Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday: My Makeup Evolution

Alright, so this post has potential to be a dangerous one...because I'm going to be discussing my makeup evolution, from 8th grade when I first started wearing makeup, to now, and how my skills and techniques have grown over the years.

Lemme give you a fair warning: I was a dopey kid. Like seriously. Really freaking dopey.

We'll start out when I was in 8th grade. It was when I was still really trying to find myself. All the way through 6th grade, I was a total tomboy, and I went to a tiny private school. 7th grade was the first time I went to a large public school, and 8th grade was when I finally started wearing makeup. I started wearing makeup because I was coming out of the 2006 emo phase. Luckily, mine wasn't too bad, but I did attempt to rock black eyeliner and some curtainy side bangs...

When I first started wearing makeup, my routine was very, very simple. I would smudge my CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus on my lower lashline, throw on a coat or two of the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (because let's be real...who didn't own this mascara at one point in time?), and buff the Physician's Formula Talc-Free Mineral Powder all over my face. To this day, I continue to ask myself why in the world I ever thought this was a good look.

After this, I went into high school. My freshman year, I had a really solid group of friends and it was definitely one of my better years in high school. My makeup situation got a bit better, but this was also when I discovered liquid liner...and the struggle that comes with it.

Whenever I see these photos, I'm still shocked at just how thin I was. At this time, I was medically underweight, although I ate plenty of junk and did very little physical activity aside from walking. This was the year that I started out wearing the L'Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner in black on my upper lash line, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to prevent it from transferring onto my brow bone throughout the day. I then switched from the L'Oreal liner to the Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Liner, which I still swear by today. I also graduated from wearing a mineral powder to wearing a liquid foundation, which was the Almay Truly Lasting Color foundation. I think I continued wearing the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara through this year as well.

Then my sophomore year happened. I actually choose not to remember much from my sophomore year, simply because it wasn't a very good year. I struggled a lot with my confidence this year, and it was a big year of firsts. This was the year I had my first major breakup, as well as my first year in drama and colorguard -- I even got asked to prom that year.

Someone should have taken my tweezers away from me. This year, an upperclassman in drama introduced me to the Maybelline Ultra Liner Liquid Liner. This was a really great product that I ended up using for years after that, and this was also the first year I attempted a winged liner, for prom. I have no idea what brand of eyeshadow I used for my look that night, and probably for good reason. I don't know why anyone let me leave the house looking like this. Thanks, mom.

My junior year was a bit of a golden age for me. I had solid friends, I had found my place in my drama department, I was captain of my colorguard, and I was starting to really learn how to do my makeup. At this point, the eyebrows continued getting thinner, and kind of started to look a lot like commas.

Look at that improvement! This was the year that my boyfriend at the time bought me the Coastal Scents 88 Palette, and I really started to play with color. I continued using the Almay Truly Lasting Color foundation and the Maybelline Ultra Liner Liquid Liner, but switched up my mascara to the L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara. I also discovered the L'Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner in "Silver Lightning," which I wore on my lower waterline to brighten up my eyes, and the Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in "Mellow Wine."

From here, I'm gonna skip over my senior year, because I was incredibly lazy that year. I basically stopped wearing makeup altogether, aside from blush to make me look more awake. I had major senioritis. We're gonna skip right on over to when I was in beauty school!

This was when my makeup hoarding began to get a little bit intense, and I got really good at winged liner. Honestly, I can't even tell you what products I was using the most of at the time because I was constantly switching back and forth between products. I can definitely say, though, that I improved a LOT over the years, and I had drama and colorguard to really thank for that, since I had to do makeup that was consistently out of my comfort zone in order to perform.

And now we've reached today, in which photos of me today are all over this blog already. My skills in makeup have improved immensely sine I was 13, and the magic of puberty and braces seriously did me well.

I hope you found this post as fun as I did! Trust me, as I was going through my external hard drive, looking for pictures to post, there were so many cringeworthy photos I chose not to use. I was laughing so hard while looking through all of those photos!

Do you have any embarrassing photos from when you were young? Any makeup faux pas you're willing to share? If you're brave enough, feel free to post them in the comments below!

- D.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Venice Beach

It's 2 in the morning as I type from a hotel room in West Virginia. It's also about 90% humidity outside and I've been procrastinating typing up this post for at least a week now because I am lazy. I'm on my way back to North Carolina for the school year (sob), and have been traveling for a little less than a week now, having stopped in Indiana to visit with my dad's side of the family, and I'll be back in my apartment on Thursday! Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about getting back into the swing of things and having a space to myself again.

Anyways, I promised this look a while back, and I actually photographed this look on the same day that I wrote my review on the Wet n Wild Venice Beach palettes, which are the palettes I used to create this look.

In order to ensure the richest color payoff, I started out with my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk." I applied this base in a thin layer, keeping below my crease. Then, with a fluffy brush, I used Milani Bella Eyes Gel Shadow in "Bella Caffe," and buffed it gently into the crease, to help assist in blending later on. I used a small paddle brush and patted the vibrant yellow (from either the "Hemporary Solutions" or "Boardwalk Boozing" palettes -- they're the exact same color) along the inner corner of my eye. On the center of the lid, I used the bright pink shade (again, from either palette). To blend the yellow and pink seamlessly together, I took a mix of the yellow and the vibrant red-orange from "Hemporary Solutions" and used a sideways patting motion to blend the shades together. On the outer corner, I first started out using the vibrant cobalt blue shade from the "Boardwalk Boozing" palette. I patted that all along the outer third of the eye. Then, deciding that I wanted to deepen up the outer corner, I added in some of the vibrant shimmery purple, using a pencil brush, carefully sweeping this into the crease as well. To help further blend the crease, I went back in with a clean blending brush and continued blending until I reached the desired effect. For my brow highlight, I used the matte white shade from "Hemporary Solutions."

Along the lower lashline, I wanted a bronze base to pair with the aqua color from the "Hemporary Solutions" palette, so I used my Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in "Juju" on my lower waterline and lower lash line. They no longer sell these shadow pencils, but they're basically just the chubby stick version of the Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencils, and this specific one is very similar to "Hustle," or, if you're on a budget, you can get a similar shadow pencil from Milani, in the shade "Brown Deluxe." After laying down the shadow pencil, I used the aqua color out the outer half of the lower lash line and smudged it out. On my upper lash line, I did a simple winged liner, using the Sephora 24 HR Waterproof Liquid Liner. Apparently I'm the worst though because I didn't realize that this specific shade has been discontinued as well! This particular shade is almost identical to Urban Decay's "Retrograde" liquid liner. To help hide the band of my false lashes, I used the Lorac Front of the Line PRO liquid liner just along the base of my upper lashes, which were the Andrea Lashes #53.

For my cheeks, I decided to go with a subtle bit of color and a high shine highlight. As a subtle contour, I used the Anastasia Contour shade in "Fawn." For blush, I used my trusty Maybelline Fit Me Blush in "Light Rose," and for my highlight, I used the Makeup Geek shadow in "Shimma Shimma."

On my lips, I chose to go with a soft, neutral pink. I first laid down the NARS Lip Pencil in "Rikugien," then topped it off with the Burts Bees Lip Shine in "Blush."

That's it for this look! This look was a lot easier than it looks, especially since these Wet n Wild palettes are so creamy and blendable. Don't forget to check out the review I did on them a few weeks ago!

- D.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I Wore: "Up Here" Opening Night

I know I promised a fun, bright look in my last post, but I couldn't resist posting this first! This past Sunday, I had the privilege of going to see Up Here, the new musical that I've been working on all summer at my internship. It was opening night, so there was a big opening night party after the show, where I got to say one last goodbye to all the amazing people I got to meet and work with this summer. I decided to write up a post about what I wore to the world premiere of Up Here, as well as the after party!

The dress I wore was a black backless skater dress, with a laser cut neckline and leather detailing. I bought this dress a couple years back to wear for mine and Andrew's first anniversary, and I never get the chance to wear it, so I thought this would be the perfect time to break it back out! I got it from Unique Vintage, but like I said, it was about two years ago that I bought this, so it's sold out. However, black skater dresses are pretty easy to find just about anywhere! The most similar dress I could find online is this one from Macy's.

Something I really love about this dress is the way it fits and the way it shows off my back. It makes me feel so cute and sexy! Of course, the tricky thing about backless dresses is wearing a bra. Since I'm a little too busty to go braless, I always opt for a good old sticky bra to help me out in these situations. I got the one I wore here from Amazon. Not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it gets the job done and is great for nighttime events when you're not getting too sweaty. 

For my bag, I went with this cute mint bow clutch from Target. I also wore these simple rhinestone studs from Forever21, and my bracelet was a simple studded bar bracelet that I got last summer, also at Forever21. On my nails, I wore the Revlon Nail Enamel in "Vixen," and for my shoes, I decided to go with a classic black platform pump by Jessica Simpson.

Shop the Outfit:
Black Skater Dress (unavailable; similar here) :: Backless Sticky Bra

I didn't get the chance to take a picture of my makeup since Andrew and I were running a bit late, but I went for a really simple brown smokey eye with a winged liner using my handy Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and the Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liner, with Milani's Luminoso on my cheeks, Makeup Geek's "Shimma Shimma" as a highlighter, and Milani "Plumrose" on my lips! 

That's it for today's post! What would you wear to an event like this? Let me know in the comments!

- D. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

REVIEW: Wet n Wild Summer 2015 Collection -- Venice Beach

I was just casually walking through my local Rite Aid as I do, and I spotted the most gorgeous colorful collection of eyeshadows. Of course, it had to be the new Wet n Wild summer collection! It was absolutely gorgeous, and 40% off, so I had to snag two of the three palettes to try them out!

Incredibly colors, right? Normally when I see palettes like this in the drugstore, I assume that they're going to be chalky and sheer. Since they were 40% off though, I decided I could take a chance. I chose the palettes "Hemporary Solutions" and "Boardwalk Boozing," and didn't grab the palette "High Flying Colors," because it just reminded me too much of Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. These palettes are honestly quite reminiscent of the old watercolor palettes that I used to use as a kid. Anyways, let's get into the review!

The first palette, "Hemporary Solutions," has 4 cool toned colors, 3 warm toned colors, plus a true, matte white. When swatched with fingers, these eyeshadows are super soft, and almost crumble at the touch. They are incredibly creamy, despite being a little too soft, and when applied with a brush, creates a super opaque, vivid eyeshadow look. My favorite shade of this palette has to be, without a doubt, the pearlescent aqua blue! In this palette, 6 out of the 8 shadows are matte, which is quite unique for a collection like this.

The formula of the "Boardwalk Boozing" palette is very similar to that of the "Hemporary Solutions" palette, although I noticed that the shimmery shades in this palette are a bit less opaque than the matte ones, which is actually pretty odd for drugstore shadows. The matte pink, red, and yellow shadows in this palette are identical to the ones in "Hemporary Solutions," while the shimmery green one in "Boardwalk Boozing" is actually quite a bit less pigmented than the shimmery green one in "Hemporary Solutions."

Final Thoughts? If you love color as much as I do, these palettes are a must have. Plus, at $4.99 a piece (and you can almost always find them on sale), they're a steal! The pigmentation of these palettes honestly almost rival that of the Urban Decay Electric Palette (which I don't own, but I have played with it quite a few times), which is a crazy claim to make, but they seriously hold their own.

Keep an eye out for my next post, where I put these palettes into action. If you're not convinced that they're amazing, I promise you my next look will sway you!

- D.