Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lisa Eldridge's new book, Face Paint - First impressions

I recently received my copy of Lisa Eldridge's new book, Face Paint, and have really been enjoying it so far! Notably, it is not a "how to" book as you may expect. Instead, she has created a collection of information surrounding the use of cosmetics from culture to culture spanning all the way from the ancient world up to the present.

In her book she tells us about how makeup was created in historical times, and that it was often derived from toxic ingredients. She discusses how the standard of beauty has changed over time, and covers times when makeup was used widely as well as times when it was taboo.

So far I've noted that it's filled with a ton of beautiful photos and has some really fascinating information about the past. This book combines three of my great loves in life - makeup, history, and beautiful imagery, so naturally I am stoked to finally have it!

I wanted to share this video Lisa made because I think it gives a good taste of some of what you will find in the book. If you love makeup or history and enjoy this video then I recommend checking out her book. You can get it here at Amazon.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Japanese Cosmetics, Past and Present

Have you ever discovered a new favorite band or tv show that you fall in love with and find yourself binge watching everything you can from them? Well lately I've been bingeing on episodes of "Begin Japanology", a documentary series I came across on YouTube. This is from the same series I posted about previously.

Since this episode was was all about makeup I just had to share it. It may be a nerdy thing but a good documentaries is my jam! I know most people think they're boring but I find them fascinating!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Women's Beauty Throughout History

I know a lot of people love to hate on buzzfeed (for a good reason) but this was just way too good to not post. I really am enjoying this series and hope they make more like these because they're fantastic!

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

I know this may be a little off topic but.... yeah it's Disney and history, I couldn't resist.

Love you guys!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Makeup Rules Meant to be Broken

One of my pet peeves is when "beauty experts" come up with a list of specific rules that you should "never" break in your beauty routine. Amusingly, I am guilty of breaking some of these rules, but I can honestly say that my (painfully honest) loved ones don't tell me that my makeup looks bad so I think I'm safe. 

So I've gathered some examples from a simple google image search of celebrities breaking beauty rules in all the right ways. 

Allow me to present my list of these fiercely hot rule breakers and why breaking the rules worked for them:  

Rule: Never pair a bold eye with a bold lip.

My take: No one can deny that Katy Perry and Cara Delevingne are rocking it here.  Their confidence, a flattering lip color, and dresses with matching eye looks all come together to create a fantastically bold statement that proves rules can be broken. What makes a bold eye/lip combo work is a bit of a mystery to most but as you can see here, it can be done! My theory is that it mainly works for dressy occasions and that outfit and color coordination is key. Not to mention that it may involve an element of trial and error!
Rule: People with hooded eyes should never wear shimmer or glitter eye shadow. It draws emphasis to the hood of the eye.

My take: This is probably the rule that bugs me the most. As a person with hooded eyes and a disturbing obsession with shimmer eye shadow, I tend to throw this rule right out the window. 

And one more thing - why exactly do I not want to draw emphasis to the hood of my eye? People with hooded eyes are beautiful! If you go overboard then yes, it can make you look more sleepy but if done right you wind up in "sultry" territory. I hope Jennifer Lawrence keeps breaking this rule. Hooded eye'd sisters unite!
Rule: If you line your upper lash line you have to line your lower lash line.

My take: This one was actually sort of new to me! I know many people think you have to line your whole eye. These are usually the types of people who take an all or nothing approach to black eyeliner starting in middle school. But recently I found out that some people actually think that the lower liner was just forgotten about!  

Liner on the lower lash line seems too harsh for my pale complexion so I for years I have skipped it. I guess some people think I'm super forgetful in the morning! None the less, I will continue to skip the lower liner because I am happy with the look, and that's ultimately what matters!

Rule: Never use blue eye shadow, you will look like a clown.

Doesn't look like Taylor is clowning around here. The key is to keep the blue shadow from getting out of control. 

A good stopping place is either in or very slightly above the crease. Lots of blending around the edges with a medium to light gray or brown will create a soft look that anyone can wear. Put a nude color on the brow bone, blend the colors where they meet and you're set. 

If that still seems out of your comfort zone you can always go for a colored liner paired with a basic nude shadow look. Anyone can wear bright colors!

Rule: Don't contour with blush, it just looks weird.

Another rule proven to be incorrect. When done right blush can add contour and definition to the face. The key is to keep it minimal and pick the right shade. Go with something that pairs well with your skin tone, as if you had a really natural flush.

Rule: Bushy brows look unkempt. Go for a neatly plucked arch.

My take: These beauties prove that not every brow needs to be heavily plucked in to submission. Sometimes chaos is beautiful!

 Rule: Never overdraw your lips. Overdrawn lips will make you look like a clown.

My take: I realize overdrawn lips are actually pretty trendy right now but I wanted to mention this anyway because I have heard this rule repeated many times over the years (until the recent trend). 

Sometimes rules just don't apply! Overdrawn lips looked fantastic on a classic beauty like Ms. Hepburn. The reason it worked for her is that it isn't over-done. If you go too far out of your lip line it CAN look clown-y but when done right it makes your lips look beautifully full. This is clearly a rule that can be broken.

The takeaway here is to know YOUR face and what looks good on YOU. If you're not sure if something is flattering find an honest friend or family member to help you decide. Don't take it personally if they say it looks bad - they might not want to hurt your feelings next time you ask! But inevitably you should do what YOU are comfortable with.

Remember, makeup should be about fun, not rules! Don't over-think it. It lasts for a day, tops, and washes right off. Unless you're a celebrity, no one is likely to remember your makeup a month from now so have fun with it!

What makeup rule do you break? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

From Ancient Ink Brushes to Modern Day Cosmetics

I like to nerd out with a good documentary from time to time, so today I was watching a one about the history of Japanese ink brush writing. It was really interesting to learn how the same techniques developed over centuries to produce fine writing brushes in the far east are now being used to produce cosmetic brushes for the modern world.

I linked this to where they started talking more about cosmetics brushes but if you are a history nerd like me then you should watch this from the beginning, it's pretty fascinating! The amount of care that goes in to these brushes is impressive. These tools have been created to form works of art but in my opinion they are works of art on their own.

Naked Smoky by Urban Decay - SO EXCITE!

I have been soooo excited to get my hands on this palette since it was first announced. Excited doesn't begin to describe it. I ordered from Urban Decay's website with free shipping as soon as it came out and I actually received in UNDER 24 HOURS! Holy cow!

The angels began singing....

The angels began singing....

Closer shot

Another angle

No lighting like natural lighting!

Shimmer side of the palette

Umm... I kept this one in the album because the clouds were pretty.
Umm... I kept this one in the album because the clouds were pretty.

Other end of the palette:

Other end of the palette

Swatch time!

Swatch time!
Bonus Puppy and awesome manicure I can't believe I did myself!

Bonus Puppy!
Shimmer end, from a closer view

Shimmer end, from a closer view
Matte end (some of the shimmers too), from a closer view

Matte end (some of the shimmers too), from a closer view
Oh god, I'm such a sucker for packaging.

Oh god, I'm such a sucker for packaging.

Loving Purple

I absolutely love purple so I decided to tackle a purple smokey eye. The results are below! My shadow colors all came from Stila's "In The Moment" palette, really pretty colors. The lip is Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Charm. My lips are actually a good bit pinker than this naturally so I am on the fence about me with this lip color. I love the way the shadow turned out though.

Sorry if it looks like I have a funny face at the end there, the husband was freaking out about getting somewhere on time. How does he expect me to care about what time it is when I have purple eyeshadow? Geez! (I'm totally kidding! Maybe.)

A Subtle Look

1Here's a simple and subtle pink/brown look I wore a couple weeks ago. I needed more blush and concealer under my eyes even though I thought I used plenty of both. I think its probably because the photo is in natural lighting but the makeup wasn't applied in natural lighting. Good lighting really does help when you’re applying makeup.
Benefit’s concealers are great stuff in general but I have pretty bad dark circles that are hard to cover. (Especially when I’m sleep deprived like I was in this photo. Yikes.)
Products Used (not in any order):

- Eye Shadow: Drew Barrymore Flower Beauty quad in Foxy Browns
- Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion
- Eye Liner (Upper Lash Line): Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner in Tetra
- Eye Liner (Waterline): NYX Retractable Eye Liner in White
- Lip: Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk
- Mascara: ULTA Voluptuous Volume Mascara
- Tinted Moisturizer: Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer
- Pressed Powder: Clinique Almost Powder SPF 15
- Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing
-Brow Powder: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Ash
2 3
  My lashes look long when my eyes are shut, but when I open them you can barely see lashes at all except for on the outer corner of the eye. This is why you should always curl your lashes, it really makes a big difference. I was in a hurry that morning and forgot about it, oops. 4
Don’t you love the pink flower? So cute!

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows

This is my favorite drugstore eye shadow line OF ALL TIME. They have an interesting texture that can best be described to be a little like wet sand, but they feel buttery smooth, not gritty, and dry to a powder finish.

They are very opaque and most of the line has a metallic shimmer, though there are a few that SEEM to be more matte (could be wrong about that because I haven't tried them yet). They are easy to blend and the staying power is great. I haven't had any trouble with smudging or any  creasing, although others HAVE reported that they have had trouble with creasing. I tend to apply my shadows over powder and/or foundation out of habit so it may depend on what you're layering them on top of (bare skin vs foundation, primer, etc).

I had some trouble getting the camera to pick up these shadows to my satisfaction. Each of these have a real depth of color that is just gorgeous. Eternal Sunshine (the gold one) unfortunately doesn't show up very well against my ghostly skin, especially in this photo, but it does look nice, albeit subtle, in person. I attribute that mainly to my paleness. Liquid Diamond (silver) has this intriguing lavender undertone that I adore. They can be blended out to be lighter but I have swatched them at the fullest opacity possible in the photos below, which again, they really don't do justice to. I did not use primer on these swatches because, frankly, they did not need it!

These finger-swatches are my personal favorite shades, I love vibrant colors. It may look like I really dug my finger in the pot to get a lot of product to show up but I honestly just rubbed my finger very lightly in the pot. That's why I like them so much! The purple doesn't show up in the photo anywhere nearly as lovely as it is. It's more shimmery and less dark than it appears here. It's kind of leaning towards black/brown in the photo but it really is a lot more shimmery and purple looking in person.

I definitely plan on getting more shades. In fact, while I was taking a break from putting this post together I went out with the husband and bought another while we were out. I wanted to get Perpetual Purple because I'm a sucker for purple but my limited budget convinced me to choose a more versatile shade.

I picked Iced Latte, it's a beautiful shimmery creamy/taupe/gold type color, it's hard to describe! It's a lovely and like I said, very versatile and can be used in many looks.

It does have a higher price point for being drugstore eye shadow single. They sell for around $8 a pot but there is a very generous amount of product and a little goes a LONG way. I can't see running out of them any time soon. To make them a bit more affordable try searching for a coupon and getting them when they're on sale at drugstores. I have seen them go on sale for B1G1 or B1G1-50%off.

So if you're on the fence about these I would definitely suggest giving them a shot, I love them!

About Chelle

Hello, Everyone!

I have loved cosmetics as long as I can remember. I recall watching in awe as my mother expertly applied her lipstick before work and the thrill I had in receiving my very own first cosmetics set. It was one of those inexpensive kits developed for little girls. My memory is fuzzy but I seem to recall using it during those highly glamorous events featuring me dressing up with mom's clothes and heels. My little beauty set contained a sheer lip color, a blush, and even a perfume! I can still remember that smell, it was something soft and powdery and it made me feel happy.

More years than I'd like to admit have passed since then and now that I'm forever-29 I can honestly say that my love for cosmetics has passed the test of time and my ever-growing collection stands as proof.

To tell a little about myself...  As you can guess, my name is Chelle, Michelle actually, but I like Chelle for casual settings. I've been married to my wonderful husband for over 8 years and we have 3 mini-schnauzers whom I absolutely adore.

I've worked as a Reports Specialist for almost 10 years as well as attended college off and on to work on my [incredibly slow moving and spaced out] degree. Singing used to be a big focus in my life, so it was a natural choice to study Vocal Music in college. I grew up doing many vocal performances both in choirs and as a soloist. But as I have grown and changed over the years and learned how to better manage chronic pain, music has taken a back seat to life, location, and circumstance. It took a lot of adjusting and acceptance that things don't always go as you plan, but such is life!

Speaking of performance, I've always known that good makeup is a very important part of presenting yourself in the best way possible, particularly when up on a stage. I'm no expert in the cosmetics field, I have no formal training, and there are plenty of beauty brands and items out there that I haven't (yet) sampled. But I do know that a great application of makeup can truly change your image and give you that extra *something special* to really look polished and put together. That's a big part of why I love cosmetics so much. It has the power to change the outcome of your day. I think its sad that people judge a person by appearance but on the positive side makeup is really enjoyable for me. I like to think of it as taking life's lemons and making lemon-aid.

So despite my lack of training and the gaps that may be in my knowledge of beauty products, I have decided to start this beauty blog as an outlet for my creative interests. I honestly believe that people from all levels of expertise (or even a lack thereof) can help one another expand their knowledge, grow their skills, and widen the capacity for creativity. It is my hope that some of my posts not just be an creative outlet for myself but that they will be able to offer some valuable information for beauty addicts, newbies, and everyone in between.

Thanks for reading!


How To: Adventures in Depoting Eyeshadows

I like to keep my things super organized (well, whenever I have the time and energy to get around to it!) so I decided that it would be a good idea to depot some of my smaller eye shadow sets and singles. They were taking up a lot of extra space and making my makeup collection more cluttered than it had to be. A lot of this was old stuff I wasn’t using because I couldn't even remember what I had in all those small containers so I figured depotting them and putting them in one container would be my best bet. Here are all the empties!


There are multiple methods of depotting pressed powder eye shadows. Here is the method I started with:
  • Heat oven to 300F, cover oven-safe pan with foil to protect it from messes (just in case).
  • Place eye shadow container on foil covered pan for 5 minutes to melt the glue. (Time needed can vary.)
  • Then carefully remove them by inserting a thin knife or needle in between the plastic container and the metal pan that actually holds the eye shadow and gently lift it up and pull the pan out. Alternatively you can guide dental floss between the plastic and the metal pan to separate them. I used the needle to guide the floss as needed
Don’t worry, putting your shadows in the oven will not mess them up or change the color or texture!

This worked ok but I did accidentally jab the needle in a couple of shadows, luckily it didn’t mess them up too badly. You do need to be pretty careful though. The method I found to be the easiest was to use dental floss wherever I could.

The dental floss method is basically done by guiding the floss under the edge of the pan and it essentially “cuts” the glue loose and lets you pop the pan right out. Sometimes it can be done without even heating the makeup but sometimes the glue is stubborn and does require heat.

Another thing to note is that some eye shadow pans are NOT magnetic. They will not stay in place with this project. Big bummer. But you could hot glue them in place if you wanted.

I popped them in a DIY magnetic case made from a hard case wallet with a magnetic sheet hot glued to one side. I think if I had to do it again I would just order a Z-palette online because the magnet isn't super strong. But if cost is a concern and you already have some of the materials required this is definitely a viable project! You have much more room for customization, choose any case that you love!



I suffer from chronic illness and it isn't going away

I'm a very driven person. I spend the majority of my time working either at my demanding job or on my own personal projects, self improv...