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

Off the Grid – On My Radar

There are several products I’ve found lately that I’m really enjoying and I thought I’d share them with you.  I have not seen much in the way of advertising for these items so I’m calling them “off the grid”.  But they are on my radar!

The first is a serum by Elizabeth Arden.  Most of us have heard of the Elizabeth Arden Company.  The Elizabeth Arden Company was essentially started in 1909.  Now, I figure if a company has been around for that long, they must be doing something correct.  I was given a sample of the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules, and promptly purchased some.  This is called a “Daily Youth Restoring Serum”.  I am not going to tell you it will restore your youth Elizabeth-Arden-Ceramide-Capsulebut I will tell you it is lovely on dry skin.  This is a serum that melts easily into the skin.  There is no oily residue and no stickiness, it just leaves the skin soft and ready for the next step.

I do have a love-hate relationship with the packaging.  There are little individual capsules.  These individual capsules make this the prefect product for travel and they keep the integrity of the product but they have a little but more than I would normally use for each application.  Perhaps I don’t use enough when I apply serums, but these capsules have a slight bit more in them than I would normally use.  They also make it difficult for me to apply the serum as I normally do.

When I apply a serum, I put one half on my left hand, apply to the left side of my face and neck and then rub the remaining product into my hand.  I put the other half on my right hand and then apply that to the right side of my face and neck, rubbing the remaining product into my right hand.  These capsules make it difficult to put half on one hand, apply, then put the other half on the other hand because it sort of oozes out while I’m applying the first half.  It’s not a large amount of oozing so I’m dealing with it, but as I said – it’s a love hate relationship.  They do keep the product very nice and air tight and they are lovely for travel, so I’m working around the issues.

I’ve tried a lot of serums and some are sticky, some are oily, and many do not do much at all. This product just leaves my skin nicely hydrated, smooth and ready for any other products (eye creams, moisturizers, brighteners, etc) that I want to apply.  I’ve been using this product for about 6 months now, summer, fall and early winter, and I have to say, I’m very happy with it.

The other product I’ve been using is made by Lancer.  I’ve been using the cleanser, polish and Nourish.  As far as I can tell, the products have been on the market for about five years but I just received a sample about two months ago.

The Lancer Polish can be a bit abrasive but used once a week, it works well to exfoliate the facial  skin.  The cleanserLancer Polish  is gentle and works well with my Clarisonic.  It is slightly creamy and does not leave my skin feeling stripped or dry.  I started using the Nourish (moisturizer) product when the drying winter months hit and I have had no problems with flaking or dry skin.  I apply in the morning and evening.  The Nourish is not greasy and is quickly absorbed into the skin.   I normally need to pull out the very expensive Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream this time of year, but have not had to do that since using the Lancer Nourish.  There is a slight floral fragrance with the moisturizer but this is very slight and dissipates quickly.

With several more winter months on the calendar, I’m happy to have found these skincare products.  What’s on your radar?

To Look Sublime, You Need to Prime!

No matter what type of skin you have, dry, oily, combination, you need to use a primer before applying any type of makeup.  The key is in finding the correct primer to go with your skin and the makeup you’re applying.  Just as you wouldn’t use a drywall primer on a metal surface.  Don’t use an oil-free matte primer on dry skin.

The function of a primer is exactly what it says – to prime.  To prepare the skin for the makeup you’re going to apply.  Whether on your eyelids, face or lips, the primer will smooth out the surface, allowing for a more even application.  Some primers help with redness, discoloration fine lines and will help to minimize pores.  All primers should help to keep your makeup looking fresh longer.  Some primers have SPF in them, some are tinted.  Most have ingredients which are beneficial to the skin.

My skin runs on the dry side.  I prefer a facial primer that has some silicone in it.  An added plus is nars primerone with SPF.  Right now, my favorite primers for the face are: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, NARS Light Optimizing Broad Spectrum, and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 .  Of these three, the NARS is the thickest and seems to provide the best coverage for a dewy look and I feel it is best suited for the colder weather. The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer has silicone in it which provides a lovely surface for any foundation I choose on that day.  I am fortunate that shourglass primerilicone does not give me a problem, many cannot tolerate silicone in their cosmetic products.  This primer is oil-
free but not mattifying.   The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is my go-to every day primer.  This primer is good for normal and combination skin.  It is lightweight, making it good for the warmer weather.  This is one of the primers that has ingredients which alaura mercier primerre beneficial to the skin.  Some of the ingredients are vitamins A, C and E, which act as antioxidants that protect the skin from harmful, aging effects of the environment.

Korres makes a nice mattifying primer called Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer (go figure).   I have not personally used this primer but from what I understand, this is a good oil controlling primer.  The important part of applicatioKorres Pomegranate Mattifying Primern is to pat, not rub.  This is a water-based, pore minimizing primer.  Lorac also makes a good pore minimizing mattifying primer called LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer (I’m seeing a patttern here).  This primer has salicylic acid and antioxidants of vitamins A, C and E which are all beneficial to the skin.  Both of these primers will help to extend the freshness of y our makeup and will protect your skin from the ingredients in your foundation.   This is what primers do.

The same principles apply to eyelid and lip primers.  The biggest difference between the eyelid, lip and facial primers is the oil control part.  Eyelid primers are all for the same type of skin, the differences run in the tint, thickness and slickness of the primer.  NARS makes an excellent eye primer but there is no tint to it.  My personal complaint with the NARS eye primer is the nars eye primerpackaging.  It is impossible to get all of the product out of the container – more on how to get everything out of containers in a future blog.  I digress.  My current favorite eye primer is the bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow  Yes, the name says eyeshadow but it is very useful as an eyelid primer.  In fact, if you go to the bareMinerals website, you’ll find this product under eyelid primer.  What I like about this product is the various shades it comes in and the opacity of the tint.  If your eyelids have darkened, this product can lighten them up.  If you’re going for a dark smokey eye look, get this in a darker bare minerals eye primershade (Divine Wine) and you’ll have an easier time of getting the darker shadows to look blended.

I have to say I am not very experienced with lip primers.  I’ve used one by YSL but found it to be a bit on the useless side for me because I drink a lot of water – all day long.  I prefer to just reapply lipstick, lip gloss or the lip product of the day as needed.  I did use the lip primer for special events whenever I wanted my lip color to last longer and I knew I would not be smudging it up with a glass of water all day.   I do use lip balms and lip conditioners but these are not primers.

One other primer I use on a daily basis is an eyelash primer.  I use the primer by IT Cosmetics.  I will touch more on this subject in a blog I have planned for the future about mascaras.  I will be getting primed for that!

What are your favorite primers?