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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Q & A and a free lip gloss to boot!

Hi Friends!

I wanted to answer your Makeup/Beauty how-to's, what do I use, and how do I fix- type of questions and offer links to the products I think can help you out! At the bottom is the winner of the free gloss giveaway with a photo to choose which colours are available! I'll be getting in touch with you shortly to get your info and mail you your lovely lip gloss!

Okay, on to the questions- here we go! Keep in mind any link I put will send you to the product I'm talking about.

Question: How do I make the perfect cat eye with liquid liner?

The trick to liquid liner is the brush. Is it long? Skinny? I tend to avoid the products that come with a brush in a tube together and use a cake that you mix with water. Why? It works. The brush/liner tubes may be more portable, but they're nearly impossible to get even or goof-proof. Here's how to use a cake (or any makeup mixed with water, really) to get a great cat eye.

1. First, get a good eyeliner brush. MAC makes one, so does BeneFit. I use the Get Bent liner brush on myself. The angle just makes it easier to reach the eye. Click here to purchase from Ulta, about $16.00. But seriously, any thin relatively short brush will do.

2. Get a bit of water in a small cup and dampen your brush (wipe off excess water on the rim of the cup). Swipe the brush across your product (like Benefit's Baby Eyeliner cakes, click HERE). FYI- I use Cargo's liner palette- small, pigmented, and serious staying power, click HERE for that little darling. Or any ol' shadow will do.

3. Once you have the liner on your brush, tilt your chin up so you have to look down a little, lift your brows (for you Botox girls, use your fingers and push your brow up) and using the thin, pointed edge of the brush, lay the brush horizontal against your lid and swipe across. It should be thin at the inset of the eye, thickest at the middle, and STAYING that thick until the end of your eye.

4. To wing it- As you swipe across, keeping it the same thickness from the middle of your eye out, once you get to the outer corner of your eye, swipe up in a 45 degree angle, painting the wing at the end, lifting the brush until you use only the pointed tip at the end of the wing.

Like this:

*Don't get nervous. Makeup washes off. Practice until you get it. Also, filling in is okay- there's no hard and fast rule that says you have to get it in one fell swoop. Line away, girls!
Question: How do I make my small eyes look bigger?
The key to enlarging the look of the eyes is in two parts:

1. Making the best of your eye shape

2. Not using too much product in the wrong places

I have fairly small eyes myself and I tend to lose them when I smile or laugh. True story, someone once asked me if I could see when I laugh and I'm like, 'Well, yeah'...so I learned this eye popping routine fast!

First, don't line your whole eye. Stick to liner on the top and 3/4 across the lid. The key to opening the eye is not to cosmetically 'close' it with too much makeup. Dark racoon eyes don't make your eyes look brighter- just darker, and more recessed in certain light.

Second, try to eliminate the look of the eye fold. This fold will shadow the eyes more. To do this, find a shadow matching or close to, your liner. Blend to the eye crease and then blend to the brow with lighter and lighter colours.

For example, if you use black liner, grab a smoky charcoal shadow and blend on the lid to the crease. At the crease, pick a lighter grey and blend to the middle of the lid, accentuating the shape. More of a triangle to the end of the eye will beautify almond shaped eyes. Rounder eyes, use a rounder shape. To highlight, pick a shimmery pale colour (white is too bright, no no drag queen eyes) and blend to the brow.

For extra pop, buy a creamy white liner (I buy mine from Hong Kong on Ebay- lookit HERE) and draw along the water line and the inside of the tear duct. Use a light beige shadow along the lower lash line. DON'T mascara that lower lash line! Don't do it! It'll only close the eye. Use mascara (curl the lashes, so they open up the lids) on the top and a clear on the bottom to get rid of shadow or white liner in the lashline.

You should have bright, beautiful and BIGGER eyes! Try it and tell me how it looks! To show the example, the eye on the left (my right, in the photo) is based on my explanation for bigger, brighter eyes. The other eye is more traditional style makeup. The trick is not to show the most defined eye, but how to make it BIGGER!

Question: How do I keep mascara from flaking under my eye? Even the "non flaking" stuff does it!

You might be using old mascara- if it's new, then is it waterproof? Waterproof formulas tend to flake the least (but will require makeup remover to take off). The best way to avoid a flake is to keep your mascara fresh and don't rub your eyes. ALL mascara will have a little fallout by the end of the day, but if you have serious crumblies, try this: WAIT to apply your second (or third) coat of mascara until the previous one is dry and each time, make sure the wand has plenty of mascara. Don't scrape with a dry brush, it'll pull the mascara off that is already applied.

Second (this could save you even with older and non-waterproof mascara), use a fixative to keep your makeup where it belongs. Model in A Bottle works great- it'll not only keep your mascara on, but your face touch-up free! I use it and it works.

To use, apply your makeup, then spray! About an arm's length from your face, close your eyes and mist. To get mascara alone, they also have an eyebrow sealant, but shhhh you can apply it over your mascara and voila, flake free! To get some go HERE!

Question: How do I find the best flawless foundation? That hides, smooths, and makes you look picture perfect?

This is the Holy Grail question of makeup. Skin to me, is the number one thing people see. You can have on gorgeous lipstick, amazing eye shadow- and if you have crummy skin, the whole deal is off. Let's start with what type of skin you have. Find out. Are you oily? Prone to breakouts? Dry? Don't forget it can change based on the season. One type of foundation won't always work in every climate.

Right now, everyone is raving about Make Up For Ever's HD formula...I tried it and yes, it's good, but it's not for everybody. But, if you want the lates of the latest, check it out at Sephora. The girls working there will give you a sample and you can try it at home. It can bring on oil and will cling to dry skin and is heavier than most formulas as it's meant for film/photo use. So, although you can use that everyday, there ARE other options (cheaper ones too as MUFE's HD is $40 a bottle- ouch!)

Below is what I think is a good go-to formula for flawless skin. Keep in mind this will be lengthy, but it will help boost your routine to blah to what the pro's do- I promise! Find your skin type after the intro here and read on:


1. CLEAN your face. Address the skin. If you have acne- see a dermatologist. Makeup can't fix breakouts, but it can make them worse. There isn't a makeup in the world that will smooth out bumpy, blemished skin without looking like you're in Vegas, ready to hit the stage. If you don't have a lot of skin issues, get a good cleanser that won't kill your face's natural oils. Try a couple until you find a good one- expensive doesn't mean better. I use Neutrogena's Oil-Free cleanser. 7 bucks, yeeha! You can find this at any drugstore. Keep in mind that a cleanser should remove makeup, improve the look of your skin over time, help with breakouts, and not leave you feeling tight after washing, like your face is the Sahara. Cetaphil cleansers are popular with makeup artists, but it doesn't lather- it's like a lotion, so that can weird a lot of US lather lovers out- Neutrogena has great cleansers- check them out.

2. Exfoliate. Foundation will STICK to any dry patches on your face. Get a decent exfoliant and don't just go to town. Scrub gently, use it 3 x's a week and you'll reveal brighter skin (since the older dead layers have been removed) I like good ol' St. Ives apricot scrub, but have been using Oil of Olay Regenerist scrub. It's okay, but I probably won't buy it again. Swisa beauty offers a lovely scrub/body wash (skin is skin, so just because it's for the face or body doesn't mean it's limited to that only). I like their offering in Bliss Exfoliating body wash- you can get it HERE. You can ALWAYs find beauty products cheaper on Ebay- you just have to know what you're looking for and check the seller's feedback to avoid a bum deal.

3. Moisturize. Oh gosh, this is huge. Embryolisse is a great one, but expensive. Oil of Olay is giving everyone a run for their money and Ebay and Costco carry the Micro-Sculpting cream cheapest. I use this and it does improve how you look. That's what I recommend if you want to avoid the pricier brands. Otherwise, save up and get the Embryolisse. Just use a dime size amount, rub it in and feel soft! Also don't forget SPF! 15 is the minimum for preventing sun damage- but don't get it in your eyes, it burns!

4. Okay, you've fixed the acne or have gotten your face clean and fresh and moisturized. Skip a step and you'll see it. This is what works. Now you can get to the foundation. This is where it varies and won't be across the board for everyone. Some ladies like a finished look that's heavier, some want only a veil of color correction...DECIDE what you want and go from there. I have foundation methods based on skin type- check out what fits with you (may be more than one topic header) and happy face painting!

IMPORTANT: How you put your makeup on changes how it looks. Good brushes will make a difference and you don't need to go broke. To start, get 4. A good powder/blush brush, a foundation brush, a blending/eyeshadow brush, and an eyeliner/lip brush. Buy quality ones (MAC are best) and you'll see a big difference in how your makeup looks. To expand from there, a kabuki is great for buffing powder and avoiding it sitting into pores and a Beauty Blender for wet/dry application- other than that, you should be set!

Older Skin or Wrinkle Prone: Avoid liquids, they'll sit in your lines and make it worse. I would suggest mineral powders with a silicone powder primer underneath all of your face makeup. Silicone fills lines and makes them less noticeable and controls oil. Make Up For Ever makes a great HD powder, but as it's only 100% silica powder, you can find the same product via Coastal Scents or Aromaleigh. Aromaleigh not only has the powder, but it comes in different shades. This is great, since darker skin with a white primer can look ashy or ghostly in photos. Aromaleigh also offers a silk primer powder for this "under the foundation" line smoothing effect as well.

To even out skin tone, I would find a good foundation powder for your skin tone and a veil to complement and lighten, followed up by an illuminating powder for a pretty 'glow'. Bare Escentuals is nice, but pricey and I've found Aromaleigh really holds up and for the price and performance, are better products.

Try 3 shades, one to match, one that is lighter, and one that is a bit darker (for when you tan up in the sun). Aromaleigh has some great info on how to choose your foundations. The veils are a bit thinner (that's why I like them for a lighter coloured secondary application) and the Glissades have more coverage (great for first use, right on top of the primer). Choose from either, depending on what you want. Click HERE to check it out!

Don't be fooled into thinking that a powder can't cover. These babies do the trick! Apply each shade in layers, with a small amount on a powder brush, in a circular motion, on your skin. I've put a link to MAC's brushes at Nordstrom, since MAC brushes are expensive, but you'll not buy more for a long time and best of all, they work the best.

For more wrinkled areas, use a foundation brush like MAC #187 (the duo fibers are stiffer than regular brushes and hold product better, you won't get 'paint lines' on your face) and use a stipple effect, which is a light tapping, brushing back and forth (like sponging, but with the end of a brush). Blend in the powder until it's smooth. Avoid jaw line discoloration, check your neck to make sure it's blended.

Following the foundation, use a good illuminating powder for a 'glow'. Again Aromaleigh has several, my favorite is the Illuminator. Keep in mind, all of Aromaleigh's products you can get samples for, very inexpensively. So- feel free to try. Each sample will last for a week of full makeup.

To control shine, use the primer powder again to 'set' makeup and keep oil down. This is great for touchups too.

This should be a great routine for more youthful, smooth skin if you're experiencing aging or wrinkling on your face!

Oily Skin: Key to this is to avoid oil containing or silicone based formulas. Always make sure your products are non-comedogenic (this means it won't make blackheads and clock pores). If foundations have oil or a lot of silicone, it will only sit on the skin and exaggerate oily spots.

A great mattifying primer for oily skin to smooth lines and fill wrinkles is Make Up For Ever's All Mat primer. This will help with large pores. Pores = Primer. Fill them in with a smoothing agent and the makeup won't sink it. I know I say a lot about Make Up For Ever, but it's because it works. You can also use Erno Laszlo's Tinted Shake Its (Marilyn Monroe loved Erno Laszlo) for pre-foundation oil control. It can be pricey, but it helps break down oil with a bit of color. I only use it when the skin is seriously oily as it does contain quite a bit of alcohol.

Water based foundations will be thinner and won't contribute to shine. I really like Ben Nye's color cake foundations for oily skin. They are tricky to apply at first, but worth it at last. PLUS, they're cheap! Around 8 bucks per pan and it'll last you forever. Grab a bit of water, the cake that matches your skin (I use Bisque or Geisha and I'm pale) and a sea sponge. Dab the sponge in water, on the cake, and onto you! Dab in a soft patting motion (make sure it's not too wet or gloppy) until it's evenly blended. Set with a finishing powder and there you have it!

If Ben Nye is too complicated (even though it's worth it) I also recommend in liquid, Make Up For Ever's Mat Velvet. Sephora offers free shipping over $50 and if you hate it, send it back for free. Easier to try in the store, but online is safe and isn't marked up. This foundation is meant for oily skin and is a bit thicker, so go easy on application. It's a bit pricier, but I think foundation is one of those things that is worth the money.

To avoid liquid foundations altogether, see Older and Wrinkle Prone skin for mineral (powdered) makeup recommendations as this is great for oily skin as well! The powder will 'absorb' oil and if you have the finishing silica powder, this will combat shine like no other. Silica is a powdered form of silicone and isn't as shelackety as dimethicones and other types of silicones commonly used in primers and foundations to smooth lines, so it's safe to use on oily skin.

The trick to oily skin is to keep on top of shine. The Body Shop has blotting tissues that are great for on the go shine control. Click HERE! Avoid using facial powder for this unless it's a fine milled silica, otherwise you'll get that caked look. Ugh.

Also note if you touch your face, with oily skin, this can make it worse. Try to keep some silica powder for shine and hands off!

Dry Skin: Making sure you moisturize and exfoliate is most important if you have dry skin. Foundation will cling to any dry spots. I like using a silicone based foundation for dryness as it smoothes and helps eliminate line settling. Clinique's Dewy Smooth Anti-Aging foundation is great for dry skin. Although Clinique is a bit boring at times, this is a great foundation that leaves a glow.

A primer is also good for keeping moisture in the face. Make Up For Ever has an HD elixir that keeps the face fresh and maximizes moisture. A little bit goes a long way! Use this under foundation and it will keep you from drying out. Smashbox has a silicone primer too, Photofinish Primer that is good for hydration. Silicone will keep moisture from leaving the skin as quickly, so anything along those lines will help. BeneFit makes a similar product you smooth on with a sponge called Dr. FeelGood.

To keep your face fresh, after applying makeup, use an illuminating powder (Smashbox blush Duo in SuperModel is great for a brightener and blush!) This will keep the glow, but not add to the drying effects that powdering can sometimes cause to exacerbate dry skin. Moisturizing sprays can help, but they can cause too much of a dewy look and spritzing with water only dries skin out more. I recommend using a highlighting blush or powder (Aromaleigh's Illuminator) to look fresh and stay moisturized over your makeup along with a good silicone primer.

For those who wonder about facial powder, I use Erno Laszlo's DuoPhase powder. It's meant for dryer skin and has a bit more coverage. Lightly swirl this with a powder brush over your foundation to 'set' your face.

Red or Blotchy Skin: Next to oil production, red skin is the next biggie for foundation. Think the colour wheel- green eliminates red. Find a good concealer (I like Ben Nye's camo wheel, link below) and with a small brush, dot it and blend along blemishes or red spots. You can either use powdered forms like Aromaleigh's (which I use) Vert Coquille or a creamier version like Ben Nye (or Ben Nye's camo wheel, but go light, it's for theatre) that is green based. I prefer the powder as it is blendable above makeup and is easier to use. Blend the the neutralizer on red spots either over foundation and then set with a finishing powder. Make Up For Ever offers a neutralizing primer in their HD collection and this does help to eliminate redness if you get the green based shade. Use it before foundation.

Don't buy foundations with pink undertones. Find one in a yellow or neutral. If it looks pink, so will you. Sephora is a great store to try before you buy and get it right. Don't be afraid to walk outside, look at the sample in direct sunlight as store lighting usually sucks.

Normal to Combination Skin: With this, you're pretty lucky. Just about any foundation will look alright. I like silicone based foundations and primers as they tend to look more 'soft focus' and last longer. A great lower priced brand is Almay Pure Blends and the best higher priced brand is Make Up For Ever with their Face & Body Makeup.

Best Foundation Brand: Make Up For Ever

Second Runner Up: MAC

Best Mineral Brand: Aromaleigh

Second Runner Up: Bare Escentuals

Best Drugstore Brand: L'Oreal

Best Runner Up: Revlon

Overall the company to buy from that you won't go wrong- MAC or Aromaleigh

Companies to avoid as they don't offer much and tend to be blah or overpriced at least cosmetics wise: Chanel, Estee Lauder, Versace, Dior, Cover Girl, Bobbi Brown, and most Multi Level Marketing- Arbonne, Amway, Mary Kay, Jafra, etc.

Sephora is a great place to play. Go try it on. Smooth it onto your lower jaw and blend. When you look and say "Ah ha!" then you're right on track.

Question: I can't find a true match for my skin tone. I need one that doesn't shine too much and not too dull. Oh and won't break me out. Yet covers.

Oh gosh, I know! It's what foundation should do, right? Trade in our regular faces for perfect skin!

The main thing is not to expect too much from one product. You can expect to not shine and not break out and get coverage, but as for being too dull...it's tricky. Usually matte foundations don't have that 'dew' factor. I'd aim to eliminate as many issues as possible and then choose to find a powder or spray that gives you a bit of a glow. Look above at the oily or dry skin sections on the foundation question (whichever most applies to you) and go with the products I've mentioned.

Here's the path to great foundation:

1. Good clean, exfoliated, moisturized skin

2. Primer for wrinkles and lines and staying power/neutralizers for red or dark circles

3. Match the foundation base to your needs. Water based for oily skin or less shine, silicone based for drier skin and more 'dew'.

4. Always go oil-free and non-comedogenic- no breakouts. If you do tend to breakout with foundation use a glycolic or salycilic acid right before your makeup. Neutrogena makes some good ones. Also, wash your face at night. Leaving makeup on overnight is the numero uno cause for post pretty breakouts.

5. Your coverage needs- remember, you can layer and you can use powder. Don't just apply all over your face, you can only put it where you need it and blend. Try before you buy so you don't end up with a full coverage foundation when you wanted something light. ALL decent brands offer samples- use them!

6. Find the right shade by blending it onto your lower jaw in real light- sometimes you may need two and apply and blend. Use it in broad daylight so you can see what it really looks like.

7. Don't be afraid to try and try again. What works on me may not work on you. Make use of sites like http://www.makeupalley.com/ and review what you like. You'll find an accurate description by women who USE it, not sell it.

Question: What is the best brow pencil for those of us that don't just darken the hairs- but have to ACTUALLY DRAW THEM ON?

This one is a lot easier than it would seem. Keeping your makeup on will go best with a sealant or fixative after you draw them on. Most brands carry one and I like Model In A Bottle (see above under the flaking mascara question). Avoid pencils that are too smooth. If you can smudge it on your hand, it'll smudge on your face. I would use a harder kohl pencil like Wet N' Wild (yep, for a good ol' dollah) on powdered skin and then go over it with matching cake eyeliner (like the Cargo one I mentioned in the cat eye liner question) in soft upward strokes to simulate hair. The feathering of the pencil shouldn't be noticeable, but your brows shouldn't be too harsh. Unless you are going for the Harlow or Chola look- holla!

Question: How do I keep the undereye color/liner from migrating? And what do you do to keep eyeshadow from creasing?

To keep under eye colour and liner from migrating depends on two things. Do your eyes tend to water? If so, why? I get sunblock in my eyes and I can say goodbye to any undereye liner.

Two, what type of liner are you using? If it's smudgy on your finger, it'll run. Use the same tip as the above for brows on your eyes (but don't use a sealant, it'll burn like a mother, unless it's for eyeliner, Aromaleigh has a lovely one). Instead, use powder to 'set' the liner. Or, forgo liner altogether and use a cake liner dry. It'll last longer and won't run. That liner palette by Cargo I mentioned is a must-have. I love that thing.

To apply, use a slanted eye brush, swipe it across the pigment and apply like a pencil- the tapered end is great for winging the liner or making it thinner. Sephora brand has some surprisingly decent brushes and you won't need a pricey one for this- take a look!

When you're hunting for product to use, look for highly pigmented pressed shadows and items labeled as cake liners and you should be set! (No pun intended)

For eyeshadow creasing, it's all in the primer! Urban Decay Primer Potion is the world's best primer at the moment!

It's an arabian looking tube with a lip gloss wand that gives the impression it's a genie in a bottle- well wish granted, no more shadow crease! Smooth it on before you apply eye makeup and over any foundation.

Question: I need help on how to do a natural looking eye for everyday.

I think this is a really valid point. I have a bit of a bone to pick with online makeup tutorials that lean towards dramatic makeup and the rest of the world is going, "Huh? How do I just look normal, but better?"

If you are pale, choose lighter shades, if you have darker skin, choose darker shades. The idea is to show off, not scare :)

Here's my take on a great, wearable everyday eye:


1. Brown Eyeliner- Besame has a dual ended eyeliner in Brown and Plum- easy and versatile. Plus these liners are soft, so they are a cinch to use.

2. 3 shades of matte eyeshadow: one in a cream colour (think egg nog shade), a sable brown (like the colour of hot chocolate), and a dark charcoal grey (NOT black).

I would pick from these beauties: Oyster, Marsh, and Tide (but really, you can get creative and pick what you like too)

Aromaleigh's Carolina Summer Matte Mineral Shadows

3. One shadow brush. One eyeliner/lip brush. Pick a shadow brush with a head of bristles the size of your pinky nail and more round that pointed. MAC makes several and you will only need one to do the job, just be sure to wipe it off in between colours. I like the #242 Shader brush. For the liner brush, choose a head that is no more than 1/4 an inch long and stubby. The longer the hairs, the harder to use. I like MAC's #209 Liner brush.

4. Brown mascara. Yep, brown. I would pick L'Oreal's Voluminous mascara in the waterproof formula. If you have darker eyes and skin, stick to regular black. In my photos, I used black since it was close by :)

That's all you'll need! How do you do it? Here go!

-Line with the brown liner on the top lid only. Begin at the inner eye and stop where your eye stops. Keep it as close to the lashes as possible and not too thick.

-Apply the oyster shadow across the entire eyelid to the browbone. Add a little extra near the brow and at the inner corner of the eye.

-Apply the marsh shadow softly where natural shadows hit your browbone. Hold a flashlight to your face in the dark and where your eye looks sunken in on top, that's where it goes. Blend so you don't have a streak on the outer edge of the eye.

-Apply the tide shadow with the liner brush over the brown liner and only in the outer corner of the eye to maybe your 1/3rd lower lashline. Blend up the tide colour into the outer portion of the crease for contrast- refer to the photo below, if need be. Remember, practice if this doesn't work the first time.

-Apply 4 coats of mascara on the upper lashes and only one separating swipe on the lower lashes.

There you go! Your finished product should look something like this!

So there's an easy look you can wear everyday, regardless of coloring! Enjoy and most of all, have fun- makeup is supposed to make you happy.

Question: What kind of product to use on my thin lips to draw attention to my smile?

Think nude with a bit of gleam! Smaller mouths will look runny and smeared with darker pigments. Especially at work, no one wants a grin like Cruella De Vil. Choose a nude lipliner, I use Smashbox liner in Nude and for staying power, a nude with pink undertones like MAC Hue and then a peach gloss. Besame has the ideal nude lip gloss in their Peach Shimmer Lip Glaze.
Line slightly around the lips (but not a lot over, it'll be obvious) with the liner. Feel free to take your time to get this right.
Next, fill the lips, over the liner, with the lip colour. Choose a matte colour with some stay power, MAC's Hue will do that.
Next, get out your gloss.
Run that over the entire lip, top and bottom and you're ready to go!
I used a shiny nude lip on a look I did a bit ago based on Brigitte Bardot. It looks great on any mouth, but especially at work and on smaller lips!

WHEW!!! Well that post was a doozy but I'm glad I got the chance to take the time to share my thoughts on what you wanted to know. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments.

As for the lip gloss winner...................................(picked randomly, oh the joy of pieces of paper in a hat)...............................................................here you go!


Congrats to you!!!! Here are the colours you can pick from! #'s 1-7 from left to right (red, being second to last) are: 1Rose, 2Peony, 3Champagne, 4Chocolate, 5Caramel, 6Red, 7Pink Send me a FB message with your address and it'll be on its way with a couple little goodies from me to you!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate- more contests coming soon!

Until next time,
Tianne Marie

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