White for Summer

August 1, 2010

Summer is the perfect time to wear white. It helps to keep you cool when the temps rise and it looks tres chic anywhere from a night on the town to a day at the beach. You do the monochromatic thing and wear head to toe white (just make certain you do different shades of white or add a splash of gold or silver or a tiny bit of color) or you can pick and choose pieces, accessories, and even makeup. One of my fave quick and easy summer eye looks is to draw on a sheer shimmering white eyeliner and smudge until you’re left with a faint sparkle (Try Sephora Collection Flashy Liner in #02). I also like doing the same technique with a sheer shadow (I like Sephora Collection Aspen Summit #23, which is in the free birthday gift for beauty insiders this year).

Where to buy above items: Tops and sandals are from forever21.com, necklace is from fantasyjewelrybox.com, white shadow is the Sephora Collection Shadow mentioned above, white silver ring is from pret-a-beaute.com, and the velver rose hair clip is from flowerclip.com.

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Get the Look: Pink & Plum

February 2, 2010

Meghan was going to a special event and wanted a pink and plum eye look with an almost “nude” lip. Her specifications were to concentrate color mostly on her lid and give some definition in the crease without going too dark.

Products used:

 Top row, complexion: Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation primer, Stila Oil Free Natural Finish Foundation in Shade “C”, Smashbox Photofinish Concealer in #2 (applied under the eye and mixed with Smashbox Photo-Op Under Eye Brightener, not pictured), Benefit High Beam (lightly applied as highlight on cheeks, Nars Loose Powder in “Eden” to set makeup, and Nars Loose Powder in “Mountain” to lightly contour.

Middle Row, eye: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Christian Dior 5-Colour Designer Eyeshadow “Nude Pink # 508”, Laura Mercier Eye Liner “Caviar”, Ardell Faux Lashes #120 Demi

Bottom row, cheek and lip: **Nars Blush in “sin”, Duwop Reverse Lip Liner, MAC Lipstick in “Politely Pink”, Nars Lipstick in “Belle Du Jour”

**Meghan has a natural flush and wanted to embrace it so I applied foundation with a lighter hand on her cheeks and did a light dusting of Nars Sin on the apples of her cheeks.

We also used these exact products to create a more natural look for her Holiday CD cover, with the exception of switching the blush from NARS to TheBalm in Hot Mama, and applying a bit more foundation to her cheeks. Meghan also is prone to dark circles so I added a bit more under eye concealer and used an apricot corrector underneath to cancel out blueness. For her eyes, we used the lighter hues from the Dior Palette and nixed the faux lashes.

Outerwear for Winter Months

January 25, 2010

Ladies (and gents), I know it’s cold outside, and in some parts of the world it’s even freezing, but lets not forget that your outerwear can be stylish and keep you toasty. I am an advocate for cute outerwear (I own way too many coats, my fave being a bright blue ’60s-inspired dressy coat with a Peter Pan collar) and believe it’s worth the investment to not compromise cuteness when the temps drop. “Investment” doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, either. Stores like Old Navy and Target always have darling outerwear for under $50.

One fashion faux pas I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention is the Fleece Jacket. Unsure of what I’m referring to? Check out the photo (below).

While it’s great for those times when one is skiing, snowboarding, hiking, laying sick in bed, wearing to and from the gym, on vacation in a below freezing climate, a mom running around town (even then, maybe not),coaching an outdoor sport, or any other winter-time outdoor activity, please refrain from wearing these in daily life. Yes, they are warm, and they also look kind of sloppy. Step it up ladies, I know you can do better.

Just imagine how put-together you can look if you ditch the fleece in favor of a proper coat. Coats now are much warmer and you can look for ones that having linings in cozy material. A nice coat can take your outfit from drab to fab. Choices range from cropped to long versions, various button styles, single and double-breasted, casual pea-coats to more dressy options. There is a coat for everyone. Now just imagine running to the grocery store in a pair of jeans, cute shoes and the fleece jacket. Now imagine a quick trip to the grocery in the same outfit, only with one of the cute coats pictured below. See the difference? Instant chic and it makes you look like you actually tried!

Coats featured above are from Old Navy, Target, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Miss Selfridge, and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

P.S. Dear Men, there is nothing hotter then a guy in a peacoat.

Eau de V-day: Men

January 22, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

1. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme, $43-$100, sephora.com: Modern and sensual, this offering from YSL will dazzle your senses with bergamot, cedar, ozonic accord, white ginger, cedarwood, and vetiver.

2. Givenchy Play, $53-$71, sephora.com: Fresh, play-ful, and inspired by hottie Justin Timberlake, this well-rounded fragrance features bergamot, mandarin orange, bitter orange, grapefruit, Amyris wood, and black pepper.

3. Diesel Only The Brave, $53-$65, sephora.com: Bold, confident, and masculine, this fist shaped bottle with Diesel knuckles only needs four fragrance notes to get its point across: lemon, leather, amber, and cedarwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana The One For Men, $40-$70, sephora.com: Mmmm…I saved the best for last as this fragrance is pretty much sex in a bottle. Who wouldn’t want to get close to a guy wearing The One? With its notes of grapefruit, coriander, ginger, orange blossom, cedar, and amber, it’s both fresh and woodsy all in one bottle. Or…snuggly.

Eau de V-day: Women

January 21, 2010

Fragrance is a great Valentine’s Day gift for yourself or a loved one. Here are my top picks for anyone close to your heart: 

  

1. Nanadebary Classic Pink Eau de Parfum, $98-$160, at luckyscent.com’s Scentbar 8327 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles or nanadebary.com: With jasmine, bergamot, sandalwood, and vanilla, this fem fragrance is delicate and grounded.

2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum, $100-$150, nordstrom.com: This sweet, heady floral features notes of bergamot, orchid, freesia, and rose with a patchouli base note.

3. D & G 3 L’IMPERATRICE, $65, sephora.com: This is one of my current faves because it’s soft, modern and flirty with notes of pink cyclamen, watermelon, jasmine, musk, and sandalwood.

4. Dolce and Gabbana Rose the One Eau de Parfum, $60-90, sephora.com: I am not a rose girl in the least, or so I thought, until I tried Rose the One. It is NOT your grandmother’s rose. This version of Dolce & Gabbana’s The One opens with zesty pink grapefruit, mandarin, peach, Bulgarian rose, peony,  and closes with vanilla, amber, and musk .  

5. Victoria’s Secret Love Rocks Eau de Parfum, $39, victoriassecret.com: This new fruity floral from VS is featured in a stunning red flacon and is packed with notes of  peony, raspberry  sorbet, jasmine, peach nectar, plum, violet, and cashmere musk.

I first tried Bare Escentual’s Bare Mineral foundation back in 2005 and despite all of the fabulous infomercials that promised this foundation would deliver beautiful skin, it did not work for me at all. The coverage was OK and application was easy (albeit very messy) but it made my oily skin feel greasy and the bismuth oxychloride made my face itch like crazy. I also did not like how shiny it made my skin look.

I swore off the brand, even after a colleague of mine ended up working for the company and tried to convince me that it was a good product. When the matte foundation was released, she gave me my very own jar to try out and said I would like this new formula better. It sat in my makeup organizer for months until recently when I decided to break it out and finally give it a try.

I like the new packaging; its user-friendly closable sifter ensures that you won’t end up with a powder explosion when opened. I also love that it is matte and is free of bismuth oxychloride. I did not like the coverage as it seemed to be lighter than the original. I also didn’t care for how it felt on my skin, though to be fair I feel this way about all mineral makeup, not just this brand. I felt itchy when it was first applied and then that feeling went away after a few moments of wear. For me, it is totally better than the original. I can absolutely see how others love Bare Escentuals products and I’m still not a fan of the brand.

PSA: I know that the B.E. slogan is “makeup so pure you can sleep in it,” but please don’t. Even though the makeup won’t clog your pores, you are still producing oil and not washing your face after wearing any kind of makeup can contribute to clogged pores or acne.

The new matte foundation is $28 and can be found at Bare Escentuals stores and Sephora.

smokey

Next to a flawless glowing complexion, one of the most requested looks I get is the smokey eye. I love when I have an appointment with clients who want the smokey look and clip the most dramatic smokey eye from a magazine and say, “I want to look exactly like this!” In reality they don’t usually want that exact look, they want a soft, smudgy look. And that’s what a smokey eye should be: soft, smudgy, and blended. A smokey eye should not extend too far beyond your crease or utilize too much black shadow because it will make you look like someone punched you in they eye. The goal of the smokey eye is to have the color darkest near your lashes and fade softly into your crease. This is exactly what smoke looks like: darkest near the fire, lighter as it floats into the sky.

You can certainly clip smokey looks from magazines for inspiration, and keep in mind that while the intensity, colors, and shape of shadow looks great on the model, you may not share the same eye or face shape and it might not look the same on you or flatter your face. The goal of makeup is to flatter your features and express yourself.

One of my fave smokey eye tips is to keep a clean, fluffy blending brush close at hand. It’s much easier to blend a mistake with a clean brush then it is to blend with a brush that has product on it. Keep the products you use simple. Limit yourself to no more then three shadow colors and one liner. After you apply your eye shadow base/primer, I like using a soft, waterproof pencil liner (like Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils) or a gel/cream liner (Smashbox Jet Set, Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Cream Liner) first to define the eye. Blend and smudge this line up (easier to do with cream liners) to soften and the set stage for your eyeshadow. Pick any eyeshadow colors you want. A smokey eye can also be colorful. My fave shade is bronze. Pat your darkest shade lightly on your lid. It’s best to start with a little product and add more as needed then to pack the eyeshadow on right away. Blend color upwards and into the crease. If you’d like to use a medium color in the crease, add just a touch and blend downwards into your lid color. To blur any harsh lines (there shouldn’t be any) you can use your clean shadow brush or a flesh tone eyeshadow, which acts like a highlight.

  • If you have smaller eyes and want to make them look larger, go easy on the bottom liner and don’t line the entire lower rim. Stop the line around the iris of the eyes, blend, and apply a highlight color from the liner to your tear duct.
  • For deep set eyes, concentrate color on your lid and blend.
  • For any eye: go easy on the liner. It’s much more flattering to have a slight smudge of color on the bottom lash line then a thick, dark, rim of liner. For a softer look, try using your shadow as liner with an angled liner brush.
  • After every step, stand back and look at yourself in the mirror: is everything even? Too dark? Too light? Keep cotton swabs and gentle eye makeup remover handy to fix mistakes.
  • When wearing a smokey eye, one must make sure the complexion is perfected. The dark colors can enhance under eye circles and uneven skin tone so make sure not to skip concealer if you need it. Tip: using a lighter coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer and concealing just where you need it will make your complexion more natural then using a full coverage foundation and full coverage concealer. Hello, cakey-ness!
  • Do eyes first so that if you get any fall out, you don’t have to touch up complexion products. If you’ve already done your makeup, dust translucent powder under your eye area to catch any shadow and dust away with a fluffy brush when finished.
  • Keep the rest of your look balanced by using sheer flesh tone or pink lip colors and a light application of a natural blush (my fave with smokey eyes are soft pinks and pinky-peach).

Three of the photos above are of my fave examples of smokey looks and one is of my least favorite. Can you tell which is which? I think 1 through 3 all are balanced (dark eyes and neutral lip/cheek colors) and are soft, feminine, and have perfect gradient (darker to lighter). Number 4 is my least fave. Why? Because it’s not flattering on most people. Dark, thick, liner around the entire eye can create the illusion of a smaller eye, even if you have large, gorgeous peepers.

mattenail

Lets talk about a Fall trend that kind of creeps me out: Matte nail polish. To me, this feels entirely all wrong. I tried it once and it felt like I painted my nails with chalk. While it’s been slowly coming on for the past few years, I think the trend will really hit full circle in Fall 09. Brands like Zoya (above) and Man Glaze have been doing the mattes for a while, and I hear OPI will follow suit soon with a new version.

If you are into nail art (ala Konad and the like) I can see this bringing a very cool textural element to your mani, especially tone on tone (matte black with shiny black). We’ll see how the trend pans out and if it sticks around.

ao

For the past two weeks, I’ve been using Josie Maran Argan Oil under my PM moisturizer (currently Korres Thyme Honey Moisturizer). Love, love, love! I want to bathe in it but alas, I only have a small sample vial of the product. You can also use Argan Oil as a hair treatment, on your body, and it’s also recommended for dry cuticles and eczema.

My oily skin is prone to occasional breakouts, especially when I’m PMSing. Since I started using it, my skin looks clear, radiant, and feels a tad less oily. It’s certainly not a miracle product but I do admittedly adore it, so far. The texture is neither thin nor thick, it is quickly absorbed, and doesn’t have a heavy scent. I’d describe it as slightly earthy in a good way. While I like this brand, I am also researching other brands that sell the same product for perhaps a bit less. I might break down and buy a bottle if I don’t find a suitable alternative. Buyer beware: make sure you check ingredients of what you are buying as some companies add fillers to keep the price down.

Spring Trend: Brights

March 17, 2009

springtrends

I’m SO ready for winter to end and I totally embrace the bright makeup trends of spring. Not a fan of hot pink lips or green eyeshadow? Translate the trend in a way that works for you. Pick up color in your accessories; from bracelets and hair accessories and even to your office supplies (neon Post-Its, paper clips, and pens).

1. Carnelian and Garnet Bracelet by Busarin, $53, novica.com

2. OPI for Sephora “Digital Diva” polish collection, $9 each, sephora.com

3. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Vert, $16, urbandecay.com

4. Orange Lilly Flower Hair Clip, $7.50, mydivascloset.com

5. Spa Glo Sky Blue Mineral Eyeshadow, $10, spaglo.com. Alternative: Bare Escentuals Azure Eyeshadow, $13, bareescentuals.com

6. Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Moist Glow in Liquifuchsia, $24, kevynaucoin.com

7. Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Adore, $18, urbandecay.com