Stories for: Makeup

Beauty, Makeupem Michelle Phan Waterliner

em_michelle_phan_waterlinerGuilty pleasure: Michelle Phan videos. There may even have been one or two occasions where a marathon YouTube tutorial watching session has led to me exclaiming “OMG how it is already 3am!” Even though I’m much more of a “natural looking makeup” girl myself, I always appreciated Michelle’s ability to transform her eyes (it’s an Asian thing). So when her line em Michelle Phan launched, the first products I wanted to get my hands on were her eye makeup, in particular, the much-touted waterliner.

The waterliner, as it turns out, was love at first use. Phan created this product for her fans who wanted an eyeliner that was easy to apply, had great color payoff, and didn’t smudge or budge even on the delicate waterline. The waterliner certainly lives up to all those promises: it glides on smoothly and  is highly pigmented so there’s no need to go over the lid multiple times, the thickness is just right, and best of all, once on, the liner stays put. It’s one of the few liners that I can use on my lower eyelid and still have the look be in tact (no panda eyes there) hours later. On the other side of the liner is a smudge tip which makes it easy to blend the color onto the lids for a smokier and softer effect if desired. This product is truly a game changer in my makeup routine because for the first time, I can create beautifully lined eyes in just 30 seconds with no muss, no fuss. Now having wider, more expressive eyes can be an every day beauty look, not just saved for special occasions.

My favorite shades are Midnight Black for the most intense, glamorous finish, Chocolate Dream for an every-day soft, pretty look and Amazing Grey, which creates a really nice, dreamy effect. The waterliner comes in 12 shades ranging from amethyst to turquoise to rose gold. The next step is to collect them all!

 

Beauty, MakeupA Flawless Complexion

stila

I work long hours at the office and go out a lot of times afterwards (I mean, who doesn’t need an after work drink..every day), so I really need my makeup to last as long as possible. Because as much as I say I’m going to touch up after work, I really only do it about half of the time (or less) because it’s just a pain. If I’ve already set aside time for makeup during the day, I don’t want to do it again! I’m just lazy that way, ok? So I’m really loving the duo of Stila’s new CC Cream Stick and Stay All Day Concealer.   It’s quick, easy and gives me the look of a flawless complexion that lasts straight through after work drinks.  It’s the perfect combo!  READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupSmashbox Liquid Halo Foundation

smashboxliquidhaloAfter a summer of barely there makeup, I’m embracing the change of season by returning to polished makeup–the darker colors for fall practically demand it! The first step to the new made-up me is flawless foundation and this season that is Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation with Broad Spectrum SPF 15. Now that I’ve been spoiled with all those super natural BB and CC creams, I have a higher standard for my foundations–no longer will I accept anything too heavy, too cake-y, or too mask-like. Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation is fabulous because it’s an ultra-blendable light texture that doesn’t coat or cake on the skin but still leaves behind a completely even complexion and that enviable glowing-yet-matte finish. The product is almost like a gel and formulated with Liquid Light Technology that acts as filters and diffusers to blur out imperfections. The foundation is easy to apply with fingers or a brush, goes on smoothly, and blends into skin easily leaving your face looking natural-but-better–a great product for everyday wear and the perfect canvas to show off those rich fall hues.

Beauty, MakeupAll the Artisan Brushes

makeupforeverbrushes

MAKE UP FOR EVER has just put all the other brands on notice because they’re introducing a new Artisan Brush Collection that involves a whopping SEVENTY-SIX brushes. Seventy-six! I didn’t even know that many were possible! The brushes range from the kind that you’ll use every day to more specialized ones that you would only use on special occasions–there is seriously a brush for anything and everything you could ever want to do on your face or body. The creation of the brushes has been a five year process for MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Creator and Artistic Director, Dany Sanz: the construction of each brush involved twenty-five unique stages and each one was hand-crafted by a total of thirty people from beginning to end. That’s a lot of detail! READ MORE

Beauty, Los Angeles, Makeup, New YorkDown the Rabbit Hole with OCC Fragmented Alice

occmakeup
Remember how I had OCC? Well, it’s flaring up again.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) just debuted its Fragmented Alice Colour Collection and it’s now available! For the first time, the cult makeup artist favorite is collaborating with a painter, Chicago native Gail Potocki, whose hauntingly beautiful, twisted series Fragmented Alice paintings present what the brand calls a “uniquely macabre” take on C.S. Lewis’s Alice in Wonderland.

I checked out Gail’s paintings recently at a launch event, where OCC Brand Manager and Director of Makeup Artistry Courtney Tichman demonstrated the limited-edition collection. After gazing at Alice’s often forlorn, oil-painted expression, enhanced by layers and layers of color, I was instantly inspired to go home and play with my makeup. What seemed like unwearable shades at first in the OCC collection turned out to be delightfully sheer, majestic, even psychedelic! READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupButter London Branches Out

Butter London Eye Pencil Jaded JackButter London is one of my favorite nail polish brands of all time–not only are their colors fantastic, but the names are always fun and remind me of the six months I spent living in London during college. So I was super excited when they decided to branch out and release a makeup collection with all sorts of new products for eyes, cheeks and lips. So far, I’ve only gotten a chance to try two of the eye products, but I totally loved them and can’t wait to pick up some of the lip and cheek stuff soon.

The Wink Eye Pencil in Jaded Jack is a bright, almost neon, lime green creme.  I can’t say I have many occasions that call for this shade, but if I did, I would be all over it because I love the texture and staying power of it. Even if this gorgeous green isn’t your shade, don’t despair: the  eye pencils come in a lot of shades that are easier to wear, like Indigo Punk, a gorgeous violet shimmer, or Brown Sugar, a basic chocolate brown creme.

 

Butter London Cream Shadow Inky SixI also tried out the Wink Cream Eye Shadow in Inky Six, a baby blue shimmer. Lately, I’ve been really into the creme shadows because they’re super easy and very portable.  Indy Six is actually a very wearable shade that still lets you bust out of the neutral zone with ease.  The best part is that the products don’t break the bank–both the Eye Pencils and the Cream Eye Shadows are  under 20 bucks, which is right in line with some of my other must-have brands like Urban Decay, Stila and MAKE UP FOR EVER. Can’t wait to see more from this fantastic brand!

Beauty, MakeupLaura Mercier Dark Spell Collection

Laura-Mercier-Dark-Spell-Collection-2013-Promo

After such a hot, wet and frankly, kind of weird summer (not gonna lie)…I’m looking forward to fall. While the summer thunderstorms are still raging, I’ve already begun dabbling into our fall beauty collections. At the top of my list is Laura Mercier’s Limited Edition Dark Spell Collection, which presents an astounding array of colors and concepts that define the mysterious and seductive woman. This cutting edge collection is a necessity for the dramatic femme who wants to make a statement! The eyes are the focus of this collection of dark grays and deep blacks then accented by rich lips, resulting in a smoldering, attention-grabbing look. READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupNARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation: Worth It?

Nars Radiant Cream Compact FoundationLight. Dry. Olive. Freckled. That’s my skin in a nutshell.

Like many mixed-race gals, or actually, just gals in general, I find it hard to choose a foundation that matches my exact skin shade and tone — so I usually settle for something sheer in the “Ivory” or “Light Neutral” category. When I first heard NARS was releasing a new Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in 20 shades (yes, 20 shades!), I thought, “Finally! They must have the perfect match!” But alas, the closest I could find was Deauville (a light shade with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertone). I must confess, I thought this shade would be too dark, too thick and too warm at first, but au contraire, it worked out beautifully! READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupMake Up For Ever Smoky Extravagance

mufI’ve always had good luck with MAKE UP FOR EVER and the streak continues lately with their new Smoky Extravagant Mascara.  It has a long-lasting formula that promises no clumping, and it uses a 4D technology to make a microdefining wax complex cover your lashes in ultrablack pigments (how futuristic!). The formula is supposed to add volume, length and curl. I thought that it did a great job with the volume and length–but honestly, I didn’t see a ton of curling. However, my lashes are naturally long and thick, so maybe it was just having a problem with that? By far though, my favorite part about this mascara is the brush–it’s fabulous!  It’s cone-shaped with a precision tip, so it separates lashes so as to avoid clumping, but it also means that you can get into the corners and make those lashes as easy to see as the rest of them. That’s not always an easy feat to accomplish on my lashes, so kudos for that.  I also like that the formula didn’t smudge or flake at all on me, so I wasn’t wearing more of it under my eyes than I was on my lashes.  Thanks, MAKE UP FOR EVER for keeping the streak going!

 

 

Beauty, MakeupEasy Summer Beauty with Jouer

Before I got my hands on samples of some of their new products, it had been a long time since I tried Jouer. I’m not sure why, but now that I’ve had some time to play around with their fun stuff, that’s definitely not going to happen again. Everything I tried recently is so fabulous that it’s now become one of my favorite brands.

jouerlipSummer to me equals even more time outdoors, which means that my lips have far more time to become dry and/or chapped than any other season (funny how that happens). I’m an obsessive lip moisturizer, so I’m loving the Tinted Lip Enhancers.  The Lip Enhancers are lip treatments that come in a cute little tube that’s easy to slip into your pocket or your clutch on a night out and are nourishing, conditioning and very moisturizing– everything you need for keeping lips soft and hydrated at any time.  They contain something called Maxi Lip, which helps to plump your pout while filling in fine lines. Each Enhancer comes with a hint of color to it–they’re not super pigmented or dramatic, but you can definitely see the tint on your lips– that make them just right to contrast with a smoky eye or for a casual daytime look. They’re just simple, pretty and easy.  The perfect summer lip product! READ MORE

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