Don’t be afraid to be a little bold

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484184_10150969052117184_306727096_nThere is a fine line between bold makeup and “clown” makeup and it is okay to cross it sometimes. There are times and places for some of the crazier looks you see online done by really creative and bold people. Makeup conventions and raves are perfect places for some of the crazier looks. But not everyone has the guts to be that bold and that is okay too.

If you ever want to get to that level or at least get out of your neutral-shaded comfort zone, here are a few looks using colors other than brown without being entirely over the top.




Neutral looks

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Stila In The Know paletteThis is really the only neutral-color palette I own, cause how many do you really need anyway? It’s really only to show what a basic neutral palette looks like anyway. Any neutral palette works for creating simple-but-effective work-environment-safe looks, amiright? So here are a few tutorials, some using this particular palette and others just using neutral colors in general (specifics provided in the videos, of course.) Enjoy!




5-minute look for the lazy pretties

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We all have those days where we’re too lazy to get all dolled up or worse, do not have the time for it. There are a lot of cases where wearing the bare minimum or nothing at all is okay. It is okay not to wear makeup sometimes (gasp!). For example, I almost never bother putting any on for school; because it is just school, not a catwalk. No one really looks at you closely enough anyway.

Even so, I have those in-between days where I want to put something on but am too lazy to go all out. Most recently, I do my eyebrows, mascara, contour my face and put on some tinted lip balm. Or only one of those things. Just enough to look alive, as I am pale as a ghost. Even a little makeup can do something for the confidence.

Urban Decay eyebrow kit, Flushed palatte, Sugar lip balm, mascara

Eye shadow vs. eye color: don’t limit your self-expression!

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Blue eyes wearing blue eye shadow? Scandalous!

Blue eyes wearing blue eye shadow? Scandalous!

We’ve all seen those little four-color eye shadow quads made for brown eyes, blue eyes, etc. Those are all well and good but they prevent people from thinking outside the box. They think that just because a color isn’t supposedly meant to make green eyes pop, they can’t wear it. Any eye color can look good with any eye shadow color. The only occasional limitation I can think of is skin tones. Some skin tones don’t show certain colors well, but I’ve seen black skin rock bright yellow eye shadow (in that case I’d say the products gave her the advantage).

I have blue eyes and pale skin, so I think I’m an “autumn,” since warm colors brighten my appearance. And for makeup, I “should be” wearing browns. BORING! I’m not about to wear browns for the rest of my life. Besides, my eyes pop on their own without the help of makeup, haha. Sometimes I rock a little red, purple, green and even blue. You just have to experiment and I encourage you to try any color you want, regardless of your eye color. Don’t get me wrong, not every color complements every color and some won’t make others “pop” as much.

xSparkage actually discusses this topic and it’s where I base my opinion.

Not all brushes are created equal

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I learned how to apply eye shadow by watching makeup gurus on YouTube, if you hadn’t already noticed. I have learned tricks that I might have not grasped by simply reading the description on a makeup brush’s packaging. Sometimes brushes can be a substitute for the “proper” brush, like using a blush brush to add highlights (which I do). And some brushes are versatile, especially those used for applying eye shadow. For instance, an angled eyeliner brush can be used to apply liquid eyeliner or create a clean line of eye shadow (provided you wash it before switching over).

Makeup brushes

Shadow Brush: ideal for applying shadow to the lids (always pat, never smear).

Crease Brush: for placing shadow in the crease around your eyes.

Smudge Brush: can be used to blend two colors already on the lids or soften pencil eyeliner.

Eyeliner Brush: can be used to create outlines of eye shadow so things don’t get out of hand or for liquid eyeliner.

Contour Brush: similar to the crease brush but more concentrated shadow application (not blending it out as much, helps add definition in the crease).

Blush Brush: for the cheeks (I hope you mean your face!). Although I use the second one to apply highlighter when I’m contouring my face.

Hope that helps! : D

Highlight, contour, blush, oh my!

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Here is a highlight/contour face chart guide

Here is a highlight/contour face chart guide

Highlighting and contouring your face can make worlds of difference in your overall look. It adds dimension and emphasis in all the right places when done correctly. The first step is to find shades that complement your skin tone. You can go to Sephora and have someone give you a general idea of colors that work for you and you can purchase theirs or go somewhere cheaper with your new-found knowledge. To get the full effect, you want a highlighter, a (matte) bronzer and a blush. And if you’re lucky, they’ll come as a set (saves $$$!).

Contouring and highlighting doesn’t change much between different face shapes; they all use the same basic principles. The first rule of contouring is to not overdo it! It’s easier to build up the color in light layers than to remove a big blotch of bronzer (so always tap away the extra powder after getting it on your brush!). Now suck in your cheeks; feel where your face went hollow under the cheekbones? Brush the bronzer along the bone, just underneath, starting from your ear and bringing it out toward your chin (but not quite that far). You can also dust some along your hairline. That’s generally all you do. Some people put bronzer on either sides of their nose to give it more dimension, but that’s a personal choice. Personally I brush bronzer just under my jawbone since mine isn’t much defined.

Blush is easily. Smile big and brush the blush on the apples of your cheeks, bringing it back along your cheekbone as you go.

Since I have normal, non-shiny, non-greasy skin, I’m not sure if highlighter is something you want if you do have “shininess” issues (since you put it in those so-called problem areas). But anyway, if you want highlighter, first brush it down the middle of your forehead and down the length of your nose. A dab on the chin and also on your cupid’s bow to give you a fuller pout. Also add some under your eyes (where you’d put under-eye concealer) and downward toward your mouth.

And that’s really all there is to it! If this was hard to read, may I direct you to the tutorial video below:

Quality vs. $$$

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When it comes to makeup, in my experience, a big price tag most often correlates to good or excellent quality. However, the inverse is not always true: cheap makeup isn’t always poor quality. Now that you’ve seen the kind of products I own, you have an idea of my tastes. It’s mixed, no? Most of my brushes are cheapies from Target and e.l.f. and then I got a $25 brush from Urban Decay.

My reasoning: I had never used foundation before and they said the brush was specifically designed to work with their new foundation, so I thought I might as well have the best and be done with it. My Libra tendencies got the better of me.

Sometimes I buy products based on how much I’m getting for the price. I’m sure everyone is familiar with MAC Cosmetics. Great brand, great quality, right? (I’ve never used it, just what I’ve heard). Take a single pressed eye shadow: $15 for 1.5 g or 0.05 oz.

Now take a Sugarpill Cosmetics (another great-quality brand) pressed eye shadow, just for comparison. $12 for 4 g or 0.14 oz.

Since I don’t have any MAC shadows to create a comparison image, here is a visual comparison of a MAC and Sugarpill shadow I found on Disastrous Glam’s blog (third from last image).

That makes a big difference in my book because I’m a bargain hunter when it comes to shopping for anything.

My general rule of thumb is trusting the brands I know are usually worth the money for what you get, as far as things like palettes and kits go (but you can never win with things like individual liquid eyeliners -sob-) and I cheap out on accessories like brushes (because I’d blame the makeup’s application quality before the brush used to apply it). Haha.

My arsenal

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Hello! At this point you may be wondering what I’m working with here. Well let me show you.

Makeup brushes

These are all of my brushes. For some of the makeup gurus out there, this may appear minimalist, but I work with what I have and am willing to spend money on.

From left: Three brushes from random kits I’ve received as gifts from relatives over the years. They serve the purpose of throwing on a quick brow highlight most of the time. The pink one, I use the end to dip into my undereye concealer and then blend with a sponge (not pictured). Six eye shadow and crease brushes from Target. I have three of each to avoid constant brush washing (i.e. laziness). A smudge and eyeliner brush from Target that I hardly use but are good to have anyway. Two ELF (eyeslipsface) brushes that are also rarely used. I mostly use the white one to apply highlight to my inner eye corner. An ELF bronzer brush, a Target blush brush and a Forever 21 blush brush (which I use to apply highlight powder to my face). Three brushes from Forever 21 that came with the “blush” brush and haven’t been used since. The foundation brush from Urban Decay is the heaviest and most expensive brush I own (but received as a gift per my request). Otherwise, every other brush cost me no more than $6 each and they get the job done just fine.

Assorted lip and eye products.

From left: An old Urban Decay eye pencil. Four Revlon Colorstay eyeliners (these are the best). Six Revlon Just Bitten lipstains that I rarely wear anymore (I’m all about tinted lipbalms now). A concealer and highlight from ELF. Too Faced Shadow Insurance (eye shadow base) and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk (also a good shadow base). Five liquid eyeliners from Urban Decay. Three eyeliners from Stila. Mascara from WalMart, I think it’s L’Oreal brand. Six mini lipsticks from a Kat Von D kit from Sephora.

Eye and face palettes

Top left: Brush cleaner and a blush from ELF. The Sugarpill Heartbreaker palette. Stila In The Know palette. Lorac bronzer and highlighter. Urban Decay eyebrow kit. A sample of Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation.

Sugarpill hauls

About half of my Sugarpill collection; these were the first two hauls I bought.

A look I did a year or so ago.

A look I did a year or so ago.

The video below is one of the first tutorials I ever watched about Sugarpill and I’ve been a fan of this makeup guru ever since.

Why, oh why?

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Last week I talked about how I got into makeup. However, every “how” needs a “why”. The best part about the particular time in my life that I really got into makeup is that I had finally grown into my skin. I have a simple answer for you: I do it for myself. I wear it to express myself. I wear it to experiment with color. I wear it to make my eyes pop even more than they already do. I wear it sometimes because it makes me feel and look more awake (as I am blessed with pale skin and can tend to look dead in the morning). That’s really all I have to say on the matter without boring you to death with the life story journey that got me to this point.

Honestly, this lovely lady has already said everything I could say to people with negative opinions toward makeup-wearers. So enjoy!

When hate turns into love

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I was a late bloomer when it came to makeup. Up until I was around 19, I claimed to hate makeup and never wear it. I believed myself at the time, because all I ever saw of makeup in my high school was raccoon eyes, seeming fake for wearing it and just a pure waste of time. I wasn’t out to impress anyone by wearing makeup. I wanted more sleep in the morning. I didn’t even do my hair. (Gasp!) Inevitably though, I managed to collect cheap makeup sets as Christmas gifts over the years (distant relatives knew nothing of me apparently) and I tried simple things like eyeliner once in a while, but because I didn’t know what I was doing, nothing looked as good as I thought it should.

So when exactly did I switch over into the world of colorful powders and face goop? Honestly I’m not quite sure. It may have stemmed from my other hobby, cosplaying (dressing up as anime, video game, etc., characters and going to conventions). People there tended to wear really colorful makeup and it looked awesome but I wasn’t quite motivated yet to try it myself. I didn’t think I could pull it off. But in a blur of finding makeup gurus on YouTube and discovering a brand that makes bright eye shadows, I found myself hooked and dove in headfirst.

For a while, I just soaked up the techniques for applying eye shadow from watching makeup gurus on YouTube without actually practicing on myself. By the time I did, though, my hands knew what to do and I liked the result. Throughout my makeup-hating years, I only imagined wearing neutral makeup, should I ever cave on my beliefs. But I went straight to the bright eye shadows of Sugarpill and bought several at a time so I could start right away. I wanted to stand out and express myself through this new form of creative artistry that I could wear on my face. It was a greatly liberating feeling and it was fun.

Whenever I was bored at home or was struck with an idea for a look, I would go into my bathroom and refine my skills. I didn’t have many opportunities to wear these looks out, so I took pictures and uploaded them to Facebook. My friends would comment and like the photos, which encouraged me to keep doing it (No, I’m not an attention *bleep*). So that’s pretty much my whole magical journey from hating makeup to becoming a human coloring book.

A colorful makeup look I created for an anime rave.

A colorful makeup look I created for an anime rave.