September 23, 2011

Trial and Error: Half Moon Manicure (sticker method)

Although I'm not really one to follow trends, I love the half moon manicures that are pretty much everywhere.  I first learned about them a few years ago via Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells. (If you are a fan of  pre-1970s hairstyles but are stumped on the basics, I HIGHLY recommend this book)  This tutorial is a variation on Miss Rennells's technique, using French manicure stickers to shield the moons from nailpolish.

To try this out, you'll need:
  • Rounded French manicure stickers
  • Base coat
  • Nail color
  • Top coat
  • Patience

Step 1: Place the stickers as the bases of your bare nails.

Step 2: Apply base coat- let dry
 Step 3: (sorry for the lack of pictures for this) Apply nail color.  It's ok if you get the color on the sticker, as long as it's not giant globs.  If you get a thick coat of polish on the sticker, try to clean it up because this could end up ruining your manicure when you pull the stickers off (the polish will come off on the sticker and then you'll have to start from scratch).
Step 4: Peel off stickers when nails are almost dry.  Allow to dry and then apply top coat.
The moons can be made rounder/more cleaned up with acetone (regular nail polish remover will smear your hard work) and a small brush or even a flat-headed Qtip.  Considering how un-rounded my moons came out, I didn't touch them with acetone since it would be a huge headache to make a half circle out of a half square.

I feel this method is best for those who have wider nail beds.  The curve of the French manicure stickers is so gradual that those of us with smaller nail beds will end up with semi-straight lines (see that last picture as evidence).  

Do you have any tips and tricks for this method of the half moon manicure, or any methods you've invented? Please share in the comments below!

September 19, 2011

In practice: KvD Sinner palette (sugared violet)

This is today's look, and I think it's a keeper.  See below for the breakdown of what I used and where.
Add caption

Lid: Linzy-Jane
Outer corner/crease: Violator (boo--all that gorgeous glitter is nowhere to be seen)
Lower lash line: Violator diffused with Holy Bible
Inner corner/browbone: Holy Bible
Brow: Lucifer
Waterline/upper lash line: Puro Amor Autograph pencil.  (PS: This wears ridiculously well on the waterline) I also smudged this into the lower lash line.
Underneath it all: High Voltage eye primer in Skin

Also used:
KvD Sin-full mascara
MAC Pink Swoon blush
MAC Plumful lipstick
KvD Gunshine lipgloss (sadly discontinued, but Urban Decay's Lip Junkie in Perversion is a good dupe)
This post has mostly what I used on my face, but instead of using my Studio fix compact, I decided to use my Bare Minerals foundation.  I use "Fair" - the lightest color they make- but it's still a little too dark. Over that, I have Urban Decay's Razor Sharp defining powder.

September 17, 2011

In Practice: Kat Von D True Love Palette in Sinner (silvered purple)

This is what I came up with when playing around with the Sinner palette today.  Not my favorite look, but when putting this one together I discovered that Ace of Spades looks AWESOME as an eyeliner when used wet.

Here's the breakdown of this look:
Outer corner: Ace of Spades
Right half of eye/crease: Glock
Lid: Holy Bible mixed with Linzy-Jane
Lower lash line: Linzy-Jane, Ace of Spades, and Disco Dust (to soften and diffuse the color)
Eyeliner: Ace of Spades, used wet and smudged out a little
Inner corner/browbone: Disco Dust
Brow: Lucifer
Underneath it all: High Voltage eye primer in Skin

Also used:
Kat Von D Sin-full mascara

How would you wear this palette?

Review: KatVon D True Love Palette - Sinner

I stopped in a Sephora for their Fashion's Night Out festivities, and lo and behold, all of the Fall '11 collection for Kat Von D was out! Although I'm on a strict budget right now, I couldn't resist bringing home the Sinner palette. (For those into neutrals: the Saint palette is absolutely gorgeous, but I couldn't justify buying it because I have Urban Decay's Naked Palette. It didn't look like there were any exact dupes, and the Saint palette is definitely more travel-friendly than the Naked Palette, but I have enough neutrals to play with right now.)

The fall line's packaging is very different compared to the previous palettes offered from the brand, the most exciting change for some may be the new inclusion of a mini eyeliner as opposed to the tiny brushes.  Inside the box, there was a surprise-- a sample of the High Voltage Eye Primer in Skin.

L-R: Disco Dust, Linzy-Jane, Ace of Spades, Violator
Disco Dust- pale frosted pink with gold shimmer. This was a bit sheer.
Linzy-Jane- medium red-based purple. When applied, this was a bit sheer.
Ace of Spades: matte dark red-violet with purple, red and magenta micro-glitter (previously appeared in the Adora palette). This swatched slightly patchy, but i didn't have any problems when wearing it.
Violator: shimmered dark gunmetal with lots of purple, blue, red micro glitter

L-R: Disco Dust, Linzy-Jane, Ace of Spades, Violator
(taken with flash)
L-R: Disco Dust, Linzy-Jane, Ace of Spades, Violator
(taken without flash)

L-R: Holy Bible, Glock, Dorian Gray, Lucifer
Holy Bible: silvered white with a frosted finish. (previously appeared in Adora)
Glock: gunmetal grey with faint iridescent shimmer. (previously appeared in Adora)
Dorian Gray: this is pretty close to Glock. It's just a bit darker, and the shimmer is more pronounced.
Lucifer: matte black. (previously appeared in KvD's first 5 palettes)

L-R: Holy Bible, Glock, Dorian Gray, Lucifer
(taken without flash)
L-R Holy Bible, Glock, Dorian Gray, Lucifer
(taken with flash)
Puro Amor Autograph Pencil

Puro Amor Autograph Pencil: Rich, matte black (if you were a fan of Urban Decay's LE Perversion eyeliner, you may want to check the full sized version of this out)

PACKAGING: The new etched case looks really nice, but the spring loaded hinge won't allow the mirror to stay in an upright position.  Since the outside is metal, I don't think this will absorb much shock if one were to accidentally drop it (in other words, your shadow may be toast if this is dropped).  On the plus side, the outside is able to be easily cleaned and the design won't wear off.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE: Most of the shadows are very soft, so you only need to touch your brush in the pan to get a good amount of product out. Because of this, they kick up a lot of powder, so you have to be careful in your application so that you don't get dark shadow all over your face. Don't worry too much about glitter fall out, because I wasn't able to get much glitter on when I applied the glitter shades on my eyes (disappointing, I know).
Of the eight shadows, the best are Glock and Dorian Gray-- both applied really smoothly without kicking up a lot of powder and were a little harder-packed, so i can see them lasting a bit longer if you were to drop this palette.  I just find it weird that they were included together in a palette due to the fact they're very close.
The eyeliner included in here is FANTASTIC. If you're not interested in Sinner (or the other new KvD palettes), I recommend checking out the full sized version of this eyeliner.  It's creamy and very easy to apply-- no skipping here. After initial application, there is a few seconds of play time if you want to smudge it out, but when it dries, it's there.  For kicks, I swatched it against Urban Decay's Zero 24/7 liner:
L: KvD Autograph pencil in Puro Amor
R: Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero
Obviously the Kvd liner is way blacker- and that's only 2 strokes! I think the Urban Decay liner was 3 or 4 strokes because I couldn't believe the comparison and kept marking my arm like a crazy person. After I swatched these eyeliners, I hopped in the shower and the KvD liner definitely passed the waterproof test. (In fact, without makeup remover, the only way I could get it off was with my Clarisonic brush!) So if you've got eyes that water a lot, then you may want to check out this eyeliner.

PRICE: $35 for 0.4g worth of eyeshadows (each is .05g) and 0.8g worth of eyeliner. Yes, this is a $1 increase in price compared to previous releases, but when you do the math, you're paying about $4.25 for each shadow and about $1 for a really awesome eyeliner.  

All in all, this is a passable palette if you love dark sultry looks.  It's not perfect, but I don't think it's a waste of money either.  You don't have to take my word for it-- it's available now at Sephora.

September 13, 2011

How to: Conceal acne marks/blemishes

Did you know that it can take up to a year for a red mark from an acne blemish to go away?  For those of us who break out constantly, this pretty much means a never ending cycle of red spots on our faces.  Having dealt with acne for the better part of ten years (!), I've learned some tricks along the way to try to hide my spots.

I have a few versions of how to conceal these pesky marks, but the one I'm sharing today seems to be working the best in this summer heat.  There are 5 or 6 steps, which may seem like a lot if you're used to just using a concealer and maybe foundation and powder and hoping for the best.  All the products are applied in relatively thin layers, because I feel like the only thing that looks worse than my acne is my acne plus a mountain of makeup.

Before we begin, make sure your face is washed and you have dried your skin. (*note: just like every picture on The Land of Lady Things, I haven't edited or retouched my photos in any way, other than cropping them so they won't take 8 years to download.)
Clean as a whistle! 

Step 1: Moisturize/Prime
For this step, I used Kat Von D's Rehab Primer Elixir.  It moisturizes my oily skin just enough, and it cuts down on unbecoming shine.  Plus, I'll be using a moisturizing product with sun protection later. Feel  free to use whatever products suit your skin type, but please, for the love of Pete, use sunscreen! Daily sun exposure can make scars worse (on top of giving you wrinkles and increasing your odds for skin cancer).

Step 2: Correcting Green Concealer
Green concealer is your best friend if you have any redness that you need to combat.  Green is the opposite of red on the color wheel, so in theory, green cancels red out. I personally use Clinique's Acne Solutions green concealer because there is salicylic acid, a known acne warrior, built right in; but, there are plenty of companies that make non-medicated green concealer if that better suits  your needs.  I use this after my skin has been moisturized, because it I'd have a lot of trouble blending it in if I applied it to dry skin.  Today I used my (very clean) fingers to apply my makeup, but sometimes I'll use a  concealer brush for a more precise application.

After green concealer-- the redness is already starting to disappear!
Step 3: Tinted Moisturizer
To even out my complexion, and help blend that green concealer in a little better, I apply tinted moisturizer.  I personally use Urban Decay's Urban Defense (check out my review here), but feel free to use whatever tinted moisturizer you like.
This is the amount I use on my entire face.

After Step 3
Step 4: Concealers!
The next step is applying flesh-toned concealers. Yes, concealer plural.  Don't be too scared, I just use two-- a lighter one and one that matches my face.  The lighter one helps to further lighten the redness (you can also use it as a matte highlighter on the high planes of your face!) and the one that matches my face evens the light spots out.  I personally use Kat Von D's Tattoo concealer because the texture is really light, it's pretty densely pigmented and really long-wearing.
After lighter concealer (KvD's Tattoo Concealer in "Porcelain")

After skin-matching concealer (KvD's Tattoo Concealer in "Light")
Step 5: Powder
After I'm satisfied with how well-concealed my face is, with a kabuki brush I brush on powder foundation that matches my skin tone.  I personally use MAC's Studio Fix compact foundation because it rules, but if you have something you like better go ahead and use it.  This step helps set all the previous makeup, further even out my skin tone/help conceal my spots, and give me a soft matte finish.
After MAC's Studio Fix
Step 6: Setting Spray (optional)
Sometimes after I put on the rest of my makeup, or just after I put on blush, I'll spray my work with makeup setting spray (I use Urban Decay's De-Slick or All Nighter setting sprays).  It really does keep your makeup from sliding around if your skin gets super oily, and keeps shine at bay for just a little longer.  
You can read the breakdown
 of my eye look ( I used the
Angeles palette) here

So there you have it-- a way to conceal your acne spots/blemishes without globbing on foundation and concealer and hoping for the best.  The key is to work in thin layers, and with products that are highly pigmented.  If you're on a budget, I advise you to invest in a good flesh-toned concealer. None of the products I use are really budget-friendly, but you can find many good substitutes for most of the products I use at your local drug store.  

Eventually I'm going to post other methods I use to conceal my spots, but what are ones that work (or don't work!) for you? Please let me know in the comments!