Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Makeup Contest: A Tribute to Kevyn Aucoin



Next month marks what would have been Kevyn Aucoin's 50th birthday. This year is also 10 years since his passing. I thought it would be fitting to do a contest where people do tribute looks that reflect his style and the spirit he brought to makeup.

Please post your makeup image on www.facebook.com/makeupbyelm between now and Feb. 14 (his birthday). The winner will receive $100 worth of makeup from the Kevyn Aucoin cosmetic line. Winner will be chosen based on a look that is most reflective of his style, technique, and creativity.

He was an amazing talent and gave makeup soul.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoos



This is probably the most hyped product out of the drugstores right now: I heard the comparisons to MAC Paint Pots and that they outperformed them. I've bought three shades: Tough As Taupe, Bold Gold, and Painted Purple.

My thought on this product after using it for a week: It's probably the best cream shadow out of the drugstores so far, but it isn't nearly as long-wearing as the name suggests. The shades are also hit or miss: Tough As Taupe goes on very pigmented, but Painted Purple isn't nearly as vibrant swatched as it appears in the pot.

The shades also take some blending: They tend to apply streaky and uneven and take more than one application to get good color payoff. I also wish more of the shades were matte; the glittery effect makes them hard to use as a base.

This is a decent product, but it's overpriced at around $8 per pot. If your eyelids are oily, this product will likely crease after a few hours. If you're older and have some wrinkling on your eyelids, the product will settle into any wrinkles and accentuate them.

After-Work Makeover




I work with Sheena. We had long discussed doing her makeup, but the trickiest thing is trying to schedule this sometime around a work day. She is 48 and has no wrinkles. Although she is going through a rocky time, she tries to see the positive and tackle obstacles with a good attitude.

Because of time constraints, I had about 20 minutes to do this look on her (and she reminded me the entire time that "I have to go."). I used gold, bronze, and brown shadows to enhance her eyes. Though the camera didn't pick it up well, I mixed a bright pink cream blush and an orange lipstick to use as her blush. I finished her look with a caramel lip shade.

Sheena's tips (the good and the bad):

Although she has no wrinkles, she never wears sunscreen. She says she's allergic to the chemicals. I suggested she try sunblock or an organic version.

She swears by cocoa butter, even on her face. She applies it twice daily.

She loves Wen Cleansing Conditioner (I do, too).

She eats a lot of vegetables and thinks it's helped keep her looking youthful.

Every so often, she takes some "me time" by renting a hotel room and spending the weekend pampering herself. With some of her grown kids still at home, it's her only way to have time alone.

She smokes but is in a smoking cessation program.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Youtube Video: Contest Entry


Please let me know if you'd like to see more videos and what types: tutorials, reviews? It was a long decision whether to post on Youtube, considering it isn't always the most supportive forum. I finally decided I wouldn't let anyone else's negativity keep me from doing what I want. I hope you enjoy and thanks for your support.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Face of the Weekend: Purple Reigns

With a conservative day job, I stick to neutrals daily. On the weekends, I can experiment with colors and be more daring. This weekend, I wore a deep purple shadow and false lashes. When you're dark-skinned, dark-haired, like I am, you can get away with deep, bright colors without it looking overdone. (Oh, and yes I smile normally.)

Products used: Make Up For Ever shadow, Kiss false lashes, Nars Sheer Glow foundation, MAC Ambering Rose blush, NYX gloss in Natural



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Current Blush Favorite: Not the Slightest Bit Peachy-Pink



In the game of blush collectors, I'm pretty low down on the spectrum: Anyone who follows beauty blogs knows there are hardcore players in the game: In all seriousness, some have triple digit collections and are continuing to expand their collections. Mine tops out at a paltry 5-10 at a time. Why? Because I don't feel a desire to have more than that at a time, can't use more than that at a time, and I'm missing the girl-gene that wants 15 shades of peachy-pink. My vision can only detect the nuances of pink to a varying degree, then all is lost.

This blush post might be called the Anti-Peachy-Pink blog: I've become so saturated with that term in the last year that in a breaking moment, I was standing at the MAC counter and looking for the farthest departure from a pink tone that I could find. What I selected was MAC's Amberling Rose. It's a deep rose shade with gold flecks. The combination enhances medium to deep skin tones so beautifully and naturally that I'm now defaulting to this blush. When you have to remind yourself you still have other shades, you know a blush has trumped the rest. I'd highly recommend this shade to anyone in a "blush rut."

Despite being categorized as a sheer tone blush, this packs considerable color payoff. The only thing I'd caution is that it can go on dense and needs to be blended well. I've heard others say this about MAC blushes, that they can be so pigmented that many shades need extra attention with blending.

I'm not a MAC fanatic: I have nothing against the brand, but it was never on my radar as a teen because I didn't grow up shopping in department stores. As an adult, I've tried to expose myself to the brand bit by bit, partly because it is one of the most socially responsible cosmetic brands. They are way ahead of the game with their Back to MAC program, which encourages their consumers to recycle by offering free product with returned empties. They don't do any animal testing. Beyond that, MAC has really done tremendous things with raising AIDS awareness with its Viva Glam line. They don't get enough credit as an extremely altruistic and socially responsible company.

Affordable options that give a similar effect: Covergirl Cheekers blush in Golden Pink and Milani baked blush in Red Vino.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Impressions: L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Eye Shadow



For whatever reason, a large part of makeup marketing is focused on excessive duration: A product is touted for lasting not the normal 10 or 12 hours, but 18 hours or more. Perhaps cosmetic brands think we're all doing the walk-of-shame, or they think we want to wear second-day makeup?  L'Oreal is no exception with its Infallible line, which promises to have exceptional resiliency and wear.

When they recently released the Infallible 24 Hour Eye Shadow line in the States, it had some buzz as a dupe for the Armani Eyes to Kill line. What got me most was the name: They had pushed the envelope and promised a shadow would wear overnight and well into the following day. Honestly, skepticism is what got me to try this product.

Because I like to test products like I'm in a vehicle safety inspection, I actually did wear these shadows for a full 24 hours. The truth? It actually does what it promises. Yes, I slept in my makeup and kept it on through the next day. Without primer, the shadow applies smoothly, gives amazing color payoff, and lasts without creasing, smudging, or fading. In an age where we're now being told primer is a necessary step in eye makeup application, this is a big step for a drugstore product. The shadows feel like a hybrid of a cream and a powder, making them creamy and blendable.

Downside is the color selection is also fairly small, and the shades are mostly neutral tones. The shadows come as .12 ounces of product and retail for around $8 each, which is a little pricey for a drugstore product. However, a little goes a long way and, as promised, lasts even longer.