Basics: Powders

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These aren’t the foundation powders I was talking about from my previous post. These powders are face powders you can use in addition to mineral powders, such as setting powders, mattifying powders or HD powders. Setting powders or finishing powders do exactly what you might have guessed- they set your makeup. Usually they’re made from a finer milled powder that fills in areas that your foundation powder didn’t. Mineral veils do almost the same thing but I don’t believe they’re as finely milled so they don’t work as well. Being that I’m not very picky and mineral veils work just as well for me, I use my mineral veils and setting powders as well. Mattifying powders are used during the day for clearing up excess oil that can accumulate. Palladio has a rice powder that works this way and they offer it in a sheet version that I keep with me at all times. My younger cousin actually ate one of these papers thinking it was food. Don’t worry, he lived.

Another powder that has been more available recently is the HD powder. I only have one of these and it’s the elf version. I don’t use it all the time since I don’t really take pictures in HD. When using flash photography this can give off a white cast which can look very odd. So unless you’re taking photos or videos in HD, you don’t really need to use this on a daily basis.

So, in conclusion- I recommend having these powders in your collection. Perhaps not all of them but they’re handy for setting your foundation (mineral or liquid) and can really maximize the staying power of your makeup. Another tip- if you’re ever using a creme eyeshadow you can make it last longer if you set it with a similar shade of powder eyeshadow.

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Basics: Lip Gloss & Lip Sticks

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Let me start this off by saying that I’m not a lipstick/lipgloss kinda girl. It’s probably the weak link in my makeup arsenal. I am constantly overlooking my lips. I’m more focused on my eyes. You might not be able to tell that though if you saw how many lip products I own. Basically I have tons. I always carry Chapstick or other lip balms with me and I use them but I do not use any with actual color. My favorite lip balm has always been Carmex. I use it on a nightly basis and my cat Jack knows that it’s sleepy time when he smells it on my lips. I have recently found 2 lip products that I absolutely love. The first is the mini lip balms from Fresh. They were the birthday gift from Sephora this year. The Sugar lips mini is smooth and it has a fresh grapefruit like scent. It’s thick without being oily and it hydrates really well. I’m considering getting more lip products from this brand. The other mini lip balm was more reddish in appearance but it didn’t have a color when I applied it. The other lip product I love is from Too Faced and it came in my Beauty Darlings set, it was a mauve colored plumping lip gloss. Though it did have some color I only applied it lightly and it has a very minty feel on the lips. It’s very refreshing and has no flavor. I find flavored glosses kind of weird anyways. So those are the two lip products I use on a semi regular basis.

So the main reason why I don’t use lip products is their lasting power. I’m aware that lip sticks have come a long way and last a lot longer but I haven’t found one that I like enough to use. Usually lip sticks that do last long tend to dry out my lips and defeats the whole purpose of having lip stick in the first place. Also, I drink a lot of water throughout the day and I hate reapplying any products. I don’t even reapply liner and I love eyeliner. That makes me wonder why I even carry my makeup in my purse with me. I guess I’m just complex like that.

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Basics: Foundation

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There are many, many types of foundation out there and it can be a little overwhelming when stepping into the world of makeup. From my own personal experience I started out with face powders. You know those cute little compacts from Covergirl or Maybelline. I wasn’t ever sure of how to pick one out so I just grabbed whichever color I thought I was and it usually ended up going all wrong. It was always a shade lighter or darker. Luckily for me, during my teenage years and early 20’s my skin was always pretty clear. I had no need to even try liquid foundations until I was in my mid twenties, even then the one I spent money on was never a product I would use everyday, simply because it felt too heavy and cakey on my face.

Then recently, I started to develop redness on my skin and there was no avoiding it because it was so noticeable. I tried using my liquid foundation I had on hand but it irritated me and my skin. I have oily combo skin so from my research it was recommended to me that I try mineral makeup. I wasn’t really into doing a system, so when I went to Ulta they had me try a powder from Tarte. It was great, with buildable coverage in a very cute compact. However I eventually wanted something more and so I ended up going to Sephora and buying a starter kit for Bare Escentuals. I found that I loved the system. I loved the primer, the feel of the powder and the setting powder. I still wasn’t content with the price however and went online to try Everyday Minerals. They had more tones and finishes (matte, semi-matte, satin & natural), and you could order samples for a mere penny for 7 samples of your choice. It wasn’t even limited to the foundations, you could try their bronzers or other face powders. It was my younger cousin Ian who actually assisted me in finding the right shade for me and I’ve been using that on a daily basis since.

I am open to trying a liquid foundation again since they do have oil free & matte finish foundations. I also found this handy website that will help you find the right shade for you. It’s not 100% reliable but it will at least point you in the right direction.

So, my tips for finding the right foundation for you? Go to Ulta or Sephora if you want to find a good starting point. Personally I’d recommend Sephora since they seem more knowledgeable about their products. If you don’t want to necessarily go into a mall, you can just go into JC Penney’s since they have small Sephora stores or Ulta since they have free standing stores. Ask someone for help in finding the right tone for yourself and request samples if they offer them. If they don’t offer them, ask about their return policy, since foundations (especially from some high end brands) can be quite pricey- if it doesn’t work out you don’t want to be stuck with a product. If you do decide to go with drug store brands, check their return policies as well, and try to take advantage or deals or coupons they may be offering. Basically shop smart, foundation is a worthwhile investment, whether it be time or money.

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Basics: Daily Brushes

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I only use 4 types of brushes in my daily makeup routine. Not the same exact brushes, but the same types. For applying my foundation I use a flat top powder brush for the best coverage. For my eyeshadow application I prefer to use an eyeshadow brush, I may use 2 or 3 of these depending on how many colors I use. Then for the crease I prefer to use a thinner brush like a concealer brush, and then I use a clean fluffy brush for blending it all together. It doesn’t matter what your brush is called, what matters is the shape. For my eyes- the concealer brush works best at getting into the crease if my eyes. For some a contour brush may work better, but my eyes are smaller and the crease brush gets into the smaller spaces much better.

I think the key to finding the right brushes is experimentation, buy an inexpensive set and play around with the application, and develop a routine with those brushes. Also make sure you take proper care of your brushes. Spot clean them between application with alcohol to disinfect and brush cleaner. I use baby shampoo to clean my brushes at least every two weeks. I also use conditioner so they stay nice and soft. make sure to dry then bristles down as to not let water into the ferrules. This has been a long and winding post about brushes lol.

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Basics: Eyeliners

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If you asked me what my absolute favorite must have makeup item was, I’d have to say it’s eyeliner. Ever since I’ve been old enough to use makeup I’ve always used eyeliner (sometimes a little too much) to make my eyes pop. I started out of course with the traditional eye pencils and then moved onto liquid liners, I’ve only recently become a fan of felt tip liners since my favorite elf liners came out. Gel liners are great for getting a truly dark line, but not exactly portable since I prefer to use the longer brushes and they don’t fit really well in small cases. Crayons as well aren’t that portable and horrible if you live in a hotter climate, and they can’t really do a nice thin line. Also I typically only line my top line because my eyes get teary and I hate smudging! No matter what I do I can’t get my lower line to not smudge, even if I set it. So if you’re thinking about experimenting with liners or you’re fairly new to makeup, here’s my lowdown on the different types of liners from my own experience with them. These are only my opinions so you may have your own thoughts that differ from mine, and of course depending on your products you may have different experiences.

Pencil Liners:
Pros:Great for beginners, come in a variety of shades, perfect for your waterline, very inexpensive
Cons:Pointy (ow!), hard to use for filling in, constantly needs sharpening, doesn’t last very long, usually not waterproof, melt or break easily
Brands I use: Urban Decay, Maybeline, Wet’N’Wild, Nyx, NYC

Liquid Liners:
Pros:Long lasting, easier to control, usually waterproof,
Cons:Does not last long enough, fades, brush applicators can be messy, Depending on brand- can run out quickly
Brands I use: Maybeline, Revlon, L’Oreal, Wet’N’Wild, elf

Gel Liners:
Pros:Bold Colors & Lines, true to color, lasting power
Cons:Need to apply with a brush, not portable, dries out if not used regularly
Brands I use: Maybeline, WnW, L’Oreal

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Basics: Primers

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I once told my aunt about primers and she laughed at me, asking me exactly what kind of makeup I’m using that I would need to prime my face. I first started using primers a few years ago with my first Urban Decay Primer Potion, just for the eyes. I got the more gold Sin type, since I liked the shimmer it had. Then I tried Studio Gear’s Tinted Eyeshadow primer which was a bit more liquid. Of course there’s also Elf’s eye primer which looks so tinted I once mistook it for a concealer. When I finally started using face primers I started with Elf’s Mineral Primer and Bare Escentuals Prime Time. I liked the oily but not greasy feel of the BE primer but since I have oily skin I purchased the version for oily skin. It was more like a lotion and I wasn’t very happy with it, but I still use it. I have deluxe samples of Perfect & Poreless by Too Faced, Smashbox’s Face Primer samples, Shadow Insurance Primer by Too Faced and the Lip Insurance by Too Faced. I think the Lip Insurance is a bit much and I certainly won’t be getting mascara primer. That’s pretty much my short history with primers.

There’s more high end primers I intend on trying out but they’ll be face or shadow primers. You certainly don’t have to spend a lot of money on primers since they’re more common place now that even drug store brands offer primers. They can range from the elf liners that start at a few dollars to the prestige brands that average $30-$40. There are certainly samples out there you can try, especially for the more expensive varieties. From my own personal experience they do work. They prep your face and make products you use last longer. Eyeshadows are more vibrant and true to color when applied over primer. So I suppose what my aunt said in the beginning is true. It’s like paint primer, if you spend time cleaning and moisturizing your face, why don’t you ensure you have a nice clean surface to apply your product? It’s definitely a worth while investment.

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