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!!!

Weekend Recap

GOOD Morning!!!

This weekend has been hectic but also relaxing. My weekend started on Thursday. I got really excited about what's in store for holiday beauty. The brush, lip, and eye sets that come out are such good gifts and the price points are cheap (to yourself, family, girlfriends, etc.). I love these, because the packaging is fabulous!! It also gives me an opportunity to purchase things for family. I already know that I must get my mom a brush set. It also puts me in the mood to wear red. Not fire engine #1 red, but like a sultry, blackened red with my hair all slicked back into a chignon.

On Friday, I started on my way to the pool, but I had to take a detour. I had forgotten my swim cap and goggles, and I was not sticking a toe in the water without them. So instead of taking a swim, I decided to go to the Borders out in Pentagon City to catch up on my magazine reading. Those who know me, know that I love sitting in bookstores sipping coffee and reading magazines. I feel so relaxed, and I always leave feeling enlightened about the world of beauty. The smell of coffee early in the morning reminds me of being back home, the sound of the coffee machines, and just being there so early just gets me in a good mood. I also read (well more like scanned) the new Rachel Zoe (stylist to the rehab stars) book. Of course I skipped directly to the beauty section. I am really glad she included this, as makeup is an acessory. Then I went to my favorite spot in the world.....Sephora!! I went around sampling other products and what did I find ? The best skincare item ever !!! DDF Retinol Energizing Moisturizer and Silky C!!!! My skin felt so firm, yet soft and extra hydrated!! I couldn't stop touching it. I think I will make this a Christmas gift to myself. It's a bit pricey, but my skin felt so delicious afterwards it's worth it!! This is an investment. Friday night was fun, because I hung out with a friend. We laughed, chilled, spoke about politics, black people, of course makeupand had a good time. It was good to spend time with someone who truly appreciates beauty and makeup as much as myself.

Saturday night, I came home and spent an afternoon with the girls (Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte), but I still managed to be in bed by 9. I had to get up at 6 am to doing makeup for an early photoshoot and report to work ontime. I'm beat, but the weekend was great!!

I am posting twice today. Be on the lookout. Don't forget to take the quiz on the right!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Accidental Find

Yesterday, I am doing a quick little stroll through Sephora (as usual) just to try freshen up my makeup (i'm ghetto, I know....but doesn't everyone do it??). I am looking for a cute gloss to update my lips, so I head over to Smashbox to try out this lipgloss that has been voted in Allure as one of the best. Try it. Hate it. Well not hate it, but not impressed. I was looking for that something goes on nice and creamy, but not overly glossy. No disrespect to the lipgloss gals out there, but sometimes I like to look a bit more PG-17. Patent leather shiny lips just does not go with everything.

Back to the story... so I stumble upon Laura Mercier's new lip stain that I have been reading rave reviews about. I thought I knew the Sephora in Pentagon City like the back of my hand. I was not even aware that Laura Mercier was there!! There they were, sitting, looking pretty as if they were waiting on my arrival. At first, I was a little apprehensive about the pot-like packaging, because I don't like to dip my fingers into lip products (of course I used a lipgloss wand at the store...but it doesn't come with one). But then I thought...What the hell? It's all in the name of beauty. Now, I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon of a new product just because everyone else likes it, but when I tell you I LOVE this product, I really mean it. Being in the mood for a nude lip, I tried on Mocha (a rich chocolate brown) then put a little Peach Glaze (nude peach) in the center. The application was so easy. There was a glide on the lips like a gloss, but not the shine of a gloss. I didn't need a liner (although with some colors like the reds a liner will be necessary), and the colors looked gorgeous on me. At the end of my day, the color was still present. This is something for the gloss girls that don't like lipstick and for the lipstick girls that don't like gloss. I literally feel like I stumbled upon a gold mine!!

Be sure to take the quiz to the right!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I Love New York ????

I don't know if you guys caught it last night, but damn it I can already tell that my Sunday nights will be filled with laughter watching I Love New York season 2. New York AKA Tiffany Patterson and her mother (Sister Patterson) are literally like two train wrecks that I just cannot turn away from. The boob job, the horrible weave (Sister Patterson's has improved to conceal that ginormous forehead), the corny guys, the hooker-like clothing and most importantly the disatrous make-up will all keep me tuned in.

I think New York is a prime example of how we don't want our make up to look (well except for maybe on Halloween). Honestly, it is only the eyeshadow and false lashes. They just over power the rest of her. I can barely see her beautiful brown contacts underneath all of it. I would really like to know who makes the final decision on the makeup- her or the makeup artist? I hope that it's her, because I'd hate to think that there is an artist out there putting lashes on someone that are ten times too large for their eyes. I can't say that everything is bad, because her look is gradually becoming softer (well compared to Season 1). The yeast infection tight clothing, bad weave, and teal-blue eyeshadow are just too much worn in combination all at the same time. Maybe if she just wore one element at a time...?
Ok...Hold your glasses up!! Here's to a... it was so funny that "I watched the re-run episode later in the week" season of I Love New York 2. I really cannot help it. I love reality TV. Besides Better Batter Maggie Moo's icecream, it is one of my guiltiest pleasures.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

So You Call Yourself An Activist??

Saturday is the annual AIDS walk/run for the DC metro area. Don't worry if you have a prior engagement, but there is a way that you can help women and children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS by participating in the MAC AIDS fund. Since 1994, the MAC AIDS fund has been in existence and has donated $95 million to the fund. There are currently 6 gorgeous shades of lipsticks with variable textures and 2 glosses that support this fund. So even if you don't wear lipstick there are 2 glosses that are beautiful as well!! There is noooo excuse. Both the gloss and lipstick sell for only $14. Of the $14 every cent goes to the MAC AIDS fund, which contributes to global organizations that provide care and services to victims. Just think of the lives that you can make better for only $14!!

Be a helping hand by helping those in need...This Weekend Shop with a purpose!!...Long Live Glamour!!!! ....VIVA GLAM!!!

For more information please log onto :

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Beauty Bargains

The best feeling in the world is leaving the home of all that is wonderful, "niffty", and most importantly CHEAP with a bag full of new beauty products!!! AKA Target!! I can remain in Target in the beauty section for literally hours !!! In fact, I look forward to going to Target after a long week of mental anguish to relax and update myself on new and old products that I may have overlooked on my last trip. I prefer to go alone, because no one seems to understand my fascination with the store. Most of my friends prefer Wal-Mart (Wallyworld).....but my loyalty stands to my beloved Target.

Target's beauty aisle is filled with all my favorite brands from Iman to L'oreal HIP. So today I will post about my favorite finds at Target !!!

1. L'oreal HIP foundations.
I love these!!! They are perfect for the gal with golden or cinnamon undertones. The coverage is medium and they match perfectly! At a price of $14...its worth a try.

2. L'oreal HIP Eyeshadows, gloss, and cream blush

The eyeshadows have to intensity of a MAC shadow but half the price for 2 shadows!!! They come with a cute little mirror on the bottom as well. The glosses smell lovely and the color is intense!! The cream blush is so versatile. It can be used as an eyeshadow as well as blush, because the it dries down to a matte finish. Genius!! Be careful, a little goes a long way. Not to mention this brand has genius advertising. I love Kerry Washington and Scarlett.

3. Sonia Kashuk Brush sets

For those of us, whose pockets are a little small to afford MAC or Sephora brushes..these are perfect. This was my first brush set, until I could afford MAC brushes.

4. NYC nail polish

On Friday nights, when I do self-maintainence...I pick these up for only 99 cents!! The color selection is amazing. You can get a conservative color as well as a color to express your wild side.

5. Cetaphil Cleansers
This company has had the same formulation for as long as it has been a company. It is good for oily skin and dry skin. It is gentle and hydrating but will not break the bank.

6. Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara and Maybelline Clear Mascara

I love the bristles on this brush. They look a little scary, but it gets really close to my lash line to really give my lashes that extra boost. I always get asked if I'm wearing falsies.

I love the clear mascara to hold down unruly brows until they can be tamed. Other companies sell their clear mascaras anywhere from $11 to $20. This is only $6!!

7. Caboodles Carry Cases

After you get all this makeup you will need something to hold it in right? I use these cases to carry all my makeup. You can't beat the prices and its pretty big. They come in several sizes, so you can also have something that will fit in your purse.

8. Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes

These are good for removing makeup after a long night when you are just too tired to go wash your face. I keep these by my bed at night, just in case. I am usually pretty good about removing the makeup. MAC sells their wipes for $15....these are $5.49!!!

I hope this helps!!

Jazzy...a base is something that will act as a barrier between the oil on your eyelids and your eyeshadow. This will give your eyeshadow something to adhere to, thereby making the color more intense (the way it looks in the case) and increase the longevity of the shadow. Most people don't base their shadow and by the end of the day its gone or has creased!! A base will eliminate this problem. If you have dry eyelids then try using a concealer as a base (a small thin layer will be enough) or MAC paint pots or MAC paints. Be sure to apply in a nice even layer. Scroll down to the post titled "Paint the Town Red"

Monday, October 1, 2007

Old Friends, New Habits

Good Morning.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Mine was good. I bumped into an old friend of mine that I haven't spent time with since sophomore year (you know we speak and keep it cordial...but doing real friend Purely by accident we ended up going to a beauty event that you could purchase beauty products for dirt cheap prices( by invite only). I'm talking MAC shadows, gloss, eyeliners, and foundations no more than $3!! After we finished there, I still wasn't satisfied with my new fix of product purchases, so then we went to Target. I finally got to see the new felt tip eyeliner developed by Pat Mcgrath before she left Proctor and Gamble.

Ok, so I am swimming this morning as usual...and someone stops me and tells me that my form is incorrect because I am bending my legs. For as long as I have been swimming, I never knew that when you swim, you use a scissor-like motion. I always flapped my feet and bent my legs. WHO KNEW??!?! I proceeded to try to correct this and was so hard. I was flapping and flopping like someone who didn't know how to swim!! So embarrassing!! I didn't give up, and needless to say I still have some improvement to This ties into how we form bad beauty habits, like using a black liner around the mouth and filling in with red lipstick ( I must admit that I was a victim of this in 7th grade...I even took a school picture like this). Or taking your finger and applying eyeshadow without a base.

This is merely to say, if you are unhappy with the results of your beauty routine...take a step back and watch exactly what you are doing. If your eyeshadow is creasing at the end of the day, use a base. Eye liner smearing, when you apply to your waterline...use a powder to set it. Just like someone was watching me swim today, someone is always watching you. Someone else can see what you do not, so getting someone that you trust to tell you the truth (not a friend, because they can lie to spare feelings) could be of benefit. Everyone wants to look and feel their best all the time, so just take a moment to make sure that you are doing everything you need to in order to accomplish this.

Be sure to take a moment and take the quiz...also post comments or questions!!!