Threefold Friday Fluff

It's Friday! Let the universe rejoice! I hope you all have a glorious weekend ahead of yourselves, but before I get ahead of MYSELF, I've got three random tidbits for you, so let's have ourselves a post before we have ourselves a toast! (<— really sorry about all this; too much caffeine I think).  


First, I'm really tempted to have a total hipster moment right now and play the "I posted about that before it was cool" thing, but I'll resist (not because I'm very mature—mostly because, if you followed my posts last week, you already know I did it first ;) ) so Sephora seems to now be having an Eyeliner Week of their own!

So if you are still on the hunt for a great liquid, cream, or kohl eyeliner, you might do well to take a quick peek at whatever they've got goin' on at Sephora.com.

And if you do find one you're into, here's a few quick tips on buying a makeup product you've never tried before online . . . (I know probably nobody needs to be coached on shopping, but just in case). It's obviously preferable to actually be in the store, but when that's not possible, this is my evaluation process before I bite the bullet:

  • Look at the ingredients (revisit this post if you're not sure what ingredients to avoid)
  • Sort by "Top-Rated" or "Best-Selling" (This isn't a surefire way to find a good one, but I take it as a good sign when they're popular with customers)
  • Sift through the customer reviews to get some details on what people like and don't like about it, and
  • Look it up on Pinterest to try to find pictures of girls actually wearing it to kind of evaluate the color (if applicable)

 

Next up, I'd like to present to you some of my oxblood lipstick picks that I promised. Instead of posting links to them, you can just click the pictures, and it will take to you their individual sites (I know; we're gettin' kinda fancy up in here, right?).

Have fun knockin' 'em dead, young bloods! 

 


 

And finally, there's a lot of junk and negativity on the internet so it's nice to find an upper once in awhile. I was into it, so I wanted to share it with you all. 

 

What's Stopping You?

 

love + light

XX

Crimson Craving

I have a bit of an oxblood obsession every year when fall comes around. I think it's both romantic and edgy, which ain't easy to pull off. Sad part: Kyle doesn't like it. Good thing I don't care, right? :) 

There's something kind of sinfully sultry about the deep, dark drama of it all, but I realize that the deep, dark drama is probably what scares a lot of girls from trying it out. HOWEVER, I honestly feel like anyone can pull it off. Brights are a bit trickier, but deep oxblood is universally gorgeous and very versatile when it comes to skin colors and undertones. 

That's pretty much all I've got to offer on the subject, so I'll cut myself off there and let the visuals speak for themselves.  Dying, dying, dying.. 

 

Oxblood Lips
Oxblood Lips

 

Dead. 

I've got the Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked that I think is amazing, but it's a little deeper than oxblood, and I'm saving it for later because I'm featuring it in its own post. I'm greedy like that.

But here's a little oxblood look I did today using MAC's Russian Red lipstick. Russian Red is very dense and saturated (it's also A-freezeframe-mazing by itself on olive-toned skin), but it's more of a red-red, so I darkened it a bit just by using one of my dark brown eyebrow pencils. I also added a tiny dab of that $1.99 Wet n Wild Purty Persimmon red to the middle of my bottom lip to make them look fuller. 

 

>>> PS Sorry about the picture quality (or lack thereof). The tragic downfall of screenshots. My computer froze like three times in a row when I was trying to save these so I had to resort to the dreaded screenshot. Hence, the weird black rectangle on the left side of the pictures. Not even sure where those came from.

Oxblood Lips

FYI: My next post tomorrow or Friday is going to be a list of my 5 favorite oxblood lipsticks this fall, so check back for that if you're interested in trying out this ruby red little trend.

XX

It's Monday

I'm usually one of those people who are already planning for the weekend on Monday morning, but I'm trying to make it a point to quit wishing away the days waiting for the next weekend, vacation, break, etc., and just focus on doing things I enjoy and seeing people I love on a daily basis, even if it means carving out time where there is none.

Why the renewed zest for life? Coffee most likely.

But if not that then because it was a great weekend that I got to spend with my family and friends.

  • Eric Church concert Thursday in Omaha with my husband, brother, and basically adopted brother:)
  • Back to Albion to work on Friday (morning came way too early) and go to my little brother's football game that night, at which (and after which) I got to hang out with extended family
  • Then Saturday brought us a trip down the road to a good friend's bridal shower, and on the way home, I decided to make an impromptu solo trip to Lincoln to catch some of the Husker game madness and meet up with my main squeeze and some friends I hadn't seen in months.

 

I'm traveled out, my house is a mess, and my body wasn't particularly fond of me this morning, but I find that I never regret going the extra mile (or 120) to see the people that mean a lot to me and to make time for the things that I enjoy. Responsible in terms of my car's mileage? Not so much, but I just didn't think the Huskers could hear my cheering as well from Albion, and while my body may be super drained, making time for important things and people has my soul feeling rather invigorated.

My guiness; I'm a cheese ball. And to make it worse, this post really has no earthly business on a blog dedicated to all things makeup and beauty. I'll just file it under the happiness-is-the-best-kind-of-beauty tab. And I promise to keep my diary-entry-esque blogs at bay from now on, but as it is . . . go be happy. :)

Eyeliner Hacks

Well Eyeliner Week seems to have landed on a rather hectic week for yours truly so I'm shoving a ton of information into one big post, so (Elton John moment) "I hope you don't mind; I hope you don't mind." And if you do mind, I'm sorry; (Bruce Hornsby moment) "but that's just the way it is."

Eyeliner

 

For a perfectly straight wing: 

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Liquid Liner

If your hands are as shaky as mine, you can use a business card or scotch tape as a stencil. Also, don't do your eyeliner after you've had two cups of coffee and/or are listening to your Jacked Up playlist while getting ready. Learned that the hard way.

Here's a little visual of this from Elle Magazine:

Wing hack

 

To avoid eyeliner smudges:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Liquid Liner or Pencil 

Use a small shadow or concealer brush and pat a translucent powder onto the lower lash line under your liner so it doesn't bleed. It'll act as a little bit of a barrier to keep your liner in place.

If you're using waterproof liner, don't worry about it. It should stay put until you get your college loans paid off.

No smudging

By the way, that E.L.F. High Definition Translucent Powder is $3.00, and it works just as well as any other I've ever used. If you have oily skin or use liquid foundation, this helps to set it and will matte-ify your T-zone area.

 

To widen the appearance of your eyes:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Any (pencil, cream, or liquid) and a white eyeliner pencil 

Use your regular dark liner on the top and lower lash lines, but don't connect the two lines in the outer corners. This creates the illusion of larger eyes. Also, to make them pop even more, apply white eyeliner to the tear line—makes ya look wide awake, even if you're a walking corpse.

Another thing you can do is, instead of limiting the eyeliner to just the outer half or third of your top lash line, start all the way from the inner corner. It has an elongating effect.

And if you want to get all Zooey Deschanel'd, you can do all three of those things at once. Girl knows what's up.

Zooey Deschanel

For natural-looking liner:

Preferred Eyliner Type: Pencil or Cream Liner

Tightlining is a method of applying eyeliner where, instead of applying it above the lashes, you're trying to really get it INTO the lashes, and there's usually no wing or fanning out involved. It's the way to go if you're shooting for the "no makeup" makeup look, and it has the added benefit of making your lashes look somewhat fuller and more dense as well. 

When using a pencil, stretch the skin around your eyes by putting your finger by the outer corner of your eye and pulling it toward your temple. This helps so the liner doesn't drag, and it creates a more uniform look, allowing you to get as close to the lashes as possible. 

When you're using a cream liner, you can use the same pulling method, but also don't be afraid to kind of push the brush into the lashes.

Does any of this sound like it's making sense? I feel like I need to insert a video tutorial so you can see it's not as violent of a process as I'm making it sound.

 

To make your eye color pop:

Preferred Eyeliner Type: Any (pencil, cream, or liquid) in a color that complements your eyes

I've talked about this before, but if you missed it or want to revisit some of the information, check out, this post I did a few months ago. This is a pretty simple trick. Just find your eye color on the color wheel and select a color of eyeliner that's directly across from your eye color. The contrast will draw attention to your eyes like no one's business. 

If you have blue eyes: try bronze-colored liner. Purple looks pretty amazing as well.

If you have green eyes: try plum- or gold-colored liner.

If you have brown eyes: try gold- or purple-colored liner. And cobalt looks pretty rad too.

primp

 

Also, I was going to talk about the pros and cons of the various forms of eyeliner (when to use liquid, what to look for in creams, etc.), but I found this article on Makeup.com that says it better than I probably could so I'm gonna hand over the mic now:

Pencil Eyeliner

A basic eye pencil should be a makeup bag staple of every woman. Pencils are quick and easy to work with, and they’re the gold standard when it comes to versatility. Use pencil eyeliner to add definition to the top and bottom lash lines, line the waterline, or smudge it out to create a dramatic smoky eye. To get as close to the lash line as possible, make sure your pencil is always sharpened to a point. Look for a high-pigment pencil that is soft enough that it will not tug the skin. For the smoothest application, start by warming the tip of the pencil between your fingers and apply in short strokes across the eye. 
Product Picks: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilMaybelline Eye Studio Master Drama, NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

Cream and Gel Eyeliner

Creams and gels are a great alternative to liquid liner. They can be used to create the same precise lines, but the formulas are thicker allowing for an application that is more forgiving of shaky hands. Use potted cream and gel eyeliners with an angled brush to craft your cat eye or choose a smaller precision brush to create an ultra thin line. Cream and gel formulas are also ideal for tightlining the waterline because an eyeliner brush can really push the color into the base of the lashes. Whether you go defined and precise or smudged and smoky, choose a longwearing formula and set it by pressing eye shadow on top of the liner to ensure its staying power. 
Product Picks: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Lancôme Liner DesignYves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils Crème D’Eyeliner

Liquid Eyeliner

The coveted winged eyeliner look can be achieved using any of the options above, but for the cleanest, most precise line, liquid liner is a must. Liquids tend to be the favorite of women with hooded eyelids and oily skin because although wet when applying, once dry they won’t budge. With that in mind, keep pointed q-tips handy to clean up mistakes as you go. With liquids, you can choose a formula that dries to a matte finish or a patent leather-like gloss. Look for a product with a small, thin brush or applicator. That will give you the most control, allowing you to create subtle definition as well as bolder lines. If you want a thicker line, apply more pressure to the brush or build up the line by layering your strokes. 
Product Picks: Lancôme Artliner 24H, Sephora Collection Long-Lasting Eye Liner, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner 

Hey Wednesday

I'm enlisting David After Dentist to help me with this post. Why? Because when I'm really distracted or busy, I sometimes just don't feel like coming up with my own material, and he's more entertaining to listen to anyway so really, you're welcome for not subjecting you to my chugging-coffee-well-into-the-afternoon vibes today. 

If you're thinking, "Dude, Jessi, that video is so old." Well then, yeah, I mean, I get that.

But there's nothing wrong with getting old. Chevy Chase is doing it. The chia seeds in my cupboard are doing it. Those endless articles about Justin Bieber's legal woes are getting REALLY old, so I really feel like I should get a free pass for this one, guys.

I'm sorry for being MIA lately. I decided to sit the last few plays out because I did a peel and had a really unfortunate breakout as a result.

It wasn't pretty.

But I'm cleared for play again! So again, I'm sorry for the lull, but I'm excited to get back to business.

I told you guys I'd put up a review on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit so this is my After shot. 

Verdict: Yeah, I love it. 

I've had a lot of people ask me how I like the contour kit, and so if: 

  • You were already interested in it
  • You wanted to know whether it works, and
  • You are okay with spending $40 on it

then, yep. She's a keeper.

And also, in case you didn't know, Sephora and ULTA let you return makeup even if it's used so if I've ever led you astray or if you've ever bought something you weren't totally in love with, get your money back. 

 

Okay, here's what the ABH Contour Kit does to your face: 

 

Sculpts, accentuates, and transforms.

And if you need any more convincing of the power of highlighting and contouring, I will refer you to the all-powerful HAC-King: Samer Khouzami.

No idea how to pronounce his name, no idea where he came from, no idea if this magic sorcerer is even mortal, but check out some of these unbelievable transformations.

 

Samer Khouzami
Samer Khouzami
Samer Khouzami

 

 

 

To the best of my knowledge, yeah, those are real Before-and-Afters. 

 

If this is your first time HAC-ing your face, don't worry—it's not as violent as it sounds. Here's one of my older posts on it if you'd like to revisit some of the details.

Basically, just use the contour shade in areas you want to recede (particularly under the cheekbones, along the jawline, in your temples, and by your hairline) and highlighter in areas you want to accentuate (particularly on top of your cheekbones and generally anywhere along your T-zone).

Helpful hint: Suck in your cheeks when you're doing your contouring. This will kind of be your guideline for where you should contour under your cheekbones. Also, if you have "parenthesis" around your mouth like I do, only contour until the smile line. If you don't have them, you can draw the line right up to the corners of your mouth if you please. :) 

Oh hey, that's perfect!  You'll need at least two to be able to grip your brushes. I'd advise using two brushes so as not to muddy up the highlighter, but if you only have one, just do your highlighting first and try to clean off the brush before you move to contouring.

 

Just so you know, about halfway through—actually probably all the way up until the blending step—you're probably going look in the mirror and be like . . . 

 

Yeah, that'll happen. It's kind of a weird process. Don't get discouraged, though. It takes practice and a whole lotta blending, but it's worth it in the end.

I'd also like to be able to say there's no right or wrong way of doing this, but then you see those "Pinstrosity" pictures on Pinterest where people get it totally wrong, and you're like, yeah, okay we took a wrong turn somewhere.  

But really, HAC-ing IS different for everyone because we all have different bone structures and face shapes. Just stick to the contour-where-I-want-to-recede-and-highlight-what-I-want-to-show-off thing and go from there.

 

And when you finish and you totally nailed it and you feel like a new woman and confetti is raining down around you, you might think . . .

That would be nice to have perfect lighting following you around for the rest of your life, wouldn't it? But no, that sculpting is vulnerable to soap and water. But hey, rock it till you wash it!

 

If this is truly the case, then don't panic, but something has gone horribly awry, and it is now out of my control.

 

In all seriousness, I do love the palette. It comes with three highlighter shades and three contour shades, and since I do a lot of makeup on other women's faces, I need some options and variation in color, but if you're looking for a more cost-effective route, then you can also: 

  • Only buy the refill swatches for $14 each, instead of the whole palette (my favorite highlight shade is Banana and my favorite contour shade is Fawn)
  • Buy the NYX Wonder Stick
  • Or wait until drugstore brands come out with their own little HAC packs because I guarantee every cosmetic brand is in the development stages of one right now. HAC-ing is a pretty new thing, and the cheaper brands tend to let the big wigs test out new ideas before they come out with their cheaper alternatives.

 

On an unrelated-but-still-somewhat-related note, I decided I'm going to start posting in the mornings before my day job. I absolutely love blogging, but life just gets busy, and I'm finding myself trying to carve out hours where there are none to be able to fit this in, so I'm going to try getting up earlier so I can make this more of a priority. I think it's really important to make time for the things that make you happy.

As some of you know way too well, I'm not a morning person . . . God help us all. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, guys! See you soon! Xx

Fall Faces

This is going to be a short post because I have to hurry up and get ready for my little brother's first high school football game of his senior year, but I wanted to make good on my promise to post some fall lip trends I've been test-driving.

Just a few fall lippie ideas, as promised :) 

I used MAC's Nightmoth Lip Liner with NYC's 447 Forever Fuchsia lipstick. 

Fuchsia Lippie

On this one, I just used a taupe NYX lip liner in 857 Nude Beige with an Ecco-Bella Botanicals lip crayon (made with certified organic ingredients and containing vitamins E & A) in Malt. 

Taupe Lippie

And with this one, I used MAC's Nightmoth lip liner again (and didn't do a very good job of blending it in) with MAC's Russian Red lipstick. I usually prefer matte lips, but I decide to throw on a dab of gloss to mix it up, so for that, I used Lime Crime's Carousel Lipgloss in Cherry on Top. 

Glossy Red Fall Lip Formula

 

Have a lovely little Labor Day, crazy cats!

Celeb-Inspired MOTD

So I found this Priscilla-Presley-inspired makeup look on Pinterest awhile back, and I tried to recreate it yesterday evening.

Priscilla Presley-inspired look

I think it was a misfire (it most DEFINITELY was with the hair), but since I claimed on Instagram—what?! You mean you're not following me on Instagram? @prettymuchblog . . . come over to the dark side. We'll be waiting :)—that I would post my recreation on the blog, I feel the obligation to stand by my word. 

I need to preface this by saying I always try to use mostly natural light in my pictures, and as I said, I did this yesterday EVENING, which means:

  • Hello weird shadows and blue undertones
  • Hello crappy photo quality
  • I rushed through the makeup application process so I could still get some natural sunlight
  • and I basically said "screw it" when it came to the hair

I promise my lips were more coral-y orange (corange?) in real life, but like I said, the bluish lighting didn't help my efforts at all. 

Let's just call this a rough draft.

Pretty Much Makeup
Pretty Much Blog

 

Stay tuned. Far better things lie ahead. :)

Fall Faces

I'm seasonally bipolar right now—literally loving all things north & south, hot & cold, flip flops & knee-high boots.

I'm still kind of in denial that summer 2014 is in the books and on the shelf but simultaneously super excited for fall.

Because this is a rather glorious time of year.

 The leaves are being show-offs, pumpkin spice lattes are so high in public opinion they could run for president, and the weather is the perfect natural habitat for Husker tailgating and small-town football games . . . half autumn, half summer = all AU-SUM. Ya like that? :)

Fall Makeup Ideas

 

And along with the changing scenery & the discounted bikinis, autumn is ushering in new makeup looks!  

From copper-y lids, bold brows & pale complexions to berry, oxblood & plum pouts.

Oh fall; I'm loving it all.  On that note, here are some makeup looks to get you inspired. 

 

Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration

 

When it comes to plum and oxblood lips, my favorite liner right now is Nightmoth by MAC. It's delicious and it complements so many different lip colors. Here are just a couple of the looks I've done with it.

Both are kind of faded ombre's, but this first one is paired with MAC's Saint Germain lipstick, which is a pale pink with almost lavender undertones, and then . . .  

Pretty Much Lipstick Ideas

 

. . . here it looks totally different with a nearly-neon coral (Suedeberry Velvetine by Lime Crime)! It also looks kind of different because I was in natural lighting for one and not for the other. 

 

Pretty Much Lipstick Ideas


PS Tomorrow's Fancy Face Friday will be fall-ishly festive. See you then!

Anastasia Contour Kit

Hello, hot sauce! I'm working on a product review for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit right now. So far "all good things, all good things." :) I'm especially liking Banana for highlight (top middle) and Fawn for contour (bottom middle). 

It was sold out for the longest time, so as soon as I got the email that it was back in stock, I snatched it up on the double. Stay tuned for a pictorial and more on my review.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit


Fox of the Week

Women in perfectly tailored menswear . . . perfection.

Women in perfectly tailored menswear . . . perfection.

It's WCW again, and our Fox of the Week is the ever-enchanting Emma Watson.

I. ADORE. HER.  

She's strong, confident, intelligent (she's a recent Brown University grad so I mean . . . Hermoine!), beautiful, "ladylike," and classy, and I love how she's unapologetic without being loud—it's very refreshing and endearing. She seems like an incredible role model for young girls because she's very secure and comfortable in her own skin (as she should be), and that's my wish for all women. 

Check out this BuzzFeed list of Emma Watson quotes. She's the real deal. Here are a couple of Emma gems below.

Emma Watson Quote
Emma Watson Quote

 

Beautiful, brainy, and blithely ignorant of the fact that she's a stone cold fox . . . yep, in love.

 

Emma Watson

 

And this photo is pure magic. #heartbreaker #1,000pointforGryffindor

 

Emma Watson

 

Eat your heart out, Weasley. 

Inspiration

I'm a very visual person I think.

I love (and envy) people who are very lyrical writers or speakers—mostly how they can paint these very vivid and tangible scenes just by stringing together the perfect collection of words—but there are times where images and photos just resonate with me even more. 

I used to create mood boards all the time; it's kind of a habit that's morphed quite a bit over the years, but it's something I still like to do from time to time to get inspired, and I felt like throwing some visuals together again today soooo . . . here's just a small collection of whimsical pretties that I was drawn to today.

Happy Tuesday, toots!

 

 

Xx

Morning, Gorgeous!

It's Monday, and I was going to pretend to be one of those "Yay, yay! Let's conquer the day!" sorts to give everyone a little Monday mojo, but who am I kidding . . . I'm just hoping to survive the day too.  You know when you have one of those weekends where you feel like you need another weekend right after it to catch up on the relaxation bit? That.

I realize I've been a total slacker lately on the blog, so I apologize. Things have been so busy lately, as I'm sure they've been for everybody, but I'm getting back into the swing of things so let's get right to it.  

So I got some new Eye Kandy products the other day that I'm kind of excited about, particularly these little Eye Kandy sprinkle pigment pots. It looks like the stuff cartoon fairies are made of or like something you'd find in a 10-year-old's pencil bag that they're using as a makeup bag to hold like 12 Smacker's lip balms. Don't let that scare you, though, please. Some of these pigments are very wearable. I challenged myself to the scariest-looking one to prove my point. 

Jellybean EyeKandy Sprinkles

The color I used is called Jellybean. I just wet my brush and applied it all over the lid. It's nice and sparkly in real life; I can't wait to start doing videos so you can at least see the shimmery-ness that you only get when there's movement in light. :)

EyeKandy Sprinkle Pigment Pots


EyeKandy Sprinkle Pigment Pots


There are 60 different colors, and my favorite one is a light gold one Honey Drop. The Sprinkle pots are only $7.50 each so not bad if you want to add a little va-va to your voom:) Check out all the colors here if you're interested! 

 

Have a good one, sweets!

Xx