Friday, September 28, 2012

Nighttime daily routine

So the nighttime routine will feel a lot like the morning routine minus the makeup application. In this case, obviously, we're removing the makeup... and I do a few additional steps some time during the week.

Before we go into the routine, let me make a plight: DO NOT GO TO BED WITH YOUR MAKEUP STILL ON! That is oh so very bad for your skin. See, during the night is when your skin rejuvenates itself: it breathes a lot and repairs itself. If you still have makeup on, it clogs the pores and prevents the repair process from happening. That is one sure way as well to increase your likelihood of having some breakouts.  So, if you're dead tired and can't do the whole routine (which takes about 5-10 minutes, by the way, so you have very little excuse), then at the very minimum, do Steps 1 and 2.

1. Eye makeup remover
I sometimes use eye makeup remover and sometimes I'll use the makeup remover towelettes. It depends on my mood and, when I travel a lot, I keep those towelette handy and will use them regularly so as not to let them dry out on me.

If I'm using an eye makeup remover, my product of choice is the Gently Off Eye and Lip Make Up Remover by MAC.  I apply some on a cotton pad (I prefer the square ones... don't know why) and will wipe it gently over the eye area, making sure that I remove all the eye makeup, including what I've applied at the lower lash line and in the eyebrows. Now, after I'm done, the area around the eyes may look a bit like a raccoon. That's okay, I'll wash my face next.

If I'm using the makeup remover towelette, I apply the same principles but using a portion of the towelette. I've tried a bunch of towelettes and my favorites are the Neutrogena Make Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes.  I buy those either at Target or CVS. I've also used the CVS version of these and they worked fine though I still have a slight preference for the brand name.

As a reminder, as I've mentioned in a previous entry (see ), you will want to use light strokes when removing your makeup (especially the eye makeup) and especially if you hit a stubborn spot.

2. Cleanser
If I've used the eye makeup remover, I'll use again the Nutritive Cleanser by Perricone MD.

If I've used the makeup remover towelette, I'll use the remainder of that towelette for the rest of my face. I generally have to turn it around because it has the eye makeup on one side. ;)

3. Moisturizer
I actually use the same moisturizer, which is the Face Finish Moisturizer by Perricone MD.

4. Eye cream
Again, this is the same as in the morning so the StriVectin Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles.

5. Lip treatment
I don't always do this but will do it 2-3 times a day.  I will either apply a lip balm (I use one by Badger... they don't make that specific one anymore; I've had it for years!) or the Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub by Bite Beauty.  The two serve different purposes: the lip balm will moisturize my lips whereas the lip scrub will (as the name implies) scrub the lips.

I have yet to purchase the full product but I had received a deluxe sample from Sephora of that lip scrub.  If you have problems where your lips flake, this is a good product to help with that: you'll essentially be scrubbing your lips for a bit and then remove the product. The product is made in such a way that it does leave some moisturizer on your lips so they don't totally dry out.

Several years ago, a MAC representative had given me the tip of using your tooth brush on your lips to get rid of the flaky skin on your lips. That totally works and is obviously cheaper than the lip scrub product. However, if you will use the tooth brush method, just note that you'll likely need to moisturize the lips as the bristles will dry out further your lips.

6. Foot cream
I bet that you weren't expecting this one! I don't do this nightly. However, if I've been dancing barefoot (so that's at least Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays), I will generally apply Dr. Hunter Foot Comfort Cream.  It's something that I apply right before I go to bed as I don't like to walk around with this cream on my feet.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The quick morning routine

In the last entry, I was talking about those mornings when I'm pressed for time, which seems to be nearly every morning lately.  I have a corporate job so I still need to look polished even when pressed for time. Or at least I like to look polished. :p

So here are my steps for what I do on most days.  It looks like a very long list but, believe me, it's longer to write out than to actually do it.  At the bottom, I'll pare it down even further but the list here is what I do on a near (work) daily basis.

Note that I'm citing the names of the products that I'm using to give an idea of what I'm using.  Also note that the websites that I'm linking are actually where I've bought the product.

1. Cleanser
I've been using Perricone MD products for a few years now. They've changed formulation for the cleanser so the one that I use now is the Nutritive Cleanser.

2. Moisturizer
I've been using the Face Finishing Moisturizer by Perricone MD for a couple of years.

3. Eye cream
I use the StriVectin Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles (yeah, I'm getting old enough to start seeing those).

4. Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm
You can refer to the previous post for my thoughts on this product. Up until I discovered it, I used to skip this step. ;)  I apply this all over my face: make sure to go all the way to the hairline and in the jaw line when applying.

5. Concealer
I currently use Bye Bye Under Eye by It Cosmetics. I apply it under my eyes and over any weird skin thing (e.g., pimple).

6. Loose powder
I'm using the HD Microfinish Powder by Make Up For Ever. It's really an awesome product! I would recommend it to everyone. Don't be scared by the white color of the powder: it blends in with your natural pigmentation.

7. Eye primer
I never leave home without it on my eyelids... unless I'm not wearing any eye shadow, which is very rare indeed. I use Shadow Insurance by Too Faced.

8. Eye shadow
If I'm pressed for time but have a little bit of time, I'll do some full blown eye makeup. But if I'm really pressed for time, I'll go for just one eye shadow. I like to use the Buxom - Stay There eye shadows for this. Note that I've discovered that not all of these work well on my eyelids. That being said, I have 2 colors that I use on rotation: Chihuahua and Pug. While they look similar on the computer screen, Chihuahua is a white shiny silver while Pug is a grey matte silver.  I do sometimes wear other eye shadows but, when I'm really pressed for time, these are the ones that I use. Given that they are cream eye shadows, they are super fast to apply.

9. Eyeliner
I use the e.l.f. gel liner (3$ at Target or Meijer or other stores) for my eyeliner nowadays.  I always like my top eyelid and flare it out. That's kind of my thing that I like to do. ;) I generally will also line my waterline on my lower eyelid but I will sometimes mix it up by not lining it at all or just partially or really into the lash line (again full or partial). As minute of a detail as it may sound, it does make the makeup look slightly different.

10. Mascara
I never leave home without mascara... or VERY rarely. See, I'm blonde underneath this black hair so my lashes are blonde too. Without mascara, I end up looking like a ghost. :p I currently am using something by Rimmel that I bought it at Target.

11. Eyebrows
Just like I rarely go out without mascara on my lashes, I rarely go out without having done my eyebrows for the same reason: without some black over them, I look like I'm missing eyebrows.  The lucky thing, though, is that, since my hair is black, it's easy for me to do my eyebrows. If I'm really pressed with time, I can just use some mascara over them. It doesn't give them a very full look but it's a fast and relatively fast (provided I don't accidentally smudge the mascara) way to do my eyebrows. Otherwise, my preferred method has been to use that e.l.f. gel liner to fill in my eyebrows and shape them the way that I want. I will let them dry a little (so I'll wait until the next step is done to the this) and then I'll use a mascara-like brush to brush my eyebrows. It makes them look more natural when I do this.

12. Blush
I then apply blush on my cheek bones. If I've used the Buxom eye shadows, I will generally wear the shade Mocha by MAC.

13. Lips
I tend to gravitate towards lip glosses nowadays given that my lips are so small.

Here are other scenarios; I will use them depending on the time that I have left to get ready but, again, it's not my preference:

  • Mascara only: At a very minimum, as I've stated above, I'll at least wear some mascara on my lashes and eyebrows. I rarely do this but will if, say, I need to run to the store because I need milk or something.
  • Eyeliner and mascara
  • Eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara
  • Powder, eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara
Edit: I've had a question on Facebook as to how long this all takes. Steps 1-12 take me about 15-20 minutes. That is, if I've used the Buxom eye shadows so have done a quick eye makeup application. If it's a different eye makeup application, it can take longer.  If you're going "there's no way that I could do this in 15-20 minutes", do not despair: the more you do it, the quicker you get. ;)  Now you may wonder why I didn't mention Step 13 (lips) just yet. Well, I do my makeup before I have breakfast so I usually will do my lips in the car on the way to work... at a stop light, of course or in the parking lot. ;) Doing my lips is about a 1-minute process, especially if I'm using a lip gloss.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm

So I mentioned in the last blog entry that, through my subscription to Birchbox, I ended up discovering some products that I liked, one that I actually purchased, which would be Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm.

I'll do a blog entry on my quick everyday makeup routine but suffice it to say for now that I often don't have time in the morning to do the whole routine that I'd like to do so I will rarely wear foundation... yet I like how foundation evens out my skin. So I was hoping to find some product that I could just shlap on like a moisturizer and have that even skin look without the work needed to apply foundation correctly (not that it's extremely long but, again, pressed for time). Enter the August Birchbox and Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm.

I will admit that, the first time that I tried the product, I was "meh" about it. But then it grew on me... a lot. The texture is what made me "meh." See, it's a little thick and feels a little greasy but it's not. It contains aloe so I'm blaming it for the texture that I wasn't expecting. Also, when I first saw the color of the product, I had no idea how it would work on my skin, given that I'm so fair. Well, that product somehow managed to just even my skin tone near perfectly.  I'm not sure what would be the threshold of pigmentation beyond which the product wouldn't work, though. So that would be something to try out first for those with skin a whole lot more pigmented than mine.

I don't think that it covers and smooth out the skin exactly as well as a foundation would (or at least as my foundation does). However, it takes considerably less time to apply than the full blown foundation so that's a big win for me in those pressed for time mornings.

Another thing that I really like is the fact that it's SPF 25. My foundation has a SPF 15 so, for example, last Saturday, I had an outdoor performance and I wanted that smooth skin yet didn't want to have to apply sunscreen over a foundation or go without foundation so I used this product and it was fine. I wouldn't say that it'd be enough for me for dead of summer time if I were out for many hours but for fall and for short bursts outside (like, for example, when I'm walking between buildings at work), this totally works.

Oh and a little goes a long way! You really don't need to apply a lot to get great coverage. The sample tube that I had received seemed oh so tiny. Well, I've been using it near daily for the past 3 weeks and it's still going... it's towards the end of the tube but it's still going. So that bigger tube will probably last me for near a year of daily use.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was teaching my makeup workshop at Middle Eastern Mayhem in July and one of the participants told me about Birchbox. I'm really glad (so far) that she did! ;) I had never heard of it!

So what is it?
It's a monthly beauty sample subscription. It ultimately comes in a brown box so makes sense that it's called "birch".  The cost is 10$ per month and you'll get 5-6 samples. We're talking decent size samples in cute bottles/packaging... not the tiny envelope kind.

Now, you won't be able to customize the samples that you're getting; it's more or less random. But you do have a profile that you fill out and it will help them (allegedly) to pick out the samples.  I'm one who likes surprises so that's actually fun for me to not know what I'm getting.

I've received two boxes thus far.  I was a bit disappointed at first with my first box as I was hoping for makeup stuff and got some beauty products instead but it turns out that there were 2 products that I really love (one that I even purchased as a full size and will talk about in a blog entry soon) so it turned out real good. I was also a bit disappointed in the 2nd box but I may end up liking it. I haven't had much time to look into it yet.

Your samples come with a little card that tells you how to use the product. I found that, while helpful to get a quick idea of what the product is about, these little cards didn't give nearly enough info about the product so I actually had to go on the website to find more info for each of those products.

Still, at 10$ a month, it's a nice little surprise to get in the mail.

When you first sign up for the box, you'll be put on a waiting list; don't be surprised by that. After 2-4 weeks, they'll send you info to "reserve your box subscription." I think that it's really that they plan boxes for whatever number of subscriptions that they have and a few extra so then you'll get the extra ones after subscriptions are done. Anyway. Don't sweat it, you'll get a box rather quickly.

You can cancel at any time after the first box.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Keep face clean while applying makeup

You may have experienced this: you do your makeup, everything is lovely, and then, BAM!, you have a streak of color in a weird place on your face. How did that happen? Here are a few things to watch out for.

Taking care of the fall out
In keeping with a recent blog entry about using a light touch when applying makeup (see ), first off, you need to use dabs or pats when applying your eye shadow on your eyelids. That being said, even with this application technique that will help you tremendously get rid of major fall outs, some fall outs can still happen. The worst thing that you can do is to try to make it go away by using your fingers: that will only embed the eye shadow more into your pores... it's tricky that way. Instead, you want to use a fluffy brush (e.g., kabuki brush or powder brush), ideally one that you have used with loose powder as that will help replace the eye shadow specks with powder. You can use just a fluffy brush to brush down the fall out... but if it's stubborn, just go ahead and apply loose powder. And, when using this brush, use a light touch, again, to prevent from embedding the specks in the pores.

Also, do it pretty much as soon as you notice some fall out. Otherwise, you run the risk of unknowingly spreading the colored specks all over your face.

Keep your hands clean
Periodically, while applying your makeup, check your hands. They sometimes will get some fall out on them or they will have gotten some product on them that may contribute to a (not so beautiful) streak on your face. When I apply performance makeup, I end up washing my hands a good 3-4 times because of that.  If you're applying your makeup in a dressing room, make sure that you have makeup towelettes handy so that you can use those to wipe your hands if needed.

Keep your containers clean
One thing that contributes to fall out and streaks quite a bit is dirty containers. I keep my makeup at home in a chest of drawers (yeah, I have a lot... it's a small furniture thing but still) so they're always upright. When I'm travelling, I'm also trying to keep my makeup upright. When I'm unsuccessful, that's when the products start escaping their pots and there will be colors around the containers. If I notice that the containers are dirty, I'll use a tissue, paper towel, etc., to wipe the exterior of the container (and my hands).

Mascara mess up
If you have had a mess up with your mascara where you fumbled with the wand and it went flying somewhere where it wasn't supposed to (happens to the best of us), wait for it to dry, then gently rub it off. The funny thing about mascara is that, if you try to clean it up, it will smear and make a bigger mess whereas, if you wait for it to dry, you can rub it off with your finger (even if it's waterproof).

Try not to use makeup remover
Unless you really messed up a lot and it can't be fixed, try not to use makeup remover to clean an area. The reason is that, suddenly, you'll have a spot that will be a different color than the rest of your face. You really can't just remove the top layer of your makeup: it will ALL come off from that one spot. So reserve that for a really messy spot. I think that I can count on one hand the number of times that I've had to use makeup remover. Try the other techniques first.  The only caveat is that, if you're using a liquid liner, you may need to use makeup remover if you mess up. It's really hard to correct.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Glitter Glue

I ended up purchasing the Glitter Glue by Too Faced a while back after I kept being disappointed with how much glitter was just not sticking on my eyelids.  I had found a few ways to help with that (and I fully intend on writing a blog about glitter application very soon) but nothing that really worked perfectly.  I took a chance on this product because I already use the Shadow Insurance primer by Too Faced and am very satisfied with it.

The bottom line is that, if you like to wear glitter on your eyelids, you want to purchase this product. It totally works. You can find it at Sephora and other sites. It retails for about 18$.

Normally, when I apply primer on my eyelid, I apply it on both eyelids and then apply the eye shadow. However, with the glitter glue, you want to apply it on one eyelid and quickly start applying the glitter. The thing is that it truly is a glue. You'll feel it slightly sticky in texture: that's how it grabs onto the glitter.

I've used it on me and on friends whose makeup I've done and, thus far, it has worked equally well on everyone. I've also used a wide variety of glitter products and it works equally well as well. And, yes, I've even used it with the Eye Kandy products. I've used it instead of the Liquid Sugar; the person who I've used it on said that the hold was better when I used the Glitter Glue for her makeup.

The only negatives that I'd have to say about the product is that, as with any glitter base, I wish that it would apply a tad more evenly (more on how to counter that on the glitter application entry) and that it didn't dry so darn fast. But if you manage the time and application well, you'll get good results so those are minor negatives.