Top 10 Beauty Myths Busted

Beauty Myth 1: Expensive products are always better than inexpensive (drugstore) products.

This one’s number one because drugstore versus non-drugstore debate will always exist (with strong opinions on either side).  The reality is of course a happy middle ground – best products come from both the drugstore aisle as well as from the Nordstrom counters – it’s only a matter of identifying the best and brightest in the lineup of a cosmetic brand.

Beauty Myth 2: Those with oily skin types do not need to moisturize.

Some may doubt this, but even oily skin types need the benefits that come with a moisturizer. While the strength of the moisturizer may vary, hydration is strongly recommended for any skin type (consider using a gel moisturizer with priming and mattefying qualities).

Beauty Myth 3: Use hairspray on your face to set your makeup.

I remember reading this “tip” on AOL pages back in the day (and wondering “why didn’t I think of that!”).   The reason why I didn’t think of it is because hairspray is terrible for your skin, hair, makeup, eyes, the spray, and everyone else involved.  There are several great setting-spray products that can make your makeup last longer (and are skin-safe!).Beauty Myth 4: You can shrink and make your pores disappear.

I went to law school because I’m not good with science (ha!), but even I know that pores are genetically determined and there’s no getting rid of them.  There is no product out there that will make your pores go “poof!” and disappear (and suddenly, photoshopped model skin appears).  It’s best to embrace your skin type and your pores, and use products that can help shrink, minimize, and blur pores – all while accepting that pores will still be somewhat visible.

Beauty Myth 5: Makeup products have no expiration date.

Makeup has an expiration date – there, I said it clearly for everyone that is dearly holding on to makeup from middle school and the way back when.  While it may not be visible to us, makeup ingredients degrade over time and accumulate bacteria that should in no way be touching skin, eyes, or lips – for more information about makeup expiration dates, be sure to read this helpful Refinery 29 post.

Beauty Myth 6: You should match your makeup colors with your outfit colors.

This “gem” made the list because I heard someone say this very recently (yes, as in, this happened!).  I’m happy to announce that there are no rules with makeup colors – the sky’s the limit and anyone can be as creative and picky as they wish.  Yes, sometimes a makeup look is better suited for various events and outfits but in no way should you feel forced to wear yellow eyeshadow to match your yellow top.

beauty myths top tenBeauty Myth 7: Use only all-natural makeup and skincare for your skin to be in the best condition.

I realize this will be somewhat debated, but I find absolutes to often be, well, wrong.  I tried undergoing an all natural routine, and my skin was not very happy. Just because a product is advertised as all natural does not mean that that product is appropriate for your skin – many individuals have allergic reactions to natural ingredients and skin may be irritated no matter how organic the product is (fragrant oils, I’m looking at you!).  This is a myth because it simply isn’t true – be sure to research your products’ claims and ingredients and always do a skin test.

Beauty Myth 8: When doing your makeup, always apply concealer first and under foundation.

Whether concealer goes before or after is a chicken versus egg debate – no one knows the answer but everyone tries to convince others of the correct order.  In reality, concealer application depends on types of products used, coverage area, and problematic spots – it’s all really up to your personal preference.

Beauty Myth 9: Eyebrows should not be filled in and/or plucked from above and/or should match hair color and/or any other eyebrow advice. 

Eyebrow game is real, people! And because eyebrows are like snowflakes, different techniques and looks work for different people.  Depending on hair density, width, length, hair color, and face shape, the best eyebrows are a result of a customized grooming approach.

MascaraMistakesBeauty Myth 10:  There are set beauty rules that have to be followed.

There may be guidelines in the world of beauty, but beauty rules are meant to be broken. Makeup allows us to be creative, spontaneous, traditional, happy, bright, and everything else in between.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. and Mackenzie M.

Pink Chevron – Altair Beauty Brushes

IMG_8226IMG_8227editedThe secret behind great makeup is usually great brushes.  Add a dash of creativity and pinch of patience, and the right makeup brush can make a tremendous difference in a beauty routine (think of it as a good-makeup day, everyday).

A few years ago, as I was just begging my love affair with makeup, I made some novice mistakes – I would invest in the absolute best products but would end up applying my makeup with random left-over makeup sponges and the occasional miniature sponge tip eyeshadow applicator (that’s right, you know exactly what I’m talking about!). With a bit of research, I realized that by investing in the correct brushes and tools both my technique and final look improved.IMG_8223 altairbeautyWhether you are makeup beginner or a skilled professional, Altair Accessories brushes are the perfect pick for affordable brushes that are of high quality (add in the the absolutely lovely pink chevron design, and these brushes are simply wonderful!).  With brushes purchases, I always consider the bottom line – are these tools worth purchasing and will these tools help? In the case of Altair, the answer is a resounding “yes.”  Ranging from $5 to $16 cost, Altair products are priced for all types of budgets – in fact, the full nine piece brush set, which contains all types of brushes, is currently priced at $25 (can you tell I’m obsessing over the investment aspect?).

Quality wise, the Altair pink chevron brushes helped make my makeup routine quick and easy.  Altair brushes are vegan with all synthetic, no animal hair.  The brushes do not shed, are extremely soft, and aid with application by picking up just the right amount of product.  The bristles of the brushes are bundled in the right amount of density as to easily glide and blend.  For the blending blushes, I also found the brush construction on point (nothing worse than overly large blush brushes that create the 80s-blush-in-hair look).  I would love to see the line expand and for Altair to include more variety for the eye brushes.  However, overall, the chevron Altair brushes are beautiful, effective, and affordable.

The Altair Kabuki Brush Set, priced currently at $17, was another “why didn’t I own this before?!” kind of a product.  The malleable and soft bristles are perfect for applying foundation and blending eye shadows (also, pastel purple will always win me over).  The Altair Kabuki set also includes a free mini-brush cleaner tool, but I’m saving that little beauty for a favorites post.

If you are looking to add a few more brushes to your collection (and your vanity!), I recommend considering Altair brushes.  In the current market, it’s tough to find that balance of a great brush at an affordable price, but Altair delivers just that.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

Fall Style with 90s Chunky Boots

chunky boots-Recovered2Products shown: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7

As fashion trends come and go each season, I’m confident in my personal style to know which items are best for me embrace or ignore.  My fashion sense is classic with a bit of edge, and I tend to go for modern pieces that are inspired by menswear and incorporate cool accents. Let’s just say I knew instantly I couldn’t swing the pastel chiffon trend popular this past spring and summer (even though my sister thrives on romantic fabrics and colors and tried to convince me otherwise).  However, as the 90s grunge throwback re-appeared this fall, I was ready to incorporate more style pieces that resembled the simplicity and classic look of the 90s (without looking like the 90s, of course).

Chelsea boots are certainly not new to the fashion scene but because I am fairly short, I always thought that that Chelsea boots made me appear stumpy and even shorter. With the 90s trend in full force, companies have been re-releasing chunky boots and high heeled Chelsea boots in a variety of designs. I scoured the internet for about a month trying to find the perfect pair and splurge for the season (the research is the best part!).

I wanted a pair of chunky Chelsea boots that mimicked masculine footwear and incorporated an edgy vibe while also offering comfort and price affordability.  The examples above all made my shortlist, but I ultimately decided on purchasing the Bucharest Booties by Bussola from a local store in Brooklyn NY.  Retailing at $120 from DNA footwear, the Bucharest Booties elongate the stature with comfortable 4 inch heels and still evoke that 90s Chelsea boot style (similar style available here). So far, the Booties have held up wonderfully and the great craftsmanship should help this pair be a staple in my shoe ensemble.

The right pair of chunky Chelsea boots can look stylish on anyone – whether paired with skinny jeans, a dress, or (lazy-day) leggings, chunky boots are practical, hip, and comfortable.v

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

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.