Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Faking a Flutter

Think of full lashes as the little black dress of the cosmetic world: always in style. This post is for those of you who aren't quite ready to make the Latisse commitment, but still want big, bold lashes. Not only are thick lashes flirty, they can also make your face appear slimmer. The bigger and wider your eyes appear, the slimmer the rest of your face will look. The key to false lashes is learning how to properly apply them so you don't look crazy lash lopsided or like your lashes are about to fall off.

How To Properly Apply Fake Lashes

1. Select your lashes. If you’re looking for a dramatic look, then go for the full set. If you’re going for the glamour look, then try little clusters of fake lashes on the outside corners of your eyes for more of a "cat eye", or put them in the center for a wide eyed, innocent effect.

2. Select the color. You can choose dark for evening and go lighter during the day for a more natural look, although personally, I wear black mascara no matter what time of day it is, so I would go with black falsies always.

3. Don't overdo the length if you want them to look more realistic. Full lashes should follow the natural lining of your own eyelashes. Trim them with hair scissors to acquire the proper fitting, but trim at an angle to prevent lashes from having a "fresh haircut" appearance. For a more natural look, the false eyelashes should be only slightly longer than your natural lashes. If you want drama, go big or go home! Pick the craziest, longest, darkest lashes you can find and have fun with it!

4. Trim lash width to make sure they suit your eye size. If you're using a full set, keep the width of the set the length that it would take to cover from the outer corner of your eye to the inner corner. Cutting it too wide may cause irritation when you blink. Always trim your false lashes before you apply glue!

5. Full Set Application: Before or after putting on eye makeup (there are two schools of thought on this, but I always apply after makeup b/c that helps me determine the type/size/length of lashes I want to use), apply a very thin line of adhesive along the base of the false lashes. Allow it to sit for thirty seconds to let the glue work. Apply the false lashes above your natural lashes, keeping them as close to your lash line as possible (giving it the natural curve). Use a mirror. Make any minor adjustments with your fingertips or tweezers, and then allow to set.

Individual Lash Application: Place individual lashes using tweezers as it is difficult to secure individual lashes with your fingers. Apply glue to a small piece of foil. Secure lashes with tweezers and dip the base slightly into the glue. Give it thirty seconds for the glue to set. Then apply to the base of your lash line.

6. Apply an extra coat of eyeliner along the top of the lashes after application will make your fake lashes look more natural.

Extra Tips and Tricks:

1. After use, soak the fake eyelashes in eyelash-cleaning solution so that you can reuse them.

2. Never pull the lashes from your lids! (ouch!!)

3. Never apply glue directly to your eyelids.

4. If after reading this you've decided that fake eyelashes are too much work for you, try using a heated eyelash curler; no glue needed. A touch of heat will curl your lashes and make them appear longer and fuller (especially with a coat of mascara). And use Latisse! That is the easiest b/c then you can just grow your own lashes longer, thicker, and darker.

Good luck, and as always, let me know if you have any questions!

Lipslick Trick

A pop of color with lipstick is one of the quickest ways to transform your look. Since your lips are one of the most important focal points of your face, you want to pay special attention to them when playing up your pout. There are few things that say bad makeup job like lipstick stained teeth, dark liner with lighter lip color, or lipstick bleeding outside of your natural lip line (think Crusty the Clown). Knowing how to properly apply lipstick will help keep your overall look balanced, as well as accentuate your smile and face.

How to Properly Apply Lipstick

1: Prime your lips with a good base of foundation and powder. This not only removes all the color from your lips, it also helps to keep the lipstick from smudging and smearing throughout the day/night.

2: Use a lip liner pencil that is the same shade or just a shade darker than your lipstick color to outline your lips. Start by defining the center curve of your upper lip using two precise strokes. Then, using short strokes, continue to line the rest of your upper lip (Hint: applying short strokes is easier than drawing a continuous line). To line the lower lip, work form the center out towards the corners. Be sure to keep your mouth closed and relaxed while lining your lips. Then, continue to fill with short strokes towards the center of the lip--the liner will actually help hold the lipstick on longer.

3: Apply the lipstick to a lip brush and begin coloring in your lips. Work gradually towards the lip outline, blending the lip liner with lipstick.

4: Next, to ensure that there are no unfinished edges, open your mouth wide and brush the color into the corners.

5: Gently blot your lips on a tissue paper, being careful not to smudge or remove too much color.

6: Apply a second coat of lip color to touch up and create a deeper effect. (Hint: For a more natural day time look, blot your lips again lightly with a tissue. If you want a bolder evening look, do not blot your lips after the final application.).

7: If you end up with a little lipstick that falls outside the lip lines, there are two ways to remove the imperfections. One, you can use a cotton swab with a touch of make remover, and erase the flaws. Two, you can use foundation or concealer to go over the flaws. Either way will usually accomplish what you need, but if there is a significant stray red mark, makeup remover is the better option.

Lipstick Tips and Tricks

Applying a lipstick that contains a moisturizer and sun protection is an effective way to help protect your lips from wind and sun damage.

Applying lipstick after drawing a crisp lip outline helps to keep the color from bleeding.

You can also use the tip of your lipstick to outline your lips and then use the broader face of the lipstick to fill them in. Just be sure not to use the tip to fill in your lips.

Always carry your lipstick with you in case of accidental removal or if you need to do a quick touch-up.

If you want to have fuller lips, apply the lip liner just outside of your natural lip line. Work on it slowly and steadily to get the perfect shape. Fill in with the lipstick.

A highlight of frosting on the upper lip will help create an impression of fullness.

With Eyes Wide Open

Eyes are the window to a person’s soul, right? A gorgeous pair of eyes can grab your attention or even melt your heart. Beautiful eyes are often described as being big AND having full lashes.....but not all of us have been blessed with these two traits!

So how do your eyes measure up? If you would like more fabulous eyes, here are some makeup techniques that can help make small eyes appear larger (then grab some Latisse and get those lashes longer!). Follow the steps below to make your eyes the center of everyone's focus:

1. Start by applying a concealer (usually about one to two shades lighter than your foundation)over your dark circles using a small makeup brush. You should use a concealer that gives a little color, but is also light enough to cover most cases of dark circles.
2. Open up your eyes by applying white or flesh tone eyeliner to the inner rim of the bottom lid.

3. Eye liners are the key in creating bigger and more flirtatious eyes. Apply the liner to the top lid ONLY. Start lining at where the iris of your eye begins and extend the line to the edge of your eyes. Extend the line SLIGHTLY at the corners of your eyes. The line should not be too thick. Slightly smudge/blend by using a Q-tip or a short, tight bristled brush to slightly smudge out some of the "harshness" of the liner, or you can create a "cat eye" using a liquid liner on the top lash line. A soft and smoky look will gently open up the appearance of your eyes, but a liquid liner will grab attention and also helps to open up the eye. Liner should be a neutral color with a hint of black, navy or grey (depending on your eye color).
4. Eye shadows: Stick with light colored eye shadows. Apply the lightest shade at the center of your eyelids, as well as in the inner corner of the eye--around the tear duct area. One common misconception is that dramatic eye makeup will open the eye, when in fact, it can do the complete opposite. Think about when you wear black--it makes you look smaller, right? Same thing here--dark colors=smaller eyes. Make your eye shadows too dramatic and it can cause your eyes to shrink by shading them back into your face. The general rule of thumb is to not wear more than two shades, but you can add a (slightly darker than the light color) color in the crease if you want to add more depth to your eye.

5. Don’t forget to curl your eyelashes! Curl your lashes three times: once at the base, another half way up, and a third time at the tip. This will give your lashes full curls. GREAT TIP: It may be helpful to SLIGHTLY warm your metal curler with your blow-dryer before curling. This will make the curls appear fuller and more dramatic (with less mascara). Make sure to test the temperature of your curler by touching the back of your hand to it. If it is too hot, give it a few seconds and then curl.

6. Apply mascara. The mascara will help hold the curl, so don’t skip this part. Allow time for mascara to dry. Remember, the more coats you apply, the more weight will be applied to the lashes and the curls will not hold as long. The key is to apply a light coat of mascara (not the whole tube). Give the ends of the lashes an extra coat to amplify the eyes (check out my earlier entry, "Fabulash," to find out about my favorite mascaras). Fan out your lashes as you apply.
Easy, right? Give it a try, and let me know if you have any questions!

Brow Wow Wow

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eyebrows are the curtains. Eyebrows are one of the most expressive features of the face and a great deal of emotion can be conveyed through them.....as long as you don't use too much Botox. Surprising then, that when it comes to the topic of women’s beauty, the subject of eyebrows is often overlooked and under appreciated. Since the shape of your eyebrows, especially where your eyebrows arch, is so influential to your appearance, knowing how to shape your eyebrow arch is a must have skill to enhance your overall look. This entry is for the woman who wants a great way to whip her brows into shape without having to go out and buy a generic brow shaping kit. Just remember........your brows are sisters, not twins! They probably won't look EXACTLY alike, so don't overpluck trying to achieve perfection.

Step 1:
To begin perfecting your eyebrow angle, remove all eye makeup look at your face in a well lighted mirror. To form the ideal eyebrow shape, simply follow four imaginary lines. Using an eyebrow pencil or anything long, straight and slender, hold the object vertically in front of your face. Line it up so that it touches the outer edge of your nostril and the inside corner of your eye. This line determines where your eyebrow should start. Mark where the line crosses your eyebrow with an eyebrow pencil or eyeliner. Do the same for the other eyebrow. Any eyebrow hair inside these two marks needs to be tweezed. If your eyebrows fail to reach the marks you have made, then you will need to fill that part of the eyebrow area in. Also, to regrow brow hair in a specific area, Latisse is an excellent option (as long as there is a live hair follicle)........and don't forget to put Latisse on your lashes, too.

Step 2:
Now take the eyebrow pencil and hold it to the outer edge of your nostril again. This time, swing the pencil towards your pupil. Stop when the eyebrow pencil crosses the center of your pupil, and mark the spot where the line meets your eyebrow. This is where you arch should begin.

Step 3:

Continue swinging the eyebrow pencil past your pupil to the outer edge of the iris (the colored portion) of the eye. Where the line intersects your eyebrow is where your eyebrow arch should be at its peak, or highest. Mark this spot with an eyebrow pencil.

*During step 2 and 3, make sure that you are looking straight ahead........both your face and your eyes should be looking directly forward into the mirror.

*To create the arch, remove hairs from the bottom of the brow bone, not the top. The only time you should pluck hair from above the brow line is when you are removing any stray hairs that occur above the brow. After the peak, the arch should begin descending immediately.

Step 4:
Taking the eyebrow pencil from the outer edge of your nostril once more, line it up so that it passes along the outermost corner of your eye (not your eyelashes) to your brow area. This is where your eyebrow should end. Mark this point with an eyebrow pencil and remove any hairs that fall beyond these points. Ideally, the inside portion of the eyebrow should be thickest and should taper towards the outer edge.

Remember these easy steps and you’ll know how to shape your eyebrow arch to always achieve the ideal eyebrow shape. Then again, if all of this sounds too daunting for you to do yourself, you can always get your eyebrows shaped by a professional first and then just follow the shape he/she has given you to maintain it.........just make sure to check out their brows first. Your call!

Top 5 Eyebrow Grooming No-Nos:

1. Making eyebrows too thin. Skinny eyebrows make you look heavier and older. We don't want commas for eyebrows ladies!

2. Using a magnifying mirror. It makes you over-pluck because you start obsessing over every hair. Plus it makes your pores look huge. Not cool.

3. Matching your eyebrow color to your hair. Eyebrows should compliment your hair color, not match it. Eyebrows can be tinted either two shades darker or two shades lighter, but no more. See, more evidence that matchy-matchy is bad.

4. Being scissors-happy. Only women who have high eyebrow arches or crazy-long brow hairs that wave at other people need to trim. Being overly snippy makes brows uneven and awkward.

5. Using pointed tweezers. They can break the skin and cause scabbing. Use a pair of slant tweezers instead--I like Tweezerman slanted tweezers!

Shelf Life

How do you know when your makeup isn't good anymore? I can't tell you how often I had women asking me this when I was working at the makeup counter, so I wanted to share some tips on how long to keep your makeup before it gets grody. These are general guidelines about shelf life of products, but always keep common sense in mind: if it smells bad, separates, or changes color, kick it to the curb!

Foundation: There are two different types of foundation: water-based and oil-based. These will last for 12 months and 18 months, respectively, after they are opened. If you notice that it starts to smell sour or turn off-color before then, head out to buy a new one.

Concealer: Can be used for up to 12 months, but toss it if it starts to look caked when you apply it under the eye area.

Powder: Loose powder will last up to two years. Pressed powder usually lasts only about a year, because the oils in the sponge break it down if the sponge isn't cleaned regularly. It helps to keep that little plastic barrier that comes with the pressed powder between the powder and the sponge.

Eye shadow: Can keep for up to three years. If it starts to get crumbly, treat yourself to some new eye brights.

Eyeliner: Will last up to three years, just be sure to sharpen them regularly. Twist-up liners sometimes tend to dry out after a while. If it's dry or tugs at your eye area when you apply it, then get rid of it. If it's the Laura Mercier Black ebony cake liner (like it should be), then you'll use it before it goes bad. Because it is amazing. Who isn't using this yet? We need to talk.

Mascara: Will last up to four months. If you keep it any longer the mascara can dry out and flake. Quick tip: do not pump the mascara wand because it pumps air into the tube, which in turn dries out the mascara. The best way to get more mascara on the wand is to twirl it around the tube, scraping the sides without lifting the wand out. Then, take it out and use one side of the wand for one eye and flip to the other for the other eye.

Lipstick: This one is up for some debate. Some experts say one to two years is as long as you want to keep it. The best way to judge is to smell it. If it smells rancid or different from how it originally smelled, pitch it. Besides, who doesn't like picking out new lip colors?

Cleansers and Moisturizers: Good for up to one year. Try not to stick your fingers into the jar. Use a cotton swab so that you don't contaminate the product.

Nail Polish: Up to 12 months if you keep it standing upright. If it starts to separate and you get a yellowish layer, then it's time to say goodbye.

Brushes: Great quality brushes will last a lifetime, and they should because they can cost a fortune! Wash them with a gentle face soap and dry by laying them down so that water doesn't leak into the brush handle. You should wash your brushes every two weeks, or three if you have dry skin. Oilier skin causes more build up on the brushes, so they may need to be washed weekly.

Hope these tips help, but let me know if you would like for me to clarify anything, or if you have a question about a product not mentioned!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Come shop with me...........

........online! I know this blog is supposed to be about beauty, but you can get beauty-esque things from this website. Check it out! I am in love because it has "deals of the day" where you can buy a discounted price item/service..........I just bought a hot herbal foot treatment, an hour long aromatherapy massage, and facial massage treatment for only $69 (normally $150)!! I CANNOT WAIT to use it! Some of the other deals include:

$49 microderm (usually $215)

$24 for Bikram Yoga session (usually $130)

$29 membership to an art museum (usually $75)

$80 Complete Spa Package, Including Mani-Pedi, Massage, Facial, Shampoo, Styling, and Blow-Dry from The Day Spa at Folawn's (usually $180, and I would have totally gotten this if it had been available!!)

This is my newest love--please to enjoy. ;)


For my Houston friends, y'all aren't on this site yet, but if enough people sign up in a certain city, they will add locations!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Glycolic Glow

Glowy skin is back! It was out for a season or two, but it is making a big comeback on all the runways. This makes me very happy because matte skin can age you really quickly, and it can be hard to do without looking overly dry unless you're using the right types of products. Now the flip side is that glowy skin can be tough to do, too.....you don't want to end up looking oily or sweaty--especially in photographs. Glowing skin starts by using great medical grade glycolic skincare (which can up your hydration levels in the skin without causing oil overproduction). Over the counter skincare lines aren't doing anything for collagen production, hyperpigmentation issues, or fixing the REAL problems with skin, so toss out your makeup counter products, the infomercial junk, and the drug store grabs, and get to the dermatologist or medi-spa, and buy something that truly works. Check out Vivite--skincare by the makers of Botox that has clinical data showing that it works in as little as 3 weeks: http://www.viviteskincare.com/.

The Exfoliating Facial Cleanser is one of my favorite products in the Vivite line (as well as a Best of Instyle winner) , and is a great one to start off trying.......plus if you leave it on for 10-15 minutes in the shower you get a mini-peel at home! When you wash it off, your skin is BABY smooth and makeup goes on amazing well on your freshly polished canvas. Love!

Vivite Exfoliating Facial Cleanser
BEST EXFOILIATOR FOR NORMAL SKIN "It cleans really well but doesn't leave skin dry or irritated," says N.Y.C. dermatologist David Goldberg of this chemical exfoliant, which has 15 percent glycolic acid to clear away dead skin and unclog pores.