Thursday, July 19, 2012

Your Makeup Bag

Makeup essentials

And Summer Tips

 There are tons of beauty products on the market so walking into MAC, Sephora of even your local drug store may be a bit overwhelming for those of you who do not know which products are good and which essential products you may need in your beauty bag. In this posting I am going to list some essentials as well as recommend some great tips for the summer. Enjoy! 

1.  Eye primer:
For those of you have not yet used an eye primer before applying your eye shadow you are missing out!

 Summer Tip: Eye primer is a great way to smooth out your upper lid and keep your eye shadow from creasing. It also makes your shadow last all day without getting messy and coming off which is especially useful in hot humid conditions.

Eye primer also helps make the true color of your eye shadow visible and vibrant. I would recommend Urban Decay`s Primer potion, I have been using this for years and I cannot do my makeup without it!

2. Eye shadows and Palates:
Eyes shadow selection really depends on your personal preference, you are drawn to the colors you like and the colors that will complete whatever look you are trying to achieve. One great palate is the Costal Scents 88 shimmer palate or the 88 matte palate. In these palates you get 88 colors in a wide range which can help complete any look. This is a great palate to start off with because you can experiment with blending and matching colors together for different looks. You can order this palate from:

 Another two palates to consider are the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palates. When it comes to these you only need one of the two depending on the shades you prefer. These palates have nice neutral warm shades along with great brow highlighting colors and great crease shades to help you create wonderful light summer looks.

If you are going for a more daring look the Faces single sparkle dust eye shadows or the sparkle dust towers come in a beautiful array of shimmery ultra pigmented colors that will give you a bold look which is perfect for the evening. 
Quick tip: Apply your eye shadow first before applying your foundation, sometimes eye shadow residue falls onto your face which you will then have to wipe off along with any foundation you have already applied.

Always be sure to check out your local drugstore where you can find great eye shadows on sale from popular brands such as Maybelline, Covergirl and Revlon. Sephora also has an abundance of shades and brands that you can swatch and sample against your skin tone. MAC gives you the option of creating your own custom palate as well as single shadows, highly pigmented lose shadow and much more. 

Quick tip: using a shimmery shadow right around your inner tear ducts and swept under your inner bottom lash line can brighten up your eyes and really make them stand out.

3. Brow pencil or filler:
For those of you who have sparse or thinner eyebrows, or even those of you who have slight spaces and gaps in your eyebrows a brow pencil or filler is a great way to make your eyebrows look full and even. Try to get a color that closely matches your brow color.

Brushes and applicators: 

For eye shadow application you can begin with the basic brushes and expand your collection from there.

*Eye shadow brushes are a great way to start; you can get them in varying sizes but begin with a wider set brush for all over lid application. You can also use this brush to apply a highlight color under your brow.

*An angled eye shadow brush is also great to have for creating that nice V shape in the outer corner and crease of your eyes.

*A fluffy blending brush is great to have for blending in your crease color and blending out the areas between your lid, crease and highlight color. 

*It is always good to have the classic sponge eye shadow applicator that will come with most eye shadows and palates; I find these applicators to be the best for applying loose or shimmery shadows.

4. Eye liner:
Whether you use a gel, liquid or pencil eye liner it really comes down to personal preference but for beginners liquid or gel eyeliner may be easier for application and control. I personally use the Revlon Color Stay eyeliner pencil which works great for me and never needs to be sharpened.

Summer tip: For summer waterproof eyeliner is your best bet, it will stay on longer prevent smudging and won`t run down your face in the heat.

I would also recommend you purchase the basic colors such as black which looks good with any eye color and brown. For the summer right now colourful eye liner as a fun accent on the lower lash line is very popular, so if you like this look then blues, greens, gold and silvers can be added to your bag. 

Quick tip: white eyeliner on your lower waterline can make you eyes appear brighter and larger

5. Mascara
Great mascara can really kick up your entire look. If you are like me and you do not like to wear cumbersome false lashes work with what you have!

Quick tip: One of my tricks is to apply a thin layer of Vaseline to my lashes before I go to bed at night! It may sound weird but it really helps moisturize my lashes and helps them grow longer and thicker! You can also purchase mascaras that help your lashes grow but the Vaseline trick is a lot easier and a lot cheaper.

Before you apply your mascara it is a good idea to use an eyelash curler to achieve nice fanned out curled eye lashes, especially if your lashes tend to be on the straighter side. These are very inexpensive and they can be found in almost every makeup section.

If you want that false lash look there are tons of mascaras on the market that claim to give you exactly that. One of my favourites is the Loreal Voluminous falsies. This mascara has lengthening fibres that attach to your lashes and make them look longer and fuller. The only downside is that the fibres may travel into your eyes later on in the day and cause some irritation, so contact wearers beware.

Maybelline also has a line of falsies mascaras, which does not give quite a dramatic finish but they are very easy to remove at the end of the day and will give your lashes some definition.

 Summer tip: Another great tip for summer is to look for waterproof mascara, waterproof mascara will last longer and stay put in the heat and humidity but they can be a bit more difficult to remove at the end of the day.


1. Sunscreen and moisturizer:
Before I apply anything to my face I apply a sunscreen or a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it. This step if very important if you are going to be outdoors in the summer time, UV rays are strong and exposure to sun can cause sunburn, and premature wrinkling and aging of the skin so  it is very important to protect your skin. Opt for a cream that is non-greasy and oil free. The Nutrogena SPF 70 sunblock is great.

2. Face Primer
Summer tip: a great way to help your foundation and concealer stay put in the hot summer months is to first apply a face primer. Face primer will smooth out your skin making application easier and also help keep your foundation on your face.

One of my favourite primers is the MAC prep and prime face primer, but Smashbox also makes an excellent face primer. For those of you looking for something more affordable try the NYC perfecting face primer.

3. Concealer:
There are many concealers on the market but if you are purchasing your very first concealer I would suggest you go into a store such as MAC or Sephora or a brand of your choice where the sales associates will try different colors and match one to your skin tone. After you have some idea of what your color match is you can branch out and try other brands. Concealer is a great way to cover any blemishes, redness, marks or scars on your face and give you an even complexion. I use the MAC Studio Fix Pro Long Wear Concealer which gives excellent coverage but there are a lot of brands to choose from.

Quick tip: when you are considering purchasing concealer or foundation from places such as MAC you can always ask for a sample before you buy, that way you can go home and try out the product for a while to make sure you like the match.

Brush: for concealer you can use a concealer brush but I find that for precise application your fingertip can work just as well if not better.  Put some concealer on the tip of your finger and pat it into the area you need to conceal. Using a makeup sponge will just suck up too much product and waste it.

Summer tip: in summer most people do not like to wear a lot of makeup, if you get a full coverage concealer that matches your skin tone you can use the concealer and a setting powder alone without having to use foundation.

4. Foundation:
Summer tip: There are many brands of foundation that now have SPF protection in the formula, try to opt for one of these for some extra sun protection.

Like concealer you will first have to go into a store and actually try out a few foundations to find a match for your skin tone. Foundations should be as close a match as you can possibly get, if the color is too light your skin will look gray and chalky.

 When choosing a foundation shop around and see which formula you like best.  You may find that you prefer light weight foundations or you may want a heavier foundation. Foundations also differ by coverage; you can go for light, medium or full coverage foundation depending on your needs. You can also chose foundations based on what finished look you are going for, some foundations will give you a dewy finish while others will give you a matte look. I use the MAC Studio Fix liquid foundation.

Foundation  brush
*A good foundation brush is an essential tool for your beauty bag. Get a brush that is soft but has stiff enough bristles and apply the foundation using the stippling method. For example dab the foundation onto the tip of the brush and using just the tip press the foundation into your skin instead of swiping or painting it on. If you stipple the product into your skin you get a nice air brushed and even look, if you apply it in swipes you get a streaky messy look. 

Stippling brush
*Stippling brushes are another great way to apply foundation, use the same stippling method mentioned above and purchase a brush with soft sturdy bristles. 

Quick Tip: For people with oily skin I would suggest a foundation with a matte finish, the dewy finish can make your skin look even more sweaty and oily. These foundations tend to dry quicker.
For those of you with dry skin you can go for the dewy look to add a nice glow for the summer. These foundations tend to have wetter formulas.

Summer tip: you can try a powder foundation for the summer if you do not want to wear a heavier liquid foundation. Powder foundations can feel lighter on your face while still giving you excellent coverage.

5. Setting powders
After you apply your foundation you will need to set it with a powder. You can get a powder that is pigmented and matches with your skin tone or you can opt for a translucent setting powder. Again there are many different brands out there that you can sample. I use the Cover Girl powder in creamy beige to set my makeup.

blush brush

Brush: for your setting powder use a big fluffy powder brush or a Kabuki brush.
kabuki brush

6. Blush:
Blush is great for the summer time because it can add a subtle touch of color to your cheeks and give you a radiant look. Blush also depends on what colors you like for your skin tone but some popular colors right now are pinks and peach tones. Blush should be applied to the apples of your cheeks.

Brush: to apply blush use a soft blush brush.

Quick tip: When applying blush a little goes a long way.

7. Highlight:
Sumer tip: brushing a highlight over your cheek bones and in your t-zone where the light would normally kiss your face is a great way to get a summer glow that will make you look radiant.

There are many highlight products out there including compacts and cream highlights so look for one that compliments your skin tone.  What you choose will depend on how much shimmer you want to add to your face. Some highlights have a lot of shimmer and some are more tamed down and give you a brighter look without the shimmer so it depends on what you like.

I use the Lorac Tantilizer Baked Bronzer which I use as a highlight and sometimes as an eye shadow.

Brush: The consistency of your highlight will depend on what brush works best. If you choose a highlight in a compact you can use a smaller sized brush similar to a blush brush, if you prefer a cream highlight you can use the pads of your finger or a concealer brush for application. 

8. Bronzer:
Bronzer is a great way to give shape and contour to your face. Again get a bronzer that works with your skin tone.

Bronzer brush
Brush: for bronzer you can purchase a bronzer brush, I prefer the angled ones. 

9. Makeup setting spray:
Summer tip: Applying an even mist of makeup setting spray after you have finished applying all of your makeup will help keep your makeup in place the entire day. It sets your entire face and will keep your makeup looking fresh through the heat and humidity.

Makeup sprays vary but some popular brands are Model in a Bottle, Urban Decay De-slick Setting Spray and the MAC setting spray.


Quick tip: before applying color to your lips make sure they are exfoliated which means they are smooth and not cracked or peeling. There is nothing worse than having cracked lips under a nice bright lipstick! Start off by gently exfoliating your lips the night before while you exfoliate your face and then apply a moisturizing lip balm before bed.

Summer tip: use a lip balm that contains SPF protection to help keep your lips protected and prevent cracks and peels.
1.  Lip balm:
Start off by applying a thin coat of lip balm to your lips and then blotting off any excess. I use the EOS organic lip balm which is my favourite. Also good are the Baby Lips by Maybelline and the Sugar clear lip balm by Sephora. 

2. Lipstick:
Summer tip: for summer don`t be afraid to do a bold bright color on your lips.

Pinks, reds, corals and even purple-pinks are very popular for the summer time; they brighten up your lips and give you a fun splash of color. My favourite brand is the Revlon crème and lustrous lipstick because they are affordable creamy and come in wide variety of nice colors. 

3. Gloss:
Gloss is always great; it keeps your lips from getting dry while adding a splash of color. You can even pair up a lipstick with a gloss over top.

Caring for your brushes:
My last tip is to make sure you wash your brushes regularly because bacteria can build up on the bristles and cause you to break out if you do not wash them. There are brush cleaners on the market but they are unnecessary, all you need is a container of water and shampoo. I would suggest washing your brushes at least once every 2 weeks but if you want to get away with doing it less make your own cleaning solution. Add rubbing alcohol to a small spray bottle of water and spritz your brushes and wipe them off after every use, this will help sanitize the brushes and you won`t have to wash them as often.

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