Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FOTD: Soft Winged Eye (Marc Jacobs Enigma Palette)

Remember my favorite things?

I already reviewed The Parisienne and The Siren, and this isn't going to be an in-depth review of The Engima - just an FOTD feature. I have two more coming up, as well; Enigma has been getting a lot of use, as it's a lovely palette with a great mix of cooler neutrals, brilliant for daytime AND nighttime looks (for swatches, visit The Beauty Look Book or Temptalia).

I tried to do a soft smoked wing look, using shades 1, 2, 4, 5 (from the left of the palette); the pink shades went all over the lid (matte 5 first, then shimmery 4 just over the inner corner with a fluffy brush), followed by a deepening of the crease with 2 (gunmetal), and then a more graphic winged liner with 1, the matte black. I finished with mascara. I don't typically use shadows for liner because they don't always stay put in neat lines, but I didn't have a lot of trouble with this one. I did use a primer to really bring out the color of these shadows, and that probably helped.
I think this is one of my favorite looks, lately. I've really been feeling the soft pinks!

I wish I could remember what lipstick that is. I think it's Laura Mercier Baby Lips (which is kind of a creepy name, you guys), and I think the blush is Dior Capri. In lieu of foundation, I'm just wearing concealer and the Bobbi Brown powder, which has been a staple.

I didn't have neutral-smokey shades before (The Parisienne is more jewel-toned, I'd say) and I'm really happy with The Engima. The glittery bronze (shade 6) is absolutely stunning; I like to use that one all over the lid for a really fun take on neutral (that's one of the looks coming up). This exaggerated wing is a little more artsy than I normally go for, but it's fun to play around with a palette and see what you can come up with. What kind of looks have you been experimenting with, lately? 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Take a Step Back...and Be Kind to Yourself

Lately I've found it hard to review products, mostly because it takes a level of scrutiny that I've been admitting is unrealistic. Example:

The scene: Slightly fudged my lipstick application - the line around my lips is wobbly in parts.
Reaction: Peer closely at said wobbly line in mirror, with my eyeballs an inch away from the mirror, breathing heavily as I inspect the mishap. (Now I must wipe the mirror.) Is it okay? Must I redo it? (Because, hello, lazy). Second opinion time!

Me: "Look at my lipstick. Can you tell that it's super messy around the edges? Should I redo it?"
S (standing a normal distance away): *looks at my face for a moment* "No. Looks fine."
Me: "Are you sure? What if you look at it closely?"
S (doesn't move): "It's fine. If anyone gets that close to your face, you have other problems."
Me: ...

Verdict: Fuck it. MESSY LIPSTICK STAYS. Life is too short.

You see? Now, I won't be taking blog photos of that (or will I? Muahaha. Ha. Ha.), because up close and personal - like everything is on the blog - it's a bit much, and readers may wonder how I ever made it out of kindergarten without learning how to color in the lines. But the average other person, out and about? Won't even notice. So I'm learning to let it go.

(Er, unfortunate choice of words. I am not, and will never be, a "Frozen" advocate.)

That is, I have been making an effort to take a step back from the mirror after applying products. If it looks good from there, it looks good. All it needs now is a smile. Here's the cheesy reminder to be more forgiving of ourselves and the faces we see in the mirror. Especially as beauty bloggers and beauty aficionados, who spend a lot of time critiquing and scrutinizing every detail or skin flaw - be kind!

(Goes great with a pinot gris, this cheese. Enjoy your Monday.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FOTD: Your Soul is Evergreen (Clarins Garden Escape Palette)

[Products marked * were gifts from friends; everything else was purchased by me.]

"'Coz honey your soul could never grow old, it's evergreen."
- Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud

That is such a romantic line. Seriously. I swoon for the ginger's lyrics.

(Also, I just learned that that album is called "Multiply." I suppose that makes more sense than "X," considering his first album is "+.")

I also swoon for emerald green eye shadows, and a good ole' green smokey eye. A fabulous friend sent me an exciting gift, and the colors lend itself perfectly to an everyday neutral eye, or smokier green eyes. I've done both for you here!
Thank you! <3 

This isn't a review, just a focus on looks that I came up with. Tracy was a superstar and did both wet & dry swatches, so head over there for swatches. On me, both pinks are pretty much identical (maybe the fourth from the left is ever so slightly warmer), but the other four shades apply well, even dry, which is good, because I rarely use shadows wet. (Except for this once.)

So first, the everyday look you can do, with the pinks, white (brow highlight, with a very light hand), and taupe blended into the outer edge/crease. It's overall pearlescent and very brightening - super pretty. Finished with eyeliner and generous coats of mascara (Clinique High Impact Curling).

Lip color is Maybelline Color Elixir in Breathtaking Apricot. Which is so, so pink. Blush is Tarte Stellar*.

But you really came for the smokey green eyes, didn't you? Me, too. I love green eyeshadow, although navy smokey eyes may be winning by just a hair nowadays. Just goes with my skin color a little better. Still. Evergreen souls and all. Here is a look with the lighter green all over lid, then the darker green in the crease and outer edge. Like I did in my recent navy look, I used a pale pink in the inner corner and to blend out the darker colors.
Lip color is YSL Gloss Volupté in 103 Opium Persan. Blush is again a barely there Tarte Stellar* because that's what's in my daily tray right now. Also, all the looking down shots because I've apparently used up my quota of smiles this month.
And then, this one is the same, but with a different lip color, and I used more of the darker green for a slightly smokier effect. Also I had a brow crisis, but never mind that. 
Lip color is Dior Addict Gloss in Enchanted Rose, because I fall in love with limited edition glosses all the time. Blush is, you guessed it! Tarte Stellar* again! 
Seriously, I'm having a gloss moment. And a smokey eye moment. Just in time for all the romance! Actually, I'm pretty indifferent to Valentine's Day, but this year we decided to go out (I think for our first ever Valentine's dinner out, ha!) because...it's been a while since we've treated ourselves to a fancy night out. So I'll be rocking a smokey eye and a glossy lip, and scarfing down all the food and wine. And shamelessly posting on Instagram about it. See you there.

So, what's your favorite smokey eye shade? Classic gray/brown/black? Blue? Purple? GREEN? Let me know!

Monday, February 9, 2015

FOTD: A "Light" Navy Smokey Look

[Products marked * were received as Sephora Beauty Insider reward perks; everything else was purchased by me.]

I read a lot of food blogs, and for every comfort food recipe out there, there is a "light" version, touted as all the same pleasures with half the guilt.

Yeah, in case you haven't noticed yet, a lot of things around here are about food.

But it all ties in! I am legit this time and not just spouting off about cookies. I wanted to do a navy smokey eye (like this), but I didn't want to do all that blending, and I also wanted something less "heavy-breathing-date-night." So I skipped the primer (sticky, sticky --> all the furious blendings) and used theBalm Risqué Renee wet all over the lid, and then dry to blend it out. I also fluffed a pale, peachy pink (theBalm Luscious Lani) over the inner corner/middle of the lid, to add a bit of sheen and blend the navy more seamlessly into my skin.  
I need to knit myself more hats. 
I really liked the effect of using a pearly pale pink rather than the usual gray-brown nude, and I did it again in another smokey look that's coming up soon. The result is something a little more translucent - the "light" version of a smokey eye, if you will.
TheBalm Shady Lady Vol.1, the palette I used for this look - just two shades, Risqué Renee and Luscious Lani.
I added mascara and liquid liner to emphasize the eyes (L'Oreal Voluminous Power Volume 24H, Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner), but to keep everything else light, I only used bronzer (Too Faced Chocolate Soleil*) all over and a opted for a glossy, barely-there pink lip (Dior Addict Gloss in Enchanted Rose).

I've been favoring a sheer, glossy lip, lately. I want to pick up the Mylord Dior Addict Gloss from the Spring 2015 collection, since it's a dusty mauve rose that I don't have, but I haven't really been in the mood to shop, lately, so we'll see if it's still around in a few months.

Smokey eyes + sheer glossy lips is a favorite date night standard of mine, because wiping off gloss before I eat doesn't leave uneven stains on my lips and the overall look still packs drama. There is at least one more smokey eye look coming up on the blog. What are some of your favorite date night looks?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Some Hopefully Helpful Ramblings about Liquid Liner

[Products were purchased by me. No affiliate links.]
Top: (L-R) Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner, Eyeko "Eye Do" Lash Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner, Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink Liquid Liner.
Bottom: Double winged eye look - the blue is Sephora 06 Pool Party, which is $5 right now!
This was meant to be a short post, but er, oops. I've mentioned that I'm usually a liquid liner girl, and this is prolly the beauty product I get the most comments about, as there is an "aura of fear" surrounding liquid liners. I get it, they're inky black and scary, but man, for me, there's really no better way to achieve a great winged cat eye. I use black liquid liner daily, and right now I have three (shown above): Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner ($22 for 0.02 oz), Eyeko "Eye Do" Lash-Enhancing Liquid Eyeliner ($19 for 0.03 oz) and Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink Liquid Liner ($15 for cartridge, $20 for brush pen).

Quickly, some thoughts and tips. If you're just starting out, I'd go for a brush tip or flocked tip (like this Sephora one or this Revlon one). They are more flexible and forgiving if your hand is unsteady or you're not used to a liquid liner. The Shu Uemura Calligraph:Ink brush tip is also thin and supple and easy to control, but it's a steep price point for something new, I think. The Smashbox Limitless and Eyeko both have sturdy, firm tips that give forth saturated black ink, but they can stagger and skip over folds, and any mistake is noticeable.

Second: For a pen tip style liner, it's usually easier (for me, anyway) to hold the pen parallel to your lid line rather than perpendicular to it (see below). I always start from the inner corner (or near to - see this post) and work out; this also helps angle the wing toward the outer edge of your eye, because you'll feel a natural tendency to wing it up if you hold it at that angle. The line can get a little thicker this way, but since you're applying less pressure by gliding it along sideways, you'll skip the pen less. You can do this in one smooth pass, or a series of light, outward strokes.
Graphics added with the Line Camera app.
Holding the pen parallel (top) can also minimize the amount that gets on your lashes and smudges. I usually run a finger under my lashes upward afterward, though, to remove any residue.
Last thing: It's okay if the first pass is wobbly - you can fix it with an angled liner brush (quickly, before the liner sets). Alternatively, I do hold the pen perpendicular (tip straight on) if I'm trying to smooth out lines after a first pass - I just tap quick little spots here and there to even things out. Also, if you plan on wearing mascara, it's not super crucial to bury the liner at the lashline. Mascara will even it out.
Winged eye, with Smashbox Limitless Liner. No mascara.
It's totally fine if you prefer gel or pencil for your eye type and your killer liner looks, but hopefully this quick rambling was helpful for anyone looking to up their liquid liner game. I didn't go into liner longevity here (oh man, new levels of makeup nerdiness), but I can share experiences in the comments, if you are curious about any of these. I do prefer a "wet" liner look vs. a matte one, so all of these tend that way. As a liquid liner junkie, I do want the new MUFE Graphic Liner or maybe a Kat Von D for color, so if you've tried any of those, I'd love to know what you think of them.