Friday, January 30, 2015

How to Start Wearing Makeup

Everyone starts wearing makeup at different times in their lives, and no matter when you get that urge to start experimenting with makeup, it's a challenge to make heads or tails of it at first. Today, I'm going to give a brief intro to makeup and what I would recommend for those that are just now wanting to start trying it out. 
I started wearing makeup when I began sixth grade. I started at that age because my elementary school didn't allow us to wear it, and I think everyone has this mindset that they're going to start fresh when they begin something new, and I used makeup to launch myself into that phase of my life.  Even now, four years later, there are some things about makeup that absolutely blow my mind. It's such a complex type of artistry that anyone can master if if they try. 

The first thing I would recommend any girl looking to start using makeup to do is to get her makeup done professionally somewhere. If you have no idea what you're doing, you should always have a professional explain it to you first. They'll show you what shades suit your skin tone and set you up with some products to get you going. I went to Ulta the first time I ever had my makeup done, and they found me some blushes, shadows, mascara, lip glosses, power, bronzer, and some spot concealer that suited my skintone. They also found me a basic set of brushes and showed me how to use them properly.

At that point, I was still really young and had a pretty consistent skin color all over, so it wasn't necessary to get a good foundation yet, so when it became necessary for me to start using foundation, I had to find one myself. When you're looking for a foundation that suits your skintone, the best thing to do is to go to a makeup store completely barefaced and try different products out on your cheek. Most people think the back of your hand is good enough, but it is not. The color of your hands can be completely different than your face, and your hands are going to take the color differently. Just go in and try things out until you find a shade that's good for you. Also, don't judge a color by how it looks immediately after application! Wait a couple of minutes for your skin to properly absorb and adjust to the product before giving it your final judgement.

If you're ever debating between two shades of makeup, I would always go lighter. A makeup line is never attractive! But if you're like me and just don't think you can go with that lighter shade, buy both! I use two foundations every morning and mix them together on the back of my hand before application. It works just as well as buying a single shade, and it lasts twice as long!

When you're applying makeup for the first few times, you're obviously not going to get it right. My favorite way to perfect a look I've never tried before is to wait until nighttime and experiment! I do my makeup at night ALL THE TIME. On nights when I'm not going out for anything, I stay in and experiment with new makeup techniques and colors. I actually find it really relaxing, and I genuinely enjoy it.

If you're looking for product recommendations, there are a few items that are better to use when you're just getting started. Pencil liner, for example, is much easier to apply than a liquid or gel liner. You have much more control, and it'll be easier to get your desired look.
Also, I would suggest using powder blushes when starting out over cream-based blushes. They blend much easier and are easier to get off if you apply too much. 
I always recommend lip glosses to new makeup users over lipsticks. New makeup users tend to apply more than necessary, and it's extremely easy to go overboard on the lipstick. I had several extremely bad nights out with a tube of bright red lipstick from my earlier makeup days that I sorely regret.

Lastly, just have fun with it! Makeup can be an awesome tool once you get the basics down, and anyone can master it if they practice enough. When are you going to start wearing makeup, and if you're already a makeup whiz, when did you first start using makeup? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Color Me Happy

 I recently colored my hair an unnatural color for the second time, and I'm realizing just how much trouble it can be. If you've ever had purple, pink, blue, green, or any unnatural hair color, you know that this stuff washes out INCREDIBLY quickly since it only comes in semi-permanent colors. I've tried a couple of different color safe hair products recently, and today I'm reviewing my favorites by Herbal Essences. 
If I'm being honest, the main reason I grabbed this bottle off the shelf at Target a few weeks ago is because I thought the bottle was pretty. I'm such a sucker for cute packaging, and I always love Herbal Essences' product packaging. I'm glad I did though, because I love these products! They're the Color Me Happy shampoo and conditioner, and they're PERFECT for unnaturally colored hair. I didn't have a color safe product to wash my hair with for a little while, and I noticed a massive difference between washing it with this rather than with my products by Organix that I've always used. I saw so much less purple go down the drain! My hair also felt cleaner for much longer, so I can now go longer between washing my hair, which means my color will last even longer!
This item is definitely something I'm going to continue to use in my hair for a while, if not because it's great for my hair, then because it smells absolutely heavenly, one of my favorite thing about Herbal Essences products. What is your favorite color safe hair product? Let me know in the comments below!
I was not compensated for this post. I purchased these products with my own money, and my review was in no way influenced by Herbal Essences.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don't Blink!

I've been hearing about marsala, the official color of 2015, since New Years, and I've got to admit, I kind of like it. It's a deep pinkish-red color that goes with so many things, so today, I decided to give you an OOTD featuring my favorite marsala sweater from Jordandene!
I posted an outfit featuring a top by Jordandene last month, and I'm still loving this brand just as much as I did then! A while back, they sent me this gorgeous sweater with a graphic that says "Don't Blink!" on the front (can I hear a big whoop from my Whovians out there?), and I absolutely love it. It's lightweight, warm, and extremely comfortable, something that I don't usually find in a piece that gets complimented CONSTANTLY when I wear it! Even my friends who don't watch Doctor Who were asking where to get theirs!
 I'm pairing this top with my favorite black skinnies from Wet Seal and some combat boots, my go-to shoes for any outfit. It's a relaxed outfit that is perfect for those days where you want an effortlessly chic look.
You can find this sweater and other nerd-approved, trendy pieces at jordandene.com or by clicking here! If you're wanting to get cooler pieces for the warm weather in store for us in just a few months, this top also comes in a graphic tank version here. Personally, I'm still loving all of my winter clothes, and I'll be devastated when summer comes around to take them away from me! What about you guys, are you wishing this cold winter away, or are you holding on just as tightly to your layering pieces as I am? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fresh Start Glam Bag

When I got my December glam bag last month, I was so down about not being able to share those awesome items with you guys due to my holiday series going on then, so I'm crazy excited to show you my bag this month! January's bag is called Fresh Start, and it has some products in that are perfect for beginning 2015 fresh-faced and gorgeous.
First up is a Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow by Pacifica in the shade Etheral. I found this brand through Ipsy, and I always look forward to finding one of their items in my bag! This shade is a very beachy, nude toned color, and it's perfect for a quick makeup look when you're going light on the eyes. I used this product in my Five Minute Makeup tutorial a few days ago, so you can check that out here to see how this shadow looks!
Second in this bag is Phyto-Medic Eyelish Enhancer by Lashfood. I can't claim to have used this product long enough to tell you if there have been any real results from it, but I do like the product. I did a test earlier this week where I wore no eye makeup and just applied this in the morning to see how my lashes looked and felt at the end of the day, and they definitely seemed significantly softer and more full. 

Next up is one of my favorite items in this bag, Probelle's Into The Blue Nail Lacquer. All of my regular readers know that I'm more into the deeper colors, but ever so often, I come across a great pastel color that I completely fall head over heels for. The color looks exactly like it does in the bottle once applied, something I've come to see as a rarity in the nail polish industry, and the polish stays on really well- once it's dried, which I found to take ages. I applied this, tested it an hour later, and it was still pretty wet. Consequently, I ended up smudging the polish several times before it completely dried. If you're planning on using this polish, make sure you won't be doing anything with your hands any time soon! Other than that, I adored this polish and would definitely use it again.
Now for a product for you unscented gals, the (MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm. I can't deny that the first thing I wondered about when I received this was the brand's name, but that's beside the point. The formula seems pretty nice, but it had zero scent whatsoever. On one hand, it's pretty rare that a product is ACTUALLY unscented, but I personally prefer a fun scent for my balms and lipsticks. 
Last but not least is this Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush. Can I start this off by saying just how excited I got when I pulled this out of the bag? I mean, come now, it's a hot pink brush that DOESN'T have stiff bristles and comes in a little girl's makeup kit. My inner girly side practically went crazy. I love this brush so much not just because of how pink it is, but because it's really a pretty great tool. I have a bit of a brush obsession, especially when they're this soft, and it can be used so many ways. It can make a nice crease brush, all over brush, or even a blending brush depending on how you hold and apply your shadow. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this month's bag! It had some pretty great products, and it was a pretty great bag to kick off my subscription for 2015.

Remember, I pay for all of my monthly Ipsy bags myself, and I am not in any way influenced by Ipsy. All of my opinions are my own.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Five Minute Makeup Routine

We all have those days when we're running late. Maybe you hit snooze too many times, maybe you forgot about a meeting before work, or heck, maybe you just stayed up too late last night watching the new Downton Abbey (I know I did!). Whatever your reason may be, we all run late, and we all need a quick and easy way of dealing with it. Today, I'm sharing my five minute makeup routine that I use all the time, even when I'm not running late, because I love it that much!

First, I take out the concealer. You would normally put on foundation under your concealer, but when you're really rushing, some well-placed concealer can stand in its place. I apply this in a right triangle beneath my eyes to cover dark circles and use it to conceal any blemishes I happen to have that morning. For years, my favorite concealer has been this SkinClearing blemish concealer by Neutrogena in the shade Buff. This is an absolute miracle worker for dark circles and blemishes. When blending your concealer beneath your eyes, it's always best to use your ring finger. It's your weakest finger and is best for applying the right amount pressure to that sensitive eye area.
Next up is powder. Powder is a step that I never skip out on because it's a real life-saver when it comes to hiding that shine I have in the mornings. There's a difference between natural glow and oily! I've always used Neutrogena's SkinClearing Mineral Powder in Classic Ivory 10 for this as it's perfect for hiding any oiliness throughout the day. 
Contouring comes next, and this is a step that should be included in any makeup routine, quickie or not. Depending on how much time you have, you could always go into more detail with this, but my favorite places to contour are along my cheekbones and the sides of my nose. Take your favorite blush brush and sweep it just along line your cheekbone makes from the corners of your lips up to your ears, then use it to accent your jawbone and on the sides and tip of your nose. I've used Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer in Sunkissed 30 for years, and it's always worked perfectly for my skintone. 
Now, take your favorite blush and apply it to the apples of your cheeks. My favorite right now is Sunkissed Cheek by Ulta because it gives your cheeks a radiant glow that I just adore. 
We all know that we should only emphasize either our eyes or lips in a look so not to look too made up, and between the two, lips take much less time to do. That's why I'm going really natural on my eyes by sweeping a natural color across my lids and applying a light mascara. The eyeshadow I used was Etheral by Pacifica, and for mascara, I used Smashbox's Full Exposure.To make my lashes appear a bit longer and to remove any clumps, I'm running a spoolie through them after applying mascara, then I tame my eyebrows a bit with a brow brush. 
For lips, take a more bold lipstick that suits you and layer it until your get the desired look. With the cooler weather outside, I'd recommend using a chapstick underneath your lipstick to keep your lips soft throughout the day. My favorite chapstick right now is a Lip Butter by NYX in Red Velvet that goes perfectly with this lip crayon by J. Cat Beauty in the shade Red Rose.
There you have it! A makeup routine that takes no more than five minutes and is absolutely gorgeous for any occasion. I hope you enjoyed, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

This post was selected to be part of IFB's weekly post roundup over on heartifb.com! Check out the other posts below!

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comfy in Cardigans

 I love this weather. We've been having some freezing weather here in Alabama recently, and the past few days have seemed like heaven.

 I got this gorgeous cardigan from the juniors section of Belk a few weeks ago, and this was my first time trying out this little beauty. It's absolutely perfect for this weather, and it's so big and cozy! I nearly fell asleep in my fifth period snuggled up in this cardigan ;) I love the dark-colored pattern, and the fringes give it an incredibly relaxed feel.

With all of this nice weather, I don't want summer to come! I've just gotten used to my winter clothes! At least we have a month or two left before the time comes for sleeveless tops and ponytails, but until then, I plan on savoring my warm clothes as much as humanly possible. What about you? Do you prefer summer or winter clothes, or are you stuck in between? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Garnier Fructis Extra Volume Dry Shampoo

Having just dyed my hair a few weeks ago, I've naturally cut back on washing my hair. We all know that washing colored too frequently makes the dye wash out quickly, so I've went from washing my hair four times per week to more like twice weekly. To do this, I've been stocking up on one thing in particular- dry shampoo. 

Garnier Fructis has been a haircare brand favorite for me for ages, so of course they were my first stop for dry shampoo. I tried out their Volume Extender Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo for Flat or Fine Hair. I'm about as far from fine-haired as you can get with my extra think strands, but since my hair goes extremely flat when I haven't washed it in a while, I figured it would still work for me. 

I tried this on third-day hair, and I got mixed results. It didn't help all that much with volume, but it did significantly decrease the shine in my hair. The smell is also fantastic, one of the reason I love this brand so much. And you really can't beat the price at about five dollars a bottle. 

I'd definitely recommend this dry shampoo, but it isn't anything absolutely amazing. I've gotten just as good results from the diy shampoo I posted about last April (find that post here), but sometimes it's easier to just pick up the bottle and spray it in your hair rather than making your own. Hello, Monday mornings!
Do you prefer buying your products or making them yourself?