Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Most-Feared Beauty Tool

What's so scary about an eyelash curler? A lot, say many girls I've worked with. You may have a foreign object coming at your eye, but I say this makes everything ok. To me, this is a miracle beauty tool and I can't live without it. Even if I don't have time for mascara, I'll still be sure to curl my lashes with my eyelash curler (my eyelash curler of choice happens to be the cult-favorite shu uemura).

Recently I was doing makeup for one of my best friends before a night out on the town. LRS wanted her eyes to be simple and subtle so a simple golden brown palette was definitely in order. When I finished there, I moved on to the lashes. At first, she was nervous (she always gets nervous when I even pull out the eyelash curler). But once I prepped her lashes for mascara with the eyelash curler, we were good to go. I put on her mascara and her lashes were looking great. The final step was to curl the lashes again for extra length.

Tip: Let your lashes dry for a few minutes before you use your eyelash curler again so that your lashes don't stick to the eyelash curler and you don't need to yank it from your eyes.

As I went to curl her lashes, I pinched her a little and her reaction was to jump back because she got very nervous. As soon as I felt her move I let my grip go. I didn't want to hurt her. In the end, all was well. A few lashes were lost, but it was all good. This just goes to show you that you always need to talk to your client and understand them, their needs, and even their fears. Next time, I'll definitely have LRS use the eyelash curler on herself!

See below for some of my Twitter followers and what they had to say about eyelash curlers (I think those scared of it were too intimidated to answer.. only kidding)! And don't forget to follow me on Twitter!!

@CoverFX: I love my eyelash curler b/c my lashes do not have a natural curl and are short!

@ChicRen: LOVE them! With 2 minutes (60 seconds each eye) I'm able to go from "blah" to "cute"...

@amyaubrey: Dont really have feelings either way but we've been together a while and aside from an occasional pinch to my lid it's always been good 2 me

@GinaLaGuardia: I actually used to NOT mind eyelash curlers. I'd even heat it up with the hairdryer first. No wonder I have extensions now. LOL.

@CaitPLUSlin: Survey says: I cannot live without them. Literally. I have about 3 or 4 of them because I never want to be without one.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sharpen Your Eyeliner

Upon working with a bride this weekend, I perfected an eyelining technique. The thing is that I love liquid eyeliner because it is much sharper than an eyelining pencil and really stands out above carefully-curled lashes. But sometimes, it may not look completely uniform - especially on someone who likes to squeeze their eyes together in fear of foreign objects being placed quite close to their eye by a stranger. This is completely understandable; hence I decided to use both the eyelining pencil and the liquid eyeliner.

Use an eyelining pencil with good pigmentation. I love Prescriptives' Softlining Pencil in Jet. As you close one eye and pull out your lid so that it's pretty smooth, run the pencil from the inner corner to the outer corner of your eye in short, little movements. Once you have your straight line, use the liquid eyeliner (I enjoy Maybelline's Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner) to give the line a little more definition. For the liquid liner, I usually start in the middle of the lid so as not to have an excess of product on either end. Be sure to smooth out the line from end to end. And there you have a sharper, more cohesively-lined lid!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Face for Facials

I got a facial yesterday - my second ever - and my esthetician told me that my face was looking much improved from the first time I came to her. I was completely thrilled. I did switch up a few things in my routine since that day and I'm going to tell you about them right now!

1. Cleanser
SEV told me about this absolutely divine cleanser that she couldn't live without. It's Bliss' Steep Clean Deep Pore Cleanser. She went on and on about it so much, I just had to see what the hype was all about. She was definitely right. You put this cleanser on your dry face, which seems extremely strange but seriously does wonders. If you think about it, you really get the strongest possible product this way, as you're not diluting it with water. And, although it feels strange at first -- to have this dry product not gliding along your face with ease -- your face will feel so smooth once you wash off the Steep Clean Deep Pore Cleanser.

Tip: Occasionally (or more often than not), you can use your Clarisonic brush with the cleanser. Just wet the brush head after you apply the product to your dry face…

2. Toner
I didn't use toner until I left my facial last time. Apparently moisturizing is not enough. You need to also tone your skin. This will ensure that you use less moisturizer than you would need. I bought one of the toners at the salon and have been using it pretty religiously (we all have our off days) each time I wash my face. I have noticed a difference.

Tip: There are some toners that are spray-on so you don't need to go through the annoyance of using a cotton ball each time. If you have the cotton-ball-necessary toner, then you can put some in a spray bottle and use it that way -- saves a little time if you're in a hurry.

3. Moisturizer
Moisturizer is so key. The first time a makeup artist told me that even oily skin needs moisturizer, I was hooked. It really is true. If you don't moisturize, your skin tends to overproduce oil - and then you are left looking like a greaseball. I'm still looking like this anyway, but I can definitely bring down the degree to which I'm oily.

My favorite moisturizer? Prescriptives' All You Need + SPF 15 for Oilier Skin.

4. Mask
I haven't been keeping up with using a mask the way I should be. My esthetician told me yesterday that I should use one at least once a week. This will help cut down on oil and keep me looking nice and fresh. The one I want to try was also recommended by SEV - the Steep Clean Facial Mask by Bliss. Once I try it out I will let you know what I think!

My skin has been looking so much better in the past few months and I really do believe it's due to my routine and the occasional facial. And since I'm not made of money and can't go quite as often as I'd like to get facials these are just some of the things I can do in between to maintain a healthy, glowing face.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Multi-Functional Primer

I've found a new product. And it's a foundation primer that is multi-functional. I think I may be in love (though we do know that sometimes I can fall out of love just as quickly). However, I think this one should be around for some time. It's the Cover FX Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer. Here are its jobs:

Upon using Clearprep for the first time, I felt exactly what they meant when they said matte -- it's nice and light. The product goes on your face extremely smoothly and doesn't feel like those excessive oily products. Hey, I can't afford to be throwing more oil on my face!

Clearprep advertises an anti-acne feature, which we can see on the ingredient list in the form of salicylic acid. I'm not sure if it actually has helped get rid of my problem areas, but it certainly can't hurt, right?

Shine Buffer
I must say, I am one of the oiliest people I know and it grosses me out. I've tried so many products to stop that oil from coming through my pores, but many do not meet my expectations. I definitely saw a difference when I used Clearprep. It didn't solve my problem, but I was blotting a lot less throughout the day and felt that this was in large part due to Clearprep's presence.

I'm definitely an advocate for priming before applying your foundation. It keeps a tighter hold on the product and helps fill in any spaces before you apply your foundation, whether it's liquid or powder. This mattifying primer certainly does a nice job and I like the staying power it has.

Clearprep may not solve all of my problems (ie, I do get oily eventually), but really I'm just so oily -- it would seriously take a miracle. I definitely recommend checking out Cover FX Clearprep FX Matte Foundation Primer.

Available at Sephora, $39.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flawless Skin

Sometimes when you're on-the-go, you need a quick touch-up. But you can't take your entire makeup case with you everywhere, which is why it is always important to have some sort of compact product to get you out of a bind.

I know that as they day wears on, my concealer tends to wear away. We all know I've already proclaimed my deep love and affection for Prescriptives Camouflage Cream so I went ahead and picked up another bestseller - Prescriptives Flawless Skin Total Protection Concealer.

It's perfect for me because it's smaller than a powder compact and has a tiny mirror inside. It's also more of a cream than an actual liquid so I don't feel like I have a lot left over after I'm done applying. Additionally, the silver case helps me find it easier in my giant handbag (did I mention I have a thing for bags and shoes too?!).

And don't think this product is at all inferior to its sister Camouflage. It's just as good at hiding my flaws - after all, it IS called Flawless Skin!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LOOK: Lauren Conrad

It was Lauren's birthday last night on The Hills. Her look was typical of what has been trending since the fall season: simple face and eyes, with a stand-out lip color. Although it seems rather BAM and you may not think you can pull it off, you may be surprised. With just the right products you'll have this look in a matter of minutes - seriously!

I really do believe that this look can be achieved super quickly. When I try to do my eyes up with lots of color, it can take a while to really exaggerate my look. But with this look, all I need to do are my basics and just jump in the car with my lipstick, which I can apply in the mirror anywhere and anytime!

Face (these are basics that I would use no matter what look I'm trying to achieve)
Concealer - Prescriptives Camouflage Cream
Primer - Smashbox Photo Finish
Foundation - Bare Escentuals bareMinerals
Bronzer - NARS in Laguna

I don't think you need blush in this look; you don't want to look like a clown. And if you want to accentuate your cheekbones, try using a little extra bronzer on the apples of your cheeks.

Eyes (the goal here is to look natural)
Primer - Laura Mercier Eye Basics
Eyeshadow - MAC's Ricepaper (it's a neutral base)
Top Liner - Maybelline's Lineworks (liquid liner used to make a winged line will look the sharpest)
Bottom Liner - Prescriptives Softlining Pencil
Mascara - Clinique High Definition Lashes; Sephora Brand Lash Plumper; Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Mascara

Lips (here come the dramatics)
Lipstick - NARS Sephora Flame (semi matte deep red brown)
Lipgloss - Cargo blu_ray High Definition Timestrip Lip Gloss in Laredo (shimmering nude)

Lauren's birthday look is really a simple one that is accentuated by your choice of lip color. Just remember to keep the eyes simple if you're going for dramatic lips; use a neutral gloss on your lips if you're going to accentuate your eyes. It's simple! And hopefully, unlike Lauren, you need not worry about waterproofing in case you cry on your birthday!


Friday, April 3, 2009

CVS or Sephora in a Recession?

Even in a recession, I find myself walking into Sephora and department stores way more often than into a drugstore for my beauty products. Why is this? Well, it's tough to test products when they are closed up and none are on display. Actually, it's impossible. And who wants to spend money on a product that may be a candidate for one-time use?

Beauty products are not really the place where I feel the need to skimp. This is my face after all. This is not to say that there are no good products present in the drugstore. I have come by quite a few that I really have enjoyed and have picked up based on the recommendation of others. Here are some great drugstore products that I've come across through my trials:
  • Maybelline Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
  • Maybelline Cool Effect Eyelining Pencil
  • Cover Girl Professional All-in-One Curved Brush Mascara
  • Rimmel London Extra Super Lash
  • Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser
Now, just because a product costs more money doesn't necessarily mean that it can do the same exact job. For instance, I really do think that the Maybelline Lineworks Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (about $7) does a fabulous job when you compare it to MAC's Liquid Eye Liner ($16.50). Both have a felt tip and are rich in color. I find, however, that MAC's liquid liner is a bit more difficult to get off than Maybelline's and the latter is waterproof! I love MAC's products, but this is a case where I'll take a little trip to my drugstore.

My lesson to you here is to be careful what products you buy. Although it may be tempting to buy something because it's cheaper (especially in this economy), it may not have the effect you expected; but a pricier product doesn't mean that it's better either. Do your research and try to make an informed decision!