Saturday, June 16, 2012

NYC Sun 'N Bronze Bronzing Powder Coney Island Glow

Ah, the eternal hunt for the perfect bronzer. Does it even exist? Sometimes I wonder!

While out at ULTA, shopping for my NYX haul, I saw the Physician's Formula bronzer that I want to try.

Then I saw the price.

Yeaaaa.... I'm all for paying a pretty penny for higher-end products, but not for something I can get at Wal*Mart or CVS. That sounds so snobbish of me LOL.

So I moseyed over to CVS and saw their NYC bronzer called Sun 'N Bronze Bronzing Powder. I figured why not give that a shot... It's only $4.99, so no harm done if I don't like it.

It comes in a few shades, and the one I chose was Coney Island Glow.

I'm not 100% sure of the wear time, but so far I REALLY like it! The color is pretty and the shimmer is juuuuust right for my skin. I combined this with Benefit's Coralista blush and it makes a really pretty glowy bronzey pink color.

The picture of all the colors swirled together doesn't do the color justice. It also looks really shimmery, but I can assure you it's really not. It has just the right amount of sheen. I know when you have oily skin, you're supposed to stick to matte products, but I'm a weirdo and I like my skin to look dewy. My face is going to get oily anyway, so why not just use products that have a sheen to them, right?

It comes with a clear plastic lid that comes completely off. I think this is pretty convenient, and it's fairly mess free. My biggest complaint so far is it has a somewhat Pine Sol scent to it, but it does NOT translate to when you're putting it on. It only smells like that in the pan (I'm weird and smell all my makeup before I put it on my face).

It has five bricks of color, but only three individual colors, if that makes sense. The swatches that I put up are of the individual colors, and then of them swirled together.

Without flash:

With flash:

Swirled together without flash:

Swirled together with flash:

Here's a picture in natural afternoon sunlight:

And the following two photos are in the bathroom, where I'm using those energy efficient bulbs:

See, it's totally different on the face! If the wear time is decent on this one, then I think it's going to be my go-to bronzer. If this can survive a busy day in the salon, then it can survive anything!

Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Hi beauties!! I was tasked recently with a tutorial on how to properly clean makeup brushes. I WAS planning on filming a video tutorial and was all set to do it, when I received a text that both pissed me off and made me laugh at the same time.

My cat got a hold of my kabuki brush.

See, my deaf cat likes to put things in his water bowl. Toys, socks, strings... and now he's moved onto kabuki brushes. I've moved my makeup out to the dining room and had forgotten to put my brushes up and out of the reach of the animals and he wound up deciding this brush (one of my FAVORITES) belonged in the water bowl.

That meant I had to clean my brushes ASAP and the video had to be put on the backburner for now. I'm still planning on making a video review, so make sure to keep your eyes on this blog for that!

This is something I do once a week to make sure my brushes stay clean. I have separate brushes I use for professional use and they get cleaned before and after each use. I am pretty fanatical about keeping my tools clean, and will go at the MOST two weeks in between cleanings. If you do your makeup religiously every day, then you would need to do this once a week. If you're a once in a while kind of person, you COULD stretch it out to two weeks, but I wouldn't suggest it. :)

I use Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo (the regular plain jane one) because it has antiseptic properties, as well as being very moisturizing. I buy this at the salon I work at. Salon brands are ONLY guaranteed when bought from a SALON. Remember that, folks! If you see it in the supermarket, drug store, or anything other than a SALON, it is probably black market, tampered with, or expired. Just remember that!

It's sold for less than $20.00 at my salon (I don't know the exact price since I pay wholesale for it) and it will last me at least six to eight months.

The only other thing you'll need besides the shampoo is two bowls, a towel that will fit all your brushes, and a sink with running water. And patience. Lots and lots of patience. :)

Click the "read more" to see the step-by-step process of how to clean makeup brushes!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Puerto Rican Sunset

I miss going to Puerto Rico every summer. The warm winds, the salty ocean, the soft sand... it's a magical place that I haven't been to in more than a decade.

A few weeks ago, I was trolling the internet for makeup inspiration and came across this stunning photo on Flickr of a Puerto Rican Sunset. The colors just popped off the screen at me and took me back to many a magical sunset.

I think I am the MOST proud of this look than anything I've done in the past. Enjoy!

The inspiration:

The look:

Products Used:
*Revlon ColorStay foundation in a mix of 180 Sand Beige & 150 Buff Chamois (one more week until I get NEW foundation & powder! yay!)
*Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles in Neutralizer
*bareMinerals Mineral Veil
*Benefit Coralista blush
*Inglot Sleeks Cream on my lips in Number 92 (a beautiful nude) with a tiny bit of UD Half Baked in the center of the lip

*NYX Eyeshadow base in White
*NYX single eyeshadow in Yellow
*A red, coral, orange, and gold from my 88 palette
*NYX single eyeshadow in Black for the crease
*NYX single eyeshadow in White for the highlight
*UD Darkhorse in the crease
*UD Half Baked to warm up the highlight
*MUFE Crayon Khol Pencil in 1K
*Maybelline EyeStudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black
*Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara
*Ardell Double Up Lashes in Number 203

I'd love to hear what you think!

Also! I'm thinking of doing a giveaway once I hit 100 followers. I'd love to hear any feedback you may have on what kind of competition to do and what you'd like to receive as a prize!

Friday, June 8, 2012


*blows dust off*

I'm so sorry I've been MIA! Things have been a bit... crazy around here.

The woman and I went on a long overdue trip to the Motherland (otherwise known as NJ). We brought my mom back down with us for mother's day. I think today is the first "real" day off I've had since April!

Also, I received a promotion to assistant manager at my salon. It's something I worked my ass off for and received within 8 months of hire (and less than one year from being a licensed cosmetologist!). The shop has been keeping me busy as well and will continue to do so since we have two stylists going on vacation until the end of July. Eep!

Needless to say, I'm exhausted! I do makeup everyday, of course, but only my five-minute face (foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, mascara, gloss). I haven't really had time to do much of anything else.

There was one day back in... April, I think, where I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Sonja! She absolutely loves doing purple smokey eyes and I figured why not give it another try. Normally I'm pretty unsuccessful when it comes to things like this, so I'm definitely glad I gave it a go!

I stink and can't remember a single thing I used. This was back when I still had my "J-Lo" hair - it was very warm with sunny golden highlights. I had about a month where my hair was OMG BLONDE (heavily highlighted to a pale blonde with pink peekaboos), but no pictures of that. I stink. I barely even wore makeup when I had it like that since my skin was freaking out and reacting to SOMETHING in my environment.

Anyway, I'm rambling LOL. Here are the pictures inspired by the stunningly beautiful Sonja! Make sure you head over to her blog and follow her! She's amazing and so talented!

gah, jowels!

same type of shot, way different lighting

I tried to take some pictures in my bathroom, where the lighting is way different than out in the living room. The color purple is more true to life, but my skin is way washed out. I'm not really THAT pale. I'll find the right lighting one day!

What do y'all think? <3

Sunday, April 1, 2012


So on Friday, while cleaning, I threw my back out. This made working on Saturday extremely difficult, especially when it came to shampoos. I wound up leaving about an hour before my shift was over since it was slow anyway. I came home and took a painkiller to try and help ease the pain. I figured I'd just fall into a narcotic-induced coma and sleep until 4AM or some crazy hour.

As it turns out, I had the exact opposite reaction and was crazy wired. Granted, the pain went away, but still. I was WIRED.

I practically had makeup brushes in my hand, ready and waiting, when Ash walked through the door at nearly midnight from her job. She's always saying how she'll be my willing victim, so I jumped at the opportunity to play with makeup on her.

We started out with a basic smokey eye, but since I haven't done makeup on someone else since a wedding I did in November, it came out a little off. No photos of that, since I want to try it again.

I had her remove the makeup, just on the eyes, and while she was doing that, I got to thinking... what do I want to do? What do I want to practice? I've always loved the look of makeup masks, and I know that is definitely an area I need practice in. My last one came out "eh" at best.

MakeupBee had posted a STUNNING mask to their Facebook Fan Page and as soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to use it as inspiration. The colors I used are nearly identical to those used in the inspiration mask, but mine is less ornate. I just want to get my blending down pat before I start getting fancy with the edges like in the inspiration. Plus, I don't have a fine tipped brush, nor do I have liquid liner, both of which would be useful for making very ornate patterns along the edges of the mask.

Products used will be listed at the bottom, as well as a link to the inspiration mask. Please let me know what you think!

What a good sport she is. It was nearly 1:30AM by the time this picture was taken. It took the both of us about 15 minutes alone just to scrub it off. :)

Products Used
Revlon ColorStay Foundation in 150 Buff Chamois
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil for the finishing powder
No-name blush/bronzer to contour

NYX Eyeshadow Base in White Pearl
88 Palette for the mask: turquoise, hot pink, dark blue, dark purple, black
Maybelline EyeStudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black
CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara in Very Black
SallyGirl Baked Eyeshadow in 388120 (a beautiful teal color) - I LOVE this stuff!!!

Here's the inspiration - (clearly mine is WAY different than hers!)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Green With Envy!

This post was originally supposed to be for St. Patrick's Day, since this is what I wore to work on March 17th. I'm a total lame-o and forgot to post, naturally. Such is my life LOL.

Since it's been two weeks, I totally forgot what products I used - I just remember that I used NYX Eyeshadow Base in White and my 88 palette. The lighting was totally not working with me that day, nor was my camera. A lot of the pictures were blown out, so I had to heavily alter the saturation, levels, contrast, etc., in Gimp. I'm sorry if this throws off the look of the photos, but I promise you I did nothing to alter the makeup itself.

I also may or may have not edited out some wrinkles. *blush* The joys of being 30. ;)

I hate my face in this picture, but it's one of the few I took with my eyes open that looked somewhat decent. Sun in the eyes does not make for good photographs!

You know I had to post a look with the glasses on!

So how was everyone's St. Patrick's Day? (For those that celebrated...) I had to work that day, which happened to be a Saturday. It was a little slow in the salon, but the people that DID come in were hilarious. Some were already drunk (at 11 in the morning) and most were getting ready to go GET drunk.

I come across all different walks of life in my industry and I love it!

Do you have a St. Patrick's Day inspired look that you posted on your blog? Share the link in the comments and I'll edit my post to include yours!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainbow Margarita

I know, I'm lame. I've taken entirely too long to post a new look. I'm sorry :D

Things just keep getting more and more hectic at the salon. I wear makeup (nearly) every day, and whenever I do something other than my five-minute-face, I will take photos. Those photos turn into little dust bunnies on the memory cards and then I realize "oh, right, I have a blog!" LOL

As always, I asked my wonderful partner what kind of look I should do a few days ago. She said "something bright for spring". I dug out the 88 palette and set to work!

I had a few problems with the lightning for these pictures. Normally I take my photos at night, so I use the "slow" setting on my camera with flash to help combat shadows. If I take any pictures during the day, it's after the sun has already moved from beaming directly onto my porch. With daylight savings time and an eastward facing porch, it was hard to get the lighting JUST right for these. I apologize if some of them are blown out or over processed. Absolutely ZERO editing was done to the makeup itself. I just fiddled with the contrast and in the one closeup shot, I airbrushed out my wrinkles (allergies have been wreaking havoc on my skin) and I also lightened up a shadow or two.

Also, new haircolor! What do you think?

silly face ;D

Products Used:

*Revlon ColorStay foundation in 180 Sand Beige
*Sephora Compact powder foundation in Light 20
*No name bronzer
*Benefit blush in Coralista

*NYX eyeshadow base in White
*88 palette - hot pink, lime green, deep purple, pinky-purple
*MUFE kohl eyeliner in 1K
*Maybelline Eyestudio gel liner in Blackest Black
*CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion mascara in Very Black
*Sephora lashes "Tempting"

I wish I knew the name! It's an ULTA gloss that's baby pink, almost white. I love it!

Every time I have some kind of creative makeup going on, I take a picture with my phone and post it directly to my Facebook page. One of my best friends said that it looked like a Rainbow Margarita! What do you guys think?