Monthly Archives: March 2017

Pro and Tips for Making Lipstick

You know when you’re out in public, feeling put-together because you’re fully done up and rocking a seriously bold lip? That bright color is really helping you feel good—you know it looks good. Then, after awhile, you forget you’re wearing lipstick, and you go to the bathroom. After glancing in the mirror, and…your lipstick looks fuzzy. And you realize that it’s happened: your color bled! Tiny little lines of color, subtly spreading from the top of your lip line to the skin under your nose. Suddenly, you look all smeary, like you don’t know how to apply makeup.

Both Lucero and Stambro agree: generally, it’s not you, darlin’, it’s your lipstick. Lipstick is, as Stambro puts it, “a creamy product on top of a moving surface.” Meaning, as we laugh, kiss, and eat, the emollient substance slips around a bit. Lucero echoes that, saying that color won’t necessarily stay firmly on the lips, especially if you’re using something with “a really creamy formulation, or if you’re wearing a balm underneath that’s too greasy.”

According to Stambro, the more shine or gloss a lip product has, the more likely it’ll bleed. And Lucero concurred, adding to the list any lippie that looks “frosted” or “containing a shimmery pigment.” She also notes that the feel of the product itself might tell you even more about it’s lasting power.  “If it feels like a butter or balm and slippery to the touch, it does tend to run more,” she says.

Lip liner can help, especially if it’s a good one. Lucero actually uses liner afterapplying lipstick, to shape the lips. “This helps to lock in the color, and seal it inside the lip line,” she explains. And if you don’t want to buy a matching liner every time you get a new lipstick, go with a pencil that matches your natural lip color.

Handy helper #2: the right brush

When I asked what about application might help lipstick last longer, our experts were of one mind, citing brushes as the way to go. Lucero was really emphatic, and says that she tends to use concealer brushes for the job. “A brush is sooo helpful—it helps you spread the pigment evenly, especially if it’s a brighter color. Start by applying your lipstick lightly, as if it were a stain with your brush. Blot, and then build up to the color you want,” she explains. With liquid lipsticks, the process is a little different, and less is definitely more. “I never use the wand that comes with them, because they put on too much product. I’ll just take a lip brush, start on the center of the lower lip, and sort of paint it on,” she says.

Stambo’s secret formula? A bit of foundation as a base, liner plus lipstick, and a dusting of powder.  “I prep lips with a moisturizer (possibly a scrub, too, if they’re extra dry). Then I apply a touch of foundation over the lip line—not the whole mouth,” he explains. He follows with liner in the exact same color as the lipstick, and then applies the color using a brush. To perfect the line, he goes over it again with the liner, “to make sure the lipstick and pencil blend really well.” Finally, he blots gently with a tissue, and goes over it all with a light touch of powder using a big powder brush. “Or,” he explains, “you could use an eye shadow in the same color as a lipstick.”

Women and Their Eyebrows

1. The Ancient Egyptian Eyebrows of Horus
Both Egyptian men and women wore makeup for its supernatural powers. As an homage to the God Horus, heavily-lined eyes were the focal point of the face, which meant that eyebrows needed to be equally as prominent. They darkened, arched, and elongated brows by painting on carbon and black oxide substances.

2. The Pure Ancient Greek Brows
The Ancient Greeks put an emphasis on purity and it was reflected in women’s beauty rituals. Often times married women would sport a natural look, while those who were unwed would touch up their eyebrows with black incense. A uni-brow was recognized as a beautiful trait — not a reason to run to your salon for an urgent pre-date touch-me-up.

3. The Astute Ancient Roman Brows
Roman women had more freedom in their beauty practices than the Greeks, but the no-fuss uni-brow was still considered the most desirable characteristic. It was a sign of intelligence and worn by the most notoriously beautiful women of the time. Brow-wow-wow.

4. The Barely-There Middle Ages Brows
Medieval women pointed attention to their domed foreheads, a desirable trait of the time, by plucking their eyebrows heavily. While skinny, barely-there brows were the standard, during the Elizabethan era, many women dyed their brows in reddish tones as a nod to Queen Elizabeth

5. The Needle-Thin
During the Roaring Twenties, women used beauty to liberate themselves. Modeling themselves after silent film queen Clara Bow, eyebrows were severely plucked and penciled in thin, straight, and extended beyond the outer corner of the eye. It was the first time commercially-made products were available and flappers went to town — and then hit the town, of course.

6. The Curvatured
The dark, heavily-tweezed brow trend carried into the 1930’s, but Hollywood actresses like Jean Harlow (pictured) and Greta Garbo used more pronounced, curvature arches to add drama, drama, drama.

7. The Heavier 1940’s Brows:
Brows became thicker in the 1940’s as part of a softer, less severe look. Move stars such as Lauren Bacall (pictureed) and Grace Kelly sported heavier brows with a prominent arch.

8. The Plentiful
Dior’s ‘New Look’ called for a full face of makeup, which was often topped off by a strong brow with a high arch. The biggest Hollywood stars of the time, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn, all boasted lush, immaculately-shaped brows. Their eyebrows are up here, boys!

9. The Painterly
Sophia Loren had the most famous brows and unique styling technique of the 1960’s. You might even say her eyebrows were full of secrets. She shaved them off completely, then penciled them in tactfully with short, thread thin strokes that secured a bold, yet seemingly natural look.

10. The Au Naturale
The 1970’s marked the return of the natural brow as the hippie movement took flight — think natural shape and less plucking la Ali MacGraw and Lauren Hutton. If you’ve let your brows run wild, just call it a ’70s revival.

11. The More is More
With Brooke Shields and Madonna leading the movement, the more, more, moreness of the 1980’s held true for eyebrow shape. The bushier, the better, baby.

12. The Less is More
The 1990’s had brows of all sizes, but there was still tweezing aplenty. The overplucked look was sported most popularly by Drew Barrymore and Pamela Anderson. Model Kristen McMenamy’scareer skyrocketed only after she shaved off her eyebrows.

13. The Bold Brow of Today:
The bold brow is back, thanks in large part to model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne and what many are hailing “the power brow.” Whether your brows are the real deal or your just getting crafty with brow fillers, the thicker the better. Our tweezers are on hiatus for now, but if history is any indication, it’s only a matter of time before they’re in high demand once again.

Essential Vitamin For Glowing Skin

Our skin is our body’s largest organ and can be affected by many factors including our environment, health, the food we eat and our skincare regime. It is common knowledge that we can improve our general health and our skin health by maintaining a healthy balanced diet and through exercising regularly. More recently there has been an emphasis on the topical application of products containing skin-loving vitamins to nourish our skin from the outside, helping us to achieve a healthy and glowing complexion.

  • Vitamin A

Skin can start to appear dry and flaky if vitamin A levels are even slightly below normal.  This is because vitamin A is essential for your skin’s health as it maintains and repairs skin tissue. Scientific studies have shown that products containing this nutrient can provide some relief to dry, flaky skin conditions, help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and prevent acne.

Retinol is the synthetic form of vitamin A, however, there are natural sources of vitamin A available. Rosehip seed oil, an abundant source of topical trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A) can have similar skin benefits as retinol. This makes Rosehip seed oil ideal for those with combination (oily and dehydrated) skin types.

  • Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a complex of eight different vitamins and plays a major role in cell reproduction, which is why it’s an essential vitamin for healthy skin, hair and nails. When applied topically, B vitamins can help lock moisture into the skin and reduce skin blemishes. Its soothing properties can calm dry, red and irritated skin. Avocado oil, Aloe Vera, and Flax seed oil are some of many plant sources which contain B vitamins.

  • Vitamin C

Another powerful skin nutrient is vitamin C. A natural antioxidant, vitamin C acts as a barrier by helping to protect skin from free radical damage. Vitamin C can reduce redness, enhance the appearance of sun damaged skin and stimulate the production of collagen. Vitamin C aids collagen production, essential for healthy, more youthful looking skin. Vitamin C is even more important as we age, as our capacity to produce collagen naturally diminishes as we get older.

Rosehip seed oil and Sea buckthorn berry are both natural sources of vitamin C, providing essential fatty acids to support healthy skin.  Rosehip seed also contains vitamin E which works together with vitamin C to help protect the skin. Sea buckthorn berry offers potent skin benefits as it contains other essential skin nutrients like vitamin A.

  • Vitamin E

Renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties, vitamin E is a vital nutrient which can help reduce the appearance of dry, dull and flaky skin. Vitamin E regulates the production of sebum, the body’s natural oil, helping to maintain your skin’s perfect moisture level. A powerful skin-healer, vitamin E can also help repair skin naturally and soothe dry and uneven skin. Vitamin E promotes cell regeneration which is why this nutrient can be used to relieve dry, flaky skin conditions and can also help diminish scars and stretch marks. By speeding up the recovery of damaged skin tissue, vitamin E can help heal skin faster.

A strong synergy between vitamin C and vitamin E exists. When combined these nutrients work together to protect the skin from sun damage by free radicals and harmful UVB radiation. This is because the antioxidant effect of vitamin E amplifies when vitamin C is present, a good reason to keep eating lots of foods rich in vitamin C to benefit from the synergistic effects. Rich sources of vitamin E are also found naturally in plant ingredients such as Wheat Germ Oil.

How to Apply Eyeliner

Of all the beauty tips and tricks out there, eyeliner is one of those with the steepest learning curves.

Types Of Eyeliners

  • Gel Eyeliner: Although this may seem intimidating at first, this is probably going to become your best friend if you love those cat eyes. I, for one, swear by it. They usually come in pots, so you’ll need to use a brush for it. I highly recommend the Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner by Maybelline.
  • Liquid Eyeliner: A liquid eyeliner is best for precise application. These liners come in two types of packaging, a tiny vial-like bottle with an extremely fine and precise dipping brush, and a marker type pen with a felt tip. If you’re a beginner, then I suggest you go for the latter one. The Sketch Marker Liquid Art Liner by Too Faced is a good choice for the felt tip liner.
  • Pencil Eyeliner: This type of eyeliner is usually the first one we all started out with. It’s best used to line the water line and also to create a smokey look. The 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is the no-brainer choice for the pencil eyeliner.

To help us achieve those enviable brush strokes ourselves, we asked her to share some helpful tips for choosing the right kinds of eyeliners for your eye shape and the best techniques for creating a stiletto flick. See below for her product recommendations and pro tips.

1. PREP WORK

 Before applying makeup, reduce oily residue with an alcohol-free makeup remover. Then apply a light layer of foundation to even your base, and finish with a dusting of translucent powder over the lid. It will set the color and absorb oils throughout the day.

TIPS: Skip—or cut back on—putting eye creams on your lids pre-makeup to avoid slippery textures later.

2. THE TOOL

 If you have rounder eyes, opt for powder and gel liners that will smudge enough to create an almond-shaped contour. Fine pencils and pens are ideal for more elongated or oval-shaped eyes.

MC TIP: Avoid dull or waxy points, and put pencils in the freezer for 30 seconds before sharpening.

3. THE TECHNIQUE

 Resist the urge to pull your lid taut when applying liner. Instead, create your own eyeliner stencil by applying a piece of Scotch tape across your partially closed lid (press it on your arm first to make it less sticky). Then fill in the area below it, starting at the outer edges and moving inward.

MC TIP: Keep eyeliner on the top lid three times thicker than liner on the bottom. And for extra staying power, use waterproof gel liners on the bottom lashline.

4. THE TOUCH-UPS

When relining, maintain eye contact with the mirror as much as possible.

MC TIP: Dab blotting papers on your lids throughout the day to catch crease buildup without smudging your line.