Make up For the Non Guru

 Millions of make up tutorial videos are viewed every day.  However, many of them drop the names of a slew of products no one has ever heard of and feature small lines and detailed designs that can be intimidating.  There is hope, though.  Found through extensive experimentation and thorough shopping, here is a list constructed of the best products for someone looking to get a finished look on the face and eyes with minimal experience.

Face

clinique foundation

FOUNDATION- Clinique even better SPF 15.  This product is the smoothest application found in a liquid foundation.  Creamy and light, it soaks into the skin to provide coverage, while keeping a natural look.  This is best used to cover blemishes and even out skin tone before applying any other makeup.  $28, Sephora and Ulta Beauty.

anastasia contour

CONTOUR- Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit.  If you are looking for a cream contour kit, this is  what any employee will point you to.  Cream is effective for blending, so that lines are less dramatic.  Anastasia has selections for fair, light to medium, medium to tan, and deep.  The consistency is true to the name, and application is easy.  Two lines of a mixture between the brown shades under the cheekbones and around the top of the forehead are what to begin with.  Some personal experimentation is required to find what combination of cream shades are needed, but simply fill in the space on the forehead with said combination using a few strokes coming up from between the eyes, two upside down triangles on the cheeks, and a straight, thin line from between the eyes to the chin.  Using an oval-shaped brush worked best for testers when drawing the lines.  A larger brush can be used to blend.  $52, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

HIGHLIGHTER- Benefit Cosmetic’s Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter.  To make cheek and brow bones pop, apply this and blend with the bottom attachment.  Watt’s Up! is great for adding emphasis to a contouring.  It brightens up the face, too.  $30, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

powder

BRONZER- Naked Illuminated.  In a box as pretty as the makeup itself, this powder is the perfect way to top off your face (or body).  It is ultra light, and best applied with a large fluffy brush.  Once on, it gives the skin a sun-kissed look, and a sparkle that can give life to even the most sleep deprived face.  $32, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Eyes

indecent exposure mascara

MASCARA- Smashbox Indecent Exposure.  This brush is made to create drama.  Just a few swipes across your lashes is all you need.  The one thing to look out for with this brand is clumping.  This can be avoided by waiting several seconds before applying more if multiple coats are desired.  The more coats you apply, the more bold the look.  $23, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Stila eyeshadow front

Stila eyeshadow open

EYESHADOW:  EVERYDAY- Stila Matte ‘n Metal Eyeshadow Palette.   With 12 neutral, blush, and brown tones, this palette works well for a day at the office or a Saturday at the park.  It’s actually hard to put too much on with these shades, leaving the user one less thing to worry about.  The bottom six have a soft, shimmering finish, leaving a large margin for error.  The top six have a dull, neutral, matte coverage, allowing the makeup to create a contrast that makes your eye pop without drawing attention to what you’re wearing on your lids. $49, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

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Most Affordable! EYESHADOW:  EVERYDAY- Naked Basics.  This is a classic array of colors.  Packing is small and portable, but every foundational color a girl could need is included.  For only $29 at Sephora and Ulta Beauty, it tops competitors on price and at .3 oz, it is convenient for travel.

Tarte eyeshadow front pic

Tarte eyeshadow open

EYESHADOW:  NIGHT OUT-  Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette.  Similar to the Stila palette, Tarte gives a mixture of neutrals and blushes, but for a darker eye, a variety of chocolate hues are also given. ~ This palette also makes for a great gift around the holidays.~  $46, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

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The Importance of Independence for Millennials

“Who do you picture standing next to you, when all your dreams come true?”.  This is my favorite quote from One Tree Hill.  It was spoken first by Brooke Davis, a character portraying an 18 year old girl in her senior year of high school.   She is asking her recently lost love, Lucas Scott, who has now had the epiphany that he only has eyes for her best friend.  I am here to tell you- The question that Brooke Davis asks Lucas is not the question to be asking yourself.

I grew up absolutely absorbed in love stories.  I read all the Nicholas Sparks books, and cried in the theaters when his romantic words were put on a screen.  My friends were right along side me.  We cooed about the lives we would have some day with a loving husband, our dreams of a ring taking up any and all space that could have been used to dream about goals for ourselves.  Goals as far as careers, recognition, success.  And that is where the problem is.

I was born in 1997.  This is technically the last year of the millenialls, and the year before Generation Z.  Both of these groups have lived an altogether different lifestyle from their priors.  So why is it I think independence is so important?

I-like Lucas Scott- had an epiphany.  Along with many of my millennial counterparts, I have never had any independence.  The largest way I’ve missed out on this is my relationship status.  Throughout high school and my first two semesters at college, I dated an array of boys, most of which gave me a twenty-four seven type of attention, waiting at the phone to hear about my day or act as my knight in shining armor whenever I had the slightest of inconveniences.

Things have changed.  I broke up with the boy I had dated my entire freshman year of college.  Not because I didn’t love him, but because I saw my chance to be me- just me, by myself, in a college town – slipping away.  Since I have had nights where I feel sure that no one has ever felt so lonely.  But I’ve also been a better person, and a better friend.  I’ve been there for my now future roommates and best friends when they fail a test or have a crazy night and just have to tell someone the wild story.  I feel more confident. My ability to take care of myself is something I am sure of, and I would not trade that for the world.  It’s tough to take a step back from our world of on-screen fairytales and serious relationships that are starting at younger and younger ages.  But if you do, there’s a lot more to discover.

The actual benefits of living an aesthetically pleasing life

I know I’m not the only one who has to clean their room before sitting down to study.  Something about a cluttered workspace creates an environment where practically nothing can get done.  Many are under the impression that if we have these feelings we need to worry.  “Does this mean I have OCD?”  There is no need to freak out over wanting a certain appearance.  But why do we prefer a neat, tidy space over a messy, comfy one?  Obviously there’s the external impression we’re giving others to think about.  No one wants the embarrassment of their guests seeing a bra laying on the side of the bed.  But there’s something more to it.  Feeling organized helps us feel more in control.  Maybe this is why, if given the option, many of us find comfort in a clean room.  Stacking, folding, and sweeping, although not very euphoniously pleasing (something that sounds fun to the ears), are still very effective forms of stress relief.

tidy deskneat candy

We can go as deep as what shapes we prefer, too.  Scientists conducted a study in the AAAS Art Gallery in Washington in which they showed visitors a series of shapes.  These shapes were nothing but blobs with varying appendages.  However, the ones that tended to be curvier were the ones the majority liked (Megan Gambino).  Our brains gravitate towards shapes  without straight lines or sharp edges, not only in art, but also in architecture- and attraction.  Men are instinctively attracted to women with curves.  And both genders are more attracted to someone with a symmetrical face.

What benefits do these things have for our bodies and minds?

modern curved table

Like I said before, stress relief.  Lance Hosey of the New York Times tells us in an article that anxiety levels will drop up to 60% after subjects look at someone or something that, to them, is aesthetically satisfying.  On the other hand, more complicated images can fatigue our eyes, simply by being in our field of vision for too long.

symmetrical face

So!  Next time you’re struggling to focus on an essay, or feeling stressed out, take a second to rearrange your room, or visit an art museum.

Good morning!

IMG_1488Good morning, beautiful people.  This is going to be yet another early morning post, so if I have any typos, please be easy on me.  I had a surge of motivation yesterday, specifically in my Journalism lecture around noon.  I tend to do this.  For a week or two, I will struggle to locate my motivation, not concerning myself with exercise, time management, etc.  When I do find the will to end these bad habits, it’s way overwhelming.  So, following class, I had a list in my mind of what I hoped to do.  It went as follows:

  • Begin homework as soon as I arrive home, and not stop until it is all done.
  • Write out an exercise goal chart (in big, colorful markers on poster board, of course)
  • Buy a boat load of new, healthier food items (I did this one!!)
  • Find the ASPCA’s website and sign up for monthly donations

You may think, it’s okay, we all feel this way about once a month.  But I’m telling you, that’s not what it was!  I let myself practice bad health for the last time last night, my final supper consisting of leftover potato skins and chicken wings from a birthday dinner I recently went to.  This morning my guilty first meal consists of a gummy like pack of energy chews (this is to replace my religious urge for iced coffees).  They’re not bad at all!  Hummus, fresh salsa, rice, lettuce, and beans fill my fridge, ready to satisfy my snack cravings if need be.  For meals, I went for a rice based diet with things like noodles in vodka sauce for my very small, small amount of carbs.  I will keep you updated, but it feels good to just set standards for yourself.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Make your inside feel as beautiful as your outside!  Wish me luck! (Feel free to steal some ideas from my little collection above, the tomatoes dipped in hummus are amazing!)

Hello, friends!

It’s Monday morning;no, it’s EARLY Monday morning, and I can only attribute my happiness at this moment to three things:  I have finally finished my daunting paper on the rogerian argument of female soldiers(bleh), it is a very close one’s day of birth, and it is #makeupfreemonday.  This is in no way, shape or form an event I would have celebrated five years ago.  Are you kidding me?  Brace-faced, awkward teenage girl?  Going all natural?! HA. Now don’t take this as me saying all girls relied on make up in junior high.  Some of you (the lucky ones) got through those years generally scratch free.  I envy you.  As for the rest of us, we may have just recently found that level of comfort, or we may not even be there yet.  I am an advocate for this day of self-love, not just for the symbolic purposes, but because that personally cuts out at least ten minutes from my morning routine.  Before I get too carried away I need to clarify-I do not think that makeupfreeMonday is always used in the right way.  Oftentimes girls like to head to instagram for a quick selfie, in which they casually throw in the hashtag, #makeupfreemonday.  This is great.  Go you, I stand behind you the whole way.  But doing this every week may turn out to be a promoter for self-hate in others, not self-love for you.  This is not just a girl thing, so boys don’t think you’re in the clear.  We all have that friend who cannot go to the gym without taking a picture.  Captions like, “Gainz,” and “gym all day, every day” clog up my feed on the daily (doucheheads).  So how do we love ourselves without making others feel poorly for not doing the exact same thing we’re doing? …. I don’t have the answer.  To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out myself.  But for now, look in the mirror, and focus on being happy with yourself.  As long as that’s achieved, the rest is insignificant.  HAPPY MONDAY, xoxo

finding our sweet spot

One of the biggest questions I have for the universe is why we were created with such a critical human nature.  From what I’ve found, it is way easier for us to find fault than to find something we think we deserve.  Earlier today, I was sitting in a chair, one of fifty in the room, facing a computer.  The screen was lit up with the words, “Congratulations, you passed!”  I had studied.  For hours, I had studied.  So why did I sit there, shellshocked, when I have should have come in with confidence in the first place?

Apart from boring academic situations, this can happen anywhere.  Especially for us girls.  We are bred to be compulsive comparers.  By comparers, I mean offenders of judge crimes.  We love to set ourselves up in a juxtaposition to a girl we consider around our equal.  And then, (let’s be honest, no one is innocent), we pick out every single thing they beat us at.  Maybe they have less split ends, or perfect eyebrows.  They might be wearing the same boots, and even worse, they might look better in them.  We use these tiny little features to rank each other.  “She’s prettier than me,” or, “She’s good at everything she does.”  These comments don’t usually come with friendly delivery either.  Something about this interminable cycle takes things that should be recieved as compliments, and use them as motivation to hate.

fake smile gif

If anything, this new found hate brings us to our final step:  picking apart every last flaw of that bitch’s stupid, perfect body.  This brings us full circle.  We, as a gender, have figured out a way to take a person’s best features and give them a negative connotation.  It’s like the cable commercial series.  Signing up with cable (looking at our own insecurities) can in some way, shape, or form lead to losing your marriage, your home, and even the clothes off your back, (the complete detestation of another human being). Don’t worry, though.  I’m not going to throw all of this depressing news at you without a solution.  We, [as a herd of beautiful, limitlessly powerful women], can….wait for it… show kindness towards each other!  Send one another nothing but good vibes, build others up instead of down!  Most of the time these things will immediately be returned to you.  We can fight the system.  The first step is finding that mindset where it is easier to love ourselves and one other than to degrade our personal selves and those around us.  This is our “sweet spot”.  Find it ladies, and flourish in it.

Take T.'s example. Turn away, take a deep breath, and smile like a glam goddess.

Follow T’s example. Turn away, take a deep breath, and smile like a glam goddess.