Sunday, August 23, 2015

FOTD August 23, 2015: The calendar says it's summer, but my heart says it's fall

Primer MAC Prep + Prime Skin
Foundation Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous in 105 Classic Ivory + L'Oreal True Match Lumi in W1-2
Concealer NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain

Brows e.l.f. Studio Brow kit in Medium
Primer Urban Decay Primer Potion
Shadows Matte light pink (inner 1/2 of lid) and mauve (outer half of lid) shades from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette, Colourpop Sequin (outer 1/3 of lid), Colourpop Drift (outer corner and crease, outer 1/3 of lower lid), and Sultry from the balm Nude 'Tude palette (blended out above the crease)
Liner NYC liquid liner (tightline)
Mascara MUFE Smokey Extravaganza (top lashes), Covergirl Clump Crusher (bottom lashes)

Blush Three blushes from the Coastal Scents 10 Blush palette (in the top row, the two leftmost shades, in the bottom row, the rightmost shade)

Lipstick Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Afterdark (applied first) and Bad Blood (applied on top)

Ever since starting grad school, the moment August rolls around I am ready to pack away my shorts and sandals and coral lipsticks and get ready for fall. Last year, the weather seemed to be in agreement with me and leaves were starting to fall in NYC by mid August. This year the weather is still resolutely summer, but my heart is already stuck on fall makeup.

I've been feeling anxious lately about some school/work things and so this afternoon I decided to play around with Colourpop Drift for the first time as a distraction. I can tell just from today that this is a shade I'm going to be loving this fall and winter. For the eyes, I started off by applying the light pink matte shade from the CS Revealed 2 palette all over my lids, with the light matte mauvey shade on the outer half of each lid. I then patted on Sequin, a gorgeous glittery rose-copper, with my finger on the outer half or third of each lid. On the outer corner of each eye, I patted on Drift with my pinky finger. I then use a Coastal Scents synthetic brush (BR-C-S51) to bring Drift up into the crease. I also used the same brush to bring Drift down along the outer 1/3 of my lower lashline. I've heard that the Colourpop shadows apply best with the fingers, and my experience so far using Sequin has confirmed this, but I actually thought that Drift applied quite well using the CS brush as well. Once I had blended this into the crease, I blended it out using Sultry from the balm's Nude 'Tude palette.

I decided I wanted to mimic the warm berry tones used in the eye shadow on my cheeks, so I used a couple of different Coastal Scents blushes to get a similar effect. I started by using a light peach shade (in the top row, second from the left-- I hate that they don't have names or numbers) and applied this along my cheek bones towards the apples of my cheeks. I then used a warm nude shade (bottom row, all the way on the right) and applied this just under my cheeks bones, almost like a contour. Finally, on the tops of my cheek bones, I applied a gorgeous mauvey shade (top row, leftmost) focusing only on the outsides of my face. I blended these lightly together with a fluffy kabuki brush. I like the effect a lot, although I think for a more monochromatic look the blush called Mellow Wine from Wet 'n' Wild would also look gorgeous. In the way of a mini review, I think the Coastal Scents are quite pigmented and come in a beautiful array of shades and finishes, but on my skin (which is not oily, although I will admit to resting my cheeks in my hands throughout the day) the blushes definitely do not last the day. I know that Coastal Scents also makes individual blushes called Forever Blush (or forever flush, or something like that)-- I'm not sure if these are the same formula or if they're longer lasting. TL;DR: The 10 pan blush palette is pretty for playing around with but doesn't hold up all day long.

Finally, I decided to use another new product I've been saving for fall-- the Urban Decay Matte Revolution lipstick in Afterdark. When I first put this on I was surprised by how purple it was-- it's a gorgeous color, but it didn't look quite right with the shadows. I layer the shade Bad Blood on top though and it become the Oxblood fall lipstick color of my dreams! They seriously make an amazing combo, if you happen to have both shades I highly recommend pairing them together.

I can't wait to wear this look again (outside of my apartment, even >>) when the weather becomes more appropriately fall! 

(P.S. My skin has been very sad lately thanks to hormones (and I somehow forgot to use moisturizer last night), sorry sorry.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

FOTD: August 15th, 2015

Foundation bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream in 02 Vanilla
Concealer Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer in .5, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain
Powder Tarte Smooth Operator (to set concealer), Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana (all over)

Brows e.l.f. Studio Brow Kit in Medium (gel side) + Mocha from IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette (to fill in some sparse areas)
Primer Urban Decay Primer Potion
Shadows Instinct (all over) and Wonder (above crease) from Stila In the Moment palette, two purple shades (in the crease and on the lower lashline), a pink shade (above the crease, the blend everything out), and a cream shade (inner lid) from Coastal Scents Metal Mania palette, a turquoise shade (deepest part of crease, outer corner) from the e.l.f. Summer Beauty Night Book, and Shattered (outer 1/3 of upper lid) from the Urban Decay Ammo palette
Liner NYC liquid liner (tightline), Jesse's Girl eyeliner in Lilac Shimmer (lower waterline) topped with Impulse from the Stila In the Moment palette
Mascara Makeup For Ever Smokey Extravagant (top lashes), Covergirl Clump Crusher (lower lashes)

Lipstick ColourPop Lippie Stix in Lumiere (all over) and Westie (patted on top)

I'm so excited about how this look turned out! In my last FOTD I talked about how I wanted to work on my blending, and I think I really improved it a lot in this look. I based this off of a shadow look /u/Julia526 posted on the MakeupAddiction subreddit (you can find her post here), and I think having a guide for color placement helped a lot with getting the blending right. I didn't have any of the particular shadows that she used (I didn't even have similar colors, in some cases), but I'm really pleased with how this came out anyway. I feel like if unicorns wore eyeshadow, it would look something like this.

I've really been enjoying the Coastal Scents Metal Mania palette the last two times I've used it. Don't get me wrong, it's an inexpensive mega palette so it's got some flaws (there are a bunch of "dud" shades that produce no noticeable color, some fallout, etc) but it also has some beautiful and very unique shades. This serves as a reminder to self that it's good to shop your stash every once in a while.

Speaking of shopping your stash, I dug up this Jesse's Girl eye liner because I thought it would look perfect with the shadows I used and I haven't used it in a long time... but I just wasn't that impressed with it. The liner is unbelievably soft which makes it very difficult to get good color payoff (especially in difficult areas like the waterline). I ended up having to go over it with a purple shadow I sprayed with MAC Fix+. DO NOT DO THIS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! I don't know why I thought Fix+ was a good idea for shadows on the waterline but it burned my eyes for a good 5 minutes and they were a watery red mess. Thankfully they recovered and I can still see and all that good stuff so no permanent damage done, but an important lesson was learned.

Finally, my skin is in a bit rough shape as I'm trying to get rid of these freaking closed comedones I've had on my chin for a long while... I recently came to the realization that one of my favorite foundations was highly comedogenic so I've switched away from that and now I'm trying to improve the skin texture in that area. I've been thinking about maybe making a post about this and documenting what works (and doesn't work) during this process, but it will probably take a while to write, so we'll see.

FOTD: 08/09/15

SPF Missha All-Around Safe Block SPF 45 
Foundation Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous in 105 Classic Ivory
Concealer Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer in .5, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain
Powder/Highlight Tarte Smooth Operator (to set concealer), Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana (all over)

Brows e.l.f. Studio Brow Kit in Medium (gel side)
Primer Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Shadows Bare (all over lid) and Bliss (crease) from the Stila in the light palette, turquoise (crease, blended out) and navy (crease) from the e.l.f. Beach Beauty Night book, Shattered (crease, outer 1/3 of top lid, inner 2/3 of lower lid) from the Urban Decay Ammo palette, and two purple shades (crease, lower 1/3 lid) from the Coastal Scents Metal Mania palette
Liner NYC liquid liner (tightline)
Mascara MUFE Smokey Extravaganza (top lashes), Covergirl Clump Crusher (lower lashes)

Blush Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Thrilled

Lipstick Kat von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft

I've taken a lot of FOTD pictures lately but haven't posted them because I've been having a miserable time correcting the white balance... it's really been bumming me out to create these looks that I'm really happy with and have them look completely inaccurate on my computer screen. I grabbed my boyfriend's gray t-shirt (on my shoulder) to use as a makeshift gray card and it actually worked out quite well for color correcting these images, so I think I'm finally back in business! (Now to get a real gray card from amazon!)

This is a lot more "look" than I typically wear and all I did after I put it on was sit around the house and work out! But I've been wanting to get better (and more adventurous) at eyeshadow application and lazy weekends are a good, low-risk time to play around. But now that I've taken pictures of the eyeshadow, I see that my blending leaves a lot to be desired (while it looked decent to me in the mirror). That's the "good" thing about photographing makeup, I suppose-- photographs, especially now that everything is in crazy HD, are incredibly forgiving, so you've really got to get your technique perfect or errors are going to be readily visible. I'm hoping that photographing my makeup more often will help me to refine my skills.

This look was inspired by a photo posted on Beau Nelson's instagram last May of this gorgeous mint eye look paired with a red lip (I'll try to find a link to this soon, my internet is being incredibly slow right now-- but trust me, the look was gorgeous). What I was really envisioning before I started slapping colors on my face was a sort of "halo" of color around my crease and lower lashline, while the top lid was kept neutral and bright. But I also wanted to experiment more with blending different colors, so I chose to use a variety of purple and blue shades for the "halo", rather than the monochromatic shade(s) in the original photo. Below is a visual of how I approached the eyeshadow application. I started by patting Bare, a light flesh-toned shade, all over my top lid. I then added Bliss into the crease and really concentrated on diffusing the color out. I wanted there to be a soft, warm neutral base for all of the other shadows that I used on top. I then went in with purple shadow #1 and concentrated on blending this softly into the crease. I wanted this shade to look soft and blown out (since it was just a base for the other shadows), but I left a little bit of bliss poking out around the perimeter. I then went in with the turquoise e.l.f. shade and focused this on the lower half of my crease. In the center of my crease, I applied the navy shade and blended it out. I then applied Shattered over the lower half of my crease and into the outer 1/3 of my top lid. Finally, I applied purple #2 along the very top of the crease colors to blend everything out. I added purple #1 to the outer 1/3 of my lower lashline, followed by shattered on the inner 2/3s and blended together.

I really love the way the colors look together, and even though I think the blending could have been better, with my eyes open it wasn't that noticeable and I really loved how the soft colors looked around my eyes. My boyfriend kept telling me I looked pretty so I guess he liked the colors, too. I'd definitely like to revisit this look sometime, but I think I'll futz around with the placement and technique a bit to get a more seamless look.
PS. I just got "Lovecraft" as a 100 pt perk from Sephora and I'm in love! I was worried that it would pull too brown on me (most of those gorgeous pinky-brown nudes do), but it doesn't and it really ended up being a fantastic MLBB shade.

Monday, May 25, 2015

FOTD May 22, 2015

SPF Laneige Sun Block Supreme SPF 50
Moisturizer Too Faced HangoverRx
Concealer Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in .05
Powder Everyday Minerals Jojoba Base in Shell Blanc (under eyes) and Physician's Formula Super BB Powder SPF 30

Brows A matte brown shade from Coastal Scents Revealed 2
Liner Bellapierre Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Ebony
Mascara bareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara (top lashes) and Covergirl Clump Crusher (bottom lashes)

Blush Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Thriller
Contour "Cool Gray" from Lorac Pro 2 Palette
Highlight e.l.f. Studio Baked Highlighter in Blush Gems

Lipliner essence Lip Liner in 07 Cute Pink (used all over)

I wanted to do a quicker, lighter look today by skipping foundation so I used my new favorite thing in life (the UD concealer) under my eyes, around my nose, and on some red areas on my chin and then smoothed everything else out with a new purchase, the Physician's Assistant Super BB powder. I had been looking for a powder with high(er) SPF that I could use to boost my protection on days when I can't easily re-apply sunscreen, and I've been really pleased with this so far. It offers a very small amount of coverage (so I wouldn't suggest trying to use it as a foundation unless you are looking for something very sheer), but the powder is oddly... creamy and looks very soft and flawless on the skin, not powdery at all. I'd definitely recommend this to other dry skinned folks.

I also decided to do a little highlighting and contouring as I'd saved myself some time by not applying foundation. I like using the Cool Gray shade (this name bugs me every time I use it... if you've ever used the palette, I'm sure that you could agree with me that the shade could be considered a cool brown, or a warm gray, but it is definitely NOT a cool gray!) from the Lorac Pro 2 palette as my contour shade. It does require a very light hand, but I find the cool toned shade tends to look like a pretty natural shadow once it's blended out. I've been trying to work on applying my contour slightly higher on my cheeks as I don't think its current position is doing me any favors, but I always seem to remember this AFTER I've already placed my contour and it's too late to fix. I was able to get a lot of glow from the Tarte blush and the e.l.f. baked highlighter, which is really a phenomenal highlight product if you're looking for a cheap one.

I also wanted to show off that finally, after many months of having bare nails, I decided to put some of my nail polish to good use. The base shade here is Wet 'n' Wild Coast to Coast. I believe this was a limited edition shade from last summer's (2014) collection and this is embarrassingly enough the first time I've used it. It's a great polish (like other Wet 'n' Wild polishes-- they are some of my favorites even though they're an inexpensive brand)-- very user friendly, opaque (you could probably do this in one coat if you're skilled and patient, but I'm not), dries reasonably quickly but not so fast that it gets goopy before you can even finish painting one nail, and best of all-- the brush on these polishes is DIVINE. It's nice and wide so I can paint each nail in only 2-3 strokes. Love. For the flowers, the base color (a light pink-- not easily visible here) is another Wet 'n' Wild polish, Sophisticated Lady. This was also limited edition, but I forget when it came out. The darker pink petals are Zoya Kylie (also used for the horribly drawn stripes), the white center is a Wet 'n' Wild matte shade, Lac my mani? (also used for the white dots on my thumb), and the leaves are Covergirl Glosstini in Appletini. Finally, the copper glitter is a Sally Hanson Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish in Frazzle Dazzle. I really liked this polish until I realized there was black bar glitter in it (I hate bar glitter, I don't know why). It only appear on one nail (not pictured), which also kind of bugs me. I used Sally Hanson Double Duty Base and Top coat as my top coat, which impressed me quite a bit as this manicure lasted a full week with only the most minor tip wear and a tiny bit of chipping on one finger. I've never had a manicure last so long in such good condition before. Part of me is curious to see how long it could last while still looking wearable, but I'm definitely going to remove it after I finish typing this as I'm quite desperate to cut my nails (I can't imagine anyone in the beauty world sympathizes with me, but for some reason it drives me nuts to have my nails any longer than the ends of my fingers, as beautiful as long nails look).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOTD: May 21st, 2015

I tried out a couple of new products in this look, some of which I ended loving and some which I did not like at all... you win some, you lose some.

Moisturizer Too Faced Hangover Rx Replenishing Face Primer

SPF La Roche Posay Anthelios 30 Cooling Water Lotion
Corrector A combination of the yellow and green shades of the Coastal Scents Color Corrector Camo Quad to Foundation A 2:1 mixture of MAC Face and Body in C1 with CoverFx Custom Cover drops in N10 
Concealer Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in shade .5 
Setting e.l.f. High Definition Powder in Translucent (only in the areas I concealed)

Brows e.l.f. brow kit in Medium (I usually use light) and the brow end of e.l.f. Essential Clear Brow and Lash Mascara.
Primer Smashbox's 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
Shadow Maybelline Color Tattoos in Inked in Pink (outer 2/3 of lids) and Barely Branded (inner 1/3 of lids)
Liner Dark brown shade from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette (upper lids) and black shade (tightlining)
Mascara bareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara (top lashes) and Covergirl Clump Crusher in Brown (bottom lashes)

Blush Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Thrilled

Lipstick Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 300- Rose Blush

I'm having a really hard time getting the colors in the second set of photos to be accurate-- Inked in Pink is a decidedly rosey-pink but it's looking kind of coral in the bottom pictures. I'll try to work out a better method of white balancing in future photos. Anyway, this whole look revolved around the use of my new Color Tattoos which I LOVE. Gorgeous colors that blend like a dream and last all day without creasing? I'm a big fan. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of the e.l.f. brow kit. I had been using the light version for a while but I was hoping that maybe the medium version would have a less warm brow powder. I was unfortunately let down-- I only used the powder on the inner portion of my brows where my brows are sparse (because I *ahem* pull the hairs out) and you can tell that the color is WAY too orangey there compared to the outer parts, which I just used the gel side on. Also.... the UD Naked Skin concealer is intense stuff. I'm kind of head over heels in love. Even though I was never completely UNhappy with my Tarte concealer (see previous post), I felt like I could never completely cover my dark circles with it (everyone in my family has them-- the curse of having both pale skin and sub-orbital volume deficiency-- but I also have chronic insomnia so my dark circles have been intense this past year). I think the UD concealer did quite a good job of hiding the darkness (especially if you compare these photos to my previous post)-- there's still a shadow near my tear trough, but that's a literal shadow (because of my bone structure) and not discoloration. Because the consistency of this concealer is thinner and it dries down faster, I'm almost positive you could keep layering it until it covered just about anything.

Finally, I just want to take a moment to gush about this Tarte blush (since I just spent a bit bashing that concealer....) Thrilled is not only the most gorgeous light pink, but it has fine shimmer (think glow, not sparkle) running throughout it that makes it double as a highlighter and a blush. And furthermore, it's one of the few blushes I've used that definitely stays on my face without budging all day. I spend way too much time resting my cheeks in my hands while I'm working, so for a blush to still be in good shape at the end of the day is quite a feat.

FOTD: May 20th, 2015

I'm not going to try to excuse my (very long) absence... In the many months since I've last posted, I've been working tons, honing my makeup skills (somewhat at least!), working out, playing Animal Crossing... big people things. But I have been thinking about blogging a lot through it all (and cursing myself for not documenting things better-- ever look back at a picture of yourself and think "Man, that look was killer, what the hell was I using that day?") and I'm excited to get back into it now that summer is rolling around. Something about summer gives me the illusion that I have free time, when in reality now that I'm no longer in college I have about as much free time during the summer as I do during the rest of the year...

Anyway, I thought I'd bring an end to my hiatus by bringing back my FOTD posts. Looking back at some of the ones I posted (and then some of the ones I forgot to post) reminds me of how many great products I've got in my arsenal that I don't always reach for. It's a good way of reminding myself what I have, getting myself out of beauty ruts, and also a way to look back on how my skills and tastes change. I'm going to see if I can find some beauty challenges to give these looks a little more direction, too.

Here's a look that I put together yesterday, May 20th, 2015.

Moisturizer Too Faced HangoverRx Replenishing Primer
SPF La Roche Posay Anthelios 30 Cooling Water Lotion
Foundation 2:1 mixture of MAC Face and Body in C1 and CoverFX Custom Cover Drops in N10
Concealer 2:1:1 mixture of Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Fair, Maybelline Face Studio Master Conceal in Fair, and Boo-Boo Cover-up concealer in Medium
Setting bareMinerals Mineral Veil and a wet Real Techniques Complexion sponge

Brows Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Brow Duo in Dark Brown (the lighter shade)
Primer Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hour Shadow Primer
Base Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze (all over the lids and blended into the crease)
Shadows Stila Bubbly (center of the lid), Stila Kitten (inner corner), a burgundy shade from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette (outer third of top and bottom lids), Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze (lower lashline)
Liner Bellapierre Gel Eye Liner in Ebony (tightlining) and the black shade from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette (top lashline)
Mascara Covergirl Clump Crusher

Blush Stila Convertible Color in Peony

Lipstick Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

I really love how the MAC F&B+Custom Cover Drops looks in these photos (and in real life-- looked very skin like), but I think one of the products I used on this day didn't totally agree with my skin because it was looking a bit dry by the end of the day. I'm not sure if it's the F&B, the Mineral Veil, or the sunscreen (or some combination of the three)-- I'll have to try messing with things to figure it out. Struggles of a dry/dehydrated-skinned girl. I've been having to MacGyver my concealer lately because despite what so many people says, I just cannot get the Tarte concealer to last all day if I use it on it's own-- by the time I get home from work it looks like I've got two black eyes. I tried mixing it with just the Maybelline concealer for a while but that concealer creases worse than anything I've ever used before (it's a shame, really, because if it weren't for the creasing it would be a HG drugstore concealer, it's got amazing coverage). I tossed the Boo-Boo Cover-up into the mix because I got it in an ipsy bag and I've got no other use for a concealer in a medium shade :/ I've been really into burgundy eye looks lately so I was really pleased with how this turned out, although it was admittedly a little darker than I was originally going for.

(My pupils look HUGE in these photos but I promise I was not high... I want to blame it on being in a dark room but my room wasn't even all that dark at the time :| )
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