Friday, March 11, 2016

Eyeliner | Makeup Part 8 | Back to Basics

Eyeliner is probably the skill that takes the longest to master when it comes to makeup. I always hear people saying that they can't get it right or that it's really hard. Well, it is. It probably took me 2 years to get my winged liner down to a science and even after 6 years of playing with makeup I still mess it up sometimes. The key to eyeliner is practicing. And don't worry too much, like I always say, it's just makeup. If you mess up, just take it off and try it again.
I am going to be going through all the eyeliner products that are available on the market right now, and how and when to use each product.

The classic kohl eyeliner pencil is first on the list. This products has been around for a million years, at least. It is the main product people think of when talking about eyeliner. Basically all makeup brands carry a regular pencil liner. You can get them at the drugstore, beauty supply stores or at higher end places like Ulta or Sephora.
One of the best ways to use a pencil eyeliner is on the waterline of the eye and as a smudge color. These kind of pencils can range from super dry and hard to use, to very creamy and blendable. Depending on which one you happen to have, you can use it for those different things. If a pencil is too dry than it can pull on the eyes which could hurt and could cause premature wrinkles. If your pencil is too hard to work with, blast it with your blow dryer. This should melt it enough that it won't tug at your skin. But don't make it too hot, that wouldn't feel too good.
If you have a pencil that is way too creamy, try using a liner brush to apply the liner with. Dab your brush into the tip of the pencil and then simply apply. This is great for beginners since the brush gives you all the control.
If you are using a super creamy pencil you should also set it with an eyeshadow, this will prevent it from moving, creasing or smudging where you don't want it. When you are setting it use a small liner brush and tap the eyeshadow onto the liner.
The great thing about pencil liners is the crazy amount of colors that are available now. I love the range that you get with pencil liners. Like all things there are high-end and drugstore alternatives, but it really doesn't matter. I always make things work for me. Some of my favorite pencil liners are the ones from NYX and also Urban Decay has amazing liners.
Liquid Liner is also one of those products that have been around basically forever. Mastering the liquid liner technique can be a little difficult and may take time. This also has to do with finding the correct formula that will work for you. Some liquid liners can be a little too heavy which makes getting a clean sharp line hard. Then there are some liquid liners that are so runny that you go to apply it and it just gets everywhere. There has to be a trial and error period with liquid liners. One of the better ones that I have tried is the Kat VonD Tattoo Liner. This liner is super black and very easy to use. The only problem that I have with it is that it is not waterproof.
Finding a liquid liner that is waterproof is the key. If you have a liner that is not waterproof any moisture that comes from your eyes will ruin the liner. I find this especially true for contact lens wearers.
There are liquid liners that come in a pot and the brush is the handle of the packaging, and there are also the liquid liner pens. The only difference is that with the first one you have to dip the brush part back into the pot to get more product as opposed to the pen where the product is part of the applicator.
Both of these products are relatively easy to use and there are great drugstore and high end brands that you can choose from.

Gel Liner is one of the easiest products to use. If you are having trouble getting the winged liner down, try using gel. Gel liner is the happy medium between pencil liner and liquid liner. Gel liner has a thick cream consistency. Where a pencil liner can be hard and dry, a gel liner is very smooth when applying it to the eyes. A gel liner won't tug on the skin (unless it has dried out.) The difference between a gel and liquid is again the consistency. The liquid liner is liquid so it can run and sometimes get where you don't want it. A gel liner will stay right where you put it and it has a slower drying time so you have plenty of time to get it perfect before it completely sets.
You have to use a brush with gel liner, this is great because you have all the control over the product. There are so many great gel liners on the market, you really can't go wrong. I would have to say that the Maybelline Gel Liner is my favorite gel liner. I have also tried the NYX gel liner which is also good. I do like the Maybelline liner better than the NYX liner because the Maybelline one does not dry out. I had a pot of the Maybelline liner and even after a year it was still creamy and worked great. The NYX one ended up drying completely out in a few months.
The other thing you want to keep in mind when it comes to eyeliner is the formula, regular or waterproof. In my opinion I think that waterproof liner is the way to go. Since eyeliner is placed so close to the actual eye ball, it can be a watery situation. If you plan on wearing the makeup all day, or to a place that is hot and that you are going to sweat, or to a place where you will be crying, waterproof liner can really save the face.
The thing with regular eyeliner is that if there is any moisture added to it, it doesn't just disappear, it runs. So making sure you get a waterproof liner is going to keep all that mess off your face.
I suggest using a regular liner when you know for sure you wont be crying or be getting caught in a rainstorm. Non waterproof liner is great if you are only wearing makeup for a short time. Definitely not for super long days.

Eyeliner is a place where you can really be creative, there's the winged liner and its many variations, to the classic line and so on. You can really make your eyes stand out with even just a bit of black or white liner in the water line. It's all in how you use it.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

International Beauty Show | New York | March 2016

This is my second year attending the IBS New York event. Last year I went with the group of girls from the beauty school I was going at the time. This year I thought it would be really fun to make it a mother daughter trip, so I brought my mom with me.

This event is held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City as it always is. It was such a beautiful day, clear skies and a high of about 70 degrees. It was really a great day to be in New York. 
I woke up at around 5am to get ready, I wanted to look cute but stay comfortable since I knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking. We finally arrived at Penn Station in NY at 9:30am. This was my first train trip. The train station in NY was so different than the one in Lancaster. Everyone is running around trying to get to where they are going. It was kind of crazy the rush everyone is always in.  
We decided to walk to the convention center since it really didn't seem like a long walk and it wasn't. It took us about 20 minutes to get there and we were taking our time. It gave us the chance to stretch our legs since we had been on the train for 3 hours. Even though it was pretty early in the day, it already was sunny and warm. 
As we walked from the last intersection to the entrance of the convention center there were crowds everywhere. A lot of people were kind of hanging around, not really doing much outside and in the lobby area of the convention center. 
We already had our wrist bands so we went right in to get started looking at all the booths. 

At first we just made a quick round to get a look at all the booths and to see what was available. I definitely went with the intention to spend some money. I love seeing new things and being at a beauty show you can really hold things and try things out before you buy. 
There is such high energy from the educators that are on stage teaching a crowd to the sales associates that are there to answer any and all questions about their product. I love that everyone is so friendly and eager to get the sale.
There was so much to see that we didn't really get anything for a while. We did a lot of browsing and taking in the atmosphere. Once we had gone around the whole place we were pretty hungry. We went back outside and got some chicken kebabs and we ate right in front of the convention center.
We definitely did a lot of people watching. In an industry that is all about creativity and art you are bound to see some interesting people. Sometimes we would just stand around watching people, especially when we were waiting in lines for things.

I ended up getting a few things. I wasn't in need of anything so everything I got was just fun stuff I wanted to get.
One of my favorite purchases was the makeup brushes I got. I love makeup brushes and you could never have to many. Since I do freelance makeup every once in a while it is great to be able to get quality brushes on the cheap.
I got about $80 worth of brushes from Crown Brush. I have some I got last year at IBS and I really love them.

I also got a new flat iron. This was one of those impulse buys. I didn't really need it but for $80 you can't go wrong. The guy that sold me the flat iron also threw in a couple of free shampoos.

I also got some lip products. I don't know if these are liquid lipsticks or if they are just matte lipgloss', but I got 5 super fun shades. I wanted to give these crazy colors a try. They were 5 for $20.

We walked around and shopped for a good 5 hours. There is so much to see, but there is also so many people that it sometimes got hard to shop or even just look around. The makeup brush booth was probably the worst one when it came to crowding. People were literally not moving. It got old really fast. When I was getting the brushes that I wanted, I had to squeeze my way to the table grab and go.
 With so many people in one place, you expect to run into the rude and annoying ones as well.
After being inside for the better part of 5 hours, we decided to take a walk to Time Square to enjoy the beautiful day and the city. It honestly was the perfect day to be outdoors. The amount of people on that island is just insane. There were so many people out and about, I almost forgot it was only Tuesday. I can't wait to bee in the city during the weekend.
We had a blast just people watching as we got closer to Time Square. We wanted to check out the amazing buildings so naturally we ended up in H&M. I love that a lot of the stores in NY are multi-level. We hung out there and shopped for a little bit. Then we wondered out into the street and ended up in a Forever 21, we got a few things there as well. Our final stop was at one of my favorite makeup stores MAC. I wanted to just take a look but ended buying one of the pro longwear concealers and a paint pot.

As it was getting late in the day we wanted to get some food and sit down for a while before heading back to catch our train in the evening. I spotted a TGI Friday's on one of the side streets, and we got some dinner there.
My mom had some ribs and fries, and I had a chicken caesar salad. We were finally sitting down and it was fabulous. We had been on our feet since 9am and it was about 4pm when we finally got the chance to sit.
We took our time eating, and once we were done we started making our way back to Penn Station. On the way back we spotted a Macy's and since we still had plenty of time, we went in to check it out. We browsed for a little while and then we were off again.

We got to the train station a little earlier than we expected so we just hung out and did more people watching.
We finally got on our train at 6:30pm and we got to Lancaster at 9:30.

All in all it was a great day trip. It was a perfect day and we had a great time in a beautiful city.
We are already making plans to go back! 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

CVS Makeup Haul | March 2016

I stopped by CVS this past week because I was determined to get some new makeup. Do you ever feel like you just need to buy some new stuff? Well it had been too long for me. I don't even remember the last time I just bought some makeup for fun.

I visited CVS near my house and spent like an hour just looking at all the stuff they had. I wanted to share with you the makeup I picked up. Some of the stuff I just needed as replacements, but I also got a few things that I had never tried out before.

Starting off with foundation, I got 2 of my favorite foundations ever the L'Oreal True Match foundations. I got the shades W3 and W4.  I also picked up the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion foundation. Lastly for foundation I got another one from L'Oreal the Infallible Pro-Matte. Those last 2 I have never tried, I might even do some reviews on those!
Next few things I got are also for the face. I picked up my all time favorite concealer, the Maybelline Fit Me concealer. I wanted to get more of those to stock up, but they literally had the one I got and 3 of the really dark shades. 
I also got a couple of primers I had never tried before. The first one is the L'Oreal Magic Lumi Primer. I also got the Maybelline Master Prime. I am really excited to try some primers that are not silicone based.

I also had to get one of my staple product, these are the best that I have tried. The Neutrogena Makeup Removing wipes. And another product I had never tried before, this is the Maybelline Master Fix Makeup Setting spray.
This is probably what I am most excited about, the CVS brand Facial Cleansing Power Brush. I have been wanting one of these for the past few years, but I really couldn't justify spending all that money on a Clarasonic brush. So when I saw this one at CVS for only $20, I decided this was my time to try it out. I'll probably be doing a review on this product once I have used it more.
One of the best parts of this little shopping spree is these liquid lipsticks that I found. These are the NYX Liquid Suede lipsticks and the NYX Lingerie lipsticks. I have been wanting some more liquid lipsticks since I tried the ones from Kat Von D. But again the price tag for the ones sold at Sephora is just a little too much, especially if you want all the shades.
So when I stumbled across these I figured I had to try them. These are less that $12 and I love them! I got 4 of the Lingerie ones and then 6 of the Liquid Suede lipsticks.
These are for sure going to have their own blog post review. I might even make a video because I am so excited about them!
A few of the other things I got from NYX are these brow products. I got an eyebrow gel in Brunette. I really am excited to try this out. I also got the Tinted Brow Mascara. It has been a while since I used any sort of eyebrow setting gel and I wanted to get back into it. Especially the days when I don't want to wear too much makeup.
Another fun thing I am very excited to try is the NYX Wonder Stick. This is a cream highlighting and contouring stick. I got the neutral shade that says it is supposed to be universal.
The last few things I got are some lash stuff. First off is this L'Oreal Liquid Liner. I have been obsessed with using pen liquid liners so I want to give this a try.
I also got a couple of mascaras. Of course I got a replacement Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara. I absolutely love this mascara. Then I also got the L'Oreal Voluminous Flase Fiber Lash mascara. I feel like I've tried this before but I really can't remember, so I wanted to give it another try.
Lastly I got 2 of the Ardell Demi Wispies False Lashes. I have never tried these before. I know everyone on YouTube raves about these lashes, so I wanted to try them out and see what all the hype is about.
That is it for this haul! I am really excited to try some new makeup out! I will definitely be doing some reviews on some of these products! 

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Friday, March 4, 2016

My Cosmetology School Experience

I started cosmetology school in July of 2014 and finished in December of 2015. I wanted to write about my decision to go to cosmetology school and me experiences there.

I had been thinking about starting cosmetology school for a few years, and finally my husband and I decided to just go for it. It is better to get things done now that I'm young and that we don't have kids yet. So in the summer of 2014 we decided I was going to start part time cosmetology school.
I chose to attend the American Beauty Academy in my area. I enrolled to start classes the first week in July.
I was really nervous, because although I already knew quite a lot of things about hair and nails and such, I didn't know how it would be like being in school. I was really scared that I wasn't going to get it, that I would mess up, and that whatever I did would be crap. Obviously I was wrong about that. Class was really great, because my teacher took the time to make sure that we understood what we were doing and making sure it was done right.
Like I said before I already knew a lot about the things that we were doing, one because I have been watching YouTube video tutorials for years and also because my mom went to cosmetology school when she was younger and she taught me a lot through the years.

I made friends really quickly too. I think that because we were in night school (part time) a lot of the girls were more mature than the younger people that study during the day. It was great being with a group of girls that all basically want the same thing you do. I love that we can also learn from each other.
I really appreciate that the instructors were always willing to help you. If there were any questions the teachers made sure to explain it until it was understood. I learned a lot more than I thought I would in school. There is also so much technical stuff you need to know. We learn about skin how it works, we have to know about disorder and diseases. We have to know about the bones in the body, we have to know about viruses and how to prevent them from spreading. My least favorite chapter in our book was the electricity chapter, but that is all stuff that we as cosmetologist need to know.

The learning environment was pretty good. But as with all good things, there are always some things that you just don't like.
The big thing that I didn't like about this particular cos school, was the lack of order and structure from the staff. I just felt that things were constantly changing and not always for the better. I'm the type of person that can appreciate order and rules, all societies need these to be able to function properly and thrive. Well when there is no order and rules changed anytime some one new arrives, then there are bound to be some conflicts.

If I am paying for a service, no matter what service that may be, I have certain expectations that that service should be done right. I felt like ABA really needed to get organized and set rules that the staff and students can both follow.
But as a student, we couldn't really do too much about that situation. I just had to take it and move on. There really was no point to me stressing out over things I couldn't control.

Another thing I wanted to talk about is the clients that we got to work on. In any cosmetology school, there is a designated time where the salon floor is open to outside customers. This was awesome because we got to experience clients one on one 3 times a week. I never had rude or mean clients. The people that came in were pretty understanding about us asking questions or getting help from the teachers.
Before I was able to work on clients on the salon floor, I was terrified about it. I was really scared that I was going to get a difficult client, or be asked to do something I didn't know how to do. But as with most of my worries, they were for nothing. Once I got the hang of taking clients, it really wasn't scary at all.

In my state once you have at least 900 hours you are able to go and take the licensing exam. This was something that I really wanted to take advantage of. The required hours in Pennsylvania is 1,250 hours in school. So about 3 months before finishing school I went and took my State Board exam. This was probably the best thing I could have done because I was able to take the time to study and ask any questions before taking the test.
Some people wait to take the test until they finish school, and some people don't ever end up doing it at all. I didn't want that to happen to me.
I passed my State Board test, and that meant that once I finished all of my hours I would be a licensed cosmetologist.
Unfortunately something happened at the school that I was attending. It was the week before Thanksgiving and on a Wednesday I received a call from the receptionist at the school telling me that I did not have to go to school that day or the rest of the week until after Thanksgiving. As you could imagine I was confused. At this point I only had about 10 days to be completed with my hours.
Since I was already on my way to school, I went in to see if we could get more info as to what was happening and the reason why we were given 2 weeks off school when Thanksgiving break was only supposed to be 3 days.

Long story short, the school ended up shutting down that same day, and they never reopened. They had apparently been stealing money from the government as well as the students. To this day I still don't understand what really caused this whole ordeal.
Ultimately, I had to transfer to a different school in my area to finish my last 2 weeks of school to be able to get my hours.
The staff and teachers from Lancaster School of Cosmetology were really amazing. I was able to transfer to this school without any problems and I was able to finish the hours that I needed. I really appreciate everything that they did to help me and some of the other girls that decided to transfer to their school.

I finally graduated on December 8, 2015. Now I am a licensed cosmetologist.
I am really happy that I went back to school and that I was able to meet the great friends that I now have.
If you have something you are passionate about, don't hesitate to go for it. Through the ups and downs of those 16 months I learned a lot about myself.
Thanks for taking the time to read this super long post!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Eyebrows | Makeup Part 7 | Back to Basics

Eyebrows are one of those things that need to be done if you are wearing any makeup at all. I think the eyebrows really define the face and frame your eyes. This can be a good thing if the brows are groomed and filled in, or it can be a bad thing if you have less pronounced eyebrows and you don't fill them in. This can sometimes make the makeup look incomplete.

This is one of those things that all depends on you as an individual. There isn't a one size fits all for brows. You have to take into consideration your face shape, hair color, and natural shape of the brows. It is all subjective. I'll be getting in to all the different products and application techniques for filling in your brows.

Starting off with the products that are out there. There is the classic brow powder/eyeshadow. There are brow powders specifically made for your eyebrows or you can just use any eyeshadow powder.
Sometimes these brow kits also include a wax that is supposed to work in conjunction with the powder. You would apply the wax first and then you apply the powder using a small eyeliner/eyebrow brush  and it has something to stick to, this also is supposed to make it long wearing.
There are a ton of brands that make these little eyebrow kits from high end to drugstore and everything in between.

Next up is the eyebrow pencil. This has been around forever, it is the easiest way to get the brows filled in. You have the classic pencil that you have to sharpen, and there are also the retractable pencils. These are great when traveling or to have with you in a makeup bag. A lot of these pencils also have a spooly on the opposite end which makes it a breeze to fill in the brows and then comb them out and blend the pencil in.
One of my favorite eyebrow pencil is the Brow Wiz from Anastasia. They also recently launched a different kind of pencil called the Brow Definer. The Anastasia products are really amazing because it actually sets, and it is waterproof. Once your brows are on they are not going anywhere.

Another interesting brow product is the eyebrow marker. I have never tried this product personally. It works the same way a liquid eyeliner works. It is a liquid product with a felt tip applicator. The best way to use these eyebrow marker is to do small strokes. I don't recommend trying to do one fluid line from beginning to end since the hair will get in the way. Doing small strokes will also make the application look very natural and give the illusion that there is more hair. These markers are great if you need to get ready quickly since they are very simple to use.

One product that is all over YouTube is the brow pomade or gels. These typically come in a little pot form and they are exactly like gel eyeliners. I have the Anastasia brow pomade and it really is amazing. All you need is a tiny amount, and you can fill the whole brow in with that. I like using a super tiny angled liner brush and it makes it super simple to get the brows done.
There is also a version of this that is a bit different and it is the brow gel that comes in a tube. Again with this you will need a small angled liner brush to apply this. It works exactly the same way as with the pomade.
The thing with these sort of products is that they are much harsher, if you use too much the brows can look really dark and painted on. The point of filling in the brows is to make them fuller and have more shape, not having painted on brows. Try to use a very light hand when it comes to the pomade products.

The last brow product that is out there is the eyebrow gel to set the brows. These come in all colors and some of these products even have fiber to give the illusion of more hair.
The clear brow gel is the easiest to use since it doesn't have color you don't have to be too careful when it comes to applying it.
There is also brow gels that come in a range of colors from the lightest blonde to the darkest brown. These are perfect for people that already have full brows and you might want to darken them up a bit, or tame them down.
I love using tinted brow gel for days when I don't wear makeup or have very little makeup on. It gives the brows a really nice polished look that is very flattering.
I also use the tinted brow gel to give dimension to the brows when I do fill them in. Sometimes the brows can look a little one dimensional and flat. Using a lighter brow gel over darker eyebrows can really make them stand out.

When applying any product to the brows, I always start off by brushing them through with a spooly. This makes sure that the hair is all going in the same direction and it is the shape you want.
I always like to use a small angled liner brush, the one I love and have been using for years is the Anastasia eyebrow brush #7. This has the brush on one side and a spooly on the other.

I recently made a video showing step by step how I like to fill in my brows. I have been using eyeshadow as brow powder for a long time. It really defines the brows, but keeps it soft with the eyeshadow.
I have an older video where I show how I fill my brows in using a pencil. You can check out either one below.

How I fill in my brows with eyeshadow.

How I fill in my brows with a pencil.

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