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Archive for the ‘Makeup Tips/How To’ Category

A Quick Makeup Removal Tip

Posted by Karen on April 18, 2007


derma e Jojoba and E Skin Oil – A Versatile Product and Your New Best Friend

I’m right handed, so I hold brushes in my right hand and use the back of my left hand as a palette. I put cream or liquid products like MAC Paint, tinted moisturizer, concealer, etc. on the back of my hand before applying with a makeup sponge or brush. I also use the back of my hand to get rid of excess color. Instead of blowing on a brush to remove excess eyeshadow, blush or powder, I’ll swipe the brush head against the back of my hand.

This leaves me with all sorts of makeup on the back of my hand, which can take a long time to remove with bar soap or liquid hand wash. To get rid of makeup quickly and easily I keep a bottle of derma e Jojoba and E Skin Oil in my medicine cabinet. I drop the smallest drop on the leftover makeup on the back of my hand and then give it a quick rub and voila – it’s all gone. I’ll rinse with water and then just rub the leftover Jojoba oil in for some quick moisture.

Jojoba and E Skin Oil is one my favorite workhorse products because I use it for so many different things. When my hair feels dry, I put a rub a few drops between my palms and then work the oil through the ends to condition it. After a shower, I use it as a body moisturizer. You can also use it as a massage oil as well. It’s $9.50 for a 2 fl oz bottle, and a little bit of the product goes a long way. Derma e products aren’t tested on animals, have no parabens and are 100% vegetarian, too. Yay for your skin, and yay for the bunnies.


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A Quick Money Saving Tip for Beauty on the Cheap – Keep Scissors in Your Bathroom

Posted by Karen on April 13, 2007

As most of you know, I’m a big fan of making my dollar go as far as it can when it comes to beauty, makeup and skin products. One way that I stretch out my dollars is by keeping a pair of scissors in my medicine cabinet. I use it to cut disposable products, like Oil of Olay Daily Facials Express Wet Cleansing Cloths. A box of 30 cleansing cloths is about $5.50, and if you use one cleansing cloth every day that’s $5.50 per month or $66.00 per year. You can make those Olay Cleansing Cloths last even longer by cutting them into two pieces, or sometimes four (which is what I do when I only have to remove tough eye makeup or just need a quick refresher.) If you cut them into half, you can easily make that box last two months, and save $33.00 per year.

I cut or divide stuff in half when I can – I’ve done this with cotton balls (just tear them apart, you don’t need the scissors), makeup remover cloths and benzoyl peroxide pads.

For non-disposable products that aren’t easily “divisible” – like expensive face treatments and creams – I just use less to make them last longer. For example, I’m currently using a pricier product for acne treatment, DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% With Tea Tree Oil, which costs $24.00 for a tube (ouch). But because I only use a pea-sized amount over my entire face, I can stretch out the use of the product for at least 8 months. That’s $3.00 of DDF product usage per month, which my wallet can totally get behind!

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Five Minute Makeup Tutorial And Lazy Day, Gym And Minimal Makeup Essentials

Posted by Karen on March 14, 2007

Lazy Day Makeup Essentials

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you gotta try harder as you get older.

This motto occurred to me after I first got engaged. I was in the bathroom at work one day putting on makeup when I told one of my coworkers – let’s call her Jane. I liked Jane, she was nice and smiled more often than other dour-faced people I encountered on a daily basis. After I told her I just got engaged, she pointed at my makeup stash and said, “Why bother putting on all that stuff? You don’t have to try anymore because already got a man.”

Whoa – now that I was out of the dating game it was time to chop off my locks into a mom haircut, ditch the smoky eye look and pursue a life lycra-infused leisure wear? What she said freaked me out. I know, I know … I don’t have to equate getting hitched and birthing babes with totally giving up on trying to look put-together, but as I get older truth be told I find myself getting lazy. I keep reminding myself to not give up on keeping up the beauty routine because my godmother, who has plenty o’ children and grandchildren to spare, is pushing 70 and she still gets her hair done, puts on makeup and coordinates her accessories with her outfits. And she looks *good*! She is one of my style heroes and I hope to be as rocking as she is when I’m her age.

While my godmother is the antithesis of lazy style, we all know that you can’t always go out wearing a full face of makeup. There’s laundry to wash, drafts to edit and sleep to be had. But when you leave the house to run that quick errand or hit the gym you want to make the effort to still look good, right? So in the spirit of “trying harder” I’ve developed a minimal makeup/lazy day makeup/workout makeup routine.

(And yes, I can admit that I have to put on a little makeup before I work out. If that makes me vain I don’t care – at least I don’t have to stare at my under eye circles when I’m lifting weights or dancing, ugh.)

My routine takes five minutes, less if I decide to skip a step or two at the end. I’ve done this routine in the car, out in the middle of the forest (yes, I wear makeup when I attempt to camp) and at the beach. It’s the bare minimum I need to look put together. Try it on your lazy days, or if you’ve just got to run out to the grocery store and don’t want to go full on foundation, powder, etc.

Step 1: First I apply concealer (I’m currently using Make Up Forever’s Lift Concealer) underneath and in the inner corner of my eyes with MAC’s 252 Large Shader Brush to cover up any dark circles. If I’m in a hurry skip the brush and just use my fingers – I just make sure to wash my hands first or use Purell.

Step 2: I then curl my lashes with MAC’s eyelash curler to open up my eyes. I skip the mascara because it’s something that I just can’t do in a hurry. Plus I don’t want to have to take the time to clean up any mistakes.

Step 3: Next I apply color to my eyebrows to fill them out and give them definition. In the cheat sheet above, I put a picture of MAC’s Brow Shader, but I use MAC Eyeshadow in the color Concrete (a dark brown) with the 266 Brush. I don’t like to fill in my brows with anything darker than brown, otherwise I think it looks to harsh.

Step 4: I then apply cream blush to the apples of my cheeks and blend upwards into the hairline with my fingers. I use Paula Dorf’s Cheek Cream in Cha Cha, a very pretty hot pink that at first looks a little scary in the pan. Once I put it on the color tones down gives the perfect pink flush.

Step 5: Last I blot my forehead, nose and any other oily areas with a piece of Shiseido Blotting Papers.

Voila, I’m done! If I have a little extra time I’ll throw some gloss on, and if I’m feeling ambitious I might replace the Blotting Papers for powder. It all depends on how late I am, ha ha ha!

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Makeup Tips – Get The Glowy Look With MAC Mineralize Satinfinish And Mineralize Skinfinish

Posted by Karen on March 5, 2007

    MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Glowy Look

This weekend I headed over the MAC counter to try the new Mineralize Satinfinish foundation and the artist who worked on me showed me how to use the Mineralize products to get a glowy, J. Lo look. I like having the added dimension of some shimmer in comparison to a flat, matte, look, but I have pretty oily skin so I’m really picky about what shimmer products I use – otherwise, I end up looking like a greasy disco ball if there’s too much glitter. If you like the foundation and the powder consider taking these extra steps because the finished look is really pretty. It gives just enough glow without being too over the top.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on what she did and the products she used:

    1. First she spritzed Fix+ over my entire face.

    2. She then used the 190 Foundation Brush to apply Strobe Cream over my entire face. You don’t have to use the brush to apply this cream – if you don’t have one just use your fingers.

    3. She then mixed Fast Response Eye Cream with Select Moisturecover concealer, and then applied the mixture with the 252 Large Shader Brush. (Although I liked the texture of concealer mixed with eye cream, I didn’t think it gave me enough under eye coverage, so if I were to repeat this look again I’d leave out dilution of the concealer.)

    4. She then pumped some Mineralize Satinfinish SPF 15 Foundation onto a Petri dish. (MAC artists sometimes use Petri dishes because the glass doesn’t transfer bacteria. You can pump the foundation onto the back of your hand, just make sure you either wash them really well or use Purell before putting products like foundation – or any other product – on the back of your hands to avoid transferring bacteria onto your face.) She then used the 190 Foundation Brush to apply Mineralize Satinfinish with a stippling motion onto my face. To stipple, you take the brush (hold it towards the end, like a chopstick) and bounce it gently on your skin and give it the slightest pull. Whatever you do, don’t paint your foundation on in long stripes.

    5. She then grabbed three shades of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder: Medium, Light and Dark. She applied Medium over my entire face with the 182 Buffer Brush. She then applied Light with the 168 Large Contour Brush to highlight underneath my eyes, across the forehead, down the nose, on the chin and then across the tops of my cheeks. With the same brush, she then contoured my cheeks by applying the Dark shade underneath the apples of my cheeks and up into the hairline.

Voila! You’ve got the glowy look! Watch out, J. Lo…

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MAC Tips and Tricks Part 3 – Brows

Posted by Karen on March 5, 2007

Here’s the last of the tips and tricks from my technique binder.

    When tweezing your own eyebrows, it is helpful to map out the hairs to be tweezed by covering them with a light application of concealer or light colored pencil.

    When applying color to the brows, try focusing the application in the arch rather than the inner portion near the nose for a more natural looking brow. A well-balanced eyebrow tends to be more dense in the arch.

    Don’t underestimate the effect of brushing the brows. First brush against the hair growth to separate, then up and back towards the ear to shape.

    For the look of bleached eyebrows, use Brow Set in a shade one or two shades lighter than your own brows. First brush the want against the hair growth to cover the brow then dip the want back into the tube and brush with the growth of hair.

    If using both a brow pencil and brow set, try using a darker pencil and lighter brow set for more dimension.

    Fluid Line in an appropriate shade, like Dipdown with the 208 brush, is great to cover any scars or open areas in the eyebrow.

    A light powder eye shadow color like Shroom, Rice Paper or Arena placed under the arch of the brow highlights and defines the brows.

    After applying a powder or pencil color o the brow, brush through with the 206 brush to soften. Set with an application of clear or tinted Brow Set.

    Clean up any stray brush or pencil strokes with a little concealer and a 194 brush. This helps to sharpen edges needed.

    In a pinch, Tinted Brow Set can be used to touch up the roots of the scalp as well.

    Guys can use tinted brow set in the side burns to make them look thicker.

    Mix clear brow set with any desired shade of MAC Pigment for a streak of color in the hair.

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MAC Tips and Tricks Part 2 – Lashes

Posted by Karen on March 2, 2007

More handy dandy tips from the Barbie Loves MAC Seminar!

    Tips and Tricks – Lashes

    When curling the lashes, squeeze twice: once closer to the lid and the next a little further toward the tip to give a longer lasting, more natural looking curl.

    To thicken the lashes, apply two coats of Prep + Prime Lash. Let dry between coats for maximum effect.

    For maximum deposit of mascara, “wiggle” the brush from root to tip during the application or apply from side-to-side rather than up and out.

    To open and “lift” the eye, apply mascara to the top lashes only.

    For a light coating of mascara, transfer some mascara to a 204 brush and apply.

    To help make the eye appear rounder, focus mascara application on the center lashes both top and bottom.

    To elongate the eye, focus mascara application on the outer corners of the eye. Be sure to get the little lashes that tend to hide in the outer corner.

    To separate the lashes and assist in achieving a soft, “feathery,” appearance, brush through the lashes with the 206 brush while still wet with mascara.

    For the appearance of thicker, richer lashes try a technique called “backing the lashes.” Line the eye from under the top lashes with a 259 brush or 266 brush dipped into Fluid Line.

    Experiment with layering formulas to achieve a desired effect. Try Fiber Rich lash over Zoom Lash for thick, rich lass without the “Spider” effect.

    For quick eye lining, run the tips of a 266 brush along the mascara wand and apply when needed.

    Try color on lashes. Navy blue mascara is great for brightening the eye without looking like major color. Violet mascara adds interest and enhances the appearance of green eyes.

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MAC Tips and Tricks – Brushes

Posted by Karen on March 1, 2007

I’m getting so much mileage from the Barbie Loves MAC Seminar I went to a few weeks ago. I finally rifled through the technique folder they gave us and found some cool “tips and tricks” pages. Here are the best tips from the page for brushes:

    Tips and Tricks – BrushesWhen choosing brushes consider the following:
    Firmer fibers tend to deliver a faster application than softer fibers.
    Softer fibers tend to offer greater control of color application.

    Try applying skincare with brushes for a luxurious experience.
    The 190 brush works well for applying masks and moisturizers.
    The 194 brush words well with eye cream.
    The 180 brush works well to lather shave cream on the face or body.

    When dipping brushes into pressed powder products, like eye shadows, do not “mash” the brush into the pan. This causes breakage of the fibers. It’s better for the brush and more effective to either swipe from side to side or run the brush around in a circle to gather powder.

    Try using two brushes for some of those tricky applications, like smoky eyes. Use one brush to pick up and apply the color and the other brush to blend.

    When applying makeup, try holding the brush further away from the hair bundle, almost like holding chopsticks. This allows for greater control in application. Not to mention, with the hands out of the way, greater visibility!

    Brushes for personal use should be cleaned about once a week. For emollient-based product on the brush use cleanse off oil to emulsify and then brush cleanser to clean and condition.

    If after makeup application you find it necessary to throw your brushes in the bag before cleaning, be sure to store the brushes used for liquid or cream products separately from the ones used for powder products to avoid the cream dirtying other brushes. If using the same bag for both, try wrapping the brushes for cream products in plastic wrap or a tissue before tossing in the bag.

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MAC Face Brush Review – 182 Buffer Brush

Posted by Karen on February 27, 2007


Product: MAC 182 Buffer Brush
Use: For application of loose powder, pressed powder and pigment
Price: $45.00
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

I know, I know – $45 for one stinkin’ brush? For $45 dollars at the MAC counter you can get 3 eye shadows, or 3 Lipglasses or even 15 pencil sharpeners! If you wear powder every day, then consider investing in this brush. Save your pennies, wait until you get a gift card, or even ask a friend who is a MAC artist buy one for you and then pay her/him back, because this brush will become a staple in your collection.

I was lucky enough to get the 182 Buffer Brush as a Christmas gift from my beautiful and talented sister-in-law, who is a MAC makeup artist. The brush has a short, fat handle and a full dome made out of goat hair bristles.

And who knew that goat hair could feel so soft? The 182 bristles feel silky and dense, and when you apply product the brush feels like velvet on your skin. You can use this brush to apply loose powder, pressed powder and pigments, and I’ve found it to be pretty much a fool-proof brush. Even if I mistakenly overload it with powder, as long as I dilute the powder (by either tapping the brush or blowing off the excess) the 182 gives smooth, even application.

I use the 182 Buffer Brush with MAC Select Sheer Loose Powder in NC 30, MAC Couture Sheer Mystery Pressed Powder in Dark and MAC Blot Pressed Powder in Medium Dark.

If I use Select Sheer Loose Powder, I open up the powder jar, tap some powder onto the lid, gently dip the 182 brush into the powder on the lid, and either tap brush handle on the side of the powder jar or blow on the brush to dilute excess powder.

If I use it with Couture Sheer Mystery Pressed Powder or Blot Pressed Powder, I gently swirl the 182 in the compact, and then tap the handle or blow off the excess powder.

I like powder to look light and sheer, so I use a light touch as I apply the powdered 182 brush to my face in a circular, buffing motion.

If it weren’t for the steep price I’d give this brush an A. Plus, if you keep your brushes in a brush roll, you may have to store the 182 in a separate cosmetic case when you travel because of the short handle.

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Mac Eye Makeup Review – Club Eye Shadow

Posted by Karen on February 26, 2007


Product: MAC Club Eye Shadow
Use: Eye shadow and liner
Price: $14.00 for a pan
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

OH boy…I could write odes, sonnets, and volumes upon volumes on the wonders of Club, one of my favorite MAC eye shadows. But I’ll spare ya and get down to business.

Club eye shadow came into my MAC collection as one of the shadows in the Holiday 2006 Smoked Eyes Palette. At first glance it’s kind of dirty looking and scary. It reminded me of oily puddles in the middle of the road on a rainy day – black, gray, green and blue at the same time. I didn’t think I’d be able to wear it at all.

Once I got it on my eyes – wow. Club shows up on my lids as brown with flashes of green and blue. It’s a pretty, multi-dimensional, versatile color.

I wear it toned down during the day by using it in the crease with MAC’s 224 Blending Brush, or on the lid with MAC’s 252 Large Shader Brush. For nights out, I get a sultrier look by wetting the 252 brush and packing the color down on the lid, or using it as a liner with a wet 266 Small Angle Brush.

I pair it often with: MAC’s Ricepaper, Vex, Malt and Soba eye shadows.

Club is a must for any MAC addict who loves the smoky eye look!

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A Makeup Tip from the Barbie Loves MAC Seminar – Choosing the right MAC Concealer

Posted by Karen on February 22, 2007

mac concealer pics

mac concealer chart
One tip I learned from attending a recent Barbie Loves MAC seminar:

When choosing a concealer, pick one with pink tones, even if your skin is yellow or neutral toned. The MAC instructor at the seminar informed my class that 99% of the population should wear a NW color for their undereye concealer. She said that even if you normally wear NC foundation, you should choose a NW concealer because layering yellow-toned concealers over dark circles can create a grayish color.

MAC’s system of labeling is different than most makeup lines. They base their system on the color wheel, so what you may normally think of as cool tones (pinks) and warm tones (yellows) are labeled differently in their foundation, concealer and powder lines.

MAC foundations, concealers and powders with the label “NC” stand for “neutral cool” and are for girls — or boys — with yellow undertones in their skin. Products labeled “NW” are “neutral warm” for those with pink tones.

I have some serious dark circles so I never leave the house without concealer on. I like to rotate between several brands including MAC’s Select Cover-Up concealer. It’s a liquid concealer that comes in a nice tube. Because I have oily skin, I don’t like cream or stick concealers – they feel heavy and tend to just slide off. I mix Select Cover-Up with MAC’s Fast Response Eye Cream before applying it underneath and in the inner corners of my eyes with the 217 Blending Brush. This Friday (my day off, woo hoo!) I’m going to stop by the counter and pick up a NW concealer color. I’ll report afterwards if it makes my dreaded undereye circles less grey.

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