5 Beauty Tips That Make A Big Difference

1. Shave your face – removing peach fuzz allows for a smoother application of foundation and other products; it also gets rid of rough texture and dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling renewed. Hold the skin with your fingers and genly, in short strokes, shave in the same direction as the hair grows. Follow up with a facial oil or a moisturizer for optimal results!

Get facial razors at Sephora or Amazon.

2. Apply concealer before foundation – it helps you avoid applying excessive amount of foundation because you’ve covered your major problem areas with a full coverage concealer; overall it gives a more lightweight result.

3. Moisturizer with foundation? – place some moisturizer on the back of your hand, stipple the brush in it, then apply your foundation with that brush; it sheers out the foundation for a lightweight finish and helps it blend in with your skin.

4. Matching blush tones – use the same product on your eyes, lips and cheeks to create a cohesive look. It’s quick and easy! Apply a cream blush color on your cheeks with a brush or fingers, then do the same on the eyes in the crease and lips. It provides a monotone look, both cream and powder products work for this trick.

Get multitasking plush products from MILK Makeup or Nudestix.

5. Cut your hair every 6 weeks – it provides the perfect timeframe to chop off the dead ends and leave the hair looking strong and healthy.

Do you have any tips and tricks you use regularly? Let me know in the comments below!

Natasha Denona Mini Lila

I find that the formula of Natasha Denona mini palettes is slightly different from her original formula, as in the shadows are not as easy to work with and not as pigmented. That said, they still are VERY pigmented and VERY easy to work with, just not on the same level as her $160.00 palettes are.

Other products:
– NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink eyeliner, Soft Matte Lip Cream in Barcelona
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder in Medium Brown, Amrezy highlighter
– Milani Luminoso blush
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer.

Have you used Natasha Denona eyeshadows? What do you think about them, worth the price or not? Let me know in the comments below!

Gunmetal

Following Lisa Eldridge tutorial on Cara Delevingne’s makeup, in love with this look!

Products:
– M·A·C Cosmetics StudioFix foundation, ProLongwear concealer, Mineralized Skinfinish powder, Doublegleam highlighter, Blacktrack eyeliner
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– MAKE UP FOR EVER single shadows
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder & Brow Gel
– L’Oréal Paris Plump & Shine lipstick in Coconut.

The original tutorial:

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty Free Anymore And Vice Versa

Brands That Are Now Cruelty-Free

– Covergirl – announced on November 5, 2018, that they changed parent companies and pulled their stock from selling in China (read more here)

– Stila – since 2017 (read more here)

– Charlotte Tilbury (update) – there was some confusion regarding the stand of the brand, as they were selling in China where customers can touch the products but order online only, which would make the brand cruelty-free by Logical Harmony standards; they have stopped doing this completely

– Smashbox – pulled their stock from China over the past couple of years (read more here)

* Fenty Beauty – the brand sells in areas of China where animal testing is not required, however, some people still will not consider the brand to be cruelty-free due to this ambiguous practice (read more here)

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty-Free Anymore

– NARS – started selling in China to increase their consumer market a couple of years ago (read more here)

– Wet’n’Wild – in 2019 they were caught in odd practices: some of their products are manufactured in China (which doesn’t require pre-market testing) but they can be tested at any time post-market (read more here)

– Physicians Formula – owned by the same company as Wet’n’Wild, and exhibit the same procedure as that brand (read more here)

Here is my original post from several weeks ago about cruelty-free brands:

Video referenced
Logical Harmony
Cruelty-Free Kitty
Harper’s Bazaar

Do you know of any other brands that changed their cruelty-free status?
Do you shop only cruelty-free brands or any brand?
Let me know in the comments below!

Grunge

Annie Tansley‘s face was an MUA’s dream to work with!

Products:
Urban Decay Cosmetics NAKED3 eyeshadow palette, 
Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz & definer in Dark Brown,
BECCA Cosmetics highlighter in Moonstone, 
MAC Cosmetics lipstick in Velvet Teddy.

(Disclaimer: I do have Annie’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

She’s Got It On

Model: Dominique Kachkan 

Products:
Maybelline New York Fit Me foundation
– Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil bronzer
– Tarte Cosmetics Paarty blush
– COVERGIRL highlighter palette
– Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure eyeshadow palette
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe
Maybelline New York lipstick in Beige Babe with NYX Professional Makeup butter gloss in Fortune Cookie.

(Disclaimer: I do have Dominique’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

8 Historical Makeup & Beauty Products That Still Exist Today

  1. L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation (since 1994) – the first of its kind to match 40 different complexions that also adapted to your unique undertone.
  2. Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara – the packaging hasn’t even changed that much since 1971, but popularized in the 80s. It was the first water-based mascara, making it much easier to remove and having a faster drying time after initial application; it’s also free of chemicals and oils to avoid irritation.
  3. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Lipstick (since 1950s) – it’s a blue-based red, making it universally flattering on many different complexions, but depending on your skin undertone it may pull a bit more raspberry or true red.
  4. Carmex Original Lip Balm (since 1937) – one of the best tried-and-true products to bring the chapped/dehydrated lips back to life overnight. The first jar of Carmex sold for $0.29!
  5. Coty Air Spun Transluscent Powder (since 1935) – gives the skin an airbrushed, flawless finish, while having a neutral undertone (which is hard to find still to this day). The first Coty Air Spun Powder box was introduced in 1925, and it was revolutionary because it was the first to be spun by air, giving it a finer texture and greater fluffiness. The only thing that repelled people from it was the scent, however, now they make an unscented version!
  6. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Nail Polish – in the past it was a trend among women to have their nails match their lip colour, so both products gained popularity simultaneously and are still sold today.
  7. Noxzema Skin Cream (since 1914) – it wasn’t marketed as a skin cleanser until the 1950s, when a company secretary realized how beautiful it made her skin look.
  8. Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser (since 1846) – one of the oldest skincare products to exist today, it does a great job at removing makeup, leaving the skin very moisturized. The term “cold cream” comes from the cooling feeling it leaves on the skin.

Video referenced

Bobbi Brown: Making Natural Beautiful – The Contrast Of The Time

If you’re a regular in the beauty sphere, then you may have heard about (or comparisons to) Bobbi Brown products: shimmer bricks, vitamin enriched face base, crushed liquid lipsticks, etc. Ring a bell? Well, there’re 75 products listed on Sephora.com for this brand, which cover every step of makeup application, including skincare and brushes.

But there’s much more to the brand than just high price tags and simple/professional packaging. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #3 series on my blog.

The Overview:

Brown graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a self-directed degree in theatrical makeup. In 1980, she moved to NYC to work as a professional makeup artist. Brown became known for a makeup style that included moderate and natural tones, which was a stark contrast to the bright colors used at the time.

A chance meeting with an NBC Today Show producer led to her 12-year run as a regular beauty consultant on the show. The revolutionary success of her makeup line prompted Estee Lauder to buy the company in 1995, retaining Brown as an employee. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self, and Town & Country. Brown was inducted into the New jersey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. Brown served as Yahoo Beauty’s Editor-in-Chief from February 2014 to February 2016. In November 2017, Brown received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award for her work in Beauty.

The Beginning:

In 1990, Brown worked with a chemist to come up with ten natural lipstick shades. In 1991, the ten shades debuted under the name Bobbi Brown Essentials at Bergdorf Goodman. She was expecting to sell 100 in a month but instead sold 100 in a day. The following year, she released yellow-toned foundation sticks. Estée Lauder Companies Inc. bought Bobbi Brown Essentials in 1995; Brown retained complete creative control of the makeup line. In 2007, the first freestanding Bobbi Brown Cosmetics retail store opened in Auckland, New Zealand with a makeup school in the back. In 2012, Bobbi Brown’s cosmetics were estimated to represent approximately ten percent of Estée Lauder Companies’ total sales. As of January 2014, there were approximately thirty free-standing Bobbi Brown cosmetics stores.

Why Did She Leave?

Flipping through Bobbi Brown’s latest book, Beauty from the Inside Out, you’ll notice the makeup section is all the way at the end, practically an afterthought. That’s because Brown’s newest chapter in life is more about inner beauty than outer appearance. “In all my books, there were things about how food, drinking water, and lifestyle are going to make you the best version of yourself,” (she tells SELF), but the advice was complementary to a central focus on cosmetics. This time, she wanted to go all in. “I really tried to talk my publisher into letting me do a full-on health and wellness book,” she says. “We had to compromise and put some makeup in the back of the book.”

At the end of 2016, Brown announced that she was leaving her namesake makeup brand. To say beauty industry insiders were shocked would be an understatement. After two decades as the first and last name in makeup for many women, Brown had expanded her presence even more in recent years. She served as the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Beauty’s ambitious editorial relaunch in 2014 and still found time to for a personal blog, Everything Bobbi, where she gave readers an inside look at the inspiration behind her product launches, as well as her sartorial favorites.

But behind the scenes, Brown’s mood was shifting. Makeup no longer felt to her like the be-all-end-all of beauty, and the trends of the day were starting to wear her down. “It was not an overnight decision,” she says. “I was able to move into something I believe in 100 percent and not have to argue with people about another contour palette that I refuse to do.” As of January 1, 2017, Brown officially stepped away from her role as chief creative officer of the brand, her name the only remnant of her influence.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Sephora
SELF Magazine

Playin’

I had a great time playing with some golden tones and facial stickers on Katie for a photoshoot in the summer.

Product highlights:

– MAC Cosmetics Double-gleam highlighter
– Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso blush
– Morphe 35O eyeshadow palette

(Disclaimer: I do have Katie’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Do Beauty Supplements Really Work?

There are 134 search results for “beauty supplements” on Sephora.com alone, I can’t even imagine what the growing number is these days besides just Sephora. Many of these companies take advantage of the fact that many peoples’ insecurities are based on thoughts that they don’t have clear skin, strong hair and nails, enough collagen, etc.

The descriptions are usually pretty similar across the board, the promise is:

“Formulated by doctors, these supplements help nourish, firm, brighten the skin, while combatting visible signs of aging like fine lines and pigmentation…” you get the drift.

In reality though, mostly all of them are NOT made by doctors (in fact doctors recommend against them), and the high price tag (leading you to believe that you’re getting wonderful ingredients that’ll work right away) is simply a rip-off! For example, Algenist is advertising their Chlorella and Spirulina lines at $65 for a small amount, when you can get these ingredients in a grocery store. And sure, they might mention that their is “ethically sourced” or some big claim that there is no way for you to verify.

Sure, some people claim to notice a difference, but more often than not, the difference is very minimal, like softer skin, brighter complexion, and thicker eyebrows, which can be achieved through a proper diet and a skincare routine anyway!

A huge factor to note is the Placebo Effect – when you believe you’re in fact getting those benefits, you’ll convince yourself that the supplement is working, and in turn keep repurchasing it. It only adds to the problem when the shape of the vitamins is a cute gummy bear, or an extremely-sugary pill.

Collagen supplements are one of the most popular ones: collagen is in everything nowadays, even topically applied collagen has made its way into the market. However, there’s still no research the supports the fact that ingesting or applying collagen to your face or body does anything. The only studied support for external collagen applies to any treatments you might be getting (laser, etc) and engaging collagen with it while the skin is repairing, but that’s it.

Not to mention that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements the way it does drugs. So you never really know what you’re getting when you buy one of these products.

Granted, actual pharmacy vitamins, such as Calcium, Vitamin D, B, etc. can be helpful for individuals who lack the proper amounts of these in their systems and have been recommended by a doctor.

Beauty supplements are only a fraction of the supergiant supplement industry that also includes detox teas and dietary supplements, join pain relief, inflammation, redness, etc. Be on the lookout and be smarter than the constant promotional messages telling you “it’s the best thing for (your problem)”. Sometimes you don’t even think that you have that problem, until you’re being advertsised to and convinced of it!

References:
Video referenced
Everyday Health article
Huffington Post article
FDA website