Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Ultimate Mascara Secret

If there is a holy grail of makeup, it’s almost certainly the highly elusive perfect mascara. The best mascara would be one that lengthens while it thickens, curls while it separates, and stays resolutely clump-free and steadfastly smudge-proof from morning ’til night.
The perfect mascara also would give your eyes that “va-va-va-voom” factor — deliciously envy-worthy lashes that would make people wonder if your lashes just might be fake before deciding that you’ve simply been unfairly blessed with a genetically superior lashline.
While no single mascara possesses all of these qualities, we’ve pinpointed a technique that achieves an effect that comes close to this level of perfection.
The underlying principle of this technique is pretty simple: create a light foundation on your lashes using a non-clumping, lengthening mascara. Then add volume and even more length with a heavier mascara.
Implementing this strategy, however, is a little more complicated than it sounds and may take some practice, but we’ve put together a detailed step-by-step guide to help you out.
Some things to keep in mind before we start:
-For this technique, we recommend very specific products for one very specific reason: they work. We have tested several products for this method and the ones listed below are the ones that we found were truly the most effective.
-Do only one eye at a time. This technique must be performed fairly swiftly and you don’t want your mascara to dry between coats. Applying this technique to only one set of lashes at a time will help prevent this.
-Have a tissue handy for wiping excess mascara off the wand before applying it and to wipe off your lash comb between uses.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
-Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara (Waterproof Formula). This is a light, smudge-free, lengthening mascara with an extra small brush that allows you to get to even the hardest-to-reach lashes. Using this mascara ensures that you add length and definition to all your lashes, even the littlest ones.
-Maybelline Lash Stylist Mascara (Waterproof Formula). This mascara can weather a tear-storm like only a few others that we’ve encountered and its applicator is a multi-layered comb that offers great control and minimized clumping. This mascara will add the previously mentioned “va-va-va-voom” factor.
-Tweezerman Folding Eyelash Comb. We rave about this puppy all the time. You can read more about .why eyelash combs are essential for getting clump-free lashes If you haven’t bought one yet, what are you waiting for? For lash’s sake, just go get one.
-First, apply all other eye makeup besides your mascara and curl your eyelashes.
-Sweep a light coat of Maybelline Lash Discovery over your lashes, concentrating on the hard-to-reach lashes that are closer to the corner of your eye. Remember to keep a very light hand here. If you over-do this step, you’ll most likely end up with irreversible clumping.
-Immediately after applying the Lash Discovery mascara, swiftly (but carefully!) give your eyelashes a good comb to ensure that eyelashes are separated and clump-free. It’s important to perform this step quickly because you don’t want to give your lashes too much time to dry before moving on to the next step.
-Apply the Lash Stylist Mascara as you normally would, gently wiggling the wand as you comb the mascara up through the lashes. One coat should do it, but don’t be afraid to get in there and touch up any places that aren’t fully coated and to add a little extra mascara to the outer lashes if you like the doe-eyed look.
-Thoroughly comb your lashes to get out any clumps. When the mascara starts to build up on the comb, make sure to tissue it off in order to prevent adding excessive mascara back onto your lashes
-Repeat on the other eye.
-If necessary, comb through your lashes again after the mascara has dried to remove all clumps.
The result should be long, thick lashes with very little (if any) clumping and they should stay that way all day and even into the wee hours of the night.
If you’re going to be in a very muggy environment or dancing the night away in a humid night club, bring a makeup eraser pen (or at least a cotton swab) to eliminate any smudges and, of course, bring along that eyelash comb to fight off any clumps.

Get rid of dry cuticles for good!

Thick, dry, and peeling cuticles are one of beauty’s biggest pet peeves. Whether you get weekly manicures done by a professional or you choose to do your own nails, this tip is indispensable for developing and maintaining healthy cuticles and smooth, moisturized hands. Do not perform this procedure if your cuticles or the skin on your hands is injured, raw, or bleeding because it could worsen your condition. As always, please seek treatment from a physician if you suffer from any serious skin condition.

One of the most common ways of treating dry, thick, or peeling cuticles is to try snipping off the dead skin with a cuticle nipper. The problem with this method is that it is difficult and even dangerous to perform on yourself. People often tend to nip off too much skin, which simply results in your skin growing back even thicker and, worse yet, you could easily cut too deeply and injure yourself. Furthermore, as a practical matter, it is virtually impossible to use cuticle nippers on yourself unless you’re ambidextrous because you’ll always be forced to use your left hand to trim the cuticles on your right (or vice versa if you’re a lefty).

But not to worry! We’ve got an easy and safe solution for you. First, start with clean, dry nails. Take a good, oil- and sugar-based body scrub and apply it to your cuticles and nail area. If you’re running a little short on time, you can do this while in the shower, but you’ll get the best results if you do this while your hands are still dry.
Gently massage the body scrub in small circles over the entire cuticle area, paying special attention to the part of your finger where the corner of the nail meets the skin. Spend approximately 30 seconds exfoliating the cuticle of each nail.
Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Follow up your cuticle scrub by massaging a rich cuticle cream into the cuticle as well as the nailbed on each of your fingers. For really deep moisturization, slather on some handcream and slip on a pair of cotton gloves.

Again, the absolute key to this is maintenance. Perform the exfoliating procedure weekly and massage your cuticles and nails with a rich cuticle cream twice a day and we promise you can kiss those dry cuticles goodbye forever!

Emergency blotting paper for oily skin

Even though there are a lot of great oil blotting powders, papers, and tissues out there, one of the most effective is extremely common — and free! If you find yourself suffering from an oil slick, head to your nearest ladies room and try blotting your face with one of those ordinary, disposable, paper toilet seat covers. The paper is both sanitary and highly absorbent.

Using firm, but gentle pressure, press and hold the paper seat cover to your face until excess oil is absorbed. It’s an easy way to banish any shine — any time.

Get naked: Find your Perfect Nude Lip Color

Love the look of nude lips, but have problems finding the perfect nude lip color? Lucky for you, it may already be hiding in your makeup bag.

You may have heard it before: the basic rule when it comes to choosing a nude lip color is to choose a shade that is the same or slightly lighter than your skin tone. Opt for slightly cooler shades if you have paler skin and choose a warmer shade if you have olive or darker skin.

While these rules seem simple enough, the quest for a perfect nude lip colour can often be frustrating, since many find that nude lip colors tend to appear too light, too dark, or tend to wash out the complexion.

This simple beauty secret takes the guesswork out of finding the right shade of nude lip color. You can achieve a beautiful nude lip look simply by using lip balm, your own concealer, and a lipgloss.

“You can achieve a

beautiful nude lip
look simply by using

lip balm, your own

concealer, and a lipgloss…”

The regular concealer you use on your face works great for this makeup trick. However, if you buy darker concealer to match your complexion during the summer, this makeup tip can make great use of that lighter colored concealer that you thought you’d have to toss out or stow away.

If you have different colored concealers, try experimenting with both shades to find the look that you like best.
Before you try this look make sure your lips are well exfoliated. Try a lip exfoliator like Tarte FRxtion or make your own homemade sugar lip scrub.

Once you’ve got your lips nice and smooth, apply a lip balm to seal in moisture and help prep the lips. Next, use your finger or a lip brush to blend a light layer of concealer onto your lips.
When applying the concealer to your lips, don’t go overboard or your lips might end up looking a bit muddy. Remember that you can always apply more concealer later if you want a more opaque look.

Give the concealer and lip balm a minute to sink into your lips and then add a layer of clear lipgloss for a basic, lush, nude lip look.

Want a little more dimension for some drop-dead sexy lips? Try adding a little silver or gold lip gloss at the top of your cupid’s bow and on the center of your bottom lip to help lips appear fuller. Another pretty option is to try topping lips with a shimmery gloss instead of a plain clear gloss.

The Perfect Tinted Moisturizer

Still looking for the best tinted moisturizer? While there are many excellent tinted moisturizers on the market, you may find that some are too dark, too light, too heavy, or not moisturizing enough — the potential list of problems is virtually endless.
If you still haven’t found your perfect tinted moisturizer, you can try this beauty secret for making your own tinted moisturizer that’s perfectly customized to fit your skin’s needs.
The great news is that the best tinted moisturizer for your skin type and skin tone may already be waiting for you in your makeup bag. Simply mix some of your foundation with your moisturizer and voila! A tinted moisturizer that’s personally customized for your skin.
Our favorite method for making your own tinted moisturizer at home is to use your favorite moisturizer and mix it with mineral makeup such as Bare Escentuals BareMinerals. High quality mineral makeup almost seems to dissolve when mixed with moisturizer and when you apply this homemade tinted moisturizer to your face, it creates light, even coverage as well as the soft glow characteristic of mineral makeup.
Not into minerals? Regular liquid foundations also work great as tinted moisturizers when mixed with your face lotion.
Another advantage to mixing your own tinted moisturizer is that you can easily adjust the color. If you need more coverage, add more foundation. Want a tinted moisturizer to match and enhance your tanned, summer glow? Just mix in a little powdered bronzer into your homemade tinted moisturizer.
Quick Tip: We found that one of the easist and least messy ways to mix your own tinted moisturizer is to use a mini plastic cosmetics spatula (available at most beauty supply stores). These little spatulas make scooping out powdered mineral makeup and mixing it into the moisturizer a snap and they’re also great for scraping that last bit of product from the bottom of a cosmetics jar.

Beauty 9-1-1: Quick Fixes For Beauty Emergencies

It’s one of the worst-case beauty-scenarios. A beauty emergency hits while you’re at an important lunch or on a hot dinner date with Mr. Right…and you forgot to pack your beauty essentials.

Don’t let a beauty boo-boo ruin your good time. We’ve got some super quick, do-it-yourself beauty fixes to the rescue.

These unusual beauty tips all involve the use of common, every-day items that are easy to round up at almost any restaurant. Some of this emergency makeshift makeup may already even be in your purse.

Next time you find yourself in a beauty crisis, try out these quick fixes:

Use butter as a moisturizing lip gloss.
One of the last things you want when you’re out on a hot date is to have dry, flaky lips. Keep them soft and moisturized by smoothing on some plain old table butter. The oil from the butter is effective in conditioning the lips and it leaves a nice shine. Yes, it’s a little weird, but it really works.

Separate clumpy eyelashes with a toothpick.
This is an old but effective beauty trick. If your mascara gets clumpy, (carefully!) pick through the clumps with the edge of a toothpick. Please exercise extreme caution when doing this so that your date or lunch meeting doesn’t end in the emergency room.

Curl your eyelashes with a spoon.
If your lashes start to uncurl (or you forgot to curl them in the first place), use a spoon as an improvised eyelash curler. Cup the spoon over your closed eye and position the edge of the spoon as close to your lash line as possible.
Using a finger on your other hand, gently press your lashes against the outer curve of the spoon and hold for a few seconds. Repeat, if necessary, until your eyelashes are gently curled.

Toilet paper seat covers make great blotting paper.
If your T-zone shifts into overdrive and you need a makeshift face-blotting tissue, try using a disposable paper toilet seat cover to blot your face and absorb excess oil.
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Use an ice cube if a surprise pimple appears.
Pimples sometimes surface at the worst possible moments. Nip a zit in the bud by applying an ice cube to the inflamed area for a couple minutes. The cold should help curb the swelling and calm inflammation. If you’re lucky enough to have some Visine eye drops with you, apply a drop to the pimple to help eliminate redness.

Use a matchbook cover as a makeshift nail file.
If you chip a nail, file down sharp edges with the abrasive strip on the back of a matchbook cover or side of a matchbox.

Need a quick fix for hangnails?
Break out the butter again. Butter not only helps moisturize your lips, but it can also help smoothe a pesky hangnail. Use the butter the same way as you would a regular cuticle cream: just dab a little on and then massage until it’s absorbed.

Calm a case of the frizzies with a dab of hand lotion.
Forgot to check the weather report? If humid weather has got your hair hot-wired, smooth down frizzies by using a dab of hand lotion in place of a hair cream.

Fight grease with an improvised “dry” shampoo.
Stave off oily hair by lightly applying an alcohol-based product such as regular anti-bacterial hand gel (the clear, non-creamy kind) or those little, individually wrapped hand wipes available in many restaurants. Alcohol-based products such as these help to absorb oil and freshen hair.
If you’ve managed to bring your perfume with you (but somehow forgot all the important stuff), a spritz of perfume on the roots of your hair is also an effective (and great smelling) quick fix for greasy hair.

One last tip: This probably goes without saying, but if you have to perform any of these makeshift beauty tricks, it’s definitely best to excuse yourself and do this in the privacy of the ladies room. It’s so much easier to say that you have to go powder your nose than it is to explain why you’re buttering your smoocher instead of your dinner roll.

Quite possibly the world’s most perfect eyeshadow

Believe it or not, this universally flattering eyeshadow trick will work for women of any age or ethnicity. Whether you have aging skin and are faced with the problem of finding eyeshadows that will not settle in wrinkles, or if you’re fighting the “mother vs. teen daughter” battle over what makeup a teen or tween can wear without looking too mature or inappropriate — or you’re just someone who has trouble finding great eyeshadow colors for your skin tone, you’ve now got a great solution.

Pressed powder — yes, the stuff for your face — can make an excellent eyeshadow. Since face powder is formulated in natural shades that are designed to accurately match skin tone, you’ll find that, when applied to the eyes, the color is soft, subtle and natural. For a shade to highlight the brow bone, inner corners of your eyes, or to dab on the lid, simply pick a color that is 1-2 shades lighter than your own skin color. Similarly, if you’d like a darker shade for a crease color, pick a powder that is 1-2 shades darker than your natural skin color. Want an even more dramatic, smokey eye look, or a shadow to smudge on as a liner? Go for a shade that’s even darker.

“By considering

all face powders as potential

eyeshadows, you

open up a whole

big, new world of

possibilities. . . “

By considering all face powders as potential eyeshadows, you open up a whole big, new world of possibilities — oil-absorbing matte powder for extremely oily prone skin (or to use as a no-slide eye makeup base), semi-matte for a velvety finish, or a wrinkle-fighting formula that protects the skin as it disguises flaws. Not to mention most powders are now also formulated to be long lasting, which means less eyemakeup mess and fewer reapplications.

The result — particularly if you buy colors from the same line — is a beautiful, highly blendable, low-fuss makeup look that can even be customized for your skin type. If your skin color changes enough that you need to buy different makeup for Winter and Summer, this trick is a great way to use up any leftover powder without having to throw it away. Plus, you get a whole compact full of makeup. Now tell me, what regular eyeshadow can do that?

To try this look out, Loreal True Match Powder is a great starting point, since most stores have a plastic color matching card that makes it easy to find an exact match for your skin tone. Once you’ve got that figured out, it’s a cinch to pick lighter or darker eye shades.
Another great choice is Tru Blend Pressed Powder by Covergirl. Since this “smart” powder works to match 97% of all skin tones, you get a really subtle, well-matched eyeshadow color when you deliberately choose shades that are darker or lighter than your own (since this powder really does match a wide number of skin tones, you’ll probably have to choose shades that appear much lighter or darker than your own).

Other great picks, simply because they have such a silky texture and high-quality pigment are Nars pressed powder and DiorSkin pressed powder.