Halloween Makeup: Day of the Dead (Modern Take)

September 30, 2020

Mackenzie's Notes
Here's my makeup and costume ideas for a modern take on a Halloween Day of the Dead look! Since this is a trial for my Halloween look, I wanted to try a more wearable look, without any white face paint, and drawn in teeth and nose. I will hopefully put up a different look, and one for guys soon too! I had so much fun doing this, I hope you enjoy it and try it yourself; it took about 10 minutes.  I will list all products I used, and I will have a separate post on how to make the 'rose' headband. Thanks for checking it out!

Reader's Recommendations: Would you like to see a tutorial on this look? Would you like to see any other looks for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

Products Used:
Eyes: Fantasy Makers Wicked Look, Vixen (kit)
          Elf Everyday Eye Palette - light taupe glittery shadow 
          Wet n Wild Kohl Eyeliner, and Liquid Eyeliner in Black
          L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lash Mascara in Black
          Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil and Eyebrow Gel
Face: Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation 
          Wet n Wild Berry Shimmer Blush, Vixen Eyeshadow (red and black)
           Physicians formula Mineral Pearl Translucent Highlight
Lips: Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Vixen Lipstick, black and red eyeshadow

'Rose' Headpiece Tutorial: Day of the Dead Costume

September 29, 2020

Mackenzie's Notes: I didn't have any fake or real flowers laying around the house, and since I think that some roses are important to the whole look, I used about 2 feet of red glittery wired ribbon. I twisted the ribbon around in three sections until it looked like three roses. You can play around with it, but you don't need to strive for highly realistic roses. I used three pins to pin it to my hair (one for each rosette).  That's all you need since it's very light and won't fall off! Tuck the wiry ribbon ends under your braids. 
It's easy, light, wearable and cute (glitter's a plus)! You can try and make rosettes out of other colors and out of longer ribbon pieces - this way you'll have a fuller head piece, depending on what you want.

 I was practicing, but you could try a straighter middle part and neater braids

I used a Martha Steward wired glitter ribbon from Kmart

I used 3 pins to attach the headpiece to my hair; try and tuck them under your hair!

Halloween: Fantasy Makers Wicked Look, Vixen

September 29, 2020

Product Review:

I ran across this Halloween makeup kit over the weekend at Rite Aid; it was $4.99 and I decided to try it out since I love Wet n Wild products, and this 'Fantasy Makers' makeup is from the creators of Wet n Wild. I like investing in Halloween-y things that I can reuse in my routine so this was a good investment.  For my Halloween costume I will try out a Day of the Dead Sugar Skull makeup look, and the red and black would be my main color scheme.

Mackenzie's Notes: 
The eyelashes included are black, wispy and have red tinsel towards the ends; they are also self-adhesive and I will let you know how those held up on Halloween day. The red nail polish is a bright red, very pretty bright red and opaque formula. The lipstick was surprisingly moisturizing, and also a bright cherry red that felt comfortable on the lips.  I've used their long lasting lipsticks before that are drier and more opaque, so if that's what you're after I'd invest in a bright red from that line (also very affordable). On a last note, packaging was nice because the model on the product gave a good idea of a makeup look, so that was nice!

Reader's Recommendations: Have you tried any other Halloween makeup kits? I'm also still on the look out for a red cream base so let me know if you have any ideas! I tried the lipstick as a red base but it creased immediately lol.

Check out my cute spiders! Cut out of Origami Black paper

Great Pigmentation!

Dr. Jart BB Cream Water Fuse

September 27, 2020


Miranda's Notes: Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm (BB Cream) Water Fuse 

Pros:  The BB Cream craze has been sweeping the beauty nation - there are a ton of available products and it's quite difficult to pick the correct one.  Luckily for me, the first choice was the best choice.  I came across Dr. Jart BB Cream when I was perusing the "favorites" wall at Sephora.  I have a lighter skin tone and dry skin - so I was looking for a non-cakey, glowing foundation that moisturized and also treated.  Well, I never found that foundation but I did find this amazing Dr. Jart BB Cream Water Fuse. Dr. Jart Water Fuse is a perfect combination of moisture, SPF, coverage, and luminosity/dewiness.  While the first application of this BB Cream is somewhat sheer, I usually apply a second coat by dabbing and then set everything with a sheer mineral powder.  Although Dr. Jart BB Cream comes only in one shade, I find that the color adjusts to the skin tone and covers all imperfections. 

Cons: None. This is my go to from an event, to work, to just walking out-may-see-someone-i-know situation. I recommend swatching Dr. Jart Water Fuse first to ensure that the color matches your skintone - overall though, my sister also tried this BB cream and was happy with the coverage.  If you're looking to join the BB cream craze, you can't go wrong with Dr. Jart BB Cream! 

Grade: 5/5
The product as it is from the bottle 
Product appears light - wipe the surface area,  ignore the streaks or marks
Let sit for a couple of seconds or one minute, and then spread  evenly across skin
Coverage adjusts to your skin color and gives that clean look

Great Lash Maybelline Clear Mascara - Brow Gel

September 26, 2020

Great Lash Maybelline Clear Gel for Eyebrows and Eyelashes 

Mackenzie's Notes: Great Lash Maybelline Clear Mascara
Pros: I purchased this gel for my eyebrows since I have full eyebrows and by the end of the day they are unruly and all over the place; this was the most affordable I could find (approximately $5.99) at my drugstore, because I'd rather invest in some awesome eyeshadow or blush instead.  I comb this product through my eyebrows after I put on an eyebrow pencil underneath, and it definitely makes everything look nice and have a shape.  The gel doesn't dry hard or waxy, it pretty much just feels like your normal eyebrow hairs.
Cons: Unfortunately it doesn't last too long for me..I put it on at 7 am and by 3 pm my eyebrows are all over the place.   I almost wish this was waxier or heavier duty. Also, be careful when you put it on, I always have to remove excess product that comes out of the tube.
Grade: 2.5/5

wand is relatively small, good size for eyebrows

Miranda's Notes: Great Lash Maybelline Clear
Pros: I have fine eyebrows that end up all over the place because I wear bangs and constantly touch my forehead.  I used to use clear lip gloss just to set my eyebrows but that, understandably, turned into a sticky disaster.  This gel does not flake, does not really dry, but it grooms the eyebrows, sets the shape, and gives definition.  I know my sister doesn't really like this eyebrow gel, but I find that by the end of the day my eyebrows still look clean and shaped correctly. 
Cons: You have to wipe the wand in a tissue because there is too much product and will be clumpy. 
Grade: 3.5/5

Reader Recommendations: Since we have still not found that perfect eyebrow gel, that looks like it's not really there, let us know in the comments if you have any recommendations! 

Cover Girl Lip Slicks

September 26, 2020

Cover Girl Lip Slicks Review and Swatches

These are my go to lip product and I just had to share it with you! I don't see much hype about these products on YouTube or on blogs, and that's maybe because they have been out for a decade or so lol.  But I tried Demure first and my collection grew over time. They also have three or so other colors, but these are the ones I thought I'd wear most.

Mackenzie's Notes: 
Pros: I loved the formula, color, moisturizing quality and the ease of application. I can put this on while riding the subway without a mirror and I will not look like a hot mess. They have a slightly glossy finish, and that means no need for additional lip-gloss on top of lipstick.  I'm not a 'very shiny sticky hard core' lip gloss kind of gal, and these give the perfect 'natural' gloss to my lips.  Also, when my lipstick gets messed up, it's quite obvious, but these lip slicks fade away naturally, without looking horrid right before.  The colors I have all have different color profiles and finishes and I will expand upon that, but my favorites are Cutie (peachy gold tone) and Daring (red toned). The packaging is simple and nice (the product swivels up) and there is enough product to last you for a while.
Cons: I wish they would last longer! They last about 1 hour on me; but I love the way they make my lips feel and I actually enjoy putting them on often. Also there is no residue left so you can easily reapply.
Grade: 5/5

(L) Daring, Hipster, Cutie, Demure (R)

(L) Daring, Hipster, Cutie, Demure (R)
Miranda's Notes: 
Pros: I'm a lip balm junkie and while I love lipsticks now and then, lip balms are perfect for everyday, even under lipsticks! I also have thin lips so I have to be careful about choosing lipsticks that make my lips even smaller.  With that said, these lip slicks haven't been around for no reason, they're oldies...but goodies.  They provide great moisture, keep lips soft and shiny, and give that beautiful color.  If you're going for the angelic, demure Disney-princess look, these lip slicks are it. 
Cons: Do not last as long but reapplying takes a few seconds. 
Grade: 5/5 

(L) Daring, Hipster, Cutie, Demure (R)
(L) Daring, Hipster, Cutie, Demure (R)

It has a milky pink/lavender tone to it. Gorgeous when layered too!

It is a peachy color with gold luster finish. It fits warm tones beautifully. 

This is a raisin color with almost unnoticeable gold shimmer lustre.

This is a red based berry color with small gold sparkles.
It gives a beautiful just bitten look to your lips. 

L'Oreal Wishful Pinking Review - L'Oreal Polish Swatch

September 25, 2020

Wishful Pinking - L'Oreal Swatch - The color peeks through in darker light
Clean, pretty, and minimalist
As a law student, I often find myself in professional settings, interviews, and networking events.  So, I am always looking for that nail polish that is fun, and at the same time, appropriate.  I've tried several colors but I always find myself going back to Wishful Pinking by L'Oreal.  This color makes my hands look clean, girly, and yet colorful.  

L'Oreal Wishful Pinking (250) is a perfect milky formula that allows the color to build up. You can be the absolute worst polish applier, shaking hands, not paying attention, getting polish on the skin around the nail...anything, this polish will still look clean.  L'Oreal Wishful Pinking is a formula that applies with absolutely no streaks - I'm tempted to say "or your money back!" like in those cheesy commercials. This polish also covers nail imperfections, gives nails a beautiful pink tint, and makes your manicure appear clean.  Three coats will probably be more tinted but I usually wear two during the week (and spice it up during the weekend).

Reader Recommendations: What is your favorite go-to pink for those professional days? Let us know in the comments. 

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.

L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara

September 24, 2020

L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara Review - L'Oreal False Fiber Lashes

I have been testing the L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara for a few months now and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on it.  I bought the False Fiber Mascara in Blackest Black at the drugstore for 9$ (they also have a waterproof version).  I naturally have pretty long lashes, and I wasn't paying too much attention to the mascara I was using until my mom actually bought me this one; I feel like mascaras always make some out of this world claim and I just came to never trust them or fall for the hype. This L'Oreal False Fiber mascara claims to use sculpting fibers to shape lashes, give them volume and extend them. So, did it live up to the claim?

Mackenzie's Notes: L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara 
Pros: I could definitely notice the sculpting fibers and I could tell it was actually extending the length of my lashes.  The wand was a classic shape and I could get to my smaller lashes easily.  I personally like a 'clumpy', drier formula mascara since I like to deposit most of it at the roots in order to give the illusion of thicker lashes.  I am happy this mascara doesn't have a wet formula like other L'Oreal mascaras.  Since it does dry pretty fast, I recommend one coat only and kind of working it until you're satisfied in one go, otherwise it can get pretty spidery looking.  It didn't flake on me, and once I got home I could easily wash it off (which is very important since I only wash my face to remove my makeup). I get lots of compliments on my lashes when I wear it, so I definitely recommend it!
Cons: Packaging is definitely on the big side, and it can be too bulky for storage or travel.
Grade: 5/5

Voluminous False Lashes - containing small fibers for a volumizing effect 
Wand tilts upwards slightly
L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes brush size 
Miranda's Notes: L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara 
I've been using the L'Oreal Voluminous Curved Brush Volume Building Mascara (that's a mouthful!) and my sister recommended the False Fiber Mascara.  I've been looking for a volumizing mascara just because my lashes are short and sparse.  My sister emphasized to put the wand at the base, wiggle it a bit, and then extend it to the end of the lashes 

Pros: The fibers in the mascara actually work!  The product makes the lashes fluffier and longer - it adds thicker product on the lashes which give that false lashes effect ...without the false.  The wand can be used to make the lashes clumpy or seamless, it's up to you on how much product you add. 
Cons: By the end of the day, I noticed that there was some darkness under my eye due to flaking.  This may have been due to my constant rubbing of my eyes (I wear glasses, contacts, the works... and my eyes get itchy).  Either way, you can make sure there is no flaking by finishing with a clear gel or starting with a mascara base so the fibers are really set. 
Grade: 5/5

Physicians Formula: Bronze Booster and Mineral Glow Pearls

September 23, 2020

Physician's Formula Bronze Booster Swatch - Physician's Formula Bronze Booster Review
Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Swatch - Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Review

1. Bronze Booster in Medium to Dark
2. Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Light Bronze Pearl

Mackenzie's Notes
I purchased these two products the other day because I have heard rave reviews about the Bronze Booster (Medium to Dark) and I was losing patience with my NYC Sunny Bronzer. That bronzer looked too orange on my skin tone (I am medium with yellow undertones), and by the end of the day it was patchy and uneven- not a good look. I decided to purchase the Physicians Formula one, and I will be trying it out for the next week; I will update you on how I like it soon!

I currently own the Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent (the brighter, white color) and though I absolutely love it, I noticed that sometimes with my warm skin tone and peachy blush colors, I'd rather layer a warm toned highlighter than a cool one.  That's why I purchased the Bronze Pearl one; I will try it out with some of my looks and let you know how I like it!

Small brushes and a mirror are included with each
Packaging is cute but bulky for amount of product; hard to store
Pearl Highlight (L) Bronze Booster (R)

Influenster Naturals VoxBox 2012

September 23, 2020

Miranda's Notes: I was excited to be selected as a recipient of the Influenster Naturals VoxBox!  Through 'green' beauty, you can include some all natural products in your beauty regimen.  I use several Origins products and was looking forward to try out other green goodies.     

Miranda's Notes: E Boost Daily Health Booster
Pros: This flavored powder was packed full of vitamins.  The taste was very organge-y and fizzy. It came quite in handy, having just had a cold.
Cons: The drink tasted a bit like medicine, but that may have been my stubborn attempt at only filling a glass halfway in an effort not to get my tummy full.  
Grade: 4/5

Miranda's Notes: Nectreese Natural Sweetener
Pros: This natural sweeter comes from a fruit, so none of those nasty chemicals.  The taste was delicious and very...sweet.
Cons: Wish I had more packets...
Grade: 5/5

Miranda's Notes: Clean Well All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipe
Pros: This sanitizing wipe smelled wonderfully lemony.  It wasn't dripping with liquid and the wipe was soft.
Cons: I wish the napkin was a bit larger.
Grade: 5/5

Mackenzie's Notes: Lypsyl Lyp Moisturizer 
Pros: I love this balm! I enjoy the packaging (slider makes it easy to get product out) and it feels amazing on the lips: not greasy or waxy.  My boyfriend loves it also because it is not shiny or glossy, so I definitely recommend it for a guy too. The menthol flavor disappears after 2 minutes and it's not too intense; the balm doesn't taste 'soapy' either.  Some notable ingredients are coconut oil, Shea butter and vitamins A and E. 
Cons: Wish there was more product! (.10 oz)
Grade: 5/5  

Miranda's Notes: Lypsyl  Lyp Moisturizer 
Pros: The balm was soft on the lips, definitely moisturizing. 
Cons: Oh no, the mint flavor...it always seems to hurt my lips.  But this may just be my sensitivity to all-menthol items. 
Grade: 3/5


Miranda's Notes: Dessert Essence Coconut Hair Lotion
Pros: You like moisturizing lotions? Eh..how about moisturizing lotions for your hair? This is a wonderful product, especially for the upcoming cold weather. My hair is very fine, gets greasy fast, frizzy, and static-y...sounds beautiful, I know.  The Dessert Essence has a soft smell, tames hair, and makes hair shiny.
Cons: Be careful how much you apply, do not over-do it or else hair gets matted.
Grade: 5/5


Miranda's Notes: Geodeo Natural Deodorant
Pros: This is a natural deodorant that is supposed to provide 24 hour protection.  The smell is wonderful, it applies easily, and there are no white marks after application.
Cons: Not for the heavy-duty, sweat non-stop days/workouts.  It works in that it blocks odor but you still feel as if you are sweating.  I wore this on an ordinary day and it worked very well; however, during the weekend, when I went around town running errands, I ended up sweating (neooh!).
Grade: 3/5

Pretty Squared - Our First Post

September 15, 2020

Welcome to Miranda and Mackenzie's beauty blog!

Pretty Squared is two sisters’ take on all things pretty (hey, that's us!) with double the beauty knowledge and double the style.  

Pretty Squared, pretty to the power of two, is an interactive way to share beauty tips and tricks with each other as well as with other beauty enthusiasts.  Between law school and art shows, Pretty Squared allows us to chat about nail art ideas, seasonal trends, the newest makeup releases, and our great product finds along the way.

We used to spend hours chatting, texting, and messaging about product discoveries and our makeup for that day.  But now, we write blog posts - I may be in class (alas!) or my sister may be busy painting, but at the end of the day, we take the time to read each other's posts about beauty.  My sister is my favorite reader and I'm my sister's favorite reader hehe. 

From the DC Capitol sidelines and swanky Georgetown shops, Miranda chronicles her adventures in product discovery and pursuit of sophisticated beauty.  Inspired by East Village creativity and the ever-changing NYC eccentric style, Mackenzie makes beauty trends accessible and easy to replicate.  Together, these two beauty-minded sisters provide comprehensive reviews and tutorials (and everything in between!) by offering different perspectives to a wide range of readers with a variety of preferences.
Stay pretty!