Sunday, May 18, 2008

DIY Body Scrub- Caffeinated Brown Sugar Scrub

Hi guys!! Sorry again for the delay in has been extremely hectic for the last week or so. Alright- So now we're talking about an absolutely delicious homemade body scrub. This scrub uses all natural ingredients that you have in your own kitchen to gently exfoliate the skin on your body. When I used it, it left my skin smooth, soft and glowing...even better than some of the scrubs I foolishly shelled out $20.00 for. And, surprise, surprise- this scrub even left a vague, but oh so yummy fragrance of brown sugar and vanilla on my skin.

So the how to:

Combine the following:

~2/3 cup brown sugar (I prefer this to granulated sugar because the grains are smaller and less likely to scratch your skin)

~2/3 c oatmeal (not the instant stuff)

~1/4 cup coffee grounds (I used vanilla flavoured ones- cuz that's all had in my kitchen ;-) )

~ tea leaves from about 4 tea bags

~1/3 cup oil (my fave is jojoba, but you can use any type of vegetable oil)

Mix them all together- and you have your very own homemade exfoliator! These quantities are not meant to act as hard and fast rules, you can alter them in any way that suits you depending on how grainy, liquid-y etc you want your scrub to be. This one can be kept for some time in a container, as none of the components is prone to spoiling quickly.
You may choose to add some lemon juice for added exfoliating power, or you can use milk. Be warned though, cut down the amount you make when using milk- because it will go bad!

Hope you gals enjoy!!!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sorry I Haven't Posted Recently

Hi guys, I'm so sorry I haven't put up any recent posts- there's been way too much drama in the last few days. Rest assured that there will be a new post soon.


Monday, May 5, 2008

A Natural Bronzy Summertime Look

This look utilises shimmery golds and bronzes to create a glowy summertime face. I'm going to make this how to shorter than my last FOTD (the Gray Smokey Eye), so if you want the nitty-gritty details on what foundation I used etc. check out that guide- it's got everything in excruciating detail.

Here we go:

So...this is a nice natural look that ca be paired with pretty much any oufit, and quicky revved up for evening with a darker lip. Doesn't require much technical expertise to create either.


So, for the eyes, I used Milani Runway Basics eyeshadow set in Designer Browns.

1. Apply shimmer pale gold shade (2nd from the top) all over the lid and blend up and over the crease and browbone.

2. Using the copper shade (4th from the top), apply all over lid using a small shadow brush.

3. Using, the smaller edge of the sponge applicator included in the kit, applu some of the pale gold shadow from 1. to the inner corner of the eye and blend under the inner corner of the lower lid.

4. Line eyes with MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, and apply a generous coat of TooFaced Lip Injection mascara. Separate lashes with a lash comb.


For the lips, a coat of Maybelline Shine Seduction Lipcolor in Sun Kissed was applied.


The cheek colour is barely noticeable in my pics- but it's there.

Apply NARS blush in Lovejoy to the cheeks, and then apply a very light dusting of NARS Orgasm over this.

Dust thin lines of NARS blush in Albatross over cheekbones, cupid's bow, temples, bridge of nose and hollow of chin. Blend well.

Voila! You are now a bronze goddess!!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

My First Attempt at an FOTD: Gray Smokey Eye it goes, my first attempt, after a long, arduous and highly frustrating war with my camera. I decided to do this totally at random while I was waiting on the bf to return from that torturously boring sport known as baseball. I apologise to all you baseball fans out there, but I am totally unaplogetic in my hatred of that more-boring-than-watching-an-entire-cricket-test-match sport. If my bf can live with it- so can you. Voila!

I've taken these pics without a flash. The two full-on face pics were taken with one in natural light and the other in a darker spot.

Sans maquillage:

And then....the eyes:

Full face (excuse it this one time, me and my camera were at war):

The how-to:

All brushes used are part of the Sephora Prestige Brush Set (the one in the brown croc case)

1. BareVitamins primer was applied to face with fingertips.

2. Stila Perfecting Concealer in shade F was applied to undereyes and eyelids using the concealer brush.

3. Chanel Teint Innocence in Walnut 8.0 was applied sheerly to face using the foundation brush.

4. Foundation was set using Chanel Poudre Universelle in Translucent 3. Applied using the powder brush.

5. Milani Runway Eyes in Backstage Basics eyeshadow was used for this look. The fourth shade from the top, a steely, shimmery gray was applied to the eyelid and blended vigourously to the crease using the small shadow brush.

6.Emphasis was added to the outer corner of the eye by using the contour brush to apply a little more of the gray shadow to the outer corner and crease.

7. The smudge brush was then used to blend.

8. The same shade of gray was then applied to the lower lashline using the small end of the sponge applicator included in the shadow kit.

9. M.A.C Eye kohl in Smolder was used to line the upper and lower waterline (the inner rim of the eye).

10. The second shade from the top of the Milani eyeshadow kit, a pale shimmering gray, was applied to the inner corner of the eye using the small end of the sponge applicator, in order to brighten up the eyes.

11. Eyes were finished with a generous coat of TooFaced Lash Injection mascara in Black. Lashes were separated using a Sephora Professionel Lash/Brow comb.

12. Stila Convertible Color in Peony was applied to the cheeks with fingers and blended.

13. Stila Convertible Color in Peony was also applied to the lips using the lip brush from the Prestige set. Lips were then finished with a coat of Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm.

This gives a not-too-heavy smoky eye that is not overly dramatic. Please excuse my step by step layout if you find it too cold and detail oriented- I'm a scientist...this is how I itemize-compulsively and minutely...I can't help myself!!!

Think of this as my lab notebook for makeup ;-)



Review- Iman: The Beauty of Color

Yes!!!! My finals are done! So I can get down to blogging in a bit more detail. I'm going to be starting research in a couple weeks, but that should not impact the blog too much. down to business:

Iman: The Beauty of Color

This book touts itself as "The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color". Granted that this is the only book that I've read thus far that is specifically geared toward the beauty needs of coloured women (because there certainly aren't enough!!!!), but I'm going to give you my take on it anyway. After years of toiling and searching I might just be able to offer you guys a comparison to another such book. Until then...

So we all know by now that the world's coloured beauties come in a zillion different shades from creamy to cafe au lait to caramel to mahogany. That's why it's so darn difficult for us to find the perfect foundation. And blush!?!- That actually shows up- without making us look like Bonzo the clown?? Forget about it.

In her book, Iman, a former supermodel from Somalia, addresses the beauty woes and dilemmas of coloured women pretty successfully in my opinion. Her guides for choosing colours that suit your skin tones are clear and precise, with enough charm and witty writing to make you forget the agonies that the colour typing process usually evokes.

This book does not offer much in the way of application techniques, but it does give some creative interpretations of makeup, some of which border on artistical. The photography is excellent, the pictures do a lot more explanation than the words do. The guide features models from almost every corner of the world, with a little stardust thrown in at the end! Iman makes over several gorgeous celebrities from the sexy Salma Hayek to uber-models such as Kiara Kabukuru.

At the end of the book there is a lovely section, illustrating makeup looks for every age using- get this- REAL, everyday ordinary women. These are not supermodels with perfectly chiseled cheekbones and impossibly perfect features. These are women that, without makeup, are average. They've got the same bags under their eyes that you and I have. But the makeup (and some airbrushing I suspect) totally transform them.

My favourite things about this book:

Iman does not try to convince you with all this self-love mumbo jumbo that you are perfect without a drop of makeup. Rather, she assists in exploiting your God-given features with the artistic application of cosmetics.

  1. She uses real women alongside models and stars.

  2. There are step by step guides to creating the looks showcased in the book, using pictures to illustrate.

  3. The photography is GORGEOUS!

  4. She writes in an easygoing, self-depracating tone that puts you at ease with the topic. She does not make you feel vain for buying a beauty guide, nor is does she try to convince you that there are "rules" that should not be ignored.

  5. Oh yeah- Her book is most certainly NOT a 162 page ad for her cosmetic line-it's barely mentioned in the book and certainly not mentioned in the makeovers.

  1. Not very heavy on the basics- you need to be familiar with at least the basics of makeup application to re-create some of her looks.

  2. I can't really think of anything else that I didn't like....

Verdict: A good buy if you're looking for ways to experiment with your makeup. Very inspirational for a coloured woman- one of the very few makeup guides out there that is devoted exclusively to "exotic" women. Overall a very fun read! I can't really compare to another, similar, guide at this point- but I will do so in the future.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Review of Chanel Teint Innocence Naturally Luminous Fluid Makeup

Of all the foundations that I have tried thus far, CHANEL Teint Innocence Naturally Luminous Fluid Makeup is by far the best. It applies smoothly, sheerly and evenly. Much lighter in texture than M.A.C Studio Fix. It allows the natural glow of your skin to show through, but still offers excellent coverage. In terms of staying power- this stuff lasts! It gives you this gorgeous, very natural finish without being too matte or too oily.

I apply it over my Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturiser and BareVitamins Prime Time using the foundation brush from Sephora's Prestige Brush set. I usually only need to apply one sheer coat of Teint Innocence over concealer.

The only downside to CHANEL foundations (aside from that whopping $45.00 price tag!) is the lack of variety in shades. If you are fair to medium toned, then you should not have a problem finding your shade in the CHANEL line. If you are darker, only four of the thirteen shades are designed for darker skin. By most standards, I am not very dark-skinned as far as coloured women go, but I wear the second darkest shade available.

Verdict: If you are fair to medium-dark skinned and don't have any qualms about dropping $45.00 on one ounce of foundation, CHANEL Teint Innocence is great buy.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Info about me- to put my musings in context

So, in order for my reviews/tips/tricks/whatever to mean anything to you, I've got to give you some info about myself (that's me to your left).
Firstly, I am a college student. Anti-aging stuff is a little ways off for me (I hope!!).

I have medium-dark skin as you can see from the picture. In my M.A.C phase I wore Studio Fix NC45 foundation. I'm currently on Chanel Teint Innocence in Walnut 8.0. More on those later.

My skin is normal, I get the occasional zit and my biggest complaint is the eternal prescence of those goddamn dark circles under my eyes. Without gobs and gobs of concealer, I look like I got sucker-punched by a weight lifter. My HG (holy grail) would be something to rid me of this pestilence forever! -Still searching...haven't been brave enough to fork out the $95.00 for Hylexin. If you have been that courageous- Please let me know how it turned out!

My hair is a cross between black and some reddish-brown streaks that the sun planted. Due to my heritage and my PCOS (sigh) I have a problem with dark facial hair. I have tried (and continue to try) several things to help the mustache problem, which I will elaborate on in later posts.

My two toned lips (my upper lip is darker than my lower lip) are another minor source of distress for me. I gather that many coloured women have this issue of the two toned lips distorting lipstick colours...and I am currently searching for a quick fix. I have a lead on this one, so expect to see a post on it soon.

Personally, I am a Chemistry/French double major and I work in a Biochemistry research laboratory. And I love makeup! At my tender age, I believe that I may have found the guy I'll marry. We've been together for a few months short of two years and living together for some time now. So ladies, I don't really hit up the clubs that much anymore, but if you're interested in clubbing looks etc. let me know and I'll dig up my slightly rusty party tricks.

So...that's it for now...anything else you guys want to know- just give me a shout! And remember- comments are always welcome!

Stay tuned for the beginning of my reviews etc.