stila

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

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.

stila eyeliner 1

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

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