March 24, 2014

"No Makeup" Makeup Routine

Hello everyone!! I know I've taken a few months off from blogging but I am back :) This winter has been so harsh and I just couldn't bring myself to shoot OOTDs outside, so once I gave that up for the winter, my blogging went along with it. But now the weather is starting to get (somewhat) warmer so I've been inspired again and am back with a makeup tutorial. Today was a lazy day off for me so I went with my typical "no makeup" makeup routine. Basically, this is just how I do my makeup whenever I know I am not going anywhere special, or when I am just hanging around the house and I just want to wear minimal makeup. You can't really tell I'm wearing a full face of makeup because I apply it in a way to make it look as natural and possible. The goal of this routine is not to look super glamorous, but to cover up any imperfections such as uneven skin tone, acne, and dark circles.

Step 1:
First, you want to start off with a primer to create a base for your foundation to go on flawlessly and last longer. This will also prevent foundation from settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Most primers have special purposes, like Benefit "That Gal" which is a brightening primer to brighten up your complexion if your skin is looking dull.

Step 2:

On days when I don't want to do a full-on makeup routine, I opt for a BB cream rather than a heavy foundation. What I really love about this BB cream in particular is that it gives really great coverage without feeling heavy like a foundation. It also has a satin finish, as opposed to other BB creams that I have tried that tend to make you look oily. I always apply this with my Sigma F88 brush.

Step 3:

I use this concealer because it is quick and easy to apply. All you do is draw this on underneath your eyes and down the side of your nose, connecting it and filling it in, in the shape of a triangle (hopefully you can visualize what I am talking about just by reading it!) I usually just blend this out with my fingers. I'm going to be honest.. this isn't the absolute best concealer I've used but I like how the stick is easy to apply and it does the job of hiding my undereye circles. Sometimes this concealer does crease, so be sure to set it with a powder, like this one:

Step 4:

This is the powder I use to set my undereye concealer. This gives a really nice brightening effect and also prevents my concealer from moving or creasing at all. I apply this with my Real Techniques Setting Brush.

Step 5:

I dust this powder lightly on my cheeks, chin and nose area with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. This is where my foundation tends to break up the most and I have dry skin, so I don't apply this to my whole face.

Step 6:

Instead of doing a complete contour, I sweep this bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, sides of my forehead and along my jawline with my Real Techniques Blush Brush, just to bring some color to my (extremely pale) face.

Step 7:
Blush is one thing that I am constantly switching out and experimenting with, but recently I have been loving Benefit Dandelion. I usually stick with a light blush color when I wear minimal makeup, and this one really compliments my skin tone. I apply this to the apples of my cheeks and back to my temples with my Real Techniques Contour Brush. I blend it out with my Buffing Brush again.

Step 8:
I love filling in my eyebrows, but on lazy days like today I skip that step and instead just use Benefit Gimme Brow. This product is pretty unique in that it is a one-step brow product that shapes, fills in and sets your brows all at once. It has a tiny wand that looks like a mascara wand, and all you do is dip the wand in the product and brush it through your brows. Of course, it's not going to shape them perfectly but on days like today, that isn't really necessary.
Step 9:

I apply this nude eyeliner in my waterline. I love this product because it really brightens and opens up my eyes. My eyes are usually always red and I find that putting on foundation and concealer emphasizes the redness in my eyes, so I always use this nude liner to eliminate the redness. Again, this looks very natural because it is skin-colored and just adds to the "no makeup" makeup look.

Step 10:

Like blush, I'm always changing my mascara. I've been using this Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara for a while now and I actually really like it. This opens my eyes and makes me look more awake. I like to just focus on making one aspect of my face more dramatic when I am not using a lot of makeup anywhere else.

 Step 11:

To finish off the look, I put on my favorite lip balm instead of any lipstick or lipgloss. 

Step 12:

 To set all of the makeup I use MAC Fix+. This helps my makeup last longer and prevents my foundation from looking cakey as the day goes on.

I hope you all enjoyed this makeup routine! Xo

November 21, 2013

How I Fill in My Brows

So here is the story of my eyebrows.
When I was in middle school, I had the best eyebrow waxer. She always shaped my eyebrows so perfectly  and I thought I was one lucky girl because good eyebrow waxers can be hard to find in my opinion. Then one day, she disappeared from the salon she was working at and I never heard from her again. I had to resort to going from nail salon to nail salon to achieve the perfect brow, and anyone who has gotten their brows done at a nail salon knows that they really don't know what they are doing in terms of actually shaping (but for 6 bucks, you can't really complain). I always ended up with uneven brows with absolutely no shape to them, and I was never happy. I always ended up just trying to tweeze them myself because I figured I could do just as good of a job. Finally, earlier this year, I started going the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta and I've never looked back. If you go to their site you can watch/read in-depth about their approach to everything brows, but long story short: If you want to go to a professional who will shape your brows correctly for your face, invest in a $20 Benefit brow wax. I promise you, it is worth the money.

You may not realize, but brows are a very important feature for changing the way your entire face can appear. A nicely arched and defined brow can really open up your face, and that is why it is super important to give your brows some TLC. So obviously, the first step to doing so is shaping them. I clearly go with waxing but if you prefer threading, that's fine too. Secondly, filling in your brows to define them and make them stand out is the next important step. I recently started filling in my brows and I cannot go a day without doing it or else I literally feel naked. It really just changes your entire face. Even on days when I'm wearing minimal makeup, I still lightly fill them in. It is also a great tactic for hiding messy brows. At times when I am in dire need of a brow wax, or am trying to grow them out a bit, filling them in makes them look 10x better than leaving them bare. This is because I'm defining them into what I want others to see and making the stray hairs a lot less noticeable.

Filling in your brows is not a difficult task and I really think it is something everyone should do. Here is a step by step tutorial on how I fill in my brows..any beginner should be able to follow along!

First things first: Here is a before and after picture.

Step 1: Brush your hairs with a spoolie brush into the direction that you want the hairs to all flow and into the shape you'd like them to be in. This will help put any stray hairs in place (I know you have all woken up with those crazy brows with the hairs facing in every direction!)

Step 2: Trace along the bottom of your brow with a brow pencil. I use the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette. You can see how even just this small step goes a long way in making your brows look much more defined and polished. 

Step 3: Using a brow powder and an angled brush, trace the top of your brow. This is where you can really define your arch, or fake one if yours is not defined enough. For a more defined brow, you can continue this line to the inner portion of your brow, but for a casual everyday look, I usually keep this portion of the brow bare or with very little product. For this step, I use the darker shade of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown.

Step 4: Fill in the body of your brow using the same brow powder and angled brush. The outer tail of your brow should be the darkest, and it should gradually fade as you move inwards. For this step, I mix both the light and dark color of the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown. Once you are done, Brush your brows out with a spoolie brush just to make sure everything is evenly blended and then set with a brow gel. I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel.

Once you are done with one brow, repeat for the other brow! One important tip that I've  learned along the way and repeatedly heard from the pros is that your brows are sisters, NOT twins. It is going to be nearly impossible to get them looking exactly the same as each other, so don't worry if one has a bigger arch, is thicker, etc. This frequently happens to me but it is not something to stress over! 

Here are a few pictures of my full face before and after filling in my brows, just so you can see the way it changes my face. 




I hope this was helpful for you guys! 'Like' this post if you'd like to see more tutorials like this and if you decide to give filling in your brows a try, let me know how it goes!

November 18, 2013

Decking the Halls

Everyone that knows me knows that I go a little crazy when it comes to Christmas time. It seems like every year, the Christmas season starts earlier, but I'm honestly more than okay with that! I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet...but I figured why not start getting in the holiday spirit. Christmas time comes and goes so fast so gladly I'll take any opportunity to extend it! Today was a perfect day to start decorating my room for Christmas. I love crafting and anything DIY, so I'm always looking for ideas. I found all of these DIY decoration ideas from one of my all-time favorite Youtubers, Bethany Mota. I spent the day making all of these decorations and this is seriously my idea of a good time, so I know this is just the start of my decorating. "Like" this post if you want to see more DIY posts!

November 4, 2013

First Freeze

Today I really got into the "winter spirit," even though winter isn't officially for another two months. I wasn't kidding when I said in my last post that I was going to get the Bath and Body Works winter candles ASAP, so that's exactly what I did today! Since I had my mind set on winter from the start of today, this definitely influenced my outfit choice. Last night was officially the "first freeze" here on Long Island, so my number one priority today when I got dressed today was staying warm. The accessories really made this outfit since I decided to keep it simple and just go with jeans and a sweater. I added knee socks for a little something extra in terms of style and warmth. These braided headbands are also my new favorite accessory for the winter because not only do they keep your ears warm, they are adorable and come in so many different colors. I am also in love with my new jacket-it keeps me warm and it's a great color for the season!

Top Forever 21 | Pants Flying Monkey | Jacket BBDakota via Mixology | Shoes MakeMeChic | Socks Forever 21 (similar here) | Headband Forever 21

November 1, 2013

October Favorites

As I am sitting here typing this, I am currently listening to my Spice Girls Pandora station with my Pumpkin Cupcake candle burning, and I have to say, it is perfection. I had to mention this because I feel it is so fitting for a favorites post, and I really think I need to include this Pandora station to my favorites. It is seriously amazing and I have not skipped one song yet...I suggest you get comfy, light your favorite fall scented candle, and put this station on while you read this post!

This has been my holy grail eyeliner for as long as I can remember. I have tried so many other eyeliners- liquid, pencil, gel, you name it- and I always seem to come back to this one. I use it to line my upper lid and wing it out, and I just love the way it glides on smoothly. It is so easy to use and especially to wing out. Some other eyeliner pencils that I have tried are too creamy for winging, but this one is perfect. Not to mention it is super pigmented and very black!

So since I decided that I would include a different candle in my monthly favorites, this month's favorite has been Pumpkin Cupcake! I'm not one of those people who is obsessed with everything pumpkin flavored, but this candle sure does smell good, so I had to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon for this one. Also...I just had a mini heart attack because when I looked up the link for this candle, I saw Bath & Body Works's holiday candles on the website....And now I'm going to the mall this weekend to buy them.

This facial cleanser literally makes me excited to wash my face every night. Not only for the fact that it leaves my face feeling so clean and soft, but mainly because it smells amazing. I can't even describe the smell and I don't know why I'm so in love with it... it really just smells like fresh, clean skin. 

You were probably wondering what the heck this was from the picture...I got a free sample from Sephora of the new Urban Decay  Revolution Lipsticks and it came with 4 shades, one of them being Anarchy. I actually love this lipstick in general and picked up one of the other colors, but I'm soo in love with this color as well and I think I might need to buy the full size version! It is a bright pink-fuschia color, but it is surprisingly very wearable and not too crazy. Plus, it lasted all day long with one application, even through eating. 

I really can't say enough good things about Sally Hansen nail polishes. I will probably be doing a full review on this product but I needed to mention it in my monthly favorites because, well, it's been my favorite this month! This color is so great for fall and I swear it looks just like an Essie color, except it was half the price. I painted my nails this color and it literally stayed on for almost 2 weeks. Of course it did start to chip, but not as bad as when I get my nails done at the salon.

6. OPI Natural Nail Base Coat and Top Coat
Ulta was recently having this amazing promotion for OPI nail polish where if you buy two, you get a base coat or top coat free. So obviously, I justified buying 4 nail polishes so I could get the base coat and top coat for free! I've only used them so far with my Sally Hansen polish but I would attribute some of the reason why my most recent manicure did not chip as much to using a great base and top coat.

7. Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector- Fair/Light
I used this BB Cream over the summer in a darker shade (when I had a tan) and really liked it so I decided to try it out in the lighter shade to match my pale skin now. I will also probably be doing a full review on this product. I like the way it does not feel heavy on my skin and I have been using it in place of foundation on an every day basis since I got it.

Happy November!

October 30, 2013

Stripes and Mosaic Print

One of the things that makes fashion so much fun for me is mixing prints when putting together outfits. It challenges me to think outside of the box. I love outfits with mixed prints because they look effortless-like you didn't try- as opposed to outfits that are more "matchy-matchy," even though they actually might require a little more thought! Something to remember when thinking about prints is that stripes can be treated as a neutral; that was one of the keys to putting together this look. The print of these pants give me a vintage feel and mixing them with a black and white stripe adds a little interest to the look. If you want to branch out and try mixing prints, I recommend starting out with stripes!

Shirt Forever 21 | Pants Tobi | Jacket Topshop (similar here) | Shoes Steve Madden |  
Necklace Mixology | Sunglasses Ray-Ban

October 28, 2013

Comfy Monday

What else could you expect to find me wearing on a lazy Monday other than sweatpants and a tee? Today was my day off and I spent it just hanging around the house and doing some errands, so this was a perfect outfit for both. I love this t-shirt because the quilted leather accents on the shoulders make it just a little more put-together to go out in than a plain old t-shirt. It was beautiful out today but still a little chilly so I threw on my go-to leather jacket that I pretty much live in during the fall. What's your go-to outfit on a lazy day?

Top Forever 21 | Jacket Express | Pants Forever 21 (similar here and here) | Shoes Steve Madden via Nordstrom | Necklace Mixology | Bag H&M | Sunglasses Ray-Ban