Eyeshadow Love

People love eyeliner and mascara, but I feel like eyeshadow gets no love. I suspect some people may find all of the color and texture choices, ways to apply and/or which brushes to use intimidating. Don’t be skirred! There are some simple eyeshadow techniques I do for almost every look and all they require is an angled brush.

I use eyeshadow as a soft focus eyeliner, as a way to map out where a defined gel liner will go, as a guard to keep pencil liner from smudging and as a way to smoke out or intensify an eyeliner. Let me break it down for you.

1) Eyeshadow as Eyeliner. A defined eyeliner look can be great, but it can also appear dated or harsh if done incorrectly (especially if you use black). Using an eyeshadow to line the top and bottom (or just top) lashline gives a more soft focus, modern effect. It’s easier than doing a defined line using a gel or liquid liner and it’s more forgiving of mistakes. It’s simple to build up shadow intensity–just go over the area with more shadow. Using just a shadow as a liner will define your eyes, but in a natural-looking way.

2) Mapping Out a Defined Line. Remember how in kindergarten, your teacher would have you draw a line with a pencil before tracing over it with a crayon or marker? Same deal with the liner mapping. When I have a defined line to draw, I often use a shadow in the same color as the liner to draw the liner shape first. Then I go over it with a liner (usually a gel liner). Mapping it out allows me to more easily correct the shape if I slip up, and since the gel liner goes over it, no one will ever know.

3) Eyeshadow as a Liner Guard. When I use a pencil or gel eyeliner, I typically trace over it with an eyeshadow in the same color. This locks the liner in place, keeping it from transferring to the lid or crease. The powder quality of an eyeshadow acts as a barrier against oils from the skin, which can interact with eyeliner ingredients, causing unwanted smudging and transfer.

4) Smudging Out/Intensifying an Eyeliner. I use this eyeshadow technique a lot to give dimension and texture to the eyeliner. Especially when I use a pencil liner, I like to trace over and slightly above the line with an eyeshadow. To intensify it, I use a shadow in the same color. To smoke it out, I use a slightly lighter eyeshadow, which gives the illusion of a shadow under (at the lower lashline) or above (at the upper lashline) the pencil eyeliner. I very rarely use a pencil eyeliner without doing this, because I think the eyeliner looks so much more modern with the shadow counterpart.

All that is required to do any of these looks is an angled eyeliner brush and some eyeshadow. I most often use browns, blacks and grays to do these techniques, but a brightly colored shadow at the lower lashline can be pretty awesome too.

Give it a try. Your eyeshadows deserve to be appreciated!

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

All The Small Things

Stuck in a makeup rut? Need a quick change from work makeup into happy hour makeup? Want to try something new but only have 5 minutes? Don’t panic, girlfriend. Makeup isn’t always a time-consuming, detailed process. There are some small makeup changes that you can do that will make a big impact.

Try one out!

1) Eyeliner Magic. Want to make your eyes look bigger or more awake? Apply on off-white eyeliner or concealer pencil to your lower waterline (I like MAC Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20). An instant day-to-night eyeliner trick is to apply a black pencil eyeliner, like Topshop Kohl Pencil in Coal, on your lower waterline. Instant sexy eyes. What’s up now, Megan Fox?

2) Lipstick Love. Changing your normal lip color and/or texture can brighten up your face, make your outfit work or pull your makeup together. If you normally wear a fresh pink lipstick, try a berry lip stain. If you’re a matte red lip girl, try a creamy nude. A 30 second lip change can bring your look from innocent to vamp, retro to modern, polished to playful, etc. There is more than one lip color that works on each person, so play around!

3) You’re Blushing. If you don’t normally wear blush, you’ll be amazed by what a small amount of cheek color can do. And if you do wear blush, try something new. Switch from a powder to a cream or vice versa, or swap your normal petal pink for a pretty peach.

4) Contour Time. Try using a contour powder to shape your face. Once you know what you are doing, you are looking at about a two minute change. There are a shitload of contouring how to’s on YouTube, so check them out. (Pixiwoos, Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury are my favorites for all makeup tutorials.)

5) Bat Those Lashes. But first, apply another coat of mascara to top and bottom. I prefer an inky black mascara, like Dior Diorshow Extase, when applying on already-coated lashes.

A little change can amp up and refresh your look. None of these take more than two minutes, so no excuses. I know you have two minutes–your Facebook Newsfeed can wait.

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

Are Those Things Real?

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, eyelashes are the window treatments. Good lashes make your eye-windows look better–it’s a fact*. I’ve yet to meet a client who doesn’t want long, full lashes. If the majority of people didn’t care about eyelashes, the false lash market would be non-existent.

I’m not bragging here, but I have to be real with you. At least once each week, I get asked if I am wearing false lashes (I very rarely am, and no one has ever asked me when I actually was!). I don’t have eyelash extensions, and I don’t use Latisse or any other lash growth product. Without mascara on, no one would compliment me on my eyelashes–I feel confident about that. But because I do get these compliments, and because I have applied mascara to thousands of eyelashes, I feel qualified to at least share my tips. So here.we.go.

Tip 1: Don’t regularly use waterproof mascara. This stuff is fine for cry-y occasions, but most waterproofs are harsher than regular mascara. When used frequently, waterproof mascaras can cause lash breakage.

Tip 2: Be oh-so-gentle when removing your eye makeup. I cleanse my face with an oil cleanser and lightly massage a small amount of it onto my lashes. I do a lot of rinsing, but I never rub or scrub the eye area. After that, I dry my face and use a cotton pad soaked with Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup remover to take off the rest of my eye makeup. With my eye closed, I gently hold the cotton pad work too over the lashline for about 20 seconds to let the remover break down the makeup, then I–also very gently–wipe away what is left.

Tip 3: Eat clean. I am not a scientist, and the Internet research I should do would probably be full of contradictions anyway, but I believe that my healthy diet and the supplements I regularly take (including fish oil, which is beneficial to skin and hair), is part of the reason I have decent lashes to start with. Genetics is involved too, so I may have some nice lash DNA, but I think a healthy lifestyle truly does make for better skin, hair and nails.

Tip 4: Dry yo’ lashes. Damp lashes–from washing your face, eye makeup remover, eye drops, etc.–make eyelashes clump together when mascara is applied, and clumped lashes will never look full. Before I apply my first coat of mascara, I always make sure my lashes are dry. To do that, I hold my index finger horizontally in front of my eye, then I blink. If the lashes are very damp, you will feel water, product or eyedrop residue hitting your skin. If they are just a little damp, you will be drying them on your finger-towel as you blink. Either way, do this a couple of times or until your lashes feel dry.

Tip 5: Get your eyeliner involved. The right kind of eyeliner (or even a shadow as a liner) can give the illusion of fuller lashes. I prefer a dark brown at the lashline because sometimes when you use a black liner, the blackness of your mascara can fade into the liner and actually make your lashes stand out less (dark eyeshadows on the lid can do the same thing). You can, however, use a black liner to tightline. (This means applying it to the upper waterline). This makes the upper lashline look fuller.

Tip 6: Use a volumizing mascara as a base. If I had to get a tattoo, it would need to be one of the two things I know I will love forever–Biggie Smalls or Dior Diorshow Mascara. I have tried dozens of mascaras in the last few years alone and nothing has come close to the volumizing effect of Diorshow (the original formula). I know that there are some people who this doesn’t work for, but everyone I have personally used it on has loved it. So here’s the trick to getting volume–hold your lash wand horizontally, wiggle it at the lash roots, then lightly blink into it. I concentrate on two areas for this–the center of the lashline and the outer two thirds. As far as how many coats to apply, that’s really a personal choice. I just stop when my intuition or makeup spirit guide tells me to, and I suggest you do the same. I do this step on my top lashes only.

Tip 7: Comb through those bad boys. I won’t disclose what I use to comb through my own lashes, because it is bad and wrong and I should be ashamed. On clients, I use a spooly (or clean disposable mascara wand) to separate and remove clumps. You may find a plastic or metal lash comb works better for you. Whatever you use, just make sure you use it before your mascara has dried.

Tip 8: Apply a second mascara.ย The second mascara is like the supporting actress, which is just as important, in its own way. I skip around to some other makeup steps before I do this to make sure the top lash mascara has completely dried. When I’m ready, I apply a super black, inky mascara to intensify and lengthen the lashes. I am currently using Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash Mascara and Clinique High Lengths Mascara. I do the wiggle-at-the-lash roots thing again, as well as the blink-into-it step. But with this blink, I pull the wand upwards as I blink, to get the lengthening effect. The pulling upwards is important because many of us have blond-tipped eyelashes (even brunettes–I’m in this category), so if there is no mascara there, the lashes will look shorter than they actually are.

Tip 9: Give some love to your bottom eyelashes. They are important too! Applying mascara to bottom lashes defines the eyes. The trick is to apply the mascara at the roots of the bottom lashes. Unless you are going for a 1960s or other specific look, full–but not overloaded–mascared lashes tend to look better than long, spidery lashes. Depending on the wand shape and your level of comfort, you can either use the wand horizontally or vertically to reach the lash roots. I usually use whatever my second mascara is, but I have also used Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara before (it is a beauty tubes mascara with the most adorable tiny wand.)

Tip 10: Don’t compare yourself to actresses, models, or Kardashians. They are usually wearing false lashes or have lash extensions (sometimes both), and if you are looking at anyone in a magazine, their photo has been retouched. Their lashes are about as Real as a Housewife, so please keep that in mind.

Hope this post helps you on your journey to fuller, longer looking lashes (if that is your journey). Would love to hear your tips and recommendations.

*I sometimes make up my own facts, based on my professional experience.

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚


The blurry, unflattering photo is of me–which marks the first time I have ever posted a photo of myself on this blog. But I think it is a good lash shot, so I am doing this for the people.lashes

Eye Makeup Smudges, Be Gone!

I like a bit of a messy eye makeup look, I really do. But it has to be done right, and it’s not for everyone, or for every situation. If you are working a professional job outside of the beauty industry or something creative/artistic, you might need more of a clean makeup look during work hours. And nothing kills an otherwise polished face like eye makeup that looks like it is slowly melting off.

So many of my clients tell me they are fighting a losing battle with chronic smudged eyeliner or migrating mascara. Many give up and abandon eye makeup altogether. But ladies, ladies, ladies–you need not despair! There are a few factors that could be causing the issue, and some things you can do to fix it. I would like to help you identify the root of the problem and win this battle.

Let’s start with eye primer. I think anyone who wears any type of eye makeup should use an eye primer. It is the first step in any makeup application I do (unless I know I will be changing the eye makeup soon after), and I wear eye primer every day. The natural oils on your eyelids can make eyeliners become slippery and smudge-bound, but having a primer there creates a barrier. I have tried a ton of them and my favorite is still Too Faced Shadow Insurance (at Sephora).

If you wear eyeliner and think it may be the source of smudging for you, let’s talk about that. Is it a liquid liner? Gel? Pencil? If it’s a good quality liquid or gel eyeliner (and I will address that in the Crappy Products section), it should not smudge once it has set. If it’s a good quality pencil liner, try tracing it with an eyeshadow in the same color. This will set the liner, keeping it in place.

For those of you who like the look of eyeliner and mascara only, this part is for you. Even with a good primer and eyeliner, you may still experience smudging if you don’t wear eyeshadow (usually just with pencil liners, especially when they have not been traced with an eyeshadow). This smudging is something us makeup pros call “transfer,” and the transfer I am referring to happens on your eyelid, not underneath the eye. Depending on your eye shape, the thickness of the liner drawn and the amount of oils on your eyelid, your eyeliner can transfer from your upper lashline to the crease of your eye. Super easy fix though, don’t you worry. After applying your eye primer but before applying your eyeliner, apply a matte eyeshadow that is the same color as your skin all over your lid and into the crease. Apply your pencil liner, then set it with an eyeshadow.ย  If you don’t do those two things, the oils from your eyelid may breakdown your eyeliner when you look up, which causes the transfer. Having a primer and eyeshadow there blocks those oils from wreaking havoc on your eyeliner. And choosing a matte eyeshadow in the same color as your skin will still give you that no-eyeshadow look.

Many people think that their regular mascara is what causes the smudging, so they switch to waterproof. Waterproof may solve the problem, but it’s likely to cause another one–eyelash breakage. Waterproof mascaras tend to be harsh and in my opinion, are not made for everyday use. If you find that your mascara migrates, whether from watery eyes or unknown causes, try using a beauty tubes mascara (like Blinc Mascara or Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara–the latter is obviously just for the bottom lashes). Beauty tubes mascara is applied exactly like a regular mascara–it’s just the formulation that is different. Instead of coating your lashes, beauty tubes encapsulate them. It’s the difference between a cardigan and a wetsuit, you feel me? The point is, beauty tubes mascara stays on until you physically remove it with water and a gentle pressing motion.

If you switch to a beauty tubes mascara and that still doesn’t work (I have never seen or heard of that happening), I give you permission to wear waterproof mascara on your bottom lashes only. Unless you are full on crying (like when watching Long Island Medium or thinking about the current state of hip hop), any tearing will most likely only effect your bottom lashes. So using waterproof mascara on the top lashes on a daily basis is probably not necessary.

There is another big culprit for smudging, which could be root of the problem if you wear undereye concealer. Undereye concealer–unless it has been set with powder–eats at away at mascara, causing the mascara to smudge when the lower lashes touch the concealer. Applying a thin layer of powder over the undereye concealer before applying lower lash mascara could be the fix you need. The powder becomes a barrier between the concealer and mascara, so no damage can be done.

Do you regularly line your waterline with a dark eyeliner? If so, this could be causing the smudging. Our eyes naturally water during the day, so even the best waterline liner will eventually wear away. But where does it go, you ask? Check your tearducts and if they’re clear, look under your eyes. Find it? You can stop this runaway liner from journeying to under your eyes by applying a very thin line of eyeshadow in the same color family at the lower lashline, as close to the lash roots as you can get. This shadow will “catch” the waterline liner, absorbing it before it gets any further.

If you have tried some or all of these tips and your eye makeup is still smudging, you may have a case of Crappy Products. Crappy Products can be found in all makeup lines, both low and high end, but not surprisingly, the cheapest of the cheap are often Grade A Crap. (However, I have found that drugstore waterproof mascaras–Maybelline Falsies Volum Express is my fave–outperform the higher end waterproof mascaras.) Crappy eyeliner pencils seem to be the worst offenders, but there are some gel and liquid liners that flake off then melt into little smudges. If you suspect you might be using a Crappy eyeliner pencil, I recommend switching to Top Shop Kohl liners; a Crappy liquid liner could be replaced by MAC LiquidLast eyeliner; and a Crappy gel liner could be replaced by MAC Fluidline or Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner.

You do not have to resign yourself to living with smudged eye makeup, nor do you have to give it up completely. It may take some time to pinpoint the cause, but once you have done that, you can turn things around. Don’t know where to start? I would first try the eye primer (use it even if it doesn’t solve the smudging problem–more about that in a future post). If you wear dark liner on the waterline, try the eyeshadow-at-the-lower-lashline trick next. Still smudging? It’s time to start powdering your undereye area after concealing. Issue not resolved? Go ahead and get yourself a beauty tubes mascara. If all of these methods fail, it’s time to look inward and ask yourself, Do I buy Crappy Products? If so, get yourself some quality products. They might be more expensive than what you normally use, but if you want or need to have a professional image, I think it’s worth it.

I do want to add that even if you are using the best products in combination with the right techniques, you might see a tiny bit of smudging after 10-12+ hours. That’s why God gave us pinky fingers–to wipe away any trace of rogue eye makeup. No one looks perfect all day, folks. Touchups are necessary. Your 6:00am makeup will need to be refreshed at 6:00pm, and you may have some small smudges that only you can notice. That’s normal. What I want to do is get you away from those super obvious smudges that distract people when you are talking to them. And hopefully this post can help with that. Because, dear Lord, people are going to have a hard time listening to your flawless presentation/perfect sales pitch/inspired lesson plan if you look like Ke$ha.

Questions? Get at me.

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

Big Up to the Deep Set Crew


There are a lot of great things that come with my Italian heritage. A huge, loving family; chicken parm so good it will make you cry; Italian swears that are fun to say; the good hair gene–I could go on and on. But being Italian also means I have The Curse of the Deep Set Eyes (quick! cornicelli up!) Like so many people of Mediterranean descent, my eyes are set pretty far back. My brother says this is a good thing, because it protects the eyeballs if you fall on your face (always the optimist, that Mikey B!). In terms of photography though, it’s a definite disadvantage.

Before you get into this, let’s see if you are part of the Deep Set Crew (not to be confused with the Dipset crew). See the celebrity pictures included in this post? (Please excuse the formatting, not my strength.) Do their eyes look similar to your’s? If so, read on, my friend.

Let’s start this by saying a little prayer of thanks for those of us that have two eyes that can see. I think it’s important to give thanks for those things we might take for granted (even when it’s not November, folks!). Let me also point out that there is no “bad” eye shape. But there are ways to work with what you’ve got to make things look best in photos, if you are concerned with that.

If you’re rollin’ with the Deep Set Crew, you have probably seen a million photos of you that look nothing like you. That’s because cameras pick up on light and shadows, and if your eyes are deep set, the light and shadows are going to make your eyes look like they are pushed back even further in your face. Typically not a flattering look, and probably not at all what you look like in person. But these deep set eye makeup tips for photography can help you out, or at least they have for my clients and I.

First thing you want to do is avoid applying dark eyeshadow colors on your eyelids. This is a big, indisputable rule in makeup–dark colors make things recede, or look smaller. Putting a dark color on your lids is going to make your eyes look even further set back. Go with a lighter color for photography–even some shimmer is fine–and this will help bring the bottom part of your eye forward. Try a shade that is a couple of shades lighter than your skin (matte is preferable if you have very large eyes that you want to minimize, otherwise shimmer is fine). MAC Brulee eyeshadow works well on light skin, MAC Wedge is good on medium skin and MAC Era is pretty on dark skin. But use whatever works for you!

Don’t put a dark eyeshadow in the crease (or socket, if you prefer) of your eye. I would go as far as to say don’t put ANY color there. This has the same effect as putting a dark color on the lid–it is just going to make your eyes look more sunken in in photos. If you want to put some color there, what you can do–and this takes some practice–is apply a light-medium color (I usually use a light brown) slightly above the crease. It should hit the very bottom of your browbone, but not in an 80s way. Blend it well. If you don’t have much space between your crease and brows, or this sounds too advanced to you, skip it.

Avoid highlighting the browbone. I know many magazine articles and YouTube tutorials tell you to highlight the browbone, but this is really not for everyone. Highlighting the browbone is just going to make the bottom part of your eye look even further back in comparison.

If you have a lot of eyelid space (and many people with deep set eyes do–look at the Cher picture as an example), you can draw a medium or thick line of eyeliner at the top lashline. This is really more about how much lid space you have, but since I have found that so many Deep Set crew members have large eyes, I had to include that. I do recommend softening the liner by either using a shadow, smudging a pencil liner or tracing a gel liner with shadow, as it gives that soft focus effect that is generally more modern and flattering in photos. Topshop Kohl liners are awesome and easy to smudge.

I wouldn’t suggest going too dark or heavy with any liner or shadow at the lower lashline, as this can highlight the deep set factor too. A soft, thin line is flattering, but anything too dark or too heavy won’t do you any favors on camera.

People with deep set eyes are often also blessed with dark circles, which make the whole eye area look even more recessed. So it’s really important to correct and cover these circles. If they are very dark, you will need to color correct with a peach (light and medium skins) or an orange (dark skin) corrector. Follow with a concealer one shade lighter than the rest of your face (MAC Select Coverups are great), and if necessary, a small amount of brightening concealer (like Clinique Airbrush Concealer). Set with powder.

Mascara on top lashes is a must for deep set eyes (fine to do bottom too, just don’t channel Tammy Faye Bakker). Lengthening mascara is a Do, as it gives the illusion of pulling the eyes forward. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. Mascara on one eye, no mascara on the other. Which one wins this round? Dior Diorshow, the original, is still my fave for thickening and lengthening.

The next two tips could be controversial, as they are purely from my experience. I have never heard of another makeup artist/watched a YouTube tutorial suggesting these things for deep set eyes.

I love black liner on the waterline, I really do, but in photos, I swear it makes the eyes look more deep set. I recommend an off-white liner if you want to line the waterline.

This last one isn’t even eye makeup–cheekbone highlight. Don’t do it. Think about how close the cheekbones are to the eye sockets. Highlighting the cheekbones, in my opinion, automatically sets the eyes back more.

So, those are my tips. If you are a fan of the infamous selfie, try doing your makeup this way, and then the opposite. Then see which picture makes your eyes look more deep set. I think you will find these tips will generally make for a prettier you in pictures.

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

In The Name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Eyeliner: Topshop Eyeliner Review

If you are Catholic, a history buff, or an excellent Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy player, you may have heard of Saint Maria Goretti. I also have a cousin named Maria Goretti, who I consider to be the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts. She mails me surprise makeup packages, like Lipstick Queen glosses, Sonia Kashuk eyeshadows and Kevyn Aucoin books. She also emails me links to great makeup articles and blogs.

My Saint Maria Goretti and I both share a love for beautiful makeup, quality skincare products, Sephora and YouTube tutorials done by Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoos. A few years ago, Saint Maria told me that having a makeup artist in the family was better than having a doctor in the family. Hence her nickname for me, Dr. Allison Barbera.

Saint Maria recently sent me a brown kohl pencil eyeliner from Topshop. It is in a color called Saddle, and we had both heard about it from a Pixiwooos review. It was on my mile long list of products to try, but before I had the chance to order it, it came to my mailbox one happy day.

I use brown eyeliner on some clients, but very rarely on my own eyes. I tend to go for black, because my eyes are brown and my lashes and eyebrows are black, so most browns just don’t do anything for me. But this Topshop eyeliner in Saddle is something special. The color is a deep bronze brown with red metallic undertones, and it is spectacular. It draws on easily, without pulling on the skin and is easy to smudge, if that’s the look you are going for. But I found that when I drew a more defined line, it still stayed in place. It works on the waterline too and although it is not waterproof, it holds up well. This eyeliner really changed my mind about wearing brown eyeliner.

Topshop products are available at Topshop stores (in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas), some Nordstrom stores, and us.topshop.com. Or, you could try praying to the Patron Saint of Makeup Gifts, the modern day Saint Maria Goretti, and maybe something wonderful will end up in your mailbox…

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

All That Glitters: Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner Review

I once had a very bad experience with glitter. A speck of it somehow got lodged in my eyeball, and I could feel it! I was on my way to the emergency room when it worked its way out. (I had previously had the same experience with a grain of sand, which I ignored for a few days until it hurt to open my eye. So I didn’t want to risk it with the glitter.) Since then, I’ve hated glitter cards, glitter clothing and glitter accessories.

However, I am strangely okay with glitter makeup–specifically glitter eyeliner. I realize this makes no sense, seeing as though my glitter ordeal had to do with a rogue piece of clothing glitter that had gotten into my eye, so why would I want to purposely put glitter near my eye? Because I love makeup! That’s why. Most decisions I make have to do with the fact that I love makeup, hip hop, or soft serve, so I can’t say that logic always plays a part.

I have pencil eyeliners and mascaras with glitter in them, but hadn’t tried a liquid glitter eyeliner for a while. While browsing Sephora.com recently, the Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner by Urban Decay caught my eye–this time in a good way. After agonizing over which shade to get, I decided on Stagedive, a bright turquoise.

For some reason, I expected the liner to be turquoise with turquoise glitter, but it is in fact a clear liner with turquoise glitter. The glitter applies somewhat unevenly, as glitter usually does, which is more obvious when the product base is clear. The applicator is a thin brush, not a felt tip applicator, but I think that’s fine since you can’t really draw a precise line with glitter anyway. To build consistent glitter-ness, I had to keep going over the spots that were lacking in glitter. I don’t think this is a big deal, since many products require multiple layers to really show up.

The next time I wore it, I applied a black gel liner first (you could do this with pencil too), let it dry, and introduced the Heavy Metal liner into the game. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. Love love love love LOVE! It instantly brought some fun to the look and I got a lot of compliments on it. Giving the turquoise glitter something to contrast with really made a huge difference.

As far as removal, be prepared to work. With glitter makeup on any other part of the face, you can remove it with Scotch tape. But on the eyelids, I really wouldn’t recommend that. So eye makeup remover, as far as I know, is the only option. It can take a while, but no one ever said beauty was effortless, darling.

So this liner on its own is subtle, which some people may prefer. But if you like intensity, just layer it over a darker pencil or gel liner. That’s the way I like to wear it. Ke$ha would be proud.

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

The Waterline Liner Quest: Avon Super Shock Gel Liner

I am ashamed. It has been a ridiculously long time since I last blogged, and I apologize. The only thing I can say is that I’ve been so busy that I thought my head was actually going to spin off. Then I’d be the first person to stay alive without a head, solely because I didn’t put “die a strange death” on my To Do list.

A mountain of products have piled up on my desk over the past couple of months, waiting to be reviewed. Because I got a request for this one, we’ll start with the Avon Super Shock Gel Liner in black. I bought this eyeliner because I have an Indian bride who needs a waterline liner that will stay put during a part of the ceremony where everyone cries. I trust MAC Fluidline (a gel liner in a pot) to stay put on the lashline, but I tried putting it on my waterline once and it didn’t work out. (Or maybe I just don’t like the look of the whites of my eyeballs being flecked with black streaks.) I use MAC Kohl liners for the waterline, but wasn’t confident that that liner would stay on as well as I wanted for a crying session.

I am obsessed with the Pixiwoo tutorials on YouTube and since sisters Sam and Nic always use the Super Shock and say that it’s the best waterline liner, I had to get it. They said it was only available in the U.K., but I thought That’s only for people who don’t know how to shop for makeup. Apparently I’m one of those people because I couldn’t find it anywhere–small stores, Ebay, Amazon, obscure beauty websites. So I ordered it from England and watched my money change from dollars to pounds.

I tried the liner about 30 seconds after I received the package. It went on smoothly (although not as smoothly as a MAC Kohl) and was very black, which I love. It lasted…in spots. After a full day, sections of it were still holding on strong, but it the overall look had faded. Faded into where, though? Not under my eyes or into my tear ducts. So good, no smudging. And it didn’t flake into my eyes like other liners have (ahem, Arbonne).

In one of my crazy lady frenzies, I left the cap off and went to use it a week later. The tip of the pencil (it is a pencil gel liner) had shrunk so I sharpened it. Nothing came out. So I sharpened again…and again, then drew it on my hand until I had revived the pigment. It has never returned to its original blackest black shade–which is my own dumbass fault–but it’s close.

This liner didn’t quite meet my expectations, but I think its staying power is good and it must just evaporate, because it doesn’t smudge or run. I’m going to try layering it with a MAC Kohl to see if that’s the magic combination.

Will try to blog again soon!

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

Grape Crush: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Ransom Review

There are lots of different purples in the makeup world.ย  You’ve got your lilacs, your lavenders, your eggplants, your plums, your amethysts, your royal purples and so on. My favorite purple shade is grape.ย  It looks great with brown eyes, which the majority of people have.ย  However, I usually have trouble finding good grape eyeshadows or eyeliners.

Then I met Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner in Ransom.ย  It couldn’t be more grape colored! I love the 24/7 liners.ย  They’re smooth, creamy and highly pigmented.ย  I go through 24/7 in Zero (jet black) quicker than I go through toilet paper, and Bourbon (brown) and Gunmetal (gray) are essentials in my kit too.

Ransom is a perfect color for the brown-eyed girls out there. If you’re going to do a purple smoky eye, this liner will be your best friend.ย  A word of warning though–these liners are great for smoky eyes because they smudge easily, but if you’re going to wear them on their own, trace over them with an eyeshadow to set the liner.

I bought mine from Sephora as part of the Limited Edition 24/7 Eyeliner Duo deal (also comes with a good covered pencil sharpener). It would normally be $43 for two 24/7 liners, but this set gives you two for $29.ย  http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P276809&categoryId=C10461

Purple eyeliner is a good way to make brown eyes pop without doing the whole eye with bright, vibrant or intense shadow. So if you want a little change in your eye makeup look, give it a try!

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚

Whaddya Mean, Tightlining?

No matter what industry you work in, there’s technical talk.ย  Teachers speak of IEPs, real estate agents discuss easements, carpenters talk about risers and treads, etc. Us makeup artists have our own language too…and it just happens to be the prettiest one.

Sometimes I refer to things forgetting that I’m speaking in makeupese and some people might not know what the hell I’m talking about. So I’m going to do for you what Big L did for street slang–I’m gonna school you.

Airbrush Makeup: A liquefied form of makeup applied with a device that sprays out product. Can give skin a flawless look, depending on the product and application technique. Tends to be very long lasting.

Brush Roll: The pouch used to hold makeup brushes.

Cat Eye: A dramatic eyeliner look that’s thickest and angled at the outer corners.

Color Wash: Using one shade of eyeshadow for both eyelid and crease.

Contour: Using a dark color to make something recede. Used to minimize the width or length of a feature.

Crease: The space above the eyelid and under the browbone. Hooded eyes and monolids don’t have a visible crease when the eyes are open.

Cupid’s Bow: The double curve above the center of the top lip. Highlighting the skin above it makes lips look slightly fuller.

Fallout: Usually used in reference to eyeshadow. It’s any shadow that falls under the eye or onto the face.ย  It’s the reason why makeup artists like me do the eyes first!

Flare Lashes: Also known as clusters or individuals, these false lashes come in groups of 6-8 lashes instead of strips that are the length of the lashline.ย  They come in different lengths and thicknesses and can be built up.

Highlight: Using a light color to draw attention to a feature or area of the face.ย  Commonly used on cheekbones, browbones, inner corners of eyes and above the Cupid’s Bow.

Illuminating: Products that are “illuminating” contain some kind of light reflecting particles.ย  Great for places you want to highlight.ย  Stay away from illuminating products if you have oily skin, because they can make the skin look more oily.

Kit: A makeup artist’s supply of tools and products.

Matte: Products with absolutely no shimmer or shine.

MUA: Stands for “Make Up Artist.”

Non-comedogenic: Means that the product (supposedly) will not clog pores.

Outer V: Used in reference to the section of the eye from the outer end of the crease to the outer end of the lashline.ย  Drawing a little “v” here (with the point going towards the hairline) works well with a lot of eye makeup looks.

Primer: A face, eye or lip product put on prior to foundation, eye makeup or lip color to help the products stay on longer. They also give a good base and help provide a smoother, more even surface for the products.

Tightlining: Lining the upper inside eyelid with a pencil eyeliner, usually in a black shade. This can help make top lashes look fuller.

Transfer: When a mascara or eyeliner smudges onto the eyelid, crease, or browbone before it has dried.

Sheer: Minimal coverage products that have a hint of color, so that you can still see through to the skin.

Waterline: The inside lower eyelid. Lining here with a dark color makes the look more dramatic and makes the eyes look smaller. An off-white liner here will open up the eyes.

Winged Liner: Eyeliner that extends past the end of the eye on the upper lashline and is angled upwards, giving the illusion of a lifted and elongated shape.

Hope I’ve decoded some of the mystery for you.ย  Please let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Have a beautiful day ๐Ÿ™‚