Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ondine (Featuring Everyday Minerals "Tide is High" Shadow)

Ondine was a water nymph who gave up her immortality for love, but was eventually betrayed by her faithless husband. In vengeance, she cursed him so that he would cease breathing if he ever fell asleep. The story has no happy end, but the mythological figure has always been one of dark and elemental beauty for me.

This is in no way related to the movie of the same name (although I enjoyed it). The bleak and harsh beauty of the Irish landscape and the haunting atmosphere and music did partly inspire the choice of colors and an eye look that's equal parts dreamy and heavy.

Everyday Minerals Tide is High (Shimmer), and Make Up Store Moss (Microshadow)
Read here for the step-by-step!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lusterleaf Kitten Eye with Double-Lashes

When you wear a pale wash of color over the lids, it is very important to keep your lash line very dark and defined or your eyes could just "disappear".

If you want to keep the drama but aren't that great with lots of color and shading techniques, dramatic lashes are the way to go. You have the option of applying big, thick Showgirl-esque falsies like those below (I'm personally not a fan of that look, but I guess it shades your eyes from the glare during the day), or else stacking two sets of wispier lashes for a full but soft look.

A lot of celebrities wear double-lashes by gluing two strips together so they are extra thick. 
But I'd like to recommend a third option if you have time to spare; Pairing a strip with individual clusters.

Step 1: I applied a golden-green base to the lids. I have an ancient tube of MAC Paint lying around, but I don't think you can get that anymore. Try Moss Scape Paint Pot for a very similar effect.

Step 2: To add some dimension, I applied soft matte brown to the outer half of the socket line.

Step 3: Finish the lid by dusting a glimmering mint-green shadow over the remainder of the lid. I used MAC Lusterleaf, a pale green Lustre shadow. The base helps to minimize fall-out as Lustres are pretty much fine mineral flecks pressed together, and don't adhere as well as the usual powder shadows.

Step 4: As a base for the lash strip, I applied a black liquid liner to the lid and ended in a subtle flick. Then curl your upper lashes well to prep for the next step.

Step 5: Apply a strip of wispy lashes (by that I mean the lash strands are not closely packed together but loose and more natural looking) right above the lash line.

Step 6: Now the interesting part. Pick up individual clusters with a tweezer and dip the top-sides of the knots into lash glue. Let them dry for at least 30 seconds so they get tacky. 
You are going to glue them on from UNDER your lashes, onto your tide lines, at the base of your lash roots. After placing, let set for a few seconds, then gently push upwards to make sure they curve up at the same angle as your real lashes.
**Skip the full strip on the top and just do individual clusters under your lashes for a super-natural look. People won't see the clusters that way, and you won't need to wear liquid liner to hide the knots.

Final Look: Your lash line should be very dark and your lashes full without the eyes looking weighed down by an overly-heavy strip of lashes on the top.

Monday, July 25, 2011

3 Favorite Budget Makeup Shopping Sites (Jul 2011)

This is a quick and dirty run-down of some of the web-stores I tend to get my budget stash from when I'm shopping online. I assess stores based on not just the product range and price, but also the overall service, and the cost of shipping.

1. Beautyjoint

Product range: Makeup, nail color, a little skincare
Makeup brands: NYX, Milani, Jordana, L.A. Girl
  • They have some of the best prices for brands like NYX, Jordana, Milani, etc. The range of brands is not huge, but I don't shop elsewhere for these brands because you can seldom beat the price (unless there's some special sale going on elsewhere).
  • International Shipping by way of USPS is cheaper than most other sellers although I can't vouch for Domestic. I've bought a lot less items on other sites often for about double the freight cost quoted by Beautyjoint.
    I'm also pleased to say they pack your items very well. I've bought so many items from them in the past few months, and I haven't had a single item that was defective or damaged during the shipping. 
  • Not that many brands. But this is a minor issue if it's a company philosophy to stock only the brands they can give good prices for.

2. Nonpareil Boutique

Product range: Makeup, bath, skincare, basic tools, hair and fragrance
Makeup brands: NYX, Milani, Wet n Wild, ELF, L.A. Color Cosmetics
  • They ship Wet n Wild internationally, at good prices. That's good enough for me!
  • Packaging is done very well. I've had nary a chipped shadow from them, which is no mean feat.  
  • Good shade range (I daresay you'll find just about all available shades for the brands they carry)
  • Cheaper than retail.
  • Their NYX and Milani are cheaper than retail but not cheaper than Beautyjoint.
  • The overall site layout and product categorization is a little messy, which is a minus.
  • I would consider their International Shipping cost to be moderate. When you are buying sub-$5 items, a $15-20 shipping charge can kill any savings.
  • I did get one defective Coloricon palette (Petal Pusher) from them, which had a duplicate crease shade. So I ended up with 7 shades instead of 8. But it could have just been Wet n Wild's fault, and I did not want to bother with exchange as it wouldn't have been worth the shipping cost.
3. Coastal Scents:

Products: Makeup, D.I.Y. makeup and bath ingredients and containers, makeup tools, lashes
Brands: private label (Do note a lot of their products are manufactured in China so if you have any objection to that, you might want to take note. Then again, so is NYX and a whole lot of brands today.)

  • The hot pots are a pro in and of themselves. Most of them are very good quality. If you can get them during occasional 30% sales, they are extremely worth the money. 
  • Shipping is fast and International rates are good.
  • Huge range of color products.
  • Really cheap brushes.
  • Great to be able to buy raw ingredients. I have bought silicones, oils, allantoin and zinc oxide from them, aside from makeup and brushes. 
  • Site allows for customer reviews, so you can make a more informed decision.
  • I've had a hot pot arrive shattered previously
  • Their palettes are a little more expensive than ebay sources, but do note that you could get faster shipping if you are in US/EU, and more secure payment as well.
  • Quality of products can vary because they are not made and QC-ed by the same manufacturer. Coastal Scents is a reseller and their products are sourced from a range of manufacturers. So their foundations, concealers, blushes, brushes and lashes are not going to all be a similar quality. This is not a criticism actually. Just manage your expectations, do your research, and be an informed buyer, and you'll be all the happier for it.

Happy shopping!