Monday, January 30, 2012

Talking Techniques - Part 2

Hi all:
I apologize for the delay in bringing you Part 2 of Talking Techniques. My paying job had the nerve to actually get in the way of my blogging. LOL! This is a continuation of my previous post about make-up application and techniques. Hope it's helpful.

L'Oreal True Match SPF 17 ($10.99)
There are many foundation formulas and many ways to apply them.  I recommend asking a make-up professional for the best formula to suit your skin type and needs. Since Penny has dry/combination/maturing skin I often use cream foundation in the winter months and liquid in the summer months for lighter coverage. Right now I'm using Cover FX Cream Foundation. I use cream because it provides the best coverage for my melasma (dark patches); has great staying power, and doesn't feel heavy. In the warmer months I might use Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 or L'Oreal True Match liquid foundations. TIP: Always blend foundation from the center of the face outward. Be sure to blend well around the hairline. If you get any in your hair simply wipe away from the face with a towel.

I always set my foundation with powder. That keeps my foundation in place all day and gives me the matte finish I want. Right now I'm using MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural because of its light texture and even wash of sheer color. Translucent powder or white powders tend to make me look ashen (especially in flash photography). I used to use a big powder brush to apply my finishing powder but recently picked up a tip online for applying it with a powder puff. The reason for this is because brushes can sometimes disturb the make-up underneath with the dragging motion used to apply the powder. While using a powder puff allows you to press the powder into the skin, keeping your foundation in tack. I simply tap the puff on the back of my hand to shake off any excess before lightly pressing it onto my skin all over. Be sure to check for even application.

Mineral (Powder) Foundation
Powder - Powder foundations are applied with a cosmetic puff, sponge or brush. Many come with their recommended applicator. Powder foundation can be layered to achieve the coverage you seek. Keep in mind that if you use a sponge applicator you should wash it often.  Mineral powder foundations have become very popular and often require that you use a brush to apply (buff) them into the skin. Mineral foundations are said to be best for people with easily irritated  skin. "What makes mineral makeup different from traditional makeup isn’t the ingredients it contains, but what’s left out. That list, for many leading brands, includes preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, chemical dyes, and fragrance. These are all possible causes of irritation, one reason many dermatologists recommend mineral makeup."  (see complete article at: Penny has not used a powder foundation in a while but thinks it works well for younger women, and/or  those with oily skin types. There is no need to "set" this foundation since it is already a powder and could look cakey if too much is applied.
Cream - Cream foundations are applied with a sponge or foundation brush. I use a Beauty Blender ($19, Sephora) to apply my cream foundation because I like the even finish. For those of you not familiar, a Beauty Blender is simply a pink egg-shaped sponge that shrinks when dry and becomes larger when dampened. Wet the sponge with water and squeeze out the excess. The sponge applies cream smoothly and evenly with a dabbing motion. Foundation brushes can sometimes leave streaks where a sponge gives more of an airbrush finish. There are other blending sponges available that
Blender Sponges
cost less and are said to have the same effect. I have not tried any other brand.

Liquid - Liquid foundations are applied with a sponge or foundation brush. But I actually like to apply mine with my finger tips. LOL! Simply dot your face with the product and then blend it all in with your finger tips. Again, remember to blend outward and blend well around the hair line. A sponge is good if you want light coverage as some of the product will soak into the sponge. I also use a foundation brush with my liquid foundation since it is a lighter consistency and doesn't tend to get streaky. Some like a 'dewy' finish to their make-up where liquid foundation is often used as a base because of its lightweight texture. Then mattes and highlighters are used to achieve a dewy, natural finish.

(read full story...)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Talking Techniques - Part 1

Often times I get questions about "how" to apply make-up. Or someone will say, " I don't wear eyeshadow because I don't know how to put it on." So Penny thought it was time to do a more detailed post about application and techniques. But first let me share my disclaimer: "Penny is not a professional make-up artist nor do I play one on TV." LOL! Please get a consultation from a pro as I've found there are often 'many' right ways to make-up application. Most importantly...HAVE FUN with it! Don't stress over your make-up. Take your time and PRACTICE!

I feel like every time I wear make-up it's an experiment of some sort, even though I have been playing with products for years. LOL! I have had many free make-overs and consultations with professionals. And I spend lots of time online watching YouTube tutorials. I also pay attention to my own facial features and search online for tutorials that address my personal challenges (i.e. small eyes, hooded eye lids, maturing skin, dark circles, eye liner run, etc).

One way to apply foundation.
What I wanted to share here are not only techniques that have worked for me, but also advice I've come across from my numerous hours of research. Remember, this is not about choosing the right foundation for your skin tone, or the right color eye shadow to compliment your eyes. This is about application and some of the things we may not have thought to try.  I like to say "I'm putting on my face" when I'm applying make-up. Not because I'm trying to disguise myself in any way. But because I like the transformation I see when I use my make-up to enhance my natural beauty. Make-up is another accessory for is not is just what I like. Although I honestly feel more inclined to 'put on a face' the older I get since my skin has changed over time. For me it's still a fun adventure though. I hope it can be for you too.

MAC Face Brushes

First you have to make sure you have the right "tools for the job." Finger tips are some of Penny's best friends, but I also have quite a few make-up brushes and other applicators I use regularly. I have found that with the right tools it doesn't matter if you're using expensive or inexpensive cosmetics; you will get a nice look. Most of you won't like to hear this but it can be a costly adventure if you don't build your make-up brush collection slowly. Good make-up brushes can be expensive. There are duplicates out there that get the job done at a much more reasonable price, but it is all trial an error. So sometimes I try to decide it its worth me buying a $30 brush that will last me half a lifetime with proper care...or a $10 brush that I would have to replace 3 times in half a lifetime. Up to you. LOL! Also keep in mind that brushes have multiple uses, and that the best collection consists of natural hair brushes, as well as, synthetic brushes. Natural hair brushes are said to be best for powder products. Synthetic brushes are a bit more multi-functional because they can be used with both powder and cream or liquid cosmetics. Keep in mind that they are definitely not all created equal, so you might have to shop around. If you have any brush and the bristles are falling out a lot, then its probably not well made and/or hasn't been cleaned in a long time. Your brushes also should not feel scractchy or rough on the skin.

Cozzette Starter Brush Set ($161)
Learn what the brush is used for before you buy it. Ask the make-up rep or go on YouTube...someone there will tell you. LOL! Penny's personal favs are by Bobbi Brown, MAC, Sephora, Laura Mercier, and, Bdellium Tools (although I'm still building my collection). Other lines I plan to try soon are Cozzette, and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC). Check previous posts for some cheaper brands like Bdellium Tools, Sigma, and Sedona Lace. If you're looking for an inexpensive starter kit, try EcoTools found in your local drugstore and at ULTA. 

Basic tools of the trade: Cosmetic sponges (various sizes), powder puffs, all-over powder brush, blush brush, eye shadow blending brush, eyeliner brush, angled eyebrow brush, and clean hands. :-)

  • Tip #1: To improve the life of your make-up brushes you must keep them clean, and be gentle with them. Your brushes should not appear as if they were in a fight with your face. LOL! Depending on how often you use your brushes, once a week or once every 2 weeks would be good for cleaning. Use a make-up brush cleanser (Sephora Brush Shampoo, $6-$14) or regular baby shampoo.
  • Tip #2: Take baby steps. If you don't plan on spending some quality time in the mirror with your make-up, figure out what your 'go to' look is and focus on the tools you need for that look.
  • Tip #3: Also keep in mind that around the holidays you might be able to get multiple make-up brushes, often in travel sizes, at a better price than purchasing them individually. Keep in mind that some people say that the brushes in the gift sets aren't always of the same 'quality' as the regular brushes. It might be best to make the purchase in-store so you can compare for yourself. If you order online, check the return policy before you purchase.  MAC currently has a kit called the Make it Perfect Brush Kit Essentials for $49.50 which includes five (5) special edition travel size brushes; 3 for eyes and 2 for face. 

Prep & Prime:

Be sure you're starting with a clean, moisturized palette. (Leave a comment if you want to know what Penny uses to cleanse). Wash and pat dry your face. Add your moisturizer and/or sunscreen. Let that sit for one minute to make sure your skin care is absorbed before applying primer. Although make-up primer might be a new concept to some, I have found it to be a necessary part of the process. My make-up (especially eye make-up) stays on so much better when I use primer. There is usually no creasing or smudging of my make-up. I'm not one to re-apply my make-up several times a day, so staying power is important to me.

Penny's Primer Picks: For eyes - Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion. For face - Smashbox Photofinish Primer, and Make Up For Ever (MUFE) HD Primer.

Since there is so much to share regarding make-up techniques and tools, I broke this post up into separate parts. More to come on applying foundation, eye shadow, etc. Keep reading...

** Please see the rest of this write up in my next post, Talking Techniques - Part 2.**

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Exciting Nail News!

Hi All!
It's no secret that Penny has a penchant for nail polish. (More like an addiction but no intervention is needed as yet). LOL! Well, I had to share this latest news about a great deal from my favorite brand of 2011...Zoya. See my previous posts about why I love this brand.

For 2012 Zoya is offering everyone a chance to try TWO nail polishes of their choice, for just the cost of shipping and handling. They have over 300 colors to choose from; something for everyone. This offer excludes the two new 2012 Spring lines (True & Fleck) that are only available for pre-order. That means all you pay for 2 bottles is $6.95 for Standard shipping (5-9 days), or $8.95 for Expedited shipping (3-5 days). Either way its a steal of a deal with Zoya polishes being $8 a bottle. And if you're a bit of a polish fanatic like Penny, you can purchase an additional $25 or more and get FREE shipping.  Here is the message I got from Zoya today:

In 2012 we want everyone to try Zoya and add some new color to their world.

So from now through 1/9/2012 11:59 PM ET we are going to let you try
any* 2 bottles of Zoya Nail Polish for FREE on ZOYA.COM.  

All you pay is the standard shipping charges.

As a bonus, you can purchase an additional $25 or more of Zoya or Qtica products and get FREE Shipping Too!..Bonus!

Use Code: ZOYA2012  

Please see the complete official instructions and terms & conditions on our blog:

*Promotion Excludes True & Fleck Effect Collection Colors

I'm all over this deal! Yes...of course Penny already ordered. LOL! What about you?

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Penny (and I) wish you all continued blessings in the coming year! Although life can be challenging at times, I always remember something my great grandma used to say..."every disappointment is a blessing in disguise." So even if you don't always feel blessed...know that you you are loved and alive! I pray for a healthy year for us...a year that is more prosperous than the last...and one that gives us the peace of mind to start and end each day positively. True beauty comes from within.

Thank you for your support always! Penny will continue to do her part to share her musings from the beauty world. Please continue to read my blog, share it with friends and family; encourage them to subscribe, and leave lots of comments.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.
Be you!