Practice Makes Perfect #3 – Eyebrows

Filling in your eyebrows is probably one of the most difficult skills to master when improving your makeup artistry skills, so it’s a given that even the best makeup artists started off with badly drawn/filled in eyebrows in the beginning. NikkieTutorials with her “sperm” shape brows is a shining example that always makes me laugh whilst also reminding me that improvement is always possible.

My eyebrows have never been horrible; they are naturally thick and never necessarily needed any makeup over them. (They still don’t, to be honest). But I wanted to learn how to do eyebrow makeup anyway if I ever pursue some sort of side career as a makeup artist. So I practiced on myself. And the results were…well…

Way too thick.

I filled them in entirely too thick, and this is how it turned out compared to the photo on this post (featuring me singing and looking goofy). Looking at brown blobs on my forehead that I almost can’t differentiate between caterpillars or turds pains me. Wrong color, wrong technique, wrong size…WRONG. Oh man. It could always be so much worse, but it’s still so painful. Product comparison comes right now:

  • Then: NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in “05 Dark Brown” basically just smeared over my brows to make them way too thick and flat
  • Now: NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Black” paired filled in just right paired with Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” cleaned up either with a makeup wipe or concealer before any other makeup application

What kinds of eyebrow horror stories do you beauty ghouls have to share? Post them in the comments, and let’s have a few giggles together!


Makeup Playlist Faves #3 – ‘Kitten’s Got Claws’ by Whitesnake

Happy Friday, everybody, and thanks for checking out another song that gets me pumped for vanity time. This week’s pickĀ is yet another throwback for the week, this time to 1989 and (in my opinion) one of the better bands to come out of the 80s hard rock era.

David Coverdale is one of my absolute favorite lead vocalists even in the present. After singing for over 40 years not only for Whitesnake, but also for Deep Purple, his voice is still incredibly solid in the present. The band’s music alone is confident and sexy, which helps the confident vibes flow while I’m getting ready to go out for the night or just tackle the day ahead of me. (Not to mention this is just an awesome speeding song when you’re driving, as well…but I never said that.)

Oh, and the photo in my header that was the hint for today’s song? I’m wearing it in my photo from this past summer! That is a photo of my Whitesnake bandana which is tied up almost pin-up like in my hair. Think it makes a pretty cool background, too.

Anyway, keep rocking everyone, and see you all again on Monday!

Practice Makes Perfect: Eyeshadow Application

This week’s “Practice Makes Perfect” post is kind of going hand-in-hand with Monday’s post about my teenage makeup routine. Since I primarily focused on my eyes then, I had more eye makeup than anything else in my little (at the time) makeup carrier. Did I really know how to apply the makeup with tact, though? Absolutely not. As I also mentioned in my last post, I had no tools other than my trashy little foam applicators to use before I finally invested in some brushes.

Have a comparison:

Then: Nothing. Just the foam applicator rubbed over my eyelids. (They were, obviously, never rubbed far enough up or out now that I can barely see a hint of eyeshadow in the older photo from 2010.)

Now: While this photo on the right is from this past June, it’s still a recent example of a much better eyeshadow job, which also happens to be a super well-blended smoky eye look! Color schemes always vary, but I always use the same brushes and techniques…

  1. My finger to blend out my eyeshadow primers
  2. L.A.B. Squared “Just Blending In” Brush for base shades and most transition shades
  3. Makeup Academy #315 Crease Brush for deeper crease and outer edge shades as well as finer blending
  4. e.l.f. Cosmetics Eyeshadow “C” Brush for lid shades
  5. Makeup Academy #311 Smudger/Detailer Brush to apply thin lines of shadow on lashlines (about 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottom line)
  6. e.l.f. Cosmetics Concealer Brush for any loose pigments such as glitter/shimmer
  7. Sonia Kashuk #31 Precision Pencil Brush to apply inner corner color/highlight (though it can also be used to smudge liner and lower lashline shades)

Shitty foam applicator vs. six brushes that I use most of (if not all of) the time. Sure, it takes a lot more time, but it is so worth it.

What should my next “Practice Makes Perfect” be for you guys? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you for some music on Friday!

Teenage Makeup Days…The Horror

Saying that I “did my makeup” growing up is a loose statement; I pretty much only had a three-step process that REALLY didn’t look great. (That is also a very loose statement right there.) Not to mention that I had an extremely experimental period (albeit very brief) in junior high with way-too-chunky Egyptian eyeliner. Even once I got better, though I never reached the point of looking cracked out, my look took absolute zero skill.

A while back, I decided to recreate my look in high school and even my early days of college the same way I used to it back then. That meant no brushes, no eyeliner tricks, no foundation, no mascara…pretty much nothing except for three items. Ready for the big process reveal?

  1. Slab on some random purple eyeshadow with one of those tiny sponge tip applicators without any primer or other type of base underneath.
  2. Drag whatever eyeliner pencil I had around my eye like a ring whilst mostly avoiding the raccoon eye look.
  3. Slather on some really red (and really uncomfortable) drugstore red lip stain without liner or any foundation base.

I told you it was short. And the results of my little throwback were laughable. It’s easy to get down on yourself when you think you aren’t progressing in a craft you love, which is how I tend to get when it comes to makeup skills. But little exercises like this one help remind me just how far I’ve come, and hopefully something similar will serve the same purpose for at least one of you guys.

Feel free to share your old-school makeup horror stories in the comments below. Love you guys, and I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Makeup Playlist Faves #2 – “Bitter Rat” by Kore Rozzik

Welcome back to my Makeup Playlist Faves! This week, I decided to feature another band that I’m friends with who are absolutely talented and going places (though slowly, but surely). Kore Rozzik is a raw hard rock/heavy metal band hailing from Queens, NY, and they will actually be on the road over the next couple months or so. If you like what you hear, make sure you catch them at Dirty Dog Bar on March 17 for SXSW, Stanhope House April 28, and at Rocklahoma May 26-28!

Can’t make it to a show? Have some links to their online pages and show them some love with your “likes” and follows!

Practice Makes Perfect: Winged Liner

“The formula for success is simple: practice and then concentration, then more practice and more concentration.”

When you scroll through beauty videos on Instagram (as I often do using that “Explore” tab), sometimes they make you think that those makeup artists with the perfect looks were always that talented from the beginning. However, I always find it to be a good thing when you can look back through older photos and realize just how much work you had to put in in order to enhance your skills. This is why I wanted to create this new category for myself. (Pay no mind to the awful brows on the photo on the right, since it was just one of THOSE days.)

I could begin with the “smokey” eye (more like the muddy eye) going awry, but that’s for another post. I just have to laugh and cringe a little at my eyeliner, since I’d recently began experimenting with winged liner at that time. I never quite steadied my hand then, so holy wobbly lid line that didn’t even make it down to the upper lash line!

It’s been about two years in between those pictures, and it feels really rewarding looking at the crisp, sharp liner on the right hand photo. I never thought I would be one of those people who would be talented at makeup (especially as a tomboy girl growing up), but it feels amazing knowing that I have found a skill that I feel talented at and that I enjoy so much aside from writing, which I’ve known for a long time.

Everyone takes these steps to get better, regardless of what you practice. Stay in touch, since I will definitely have more photos to share soon!

My Go-to Skincare Ritual (Featuring Some Vegan Goodies!)

Greetings again, all! And hopefully you’re all having a happy 2017 so far! I like to think that all of us make statements like we’ll make 2017 our year, but I hope to make that statement a truth. I have worked hard for the past year and a half to improve my quality of life slowly, but surely, and I only intend on trying to get myself where I want to be in other parts of my life which could use some advancement. Keeping my page updated is one of those, and I have been hard at work with my nose and pen in my three-ring binder drafting up new stuff for you guys; it feels great to be back.

Today, I want to let you all in on my skincare routine that not only works well for combination, sensitive skin, but that also leaves out all of that animal testing crap many of us do not enjoy about the beauty industry. While most of the beauty products I use on the daily are not necessarily vegan, I do my best to incorporate some amazing vegan products into anything involving beauty so I can share them with all of my vegan friends.

With that, let’s get into it! (I also split this into sections/steps for your enjoyment and ease.)