Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Foundation - Before or After Eye Makeup

I get asked this question quite a bit when I teach the makeup workshop: should the foundation be applied before or after the eye makeup?  As with everything makeup-related, the answer is: it's actually up to you, there is no right or wrong, just a matter of preference.

The main advantage of applying the foundation after you've done your eye makeup is that, should there be fallout, you will totally "erase it" when you apply the foundation.  If you're someone who has a tendency to be messy when applying your eyeshadow, it might be worth considering trying to apply your foundation after you've done your eye makeup and see if you like that.  For a while, I did apply my foundation after. One of the issues that I had with it was that you need to wait a little after you've applied your eyeliner and mascara for them to dry or else you run the risk of smudging them.  You could obviously apply the eyeliner and mascara after you've applied your foundation but I always forgot to wait. Another thing that I didn't like so much was that, while I could get close to that eye makeup, there would inevitably be a little bit of skin that wouldn't have foundation applied to it. It's not something that would really be noticeable much (unless you really don't go close enough) but it was bugging me a little.

I personally prefer to apply the foundation first because it gives me an even canvas to work from.  I apply the foundation all over my face, including my eyelids. It does happen that I have some fallout, in which case I use a fluffy brush to gently brush it away and it generally works fine. There will be times, though, when that's not enough b/c it somehow ended up being smudged or I mess up with the eyeliner and mascara and need to correct using some water or makeup remover. When that happens, the disadvantage of having applied the foundation already is that it will effectively remove some of it. But nothing says that I can't reapply a little bit to fill that "hole".

My recommendation really is that, if you're satisfied with your order, just keep doing that. Or if you're wondering which is best, really, try it for yourself and see which one you prefer. Again, there is no right or wrong answer: just preference.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Production Review - Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer

I received a sample of the Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer as part of my Ipsy subscription. I started using it as my everyday primer when I ran out of Mirabella Primer.

My gold standard is the Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox. So let's see how it compares.

The Pixi primer is a normal cream vs. the Smashbox primer that is a thicker gel product. As such, some may prefer the Pixi primer if only because of the texture.

The Pixi primer goes on smooth and actually feels cool when applied so that's been kind of nice this summer. I did try it under my stage makeup to see if it would be comparable in terms of hold as the Smashbox product and it was.

However, it felt like it wasn't covering my lines as much as the Smashbox product would have. So I'd say that, if you have lots of wrinkles and fine lines, I'd go with the Smashbox product.

Price-wise, it's comparable: the Pixi primer is 30$ whereas the Smashbox one is 36$. However, the Pixi primer is available at Target so it may be easier to just grab on your next Target run vs. finding a Sephora or ordering online for the Smashbox product.

I really liked this Pixi primer, I have to admit. I think that I'll buy it for my everyday use and keep using the Smashbox one for performance.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

keep trying, keep practicing!

I often hear complaints of people saying "I tried to do the flared eyeliner thing but it didn't work." Or you could insert any technique... this was but an example.  Having tried it once is not an indicator of whether you will succeed or not with that technique in general.  Some techniques do take a whole lot of time to get right. For example, I think that it took me no less than a month to get the hang of applying liquid eyeliner in a way that looked good... and then it must have taken me another few months to be able to apply in a consistent manner.  Now there may be techniques that you get at the first try. It happens.

Often we feel fear when it comes to trying something new in general and this is no less true for a new makeup technique. You wish that you'll get it right away but it may or may not happen. That fear can hold you back from even trying... which is sad (and that goes for everything... not just makeup :p). But in the case of makeup, what's the worst that can happen? You need to redo the makeup or correct it. That's about it. No one's dying. Heck, no one has to see it!

Old patterns
So, really, when you're trying something new, you have to fight old patterns. By that I mean that you may have ingrained in you some way of applying the makeup and you will have to fight that to try the new technique. For example, you are used to flaring out the eye shadow at the crease into a pointy triangle but you're trying to do a more rounded shape... you'll have to resist the urge to point it up and strive to keep it rounded. It can be hard. I know. I've had to fight those patterns. ;)

Failure is not necessarily bad
So you haven't achieved the look that you were hoping to get. Well, maybe you still like the look! If so, make a mental note... you can redo it.  If you don't, before you quickly remove the makeup, assess what could possibly have gone wrong. Where do you think you have erred? This is important so as not to repeat the same mistake.

It takes time
So, as mentioned above regarding liquid liner application, some techniques just plain take time to get the hang of. So don't feel like you're a failure for not having been able to do it right away. Just keep at it. It's just like practicing any other thing: you need to do it multiple times before you can do it consistently.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Product Review - La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes

I received these as part of the Ipsy subscription.

I'll be quite honest and didn't like this product much. The only positive thing that I can say about it is that it smells good... which is important for sure.

I didn't feel like this product was really doing a god job at all removing the makeup. Granted, I wear heavy makeup on a regular basis. But, still, isn't it the point of a makeup remover to... well... remove makeup?  I also felt like the wipes were small. So it didn't take much time to have it filled and, honestly, I'd have needed 2 wipes for my face. When trying this product, I was at home and ended up washing my face with my cleanser because I felt like it needed more cleaning.

Well, another cool thing is that this was a travel size so an 8-pack. But you can get better.  My go to brand for makeup towelettes is Neutrogena's Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. You can actually find a travel size version of it at CVS for like 0.99$. So I'd do that over this one.

The La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes earned a big thumbs down for me.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Product Review - MicaBeauty Gel Eyeliner

I received the MicaBeauty Gel Eyeliner as part of the Ipsy subscription. I ran out of my E.L.F. cream liner and decided to give this product a try and see how it compares.

The MicaBeauty Gel Eyeliner is actually very similar to the E.L.F. cream liner. It may be a tad superior in that it goes on a little smoother and has even more pigmentation.  Though I found that it was a bit harder to make a real skinny line with the MicaBeauty product vs. the E.L.F. liner.

If both products were the exact same price or comparable prices, I'd pick the MicaBeauty liner... but they are not. The E.L.F. cream liner retails at 3$ (can be found at Target) whereas the MicaBeauty liner is 35$. (So, yes, that was a nice value in the bag.)  So do I think that the increased smoothness of application and pigmentation are worth the extra 32$? No, I don't think so.

You may want to consider this product if, for some reason, the E.L.F. one doesn't exactly work for you. But then again, I'd recommend that you try the MAC Fluidline product first as it retails at 16$.  I just think that 35$ is rather expensive when it comes to an eyeliner. It's a good product but I think that you can find comparable results for a more reasonable price.