Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wedding Day Makeup Tips

The past few days I’ve been scouring the Internet, trying to gather as many tips as I can about wedding day makeup. I’m not getting married (!) but my cousin is and I am one of her bridesmaids. I’ve never been completely satisfied in the past when I’ve had my makeup done professionally, so doing it on my own is only logical. That said, I want to make sure I get it just right!

I’ve compiled a list of tips to keep in mind if you’re doing makeup for a special occasion.

Face primer: If your makeup is going to last you throughout the day (and night!) you need to use a primer. You need to cleanse your face, apply moisturizer, and prime, prime, prime. A good primer will act as an adhesive as well as a barrier between your skin and the foundation. If you have oily skin, this can be a complete lifesaver. Personally, if I don’t prime, half way through the day it feels like my foundation is slipping off my face. My favorite is the L’Oreal Studio Secrets smoothing & resurfacing primer. Another product you might want to invest in is a setting spray. I suggest Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray (or Urban Decay DeSlick if you have oilier skin). You just spray it before & after applying all your makeup; it will help smooth it out and last longer.

Eyeshadow primer: You’ll also need to use an eyeshadow primer, which will help your eye makeup stand out, and will prevent it from creasing. Try NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof eyeshadow base—your eyeshadow will seriously not budge. A cream shadow base like the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows works equally well.

Oil control: Don’t forget to powder your skin! Even if your skin doesn’t get oily, it’s an important step for an all-day/all-night kind of event. Another tip is to buy a cheap pack of blotting papers like the Clean & Clear one. This will help control oil, and they slip perfectly into your handbag. Just don’t rub too hard and use it too often, otherwise it’ll mess up your makeup and dry out your skin.

Comfort: Use the makeup you’ve tested and know works well on you. If you have a bronzer that compliments with your skin tone—great, stick with it. If there’s a particular foundation that you love and have been using all your life, you’re golden. You wouldn’t want to use anything you’re uncomfortable with, because you might have an allergic reaction (you never know!) or when you’re looking back on photos it might not look as nice as you thought.

Photo-proof: A big part of any occasion is looking nice for photos and flash-photography, so you need to make sure your makeup is photo proof. Flash photography tends to blow out the face, so it’s a good idea to make sure your makeup is more intense than usual—darker eyeshadow, deeper contour, etc. A simple coat of mascara might not cut it, so false eyelashes will really make your eyes pop in photos. Also, smudging some eyeliner along your lashline will make your eyelashes look even thicker and more present.

Another thing you want to be careful of is using any makeup with too much sparkle. Glitter and shimmer reflect light, so you need to use it deliberately. You don’t want to look like a discoball in flash photography, so make sure your foundation or face primer doesn’t have shimmer. Stay away from liquid face products that are “illuminating”. I would also steer clear of all-over glittery eye looks. Instead, focus the shimmer on spots you want to attract light. A bit of champagne shimmer on the inner-corners of your eyes will help open them up and make you look wide-awake. A very light sweep of highlighter on your cheekbones and on the bridge of your nose will go a long way—just don’t be heavy-handed!

Another tip is to blend your foundation and powders past your jaw and onto your neck. Flash photography will really emphasize any harsh contrasts between your face makeup and your neck, so you need to make sure everything is seamless.

Finally, don’t forget the brows! Even if you have the thickest of eyebrow hairs, it’s important to fill in your eyebrows with powder or a brow pencil (see Anastasia products – they specialize in eyebrows!). The flash will reveal any hidden gaps in your eyebrows, but not if you fill them in. Also, run a clear mascara or brow gel over them when you’re done so that they stay put throughout the day. Keep in mind that super drawn-on brows are never cute, so take your time, use a light hand, and keep it natural.

Lips: My tip for lips is to also pick something you already know suits you. For example, I could never say to myself, “Yes, let me go out and buy a nude lipstick” because I know from experience that nude lipstick doesn’t really suit me. Instead I would opt for a blush pink shade.

Another tip is to make the most out of your lip color by prolonging its wear. The first thing you need to do is scrub your lips – use a lip scrub (my personal favorite is Lush’s Bubblegum scrub), or run your toothbrush over them. This will remove all the dry skin and will ensure that your lip product doesn’t flake. Next you need to moisturize—apply that chapstick! While you’re waiting for the lip balm to sink in, move on to the rest of your makeup. After that, a good tip would be to stain your lips with a product like the Maybelline Superstay 10HR Stain Gloss (my personal fave). Even if your lipstick comes off throughout the day, your lips will maintain at least some sort of color since you stained them. Then, use a lip liner to line your lips with a shade similar to your lipstick. Make sure to not only line the outside, but to color in the center of your lips as well. This will act as an adhesive for your lipstick and will make it last longer. And finally, lipstick. Use a brush for precision. Top with lipgloss if you’re into it, and you’re good to go.

Plan for mistakes: Start with your eyeshadow—the portion of your makeup that is most likely to go wrong. That way, if you need to bust out the makeup remover, you won’t ruin any work you did with foundation/face makeup. You’re also likely to use darker shadows than usual, so beware of fallout! To minimize mistakes, look up makeup tutorials on YouTube. Check out this one by Claire Ashley for something simple. Lisa Eldrige and PixiWoo also have really good, in-depth tutorials for you to follow.

Waterproof: Last but not least, prepare to be emotional. Waterproof mascara is key (check out Tarte “Lights, Camera, Splashes” mascara). Also, pack a few essentials in your handbag—tissues, concealer, powder, and a pocket mirror—so that you can touch up if need-be. Better to be safe than sorry!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Picture Book Treasures

I've been working in a children's library for a little over six months now, and I've developed a massive appreciation for picture books. I often receive the books we order, and I love leafing through the new picture books. I think I’m drawn to their perfect mix of simplistic content and intricate illustration. Any design-lover will surely agree.

I feel like my “picture book” phase as a child was a little rushed. From my understanding, books were around so I could learn how to read. So, naturally, once I learned, I graduated to chapter books and never looked back. At 21 years old I’m only now seeing picture books as the tiny works of art that they really are.

I’ve been keeping a running list of the ones I found particularly great, though I have no moms in my life who will truly appreciate them like I do! BUT, I’ve been keeping up with mummy bloggers like Sprinkle of Glitter and Hannah Maggs lately, so I though I’d dedicate this post to them :) I even contemplated buying them each a couple books I love and shipping them over to England... But on a student's budget I realize that's not very reasonable! This post will have to do!

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is one of my favorites. It's told from the point of view of the crayons, each of them "quitting" because the child they're being used by ("Duncan") is abusing them in some way. For example, the blue crayon quit because he's tuckered out from being used to color in the sky and ocean all the time. It's one of the most charming things I've ever laid eyes on!

At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin depicts one day (24 hours) on Earth and illustrates a short story for each time zone. The drawings are so beautiful and each story is culture and time zone-specific, so it's super educational and fun to look at.

Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison is about a little pup who, as a circus dog, could never measure up to any of her siblings' performances - but at the end of the day, she's still a really good dog and that's all that matters. I'm a little iffy on this one because circuses irk me a bit, but it's too cute to resist and the illustrations are precious. Also Jane reminds me of my doggy!

Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend by Karen Stanton is a really heartwarming story. It's about divorce and living in two separate houses, and I think it's really essential to teach your child about even if you're not in a similar situation because it can help them understand what other kids might be going through. For me, it hit quite close to home because my parents are divorced and my puppy was my sidekick throughout the whole ordeal. 

Flo & Wendell by William Wegman is a quirky tale of two dogs photoshopped onto people bodies. I mostly love this one because the graphics are so fun. William Wegman, the author, is also an acclaimed American filmmaker that I actually learned about in my film class. He does a lot of experimental work, usually involving his two dogs. Are you sensing a "dog" theme in my choices? Hmmm.

Last but not least, I have to recommend Robert Munsch's Purple, Green and Yellow. If there's one picture book author I can recall from my childhood, it's Robert Munsch. His storytelling is really like none other, and I'm pretty sure I read this book like a thousand times as a kid!

And that's it! I know this isn't really my genre of post, but none of my blogs this month have been... Oh well :) Change is good. Have a great day! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Short-Term Goals

It's safe to say that last month was pretty terrible. I had about a billion and one things to do and yet felt so unproductive. I'm really starting to believe that productivity is the key to happiness and well-being, at least for me. I always feel best after producing and creating. Seeing as April is going to be just as hectic (if not more-so) than February was, March is proving to be the best time to work on some personal projects. With only about two weeks left, I best start working on these goals ASAP!

Number one on my to-do list is to purchase and install some blackout shades. I posted about my bedroom decor plans back in January and have since made 0% progress. A comfortable bedroom is so important, and the fact that I haven't yet tailored mine to my needs is proving to be detrimental. I feel like I haven't had a truly satisfying good night's sleep in so long, and it all starts with finally getting some good shades.

I haven't delved into a good book in what seems like forever. I just finished reading "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari", but that was more of a self-help/inspirational book (and possibly what sparked this blog post). I need to get back into reading some good, food-for-though fiction, especially since I work in a library and am constantly requested to provide book suggestions (of which I have none to give). Because I'm juggling work, school, and internship, I've been spread a little too thin and haven't divulged enough effort into any of those things. So, for work at the very least, I need to start reading more.

Some books that have been on my to-read list for a while now.
Another thing I need to do this month is get a head-start on my final media project. The assignment is to create an "Artist Book", which is a "book" (very loose guideline) that explores the aesthetic and storyline elements of a movie of your choice. I decided I wanted to pick something fun, so I chose Tangled as my movie. I'm going to make an accordion-fold paper lantern, and on every fold, I'm going to depict a scene from the film. My first task is to explore Michaels for supplies and inspiration!

My poor, neglected Wreck This Journal desperately needs some love this month. I have yet to complete even one page from that book. I bought the book to spark my creativity, and it's been sitting in my drawer, untouched, for over a month. I don't think there is a metaphor for unproductiveness more fitting than that. Maybe a trip to Michaels might give me some drive to continue that project. After all, there's nothing quite like fresh art supplies.

And that concludes my short-term goals! I think four is a solid amount. I don't want to be over-ambitious because I know that would just be setting myself up for failure. I'll let y'all know how it goes!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Disney World 2014

Earlier this month I went to Disney World for three days and had a great time (as usual). My family and I go to Disney World a ton because my mom is a Disney Vacation Club member.  I'm the type of person that prefers a fun-filled vacation over a loungey beach trip, so Disney World is right up my alley. Add the fact that I'm a media geek (all those interactive attractions? Ma gawddd) and a huge lover of Disney movies, and I am Disney World's #1 fan.

I'm also a big design nerd, so the variations of typography you can find all over the parks is such eye candy to me. These are two signs on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom.

Here's a snapshot of my mom and brother enjoying their Starbucks in Magic Kingdom as the sun starts to set. I really think you can enjoy Disney at any age.

Every night in Magic Kingdom they project a montage of clips from various Disney films onto the castle (including Disney's Frozen!). This was my first time seeing it and it was incredible. The above clip is from Tangled during the lantern scene. (PS - can we talk about how I can make Gifs now?!)

What's completely new to Disney are these wristbands that you get if you stay in a Disney resort. Basically, they're customized bracelets that hold your room keys, park passes, and fast passes. You can even make charges to your hotel room on them. So cool.

On our second night we went to Epcot and had dinner in the Italian pavilion. The Epcot World Showcase is one of my favorite parts of Disney World because everything is so authentic, right down to the buildings and decor. The employees at each pavilion actually come from the countries they represent. It's awesome.

And that concludes my Disney trip! Can't wait to go again next year :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Collective Nail Polish Haul

Somewhere, somehow, I managed to collect 14 new nail polishes in February... I justified the purchases because it was my birthday month, but I guess you can say have a bit of an addiction to new nail polish... GAH. It's a problem, but just look at them! I can't help it. I really need to get a good nail polish rack to display them.

From left to right: Color Club "The Lime Starts Here", Color Club "Koo-Koo Cachoo", Color Club "Yum Gum", Marc Jacobs "Gatsby",  Orly "Purple Crush", OPI "Sweet Heart", OPI "Alpine Snow", China Glaze "Light As Air", China Glaze "Sweet Hook", China Glaze "Make An Entrance", Zoya "Payton", Models Own "Hedonist", OPI "Push and Shove"
I'll just go through each of them, explaining my rationale for buying them/my initial thoughts if I've tried them already.

Orly "Bonder": I got this base coat because MissGlamorazzi recommended it on her YouTube channel, and let me tell you, it's great. The idea is that it bonds the nail polish to the nail, and it does exactly that. It seriously makes your nail polish last as long as it possibly can.

Color Club neons: On my way back from Florida last week, I popped by a discount beauty store and found these babies on offer - 3 for the price of 1. Such a bargain! I love neon nail polish (recall my obsession with Models Own Luis Lemon), so this was awesome. I haven't worn them yet but they seem seem really glossy and fairly opaque. Excited to try them out!

Marc Jacobs "Gatsby": My friend Marcella got me this nail polish for my birthday, and I love it. I would describe it as a rose-silver metallic (as opposed to rose gold). It sometimes looks a little champagne-y in different lights. It's totally opaque in one swatch. Although it's pricey, you really get good value for money with this one.

Orly "Purple Crush": Since "radiant orchid" is the Pantone color of the year, I felt an overwhelming urge to find a nail polish in that color range. My my my, does this fit the bill. Brands have been coming out with orchid colors left and right but none quite as radiant as this one. I'm seriously itching to wear it.

OPI "Sweet Heart" and "Alpine Snow": I got these two full-size OPIs in a set from TJ Maxx... The price? $7.99 for both! I couldn't leave this in the store, I just couldn't. I already know and love Alpine Snow, and it'll serve as a great base to make those Color Club neons really pop. As for Sweet Heart, well, you just can never have enough nude polishes, am I right?

China Glaze "Light As Air" and "Make an Entrance": I got these at the same place as the Color Clubs, and they were on sale for $2.99. Just couldn't pass them up. "Light as Air" is a beautiful dusty lavender color, and "Make an Entrance" is a vibrant raspberry.

China Glaze "Sweet Hook": So, for my birthday, I made a sneaky Nail Polish Canada purchase. I had enough fidelity points to snap up this pale lilac color, which I've been eyeing since last spring. It'll be the first polish I wear when the weather gets warm!

Zoya "Payton": In the same Nail Polish Canada order, I got Payton, which if you might recall from my previous wishlists, I've been wanting for a long time. The color is gorgeous - a rich purple with silver microglitters. My only gripe is that it's a little thin and brush is imprecise. Otherwise, I'm wearing it right now and I love the shade.

Models Own "Hedonist": Again, I've been wanting this bad boy since last summer! Oh god, I'm so glad I finally own it. I've never seen a brighter coral color in my life. I can't wait to have this on in the dead of summer when I'm eating popsicles and soaking up the sun. Perfect.

OPI "Push and Shove": Of the new OPI collections (Gwen Stefani and Brazil) this is the only polish that really caught my eye. I have a thing for mirror effect nails, so this was right up my alley. As you can see from the swatch above, it's really metallic and reflective. It comes with its own base coat (not sure what's up with that?) but I'm super excited to try it.

PHEW. That's it. I should probably lay off the nail polish purchases for the next while, although Nail Polish Canada did just get the new Models Own Gel Effects.......... LOL :)

PS. anyone notice, no Essie in this haul??? Their polishes have been so boring lately! Seriously hope they step it up!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things To Look Forward To

As you could probably gather from my last post, I've been a little pessimistic lately. I figured it would be important to counterbalance that post with something more positive, so here are a few things I am looking forward to.

My 21st birthday! I'm not doing anything special, but there's something satisfying about having a day all to yourself. I'm going for pizza with my mom and brother, and I'll probably bake those confetti cupcakes. Oh and knowing myself I will most likely make a sneaky NailPolishCanada purchase.... :)

Confetti cupcakes, OPI Don't Bossa Nova Me Around, Zoya Payton, Pizza

Going to Disney World! I'm sure some people think I'm lame for loving Disney World so much, but for creative-escapist-types like myself, there really is no better place on Earth. The atmosphere is fun and enjoyable, the immersive rides are the coolest, and they have delicious restaurants. Frankly, I can't think of a reason not to go!

Some shots I took on my last trip to Disney

SUMMER! Before we know it, summer will be upon us. I know this winter is taking forever to end, but at least it's February and not December. It's not like I have any extravagant plans, but the warm weather will be a much needed change, and hopefully I will be in good spirits by then.

x x x
Do you have anything you're looking forward to?