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. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

5 Ideas To Stop Your Lipstick From Bleeding

As I have gotten older, I have had to be extra careful about my lipstick bleeding out beyond my lip line.  Many will prefer matte liquid lipstick because it tends to dry and stay put better than a traditional lipstick. However if you enjoy using a regular good old fashioned lipstick, I have got some helpful ideas for you!

Today's lipstick formulas tend to be a bit more emollient and hydrating. This feels nice on the lips, but if you aren't careful it may bleed off of your lips and move into the fine lines around your mouth. 

While there are many methods for keeping your color in place, I have narrowed the list down to my tried and true steps that really make a difference. 

Here are my five favorite tips:

1. Prime your lips - Use a lip primer, or a very small amount of eye primer to coat your lips before adding any color. Apply the primer to clean, dry lips. This will really help lock in your lip color. I highly recommend this step for bridal makeup, or anytime you want your lipstick to really last for a long time.  Too Faced Lip Insurance is a longtime favorite of mine. The packaging has changed a bit from my photo above, but the formula still works wonders. If you don't want to spend extra money on a separate primer for the lips, a dab of your eye primer will do.  

2. Use a lip liner - Apply around the lips first, then fill in lips completely using feathery strokes.  Milani is the best drugstore option, while I tend to favor Urban Decay for a higher end choice.  Whichever brand you use, make sure your pencil is sharpened to a nice point. MyKitco makes the best sharpener, hands down. It is very affordable and available for purchase on  Some brands make a clear lip liner that is more waxy and acts as an extra barrier against lipstick bleeding.  Too Faced used to make one called Borderline, but I no longer see it on their site. Urban Decay made a similar product called Ozone. 

3. Use a lip brush - This will prevent you from applying too much product, and help get the lip color exactly where you need it.  There are so many good brands and styles of lip brushes available. If you don't have one, any small, flat narrow brush will do. Above, I have pictured a few of my favorites from Furless Cosmetics, Scott Barnes and Cozzette

4. Powder - This can be done around the lips and/or over the lips using a tissue as a barrier.  To powder around the lips, use a small flat brush and press some translucent powder around the edges of the lip line. You don't want anything super emollient or greasy up against your lip liner or lipstick. For example unpowered creamy concealer around your lips will increase your chances of a messy looking mouth. I used a small smudger brush (E20 from Sigma) intended for use under the lower eyelashes. The density of the brush picks up powder nicely and the broad shape helps me press the powder along the lip line without taking too much time. Allow the powder to sit for a bit and "bake" the way many do with under eye concealer and loose powder. While the powder is working its magic, you can work on other parts of your makeup, check email, or spot clean a brush or two.  Letting the powder sit for a few minutes makes such a big difference, so be sure not to skip this step, before gently sweeping away the excess with a fluffier brush. I used the Spectrum Brushes D05 to sweep the extra loose powder away, but any small brush with bristles that are not too dense will work.

Wearing powder over lipstick is a more commonly used trick. Simply pull apart a tissue so that you only have one very fine layer. Next, using a dry makeup sponge (I used the Beauty Blender Mini) pick up some loose face powder. Place the thin tissue over your lips, and gently pat on the powder. The tissue will allow the perfect amount of powder to adhere to your lipstick.  Apply another thin layer of lipstick, using your lip brush, before moving to step five below. Note: If you want extra help with making your lipstick stay put, you can follow up with the brush technique around your lips too, which helps create a very subtle highlighting effect around the lips. 

5. Blot - If you only use some of these tips, that is OK. Your lipstick can still look lovely as long as you apply in thin layers and remember to blot off any excess. Blotting helps press the color into the skin of your lips and removes extra product that leads to it migrating onto the surrounding skin. After blotting, try applying a tiny amount (from a good distance) of setting spray over your lipstick. I generally use a thin piece of tissue in between the lipstick and setting spray as a barrier to make sure too much is not applied. This is the same technique used in step four, but with a setting spray instead of powder.  This technique can be tricky because of the alcohol in setting sprays. It is crucial to hold the nozzle far enough away so that only a light mist is applied. You do not want little bits of tissue stuck to your lipstick, or the alcohol to break down your lipstick.

You can use all of the ideas above, or just a few. All will help with preventing your lipstick from bleeding, and combined they provide extra assurance. 

Here is the finished lip look:

I used Milani Lip Liner in the color Nude & Lipstick from the same brand in the color Teddy Bare . The lipstick was applied with a Scott Barnes #60 brush (this brush is a great multitasker - I use it on eyes, lips & face). I powered around the lips with a Sigma E20 brush, dusting the powder away with a D05 brush from Spectrum Brushes. 

*I really hope that you find these tips helpful. Please let me know which one is your favorite. Don't forget to show me your looks on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. 

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Need Brushes? Buy These!

If I were starting my makeup brush collection over from scratch, the first thing I would want is a good set of eye brushes. When I started this blog, finding high quality brushes with synthetic bristles in the perfect shapes and sizes was not easy. Today, there are so many choices that it can feel overwhelming. 

That is why I am so excited about the 200 Series Eye Set from Units. This brand is available on and contains five brushes plus a canvas travel case for only $30. 

Note: In the above photo, I placed a white palette under the bristles so you can see them better. The black bristles tend to blend in against the black case in pictures. 

These brushes are amazing quality. They rival even the most expensive eye brushes in my collection. 

Here is what you get in the set:
  • UNIT 201 Detail Brush: This is a very small brush that works like a pencil brush, but with more give to the bristles. I love it for blending along the lower lash line and outer corner of the eye. 
  • UNIT 202 Flat Shader Brush: This is the perfect size for applying shadow to the eyelid. Because it is smaller than your average flat shader brush, it is easy to get into the inner corner of the lid. The bristles come to a nice taper so it can also be used along the lower lash line. 
  • UNIT 203 Crease Contour Brush: This is a smaller sized blending brush that is great for crease work. 
  • UNIT 204 Large Flat Shader Brush: If you have been following me for a while it will come as no surprise that this brush is my favorite in the set. It is comparable to the brush from the Wayne Goss Synthetic Set, and such a great multitasker. 
  • UNIT 205 Large Crease Contour Brush: While similar to the 203 brush in this set, the 205 is larger and fluffier. I use this throughout my eyeshadow application to blend out any edges.

Here is a look at the set in action:

Why do I love this set so much? The vegan bristles are amazing quality. The handles are matte white cedarwood with an aluminum ferrule. You really can't beat the price. I can't think of any other brushes of this quality available at this price. These are the kind of brushes that even those who prefer animal hair bristles will love. They are sleek, easy to clean and the ideal handle length for personal or professional use. 

Below is an eye look I created yesterday using the Norvina palette from Anastasia. I used only these brushes.

A closer look:

What do you think? 

*The brushes in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. This post is not sponsored. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What To Do With Pigments

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.