Thursday, February 24, 2011

How To Make Your Own Hair Bows

My first video is up!

Once I get my lighting situated I will start doing some makeup tutorials for you girls.
Let me know if you have any other DIY videos you would like to see until then.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love It or Ditch It - Sephora Mini Haul Reviews

I recently took a little trip to Sephora & picked up a few different products that I haven't tried before (& one that I love). Below are the items that I bought & whether they will get added to my collection or returned.

I almost always shop at places with a great return policy. I hate trying a product a couple of times & then deciding I don't like it. Now What? Did I just waste money on a $20 lipstick that looked great in the tube & horrible on me? or the eyeshadow that I get home & realize that I have a color just like it? Sephora's return policy is great. They will take anything back that has at least 1/2 of the product left. If you don't have the receipt (hey things get lost & people buy you things that suck), they will even give you store credit. This is one of the reasons that I almost exclusively shop there for higher end brands. I feel more confident buying something if I know that I'm not out the money if it doesn't do the trick.

Tokidoki Fantastico Lip Stain in Carnivora
-Return It-
 I thought the color was beautiful (a purplish hot pink) & the packaging was really cute. Plus it was on clearance for $10 instead of $15. The applicator was fairly dried out (probably because it was old & why it was on clearance) making it difficult to apply to my lip line. Besides that, the formula was very sticky & did not feel comfortable on my lips at all. I actually ended up removing it & using my Maybelline lip stain.

Sephora Collection Premium Dual Pencil Sharpener
-Love It-
These are the best pencil sharpeners on the market. I had put my personal one in my pro kit after being unsatisfied with a high end brand one that I had gotten. I am so happy to have this one back. It gives me the perfect tip on my liners every time & is very easy to clean. I was bummed to discover that the nano liners still don't fit in here thou & that I have to buy a specialty sharpener just for them.

Sephora Collection Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Raspberry
-Exchange It-
I was looking forward to getting this pencil after loving my fuchsia one so much. Unfortunately this one is just too close in color to the one I already have. It is a slightly darker color but is more shear, so they pretty much look the same. The only big difference is that fuchsia has pink sparkles & raspberry has red. Still amazing thou & I will simply be exchanging it for another color.

Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation in 20
-Love It-
This has most definitely become my favorite foundation. It has great coverage & a beautiful finish. It lasts all day. I love the texture of it. It applies fairly easy & blends well too. All in all, it's really a great foundation. Plus, I don't have to use as much as my other drug store foundations, so the price ends up being about equal. I really have fallen in love with this foundation. A small note however, do not open this up until you are ready to use it! The bottle is so full that it started overflowing the second I took the cap off.

I am a strong believer in taking advantage of companies that offer samples of products. Why buy a product, get it home, & hate it? If I am interested in a product & have doubts or have heard a few bad reviews I will get a sample. Most of the time, my initial reaction was right & I'm glad I didn't waste the money (& the time it would take for me to return it). Sephora is a great place to try before you buy & makes sure to give you enough for a few trials. Here are a couple of things that I got samples of & if I will be splurging for the full size

Benefit Dr. Feelgood Balm
-Love It-
I wasn't sure what I thought about this at first as it didn't have a drying or tightening feeling that most matifyers have. I was interested in it so I figured I would get a sample & see what I thought. I love the feeling that it gives my skin. Almost a finely milled powder type of effect. My skin just feels velvety! I have also noticed that it helps my foundation adhere to my skin better (a problem for those of us with oily skin) & last longer then using any of my other anti-shine products. You do have to put less powder on over your foundation as well. I have also read that you can put this on over your foundation & am interested in trying this once I get the full size.

Benefit Porefessional
-Love It-
This is another product I wasn't too sure of. The packaging seemed small for the price & honestly, the claims seemed too good to be true. I mean, I have tried a lot of products & none of them have been able to hide my large pores & give me that plastic barbie face that I dream of. This stuff really is a plastic girls dream. It isn't too noticeable on it's own but, under foundation my skin looked completely smooth. It smoothed out all my pores along my nose & cheekbones to a flawless finish. It is supposed to help with fine line but, I didn't notice too much of a difference on my little lines from under eye bags (might work on crows feet or things like that thou). It is supposed to be used as a primer but, I didn't really care for the finish it left or the staying power (it was ok). So I will be using it simply for a skin refiner under my primer. You also need very little of this, so I foresee it lasting a long time & being well worth the price tag.

A few items that I had gone to Sephora with the intention of buying, I did not get. One of them was the Hello Kitty palettes. I was super excited about these & horribly disappointed when I swatched them. There was almost no color payoff & the formulation was horrible. While the packaging was amazing, I see no point in buying it if I can't use it. All of the products from the line seemed like little girl dress up makeup. They were bad quality & almost invisible when on. Big disappointment there. The other was the Urban Decay eyeshadow crayons. These are dry & chalky. I couldn't even blend it out without it just rubbing off. Definitely check these out beforehand if you are planning on buying them.

If you have any questions about a product listed above or are interested in me doing a review a specific product feel free to leave a comment below or on my facebook page!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorite Products That Never Let Me Down Pt.2 {Lips + Face}

Here is part 2!

NYX Lipliner in Pinky

NYX Lipliner in Plush Red
These two make the perfect shade of hot pink that is wearable everyday, everywhere. Line your lips in the plush red, then fill in with pinky & then re-line in red. They look beautiful & hold up much longer then many (expensive) lipstains that I have purchased. My go to combo almost everyday!
Sephora Collection Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil
I honestly didn't expect much when I first bought this but thought "why not give it a shot?". It is amazing! It gives your lips a glittered look & stays put extremely well. Without gloss, I can go a full night with only one application. I currently have the fuchsia fever but do plan on getting the vinyl raspberry very soon. This is one for night though, as it is very shimmery & attention grabbing!
Loreal Infalible Lipgloss
I almost never wear lipgloss for two reasons, it gets everywhere & comes off after one cup of coffee. I'm a busy girl & I don't have the time to reapply my lips every 5 minutes. This product sticks! I will only need to reapply once in a night out & maybe after eating if worn during the day. My only complaint is the absolute lack of appealing colors. I have only found two that I like & wish they would come out with a daring pink or purpleish tones. Oh well, nobody gets everything right?
Loreal Infalible Lip Colour Cerise
This is the only red lipstick I will wear now. It stays on absolutely ALL day & looks flawless. You do need to use a eye makeup remover or olive oil to get it off at night, as normal face washing simply doesn't do the trick. I wish they would come out with more amazing colors...
Sephora IT Natural Foundation Brush
This brush was a bit of a splurge for me, as I find that most expensive brushes really aren't worth the price but, I was intrigued. I had never seen a foundation brush like this before & honestly wasn't happy with any of the ones that I had. I absolutely fell in love with it. It gives amazing coverage without looking piled on or un-natural. It blends any foundation beautiful & doesn't "eat up" product & is wonderful for smoothing out anything through out the day (like those pesky sun-glass marks, urg). I really can't say enough good things about this brush, it does everything! It also helps that it's really cute & comes with its own protective lid!
 Swirled Cosmetics Kabuki Brush
Unfortunately I have not seen these since I bought mine. I searched for one for my pro kit & simply cannot find them anywhere (I even had to snag this pic from another blogger). This is the best brush for everything! I use it for loose powder, powder foundation, cleaning up fall out, buffing in blush or contour, everything! What is so unique about it is that it is amazingly soft & really dense. Something I have not found in any other kabuki. The hairs move freely, so they don't simply smudge everything around. Wish I could find 5 more of them. If you see it, BUY IT IMMEDIATELY!!
 ELF Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter
I have very dark circles & have tried a ton of concealers. They have all been too dark or crease or look cakey or something. This concealer has a the perfect peach tint to cover dark circles & a great formula. At first it seems a little thin & sheer but, trust me it does the job. I do a swipe, pat it in with my finger, & then repeat. No dark circles & no obvious concealer either.
ELF Blush in Pink Passion
I absolutely LOVE this blush! It is the perfect dolly pink color. Plus, it's matte so you don't end up looking like a sideshow. It is highly pigmented (especially for the price, $3!) & is a little soft so, be careful with it!  Use a soft & not too dense brush, just tap it on the surface (don't rub your brush across it!) & then buff over the edges of where you put it slightly with a powder brush or kabuki. This is a statement blush so, it goes better with dolly eyes or one tone smokey eyes that aren't too dark (aka black) & a muted pink lip.

Freeman Pineapple Enzyme Mask
This mask tones, exfoliates & helps with the texture of my skin. I find it works best in the shower for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week. It smells great too, which is always an added bonus! I think it's just that extra pick me up for you skin.

 Revelon Tweezers
These are my all time favorite tweezers. The point & slant are really thin & sharp so they pick up even the tiniest of hairs. I actually like them far more then my tweezerman ones, which are too thick to get my baby fine hairs along my lower eyebrow without grabbing skin. These are far more sharp then most tweezers, so beware! 

So there are my favorite lip & face items. I don't really have a favorite foundation, setting powder, or primer yet. I simply haven't found ones that I feel do everything that they should. I have a handful that I switch between but, none that I feel I would be lost without. Same thing with face care items. If I wouldn't run down to the store in my pj's because I ran out of something, it doesn't belong in my favorites. I am very particular about my makeup & don't like to do touch-ups. This is one of the main factors I look for in products. It has to look good all day, not just the 10 minutes after I put it on.

Feel free to ask any questions or give me suggestions on new products to give a try! I would love to hear about your favorites!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Favorite Products That Never Let Me Down Pt.1 {Eyes}

Every girl has that handful of products that always deliver & they always go back to. Here is my list of Faves that always do the job!

Wet & Wild Gel Eyeliner!!!
This is my number one go to eyeliner. It always glides on smooth as hell & is really pigmented. Doesn't budge through Colorado's temperamental weather, eyes watering or even swimming! It works great on the waterline, for smudging, and gives the perfect cat eye liner. It doesn't give the shine look of liquid or the powdery look of foiled eyeshadow, so that makes it even more perfect. I use an angled or bent eyeliner brush but, the brush it comes with is absolutely perfect for my brow powder. It does dry out after about 6 months but at $4 I can handle that & a little goes a long way.
LA Girls Fine Line
This is the only felt tip liner that I have found that delivers like it should. Always glides on even & precise, never gets eyeshadow build up on the applicator (which makes every other liner of this kind stop working), & still has not dried up on me (I've had it almost a year). Another great bonus is that it goes on even if your eyes have been watery. I have notoriously watery eyes & most eyeliners simply wont go on any area that has had tears on it. This eyeliner glides over it with no problem! Great to throw in your purse for touch ups, to gets the pointiest of points on winged liner, or to take your makeup from everyday to party time in a snap.
Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner
No matter how many "great" & highly reviewed & loved eyeliners I buy, I always come back to this. It glides on without being a huge, creamy, smudgy mess. It says almost all day on my waterline (about 10 hours or so if sealed with powder, 6 without) & is really black. What else could you want from a liner?
Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner
I always line my upper lashline before putting on eyeshadow. It helps so I don't have a strip of blond on the roots of my lashes & darkens them up a bit (making them look fuller). This is the only liner I'll use. It smudges nicely without disappearing or smearing & stays put without blending into my eyshadow. Plus, you can't really see it once you put shadow over it if you're going for an unlined look.
Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion
I have a ton of mascaras but, for some reason this is the one that I always end up grabbing. The brush makes it so your lashes never clump. It volumizes with only 2 swipes, yet is still workable for those pesky bottom lashes. Plus it can be built up for really defined, yet thick lashes! Nothing else I have tried has been able to stand up to this.
Palladio Baked Shadow in Gun Metal
I wear this shadow every day. It is the perfect color to blend a smokey eye without making it look crazy. It blends wonderfully & is the perfect consistency. A beautiful satin finish & the perfect color that is noticeably dark but not over the top.  If I'm in a hurry all I need to do is put this color on with a blending brush, do eyeliner & mascara & out the door. This is the only gray that I really like for above my crease, nothing else gets the job done as well.

So, there they are. Mostly liners but, I change my eyeshadow looks daily so, it's hard to have a list of go to product for those. All of these products are highly affordable & easy to find. I have tried many high end labels & honestly have been disappointed. If I pay $20+ for an eyeliner it had better be a hell of a lot better then my $5 one, & they simply don't stand up to that. Most of them are actually harder to work with & don't last nearly as long.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inspiration Overload!!!

I reacently came across the most amazing magazine the other day at Barnes & Nobel.
It has the most amazing hairstyle in it. Great editorial & runway style shoots. Plus tons & tons of inspiration for makeup & photo shoots. 
I don't think that I have ever found one place that fulled me with so many creative ideas.
I couldn't find anything online for it so, I took a few snapshots for you guys. I wish I could have shown you the entire thing!

^Love everything about this.^
^Really want this jacket! <3 ^

^Can't wait to do a shoot like these two black & whites!!!^
^Think that this will inspire the most amazing editorial look for a future shoot.^

^Total Makeup inspiration moment (& the initial reason I got the mag)^
^This whole page made me just want to chop off all my hair^
^I never would have thought to put feathers in my faux-hawk but, you better belive I'm gunna do it the next chance I get now!^
^Can't wait to do a blue & purple version of this look!^

So there is my huge amazing find of the week. I normally see one or two cool things that inspire me in a magazine but this whole thing was one big inspirational moment. My thoughts were racing with ideas from one page to the next that I couldn't even keep track of it all.
I really can't wait to try some of the awesome stuff this magazine made me think of!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colored Hair How To

Getting the perfect hair is a challenge for any girl but, this becomes twice as difficult when you want bright, amazing, colored hair!
Color that bleeds & gets on everything. Dye that is brighter on your pillow case then it is in your hair. Color that needs to be redone every week just to look half way decent.
But, I am here to tell you that bright, vibrant, amazing color is achievable.
I get asked daily how I get my hair what ever color/s it is at the time.
All it takes is a lot of patience & all the right tools.
Step one is the bleach. Now this is a task all on it's own. With a million choices it can be difficult to choose the right one. And unfortunately, a wrong choice can lead to disaster. I have been there before & it is devastating. No matter how much we say "oh it's just hair, it's not a big deal", all you want to do is curl up in a ball & cry till your hair grows back.
When going blond my preference is Loreal Feria Extra Bleach Blonde. It is the only product that I have found that only needs one aplication to get my hair the perfect shade of platinum blond. No frying & no toning!
When I am simply bleaching my hair out to put color over it (yes this is ALWAYS necessary in order to get wonderful lasting color that is bright as hell, I don't care how light your hair is bleach it!) I prefer Roux Violites Bleach with a 30 developer.

Now for the dye. The dye makes the hair. I don't care how many people have told you "oh, bla bla brand works just fine on me" (we all know the one I'm talking about); it sucks. Plain & simple. You will never get lasting results & you will never be satisfied with your hair. I have tried many, many brands & have only found one that has never failed me. It's always bright, always lasts forever, & always comes out the color I expect it to. Every single time!
And the magic product is Punky Colour!!!
This product is my godsend & every time I use anything else I come crawling back with my hair under a hat.
While it does not come in as many colors as other brands, it mixes quite well & is easy to come up with your own custom color. 
It will bleed when wet for the first 2-3 washes & on your pillow case for about a week or two but, does bleach out extremely easily. So just buy white or black pillowcases & towels for that time. 
If you are doing separated colors or streaks of any type, this is the only dye I would suggest. All you need to do is separate the section that you want to dye, put the dye on it, & tilt your head when rinsing so not to get it into the other section. You can put conditioner in the portion you don't want to dye to be extra sure it doesn't bleed but, I never did & my hair has always looked just fine. After you rinse, wash, wash again, & again; you will have no problem washing your hair like normal & not having to colors bleed together.
Now, while this is a miracle product, it does still take a few tricks to make it perfect.
First & foremost, wait at least 24-48 hours between bleaching & dying; this is vital. After you dye your hair you have to leave it on for at least 2 hours. If you are doing all over dye, I suggest putting on a shower cap & warming it every 20-30 minutes with a blow dryer. Then rinse with water till it's almost clear. Wash with shampoo (anything will do) & rinse till clear. Repeat & then follow with Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment. Leave this in for about 30 min, rinse, & then condition. I follow up the next day with Ion Demi 00 Clear dye with a 10 developer, just to keep the shine.

So there it is, the trick to amazing color that will fade over months not days & still look amazing.

freshly dyed
after 2 month

(PS- the color in my hair for these pictures is the plum)