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.




How to Renew Your Cosmetics for Fall

Fall foliage along Bostwick Road in Shelburne, Vermont.
Fall foliage along Bostwick Road in Shelburne, Vermont.

“Preface:  This blog is not intended to educate on cosmetic expiration.  Many cosmetic items have expiration dates on them.  Depending on how you store and how you use your products, they may or may not expire on the date recommended.” 

With the new Fall Collections coming out, I’m tempted to splurge, purchase and then have fall collectionregret.  Chanel continues to release their seasonal collections earlier and earlier.  Some manufacturers don’t call their new products a seasonal item but a limited edition item such as the Too Faced Stardust by Vegas Nay Palette.  (that palette has been calling my name but I’m holding firm.  Yes, I’m a sucker for cute and innovative packaging)  Some of my purchases do become my favorites but many end up in the bottom of the drawer, stardusttaking up valuable real estate in my makeup area.  Still, the temptations come around with every new collection, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  I’ve been trying to find a way to keep myself from succumbing to purchasing makeup I really do not need.  I think I’m getting better and not purchasing as many new items as I once did.

At the beginning of a new season, the first thing I do is clean out the drawers, cases, boxes, travel bags, containers – anything holding my cosmetics.  Amazon sells thousands of different types and styles of cosmetic cases.  Lancome and Estee Lauder offer cases with many of their “gift with purchase” options. I check my inventory for those items train casethat have gone bad, usually lippies and mascaras.  You can easily determine what has expired by the smell and/or texture.   Mascaras will also become dry causing flaking problems.

After cleaning out the items that have died, I segregate those items which are not color or texture compatible with the upcoming season.  For example, in the Spring, I bring out the pinks, peaches, lavenders, teals and  ocean blues for the eyes, corals, and rose for lips and cheeks.  Summer means bronze, golds, lemon, for the eyes, deeper bronzer and brighter pink for the cheeks, deeper rose for the lips.  Fall finds me hauling out the chocolate browns, taupes, olive greens, burgundy and charcoal for the eyes, lighter bronzers, more plummy colors for the cheeks and lips.  Then Winter, ah, Winter.  Here in colorsNew England where the Winters are cold and gray I try to lighten up the mood with brighter hues of greens and purples on the eyes, very pale cheeks and darker hues on the lips.  The colors you choose will depend on your seasons and weather.  Textures are usually powder for summer, creme for winter.  Spring and Autumn usually have both powder and cremes.  I use MAC palettes and Sephora Z palettesSephora-Z-Palette which allow me to customize the colors and textures as I need them.  Many other cosmetic companies make customizable palettes: Bobbi Brown, Make Up For Ever, Urban Decay to name a few.  I like the Sephora Z Palette because it will hold any brand and any shape.

By rotating my stash, I find items that are almost new and some that are like old friends to me.  I can sooth the savage purchase beast in a way that keeps the buying down and helps me to use up what I have.  I start out trying to keep my colors sorted by season, each season in a different train case, keeping those items that I use on a daily basis in drawers or plastic organizers.   I really do have good intentions to keep summer snoweverything neat and tidy but…well…around here it is Winter one day and Spring the next day.  I change up my eye and face look to blend with my clothing so one day it is dark burgundy the next day is pastel blue!  This means the colors tend to merge and some of the Winter colors and some of the Spring colors end up in my vanity drawers and now they are no longer separated.  Like I said, I have good intentions.  But, I sort and re-sort and by keeping those items which I am not currently using in the dark train cases, away from sunlight and air, they will last longer.

After I go through my items, I take out the  colors that are inspiring me and that I want to add to my current rotation, the others go back into the dark cases.  I am usually able to find something similar to what is being shown for the current season.  I’m not saying these are absolute chanel limitedduplicates for what is on the counter at the shops but very close.  If there is something that is particularly calling to me in the advertised new collections I will make a note and try to find something close or similar.  If I cannot find something in my assortment  then I will make a note and perhaps purchase one or two of these items but that is much better than buying 9 or 10 items!  Essentially this is simply pairing down what I think I need to what I may already own or actually need and I am having a good time sorting my stash while doing this.

So…bring on the seasonal and limited edition cosmetics.  Bring on the beautiful artistically tom-ford-beauty-counterpackaged eye shadow palettes, lipsticks and blushes.  I’m working with my current possessions, enjoying those items that I already have and only taking a slight peak at those counters!

How do you refrain when walking past those little lovelies?