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Makeup hacks every girl should know

       
Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Makeup hacks every girl should know

Let's face it – while you'd love to spend a ton of time in front of the mirror perfecting your look, you don't always have the time. Especially around the holidays or other particularly busy times of year, it can be tough to find a few minutes to do your makeup at all, let alone be highly meticulous with it. However, your beauty routine doesn't have to be stressful at all. Once you know the right shortcuts, you can easily achieve a flawless face.

Here are the must-know tips and tricks:

Eyes

  • One of the most common beauty goals is to look more awake – and it's actually an easy feat to achieve. Simply dab a pearlescent eyeshadow in a pale hue right in the corners of your eyes and you'll draw light to your eyes, causing you to appear alert and refreshed.
  • If you're using a bright eyeshadow and you really want the color to pop, up the intensity of the pigment by covering your lids with matte white eyeliner first.
  • Or, you might be more concerned with making sure your eyeshadow lasts. In that case, reach for a creamy gel liner and draw a series of horizontal and intersecting vertical lines in a crosshatch pattern across your lids, then blend in with a smudge brush for a budge-proof look.
  • You can apply mascara farther down at the base of your lashes by using a business card to gently pull the skin on your eyelid up.
  • Going for high intensity eyes? Before brushing on that second coat of mascara, dust some baby powder onto a Q-tip and brush it across your eyelashes to make the pigment adhere more effectively.
  • Bold brows are definitely in, but even the smallest strays can ruin the whole effect.​ PopSugar Beauty editor Maria Del Russo told The Huffington Post that spraying hairspray in a spoolie brush can help you to groom your brows a lot better by taming each and every hair. Not only that, but she noted that the pigment from a brow pencil will stick a lot better, too.

Lips

  • You don't need to go through a million steps to get a plumper pout – simply add a drop of peppermint oil to your go-to lipgloss.
  • Trying to get the perfect Cupid's bow is a challenge, so when you're applying lip liner, draw an "X" at the top of your pout with lip liner as a guideline to get an even shape.
  • The secret to making lipstick long-lasting is pressing a tissue to your mouth after applying it and then lightly brushing translucent powder over it.
  • When your favorite lipstick goes to pieces, don't panic. Del Russo recommended heating the fragments with a hairdryer, shaping them back together in the tube and placing the item in your fridge overnight.

Face

  • Is your complexion looking a little drab? Just reach for some baking soda. TheGloss noted that all you have to do is buff a tablespoon of powder on wet skin and you'll instantly get your glow back.
  • One of the hardest things about bronzer is figuring out where to apply it. For a natural look, contour by sweeping bronzer across your cheekbones, forehead and lightly down the bridge of your nose. 
  • Placement is also tricky with blush – but don't fret too much about expertly applying it. Simply bend over for half a minute and when you stand up, your cheeks will be naturally flushed, giving you a cue as to where to brush pigment on. Always tap the brush to eliminate excess pigment and as you apply it, blend the blush out toward the hairline.

Makeup colors for the colder months

       
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Makeup colors for the colder months

With winter fast approaching, it's already begun to look much drearier outside. That's why now is the perfect time to add a little color into your makeup routine. While you won't likely be reaching for sunny shades when it comes to your makeup this season, there's no reason to forfeit color altogether. While you're transitioning the hues in your wardrobe, do the same with your cosmetics to give your face a whole new look.

Consider these seasonal makeup colors and you're sure to beat the winter blues:

Burgundy
​By now you probably now that wine-colored lips are all the rage. If you're on the timid side, start with a semi-sheer lipstick in a rich berry hue. A matte formula packs the most punch, though, so when you want a dramatic look for nighttime, reach for a more intense tone. Start by lining your pout with a lip pencil in the same shade to ensure the pigment doesn't bleed. If you just can't find the perfect hue, keep in mind that you can always blend a red lip color with a plum one and customize the color to complement your complexion.

Purple
Want to jazz things up for your evening look? Purple eyeshadow, as brazen as it sounds, might become your go-to look for all those holiday parties. A dusty grayish lavender offers a softer effect for those with fair skin, while medium to dark skin types can go all out with a more vivid violet. Remember that a little goes a long way with an attention-grabbing color like purple. So if you're not ready to cover your lids in this hue, try a liquid plum eyeliner or metallic violet mascara for just a hint of intrigue. Keep your lips neutral so that your eyes stay in the spotlight.

Navy
Of course black will never go out of style, but sometimes you're aiming to add an element of surprise to your look. That's when you should reach for navy blue makeup, which are just one step away from black but give you a subtle pop of color. Try using navy liner to create a cateye, or even layering on lengthening mascara in this hue to draw attention to your peepers. Nothing is sultrier than a navy smoky eye in the evening.

Emerald
Pantone declared emerald the color of the year, and it's definitely a winter-ready makeup shade. Try a cream eyeshadow in this dazzling color, or line both your upper and lower lashlines with an emerald green pencil. Vibrant metallic green is also the perfect nail​ polish hue for a festive manicure during the holidays.

When is it time to replace your makeup?

       
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

When is it time to replace your makeup?

A lot of things in life have an expiration date – not just food and medicine. In fact, your beauty products have a lifespan, too. Knowing when to toss out your makeup and replace it is important for many reasons. Not only does the texture of makeup begin to suffer as it ages, but old makeup can acquire a buildup of bacteria, which can compromise a flawless complexion by causing a breakout.

Not sure when it's time to throw your makeup away? Here are some tips to help you figure it out:

Face
Good news about your powders and concealers – they last a lot longer than you'd think. Dr. Peter Pugliese, M.D., a skin physiologist in Reading, Pa., explained to Fitness magazine that as these products are typically anhydrous, meaning they don't contain water, they can be used for up to two years. Liquid and cream foundation, on the other hand, will last for a maximum of one year. Dr. Pugliese explained that it's crucial to avoid touching the bottle with your fingers to prevent bacteria from spreading and thus extend the life of the product. As for your makeup sponges, remember to wash them after every use, and then toss them after one month.

What about your blush and bronzer? According to PopSugar, you can keep sweeping these pigments onto your face for 18 months. However, a cream blush should be thrown out after a year.

Eyes
You definitely want to be careful with how long you use your eye makeup to avoid an infection. In terms of eyeshadow and eyeliner, PopSugar advised replacing them after approximately 18 months. Liquid eyeliner, on the other hand, only lasts about six months. 

Of course, your mascara tends to dry out and get clumpy over time, meaning you want to swap it out for a new product within three months. Optometrist Dr. Jennifer Giermek of New York City's Naked Eye Optical told Fitness magazine that reusing the brush can exacerbate any infections, so try to use a new wand as frequently as possible.

Lips
You can keep most of your lip balms for up to two years, as many are also anhydrous. As far as matte lipsticks and lip pencils go, one year is a good time frame to keep using them. According to PopSugar, those lip glosses should be disposed of within 18 months.

Nails
You should be able to keep using your favorite nail lacquers for about a year. Cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson explained to Fitness magazine that it's best to keep an eye on the pigment – when you see signs of color separation or fading you know it's time to toss them.

New holiday colors from Pixi Cosmetics

       
Friday, November 29th, 2013

New holiday colors from Pixi Cosmetics

Now that you’re getting in the holiday spirit and dusting off your glitziest party dresses, it’s time to upgrade your cosmetics for something a little more shimmery. After all, you want to sparkle from start to finish at all those upcoming soirées. The perfect party makeup is eye-catching as well as long-lasting – which is why the new products from Pixi Cosmetics are ideal for any occasion this season. Ready to get glowing?

Here are a few holiday looks that will make you the life of the party:

Glowing goddess
With glitter all around, how can you still manage to stay in the spotlight? Draw light to your eyes with the Pixi Crayon Combo in Wide Awake, a combo of matte nude and gleaming gold infused with caffeine to instantly make you look awake and alert. Or, glide on the Pixi Crayon Combo in Super Natural for soft-focused definition. The matte charcoal brown and glowing tan pencils work together to define your peepers so they really stand out. For a bolder look, reach for The Pixi Crayon Combo in Softly Smoky, which provides a powerful duo of matte dark chocolate and a shimmering bronze for an effortlessly enchanting effect.

Just because you’re not getting as much sunlight these days doesn’t mean you have to forfeit a radiant complexion. The Pixi Bronze Bloom Trio comes with three shades that work together for instant illumination. The neutral bronzer complements any skin tone for a sun-kissed glow, while the pink and peach blush give your cheeks the perfect burst of color.

Blazing bombshell
A cream eyeshadow glides on smoothly, but can tend to crease – unless it’s the Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen, which transforms from a cream to a powder so your peepers glisten all night long. Light-reflecting shades like Shell Sheen pair well with a more demure outfit, while Bronze Brilliance and Graphite Glint are just sultry enough to create a subtle smoky eye. If you’re going for a brightening effect, simply sweep the pencil over your eyelids and blend. Or, you can amp up the drama by reaching for a darker shade and tracing your lashlines, then slightly smudging.

Don’t forget to give your lip some luster. The Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm is an ultra nourishing gloss that hydrates and repairs your lips with vitamin E, Jojoba oil and Shea butter, while also softly infusing them with vibrant color. As the balm slowly fades over time, you’re left with a stain that’s completely customized to your unique chemistry, as the intensity will depend on the pH level of your lips. Baby bare is a muted pinky nude that’s flattering on any complexion, Rosy Red has a retro sophistication and Bitten Berry is a must when you want a bolder pout.

Divine diva
It’s hard to choose an eyeliner hue, and why should you? The Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Kit comes with five different stunning shades that offer a variety of looks. From Deep Plum and Black Cocoa to Sage Gold, you have endless possibilities for glamming up your eyes. Black Noir gives you the option of a classic cat-eye, while Oyster Glow offers a surefire way to brighten up your peepers. Simply glide the pencil from the inner corner of your eye outward. You always have the option of blending the pigment to create an alluring smoky effect.

Since your calendar is full of festivities, you might just need the Pixi Perfection Palette in Lit-Up Lovely. With 16 eyeshadow colors, three cheek powders, a highlighter and a bronzer, you’re armed with all the essentials to contour your face, enhance your features and ultimately, draw some major attention.

Tips for a plumper pout

       
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Tips for a plumper pout

There's hardly anything more alluring than full lips, but not everyone was blessed with this feature. Fortunately,there are plenty of ways to make your pout appear more plump.

  1. First thing's first: You need to get rid of any dead, dry skin to avoid flakes and ensure that your lip color goes on smooth. Exfoliating can also accelerate blood flow to the lips, giving you a natural flush without even applying color. Just a dab of the Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub is enough to do the trick. Apply with your fingers and massage in a circular motion to slough off dull skin cells and reveal a softer pout. This step is especially crucial in the winter and when you're rocking the matte lip trend.
  2. Next, you should reach for products that contain both moisturizing ingredients and peptides. Dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross told Woman's Day magazine that he recommends this step to help facilitate collagen production, which tends to slow down with aging. He advised using a lip balm with nourishing shea butter and vitamin E, like the Dermalogica AGE Smart Renewal Lip Complex.
  3. One of the easiest ways to achieve fuller lips, according to celebrity makeup artist Kimara Ahnert, is with a lip gloss specifically formulated for plumping. She told Woman's Day that ingredients like cinnamon and mint can actually make lip tissue swell by stimulating the blood vessels. The tingling sensation that comes after applying Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Turbo Power Supreme is what lets you know it's working. You can glide this clear gloss on by itself or over another hue to increase moisture by up to 60 percent and make your pout look up to 40 percent fuller.

Best beauty looks from the AMA Awards

       
Monday, November 25th, 2013

Best beauty looks from the AMA Awards

The American Music Awards are a distinctive affair – unlike the Grammys, winners are honored based on votes by music buyers and the general public as opposed to panel members. That means that the artists who go home with the trophies are decided by the fans themselves. This year's event attracted some of the most talented and stylish acts in the industry, so there was stiff competition for the awards. Although it was no doubt a close call when it came to the standout performers of 2013, it's just as difficult to determine who had the best look.

Here are some of the stars who really shone on the red carpet:

Taylor Swift
Swift was on fire at the AMAs, and not only because of her sultry look. The singer went home with a whopping four awards, including Favorite Album – Country, Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Artist – Pop or Rock and Favorite Female Artist – Country. So it's no surprise that her makeup was just as crowd-pleasing as her music. Swift went with a chocolate brown smoky eye, bronzed cheekbones and a perfect pink pout, a combination which well complemented her sparkly gold gown.

Rihanna
This diva went home with the award for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B, but she came with a jaw-dropping look as usual. Despite the fact that she was rocking a dramatic black glitzy bustier dress, she kept her makeup relatively simple. Winged black liner all around her eyes gave her some serious allure, while a radiant complexion and muted mauve lipstick softened things up for a feminine and flirty finished effect. Even her lids were relatively toned down, with just a sweep of shimmery taupe eyeshadow.

Christina Aguilera
As per usual, Aguilera was channeling her inner retro goddess at the AMAs, and not just because of her platinum blonde curly locks. The judge of "The Voice" opted for a classic cat-eye and a glamorous glossy pout, which gave her a vintage glam vibe. A dab of highlighter on her browbone and ultra voluminous lashes put her peepers in the spotlight, but her fire engine red lips definitely drew some attention, too.

Ciara
Sometimes less is more when it comes to makeup, and Ciara definitely proved that at the AMAs this year. The singer was rocking bold brows, bronze eyeshadow and lush long lashes, and her skin looked impossibly radiant. However, she stuck with a neutral lip shade that kept her overall look somewhat understated. Even though she didn't win the award for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B, her makeup was a major success.

How to: DIY hair chalking

       
Thursday, November 21st, 2013

How to: DIY hair chalking

It's likely that the last time you used art chalk was in the 5th grade – but you may be picking it up again very soon. The only difference is that this time, you'll be using it in your hair, not the sidewalk.

Skeptical? Hair chalking is a super simple DIY hair color method that's great for people who want to test out a wild new hue. Since it's temporary, you can experiment with any color you desire on your strands while knowing it will wash out in a few shampoos. The best part? Whether you're a redhead, blonde or brunette, this technique will work just as well. Even stylish celebs like Lauren Conrad have played around with hair chalking to try a fun new look.

All you need are some soft chalk pastels, gloves, some water and a dash of courage. Here's how to do it yourself:

Step 1:
If you have dark hair, fill a small spray bottle with water and spritz a small section. There's no need to wet the entire piece, just soak up to the point where you want the pigment to appear. Blondes should avoid moistening their locks as the chalk could end up actually staining your hair. So if you have light hair, just draw onto dry strands unless you plan to rock this color for a couple weeks. Redheads may want to test a section without water first to see how bright the color shows up, and then determine if water is needed to amp up the intensity.

Step 2:
Slip on a pair of rubber gloves, reach for your desired pastel hue and begin coloring directly onto your strands. It can be helpful to twist your hair as you go, as this tactic will rub off more pigment from the chalk. You can select more than one shade, but Seventeen magazine noted that it's best to start with the lightest one first to avoid dark color from getting on your gloves and muddying the whole effect. Brush out the excess chalk and wait for your hair to dry completely.

Step 3:
Depending on the look you're going for, you can use a flat iron or a curling iron to go over the colored strands and seal in the pigment. Continue to style as you normally would, but have fun with it. Feel free to try out a more eccentric 'do, like a top knot or a fishtail braid, which will show off your vibrant tresses in a whole new way.

Look dazzling at Thanksgiving dinner

       
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Look dazzling at Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is all about gathering with your loved ones, celebrating what you’re grateful for and perhaps making a few new memories. Since you’ll be seeing family members that you may not get to visit with very often, you’ll want to look your best.

Naturally, you’ll be picking out a festive and fashion-forward ensemble, but you can’t forget your makeup for this occasion if you really want to stand out. Whether you’re sporting a casual outfit this Thanksgiving or getting all decked out, here are some beauty tips that will ensure your look is just as memorable as the meal:

Gilded glow
Missing that golden glow you had during the summer? This is the perfect occasion to bring that radiance back to your complexion. Illuminated by the flickering candlelight at the dinner table, your face will look fetching. To get this effect, dab your brush in the Too Faced Endless Summer 16 Hour Long-Wear Bronzer and sweep it from your temples down your cheekbone, and then back along your jawline. If you want a little more warmth, follow with the Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo by the same brand. Swirl the two hues together and dust them onto the apples of your cheeks in a backwards “C” motion for a subtle pop of color.

Smokeshow
When it comes to your eyes, you want to strike a balance between natural and bold. A bronze smoky eye is less dramatic than black, and since it pulls from rich autumnal browns and golds, it’s ultra seasonal.

Pull out the BORGHESE Shadow Milano Trio in Titian Taupes, which has three shades that can complement any skin tone. Start by swiping the lightest hue across your entire lid. Then, use a slender brush to blend the medium color into the crease, emphasizing the outer edge to get an ultra alluring look. Dampen a liner brush and dip it into the darkest shade, then glide it along the upper lashline to define your eye. Sweep a layer or two of Youngblood’s Mineral Lengthening Mascara in Mink onto your lashes, focusing the pigment on the center for a doe-eyed effect.

Dabbing a little highlighter on your browbone will brighten your eyes and make this sultry look daytime appropriate.

Pout perfection
The most important thing for your lips is that the color has staying power through multiple courses - and potentially seconds. Consider a striking burgundy lip, which perfectly pairs with a glass of red wine. Start by lining your pout with pencil, then layer on a matte stain for color that will last. Or, if you go high intensity with your eyes, brush on POP Beauty’s Plump Pout lipgloss in Honey Rose, which is long-wearing and universally flattering.

Spice up your look this holiday season

       
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Spice up your look this holiday season

As the holiday season draws near, you’re likely looking for a way to shake up your makeup. Something about the first sparkly snowfall, twinkling lights and glitzy attire makes you want to experiment with a more festive look – and with good reason. Considering you’ll soon be getting invitations to countless family gatherings and fun soirées, you definitely want to stand out.

If you’re bent on breaking out of your everyday beauty routine for something a tad more dazzling, there are many routes you can take. The key is to choose a feature you want to focus on, as playing up all of them can look over the top.

Here are three different alluring looks to try out:

Sugarplum fairy
The smoky eye may already be your go-to look for going out, but this season, opt for a subtler version that’s just as captivating. You can still play up your peepers without going to the dark side, and black can look harsh under the bright lighting at a holiday bash.

Consider a brown smoky eye in a spicy copper palette that mimics pumpkin and gingerbread. Start with a sweep of champagne shadow on your lids, then brush a darker bronze from the middle of the crease the edge of your eye and blend. Dust a pale golden glimmer on the inner corners of your eyes to really illuminate them. Glide a dark espresso liner across your upper lashline and finish with two coats of curling mascara.

As far as your face goes, you want to enhance your natural glow without drawing attention away from your eyes. Starting at your temples, brush bronzer along the top of your cheekbones and down to your chin in a number three shape. Keep lips soft and shimmery with GloMinerals gloGloss in Naked.

Va va vixen
You can’t get more festive for the holidays than a vibrant red lip – it’s eye-catching and innately emotive. You’re bound to be the life of the party with such a powerful pout.

The focus for your peepers should be long lashes, which add to the alluring look of your lips. Start by applying a sheer shimmery wash of color to your eyelids, like a pale silver or pearly beige. Use black liquid liner to carefully trace your upper lash line, flicking out just slightly at the outer corners. Brush on two coats of Too Faced Lash Injection mascara and you’ll be batting your lashes left and right.

Try a cream blush in a muted rosy hue use your fingers to dab it onto the apples of your cheeks, blending in a circular motion. Finally, apply the Under A Spell Lipstick by the Lippmann Collection in the center of your pout, working your way to the edges. This universally flattering shade is easily buildable to any intensity you desire. Consider layering it over a lip primer so that it lasts, even if you’re sipping some bubbly or smooching someone under the mistletoe.

Glowing goddess
Nothing is more flirty than a radiant flush. The key with this look is monochromatic balance so that you enhance your skin’s illumination without appearing overdone.

After applying primer and foundation for an airbrushed finish, sweep bronzer with substantial warmth along your cheekbones. Then, swirl your brush into a bright shimmery blush that’s just a couple shades darker than your natural skin tone and dust it onto the apples of your cheeks for a fresh-faced look.

Opt for a neutral eyeshadow with pink undertones to keep consistent with the overall palette. No need for eyeliner, as the idea is to make your eyes look wide and awake, not dramatically defined. One or two coats of POP Beauty No Clump Comb Mascara will curl, separate and extend your lashes to make your peepers really pop.

Line your pout in a soft peachy nude and then layer on a sheer lipstick in a matching shade for a subtly plumped-up effect.

The secrets to highlighting and contouring

       
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The secrets to highlighting and contouring

Makeup can work magic – as long as you know how to use it properly. Highlighting and contouring are two of the most valuable beauty techniques any girl can master, because they allow you to enhance and define your features and completely transform your face. If you want radiant skin, sculpted cheekbones, or even a more slender looking nose – it's all possible with these tactics. It's no wonder Kourtney Kardashian deemed them essential to her makeup regimen, as did Victoria's Secret model Toni Garrn.

Intrigued? Here's everything you need to know to become a highlighting and contouring pro:

Step 1
First, even our your skin tone so that you have a perfect base for your bronzer and highlighter by applying a cream, liquid or powder foundation. For extra credit, use an alternate foundation that's just one to two shades lighter and dab it along the middle of your forehead, along the bridge of your nose, at the outer edges of your eyes and on the center of your chin.

Step 2
Next it's time to reach for your bronzer. Be sure that the formula isn't overly shimmery, as too much distracting sparkle could compromise the effectiveness of your contouring. After swirling your brush in your shade of choice, choose areas that you would like to visually hollow out. For example, you could sweep your brush under your jaw-line to make your neck appear more slender, or slim out your nose by dabbing some bronzer on either side, from just below the bridge to right over the nostrils. You can also contour your cheeks by sucking them in, dusting bronzer in a circular motion in the hollow under your apples and then extending and blending toward the hairline.

Step 3
Now that you're ready to highlight, you need to choose the right shade. Cooler complexions should opt for a pale hue with iridescence, while those with warm skin will look best with a slightly more golden highlighter.

While contouring is meant to make areas of the face recede, highlighting does the opposite – it draws them forward. Do you want to draw light to your peepers and make them really pop? Then you should dab highlighter at the inner corners of your eyes and underneath them. Highlighting under the eyebrows will have a lifting effect, thus causing you to appear more alert and awake. You can also highlight right underneath the cheekbone contouring you just did to give your face healthy looking dimension.