Before & After: Just the Basics

Liz, a  bride with an upcoming wedding I got to work with last week has pretty much the ideal face; big eyes, full cheeks, and pouty lips.  I can see why she isn’t a fan of the overly made-up look since she really doesn’t need to wear much day-to-day, so I created a timeless look that she (thankfully) loved using the basics that I reach for over and again in my kit.

What I used:

Face:

Primer: Hourglass no 28
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Setting Spray: Caudalîe Beauty Elixir
Powder: Koh gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

Eyes:

Primer: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base Lavender Pink
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2
Liner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Maker
Mascara: NYX Doll Eye
Lashes: Ardell #110
Brows: Anastasia Brow Duo

Cheeks:

Smashbox Blush Rush

Lips:

Liner: Philosophy The Supernaural (discontinued)
Gloss: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss 104 Sweet Heart

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A few things:

I’m finding that my go-to concealer these days is Smashbox High Definition. It’s creamy and covers everything so well but also blends into the skin with minimal creasing.

I start with the face first, once you get the skin right the color is easy. I spray the Caudalîe Beauty Elixir on the skin as I blend the foundation which helps it to melt into the face leaving the foundation looking invisible.

Koh Gen Do has pretty much the best everything when it comes to primers, foundations, and powder. I buy it, I use it on myself and in my kit, I love it. Seriously, this line is hard to beat. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s worth it because of how it conceals while leaving the skin so natural and almost dewey looking. Their products do what’s promised.

Everyone in the world should own that NYX gloss. It’s the prettiest shimmery nude ever.

(More) Stuff I Buy: tarte

Even I fall into a makeup rut from time to time. For years now I’ve worn slightly varied looks that start with a nude shimmery shadow on my lid and then some other boring brownish shade. Zzzz. I’m so over this shimmer and I’m tired of browns so tarte’s be MATTEnificent colored clay eye & cheek palette caught my eye on a recent trip to Ulta which is quickly passing Sephora as the makeup and beauty destination. (And no I don’t know the company, I really think that because they sell drugstore  and hard to find brands like NYX there too.) Although the colors appear sort of similar they’re unique enough to create different looks and they’re each really pretty and wearable so my whole palette will get used. Unless (and this is a big unless) you have skin that’s darker than a typical medium olive tone. Then I don’t think this palette is for you because the colors are pretty light and probably wouldn’t pack enough punch to really show up. But If you have a lighter skin tone these colors will compliment your complexion without overwhelming it. The cool plums are a nice departure from browns and the pale rose blush is gorgeous on. I’ve also been using the black and brown powder liners- so much easier than a fussy gel liner which I don’t use very often anymore because it takes me too long to make a straight line. For $36 I think I got a great deal, it’s everything I need  in one easy palette.

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I was out of concealer too and wanted to try something new. After circling Ulta three or four times I decided I’m too picky to try something random and too busy to bring something back. Tarte it is!

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Ok so I’m of course loving their maracuja creaseless concealer but the consistency took a little getting used to. It’s on the tacky side so it feels different from typical concealers but it works really well because those with a consistency that’s too moisturizing tends to crease and slide while something more drying doesn’t spread or completely blend into the skin. This pigment dense, waterproof formula melts into the skin hiding discolorations and even dissolves completely into fine lines hydrating those dryer areas using their signature maracuja oil.

I put a coat of it around my eyes, nose and over any other redness but I don’t blend it in right away. Next I apply my foundation then spray my whole face with my Caudalie Elixir. This way the concealer has some time to warm into my skin so when   I press it in using my Beauty Blender everything is perfectly concealed- even my dark circles. Not a hint of discoloration shows through.

You might have to play with it a little to achieve invisible coverage on your skin but once you get it right it’s so worth it.

Then I sort of impulse bought Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation because I thought the name and packaging were both awesome. I’m always on the hunt for a good powder foundation because of how easy they are to apply and this one had a light constancy and good coverage (on my hand from the tester but not my face because I’m a germaphobe like that.) Side note: When I worked at Nordstrom a million years ago, some sicko came in to get makeup to cover some weird skin problem she was having but like 5 of us at different counters wouldn’t touch her (because you’re not supposed to, duh) and we basically told her to see a doctor. But then we looked over to the Lancome counter and there was this equally weird girl who worked there for like 1o minutes who was all- sure I’ll help you. The rest of us were like SMH which turned into a WTF the next day when the Lancome girl came into work with the SAME RASH. It took about an hour for someone to pipe up and tell her to be on her way (which was strange because she called in sick all the time, but when she had an actual problem, there she was!) But the damage was already done because she, the initial weirdo, and now most of the Lancome girls all had Impetigo, a really gross and highly contagious oozy skin rash that has to be treated with antibiotics. We all had to disinfect what we could salvage at our own counters, but several tester units were thrown out which was expensive and a huge mess. So lesion learned: Don’t use testers on my face and also don’t try to disguise some red weeping sore- treat it with actual medicine.

Anyway- I’ll try my very own clean and new powder foundation this weekend and report back.

Amazonian clay full coverage  airbrush foundation

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette is Here

Urban Decay just released its third Naked palette appropriately titled Naked 3. I have the 2 which I use a ton in my kit, the OG never struck me as anything special and this one looks a little one-note to me with a lot of pinky tones but l might like it in person which is the only way to buy it anyway. It doesn’t look to be available online, only in stores for its initial launch so check it out whenever you’re near a Sephora or Ulta.

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Red, White, and Blue Beauty

Celebrate Independence Day with a red, white, and blue recap of a few of my faves over the years.

My favorite way to get a creamy red lip from Bite Beauty.

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The white Superga sneakers Jennifer Aniston and I are probably both wearing right now.

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And Navy Shadow for all!

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Happy 4th everyone!

NARS Shadows In My Kit

I’ve been totally revamping my kit this season – purging what’s old and bringing in some fresh colors and all the best formulas that I know perform like crazy. I was lacking a few basics (I’m ditching the Naked palette- loved the colors but I’m having a hard time getting the intensity I need) so I looked to NARS to fill in those gaps. This is the first time I’ve bought NARS shadows even though I know their pigment is legendary. After swatching too many colors in Sephora, I landed on Lola Lola (a medium copper brown with shimmer), Brousse Duo (perfect neutral plums), and Cairo (a not quite plum and not quite beige shade that I know I’ll use a ton.)

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They’re so soft and blend in beautifully, I can’t wait to put them to use.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream to Prevent Creasing

If you have trouble with your eyeshadow creasing, do what us pros do and layer your powder over a cream. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream is what I carry in my kit not only because it helps shadow to last all day without creasing, but it’s also waterproof- key when so many of my clients are brides.

Now the shimmering nude shades are great, but don’t overlook all of the more vibrant creme colors they offer. You can of course use a light lavendar to intensify a plum, but you can also use it as a base for any color to give it a little boost- I’ll show you what I mean.

Here are a few of my Aqua Cream shades I carry in my kit, I also have #4 a white pearl and #15 taupe.

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I was sent #53 from the company to review, but the others I recently bought.

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Here’s an example of how layering the cream works; I have a powder shadow on its own and then over 2 Aqua Cream colors. You can play with different combinations to see how you can get slight variances in shades and finishes.

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Here’s a light pink shadow over Aqua Cream 16, a peachy nude shade. This is a great trick for these lighter shadows when you love the color but can’t get it to show up as well as you’d like. Using the cream first, you’ll get the intensity without darkening the hue.

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To apply just pat the Aqua Cream into the lid and then apply your shadows over top. If you’re in a rush, they’re perfect for a quick flash of color just on their own without adding powder shadows over top.