Wednesday, August 10th, 2011


Bright Purples with Make Up For Ever by Nicholas Lujan

While I was in Las Vegas last week, there was one mission I KNEW I had to accomplish: visit the (relatively) newly opened Make Up For Ever Boutique in Sephora at the Venetian. I’ve never been to Make Up For Ever’s flagship boutique in NYC, and their range is more extensive than what you normally find at Sephora, so I really wanted to see what else they had! I popped by on Tuesday afternoon and met with the oh-so-fabulous Nicholas Lujan. He was absolutely phenomenal–so knowledgeable but even more? infinitely passionate about all things makeup and Make Up For Ever.

Over the years, I’ve found myself getting less and less “makeovers” by artists at counters because I recognize more now than I did before that for many, those are just jobs (and retail ones at that)–which is OK but we, as beauty aficiandos, have to understand that. Too often there is a lack of emphasis on artistry and technique, and instead, artists (even those who would love to teach and show more) are compelled to push product. If you’re lucky, you’ll find and connect with the artists that are passionate about their job and makeup, and then you can learn so much from them.

Make Up For Ever is ALL about artistry. Lujan (along with the others who work at the Las Vegas boutique) were trained in a one-month long makeup “bootcamp” and had hands-on training with Dany Sanz herself (founder of the brand). It’s easy to tell when someone is passionate about what they do, because you can hear it in their voice.  He knew the brand’s history, products’ history and development, and most importantly, he knew how to use everything.

I recommend visiting the boutique if you get the chance, and if you have some time, book a session with one of the artists working that day. They have shorter sessions (30 minutes or so, approximately $50 redeemable in product) and longer sessions (60 minutes or so, approximately $120 redeemable in product)–and it’s not hard to spend either amount on their products. My session was complimentary, as I came as press, but I could not leave without purchasing their Liquid Lift Foundation–I was willing to find a way to cram it into my quart-sized liquids’ bag!

The look you see in this post was created by the talented Lujan–I wanted to give him freedom to do something he thought would look good and work for me. Surprisingly, the black liner on the upper lash line was not as irritating as liner typically is, so I’ll be testing that out myself over the next few weeks.  He called this his “spotlight” look, because of the brightness popped onto the center of the lid.  Lujan also told me that my eyes are set far enough apart that I can get away with wearing dark eyeshadows on both the inner and outer creases/corners.  He also told me to go nuts with the lower lash line, because it works well with my eye shape!

You will need the following…

For eyes, Lujan applied #2 Aqua Cream with Eye Seal using the 6N brush. He then applied #116 eyeshadow in the creased with the 17S brush. He applied #92 eyeshadow in the corners with the 14S brush. He patted #940 Star Powder underneath the arch and the inner corner. He then mixed #940 Star Powder with #1 Diamond Powder onto the center of the lid. He lined the upper lash line with Aqua Black eyeliner. The eyes were finished with Aqua Smoky Lash on lashes.

For cheeks, he applied #6 HD Blush onto cheeks with #5 eyeshadow used as a highlight. Lujan contoured with #170 HD Foundation and set with #1 Velvet Finish.

For lips, he used #1C Aqua Lip Liner to line lips, and then applied #23 Rouge Artist Lipstick for a nude lip. He topped the lips with #16 Lab Shine Lip Gloss for shine and shimmer.

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

5 Great Orange Eyeshadows

Here are five of my favorite orange eyeshadows! :) I wanted to feature really orange shades — no melon or peaches here!

What are your favorite orange eyeshadows?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Just a quick look I put together the other night! :)

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: MAC Soft Ochre paint pot (nude base), MAC Melon pigment (peachy-pink), Make Up For Ever #5 Eyeshadow (matte orange), Make Up For Ever #75 Eyeshadow (matte hot pink), Make Up For Ever #92 Eyeshadow (matte purple), Make Up For Ever #159 Eyeshadow (matte blue), MAC Nylon eyeshadow (yellow-gold highlighter), Urban Decay Ransom 24/7 Liner (purple), Urban Decay Lash Primer, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara
  • Cheeks: MAC Petalpoint blush (plummy-pink)
  • Lips: Urban Decay Naked lipstick (pinky-beige), MAC Crystal Rose lipglass (fuchsia-purple)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 116 (dense blush brush), 165 (highlighting brush)

Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply MAC Soft ochre paint pot all over the lid as the base with the 249. Apply MAC Melon pigment just on lower lid with the 249. On the inner lid, pack #5 eyeshadow on using the 239. Apply #75 eyeshadow to the middle portion of the lid. On the outer lid and crease, apply #92 eyeshadow with the 226. Darken crease with #159 eyeshadow using the 219, and then blend out with the 226. Sweep MAC Nylon eyeshadow underneath the brow bone to highlight with the 217. Apply Urban Decay Ransom 24/7 Liner on lower lash line. Smudge lower lash line with #151 eyeshadow with the 214 brush, pressing into lower lashes. Apply Aqua Smoky Lash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with MAC Petalpoint Blush using the 129. Apply Urban Decay Naked lipstick to lips, and then top with MAC Crystal Rose lipglass for color and shine.

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Saturday, July 4th, 2009


Eyeshadows: #5

Let’s dive into some of Make Up For Ever’s orange and yellow eyeshadows! Personally, I skipped on some of the more intense, straight yellows, just because I tend not to look good in those shades (Chrome Yellow, anyone?), so I need more time to swatch and play with them in person before getting any of those.

  • #5 is a matte orange-coral. Smooth, pigmented, and easy to use, #5 is quickly becoming a favorite. It’s nice on the eyes, but I love it as a blush. Just be careful, because a little goes a long way, and it’s better to build up than buff out.
  • #10 is a shimmery, true golden yellow. This is the equivalent of Goldmine eyeshadow with a little less orange and less frostiness.
  • #153 is a peachy-orange shade with gold shimmer. When I saw it at IMATS, it reminded me of a deeper MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow (which was limited edition, and I also adore it!). It is definitely similar, but it is a bit more intense. I love this to highlight cheeks on top of #5. It just gives it a nice glow and softness. This also works well on the eyes, too.  And if #5 is a new blush favorite, #153 is a new cheek highlighting favorite.
  • #102 is a matte, pale beige-y color (or off-white, if you prefer). They describe it as “eggshell,” and it’s a rather apt description. It makes for a good neutral matte highlighter when you may already have frost overkill on the eyes.
  • #101 is a soft, pale white-gold with pale gold shimmer. Of the shadows I’ve really worked with so far, this is one of the few that has been more disappointing. I find the pay off to be a bit glittery/chunky and not smooth like I’ve come to expect from the brand. It also seems to be the same when used in application, too. I thought I’d use it as a nice highlighter, but it doesn’t work well for that purpose either.

Which of these are your favorites?

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Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

What better way to kick of a month of Make Up For Ever than by sharing with you my first look using their products? I did my best to use as many Make Up For Ever products, so that you can see exactly how they perform! :)  All eyeshadows used will be reviewed at some point during the month (hint, I’ll be doing five per post in rainbow order, so you’ll see some tomorrow!).

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: Make Up For Ever #920 Star Powder (yellow gold base), Make Up For Ever #10 Eyeshadow (shimmery yellow gold), Make Up For Ever #153 Eyeshadow (shimmery peachy-gold), Make Up For Ever #5 Eyeshadow (matte coral-orange), Make Up For Ever #75 Eyeshadow (matte bright fuchsia), Make Up For Ever #160 Eyeshadow (matte eggplant purple), Make Up For Ever #101 Eyeshadow (sheer, yellow-gold shimmer), Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow (black), Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara (black)
  • Cheeks: Make Up For Ever #5 Blush (matte coral-orange), Make Up For Ever #153 Blush (shimmery peachy-gold)
  • Lips: Illamasqua Obey Lipstick (pinky-coral), MAC Dejarose lipglass (dark pink)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 116 (dense blush brush), 165 (highlighting brush)

Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply #920 Star Powder all over the lid as the base with the 249. On the inner lid, pack #10 eyeshadow on using the 239. Apply #153 eyeshadow to the middle portion of the lid. Alongside #153, apply #5 eyeshadow to the side towards the outer portion of the lid. On the outer lid and crease, apply #75 eyeshadow with the 226. Increase intensity by packing on more of #75 eyeshadow with the 239. Darken crease with #160 eyeshadow using the 219, and then blend out with the 226. Sweep #101 eyeshadow underneath the brow bone to highlight with the 217.  Smudge lower lash line with #10 eyeshadow with the 214 brush, pressing into lower lashes.  Finish with Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow on on the upper lash line using the 208. Apply Aqua Smoky Lash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with #5 Blush using the 129, then highlight with #153 with the 165. Apply Illamasqua Obey lipstick to lips, and then top with MAC Dejarose lipglass for color and shine.

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