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How to Wear Lipstick

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
By Glinda

All right, I’ve got some issues with this guide.

I’m not sure I agree with the “sheer serious wine shades” for an important meeting.  What if your important meeting is in the middle of August?  And sometimes wine shades can come off as dark and almost too serious.   Like, “Look at me in my dark lipstick, I am a very intense person!” instead of one that flatters and you feel comfortable in.  Or maybe I’m just projecting because I personally wouldn’t wear a wine shade for a meeting of any kind.

Well I take that back, I might wear a sheer flippant wine shade.

I also take issue with the nude pink shades for the grocery store.  Why, because I’m not supposed to look like I’m wearing makeup to the grocery store?  A red color will clash with the produce department?

I guess, though, it is a good basic primer for those who are uncomfortable/new with lip color.

Not Exactly Beauty Related…

Saturday, April 21st, 2012
By Glinda

But as someone with a strong affinity for color (I HATE white walls! Minimalist I ain’t.) this site is pretty dang cool.

HowTo: Keep Your Eyeliner From Smudging

Friday, September 23rd, 2011
By Glinda

The captivating Accidental Tangoiste emailed moi with the following:

I’m beginning to seriously wonder what I’m doing wrong in my use of eyeliner. I got home after an evening out last night to find that once again the liner on my lower lids had settled into every crease, despite the primer I’d used and what I think is a relatively light application.

I generally use a brown pencil–Maybelline, I think–to slightly dramatize the simple brown shadow that I like to use to bring out my baby blues, for evenings. My nights out mainly involve dancing, and I do tend to end up perspiring in a most unladylike manner, so I don’t know, maybe there’s nothing I can do but keep periodically checking it in the restroom.


Hmmm, yes, dancing and perspiring (ladylike manner or not) is always tough on eyeliner.

Here are my top tips for helping your eyeliner stay put:

1) Choose a gel or liquid eyeliner over a pencil.  This is probably the best choice to ensure no eyeliner slippage occurs.

2) Make sure your eyeliner is described as “smudge proof” or similar adjectives.

3) If you must use a pencil liner, try freezing it for about ten minutes before application.

4) Then, apply a similarly colored eyeshadow with an angled brush over the eyeliner to help keep it in place.

Anyone else have any tried and true methods that worked for you? Do tell!

And next week, the best smoky eye tutorials on teh internets!



HowTo: Clean Your Hair Brushes

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
By Glinda

The lovely and superfantastic Libby asks:

 What is the best way to go about cleaning a hair brush?  I have long, curly hair and live in the swamps of tidewater Virginia, so I have to use product or risk looking like an ad for a bad 80’s perm. That usually means that gunk gets in my brush.  My usual solution is just to replace said brush when it gets gungy-looking, but there have been some nice brushes I’ve lost that way.

Libby, how you clean your hairbrushes depends on what kind of brushes you have. 

For your fairly cheap, sturdy plastic brushes, I simply lift all the excess hair out using either a comb or my fingers (depending on how much hair there is)  and throw them in the top rack of the dishwasher. I do the same for basic combs.  Eschew the heated dry option or it’s a good bet they will melt. 

Recommendations for how often you clean your brushes range from every day to once a month.  I think it varies, depending on how heavy your product usage is.  And really, just be aware of what’s building up on the brush and be proactive about getting it off in a timely manner, else you will be transferring everything from gunked-up product to dust right back onto your hair.  Blech.

But if you’ve got more expensive brushes, including those with nylon or natural bristles as well as wooden handles (such as the Cadillac of hairbrushes, the Mason Pearson) you’ve got a bit more work to do.  I find that the method below works on pretty much all hair brushes, regardless of type.  There are some who like to dip the brush into water, but my thinking is that the least amount of  exposure to water leads to a brush that lasts longer.  The rule should be: The More Expensive the Brush = Use the Least Amount of Water Possible.  That way, you can really get your money’s worth.  It’s completely possible for quality hair brushes, taken care of properly, to last a decade or more.

A good rule of thumb is to dry clean your brushes often, running  a narrow toothbrush (the easiest and cheapest tool) gently along the bristles horizontally,vertically, and diagonally along the bristles to dislodge dust and such.

However, when you notice some build-up, nothing but a good wet-washing will suffice.

1. Remove all excess hair, using a wide toothed comb at the base and lifting up hair and dirt as you move around the brush. 

2. Throw that crap away.

3. Run some lukewarm water, never hot.  Use a small amount of shampoo to make a soapy lather in the sink.

4. Dip the toothbrush, not your hair brush, into the soapy water.

5. Hold the hair brush so that the bristles are facing down, not the handle.

5. Gently run the toothbrush up and down the bristles, as well as diagonally.  Scrub the pad gently if you notice buildup on the pad as well.

6. Dip the toothbrush in some clean water and run it up and down the brush in the same manner in order to rinse off the soap.  Repeat as often as needed until it appears soap is gone.

7. Shake off any excess water.

7. Air-dry on a towel with the pad facing downward for the best results and the least amount of damage to the bristles.

The Tedious Side of Beauty- Cleaning Makeup Brushes

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
By Glinda

By now, anyone who has read this site for any length of time knows that I have oily skin.

As such, I am quite fastidious about my makeup brushes being clean, as I have visions of all that oil from my skin transferring right on to the brush.  God knows what happens to the oil after that, but I’m thinking it can’t be good.  Probably festering.  Festering makeup brushes freak me out.

So this is the way I clean my brushes, from kabuki to eyeshadow:

1. Get my unscented baby shampoo.

2. Run some warm water.

3. Drop a teensy bit of the shampoo onto my cupped palm.

4. Get a little bit of the warm water onto my palm as well, but not a big pool of it.

5. Gently swirl my makeup brush around my palm, mixing the water and shampoo.

6. Look on in fascination and semi-disgust as all the old makeup comes out of the brush.

7. Rinse.

8. Swirl again if necessary until water runs clear.

9. Lay flat on towel and air dry.

10. Feel instantly better about myself now that I have clean brushes.

That’s it!

I know that some people advocate using a specialty product just for cleaning brushes, but I’ve never had any issues with using my baby shampoo.  And my skin jumps at any chance to break out.   My brushes have lasted forever, although it must be said that I don’t really own any cheap brushes, so that might have something to do with it.

How do you clean your brushes?

HowTo: Use Pigments

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
By Glinda

All right, I admit I’ve become obsessed with pigments. Especially these.  I am quite fond of Breathe and Ore.  And M.A.C. makes some good ones as well, as does Make Up Forever.


Because they are so very easy to use and so very versatile.  Pigments are the new black, you know.

But for some reason, people tend to think they should be used mostly as eyeshadow, and that is just plain wrong.   

Here are some ways in which you can harness the wonder of pigments:

-As an eyeshadow, either on lid on swept on brow.

-Mixed with water, can be used as a liner.

-Mixed with any eyeshadow.

-Can be mixed with any lip color, lipstick or gloss.

-Used as a blush, or mixed with your current blush.

-Mixed with your nail polish.

– Mixed with your body lotion.

-Mixed with your foundation.

-Mixed with loose powder.

-Mixed with other pigments.

Do you get the picture?  Depending on the color, they can pretty much be used anywhere to kick up or alter your current stash of makeup favorites.  Or it just might make a not-so-favorite become one by virtue of the mixing process.

Become the mad scientist you were meant to be!

HowTo: Keep Lipstick Off Your Teeth

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
By Glinda

The lovely and beautiful Miriam writes:

I would love to wear more lipstick, but for some reason it always ends up on my teeth. Must be the way my mouth is shaped. I’ve tried the sucking on my finger trick, the putting it on 30 minutes before I leave, but alas, I always end up looking like a 13 year old experimenting with her mother’s make-up. Any suggestions?

Ack!  The dreaded lipstick-to-teeth migration!  I think at one point or another, Miriam, we have all had this happen to us.

Here are some tips that will hopefully help.  Use one, or use them all!  Whatever gets you back in lipstick, my friend!

-Make sure your lips are well-hydrated.  It might be worth it to lightly exfoliate them a bit, as well.

– Line lip with lip pencil before applying lip color.

-Apply color with a lip brush instead of directly from the tube.

-Blot your lipcolor with a some blotting paper or tissue.

-Models and beauty pageant contestants apply Vaseline to their teeth to keep the color from adhering to teeth.

And finally, if none of these work, I would personally advise using a lip stain instead of a lipstick.  It will still give you color, but hopefully none of it on your teeth.  You could try this one from The Balm, or this one from Tarte, both of which are rated highly as non-drying stains that don’t necessarily need a coat of gloss over them.

Ladies, do you have any other tips that worked for you?

HowTo: Apply False Eyelashes

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
By Glinda

Lovely commenter klee requested a HowTo for false eyelashes, and her wish is my command!  Don’t you wish everything in life came this easily?

All right, so you want to do false eyelashes, eh?  It’s much easier than you would think, just don’t try it for the first time anywhere other than the comfort of home.  It probably will take a few tries, but soon you’ll be putting them on like a pro.

However, there are a few things to do before you actually begin putting on the lashes:

Buy some good false eyelashes. Illamasqua has some excellent ones.  You can buy full sets, or smaller clusters with only a few lashes per strip.  The full sets are easier to apply, though.

Get some good adhesive.  Duo is generally acknowledged to be the best.  Eyelash adhesive comes in either clear or black, and it’s basically a personal choice.  Generally if you’re a newbie, clear is probably your best bet.  However, black has some advantages, one being that you probably won’t need to use eyeliner to conceal the point of adhesion. Black adhesive is also stickier, which will work better if you plan on wearing your eyelashes for more than one day.

Look to see if you need to trim the lashes first, you’ll need a small sharp pair of scissors.  There are all sorts of different kinds with different effects, so hold them up to your natural lashes, and decide if trimming them would help them to look the way you want them to.  Straight out of the box may be too dramatic, or too long for your eye shape.  Be sure to mimic the arc of your natural lashes, with the longest on the outer edge, and trimming them to slightly different lengths will acheive a more natural look.  Start the trimming from the outer edge first.

Next, get your supplies together.  Some things you might need are toothpicks and Q-tips, while you will definitely need a clean, hard surface or some paper, and some tweezers.  Now we’re ready!

  • Be sure that you clean your eyelids thoroughly! Oil, makeup, and whatever other residue is on there will cause the glue to not stay as well. 


  • If you are applying individual clusters, squeeze some glue onto that clean, hard surface or paper and allow it to sit for a little bit.  It needs to become tacky. Use your tweezers to dip the lashes in the glue, or apply the glue with a toothpick.


  • If you’ve got a full set going, apply a thin strip of adhesive along the base.  You might want to apply a little extra on the outer corners. Allow it to dry a bit to become tacky.


  • Remember that you never want the adhesive to go directly onto your eyelid, it should always be put on the false eyelashes first.


  • For the individual clusters, use the tweezers to apply them as close as possible to the root of your lashes.  Start at the outer corner and work your way in, leaving spaces in between.  Try to avoid applying any to the inner part of your eyelid.  Keep the clusters to five lashes or smaller, and you should only use a few.


  • If you’ve got a full set, you can either use tweezers or your fingers to apply them as closely to the base of your lashes as you can, starting at the inside corner.  It’s up to you how comfortable you are with tweezers, or if you think your hands are small enough to really get in there and close to the base.


  • Use a Q-tip or your fingers to press the lashes into your eyelid. Hold and let the glue dry.


  • An eyelash curler is optional, some use it before the application on their natural lashes and others use it after the false eyelashes have been applied.  In my opinion, it’s a personal preference.


  • If you’ve used a clear adhesive, now is the time to apply liquid eyeliner along the base of your eyelashes to unify the lashes. You can also do a line of dark eyeshadow instead.


  • Mascara is also optional, for some the extra lashes are all that is needed, while others prefer more drama.  It’s all about the look you are going for.


And that’s it!  Not too hard, and false eyelashes are a fantastic way to amp up your look.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also let you know that you should never just try and rip the eyelashes off to remove them, you should always use some makeup remover.  Dab a cotton ball full of remover on your lash line, beginning at the outer corner and allow it to soak in for a bit.  This should loosen the adhesive enough so that you can gently pull them off.

Hot Right Now AND a HowTo: The Bold, Matte Red Lip

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
By Glinda

Many women I know would rather eat this than go out wearing red, red lipstick.

I wonder why that is?  It is, after all, just lipstick.  It’s not a political statement, it’s technically something that is going to wear off in a few hours. 

Perhaps they are afraid of the dreaded Ronald McDonald mouth.  I swear, Ronald has just ruined the  lipstick thing for way too many women.  Curse you, Ronald! I always liked Hamburglar better anyway!


I just want you to know that you CAN INDEED wear a bold red lip WITHOUT people thinking you will shortly begin a juggling/walking on stilts routine.

According to NARS makeup artist Uzo, this is the best way to wear a matte red lip.  Here’s a synopsis:

1) Apply bronzer to cheeks, then foundation over that to even out skin tone.  Concealer as needed. A satin finish to skin is the desired look.

2) Apply lip color in the center of lips, moving outward toward the corners.  This avoids the color getting cakey in the corners of the mouth.  Haven’t we all at one point seen our mouths in the mirror and been horrified at the caking?  Or, maybe that’s just me.

3) Choose a lip liner that is the same color as the lip color.  Smile and then line the lips to avoid feathering.

4) If you like, apply a gloss several shades deeper than the lip color to create dimension.

5) And you’re pretty much done!

The current way to wear matte red lips is with little to no other makeup so that the emphasis is pretty much solely on the lips.  Sounds easy to me!

Go on, wear red lips to pick up your dry cleaning, or on a trip to the grocery store.  Live dangerously, my friends!

HowTo: Play Down Your Lips

Monday, November 8th, 2010
By Glinda

The beautiful KESW asks:

I really, really want to love lipstick, but I have a large mouth and full lips (as well as big eyes) so when I do lipstick I tend to look like Ronald McDonald. Thus I haven’t experimented a lot and don’t know what type of lipstick I should be looking for. Any ideas?

Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of thousands of women hurling their Lip Venom against the wall and cursing you for your luscious, lovely pout.

However, it is all about perception, isn’t it? And if you feel your lips need some toning down rather than amping up, then who am I to tell you otherwise? I’m here to help, not lecture.

First of all, you want to look for matte or cream lipstick.  Shine is not your friend when you are looking to minimize, well, anything.  Also, avoid any kind of lip gloss, use a balm to keep lips hydrated.

Next, you should try to stick to neutral shades that look good with your skin tone.  You should be looking for nudes, peaches, and pinks.

Use a bit of a brighter blush to help draw the attention away from your mouth.  You could also play up your eyes, but pick only one feature, not both, or for sure you will be going the Ronald McDonald route.

I’ve gone through and looked for some pretty neutrals that might work for you. Good luck, and whatever you choose, rock your fabulous lips, my friend!

Illamasqua Sonnet

M.A.C Honeylove

Laura Mercier Tea Rose or Rose

And last but not least, MAKE UP FOR EVER has some lovely shades as well.

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