Archive for category Essentials

Quick and Dirty Mascara Trick

Do you have a mascara that’s absolutely perfect except for one thing: it doesn’t give enough volume?  Try this quick tip to beef up those lashes with minimal effort:
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In Between Shades? Go Darker.

Anonymous asks whether to go a shade lighter or darker when matching foundation if you’re an in-between shade.


Well, first of all, solving your problem may be as easy changing where you match your foundation to.  To find out if you’ve been doing it wrong all these years, check out my article on MBB: What’s the Best Place to Match Your Foundation? If you’re lazy and don’t like clicking, here’s the quick synopsis:

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Makeup and Beauty Blog; Nov. 2010-Jan. 2011

Here’s a compilation of all the posts I’ve done on Makeup and Beauty Blog.  While you’re there, check out all of the other great posts by Karen!

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Fading Away

Anonymous is having issues with her eye makeup fading away throughout the day, and has already tried UD’s Primer Potion and NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base to no avail.  So, she asks what tips I have for preventing the dreaded fade.

First off, try the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which I think is the best mainstream eye primer available. Second, try layering your products.  Start with a primer, then a cream product, then a powder.  Pat, rather than swipe, the powder product over the cream to set it.  You can use a cream product in the same shade as the powder shadow, a neutral, more concealer-like shade, or a basic white (which, depending on the opacity of the product used, may either make the shade bolder or a bit more subdued.)  Layering in almost any area of makeup is key to lasting power (think about foundation: first moisturiser, then primer, then concealer, then foundation, then powder.)

If this doesn’t appeal to you, try applying your powder eyeshadow wet with a mixing medium.  I adore Ben Nye LiquiSet.  This stuff makes powder eyeshadows virtually smudge-proof and water resistant, amps up the vibrancy, and is cheap cheap cheap.  The only problem is is that it sets fast.  Like, within seconds.  And once it sets, it absolutely cannot be blended.  So, if you plan on doing a lot of careful blending, or are a slow makeup applier, I’d pass over this.

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Clarisonics and Aeroplanes

Anonymous wondered what the difference between the 3-speed and the Pro Clarisonics is.  She also wanted to know some skincare tips to employ when traveling through the air.

The Clarisonic Pro is the one with 3 Speeds.  The Classic only has 2.

For airplane travel, definitely start out by upping your water intake two to three days before you start traveling. On the plane, skip the soda and make sure to drink at least a glass (or one of those dinky plastic cups they give you that always spills…) of water every hour, at least.

The morning of your departure, take a warm shower, and pat yourself dry rather than rubbing.  This will help your skin remain moist for a bit longer.  If you have time, apply a hydrating mask for five minutes. If not (or afterwards), apply a heavy, rich moisturiser (or preferably, a balm) while your skin is still damp and porous, and let it absorb for a good ten minutes, then blot your face with a tissue.  Apply a silicone primer to lock in the moisture, and if your skin can handle it, apply a sheer cream foundation, which will be much less likely to dry out your skin than other formulations.  Blend a cream blush onto your cheeks, and set lightly with a tiny bit of translucent powder.

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The Stippling Method

Anonymous wanted to know what stippling (a method I often refer to) is.

Stippling  is dotting a product in a tapping motion over an area (as opposed to buffing {essentially rubbing in circular motions} or patting {which is like stippling, but with a flat-sided brush and a slight bit of drag}) with a flat top brush.  All “motion” should be perpendicular to the surface.  Stippling creates a pixeled effect: the fine tips of the brush hairs create minuscule dots of product on the skin, and by stippling over an area, you can cover textured surfaces (scars, burns, etc.) evenly and mimic the skin’s natural appearance, as well as eliminating the chance of brush marks.  Stippling also allows product to be applied over another product without disturbing it.  If this was unclear, stippling is dotting it over the area many multiples of times-not just once or twice-until the product seems to meld into your skin.

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Which Brush is the Right Brush?

Inudela wondered what brushes I like to use for different types of foundations.

  • Liquid: I hate those paddle foundation brushes. Honestly, I get the point of them, and I’ve seen beautiful work done with them, but more often I see streaks and uneven application.  Instead, I prefer a dense stippling/buffing brush, which distributes product evenly and gives a poreless, skin-like application.  Try the Sephora Platinum Professionnel #55 brush for sheer to medium coverage, or the Sigma F80 for a range of coverage (is is seriously my favorite brush ever).
  • Cream: The only brushes I use for cream foundations are the Shu Uemura Natural 18 brush or the Sigma F84 (a slightly cheaper, relatively good dupe, although it is synthetic…).
  • Powder: I never use powder foundations, but for those who feel so inclined, I love the Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush. It applies powder evenly and allows it to be built up in sheer layers for fantastic spot concealing.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Good Matte Highlighter?

Anonymous bemoans the lack of matte face products and wondered if I knew of any good ones.

Finding good matte products is a huge problem, and my guess as to why is that it’s much harder to hide flaws in pigmentation/application if there’s no shimmer to distract from it or blur it out.

  • Blush: Try Milani Minerals Blush (great pigmentation/staying powder, though a not-so-great selection of shades {mostly your basic natural colors}) or Tarte Cheekstains (I know that many of them say “shimmering” in their descriptions, but they moreso look dewy than shimmery, and many don’t actually have shimmer at all {who gets hired to describe these things?}).  MUFE makes some great matte blushes, but for a steep price, and I find that they apply very slightly chalky, but if you want a great range of shades, this is your place to go.
  • Bronzer: My two favorites by far are Smashbox Bronze Lights and MUFE Matte Bronze. Both absorb oil, keeping your face naturally matte, never oxidize, look great on a large range of skintones, can be applied sheerly with ease, and have absolutely not a speck of shimmer. These two are some of my favorite products period in my kit, and I use them on nearly everyone.
  • Highlighters: Finding a matte highlighter is tricky, as highlighters are meant to make light reflect off the high points of your face to bring them out. For a subtle highlight, try COTY Finishing Powder in a shade lighter than your skintone or a product like MAC Sculpting Powder. However, my favorite and most oft-used method for contouring without shimmer is to use a foundation one to two shades lighter on the areas that you would normally highlight. Just make sure to blend well and not extend too far beyond the cheekbones, forehead, chin, etc. (this method is much easier if you use a cream foundation).

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Best of Ben Nye

Anonymous wondered what I would consider my staple products from the Ben Nye product line.

LOVE their powder eyeshadows, especially the Grande Lumiere range (you can check out my video reviews of 12 of them herehere, and here/here.)  The matte ones are fantastic as well, and I think all of them prove formidable competition for MAC shadows, especially considering pricing.  Their cake eyeliners are also amazing (staying power is… stunning), and their loose face powders are some of the best I’ve ever found (they control oil like no other, set makeup beautifully, and the Banana Visage powder is amazing at evening out a ruddy complexion). The “clown makeup” are actually fantastic cream colors, and although the actual color ones may be too intense for daily wear, the white is amazing as an eyeliner, base (think of a MAC Paint Pot), and blending medium.  Finally, if you like glitter and shimmer, make sure to check out their Sparklers (simply the best, most evenly cut, eye-safe glitter I’ve ever come across) and the MagiColor Paints (think of MUFE Aquarelle, but a million times cheaper).  These are my definite must-haves, but in all honesty, every single product I’ve come across in this line beats out the competition, so feel free to explore the rest (and definitely let me know how it is!!)

All Ben Nye products can be bought from International Fun Shop.


My Daily Routine

Rebeccahmoeller wondered what my current daily facial routine is.

  1. Clean my face with my Clarisonic Plus and Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream.
  2. Shave.
  3. Apply Neutrogena Sheer Touch Sunblock-SPF 45; let absorb for ten minutes.
  4. Apply Milk of Magnesia with a cosmetic sponge; let it absorb for five minutes.
  5. Apply Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel as a primer; allow to dry for one minute.
  6. Apply Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin in 150-Buff with my Sigma F80.
  7. Apply Tarte Cheekstain in Blissful with my Studio Tools Duo-Fibre brush.
  8. Allow foundation and blush to set for five minutes.
  9. Blot over entire face with a tissue.
  10. Set face with COTY Translucent Finishing Powder using the Everyday Minerals Flat Top Kabuki.
  11. Apply UD Blush in Sinful with NARS Ita Kabuki Brush.
  12. Apply NARS Albatross Highlighter with NARS Ita Kabuki Brush.
  13. Blend entire face with MUFE HD Kabuki.

That’s it. It may seem like a lot, but if you remove the skincare part and the setting times, the whole routine takes probably five to seven minutes (more towards seven haha).

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