Friday, September 28, 2012

Punky-Pretty (Fluorescent Hot Pink with Smoky Cut-Crease)

This is a very dramatic look pairing hot pink with a smoky dark russet brown. Definitely more for the clubs or a party than a day out with the girls!
I used new shades from my BH Cosmetics shadows:
WM20 - An true matte hot pink
MS12 - Dark sparkly blackened red-brown
WS07 - A mid-tone satin mauve pink

Step 1: First run a black khol along your upper and lower water lines.

Step 2: Using a pointed brush for control, first draw a line diagonally up and out at the outer corner of the eyes. Then pick up more shadow and run it along the socket line, stopping before you reach the inner corners. 
Smoke the entire line out to get a really thick brown swatch.

Step 3: Pack a neon hot pink along the entire lid, leaving only the inner corners empty. Then run the pink along the outer halves of the lower lash line as well, extending the line up and out, right under the dark brown wing created earlier (below).

Step 4: To illuminate the eyes a little, apply a paler mauve pink to the inner corners of the lid. 

Step 5: Finish by checking to see if you need to touch up your black liner. (To help it last longer and look more intense, dab a matte black shadow over the pencil to set it.) 
Then finish by curling lashes and applying black mascara.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Navy and Gold Evening Look with "Frankenshadows"!

I like blending and mixing my own shadows. I do this mostly with loose mica, glitter, and binders, and sometimes I crush up unwanted shadows, mix them with other shades, and then press them into something entirely new.

In the nail polish community, your own blends of varnishes are called Frankenpolishes. Well, these are my Frankenshadows.

What I used here were:
  • Nightmoth: This is a black matte pigment mixed in with metallic navy shimmer, with a pinch of aqua glitter thrown in. I can't think of an alternative in the stores for you, but any very dark navy shade would do. You can always pat a little glitter on top for a similar effect.
  • Ambre: This is more of a generic warm metallic amber-gold that you can find easily I believe. 
  • MAC Blooz pencil: A dark navy pencil

Step 1: First, lay the base. You want the shadow to always be most intense around the lash line, so I used a dark blue pencil (MAC Blooz is no longer available but they have alternatives) and ran it along the lash line, top and bottom. 
Along the top lid, make the lid very thick.

Step 2: Using a firm brush, very gently smoke the edges of the pencil out. On the top lid, I smudged it much further out so it fades towards the socket line.

Step 3: The navy shadow. I used a flat shadow brush to first gently pat shadow onto the outer halves of the lids, up to the socket line. I also packed it right on the lash line, to set the dark navy liner.

Step 4: With the fine smudger brush once again, I pulled the blue shadow inwards along the socket line so it faded inwards. Don't pick up any more shadow with your brush, because the line is supposed to be very soft rather than hard and precise.

Step 5: Using a smaller shadow brush for precision, I packed the warm gold metal shadow right onto the inner half of the lids in a tear-drop shape. It should fade into the blue but not be over-blended where they meet. That would muddy up the entire look. The gold and the blue should still stay very intense and clean. 

Step 6: With a fluffy blending brush, I started to soften the edges of the navy shadow, which can be quite hard against paler skins. You want to ONLY BLEND ALONG THE SOCKET LINE. If you bring your brush down any lower, you will muddy up the gold. The entire look could go from navy-and-gold to plain ol' charcoal in a second.

Step 7: Finish by curling lashes and applying black mascara! (If you need to touch up the gold or blue, go right ahead BEFORE you apply the mascara.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Neo Noir: Dramatic Metallic Look

I wanted to revisit the classic dark-eyes-dark-lips noir look, but update it a little with muted, mysterious colors on the lids. It's actually quite a simple look to recreate.
I'm using limited edition crushed metallic pigments from MAC, but you can easily find alternatives in the permanent range. You will need:
  • Black pencil
  • Bright teal-green (Rain Drop pigment; alternative: MAC Steamy shadow)
  • Pale silver-green (Moss Garden pigment; alternative: MAC Reflects Transparent Teal)
  • Mascara
Alternatively, you can choose any color as long as you pair a bright medium shade and a coordinating pale glittery shade. Just remember that because you are applying the shadow over a black base, the shades you choose need to be a shade lighter/brighter than you intend them to be. If you're not sure, just test it over black pencil on the back of your hand first.

Step 1: I began by applying a very thick coat of black kajal to the entire lid, up to the socket line. Then I ran it along the loewr lash line as well.

Step 2: Using a finger, very lightly smoke out the edges of the liner so you don't have any harsh lines. It should just look like a smoky eye.

Step 3: Laying the first shade; apply the medium shade onto the entire lid, over the black, leaving only the center empty. I used my fingers because that controls crushed metal pigments better, but if you're using regular pigment or pressed shadow, just use a shadow brush.
When you're done, just brush or gently smudge the color out at the outer corners to create faint wings.

Step 4: With a damp flat brush, I picked up the more glittery, pale shade and smoothed it onto the center of the lid. Blend slightly into the first shade, but not too much.
Next, apply the pale shade to the innermost corners of the eyes as well.

Step 5: Finish by touching up black liner along the water line, and then applying mascara.

For the lips, I applied a dark liver-brown (MAC Amplified Lipstick in Deepest Wish), then kept the cheeks soft with a very light pink (Bourjois Eye Shadow #15).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Graphic Winged Liner Tutorial: Tricky to do but makes quite a statement!

Disclaimer first: this is going to take a bit of practise if you're not used to working with liners. 
Also, I used a really bright purple liner from Lime Crime, called Orchidaceous, and I haven't seen any dupes, so if anyone knows any similar alternatives, do reply to this post and let everyone know in case there are some who aren't looking at spending too much on a colored liner!
You'll need 3 shadows:
  • Pale cotton-candy pink or beige (e.g. MAC Yogurt)
  • A medium violet-blue duochrome. (I used a limited edition shade from Urban Decay called Omen, but you can also use more pink version like MAC Stars n Rockets or Coastal Scents mica Chameleon Violet, which is a great, cheap dupe of this shade.)
  • A soft grey/charcoal (I'm not going to name any shades because you can use ANY deep grey.
For the liner, I used:
  • A charcoal (grey-black) pencil from Bourjois, #51 Noir Effet Miroir
  • Lime Crime Orchidaceous, as mentioned above

Step 1: First pack the pale pink/beige shade into the inner 1/3 of the lids.

Step 2: With the violet shadow, run along the lower lash line, and then pack onto the outer 2/3 of the lids, blending inwards slightly along the socket line.

Step 3: The defined crease. Use a dark grey and a small pencil brush, and run it along the outer halves of your socket line to emphasize it. This is not the fold of your crease. It's the hollow arc above your eye ball, where your eye contour is naturally. Feel for it with your fingers.

Step 4: Just use the brush you used earlier (to apply your purple shadow) to blend out and soften the grey line. It shouldn't look like a harsh stripe.

Step 5: Use your dark grey-black pencil to draw the outer end of your flick first. (If you don't have a charcoal color, a black would work perfectly well; a charcoal is just less dramatic.) Make sure it is parallel to your lower lash line.

Step 6: Thicken the line by drawing from the outer tip INWARDS towards the center of your lid. Then fill in the gap between the 2 lines and extend it to the inner corners.

Step 7: This is the trickiest step. Apply the bright violet liquid liner WITHIN the V of the black winged liner. The easiest way is to place the brush down with the tip pointing outwards. You'll actually be "stamping" your skin with the liquid on the length of the bristles.
Then, just drag it inwards gently like you would when painting your nails. The length of the brush should be against your skin the whole time. If you need to thicken the line, repeat the same movement, always moving in the same direction. 

Then finish by letting the ink dry, curling your lashes and applying mascara. It's important to make sure you coat your lashes properly with black mascara, as there could be a lot of purple ink on them.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Paradise Colors: Summer-inspired Eye look

It's time to jazz things up with some brighter colors, inspired by the runways. I'm doing a tropical-paradise color scheme, with lush emerald green, rich brown, and a glowing turquoise.
You will also need a brown pencil for definition and an aqua/turquoise (optional) colored pencil to echo the blue on the waterline.

I used Coastal Scents Hot Pots on the lids and Bourjois pencils, but do use any alternatives you have. You can do a look with similar colors; they don't need to be identical.

Step 1: Instead of following the color-wheel (blue, green, brown), I wanted a little extra contrast by putting the brightest color in the center of the lid, where it will pop against the dark brown.
Apply along the inner 1/3 of the lower lash line as well. 

Step 2: Pick up the bright aqua or blue and pack it down the center of the lid. Don't blend it out too much as you want the color to be quite intense.
Apply the same along the center portion of the lower lash line.

Step 3: Pack the dark brown into the outer 1/3 of the lids, and then gently run it inwards along the socket line, until you reach about the center of the lids, above the bright aqua.
As before, run the dark brown along the outer 1/3 of your lower lash lines to finish.

Step 4: Here's the fun part. Run a brown pencil along the upper lash line for definition and some extra contrast against the aqua blue.
On the lower lash line, I actually used a bright turquoise blue pencil (Bourjois 54 Bleu Clinquant) to match and intensify it.

Then I finished with black mascara.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How To: Cat Eye Liner

This is my mini-tribute to my cat; a 101 on how to easily create a cat-eye look. 
(Do note this look works better if you don't have hooded lids, but I'll add a tip later on how to make it work a little better.)
A retro kitten flick focuses only on the upper lash line. A cat eye is a more dramatic and sultry version of that look, because the liner goes around the entire eye and the eye shape is more exaggerated.

Step 1: First apply the black liner or kohl along the upper and lower lash line. For the lower lash line, the shape is more intense and sultry if you cover the waterline, but that is optional. For the upper lash line, make the line quite thick at the outer corners and thin only at the inner corners.

Step 2: To exaggerate and create the "cat shape", use a small brush or Q-tip to lightly smudge the black liner down at the inner corners and up at the outer corners. 
Inside corner: Pull the line down following the angle of the upper lash line.
Outer corner: Pull the line up following the angle of the lower lash line.

Step 3: To set the liner and soften the look, use a small pencil brush or smudge brush to run a soft beige-brown shimmer along the upper and lower lash lines. This helps to set the liner as well.

Step 3 for hooded lids: If you have downward sloping lids, mono-lids or a heavy fold, use a fluffy blending brush to spread the shadow out very softly upwards at the outer corners, instead of in a tight line. You want to enhance the shape/shadow. Don't over-apply shadow.

Step 4: Curl lashes and apply mascara to finish. If you want to intensify the lash line a bit more, you can always reapply a little black liner around the waterline.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pistachio: Green, Amber and Brown Tutorial

I'm featuring a slightly less dramatic and more wearable green in this look. Instead of blue-based greens, gold-toned greens and limes tend to be more subtle, so look out for shades with a bit of yellow, like NYX's roll on eye shimmer in Olive. I used I Nuovi's Moss, which might be a bit harder to locate for most of you outside of Asia.

You'll also need a very warm amber-gold (almost like a light golden bronze; try NYX Golden shadow) and a richer chocolate brown like NYX's Walnut. 

Step 1: First, pack the golden green to the inner 2/3 of the lids.

Step 2: Just outside of the center, apply the amber gold, blending lightly into the green so there are no harsh lines. This is going to be the "Transition" shade between the green and the brown.

Step 3: Finish with a richer brown right in the outer corners. The green should take up the majority of the lid, with the amber and brown sharing the outer half.

Step 4: Finish by using a plum or dark brown pencil to line the outer half of the lash lines just for extra definition. I used Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer in 220 Perfect Plum.

Step 5: Finish the look with black mascara and that's it!