Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What To Do With Pignents

Pigments, sometimes referred to as loose eyeshadow, can be an inexpensive and fun way to create custom colored makeup products,  break you out of a rut and enhance creativity. Many brands offer pigments and most offer them in good sized jars. If you are interested in trying pigments for the first time, I recommend buying a color that you can use in more than one of the below mentioned ways. Remember a little goes a long way.

They can get messy if you aren't careful, so I recommend putting a towel or some paper down before playing with them. Also, have a plate or small dish handy for mixing. Soy sauce dishes work great for if you do not have a traditional mixing palette, otherwise you can purchase a really inexpensive art palette with wells in it for creating new color combinations. 

If you are always searching for a perfect shade of rose gold, antique gold that pull a little green, or favor duochromes, mixing pigments together yourself is a great way to get the exact color you want. 

Brands I like: Furless Cosmetics. Anastasia, Makeup Geek and Colourpop all offer beautiful options.

Pigments can be used dry or with a mixing medium. Some cosmetic brands sell transformers intended specifically for this purpose, but there are a variety of other mediums you can use that you probably already have around the house. 

Here are some of the ways I like to use cosmetic pigments:

1. Eyes: Foiled eyeshadow (wet your brush with facial spray, or add eyedrops to pigment sprinkled out on a plate and mix until you get the intensity you want), eyeliner, colored mascara (use clear mascara), glitter brows (brush on metallic pigments with clear brow gel). For an editorial look to your pictures pop a little pigment onto your eyes by mixing it with an eye gloss or clear lip gloss that is eye safe. 
2. Highlighter: By itself brushed onto high points of the face, mixed in with face lotion, cream, or a face oil. 
3. Blush: Use solo, or mix with a clear balm, jelly or face oil. This is a great way to experiment with fun blush colors like a pale lavender, or orangey tone. Mix one of these colors with a bit of a shimmery peach or pink to keep it wearable. 
4. Lips: Mix with lip balm, clear gloss or sheer lipstick.  This is a good trick to remember come Halloween. No need to buy a whole tube of an unusual colored lipstick for your look, just mix some pigments together for any lip color you can imagine. Apply metallic or lighter colors to center of lips. Make sure the pigments that you are using are lip safe first. 
5. Hair: Add to a spray bottle with a little bit of facial spray  and mist lightly, or mix into clear hair gel.
6. Body: Add to your favorite body lotion or body oil. This looks especially lovely on the legs in summer with a bronze or gold pigment. If you are very fair, an opal / pearlescent pigment will also work. 
7. Nails: Mix in with clear nail polish. 
8. Foundation: Just a tiny bit mixed in with liquid or powder foundation for a lit from within glow. For a take on the yoga skin trend, mix in a gold, silver, champagne, or shimmery nude pigment in with your foundation plus 1-2 drops of facial oil. 
9. Primer: Adding a slightly metallic pigment into your primer helps add luminosity and a brightening effect. Try pigments in colors like nude pearl, or bronzed pearl depending on your skin tone

I prefer pigments with a pearl or metallic finish because I find them more versatile, but matte pigments can be a lovely option for blush, eyes and nails. I find bright matte colors can be easier to wear in pigment form because you have better control of the intensity. 

How do you like to use pigments?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

5 Reasons We Love The Gloss

Jeffree Star Cosmetics has been launching new products galore and I am loving it! Truth be told, I have never been a huge lip gloss lover. Living here in the windy city of Chicago, that whole hair stuck in your lip gloss and getting on your face thing has never been my jam.  Of all the launches by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, this was the one I almost skipped. Yet, after a bit of contemplation I realized that I wear the Velour Liquid Lipsticks from the brand more than any other lip product in my kit. 

I have seen some people top their liquid lipstick with gloss from other brands, but remembered how popular lip oils started becoming. I didn't want to use a gloss that would break down the formula of my liquid lipstick and ruin my application. I have been known to wear a variety of glosses (on occasion) over regular bullet style lipsticks, often favoring clear lip gloss because it looks good over everything. 

For $18 each, plus free shipping, courtesy of, I took the plunge.  I am very pleased to report Jeffree Star Cosmetics The Gloss has helped me rediscover shiny lips.

Below is a quick list of why this particular gloss changed my makeup game.

5 Reasons We Love The Gloss

1. Makes lips looks fuller - 

I know some individuals opt for fillers to enhance the volume of their lips.  I am not a fan of needles and have heard lip injections can be particularly painful. While The Gloss is not officially a plumping formula, the added shine works like magic to make lips look more pouty with a quick swipe of the wand.  The above photo shows a healthy coat of The Gloss applied over bare lips. 

2. Hydrating formula - 

My lips can be quite dry if I don't prep them properly. For this reason, I am always careful not to use overly mattifying lip products.  Wearing The Gloss alone, or over lipstick provides some serious moisture minus the sticky formula some other brands leave behind. In the above photograph, I am wearing The Gloss in the color Legends Only worn over Celebrity Skin Velour Liquid Lipstick. For lip liner, I used Urban Decay 1993.

3. Looks good with many different makeup styles - 

Most of the week, I kept my makeup pretty light to keep the focus on the lips. However The Gloss is offered in two different formulations; a cream version, and one with shimmer. The color selection ranges from super sheer and neutral to straight up black. They all have a bit of a see through quality to them making them ideal toppers for your favorite lip liner, or lipstick. There really is something for everyone in this collection making it suitable for everyone from teenage rebels to CEOs. Adding a bit over your daytime lip color helps easily transform your look to something sexier for a fun night out. In the picture above (left) I am wearing Wet Peach over bare lips. 

4. Easy to reapply - 

Since I frequently wear Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick, I topped the color Allegedly with The Gloss in Wet Peach. For lip liner, I used Milani Color Statement Lipliner in 03 Nude to shape my lips. This lip combo lasted for hours, and when I did want to enhance the shine later in the day, I found The Gloss super easy to reapply quickly even without a mirror.

5. Quick way to update your look - One of the colors from this launch that had some a bit confused is a sheer blue. I didn't pick that one up, but only because I have a few blue glosses from other brands already.  This color is intended to be worn over your favorite lip color, and can help create the appearance of whiter teeth. If the thought of changing up your look intimidates you, adding even just a smidge of The Gloss over your regular lip color is a quick and easy way to add some variety to your makeup look while keeping things modern. 

Another comment I saw appear online frequently about this launch was about the price. Some think the $18 price tag is a bit too expensive. Everyone has a different budget and not everyone can afford to splurge on a high-end gloss. Some simply do not want to, and others just love a good bargain. Whichever category you fall into, I decided to help by searching my stash for possible dupes. 

Dupes:  In terms of formula, I find The Gloss by Jeffree Star Cosmetics most comparable to the Jordana lip glosses.

Specifically,  Wet Peach is very close in formula and color to Jordana Cosmic Glow Holographic Lip Gloss in Chromatic PeachStila Lip Glaze in Pinkle Twinkle is a close color match, but Stila's formula is much thicker and a bit on the sticky side. 

I thought that Legends Only would be closer to Milani Crystal Gloss For Lips in a creamy beige formula the brand used to sell, but Legends Only has a warmer hue. 

Prior to purchasing The Gloss my favorite way to add shine was using lip gloss from Milani or NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss. I am a big fan of the packaging, scent (very subtle sweet), formula and appearance of Jeffree Star Cosmetics The Gloss. The scent of the NYX gloss is pleasant, but sometimes a bit overwhelming. The creme brulee/vanilla scented gloss from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, is super subtle, and quickly fades after application. 

Here is a look of The Gloss colors I purchased side by side: 

I think it is safe to say I love The Gloss from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. 

Did you pick up any? What color is your favorite?

*The Jeffree Star Cosmetics products in this post were all purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.  This post may or may not contain products from other brands sent for consideration. However I do not get paid to write reviews or mention anything in my posts. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

How to Wear Blue Eyeshadow When You Have Blue Eyes

Many people are trying the blue eyeshadow trend for the first time. For some blue eyeshadow can be intimidating. Some simply think the color doesn't look good on them. Truthfully, I think blue eyeshadow tends to look best on those with brown eyes. Yet, when I first saw pictures of the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Blue Blood Eyeshadow Palette I had to have it. The packaging was so unique I figured I would buy it as a collector's piece. Even if I never used any of the shadows. At the very least, it would look beautiful on my makeup table.

To my surprise I use this palette a lot. I love it! The formula is just like his famous Blood Sugar Palette, which is my favorite of all time.  The Blue Blood Palette is restocking tomorrow, so I rounded up some helpful tips for pulling off blue eyeshadow when you have blue eyes. 

Top Tips:

1. Flawless base - Your foundation can be natural looking, but skin should look flawless. Blue eyeshadow with blue eyes can be strikingly beautiful, but if the rest of the makeup isn't right it gets more tricky to pull off. I used Alexis Vogel cream foundation for a smooth even look to my skin. 

2. Good under eye concealer - I have dark circles. Any blueness on the eyelids or under the eyes will be emphasized by blue eyeshadow if not properly concealed. I used Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Concealer in Peach to color correct under my eyes. Then I applied the color C3 over it and anywhere I wanted to hide a discoloration.

3. Start with a sticky base - Before dipping into blue powder eyeshadow, I blended a cream eyeshadow along my eyelids and up into the crease. Putting a cream shadow everywhere you plan to put your powder shadow gives it something to cling to and will extend wear time. I use NYX Jumbo pencil in Baby Blue. An eyeshadow primer that has a more tacky finish could also be used (Glitter Glue, concealer, etc).

4. Line the eyes - I favor Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (black) on my upper and lower lash line. I highly recommend lining the water line as well for even more intensity.  If you don't want to use a black eyeliner, navy or other variations of blue will look lovely. 

5. Pair with a warm blush - I recommend a peachy tone to compliment the blue. Milani Luminous or Luminouso baked blush go perfectly with many looks, but especially blue eye makeup. 

6. Opt for a nude lip - Blue eyeshadow is not subtle. Wearing a strong lip color with it can look overpowering.  I like lip liner and a tinted lip balm or anything light and glossy. This also helps keep the focus on your eyes. Try Urban Decay Naked Glossy Pencil for a sheer shine with precision or NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Sweet Heart. 

7. Skip the falsies - I know some eye looks feel incomplete without a pair of false lashes. Try one or two coats of mascara instead, or even skip mascara altogether for a really modern look. I love Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof Mascara.

Here is one of the looks I tried using the above steps:

After applying a thin coat of NYX Baby Blue Jumbo Pencil over my eyelids, I dipped into the Blue Blood Palette.

I started with a mix of Deceased & Ice Tray. I blended them over my eyelids, into the crease and along the lower lash line. On the inner corner of my eyes I used Cullinan. I lined my upper and lower waterline with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Abyss and Chaos. On my lips, I used Milani Lip Liner in 03 Nude topped with a tinted lip balm. For lashes, I finished the look with Milani Lash Trifecta Mascara. 

Below is a second look using the palette:

For this look, I used I'm cold on the eyelids applied first with an Alima Pure fluffy brush. Then, I switched to a Kelley Quan #11 Brush to pack on the pigment and create the shape I wanted. Using MyKitco Pro My Tappered Crease brush, I applied Blue Monday in the crease. I blended Priceless in the upper crease using my Cozzette S165 brush. To really darken the crease, I applied Undertaker in the deepest part of the crease using a Scott Barnes #62 brush. Side note, this brush is the BEST eyeshadow brush for crease work. It makes application so much easier. In the spirit of April 20th, I bought the makeup brush set from with little pot leaves on them.  The pencil brush in this set is great for smoking out the lower lash line (no pun intended). I used it in this look with the color Creamated, applied over black eyeliner. On the upper lash line, I used the same color but applied it with a Kelley Quan #15 flat push liner brush. Finally, I used a small flat brush from Antonym and a Real Techniques Rebel Edge Fine #303 brush to apply Cullinan to the inner corner of my eyes. 

I hope you found these tips helpful and enjoyed the looks I created. The Jeffree Star Cosmetics Blue Blood Palette comes back in stock tomorrow, and is the perfect eyeshadow palette to practice these tips with! 

Plus, look at the packaging!!!

All products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. I do not get paid to write reviews or mention products in my posts.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Hack: Makeup for Ages 35yrs +

Hello friends! I know last month I didn't blog much, but I did not forget about you. You, yes faithful readers that keep me going and keep me passionate about all things makeup and beauty. 

Recently on Twitter, I did a poll asking what you wanted to read about next. And 67% of you voted for this post about makeup for ages 35 years and older.  This year I will turn 39 years old and my love for makeup has not diminished in the slightest. In fact, I love makeup even more now than I did when I was younger. I don't know if it is because I am more confident or it is that I am feeling super inspired by all of the fun new makeup launches, but I am more enthusiastic about cruelty-free beauty than ever before. 

I thought about how my approach to makeup has changed over the years and compiled a list of my favorite beauty hacks for those ages 35 and up. 

Below are my top ten hacks to keep you loving makeup and looking your best no matter what age you are:

1. Practice good skincare habits. This is obviously always important, but even more so as we age. I don't write this only for superficial reasons, but also as a reminder to take a little time for yourself. Indulge in facial masks, exfoliate twice a week, and embrace facial oils. Tarte Maracuja Oil has been a long time staple in my beauty arsenal. It can be used under moisturizer, in the last step of your nighttime skincare routine, or mixed in with your foundation. 

2. Opt for a dewy foundation.  While your skin type should always be considered, the goal is skin that looks hydrated and nourished, not dry and overly matte. Some choices I love are IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream or Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint. If you prefer to stick with your current foundation, or wear mineral foundation, try adding a thin layer of Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow underneath for added luminosity. 

3. Use highlighter strategically, such as on the top of your cheekbones, and inner corner of the eyes.

4. To cover dark circles, opt for a color corrector under your concealer. The newest one to my collection is Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Concealer in Peach.

5. Use liquid and cream products instead of powder. If your skin is on the oily side, powders can be used, just use them sparingly. A good trick is to pat off any excess on the back of your hand before applying it to your face with your favorite puff, sponge or brush.

6. Lengthen those lashes! Curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, then apply a few coats of your favorite lengthening mascara. This helps make your lashes the star of the show to create a more youthful look. Try Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes for a formula that not only makes your lashes appear longer, but is also waterproof and helps hold the curl.

7. Go for a classic makeup look rather than trying to keep up with every new trend. Bronze and/or natural looks never go out of style. 

8. Skin should always look natural, and eyeshadow always looks lovely when kept soft, rather than some of the sharp graphic eyeliner looks that come in and out of fashion.  If lining your eyes is a must for you, try using eyeshadow in place of your usual eye pencil. Simply use an angled eyeshadow brush and a dark matte powder eyeshadow to line your eyes close to the lashline instead of gel, pencil or liquid liner.

9. Think dewy not disco ball. The glass skin look can create a youthful appearance, but too much glitter in your highlighter can make things look overdone and out of place on mature skin. Instead, try a cream highlighter formula or blend your powder highlighter underneath your powder blush for a light from within glow. 

10. Invest in good quality, soft makeup brushes. I recommend this step regardlessof your age. However,  the older we get the more important it is that our tools are not pulling or tugging at the skin. Some great choices that don't irritate my delicate skin are makeup brushes from IT Cosmetics, the Wayne Goss Synthetic Set, or Scott Barnes (perfect for personal or professional use).

Here is an example of a makeup look I wore the other day using the ten hacks listed above:

I hope you find these hacks helpful. Please let me know if you try them or have any hacks that you would like to share with us in the comments below. 

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1 

*This is not a sponsored post. The products mentioned in this post were purchased by me, unless otherwise stated. Some brands pictured may have sent me products to review in the past, but this in no way alters my opinions. All thoughts are my own. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Life Changing Holy Grail Makeup Items

Like many makeup artists, I am always searching for the perfect products for my clients and myself. Throughout the years many different products have come and gone, being replaced with items I find superior in some way. There are some that have stuck with me for a number of years; products so perfect,  I can't imagine ever finding anything better. These items are my Holy Grail makeup items, the ones that I believe will continue to hold a place in my stash for years to come. Some have replaced previous favorites, others have held their HG status from the moment I tried them.  It is important to remember that what works for me, may not for you, but I don't call a makeup item "Holy Grail" without seriously loving it. 

Here are my Holy Grail makeup items:

  • Wet n Wild Photofocus Dewy Face Primer - I literally just finished another tube of this today. I bought my first one at my local Walgreens, and it quickly replaced my Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion. Very affordable, and super high quality, this product truly packs a punch that knocks out the pricier competition. I generally apply it underneath my foundation using my fingers or a flat paddle foundation brush. My only real complaint for this product is that I wish it came in an extra large jumbo size because I use it everyday!
  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream - This product replaced Nars Sheer Glow foundation in my daily routine. Sadly, Nars is no longer cruelty-free. My cousin gave me a tube of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream as a gift, and it skyrocketed to Holy Grail status before I even began my search for a replacement product for Nars. While this product does have skincare benefits, I still consider it to be a foundation due to the excellent coverage it provides. Plus this has an SPF 50+ without creating flashback when photographed. It is hydrating without ever looking greasy, and works well on most skin types.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer - When I bought this item from it wasn't because I was unhappy with the concealer I already owned. I was using Milani Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer and enjoying it quite a bit. I still think the Milani concealer is a great affordable option. Yet Charlotte Tilbury did what she always does; managed to make me replace a favorite with a gem from her makeup line. I rarely find that I can use the same concealer under the eyes and on blemishes.  The texture of this one is the perfect consistency and it blends into the skin like a dream. It has a twist style dispenser with a sponge tipped applicator.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder  - This product is one I have repurchased multiple times over, and own in all shades offered. I have yet to find a better pressed powder on the market. This is ultrafinely milled, and comes in a sleek, yet glamorous clamshell style compact. A little goes a long way with this stuff, and it remains the only pressed powder that I have tried that doesn't emphasize fine lines. 
  • Jouer Long-Wear Eye Brightening Primer - This is one of the newest items in my kit to reach HG status and for good reasons. I was, and am still happy with Milani's Eye Primer.  However, this version from Jouer provides slightly more coverage and staying power. What really made me switch is that it is also waterproof,  crease resistant and hypoallergenic. I tend to favor waterproof makeup items when available. One of the reasons I use an eye primer, is that if I don't my eyeshadow will almost always crease after several hours of wear.  Using an eye primer that doesn't crease helps me feel confident that my eye makeup will still look fresh hours after application. I almost always prime the eyes before eyeshadow application, so having the perfect primer is crucial for me. 
  • Ilia After Midnight Mascara - Yet another find, I purchased this mascara on a whim. I didn't think anything would ever replace Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in my kit. Then Ilia came into my life. The superior formula is enhanced by the unique wand which has short bristles on one side, and longer bristles on the other that act like a built in lash comb. This style brush allows for multiple coats that you can comb through with ease so you never have to worry about clumps. 

Makeup preferences are deeply personal, but these items are ones that I truly stand by. They work well not only for me, but for most of my clients as well. I hold these fantastic few in such high regard, that I will not be looking to replace them with another brand anytime soon. 

What are your Holy Grail makeup items? Please share in the comments below. Did any of your favorites make my list?

*Unless otherwise stated, all products in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

3 Secrets to Grownup Highlighter

One trend that is not going away anytime soon is highlighter. When you are over the age of 35 like me, some of the shimmery creams and powders on the market aren't ideal for mature skin. That doesn't mean we have to sit this trend out!!

I have gathered some of my favorite highlighters from my stash along with a few helpful tips to get you started. 

Step #1 Choose the right formula. This will vary depending on your skin type. However most of us with mature skin can benefit from a creamy texture. If your skin is on the oily side, powders will work as long as they aren't filled with chunky glitter. 

Step #2 Placement is key. I know Instagram is filled with highlighted nose tips and blinding stripes of pigment. For those of us walking around in real life, the desired look is a lit from within glow. Apply the product to the high points of the face such as cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and even the temples. 

Step #3 Apply before blush. This is the step that is probably leaving you confused right about now. However it is essential for that lit from within glow. This will prevent that stripe of highlight that seems to be allover the internet. 

How I got the look: After applying my foundation (I used IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Cream), I used a Fenty Beauty #120 Highlight brush to sweep IT Cosmetics Hello Light Creme Illuminator along my cheekbones. I applied a touch to my temples, beneath my brow, and along the bridge of my nose. Start with a tiny amount and add more until you get the desired effect. 

Next, I used an e.l.f. Blush Brush to sweep on Charlotte Tilbury's Colour of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow. I applied it just below the highlighter, blending it up and into the illuminating creme. If you don't own a cream blush, any creamy lipstick will work! Just be sure to use a cream formula rather than matte. 

Finally, I took my Chikuhodo AF-2 brush that I applied my foundation with, and used it to buff out any edges so everything looked seamless. 

Here is the finished look:

If you tend to get oily in certain spots, feel free to powder, but only do so strategically. Avoid areas where you placed your highlighter, or it will erase everything you just did. 

You can apply any eye look or lip color that you want for this look. I kept the rest of the face fresh, just adding a touch of concealer and tinted lip balm. 

Other Tips & Tricks: As with any makeup look, prep is key. Use a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. If desired apply a primer (preferably one with a dewy finish) where needed. Blot off any extra moisture with a tissue before adding foundation. If your end result still looks a little dry, try spritzing on a facial spray. 

Here are some other highlighters I recommend for mature skin:

  • Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter 
  • Tarte Angelic Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush 
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow
  • The Balm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer 
  • Tarte Champagne Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector 
  • Charlotte Tilbury Dreamy Glow Highlighter Illuminating Youth Powder 
  • Alexis Vogel Glow Dust

You can also use an eyeshadow with a satin finish. Opt for something that works best with your skintone. If possible, look at a swatch near a window or in natural light to get the best match. 

What are your favorite highlighters?

*Note: Some of the products in this post may have been gifted to me or sent for consideration by the company. I do not get paid to write reviews. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Top 2019 Makeup Trends - Look 4 (series)

This is the final look in my 2019 Makeup Trend Series. It is the easiest to create, and you likely already have the tools you need in your stash to make it happen.

The Look: Bold lips 

Any color combo works, but a bold orange-red is especially modern. 

What you need:

  • A bold matte red lipstick (I used Urban Decay 714)
  • A fiery, bright coral lipstick (I used Urban Decay EZ)
  • A lip brush (I used one from Real Techniques)

The technique: No lip liner is needed for this look. The key is working in light layers, and blending the two colors together. 

Always begin by prepping your lips with a moisturizing lip balm. Complete the rest of your makeup allowing the balm to soak in to the lips. After the rest of your makeup is done, wipe off any remaining lip balm. 

Now pick up your bold matte red lipstick on your lip brush. Apply the color to the outer part of the lips, correcting any edges so lips look even. 

Using the same brush, pick up your bright coral & apply it to the center of your lips. 

Blend the two colors together so they meld into one color. Blot with a tissue. Apply another light layer of each color. Blot again. 

Tips & Tricks: This doesn't have to look too perfect. The key is an effortless lip that is a bit more bold than you normally would wear. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a huge trend this year.

I normally pair a bold lip with very minimal eye makeup. However this lip look works with pretty much any neutral eyeshadows as well. 

The final look:

I did pair this lip look with quite a bit of eyeshadow, but I kept the colors neutral so that the lips were still the focus.

What do you think about the 4th look in my series?

*All products in this post were purchased by me. I do not do sponsored posts. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Top 2019 Makeup Trends - Look 3 (series)

I am feeling so inspired these days! With so many fun makeup trends to try this year, I have been doing a lot of playing with colors & textures. 

For my third look in this series, I decided to focus on glossy skin.

If you are over the age of 35, like I am, this trend may sound intimidating. Don't worry! I can show you how to make this trend more wearable, no matter what your age is.

The Look: Glossy cheekbones & shimmery eyelids

What you need:

  • Moisturizer 
  • Facial spray 
  • Liquid highlighter 
  • Cream blush or creamy lipstick 
  • Bronzer
  • Powder highlighter or shimmery eyeshadow 
  • Cream to powder eyeshadow with lots of shimmer 

The technique: Skin prep is essential for this look. The goal is hydrated, glossy cheekbones, NOT greasy. Start with a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type. I used Mario Badescu Buttermilk Moisturizer

From the same brand, I then sprayed on a light mist of Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Now you are ready for foundation. Use whatever brand you normally would use, as long as it has a satin or luminous finish. Do not use anything matte. A tinted moisturizer or BB cream will work as well. 

Apply your usual concealer where needed. Set with loose setting powder, only under the eyes, and areas where you really need it. Use the smallest amount of powder you can. 

Optional: If you normally contour, do so now. I recommend a cream product such as Fenty Beauty Match Stix. I used the color Amber, blending it upward on to my cheeks using a Crown Pro C504 brush. 

Now let's get glossy! For highlighter,  I opted for Wet n Wild's Megaglow Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye. This is an inexpensive product that comes in a few colors and looks great on pretty much everyone. Gently tap on a few dots to the high points of your cheekbones, and just below or above the brow. Pat the product in with a damp beauty sponge, or your fingers. I used my trusty E.L.F. Total Face Sponge, a other inexpensive gem. This is the main base for our glossy cheekbones,  so apply as much, or as little as you are comfortable with. 

To keep the gloss going, use a cream blush. I chose Charlotte Tilbury Colour of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow. Cream blushes are becoming more difficult to find these days. If you don't have one, don't fret. Simply grab a creamy lipstick and use that as cream blush instead! You can tap and blend the color in with your fingers, or use a brush. I used the Sephora Airbrush Precision Foundation Brush

For an allover glow that complements the look, I used Milani Bronzer XL All Over Glow.  This bronzer has two sides; one matte, and one satin. I applied the matte side anywhere the sun would naturally hit my face. The satin side was lightly dusted up along my cheekbones and temple to enhance the glossy effect.

To keep those cheekbones popping all day long, I grabbed my E.L.F. Baked Blush in Pinktastic. While technically this product is labeled as a blush, it works more like a powder highlighter on me. The trick to getting that extra shine, is to spray your brush with facial spray, dip into the blush/highlighter and gently tap the product on your cheekbones. I used the Morphe x Jeffree Star JS3 brush for this step. To keep things looking smooth, grab your damp Total Face Sponge and pat along the edges of where you just applied the blush/highlighter to blend. 

Shimmery Eyelids: No brand does shimmery eyeshadow quite like Colourpop. Using my Kelley Quan #12 brush, I patted on Colourpop's Super Shock Shadow in XO. Use any flat synthetic eye brush that you have and fully coat one side of the brush with this shimmery shadow. No eye primer is needed, and trust me this stuff lasts all day without creasing. XO is a light shimmering gold that is appropriate for day or nighttime wear. 

For lips, you can really wear whatever you like. Try the lipstick that you used as a cream blush or opt for a sheer glossy formula like I did. I chose E.L.F. Luscious Liquid Lipstick to keep with the glossy theme.  

As always, use whatever products you have in your stash that are of similar texture. 

Here are some other options I recommend:

  • NYX cream blush (I don't know if they still make these, but if you still have some these are perfect)
  • Stila Dual Lip & Cheek Cream (these come in a variety of colors and are favorites among makeup artists)
  • IT Cosmetics Hello Light Cream Illuminator is a great option if you prefer cream to a liquid highlighter. 
  • NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator is another favorite liquid highlighter of mine. This stuff is affordable, long lasting, and blends out beautifully. 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is a higher end liquid highlighter, but is very popular for a reason. This gives a very natural, lit from within glow. 
  • IT Cosmetics Vitality Flush Color Stain Stick is a very dewy blush that adds color and a glow all in one convenient twist up stick. 
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics Supreme Frost is a gel/powder hybrid type highlighter. This is not for someone who wants a subtle look. If you want your cheekbones to look glossy from outer space, this one is a good pick. It really gives that wet, glossy look to the skin. 

Tips & Tricks: Remember, anything you highlight is going to look like it is being brought forward. Highlighting products can emphasize texture and fine lines, so it is important to consider exactly where you want the glow to be. Add shine strategically, such as on the inner corner of the eye, just below the arch of the brow, or the bridge of the nose. Use highlighter sparingly. Glossy not greasy is our mantra. When in doubt, blend it out. Grab your beauty sponge, wet it with some of your facial spray and pat over any areas you want to remove excess product, or ensure a more even blend.

The final look:

To keep the focus on my cheekbones and eyelids, I kept the rest of my makeup very minimal. I simply brushed brows in place with a clear brow gel, and applied a few coats of mascara to curled lashes. 

You can make this look as glossy or shimmery as you would like. My look is more toned down, making it office appropriate and making sure I didn't highlight any fine lines. 

What do you think of look number three? Show me your 2019 makeup trends on Twitter @MakeupMatters1

*Some products in this post may have been sent for consideration by the company. This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own. I am a Crown Brush affiliate, but did not get asked to use their brush in this post, nor did I get paid for mentioning the brand. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Top 2019 Makeup Trends - Look 2 (series)

Welcome to part two of my 2019 Makeup Trends series. Today's look incorporates two of this year's trends; a lighter looking contour, and glossy lips.

To get started, here is what you will need:

  1. A matte bronzer
  2. Large tapered powder brush 
  3. Lipstick (I used Urban Decay 1993)
  4. Lip liner (I used Urban Decay 1993)
  5. Lip gloss (I used NYX Sweet Heart) 
  6. Lip brush

The Trend: Last year contouring and highlighting were pretty extreme. While this can look lovely in photos, it doesn't always look as good in real life. Don't worry, contour isn't going away, it is simply getting a makeover. This year, contour is applied more softly and blended. It is also taken a bit higher up, almost in place of blush. Therefore you will want to use a warmer contour color than usual. Matte bronzer works perfectly for this look. Swap out your precision contour brush for something larger and softer. 

Glossy lips are back! The glosses of 2019, are not sticky, but rather give lips a soft hydrating appearance. 

How to get the look: This look pairs well with any eye look, so apply the rest of your makeup in the way you normally would. Start by prepping lips with a hydrating lip balm and let that sink in while you apply your base. 

After your base, brows, and eyes are done, wipe off any excess lip balm with a tissue. Apply your lipstick of choice with a lip brush. Blot with a tissue. Take your lip liner (chose one that matches your lipstick) and use it to correct the shape of your lips. If your lips are perfectly even already, simply outline them. This will prevent your lip color from bleeding. Blot again, to remove any excess.

Apply a thin layer of lip gloss with your lip brush. I put some of the gloss on a palette before picking it up with a lip brush. Start at the center of your pout, brushing the gloss outward toward the corners of your lips. You want to apply your lip color before contour to make sure you don't over apply the bronzer. Depending on your lip color, it may brighten the face a bit, requiring less bronzing. 

Tips & Tricks: I have been loving Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara. However the fat mascara brush makes it hard to reach those lower lashes. In a previous post, I mentioned using a mini fan brush. Lately, I have been using a spoolie that can simply be washed after use. This creates less waste than using a disposable mascara wand, and is even easier to clean than a mini fan brush. 

Contour: For my contour, I used a Wayne Goss 25S brush and Too Faced Milk Chocolate Bronzer. Starting slightly above where I normally place my cheekbone contour, I sweep the powder on, buffing and blending it upward. Pat a bit more on the cheekbones and temples until you get the desired effect. If done properly, you won't need to add a separate blush. 

The Final Look:

Above is the final look. My face still looks contoured, but it has a nice warmth to it. My lips have a healthy shine, without being sticky or tacky. 

What do you think of look number two? 

*All products in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Top 2019 Makeup Trends - Look 1 (series)

If you love trying new trends, then this series is for you! The 2019 makeup trends truly have something for everyone.  Rather than wearing every single trend at once, I decided to create a series of posts teaching you how to make each one wearable. 

Look #1

  1. Chose a single matte eyeshadow in a bright, pastel or even neon color. 
  2. The color you choose doesn't have to be super bright, just pick something slightly brighter than you normally would wear. 
  3. Get out your favorite blending brush.

The Trend: Forget all the usual fuss about transition shades, contour colors and highlight. This trend involves wearing a single color on the lid. How easy is that?

The best part about this trend is that it doesn't have to be neat or perfect. The idea is to blend on a sheer wash of color.

I chose Peach Punch from the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette. It is somewhere between bright and pastel, plus peachy hues bring out the blue in my eyes. Using a Wayne Goss 26S brush, I blended the color along my lid, layering more on until I reached the desired opacity. 

While you really only need one eyeshadow and one brush for this look, some may feel more comfortable with an extra brush handy. If you really want the edges to be extra hazy, grab a clean fluffy brush and blend to get rid of any harsh lines.  The key to wearing a color like this is to make sure your base is even to eliminate any redness in the skin.  

Optional: If you suffer from redness under the eyes, or on the waterline, like I do, you may want to use a nude pencil on your lower inner rim to cancel it out. I also took a mixture of Peach Tea and Peach Tart (light & dark brown) along the lower lash line. You don't want this to look too done, keep it very light and blended so it just looks like a shadow. I applied the color beneath my lower lashes with a Furless Cosmetics PPE2 brush, and blended it with a Wayne Goss 27S brush. 

Finishing Touches: Tightline your upper lashes with a brown pencil (I used Urban Decay Demolition) to make your lashes look thicker. Apply just a single coat of mascara to curled lashes, combining out any clumps with a lash comb. 

Tips & Tricks: To get the color applied more evenly to the inner corner of the eye, you can use a small flat angled brush. Just be sure to blend, keeping the color to just a wash. 

Glossy lips are also very much on trend this year. I chose a sheer peachy gloss from Tarte, brushing a single layer on my lips. 

For blush, I used my current favorite Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous

The Final Look:

I kept brows natural, using just a clear brow gel to brush them in place. Feel free to brush on an even sheerer application of color if it makes you feel more comfortable. The important part of this trend is a matte shadow in a bright, pastel or neon color applied lightly.

For added points, this shadow is peach but leans coral and as you may know from my previous post Living Coral is the 2019 Pantone color of the year.

Make sure you are subscribed so that you don't miss out on the other looks in my 2019 Trend Series. 

*This post is not sponsored. It may or may not include some products sent for consideration. I do not get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Morphe x Jeffree Star Brush Set Guide You Need to Read

Morphe recently launched a collaboration with Jeffree Star. This is not to be confused with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, the brand. This collab is with Morphe and Jeffree Star the person. The set includes four synthetic bristled brushes and three animal hair brushes, housed in a plastic brush bag. All of the brushes and the bag are also available individually. However buying the set offers a significant discount. 

The brushes with pink bristles are synthetic, the ones with white bristles are made of animal hair. The synthetic brushes include; a rounded, tapered powder brush, buffing-style foundation brush,  contour brush, and double sided brow brush with spoolie.  

I am going to discuss the animal hair brushes in this set so that I can offer cruelty-free dupes if you like the shapes. The animal hair brushes include; a blending eyeshadow brush, a tapered eyeshadow crease brush, and a highlighter brush. Separately, Morphe also put out a beauty sponge set as part of this collaboration. 


The synthetic bristled brushes are very soft. This is the first time I ever purchased anything from Morphe. The brush set with bag retails for $49. This is what I consider to be a mid-priced set. That being said, I did not expect these to be very luxurious. I would say the set is priced properly given the quality and Jeffree Star name attached. 

For comparison, the Bdellium Tools 959 Pink Bambu brush is very similar in shape, as is the Coastal Scents BR-C-S28. As expected, given the price points, the Bdellium Tools is of higher quality and ideal for professional use. The Coastal Scents version is more budget friendly, and feels more cheaply made than the Morphe version. 

The contour brush is a small dome shaped brush that can also be used for blending concealer under the eye, or applying setting powder. The shape is comparable to the above E.L.F. and Bdellium Tools brushes.

The bristles on most of these brushes border on top soft. They have a lot of give to them, so I find holding the brush closer to the bristles is needed when picking up cream product, such as the Fenty Match Stix for contouring. 

The brow brush is probably my favorite in the collection. The bristles come to a very fine point allowing for the most natural looking application of brow powder or pomade. I would compare the brush head to my Aveda brow brush, or the IT Cosmetics brush above in terms of shape. 

I do not have a brush in my collection that is shaped the same as the large powder brush in this collection.

The highlight brush, which is made of animal hair, looks nearly identical to my Wet n Wild brush above. I purchased this Wet n Wild brush as part of a  10-piece set on sale for $15 at the end of 2018. As you can see the Morphe brush looks like it comes to a more tapered tip,  but that is only because the Wet n Wild brush has been used extensively. If I were to wash it and keep it in a brush guard, the bristles would appear just as tight. 

The animal hair brushes in. This set feel quite scratchy, and are nowhere near as soft as the synthetics in this collection. 

If you are looking for a cruelty-free dupe for the tapered eyeshadow brush in this collection I have a few good ones. The My Kitco My Tapered Crease brush,  Real Techniques PowderBleu B04 eyeshadow brush, and the Cozzette brush pictured above are all great options. All are superior to the Morphe version.

The eyeshadow blending brush in this collection (also made with animal hair) is $8 when purchased individually. For less money, you could buy the. Bdellium Tools 776 brush, which is much higher quality and nearly identical in shape. Cruelty-free dupes include the Wet n Wild P15, and Real Techniques Bold Metals #203 brush. 

In Action:

The foundation brush did give a nice even appearance to my foundation. However, the bristles are so soft that I had to hold the brush quite close to the bristles when blending. 

The large tapered powder brush is a unique shape & size to my collection. It is very rounded all the way through, and picks up powder products better than anticipated. The brushes are also a bit heavier than I expected. I used this brush to apply setting powder, and powder bronzer to the face and neck.

The double sided brow brush works beautifully to draw on hair like strokes with brow powder, and blend with the spoolie end. I really enjoy this brush and I believe I will get a lot of use out of it.

I used the contour brush with my Fenty Match Stix in Amber. Because the bristles are so soft and flexible, it was difficult to pick up product directly from the stick onto the brush. Once I did manage to get enough product on the bristles, it worked well to apply and blend. I wish this brush was just a tad larger, as it took quite a bit of time to contour certain areas of the face with it. 

The finished look:

Above is the finished look. Due to the size and shape of the brushes included in this set, I found it difficult to do a full face with just these brushes, even when using the synthetic dupes in place of the animal hair brushes. I think the set could have used a pencil brush, and a smaller face brush for blush application. 

Who are these brushes for?

I enjoy watching Jeffree Star videos on YouTube. I find him quite entertaining. Jeffree Star Cosmetics, the brand, puts out the best eyeshadow on the market. If you want some cute pink brushes, and want to support Jeffree Star, these brushes are at a price point that justifies buying them. I like that the synthetic brushes are available individually. The brush bag is a nice shape, and holds a good amount of brushes. 

If you are expecting very high quality makeup brushes, I suggest looking elsewhere. However, at this price point, I do not think these brushes are pretending to be a very high end set. They are not cheaply made garbage either, but are sort of your middle of the road brushes that are more than adequate for personal use.

I hope this guide helps you decide what to do when Morphe restocks. These brushes were purchased at and are available at Morphe retail stores. It is my understanding that they are now sold out online, but there will be a restock at some point.

Note: I only purchased the synthetic brushes from this set and the bag individually. I borrowed the animal hair brushes from a friend in order to show synthetic dupes in case any of my readers are looking for synthetic versions in similar shapes. 

Did you buy any of these brushes? 

What are your thoughts? 

*I do not get paid to write reviews. This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.