Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My 1st Set of Acrylic French Tips

My friend and former classmate, Diane (a licensed nail tech), offered to do my nails waayyyyy back in November 2012 in return for letting her interview me about being a makeup artist for a report we had to write.  I never had a chance to share these which is a crime because I LOVED how they turned out.

My natural nails are short, squarish, and stubby to begin with. I really loved how the tips made my fingers look so much longer.

Since I work part time at a restaurant I couldn't keep these babies on for very long, and I can't really get them again until I quit that job.  I did get paranoid about dirt and makeup getting stuck under the nails so I cleaned them frequently with some cotton and alcohol. Other than that it wasn't too difficult to do every tasks.

What do you guys think?  Would you ever get acrylic nails?  Had them before?  How did you like them?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FOTD: Royal Sugar Dollipops

My brain is slightly fried but I'm determined to get this post up because this is one of my favorite looks that I've done in a long time and I really want to share it with y'all.

One of my former classmates recruited me to do makeup for a photoshoot of hers to promote her business.  Part of her business was promoting local artists, such as myself.  I was told I would be interviewed and filmed so I wanted to do something a little special with my makeup.  I love love love my brights so I had to pull out some Sugarpill eyeshadows.

-Smashbox Photofinish Face Primer
-Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation in Bisque 4
-Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder
-NARS Laguna Bronzer
-Sleek Blusher in Pixie Pink
-Eve Pearl Dual HD Foundation in Light

-MAC Painterly Paintpot
-MAC eyeshadow in Night Manouvres
-Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
-Sugarpill Chromalust shadow in Royal Sugar
-Sugarpill pressed shadows in Bulletproof and Dollipop
-Micabella eyeshadow in Sunshine
-Too Faced eyeshadow in Heaven
-Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero
-Inglot Gel Liner 77
-Cover Girl Waterproof Lashblast Volume Mascara
-Duo Lashes

Everytime I wear Royal Sugar, I get tons of compliments on how gorgeous the blue is.  I guess I better bust it out more often, eh?  What about you guys? How often do you Sugarpill lovers bust out them brights?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Haul: Cosmetic Company Store and DF & CCO

Hello friends~

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I went shopping with my mom and my sister recently at the (fairly) new outlets that opened in Livermore, California.  I have either cheated on my buying ban, found a loophole, or did not break it at all.  It depends how you look at it.  I'll let you guys decide for me.

We went to The Cosmetic Company Store to find some gifts for my mom's friends.  My mom doesn't use any makeup her fragrances herself, but she has some wealthy friends in China who are really into that stuff (kind of like us, beauty bloggers) so we went to see what was fitting.  I picked up MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 lipstick for my kit.  I have this lipstick already but I couldn't bring myself to cut some of it off to put in my lipstick palette, so I bought another one.  Technically, this purchase was for my kit, which is okay.  When I got home, I actually found that one of my lipstick palettes has a very similar color, so I may be giving this lipstick away.  My sister has also been fawning over the Coach Poppy fragrance for the longest time, and I liked the scent myself, so I bought her the gift set.  Just because.  Of course I'm going to steal a spritz from time to time.

For the record, the lipstick was $10.25 (retail $14.50) and the gift set $72 ($90 at Sephora).

Next, we went to DF & CCO which is not a store that I hear much about in the blogging community.  While The Cosmetic Company Store (CCO) has a much wider selection, the deals at DF & CCO are usually much much better.  This store sells fragrances, some skin care, and Lancome and YSL cosmetics.  They have sales that change every two weeks.  When I last visited, Lancome single eyeshadows were $5.60 each, Lancome eyeliners were $5 each, YSL eyeshadow duos were $15, and then there were these guys.....

These are all Lancome palettes.  And how much were they?  $15 a pop.  Yes, that's right.  Those color design palettes at Sephora are $48 each.  You see what I mean about steep deals?  By the way, I didn't buy these.  My sister did.  She bought them so that we could either share them or give away some of the palettes as gifts.  I'll see if I can convince her to keep them LOL.

So that's it for my "haul."  I wanted to get this up soon so that any of you that live near these sorts of shopping outlets could take advantage of the deals.  Also, feel free to voice your opinion on whether or not you think I've broken my beauty buying ban.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hi guys!  I'm running late but I threw on some green lips for 2 seconds and I wanted to show you guys!

This is MicaBella Luck O' The Irish over OCC Lip Tar in Chlorophyl.

Be safe tonight, everyone!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

FOTD: The Evidence of Pea Soup at the Junk Show

Hello fellow beauty lovers~

I took my sister and mother shopping at a new outlet that opened a few months ago (Paragon Outlets in Livermore if you're in the area).  My mom, who knows nothing about makeup, needed to pick up some high end makeup for gifts so I took her to the closest Cosmetic Company Store.  I may or may not have found a loophole in my beauty buying ban but more about that later.

I had plenty of time to do my makeup so I really took my time and played with some colors.  This is something I really enjoy, and I most definitely haven't had a chance to do it very often since I've moved back in with my folks.  I am super bummed that the pictures didn't showcase the makeup the way I see it when I look into the mirror.  Here are the few that are worth showing:

-Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer
-Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation in Bisque 4
-Eve Pearl Dual HD Foundation in Light
-Laura Mercier Pressed Translucent Powder
-NARS Lagina Bronzer
-Illamasqua Blusher in Thrust

-MAC Painterly Paintpot
-MAC eyeshadow in Night Manouevres
-Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
-Spellbound by Jynx eyeshadow in Pea Soup (This eyeshadow stains....use with caution)
-Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette: Junkshow, Blackout, and Evidence
-MicaBella eyeshadow in Sunshine
-Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin
-Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners in Zero, Covet, and Binge
-Inglot Gel Liner 77
-Too Faced eyeshadow in Heaven
-Cover Girl Waterproof Lashblast Volume Mascara

-MAC lipstick in Syrup

I know I say this a lot, but I find that a lot of my looks are kind of mellow and boring.  I'd like to be able to wear bright fun colors everyday, but as you see from all my FOTD posts, there are certain styles and colors that I tend to gravitate back towards.  I'm doing a combination of checking out more beauty blogs and digging through my loose eyeshadow drawer for look ideas.  

What do you do when you're in a makeup rut?  Blindly reach into your eyeshadow drawer?  Call upon friends for back up?  Let me know!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

FOTD: Job hunting makeup & "OOTD"

I earned my California Cosmetology license three months ago, but I've been too chicken to apply to too many salons for fear of being rejected.  Last Friday I finally kicked myself in the butt and forced myself to print out my resume and pass them out at salons in the business district of the small town I live in.  I was going for a slightly dramatic, but neutral toned look.  The look turned out well considering I looked like a mermaid raccoon at one point (There was bright teal eyeshadow on one of the brushes I used that gave my lids a hint of green.  Then I tried to blend it out with some brown and ended up looking like a raccoon.).

-Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer
-Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation in Bisque 4 (discontinued)
-Eve Pearl HD Dual Foundation in Light
-Laura Mercier Pressed Translucent Powder
-NARS Laguna Bronzer
-Illamasqua Blusher in Thrust

-MAC Painterly Paintpot
-MAC eyeshadow in Night Manoeuvres (LE)
-NARS eyeshadow duo in Dogon
-Too Faced Natural Eye Palette (Heaven and Silk Teddy)
-Yves Rocher Intense Eye Pencil in Vert Marine
-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide  On Shadow Pencil in Sin
-Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero
-Inglot Gel Liner 77
-Cover Girl Waterproof Lash Blast Volume Mascara

-YSL Golden Gloss #14

Meanwhile, I was joking with a friend that I was going to wear a toga while I drop off my resumes, and quickly snapped this picture to show him.  I was laughing because he thought I meant a real toga.

There you have it.  Toga, jeggings, and bright pink bra.  For the record I wore a peacoat style jacket over it so you couldn't tell I was wearing a toga.  I chose to dress entirely in black to look professional.  But I also tried to spice it up a little so that it looked somewhat fashionable.  I'm not too good with fashion so putting together feminine looking outfits is quite a feat for me.  

Well there you have it!  I hope you enjoyed my mermaid-raccoon-toga post!  I'll continue dropping off resumes in different areas so I may be doing more of these types of posts.  Those of you already in the industry, let me know if you have any tips and suggestions for me.  Thanks, guys!

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Beauty Buying Ban

I've mentioned many a times that I'm on a beauty buying ban, but I never mentioned what the conditions were and how I went about deciding I would go on one.  So in this post I would like to explain how this commitment went down.

My work station
It began on Christmas day when I finally had time to clean up my little work station.  I had shoved aside makeup products on my vanity to make room for crafting, as I like to make my own greeting cards.  I finally had time to sit down and reorganize my things.  Space was lacking so much that I actually pulled out some of the drawers of my makeup dresser to use as shelves.  As I started putting things back in their place, I was completely overwhelmed by how much makeup I had accumulated.  In the tiny corner of my room, I literally felt like I was drowning in it.

The dresser of makeup.  Every drawer is full.

As I continued to do my makeup at my vanity for the following days and weeks to come, the overwhelming feeling didn't go away.  I was actually panicking at how much makeup I owned and wondered how in the world I would be able to use up everything!  Each time I sat down at my station, I became more and more determined to stop buying makeup.  For how much time, I don't know, but I had to start somewhere.

I think the reason why I never felt as overwhelmed as I have was due to the fact that I DO tend to use the same products everyday despite having a wide selection to choose from.  Those items I leave on my desk so that I can easily reach for them when I'm in a hurry, and as a result I completely neglect the rest of my collection.

Some of my most used products in the bathroom.

As you can see, I never gave myself a set start date, neither an end date.  I did set rules for myself and some reasonable exceptions:

  1. I am not allowed to buy any makeup OR hair products for own personal use unless I am replacing something I have run out of and cannot find a substitute for.  The one exception to this rule is gift cards.  I have a couple giftcards from my birthday and Christmas that I am allowed to use to treat myself if I need a little retail therapy.
  2. I am allowed to buy makeup, hair products, or tools that I ABSOLUTELY need for my kit.  
  3. I am allowed to buy products at the Cosmoprof Spring Style Show (coming to San Jose, California this April!)
  4. Buying makeup for other people is perfectly okay.
  5. I don't have a set date for ending the ban.  I will figure something out later.
Since my last makeup purchase was on January 1, 2013, I simply made a commitment not to buy anything I didn't need after that.  

Extra lippies.  Lots of extras.
How am I doing, you ask?  Surprisingly well.  Once you get into the mindset that you own more than you need, it's actually a lot easier to resist urges.  I still allow myself to look at products, but when I come across something I like, I ask myself 3 things.  (1) Do I really need it? (2) Do I have something similar in my possession? (3) Can I get a more inexpensive version?  Asking myself those questions have been, so far, enough to deter me from making any unnecessary purchases.  On some occasions, it was a tad bit difficult.  When the Urban Decay Wizard of Oz palettes came out, my brain was in turmoil.  I'm still not sure I've completely convinced myself that I don't need want them.  But I haven't purchased them yet so maybe I'm winning.  I also had a look at CCO a few weeks back and saw the most gorgeous Estee Lauder blushes on sale.  I still think about them.  Haha.

The vanity
In the past week, I have made a few hefty purchases for my kit.  When I stopped by Cosmoprof to buy my show tickets, I also picked up a teasing brush and some more dry wax on sale.  And a few days ago I placed a huge order for face powders and foundations that was much much needed for my kit.  My bank account is still crying.

Loose pigments and mineral shadows drawer
To summarize my wall of text, I have been on a beauty buying ban as of January 2nd, 2013, and I've been doing extraordinarily well.  The last time I attempted one of these, I may have last two weeks.  It's been a little over two months and I like to think that I'm still going strong.  I find that what I miss the most is actually buying new products for the sake of buying, and that is very problematic.  Being constantly reminded of what I already own by looking through my stash regularly helps me stay grounded.  I'm sure there are a few of you who may be in the same boat as me, and I hope this post was inspirational and helpful.  I will be doing updates now and then to let you guys know how I'm doing.

Extra hair products, pins, and lashes.
With that said, does anyone care to to join me on my journey?  And feel free to tell me that my organization needs work.  I was trying to shame myself into cleaning by posting those pictures.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

FOTD: Pickings from pan porn

After taking pictures for my pan porn post (lol, an alliteration!), it only made sense for me to do a look using some of the products.  While I'm not extremely happy with how the look turned out, you could at least see how makeup performs.

Mind you, these are some "I just got home from work" pictures.

-Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer with SPF 50
-Laura Mercier Hydrating Face Primer
-Smashbox Healthy FX Foundation in Light 3
-Eve Pearl HD Dual Foundation in Light
-NARS Laguna Bronzer
-Sleek Blusher in Pixie Pink
-Laura Mercier Pressed Translucent Powder

-MAC Paintpot in Painterly
-Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette (discontinued)
-Inglot Gel Liner 77
-Cover Girl Waterproof LashBlast Mascara

-MAC lipstick in Syrup

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pan Porn (and mini reviews)! 03/08/2013

I've been wanting to do this sort of post for a loooong while now but never got round to it.  Since then I've accumulated much more items that I've hit pan on.  Since I do tend to stick with using the same products despite drowning in makeup, many of these are items I use everyday.

Here are the majority of them....and then I found some more later lol.

1. Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer ($40 for 3.4 fl oz or 100 ml)
This has been my go to primer for the past year or so since I've purchased the XL version at Sephora in October 2011.  I like it because it feels more like a moisturizer, as opposed to most silicone based primers that leave a freakishly smooth feel on the skin.  However, as a primer it's not all that.  It doesn't even out skin tone (not that it claims to since it's a hydrating primer) and is just okay when it comes to making my foundation last longer.  I do find that I get a little bit shiny after 4 or 5 hours.  If you have super dry skin and need the extra hydration, you are better off using an additional moisturizer in addition to your primer.  I found this out during my last trip to Quebec, where the harsh winter air simply ate up the moisture in my skin.

2. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion ($6 for 8 oz or 227g)
I'm a big fan of the Aveeno line, and I discovered that the Aveeno baby line was a little more affordable than their other lotions.  I purchased this back in my undergrad days and I still have a bit to use up.  It's a good moisturizer in that it is very gentle, and is best for normal skin types.  If you have super dry skin, you will definitely need something more moisturizing.  This is a nongreasy formula but does take a little while to absorb into the skin as I find with most Aveeno lotions.

3. Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer with SPF 50 ($16 for 1 fl. oz.)
I'm very good at using this moisturizer during the summer when it's hot as hell, but not very good with it the rest of the year.  This moisturizer does have that slight tacky feel upon application as most products containing high SPF have, but it's definitely light enough to wear under makeup.  To me, it is rather expensive for a drugstore product but you can often find these on sale for BOGO 1/2 off.

4. EOS Lip Balms in Summer Fruit ($3.29 for 0.25oz or 7g)
I was actually obsessed with these guys for a while, and I've used up at least 2 of these.  I really liked the idea of these being organic and natural, but most of all, I loved the scent and taste.  They're actually not the best lip balms, as they feel more waxy than moisturizing.  However, I like using these before applying lipstick because I find that it doesn't give the lipstick as much slip as a more moisturizing lip balm would.  

5. Eve Pearl Dual HD Foundation in Light ($56 for 11.77g or .41oz)
Yes, this is a very very expensive foundation.  Lucky for me, I picked it up on Hautelook for around $15.  This is actually the old packaging.  But who cares?  This is the best foundation I have ever used.  Ever.  Even as a noob, my face looked airbrushed when I used this.  I found that the darker side matched my face so I used the lighter side for undereye concealing.  The coverage is absolutely fantastic, and I find that I don't have to go back to do extra spot concealing.  I try to save this for special occasions because it's so amazing and there's not a whole of product in the pans (less than half of what comes in most foundations!).  I do continue to use the lighter side for under eye concealing though.

6. Too Faced eyeshadow in Heaven from Natural Eye Palette ($36 for 11.4g or 0.39oz)
This palette is godly.  When I need something to look professional, glamorous, or both, this is my go to palette.  Heaven is the PERFECT matte brow highlight for me.  I use Sexpresso for my brows.  These shadows are long lasting with or without primer.  I've had my makeup on for about 35 hours before and my eyebrows (Sexpresso) remained perfect.

7. Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette (discontinued)
Too Faced does have a Smoky Eye Palette out but it has been redone.  This one is the original and was the first of these sorts of boxed palettes to be released.  I acquired this eons ago (October 2008) and it is my very first eyeshadow palette.  The eyeshadows are a lot more powdery and the fallout is terrible, and I'm pleased to say that the formula of their other boxed eyeshadow palettes have improved since then.  Obviously, the neutral colors I have hit pan on because I leaned towards those when I first started wearing makeup regularly.

8. Smashbox Healthy FX Foundation in Light 3 ($38 for 1fl. oz.)
This is my very first foundation.  The one that the SA at Sephora recommended to me when I first walked in October 2008.  This is actually my second bottle so don't freak out too much about how old it is.  This is a lightweight, oil free formula that provides medium coverage at most.  It does help cover redness and helps even out skin tone nicely while keeping my complexion looking natural.  A great everyday foundation overall.

9. NARS Bronzer in Laguna ($36 for 0.28 oz)
This is a cult favorite, a very expensive bronzer, and I really truly did not want to like it.  I finally caved in when I tried contouring with it at Sephora and noticed a natural but definite contour in the hollow of my cheeks upon application.  Since then I can't seem to be able to get that same wonderful contour for some odd reason, but it makes a lovely all over bronzing powder.  I've been using this guy every day for a little over a year, hence the huge dent.

10. Kirkland Baby Wipes ($20 for 900 wipes)
I flattened these so you could hopefully see how close I am to finishing the packets.  I want to clarify that I do not use baby wipes for makeup removal.  I use them to wipe foundation or hairspray off my hands.  I use them to break down my face makeup before going in with a facial cleanser.  I use them to dampen brushes.  I use them everyday.  They don't break me out, do their job as wipes, and are fairly inexpensive.

11. Inglot Gel Liner in 77 ($12 for 5.5g or 0.19 oz)
Last but not least, you have my favorite long wearing eyeliner.  This product is no joke.  Wherever you put it, it will stay on until your skin peels off or you remove it.  Removing it is a battle of its own unless you have an EXCELLENT eye makeup remover on your hands.  Blacker than my heart and super smooth formula.  Dries almost instantly.  I don't know how I survived without this for most of my life.

There you have it folks.  Congratulations for making it through the entire post.  I've been writing this post for about two weeks now.  I don't know if my attention span is going down the drain or I require bursts of inspiration nowadays to let the words flow out of my brain.  

If you want a more in depth review on any of these items (swatches, demonstrations, etc), you would let me know wouldn't you?  

Also, these are some of my favorite posts to read.  If you've done one of these posts and I've missed it, or you plan on doing one very soon, please leave a link down below and I'll check it out.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Bay Lights

Hello fellow beauty lovers~

I do apologize for my long absence.  My life has been a bit of a Korean drama.  I don't know any other way of putting it.  Love triangles, decision making, and all the stuff you tend to only hear about in soaps.  Bleh.

With that said, I haven't forgotten about blogging.  I have tons of posts lined up but I'm still waiting for pictures for some of them and I'm not terribly happy with my wording on others.  So for now, I want to share with you guys a fantastic opportunity I stumbled upon.

Those of you who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or even California, may know about the Bay Lights.  The opening ceremony was last night, and it's a huge project put together by world renowned artist Leo Villareal, owners of Clear Grape Llc Timothy and Shelley Aglar, and many other individuals.  It's essentially a huge light show centered around the Bay Bridge, the other important San Franciscan bridge next to the Golden Gate.  These individually programmed lights will shine from dusk to dawn for the next two years, and is currently the world's largest light sculpture.  To read more about this show/project, click here.

Photo Credit: Wilson Lam of WLQ Photography

Through Kristine (the MUA I work with) and one of her contacts, I had the amazing opportunity to do hair for Shelly Aglar.  She and her husband achieved the amazing feat of raising 6 of the 8 million dollars needed for this show.  Can you imagine how nervous I was to have such an established client?  We went for Victoria Secret curls for the hair and a natural but dewy look for makeup.

Hair: Janny Zheng
Makeup: Kristine Rose
Dress: Laly Designs
I'm pleased to say that she was very happy with the makeup and hair.  Both Kristine and I were stressing out because we were both very afraid of screwing up and having an unhappy client on our hands.  Hopefully we will have a chance to work with her again!

If you have a chance, stop by San Francisco to check out the lights at night.  You have two years!  And make sure to hit me up so I can say hello, okay?