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Madeline’s Beauty Journey

By Madeline, Teen Beauty Contributor

Madeline is 17-years old and currently attends high school in southern California. She’s also lived in D.C. and a Connecticut suburb of NYC. She loves to read, write, as well as shop, travel, play golf, and spend time with her family and friends. She’s excited to go to college and hopes to attend university on the east coast. Despite living in California now, she feels like a New Yorker!

Check out her blog, This Little Preppy Goes West!


Madeline’s Beauty Journey

When I was about 11 years old, my mother took me to the SoHo Bloomingdales to purchase my first Clinique 3-Step Skincare System. This was my first venture into the world of beauty. I clearly remember the wonderful women at the counter who helped me pick out which products would best suit my skin. They, along with my mom, taught me the importance of caring for my skin. Although I am lucky to have naturally good skin, I do still credit the Clinique ladies for teaching me several important lessons in beauty.

I, like many young girls, first began to wear makeup using Clinique products. I fondly remember my first eyeliner and mascara I wore as a young teen. I’m still a big fan of their High Impact Mascara. Today, I love my Whoppin’ Watermelon Chubby Stick. Whenever I walk by the Clinique counter at the mall, I can’t help but smile, because, for me, that is where my love of beauty began.

Clinique is where I had my start, and while I’m still a big fan of their products, the next turning point in my beauty journey was my introduction to MAC. After reading blogs for some time, I realized that MAC is one of the most loved cosmetic brands on the market.  I became enthralled with the art-inspired collections, and this is what made my own MAC collection begin to grow.

Before I started high school, I typically only wore mascara and/or eyeliner. By the time I moved across the country to southern California, I decided to experiment with makeup. My first MAC eye shadows were typical and neutral–All That Glitters and Soba. Eventually, I accumulated more eyeshadows, lipsticks, and my holy grail product: MAC Makeup Remover Wipes.  Now, I love following the latest MAC collections and stocking up on my old favorites from Clinique, but I have also graduated to one of the ultimate beauty brands: Chanel.

I recently picked up the Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick at the very same Bloomingdales where my beauty obsession began. It’s funny how things come full circle–some of my absolute favorite products have come from my favorite brands in three different but important parts of my life.

How did you fall in love with makeup? What was the first beauty product you bought or had bought for you?

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Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described simply as “a soft pink.” If you’re not familiar with this particular gloss formula, it’s supposed to yield “the full color coverage of a lipstick” with “the shine of a gloss” while feeling like a balm when worn. It’s also supposed to “moisturize, condition, and last throughout the day without feathering.”

Angel Pink is a warm, yellow-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. The color itself is creamy and mostly opaque, though because of its creamier finish, it does settle into lip lines slightly. The only gloss that seemed a bit similar was MAC Tour de Fabulous, which is a bit less pink and has lots of shimmer. It did remind me of a yellow-toned version of NYX Stella. Chanel Empire is pinker and darker.

Bobbi Brown gets a lot of things right with this gloss formula–it’s as opaque as it’s supposed to be, has a healthy shine as a gloss ought to, and feels comfortable when worn.  I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say it’s like a lip balm, because it has a slicker, more slippery texture–more akin to your average non-sticky lipgloss.  It lasts between four and five hours on me, but it is a good moisturizing gloss.  My lips never feel dry after wearing it, even if I’ve stretched the wear to six hours.  This formula is mint-scented but has no real taste.

Bobbi Brown Angel Pink Rich Color Lipgloss

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Win It! MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC + Vera Blushes!

Win It! MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC + Vera Blushes!

This giveaway features five limited edition products from MAC’s two most recent collections for all your blushing and highlighting needs. Simply use the widget below to enter this giveaway…


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Win It! Blast From the Past Pack o’ MAC #7 ($100+ value)

Win It! Blast From the Past Pack o’ MAC #7 ($100+ value)

As promised, another prize package of limited edition MAC!


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To Contour or Not to Contour for Darker Skin Tones

This morning, Khadine tweeted to me a write-up she did in response to a recent Temptalia post. I thought it was an excellent post that offered clarification, insight, and helped to educate everyone regarding the particular topic. She’s graciously allowing me to share her response and thoughts.

I also asked her for some of her personal recommendations, and she said, “As for products for darker skin tones, Ben Nye has a great range of colors in foundations and powders that even very deep skin tones can benefit from. Graftobian has great options as well. In terms of specific contour colors (I prefer to use creams), Black Opal Stick Foundations like Suede Mocha and Black Walnut come to mind. Another one is Graftobian HD Glamour Creme Foundation in Sienna. Also, check out their HD Glamour Creme Palette in Neutral #3. Of course, these are only examples so they won’t work for everyone, however, readers can feel free to check out the product websites for the full range of options.”

To Contour or Not to Contour for Darker Skin Tones

Recently, there was a guest post on Temptalia on the subject of “blushing and highlighting”, where the author advised, “If you’re of a darker skintone, like NC/W 45+, skip the contour and stick only with highlight. Contour colours unfortunately rarely run too dark, and you risk the color looking muddy on the face.” Some of Temptalia’s readers took offense and voiced their complaints in the comment section below the article, as well as via Twitter.

I, on the other hand, wasn’t as negatively moved by the statement. I certainly disagree with the author on the suggestion that dark skin cannot or should not be contoured, but I actually see the logic in what she’s saying (I’ll explain further). I am in the category she’s referring to (I wear NC 50 in MAC Select SPF 15 foundation), and I contour all the time. However, I wouldn’t totally write-off everything she said!

When she says, “skip the contour and stick only with highlight,” this does make sense in the case of women with very deep skin tones (Alek Wek is the only person that comes to mind immediately). What makes contouring (and its counterpart, highlighting) effective is contrast, however you can best achieve it. If you have a deep enough complexion to be able to use your skin tone as the contour color, then that’s okay! If you’re of a dark complexion and can find appropriate contour colors, there’s no need to limit yourself. I think Victoria had the right idea but happened to be a little off in the shade range (as I said, I’m an NC 50 and contouring isn’t an issue for me).

It’s the same thing on the opposite end of the spectrum. If you are really fair (think Nicole Kidman) and it makes more sense to only contour (and use your skin tone as a highlight), then so be it!

Her claim that “Contour colours unfortunately rarely run too dark,” is not a stretch at all! There are limited options out there for contouring darker complexions. The deeper your color, the harder it is to find something even darker for contouring (I didn’t say impossible, I said harder). Sometimes you’re lucky if you even find a color to match you in the first place! You can use black pigments to deepen your foundation, but the average person would just rather be able to pick up a ready-made shade at their local cosmetics counter rather than mix multiple products to get the right match.

In summary, of course, contouring can be done on dark skin tones, but with a caveat! When executed well, the results are magnificent (ask Sam Fine)! However, some individuals of deeper complexions may benefit more from highlighting (especially if color options are limited) than they would from contouring. Similarly, some individuals of lighter complexions may benefit more from contouring than they would from highlighting.

You can check out Khadine’s original article on her blog, Cosmetic Passion. Khadine is an emerging makeup artist based in New York City who has a long-time passion for cosmetics. With her blog, she hopes to share her passion for beauty with enthusiasts like her while exchanging beauty tips!

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