Mini E.L.F. Haul!

Just the other day I stopped into the E.L.F. store in my mall right before work. I had half an hour to kill and I was looking for a light weight foundation for the warm weather, so I thought “what’s the harm of checking them out?” I ended up with 7 products instead of one. I finally got a chance to test all of the products out today and I can honestly say I’m pretty impressed! Below are my thoughts of the products that I picked up:

  • BB Cream with SPF 20 (Beige): This was the item I went into the store for and the only item I intended on buying. One of the sales associates actually asked me what my skin type was, what kind of foundation I was looking for, what type of coverage, etc. This was the first one she recommended and we did a little swatch on my neck (I already had makeup on my face) and it matched perfectly so I took it.I applied this using my ELF Blending Sponge and it applied like a dream. I do have the Bare Minerals Perfecting Face brush that I prefer to use with my foundations, but I do think this BB Cream applies better with a sponge. This BB Cream doesn’t oxidize on me, is lightweight, makes me look radiant but not oily, and is only $6! It’s also very buildable, so you can get a medium coverage with this BB Cream if you wanted to. The only confusing and slightly worrying thing about this is that it says to apply every 2 hours. Maybe this is more for protection than more coverage?
  • HD Lifting Concealer (Light): Besides some cheap NYC Cosmetics stick concealer that didn’t give off ANY coverage, this is my first real concealer, and I’ve gotta say, I’m pleasantly impressed.This doesn’t cake up anywhere under my eyes or near my nose, it covers up blemishes extremely well, and it blends so easily! I use a bit extra underneath my eyes, and it makes a huge difference. I go from looking like I got 0 hours of sleep, to looking awake and refreshed.
  • Translucent Mattifying Powder: I wasn’t too impressed with this, but I also wasn’t disappointed. It did its job, which was mattifying, but I found myself powdering/blotting myself every few hours. One great thing about this powder is that it doesn’t give a horrible flash back when taking photos.
  • Mattifying Blotting Papers: Out of everything I picked up, this was my least favorite. I much prefer the cheaper $1 blotting sheets ELF used to have. I find the extra sticky sponge unnecessary and there’s nothing holding the blotting sheets down in the case which is horrible for someone who’s clumsy like me. The sponge holder makes it a bit difficult to get into the sides of my nose and felt a bit awkward to use in public.
  • Blending Sponge: This was my most favorite item that I walked out with! I’ve never used a Beauty Blender or any other beauty sponge because I’ve been using brushes since I started using makeup, and when I thought of makeup sponges I thought of those cheap ones that just absorb all your makeup.
    After using this, I can see such a dramatic difference between a sponge and a brush. The sponge gave more of an airbrushed look, didn’t make the BB Cream feel heavy, and felt easier to blend with.
  • Mod Glamour Luxe Lash Kit: This was the item I picked up to get my purchase up to $25 so I can get the free palette. This was in a bin that said Weylie’s lashes, and being a long time fan of Weylie, I grabbed them without hesitation. Now, I’m looking at the site and I’m pretty sure these are just the normal studio line lashes, which is a bit disappointing. Anyway, I don’t use lashes that often, but I could already tell that the glue included was of terrible quality. I opened it, and a huge dry chunk came out. After I applied them, they looked great!… Until I stepped into natural light. The glue is very noticeable, no matter how little I used and how much I tried covering it up with eyeliner. I’ll stick to just using mascara, or even trying lash extensions.
  • Cream Blush Palette (Bold): This was the free palette I picked up! I had a choice between multiple face palettes, but this one stuck out to me the most. It has 4 bright cream blushes. There’s a coral, bright pink, maroon, and a deep plum. 4 very bold shades that I never would have paid for just because I have a hard time stepping out of the box when it comes to makeup. Now, I always go for the maroon or the deep plum over my plain mauve pink blush. I also use these as lip colors, but they don’t last long on the lips.

ELF has really stepped up their game since I last used their products in high school and I look forward to trying out more from them!

(Unfortunately, VSCO deleted all of the photos I took of what I picked up, so sorry for the lack of photos in this post)

Origin of Makeup

Some of the most annoying things to hear are “Women nowadays wear too much makeup!” or “Ladies, your face isn’t a coloring book.”
What?

The history of makeup dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Makeup served multiple purposes, not just to “cover up how insecure they are” as some people might say today.

Oils and ointments were an essential part to Egyptian hygiene and health. They were used to clean and soften the skin, as well as to mask any body odor. Oils and creams were used to protect the skin from harsh weather. According to cosmeticsinfo.org, “Myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, lavender, lily, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe, olive oil, sesame oil, and almond oil provide the basic ingredients of most perfumes that Egyptians use in religious ritual.”

Besides using them for protective and religious purposes, they also used cosmetics to accentuate their features. They created kohl by using a “combination of burnt almonds, oxidized copper, different-colored coppers ores, lead, ash, and ochre” to create an almond shape for their eyes.

In 3000 BCE, Chinese people began staining their finger nails. The colors mostly coordinated with their social class. Gold and silver were reserved for the Chou dynasty, while the subsequent royals wore red and black. Lower classes weren’t allowed to stain their finger nails.

From 3000 BCE-1000 BCE, it became increasingly popular among Chinese, Japanese and Grecian women to whiten their faces.

In 300-400 AD People in India started using Henna as a way to dye hair and to do mehndi.

In 1200 AD perfumes were first imported to Europe from the Middle East as a result of the Crusades.

In Elizabethan England (1300AD), dyed red hair came into fashion. Egg whites were also used to create a paler complexion, however, some thought that cosmetics were a health threat because they believed it blocked proper blood circulation.

So far, we can see that having a paler complexion was highly sought after. From what I’ve heard and read in the past, this is because people associated dark skin with poorness. People who worked in the fields were darker, while the wealthy stayed indoors.

During the Renaissance, only the aristocracy used cosmetics. Italy and England were the main centers for manufacturing. Also, during 1400-1500 AD fragrance making in France started to evolve and become more complex.

Still, pale complexions were very popular. Queen Elizabeth l of England was well known for creating the “Mask of Youth”, which was just a pale complexion using white lead. Blonde hair also rose to popularity during this time because it was considered angelic.

As we enter the 19th and 20th centuries, we can see less use of makeup. Many of the harmful chemicals that were found in makeup, such as lead and copper, were replaced with safer alternatives, like zinc oxide. Also, Queen Victoria declared makeup as “improper” and said that it should only be used by actors.

Eventually, in the Edwardian society, women became pressured to appear young while acting as hostesses. The one way to achieve this was through makeup. During this time, salons increased in popularity, but it was considered shameful to be seen needing assistance to look beautiful. As a result, many women entered salons through the back door to avoid being seen.

Today, many women (and men) are creating complex looks using eyeshadow, enhancing their features using contouring and highlighting products, and doing what they can and want to look beautiful to themselves. Now, it seems as if makeup is more for self expression than anything else. This is just another part of makeup history and people shouldn’t be put down or feel ashamed just for wearing makeup when people have been using it since the ancient times.

People are beautiful whether they’re bare faced or have the whole rainbow on their face.

Beginner’s Makeup Kit

I think we can all agree that when we started wearing makeup, it was just horrendous. Who remembers the orange face, barely there eyebrows, different eyeliner wings and picking a lipstick in a color you like over a color that would actually suit you? Yeah, let’s try to leave that in the past. We never talk about those days. Thankfully, with years of practice, hours watching Youtube tutorials and following every makeup artist on Instagram, we have finally (somewhat) mastered the skill!

Now, we can teach the youngin’s what NOT to do based on our silly mistakes.

First of all, you need to know your skin type if you’re going to be using products such as foundation and concealer. Most, if not all, face products are made for different skin types. Determine whether you are oily, normal or dry and then you can go from there! How to deal with problematic skin will be in a future post.

My skin type is oily/combo so some of these products may not work for other skin types.

PRIMER

After doing your whole skin care routine, you need to prime your face. Why? Priming your face gives your makeup a smooth canvas to work on and to stick on. You don’t want all your hard work to slide off your face, do you?

  • ELF Poreless Face Primer: This primer is at the lower end of the price spectrum at only $6. I have terribly oily skin, especially during the summer, and this primer isn’t targeted towards a specific skin type. Sadly, this primer couldn’t help with my shiny nose, but it did make me look pretty darn poreless. One pump gives out the perfect amount to cover your entire face, and once it rubs in it feels really soft like silicone. It couldn’t keep my makeup put for longer than maybe 10 hours, but that’s pretty good for a $6 primer.
  • Bare Minerals Prime Time: This primer has been my top favorite since I first started wearing makeup and it is 100% worth the $25 in my opinion. Like the ELF primer, it does have a silicone feeling to it. You also don’t need much to cover your entire face, so I usually don’t use too much which makes the bottle last longer! My favorite thing about this primer is that it feels comfortable. My skin doesn’t feel terribly dry or like my nose is a disco ball after a few hours. It’s also perfect for keeping your makeup on your face! I love being able to still see my blush and highlight at the end of the day.
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion: While I do have other eye primers that I love like Lorac’s Behind the Scenes and Bare Mineral’s Prime Time, this one tops the list. It’s a cult favorite for a reason. I find that with eyelid primers you don’t need a lot. You just need a few dots, pat it in, and voila! For $20, you’re getting quite a bit and it will last you a long time. This primer prevents my oily/sweaty lids from creasing my eyeshadow and from transferring my eyeliner to my brow bone. Definite life saver.

FOUNDATION

Foundation was/is crucial to my makeup routine. It hides any imperfections I may have (which is also why I started wearing makeup) and it can also double as protection if it has SPF in it!

  • Rimmel Stay Matte: This is the cheapest foundation on my list at only $4-6 depending on where you go. I love and hate this foundation. What do I love? I love the price, the coverage, it doesn’t oxidize on me and it does what it says (stays matte). The cons? It has a very limited shade range. There’s 7 shades on Ulta’s website, but at any other store like Target, there’s only about 4 shades available. It’s terribly heavy! It feels like I’m buffing icing onto my face. There’s also horrible flashback, meaning that in any photo with flash you will look like a ghost. I would recommend this if you’re on a budget, have oily skin, and won’t be wearing it to special events where you’ll be taking flash pictures.
  • Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue: This is more of a tinted moisturizer than a foundation, but if you are looking for light coverage then this is perfect! It has SPF 30, it feels comfortable on the skin, and it doesn’t make you look oily. This is my top favorite foundation/tinted moisturizer to use in the summer, and it’s somewhat affordable at only $30.
  • Bare Minerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation: Like the Complexion Rescue, this foundation is $30 but is well worth it. However, this is the only foundation I’ve used that works best with the special brush that is sold separately. Thankfully, my sister bought me both the foundation and the brush! You can control the coverage with the number of drops you put into the brush. 4 drops should give you full coverage, which it did for me. This foundation feels like a second skin to me because of how light it is, but it’s also very full coverage. It has SPF 20 and comes in 20 different shades!
  • YSL Touche Elat Le Teint: This is another foundation that I prefer to use in the summer. While it is the most expensive foundation on this list at $58, it probably does the best job. During summer, I prefer to look a bit more dewy and this foundation does just that! It makes me look dewy, not oily. It makes me look bright and luminous! My skin feels so pampered and perfect with this foundation. It comes with SPF 22 and there are 22 shades available.

BROWS

Brows are definitely important because they frame your face. Thicker brows give a more youthful appearance while thick brows give a harsher look. Unfortunately, the Anastasia Brow Kit isn’t going to be on this list because I tend to keep my brows low maintenance.

  • ELF Brow kit: This kit is only $3 but works wonders! It comes with a gel and a powder (I never used the powder oops) and a little double ended brush. This made it easy for me to shape and fill in my brows when I was just starting to work on them.
  • Essence Eyebrow Designer: This little pencil is a bit cheaper at about $2. It’s your standard pencil with a brush on the cap, but I feel like the pencil is much softer than most. My only complaint with this is that I constantly have to sharpen it to get the perfect shape for my brows.

EYESHADOW

Finally, we are looking at the fun stuff! I think we can all remember going through our mom or sister’s makeup and trying the eyeshadows when they weren’t looking. There are so many colors and finishes to choose from, palettes are beginning to look more and more like they’re the same, and we have to deal with the occasional few chalky eyeshadows that we just regret buying. Luckily, there are some palettes and drugstore shadows that are popular for a very good reason. Some of them include:

  • Wet n Wild Palettes/Singles: I would highly recommend the Wet n Wild eyeshadows to anyone starting to use eyeshadow and just wants some fun colors to play with (or even safe, neutral colors). The singles are 99 cents, whereas the palettes tend to range from $3-8. While they may not have the sturdiest packaging, the quality of the product is out of this world! They’re crazy pigmented, hardly have any fall-out, and there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. They even have special edition collections that work wonderfully too. I still use mine from time to time.
  • Naked Palettes: This collection from Urban Decay has gained so much popularity and has become such a reputable palette that it’s a must-have for anyone interested in makeup. I have the Naked 3, and I am absolutely in love with it. Every palette is filled with 12 natural everyday shades, hence “Naked”.  You can create so many different looks with these palettes which is why it’s so popular. You can get so much use out of these.
  • Lorac Palettes: These Lorac palettes are somewhat like the Naked palettes, but they’re also not. They have a collection of Pro palettes, and the one I have is the Pro 2. Unlike Urban Decay’s Naked, these are filled with fun and neutral shades. There’s plums, blues, pinks, silvers, a green, etc. These also have 16 shades in each, and each one of them is so incredibly buttery and pigmented! A little bit of shadow on your brush goes a long way. Lorac also make different palettes, and like their Pro palettes, they all have the same amazing quality.

EYELINER

Honestly, I have been through so many different eyeliners that I can tell you my top favorites without having to think. A cat-eye is part of my every day makeup and you’ll never see me going out without it. My favorite type of eyeliner to use is a felt tip. I used to use normal liquid eyeliners, but found that the felt tip was a lot easier to handle and dried down faster and straighter.

  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: I find that most people who do cat-eyes on a regular basis tend to say that this one is one of their favorites. Well, that’s for a good reason! It applies like a dream, it’s nice and dark and doesn’t budge!
  • Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner: Whenever I can’t get my hands on the Kat Von D, I tend to reach for this one. It doesn’t apply as well as the other, but out of all the drugstore eyeliners I’ve tried, this was the best. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit harder to find this liner in drugstores lately. You can definitely still find them though! I highly recommend this eyeliner if you’re looking to do nice, crisp eyeliner on a budget.
  • Sephora Classic Line 24Hr Felt Eyeliner: This is another budget friendly eyeliner that applies silky smooth. It’s probably the cheapest eyeliner you can get from Sephora (it’s their collection, duh) that will make you feel like you don’t want to try any other type of eyeliner. It does everything you need to do! Applies easily, crisp lines, nice and dark, lasts and it’s affordable! The only con I have for this is that it only lasts for about a month with regular use. If you’re okay with constantly having to buy a new tube, then I would recommend this one.

MASCARA

I’m not too big on using mascara just because I don’t see much of  difference between some of them, but hey, I may be wrong.

  • Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara: This mascara was one of the first ones I’ve ever used and I loved it! It dries fast, doesn’t create spiderweb lashes and it’s affordable!
  • Bare Minerals Lash Domination: This mascara obviously feel a little more luxurious since it is more expensive and has nicer packaging. Just like the colossal mascara, it gives you longer fuller lashes without clumping them up.

These are all the products that I would recommend to anyone starting to use makeup or anyone looking to do their makeup on a budget! I can’t wait to try more so I can add to this list!

 

Chanel Fall-Winter 2017-18 Ready to Wear

The Chanel Fall-Winter 2017-18 Ready to Wear fashion show has been uploaded to Chanel’s Youtube channel, and guys… Can we talk about how well Karl Lagerfeld executed this show?!

The theme, the pieces, the models, the space ship looking like it was going to shatter the glass ceiling, everything was perfect!

Every piece was gorgeous and it all tied into the space theme very well without looking like they were trying too hard. We had Chanel’s signature tweed, lots of houndstooth patterns, very flattering silhouettes, etc. What was new though? Well, one thing that stood out in mostly every top was the emphasis on stiff rounded-necks. It looked as though a space helmet could snap onto any of them. Half the collection was mostly white, the other half was mostly black/violet, and a few pieces were graphic and had space ships or moons on them. I feel that all of this helped give the show a bit of excitement and nostalgia all at the same time. It was such a weird, but nice feeling?

The white and chrome gave a futuristic vibe, which reminds me of all the years since the 60’s where we were so excited about landing on the moon and advancing as a species. We were waiting for flying cars, robots, and chrome placed everywhere. It was a time of hopefulness, which is what we need now in this dystopian-like world. Okay- calling our world a dystopia is a bit far fetched, but there is definitely a lot we could improve on and change in order to live better as a society.

The darker colors with all the silver glitter and chrome and different colors reminded me of space. They didn’t place the galaxy on a dress, but displayed space on garments elegantly.

The graphic pieces were definitely different, but I can’t say much besides that as I’m not a fan of graphics on clothes. I just feel like they get boring after a while, or just trend for an extremely short period and aren’t worth adding to your closet. It did give the show a bit of a modern touch, though.

All of this along with the space ship “taking off” was perfect, especially at this moment with NASA releasing all new exciting information. This show could have numerous meanings behind it. Was it all about NASA’s findings? Is it about trying to advance to a more modern world? Is it about unity? I don’t believe there is just one way to interpret a show like this. It was very well done.

NYFW Portrey’s Live Stream

A few weeks ago, my friend, Maridalia, told me about a live stream event during NYFW. Wanting to become more involved with fashion again, I bought a ticket. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I haven’t been to many fashion events that weren’t a part of the school I used to go to. I still bought a whole new outfit during my visit back home in California though.

We took a bus from Jersey into the city, then took a cab to the event on Madison. Now, I was a bit nervous because I thought it was going to be some upscale party, but it was actually very fun and comfortable! They had a few screens with the show going on, some different music, food, wine, DIY Valentine’s Day cards, makeup (Lyne Cosmetics), and a photobooth. Nothing could be said about the makeup since we both went with makeup on already. Anyway, it was more like a party for younger people rather than an upscale event for adults. We did a bit of everything before going back to watch more shows and the girl distributing treats and wine were nice enough to let us grab a third glass! She was very adorable and seemed to get along great with everyone, so the room didn’t seem so awkward even though it was separated from the other activities on the floor.

After our last glass of wine it got hot and I felt dizzy (I don’t drink) and there wasn’t much left to do, so we decided to leave and go to Mc Donald’s, then back off to Jersey.

It was a lovely, relaxed event that anyone would feel comfortable at because everyone there seemed so accepting and sweet.

My Outfit:

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I wore gingham patterned cigarette pants, a black Zara sweater with a ruffle slit on the side and a gold zipper detail, a Levi’s denim jacket, open toed heeled boots, and I carried my blush pink cross body bag. Not exactly what I wanted to wear, but it was too cold to not layer up.

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Maridalia (left) wore a green hoodie dress with green eyeshadow underneath her eyes to match, brown lace up heels, and had her matching monogrammed Louis Vuitton tote. Her outfit matched very well!

Definitely one for the books.

What I Wish I Had Known About Fashion Schools

I’m pretty sure anyone who has gone to a fashion school or is about to go to one, can agree that it’s pretty exciting in the beginning. All you can think about are the clothes, designers, shows, and if you decide to move far from home, the adventures in the city! I moved from California to go to school in New York to study fashion merchandising. Although I had withdrawn from the school due to issues with financial aid, I can still say that I was grateful to have gone, and I do plan on continuing with fashion, just maybe not with this school.

I wasn’t exactly an extrovert, so I wasn’t part of the whole clubbing scene like the rest of my school was. This didn’t hinder my experience though. I met a few people who liked what I liked and that’s what made everything so fun. School, however, was pretty stressful.

Many people dismiss anything fashion related as “easy” and a “waste of knowledge, money, and talent”, so I came knowing close to nothing about how a fashion school really is. Here are some things I wish I had known so I could have been more prepared:

  1. GET A JOB IN HIGH SCHOOL! Paid internships started either in the second semester of the first year, or the first of the second year. You basically get a normal job (in retail) and they call it a “paid internship”. We had a few weeks to get a job, and almost everyone had never had a job before, so we were all competing against each other to find a job we liked in Manhattan. If you have references from previous employers, this will make it easier for you to get a job. It also helps your resume look a bit more full!
  2. Volunteer and go to events! People everywhere would kill for a chance to volunteer at NYFW, so take advantage of it! I wasn’t exactly comfortable with volunteering at NYFW at the time, but now I regret not taking the chance. I did, however, go to smaller events and they’re still so much fun. These events can be used as experience and show that you’re truly invested in the industry.
  3. Use your planner. Trust me. Fashion school isn’t just reading Vogue and painting your nails in class. In fact, it’s the exact opposite (except for reading Vogue. We had the whole Vogue archive)! You’ll need to make time to finish homework and projects, to meet with your groups and clubs, to go out and buy supplies, to go out to museums for extra credit, or to go to stores to do your homework that focuses on that store. Manage your time so you’re not pulling all nighters like I did.
  4. Pronounce everything right. You will not believe how many people get angry if you say Givenchy or Yves Saint Laurent wrong.
  5. Start paying your student loans. Fashion schools are very expensive, and your aid probably doesn’t cover it all.
  6. Be on good terms with your professors. Obviously you could use them for references, but at my school, close to all of my professors actually worked in fashion and had a pretty decent reputation. They weren’t just professors teaching you from a book, they’re teaching from experience. Be on time, be nice, and do your work and maybe they’ll help you get an internship that you’re actually interested in.
  7. You’ll get tired of fashion, but stick with it. Fashion is an extremely cutthroat industry, so that’s why you need to learn and do so much.

I miss being able to go to school to learn about what I loved and having all those opportunities at my fingertips. Although it’s cutthroat and frustrating at times, it’s just so exciting!