Don’t Fear The Powder Eyeliner

My first attempt at powder eyeliner. It was fairly easy applying it to my upper eyelid. My lower lid is another story.

My first attempt at powder eyeliner. It was fairly easy applying it to my upper eyelid. My lower lid is another story.

After finally getting the hang of pencil eyeliner last week, I decided it was time to give powder a try. Armed with the Laura Mercier Color Wardrobe, an angled brush I picked up at Sephora, and a few of Q-Tips, I was ready to do battle.

Actually, it was more tussle than battle.

On my first attempt, I pretty much nailed my upper eyelids perfectly.  I simply wet my brush, dipped it in the powder and pressed the brush into my eyelashes. Pretty simple and sadly, anti-climactic.

After last week’s challenge with using the pencil liner, I was expecting more of a challenge.

Why was I so afraid? This was easy.

I only messed up the outside corner of my upper eyelid. There is a reason you use an  angled brush! But I was able to fix it right up with a trusty Q-tip.

Then it was time to do the lower lid.

It looks OK in the photo above, but in person it was a hot mess.

First I applied way too much pressure. The brush’s bristles felt like pins. My eye started tearing, causing the powder I applied to run.

Drunken raccoon, here I come.

Did a few tears and eye pain stop me?  Nope. I continued across my eye. But my hand became more jumpy out of fear of pressing too hard again. The result was a very jagged line under my eye.  No amount of smudging could salvage what I did.

Feeling a bid defeated, I sucked it up, wiped away the eyeliner and went back for round two. Starting with my lower lid, I relaxed my hand and gently pressed on my eyelash line.

No pain.

My second try at applying powdered eyeliner. Once I relaxed my hand and stopped pressing the blasted brush into my eye, things got much easier!

My second try at applying powdered eyeliner. Once I relaxed my hand and stopped pressing the blasted brush into my eye, things got much easier!

I followed my lash line, applying the powder to only the outer 1/3 of the lashes.  Gone were the jagged lines and the drunken raccoon. Just a few strokes with the Q-tip and I was staring at one smooth line. Sweet!

Do I still think eyeliner is the devil?  No.

I’m a little excited about playing with different colors and trying more dramatic looks down the road. For now, I’m just happy I didn’t poke my eye out.


Eyeliner Is The Devil!

eyeliner

The carnage! Why is eyeliner so damn hard to put on?

Like foosball, eyeliner is the devil! I’m convinced of it. It seems like no matter what I do I ended up looking like a drunk raccoon.

Despite my make-up makeover, eyeliner stumps me.

Applying it to my lower eyelid is easy. It’s that damn upper lid. Following my eye line is impossible. I always end up with a very uneven line and no amount of smudging will help.

Well this week it’s practice, practice, practice!

I worked on my eyes for an hour yesterday, trying to master my eyeliner pencils.  Tomorrow I’m working on applying the powders.

What happens when my hands are not steady. One side is much lighter than the other.

What happens when my hands are not steady. One side is much lighter than the other.

Technique challenges
After the first 20 minutes, I realized two problems.

First, I’m trying to apply it while standing.  Hummmm…I think I need to sit down and place my elbow on the countertop. That should help steady the hand doing the deed.

My second problem, is more mental. I’m very squeamish when it comes to anything near my eyes. Heck, I can’t even wear contacts because it gives me the willies. As soon as I get the pencil close to my eye, I start the rapid blinking. I realized I had a problem when I flinched…that left a lovely line that no Q-tip could fix.

Always have the right tools!
Sitting at my desk with a new strategy in hand, I began working on my upper eyelid. Right away I notice that some eyeliner pencils go on easier than others, making a steady hand even more important.

Also, I need to invest in a sharpener. You really lose control with a dull pencil.

I started to get the hang of eyeliner about 30 minutes into my practice session.

I started to get the hang of eyeliner about an hour into my practice session.

The results?
I tried my black, blue and brown pencils. I got the best results with the brown followed closely by the blue. No matter what I did, it seemed as if the black always went on in globs. That tells me it might be the pencil and not me.

I focused on short strokes along my eyelash line while holding down my eyelid. Starting on the outside of my eye, I worked my way in towards my nose. I’m not sure if I should go all the way over or stop at mid-point.  Also, is it best for the eyeliner to go on first or last? Since I’m holding my eyelid down, shouldn’t eyeliner go on first to avoid smudging the eyeshadow?

So many questions…I’m going to need to put out an SOS to my Glam Squad.

A couple of times I went too fast and started drawing long lines with awful results.

After an hour I felt I got the hang of it. Most mistakes were tiny and something I could easily correct with a Q-tip.

Tomorrow I need to drop by Sephora for a sharpener, a good black eyeliner pencil (maybe green too!) and a slanted brush to practice with the powder.

I will master this witchcraft.

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Found My Lip Color!

Lancomb's Blush Classique turned out to be my go to color. Oh so pretty!

Lancomb’s Blush Classique turned out to be my go to color. Oh so pretty!

Yesterday I continued my weight loss makeover. I visited my nearby Macy’s cosmetics department to find my cornerstone lipstick color to build my collection.

This lucky lipstick will serve as my go to color. It has to look good on me if I’m wearing no makeup.

With just a few cosmetic lines to choose from (my Macy’s is tiny!), I found what I was looking for at the Lancôme counter.

Lancôme’s L’absolu Rouge lipstick brand includes a moisturizer to prevent chapping, a big plus for me with winter fast approaching.  When sampling the different lipsticks, I found that it went on easily and evenly.  And the colors…oh so pretty.

Lancomb's Natural Mauve lip liner; weight loss makeover

Coloring my lips with Lancomb’s Natural Mauve lip liner.

Speaking of color, I picked Blush Classique. A shade deeper than my natural lip color, it looked the most flattering on me.

I also picked up a lip liner at the Lancôme counter – Natural Mauve. It’s a perfect compliment to the Classique and great for pairing with future pink, brown or nude lipsticks.

Putting It Together
Once I got home I started applying my goodies.  First I applied the liner and made sure to not just line my lips, but color them in too. As my Glam Squad taught me, coloring my lips with the liner locks in the lipstick color to prevent fading.

weight loss makeover, Lancôme's Blush Classique

Phase 1 of my weight loss makeover is complete with my new lipstick and lip liner!

After I applied the lipstick I used the brush at the end of my lip liner to smooth out the color.

Easy peasy!

Buying the moisturizing lipstick was a smart move on my part as my lips felt smooth and moist all day.  Hooray!

Now time to start building my collection.


Cover Girl Time: The Weight Loss Makeup Makeover

weight loss beauty makeover, weight loss cosmetics, reward weight loss with makeup

(L-R) Nordstrom’s beauty stylist, me and Julie talking about best products for my skin.

Since I was rewarding myself for losing weight with a wardrobe and hair makeover, it made sense to ask my Glam Squad – Julie and Claire, the makeover pros – for some makeup advice too.

Confession Time
I never really wear that much makeup.  I don’t prefer going barefaced, but I never felt confident on how to put it on.

But before I could attend Julie’s makeup master class, I needed to actually buy makeup.

Skimping and Splurging
I don’t know about you, but I always find the department store makeup counters overwhelming. If I don’t know what I need, how do I shop for it? And which products are the best?

The good news: Julie went with me to take some of the mystery out of the experience.

Julie knew exactly what I needed. Her big challenge – staying within my $225 budget! Now that may seem like a lot, but keep in mind we were starting from scratch. I needed to invest in certain specialty items. Other things I could pick up on the cheap at my local drug store.

Our list included the basics:

  • Face – coverage makeup
  • Eyes – eyeliner, eye shadow, eyebrow liner and mascara
  • Cheeks – blush, bronzer
  • Lips – lipstick, gloss, liner

And if the budget supported it, an eye cream and Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair (I’ve used this and it rocks!).

weight loss beauty makeover, reward weight loss with makeup

Glam Squad’s Makeup Master Class: Learning how to apply concealer to get rid of those dark circles under my eyes.

When I arrived at Nordstrom’s makeup counter, Julie was already working with the beauty stylists pulling different products for me to test.

Julie recommended we splurge on a tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier) for my dry skin and to help tone down my naturally very rosy cheeks. Also I needed to invest in a good concealer (Estee Lauder) for those dark circles under my eyes.

We both loved the Laura Mercier Colour Wardrobe. It had everything I needed for my eyes and cheeks. The colors perfectly complimented my skin color and green eyes.

We also picked up brushes at Sephora.

As for my lips,  the Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio tempted us. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make the budget work.

It was an educational shopping trip, completely took the fear away of visiting the makeup counter, and best of all Julie stayed within $2.00 of my budget – how’s that for awesome!

weight loss beauty makeover, rewarding weight loss with makeup, everyday beauty

The master at work! Julie touching up the eye makeup as we take a brief pause during the photo shoot.

Makeup Master Class
Sunday morning I met up with my Glam Squad for a makeup master class.

Julie walked me through step by step – how much tinted moisturizer to put on (a nickel-size drop); best way to apply the concealer (pat it on with the ring finger!); simple motion for applying blush (backwards “C”); and lots of little tricks for my eyes and lips.

She went over what each brush is for and how to care for them (wash once a week in baby shampoo).

She was incredibly patient with my questions. And she had great little tips for turning mistakes into great looks.

The best thing about makeup class: Julie crafted me a look that was amazing, quick to put on (90 seconds folks!) and felt like I’m not wearing makeup.

Now I just need to practice, practice, practice.

So ended the morning portion of Day 3 of my weight loss makeover. Up next, putting it all together for the photo shoot!

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