2014 Beauty Favorites + Mini Reviews

One of my favorite things about entering a New Year is reflecting back on all my most used and loved products from the previous year. So without further a do, here are my favorite beauty items from 2014.

1. Primers

Make Up For Ever HD Elixer and Eye PrimeMake Up For Ever HD Elixer: Its a beautiful serum that not only hydrtaes the skin before foundation application but also helps to smooth out texture and help with the longevity of my makeup.

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime: The best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever used. It does a fabulous job at helping longevity and eliminating creasing without drying out the eye lids. This guys also helps to even out the skin tone on the eye lid. Im also a fan of using this under my eyes to stop my concealer from creasing.

2. Foundations

make Up For Ever HD Foundation + Nars Tinted MoisturizerNars Tinted Moisturizer: This is definitely my HG, I love to use this on my natural days. Not only does it keep my skin looking healthy but the coverage on this stuff is fabulous especially for a sheer type of product.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation: I love this stuff, it looks so natural and provides a great coverage that’s definitely build-able. The semi liquidy consistency of this product allows for a super easy blend and feels so light on the skin.

3. Concealers

Make Up For Ever HD Concealer + Full Cover Make Up For Ever HD Concealer: This is my HG for highlighting the face be it under the eyes, bridge of the nose or cupids bow. Super pigmented yet creamy for easy blending.

Make Up For Ever Full Cover: For those more stubborn areas and problems like dark circles, pigmentation spots or blemishes this stuff will cover almost everything, even tattoos. It has a more dry texture than the HD concealer and the pigmentation is super strong so err on the side of caution when applying this, less is more.

4. Powders

Laura Mercier Secter Camouflage Powder + Make Up For Ever HD Pressed powder and Pro Finsih Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder: The best thing for setting and brightening the under eye area after you’ve applied your concealer and/or highlighter. Its finely milled so it doesn’t get cakey or drying in the slightest.

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish: Ive never really been a powder foundation type of girl because I find they dry out my skin but not this stuff. The formula is so finely milled it feels like silk and butter had a baby. I love the way it really sinks into the skin rather than sitting on top of the skin. It looks so natural with a medium to build-able coverage that never gets cakey. Its basically invisible to the naked eye!!

Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder: Best translucent powder ever. Super finely milled, leaves a beautiful airbrushed finish on the skin and helps makeup last all day.

5. Cheeks

benefit rockateur box blushBenefit Rockateur Box Blush: Ugh this stuff is just sooo fricking pretty. It looks good with everything and on everyone. It gives a hint of color and provides a beautiful subtle glow too.

theBalm Mary Lou-ManizerTheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer: This will forever be one of my favorite highlights. Its so darn pigmented so a light hand is suggested. It gives the most gorgeous glow on the cheekbones and is fab as an inner corner highlight to really open up the eyes.

6. Eyes

make Up For Ever Atrist ShadowsMake Up For Ever Artist Shadows: 88% pigment, awesome color selection and finishes, easy blend-ability and the softest smoothest eye shadows you’ll ever encounter point blank.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Matic + Laura Mercier Caviar StickMakeup For Ever Aqua Matic and Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks: I love this type of product; cream shadows in stick form. They are ultra long wearing, super pigmented, easy to use and double as great eyeliners especially for the waterline.

Make Up For Ever Ink LinerMake Up For Ever Ink Liner: The blackest most matte liquid eyeliner on the market. The tip is perfect for creating a super slim winged liner or something more graphic and bold. The long wearing formula is great for girls who don’t want to go through the hassle of removing a waterproof formula.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter LinersUrban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liners: Ive been a fan of these for years and I’m still in love with them. These are so great for adding a bit of glam to any look. they are packed with glittery goodness and last all day without any fall out, Score!!!

Trate Lights Camera Lashes Mascara Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara: Super black formula that provides the most lushes lashes with volume, length and curling. I love the very traditional wand as it really separates and doesn’t give me spidery or clumpy lashes. Another bonus- it never flakes or transfers to my skin.

7. Brows

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow + Brow SealMake Up For Ever Aqua Brow and Brow Seal: The aqua brow is the best eyebrow product I’ve ever tried. Its great for a really defined brow but also something super natural and soft. Its super waterproof, easy to apply, the littlest goes a long way, and I love the tube style packaging which keeps the product from drying out. I like to use the Brow Seal just to keep my hairs in place because they have a tendency to be unruly.

8. Lips

Nars Satin Lip Pencil + Benefit Loli Balm, + Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense 52Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Descano: I love the whole Satin Lip Pencil line. This is my favorite type of formula for sure. Its soft and creamy yet pigmented.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense shade 52: Again another line I’m really loving. Super pigmented lipsticks with a semi matte finish yet still creamy and smooth on the lips. Love it.

Benefit Lolli Balm: These Balms from benefit or so beautiful. I love how they give a sheer, hydrating, wash of color and the rose scent is absolutely delicious.

Nars Larger Than Life lipgloss, Nyx Butter gloss + Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Nars Larger Than Life Lipgloss in Angelica: Love the who line, but one of my faves is this one. Perfect pink that looks great alone or over lipstick. Great pigmentation and nice smooth formula that doesn’t settle in the lip lines.

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair: I will forever love these. They taste and smell like vanilla, the pigmentation is insane and they feel sooooo good one the lips. I have a review and swatches of some of the shades here if your interested.

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine in 0s: These glosses aren’t given enough love in my opinion. They have a great color selection, and I love the variety of finishes. These or really glossy and make the lips look wet (which I like).

9. Finishing and Setting Sprays

Urban Decay All Night Setting Spray + Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray: Wow this stuff is robust. Its the best setting spray for long lasting makeup without drying out the skin.

Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix: I love to use this for re-hydrating and touching up throughout the day. This is also great  if you went a little over board with the powder and want to make everything look seamless.

What were some of your favorite beauty items for 2014, any of the ones I’ve mentioned?

Hugs from Beauty Land

The Run Down on Different Highlighter Formulas and Highlighting Techniques

Hey Guys :)

In my line of work I have people on the daily asking me about highlighting. So I thought I’d create a post giving you a run down on different types of highlighting techniques and products.

Shimmery Highlights: These products come in different formulas from powder to cream and liquid. These tend to be used on the high points of the face. For example on the top of the cheek bones, on the cupids bow, and/or underneath the brow bone. This type of highlighting technique gives a glow to the skin and is particularly good for those who have dull or dry skin. I would avoid too much shimmer if you have oily skin or tend to get very oily throughout the day. The best way to use this technique for oily skin is to control the amount and placement making sure you only apply to the top of the cheekbones and fore go the t-zone area.

Some of my favorite shimmer highlights include TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer and the Mac Cream Color Base in Hush

shimmer_highlighting_productsthebalm_mary-louManizer_MacCreamColorBase_HushMatte Highlights: These tend to come in a cream formula but can also be found in powder formula. Matte highlighters are usually used to create that Kim Kardashian look. After applying liquid foundation (or before powder foundation) use a lighter concealer shade for the under eye area and across the cheek bone, down the bridge of the nose, in between the eyebrows and up on the forehead. You can set all of this using a lighter shade of powder.

My favorite cream highlighters (which are actually concealers I just bought in lighter shades) are the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 and the Make Up For Ever HD Concealer in 205.

For a lighter setting powder I like to Use the Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Intrigue.

matte_highlighting_productsI made this little diagram of where to highlight using matte shades (the dark spots are for contouring). If you want more details I have a post on how to Highlight and Contour like a Pro here and I’ve also done a video which you can find here that incorporates the use of both matte and shimmer highlighting products.

highlight&Contour MapWhat are some of your favorite matte and shimmer highlight products? I’m always on the look out for new and great products so definitely leave a comment :)

Hugs from Beauty Land

How To Highlight and Contour Like A Pro- Plus Tips, Techniques & Favorite Products

Hey Guys,

So about a week ago I posted my very first YouTube video featuring how I like to contour and highlight. So I thought it would be rather fitting to have an accompanying blog post to discuss different techniques and some of my favorite products. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it yet.

So firstly I think its important to discuss what exactly is highlighting and contouring when it comes to make up. When you apply your foundation (cream,liquid or powder), bb cream, tinted moisturizer, whatever it is you like, it can make the face appear rather one dimensional and flat. That’s where contouring and highlighting comes in. Its a great way to bring dimension and color back to the face and emphasize/recede points on the face. I made a little facial map of where I like to contour (the brown spots) and highlight (the light areas).

highlight&Contour MapSo when make up artists and the like talk about highlighting, simply put its a matter of accentuating the high points of the face so the cheek bones, brow bone, bridge of the nose, cupids bow (great way to create a more predominant pout), chin, and in between the eyebrows up onto the forehead. When it comes to contouring this is where one recedes concave areas of the face. So for example the hollows of the cheek (this is a great way to slim the face, or create accentuated cheek bones), the sides of the nose (great for straightening and slimming), around the temple/hair line, as well as the underside of the jaw line. The combination of highlighting the high points of the face and receding the “low” points of the face creates wonderful dimension but can also completely alter the shape of your face.

Now that we’ve discussed what contouring and highlighting actually means we can move on to the variety of products and techniques. Depending on your preference and skin type the products of choice and mode of application may vary.

Option 1: Highlighting and contour could consist of cream products only. This is a great technique for those with dry skin or who prefer cream products. In my video you can see that I use a creamy concealer (1-2 shades lighter then my skin)  under my eye area in a triangle shape down the side of the nose, up the cheek bone towards the tail of the brow. This is the first stage of highlighting. Not only are you concealing under eye darkness but by dragging the product over the cheekbone accentuates this area making it more prominent and contrasting to the natural hollows of the cheekbones. You can stop here if you like for a more natural look.

Option 2: To accentuate the highlight you’ve created already and recede areas you can continue with contouring. If you want to use cream products to do this then by all means. Try using a foundation that’s 1-2 shades darker than your skin tone, you might already have this in your stash (try looking at the shades you would wear in the summer). Otherwise the Bobbi Brown foundation sticks are great for this or the Sonia Kashuk Cream Bronzer compact. They are super easy to use as you can mark out exactly where you want to apply your contour plus they are super creamy, and easy to blend. For an extra hit of highlight you could add a bit of cream highlight (normally shimmer based) to the tops of the cheek bones. Once you’ve completed your highlight and contour using cream products you can either stop here without adding any setting powder (that is if you suffer from extreme dry skin), otherwise you can add translucent powder to your face to set everything in place so it doesn’t smudge.

sonyakashuk_creambronzer-1Option 3: To create an even stronger highlight and contour you can layer the cream products with powdered ones with corresponding shades. So use a matte bronzer/contour product where you placed your cream contour and a matte highlighting product to set the highlight so under the eye/cheekbone or where ever else you highlighted. To add a little extra pow to your look you can use a shimmer highlighter to further emphasis the cheekbones, but go light handed with these products so you don’t end up looking like a disco ball.

Once you’ve set the cream with corresponding powders you can stop here or go even one step further and add translucent powder to lock the cream and powder in place. I do however recommend that you go light handed with powder as it can easily create that dreaded cake face. If you feel you went over board spritz some of Mac’s Fix+ to refresh the skin and tone down the powder face.

Option 4: If your not a fan of cream products or suffer from oily skin then complete the same steps as mentioned above using only powder products. This pertains more specifically to contouring then highlighting. Add your cream highlight and set with translucent or light reflecting powder. Move on to your contour only using powdered bronzers and blend to your hearts content.

Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way we can move on to some of my favorite brushes and products to achieve both a natural or more made up look. When I highlight I like to use cream product specifically the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 to brighten the under eye area and cheek bones. My favorite way to apply and bend this product is with my finger. The warmth from your fingers heats up the products for an easier and more seamless blend. Its rare that I highlight the bridge of my nose or my forehead due to time constraints but when I do I still use my fingers. For extra highlight on the cheekbones I love Mac’s Cream Color Base in Diamonds and for a powder I’m obsessed with TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer.

mac_pro_longwear_concealer

RiRi_Hearts_Mac_Collection_diamondscreamcolorbaseTheBalm_Mary-loumanizer

TheBalm_Mary-loumanizer-1

Now for contouring I prefer a brush. When I use a cream product I either apply it straight from the stick or if its in compact form I like to dip my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply. Its nice and tapered perfect for creating a sharp contour but also great for blending.

realtechniques_expertfacebrushrealtechniques_expertfacebrush-2realtechniques_expertfacebrush-3When I’m working with powdered products either to layer on top of the cream or on its own I swear by the Nars ITA brush. It has a great and unique thin rectangular shape which allows for extreme control of placement. It’s also wonderful for blending out.

nars_ita_brushnars_ita_brush-1IMG_2339Well guys and dolls those were some of my tips, tricks and techniques for contouring and highlighting. By no means are there any rules on how one should do this but rather a means of trial and error and ones own taste. Id love to hear about your favorite contour and highlight products, as well as some of the techniques you use so please do leave a comment 😀

Hugs from Beauty Land