Saturday, April 26, 2008

Makeup Brushes

I just wanted to share with you the makeup brushes that I regularly use. I've been getting lots of questions about them, especially the foundation brushes for mineral makeup.

This is the setup for brushes in my bathroom. I have the brushes categorized by type.

From left to right:

1st compartment

* Everyday Minerals Long Handled Kabuki
This brush is synthetic and dense enough for an everyday application of minerals. I like the shorter handle (maybe 3") for easier grip and buffing and the hairs are soft.
* Trish McEvoy #5 Luxurious Powder Brush
I love this brush. It's so soft and my mineral powder goes on great. Probably my favorite powder brush.

2nd compartment:
* Coastal Scents Italian Badger Round Crease Brush
Good for creases or making contours. Soft and good quality.
* A bunch of random freebie Lancome eye brushes
Not the best quality, but it's nice to have a few extra brushes for when you want to work with many colors.

3rd compartment:
* Coastal Scents Chisel Fluff Medium Shadow Brush
Great for dense color and the lower half of the lid. The Coastal Scents shadow brushes are really great for packing on eyeshadow. The hairs are really dense and make application really easy and beautiful.
* Coastal Scents Chisel Angle Fluff Shadow Brush
Works well for contouring and crease as well as blending.
* Trish McEvoy #23 Angle Contour Brush
The Trish McEvoy contour brush is soft, but large so mostly used for highlighting or blending.
* Coastal Scents Chisel Fluff Large Shadow Brush
Great for highlighting and all over color.

4th compartment:
* Avon Concealer Brush
This brush is a Taklon brush, which is the best fiber to use for concealer because the bristles don't absorb the product. To be honest, this brush isn't the softest and I only use it half the time. I just use my fingers, making sure to wash my hands well before application. I'll probably buy a better concealer brush soon. I do recommend applying concealer with a brush over applying with fingers.
* Sephora Professional Blush Brush
Very, very soft blush brush! I just really recommend using high-quality brushes for your face because there is such a huge difference on your skin. Love it.
* Sephora Professional Angled Eyeliner Brush
I think this is different than the current sephora eyeliner brush. My bristles are natural, not synthetic. Anyway, I love this brush and use it for eyeliners and also to fill in my eyebrows. Everyone should have an angled liner brush in their collection.

As for the beginners to makeup brushes, I would recommend:
* soft powder or kabuki brush
* soft blush brush
* concealer brush
* large eyeshadow brush
* medium eyeshadow brush
* eyeliner brush

Oh, also if anyone needs a good eyelash comb, go to Target and pick up the Sonia Kashuk retractable metal lash comb. It doesn't break easily like plastic lash combs and it folds in, so it's good for travel. Back before I used Max Factor Lash Perfection Waterproof I had clumpy mascara problems and this tool was amazing!
photo credit to renemy on makeupalley

Hope this helps anyone overwhelmed about some of the makeup brushes out there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mineral Makeup Basic Foundation Tutorial

I got a lot of requests for a basic tutorial for applying mineral makeup. It's actually very simple and I prefer it to other foundation, such as cream or liquid foundations, because I don't like the feel of heavy makeup. Mineral makeup is a good medium for having "airbrushed" looking skin without looking or feeling like you've caked the makeup on. I made a video to help you guys see exactly how I apply concealer, foundation, and blush.

I started off with a primer. I don't always use this, but I like to prime my skin when I know I'll be out all day or when I need my makeup to stay fresh. I used Monistat anti-chafing gel which I bought for under 7 bucks at Walmart. It has the same active ingredient as expensive primers. As soon as you apply it, you can see how it removes shine and makes your skin soft and smooth.

Next, I apply concealer. I use Lancome's Photogenic concealer in Camee. It's a cream concealer so I use a taklon concealer brush to apply it to acne spots, hyperpigmentation, and red areas around my nose. It's also great for covering pores on nose and cheeks, or undereye circles.

For the foundation, I tap a bit of foundation into the lid. Use a very small amount at first and build up. I used Everyday Minerals' Fairly Light Neutral in intensive.

Here are some foundation swatches. Golden Medium semi-matte is the color I use during the summertime. During the winter I use Fairly Light Neutral which is a little lighter and not as golden. Fairly Light is a bit pinker than Fairly Light Neutral, as the name indicates.

Here are a few Everyday Minerals blushes that I had on hand. Swatched are:

* Siesta, a nice pinky coral with a hint of pearl
(discontinued, but Summer Stroll is a dupe that is coming out soon)
* All Smiles, a peachy matte
* Apple, a pinky rose matte
* Girl's Day, a warm reddish burnt rose with gold shimmer

A finishing powder can also be used to set your foundation. I own Everyday Minerals' Sunscreen Fair, but it is too pearly and light for me so I usually skip it altogether. If anyone knows of a great finishing powder let me know!

Here's my final look with the rest of my makeup on. Hope the tutorial helped those of you new to makeup or thinking of switching to minerals. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Solotica Ordering Info

I've been getting a lot of questions about where and how to order Solotica lenses lately from Soompi, Youtube, and my blog, so I thought I'd make a post about it. First of all, these lenses are Brazilian which means you will ONLY find them online from sites like Viallure or These websites are in Portugese so it may be helpful to use some translator.

There are a few things to keep in mind. First, the price of the lenses on the websites is in BRL (Brazilian reales) so you will need to convert the money into USD (American dollars) or whatever money you are using to pay. So don't freak out and think each lens is $150 USD! The lenses usually run around $40-50 USD depending on what style you buy, and shipping is around $20 USD. Shipping cost of course varies between sites so make sure you double check on all costs.

You will need to know what style and color you want. For that, you can google Solotica to find pictures but here is a breakdown:

* azul: blue
* verde: green (only looks natural on light eyes)
* verde marine: aqua
* ocre: greyish brown
* mel: honey (usually looks green)
* grafite: grey (usually looks blue)
* ice -not pictured-: white (usually looks light blue or grey, was called "branca")

Hidrocor (Most opaque, no limbal ring)

Hidrocharme (Middle opacity, thicker limbal ring)

Natural Colors (Least opaque, thin and light grey limbal ring)

These lenses are semi-opaque, which means that they are not completely a solid color but have little dots that blend with your natural eye color. The model for the color chart has light brown, honey-colored eyes and as you can see, each color blends in with his real eye color. This is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to know, because the color of the lens will be different on different eyes. For instance, on my medium reddish-brown eyes, the NC ocres (orangey yellow lens) looked honey-grey while the Hidrocharme mels (yellow lens) look foresty green. Mels actually mean "honey" in portugese and look lime green or yellow on light eyes! My advice would be to do your homework on these lenses. Look at photos of the lens on someone with your similar eye color.

From what I know, natural colors can sometimes be too translucent for very dark eyes so they don't show up as well as charmes or cors. Charmes can give you an "innocent" look by enlarging your iris, while cors are the most natural. You just have to worry about "bleeding" with cors in certain colors (mel, ocre) because it may look like you have a yellow ring around your iris if your iris is small, which isn't the prettiest thing. Grafite (grey, but actually looks dark blue) and branca/ice (white, but looks light blue) don't give you a bleeding problem because their base color is white and blends in with your sclera. The limbal ring in natural colors and charmes masks the bleeding problem. Also, verde marine is more of a bright greenish aqua than in the color chart.

Viallure now has an English-version of their website. Just click on the little British flag at the top right of the page. On the order page, the price is for 1 lens, and you need 2 so double the cost for the price of the lenses. Your order will show up on the next page with 1 lens for the right eye, and 1 lens for the left eye. Finish ordering through the website or e-mail or IM Ana Paula (English-speaking rep for Viallure) at if you get confused and would like to order that way. Ana is very nice and Viallure has great service. Just as an additional note, they will ask you for an ID number, but just give them a random number that you write down for your records.

For, the process will be in Portugese, but I've heard that they pack the lenses safer than Viallure. I may be wrong on this, but I think both companies are now accepting paypal payment if you are worried about credit card information. Also, tutorials for ordering from either site can be found at the Lensaholics forum in this thread:
I hope that helps everyone out and I hope you guys enjoy these beautiful lenses as much as I do!

EDIT 5/9/09: Due to e-mails and comments from various companies promoting or "calling out" websites for being good to buy from or being scammers, I have disabled the comments for this post. If you do have questions, please comment on the most current blog post. I urge everyone to be very careful in purchasing Soloticas online. Use a lot of discretion and do your research. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Thanks guys.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lip Scrub

Now that the seasons are changing, I always notice that my lips take a hit in the dry and flaky department. In the winter, the dry air sucks up all of the moisture on the top layer of your skin and the summer heat tends to do the same. For a fresh start, it's nice to exfoliate your lips in a very simple way with things you probably already have around your house.

First, gather your ingredients:
* sugar
* petroleum jelly
* small spoon

Right off the bat, I just wanted to note that my spoon is a baby spoon, so it is a smaller amount than it looks in pictures. You don't need to use a lot of vaseline for this since it is just a 1-use application.

The first step is to scoop a small amount of vaseline. This is about half the size of my thumbnail.

Next, add an equal amout of white granulated sugar to the spoon and mix the two together into a grainy paste with clean fingers.

Here are my lips before. They are a bit flaky and dry. You can easily see the difference with the color on the inner part versus the outer part of the lip.

Take your the scrub and apply it to your top and bottom lips, gently rubbing it in a circular motion. You can use a tissue to wipe the scrub off when you are done.

Next, it is very important to moisturize right afterward to protect the newly exposed, smooth lips. I used Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with pomegranate oil. You can use any lip balm but try to stay away from chapsticks with cooling ingredients like menthol (aka carmex, softlips, etc) because they can dry your lips out in the long run, creating a dependency on the product. Another easy thing to use is the petroleum jelly (minus the sugar!) that you already brought out. The goal is to heal your dry lips, and regular use of a good lip balm or vaseline will help that out.

Here are my lips, post scrub. They are healthy, soft, moisturized, and one color! Nice lips can really soften up the face. Use this once or twice a month with good moisturization in between and you should be good to go for any harsh weather.

And remember, for this and other face and skincare tutorials, GUYS CAN DO THIS TOO. It's so easy to do and the ingredients are already around the house. There's nothing better than kissing a guy with soft lips. Girls, you know you'll grab your boyfriends and have them exfoliate their lips! And they won't mind because it tastes good too. ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life Update

Hey guys, sorry I've been gone for so long! I think I got the flu on top of that infection I had before and the last two weeks have been mostly spent in bed. No fun. For anyone still roughing it with sickness: drink a LOT of water and orange juice, take a lot of vitamin C, and SLEEP. God gave us amazing bodies that heal ourselves if we take care of it.

I have a couple of random things to update about. I got new Everyday Minerals samples, and I think I'll do some swatches for you guys. I've found my winter/spring color (fairly light neutral) though, which I'm really excited about! I also bought the Ardell lash and brow accelerator a couple weeks ago from Ulta and I've been using it at night (minus a few nights on and off while sick). So far I haven't seen huge changes in length, but my bottom lashes do seem to be much fuller when I put mascara on them and my fiance asked me if I was wearing false lashes today. I have relatively medium-short lashes, so I was shocked to hear it! I'll post how the results are after a month to see for sure if anything changed though.

Another product I recently tried was the Monistat anti-chafing gel as a foundation primer. I heard of using this from the nessasarymakeup blog and so far it's worked really well. It made my face really smooth and shine-free from the moment I put it on and lasted all day. I've been trying to gather lasting makeup tips for my June wedding and I definitely think this will be on the list.

Also, I wanted to let you guys know about a body wash that I've been LOVING recently. I'm usually never too impressed with body washes since I assume they are mostly all the same, but the new Dove Cream Oil body washes are really, really, really moisturizing.

The one I use is the cherry blossom and almond one. The scent is so light and not too flowery or soapy. But the best part is once you are out of the shower. I apply Olay Quench body lotion, and afterward I am noticeably softer which lasts until my next shower. I'm talking, "I have never been this soft in my life" kind of soft. So this is a HUGE recommendation. Super soft, and smelling like cherry blossoms. What could be better? A happy fiance who wants to touch me all the time because I'm so soft? Oh yeah, that's nice too. ;)

Anyway, just letting you guys know I'm still alive and the lip scrub is coming up next REALLY SOON! Thanks for all of the encouragement while I was sick! I did read them and it gave me hope when I was feeling ridiculously bad. Until next time, peace!

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