Beauty Lessons: Blush Brushes

Blush 101

Beauty Lessons: Blush Brushes

For a softer look, consider using a fluffier brush that’s not as dense as the traditional blush brush. I recommend using stippling brushes, like Sephora’s #44 Professional Stippling Brush ($35), MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush ($42), or Make Up For Ever HD #55N Blush Brush ($39). Stippling brushes deposit color more evenly while allowing you to build up color slowly.

For a brighter look, consider dense, tapered brushes. The tapered edge allows you to deposit color with precision, which will help get you that brighter, more noticeable pop of color right on the apples of the cheeks. I recommend angled brushes like Sephora #42 Natural Slant Brush ($32), Benefit’s Slant Brush ($20), Laura Mercier Angled Cheek Contour Brush ($45), and MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($32).

For everyday usage, consider dense, domed brushes with some fluff to it. A fluffier brush will allow you to blend and deposit color more evenly and softly without going too heavy, but the density will still allow you to pack on color should you choose to. The dome shape works nicely to give cheeks color without being too concentrated on the apples, so it can blend outward and look natural. I recommend Bobbi Brown Blush Brush ($50), Eco Tools Blush Brush ($9), MAC 116 Blush Brush ($32), and NARS Blush Brush ($46).

For mistakes, use a dense, buffing/kabuki brush in soft, small circles to diffuse the color and blend out harsh edges. Some top buffing brushes include NARS Botan Brush ($75), MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($45), and Eco Tools Kabuki Brush ($9).

What’s your favorite blush brush?

The Summer Season: Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick

Cle de Peau #26 Lipstick ($55.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a glossy, lightly champagne-shimmered coral-orange with a mostly opaque finish. What makes a Cle de Peau lipstick stand out from other high-end lipsticks is its ability to give lips a plumper, fuller appearance while minimizing lip lines. I always notice my lips look better when I wear one of Cle de Peau’s shades–right from the get go–compared to some other mid-to-high end lipsticks. Whether that effect is necessarily worth $55 is for you to decide, but this lipstick is certainly luxe with its weightless, glossy full-coverage color that lasts a solid four to five hours (though the sheen fades around two or three hours, the color itself lingers).

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Guerlain Ombre Perlees — Matte Eyeshadow Look

Guerlain Ombre Perlees — Matte Eyeshadow

I did this look over the weekend with Guerlain’s Ombre Perlees Palette. Even though the shades look like they have a hint of shimmer, they’re near-matte, particularly when used over a matte base. This is such a fall look, though, ha!

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply the light white-pink eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply the coral eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with the taupe brown eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend the taupe brown eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Lightly tap and brush the coral eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep a mix of the light white-pink and coral as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Brown eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Sugarbomb blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight cheekbones with Beige Tint Meteorites with the 165.

For lips, apply Imperial Rouge Allure Laque first, and then layer Desire lipglass for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading “Guerlain Ombre Perlees — Matte Eyeshadow Look”

Illamasqua Body Electrics for Summer 2010

Illamasqua Body Electrics

Illamasqua Body Electrics for Summer 2010

Illamasqua, the UK-based make-up line for your alter ego, introduces its first collection of make-up for the whole body: Body Electrics. Inspired by the power of kinetic energy, the art of movement and the fluidity of the body in motion, this stunning collection is an anthology of creams, powders and dry body oils infused with light, shimmer and shine, designed to highlight and contour the whole body.

The first Illamasqua collection debuting in the U.S. to include exclusive, limited-edition products, Body Electrics has been formulated with hyper-pigmented light-reflecting particles that ignite the skin with intense colors and finishes. Each product in the range has been selected to accentuate the body’s every twist and turn to exquisite perfection, exuding a confidence that’s more than skin deep.

An expressive, avant-garde visual campaign featuring stunning make-up created by Alex Box and fashion styling by Dazed magazine’s Katie Shillingford support the campaign. Shot by leading fashion photographers Warren du Preez and Nick Thronton Jones, the images take on the duo’s “hypervisuality” style based on the manipulation of light. With Body Electrics, Illamasqua harnesses the power of movement and takes body make-up to a whole new level.

Gleam Cream ($36.00)

Light up your soul and release your inner you. Containing iridescent pearlescent pigments, this lightweight cream is suitable for face and body, lifting and highlighting wherever it’s applied. Use on its own or mix with foundation for an immediate skin brightening effect that will illuminate the night.

  • Flex Soft pink iridescent

Liquid Metal Palette ($42.50) (Limited Edition)

Indulge in a myriad of metallic shades and gild your work of art. Each one is amazingly rich and highly pigmented, giving you the power to dazzle and delight at will. Use to adorn eyes, face and body, and apply with fingers or a brush. Now is your time to shine.

  • Contains Solstice (gold), Enrapture (bronze), Surge (platinum) and Phenomena (silver) in one sleek compact

Liquid Metal ($26.00)

  • Surge Platinum
  • Phenomenon Silver

Powdered Metal ($36.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Imagine Electric Blue
  • Can Can Violet

Pure Pigment ($24.00)

  • Furore Beige shimmer
  • Static White with iridescent pink and violet flecks

Sheer Lipgloss ($20.00)

  • Divine Hot pink

Bronzer Duo ($30.00)

  • Glint/Burnish Soft luminous peach/golden bronze

Availability: May 2010 for Sephora.com; April 9th, 2010 at Illamasqua.com

See more photos! Continue reading “Illamasqua Body Electrics for Summer 2010″

Sunscreen 101: UVA vs. UVB, What SPF Means, Sunscreen & Makeup

Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, licensed esthetician, skincare expert, etc. This is information I have gathered from reading many different sunscreen-related articles throughout the past few years. I’ve provided links for reference purposes. As always, please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist for the latest and most accurate, up-to-date information.

Why sunscreen?

Wearing sunscreen will help prevent your skin from burning from harsh UVB rays and reduce the effects of UVA rays on the deeper layers of your skin–it may help reduce the signs of aging later on down the road as well as lower your exposure risk to skin cancer.

What are UVA and UVB?

  • UVA rays are the kind that have the greatest effect on you… that you don’t necessarily see right away. This includes aging and wrinkles as well as increase the risks of skin cancer.  Think of UVA as the AGING (and cancer-causing) rays.
  • UVB rays are the kind that you’ll notice right off the bat,  because UVB rays are generally responsible for sunburns.  Think of UVB as the BURNING (sunburn-causing) rays.

This is a very short and sweet summary to get the main points out, but you can check out this article for a more in-depth explanation.

Is higher SPF better?

Not, not necessarily. First, remember that “SPF” is only a rating on effectiveness of UVB rays, not UVA.   SPF 15 blocks roughly 93% of all UVB, while SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. (See SkinCancer.org.) If you are out and about, many organizations recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours (especially if you’re spending the day in the sun). It is also more important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen than one merely with a high SPF rating.

The way SPF works is if it takes you 10 minutes to start burning normally, wearing SPF 15 would mean it would take 15 times as long to burn–150 minutes.

How much SPF do I need? Do I need to reapply my sunscreen throughout the day?

Most recommendations seem to indicate a a full shotglass’ amount for your entire body applied thirty minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours. If you’re in the water or sweating, it is even more important to reapply regularly. Even water-resistant sunscreens (designed for 40 minutes of protection in the water) and waterproof sunscreens (designed for 80 minutes of protection in the water) need to be reapplied after a romp in the water. (See AAD.org.)

How do I reapply sunscreen over makeup?

According to WebMD, it is much better to choose a moisturizer or lotion/cream based SPF product rather than a foundation or powder with SPF in it–you may not get enough coverage if it’s within a foundation (particularly a powder) or cosmetic product.   Bauman (an expert in the aforementioned article), recommends reapplying sunscreen once during the day for day-to-day wear. To reapply sunscreen over an already-done face, consider a sunscreen spray (but made for the face, not the body), patting a layer of sunscreen or SPF-based tinted moisturizer onto the face (don’t rub), and/or pressed powder (with a sponge for better adhesion) with SPF.

In general, the ingredients in sunscreen degrade when in direct UV contact, so if you’re sitting in an office building all day, it may not be necessary to reapply.  Always remember to apply sunscreen liberally–don’t hold back–and be thorough about it.  If cost is a worry, look for a more affordable sunscreen rather than a $300/jar sunscreen!

What ingredients should I look for?

Any sunscreen or sunblock should list what ingredient(s) it uses to accomplish sun protection. The rule of thumb is to look for a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. This means that it uses ingredients that cover the majority of the UV spectrum (so both UVA and UVB protection).

  • UVB (290-320nm): Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Ensulizole, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate), Oxybenzone, Padimate O, Sulisobenzone, Trolamine Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (320-340nm): Dioxybenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Helioplex, Meradimate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (340-400nm): Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide

Physical blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide may give some deeper skin tones a white cast (as they are, literally, physically blocking the rays). Some may be allergic or sensitive to chemical sunscreens and may need to opt for physical blockers instead. Physical blockers protect skin by deflecting or blocking harsh UV rays, while chemical blockers/sunscreens usually absorb them. (Most other sunscreen ingredients beyond titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are chemical sunscreens, for reference.) Physical blockers tend to be more stable, while chemical sunscreens may degrade and are often paired with other sunscreen ingredients to increase stability. (See more information at AMF.org.)