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How to Depot a MAC Eyeshadow

how to depot mac eyeshadow 1As you may (or may not) know, an individual MAC eyeshadow come in a cute little plastic container. As you also may know, MAC makes palettes that can fit 2, 4, or 15 shadows, making your shadow collection travel friendly and space efficient. While you can buy the eyeshadows in a “pan” form that easily fit into the palettes, what if you have ones in containers that you’d like to put in palettes? Easy peasy.  All you need is a MAC eyeshadow, a kitchen knife, piece of parchment paper (optional) and a flat iron.

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If you look at the front of the eyeshadow, you’ll see a small little space where the top clasps onto the bottom part. Take the knife and wedge it between there and lift up slightly. The top will just pop out with the pan inside it.

how to depot mac eyeshadow 3Turn on your flat iron as high as it can go, and place the pan & plastic on top. The parchment paper is not necessary (I’ve depotted pans without it) but is a bit of a precaution so that the plastic doesn’t melt all over your iron. Wait for about 30-60 seconds, depending on how hot your iron is.

how to depot mac eyeshadow 4You’ll know when the plastic is ready when the center most part on the bottom is soft and shiny. Then, take your knife or a pen or something and press hard into the center. The pan should pop out easily. If not, put the plastic back on the iron and check back in about 10 seconds! As you can see, the glue should have melted and some will be on the back of the pan.

how to depot mac eyeshadow 5To get the sticker off of the back of the container, put it onto the iron. After about 30 seconds, the glue should be melted, and you can remove the label with tweezers.

how to depot mac eyeshadow 6Put the label onto the back of the eyeshadow pan and voila! All done!

If you have a magnet, attach it to the back of the pan so it will stay easily in the magnetic palette. If not, no biggie, just stick a piece of double stick tape on the back!

The final result:

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How do you depot shadows? Do you prefer them in a palette or on their own in single containers?

Summer 2013 Favorites

Summer 2013 Favorites 1Hi guys, I know it’s been a solid month since my last few posts, so I thought I’d give a round up of some of the products I’ve been loving lately and throughout the summer as a whole.

First up is the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation in B50. I previously reviewed this incredible foundation here, but have since purchased it in my summer shade. I love the radiance this liquid formula gives to the face without heavy coverage or a cakey feeling. It’s also incredibly buildable so it can be worn on a variety of occasions – sheer for everyday, heavier at night. This shade, B50 is perfect for my summer skintone! They recently added an SPF of 19 to the formula, which I actually don’t like because I wear SPF underneath it anyway, but it’s great if you don’t and want extra sun protection.

Next is Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder. I picked this up because things got super hot and humid in NYC about a month ago, and you couldn’t step outside without instantly becoming drenched in sweat. Sexy, right? I normally use MUFE HD Powder but it just wasn’t cutting it, I needed something more mattifying. This did just that. Although it looks white in the pan it’s actually translucent on the skin and removes all shine. I definitely won’t be using this much in the winter when my skin is dry, but for hot weather, or girls with oily skin, this is great.

Summer 2013 Favorites 2I was very lucky enough to snag this very limited edition Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in #539 Iridescent Leather from Saks in the very beginning of the summer. This was released initially in 2008 in the Dandy Lady Collection but was brought back in select Saks for a very short period of time. It features 5 gorgeous neutral shades that range from a deep rich brown to a white-gold highlight shade. These have become my default eyeshadows to use since they illuminate the eye but in a classy way – they have shimmer and a couple shades skirt on the line between shimmer and glitter, but still maintain the sophistication of Dior. I usually pack the pale pink or light gold shade all over the lid, taupe on the outer corner, dark brown beneath the lower lashline, and the center shade in the inner corner of my eyes. Gorgeous. This palette is no longer available in Saks but a few still remain on Amazon if you’d like to purchase one!

MAC crosswiresLast but not least is MAC Lipstick in Crosswires. This has easily become my “lips but better” shade and my most worn lipstick this summer. The color is perfect: a lively coral-pink but not bright enough to attract too much attention. It brightens my face and adds needed pigmentation to my lips in a subtle, polished way. Even better, the cremesheen formula is long-wearing and moisturizing on the lips, making it ideal for long work days. When I don’t feel like putting the maintenance into a bold lip but still want to look put together, Crosswires has my back.

What have been your favorites this summer?

10 Tips for Clear Skin Part 1

clear skin part 1

I never realized how much stress and anxiety my skin caused me until it went completely clear. To set the record straight, I am lucky enough to never have suffered from serious acne, but I had some bouts in my teenage years when a gigantic zit would rear its head in the most undesirable place possible, like smack dab in between the brows. Cute, right? Random red bumps also had a habit of appearing randomly along my chin and sometimes cheeks that were incredibly irritating to me. It seemed like no matter what I did, my skin was never perfectly clear. Fast forward a couple years and subtract a hefty wad of cash from my wallet and I finally have achieved clear skin. Now, I know not everyone has the same skin as me, and may have serious skin issues that require medication like Acutane, but here are the first set of tips that I’ve discovered along my skincare journey.

1.       Know what type of skin you have – Knowing if you have oily skin versus dry versus combination etc. is crucial at obtaining results. It will not only determine your tactics for clearing up the skin, but also what skincare and makeup products you should use as well. For example, if you have oily skin you will want to stay away from “dewy” foundation and stick to mattifying powders and foundations. Additionally, you would want to use gel-like textured moisturizers versus heavy creams.

2.       Stay away from mineral oil! – Mineral oil is a substance used in a lot of drugstore brand skincare since it is quite inexpensive. It’s similar to petroleum jelly in that it sits on top of the skin, without penetrating deep down into the pores. As a result, it clogs your pores and cause break outs instead of providing moisture, especially with sensitive skin. Aveeno is a great brand to use if you’re not trying to break the bank because of its drugstore prices and lack of mineral oil.

3.       It’s all about the moisture – At my young age (under 25), there’s really no need for anti-aging products. But, it’s incredibly important to keep the skin moisturized at all times. This will prevent dry patches on the face and with the right products, control your natural oils if you are an oily gal.

4.       Sunscreen! – Sun protection is an aspect of skincare that most people, especially young people, tend to overlook. Why apply yet another product when you won’t be out tanning? What you may not know is that the #1 cause of aging is sun damage! Additionally, harsh sun exposure can cause your skin to go all red and bumpy (I know from personal experience), and wearing an SPF of at least 15 at all times can easily prevent this.

5.       Stick to a routine – Skin is fussier than one might imagine, and in general, it doesn’t appreciate being a little experimental hamster. Once you find a skincare routine that works for you, stick to it! Constantly changing products will only fluster your skin, leaving it confused and broken out.

That’s it for part 1 ladies, hope you learned a few things. Part 2 will be up early next week!

DIY: Pressing Pigments

Arts & Crafts 2Nothing brings me quite back to those good ole elementary days like some arts and crafts time. Those were the good days weren’t they? No data analyzing, writing, memorizing, or thinking really – just simple, hands-on activities. Maybe that’s why it felt so wonderful to create this interpretation of a pressed pigment pictured above.  I came up with this idea when I came to the realization I would probably never find an exact dupe of my all-time favorite eyeshadow: Sephora Shimmering Sand from the limited edition Prisme Collection. I picked this up literally years ago, and this was one of my very first eyeshadow purchases. Its yellow-golden hue is my perfect “my lids but better” color, and I love how shimmery it is. Since the product reflects light, my teeny asian eyes are transformed into bigger, brighter and more well-rested versions of themselves when I wear this shadow. Despite it’s many pros, this product unfortunately has a serious downfall: its packaging. Since the shadow is really more of a pigment than a shadow, it requires a deep pan, and something to keep it packed together, much like the L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows. As you can see from the photo above, it is quite clear that the packing is the exact opposite of this. The shadow originally came in a 3D block-like shape with a wave imprinted on the top, and was not really attached to anything, but merely sitting atop this odd plastic grate. Weird. Because of this, the shadow often fell apart and clumped up onto the mirror inside the lid, or escaped the packaging all-together and adhered itself onto anything and everything. The inside of my everyday makeup bag basically was a gold-glitter party. Not cool. Serious actions had to be taken.

I tried looking for another version of this shadow that had better packaging, but everything I looked at was either too golden and not yellow enough, or not shimmery enough, or too peachy. Then I read about using rubbing alcohol to fix cracked blushes, face powders, eye shadows etc. and figured, why wouldn’t this work for me?!

Arts & Crafts 1I started by taking the entire eyeshadow block out of its container and slicing off small pieces with a knife. Then, I started piling the little shavings into an empty MAC eyeshadow container. I was a little concerned that the container didn’t have a metal pan in it and that the shadow would just fall out, but it turned out completely fine! Pouring rubbing alcohol over the shavings made them softer and malleable, so then I was able to sort of smush them down into the container with a Qtip, and smooth it to the best of my ability. I repeated the shavings/rubbing alcohol steps several times until the container seemed to be about full, making sure to push down on the pigment with the knife to ensure the product was as dense as possible. After leaving it to dry over night, it was good as new! Check out the final product below:

Arts & Crafts 3Although the texture of the top of the pressed shadow isn’t completely smooth, it’s good enough for me! I kind of like how it came out visually, it’s as if it’s golden cork-board or something. It may not be clear in the photo, but everything is packed down so compactly that when you turn the container over, no pigment falls or anything: success!

It is so nice knowing I will have my favorite shadow in a handy little pot that is travel-friendly and completely mess free! Have you ever pressed your own pigments or fixed broken powders?

Matchy Matchy

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Since I’ve been on such a lip kick, I knew when I bought these matchstick jeans from J.Crew about a month ago that I would absolutely need to pair them with a silky white blouse and a bright pink lip that matched the print. Enter MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt, a bright pinky coral hue that makes quite the summer statement on the lips.  Because the formulation of the lipstick is an amplified, it is intensely pigmented and thick – definitely not a casual, sheer lip, this bad boy requires maintenance, although maybe not as much as a red per se. Truth be told this was both my first MAC purchase, and MAC lipstick, bought when I was only 17 and desperate to brighten up my pale winter face.

matchy 2I apply this lipstick straight from the bullet (in my book, it’s not dark enough to require lip brush action) and then use a Q-tip to smooth the edges and fix any imperfections. Does it last a long time? Eh, I mean it’s nothing to write home about and really depends on your eating/drinking habits. However, it is moisturizing, which is lovely if you’re spending the day in a moisture-sucking vacuum (thanks a lot air conditioning).

What do you think? Do you like matching your lipstick to your outfit?

My Summer Love: Pink Blazer

My Summer Love: Pink Blazer

Not exactly beauty I know, but I’m considering adding a few fashion bits to the blog and I have been absolutely loving the bright colors and prints I’ve been rocking to work and wanted to share!

I love blazers in general, and this bright magenta one caught my eye immediately on Madewell’s website. I’m not sure if it’s still available but I saw an extremely similar one at Zara the other day! I paired it with a Peter Pan collared Madewell sleeveless blouse that has these odd little dog/cat print on it in red, white and yellow. And although you can’t see it, I’m wearing white jeans on the bottom with brown leather wedges!

Why Samples Are My New BFFs

Samples 1 samples 2I don’t know how comfortable you all feel when makeup shopping in either Sephora or department stores, but let’s just say I’ve reached the level where I do not hesitate to ask for samples. Many, many samples. Sometimes it’s because I am dying to try a new product I have no intention of purchasing, or sometimes I actually do want to buy something but would love a test drive before emptying out my wallet.

Recently, it’s been a little of both. I am running low on my darkest shade of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (B40) and as I spend more and more time outside (even walking to and from the subway) I find my skin slowly growing darker and darker. Realistically speaking I don’t need a new one quite yet, however there’s no harm in looking right?

Anyways, I’ve been sampling foundations left and right, agonizing over which will be the next foundation I might purchase, even if it’s a month down the road. Number 1 in the photos above is the Le Teinte Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation, and while I have already tried this formula in BD40, I loved it so much I had to try out BD50 to see if it was a match. And it is, a perfect one. 2 is Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in OC 3, something I’ve wanted to try since reading gushing reviews about the line from Emily Weiss. It is $62 however, so I knew in my heart this purchase was never going to happen, at least in the next few years.

The latter foundation is 60% water, making it seamlessly blend into the skin while providing decent coverage with the lightweight formula.  I was color matched for both of these in Sephora, however I don’t always trust the professionals, oops. My skin is so yellow toned that foundations don’t always look right when applied over the entire face (I don’t match any shade of Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation) and it’s important to remember that people that work in these stores simply want you to buy something, even if it’s not perfect for you. This Koh Gen Do foundation for example, pulls a little too orange on my skin in my current state of tan, and it’s only noticable when my face is slathered with it.

Moral of the story? Samples people, samples. Be aggressive and don’t hesitate to ask! Even if the sales assistants are a bit stingy about it, it’s in your right as a customer to receive samples! Plus, you can always pretend you’re intending to return to purchase the product even if you truly aren’t (sneaky, I know, but what’s a college girl to do when she has expensive taste?). In addition, you can save the sample containers and fill them with your real potions and lotions when you travel!

Have you ever sampled makeup?

Ipsy Glam Bag March 2013

ipsy glam bag march2013 1If you didn’t know already, subscription beauty bags are all the rage. The premise is similar to that of a magazine subscription: you pay a set amount of money each month (ranging from $10 to $50) to receive a package in the mail with sample or full sizes of beauty products for you to try.

After perusing many different subscriptions I finally settled on Ipsy, a company started by the Youtube sensation Michelle Phan because the products you receive are from many reliable, well-known brands, and are products that I would actually use, as opposed to chucking them directly into the trash. I also love the idea that each month’s bag is themed, and in addition to the products you get a cute bag to store things in.

In my first Glam Bag I received Fresh Travel-lite Makeup Remover Wipes, a Glam RX palette with two sample-size eyeshadow pans by Yaby, and Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist. I have to admit I haven’t tried the wipes yet; they are such a cute and travel-friendly size I’m saving them for my purse in case I ever need to take off my makeup on the go.

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The Glam RX palette is quite sturdy, and I was secretly super excited to get it as it’s my first palette ever! I am slowly accumulating MAC eyeshadows that will eventually go into a MAC palette but I don’t even own a Z-palette! Although this palette isn’t big enough to fit more than 2 NYX blushes and 2 MAC shadows max, it is great for storing really small shadows like these two Yaby ones pictured. I’ve never heard of the brand before but the quality of the shadows is great. They are both very pigmented and blend out easily on the eye. On the left is 192 Seashell, a very light pink satin, and on the right is 133 Azalea petal, a burgundy toned brown. The palette also includes a mirror (not pictured).

ipsy march13 3As for the Juice Hydrating Mist, it works as both a toner and a refresher that can help set your makeup. It’s made from all natural ingredients and claims to be filled with grapeseed oil, which regulates your oil-production, and antioxidants. I’ve been impressed so far, but I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of the smell. Like I mentioned in my Estee Lauder ANR post, on one hand I like skincare products to have a natural smell because it reminds me of how natural the products are, yet the smell of all organic ingredients can kind of create a stink. Maybe it’s an acquired scent? We’ll see, although the smell of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir has certainly grown on me over time.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this beauty bag! I’ve been introduced to some new brands that I’m excited to check out, especially Juice Beauty, and since I’ve been trying to check my spending as of lately and have thus been avoiding Sephora and Nordies like the plague, it’s good to have some new products in my hands again!

Have you tried any beauty subscriptions? If so, which ones would you recommend?

xo Olivia

Tip & Trick Tuesday: Zit Zapper for Sensitive Skin

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Rubbing alcohol: cheap, common, and best of all, great for getting rid of zits gently but effectively. Most products in the drugstore contain salicylic acid, which for girls with sensitive skin like me, can produce breakouts instead of stop them. Rubbing alcohol is a great alternative as it is drying and cleans the area from bacteria that can make the spot even worse but won’t make you break out. Whenever I have raised bumps on my skin or a breakout I can tell is around the corner, I dip a Qtip into rubbing alcohol and then dab onto these pesky places. I’ve found it’s most effective after toner but before moisturizer and serums are applied. This won’t completely get rid of your spot if it’s quite bad, but applied overnight it will significantly decrease the size and redness! It works the very best on white heads (gross I know) because of the drying agents. I’m lucky enough to have never had real acne and all I get is a few stress or hormonal spots then and again. Of course serious acne needs more intensive products to heal but for those who have sensitive and minor spots I’d definitely recommend giving this a try!

Olivia

What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag: Spring Break Edition

what's in my makeup bag spring breakAs you might have noticed, I have been seriously neglecting OBbeauty and it makes me very sad. School work, midterms, and spring break have been a giant interference but I’m back and ready to continue blogging with a vengeance! So here’s my first post back, a What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag Spring Break Edition (you can read my first one here). I spent the past week getting bronzed in the lovely Puerto Rico and I thought I’d share with you what makeup I brought along with me.

Now since my main goal of this vacation was to get tan, I knew I wouldn’t be wearing a lot of makeup during the day due to beaching and swimming, yet I wanted to glam up at night for our fancy dinners. So,  I stuck to the bare minimals but added some fun lipsticks for the nighttime. For a base I brought two shades of my favorite Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in B30 and B40 to mix together to match my various darkened shades of my face, and toss in my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Beige which I can now wear under my eyes once again because of my tan! I kept my bronzer and blush choices slim, and picked out NARS Orgasm for my sole blush of the trip because it looks absolutely fantastic on tan skin. The peachy pink shade gives me an unbelievably natural yet flushed cheek and the gold shimmer leaves me free to ditch highlighter. I brought along my Stila Sun Bronzing Powder in Shade 02 as it is perfect for my tan face. It can lean a bit orange but since my yellow skintone also leans orange when it’s tan it’s a great match.

I had to bring along one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes of course so I picked the original one as it includes warmer shades that are more suited for darker, olivey skin tones like I have. This palette is amazing for travel (and overall) because of the great variety of eye shadow colors it contains. Its range shifts from pale golden and pinky shades to dark olive and coppery browns and even includes a sparkling black that can be used as a liner so one can achieve both daytime and nighttime looks with this one palette. In addition I packed my MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study (which I reviewed here) because it is not only waterproof, but also can be worn alone as a subtle shimmery sheen on the lids or as a base for powder shadows. The rest of my eye makeup is standard: Maybelline The Falsies Flared Waterproof Mascara, Stila Stay-All-Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, NYX Slide-On Pencil in Brown Perfection, NYX Auto Eyebrow in Charcoal and Benefit Instant Brow Pencil in Medium Brown.

As I absolutely adore lipstick (and would wear it every day if I could) I brought 3 lipsticks as well as a tinted lip balm which I am in love with. Korres makes some great products, and their Korres Lip Butters are no exception. I have the shade Mango, which is a sheer wash of orangey goodness that both moisturizes the lips and provides that extra color to make your face pop. Also in the coral family is MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt, an corally-orangey-pink lipstick that has that delicious vanilla scent of the classic MAC lipsticks. Because it is an amplified formula it is incredibly pigmented and is best applied straight from the bullet then dabbed a bit with the finger. This also looks amazing with a tan because it really stands out and screams summer. The other two lipsticks I brought along with me are both Revlon. Revlon’s Fire & Ice Lipstick (review post in the works) is a bright warm red that is becoming my #1 red lipstick (sorry YSL glossy stain #9) and Persian Melon is a a bright warm pink that is universally flattering. The latter of the two is in a green tube because it is from the “Moon Drops” collection, and also has the scent that the Super Lustrous Lipsticks used to have back when I was a young child. The scent to this day still reminds me of my mother’s Revlon lipsticks she used to wear (Wine With Everything, yes Mom I do remember the exact shade) and I used to try on when she wasn’t looking.

Another lip product I brought but completely forgot to include in the above picture is the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Balm in 04 Mega Melon which is the perfect my-lips-but-better shade for me. Goes great with a casual look or a smoky eye.

As you can see I packed pretty lightly! At night I usually stuck to a gold eye and a bright lipstick but at least I had the Naked Palette handy if I wanted to really mix up my looks!

What did you bring in your makeup bag on your latest travels?

xo Olivia