Valentine’s Make up: Plum smokey eye with peach lips and dewy skin…

So, I was trying to think of a shorter, catchier title for this post…but alas, this eludes me! I’m just writing an article on make-up styles for Valentines this year…and want to share with all this idea: A smokey eye…but with a twist…it’s a lot lighter and softer than the traditional smokey charcoal eyes, instead it is more about pewter and plum tones, colors that add darker colors to the eyes without overwhelming them. Instead of being a vampy vixen on a night in the town…I think plum smoke is more along the line of “fashion student bored and trying to spice things up”…

So here is my tuturial on how to get this look…

  1. Start with a previously moisturized face.  Then mix a heavy moisturizer, like a night cream, with a pigmented bb cream/foundation in the palm of your hand. Use a ratio that makes sense, around 1 part moisturizer, 2 parts foundation. Spread the mixture evenly on your face. Now you have a dewy complexion. Set with a light dusting of illuminating face powder. If you have a glycerin spray, or a dewy make up setter, spritz that all over the face now.

    A mixture of heavy face cream and pigmented bb/foundation leaves skin naturally glowy…set lightly with illuminating face powder
  2. Eyebrows need to be filled in, and an eye shadow base in a neutral skin tone must be applied on both the upper and lower lids. Then get a highlighter shadow (a light shadow that shimmers and reflects) and do the brow bone, the lower lash line and inner eye corners…

    Brows filled in, and the eye shadow base is on…shimmer highlight in the right places…
  3. Now you are ready for the dark colors: Do a light even sweep of the pewter color on the whole upper lid, just to the brow bone. Now switch colors…do a purpley plum color on top of the pewter shadow also to the brow bone. Line the bottom lid thinly with the same purpley plum shadow and diffuse all hard edges of shadow with a clean blender brush.

    I used the NYX full throttle palette. But plum and pewter shadows can be found anywhere…
  4. Line the top lid with a black soft eye pencil. Set the pencil and smudge it a bit with black shadow and an angled fine brush. Line the lower lid thinly just on the outer corners with black shadow as well.

    This is two shadows on top of eachother; a must is a blending brush to soften the edges of color.
  5. Mascara: A good, black, non-clumping formula mascara…two generous coats on the lashes before drying.
  6. Lining the smokey eye top lid with a black liquid liner; I like to use pen liners since they make getting the cat eye flick so much easier.
  7. False lashes: These are optional, but kind of a must, for giving flirty drama.
  8. Blush. Use lots of this…on the apples of the cheeks, extending up to the temples on the sides of the face…down stroke for the temples, up strokes for the cheeks. Choose a nude peachy pink lip color.
  9. Top with lots of setting spray or a glycerin spray. This helps with the dewyness, and reduces the powdery look.
    The finished product. On camera, it’s not really visible that it’s a smokey eye, but it is, just more subtle!  

    And there you have it…a very simple, one tone eye color and NO contouring necessary. You will look like yourself, but better, with a cute smokey eye this Valentines Day. Ask me in the comments if you have any questions and Happy Valentines…xoxo.





Graphic liquid Liner…can basic black be replaced by grey for everyday?

An inky black marker type liquid liner, verses a brush on liquid grey liner...
An inky black marker type liquid liner, versus a brush on liquid grey liner…

There is no make-up look I’ve seen more worn by women than that of the ubiquitous “cat eye” makeup.  It is usually done in a combination of ways, but always involves liquid liner to produce that hard edge top eyelid line that defines a graphic “cat eye” make-up.  And with a flick up in the corner, any girl can instantly get daily glam without feeling too made up.  When buying liquid liner, by default I always go to black, for some reason and I get it in pen style for ease of use.  Liquid liners with a brush and a bottle go on too black and thick for me and for some reason and I end up looking too hard, but pens can still be really harsh if they are very dark…like the one I use now. My eyes are like daggers lined by black ink.  I accept that black is the fashion… But  I recently discovered that charcoal grey is a great alternative, if you like the polished elegance of the cat-eye, want to still be in vogue, but don’t want to look as stern with super black lined graphic eyes.

So the left photo is black liner and the right photo is grey liner.  All other make-ups are the same.  Can you spot the difference?
So the left photo is black liner and the right photo is grey liner. All other make-ups are the same. Can you spot the difference?

So as you can see with my photos, there is a only subtle difference between black and grey.  But you can see how grey liner is a lot softer, and gentler, it opens up my eyes a bit more and still is a cat eye make-up.  In the black liner photo, I used all the same make-ups as the grey liner photo, but with black, you can see how my eyes are more emphasized and I look harder and edgier.

So which do you prefer?  Hard edgy black, or sweetly composed grey?  These days I’ve been going for charcoal grey liner since I find that sometimes, less darkness on the face can actually be appealing, and maybe even more youthful.  Try it out and let me know what you think.  Make-up and being a girl is all about the details and small things!

Make-up for sad, puffy eyes!

My spring/summer of minor health problems continues, only this time end of June hit me with eye allergies.  After trying out a new skin oil on my face, I developed an allergic reaction.  My eyes went from normal to bright red over night, and had me running to the doctor hoping it was not an infection.  Finding out it was just an allergic reaction, I treated it with eye drops and allergy medication.  Soon the red started to disappear…but to my frustration, the symptom of puffiness lagged on.  I would wake up with swollen eyes daily. I was using everything from ice, chilled tea bags, to cucumber slices to reduce the swelling….but nothing seemed to fully get rid of the puffiness on the top lid and puff bags underneath.

Not that puffy, swollen eyes are the most horrendous looking thing for a girl to have, it was still better than the acne I suffered from earlier this spring.  But I did have comments from people saying I looked “sad” or “stressed”; questions about if I was going to cry!?  I am an emotional gal, and am sensitive about it, so it was definitely not pleasant to have my facial mood judged and commented on.  All those perceptions from others were made based on my face appearance when in reality, I was just recovering from eye allergies! So this was a problem. I was also meeting people around this time, and knew for a better first impression, I needed a stronger fix than cold tea bags and ice on my eyes.

In comes the smokey eye make-up!  I have never been a fan of the smokey eye. Too dramatic for everyday, and bordering on a goth art student aesthetics…it was just not practical, semi-dated.  I usually opt for a more minimal approach to my make-up; sticking with youthful light coloured shimmer shadows. But there is nothing that covers puffiness better than matte black, greys, and neutral shadows.  Something about black matte shadows suggest a receding in effect, perfect to combat my eye’s puffing out effect.  So I set out to rediscover the “smokey eye”.  I figured out a way to do a subtle smokey eye that could be worn daily by me to hide puffiness as my eyes continued to heal…or for days where they puffed up again. yikes.

How I took out excessive “glam” in the smokey eye make-up:

(Apply foundation/bb and setting powder first and prep face)

  1. Start with a nude eye shadow as base over the whole lid from lashline to brow.  This helps with blending a smooth gradation between different shades of shadow that will be applied on top of eyelid.
  2. Use a really dark, matte black shadow as a liner, and line a thick line above your lashline accentuating your eyes shape.  Thicker in the outer corners, and flicking up slightly as if doing a cat eye shape.  Thinly line the bottom lid corners with black shadow too.
  3. Fill in and soften the black shadow line with a grey matte shadow.  This gradation should be subtle, and also following the angled shape of the black shadow.  Stop about mid eye lid so that it is not overly dramatic.
  4. Use a tiny bit of liquid liner to clean up the outer edge of the cat eye made by the black eye shadow.  Do this by out lining the shape lightly, and filling in more intensely in the outer eyes corners, and thinning away at mid point of the eye.
  5. Very important: Use a clean, fluffy shadow blending brush all over the top and bottom lid to smudge and make extra “smokey”.  Without this step, you will not get a nice blurred gradation, and that is what makes a dark smokey eye not harsh.
This is a really cool shadow palette I got from NYX. The reason I like them is that their shadows are really pigmented...this helps to cover up puff...
This is a really cool shadow palette I got from NYX. The reason I like them is that their shadows are really pigmented…this helps to cover up puff…


not sad, or puff, just shadowy cover when you need it.
not sad, or puff, just shadowy cover when you need it.

I find this look is not overly dramatic, and can be worn daily, even on simple errands.  And as a make-up for a first meeting or date, it knocks it out of the ball park, because I says you’re “fashion”, but not “high-maintenance”.  And it helped me hide those “sad” puffy eyes of mine, and kept random, public judgements at bay.  😛