Complimenting Your Skin Tone with Makeup

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Women of all skin tones deserve flawless makeup. But finding the right shades for you can be difficult, and too often women are left with streaky concealer, nudes that don’t match their skin and mismatched face and body coloration. Perfect products exist for basically every skin tone if you do enough research. Here are a few ways to find makeup for your skin tone.

Find Your Undertones
Before you start looking at makeup, figure out what kind of undertone your skin has: cool (pink or blue), warm (yellow or golden) and neutral (a combination). If you’re not sure which tone you have, there are a few methods for figuring this out, like checking the color of your veins in your wrist. A cool-toned person will have blue or purple veins, while a warm-toned person will have green veins and a neutral person will have blue-green. Another method is to think of how your skin reacts to the sun. If you tan easily, you are likely warm toned, if you burn easily, you are likely cool toned, and if you aren’t sure, you’re likely neutral. Most makeup companies will divide their foundations and concealers by cool and warm tones, so completing this step will help to narrow down your choices when you start shopping.

Quality Products
The quality of your makeup is of utmost importance. Even if you find a perfect match to your skin tone, makeup that settles in your pores or melts throughout the day is not flattering at all. Do some research before you make a purchase, and learn from the pros. For example, the professional makeup artists at New York Fashion Week use the best in the industry, like the Artistry collections from Amway, so the models are runway ready. Find the brands that the professionals turn to from reading blogs, watching YouTube videos and following their social media accounts. They may be a bit more expensive than a drugstore product, but when seeking out flawless skin, the investment is worthwhile.

Application Tools
You’ve found your perfect shade and bought a high-quality product, now it’s time to put it on. It may seem like common sense to use the tool that is included with your foundation to put it on, or even just your fingers. But this can lead to streakiness and uneven coverage. Makeup sponges like the beautyblender have been gaining popularity in recent years. Since they have no edges they create a seamless look, and are simple to use. There are also many foundation brushes that work well to blend out makeup. Read reviews on sites like Sephora, Ulta and Amazon to find one that will work for you.

Complimentary Tones
Once you have a great base in place, move forward to the rest of your makeup: eyes, cheeks and lips. As with finding foundation, it’s good to keep in mind what your skin’s undertone is, as different colors compliment undertones differently. For example, a cooler pink blush might fit in perfectly with warm skin. Women with darker skin tones can also experiment with more dark and bright shades than those with pale skin.

Perfect makeup is achievable. While you may have had trouble finding the perfect match and coverage for your skin in the past, following these tips will help you achieve an effortless and smooth look.

Fall 2015 Makeup: Jane Iredale Ready to Wear

Cooler weather is upon us as we change seasons and that means a change of wardrobe and a change in our makeup and beauty routines. So what better time to give some new makeup a try? I had the chance to try Jane Iredale’s new Fall 2015 collection, Ready to Wear, let’s take a look!

Jane Iredale Ready to Wear 2015 PurePressed Eye Shadow Mermaid, Iris, Steamy and Forest

PurePressed Eye Shadow Singles in 4 beautiful new shades:

  • Mermaid – Shimmery sea foam green
  • Iris – Matte cool violet
  • Steamy – Shimmery pink copper
  • Forest – Matte deep green

These eye shadows are mineral based and can be used wet or dry. They are highly pigmented and long lasting. But the most interesting aspect of these eye shadows are that they can be used as a lip stain or as a blush. Double duty!

Jane Iredale: PlayOn Lip Crayon in Saucy, Luscious and Blissful

Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayon is available in seven shades. Here are three of these shades:

  • Saucy – Creamy hot coral
  • Luscious – Creamy rose brown
  • Blissful – Shimmering sheer nude
Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayong Swatches: Saucy, Luscious, Blissful
Jane Iredale PlayOn Lip Crayon Swatches: Saucy, Luscious, Blissful

Jane Iredale Smooth Affair

One of my favorite products from the Fall 2015 collection is  the Jane Iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primers & Brightener. This primer works so well for creating a smooth, matte and even skin tone. I even wear it without any foundation because it makes me look more awake and my skin looks much clearer!

Jane Iredale Lengthening Mascara

Jane Iredale Lengthening Mascara has a new wand to help lengthen and define lashes. I love it because it helps to prevent clumps and gives my lashes a more more natural look.

All of these gorgeous products are available on the Jane Iredale website and many fine spas and salons.

Review: Black Opal – Color Splurge

Review Black Opal - Color Splurge

I must admit that I’m a bit of a lip gloss junkie and although I’ve tried many brands I’ve never tried Black Opal. Well I recently received a few press samples of Black Opal – Color Splurge and decided to give them a try.

I must say that I was so pleasantly surprised. The quality of these lip glosses rivals many department store and luxury brands. Let’s take a look at the swatches:

Black Opal - Color Splurge Swatches
Black Opal Patent Lips in Dynamo, Patent Lips in Posh, Lustre Gloss in Magnetic, Lustre Gloss in Delish ,Lustre Gloss in Bliss

The Patent Color Splurge lip glosses are nicely pigmented giving a rich, true color. What you see in the tube is what you get when you apply it. The Lustre glosses are sheer with a glistening iridescence that I would wear on a night out due to the glitter. I found the lustre glosses had a nice color payoff as well, although the shade “Bliss” is quite sheer. All of the glosses are moisturizing with vitamins A and C and applied smoothly. Overall, I was very impressed with this brand. The glosses are available in several flattering shades which are very affordable at $6.95 a tube.

Essence Cosmetics Longlasting Lipstick

Essence Cosmetics Longlasting Lipstick
(L to R) Dare To Be Nude, Wear Berries!, On The Catwalk

Sometimes makeup is very expensive so it’s important to supplement your luxury products with great drugstore finds. I came  across Essence Cosmetics Long Lasting Lipstick which is a brand sold at Walgreens locations nationwide. The brand is affordable priced, with makeup ranging from $0.99 – $4.99.

I decided to try their long-lasting lipstick which is available in 10 shades. I’m reviewing three of the most popular shades out of their collection. The lipstick has a nice pigment to it but not overly saturated. I found that the color was a close match to what it looks like in the tube. The color is buildable if you want a deeper shade but I found that two coats looked great!

Essence Cosmetics Longlasting Lipstick
(L to R) On The Catwalk, Dare To Be Nude, Wear Berries!

These Essence Cosmetics lipsticks have a light feel to them. They have a creamy texture to them but they’re not thick. As I mentioned the colors can appear sheer when first applied so if you’re looking for a lightweight lipstick then this is a great choice. The shades are beautiful and for $2.99 a tube you can’t go wrong with that!

Have you tried any makeup from Essence Cosmetics?

Total Beauty Collection for HSN

Total Beauty for HSN
TotalBeauty.com and HSN have partnered up for the 4th edition of the Total Beauty Collection for HSN! This beauty box will be released on June 23rd with a LIVE 24-hour on-air event taking place on July 2nd. During the live event Total Beauty editors will be there to discuss the collection and to answer your beauty questions. The beauty box includes nine well-known beauty brands including Too Faced, NYX and Ruby Crystal. The beauty box is priced at $19.95 which includes FREE, yes FREE shipping and a $10 OFF coupon towards your next full-sized beauty purchase.
Let’s take a look at what’s inside the Total Beauty Collection for HSN:

Whats Inside Total Beauty for HSN Beauty Box

The Total Beauty Collection is a perfect way to sample some of the most well-known beauty products on the market. There were definitely some products that really stood out and are worth a mini review. The first is the Ruby Crystal Ruby Falls Sugar Scrub, a exfoliant to prep your hands for a manicure. The scrub is also great for prepping your feet for summer smooth skin. This sugar based scrub contains avocado oil and aloe to mositurize as it scrubs away dead skin. The sugar grains in the scrub are larger than most scrubs so it does a thorough job of brushing away the dryness but use gently!

Ruby Crystal Ruby Falls Sugar Scrub
Ruby Crystal Ruby Falls Sugar Scrub

Another favorite is the NYX  Glam Aqua Luxe Lip Gloss in Beat Goes On shade. This gloss gives an intense shimmer that looks great on top of your favorite lipstick (or you can wear it alone). It’s very sparkly so I’d wear this at night for a bit more of a glamorous look.

NYX  Glam Lip Gloss Aqua Luxe
NYX Glam Lip Gloss Aqua Luxe in Beat Goes On

The last product that I loved from this beauty box is the Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage Extreme Renewal Exfoliating Facial. This is a mud mask and an exfoliator all in one. Once the mask dries, you rinse it off while massaging your face to work in the exfoliating granules to buff away any dead skin. Once you rinse your face clean, your skin feels smooth and renewed, I love this!

   Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage Exfoliating Facial

Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage Exfoliating Facial

Overall this is a great beauty both that is well worth the price since it includes shipping and you get several deluxe and full-sized products. Get your Total Beauty Collection Beauty Box on June 23rd on HSN.com.

Disclosure: The product featured in this review was provided for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

Minimal Holiday Makeup Look with Mary Kay

Mary Kay® makeup Review and holiday look

I love wearing makeup but I simply do not have the time to apply it. So I love to opt for a simple minimal but glamorous look especially for the holidays. After a long night out makeup doesn’t always look as pretty as when you first applied it . And if you forget to touch it up of if you’re simply too busy then you can look like a hot mess before the clock strikes midnight.

So in order to avoid looking like a racoon I keep my makeup light and effortless. So for the holidays I chose a minimal look to get a little more glamorous yet polished.

I love to play up my lips because they’re my favorite facial feature. And it’s super easy to quickly apply some lip gloss on the go even when you don’t have a mirror. First I applied Mary Kay® True Dimensions™ Lipstick in Natural Beauté; a lovely neutral color that is incredibly flattering. To add a bit more nighttime glamour I layered  the lipstick with Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in Café Au Lait (Non-Shimmer).

Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in Café Au Lait

For a healthy looking glow, I dusted my entire face (lightly) with Mary Kay® Mineral Bronzing Powder in Desert Sun then added Mary Kay® Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush on my cheeks and set it with Mary Kay® Translucent Loose Powder.

Minimal holiday makeup look from Mary Kay

I’m not a huge wearer of eyeshadow so I lightly lined my top lids with Mary Kay® Eyeliner in Black Noir to open my eyes up a bit. Finally I set my holiday makeup look with Mary Kay® Makeup Finishing Spray.

I felt glam but not overdone. I really enjoyed the True Dimensions Lipstick, it felt great on my lips and had a nice shine to it. My lips get dry especially in the winter so I need a moisturizing lipstick in my beauty routine. My second favorite item was the lip gloss because it has a great high shine and looks fantastic over lipstick. The colors were very flattering and work well for a minimal makeup look since they’re not overpowering on the face. I found the quality of the makeup to be excellent, all items applied easily and did not get “cakey” on my face. I cannot wait to wear this look again!

Have you tried Mary Kay®?

Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Mary Kay through Condé Nast.

Naked3 from Urban Decay is here!

NEW Naked Palette 3 - Urban Decay Naked3

If you’ve joined the cult following of the “Naked” eyeshadow movement from Urban Decay you’ll no doubt be in love with the latest installment, Naked3. I’m a fan and was able to snag the first palette before it sold out at Sephora, swatches here.

This beautiful shadow set is available NOW on urbandecay.com. The palette will feature ultra-smooth mattes, gorgeous pearls and glimmering metallics. From the palest, shimmery pink to deep, warm black and of course the ever flattering neutrals. Naked3 featuring 12 never-before-seen (and insanely beautiful!) rose-hued neutrals. In store December 12th.

Urabn Decay Naked Palette Colors Colors include:

  • Strange – pale neutral pink matte-satin
  • Dust – pale metallic pink shimmer with iridescent micro-glitter
  • Burnout – light pinky-peach satin
  • Limit – light dusty rose matte
  • Buzz – metallic rose shimmer with silver micro-glitter
  • Trick – light metallic pinky-copper shimmer with tonal micro-sparkle
  • Nooner – medium pinky-brown matte
  • Liar – medium metallic mauve shimmer
  • Factory – pinky-brown satin
  • Mugshot – metallic taupe shimmer with slight pink shift
  • Darkside – deep taupe-mauve satin
  • Blackheart– smoky black matte with rosy red micro-sparkle

Naked3 also includes a NEW double-ended Good karma shadow and Blending Brush AND an Eyeshadow Primer Potion sampler with resealable samples of all four formulas (original, Sin, Eden and NEW anti-aging). Each sample holds about a week’s worth of primer! naked3 (SRP $52) is available from Sephora, ULTA and select Macy’s stores. Or, online at sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

This eyeshadow set is simply beautiful and a great stocking stuffer for the beauty maven in your life!

NARS Cosmetics Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S ’14

NARS Cosmetics Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S '14

This season, Phillip created sunglasses with a hologram effect and I wanted to recreate the same iridescent texture – paired with translucent skin, it’s very ethereal. It’s a healthy glow in a futuristic way – like a ‘future perfect’ day at the beach.” ~Elisa Ferri for NARS Cosmetics

NARS Cosmetics Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S '14

I’ve been enjoying the minimal/natural makeup looks that we’ve been seeing on the Spring/Summer 2014 runway shows. The makeup looks are much more effortless and allow a womans natural beauty to show through. These are the products used at 3.1 Phillip Lim S/S ’14 to achieve this healthy glow:

FACE
  • Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer mixed with Copacabana Illuminator
  • Stick Concealer
  • Luxor Multiple
  • Iridescent icy blue side of Iceland Duo Eyeshadow
BROWS
  • Caucase Brow Perfector
EYES
  • Luxor Multiple
  • Iridescent icy blue side of Iceland Duo Eyeshadow
  • Gold lamé side of the Kauai Duo Eyeshadow (New for Spring 2014; for now try Mousson Cream and Euphrate Single Eyeshadows)
  • Larger Than Life® Lengthening Mascara
 
LIPS

Bronzed Inspiration from NYX Cosmetics backstage at Nichols K S/S ’14

Bronzed Inspiration from NYX Cosmetics backstage at Nichols K S/S '14

The backstage beauty look for Nicholas K was minimal but sculpted. Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin wanted to convey chic, nomadic, tribal makeup. “Sibling design team Nicholas Kunz and Christopher Kunz presented muted, earth-toned looks in light and airy shapes with white as a prominent color throughout. To compliment this collection, Lead Makeup Artist Daniel Martin for NYX Cosmetics drew inspiration from the hip, downtown “NYX woman” and Nicholas K’s Native-American influences, creating a makeup look that evoked a “Modern Tribal Warrior.”

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Face Chart

The look involved a heavy emphasis on a bronzed face utilizing NYX  Cosmetics’ Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation mixed with Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator-Gleam, as well as some Mineral Finishing Powder only in the T-Zone.  NYX Cosmetics eyeshadows in Dance the Tides, Skinny Dip, and Hot Orange where mixed together to create a look mimicking a sunburn (different right?), the sculpted look was extended to the cheeks using NYX Matte Bronzer. On  the lips, just balm! Overall, this is a beautifully simplified look with minimal product.

What do you think of this look?

Guest Post by Laura of www.blushandbeakers.com

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude

There’s nothing that I love more than a moisturizing lip balm except a super luxurious lip gloss. And IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude delivers that super hydrating softness that I simply need and love. This lip gloss treats your lips on multiple levels, it hydrates, conditions and nourishes. This lip gloss is packed with anti-aging and anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C, E, Acai, Green Tea and White Tea extracts. These ingredients protect your lips and ward off free radical damage.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude

Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss is not only moisturizing but it has a silky finish and is not thick or sticky. I love the texture because it feels more like a sleek balm than a thick lip gloss. The formula gives a true sheer color; what you see in the tube is the color that you get. The lip gloss looks great alone or on top of your favorite lipstick.

I choose the Perfect Nude shade which I love for a more natural look. I believe that you can’t go wrong with this light shade when you’re seeking a minimalist makeup look; which is my go to look with my super busy schedule! Just pair Perfect Nude with some mascara and a bit of black eyeliner and you’re good to go! If nude lip gloss is not your thing, this formula is available in five other very tempting shades.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude, $24