Monday, April 30, 2012

Red Lip : Subtle to Dramatic

Today, I decided to have a little experiment with some of my red lip products. Typically, I find red lipstick to be too high maintenance. However, I have also started getting into brighter lip products, so, I thought I'd give red another chance. I've photographed my journey which begins with a simple red lip butter and ends with something a bit more dramatic. I will also mention that what you see in the photographs is only a fraction of the vibrancy I see in front of the mirror. I haven't quite gotten the nack of taking these pictures without the colors looking a little bit washed out. C'est La Vie!

The supplies that I started out with were my Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple, Le Maquillage Concealer, Lip, and Cheek Palette, and my Real Techniques Detailer Brush. I added a fourth item later.

First, I started out by moisturizing my lips with Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple.

As you can see, it gives a very subtle, wearable, daytime red. Normally, I would stop here simply out of laziness. However, for the purposes of writing this post, I endeavored on.

 Using the red color from my Le Maquillage Concealer, Lip, and Cheek Palette, I added a more opaque red pigment in order to make my red lip more bright.

If I were to have stopped after this step, I would say this was the perfect red lip for a glamorous evening out in a pretty dress. (Ha! She must be dreaming...I fantasize about evenings like those!)

I wanted to give a bit of contour to the look, so I used the deeper burgundy color from the same palette and applied to the outer edges of the lips only.

I still wasn't quite satisfied, and there is this lovely gold shade in the palette...

Oh, but, now, you can barely see the contouring anymore...ugh!

Back to the makeup bin she goes. And, what does she find? Black eyeliner... it bold, contoured, golden, glimmery red lip. The next time I get whisked off for a romantic evening and have fifteen minutes just to dedicate to my lips, I will definitely go for this. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm calling this last photo "The Ugly Truth" because it seems appropriate and because I'm quite tired now.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring and Summer Color Trend 2012 : Orange

Every time that spring and summer come around, I always see the color orange. The color trend for 2012 has been no different and it makes sense. Bright orangey colors look lovely on sunkissed skin. I also love the look of bright pinks and turquoise on a tanned face and body (by body, I am referring to these colors on clothing - not putting makeup on the body :-). About a month ago, I received a bright orange beach bag from Nordstom as a gift with my cosmetics purchase. It was then, that I realized orange was back again. The other day, I decided to raid my makeup collection for bits of orange. Here is what I found:

I selected my four favorite orange lip colors, orangey color quad, and two orangey blushes. The lip products are below. Three of the products are lipsticks and one is a lip stain. On the top left is the Liqui - Gel Stain from Beaute Cosmetics in the color Flouron. Next to Fluoron is Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in the color Tutti Fruiti. On the far right is Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in the color Liberte. On the bottom is Dior Addict Extreme in Riviera.

Here are the colors swatched, from left to right, they are Beaute Flouron, Revlon Tutti Fruiti, Chanel Liberte, and Dior Riviera. As you may be able to tell, the boldest of the colors is Fluoron. The other three colors give the lips the trendy orange look in a much more natural way.

The next item is the Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Cognac Sable. I find that this quad looks lovely with blue eyeliner. Blue and orange are on opposite ends of the color wheel and they bring each other out. My eyes are brown, so, I will often wear a metallic blue eyeliner on my upper lash line to make my eyes stand out. Pairing the blue with the orangey color from the palette gives an almost fiery look.

Last but not least are the cheek colors. My skin is dry so I tend to prefer cream products. On the left is MAC Cream Color Base in Virgin Isle. On the right is Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in the color Hot Tamale. Neither of the colors come off orange on the cheeks. They both turn into more of a bright pink. On a side note, the bouncy blush truly is bouncy...Quite fun to play with if bored. :-)

Here are the colors swatched. On the left is Virgin Isle and on the right is Hot Tamale.

I love the colors of spring and summer. Moreover, I love makeup that looks daring and fiery. What better a color to pull of a bold look than orange! Thank you for reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

I love watching beauty videos on youtube. I know I could be doing much more productive things with my time, but, it relaxes me after sometimes hectic days. I have my favorite beauty gurus, most of which originate from the United Kingdom. Perhaps, I find the English more sophisticated or perhaps, I am drawn to their accents. I'm not sure which is the case. Anyways, the Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag has been circulating the internet quite a bit during the month of April. I think it is quite fun, so, I thought, why not do a blog post about it? Here are my picks:


What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?
My most inexpensive beauty item is the Rimmel Eye Trio in Tempting. The colors are absolutely beautiful and the shadows blend nicely. It is difficult to tell from the photo but there is a golden sheen to each of the colors in the trio. I find that these colors really enhance my brown eyes.

Here are some swatches of the trio just so you can get a somewhat better idea.

I bought my Rimmel trio at Target and had a coupon. I paid a total of $0.99 for it! Bargain!

On the other side of the coin, my most expensive beauty item has got to be the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask. I bought this because of Ruth Crilly's post on AModelRecommends. I love reading her blog. She is so funny and can make the most ordinary things sound interesting.

I actually do really like this mask. It has become a Saturday morning ritual. I do a good exfoliation, then layer this mask on. I lay about all day with it until I have something worth leaving the house for. My skin is dry, so, it just soaks this product right in, leaving a lovely sheen behind. I just apply foundation right over this mask - no need to rinse off. It cost me approximately $150.00 from Neiman Marcus.


What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?
The product that I have a love/hate relationship with is my Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara. I absolutely love love love it during the day. It does not flake, does not irritate my contact lenses, and is such a great black black. However, I hate this product at night. It is murderous to try and take it off. I've given up, you see. Most of the time, I go to bed with remnants of mascara still on my lashes because I fear I'll accidentally tear lashes out trying to remove it.

I purchased my Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara from Sephora for $19.

The product which has been hardest to get is my Le Maquillage Petite Palette. I fell in love with this when I saw Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo use it in her Angelina Jolie tutorial. The palette is called the Le Maquillage Professionel Concealer, Lip and Cheek Petite Palette and I bought it from PAM. After pounds were converted to dollars and international shipping was added, it cost about $50.

This product was worth the wait. It was out of stock for months, then took a few weeks to arrive after I ordered it. I may do a separate post on this with swatches. It is a great multipurpose palette and the textures are so smooth.


What are your most delicious beauty products?
My husband bought me a set of EOS lipbalms for Christmas. My favorite is Strawberry Sorbet. It smells scrumptious and keeps lips feeling soft.


What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?
I'm not really sure if I neglect this product because of laziness or if I'm not sure I like using it. My pick for this category is the Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer. Actually, I neglect any under eye concealer. Many people complain about concealer setting in to fine lines. I've got the opposite problem. The concealer pulls away from the lines. One way or the other, nomatter what concealer I've tried (and I've tried alot) it never looks attractive after a few hours have passed. I find it easier to simply dab some of my Origins Ginzing under my eyes. It brightens just fine and doesn't either settle into lines or pull away from them.


What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?
I love eyeliner. Making my eyes stand out gives me the most self confidence. I've got big brown eyes which many may say are pretty. They are pretty, however, I've always envied those with sexier shaped eyes. Using eyeliner in my waterline narrows my eyes a bit and makes them look sultrier. My current favorite is Costa Riche by Mac. It is a warm, reddish brown.

 I never thought to look at this color until the beautiful Jemima Chatfield used it in her Brooklyn Decker video. Thank You JemimaLou!!


What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?
I'm not sure what this question has to do with beauty, but, I love a good sense of humor. My husband is thoughtful, sensitive, strong, and determined to better himself. These are the character traits that drew me to him. He also has the most lovely blue eyes, is tall and slender. Almost anything will look good on his build.


What items would you most like to receive as a gift?
Tough question. When I want a beauty item, I want it right now. I'm not very patient when it comes to these things. I have no problems waiting to open up a package full of clothing, shoes, or handbags, but, when it comes to makeup, I'm like a kid in front of a plate of cookies. I can't wait!! The last beauty item I received as a gift was the Dior Garden Clutch Palette.
I hope you enjoyed my Seven Deadly Sins! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Revlon Lip Butter Swatches and Review

As much as I love the look of a bold pigmented lipstick, in truth, I am a very low maintenance girl when it comes to my beauty routine. Lipstick often feels drying on my lips as well. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Revlon Lip Butters. I am always a little bit wary of budget beauty products, but, I was actually quite impressed by these. The look and feel of this product is not cheap the way that I thought it might be. I purchased the colors "Tutti Fruity" and "Lollipop". Both of these colors are great for the Spring 2012 trend.

I just love these colors. They are so wearable.

The consistency is sheer but vibrant as well and the texture is smooth and creamy.

This is the color Lollipop.

And this is Tutti Fruity.

If any of you have tried any of the other colors of these lip butters, I would love to hear which are your favorites!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mothers Day Poem - A Haiku for Mom

Mother's Day is May 13 this year. Choosing something for mom isn't always easy. If your mom is anything like mine, she would rather receive a heartfelt gift than something from the store. Mom spent the last 31 years taking care of me and looking after my well being. What does mom want most? I think that sometimes, we base what we think someone else would want on what we would want. I've bought mom loads of makeup, nicknacks, kitchen gadgets and other some such over the years. Most of the time, mom is less thrilled than I thought she'd be. Oh, yes, of course, she appreciates what I give her, but, I don't even think she'd really mind if I didn't buy anything. We are such a commercialized society that we think everyone wants things that cost money. In the case of my mom, I think she'd be twice as touched by a poem and a picture than she would be impressed by an expensive item at the mall. This year, for Mother's Day 2012, mom is getting something from the heart.

I decided to compose something for mom. Haikus are one of my favorite types of poetry. They are simple, easy to read, and can convey almost ethereal sentiments. I started out by refreshing my memory on how to write a haiku. I read this wikihow article. In summary of this articles contents, you can choose to write an Americanized haiku or a Japanese haiku. I decided to go with the simple 5 - 7 - 5 design typically taught to children in elementary school. After refreshing my memory on haikus, I started listing adjectives that describe mom and also the number of syllables in each word.

After that, I chose the ones that I liked the best and put them into verse, making sure to remain within the correct number of syllables for each line. I will obviously be presenting my mothers day poem in a more precious format. What are you doing for mom this year?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Treating Anxiety/Phobias with Cognitive Techniques

I came across a post on a beauty blog recently which really made me think. This beautiful young girl named Zoe openly shared on her blog that she suffers with panic attacks. From her description, her anxiety interferes quite a bit with day to day life. I thought she was so courageous to share her story with the world that I thought I'd write about the topic as well. Her post is here. Many women and men suffer with anxiety. However, statistically, more women suffer with anxiety than men. I could spend hours theorizing about why that is, but won't. I, personally, suffer very mild panic attacks when I am in the position of speaking publicly in front of crowds. My heart begins to race, perspiration increases, and many times, my body begins to shake. Generally, my vision blurs and I'd probably fall over if I didn't fixate on something in the back of the room. Sometimes, I end up racing through what I needed to say, or, worse yet, go blank in front of a room full of people and forget what I was going to say to begin with. (I have learned to make bulleted lists to bring with me as a reminder of important points.) I'll write a little bit later about what I do with myself in order to become calm when these attacks occur. But, first, I thought I'd share a few interesting tidbits about anxiety and phobias which I have learned in school. I am nearly finished my with Master's Degree in Counseling. I have had the pleasure of learning from many fantastic teachers. They have taught me things which may not be common knowledge and may actually help someone who suffers with anxiety related challenges. Before I continue, I will announce that I am no expert on anxiety. It takes far more years of study and specialization to claim such an accomplishment. However, if my writing could help one person, I would be happy.

For those who are interested, I will begin with a few tidbits on the research of anxiety and phobias. Some experts would contend that phobias are learned. My professor told us the story of Little Albert. I was a bit outraged when I heard the story. In a moment, you'll see why. As a brief synopsis of the research, a small child was classically conditioned to fear rats. At the onset of the project, the child was fascinated by the small fuzzy creatures. However, he was conditioned through the use of loud noises and eventually associated the rats with frightening sounds. The poor child was never deconditioned and unfortunately died at the young age of six. Despite the obvious ethical ramifications, scientists use this case as an example of how we can begin to fear that which we may have previously enjoyed.

So, what does this mean? Is it possible that my alter-ego loves public speaking. Does she confidently stride up in front of a crowd and give eloquent speeches? Possibly so. If so, where is she and how can I find her? If I think back far enough, I can vaguely remember my earliest experiences of being on show. There she was, little "Jewels", strutting in front of an audience in a little tutu. I was the one little ballerina who went the wrong way during the show. According to mom, I loved it. I was so small that embarrassment wasn't an issue. Alright! Moving on a bit forward in time. Perhaps, it was the piano recitals? Ah, yes! I remember that one quite vividly now. I was asked to play the piano in front of the church. I had played the piece a million times over again and, during a part that I knew the best, I went blank and botched the notes. I was so embarrassed that I turned around and announced my apologies to everyone in the church.

So, there you go. Somewhere along the line, I learned to associate being in front of a crowd with embarrassment. I fear public speaking because I keep thinking that I will embarrass myself and that I will embarrass those who support me. I psych myself out so much that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So, what is so terrible about being embarrassed? There are far worse things out there. I was taught that, when using a cognitive approach with a client, that I should tunnel down to find the core belief. Basically, find the hidden meaning behind the fear, the deepest possible meaning behind the fear. In my case, I believe that I will embarrass myself in front of a crowd. Not so bad. But, what does that mean about me? Perhaps, people will think I am stupid. Is that so bad? I'm 31 years old. Who cares what people think? Well, if people think I'm stupid, then maybe I am stupid? Clearly not. My current GPA is a 4.0, not that it matters at all in life, it just goes to show I am not stupid. But, if I were, what would it mean? Possibly, that I will always be stupid, that nomatter how hard I try, I will always fail. Well, that one really sucks! I think she's found it! My core fear is that I will always fail nomatter how hard I try.

Nowadays, when I am about to speak publicly, I remind myself that this one experience is merely a small tidbit of my life. So what if I'm a stinky public speaker? So what if I will always be a stinky public speaker? I am good at so many other things. Sometimes, I mentally list out my accomplishments. I also use a few behavioral relaxation techniques in conjunction as needed. If anyone ever reads this, and would like to know more about these, let me know and I'd be happy to share. I've droned on and on for long enough, I think.

In conclusion, what are you afraid of? If the problem is severe, always always seek professional help. There is no reason to continue suffering. If your anxiety is mild like mine, perhaps, try my method. What is your worst fear when panic begins? Dig deeply, for, if you stay on the surface, it won't work. Once you know what your core fear is, it is much easier to dig yourself out of the hole. Any questions? Just let me know. I'd be absolutely thrilled to know that someone actually read this. :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chloe Eau De Parfum Review

Have you ever smelled a scent that instantly reminded you of happiness? There is a park where my husband and I walk from time to time. I could get lost in its maze of twists and turns. The walk is always so relaxing and instantly puts me at ease. There is a place along the walk where flowering trees bloom in springtime. I love walking by those trees especially when there is a gentle breeze blowing the scent of the flowers closer to my nose and there is warm sunlight shining on my face. This perfume, Chloe Eau De Parfum, elicits the same emotions in me as my special flowering trees. The scent reminds me of happiness. I close my eyes and spritz and am instantly carried away. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The DragonFly Girl is Born

When I was a little girl, my mother told me stories about growing up in China. She told me about the culture, the foods, and the lifestyle. However, the stories I loved the most were the ones about the dragonflies. I love dragonflies. I loved them before it became popular to love them. I loved them as a small child listening to my mother's stories. As I listened about the beautiful fluttering wings, I imagined myself in China. As I grew older, I became fascinated by the anatomies, colors, and abilities of dragonflies. I loved dragonflies so much that I, at 20 years old, decided to have one tattooed upon my hip. It is an interesting little tattoo - one I designed myself. The dragonfly reminds me that I am part Chinese and not to forget this portion of my heritage. The dragonfly is also a symbol of beauty, uniqueness, and strength. I plan to write in this space about things which inspire me, things which are beautiful to me, and things which motivate me to be better than I am.