Highlighting 101 | How to Achieve a Luminous, Summer J.Lo Glow with Highlighter

There is no other season that I like to highlight more than in the summer. Luminous, dewy skin almost personifies summer in a form--the health that radiates from your cheeks in the summer heat, the glow you get after a long day spent by the pool or beach. Regardless of the season though, highlighter is a great way to imitate that luminous, summer glow. Highlighting can even serve to accentuate or enhance certain features (like faking larger lips or eyes) because the added light draws the eyes to that area.
You can use a variety of different products to achieve dewy J.Lo skin, whether it be liquid, cream or powder highlighting products. My favorite highlighter at the moment is Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in the color "Opal." It's an indescribably beautiful champagne highlight with a golden sheen. Literally cannot put it down. Almost all of my favorite highlighters seem to be in powder form, in fact. I think they give a great glow without looking too wet or oily. If your skin is really dry though, you might prefer a liquid or cream highlighting product.

Some of my Favorite Highlighters Include:

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in "Opal" (my favorite!) Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Powder NARS "Albatross" Highlighting Powder Benefit "Watts Up!" Cream Stick Highlighter MAC "Lightscapade" Highlighter Victoria's Secret Illuminating Face Powder in "Impassioned" Chanel "Le Blanc" Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base

I highlight more or less depending on the mood I'm in (which is how I go about doing my makeup in general). If I want to ooze Victoria Secret Bombshell, I go for the entire enchilada and highlight all of the areas mentioned below. If I want to keep it more casual though, I only choose one or two areas.  Like I said, it just all depends on my mood that day.

I find that highlighting looks even better when added to an already contoured and highlighted face. The type of highlighting in this post focuses strictly on bringing added light and glow to the face.  Highlighting paired with contouring like in this other blog post focuses on putting different shades of color in the appropriate areas to create a slimmed-down, multi-dimensional look.

Where to Highlight:

Cheekbones-  highlighting this area will draw the eyes upward and into thinking that the cheekbones are higher. This is also a natural spot where health and radiance shine through after a workout or long day in the sun.
Cupid's Bow- highlighting the cupid's bow will create the appearance of a poutier top lip
Center of the lips- highlighting in the center of the lips will create increased dimension so that the lower lip looks larger and more plump.
Browbone- highlighting this area will clean up the area under the brows, make the arches appear higher, and make the entire eye area seem larger.
Tear Ducts- highlighting next to the tear ducts of the eyes creates that "wide awake" look and will fake larger eyes. This is a great tactic if your eyes are close-set and will make them appear farther apart.
Center of Eyelid- After applying eyeshadow, packing a lighter highlight color in the center of the lid will draw attention to this area. This will make the eye lid area more dimensional and in turn, create a larger, rounder eye look. It also just looks really pretty!Down the center of the nose- I would be careful with this one. If too much highlight is applied to this area, it can look oily really fast. A light touch is key here. A light touch of highlighter down the center of the nose will draw the eye down the thinnest portion of the nose and trick them to think its slightly smaller.

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Currently in My Makeup Bag | Summer Daily Makeup Routine

If you read my recent blog post, 5 Beauty Lessons I Learned While Sick, you will know about the fiasco my husband and I have been having recently with our little flea friends. After chemically bombing the apartment to high heaven several times to no avail (I'm pretty sure the Apocalypse could occur and they would be the sole survivors), we have decided to re-pack everything we just finished putting up and move to a new apartment complex. C'est la vie.
In between moves, my parents have adopted our cute homeless selves into their home and I've adopted  a makeup bag to tote around. I filled it with some summery everyday products from my squirrel stash. The rest I tucked away all snuggly to be moved to the new apartment. In the meantime though, these have been my everyday essentials. 

The Skin Prep:

I'm testing out a new facial lotion, Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, and I really like it so far! It hydrates and brightens the skin for a youthful, refreshed look before applying makeup. If I wake up with dark circles, I massage a drop of my handy-dandy MAC Fast Response Eye Cream into my under-eye area and then seal it all in with my Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer. Before applying any makeup I dab on a bit of Nivea Lip Balm to soak into my lips. Crusty-crust lips ain't a cute look under lipstick y'all.  

The Face: 

Since it's hotter than Hugh Jackman's abs out there, I'm currently using Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation. It dries to a powder finish so it keeps my oily skin at bay. I like that it also protects my skin  during the day with SPF 20. For a heavy duty concealer that doesn't budge, I'm using MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 (seriously best concealer ever...check it out in this blog post.) To seal everything in, I'm using MAC Prep + Prime Pressed Powder--a translucent setting powder that knows no limits when it comes to sweat. As usual, I bronze/contour my face with my NARS Laguna Bronzer. No surprise here. It's just perfection and I haven't found anything I like better. Milani Baked Blush in Delizioso Pink has been calling the apples of my cheeks its home lately. Such a pretty baby doll pink! For a golden glow, I like to apply my Hard Candy Bronzer in "Tiki" to the tops of my cheekbones (or anywhere on my face I want to look particularly angelic that day).

The Eyes: 

As usual, I'm still filling in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in "Auburn." It's so precise and just so simple to work with and I love the color. I decided to switch it up and use MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot instead of Painterly. While it's definitely more sheer, it still primes great and provides a great coral sheen to the lids. It pairs great with MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in "Sweet Satisfaction." Together they make a warm sand-beige color that I love. In the crease, MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in "Uninterrupted." Absolutely beautiful. The color is such a warm, rich mustard/camel brown that just screams summer. I'm currently using Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in "Smog" to line my eyes and intensify the warmth in that area. To create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes, I rim my waterline with a NYX Eyeliner in "Pure White" and also apply it to the brow bone as a matte highlight. To top it off, I curl my lashes and then apply Too Faced "Better Than Sex" Mascara--which is ahh-mazing (and the commercial for it is hilarious, btw).

The Lips:

If it's a particularly hot day--haha jk that's everyday recently--I apply MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer to prevent my lip products from feathering and smearing throughout the day (this blog post is also great if you have that problem). I then line my lips with a great browny-nude color, Jordana Lipliner in "Rock N' Rose." Depending on my mood that day, I either fill them in completely with the lipliner and pair NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée on top (for a beautiful nude lip) or I fill in the lips with a fun orange coral color, MAC "Vegas Volt."

What's in your summer makeup bag? 

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How to Get Melt-Proof, Long-Lasting Summer Makeup

It's happening.  
The faces and shirts of our boyfriends and husbands are tainted with it. The evidence is stained into the furniture and is etched into the horrified expressions on our faces. 
Our makeup is melting off.
And no wonder. It's the middle of summer. It's hot. Frankly, most of the country probably feels like they could fry an egg on their faces, let alone the sidewalk. 
From left to right: Smashbox Photo Finish LightMAC Prep and Prime Lip PrimerMAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother,  Urban Decay All Nighter Spray
Working three simple steps into your makeup routine can make the difference in the appearance and longevity of your makeup. These steps will lock on your makeup and protect it from hot weather and naturally oily skin. If oily skin is your problem, one of my previous posts provides tips that can help. 

3 Steps for Melt-Proof Makeup:

1.) Primers- Using a primer all over the face as a base before you put on your foundation is a great way to lock on your facial products. Smashbox Photo Finish Light is a primer that I love and have used for a long time now. If you have sensitive skin then I suggest their light formula as it won't clog the pores. MAC Prep and Prime Lip Primer is also a wonderful product that fills in the lines of your lips and grabs on to lip products for all-day wear. 
2.) Setting Powders- Setting your foundation, blush, and bronzer with a setting powder will increase the longevity of your makeup and seep up any extra oils on your face. I like to use MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother as it smoothes out imperfections and softens the appearance of the skin... all while keeping your makeup glued to your face.
3.) Setting Sprays- As a final step to the makeup process, I spray a setting spray all over my face. This step will really seal in your makeup and prevent product from dripping down your face if you sweat in hot weather. I have been loving the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray but I also make my own easy DIY Setting Spray that works very well. 
Yet another key is to look for products that have primers infused in them, work as stains, or are labeled as long-lasting/waterproof. 
Below are melt-proof products that I swear by:

Summer/Natural Day-Time Makeup

This is the makeup I was wearing almost everyday while I was staying with my family for 3 weeks in Florida. This is a simple and natural look that is great for everyday casual wear. I feel like it enhances the features just enough without looking too overdone or like you are trying to hard.

I smudged a brown liner around my eyes which is less harsh than black and really brings out blue/green eyes. The coral-pink blush is very complimentary on all skin shades for summer and the CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm that I used on my lips have good staying power and are way more moisturizing than most "stick" form lipstick  products I have used.

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Prom/Summer Nights Makeup Tutorial

Fretting over prom makeup woes, my wonderful friend, Alyssa, recently asked me to film a makeup look that she could wear to her senior prom. When she sent me a picture of her beautiful, aqua prom dress with gold and white details, I was instantly inspired. I decided to create a wearable flirty and romantic look with an unexpected pop of blue under the bottom lashline to tie in the theme of the dress. This look would also be great for any night that you are going out this summer since the colors are warm and bright, yet subtle. 
Let me know if any of you have specific requests and I will happily make a video for you!

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Maybelline Color Tattoos for Summer 2013

Like sweet little cherubs perched on a white plastic cloud, the new Summer 2013 Maybelline Eye Color Tattoos sang their sweet song to me. As I approached the display, they cooed to me,  "Buyyyy meeeee...tra la la!!!" (queue Handel's Hallelujah Chorus)

And oh yes, I did.

All of them.....(whoops)...except for one.

The heavenly display calling my name!

What makes this collection different from the oodles of previous Color Tatoo collections you ask? These are duochrome. Not just any duochrome might I add, but a unique, blow your mind, how the heck is this at a drugstore type of duochrome.

From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts, Cool Crush

The colors that I got from this collection are Waves of White, Icy Mint, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts, and Cool Crush. The only color I skipped out on was Shady Shores--a yellow color that just didn't spark my fancy quite as much. 

All of the colors in this collection are limited edition and so they will only be available for a short period of time (hence my frantic dash to hoard basically the entire collection).
Waves of White and Seashore Frosts are the standout colors of this collection to me. Waves of White appears to be just any old boring white in the packaging. Once you swipe your finger in it though, you will see the pure gypsy magic going on there. When the color hits different angles of light, an array of beautiful colors show up. In direct sunlight, you can see blue and silver shimmer that is truly stunning. Seashore Frosts also has this effect. In its packaging, it seems like a dark icy blue color. In sunlight though, this shade is jaw dropping. Blues, golds, greens and browns intertwine to make a beautiful, complex and rich color. 
Lavish Lavender and Cool Crush are also great duochrome colors. Lavish Lavender reflects bronze, plum and purple in various lighting and Cool Crush appears like a light blue in its packaging only to reveal a gorgeous steely silver duochrome on the skin. 
If we were on a game-show, Icy Mint would be the weakest link. Although it's a beautiful mint color, it just couldn't compete with the other complex and unique shades. It has a pretty shimmer, but definitely can't compete among the ranks of its duochrome brothers.
Now let's be honest though. While these are all amazing colors, a few of them do apply a little patchy. To conquer this problem, I just wait for each eyelid to dry a bit and then lightly reapply more color where needed. Just make sure to pat the product on instead of rubbing it (which will remove some color). The colors I have found to apply a bit unevenly are Waves of White and Icy Mint.
Colors shown in the shade. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)
Colors shown in direct sunlight. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)
Colors shown in direct sunlight with my hand titled to show off the duochrome. From left to right: Waves of White, Icy Mint, Cool Crush, Lavish Lavender, Seashore Frosts (top)

The pictures of these colors just don't do them justice. I would have to have a live action shot of my hand tilting in different directions and in different lights to show off their true beauty.

Yes, you read that price right in the above picture. These are only $4.99. The only place I have spotted them are at Bed Bath and Beyond but between the price, the quality and unique nature of these products, this is an absolute steal. 

Summer Bronze Eyeshadow Tutorial!

This is a bronze eyeshadow look that I have loved wearing during the summer nights. It really makes the eyes pop and is even light enough to wear for day time. 

In this tutorial, I will take you step by step to show you how I did this look and include a list of the products used. 

Products Used:
(click the products below to check them out!)


Step 1:

Prime the eye lid with an eyeshadow primer. This will make sure that the eyeshadows you use stay put all night/day long and don't crease. I used the ELF Eyeshadow primer

Step 2: 

Cover the eye-lid with a metallic medium brown cream eyeshadow just up to the crease of your eye. This lays down a base of color that will make the eyeshadows in the next step appear more rich and deep with color. It will also help the eyeshadows to adhere to your eye-lid better. I used NYX Jumbo Pencil in "Iced Mocha".

Step 3: 

Use a brush or your finger to apply a golden/bronze shade to the center of the lid. I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow in "Half Baked".

Step 4: 

Use the excess golden/bronze eyeshadow on the same brush or finger and apply the color in sweeping motions (like a wind-shield wiper) in the crease of your eye. The color should be softer than it is in the center of the lid. 

Then, apply a dark brown shade in the outer corner of the eye, extending upwards to the outer corner of your crease. Use a clean brush or finger to blend the product so that there are no harsh lines. I used L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo in "Saucy" and used the Dark Brown shade.

After that, mix the golden/bronze shade and the dark brown shade of eyeshadow together on a finger or brush and apply to the outer corner of the lower lash line. Blend it upwards so that it connects with the eyeshadow on the upper lash line.

Step 5: 

Apply a black liquid eyeliner to the upper lash line of your eye and wing it out slightly at the outer corner. I used "DiorLiner" liquid eyeliner in Black. 

Then, take a shimmery vanilla shade of eyeshadow and apply underneath the brow-bone and in the inner corner of the eye close to the tear-duct. This will make your eyes appear brighter and larger and will accentuate the natural curve of your brow. I used Urban Decay Eyeshadow in "Virgin"

Step 6: 

Apply mascara to the upper and lower lash line. I used CARGO Texas Lash Mascara in Black.

The finished look:

What has been your favorite eye look for the summer?