makeup

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?

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

What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag?

Makeup

Sunshine and poolside tanning is calling me! Tomorrow I’m off to Florida for some good ole family time. After suffering the freezing cold of the Boston area for the past month while on Christmas break, I’m more than ready for 80 degree weather.

Since I’m going to be just hangin with my parents and grandparents, I thought I’d pack pretty light on the makeup. So I’ve slimmed down my massively large makeup bag to my “essentials.” For the base I’ve packed my favorite Laura Mercier Primer and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B30, as well as samples of YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation in BD40 (see previous post) and a sample of Chantecaille Just Skin in Bliss. For concealer I have my trust Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque which I can always count on to get rid of my pesky dark circles as well as my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I became obsessed with this concealer last winter, as it provides amazing coverage but is a very thin, lightweight liquid. To set my face I’m packing my Make Up For Ever HD Powder, and for bronzer to contour my round Asian cheeks, my NYC Bronzer in Sunny, an amazing product for only $3 at the drugstore! I’m only bringing two blushes, amazingly: NARS Deep Throat for a casual, day cheek, and NARS Orgasm as a more dramatic, shimmery cheek. I brought my absolute favorite highlighter, Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star in Amber Diamond, which gives the most beautiful, gold shaded highlight.

For easy one-step eyeshadow I brought my Maybelline 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, and Mac Paint Pots in Soft Ochre and Bare Study to swipe over my lids either under other shadows or to wear on their own. For days I feel when I want to put more effort into my eye makeup, I have my Urban Decay Naked Palette which provides a good range of warm neutrals that can be used to make either day or night looks. Along with it is my beloved Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Banana that I use for blending, Sephora Prism Eyeshadow (a great all-over-the-lid color that is like my skin color but better), and L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush. For eyeliner, I stuck with my well-loved Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner for the my usual liner with a flick, and my Nars Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte as a nude liner to put in my waterline to give my eyes a wider, more awake appearance. The one and only mascara I own is Maybelline The Falsies Flared Waterproof (waterproof to hold my straight Asian lashes up in a curl), a product that was highly talked about by other beauty bloggers and was well worth the hype! The two brow products I’m bringing, NYX Eyebrow Pencil in Charcoal and Benefit Instant Brow Pencil in Medium, create the perfect mix of brown and grey for my brows and are the only brow products that have seemed to work for me in the past year. To set them I use Anastasia Brow Gel, which I have to admit was a waste of money; a clear mascara is a much cheaper and equally effective alternative.

Besides my normal slew of lip balms, I’m bringing only three colored lip products: Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon, Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop for a fuschia pop of color, and my favorite red lip: YSL Glossy Stain in #9. As for tools, all I brought besides my brushes are my Tweezerman tweezers and Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which I simply cannot live without.

After typing out all those products, it really does seem to be a lot of “essentials,” however for a makeup lover like me, this is practically the bare minimum. Plus, it all seems to fit in my little LeSportSac bag!

Bag Bag2

What do you bring in your makeup bag when you travel?

-Olivia