Makeup 101: Undertone Guide

One thing that is super important to know about yourself, that a lot of people don’t know, is their undertone. Your undertone determines what colors are flattering on you, what foundation you should buy, and even whether you tan or burn. My friend Claire and I look very similar (fair skin, reddish hair, light eyes) but our undertones are very different. We discovered this in high school when I told her that she would tan if she laid out for about 5 hours. Worked for me… did NOT work for her. Also probably not a good idea.

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Here is a picture of us side by side. If you just glanced at us, you would probably assume we wear close to the same shade foundation. However, I have more of a neutral undertone that’s slightly on the warm side, and she has a very cool skin tone.

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This is a close up of Claire’s wrist. As you can see, she has very blue veins, which means she has a cool undertone. Other ways to tell if you have a cool undertone is if you have freckled skin, if you burn instead of tan, or if you look better in silver jewelry.

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This is a close up picture of my wrist. I have mostly “green” (they look more teal to me) veins, with a few blue. I think I’m mostly on the neutral side, maybe slightly warm. I can tan, although it takes some effort, I don’t look better in gold or silver, and I can wear either warm or cool eyeshadow colors.

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Last of all, this is my 6 year old daughter’s wrist. All her veins are green (or teal), she gets tan super fast and easily, she looks best in gold or warm colors. She definitely has a warm skin tone!

Posted in Beauty, Beauty Advice, Life, Makeup, Makeup 101, Tutorial, Uncategorized, Undertone Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Makeup 101

 About 4 years ago, I applied for a job in the cosmetics department at a very popular department store (not saying any names). I got hired, but they put me in the jewelry department and told me that I had to work my way up to cosmetics since I didn’t have any sales experience. I was kind of baffled at first because I had bought them my makeup portfolio and everything, but I decided it was no big deal. From the jewelry counter, I had a super good view of the whole cosmetics department. I watched as women who had NO interest in cosmetics, but just had good sales, got moved over there little by little. I had to bite my tongue, as I watched all the different women get talked into below average products, or mismatched foundation. It seems to me that it doesn’t matter how good at sales someone is, they need to be knowledgable in the products that they are selling.

  I can’t help but think back to all the different times that I went to that same cosmetics counter in middle school, and got talked into some pretty bad products. I want to start this new “Makeup 101” series because I think it’s important for women to be informed of products that are most useful or flattering on them, instead of relying on sales people that just need to make their sales good, or push certain products. Please leave any questions you have below 🙂

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Ipsy Makeup Look!

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I wanted to create a look using all my new makeup items that I got from Ipsy. I can tell that a lot of thought goes into putting the Ipsy bags together because as usual all the makeup came together beautifully. Here’s some more pictures, and a description of what I did!

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For my face, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer to prime my face. It smoothed out my large pores, and made my Skin79 BB cream (review here->http://wp.me/p1LGZi-58) glide on flawlessly. I used my Mac Studio Finish concealer to cover my blemishes, and then lightly dusted on my Chanel Double Perfection Lumière powder to set my makeup. I applied Benefit benetint to my lips and cheeks, then contoured with Benefit’s Hoola. I finished up my face by highlighting with Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star in Rose Diamond.

For my lips, I first applied EOS lip balm to smooth them out, then outlined them in Sephora’s Nano lip liner in the color “Cool Coral”. Please note that this color does NOT match my new lipstick from Ipsy, Urban Decay Revolution in 69, but it was a nice neutral color that blended easily into my lips, and kept my lipstick in place. I then applied the lipstick, and then put a small bit of white eyeliner in my cupid’s bow and blended it out to emphasize the shape of my lips.

For my eyes, I first applied my Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer to my eye. Then I put a small amount of Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze on my lid, and then blended it out with a nude eyeshadow (I used Stila’s Bare). Then I used the color’s “Buck” and “Naked” from the Naked palette for my crease. I applied “Buck” to the crease, blended it out with “Naked”, then blended that out with Stila’s Bare. Once I was finished I applied Mica Beauty’s Bronze to my lid. Make sure you pat it on gently, otherwise there WILL be fall out. For my highlight, I used a matte white eyeshadow from Inglot. Then I  applied a tiny bit of Urban Decay’s Zero for my eyeliner, and filled in my eyebrows. For my mascara, I used my new Pixi mascara.

It’s a very simple, but classic look. Remember that when wearing a bold lipstick, it’s usually best to tone down the eyes 🙂 Thanks for reading! If you have created a look with your August Ipsy bag, please link it down below!

Posted in Beauty, Beauty Advice, Benefit, Chanel, Coastal Scents, cosmetics, Dior, Inglot, Ipsy, Life, MAC, Makeup, Maybelline, Reviews, Smashbox, Stila, Subscription Boxes, Too Faced, Tutorial, Uncategorized, Urban Decay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ipsy vs Birchbox!

I want to apologize ahead of time if this a lengthly post but I get a lot of questions about Birchbox and Ipsy, so I want to be as detailed as possible 🙂

Birchbox and Ipsy are both monthly beauty subscriptions. They both charge you $10 at the beginning of either month, then mail you either a box (Birchbox) or a bag (Ipsy) full of makeup goodies a couple of weeks later. I have had Ipsy for 11 months, and Birchbox for 3, so i feel as though I’ve gotten to experience both subscriptions. They’re similar but each have their own pros and cons.

About Birchbox

Birchbox came around in 2010. They send around 5-6 samples each month in a simple brown box each month. Their samples are typically high end, but smaller than Ipsy’s samples.

Pros

  • Their point system is great! For every item you review, you receive 10 points. For every dollar you spend, you earn 1 point. For every person you refer, you earn 50 points. Every 100 points=$10 in the Birchbox shop. This means that you can save money on some pretty awesome stuff!
  • Their stuff is typically high end, and good quality.
  • The brown boxes might not be as exciting as Ipsy’s fun bags, but they’re pretty useful! So far I have found a purpose for all of them.
  • You will definitely try new products… ones you’ve never even heard of.
  • $10 a month isn’t very much, and has definitely curved my spending on beauty products.
  • They have you fill out a quiz, and use that to send out the boxes. They feel more personalized than Ipsy’s bags.
  • They have a men’s box!

Cons

  • The samples are way too small for my liking. I don’t mind receiving small samples of hair products, or even makeup products, but I can’t tell how well a skincare product works after only one or two uses. I’m talking like one packet!
  • I like to think I am pretty knowledgable as far as makeup brands go, but for some reason I haven’t heard of most of the things they send. I have seen people get theBalm or Benefit in their boxes, so maybe it’s just mine.
  • A lot of the products they send cost way more money than I would care to spend.

What have I gotten in my Birchbox?

June

  • till Bags Small Collection
  • Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
  • Juicy Couture Couture La La
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
  • Color Club Nail Polish

July

  • Birchbox Bobby Pins
  • Kérastase Bain Chroma Riche- Cleanse
  • BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream
  • Kérastase Masque Chroma Riche- Treat
  • Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF
  • ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick

August

  • Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
  • Whish Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes
  • Whish Exfoliating Body Wash
  • OC8® Professional Mattifying Gel
  • CAILYN Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner

About Ipsy

Ipsy is definitely the newer bag! It came around in December 2011. Ipsy sends either full size products or deluxe samples. Every month there is a different theme with a new bag!

Pros

  • Ipsy glam bags arrive in a metallic, hot pink bag every month! What is not to love about that?!
  • Most of the products that Ipsy sends out are big brand names, and easily recognizable.
  • If it isn’t a full size product then it is a deluxe sample which means it is pretty darn big for a sample! Definitely big enough for you to decide if you like it or not!
  • A lot of the gurus involved in Ipsy post videos using all the products! It’s fun seeing how all the products come together.
  • The rewards system isn’t as good as Birchbox’s but you do get an extra treat if you refer someone.
  • Their page on Facebook releases sneak peeks which is either good or bad depending if you like to be surprised! I personally like the sneak peeks because I think it’s fun playing detective.

Cons

  • Since the products are usually from well known brands, you might get something you already have.
  • The bags are cute but there comes a time when you no longer know what to do with all them.
  • The bags are kind of on the small side. I had to use three of them to pack for going out of town, and I didn’t even take a lot.
  • There are a few different varieties of bag contents each month but they don’t seem as personalized as Birchbox boxes do

What have I gotten in my Ipsy?

October

  • Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment
  • Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad
  • Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain
  • Be A Bombshell Eyeliner
  • theBalm Body Builder Mascara

November

  • theBalm Meet Matt(e) single eyeshadow
  • Starlet Intense eyeliner
  • Nailtini Millionaire nail polish
  • bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss
  • Chella eyebrow gel

December

  • NYX Loose Pearl Shadow
  • Urban Decay Zero eyeliner
  • Mai Couture Highlighter Papier
  • Mirabella primer
  • Be A Bombshhell lip gloss

January

  • Nailtini Straight Up nail polish
  • Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
  • Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Mini Body Butter
  • Sexy Hair Volumizing hairspray
  • SOHO concealer brush

February

  • Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad
  • Pixi primer
  • POP mascara
  • Mica Beauty gel eyeliner
  • Lash cards

March

  • yaby eyeshadows
  • Juice Beauty hydrating mist
  • GlamRX palette
  • La Fresh Makeup Remover wipes

April

  • Mica Beauty Mineral eyeshadow
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal
  • Sation nail polish
  • Be a Bombshell blush

May

  • yaby concealer
  • Zoya nail polish
  • Pacifica roll on perfume
  • Juice Beauty lipgloss
  • Pacifica Luminizing Body Butter

June

  • Starlooks lip pencil
  • NYX blush
  • J.Cat cream palette
  • Chella highlighter pencil
  • Psssst! Dry Shampoo

July

  • POP Beauty Pouty Pop crayon
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection eyeshadow sample
  • Benefite benetint
  • COOLA tinted moisturizer
  • Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray

August

  • Urban Decay Revolution lipstick
  • Pixi Lash Booster mascara
  • Smashbox Photo FInish primer
  • Mica Beauty eyeshadow
  • Michael Todd Pumpkin facial mask

Whewwww! That was a lot to type! Before I joined both of them, I looked up the types of boxes/bags they had sent in the past to get an idea of what I was signing up for. Hopefully, having all of them listed in the same place is helpful. Please keep in mind that what other people got might have been different than what I got. Some people might’ve gotten better items than me, or I might’ve gotten better items than other people. Make sure when you fill out your profiles to pay attention to what you put, because that will help them decide what to send you. You will NOT like everything you get! If you don’t like wearing most kinds of makeup or you want to like every single thing you get each time, then these boxes are most likely not for you.

So now the question is, if I had to choose between one of the boxes, which one would it be? Hands down Ipsy! I have NEVER had a disappointing box from Ipsy, ever! The samples are HUGEEEE! So far I have only had one Birchbox that I really liked, but I am going to give them a little longer!

If you have any questions, please leave them down below!

Posted in Beauty, Beauty Advice, Benefit, Birchbox, Coastal Scents, cosmetics, Hair, Ipsy, Life, Makeup, Nails, NYX, Reviews, Smashbox, Subscription Boxes, Uncategorized, Urban Decay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

August Ipsy First Impressions and Review

I finally got my Ipsy bag for August, and I was SUPER thrilled with what I received! After the last two disappointments that I’ve had with Birchbox, Ipsy has once again been such a breath of fresh air. Take a look at what I got below!

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Ipsy’s theme this month was “Glamour Academy”, and it came in this little purple bag. This isn’t my favorite bag— it reminds me of Harry Potter for some reason haha. It’s supposed to be a back-to-school theme with essentials for looking fab on your first day!

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The first thing I noticed when I opened my bag was a sample size of the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in “69”. It’s a super fun, bright, reddish-pink. I’m going to be honest, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out the name of the color. I had a moment, and I thought “69” was just the number, then it finally clicked. Oops!

Next, I had a sample size of the Smashbox Photo Finish primer. I actually have the light version of this, and I really, really like it, so I’m excited to try this one! The sample is a good size! Definitely big enough for me to use for awhile to determine whether or not it works for my sensitive skin.

I also received the Michael Todd Pumpkin Facial Mask. I love anything pumpkin, not to mention I am going through a major facial mask experimentation phase. Can’t wait to try this and report back! I am pretty sure this is a full size item.

Next, I got the Mica Beauty Cosmetics eyeshadow in “Bronze”. It’s a beautiful metallic color, and I know it’s going to make my blue eyes POP!

Lastly, I got the Pixi Lash Booster. I’ve never tried Pixi before so this will be fun to try. A girl can never have too many mascaras.

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Above are some swatch of the Urban Decay lipstick, and the Mica Beauty eyeshadow.

Ipsy glam bags are $10, and come every month. You can sign up at http://www.ipsy.com/?refer=u-h051cyhv1f1jmtu

Posted in Beauty, Birchbox, cosmetics, Ipsy, Makeup, Reviews, Smashbox, Subscription Boxes, Uncategorized, Urban Decay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

August Birchbox First Impressions and Review

If you haven’t heard of beauty subscription boxes, then you are missing out on something super fun! After enjoying Ipsy for 9 months, I decided to give Birchbox a try. I was super impressed, and excited with the first Birchbox that I received last June. However, July’s box left something to be desired, and August’s box has been no better! Take a look below.

IMG_0789IMG_0790From left to right, my box contained the following:

-OC8® Professional Mattifying Gel- It’s a gel used to give the face a matte look. The thing is, my skin is extremely dry. Typically anything that gives a matte appearance to my skin emphasizes the dry patches on it. I received two tiny sample packets of it. I have sensitive skin so it’s going to be difficult to see if this breaks out my skin after only a few uses.

-Whish Exfoliating Body Wash- It’s a decent sample size, and smells nice. I’m excited to see if it actually exfoliates well.

-Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper- This is a serum for curly hair that’s supposed to make your hair look less frizzy, and your curls look nice. I wish this sample was bigger, but since it’s a hair product it should be easier to get an idea of how well it works.

-Whish Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes- This is again a tiny sample packet, but they’re supposed to be a deodorant that slows down the growth of under arm hair.

-CAILYN Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner- It’s just a black gel eyeliner, that comes with a neat tapered eyeliner brush. I wouldn’t say that I’m especially excited about this, but I can never have too many eyeliners.

So overall this box was super disappointing. I don’t see myself as picky or being hard to please. I love trying new things, but none of these things excite me. It might have something to do with the size of the samples. Ipsy usually sends out full size products or deluxe samples. I’m giving Birchbox a couple more months, but for now I would NOT recommend them.

If you are looking for a great subscription box then I would recommend trying Ipsy! I have NEVER had a single box from them that I didn’t love. I will have a full review for them soon. You can sign up for Ipsy at http://www.ipsy.com/?refer=u-h051cyhv1f1jmtu

Posted in Beauty, Beauty Advice, Birchbox, Body Care, cosmetics, Hair, Ipsy, Makeup, Reviews, Subscription Boxes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Pick: Stila In the Light Palette

My new favorite palette for fall is Stila’s “In the Light” palette! I’ve been using this palette almost every day since I bought it. It comes with 10 eyeshadows (4 matte and 6 shimmery) and a dark brown eyeliner. It has the perfect combination of neutral colors that allow you to create a variety of looks. “In the Light” originally caught my eye because it contains one of my favorite eyeshadows of all time, Kitten. It’s a beautiful, versatile, champagne colored shade that looks amazing on everybody. Here’s some pictures and swatches!

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ded8f10edbd34094_001004IMG_0782From left to right: Bare, Kitten, Bliss, Sunset, and Sandstone

IMG_0788Left to right: Bubbly, Gilded Gold, Luster, Night Sky, and Ebony.

“In the Light” can be purchased anywhere where Stila is sold, and costs about $39. Do yourself a favor and go buy this NOW!

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Skin79 Gold BB Cream Review

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So about a year and a half ago, BB cream suddenly became all the rage. Since then, almost every makeup brand has come out with their own version of BB cream. I didn’t really see the point in trying any of them when I had my AMAZING Revlon Whipped Foundation. BB cream is supposed to be skincare, primer, moisturizer, concealer, foundation, etc, all in one product. I am super anal about my face routine (which I will post sometime this week) and I don’t like skipping any of the steps. My face is so dry that sometimes I have to layer on moisturizer just to keep my foundation looking smooth. I was hesitant to try a BB cream because I didn’t think it would apply smoothly over my dry skin or provide enough coverage.

I finally gave in a few months ago, and decided to give it a try. Most of the American BB creams didn’t have the best reviews. A lot of people said that they were more like tinted moisturizers than BB cream, so I decided to try an Asian BB cream. I ordered my Skin79 Gold off of Amazon but the Skin79 website has a list of which BB cream does what for your skin, so that is how I chose the gold.

This is the BEST product that I have EVER put on my skin. It is AMAZING, and I have been using it nonstop for months. It makes my skin look flawless, it stays on all day, and it has cut my face routine wayyy down. All I do is put on a little moisturizer first, and then the BB cream does the rest. I hardly even need any concealer.

This product is so amazing that I didn’t even want to buy new foundation because there is NO way that any foundation can be as good as this. I finally broke down and bought some YSL foundation a few weeks ago so I wouldn’t run through my BB cream so fast. It’s nice but honestly it’s no competition next to the Skin79. The only complaint I have about the Skin79 is that because of the way it’s packaged, it’s hard to see when I am about to run out. 

If you’ve been debating on buying a BB cream or you’ve found our own “Holy Grail” product, please leave me a comment and tell me about it 🙂

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November Favorites!

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Inglot Sunset


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Products used:

Inglot 318 (inner lid)

Inglot 361 (middle lid)

Inglot 362 (outer lid)

Inglot 388 (outer v and crease)

Inglot 379 (crease)

Urban Decay Vanilla (highlight)

Please keep in mind that you aren’t just limited to Inglot for this look! All you need is a white, a coral, a pink, a dark purple, and a lighter purple 🙂

This is my first tutorial so I am still trying to work out the logistics of everything such as lighting, what camera to use, etc. If you have any suggestions please let me know 🙂

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