Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Makeup Tutorial: The Ice Princess

I've been unable to update lately thanks to the startup of school. I've begun a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and my lovely friend Adina came to visit me and eat mini chicken-less pot pies with me. :) She also let me borrow her face to practice makeup on...

The lighting in my house is terrible, I am going to need to remedy that. And also not do makeup at 8PM...

Because I got a ton of produces from (who are presently having a FANTASTIC 50% off everything up to $15 sale) I wanted to practice them on her. I primed her skin using e.l.f.'s Mineral Face Primer ($6.00 online) and used my favorite foundation, the Sephora Collection Buildable Cover Complexion Kit for light skin, $22 at For blush I used Maybelline Mineral Power blush in Original Rose, $5. I lightly brushed on a bit of Maybelline Mineral Power Illuminator All-Over Sheer Shimmer Loose Powder, $3.98, over her face for a light shine.

For her eyes, I first applied the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in Sheer ($3 online) and then went to my trusty Coastal Scents Ultra Shimmer 88 palette ($19.95) and chose the following colors from it:

Base color: 5 over, 2 down
Shadow: 5 over, 4 down
Highlight: 6 over, first color

Eyeliner was one of the main concerns for this. Adina felt like she wasn't able to wear black eyeliner without it looking too intense, so she wanted me to help her with it.  She also, like me, has a hard time reaching out of her comfort zone of colors (pinks, golds, and browns) so she had wanted to do something with either blue or green. This palette has a WAY larger selection of blues I think so I chose to do that. Anyway, back to the eyeliner.  I purchased a TON of eyeliners from e.l.f. including my VERY FIRST liquid eyeliner. My whole life I just wore the eyeliner sticks that twisted out, because I was afraid of poking myself in the eye with the liquid brush. But Adina somehow trusted me enough to let me use her face. The liquid eyeliner I used from e.l.f. was only $1! They also have a lot of fun colors. This eyeliner goes on smoothly and looks great! Lastly for the eyes I applied Maybelline XXL Extensions ($5.99) as her mascara.

For the lips, I simply used a color from my Stila lip glaze set, "Dreamy" and covered it with a touch of Wet n Wild Megaslicks in "Crystal Clear" ($1.99). I wish the pictures had come out better but she really loved it! It was something totally new to her but she really enjoyed it, and wanted me to do her makeup before she went to class the next day haha... 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Makeup Tutorial: The Red Queen

I really, really wish I had waited later in the day to do my makeup, because my airbrush system came in the mail today!  I will post more on that awesome deal later, but trust me, I would NOT be buying one of those things at full price... I got a great deal on mine. Thanks eBay! Haha.

But anyway, I had a makeup tutorial planned out for today.  I found a blank template of those MAC face charts on Google Image Search and came up with this look while I was toying around with it in Photoshop:

Based on that look, this is what it looks like on me:

Ignore my giant forehead, please.  This is why I need to get my bangs cut...

For this look I used my Coastal Scents Ultra Shimmer 88 Palette, available at their website for $19.95 OR at for $19.73, where it is available for Super Saver Shipping. <3  It really is a gorgeous palette that I will go further into at a later time.  Also, I found this great image of the inside of the kit at the blog CookDoKoo when I did a Google Image Search for it, so I am using that to show which colors I put on.

I didn't really use a super impressive set of brushes, just the Shany brush set I purchased from Amazon for $12.99 (which was also available for Super Saver Shipping! Noticing a pattern?)  Really any brush set can be used, I think.  I just first put down the base color on my whole eyelid, then used an angled brush to place the shadow in the crease above my eyelid. I smoothed it out quickly with a blending brush and applied the brow highlight from the shadow color all the way up to my brow.  I used a pale gold color that wasn't too far from my skin tone that it would stick out a lot, so use your own judgement there to match your own tone.  Then I placed the white on the inside corner of my eye and smudged it in a bit with my finger.  I also applied this color under my eye to meet with the shadow color on the outside.

Next, I applied my eyeliner.  I really, really wish I had a normal black eyeliner (my absolute favorite is Revlon ColorStay in black, but the past few times at the store it's been sold out!) but I've been getting along with my Revlon ColorStay in charcoal...  Again, any eyeliner will probably work for this step.  Anyway, I placed the eyeliner on my waterline and along the top lid, extending it a bit to make a sort of wing.  I don't have this technique down pat yet, so I hold my skin taut while I make the line, and when I let go it usually looks like it tapers off well.  Finally, I put on my mascara - Maybelline XXL Extensions in very black, on sale right now from Amazon at $5.30, free shipping.  I really, really like this mascara.  It has two steps - first you apply side 1, which is a white lash primer / extender.  Then you apply side 2, which is the black mascara.  My eyelashes are kinda light and short, but this mascara does wonders for me.  Here is a closeup of the finished look on my eyes:

Other than the eyes, this is what I'm wearing:

-Sephora Collection Buildable Cover Kit (mentioned in my first blog post)
-Maybelline Mineral Powder Blush in Original Rose

-Stila lip glaze in "kitten"
-Wet n Wild MegaSlicks in "crystal clear"

Also here is a closeup of my lips.  I apply the Wet n Wild MegaSlicks over the lip glaze because it gives it a crazy lovely wet look.  Because I don't want to pull off the lip glaze when I apply the other gloss, I just dab the Wet n Wild stuff over the top gently.

Hope you enjoyed this look!  I'm looking forward to doing more fun tutorials in the future.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lip Exfoliation: Sugar & Oil Scrub

Let me just say that winter totally, completely sucks for my lips.  I get halfway through winter perfectly fine, then I'll lick my lips ONE time out in the cold and suddenly they're super chapped.  In times like these I used to stick firmly to my Burt's Bees Lip Balm, which is as low as $1.99 online, but this year I didn't have the chance to pick any up.  What I do have instead that has been getting me through winter is this wonderful little thing:

Nivea, A Kiss of Milk and Honey (as low as $1.79 online)

It really is a kiss of milk and honey.  The flavors are just barely there in the stick and it keeps your lips well-moisturized. It's really saved me so far!

But I'm not really blogging about lip balm today.  I'm more interested in talking about lip exfoliation.

Our lips really take a lot of beatings and not many people realize that they need more care and attention than just a quick glossing or balming.  A friend of mine introduced me to lip exfoliation.  I'd never done it before today because honestly I never thought about it.  Here's what I tried today: I mixed a tiiiiny bit of oil with some white sugar.  My friend tells me that when she exfoliates her lips, she uses brown sugar instead.  I'll try that next time too so I can see if there is any difference between the two.  Anyway, I mixed the two together, and it was really just a little more oil than is necessary to coat the sugar.  Then, you apply it with either a toothbrush with soft, straight bristles or your finger.  I chose to do it with my finger because I was worried that the toothbrush would be too harsh on my lips, which you're not supposed to be.  

When applying, you want to move slowly in small circular motions.  I probably spent two minutes exfoliating my lips because at first I was pressing very lightly, but I pressed more firmly when I became confident that I wasn't about to rip the skin off of my lips.  After, you just wash off the scrub and apply a lip moisturizer or lip balm.  Again, I used my Nivea.

Really... I didn't realize how gross my lips were haha.  I do have a patch of rough skin from biting on my lip and some of the dead skin had come off during the exfoliation.  My lips felt way smoother than when I had started, but there's still a lot of work to do.  I am going to try it again tomorrow with brown sugar to see if there is any difference.  But it literally takes 1-2 minutes to treat your lips to some real care.  I definitely suggest giving it a try, since most people do have oil and sugar in their houses!  Good luck and get scrubbing!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Face Care Review: L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean & Dead Sea Milk Moisturizer

The other day I received a huge package from Amazon with various things I'd ordered to replenish my makeup collection.  Among them were also these two facial products:

I honestly ordered these two because they were some of the cheapest I could find with Super Saver Shipping on Amazon that had decent reviews.  I thought I'd give them a chance.

First I used the L'Oreal Paris scrub during my shower.  It conveniently comes with a little scrubby pad that attaches to the bottle by sticking through the middle.  It's super cute but I really didn't like the pad that much.  It feels like a squishy jelly pad and when using it to clean my face it just didn't feel like it was doing the job.  I washed my face twice with the scrub to feel really clean.  I think I would prefer to use a mesh shower pouf or even a wash cloth.  That might just be preference on my part, though, because I like the slightly abrasive feeling that I'm digging deep into my skin to get all the gunk out.  When I wash my face, I always run hot water (but not too hot!) over my face first so I feel like I'm opening all my pores.  Then I wash my face thoroughly, and when I get out of the shower I cool my face down with a cold wash cloth to make the pores smaller.

After I had dried off some more I put on the Organic Dead Sea milk moisturizer.  The cool thing I liked about this (because I am easily amused) is that it wasn't heavy or thick like most moisturizers.  Actually it splashed around in the bottle like baby formula.  I only had to use a little bit to cover my face, and hours later, as I'm writing this, I keep touching my face because it's just soooo smooth.  I've bought some Dead Sea products before, when their kiosks pop up sporadically around my local mall I often buy their shimmery mica loose eyeshadow pots that were just so beautiful but also unfortunately lost with the rest of my cosmetics last October.  I also had lost a blush that lasted me 2+ years and still had plenty of powder left.  I can say I've never been disappointed by any of their products.  The employee's service, a little, but not the products themselves. 

I'd say this is another win for Dead Sea Ltd.  I think I'm going to use this a lot more often now, unless I somehow start breaking out badly from it.  As for the L'Oreal Paris exfoliating scrub, I did like how tight and clean my skin felt afterwards, but from now on I will probably forgo the included scrubby pad for a shower pouf or something similar.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My History With Makeup

Well this is my first post, obviously, so I think I should start off by explaining who I am and how it is that I got to the point that I wanted to make a blog dedicated to health and beauty on a budget.

I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  By the time I was in 3rd grade I had cemented myself in people's minds as the weird artsy girl.  I was eccentric, a little hyperactive, but I made friends relatively easily considering the fact that I was somehow also shy.  I had practically no interest in boys (unless you count The Backstreet Boys, but that was just the times then...) and had always thought that makeup was more or less meant to attract them.  So I never wore it because I didn't care enough.  I had plenty of it, though - you know those kits that you always seemed to get from one family member each Christmas when you were growing up?  Since I never touched it, I had so much of it.

I was 17 going on 18 when I finally started getting into makeup.  Predictably, it was because I had a crush on a boy from work and I thought he would think I was more attractive if I wore makeup.  Given, it probably would have helped if someone had taught me how to do it:

...Yup. That's me, 17 years old, with blue eyeshadow smudged all the way down to my cheeks. What the hell was I thinking?  At the time I was also too flinchy (despite that not being a word) to put eyeliner on my waterline, so I put it well below.  I also had a problem with blush: I didn't seem to know when was enough.  Here is a typical emo girl picture grabbed from my old MySpace account to explain:

If someone can see the blush on your face in a badly filtered Photoshop picture like this, you're doing something way wrong.

Here are some more of my makeup faux-pas...

And a particularly bad one from prom when I had been going to the tanning salon to prepare and somehow thought going with light makeup would look AWESOME:

I basically had no idea what I was doing.  But eventually through college I started to get the hang of it, but I never branched out with colors. I shied away from any eyeshadow that didn't fall in the pink / brown category.  Then something happened, something that really sucked but opened my eyes somehow.

This past October, I lost my ENTIRE MAKEUP COLLECTION.

I had an ugly silver snakeskin-patterned makeup box that I kept all of my supplies in.  Because it was Halloween weekend and my fiance had a fencing tournament at 7AM, I brought my makeup with me to the gym and somehow left it there.  I never found it, which meant I had to go without makeup for more than a month.  I was pissed off because I didn't have the money to buy all new makeup.  I knew how expensive it was to even get an eyeliner sometimes.  Luckily, my sister had let me borrow some of hers when I came home for Thanksgiving break.  This is what she showed me:

This is the Sephora Collection Buildable Cover Complexion Kit (for light skin).  I had never ever bought anything from Sephora in my life, though I'd been in the store multiple times in high school while shopping with one of my good friends, who was a Sephora / Ulta/ MAC maniac.  I couldn't see how she had the money to spend so much on makeup.  She bought something every time we were out.  But then I liked this kit so much that I looked it up.  On the website, it was only $22!  This was now around the same time that released the Wish List Extension for Google Chrome so I added it to my wishlist.  My sister bought it for me as an early Christmas gift, along with these two wonderful sets:

The Stila Lip Glaze Set (I'm missing one of them in this picture, oops!), $25

I started to realize that makeup didn't need to be expensive.  And I could be good at it if I tried.  Hell, I always did the makeup for my friends during photoshoots and they liked it!  I just wasn't willing to spend a fortune on things.  So I decided to combine my obsession with bargain hunting with my love of makeup.  This is not just a blog for bargain hunting, but also a journey for me to get better at applying makeup and broadening my scope when it comes to color combinations.  Let's see what we can do with this blog.