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Stage Makeup Fun
Eyeshadow, Makeup Fun, Random Stuff - Comments (2) - May 3rd, 2013

I feel so bad I’ve been neglecting my blog so much. Only 5-ish weeks to go of school, and then hopefully I’ll have some free time again to blog. I have such a backlog of stuff to review!! This post is about one of the projects I worked on in April, creating a stage makeup look for my school’s fashion show for charity. I worked with two other students to create this look. The students were able to get discounts on fashion items from I did all the makeup except the contouring, I pay to do a lash lift and tint kit and my classmates did the hair, the face contouring, the pretty head-piece and the false eyelashes. Didn’t it come out awesome? The model is my sister. She walked on a catwalk and then posed for these photos. I didn’t know when I got dressed that morning that I’d be in the picture too or I would have worn something nicer than a crappy black polo (my standard student “uniform.”)

I used a Ben Nye Cream Color in a Special Red as the base for the eyeshadow. It had a tendency to crease (despite my best efforts with primers and powdering on top) so I don’t recommend it for everyday use. For the purposes of our show, I just smoothed it out right before she hit the catwalk. I used Detrivore’s Hemoglobin eyeshadow on top, to add richness and depth to the red. Ordinarily, Hemoglobin on top of a primer is sufficient for a rich, red color, but under the bright lights of the stage, using a red cream base gave it the extra kick I was looking for. The foundation is Chanel Pro Lumiere, which I’m sad to say has been discontinued. *cries* (I’m wearing Maybelline Age Rewind The Perfector Powder, which looks pretty frickin’ decent under those bright photo lights, I must say…) We highlighted with the lightest color from the Ben Nye Fair Personal Makeup Kit, as well as using the dark shade for contouring. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what blush we used, as we borrowed it from someone else. A generic white eyeliner pencil went on the lower waterline, and I used MAC Brun eyeshadow to fill in her brows. (I also use MAC Brun every day on my own brows.) The lip color is an Essence lip liner pencil, called In The Nude. It was essentially the perfect nude lip! We used Ben Nye Lumiere Luxe Powder in Iced Gold, a super shimmery gold powder as extra highlights on the face, and dabbed on her arms and legs (after they were generously moisturized) as well.

As for my makeup, I really can’t remember what all I used, although I’m pretty sure I’m wearing Detrivore Cosmetics and Shiro Cosmetics eyeshadows, and Detrivore Cosmetics blush. The lip is L’Oreal Infallible Gloss in Coral Sands (best nude gloss ever). The concealer is new and awesome (and inexpensive!!) and I need to tell you all about it in another post. For now, let’s admire how minimized my dark circles are, despite the bright lights.

Overall, this was a great experience in stage makeup and I had a blast. I have another photoshoot at the end of the month, for which I still need to develop a concept and find a model…

Photos taken by Erin Berzel Photography

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New Pacifica Pefume Products: Cosmetics!
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Hot Lips, Makeup Fun - Comments (2) - February 5th, 2013

Whoa! Stop the train! Pacifica, a Portland-based company that makes perfumes I really enjoy, is offering an expansion of their color cosmetics, as well as some skin care products. Neat-o! I’ve heard a rumour that you can find some of these things at Target, so I’ll be checking that out in the coming weeks. Look at the pretties!

This Enlighten eyeshadow quad looks nice. $14 isn’t a bad price, either, if the quality is nice. The colors look really pretty, a nice multi-use palette – I love these for travel.

I’ll have to look at the ingredients before I’d commit to buying, but I’m really interested in the Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream. As long as it’s not too emollient, it sounds like a nice tinted-moisturizer type product for summer wear. I wish it had sunscreen, but can’t have everything…

The Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples look awesome for lips and face! This one is really calling my name.

There is a face wash, a face moisturizer, and face wipes that are new too. I love the packaging, it’s well done! Hopefully these products will turn up locally at places where other Pacifica products are sold, and I’ll definitely be scoping out Targets to see if I can find them!

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5 Things: Drugstore Stuff I Want To Try
5 Things, Cheap Thrills, Makeup Fun, Shopping - Comments Off - December 28th, 2012

Since I’m on a budget, I’ve been more and more interested in checking out drugstore makeup brands. Most of these brands are owned by or are the parent company of department store brands, so a lot of the “fancy” formulas find their way into mass market products. Here are five new mass market products that I want to check out, in no particular order.

1. Physician’s Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Powder. I KNOW, I KNOW, the Western co-opting of the whole BB phenomenom is annoying at best, and offensive at worst. Let’s just set that aside for now, and ignore the purported “BB” aspect of this product, and focus on the fact that it looks like a pretty awesome face powder. It seems like a pretty nice formula for a face powder (just looking at the ingredient list) and I really want to try it out.

2. L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lipstains. L’Oreal doesn’t seem to have these on their website yet, despite the fact that I’ve seen them on displays at Fred Meyer. Annoying. Anyway, they are purported to be a mass market dupe for YSL Glossy Stains (L’Oreal owns YSL.) L’Oreal makes my current favorite longwearing lipgloss (Infallible Gloss), so I really want to try these glossy lipstains.

3. Cover Girl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm. These just look cool. It seems like everyone is hopping on the “gloss balm stick thing” bandwagon, but I like the way these look the best.

4. Flower Cosmetics. I got January’s Allure magazine and Drew Barrymore’s makeup line Flower was featured. It’s going to be a Wal-Mart exclusive, and I am DYING to check it out.

5. The Total Intensity eye products from Prestige. I need to visit an Ulta soon and check these out!

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EcoTools 6-Piece Brush Set & Tutorial
Best Of, Cheap Thrills, Earth Friendly, Makeup Fun - Comments (3) - October 9th, 2012

Ever since I first discovered EcoTools, I’ve been a huge fan. Almost all the makeup brushes I use now are from them. The 6-Piece Brush Set is a good place to start if you’re starting a brush collection, as it’s got some good foundation pieces, and is an excellent price.

The 6-piece brush set includes a blush brush, an eye shading brush, an angled eyeliner brush, a concealer brush, a lash/brow groomer, and a nice hemp/cotton brush holder/bag combo. The brush handles are all made out of bamboo (a great renewable resource), the bristles are synthetic, and the ferrules (the metal part) are made from recycled aluminum.

I use all of these brushes every time I put makeup on, and actually have multiples of some of them so I don’t have to clean them between uses. For example, I use the angled eyeliner brush both for eyeliner, but also to apply brow powder – so it’s nice to have two brushes so one can be dedicated to brow powder. I really like the case that comes with this set. In addition to the brush holders, it has a zippered bag to hold makeup, and a velcro flap to secure the brush holder side. It’s great for travel!

EcoTools did a nice tutorial for a pretty jewel-toned eye that uses the 6-piece brush set. You can check it out here.

You can beat the prices. EcoTools brushes are so affordable, but not cheaply made at all. I have several brushes that are now a few years old and they are holding up perfectly despite regular use and washing. I *heart* EcoTools!

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This Is Halloween.
Makeup Fun, Shopping - Comments Off - October 7th, 2012

To update my Halloween collections post from last month, here are a few more shopping ideas for you!

Meow Cosmetics is in full swing with their Halloween offerings, including a new collection called Asylum.

Black Rose Minerals has two new collections. A Collection of the Perverse is inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, and features some really lovely jewel tones (my favorite!). Not Another Zombie Collection has some pretty bright colors. Luciferi is from last year, and has some of my favorite dark/blackened colors!

Shiro Cosmetics has done a Halloween collection this year based on A Nightmare Before Christmas, one of my favorite movies of all time. It has four eyeshadows and a deliciously bright red lip gloss. IT WILL BE MINE.

P.S. I ordered Detrivore’s Halloween collection, and it is wonderfully wonderful. I highly recommend it.

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EOTD: Diabolical Wraith
Eyeshadow, Makeup Fun - Comments (1) - August 16th, 2012

I used another new Detrivore Cosmetics color for this look, and I’m so happy with how it came out. I happened to go to Sephora and got a few compliments from the employees on how my eyeshadow looked. I always love it when that happens! *grin*

The lid color is Diabolical, a very shimmery bronze eye shadow, with gold and copper sparkle. I am so pleased with how pretty this color is! It is a must-have, in my opinion, if you like to create neutral looks with some sparkle. The crease color is Wraith, which is pretty much my favorite rich brown these days. Wraith also has golden and copper shimmer. Use a sticky base (I use Pixie Epoxy) to really make all these shimmers stick! I used Lobotomy to highlight. The eyeliner is a Jordana Easyliner in Brown Suede.

The blush is Clotted, also from Detrivore. Clotted is a dark shimmery red blush. It’s tricky to photograph, as it tends to show up with more orange tones than it actually has, in my opinion.

The lip gloss is Detrivore’s Lament. (Yup, I can do an all Detrivore face now! Yay!) Lament is everything I hoped it would be, and I’m wearing it ALL THE TIME. It’s such a great YLBB color.

Detrivore is still doing their fantabulous 10 for $20 eyeshadow sale, and all three of the colors here are eligible for the sale. You should definitely stock up!

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Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control
Complexion, Makeup Fun, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments Off - July 18th, 2012

I love products that multi-task. LOVE THEM. Murad created a new line of products called “Hybrids” that combine skin care with makeup. They are called primers, but do give some sheer coverage so you can wear it alone. It’s not exactly a tinted moisturizer, or a bb cream, but a unique and interesting product that multi-tasks like a champ.

The product I tried is the Skin Perfecting Primer Acne and Shine Control formula. There are also Matte Finish and Dewy Finish formulas. The Acne and Shine Control formula contains a probiotic complex which helps promote resistance to harmful bacteria and salicylic acid to reduce blemishes and prevent future breakouts. It also contains ingredients to minimize pores and balance oil production. Lastly, it has what Murad calls Adaptive Shade Technology that’s supposed to create a perfect skin tone match.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty here. In the skincare department, it’s supposed to treat blemishes and prevent future breakouts. I had a pretty good run of clear skin while I was using this product daily. That’s good enough for me! It’s not a miracle-worker, however. When I got lax about my nightly skincare routine, I got blemishes anyway. The product is meant to be used in conjunction with a skin care regimen, so it’s to be expected that it can’t beat back the blemishes all on its own.

It does not contain sunscreen and it’s not really a moisturizer, either. I used it on top of Murad’s Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20 and had the Goldilocks effect (“It was just right!”) in terms of moisturizing. You could use it without a moisturizer, I suppose, but for my skin I liked it best paired with one. I had no issues with pilling or other problems using it over a few different moisturizers.

It has a great texture. It’s water-based and while it does have a lot of silicones in it, it does not have that dry, slick texture I’ve come to associate with makeup primers. It’s much more liquidy. It’s easy to smooth onto the skin, and apply evenly with your fingers. I use a little less than one pump for my whole face. By itself, it provides some evening of the skin tone and a very sheer coverage. It’s sufficient for me to feel like I look good all by itself, with a little cream blush and mascara. I feel my skin looks even better if I use a light application of mineral makeup on top. Mineral makeup wears beautifully on top and blends seamlessly. I haven’t tried it with a liquid foundation, since I hardly wear liquid any more.

Oil control is pretty good. My skin is ridiculously oily. I mean, I can see it oozing out of my pores oily. If I use nothing, I can see oil on my skin within 30 minutes after washing. A good oil control moisturizer usually gets me an hour before oil breaks through. Moisturizer and Skin Perfecting Primer gets me two hours, more or less, depending on what I’m doing and humidity. That’s pretty good! All of that plus powder of some kind (like Detrivore’s Pallor Mortis or just regular foundation powder) extends the time another hour or so. While I can see I’m getting oily, it never develops into that full-on reflective shiny nose, either. This makes me happy. I start getting progressively “dewier,” which I can live with. Using blotting tissues regularly pretty much cuts the oil right down, of course.

The shade is a really good match for my skin. This is probably the thing that will be most problematic. The “Adaptive Shade Technology” is supposed to create a perfect match, and it does blend seamlessly into my skin. I suspect that it’ll work for most people except for the very fair and the very dark. If you can check it out in person first, or order from a place that accepts returns, you’re good to go.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the product. It does what it claims to do, so I give it two thumbs up.

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Real Techniques Makeup Brushes
Cheap Thrills, Makeup Fun - Comments (2) - April 15th, 2012

I LOVE affordable, yet good quality makeup brushes. Using makeup brushes literally changed the way I did my makeup, and started my addiction to makeup years ago. I’ve worn makeup since I was around 13 years old or so. My mom didn’t see any harm in letting me experiment with makeup and in those early years it was basically playing dress-up. I didn’t start wearing makeup DAILY until high school, and then I went through a makeup drought in college – I preferred to spend my “makeup time” getting some extra sleep! The key thing I remember from this time though, is that I could never get my makeup to look how I wanted – I was using the little foam applicators that came with eyeshadow and the crappy little brushes that came with blush, etc.

Then, in my 20′s, I discovered MAKEUP BRUSHES. At first, I could only afford one or two. I think my first real brush was a crease brush. I couldn’t BELIEVE how much easier it was to do my eyeshadow and have it look really GOOD. That crease brush was the gateway drug to a makeup brush addiction. Lucky for me, it’s easier than ever to find AFFORDABLE good makeup brushes!

Real Techniques, a line of makeup brushes designed with pro makeup artist Samantha Chapman, is the newest company to come to my attention. The brushes are hand-cut, made from synthetic Taklon fibers, and are color-coded for ease of use. I’ve tried three brushes so far: the Expert Face Brush, the Setting Brush, and the Fine Liner Brush.

I have to admit, I had to consult the website to really get a good idea what the Expert Face Brush was used for. The website says it’s for application and blending of cream or liquid foundation. This is definitely a brush created with a specific technique in mind! I’ve tried using a kabuki brush to apply liquid foundation, since I’ve had that technique demonstrated on me before by a makeup artist. I liked the results, but I find it wasted a lot of product and took a lot of work to make it look right. The shorter, denser bristles on this brush gets the job done PERFECTLY. It also works nicely with pressed powder and loose mineral foundation. If you already use a regular foundation brush, you might not need it. But if you want the soft finish look that comes from using a fluffier brush, try it!

The Setting Brush is also great. The website says it’s used for a controlled dusting of powder or highlighter. I particularly like it for brushing mattifying powder around the creases of my nose. If you’re not a brush junkie like me, you might not *need* this brush if you already have a fluffier powder brush, but I really like being able to target smaller areas for powder and highlighting.

The Fine Liner Brush is definitely a must have. I like the brush thickness, and the length of the bristles. It’s easy to use and deposits just the right amount of product. It’s a great brush!

Real Techniques also offers some nice-looking brush sets that are an excellent value. The Core Collection contains four brushes mostly for the face, and the Starter Set contains essential brushes for eye makeup.

The brushes are an excellent value – $10 or less for individual brushes, and the sets are $18 and include a brush case.

I’m lucky, the brushes are carried locally at the Fred Meyer store near my house. You can also find them at Ulta locations, as well as online. Overall, I think Real Techniques are an excellent bang for your buck! Two thumbs up!

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