Archive for the 'tutorial' Category

Winter Grape EOTD

November 21, 2009


Lately my EOTD’s seem to be few and far-between. I blame work – my office environment just isn’t fun-makeup-friendly, so it’s rare that I get to come up with fun new eye looks for you. I was feeling up for a little color this past weekend though so broke out some eyeshadows that have been feeling sorely neglected.


More photos and a mini tutorial after the jump!

  • Apply an intensely pigmented purple shadow like Pure Luxe shadow in Grape all over the inner 2/3 of your eye, starting at your inner eye and working outwards. Grape is a serious stunner and has some amazing pigmentation to it – it’s a definite favorite of mine.
  • Pick up a shimmery white shade (I used Smink’s Winterton) on a bbrush with a pointed narrow tip and sweep it along the inner third of your eye, over your purple. Blend well!

With Flash

Without Flash

  • Top with mascara – I used my Jill Stuart here, which I’ve been meaning to review for you for ages. It holds a pretty amazing curl, doesn’t it?

This look was so vivid and fun in person ~ I really need to remember to check out more Pure Luxe products as they’ve really been impressing me so far. What fun looks have you been experimenting with over the past few weeks?

3 Easy Steps to a Plumper Pout

October 21, 2009

While this won’t literally give you a plumper pout, the following method will help you feign the appearance of fuller lips in 3 quick and easy steps.

  1. Apply your lipstick/lipgloss of choice all over your lips. In this photo I used my DEX Gloss in Fifth Avenue Merlot.
  2. Take a contrasting lighter-hued shimmery gloss (ie. an almost clear gloss with silver or gold shimmer, a pale pale pink with heavy shimmer) and dot a small amount at the center of your upper lips (right below your cupid’s bow) and blend a little.
  3. Do the same for the center of your lower lip (I used DEX Gloss in Columbus Avenue Copper).

And voila you’re done! I personally prefer to implement this method using two glosses, but you can fiddle around with the mechanics to suit your lippie inclinations.

How Do You Apply Your Eye Cream?

August 13, 2009

I don’t know about you, but when I’m going through my skincare routine every morning and evening, I often wonder if I’m applying my products correctly. That’s not to say that I don’t know how to apply moisturizer to my face, but when it comes to the more delicate parts of my face such as the undereye area, which is notorious for its thin, crepey, wrinkle-prone skin, my curiosity abounds. I’m sure that there’s no one “right” way to apply eye cream, but a little guidance is always appreciate – I’ll debate whether to apply from the outer corners inwards, or the inner corners outwards.

Well is seems that Caudalie has heard my cries for help – look what I found on the inside of my box of Caudalie Contour Cream Eyes and Lips (which I’ll be reviewing for you soon)!


I love this little illustrated guide that they have printed on the interior portion of their boxes. Their steps seem to be:

  • Pat gently on the under eye area, working from the inner corners outwards.
  • Repeat for the upper eyelid area, again working from the inner part of your eye outwards, following the contour of your eye.
  • Apply in a gentle circular motion along the outer corners of your eyes to smooth the appearance of lines.

Which brings me to my question: What method do you implement in applying your eye cream? Are you an in to out or an out to in? Do you tap or glide? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Peacock Feather EOTD Using MAC Graphic Garden Palette

August 4, 2009



The Step by Step Breakdown (for more details on the palette itself click HERE):

  • Apply an eyeshadow base (I used a Motives by Loren Ridinger cream eyeshadow here) all over you lid to help the colors adhere and to prevent creasing.
  • Use a small, dense brush (like MAC’s 239 Eye Shader) to pick up some Wild Wisteria and apply it over your base on the inner half of your eyes, extending up towards the crease.
  • Use a finner-tipped brush (like MAC’s 219 Pencil Brush) to apply Botanical Blue on the outer half of your eyelid up towards the crease, extending the color to make a sideways V shape on both eyes.
  • Use a medium-sized brush (like MAC’s 213 Fluff Brush) to pick up a good amount of Linear Lilac and pat it onto the center of your eyelid, concentrating on the area below the crease.
  • Now blend away along the contours of your crease using a blending brush like MAC’s 217. I like to go in one direction, from the inner corners outwards.


  • Line your underyes with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Electric, and then use Zero right along the waterline for a little more depth.


This look is waaaaaaaay brighter than anything I’d normally go for, and I think I caused my mother some serious mental trauma when she saw me walking out of the house wearing eyeshadow this vibrant, but I personally loved it and thought it was a ton of fun once I got over feeling a little self-conscious. What do you think?

Tutorial for a Soothing DIY Greek Yogurt Mask: You’ll Love It!

March 11, 2009
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A few months back I came home to the sight of my mother sitting at the kitchen table with a large tube of Fage Greek Yogurt sitting in front her–nothing new since we both happen to love the stuff (mixed with honey, turned into tzatziki–it’s delicious!), but what was different was that she was wearing it on her face! Turns out that greek yogurt is actually wonderful for your complexion, as I was reminded while reading the description for Korres’ Yogurt Cream.

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Korres also makes a Yogurt Mask which is $27 for 1.35 ounces, but I prefer to make my own yogurt mask at home, since even the rather pricey Fage usually runs $5-7 for 500 grams which is the equivalent of approximately 17.64 ounces.

How do you use a yogurt mask? Well pretty much however you want. My mother, who suffers from dryness, loves to just slather on the full fat Fage, leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will look and feel smoother, whiter, brighter, softer, and calmer. The yogurt (especially straight out of the fridge) also helps to soothe stressed or sunburned skin and is great for reducing redness.

Other Variations On the Yogurt Mask:

  • For oilier complexions, you can mix in some aspirin you’ve turned into a paste (see how HERE) and/or a drop or two of lemon juice for tightened pores and skin that glows.
  • For dryer complexions, mix in some soothing honey or just apply plain.
  • You can also add pure green tea powder for a ilttle something different, and also mix in some flour if you prefer a thicker mask, although greek yogurt is thick enough that you shouldn’t have runniness issues.

I think I’ll treat myself to a yogurt mask tonight if this hellish day that I’m having at work ever ends.

Illegal Cargo and Smoke & Diamonds Eye Tutorial

September 18, 2008
One of my readers requested a tutorial for my MAC Illegal Cargo/California’ Dreamin’ look that I did here, so here it is with some minor tweaking! To get the original look, follow the steps below but use a pencil rather than a cream liner on your upper lash line, and carry the eyeshadow colors onto your lower lash line. It’s photo-heavy but I hope you like it!

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The Tools

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I used a flat concealer brush to apply Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow in Violet Vision.

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I like to use a blender brush to apply eyeshadow over a larger surface because it’s so fluffy!

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If you don’t have a crease brush to do this, any finer-tipped brush will do.

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& VOILA you’re done!!!

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I decided to pair the look with a soft pink lip, so I layered some MAC Like Venus Dazzleglass over MAC Pleasureseeker lipstick (from Neo Sci-Fi) for a pretty, super-glittery look. If only my camera could pick up the dazzling shimmer of Like Venue *sigh.*


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ABS’s Favorite Facial Treatments Part I: The Aspirin Mask

June 12, 2008
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Remember when I promised to go through my favorite scrubs, masks, and other facial treatments over a month ago? Well it’s been sitting on the back-burner for weeks, but I’ve finally gotten around to doing it! 🙂

First up is a super cheap and effective at-home DIY treatment, the aspirin mask. When I feel a break-out coming on, or my complexion just needs a quick pick-me-up, this is what I turn to. Because aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, this mask is absolutely amazing for keeping your skin clean and clear!

So how exactly do you make an aspirin mask? Read on to find out!!

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1. Shake out 4-5 uncoated aspirin tablets onto your hand or a small mixing dish.
I use these cheap ones from Walgreens-500 tablets for $3.99!

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2. Place a drop or two of HOT water onto each tablet.
Cold or lukewarm water won’t work here!

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3. Once the tablets are melted through (if your water was warm enough, it should only take a few seconds), crush them the rest of the way with your fingers. You should end up with this aspirin paste.

4. Add the mix-in ingredient of your choice. I like Cetaphil because it’s gentle and gives my aspirin mask an exfoliant-like consistency without being too runny. Other favorites are honey, yogurt, and Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mask.

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5. You can use the resulting mixture either as an exfoliator, a mask, or both!
I tend to smear it all over my face, exfoliate with it for 30 seconds or so, then leave it on while I’m brushing my teeth.

6. Rinse off and you’ve got instant baby-soft skin!!

One minor caveat: If you’ve got aspirin allergies, obviously this may not be the best mask for you!

Have you tried the aspirin mask? What’s your favorite variation?

An Illustrated MAC Pigment-Pressing Tutorial :)

May 30, 2008
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Want to learn how to turn you messy pigments into gorgeous pressed shadows (that you can’t spill-you know you’re afraid you will!)?
Then read on! 🙂

List of Supplies:

  • Phase 1
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Small dropper (old bottle of eye drops, etc)
    • Empty eyeshadow pans (I get mine here)
    • Small spatula or other mixing implement and a little spoon
    • Small mixing bowls (optional)-I used the bottom half of those little plastic containers you get out of the 25 cent machines 🙂
    • Pigments (DUH!) 3/4 teaspoon per eyeshadow (aka 3 samples if that’s what you’re using)
    • Paper towels
  • Phase 2
    • Small squares of fabric (preferably something sturdy like denim)
    • Lots of quarters (and nickels and dimes!)
    • Some very heavy books (you know you’ll never read them anyway!)
    • Slim magnets with adhesive on the back
    • Labels (optional)
Phase 1
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1. Lay down a paper towel and get together all your supplies for Phase 1 of pressing (Pigment pressing can get a little messy!)

2. Fill up your dropper bottle with rubbing alcohol. I used 70% but different concentrations are fine. Just keep in mind that the lower your percentage, the longer it will take for the alcohol to evaporate! And yes mine is citrus scented, meaning my eyeshadows have a faint citrus scent 🙂

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3. Place a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of your mixing bowl (or directly into the empty pan if you choose not to mix in a separate bowl).

4. Spoon in a few little spoonfuls of pigment.

5. Mix mix mix!!!

6. Keep adding more pigment and more alcohol until you’ve used about 3/4 teaspoon of pigment (approximately 3 samples for those of you working from sample containers) and your mixture has reached a cake icing-like consistency. You can go for a runnier mixture, but that again means your eyeshadow will take longer to dry and set. Also, I’ve found that while you’d think that having a runnier mixture would be easier to transfer to your eyeshadow pan, it’s actually more difficult. After a few tries you’ll figure out what consistency works best for you!

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7. If you were working out of a separate bowl like me, place 1-2 drops of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of your eyeshadow pan now (it helps your pigment mixture to adhere to the pan).

8. Scoop your pigment mixture into the pan. Make sure you get it all in there!! At this point it should look like you have a big pile of poop in your pan 🙂

9. Repeatedly pick up and drop your eyeshadow pan (from a distance of about an inch or two in the air) onto your tabletop to create a smooth even surface (if you can’t get it perfectly even no worries-pressing takes care of that!). Also do this every once in awhile while your eyeshadows are drying to pack them down.

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10. Set your mixtures aside to dry (anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight)! I like to place them in a warm/sunny spot so that the rubbing alcohol evaporates more quickly. You’ll know your eyeshadow is ready for phase two when you lightly tap touch the surface of your shadow and nothing comes away on your finger. Also, check out how Bell-Bottom Blue, Tan, and Golden Olive have sunken into their pans, whereas Fuchsia and Violet which I mixed up last (and which aren’t ready for pressing) are still somewhat overflowing. This is another indication of whether your pigment is or isn’t ready for Phase 2. Don’t forget to keep packing down your shadows whenever you remember to!

Phase 2
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Got all your supplies for Phase 2 together? Then let’s get to pressing!!
Make sure you have at least as many quarters as you do eyeshadows, and a good amount of change on top of that!

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1) Top each eyeshadow with a square of fabric (I cut up an ancient pair of denim shorts), and then center a quarter on top. You should be able to feel the quarter get caught within the confines of the eyeshadow pan-makes sure it’s actually in there!

2) Repeat however many times you need to 🙂 I like to use two quarters plus a dime for every eyeshadow, since the pressing causes the pigment mixture to compress a good amount. If you only use one quarter, it’ll sink and you might not get as good a press as you’d like.

3) Stack a few heavy books on top of your eyeshadows (I used my casebooks-those things are massive!) and press down HARD! You can also use a small flower press to speed up the process. Now walk away and let those babies compress (I give them at least an hour or two. And if you’re patient, overnight is great!). NO PEEKING!!!

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4) You couldn’t resist peeking could you? I never can! If the bottom quarter has sunken so that its top is about flush with the top of the eyeshadow pan, your new shadow is probably ready. Your fabric swatch should have sunken into the pan like in the photo.

5) Remove the quarters and fabric and marvel at how gorgeous your new eyeshadows are. Doesn’t the denim leave a beautiful texture?!

6) Now if you’re going to pop them into your palette, stick a magnet on the back (I have magnetic scotch tape so just use that), and pop a label with the name of the pigment on top of that.

And voila, you’re all done!! A rainbow of pigments, conveniently pressed and ready to be used!

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Top row: Tan, Rose, L’Oreal HIP pigment in Valiant
Middle row: Quick Frost, Fuchsia, Golden Olive, Bell-Bottom Blue
Bottom row: Vanilla, Pink Pearl, Violet, Pastorale, Mutiny

I’d love to hear what you think of my tutorial in the comments! Any suggestions for improvement would be most appreciated 🙂

See swatches of Mutiny, Bell-Bottom Blue, Violet, Fuchsia, and Vanilla pigments here.

Read about my little pigment-pressing experiment here, and learn that yes you can press L’Oreal HIP pigments!

See swatches of Pink Pearl, Rose, Quick Frost, Pastorale, Golden Olive, and Tan here.

A little pigment and loose eyeshadow pressing experiment…

May 24, 2008
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CHECK OUT MY PIGMENT PRESSING TUTORIAL HERE!!

Clockwise from top left: L’Oreal HIP pigment in Valiant, Lumiere mineral shadow in Chameleon, Lumiere mineral shadow in Allure, MAC pigment in Pink Pearl

It’s now 1:58 AM, but since I’m having trouble sleeping I thought I’d conduct a little pigment-pressing experiment. I had some empty eyeshadow pans as well as the remnants of random mineral shadow samples and MAC pigments and L’Oreal loose shadows lying around, so I though I’d try pressing all these different types of powders to see what’s pressable and what isn’t 🙂

So far I’ve mixed up a few Lumiere mineral shadows, a L’Oreal HIP pigment, and a MAC pigment. They’re now sitting in the pans, and I’ll be pressing them in the morning. Results to be posted in the AM!

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So it’s now morning! Well later in the morning than it was when I started pressing my shadows. How cool do my new pressed shadows looking in my mini MAC palette?! I’d have to say I’m feeling very pleased with myself this morning 🙂

I’ll be doing a more in-depth post on pressing MAC pigments in a few days, so no worries if you’ve never done it before!

As for the results:

The two Lumiere mineral eyeshadows I pressed are a huge mess! They look fine enough until I run a brush across the top-then it’s a crumbly dust explosion. Loose shadow clouds all over the place! I also inhaled a good bit of powder and choked :\ Mineral shadows definitely need some sort of binder to hold them together (glycerin or the binding liquids you can find online).

The MAC pigment I pressed of course turned out absolutely beautifully! It was the easiest to mix up, consistency-wise, and it pressed to a much smoother finish than the other shadows (see the beautiful cross-hatch from the denim I used to press it above?). Overall I’d say I’ll probably be sticking to pressing MAC pigments in the future!

I also had a L’Oreal HIP pigment in a lovely blue that I never used because I found the packaging to be cumbersome, so decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try pressing it. I know a lot of people have been curious as to whether pressing works for the HIP pigments, and I’m here to say that it does! The mixture was a bit lumpier than the MAC pigment, and it actually didn’t look like it was going to dry properly, but once pressed it makes a nice solid eyeshadow. So if you’ve been considering pressing your HIP pigments but have been afraid to do so, I’d definitely go for it! Although I have to warn you, the pressing process ate through more than half my tiny little container of pigment!

I hope you found this pigment and eyeshadow pressing to be helpful! I’d love to hear about your pressing experiments in the comments!

See my illustrated pigment-pressing tutorial here.
See an EOTD using my new pressed pigments here.

MAC DressCamp Tutorial

April 21, 2008

A reader requested that I do a tutorial for the EOTD I posted the other day, so here it is.

Please be kind as this is my first tutorial and it’s quite difficult to take photos and apply makeup at the same time!

The pretty pretty palette:

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Step 1: Apply MAC Paint Pot in Perky all over your eyelid using a flat concealer brush or your finger.

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Step 2: Apply Sunny Girl to the inner third of your eyelid, beginning in the inner corner and extending roughly to where your iris begins. I like to use a fluffy pencil brush because with my small eyes, anything larger would deposit eyeshadow all over the place.

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Step 3: Apply DressCamp Pink on the center third of your eyelid (and extend a little past it) using the mini 213 brush included in the palette.

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Step 4: Apply Golden Gold on your outer V (the outer third or so of your eyelid) using a brush with a narrower tip (i.e. MAC 219) for more precision. You’re pretty much doing “” on your right.

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Step 5: Blend blend blend (using your blending brush of course)!

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Step 6: Use Trend to highlight your brow bone and lower lash line (don’t mind the eyebrows-I know they’re a mess!).

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Step 7: And finally apply a bit of Sunny Girl to the inner third of your lash line

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And the finished look!

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Helpful? Horrible? I’d love to hear what you think of the look and the tutorial!

Don’t forget to enter the DressCamp giveaway HERE!!!
See my original DressCamp EOTD here.
See MAC DressCamp swatches here.