Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tangerine Cocktail: Pink and Coral Spring Eyeshadow (120 Palette 2nd Edition)

Orange and coral is not a shade most people will want to wear on their eyes, but when you pair it with a pastel amd a deeper fuchsia it just looks so tropical, fresh and fun.
I haven't been giving my 120 palette much love recently, so I decided to whip it out since it has so many shade options. You don't have to have a 120 palette or the same one to do this look. You just need a:
  • pale pink
  • bright orange
  • warm coral (red-orange)
  • deep magenta pink

Step 1: Pack the pale pink in the inner third of the lids.

Step 2: Apply a bright range down the center of the lids, and then curve inwards along the socket line to hug the pale pink and define your eye contours.

Step 3: Apply a deeper coral-orange in the outer parts of the lids and then run inwards along the socket line, above the bright orange applied earlier. 

Step 4: Apply a deep magenta pink in the outer corners and sweep up along the outermost arch of the socket line. The magenta will look fuchsia over the bright orange, which is the effect you want. (If you use a fuchsia it will just look coral.)

Step 5: Run the magenta along the outer halves of the lower lash line as well, to tie the colors together.

Step 6: Use a black gel liner and run it along the upper lash line, as long as along the water line, ending it in a slight flick.

Finish with mascara!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cotton Candy and Chocolate: Defined Pastel Makeup Tutorial (using I Nuovi Dusts)

Pastels are all over the place this season. But more of us love pastels than pastels love us, as it's not always the most flattering color-group to wear around the eyes for those with high-color (dark hair, darker skins, etc) and flatter eye contours.
For this eye look, I'm using pastels that are so pale they are almost icy, and the application is actually very straightforward, as it hinges mainly on the chocolate powder liner to bring everything together. 
You just need to arm yourself with eye shadow shades similar to the ones swatched above. It doesn't matter if it comes in loose or pressed form.

  • Pale pink
  • Pale Turquoise
  • Deep chocolate brown

Step 1: The thick winged liner. This is MUCH easier to do with powder shadow than with gel or liquid, and you just need a firm angled brush to stroke from outside in, to gently create the wing. There are many brown shadows around, but pick a shade that is matte or semi-matte, to stand out against the pastels better.

Step 2: Layer  a pale turquoise shadow over the outer half of your lids. Then repeat using the pink on the inner halves, extending down around the inner corners slightly to brighten the eye area.

Step 3: Finish by applying another layer of brown shadow thinly as a liner at the lash line. This gives the brown more depth close to the lashes, while the bit that has pastel blue and pink shadows layered over it has a bit of sheen.
Then finish with black mascara on top and bottom lashes.

On the cheeks, go for a hot pink blush instead of a pastel. This keeps everything edgy instead of being just pastel everywhere. I used Shu Uemura P Red 14 Blush but any intense pink will do.
On the lips, go with a blue-based pink like Great Pink Planet (what I wore here) or Saint Germain (left-most swatches) to go with the shadows!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Apply Black Shadow

Black smoky eyes with just one single shade in the Wet n Wild Coloricon Greed Palette

How do apply black eye shadow? I know this sounds stupid but everytime i apply it, it either creases within 5 min, or applying it gets super messy, and it gets all over my cheeks. any tips? Mabe i'm using the wrong brand?

Essential tools for applying black shadow

It helps to use a good eye shadow brand, but even high end shadows from Urban Decay and MAC would crease and give you a lot of fall-out if you do it wrong. The thing to remember about black shadows is that they are primarily made up of matte pigments. Even the ones with sparkly bits are actually matte shadows with sparkly bits thrown in, and the texture is still that of a matte shadow.

Matte shadows tend to be chalkier, more powdery, and go on less evenly than shimmery/pearlescent shadows, which means they have poorer adherance ("stickiness") to your skin and brush, and you get more fallout and creasing in general. 

Always use:

1. A shadow primer to grab and hold on to your black shadow -
  • If your eye shadow is very pigmented, you can use a skin colored primer like Urban Decay Shadow Insurance (the matte one) or Lime Crime's Eyeshadow Helper
  • If your shadow is chalkier and less intense, then make sure you use a black base. If your lids are oily, use a silicone based cream/gel shadow like MAC Blackground Paint Pot. If your lids are normal or dry, use a black pencil and smudge it out to a thin smoky layer with your finger. (Kajals and kohls are better because they are softer and easier to blend.)
  • If you are applying shadow to your lower lash line, make sure you apply base or pencil there as well.
2. Flat brush to pack on the color with minimal fallout - 
  • Pat on in sections. Don't drag, buff, or sweep back and forth. This is because you are pressing the shadow pigments down into your base so that they stick and don't come off easily. If you use a soft, fluffy brush, you will not get intense color because the powder pigments will be dusting off all over your face (which you don't want).
3. As a last step, go in with a soft fluffy brush to blend the edges of your shadow so you don't have any messy, hard lines. Then you can finish with more liner and mascara.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ultra-Violet: Smoky Iridescent-Purple Shadow Tutorial

I've been into a lot of strong shadows and textures on the eyes lately for some reason, so after doing red glitter, the next thing that caught my fancy was iridescent violet of course. 
This is actually a really simple look using only 2 shadows, and 2 pencils. The shape and texture (pearl-matte) are the key things for bringing out the depth in the shades, as I wanted to do a look that was monochromatic, but still had depth and contouring.

 Step 1: To keep the look a little fresher and lighter, I dusted a pale silvery-pink iridescent powder (MAC Iridescent Loose Powder in Silver Dusk) over the cheekbones and brow bones.

Step 2: With a slightly damp brush, I packed a deep smoky matte purple with subtle gold sparkles (Everyday Minerals Live Austin Live shadow) and swept it in an arc along the socket line, from OUTSIDE-in so the color is thickest and most intense on the outer ends. Then smoky out the top edges so there are no harsh lines.

Step 3: Using a brighter medium-violet (MAC Parfait Amour) with slight purple-pink duochrome effect, I packed it over the lid area under the crease, blending into the deeper purple so there are no gaps or lines. Then run boldly along the lids as well.

Step 4: The key step that subtly intensifies the look. Run a matte purple pencil (Revlon Matte Luxurious Color Kohl Eyeliner in 05 Very Violet) along the water line and beyond. Then run over with a sweep of MAC Parfait Amour to set and intensify it. As the top of the eye is so dramatic, it's ok to go thicker and stronger on the bottom lash line to balance it out.

Finishing touch: Add black pencil to the tightline (Milani Liquif' Eye Pencil in Black- I'm loving this uber-black, long-wearing pencil right now), and then curl lashes and apply black mascara (Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara).

You can pair this with a nude lip for a mysterious club look, or slick on scarlet lip gloss for an updated 80's look!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scarlet Slippers: Red Glitter Winged-Eye Tutorial

Red glitter on lids.

Red on the eyes is always incredibly dramatic, but when you use a red glitter, it becomes surprisingly pretty as well. I am applying two matte shadows from the Lime Crime Chinadoll palette but you can use any reddish and black shadow you have.

For the glitter, the finer cosmetic grade ones are better for the eye area, but if that's not accessible for you and you want to use regular art store glitter, find the finest you can get, and make sure to be careful when removing from the lids. (Wipe upwards, away from your lash line, not down into your eyes.)

See the step-by-step tutorial here

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pale/Baby Pink Lipsticks

MAC Saint Germain lipstick

What are some good pale pink lipsticks?

More people love pale-pink than dare to wear it as a full-on lipstick. Sure it's a bit of a Snooki-esque disaster if you wear it wrong but the right shade can be sweet on the pale, oh-so-cute on the medium-toned, super-sexy on the tanned, and edgy on the darker-skinned.
I didn't get into pale/pastel pink lipsticks until quite recently (2010 to be exact). I never thought I'd ever pull off a pale pink without looking ridiculous, and I'm sure many of you feel that way too.
Well, arm yourself with a good lip primer or concealer, and give it a shot.

L-to-R: Lime Crime Great Pink Planet, MAC Saint Germain, NYX Jupiter, NYX Strawberry Milk, Barry M 100 Baby Pink

Shades I own:
Lime Crime Great Pink Planet: The lipstick that converted me to the world of opaque pastel pinks, and arguably my favorite of the lot. This is one of those lipsticks that is opaque enough to give you that "stick-on" lips effect when you really layer it on. If worn sheer, it will look deeper as it stains your lips pink.
Finish: Opaque Satin
Opacity: High
Price: mid-range
Shade: Bright pastel true-pink
Note: Often listed as a dupe of Saint Germain but it's actually not as blue-based.

MAC Saint Germain: This legendary Amplified pale-pink creme has driven many makeup collectors crazy as it was previously only available in Europe and via limited edition collections. It's STILL not available outside of the US/EU at the moment. (I got mine shipped to a friend's hotel on her recent trip to the States.)
Finish: Opaque creme
Opacity: High
Price: mid-range
Shade: Bright pastel blue-pink
Note: This can look quite shocking on deeper or yellower complexions because it is VERY blue-based. Not for the faint of heart. If you're not sure, Great Pink Planet is a better one to start off with as it's plenty-bright, but warmer and not so stark against the skin. If you want a really eye-catching pale pink though, this is it.

NYX Jupiter: This is what I call the "Beginner's Pale Pink", because you get a pale, pastel-pink frost rather than an opaque layer of pastel-pink. I don't like frost lipsticks but this actually looks nice, wears evenly, and will work with many skin tones.
Finish: Sheer frost
Opacity: Medium-low, buildable
Price: Low
Shade: Warm shell-pink with strong pale-pink frost
Note: Avoid pairing with frosted cheeks AND frosted lids if you don't want to look like an 80's throwback. Looks FANTASTIC on those with a tan.

NYX Strawberry Milk: Least-favored of the bunch. Seems everyone who owns it either loves it or hates it. I'm actually probably going to throw it out some day soon. It's a pale nude almost-pink that looks like it would look so fabulous, but the slippery texture killed it for me. I have a hard time applying it evenly, which drives me nuts because I'm so a**l about getting lip color even.
Finish: Almost-opaque creme
Opacity: Medium
Price: Low
Shade: Pale, pale pink with beige tones
Note: I actually have an extra NEW tube sitting in storage if anyone wants to give it a go. I'll send it to you free if you'll pay for the shipping. Just message me if you're interested and let me know your country. I'll check on the shipping rate and  you can decide if it's worth it first!
[Update] You guys are fast! I've got a few queries already and am taking this "off the market" before I disappoint too many people. I'll update again if the deal falls through and the lipstick is available again!]
 Barry M 100 Baby Pink Lip Paint: UBER-pale pink that is almost white against the skin. I'm NC25 and even on my medium-light skin, it looks very dramatic. Not the easiest shade to wear, but works with the right makeup.

Finish: Satin-pearl (the pearl is almost invisible on the lips)
Opacity: Medium-high, buildable
Price: Low
Shade: Pale white-pink
Note: If nothing but the most deliciously-shocking pale pink will do, THIS is the lipstick for you. Just note that you will need to mute out your lips with a little concealer, especially around the edges, as the lipstick is paler than your skin and will bring out any ruddy tones around the mouth