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