Monday, June 28, 2010


It's summertime means beach, pool, vacation, outdoors.  Even if you can't get to the beach or the pool, you can still get that sunkissed look with bronzers!  Bronzers are used to give a sheer sunkissed look, without all the hours out in the sun (as if laying out in the sun is hard work :))

There are some key tips about wearing bronzers.

1.  Pick a shade that's no more than two shades your skin color.  Most cosmetic brands usually have three or four shades of bronzers, so pick the one that's just a little darker than your skin.
2.  Wear minimal foundation.  Any foundation that's geared for coverage or photo finish aren't good, because, if it melts away, your bronzer goes with it, creating streaks on your face.  Sheer powders and tinted SPF moisturizers work best!
3.  Apply only in the places where the sun naturally shines on your face.  Forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin.
4.  Apply LIGHTLY!  This is a good place to use the tap motion.  Once you've got bronzer on the brush, do a "tap-tap" with the brush to remove excess powder.  Whether the bronzer is the matte or shimmer kind, it's always better to start with a light application.  Then, stand by a place with natural light to check if you've got that bronzed shine.  OR,  if it's evening, go to a different room and see how different lighting affects the shine of your bronzer.
5.  To be able to apply lightly, you need the right kind of brush.  The larger blush brushes work well.
6.  Buy a separate brush just for your bronzer.  You shouldn't be using the same brush for your blush.
7.  Wear blush!  You won't be applying as much as you did, without a bronzer, but a little blush adds the finishing touch to a sunkissed look!

Here's what I use...
1. Stila Sun Bronzing Powder - it adds just the perfect subtle shimmer!  Now this one comes in two shades, but this is a sheer shimmer kind, so one or the other should work for your skin tone.  I've used mine (Shade #2) even in the winter for a little glow.  My skin is lighter in the winter, but it still works well.

What I've heard is awesome and can't wait to purchase...
Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Mosaic - I recently stopped by their counter to try their tinted moisturizer (amazing, by the way), and I ended up with a quick makeover.  She used this shimmer block on my cheeks and forehead.  I really like the fact that there's two shades on the palette that can be used as bronzer and two shades for blush.  The best part is that you can mix and match!

I used to use Benefit's Hoola for a more matted look.  It comes with a its own brush.  But I don't really like the brush because it doesn't apply the bronzer very well.  Buying a bronzer/blush brush is recommended.

I think the matted look is a little trickier to do, but it's just as effective in producing the natural bronzed look.  It's good to use a matted bronzer if everything else (i.e. eyeshadow, blush, eyeliner) are more on the shimmer/sparkling side.  I don't want you gals looking like a disco ball with all that glimmer-shimmer!

Stila Sun Bronzing Powder
Laura Mercier Mosaic
Benefit Hoola

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eyeliners - Part 1

Eyeliner, by itself or with eyeshadow, is a great way to accent your eyes.  Most people stick to brown and black, and rightly so, because these two colors work well with any eye color and it's a basic color that can be used for a laid-back look or for a more glamorous look.  Just like eyeshadow, there are tons of color to play with.

This color is great for almost all eye colors.  Blue-eyed people, since purple is next to blue on the spectrum, I'd use discretion about using purple because the wrong shade will draw more attention to the mismatch with your blue eyes.  Definitely lean towards dark purple if you want to try it out.  
I love Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Rockstar.  It's dark purple, with a little sparkle.  I like to pair this with blue mascara (see my post "True Blue Baby I Love You") and/or a blue-purple eyeshadow like Urban Decay's Eyeshadow in Asphyxia (lavender with blue sheen).  There are so many shades of purple, so be sure to pick a shade that accents your eyes and goes well with your skin tone.

Navy Blue
I think this color looks good on everyone, even those with blue eyes!  It has a tendency to appear black in some lighting, so the blue is quite subtle.  Because it's not as dark as black, it's easy to tone up or down.  Again, if you want to bring out more of the blue in the eyeshadow, pair it with blue mascara.  Check out Laura Mercier Kohl Pencil in Black Navy and Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes in Iridescent Navy.

Charcoal and Brown
In addition to my staple black eyeliner, I really like these two colors, too.  It's great for everyday work makeup.  I like to pair my brown eyeliner with light beige eyeshadow.

With so many options with eyeliner color and effects (sparkle, glitter, iridescent, etc), I suggest testing the color on your skin first, and if you're unsure about which shade of a certain color, test a whole bunch of them in one area (on your hand) and compare.   Once you've found one that pairs well with your skin tone, try it on your upper eyelid.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sweet Deal Tuesday!

Sephora Signature Brush Set for only $39 ($140 Value)! Sephora brushes generally can get pricey, so this is a sweet bargain!  I've had my Sephora brushes for years now.  They're definitely quality purchases.  Just don't forget the brush cleaner!  It's the secret to making brushes last longer and keeping them clean (over time makeup does build up in the roots of the brushes).

Powder brush (natural hair)
Foundation brush (synthetic hair)
Double-sided eyeshadow-and-smudge brush (natural hair)
Double-side brow-and-eyeliner brush (natural/ synthetic hair) 
Double-sided concealer-and-lip brush (synthetic/ natural hair) 


Monday, June 7, 2010

Must-Have Monday: SEPHORA Color Play 5-in-1

Sephora is ingenious!  Here's how this Color Play 5-in-1 palette works...

There are five subpalettes.  Each contains 10 eyeshadows, two 2 lipcolor/gloss, and one blush.  The colors for each palette are combined to create a certain look.  The palette comes with an empty portable compact, so depending on the look you're going for, you just pop out one of the five subpalettes and insert it in the empty portable compact to take with you wherever you go.  Genius, right?  And the price..$29.50!

This is a great palette to have, especially if you plan on being out of the house all day and just need to touch-up your makeup.

     Since we're on the subject of touch-ups, makeup remover is a must-have.  Since touch-ups usually involve reappying eyeshadows and lipcolors, you only need a small amount of makeup remover.  You should only be using it to remove smears, any outliers, and simply to clean the area where you will reapply your makeup. Below are a few suggestions.  All of them are small enough in size to fit in your bag; contain just the right amount of product needed for a quick touch-up; and inexpensive :)

Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover Pads Extra Gentle (CVS $7.99) - light and not oily; good for contact lens users!
Sephora Face 30 Waterproof Eye Makeup Removing Pads (Sephora $8) - another good remover pad
Bare Escentuals On the Spot (Sephora $5) - This is really good for quick correction on small areas around the eyes.  Each Q-tip/cotton swab has a premeasured amount of formula.  Each pack contains 24 swabs.

Sephora Collection Color Play 5-in-1
On the Spot Bare Escentuals
Face 30 Waterproof Eye Makeup Removing Pads Sephora Collection