What Makes a Good Eyeliner?

Eyeliners define your eyes and make it the epicenter of any good look.Even a subtle streak on a lash line makes a huge difference in what tyou’re going for. The curves, lines, and colors can be the finishing touches that take your look to the next level.

A good eyeliner should be easy to apply, glide effortlessly, have a variety of gorgeous colors, and last the whole day. Some things to look out for when choosing your liner:

 

  • Is it precise? Flexibility in the thickness of line which is more important for liquid liners since the shape of the tip can’t be altered. i tend to like liquid liner pens that have a soft brush tip opposed to a felt tip. My all time favorite is Physicians Formula 2-in-1 lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. it can be found at any drug store for $9.99 or less!

 

  • Is it highly pigmented? The higher the pigmentation, the easier it is to produce the intended color, especially if it’s applied over primer and eyeshadow. It’s super disappointing to try an eyeliner that isnt pitch black or vibrant in color. It just makes everything look super dull.

 

  • How fast does it dry? You want it to dry fairly quickly after application, but is still easy to take off immediately if you make a mistake. I always keep a makeup wipe handy to try and correct my mistakes and i try to apply my eyeliner against something that has a sharp edge, like a business card or a tape guideline.

 

  • Does it smudge? No raccoon eyes please!!

 

  • Will it last all day? Obviously you don’t want your eyes melting off throughout the day and created a look that makes you appear to have been crying all day.

 

  • Does it come off easily with makeup remover? You don’t want to scrub your eyes too hard, it is the most sensitive part of you face! most waterproof eyelines will come off easier with a makeup remover like micellar water. My favorite is the Garnier Micellar water (the one with the blue cap removes waterproof makeup).

 

There are three main types of liners: pencil, gel, and liquid. Deciding on the right type is the most important part. After that, there are other factors to consider, like drugstore versus luxury brand, waterproof capabilities, and if the eyeliner is good for tightlining. I’m not one for tightlining since i wear contacts and have sensitive eyes but having a good kohl/gel pencil liner is great for this because it can help really create that smoldering look.

 

Pencils are the most standard type of eyeliner and come in different sizes and a range of colors. Pencil is available through the vast majority of cosmetic brands. They achieve a classic or natural look and are easy to smudge for a smoky or dramatic look. They are the easiest to apply when soft. Remember that old trick your mom used to do in the 80s? Where she’d heat the pencil liner with a liner? Running a dry, crumbly, pencil through the flames of a light for a few seconds will help heat up the wax and make the eyeliner softer and easier to apply. Pencil liners also don’t necessarily need you to have a steady hand. You can easily smoke out a mistak with your pencil liner or cover it up again with a bit more eyeshadow. The drying time is virtually zero so you’re ready to go as soon as it goes on!

Liquid eyeliners provide precise definition to the lash lines and are usually dispensed through a brush or felt-tip pen. They have ultra-precision and are great for winged and cat-eye looks. You can create defined lines and go over them with a matching colored eyeshadow to set it in place even faster. Graphic liners are super popular these days and these looks are acheived with a liquid liner and a whole lot of patience. At least there’s no sharpening required!

Finally, gel eyeliners lie somewhere between pencil and liquid eyeliners. They are smudgeable enough to look natural but can also be applied so the line is bold and defined. An eyeliner brush is needed to apply gel eyeliner, which is typically contained in a small pot. They are creamy for an easy glide, are excellent for waterlines and tightlining. Gel liners are also great for winged, cat-eye, and smoky-eye looks as well as natural looks. Kohl/Kajal eyeliners kind of fall into this catergory as all. They’re super creamy and smudgeable and come in a pencil form in case you dont want to fuss with a brush.

Ultimately, your eyeliner type is your choice and you can choose one favorite type or utilize all for differing looks! Reviews.com recently ranked the top liners that you use to help you make the decision! Comment below with what’s your favorite liner. Maybe I’ll give them a try! I’m always looking for new eyeliners.

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Makeup Shopping Tips from a Retail Worker

Ugh…retail. If you work in retail you know the pain and struggle I’m going through. It is not fun, it can be really boring, and sometimes the people can be real assholes about things. I work for a drugstore chain in Ohio and I work in the Cosmetics department. It isn’t as glamorous as giving people makeovers at Ulta, or working at a Sephora but it does provide me with a bit of enjoyment when people ask me for makeup advice. It makes me sad when people who need the makeup advice don’t ask me for it though.

I don’t get as many makeup related questions as I’d like to but over the course of about 3 months I’ve figured out a few tips and tricks that might help you become a better shopper and makeup consumer.

1. Expiration Dates

The most important tip that I’ve found is expiration dates. If you’re like me then you don’t usually look to see if makeup has an expiration date on the packaging, that’s because most don’t. I’ve found that the most common products that have expiration dates are products with sunscreen or salicylic acid (acne medication). These are usually common on foundations, bb creams, and sometimes powders. However not all foundations will have these, which is unfortunate because even foundation without medication or sunscreen go bad.

Finding the expiration date can be a little tricky if it’s not on a box package. Expiration dates printed on glass bottles can rub off and you might not be able to tell when the expiration year is. These printed expiration dates usually have the month number and last 2 digits of the year such as 10/16 or they will have an abbreviated month name followed by the year such as JL 2016 (July). Expiration dates can also be lighted embossed on the bottle and not show up very clear. I generally have to wiggle the bottle around to catch the light different in order to see it. Expiration dates on tube packaging are usually on the front or back of the top of the tube where it is sealed.

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Via acne.org

If no numbers are present there might be a graphic that looks like a container with the lid open and something like 12M on it. This means the product is good up towards a certain number of months after being opened (in this example, 12 months after opening).

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via jane-can.com

2. Separation

On the topic of expiration dates and some products not having them, sometimes you can just tell when a product is bad. Most cream products and nail polishes naturally separate because of the oils present. Give the product a good shake and if you still see separation the product is probably spoiled. If you also notice odd colors in the product such as a foundation having green, white, or black, areas in it, then it has molded. If something is a completely different color than what it usually is, then it has probably spoiled as well (Such as a green concealer turning yellow or white).

Nail polishes are a little harder to distinguish as they don’t really go bad, but they do separate.. All nail polishes separate at one point or another, that’s why we give a good shake before putting it on. Different colors in nail polish is more normal. For example if a light blue nail polish separates there will be some clear, then a darker blue, then the light blue. This is the nail polish base and the pigments separating. After shaking it it should redistribute. If it doesn’t it might have thickened. I usually open the polish after shaking it, give a small whiff, then apply it to my nail to test the consistency. If it goes on fairly smoothly then you’re good to go.

3. Pull from the back

 At my store stocking any new product that comes in means pulling the older ones to the front and putting the newer products behind it. This also means pulling some products that are close to their expiration date to the front so it can be bought and sold, kind of like produce. People also have a tendency to use and try products on from the front, so pulling from the back might get you a newer, non used products (like lipsticks). Pulling from the back doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the newest product as sometimes the products get shifted around, and products with expiration dates can get mixed up. So if you noticed an expiration date on a foundation, select from the back and pick the one with the farthest expiration date. You don’t want something that’s going to expire in a month or two but rather a year or two.

4. Don’t try on the products

This is for stores, like mine that don’t have testers. If you’re going to a makeup store or a makeup counter in a department store there is usually testers that you can use. I only say don’t try on the products because of spreading germs and because i’ve seen people try on a lipstick and then put it right back into the slot. It’s really gross. I can understand why people do it though because most store have a no return policy on makeup. People don’t want to pay for an expensive foundation and have it be the wrong skin color. But just think that there is going to eventually be someone that is going to purchase the product you tried and without knowing purchase a used and open product. Germs can spread quickly

and that’s not good for things that you are putting on your face.

Luckily my store has a return policy on makeup where you can purchase, use and return it, so you’re not missing out on much. Every store is different.

5. Sensor tags

At our store, if you look at the price label on the shelf there will be a S by the UPC number. The UPC number is the number that gets scanned at the register and basically tells the system what is being purchased. A S means that the product has a Sensor tag on it, which means if not disarmed it will make the sensors by the entrance and exit of the store go off. This can be scary because if it goes off, usually you’ll have to be stopped and have your shopping bags or purse searched and everyone stares at you like you stole something. I’ve had this happen to me. I had purchased something and was getting ready to walk out when the sensor went off. They checked the bag I had my purchases in and it didn’t go off. My purse of all things went off. Of course I hadn’t stolen anything but it had to get searched by the manager either way. I had to stand there and wait for the whole thing to be over with while they thought I was a criminal. It’s not cute.

Most products that have boxes and are above a certain price will have sensor tags on them. Sensor tags of course have to be concealed as much as possible so they won’t be tampered with. However there can be sensor tags on products that don’t have any packaging at all, like a bottle of lotion or face wash. If you notice the price label has an S then you know for sure it will be tagged. If the price seems a little high then there might also be sensor tags. Depending on the store and what products you’re buying you may or may not encounter a sensor tag. When getting checked out, sometimes the cashier doesn’t remove/or disable the sensor properly, causing you to beep as you walk out the store. If you notice your product has sensor tags, give a gentle reminder to the cashier to make sure they disable them all. This will save you the pain of possibly having to be searched unnecessarily.

These are the tips and advice i’ve found so far but i will update if I find anymore in the future. I’ve stocked and moved around makeup and beauty products as well as pulled expired products so this is all from my experience. And like i’ve said before every store is different, what happens in my store won’t necessarily apply to other stores. But hopefully these tips help to to be a smarter shopper and makeup consumer!

Natural Beauty with Glossier!

Hi everyone! Time for another brand new post. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt motivated to write something and actually do something makeup related. Not only that but school has started and my sleep schedule is all kinds of messed up. Luckily I got some motivation a few days ago when I was able to work with Glossier. Not only do these make me feel special but it’s always a new idea that I can stem off of and really get my creative juices flowing.

We’ve teamed up to show you guys my favorite beauty and skin products that make my natural beauty shine through. Like most young girls and women, I’ve struggled with looking in the mirror and thinking that my natural face is beautiful. When I put on makeup, it doesn’t stem from insecurity. It actually gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. But accepting yours bare self is also important which is why when I dove into Glossier’s website I fell in love. Not only do I have my eyes on that Milk Jelly Cleanser, I also loved the motives behind the company: celebrating beauty and catering to products that are fun, easy to use, and great for your skin. On top of that, the model in the pictures for the Milk Jelly Cleanser is actually not wearing makeup (except in a before and after)! Like, how many times have you see companies use models with a full face a of makeup on while advertising makeup remover?? Check out their entire stock of beauty products here.

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Taken from Glossier.com, used with permission

Though I don’t have any Glossier products (yet!), I thought I’d share what products I use to help keep my skin fresh and clean as well as some beauty products that help give me a natural look!

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1: CHAPSTICK!

Not a HOUR goes by when I don’t wear chapstick. When I was a child, I would constantly lick my lips until it hurt. I never wanted to be reminded of that horrible pain so I became a chapstick fiend. I just love how it keeps my lips soft, moisturized, and pain free without adding color. I end up hoarding and losing them endlessly, but there always has to be 1-3 of them in my bag. Otherwise I will go crazy and have to stop somewhere to get one. I can’t live without my chapstick. And trust me, every time I see one of those “If you were stuck on an island and only had to bring one thing” posts, my answer is always chapstick.

2. A light facial cleanser

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Bare Faced with Glasses

I don’t have one cleanser that I stick to. I use a variety of them and it’s one of my favorite skin products to use. Anytime I see a new one I want to try it. My favorites are the soft cleansers that are clear or have a similar texture to a non greasy lotion. Some of my favorite include Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Booster Facial Cleanser ($8) and White Rain Facial Cleanser and Makeup Remover (found at my local Dollar Tree for $1) I also like to use Yes to Tomatoes Activated Charcoal Bar soap for when I want a deeper clean and more of a scrub.

3. A moisturizer

My facial skin can get extremely dry. Like my face washes, I like to use something that is also very light and soft. Prior to the cancellation of my ipsy subscription I was able to try the No 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream that is super hydrating. But because this isn’t a luxury I can afford I’ve also chosen the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Calming Night Cream for sensitive skin. Both are very gentle on the skin, only need a small amount for all over the face and aren’t greasy. It sinks right into the skin.

4. A good lotion

Now for this particular product, it’s actually not a lotion. It’s a relief spray. I recommend the Yes to Coconuts Eczema Relief Spray ($10). This is because I was having severe trouble with dry skin which I will detail in a later blog post, but its a light spray, that is suuuper hydrating and it really calms the skin. I would almost be tearing at my flesh because it was so itchy but one application of this was extremely helpful! Keeping my skin from drying out to much and making my psoriasis/eczema flare up is important to me feeling beautiful and keeping my skin healthy.

5. A face mist

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Messy Hair, Bare Face

Face mists have been gaining popularity since more and more people want MAC’s Fix+ without spending the MAC Fix+ money. And I’m not different. My first Facial Mist was actually E.L.F’s Makeup setting spray and since then I have moved onto Pixi’s Makeup Fixing Mist ($15, around $8 less than MAC). I like to put this one before and after makeup and it’s infused with Rose Water and Green Tea. It adds an extra boost of moisture and helps my skin feel refreshed before I add any makeup onto it. You can even use it for everyday wear and without makeup! Misting sprays are super versatile, which I think is why they’re so appealing.

6. Foundation Powder

BB Creams, Tinted Moisturizer, and foundation will never feel as light as powder foundation, to me anyway. I use foundation powder (pressed) for an easy fix to my uneven skintone and whenever I’m heading out and want something quick and easy to do. My favorite one (though I don’t buy this brand that much) is Covergirl’s Clean Oil Control Pressed Powder ($6). Even though it’s a powder it’s not dusty at all and doesn’t make your skin look too dry. I buff it on with a face brush or kabuki and head on out the door. It’s quick and simple, which is great for making me get out the house faster!

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My Color is Warm Beige

7. Last but not least, eyebrows!

It is a rare sight when I leave the house without filling in my eyebrows. I have 2 different ways of filling in my brows, one of course, is a more glamorous way and the other is one I use for everyday wear. Having people compliment me on how good my eyebrows look is my favorite thing. In my head I’m hearing “Yasss gurl! You’re looking so good!” and that brings the biggest smile to my face. My everyday eyebrow tool is NYX’s Eyebrow Pencil in Black. It’s a thin pencil so it’s easy to control and has an eyebrow brush at the end to help comb and tame them easily. Though the color is pigmented you can create a look that isn’t as drawn on or too dramatic (i do love a good dramatic brow though!)

These are my top favorite things that keep my skin feeling it’s best and me looking like I’m a natural beauty from the heavens, haha. Feel free to check out some of the links I’ve provided in case you want to get the same products I use. I highly recommend them! Also while you’re at it, please check out Glossier.com and their gorgeous products and follow them on their social media links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Please follow my personal blog for all things nerdy and weird and this blog’s Instagram @Muoatb! See you next time!

 

My First Korean Beauty Products

A few weeks ago I ordered my first Korean Beauty Products. I was browsing through ebay because I had the urge to go shopping and I just decided to try some out finally. The bad thing is that finding KBP for me is rather hard. I have darker skin, which in Korea is not something that is desired.  Almost all their skin products, foundation ,bb creams, concealers, etc have skin whitening ingredients. As a person with darker skin this doesn’t sit well with me. Obviously every country has their own beauty standards and we cannot tell them that they are wrong/right by comparing it to the standards we have in the US. I have always loved my skin tone and I’m searching for KBP that I can use without the skin whitening agents. Also, even with the whitening agents, Korean skin care/foundation is better for people with paler complexions as most brands of makeup do not carry more than a few light shades.

So as you can see I was a bit stumped on what I should even get. I decided against eye and lip makeup because I already have a lot of those. I was interested in the moisturizing skin care mists that they have as well as the beauty masks but I suppose I wanted something…substantial? I guess I wanted something I could use for awhile. SO i turned to a popular brand, Etude House. I visited their website first but  when I saw the damn shipping prices I decided to check on ebay. I purchased the Precious Mineral Magic Any Cushion in Magic Mint and the My Lash Serum.

Let me tell you the Magic Any Cushion is absolutely adorable I think. I think the compact/box comes in the color of your chosen Magic Cushion. Since I chose Magic mint to help combat some of the red and purple undertones of my skin, the box and compact is Mint.

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The Compact itself is rather big, it fits in the palm of my hand entirely.

20150610_202011When You open the compact you get the cute little Etude House puff and a nice big mirror on the inside. The under side of the compact is a pale pink and the top is white with the Etude House Logo on the band.

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After pulling back the top that holds the sponge you get to the actual product. Mine is still covered by the protected cover but I pulled it back a little to show how spongey it is. It a sponge soaked in product.

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The idea is to dab the puff in the product then apply it to your face. You can use as little or as much as you want. I plan to use it mostly on my dark circles and bottom of my T-zone where I have a lot of redness. Also i tried a bit of the product on my dark circles and it’s very soothing, cooling and just a little bit tingly. It doesn’t burn at all just tingles slightly, the way a lip plumping lipgloss would (or I imagine would, i don’t use it very much) I really really like the cooling  sensation especially for this summer heat. It blends really well into the skin and is used to even and brighten out the skintone (so you’re not green at all:P) I wish I could keep it in my purse but I think with the extreme heart it might get messed up. The price on ebay was $12 with free shipping. You can also get refills of the compact as well. It’s completely removeable. 20150610_202049

The other things i got is the My Lash Serum. [From the Etude House Website] Formulated with Cornus Officinalis Fruit extract and Panthenol, this eye lash treatment conditions for healthier looking lashes, you can also use it with or without mascara. My lashes are pretty long already but I’d like them to be longer and maybe a little more fuller so I won’t have to use so many coats of mascara. The smell is a little strange. Honestly it kind of reminds me of alcohol, like when you buy an alcoholic drink and you smell the fruitiness first then that like wave of alcohol afterwards. I don’t know, how else to describe it so I’m sure it sounds strange but it honeslty isn’t bad either. On the Etude House website a user said that they used it nightly after showering. I might used it in the morning before I head off to work since I kind of forget to do things at night. We’ll see haha.

Another cool thing is that with this seller They gave me a nice little handful of free samples. I got three from Tony Moly ( Brightening Peeling Gel, Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream, Nutra Energy 100 Hours Cream) The 100 hours cream is supposed to last 100 hours, it is packed with argan oil and is for adding moisture to the skin, used for loss of firmness and rough skin texture. The Peeling gel is to be used a facial cleanser as the website says you massage it all over the face then rinse it off with warm water.

Here are some other samples I got:

lioele Multi Seaweed Gel

Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel

Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack

BB, CC, DD Creams, Oh MY!

It seems like we’re just traveling down the alphabet, one double letter at a time in the world of cosmetics. It can all get pretty confusing especially when you’re trying to find the right product for you. I’ve gathered some information on all the kinds of creams offered in the market today (that I know of). Each one has it’s own use and different formulas. So let’s start off with the most common type.

BB, is short for beauty balm or blemish balm. This product was made famous by Asian markets though the formula was created in the 60s in Germany. It was introduced to South Korea and Japan in the 80s as “the secret of Korean actresses” whose smooth porcelain skin is highly desired. It’s a beauty multi tasker that is designed to replace the need for moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. It gives a more natural finish than foundation by evening out the complexation, hydrating the skin and have a boost of sunblock. It can be worn with (or under) foundation as well but BB cream provides light to medium coverage on it’s own. I love using BB cream and have been using my BB Cream from Flower Beauty. It easily blends into the skin and you can use a beauty sponge or even a kabuki brush to buff it in and give yourself a flawless natural finish, Since this is the most common product it will probably be the best bet to start here. Because pale skin is so prized in Asian countries, some of their BB Creams are formulated with skin lightening products. (I personally think this is wrong but every country has their own definition of beauty and i can’t really argue with that. I’m proud of my skin tone and using Western BB Creams is just fine with me! They don’t come with the skin lightening properties.)

CC Creams:

the CC stands for Color Correct or Color Care. This is lighter in texture than most BB Creams and are specifically designed to control redness and discoloration in uneven skintones. These can be used alone but some people find they work better as primers because they’re lighter in coverage. The difference between the two are subtle, but I prefer BB creams because of the better coverage.

DD Creams:

A rose by any other name, this stands for Daily Defense, Dynamic Do All, or Dermatologically Defining. And we’re getting pretty ridiculous by now. This pretty much does the exact same thing but with a focus on anti aging. It’s helps dimish fine lines and wrinkles and give a “youthful” glow to the skin. So leave this to the middle aged people that by that horribly expensive makeup at Macys.

EE Creams:

Stands for Even Effect. Because Estee Lauder wanted to be important again, This one is specifically supposed to defend against UV and sun damage. So it’s like supercharged sunscreen. Again leave this to the older people, though if you’re worried about sun damage and are out in the sun a lot you can use this as well.

How-To/Review Sally Hansen Salon Insta Gel Strips

Hey guys! I’m actually blogging this as I’m doing this! So this is almost a live blog but I will schedule this for later on in the month of March. The day I’m writing this is 2/22/15 and will do a small edit at the end of the post to show how long the manicure lasted. The box claims a 2 week wear so we shall see.

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I got this kit at Big Lots for around $9 which isn’t that bad. Inside you get a mini LED light and plug (this is supposed to set the gel manicure), a mini nail file and cuticle pusher/orange stick, the gel strips (the color I chose was Wine Out but there are others avaliable), a bottle of gel top coat, nail cleansing pads, and instructions.

I had some left over nail polish so I started off with removing the color. The color was called Prissy Chrissy from elf. Then I used the mini nail file (the dark pink side) to shape my nails. My nail lengths aren’t all even and with filing still won’t all be equal but that’s ok. I don’t mind. Also I prefer a more rounded nail rather than square so that’s how I’m filing them. Using the light pink side of the nail file smooth out any rough edges of the nail. Flip the nail file over and you will find a white side. This is the buffer. Gently buff your nails to create a smooth surface.

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I already had my cuticles cut but I’m just going to push back what I didn’t cut with the orange stick provided. The I used the Nail Cleanser Pad which is literally a 1×2 wet wipe to cleaned the dust/debris off the nail. Fun fact: I opened the little package and the liquid that’s on the wet wipe flew into my eye. It was no where near my eye and in fact by my lap and somehow managed to fly past my glasses into my eye. That hurt.

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Bastard wipe

Anyway it’s time to choose the gel strip that best fits your nail. Do your thumbs last. There’s a clear film on top of gel strip that you peel off. There’s a back part that you remove as well. Pull the actual color strip away and line it up with your cuticles. Pres it onto the nail bed and use the smooth flat end of the cuticle stick to smooth everything out. Add the gel top coat all over the nail and be sure to clean up any that may have got onto the skin before you put it under the LED light. I did each nail one at a time. Once you have the top coat one and have cleared the skin of excess top coat put it under the LED light and press the button. It’s on an automatic timer so it will go off on it’s own after 30 seconds. Once you’re done with that wipe with another nail cleansing wipe or a gentle makeup remover wipe or baby wipe to get rid of the tacky residue.

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what the strips look like
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LED time
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Done

The verdict?

Well this takes too long. I’m pretty sure this took me about 1.5-2 hours. I don’t even think manicures in a salon that that long. The color is really nice. The gel coat gives it a shiny finish. There’s less mess since you don’t have to clean up excess nail polish color on your skin and around your nails. But it you don’t smooth out the gel nail strip perfectly it creates ridges and bumps that don’t look that good.. Also the kit only gives you enough nail strips for 1 manicure but I have the LED light still and the gel coat. What am i supposed to do with that? With some research I’ve only seen the starter kits available. These are actually running around $15 bucks so I got a decent deal at Big Lots. We’ll see how long these last as well.  To be honest I’d rather use nail decorative stickers on my nails then do this again, Overall I think i’d give it around 5/10. I just don’t see the payoff for having this extra useless stuff laying around and how time consuming it is. I mean could i give any nail polish the shellac treatment with the rest of the top coat I have and the LED light? That might be something I test out.

Though I should add the color is really nice and pretty haha.

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Complete Manicure

Update: 3/1/15

After the 2nd day or so the gel strip on my right index finger came right off. I haven’t put forth much effort to replace it. The rest of the nails are chipping like regular nail polish. Some of the strips are holding up well, longer than any regular nail polish I think but still not feeling anything fancy. When they say that the manicure would last 2 weeks, for some reason I thought it would stay perfect for two weeks. Right now it’s just seeming like regular nail polish to me that chips just like anything else. The strips will lift up at the edges and if you do something like run your fingers through your hair, the strips will catch on your hair and tug on it as well as lift up some more. I’ve chipped away at the strips just because the lifting was annoying me. I’ll wait another week and see how much more damage is done then take it off completely. Still not really sold on this product yet even if it does last longer than regular nail polish

UPDATE 2: (3/7/15) so i didnt last a second week with the gel strips on. they chipped just like any other polish on a nail and in the end i took them off. i chipped whatever i could with my nails then soaked the slanted end of the cuticle stick in nail polish remover and ran it under the gel strip to chip the rest off. Overall i dont think these strips are worth it. They’re not really time saving, they chip like normal nail polish and you’re stuck with the LED light and the top coat that you won’t really use. So this ones a dud. I would say save you’re money or go to a salon.

What’s In My Kit? Special Effects Edition!

Warning Long post ahead! I apologize in advanced for the long post, I can ramble forever about special effects makeup. I got into special effects makeup around the same time that I discovered beauty makeup. In fact I think i might’ve began my interest a little earlier thanks to the show Face Off. I have always loved watching these SFX makeup artists create things and I didn’t really think about doing it myself until I found PinkStylist on Youtube. I came across his channel while looking up other beauty makeup tutorials. You know how one thing leads to another and you go in a downward spiral to Youtube hell. Well anyway please check him out, he’s an absolutely sweetie from the UK and does amazing and fairly simple techniques to create great looks. Also a lot of people like MadeYewLook by Lex. She’s absolutely talented as well, amazingly show I just don’t watch her because i don’t actually like her voice and some of the mannerisms she does. That seems like a dumb reason I know but this is also the same reason I don’t like Markiplier for Let’s Plays. A lot of people enjoy his voice and i really hate it! Obviously these people can’t control their voices so this is just a personal preference. Anyway my opinions shouldn’t stop you from checking these people out!

Now that that ramble is over, here’s the actual makeup ramble. Just like with regular beauty makeup I look for SFX makeup on a budget as well. This can get extremely expensive online especially with shipping fees. The good thing is you can get most products in trial sizes which cut down the costs tremendously. But I tried get sample sizes of Snazzroo from their website and my total was around $10 and because they’re based in Canada or the UK (one of those two) the shipping was $12. Nuh-uh. Also Snazaroo isn’t exactly budget friendly. In fact barely any sfx brands are budget friendly. On top of that the only way to get things really quick and not pay for shipping is of course around Halloween. Which sucks since it only comes around once a year! We should really have a Summerween like in Gravity Falls.

So around Halloween there are the pop up seasonal Halloween Stores as well as Wal-Mart who starts carrying Halloween accessories and costumes. Party City also carries Halloween things year round but their full stock starts towards the end of the summer until November. These are the places I usually go. Wal-Mart and Party City have lower quality products but these are great for beginners of course! You wouldn’t want to buy expensive items to try new things on and then find out that you suck at it (also you don’t suck, you just need practice!)

So this kit has been built up throughout a year so it does take time as with any other form of makeup collection. Here’s what I have so far. This kit is stored in a normal plastic toolbox found in the hardware section for $6-8 bucks! Even the container is on a budget:P It comes with a self insert which i keep my smaller items in.

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                         Top Insert
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                            Bottom

I found that I have several brands of Spirit Gum. Spirit Gum is the basic of all adhesives. It comes in a bottle with a brush applicator that can help you apply it on the skin, latex, or any other surface. Usually this is used for applying prosthetic and fake hair and some accessories such as a rhinestone that you need to keep in place on the forehead or something like that. When I buy prosthetic kits i find that they usually come with a small bottle of Spirit Gum already which is why I have so many.

In order it goes Bloody Mary’s Spirit Gum ($4), Graftobian Spirit Gum (1oz Bottle around $3) and Remover (1 oz bottle around $4), Cinema Secrets Spirit Gum (0.125 Bottle $3) and Rubie’s Spirit Gum (0.125 oz around $4, and i got this at party city). Also just know that you don’t always need spirit gum remover to remove spirit gum. You can use alcohol or baby oil. I’ve used my Graftobian SG the most but they all do the same thing. You might have to judge on how long the stick lasts to determine the best one. You also might need to reapply sometimes. I won’t go into review details since this is just a “look at what I got” post haha.

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Next are the paints that I use. I use cream and water color paints. I got most of my cream colors from Party City. They have stacks of 4 colors in different themes for $10. I got the Flesh Tone, The Undead, And I believe the last one is Zombie??? I couldn’t find it on the website site so I’m unsure. Another stack I got was the Vampire stack from walmart. This one was probably a bit cheaper than the Party City one so I was unsure. The Cinema Secrets cream makeup I got were parts of prosthetic kits as well But each 1/8 oz (which i believe is the same as 0.125 oz) run for $3.50 on the Cinema Secrets website. They also have stacks of color avaliable for $10 as well, which might be the better/cheaper option. My Graftobian makeup wheel was part of a $20 Bald Cap appliance kit. This is also a flesh color kit with a blue in the center (which can be used to create veins as well as add depth.)  The Bloody Mary face paint is really nice. The application is really smooth and has great pigmentation. This was around $4 at a SFX convention that I went to. I swear these were around $4 but on the website they’re about double the price. The other cream makeups I use are the ones found at Walmart, Dollar Tree and Party City for around $1. They suck, go on too thick and aren’t that great for application but if you need them for a Halloween night they’re great or if you’re a beginner. If you’re more advanced you know to keep these out of your kit. The Wolfe and Snazaroo paints are water based, meaning they act like water color paints. Add water (however much you want) and then apply. The water colors are great for doing thin washes and for things like bruises. I use my Wolfe palette for bruises all the time!. The Wolfe palette was around $13 at the convention price. I would recommend these, I really enjoy them.

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Now it’s time for some Blood-MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH! Blood is pretty essential if you’re doing some gory makeup. There are different types of blood as well. There’s the generic cheap vampire blood, i got these tubes for $1. This is goopy messy, bright red and unrealistic but great for some things. It’s also runny so it’s great for drippy effects and stippling. Blood paste is my favorite. I think I got this jar for around $5 and it’s awesome. It’s a thick substance, that’s darker and a little bit more realistic. It looks like clotting and clumps of blood. It also stays in place where ever you put it. Blood gel, I actually haven’t used yet but it’s inbetween the cheap blood and blood paste. It’s syrupy consistency can drip/run but since it’s thicker it wont run AS much as the cheap blood. People used one type of blood per look or mix all different kinds depending on what they want to achieve.

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Next I have some miscellanous sfx things. Most of the stuff I got is from Mehron and is a bit expensive. Again I got the smaller sizes so they cost a bit less and was able to pick these up at one of the bigger Halloween stores. Rigid Collodion is i think an intermediate tool. It applies similar to Spirit Gum but it puckers the skin to create a kind of indentation/scar effects. I use this to create bite marks. Toothfx Toothenamel colors the teeth. I have the color Nicotine which give the teeth a gross yellow tint. Sweat and Tears is exactly that. It’s a liquid that simulates sweat and tears. Nose and Scar Wax is a moldable putty that needs to be away from heat. I can get really messy if held in the hands for too long. It works better if you use a tool to build up and create the effect you want, such as a metal spatula. I have charred ash which is a colored powder you can add onto makeup. I saw this used on a volunteer that Boobie Weiner (the woman who created the Bloody Mary makeup line) made into a zombie clown. It helped add onto a charred flesh look but can use to simulate dirtiness and things like that. 3-D gel that I have in a blood and flesh color. You warm this up in a bit of warm water and then apply it to the skin, making sure not to burn yourself. It’s a gelatin like substance and is cheaper than silicone based mixing compounds. They create similar effects. SynWax is another modeling wax similar to nose and scar wax but a bit stiffer.

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Latex!Latex!Latex! The most basic of sfx tools. Its super versatile and easy to use. And can create a multitude of effects. I got that big honking bottle of latex for $8 at Walmart. Bigger jugs of latex can be more expensive and the smaller bottles are usually around $4-5 bottles. Latex can be a bit pricey but it’s actually…ok it’s not a really a requirement but its place i recommend people starting at. And it’s used even in advanced looks so it’s well worth the investment.

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Sponges/Brushes. Cosmetic wedges. Get them. Get them in bulk. They’re disposable and perfect for latex application. You can even use these for applying face paints. Powder puffs and a kabuki brush are good for patting/buffing in setting powders. Stipple sponges create textures, especially for blood. Get paintbrushes, soft bristled ones, that can help you add details and such. Get a set of makeup brushes specifically for sfx makeup. Keep these separate from your regular brushes because some sfx makeup can ruin brushes (like latex, just apply with a sponge. It save time and hassle) Use kitchen sponges (brand new ones of course) to cut up and create textures as well.

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Prosthetics. Ok these aren’t necessary as you can make your own prosthetics.Though Makeing them from scratch can be time consuming and a little difficult if you don’t always have the right tools and materials. So what I do is either create simple/smaller prosthetics from latex or buy them. You can apply these with spirit gum and latex and then add your own details. It’s pretty much like a color book page, a base that you can add too.

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Lastly is setting powder. Now sfx makeup brands do make their own setting powders but you can easily use any translucent setting powder that you have around. I have a large pot of elfs translucent setting powder that I use for my face as well as sfx makeup (different brushes to avoid contamination of course) This is one of the easier things to get your hands on so I won’t spend too much time talking about it.

Now my kit is like a beginner/intermediate kit, which is the same place I am with beauty makeup. Practice makes perfect and as much I sit and watch makeup tutorials on Youtube, I do the same with sfx tutorials as well. My subscriptions are more geared towards beauty makeup but i have a few great sfx youtubers that i watch as well. I’ll be showing you guys some of my sfx makeup that i’ve done on some friends so you can get a sense of the other side of makeup!

Here are some shopping links: (as i mentioned before not all sfx makeup is budget friendly. It’s a rather expensive hobby (as id beauty makeup) but you can find deals around Halloween time/buy smaller bottles and such or products you want to try. Think “samples” like in beauty) Also I’m putting the main website links below but you can find things on other websites with a bit of digging.

Cinema Secrets

Mehron (shopping links/product links are on the side bar)

Bloody Mary

Wolfe Paints

Ben Nye (yeah, where that stupid ass banana powder comes from!! They make sfx makeup as well. Also I used a third party website for this link as I couldn’t exactly manuever through the Ben Nye website and find shopping links)

Party City

Spirity Halloween

These are just the main places, as I’ve mentioned before. I usually get most of my stuff during Halloween time and I got things during the SFX convention I went to this past summer. Shop around is the advice I can offer and have fun!

Makeup Kit For Intermediates

So now you’ve gotten the hang of the basic makeup it’s time for you to take your makeup game to the next level. You know how to use eyeliner, can kind of work the liquid foundation, and realize the basics of mascara. So what’s next?

Here are a few things to add to your kit:

Highlighter: No I don’t mean that neon yellow pen you use in text books. Highlighter is a product that can add brightness and glow to your face when applied correctly. Choose a highlighting product based on your skintone, for example pink tone highlighters work well with pale skin. Don’t choose one that’s too bright, white or shimmery. It might make you look fake and possibly a bit shiny. Like all makeup products you want it to blend into your skin and compliment it. The goal for highlighter is that you get a nice dewy look that makes you look moisturized. The main places you should apply your highlighter is similar to where you apply your concealer, on the high points of your face. These places are your cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s Bow. Use a bit of foundation powder to help blend the highlighter in. As long as you don’t look like a shiny unicorn you’re doing it right.

Primer: Primer is pretty much a base coat that you put underneath your foundation. Not only does it prep the skin for more makeup application but it also evens it out and makes pores less visible. It softens the skin and smooths it out to add to a flawless application. Usually primers won’t cause your skin to break out and it can also help reduce redness. I’ve had a tube of Hard Candy’s Sheer Envy Illuminating Skin Primer for awhile and while Hard Candy isn’t the best makeup brands and had a few duds, this primer is a nice one to start off with. More recently I’ve been using a mini of Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (i got this in a trial set with 2 other products for $10)

Lipsticks: Well of course you can start using lipsticks in your beginning kit but usually they’re tinted lip balms, and maybe soft pink lipglosses. At least that’s what I started out with. Now I use a lot of bold lipstick colors in dark colors. I love berrys, plum, deep wine reds, and blacks. Starting to experiment with bolder lipstick choices will help you decide what colors really suit you and make you stand out. Now that I’ve tried darker lipstick colors I actually stay away from nudes and pinks (other than the fact that they don’t look good on my skintone, I found that the bolder colors suits my personality)

Liquid Eyeliner: You’ve all heard how difficult it might be to put liquid eyeliner on. Everyone always complains about it but the truth is it’s not that hard. I’ve had a bit of practice and I found that felt tip eyeliner markers work the best for precision and control. Along with keeping you hand balanced you’ll find that putting on eyeliner will be easy soon enough. You can even enlist the help of some clear tape on the corner of your eyes to help guide where you want your eyeliner to be. Just be sure to put the tape on the back of your hand before putting it near your eye. This will make sure that when you pull it off later it won’t damage the delicate skin around your eye.

Eyeshadow palettes: I mean a little bit more advanced palettes that have a range of shadows. Usually when starting out you might get a single color eyeshadow, a duet, or a quad. Now you can try larger palettes to create a variety of looks. Not only will this expand your repertoire of makeup looks but it will also provide you with more options to experiment. I’ve got a few palettes that have over 4 colors and I use them all them time so it’s well worth the investment.

A Spoolie Brush: A spoolie brush looks like a mascara wand. It great for grooming your eyebrow hair and fading out the color of your eyebrow pencil so that way they don’t look too drawn on. It’s a multi purpose tool that has helped revolutionized the eyebrow game.

Eyeshadow brushes: By now you should probably start ditching those sponge wands that come with basic eyeshadows and duets. They’re ok but eyebrow brushes are even better. I made a post about the different kinds of brushes here. You cant start picking out the basic eyeshadow ones. Using brushes will give you better control over your shadows and allow you to blend which is an important part of makeup.

Now you can use your eyeshadow brushes to help apply it onto your lids, experiment with different types of mascaras that work best with your lashes, start hyping up your eyebrow game, and work on making those lips big bold and beautiful. Always remember that makeup is about experimentation. Not everything will work right the first time, or it might and you’ll find a product you’ll really like.

Best E.L.F. Products

This should be no surprise to anyone that I love e.l.f. It’s one of my favorite brands to get, totally affordable and their products actually work! Well most of them anyway! There are some duds but today we’ll be talking about the best products to spend your money on on eyeslipsface.com and their retailers. Of course this is all opinion based, and these are all products I’ve used before. So from my experience these are my favorite products.

1. Lip Exfoliator: This is a great little product that is pretty much a compact sugar scrub. You rub it on your lips, it takes off the dead skin cells and leaves your lips feeling super sexy soft.

2. Tinted Moisturizer: This is one of my favorite products. My skin is dry and I don’t like putting on a full face of liquid foundation all the time. The tinted moisturizer is the perfect solution. The coverage is nice and light and evens out the redness in my t-zone.

3. Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon: I use the black color for this one. It’s definitely waterproof and it goes on really black. My eyes water a lot and this eyeliner stays on fairly well. It’s not my favorite eyeliner to use but it is worth the money. It would also be good for smudging.

4. Studio Cream Eyeliner: Geez, this creamy eyeliner is so nice and smooth. It goes on really well and is pretty black. I haven’t used it in awhile because…well I think I lost it haha. But I believe I ordered the white cream eyeliner so I can start using a new extreme eyeliner. I used a bent angled eyeliner brush for this to get the perfect precision with the cream.

5. Eyebrow Filler and Lifter: THIS PRODUCT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME!! I’m actually almost done with my first stick and just ordered a second one. This fills in my brows nicely, as I prefer using pencils instead of gel brow filler. I haven’t found a nice priced eyebrow gel (and yes I’ve tried the e.l.f. one but I prefer the pencil) that I like yet. This pencil is the best at least, I think so. The concealer blends nicely into the skin as well and provides a nice highlight to the browbone.

6. Translucent Mattfying Powder: If I have the right foundation color and just want to set it without adding more color I like using this powder. It’s light and translucent and goes on fairly well. You can also use the HD Powder but I mostly use this for setting latex in my special effects makeup.

7. Makeup Mist and Set: This will hold you makeup down! I always use this for my full face makeup and my forehead tends to sweat a lot. The Mist and set makes sure that even if I wipe my forehead not that much product comes off. I usually spray all over my face about 2-3 times and thats enough to set everything in place.

8. Daily Moisture Stick: This is a perfect moisturizer and I use it a lot in the morning when my skin is most dry. It has antioxidents, anti aging ingredients and several different types of oils that help moisturize and soothe the stick. The stick also adds for easy application and I just pat it into my skin gently.

9. Angled Eyeliner Brush: Not exactly a makeup product but this brush is really good and a cheap price. Most angled eyeliner brushes are overly expensive and this brush does the same thing for $3. I use this with the cream eyeliner mentioned above.

10. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder: I use this all the time. I get really worried about using a bronzer that’s too dark and the St. Lucia color is a nice gentle brown that isn’t too dark on my skin tone. It was a great beginner bronzer for me and the powder is very soft and easy to blend.

I hope you enjoyed my mini list of great e.l.f products. I’m going to be trying some new products soon and hopefully might be able to add onto this list. Thanks for reading!