Sunday, November 24, 2013

Glam smoky toffee-gold eyes with tawny-nude cheeks and lips

This look works like the classic smoky eye, with
  • the lash line being the darkest and most intense
  • color fading as it goes outwards
  • smoky shadow blended quite far down along the lower lash line
 The rest of the face is very monochromatic, with nude tones on the cheeks and lips, topped with a little warm gold-toned sheen.

Very into smoky neutrals right now, and it’s great for the holiday season because they’re flattering for everyone, go with most outfits and are a quick way to add some glamour to the face.

Maybelline Pure.Eraser Mineral Foundation OC2
The Body Shop Concealer Pencil 02
ClearLast Face Powder in Medicated Ochre (this is a range of pressed powders in different finishes by Mandom Japan that I love, love, love for setting makeup because they give additional coverage and don’t grab and darken over concealer, and also never look too matte or cakey).
The Body Shop Bronzing Powder in Light Matte 01 (for contouring)
The Body Shop Shimmer Waves in Coral for a soft sheen and a trace of warm color
Shu Uemura Hard Formula 9 Pencil in Seal Brown
Canmake brow mascara 01
P.S. sorry for the duplicate image in the pictorial image below!
Smoky toffee-gold eye pictorial

Instead of a typical pencil, use a soft black kajal or an intense black cream shadow stick like Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick (these are easier to smoke out)
Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow in 9 Burnt Sugar (or any caramel-toned brown that isn’t too shimmery)
MAC Pressed Pigment in Flicker (or Lustre shadow in Retrospeck) patted on with damp fingers for precise sparkle
Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
The Body Shop Colour Crush lipstick 220
Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Candlelight

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pink or Black? Shu Uemura Holiday 2013 Pink and Black Palette tutorials

Shu Uemura Holiday 2013 Face/Off: Pink Princess vs Black Princess looks
When we first saw the anime-inspired Pink/Black-split collection from Shu Uemura's 6 Heart Princess collaboration with artist Takashi Murakami, it was a natural to start thinking of doing pink vs black princess looks.

I've done just that, and you can choose for yourself which suits you more! (Or just go for both since the collection celebrates the duality in all women anyway. Full swatches and close-ups of the limited edition collection, including 5 lip and cheek creams and 2 pairs of premium lashes, are available here!

Shu Uemura 6 Heart Princess Heart-full Pink Parallel Palette makeup
To view the Pink Princess palette and tutorial, click here.

Shu Uemura 6 Heart Princess Enchanted Black Parallel makeup look
The Black Princess look isn't as dramatic as it should be, because I used Katy Perry Ka-Pow lashes instead of the jeweled, feathered, cobweb-like premium set from the collection. (They were too large to fit my eyes, and I wasn't about to cut up $125/pair lashes.)

Shu Uemura 6 Heart Princess "Black Jewel on Wing" premium lashes
This post will be updated with a link to the full Black Princess makeup tutorial shortly!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mocha tones: Coffee lids and cocoa lips (plus a softer alternative)

Products used:

  • Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Chocolate/Cashmere
  • NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Coffee
  • Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Violet Asphalt
  • Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Blackest Black
  • Sephora Precious Gold Luminizer
  • Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Bronze-03
  • OCC Lip Tar in Sybil

For the day look, just skip the gold sparkles and the dark lips! I used
No7 Precision Lip Liner in Nude
Lipstick Queen gloss in Red Sinner

My Hoard of Golden Beauty Treasures!

Selection of gold things that are perfect for the holiday season

Excuse the loads of "product porn"! But don't they make SUCH a luscious visual?

Here are some of the golden things I love. Sadly, a couple of them are limited edition and no longer available (although we can cross our fingers they'll be re-released).

Dior J'adore Essence de Parfum
Dior J'adore Essence de Parfum
At the risk of sounding cheesy, this is liquid gold in a bottle. We keep complaining about Dior reformulating its classic scents with cheaper synthetics, but this particular version went the other way. Made from expensive natural Rose and Jasmine absolutes harvested from fields reserved just for Dior, and blended with real Tuberose and a touch of Tahitian Vanilla to lend a bit of oomph (don't worry, it doesn't smell like dessert), this is a more linear/simple but drop-dead gorgeous flanker of the original J'adore.

The slimmer, smaller, hand-crafted signature bottle with the long neck is just a pleasure to look at as well.

Lierac Huile Sensorielle aux 3 Fleurs
Lierac Huile Sensorielle
If you're traveling to or living in some place dry, you probably appreciate the wonders of rubbing a silky oil into your skin and hair.

Lierac's Huile Sensorielle is less well-known as Nuxe's equivalent, but I love it for the delicate blend of fragrant white flowers (camellia, jasmine and gardenia) with argan, sweet almond, grape seed, and hazelnut oils. It's light but nourishing, and just lovely and subtle to smell on your skin and hair.

Just be careful to store it away from light and heat, as it is all-natural and can go rancid.

Guerlain Ombre Eclat
Guerlain Ombre Eclat
Well, this is the only item that is here just because of the packaging. That's not to say Guerlain eyeshadows aren't some of the most impressive on the market. But if you're looking to treat someone - or yourself - this holiday season, a richly-pigmented shadow in a beautiful gold compact, sheathed in its own suede sleeve, is one of those little luxuries that feels special to own precisely because you wouldn't buy it under normal circumstances.

Guerlain Sun In The City (Limited)
Guerlain Sun In The City highlighter/bronzer
This ridiculously beautiful powder is only there because it's so ridiculously beautiful; both to see and to use. It's one of the best golden highlighters for medium to dark skins, and it's just a shame it's not part of the permanent collection. The compact is also HUGE so you can sweep it down your neck, across shoulders, down the arms and legs for a golden-bronze sheen.

Sephora mono shadow in Girls Night Out, and Guerlain Terracotta Sun In The City

Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Vision (Limited)
Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Vision
One of my favorite cream shadows in the world - bar none - Vision is just made up of gold flecks, so you look like you're wearing a wash of gold dust on the lids. There's no other color in the base. Just Tinkerbell dust that won't fall off onto your cheeks.

The bad news is it's limited edition and no longer available, but here's a cheap alternative!

Sephora's Precious Gold Luminizer costs a humble US$10 but it's SO fun. It's similar to Vision, but the proportion of darker gold flecks is higher than in the Chanel. Honestly though, on the lid, most people won't be able to tell the difference. 

Swatches of Chanel Vision and Sephora's Precious Gold Luminizere

I like to dab this onto the inner corners of my eyes, or the center of my lid on top of a neutral/matte eyeshadow look. It can be worn as a wash across the lids, but doesn't go on as evenly as the Chanel, since it's a gel, so it doesn't build up very easily. Still, for the price, who's complaining?!

Lime Crime Uniliner in Rhyme
Lime Crime Uniliner in Rhyme
Rhyme isn't a typical metallic liquid liner. It's made up of ultra fine gold flecks, so if you sheer it out, it almost looks like a sparkly gold shadow. It's fantastic as a holiday liner, and I've also used it many times dabbed on the center of the lids over other shadows.

Lime Crime Uniliner in Rhyme applied as liner, and spread as shadow

Other products:
  • Revlon Nail Enamel in Gold Coin - this is a sparkly cool gold that's not glitter and not quite chrome either.
  • Gold nail wraps from (these are available from so many places; I just inluded them because nothing looks quite like gold nail wraps)