Top 5 Eye Primers

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One of the golden rules of makeup is to prime the lids for eyeshadow! I personally hold this rule so seriously that I forego eyeshadow if lacking a primer. Primers provide a matrix to which shadows can bind — and thereby prevent creasing.

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I’d like to name my top 5 selections for eye primer. Of note, I own and have tested each primer listed!

Here we go (in no particular order):

1) Urban Decay “Primer Potion”

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This product is golden.. This is by far the primer I’ve used the longest, and it has never failed me. In other words, it has never allowed my eyeshadow to crease! To add diversity, the primer comes in 4 shades — the “Original” (which goes on colorless), “Sin” (champagne), “Eden” (matte yellow cream), and “Eden” (golden sheen) — depending upon the look you have in mind! This product can be purchased at ULTA, Sephora, or urbandecay.com.

2) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk”

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This is a recent discovery, featured in an earlier blog post here. This milky white eyeshadow pencil multiplies the vibrancy and pigmentation of any eyeshadow applied over it — threefold. The best part is that this jewel is only 4 bucks! Unfortunately, this is the only drugstore/budget primer to earn a place on this list. You can grab this little gem at CVS, ULTA, or nyxcosmetics.com.

3) Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Painterly”

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The entire Mac Pro Longwear line is high quality, but perhaps my favorite items are these paint pots! The shade in “Painterly” is an excellent all-over lid primer. The formula has just the right balance of thickness and smoothness. A matte pinky-beige shade, this primer is flesh-toned and will likely suit all skin tones — but especially cooler-toned ladies. You can purchase this item (and the next) at your local Mac counter or at maccosmetics.com.

4) Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre”

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This is another wonderful shade from the Pro Longwear line! “Soft Ochre” is a yellow-based beige — and will be ideal for warmer skin tones as well as eyelids with visible capillaries. Again, the formula is a dream. Unlike “Painterly”, this shade is not flesh-toned and also serves to brighten the eye area in general.

5) Lorac “Behind the Scenes” Eye Primer

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I recently received a sample of this primer with my new Lorac “Pro 2″ Palette — and have been very impressed! It is most similar to the original Urban Decay primer potion in that it goes on the lid completely colorless but keeps shadows vibrant and intact all day long. This primer can be purchased at ULTA or loraccosmetics.com.

One final tip regarding eyeshadow primers! It is always best to apply this product with one’s fingers — not a brush. This application technique “warms up” the primer and helps it melt into the skin.

See you next time! 😘

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Review: Lorac Pro 2 Palette!

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Having truly loved Lorac’s original full-size “Pro” palette, as well as its mini-sized “Pro-to-Go” palette, I was super excited after hearing that the brand was releasing a sequel palette!

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This palette is marketed as cooler-toned than its predecessor, containing a navy, grays, purples, and silvers. It also continues the trend of matte shades on the palette’s top row and shimmering shades on the bottom row:

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And let’s jump straight to the swatches!

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I will briefly describe these shades individually:

TOP ROW
1) Buff — Matte cream. Perfect as a base color all over the eyelid up to the browbone!
2) Light Brown — Matte tan/caramel. Great crease/transition shade!
3) Cool gray — Matte gray with a hint of plum.
4) Nectar — Matte peach. Beautiful (and unique) as a crease shade, particularly on blue eyes!
5) Plum — Deep matte eggplant. Flattering to green/hazel eyes especially.
6) Navy — Matte navy; the cool tones here would suit brown/black eyes best!
7) Charcoal — Matte neutral-toned gray.
8) Black — Matte black. Along with “Navy” & “Plum”, this is a suitable liner shade.

BOTTOM ROW
1) Snow — Highly pigmented shimmering white. Stunning as a brow bone or inner corner shade, but must be applied with a light hand due to its heavy pigmentation.
2) Beige — Champagne. A more subtle highlighting shade.
3) Rose — A gorgeous shimmering rose-gold. Beautiful on all eye colors!
4) Mocha — Golden bronze. Fantastic lid color.
5) Chrome — Cool-toned silvery taupe.
6) Silver — Highly pigmented silvery sheen.
7) Jade — Olive green shimmer. (I love this shade since it is the exact color of my eyes!)
8) Cocoa — Deep brown with golden sparkles. Another great lid or outer V shade which packs a punch!

I have also composed several eye looks using this palette!

LOOK #1

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LOOK #2

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LOOK #3

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LOOK #4

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LOOK #5

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LOOK #6

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LOOK #7

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The palette, although advertised as cool-toned, has several warm-toned shades as well, including “Rose”, “Mocha”, “Cocoa”, “Jade”, & “Light Brown”. This broadens its appeal to a universal scope. The eyeshadow combinations are endless for this palette, especially since it contains two finishes (matte & shimmer). The pigmentation is strong, and the shadows hold up well throughout the day. As a plus, this palette comes with a free Lorac eye primer to use as a base for the shadows — and it is a fantastic primer.

If you already have the original Lorac “Pro” palette, you don’t necessarily need this one. However, this is a fabulous high-quality product — and well worth owning!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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Available at ULTA, Kohl’s, & loraccosmetics.com for $42

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Holy Grail Makeup Products — from the Drugstore!

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1) L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow
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These eyeshadows, which boast high pigment and a creamy texture to die for, are among my favorite shadows of all time and surpass many high-end shadows in quality, including Mac. They are ideal for easy, one-shadow looks, last all day, and do not crease. I reviewed these shadows earlier here. They retail for $8.

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2) Coty Airspun Powder

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This product, which hails from the 1950’s, perfected and smoothed the complexions of silver screen sirens throughout the 1950s. It truly makes one’s face resemble that of a porcelain doll. If it was good enough for Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, it’s good enough for me! See my earlier review here, as well as my photo wearing this cheap miracle powder:

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Coty Airspun Powder costs a mere $7.

3) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

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This concealer, which I prefer in the shade “Brightener”, is creamy, never creases, and covers those dark circles beautifully. The shade “Brightener” favors cool-toned ladies while the shade “Neutralizer” is best for warm complexions. I use this every single day! See comparison below:

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The cost is $8.

4) L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner

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Another item I use nearly every single day! I now prefer it over my Bobbi Brown gel liner, which held “Holy Grail” status in my collection for a long time. This liner is ultra-pigmented and goes onto the lash line like butter. It lasts all day and does not smudge. The brush with which it’s sold is not bad, either. See a demo below:

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It retails for $9.

5) Revlon Colorstay Whipped Makeup

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This foundation is gorgeous on so many skin tones! Its mousse-like texture is delightful and feels wonderful during application. It assumes a smooth, powder-like finish on the face. It does not turn oily throughout the day; neither does it dry the skin. See the (old) photo below (no foundation –> foundation applied –> full face of makeup)

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6) Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks

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These lipsticks are the best at the drugstore, by far! They pack stunning pigment. From neutrals to brights, this lipstick line has you covered — with a variety of finishes. They do not dry the lips and last all day long.. I repeat — they last all day long. These cost $7. See swatches below:

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7) L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara

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This mascara in the red and gold tube is comparable to the famous Lancome mascaras at less than half the price. They provide volume, separation, and length — without flaking. I previously reviewed this mascara, which costs $8, here. See the comparison below:

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8) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk”

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Now that NYX is carried at CVS, I can include the Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” on this honored list. After discovering this product, I have used it every day. When applied underneath eyeshadow, it intensifies the pigmentation of the shadow beyond belief. See the comparison below:

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It retails for $4. I posted a more extensive review here.

9) Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation

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This foundation, which contains sunscreen, provides superior coverage, and lasts all day, has it all — and is a must-have for working women. It does not become shiny in the T-zone and therefore requires no touch-ups throughout the day. It retails for $8. See the comparison below:

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You can read my earlier review here.

10) Revlon Highlighting Palette

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This is a relatively new addition to the drugstore and comes in 3 shades. I have been absolutely loving the “Rose Glow” shade, pictured below. In my opinion, it is the best highlighter in the drugstore and is an absolute dupe for the gorgeous Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks. When applied across the cheekbones, it provides an ethereal highlight to the face. It costs $11. Close-up of this product, as situated in my Z-palette:

I hope you enjoyed this post! Until next time πŸ˜‰

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“Rose Gold” Series — Part 1 (Eyeshadow)

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Rose gold, with its hint of pink, is uniquely feminine — but, with its golden tones, also supremely elegant.

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It has always been a favorite color of mine as far as makeup goes. It is also a useful color for makeup artists since, with its dual cool (pink/rose) and warm (gold) tones, it flatters a variety of skin tones.

I have compiled below a list of rose-gold eyeshadow recommendations!

1) L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in “Amber Rush”

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This eyeshadow is a classic rose-gold shade in a dreamy formula. It is a cream product which goes on the lids smoothly and packs a shimmering punch. Lasts all day, does not crease, and looks absolutely stunning. This eyeshadow formula is fantastic — and at a beautiful price point! I reviewed these shadows a while back. See my review here.

2) Bare Minerals High Shine Eye Color in “Rose Gold”

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Perfect for a one-shadow wash of rose-gold beauty on the lids. It bestows a very nice sheen which lasts and does not crease. I also reviewed this product earlier here.

3) Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in “Kitten Heel”

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What really sets this shadow apart is its interesting duochrome effect! In one light, it appears gold; in another, it appears pink. The formula and pigmentation are outstanding as well; Lancome eyeshadow is underrated, in my opinion.

4) Flower Color Play Creme Eyeshadow in “Mum’s the Word”

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This eyeshadow possesses a mousse-like texture and applies to the lid like a dream. The color is even more stunning — a heady mix of copper, gold, and pink. It’s definitely on the darker end of the rose-gold spectrum. The pigmentation is intense! You will, however, need a primer underneath since it tends to crease slightly (as do most creme shadows).

5) Mac “Expensive Pink”

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I recommend this eyeshadow with a caveat — you must use NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” in order to bring out this shadow’s full beauty! See the difference it makes to layer it over “Milk”? See below:

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6) Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in “Rose Gold”

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This eyeshadow’s texture is so soft. Perfect for a one-shadow eye look, it’s a classic rose-gold. If you are looking for the exact shade of rose-gold jewelry, this is it!

7) Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in “Cosmopolitan”

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The “Makeup Geek” company is relatively new. It was begun by a beauty blogger (like me!) who decided to launch her own cosmetics line. The products are affordable, and the quality is outstanding. Recently, I purchased several of her eyeshadows and was very impressed. (I plan to write a full post about her eyeshadows in the near future.). The shade, “Cosmopolitan” was one of my favorites. It is quite pigmented, even without a primer, and has an amazing texture. At $6, it is a fantastic bargain; I think this shadow is worth far more than that. If you are interested, the shadows can only be purchased at makeupgeek.com.

8) Urban Decay “Naked 3″

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If you can’t decide between the various eyeshadow singles listed above, you can always buy a rose-gold palette like the “Naked 3″! There are no words for how beautiful — and necessary! — this palette is. The texture is buttery beyond belief, and the pigmentation is insane. The entire palette has a rose-gold theme (even the taupes!), especially “Burnout”, “Trick”, and “Buzz.”

9) Lorac “Unzipped” Palette

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Ahhhh, how to choose between the stars in the sky? I cannot choose between “Unzipped” and “Naked 3″! Unzipped is also packed with stunning, pigmented, high-quality rose-gold shades. My favorites include “Unreal”, “Unattainable”, and “Unbelievable.”

This concludes the eyeshadow portion of my “Rose Gold Series.”

Please note that my purpose is not to persuade you to buy all these eyeshadows since many are very similar. I’m merely presenting great options from which, after swatching in the store and examining your own budget, you can select your favorite rose gold shade! πŸ˜‰

Please tune in next time for Part 2 of my “Rose Gold” Series (blush)!

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A Modern Geisha Makeup Look!

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One of my favorite novels, Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden, inspired my profound fascination with the mysterious and elegant Japanese geisha culture.

Their makeup, while exotic, is intensely beautiful and serves as their unique trademark.

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Using my lovely friend Loni as a model, I have attempted to recreate a “modern geisha” look:

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Using flash photography:

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FACE PRODUCTS USED
Foundation — Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation in “Light 42″
Bronzer/Contour — Inglot HD Sculpting Powder in “Shade 54″
Blush — The Balm InStain Blush in “Toile”
Highlighter — Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in “Rose Gold”
Concealer — Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in “Neutralizer”
Lipstick — Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess lipstick in “Aphrodite”
Brow Powder — Lorac “Black” shadow in the “Pro to Go” palette

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EYE PRODUCTS
Inner Lid — Mac pigment in “Vanilla”
Outer Lid — Makeup Geek eyeshadow in “Razzle Dazzle”
Crease — Lorac “Cafe” shadow in the “Pro to Go” palette
Liner — Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper”
Mascara — Too Faced “Better than Sex”

Selfie with the model:

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Hope you enjoyed this look!

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Inglot Haul!

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During my recent business/pleasure trip to the New Jersey area, I happened upon an the NYC Inglot store in Times Square.

A Pandora box has officially been flung open! WOW.

I had heard about Inglot before, but, living in Alabama, never had access to one of their stores and therefore felt reluctant to purchase anything without swatching it first.

You can imagine my delight and surprise upon spotting the store on my trip!

Needless to say, a massive haul ensued.

Let’s begin with:

EYESHADOW
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Inglot’s eyeshadow is offered as part of the “freedom system,” which basically means that you select your desired shades, either online or in-store, and the company provides you with a sleek palette to house them.

I selected five shades, which, like all of Inglot’s eyeshadows, are named by number.

I have swatches below:

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As you can see, the pigmentation is out of this world! The colors are varied and rich, from matte neutrals to shimmering vivids, Inglot has any color you could desire. Their quality and texture are reminiscent of Urban Decay and Lorac, at half the price. Each eyeshadow costs $7, but the palettes themselves do drive up the price. The 1-shadow pan palette costs $7, the 2-shadow palette costs $8, and the 5-shadow palette costs $11 — not including the shadow(s). You can see how the price can rise, depending upon how many shadows you wish to place in a palette.

The packaging of the palettes is sleek and unique as well! The cover is magnetic, so you can remove it at will– see below:

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Overall, I would give the eyeshadows a 4.5/5, deducting a half-point for the price of the palettes! 😊

HD SCULPTING POWDER

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I also had an opportunity to purchase one of their new HD Sculpting Powders on the day of release (how exciting!). I purchased a cool-toned taupe with pink undertones, which works beautifully to create a natural shadow beneath the cheekbones for contouring. It is, however, packaged in its own “powder” palette with rectangular pans, which are magnetic and pull the shadows into place:

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It’s fantastic for contouring and, while cool- toned, would likely work for warm-toned ladies as well. The primary disadvantage is that you have to purchase the 4-pan blush palette, as you see above, as well, which costs $16 — not including the powder! The powder itself costs $15. In combination with the palette, the grand total is $31 — likely more, since the 3 empty pans are tempting me to purchase more sculpting powders in order to complete the palette. I do feel like less expensive contouring products exist, including NYX blush in “Taupe.”

Final rating for this one is 4/5.

FINISHING POWDER

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Inglot’s loose powder also wowed me, which I subsequently had to purchase. It is silky to the touch, with magnificent coverage — which, for $22, it absolutely should! This is a fine powder choice for oily, “problem” skin. The only downside is that, like all loose powders, it can be messy. My shade is #12 — the next-to-lightest.

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I would give this powder a score of 4.5/5.

LIPSTICK

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I was a bit overwhelmed by the rows of vibrant lipstick in a variety of shades which lined the Inglot shelves.

I finally decided upon a gorgeous dark rose-gold lipstick (156), which appears orange in the photograph for some reason! The finish is frost-like and lasts a good 7 hours without needing re-application; while not moisturizing, it is not drying, either.

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Incredible lipstick for $13, which is less expensive than a Mac lipstick.

I would give Inglot lipstick a 5/5 rating. 😘

LIP GLOSS
I also grabbed a tube of the brand’s “Sleeks” lip gloss in shade number 46. It is a beautiful dark rose-gold as well (See a pattern yet?). I absolutely fell in love after swatching it in the store! It resembles Nars’ iconic “O” blush in lipgloss form — very glossy!

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It’s somewhat moisturizing and definitely not drying! Like most lip glosses, it won’t outlive a meal, but wear time is average as far as glosses go. The color is gorgeous and quite work-friendly.

I’d give it 4/5.

An analysis of my sample look, utilizing the Inglot products, is below.

EYE LOOK

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Lid — Shade #399
Crease — Shade #609
Deep Crease — Shade #423
Inner Corner — Shade #153
Lower Lash Line — Shade #37
Mascara — Too Faced “Better than Sex”
Eyeliner — Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil in “Jet”

FACE MAKEUP

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Foundation — EstΓ©e Lauder Double Wear in “Ivory Nude”
Powder — Inglot Loose Powder in #12
Contouring Powder — Inglot HD Sculpting Powder in Shade #504
Blush — Milani Baked Blush in “Dolce Pink”
Concealer — Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in “Neutralizer”
Lipstick — Inglot lipstick in Shade #156

Let’s just say that I can’t wait to purchase much more from Inglot Cosmetics in the future — even if I have to buy online!

It’s now officially my favorite makeup brand — and that’s saying something! πŸ˜‰

You can order this brand online at www.inglotusa.com

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Kim Kardashian Makeup Look!

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Many of us, while not approving of Kim Kardashian’s personal behavior, are grudgingly admiring of the woman’s flawless and dramatic makeup, as showcased in the picture below:
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The cornerstones of her striking makeup include highlighting and contouring (which I discussed in the following blog post from several months back: Contouring 101), a glossy nude pout, and dramatic smokey eyes.

Since my skin tone is so different from Kim’s olive complexion, I invited my dear friend Christina, who is of beautiful Mediterranean coloring, to pose as my makeup model for a Kim Kardashian inspired look!
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Closer views of this look:
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Another view (notice the strong contouring required, as well as its slimming effect):

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Products used from Christina’s own kit are listed below:

FACE
Contour Cream Shade — NYX HD Concealer in “Tan” (applied along the sides of the nose and the hollows of the cheeks)
Highlight Cream Shade — NYX HD Concealer in “Fair” (applied beneath the eyes and along the bridge of the nose)
Foundation — Bare Minerals Original Foundation in “Medium”
Blush/Highlight — Bare Minerals All Over Face Color in “Rose Radiance”

Eye Makeup Close-up:

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EYES
Lid — Bare Minerals High Shine Eye Color in “Rose Gold”
Outer V — Covergirl Smoky Shadowblast in “Mauve Smoulder”
Inner Corner — Bare Minerals Eyecolor in “Peach Surprise”
Liner — ULTA Automatic Eyeliner in “Black/Brown”
Mascara — Lorac Pro in “Black Noir”

LIPS
Lipgloss — Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in “Sophia”

Hope you enjoyed the look! πŸ˜‰ A special thanks to my bestie for modeling!

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Best Red Lipstick — for Your Skintone!

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Nothing exudes glamour like a ruby pout. Period.
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Yet many women are afraid of this look, with legitimate fears that, if chosen or applied incorrectly, it may lead to a garish and tasteless look — like the joker!

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No one wants this, obviously!

The first step in choosing the right red lipstick is deciding upon your skin’s undertone! Two questions will help you decide this issue:

1) Do you look better in gold or silver jewelry — or both? If you look better in gold, your skintone has a warm undertone. If better in silver, your skin is cool-toned. If you cannot decide — or you look good with both — your skin tone is neutral.

2) Do your veins appear blue or green beneath your skin?. If blue, you are definitely a cool-toned individual. If green, your skin is warm-toned. If you cannot decide, count yourself among the neutral toned group!

Here are some celebrity examples — and some recommendations for flattering lipsticks for your skin tone:

***Cool Skintone

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Taylor Swift immediately comes to mind. She is wearing a cool-toned red lipstick which leans slightly pink in this photo, and such a lipstick usually makes the teeth appear whiter.

Some recommendations for cool-toned ladies include the following lipsticks:

Mac “Red”—>

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NYX Round Label lipstick in Chic Red”—>

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Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess lipstick in “Xenia”—>

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Lorac Alter Ego lipstick in “Pin Up”—>

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***Warm Skintone

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These are actresses Penelope Cruz (L) and Kat Graham (right) sporting beautiful warm red lipsticks! Notice the slight orange-y cast, which really pops against their dark/olive skin tones.

Some recommendations for warm-toned ladies include the following lipsticks:

Nars “Heat Wave”—>

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Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in “Fire and Ice”—>

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Mac “Lady Danger”—>

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Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick #42 “Vermillion Red”—>

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***Neutral Skintone

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The luckiest ladies of the bunch — those who can get away with wearing any lipstick color!

Here are some lipsticks which, while suitable for neutral-toned ladies, are universally flattering:

Mac “Russian Red”—>

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Covergirl Lip Perfection lipstick in “Hot”—>

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Napoleon Perdis Devine Goddess lipstick in “Aphrodite”—>

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Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in “Love that Red”—>

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Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick #43 “Moulin Rouge”—>

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Nars “Jungle Red”—>

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Have fun shopping for your perfect red lipstick!

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5 Urban Decay “Naked 3″ Looks!

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I saved the best for last, my favorite of the 3 Urban Decay “Naked” palettes — “Naked 3″!

LOOK #1

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“Strange” — Base
“Burnout” — Lid
“Limit” — Crease
“Nooner” — Outer V
“Dust” — Inner Corner

LOOK #2

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“Strange” — Base
“Factory” — Lid
“Buzz” — Crease
“Dust” — Inner Corner

LOOK #3

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“Strange” — Base
“Trick” — Lid
“Nooner” — Crease
“Blackout” — Outer V
“Dust” — Inner Corner

LOOK #4

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“Strange” — Base
“Dust” — Brow bone
“Liar” — Lid
“Trick” — Crease & Inner Corner
“Darkside” — Outer V
“Blackheart” — Liner

LOOK #5

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“Strange” — Base
“Mugshot” — Lid
“Limit” — Crease
“Dust” — Brow bone
“Burnout” — Inner Corner

Hope you enjoyed the looks! :-)

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