So Happy Together; Pairing Up Products for Creative, New Looks

You may not buy things with the intention of using them together, but a little creativity could help you to really see the value in what you have and be able to use it differently.  Here are a few examples of the power of pairing.

Primer + Bronzer = Beautiful, Bronzy Skin

When the temperature starts to heat up for summer, the weight of your makeup should change.  Heavy looking foundations look harsh in the sunlight, so try mixing a shot of bronzing fluid with a primer. Putting the bronzer into something colorless will lighten it a bit so you can use it all over the face for a natural looking bronzed glow. Using the primer evens out the skin’s texture so your skin looks great without foundation.

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Skin Primer used with Noah’s Naturals Glowing Bronzer Fluid
Primer alone, bronzer alone, then both mixed together on the bottom.

Using a lightweight primer like Napoleon’s that isn’t just a silicone gel is more ideal for mixing. Noah’s Naturals bronzer is made without parabens, glycol, and petroleum so it’s gentle enough to use on the face daily.

Liquid Eye Liner + Angled Lining Brush = Lasting Liner That’s Easy to Apply

When it comes to an eyeliner that lasts, liquid is at the top of the food chain, the formula stays on all day and doesn’t smudge. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a steady hand, applying the liner with the wand that’s included can be impossible. Instead, apply the liner with an angled brush so you have better control and a more precision point.

Flirt! Opening Line Liquid Eyeliner in Grapevine shown with Angular Shader 1/4″ brush (just a few dollars from an art store).
Get some liner on the tip of the angled brush

Now you can use a liner that lasts with an easier-to-use brush.

Nude Gloss + Different Lip Liner Shades = Custom Gloss Colors

Finding a gloss that’s perfectly nude (doesn’t lean toward pink or beige) isn’t easy, but once you find one, grab it up. You can wear it solo when you want muted lips (for when you’re wearing more color on your lids), or you can mix it with different lip liner shades to make custom gloss colors.

See, perfectly neutral and nude. Estée Lauder High Gloss in Golden Goddess.
Use the neutral gloss with any color liner, Estee Lauder Double Wear Liner in Pink and Spice are shown.
Now you have a look that has more color than a gloss alone, but is lighter in weight than a lipstick. 

Dense Concealer + A Touch Up Brush = Quick Coverage

Very few women need to wear foundation. Just covering up redness with some concealer usually evens out the skin using fewer steps and a lot less blending. Just be sure to use a thick concealer like BECCA’s Compact Concealer, it will give you coverage that mimics a foundation’s. When you use Bobbi’s Touch Up Brush to apply it, you’ll get a look that’s almost airbrushed. I haven’t found another brush I like as well for applying concealer because it can work it into the skin so perfectly without wiping it all away.

BECCA’s Compact Concealer and Bobbi Brown’s Touch Up Brush
Applying the concealer this way gives as good of coverage as foundation, but with better control.
Blend the concealer in to get as little or as much coverage as you need.

What look are you trying to achieve? Chances are, you have a few things laying around that when paired together, can make all the difference.

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How to Wear Shimmer; girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles

When you want your eyes to dazzle, few products can make a splash like sparkle can. Nothing obnoxious of course, just something that adds interest to your eyes when you glance down.

I’ve probably tried buckets of glitter, shimmer, and sparkle, over the years and I’ve found that I really like girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles the best because they have 2 key traits that are important to pull of a shimmer look; dry, loose sparkles, and a really fine glitter size. When the size of the actual glitter gets too large (or when it’s encased in goo to help it stick on the face) it becomes a little costume-like and brings the age-appropriateness factor waaay down. What I’m saying is, unless you’re 12 wearing chunky glitter isn’t for you.

Here’s a look at the Sparkle Singles all boxed up.

On top is Yellow Gold and on the bottom color is Rust.

See how fine the pieces of shimmer are? When it’s placed on the eye, you’ll see the reflective quality and not the pieces of glitter themselves which makes a huge difference in the overall look.

In order to get the Sparkes to stay on the eye, they need to ‘stick’ to something. I used BECCA Cosmetics Creme Eye Color in Quartz as a base. I love its easy texture which isn’t too glossy or heavy looking and it really stays on the skin well without creasing.

Lay down the creme color first.

I dipped a small brush into the Rust shade and patted it over half of the creme shadow. The finish is beautiful, it’s just enough to catch the light and make your eyes stand out.

Now for the Yellow Gold shade on the bottom half of the creme eye color.

I love how dense the gold looks and how much coverage it offers. You want the shimmer to be fine enough to coat over the base shade so it looks cohesive, not chunky.

Now you know the difference between sparkles a 7 year-old would paint a picture with, and fine shimmer for a special night out. But there are a few guidelines.

- Don’t wear shimmer like this during the day unless your job requires you to also wear clear heels.

- Keep the sparkle confined to the lid (anywhere you can feel an eye ball) and no higher. I’d also keep it away from your lower lash line too. Lid only is the easiest (and most appropriate) way to wear it.

- Resist the urge to dust it on your chest no matter how pretty you think the sparkles are. Find a body gimmer lotion like this one that’s meant to highlight and compliment the skin.

- Keep in mind the look as a whole. Red lips might not be the best pairing with a shimmery eye so go with a nude color instead. Think understated for the rest of the look (lips, cheeks, and liner), and let the shimmer do most of the talking.

$10, 14 Shades, Online and in select boutiques nationwide.

girlactik beauty Sparkle Singles

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Obagi Condition & Enhance System

You’ve spent the money to get your skin looking great, now you need to maintain it. Obagi has a collection that will keep discoloration, fine lines, redness and future damage away. Their complete Condition & Enhance System contains 6 products that are clinically designed to improve the effectiveness of IPL, chemical peels, and other facial treatments to give you a better result.

If you’ve not tried Obagi (or come across it anywhere) it’s probably because it’s a line sold by doctors and plastic surgeon due to its extreme effectiveness and active ingredients, you need a doctor to pair you up with the products that will benefit you most.

Condition & Enhance  offers effectiveness that’s essentially guaranteed for issues like hyperpigmentation and acne scaring because Clear and Blender each contain 4% hydroquinone, a proven skin lightener that’s been a doctor’s skin bleaching go-to for years.  Your fine lines, redness, and overall texture will be addressed with Exfoderm Forte which combines 6% glycolic acid with 4% lactic acid to soften the skin allowing the treatment to work better, and the cells to turn over so newer, brighter skin will surface.

When you’re changing your skin and bringing new skin forward, it’s important to use SPF every single day. Their Healthy Skin Protection moisturizer that’s included offers a broad spectrum protection (UVA/UVB) with a physical block (zinc) and a chemical one for maximum protection on your delicate skin.

It’s an advanced line for real skin concerns. Click HERE to find a medical professional in your area who can offer direction on which system might be best for you.

Obagi Condition & Enhance System

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Set Your Foundation Like the Pros Do; Best Professional Setting Powders

Since the 90’s powdery revolution, matte skin has been a thing of the past. Don’t confuse those old powders with today’s versions which invisibly set foundation and can even be used on dry skin. If you want your foundation to last hours longer, look into a setting powder that’s used by Makeup Artists for a professional looking result. Here are a few I carry in my kit.

KohGenDo has a big celebrity following (I hear it’s a favorite of Sarah Jessica Parker) and I like everything I’ve used from the line. In my kit, I have their Maifanshi Face Powder which lightly sets makeup, reduces shine, and matches all skin tones since it’s invisible on the skin (an important thing for a setting powder to be). This loose formula even works with dry skin because it’s infused with hyaluronic acid so it mattes and sets without creating dryness.

If it’s good enough to be used with airbrush foundation, it’s good enough for your foundation too. Kett has a generously sized Kett Sett Powder that was designed to maintain the integrity of foundations under hot lights and tell-all HDTV cameras. It’s invisible on the skin and keeps even the creamiest eye concealers from creasing and sliding around.

It’s a common marketing tactic for mainstream lines to announce their products to be for Makeup Artists, but they rarely are. MAKE UP FOR EVER is an exception. M.A.C isn’t a line that I would suggest women (or Makeup Artists for that matter) use, and most Makeup Artists I know agree it’s not that great.

But I digress.

The point is, MUF’s HD High Definition Powder is a solid choice for setting makeup because it lightly mattes out shine without looking powdery on the skin and it allows the natural texture of the face show through so you don’t look like a corpse. It gives the face a soft focus look that’s so pretty, women wear it solo on days when applying foundation isn’t in the cards.

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Applying Eye Shadows with La Femme

When it rains it pours, while I had my camera out filming my contouring vid, I thought I’d show an application using La Femme shadows since I always get a bunch of emails about La Femme whenever I review it. The main question is if it’s as good as I say it is since they’re only a few bucks. Yes, they are.

Although I was showing how great the shadows were and what a big color payoff you get using them, another point to the video is that you can apply shadow that looks great in just a few minutes. If you’re spending more than about 10 minutes on your makeup for just a daily routine, you need to streamline. Unless your job is sauntering down a runway somewhere, your makeup shouldn’t take that long to apply- mine doesn’t. Ignore those videos that show you a step-by-step how to apply eye makeup that takes 20 minutes. It’s confusing and needless. Get good at placing the color where it needs to go and blending, the two key parts that are worth mastering.

You can get the hard to find shadows right HERE.

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La Femme Jumbo Shadow Crayons

You probably saw this review where I went wild for La Femme eye shadows, and not only because they’re just a few bucks a piece.

At Makeup Mania yesterday, I was introduced to La Femme’s powder shadow counterparts, the Jumbo Shadow Crayons- 24 shades of easy-to-apply colors that you can use on their own, as a liner, or to deepen the intensity of powder shadows.

Here are the ones I ended up with, from top to bottom the colors are; Irr. Charcoal, Champange, Bronze, Pale Pink, and Sea Mist.

They’re so creamy you can apply them straight to the lid and blend them using your fingers, you don’t need a powder shadow and can wear them alone- perfect for when you’re in a rush and want something easy. If a more intense look is what you’re in the mood for just press powder eye shadow over top of the crayons for a richer look and serious staying power. Below on the left is their Clove (powder) eye shadow on its own, then on the right is the same clove shadow with the Bronze crayon underneath.

Here I used their Khaki shadow alone on the right, then the same Khaki shadow over their Sea Mist pencil (left). It just deepens the color and brings it to life.

Since it’s from La Femme, you know the price is going to be crazy low- so I’m happy to say these pretty sticks of color are only $4.45 each. You can find them HERE through Makeup Mania, or at one of their locations in Denver and New York.

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