asian makeup

Face of the Day #2: Simple Sunday

image (48) image (46)Another face of the day on a Sunday, how original right? But frankly, I haven’t been wearing much makeup these days. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been overloaded with stress and work, or because it’s been so cold out I haven’t wanted to put real effort into anything but lying in my bed and watching Netflix.

Lately, I’ve been all about the skin – flawless foundation and a healthy peachy glow to the cheeks – while keeping the eyes super minimalistic. I’ve been trying out the new foundation by Revlon called Nearly Naked and I have to say I’m impressed. If you read my liquid foundation post you’ll know I’m a sucker for sheer foundations and this one is fantastic (a full review coming soon!). I buffed a small amount of this all over my face (I’m the shade Shell) with my Sigma Angled Kabuki Brush and dabbed a bit extra on my cheeks to cover any redness I had. Then I tapped a bit of my favorite Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque underneath my eyes to cancel out my circles and brighten up the face. Usually I set with powder, but today I was really feeling the glow this foundation left me with so I skipped powder and headed straight for the blush. NARS Deep Throat has to be my absolute favorite natural blush – it can be applied sheerly or built up for a very peachy flush without looking too makeupy. Since I was too lazy for bronzer, I applied Deep Throat onto the sides of my cheeks and into my cheekbones a bit to fake some contour. For the eyes I just dabbed some MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study over the lids and drew a quick flick with my NYX Slide On Pencil in Brown Perfection. Not as precise as liquid liner, but like I said, I was trying to keep the eyes a bit more natural. I’ve been reaching for Bare Study quite a lot recently – it’s quick and easy and I like how it brings light to my small eyes and makes them look bigger, but doesn’t make me look like I tried too hard. I whipped out my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette briefly to smudge some Busted under my eyes and pat a little Booty Call in the inner corner of my eyes but that was it for shadows. Mascara, brows and some lip balm and the look is complete!

Does anyone else get kind of lazy in the winter or is it just me? I find that sometimes just chilling in Lulus and a sweatshirt with some tea is the best way to spend a cold winter Sunday.

xox Olivia

Face of the Day #1: A Lazy Bronzed Sunday

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When I woke up I decided today was going to be a productive Sunday, so I wanted to look at least semi-decent (I find the sloppier I look, the less work I do). I didn’t, however, want to take 30 minutes to get ready or use a lot of products. So I whipped out this quick and easy face with a bronzed eye that’s a step up from my minimal makeup, but isn’t trying too hard for the weekend.

For my base I used my Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm, which I has been my go-to foundation substitute lately. It’s very light on the skin yet provides just the right amount of coverage for the weekend. I blended it all over my face with a kabuki brush and added extra layers with my fingers under my eyes. Normally I wouldn’t recommend applying foundation under the eyes but since this BB cream is incredibly moisturizing, it works great in this area. Then to brighten up under the eyes even more I applied some Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Neutralizer with my ring finger. While I usually set my makeup with a powder, but I couldn’t really be bothered…it is a Sunday after all. To liven up my cheeks I swiped a bit of Elf Blush in Candid Coral across the apples of my cheeks – I love this blush as it is both cheap ($3!) and great quality. This shade in particular is one of my favorites because it adds a healthy glow to the face without seeming too obvious that I’m wearing blush. On my eyes I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze as an all-over the lid color. This cream shadow is genius for lazy days because its shade can vary depending on how much of it you layer on, making your one-eye shadow look like you put way more effort into it. I drew on a bit of NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in 609 French Fries, a dark bronze, under my lower lash line and onto my waterline to complete the bronzed look. For an inner corner highlight I used the same pencil but in 608 Cottage Cheese, a shimmery white. I love these Jumbo Eye Pencils because they are affordable and can be used for eye shadow bases or alone. To complete my eye look I used my staple Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, and L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, which I’m trying out at the moment. And of course, I had to attend to the brows, so I filled out the ends with a bit of my NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Charcoal.

A simple bronzey eye is a great way to add sophistication to your makeup, especially for Sundays when you’re feeling a bit lazy….

A Pop of Purple

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I love bright colors. I love brightly colored clothes, lipsticks, prints you name it. However one thing I do not love are bright colors on my eyes. Some people can totally work it, but I just end up looking like a scary drag queen. However, 2 years ago I discovered a way to wear bright fun colors on my eyes that is subtle yet flashy. I like to stick with a neutral eye shadow all over the lid, or none at all, with a brownish taupe shade in the crease if I’m not too lazy. My go-to crease shade is Urban Decay Buck, which is in the Naked Palette. Then as my pop of color I reach for a bright colored eyeliner, which today is the NYX Slide On Pencil in 10 Purple Blaze. While most people’s eyes would look great with just that one eyeliner, I personally think I need more definition so I make a super thick line with the purple, then a very thin line with black liquid eyeliner. Then, I finish the look off with mascara and I’m done with the eyes!

I love this look because it is so easy to do-literally takes 2 minutes. It’s also subtle in that when you’re looking at me straight on you can’t tell I have anything out of the ordinary going on, but when I blink or look down you can see a flash of color. My favorite color to use with this eye-look is purple since it’s flattering for all eye colors, but I’m dying to get a cobalt blue liquid eyeliner for this look! A bright yellow could look super edgy, and so could a lime green. For the rest of the face I like to keep things very neutral, fresh and dewy so no one would every suspect anything crazy would be going on with the eyeliner.

How do you like to wear bright colors on your eyes?

Olivia

Tip & Trick Tuesday: How to Keep Your Lashes Curled

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For those girls out there who have lashes that grow straight down, as mine do, I’m sure you can relate to my teenage struggles in how to keep them from falling down.  Before I discovered eyelash curlers I would put attempt to apply mascara on these dreadfully straight lashes, and hope they would make my eyes look bigger and more defined. What a fail. Then when I was 16, a wonderful senior in my boarding school dorm introduced me to the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which she told me, was the best for Asian lashes.  She was right! It fit my flat almond-shaped eyes perfectly, unlike the Revlon one my mother had that I had tried when she wasn’t looking. It made my eyes look bigger and my face look more awake with just one squeeze per eye! But despite this fabulous tool, I found that as the day went on, my eyelashes got droopier and droopier.

Enter waterproof mascara, the answer to all my problems.  The formula for waterproof mascara is oil-based instead of water-based, so it lasts longer and dries in a more rigid form than regular mascara. Although yes, it is much more of a pain to remove, it keeps your lashes in the exact position you want them to be all day long. I can pop on my mascara at 8 am and by the time I’m ready to take it off at god only knows what time of night, my lashes are perky and look freshly mascara-ed.

Note: waterproof and water-resistant are not one and the same. Water-resistant mascara will hold your curl for a couple hours, but will leave you with droopy, straight lashes by the end of the day.

For those who want to keep their lashes curled but don’t like waterproof mascara, many makeup artists recommend using a waterproof formula on the base of the lash, right where the curl is, and a regular formula on the tips!

Olivia

 

Minimal Makeup

DSCN2047DSCN2051Minimal makeup means different things to different people. To me it’s my routine on those days when I wake up late, exhausted, grouchy, and in a time crunch. Yes, there have been those days before a neuro exam or two where I have just rolled out of bed and staggered to class without a trace of makeup on, but those are special exceptions. Usually I stick to my “essentials” pictured above if I’m in a pinch.

On these minimalistic days I will stick with a base with a light coverage, such as the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm (reviewed here), and quickly blend all over the face. To cover the pesky undereye circles my sleepless night has so kindly given me, I dab some Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque onto my ring fingers and tap underneath my eyes, magically concealing unsightly discoloration. Sometimes I just don’t feel like dealing wtih eyeshadow but feel like my eyes still need a bit of a pop so I swipe this Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Shimmery Sand on my lid with a finger and blend into the crease. This product has been discontinued, which is a shame since this is the perfect color for my “no makeup makeup” look: a shimmery sheen of golden delight that is similar enough to my natural lid color to seem subtle yet still radiant. To tight-line and line my upper lash line I always use my Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (reviewed here), and my favorite mascara is Maybelline the Falsies Flared Waterproof. On my waterline I used my nude eyeliner trick and on the bottom lash line, my NYX Slide On Pencil in Brown Perfection for subtle definition. To frame my face I filled in my brows as usual with the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Charcoal and Benefit Instant Brow in Medium. Last but not least I dabbed on some of my favorite neutral blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed. This pinky-brown nude is perfect for every day as it is not only matte, but leaves your cheeks looking naturally flushed for the entire day.

I would say that the most important features to highlight in minimal makeup would be the skin, eyelashes, and brows. It’s amazing how little makeup you can get away with if your skin looks great. Just a little concealer under the eyes and on red spots alone can make you look a thousand times more put together. I would also recommend wearing a natural blush – it brightens the face and can make you  look more alive and healthy. A girl should never skimp on the lashes either! Mascara is not only one of the most used beauty products out there but is one of the most effective in transforming a face. I’ve always been jealous of those girls who only needs an eyelash curler and mascara (sadly that is not me) to define her eyes. One last feature that should always be attended to (in my personal opinion) is brows. A well defined brow gives the face structure and enhances the rest of the facial features. If you’re not a fan of filling them in, they should at least be combed through!

What are your minimal makeup essentials?

Olivia

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm: A Review

dr. jart+ water fuse bb creamYes, I’ve finally hopped on board the BB train! Even before the BB cream (aka blemish balm) trend exploded in the US I had been dying to try this miracle product that was Korea’s most treasured invention. For those of you who do not know what BB cream is, it is an all-in-one facial product that combines the effects of moisturizer, sunblock, primer and foundation.  It originated in Germany to help patients protect and improve the appearance of scars, however it is most widely used in Korea.  Because of its popularity there, many BB cream formulas have skin whitening/brightening and anti-aging properties, as bright, youthful, pale skin is highly prized..  In addition, not only are traditional Korean BB creams supposed to look more natural on the skin than foundation, but they only come in one gray-toned shade that oxidizes to match the skin tone of the wearer.

In preparation for my first BB purchase, I did a lot of research as to which particular brand I wanted. There has been a lot of negative feedback on American BB creams so I decided Korean was the way to go! I ended up going with Dr. Jart (as opposed to other leading brands such as Skin79, Missha, and Lioele*) because it has a more sheer coverage (and is easier to buy in the States). The specific cream I have is the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm, which can be found at Sephora for $34. Although it is targeted towards oily skin types, I wanted to give this a go since it is supposed to be super moisturizing, and I’m a sucker for any product that offers moisture to my drying skin.  In fact, this BB cream is made of 50% water and has Advanced Water Bead Technology.

dr Jart water fuse bb cream swatch

Left: unblended. Right: blended

The color actually isn’t gray at all in my opinion, but rather pink. I was at first hesitant about how this would blend into my skin, as I’m really yellow-toned, but after about 5 minutes it looked completely natural. I applied the BB cream with just my fingers – I had heard about that because of the Water Bead Technology, small droplets of water appeared on the skin before being absorbed and I was worried that this unique process may be altered with a brush.  I think my choice was perfect because as soon as the product hit my skin it thinned out due to the water droplets and blended into my skin perfectly as you can see above.

Caution to all my readers though: a little goes a long way! I use a nickel size MAX for my entire face – way less than I would for regular foundation. The first time I tried it I made the mistake of applying a thicker foundation-like layer and it left my face a pinky mess, unable to oxidize with my natural skin tone.

Overall, I love this BB cream. It’s a great alternative to foundation on days when I just don’t feel like spending 10 minutes blending, blending, blending on my face or when I don’t feel like I need that much coverage (yay for good skin days!). Although in some places I do still need concealer (like under my eyes and by my jawline), my face is evened out with a dewy, natural finish. This is the type of product that you cannot even see on the skin! The only down side is that since there is only one shade, it is for fair to light skin tones only. While this can be a great option for the paler, winter months for the normally more light-to-medium girls, I’d say this is near impossible to wear for those with darker skin.

I’d recommend this to women of all skin types who don’t like to normally wear a lot of makeup, or to those that would like sheer, natural coverage.

Have you tried BB cream yet?

Olivia

*Korean brands such as these can be found here

My Favorite Red Lips: YSL Glossy Stain

DSCN1931This winter, I’m obsessed with red lips. Lipstick, lipgloss, lipstain, you name it. If it’s red, I want it. I would wear them every single day if I could, but unfortunately I don’t think they’d be much appreciated on my central New York campus (I hate girls who wear lipstick in the library! Do less, honey). Part of this red-lip-mania is due to the fact that I discovered the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres Glossy Stain (or just plain old YSL Glossy Stains for short).  This product first hit the markets last yearand I was instantly drawn to it; partly because it was YSL, partly because it used groundbreaking technology to develop this gloss-stain hybrid.  It not only creates an even stain on your lips that can last through hours of eating and drinking, but also gives your lips a delicious glossy shine.

DSCN1879The color I picked up is #9 Rouge Laque, a classic warm red that is great for those with more yellow-based skin tones.  It has a doe-foot like applicator that is in a flat triangle shape, which I found actually great for reaching the corners of the mouth.

To achieve the maximum stain and shine, you need to apply two coats: the first as a thin even base to stain the lips, and the second to add more opacity and insane shine. Although it at first feels watery and thin on the lips, it soon turns a bit gummy textured. That makes it sound so gross and unpleasant but I can’t think of any other way to describe it….and believe me it’s quite comfy on the lips, not drying at all. And let me tell you, does this puppy last. I can wear this out at night and it stays on until I come back to my dorm room in the wee hours of the morning. It’s actually quite interesting: when you are wearing this product and take a sip of something from a glass, very little red is left on the rim: the gloss seems to make a protective layer on the pigment. In fact if you touch your lips with your finger, nothing comes off at all! Once the gloss starts to fade, you are left with an even stain that you can easily put lip balm or more gloss over.  Another great thing about the glossy stains is that although they stain your lips for hours, the stain is easily removed with makeup remover. I always hated how sometimes lipsticks or lip liners will leave your lips red or magenta until the next morning, no matter how long you spend scrubbing them. But of course, not with this holy grail product.

My only complaints about this are the price ($32, but hey, it is YSL), and the fact that once the applicator is on your lips, you need to act fast. If you don’t, the “gummy texture” will turn a bit clumpy and feel a bit too thick on your lips.

Overall, the YSL Glossy Stains are amazing. They are long lasting and just exude glamour; from the fabulous gold packaging to the shine they put on the lips. This has become one of my favorite lip products of all time and I’m dying to purchase another one of the 15 shades available.

What is your favorite red?

Olivia

Tip & Trick Tuesday: How to Brighten Your Eyes

I’ve decided to start a new series on OBbeauty: Tip & Trick Tuesdays! Every Tuesday I will be putting out a post with a makeup, skincare, or nail tip or “how to.”

For my first post of this nature I am sharing my favorite tip for brightening your eyes! Every girl has those days when she wakes up, looks in the mirror and wishes her eyes weren’t so red and tired, or wishes she looked more awake. A quick trick to accomplish these early morning desires is to apply a nude or peach colored eyeliner on the waterline. This will not only cancel the redness in the eyes but also make the whites of your eyes seem bigger, and therefore your eyes seem bigger. Some people like to use white eyeliner, however I find it to look too artificial and harsh.

DSCN1870DSCN1873My personal favorite nude eyeliner is Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte as it lasts all day and is neither too light nor too dark peach. It does cost $23, however is completely worth every penny.  Other brands that make similar liners are Tarte, MAC, and Stila.

Hope you enjoyed my very first trick!

-Olivia

The Perfect Liquid Eyeliner

stila liquid eyelinerI am the type of person who never leaves the house (or my dorm room) without some sort of black eyeliner on.  Since I have monolids, my eyes need extra definition around the lashline – I could never get away with just wearing mascara because you’d never even notice I was wearing it.  After many eyeliner trial and errors, I have found that liquid liner is the most effective, as it is not only easy to use (although it does require some practice in the beginning), and creates a sharp line that I love so much. Additionally, it doesn’t require a daily brush washing like using a gel liner would. The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner has become my holy grail of eyeliners. It is not only an opaque jet black, but lasts all day. Yep, I can slap this one across my eyes at 9 am for my first class, then go to take it off at 2 am before bed and it looks exactly the way it did when first applied. It lasts through gym sweat, rain, and even the shower! This is one of the most important qualities for me in a liquid liner, especially since my lashline is always rubbing against my lid since I have a teeny tiny crease there. All other liners smudge and end up on the top of my lids or in my inner corner, but not this one.  And although it has incredible staying power, it is very easy to remove at the end of the day! I also love how it is a felt tip pen applicator; in my opinion these pen-like liners are the easiest to use and don’t require frequent dipping back into the pot to get more liner.  This tip in particular is quite pointy, allowing you to create a very precise line for the end of the “cat eye.”

stila liquid eyeliner swatch

Check out how black that is!

The way I apply liquid eyeliner is to hold my eye closed with my finger (I’m not one of those cool cats who can close one eye on demand), and create a horizontal line from the inner corner to about ¾ of the way across my eye. Because of the curve of the eye it will not hug the lashline the whole way, but this is perfect because the liquid liner should be thinner in the inner corner of the eye and thicker at the outer corner. Then I draw a line from the very outer corner out in the same direction as my lower waterline, as if the waterline was being extended. Then I connect the top line and fill in the little triangle. It took me a while to get the hang of it without making mistakes (a lot of Qtips went into this process) but now it’s such a quick and easy step in my routine.

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My everyday “flick”

This amazing eyeliner costs $20 and can be found at Sephora or on stilacosmetics.com. In addition to black, it comes in a deep chocolate brown, bright blue, steel gray and white. I have turned on a lot of my Asian friends to this miracle product and they all agree on how great it is. I would definitely recommend this to any Asians as well of those who want a long lasting, easy to use liquid eyeliner!

What type of eyeliner do you like to use?

Olivia