Sunday, September 1, 2013

Makeup of the Night

Sice I went out with some of my friends last night, I figured I would write up a post about the makeup I wore. Now, I must say that the lighting wasn't fantastic in my room, so in real life the makeup is more "vibrant." I'll work on getting better lighting next time!

First and foremost, my primer of choice was the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer which I have now officially declared my all time favorite. Oh the things I would do for this primer, especially coming from  someone who has oily skin and issues with makeup lasting, this product allows my makeup to last ALL DAY. Yep you heard it right, though I do tend to blot once just for comforting purposes. The only complaint I have about this product is that it has an SPF 15 which I hate in base products because they always cause a flashback in photos, but the thought of using another primer actually frightens me so I just deal with it for now. 

Next up, I used my holy grail foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (I mixed 1/3 B20 and 2/3 B40 for my perfect shade). When I first tried out this foundation two years ago, it lasted about two hours on my skin, however now with a much improved skincare routine and my beloved hourglass primer I can happily wear this medium coverage foundation. The finish is what makes this product so beautiful and the scent is heavenly as well. Once again this has an SPF 15 which is really annoying, but if you're looking for a foundation that looks great in photos then I highly recommend the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation. As a concealer, I used my sample of the YSL Touche Eclat.

I Finished off the base with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light which i've been using every day and ignored for the longest time because I never thought I would end up liking it, but its amazing...future blog post to come! Then I used the amazing Kevyn Acoin Sculpting Powder in Medium and my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer which I LOVE. I actually prefer this to NARS Laguna because I find the Too Faced to be more brown and matte, where as Laguna is more yellow/golden and has shimmer. It also does a better job at sculpting and looks more natural. Then I used NARS Depp Throat for blush and Dior Amber Diamond as a highlight.

Eyes: NYX Eyebrow pencil in Taupe
I used Too Faced Shadow insurance followed by NARS eyeshadows in Galapagos, Surabaya (both shades in the duo), Alahambra (lighter shade), and I used the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Black Ink followed by my Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara which I have now declared is the best mascara ever AND people always ask if i'm wearing false eyelashes when i'm wearing this mascara which is just awesome.

Las but not least I used my Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker in Plum Jam.

xo Tiff

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bronzed and Sculpted

If I had to choose only one cheek product, it would easily be a bronzer. You just can't beat perfectly chiseled cheekbones that look natural and effortless,  my top picks at the moment are these four that are equally great for different purposes.

NARS Laguna Bronzer: An all around great, easy to use bronzer that never looks orange or muddy. It does have some golden shimmer running through it that isn't too obvious, but I can definitely notice it. It gives shape and dimension to the face so well and simply just does what it's supposed to do. The only complaint I will ever have about this product is the golden shimmer, now I know a lot of people claim that the shimmer isn't noticeable but it is and I just like my matte cheeks to slim the face down as much as possible. Nonetheless, still a great product. 

Kevin Acoin Sculpting Powder in Medium: The newest addition to my stash and the one product I've been lusting after like a mad person. In case I haven't already realized, I really love to use products that give a model-esque contour to the cheeks, so this product was right up my alley! As you can see above, the color is a lot more cool-toned than any of the others which gives the allusion of a shadow just like you would have if you had naturally high cheekbones. I've noticed that this powder is a lot lighter, therefor doesn't show up as much on the cheeks as a bronzer would so I feel like I have to build it up a lot which is also quite difficult because the texture is very rough/ hard and you need a heavy hand to get any product of the brush. I'm still trying to get used to it, so I will update you if I find a better technique. 

MAC Blunt Blush: My first ever contouring product and one that seems to never end. Guys, I seriously used this pretty much every day for two years and it hasn't even hit pan. I would recommend this for anyone with medium to dark skin because it can come across too red on pale skin. In addition, you must use the lightest hand, it is extremely pigmented and you can easily end up looking like you have stripes down the side of your face. But it no doubt slims the face down so it gets a thumbs up from me. 

NYC Sunny Bronzer: This product struck my attention from all of the hype it received and I would agree that it is a good product for the $3.00 I spent for it, however I wouldn't say it is the best. The main attraction towards this product is that it is affordable but it also receives a lot of attention for being matte, which  I love!  It can come across a tad bit more orange than any other bronzer i've used but that could also be a good thing to add warmth . Since I paid very little for it, I tend to use it more down my neck. 

xo Tiff
Holy Grail Brow Pencil 

Ladies and Gents, the time has come. I can now claim that i've found my holy grail brow product. The NYX Eyebrow Pencil in the shade "Taupe" is the current love of my life right now. The shape is perfect (one of those triangle/rectangle squared ends) and the color is spot on, a light brown leaning more towards the ash side than orange.

 I had actually discovered this product while shopping my stash one day and was quite skeptical because I had previously purchased it when I had blonde hair, but gave up on it as it was too dark and a tad too warm for my blonde brows (oh lawwwd).  But now with my brown hair it is absolutely PERFECT! In the past I have always sworn by using an angled brush with a powder eyeshadow to fill in my brows because I thought a pencil would leave me with, not so attractive, drawn-on looking brows-not the case with this product. The texture is slightly waxy so it goes on lightly and is super easy to use. I find my brows looking so much more  professional looking when I use this product and I wouldn't even think to go back to using a powder. Better yet, I paid only $4.99 for it, can't get better than that. 

xo Tiff

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

(Part 1 of My "Makeup for Your Hair Color" Series)

Believe it or not, I used to have blond hair. REALLY blond hair. Naturally, my hair is a medium brown color but back in the day I used to experiment with various colors through my hair and I remember how difficult it was for me to wear makeup when I went through a brunette to blond transformation. Actually, that is how I stumbled upon beauty blogs and the beauty community on YouTube, as I was desperate for help on what makeup would suit me.  Ironically enough, now that I don't have blond hair is when I have finally figured out what makeup would have suited me best back in the day.

Left to right: Topshop Flush, MAC Well Dressed, NARS Deep Throat, Illamasqua Lover

Blush is your friend. As a blond you can get away with cool-toned pinks and bright corals a lot easier than anyone else, so WORK IT. One of my favorite combinations is MAC's Well Dressed mixed with something like MAC's Style or Illamasqua's Lover. The combo creates a lovely cool, pinky-peach and I adore it. Individually Well Dressed is gorgeous as well, I love cool toned shades on blondes! My all time favorite as a blonde was MAC's Style (not shown above since it smashed) another great option is Illamasqua's Lover for a matte finish, peach blushes are more ideal to those of you with a warmer completion yet still look beautiful on almost everyone. I wanted to give a lovely mention to Topshop's blush in the shade Flush. Although it may appear darker in the pan, when it is blended out it looks like a more easy to wear version of well dressed. I love this blush. It is a cream blush, but has a cream-to powder formula so it doesn't have that "dewy" finish on the skin. Extremely flattering and quite affordable as well. My NARS blush in Deep Throat is a newer addition to my collection and for someone who finds it difficult to wear pink blushes, I seriously cannot put this one down. It has a golden shimmer, and although it is noticeable, it isn't overpowering. It is the most flattering pink blush I have ever come across and would look good on everybody. 

Left to right: MAC Hue, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Viva Glam II

Two words: RED LIPSTICK. In my opinion, there is nothing more flattering than red lipstick on a blonde, it is extremely eye catching and i've found Ruby Woo to be my all time favorite. Every time I see a blond wearing this lipstick, I melt in envy. It is a matte (yes, it is drying but TOTALLY WORTH IT) and has a clay like texture. It gives you that "Old Hollywood" vibe and makes you feel like somebody special. MAC's Viva Glam II is the best everyday lipstick, it is a satin and I would describe it as a pinky-brown with the slightest hint of grey. This is my all time favorite lipstick in the world. A lot of people describe it as an Angelina Jolie type of shade which I can definitely agree with and I still wear it now that i've returned to my brunette locks. Last but not least, MAC's lipstick in Hue is an all round goodie. You just can't go wrong with this one in your collection. Its a glaze finish and comes across as a sheer pink.

Left to right: MAC Honeylust, MAC Naked Lunch, MAC Patina, Inglot 402 , Inglot 393

One thing I didn't like so much about being a blonde was that smokey eyes weren't as stunning as they could have been. So for an everyday basis, I loved golds. If you can get over the chunky glitter then MAC Honeylust is beautiful, but my favorite was Urban Decay's Half-Baked (not shown above). I'm constantly falling in and out of love with MAC Naked Lunch, but it really is a lovely eyeshadow as well. Once again with the cool-toned theme, MAC Patina is an all time favorite of mine as well as Inglot 402 which is a new one i've picked up and slightly resembles MAC's Sable or the Maybelline Bad to the Bronze cream eyeshadow. I also absolutely adore a smokey rocker eye on blondes and Inglot 393 will do the trick, think Kate Moss. Pure love. 

xo Tiff

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

Left to right (first row): Rice paper, Nylon, Naked Lunch, Sketch, Smut, Humid
Left to right (second row): Woodwinked, Honeylust, Cork, Folie, Satin Taupe
Left to right (third row): Patina, Mulch, Time and Space (LE), Mythology

Rice paper (frost): I don't really see this as a frost because it is quite sheer, I would describe this as the Naked Lunch's warm-toned sister. Its a yellow-ey golden light all over the lid color or I actually  like to use it in the inner corner for a subtle highlight. 

Nylon (frost): A pale golden shade that is extremely frosty in finish. This eyeshadow is SUPER shimmery and I would never wear it all over the lid, nor would I recommend it on the brow bone. The only use I ever get from this is in the inner corner for a dramatic highlight. It really is stunning in the inner corner and immediately brightens my whole face up. I like to layer a tinny bit of this on top of Rice Paper so that they balance each other out. I highly recommend it! 

Naked Lunch (frost): A sheer pink-y champagne lid shade. I used to despise this shade when I first bought it because it was so sheer, but then I learned to see the sheerness of it as a good thing. It looks beautiful all over the lid for an elegant, classic look and I could see this working for a bridal look as well. I also love it in the inner corner as a highlight and I now really enjoy using it.

Sketch (Velvet): This is a dark burgundy shade that is great paired in the outer corner with Satin Taupe on the lid and Folie in the crease. I also love using it as eyeliner because it makes my green eyes pop like crazy! I tried using it all over the lid for a smokey eye but it wasn't pigmented enough. Overall I really like this shade, I just wish it had more pigment.

Smut (velvet): One of the few grey shades that I actually love! I would describe it as a grey with brown and purple undertones to it. I like to wear this all over the lid and under the yes for a Kate Moss look or pair it with Satin Taupe to bring out the taupe/purple in it. 

Humid (Frost): If I'm completely honest with you, I pretty much never wear this shade at all. I just don't like color eye shadows on me, but if you do then this one is great! its really pigmented and looks like a shimmery dirty/mossy green.

Woodwinked (Veluxe Pearl): This is a golden bronze eyeshadow. The Veluxe Pearl finish is my favorite because it's so pigmented and buttery in texture! This shade is great for blue and green eyes and looks stunning simply by itself. I have to say that I cannot recommend it for pale skin because it has a tendency to look orange, but with a tan it is absolutely stunning! 

Honeylust (Lustre): I have a love-hate relationship with this one. It looks like the most beautiful goldy-peach eyeshadow when swatted, but when applied it isn't the same. What you need to know about this pesky thing is that it has loads of chunky glitters that not only cause fall out but also look chunky on the eyes. I like to layer it with other golds for the best result and occasionally find myself enjoying using it, but I won't repurchase it because I think there are better golds out there. 

Cork (Satin): This is your typical shimmer-less brown crease shade. Its a great warm color to define the crease and I like it underneath the bottom lash-line. I used to use it for eyebrows but found it to be way too warm and obvious. I always like to have a shade like this in all my palettes because it comes in super handy! I wouldn't say that you need this if you have Wedge because the two are very similar! 

Folie (satin): A warm red-brown (heavy on the red). Another eyeshadow that I love to wear in the crease with satin taupe or any other purple looks. Its also stunning in the crease with a gold like Urban Decay's Half Baked on the lid and Sketch in the outer corner. This also helps emphasize my green eyes a lot! 

Satin Taupe (Frost): I think the reason this particular shade gets so much hype is because of its uniqueness. I really do love it and I do see it as one I would repurchase because I don't have anything else like it in my collection and it's one of my favorites for smokey eye looks. 

Patina (frost): A pale, light brown that has a slight golden quality to it. This is my second pan of Patina (woohooo!). The fact that i've used up a whole one already and have used up a lot in the second pan should say a lot! This is my version of an all over the lid "champagne" eyeshadow. I generally don't like light shades all over my lid because I find they don't flatter me, so something that is closer to my skin tone like Patina is perfect! Its not mega pigmented, but rather just pigmented enough and I love it!

Mulch: A warm toned classic shimmery brown. This is also my second pan of this particular shade (I'm rather impressed with myself)! This is your basic shimmery brown eyeshadow from mac and one you just can't go wrong with, in my opinion. A must have for any brown eye look and also looks amazing with patina. 

Time and Space (frost): This one was limited edition, but nonetheless it's still good to know about in case MAC re-promotes it! In the pan it looks very similar to Woodwinked, however when swatched it's less light reflecting and more apricot/orange than gold. I personally don't like these kinds of tones in my eye shadows so I pretty much never use it, but if you do then keep it in mind!

Mythology (Lustre): This is a pinky-orange copper with chunky glitters. You will either love this or hate it. Me? I'm not a fan (I received it as a gift). Every time I try to make this work, it never does. In addition, I'm really not a fan of the chunky glitters that accompany the Lustre finish eye shadows. 

Eye shadows that I use to have but used up: 

Twinks (Veluxe Pearl): I REALLY miss this one. Its pretty much a deep plum brown with shimmer. it looked beautiful all over the lid and I remember getting compliments on it as well. I would highly recommend it and might buy it again someday, but at the moment I can't really justify it.

Carbon (matte): Pure matte black. I used to use this for eyeliner and liked it, but it wasn't true love. It just wasn't pigmented enough for what I expect from MAC eye shadows. 

xo Tiff

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer 

A couple of months ago Sephora had their 15% off any purchase offer to all VIB members. What does this lead to? Me, a mug of fresh coffee (with hazelnut creamer, my FAVORITE) and the Sephora website  all enjoying each others company on a Friday evening (yep, that's my idea of a perfect date).  I was running quite low in the moisturizer department and could not resist myself when I saw that one of my favorite skincare brands had come out with a new moisturizer that paired up with their famous eye cream. On the website it claims to be oil-free and instantly hydrate dull skin. The Panax Ginseng and coffee bean are the ingredients that are added to help "waken up" the skin and achieve a bright, healthy glow. 

My first impression was quite good actually, I was impressed. My complexion did appear brighter and I found myself to enjoy reaching for this product in the mornings. It's a gel textured moisturizer which I generally don't like because I find they don't sink into the skin fast enough and feel tacky. This, however, is an exception because it does indeed sink into the skin quite fast allowing me to comfortably apply my makeup over top. Although I do have combination-oily skin, I absolutely despise moisturizers that don't hydrate enough because all this does is give me a tight face that becomes even more oily throughout the day. I thankfully did not have this problem with the Origins GinZing moisturizer, however if you have SUPER dry skin then I don't think it would provide enough hydration. The scent is beautiful, think of freshly squeezed orange juice on a Summer Morning. With the price tag coming out at $26.50 (which is really affordable compared to other Origins Products), I think this is a great option for anyone with normal to oily skin looking for a brightening, morning moisturizer.

 But wait, there's more! I've started to notice that this moisturizer remind me A LOT of one I used to use in the past by Avalon Organics in the Vitamin C range called the Rejuvenating Oil-free moisturizer. From what I remember, these two products are very similar in that they both brighten the skin and provide good hydration for normal to oily skin (the scents are identical as well). If you are on a budget, then you can find this Avalon Organics moisturizer in a bright orange container at most grocery stores, Target, and I would assume at a drug store!

xo Tiff

Monday, June 3, 2013

           An Ode to My Favorite Red Lipstick 

 I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good red lippy! Pair it with a LBD and a pair of black pumps and you're left feeling feminine and powerful. Or sport it with a boring, dull outfit and suddenly you look like you put a lot more effort into your look than you really did. There is no other makeup item that can pull a look together like a perfect red lip and I'm SO excited to say that after a long hunt, I've found one I feel comfortable in! 

The award goes to MAC's Diva lipstick! Now, if you are familiar with this lipstick then you know it looks nothing like it does in the  picture above if applied straight from the bullet, but that is the beauty of Diva! You can wear it straight from the bullet and get a grungy/modern dark lip or you can wear it like I do and line your lips with it, then dab it all over your lips , and finally layer on a glossy balm over top. The result? An eye-catching dark (but not too dark) vampy/wine red. 

Long ago when I used to have bleach blond hair (yes, laugh all you want but I have pictures to prove that it actually looked good for a future post!) I found that any red I wore looked absolutely amazing on me (Ruby Woo especially was a favorite of mine and still is on blonds) but when I came back to my natural brown hair color, I came to find that red lipsticks looked really dull and did nothing for me like a smokey eye could. So then I stopped wearing red lipsticks, but soon found that something was missing in my life (beauty lover OCD) so then I went on  a hunt. After buying far too many red lipsticks, I decided to search through my stash and stumbled upon Diva which I had bought in my blond hair days and decided to give it another go, however with a more delicate hand. Voila, that emptiness in my heart was now comforted by the lovely Diva. This discovery had led me to realize that with my darker hair, darker wine reds suit me much better than the bright Ruby Woo-esq shades that I used to love. Will I stop buying red lipsticks? "laughs" I think not,  I will always welcome a new red lipstick with open arms, but I'm now comfortable knowing that if I ever need a pick-me-up, then Diva will always be there to make me feel better on those not so glamorous days!

xo Tiff