Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quick Glitter Liner: Tips and Tricks

One of the highest-impact ways to wear glitter is as a strip of glitter liner along the lids. It's also relatively simple to do, but can get extremely messy if you're not careful. Here are a few tips to make it a little less painful.
You will need:
  • Glitter glue, or clear mascara
  • A small gel liner brush
  • Q-tips and makeup remover
  • Black liner and mascara

1. Some people like to mix the glitter glue with the glitter before applying. I find that wastes a lot of product because some of it will always dry before you can apply it. I like to use the small brush to apply the glitter glue or clear mascara directly onto the skin area, in a strip like you would apply black liner. (Thin at the inner corners, thick at the outer. Don't worry about being too neat at this point.)

Step 2: Then with the same brush, dip into the glitter of your choice (I'm using a bronze-gold called Leo) and dab and coat gently along the glue you applied earlier. You should go over it with two coats of glitter to make sure there are no gaps or patches of skin showing between the flecks.

Step 3: Glitters, like pale shadows, can obscure your lash line and sometimes fall further than you intend. You want to gently pinch away anything that's on your lash line with your finger tips, and then run a black pencil along the inner rim of your lash line to darken it and add some definition back.
Then check if the glitter has dried, and if it has, you can go ahead and curl your lashes and apply mascara. (You can apply false lashes, but do note that if you apply too much glitter the lash strip could come undone in the middle of the day, as it's sticking to the glitter instead of the skin. I prefer mascara for these looks since big lashes can obscure the shine and sparkle anyway.)

Step 4: Now it's almost GUARANTEED that you'd have a mess in the general eye area, with flecks of glitter everywhere. That's fine if you're going for a glitter-dusted look, but a glitter liner always looks more dramatic and beautiful if the skin around it is quite clean.
Here's where you use a Q-tip dipped in a little non-oily makeup remover (or just plain water) and clean up. This is especially useful if your liner shape is far from neat, because all you need to do is wipe firmly to carve out the shape you want, and then reapply concealer just around the edges to get a super-clean line.

A note on the cleansing:
Glitter can be extremely tricky to get off, especially if it's been coated on so thickly right at the lash line. You're almost always going to get some in your eye, which is why you should be careful to use cosmetic grade glitters. 
  1. Soak a cotton pad in makeup remover and press it down onto your lids. Hold for about 10 seconds before wiping firmly up and out. (Pulling downwards gets glitter into your eye.)
  2. After you remove as much as you can, use foaming wash and running water to get the rest off. Water is the best way to remove most of it.

Glitter used:
Leo is the more sparkly and dramatic glitter, which I used for the demo, but if it's a little beyond your budget or you need to buy glitter in bulk, I suggest's Gold Medallion. (The shade I used was Sahara Sand, purchased a couple of years ago, and it seems the company has replaced or renamed it.)
The color is identical to Leo, though the particle sizes are different.
The one from Coastal Scents is a micro-glitter, which you can use in lotions as well, because it's extremely fine-grained; almost like fairy-dust.
Leo is better for more dramatic statements and nail art, when you want obvious glitter.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas Kiss! Coral Glitter Lip Tutorial

FUN, FUN, FUN and insanely bright! Image taken with flash photography, using MAC Force of Love lipstick and Lime Crime Aries glitter.

I was initially going to do a pure-swatch post for all 13 of the Lime Crime Zodiac Glitters, but figured it might be more fun to actually show you what I’d use each type of glitter shade for.
A note on buying Cosmetic-Grade glitters
Let me first state that these glitters were sent for review. Buying cosmetic grade glitters from makeup brands can be very expensive (upwards of $12-20 for a small jar; MAC being the most affordable comparing weight vs price, and Make Up For Ever the most expensive, with Lime Crime in-between), and they’re not something I recommend for regular use.
I tend to purchase my glitters from glitter distributors and wholesalers like TKBtrading or That said, they don’t always have all the funky shades, and if you are only using a bit each time on special occasions, don’t want to fool around with messy bags, or checking which ones are cosmetic-grade (i.e. fine enough to be eye-safe and non-bleeding in sealants and solvents), then brands like MAC, Lime Crime and Make Up For Ever do offer some nice (but pricey) options in more convenient packaging.
Art and nail supply stores sometimes do have micro-glitters as well, so definitely check there and see if they have more affordable alternatives. Just be careful not to use them in the eye area if they aren’t super fine. For the lips, they might feel less comfortable but they’re fine otherwise.
Quick fun side-note on Astrology and signs:
I’m not big on Astrology, but I remember an Astrologer friend once told me that our personalities aren’t dictated by our birth signs but a “moon” sign. (If I got the name/term wrong, forgive me!) So as an example, while I’m born an Aries, my moon is in Libra, and I actually behave like a Libran. 
Aries Strength Keywords:
- Independent
- Generous
- Optimistic
- Enthusiastic
- Courageous
Aries Weakness Keywords:
- Moody
- Short tempered
- Self-involved
- Impulsive
- Impatient
To read more, visit Zodiac Signs Astrology!
For the Lip Look today the colorful glitter I’m using today is none other than the first of the zodiac sign; Aries! This is a pinky-coral glitter with bright green and gold duochrome flash. Of course, to get the most dramatic effect, I had to pick a neon-pastel coral pink like MAC’s Force of Love. Mac Viva Glam Nicki is very similar but slightly creamier. Both shades will pop in flash photography because of the neon color pigments in them!
Swatch above was created using just glitter and a little petroleum jelly, so I would not change the color in any way with a colored base.
Step 1: First apply a super-bright coral pink. No special prep and no lip liner. 
Step 2: Next using a synthetic concealer brush, I picked up the glitter and gently pressed it over the lip surface. Don’t rub it around because you don’t want the lipstick to end up coating the surface of the glitter particles and turn everything dull. I covered the entire top lip, but kept only to the middle portions of the lower lip for a dimension when the head is turned. 
That’s it!
A note on Aries glitter (or coral glitter in general):
The fastest way to bring out colored glitter is to use a base or shadow that is a similar color to it. But being a translucent coral shade, a neutral or black base (if you wear it on the eyes) would mask the nice coral base-tone and only bring out the green and gold reflections, so it’s a bit of a waste to wear it that way.
Over coral lips though, this type of glitter shade is fantastic, because it won’t change the color of your lipstick OR show up as obvious dark flecks, and the lip color plays up its coral tones beautifully. You’ll get to see both the highlight shades (green and gold), as well as the base color.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rihanna Neutral-Eye Makeup: Tips and Tutorial!

One of the recurring themes in Rihanna's makeup is that of a neutral but defined eye, and strong lips.
She always has groomed brows, defined neutral brown shadow in the crease, subtle contouring and not too much color on the cheeks, paired with a lip that she changes out which way depending on her mood and outfit.
This is a very clean, CLASSIC look that would take you from weekday to weekends, BBQ to club easily.

Here's a quick breakdown!

Rihanna's base is always pretty matte. She isn't a huge fan of shimmery highlighting or a "dewy" finish in most cases. Try an oil-absorbing or mineral powder foundation to minimize the shine, but don't over-apply powder, because you don't want a flat and heavy look.
Her skin is usually still quite luminous looking.

Rihanna seems to skip blush a lot of times, opting for subtle contouring along the cheekbones instead. Always look for a bronzer that is not too red/copper. It should have taupe/grey tones so it can mimic actual shadows on your skin.
Look for a pressed powder 2 shades deeper than your actual shade and use that as a contour instead!

Rihanna's brows are always groomed and filled in with a soft taupe brown. Instead of using an eyeliner pencil which can be too pigmented and strong-looking, I do suggest looking for a waxy, less pigmented brow pencil or even a matte taupe eye shadow instead, since these will give a much softer effect.
Occasionally she throws in a nice warm coral/pink tone just on the peaks of the cheeks, above the contouring. Most of the time, it doesn't look too shimmery. Try Fleur Power from MAC (Pinch o' Peach if you are pale).

Rihanna likes definition. And why not? She's got those gorgeous cat-eyes and definition with liner and contouring emphasizes their shape.
The key thing is her liner. She often rims the inner lid with black, and pulls the liner into a very short and subtle flick at the outer corners, more to emphasize the tilt of her eyes than to look very obvious on its own.
Step 1: Begin with a matte brown for contouring the crease. There is one thing to remember. Rihanna usually doesn't pull the contour all the way to the inner corners. Start at the center and blend outwards.
She also doesn't follow the contour of the socket and pull the shadow downwards. Her artist pulls the brown straight outwards. This is a tip to "lifting" your eye shape and creating a more cat-like look.


Step 2: Liner is key to Rihanna's look. The emphasis for Rihanna is usually the outer half.
There are 3 steps.
  1. Start from the outside in, and draw a straight line from outer corner to the center of the eye. It should be thickest on the outside and disappear to nothing at the center. As a finishing touch, use your nail to scrape the outer corners of the liner outward and up slightly, to make a very short (and very easy) wing.
  2. Line the inner rim of the upper lash line (under your lashes) all the way from inner corners to outer. This emphasizes and defines the eye shape but doesn't weigh down the lid with a lot of black. 
  3. [Optiona] Rihanna likes to line the inner rim of her lower lash line as well, but she doesn't do this 100% of the time. You can skip this if you prefer (and especially if your eyes have a tendency to water). If you have narrower or smaller eyes but want that catty effect, do what I did below and draw the line only halfway. A full line can make small eyes look even narrower.
Step 3: In some shots and looks, Rihanna's lids look like they gleam a little. If you have oilier lids, just leave out this step as your natural oils will create that sheen.
If you need a little extra sparkle, dab a tiny bit of shimmery beige or champagne right in the center of the lids. This creates that nice gleam. 

Step 4: Finish with mascara! You can emphasize that catty look by pulling your mascara wand diagonally up and out at the outer corners and simply concentrating on the outer lashes. If you prefer falsies, then use half-strips at the outer corners. You don't want to make things too dramatic, because you lose that fresh, sexy look Rihanna is channeling.


This is where you go to town. Rihanna has sported tons of colors so don't restrict yourself.
  • For a good deep red, try MAC's Russian Red or Ruby Woo with Auburn lip pencil.
  • For a deep dark shade, Film Noir or Wet n Wild Cherry Bomb are great. (You can also fill in your lip with a kajal or khol pencil and dab a little deep red or plum over for a super-dramatic effect - just make sure it does not contain any lead in the ingredients list!) 
  • That, or go au naturale with a tiny bit of clear gloss or lip balm!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Basic Purple Smoky Eye

This is a look that you can do with any drugstore purple shadow palette as long as it has a dark shade (can be charcoal, black, dark brown, plum, whatever!), a medium purple, and a paler pink or lavender.
I used Wet n Wild ColoriCon in Petal Pusher.
It's a very basic shape and really takes just a few minutes to do. Pair with a light colored gloss or lip balm, and you'll be good to go!
Note that you can use ANY palette you want, but the main color that will "pop" and stand out more is the main lid shade. I chose a cool-toned purple because it tends to look good with most skintones and eye colors.

Step 1: First use a medium-strength purple shade as the main color. This is usually the brightest/strongest color of the 3 that you will use for a typical look.
Run along the lower lash line as well.

Step 2: Smoke out the edges of the eye with a deep shade. I used a rust-brown color from the outer corners inwards, along the hollow of the socket line. Buff until you don't see any obvious lines. I also smoked it out a little right at the outer corners, to elongate the shape a bit.
On the inner corners, just dab on a pale shade. This brightens the entire eye area and keeps the look from being too heavy or dull. If you have close-set eyes, wearing a pale shade on the inside and a dark shade on the outside also helps create the optical illusion of slightly wider-set eyes.

Step 3: I ran a black pencil along the upper lash line. Make it thick if you want the look to be more "evening"-appropriate or sultry. Wear it thin if you want a softer, less-smoky look.

Step 4: Use your finger to SMUDGE out the black pencil you applied earlier. You're not creating a harsh line. Just a very soft smoky gradient from the purple down to the lashes.
Finish with black mascara.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fantasy Isle: Cat Eye with a Splash of Aqua

I was inspired by the recent Top Shop campaign visuals, where this girl was wearing BRIGHT aqua shadow all around the inner corners of her eyes, but since a big sphere of turquoise around your eyes doesn't really work in most real life scenarios, I toned it down a notch, stacked 2 liners along the lower lash line, and added a sultry cat eye flick into the look.
You'll need:
  • Black liner (any black kajal or pencil)
  • Aqua liner (I used Milani Liquif'Eye in Aqua but most brands have a bright turquoise)
  • A bright aqua shadow (I used Coastal Scents Hot Pot in Fantasy Isle; MAC Aquadisiac might work if you are extremely pale)
  • False lashes (or black mascara)
  • Black liquid liner (optional)

Step 1: First line your entire lower lid with the aqua pencil. You don't need to go all over the waterline. Just run it right below your lash line and then up to your upper lid, where you fill in just the inner corners.
Smoke out upper lid a little, so the blue fades into your skin.

Step 2: Use a fine brush to pack the aqua shadow over the lower lash line. This not only sets the blue, but also brightens it and intensifies the color.

Step 3: Switch to a softer blending brush for the upper lid and coat the inner 1/3 of your lids with the aqua shadow. Unlike the lower lash line, you are going to blend the shadow upwards, past the socket line and almost to the brow. 
Make sure there are no harsh edges. The aqua should fade into the rest of your lid.

Step 4: Use kajal or black pencil to line the inner rims of your eyes, inside the base of the lashes. 
Then run it above the upper lash line as well.

Step 5: Flick time! Run a Q-tip gently along the pencil above your upper lashes, and at the end, pull it up gently into a slight flick. If you smudged too much off, you can always go back and apply a little more black pencil JUST at the base of your lashes.
Step 6: Apply your mascara or false lashes. I used  Ardell 120 Demis here for a wispy, longer-at-the-outer-corners cat-eye look.

Step 7: (Optional) The shadow that we applied along the lower lash line earlier would have coated your lower lashes and made them blue and powdery. To get them inky and more visible, you can use mascara, but I find that tends to be clumpy, and if you're not careful, you can deposit globs of black all along your lower lash line from the brush.
I like using a liquid liner, holding it sideways like a mascara brush, and then lightly stroking it downwards to coat my lashes with inky black. Do it just like you apply mascara, moving from top to bottom, and be VERY careful not to touch your skin with the brush or felt tip.

And that's it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winner Announcement: BH Cosmetics 120 Color Palette 5th Edition

"I think I should win because I’m a mother of 2 and I’m just now getting into to makeup; however it is hard to buy great products when every dime you get goes to the little ones. I should win because I’m young, broke, and ready to be sexy."

Well, get ready to be sexy, corettahunter!


Thank you to everyone who took the time to post a response to the contest. I loved reading (and cracking up) at some of the answers. It's just too bad that I could only pick one winner this time round. 
But - no worries!
I'll definitely keep these contests and giveaways going for you guys so there'll be lots more chances. Here's wishing everyone a great time in the last few weeks of 2012; party lots, have fun, stay safe, and stay fab!
Final note to the BH Cosmetics team (especially Irene): thank you for making this possible on short notice; you guys rock.

Monday, December 3, 2012

MAKEUP GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN!!! 3 reasons I should receive the BH Cosmetics 120 Color 5th Edition Palette!

Yes, you know the 5th edition has won out!
It was pretty fun to run a poll so readers could decide exactly which item should be used for a giveaway. (Don't tell me none of you compulsively refreshed the poll page to see the numbers jump.)

There were a couple of moments when the 3rd edition came pretty close, but as of this morning, 3 December 2012, the official winner is this latest version of the mega-palette with an overload of flattering pinks, mauves and lavenders mixed in with plenty of neutrals so you can use it for school, work, and play. 5th Edition! (Cue trumpets, strings and lots of wind-chimes.)
Now, here's how you can look "purty as a flower" for the holiday season.

To win it...
Reply below with:

3 reasons why you think you should receive the BH Cosmetics 120 Color 5th Edition Palette.

Do be sincere, funny, creative, etc. Be yourselves!
I'm checking with the company's rep to see if they would like to do the honors of picking out a winner since they're sponsoring this giveaway, but if they feel otherwise, I'll do the picking on their behalf. 

Contest will close by Friday morning 10am (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, etc). That's about Fri noon 12-1pm if you're in Australia, Fri early-morning 2am London, Thurs night 10pm Eastern US and 8pm Western US, so that should give you the whole working week to think of your answers.


Friday, November 30, 2012

VOTE! Which Palette should we get for the BH Cosmetics Giveaway?

BH Cosmetics has VERY kindly agreed to sponsor an eye shadow palette for a lucky reader of The Makeup Box. (Someone's going to end up with a ton of new shadows for Christmas this year...)
Just to make it more fun, I'm not going to decide for you. I'm letting YOU decide which one it will be!

Go to this link to click your answer quickly! Poll closes in 24 hours. (I'm trying to get a weekend extension, but just in case they're not able to, do go make your choice as soon as possible.)

The options:

120 Color Eyeshadow Palette 1st Edition

120 Color Palette 2nd Edition

120 Color Palette 3rd Edition

120 Color Palette 4th Edition

E. 120 Color Palette 5th Edition (pictured above)
120 Color Palette 5th Edition

F. 15 Color Eyeshadow Pro (pick and build your own set of 15 26mm MAC-sized pans)

Salivating yet? I'm not going to tell you which one I prefer. It's not for me!
Just vote based on what YOU like, and we can kick this contest off ASAP next week.
Contest is open to ALL readers.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Driftwood: Seafoam Green and Rich Bronze Look for Day (88 Warm Palette)

Straightforward does not need to be boring. Here's a look that you can easily wear for day because I matched a soft seafoam green with a rich brown and soft champagne. The green is almost "faded" in tone so it's definitely a bit more fun, but not too loud for work or school.

The first shade is located near the bottom left corner of the 88 Warm palette. (You can get this from both as well as I don't detect any difference in the quality and they're likely to come from the same manufacturers.)

The Neutrals are near the central column. The first is a deeper cocoa bronze right at the bottom, right of the middle. The champagne comes higher up to the left of the center, a little above the maroon shade near the center of the palette. Both of the neutrals are shimmery, so if you prefer mattes, you can always replace the ones I used with similar shades on the palette.

Step 1: Start by buffing the seafoam green onto the inner half of the lids.

Step 2: Now, buff the rich bronze-brown onto the outer half of the lids. (This shade looks quite similar to MAC Bronze shadow, but is slightly lighter.)

Step 3: Now, pack some pale champagne gold onto your brush and then spritz it with a little water, eye drops or Fix+. THEN pat it gently down the center of your lid, going over and building up as needed, until you get a nice gold sheen.

Step 4: For definition, I ran a bronze pencil along the inner corner of the lower lid (Sephora Flashy Liner in Flashy Copper) and a dark navy blue to the outer half of the upper lid. I used a discontinued MAC pencil called Blooz, but as with all pencils, you can use ANY similar shade from any brand you choose. As long as the pencil has good color payoff, the brand doesn't matter.
Then just finish by curling lashes and applying mascara or falsies as needed!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Painted Lady (Retro China Glam Makeup)

Was inspired by a recent campaign by Majolica Majorca to do a retro Chinese glam look featuring pale skin, winged liner, very intense pink cheeks and red-tinted lips. To update the look and keep it modern, an intense reddened pink liner was created using pigments and the lips were kept juicy and sheer with a clear red gloss.
  • Black pencil
  • Red pigment with a touch of pink (try MAC Bright Fuchsia pigment)
  • Mascara
  • A matte, bright, red-pink blush (I used Shu Uemura P Red 14)
  • Sheer red gloss (I used Lipstick Queen Shine Gloss in Red Sinner

Step 1: Begin by applying black liner along the upper lash line, and then gently smudging it out with your finger so it's just a smoky line. This just adds nice dark definition to the base of your lashes when you apply colored liner.

Step 2: I mixed some red pigments with a drop of liner sealant (use eye drops if you can't find any) and then apply it like a liner along the upper lash line from OUTSIDE-INWARDS. This makes sure you deposit the most color and thickness to the outer corners, and the line is fine on the inner corners.

Step 3: Finish the liner by extending the ends out into dramatic wings, following the angle of your lower lid. Then apply black mascara on the upper lashes to finish.

Step 4: For the cheeks, you want to use a soft brush so you don't get streaks. Then pick up some blush and run it very high up on your cheekbones. Then spread/buff upwards right under your eyes, and downwards to the hollows of your cheeks. It should be most intense right along the cheekbones.
Avoid bringing the blush too far inwards toward your nose or it could look really odd.

Step 5: For the lips, keep it simple since the rest of the face is pretty dramatic. Just apply a clear red gloss. Look for one that looks bright red because it will take on a slight pink cast over your lips.

Extra: As a final fun step, I dotted black liner near my lip, and then set it with matte brown shadow so it looks like a real beauty mark.