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Don’t get me wrong, I love the luxurious packaging and Sephora’s beauty insider points, but there is something so satisfying in finding a great, sometimes better than high-end, inexpensive product at the drugstore.
I have pretty thick eyebrows that don’t really need filling in, but one of my essentials is a clear brow gel to keep them in place. I’ve used the Anastasia one, another from Estée Lauder (which doesn’t seem to exist anymore) before I stumbled upon Maybelline’s Great Lash Gel. It does take a little longer to dry and it is an unusually liquidy formula, but the end result is the same, and for a product that you technically don’t actually see, it makes no difference what brand it is.
As for the mascara, I can’t take all the credit. My friend bought it in brown by accident and gave it to me. I didn’t know what to expect– I’m not a huge mascara girl. I usually wear brown, I just think black is too obvious on me. And that’s the other thing– I like a really seperating and just tad volumizing formula, like as natural looking as possible.
I had been using Clinique’s High Impact, but it was getting a bit funky, it had been a while. I gave this one a try, and man, it was like love at first sight. The formula is really… wet, you know what I mean? The brush was easy to manoeuvre so I could get right to the roots. I was left with defined and voluminous lashes. My only complaint, and I really mean it when I say only, is that it flaked by the end of the day, which doesn’t really surprise me because I’ve found that most drugstore mascaras do that. Nonetheless, I’m so pleased with this one I’m probably not be going back to high-end mascaras for a while.
I think there are two problems that often hold girls back from using eyebrow pencils or powders:
1)They don’t want to look too manly/have a crazy Frida thing going on
2)The makeup artist at the store has crazy eyebrows and then draws crazy eyebrows on you
So, I say, girls! Go back to the makeup counter. Ask the girl to match your eyebrow colour to a pencil or powder for you (never go darker than your natural colour), wipe off your new crazy eyebrows, buy the product, then go home and play with it.
There is really no reason to have huge, drawn on eyebrows–unless you want to follow the strong brow trend seen on the runway these past weeks (ahem, Cara Delevingne). Around 10 years ago, the trend was to have thinner brows, and a lot of girls overplucked them into thin, short brows. Eyebrow pencils and powders are a great way to regain what you might have lost (if they didn’t grow back).
To get a great brow that frames your face, all you need to do is fill in the gaps that your natural brows have–don’t worry, it can look very natural. Eyebrows are an important part of the face; they bring balance and architecture, so why wouldn’t you want a great brow?
This is really something that is going to be a personal preference. You will need to go home and play with the product until you are happy with your eyebrows, and learn how much product works for your face. The important thing to remember is to have a light hand because you can always build up to a bolder brow. Just enhance what you already have going on.
Recently, I’ve started using Lancome’s Le Crayon Poudre. It is a pencil with a brush on the other end. I draw little lines (against the direction of the hair) in the spaces in my eyebrows and then brush it out throughly to blend the colour. I find it very foolproof and it is long-wearing. Perfect for rookies.
Anna already has a stronger brow, so she finds that all she needs to do is tame them. This is easy to do with an eyebrow gel. Anna prefers Maybelline’s Great Lash Clear Masacara for Eyes and Brows.
Remember, you will always think your brows look super bold after applying any of the product at all because you’re not used to it on your face. Maybe wear it around the house until you feel more comfortable with it, or work your way up!
Some helpful eyebrow videos:
Pretty explanatory, today I’m going to give you the lowdown on my everyday makeup look, which inherently means sharing my favourite products and how I like to use ’em.
I start off doing my liner with a Korean pen-liner which is INCREDIBLE–Clio’s Liner in Kill Black. No, it’s not quite ‘waterproof’, but I’ve had this for nearly six months, and it’s still inky and has a super precise tip. I typically do a little cat eye and clean up with some Bioderma-soaked Q-tips (which is why I do this first).
Then, I work on my skin. I do a thin layer of Armani’s Maestro in Shade 3 all over– this stuff is almost water thin and looks super natural, it’s seriously next-level makeup. I go under the eyes with Shade 3.5 of the matching Armani Maestro concealer, which has dark orange tones that correct. I set it with Vichy Dermablend Translucent Powder and I’m set until lunchtime when I more often then not need to blot.
t any purple circles. If I’ve got any blemishes to cover up (which I 100% do have 95% of the time), I go in with Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick in the first shade OR, if I need some serious help, Amazing Cosmetics.
For a little definition, I apply some of Nars Laguna right under my cheekbones using a tapered paint brush I found at the art store (it really gets into the hollows of my cheeks and it was like $20). Continuing with Laguna, I grab a fluffier brush and give the contours of my face a little bronzer. I’ve been loving a dusting of Giorgio Armani’s Eccentrico on my cheeks for a natural flush and highlight.
I finish off my eyes with a few coats of Maybelline’s Mega Plush, which is ah-mazing. As for brows, I get them died nearly black so I just brush them out with a spoolie.
And people say I’m high maintenance!
Mascara seems to be a staple in anyone who wears makeup makeup bag. And come to think of it, the first makeup I ever wore was mascara. And 95% of the time, if I’m wearing any makeup whatsoever, it includes something on my lashes. But if you were ever to ask my sisters or my friends, they would tell you something along the lines of “does Anna even wear mascara?” or “she likes it really natural”. I have forever preferred a wispier, voluminous look than a thick, defined lash. I don’t care to spend more than thirty seconds applying mascara in the morning, and my lashes (sans extensions), will most likely never be the focal point of my makeup look. So that being said, I’m not hugely picky when it comes to which mascara I’m using and I rarely repurchase the same tube.
Mary-Kate and Ashley have really stepped up their game since their tween television stint– from their ‘New York cool girl’ outfits to their super-successful brand, Elizabeth and James, they’re it-girls by definition. I recently scrolled upon this goregous shot of one of the twins (not entirely sure which, however), sporting a nude lip that somehow didn’t look like 2007 Kim Kardashian but more along the lines of an editorial Daria Werbowy. And so, since simplicity seems to be very much in style at the moment, I’ve lined up three easy (and thrifty) ways to add some nude-attitude to your closet.
Matte Nude Lip
Using Topshop’s lip liner in Ceramic—colour and texture will give you the closest dupe of Mary-Kate’s (or Ashley, honestly who knows) look—line your lips and fill in– and though it’s nude, be precise, and don’t be afraid to add some definition to your top lip. Blot, then repeat to get a strong colour.
Satin Nude Lip
For a more subtle take on the look, these products will give you a pinkier, sheerer finish. Start with Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Pink Punch, then smack your lips to disperse the bubblegum tint (this stuff is surprisingly really pigmented, so be careful). Then using Maybelline’s Colour Sensational lipstick in Storm Sahara (this one isn’t too brown), apply by dabbing the bullet to your pout– this version feels really nice on the lips and keeps them moisturized.
If your opposed to trying a flesh-toned lip, or love a good versatile polish colour, this is your best bet. Essie’s Sand Tropez is one of my favourite nude shades– it’s opaque, unlike many promisingly “nude” shades that give me barely there colour, and is a very chic colour that would look amazing on any skin tone. Two coats give a even, subtle nude touch, and is a perfect winter to spring transition colour.
I love wearing red lips for dressing up a more casual outfit and for a fancy night out, but as more and more people are hopping on the red lip train, it’s fun to find a way to rethink the red lip.
A super simple way of switching it up for a more casual daytime look is by applying lipstick with your finger. The heat from your finger will melt the product, making it easy to pat the colour onto your lips to create a more washed out, stained look. If you really wanted to take this idea step further, you can attempt to smear it on a little more haphazardly to recreate the fall trends.
I’d like to start off with a disclaimer; I am no makeup artist, and the products I chose are what I find works for me. I regularly sub in new products for others according to my taste and my skin concerns. So, let’s get this show on the road.
Kiehl’s BB Cream: After cleansing and toning and moisturizing and so on, I apply this in what I like to call sunscreen style, ie. rubbing the product between my hands and slathering all over the face. A layer of this BB gives me some light coverage with a very natural finish. It’s more of a base for my powder, plus the SPF can’t hurt.
I would usually apply concealer at this point, however I don’t know whether it’s been the heat or the lack of school, but I just can’t be bothered these days.
Benefit High Beam: I first saw this technique used in a Charlotte Tilbury video and I’ve used it since in place of many ineffective under eye concealers. I do two dots right below my tear ducts then dab with my pinkie– the light reflective properties counteract the natural shadows under the eyes and give you that ‘8 hours of sleep’ look. Genius.
MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle: With my index and middle fingers, I first dab the cream, remove most of the product onto my hand, then apply and blend, smiling to find the apples of my cheeks. This colour is EXTREMELY intimidating in the pan, however when used in moderation and correctly, this coral shade completely wakes up my face and lasts all day.
Benefit Watt’s Up: This sample-sized luminizer is a prime example that good things come in small packages. And the seriously cute packaging is only the beginning. I apply a bit to my fingers, then dab and blend on the tops of my cheek bones and right under the brow bones.
Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation: A recent find, I’ve been loving the coverage this gives while simultaneously keeping things shine-free. I apply this all over, using the Illamsaqua Powder Brush, kind of in a packing motion to build up the coverage.
Clarins Instant Sunlight Bronzer: While this product is unfortunately discontinued now, I can promise you that the Clarins range of bronzers will give you the most natural sun kissed glow on the market. Using my MAC Small Duo Fibre Brush, I sweep this across the sides of my forehead, along the cheekbones, down my nose, and a tap on the chin. This one in particular has minimal sparkles and a matte finish that makes a tan on a fair, freckley girl like me look believable.
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara: I just use a swipe of this to keep my usually bushy brows at bay throughout the day.
Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner in Black: This is one of the cheapest, longest lasting eyeliners I’ve ever used, and while I use in minimally, I’ve had the same pencil for a year now. I fill in my tightline, and drag it across my lower lash line (not the waterline though) for some definition.
Lancome L’Extrême Waterproof Mascara: Because while waterproof is a pain to remove, it’s just too convenient during the summertime between the dips in the pool and the extra perspiration. I guess you could call this one the ‘favourite child’ at the moment. It defines the lashes and the thin brush gets right into the roots.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten: I’ve already ranted and raved about this product, however I just cannot stress the high-end quality and high pigmentation of this lip stain. It literally lasts for hours, it won’t smudge and it tastes like mint. What else could you ask for.
Click for more in-depth reviews of these products mentioned…
Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation
Clarins Instant Sunlight Bronzing Powder
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara
Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner
Lancome L’Extrême Waterproof Mascara
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain