Archive for March, 2012

A no-fail method for pulling off a high bun

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

A little volume up front is all it takes to pull off a high bun!If you’re looking for ways to update your go-to bun, One Tree Hill’s Shantel VanSanten recently wore a cute version that’s totally easy to pull off, reports Glamour Magazine’s beauty blog. While high buns are chic and pretty effortless, they can look too severe if you don’t incorporate this important element.

According to the news source, that would be the extra height in front of the bun, which works to soften the impact of the elevated bun at the back of your head. Luckily, it’s simple to recreate as long as you have the right products. Use a thickening shampoo and conditioner in the shower, like Jack Black – True Volume Thickening Shampoo. Then use a volumizing mousse like Leonor Greyl – Mousse Au Lotus Volumatrice.

Blowdry your hair upside down to create plenty of volume, then backcomb the hair at the crown of your head and up toward your forehead. Pull all of your hair back into a sleek bun, leaving a bit of slack near the front, where you should create a soft bump (not anything like Snooki’s signature ‘do). Finish it off with a bit of hairspray and you’ll have the perfect everyday style!

A simple trick for symmetrical cat eyes

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Symmetrical cat eyes are easier than you think!There's nothing prettier than a perfectly-executed cat eye, but many women lack the steady hand necessary for an even, symmetrical swoop. Luckily, Glamour Magazine's beauty blog has a great trick for creating the look in no time at all.

To make a gorgeous cat eye, all you need is a pot of black liquid eyeliner, like Pixi – Gel Liner, an angled liner brush, like Illuminare – Eye Liner / Brow Brush, and a roll of Scotch tape. You'll be using the tape as a stencil that will simply need to be filled in with the liner. Before you put it on your skin, quickly tap it on your clothes to make it a bit less sticky.

Use one long piece, starting at your lash line (the inner corner of your eye or somewhere near the middle of your eyelid works). Place another shorter piece starting at the bottom corner of your lower lash line and intersecting it with the first piece of tape.

Then, use the brush to pick up a bit of the liner and fill in the middle of the two pieces of tape. Wait a couple of seconds, then peel off both pieces to reveal a perfectly executed sweep of liner! If the line is a bit wobbly on the top, just use a cotton swab dipped in water or makeup remover to clean up the edge. Easy, right?

The best ways to test your beauty products

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Safety comes first when testing out new makeup products!There’s nothing worse than picking up a new makeup product only to realize that the color or formula doesn’t work for you. Because some brands are a bit on the pricier side, it can be a major bummer to figure out that you’re never going to use a specific product. That’s why testing them first can be a huge asset. Even if you’re buying online, product reviews can be a big help. Here’s how to test all kinds of makeup safely and effectively.

The importance of safety
When you’re testing products, it’s essential to keep safety in mind. Sharing cosmetics is never a good idea, and that’s especially true for in-store samples. Dr. Elizabeth Brooks, a biological sciences professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, conducted a study recently on public makeup testers. “We went to department stores, specialty stores, drugstores – everywhere,” she explained. Her researchers found staph, strep and even E. coli bacteria on lipstick, blush, mascara and moisturizer testers.

Luckily, there are ways to be safe about the samples you test. For example, Glamour Magazine recommends asking the salesperson to prep the tester for you. This involves dipping lipsticks in alcohol, then scraping off the top layer and using a new, disposable applicator. Eyeliners and lip liners can simply be sharpened to remove the contaminated surface layer. Powders and creams can be wiped with an alcohol wipe and the surface can be removed. It’s never a good idea to try something that comes in a pot, as people dip their fingers into it, contaminating the entire jar.

It’s also better to shop on weekdays, when fewer people will be trying out the products. Saturdays are the worst, and according to Brooks’ findings, Wednesday and Friday mornings are the best, as they found less contaminated products on these days.

Lastly, avoid putting any makeup on your lips or eyes, which are the most likely places where bacteria and viruses can enter your body and cause infections or disease.

How to test each product
For foundation: When sampling a product like Jane Iredale – Liquid Minerals, don’t test it on your jaw, suggests Allure Magazine. The color of your neck is more uniform than your face, so put a bit of product there to get the most accurate match.

For concealer: Test out shades on your inner wrist. Go with the one that you think best matches your skin tone, then try one shade darker and one shade lighter just to be sure. You might want to purchase two different shades: one peachy-pink for undereye circles and one with yellow-based tones to cover blemishes. Try Illuminare – 3 Foundation Formulas in 3 Middle Shades – Introductory Pack of 9.

For blush: Test blushes on the back of your hand, but put a bit of foundation on it before you head to the store. The product sticks differently to skin that’s completely bare, and you want the same effect that your face will get.

For highlighter: The best highlighters illuminate without any obvious glitter or shimmer, so test these products on the back of your hand to ensure that you can’t see any flecks. ModelCo – Luminosity is a good choice.

For bronzer: Test these out on your inner arm, suggests Allure Magazine. It should look like a natural tan, so don’t choose anything with shimmer. If you can see freckles underneath the formula, it will look natural on your face – if not, skip it.

For eyeshadow: Use an applicator to apply to the back of your hand and your inner wrist. When you move your hand around, the product shouldn’t crease. Keep in mind that a primer like GloMinerals – gloLid Primer can keep any shadow in place.

For lipstick: Try out new shades on the pads of your fingertips for the most accurate sense of how the color will appear on your lips.

Beauty tip: mix a drop of oil with your liquid foundation

Friday, March 16th, 2012

A drop of oil is all you need to add to your liquid foundation for more hydration!If you use liquid foundation, it might be because your skin is a bit on the drier side. Liquid foundation can offer your skin the hydration it needs to make it through the day, without highlighting any flakes or patchy areas. It’s also great for giving you a natural, glowing finish.

However, while liquid foundations like Sothys – Lift Defense Foundation work to smooth your skin, hide blemishes and firm up your complexion, they don’t always provide the high level of moisture that you need. That’s why Glamour Magazine’s beauty blog recommends mixing a drop of oil in with your foundation to give you the specific benefits and lasting hydration that different varieties offer.

While you could use natural oils like grapeseed, argan or jojoba, treatment serums like BABOR – Perfect Combination Concentrate would also work just as well. A ratio of one drop to every three drops of liquid foundation is all you need for a radiant complexion. You’ll find that your skin’s texture will be improved and the oil will help provide a more natural finish. If you’d like to be absolutely sure that both your foundation and make up will be evenly applied, try out the beauty sponge from Beautyblender.

Keep in mind that you might not want to try this if you have oily skin, as it might cause breakouts or make your face really shiny. Stick to powder foundations instead.

A natural makeup look works best with spring’s bright fashions

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Spring's fun fashion colors call for natural makeup!While you might be tempted to use bright lipstick, blush and eyeshadow shades to match your bold spring fashion choices, it's usually a hit-or-miss strategy. If you're not in the mood for risk-taking and you're looking for a guaranteed way to make your spring dresses and tops really pop, a bare face is where it's at.

Of course, as a makeup maven, you know that a natural face isn't completely makeup-free. You'll still need coverage and a bit of subtle color to enhance your features and make your skin look radiant.

Instead of a heavy foundation, choose a tinted moisturizer like Jane Iredale – Dream Tint SPF 15. You'll still be able to hide blemishes and discoloration, but your skin will be able to show off its natural glow underneath.

For cheeks, a peachy-pink blush like Pixi – Sheer Cheek Gel willl give you a natural-looking flush, while a bit of brown eyeliner and perhaps a sheer, shimmery eyeshadow are all you need to define your eyes. This neutral palette will keep the focus on your pretty spring outfits.

Deck your nails in St. Patrick’s Day colors and designs

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Shamrocks are the perfect addition to your nails!If you're planning to go out and get wild on St. Patrick's Day, or you just really like to show off your festive side, there's no better way to get glammed up than with cute shamrocks and spring colors on your nails! Here are a few design ideas to consider.

1. Simply green. Everyone knows you're supposed to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, so make sure your nails comply by painting them with Sula – Paint & Peel Nail Polish in Kelly.

2. Rock some shamrocks. Paint your nails white or green, then use a toothpick to make shamrocks. All it takes is connecting three pairs of dots into heart shapes that come together at the point.

3. Gold and green. Leprechauns are all about gold, so incorporate it into your nail designs. You could make a gold triangle at the tips with Lippmann Collection – Nail Lacquers in Nefertiti, or paint your nails green and do golden French tips.

No matter what designs you choose, your nails should look spectacular for St. Patrick's Day!

Coral and yellow: two must-have brights for spring

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Jessica Alba knows how to pull of coral and yellow!If you're looking for the perfect color combination to wear for spring, you probably know by now that pastels can get a bit boring. A coral and yellow combination is the real answer you've been searching for, no matter what your style or skin tone.

Glamour Magazine's beauty blog spotted the look on Jessica Alba, who sported a coral shade of lipstick and a vibrant yellow scarf as she walked the streets. Whether you choose to incorporate the hues in your makeup or your fashion choices, you can't go wrong with this cheerful combination.

If you want the perfect coral lips, try BORGHESE – B Moisture Advanced Care Lipcolour in Apricotta. Make sure that your lips are scrubbed and moisturized, then apply a thin coat before blotting and reapplying the color. This will ensure that the product will last all day.

As far as yellow is concerned, you can go bright with POP Beauty – Nail Glam in Yellow. Wear it by itself or finish it off with a glittery topcoat for a look that screams spring!

A tip for purer lipstick color

Monday, March 12th, 2012

It's tough to decide on the perfect color when you don't know how it'll turn out on your lips!If you look at your lips in the mirror, you'll notice that they're most likely a little darker than the surrounding skin. Whether they're pink, purple, beige or brown, your lips can impact the color of lipstick you wear on top of them.

Because your lips can affect the shades of the lipsticks you choose, it can be difficult to know whether a certain color will be darker or lighter on you. However, there's an easy to way to make sure that you're getting the exact same shade that's being advertised or the particular hue you want – all you need is a liquid or cream foundation.

Use a foundation like Dermablend – Cover Creme SPF 30 (New Formula) on your lips before you apply lipstick. You can use a color that matches your skin tone, or a lighter or darker shade depending on how you want your lipstick to look.

The foundation will act as primer, making your lipstick application last longer. Sweep on a coat of Joey New York – lipFIT Lipstick, then blot and reapply. You'll notice that the color is exactly how you want it.

Gold lip glosses are big for spring

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Gold lip gloss is hot for spring!If you're ready to update your makeup collection for the spring season, one product that you'll certainly need to pick up is gold lip gloss, reports Glamour Magazine's beauty blog.

Gold has a tendency to warm up anyone's skin tone, which is perfect if you're still suffering from winter paleness. A hint of sparkle also goes a long way to enhance the natural shape of your pout, whether you wear gold gloss alone or on top of a bold lip color.

If you're ready to jump on the gold lip gloss bandwagon, check out Jane Iredale – PureGloss. Made with a base of white lily gel, these glosses are anything but moisture-sapping. They'll nourish and hydrate your lips with a yummy lemon-ginger flavor, and there are plenty of shades to choose from, including Apricot Fizz, Soft Peach and Mimosa.

Youngblood – Lip Gloss is another option with a multi-dimensional luster that'll truly make your lips pop. The long-lasting, non-bleeding, non-sticky formula will have your pout looking gorgeous for hours. Try out Tantalize, a coral-peach tone with a frosty shimmer.

The key to natural-looking blush

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

There's nothing worse than blush that doesn't look natural!We’ve all seen women walking around with doll-like circles of blush on their cheeks, or even worse, an obvious stripe of the product across their cheekbones. The main purpose of blush is to provide wearers with a natural-looking, healthy flush, and it’s important to get the application right in order to achieve that.

According to Glamour Magazine, you should pinch your cheeks to see exactly where they flush naturally. This can act as a guide that will clue you in to where to apply product.

Once you’ve figured that out, pick up a peachy pink cream blush like Paula Dorf – Cheek Color Cream. Use your fingers to blend it into the apples of your cheeks. The source recommends using the extra color on your fingertips to enhance your eyelids and the area underneath the tip of your nose to get a sun-kissed glow.

Finish up with a highlighter like ModelCo – Luminosity to provide a bit of dimension. Sweep it across your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, in the inner corners of your eyes and underneath your brow bone. Your look will be perfect.