Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easy Dotticure Featuring OPI Hawaii Collection Polishes


How's about a quick nail art post featuring an easy-peasy dotticure? I used polishes from the OPI Hawaii Collection for Spring but you can use any polishes that you like.

This is easy stuff, gentle reader. You just need four shades of nail polish and a couple of dotting tools with larger and smaller heads.

Apply base coat and two or so coats of your primary nail colour. Now, on a small working surface (I just use a bit of foil or scrap paper), drop a small puddle of light coloured polish off of your brush and using your biggest dotter head make three or four random dots on each nail. Lay out a big drop of another colour and using a medium dotting head, dot three or four random dots near and away from the huge dots. Then with your darkest colour and a very small dotter fill in with a few random tiny dots. Then grab your medium dotter and, with that same darkest colour, dot a dot in the middle of the great big, light dots. Let your nails dry for a few minutes to avoid smudging and float on your favorite fast dry top coat. That is all there is to it.

Have you tried doing dotticures? They really are the easiest form of nail art and fun to do. If you would like to try decorating your nails, I encourage you to start with dots. You can't go wrong.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection Pointed Crease Brush | Review

::klout perk/affiliate::

I recently qualified for a Klout perk and the item I received is a Real Techniques Bold Metals 201 Collection Pointed Crease Brush. This newer offering from the Real Techniques line is meant to give a more luxe and professional feel and experience. From the packaging, which was a fun bit of overkill which I shared on my Instagram feed, to the sleek, angled platinum toned handle and ferule and the soft, snow white synthetic bristles this brush is very different from anything else I own. 

Once removed from it's too large, too much plastic retail plastic retail packaging the brush feels weighty but not heavy and sits comfortably in my hand. I like the balance, it is easy to manipulate and work with. 

The angled handle means that the brush, when laid down on an uneven surface won't roll away from you. I like that. My dressing table is an old piece, it is not perfectly level and all of my eye brushes roll around on it. This one stays where I set it down. 

The synthetic bristles, themselves are very soft, the brush head is densely packed, giving it a firm feel. The diameter is a bit on the large side for a typical crease brush and I know that that is something that some people are not all that crazy about. I don't mind it. I have a lot of lid space and hooded eyes, this brush shape and size happens to work very well for me. As does the dense bristle pack. I can use it to create a crease and shade and define my orbital bone, a crucial technique for applying shadow to hooded lids. 

Love or leave of a particular makeup brush is definitely a very personal thing. I know that this one is getting very mixed reviews but personally, I love it. This brush, from the design to the performance works for me. If I hadn't received it as a Klout perk, I'd buy it. I have my eyes on a few other brushes in this line. I'd very much like to get the oval eye shader and the powder and blush brushes. 

The Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 201 Pointed Crease Brush retails for $15.99 and is available at Ulta. 

Do you own any of the Bold Metals brushes? What do you think of them? Please share in a comment, I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

::klout perk/affiliate::

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Secret | For a Smooth, Peach Fuzz Free Face...

Shave it!


A little facial cleanser, a nice, sharp razor and about one minute of time once or twice a week is all it takes. Be sure that your hair is held back out of your face. Wet your face, apply some of your favorite facial cleanser. Foaming or no... Doesn't matter. As long as it is slippy. Grab your razor and shave your face. I work over my cheeks and jawline, throat and chin in long, smooth, downward strokes. Over my upper lip, in careful downward strokes, the sides of my mouth, careful inward strokes and from my chin, up to my lower lip in short, careful upward strokes. I also shave my neck, just because. I've been shaving my face for so long that I can do it in the shower without a mirror in less than a minute.

Why do I shave? Well, gentle reader, I have that light, nearly invisible peach fuzz on my face that so many of us have and quite frankly, I don't like it. It is visible when backlit. My makeup gets caught and clotted up in it, it makes my makeup look streaky and weird unless I "work with the direction of the hair growth" when applying and when I wear powder? Yikes! Hello hairy face! And the macro photos I take for my blog just look better, to me without all of that fuzz and fine hair and nonsense poking, everywhere

I shave my face because my skin feels silky smooth afterward. My makeup looks so much better and is easier to apply. Also, shaving, it turns out is good for the skin as it exfoliates as it removes the hair. Shaving with a razor is a mild and safe form of dermaplaning, a procedure done in medical offices where a scalpel is used to carefully remove surface layers of skin to reveal fresh, new skin and encourage cell turnover. Shaving is painless, unlike using an epilator. I just can't with epilators. I tried those little pen shaped battery operated trimmers but they take forever to do the job and they leave a tiny stubble behind. Nope.

Okay, I know what you may be thinking. If you shave your face, you are going to end up with darker, thicker, coarser hair on your face, right? After all, that is what "everyone" says. Fret not. Your flower face will not turn into the visage of a cave man. Trust me. I have been shaving my face since my early twenties. I don't have a Fred Flinstone Five O:Clock shadow. Hair growth and characteristics are determined by your genetics, not by a razor. You have nothing to fear from that silly old wives tale.

So, stop worrying about going with the direction of the hair growth and fearing back light. Throw away that silly rubber tongue thing that came with that foundation that promised to work with your fuzzy face. Grab your facial cleanser, your razor and set yourself free.

 How do you like to remove that pesky facial fuzz? Tell me in a comment.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sample Saturday | Philosophy Living Grace


With notes of Fresh Neroli, Lily of the Valley and Warm Musk, Philosophy Living Grace is a soft, clean, lightly floral, easy to wear fragrance that delights my senses. I wouldn't mind having a full layering wardrobe of this scent. You know, I think that this fragrance would mix very nicely with Amazing Grace.

Philosophy Living Grace is available at Sephora, Ulta, department stores that carry Philosophy, and Philosophy's website.

Are you as in love with Philosophy's fragrances as I am? Which are your favorites?


Friday, March 27, 2015

Milani Fierce Foil Eye Liner | Review


I was seeing reviews of the Milani Fierce Foil Eyeliners everywhere I wandered, online and while intrigued by the dark, shimmery goodness, I wasn't going to turn myself inside out to try to get my hands on them. I lucked into a full Milani display at the old CVS across town from me, tho so I picked up two of the shades, Navy and Brown. How boring. Why didn't I pick up some of the other colours while they were available? I always default to the neutral.

In each package is a small pot of creme eye liner and a small, short handled liner brush with soft, synthetic bristles. The brush isn't bad, it gets the job done but I prefer a sharp, precise angled brush for applying creme and gel liners.

The liner lives in a shiny gold tone plastic pot with a clear plastic top with Milani emblazoned on it in gold. I like that I can see at a glance what colour is in the pot. I don't have to pick it up or look at a label. Speaking of which, that is on the bottom, offering the shade name, product weight and so on.

Open the lid and the creme liner inside looks somewhat dry and quite sparkly. As I pick it up with my brush one notable characteristic is that it feels a bit stiff. After I work it with my brush, it softens up a bit. I like to take my brush from the pot to the back of my hand to remove excess and refine my brush edge before application and the liner feels pretty fluid and smooth by then.

Application on the lash line is pretty good. Fairly smooth and easy. This liner wants to try to clump a little; due, no doubt to it's shimmery nature. It's best to not have too much liner on the brush, but you need enough to apply the line without having to go back to the pot, over and over. I can't get a line in one, fluid sweep with this liner. It just doesn't happen. Once I got the hang of working with it, I was able to minimize dips, tho. There is a little bit of a learning curve with this stuff. It's worth it.

Swatches of the Milani Fierce Foil Eye Liners on the back of my hand. Brown Foil is a warm brown with gold and coppery shimmer particles. Navy Foil is a navy blue with blue and silvery sparklies.

On my eyes. I'm wearing Navy Foil in these photos.

Pigmentation of the liner is good, not superior. I find that I need to go over my line a time or two to get a fully opaque line. As I mentioned earlier, this liner wants to clump, wiping the excess liner off the brush helps with that. If a clump is deposited, running over it with the brush easily smooths it down. This liner gives plenty of time to work with it, to get it in place just as I like it, then it sets to wear for hours and hours without transferring or smearing. A transfer proof liner is crucial for me, with my hooded lids. If a liner stamps from my lash line to my lid, it's a deal breaker. I do appreciate a little bit of fading by the end of the day but it's pretty minimal.

Overall, this eye liner is quite good. I think that is is a solid performer and well worth the price. I recommend it. If you can still find these liners in your local CVS or other retailers that carry Milani or you want to order online, grab some while you can. I think that you'll be pleased.

Have you tried the Milani Fierce Foil Eye Liners? Talk to me, tell me what you think.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Soft Spring Makeup Hair and Nails | Collab

::press sample/self purchased/affiliate::

It is Spring and I am celebrating with lighter, softer makeup colours, easy, no fuss hair and fun, bright and pastel nails.

The colour cosmetics I used for this look. I chose soft shades and tones in products that are easy to apply, wear well and look fresh and pretty, all day long. 

My eye look is easy, soft and pink but not a sick or "pink eye" pink. I started by running a little Naked 2 from my Urban Decay Naked Basics palette on a blending brush through my crease. Next, a base of Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Eye Shadow in Inked in Pink tapped on to the movable part of my lid with my finger. I then wiped my blending brush off and dipped it into Alien in my Urban Decay Vice 3 palette and applied that over the Maybelline creme shadow and blended it up to the crease colour. I picked up a little Truth in the Vice 3 for highlight and brow then ran a little more Naked 2 through my crease and blended it up onto my orbital bone. I curled my lashes then lined upper and lower lash lines with Milani Fierce Foil Eye Liner in Navy. I'm not used to wearing that much dark liner under my eyes and it's freaking me out, a little bit. L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eye Liner  in Highlighter finished my inner corners. My mascara is Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara.  

I kept contouring subtle and well blended, my blush is Lancome Blush Subtil Blush and Highlighter Palette in Menage a Trois Flush. Linked is a similar trio in Rose Flush. My lips are wearing Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Color in Petal Plush

My nail look is my happiness. I can't believe how incredibly pretty it came out. I literally can't stop looking at my nails. 

Two coats of OPI I Love Applause and one of  Barielle Golden Halo layered. OPI I Love Applause is a sweet, cool milky pink and Golden Halo is a gold shimmer with small and medium rose gold glitter pieces. Together they make magic. Just the prettiest, most delicate, feminine, glitter manicure I have ever worn.

If you want a pretty nail look for prom or a wedding or some other special event, try this combo. If you can't find OPI I love Applause, any cool, milky pink crelly will do. 

My photo of this manicure doesn't begin to do it justice. You need to try it, for yourself.

Minimal hair products. Minimal fuss.

This time of year, I start thinking about ways I can get my hair done with the least amount of fuss and heat, possible. The last thing I feel like doing on a hot day is hauling out a blow dryer and heat styling tools! Who needs heat stroke just for a hair do? Not I. It's much easier and far more comfortable to mist my tresses with some water, run a little conditioning oil and some curl spray through my hair, scrunch in my wurls and let it air dry.

Jewelry goes light and delicate as the days start to heat up, as well. I am a huge fan of Baublebar. They sell trendy fashion jewelry. Their prices are a tad on the steep side but they have specials every Monday and Friday (get on their e-mail list for alerts), frequent sales and a points program that lets you save up points that you can apply toward full priced items. I recently bought a $32.00 ring for $8.00 by cashing in some of my Vault Points. If you shop smart, you can score some good deals and buy some really great stuff. My necklaces are: Crystal Solo Strand, 16" in gold and the Disc Layered Necklace (only available in hematite, as of this post being written).

How are you changing up your look for Spring? Are you going with softer makeup? Lighter polish, an easier 'do?

This post is a collaboration with my fellow bloggers in the Beauty Blogger Collaborative. Please take a little time to visit them and see what Spring looks they are doing.
::press sample/self purchase/affiliate::