Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hot Conture City

Today it reached 106 degrees in my neck of the woods -- straight up SWELTERING.  And there's nothing more that inspires me to wear less makeup than the Summer sun. 

To avoid sweating my face off, I experimented with that no-makeup makeup look.  To me, that's all about contouring and bronzing your face til kingdom come: defining cheekbones, highlighting brow bones and the nose line and adding a touch of shadow to perk up the eyes.  Looking back at these, I could have used more bronzer, like everywhere.   
I always sit shotgun.

Used a few products for today's look (clockwise from the top):  Too Faced shadow in Shamrock Chic, Korres bronzer with a nifty angle blusher from LiLique, Benefit Highbeam, Smashbox Artificial Light liquid bronzer.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Smokey Step-by-Step

A few posts back, I featured some pictures on the way I do a smokey eye and got a request from a reader for a step-by-step on how I achieve the look.  I took a few shots over the weekend, and now have the utmost respect for bloggers who do the demo thing on every post.  It requires some work, but I think it's actually helped me perfect my technique!  So without further ado, to get to this:
You must do this: 
Start out by spreading a rich brown colored cream eyeshadow as your base.  I use Too Faced Lockdown in Dramarama.

Spread it evenly over the lid, but don't get too close to the brow bone.

Next, line your upper lash line with a rich black liner.  As always, my go-to is Make Up Forever's Aqua Eyes.

Next, take a brown grey powder shadow and pat it over your lid, blend it slightly into your crease.  I use Korres eyeshadows, which I think are being discontinued because they're on super sale on and

Too add some depth and dimension to your lids, layer the brown grey shadow with a purple shadow.  (again, I use Korres for this).  The result should look something like this (color on my right eye is better blended):

Next, apply a Kohl liner to your lower lash & water line.  Dip a flat liner brush into the grey brown shadow, and blend it with the liner to create a smudged line under your lashes.  Here are the tools I use (hat snuck in's not necessary to create this look :)

You can also use an actual smudging brush.  I've had some recent success with Sonia Kashuk's.

Don't be afraid to create a thicker lower lashline than you normally would -- smudge, smudge, smudge!  It's a key part of the smokey look!

Finish off with mascara & curl and you're good to go!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

30, part 3: In The Heights

For my final installation of the "30" series, we have to travel back to the event that kicked off the celebration:  In The Heights.  My chickies took me to go see it -- and if you love musicals, this is a MUST.

It had more than a few storylines I could identify with:  finding love in familiar (but surprising) places, the pressure of answering to everyone's expectations (and being able to graciously re-set those expectations), lucky moments in life that come when you least expect them (and need them most), death/rebirth in its most obvious (then more subtle) forms.  All of this is told against a backdrop of infectious songs with Latin beats.  I couldn't think of a better way to set the tone for my bday week.

Since photography wasn't allowed in the theatre, we took a few shots in the lobby:

And in the BART station. I love this crazy picture because I look like I'm the mother, and all my friends are my little girls.  Should have stooped like I did in the first pic. 

And to bring this blog back to beauty, AND since I'm such a spoiled brat, I have all sorts of birthday booty to show you!  The theme of the week was definitely "Tarte."  I got some from my girls, some from by boyfriend, some via gift cards ... and here's a little sampling of it:

Cheek stain, bronzer, dual creme/loose powder shadow, inner rim eyeliner and 2 tubes of Lights, Camera, Lashes.  DEE -- LISH!  And that's just the start of it.  More to share in future posts!


Monday, June 21, 2010

30, part 2: Graduation

A big part of my birthday weekend was (thankfully) sharing the celebratory spotlight with my sister, who became the first person in our family (like, ENTIRE family) to graduate from grad school.  Our family was ooooooozing pride the second we each set foot on the UCLA campus.

She's poised to rock the world -- she'll infuse the education industry with changes they never even knew they needed, but will never be able to live without!  Oh, and did I mention she's also an accomplished belly dancer?  The girl does it all. 

Here's a shot of my mom (my first makeup mentor!) waiting patiently with my two youngest sisters for the ceremony to start.

Here's my beautiful, ecstatic sis, post-ceremony.

Her beeeee-dazzled cap and UCLA hood:

Thoroughly cracking up (I'm sure out of immense relief) next to the Bruin centerpiece on campus.


Friday, June 18, 2010

30, part 1

A mini photo diary of me receiving my bday gift from the bfriend.  Was a gooooooooooooood gift!

lashes:  MAC
eyeshadow:  Too Faced

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Monday, June 7, 2010

License to Drive

Didn't know this, but when you turn 30, you HAVE to go down to the DMV in person to take a new picture for your driver's license.  I initially was dreading the trip and long lines/grumpy staff that I knew would await me, but then came around to seeing this as the opportunity it really was:  to finally look my age in my picture!  I sometimes get a sideways double-take when I flash my license (is this REALLY you?!), so I was expecting a drastic change between my old & new picture, but this is what I got instead:

Ummm ... I look EXACTLY the same, but with A LOT more makeup on! Which means the double-takes will ensue when I flash my license with no makeup on. 

Oh well.  On to today's face.  I'm experimenting with a heavy lid look, given the fact that the Tarte emphasEYES clay shadow seems to lend itself well to this type of application.  I smeared the Bronze shade all over my lid.  Then I dabbed a bit of Clinique Quick Eyes cream shadow (Rock Violet) in the middle and along my upper lashline, then spread it out with my fingertips.  What I really like about this look is I don't have to wear liner on my top lids, I can get away with only applying it on my bottom waterline.  It's a bit "much" for work, but it's all in the name of experimenting!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Final Verdict on Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Enhancer

Thought it was finally time to really evaluate the results of my Tarte MultiplEYE test.  Despite my initial enthusiasm (see post written 1 week after the first application here), I don't believe I actually got any length out of using this.  However, that's not to say I'm walking away completely empty-handed after this hefty beauty investment.  Where I don't see added length, I DO see added strength.  And for thin, wimpy Asian lashes, that counts for a lot!  I find I'm able to curl my lashes with a lot more ease, and that they hold their curl for a longer time.

Would I buy Tarte MultiplEYE again?  Probably not.  But I don't regret giving it a try, either.
Here are some before & after shots so you can see the true comparison -- sorry there's such a difference in the lighting!





Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cat-eyed Kate/goldenGrey pt. 2

Think I finally found a dignified cause for the blond wig my co-worker lent me after my Gwen Stefani challenge.  I love everything about this look because it's my basic recipe for sexy:  super defined eyes, nude lips.  How HAWT is Kate in this shot?!  I can't wait to do my best impression of her.

Speaking of which, we had the second goldenGrey shoot last Saturday and it was just as fun as the first one.  Kate's makeup look is actually what we were going for.  Here's a preview of some of the things going up for sale - shiny blouses AND sparkly jackets.  And as you can see, I'm not as comfortable as Kate when it comes to posing, but I'm working on it!  Getting your picture taken to sell clothes is definitely harder than it looks - so PROPS to all you models out there.  Don't know how you do it, but I had fun giving it my best shot!