Saturday, March 29, 2008

This and That...

Hey guys, just wanted to fill you in on a few things going on in my life. I haven't been feeling well for the last week because I developed an infection in one of my lymph nodes, the one under the left armpit. It had become quite painful to lift or lean against my arm and I've been fatigued but thankfully I got some antibiotics and I'm starting to feel better. I'm trying to post regularly still, but if I get a little behind you'll know why. Nobody likes taking pictures when they are sick! :)

Next, I just wanted to list a few things coming up...

*Lip scrub tutorial
*OPI "who are you wearing?" nailpolish review
*Purple smokey eyes tutorial (evening/going out makeup)
*5-way convertible bikini tutorial
*Basic Everyday Minerals application tutorial
*Nail art and manicure tutorial


As always, let me know if you have specific requests for a tutorial or product review/recommendation. Or, of my upcoming list, what you'd like to see FIRST! Peace out friends, and stay healthy!


Monday, March 24, 2008

How To Cut Your Own Eyelid Tape

For those single-lidders who find that constantly buying tape is a hassle or feel that the tape they buy doesn't fit their eyes well, this is an option for you. Cut your own! It is very inexpensive to buy a roll of 3M clear athletic tape in comparison to constantly buying pre-cut tapes. Also, you can find it at any Walmart or Target near the bandage section which is a nice alternative to going to an Asian beauty store if you don't have one nearby. Since one roll only costs around $3 USD, it is much more cost-effective to cut your own, plus you can adjust it to whatever shape you want. I found that a lot of pre-cut tapes aren't as wide or long as I want them to be, so it's nice to make it just right myself.


Tools needed:
*Nexcare Flexible Clear Tape, 3/4"
*Sharp Scissors

First, cut the length that you would like your eyelid tape to be. I prefer mine to be a little longer (for when I am just at home or if I choose to wear it at night when I sleep) but it's up to your own preference.


Next, cut the tape in half lengthwise. You should have two long rectangular strips. Carefully place one strip where it won't get stuck to anything.


Take your scissors and round off the corners of the tape. You want to end up with a smooth, long oval. Do this for both tapes.


Cut the oval in half again, lengthwise.


Finally, round off the sharp corners once more. If you do this for all tapes (including the half you set aside in the beginning), you should end up with 4 eyelid tapes in the end.


If the tape is too wide, you can always make it skinnier or shorter on the sides. Practice makes perfect, so I would suggest making a few in different shapes and sizes to see what looks best on you. Just remember that you can always make it smaller but you can't make a cut tape bigger, so start out wider and longer in case you want to cut it down. Another thing that helps is to study the shape of pre-cut tapes and try to mimic it. After a few tries, it'll get much easier to cut it just the way you need. Hopefully this will save you in emergencies when you run out of tape and can't make it to the beauty store, or if you get frustrated with what's available. Good luck!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ultrasonic Lens Cleaner



I first heard about ultrasonic lens cleaners from a contact lens forum where people were raving about the amazing ability for these cleaners to extend the life of lenses. In the past, these cleaners were expensive machines used by professional opticians. Now, through online purchasing, a relatively inexpensive version can be found on Ebay and Amazon.com. As I wanted to have my lenses last as long as possible, I decided to buy a Codyson Ultrasonic Lens Cleaner from Ebay.

The ultrasonic lens cleaner is a system for cleaning any type of contact lens (including clear, colored, and RGP lenses) using ultrasonic vibrations that break up protein, dirt, and any buildup on the lens surface. An amazing thing about this machine is that you don't need any fancy lens solution, like Opti-free or Renu. All you use is saline solution to clean and store lenses. You can find this under the name "physiological solution" at the pharmacy or you can use store-brand saline solution for contact lenses, found next to other lens solutions. I bought mine at Target. Two bottles of saline solution cost about 1/3 the price of one Opti-free and it is much more gentle for your eyes because it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals that disintegrate protein and wear down your lenses over time. It's also fantastic for people with sensitive eyes since saline is very close to natural human tears.

For daily use, there is a two-minute setting called "Clean" that cleans the lens. Once a week, you use the 6-minute disinfecting setting called "Strengthen." It's really nice that it takes such a short amount of time to clean since other solutions need 6+ hours to really clean your lenses but if you are up late studying or happen to sleep in your contacts, you can pop these in for two minutes and wear them fresh as new! Apparently, this is the best cleaning solution for lenses. Here is a magnified image of a lens before and after cleaning. (Pictures from The Shining Image on Ebay)


My Codyson came with:
* Small, egg-shaped ultrasonic cleaner
* Lens basket
* Soft-end Tweezers
* Power cord and adapter
* Small, empty bottle for solution

First, place saline solution in the metal tub in the cleaner.


Next, wash your hands and carefully place the lenses into the basket. Close the lid.

Place the basket/lid onto the cleaner and press either "clean" or "strengthen." Don't do both in a row for the same lens right after, since you don't want to risk tearing the lens from overdoing it many times in a row. You should hear a hissing or high-pitched whistling sound if you listen closely, but it's pretty quiet.


Finally, when the light turns off the lens is done being cleaned. You can take it out of the basket and put them in your eyes. Most people say they feel very fresh, like you are putting in new lenses. You can see the water droplets from the condensation on the basket my picture.


To clean up after you are done, rinse the basket in water or Opti-free/Renu type of solutions and let it air dry. The Codyson can be cleaned by soaking up the remaining saline solution using a damp towel or tissue. You don't want to just pour it out since the outside is not waterproof and you don't want to mess up the inner workings. Just make sure the saline solution is washed off for both parts so that salt crystals don't form on anything.

I think the Codyson works really great. They sell for around 20-40 USD depending on where you buy it and since you will save money on solution, it pays for itself pretty quickly. Not to mention, it can extend the life of your annual lenses to at least 2+ years and other shorter-life lenses for at least twice their duration. I'm not an eyecare professional so don't take my word for it, but I highly recommend trying it out yourself to see. At the very least, you'll have fresher, more comfortable lenses that last longer. What more could you ask for in a lens cleaner?


Monday, March 17, 2008

Clean Natural Eyebrows Tutorial

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to change or enhance the structure of your face is to groom your eyebrows. The idea revolves around the simple idea of framing. In the same way that a nice frame can really make a photograph look classy, eyebrows do this not only to the eyes but the whole face. When we look at objects our eyes are naturally drawn to lines. As the strongest lines on someone's face, eyebrows are one of the most important features to consider.

There are many different types of eyebrows: thin, thick, shaved off, penciled in, sharp, soft, straight, arched... The key is to find which one naturally fits you. Different eyebrow shapes work better with different face shapes. My favorite shape is a natural arch with pretty full brows and tapered at the end.


When you've decided on a shape, the first step is to prepare your brows for action. Gather your ingredients:

*Vaseline (or any petroleum jelly)
*Clean tweezers
*Brow brush


My tweezers are from Avon and they work fabulously, but you can also go high-end and buy Tweezerman tweezers. My only big recommendation is to get one that looks like this style, with the flat body and angled tip. I find that these are more precise and easy to use than other tweezers. If you break out from tweezing, disinfect your tweezers before you use them.

Here are my eyebrows pre-pluck. When I was asked to to a tutorial on brows, I decided to grow the beauties out to do a proper sweep of them. They are uneven and the stray hairs above and below seem to fade the brow out instead of creating a clean look. This is me looking worried about my brows.


Take a bit of vaseline and swipe it over the brow so that the hairs stick to your skin.


Next, take an eyebrow brush and brush the brows so that they are going in the desired direction. It helps if you brush everything upward and outward first, then just brushing down the longer strays and the arch.


Ok, here is the key point. Take a ruler or nearby pencil and create a line from the edge of your nose to the tear duct to the brow. This should be your staring point you can mark this with a white eyeliner pencil if you think you will forget. Do the same again from your nose to pupil. This is where your arch should be. One more time, start at your nose to the edge of your eye. This is where your brow should end.

My preference is to have a straight brow from the inside to the arch, with a soft arch that tapers naturally. I also don't pluck the inner line because I prefer my natural rounded edge, but I drew it for the sake of the tutorial. Keep in mind that you can always tailor the look to you.


Now that you've got the shape, try to pluck the hair in the direction that it is growing in. It's not necessary to get every single baby hair, but do get the larger ones and any hairs that disrupt the line at the edge of the brows. Don't forget about any "grey areas" that might be from a patch of baby hairs. I get them near the top of my arch and I like to clean that up because it shows from speaking distance.


Tackling the other brow can be tricky, but as long as you keep taking a step back every so often, you can make sure they are being plucked evenly. It's okay to be dynamic here because your left and right brow may not grow exactly the same. Be picky and take your time. Here is the finished look. Clean brows, a brighter face, and better defined features.




There are a few variations of this you can do. If you feel that plucking is too painful, buy some numbing product for teething babies and apply it on the brow before you pluck. Also, try plucking after a hot shower because your pores will be more open and it hurts less. You can also use lotion in place of vaseline if you don't have any on hand. Good luck, and feel free to leave comments of any more tips you may have to share.

PS- Guys, you are not exempt from plucking! Have one on hand for getting that unibrow and those under-eye strays. Nobody will know you plucked but your eyes will appear so much brighter. Onlookers will appreciate it.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain



After hearing a glowing review from my good friend last year, I'd been meaning to pick one of these up. Getting a Revlon coupon in the paper gave me an excuse when I browsed Walmart a couple weeks ago, and I decided to get Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain in Berry Juicy. There are 4 colors: Berry Juicy (reddish pink), Plum Wicked (bright plum), Cherry Tart (red), and Blood Orange (reddish orange). It's part of their limited collection line which has been out for about a year and sells for a little under $8 USD.

The Revlon website claims:

Ripen lips! Juicy, water-weight formula made with real fruit extracts stains lips for a sweetly seductive pout. Each shade features its own succulent, fruity flavor and scent. Rollerball tip precisely applies color. Available in 4 fruit-inspired shades.

My first impression of this was that it is indeed light and watery-feeling, but you have to be modest in applying this because the color is pretty bold compared to how it feels. It smells fresh and fruity but not in a gross way. The roller ball isn't "precise" by any means, as you'd think. It also goes on matte and a bit dry, so I learned to put a layer of the tint on by dabbing/rolling the color in the middle of my lips then smacking my lips around to disperse the color and immediately coat with a lip balm or gloss. Just be careful because the color does set pretty quickly, so wash your hands right after if you touched your lips to correct anything. The result is a bright, fun color for spring that is a bold reddish pink without looking heavy or unnatural like a red gloss or lipstick. It reminds me a lot of being a kid on a hot, summer day after sucking on a red popsicle, or pretending the popsicle was lipstick. I know I'm not the only one who did this! ;)

One downside is that it doesn't last all day as I'd like a tint to do, but it does last about as long or longer than lipstick and a lot longer than gloss. Also, you can immediately put chapstick over it without worrying that the color will transfer, on the chapstick, cups, or even kisses. (The fiance especially appreciates that last part.)

Overall, I liked this product and I'll definitely buy it again when it runs out if it's still available. The packaging is cute and it feels light on your lips. It's just such a unique look and I'm glad to get a strong color without looking like I'm trying too hard to pull off red lips.



Saturday, March 8, 2008

Kiwi Eyes

This is a really natural look that almost anybody can wear. It's a green shimmery eye that isn't too neutral or clowny. I love it because it is definitely something you can wear everyday and looks particularly nice on brown, green, or hazel eyes.

The key eyeshadows:


The rest of my face:

*White eyeshadow
*Everyday Minerals foundation in Golden Medium
*Lancome Photogenic concealer in Camee
*Everyday Minerals blush in All Smiles
*Black liquid liner
*Avon Glimmersticks waterproof pencil liner in black
*Shiseido curler
*Max Factor waterproof Lash Perfection mascara
*Clinique lipgloss

Although you can use any 2 green eyeshadows that are a bright medium and shimmery deep green, I really recommend the NYX Kiwi because I absolutely love this color. It's such a nice, perky green.

Kiwi Eyes

Okay, start off with a clean base. I used Lancome photogenic concealer in Camee, and Everyday Minerals foundation in Golden Medium, and a bit of warm blush. I then lined my eyes with liquid liner.

Next, take any white eyeshadow and highlight the brow bone.

Take the darker green color and apply it from the lashes to the hollow of your eye socket. You should be able to feel where this is when you swipe your lid with a brush.

Take the Kiwi color and apply it to the crease and tapered out on the outer third of the lid.

Next, take a black pencil liner and line the bottom lash line on the outer 3/4. Don't line this too thickly but take a q-tip and smudge the line if it looks too heavy.

Next, curl lashes and apply mascara.


You can use a bit of smokey eyeshadow to fill in your brows and add a touch of light pink or clear gloss, and you get your finished look.


Simple Aspirin and Honey Mask

Here is the video tutorial for a simple aspirin and honey mask inspired by ricebunny's xanga. It's good for making your skin soft and smooth, as the aspirin particles exfoliate well improving the texture of your face. I only use it about once or twice a week.

Ingredients:

1. Uncoated aspirin
2. Honey
3. A clean plate to create mixture
4. A couple drops of water to dissolve the aspirin



You can used coated aspirin, but you'll need to dissolve the coating first and generic aspirin is cheaper anyway. I'd recommend just buying some. Also, if you have super sensitive skin, test this out on a small part of your face first. If you start to get any irritation, wash it off right away. Anyway, here's the vid. Try it out and let me know how it goes!




Monday, March 3, 2008

Open Comments

I just looked through the settings and changed the options for comments. Comments are now open to everyone! I love getting feedback so feel free to add your two cents! ^^

Just to keep things up to date, I wanted to let you guys know what I have coming up.

*Aspirin Mask
*Kiwi Eyes tutorial
*Lip Scrub
*Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain review
*Smokey Purple tutorial
*Ultrasonic Lens Cleaner review
...and many more secrets to reveal!


P.S. Let me know of any requests you have for future tutorials and posts. :)


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Double Eyelid Tape Makeup Tutorial

Hey guys, just thought I'd do a little tutorial for the girls who are single-lidded and want to know how to apply makeup with eyelid tape. It seemed like a useful thing to do. I know a lot of people might get all controversial over this, but like I said, I mean this to be useful and a helpful thing for single-lidded girls who want variety to their look. This tutorial can also be used for girls with double lids. Just for the record, I do love my single lids too (of course since I've made tutorials!) but I love the freedom of variety and I haven't seen any tutorials like this. Please be open-minded and feel free to send me your results! :)

FAQ

1. What are single-lids and double lids?
Single lids are eyelids that don't have a crease above the lash line. Double lids do. There are many naturally double-lidded and single-lidded Asians in the world.

2. What is eyelid tape?
Eyelid tape is a small, curved strip of medical tape used to form a crease on the eyelid. Some say that it stretches out the lid, but I find that if you put some water on the tape at the end of the day, it comes off with no tugging.

3. What brand of tape did you use?
I used "Eye Charm" (아이참) brand, but it's not really my favorite. It gets the job done though. Just find whatever fits you best.



TOOLS



All mascara and eyeliners are in black.





Step 1.
First, apply the tape. Try to make it so that the crease is a natural size for your eye shape and size. This might take a few tries so don't get too frustrated if you can't get them even the first time! Practice makes perfect and soon you will know what looks best on you.


Step 2.
Next, apply highlighter (color 1 in the revlon palette) to the brow bone. Use a medium shade (color 3) and apply color to your lid above and to the outside of the tape. The color should fade in, about 2/3 of the way into your lid.


Step 3.
Add a darker color (color 4) as contour to your lid. Try taking a smaller brush and running it along the area right beneath your brow bone. It should almost make a "c" shape and the color is stronger at the edges, and blended in.


Step 4.
This is the key to looking natural! Take a black, matte liquid liner and draw a line that covers the space under the tape and also slightly on top of the bottom edge of the tape from inside to out. It is especially critical to cover the tape on the inner half of your eyelid, as this is the part most likely to show when your eyes are open. Be patient and take it slow since this part can get tricky!
Note: you can cover more of the tape with eyeliner for a more dramatic look, or cover it completely and put black eye shadow around the tape for a smokey-eye. Just make sure to match the liner on the tape and the liner on your skin so it is seamless.



Step 5.
Curl your lashes with an eyelash curler and apply Max Factor Lash Perfection Waterproof mascara to top and bottom lids. (I prefer to use the non-waterproof version on just my bottom lashes as it makes them longer and less sticky.)


And you are done! Natural-looking double lids. :)


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