Beauty Hacks

So I know I promised a video the next time I posted, but as luck would have it, I really haven’t had a ton of time or motivation to make one.  Also, I’m sure very few (if any) people actually read this, so it’s mostly just me not adding a video for myself! lol.

Anyway, I was at work today doing a lady’s makeup, and as I was going I ended up accidentally sharing some weird tips for things I do at home. I didn’t realize I was doing it, but after like the fourth out of the ordinary suggestion I made, she asked “Do you have a blog? You really should have a blog.” And that made me feel really guilty for not posting in so long, so I decided to share some of the tricks I use regularly! Hopefully they work for someone else too.

1) Make your own makeup setting spray.

There are tons of products out there that you can spray on after all your makeup is applied to set it and make it stay for hours or overnight. Some of the best known ones come from brands like MAC, Urban Decay and Bare Minerals. The funny thing is though, that reading all the labels, you find out that they are all made with variations on the same two ingredients: glycerine and water. So I looked up recipes for setting spray and found out that its actually really simple to make and much less expensive than buying something in the store. All you do is get a travel spray bottle (like you would use for perfume, hairspray or water for cutting hair), pour 1/2 a tablespoon of glycerine into the bottom, and then add a full tablespoon of distilled or previously boiled water to it. (Glycerine can be found in the pharmacy section of any Target or Walgreens or WalMart.) Shake your mixture vigorously and refrigerate it to help it stay fresh. That’s it! It should stay good for two weeks and then you can remake it as needed. This will cost about $5-$10 as opposed to its counterparts, which can run anywhere from $20-$40.

2) Easy teeth whitening.

All you need for this one is hydrogen peroxide and a q-tip. After brushing in the morning or at night or possibly both, dip a q-tip into some hydrogen peroxide and rub it onto your teeth. Get an even coating and let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute, and then rinse your mouth with water. You should see a definite difference within a few days, and your teeth will look at least a full shade lighter within a week.

3) Don’t buy a brow comb.

Most beauty outlets insist you need one of those little, bristly combs for your eyebrows. Here’s a secret: you really don’t need them and they don’t work super well. Instead of spending any money on a special comb or brush, just head to the grocery store and pick up a toothbrush. Anything tapered will work fine and usually you can find them for a dollar or less! Just comb your brows up and over like normal, and feel good that you saved around $10. (complimentary eyebrow hint: instead of using brow gel to hold your eyebrows in place, spray a little hairspray on your finger and run it on top of your filled brows. Does the same thing.)

4) Exfoliate your lips.

Before you head out for the night, finishing touches usually include adding a layer of lipgloss or lipstick. But then halfway through your evening out, you head to the bathroom to check your makeup, and your lips have become a sticky, peeling mess. The way to avoid that is exfoliation. Your lips have skin like the rest of your body, and they become dry and peel quite often. There are plenty of remedies for sale to solve this, but that usually involves spending too much money (again). I suggest getting the plain, granulated sugar from your pantry and scrubbing it over wet lips for about a minute. Rinse it off after, and feel your lipgloss go on smoother and stay on longer than ever before.

5) Lengthen your eyelashes.

Don’t invest in a treatment or eyelash extensions before reading this hack. Rub a little coconut oil on your lashes before bed and sleep in it. I promise you that within two weeks, you will see a huge change in the length of your lashes, or your money back! (oh wait…) Also, coconut oil works great as a waterproof makeup remover. And a hair mask. And like 50 other things we don’t have time to read or think about.

6) Extend the life of your favorite mascara.

Your mascara has always extended your lashes, now it’s time to return the favor and extend its life. All you have to do is add a little saline solution (contact solution) to your mascara tube when you feel it running low. Don’t go crazy and add too much, or it will get too runny to stick to your lashes. Just add enough to grab the excess mascara from the sides of the tube and turn it into new mascara that will last you an extra two weeks.

Those are the only tips I could think of for now, but I’m sure there are some I missed! I hope these help someone aside from me get the most out of their beauty routine!

 

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 So I know I have been slacking big time on getting this blog thing up and running, but things have been crazy lately! Also, I am really not great with technology so I’ve kind of been procrastinating too. 

     I really wanted to start off by explaining what it is that I love about makeup before we get to the little mini tutorial I have planned for today. When I was a kid I liked the idea of becoming someone else. I lived vicariously through my barbies and my friends and the girls I saw in movies, until i discovered what makeup was at the ripe old age of five. I got my first “play makeup kit” around that age and i went nuts! My mom wouldn’t let me wear it to school, so i smuggled lipsticks and blushes in my backpack and put them on in the bathroom before class. Of course i resembled a clown more than anything else, but in my own head i was Christmas Barbie or Celine Dion or Posh Spice. 

     As I’ve gotten older, makeup has somewhat the same appeal to me. When I wake up in the morning i look like some sort of marshmallow that has been stretched in some places and extra puffed in others, and trust me guys, it’s not a good look. So I’ve been learning as much as I can about ways to improve my general appearance by watching tutorials and experimenting and figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. It is absolutely amazing what makeup can do! I can go from waking up as the Stay Puft marshmallow man to transforming myself into someone who has cheekbones, eyelashes and eyebrows! For me, being able to change my appearance from day to day is a high like no other substance could ever give me. Its like creating a whole new person or a work of art every 24 hours and it makes me feel powerful and in control of my life. 

    So I’m going to show you one of my favorite looks right now; the smoky eye. I wish i had a video to put up, but this time all i have are pictures, so bear with me as we go step by step. Next time I will try to find the time to make a real tutorial, and ideas for what you’d like to see (if anyone even reads this haha) would be great!

     Alright, so I told you how I look in the morning, but if you didn’t believe me, here is what I have to work with when I start: Image

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Not the greatest. My goal when I see this in the mirror is to bring some definition to my face and some color. So I’ve hunted down the products that work best for me, but here is a little bit of a guide for you if you happen to be looking for new products or colors or if you’re new to makeup in general. For blue eyes: anything gold, bronze or brown will make your eyes pop. Think about the color wheel. Opposites on the color wheel have the most contrast to each other, therefore they make each other stand out. Now, technically orange is across from blue, but nobody really wants to use orange eye makeup, so we soften it down to bronze and gold. For green eyes: Purple is your contrasting color, but make sure to use softer shades. I personally like plums and lavenders, depending on whether you want a day or night look. Dark browns are also good and you can mix those with bronze sometimes for a little extra sparkle. The worst thing a green eyed person can do is wear green eye makeup, just trust me on this. Brown eyes have it the easiest. You lucky ducks have the entire color wheel at your disposal, the only thing I would say is don’t use anything that is pink or red because it tends to make you look like you’ve been crying. 

These are the products I’ve found that work best for me: Image

It’s a mixture of drug store brands and higher end stuff. I’m not really picky about how much something costs or who formulated it, just so long as it works well. 

I’m going to take it step by step through the process of creating a dark, smoky eye and then I’ll show pictures of the result at the end. 

First step: I like to do all of my eye makeup before i start in on my base foundation or anything else. The reason is that, especially with dark shadows, you get some little pieces that fall under your eyes and if you’ve already put on your concealer and foundation, they’ll become discolored and you’ll have to start all over again. I like to prime my lids with my color tattoo cream eyeshadow. I have it in “bad to the bronze.” I don’t use a real eyeshadow primer because I’ve found this works just as well and I don’t have to buy something else to make my makeup stay where its supposed to. Also, a little of the bronze will show through whatever you put on top and I think it creates a nice depth of color. 

Second step: Once I have my cream shadow on (just barely above the crease in my eyelid) I take a black shadow to my lash line. Now, black can be really harsh, so I only use it when I’m doing a smoky eye because I know i’ll be layering colors and it’ll get softened out. I use studio gear shadow in “ebony” and i just use a blending brush to apply it from my lash line up until it almost hits my crease, but not quite. Make sure that there is a good layer of color from the inside corner of your eye to the outer edge. 

Third step: I take a dark brown shadow over the same area I just put my black shadow to soften it a bit. I use Covergirl for this in the shade “brown smolder.” Once I’ve softened the black, I take the brown up into my crease, using back and forth “windshield wiper” motions. 

Fourth step: After applying the dark colors, I find a neutral shade to blend the entire thing together. I have a little Wet ‘n’ Wild shade called “nutty” which is a really soft, almost dusty tan. I take that from right under my eyebrow all the way down to my lash line and just blend in circular motions to soften everything. 

Fifth step: Eyeliner. I like liquid liners with a thin brush because they give the most definition, but you could really use whatever black liner you’re comfortable with. Once I’ve lined all along my lashes, I like to make a little bit of a cat eye, which is a simple matter of continuing your eyeliner out and up past the edge of your lashes. ( I use NYX liquid black liner).

Sixth step: Here is where I pause with the eyes and define my brows. Instead of spending a lot more money on an actual brow comb, I just use a $1.00 toothbrush from the grocery store to comb through my brows to get them in place. Then I start with a brow pencil ( the best I’ve found is from NYX called “pushup bra for eyebrows” double sided pencil) and I define the front edge of my brows. Always stick to your natural shape. I have noticed that when I try to change them too much, my eyebrows become a disaster. I like to lay down a thin layer of pencil just to define the natural shape of my brows and then go over it with a powder to fill in and match my hair color. You can use either a brow powder or an eyeshadow for this, but make sure the one you pick is close to your natural shade. Once they’re filled in, i comb through one more time with a little hairspray on my toothbrush to keep them in place. After this I’ll curl my lashes and apply mascara only to the top. ( I use Covergirl Lash Blast mascara in very black)

So at this point my eyes have gone from this: Image

to this:Image

Seventh step: At this point, you can brush off any excess shadows that have fallen and start applying your foundation. I use my fingers to apply here, because I don’t like the way sponges soak up all my product and i feel like a foundation brush leaves little noticeable marks. The best foundation I’ve found is from NARS. It’s the sheer matte formula and for me I’m shade “light 1,” which basically means I’m the palest person they could fathom. I apply my foundation all over my face, leaving the space just under my eyes alone because that’ll be for concealer later. 

Eighth step: After foundation comes powder, to set your makeup so it will stay all day. I use whatever is palest, lately it’s been E.L.F.’s High Definition powder ($6.00 at target!!). Once that’s on, use a fluffy face brush to remove any excess.

Ninth step: This is where I contour my face. Now, contouring can be very confusing and sometimes hard to catch on to, so i’ll slightly explain it but next time i’ll do a video that will hopefully show all this a bit better. I use a bronzer for this. Bronzers have been the bane of my existence because for someone as pale as me, they always look too dark and fake and just plain stupid. I finally figured out how to use a light hand and a light shade just in a few places and it makes a world of difference! I use a bronzer from Covergirl in the lightest shade they have. Just use a smaller face brush and apply this right beneath your cheekbones, right above your temples and then blend downward. I take some bronzer to my neck and ears as well so that it looks more natural. BLENDING IS KEY here. 

Tenth step: After contouring, I go in with my concealer to lighten under my eyes. I go from the inside corner of the eye down to the base of the nose and then back up to the outside corner of the eye to create a triangle shape. Fill that in and then blend outward into your foundation. This literally can change your whole face. It’s amazing what getting rid of the dark corners of your eyes will do! I use the Magic Lumi concealer pen from Loreal in “fair.” 

Eleventh step: Defining the lower lash line. I leave this until after I have my concealer because i don’t want to layer concealer over dark makeup. It would make my eyes look puffier and more tired. Here I take a gel 24 hour liner from Maybelline in “deep black” and line the inner rim of my lower lash line. Then I use my cream eyeshadow in bronze from before, and use a thin brush the make a line right on my lashes. I think this just gives a little pop to the blue. After lining, use a waterproof mascara to go over the lower lashes and the eyes are done!

Twelfth step: After this its a simple matter of blush and hi lighting. I use a pale pink blush with a little peachy tint from Covergirl again, called “classic pink” and just take it directly on the cheekbones, slightly blending with the bronzer i put under. If you smile, you can see the round part of your cheek that lifts; that’s called the apple of your cheek. Start there and then blend outward along the cheekbones toward the hairline. To hi light, I take “Watt’s Up” from Benefit, which comes in a roll up stick, and make a line right under my eyebrows and a line right above my cheekbones. then just pat a fingertip on top to blend. This brings so much light to your face, its crazy! I love this stuff. 

Last step: Lastly, I just put some clear chapstick on my lips because with a smokier eye, i don’t like to go overboard. 

End result looks something like this:Image

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If anyone read this, thanks for taking the time! I promise next time I’ll get it together on the video thing and all this will probably make a lot more sense! Sorry it was so long 😉 

❤ Beth 

And so it begins!

     I finally started a blog! This is just the basics right now; it’s up and running, but things will definitely be changing around here. Right now I’m waiting for my wonderful husband to come home so he can help me make this blog look awesome instead of boring, but until that point let me tell you what the plan for this thing is. I have just been hired on at Ulta as a “prestige beauty consultant” which basically means i’ll soon be selling makeup, talking makeup, researching makeup, learning all about makeup and I’ll get to practice my makeup skills on a bunch of different people all the time!! I could not be more excited. I want to take the things i learn on a daily basis and share them with everyone i know, so i’ll be blogging about new products and new uses for them here. Soon i’ll put up some pictures and tutorials which will hopefully include videos, as soon as Mr. Harding helps me with the technical side of things 😉 I hope at least someone besides me finds this interesting! More to come.