be displayed.  It drives me batty when a brand doesn’t list it.
  4. SHADE DESCRIPTIONS are so much more important than brands think!  When you’re using computer-generated color blocks for your swatches, a few words to describe the color would be so much more helpful!  No color descriptions is particularly egregious when the naming scheme is numbers!
  5. POST POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE REVIEWS if you ever want me to trust your reviews section. After hearing from readers about experiences where sites don’t post a negative review but will post a positive one, I’ve lost so much faith in the process.  Beauty consumers are getting smarter every year!

What are beauty brands’ missing on their websites?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

By Dustin Hunter, Makeup Artist

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dustin Hunter has been designing various media since his early teen years. Studying several different art forms, Hunter’s creative background ranges from illustration and photography to fashion and interior design to music production and makeup artistry. He has worked for over a decade as a professional illustrator and his retail interior design concepts have been featured in nation-wide publications, receiving recognition for their uniqueness and creativity.  Check out his blog and YouTube channel!


MAC Reflects Transparent Teal Glitter

7 Tried & True Must-Have Products

I’m a sucker for multi-purpose products: pigments, cream and liquid paints, mixing mediums, etc. I like to custom-blend just about everything! Not everyone feels the same way, though, and sometimes, it’s nice to have one product that does a job and does it well. These are some of my tried-and-true favorites from a few different companies (hopefully some that you haven’t heard of before)!

Estée Lauder Pure Color Lipstick | Their Long Lasting Cream finishes are some of the best lipsticks I own. They cover well and feel luxurious on the lips. The BEST ones are almost always limited edition. Favorites in the Permanent Range: Cherry Passion, Melon and Rose Tea.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars | I’m actually not a huge fan of these on the lips, but, OH, the blushes these make! They last forever and blend like a dream (they DO have mint in them though so avoid the eye area). Favorites: Cha-Cha and Divine.

Face Atelier Ultra Sheer | I love these liquid luminizers because you can mix them with foundation, cream blush or bronzer for glowing skin or apply them on their own (I use a fluffy blush brush) for a natural highlighting effect. Favorites: Champagne.

Terra Firma Gel Mineral Matte Finish Bronzer | I use this on myself all the time. It’s highly pigmented (I dilute it with body lotion), long-wearing, won’t rub off on clothes and looks SO amazingly natural – If most bronzers are too orange for you, look no further! (There’s also a shimmering version if you like to twinkle.)

MAC Reflects Glitters | A MAC PRO exclusive (but anyone can buy from MAC PRO). I’ve used these in a multitude of ways: mixing custom lip gloss, over mascara for sparkling lashes, on top of just any eye look, pressed over lipstick for a metallic foil effect, as a face and body highlight, worked into a hairstyle, etc. Not many things are THIS pretty! (Be aware that MAC lists these products as “not for use in the eye area.”) Favorites: Reflects Bronze, Reflects Gold and Reflects Transparent Teal.

MAC Blot Powder and Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder | My two favorite setting powders! Blot Powder by MAC is perfect for mattifying a look without adding any color or texture. Diamond Perfect Finish Powder by Purely Cosmetics is a transparent loose powder that easily outperforms the transparent powders I have from MAC and MUFE (smoother application, better line diffusing AND it doesn’t bounce light back in photography).

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

5 Beautiful Brown Nail Polishes

Not taupe, not beige, but five beautiful variations on brown.

What’s your favorite brown nail polish?

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