Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Citrus Makeup Look

I have been really inspired by citrus colors lately. I began collecting inspirational photos on Pinterest here: Pinterest  

After seeing some of the beautiful makeup looks other makeup artists came up with I decided to try some of my own. I was originally drawn to some of the vibrant orange eyeshadows in my collection,  but then decided to use yellow, green and orange in one look instead. 

Here is my take on a citrus inspired eyeshadow look:

First, I primed my eyelids with Milani eyeshadow primer, applying it with a flat synthetic brush. 

Next, I applied the lime green color from Wet n Wild' s California Roll 6-pan palette allover the eyelid.

On top of that, I applied the matte yellow eyeshadow from ColourPop's Yes, Please! Palette to 3/4 of the eyelid. I blended the yellow and green together at the point where the colors met to soften any harsh lines. 

Next, in the same ColourPop palette, I picked up some of the bright matte orange shadow on a Furless PRO3M brush to smoke out the outter corner of the eye, as well as taking that color along the lower lash line.  

To get the desired shape, I cleaned up the edges with a cotton bud. Once I had the desired shape, I blended the matte orange into my crease using the Furless PRO2E.

To complete the eye look, I did some blending around the crease of the eye using a Furless PRO7E brush. With my Sigma E32, I applied a matte eyeshadow that was close to my skin tone just below the brow and down blended it to smooth out the look

I went back into the crease with a clean Kelley Quan E4 brush for a final blend.  

To complete the look, I added some mascara, and finished the face. On my lips is OCC lip pencil in Grandma topped with Smashbox Haterade liquid metal lip.

Here is the final look:

What do you think? If you try a citrus inspired look, please tag me on Twitter and show me your looks @MakeupMatters1


Illinois Artists Helping Artists Logo Contest

Makeup Matters Logo Contest

In an effort to support local artists,  I am hosting a contest to create a new logo for Makeup Matters. 

Entries from Illinois based art students and aspiring artists will be considered.  

The Rules: files must be submitted in .eps or .ai format. 

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, or have a parent or guardian's approval to enter.

Entries must be submitted by May 31st 2018 via email to 

One entry per person.

What you could win:

Prize Option 1:
The contest winner will get a complementary makeover, makeup lesson and makeup gift basket as well as the option to be featured on my blog. The winner may bring one friend or family member to the lesson.  


Prize Option 2:
One gift card valued at $50.

The contest winner will have the option to choose between prize option 1 OR 2. 

Logo will be used on my blog and in marketing materials. You may add this project to your resume, and I will feature a blog post containing other approved artwork by the contest winner.  

If the winner does not wish to receive the makeover or lesson, he or she may transfer to a friend or family member instead. 

Amazon gift cards are non-transferable.

The purpose of this contest is to encourage artists to help other artists by supporting each other's work. You will have a platform to showcase your abilities, and help a local makeup artist build her brand. 

No purchase is necessary to enter. You must be subscribed to this blog, and meet all above requirements to be considered.  Group projects will not be accepted.  All artwork must be original and submitted by original artist. 

Please include with your submission a brief paragraph about yourself, explaining the logo you created and why you entered the contest. Feel free to include what type of makeup look or lesson you hope to win should your entry be chosen. A brief bio and selfie can also be submitted, but are not mandatory. 

Thank you for participating.  Good luck!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Why You Need To Try Furless Cosmetics

Why You Need To Try Furless Cosmetics

I've been using makeup brushes from Furless Cosmetics for years.  They are a cruelty-free and vegan brand that has brushes for everyone from makeup lovers to makeup artists. They also sell a large variety of professional grade pigments that are dream come true. Full disclosure, I did receive a 20% beauty blogger discount, but I did purchase these products with my own money because I truly love this brand.  I recently bought three brushes and  a beautifully bright yellow eyeshadow called Violate. I received my package on Thursday, and have enjoyed testing out these goodies all weekend.  When I test new products, I really put them through the ringer. I like to try brushes with a variety of products, and use pigments in as many different ways as I can think of.  I also always wash and dry my brushes to see how they hold their shape after a good cleaning. Due to the fact that I have had such success with Furless in the past, I was not surprised at all by how perfectly all of these products performed. Even if cruelty-free isn't a priority for you, I strongly urge you to give Furless a try. I am sure that you will be happy you did.  Just in case you want to know why I love Furless so much, I happened to put together a list for you (and some pretty pictures too). 

Here is why you need to try Furless:

  1. These brushes are SOFT! I know a lot of brushes are soft, but these are like REALLY soft and smooth. 
  2. Large variety of bristle shapes & sizes for any makeup job.
  3. Their pigment containers are large and the colors are vibrant.
  4. They offer brush handles in many lengths, for full sets and individual brushes.
  5. Furless is a cruelty-free and vegan brand. 

    Here is a picture of their Purple Domed Powder Makeup Brush (PF4): 

    When I first opened the box, I was truly impressed with the size of this brush. I ran my fingers through the bristles and actually said out loud (even though probably only my dogs could hear me), "Wow, these bristles are so silky."  I tend to apply powder to the face with a powder puff, but always use a super soft brush to knock off the excess.  That is exactly what I love this brush for. The silkiness of the bristles allow you to sweep powder away from the under eye area (or anywhere on the face) without disturbing the foundation underneath.

    This second brush (pictured above) is called the Couture Body Definer - Limited Edition (BC4) .  I purchased this brush because I looked through my collection and realized that I don't have one this size or shape at all.  This brush is truly multipurpose for me. I love it for contouring, applying blush, and highlighter. The size works great on the face, but it also is perfect for sculpting around the collarbone or applying body highlight in strategic places. I am really happy I picked up this super unique brush.  It is limited edition, so if you want one, be sure to pick it up while you can. 

    Pictured Above: I used the Couture Body Definer - Limited Edition to contour my face.

    Pictured Below: Perfectly Pink Eyeshadow Brush (PPM1):

    This Perfectly Pink Eyeshadow Brush is a real workhorse. It is perfectly shaped to apply and blend eyeshadow, as well as contour the nose. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, one of the reasons why I started this blog was that I wanted a cruelty-free/synthetic version of the M.A.C. 217.  This brush absolutely has that type of vibe to it. It is a bit smaller and thinner, which makes it perfect for working on clients with smaller lid space.  I used it to apply the new yellow pigment I picked up from the Furless site, as well as blend out other shadows and find this brush applies and blends like a dream.  If you are the type of person who likes to use only one brush to do your eyeshadow this one is a good pick because it is so multipurpose. 

    I have no idea why, but this is the first time I purchased eyeshadow from Furless. I've loved their brushes forever, but for some reason, I never picked up one of their pigments. I have been really feeling yellow lately, so this bright yellow pigment in Violate caught my eye. This non-toxic, vegan, professional formula is super bright and easy to blend.  The container comes with 0.28 oz. of loose eyeshadow pigment.  I applied it and blended it with the Perfectly Pink Eyeshadow Brush both wet and dry.  I was surprised to see how metallic and pigmented it was right out of the container, before wetting the brush.  Both swatches above are brush swatches, not finger swatches. The packaging is beautiful, and I was truly impressed with the size. For comparison, Sugarpill's loose pigment in Lumi is 0.21 oz. and Alexis Vogel's Glow Dust is 0.04 oz.

    Here is one of the looks that I created using all three brushes and the Violate pigment:

    Have you tried Furless brushes?  If you are interested in purchasing any of the brushes mentioned in this post please visit: 

    *Note: I do not get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own. I do not get any commission if you purchase anything from Furless.  I am only recommending them because I honestly use and love their products! 

    Thursday, April 5, 2018

    Favorite Ultra Violet Makeup

    This post was requested through my Twitter poll. You can follow me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1.

    Purple is my favorite color. I've even been known to drive a purple car back in the day. Sifting through my collection,  I found a bunch of purple products to choose from. For this post I really tried to parse out those that fit the actual Pantone Color of the year, Ultra Violet.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    From the Urban Decay Electric Palette, the pressed pigment Urban is hands down my favorite. 

    Urban Decay really knows how to do Ultra Violet right! Their eyeshadow in Psychadellic Sister has been a long standing favorite of mine. I keep it in my "purple palette," which I assembled using the Urban Decay create your own six-pan palette.

    Another favorite from Urban Decay is their 24/7 Glide On Eyeshadow Pencil in the color Delinquent.  I often apply them to the eye solo or as a base under powder eyeshadow.  These are water proof and set quickly, so I recommend blending immediately after application. 

    If you are looking for Ultra Violet at the drugstore, I got ya covered. Sleek's Vintage Romance palette is super pigmented and has a beautiful eyeshadow in this trendy hue. 

    We all know that no blog post of mine is complete without mentioning brushes. These Ultra Violet-tipped beauties are from the cruelty-free and vegan makeup brush brand Furless Cosmetics. They are super soft and high quality in addition to being fabulous to look at.  These brushes are a great way to add a pop of color to your makeup table.

    I thought it would be fun to create an Ultra Violet inspired makeup look to go along with this post. I used Makeup Geek Prom Night eyeshadow, along with the Sleek shadow above, and Urban Decay's Urban from the Electric Palette. I tried it first with a nude lip, and then popped on Milani's liquid lip in Violet Addict for a more vibrant look. 

    I hope you enjoyed this look at my favorite Ultra Violet products. What are yours?

    Tuesday, April 3, 2018

    Drugstore Haul & Cruelty-Free Dupes!

    Drugstore Haul & Cruelty-Free Dupes!

    A couple of days ago, I popped into my local Walgreens to check out their makeup section.  Just a day or so before, I purchased the Wet n Wild Rose in the Air 10-pan eyeshadow palette and fell in love.  I decided to go back and pick up the Comfort Zone palette from the same brand, and check out other new makeup items to the store. I found way more cruelty-free goodies than I was looking for....but I'm not complaining. When I got home, I began to immediately swatch and try out a few of my new goodies.  To my surprise, I found a number of the items that I bought could be dupes for higher priced items in my collection. My excitement grew, and I posted a few of my finds on Pinterest, but decided these items deserved a full blog post of their own. I also posted a poll (my first one) on Twitter today, and while there was a tie as to what post you guys wanted to see next, this is the one that received the most votes first.  Since it was a tie, I will be posting my Ultra Violet Favorites this month as well, so please make sure you are subscribed so that you don't miss it!

    In no particular order, here is a look at some of my recent purchases from my local drugstore:


    Pictured Above (left to right): Original Beauty Blender Sponge (dry), Walgreens Brand Mini Blender Sponge (dry)

    Walgreens brand Mini Blender Sponge - $1.99 - While not a true "dupe," I still got pretty excited about this buy.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Beauty Blender.  However, we all know that replacing this egg-shaped sponge regularly can be quite costly ($20.00).  I have tried many other beauty sponges from a number of brands and usually come away disappointed. This version from Walgreens, while a tad smaller than the original Beauty Blender, works just as well at a fraction of the cost.  It is extremely soft, even softer than the Beauty Blender, giving that nice bounce to the face when stippling foundation.  While it is slightly smaller, it is not as small as the Micro Mini Beauty Blender sponges that I have used to blend concealer under my eyes. I haven't tried the Beauty Blusher Cheeky sponge, which is smaller than the original.  That may be a better size comparison, but even the Beauty Blusher sponge retails for $16.00 each. Since I just bought this drugstore version, I can't really say how long it will hold up over time, but if this little guy holds up, I just may have to replace my beloved Beauty Blender so that I don't break the bank. 

    Pictured Above (left to right): Hourglass Cosmetics Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette ($34.00), Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil in Taupe

    Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil in Taupe - $3.99 - This item is a true dupe in my opinion. The only real difference I could tell is in the size of the pencil.  The Wet n Wild version is a bit slimmer and shorter than the Hourglass version.  However, the price difference between the two is quite significant.  The angle and shape of the pencil are pretty much identical, and I could not note any discernible difference in the color.  I am very excited about this find, because I have been using the Hourglass version for quite a while, and while I love it and find it to be long lasting, the price tag makes me pause and consider using this Wet n Wild version going forward.  


    Pictured Above (left to right): Walgreens Beauty Contouring Brush, Walgreens Beauty Stippling Brush

    Walgreens Beauty Contouring & Stippling Brushes - $4.99/each - I think it is safe to say that no beauty haul is complete for me without throwing at least one brush in my cart.  Yes, I have a problem. I don't know that these are necessarily dupes for any particular brushes in my collection, but at $4.99 each, I couldn't pass them up.  We all have stippling brushes in our collections, and I absolutely use this type of brush for just about any liquid or cream makeup product I apply.  Having this smaller sized brush handy will make application a breeze in the morning. The contouring brush seems a bit more unique, though it reminded me of some of the styles that Sigma sells.  I did not get to try out the contouring brush yet but the bristles seem to be an interesting shape, softness, and density so I look forward to trying it out and reporting back.

    Pictured Above: Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Color Corrector For Dark Circles

    Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Color Corrector For Dark Circles, Peach - $5.99 - This adorable compact has been in my Walgreens for at least a couple of months now. I have been eyeing both this cutie as well as the contour color that comes in similar packaging.  I finally broke down and purchased it, and have used it for a few makeup applications.  Cushion makeup has been popular in Asia for a number of years now.  The US market has had a fair share of cushion foundation, and CC creams hit the shelves as well.  It is nice to see a drugstore version that is cruelty free.  The lid screws off revealing an air puff separated by a plastic divider so that the puff can stay clean, rather than get soaked with makeup by the product underneath.  I appreciate the nice thin layer of product that gets applied to the under eye area when using this product with the enclosed puff.  The peachy tone works well with my skin tone, and does correct dark circles.  However, I would imagine that the pigmentation/color is not enough for those with severe dark circles and/or a skin tone any darker than mine. 

    Pictured Above: Walgreens Beauty Over The Finger Blending Sponge

    Walgreens Beauty Over The Finger Blending Sponge - $4.99/2 pack - When I saw these in the store I immediately thought of The Makeup Bullet Finger Sponge ($24.99/3 pack).  Sadly, I have never tried the original Makeup Bullet, but it is a product that has intrigued me for a while now.  Since these were so affordable, I decided to try them first and see if they are something I will actually use before buying the higher-end version.  That being said, I did notice some differences between the Walgreens version and the original just from the packaging alone. The Walgreens version is made of latex, while the Makeup Bullet is latex-free.  This is not a personal problem for me, but many people do suffer from a latex allergy so I would not feel comfortable using the Walgreens version on my clients for this reason.  The Walgreens version is made in China, while the Makeup Bullet is made in the USA.  I have to admit, I had to really think twice about writing this post, as I have seen many products that were launched by women with an entrepreneurial spirit be swallowed by larger corporations copying her idea.  Sadly, I think of the Paw Palette, which E.L.F. now sells a Palm Palette version of, and the Benjabelle Brush Trees that had to stop manufacturing due to cheaper knock-offs erasing their profits.  I will always try to support small and women owned businesses where I can.  That being said, these less expensive versions may have a place and allow those who otherwise couldn't afford them to participate in a new product.  In my case, as I said above, I am using this as a try before I buy the actual Makeup Bullet to see if it is a product that I can actually work into my routine.  

    Pictured Above (left to right): Make Up For Ever Uplight Face Luminizer (not cruelty-free), Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye ($5.99)

    Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye ($5.99 each) - I purchased these liquid highlighters in two different shades. I have only tried the color Halo, Goodbye so far.  Another makeup artist, and friend of mine, had Make Up For Ever's Uplight Face Luminizer in her kit, and pointed out how much the two products looked alike. I swatched them side by side, and believe this to be a true cruelty-free dupe.  I am not sure if Make Up For Ever still sells this product, but the container refers to it as a gel, rather than a liquid like Wet n Wild. The Wet n Wild version is ever so slightly thinner, but I honestly can't tell any difference when blended out on the skin. I looked online, and the Make Up For Ever version is available for $13.88.  So if you are looking for a cruelty-free replacement, or just want to save some money, I highly recommend the Wet n Wild version. It looks beautiful on the skin, and blends effortlessly. 


    Pictured Above: Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation & Concealer in 00 Light Natural

    Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation & Concealer in 00 ($10.99) -  Unlike the majority of my purchases, which were largely impulse buys, I actually was in the market for a new liquid foundation.  I have been a big fan of Milani's makeup products for years, so I had to try this foundation.  It is a full coverage, water-resistant formula that dispenses with a pump.  The finish of this foundation is beautiful.  Sadly the color was a bit too yellow for my skin.  However, when I was writing this post, I logged onto Milani's site, and realized they have many more shades than my local store carries. I am so happy about this, because there appears to be a shade that might work better with my complexion.  The color I picked up is Light Natural, which is described as being best for those with a light complexion with peach undertones.  I found this foundation to look flawless when I applied it with a damp beauty sponge, but later in the day it oxidized and turned far too yellow for my fair complexion.   They have two fair shades available on their site, which I would recommend trying for anyone with my skin tone or lighter. This foundation does need to be powdered as it dries to a shiny finish.  The coverage is very impressive, and easily covered up any redness or pigmentation on my skin. The coverage is also quite buildable, which I guess is why they are calling it a foundation & concealer in one.  I am happy to say that this did not cause my sensitive skin to breakout, which is a minor miracle. It does blend well, but be advised that a little goes a long way. If you use too much product, it will settle into fine lines.

    Below: I applied the Milani foundation to my face using a damp beauty sponge.  In the first picture, taken right after application, you can see, it looks beautiful. The second photo was taken at the end of the day.  The color seems to have oxidized and turned a bit yellow on my complexion. I also had some settling of product in the fine lines under my eyes.  This can likely be corrected by switching to a lighter shade, and applying the product very lightly around the eye area. 

    Pictured below (left to right): It Cosmetics Tightline Mascara ($10.00), Wet n Wild Waterproof Skinny Mascara in Black ($4.99)

    Wet n Wild Waterproof Skinny Mascara in Black ($4.99) - Of all of the products I purchased at Walgreens recently, this has to be my favorite. For years I have been complaining that I can't find a waterproof drugstore mascara that I really love. I always end up having to shop high-end, which I hate due to the fact that mascara needs to be replaced so frequently.  The makeup gods must have been listening because I finally found an awesome waterproof mascara that is super affordable. When I first saw the wand on this, I immediately thought of my much-loved Tightline Mascara from It Cosmetics.  The wand is not as skinny on the Wet n Wild version, so I would not call this a true dupe.  However, it certainly is thin compared to your average mascara wand.  I was able to press the wand right up against my lash line, creating a very similar tightline effect.  I was able to test exactly how waterproof this mascara is as well, due to the rainy weather here in Illinois.  This stuff stays put!

    Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes Rose in the Air & Comfort Zone ($4.99 each) - This is a very close second for my favorite recent buy. Wet n Wild has always been a go-to brand for me when it comes to their Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes.  As many of you may know, they recently reformulated & relaunched some of their old palettes.  The internet informed me that the Rose in the Air palette is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00).  I was so excited when I found this out, because I never purchased the Anastasia version despite rave reviews.  I absolutely love the Rose in the Air palette, and find I can get a variety of unique looks from this little palette. The Comfort Zone palette is one I used to own and love back in the day, so picking up the relaunch was a no-brainer for me.  Pinterest and YouTube also taught me that Comfort Zone is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario ($45.00).
    Below are a couple of makeup looks I created using the Rose in the Air palette:

    I think it is clear that Wet n Wild has really been a winner for me lately. While these are all probably more first impressions than full reviews, I highly recommend keeping a lookout for these items at your local drugstore.

    Have you discovered any recent dupes?  Please share in the comments below.

    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Everything You Need to Know About the Itslikelymakeup / Furless Rose Gold Must Have Pro Makeup Brush Set

    Everything You Need to Know About the Itslikelymakeup / Furless Rose Gold Must Have Pro Makeup Brush Set

    As some of you may have seen on Twitter, I recently purchased a brand new brush set from Furless Cosmetics. This set is a collaboration with Jordi Dreher better known by her YouTube handle @Itslikelymakeup. I am no stranger to the Furless brand.  I have both purchased brushes from them, and reviewed brushes sent to me by them in the past.  This set I purchased with my own money. I am familiar with the quality of brush that Furless sells, and I could not pass up this full set in such a beautiful color, complete with a brush apron.  

    Furless brushes are 100% vegan. This set has long handles, and super soft bristles.  The value is truly amazing.  For the price of $169.95, I got 20 professional grade brushes, complete with a super useful brush apron that snaps close for easy storage.  While the beautiful packaging includes a detailed list of how Jordi likes to use each brush, I thought it would be helpful to share how I use them as well. 

     Brushes included in the set, and my favorite way to use them:

    PR01M - I really love this brush for applying eye primer
    PRO2E - This eyeshadow brush works great both for applying shadow in the crease & blending 
    PRO3M - This brush works well for applying eyeshadow to the outer and inner corner of eye when creating a halo look
    PRO4M - I love using this brush damp for foiling eyeshadow. The flat shape helps paint on the pigment for that super metallic look 
    PRO2M - I find this size and shape brush super useful for a variety of things. I use it to apply my under brow highlight, inner corner highlight and to apply white eyeshadow primer, or concealer to the eyelid when creating a cut crease 
    PRO8E - I use this brush to apply concealer around the brows & under eyes
    PRO1F - This brush is the perfect size and shape for highlighting.  I love it for applying cream highlight to the cheekbones or setting under eye concealer with a matte highlighting powder 
    PRO2F - This has become my go-to brush for applying powder contour to emphasize cheekbones, and shadow the perimeter of the face 
    PRO4F - Just like Jordi, this is absolutely my new favorite foundation brush.  Just apply foundation to the face, and use this brush to buff into the skin for a flawless finish
    PRO5F - Perfect brush for applying powder blush 
    PRO3F - This is a huge, full-headed brush that is great for the body. I love using it to bronze up the neck and decolletage area, as well as for adding warmth to the perimeter of the face 
    PRO4E - I find myself using this brush mostly for applying eyeshadow to the crease of the eye 
    PRO5M (Fan brush) - This is the largest fan brush in my collection. It picks up and applies powder highlight beautifully 
    PRO1E - This is a brow brush/lash comb.  The lash comb comes with a convenient cover that makes me wonder why other brushes like it don't have one!
    PRO6M - I love this brush for applying and blending eyeshadow along the lower lash line 
    PRO7E - I use this brush to apply powder to the eye area to set concealer, and also to blend eyeshadow concealer, blending eye shadow
    PRO1L (lip brush) - This brush is just the perfect lip brush to apply color to the lips. I love it so much that I have several in a different color, from the original Furless Must-Have Brush Set
    PRO6F - This brush is ideal for applying cream blush
    PRO6E - Jordi uses this one to create freckles, but I find it to be the perfect brush to use with gel eyeliner 
    PRO7M - I like using this brush to apply powder shadow along the lash line for a softer eyeliner look.  This can also be used to fill in brows 

    While I honestly love all of the brushes in the set, if I had to pick my 3 favorites, they would have to be the PRO4F, PRO2E and the PRO5M.  These brushes are currently only available in the complete set, but hopefully with enough demand, Furless will sell them individually at some point. I would like to buy multiples of some of my favorites. 

    Here is a closer look at the eye brushes and detail brushes in the set: 

    Here is a closer look at the larger face brushes in the set: 

    I ordered this set online, and they arrived in the mail on March 20th. I have used this set almost exclusively since, including cleaning them.  If you are worried about the white bristles staining, I tested them with bright pigments, and they have all still cleaned easily.  Sometimes I hear makeup artists complain that synthetic bristles aren't as good at picking up powder products as natural hair brushes. I can say with confidence that these brushes easily pick up and blend powder, liquid, and cream products.  In addition to having the brush identifier on each brush, the handles are engraved in a gold font that says, "its likely makeup,"  Before purchasing this set, I had a number of Furless brushes in my collection.  I have had them and used them for years, and I have never had one brush from this brand shed, or break.

    I can highly recommend this brush set for any makeup artist or makeup enthusiast.  Even if you do not follow Jordi on You Tube (but you really should, she is very talented), these brushes are too beautiful to pass up.  The set really includes everything you could possibly need for a full face of makeup, and then some. They look beautiful displayed on a makeup table, but the brush apron is so practical that it also acts as the perfect storage case to protect your brushes from dust. 

    As many of you know, I own a ton of brushes. I have never, in all the years that I have been buying brushes, had a set arrive in packaging as stunning as this one did.  I can tell a lot of thought went into this collab, and I truly appreciate the work that went into creating them. 

    There are only a few sets left in the Furless Cosmetics Australian store, but they are still available on their US site.  

    If you have any additional questions on the set, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. 

    Did you purchase this set?  Do you plan on buying it?  What is your favorite makeup look from @itslikelymakeup?

    Friday, March 23, 2018

    Makeup Matters: Expert Interview with Sandra Villalba, Licensed Esthetician & MUA

    Makeup Matters: Expert Interview with Sandra Villalba, Licensed Esthetician & MUA

    Since I began this blog, I had always hoped for it to become a place that those interested in makeup products, techniques and looks would come to share ideas.  I envisioned a blog where I could share some of my knowledge, as well as learn from my readers.  Someone that has always supported me, in not only this blog, but in everything is my beautiful and talented cousin Sandra.  She was kind enough to let me interview her and share some of her expert knowledge on makeup artistry with Makeup Matters.

    Find out what her favorite products are, and learn about her makeup philosophy below!

    MM: As you know, my blog is all about cruelty-free beauty.  What are your favorite cruelty-free brands?

    SV: IT Cosmetics, Morphe and Sigma.

    MM: OK, looking at the brands you mentioned, I have to ask....What are the synthetic makeup brushes that you can't live without?

    SV: Yes! IT Cosmetics makes some amazing brushes. So far they are my favorite synthetic brushes in my collection!

    MM: How did you first get into makeup as a profession? 

    SV: I used to draw portraits a lot as a kid.  I just drew faces, and became really into the design of a face.I would draw them for days without tiring. I also love color!  I think somehow they married as the years went on and became a natural place for me to focus my energy. 

    MM: That's awesome! Can you remember your first experience with makeup?

    SV: All I can remember is playing with my moms makeup and loving it. One of my most memorable experience is using a sharpie to put on eyeliner because my parent said I couldn’t wear makeup. I showed them.

    MM: Haha!  Too funny!  You are an amazing makeup artist.  Can you share with us any tips that you think aspiring artists may find helpful? 

    SV: I would suggest they find a makeup mentor.  I've never had one, but I think having someone in your life, that has followed the same path that you envision yourself going will help you figure out how to get where you need to be.  Even if it is not someone you know personally.... many celebrity artists will be kind enough to answer a few questions to help beginning artists find their own path. 

    MM: What is your makeup philosophy? 

    SV: Anything that makes you feel good and like....yourself.  If that means NO makeup, then so be it.  Personally, anything that makes you feel and look the way you picture yourself in your mind is what you should go with. I love to be in full glam all the time.That's what I look like to myself in my mind's eye.  So that's the goal I shoot for on most days.

    MM: What is the number one most requested look that your clients ask for? 

    SV: A natural look.  This always ends up taking at least 15 products, which surprises most people. 

    MM: What is the most difficult thing about being a makeup artist? 

    SV: Interpreting what a client’s expectations are.

    MM: Who or what inspires you most these days?

    SV: I think Instagram inspired me a lot in the past.  Inspiration is actually a big challenge for me right now. Sometimes I find it hard to source new and inspiring ideas.These days, I am not finding a lot of new ideas on Instagram or YouTube.  Don't get me wrong, there are MANY beautiful makeup looks on social media, but nothing personally inspiring me lately. 

    MM: What is your least favorite makeup trend right now?

    SV: My least favorite makeup trend right now is a cut crease. I think it can be too much for an everyday look. Sometimes I think it can be pulled off with the right neutral shades but often it is too harsh even for a nighttime look.

    MM: In your business, what are some of the challenges that your clients face when applying their own makeup? 

    SV: When I teach classes, the general consensus is that many people are unsure about which products to use. Many also have difficulties with application techniques, such as knowing how to apply eyeliner, which brushes to use, how to do their eyebrows. If you think about it, a full face of makeup has about 20 steps and is kind of complicated for the average person. But I’m always fascinated by how people do makeup that are not professionals. I LOVE learning how every person does their own makeup. You’d be surprised at how many techniques I’ve picked up from a woman that only wears mascara and lipstick. 

    MM: How would you describe your signature look?  

    SV: Usually it’s a some sort of warm eyeshadow look with false eyelashes and flawless skin followed up by a mauve lip. It may sound pretty boring but I always feel confident wearing it. If you had asked me six years ago, it would have been some sort of bright eye with a bold lip and cheekbones carved to the Gods.

    MM: What do you think about the fact that your favorite cousin (me, for those following along at home) and you both love makeup so much?

    SV: It’s everything. I have never even had a friend that I could talk makeup with, so having one of my favorite people even caring about makeup in the least bit is a dream. But it sucks that we’re so far away from each other.

    MM: Awww! How do you think we ended up with the same passion growing up states away? 

    SV: I can’t even guess the answer to that. We both have different backgrounds especially ones that don’t apply to beauty.  But if you have an idea of how it happened, I’d love to know ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Here is a look at some of Sandra's work (before and after shots):

     Before and After
     Before and After

    Before and After

    Before and After

    Above: Sandra demonstrates highlighting and contouring

    A huge thanks to Sandra for answering all of my questions and providing us all with more insight on life in the beauty business!  To keep up with Sandra, or book an appointment with her, be sure to follow her on Twitter @SIVBeauty and check out her website

    Sandra is a licensed Estetician and professional Makeup Artist.  She currently owns SIV Beauty, a one stop shop for beauty and skin. 

    Friday, March 9, 2018

    Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat - A Tutorial

    Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat- A Tutorial*

    *Palette purchased by me

    If you haven't seen Urban Decay's latest addition to the Naked family, then you clearly have not been on the internet lately. With the success of the original Naked Heat palette, the brand decided to launch a mini version complete with five matte shades and one satin.  There are countless reviews online, so I will spare you my full review, with the exception of letting you know that I am super happy that I purchased this palette. I must admit that I am a little late to the game on this one, but I have been having a lot of fun creating a variety of looks from this adorable palm-sized hotness. Now, let's get into the look!

    To begin the look, I applied a thin layer of eyeshadow primer from lash line to brow bone, and took a tiny bit along the lower lash line as well. With a fluffy eyeshadow brush I dipped into the color Vibrate. I swept this warm peach shadow into the crease of my eye. I am so impressed with this color. It blends effortlessly and a little goes a long way.  The shadow appears to be a light tan in the pan, but when applied gives a real warmth to the eye and it's peachy hue really works well with the rest of the colors in this palette. 

    Using the same brush, I swept Vibrate along the lower lash line from the outer corner about a quarter of the way in. 

    Next, using a small angled brush, I dipped it into Strike, the darkest color in the palette. This warm plum shadow is just beautiful for liner, and works well dry or on a damp brush along the lash line. For this look, I used the shadow dry to create a softer look. 

    First I applied the shadow to the upper lash line, starting at the outer corner of the lid and tracing the shadow along the lashes about a quarter of the way in. 

    Then I flipped the brush and traced over the same line to intensify the color. To soften the look a bit more, I gently smudged the shadow using a cotton swab. Repeat the same process along the lower lash line until the desired intensity is reached. 

    Inhale is a natural choice to use as a highlight color. It is the only satin/shimmery color in the palette.  This light, opalescent beige works well on the inner corner of the eyes for a bright, wide-eyed look. I applied the color using a small flat brush, pressing the color directly into the corner of the eye and dragging it all around the hollow of the eye. 

    The shade directly to the right of Inhale in this palette is called Hot Spell. Flipping over the same brush that I applied Inhale with, I dipped it into Hot Spell and gently applied it to the very outer corner of the lid. I worked in light layers, applying the color, and then blending the shadow inward toward the corner of the eye. 

    Continue to apply Hot Spell (very warm brown) and blend, repeating the process until the desired intensity is reached.  The amount of shadow needed will vary depending on skin tone.  However, these eyeshadows are very pigmented, so I recommend starting with a tiny amount and adding just a little bit as you go. 

    Now for the most intriguing color in the palette, Wild Thing!  This warm matte orange is simply stunning, and especially beautiful for blue eyes.  My pictures truly don't do this eyeshadow justice.  The texture on this eyshadow is impecible. This is the perfect example of why so many people love Urban Decay eyeshadow.  This is one of the best performing eyeshadows I own. 

    I decided to do something a bit different than I normally do with this eyeshadow.  Using a small flat brush, I dipped just the tip of the brush into the color and traced along the natural curve of my eyelid in the socket, almost like I was doing a cut-crease.  If you don't have a natural crease, don't worry, simply draw one where a crease would be and create the shape that works best for your eyes. Then, using a fluffy brush, blend the color using back and forth motions to create a hazy fog.  Continue to apply the color with the flat brush, and blend again with the fluffy brush until a warm haze frames the eye.

    Going back to the angled brush used around the lash line, tap first into Heist (a warm peppery brown not to be confused with Urban Decay's discontinued matte grayish purple color of the same name), and then into Strike to get a mixture of the two colors. Starting from the lower lash line, trace the color up until it passes the upper lid and reaches the crease.  Then in short, feathery strokes sweep the shadow in from the corner onto the lid, covering just the outer section to emphasize the "outer V" and create some depth. Using a cotton swab, clean up the edges of the lower lash line so that both sides are even. Pick up some more eyeshadow on the angled brush and starting at the crease of the eye draw down until you reach the upper lash line. This line should meet up with the lower lash line.  You want to see a distinct line coming up from the lower lash line that looks almost like reverse eyeliner.

    Finally, grab a fluffy brush and a mix of Inhale and Vibrate to highlight just under the brow. Use sweeping motions to tone down the shimmer and down-blend so there is a smooth transition into the other colors previously applied. There should be no harsh edges between the highlight shade and any other colors.

    To clean up the shape of the shadow take a cosmetic sponge and use it as an eraser to wipe away any fallout that may have dropped down. Curl your lashes and apply your favorite mascara to top and bottom lashes and/or apply false lashes if you prefer.

    There are a variety of lip colors that will look great with this look depending on the vibe you are going for. I popped on the newest lipstick in my collection, Urban Decay Wrath. Wrath is a beautiful metallic red that looks stunning on pretty much any skin tone. At the time of this post, Urban Decay is offering free engraving with purchase of this lipstick and a variety of others at I got mine engraved, and think it is such a nice touch to personalize your makeup, or give as a gift.

    Here is the final look:

    I am wearing a wax-based foundation, cream bronzer, and brow gel to complete the face. The metallic finish on this lipstick is amazing. I am so happy I purchased this. The Naked Petite Heat palette is only $29, which I think is a steal given the quality of these eyeshadows. I purchased the palette and lipstick as part of the Urban Decay "friends and fanatics event" and got an even better deal on these high quality products. I already own the original Naked Heat palette, but find this petite matte version ideal for work, and to carry with me in my purse. Some people are getting tired of these warm shades that many brands are selling at the moment, but if you have blue eyes, orange tones look simply stunning as orange and blue are complimentary colors. I really think this palette is well thought out, and the shadows blend effortlessly.  They are the type of eyeshadows that seem to sort of blend themselves. This palette also works well on most skin tones.  Kudos to Urban Decay, as this is another winner in my book!

    Do you have the Naked Petite Heat palette?  Would you like to see some more tutorials? Do you prefer to see more Naked Petite Heat looks, or looks that also include the original Naked Heat palette as well?  I want to hear from you!

    PS Make sure you are subscribed as I have some exciting giveaways coming to Makeup Matters soon!

    *Note: Any links included in this post are for the convenience of the reader only. I was not sent any of these products for review.  I never get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own.