Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Look: My Christmas Makeup

I like themed makeup myself, so I felt it was only right to incorporate red and green into a look in the spirit of Christmas. One of the easiest ways to tie green and red together is by using gold, and if you want to try out a cooler-toned version of it, you could try silver. Gold is easier, just because greens tend to have subtle yellow undertones and reds easily blend to a burnished copper when they mesh with golds.

You will need the following…

For eyes, I applied a light layer of NARS Smudgeproof on the lid as an eyeshadow primer from lash line to brow bone with a firm, flat brush.  The first eyeshadow I applied was Inglot #430, which I applied to the upper two-thirds of the lid and just barely into crease with a small eyeshadow brush.  With the edge of an eyeshadow brush, I applied Inglot #418 on the lower third of the lid, and then I went back with the previous brush to soften the edge (I always prefer to blend light into dark).  With a fluffy crease brush, I applied Inglot #450 above the crease and towards the inner tear duct, following the natural shape of the crease.  Next, I softened the edge with Inglot #430 lightly blended outwards.  To highlight the brow, I applied Burberry Trench with a fluffy blending brush.   On the lower lash line, I first applied Bobbi Brown Bronze and smudged Inglot #430 below.  Finally, I applied a coat of Hourglass Film Noir to lengthen and thicken lashes.

For face, I applied Make Up For Ever HD with a circular foundation brush.  I blended Illamasqua Seduce onto cheeks with fingertips and set with Guerlain Les Voilettes.  For lips, I applied Giorgio Armani #602 mixed with Hourglass Imagine.

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Monday, December 19th, 2011

Challenge: Wear Colors You’re Afraid Of

I’m actually not technically, technically afraid of any color, but I don’t usually reach for red eyeshadows because I don’t think they work well with me and take more effort than I usually can handle to work.  I’ve had the best success combining it with golds and oranges for a sunset-like eye.  I remember the first time I ever wore a pinky-red eyeshadow; my mom saw me not a minute after I had finished the look and asked if something was wrong and if I had been crying.

Is there a color you’re “afraid” of?  Maybe you can’t find a way to make it work or you really don’t think you can pull it off…

While I don’t think I look like I spent the past hour crying my eyes out, I didn’t love how it came out–the purple I picked for the lid color was too dark, and I think I’d opt for something with some shimmer to open up the eyes more (which is why I ended up adding a shimmery mauve to the inner tear duct area–there was just too much darkness on my eyes).  So, I’m still working on finding a way to wear red eyeshadow that’s not just gold/orange/red (because that combo I can do!).  I almost, almost tried green with Christmas just around the corner but held myself back! ;)

You will need the following…

For eyes, I applied a light layer of NARS Smudgeproof on the lid as an eyeshadow primer from lash line to brow bone with a firm, flat brush.  The first eyeshadow I applied was Inglot #450, and I used a fluffy crease brush to lay down the crease color to help provide a good blended background for the intense red I planned to use.  Next, I applied Inglot #325 onto the lid with a small eyeshadow brush.  With a firm, domed crease brush, I applied Inglot #382 into the crease and blended just slightly outwards so the red would also peek through with my eyes open.  Using a large eyeshadow brush, I softened the crease color with Inglot #353 and applied it to the brow bone.  To lighten the look, I applied Inglot #420 on the inner tear duct with a fluffy angled brush.  On the lower lash line, I first applied Make Up For Ever #7 and layered Tarina Tarantino Glitter Mist on top.  Finally, I applied a coat of Bare Escentuals Buxom to lengthen lashes and then thickened with Hourglass Film Noir.

For face, I applied Make Up For Ever HD with a circular foundation brush.  I blended Le Metier de Beaute Coral Nymph onto cheeks with fingertips and set with Guerlain Les Voilettes.  For lips, I applied Giorgio Armani #602.

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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, June 21st, 2011

Jealousy Wakes with Blue Look

My eyes have been really dry lately, so under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t create a look and post it (just because the surface of my lids makes working with powder products a big pain!), but how could I not do something to commemorate this day?

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof all over the lid and above the crease with the 249 to lay down your eyeshadow base.   Next, apply Verve eyeshadow on the lower third of the lid with the 239.  Then pat Jealousy Wakes eyeshadow onto the upper half of the lid and into the crease with the 239.  With the 226, apply Atlantic Blue eyeshadow above the crease.  Diffuse the crease edge with Trench eyeshadow using the 217.  Lightly highlight the edge of the brow bone with Verve eyeshadow with the 239.  Next, apply Deviant liner on the lower lash line, and then smudge with Jealousy Wakes. Coat lashes with They’re Real mascara to finish the look.

For cheeks, apply Sugarbomb on the apples of the cheeks and sweep towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply #2 lipgloss mixed with Mambo lipgloss for a complementing lip.

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Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Green Machine with Jealousy Wakes Look

I received an email this morning that MAC just received the product samples for Jealousy Wakes, so I hope to have them in my hot hands tomorrow.  As soon as I do, you know I’ll be swatching up a storm! :)

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof all over the lid and above the crease with the 242 to lay down your eyeshadow base.  Apply Juxt eyeshadow on the inner third of the lid with the 239, then pat Jealousy Wakes eyeshadow on the outer two thirds of the lid.  Lightly blend Juxt by patting and lightly pulling the color over the middle of the lid to create a yellower green in the center.  Bring Jealousy Wakes into the crease by pressing the 239 into the crease horizontally, and then darkening the crease with Bottle Green eyeshadow with the 222.  Tap Juxt lightly above the crease to soften the edge, and then highlight beneath the brow with Trench eyeshadow. Next, apply Deviant liner on the lower lash line, and then smudge with Jealousy Wakes on the outer third and Juxt on the inner two-thirds. Coat lashes with Film Noir mascara to finish the look.

For cheeks, apply Betty Lou-Manizer on the apples of the cheeks and sweep towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Liberte Rouge Coco Shine for a complementing lip.

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Neutrals with Smoldering Greens Look

If you’re wary to wear color, one of my favorite places to wear it is in the crease.  You can go as heavy or as light as you want, but it often looks subtler because most of the time your eyes are open–so it just peeks out.  I’m so anxious for final samples of Jealousy Wakes, because I want to swatch it against Black Emerald (which is definitely darker), but I think they could make a nice gradient of color.

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof all over the lid and above the crease with the 242 to lay down your eyeshadow base.  Layer Blonde Amber eyeshadow all over the lower lid with the 239.  Then, apply Black Emerald eyeshadow into the outer crease, bringing it just over halfway into the crease with the 222.  Next, apply Bronze Topaz eyeshadow lightly on the outer third of the lid with the 239.  Apply Blonde Amber eyeshadow very lightly on the brow bone to highlight with the 239.   Next, apply #20 liner on the lower lash line, and then smudge with Blonde Amber eyeshadow.  Coat lashes with Film Noir mascara to finish the look.

For cheeks, apply Betty Lou-Manizer on the apples of the cheeks and sweep towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Pink Tulle lipgloss for a complementing lip.

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