Sunday, October 13, 2019

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love Inspired By Nature - Look 4 Mountains

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love

Inspired By Nature - Look 4 - Mountains

One of the many visual pleasures nature has to offer is the breathtaking view of mountains. Snow covered mountain tops and deep sloping valleys are such a sight to behold that they are commonly a subject for paintings and other artwork.  Capturing the picturesque beauty is no small feat.  We may think of folks like Bob Ross, or Thomas Kinkade who attempted to paint a scene reminiscent of the crisp mountain air.  While no artist can truly capture what Mother Nature has, we can draw inspiration from her work as a reminder of that sense of awe we feel each time we are in the presence of her work. 

This look is a little bit different than the others in this series.  I did not pull inspiration only from nature, but also from other artists. For example, the work of @IllanaIII on Pinterest (@makeup.licious on IG) creates numerous makeup looks inspired by different landscapes.  Her photos juxtapose an eyeshadow look with the scene which she drew her inspiration from as I did in the first photo above. I did not want to copy her work outright, but would be amiss if I failed to mention her as a source of inspiration for mine. 

Here is how to get the look:
  • Select the eyeshadow colors that most closely match the landscape being used for inspiration.  I used two palettes that I custom created from Colourpop and Makeup Geek
  • Curl your lashes with a lash curler.
  • It is important to have properly groomed brows for this look. Complete your normal brow routine, which will be different for everyone. I used Urban Decay Brow Box in Bathwater Blonde as well as a brow pomade from Milani
  • Prime the eyelids with your favorite eyeshadow primer, or concealer.  I used the Milani Eyeshadow Primer that I had handy, applying a very thin layer from lash line up to just beneath my brow. 
  • For eye brushes, I recommend choosing a flat eyeshadow brush with a tapered tip and a few fluffy eyeshadow brushes of different sizes for applying and blending color. Try to opt for brushes that you can use for more than one purpose to cut down on the number of brushes you will have to clean later. For example, a flat eyeshadow brush with tapered bristles can be used to apply pigment with the flat side as well as using the tip to brush shadow along the lower lash line. 
  • I also made sure I selected a shimmery eyeshadow to highlight just beneath the brow and the inner corners of my eyes.  However, any face highlighter can also be used for this step. 
  • After the eyes are primed, begin by sweeping a dark metallic blue eyeshadow onto the eyelid with a fluffy brush. Stamp and blend the color to achieve a hazy effect. I used Colourpop Quantum Sleep (metallic cobalt blue) for this step. 
  • Next, I applied Bassline Pressed Powder Shadow from Colourpop (metallic periwinkle) to the inner third of the lid. I stamped it on with a fluffy brush, blending it into Quantum Sleep
  • To define the crease, I wanted to create a hazy blend of grayish brown with a hint of yellow. I accomplished this by sweeping a mixture of Colourpop's I Owe You (a warm-toned matte orange), Tiki (matte warm yellow with flecks of gold), and Take Flight (bright canary yellow) into the crease of the eye. I added Urban Decay eyeshadow in Naked (matte nude) and a touch of Makeup Geek Faux Fur (matte soft mink brown) to get the perfect color combination. 
  • Taking I Owe You, Naked and Faux Fur, I smudged this mixture of shadows along my lower lash line with a pencil brush. 
  • I went back in with a Sigma E54 Medium Sweeper Brush to apply some more Quantum Sleep to the outer third of my eyelid, and a touch more Bassline to the inner third. 
  • To highlight the inner corner of my eye and just below the brow, I used Makeup Geek's Shimma Shimma (light pinky beige with a shimmery finish). 
  • Finally, line the waterline with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Hustle, and tight line with a chocolate brown liner.  I used Dominatrix lip pencil from Jefferee Star Cosmetics (eye safe). 
  • Apply a couple of coats of your favorite black or brown mascara. I used Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Splashes because it provides amazing length and is waterproof. 

As with all of my posts, you should use whatever eyeshadows you have handy to recreate the look. I only include the specific products that I use to make it easier for you to find a dupe and achieve a similar look. Depending on your skin tone, you may have to adapt the colors to better meet your needs. Colourpop and Makeup Geek both offer affordable, high quality shadows. I only used a few different eyeshadow brushes to create this look. If you clean off your brush in between colors, you can probably get away with only three brushes; a fluffy blending brush, a pencil brush and a flat eyeshadow brush. 

I did tend to use fluffier brushes for most of the lid work here. I wanted to create a heavily diffused effect by stamping on the shadow, then blending it across the lid. It is also important to use brushes with a size that matches the area you are working on. For example, when applying color just beneath the brow, I used a smaller flat brush, that allowed me to get up close just under the brow. 

To get into the inner corner of the eyelid, I held a small brush at an angle, to paint the color on, highlighting the corner more easily.

Here is the finished look:

Another look (left with flash, right without):

When working with pigmented eyeshadow, I recommend doing your eyes first. This allows for easier cleanup. You can use any lip color that you would like. I opted for a neutral tone to stick with the earthy vibe of the look.  

Make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss look 5 in my inspired by nature series!  The next look is inspired by winter snow.  It will be my final look in the series, and I am very excited about this one!

Don't forget to visit my Inspired by Nature Board on Pinterest:

*All of the items in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write posts. This is not sponsored in any way.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love Inspired By Nature - Look 3 Autumn Leaves

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love Inspired By Nature - Look 3 Autumn Leaves

Autumn is a favorite season for many makeup lovers.  The rich colors and textures of the season make way for fuller coverage and nature inspired hues.  It is the time of year where we put away our tinted moisturizer and bronzer for the season and opt for foundation and blush instead. 

Like my previous posts in this series, the focus is on the eye makeup.  I chose Colourpop Yes, Please! palette and the Naked Petite Heat palette from Urban Decay.  Just looking at the colors in these palettes make me think of autumn. 

Here is how to get the look:
  • Line the upper lash line with a plum toned eyeliner.  I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-One Eye Pencil in 1999, a plum with flecks of scarlet colored glitter. 
  • Apply a soft nude matte eyeshadow to the eyelid as a base. I used Urban Decay Vibrate from the Naked Petite Heat palette. 
  • Highlight just beneath the brow and on the inner corner of the eye with a satin cream colored eyeshadow such as Urban Decay Inhale
  • With an angled brush, draw over the 1999 eye pencil with a rich reddish brown eyeshadow like Strike from Urban Decay
  • Using a pencil brush, smudge a matte cayenne eyeshadow along the lower lash line. I used Heist from Urban Decay following it up with a clean pointed, but fluffy brush to smoke out the color. 
  • Emphasize the crease with an orange eyeshadow. Wild Thing from Urban Decay is what I used, but the Colourpop Yes, Please has many similar colors to the Naked Petite Heat palette, so use what you have in your collection.
  • Switching to the ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Shadow Palette, I dipped a flat eyeshadow brush into the matte yellow.  Gently pat the color on the inner two thirds of the eyelid, building up the color until you reach your desired intensity.  
  • Pick up a tiny bit of the shimmery light gold color in the Colourpop palette and pat a thin layer over the yellow eyeshadow you just applied. 
  • Darken up the outer corner of the upper eyelid with Strike from Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat, or a similar color from the ColourPop palette. 
  • Use a clean brush to blend all of the edges together, applying more eyeshadow where you need it. The key to this look is applying thin layers that effortlessly blend into one another like a freshly fallen autumn leaf. 

Both of these eye palettes contain very pigmented shadows.  They may stain the eyelids, so you may want to start with an eyeshadow base.  I did not use an eyeshadow primer for this look, because I wanted the colors to look more hazy than bold.  A good eye makeup remover should help to remove all trace of color at the end of the day. 

I did not use a ton of eye brushes for this look.  Sometimes having a little excess color on the brush can help blend one color seamlessly into the next. 

Finish off the eyes with a healthy coat of mascara on top and bottom lashes.  For lips, I created a custom color mixing together Too Faced Melted Matte in Gingerbread Man with Urban Decay Lipstick in Gash. I lined my lips with Dominatrix from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, a chocolate brown. Blending the lip liner with the lipstick is key to avoid a harsh look. I used a small pointed lip brush blending the lip liner color toward the center of the lip.

Here is the finished look:

Below is a closer look at the eyes:

What do you think of this eyeshadow look inspired by autumn leaves?  What is your favorite season?

Another look in different lighting, and with the eyes looking down:

Make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss look 4 in my nature inspired series!  My next look is inspired by mountains. This series was requested by my Twitter followers. If you aren't following me on social media, I can be found on Twitter @MakeupMatters1.

*All of the items in this post were purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews or include products in my posts. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love Inspired By Nature - Look 2 Flowers

5 Eyeshadow Looks We Love Inspired By Nature - Look 2 Flowers

I hope you are enjoying my nature inspired eyeshadow series. The first look I did focused on colors inspired by water. I used reflective blues and teals to create a look that was fun, yet wearable.  Today, I was inspired by flowers. There are so many colors and types of flowers to choose from that I did have some difficulty narrowing down what makeup I wanted to use.  I opted for mauve tones, being sure to bring color into the cheeks and lips as well.  

For the eyes I used the Naked 3 Palette from Urban Decay. This palette has beautiful floral tones in it. I paired the eyeshadow with Romantic Rose Powder Blush from Milani, and a brightly pigmented lip gloss from Armour Beauty in the color Hello.  This lip gloss is an opaque bubblegum pink.  For a slightly more sheer formula, Jeffree Star Cosmetics The Gloss in Candy Drip is a beautiful choice.  

Here is how to get the look:
  • Prime your eyes with your favorite eyeshadow primer, or a little bit of concealer. I used Joer long-wear eye brightening primer, because it really helps make my eyeshadow last longer than any other primer that I have tried. 
  • Draw on eyeliner close to the upper lash line.  You do not have to be neat with this part, as it will serve as the base for the eyeshadow look. I took a dense brush, and smudged the color out along my eyelid, keeping the color concentrated closest to the lash line.  For this step, I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in the color 1999, a lovely plum color flecked with scarlet glitter.  

  • Apply a metallic copper eyeshadow over the eye pencil you just applied. I used a fluffy brush, and gently patted the eyeshadow over it. The color I used is Trick from the Naked 3 palette. 
  • Define the crease with a matte eyeshadow. I used Nooner from the Naked 3 palette, a matte mauvey plum. Bring the shadow right up to the bridge of the nose to create depth and shape the eye. 
  • Highlight the eye lid.  I used a single eyeshadow from Urban Decay called Space Cowboy. This is very glittery, but really looks so pretty on the eye. It reminds me of morning dew glistening on flower petals.  
  • Highlight the inner corners of the eyes. Taking a tiny bit of Dust eyeshadow from the Naked 3 palette, I applied just a very small amount to the inner corner of the eyes for a brightening effect.  Dust is a very pale metallic pink.
  • Line your waterline with a metallic white eye pencil.  I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Yeyo

  • To finish off the eyes, I applied a few coats of Ilia After Midnight Mascara to top and bottom lashes. 
For the rest of the face, I used Hourglass Skin Tint as my base.  Use whatever foundation you normally use.  However, I recommend doing the skin after your eyeshadow. Using glittery eyeshadows will likely create fallout, and it is much easier to clean before you have applied your skin makeup. On top of my Milani Romantic Rose Powder Blush, I used a large fan brush to sweep on Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Amber Nectar. If you prefer to use a lip liner under your gloss, try something in a dusty mauve to compliment the look. I like Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glace

Here is the finished look:

I tried to include both sides of my face, as I have had many comment that I only show one side of my face in photographs. I do tend to favor the right side of my face, but recognize that many individuals want to see the look from different angles. 

What do you think of my floral eyeshadow look? Make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss look number three in my series of eyeshadow looks inspired by nature. Next up, is something just in time for the autumn season, an eye look inspired by leaves/trees! 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Proof That Nature Inspired Makeup Looks Can Be Wearable (series) - Look 1 Water

Nature Inspired Makeup Look (Water)

This post was requested by my Twitter followers. It is the first in a series of looks inspired by nature.  What comes to mind when you think of nature? There are so many visuals, sounds, scents and textures that come to mind for me, but none more prominent than water. Water cleanses.  It is refreshing, beautiful and evokes a sense of calm that soothes even the most anxious mind. This sense of calm is the exact reason I chose water for my first post. I also feel it when I am applying makeup. The practice of sitting down and gently blending my eyeshadow is almost like meditation for me.  There are so many beautiful and creative makeup looks online.  With my series, I aim to share looks that re not only nice to look at, but also very wearable in real life. 

To get started, I rummaged through my collection and pulled out a number of blue and green eyeshadows, pigments, and pencils.  To capture the reflective property of water, I chose wet looking highlighter and shiny lips. 

Here is how to get the look:

I began by priming my eyelids with Milani Eyeshadow Primer, applying a thin layer with a synthetic brush. Next, I opened up my Jeffree Star Cosmetics Blue Blood Eyeshadow palette.  This really is the perfect palette for this look. I applied a light beige colored eyeshadow (Wealthy) from the palette allover my eyelid up to the brow.  Using a Sigma E48 blending brush, I swept Blue Monday (matte blue) through the crease of my eye.  I must say, the Sigma E48 is a very underrated brush when it comes to creating a diffused eyeshadow look.  The main reason I wanted to use this palette is because of the color Ocean Ice (metallic royal blue).  It has to be my favorite color in the palette because it is so vibrant and unique. Using a flat brush, I patted this color onto my eyelid, focusing on the outer two thirds. 

Using an angled brush, I drew the color Undertaker (deep blue with a matte finish) along my upper lash line.  To intensify the blue in this look, I used OCC Royal Blue Pure Pigment, blending it into the crease and pulling it up slightly.  However, to keep the look wearable I wanted to keep the inner portion of the lid light and reflective, like water. I picked up the Urban Decay eyeshadow single in the color Kiddie Pool and mixed it with some eye drops on a Furless Cosmetics PRO7M (angled) brush. This technique of applying a shimmery eyeshadow with a wet brush is called foiling. It helps intensify the metallic qualities of the eyeshadow. I find the angled brush helps in reaching the inner corner of the eyelid and makes it easier to draw following the shape of my natural eyelid, painting on the color to the inner third of my lid.   

I didn't want this look to simply be a blue eyeshadow look.  When I think of water in nature, I am reminded of the many shades of green and teal that can be seen in the ocean as well. So I incorporated a bit of OCC Loose Color in Nori (seaweed green) along the outer corner of my eyelid. I simply tapped a bit on, and blended it into the blue with a fluffier brush, allowing the colors to meld together in a wave of seamless color.  Then I dipped back into Blue Monday, patting and blending it just above my crease with a slightly more dense fluffy brush.  It helps to take a separate fluffier brush to blend the color out further. 

You will notice that I went right in to the eye look, and did not begin by applying any foundation.  The reason for this is that I anticipated a heavy amount of fallout from the pigments and eyeshadows.  It is often a good idea to start with the eyes when using dark eye colors as it makes cleanup much easier. After, I had my eyeshadow blended, I took a makeup remover cloth and wiped the fallout off of my cheekbones.

Once all of the excess pigment was off of my face, I applied moisturizer with a duo fiber brush. Then I applied a light reflecting primer to my face.  Now is the time to perfect the base makeup. Use your normal foundation or CC cream. I used my favorite CC cream from IT Cosmetics, followed by Jeffree Star Cosmetics Concealer under my eyes, and around the center of the face as a highlight.  Blend it in with a makeup sponge.  For brows, I used Urban Decay Brow Box in Bathwater Blonde, applying it with my Morphe X Jeffree Star Brow Brush.      

To add to the reflective nature of this look, I highlighted heavily with Jeffree Star Cosmetics Supreme Frost Highlighter in Snow Globe using my Sephora PRO Highlight Brush #98 for a wet look to the cheekbones. Next, I applied NYX Matte Bronzer over the highlighter with a Kelley Quan #5 Blush Brush, using it as blush. 

To finish off the eye look, I applied Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Electric (cool-toned dark teal) to my top and bottom waterline, smudging it along the lower lash line with a pencil brush. Lashes were then coated in ILIA After Midnight Mascara

For lips, I used Flower Lipstick in a high-shine cream texture and topped it with a transparent clear blue gloss from IT Cosmetics. For my hair, I smoothed in Paul Mitchell Texture Cream through damp locks. 

Here is the finished look:

What do you think? I hope you enjoyed this look.  Make sure that you are subscribed so that you don't miss the next look in my nature inspired series!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Secret to College Makeup

It is almost time to go back to school. If you are heading off to college for the first time, you are probably feeling excited and a little nervous.Don't worry! I have some secrets to share with you that take the guess work out of college makeup. Instead of focusing on what makeup to bring to your new dorm, just follow my guide below so that you can focus on more important stuff (like your classes).  

Step 1: Assemble your college makeup kit. This may be slightly different for everyone, depending on what you normally wear. The general idea is to pack products that have more than one use, and help you feel both comfortable and confident. 

I recommend the following products:
  • Powder
  • Foundation / BB Cream / Tinted Moisturizer 
  • Eye pencils
  • Brushes
  • Blush
  • Lipstick
  • Mascara
Keep your makeup minimal & affordable! School is expensive, but looking your best doesn't have to be.

Step 2: Define your makeup goals. For example, you may want to wear makeup that helps you look cute without it taking all day to get ready. Show the world you have beauty and brains.

Step 3: Apply your products.  

Late night study sessions (or too much partying) can leave your skin looking blotchy or dehydrated. Even out your skin by applying a tinted moisturizer, BB cream or foundation. I like products that do double duty. For example,  Aveda Mineral Tinted Moisturizer adds hydration to the skin with enough coverage to help you feel confident. If you are someone who needs a heavier coverage,Milani 2-in-1 Foundation & Concealer can be worn solo or layered on in targeted areas as a concealer. 

Mid-day can leave you looking oily. Adding a light dusting of loose powder can help keep your skin looking matte. Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Powder is a great option. If your skin is naturally more oily try Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting Powder.  Both brands offer good color choices and work for most skin types.  

Rather than bringing all of your eyeshadow palettes to school, eye pencils are the smartest choice. They are portable, and come in a ton of colors and finishes. Opt for the double sided chubby kind like Milani Brow & Eye Highlighters.  Use the Natural Taupe side to pencil in brows and the Vanilla side on your waterline to help you look more awake. If you want something more adventurous, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils come in a lovely array of jewel tones, metallics and neutrals. Pick up a few so you always have options to change up your look. Use your finger or a cotton swab to smudge out your eye pencil for those campus parties. 

I love makeup brushes, but dorm life isn't conducive to constant brush washing. Bringing a ton of brushes, especially when skipping eyeshadow doesn't make sense. Instead, pack a good foundation brush to apply your base, and a fluffier brush to tap on your powder and sweep on blush. Real Techniques has some of the best, most affordable makeup brushes and they are very easy to find. 

Blush is one of those products that is seriously underrated. After applying foundation and powder, you have to add some color back into your face or you will look washed out, or just plain sick. Choose something with shimmer in it, such as Milani Baked Blush in Corallina. Glowy blushes add a healthy radiance to the skin and eliminates the need for a separate highlighter. 

Lipstick can liven up any look, plus it doubles as a cream blush! I recommend a color and formula that makes you feel the most like yourself.

Milani offers superior quality makeup at affordable prices. Their Color Statement Lipstick in the color Tropical Nude has a nice sheen to it, and allows a little bit of your natural lip color to peek through. These lipsticks are infused with vitamins that nourish the lips, so they always feel comfortable. Matte Innocence from the brand's Color Statement Matte Lipstick line, is the perfect everyday nude for those who don't like glossy lips.  The formula is not only cruelty-free, but also vegan. If you like your lipstick to double as a conversation starter, Jeffree Star Cosmetics plays with words by shaping the lipstick packaging on their Lip Ammunition lipstick like an actual bullet. While the packaging is super fun and different, the color selection has very practical options like my personal favorite Celebrity Skin (soft brown nude with a satin finish).Lip Ammunition Lipsticks are much more pigmented than your average lipstick, and you only need one swipe of color to achieve full opacity.  The formula is cruelty-free and vegan. 

Last, but not least is mascara. Nothing on the market adds drama quite like the combo of Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara with Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara (both waterproof). The Milani mascara curls, separates and lengthens, while the chubby wand on the Covergirl tube adds volume and locks everything into place. I get so many compliments when I wear this combination that it really makes me wish I discovered it sooner! 

In reality, the most important thing about going to college is coming back a better person than you were when you went in. Go and learn, read, make friends, fall in love, have fun, and be safe.  Then come back and spread your new found knowledge out into the world. You are the future, and you are going to college! Always remember that there are people who didn't have the opportunity to go to college (for many different reasons). Never take anything for granted, and live your best life. I will be here, writing about makeup and giving you advice on how to make your outside match your inside. Be kind, stay open and know that while college will expose you to many new and exciting things, you may also face new challenges and fears. That is okay! Overcoming challenges is how we grow as people. I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of person you grow into. Even when you finally graduate and are finished with school, never stop learning. Everything in life is an opportunity to learn something new. Sometimes it is the hardest lessons that yield the most beautiful results. 

Good luck in your new school. 
Connect with me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. 

*This is not a sponsored post. All of the products in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Getting Smart With Makeup!

As a makeup artist and makeup lover, I get asked a ton of questions about makeup application. While each person has some unique concerns, there are a handful that are common despite age, skin type or budget. 

The below list covers the top five questions that I get asked the most:

1. Why does my foundation look orange?
Answer: I recall the late 90s when tanning beds were all the rage. Some people overdid it, giving their skin an unnatural orange hue. Unfortunately, I still see some individuals wearing foundation that sits on their face like an orange mask. The issue is likely that the foundation is the wrong undertone or the foundation oxidized. For example, if your undertone is more yellow, but your foundation has too much of a pink hue to it, this can cause your skin look orange

If you find that your foundation changes color midday, the formula may be reacting to the natural oils in your skin. To prevent this, opt for a primer which will act as a barrier between your skin and your foundation. A couple of primers that I love on my skin are Becca First Light Priming Filter Instant Complexion Refresh ($18 for 0.5 Fl. Oz. - Travel Size), and Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum ($65 for 1 FL Oz/30 ML or $22 for 8 ML - Travel Size). 

2. Is there an easy way to do a smokey eye?
Answer: Yes! You will need three eyeshadow colors to achieve this look. Grab a dark base color, a lighter highlight shade, and a transition color. Start with your single, dark base color and apply it to your eyelid. I find this technique especially helpful for beginners. Next, use your highlight shade (try matte light beige or ivory) and apply it just under your brow. Finally, grab your transition color. This shadow should be one or two shades darker than your skin. Using a fluffy brush, blend this color between your lid color and highlight color. Finally, take a clean blending brush and blend all three colors together until you don't see any harsh lines. Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Luxury Palette is a great choice for this look because it has all of the colors you need. Fluffy eyeshadow brushes are available at all price points and a staple for beautiful eyeshadow application. Try the Real Techniques Bold Metals #203, Bdellium Tools #776 or Furless Cosmetics PRO2E for the perfect blend. 

3. What order should I apply my makeup in?
Answer: There are no rules! However I recommend applying eyeshadow first for the easiest cleanup. This way any fallout can easily be wiped away with a makeup remover wipe. I always apply lipstick last. This helps prevent smudges. 

4. How can I prevent mascara from smudging?
Answer: The easiest way to prevent smudges is to wear a waterproof formula. Try Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes. If you really don't want to use waterproof, then after all your eye makeup is on, blot your lashes with a piece of blotting paper.

5. How can I make my bronzer appear more natural?
Answer: Choose a color that is not too dark for your complexion. Start with just a light dusting on the tops of your cheekbones, nose and forehead. The right brush is key to a naturally bronzed look. I prefer something fluffy, with a flat top so that I can apply product and blend with the same brush.
Examples: Cover FX Powder Brush ($21), Marc Jacobs The Face I ($48), Bdellium Tools Yellow or Green Bambu Finishing Brush #955 ($8.40)

The style of brush you decide on comes down to personal preference. However, of the three that I have listed above, the Bdellium Tools Finishing Brush will give you a lighter application. 

Here is my final look using all of the techniques listed above:

What are your makeup questions? Ask me below so that I can help! Know some makeup tips that you want to share? Please do! I love learning new things, and find that even those without a ton of experience have valuable insight to offer. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1

As always, thanks for reading. 

*This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews or mention any products in my blog. All opinions are my own. All of the products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

What's in My Makeup Bag - Part 2

With summer upon us, I have downsized what I carry in my makeup bag. My daily routine consists of minimal products, but I never skip my morning sunscreen. 

When I am in a rush, I still brush my brows in place, but carry this handy brow box from Urban Decay with me. It has a pair of mini tweezers, a spoolie, brush for application, two colors of brow powder and brow wax. This little box also has a mirror inside perfect for a quick touch up in the restroom before that morning meeting.

I like to carry a couple of lip colors, usually a traditional bullet lipstick and a sheer chubby pencil. Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Bosworth's Beauty has been a favorite of mine this summer. Tarte has always been a great pick for lips stains in a pencil format.Their LipSurgence glossy stains never disappoint.  These sticks come in a variety of hues with a twist up bottom.  The best part is a separate pencil sharpener is not needed, and the pigment fades evenly throughout the day.

For brushes, I usually carry a couple of blending brushes because they are multipurpose. On super hot days, if your makeup starts to crease a little, you can use one of these fluffy bristled brushes to give your powder a quick blend under your eyes so everything looks smooth again.  In a pinch, I may apply a little bit of my lip color as blush, and use the second blending brush to sweep a little color through the crease of my eye. Kelley Quan is a great choice for makeup brushes, or try the Real Techniques base shadow brush for an easy to find drugstore option. 

Finally, I always keep a Trim Black Salon Board (nail file) close at hand (no pun intended) because I just don't have time for regular manicures. My nails have really been splitting lately so keeping this in my bag helps me keep the edges smooth on the go.  These work on acrylic or natural fingernails and are easy to find at my local Target.   

What are you carrying in your makeup bag this summer?

*This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews. Occasionally a company may send me products to test, but I only write about products that I use and love.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

How to Own Brushes Like a Pro!

How to Own Brushes Like a Pro!

Buying makeup brushes can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you are a new or aspiring makeup artist. I decided to put together this guide to teach you the best way to buy brushes for your kit.  This is also helpful if you are someone who creates a lot of makeup looks.  My secret?  Buying multiples of the brushes I use the most has been one of the best things I have done for my kit.   Shopping this way can prevent impulse purchases, and ensures that you always have the perfect brush handy. 

In some categories, you will notice I literally own several of the exact same brush.  In others, I simply like to have many of the same brush type handy.  The key is knowing which styles meet your needs.  Start by thinking about how you apply makeup, and which products you typically use.

Here is a quick look at what works for me: 

1. Bdellium Tools 776 (your favorite blending brush) - This brush is my favorite for blending eyeshadow. It is a multipurpose brush that works great with powder and cream products. The size, shape, and fluffiness of it meet all of my needs for achieving the perfect blend.  I always keep multiples of the Bdellium Tools Pink Bambu #776 brush handy because I know that no matter what eyeshadow look I am going for, this brush works well for me. If you have a different blending brush that you love, buy several of them.  This really makes it so much easier when you are working with different eyeshadow colors, so that you don't have to clean off the brush in between. I often use more than one blending brush when creating an eyeshadow look.  If you prefer a shorter handle length, the Green Bambu #776 is the same style, with the only difference being handle length and color of the brush. 

2. Flat Shader brush for packing on pigment (Sigma E54 Medium Sweeper) - If you love working with glitters and shimmers on the eyelid, a good pigment packer is a must! I like a medium sized brush head with bristles that come to a tapered tip.  This enables me to pat or sweep color onto the lid, then use the tip of the same brush to apply color along the lower lash line. 

3. Pencil Brush (Sigma E30 Pencil) - No, I don't have a Sigma discount code, nor am I a brand affiliate. Sigma just seems to put out a very good variety of brush shapes at reasonable prices. I own quite a few of their E30 Pencil Brushes because they are ideal for really smoking out the lower lash line. Use these with your favorite eyeliner or eyeshadow to get right under those lashes, or blend out any harsh lines for the perfect smokey eye. 

4. Face Fan Brush (multipurpose) - Scott Barnes #66 - There are some people who don't believe in fan brushes, but I can't live without them. This luxurious find from the great Scott Barnes is one that I use nearly every time I apply makeup. It is the perfect brush for sweeping on Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, dusting on highlight, blush, bronzer, or sweeping away that loose powder you are baking under your eyes. The unique tilted shape really fit the curves of the face in the most natural way.  This is the brush that made me fall in love with the entire brush line from this brand. If you are a professional artist, you can't go wrong with any from this line. 

5. Lip Brushes (PRO1L Furless Cosmetics) - If you are not a working makeup artist, you may not get a lot of use out of lip brushes.  I have always preferred to use a lip brush, even on myself for getting a really perfect looking pout.  No other brush beats my Furless Cosmetics Pro1L.  I own three of these and this brush has had a home in my kit for a number of years for a reason.  It allows me to really get into the corners of the mouth, and this brush can also be used for concealing small spots on the face, or even help in creating a cut crease on the eyes. 

6. Powder Brushes - setting powder, bronzer, powder blush. Have a few good sizes handy including one for more precise powdering (Scott Barnes,  Real Techniques, etc) - Kelley Quan #5, Scott Barnes #67, Sephora PRO Featherweight Powder #91, Princeton Neptune #6 & #8 - When it comes to powdering, I have three main sizes that I like to have multiples of; a small very tapered style, a medium size for blush or setting powder, and a super large brush for bronzing up the neck and body.

There are a lot of good options on the market.  I love these art brushes (pictured below) that I picked up at my local art supply store.  The Real Techniques setting brush or contour brush will also work for powdering small areas such as setting your under eye concealer.  The only difference between the two brushes pictured below is handle length. 

For a medium sized powder brush, Kelley Quan's #5 reigns supreme in my stash. These are a bit on the pricey side, so I only own two, but they are worth every penny. The bristles are unbelievably soft, and the quality is top-notch. I really love these for sweeping a variety of different powders on the face, using a pressing motion for setting powder or adding that perfect touch of highlight. 

Then there are the super huge rounded styles that are a must-have when bronzing the neck and chest area. For this brush, I don't own multiples of any one specific brush.  Instead I have a few of the same style across several different brands. The main reason for this, is that due to the very large brush head, these brushes tend to be the most expensive within their respective brands. If you have one that you love and want to buy a few by all means do so.  Since these are not something I use everyday, I have purchased the few that I own over time.  The two pictured below are my favorite in this size because the very rounded tip has the perfect amount of flexibility to not only apply product but really blend it out.  I use these mostly to apply bronzer along the shoulders for the most natural looking tan. 

7. Foundation Brush - Only of you don't use sponges (Marc Jacobs The Face Brush I and II) - If you are a professional makeup artist, you should only use disposables when it comes to makeup sponges.  The caveat to that, is if you plan to give the BeautyBlender or beauty sponge to the client, but BeautyBlenders cannot be properly sanitized so the same sponge should not be used across multiple clients. I do love beauty sponges, but only use them for personal use.  For everyone else, foundation brushes are a true staple.  I tend to favor the Marc Jacobs foundation brushes because the density of the bristles really give an airbrushed look to foundation. I like The Face Brush I for liquid or cream foundation, and favor The Face Brush II for mineral or powder foundation.

8. Flat paddle Brushes - great for face primers (Princeton Neptune Oval Wash, Furless Cosmetics PRO1F, S.I.L.K. Green Line Foundation GL-7, IT Cosmetics) - Speaking of foundation brushes, many people think of these flatter brushes for foundation application. I have used them for this purpose, but really like them better for primer application. I understand a lot of people apply primer with their fingertips, but using a flat brush enables a truly even application.  Many different brands sell this style of brush, but I tend to favor one with a slightly thicker brush head and rounded or angled bristles to better reach the inner corners of the face. 

9. Duo Fiber Face Brushes (for applying moisturizer) - Furless Cosmetics PRO6F, PPF3  - This brush is also commonly referred to as a stippling brush. I use this type of brush daily to apply moisturizer. I know a lot of people don't use this style, but it really is the best for layering up products onto the skin because you can both stipple and blend with the same brush.  Furless Cosmetics makes really great sizes of this brush in terms of bristle length and circumference of the tip. 

10. Concealer Brushes (flat and buffing style) - Also great for applying eye primer. (IT Cosmetics, Icing eyeshadow crease brush, Furless Cosmetics ME1, e.l.f. Angled Contour Brush) - Again, this is a brush that I use daily. In fact, I often use a few of these during one makeup application.  You will notice that most of them are not true concealer brushes.  They were designed for eyeshadow, but the angled flat tip almost works like fingertips to pat concealer on under the eyes. If you use a mineral or powder foundation, this style will conceal a blemish in a pinch.  Just pick up some of the powder, and gently swirl it around the spot using one of the angled brushes below.  The traditional flat style concealer brush (the first one in the below photo) is also perfect for applying eyeshadow primer in a nice even layer.

11. Angled Brushes / Push Liner (only if you don't use pencil exclusively) - Kelley Quan #17, Crown Brush Angled Brush, Smith #211, Sigma Flat Definer E15, S.I.L.K. Green Line GL-9 Flat Liner, Kelley Quan #15 - I almost did not include this last category of brush, because finding angled brushes is not difficult. However, when it comes to applying powder to the brow, my Kelley Quan #17 Wave Brush has been a staple in my kit for years. I do own a couple of them, and find them to be truly unique. The Smith #211 (third brush below) is a much stiffer bristled brush, which I like more for applying pomades.  Angled brushes can also be useful for applying winged liner, and a push liner brush can really help create the appearance of a thicker lash line.  I encourage you to think about which products you typically use.  For example, if you only use pencil and brow gel, an angled brow brush may not be important to you. If you do like these styles, think about how firm you like your bristles, and what size works best for your style. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Again, what works for me may not work for everyone.  The overall theme here is to really think before you buy. Don't just buy a bunch of blending brushes because your favorite YouTube star told you to.  Instead, think about what you already own, and really focus on the shapes and styles that work best for you.  After analyzing the products you use, and which brushes are most important to you, it becomes easier to narrow down what you like.  Once you have found that perfect brush buy a few of them.  I think you will notice it is much easier to have a few of your favorites handy rather than settling for applying with another brush because the one you prefer is dirty. 

What brushes are your go-to?  Do you own multiples of your favorites?  

*This post may contain some brushes that were sent to me.  The majority of them were purchased by me. I do not write sponsored posts, or get paid to name any brands in anything I write. Brands mentioned are simply for informational purposes. All of the brushes mentioned in this post are brushes that I own and really use and love.