Monday, August 27, 2012

Under-eye Concealer Tips!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to pass along a few tips for undereye conecaler application- based on my Try This, Not That concealer video (check that out for specific product recommendations). I feel like the undereye area is a particularly difficult spot to make the concealer look natural- so these tips might be helpful for you...
  • Do you apply foundation first, then concealer? I do, in hopes that the foundation will take care of some of my problem areas so I won't have to use as much concealer. Also, the concealer will keep from getting smeared around. However- sometimes when you glance at your undereye area and feel like it's cakey- it's not always the concaeler's fault. Does your foundation look thick, dry, unnatural elsewhere on your face? Chances are it's not going to look great in the undereye area either. So just keep that in mind before you blame the concealer. I'm not saying don't put foundation there- but just be aware of what kinds look fresh and natural for your skin type.
  • Don't apply too much undereye concealer. Begin with a very small amount, and build it up only if you think it's necessary. I find that the amount I use varies almost daily, and starting small keeps you from overdoing it. Don't go on auto-pilot-- doing it the exact same way every single day, because your needs will vary.
  • Warm it up! A lot of creamy, full coverage undereye concealers are much thicker than the average foundation. I recommend getting some of that creamy concealer on your finger, and rubbing it together with another finger. This will immediately make the texture just the slightest bit thinner- and it'll mesh with your skin in a more natural way.
  • As you apply concealer to the under-eye, there are some extremely dry kinds that I prefer to just press into the skin, so the heat of my fingers can continue to work its magic. However not every concealer requires it... and there's a new generation of brushes that I think is fantastic for buffing out your concealer- they're the Sigma Sigmax Precision brushes. A side benefit to these brushes- as you blend, you also pick up a certain amount of excess product with the brush.

After experimenting with all of these brushes, I especially love the rounded one (P82, second from the left), and the new flat angled one (P88, far right). Check them out here on Sigma's website. 

  • Mattify. Some concealers leave a very moisture-rich texture which can make bags or anything that's not smooth under the eye seem much more obvious. Let's face it, we're not always wanting to just conceal blue-toned darkness of under-eye circles, but also the shadows that bags can create on the face. A light dusting of powder over the concealer can work wonders for making that whole area look smooth, even, and bright. You can use anything from a face powder to Bare Minerals Bisque (careful- it's full coverage). If you have an extra fluffy eye blending brush- these fit nicely in the undereye area and don't pack on the powder as much as a flat concealer brush.
  • Blot! This was a tip that I mentioned at the end of my concealer video, but before you finish your makeup, double check those little lines under your eye area. You don't always notice this immediately after concealer application- but after a few minutes- you may see product settling in those lines. It's something pretty much all concealers will do. But if you blot over those lines with a q-tip, you can remove that excess product. It'll help your lower liner stay in-tact also, since that creamy concealer isn't interacting with eyeliner, mascara, etc.
Hope these tips were helpful for you! These are the kinds of things I feel like I'm often tweeting with people back & forth about, so I thought I might as well devote a blog post to it! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • I finished season 2 of Pretty Little Liars last night. Kind of freaking out about how I'm going to be able to start watching season 3! Help! 
  • Filling up my planner with packing lists for the Germany trip. Today on the Beauty Broadcast Facebook page we've been discussing German makeup trends. Very interesting! :)  
  • I dusted today. It's an oddly satisfying experience. 
  • Friday I had a lovely phone conversation with a man (news viewer) who insists that I say Illinois wrong. Honey, I've lived here all my life! I can think of a handful of other words I need to be critiqued on before that one.
  • Any Beauty Broadcasters in the path of Hurricane Isaac? Hope you are safe!!
  • More Beauty Vlogcast videos (including Ask Tyler, What's in my Bag, & more)- after the Germany trip! I will also try to post quick blog updates while on the trip, if possible!
  • Anyone else watch beauty videos while working out? Today during a less-than-strenuous workout I also managed to browse, where I began watching her endless video how-to's on her products. Super helpful & entertaining!
  • Well I think that's enough nuggets for one day. See ya next time!! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Call of the Wild Palette by tarte

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a great Monday!
I wanted to share some pics and swatches of a new palette called "Call of the Wild" from tarte! 
It's available on QVC for $36, and includes 8 Amazonian Clay-infused eyeshadows. 
In case you didn't know, Amazonian Clay is a signature ingredient in this line of makeup...
it helps to balance oil- which allows for extended wear- not only in eyeshadows, but also the brand's blushes, foundation, etc. 

The packaging is really cute- it has a shiny black finish on the outside- with a leopard print border and interior. It's not "over packaged" like some palettes... it has a great compact size that's a little bit larger than my iPhone- but you're still getting 8 full-sized shadows. 

The palette is something I think neutral shadow lovers will enjoy- especially if you don't mind a few wearable colors like navy and plum. The selection as a whole really makes me think of fall...
You're getting a shimmery bronze and brown, a light pearl and brownish-plum, and a matte dusty blue and navy. The two long vertical shades in the palette are a satin-finish beige and a matte taupe/grey. One thing I wish tarte would do is find a way to list the shade names directly on the palette, or at least on the back of the palette. There was a lift-out plastic sheet placed over the palette with shade names, which I really didn't want to bother to hold onto. It's always nice for those of us who do tutorials to have easy to see shade names, rather than having to refer to "this shade over here..."
Besides that- I love the color selection and packaging! 

Here are the swatches! I have no complaints about the brown/bronze/beige shades on the left side- they're buttery smooth, and all the shades really seem to go on even "creamier" than certain tarte eyeshadows I've tried in the past. I know the shimmery white isn't picking up much in this picture- but the shade truly does show up on my eyes & I like using it as an inner corner highlight. My favorite of the whole bunch is the plum color that seems to also come off a bit brownish on my eyes- it's a gorgeous look! I think the taupe/grey and the two shades of blue work well together also.

 Last week I threw together a look with shades from each "color family"... I used the plum all over the lid and into the crease, the golden bronze to blend out the edge, and the deepest blue to line and intensify the crease even more. I must say- bronzy/browns are super flattering on my eye and give the prettiest smoked out effect- without being too dark. (I must do this again and take a picture!) Great for everyday!! I like that it's not purely a palette of browns... but rather, you get colors to play with and you don't have to worry about whether it'll clash with your outfit-- it's still just neutral enough. Love!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Just got sucked into another Beauty IQ show on QVC. Didn't buy anything... just fun to watch!
  • Today we did a segment on spinning on the morning show- got to wear my yoga pants to work & I must say- I could get used to that! :)
  • Getting back into my "eat a salad for lunch" routine... while it takes me a bit longer to throw it together before I head to work, I feel better about what I'm eating, so that's good. 
  • It was another wedding weekend for us! My cousin Jason got married to beautiful Megan! Still one more wedding to go this summer... it's happening in a couple weeks in GERMANY! It'll be my first international flight! OMG! Anyway... here are some pics from this past weekend!
  • Fun fact! I wore my Call of the Wild palette in these pics- used the bronze & navy shades (should've taken a good eye makeup pic)

Just a few random reception snapshots... the setting was gorgeous! 

Me & Tyler! My maxi dress is from JC Penney- loved the little gold detail on the shoulders so I accessorized with gold jewelry & went for a low ponytail with a pouf!

A very orange picture of me & Pup!

Tyler and I stayed with my sister and her husband Jeff the night before the wedding. Tyler was walking around with Hypatia, a sweet cross-eyed kitty that I sometimes refer to as a "toasted marshmallow". Since they both have blue eyes, I wanted to take a pic. And then, not to make the kitty feel self-conscious, I asked Tyler to cross his eyes as well :) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coming Soon: Gel Nail Showdown!

Hey everyone!
First off- just an update on the Red Apple Lipstick Giveaway...
2 winners were randomly chosen from the comments section and contacted. 
Once I hear back from BOTH, I will announce who won & what their chosen products were! :) 

As for today's topic-- nails! For most of the summer, I've been using the Mally 24/7 gel manicure system. I've done 5 applications with it- and leave it on for 2 weeks at a time. That amounts to two and a half months of use! Since the first time I used it, I haven't used anything else on my nails. If you look back on my recent videos- you'll notice that I'm always wearing my Mally gel nails! 

With that much use, I am VERY familiar with how this system works. It stays on with absolutely no chips for the full two weeks, and could be left on longer, but my nails do grow out a bit- and I like to change up the color. In case you've never experienced that, let me tell you, ZERO CHIPPING IS AWESOME. The whole system is not cheap-- $165.00 at The kit comes with everything you might need, and I spend 40 minutes or so (not rushing) going through all the steps. It's actually kind of fun to make an evening of it- pour yourself a tasty beverage, turn on some good TV or YouTube videos, and enjoy! My one complaint- removal by soaking the nails is a pain- so I do this method using foil, which you've probably heard about as well. Found that info on Pinterest (where else!) and it works SO much better. 

All in all, I'm super thrilled with this kit, and have gotten lots of requests to review it! And I was about to... but then I thought, wait, this is the only gel nail system you've tried! In an effort to take whatever review I do "up a notch"- I decided I'd try a less expensive gel nail kit (one that also uses an LED light) so I could do a comparison for you! 

I found the Nailene SensatioNAIL system at Wal-Mart this past weekend for somewhere between $50 and $60. It also comes with an LED light, and all the different steps. It has the same claims as Mally's- 2 weeks of flawless wear. One initial difference- while Mally's comes with 3 color options, this set just comes with one. I'll be applying this kit tonight, and I can't wait to see how the process goes. Then after I feel like I understand how well it works after the 2 week period, I'll do a full comparison review! Just wanted to give you a heads up- since I've been getting tons of questions about reviewing Mally's system. I don't want you to think I'm blowing off those requests-- I just want to bring you the most informative review I can-- so I'm making it a comparison! :) Keep an eye out for it! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Cupcake says hi! (I think) - she just hopped up on the couch to sit by me. 
  • I'm cooking up a shrimp dish tonight- yums!
  • My Pretty Little Liars obsession continues!! Just started season 2 on Netflix over the weekend. And guess what? Tyler is hooked too!! Don't tell him I told you ;)
  • I have also advised my mom to start watching- we like most of the same shows. 
  • I have so many products to do quick blog reviews on- it's not even funny! I'm excited about it!