Youthful Looking Makeup Tips

There is nothing wrong with aging, looking your age or not wearing makeup. We need to stop shaming people for that.

There’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to look older than you are, and that’s where I can help. These seven makeup tips are here for you if you’re interested in a more youthful makeup look.

Skip The Bottom-Lash-Only Liner. Applying eyeliner at the bottom lashline only gives the appearance that the eye is dropping. Using liner at both the top and bottom lashline provides balance and definition to the eye, and can even make the eye look lifted. That being said, a thinner, diffused liner at the bottom lashline–whether it’s done with pencil or eyeshadow–is generally more flattering than a thick line.

Powder Minimally. If you have any type of texture on your skin–fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, large pores, etc.–product can settle into those lines and magnify them. Powder is especially good at highlighting texture, so I use it very sparingly (if at all) on those areas. If lines, pitted acne scars or large pores are a concern, you can also use a pore minimizer on those areas before applying any other face makeup. Pore minimizer temporarily fills in those areas, allowing for a smoother application of face makeup.

Add Some Blush. What’s more youthful than rosy cheeks? Many people have a natural pink or red flush on their cheeks as children and teens, and blush can be used to mimic that natural flush that may have once been there. Cream blush works especially well on those with dry skin or texture on their cheeks.

Think Twice About Contour. Contour products are made to help emphasize bone structure, or give the illusion of a different structure that some may find more flattering. A lot of people automatically contour under the cheekbones, which isn’t the most complementary look on some face shapes. As we age, we lose some of the fat and collagen in our faces, specifically from the cheeks. This will give a more naturally contoured cheekbone appearance on some, and adding a contour product on top of that can cause a face to look gaunt. If you’ve found that your face has gotten a lot thinner as you’ve aged, I would suggest skipping cheekbone contour.

Fill In Those Brows. Eyebrows tend to thin out on a lot of people as they age, so filling in the brows can be a flattering, youthful look. I don’t suggest going for a heavy brow, but filling in your brows to make them look more like your natural shape from 10 or 15 years ago turns the clock back a little and helps frame your face.

Consider Lipliner. Lips also tend to get thinner as we age and can lose the plumpness that helps give them their shape. Lipliner can help you bring back that shape. It also helps lipstick stay put so it doesn’t feather out into any fine lines you may have around the lips.

Double Up The Mascara. Lashes also–you guessed it–tend to get thinner and more sparse as we age. Sure, you can fix that with lash extensions or false lashes, but those can a little too high maintenance or tricky for some. In that case, there’s always good ol’ mascara. Try an extra coat or two to see if you like how that looks.

I hope that’s helped, if any of this was a concern to you. You already look great!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Mascara Tips & Tricks

We’re seeing a lot of peoples’ eyes, and not so much of the rest of their faces, in this masked up world. So it makes sense to help you with eye makeup techniques, right? And when it come to eye makeup, I think a lot of people would agree that mascara is an essential.

So let’s talk about that, shall we?

Pump Up The Volume. Thick, full lashes can really emphasize the eyes. Sure, you can get there with false lashes or lash extensions, but those aren’t doable for everyone. A good, volumizing mascara makes a big difference though, and it’s more user-friendly and wallet friendly than falsies and extensions. My go-to for years has been Dior Diorshow Mascara. To get the biggest payoff, I wiggle the wand at the lash roots to really coat the lashes with the thickening formula.

I’ll Go To Any Length. Most people benefit from the look of both full and long eyelashes, which is why I double up. I get my volume on first with Diorshow, then I use a lengthening mascara like Clinque High Impact Mascara over that. For the lengthening portion of my mascara application, I hold the wand at the midway point of my lashes and blink into it, which then coats from mid-lash to tip.

Smudge Proof. You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I use a third mascara on my bottom lashes. My bottom lashes will hit my undereye area and smudge if I use a regular mascara there, but I don’t like waterproof for everyday use (more on that next). To prevent that from happening, I use Blinc Tubing Mascara. The beauty tube technology makes the product water resistant, but also easy to remove without causing lash damage.

Say No To Waterproof. Waterproof mascara is great for an occasion that may include crying (like a wedding, funeral or when watching Queer Eye), but it’s not good for everyday use. It’s takes more work to remove waterproof mascara, causing wear and tear on the lashes. Repeated wear and tear will eventually cause lash breakage, and no one wants that.

Keep ‘Em Separated. You can use the best products with all the right techniques, but clumpy lashes will ruin your hard work. I won’t tell you what I use to separate my own lashes because it’s semi-dangerous, but I use a clean spooly on clients. Lash combs work well too.

The Three Month Rule. Mascara is no good after three months. By that point, that product has likely started to dry out, which will cause it to flake off and smudge. Also, by three months, the tube is filled with bacteria from wand-to-lash contamination, and that bacteria can cause eye irritation and infection. So after 90 days, it’s time to get rid of it.

Toss The Tissues. I know some people blot their mascara wand on a tissue to remove excess product before applying, but I can’t condone that. Tissue fibers will stick to the wand and either get painted onto your lashes, causing uneven texture, or fall into your eyes. If you must blot, use a paper towel.

I hope this has helped you with your mascara woes, if you have them.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Patchwork: Why Patch Testing Beauty Products Is Essential

Please do some patch work before you commit!

If you’ve never had a reaction to a beauty product, you really haven’t lived. (Kidding.) Even if you don’t have any known ingredient allergies or aren’t generally sensitive to products, chances are you’ve met a product or two–or will in the future–that your skin is just not that into. That can cause breakouts, redness, itchiness, a burning sensation or other types of irritation. Not exactly what you want on your face, right?

There is a way you can stave off a bad reaction though: patch testing. Patch testing means applying a small amount of product to the skin to see if you have a reaction. This is an important thing to do with any product that’s going to be on your face for a while (so basically anything other than cleansers, although the super sensitives may want to patch test cleansers too).

I do a multi-phase patch test and overall test because, girlfriend, I’m nothing if not thorough. I first test a small amount of product behind my earlobe so that I can see if my skin reacts but it’s also mostly hidden. I leave the product on for as long as I would if I was actually using it on my face. So if it’s a moisturizer, I leave it on all day then wash it off at night. If it’s a treatment that you’re supposed to leave on for 15 minutes then wash off, I do that. If it’s a sleeping mask, I leave it on overnight. If I don’t see any irritation after that test, I move onto Phase 2. But if I do see or feel irritation at any point, I stop using the product.

For Phase 2, I put a small amount of the product on the back of my jawline on the left side of my face. I do the second patch test on my face, because that skin is different–and generally more sensitive–than the area behind my ear. I choose the left side of my jaw because I wear my hair parted on the right, so it covers or shadows the left side of my face. If you wear your hair down or if you have bangs, you can find your own hiding spot! I once again leave the product on for the directed amount of time. If I’m irritation-free after Phase 2, it’s onto the final phase.

Here’s where shit gets real. In Phase 3, I apply the product to my entire face (or whatever the full area you’re supposed to apply it to is). That’s technically not a patch test, but it’s part of my process, so I’m including it. But here’s the catch–I don’t leave it on for the full amount of time. For example, with a sleeping mask, I’ll leave it on for 15 minutes instead of overnight. I did this with a sleeping mask yesterday, and even though I had no issues in Phase 1 or Phase 2, in Phase 3, I ended up with two angry red welts on my face. With moisturizer or serum that’s supposed to be left on all day, in Phase 3, I leave it on for an hour.

If a product gets through the first three phases without issue, I use it regularly for a full week (or for a few weeks if it’s not meant to be used daily), but I make sure not to introduce any new products during that time. Because if I do introduce another new product and I get a reaction that’s anything other than immediate, how will I know which product my skin doesn’t like?

Occasionally, a product will cause no irritation for me during the three phases, but once I start using it regularly, it causes a breakout or even just one blemish. Breakouts can be a sign of sensitivity to a product, so when that happens, I stop using it.

80% of the products I try don’t irritate my skin, and with the 20% that do, I catch the irritation early on before I experience any widespread bad reactions. That’s why when someone tells me they had a bad reaction to a product, I ask them if they patch tested first or went full force into using it. Guess what I hear most of the time? They didn’t even do a Phase 1! It can much harder to calm down skin or clear a breakout when a product has been used as directed right from the start without testing. Why put yourself through that?

If you want to save your skin from potential bad reactions, you now have a tried and true system to follow. Your dermis will thank you for it.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

All Eyes On You: An Eye Makeup Post Roundup

It’s mask season until further notice in participating (aka “smart”) US states. That means in public, we’re mostly seeing people’s eyes and not much else of their face. So this is your peepers’ time to shine!

Keep reading and clicking for my most popular eye makeup posts.

Eye Makeup Hacks: How To Make Those Soul Windows Look Even Better

Eye Makeup Smudges, Be Gone! 

Green (Eyed) With Envy

Blue Eyed Baby

Brown Eyed Girl

Under Eye Love: How To Keep The Thinnest Skin on Your Body in Good Shape

The Eyes Have It

My MAC Eyeshadow All Stars

The Easiest Eyeshadow How To You’ll Ever Read

Eyeliner Assistance: Tutorial Roundup

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Some Things I Need to Get Off My Chest: The Beauty Edition

I’ve got some things to say.

The title says it all. Let’s get right into it.

Beware of Lash Serums. We all want long, full lashes, but at what expense? There are some lash serums out there that cause the whites of the eyes to turn yellow. I’ve seen it happen to several clients, and I don’t know that the yellowing goes away after you stop using the product. I personally feel safer using castor oil on my lashes, but you do you, Ol’ Yellow Eyes.

Stop Highlighting The Tip of Your Nose. I don’t know who started this trend, but I hate it. When you highlight an area, it looks bigger. Why would you want the tip of your nose to look bigger? If your answer is “I like the bulbous nose look,” then proceed. Otherwise, skip this foolishness.

You Don’t Need That Much Product. Eight pumps of foundation is too much for a human face. Twelve different eyeshadow shades are unnecessary. Five layers of highlight? Get outta here with that disco ball shit. If you put on drag queen amounts of makeup and you’re not performing, you’re going to look crazy in broad daylight. If that much makeup makes you happy, then go for it. But if you’re trying to enhance your features and let your skin show through, cut down on the product amounts.

Learn to Recognize Photoshop. We can all recognize an obvious editing fail–an extra hand in a group shot for a magazine cover, an impossibly small waist on a model in a clothing ad–but in my experience, few people can recognize editing done in makeup and skincare photos on social media and in ads. So much of what I see on social media is heavily, heavily edited. Those photos then get shown to makeup artists, with the expectation that we can duplicate what was essentially created by editing software. It’s very frustrating. I imagine it’s equally frustrating for the consumer who purchases a beauty product, thinking it will give them the same effect they saw in the ad, only to find out they can’t even get close to that. I guess the moral is this–know that what you often see is unattainable, and lower your expectations of what beauty products and makeup artists can do.

This is not a natural look. Neutral tones, but not natural.

Know What “Natural” Means. I can’t count the amount of clients who’ve told me they want a natural makeup look, then have shown me a picture of a Kardashian. Or someone with a black winged eyeliner. Or a beauty guru with lots of full coverage foundation on. To a makeup artist, natural means using a sheer foundation that lets the skin show through, with neutral toned eye makeup that enhances eye color and shape, no strong contour and certainly not loads of shimmery highlight. It’s okay to want more of a full-on makeup look, but just know that heavy foundation, a glittery eye, a winged liner and an ombre lip are not natural.

 

And that’s all I have to get off my chest…for now.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

In The Red: My Favorite Red Lipsticks

All red everything (including, apparently, my eyes).

In the makeup world, there’s nothing more showstopping than a red lip. There’s a red out there for everyone, and a red for every type of look. Red lips can be powerful, flirty, retro, summery, vampy–really anything but natural. I often say that I wear red lipstick or no lipstick at all, which isn’t entirely true but it is mostly accurate. (I’ll wear a non-red color maybe five or six times a year.)

Red lipsticks can differ greatly by undertone, shade and finish. My favorite reds are a mix of undertones, shades and finishes. Want to meet them?

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lipstick in Hot. I bought this lipstick in February during my drugstore haul, and was pleasantly surprised. Hot is a warm toned red, meaning it has orange undertones, but it actually looks pink-red on. It feels very 1950s pinup girl red to me. It is incredibly long-lasting, especially for a drugstore lipstick. I’m quick to return a drugstore makeup product if it doesn’t meet my standards, but Hot earned a place in my makeup bag.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot.

Lipstick Queen Saint Rouge. Lipstick Queen has several shades that come in both sheer (Saint) and opaque (Sinner) shades.  I find myself reaching for the Saint shades more for clients, and this particular shade works so many people. It’s a subdued red, in part due to the finish. It looks almost deep pink-red on some and berry red on others. I’m just now learning it has been discontinued but I’m including it here, because a) Sometimes discontinued shades make a comeback and b) Just because you can’t find a shade online doesn’t mean it won’t pop up in store, maybe even in a sale bin. Saint Rouge is a great starter red for those who are a little wary of a bold red lip.

MAC Lady Danger. She’s an orange-red if I ever met one! Lady Danger is the summer red lip, in my world. Because it’s a warm toned red, I find that it generally looks better on those with warm undertones, or those with cool undertones who have a tan/have applied self tanner. This is the matte red lipstick I keep in my purse all summer.

MAC Russian Red. You’ve got your orange-reds and your blue-red reds, and Russian Red is as blue-red as they come. This was supposedly Madonna’s favorite red shade in the 1980s, if that tells you anything. I love this particular matte red on those with fair or light skin with cool undertones.

MAC Ruby Woo. Ruby Woo is like the brighter, more matte cousin of Russian Red. I find it’s more flattering than Russian Red on medium and deep skintones. Ruby Woo has a 1940s/early 1950s feel to it. Because it’s so matte and can be drying,  I recommend prepping your lips first with a good balm.

Don’t try to woo me, unless you’re a lipstick.

Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in Dashing. Another discontinued red! This day has been very discouraging. Dashing is/was another blue-red, but seems less blue than Ruby Woo and definitely less than Russian Red. If you come across Dashing, it’s worth considering if you want a pigmented red. It’s long-wearing but moisturizing and leaves the lips with a gorgeous sheen. Very Old Hollywood, dahling.

Whyyyyy would they discontinue such a perfect red?

I know this isn’t the ideal time for a post about lipstick, since we’re wearing masks for much of the time, but I’m doing it anyway. It’s fun to think about when life will be normal again and lipstick won’t be hidden by masks. In the meantime, there’s nothing that says you can’t play around with colors at home and find the red (or two) that you love.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

Green (Eyed) With Envy

I’m jealous. Photo by Carol Oliver on Unsplash

Green is the rarest eye color in the world, with only 2% of the population lucky enough to have it. I’ve been willing my hazel eyes to turn green for years now. It’s not working out well, but a girl can hope.

Like with any eye color, there are eye makeup shades you can wear to really bring them out.

Ready to bring out the green? Let’s go.

Emerald green eyes look really pretty when gray and purple eyeshadows and eyeliners are used.

Khaki colored eye makeup can make forest green eyes pop.

Jade green eyes look gorgeous with brown shadows that have red undertones.

Bronze and copper shadows really bring out sea green eyes.

Like with any color, you can wear black liner on the waterline to enhance the green, but it will make your eyes look smaller. Also, black can look a little harsh on green eyes, especially if they’re a lighter shade of green, so I would pair black waterline liner with either a gray, dark brown, bronze or copper shadow to help balance it.

If you want to do a bold lip and bring out your green peepers at the same time, try a berry, plum, aubergine or deep red lip color. Red and purple tones are complimentary to green, so the right lip color will make your eye color pop.

That’s all I’ve got! Enjoy your rare eye color, and please send some green vibes to the hazel people who want to be you.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Blue Eyed Baby

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Last week I did a post about eye makeup that enhances brown eyes, so now it’s time to do the same for blue eyes. I mean, it’s only fair! Like with brown eyes, there are various shades of blue, so I’ll break it down.

Cornflower blue eyes really pop with a light pink eyeshadow on the lid. A little shimmery shadow in silver can also look really pretty on the inner corners.

A navy blue shadow or liner can really enhance gunmetal blue eyes, as can smokey gray shadow looks.

Ice blue eyes are emphasized when someone has on rose gold eyeshadow or warm brown shadow.

Bronze and copper shadows make sapphire blue eyes pop, even if just used at the lower lashline.

Black liner on the waterline will enhance any eye color, but beware of doing this if your eyes are on the small side, as that will make your eyes look smaller.

Believe it or not, lipstick can also make eye color pop. A blue-toned pink lip can do that for all shades of blue eyes, and an orange-red lip can enhance icy blue eyes.

These are just tips to point you in the right direction, but play around and see what you like.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Brown Eyed Girl

Have you got chocolate brown eyes, you mysterious lady, you? Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Approximately 79% of the world’s population has brown eyes. Are you one of them? If so, and you want to enhance those pretty peepers of your’s with eye makeup colors, read on.

If you’ve got chocolate brown eyes with yellow flecks in them, gold eyeshadows can bring out the yellow. Gray eyeshadow can also provide an interesting contrast.

If your eyes are closer to hazel than brown, a slate colored eyeshadow is super flattering. Depending on your skintone, shadows or liners in the purple family can also emphasize your eye color.

Chestnut brown eyes can be emphasized with electric blue eyeshadow or eyeliner, as well as gold shades. Forest green shadow or liner can look pretty with chestnut eyes too.

Honey colored eyes will really pop if you use dark brown or gray eyeshadow shades.

Pale pink eyeshadow can work on those with fair or light skin and light brown eyes. Copper and bronze shadows are really pretty on those with light brown eyes and a deep skintone.

Black liner in the waterline will emphasize any eye color, but I’d skip that if your eyes are on the small side, as it will make them look smaller.

All of that being said…play around! You may discover that a champagne shadow looks great on, or a neon green liner makes your eyes pop. Makeup is fun, so enjoy!

Have a beautiful day 🙂