January 31, 2013

Dior Twin Set Eyeshadow Duo : Just Your Everyday Expensive Smokey Eye

I am a sucker for compliments.  Especially when they involve one of my children.  And one very complimentary Dior sales lady in Nordstrom on a previous trip to the mall, cost me more money than I had planned on.  Which led me to feel the need to repay the free compliment, by buying something more expensive from her line than I needed. Makes sense right??  What.

{Dior Twin Set Eyeshadow Duo Color Stick + Blending Powder "Grey Sigh", $30.}

{How could you NOT spend money in a store that provides crayons to keep your kid busy?}

She just kept going on and on about what a good, sweet, and well behaved girl she was being (really? she kept doing fish faces on the glass of the makeup displays and yelling out colors she saw in delight!?) and then of course asking what it was I needed help with today.  Dior had just gotten in a fabulous new product to create an easy and wearable smokey eye! Hook line and sinker, I was reeled in.  I just needed to exchange something from another counter and now I bought a $30 eyeliner/shadow duo I DIDN'T NEED.  This lady was good.

Here's a looksy at my unnecessary duo pen and my thoughts once applied.

 {Shadow tip of pen - the actual shadow is in the cap part.}

{Chubby eye liner side of pen, that you roll up to get more product.}

{Using both sides to create my expensive smokey eye.}

These close up eye photos taken with my iPhone.  Guess there's NO hiding the under eye wrinkles with this thing.  Ugh.  Before concealer I will add though.

 {Finished smokey eye worn on a random t-shirt day.}

 {Actually a really beautiful shade with shimmer once mascara finished it off.}

{Just soft enough to wear in the middle of the day and not look overdone.}

Here are my pros and cons of this Dior duo stick:

Pros :
1. Color payoff is beautiful.  I love charcoal grays against my brown eyes, and this color is very pretty.
2.  I had my eyeliner and shadow in one convenient pen - no other colors necessary except for my matte ivory shadow I put on first.
3.  It's Dior, so in a weird way, I feel more glamorous when applying.

Cons :
1.  I had to use another makeup brush after it was all done to get it smooth and blended enough for my liking.  The sponge applicator was not easy enough to get a smooth application.
2.  Staying power.  Even with the addition of the shadow to the liner was not very good.  It faded pretty quickly and unevenly.
3.  The price. 30 bucks was just too much for something that I had to add another tool too and for it to disappear that quickly.
4.  It was messy. The shadow part really got all over my face and was hard to control.  Had to do major cleanup of my under eye beds bc the shadow fell off the sponge very quickly.

I wouldn't buy another one in another color and don't think this product is really that much of a time saver, seeing as though I had to add another makeup brush and do clean up afterwards.  However, after all of my efforts, the finished everyday expensive smokey eye, did look pretty darn good.

Have you ever bought a makeup product you didn't need because of a great salesperson?

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January 30, 2013

Birthday Humor

Today is my birthday and the one thing I always love getting, are birthday cards.  I think they are so fun and say a lot about the people that send them to you and their thought process when picking them out.  I think it's almost more personal than an actual gift.

Here are two that I just had to share. The humor displayed by both are completely opposite, but so perfect in every way...

Card #1 :  Perfectly appropriate humor for a makeup artist like myself...



Thanks to my Aunt Landal for this one - I might just make-up things all day long because I can!

Card #2 :  Unexpected humor early this morning from my sweet? husband...



Of course, my husband let my two boys sign this one too, so they were dying for me to see the inside and thought this potty humor (as we call it in my house), was absolutely hilarious.  And despite its gross-ness, I do love butterflies and this caught me so off guard I just had to laugh.  Because if you can't laugh at things, then life isn't worth living.  I'm happy to be celebrating being halfway to 70, and couldn't feel more blessed than I do today. 

I'm an Aquarius, and they say that we are best described as :

Friendly and humanitarian
Honest and Loyal
Original and Inventive
Independent and Intellectual

I'd certainly like to think I'm all of those things!  There is an even better in depth description on my sign here, and it's kinda crazy how true most of it is.  

I also share my zodiac sign with the likes of Michael Jordan, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, and Justin Timberlake - just to name a few awesome water bearers!  If you share this sign with me, here's a complete list of famous Aquarians just for fun from Biography.com.  

{Growing older isn't all bad.}

I'm taking this birthday thing and trying NOT to focus on the gray hairs popping up by the dozens and the wrinkles getting deeper despite my best moisturizer and serum efforts!  I'm going to focus on the fact that I DO think we get better with age, and I'm more comfortable with who I am now, than I ever was in high school or even college.  There's something really great and freeing about that.

When is your birthday?  What are your feelings on getting older?

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January 29, 2013

Kickin' It With Coral

Sometimes the most surprising shades can pop up in the dead of winter.  I wasn't loving how cold and dreary it was yesterday as I wore my boring black turtleneck and felt uninspired to mess with my hair. (this happens more often than I'd like to admit.) So I decided the easiest way to kick things up a notch, would be to dress up my nails, cheeks, and lips with bright and cheery CORAL!

{Maybelline Colorsensational lipstick "Coral Crush," ($7.50) & Sonia Kashuk blush "Sunset."($9)
China Glaze polish "Surreal Appeal." (from the Cirque du Soleil collection}

The polish looks quite different in this picture (with a flash) than it did in yesterdays post (no flash).  I was loving my nails more than anything the day I did this look so I decided to keep with the coral theme and let it spill onto my face.  Coral is one of those shades that adds an immediate warm glow to the skin and is super happy and wearable.

 {Keepin' my head cute with my new Neff beanie, here.}

Like I said, it was an uninspiring hair day, so the easiest way to dress up my head was with this fun polka dot beanie!

{Do I look tough?  No, not really.}

Just trying to show you how similar my nails, cheeks, and lip color turned out to be!  Pretty spot on in coordinating.  I need to stick with the smiley normal poses though in the future - this just doesn't look natural.  But figured it provided a little comic relief from the normal beauty blogger pose!

{Too Faced Natural Eye Palette shadows + Benefit "They're Real" Mascara. No liner.}

I'm wearing one of my favorite lip liners underneath this coral shade to give it a bit of extra staying power - Palladio Herbal Precision lip liner in "salmon" ($6).  It actually tones down the brightness of this lipstick just enough.  

If you're wondering what type of coral you should be trying, here's a short and sweet cheat sheet...
  • Fair skinned ladies can wear a rosy coral shade like I'm wearing here.  
  • Medium complexions can go for a vibrant melon shade.
  • Darker skin can pull of a deep gold based coral.
I've had this coral lipstick for over a year now, and honestly, I never get tired of it and it always makes me feel a bit more fun when I wear it (and the creamy texture is wonderful).  I love how this spring/summer type color actually brought my winter black clothes to life and seem not so boring!

What do you think of wearing coral makeup in the winter?

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January 28, 2013

Shiny Happy People

This past weekend was filled with lots of HAPPY things.  So I'd like to start off this week on a positive note by sharing a few of them...

{My obvious inspiration for today's post.  Happy dance-y song.}

{A Chuck E Cheese moment of happiness with my boys.}

{See anyone you know on the newest "Looks" page of the PRIMP app?}

As I've mentioned before, I'm proud to be a Power Primper for the Pretty In My Pocket app for iPhone, and they're reinventing and launching new and exciting things all the time.  The newest looks page let's you browse different makeup products and what they look like on actual people.  If you haven't downloaded this app yet,  you should!!  Here's why.

{Radiant and happy bride, D'Arcy, I worked on this weekend. Makeup by moi!}

I posted her pic on my Facebook page and had lots of questions on her look.  Here are the details:
Ardell individual lash clumps in short + medium brown.
L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in "iced latte" + Urban Decay Naked palette
Tarte eco cheek cheek stain with Nars "orgasm" layered on top
Cover Girl lipstick in "heavenly" with L'Oreal Infallible gloss in "bloom" on top
L'Oreal True Match foundation in N2

{Yes, this is how I fake it sometimes, via}

 {My shiny new metallic ankle boots I just got from Zappos.com}

{Happy new coral nail color, China Glaze "Surreal Appeal."}

{Who wouldn't be smiling after a bubble bath and wearing a frog towel?}

Monday's are always a little tough to get back into the swing of things - especially after a fun filled Saturday and Sunday.  But I'm going to attempt to have that weekend feeling spill into the work week - here's to a shiny happy week friends!!

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January 25, 2013

Makeup Tips For The Fabulous Over 45 Crowd

I get lots of requests from my over 45 followers asking for me to focus on their age bracket.  I cannot deny a good request.  But before I list some of my best makeup "do's" for this age group, I must say, as always, "AGE ain't nothin' but a number," and I truly believe that.  There are no hard fast rules in makeup, everyones face is different, so just experiment with which tips fits your needs.  I might even throw in a few "don'ts" for fun...

 {Jaclyn Smith, age 67, via.}

Of course the underlying request I get from my over 45 clients, (well actually, even my over 30 clients!) is to make them appear younger.  Who wouldn't want to erase a few years with the help of makeup?  Luckily, a few quick "do's" can help with that.  

*On a small side note, did you look twice at Jacyln Smith's age?? I sure did.  She's doing EVERYTHING right makeup wise.  Maybe she has had some professional "help" (I actually looked around, but can't find any surgery confessions) but she's still working the right amount of color!*

Here are my Do's.  (With a few Don'ts):

1.  Find the right foundation.  The biggest key to erasing the years, is to even out the skin tone and putting the light back in it! No matter what your skin type (oily, dry, etc) pick one with the right texture and that has the magic words like illuminating, luminous, or radiant in it.  You've got to put the glow back in that skin!  Don't wear a super matte foundation or add too much flat powder - it's an immediate ager.  Youthful skin has a slight dewiness to it.  Try Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind The Lifter ($14), which also has a primer included.

2.  Fill in the brows.  Our brows are one of the first things to go as we age - they get sparser and coarser. Not a good combo. You've never seen a 10 year old with pencil thin brows have you?  Fill those puppies in with a pencil, brow powder, or colored wax, whatever works for your skill level, just do it!  Don't try to create a whole new brow though, which looks fake. Work with what God gave you and just slightly fill in for fullness.  I like Sonia Kashuk's "Brow Alert Kit."

{Jamie Lee Curtis, age 54, via}

3.  Fatten the lash line.  The lashes are also getting thinner and shorter.  So creating the illusion of a thicker lash line (focus mainly on the upper ones) is super helpful.  Use a black mascara but a lighter eye liner in a deep brown or charcoal.  Don't do black liner - somehow it immediately ages the eye area by being too harsh.  

4.  Don't forget the concealer.  Add a touch of concealer in the tear duct area and just where you need it under the eyes.  Don't go too far with it down towards the cheeks though - which can do the opposite and draw more attention to those circles by lightening up areas that don't necessarily need lightening.  I like Cover Girl and Olay's Simply Ageless Concealers.

{Michelle Obama, age 49, via.}

5.  Add more blush.  One of the big reasons we look older, is because we are losing natural color in our face.  Haven't you ever heard some people describe really old people as looking like a "corpse?" Morbid I know, but the translation is - you have zero color in your skin.  So add a peachy pink blush in a C shape on the apples of the cheeks, a no fail color for most skin tones.  Don't apply it in stripes.  No explanation necessary. I liked Nars "Orgasm" cheek color.

6.  Go easy on the lips.  Definitely add color to the lips because this is another spot where the natural color immediate leaves the building as well as fullness.  A gloss is the best way to add the illusion of fuller lips and filling in the lips with a lip liner or lip stain beforehand is a great way to add staying power.  Don't JUST line the outside of your lips without filling them in with the same color all over.  Nothing is yuckier than seeing an outline of some one's lips!  I like L'Oreal Colour Riche leGloss in "Saucy Mauve."

Of course, I cannot deny that a great skin care routine is absolutely the first step to making all of these makeup tips perform at their best.  And since I'm not a licensed esthetician or dermatologist, make sure you refer to one if you need help prepping that canvas!   *Special thanks to my Facebook friend, Sonya, who requested I shell out some do's and don'ts for this category of ladies! I hope this helped a little!*

Are you over 45?  What are your favorite makeup tricks to erase a couple of years?

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January 23, 2013

Stay Put Makeup For Skin And Eyes

Most women don't apply their makeup in the morning thinking, "Hmm, it's okay if all this just faded away in the next hour or so."  Why would we want to put all that effort into putting on our products if it was just going to be gone later in the day as if we had never even attempted a better face??  

{My stay put face.}

This is a constant battle for me as a busy mom who runs around like a chicken with my head cut off doing whatever it is I do to keep 3 children happy and healthy - I don't have time to update my makeup.  Yes I MAKE time if I have to, but I don't like to.  And as a makeup artist, it's also necessary to find the best long wear products because my clients don't pay me good money to get their makeup done then it look like they did it themselves an hour later - or worse, didn't do anything at all!

So I just treated myself to 3 new products that will make sure my 20 minutes of beauty efforts last at least 9 hours later.  All of these are STAY PUT APPROVED!

Stay Put Product #1 :  Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer, Light 3, ($44).

This is my new favorite foundation that gives medium to full coverage depending on how many layers of it I apply.  Thanks to the Ulta employee who took into account that I wanted "the best foundation" they sold, and that would make my skin look flawless without fading.  It came with a small foundation brush (the least great thing about it, cheapy bristles) and a matching concealer with mirror on top of the foundation cap.  The concealer matched perfectly and provided a bit heavier coverage than the foundation.

I found this foundation impressed me even more about 10 minutes after applying it and it sinking in. Weird I know, but wasn't super impressed right after swiping it on (I use an egg sponge), then 10 minutes later looked at it and thought, "wow!" It created a great matte finish look without making me appear flat and pasty.  It is oil free and it lasted a loooong time without sliding off my face!

Stay Put Product #2 : Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide On Eye Set, ($38)

I'm a big fan of these glide-on 24/7 pencils, I own two others.  But when I saw that I could get all of these great, very wearable colors in one set, I was sold.  My eye look I created in these pics consists of the Mainline (steel blue) and Zero (rich black).  Other shades included are : Uzi (steel grey), Demolition (black/brown), Smog (bronze), and Empire (plum).  The pencils are NOT full size, but at least 3/4 the size of the original ones.

 {Lashes are by MAC, style #33.}

I lined the upper lash line in the blue shade and my lower inner water line in the black.  The staying power is really good for such a soft liner.  These things really do "glide" on with ease!  NO tugging whatsoever which I like for my aging eyes!!  We don't need to add to the eye wrinkles, wink wink.

Stay Put Product #3 :  Urban Decay De Slick XL ($34)

I don't use this spray on myself because I don't have oily skin.  But I do love using it on my clients with oil slick issues.  You spray this on after all of your makeup has been applied and it helps keeps your products staying where you put them and to keep a matte appearance for hours and hours.  I also got a big score on this big bottle - I got it for $18 when it usually goes for $34!  Apparently they were trying to get rid of these older bottles to make way for the new packaged ones.

Other products worn in this post in case you were wondering:
Victoria's Secret Shadow duo in "Fine & Fierce"
MAC blush "Pinch O Peach"
Buxom lip gloss "White Russian"

What are your favorite STAY PUT products for skin and eyes?

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January 22, 2013

My Pre - Birthday Celebrations

My birthday isn't until the 30th, but I'm not afraid to celebrate it way in advance.  These pics are a weekend combination of 1. a visit to my parents hometown plus birthday dinner (they also have birthdays in January), 2. museum trip with the kids, 3. and another bday dinner with my girlfriends who are sweet enough to help me celebrate my big day in advance!

 {Our yummy chocolate cake with mine + my parents names.}

{My birthday look - completed with MAC "Russian Red" lipstick.}

{Late night celebrating with the hubby!} 

{My boys getting to play golf with their grandpa + dad while visiting.}

 {Ready to go inside! Children's Museum of Atlanta.}

{All 3 of us love a good mirror.}

{My little Picasso.}

{Canvas, leather, and metal.}

My comfy kiddie museum look that transitioned into the night for dinner with my girlfriends! 

{I treasure my time with my girlfriends.}

{Just a few gifts from my thoughtful friends who know me so well.}

{Another chocolate cake.  Is there any other flavor??}

I've been pretty spoiled this weekend by spending time with all the people I love to be around. What could make for a better way to celebrate a birthday?!  Celebrating it a week in advance -Ha!

Who else has a January birthday??

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January 18, 2013

Fight Human Trafficking One Lipstick At A Time With Radiant Cosmetics

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Radiant Cosmetics wants to "Kiss Slavery Goodbye" one lipstick at a time!!  This campaign is going on all this month and they sent me one of their current lipsticks to try out.  I ended up using it to create two lip looks PLUS a cheek stain!  Check out how easy one lipstick can turn into 3 looks...

 {Lip color is a matte formula in "Moscow," $20}}

{2 lip looks, 1 lipstick.}

The left shows how I used it as a stain - I swiped it on my finger first, then patted and pressed it into my mouth starting on the inside and working outwards.  It has amazing stay power when used this way!  On the right is me swiping it straight onto my lips from the tube, with two coats.  Extremely deep and rich in pigment.

 {Shown as a lipstick.  Bold lips made my old ragged hoodie look a bit more fancy:)}

I couldn't decide which blush to wear with it, so I got a little crafty and made my own cheek color from the tube!  I just added a highlighter (Benefit's "Watt's Up!" mentioned here,) to give it some shimmer and soften the color a bit.

 {Mixing the highlighter + lipstick made a beautiful light pink blush stain.}

{Easy to rub the mixture right onto the apples of my cheeks with my finger.}

{Voila!  Lip color and blush from the same tube.}

Here is a previous post I did on Radiant products and I truly think these products that do good for others when purchased, also look good on!  If you want to know more about this organization and how the purchase of lipsticks this month will benefit others you can click on their site here.

Thanks Radiant for one of my new favorite red lip colors!  

*I was not paid for this post review.  I truly think these are great products for the price.  And since the purchase of their cosmetics benefit men, women, and children being abused this way, I think it's a win win for everyone if more people know and support this company.*

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