Beauty 101

Primer: The Great Houdini

I never realized how wonderful a thing primer was until I really got interested in makeup. I always used to think it was a little much until one day, it was a Tuesday, my world changed forever. I was so amazed at how smooth and easy it was to apply my foundation, it was like butter. And my pores? What pores?! The best thing, though, was that my makeup looked fresh all day. Before my great awakening, I’d have to stop and reapply my foundation throughout the day (which was such a drag). Primers are great bases for foundation, but there are many more great tricks this little miracle can tackle as well.

pink, green, and lilac primers

Dull skin is never fun, but there is definitely a simple solution for this problem. Lack luster skin is no match for light pink primers, they can add an amazing glow. I recommend the Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer. It’s silky, weightless and dries to a powdery finish. Lilac shades (like the one found in Revlon’s PhotoReady Color Correcting Primer) brighten sallow skin, and green formulas (like Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Primer in Green) neutralize redness.

dollop of primer

Too much of a good thing can be not-so-good, this is definitely true for primer. A little bit goes a long way, trust me. When you load up on primer, it pills under your foundation. A small drop, about the size of a raisin, is plenty. Gently apply it on the skin, and you’re good to go.

eyelid primer

The skin underneath your eyes is extremely sensitive, so when applying product in that area be cautious. Instead of rubbing, gently pat it into place and buff it out in a circular motion. Around the eyes and on the lids, primer is the ultimate three-point play (sorry, I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs with my boyfriend lol): it prevents makeup from smudging or creasing by absorbing oils, it diminishes crow’s feet, and it thwarts redness. Try Smashbox’s Photo Finish Lid Primer, it provides the perfect base for flawless eye shadow application.

lancome cils booster xl mascara primer

Want thicker, longer lashes? Layer on an eyelash primer under your regular mascara. Who knew such a thing existed? These formulas amplify sparse lashes and contain vitamin E or glycerin and condition lashes beautifully. Lancôme’s Cils Booster XL is the perfect candidate for such an effect. It’s thick, bushy brush is perfect for creating great fan-like lashes and the white formula goes on mostly clear. Just be sure to limit your mascara to two coats, any more will leave a big clumpy mess.

smashbox blemish primer

If your primer already contains anti-acne ingredients, its best that you skip spot treatments. Layering on too many acne-fighting products simultaneously can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. Try Smashbox’s Photo Finish More Than Primer Blemish Control, the oil-free formula hydrates the skin but won’t clog pores—and the two percent salicylic acid content wards off blemishes.

Don’t you hate it when you see women with feathering lipstick, or when it starts to settle into lines of the lips? You see them everywhere: Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, DSW. The poor dears. Don’t be another victim! Use a lip primer, it locks down color and combats feathering, fading and transfer even after the world’s biggest cup of joe. I love the Lip Insurance Lip Primer by Too Faced, it’s hydrating formula is perfect for matte fanatics like myself.

makeup powder

Setting your makeup is a cakewalk, just remember this order: primer, liquid foundation (or tinted primer), translucent powder. I never thought a simple step could make such a huge difference, but it does. The water in your makeup and silicones in most primers repel each other, so if you touch your face both will come right off. A translucent powder stops this fiasco from happening. There are tons of these out, almost every line out has one, but my personal fave is the Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder from the Sephora Collection. It glides on effortlessly and I love the matte finish it gives my foundation.

If this hasn’t convinced you that a primer is a must-have in your beauty routine, I’m not sure what will. The benefits are numerous, so run to your nearest Sephora and scoop one up (I promise you’ll love it). There are even tinted primers you can wear alone like Sunday Riley’s Effortless Tinted Primer, doing so adds a nice wash of color (which is perfect if you’re going for an au naturel look). Seriously, go get one!

Stay beautiful loves

xoxo ❤

Nail’d It: Spring 2015 Trends

So you’re already hip to this season’s latest trends for your threads, but what about those darling digits of yours? WIth all the bright, beautiful colors and designs how’s a girl to choose? That my dear is entirely up to you, but I’ve taken the liberty to roundup a few trends that have graced the runways. Hopefully these ideas will be winners for you, or they may kick start a few of your own. Here are five manis that caught my eye and have made my “Try-THIS!” list as far as Spring nail art goes:

1.  Delpozo Spring 2015

These bold coral negative-space half-moon manicures were created using Essie Tart Deco ($9) At Delpozo.


2.  Erin Fetherston

This super cute design was created my manicurist Gina Edwards for Kiss and Broadway Nails. The gold strip on the crisp, white color is a nice minimalist contrast to the very ladylike collection at Erin Fetherston.


3.  Betsey Johnson

The embellished 3D manis at Betsey Johnson put a nice little snazzy spin on bridal nails. The look was created using Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer.


4.  Baja East Spring 2015

Models at Baja East wore nails painted a cool marble gray with a bold white line.


5.  Angel Sanchez Spring 2015

The geometric blue and gray manicure at Angel Sanchez was created by Gina Edwards (yes, again) for Morgan Taylor amd was meant to juxtapose the feminine pieces in the collection. Smart, right?

Stay beautiful my lovlies ❤

Makeup Faux Pas You’re Probably Committing: Part One

There are times when I’ve looked at old Facebook pictures and and thought, “What the hell was I thinking?” I have tons of old photos where I’ve showcased how not to properly apply makeup. Among the losers are: horrible attempts to fill sparse brows, raccoon-chic eyeliner, and lip gloss applications that pop just a little too much. Below is the first installment of makeup faux pas we’ve all committed at least once in life, and (hopefully) have ditched. And if there are some you may still be doing without realizing it, keep calm because I’ve included some easy tips for fixing them.

wrong foundation

1. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Foundation

We’ve all done this, I certainly know I have. This usually happens more frequently when you’re trying to find the right shade of drugstore foundation. Those swatches on the shelf are so helpful. Yeah, no!

Fix: Choose two shades that come closest to your skin tone, apply each of them to your jawline, and then go outside to natural light and look in the mirror. Use your own judgement to see which one looks most natural.

dry skin

2. Applying Makeup on Dry Skin

Applying foundation to dry skin is an absolute no-no! Doing so only accentuates flakiness, and those dead skin cells left behind will sit on top of your face instead of blending in.

Fix: Exfoliate once a week, then apply a rich moisturizer afterwards.

wrong blush

3. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Blush

Blushes should compliment your natural blush tone, not make you look like an embarrassed cartoon character. And your nickname may be “China doll”, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like one.

Tip: If you’re wearing a bolder lip, make sure you pair it with a subtler blush. I guess Ms. Aguilera didn’t get the memo.

over bronze

4. Applying Too Much Bronzer

Over-liberal bronzer application has to be one of the biggest makeup blunders MUAs everywhere complain about. Your bronzer is supposed to give you a natural, healthy glow, not make you look like a bronze metal.

Fix: Don’t apply it all over your face. The only areas you should be focused on are your forehead, temples, and nose. And don’t forget to apply some to your neck as well.

brushes

5. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

Skipping out on cleaning your brushes not only keeps your makeup from looking fresh, but it can also cause break outs.

Tip: Wash them with a mild shampoo or instant brush cleaner, and replace your sponges regularly.

switch

6. Not Switching Makeup Seasonally

Have you ever noticed that your makeup always seem to run from time to time? This usually happens during the warmer months and right now, since it’s cold as bricks outside, it may not seem like such a big deal. *flips winter the bird* And while the weather may be terribly unforgiving, this next tip is pretty handy when we get ready to transition into Spring.

Tip: Switch formulas during the Spring and Summer to waterproof pencils and mascaras, as well as cream shadows to stop your makeup from smudging or running. You worked so hard on it, it’d be such a shame for it to melt away.

Hopefully you’ve seen the error of your ways and are taking the necessary steps to correcting what you’re doing wrong. Reading over many of these tips have definitely set me straight, and i vow never to commit these blunders ever again. I hope this helped you guys, and be sure to stay tuned for part two! 🙂

Stay beautiful my loves ❤

Girl On The Move

Hello beautiful people!

I haven’t shot a YouTube video in a while, and I was getting ready to run some errands and I thought “Why not make a video?”. This is a compressed version of how I usually get ready when I’m just going to be out and about all day. I just ran to the grocery store, gassed my car up, and did some Christmas shopping. Nothing too fancy. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel! ❤

Enhancing Your Eye Color

We all know that hair color, skin tone, and makeup techniques play a big role in the overall intensity of our eye color. But today’s post will prove that the extra glimmer in your eye has everything to do with the colors you wear. Whether you have darling baby blues, sparkly greens, bright hazel, deep brown peepers, or gorgeous greys here are the basic color guidelines to follow to get your boldest and brightest eyes:

blue eyes

The colors that work best for you:

  • Classic neutrals
  • Any shade of pink
  • Deep blues
  • Lighter shades of green

If you’re out and about during the day, try a nice shade of: Taupe or Grey (rhyme much?)

blue eyes

Panting the town red tonight? Wear: Fuschia

blue eyes2

Green eyes

The colors that work best for you:

  • Purple
  • Deep shades of green
  • Coral
  • Pale shades of yellow

Out and about during the day? Try: Coral

green eyes

You have a birthday dinner at 8. You should totally wear: Mossy green.

green eyes2

Hazel Eyes

Your best colors:

  • Dark neutrals
  • Orange
  • Lavender
  • Burgundy

Looking to add an extra spring in your step? Try a dash of: Lavender

Rihanna purple outfit

Date night? Wow him while wearing: Charcoal.

hazel eyes2

 

final

Your best colors:

  • Cool neutral colors
  • Pinks
  • Charcoals
  • Purples
  • If you have lighter hair go for lighter neutrals like pale yellow
  • Darker haired gals go for richer shades like navy

Notice how Zooey’s eyes pop? Her dark hair and that rich green she’s wearing made that happen.

Reese’s blonde hair and the baby pink top come together and make her eyes the focal point of the image.

A word of advice for my divas with grey eyes: Avoid warm colors like the plague, they make you look washed out. I’m feeling especially empathetic towards you guys because almost no one on the web seems to have tips regarding your eye color. I had to search high and low for it. I was reading all these articles and I paused and thought, “What about grey eyes?”. There are tons of makeup tips out there, but not too many fashion tips for you guys. On behalf of bloggers everywhere, I apologize, being left out of the mix is totally unfair. You guys are awesome.

Well I hope this helped a little. Now you have the tools to get your boldest, brightest eye. It’s time for this girl to split (studying for finals). *cue vomiting*

Stay beautiful my loves ❤

 

Helpful Hints: Makeup Tips for Cocoa Buttered Beauties

Being a woman of color and shopping for makeup has to be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. The big name brand cosmetics companies often forget about those of us who have darker toned skin, and it often times makes us feel like we don’t matter. And if, by some stroke of luck, you do find a brand that carries a darker shade it almost never matches your complexion and that only adds to your frustration. Why is it that, in an industry that publicly claims to celebrate the beauty in each and every race, black and brown girls worldwide have issues finding cosmetics that cater to their needs? Worry not my loves, I’ve rounded up some tips straight from industry professionals that will put your beauty bummers to rest once and for all. So without further adieu, here are some helpful tips for you black and brown bombshells:

1. FACE

Flawless.

       

Avoid makeup that is too light, as it can make your skin look chalky. Yellow-based foundations work best for women with darker skin, you don’t want a color that is too cool (or warm) for the undertones you have. How do you figure out your undertone? Glad you asked! Cool toned women have pink, red, or blueish undertones. While warm toned ladies have yellow, peachy, or golden undertones. And neutral toned lassies have a mix of warm and cool tones. I know this may feel like you’re reading a car manual in Chinese so here’s a cheat sheet:

CoolToneWarmTonechart

There’s a really good method that makes figuring this out a cinch, but I’ll share it in another post. With foundation, the goal is to see the makeup disappear after applying it on your skin with no visible boundary between. Always test foundation colors in natural light, fluorescent lights like the ones in your bathroom can be a little iffy sometimes. Seeing it in natural light will also let you know how it’ll look when you’re out and about. If you have trouble finding the right color, try mixing two shades (one darker than your natural color and one lighter). I always do this when I’m low on my favorite color concealer, it works like a charm. Now as far as bronzer, the pros all say this: brown and copper compliment black and brown skin tones perfectly, and a touch of shimmer highlights cheekbones wonderfully. Blush is always a fun tool to work with, I love experimenting with different shades. Pink always seems to be the shade I go for. The great thing about pink is that it compliments all skin tones, so play around with different hues to see which one works best for you.

The gorgeous Aishwarya Rai

2. LIPS

If you’re looking to glam up your kisser then go for lips colors in earth tones, neutrals, pinks, and dark burgundies. And choose a lip liner that is close to the shade of lipstick you’re wearing. If you aren’t feeling as dramatic that’s cool too, a dab of lip gloss will give you a more natural and laid back look. The same lip liner rule applies to gloss too, sticking to a shade closer to what’s on your lips will help avoid a dark outline. No one likes chalk outline lips.

Yes ma'am!

3. EYES

dramatic metallic

Shimmery and metallic eyeshadows look amazing on black and brown skin tones. Feeling a little daring? Then try mixing two complimentary colors, like purple and gold (Lakers?), to intensify the drama. One huge point that many women of color don’t know is this: the darker your skin, the brighter the colors you can pull off. One of my dearest and most beloved older cousins is a woman who has a deep dark chocolate complexion. Absolutely flawless! The things she’s able to do with colors are amazing.

Sooo pretty!

I remember this one time in particular I was at her house while she was getting ready for a night out with her husband. Her foundation was set, lashes were all in place, and all she needed was a little blush to polish it all off. She pulled out her cute little compact and flipped it open nonchalantly. My mouth dropped in shock, it was orange! And not some rinky dink kinda sorta orange, like bright Orange is the New Black orange. As she lifted the brush to her cheeks, I watched in horror, trying my best to stifle the urge to smack it out of her hand. But my fears fizzled out when I saw how absolutely gorgeous it was. And then I got jealous.

To all my dark skinned divas I’d admonish you to not fear bright colors, they are your friends.

chanel iman

Accentuate your eyes with brown or black eyeliner. Brown liner is a great choice for a more natural look, and black always adds an element of drama. The same goes with mascara. I love using black mascara to make my lashes stand out, and when I’m going for a softer look I use brown. And if you feel like channeling your inner Hollywood it girl, false lashes are always a must. I have small hooded eyes, thanks to my granny (she’s Korean and Jamaican), so I use falsies to give me the appearance of a bigger and brighter eye.

A gorgeous neutral eye.

Falsies are forever <3

Despite the limited selection of brands that cater to women of color, there are some that are doing it right. In 1994 fashion superstar Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, professionally known as Iman, launched IMAN Cosmetics. The brand holds on to the truth that women of color represent many races, cultures, and ethnicities. Her line of cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances are designed for African American, Asian, Latina, and multi-cultural women with skin tones in a host of different shades. Her products are sold throughout the world including the US, Canada, the UK, France, Brazil, Africa, and the Caribbean. Other noteworthy lines include the Cover Girl Queen Collection, M.A.C., Black Radiance, and Fashion Fair

 

The beauty industry may not be hip on how awesome women of color are, but that isn’t a reflection of how we view ourselves. All skin tones are beautiful and unique in their own right. Embrace your melanin, it’s what makes you you. Zoe Saldana said it best: “Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin”. Nothing is more true than that. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Every freckle, stretch mark, and hair on your head is there for a reason, learn to love them. There is so much beauty in imperfections, being perfect is for losers. Be comfortable in your skin and revel in the fact that no one in the world can pull it off better than you. Stay beautiful loves ❤

Brown Girl Approved: Nude Lipsticks

Although everyone loves a good bold red lip, opting for a smokey eye and a nudey every now and again is always a nice change of pace. But when you’re a buttery shade of pecan, looking at some of the “nude” colors donned by many mainstream outlets (ummm hellooo YouTube beauty gurus) aren’t always flattering. There are many ways to get the perfect nude lip. The easiest being to take a dab of concealer, that’s closest to your skin tone, to you lips and finish with a gloss. And viola! But I’ve found five lipsticks that are definitely brown girl approved.

 

If you’re complexion is close to the hot mama Rihanna’s, try MAC’s Half N’ Half, $15

If your complexion is close to the oh so sexy Nia Long’s, try MAC’s shade in Siss, $15

Image

 

If your complexion is close to the very gorgeous Keke Palmer’s, try Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Hazelnut, $7.19

Image

 

If you’re complexion is close to the lovely Estelle’s, try Maybeline Color Sensational in Bean There (380), $7.49

Image

And if your shade of chocolate is deep and luscious like the stunning Camille Winbush’s, try Loncome Rouge Love Lipstick in Sultry Simplicity, $25

What to do when your lips are two different tones:

Blot them with concealer or foundation and apply your color. Easy peasy, right? I prefer to use concealer, after a long day it helps the color come off much easier when I’m getting ready for bed. Always remember to set your color with a good lip liner, it defines your lips and keeps the color from going everywhere. Hope this helped 🙂

Stay beautiful ❤