Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rania "Dr. Feel Good" MV Inspired Look

Hello everyone! I hope those in the states had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. I took an extra day off work so I'm home today and what better thing to do than work on my blogs and videos, right? Right? That's what everyone does on their days off? ;)

Well, I am happy to say that I finished editing my Rania-inspired tutorial because I am really excited about the way it turned out. I know you guys pick up on all the subtleties in the videos, so give yourself a pat on the back if you noticed the improved quality. ^_^ I guess every new equipment has its learning curve, right?

Anyway, here is the tutorial:

Products mentioned: 
MAC Blot Powder in Medium Dark
Ben Nye Grande Lumiere Palette (Aztec Gold & Iced Gold) 
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
FAIRYDROPS mascara (discontinued but new version here)
Josie Maran Natural Wonders Palette (bronzer) <-- on sale for $15 right now!T
NYX lipstick in Peach Love

And here is the music video that inspired this look:

Some eye candy screencaps from the video:

So if you watched this video you may notice how sexy it is, which is no big deal for American pop stars, but for a Korean-based pop group? Really controversial! They have had a lot of backlash, especially for a rookie group, and I honestly think it's silly because "suggestive" dance moves aren't really a new thing. The girls in this group are all really talented, not to mention multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. One member is actually Chinese, and there is also a Thai member as well as a Korean-Japanese who was born and raised in Japan.

I hope that they don't keep having so much negativity attached to their name because I really like their debut song and appreciate their darker image amongst the many female kpop groups out there. Just my two cents. ^_~

Here are photos of my rendition of the look:

Bracelet is my Ann Taylor necklace I mentioned here.

Here you can see the shape of the eyeshadow shading.

Anyone recognize these star earrings BoA wore a few years back? I thought it suited the look. ^_^

And I wanted to show a couple photos in natural light. This lip color is nice and peach-nudey.

And just because I have too much fun taking extra silly pics and making gifs out of them, here's one more. Seriously, you can only do so many "sexy face" pics before the puffy cheeks inevitably make an appearance. I'm pretty sure it's a basic scientific fact.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial as well as the new look and feel of the images! I'm thinking of doing a big blog facelift soonish. We'll see. :)

P.S. - Check out this screenshot I grabbed when @radketastic tweeted me "  look at the two top rated comments~"

Lolllllllllllllll guess I sent lots of people to the video.


Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links included in this post. Joycos lipstick, Lioele brow pencil, and lashes provided by Pretty & Cute. Josie Maran palette provided by the company. FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen Mascara provided by the company. Everything else I purchased myself. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

OOTD: Spring Leopard & White Jeans

Spring is absolutely my favorite season because everything starts to grow and become bright and new again. Although we've gone back and forth between chilly weather and hot hot heat, a desire to look more fresh definitely shows itself in my wardrobe choices.

I took a few of my favorite things and put them together for this Spring-fresh OOTD!

Makeup Tutorial for this look here.

Hair tutorial for this look here.

Items Mentioned:
Ann Taylor Leopard Silk Tunic (similar here / here)
Abercrombie kids' white skinny jeans (similar here / here)
Ann Taylor Exotic Perfect Skinny Belt (similar here / here)
Ann Taylor necklace (similar here / here)
Cole Haan Carma Air slingbacks (low end here & here / high end here)

I am one of those people who don't believe in the "no white until Memorial Day" rule, obviously. I even wore my white jeans with some crisp navy blue cardigans during the winter when I felt that the slush and grey was getting unbearable. As soon as green leaves and blue skies show up, I grab my white pants and boogie! The best part is that they make every top look just a bit more sophisticated and fresh.

I complimented my Juicy Orange makeup look with this citrine yellow belt that I showed in my April Hits & Misses, which also happens to match my coral-orange toenails. I'm LOVING warm accent colors this spring!

Can you see how beautifully this necklace hangs? It was a winter piece but I'll be wearing this sparkly piece all year round. The trick is to pair it with something really detailed like leopard print so it doesn't scream out, or do the opposite and pair it with something really simple to make a statement.

In addition to these skinnies, I recently also bought some white Frankie B flares on Hautelook which I am super excited to bust out as well. :D I can't wait to get them hemmed (of course) and paired with some wedges and a sheer top.

Hope you enjoyed the look and tell me in the comments what your opinion is on white jeans. Hecks yes or hecks no?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I bought everything in this post and video myself and they were not sponsored in any way. I love Ann Taylor. That's not a disclaimer but I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Basics: Perfect Brows Tutorial

Happy Sunday everybody! As we all prepare our homes for annual Spring cleaning, the requests for cleaning up brows has been high on my list as well! I think it's only appropriate as the appeal for a fresh-faced look is more and more alluring as the weather warms up.

So how do you get those perfect brows? Here's my tutorial:

Products mentioned:
Sephora angled eyeliner brush
Lioele Automatic Eyebrow pencil
The Body Shop brow brush/comb
Slanted tweezers (I don't use a specific brand but Tweezerman is excellent)
Cuticle scissors
Anastasia Brows in Bloom palette in Brunette
(discontinued packaging but this is the same thing, or just powder duo here)

As I mentioned near the beginning of the video, the perfect brows depends on the shape of your own face. The key is to look at proportions as show in this example (image credit Anastasia):

What is the Golden Ratio? If you want the full-on mathematical explanation you can see the Wikipedia here, but basically it has been used in both art and nature as an aesthetically pleasing proportion.

And here is some sweet gif action of the golden ratio for brows on my face:

1. The beginning of the brows goes from a straight line from the side of your nose
2. The arch should be from the tip of your nose through your pupil
3. The end is a line from your outer nose through the outer eye corner

Generally, following these key points will help to guide a basic shape into your brows, especially if you have vaguely shaped brows as I do.

If you are just starting out on your brow journey, an easy first step is to simply clean up the stray hairs under your natural brow shape only. I especially recommend this if you are in high school or younger because over-plucking can be the worst at this stage in life, in my opinion! I am a strong believer that one's natural brow shape is usually almost always the most flattering and just plucking beneath the brows can brighten the face but also help to retain this youthful look. This brings me to my next list.

Here are some really, really important tips for brows:

1. Don't Overpluck! Nobody likes sperm-brows, nobody! (Okay, probably untrue but nobody should.)
2. Pluck both brows, back and forth, at the same time and check the whole face as you go.
3. Don't fill in brows too dark because it will look harsh on your face. Dark-haired ladies can go 1 to 2 shades lighter than their hair color and blondes should go 1 to 2 shades darker.

I hope this video tutorial was helpful and, as I said in my video, this is not necessarily how everyone everywhere should do their brows but this is a system that I believe in and has worked for creating clean, natural-looking brows that are flattering and compliment the eyes.

Let me know if it worked for you, or if you have any extra brow tips to share in the comments!

Also, for time travel super fun check out my older blog post on how to shape brows.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Juicy Orange Spring Makeup Tutorial

Happy Springtime to everybody above the equator! I'm very excited to share another daytime makeup tutorial with you. I think one of the best things about fashion and makeup is that it is so easy to spot trends before they come around. I remember doing some fashion research for my design job last fall and I distinctly noticed several ads with bright orange lipstick which I was totally stoked about. Now that it's actually Spring, I can bust out that bright orange lips as often as I please!

Products mentioned:
Skin79 Hot Pink BB Cream
MAC select cover-up concealer in NC30
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Cargo Blu-Ray HD Powder in 20
Josie Maran My Favorite Powders Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Whiskey
Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen
Shu Uemura Lash curler
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara
Criss-cross lashes
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Yeyo
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Blush in Blushing Glow
Lioele Crystal Muse Lipstick in Juicy Orange
Lioele Blooming Gloss in Orange Sherbet

Here are some of the inspiration images for this look. First, Prada eyewear:

And then J. Crew came out with their Spring 2011 catalog with tangerine lips galore!

When I first saw these images I was concerned about how wearable orange lipstick would be, especially since I'm not fairy-pale as some of these models were. I don't actually wear bright lipstick all that often so I was uncertain about the wearability of such a bright shade.

Fortunately, I was happily surprised at not only how wearable the color was, but also that I didn't feel as if I were wearing a screaming mouth when I actually did wear it to work.

Not only that but this particular orange, Lioele Crystal Muse lipstick in Juicy Orange, is a poppy yet flattering shade on me and was a workhorse lipstick. It literally lasted through lunch and into the afternoon. I'm telling you, it was shocking! One of the longest lasting lipsticks I own for sure. Not as lasting with gloss on top but on its own it performed way past my expectations.

Onward, for mega face pics action:

Mwah! These pics make the lipstick look really coral but it's more orange depending on the light.

Here's a shot taken with my snapshot cam so you can see how different the color looks in cooler light. 

And just because it was such a nice sunshiny day, I took a few backlit photos as well. I love the sun rays peeking through! ^__^

Seriously cool how the right lighting can produce quality lens flare action au naturale. I literally only cropped and added my watermark! Straight up camera unicorn magic.

Don't the orange lips go great with the leopard top? I'll talk more about my outfit soon because I recorded an OOTD video the same day. Orange isn't a super common trend color every year but I must say, I am loving it this season from clothes to cosmetics. Whoo!

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Will you be or have you been taking part of the orange lips train this Spring?

Disclaimer: Lioele lipstick and gloss provided by Pretty & Cute. Josie Maran palette provided by the company. Everything else I bought with my own money. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heart 2 Heart: Body Image

Ahh, May 14th, I remember you so fondly for all of the laughter and tears from last year's post and video. The post I am talking about was my first Heart 2 Heart where I recorded myself with my bare face, telling you guys about how I struggled with acne for half my life.

In lieu of the anniversary of this very open, very beautifully vulnerable holiday I wanted to record another Heart 2 Heart speaking about a topic that has been pressing upon my heart lately: Body Image.

Last year's video here:

I didn't intend for all of my Heart 2 Heart episodes to be without makeup, but somehow I think it keeps me and the audience more honest. In a way, it does take some bravery to put yourself up there in front of thousands of people just waiting to get hit by a bunch of twisted comments reiterating all the things you are self-conscious about, but I think it's also cathartic too.

I'm not the type of person who seeks out tons of admiration and it really turns my insides when I see comments from girls who seem to put bloggers and youtubers up on some kind of pedestal, as if they are idols, and stating how sad they are about their own lives, bodies, faces, or situations. Obviously it is very difficult to show people in 5 or 10 minutes who you truly are as a person. We do put up our best faces for our videos and pictures so it's easy to be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, we are all human with our imperfections.

In terms of body image, I've mentioned this a bit here and there but my body size has made it very difficult for me to find clothes and shoes that fit... on top of all of the mean comments I've been called for it throughout my entire life. If I had a dime for every lewd comment a guy made about my height, or a snarky person saying I need to eat a burger, or cruel girls who tell me I look anorexic, I would be a very rich lady.

Somehow in our society it is completely unacceptable to tell an overweight person that they should "lose weight, fatty" but to say "you look so bony, eat a sandwich" it's totally okay. Why is that? It's a popular message to say that women are beautiful at any size except when they are skinny. I'm sure you've heard women themselves complaining saying, "Who wants a woman with no curves?" and "Women with no curves look like 12 year old boys." I'm not saying one or the other is right, I'm just saying for goodness sakes, can we just accept who we are, whatever our size?

It's so easy to put others down because of our own insecurities but the answer is not in pointing fingers and degrading others, especially for things they can't change. Instead we need to stop and take a good look in the mirror and accept who we are today, just as we are. Only then can we use the fun stuff like makeup, hairstyling, and fashion to honestly express who we are and not just what we want others to think we are.

Yes, I know I am skinny. I used to feel insecure about my spine looking like a stegosaurus. I hated wearing tank tops because my shoulders were bony. I hated how my wrists and knees looked because of how pronounced they are. But the thing is, is I don't actually weigh any differently than when I felt that way in middle school. The only thing that changed is my perception about my body and that if I am healthy IT'S OKAY!

Alright, onward marching with my bare-faced pics. No tweaking, editing, photoshopping, etc except to add my watermark.

Obviously, I still struggle with a lot of acne and skin issues and my skin is actually worse at the moment than when I did last year's post! It's funny because I actually feel more confident posting this time around because I realized that sharing real insecurities and truth helps others in a powerful way. I hope me putting myself out there encourages you to feel better about what struggles you may have going on in your lives as well.

Here's to accepting the things we cannot change, improving the things we can, and always, always having hope for the future no matter where things may be now.

Thank you so incredibly much to those out there who have encouraged me to love myself and to have the courage to share my struggles with everyone. I can't say that I'd have been able to do this 10 years ago but I am a much stronger, more confident woman now for having been through what I have endured in the past. If you feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel, trust me, there's a reason you are going through what you are and you wouldn't be able to relate to others if you didn't go through it, so see every difficulty as a blessing.

Please do let me know if you decide to also take part in "bloggers with no makeup" week. If you'd like me to link your blog entry or video, I will add them the to end of this post. :)

Check out these beautiful, strong girls and their Bloggers With No Makeup/Body Image posts:

Photo Sensitivity - Response to Frmheadtotoe's Heart 2 Heart: Body Image
Blissfully Ke - Coffee Chat: Real Beauty
froovyjosie. - Bloggers With No Makeup Day

If I missed your link, please let me know and I will add you. Spread the love!

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Hair Color: Ombre Dye

You ridiculously perceptive girls have called me out for dying my hair since the first photo and video was uploaded! I know I've been promising to do a post and video talking about my new(ish) ombre dye job so here it is. :)

So if you haven't already figured it out, ombre hair is supposed to have a gradient effect going from dark on top to light at the tips. Here is the best example of what I wanted mine to look like:

Juuuuuust kidding! Although, I do think that goat's hairdresser deserves a pat on the back.
For real now, here are a couple of celebrity examples of ombre hair:

Rachel Bilson always looks cute and classy

Lily Aldrige has a beachy, blonde ombre

This is more the look I was personally going for. 
Camilla Alves looks stunning with a warm brown ombre.

It's funny because when I decided to get mine done I really hadn't seen it much on black-haired ladies but my sister-in-law was the one who showed me this pic of Camilla as reference and it was exactly what I had in mind!

So here are photos of my actual hair:

before (air dried)

after (air dried)

totes profesh

  after (curled)

In terms of color, I really love the natural beigey-undertoned medium brown shade it turned to and I am still considering lightening the ends a touch more to enhance the "gradient" effect. I'm uncertain about if that will damage my ends though. Anyone have advice?

These past couple months I've just been living with it and seeing how I like it, and so far, I really love how the brown color has brightened up my whole look.

The product that was used is Kaleidocolors Powder Lightener. She told me it was in the beige tone to prevent the resulting shade from pulling orange. (Maybe it's the "neutral" or "violet" type? I'm not 100% sure.)

As I've said before, I'm not a huge hair-coloring person. I tend to stick with my natural color with occasional brown highlights here and there. Since I'm very low-maintenance with my haircare, I didn't want to have a dye job that would be difficult to keep up with. I do love how all-over color looks but I just don't think I could keep doing it so ombre was a good option for me.

People seemed to be very polarized on Youtube comments about liking or not liking the look but I definitely do love it and I (and all of my friends) swear it does look quite natural in person. Obviously, cameras skew the color, even here!

At the end of the day, we should do what makes us happy despite what is trendy or what others think so I am content with my new hair for the time being. ^_^

So are any of you feeling the seasonal hair-change itch like I did? Share about your change or change-to-be
in the comments!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

frmheadtotoe featured on Sephora

As some of you may have noticed, my Sephora haul video was featured in Sephora's Beauty Insider e-mail that went out today! I'm absolutely thrilled and honored that they would choose it to be sent out to everyone on their e-mail list and I'm also so incredibly humbled by all the e-mails and messages from those of you who spotted me as well. ^___^

Here is the version that went to my inbox, but I know there have been other variations as well that went to different locations. I was so anxious about it because e-mails and messages trickled in hours and hours before I got it myself! Eeee!

Here is what the haul video looks like on Sephora's Youtube channel. It's up in "Sephora's Picks" as well as "Fan Hauls" and my Pouf & Bun casual updo is in the "Fan Looks" category.

If you'd like to see the original blog entry from this particular Sephora haul when I first got my beloved Naked Palette, you can find it here.

Thank you so much to Sephora for believing in my video enough to feature it, and thank you to all of those who have expressed their shared excitement as well. I have read every e-mail, message, tweet, and comment and believe me, I take to heart the feeling of support from my dear community behind me. I very much feel that this is a big step forward for all of us bloggers and youtubers to get our voices heard by bigger companies and respected on a larger scale.

I know in a way it's just one little e-mail that most people will trash but to me it means much, much more.

I feel incredibly blessed and I do not take your love and support for granted.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

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