Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar 2013 Makeup Trend...

Last night I watched the Oscars with anticipation and hope of some breathtaking looks and trends.
 What did I expect? 
Looking back at Fashion Week this year we saw a lot of Color! (which you can read about HERE.)
So of course I was expecting some bold lips or washes of color on the eye--Graphic liner was huge at Fashion week as well, so I was really expecting to see some exciting looks walking down the red carpet. 


I was underwhelmed! 
I felt like everyone played it super conservative and safe. Mind you, most everyone looked great, but it was boring! No one really stepped out and WOW'd me. 

Wanna know some of my favorite looks of the evening? 
Watch me on WCIU's You & Me This Morning as I talk about some of my favorite looks of the evening:

The leading trend of the evening was definitely a clean/fresh natural face with some emphasis on the eyes. 

In honor of last night's hottest trend, I showed up to the station rocking out that look! 
So here is a sneak peek at how to get the look: 

Here is a close up of the makeup look

 Eye Detail...

A little blurry, but you get the idea :) 

 Products used:

 1. MAC cosmetics Eye shadows-- Names of colors listed below-- 
2. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Blackest black
3. Ardell #120 Demi Wispies
4. Laura Geller Makeup Spackle Primer
5. Makeup Forever Face and Body Foundation #20
6. Tarte Cosmetics Cheek stain in Vivid
7. Makeup Forever HD Powder
8. MAC Strobe Cream
9. Makeup Forever Aqua Lip #1C
10. MAC Lipglass in Nymphette (top) and Lust.
*Product sources below*

My Concealer Palette-- I used #1 to highlight, #2 for extra coverage, #3 for contouring and I also used the concealer to the left of #2 for my under eyes. It's Eve Pearl's Salmon Concealer in Medium :) 

 MAC Shadow Colors used for this look. 

Tools used for this look:

1. Eve Pearl Foundation Brush
2. Crown Brush Concealer Brush
3. Beauty Blender
4. Crown Brush: PP9 Oval Foundation brush
5. Crown Brush: C330 Blending Crease
6. MAC #217 
7. Crown Brush-- Don't remember the #!
8. Crown Pointed Lip Brush
9. Trucco Eye brow brush 

Step by Step Instruction

First thing's first, always hydrate! Moisturize that skin!

EYES: I always do eyes first-- I feel it makes for a cleaner application.

That said, I did prep the eyes with Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer (not pictured). Over that I packed on Vanilla with the #5 brush all over the lid up to the brow. 
From there, I took the #6 brush and lightly placed Naked Lunch and Shroom on the inner tear ducts of the eye, across the lid and then packed it on the brow bone. 
I then took the #7 brush with Mulch eye shadow, and place it on the outer corner of the eye. I create a "V" with this darker tone. From there I take my #6 brush again and use it to gently buff out and soften the mulch. 
Taking the same brush, I dipped it into the Cork shadow and placed it within the "V" shape I created with the mulch, and extended it across the crease. 

Buff until you reach the desired finish. 

I was pulling inspiration from Charlize Theron's Oscar look last night:

She has a super clean face, with some soft neutrals on her eyes, and loads of lashes! 
That was my goal. 

So, I skipped the liner :) 

I curled my lashes and applied a coat of mascara. From there I applied the Ardell Demi Wispies (I'd trimmed them down and cut them to fit my eye), using DUO adhesive in clear.

FACE: I applied my primer, followed by my foundation. 
To apply foundation, I usually go in with the #1 brush and then buff it out with a beauty blender or sponge. 

After applying fountain, I go back with concealer. 
Applying make up in that order allows you to wear less. 

I took brush #2 and the #1 concealer and ran it along the bridge of my nose, up to the center of my forehead and just over my brows. I also used this on my chin. Because this is a bit lighter than what a concealer for me should be, I use it to highlight areas of my face. 
Buff into skin with Beauty Blender. 

Then, I took the same brush and placed the salmon concealer under my eyes (covering any blueish tint from dark circles)
I took concealer #3 to conceal any other redness on the face. 
I used concealer #4 (the very dark tone), as a way to contour my face. So I ran it along the hollows of my cheeks, my temples and the sides of my nose. 
Buff gently into the skin. 

I then took Tarte's Cheek Stain and rubbed a tiny amount onto the apples of my cheeks with my finger-- blending it up towards the ear but focusing the bulk of the color on the apples. 

Set with a light dusting of powder using a #4 Brush.

I then took MAC's strobe cream on my finger and gently dabbed it on the highest point of my cheekbones, my cupid's bow, and just above my brow. 

I LOVE using this as a highlighter!
It's super creamy and is more opalescent than glittery, so it sits well on the skin and is soft enough to catch the light without being too distracting. 

From there, I lined my lips with Makeup Forever Aqua Lip #1C-- filling them in as well. 
Then I took about equal amounts of each gloss and brushed them on with brush #8, leaving my lips with a natural looking lip- something I'm NOT used to!  :) 

To finish off my look, I dipped my #10 brush in the Espresso eye shadow to softly fill in my brows. 


The key to creating a soft natural look, is to use lightweight products.
Allowing your skin to shine through makes all the difference in the world-- so take care of that skin! 
All of the products I used for this look are ones I absolutely adore. So if you're in need of some new things, give these gems a shot :) 


Product Sources: 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring Colors

I've been catching myself wearing a lot of color this winter-- partially as a way to brighten my mood-- but also in excitement for spring!

I know we still have some time before spring actually hits-- but I can't wait! I'm too excited for cute shoes and dresses, warm sunny days, and bright hues on my face!!

Spring might be one of my favorite seasons---colors bloom from the sad cold earth, creating a warm and happy environment. So what can we expect this spring?! Well if I haven't given it away already, it's COLOR! 

New York Fashion Week just ended, leaving us with all sorts of wonderful new beauty trends to try out and make our own. That's the secret to trends-- You don't have to replicate it exactly-- especially since it's so dramatic for the runway/photo-- you can become inspired by it and find a way to make it work for you. 

So here are some colorful looks for inspiration with some tips on how to wear them this spring.


Versus 2013 Spring show
Moschino 2013 Spring Show
Monique Lhuillier 2013 Spring Show

I am a HUGE fan of blue makeup. I think it's so beautiful, works on most skin tones/eye colors, and is such a pretty color! I know a lot of women stay away from blue (thanks to the 80's), many think it's a scary color that's tough to pull off. 
First things first, there are so many shades of blue! From bright neons (above) to dark navy's, smokey gray-blues, to cobalt-- there is a shade for you! 

*I think that blues can work on ANY eye or skin color!*
It's just a matter of finding a shade that complements, and use it in a balanced way.

Makeup Forever's Matte Navy Blue #60
This is a gorgeous navy that can be used as a liner (sometimes I'll do a cat eye liner with a navy rather than black for a little change up), or it's also really pretty used as a smokey eye shade. 

This works well on older women! YES! If you want an impact on the eyes, it does just that but it's less harsh than black. The subtle blue is a nice pop to help bring color to the face without dominating or highlighting fine lines. 

 Makeup Forever's Matte Turquoise #72
This beautiful bright turquoise is a great pop for any skin tone! It looks especially gorgeous on bronzed skin (the gold tones look stunning with this!), as well as very dark skin tones. 

It brightens the eye as well as the rest of the face! You can place it as a thick liner, or you can completely cover your lid. Have fun with it! Create a cat eye, or just add it as an accent color on the end of your eye, or maybe underneath the lower lash line. 
 Makeup Forever Matte Blue #159
GORGEOUS blue. It's still bright even though it's a deeper shade. I love it! This looks fab on any skin tone but also works beautifully on my pale skinned beauties. This blue will make any blue in your eyes pop!

What to avoid...

image c/o

Frosted Blues
These can look dated and for older women, it can age you! All that reflective pigment is accentuating any fine lines you may have. These only work if placed very specifically on areas of the eye that have no sign of aging. So until you're familiar with your eyes and what works, I'd refrain from this.

Want to make the trend work for you? Start small with just a swipe of navy rather than black for your cat eyes. 

image c/o
This photo shows the impact of a blue liner with a subtle line. If you're feeling bold, you can go bright like this photo, otherwise try the deeper navy. 

It get's the point across without overdoing the blue! 

Derek Lam 2013 Spring Show
Marimekko 2013 Spring Show

 I love green shadow-- I know I don't use it enough! It's perfect for Hazel, brown and of course, green eyes.

MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Pencil in Undercurrent
This is one of my favorite green pencils! It's emerald with flecks of gold, so it compliments any skin tone. You can line your water line for a little peep of color. 
If you wanted to do more drama, rim your eyes with this pencil and gently smudge it up and out for a soft smokey effect. 

This deep emerald shade is gorgeous for a sultry smokey eye. Softer finish thanks to the shimmer and it's earthy tone. Good for any skin tone.

Makeup Forever's Matte Apple Green #91
Great electric green-- Super bright hues like this are better in smaller doses! Use it as a liner, or accent. Maybe pop some across your lid before you hit the crease for a subtle blast of color. 

What to avoid...
Pale skinned beauties---
Having a wash of deep green may be a bit overwhelming for you. 

Want to make the trend work for you? If you want to use the deep green, start small. Use a little liner on your upper lash line, or line your inner rim for a subdued dramatic effect. Another tip for lighter skin-- use lighter shades of green. 

Try a minty colored green...
Makeup Forever's Celadon #34

You can put this across your lid or even try the look of Derek Lam's models from Fashion week, and do a full wash of this color up to the brow. 

image c/o

Since it's so soft and delicate, it works. 


Donna Karan 2013 Spring Show

Pinks are great on all eye colors ESPECIALLY Blues and Greens.

Makeup Forever's Neon Pink #75
This bright fuchsia pink is BOLD! IF you're going for a super bright look (photo above), this is pretty much it! To go for something less abrasive than the photo above, use this on Just the top or just the bottom rather than fully rimming the eye. That alone will create a bold look without it overtaking your eyes! 

Makeup Forever's Dusty Pink #112
This matte warm pinky tone is great for light skin colors. It has a peachy undertone that would compliment cooler toned skin. This can be used all over the eye. It's matte complexion is subtle and the color is fresh. 

What to avoid...

Pinks are fun but be careful! If you have a lot of red in your skin, you may want to stray to more violet tinted hues. Using a bright pink may bring out whatever redness you may have in your skin. 

Want to make the trend work for you? Try pinky tones with more violet influence. 

Try this Velvet Eyes palette by Eve Pearl
The colors are vibrant and you'll still get that pink runway effect with this palette. 
Best part? This palette will work on ANY eye color/skin tone! 


Lela Rose 2013 Spring Show

Yellows look electric against Blue eyes! Aside from that, yellows can look amazing on ALL eye colors. The trick to pulling off this hue? Skin tone and restraint!

Makeup Forever's Yellow #2
This Bright matte yellow shadow is a bold statement. In order to make it work without it taking over your whole face, you can use it as a blending shade with other colors in the family to add a little punch to the look. I also love to use bright tones as liners for a softer hint of color.

Makeup Forever's Lemon #102
This matte butter yellow is a more modest form of the color. It runs a little more neutral making it easier for more skin tones to use and creates a softer look. This color is great on the lid or even used as a highlighter on the brow bone and tear duct. 

What to avoid....
Yellow undertones.
If you have a lot of yellow undertones in your skin, it's probably wise to find a cooler shade. 

The bright shade will only make your skin look more yellow than it is which isn't what we're going for. 

Want to make the trend work for you? 
Go for golds. Using yellow/gold tones hint at this trend without being so literal. 

 image c/o

I hope this post inspires you to use more color! If you're afraid of looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show...

Just remember that RESTRAINT is key! 
Start small with accent colors and once you get a feel for what colors work best for you, you can start playing more with smokey eyes, all over shades, etc. 

xoxo Jen

Runway images c/o
 harpers bazaar, real

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brush Basics

I know that some of you are confused when it comes to makeup brushes. After all, there are SO many of them! While all of them have their purpose, you obviously don't need 100 different types of brushes to accomplish your look.

This post will highlight brush basics, i.e.; types of bristles, uses, etc. I will also compose a list of my bare minimum basic brushes that I think you need to accomplish different looks!

First thing's first, let's start with the basics...
Synthetic VS Natural Hair

Both types of brushes have their purpose and it's important to know so you can get the best results!

Synthetic Bristles:

Synthetic Brush bristles are made of a blend of nylon, acrylic or polyester filaments. These brushes are generally best used for Creams and liquids because they don't absorb too much of the product and they are so easy to clean!
Cream shadows
Cream Blush
Gel/Liquid liners

Natural Bristles:

Natural Hair brushes are made up of squirrel, pony, and/or badger hair. Each have different textures-- Squirrel is very soft while badger is more firm-- These are great for powder products as they pick up and hold the fine powders very well, making it easy to transfer.
Eye shadows
Setting powders

Creating a brush set
I will tell you, MAC cosmetics has 36 different brushes! So I understand the dilemma of trying to pick out the brushes you need. Here is a quick low maintenance guide of brushes...
*For the sake of ease-- I just plucked photo samples of the brushes from MAC's website here. There are LOTS of great companies that make brushes, this was just easiest for me to grab photos :)*

Shadow brush: Having a flat shadow brush is great for packing on shadows.
Having one tightly bound brush is great to pack on color beneath the brow, or on the lid.

*TIP* Natural hair brushes that are tightly bound, hold pigment really well-making it ideal for packing on product, while natural hair brushes that are loosely bound, don't hold as much color and are better for blending.

Blending brush: You need a blending brush! This one is really important-- As Peg from Edward Scissorhands would say, "You must blend and blend and blend!" Blending is key! To create a fluid, more natural look, blending colors and shadows together is so important!

Angle Hair Brush: This brush is SO useful! I use it to apply eye liner, create a smokey look, fill in my brows-- It's so good!

Big Powder Brush: To set your makeup with a powder, you'll need a fluffy brush! This is great for applying a light dusting of powder, or if you apply setting powder with a sponge/puff, using a fluffy brush to tap away excess is perfect for preventing a super cakey look.

Blush Brush: If you have a decent sized powder brush-- not monstrous- you can probably use that also as a blush brush--see rounded blush brush below--But, if you have a few extra $$$ I suggest buying an actual blush brush. I prefer a fluffy domed shape brush.

*TIP* Layering blush in soft light layers is better than packing it on. It's always easier to add than to take away!

Foundation Brush: There are a lot of ways to apply foundation-- hands, sponge, kabuki brush, dome foundation brush.. the list goes on! So this brush is only necessary if you prefer to apply your foundation with a brush.
Foundation brushes are typically synthetic so they don't absorb too much of the product. I often use a standard flat foundation brush to apply the foundation, and then buff it in with a damp sponge.

Concealer Brush: A smaller version of the foundation brush. Another synthetic brush that is often small enough to get in tight places-- under the eyes, around the nose-- If I'm not using my fingers, I use this brush.

Lip Brush: A lip brush is essential for creating flawless, show stopping lips! I think a lip brush is especially important if you are playing with bold lip colors, because if you are, you really need to make sure they are drawn on perfectly.

Here are a few brush sets that I think are pretty close to ideal in a range of prices :) 
Most Expensive to Least expensive
Too Faced Sephora $65

Sephora Brush Set for $39

Essence of Beauty sold at CVS for $10

**Combine the two Eco Tools sets for a full face 12 piece set at $20!**

I think cleaning brushes is EXTREMELY important!
I will create a full separate post on how to properly clean your brushes.

In the meantime, I do have an older post that lightly touches on how to clean your brushes and how to make your own spray cleaner for between uses.
Check it out HERE.

I hope this guide was helpful and that it gives you a good understanding of what these basic brushes do!