It makes me happy that this blog has been helpful to so many people. Several times a month, someone tells me how they now use a product or technique they learned about in one of my posts, which is exactly why I have this blog. I want to make your beauty life better.
I find myself in a lot of discussions with clients, family and friends which end in me directing them to one of my blog posts. So without further adieu, allow me to present the most popular “A Pretty Addiction” posts.
Eye Makeup Smudges, Be Gone! One of the most common complaints I hear from people is that their eye makeup melts off after a few hours. It doesn’t need to be that way! Check out this post for tips.
Product Review: Castor Oil. Lash serums can have some pretty gnarly side effects, like reddening of the eyelid skin, yellowing of whites of the eyes and general irritation, which is why I stay away from them. I’ve found organic castor oil to be an effective, natural lash growth stimulator, and I mention this post whenever people compliment me on my lashes.
Skincare Device Review: NuFACE Mini. If I got a commission from all the people I know who bought this because I recommended it, I’d be sitting pretty! I don’t though, and I’m happy enough with my commission of people’s faces looking better 😉 The NuFACE Mini is a true gem.
Eye makeup can seem complicated. So many brushes, so many products, so many techniques. But with a little knowledge and some practice, you can really step up your eye makeup game.
Brush Up On It. Using the right brushes makes a world of difference. A dense brush is best for packing shadow onto the lid, a fluffy brush is ideal for crease work and blending, a pencil brush allows you to easily apply shadow in the hollow above the tearducts, angled brushes and fine liner brushes are best for applying various liners, and a small smudger brush is great for diffusing lower lashline liner and shadow. If you can equip yourself with the right tools, you’re off to a great start.
Prime Time. Why even bother with eyeshadow and eyeliner if it’s going to fade off after a few hours? Using a good eye primer will help your eye makeup stay on much longer. Eye primer is my first step in all makeup applications.
Blackout. Want a sultry eye makeup look? Apply a black kohl pencil liner on your bottom waterline for instant bedroom eyes. Va va voom, baby.
Turn Around, Bright Eyes. The easiest way to make your eyes look bigger and brighter is to apply an off-white pencil or crayon liner to the bottom waterline. That gives the illusion that the whites of your eyes (which are actually off-white) go down further, making your eyes look bigger. It’s easy and effective, so give it a try already!
Double Up. If you expect to get to good length and good volume from one mascara, you’re probably going to be let down. I’ve found that the best way to achieve both is to use a volumizing mascara first, followed by a lengthening mascara layered over that. I’ve used this technique for years, and I think it’s the reason that I frequently get asked if I’m wearing false lashes (I never am).
Shadowy Lady. Pencil, gel and liquid liners aren’t your own only eyeliner options. For a softer but still defined look, try applying a matte eyeshadow with a pencil brush.
Wingin’ It: Part 1. Before attempting a winged liner with a gel, map out your shape with eyeshadow first, then trace over the line with your gel or liquid liner.
Wingin’ It: Part 2. Afraid that you won’t be able to get the angle of your wing right? Put a small piece of Scotch tape at the outer corner of each eye, angled up towards your temples. Then trace above the top part of the piece of tape. As long as you position it correctly, you’ll get a wing that doesn’t wobble.
Crease Work. The whole point of applying shadow to the crease of the eye (in most situations) is to make it look more pronounced/deeper than it is. When you want an area to recede, you use a color that’s darker than the skin. Along those lines, I think it make sense to also only use matte shades when you’re trying to make an area recede, as shimmery shades–even if they’re darker than your skin–attract light to the area on which they’re applied, which is the opposite of what you want if you’re trying to make the crease of your eye more recessed. Basically, find yourself a matte shadow that’s a few shades darker than your skin (I suggest choosing a warm brown shade, whether that’s a light, medium or dark brown) and make that your go-to shadow for the eye crease.
This might seem like a lot, but it’s not like you’re getting quizzed on it! This post is here for you to reference when you want to play around with eye makeup. And that’s they key–play around so you can get used to the different techniques. You’ve got this.
The last couple weeks have been heavy. I’ve cried almost every day, sad not only for what people of color have been going through since this country was started/taken, but for the inability of some people to grasp that. Social media is a nasty place right now, and if I didn’t own a business, I’d be taking a break from it.
I’ve been listening and learning, and know that one of the actionable steps we can to support the Black community is to buy products and services from Black-owned businesses. Here’s a roundup of resources that will point you in the right direction.
A List Compiled By My Friend Tiffanni Reidy of Reidy Creative
This is by no means a complete list, but I thought it was a good starting point. I know money is tight for a lot of people right now, so if you can’t buy anything at the moment, maybe some social media love would be appreciated.
We all learn in different ways. (Can you tell both of my parents have worked in education?) Some people learn best from listening, some from observing, some from doing and some from the written word. While I think I’ve personally learned using all of those methods, I tend to absorb the most information from reading.
As a child and teen, I loved reading. I found that I much preferred it to Math (my nemesis), Chemistry (passed it with a D, which my teacher told me was a “gift” from him because I tried so hard but failed every test) or Gym (my eardrum ruptured once during 7th grade Gym class, and while I was in serious pain, I was mostly happy to get out of playing volleyball).
I especially loved historical fiction and Stephen King books, but I would read just about anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t read much for pleasure in college, as I was too busy drinking Bacardi and obsessing over crushes, but I read a lot for my courses. I’d be half asleep during some lectures but I’d read and highlight the hell out of my overpriced textbooks, which seemed to work out well. (I graduated magna cum laude, baby. And I am bragging.) Later in my 20s, I got interested in self help/intuition/soul type books as well as biographies of Old Hollywood actresses. Once I started my business, it seemed only right that I should read some business books, and so read them I did (and still do).
I’ve read countless business books, and I’ve used the knowledge I’ve gained to build a better business. Reading a good business book is like hiring a consultant for $14.95 (or $22.95 if you like hardcover consultants). To me, that’s worth it.
Let’s get to it then, boss.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. This is probably my favorite business book. I’ve read it more times than any other biz book I have or have borrowed. It breaks down the difference between doing the technical part of the job (in my case, doing makeup), the managerial part and the true entrepreneur part. Gerber says that to reach your max level of success, you must be the entrepreneur and hire others to be the technician(s) and manager(s). Reading this book changed the way I run my business and my long-term strategy for it.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. At first glance, it seems like this book is only for product-based businesses owned by people who want to be digital nomads. But there are lots of great tips and resources given in this book, not only for entrepreneurs but for people who want to convince their bosses to let them work from home. Ferriss’s writing style is conversational and easy to read, which is rare in the world of often-dry business writing.
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Thing Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. It’s a simple concept, really–focus on one main thing with your business and everything else will fall in place. My one thing right now–and for the last few years–is growing my team, as that’s what a) Allows us to (eventually) stop turning down business due to lack of makeup artists and/or hair stylists and b) Frees up my time so I can work on location expansion and other projects. This book seems repetitive, but it really made me realize how important is to build everything around my one main thing.
Tools of Titans: The Tactic, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss. While this is technically another Tim Ferriss book, it feels like it’s less by him and more by the people he interviewed for it. Ferriss compiled tips, stories and life advice from his interviews with 114 successful people. I was a little turned off that only 12 of those interviewees were women, but besides that, I found it interesting. I liked getting the perspectives from people in different industries (even if they were mostly male) and I’m always into a success story.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you asked 100 successful people which business books they recommend, I’d guess at least half would mention this one. It was written in 1936, but it’s timeless. Some of the advice in this classic has helped me with sales, networking and in-person communication with clients.
There’s no one set way to gain business knowledge. If you’re putting in any effort to improve your business and become a better entrepreneur by learning from others, you’re doing it right. But if reading is your thing, hopefully this list has been helpful.