Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Prom Makeup

Not only do I hear wedding bells ringing but the excitement of senior high school girls getting ready for prom too. Prom is a memorable event for every girl not only because it's the biggest dance of you high school years but the last dance before graduation and life as an adult. I know this year is going to be memorable for me because my little sister is also graduating this year and will be attending prom. She is filled with excitement but it's not because I'm doing her makeup lol. I'm sure she's excited about finishing high school.

When I think of prom I think of glitter, pink, big lashes and just an explosion of fun. I don't know if I'm the only one who has that idea but the last year I went to prom was in 2006 so please excuse me if that's not today's trend lol. I posted this look on my Instagram page a couple days ago and from the feedback I got I convinced myself that I was pretty spot on.

I know prom can get expensive with the dress shopping, the manicure & pedicure, hair up-do, shoes and lets not forget the makeup. So for those of you lovely ladies who want to do this yourself, here are the steps:

1. Prime your eyes with a good primer. I, of course recommend MAC's Painterly Paint Pot especially if you're going to be dancing and possibly busting a sweat lol. MAC's Painterly Paint Pot is pro longwear so it will last you longer than most eyeshadow primers.

2. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS like to use a neutral transition color even when working with color. I took some Salted Caramel from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette, but if you don't have this then you can use Soft Brown by MAC. I used my MAC 224 brush for this step.

3. Now to add a pop of color on the crease take Makeup Geek's Wisteria to blend this into the crease. If you like the softness of the eyeshadow Wisteria, then you can skip this next step. I love adding a darker crease color for definition so I took Sugar Pill's Poison Plum eyeshadow and blended it using MAC's 217 brush. Poison Plum is a very rich bright purple and will definitely make that crease pop. Make sure to blend.

4. To further define the crease take an angled brush (MAC 266 or 263) and Makeup Geek's Corrupt eyeshadow and draw a line in between your lid and crease. You can also create that line a little higher up if you want the illusion of a bigger lid. Go back in with MAC's 217 and blend that line into the purple eyeshadows from step 3.

5. Next is the messy but fun part. I always like wearing Shadow Shields when applying my eyeshadow. That's how I achieve the crisp eyeshadow line. Shadow Shields are also great when working with pigments or glitter since they tend to have a lot of fall out. Take a flat shader brush (MAC 242) and Makeup Geek's Prom Night eyeshadow and apply it all over the lid. I used this eyeshadow wet to get a more opaque and metallic effect. You can reference to my post on how to use your eyeshadows wet. Once that dries, take Too Faced glitter glue with that same 242 brush and apply it all over the lid. You want to make sure you cover your eyelid entirely so that the glitter can adhere to the entire lid. Before your glitter glue dries, take Makeup Forever's glitter in #13 with that same brush and pat it all over the lid. Make sure to create a sharp clean line right below that cut crease line from step 4. You want a very clean and defined crease.

6. Take your favorite eyeliner and create a cat winged liner for a more dramatic effect. I do recommend using liquid liner because it's easier to cover the granulated texture of the glitter but since I prefer gel liner, I used MAC's Blacktrack Fludiline. Don't forget to line your bottom waterline and smudge some of that Wisteria eyeshadow to blend out the liner.

7. My lashes are from House of Lashes in the style Noir Fairy. I love these lashes!!! The lash band is thicker than most lashes so that's why you want to create a thicker liner. It will help blend the lash band into the liner.

Hope this post will help those of you lovely ladies do your own prom makeup or if you're an aspiring makeup artist and have clients for prom, try this out!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Eyes that Sparkle

I didn't want to give this look a category because I think it's so universal and can be worn for several different occasions. This look has the perfect combination of neutrals but with a nice bright lid that glistens in the light. This look really helps open up and awaken the eyes. I think this look is great for a wedding, a night out, a formal event or even for day time wear.

1. Like always, start with a primed lid. The only primer I use is MAC's Painterly Paint Pot. If your skin tone is darker than mine you can use Quite Natural Paint Pot. I'm very fair in complexion so this color blends in nicely. Normally I apply this product with my fingers and then I got back in with MAC's 217 brush to buff it out.

2. I always start with my transition color because it's easier to build from it. Take MAC's 224 blending brush and MAC's Soft Brown and really buff that color into the crease. Keep blending until you see no harsh lines. The eyeshadow needs to look blended so you can't see where it starts and where it ends. Blend away!!!

3. Let's build that intensity! Take MAC's Brun eyeshadow with a smaller blending brush. For this step I used MAC's 217. I like to use smaller blending brushes when working with darker eyeshadows. Place this color on the outer v of the eye and blend it into the outer 1/3 of the lid. To define the crease even further, I took an angled brush by MAC and with that same Brun eyeshadow I created a cut crease line. I went back in with MAC's 217 brush and blended out that line diffusing it into the Soft Brown eyeshadow.

4. Moving onto the lid. The color on my lids is a pressed pigment by MAC and I believe it was limited edition. The one I used is called Vanilla Diamond but if you don't have it you can use Blonde Streak also by MAC. If you don't like pressed pigments and want to use something else, feel free to use any bright eyeshadow you have. I suggest either Nylon by MAC or Shroom also by MAC. If you are going to use the pressed pigment my recommendation is to always use them wet. They just adhere better to the eyes since they do have fall out. You can always go back and a dry layer just to add more of the glitter that the pressed pigments have. My go to brush for this step is MAC's 242.

5. I love a little bit of drama on the eyes so I did go back in with a tiny bit of Carbon. I just took a small pencil brush (MAC 219) and placed it in the outer v of the eyes and then I just blended it out using MAC's 217 brush.

6. My favorite go to liner is Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC but I am in the process of trying out a new one that I'm hoping to get my hands on soon. I used an RC Cosmetics eyeliner brush for this step.

7. The lashes in this look are by Elegant Lashes in the style 747M. You can of course choose your favorite brand and style according to your eye shape.

I thank each one of you in advance for taking the time to read my blog posts. I know it's not as easy as to see it visually but hopefully I can get my youtube channel up sometime this year.
Again, you can always substitute all the products I used. You don't have to go out and purchase everything mentioned in the steps.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How To Use Your Eyeshadows Wet

I'm going to share a makeup tip with you. Some of you may already know this trick but I know many of you still don't, based on the comments I constantly get on instagram. If you follow me on instagram you'll notice how creamy and pigmented the eyeshadows look on my eyelids. So how do I get my eyeshadows to look like that? I apply my eyeshadows wet. Yes, wet! Did you know you many eyeshadows are made to be applied either wet or dry? It's true. To wet my eyeshadows I spray my brush with MAC's Fix + before dipping it into the eyeshadow or I sometimes spray my eyeshadow directly with the Fix +. I love using this technique because it also allows me to create a "cut crease" look without really cutting the crease. When you wet your eyeshadows they turn into a creamy paste and this gives you more control of where you want the placement of the eyeshadow. I don't wet any of my matte eyeshadows. This is only for those shimmery eyeshadows and only for the ones I use on my eyelids. This technique also helps with those eyeshadows that have a lot of fall out and the ones that have poor pigmentation. I use all my eyelid eyeshadows wet even those that are rich in pigment.

I swatched some eyeshadows for you both dry & wet so you can compare the difference.

Swatches from the Lorac Pro Palette
I don't know how well my camera captured the swatches but you can see a slight difference in opacity, pigmentation, and texture. Try it out at home and let me know your thoughts. All these eyeshadows were directly swatched on the skin without any eyeshadow primer.
Swatches from Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Black Smoky Eye

Is it just me or does everyone just love a sultry smoky eye? I probably don't wear smoky eyes as much as I would like to because I love sticking to my warm tones. Once in a while I'll throw in a bright eye. This is your traditional smoky eye with a little twist. I added a beautiful pressed pigment to give the eyelids a foiled look.

This look tends to get messy especially when working with black eyeshadow. I always do my eyeshadow first and then my foundation. You can also use some Shadow Shields. They work great at catching any fall out.

First and foremost I always start with my brows. I will post a brow pictorial soon. I've mentioned this a lot but my absolute go to brow products are by Anastasia Beverly Hills.

1. Prime your eyes using your favorite primer. My go to as I've also mentioned before is Painterly Paint Pot by MAC. It is a pro longwear paint pot so it helps make the eyeshadow last longer.

2. Start with the crease. Take your favorite fluffy blending brush. I used MAC's 224 and applied Soft Brown (MAC) to the crease. This is really going to warm up the crease and help create that nice transition to the darker eyeshadows you will be using.

4. We are going to add more depth to the crease. Take a smaller blending brush (MAC 217) and the color Embark (MAC) and place that color in the deepest part of the crease. Focus the color right above the lid and try not to blend too far up.

5. If you wish to add a highlight to your brow bone, take some Vanilla eyeshadow (MAC) with a flat shader brush (MAC 242). Once you place your highlight feel free to go back in and blend everything out with MAC's 224 or any other fluffy blending brush.

6. This step is the most important as it will transform this look into the smoky eye. To really get a black smoky eye you need a good pigmented black eyeshadow. My top recommendation for this is Makeup Geek's Corrupt eyeshadow. You want to pat the eyeshadow with a flat brush. My go to brush for this step is MAC's 242 but you can use anything similar. I take a fluffy blending brush (MAC 217) and I blend some of that product up towards my crease just to create a nice transition. Once everything looks nicely blended I take MAC's pressed pigment in the color Jet Couture. I love this pressed pigment. If you want a matte black lid then skip this step. I love using my pressed pigments wet to really get that opaque pigmentation. I take the same MAC 242 brush and spray it with MAC's Fix + setting spray. Once the brush is damp I dip it into the pressed pigment. Again, patting motions work best when applying your eyeshadow onto the lid. Using the pressed pigment wet gives it a more foiled look but if you more of a glittery look I suggest you use it dry.

7. I love wearing eyeliner on every one of my looks but you can also wear this look without eyeliner. I always use MAC's Blacktrack Fluidline. I prefer flat black eyeliners. The brush I used for this is from RC Cosmetics. It doesn't have a name but it is an eyeliner brush.

8. Lashes are from Lepetit Lapin Lashes in the style Babette. I love these lashes! They are the perfect size and density and not to mention they are mink lashes.

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Bridal Makeup

I hear lots of wedding bells! Spring is such a popular wedding season and I've had so many requests to create another bridal look. For those of you who are daring to do your own wedding makeup, here's a DIY bridal look. I'm a makeup artist but I'm not even sure I want to do my own makeup for my wedding. I want to be stress free and just relax and feel pampered. I know that weddings are costly and many brides are trying to cut down on costs by doing certain things themselves. Bridal makeup can be very expensive and so I understand those of you who want to save yourselves those extra Benjamin bills.

Now feel free to make this look your own. You don't have to follow all these steps. You can customize it to make it more natural or you can even smoke it out even further.

For this look I used shadows from the Lorac Pro Palette that I just got in the mail. I will be doing a review on this palette soon.

For more bridal ideas visit me on instagram @muastephnicole

1. Start by priming your eyes using MAC's Painterly Paint Pot or you can use the eyeshadow primer that comes with your Lorac Pro Palette. I've been using this product with my finger to warm up the product and apply it evenly all over my eyes.

2. You all know I love starting with my crease. Take MAC's 224 or any similar blending brush and blend the color Mauve into your crease. The key to a flawless application is to blend.

3. Let's deepen up the crease by taking a smaller blending brush MAC 217 and the color Sable. I'm going to focus this color just in the deepest part of my crease. This next step is optional but if you want an even darker and defined crease take the color Espresso and place it on the outer v and drag it into your inner crease. You can use a more defined brush for this. I normally use MACs 219 brush and I go back in with MAC's 217 to blend everything out.

4. Let's start by brightening up the eyes. Take the color nude and spray it with some MAC fix +. I love using my lid colors wet because I feel like they adhere to the eyelids better and appear more vibrant. Next taking a flat brush or MAC 242 take the color Lt. Bronze. I used it damp and placed it all over the lid. To add more lightness to the lid I applied the color Champagne in the center of the lid.

5. This step is also optional but I added a tiny bit of Black to the outer corner of the eye. You may have noticed that my style has transitioned into a very defined look with a clean sharp edge.

6. You can also exclude the eyeliner if you want more of a soft look but I LOVE thick black matte eyeliner. I used MAC's Blacktrack Fluidline. I would recommend a waterproof liquid liner for a bridal look but most liquid liners are shiny which looks cheap in my opinion. If anyone knows of a good matte waterproof liquid liner comment below. For your lower lash line I recommend using a more natural liner to line the waterline. You cant really tell in the pictures but I used a white eyeliner to open up my eyes and I took some Pewter eyeshadow to smudge it out on the lower lash line.

7. For lashes I used Lepetit Lapin Lashes in the style Babette. These are mink lashes which I love because they look natural and the density is perfect. I would prefer a more natural lash for a bride but not too natural where it's not noticeable. You can use some waterproof mascara to apply to your top and bottom lashes to finish off the look.

Now I didn't post a full face and I apologize. I've been exfoliating my face and unfortunately the first few days have been the worst because I broke out which is normal but you can really play up the look with a fun lipstick and warm blush. This eye makeup is neutral so you can pair it with almost anything. Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Camera & Editing Apps for My Pictures

This has been the most asked question "What kind of Camera do you use to take your pictures?" or "What apps do you use to edit your pictures?" Well everyone, I finally decided to list all the details here. I get asked these questions so much and I gave up on answering everyone.

Let's get started with the camera. At first I was using my iphone 5 but I hated that it wouldn't capture the details or true color of my looks. I had this camera in my house for a couple years and never paid any attention to it until I finally got frustrated with my iphone 5 camera. I know that other artists
Canon Rebel T1i
capture great pictures with their iphone and great lighting but let me just say that there is no good lighting anywhere in my house. So I finally decided to try out the camera which is the Canon Rebel t1i which is an older model but I think the pictures look amazing. I take the pictures in my room which has horrible lighting but the flash helps out. I also have the settings on close up mode to help capture the details better. I'm going to invest in a diva ring light to make my pictures look even better.

On to the editing apps. Yes, I edit my pictures. I have no shame in admitting that. I like to soften my looks because I'm human and I have pores and imperfections that take away from the looks I create. I also have bad lighting and even with the camera flash sometimes the colors get washed out and the pictures don't reflect what the makeup looks like in person. Using the app morebeaute2 I soften and warm up my pictures.

Picstitch app

To put my pictures in a collage I use the picstitch app. There are several layouts you can use but I recommend upgrading to the pro version. The pro version has more layouts and also allows you to change the borders.

A+Signature App
And lastly, the app for my watermark. I don't want to disappoint you but this signature is custom made. I made it myself using the A+Signature app. This app does have fonts you can use but it also gives you the flexibility of creating your own signature. It is a little difficult because it's a free hand signature on a screen. It probably took me about 4 tries before I got it just how I wanted it.

Hope this helps :-)