Beauty & Hair

Halloween: M∙A∙C Style

It’s October 14th, meaning Halloween is just around the corner (yay)! I absolutely love experimenting with dramatic make-up, and what better occasion to do so than this spooky holiday?!

While surfing YouTube for inspiration, I stumbled upon M·A·C’s Halloween make-up tutorials featuring special effects visionary, Rick Baker. While his skills are way out of my league (I mostly just gawked at his talent), I did pick up a few tips and tricks from his videos. Check out his frighteningly gorgeous version of the iconic Bride of Frankenstein—he literally turns her face into a 3-dimensional canvas:

(You can stock up on all your M·A·C Halloween essentials here.) Stay tuned for more costume and make-up inspiration for Halloween!

XOXO,
Alyssa

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It’s already 11 o’clock, and you still have that English paper to edit, plus a huge government test that you conveniently forgot to study for until now.  By the time you’ve closed your laptop, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, and you have to wake up in approximately four hours (oh, joy). We all have those nights, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like it in the morning. With a little makeup, you can avoid the dreaded barrage of, “You look tired,” “Did you sleep last night?” and, “Yikes…you look like you could use a cup of coffee.”

Here are my four favorite beauty tricks for faking a good night’s sleep:

1. Say Goodbye to Raccoon Eyes
One of the most telltale signs of a sleepless night is puffy eyes, but thank goodness for concealer! When applying under-eye concealer, first you must locate the problem. If you look into the mirror, and tilt your chin down, the circles will pop out (and you’ll look slightly possessed). Then use your pinky finger or a small synthetic brush to dab on your concealer. Choose a slightly peachy toned cover-up to help counteract the blue-green of the circles. My favorite is MAC Select Moisturecover; it’s lightweight and blendable, but also very pigmented.

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2. There’s a Visine for that…
Before applying any eye makeup, put a couple of anti-redness drops into each eye. Then line your inner rims with a white or light pink pencil. This will instantly open up and brighten the eyes. Napolean Perdis ‘Eye Bright’ Inner Rim Liner is specially formulated to glide onto the waterline without causing extra irritation.

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3. Curl and Coat
Black eyeliner and dark eyeshadows will only make you look more exhausted. Instead, opt for a light gold eyeshadow, curled lashes and a coat of mascara. I am absolutely in love with the MAC ‘In Extreme Dimension Lash’ Mascara.

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4. Blush
People often look pale and kind of sickly if they haven’t slept enough. A creamy blush is a great way to brighten up your face. Just make sure to blend, blend, blend! Try the Stila ‘Convertible Color’ Lip & Cheek Color.

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Now grab a Starbucks, and get to school! You’re already five minutes late.

XOXO,
Alyssa

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OxTrad Trends: Henna

There are many things one regularly sees at OxTrad. They include milkshakes from Moo Moo’s, cookies from Ben’sInstax cameras and henna. A few days into the program, a student stumbled upon this place in the Covered Market which sold henna in easy-to-use squeeze pouches.

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After the initial discovery, henna fever took over OxTrad. Everyone soon had swirling designs covering their hands, feet and basically everywhere else. I had my hand done, and I loved how pretty and delicate it looked.

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The process itself is very cool, too. It comes out as a gel initially, but after an hour or so it dries. You brush off the dried ink, and what’s left is an orange version of the design. Over the next day, the pigment darkens to a dark brown. They usually last a week or so, but mine lasted for about two.

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Photo cred: Haley Bolen. Oxtrad 2013

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I think henna designs are great because they allow you to experiment with body designs and art without regrets—not to mention they make beautiful alternatives to standard jewelry.

~Brittany

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Let’s Talk SPF


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During the summer, everyone wants to get oustide and just have a good time. No one wants to spend a lot of time thinking about their makeup. However, summer is the time when you have to be most careful about what you put on your skin. I know everyone wants to soak up the sun and come back to school with that perfect summer tan (believe me, I do, too), but protecting your skin is paramount in the summer months.

So, it’s time to talk about the SPF or sun protection factor of your makeup.  Nowadays most lotions and foundations have some sun protection in them because sunscreen isn’t just for the beach or the pool.  You should try to wear some sort of UV protection everyday because the sun’s rays can be damaging no matter how long you are outisde or where you are. Sunscreen can protect against types of skin cancer in addition to less lethal but still painful sunburns. So take two minutes to apply some SPF before you go outside because no tan is worth the risk.

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Featured:

  1. 1. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Cross-Terrain UV Skin Protector SPF 50. Kiehl’s is known for their quality, and I have to agree. This stuff stays on forever, even when in the water.
  2. 2. stila ‘stay all day’ 10-in-1 HD illuminating beauty balm broad spectrum spf 30. Try adding a moisturizer or balm that has SPF into your daily routine. That way, your face will always be protected.
  3. 3. Tela Beauty Organics ‘Guardian’ SPF 18 Sun Protection for Hair and Scalp. Don’t forget your scalp! I have had a couple of scalp sunburns, and trust me, they hurt. This protectant does double duty: protecting your skin and your hair from the heat and UV rays of the sun.
  4. 4. Fresh® Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15. I love Sugar because of its smell, but I didn’t know until recently that it acted as a protectant, too!
  5. 5. philosophy ‘take a deep breath’ oil-free oxygen moisturizer broad spectrum SPF 30. I love philosophy products, I use their daily cleanser.  I really like their moisturizer, too. It doesn’t make your skin feel slimy as mainy lotions and moisturizers do.

~Brittany

Source

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If you’ve got a wedding to attend this summer, I’ve got some hair and makeup tips for you. There are two important things to remember:

1. A wedding is a happy occasion, so your look should be cheerful and upbeat, too.
2. The bride and groom should be the focus of attention, so keep your style simple and low-key.

Makeup
The sight of your glowing face will make the happy couple even happier, so stick with fresh-faced makeup and a natural lip:

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Hair
Loose waves are effortlessly chic:

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Now you’re ready. Have a great time celebrating with the bride and groom!

XOXO,
Aya

Sources:

The American Legacy
Elle
Entertainment News
All About Models
Fusion Net Label

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Summer Makeup Trends: Neon

I am going to a Marina and the Diamonds concert with my best friend! Since Marina always looks great, I want to go all out for this concert. I searched the Internet to find something cool to do with my makeup, and I came across these great pictures of quite literally glowing girls.

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I love this look because it just screams fun! It’s certainly not for every day, but I think neon makeup would be great for this concert, and it can definitely be made more casual. In fact, neon accents are trending for this summer, including eyeliner, lipstick, nail polish and eyeshadow.

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Inspired, I set out to find some bright cosmetics, and I stumbled upon something brilliant. Stila has just come out with a lipstick that glows under black light. I figured this would be perfect, so I bought the Stila ‘After Glow’ Lip Color in Magenta. The color looks very pretty during the day, but under black light it – you guessed it – glows. How cool is that? I am thinking of painting my nails bright pink, too.

If you’re interested in trying a neon look of your own, Nordstrom has tons of bright cosmetics. These are some of my favorites:

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  1. 1. Stila ‘After Glow’ Lip Color
  2. 2. Stila ‘Sparkle’ Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
  3. 3. Lancôme ‘Baume in Love’ Sheer Tinted Lipbalm
  4. 4. M·A·C ‘Pro Longwear’ Eyeshadow
  5. 5. Essie ‘Neon Collection 2013’ Nail Polish
  6. 6. NARS ‘Soft Touch’ Shadow Pencil
  7. 7. NARS ‘Larger Than Life’ Long Wear Eyeliner
  8. 8. NARS Duo Eyeshadow

Makeup, check! Now I just need to figure out what to wear…

~Brittany

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Bronze, baby!


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I’ve always had this thing where I want to have glowy skin. Can’t go wrong with a healthy, sun-kissed glow, amiright? So one year for my birthday, my friend got me bronzer—I don’t wear makeup a lot, but when I do, it’s my go-to. I love that stuff!

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Get the look with NYX Matte Bronzer:

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Additional tips:

  • Stay hydrated. The best way to look healthy is to be healthy. Good ol’ water does the trick. I love coconut water, too.
  • Eat fruits and veggies. Vitamins and skin are BFFs.

Sources:
Sugarscape
Margaux P
Glamour
Vogue

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Prom season is in full swing, which means you’ve probably got your dress, shoes and accessories picked out. (No? Better hop over to the prom shop, pronto!) Now it’s time to focus on your makeup. We’ve got a treasure trove of beauty how-to videos about everything from flawless foundation to false eyelashes and more.

Check out these quick and easy tips for an ombre eye:

You can find more beauty how-to videos right here.

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Brittany’s Beauty Must-Haves


I love coloring. Seriously, give me some crayons and I will go to town. So it makes sense that I’ve always loved makeup so much; however, I almost never wear makeup during the week because I don’t see the point in wearing it to school. That might sound weird, but I’d rather sleep in those ten extra minutes than worry about my makeup. On the weekends, though, I love experimenting with different beauty looks.

Like everyone, I have my favorites, and I thought I would share my beauty essentials with you:Hero

  1. 1. Physicians Formula Tinted Moisturizer. I don’t wear cream/liquid foundation because my skin is really sensitive (but I do wear powder – see #6).
  2. 2. Lancôme ‘Artliner’ Precision Point EyeLiner. This is perfect for cat eyes (one of my favorite looks).
  3. 3. bareMinerals 100% Natural Lipcolor in ‘Bavarian Creme’. This lipstick is my absolute favorite. It goes on super smooth and the color is sublime.*
  4. 4. Giorgio Armani ‘Eyes to Kill Excess’ Mascara. Two coats of this and you’re good to go.
  5. 5. MAC Pigment. I prefer pure pigments over eyeshadow cremes. If you wet your brush a little, the color goes on and stays on. I lean towards golds and browns because my eyes are blue.
  6. 6. bareMinerals Customizable ‘Get Started’ Kit. I swear by bareMinerals. I use their foundation powder and mineral veil over my moisturizer; it provides coverage but isn’t heavy.

*Parfait, Plum Brulee, and Rose Crepe available at Nordstrom.

While I don’t wear makeup every day, I do wear perfume. Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” I don’t think it’s quite that tragic, but I do think perfume is like a person’s signature. My two favorites are:

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(Find Viva la Juicy here, and Burberry Brit here.)

My final makeup advice:

 – Keep cotton swabs in your purse so that you can correct smudges throughout the day.

 – Always take your makeup off at night, especially mascara; I like Caudalie makeup remover best.

 – Use lip liner whenever you apply lipstick; it keeps your lipstick from running.

 – Don’t have blush? In a pinch, a highlighting eyeshadow works! Apply white eyeshadow as a highlighter on the tops of your cheek bones and on the  little curve above your lip.

Do you have any beauty secrets? I’d love to know some of your favorites and tips!

~Brittany

Sources:
Goodreads
Beautylish
Drugstore.com

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Experimental Nails

A while ago, I realized how cool matte black nails are. I scoured the mall and finally found O.P.I.‘s Matte Top Coat—you can put it over any color to make it matte. I figured it would be the best bang for the buck. And it is! Check it out:

PUBLISH Experimental Nails

As you can see, I love to do my third finger a different color from the rest!

Nordstrom carries four matte topcoats: Essie ‘Matte About You’ Finisher ($10), Ciaté ‘Mattnificent Top Coat’ ($17), butter LONDON ‘Shine Free Topcoat’ ($18, and free of toxic chemicals!) and Deborah Lippmann ‘Flat Top’ Matte Topcoat ($20). Don’t forget about the free shipping and returns—there’s no minimum order, even for little things like nail polish.

XOXO,
Aya

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