A Quick Trick To Apply Mascara On Your Lower Lashes

apply mascara bottom lashes

Do you apply mascara on your lower lashes?

I do so only for special occasions, and every time, it used to be a struggle. I used only thin wands, rotated them vertically and then used them to apply mascara to the lashes, from their bottom to their tips. But no matter how careful I was, any wand always left some black smudges on my skin.

Being a lover of bright and bold eyeshadow shades, I always do my eye makeup first, so that if some fallout or smudges occur, I can easily remove them without messing up my foundation and concealer. But still, what a pain! There must be a better way to do this, right?

Well, you could buy Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, which is especially designed to coat the lower lashes. It’s only $10.00 and the reviews are raving. Or you could use your lip brush.

I had this idea while I was applying liquid eyeliner. I always use my eyeliner brush for that (makes the job so much easier!), so I thought, why not use it for mascara too? Well, that worked ok, but I wasn’t wholly satisfied. So I tried a lip brush next, and that worked even better.

How do you do it? It’s simple. Pick up some of the mascara with your brush. I do not like to touch the brush to the wand for hygienic reasons, so I put some product on the back of my hand. Then, I pick it up with the brush, and start “painting” the bottom lashes, a few at a time.

I concentrate the colour mostly at the roots. That’s where I apply more pressure with the brush, and then, more lightly, I coat the tips. I find that focusing more on the roost also gives the illusion that you’ve lined your eyes. So, there’s no need to use eyeliner for that. Isn’t that great?

How do you apply mascara to your bottom lashes?

Where Should You Match Your Foundation?

where match foundation

So, how many times have you bought the wrong foundation shade? Me, too many to count.

When I first started getting into makeup, back in high school, I didn’t have much of a choice. I was on a strict budget and none of the foundations that I could afford came in shades light enough for my skintone. I always had to get a darker shade, which wasn’t a big problem in winter, when I wore high-neck sweaters. But in the summer, I’d have to go barefaced.

But even when I finally had more money to invest in a pricier foundation, I would still often end up purchasing the wrong pale shade. Limited shade selection, and the awful lights in the shops, had something to do with it, but there was also another factor that contributed to this bad choice: I was trying on foundation shades in all the wrong places.

Inner wrist

For years, I tried foundation shades on my inner wrist. It was what everyone else was doing, including SAs (some of them here still do now *cringes*). Even a few mags suggested it. That must have been the right way, I thought. And yet, when you think about it, it doesn’t make much sense. Look at your inner wrist. Is it the same colour as your face? Nope. Mine is an even paler shade than my face and has stronger yellow undertones. That led me to choose foundations who had strong yellow undertones too, so no wonder they didn’t look good on me! Duh!

Jawline

So, I next matched my foundation to my jawline. The reasoning behind this is simple. If you pick a shade that only matches your face, you’ll look like you’re wearing a mask that ends at your jawline. Ew! But while this advice has served me well in winter, it failed me in the summer. I still looked like I was wearing a mask because the rest of my body is a different colour than my face. And so, very likely, is yours. It may be darker, it may have sallower or pinker undertones, or you may have a skin condition that causes redness. By focusing on your jawline only, it’s easy to pick up the wrong shade.

Neck

Did you know that your neck contains less melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin, which gives skin its colour)? Add to that that your face casts a shadow upon your neck, and it’s no wonder that this is one of the palest parts of your body. It’s often much paler than your chest. So, if you choose a foundation shade that only matches your neck, you may look ok when wearing a round collar top. But when you don a low cut top, or just slightly unbutton your shirt, you will look like you’re wearing a ghostly mask that ends at your neck! Argh! Why can’t our skin just be one colour all over?!

Chest

If you live somewhere cold where you’re forced to wear turtle necks or round collar tops a lot, matching your foundation to your jawline may make sense. But even then, you’ll sometimes wear a low-cut dress, or even just a V-neck top or a blouse that’s not buttoned all the way up. Unless you want to apply your foundation to your chest (which may not be a big deal if only a small amount of it is exposed but becomes a pain when you’re wearing something strapless, or off-the-shoulder or just a skimpy summer top), you’ll have to pick a shade that matches it. That way, your face and body will be the same colour.

The Bottom Line

When choosing a new foundation shade, try and match it to your chest. That’s usually the best place to ensure you pick a shade that won’t make you look like you’re wearing a mask. However, don’t forget that we are all different. We have different skintones, different undertones and live in different places, with different climates that affects our skin colours differently. If you find that matching  your foundation to your jawline works best for you, keep doing it. But if a shade picked that way has never satisfied you, try matching it to your chest next time. The result may surprise you. :)

Where do you match your foundation?

A Quick And Easy Way To Apply Liquid Eyeliner

liquid eyeliner application trick

Do you find it hard to apply liquid eyeliner? Try as you might, you never seem to be able to draw a straight line?

I feel your pain. I can easily apply pencil or gel eyeliners, but give me a liquid one and I’ll make a mess. I’ll just draw a wobbly line, or apply too much, or smudge it. It’s just so frustrating!

But it doesn’t have to be. There’s a quicker way to apply liquid eyeliner effortlessly. It’s very easy too.

Use your own brush. We all have a favourite eyeliner brush. Mine is from Ecotools. Grab it and, with it, pick up a little bit of colour from the liquid eyeliner applicator.

Then, apply it like you would your gel eyeliner. And voilà. The eyeliner is now perfectly applied. And it took you less than a minute! :)

How do you apply liquid eyeliner?

Concealer Too Thick? Warm It Up

warm up thick concealer

Some concealers are just a pain to work with. Take Benefit Erase Paste Concealer, for example.

It salmon hue completely covers even the darkest of dark circles and brightens up the eye area too, but its thick, concentrated texture will tug at your skin. Plus, once on, it looks cakey and unnatural. It’s so annoying you’ll want to throw it away.

But if do that, you’ll miss out on its benefits. Not to mention the money you’ll be throwing away too. What a waste! Especially, when a simple trick can turn an unblendable concealer into one that applies effortlessly. How?

It’s easy. Dab or, if the concealer is in liquid form, squeeze a tiny amount of product on the back of your hand, and rub it back and forth with a finger. The heat will give the concealer more slip, allowing it to glide smoothly on the skin. No tugging. And it won’t look cakey either.

You can do this trick with pretty much any creamy, liquid, or stick concealer or foundation that has a thick, hard-to-blend texture. It works like a charm every time.

What do you do when you come across a concealer or foundation with a very thick texture?

What’s The Best Foundation For My Skin Type?

types of foundation

The key to flawless skin? Foundation. It can even out the skintone, hide blemishes and discolourations and give your skin a smooth and natural appearance. But for a natural look, it’s not enough to choose the right shade of foundation. You also have to choose the right formula for your skin type. Use the wrong one, and it will just emphasize every imperfection and even cause breakouts!

But with so many types of foundation on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here’s a little guide to help you:

Best for normal, dry and combination skin: liquid foundation

The most popular type of foundation (and my favourite), liquid foundation is very versatile. Coverage can range from sheer to full depending on the formula, which also contains moisturizing ingredients, as well as silicones, that help fill in fine lines and wrinkles and give skin a smoother appearance. Because of this, it is a great choice for people with normal, dry or combination skin. Those with oily skin may instead find liquid foundations (unless they are oil-free) too rich and dewy. This type of foundation can easily be applied either with a brush, a sponge or fingers.

Best for mature skin: cream foundation

Cream foundations have a creamier and heavier texture than liquid foundations and provide medium to full coverage that’s very longlasting. This type of foundation is best applied with a damp sponge and a light hand to avoid a cakey and unnatural look. It is most suitable for mature skin, but also works well for those with dry skin who need a heavy duty coverage. Instead, they can often feel too greasy and even cause breakouts on oilier skin types. Only cream-to-powder foundations, which don’t need to be set with powder, can be used by those with slightly oily skin.

Best for travel: stick foundation

Stick foundations are cream-to-powder foundations in stick form, which makes them very easy to travel with. Because of their very thick consistency, they can double up as concealers, but can feel heavy and uncomfortable on the skin. They can be applied with either a sponge or a brush, but you have to be very fast at blending because they tend to set very quickly. Ladies with oily skin should avoid stick foundations because they can clog pores and cause breakouts, while everyone else may want to use them only for travelling. They are usually to heavy for daily wear.

Best for dry and mature skin: mousse foundation

Mousse foundations are liquid makeup with air whipped in, which gives them a lighter texture. Best applied with fingers, this type of foundation can be used by all skin types, but is particularly ideal for ladies with dry or mature skin because of its ability to go on smoothly without caking or settling into fine lines.

Best for clear skin: tinted moisturizer

Tinted moisturizers are a cross between a moisturizer and a foundation. Fairly hydrating, they provide a very light coverage that’s enough just to even out the skintone but won’t cover any blemishes or serious imperfections, making them suitable only for those whose skin is almost flawless to begin with. They work for most skin types, but can often be too rich for those with oily skin.

Best for oily skin: pressed powder foundation

Pressed powder foundations are packaged in travel-friendly compacts, like pressed powders, but provide more coverage and last longer on the skin. They can be applied with either a brush for a sheerer coverage or a sponge for a medium to full coverage, but always require a light hand or they will look cakey and unnatural. Powders have absorbent properties that can reduce shine. This makes them suitable for girl with oily skin, who should however be careful when choosing the right shade. The pigments in powder foundations can, in fact, change colour and oxidise when mixed with excess oil. Ladies with dry skin should, instead, avoid powder foundations as they will dry out their skin.

Best for sensitive skin: mineral foundation

Most mineral foundations are simply pressed powder foundations in loose form, which makes them messier to use and difficult to travel with. However, pure mineral foundations (ie foundations that contain only a bunch of minerals and none of the oils, silicones, preservatives and other ingredients found in traditional makeup) make them suitable for people with sensitive skin, as they are less likely to cause irritations (but avoid those with bismuth oxychloride, which is a common allergen). Pure mineral foundations provides excellent, but natural-looking, coverage, but choose the shade carefully because they can oxidize. They can also be drying on dry skin. They are best applied with a kabuki brush.

What’s your favourite type of foundation?

5 Eye Brushes Every Woman Should Own

must have eye brushes

To achieve beautiful and flawless eye makeup looks, you need the right brushes. But with so many different types available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, I’ve put together this little guide to show you the five eye brushes every woman should have in her arsenal, plus tips on how to use them and recommendations about some good quality tools at all price points. Because, while good brushes are an investment, it doesn’t always have to be an expensive one. :)

So, let’s get started:

1. Flat Shader Brush

A must in any brush collection, a flat shader brush usually has a squared-off shape. Its bristles are dense, stiff and slightly domed, which allow them to pick up a lot of colour and pack it tightly onto the lid, providing an intense finish. In an emergency, this brush can also be used to apply eyeshadows in the crease. Smaller flat shader brushes, instead, also work well at smudging colours under the lashline. This is the type of brush we use every time we apply eyeshadow, so it’s best to have at least a couple in your stash.

One of the most popular flat shader brushes is, undoubtedly, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush ($25.00). If, like me, you have small eyes, a better option would be MAC 213 Fluff Brush ($24.00). Are you on a budget? Then, try Gosh Flat Eyeshadow Brush (£7.00). It’s just as good as the MAC 239 Brush, but a lot cheaper! Another favourite of mine is E.L.F. Eyeshadow Brush. It costs only $1.00!

2. Stiff Dome Brush

A stiff dome brush has round-shaped bristles that are tapered into a dome. They are stiff but soft, allowing you to blend even the darkest colours seamlessly into the crease. Its shape makes it easy to blend out harsh lines, feather out eyeshadows to create smokey eyes, and add depth to a look. The best stiff dome brush is MAC 217 Blending Brush ($24.00). It’s expensive, but worth every penny. I have yet to find a decent dupe for it. I’m actually thinking of buying a second brush to use as backup. It’s that good.

3. Tapered Blending Brush

Commonly known as fluffy brush, the tapered blending brush has long and wide bristles tapered into a dome. The bristles are soft, but not dense. This makes the brush flimsy and inappropriate for any precise work. However, that doesn’t mean it is useless. On the contrary, this brush excels at softening harsh lines on the crease and browbone areas. Because it doesn’t move a lot of colour around, it simply softens its edges rather than blending it out too much, which makes it perfect for smokey looks.

But it also works well at applying highlighting shades on the browbone. It’ll just deposit a very soft wash of colour. In addition, tapered blending brushes also double up as concealer brushes: they do a great job at hiding dark circles and bags under the eyes. I use the Smashbox Crease Brush #10 ($24.00), but other good options include MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush ($32.00) and Sigma Tapered Blending Brush E40 ($13.63).

4. Pencil Brush

If you need to do any precision work, or want to apply colour on the lower lashline, then you need a pencil brush. It has dense and short, tapered bristles that end in a point, like that of a pencil. A pencil brush can be used to apply colour in the inner corners of the eyes, smudge it near the lashline for a softer or smokier look, or to apply and blend it on the crease for a very defined cut crease look.

The most famous pencil brush must be MAC 219 Pencil Brush ($25.00), but my favourite is Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush (£7.00). The quality is just as good, but its point is smaller, which makes it more suitable for people with small eyes.

5. Angled Eyeliner Brush

The most versatile type of eyeliner brush, the angled eyeliner brush has short, flat and slanted bristles that can be use for tightlining, drawing both thin and thick lines along the lashline and creating cat eye looks. The shape of this brush allows you to control the shape and size of the line, allowing for a more precise application. Plus, it works well with all types of eyeliners, and even with eyeshadows. I use the Ecotools Bamboo Flat Eyeliner Brush ($5.29), but other, more expensive, options include and Japonesque Travel Angled Eyeliner Brush ($11.00) and MAC 263 Small Angle Brush ($20.00).

What are your must-have eye brushes?

9 Eyeshadow Blending Tips

sleek makeup lagoon eyeshadow palette 03

Some days, all you need is a subtle wash of colour on the lids. Most days, you’ll probably want to do something a little more complicated. A light shade on the lid to open up the eyes, a darker hue on the crease to add depth and dimension, and a highlighter on the browbone to illuminate the look. That’s just the basics. If you feel more adventurous, you can use even six or seven eyeshadows.

But, if you use more than one colour, you have to make sure everything is blended well together. The secret? Well, there are plenty of tips and tricks to make blending eyeshadows easier for beginners, but nothing is a substitute for practice. So, whenever you have the chance, take out your eyeshadows and your brushes and blend, blend, blend. The more you do it, the better you’ll become.

But to help you out, here are some of my favourite tricks:

nutcracker 02

1. Start with shades in the same colour family

The more similar two shades are, the easier they will be to blend. It doesn’t matter how much you like crazy colour combos such as green and pink, or black and white. These colours are very hard to blend together, so wait until you have more practice or you’ll only make a muddy mess. Instead take two shades in the same colour family (ie, two greens) and blend them into a seamless gradient. If you’ve never done it before, start with browns. It’s impossible to make a mess with browns. Even if the eyeshadows aren’t perfectly blended, no one will notice.

2. Use an intermediary colour to create a gradient

Once you’ve learned how to blend similar colours, you may want to try pairing different shades together. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use an intermediary colour. For instance, if you want to blend fuchsia and blue, you can apply a purple shade between them. If you’d like to do a warmer look, apply orange between yellow and red. This will help you create a seamless gradient with ease. If you’re not sure of what shade will fit well between two contrasting colours, simply check out the colour wheel for help.

pink night 01

3. No intermediary colour? Keep blending to a minimum

Sometimes, using an intermediary colour is not possible. There are just too many colours between dark blue and bright yellow, for instance. These colours will never fade seamlessly into one another and, if you try to make them to, you’ll only make a mess (and create an ugly green shade). In this case, the best thing is to blend as little as possible. Simply focus on blending out the edges, so that there are no unattractive sharp lines.

Lychee cupcake 01

4. Blend out the edges with a similar, but lighter, shade

If you use a dark or bold shade on the crease to define the eyes, it’s a good idea to use a lighter shade in the same colour family on top of it to blend out the edges and create a nice gradient. This will also make it easier to blend the crease colour with the highlighting shade you’ll use next. Otherwise, the contrast between the two will be too stark and look unnatural.

5. Lighter into darker or vice versa

If you’re a newbie at blending eyeshadows, apply the two colours you want to use on the lid, and then start blending. To do this, the easiest way would be to gently pull the lightest colour into the darker one (some people do the opposite, which works fine too, but it’s just a tad harder). Of course, you don’t have to bring the light colour all over the dark one, but simply drag it enough for them to fade into one another. You want to fade the edges and create a gradient, not lighten entirely the darker shade.

6. Use soft strokes

When blending eyeshadows, use soft, quick and feathery strokes. They will help diffuse the colour more easily. Also, use a light hand and don’t pick up too much product. If you apply the shade too lightly, you can always intensify it, but fixing the opposite mistake will be harder.

mac 217 blending brush 02

7. The right tools

Next to practice, the most important thing is the right brush. You can’t use the flat one you use to apply colours on the lid. It just won’t work that well. Instead, choose a fluffy, domed shaped brush that doesn’t pick up too much colour and allows you to sweep it in whatever direction you need to. Although you don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a good blending brush these days, my favourite still remains the MAC 217 Blending Brush. It’s pricey, but soft, versatile and makes applying eyeshadows a breeze. Oh, and stay away from sponge brushes. They absorb too much product, and don’t even work that well.

8. Blend over a creamy, smooth base

Eyeshadows glide on better, and are easier to blend, when applied over a creamy and smooth base. You can use either an eyeshadow primer such as Too Faced Shadow Insurance; a nude powder eyeshadow with a buttery texture; or a nude cream eyeshadow. You could also use a coloured cream eyeshadow but, in that case, make sure it will match the colour you’ll apply on top so that it will intensify the shade rather than show through it and ruin it.

9. Take your time

When blending eyeshadows, take as much time as you need. Start by applying (and blending, of course!) a little bit of colour, and build it up as needed. Every now and then, step back from the mirror to see how everything looks from a distance.

But mostly importantly, have fun! Don’t be afraid to be creative, test out new colour combos, or experimenting. And practice, practice, practice!

What are your favourite eyeshadow blending tricks?

How To Make Your Lipstick Last Longer

make your lipstick last longer

Are you tired of reapplying lipstick every couple of hours? Me too. On a normal day, I don’t care much. If it fades away, so be it. But on special occasions, when I need to look my best, the last thing I want is to often check my face in the mirror to see if it’s time for a touch-up. I tried using longlasting lipsticks and stains, but after a while, they start to dry out my lips.

The solution? Well, there is an old trick that never fails. Here it is:

1. Pick the right shade
Although you can use this trick with any shade, there are some that will last more than others. Bright and dark shades, because they have more pigment, have better staying power than paler and more delicate hues. In addition, don’t use anything too creamy. The creamier the texture, the quicker it’ll fade.

2. Pencil it in
Grab a pencil liner that matches the colour of the lipstick you’re gonna apply next (a neutral shade would work well too). Starting from your Cupid’s bow, trace the outer part of your lips, and then fill them in. This will provide a foundation for your lipstick and help it last longer.

3. Brush it on
Although you’ll get a richer colour (and more quickly too) if you simply apply lipstick from the tube, it’s better to use a brush. This way you have more control over the application and will be better able to fill in any crevices you may have in your lips.

4. Blot, and repeat
Now grab a tissue, fold it in half, place it between your lips and blot a couple of time. This will really press the colour into your lips. Then, apply another layer of lipstick and blot again.

5. Set with powder
With an eyeshadow blending brush, pick up some translucent powder and dust it on your lips. Don’t use too much powder or you’ll risk drying out your lips.

How do you make your lipstick last longer?

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