Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How To Apply BB Cream

Hello everyone! I said I would start doing more "basics" videos this year and I wanted to kick-start that trend with one of the most highly requested videos, a "how to apply BB Cream" tutorial.

I was actually surprised to see that so many of you wanted to see this, but like with foundation, the texture of the product has a lot of impact on how best to apply it. My technique is actually a bit different than how I apply foundation so here's a step-by-step look at how I prefer applying BB Cream.


PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Skin 79 VIP Gold Triple Functions BB Cream (use code FRMHEADTOTOE for 5% off!)
NARS Concealer in Custard
Tarte Smooth Operator Powder
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed

ON ME:

Lipstick is Urban Decay Naked
J. Crew bateau tee (similar/similar)
Nailpolish is Urban Outfitters polish in Hangover (similar/similar)

So for those of you new to "bb cream", they are Asia's answer to an all-in-one tinted moisturizer.

They give a natural coverage while giving additional benefits like sun protection, anti-aging properties, evening skin discoloration, and help to heal blemishes and unbalanced skin. I do have an overview review and post of several different kinds which you can check out here.

I show you the entire process in the video, but I'll break down my process into a few easy steps:

1. Dot all over face




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Drugstore Haul & Bloopers!

I'm sure most of you have heard tons of hype about several new drugstore products that have launched recently. In addition to Revlon's Lip Butters and L'Oreal's Infallible eyeshadows, Maybelline has also come out with a new cream shadow product that had me literally going to 4 different stops around town to find!

Here's what I picked up during my hunt below:


PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow (999 Eternal Black, 889 Midnight Blue, 891 Continuous Cocoa, and 888 Iced Latte)
Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Eyeshadow (Tough as Taupe, Bad to the Bronze)
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine
L'Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in Black
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow in Sunbaked Neutrals
Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Brush
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
Revlon nail polish in Scandalous

ON ME:

Victoria's Secret Shirt (similar/similar/similar)
Ebay scarf (similar/similar)
Square ring is from Hautelook (invite here)
Nailpolish is Urban Outfitters polish in Hangover (similar/similar)

The black furry thing is my dog, Cherry. :) You can see more of her in my Bday vlog here.

So here are the new Infallible eyeshadows I picked up:
Clockwise from left 891 Continuous Cocoa, 889 Midnight Blue, 999 Eternal Black, and 888 Iced Latte


And here are swatches. You can see the silver glitters in Eternal Black. Midnight Blue and Iced Latte both have a pretty metallic sheen to them while Continuous Cocoa is more of a satin-matte finish. All are incredibly pigmented and long-lasting.

999 Eternal Black / 889 Midnight Blue / 891 Continuous Cocoa / 888 Iced Latte


Here's an alternative swatch image screencapped from my video footage. You can see how Iced Latte has a gold tint to it which is why I love it so much!


The next item I wanted to highlight are the Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadows which are a long-wearing cream shadow similar to MAC Paint Pots.

Tough as Taupe is a beautiful matte mushroom grey with slight purple undertones.


Bold to the Bronze is a medium bronze that is slightly cooler than it looks in the pan. I could see this looking nice on both warm and cooler skintones.

Here are my swatchs for the 2 colors I picked up. I only got the 2 most neutral shades because those are the ones I thought I would love the most, but they also do come in several more brighter colors including orange, turquoise, purple, and burgundy.


I have worn these for the last couple of days (ever since I bought them) and they have been stellar in terms of wear. They do dry pretty quickly so I actually prefer using my fingers for application versus a brush to get maximum smudging control. When I swatched my hand yesterday, these didn't come off until I used cleansing oil to remove them at the end of the day! This is something to note for those of you who tend to have issues with, say, NYX Jumbo eye pencils creasing. You'll probably need a waterproof makeup remover to get these off at the end of the night but they last throughout the day which is precisely why I LOVE them!

I want to test some of the other items in my haul out more before I give them a full review but I'll try to put them up here on the blog soon!

Hope you enjoyed my haul and let me know if you picked any of these items up as well, or if you have suggestions of other items I should try. :)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Everyday Monolid Makeup Tutorial

I feel like it's been quite a while since I last posted up a strictly monolid tutorial! I've had a lot of requests for looks that don't involve any type of false lashes. I know falsies can be intimidating and over-the-top for most people to wear on a daily basis, so I wanted to show you guys what I've been wearing lately on days when I want to look a little more dressier but still working with my creaseless eyes.


Watch the video below!




For those of you who are new to the term "monolid" it refers to the lack of an upper eyelid crease which is common among (but not exclusive to) Asians. As you can see here, there is no distinct crease on my eyelid. To enhance the flat surface, I layered my eyeshadow to create depth and interest, accentuating the almond shape of my eyes.


When I recorded this tutorial, I actually had uneven eyelids, the left eye being a true monolid and my right eye had a very small crease which in Korean we call "sok ssangapul" which literally translates to "inner/hidden eyelid crease" which you can see below.

The main point for this look is to create a soft winged cat eye to emphasize the shape of the eye when open, while avoiding the dreaded "black hole" on your eyes while your eyes are closed which so many monolidders default to. Ideally, the eyes should be attractive open or closed. :)


Layering the steps of waterproof eyeliner (gel liner, then waterproof pencil to smudge, then set with eyeshadow) will help the eyes to stay strong all day and not smudge around giving you panda eyes.


And you know me, I always have to take some sillies with each photoshoot. Kiss, kiss!

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial and let me know in the comments what you would like to see next.

I'm thinking I want to focus on doing more "basics" tutorials like how to apply gel/liquid/pencil eyeliner, how to apply foundation, how to apply bb cream, etc but I'd love your feedback on what is most important on your list!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How To Wash Makeup Brushes: 3 Ways

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "How do you clean your makeup brushes?" It seems like it would be a really simple task, but with all of the levels of cleaning and various methods you can do, it can easily become a daunting endeavor.

Here, I show you the methods I use most frequently broken down into 3 levels: spot cleaning, basic cleaning, and deep cleaning.


Products mentioned:
Wet Ones
Parian Spirit (Japonesque version here)
Sigma Dry & Shape (use code 0112XJML for 10% off through 1-31-11)

American Apparel turtleneck dress
Hollister ponchor (similar / similar)
Headband is from Forever 21 (similar / similar)
Nailpolish is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Tyin' The Knot with Sephora for OPI Traffic Stopper Copper on top



1. Spot Cleaning - Best for daily use or on-the-go situations


For spot cleaning I actually learned the Wet Ones trick from another makeup artist and I've found it to be a really great tool not just around the house but absolutely in my makeup kit as well. It can clean up little mistakes on the face as well as wipe down and disinfect makeup tools and brushes. When I need to apply makeup to many faces in a short period of time, I always do a quick disinfecting of my brushes between clients using these wipes as well as a spray of rubbing alcohol if needed.


2. Basic Cleaning - Quick and easy for a few brushes


Parian Spirit is a liquid cleansing system that I bought at IMATS last year. It's great for cleaning & disinfecting brushes in most situations as long as you don't have a million brushes to clean at once. Just pour the citrus-scented liquid into the small glass jar, swirl your brush on the plastic mesh, and wipe down on a paper towel! I like this method the most because brushes dry quickly and it removes even the toughest gel liners and residue of brushes. You can even use this to remove eyelash glue off of lashes!



3. Deep Cleaning - A thorough wash and reconditioning of brushes


For deep cleaning I use several methods. Since I have my bad habit of going through a million brushes before I finally deep clean them (as evidenced in the video) I showed you the method that I use most often since I don't want to waste my MAC brush cleanser. With a simple mixture of olive oil, dish soap, and water, you can get through a large batch of brushes while disinfecting and conditioning them at the same time.

I also wanted to mention my new best friend for brush bath sessions, the Sigma Dry & Shape! Oh man was I so happy that this thing actually works. You guys know how much I love my F84 brush for foundation but those buggers (and most synthetic brushes) take a lot longer to dry than their natural bristle counterparts. With the Dry & Shape it takes brushes that would still be damp in the morning to being totally dry in 4 hours. The only downfall is that with hardcore use, some of the elastic bands on mine have started to become unstitched so I'm going to need to buy a replacement soon.


I finally went through nearly all of my brushes and deep cleaned them on the day I recorded the video and let me tell you, it took hours. Ridiculous, but necessary for a fresh start! For the first step of my New Years resolution to pare down my brushes to my favorites, I'm putting most of these into storage to try my first grouping of just my favorite brushes. Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: Sigma Dry & Shape was kindly gifted by the company. All other items were purchased myself. This post and video are not sponsored in any way. :)


Monday, January 9, 2012

Korea Times Los Angeles Feature!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to share with my Korean readers this recent article from the Korea Times Los Angeles newspaper. I feel very honored that they would feature me and I feel like it's extra special since it's in Korean. My parents aren't the type to give me tons of accolades for my online achievements, but somehow if it's written in Korean they seem to become very proud of me, which means a lot. ^_^

You can click below for a larger image.
Hopefully it's clear enough to be read with no problems.

To my Korean and international readers, thank you so much for all of your love and support! I would never believe in a million years that a small midwest girl like me could reach so far around the world and receive such great love and kindness back. It's a truly incredible thing to know that we can touch each other's hearts simply through a computer screen. That, to me, is magic!

I love you guys and with my humblest and joy-filled heart, I want to say thank you!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December 2011 Hits & Misses

Hello early January! It's time for another monthly hits & misses! Last month I found myself consistently grabbing the same products over and over but I think that is partially because of the fact that a few new products I bought have easily integrated into my daily routine. It's always a good sign when a new item steps in so easily, and I have a few of those in this month's favorites. :)


Products mentioned:
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow 890 Bronzed Taupe (swatched here)
Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch
Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara
Milani Liquif'eye Pencil in Black
NARS Immaculate Complexion Concealer
Diorskin Poudre Shimmer in Amber Diamond


On me:
Nailpolish is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength 32 Tyin' The Knot (bought in this haul) with Sephora for OPI Traffic Stopper Copper on top
Lipstick is Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch
Sweater vest and coral blouse are from LOFT (recent, on sale in stores)
Sequined collar from H&M
Ring is YSL Arty in lapis

So one of things I really want to highlight this month is Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch. As you can see, in the tube it's an almost intimidatingly Barbie blue-pink.


Thankfully this is one tinted lip balm that truly does feel more like a balm than a lipstick and it swatches to a pretty, translucent pink that is still pigmented enough to make the lips super girly without drying them out.


Overall, I'm really loving this lip product! It sells for around $4 at drugstores and I've seen it for around $2 at Target so it's very affordable. I'm not a huge fan of the childish-looking packaging (I can do princessy childish but bright yellow puffy letters aren't really my thing) but I'll forgive it since it's a good all-in-one product that I can throw in my purse and easily apply on an everyday basis.


The other product I wanted to mention is the NARS "Immaculate Complexion" concealer in Custard. After being disappointed with quite a few concealers after the discontinuation of my favorite Lancome Photogenic potted concealer in Camee, this is the first one to be an adequate replacement. My biggest concealing concerns are my acne blemishes and post-acne hyperpigmentation spots and the dry formula works to cover these quite naturally. It doesn't give me breakouts or look cakey. I wouldn't recommend this for just undereyes but I find that even wearing just this over bare skin looks flattering on non-foundation days.

The only disappointment with this concealer for me is the value for the size. For $22, a 0.06oz product is super expensive! My Lancome favorite was $27 for 0.16oz which is over twice the amount of product. Knowing that the NARS one used to come in a larger lipstick bullet and downgraded the amount for the same price is only salt in the wound! For now, this is going to be my go-to concealer replacement but I'll keep my eyes out for a more affordable HG.


You may have also noticed that I was wearing an accessory that I've been lusting after for years, the YSL Arty ring. Hubby and I both had late arriving Christmas presents for each other and I am completely in love with this one! I received the lapis blue color which has gorgeous flecks of gold in it with medium-to-deep mottled royal blue. As a ring collector, I am totally obsessed and in awe of my new acquisition! The size 4 fits perfectly on my right middle finger.

Cherry is admiring the shimmers

That's it for this month's hits & misses. Hope you enjoyed it and please let me know in the comments some products I should try... Maybe someone out there has a perfect concealer for blemishes suggestion? A NARS dupe maybe? ;)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Resolutions 2012

Ahh, 2012 is finally here! Last night as the seconds hit to midnight, I was already busy tweeting away wishing everyone a Happy New Year. 2011 came to a delightful end as we spent time surrounded by friends with a taco and Dance Central party. Could I ask for anything better? ;)

Today is officially the first day of January, 2012 and it's time to slough off the old and begin anew with brand new goals, hopes, dreams, and ideas for self improvement for another year. In this video, I share what my personal goals for this year are.


My New Years Resolutions for 2012:

1. Redesign my blog, Youtube, twitter, etc.


I designed my current blog layout about 3 years ago and it's really in need of a good facelift! As much as I do love this layout, it reflects the person who I was three years ago and I think I've really changed a lot since then. I want to focus a lot of my energies into visually expressing the person I am now, as well as improving the usability and navigation of the site. I'm not a web designer so it will be a challenge for me, but it's a challenge I am looking forward to tackling. Any of you coding gurus out there are free to e-mail me if you might be able to help. ^_^

2. Get on a regular sleep schedule


I'm a night owl by nature and I've always had trouble falling asleep ever since I was a child, so going to bed "on time" has always been a challenge for me. I just feel more awake and productive at night! Unfortunately, this leads to tired, unproductive, and long work days where I just feel like I'm not operating at 100%. I really want to change that this year for my health and workday efficiency. 7-8 hours of sleep every night! Bright, productive days full of energy! Yes, please!

3. Gold star every song on Dance Central 2 on Hard


My current favorite method of exercising is playing the XBOX Kinect game, Dance Central 2. In the game, if you do very well you can 5 star the song. If you do extremely well, almost perfectly, you can gold star the song. I want to make it my goal to gold star every song in Dance Central 2 on the hardest difficulty. Hopefully this will keep me motivated to go through each song and stay fit at the same time! Although I don't diet, I try to live a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is an important part of that regardless of age, weight, and body type. :)

4. Use and wash only my "favorite" brushes regularly


I honestly detest deep cleaning my brushes. It's probably one of my least favorite things to do when it comes to makeup maintenance. I have a ton of brushes and this fact has enabled me to go through brush after brush before I finally use them all up and am forced to deep clean the whole lot which takes a very long time. Since it's annoying using second and third-tier brushes that I don't love as much, I've decided that I want to curate a selection of favorite brushes which I can stick to and deep clean once a week. Hopefully soon, I can share with you this group of favorites as well as showing how I both spot clean and deep clean my brushes!

5. Read more books!


I know this really isn't beauty, health, or blog-related but I want to get back into reading. I've always been a big nerdy bookworm and really enjoy delving into some nice fiction about free-thinkers breaking from a socialist society (o hai Hunger Games, Brave New World, Animal Farm, Anthem) or children rising beyond their youth and maturity levels to be the hero (Ender's Game, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia) or even guilty pleasure reads (Charlane Harris's "True Blood" vampire series, Twilight). My goal is to finish at least 1 book per month with the key word being finish, as the past year saw a few books half-read and abandoned. I've listed a few books above that are in my queue but let me know your suggestions of good page-turners!

Fingers crossed I will stick to all of my goals this year! Do you have any resolutions for 2012? Let me know in the comments!


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