Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Ways to Use Colored Liner

I have gotten many questions since I started getting into makeup of how to use brightly color liner and/or eyeshadow. And with spring and summer coming around the corner, I figured I'd show three easy ways to spice up your look using colored liners. You don't have to do this in the summer, of course- but these types of looks (especially the blue!) remind me of summertime. 

Here I used NYX Studio Liquid Eyeliner in Extreme Blue
Blue eyeshadow can easily turn bad and you can look straight out of an 80s workout video. By using the blue against a gold shadow, you instead get a fun, interesting, but not too over the top look. If you want this look even more dramatic, you can line the blue a bit thicker and then use a black liquid liner closest to your lash line, so it looks like the blue is layered above the black.

For this look you can use liner or shadow- or both like I did. First I swiped on Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Delinquent. I then used a smudger brush to dab on Urban Decay eyeshadow in Purple Haze. Notice how the color only goes about 3/4 in along the lash line- all the way can look too dramatic for day, but can look stunning for a night out. 

A great way to add color is by adding it to your waterline- that little ledge of skin before your eye. Here I used a teal color from NYX. The only problem with this is that eyeliner on your waterline tends to wash away with the moisture of your eye within a couple hours. If you really want a punch of color, and for the liner to last much longer, dab a corresponding color of eyeshadow onto your waterline using a Q-tip or brush. Some people find this irritating to their eyes, but it's a great trick to keep your liner put. Do not use eyeshadow with glitter in it either- that will irritate your eyes. This works great with everyday black and brown liner as well!!
With any of these looks, feel free to switch up the color! Want to use purple instead of blue? Green instead of purple? Sure! There are endless possibilities :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spotlight: mark. cosmetics

Some of you may or may not have heard of mark. cosmetics. It is basically a sister brand of Avon that is targeted towards a younger audience, but works similarly in that you order through a representative, like myself. I originally became a rep because, as you can see by this blog, I love beauty, and I figured, why not? As I have gotten more familiar with the brand, I have grown to love it.

mark. is always on the up-and-coming makeup trends. A lot of the time they provide a less expensive version of high-end products, like a neutral palette (like Urban Decay's Naked palette), shimmer cubes (Bobbi Brown's shimmer bricks), among other things. As a college kid, I can appreciate a cheaper version with still great quality.

One of the most well-known products from mark. are the hook-ups, where you can hook up two products together to carry with you wherever. Another thing mark. is know for are the snap-to-it palettes which allow you custom make your own palette with eyeshadows and blush.

mark. does not only sell makeup, but also skincare items, jewelry, and clothing.

Here are some of my completely honest opinions on some products:

mark. favorites

save the day anti-acne concealer stick
I love this concealer for mainly two reasons:
1) it is in stick form that is super easy to swipe under my eyes and around my nose and chin
2) it contains salicylic acid (2%) to fight acne- so when I have a blemish I feel like I'm actually doing something about it instead of slathering it in makeup that suffocates my skin

good glowing mosaic blush in "sandy"
In my top 10 makeup must-haves post I mentioned a NYX leopard bronzer. This is very comparable to that. It is great for fairer skin tones and gives a great sheen without being sparkly. I use this as a blush and my skin instantly looks alive again.

all the highlights soft glow illuminator

One of the prettiest makeup products I own! And gives a great highlight without glitter (yuck!) to give your look extra "oomph." Makes your skin have that glow that everyone seems to be after nowadays.

lipclick spf 15 colorshine lipstick in "gingersnap"

I just love this color (not pictured here- check it out online). It's a bit brown (which I don't normally go for), but is absolutely perfect when I want a vintage-y look. Give me that and some winged liner and I'm all set!

no place to run eyeliner
creamy, lasts, love.

keep it going longwear eyeliner and shadow
I love using cream eyeliners as a base for a shadow because it gives the shadow more vibrance. They have such pretty colors too! But if you have to choose I'd say go with "entourage." The black can work as your liner or base for a smokey eye and the white can go on your waterline to make you eyes look bigger and can also be a base for bright eye looks. But then again the gold pictured here is to die for :)

on the dot neutral eye color compact
As mentioned before, this is on trend with the whole "naked eyes" thing thats been happening in the makeup world (yes, there is a whole world of it!). It's great because it's little, versatile, and not $50 like the Urban Decay palette.

nailed it trend mini nail lacquers
The recent violet femme shades are amazing! The lilac-y pink will look great with a tan and I can't wait for summer because of it! These colors remind me of a summer night. ah, love. mark. changes these shades every so often, so if you like these, you might want to get on it! I also love that they come with two polishes, because I honestly never use a big one and then my money is to waste when it chunks up.

Another thing I love about mark. is their clearance. It was just updated and there's some really good deals there! 

missing the mark.
some products I'm not the happiest with.

Generally, I'm not too thrilled with the brushes, or at least the ones I've tried. If they were less expensive I might consider them a good deal, however $8 for a brush that sheds and doesn't pick up color just doesn't do it for me. E.l.f. brushes are way better for a fraction of the price. I hope mark. is working on improving this. 

The min-a-real foundation is also not my favorite. It may be because I have oily skin, but at the same time if you use this with dry skin it tends to show your dry patches. If you have normal skin this could be great, but for me, it just doesn't work.

please hold eye primer. I like that it has a bit of color if you want to use it as a concealer under your eyes, however the coverage is too sheer for my dark circles, so I don't use it for that purpose. This also still creases if you don't put a finishing powder over it, which kind of defeats the point of a primer. If you have to do that you might as well use a concealer and put a powder over and not buy an extra product. Even with a powder, it does not last all day for me. I do have oily lids, so that may be the cause of this, but overall I do not find myself reaching for this and recommend spending the extra money to get a good primer. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Don't Get Mad, Get Matte!

Matte nails have become increasingly popular, with the help of Pinterest.  I wanted to explore this trend, and here are my findings if you are thinking about going matte :)

Matte means not shiny. Here I have three nail polishes: Zoya Matte Nail Polish in Lolly, Essie Matte About You top coat, and OPI Matte Nail Envy Nail Strengthener. You can buy nail polishes that are matte themselves (the Zoya) or buy top coats that make any polish matte. I went to Ulta around Christmas looking for Essie's Matte About You, but it was sold out all during break. So I went with the OPI Nail Envy. I eventually got ahold of Matte About You, so here's a picture showing the three polishes.

The first three nails have OPI Strawberry Margarita with various top coats. The first one from the left has no top coat, just regular nail polish. The second has the OPI Nail Envy, the third has Essie's Matte About You, and the pinky has Zoya matte nail polish. 

Matte About You definitely does the job better, and for a better price. Matte About You is $10, while OPI Nail Envy is $17.50. But, after reading the OPI box, it seems it is not meant to be a "mattifier," but a nail treatment that strengthens nails and can be worn alone to give the "I'm not wearing nail polish but my nails are healthy" look. It does make the polish less shiny than with regular top coat, however it is not what I'd call matte.

Essie's Matte About You is pretty much exactly the same as the matte polish. My experience with matte nail polish is not too good. They usually chip easily- this Zoya polish included. Matte About You also acts as a top coat to prevent this chipping. And you can just use it on any polish as opposed to buying separate matte polishes. 

THINGS I'VE HEARD BUT NOT TRIED: e.l.f. (eyeslipsface) has a matte top coat for $2.00 online. I would've tried it, but didn't want to spend about $7 in shipping for a $2 product. But if you want to buy other stuff from that site (they usually have free shipping on orders over $25), add that to your basket. I've seen/heard some good reviews on it.

Also, try looking on Amazon for other matte top coats as there are other brands that are just not available in stores for cheaper prices. 

Thanks for reading!

Review: Book of Shadows IV

I just got ahold of Urban Decay's Book of Shadows IV from Hautelook for an amazing price of $30. In stores and online it is on sale for $44 from the original price of $64. It comes with sixteen shadows, a full-sized black liquid liner, travel-sized mascara and primer, and a mini clip-on speaker (that is actually surprisingly loud) with hookups to a headphone jack and USB.

24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion

Supercurl Curling Mascara

First the pros: this palette comes with a LOT. You can do a complete eye with this set. Also you can do anything from a simply neutral eye to a dramatic smokey eye to winged liner to a bright, bold eye. You have your primer, shadow, liner, and mascara all in one place. 

Now for the cons: it is kind of bulky. I could see traveling with this if it is the only eye products I am bringing, however this in addition to other things could take up a lot of space. Also, some of the bright colors might turn some people off, however I think this could be a great kit to learn how to use color without looking like a little kid playing with Mommy's makeup.

So all in all, I think this is worth the $30, and I was VERY close to buying it at the store for $44 previously. $64? Probably not. But if you're looking for a kit with with a lot of stuff, and to ease into color, this could be perfect for you. Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Dandelion Manicure

Hello all! So I just did this fun dandelion manicure. I saw it around Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I used China Glaze Sea Spray as the base and black and white nail art polishes. No nail pens :)

This manicure is pretty self-explanatory. Simply paint on your base coat, add stems on the nails you want, and go back with the white and add the fluffies. It takes a steady hand and my right hand (that was painted with my left) is definitely a bit sloppier. Oh well. Enjoy!

China Glaze "Sea Spray"
Pre-cleanup so excuse polish on my fingers :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Save Your Damaged Hair!

I'll be honest- I am pretty brutal on my hair. I have been using Sun-In since the eighth grade, straighten it at least once a week, use cheap shampoo, and rarely get haircuts (last one I got was in June). All of this combined makes for dry, damaged, frizzy hair. Even my shorter layers are damaged and have a rough texture. 

I know, I know. I should cut all the dead ends off. But I don't want to. I like my long hair. Plus, if I cut the dead ends off, the point would be to start buying the salon shampoo, get my hair professionally dyed as to not damage it so much, and get regular haircuts. All of this adds up to money that I don't have. 

So, I have searched and searched for ways to salvage my hair. I have tried moroccan oil, split end treatments, expensive shampoo...all of which has landed me in the same place. Except recently, I discovered a new product that was right under my nose the whole time....

That's right, olive oil! The past couple of weeks I've slathered some of this on my ends, twisted my hair in a bun, put a shower cap on, and went to sleep. In the morning I just took a shower as usual. I do this once or twice a week, and even the first time I used it I noticed a difference. 

Yes, I still have some split and dead ends. But this simple (and cheap!) solution has helped my hair in ways that other pricey products have not. My shorter layers seem a lot healthier, and my hair is generally a lot softer. I still use this in combination with leave-in conditioner after I shower, so it's not a complete all-in-one fix. I have oily hair, and after showering this did not leave my hair feeling greasy or oily :)

So if you're looking for something inexpensive, try a DIY overnight olive oil treatment.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Minute Morning Face

Not sure who's with me, but in the mornings I tend to look like death. And the last thing I want to do is wake up 15 minutes early to put on makeup (those 15 minutes are precious moments of sleep!). So in case you also have this battle in your mind of makeup vs. looking sickly in the mornings, here's a quick makeup look to swipe on before you rush out the door.

First to cover up those dark circles, acne, redness, etc. Grab a concealer and dab this around "trouble areas." If using your fingers to blend, use your ring finger around your eyes because it applies the least amount of pressure on this sensitive area.

Take a bright pink blush and apply to the apples of your cheeks using a blush brush.
To avoid looking like a China Doll, lightly dab the brush in the blush and blend
from the apples of your cheeks into your hairline.
Dust a finishing powder over your face with a kabuki brush to set everything in place.

swipe a white eyeliner or cream base ( I used NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk) under the eyebrow, on the ball of the eyelid (most round middle part of lid), on your waterline, and inner corner.

Blend, blend, blend!

Curl your lashes and coat your bottom and top lashes with your favorite mascara

Use a tinted lip balm to put some natural color on your lips. I used mark. totally balmed
tinted lip balm in totally cute.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Viva Glam Nicki

The launch of Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin's lip products for MAC Viva Glam happened just on Wednesday, and you can bet I was in the store buying Viva Glam Nicki that day. Viva Glam is a line that MAC has where 100% of proceeds go towards the MAC AIDS Fund. Lada Gaga has had a few Viva Glam lipsticks, and now Nicki and Ricky have become the new faces of Viva Glam.

Nicki's lipstick is a bright yellow-pink with a satin finish. The woman who sold it to me at the MAC counter was wearing it and had an olive skin tone and this looked absolutely darling on her. Although this shade looks good on many skin tones, and fairer people could definitely pull it off, I find myself wanting it to be summer NOW because I know this lipstick will look better with a tan.

I like this shade because you can go from a sheer coverage by using your fingers for a quick hint of color or building it up into an intense, bright coral. 

TIP: make sure you exfoliate your lips before using this lipstick. Between the formula and bright color, you will draw attention to your lips, and chapped or flakey lips tend to not be so cute. 

All in all, I really like this lipstick, and it might just end up being my staple color this spring/summer. You can get it at any MAC counter or at for $14.50. Yeah, MAC is pricey, but it's for a good cause! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Favorite Ten Makeup Must-Haves

For my first "official" entry, I decided to pick my current top 10 makeup products. Most of these I have either used for years and/or use every day. If there are "dupes" (less expensive, comparable products) that I am aware of, they will also be in the description of the products.

1) Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara. On the pricey side at $19, but I got it in a kit that included a lip stain (#8 actually) and a cheek stain at Ulta a while back. This mascara is worth the money though- multiple times I've been asked if I was wearing fake lashes while just wearing this mascara. Available at Sephora or Ulta.

2) Urban Decay Primer Potion. If you wear eyeshadow, this is an essential. Prevents creasing (ya know, when all your shadow turns to goop and gathers in the socket part of your eyelid) and increases color payoff. This is their old packaging, but their new packaging is more sanitary and has more product. Once again, is a pretty penny at $20. This stuff also lasts forever. 

3) Revlon ColorStay Foundation. It comes in two formulas- for dry/normal skin or oily/combination skin. Goes on smoothly, is full coverage (sometimes it doubles as my concealer), lasts all day. Oh- and is drugstore! Perfection.

4) Smashbox Photofinish Light Primer. I've been using this stuff almost every day for over two years. It's for oily/ acne prone skin, but they have multiple other formulas for drier skin, to cancel out redness, illuminate, etc. I got the 2oz tube (as opposed to the standard 1oz) on sale at for $40, but regularly the 1 oz is $36 at Sephora. If you can't find a deal online, the only other primer I've found that works as well with my oily skin is from mark. but it does not last quite as long as good ol' Photofinish...but is also a fraction of the price.  

5) NYX Tango with Bronzing Powder in When Leopard Gets a Tan. Is similar to Stila's leopard bronzer but a LOT cheaper, and just as cute.  Is great for fairer skin in the winter to cancel out pale ickiness. I bought mine at beautyjoint for $9.50, which is slightly cheaper than in stores, where I've seen it for $15. Beautyjoint also has reasonable shipping- woot!

6) MAC eyeshadow in Omega. I have light eyebrows, and this is the perfect shade to fill them in. Unfortunately MAC shadows are $15 a pop, so if you can find a color in a neutral palette that matches your brows, then more power to ya. 

7) Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer. Very creamy, thick formula. I love using this for my under eye circles and redness around nose. This is only available at Sephora for $25, but I have yet to find a concealer that covers as well as this stuff does. If you're thinking drugstore, I suggest you look out for Revlon PhotoReady concealer.

8) Tarte LipSurgence Lipstain in Pouty. As previously stated, I got this in a set with the mascara for a very good price (I want to say something like $20) at Ulta a while back. This is great to just slide on before heading out so my lips don't look sickly pale like they tend to in the mornings. I currently use this a lot, however I'm not sure if I will re-buy this at $24 each. 

9) Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin. I bought this as a part of the "stash" a bit ago at Ulta. The set of 5 pencils were on sale for $20, but they are currently on sale at for $12. Definitely worth $12. You don't need a primer under this- just swipe in on your lids, under your brow bone, and on your inner corners and you're good to go. I do that most mornings when I'm rushing to class. When I'm not in a rush, I still use this champagne-colored stick on my inner corners- it lasts forever and gives a fantastic highlight. lovelovelove this! 

There is a "cheaper" alternative- Maybelline Color Tattoos also have a similar use- you don't really need a primer and you can just swipe them on quick. But they cost $6-8 each, so really with the Urban Decay you get more for your money.

10) Urban Decay Naked Palette. If you haven't seen this palette, please take a look here. This palette is perfect for every day, night outs, and traveling. Pretty much anytime, anywhere. For $50 you get 12 shadows, a mini Primer Potion (valued at $9), and Good Karma eyeshadow brush (retail $26). Yes, $50 is a lot of money, but when you break it down it is worth it ($3.57 per product- cheaper than a lot of drug store!). The Naked Palette 2 also was recently released, and although I don't think I'd find it necessary to have both palettes, perhaps one or the other will strike your fancy. The Naked Palette is one (if not the) best-selling palette of 2011. 
NYX also has a neutral palette that you can check out at beautyjoint
Mark. has a smaller neutral palette as well that is more compact and less expensive.

Thanks for Reading!


Hello all!

My name is Beth and I have decided to create a blog about a host of things, most of which are beauty related topics.  For the past few years I have become increasingly interested in makeup, hair, nails, skin, etc. 

I will be posting things based off of my experience with products. I am not a professional! I hope this blog inspires people to try new things out that they didn't think they could- I hope to make (seemingly) intricate stuff tangible for the everyday girl.