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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Going Nude....On your LIPS!

Nude....

A word that sends a shiver down most women's spines....


Shock photo tumblr_ly4c2hpouG1r8bb8ao1_250_zps246a6bbe.gif  

But....

 I'm talking about going NUDE on your LIPS ladies! 

So no worries here! :)
 

MUAH!!!!






I think Nude Lips are just as classic as Va-Va-VOOM Red Lips!

But sometimes they are just as hard to pull off as bright red lipstick! So how to we do get those perfect nude lips that aren't too pale, or too bright!? 
Read my journey below to nude lip perfection!


I am an eye makeup fanatic...so that means I am ALWAYS "glamming" up my eyes with different eye shadows, liners, etc.
I love to try out new colors and trends, so my eyes usually have a lot going on.  
That means I usually don't go heavy on the lip color. (Remember the RULE: If you have bold eye makeup, go more subtle on the lips so your eyes will be the focus. And go soft on the eye makeup if you have bold, bright lips!)
I have never been one for dark lipstick...or even lipstick for that matter. I always felt like it looked weird on me for some reason. So, I would always gravitate toward lip glosses with just a hint of color or shimmer. Nothing to bold. 
As I have gotten older, I wanted to try and experiment with lip color. In the last few years I have gone from basically wearing plain ChapStick ...to lip stains, lipsticks, lip liner and other bolder lip choices. 
I am still not wearing super BRIGHT or DARK colors...but I think I have found my perfect spot between nothing...and a pop of color (Read my earlier posts for my recommendations on Lip Stains, and other Lip items here, and here)! 

Throughout that search for color, I also experimented with the "Nude lip". I always thought doing a nude lip meant what I was already doing...chapstick, LOL!!!
But NO....that was SO wrong! 
Doing a nude lip means going a little lighter on your pout than your natural lip color. Basically, you make your lips more subdued and neutral so your other facial features can stand out!
There are different variations of the nude lip and some people take it further and DO make their nude lip the same color as their skin tone, but I feel like that makes your lips disappear and we don't want that! How will your sweetie know where to kiss you!?? 
I'm sorry...but awkward nose kisses aren't exactly CUTE are they!??

So after experimenting the last few years (Yes... it has literally taken me like 2 years to wear lip color or even the nude lip with a smidge of confidence!) I have finally found some lip products that I LOVE for an amazing nude lip!!

Here is a picture of my go-to lip items for my version of nude lips!



 NYX!!!!! 
Nyx is the winner for me!!! I have tried so many other brands "nude" lip liners or glosses, but this combo seems to be perfection for me!
I use NYX Retractable Lip Liner in #10 - Nude (Ulta Link Here).
And NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu (Ulta Link Here).
 Yes...those are my lips! I know this color isn't SUPER pale...but for me...I still want to look like I have lips!!! haha!

The best thing about these NYX products:
1) Not expensive (Seriously only $4.49 for the liner and $4.99 for the gloss and Ulta usually has them Buy One Get One Half Off!)
2) Have a slight "Vanilla" smell...but ZERO taste (Which I love!)
3) Last throughout the day (The lip liner helps make this happen! Of course, you will have to reapply the gloss after lunch, but the liner stays!!)
4) Moisturizing (No dry lips here!)
5) The liner is twist up (So you never have to sharpen! YAY!)
6) NYX has TONS of color choices to help make the right Nude Lip for you!


As you can see...my version of a Nude Lip isn't the same color as the rest of my skin! But...I have found that using this neural nude color helps make my eyes the focal point of my face (Which is what I LOVE!). My lips are naturally pretty red, so that is why this "nude" still has a little pink color to it. 

How to Apply: 
1) Apply a touch of Chapstick or some other light lip hydration. You want your "Canvas" to be prepped and ready right!?
2) Apply the nude liner. Line the outside of your lips first, then work your way in. The liner acts as a lip primer, so it will help maintain your nude look all day! It really is ALL about the liner...this is the step that "nudes" out your lip.
3) Apply your Lip Gloss or Lipstick.  Once again, start on the outside and work your way in. That way you don't miss any spots! Choose a gloss or lipstick that is very similar to the lip liner for the nude look!
4) Highlight the "Cupid's Bow". Remember this is the the spot where your upper lip meets and makes a "V". Even though we are doing a nude lip look, we still need to highlight this area so it won't disappear!




Remember: Makeup is all about covering up what you don't want the world to see...and enhancing what you do!
I think by using this subtle nude shade (not total pale nude...but nude enough for me!!), it really helps me feel like my face is complete! I love my lips, but I usually don't want them to be the focal point of my face unless I'm trying out the Bold Red Lip or a Radiant Orchid Pink Hue! 

If you have never tried going "nude"... Why not start small!? If you are use to bright lips, try going a shade lighter until you find a more neutral shade you are comfortable with. Or if you are on the other end like me...try finding the most neutral lip color and see if that is doable for you! These NYX items are wonderful to start with since there are so many shades AND they aren't expensive! They are cheap enough to buy 2 of the glosses! Keep one at home and one in your purse for touch ups!!!

 The lip liner is really the basis of this whole look. It really makes your color (or lack there of) STAY. I suggest using a liner with any lip look because it makes the most of your gloss or lipstick. If you feel that the nude liner is TOO nude, add a brighter color gloss or lipstick on top. Make it work for you!

 I also suggest having at least some sort of eye makeup on if you do the Nude Lip! Remember we want those eyes to POP if you go nude! Try adding some deep purple eye liner, or even the pop of spring green I mentioned in this post (here). The nude lip also pairs well with a smoky eye!!! 

Here are a few other lip products I have tried and also loved for this look:

Smashbox The Nude Lip liner - In Fair (Light Neutral Pink) $18
Sephora Link Here

Rimmel London Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner - 030 Natural ($4.76)

Walmart Link Here



Of course you don't have to try the nude lip, but I feel like it's a great way to help enhance your other beautiful features! Plus, it's great for spring and summer when you don't want bright red lipstick melting off your face in the heat!!! Just like with any other type of makeup, there is more than ONE right way! So play around with it until you find nude shade for you. It could be a light pink color or even a super pale beige. It's up to YOU! 

<3,
MMG


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beauty Deals and Steals!

Ulta is at it again! 

They are doing 21 Days of Beauty in stores and online! 

For 21 Days they are having one special item on super sale every day! I'm not talkin some cheap makeup you wouldn't look twice at..I'm talkin NAME BRANDS here ladies! 
(Stila, Tarte, Philosophy, Benefit, bareMinerals, Urban Decay, Smashbox, etc. to name a few!!)

The only catch with this deal is that the chosen item is on sale for 1 day ONLY! And I didn't even know this deal was happening until today, so we are already on Day 5 of 21! AHHH!

The deal that really caught my eye is on Day 21 (4/5/14) because.....

You all remember how much I RAVED about the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer right? (See this post here).  
This is one of my absolute FAVE face primers hands down. It is normally $36 for a 1oz tube. 
I know I know...it's kind of pricey for just 1 makeup item. But it really does last a long time AND it really works. 

SO...back to the awesome deal. 

On Day 21 of the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty (Saturday - 4/5/14)

This 1oz Smashbox Photo Finish Primer will not be $36....NOPE....

It will be only $18 BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously...I Kid you NOT! Check out Ulta's Store Ad HERE.

How is that not the steal of the season!?? You know Summer is right around the corner and it would be a perfect time to stock up on this amazing primer!! The Ad states 2 per customer, so you could get 2 full size 1 oz tubes for the price of ONE!! 

Happy Dance Time!

So excited to see one of my favorite products go for such an affordable price! I couldn't help but share this awesome deal. 
Mark Saturday, April 5th as Smashbox Day ladies!

These deals are available online as well as in store!! SCORE!!!!

**********UPDATE**********
This deal gets EVEN BETTER!!! If you plan on going by Ulta on Saturday, April 5th to pick up this awesome deal...then you MUST READ THIS!!!!!

If you swing by Ulta on April 5th, or place an online order to get the Full Size Smashbox Primer for $18... you might want to seriously consider buying 2 of them!! 

Remember....They are only $18 on that ONE day, so you can get 2 Full Size 1 oz Tubes for the price of 1!!

But Wait...THERE'S MORE!!!
 
If you buy 2 tubes, you also qualify for A FREE GIFT!!! 
YEP...the deal that is soooo amazing....gets even more...AMAZING!!

 If you spend $35 on any Smashbox items, you qualify for a 3 piece Smashbox "EyeMust-Haves" set (A $15 Value FREE!). 

SO here's the deal.....go to Ulta (Or shop online) on Saturday, April 5th and grab 2 of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primers at $18 each, and this brings your total up to $36! 
 
SO...you not only get 2 Smashbox Primers, but you also get a 3 Piece Smashbox gift for free too! It includes a mascara, an eyelash primer, and an eyeliner! AWESOME!! 

To get all these products on a normal day...you would spend $87 BUCKS!!!!!!!
But on April 5th only, you will spend just $36!!!!

Check out this awesome Free Gift ladies!!


 Link to Free Gift is Here.

Seriously worth considering if you love this primer, or want to get a great Makeup Steal! 

Remember you can still get a Smashbox Try It Kit for only $10 this FRIDAY 3/28/14 if you would like to test out the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and other great Smashbox Products!!! See the section below!!

________________________________________ 

Here are a few other deals that I think are worth looking into:

The Urban Decay Travel Size Trio
This trio has 3 awesome products in it in travel sizes! Perfect for just testing out a new product!

The Trio includes the All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (Which I use EVERY DAY and have previously posted about here!). Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Which makes my eyeshadow crease free for like....ever! Seriously all day and night). And an eye pencil in "Rockstar" which is a deep eggplant purple color (Love this color and this eyeliner!). 
I personally have and use all 3 of these products and I think they are really high quality. You won't find a better makeup setting spray or eyeshadow primer in my book! Plus the eyeliner is the perfect shade of dark purple that suits almost everyone!

This Trio normally runs $19, but tomorrow (Friday, 3/21/14) it will only be $12!!! 
Perfect for anyone who wants to try out the makeup setting spray or eyeshadow primer! Seriously a great price! 




Smashbox Try It Kit
Obviously you all know how much I love Smashbox...well this little kit is perfect for anyone who is new to the Smashbox world! 
This kit includes:
  • Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  • Photo Finish Lid Primer
  • Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume
  • Full Exposure Mascara
  • Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx
 This kit includes small travel size versions of their most popular products! Including the awesome Photo Finish Primer and their Full Exposure Mascara (Which is also a fave). Plus you get an eyelid primer, liner, and lip gloss to try too! 
If you were skeptical about trying the Photo Finish Primer, this is PERFECT for you! 
This kit usually costs $19, but on Friday, 3/28/14, this kit is only $10 BUCKS!!!! What a steal!!! 

And the great thing is...if you love the primer as much as I do...you still have a week before the full size 1oz tubes go for $16!!!!
Another great option for anyone who is wanting to test out products before committing to the full size price, and makeup item!


________________________


I don't know about you....but I'm super excited for these deals! Make sure you check Ulta's Store Ad for all the great items on sale every day until 4/5/14!! And you also have the option to shop online in case you don't have an Ulta nearby! 

I just had to share with my makeup lovelies!! Let me know if you scoop up any of these awesomely on sale items!!! 

<3,
 MMG 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Conceal to Reveal

I always thought....once I get older...my skin will be perfect! No more oily shine 30 seconds after I apply my makeup...no more zits....no more dry spots....etc...etc...

This is the image I had in my head of what I would look like every morning when I got older...
Silly right!????

But I woke up from my little makeup dream world to realize...
IT AIN'T HAPPINEN!!!
 (Unless you can afford laser treatments, facial peels, and other Hollywood mumbo jumbo every day!)


Since I am 1 week away from my 28th birthday...I have come to realize that the oily skin, zits, dark circles, and other fun skin problems are here to stay. 
So what's a girl to do!??

 This is where my secret weapon comes in.....CONCEALER!!!!
Gosh do I love my concealers! Like Seriously...LOVE!

After much trial and error and horribly awful no good very bad attempts at concealing problem areas.. I have finally learned the correct way to go about concealing what you want to hide, to reveal what you want to show!



First off, you need more than one type of concealer to hide different problems (It has taken me YEARS to finally get this through my head!). 

There are stick, cream, liquid, pen, wand, shade adjusting, etc. concealers out there...seriously.. there are like 1,000 different kinds! But it's all about finding the right kind of consistency, and color for your skin! 

Obviously, some women DO have amazing skin and don't need any concealers what..so...ever...BUT....for the rest of us..we need a little extra help to make our skin LOOK flawless, when it isn't (But who has to know, right!!?).



Here is my list of my current fave concealers and what they do:


Benefit Fake Up Concealer Stick - In Light
 If you have read my previous posts, you know I was WISHING for this makeup item...It had been on my makeup wish list for a long while and my amazing sister got it for me (among other awesome things) for my birthday!!! (See Wish List Post here.)

Well...Let's just say...this little concealer was well worth the wait! 
I LOVE IT!! It's everything I wished it would be! Seriously!

This concealer stick does everything it advertized that it would.
1) Moisturize (It says it ultra-hydrates for 6 hours)
2) Conceal
3) No Creasing or Caking
4) Long Lasting

 I was really blown away by how smooth and creamy this concealer glides on. Note that I say smooth and creamy, not oily! I was worried that it might be too much moisture in a concealer and make my skin more oily, but it's definitely not! It adds just the right hint so the area you want to conceal is well moisturized, and covered! 

I use this concealer under my eyes to cover those horrible dark circles! I apply this stick concealer directly to my under eye area before I apply my foundation, and then blend in my with ring finger (Your ring finger applies the LEAST amount of pressure, which is ideal for your delicate eye area! If you don't know what your ring finger is...it's the finger next to your pinkie!). 
I have also found that this concealer stick is GREAT to cover those pesky zits that are dry and flaky and always seem to get caked up once you apply your concealer. 
I seriously HATE that...it's like...why not wear a huge sign on my face that says..."YES, I have a Zit...and YES I tried to cover it UP!!!"
As I do with my under eye area, I apply this concealer directly on to the zit/problem area and pat in with my finger. Then I apply my foundation on top and the dry zit is no longer the focal point of my face! It is moisturized and concealed! AWESOME!!!
 I use this concealer underneath my foundation because I think the added moisture in it gives it a little shine. It's not oily, but it does have a concealed, yet slick appearance. This goes away once you apply your foundation on top. You can also use this before your BB cream if that is your foundation/coverage of choice! 
I also feel like this acts as an under eye primer since I use it BEFORE I apply my foundation. The foundation seems to go on so much more smoothly once I have used this concealer first. 
Since this concealer stick does have a moisturizer ring around the concealer, I feel like it helps me not use as much. Maybe that is the secret to the no caking or creasing with this product? 
It definitely feels like it preps my skin for the foundation step and doesn't fight it. 
A little bit goes a long way and it really does help to conceal my horrible dark circles and dry, red spots while also keeping them moisturized! LOVE! 
A wonderful addition to my concealers!
Thank you Sis for the awesome gift!
This concealer is $24 at Sephora and Ulta Stores as well as online. It comes in Light, Medium, or Dark (When in doubt, go lighter when it comes to concealer shades).

5 Stars from me!!!


Cliff Notes Version of this Concealer:
Where I use it: Under eye area, dry, flaky zits/red spots
When I use it: Under my foundation
How I use it: Apply directly onto problem areas, blend in with finger (Ring finger for under eye area!).  
Does it work?: YES! No creasing/caking and it conceals while adding moisture.
Price: $24 




NYX High Definition Photo Concealer Wand in Fair


 I just posted a review about this awesome concealer in my last blog (here).  
This concealer has seriously changed the way I thought about wand concealers! And I guess I had sort of written wand concealers off because I was applying them the wrong way! But with the right technique, and the right concealer, my faith in wand concealers was restored in a snap!

First off, if you are looking for one concealer that you can use for basically all your concealing needs...this is IT! 
But, I have found that using this concealer in the Fair shade OVER my foundation totally changes my under eye area and face! I chose to go with a super light shade with this concealer because I wanted to brighten my under eye area after I had concealed it with the Benefit Fake Up concealer and applied my foundation.
Don't get me wrong, this concealer is also just that...a CONCEALER! So you get double coverage under your eyes without all the cake/creasing and added brightness!
This also works great for spot concealing other problem zit or red areas once you have applied your foundation. I noticed that when I applied this BEFORE my foundation, it seemed like I didn't even apply any concealer and I would have to reapply. But since I do this AFTER my foundation is on, it does the job well! 
Like I said earlier, I got this concealer in the super light Fair shade so I could use it under my eyes to brighten them. I have found that using a concealer that is one shade lighter than your skin tone/foundation under your eyes really adds dimension to your face and also separates your under eye area from your cheek bones. It makes sure you can see where your under eye stops, and your cheeks start instead of having one continuous color/area! I love adding something into my makeup routine that helps conceal a problem, yet reveal other parts of my face that I would like to highlight.

As far as application goes...this new technique I have found has TOTALLY and I mean TOTALLY changed the way I apply concealer and why! 

The trick is not just swiping the wand under your eye and blending in...you must create a triangle (starting from the inner corner of your eye and going under the eye and then going back to the inner corner and then drawing more lines down your cheek until you reach your nose in a triangle form). 

I like to call it...The Bermuda Triangle of Concealing....because it makes things disappear!


The key is...Once you have applied the Bermuda Concealer Triangle, blend in with a wet beauty blender sponge (Run it under warm water and then squeeze out the excess water) or a wedge makeup sponge.
 
Beauty Blender Sponge (Available at Sephora for $20, or a generic brand  is available online at Amazon.com for $1.04 shipped. Link here.)
 
Wedge Makeup Sponge (Available everywhere...you can get 32 for $3 at Walmart!)
You must blend the concealer from the inner corner of your under eye area out to your hairline (Above your cheekbone) and then blend down around the corner of your nose.  Remember: blending is your friend when it comes to makeup! Especially concealer!



This triangle effect helps brighten your eye area, AND conceal your dark circles, while also contouring your nose and cheeks! HOORAY for a skinnier nose and higher cheek bones!! All with a little concealer!!

Once you have blended in your triangle concealer with your sponge, set it with a loose translucent powder! This helps the concealer stay put and not cake up!  Plus since it's translucent, this will suit most skin tones and help keep the under eye brightness you achieved with the concealer.
It doesn't have to be an expensive translucent loose powder since you are only using a small bit to set the area, but it makes a world of difference just by sweeping the light colored powder over the under eye area after you have done this concealing and contouring step. 
NYC carries a great option for loose translucent powder, and it's only $2.79! (Available at drug stores and Target and Wal-Mart).

 The bottom line on this concealer is that it is inexpensive, yet it helps to conceal the under eye area, contour your nose and cheeks, and cover any other problem areas. Just remember to use this kind OVER your foundation, not under it, or you will end up reapplying. 
Also remember to get a shade lighter in this type of concealer if you plan on using it as I have described here. 

This NYX HD Photo Concealer Wand is $4.99 at Ulta and Target stores as well as online. SCORE! Plus it comes in a large variety of shades!



Cliff Notes Version of this Concealer:
Where I use it: Under eye area, spot conceal small problem areas.
When I use it: OVER my foundation
How I use it: Apply directly onto under eye area with the wand in the triangle formation and blend in with a sponge. Apply loose translucent powder on top to set!

Does it work?: YES! Smooth and light, but great coverage.
Price: $4.99
Other: Go one shade lighter than your skin tone/foundation if you plan to use it as I have described here. 

********** UPDATE**********
I wanted to take a picture of how my concealer looks after I have used the concealer wand and applied in the "Bermuda Concealer Triangle" formation under my eyes. I am not shy with the concealer here because I will blend it in with my beauty blender sponge. Remember to do this step AFTER you have applied your foundation, but BEFORE you have applied your powder or other makeup.

I just wanted to give you all a "real life" picture of how the triangle should look....So here it is! 
The Bermuda Concealing Triangle!


____________________________________



NYC Conceals Cover Stick in Light

This is the 3rd and final concealer that I keep on hand at all times. And it's in stick form of course! ;)
 I posted about how I always keep one of these concealer sticks in my purse in case of emergencies here

This is your basic, non expensive concealer cover stick, but it also has a purpose too! 

I keep this concealer stick around solely for the purpose of covering those tough to hide blemishes or super red spots. Some times, you just need an extra bit of concealer help after you have completed your full face of makeup. 

I heard a trick a while back that has stuck with me. Once you finish your makeup, close your eyes for 5 seconds, then open them and look in the mirror. What is the 1st thing that your eye is drawn to? Is it those awesome cheek bones you just highlighted? Those gorgeous lips you just glossed? Or...is it a zit that needs a little bit more coverage? 
Usually...the latter is what happens to me. 
When this happens...I grab this heavy duty concealer stick and get to work! 

I apply this concealer OVER my foundation (This is the very last step in my makeup routine), and I like to use a tiny concealer brush to literally paint it on the areas that need more coverage. I find that if I use my finger to dab this concealer on, or I apply the stick directly to my face, I end up getting too much concealer and it looks caked on. 
Or...GASP.... I end up smearing my foundation and have to jump into makeup salvage mode! (Never fun!). 

Using a tiny concealer brush helps make your concealing extremely precise and makes those problem areas disappear! Basically, it's an awesome way to spot treat hard to cover blemishes or spots! 

Run the concealer brush over the concealer stick (I usually run it over the stick 2-3 times). Then lightly dab it over the problem area with the brush until you have reached the amount of coverage you want. Lightly pat it out and blend it with your finger (This is another great time to use your ring finger so you don't smudge all the concealer off that you just applied). Once the area is concealed to your liking, apply a small brush of translucent powder to set the concealer. (Make sure you wash out your concealer brush so it doesn't get caked up or hard!)

Here is an example of the tiny concealer brush I use to paint this concealer on (And it's only $1). This brush also works great to paint on a barrier of concealer around your lip line too! Plus, since the concealer is in a lighter shade than your foundation, it also helps highlight that pout!!! Just make sure you paint it on, then blend in outward motions!
Small Concealer Brush by ELF - $1 (Available here, or Target Stores)

So...the skinny on this stick is that it is a full coverage type of concealer, therefore it has the potential to crease and cake if not applied properly. Creasing and caking is never pretty...and it only makes you look older and more wrinkly AHH!! So definitely stay away from using this kind around your eyes. This concealer stick is great to use as a spot treatment concealer or to keep on hand in your purse for emergencies.

This NYC Concealer Cover stick is only $1.72 at Wal-Mart!!!! HELLO AWESOMENESS!
 It's also carried at other drug stores as well and comes in Light, Medium, and Natural shades. 



Cliff Notes Version of this Concealer:
Where I use it: Spot treatment coverage for bad blemishes or red spots.
When I use it: Over my foundation and other makeup. The very last step in my makeup routine.
How I use it: With a small concealer brush to give me precise control to spot treat. Dab lightly with ring finger to blend and set with a brush of translucent powder.  
Does it work?: YES! Just beware of where you use it because it will cake up if used around the eye area. Very thick concealer, so use lightly or with a brush as I have described.
Price: $1.72




These 3 concealers are the current cover-up staples in my makeup bag. They all conceal, but they all have separate textures and separate jobs! Don't be afraid to branch out and try more than one concealer. I thought that one concealer alone should be fine to cover all my problem areas, but I was WRONG! 
Now that I am older and my skin isn't as smooth as it use to be, I have found out why using different concealers is not only easier, but it makes my makeup look more natural! 
PLUS, who knew you could contour your face and make those eyes, cheeks, and lips pop, and that nose skinnier just by adding concealer and blending it in in a new way!?? 
I didn't until recently! 

I hope this post has helped show the value and importance of using the same makeup item, but in different forms and ways! 

What are your favorite concealers? I still have a few new concealers on my list I'd like to try (As always!). 

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer - $25 at Sephora
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Radiant Highlighting Concealer - $6.44 at Walmart


Remember Lovelies...
Conceal what you want to hide to Reveal what you want to Show!!! 
And have fun doing it!! 

<3,
 MMG