Some basic, but important Tips for Make-up Beginners

First: A Throwback of my Past Make-up How-to’s:

I write a lot of articles about different make-up looks, whether it be a natural or vampy look, or valentines’ day flirty eyes; I have fun expressing unique make-up applications. Here a few of my escapades with make-up and color:

This is from my article on how to do be-witching eye make-up! check it out here.
Very dark lined cat eyes for a fashion forward winter holiday look. Article here:
An 80’s electric eyeshadow look for a bold statement. Article here

What works for New Make-up Wearers?

My make-up looks are certainly fun if you want to change up your daily routine, but what about people who want to start wearing make-up and are intimidated by all the complicated/trendy tutorial out there? I think the best make-up looks enhance your facial features simply, and doesn’t change or hide them. Like making your eyes look brighter with a shiny shadow, or making your skin creamier with a bb cream… In essence, make-up is basically playing up what you have naturally, and it shouldn’t feel odd or awkward. It’s a fun form of self expression, and one of my favorite ways to show off. Here are some basic suggestions I want to give beginners who are starting to wear make-up.

Tip # 1: No substitute for Good skin

Before putting on make-up, one needs to take care of the skin. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and use an antioxidant nightly on your skin. When you have healthy skin, make-up can actually do it’s job properly. Check out my line of natural skincare to learn more.

Tip # 2: Use an SPF or SPF loaded foundation

The sun is not your friend.  UV rays and ultra violet light from the sun IS what causes premature aging and wrinkling, so wear a sun screen under the make-up. If that is too heavy of a base, find a foundation with higher than 15 SPF to help protect your skin from harmful rays at the same time as giving you coverage.

Step 3: Level of coverage in Foundation:

Be honest about the level of coverage you want.  There are three levels of coverage: Light coverage is a tinted moisturizer, with no powder, medium is a light foundation/bb set with a bit of powder, and full coverage is a heavy foundation and concealer set with powder. I tend to like a medium coverage for day to day, since that often means I can skip concealer for minor uneven tones. But if you want the flawless skin look, you will have to go for full coverage. All options are fine, but choose the one that you want, not the one that you think you should want. Just because you have been make-up shy all your life doesn’t mean you can’t have the flawless full coverage look. Be willing to experiment to find what works for you!

Step 4: Definition of the face:

Using a foundation will mute all your other features. Your eyes will look smaller after foundation application, your mouth will be colorless, your eyebrows non existent. Your cheeks without color. So this is the time to add back definition.The more products you use, the more defined your features become. My minimum staples for definition are eyebrow color, eye lid color, mascara and blush. If you want extra definition, you can add an eyeliner, liquid or pencil, contouring/bronzer, lipstick, false lashes…etc. But again be honest with the level of definition you want!

The Bottom Line:

I feel that when starting to wear make-up for beautifying effects, it’s really important to be honest with yourself and how much coverage/definition you want to present to the world. Take the time to figure out what level of “made-up you really want”. And just like when wearing fashion, you want to have fun while expressing yourself with your make-up looks! Having a positive attitude and a willingness to try new things will get you farther in anything, any day!

My day to day make-up look. Very minimal: Medium coverage foundation with a light powder, eyebrow definition, thin lined top lid and neutral eye shadows…no lipstick, but a bit of blush! My go to natural look…

My current Hair Color: “Bronde” and how to get it…

(**Disclaimer! I’m not a hair professional, but have just done my research and worked with my own hair to get results I’m happy with. But whenever dying your own hair at home, please follow manufacturer’s directions and consult with a professional when possible or in doubt)

As you all know…I’ve been lightening and coloring my hair since late last year, in an attempt to get a lighter color that is neither brassy, or too harsh/dark for my complexion. Check out my articles on hair coloring and soap capping. And recently I’ve been rocking a hair color that I found out was called “bronde”; too light to be a solid brunette, and too dark to be a blonde. Kind of a caramel color in between two opposites. A nice neither region that I would like to reside in for the next little while. Why? It’s not as high maintenance as a light blonde, and it’s not as brassy as that rust color dark hairs get when they lift too little color. It’s just peachy. Check out this Vogue article about this hair color to get some inspiration. But for how, here are some famous “brondes”:

Jessica Alba: at the tonight show with just the perfect balance of light and dark caramels and soft, bouncy waves.
Amber Heard on GQ? As a darker blonde than she normally is, I think she’s got a lot more mystery and allure…
Beyonce is Bey-youtiful with a hair colour that compliments and warms her complexion. 

Okay, so you get the idea…how the color should look, but now how to achieve this neutral tone, middle level “bronde”color…Go to an expert hair stylist who does great hair color, or try it at home with these tips!**

For Brunettes want to go Bronde:

Step 1: Lighten enough: Believe it or not, us brunettes (black or brown hair) have to lift a level or two above middle lightness to achieve ‘bronde”. It’s not fair, but it’s just the way it is. For those doing this at home, you need to get to a level 7 lightness, at least. Check out swatches on how light a 7 level is.

Step 2. Tone/Glaze: This is so important as it adds the finishing shine and touches to a lighter hair color. Lightening dark hair always brings out warmth. And warmth is the enemy when trying to achieve a gentle tone in hair. Use a demi permanent hair dye with a low peroxide developer to add ash (blue/green) pigment to your strands. Use a lighter level than your hair is. So as a level 7, get a level 8/9 ash tone color. Toning with an dedicated hair “toner” only works for hair that has been lifted past a level 8.

A bit on the warm side, but I will be toning/glazing with a demi in the next week or so.

For blondes wanting to go darker to Bronde:

I’m not the most experienced in this matter, since I am a brunette, but here’s what I do know:

  • Use a demi-permanent hair color, since you are depositing only and not lifting levels. It’s gentler and from what I hear, shinier!
  • Stay away from ash tones. Ash upsets the darkening process by getting too dark/green too fast and then you’re stuck with it.
  • Always use a demi color one or two levels lighter than you want to achieve. So if I were a light blonde, I would do a 7 or 8 with warm/golden tones to get to caramel. Depending on the intensity of bronde you want, diluting the hair color formula with a clear gloss demi would be smart for avoiding over saturation and it looking flat and fake whenever dying darker.

Hope these tips help for all that want this hair color. I find it suits all skin tones and ages and just looks really healthy. Try it today.

**DISCLAIMER: all advice I give is based on my own personal experience with hair color. I’m not a professional hair stylist, so use my advice with a bit of caution and never hesitate to consult to a professional! Thanks!


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.