Four Product Challenge!

How often do you rush out the door with wet hair, no makeup and whatever cosmetics are rolling around in the bottom of the purse you just switched over to? If you answered “Not EVERY day,” then you are a more competent person than I am, and this post probably won’t apply to you. Since I have turned hot-messery into a sort of art form, the rest of you still interested may get something out of my MacGuyver-esque makeup skills. What I lack in time management skills I make up for in resourcefulness.

Today I was running late on my way to school and ended up doing a full face of makeup using four products:

NYX Love in Paris Eye Shadow Palette in Je Ne Sais Quoi ($9.99).
Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16).
Sonia Kashuk® Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette – Light 07 ($10.99).
Wet n’ Wild Fergie Creme Lipstick in Bebot Love ($3.19).


Technically two of those products are multi-shade palettes, but that’s because I pack my bags strategically. I still think it counts.

**WARNING** Bad picture quality ahead, I was stranded away from home/my camera. Sorry.


There was no liner in my bag, so I made extra sure to get my mascara deep into the roots and I also concentrated my smoky-greige eyeshadow along the lashline.


Now for the trickery:

I patted the olive shade of my concealer palette all over to neutralize the redness in my face, then I used the light and dark shades of concealer to highlight and contour my cheekbones and jawline.

I swiped the lightest shimmery shadow from my eyeshadow palette as additional highlight on my forehead, cheekbones and cupid’s bow.

I used my nude Wet n Wild lipstick (incidentally, an incredibly good lipstick that also happens to be $3.19) as a blush.

I used the matte brown eyeshadow as a brow powder (applied with the sponge applicator and everything!).


Sorry again for the uncropped, unretouched cell phone selfies, but hopefully you get the idea. I’m posting out-of-pocket today. The photo quality represents this post’s commitment to making do with what’s on hand, yes?

Shimmering Nude Eye Tutorial with Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette

I don’t do a lot of tutorials, but I thought I’d try something different and see if you guys like. So first up,  is a simple look that I’ve been really into lately. This is a high shimmer “wet look” lid that looks fresh, but a little sultry.

too faced boudior eye palette nude shimmer cat eyeboudior eye palette shimmery nude look

I’m using the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection ($36), which I really like. The shimmer finishes are absolutely perfect for this kind of look (which is why I got it), but this tutorial would work with whatever shimmery shadow you like best. The key is to get a base shade that will look bright against your skintone.

too faced boudoir eyes palette shades too faced boudoir eyes palette

1. Prime those lids!


2. Apply a bright, shimmer shadow (preferably on with a gold highlight to it) like “Satin Sheets” over the lid.

boudior eye palette tutorial 1nude shimmer eye tutorial

3. Softly blend a grey shimmer shade (“Sugar Walls” or “Lap Dance”) into the crease a fluffy brush is best to get the diffused texture you want in the crease.

boudior eye palette tutorial 2too faced natural shimmer eye tutorial

Blur out the crease so it’s nice and blended.

4. Take a matte grey (“Garter Belt”) and blend over the shimmer in your crease to build definition.

boudior eye palette tutorial 3soft shimmer natural eye tutorial

Be sure to smudge a little along the outer half of the lower lashline to softly define.

sparkling natural eye tutorial

*Tip* if the crease color ends up getting too far into your lid, add a bit more of your shimmery base color to brighten it back up! No need to start over!

Make sure to also apply some of the shimmer shadow into the inner corner of your eye.

too faced boudior eye set tutorial

5. Take a light, matte shadow in a nude or white color (here it’s “In the Buff”) and concentrate it under the browbone.
boudior eye palette tutorial 4

Pull it down from the browbone and blend, which will diffuse the shadow from your crease and smooth any harsh lines.

too faced boudior eye palette tutorial

6. Take a dark shadow like a brown or black (here I used “French Tickler,” a black with gold sparkle) and trace along the lashline, starting at the outer corner, and pulling in. Because of my eye shape, I taper the line down around the middle of my eye, but you can also draw the line the whole way to your inner corner if that’s more flattering for you.

boudior eye palette tutorial 5too faced shimmer eye tutorial

The reason I use eyeshadow instead of regular liner here is twofold.

First, it’s a lot easier to change, especially if you aren’t comfortable with getting that perfect cat eye shape. If you aren’t happy with your results, just blur it out by running a brush over it (if it’s too thick) or add more and more as needed (if it’s too thin).

Second, the line will be a little more diffused, which makes it extra smoky and sultry.

Important almost final step!

7. If you have some shadow fallout under your eyes, don’t wipe it off! that will just smudge it more. First use a fluffy powder brush to flick away excess,

too faced boudoir eyes palette tutorial
then brush the face powder of your choice over the area and blend.

shimmering neutral eye tutorial

8. Add mascara (and brow powder/pencil) and you’re done!

neutral shimmer eye tutrorial

DONE! Now you have softly smoldering eyes worthy of an old Holywood star.

boudior eye palette shimmery neutral looktoo faced boudior eye palette sparkly neutral eyeshadow


P.S. I’m wearing Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm ($8.99) in Ingenue on lips!

Mastering the Portable Makeup Kit

I’ve neglected my blog again! I feel especially bad that I’ve had pictures ready to go for my September Birchbox/Ipsy shakedown for the last two weeks and I haven’t even touched them. Hopefully I’ll get those up before the October sets arrive! I’ve been outrageously busy between school, travel and my (exciting!) new big-girl job. All of these factors have inspired today’s post.

Since I’m always pressed for time while rushing around town, I realized that I need a well-curated “go bag.” In other words, a makeup bag with everything I need to create a full look in the few minutes I have between class and work.

I realized that most of my makeup is either too bulky to fit in a makeup bag, or requires separate applicators (I want to keep it simple for now and wanted to avoid travel brush sets), or is too fragile/expensive to knock around in a purse. I decided to create a new kit. Here were my requirements:

1. Products that are very compact and easy to cram in a small bag.

2. A full look that lives exclusively in my bag (no shuffling products back and forth- that leads to missing something right when I need it most).

3. Products that are either very sturdy or cheap enough that I don’t mind if they break.

4. Products that multitask.

5. Products that either include an applicator or don’t need one.

6. Products that wear well (either they don’t fade or they fade evenly).

So here’s my first attempt, featuring more drugstore products than usual (with product pics for the recent purchases):

portable travel makeup kit maybelline color tattoo revlon colorstay eyeshadow quad

Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss in Honest Politician ($24). A nicely textured cream blush and lip stain and that can be applied with fingertips.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula Black Onyx ($16). Self-explanatory.

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal Eyeshadow in Barely Branded ($6.99). It’s a great cream highlighter, eye brightening shadow and eyeshadow base in one!

Benefit Fakeup in Light 01 ($24). This is my new favorite concealer for my (really bad) dark circles. It doesn’t crease and it brightens my under-eye area. Love this stuff.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in linen ($3.99). This sparkle-free champagne shadow makes a perfect matte highlight and can also set the concealer. Matte skintone shadows are also great for blending the edges of your eyeshadow for a smooth look when your shadow edges aren’t quite perfect. A nude, matte shadow is one of my must haves.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in linen

Revlon ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad in 505 Decadent ($7.99). It was surprisingly hard to get everything I wanted out of a multi-color eyeshadow set. I agonized over this, but eventually picked an eyeshadow quad with neutral colors that I know always flatter my skin and eyes. I kind of wish the two lightest shades weren’t so close in color, but the light pink shimmer color can double as a highlighter, so I should get some use out of both. The dark brown should also build nicely depending on how much intensity I want, giving this kit some versatility.

Revlon ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad in 505 Decadent

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama Cream Eyeliner in Bold Brown ($7.99). The dark brown will add definition, but  won’t look quite as harsh and in-your-face as my standard black liner (making it better for work) and since it’s an automatic liner it doesn’t need sharpening. I can also apply it lightly to brows for long-lasting definition.

maybelline master drama by eye studio eyeliner bold brown

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Red Velvet ($7.49). Y’all. There’s a reason you hear a lot about this one from bloggers. This is so pretty and versatile and it fades beautifully. It’s got the perfect blend of sheerness and opacity and is just diffused enough to go on imprecisely and still look good (excellent for super quick touchups). I’m kind of obsessed with it right now.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Red Velvet sheer red lipstick lip balm

I’ll do my best to get swatches of these products in action soon. I’ll also probably switch out some products and keep refining the bag further as I see what works and what I’m missing while I’m out.

UPDATE HERE: A few product switches and an example look!

Link Love: Check out Birchbox’s easy guide to finding your perfect red lipstick

Today I wanted to share something I saw on the Birchbox blog. They put together a simple guide to finding a flattering shade of red lipstick based on your wardrobe and haircolor! This is also good to check out if you just want to know how to find your undertone once and for all.

Click here to check out their simple guide.

It’s a neat trick. When I opened the page, I liked the Simone and Ava shades best. Sure enough, according to their matching method, I’m a cool toned brunette and those were BB’s shade picks for me. Glad to know I picked the right ones!

How about you, do your favorite shades match the ones that are supposed to flatter your skin?

Getting the most out of your bright eyeshadow.

It’s been a while.  Sorry about that!  Today I want to pass along a few words about primer and my quick tips for getting insanely bright eyeshadow.  Here’s what I’ve got going on today:

bright teal nyx eyeshadow jumbo eye pencil electric blue

Pretty bright, yeah?  Here’s my secret: double primer.  First I use my typical primer, but that still doesn’t give me the brightest possible results when my inner Nikki Minaj feels like strutting around.  The super secret next step is creme shadow.

The issue I have with creme shadow is that most formulas inevitably crease.  However, when I use them as a base, then set them with my typical powder shadow, they last and last.  Problem solved!

This technique also works for more neutral look and not just brights.  Just get a cream shadow in the neutral color you want and use it to keep colors vibrant all day.  You can also try layering different shades of cream and powder shadow for a cool multi-dimensional look.  They’re easy to blend together and you can create very precise or very soft lines depending on how much you blend.

Here are swatches of today’s teal eyeshadow layered over bare skin, basic primer and cream shadow over primer.  See the difference?

primer swatches

When applying powder shadow over cream, be sure not to drag your brush across the eye.  Just load up your brush with color and pat it over the cream, making sure to really pack the color into the cream and bond it together.  If you pull across the cream too much you can end up with a smudgy mess!

Today’s cream shadow comes courtesy of one of my favorite brands, NYX cosmetics (no, I am not paid to endorse them, I just love them).  I used the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4.50) in Electric Blue over NYX Eyeshadow Base ($7.00) in Skin Tone.  I couldn’t figure out what to do with the jumbo eye pencils as shadows since they crease like crazy, but once I figured out the colored primer trick I bought them in every color.

My eyeshadow is BH Cosmetics Pro Palette  Color in CM15 ($1.95 for a single shadow or ~$1.17 each when combined into a 15 color palette).  I’m also wearing Buxom Lash mascara ($19) on my lashes and Milani LIQUIF’EYE Longwear Eyeliner ($5.99) in black which is just as smooth and dark as my beloved UD 24/7 liners, but for a third of the price.  I haven’t tried the other colors, but the black is unbelievably good for a six-dollar eye pencil.  I’ve used $20 pencils that don’t even come close.

aqua teal cream eyeshadow
milani liquifeye black eyeliner pencil bh cosmetics 88 color cool matte eyeshadow pencil