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A Bag of Fun!

Check it out!  I’ve started a partnership with a company to help promote different brands of fun stuff.

You guys get to get the benefit of my research because every week or so, I am hosting a contest!

This week, the brand is BagBlaze.com.

Bag Blaze provides personalized purses and bags for you fashion mavens!  For more than 10 years, they have provided on trend fashion accessories for $39.95 (hence the blaze, since it’s a blazing hot deal).  Their contemporary and swank collection of bags offers options for a variety of situations or events, from dressy satchels to slouchy hobos for happy hours to evening clutches for date nights and casual totes for the workplace or everyday carryall.

This week BagBlaze is giving away a bag to one lucky reader!  Enter this week’s drawing for a chance to win the purse of your choice from BagBlaze!

 This giveaway ends at 5pm PT on Sunday.

Put your best face forward!

Hello Beauties!  I’m back from under the rock I have been hiding under.
I know I’ve been promising this for a long time, but here are my foundation holy grails!

These are in order of my favorites, and I’m doing the top 5, to be followed by my concealer and primer holy grails.  Have a fave?  Let me know!

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation (Light/Medium) – This is the product I reach for every day.  The long wearing perfecting foundation promises long wear, and I get a full out of out it to be sure.  The foundation is the consistency of a mousse, and it isn’t quite a liquid.  Using the airbrush brush that came with the foundation originally, this foundation provides a medium to full coverage that is very natural.  You can layer the product more coverage, and it looks flawless on.  I love the way it absorbs the oil on my nose but isn’t drying at all, and that it includes SFP 15, which is very important.  Like all Tarte products, it’s full of good for you ingredients, and doesn’t break me out.  I use about a quarter sized amount, on my hand, and then pick it up with the brush.   Apply it a little bit at a time, and use the brush to buff it in.  $38 for 1.7 oz.
  • Next up my new favorite, the Urban Decay Naked Skin (3.5) – I LOVE this foundation!  It’s a liquid, but it’s fairly thick so it doesn’t run all over the place.  The package is in a pump format which makes it a no muss no fuss way to apply.  This weightless liquid feels invisible but really packs a punch and covers amazingly well.  I felt like I was glowing when I wore it!  $38 for 1 oz.  There is no SPF in this foundation however there are also no parabens or other ickies, yay!

  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye (medium) – technically this is a concealer, but it provides amazing coverage all over the face.  A little bit goes a long way and when I need fuller coverage days, this is my go to item.  A rich, creamy concealer that is packed full of anti aging ingredients like vitamins A, C, and K.  It is also packed with collagen that reduces discoloration.  I love this product, and use it every day as concealer!  The dual ended airbursh brush that IT makes is amazing for applying this product.  The small end fits under your eyes, and the corners of your nose, while the larger end is great for all over application.  $24 for .28 oz.
  • IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation (light) - This powder foundation took a little getting used it, but now I love it.  It’s light to medium coverage, and is great for on the go applications.  Like all IT products, it’s full of great ingredients, like peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, vitamins.  This foundation actually helps make your skin appear younger.  The includes flathead foundation brush blurs pores and fine lines and makes you look great.  Read my full review here.  $40 for .30 oz (brush included)
  • Smashbox BB Cream (light) – So much more than a foundation  the Smashbox BB cream provides a combination of moisturizer, primer, foundation and treatment in one.  I like this for lighter coverage days but it feels great on the skin while providing nice coverage.  Read my full review here  $39 for 1 oz.

 

 

Come September

Here we are. already halfway over September.  Fall is just around the corner and new colors are coming out every day.  This fall, Bare Escentuals has three new Ready 8.0 eyeshadow palettes, and I’m so excited about them!  I really love the Ready Eyeshadows, and this year’s 8.0s have all new colors.

For 2012, three 8.0s will be issued.  The first 8.0 was The September Issue, a Sephora Exclusive, and you cannot find it in other stores.  The 2012 releases are in limited edition silver palettes, with 8 color packed fullsized shadows inside.  You may remember that last  year the Cocktail Hour and the Playlist, two 8.0 Limited Edition palettes in gold compacts.  While these are still around in stores, they were intended to be limited edition like this year.

As with the other Ready Eyeshadows, BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow combines BareMinerals’ proprietary SeaNutritive Mineral™ Complex with powerful antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine, and cucumber—ingredients known to deliver antiaging benefits including reduced appearance of puffiness and antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area. The formula looks like a powder but feels like a cream and delivers a beautifully smooth application of vivid, long-wearing color. This fashion-forward palette of jeweled forest and floral shades delivers this season’s standout looks. Learn how to create three on-trend looks, then mix, match, and experiment for Bare Escentauls Ready The September Issueendless effects.

The September Issues contains:

Couture (glimmering clove), Silhouette (antique white), Statement (vibrant orchid), Prêt-à-Porter (sunbaked gold), Três Chic (apricot cream), Editor’s Pick (metallic teal), Glitterati (shimmering pink), Ensemble (deepest eggplant).  These are all full size .28 oz shadows with high impact color and pigmentation.

I really love this palette because it has a color punch for fall.  There is something for everyone in this group of shadows, from neutral golds and peaches to dark teal and purple.  The last two can be used as liners easily, and with the included brush it’s a great little kit.

The Ready Eyeshadows do not contain parabens, phthalates, petro chemicals or other ickies, but for those of you who are sensitive to Carmine please be aware that several colors do contain this coloring agent.  Carmine can be controversial as it is derived from the shells of beetles, and many people have allergies to this ingredient.  Ready eyeshadows also contain Bismuth Oxychloride.  While I don’t have a problem with it, many people are sensitive to this ingredient which can cause itching.  However, because there is so little in the eyeshadows, I urge you to try them before making a judgement.

These colors are all new, and the only similar shades that is a possible dupe is Prêt-à-Porter ;; it is however, much more bronze than gold and is not an exact match.

I love this palette, and for $40, it’s worth every penny!  If you wait for the Sephora Friends & Family sale, you can save even more!

Happy glossing!

Are you Ready for READY foundation?

Bare Minerals Ready FoundationAre you Ready?  I know I was.  I love my foundation.  I especially love a solid foundation, that I can tuck in my bag and carry with me for quick touch ups or post office makeup-ing.  So, when Bare Escentuals came out with a pressed version of their mineral foundation, I was ready to check it out and jump on it.

The Bare Minerals READY SPF Foundation promises a natural, long wearing formula that beautifully covers everything but feels like nothing is on.  It also claims to keep skin smooth, fresh, and younger looking.

This solid mineral technology claims to have invisible long wearing coverage.  Interestingly, it runs very light.  In loose, I wear Golden Fair or Fairly Medium.  In Ready, the best match was Medium Beige, which is a tinge too dark so I need to apply it carefully.

One important thing about Ready Foundation is you really need to apply it sparingly.  You cannot buff this foundation on, or sweep heavy layers.  My first experience with the Ready foundation was after a a makeunder event.  While I loved the coverage when I looked in the mirror, I quickly noticed that it both looked cakey and tended to pool in the crinkled of my nose.  This concerned me, as I have an oily t-zone that I need to cover.

I have found the best way to apply this was with an Everyday Minerals mini kabuki brush.  This is a fairly fluffy brush, that is not so densely packed with bristles.  What works best is to tap the brush in the foundation, and sweep it over my face, repeating as necessary.  Using the flat-topped IT Cosmetics foundation brush applied too much product and immediately made it look cakey, accentuating my pores, which was the same result when I used the BE Ready Foundation brush.

This technique gave me light to medium coverage,, but it did not stand the test of time.  I look for foundations that absorb the oil on my t-zone, and last all day.  The Ready, while it was a nice finished look in general, lasted only a few hours, and needed to be reapplied.  Reapplying, even sparingly, resulted in build up.  I also noticed that from a distance it tends to accentuate my wrinkles and fine lines.

I do not recommend wearing a primer with this product.  Although I love the Neutralizing Primer, it doesn’t play well with the Ready.  I also wore the new Ready Creamy Concealer underneath the Ready Foundation, and the combination, provided good coverage, however the foundation tended to pool and crinkle near the areas that I used concealer.

I can see this product being great for someone with dry skin, but for my sensitive combo skin, it didn’t do the trick, and it certainly did not last 12 hours.  That said, I am in love with all the other Ready products so don’t let this dissuade you!

Final grade:  B+ There is a learning curve in applying this product, and the color selection should be broader.  I like the overall feeling of the product, but I think it would use a bit of improvement to switch me over.

Ingredients

IT’s Luxe!


I am beginning to sound like a broken record in here, aren’t I?  It’s true, but I can’t stop gushing about the IT Cosmetics products.  I have amassed a little collection, and this beauty came to me recently.

The Luxe Waterproof High Performance Eyeshadow Palette has Age Reverse & Prevent Complex included, which are packed with the trademark IT hydrating and skin loving ingredients.

This powerful palette has 12 shades of eyeshadow, ranging from light highlighter to dark densely pigmented shades with a dual ended brush.  The eyeshadows are a beautiful and creamy texture, and glide on like butter.  With gorgeous ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, green tea, acai and Vitamins A, C & E, these are anti aging discs of love.  As always, IT Cosmetics eyeshadows are talc, paraben, sulfate, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, and phthalate free.  This is especially important in eyeshadows, as talc tends to make them powdery and less pigmented.
From the left, bottom to top, swatched at right:

(row 1)  Cashmere (matte creme)

Heavenly (pearl white)
Satin Sunshine (pearl light yellow)
Espresso (matte deep brown)
(row 2)  Earth Angel (matte beige cashmere)
Je Ne Sais Quoi (shimmery nude pink)
Ipanema (golden beige pearl)
Venus Love (pearl coppery rust)
Azure (midnight navy)
(row 3) Plum Passion (rich matte purple)
Romance (satin rich taupe)
Jet Black (matte black)

I especially love that the darker shades can easily be used for liner, which I did with the rich Jet Black.  I tested these without primer, and I’m pleased to say that they have amazing staying power and didn’t stray.  That is a minor miracle on my peepers!

These shadows are not your average eye product.  Developed with anti aging benefits by plastic surgeons and my girl crush Jamie Kern Lima, they smooth your lids, and give you great coverage and a youthful flow.  Without sparkle or glitter, the pearl shades are shimmery, they are glowing and gorgeous.  Several of the shades are matte as well, giving you a great balance.

Pretty in Amber

Pretty in Smoke

I also own 4 of the eyeshadow trios.  The shades at the right are swatched from Pretty in Ambers and Pretty in Smoke, and while they are very similar, there were no exact dupes.

For $38, this is a great price for 12 full sized, packed with color, deliciously creamy shadows.  The pretty black palette is padded on top, and is a great for a weekend bag or to pop in your purse.

Get it today!  You will not be sorry.

This palette was provided by the manufacturer or PR agent for consideration.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

The Balm is the BOMB!

It isn’t often that I find a new brand where I pretty much like everything.  But, I’m here to tell you, The Balm is one of those brands.

With kitschy (and frankly, catchy) marketing such as The Muppet’s palette, a forthcoming Bon Jovi offering and names like Betty Lou-manizer, the San Francisco based company offers fun, functional makeup for a reasonable price.

Founder Marissa Shipman started The Balm when she was unable to find simple products that she could add to her beauty routine.  As it often is, necessity is the mother of invention, and Marissa headed off to the library – ok fine, Amazon.com, to get some instruction on making her own makeup, and a beautiful idea was born.

Packed full of skin pleasing ingredients and no parabens, these are some colors that pack a punch.  So far, I’ve tried about 5 eye palettes and love each one.  I also have Time Balm, a face primer packed full of natural ingredients which I will review very soon for you lovely ladies.

The eyeshadows are creamy, and highly pigmented.  They have minimal fallout, and stay put.  The high impact pigments of the colors lets you use some double duty as liners, which is a great deal since you can tuck these beautiful palettes in your purse for touch ups and overnights.

The Balm often has great deals online, but you can also find them on Soap.com, DermStore.com, Beauty.com and several retail outlets.  A not so well kept secret is taht if you scour local TJ Maxx and Marshall’s stores, you can often find past season merchandise for bargain basement prices.

Reviews on Time Blam, Nude Tude, and Meet Matte coming soon!

 

IT Cosmetics celebrates your face!

I’m back!  I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted but what a year!  But I’m back, and I’m here to tell you about one of my favorite foundations.  I love a good creamy liquid foundation for coverage, and especially in winter, when my skin tends to get dry.  However, in the summer, I love a nice easy compact foundation.  It’s a no muss no fuss way of carrying your makeup with you.

Right now, my favorite product is the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation.  This anti aging foundation doens’t disappoint.  Like all of the IT Cosmetics products, it’s skin treatment as well as skin perfection.

The website says:

Rich in peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, and anti aging technology, Celebration Foundation is a full-coverage, anti aging foundation that gives you the power to achieve flawless, airbrushed complexion perfection!

It delivers highly pigmented perfect coverage that will never crease or crack and is designed not only to cover, but also to make skin appear younger. The anti aging technology gives you a flawless airbrushed finish that looks and feels like silk. It absorbs oil and shine without settling into lines and wrinkles. The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush is the most ultra-luxe, ultra-plush tool for perfect airbrushed application.

When I first tired the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, I was using way too much and it felt thick, and sticky.  However, now that I have perfected my application technique (more on that in a minute) I simply love it.   This lightweight powder, this powerhouse of collagen, peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid covers fine lines and wrinkles, smooths over pores, and gives you a fresh clean look without feeling cakey.  A very little goes a long way here, and you can layer it for more coverage.

My application technique took some time to perect, because at first I was loading the luxe brush with entirely too much foundation.  A smidge goes a long way gals!  Lightly swirl the brush in the compact, and buff on to your skin using small circular motions.  Similar to BE, I find that the more you buff, the better it looks as it blends with your skin.  I used about 4 swipes of the compact to cover my whole face.

The anti aging ingredients make your skin feel tighter, smoother, and softer, while covering problem areas.  Packed full of yummy ingredients, this is a winner.  I tried wearing it both alone, as as a setting powder over Bye Bye Under Eye.  Each method has it’s benefits; on bad skin days, I wear Bye Bye Under Eye as my all over foundation in a thin layer.  Then, I sweep a touch of Celebration Foundation over it, which creates a flawless look.  For lighter coverage days or on the go days, just a few sweeps of Celebration Foundation give me great coverage on the go.

My favorite primer to wear with this is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.  I have tried several other primers, but this works the best for me in combination with the foundation.  Wearing the foundation alone, it tends to fade off my skin.

The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush that comes with the foundation is, like all IT brushes, amazing.  A flathead foundation brush, it reminds me of many stippling brushes.  Densely packed with bristle, this fluffy brush is perfect for the foundation.  You can also use it for other foundations as the shape and size is perfect.  As Jamie Kern says on air often, a little brush therapy will make your day complete!

Again, remember, a very little goes a long way.  this is buildable coverage, so start small and build up.

Happy glossing!

Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Lauroyl Lysine, Zinc Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Vitis Vinifera Grape Seed Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Olea Europaea Olive Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk Powder, Niacinamide, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesteryl Oleyl Carbonate, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Cholesteryl Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20. May contain: Iron Oxides.Information provided by It Cosmetics.

This product was provided by the manufacturer or PR agent for consideration.  All opinions are my own.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Primer, oh primer, where fort art thou primer?  There are so many optoins out there, nad so many types and theories on under makeup primer, that it can be daunting.

First of all, what IS an under makeup primer?  Foundaton primer exists to help you create a barrier between your skin and your makeup; they are not moisturizers however, but they help create a smooth surface for your foundation.  Makeup artists are primer fanatics, and claim they even out skin tone, help your makeup stay on longer and absorb oil.  I’d tend to agree since the primer can be color correcting, but helps keep your foundation on for several hours.

Most makeup primers are make of primarily dimethicone, a silicone derivative.  While not completely  natural, it has been widely used for decades and is very safe.  Dimethicone prevents dehydration by forming a barrier on your skin; it also helps fill in fine lines, as well as acting as an excellent oil absorption product and can be found in many acne treatments.  It is the dimethicone that gives many primers and foundations a velvety, silk like feel.

My current fave is the Hourglass Veil Mineral primer, which is mineral-based product that is a translucent white.  It has SPF 15 to block out harmful rays, but it also helps to neutralizes the skin, minimize shine, and creates a smooth, even canvas for my spackle.  Err I mean foundation.  It also helps to absorb excess oil, which makes my nose look shiny rather quickly.

Why is this my favorite right now?  The Hourglass works with all foundation types, including liquid, cream, powder, and mineral.  It makes my face feel velvety smooth and absorbs oil all day.  It also helps to blur my pores and small lines.  As with most things I prefer, there are no parabens or other ickies in it.  This primer has been the best performing with ANY of my foundations and is a universal tool in my arsenal.  I have many primers, and several of them only seem to work with a specific formulation of foundation but this is by far the most universal.

I also like that this has an SPF in it, since many foundations to not.  The physical SFP of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide createa  barrier to the harmful rays and is also fragrance, oil, and gluten free.  I have very sensitive skin and this product is gentle and non irritating.

Ingredients:  Zinc Oxide: (4.20%) A mineral with anti-inflammatory properties that offers full spectrum coverage by absorbing UVA and UVB rays at the skin’s surface.  Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is available at Sephora for $52.  You can also buy a small size for $18.  Since a very little goes a long way this should last you a good long while.

Happy glossing!

 

 


 

Bronzed Beauty

This week, I’d like to introduce you to guest blogger Diane Mary.  Diane is a makeup addict (arent’ we all?) from Staten Island, New York, and loves to try new things.  Her favorite brands are Tarte and Laura Geller, as well as IT Cosmetics and Mally.  Diane can be found under the YouTube handle CurlyWavyDiane.  Please check her out!

I don’t know about you, but personally I think bronzers are one of THE greatest inventions of all time! I’m naturally white as chalk and make Casper the Ghost look as if his skin has pigmentation. As soon as I learned what a bronzer was in my late teen years, I became hooked and haven’t been able to survive without it since! Some may like bronzing just in the summer, but for me it is a year round, 365 days a week thing.

I admit I do self tan as well (but that’s a whole different article) but the benefit to bronzers is that there is no commitment. It comes right off with cleanser and water so if you are unhappy with your results you lost nothing in the process.

Now, using a bronzer can go one of two ways- it can warm up your skin, making you look nice, healthy and tan without the harmless effects of the sun OR it can go bad and make you look orange, dirty and like a Jersey Shore cast off.  A quality bronzer makes a world of difference. They come in several formulas including powders, mousses, and liquids. Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order) You can be crazy like me and use a mousse and liquid and then a powder on top of it (bronze-a-holic much? Guilty as charged.) but just using one formula at a time will also product nice golden results.

The traditional way to apply bronzer on the face is making a “3” on one side and an “E” on the other. This allows the bronzer to go on your face where the light would naturally hit it. Personally, I apply bronzer all over like another layer just so I am even and golden but play around and find what works for you!

Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil Since I started using Argan Oil, it’s changed my skin in the most wonderful way. I have combo, breakout prone skin and it’s cleared it up. But once I saw there was a bronzing version of this oil I jumped ! Though it is an oil it absorbs into the skin right away and leaves me looking  2 to 3 shades darker. It does have some sheen to it, so don’t be surprised. I like using this before foundation.

Laura Geller Air Whipped Bronzer Ok, this might very well be my holy grail bronzer. The bummer part is I recently found out it is being discontinued so if you are like me and LOVE this, run and buy them while you still can. Why is it so amazing? It has the most unique light as air mousse consistency. Feels like you are wearing nothing when you apply it, it just melts into your skin and it also provides a little coverage! There have been days I’ve gotten away with just wearing this and no foundation. I also love the fact this is hydrating and full of vitamins for the face. It comes in two colors for lighter and darker skin tones.

Laura Geller Tahitian Glow Body Frosting. I just brought this with me on a weekend trip and when I posted the pictures online, quite a few people asked me what I did since I was “glowing” This was my secret. It is a powder that started it’s life as a cream and it extremely versatile. You can use it dry with a brush or if you want darker color you can wet the puff it comes with. This bronzer can be used for the face and the body and will not rub off on clothes! What’s neat too is that it is multi colored so it is almost in a way customizable. This one also doubles as a beautiful eyeshadow.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Glow Anti Aging Matte Bronzer - I’ve been using this from a face disc on and off for months, so I was so happy to see it released in a press version on it’s own. The compact it comes in is HUGE!!! IT also has a loose powder matte bronzer which I have not tried, but I like things pressed because I find them neater and more travel friendly. This bronzer is completely matte. You won’t find a single piece of glitter, shimmer, sheen or sparkle. In a bronzer, that’s a good thing. It looks like your own skin and also can double as a contour powder. It doesn’t settle into lines or pores and makes my face look airbrushed. The bronzer is talc free and full of yummy healthy skin ingredients including collagen, peptides, vitamins A, C, E, silk and much more!

Tarte Cosmetics Globe Trekker Bronzer - When I first tried this, I thought it was too light for my skin but after using it a few times I actually think it is a perfect color. Though I wouldn’t mind this one being a bit darker, so that being said lighter complexions who are nervous to bronze should love this one. This is a creamy consistency, similar to the Laura Geller air whipped bronzer I mentioned earlier. The brand calls it “cream to powder” It reminds me of an under eye concealer. To me, it smells like microwave popcorn which is awesome. You can apply it with the brush it comes with or your fingers. I like using my fingers because I feel it warms the product up. This is another bronzer that has coverage and I can get away with wearing it without foundation. It includes one of tarte’s signature ingredients, Amazonian Clay which is “skin smart” and balance out your skin whether it is dry, oily or combination. And like all Tarte products, this one has nothing icky like parabens, mineral oil, phthalates or SLS. It is matte with maybe the slightest amount of sheen. To me, It’s hardly noticeable

Tarte Rainforest glow maracuja waterproof body bronzer This is relatively new and sold out constantly on QVC. I’m so glad I managed to get one. Dubbed a “body bronzer” I also like this one on my face. It is another mousse consistency that comes out of a tube and again, has slight coverage (I see a pattern with bronzers I like. LOL) This is one I would also apply before foundation. It has Maracuja Oil in it which is said to help firm, brighten and make the skin nice naturally. Who doesn’t love makeup with skin care benefits? I have tried this one on my body as well and it didn’t get on my clothes. I can’t backup the waterproof claim since I didn’t get wet with it on until I got in the shower and washed it off with soap. This is perfect if you have to wear a skirt and realized you didn’t self tan. It can be applied last minute without streaks.

Laura Geller Spackle tinted under make-up primer in bronze Okay, this isn’t a true “bronzer” but a primer that is tinted bronze. Nonetheless, I love it. Since I am going to be using a makeup primer anyway, why not have one with bronze tint to help feed my hungry bronze-craving soul? This primer does help makeup stay on longer and the tint is a light bronze. My boyfriend actually uses this to even out his skin and likes it because it doesn’t look like there’s any makeup on. (Sorry I called you out babe)

Stila one step bronze- this applies the same way the spackle does. It is a primer with a bronzer built in and not only that but this one also includes an anti aging skin serum! Triple whammy!! It feels nice on the skin and brightens, bronzes and color corrects. I sincerely hope whoever invented this over at Stila got a nice raise or bonus for coming up with this thing! It’s genius.

Maybe you notice a pattern with the bronzers I like. I prefer them without any glitter or sparkle and like when they have anti aging, good skin benefiting ingredients in them. I hope I have encouraged you to give bronzing a try, even if it’s just for a special occasion!

Thank you to our guest blogger for this week for all these great ideas!  Stay tuned for more summer makeup tips!  Please check out Diane’s bronzer video as well!

Mastering Your Art

Coming full circle.  Giggling with friends.  Learning from an expert.  These are all things that make me feel fufilled, and happy.

I started this blog after being inspired by attending a BE Master Class a year and a half ago.  Up until then, I rarely wore makeup, and I always struggled with keeping my eye makeup on my eyes and not on my chin.  I was one frustrated woman!

I had been trying new things, and collecting a BE stash for about six months when I saw that an expert was going to be in my area teaching a class on makeup.  As an early birthday present to myself, I decided that I was going to attend, and see if I could learn some new tricks.  Boy did I ever!  Since then, I have become a Sparkle Hoarder, and proud of it!

Here we are, 16 months later, and I was fortunate enough to attend my third Bare Escentuals Master Class, with Master Makeup Artist Bravon Pascua.  Bravon, who spend years as a model all over the world, has been working with Bare Escentuals for over 10 years.  He has seen the brand grow from a few shades of mineral foundation to the phenomenon it is today.  Learning from makeup luminaries like the creators of Shu Umuri, he has taken education to a new level.

As I mentioned, this was my third master class with Bravon, and I feel like I learn something new every time.  I would go every month if I could afford it and if Bare Escentuals offered the option!  At this particular class, the focus was on creating a bronzey, summery glowing look using some of the Ready offerings.  This class was extra special for me, as we only had 8-9 beauties.  It was extremely intimate, and a very unique experience.  My two previous classes were wonderful, but there is something extra special about being in a tight knit group of women, sharing, learning and exchanging makeup tips and tricks.

First, after cleansing your face, add your moisturizer of choice.  Bravon recommends warming your moisturizer up in the palm of you hand first – which allows it to sink in to your skin more quickly.  Once your moisturizer is applied, it’s time for face primer.  I personally love the Neutralizing Primer but you can use whatever works.  Again, make sure you warm it up in the palm of your hand before applying so it really covers.

I won’t tell you how to apply your foundation, because if you’re a BE gal you know!  Swirl, tap, buff.  Just remember a very little bit goes a long way.  Because BE works with your natural body chemistry and the oils in your skin, the more you buff the better you look.  One key tip here is to start with a little.  Wait 10 minute and then, ONLY then do you apply another layer.  It’s amazing to watch, but you can see the transformation as you watch a makeunder.  When you’re applying your concealer, you should always post conceal with minerals.  If you pre-conceal, you will buff off the concealer while applying foundation.  I stopped using bisque because it seemed to settle in my lines and look cakey, but I learned that using a Light Stroke brush really makes a difference.  Swirl the bisque in to the brush, and pat on.  Then flip the brush over and use the clean side to sweep and blend.

After foundation (or before, if you’re like me), it’s time for the eyes!  One key element in doing your eye makeup is defining your shape.  If you’re like me, I have hooded eyes and it’s very ahrd to see the lid.  bravon gave some excellent tips for combating this.  First, start with your primer.  Using a brush or your finger, apply eye primer all over your lid, lash to brow..  But also, apply primer over your brows, and to just above your eyebrows.  This gives you a smooth canvas to work with, but also something for the eyeshadow to adhere to.  I’ll get ot the above the brows in a minute.  For this eye look Bravon used The Soundtrack Ready Palette, which contains Rhythm, Louder, Remix and Speaker Box.  These colors are available in the The Playlist 8.0 so if you already have it you’re nearly there!  Rhythm is the only one that is a new color here, and you can easily approximate that, as it’s a light cream color.

For this look, start by taking a light bronzer.  In this case, Skinny Dip.  Using a soft focus eye brush, or a crease defining brush, enhance the crease with the bronzer.  It’s amazing that this one small trick actually makes a huge difference.  This contouring technique will create a deeper crease and make the color pop more.  This helps hooded and small eyes because it creates the illusion of a larger eye by redfining the natural crease.

Next, using your favorite larger brush (he used a full tapered shadow brush), apply the highlight color from the base of the last to the crease.  You will also apply this color above the eyebrows – this is why a primer there helps.  this helps to open up your eye and give you a wide awake look.  Colors like vanilla Sugar, Soul, Cream Soda and Queen Phyllis Matte were suggested.  Don’t use a super sparkly color here though, since that will attract too much attention to the area and distract from other areas.  For this class we used Rhythm.

For the crease, using the crease defining brush, feather the color up instead of sideways.  that means flipping the brush vertically instead of horizontally, and applying Louder up to the crease, but not beyond.  This gives the eyes a pop of light color.  In the outer V of the eye, sweep Speaker Box using the precision eye brush, or a small pointed one.  Then use a brush to soften and blend that out.

Now that your eyes are done, it’s time to add the eyeliner!  The best tip that I learned from a National Artist last year, since I had huge troubles with the Big & Bright liners travelling, is to sketch the liner on your hand first.  Make this a pretty heavy sketch, but then use an eyeliner brush to pick up the color.  In the case of the B&B liners, I dipped my brush in Weather Everything.  With the Round the Clock liners, you don’t need to do this since they set up on thier own.  Apply the 8ppm liner to your upper lashline, and smudge in to your lower lashline.   Don’t forget to do your brows!  The primer you applied earlier will help the color to stick.  you can also use a clear brow gel.

Finally, you apply your favorite mascara and you have defined eyes to die for!  But, wait!  There’s more!  The hot trend for fall is full, glossy and sparkly lashes.   How do you get this?  Start by applying a coat of regular mascara.  But then, using a clean disposable mascara wand and a clear brow gel, dip the wand in the gel, then dip in your favorite sparkly minerals.  this is a lot of fun for a special look and you can really use any color.  Glittery reds and greens are going to be right on trend for holiday!  If you just put the clear coat on top, you will have glossy and lush lashes.

Now that your eyes are done, we can go back and review the foundation.  Is it still looking good?  Better?  If you need to, apply another layer.  But, let’s define your face using bronzer and blush.  With an angled face brush, use the bronzer in a sweeping motion.  Point the tip up, and sweep the bronzer over your cheeks.  This actually deposits color just above and blow the apples of the cheeks, giving you great definition.  You can also do this on your forehead, and jawline, with the tip of the brush up.   Taking your faovrite blush (we used The Aphrodisiac), swirl the color in to the apples of your cheeks, sweeping up to the hairline.  Then take a Maximum Coverage Foundation brush and pull the color down in to your face.  It sounds odd, but it really blends the color in nicely.

Finally, apply your favorite lip colors and don’t be afraid to blend!

I’m sorry to say I forgot my camera but the finished look is a soft and polished summer look that is great for anyone.

I can’t wait to practice these tips and learn new ones at the next class!  Thank you Bravon for always teaching this old dog new tricks and reminding me that there are so many ways to use brushes and products.  I hope Bare Escentuals will continue these classes and add new ones!  Bravon is a master artist but is also a passionate brand ambassador.  He loves to play as much as we do, and is a fabulous teacher, and has a heart of gold.  He will go out of his way to answer questions or offer suggestions for your specific issues.  If you have a chance to attend a master class, I would not miss it!  You never know what might happen.

Stay tuned to looks based on these tips!