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Essential Beauty Tools

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I’ve found that while many women understand the importance of high quality makeup products, many women do not understand the importance of high quality makeup tools. Makeup is really all about the application – you can have the best products available but if they aren’t applied precisely and correctly, no one will ever know. The most obvious tools that come to mind are obviously makeup brushes (on which a blog post is currently in the works), but the other odd tools are equally important!

Let’s start with Qtips. These little things are simply a godsend. They are cheap, disposable and helpful in a myriad of ways. Cleaning up a eyeliner mishap, a bit of lipstick outside the lines, a mascara clump and smudged eye makeup under the eye after a long day are only the beginning of what these babies can accomplish. Next is the eyelash curler. One squeeze can instantly lift your face and make you seem more alert. Besides, who doesn’t love fluttery come-hither lashes? My personal favorite one is by Shu Uemura but I’ve raved about it enough on this blog to go into again (check out my How to Keep Your Lashes Curled post).

The final three products are almost exclusively for eyebrows but as I consider them to be one of the most important parts of the face they are definitely necessary for every woman to have. The role of tweezers is a given –  to remove those stubborn stray brow hairs in between waxes, threads, or just overall. Let’s be real ladies, having messy brows with a bunch of baby hairs scattered around them is just not a good look. Tweezing every day can prevent this as well as help maintain your overall brow shape. When I was younger and struggling with my brows I realized that if I went a long time between pluckings I would often forget what my natural shape was and end up with different brows every time I did them, but when I take 30 seconds to attend to them on a daily basis I avoid that issue completely! And let’s also not forget that I’m not just talking about any type of tweezers, I’m talking good tweezers and let’s face it, no one does it like Tweezerman.

Cuticle scissors also aid to the brows in that sometimes they just need to be trimmed, a delicate action you wouldn’t use normal scissors for. Plus, I always find that I’m usually doing my makeup while getting dressed, and having a small pair of scissors handy to cut tags is so convenient. It’s the little things, right?   The last essential tool is the spoolie. So useful for combing through your brows to put the hairs into place or blend out a pencil/powder as well as for getting rid of mascara clumps and using mascara on another person. While you can buy one of these at MAC for around $15, you can also just go to your local drugstore and pick up a huge pack of disposable ones for about $5 like I do.

I hope you enjoyed my essential beauty tools – what are yours?

Olivia

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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

 

What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag?

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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!

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

-Olivia