Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Camera!

Hey guys! I am excited to announce that my mom got herself a new camera (for her food blogging purposes). She said I can use it as well! Yay! Here's a few random pics to demonstrate the quality. It's really quite beautiful. The camera is a Sony Nex-3, I believe.

My mess of a makeup set up.

The fake sunflowers on my hutch!

Some school textbooks.

The top of my hutch: earrings and some cute erasers.
Couple side notes if you're interested:
  • I really want to have a giveaway soon! I have a couple prizes, but I need more. Also, I need an excuse (ha ha). 50 followers (could do it now), 100 followers (that'll be a while!), 1 year blog-iversary? (That would be April.) 
  • I'm getting a haircut after New Years - it'll be my first in over a year! I'm thinking four inches off the bottom and some layers.
All for now! Hope your holidays are going well!

Love, Val

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How To: Silver Smokey Eye

Hi guys! Today I have for you my take on the classic silver smokey eye in 6 easy steps. It works great for New Year's, or any other occasion.
1) Prime your lids with a primer, concealer, or base to even out skin tone and keep the shadows lasting. Highlight under the browbone and in the inner corner with a light, shimmery shadow. (Mac Painterly paint pot, light shade from Sephora Smoky eyes kit)
 2) Apply a shimmery silver all over the lid. Take it above the crease, and sweep some under the lower lash line.
3) Take a matte brown into the crease. This will provide some smokiness as well as a gradient into the next step. (matte brown from Revlon Colorstay quad in coffee bean)
4) Apply a matte black into the outer V and on the outer half of the lower lash line. This will give that smokey effect. Blend! (black from Sephora Smoky eyes kit)
5) Give your eyes smokey definition with a black pencil liner. Line the upper and lower lash lines, and your waterline. Use a smudge brush or q-tip to blend and "smoke out." (Sephora eyeliner in black)
6) Curl your lashes and apply your best mascara. Use two or more coats, and be sure to get your lower lashes. Apply false lashes if desired. You don't want your lashes to be overwhelmed by the shadow, so be generous with the mascara! (Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara in black)
Done! Pair it with nude lips, a contoured cheek, and confidence!
All for today! What do you use to create smokey eyes?

Love, Val

PS - This was scheduled for Tuesday, but for some reason it didn't go up. Sorry guys!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beauty Stocking Suffers

Looking for some quick last-minute gifts? Here's some quick gift ideas in the beauty category. I tried to pick out things every woman would love!
Stila Custom Color Blush, $20; sephora.com
Mac Eyeshadows, $15; nordstrom.com
Diorshow Mascara, $24; nordstrom.com
Nars Dolce Vita Lipstick, $24; barneys.com
Bobbi Brown Lipstick Trio, $40; neimanmarcus.com
Stila Custom Color Blush is an awesome idea; looks hot pink in the pan, but it changes to a customized color once you put it on. The color is supposed to perfectly complement the coloring of the wearer. Cool, huh?

Mac Eyeshadows are relatively inexpensive and of great quality. Every girl needs some. :)

Diorshow Mascara has been very highly rated. While I have never tried it, I'm sure everyone would love  a great new mascara!

Nars Dolce Vita Lipstick is a gorgeous color and has amazing, lightweight formulation. It looks great on everyone.

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio has three beautiful colors to play around with!

Enjoy your holidays! What are you buying for your loved ones this season?

Love, Val

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glowy Holiday Party Makeup

Hey everyone! Today I have for you a glowy, soft and smokey holiday look. Perfect for a party or other formal occasion. Let's get started!

1) Foundation. Be sure to either use longlasting products or set with a powder so your makeup stays all night. (Stila Perfecting Concealer in 'C', gloMinerals Loose Base in Natural Light)
2) Start off the eyes with your best base, to create a tacky surface for the shadows. (MAC Painterly Paint Pot)
3) Apply a light, golden color all over the lid and into the crease. (Lancome Suntouched)
4) Apply a matte brown into the outer corner. Work into the crease and sweep some onto the lower lash line. Blend! (Lancome Lézard)
5) Using a pencil liner, line your upper lash line and inner rims for a smokey affect. (Wet N Wild pencil liner in Black)
6) Curl your lashes...
 7) And apply your best mascara! Use false lashes here if you desire; I don't own any. (Lancome Hypnose Drama)
8) For the cheeks, start off with a rosy blush, then apply shimmery highlighter to the tops of the apples. (Nars Dolce Vita, Physician's Formula Shimmer Strip in Sunset Strip)
9) Complete the look with a neutral lip! Follow this sequence for your  lipstick: apply, blot, apply, blot, apply. This will create a long-lasting "stain" on your lips. (L'Oreal Lipstick in Gilded Pink)
10) Done!
Enjoy your holiday parties, everyone! What do you think of the look?

Love, Val

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hypnose Drama Insanity + Ramble

  Hi girls! As you probably have noticed by now... I changed my blog background! The old template was getting incredibly glitchy and annoying, so I had to switch. What do you think? Did you like the old one better? Any changes you recommend?

  On to our main topic of conversation: Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara. Now, I am not kidding when I say it is crazy. It makes my eyelashes look completely fake. Insane! Unfortunately the good camera is unavailable at the moment, so I apologize for the poor quality. But you'll just have to trust me on this one.

One quick coat of Hypnose Drama vs. bare lashes

Zoom in of right eye

Zoom in of left
  It multiplies, thickens, and lifts like no other mascara I've tried before. Definitely a must-try. However, I don't know if I would buy it; mine was a mini I got for a free gift with purchase. It's definitely not an everyday mascara - save this one for events only!

  In other Lancome news - I'll be using a Lancome Duo for a holiday look soon. Here's a sneak peek!

Okay, all for now. See you all soon!

Love, Val

P.S. My mom is upgrading her camera - in a couple weeks or so, you can look forward to much better quality pictures. No more webcam pics, hopefully! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What I've Been Loving

Hey girls! This was going to be a November Faves, but now we're a week into December. So here's my "What I've Been Loving" post :)

Face
My new foundation routine (pictured) consists of Stila Perfecting Concealer in 'C' on blemishes and undereyes, then a quick dusting of gloMinerals Loose Base in 'Natural Light.' Effortless, and very natural looking. I like how it feels like I don't have makeup on!
Eyes
I've been wearing plum/mauve tones on my eyes recently (I've been told that it brings out my coloring). First, I lightly sweep gloMinerals eyeshadow in Blackberry up to the crease, then follow up with a coat of Benefit Bad Gal Plum mini mascara.
Lip/Cheek
I am in love with Benefit's BeneTint; it's a beautiful liquid cheek color in a rosy shade, great for a "caught in a snowstorm" flush. I've been wearing it on the cheeks, and then applying just a bit to the lips for a slight stain.
In other lip news, I've slowly worked lip glosses back into my makeup routine! Pictured are Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing gloss in Raspberry, Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Pop, and Nars Turkish Delight - but I love a lot of glosses.  :)
Hair
I've been doing a super-lazy style a lot recently: quick low bun with my hair parted on the side, but to add some flair I braid two tiny sections beforehand. I think it makes it look a little more deliberate, no?
Random
Nutella Hot Chocolate is delicious! (I learned from the lovely missglamorazzi's video recipe.) Basically, you heat up 1 cup of milk on the stove and whisk in 2 T Nutella spread. Now, you may think this would lead to an overly sweet, cheap tasting hot chocolate, but it doesn't! The result is delicious; somehow it ends up with a very sophisticated nutty taste. Mmm. I have literally been having one a day.
 All for now! What have you been loving?

Love, Val

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tank Tops in December

Hey bloggers! This morning, I realized a common fashion dilemma of mine. I buy cute colorful tank tops all summer, and then have nothing to do with them come fall. Well, a solution is here, dear readers. (Thanks, Polyvore!) I also added a makeup look that matched the particular outfit I put together - your own makeup is up to you, of course.

Fashion
Pair your tank top with some dark-wash jeans. Then, using colors from your tank's color scheme as inspiration, add a warm coat, shoes, and a purse. Try to use colors that are similar to, but not exactly, the ones used in your top - more saturated colors will keep the look from being too summery.

Makeup
Keep the look light, breezy, and neutral. Start off with soft, neutral eyeshadows and lengthening mascara; add a cool-toned blush for a hint of winter; and finish with the lip color of your choice.
Tank Tops in December
Featured:
Dark pink crop hooded jacket, $65 - debenhams.com
J Brand Bailey mid-rise bootcut jeans, $180 - net-a-porter.com
Nomad Footwear Women's Satin Ballet Flat, $22 - endless.com
Marc Jacobs Small Single quilted leather bag, $525 - net-a-porter.com
vintage garden racerback tank, $30 - shopruche.com




















Featured:
Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick Compact, $38 - barneys.com
Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion, $28 - sephora.com
Yves Saint Laurent 'Rouge Pure Shine' Sheer Lipstick, $30 - nordstrom.com
NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara - Black, $25 - barneys.com

Hope you enjoyed! Enjoy a lovely Friday. What's your common fashion dilemma?
Love, Val

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rave: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Glosses

  Hey all! So several months ago, I picked up Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Coral Reef. It was the perfect summer color, and I absolutely fell in love with the formulation (I usually prefer lipsticks to glosses, but this is an exception). Recently I decided to get the color Pink Pop as well, and turns out I love it even more! Read on for some swatches and features of my new favorite glosses.

Coral Reef on top, Pink Pop below
Coral Reef on left, Pink Pop on right
Sheer application of Coral Reef

Sheer application of Pink Pop

   Features:
  -Excellent pigmentation; the swatches above we just one quick swipe from the applicator.
  -Doe foot applicator applies an even coat.
  -Perfect balance between sticky and oily - I love the formula! SPF 15.
  -Great color choices - I haven't tried any of the other ones yet,  though I want to.
  -Buildable color. One swipe across the lip makes for a natural tint (as pictured); apply to both lips and you'll achieve an almost-lipstick effect.
  -Pink Pop and Coral Reef contain no shimmer, and are just glossy enough.
  -Very elegant, sturdy packaging. Reminds me of Estée Lauder packaging.

  All in all, the glosses are definitely a favorite for me. Buy at any drugstore, or on drugstore.com for $7. That's all for today! What's your favorite lip gloss?

   Love, Val

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Face of the Day: Birthday Edition!

  Hey everyone and happy Thanksgiving! Today is also my birthday, so I figured a face of the day is appropriate. I did a "classic me" look - I use these products all the time! I think it's important not to look like  a completely different person on your birthday, no?

Face:
Revlon Colorstay foundation in Nude  (mixed with moisturizer)
Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer (on blemishes)
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (lightly dusted all over)
Nars Dolce Vita Blush (on apples of cheeks)

Eyes:
Maybelline Cream Shadow Quad in Natural (middle shade all over lid, light shade as highlight)
L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara (on curled lashes)

Lips:
Nars Dolce Vita Lipstick

I've had a great day so far, including some really awesome presents (like a Sephora gift card and Philosophy minis!). On Sunday I'm heading over to Sephora for my beauty insider birthday freebie. :)
What are your Thanksgiving plans?


Love, Val

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dressy Fall Makeup

Hey guys! It's been too long since my last post, but I'm finally posting a tutorial for you guys. It's a dressed-up fall look, with matte neutrals and hints of plum. I kept everything soft and blended to keep it pretty. :) Enjoy!

1) Start off with your usual foundation routine. I added powder here because I like matte finishes for fall, but it's up to you! (Revlon Colorstay foundation in Nude, Maybelline Dream Matte powder in Medium Sand)

2) Let's start off with eyes. Use a primer, then select a bronze color and place it in the crease. Add a matte brown to the outer corner, and fill in the lid with a gray. Blend everything well; keep it soft and smoky. I used sponge tip applicators to help with a sheer application. (Urban Decay Primer Potion, Revlon Colorstay quad in Coffee Bean)

3) Finish the eyes with smudged pencil liner on the upper lash line and inner rims, curled lashes and mascara! (Wet n Wild eyeliner in black, Stila Major Major lash mascara)


4) Add a blush with a rose or plum tone to the cheekbones for a pretty flush. (Nars Dolce Vita blush)

5) Complete the look with a lip color in the plum family! I used a more red tone. (Neutrogena Plum Kiss lipstick)

Done! Get your hair ready and you're ready to go!


Hope you liked it! Have a great Sunday and enjoy the rest of fall!

Love, Val

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Maybelline Dream Matte Powder

  Happy Saturday everyone! Today I have for you a review of the Maybelline Dream Matte Powder, as requested by the lovely Rakhshanda. I am absolutely in love with this powder, and was thinking about reviewing it anyway. So let's begin!




Coverage: I wouldn't buy this for the coverage - it's quite sheer and just blends into the skin. That's a plus though, color-wise, as they only carry four colors (I have Medium Sand).

Finish: Completely matte. This is definitely not a "satin" or "natural finish" powder, so don't expect that.

Texture: Silky smooth! Doesn't feel drying on my skin.

Application: For sheer application, apply with a kabuki brush or powder brush; for more product (read: if you're getting oily) use the provided powder puff.

Formula: The powder is oil-free, so it won't clog pores. No SPF. Dermatologist tested.

Packaging: This might be the most fun part - the bottom swivels out to reveal a mirror and powder puff!

Overall: This is a great powder to stick in your bag for midday touchups. It's easy to use, completely mattifying, and could be a real lifesaver for those of us with oily skin. Buy it at any drugstore; I got mine at CVS for $9.

Hope you enjoyed! Leave any questions in the comments below. What's your favorite powder?


Love, Val

Saturday, November 6, 2010

October Favorites

Hello all!
Just a few things I've been loving this month - I've been doing simple looks every day (no eyeshadow, same thing every day...) But I'm going to start switching it up again soon :)

Makeup:

  • Maybelline Concealer Stick (medium beige) & Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (medium sand) - I've been using these two as a "foundation" everyday, for a light-coverage matte look. Yes, I'm back into matte! I think I go through phases...
  • Benefit Coralista blush & Nars Dolce Vita blush - These two go together because I've been pretty much switching off between them every day! Coralista is a fresh, pretty light pink with hints of orange and Dolce Vita is a beautiful dusty rose.
  • Stila Major Major Lash Mascara - I love it because it provides curled, volumized, fanned-out lashes without any clumps so it looks completely natural. Great for quick, no-time-to curl lashes!
  • Nars Dolce Vita lipstick - I wear this with the corresponding blush :) It's the same color, but sheer and glossy. So gorgeous.
  • Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing gloss in Raspberry - And this one, I wear with Coralista blush! Just enough raspberry color with a nice moisturizing effect.
Hair:
  I've been wearing my hair up (bun, ponytail, braid...) and unstyled for the majority of the month *guilty smile*. Good for the hair, but to be honest it's just out of laziness. November, I feel, will be a straight-hair month...

  That's all I've been loving this month! What are your October favorites?
  Love, Val