Showing posts from June, 2011

Makeup Tag

Make Up Tag!

I saw this on Kendyl's blog, which is and thought I'd continue the tag.

1. How old were you when you started wearing makeup? 12 or 13

2. How did you get into makeup? It was a gradual process, but I was always fascinated with fashion and beauty magazines and that sparked a love of makeup.

3. What are some of your favorite brands? L'Oreal, Wet N Wild, Milani, Nars, Urban Decay, and Make Up For Ever.

4. What does makeup mean to you? When I was younger, it meant hiding a lot of who I really was. Today, it actually means the opposite: I try to bring out more of myself with makeup. I love the creativity of it, the art form that it can be made into, and the way it transforms how we see ourselves.

5. If you could only wear 4 products on your face what would they be? Make Up For Ever's HD foundation, Milani Liquifeye in Black, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, and NYX lipgloss in Natural.

6. What is your favorite thing about makeu…

Product Review: Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer

To really appreciate Eve Pearl's Salmon Concealer, you need one thing: A huge lack of sleep. I bought it at IMATS NY in April and since then, my opinions on it wavered.

Then the summer heat took over this week. I've never slept well when it gets this hot. Today I'm going on close to a week's worth of little sleep. When I looked in the mirror this morning, my usual under eye circles had taken on the darkness of ongoing bad sleep. Beyond that, they had the blue undertone which is caused by blood pooling.

This was the time to test the product. The point of a salmon or peach concealer is color correction, not so much concealing. This concealer's texture is what people debate: It's light, which goes against our understanding of fighting under eye circles. I have the Bobbi Brown Corrector, which is the same color concept but has a much denser quality.

Applying Eve Pearl's product this morning and seeing the darkness vanish with little effort made me finally ap…

Dealing With a Sudden Change in Skin Type

I've always known myself as two things for sure: Erica and oily-skinned. The rest was up for debate. From the time I hit puberty until recently, I was in a constant battle with shine. At one point in high school, a guy sat down next to me and said blankly, "You have really oily skin." It came out as smooth as a Barry White song.

Then about a year ago, my skin changed, seamlessly and overnight. It didn't just dry up a little: My skin went from one extreme to the other. Suddenly, I was constantly feeling dry. My instinctual first thought was to pile on the face creams just to alleviate that uncomfortable tightness. I went through a few different drugstore creams, but none of them made a real difference.

What's hard about going from one skin type to the next quickly is you don't know how to manage it: You spent your life dealing with another skin type, so the remedies for your new symptoms are unfamiliar. It can be caused by all sorts of things, from climate cha…

Beauty Doesn't Have a Weight Limit

I was asked a question regarding my "bombshell" contest that upset me a bit: The question was, Does this have an age and weight limit? I've deleted the question from my page, in case the person doesn't want attention called to her.

First off, the answer is absolutely not. Again, I want to emphasize that this contest is being judged on makeup application technique and a strong portrayal of the individual's idea of this concept. It is not a Miss America contest. It is not about perpetuating one standard of beauty.

I've used all young, slender women and teen girls in my makeup images so far. This wasn't a deliberate effort: I've posted a few times asking for women over 40, and I've tried to get women over 40 on my page. I just haven't been successful yet. Same goes for plus-size women.

Years ago, I read an article by chef Nigella Lawson about owning your age: When she turned 30, she threw a big birthday party for herself, in part to declare the …

Product Review: DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear Makeup

This is a long-wearing foundation with SPF 25, but the debate about its level of coverage is ongoing: Some reviews call it light to medium and some call it full. Having used this foundation for a few weeks, I'm on Team Full Coverage.

With acne long in my past, I've been using light to medium coverage foundations for years. I forgot how heavy a full coverage could feel. Dior's foundation is meant to stay on, be water resistant, and cover a multitude of sins: It does all of those things well. One particular beauty of it is it covers my newer and persistent problem: undereye circles. I actually forget to put on concealer sometimes after applying it.

What's hard to get over is how thick it feels on the skin (I've consistently decreased the amount I apply). It also seems to stay a wet consistency. Those two factors ensure you never forget you're wearing it. The question for anyone considering this foundation is what's more import to her: Covering perceived fla…

"What is a bombshell?"

In light of the current contest I'm running (closes July 1), I was asked today, What is a bombshell? If I'd responded, I would've ruined the contest. The point of it is to give people the freedom to envision and recreate that look themselves.

We know through popular culture some of the bombshell icons: Marilyn Monroe is the most enduring of them all. But to limit that definition to a blonde with large breasts and a throaty voice is to limit ourselves. There is no one definition.

I created this contest to give women a chance to channel something they may not normally feel. Maybe they think it seems vain or conceited. But there is nothing wrong with showcasing your unique beauty with confidence. Oddly, this is something women are rarely given an opportunity to do without some criticism.

Some widely regarded bombshells from different decades:

Marilyn Monroe


Sophia Loren

Youtube Beauty Gurus: The Class Acts

So I've done a couple posts about Youtube beauty gurus that behave badly. In all fairness, I wanted to spotlight the ones that seem in the game for the love it, have true talent and passion, and try to keep themselves on an ethical platform. They don't spend their time pushing jewelry sites and the like; they focus on the art of makeup. Think Youtube is simply a forum for gag videos? These makeup artists have used it as a springboard and a legitimate teaching tool.

Lisa Eldridge: She is a seasoned and highly respected makeup artist currently based out of England. She often takes looks she created for high fashion magazines or celebrities and translates them onto the Youtube screen. The wealth of knowledge and her generosity at sharing it is immeasurable: watch her videos, and you've essentially gotten an education in makeup. She carries herself with an aura of class not typically seen anymore; tempered with kindness, she doesn't come across as the least bit snobby or r…

But I digress, Dad

On Father's Day, I'm thinking of my battle with my father over cosmetics. My love of them started early, around 12 or 13. Despite my parents never fighting me over wearing them, the bigger battle was the expense: My father didn't understand anyone spending money on makeup. He didn't even refer to it as "makeup": It was something like "that crap on your dresser."

My fashion and beauty magazines angered him even more: At one point he said the pile was so high that it could be a fire hazard if stacked.

As the king of frugality, spending money on something non-essential was a travesty. He grew up with a Depression-era mindset, and it's never left him. One moment seared in my then-teenage brain is when he tried to teach me that soap can double as a shampoo. We didn't use store-bought soap: We used this generic item my parents bought in bulk called Caleo. It was essentially probably recycled soap residue from other brands. I remember slack-jawed …

Review: Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Intense

I have a makeup phobia: Bright lipstick on myself. I can admire it on someone else, but I've always felt like it's the cosmetic equivalent of a loud shirt or a skirt that could double as a tube top. And in my modesty, that doesn't work.

Oddly, when Make Up For Ever released its Rouge Artist Intense line, I was drawn in like a moth to the flame. The line is known for dense pigmentation, similar to how the brand is known. The colors range from perhaps the most well-known shade, Moulin Rouge (a deep red), all the way down the color spectrum to peachy nudes.

Make Up For Ever generously donated a lipstick for me to review: It's number 36, Satin Fuchsia. The first time I opened the package, it was stunning. Literally. This colors in this line are like the colors we know, but they're all taken up a few notches in intensity.

Since the lipstick line is already highly pigmented, a bright shade could be blinding. The following are images of the shade. The first two images ar…

Contest: Bombshell Makeup - Prize is $200

I know I promised that I wouldn't make people continue to put on makeup, but it's a makeup page, and I love seeing your take on looks :). This is the big giveaway I mentioned a few weeks back: Post an image of yourself at in your interpretation of a bombshell makeup look between now and July 1, 2011 to enter.

The winner will be announced on July 2 at 3 p.m. EST. The prize is a $200 gift certificate to Sephora. I will also post my own image (but of course I'm not entering myself).

Good luck, everyone, and I look forward to seeing your entries!

Contest rules: Open to U.S. residents only, must be 18 years or older. Please keep entries focused on the face and do not include revealing clothes.

Makeup Tips that Make a Difference

The following are some of the best beauty tips I've come across in my many years of scouring beauty magazines and books. I've tried to consolidate the tips into one blog, giving credit if I remember where I saw it. Some of the tips are universal. Some were things I discovered in all of my years experimenting.

1. Apply undereye concealer only where there is darkness/puffiness, not around the entire undereye. - Wayne Alan Goss (Gossmakeupartist). The first time I tried it, I noticed what a difference it made. It seems obvious, but many of us have been concealing by rote for years. What you're trying to do is counteract and diminish the darkness, so if you cover the areas that aren't dark, it has a way of highlighting the entire area and thereby emphasizing the problem.

2. Get a color wheel from a paint store: This is the easiest way to learn and understand complementary shades and how colors cancel each other out (green vs. red, purple vs. orange). You can also learn ho…