Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser

I hate dirty things. For anyone who knows me, they can attest to this fact. You wash your hair and face every day; why shouldn't you wash your makeup brushes? Not many people realize this, but makeup brushes are harboring bacteria that can make your face break out. Plus over time, product build up in the brushes can lead to discoloration of your makeup and uneven streaks when you apply.

I decided to try out Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser because I have heard about Parian Spirit brush cleanser in the beauty world. This spray is made up of anti-bacterial disinfectant and cleansing compounds. This is a quicker alternative to cleaning your brushes with soap and water; all you need to do is spray the product on your brush, rub the brush on a piece of paper towel or wash cloth to remove any old makeup, and let it dry for a minute or two. You literally see the pigment coming off of your brush and onto the towel. The first time I used this product, I was shocked at how much makeup and grime was living in my makeup brushes. The brushes were almost completely dry after I swirled them around on the towel and were able to be used almost immediately for fresh makeup application.

Japoonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser, spray bottle, and various brushes.
At first I was skeptical that this product would really get the job done. It looked too good to be true. I tested and swirled a few of my freshly cleansed brushes on a new piece of paper towel and no pigment came out of them. They felt brand new to the touch and had a light citrus scent. My makeup application went on much smoother after cleaning my brushes, and I am convinced that by cleaning my brushes regularly it has helped keep my skin clear.

As seen in the picture above, I bought the 16oz professional refill amount of Japonesque Makeup Brush Cleanser. This was the only amount they had at Ulta when I was shopping and I had to try it out. I bought a small spray bottle for about $2.00 and poured some of the cleanser in there for an easier way to spray and clean my brushes. I liked that I could use this spray bottle as a travel cleanser as well. I also found that by using a spray bottle you are less likely to get bristles falling out. This is a common problem that happens when you dip brushes into liquid and the liquid absorbs into the base of the brush and weakens the glue bond  and the bristles. I found that spraying my brushes helped with their longevity while still getting them clean.

Overall, I really loved this brush cleanser. It makes my brushes clean and it is a quick cleanser between shampoos. I would definitely buy this product again as this is an effective way to clean your makeup brushes.

Love, Erica

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How To Extend Your Shellac Manicure

About a week and a half ago I got a Shellac, or gel, manicure at a local salon near where I student teach. I love the color, and while though there are no chips at the end of my nails, my nails have grown out to the point of being annoying. I constantly want to pick at them -- a habit I have acquired when I become annoyed with my polish which completely ruins the manicure. I decided to try something different to save money, keep my nails healthy and let them grow out naturally, and to save time.

I hate having to go to the salon to have my manicure professionally taken off; I always get persuaded into buying a new Shellac manicure because the last one looked so good! We will see if this extender I created will keep me away from the salon....

Things you need:
Base coat (Essie First Base)
Any makeup brush you don't mind getting glitter or a bit of nail polish on. Any brush will really do. I like to use a brush because it deposits the pigment more and is less messy, but I suppose a finger would work just as well. 

First, you will need to cut and shape your nails. I have found that even if you cut your nails, the shellac manicure will stay put. Just be careful not to file your nails to break through the manicure as this will weaken the bonding to your nails.

Next, apply a generous amount of base coat to the grown out part of your nails and extending a small amount onto the Shellac polish. I did this rather unevenly to give the glitter a gradient effect.

Next, while the polish is still wet, dip your brush or finger into the glitter and gently pat the glitter onto your nail. Allow for the glitter to dry before applying a top coat to make sure the glitter stays put.

I made this short video to demonstrate the process.

I have done this with regular polish too and the glitter removes easily with nail polish remover.

Good luck and happy painting!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jen - Galaxy look

Hey everyone! So to celebrate both me and Erica graduating from university today, I decided to post a few looks that I've done in the past week. This look was inspired by outer space and how beautiful it is--galaxies and their swirling arms, nebulae and their haphazard hues, stars that twinkle across the universe.

All eyeshadows were exclusively from Sugarpill.
Inner corner - Tako (pure matte white)
Center of lid - Dollipop (matte hot pink) and Decora (hot pink shimmer)
Outer corner -  Afterparty (bright turquoise) and Royal Sugar (bright blue shimmer)
Crease - Bulletproof (matte black) and Stella (jet black with rainbow shimmer), Tipsy (metallic silver) blended out
Lumi (white with turquoise, blue, and green shimmer) for stars
Anastasia Beauty Express brow kit in Brunette

Urban Decay Naked foundation in 1.0
Benefit boi-ing concealer in 01
Urban Decay eyeshadow in Naked for cheek contour
Benefit Watt's Up? highlighter

Wet N' Wild Fantasy Makers black lipstick
Sugarpill loose eyeshadows in Birthday Girl (princess pink), Paperdoll (lavender shimmer), and Lumi

This look was a lot of fun to do, but black lipstick is difficult to pull off. This definitely makes for a great photoshoot look!

- Jen

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rice/Jen's Introduction

Hi, everyone! So as Erica mentioned before, we decided to do a survey so you could all get acquainted with our usual cleansing and makeup routines. Here are my answers. If you want to get to know either of us better, just let us know.

- Jen

1. How many times do you wash your face daily?
Once in the morning and once at night. I used to be terrible at sticking to this, but now if I don't do it, I feel so gross.

2. What skin type do you have? Dry, oily, or combination skin?
Combination skin and it's terrible. Dry patches on my cheeks, and super oily in my T-zone. It's really hard to get under control. My skin is also relatively sensitive to cleansing products.

3. What is your current facial wash?
I use Aveeno Positively Radiant brightening cleaner in the morning and Yes to Tomato acne control gel cleanser at night. I intend to start using Aveeno Smart Essentials daily detoxifying scrub soon, though.

4. Do you exfoliate? How often?
I should really exfoliate more often, but I only do it about 1-2 times a week if I even remember to do it.

5. What product do you use to exfoliate?
Generally, I just use Neutrogena acne wash redness soothing facial scrub.

6. What moisturizer do you use?
Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturiser in the morning, and Aveeno Smart Essentials nighttime moisture infusion before bed.

7. Do you have freckles/sun spots?
I have freckles, but I don't believe they're from sun exposure.

10. Do you use eye cream?
No, but I really should! They're just a little too expensive for me to justify their purchase, but I'm a hypocrite and can spend loads on makeup.

11. Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
I don't have excessively acne prone skin, but I do get more breakouts than I should.

12. Did you ever have to use pro-activ?

13. What foundation do you use?
I rarely use foundation and if I do, it's either Urban Decay's Naked Skin in 1.0, or I mix concealer with moisturiser as suggested by Wayne Goss. I'm starting to get into LancĂ´me's Teint Idole Ultra and Clinique's Even Better, although it's so hard to find a shade to match my skintone.

14. How about concealer?
It's a must for me because I have large red patches on my cheeks that could be rosacea, but who knows? I generally use Benefit's boi-ing in 01, but I've been testing out a bunch of other brands. Benefit's Fake-up is wonderful, too.

15. Do you know your undertone color?
I believe it's neutral--warm foundations make me look slightly jaundiced but cool foundations make me look too red.

16. What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I think they're fun for a while! I like wearing them for performances or for the occasional photoshoot, but they can be impractical and with my glasses, they're generally a bad idea if I intend to wear them out.

17. Did you know that you’re supposed to change mascara every 3 months?
Yes, but I don't wear my mascara often enough to warrant buying a new one every 3 months, so I cheat that rule a bit.

18. What brand of mascara do you use?
Because it needs to be replaced more often, I stick with drugstore brands, mostly Maybelline.

19. Sephora or Mac?
Sephora. Such a wide range of brands from which to choose! The few times I've been in a Mac store, I always feel slightly overwhelmed.

20. Do you have a Mac pro card?
No. I wish I did, though!

21. What makeup tools do you use in makeup application?
I'm a big fan of just using my fingers for almost everything, but I will almost always use an angled brush/spoolie for my brows and occasionally a liner brush and a blush brush. Urban Decay's optical blurring brush is amazing for foundation and I'm starting to use Ulta's version of the beautyblender.

22. Do you use makeup base or primer for your eyes?
Always. I have oily lids, so eyeshadow will crease very easily on me.

23. For the face?
Very rarely. I know it would help the appearance of foundation, but often the primer will dry my skin or enhance dry spots.

24. What is your favorite eyeshadow shade?
I love love love bright colours like Sephora's Blue Curucao, but I also really like Sugarpill's Lumi and Goldilux.

25. Do you use pencil or liquid liner?
Both! I prefer pencils like Urban Decay's eyeliners, but liquid liner is always so precise. Right now I'm using Maybelline's Line Stiletto because it was the first liquid liner I've used in a while and I wanted to get the hang of it before getting something a little pricier.

26. How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
I used to do it a lot, but I've gotten much better at not doing so.

27. What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
I LOVE them. Colour is my area of expertise.

28. Do you use mineral makeup?
Sometimes! I find that it will sometimes not stick to my skin so easily due to any presence of oil throughout the day. Mineral eyeshadows tend to be the most noticably flakey.

29. What is your favorite “go-to” lipstick? Why?
I'm a big fan of Revlon's lip butters, actually. I only own Peach Parfait, but I'd really like to get others! I also really like Maybelline's colorsensational in Deepest Cherry.

30. How about lip gloss? Why?
I love Buxom's lip glosses because they smell great and do have a bit of a plumping effect.

31. What is your favorite blush to use and why?
I generally don't use blush because I'm actually naturally red in the cheeks anyway, but I do like L'oreal's Magicsmooth souffle blush in Celestial and NARS Orgasm or Super Orgasm. I'm vaguely in love with their darker blushes but I can't use them unless I have a very light hand and even then I tend to look a little sunburnt.

32. Do you buy your makeup on ebay/ebay.ph?
No, but I've considered it!

33. Do you like drugstore makeup?
There are some great drugstore brands! I do prefer drugstore mascara as I've mentioned earlier. They're also a great way to test colours that you don't want to break the bank for just yet, although the only drawback is that you can't test them in store, but at least they're cheaper.

34. Do you go to cosmetic company outlets?
Sometimes, but I've never found anything I need to snag right away.

35. Do you ever consider taking makeup classes?
All the time.

36. Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I've gotten a lot better in the past few years. I'm not a perfectionist with my makeup, though--if it looks a little messy, that's fine with me.

37. Name a makeup crime(s) that you hate.
Honestly, I don't think I have one. I'm all about breaking rules and changing expectations. Everyone should experiment with how makeup works best for them--it's an art, a way to express yourself, and you don't need to stick to the expected.

38. Do you like colorful shades of makeup or neutral ones?
Both! It's fun to play with neutrals, but I'm also a huge fan of colour.

39. Which celebrity always has great makeup?
Michelle Dockery, Phoebe Tonkin, Sophie Turner, Saoirse Ronan. It always depends on what I'm feeling at any given time, and I've loved very specific looks like Emilia Clarke's photoshoot for Breakfast at Tiffany's and Emma Watson's dramatic black shadow with gold leaf.

40. If you could leave the house using just one makeup item, what would you use?
Does sunblock count? Because anything with SPF. I burn so easily.

41. Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?
To be honest, I don't wear makeup at least 50% of the time because usually I'm just too lazy.

42. In your opinion, what is the best makeup line?
I can't pick just one! Urban Decay, Too Faced, Sugarpill, Benefit, LIT cosmetics, OCC, there's just so many that I love.

43. What do you think of makeup?
I love it. I love using it as a way to express myself or as a way to make myself feel less exhausted, and it's really an art form. I wish the ingredients were all more well-known because I'd love to know what goes on my skin, but for now I'm just having fun. If you want to wear makeup to enhance your appearance, go for it. If you want to use your face as a canvas, do it. There isn't anything stopping you.

44. What is your favorite “quote” related to makeup?
"Cosmetics are an extension of the will. Why do you think all men paint themselves when they go to fight?" - from Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless

45. If you were a makeup tool/product, what would you be and why?
I'm pretty sure I'd be Urban Decay's eyeliner in Deep End. Very specific, I know, but it's a bright colour (one of my favourites!), eyeliner is one of the makeup items I'd use daily if I was motivated enough, and it's just so fun.