Asian

How to: Gel Eyeliner Cat-Eye

how to gel eyeliner 1If you know me in person or have previously read my blog, you may know I’m a sucker for a great cat-eye. Not only are simple black flicks remarkably good at reminding people that yes asians do have eyes, but are also a simple way to sex up a plain, barely-there makeup face. Paired with either a neutral shadow and lip or a bold smoky eye and red hot lip, cat-eyes are versatile and timeless – a style every girl should be able to whip out of their back pocket.

For you beauty newbies who are intimidated by the infamous cat-eye, I’ve broken down the process into 4 steps using gel eyeliner.  Although I prefer liquid eyeliner, specifically Stila’s Stay-All-Day Waterproof Liquid Liner, it can be a bit tricky to use for first-timers, and definitely requires practice. Gel eyeliner, however, is super easy to use as a fine tipped brush allows for both control and precision when applying. My brush of choice is a small angled synthetic brush, such as the Sigma Small Angle E65 shown above. Classic pointed eyeliner brushes work too, however I find angled ones apply the line thicker and more quickly in addition to simplifying the creation of the flick! My staple gel liner is MAC’s trusty Fluidline in Blacktrack – it’s richly pigmented, doesn’t dry out (I’ve had mine for years) and has a smooth creamy texture that glides onto the lid.

*note that these steps are designated for after eyeshadow completion!

how to gel eyeliner 2Step 1: Start by creating a base line. Drag your brush from the inner corner of your eye towards the outer corner in a straight line. It’s okay if the line doesn’t hug your lashline near the outer corner – the overall finished line should be thinner near the inner corner and thicker near the outer corner. The bottom of the line can be jagged (we’ll fill this in later) but be sure to make the top of the line as smooth as possible.

how to gel eyeliner 3Step 2: Draw the flick! Extend a line from your lower lashline towards the end of your brow. The line should be angled as if it is a continuation of the lower lash line. Making sure the two “flicks” are at the same angle on both eyes can be tricky, so be sure to keep cotton swabs close by in case you have to adjust the flick or redo it completely.

how to gel eyeliner 4Step 3: Connect the line you drew across the lid to the flick! This can be accomplished easily with the angled brush by positioning the sharp angled tip of the bristles at the edge of the flick and sliding it towards line #1. Make sure the transition is smooth and smudge-free and try to keep the overall curve of the eyeliner as close to the natural curve of your eye as possible.

Step 4: Fill in the small gap between your horizontal line and your lashline. One of the most important parts of wearing eyeliner is to keep it close to the lashes! Finish with mascara and your eye is complete!

Now you are ready to rock your cat-eye look! This type of eyeliner is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a classic Olivia look. I love wearing it with neutral eyeshadow so the crispness of the black is accentuated. How do you like to wear gel eyeliner?

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: A Review

NARS concealer 1This product has experienced a lot of hype in the beauty community, from blogs to youtube to word of mouth. I was pretty hesitant to try it; I desperately wanted to but was faced with the reality that I was quite content with the amazing Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer – did I really need another concealer. Yes. Oh yes. After two of my suitemates brought this puppy home and let me play with it, I couldn’t help but scurry down to the Meatpacking Sephora and pick one up for myself.

The packaging is a bit unusual for a concealer: it is basically in a lip gloss tube, complete with a doe foot applicator. I’m slightly worried that by the time I get to the end of this product, there will be some at the bottom of the tube I won’t be able to get out, but since you only need a teeny amount at a time, it’s not a major concern at the moment. Like a true NARS product, the packaging is classy and simple, with their trademark black texture incorporated onto the top of the tube. I quite like the sleek and travel-friendly container, and it’s easy to find in a makeup bag.

I decided to go with the shade Ginger, which is described as having a “golden undertone for medium complexions.” It matches my face perfectly, and though it’s a bit dark for under my eyes, in combination with my Bobbi Brown Corrector (which is a bit light for me), it works out perfectly.

To apply, I dot the product onto my brow bones, a couple dots under the eyes, around the mouth and on any blemishes. I then blend with my ring finger under my eyes, and with a brush on the rest of the face. It’s liquidy texture is a dream to blend, especially because of its high pigmentation. The finish it produces on the skin is definitely “radiant” and glowy yet still natural. I find that it creases a small amount under the eyes, but when set with a powder, lasts the whole day!

This concealer can be found at Sephora or any NARS stores or counters for $28, pretty standard for a higher end product. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a long lasting concealer, and I mean anyone. The product comes in 10 shades, ranging from ivory to a deep ebony.

What’s your favorite concealer?

Face of the Day: Shocking Coral

FOTD Shocking Coral 1 FOTD Shocking Coral 2I realized I haven’t done a Face Of The Day in quite a while, so I thought I’d share today’s look with you!

Today was nothing special, just going to work, out to dinner and then my suite for the night. Since I work at a luxury PR firm that’s filled with young, stylish women I like to dress to impress when I come into the office, completing my looks with fun yet polished makeup looks.

FOTD Shocking Coral 3I start every look with a foundation of course, and since I’m trying to use up my sample of the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation, this was my base product of choice today. To hide my scary dark circles I reached for the classic Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque, and then applied NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger over the top (review on this coming soon!).  The concealer was also dabbed under my brows, around the mouth and on a couple red splotches on my jaw to create a flawless complexion! To set my base I lightly dusted MUFE HD Powder all over to prolong the lifespan of my base and diminish the shine. Both the concealer and foundation emit a rather lovely glow that usually looks gorgeous, but in 90 degree heat I want to be as matte as possible! My base isn’t complete without contour, so I blended my favorite bronzer of the moment, Stila Sun Bronzing Powder in Shade 2, beneath my cheekbones for a sculpted look. Since I knew I wanted to use a pinky lipstick to match my J.Crew blouse I used a pink blush as well: NYX Bourgeois Pig.

The first thing I swiped onto my lids was a primer of course, specifically Urban Decay Primer Potion, which keeps your shadows from creasing and migrating all over your face by the end of the day. I then used a flat shader brush to pat on MAC Retrospeck, a gold-silver glittery shade that instantly brightens up my eyes and gives my appearance an extra couple hours of sleep. MAC Soba made an appearance on the outer corners of the eyes and under the lashline for a bit of definition and subtle contour before Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner swooped in to produce my signature cat-eye. Two coats of Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara and some Anastasia Brow Powder in Medium Brown through my brows and the eyes are done-zo.

Now for the most exciting part: the lips (and the saga that goes along with it). When the MAC Iris Apfel collection came out I was absolutely dying to get my hands on the lipstick, Party Parrot, however, being in the cow fields of central New York, I was not near any MAC stores or counters. I tried purchasing this treasured lipstick online but as per usual, the limited edition collection had sold out within minutes of its release on the MAC website. So I cried a little. Just kidding, but really I was pretty devastated. I recently heard that Shocking Coral from the Maybelline Vivids line was a dupe for Party Parrot – so I ran out (literally 5 minutes after confirming this on various beauty blogs) and bought it. And here, ladies and gentlemen, is Maybelline Shocking Coral on my lips. I definitely wouldn’t call it a coral, but I love the fun bright color and the formulation – it’s incredibly pigmented and smooth, making it super comfy to wear on the lips. Will I be picking up more shades from this line? Absolutely.

I hope you guys enjoyed my Face of the Day!

Rimmel Scandal Eyes: A Review

 

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Bulletproof Beige all over the lid, Black as liner, Brown along bottom lashline, Nude on waterline

Bulletproof Beige all over the lid, Black as liner, Brown along bottom lashline, Nude on waterline

 

Rimmel is one of those brands that is huge in the UK, but is rather hit or miss here in the States. We don’t get some of Europe’s most beloved drugstore products, such as their Wake Me Up Foundation or their Apocalips, but instead receive a small selection of usually mediocre products. Lately, however, it seems like Rimmel is trying to make a comeback stateside, with the US release of the Kate Moss lipsticks and now, the Rimmel Scandal Eyes line.

Above, you can see I tried out quite a slew of these pencils: the Eye Shadow Sticks in 002 Bulletproof Beige (a shimmery champagne with a slight pinky undertone) and 003 Bad Girl Bronze (a warm, coppery bronze), and the Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 001 Black, 003 Brown, and 005 Nude.  The shadow sticks claim to last 24 hours and be completely waterproof, and I have to say, they live up to these claims. I obviously didn’t wear the shadow for a full 24 hours, however I have worn both shades all day long, and they held up extremely well. I found that even without a primer these creamy pencils did not crease on my lids which is fantastic, as the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils definitely do. They are also incredibly pigmented, as you can see in the picture below, which is an additional plus over the NYX alternative.  Bulletproof Beige is a great everyday shade, and I can see myself using Bad Girl Bronze as a base for a fantastic bronzey smoky eye. Would you guys want to see a post on that?

The regular eyeliners are not quite as ahmazing as I expected. They do last a pretty long time, but the black one always smudges on me by the end of the day, leaving an unpleasant black ring around my lower lashline. Rude. The nude one is a standout though, as it is neither too pinky nor too white for the waterline. I also have NARS Rue Bonaparte, which is a nude pencil too, but find it a bit too pale for me when I’m in any other season than winter, so the Rimmel one was warmly welcomed.

Rimmel Scandaleyes 3Overall I’d say both types of pencils are comparable to NYX’s versions in that they are similar styles and both extremely affordable! What do you think of Rimmel products?

Mascara Fails

mascara failsLike many women out there, I am obsessed with Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara. It has been and will be my one true mascara love and it fulfills all the asian eyelash qualifications for a gold star. However, my eye does wander sometimes…is there a better option out there? I kept hearing soo many things about the two mascaras above and couldn’t help but try them out. The conclusion? No, there is nothing better than The Falsies…at least for my stick straight asian lashes!

mascara fails2The first mascara pictured, L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, is a cult favorite that makes the lashes of many fine ladies thick and voluminous, as the label claims. The second, L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara boasted lengthy, defined lashes thanks to its thin rubbery wand. Both did both these things. My lashes were given incredible volume with the Carbon Black, and were made long and fluttery with the Telescopic. BUT. Yes there is a major but. Neither of these formulas lived up to the “waterproof” myth that usually comes true, that waterproof mascaras hold their curl. They flopped within minutes of initial application. And even when I gave my lashes another squeeze in the ole curler after, they didn’t stay perky and upright like they should. In fact, from straight on it didn’t even look like I was wearing mascara at all.

I’d definitely recommend these mascaras for non-asians, people whose lashes are already curled or aren’t stick straight! But for me, there were simply mascara fails.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge: A Review

hourglass opaque rouge muse1 hourglass opaque rouge muse2Say hello to my very first matte lip product: Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse. This lip product in a neon, yet wearable pinky coral goes on wet but dries matte, which can be a great contrast to dewy summer skin. It also claims to last a whopping 14 hours on the lips! So, I had to try it.

I first wore this gorgeous bright shade out to dinner and found that it did in fact, have some serious staying power and didn’t dry my lips out too bad. After eating hearty mexican food, my lips were still stained and had retained the majority of the lip product! Success.

However, the next day I decided to test out the longevity of the product, and slapped it on before heading to work early in the morn. Now, I should let you all know that I am a lip balm addict. ADDICT. Like, if I don’t have one in my bag before I head out to go anywhere, be it a 50 minute class or an entire day, I am miserable. Dramatic but true. So, into the later morning, I could feel my lips becoming drier and drier but when I decided to dab on some lip balm, the product broke down and gooped together. Annoying. After reapplying, the same thing kept happening: my lips just started getting really dry and uncomfortable, to the point that it became almost unbearable.

My verdict? This matte finish looks amazing, but because it’s matte, it’s not moisturizing to the lips and for gals like me, this is not a great fit. I’m definitely glad I bought it to try it out, but won’t be wearing this all day again. For those of you who don’t have a lip balm obsession and excessively dry lips, I’d say go for it!! It does last a super long time and won’t budge (if you don’t put balm on top) unless you have makeup remover, and then it will come off both quickly and easily.

hourglass opaque rouge muse3

Shiny to matte finish!

Note: to apply, remember less is more. I’m serious. The first 3 times I tried applying this liquid lipstick I piled it onto the lips and believe me it did not look good. The trick is to wipe off the doe-foot applicator on the opening of the packaging as much as possible, then sliding the product on as quickly and precisely as possible. It may take some practice to get right, much like that of applying a YSL glossy stain, but once you’ve got it down, its super quick and simple. After applying one coat to the lips, let it set for about 30-60 seconds. If you touch your lips before it has dried matte it will clump up a bit and won’t leave an even coverage on the lips.

What’s the cost of this neon pout? A solid $28, which is pretty standard for a non-drugstore lip product these days. I picked mine up at Sephora, but you can also get it online as well.

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder: A Review

MUFE HD powder

MUFE HD Microfinish Powder: the setting powder I have a major love-hate relationship with.

Why? Let’s break it down. This silica powder finishes your base and sets your makeup while helping to even out your complexion and reduce the visibility of pores. While it looks white in the jar, it is translucent on the face and can be used on women of all skin colors. I love this product because it keeps lengthens the weartime of my concealer and foundation, yet does not completely mattify the face. Many setting powders make the face matte to prevent you from looking shiny, but I am a sucker for that dewy, glowing look so I never want to look matte! When I apply this powder the dew factor of the skin is definitely kicked down a notch, yet not completely eliminated – the skin still looks radiant (thanks foundation!) and natural. Because it’s 100% silica, it makes your face feel incredibly smooth-it’s actually amazing. It also lasts forever. I’m serious. I purchased mine about a year and a half ago and have only used a third of it; this is after using it every single day, ladies. It’s life is also expanded by the fact that you only need a VERY small amount to cover your entire face.

The cons?  If you go overboard and apply too much your face can flash back white in photographs. Not a pretty sight. This is one of the main reasons for the controversy surrounding this product. Celebrities would wear it to events and then later in photographs would have horrid white patches all over their faces. This is easily avoidable however, if you just watch how much you apply. Additionally, it is not travel friendly in the least. Even when I pack it so that it is right-side-up, a ton of excess powder always seems to escape the 6 small holes in the top of the jar. Thus, when you take off the lid, powder goes flying everywhere and it’s hard to get only a little bit onto your brush. I wish the packaging was more similar to the Bare Essentials loose powders!

To apply, I tap a teensy amount of the HD powder into the lid, then swirl my Sigma F30 Large Powder Brush around in it to thoroughly distribute the powder among the bristles. Then, I pat the brush along my T-zone, cheeks, and lightly over my eye area.

This product is available at Sephora for $34, which is pretty standard for a loose setting powder. As far as loose powders go, I’m a fan. However, I am in the market for a great pressed finishing powder so if you have any suggestions please comment below!

xo Olivia

The Ultimate Drugstore Lip Balm

image (39)I am a self-proclaimed lip balm junkie. Well, not completely self-proclaimed as all of my close friends have acknowledged this obsession I have and take advantage of it when they forgot their own lip balms because we all know Olivia always have 1…or 5 in her bag. And to be honest, I’m kind of a lip balm snob. No Chapstick brand for me, I’m not even a huge fan of Burt’s Bees. I usually stick to high end, expensive lip balms – my favorites are actually from Spain. But one day in my college’s convenience store I picked up this gem: Nivea’s Kiss of Moisture. While it is white in the tube, the product applies clear and gives your lips a slight sheen, and does an absolutely fantastic job of moisturizing them. Some products, such as Vaseline, help your lips out at first, but then in the long run strip them of their natural oils and leave you hopelessly dependent on the product. Not this puppy. I can slick it on my lips and have it last hours. In addition, it uses shea butter instead of petroleum to give the lips comfort, so it locks your lips’ natural oils in instead of drying them out.

The packaging is also simple and boring enough to be acceptable for boys to own it. My boyfriend is always stealing my lip balms to use them but hates having to look girly when applying it out of a pot. This is the perfect solution – it’s effective, easy to use (no greasy finger action necessary) and is super cheap ($3!!).

Unfortunately I lost mine over spring break but I can’t wait to pick up another. Have you tried Nivea lip products?

xox Olivia

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: A Review

estee lauder advanced night repair serumThis incredible serum has been part of my life for the past month (Valentine’s present to myself) and after giving it a lengthy go, I found it necessary to review for you all since it has become a staple in my nightly skincare routine.

The point of Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex is to reduce visible signs of aging by neutralizing environmental agents that damage the DNA of your skin before they set into your skin overnight. As the majority of aging is due to environmental assault such as harsh weather and pollution in the air, I jumped on this product as soon as I realized how effective it can be in the long run. After about 15 solid minutes of furious googling, I encountered many women (age 60+) that swore by ANR’s miracle anti-aging properties. They claimed their juvenile skin was kept so young solely due to this product. If I wasn’t 100% sold before, I sure was then. So, $55 later a little package arrived in my post box and my trial period began.

estee lauder anrAs you can see, the packaging includes a dropper instead of a usual pump. The product itself is a watery orangey-brown sort of color and to be honest, it stinks. Not a horrible smell, but definitely a pungent odor that you get used to after a while. I like to think that the more smelly the product is, the more natural as it doesn’t include chemical fragrances to mask the natural smell. At night I use three drops of the liquid-gel hybrid and massage all over my face after washing and toning. The small amount covers my whole face nicely and blends in quickly, leaving my face feeling moisturized but not greasy. I found that in Puerto Rico I didn’t need to apply an extra layer of moisturizer over the top but in the dry air of my door room, it was.

The verdict? I love it. This serum leaves my skin feeling nourished and healthy when I wake up, and if I had had any bumps or spotty bits on my face when I went to bed, they were completely gone by morning. My skin also appears much more radiant when I wake up, leaving me looking like even if I’m not completely awake, my skin is. Plus, I love knowing that all the damage the harsh Hamilton winds and dorm heat systems have done to my skin is reversed overnight and the cells of my skin are doctored and healthy. Yes this product is a hefty $55 for just 1 oz. but I’ve seen worse. Besides, serums are one of the most expensive components of skincare lines and since they are the ones who do the bulk of real work on your skin, they are definitely worth it.

What’s your favorite night serum?

xox Olivia

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