Let’s Talk About - How Your Undertones Should Affect Your Makeup Selections
Cheers beauties! It’s come to my attention that when it comes to undertones, I’ve been a bit vague. Even though I’ve told you how to determine your own undertones [see this post], I haven’t really told you WHY it’s important to know your undertones, and how to pick makeup colors that flatter you.
The eyeshadow, blush, and lipcolor shades that you choose should be DIRECTLY reflected by which undertones you have… warm or cool (or neutral… again see this post). I am one of those people who firmly believe that you should be able to wear ANY color, anywhere on your face, no matter your skin tone - everything will flatter you, as long as you use corresponding undertones.
So with this post I hope to debunk the mystery of “what colors look best with my skin”, and answer all of your questions on the topic. Trust me, it’s easier than you’d think! I hope you enjoy.
Foundation, Concealer & Powder
Whenever I discuss undertones, I usually am referring to foundation colors. Your undertones, whether they are more pink or yellow, most directly relate to the color of your skin, making them essential for finding the proper face makeup shade.
For reference - if you have a cool complexion, your undertones will be pink, red, or blue. If you have a warm complexion, your undertones will be yellow, golden, or peach.
Undertones play a big part in the name of the foundation, especially when browsing through higher-end foundations. Shades are often arranged by numbers for lightest to darkest, and then use letters to describe the undertone (For instance, NW is used to describe cool toned skin at MAC, and NC is for warm toned skin). At these stores, there will normally be sales associates to help you find the right match. At the drugstore it’s a bit harder. [Click here for my tips on how to find the right shade without being able to try it on!]
L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup, L-R: W3 (warm), N3 (neutral), C3 (cool)
However I must stress the importance of always selecting a foundation that is yellow-toned instead of pink-toned. Even if you have a cool complexion with pink undertones, foundations that are pink based will never blend into the skin. They will always create foundation lines and tend to oxidize much more than yellow based foundations, making you look orange. At the high end side of the spectrum, you won’t find as many pink based foundations.. instead they will be peach toned, or neutral… but many drugstore brands are pink based and will end up looking quite fake on the skin.
With powder it is also important to pick one with warm tones. Powder will oxidize before anything else, and it will also warm up your complexion and make your skin look brighter. For instance, when hiding dark circles, apply your concealer in a right triangle on your cheeks (down your nose, across your under eye, and then connect), and set this with a yellow based powder. This will highlight your skin and give you an instant face lift.
Lipstick, Lip Stain, and Gloss
This is one of the most common questions I get on DSP… what lipcolors will look best on which skin tones. Many of you don’t believe me when I say that you can pull off ANY color, as long as you have the confidence to wear them! However it is the tone that you have to worry about.
Lipcolors with yellow undertones will compliment those of you who have warm complexions. These will emphasize the golden tones in your skin and make your skin look bright and beautiful.
Lipcolors with blue or pink undertones are better for those of you with cool skin tones. They won’t clash or look garish on your skin, and will once again make your skin look glowing.
Here are some examples:
Left: Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in Dustin; Right: Stila Lip Glaze in Hibiscus
Left: Wet n Wild MegaLast Lipstick in 967 Dollhouse Pink; Right: Wet n Wild MegaLast Lipstick in 901B
Left: Covergirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Tempt; Right: Revlon Superlustrous Matte in Really Red
But guess what? Red lipcolors with pink & blue undertones ACTUALLY look good on all skin tones. They make your teeth look whiter, and contrast with warm skin perfectly, not strangely.
Yes, it can be difficult to figure out which lipsticks have which undertone at first, but practice makes perfect. It is impossible to know what the undertones will be from just looking at the color in the tube, which is why it’s very important to look up swatches online before you buy.
Blushes, Bronzers and Highlights
When it comes to cheek color, one of the most important things to worry about when you’re applying is exactly how MUCH you’re applying. Not many people know that as the day goes on, your cheek color will actually intensify due to your body heat and the oils from your skin. So the lighter your skin tone, the less blush you’ll want to apply… the darker your skin tone, the more saturated and heavily you should apply.
Your undertones still play a part, however, and just as with any other type of makeup, each shade will have a different tone. Usually when it comes to blush, yellow toned colors will dominate, with only a few purpley mauves or truely light or blue toned pinks. This is why your method of application is so important… you pale girls can still wear bright pink blush, just make sure you tap any excess off your brush and use a light hand. Dark skinned girls can still use the same shades, just make sure they’re not too powdery. Try cream blushes instead!
When it comes to bronzers, your main guideline is to make sure that your product is not too orange toned. Most, if not all, bronzers will have yellow or golden undertones, but that’s the whole point… but you don’t want one that will make you look like an oompa loompa, especially for contouring.
L-R: Physician’s Formula Baked Bronzer in Baked Tan; ELF Contouring Bronzer; Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Bikini Contest
Highlighters, contrary to popular belief, come in many different shades. Some are pink, some are golden, and some are pure cream. If you’ve been learning, you should be able to figure out that pink highlighters will compliment cool undertones, golden highlighters will compliment warm undertones, and those cream highlighters will work for everyone.
Eyeshadow and Eyeliner
I’ve made several posts about what eyeshadow colors compliment which eye colors. These are only guidelines, remember… these colors are the ones that make your eyes pop, they don’t necessarily look bad whatsoever. [See the post here] If you have the confidence, wear whatever colors you please… but keep in mind your undertones, as always!
For this, it may be easier to look at a color wheel first, so that you can see how many different shades and tones there are for each color:
Let us observe the green quarter… the 9:00 - 12:00 portion on the clock. Notice how at the 12:00 and 6:00 positions are your cool and warm points.. blue/cool at the bottom, yellow/warm at the top. As you go through the green shades, you can see how they gradually turn from blue-toned to yellow-toned… essentially from cool to warm. So when applying your eyeshadow, no matter what color you’re going for, pick a corresponding warm or cool tone for your complexion.
So even though I have blue eyes, I could technically pull off some of the yellowy-green colors in my eyeshadow palette, because I have warm undertones. They won’t clash with my skintone and, although they won’t make my eyes look more blue, they won’t look horrible.
Here’s an example from my BHC 120 palette… the one that looks blue is a bit more green in person, but it obviously is a cool toned green:
Left: BH Cosmetics 120 Palette color C5; color E4
I hope these tips will help you out in the long run! Knowing your undertones, and how to use that knowledge, is very important in the world of cosmetic artistry. So take these tips into consideration the next time you put together a look! Good luck ♥
Let’s Talk About - A Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Skin (pH Balance)
Ever wonder why people eating salads always look so happy? Maybe because they know it’s giving them clear skin! Let me tell you my thoughts; it could save your complexion.
If you have acne or hyperpigmentation, you’ll KNOW how difficult it is to get rid of and prevent. That’s simply because the cause is deeper than the surface of your skin. Hormones, and the acidic/alkaline value in your skin (or pH balance) play a major part in the health of your skin, as well as the rest of your body. Even though your body’s chemistry seems like something that you can’t touch, the truth is you can alter your hormones, in a good way, to keep yourself and your skin happy.
One key ingredient in your overall health and the clarity of your skin is your DIET. I remember when I was a young teenager and I bought ProActiv, thinking that it would finally clear up my skin - ProActiv came with a packet of information about acne, and it actually said that food DIDN’T affect breakouts… even then, I knew that was wrong. I’ve long been a junk-food-o-holic, and I’ve always seen the link between what I put in my mouth and what happened to my skin.
So let’s get into it… how does the food you eat alter your hormones/pH balance?
If you remember from Chemistry class (joke - I don’t remember anything from Chemistry class), pH scales the level of alkaline and acid. Here, have a diagram:
Too much acid in the body causes inflammation, and can leave your body vulnerable to bacterial invasions (AKA poor health). Most notably, when your body is mostly acidic, you will see very poor skin reactions… acne, oiliness, hyper pigmentation, and the like. That being said, having too much alkaline could cause similar issues… dry, irritated skin, and breakouts once again. The key is to have a more balanced pH.
*Let it be noted that when discussing this, we are not taking into account the actual pH of the food itself, but how the food affects the pH of your body & skin.
To keep a more balanced pH, and thus clearer skin, you must remove some of the acidic foods from your diet and incorporate in more alkaline foods. Here is a helpful (but not whole) list:
- Almond Milk
- Black Beans
- Corn Syrup
- Hard Liquor
- Soft Drinks
- Drugs, Medicinal
- Drugs, Psychedelic
- Sea Veggies
- Spinach, green
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wheat Grass
- Wild Greens
- Dates, dried
- Figs, dried
- Fresh Fruit Juices
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Note that all animal proteins, caffeine, and processed foods are acidic, and almost all vegetables are alkaline. But eating all veggies isn’t going to give your skin a healthy balance… you need a bit of acidic foods, and a bit of alkaline foods. Think of the food pyramid! You need a dose of each food group every day to maintain a balance in your body.
(This is the food pyramid I knew when I was growing up… they’ve changed it to something weird looking, but I think this makes more sense.)
Another important thing to think about are the hormones that are actually in your food. This might sound like vegan hype, but it is true that in most dairy and meat products, there are extra hormones that can affect our bodies. Of course animals produce their own hormones, but many are fed extra hormones to make them produce or grow more. This can sometimes be said of vegetables as well! To avoid this, choose organic products, or food that advertises that it is hormone-free. (You’ll also be helping your local community business, as most organic produce, etc. is sold locally). Also remember to ALWAYS rinse off your produce before you consume it… see how herbacides, etc. is listed under acid-forming?
Still can’t figure out what’s up with your skin? Try keeping a food diary… it sounds silly, but it will help 100%. Monitor your daily intake of food and beverages, and also keep track of your skin’s daily condition. Soon you will begin to see a pattern between the foods that you eat, and how often you eat them, and the clarity of your skin. Knowing which foods trigger your breakouts can help you learn what to avoid. Physically writing this down everyday is easiest for me, but you can also get Food Journal apps on your smartphone!
There are more factors, apart from your diet, that could affect your skin’s pH balance & body’s hormones… stress, lack of sleep, and sun damage to your skin. Choosing some healthy lifestyle changes could correct this… and make you happier overall!
- Try meditating, or just sitting in silence and breathing deeply for a few minutes every day. Clearing your mind can not only relax your body, but can also help you think more positively throughout the day.
- Simple exercise, like yoga, pilates, or a daily workout DVD, can boost your heart rate as well as your mood, and encourage healthy blood flow (which is key for a glowing complexion!
- Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day to prevent overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays… when your skin is damaged, you cause it’s pH to become imbalanced.
Of course I am no scientist, but it is upsetting to see people with skin conditions that make them self-conscious that they simply can’t get rid of. There are only so many topical methods that you can try, and it gets frustrating when nothing seems to help. I hope this methodology helps some of you to understand your skin a bit better - and in this case, we learn that beauty truly is more than skin-deep.
Let’s Talk About - Eye Primer & Base!
If you’re new to makeup, chances are you’re a little confused about the two and what they’re used for. If you wear eye makeup, these could be the most important products in your makeup arsenal! After all, every look needs a solid foundation.
Primer and Base are NOT the same thing… this is a common misconception for even those of us who are quite familiar with cosmetics. Unfortunately many companies market what would normally be primers as “eyeshadow base”, which can be confusing. Although they do similar things, knowing the differences are crucial.
Primer is used for several things… to help eyeshadow last longer, to prevent eyeshadow creasing, and to help eyeshadow show up better on the eye. Primer is not necessarily essential, but is very beneficial for any eyeshadow look, no matter how simple. Primer can help keep eyelids from getting oily, which is the main cause for creasing and fading. Primer can boost the performance of even the worst quality eyeshadows, and is also helpful when it comes to eyeliner.
Most primers are a liquid-type product, similar to a concealer. Often they will come with a doe-foot applicator, or in a squeeze tube. It is easiest to apply eye primer with your fingers.
When it comes to primer, you don’t want to use too much, or you’ll negate the primer’s effects all together. A few drops of primer will do for your entire eye. Blend primer across the eyelid, until it mostly disappears onto the skin. Most primers are skin-colored, but some have a different tint. Either way, the color should be very faint on the eye.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance - $18
Urban Decay Primer Potion - $20
ELF Eyelid Primer - $1
L’Oreal De-Crease Eyeshadow Base - $5
Base is normally a cream product used to intensify the pigmentation of eyeshadow. Unlike primers, these don’t always prevent creasing (the texture is thicker) but they will really brighten up your eyes.
Base often comes in jars or pots. Base could also be a cream eyeshadow - thus it could come in any color. White is the best base shade for making eyeshadow stand out.
Eyeshadow base is also best applied with a finger! You only need a small amount or you’ll see creasing. You can wear both primer and base… base would go on after primer. Primer controls eyelid oils better than base would alone.
NYX Eyeshadow Base - $4
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow - $4
MAC Paint Pot - $18
- Can concealer be used as eye primer? - Nope! Concealer contains oils in it and is much too thick for the thin skin on the eyelids. Doing so will probably make your eyeshadow crease more than just leaving it on bare lids! However concealer could work as a base.
- Will primer help my eyeliner last longer? - Yes! Use your finger to blend the primer down along your lower lashlines, and on the top get it as close to your eyelashes as possible. Primer should help with longevity of all your eye makeup!
- I use primer but my eyelids are still greasy! - This happens! Some eyelids are just more oily than others, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Keep tissues or oil blotting sheets with you and pat your lids lightly. Since oil is the culprit for eye makeup woes, getting rid of excess will help greatly.
The word “undertone” is a little self explanatory. Your undertone is the underlying tone to your skin which can either be warm, cool, or neutral. Your undertone will always stay the same no matter how tan or pale you get during the changing seasons.
Knowing your undertone is important when it comes to makeup. Why? If you get a product that is the opposite of your undertone it will look a bit off. Sticking to products that compliment your undertone is the best way to play it safe in the world of cosmetics.
Cool undertones are categorized by a pink, red, or blue hue to the skin.
Warm undertones are categorized are categorized by a yellow or golden hue to the skin.
Neutral undertones are a mixture of both warm and cold undertones and are categorized by an olive hue to the skin.
How do I determine my undertone?
There are several easy tests you can do by yourself, but if the ones mentioned below don’t yield any definite results there is still the option of going to a makeup counter, a Sephora, or a Makeup Artist.
- The quickest, easiest, and most reliable method of finding your undertone is doing the “vein check”. Take a look at the veins in your wrist. If the veins appear blue, you are cool toned. If the veins appear green, you are warm toned. If you can’t clearly distinguish if your veins are blue or green, you’re probably neutral.
- The next way of figuring out your undertone is also simple. Do you look better in pure white or cream/ivory. If you look better in pure white, you’re cool toned. If you look better in cream or ivory, you’re warm toned. This may prove to be frustrating to pinpoint if you have neutral undertones.
- The last way of finding out your undertone is determine if gold or silver compliment your skin. Silver is cool toned so it looks better on cool toned skin. Gold is warm toned so it looks better on warm toned skin. Neutral skin can wear either metal.
Let’s Talk About - Eyelash Curlers!
These are the funny looking tools that my boyfriend refers to as a torture device. Lots of people use them, LIVE by them even, but many people don’t bother. There are tons of different brands of eyelash curlers out there, but is there really any difference? Let’s quickly decode them.
So what is the point of an eyelash curler? Do you really need one?
Most people who wear makeup wish for longer, fuller, more amazing eyelashes - they open up your eyes and make you look more awake. But sometimes simply using mascara isn’t enough!
Everyone’s lashes are different - some are long, some are short.. some are thin and others are thick and lush. Many people have stick-straight lashes, and even when mascara is applied they don’t show up the way they should because they have no curl!
Eyelash curlers come into play when mascara isn’t doing it alone. Curlers physically bend the eyelashed upwards, making them look longer and larger. People who love the look of fake eyelashes often curl their lashes whenever they can to get the same look. Anyone can use an eyelash curler - there is no one who “shouldn’t”.
Types of Eyelash Curlers:
Regular Clamp Curler
These look like scissors, but they’re safe near your eyes, no worries! These are easy to use, using a simple clamp to curl the lashes.
Mini Clamp Curler
Best for people with very short lashes! The only difference is the size of the clamp.. the length of the opening is smaller but thinner and will get even the smallest lashes.
This curler is great if your lashes are stubborn, and lose their curl throughout the day. The head revolves and grabs your lashes, heating while it curls, to maintain maximum length.
These pocket-sized curlers are easy to stick in your purse to use on the go! They clamp your eyelashes, just like a regular curler, but the compact size makes it easy to use.
How do eyelash curlers work?
Most people use a regular eyelash curler with a clamp. These are probably the easiest to use, and the least expensive. (Practice makes perfect, so here we go..)
**ALWAYS USE AN EYELASH CURLER ON CLEAN EYELASHES** Do not use them after you apply mascara. If you curl them while you’re wearing mascara, you’ll cause horrible clumps, and your lashes will stick to the curler, causing them to be pulled out! Simply curl first, and apply mascara as usual afterwards.
1. Open the clamp, and place it over your eye, so that your upper lashes go through the opening, as seen above.
2. Close the open clamp, getting as close to the roots of the lashes as possible. You are trying to curl close to the root, instead of at the ends, for maximum curl. If you squeeze and it HURTS you are too close to the lid.
3. Instead of squeezing HARD once, squeeze gently, pulsating a few times (opening and closing lightly and quickly). Remove the curler and then do this again.
**Very often, the eyelash curler will not be the same shape as your eye! In this case, just going across all of your lashes at once won’t get them all! What I do is curl the outer half of my lashes first, and then the inner/middle part afterwards, simply holding my curler at an angle against my lid (the natural shape). Don’t be discouraged if your eyes don’t fit in your eyelash curler.
You don’t need to curl your bottom lashes… it’s difficult and unnecessary!
I curl my lashes, but even regular curling doesn’t help! What should I do?
+ Try blasting your eyelash curler with your hair dryer on high heat until the eyelash curler is warm. Then curl as normal! It’s like a heated curler, without having to buy a new tool. Heat will help your lashes stay curled for longer.
My eyelash curler always pinches!
+ Try curling your lashes in sections, as I mentioned above. Or try a mini eyelash curler, which will get close to your roots without grabbing your eyelid.
My eyelashes are long, but straight.
+ Heat your curler, and then curl your lashes from the middle as well as the root!
DSP’s Favorite Eyelash Curlers:
Love & Beauty Pinch-Free Travel Eyelash Curler - Forever 21 - $3
ELF Mechanical Eyelash Curler - EyesLipsFace.com - $1
ELF Mini Eyelash Curler - EyesLipsFace.com - $3
Revlon The No-Pinch Travel Curler - $5
Sephora Professional Mini Heated Lash Curler - Sephora.com - $16
Sally Hansen La Cross Double Curl - Drugstores - $4
Do I think that expensive, name-brand curlers are worth the price? Nope! As long as you find one that works for you, it doesn’t matter if you paid $1 or $20!
Google Images (company photos)
Let’s Talk About - Eyebrows!
It’s easy to go horribly wrong, but so worth it if it’s done correctly! Let us discuss the art that are eyebrows.
Firstly - Whether you fill your brows or not, please make sure that they are shapely and neat!
The eyebrows are actually the foundation of your face… they give you expression and depth. Most people have no idea how important eyebrows are - see THIS POST. Having a clean, trimmed set of brows is immediately going to make your face look much lighter and any makeup you wear much more professional.
Eyebrows don’t have to be stick thin - thick, bold brows are actually a huge trend. But finding a happy balance is key. Every person’s brows have a particular shape, and it’s not wise to try and change that shape, for it will look unnatural.
There are simple rules for brow shaping.… basics, but they’re the best guidelines.
+ Use a pencil, makeup brush, something long and thin, and hold it vertically against your nose. This is where your brows should begin.
+ Not moving the pencil from your nose, rotate it so it crosses your pupil… this is where the arch should be (where the pencil crosses your brow, not directly above your pupil.)
+ Continue rotating the pencil until it lines up with the outer corner of your eye… where the pencil points to should be the ending of your brow. If you have issues with the ends of your brows, you might want to play first with outlining… use an eyebrow (or liner) pencil to sketch along the bottom of your brows to see where you want them to go.
+ If you want your brows to be very neat, trim them occasionally. Brush the hairs up towards your forehead, and use brow or nail scissors to carefully snip the hair that extends farther than you’d like. But you have to be incredibly careful, and go very little at a time… it’s much too easy to get rid of too much.
An easy way to avoid mistakes and get the best brows is to visit a professional, at least once every six months (you can then maintain them yourself at home). The methods of brow shaping are varied, but all work effeciently:
+ Waxing - the most popular method of hair removal anywhere, including the brows. This is quick and easy (if a bit painful). However there are benefits… over time, the hair will begin to grow in slower, thinner, and lighter with waxing. Getting them waxed professionally can cost anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on where you live and where you go.
+ Threading - this is a “newer” trend in eyebrow shaping, although the history of this goes back years and years. This is a quick and almost painless way of precisely removing hair. With twisted thread, hairs are caught and yanked out quickly without irritating the skin. This can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 - but if you teach yourself (like I did) it’s definitely worth it! And your friends will love you.
+ Plucking - usually this is the home remedy for shaping brows. Using tweezers, you yank hairs out by the root. This is always ideal - tweezers are portable, and you can remove stray hairs on the go, or while you’re in a rush, with no mess.
+ Shaving - I have to mention this, if only to say DON’T DO IT. Never shave your eyebrows. Not only is it scary, but shaving causes hair to come back in thicker, quicker, darker and straight - your brows will stick straight up into the air, instead of laying flat.
Does it hurt when you pluck at home? Run a washcloth under hot water, wring it out, and apply it like a compress to your brows. The steam will open up the pores and soften the skin, making hairs easier to remove!
Are your brows red and irritated afterwards? Apply a toner with a cotton ball. I prefer Witch Hazel - it is an anti-inflammatory, and is ideal for healing cuts, scrapes, razor burn, or irritated areas.
To Fill, or Not to Fill - That’s a Good Question!
Makeup gurus seem to live by filling their brows. But for many people, the thought has never occurred to them. In most instances, you don’t need to bother, but it can be nice for special occasions, especially if your brows are thin or patchy.
What do you mean, filling your brows? When we say “fill”, we basically mean “color them”, trace them, or simply give them a little boost with makeup. Filling can be done with pencil, powder, gel, or simply eyeshadow. People who fill in their brows are attempting to make them look stronger and more even.
How do you do it? There are many, many methods - too many to list them all! Personally, I like my brows to look as natural as possible, so I just use a powder eyeshadow.
+ Always use a brow color that is 2 shades LIGHTER than your hair color. If you are blonde, use a very pale, light brown. If you are a redhead, go the same route. If your hair is black, DO NOT use black to fill in your brows! Instead try a dark grey, if it’s dyed, or a dark brown.
+ Brows are naturally lighter on the ends - keep most of the color in the middle of your eyebrows, and gently fade as you go outwards.
+ Use a brush! Even if you like to use pencils to fill in your brows, use a nice brush to blend and fade the color to make it look natural. Angled eyeliner brushes are perfect for this - they are very precise. Your brush strokes should imitate the hairs in your brows, instead of just sweeping straight across.
+ Use concealer to make your brows really stand out! If you have killer eyebrows, or if you’d just like to make them look as neat as possible, use a concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin tone, and with a small concealer brush, line the under part of your brow, blending down on your brow bone.
DSP’s Favorite Products for Eyebrows:
Sally Hansen “The Now Brow” Brow Shaping Kit - $7
Revlon Brow Fantasy 2-in-1 Pencil & Gel - $6
Revlon ColorStay Double Sided Brow Enhancer - $6
ELF Brow Kit - $3
EcoTools Angled Eyeliner Brush - $5
Maybelline Single Eyeshadow in Silken Taupe - $4
Let’s Talk About - False Eyelashes!
False Eyelashes are that part of the makeup routine that most people tend to skip over, because most seem to think that they can’t pull them off… or just couldn’t put them on! They’re almost always a part of YouTube tutorials, and most gurus tend to skip over the application.
I’ve been getting tons of messages and requests for help when it comes to falsies lately, what with Spring and the Prom and Wedding seasons coming up! So I wanted to let you guys know that Falsies CAN be done quickly, easily, and correctly, whether you’re a “beauty guru” or a regular lover of lush lashes :)
So what are false eyelashes? Falsies, or fake eyelashes, come in many different shapes and styles. They are applied to the lashline of the eye to create the illusion of longer, fuller, darker eyelashes. They are meant to blend in with your natural eyelashes. You can get simple, natural-looking ones for day time, dramatic full lashes, or flirty “oddly” shaped ones! You can even find lashes that are feathers, bright colors, or patterns.
False eyelashes can be made out of synthetic (plastic) material, or natural hair. Less expensive lashes tend to be synthetic… they’re easy to tell apart because they actually look a little shiny and are stiffer. Natural hair lashes look just like real eyelashes - they’re usually made from treated, sanitary hair and blend flawlessly into your real lashes.
There are two main types of lashes - strip and individual. The two have very different applications, but are both very doable.
Strip False Lashes:
These are the more popular type of falsies, because they’re quicker to apply. They are a full eye’s worth of lashes pre-attatched to one another, making them easy to just glue on and go.
Individual False Lashes:
Individual lashes are ideal for occasions where you want extra drama but definitely don’t want the look of bulky lashes! Each individual lash is a small clump of several lashes stuck together, meant to be applied one by one to the lash line. It’s easy to blend individual lashes together with your real lashes, so they look much more natural… if a bit more time consuming!
Here’s the kicker… how do you APPLY false eyelashes?
Applying falsies isn’t something that you’re going to be able to do perfectly the first time. It’s much better to practice a few times before being able to go out in public. HERE IS MY WAY of applying falsies… for me it is the easiest way to apply glue, etc. Some people have different methods, but I believe that this will work for most people!
You Will Need: scissors, eyelash glue, black mascara, and tweezers.
1. For strip eyelashes, I have to stress the importance of trimming the lashes before you apply them! Not everyone’s eyes are the same shape, and strip lashes are often too long for most eyes. Hold the lashes to your eyes, and snip off the part of the falsies that extends beyond your natural lash line (we’re talking the strip, not the lashes themselves!) Falsies that are obviously too long for your eyes is a good way to advertise that you are wearing false eyelashes.
2. Lots of falsies come with eyelash glue. Make sure they do or not before you bring them home. You can buy inexpensive lash glue individually as well. I usually squeeze out a small dallop of glue onto a piece of scrap paper for easier use. I then use a Q-Tip to apply a thin layer of glue to the base of the lashes. If you are using individual lashes, it’s easier to pick up each lash with tweezers and dip just the end into the glue. You can do the same for strip lashes as long as you don’t dunk the whole thing in and cover it with glue.
3. Allow the glue to set on the lashes for about 15 seconds before you apply them to your eyes. This will allow the glue to become tackier and will help the lashes set faster. Since I have rather large, round eyes, I make sure to bend the lash strip a bit so that they will adhere to my eye shape better.
4. With your fingers, apply the center of the false lash to the center of your lashline, getting as close as humanly possible. Use the tweezers if you have clumsy hands. Then use the tweezers to gently stick the edges down as well. Try not to blink a ton, because the glue takes a moment to set!
5. Once the lashes are applied, hide any glue with liquid eyeliner, and use mascara to blend your natural lashes with your fake ones. You don’t need a lot of either! But it is definitely the finishing touch.
(Individual lashes aren’t as tricky to apply, even though the process takes a little longer. You don’t have to worry about the lashes not fitting your eyes. Most people just apply individual lashes to their outer lashline, to make their eyes appear bigger without looking like it’s too much. Individual lashes could also be used on the lower lashline, but this can easily look like too much - but Snooki does it.)
+ How do I remove falsies without yanking on my eyelid?
- Using a good makeup remover is key. You don’t always have to, but the tugging on the eyelid can be unpleasant for some people when they go to take their lashes off. I always use olive oil, because it works the best and is very gentle. Apply a bit to a cotton ball, and apply the oil to your eyelids. Allow it to sit for a few seconds, and then remove your lashes. The oil will loosen the glue and the mascara, so that the falsies don’t stick to your real lashes either.
+ Is there a way to make my falsies look a bit more natural?
- Yepp… snip them in half! Applying falsies just to the outer corners of your eyes makes you look instantly more wide awake, flirty, and will give your lashes a boost. It will be much more natural, and not bulky at all.
+ Should I wear falsies at prom?
- To be honest, I really don’t recommend it, unless you’re a false eyelash pro (or the person doing your makeup is!) Because the night will be so long, and you’ll probably get sweaty from dancing, I find that falsies tend to fall off or get in disarray, completely ruining your look. It’s a lot safer to just use a good waterproof mascara! If you really want, I’d go for individual lashes.
+ Can you re-use false eyelashes?
- Yes, actually… as long as you clean and sanitize them! You can get a lot of life out of your falsies, especially synthetic ones, if you know how to properly care for them. Whenever you remove your lashes, clean the makeup off them (I use olive oil), and sanitize them with a quick swipe of a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol! It’s very important to clean them, because otherwise they are a breeding ground for bacteria that could infect your eyes. As long as you make sure they’re in good shape you can use them until they fall apart!
+ The inner/outer corners on my false lashes never stays glued down. What do I do?
- After you apply the glue and are waiting for it to get tacky, bend the lashes into a “U” shape to keep them from becoming flat. This way they’ll fit and sit on your eyes better. Also make sure you’re trimming your lashes so they’re not too long!
Ardell Fashion Lashes
Salon Perfect Lashes
ELF Dramatic & Natural Lash Kits
ELF Individual Lash Kit
Ardell Brush On Lash Adhesive
DUO Eyelash Adhesive
LashGrip Waterproof Eyelash Adhesive
These products are what I would recommend to everyone… beginners, pros, and people who only want to use them for special occasions. They are all about $6 or less!
Let’s Talk About - Pores!
Pores - everybody has them. And more often than not, we’re fighting with them… trying to make them appear smaller, tighter, cleaner, or just trying to get them to disappear! Well there are a lot of myths surrounding your skin, and I’m here to try to get you to see through some of them! I’ll attempt to explain everything in simple language (no scientific terms) so that everyone can easily understand and uncover the truth.
So what are pores? They are the small openings in your skin, where oil and sweat reach the surface, from where they are produced in the glands below. Sounds icky, but really it’s not - skin creates it’s own natural oil, called sebum, which is essential for healthy, radiant skin! Yes believe it or not, we do need these oils, and sweat, so it’s not good to try and eradicate oil completely from your face!
Pores are all over your skin, not just your face, but people mostly complain from “enlarged pores” on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. Pores can also be called “oil pores”, or hair follicles. Yes, we also have hair ALL OVER OUR BODIES… gasp… because we’re mammals. It’s natural. A hair follicle is the root of the hair, where it grows from underneath the surface of your skin. Hair follicles allow the oil to reach the surface of our skin, making it supple and soft.
Issues with Pores:
Often, pores can become blocked, with an excess of sebum, dead skin, or dirt and makeup. These will darken the surface of the pores, giving us those lovely things we call blackheads. It is much easier to prevent blackheads than it is to treat them! Keeping a regular skincare routine will really help keep the surface of your skin clear.
People often complain from enlarged pores, that seem to be visible even through makeup! There are lots of reasons for this, but the most common is that your skin is producing an excess of oil. When pores are constantly filled with sebum or dirt, they can stretch out slightly. As long as you keep them clear and help balance out your skin, with time they will go back to normal. HOWEVER you cannot reduce the natural size of your pores.
Pores are also the root of acne - whiteheads and those little stubborn red bumps. In acne prone skin, when the hair follicle becomes blocked, acne bacteria begins to thrive, because oxygen cannot get into the pore. The bacteria will cause swelling and inflammation - eventually the wall of the follicle will rupture, and white blood cells will naturally rush to the bacteria and attempt to heal the follicle. This is what creates the redness and pus. Gross, I know.
Products to Use and Practices to Avoid:
+ Washing your face is a necessity if you want to keep your pores and skin clear and fresh. Using a gentle cleanser twice a day (in the morning after you wake up, and before you go to bed) is ideal. It’s important to remove the day’s dirt, makeup and sweat, and to get rid of the excess oil on your face. Use warm water and gently massage the cleanser onto your skin, rinsing thoroughly.
- DO NOT over-wash your face! When you see a pimple, it might seem like second nature to try and scrub it away. But if you wash your face too often you’ll be stripping your skin of those essential oils, which will make your skin feel like it needs to produce MORE.
+ Exfoliating is also an important practice, but you definitely don’t want to over scrub your skin, either. Use a gentle face scrub once every other day to remove dead skin from your face, preventing blocked pores.
- DO NOT use pore strips too often! Although they can be quite effective at getting rid of current blackheads, if you use them too often they could actually be inviting more blackheads to form! When you rip the blockage out of the follicle, you are leaving the pores open without any treatment, allowing more debris to block the very pore you just cleaned. Once in a while is fine.
+ Toner is equally important for acne-prone skin. Toners balance out the pH level of your skin and get down into your pores to prevent blockages. Using an alcohol free toner after you cleanse your face will help your skin from producing an excess of oil, or from over drying.
- DO NOT pick your face! Blackheads, whiteheads, or anything, keep your hands away! You’ll only rupture the follicle more, creating more redness, and you will also be spreading the bacteria around - it’s like asking for more pimples.
+ Masks are great tools for keeping your skin happy and clear. Clay masks will dry up oil and tighten the surface of the skin. Using ones infused with sulfur will help fight the acne bacteria!
- DO NOT believe everything that skincare companies tell you! You can’t change the shape or size of your pores, and no scrub or cleanser alone will get rid of blackheads instantly. Getting clear skin is a long, steady process of keeping with a regular routine. Once you get a routine in place, and keep to it, you’ll start seeing quite a difference! Makeup companies usually say if they’re “non-comedogenic” (don’t block pores) or not, but since the term is not regulated by the FDA, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. All makeup will clog pores, so it’s best to remove your makeup as soon as you can!
Eyeshadow Decoded: Which Shades are Best for your Eye Color
Your eyes are the most important features of your face… they tell the most about you. Your eyes tell your mood, your personality, and your life story! Studies show that mates are more attracted to their partner’s eyes than any other physical area. So why wouldn’t you want to accentuate those peepers?!
Wearing the wrong eyeshadow color can actually detract from your eyes’ natural shade! How? It’s basic knowledge of the color wheel.
In general, opposite colors are complimentary. Usually if you wear an eyeshadow color that is next to your eye color, right or left, it will “clash” with your eyes and detract from their natural shade. This is true for the most part; if you have green eyes, blue eyeshadow won’t make them sparkle.
However when considering complimentary colors, the color wheel is not always correct - there are some shades that work for any eye color! These are:
- White (etc)
When playing with metallics, you have to consider the undertone - is it cool or warm? For instance, cool would be silver, and warm would be gold.
The right undertones can flatter both your eyes and your skin. Cool skintones look great with cool-toned eyeshadow, and vice versa. If your eyes have more of a golden tone than grey, you might want to go for gold eyeshadow.
So here we go, what is best for YOUR eye color?
Unfortunately, those of us with baby blues are rather limited when it comes to colors. Stick with neutrals, cool or warm, and plum/lilac shades. For a real pop of color, go for a bright yellow or light orange!
Neutrals are generally the way to go, although you can also pull off light pinks and purples as well.
You lucky boob, you’re the one that can get away with anything. Since your eyes are already “neutral”, you can play with any shade on the color wheel and still have it be complimentary. If you have lighter hair, go with more muted shades - the darker your hair is, the brighter you can go.
This unique shade is really just a variation of blue, green, or brown. If you’ve got hazel eyes, you’ll know that they tend to change shades depending on the day, or the lighting. Usually they’ll lean towards green, yellow, or blue - in which case you should accentuate that color with a matching shadow. Slightly green eyes will pop more with green paired with a neutral, like brown. If you want to play it safe, stick to those universally flattering shades!
It’s always fun to play with colors, so don’t let fear of a bright shade keep you from trying it out!! You’ll never know what works for YOU, so experiment and have fun. Makeup is a never-ending artform, and there are really no rules.