July 26, 2010

Question and Answer Session- Essentials You Need

Q: Amanda, can you post instructions on application like the photos on your album? Also what are the best eye makeup tools and what brands of shadow do you recommend? Any trips for getting more long lasting effects of out my shadow?

A: Absolutely!!
Eye makeup tools: Right now- if you're still using the sponge applicators- throw them in the trash! Immediately! They do no good in getting an awesome look- at ALL! What do you use?? A brush set.

Honestly, I got my "kit" from CVS. Yes- you read that right. The drugstore. Not Sephora. (But that's a kickass store to be discussed another time...) This goes to prove that even the expensive brushes that are "better" aren't necessarily such. I get these amazing looks from a $12.99 kit that has it's own zip-up bag. Each brush is just the right size- they aren't too long so that if you're leaning into the mirror trying to get on eyeshadow, you keep tapping the glass with the brush or end up poking yourself in the eye with the brush end. Nope. However- don't get brushes so short that they slip and slide out of your hands.

And now to introduce the brushes I use:
Fine - Precision brush.
The fine tip applies makeup in spots you just need a touch- like a white/silver/highlighter in the corner of your eyes to brighten them. Or, if you just want a hint of color somewhere- this is the go-to brush!
The precision brush is used for eyeshadow, and it applies the color very specifically. I like to use this to get a straight line of accent color to the outside edge of my eyes. It can also be used to apply color to your lower lid as well.
Smoky - Angle brush.
These are the most versatile brushes of my kit!
The smoky tip is great to blend colors together that you want a bit mixed, or to smudge out eyeliner for a smoldering and sexy eye. If you happen to put too much color on, this can also be used to "blend out" the harshness and have a more softened look.
The angle brush is great for applying a lot of color at once. For instance, if you want an all over neutral tone- this is what you would use to get the color applied. Quick and easy does it!

Touch-Up - Conceal
Ok,so I don't use the touch-up end for what it's supposed to be for... Instead, this is my main applicator for colors. It picks up just the right amount of powder, and deposits it right where I want it- talk about maximum control! This brush also does wonders to blend colors together, overlay multiple color layers, and just in general rocks my socks. So while it's not being used in the traditional sense it's supposed to- I love how it works for me!
Oh how I love my conceal brush... This picks up my slightly lighter foundation and applies it as spot concealer. Yep- that's right- my foundation is powder, and this brush applies it like liquid concealer. How awesome is that?! A few pats over the red zit offender- and it's... Gone! Well, nearly! This does a great job of covering it up.

Smudge - Brow
This brush- I've never used. I assume it's to blend colors together- but it's a piece of rubber sponge. Thanks- but I'll stick to the bristles for now. If I ever do end up using this- I'll let you know how the procedure went.
The brow brush is an essential must have. I do color in my brows- because even though I'm currently a red-head, and my natural color is blonde... My brows need a little help because they tend to pale out. So, a few swipes of color fills them in perfectly- and the angled brush works wonders for controlling shape, and where the color goes.

Eyeliner brush.
The only "splurge" I did make, however, was a $6 eyeliner brush. I know- breaking the bank! I was torn when I first started using only mineral makeup- I didn't know if I should get the straight or angled brush. A friend I knew that has used powdered makeup said I'd be happier with the angled brush- and boy was she right!
 You want a decent brush- so don't get the cheap versions of these. This is why I spent six bucks on it. Oh, I'm sure I could find it for a lot more in a makeup store, etc- but this one's been great for me. I can apply just enough eyeliner to define my eyes a bit, or go totally thick and bold. What you're looking for is even bristles that aren't too thick. Remember- you wet this brush to apply your eyeliner- so depending on the look you're going for, having a skinnier brush is best. It's sort of like an article of clothing- buy it bigger because it can always be taken in. Something too small is hard, if not impossible, to let out.

Done with brushes!

Brands of makeup. This, for me, is very easy. Last year, I made the transition to almost 100% mineral makeup. My exceptions are my black eyeliner and mascara. Other than that, my face is totally natural. Yes- those wild and crazy colors are all 100% natural, toxin-free, and safe for skin. This means- you're not aging quicker, and your skin will thank you SO much for it! I've had hardly any breakouts since making the switch- and I don't care what can be found at the mall... I'm not paying exorbitant prices for makeup.

My foundation is Physicians Formula Organic Wear. I love this makeup- and couldn't be happier with the coverage it provides without being "cakey". It's applied with a big, fluffy Kabuki brush. There's one included with the purchase of the foundation, but my really sensitive skin doesn't really like the "rough" feeling of it. So I bought another one- pictures later!

For eye shadow, and blush/bronzers, I now use two different kinds. Both are only organic, and both have wonderfully vibrant and beautiful natural colors to choose from. Since I'm an Etsy hunter- this is where I found both suppliers I'll recommend below. If you want super-staying power for your eye makeup because half-way through the day you find that your face is melting... You'll definitely want eye primer. I started out using Urban Decay Primer Potion and now use a natural, mineral primer- see that cute Skully container in my makeup box?? That's my primer! Reason being- I want to be as good to my skin as possible.


The first I discovered was Orglamix Cosmetics, and let me tell you- her makeup is nothing short of amazing!  She always runs a special Color of the Week for $2.50- who can beat that!? She's got ALL sorts of colors available- mix and match, or buy in a "Get the Look" combination. Or just buy some colors and experiment like I do: an example is below, using only two colors applied wet- Citron and Absinthe. The black eyeliner, and covering it with Brimstone, then adding mascara is a given.

I store my eye colors upside-down. The reason is that I can a) see the names of the colors I'm looking for and b) have the pigments shaken out into the lid.

Get the look above:
1. Open your eye colors- make sure that some of it is in the cap of the container.

2. Wet your applicator brush- not sopping wet, but enough to "mix" and wet your color of choice.
3. Once enough color is picked up on the brush, sweep color on to your lid first.
4. Wash brush to rid it of excess color, and squeeze water out in a towel.
5.  Dampen brush again, and pick up second color and apply it where you want it.
6. Repeat until satisfied with colors. (once dried, you can blend the edges a little bit)
7. Add eyeliner, mascara...
*POOF* You're done! Easy as that! I just realized I forgot to mention Scotch Tape. Yes, it was used to get this look. Anytime you want a clear, defined end to your makeup at the outer edge of your eye- use Scotch Tape. Peel off a piece that's long enough to go from just under the corner of your eye, to the edge of your brow. Once your makeup is applied and you're happy with the results, peel off to show off that sharp defined eye work you just finished creating!

The other company I buy from is Moi Minerals which I just very recently discovered. She also uses 100% minerals- and currently has some awesome deals for makeup! This is the shop I got my Skully Primer from- while there aren't any more of those, she does still have primer in pots for $4. Can't beat that! All day wear- no creasing- vibrant color for $4. This will last you a very long time! You'll also be able to find color shifters- for instance, the color "Mercy" I used below is a blue/purple in the jar- and vibrant when you actually have it on! It's a beautiful purple color- and turning your head in the light will show off the blue shifter tones.

This particular look was a little more involved than the one I showed you above- a total of 6 colors on my eyes. Here we go:

Get the Look:

1. Primer applied all over eye- lid to browbone
2. Fame is applied to inner corner of my eyes, top and bottom
3. Spank Me is applied to the middle of my eyes and on bottom lid
4. Mercy is applied to the outer corner of my eyes and bottom lid
5. Blend the colors together at the edges, adding more color if line becomes too blended
6. Panic applied above the blue colors and blended in to the top edges 
7. Black eyeliner is swiped on, and covered in Emerald Green
8. Two coats of mascara, and the look is complete!

So... I hope this helps get you started on how to use the right brushes, experiment with crazy colors, and two *fabulous* companies to buy them from for less than you can with other "high end" mineral makeup companies! Don't be afraid to play with color- just go for it!

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