Monthly Archives: March 2013

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.

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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.