I’m Back

Good day everyone. I know it’s been a while. I took a small break and now I’m ready to come back.

I want to thank everyone who stuck with me and showed support in any way.

Much Love to you all💖

Setting Sprays – The Good, The Bad & The Awful

Are they worth it? Which brands are best? How long do they really last? lets find out. Even different ways to use them.

From Left to right: Tarte Stay Spray, KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-it, Ulta Beauty Wanna Be Free, Urban Decay De-Slick oil control setting spray, Morphie Continuous Mist, Elf Makeup, Set & Mist, NYX Matte Finish, & MAC Fix+ primer & Setting Spray

Settings sprays are all the rage right now. I had never tried them until I was sent one to try. I have to say I never looked back. I even learned a trick or two that really sets my makeup for what can possibly be days if I wanted it to be. 

I used to think setting spray was just another thing for makeup companies to sell, then a company sent me a sample of their setting spray in a tiny few uses bottle which I still reuse for travel. I learned some tricks along the way too. Like transforming powder shadow into a cream. I call it dip & paint which I’ll talk about too. I liked this setting spray so much I ventured out to try other brands and here’s what I found. 

Lower End of the Price Spectrum

The 1st spray I tried at the lower priced end of things was NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray. It has good hold and a few finish options, I prefer matte (my personal preference) but they also have shimmer and dewey looking finishes too. I feel like those make me look more like an android but that does also have it’s uses. NYX is reasonably priced at the lower end of the pricing spectrum it runs for about $8.50 a bottle. It works equally good for both the setting after application and for the dip & paint application. Dries medium to fast and holds the color for a few hours before it starts to crease. With little to no transfer and a good hold I recommend this for a low end setting spray.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

Elf Makeup Mist & Set is the least expensive at $5 a bottle it’s ok for the price. Just ok though. As a rule I generally really like Elf Cosmetics. This setting Spray however doesn’t have the most amazing hold. It has no scent and a basic finish mostly matte but more natural than others with the matte finish. Elf spray takes a little longer to dry and is also a small bit heavier making it take longer to dry. This spray has a really good hold and no scent. Does not cause flaking and dries relatively fast. it’s better for the dip & paint trick than as a finishing spray. It’s also good for spritzing the brush before dipping into loose powder or shadow. This is ok if you want the least expensive setting spray but must admit this is a case of getting what you pay for.

Elf makeup Mist & Set Setting Spray

Ulta Wanna Be Free Setting Spray- $12 this is a lower priced option. It doesn’t have a scent and is pretty light for the lower priced options. It has no scent. It doesn’t feel sticky but sprays out of the pump heavy so make sure you go easy. It takes alittle longer to dry than other sprays I have tried. The stay power of this one is not so great. The eyeshadow still faded and smudged when I tested it. & the color transferred. Another thing I noticed is when I use the dip & paint method it waters down the color which most of the others don’t. I don’t recommend this one unless it’s a last resort.

Ulta Beauty Wanna Be free matte Setting Spray

Tarte Shape Tape vegan Setting Spray – this is a good spray. At $25 a bottle, It gives a matte finish and has good hold The issue I have with this one is that it’s scented. It doesn’t smell bad but it is a bit heavy and triggers allergies causing my eyes to run and then causing makeup to also run. This defeats it’s own purpose. If however scents don’t bother you then this one is pretty good as long as you keep it light. It goes on medium not as light as some others & a little sticky. (Good for glitters) due to how sticky it is. If you apply too much it will cause flaking. It has a pretty good hold as long as you don’t use too much. Keep it light. I recommend this if you can’t get some of the better ones but those are better.

Tarte Stay Spray

Morphie Continuous Setting Mist at $16 a bottle This one is different than the others due to it’s aerosol application. this has it’s benefits though aerosols aren’t my preference. They allow for a more even application across your face without having to apply to heavy a layer of it. This also prevents making it too heavy in any one spot and allows you to keep it light and even. The down side of this would be that it does not allow for spot application which I am known to do. It also doesn’t work for the dip & paint method since it cannot be poured into a cap. It does work well if you spritz the brush before dipping into the shadow but that’s as close to spot work as you’ll get with aerosol. It comes in a can much like hairspray and is very light going on. it’s lightly scented & dries fairly quick. It’s also less sticky to the touch when 1st applying. I like using it for those highly blended airbrush looking styles of eyeshadow. Also due to how light it is doing your whole face won’t feel as bothersome as the heavier sprays. Make sure to hold far enough away from your face so you don’t soak your look. This spray has a nice hold once it dries and it does not transfer. You only need a small spray of it too. This is not my 1st choice as a recommendation as I feel limited using it.

Morphe Mini Continuous Setting Spray

KVD Beauty Lock It makeup setting mist- $29 This by far is my favorite. I has a slight scent and runs about $29 a bottle. A $29 well spent if you ask me. It works very well for the dip & paint method and gives not only a nice deep dark application but allows for even color across the line. Once dried it does not budge. I love the detailed looks I can do with this. spray alittle into a cap and dip a skinny liner brush in then use the eyeshadow as a paint and the possibilities are endless. Just make sure to use a good creamy eyeshadow. Nothing dry or crumbly. if it’s too dry and not creamy it will just ball up in the liquid instead of dissolving into an even paintable texture. This goes for any setting spray. Also good for lightly applied and blended soft looks. Spray your entire look lightly when done and you have makeup that will stay on until you remove it. Even in hot weather. I highly recommend this one.

KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-it Setting Mist

MAC Prep & Prime Fix + Prime and Setting Spray- $30 This spray is more unique because it can not only be used to set makeup but can be used as a primer. It also has moisturizers in it. This bottle has a different type of pump as well and typical MAC packaging it comes in a pretty frosted glass looking plastic bottle. The pump has a turn and lock pump sprayer and slight scent. It feels very light going on. it’s not drying at all due to the moisturizers. I started with this as a primer under my makeup instead of my usual primer to see the full effect of this type of setting spray. Since it is also a primer it’s not sticky. It needs alittle time to dry before applying your makeup. It smooths the surface of the skin, making pores very tiny to not visible. This makes a good canvas for makeup application. Once it dried I applied the makeup. This spray dried fast and the makeup didn’t budge for a very long time. Works very well for dip & paint, as good as KVD. When I removed my makeup after using this as both primer and setting spray my skin was super soft and smooth. It also still had that pore less look. I also highly recommend this one.

MAC Fix + Setting Spray & Primer

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray – $33 The packaging for this one in rather interesting because it has 2 caps. An outer cap that’s larger and a smaller one over the spray pump underneath the larger one. This is very lightly scented spray. This one has a very fast drying super holding formula. It’s an oil controlling formula so is very good for oily skin but can be drying. Most setting sprays can be drying but this one a little more so. Not as good for the dip & paint method because it thinned the color so I had to apply 2xs to get the darker even application. As a finishing spray it’s amazing. This is also good for the whole face since it’s so light & fast drying & makeup is completely free of any transfer. I highly recommend it if you want it just to set your final look, but if you want to do a long lasting painted on wing or graphic liner I’d stick to one of the 2 others mentioned just above this one. I do recommend this for the staying power alone.

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray

A video tutorial on how to use the setting spray to apply eyeshadow as a cream that doesn’t budge is coming soon!

Note there are two ways I use setting spray, one is to spritz on when done to set the look. Another thing I do is pour alittle into a cup and dip my brush in the spray then use that brush to pick up the shadow creating a cream shadow which I then apply usually with a super fine skinny liner brush. One more thing I do is spritz the brush lightly then tap the brush on my eyeshadow allowing it to pick up the powder better. All of the setting sprays mentioned were tested with the following makeup:

The look pictured here was set using KVD vegan Beauty Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist, Eyeshadow by Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow in Carbon. Foundation by Natasha Denona Transformatte pore vanishing matte foundation in 20Y light, Powder by Tarte Shape Tape pressed Powder in 22N light neutral, Lashes by Lujo Lashes in Champagne, Lips I’m wearing Jordanna lip liner in Burgundy & Milani Amore Matte lip cream in Devotion, and Highlighter by Sephora Midnight Magic Highlighter in Holographic.

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Makeup trends from the 1920s to today — 100 years of makeup. The 1970s

1970’s Hair & Makeup Trends

Yes I finally got the 70’s out to you all. What an exciting time for fashion. I talk more about hair & clothing in this one that I did in past decades but the styles were just too fun not to talk about. Enjoy!

Makeup trends in the 1970’s were somewhat complex. There was a combination of Women who loved to get all dolled up for a night out and there were the naturals who felt you shouldn’t need makeup to be a beauty. I’ll be talking about the former.

Makeup in the 70’s was vibrant and fierce yet soft at the same time. sounds impossible but it’s possible and the ladies of the 1970s did it with style.

From Glowing radiant skin to light fluffy feathery hair there was a variety of styles.

Disco Glam

Disco Glam was a fun popular style worn when the night club scene became the home of Disco.

Clothes and makeup were as shiny and flashy as the disco balls hanging from the night club ceilings.

Icons like Farrah Faucet, Donna Summer & Cher set some of these looks.

Disco Queen Donna Summer

Makeup matched the shiny clothing, eyeshadows were deep colored, metallic, shiny and shimmery. Blues were very popular especially the deep metallic aquas. Red lipsticks were worn shiny, the glossier the better. Blush was worn instead of on the apples of the cheeks up the hallows to the temples. Some wore it less severe but it all depended on what look one was achieving.

Hair had a few styles women wore for a fun night out dancing. The one that stands out in most people’s minds was the shoulder length fluffy side flipped hair worn by people such as Farrah Faucet. Some wore bobbed hair cuts known as the “PageBoy”. One of the most famous pageboys was worn by Olympic world champion Dorothy Hamill.

1976 World Champion Dorothy Hamill wearing a Page Boy Haircut

There were the long hair styles worn parted down the middle and ironed stick straight such as Cher who is iconic to this day with her epic styles. Another look was blunt bangs which are still pretty popular. Margot Kidder wore this look and she wore it well.

Margot Kidder wearing blunt bangs

The Natural

With just a light coat of mascara and some sun kissed cheeks the natural look of no makeup makeup was another way to go in the 70s. Lips were lightly glossed with more natural shades. Neutrals, sheer pinks and even some coral for the brave. Yes that’s right coral was one of the most popular shade of lipstick.

Elizabeth Arden Ad featuring Coral Lipstick

A more natural looking hair style known as the shag could be from neck to just below shoulders, but occasionally worn on longer hair too, it was layered and tousled. The slightly messy, fun look gave a carefree but stylish look. The shag was usually worn with bangs but from time to time longer side swept or center parted grown out bangs would be worn. The shag really was a fun and easy to maintain style. It was also very versatile in many ways and was flattering to most who wore it.

Shag Cut & Natural Looking Makeup

Casual Clothing was fun and comfy. Fitted tees and screen prints tees with some funnies printed or band tees, peasant & tunics tops were very popular. The pants were bell bottoms weather they were those colored poly cotton slack or denim jeans. They had a very high waist cut and were worn with platforms. This look would later come back in the 90’s.

Cher in casual 70s clothing

Candies made the scene in the 70s. These cute shoes had many different styles but were also very distinct. If you saw a pair of Candies you knew it. They were usually backless slides and has a semi chunky heel and thinner platform sole. Across the top was colorful leather or suede with designs usually cut out. They came is all kinds of designs. My mom had lots of these shoes and if I was old enough I would have too.

Candies Shoes

Being such a fun era for fashion and makeup it’s no surprise the 70s styles came back.

70s Icon Farrah Faucet

Join me next time when we dig into the 80s. Another era so fun it came back and people are loving it.

And what do I put on 1st….?

The Proper order to apply make is an age old debate among people who have their own theories and ideas of what works and ultimately the best idea is what works best for you. However when looking at the big picture there is a reason for the order being as it is and I’m going to talk about that here.

Moisturizer or Primer

If you wear moisturizer under your makeup that should come first. I don’t because it’s a layer I don’t need and I feel that it changes the way the makeup goes on my face. I like to use primer first. I use matte primers and like the way it looks by itself as well. When it’s hot out that is usually as far as I go. In the cooler months when it’s fit to play with wearing layers and trying contours primer is just the base of the picture.

A good moisturizer is good at anytime makeup or not

Color Corrector

If you use these they are actually next before foundation or concealer. So you dot small amounts where you need the correction and then let it dry for a minute. It actually dries fairly quick so that won’t be an issue. If you don’t use this step go to the concealer next.

Color Correcting Primers

Concealer

I feel like I’m writing a create your own adventure book. If you use this goto the next step if not skip to step 4. But it fits. Anyway back to concealer, put this on under your eyes after the color corrector. Blend good with a blending sponge. This will help smooth the finish and get it ready for the foundation.

A good concealer can cover almost anything

Foundation Next

If you wear foundation this will be the next step. Not blush not eyeshadow or eyeliner. Think of it this way, if you were painting on canvas you don’t paint the trees and leaves first then add the sky in the background. When you think about it it makes sense too because if you put on the eyeshadow first because you’re afraid fallout will ruin your base the the shadow won’t go on as well also you’ll find yourself putting on foundation around a detailed eye and you won’t get an perfectly even skin on your face. I have had people ask how I get my shadows to stay on so long without it budging and creasing. This is part of it.

A good foundation will make a perfect surface to apply the rest of your makeup

Eyebrows

I have no eyebrows so it’s absolutely necessary to do them next. It’s back to that painting again. You don’t color it in before doing the outline. Outline first the color in the details. If you already have eyebrows you’ll want to shape them to you preferred style so either way they should be next. The eyebrows frame your whole face and putting makeup after doing your eyebrows will give you point of reference on where the rest of your makeup will go.

A good eye brow shape no matter thick or thin will frame your whole face

Eye Makeup

Now this is a list within the list because the eyes alone have a proper order on a smaller scale. It sounds like so much more trouble than it really is but stay with me here because it will be worth it. Now that it’s time to do your eyes if you want your shadow to stay put you should put a bit of primer. If you wear liner and I suggest that you do if you wear false lashes like I often do. They’re just too much fun not to wear. Even if you use mascara though you’ll want to line your lid with whatever style of liner you do before adding your shadow. Once you’ve lined your lid you can add eyeshadow to your hearts content. How you do your actual shadow will depend on your individual style so I won’t go to deep into that. (If anyone wants more details on this please leave me comments. I’m happy to write articles to answer questions for people.) Once you have your shadow done and your liner is in place you want to line your bottom lid

Once your foundation is done you have the perfect surface to be creative and make your eyes into art

Blush

If you wear blush and highlighter this is the time to add it. Highlighter is very versatile and can honestly in my opinion be added at multiple time throughout your makeup routine but add your blush and the reason you should wait until this point to add it is because doing it before the other makeup is added can result in wrong or wonky blush, too much or just the wrong shade for your look.

Your blush can contour your face and add a touch of color to give a healthy glow

Finishing Powder

If you like to add the extra layer of finishing powder like I do now is the time before you put on your finishing touches. Use your huge fluffy brush and just add a little not too much.

Finishing powder and a nice big fluffy brush will set your makeup and give you some lasting power

Lashes

Lashes are fun. Mascara, false lashes, lash extensions there are so many options. Then when you pick an option that opens up more options. The possibilities are endless. I like mascara but also love to use magnetic lashes. The thing with magnetics is I use the one with the liner as the sandwich type proved to be beyond difficult and more trouble than they are worth. If you’re using the magnetics with the magic liner then you’ll need to add more liner simply because it’s magnetic and we can’t be covering it up with other makeup. If you’re using mascara then you can just put that on.

Lashes can be as subtle or dramatic as you want. Have fun with it.

Setting Spray

I love a good setting spray. if you use them this is when you should ad it. Before lashes are done. if I say so my self I learned to not forget the spray because I have sprayed it on after lashes and it just stickies up the lashes. Finishing sprays really help keep makeup in place. There are different finishes too. dewey, matte, shimmer. I like matte and something I have noticed is that mattes as a rule have the best staying power regardless if it’s lipstick, eyeshadow or face makeup. Everyone loves a good gloss but by nature glosses and shimmers just don’t last as long. Spray your setting spray on and remember not too close to your face. You just want a nice misting not to soak your face.

A good setting spray will keep your makeup in place all night

Lipstick and Liner

This is the finishing touch here. Your lipstick. It will change your look depending on the color you choose but it’s the last thing you should put on. Line your lips first so the lipstick stays in the lines and will bleed less. (A little tip I have been using pretty much my whole life is to fill in the lip lightly with the pencil before applying the lipstick.) it helps you to get a more even application and will help it to stay longer. Same with what I said above though mattes will by nature last much longer.

Lipstick can be so much fun. Possibilities are endless

Something to remember:

This is the way I learned to do makeup in my school. What you do with these steps and the in between steps is upto you. The steps mentioned in this article were what I learned but in the end it’s entirely up to you what you do. Different things work for different people. So where I may prefer mattes you may prefer shimmer or dewey finish or a gloss. Just because I don’t use a moisturizer under my primer doesn’t mean you don’t have to if it works better for you please do it. This goes for everything you do. These steps however are a good guideline especially for beginners who don’t know where to start. Try these steps and see if they workout for you.

Makeup is an art form. Be creative, but most of all have fun with it.

Please comment

I’d really love to hear from you you and hear your opinion. What works best for you? How do you like to put on your makeup? What do you think of this order does it work for you or did you already know this. Lets discuss in the comments.

Makeup Brushes – tools of the trade. What is this brush for? -Part 3 Eye Brushes

Small blending brush is good brush for the things you apply before applying eyeshadow. If you want to apply foundation, concealer or primer this will help you get a smooth even application of these to make a good base for your eyeshadows. I highly recommend using a light foundation and a good primer. I have noticed although I do use concealer mostly for my instagram photos if I don’t use it primer is thick and opaque enough to work as a concealer. It’s also more sticky than regular foundations and concealers so it helps the color stay put. But I digress. This brush is the one to do all this with.

Small blending brush

Fluffy blending brush is excellent for doing soft blend of color. I recently did a rainbow look and it had an air brush look to it. This brush will help achieve this look. I’ve had people ask about blending technique. They say they can’t make it work. I always say with the correct brush you’ll have a much better time even if you’re new at it. Also make sure you get quality brushes. This is one place you shouldn’t skimp. A cheap plastic bristle will completely botch the application and cause more fallout.

Fluffy blending brush

Crease eyeshadow brush is for making that dark definition in the crease part of your eyelid. I find that small brushes are better so I have used this brush for more than the crease. I sometimes also use it to add tiny amounts of color in small spots or to fill in spots where the color may not have taken.

Crease shadow brush

Script liner brush and super thin liner brush Script liner is like a thin pain brush and can be used to either do thin eyeliner or to literally draw on your eye any kind of design. This brush is rather long and for beginners it may be harder to gain control of your makeup with this one. I’d suggest the shorter super thin liner brush. Now I know I covered this brush in my last brush article but felt it needed mentioning since it’s an option if the longer brush is too messy. You can achieve similar effect or the same if you get good practice as you get with the longer one. Personally I prefer the short one. It will entirely depend on your preference and how you feel working with each one.

Script liner and Super thin liner brushes

Angled Eyeliner brush is also used to create winged eyeliner. The idea is to draw the brush across your lid at an angle the flicking the brush up to create the wing. This also takes a bit of practice but if you get it down you can get a killer cat eye with it.

Angled eyeliner brush

Precision brush is interesting because it has many uses. It’s good for eyeshadow and liner details, adding concealer and primer, and also can be used to apply lipstick. I know I know I said this was eye make up brush day but this is technically and eye make up brush. I just happens to be very versatile.

Precision brush

Smudge brushes are really best at applying concentrated amounts of shadows across your lid. Technically they are meant for smudging the shadow to make looks such as smokey eye. They are great though for the other techniques too. If you dab the brush into your shadow then pat not swipe onto your lid it will apply the shadow in deep concentrated colors. You can them blend the colors with a blending brush.

Smudge brush

Pencil brush is just as it’s name suggests like a pencil. You can use it to blend the small areas like thinner lines or to create sharper lines as well. I sometimes use it to fill in the larger wing when doing double winged looks.

Pencil brush

Flat blending brush these flat brushes although a blend and shader are also good to apply the 1st shade of shadow to the larger part of your lid. It’s shape allows you to fill more area at one time then you can use it to go over the area to smooth and blend the color. I basically use this for a few things. I use it to apply foundation to the larger areas of my eye as well as finishing powder when I’m not wearing shadow. This helps me keep my eyelids from getting oily and keeps the skin tone even. I may not be wearing eyeshadow but it doesn’t mean I want my eyelids to look uneven and shiny.

Flat blending brush

The other thing you should remember is that although brushes have specified purposes you can be creative with them. You can do what suits you best. Sometimes I need to something very specific and will use a brush for it that wasn’t meant for that. if it works why not.

Makeup trends from the 1920s to today — 100 years of makeup. The 1960s

The 60’s had a lot going on from the early 60’s and the transition from the 50’s to the Mod looks to the free living looks of the Flower generation. Some of the big trends were big false lashes or mascara top and bottom lashes were done heavy and most times actually drawn on with eyeliner. Big black cat eyeliner and blue, grey and white shadows were the shadows of that time. Little blush was used and when it was used it was very light.

Eyebrows had more range from thin to fairly thick. Eyebrow pencils were used to define shape no matter what the thickness was.

Aretha Franklin with perfectly groomed eyebrows and perfectly groomed hair

Face makeup was used in foundation and face powder form. Usually liquid foundation, sometimes cream. In the early part of the 60’s heavy foundation and powder was very popular, however the later part of the 60s was all about sheer natural looking face makeup. In some cases no makeup at all. Another thing that became popular were face and lip slickers. These were designed to give the skin and lips a dewy shiny appearance sometimes with tinges of highlight. Today we wear makeup like these and they’re known as hi lighters and we use them differently. Our hi lighters come in loose and pressed powder, liquid and stick forms and rather than using them to give us dewey natural shine we use them for all kinds of interesting effects. Women wear them on the cheekbones, forehead, nose and even eyelids and they even get used for contouring. It all depends on what effect they’re looking for.

Yardley of London Ad from 1967

Back to the 60’s though. Twiggy was one of the 1960’s prominent fashion icons. Her looks were influential and had alot to do with some of the most popular styles including the drawn on bottom lashes. London fashion, the music and the shows that came along included the Mod look. Focused on black and white people wearing this look often would wear white shadow, black liner and or crease, meticulous hair all perfectly placed and neat. Certain movies and shows really relay these looks. In 1964 The Beatles came to America. Along with them Came Beatles wives and Beatles wife fashion.

Patty Boyd with George Harrison and Ringo Starr -all sporting that loose flowing hair of the later 60s

The Prisoner is another perfect example of makeup unique to the 60s. The makeup women wore in this show is a perfect but exaggerated version of the makeup worn during the time. I always love to watch the show and always marvel at the perfect liner and crazy huge cat eye looks they wore. Yardley of London was a very popular line of makeup and skin care during this time. Although not new it rose to all new popularity. At the other end of the spectrum was the free natural look and flower children and hippies. They wore almost no makeup at all. They painted flowers on their faces which I suppose was their makeup and very cute. It was all about minimal look and being free spirited, not tied to the mirror and makeup. To be honest they probably also had the best skin. Using natural products that were earth friendly meant they were also skin and hair friendly. This explains the perfect skin in all my Mom’s old pics.

Twiggy and her iconic lashes

Hairstyle was another thing entirely from pixie cuts to long loose hair to neat and tidy geometrical mod cuts. Big roller hair sprayed into place, women who wanted stick straight hair ironed their hair and it wasn’t like today where you can buy a hair iron. They also didn’t have the protective serums we have now. My guess is this is where the pixie cut came from. But that’s just my guess. I’m probably

Mia Farrow and her famous pixie cut

The 60s was a particularly extensive decade as far as fashion and makeup goes and these was so much going on I barely scratched the surface. I may do a part 2 for this depending on how much you all enjoy this one and how much more information I come across. Leave me a comment if you’d like more from the 60s before I venture into the 70s.

Next time will be talking about the 70s and the looks of their time.

Makeup Brushes – tools of the trade. What is this brush for? -Part 2

This week I’ll be talking about some of the smaller makeup brushes. There are so many different brushes I couldn’t possibly cover them all in one article. Probably still won’t get them all but I’ll do my best. Today it will be the eyeliner brush, lash brush, brow brush & comb, round blooming brush and concealer brush

Gel Eyeliner Brush

There are a few different liner brushes depending on what you’re looking to do. Personally I like the super skinny precision gel liner brushes and I go through a decent amount of them. This is because the have such precision and control that they allow for detail when you want to do liner across the lid close to the lashes, winged liner or various designs. I’ve even used them to paint on designs as if they were actual paint brushes. They come as a straight brush also come as angled brushes. I prefer the straight one but use the angled as well. It is just a matter of what you like.

Straight & Angled Gel Liner Brushes

Another eyeliner the angled eyeliner brush, different than the angled gel liner brush as the bristles are angled not the brush handle. These brushes are flat with an angled edge and are great for creating winged looks. Also good for smudging, getting a thinner to thick line and a cat eye look.

Angled Eyeliner Brush

These brushes are simple and to the point. They’re also quite useful. There is the type that looks like a mascara brush and there are the combs. The mascara looking spiral brush is great for separating lashes before putting on mascara. The comb is good for after mascara is on. If there are lashes stuck together or clumps of any kind, carefully and gently comb through the lashes to loosen and separate. This will also remove any clumping. On the other side of the comb is a brush that looks much like a tooth brush. This is for combing eyebrows. Even sparse eyebrows like mine for example can benefit from a combing. These are so useful I go through them quickly.

Lash and Brow Brushes.

Blooming Brush

The blooming brush is an angled loose natural bristle brush. It’s best used for powder. You can do a few different things with the blooming brush. You can do powder liner, smudging and if you want to shade your brows with shadow instead of pencil this brush is a good option.

Close up of a small blooming brush

Concealer Brushes

The concealer brushes are the tiny flat ones. There are also concealer brushes that are just a little bigger and thicker. They remind me of the eyeshadow smudging brushes. These cover more area and are good for under eye circles. Due to their plushy texture they give an airbrushed look. The tiny flat concealer brushes are very small and are good for the tiny details like covering just a few blemishes, reaching the corners you may miss with the larger brush and even hitting the creases and corners by your nose with either concealer or foundation. Those details make all the difference.

Concealer brushes

Makeup Brushes – tools of the trade. What is this brush for? -Part 1

Make up brushes are a tool we have all used and there are so many sizes shapes and textures, flat vs round, natural vs synthetic and what we use for different purposes. In this multi part article I’ll talk about the different types and what they’re best for. part one will talk about foundation, powder, blusher, bronzer and highlighter brushes and oval brushes.

Foundation Brushes

Starting with foundation brushes, there are a few different types of foundation brushes. There is the flat top brush, the rounded brush, the flat brush and technically not a brush but I’ll include anyway the sponge. Depending on what you like to do and what type of effect you want to achieve all of these have their uses.

Basic 5 piece set of face makeup brushes

Flat Foundation Brushes

First there is the flat foundation brush. This brush is good for getting full coverage with liquid foundation or with cream to powder compact foundations. These are tightly packed longer bristles and used much like a paint brush you can dip the brush into the foundation and apply it onto your face in longer strokes. Starting at center of your face and cheeks apply stroke out towards your hairline and downward toward the chin. I find that these brushes are great for the initial application but for the finer details like around the lips, eyes and even the creases by the nose the smaller version of this brush is great. There are a few sizes. and I find that the smallest one is great for those detailed areas of the face that are harder to get with the larger size brush. I also find that the smallest flat brush is good for applying concealer and eyeshadow primer around the eyes.

Flat Foundation Brush

Flat top rounded brush

The flat top rounded brush best used with liquid foundation is a full face full coverage brush. When using these types of brushes it’s a good idea to tap or dab the brush on your face rather than applying in strokes. Circular motion is also a good method with these brushes, they give a nice smooth air brush type of look. They can be used to not only apply the foundation but also to blend it with the powder. This is where the matte, air brush finish comes in. I especially like using this method when doing pics for my social media posts because it gives the skin perfect coverage and even skin tone too. A good tip when applying makeup with these is to tap the makeup onto your face rather than swiping across your face the way you would the flat brush it gives a better, more even application of the makeup.

Flat top round brush for foundation

Round top brush

Round top brushes are sometimes also know as powder brushes. They’re rounded brushes with rounded top. Used to apply loose or compact powder these are good for the finishing touches. They are also good with blushes and bronzers. Here are quite a few variations of these brushes. Some have longer bristles other shorter. This all depends of what effect you’re looking for. Typically the shorter bristles give a more concentrated amount of powder where the longer ones give a more airy lighter coverage. The angled ones are used to contour and apply bronzers.

Angled blush / contour brush

Fan brushes

Fan brushes are really interesting and pretty cool. They’re typically flat and they fan out as the name indicates. They are often used for highlighters and blushes but best used for brushing eyeshadow fallout off your face in fact they were originally created for this very purpose. Most make up sets come with a standard size fan brush. I had one set come with a giant one and it is such a useful too. I also like to brush it over my face to remove excess powder of any type not just fallout. Just like other brush types they do come in all sizes large, small and everything between. You can even get a set of just fan brushes

9 piece set of fan brushes

Oval Brushes

Oval brushes are fairly new and in the polls I did not so popular. Mostly due to how awkward they are. I have not tried them myself yet but have a set on the way. From what I hear they are actually better than the traditional brushes. They come in all sizes for each part of your face and make up type from big ones for foundation to the tiny ones for the eyes.

Full set of oval brushes.

Next week I’ll talk about some of the smaller brushes.

Blushers, Bronzers & Highlighters

Blushes

We’ll start with blushes. there are different kinds we can talk about. The traditional powder, creams, cream to powder, stains, sticks and mousse. There are even a liquid gloss type that comes in a lipgloss style tube with the same kind of applicator. Blush is fun because you can do some interesting tricks of the eye with it. You can contour with it or make your face look more perky and awake on those tired days. A good concealer for the dark circles and some lighter pink blush can really bring up the spirits visually. So lets talk about blush types. 

Powder

Powder blush is the most basic blush and pretty much the traditional type as I know it to be. It’s easy to apply, usually comes with a small brush though I’d recommend using a blush brush from a good brush set. Powders go on light and give an airy rosy look. The larger the brush the more airy, the smaller the more of a precise line for the contoured look. Some say the apples of the cheeks should be blushed, some say the hallows. Most of the time the hallows will give the face a slimmer look changing the look of your face shape. Blushing the apples will give you the awake, and rosy look. Powders are especially good if you have oily skin. Some brands i like are Sephora Collection Colorful face powders, Sephora Collection Matte perfection, Shiseido Inner Glow Cheek Powder, and Nars Blush. I tend to go for the pinks but they all have some nice color options. 

Liquid Blush

I have only ever tried two liquid blushes. Liquids aren’t my favorite form of blush. If I am going to use it though I like Benefit Cosmetics Cheek & Lip Stain. Once you put it on it is on. it doesn’t fade much and stays where you put it. It’s very versatile because it can also be used on your lips. It’s not a drying formula and it’s an excellent option for summer due to it’s sheer coloring. Great for travel too since it can be used for lips and cheeks it’s all in one bottle making it easier to carry. Nars also makes a good one. I like theirs because it has a shimmer. I like anything shimmery and sparkly. Another sheer light formula good for summer. It can really perk up your look.

Sticks

Sticks are alot like big lipsticks. they aren’t as sheer and if you have oily skin best stick to the powders. You have to be careful with sticks because one wrong stroke and your giving Pennywise a run for his money. I find that one stroke from the stick and then blend with fingers is best. Because these are so similar to lipsticks a good way to perfect match is to use a lip brush and put a little of the same on your lips. Do a light coat and it really works. Sticks are also good for cooler weather. 

Mousse

Mouse is fun. I don’t know why, it just is. Mousse blush is fun and very light. it’s easily blended and sheer. Overall sheer blush is my preferred option. Mousse blush is best on dry skin. It’s very light and won’t dry further. Mousses don’t really adhere to oily skin types so they won’t have the staying power you want. With dry skin on the other hand it’s just the opposite. Blend with your fingers and a little goes far. Maybelline Dream Mousse is a good drug store brand. Shiseido Minimalist Whipped Powder is very good too. Of course I prefer the Shiseido but the Mybelline is a very good money saver. 

Cream to Powder

Cream to powder is a nice formula. I love it. I like it for foundations, shadows and blushes too. Cream to powder is a nice smooth well pigmented blush. Usually dries to a matte finish. The best way to apply is with an applicator sponge. They usually come with one but it’s usually a small, flat sponge. I’d say use Elf Cosmetics Total Face Sponge. These are good for many things so buying them would be with it and they are not expensive. I’ll talk more about these in the tools of the trade section. I have also been known to use my fingers to put on this formulation of blush as well. Some of the best cream to powder blushes I have enjoyed are the Elf Cream Blush Palette, Milk makeup Glow Oil Lip & Cheek, Milk being a new name to me is getting up there in popularity. My introduction to them was in a Boxy Charm Box. I do enjoy their products so far.

Bronzers

Bronzers are pretty new to me. I never even thought to use them until Boxy Charm sent me a bronzer, then another and another. So with all these bronzers I figured it was time for some color in my face. 

The first one they sent was the Laura Geller Multitasking Eye Lip Cheek Palette. This one is really cool because it’s a cream to powder formula and a really nice feeling one. It’s creamy enough to dab on the lips for some color and powder enough to contour the cheekbones with. It has three shades, Tuscan Coral, Coconut Grove, and Gold Dust. The versatility of this palette comes from the selection of shades. Most of the bronzers I have seen have three shades same as this one but they’re usually shades that are similar. This one had a neutral brown shade, a bright more colorful shade of orange and a light subtle highlighter gold shade. I love versatile multipurpose makeup. I tend to find multiple uses for a lot of my makeup. I find applying these with my fingers works well because they’re creams and for this reason they’re easily blended with the fingers. The second one I received was The Ace Beauté Bronzed in Paradise Palette. There’s a lot to say about nice packaging. They say presentation is everything and this palette has a beautiful presentation. The packaging is beautiful. It’s got a very pretty floral design and it’s a nice compact package. Inside there are 4 pans instead of three with varying shade of bronzing browns. They are matte but they give a very sun kissed look when applied sparingly to the upper cheek bones, hallows or even the apples depending on your face shape and the desired result. You can contour with this palette because it’s matte and has the four shades in it. It doesn’t have a light highlighter shade though so you’ll have to use a separate one if you’re looking to do that sort of thing. These are powders but they’re very soft, creamy powders. A good way to apply these is with a good medium size angled highlighter brush. The Phase Zero Blush & Bronzer Trio is the latest of the bronzers I received from Boxy Charm. Think I’m set for life on bronzers now. This one has 3 shades mixed matte and frosted. The names aren’t listed on the package but they include a matte coral shade, a frosted darker peach brown, and a lighter matte sand shade. These are powders so they can be used anywhere on the face except the lips. Since I’m still learning about using bronzers it’s really nice to have this variety of palettes to play with. learning was never so much fun.

Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Liquid Lips Piant that Pucker

I always liked the “If you were to get stuck on a desert island” game. What movies, what music and best off what makeup would you bring. Remember you can only bring 3 items. So if I were to actually be stuck on a desert the most important thing to have in my opinion would be some form of lip balm, gloss, stick anything to cover my lips and protect them from the elements. Sun block is a bonus but if you have a good lipstick it’s not as much of a necessity. Most lippies have sunscreen in them. I happen to have very dry lips. I also happen to prefer mattes over anything else and all day liquid lips. The two most drying types there are but I love them just the same. I’ll note this, most liquid lip and matte lipsticks will not only stay well put when applied right but will keep your lips happy and free of chapping. Yes that’s right they actually do help. 

The best of the best in liquid mattes is MAC Powder Kiss. They go on so smooth and feel so nice that no matter what type of lips dry or not they will look great. They are very pigmented and thick yet soft so they go on smoother than most liquid lip colors. I gave them the test and wore them at work which I have a mask on all night and still they stayed on and didn’t even smudge around my face. Some other liquid lip colors that are really good are Pudaier Sexy Lip Pill which I did a video of the test on my instagram. I did and it had good staying power as well. KVD Vegan Beauty is good too especially like the Everlasting Glimmer Veil colors. They are so amazing and the sparkle. Oh that shine and sparkle. If you like glitter and all day stay these are perfect. They come in some unique colors too!there’s nothing like a good red lipstick. Everyone should have at least one. This is Aveeda Love My Lips in Jujubee

Matte lipsticks that are made to not just be matte but are made with staying power. These are good too and not as drying as the liquid lip colors. Sephora has good ones. and they aren’t terribly expensive. The Sephora Collection also has pencils to go with each color. Lip pencils are important. They outline your lip shape and allow you to fix any uneven shape. We’re all human and nobody is perfect. With a good lip pencil you can have perfect lips. Another trick I learned long before the days of mattes and liquid lips was that I’d first do the out line then shade in my lips lightly with the pencil then add the lipstick. Blot and voila you have a cream lipstick with the staying power of a matte.

Glosses. Glosses are fun. they are a lot of fun. Lip Glosses can be so much fun and versatile too. When it’s really hot and humid they are nice and light and the lighter colors are my preference and can be a refreshing light summery look. Another fun thing I do with gloss is when I need to make custom colors for a particular look I’ll take a light or clear gloss and mix with pigment or even a very fine glitter. Once you master the mix the possibilities are endless. Kab Lip Duo that comes with the pencil is one I recently got in a Boxy Charm box. I like it a lot and it’s not too gooey. The down side of many glosses is that they are in fact gooey and if you have chapped dry lips can actually make them feel worse. MAC Lip Glass is another good one to use. Also Milani makes some great glosses. Again I think glosses are for light colors. Save the darker shades for lipsticks. A fun thing that can really jazz up a bland color of lip stick is to take a sheer opalescent lip gloss and lay a thin coat over the color you are wearing. It really gives it a nice pop.

Lip Stains

Some years ago I came across a new to me anyway lip thing. It was called lip Stain and it basically looked like beet juice in a rollerball bottle. I liked it because I could roll it across my lips and it would make it look like I had been eating Lollipops all day. The down side of these little bottles was that it didn’t condition or moisturize at all. Not that big a deal, a little dab of lip balm does the trick and since it’s a liquid stain it doesn’t become slippery and come off your lips. Basically once you have put it on it’s on. I used Benefit. They have some awesome products. I think Benefit has changed the way they package this and I haven’t been able to find it with the roller ball. It seems that it now comes in a larger bottle with a lip gloss type applicator. I’ll give it a try and post about it at some point. I tried their lip glossy balm in a pot as well. It was perfect in texture and tint, however it was rose infused and I have an allergy to rose oils and rose water so I can’t use any cosmetics that have that as a main ingredient. If that isn’t an issue for you though I highly recommend