- Recommendations: YSL Touch Éclat (pen)
- Good for under-eye circles
- Good for dry skin
- Heavy coverage
- Apply with fingers or makeup sponge
- Recommendation: Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder SPF 15
- Super light mineral powder
- Good for all-over coverage and setting makeup
- Perfect for hot/humid summer weather
- Good for oily skin (absorbs oil and prevents shine)
- Recommendation: Bobbi Brown Corrector
- Best for covering under-eye circles (good for sensitive skin spots)
- Works best when dabbed onto skin
- Apply moisturizer before cream concealer
- Recommendation: Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer
- Not quite liquid, not quite pencil
- Blends well, use fingers to dab or concealer brush
- Good for acne prone skin
- Also good for dark circle, scars and blotchy skin
- Recommendation: Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil
- Not for sensitive skin areas
- Blends well
- Medium to heavy coverage
Spring semesters have begun and we’re all bound to see some sleepless nights in our near futures. I’m currently in Madrid studying abroad and there’s a lot of sleeplessness here (Madrilenos don’t go out til past midnight on the weekends!)
So in order to conquer this matter, let’s discuss the pesky and fairly unattractive compadre most of us all deal with now and again: dark under eye circles. In Spanish, we call them “ojeras”. A language lesson and a makeup lesson? That’s a win.
When choosing a brand, consider what you’re looking for. Do you need concealer to cover up said circles? Or do you need a little lift to keep your eyes from looking dull and drab?
For full coverage, Bobbi Brown makes a Creamy Concealer that works wonders, especially when you use your finger to dab on when applying. Tip: Dab concealer on repeatedly with your index or middle finger after applying your liquid foundation. It allows it to blend better and avoid streakiness by looking natural.
For brightness, Benefit makes an Ooh La La Lift undereye brightner that has light-reflecting pigments that makes you look awake and chipper without even trying. BeautyHigh.com put together an impressive list of undereye products found here, including brightening undereye pencils for a last minute on-the-go morning boost.
Foundation. The step one. The basis. The…foundation. #gottalovenamesakes
As a loyal Bobbi Brown foundation user for the past year, I decided to branch out. (Change is good, right?!) And it may just have been one of the wiser decisions I’ve made lately.
The letters HD on Make Up For Ever’s bottle always intrigued me. After chatting up the sales associate at my local Sephora (that I’m the Foursquare mayor of — woot woot), he recommended M.U.F.E’s because it begins with medium coverage but is completely build-able. Tip: he also told me that applying foundation is like “oil painting” and that I must dab and blot and paint a masterpiece with my foundation brush. What a winner.
We like bullet points, so let’s do bullet points. Only pros, no cons. Because really, this stuff is amazing.
- Comes in 25 shades - so you will find a shade that matches your skintone. Say goodbye to the days of being off-color (even minutely)!
- Long-lasting - it outlasts all my crazy, all day long. My eyeliner will start to run before this foundation (and I assure you I essentially bulletproof my eye makeup on the daily).
- Keeps skin hydrated - I don’t know how or why, but it’s quite a miracle. No cakey look will ever plague you again. It’s perfect especially with the cold weather coming. Your skin stays soft and it somehow preserves your moisturizer. Lovely.
- Soft-focus effect - it’s designed for people who are to appear onscreen but works wonders in real life too. It’s finish is flawless, so no need to fear fluorescent lighting ever again!
- Smooth and even - you’ll never see those creases or lines along the jawline. Nope nope nope.
- Illuminates your complexion - it contains an ingredient called Sericite that spreads light rays across your face. Who woulda thunk?
$40 at Sephora
I need black eyeliner like most people need oxygen. Melodramatic? Maybe. True? Entirely. I’ve had my bouts with pencil, I used to be a loyalist to the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner (and still sometimes use), but I’ve developed a trust in liquid liner.
I’ve tried the array of brands that Sephora carries. Some proved decent but many caved to the normal complaints with liquid liner: it crumbles by the end of the day, it’s too severe-looking, it’s difficult to apply (because if you screw up, you’re screwed), etc.
I read about Tarte’s MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Liquid Liner (silly name, yes) and had a good feeling about it being the one. It glides on smoother than any other liquid liner I’ve ever experienced and it doesn’t clump up your lashes in the process. It claims to “enhance” lashes, and though I haven’t seem any progress, I’m just supremely happy that the liner does not get in the way of my lashes. The applicator makes this liner a champ: it does not drag or skip. It glides on smooth. Easy, like we all wish life could be. Like all of Tarte’s do-good products, this liner is made without parabens and synthetic dyes.
- Lasts all day
- Liner doesn’t conflict with your lashes
- Flexible applicator (thin tip makes a fine line, but you can also make it medium or thick just by pressing down)
- Smooth as butter (cliche, but yes, just yes)
You don’t know til you try. And trust me, you want to try. I’m really fond of cliches today, if you couldn’t tell. If you’re a slave to liquid liner like I am, this is an investment you’ll want to make.
$22 at Sephora
While I’ve been seeing a multitude of warm neutrals, bronzes and olive greens for the autumn season, NARS’ Delphes Eyeshadow Trio works with cooler colors for true goddess appeal.
The limited edition eyeshadow trio comes with: “a sparkling sheer peach, matte dove grey, and frosted sage.” Inspired by the earth goddess herself, the palette can be used for a more sophisticated look. If warm, autumnal colors do not fare well with your skin tone, this is the perfect trio for you.
You’re probably thinking, “What am I going to do with pink, grey and green? And how do I avoid looking crazy?”
Here’s some tips to keep in mind:
- Use the peach shade as a brow highlight because of the shimmer (be wary of glitter chunks)
- Use the grey shade to blend because it’s sheer and build-able
- Use the green shade closest to the lashline because it’s the most pigmented
NARS brings to the table their good reputation of crease-proof eyeshadow that lasts all day. And the Delphes Trio is no different. Wear colors individually or blend all three for the Grecian goddess look. Just add a messy updo.
$45 at Sephora
It’s no secret that not all of us have been blessed with cheekbones as some models with unpronounceable Russian names have. That’s where a little contouring with makeup comes into play. Kim Kardashian has been known to contour her makeup to maximize the appearance of cheekbones. Here are some tips on how to sculpt your face using the contrast of dark and light makeup: (*Keep in mind that technique can vary because everyone has a different face shape)
- Use a darker powder (I like to improvise with MAC bronzer) on your contour line [you can find this by making a fish face in the mirror or find it at the middle of your nose and ears] — use an angled brush to apply the powder or bronzer to where the shadows are (ie. jawline, outside width of the nose, contour lines of the cheeks, etc.)
- Use a concealer (only if necessary) and dab it under your eyes in the shape of a triangle to hide dark circles — this actually enhances the sculpting you’ve done previously with the darker color (Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer blends in perfectly)
- Use a highlighter (like NARS Orgasm Illuminator or Smashbox Highlighting Serum) on spots that would be hit on by the sun (ie. upper cheekbones underneath the eyes, center line of the nose, forehead, etc.)
- Use a blush (like ELF Powder Blush) and apply it to the apples of the cheeks, blending it outward towards the ears — use the blush to blend the dark color into the highlight color to even out and bring all the colors together
This chilly August day + a lunch break spent perusing beauty articles has inspired me to jot down the 5 musts for the imminent autumn season.
1) Make use of more natural tones as well as earthy and cool colors when doing eye makeup — think purple, dark green, bronze, blue, etc
StyleCaster does an excellent job in choosing fall products here!
2) Swap your bronzer for your blush — Be sure to sweep the cheekbones and not so much the apples of your cheeks to give your face some nice contouring
3) Equip yourself with a good daily moisturizer for the colder months
4) Treat yourself to a nice daily lipstick — something you can wear to school & work, like a versatile pink or mauve
5) Invest in gel manicures — with busy schedules, it’s hard to find time to do your nails/head to your manicurist; gel manicures last for about 3 weeks and stay perfectly put and chip-free
For my girls heading to or returning to campus in the fall, here’s an excellent list of knockout products, already compiled in a nice list for you. Be sure to bookmark this page — there’s a few things on here that you totally need but can easily overlook! (See: dry shampoo - seriously, it’ll save your “holy shit I just overslept for my Monday 8am class” dilemma). Also, see the makeup organizer and the day-to-night palette….just genius.
Say hello to another required summer savior: blotting papers!
They’re small, discreet and often overlooked, but they’re a great thing to keep handy in your bag on these unfortunately humid summer days. (I mean, it’s grey skies and muggy as hell over here on the East Coast…that’s just cruel, Mother Nature.)
I always thought I belonged in the populous of dry-skinned sisters. However, this summer (what with all the heat, makeup and constant running around NYC like a madwoman) my skin starts to look oily by lunch. Not cool.
Luckily for me (and all of you), Sephora makes blotting papers (100 sheets) for $8! They provide a wide array to choose from: lavender, tea tree, natural (organic) and Vitamin C/E. It soaks up oil and makes skin look matte without ruining your makeup. You’ll have a whole new outlook on freshening up and it’s such an easy way to maintain your makeup throughout these hot summer days we have ahead of us.