Monday, December 17, 2007

Celebrity Beauty Inspiration : Gabrielle Union

Yeah, it's been about 2 weeks since I did this type of post. But looking at the cover of the new(well old) Essence Magazine just has me in awe of the gorgeous Ms. Union. She always looks fresh! This Nebraska native continues to represent African American beauty very well. I love the red lip (above). To steal Gabrielle's style:

1. Don't be afraid to wear color. She can always be seen working a bold red lip or a green smokey eye.

2. Glowing Skin. I think everyone in Hollywood makes their skincare a priority. She always has such a nice glow.

3. Natural Blush and Bronzer. Blush and bronzer duo help to give her that extra definition to bring out those gorgeous cheekbones.

4. Liner. Gabrielle loves a smokey eye. It isn't an over the top smokey eye. This effect is mainly achieve by liner, because of the shape of her eye.

5. Concealer. Just, because she has gorgeous skin doesn't mean that she doesn't have areas that couldn't use an extra highlight. In one of the looks below, she is wearing concealer 2 shades lighter to give open her eyes.

7 Days and Counting

I am a Georgian born-Floridian raised gal. I claim Florida as my stomping ground because that is where I grew up. In 7 days, I will be returning and I CAN'T wait!! I love DC (in the summertime), but this cold weather is not my skin's friend. I love playing around with new skincare products, but I love having the security in knowing that my old faithful Bobbi Brown products will work just fine. From the last post, you can see that I had to upgrade my moisturizer (which I love)...but's cold out there folks!! So anywho, I also need to upgrade my foundation as well. As of late, I have noticed that my skin is dry, so I moisturize really well only to put my stick foundation right on top. Not good ladies, because the stick contains silica, which just sucks all the moisture out that I just generously applied. Then after about an hour or so of wear, I am shiny. I don't mean a dewy shine, I mean a vaseline like shine. My skin is totally going in overdrive trying to produce more moisture to compensate for what is being suck up by my foundation. I finally tried Clinique's SuperMoisture Makeup in Chestnut. I love it. It stands up to the un-yielding winds, leaving my skin moisturized but not greasy. Perfect for those with normal to dry skin, looking for minimal coverage! It feels sooooo good!! I am actually very surprised with this line. I have never been a fan of Clinique, but lately it has been throwing me curve balls. I wouldn't recommend this for someone who has ance prone skin (although oil is not the number one cause of acne). But 'tis is the season to evaluate the type of skin that you have.

I also had to change my cleanser. I was using Bobbi Brown Lathering Tube Soap to remove makeup at night. I need something that will moisturize as well remove makeup. My favorite "how did I ever live without you" product is Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil. This is a dream come true at night when it is time to remove the makeup.It removes the makeup without stripping your skin of moisture, even leaving a nice cushy feel. I even get excited to cleanse my skin.

Be sure to participate in the poll to the left.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Skin Oasis

I have finally ended my journey in the search for the winter's best moisturizer. I have slept with it on(no humidifier) and awakened to find that my skin felt as soft as a baby's bottom. No tightness or dryness around the mouth area!! I found it in perfect timing too!!! Finals are here and that means no sleep until December 19th. Between Finals, work, and freelancing my skin will need this extra boost.

Introducing.... MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Intense Moisture Cream!!! It was love at first touch. This made my skin feel so good!! The instant I rubbed this in, my skin felt like I had never drank a Cosmo, Diet-Coke, or a Starbucks Frap. I was surprised at my skin's reaction, because I didn't think that the cream would be heavy enough for what I needed. The Bobbi Moisture balm has been the only moisturizer that I have been using for the past year at night, so the difference in texture made me a little apprehensive. But... I had to have it!! The sales rep Greg at the counter was soooo helpful. It was really good to see that he was well read and well versed on the product that he was selling. Listening to him go over the product information pulled out chemical vocabulary (i'm a chem major) that I just recently learned. The most impressive part about this moisturizer is that it contains a chelating complex that binds with unwanted heavy metals, minerals, and impurities left behind by water, which helps to alleviate breakouts. Next I would like to find a hydrating skin mask to give my skin a boost at the end of the week.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Night Time Skincare

For the past few weeks, I have been waking up with dry lips and tight feeling skin!! I moisturize the heck outta my skin before I go to bed (Bobbi Brown Eye balm, Hydrating face cream, and Bobbi Brown Face Oil...I put the eyebalm all over my face). I even sleep with a bottle of Charge Water bedside so that I can spray myself at night. I have concluded that I need a new night time moisturizer and a Humidifier.
My skin needs something that is richer and heavier than what I have been using. Really, I don't even know where to start. I am working on a budget, so I will keep you updated on my findings. Tomorrow, I am definitely hitting up Nordstrom to see which lines past the test.

Say Cheese!!

Visual documentation for the important milestones in your life should be perfect. Everything should look perfect so that your personality will radiate through the photo.I always look and feel happy when I know that I look good! Sometimes this doesn't happen if your hair and makeup isn't quite how you wanted it to look. Take out a recently taken photograph of yourself...Do you feel that you could have done a little more to look your best? You know...more concealer under the eye, more color on the lips,etc.

A week ago, I did an application on a young lady for graduation photos(congrats Tashira!!). We agreed that it would be best for her to look like herself only prettier and more confident. The exciting part was seeing how excited and pretty she was when I finished. Here are a list of products I used as well as a photo (taken after pictures):

1. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream (used all over face and under eyes)
2. Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Foundation in Espresso
3. MAC NW40 Concealer (used under eyes and as brow highlight)
4. MAC Paint in Stilllife (base for eyeshadow)
5. MAC Pigment in GoldStroke (I love this color...on lowerlid)
6. MAC Bronze shadow (blended in with Gold stroke)
7. MAC Embark shadow (in crease)
8. Bobbi Brown Mahogany shadow (liner)
9. MAC #33 Lashes (this was a first time lash wearer)
10. Bobbi Brown Blush in Plum
11. MAC shadow in Brown Down (brows)
12. MAC Plushglass in Trance Plant (plum-pink)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Say Cheese!!!

I know that it has been awhile. Between school,my job (I need a new one), and photoshoots I haven't had anytime to update you. With my graduation approaching faster than I have time to breathe, I wanted to talk about makeup for the milestone photographs (you know highschool graduation, college graduation, wedding, etc). Okay, so go take out a recently taken professional photograph of yourself...go ahead, I'll wait. Evaluate it and point out something that you would like to change. Are your dark circles showing, brows groomed, skin look healthy? Basically, do you feel like you could have looked better? These photographs are historical documentations of you. You should look and feel your best on this day. Feeling your best will be acheived when you look your best.

I recently did an application on someone who is graduating this month (congrats Tashira). I kept the application very light, but enough so that her skin would look its best. This was made possible by using : Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream, Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Foundation in Espresso (I diluted with water), MAC Brown Down shadow (brows), MAC Bronze shadow mixed with MAC Goldstroke pigment (my new favorite color!!), MAC #33 Lash, Bobbi Brown Blush in Plum, and a pink semi-glossy lip!!
You don't want to over do it!! The photo should still look like you...only prettier and more confident!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Celebrity Beauty Inspiration: Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede is the Ethiopian-born supermodel who has graced the covers of nearly every fashion magazine!! She is also the only black woman to ever serve as a representative for Estee Lauder Cosmetics. The definition of modern beauty and a celebrity beauty inspiration to me. Liya takes it back to the days of the real supermodels. Let's take a look of the elements of her beauty.

1. Radiant Skin

Her skin always just seem to glow. It always looks healthy. In this case, I think genetics plays a more important role than the products that she uses. Let's not get it twisted though, I am sure she invests in skincare products to preserve what she has.

2. Deep Chocolate Lip

This is an Ethiopian beauty aesthetic. She can always be seen with a deep berry colored lip. It looks really great on her. Try these colors: Bobbi Brown gloss in Chocolate, MAC Photo, Estee Lauder Black Truffle and Autumn.

3. Full Brow

We all know that a thin brow will make even a 20 year old look 40. Liya keep her brow full and groomed (notice...I did say groomed). It keeps her looking youthful.

4. Fresh Pop of Blush

Blush always seems to be expertly blended in just the right place. It isn't overpowering, but it is just enough so that it add that extra bit of youthfulness. Try Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera and Petunia.

Email me to let me know which celebrity inspires you.

Photo taken from Zac Posen's Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear show.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Wish List

I know its early, but I am doing my Christmas Shopping today (for myself of course). With all the stress that has been going on in my life....I need retail therapy (this day was planned anyway). I like to call this day Mona's Black Wednesday. I would rather shop in peace and avoid long lines (maybe even a sale...but when do cosmetics ever go on sale?) than to dare venture into a store on Friday. Yep, I am making my way out to Tyson's Corner to get my shop on!!! I am sooo excited!!! The weather is nice, and I feel inspired!! So What's on my list, you ask???

1. Sony Cyber Shot Digital Camera

Well, I am finally buying one!! I need this to document my work and keep you updated with all my trips to sephora, Target, and fashion shows.

2. Dermablend Liquid Foundation

I use this to cover tattoes. This formulation is sooo densely pigmented that it covers tattooes,without looking thick and cakey. It is transfer resistant and I don't have to do too much upkeep.

3. Japonseque Double Sided Palette

I need this in my life!!! I hate carrying alot of stuff with me on jobs. This helps to compact your supplies. I will store my foundations and lipsticks all in here!! Genius!!! This can be found at

4. Phyto 9 Ultra Nourishing Cream

My hair NEEDS this!!! My hair is sooooo dry!! I have natural hair and I have been eyeing this line for a while, but I was a little apprehensive because of past products that have failed me (Curly Pudding, Bumble and Bumble, Redken...the list goes on). I think that I am ready to jump back in and take a risk at falling in love...with a new hair product that is. This line contains botanical extracts, which would be a change for me and my poorly hydrated locks.

This list could go on and on....but unfornately my bank account doesn't (LOL...someday!!!). My weekend is going to be lovely!!! Shopping today, Thanksgiving tomorrow!! I can wait to prepare my Thanksgiving dinner and play with all my new purchases!!!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Holiday Look: Metallic Eyes

With Thanksgiving and a boat load of other holiday parties just around the corner, it is time to gather the looks that you will be wearing!! I didn't even realize how fast the holidays were approaching, until a co-worker informed me last week that Thanksgiving was a week away. So what's hot to wear to family gatherings??? What to wear to the holiday party that your job will be hosting?? Don't worry...I have you covered. Just keep reading.

1. Metallic Eyes.

Metallic eyes are a great way to look festive during the holiday season. By metallic, I mean bronze, silver,gold, sage....basically anything with a hint of bronze, gold or silver shimmer to it. I love Bobbi Brown's new Metallics Collection. The palettes come with 3 metallic shadows that can be worn individually or combined. Be sure to pair these with liner on the top during the day and amp it up with liner in the waterline for night.

2. Smokey Eye

Well, enough said. You can't go wrong with a smokey eye. The type of smokey eye depends on the time of day. You can keep it PG during the day with a lighter color on the lid and just a tad bit of darker shadow in the crease, of course with liner on the top only.Pair with a nude lip and a warming blush or bronzer and you're set!! During the day try Bobbi Brown Best of Chocolate Collection. This palette comes with four eyeshadow shades on the bottom and four lipgloss shades on the top. You can even use the darkest shadow as your liner.

3. Red Lip

The red lip is oh so sexy. It's soooo sexy that it has to be worn alone!! Pair it with a nude eye and just a hint of blush. I think red or any color derivative of red needs some type of lip liner. The liner really helps to give that definition. As long as you find that perfect and appropiate shade of red you should be fine. My favorite lip combo for a red lip is MAC Nightmoth liner, Viva Glam I Lipstick, and the new 3-D lipgloss in Boundless (I love this gloss). Remember that you can always adjust the liner and gloss color to adjust the shade of red. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Bobbi Brown Lipcolor in Wine (name does it justice) paired with Aubergine gloss

MAC lustre lipstick in Dubonnet (red brown) with MAC Auburn Lip Liner (for fair girls) and MAC Currant Lip liner for (for Brown girls)

Lancome Juicy Tube in Cherry

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Celebrity Beauty Inspiration: Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington is so gorgeous, talented (she directed Common's new video), and stylish. Her over all look is soft, classically progressive, and pretty. Skin is always radiant and bronzed to perfection. Her bone structure looks like a sculptor took a chiesel and went to work!! I love how she looks "done" but without too much of an effort. Kerry wears looks that the everyday gal can wear. She can normally be seen working the following lip/eye combos:

1. Smokey Eye/ Nude Lip/ Slightly Contoured Cheek Combo

2. Nude Eye/ Nude Lip....With a pop of color on the cheek (usually a coral or pink)

3. Silver or Bronze Eye/ Pinky Brown Semi-glossy Lip/ or Brick-red Lip (Don't you just love her lips?!?!?)

Her lips always seem to be nice and polished without a liner. This is what makes her look "classically progressive." The elements of her makeup are always current, but yet still classic.

Who is your celebrity beauty inspiration??

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Must Have Product: Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted Moisturizer is such a lovely product!!! It can even out your skin tone, gives you a dewy radiant complexion, all without screaming FOUNDATION!!! Basically this product is foundation diluted with moisturizer. You can really make this at home (which is what I do!!) by taking your foundation (liquid or stick) and mixing it with moisturizer. This is an alternative to those who want to segway into wearing foundation and for those who have next to perfect skin. It gives a sheer and slightly buildable coverage. During the summer, it is a great way to create a faux "I just got back from St. Tropez" look by using a shade darker (this can also be done in the winter to keep your tan). Perfect for the already present cold months, because as it gives your skin the coverage that it needs to look flawless, it is also providing it with hydration. Although tinted moisturizers hydrate the skin, I would still recommend using a light moisturizer underneath (even for oily girls). Oil-free version work well for extremely oily girls. Let's take a look at the brands that I love!!!

1. Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

This is my pick for those with oily skin. It will help to maintain your skin's moisture needs while giving it a glow (plus it has an SPF of 15)!!! It is oil-free so no need to worry about break outs. It comes in 8 shades. When first applying For those of us with a deeper complexion try MAC NW50.

2. Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

This product is so rich!! Perfect for people with dry skin!! It evens out the skin while hydrating it to help dry skin to heal. This product is used by the Bobbi Team at fashion shows to create that healthy model glow.

3. Prescriptives Traceless Skin Responsive Tint

I remember the first time I tried this product (Level 6). I looked in the mirror and was surprised the image looking back at me had such a nice glisten!! Needless to say that I purchased this product immediately. This is perfect is you have sensitive skin. There are only 6 shades, so if you need a slightly darker or lighter color try their Virtually Fress Skin Refining Makeup. It too is very light and gives a sheer coverage. It will leave your skin looking like skin.

4. Clinique Super Moisture Makeup

I am sooo impressed by this formulation!!! It blends so well and feels so good on the skin!!! The color selections are excellent and it is perfect for those with sensitive skin. The tube packaging is so cute and modern. This is hands down one of my favorite. It is not quite a tinted moisturizer, because the coverage is buildable, but it is definitely worth a try!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Under The Radar: IMAN Cosmetics

Iman....The Somalian-born Supermodel who is married to David Bowie (strange couple I know). She made her modeling debut in the 70s. Twenty years later, after being fed up with the lack of color selection available to women of color developed her own cosmetics line- IMAN Cosmetics.

This line is absolutely amazing for women of color!!! I love that the line contains no red undertones, that are commonly found in other brands. All of the foundation shades have golden undertones. In addition to the undertone, the foundations are oil-free and contain silica derivatives, which help to absorb excess oil is commonly produced by ethnic skin. All of the names of the foundations are "earthy" names, such as Earth, Sand and Clay. The brand is sold primarily in Ulta stores, by Color Me Beautiful Reps,Sephora and my favorite place....Target. The price points are VERY reasonable, but vary depending on what retailer you purchase from!! You may notice that if you purchase the products from a Color ME Beautiful rep that the products are packaged a little differently, due to the brand being sold to Proctor and Gamble. Here are a few of my must have items in the line:

1. Iman Second-to-none Foundation Stick:
This stick is a must have for makeup artists and regular gals alike.It has medium to full coverage with a matte finish and can be thinned out by using a damp sponge or brush.I love, love , love that the foundations have golden undertones.You can swipe it on, and not have to worry about looking red by the day's end. It also helps to absorbs excess oil. If you have dry skin, don't fret!! Just moisturize really well before applying the stick.

2. Oil Blotting Translucent Powder-
Translucent Powder is excellent way to "set" your makeup. It absorbs oil very well helping to maintain a natural matte finish, but will deposit a little color. Since the powder deposits some color, the powder can be worn alone for a very small amount of coverage. I recommend choosing a color one shade lighter than what you would normally choose under the eye area (which is mainly the only place I "set" my makeup).However, if you wear a foundation that is a tad too light, use a darker color powder. The sponge that comes in the compact should be thrown away, because it can deposit too much powder (invest in a small powder brush). There are four color selections to choose from.

3. Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder
This was one of my beauty staples during the summer!! It is the perfect bronze color with a slight shimmer!!! I dusted this on my arms, legs, eyes.. EVERYWHERE!! Especially on those nights when I was out on the town. It gives the perfect bronze glow. You couldn't tell me that I wasn't Beyonce!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Makeup...Such a Touchy Subject!!!!

I know this is the second post within a couple of hours...but I was thinking, after having a discussion with a friend that I haven't spoken with in years about makeup. What is the big deal with women and makeup??? I don't understand it. Makeup is so taboo!! Women pride not wearing makeup like they pride being virginal at age 35. I can understand embracing your natural beauty, but walking around looking like you haven't slept in 15 years is not cute!! Here are some of the reasons I feel women don't:

1. Time

I can completely understand this reason. I admit that I don't wear face products everyday ( I am entitled...I do other's makeup so much). Sometimes I am running late and taking the time to put on concealer, eyeshadow, blush, etc. would just be downright inconsiderate (especially if someone is waiting). But I try to wake up an extra 30 minutes to do something that enhances my beauty. As women we spend time doing so much for others (the men in our lives, the children, the job...) that we neglect ourselves.When will it be ok to invest time into yourself? Spending an extra 30 minutes to add that "extra-ness" to your look is not selfish or vain.

2. Knowledge

I get asked to do beauty forums all the time. The women out there are clueless as to how to apply makeup. I know it can be intimidating standing in the mirror with no clue how to get a nice line with a liner brush. If you don't put in the time, you will never know. It can be discouraging not getting it right the first time. Rome wasn't built in a day. If you need someone to assist you then visit a local beauty counter and get help. I don't know about you, but I hate always being someone else's cheerleader. You know what I mean....There is always that one woman who seems like she has it all. Everything from her perfectly manicured nails, trendy clothes, and beautiful makeup seems to be in place. She even has the confidence to match. When will that be you?

3. Invalidation

Wearing makeup seems to make women appear to be artificial. It almost seems to invalidate their beauty to some. Taking out your sophisticatedly packaged compact to touch up your makeup seems vain. Face it...we are!! All the women in Hollywood would not make special appearances without makeup. It's why we have them as beauty inspirations. I hope no one thinks that they look like that naturally. Their cheeks are enhanced by blush, brows are filled in and shaped to perfection, and their weave is done by the industry's best. Makeup enhances your own natural beauty. Just because you wear foundation doesn't mean that you have bad skin.

4. Poor Representation

I know I have seen women on the street with blush from their cheeks all the way down to the jawline. Women who are applying their makeup incorrectly are representing what we don't want to look like. New York is a prime example. If I didn't know what makeup was and someone pointed to her as an example, I would run to the hills. Don't let their poor application taint your view. This is why we should trust professionals. Some times it isn't a good idea to listen to girlfriends, who are sometimes just as clueless as we are. I have over heard girlfriends telling their friends that they do not need concealer or foundation when clearly this person looks like they can hold $50 worth of groceries under their eyes. Sometimes mascara and lipgloss is not enough!!!

Do we agree with some of the points that were made? Post comments!!
Next week, in an effort to show that makeup does not have to consist of a full face of makeup, I will post a 15 minute face on myself (i hope i can find a digital). Just as a tip:

To save time putting on your makeup, get your products and tools gathered the night before. Put them in a central location so the next morning you aren't wasting time looking all over the place.

Under The Radar : Prescriptives

I write alot about MAC, Bobbi Brown, and NARS. I just realized that I leave out another brand that I absolutely love....Prescriptives!! This brand is completely under the radar by most people. Prescriptives is good for sensitive skin, and it's the only place in a department store that you can get foundation, concealer, bronzer, and lipgloss custom made just for you!! We all have different undertones and Prescriptives speaks to that, so if you are one of those who are having a hard time finding your pefect shade...this is for you. I love the texture of the eye pencils and eyeshadows. They feel so smoooth and are so pigmented!! Since it is officially the "Holidaze," Prescriptives has come out with Holiday sets. This is a good way to try out the line without investing too much $$$. Here are some of my favorite things in the line:

1. Virtually Fresh Skin Refining Makeup

This is such a weightless foundation. It really feels like a tinted moisturizer, but with the coverage of a regular liquid (medium coverage). This is good for those who have minimal imperfections. My favorite characteristic about this foundation is how the foundation looks seamless. It gives your skin a radiant glow!!! There is also a nice shade selection.

2. Vibrant-C Skin Brightener

This cream hydrates the skin while giving it a healthy natural glow!! It has tiny pearlized luminizers that gives skin a pearlescent finish. There is a set that comes with the brightening eye cream, cleanser,super liner preventer, and cream. This is a must have in the beauty arsenal on those cold winter days when you wake up and your skin looks like "blah."

3. Tint Balm

For all the gloss girls!! I love these!! My favorite shade is Smoothie. It is a translucent pink with a hint of shimmer. All of the glosses have a nice glisten. The packaging takes me back to when I purchased my first lipgloss.

4. Powder

We all know that I am not a powder girl, but Prescriptives' Virtual Matte Oil Control Pressed Powder is great. It looks and feels so light on the skin. It doesn't give you that powdered look. It can be worn alone or dusted lightly ontop of foundation. The best thing is that it is an oily girl's best friend. Please use a powder brush!!

I didn't mention the concealer, because I prefer the custom blended concealer.
If you get the opportunity this weekend, do yourself a favor and stop by the Prescriptives counter or check out :

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fall into New Makeup

Today is such a great day!! The sun is shining, there is a nice breeze, and the leaves have turned that burnt orange color...We know what that means...Ladies, it's fall!!! With a new weather change, comes new makeup looks. Fall is the perfect time to wear makeup, because the weather is perfect. You can wear perfectly blended foundation without worrying about it melting off. I have been trying new beauty trends of my own with consultation from all my monthly mags and here are my FAVS:

1. Violet Eye Liner
Everyone is jumping on this wagon. Violet liner is hot for fall and winter, because it adds that extra punch of color to your look. Violet is a deeper shade of purple, so if you are afraid of wearing color on your lid this is a good way to segway into color. You can wear this with a nude eye or pair it with a mossy green shadow. I even saw this tip in the November issue of Essence. My favorites are MAC Liquid Last liner in Electrolady, Sephora brand liquid and pencil liners, and Bobbi Brown gel liner in Violet.

2. Matte Lipstick
Okay, I know all the lipgloss girls are sucking their teeth at this one (i.e, Monet), but glossy lips are not everyday. Can you imagine going to a formal event with lips looking like you just finished a 20 piece? No ma'ams!!! MAC has just come out with their new mattene lipsticks!! I LOVE them. They give you the coverage of a traditional matte lipstick without the dry feel of a matte lipstick. Lately, I have been rocking Classic Dame (classic red) with Powersuit (hot pink) with just a tad of gloss for a glisten effect (not glossy). I look like I just stepped off of Dior's runway. They last for hours, plus the color selection is great!!! There is a color for everyone...

3. Pink Blush
I know what you're blush??? Give me a chance.... If blended just the right way, pink blush can give you extra little ounce of youthfulness that we can all use from time to time, especially in the winter months. I like to pair pink blush with a nude eye and pinky-brown lip. My favorites are MAC Dollymix, NARS Exhibit A, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose . The key here is blended with the right brushes!!!

4. Sage Eyeshadow
Sage is such a great earth tone color that screams fall. It has a nice golden undertone with just a subtle hint of shimmer. It looks good on everyone and the application can vary from intense to soft and diffused. Stila makes this cute little smudge pot in Jade that I really like. She also has a Moss palette with 3 shadow colors and a peachy colored blush that looks awesome.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where There's Smoke.....

Ahhh, the smokey eye! It's sooo sultry, so sexy, and so dang hard to master!

I have to admit though, I love a good smokey eye. Wearing one makes me want to put on a nice pencil skirt, a pair of peep-toes, and hightail it to a smokey jazz club. It has come a long way. Now the smokey eye has evolved into greens, violets, greys, and longer just the basic black (that's sooo ten years ago! A smokey eye can be paired with a semi-glossy nude lip during the day or a deep blackened red lip for evening.

The key to a smokey eye is to concentrate the color around the eye (closer to your lashes) rather than in the crease. As you travel north on the eye, the color should gradually become lighter. It is important that you evaluate the shape of your eye before diving in liner first. If you have alot of lid space when you look straight ahead, then you are good to go. However if you have smaller eyes, then make sure not to line all the way to the inner corner of the lower lid. This will only make your eyes look smaller. The tools necessary are:

1. Base Color

We all know that this is what will prevent your shadow from creasing and
will extend its wear. Because the darkest color will be located on the lid, the base color should be somewhat dark as well.

2. Lid Color

This should be your darkest color. Concentrate this color around your eye.

3. Mid-tone/Bridge Color

This should be the color that acts as the transition color. It creates the illusion of "smokiness." For example, if your lid color was black then your mid-tone color would be gray. Mid-tone colors Blend this very well!!!

4. Highlight Color

Highlight colors do not have to be an actual shadow. The natural skin under your brow could serve as a highlight color. A shadow color that is close to the color of your natural skin is an option. I prefer this option, because it looks more modern as opposed to the extremely light highlight. Using a shadow that is lighter than your mid-tone color could also be used but is optional.

5. Pencil Liner

You absolutely must use a pencil liner. This is the most important step. The liner will go in both the upper and lower waterlines to give that extra " yes ma'ams!" to your eye. Depending on the color of your smokey eye, the liner color will vary, but it should always match your lid color.

6. Mascara

Mascara will bring back the definition to your eyelashes!!!

7. Blending Brush

The colors must gradually transition into one another for it to be a smokey eye. A blending brush is key. I love the #217 and #224 brushes by MAC and Stila also makes an awesome one.

8. Smudger Brush

This will be used in smudging the liner. A Q-tip can also be used.

Remember to evaluate your eye shape. You do not want to look like you got punched or like a racoon!!!

Below is an example of an eggplant smokey eye.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beauty Literature

Guten morgen!!!

Recently I have been noticing that there has been an increase in beauty literature outside of the big names in the industry. I took some time to read/skim through a couple of the books and here is my review:

1. Fracois NARS: Makeup Your Mind 3 out of 5 lipglosses

I like this book, but the packaging sucks. I think this book is good for those of us who need to see a little color in our lives. It is written like most books on beauty, but the visuals are a bit different. He opens the book with the basics of makeup like good skincare and brushes, then he moves into the actual makeup part. On one side of the page there is an untouched girl and on the opposite side of the page she has on a full face. He incorporates a transparency over the side with the full face with products and colors that he used. The faces in the book bring me back to the 80s and 90s style of makeup (bright colors, bold makeup, constructed makeup, thick brows), which is when NARS really took off in his career. The brows were bushy (in the book he expressed his love with full untouched brows), and the use of color was unrestricted. The visuals were good, but I think I would have liked this book more if the book was packaged differently. This is not really for those who are on the low end of the artistry skill. Its good to have on the shelf as a reference and a fun read. He gives instruction with the "there are no rules in makeup" way. I love that he states this, because I share this belief as well.

2. Thalia: Lessons in Lipgloss and Happiness 3 out of 5 lipglosses

For those of you who don't know who she better ask somebody!!! She is the Latin singing sensation from Mexico. Before she began her singing career, she was a Mexican soap star. Anyway, as you guessed it the book is geared mainly toward Latinas, but being an African American female, I still pulled out things that I could relate to. The advice offered are things that she personally does. I also like how at the end of the book, she has photos of Latinas rocking makeup that is multicultural ( I love the Bollywood look). This is a good read for everyone, because it is written simply and anyone can follow this advice. Plus, not all of the book is about makeup, she includes tips on living a happy, balanced life.

3. Carmindy: The 5-Minute Face 5 out of 5 lipglosses

This has been my favorite beauty read for almost a year now. I love this book!!! I can read it over and over again. Its like watching your favority movie and everytime you see something that you didn't pick up on the time before. She begins the book with the reservations that women have about applying makeup in the small time frame, so we only opt for mascara and lipgloss. This is soooo true!! I know alot of my friends that take on this routine, when they could use a little concealer under the eye and a pop of blush. Her book is very instructional. She touches on the importance of skincare and good brushes. She goes into good makeup options for every skin tone, and she didn't just push the brown girls into the "dark" skin category. The visuals are more for "everyday" but she also shows you how to create that "hot date at 8" look. Any woman of any ethnic background can read this book and find that it speaks to them. At the end of the book, she includes all the products that she used on the models and suggest alternate drugstore brands that were similiar. I love this book!!!

4. Bobbi Brown: Living Beauty 5 out of 5 lipglosses

I know people think I ride Bobbi products hard, but for good reason!!! She is a savior for the modern woman age 25+. She preaches the gospel of skincare, concealer, blush, lipgloss, and mascara. The target audience of the book was the woman over or approaching 50. I say GO Bobbi Go!!! The aging process has gotten a bad rep, by the media. It isn't embraced enough. I swear if I hear one more women picking apart themselves, by talking about how bad their crow's feet look, or how droopy their eyes are becoming I will scream !!! Bobbi encourages women to age gracefully and make the best of what they have. Of course she spends a whole chapter on GOOD skincare and the process that skin goes through as we age. Then she goes into things that we can do to instantly give ourselves a face lift, such as cream blush on the cheek, teeth whitening, a shimmery gloss, etc. My favorite section of the book is the "makeover" part. It appears as if her staff worked miracles!! You have got to see it to believe it!!! I love this book, because as a women who has not reached that age group, I still felt like the advice was good enough for me to use now. She touched on everything that women at that age and younger encounter....two toned lips, age spots, etc. This is a must read for everyone at every age!! Definitely worthy of a space on the shelf!!

I hope everyone goes out and atleast browse through these while sipping coffee at a bookstore.

Take the quiz on the right!!!!

Be on the look out later this week on how to do a smoky eye. Smoky eyes are my biggest request.

Monday, October 22, 2007

HU Fashion Show ROCKS !!!!

Howard's Homecoming Fashion show was soooo on point!!! The vision for the show was genius !!!! Of course, I and two other talented young ladies provided the makeup. Micheal Knight of Project Runway and Cranberry Clothing (these girls are Howard Students) were just a few of the awesome designers. The looks for makeup were a few beauty looks and also some looks created by the great Pat Mcgrath herself from the John Galliano ready-to-wear shows from a couple years back. The beauty looks were the cat-eye trend, Brooke Shields brow, and the Fall 2007 Alexander McQueen. I loved the males who were brave enough to strut in heels, wigs, and a full face of makeup. However, the genius behind the show was not well received by a few a the amateur models. There were tears, claims of skin illness, and just down right resistance. I think one girl had the case of Naomi (or she thought she was Naomi)...don't worry no cell phones were thrown. I wonder if the real models actually do that in New York?? I doubt it, cause they wouldn't have a Anywho despite, the few amateurs present ( I honestly think that they thought the show was about them....models are clothes hangers) there were very professional models who I look forward to working with again. I have posted a couple of photos courtesy of BJones Photography.

The show also had guest appearances by the lovely Janelle Monae (she is sooo awesome....I spent the whole weekend looking for her album in stores but no luck), Camille McDonald from ANTM cycle 2 (she is soooo fabulous and sweet), and Ambreal Williams of ANTM cycle 8 (she is really down to earth).

Thanks to Michana and Adrianne for helping me !!!! You gals did a wonderful job!! I we can take over together!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So Much To Do...So Little Time

This week is going to be sooooo busy for me!! I have deadlines, fashion shows, photoshoots, and work!!! I really need to work on getting things done ahead of time. Sometimes I will start things and put them away. Then pick them up right before the deadline. Not Good. I must admit that I love it though!! I feel like the Pat Mcgrath of DC. I set trend!! Who would have thought that lil' ol' me from tumble weed county Florida would be a trendsetter?? My momma knew it all along!! I know this may be an early prediction, but soon we will be working side by side one day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I told you I'd be back!!!

I wanted to talk about eyeliner today. Eyeliner is an important acessory in eye makeup. It gives the eye definition. By definition I mean it can either make your eyes pop (by saying hello here I am) or it can make your eyes look smaller (if you line in the water line...that pink part next to your eyeball) . The thicker the line, the larger your eyes will look, so if you have small eyes this is something for you. If you have small eyes, "draw" a very thin line. The object is to give definition without out making them appear larger. When paired along with mascara, it will bring definition to the eye as well as thicken the lash line, giving the look of fuller lashes. It is also the single most important thing in a smokey eye. There are several types of liners out there on the market:

1. Eyeshadow. This must be done with a brush. I like to use eyeshadow when I want subtle definition. Good for lining in the water line...for those of us with really sensitive eyes.

2. Gel Liner. This must also be done with a brush. This is good for basic definition and once it dries it is water proof. I am a fan of the Bobbi Brown Gel Liner, Stila liner pots, and MAC fluidline.

3. Liquid Liner. This comes with a cute little felt tip for easy application. It will give you a very defined line. Great for the new cat-eye trend!! Black Opal makes a nice navy and brown. Cover girl also has a new one developed by the great Pat Mcgrath herself.

4. Pencil Liner. Well, this is the traditional liner that mostly everyone has used. These are great for smudging and to use in the water line. When lining with these, it maybe easier to hold the pencil to the side.

Tips for getting the perfect line.

1. Don't try to "draw" a straight line right across your lid. Do more of a connect the dots or go little by little.

2. For a cat-eye, it maybe better to trace the shape out in pencil and then go on top with liquid liner.

No's for Liner.

1. BLACK LINER IS NOT EVERYDAY!!! If I see one more woman walking the streets with Elvira looking eyes, I will scream. Brown, green, violet, navy are all excellent colors that can be used. That is my biggest peeve!! I will be handing out tickets for violations!!!

2. Liner does not have to be thickly drawn on to make a point.

3. Please don't only line the bottom!! This will only be acceptable if you are in an avant garde fashion show of some kind.

How-to use:

Liner can be a bit tricky for some when trying to line the top. The basic thing to get down is that you want to get a close to your lashline as possible. Do not stretch you eye!!! When you do this, you cannot see what you are doing (maybe that's why I see women on the street with those extra thick black lines?). It's best to hold your eye open, and slowly trace out your shape. If you have a smaller eyeshape, you can continue the line down under the lashes (not in the will make your eyes look small and closed). Make sure that the liner under the lashes is a bit softer than on the top for day and that the lines connect.

Have a Wonderful day!!!