My make-up routines

I get a lot of comments and questions about my make-up routines, so I thought I’d let you get in on my beauty secrets once and for all. Not so many people know it but I actually really enjoy doing make-up and if I had more time in front of the mirror in the mornings, I would probably try different looks everyday. My friends in high school always told me I should have gone to the beauty business (I used to do their party or school dance make-up back in the day) but since life didn’t point me to that direction, nowadays I just put my artistic skills to my own make-up, my face being the canvas of these creations. Basically my “rule” is not to leave the house without at least a simple make-up which is usually constructed from the following elements.


BASE

A good make-up starts with a good base. Since I have a dry and sensitive skin, for years I have used Max Factor’s Panstik as my foundation. However, a few months ago I decided to switch to mineral make-up and after hours and hours of reading reviews online, I found the Everyday Minerals to be the best value for the money. I love how natural the mineral make-up makes you skin look and the fact that you don’t have to use a separate powder to seal the foundation into your skin. The products are also talcum and allergy free, so they don’t cause any irritation or dryness to the skin. One more good thing about mineral make-up is that you can add more of it throughout the day, without the make-up looking cakey or overly done. For foundation I use the Intensive Base in shade “Olive Fair” and  for concealing, the Multi-intensive concealer. If you are unsure about the right base color, I recommend getting the samples before ordering the real deal. You can also contact their customer support which I found very helpful and friendly source.

For dark circles around the eyes and other skin discolorations, I’ve noticed that Dermablend is the only product that truly works. I can highly recommend it, as it covers so thoroughly and lasts for ages.


EYEBROWS

I tend to give a lot of extra color to my eyebrows and I do it by blending the shades of the Make-up Store’s Tri Brow Color. I used to do my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil from Lumene but figured out that the brow color gives a much more softer look. The Tri Brow Color is also a very long lasting product and the tones of brown are cold enough to make your brows look natural.


EYES

I’ve been really stuck on wearing metallic browns mixed with black around my eyes because it accentuates the green eye color and my lightly olive toned skin. Therefore I’m a bit worried that my special edition Elizabeth Arden trio eye-shadow is going to run out soon, as it has really been my best friend for the past year. During weekdays I wear the more of the bronze brown eyeshadow from the palette, and when going out, I add more of the darker brown to the mix (like in the pictures).  For defining my eyes, I swear by Rimmel’s Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer (the best one out there!) and Max Factor’s False Lash Effect mascara because it makes my lashes appear longer and thicker.


CHEEKS

Blush is an important part of make-up to define your cheek bones and give a perky tone to your face. My favorite blush has been Maybelline’s Expert Wear Blush, shade “Peach” (not included in the first picture because I just ran out of it) and for defining  my facial features  I use MAC‘s sun powder (sent to me by the MAC representatives) called Mineralize Skinfinish, shade “Sunny by nature”. I use the latter also lightly all over my face to give it extra shimmer and a healthier look during the winter months.


LIPS

I have a few shades of lipstick that I switch according to the mood of my outfits. My ultimate favorite is YSL’s Rouge Pure Shine Sheer Lipstick, shade #1 “Red Strass” which is the reddest red and provides not only shine but also moisture throughout the day. I love it because it goes with pretty much everything I wear and the case works as as mini-mirror. Lately I’ve also sported an orangeish lipstick shade called “Mango Diamond” from Maybelline’s Watershine collection (I’m wearing it in the pictures) and a plum colored lipstick shade called “Soft Pause” from MAC. On regular days when I don’t have to go anywhere, I just wear any supermarket bought chap stick to provide extra moisture for my lips.

So, there you have it and I hope this post answered most of your questions. The basic make-up routine takes me about 15-20 minutes and if I go out, about 30 minutes is needed to finish the look. Naturally a good make-up needs a good moisturizing as preparative work but more about that and my other skin care routines some other time.

Darlin don't you go and cut your hair

After a long hesitation and weighing the pros and the cons, I finally cut my hair! Not trying to jump on the “Hollywood bob” bandwagon or anything but shorter hair just feels so fresh right now. It has a touch of Debbie, a bit of Pat, a hint of Karen and a slice of Siouxie; all pretty powerful ladies of their decade. I can’t decide if shorter hair makes me look younger or more mature but it’s definitely edgy in a classy way; just like my style.
Speaking of style, I feel like I’m already in my fall uniform by wearing pants and these muted colors. I blame it on the weather; one moment it’s raining and sunny the next, so you never know how to dress accordingly. I usually end up wearing either too much or too little. Can’t they just decide if it’s summer or not, for Pete’s sake?


T-shirt: Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair
Cardigan: H&M
Pants: Monki
Shoes: Vagabond
Bag: Saddler
Necklace: Ann Demeulemeester

Hair play

I colored my hair the other day, it’s a bit more dark brown now and more closer to my natural hair color. The hair dye should fade in about 24 washes but let’s see how long it will last. I’ve been asked about how I do my hair a couple of times now, so I thought I’d let you in on my secrets.


Top: MTWTFSS
Specs: Monki

My hair is naturally wavy, so basically the waves you see in my hair are all au naturel. However, to get them even more curly, after a wash I usually squeeze the wet hair with a towel here and there to create curly locks. I like to towel dry my hair and never really use a blow dryer, unless I’m in a hurry. This way my hair dries wavy, yet manageable.

 As you probably have noticed, sometimes I like to wear my hair shorter in a 1920’s style soft bun (with a messy rock twist of course), and to achieve this look I simply gather some hair in a bun on the back, add some bobby pins to hold the bun, loose some strands of hair from the back and sides by pulling and lifting them with my fingers. Then I add either some spray-in moisturizer or curling balm to achieve the curly volume and voila, the hairdo is done. Very rarely do I use a straightining iron to get my bangs a bit like the 70’s style.

My haircare products usually consist of any shampoo and conditioner you can get from your local super market (such as L’oreal El Vital or Pantene) but since I’ve been handed a few free products, I’ve moved towards professional salon products. Lately my hair has been washed and conditioned with John Frieda’s “Brilliant Brunette Shine Release” which I’ve grown to like quite a bit, due to the fact that my extremely dry hair feels so soft and manageable after the wash. Afterwards I have added either Kadus’ “Slalom Curl Balm” or 4R’s “Moisture Mist“; a moisturizing conditioner spray which my hairdresser recommended and usually travels with me everywhere I go. For shine I add “Shine Drops” by Generic Value Products which you can find at Sally’s in the States. They are actually a less expensive version of Paul Mitchell’s Gloss Drops, if anyone is wondering what the heck am I talking about. Recently I have discovered a very similar product from L’oreal called “Lumino Contrast Nutriceride” which works just as good. The orange bottle in the picture is the latest addition to my collection and it’s actually very handy when you want to create natural looking waves and more volume in your hair. The product is called “Salt Spray” by Fudge. I think you can get most of these products from your local hair salon.

Some of you readers have encouraged me to try a more radical look but believe me: been there, done that. I’ve grown to like this more natural look that creates a softer tone for me and brings contrast to my otherwise so harsh style. Bangs are also a must for me, basically can’t live without them, so they will stick and stay no matter what. However, I think I am in a need of a trim, so maybe something other than this very minor coloring operation might be happening on the hair front. We’ll see…