Monday, February 27, 2012

Inspiration: 2012 Academy Awards & The Artist

As a diehard movie lover, there is no better night of the year than Oscar night. I love the dresses, the makeup, the lame jokes, and most of all, the movies.

I am obsessed with old classic movies so of course I fell hard for the Artist this year. It combined old 1920's Hollywood glamour and black and white film with a beautiful story looking at the film industry from the inside. And of course director Michel Hazanavicius said it was partly inspired by Hitchcock, and there is no director I love better than Hitchcock. The costuming and makeup were spectacular! It definitely deserved the five Oscars it won.

Berenice Bejo was stunning as Peppy Miller in the Artist
Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in the Artist
Click past the jump to see my favorite red carpet looks including Penelope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, and Angelina Jolie! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Holy Grail Alert: Glycerin as a Moisturizer

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been MIA for the past 2 weeks, I've been extremely busy with school and moving. I wanted to finally post about my new Holy Grail (HG), pure Glycerin! In this post I’ll describe what I use it for, how I use it, and the amazing results I’ve had!  

What is it?: Glycerin is almost always the main moisturizing ingredient in moisturizer. It works by absorbing water from the air or the surface of your skin into your skin. By using pure glycerin, you are just bypassing all the other unnecessary ingredients present in Since it is made of only one ingredient, you don't have to worry about oil/parabens/fragrance/etc.

It says dilute with 2 parts water but that would be WAYYY too sticky!
What I use it for: I mainly use it for my face but I'll sometimes also use it for my body, though the application method gets a little messier that way. It also serves as a foundation primer and eyeshadow primer (like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy) because it dries down to a slightly tacky finish which helps my makeup adhere better and last longer. Like Pixie Epoxy, this tackiness helps prevent fallout and makes the glitter and shimmer stay truer when applied.

How I apply it:
1. For my face, I put a drop or two in my palm (one for daytime and two for nighttime) 

One drop
A little more than 2!

2. Then I add about 10 times as much water. I never really measure the water out, I just approximate by filling the cupped area of my palm with water. Using at least a 1:10 ratio of glycerin to water helps prevent the glycerin from drying to too sticky on your face.

3. Then I use the index finger of my other hand to pat the water to mix the glycerin and water together. I gently rub my hands together and pat the glycerin all over my face. Your face will be wet and slightly dripping, which is good because you want the glycerin to absorb all that moisture into your skin. 

4. A few minutes later when the water has dried I take another teaspoon or so of just water (no glycerin) in my hands and pat that all over my face again so that my skin can be extra hydrated. Once the water is absorbed you’ll notice that your skin is nice and plump with moisture.

If I’m using it as a body moisturizer I use the same ratio but just redo these steps enough times to cover the rest of my body.

Other Uses: Many of you may use MAC Fix+ and similar sprays, but glycerin can also be used to make a homemade dupe of Fix+! I don’t really have any interest in using it but I know many people who use glycerin this way. Recipes for this can be found here

Results: I used to use jojoba oil as my facial moisturizer, but that wasn’t quite moisturizing enough for my normal to dry skin. I had dry, flaky patches of skin in my T-zone (so counterintuitive right?) that wouldn’t really go away even when I used Vaseline in those areas. I’ve used glycerin for a month now and never once have I had dry patches since I started! No more foundation clinging to flakes! It literally gives my skin a beautiful glow because my skin is sooo hydrated and healthy!

My skin is extremely smooth and never dry or oily. Glycerin has not clogged my pores or caused me to break out, which only usually happens when I use traditional moisturizers (not single ingredient products like oils or glycerin). It does not irritate my skin at all and because there’s no fragrance or other mysterious ingredients, I have no worries that it is poisoning me or anything. I find that it also serves as a face primer because it helps my foundation, blush, highlighter, and eyeshadow adhere better and be more true to color on my face. 

Overall, I am impressed with how simple, easy, and effective glycerin is. I would definitely recommend you give this a try. Of course your mileage may vary as with all skin products.

Where to buy it: Glycerin is available at every drugstore for around $5 in one of the health care aisles. Make sure you buy 100% pure glycerin USP. It is always totally clear and usually comes in a bottle like this one. It lasts FOREVER because you only need a few drops a day.

 Have you ever tried glycerin? Will you give it a try?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Favorite Pink Lipsticks and Glosses

In honor of valentine's day, here are my favorite pink lip products -- including natural and bright pinks. Yesterday I wore MAC Impassioned, the brightest pink I own, and today I wore NYX Tea Rose a softer pink that is still a step up from MLBB.

The lighting is rather bad in the first set and last set of swatches because it was really cloudy yesterday when I was taking the pictures. I tried to adjust the color to make it as accurate as possible.

NYX Tea Rose, NYX Fig, Revlon Pink in the Afternoon, MAC Sweetie, MAC Hue lipsticks
NYX Tea Rose, NYX Fig, Revlon Pink in the Afternoon, MAC Sweetie, MAC Hue lipsticks
Tea Rose is an opaque rosy pink. Fig is nearly the same as Tea Rose but a bit brighter and slightly more coral. Pink in the Afternoon is one of my favorite pinks, a nice neutral pink great for everyday wear. Sweetie is a pinky plum with silvery shimmer/glitter that gives it a slightly frosty finish. Hue is a sheer milky pale pink.

Now onto the in-your-face brights!! :D

Click past the jump to see bright pinks, lip glosses, and me wearing Impassioned!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quick Taupe Smokey Eye

I needed to do a smokey eye in a hurry so I applied all the eyeshadow in this look with my fingers! I've realized that I am actually better at apply non-matte eyeshadows with my fingers than with a brush. For me, it makes blending so much easier and everything apply much more quickly. Plus no brushes to wash!! (speaking of which... need to wash my brushes asap!)

Here I used my favorite taupes, WnW Nutty and MAC Satin Taupe (which may or may not actually be a taupe?). I kept my skin simple and dewy (thanks to glycerin and some highlighter!) with a natural lip. I haven't layered lipstick and lipgloss in MONTHS and forgot how nice it looks.

My creases were being weird/normal! The one that is usually a semi-monolid creased today which made wearing and applying a darker eye look much easier. Normally, my lids are mismatching which makes darker eyeshadows harder to pull off without looking like a crazy person. My eyes will sometimes crease weirdly to match. No idea why it did that today, might've been the liner I was using?

Click past the jump to see more photos and products I used

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

January Favorites

A week late, but better late than never! January flew by, and because I was so busy I stuck with some basic staples. I tended to wear cool toned eyeshadow, usually a wash and sometimes with a darker brown or taupe in the crease. For blush I pretty much stuck to neutrals or everyday pinks. Lips were usually a rosy MLBB shade, and occasionally a red lipstick.

Can you spy the PAN?! :D
Do you see that teeny tiny eyeshadow that's showing its PAN?!!?! I know right, a totally unprecedented moment for me. This is the one and only eyeshadow I've ever hit pan on, and I think I might be able to finish it by the end of the month. I've had this (as a part of the Rimmel Colour Rush "Smokey Brun" quad, now reformulated in the Glam Eyes formula) for 6 years (!!!). I used it a lot when I first got it because it was the first eyeshadow I ever owned, but after a while I stopped using it because I had so many other shades. Now I've come back to it because this shade is such a beautiful, easy eyeshadow wash that brightens up my eyes.

The other products here are:
  • Tarte Exposed blush -- This is THE perfect neutral pink-brown eyeshadow that literally goes with everything. It is almost impossible to mess up!
  • Rock & Republic Call Me blush -- This and Exposed are my favorite blushes ever, so it's no suprise that during my lazy January I reached for these the most. It's a beautiful, albeit discontinud, pink blush with gold shimmer.
  • Revlon Rich Sable matte eyeshadow -- This is a rich neutral dark matte brown that is perfect for deepening the crease and outer V in natural looks and for lining the lower lashline. It is one of my favorite eyeshadows and pairs well with both cool and warm eyeshadows.
  • MAC Copperplate matte2 eyeshadow -- This is a cool/neutral grey-taupe that is also a great option for emphasizing the crease.
  • Wet n Wild Stoplight Red megalast matte lipstick -- seen in my FOTD here. This is one of my favorite reds -- a blue-based red that is completely matte and wears sooo well. The coolness of it brightens up my skintone.
  • Chanel Mademoiselle rouge coco lipstick -- this was my go-to everyday lipstick in January because it is rosy enough to give my face some color but is natural enough for a my-face-but-better look. Love this shade but the formula can be a bit drying.

My two other favorites this month:
  • Glycerin -- I will probably be doing a separate post about the near-holy grail status of glycerin soon. It is an ingredient in almost all moisturizers. I have started using pure glycerin mixed with water as a SUPER hydrating but lightweight moisturizer. In terms of moisturizing power, you literally can't get better than this.
  • Stella perfume -- This is my everyday perfume. I used up a bottle (UNHEARD OF!!!) in December and repurchased this in January. I normally like orientals but this rose-amber fragrance is so beautiful that I can't resist. My other fragrance favorite recently is Guerlain Shalimar, which is wayyy heavier and deeper.
What were your favorite products in January? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pretty in Pink FOTD

Pinks are neglected in my stash so I decided to wear a totally pink makeup look today using products I have rarely used recently. I also couldn't decide between a more natural pink lipstick and a bright pink lipstick so I'll show you both!

In the first version I used a more natural pink, Revlon Pink in the Afternoon. It is a beautiful warm pink which is slightly brighter in real life.

Click past the jump to see more photos and the other version of this look, with a BRIGHT pink lipstick! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Essential Makeup Brushes

Today I wanted to show you an absolutely essential part of apply makeup -- brushes! Good brushes are essential for applying makeup well (though skill is probably the most important). My makeup brush collection is relatively small compared to other areas of my makeup collection. I just find that once I buy a brush that works I don't really see a need to buy any more of that type of brush.

I tend to stick with drugstore/cheap brushes but that doesn't mean they're lacking in quality. ELF Studio brushes and Target's Studio Tools brushes are some of my favorites. I also own some Ecotools brushes but I find that I like other equivalents better.

Though of course you don't necessarily need these exact brushes but I think these types of brushes are essential for everyday use. 

Eye brushes:
  • MAC 217 ($22.50) -- This is my favorite and most essential makeup brush that is definitely HG (Holy Grail) status. I am a cheapskate when it comes to brushes but this is worth every penny. It is a fluffy medium-sized blending brush that easily blends eyeshadow. It also works well for applying a sheer layer of eyeshadow and creamy concealers. I've used this daily for 2-3 years and it is still nicely shaped and has never shed.
  • ELF Eyeshadow Brush (regular line, $1) -- This was my first eyeshadow brush and 5 years later I still use it daily. It is the perfect size for laying down eyeshadow all over my lid or my browbone, but because it is still slightly fluffy it gently blends the edge of the eyeshadow as well. Over the FIVE years I've been using this it has never shed a hair! I have a second one of this with a black handle that is 2 years old. The newer version has slightly shorter bristles so I like using it for darker colors to have slightly more targeted eyeshadow application.
  • Studio Tools Smudge Brush (Target, ~$2-3) -- This is pretty much a smaller version of the ELF eyeshadow brush. It is the perfect size for applying dark shades into my outer V or my lower lashline. I like using it to smudge my eyeshadow for smoky looks as well. The bristles are the same type as the ELF brush too. Had this for 1-2 years and it hasn't shed.
  • Studio Tools Angled Eyeliner Brush (Target, ~$2-3) -- This is my favorite angled eyeliner brush. It is pretty thing so it applies eyeliner with the perfect precision. Much better than the more popular Ecotools angled liner brush, which tended to splay. 
  • Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner Brush (~$6) -- This bent brush may help some people who have trouble applying gel eyeliner because it allows you to more easily maneuver the brush to suit the shape of your eye. I prefer using an angled brush though.
MAC 217, ELF Eyeshadow (old), ELF Eyeshadow (newer), Studio Tools Smudge, Studio Tools Angled Liner, Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner brush
Click past the jump to see my favorite face brushes!

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