Monday, October 31, 2011

Going Mad - Halloween Edition

Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Happy Halloween!  Even if it's a weekday, I hope everyone enjoys or has enjoyed some Halloween festivities.  This year, I didn't go to any Halloween party or any bar crawl.  But in the last two weeks, I attended a Mad Men TV Party and the 4th Annual Silver Spring Zombie Event.  For those not familiar with the Mad Men series on AMC, the stories take place in the [early] 1960s, mainly in Manhattan at an advertising agency, where Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the biggest ad man in the business.  In this series, the characters truly capture the essence of the roles of men and women in the workplace and family life, as well as the iconic fashion of the 1960s.

Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Since I decided to go a little last minute with my cousin, it left me a week to put together a 1960s outfit.  Luckily, the office fashion styles of the 1960s can still be seen today with just a bit modernization - the form fitting pencil skirt, the cardigans, the stiletto pumps.  I used a satin black form fitting (through the hips) cocktail dress.  I topped it off with a jewel-toned yellow cardigan, and a black and white silk scarf from my mom's closet.  I used my mom's vintage framed Ferragamo handbag and her 1960s Dior sunglasses.  I also used my Stella Dot Bella Fleur earrings that I won from a Facebook contest just a week earlier (perfect timing!).  My mom also had a pillbox hat, but I didn't have enough time to pin it down to my hair.  Everything was from my or my mother's closet!

In the 1960s, their makeup was often understated and simple.  From watching the shows, I noticed that their makeup is very matte, unlike today, where we love smokey eyes and everything shimmered.  Heavy eyeliner only on the upper lid and a matte red lipstick are two noticeable features of their makeup.  Let's not forget the hair teasing lol.

After reading a few articles and looking at photos and videos on Mad Men fashion, below is what I came up with.  The only thing I bought was the tarte matte lip tint in a mauve/brick red shade called Envy.  Keep in mind that I didn't do any trial runs.  I could have made it a bit bolder for camera-sake and teased my hair before putting it in a bun, but again, no time!  What do you think? :)

From my makeup collection:
Foundation: Bare Minerals Golden Tan
Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing #3
Cheeks: Laura Mercier Second Skin Blush in Lush Nectarine
Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black
Eyeshadow: Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palette (applied lightly) and Urban Decay (applied on the edge)
Lips: Tarte Matte Lip Tint in Envy

Then I topped it off with Bare Mineral Veil and Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray
Me with a very strong Manhattan drink @ the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!  Bring on the holidays :)

Just some photos of the makeup I used. :)

Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palette

Foundation, Blush, Concealer,
Mineral Veil


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have You Cleaned Them Lately?

I'll admit that I do not clean my brushes weekly; in fact, even with a Sephora brush cleaner in my bathroom cabinet, I went almost two months without cleaning!  I'd clean one or two here and there, especially if I was trying new products, but it was not routine.  Since the Spring, I've been in the habit of cleaning at least every other week.  I do it on a Sunday, when I spend most of the day catching up on shows and doing laundry after church and brunch.

Last week, I finally finished my brush cleaner from Sephora, so I was in search of a new one.  I went to Ulta because I had a 20% coupon good for my entire purchase; I also had restock and wanted to try some new products.  I asked one of the floating makeup associates on the floor for her recommendation.  She said baby shampoo.  It works well for both natural and synthetic brushes.  Baby shampoo, in general, has less chemicals than "adult" shampoo and even some of those brush cleansers.  In fact, I compared the main ingredients of my empty Sephora bottle with , and they had one common ingredient.  In addition, the Sephora cleanser actually contained one type of parabens*, while my Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo does not.

I used Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo with Lavender last Sunday early afternoon.  Baby shampoo works great!  In fact, I think it works better at getting any gunk at the very bottom of the bristles.  Baby shampoo is cheap and available at local drugstores and grocery stores.  No need to make a special trip to a makeup counter!  I actually use baby shampoo once every season for about 2-3 weeks, just to give my hair a break from my normal routine shampoo or before switching brands of shampoo.  I used something I already have!  This also justified my purchase of a new pressed powder, lol. :)

Stop by your local drugstore or grocery store and pick up some baby shampoo!
Here was my routine:

1. Rinse the brushes with lukewarm water.
2. Apply a very small amount of shampoo to each of the brushes**.
3. Give each brush a good rub and squeeze - fan out then bunch up the bristles a few times too.
4. Rinse suds with lukewarm to cool water until clear water is running through the brushes.
5.  Squeeze out excess water.  Use a paper towel(s) to help.
6.  Fan out to the brushes' natural position, then lay out to dry on a hand towel.
7.  Before going to bed, turn the brushes over and place them onto a clean dry hand towel (or use a different side of the first hand towel as long it's a dry side).

*In world of cosmetics, paraben has become sort of a taboo.  Parabens are used in cosmetics as a preservative, but according to some medical/health journals, they have been associated with cancers.  Makeup brands like to advertise their products as paraben-free.  It definitely is nice when they can do that, but based on an FDA report, parabens are safe at levels up to 25%.  Most cosmetic products that contain parabens list them near or at the bottom of the main ingredients, which is a sign that it's probably not at levels of 25%.  If you want to FDA's summary, click here

**Instead of applying shampoo directly onto the brushes, get a small cup and add the appropriate amount of shampoo that you'll need for all your brushes.  After Step 1, just lightly dip the brushes into your cup, and follow through with steps 3 thru 7.