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.




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?