Bling it On!

sparkle eyeIt is almost that most special of days, Valentine’s Day!  Yes, there is a Valentine’s Day, whether we want it or not.  Now, if you and your special Honey Bunny are headed out for a night on the town, this is your chance to just bling it on.  I recently wrote about glitter in my December post, you can read that post here.

This is a wonderful time of year to shine and to enjoy some sparkle. How much sparkle you wear is up to you. Your age is not a factor, it all depends on your comfort level. If sparkle makes you happy, weaglitter eyer it.  If it makes you uncomfortable, leave it in the shop.

The key to wearing sparkle is to keeping it where you want it, not allowing it to migrate to places unknown. I really dislike finding bits and pieces of sparkling matter on my face when I explicitly put it on my eyelids. So, what to do? Apply the sticky stuff, wherever you want the sparkle to stick, and stay. Powder the other areas.

urban decay moondustStart with a sticky eyelid primer, something such as Tarte Clean Slate or MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. Add a sparkle cream shadow such as Bobbi Brown’s Long -wear gel sparkle and then, if you’re very into the glitter, go with Urban Decay’s Moondust shadow. When putting a powder sparkle/glitter shadow onto the lid, be sure to pat it on. Use a brush that will pick up the shadow and lay it where you want. I use MAC’s #239 brush. If there is a lot of sparkle, pack it on, don’t brush it on. For a shimmer cream shadow, try using your finger. Fingers shiseidowarm the shadow up and it will lay easier. I love Shiseido’s Shimmering Cream Eye Color.  This is a beautiful shimmer cream shadow that is very subtle, but when the light catches it, the sparkle is stunning.

If you want to glow and light up a room, use a matte shadow on your lids and then use a glowing highlighter on the tops of the cheeks and over the brow. Use a matte contour and blush, then top it off with a glowing highlighter. Check out Becca’s Shimmering beccaSkin Perfector. This product comes in three different formulas, pressed, poured and liquid. If your skin leans towards the dry, try the liquid, for oily complexions, go for the pressed. All of them are fabulous and will give you a beautiful luminosity. I recommend limiting your sparkle to just this highlighter if it is during the day. For night time adventures, you can amp up the bwadingling and use this on your checks, brows and then go with a little shimmer on the lids.

Finally, for those that are just now wading lightly into the sparkling waters, go with a shimmer lip gloss. You can use your favorite lippie, then top it off with a shimmer lip gloss. Bobbi Brown makes several wonderful chomac studio fixices. You can find them listed on the website under “High Shimmer Lip Gloss” Who knew? Or, you can click HERE. All of these are fabulous for any age and any skin tone.

An easy rule to follow for sparkling makeup is to follow the sun.  If this sun is high (such as noon or early afternoon), go light, as the sun goes down, the makeup can get darker.

When you are finished with your face, use a finish spray such as MAC’s Studio Fix, or Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. Use this before you finish dressing because you need to spray it on your face and it isn’t good to get it on your clothing.stephen stills

No matter where you are headed this Valentine’s Day, who you’re with, or what you’re doing, be comfortable with who you are, and love the one you’re with.




Holiday Sparkle and Shine

sephora holiday

The holiday season is here and the next two weeks are the biggest celebration weeks of the year.  Now is the time to escalate your sparkle and shine (my favorite time of the year).  If you’re like me, you may think you just want to throw some glitter on your face  and that is all you need.  Hmm…well…not quite.  On the other hand, if you’re not careful and youglitter fallout don’t use the right products, you may end up with glitter all over your face, and, more than likely, that’s not the look you’re going for.

The eyelids are the most popholiday glitterular spot for maximum glitter and if you’re not careful, you may end up with a lot of fall-out.  Fall-out is when the pigment of the product you’re applying does not stay where you want it.  Instead, it goes all over your face where you don’t want it.  Glitter is exceptionally prone to fall-out, ending up under your eyes and on your cheeks, not on your eyelids.

The best way I have found to keep the glitter or sparkle where you want it mac painterlyis to make it stick.  You can use a sticky eyelid primer such as MAC’s Pro-Longwear Paint Pot.  I use the color “Painterly” most often, it blends with the color of my lids.  I use a lighter color (“Soft Ochre”) when I want to lighten things up, and a darker color (“Blackground”) when I’m going for a more smoky eye look.  Another cream shadow option is bobbi brown cream shadowBobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow, which comes in large selection of nudes and a rainbow of colors.  You can also use a gel liner for the base but a gel liner is more difficult to blend out and it dries faster.  I find it easier to work with a cream shadow or a eye primer.

If you want to use a primer, try Shadow Insurance by Too Faced (which comes in several shade options) or Nars eyelid primer.  I like both of these because they lay evenly, no clumping, and they do not crease.

One word of caution, when doing any type of smoky eye or a party look, I like to do all of my eye makeup first, this way if I need to clean up anything that may have landed in an area that I did not intend for it to land, I can easily clean it up without disrupting my face makeup. Or, you can dust a translucent powder under your eyes for easy cleanup. e552 brush

After you apply your sticky base, take a flat eye brush (one such as a
MAC’s 247 brush or the E55 brush by Sigma).  Lay your brush down onto the glitter and then lightly pat it onto your eyelid.  Do not brush it on.   You can also use a mixing medium to adhere the glitter.  MAC’s Fix + works well for this, just spray MAC Fix itonto your brush and then lay into the glitter. It is important you do not get glitter in your eye, please be careful and do not get glitter in your eyes!

If you want to have some sparkle on your eyes but not the full on effect of glitter, you can use a shimmery eye shadow or you can use a sparkly eye liner.  TSmashbox-Double-Exposure-Palettehe Smashbox Double Exposure is a lovely sparkly palette. Make Up For Ever (MUFE) makes a nice selection of individual glitter and sparkly eye shadows.

stila glitter eyelinerNYX, Stila and Urban Decay make excellent glitter eye liners.  Of these, I prefer Stila.   By using a shimmer eye shadow and a glitter eye liner, you can get a nice amount of sparkle and shine without feeling like a neon light in a room of darkness. glitter liner

But what if you want a matte eye look, but still want a bit of sparkle?  Go for a shimmery highlighter or a sparkly lip gloss.  Dior came out with a beautiful palette
this holiday, the ‘Couture Creations’ Palette.  Along with the four stunning shadows there is a Diorific Face Powder in #001 Rose d’Or.  This is a very sparkly highlighter.  If you’re applying this, use a fan brush – yes, there is a use fordior palette a fan brush!  I recommend this palette for people with light to medium skin tones.  For a less expensive sparkle on the tops of the cheekbones, over the brows and on the cupid bow, I suggest checking out Burberry’s single eye shadows, several work well as a highlighter.  If you’re in the Walnut Creek, California, Nordstrom, ask for Susie Dragoni, she is an expert when it comes to anything Burberry Cosmetics.

becca goldenIf you’re looking for a highlighter that shimmers and glows, instead of the sparkle, check out Becca.  This company makes several gorgeous highlighters which have shimmer, not sparkle.  The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Golden Opal Pearl” has a cult following. It is that good.

Finally, for just a touch of sparkle, something for a daytime holiday party, look for a sparkly lip gloss.  Bobbi Brown makes my favorite shimmer lip gloss, “Pink Sequin”, bobbi brown shimmer lip gloss“Bellini” and “Pink Tulle” are gorgeous  You can keep the sparkle and shine off the eyes and cheeks, but still have a festive look with a shimmer lip gloss.

Please keep in mind that it is usually best to limit the sparkle to one area on your face.  If you add too much glitter or sparkle, it may clash and cause confusion to your look.

Happy Celebration Time!

Multi Colored Star Confetti

Which Wine will you be Drinking with your Holiday Meal?

We will be enjoying a Bourbon Soaked Spiral Ham with our Christmas dinner.  We have a lovely Spanish Rioja wine set aside to enjoy with this.  The ham will be seasoned with the bourbon and riojaorange juice, cloves, brown sugar and black pepper.  The wine that will accompany this ham needs to be able to stand up to the sweetness of the brown sugar and the brisk flavors of the bourbon.  We will be serving a Spanish Rioja because it has enough tannin for the ham but it also has enough fruit to enhance the flavor of the ham.   One of my favorite Riojas is Bodegas Muga Reserva.   The price for this is about $18.

If you’re serving poultry, you may want to consider a White Bordeaux (see my previous wine blog).  No matter how you cook the bird or what seasonings you have used, a White Bordeaux will hold up but not overpower what you’re serving.  My current favorite White Bordeaux wines are Chateau Sainte-Marie Bordeaux Blanc and Bellevue Bordeaux Blanc.  The price for these are about $20

For those that are enjoying beef with their dinner, I would recommend a fully rounded

mcmanisCabernet.  Be careful of the heavy tannic Cabs, they are better with a grilled steak or something that is heavy on the seasoning.  A fully rounded Cabernet is one that has some complexity to it but not a lot of tobacco or licorice flavors to it.   Various Cabernet wines that run about $12 – $20 per bottle would be; Cannonball, McManis, Sharecropper and Stagecoach.  All of these are from California except Sharecropper which is from the Columbia Valley, Washington.  Depending on where you live, at least one of these should be available.  I call these “friendly Cabs”.  Nice and round, not too acidic, plenty of dark fruits (blackberry, cherries, pomegranate)

One thing about a red wine, if you don’t like it, keep the bottle open for 20 minutes, you will find the characters of the wine will change, some more drastic than others.  I find Icannonballtalian  and Spanish wines to change the most.

If you’re serving a heavily spiced beef or like my mother always did – homemade raviolis, then certainly pick a wine with more gusto and tannins, something that has more cedar and eucalyptus in it.

And for those serving pork or lamb, reach for a Pinot Noir.  My favorite Pinots come from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  I have never been disappointed in a Pinot from this region.  Unfortunately this seems to be a very popular consensus lately and the prices have soared.  So…I’m now trying Pinots from the Central Coastal region of California and have been pleasantly surprised with what I’ve found.  Carmel Road Pinot Noir Arroyo Secco is a good example of a very nice Pinot Noir from the Monterey, California area. This wine should cost around $18.

I keep my Pinot Noir wines chilled.  I pull them about an hour before serving and prefer to serve the wine about 5 or 10 degrees colder than room temperature.  This allows the fruit in the wine to slowly ripen while we are enjoying it.

I found an excellent website for purchasing wine.  It is JJ Buckley Fine Wines.   You can purchase one bottle of wine at a time (or more of course) and you can store your purchase for no charge up to six months.  I gather up a total of 12 bottles then pay $36 in shipping from California to Vermont.  This allows me to purchase wine at a slow pace and only pay $3 per bottle for shipping.  They have a good selection which changes as their inventory changes.  This is where I purchased my white bordeaux.  I’m not sure if they still have these two in stock, but if not, they will be able to direct you to something similar.  Unfortunately some states do not allow wine to be shipped, check with any website for when shipping wine to your location.

There are many other wine varietals that I have not mentioned; Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Merlot and Syrah, to name a few, but for the holiday meals I’ve mentioned above, I believe the Spanish Rioja, White Bordeaux, Cabernet and Pinot Noirs are what I would be serving.

Which wine will you be serving?