Beauty, Makeup

A Woman’s Brush Collection

If you are going to be doing your makeup you will want a good, solid brush collection. I don’t recommend going super cheap, not to say some of them aren’t good, but you want a good set that will last years not months. I love my Mary Kay brush set and have had it since 2009. They have held up very well to all the use I give them and I take good care of them.

Brushes in my collection:

  1. Powder brush
  2. Mineral powder brush
  3. Cheek brush
  4. Liquid foundation brush
  5. Eye definition brush
  6. Eye crease brush
  7. Concealer/cream eye color brush
  8. Eyeliner/eyebrow brush

This may seem like a lot but they each have their distinct uses. The brush I use the most is the eye crease brush. I love it for all eyeshadows because of the size and feel. The liquid brushes are stiffer and built to handle the liquid foundations and creams. The takeaway: Invest in a good, quality set. It will change your life.

To keep your brushes in good condition you need to clean them regularly. This isn’t an everyday thing but regular maintenance is important. You may want to clean your liquid brushes more frequently to prevent contamination. This is particularly true with the concealer/cream eye color brush. This will help your set last even longer.

If you have any questions, suggestions or tips please leave them below. I always love hearing from you!

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Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

Tips on Summer-proofing your makeup

We can all feel the heat and in some cases, humidity, rolling in to kick off the summer. The sun feels great, only not when your makeup begins to melt off your face. You will not only sweat more but your face will produce more oil. Here are some easy tips to help keep your make looking and feeling fresh.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Before applying

Use a oil controlling cleanser and blot before applying.

Try using a clay mask once a week to control oil production.

Use a primer first. They create a barrier between your skin and the foundation. They also help your makeup stay on long. Eye primers are also recommended with eye shadow for the same reason.

Face

Apply foundation sparingly. If you can avoid it don’t apply it at all. If you must apply do so sparingly. Light, sheer color is best. I recommend a tinted moisturizer or a light concealer.

You can use a translucent powder to set your foundation. Powders help absorb extra oil as it’s produced.

After application

Keep a sponge handy to smooth out creases as they appear. Then reset with a light dusting of powder.

Blotting papers are extremely handy and easy to carry around. They are also very inexpensive. If you feel slightly oily use one to stay looking fresh.

Other tips

Skip the heavy lipsticks and use a tinted lip balm or lip gloss.  Going lighter and more subtle on the lips will allow you to play with the bright purples and blues this summer. To get extra staying power you can use a lip primer. Stains are also in this season as they boast staying color. If they are too dry pair them with lip balm.

Use a waterproof or water resistant mascara. They have the staying power and look great for all occasions. To remove them effectively invest in oil free eye make up remover to use before cleansing.

Use these tips to beat the heat and keep looking fantastic. If you have any questions, would like clarification, or have tips of your own please share them. I love hearing from you!

 

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries, Makeup, Skin Care

My Summer Beauty Bag

Since summer is upon us I put together what I will be carrying around in my beauty bag. This may change as I run across more products but for now watch to see my favorites. These will be hard to replace as we all know some oldies are goodies.

Products in my bag:

Silver eye liner: It’s so old I don’t remember the brand but I love using this in the corner of the eye to open it and about half way down my upper eye lash line. These techniques help make the eye appear more open and I love the dewy look with a little bit of mascara.

Marcelle BB Golden Glow cream: I received this product in a Birchbox and I fell in love with it. It is great as a mixer or base with my normal foundation or it can stand alone. It does have some shimmer in it so be careful if you don’t want to shine.

Pixi Shea butter lip balm: I have said this before but I love this product as well. It provides great moisture and a good pop of light color. It is also a Birchbox find.

Mary Kay Love Lash Mascara: This is my all time favorite mascara. It has a flexible wand and provides great volume and length.

Mary Kay cream highlighter: They don’t make this product anymore but I love to use it on high points I want to highlight on my face. My favorite place to put this is on my eye lids for a very natural look.

Mary Kay Poppy Love lip jelly: I just bought this color and it looks intimidating in the package but great on. It is sheer and not too sticky. I’m glad I tried this one.

Mary Kay CC cream with SPF15: This is also another new find. This replaced the tinted moisturizer so I wanted to give it a try. It is a little more robust than a BB cream but still lighter than my regular foundation. I love the pump on the tube and the fact that it has SPF in it. I really try to use face products with some sun protection.

I highly recommend all these products. If you have any products you love for the summer please let me know. I would love to try them!

Beauty

Samples: Do they give an accurate picture?

We all love product samples. It is usually a free or cheap way of testing before buying. One thing I run across is most of the time the sample is not enough to get a clear picture of how the product will really work for you. This is particularly true for facial cleansers, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners. Samples are really beneficial when determining what you don’t like.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Usually, with hair products, I will use it and initially my hair feels great. A week after buying it the product stops working and I wonder why I purchased that. With facial products, your face can react fairly strongly at first but that doesn’t mean the product is bad. It usually takes at least a week to see definable results, especially with a cleanser and you normally don’t get enough in the sample to test for that long.

As a marketing enthusiast I can tell you companies use small amounts for a reason. Smaller amounts tend to give really good results with regard to taste or performance. A famous example is the Pepsi Challenge. It was a blind taste test between Pepsi and Coca Cola and the announced winner was Pepsi. The reason is Pepsi is sweeter and subjects tended to choose it in small portions, however Coke is still the number one soda. This is because Pepsi is sweet and Coke is more drinkable it larger amounts.

There will be some products you try once and know immediately it’s not for you. There could be allergies you were unaware of or you see things you don’t like after one use. Samples can save you a bundle of cash by weeding out the products you may have been thinking about purchasing and pointing you in the direction of ones that work. If you aren’t careful you could spend a lot on trial and error.

There are always giveaways online and you can sign up for samples. This is also a way for companies to get your information to eventually use to market to you. I am a huge fan of my Birchbox subscription because for $10 a month I get a targeted number of larger samples and I don’t have to struggle through the weeds to find them. I get a great mix for a low price.

If you have a favorite way of getting samples please let us know. I love hearing from you!

Beauty, Makeup

Find the right light for your makeup

Have you applied your makeup in your bathroom, thought it looked good but didn’t like what you saw when you looked in a mirror outside? I have and I’m sure many other women have as well. What kind of light is the best for applying makeup? I have come across a few tips to help make your bathroom application friendly.

Bright Sunshiny Day

Light that mimics sunshine is the best as it is the purest light. It is very crisp light and is unforgiving when it comes to makeup application. It also ensures you don’t miss anything. The easiest way to get this light is to buy a crisp, natural light makeup mirror.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Other considerations

You will want to consider the source of the light. If it is overhead or from the back you will get unwanted shadows. It could accentuate wrinkles and other features you want to minimize. You will want light to be directly in front of you to illuminate the front and sides of your face without glare. Makeup and vanity mirrors are designed to provide the best illumination.

When buying bulbs look for ones that say “daylight spectrum” or “natural light.” If you have fluorescent lights you may want to think about replacing them as they are a bit harsh. You will also want to use lower wattage lights as the wattage is not what causes vision problems.

The right makeup for the occasion

Once you have the right light everything else will fall into place. For daytime favor warm colors such as brown and taupe for the eyes and a light colored blush and lipstick. To avoid a heavy texture, refrain from shading and contouring to make your nose smaller or cheeks look thinner. At night the light is more forgiving and you can play with cooler colors like blue, purple, gray and dark reds.

Use caution when using light-reflecting foundations and powders. They have small particles that can irritate sensitive skin or settle in pores, making them look larger. They do brighten your face but they might make you skin look shiny. Use these in specific areas to highlight features, such as the high point of the cheekbones. Try using it at night for the desired effect. Too little makeup is definitely better than too much, particularly in the bright sunlight.

If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them. I love hearing from you!

Back to Basics, Beauty

Get your brows in shape!

We have all seen brows of many shapes and sizes. You may have wondered how do I get my eyebrows to look fuller or put together? I have very thick eyebrows and was in need of shaping tips to keep them in control. If you have thinner eyebrows you will want to get the most out of them so shaping is very important. Here are some tools you will need and great tips on proper shaping.

Tools you will need to get perfectly shaped brows:

  1. white pencil
  2. tweezers
  3. eyebrow pencil
  4. spooley brush
  5. brow powder
  6. angled brush
  7. clear brow gel or wax
Photo Source
Photo Source

Shaping your eyebrows

To find out where your eyebrow should start, take the white pencil and put it against the side of your nose facing straight up. If any hairs are outside the pencil they can be plucked. Use the pencil to mark the line. To find where your eyebrow should end, line the pencil up with the outer corner of your eye. Mark it and pluck any hairs past the line. If your brow tail is too long it can drag your eye down. Look straight ahead and hold the pencil just to the outside of your iris. This is where the arch of your eyebrow should be. It needs to be right on the pencil line, not in front or behind it.

Tweezing and Coloring

Now that you have your shape, begin tweezing. You also want to tweeze the baby hairs above and below your brow to make them look fuller. Don’t raise your eyebrows when tweezing as it distorts the shape. After you are done use the eyebrow pencil with short strokes to add extra volume. Focus more color on the arch and sparse areas. If you don’t know what color to use a good tip is if you have dark brows go a shade lighter and if you have light brows pick a shade darker.

Now, run a spooley brush through your brows to blend the color.If you want fuller brows, use the powder with the angled brush to follow the shape of your brow. This helps further soften and blend the pencil into the hairs. Last, but not least, use the clear gel to add volume and hold your brows in place.

It is important that you don’t go crazy and over-tweeze your eyebrows. One of the worst things you can do is thin them too much. The hair will have to grow back to fix it and sometimes it comes back spotty and weird. Over time it may not grow back at all. If you follow the suggestions above you will be able to get the best look for your brows, full or thin.

Thank you for reading. If you have any suggestions or questions please leave them. I love hearing from you!

 

 

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries

Paint between the lines: A new nail polish tool that can help

I recently received my Julep maven box for May. Inside were a couple of pretty pink nail colors and a new nail polish tool called the the Plie Wand. I couldn’t wait to give it a try and see how it worked. The wand has a long handle that swivels to improve leverage, comfort and usability with either hand. It snaps on to a Julep nail polish cap and comes with it’s own set of applicators for fun designs and use with other nail polish brands.

Plie Wand

The wand comes with 4 pieces: the balanced wand, a striping brush and dotting tool, precision brush and a Plie overcap. To use with any Julep nail color you pull the cap off and replace it with the overcap so the wand can magnetically attach. The precision brush allows for uses with other brands.

Plie Wand

The wand itself is well balanced and easy to control. The wand is approximately 4 inches long but is light in your hand. The part I was really interested in was the swivel capability. I am not the best with my left hand so anything that can help that is welcome in my book. It allows you to get more leverage and have better control because of how it rests in your hand. You want to make sure that the flat part of the brush is always rotated the right way to get a even application.

Plie Wand Swivel
Swiveled Plie Wand

After using it I am very happy with it and it’s ability to help me paint in the lines with my left hand. It is a great set of tools for a reasonable price. It can be found at julep.com for $25. It is currently on back order. You can also find a great demo video to preview the product. I’m putting it on my must have list.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them. I would love to hear from you!