A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Lavender Eyes with Lorac

After picking up the massive Lorac eye palette a few weeks back, I’ve been experimenting with the different colors to see what suits me. [I mentioned this in my post last week on the Lorac Mega Pro Palette 2] I’m not going to go into my entire makeup routine, but below you can see all the bits that went into this face.  Yes, it seems like a ridiculous amount of makeup, but it’s really mostly brushes [again, learning how to properly work with these as of late!].  I was having a decent skin day when I shot this, so I didn’t need to use foundation and opted to go with under eye concealer [from It! Cosmetics- it’s FANTASTIC!] and spot concealer [Makeup Forever].  The rest of the products on my face are powder [Mac], blush [Hourglass], contour [Kevin Aucoin], and highlight [Becca].  My lipstick is a combination of Nars Funny Face and Urban Decay Matte Revolution in Stark Naked. The latter is a color that looks quite terrifying on me solo, but when I place it on top of virtually any bright lipstick color I own, it creates a muted, softer effect and makes nearly any formulation VERY long wearing. One of my favorite little tricks as of late! I filled my eyebrows, since they’re a little sparse in some spots, put primer on my eyelids [Nars], and then finally got to the eyes

I’ve watched a lot of makeup professionals put together really striking eye looks, and though I like to play around and recreate similar looks, this makeup routine is much more accessible to my everyday.  Check out my little captions to see which brushes I use for specific colors.  You can really create this using just two brushes, a shader brush and a blending brush, but I’m a painter and I like brushes, what can I say!

Use a shader brush to cover your entire lid and slightly above it with lavender.  Lavender seems to be a color that works with nearly every skin tone, so this is a fool proof color to pick up! I then use the pencil shaped blender brush to pat on purple on the outer v [not the inner but the OUTER corner of the eyes!] and in the crease [or the socket region]. You can use this brush to lightly blend in this color into the lavender, but don’t worry too much about getting it perfect just yet.  Using a fluffier blender brush, blend bisque into the area just beneath your eyebrows and tap a bit into your inner corner [I like to use my finger for this bit]. Use the same brush to now blend in circular motions the eyelid and crease area.  Using a small shader brush, tap soft plum onto the center of the lid. You can lightly blend this using the fluffy blender brush, but it’s not necessary.

For your bottom eyelashes, use the pencil blender brush to add purple to the bottom lash.  If you’ve got a purple eyeliner [I highly recommend Urban Decay’s eyeliner in Vice for this look], smudge purple eyeliner along the bottom and top lash lines, smudging with your finger or the pencil brush.  If you don’t have a purple eyeliner, just use the pencil brush to smudge more purple eyeshadow along the top and bottom lash lines.  I went with black eyeliner [I used Smashbox] along my bottom waterline.  

Lastly, I curl my lashes, put on some lash primer [it really helps extend my short, stubby lashes!] and mascara [used a sample of Smashbox smoky eye]. After spraying my face with Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray, I’m good to go! 

The first set of photos I took right when I put on all this makeup in the morning [above], and the second set [below] were taken around 5pm, and I have to say all my makeup [including my eyes] lasted all day.  I like this look since it’s natural, and the plum and pink tones match my scarf to perfection! [okay, so maybe I threw this scarf on after the fact!]

This combination of colors just works well with my skin tone and is a perfect look for fall [since I wear lots of maroons and plum shades this time of year!]. 

Looking forward to testing out more color combinations using this palette! [and maybe more will be inspired by my massive scarf collection?!]

Holiday Gift Ideas: Lorac Mega Pro Palette 2 Swatches

I paint furniture and play with color and space for a living, so it must not be a surprise I love to play with color in other aspects of my life. I’ve always loved makeup, stemming from a childhood watching my mother and grandmother, but only recently did I start getting more intrigued by different colors and techniques. I’ve always been good about skincare, but I don’t own much in the way of eyeshadows. I’ve used the same 6-shade palette for the past two years, all in very neutral colors. Over the summer I picked up an 8-shade palette in metallics, meant to be used wet or dry.  Though I love that palette, it’s more of a dramatic look, and I’m much more partial to mattes and slightly more subtle shades.

I wanted to find a palette large enough to have a fair mix of both mattes and shimmery shades, so I could figure out how to create different looks that suit my skin tone and eyes. Though I’m still pretty conservative with what I put on my eyes, I’ve been really having fun with the most recent palette I picked up, the Lorac Mega Pro Palette 2. It has equal parts mattes and shimmers [32 shades in all] and a combination of neutrals and unique colors not found in other palettes.

I was most intrigued by the warmer matte tones [tawny, burlap, melon, tangerine, sorbet and goji], along with some of the green toned shades [forest, olivine and black ivy]. I’ve heard both warms and greens work nicely with brown eyes, but didn’t want to spend money purchasing these shades individually until I knew I liked how they worked for me.

I’m hoping to take some photos of me wearing some of these eyeshadows, but for now I thought I’d do a quick swatch of all the shades. The shadows are very buttery and soft [so the palette can get a bit messy, but not so bad if you’re gentle with it], and apply easily. I rarely need to dip my brush twice in a shadow to get the pigment amount I need. I use a shadow primer on my eyes, but even when I don’t, my eye makeup lasts most of the day without budging.

If you have someone in your life who also likes to play with makeup, this is a perfect gift for the holidays! It’s a limited edition and can only be found on [and it should be in your local Ulta of course].

Halloween Makeup Fun: Jem Eyeshadow Palette

Just because we're not little kids doesn't mean we can't play dress up on holidays like Halloween!  I wasn't really in the mood to buy a costume, but I was perfectly content with spending a bit of money on makeup [shocker!]. 

If you weren't born in the 80s and aren't a girl, you might not be familiar with Jem and the Holograms [here's a little taste of Jem if you're curious!]. 

Being a girl born in the 80s, I absolutely ADORED Jem and wanted to be a futuristic rock superstar, naturally. I happen to have a fair bit of clothes and accessories that fit the 80s rockstar bill, so all I needed was a bit of colorful makeup to complete the look. 

I figured I'd test out Sephora's line of Jem makeup products [because of course they have a line of 80s cartoon inspired makeup].  

The good news about this palette is it's HIGHLY pigmented and allows you to create all sorts of crazy, bold looks. 

For me, I stuck to the 'traditional' Jem look: LOTS of pink and purple and glitter. For Katie, we decided on greens and blues with an ombre effect. 

My friend Jedd [who sadly wasn't dressed as one of Jem and the Holograms], took photos of us getting ready. I love being able to see the process. It may even be better than the actual results!

I wish I had more excuses to play with makeup and crazy hair colors [the pink extensions took some work but we figured them out!]. 

I had so much fun playing with this palette and playing a bit of dress up. Our finished looks turned out pretty great! 

The bad lighting actually made for even more 80s fabulous photos I'd say!

As a final review on the palette, our makeup managed to last through two parties and A LOT of dancing, so I'd say it was worth the investment!

Okay, Halloween's officially over [I've watched Hocus Pocus AND Nightmare Before Christmas], so now it's time to get excited for the next big thing...THANKSGIVING! [shall we dress up like pilgrims?!]

Tidying up House: Bathroom Sink Essentials

The other week I picked up a book titled, 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.' I've heard about this book from all sorts of people and places. I consider myself a fairly tidy person, or at the very least someone who enjoys organizing. Though I may have my life together in some ways, I definitely have my messy moments, the worst of which being my bedroom and bathroom. So before I even got the chance to start reading said tidying book, I've taken it upon myself to begin the decluttering process.  Then, perhaps once I've actually read it, I'll become even more of a minimalist and my living spaces and life in general will feel clean and organized!

I started with my bathroom sink area. I didn't take before photos, because they would have just been too embarrassing to post! [think hair dryer, brushes, curling iron, various nail polishes, and jewelry EVERYWHERE!]  I first removed everything from the space, gave it a thorough cleaning [it's astonishing how disgusting all the crevices of a sink can be!] and then began to place back only the essentials. I only wanted access to the things I use every day [and well, hair products I don't use daily, but every couple days is still frequent enough]. 

Here on the right side I've got my cotton buds, a jar full of cotton balls [an essential for removing pesky eye makeup], two types of face washes [more on that below] and the best eye makeup remover I've ever tried [it actually gets my mascara off AND makes my eye area feel moisturized and fresh afterwards, amazing!]. I also have my three go to hair products. With the exception of a few sample products I've tried out, these are the only things I ever use in my hair. 

People seem to have the impression I spend hours working on my lovely, long locks but it really isn't the case! I swear by the Bumble and Bumble product line, particularly loving the Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protector Primer and the coordinating Invisible Oil.  I towel dry my hair, spritz the primer all over and comb it through, blow dry my hair quite messily [10-15 minutes since I have THICK, long hair!], just using a large round brush at the very end to smooth things out, and then I apply one pump of the invisible oil to the ends a comb it through the rest of my hair with my fingers. If I want things to look a bit more tousled or messy, or if I can't be bothered to blow dry my hair, I use the B&B Surf Infusion Spray all over my hair, just scrunching it and twirling it in my fingers. This is mostly for when I'm in a crazy rush to get out the door. 

I've actually never purchased a face cleanser! I've always had a steady supply of free samples at the ready, and here are a couple new ones to the collection. Right now I'm interchanging between the two, since the one to the left feels more like a traditional cleanser, and has a pleasantly warming and detoxifying feeling, while the one on the right has exfoliating beads and is more moisturizing. I can't really pick one over the other just yet, but both seem to work quite nicely for me.

Moving onto more essentials are the obligatory tooth paste, tooth brush [electric ones are infinitely better, so invest in one!], and water cup. [and not pictured, hand soap!]

Last but not least, I always have deodorant [I've used Tom's for ages; it has less chemicals than your standard variety, which I really appreciate] and I'm currently trying out an alternative to  body lotion. Caudalie's Divine Oil has this light, hibiscus scent I love, and it gives my skin a glow other moisturizers don't.  I'll probably need to switch to something heavier once the weather gets cool, but for most of the year here in Atlanta, this oil is perfect.  My only gripe with it is how messy it is when removing it from the little glass bottle. It really needs a pump.  I always end up with more oil than I need and a little bit on my countertops.   So that takes you through ALL I need by the bathroom sink. There are girls out there who I'm sure keep things even more minimal, but I'd say I'm having a decent start at this tidying up business. Next up is my closet! [by far the WORST offender!]

Beauty Review: Clinique Pop Lip Colour & Primer

I had a few blog posts saved up for a rainy day, and since losing a laptop absolutely fits the bill, I thought I'd throw this one in while I sort things out.  I purchased a slew of summery lipsticks and glosses to prep for the Hawaii vacation, hoping to test out the colors before I left so I could return the ones that didn't work out.  Today I'm going over the three Clinique options I picked up.  

My lips have been a bit dry lately, so I wanted to try out a moisturizing lipstick [a departure from my usual matte variety] and these Clinique Pop Lip Color & Primers had great reviews.  I was hoping to find a more subdued color for everyday, but I couldn't help myself when I saw the color Poppy Pop, a bright coral-red.  It matched the shirt I was wearing in these photos perfectly. Far from the subtle tone I was hoping for, this color is a quintessential summer shade. It somehow made me look tan [though now after coming back from Maui, I don't need any help in that department...]. I didn't need a bright lipstick, but it's too fun not to keep!

This color is called Plum Pop, and is a mid tone pinky mauve. I'm torn with it.  I like it since it's honestly what I was looking for, something not too intense and I could see myself wearing it everyday. But as I look at the photos, I don't think it looks all that great on me. I may try it again for a day or two, but I think I may pass on it.  What do you think?

Finally, the lightest shade I purchased was Melon Pop. I was imaging a light coral-peach, but on my lips it comes across very much like a baby pink. My lips are naturally pink, so I suppose such a light color couldn't quite cover my natural lips. I applied it pretty heavily, but it still seemed sheer on my lips.  I also noticed the other two colors were much more moisturizing, while the lighter shade managed to accentuate the drier patches on my lips. Now that I'm even darker in complexion post-vacation, I can't imagine this color working for me. 

I'm heading back to Sephora this weekend to make my returns, but it looks like of this trio, I'll only keep the bold Poppy Pop. Think I should keep another or do you agree with me? I'll chat a bit later about the other things I picked up for the trip [my favorite of which being a must purchase Nars lip gloss!].  Okay, back to editing Hawaii photos and videos!