Thursday, June 5, 2014

Doing Your Own Wedding Makeup


With wedding season here, I wanted to do a post on wedding makeup. I did my own makeup for my wedding. I was indecisive for the longest time on what look to go with. I got married in the evening which allowed me to go heavier on eye makeup as opposed to a day wedding. If you're doing your own makeup, it's best to not try any new products once you hit the one month countdown. You don't want anything to irritate your skin! You want your skin in the best shape for your special day. I also recommend consulting your dermatologist to see if they can give you a cortisone shot for acne. I got a cortisone shot a few days before my wedding and this prevented any acne from surfacing. I was also very worried about my makeup running because I knew I would cry. In order to make sure my makeup would not budge, I primed and set everything. Remember, you want to look and feel like yourself on your special day!

First, avoid SPF. SPF can leave a white cast on your face with flash photography so this is really important. Moisturize and make sure you use a primer. I used the Smashbox 'Photo Finish' Light Foundation Primer. This is an oil free primer. Makeup primer creates a beautiful, smooth canvas by filling in any lines or unevenness. It helps fill in pores and blur imperfections. It will help your makeup not only last longer, but look more vibrant.

Use a good coverage foundation that fits your needs.
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation are two of my favorite foundations that leave a beautiful finish. The Laura Mercier foundation has amazing coverage and leaves a radiant finish. It is a bit heavier and may be too much for an outdoor day wedding. The Giorgio Armani foundation is lighter but buildable. It lets your real skin shine through a bit more. It's very flattering.

Pick a good concealer for the face to cover blemishes, discoloration, etc. that matches your skin tone. Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer is super pigmented and blends into the skin beautifully. I also suggest getting a concealer designated for the under eye area to brighten any shadows. I used Yves Saint Laurent 'Touche Éclat' Radiant Touch for a light under eye brightener and did not have to worry one bit about it creasing.

Choose a long lasting blush in the formula you love the most. You want to pick a shade that you're comfortable with. I chose to go with Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in 'Dollface', a matte pink blush. It’s not too bright or too dark. I chose to go with a matte powder so I could use a bit of a highlighting powder over the top.

If you decide to use a bronzer or contour your face, you’ll want it to look natural. I did a light contour using Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil powder. It buffs into the skin nicely and is matte so you don’t have to worry about shimmer.

Highlighting is a beautiful way to make certain features pop. I love the way it looks when the light catches it. I used the Yves Saint Laurent 'Touche Éclat' Radiant Touch to highlight down the nose, under the eyes and above my cheekbones. After using my setting powder, I applied the Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites powder over the top part of my blush. This was limited edition from a while back; it's a really gorgeous silvery pink.

Setting powder is important to keep the shine away, especially for oily skin. I used a powder foundation (A Laura Mercier one that was discontinued) for setting. I have used it for setting my makeup for years and I like the extra coverage.

Brows can be tricky. I recommend using brow powder to fill in your brows. I love using a brow pencil for every day, but used a brow powder for my wedding. Using powder to fill in your brows will look more natural. I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills®
Brow Powder Duo, which helps you customize to make your perfect shade. To set your brows, MAC Clear Brow Set is a great formula that doesn't get crispy or hard.

Eyes: Prime, Prime, Prime. You’ll definitely want to use primer if you are a crier, and you want your eyeshadow to last and really pop. MAC Paint Pots in Soft Ochre or Painterly are both great neutrals that have a nice, thicker consistency. You will want something a little more liquid if you have dry eyes, Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a better alternative. Next, eyeshadow. You want to pick a formula you're really familiar with and a color scheme. I went with gold and brown. My husband does not realize it, but he always compliments me when I am wearing MAC Patina eyeshadow. It took some consistency with that for me to realize that's his favorite eyeshadow on me. For that reason, I wore MAC Patina over the lid and blended MAC Espresso into the crease and slightly smoked it out at the corners. To highlight under the brow, I used Anastasia Beverly Hills® Eye Lights Matte Highlighter in 'Matte Camille'. This blends beautifully under the brow and ties up the eyeshadow look.

Eyeliner: If you have experience with gel eye liner, I think this is the best way to go. Small strokes with the brush allow you to be very precise and if you mess up, it's an easier fix than liquid liner. MAC Fluidline gel liner is a spectacular, long lasting formula.

False lashes: False lashes are tough. If you decide to get them, you're going to want to practice as much as possible. I knew I was going to be nervous on my wedding day and an unsteady hand and lash glue would make or break my finished makeup look. I practiced with cheaper lashes and saved MAC lashes for the big day. I also bought a back up pair of lashes in case anything went wrong with the first pair and I ended up needing one of the back up lashes. Everyone has a different way of doing false lashes, but here's how I do it. First, if the false lashes are longer than the length of your eye, use facial hair scissors to cut them to the right length. Run a thin layer of DUO Eyelash Adhesive on the false lash and wait a few seconds for it to get slightly tacky and not be too wet. Using tweezers or your fingers to grab the lash, apply as close to the lash line as possible and press along the top. I use the tweezers or a Q-tip to set the lashes, then follow up with mascara.

Mascara: I used Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum as a mascara base and Clinique 'High Impact' Waterproof Mascara. Clinique ‘High Impact’ Mascara has a plush wand and really packs a punch. I love the way it makes the lashes stand out.

Before applying lipstick, use a lip balm that your lip color can easily go over. I used the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment followed by Dior Addict Lipstick in #554 ‘It Pink’, a pretty medium bright pink that is unfortunately discontinued.

I set my makeup using Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray to make sure everything stayed put. My bridesmaids and friends used this too!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May Favorites

One of my favorite eyeshadows ever, Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in shade No. 22 Pale Barley, is making it to the list this month. I purchased this gorgeous color almost 2 years ago and hit pan recently. (My previous review is here). Since this is one of my must have colors, I went to repurchase it last month only to find out it was long term out of stock at Burberry and Nordstrom. I panicked and started stalking the websites and couldn't believe not long after my search it was back in stock. No. 22 Pale Barley is the perfect every day shade for a wash of color. It has a certain dimension to it and it is one of the most gorgeous eyeshadows I have ever come across. Period.

Anastasia Beverly Hills® Eye Lights Matte Highlighter in 'Matte Camille'. I have loved this product for a while now, but I have been using it a ton this month. What a difference this pencil makes! This cream-to-powder formula blends so beautifully and really enhances the brows and the eyes. I love using it to emphasize my brows by highlighting underneath. It's like an instant brow lift. It also looks beautiful on the brow bones when you have a smoky eye. I used this on my wedding day, need I say more?

Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette. I really love this palette and wish it wasn't limited edition. The rich brown eyeshadows in this compact palette are gorgeous. Most days, I use one shimmer all over the lid and one in the crease and I'm good to go! Full review is here.

MAC Russian Red Lipstick. I cannot rave enough about this. I love this creamy red. If my makeup looks too boring, this color instantly dresses it up. Full review on this will be coming soon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

MAC Alluring Aquatic Extra Dimension Eyeshadows in 'Lorelei' and 'Fathoms Deep'

The MAC Alluring Aquatic collection has some really beautiful products, many of which sold out super-fast. I purchased the Extra Dimension mini eyeshadows in 'Lorelei' and 'Fathoms Deep'. I was really happy to be able to get these, they are really, really gorgeous. The packaging is cute and fun, it’s teal with fake water droplets. MAC Extra Dimension eyeshadows are liquid-powder with shimmer. 

I love to use a shimmery golden eyeshadow all over the lid during the week and 'Lorelei' is the perfect shade for me to use now for that. 'Fathoms Deep' is a rich shimmering purple that you can use as an allover lid color or for a smoky eye look. ‘Fathoms Deep’ has a bit more sparkle than ‘Lorelei’. Both are soft and creamy. A regular MAC eyeshadow has .05 oz. and these Extra Dimension eyeshadows (mini) have .04 oz. If you're able to track down these eyeshadows, you won't regret it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Unite® Eurotherapy LAZER Straight™ Relaxing Fluid

My hair pretty much has a mind of its own. I have wavy, thick hair and a ton of it, plus I highlight it. The awesome Unite® Eurotherapy LAZER Straight™ Relaxing Fluid is a life saver. I use this when my hair is damp, most of the time creating a little hair styling concoction by mixing it with my Moroccanoil® Hair Treatment Light. 

This relaxing fluid helps tame my hair and fight frizz. The fact that it also protects it with heat styling is a huge bonus. I try to air dry my hair as much as I can, and on those days I’ll only run a straightener through the front pieces to style it (unless my hair decides to please me by framing my face in a flattering way so I don’t have to hit it with any heat tool). On those days I have been able to obtain a natural, slightly wavy hairstyle using this product. On days when I blow dry and/or straighten my hair using this miracle fluid, it makes styling and straightening my hair cake. When I straighten my hair using this, it extends the length of time that my hair stays straight.  

I absolutely love the consistency of this product. It is semi-thick but never sticky. It is easy to dispense throughout your hair and comb through. It also smells amazing, like a sugar cookie.  Other styling products I have tried are either too thick, too sticky, or too thin.

A little bit about Unite® Eurotherapy: it’s a luxurious brand with some really nice quality hair products. Unite® has had a lot of press featuring celebrities. They have a really helpful ‘Product Knowledge’ page on their website that can help you find the right product to fit your hair care needs. Unite® Eurotherapy products are available online and in select salons. You can visit their salon locator page here

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Enhance Your Look With MAC Disney Maleficent Beauty and Sculpting Powders

The name 'Maleficent' brings to mind several things: Disney, Sleeping Beauty, villain, and sculpted cheekbones. Seriously, the Maleficent character has cheekbones for days. I am a huge fan of Disney, MAC, and accentuating cheekbones. So naturally, when MAC released their new limited edition MAC x Disney Maleficent collection, I had to get the Sculpting Powder in 'Sculpt' and Beauty Powder in this collection. The Sculpting Powder in 'Sculpt' is a re-promote, the Beauty Powder in 'Natural' is limited edition.

When I first received my powders, I was really excited about the packaging. Being a huge Disney fan and looking forward to the movie, I'm in love with the title and wings on the packaging. My second thought after taking a look at the powders was "Why have I never owned this beautiful MAC Sculpting Powder in my life before?!" This beautiful, matte grayish brown color is something I definitely needed in my life. It is a pigmented and unique sculpting powder compared to all the bronzers I use to contour with. It surprisingly creates a natural contour that can be built up.

The Beauty Powder is a pale pinky peach color with a very fine shimmer. I was hoping to use this as a highlighting powder, but it is more of an overall face powder for me. It's a bit powdery and kicks up a little bit of product, but leaves a nice sheen and is slightly glowy. This seems to go with the look of Maleficent's pale face.

The Sculpting Powder is $23 for .21 oz. and the Beauty Powder is $30 for .35 oz. The Sculpting Powder is normally only available in a pan to put in a Pro Palette and is $16.50 for .21 oz. The MAC Disney Maleficent Collection is available exclusively at Macy's,, and some MAC stores. The Beauty Powder is still available at MAC and Macy's. The Sculpting Powder is no longer available online but may still be available in stores.

For those who avoid gluten in their makeup products or have dermatitis herpetiformis, please be aware the MAC Sculpting Powder lists "Wheat Germ Extract" and Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract in the ingredients. To view more information on my personal choice not to avoid gluten in cosmetics, please read my Disclaimer Regarding Beauty Products.
MAC Beauty Powder in 'Natural' (Left) and MAC Sculpting Powder in 'Sculpt' (Right)