Pretty Basic Series – Eye Concealer Routine

concealercloseup_texture copyswatch1 copyconceal24 copyIf I have 3 minutes to do my makeup, I will always choose to get to two things without fail: my under eye concealer and my eyebrows.  People value different features when doing makeup, but personally, brightening and framing my eyes takes precedence over the rest of the getting-ready routine.

In our Pretty Basic Series, we will be featuring tutorials and beauty techniques that are essential and make the biggest difference in one’s daily routine.  And because nothing is more basic (and sometimes more complicated!) than concealer, this post describes my eye concealer routine.  In the concealer tutorial below, products may change depending on your skin type and coverage area, but the step by step process remains the same.  Keep in mind you can also vary the product usage based on the occasion (think errands during the day versus going out at night).

For my eye beautifying routine, I start by using a salmon colored concealer to neutralize the blue tones under my eyes.  Orange and blue tones are opposites on the color wheel, and once mixed, these shades create a neutral tone making the eye area look brighter immediately (something that my tired eyes are thankful for!).  The salmon color concealer is imperative in canceling dark circles – if I was to just apply the skin toned concealer alone, the under-eye blue tones would be lightened to create a grey cast (instead of a brightening effect). I use Benefit Erase Paste in medium, and I tap a small amount on, starting at the end of the eye and tapping towards my tear duct to avoid creating wrinkles (Tutorial Steps 1,2).

After neutralizing,  I apply a small amount of the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, making sure to provide coverage to the most inner eye spot by the nose (quick shout out here to the best concealer from Nars). I use a damp Beauty Blender (for dry skin) or soft brush to blend in the Nars Creamy Concelar (Tutorial Steps 3,4).

Because you want to avoid the dreaded concealer crease under the eye, you will need to “set” these liquid and cream products to ensure long lasting coverage. I use ELF’s affordable HD Undereye Powder that has finely milled sparkle particles for a brightening effect. Depending on the desired final look, you may also use a light, matte pigmented powder for further coverage – just make sure it is a finely milled powder (Tutorial Step 5).  I recommend using a fluffy but precise tip brush that applies a generous amount of powder (and of course, you don’t want to poke yourself in the eye, that’s never a good look!). Because the eye area is ultra sensitive, apply products with care using either specifically designed brushes or your ring finger which cannot apply as much pressure.

In just three easy (but thought-out) steps, your eye area will look radiant, awake, and glowing – as a recap, remember to neutralize any undertones, conceal dark circles, and set/brighten with a powder.

Let me know in the comments if your concealer routine is more advanced or simplified and what eye products you can’t do without in the morning (I’m always looking to learn more tips and tricks!).

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

The Lip Balm Debate and an Eos Coconut Milk Endorsement

eoseos3eos5Talking about lip balm is akin to discussing politics. There will be arguments, some sighs, random head shaking, and overall no consensus.  For some reason, lip balm choice is deeply personal and always sparks debate (seriously, just tell someone that their brand lip balm didn’t work for you and watch the dispute unfold).  In the case of Eos, people either hate it or love it.  I’m on the “love” side and am a big proponent of all Eos products.

Eos recently released two Visibly Soft lip balms that feature a swirl, candy pattern in blue and pink – the pink Eos has a Coconut Milk flavor and the blue Eos has a Vanilla Mint flavor.  I purchased the pink Eos because I do not like to use balms that contain mint as mint is often irritating for sensitive skin.

Eos Visiblys Soft Coconut Milk performs as good, if not better, than the regular line of Eos balms (and bonus points for the adorable packaging).  This Eos Coconut Milk balm is enriched with natural conditioning oils, moisturizing shea butter, and nourishing Vitamins C and E.  Like all other Eos products, Coconut Milk is petrolatum-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and phthalate-free.  Scent wise, Eos balms do not have a strong fragrance and due to the natural ingredients, any scent that is present is not overtly powerful (this Visibly Soft balm has a slight scent of coconut).

Because of the added water and sodium hyalruronate ingridients, the Visibly Soft balms apply smoother and feel more emollient – overall, I find that Coconut Milk is also longer lasting and provides sustained moisture for at least three hours.

My purse is full of these small Eos spheres so I obviously love the product.  Eos works for me as it is nourishing without being drying, irritating, or too waxy.  While some may dislike the packaging, I find it hygienic and easy to carry (plus, it’s easy to find in my black-hole of a purse). I use Eos with other lip products and lipsticks and have had only positive experiences with Eos products.

Priced at an affordable $3.50, Visibly Soft Coconut Milk and Vanilla Mint are available for purchase at Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, and Target (also available online if difficult to locate).  And with the last of the political puns, I fully endorse Eos balms for everyone and anyone!

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Evil Mermaid Halloween Makeup Tutorial

mermaid4halloween222diagram_tutorial copy2 detail copybeautysets-Recovered2Products Used: Esqido Lashes | the Balm Pallete | BlackUp Lipstick |Rhinestones | Manic Panic White Foundation

If you have no costume picked out for Halloween (and many of us don’t, let’s be honest with our busy selves), you can still go out and celebrate in style.  In fact, you may be better off because you now have all the options in the world for a unique and creative costume.  Halloween is the ideal time to bring out old and new makeup, odds and ends around the house, ribbons and sequins, and those clothes you never wear because the seam and texture is just funny.

Not having a costume means I have to be creative and most importantly, I can try the outlandish beauty trends I could never wear for everyday.  This Halloween, I opted for an evil mermaid DYI costume.  I initially wanted to create a simple mermaid costume, but it’s Halloween, so adding spooky or evil into the mix felt spooktacular (hey!).

The key to any mermaid costume is the placement and application of the scales – thankfully, creating scales is easy with a mesh material, a makeup sponge, and powder eye shadow (similar to stenciling, simply place the mesh where you want the appearance of scales and tap the eye shadow over the mesh).

Color wise, I chose dark jewel tones and contrasting shades that make an impact (be sure to pick long lasting product or use a face and eye primer).  Dramatic lashes are a must for this type of Halloween costume, and I love the natural look and comfortable feel of Esqido lashes (I used Esqido Lashmopolitan). For accessories, I used a net sweater (which, I didn’t even knew I owned!) and a metal scales headband.

For more details about my evil mermaid Halloween makeup, be sure to follow the tutorial above and share your looks and inspiration (I’m a strong believer that the best costumes are the ones that are created spur of the moment!). Happy Halloween!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

All That Glitters with Le Bunny Bleu

bunnybleu1 copybunnybleu3 copybunny bleu5bunny bleu2 copyThe perfect pair of shoes is not easy to find.  From fit and form to design and accents, there are a million and one considerations when shoe shopping.  Although, as probably every other girl out there, I am extremely picky about my shoes, I have my true and tried designers that always deliver.  For adorable flats that are sturdy and comfortable, with just a touch of lovely, Le Bunny Bleu shoes are the perfect pick.  Le Bunny Bleu describes their collection as the “sweetest shoes” for the “romantic at heart” girl, and I’d have to agree with that motto!

Le Bunny Bleu shoes are a balance of wonderful accents and classic shapes. A simple, monochrome bow may be offset by a glitter band and an embellished print may have a small, silver charm.  I originally found Le Bunny Bleu while searching for wedding shoes and bridal shower shoes – I wanted something comfortable and simple, yet festive and romantic.  Quality wise, Le Bunny Bleu shoes are crafted out of sturdy and long lasting materials (as a note, consult the sizing information as some products may run smaller or larger depending on the style).  Le Bunny Bleu stores are in New York City and  throughout Asia and Europe, but the website also offers online ordering and free US shipping on orders above $55.00 – my order shipped quickly and safely in an easy to store box that also contained a polka-dot dust bag (my overly crowded closet was thankful for this attention to detail!).

I could go on and on about the qualities of Le Bunny Bleu  but just take a look at these ballet flats – the photos speak for themselves! These Pink Pasia flats are simply beautiful, chic, and sparkly (and because of the affordable prices, my wallet is also happy!).

Visit Le Bunny Bleu website to browse more styles and follow Le Bunny Bleu on Instagram (of course, there’s adorable bunny photos involved!).

lebunnybleushoesreviewStyles shown: Kelly Mid Heel | Mini Bunny Flats | Carling Oxfords | Glitter Heels

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.