Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SAG Award fashion

Did you watch the SAG awards Sunday night? Do you know what SAG means? If not, it's Screen Actor's Guild - the union/club for actors.  Once a year the members of the union vote for their favorite actors in most of the usual categories.  It's seen by some as an indicator of who will win Academy Awards.  It's also become more glam in recent years, so the fashion watching is fun.  I watched it to check out the women's fashion and beauty choices. The cuts of the gowns seemed more streamlined than those from other awards shows, which I don't mean in a bad way.  Black is back in a big way, and navy blue was popular, too.  Strapless dresses were popular, and side-parted hair swept over one shoulder with soft waves was popular.  There were a lot of red lips on the attendees and presenters. I picked out photos of a few of my favorite actresses and looks from the RCFA web site.
First, Nicole Kidman looked stunning in a beautiful navy dress by Vivienne Westwood. I loved the dress, but I wasn't crazy about the center-parted hair. Straight hair is gorgeous, but from the front the center part looks a little off on Nicole.

Jennifer Garner has been one of my favorite actresses for years. I thought she looked very pretty in this Oscar de la Renta gown, although is it my imagination or is it a bit see-through? I swear that I can see her belly button.

 Naomi Watts in one of my favorite brands, Marchesa.  I love the dress and her hair. The simplicity of her jewelry let the focus fall on the embroidery and beading on the dress.

Last, Jennifer Lawrence looked beautiful in her navy Dior dress, but she had a problem when someone put the leg of their chair down on her dress.  It ripped and we got a few unintended views of her thighs. AND she had walking pneumonia!  Thank God she won Best Actress to make up for those things!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Red lips and pale eyes

 A few weeks ago I was going to a movie with my sister and Mom, and didn't have a lot of time to get ready.  Whenever I'm short on time I go with dark or red lipstick, and minimal make up elsewhere.  The lipstick adds instant sophistication.  With red lipstick I love doing a white or off-white shadow on the eye, and a thicker line of eye liner.  (My inspiration for the red lipstick and relatively plain eye came from Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Long ago, obviously.)

Products used:
MAC Vanilla eye shadow
MAC fluidline in Dipdown (brown)
L'Oreal False Fiber mascara
MAC lip liner in Redd
MAC lipstick in MAC Red
Make up for ever concealer - full cover #4
Make up for ever foundation - Mat Velvet
NYC Color in Big Apple Blush

Unfortunately my camera was malfunctioning this day so most of my step-by-step photos came out blurred.  Basically, I started with primer on my eyes, as always.  Once it dried I brushed the vanilla (off-white) eye shadow from my eye lid all the way up to the brow.

I used an angled brush to put the brown liner on, then curled my lashes, and then put mascara on.

Last I outlined and filled in my lips with the lip pencil, and then I put the red lipstick over it.  I wore a white cowl neck sweater from Bebe, which made the make up look even better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pink and gray eye shadow with pink lips

 In my 20's, one of my favorite eye shadow looks was pink shadow on the lids and gray shadow in the crease. At that time I used a medium pink and a fairly dark gray.  I decided recently to try that same combination with light colors.  I paired it with pink lip balm and I loved how it looked.  Here's the finished look, and below are the products that I used and the steps that I took to do it. 

Products I used:
Urban Decays Primer Potion for eyes
MAC pigment in Lovely Lily
MAC shadow in Vanilla
Stila eye shadow in Shore
Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero
L'Oreal False fiber mascara
L'Oreal Telescopic Explosion mascara
Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch

The first step was to put primer on my eyes and let it dry. Then I used a full brush to pick up pigment and brush it over my eye lid.

Next I brushed a lighter gray in the crease of my eye. Use a back and forth motion like a windshield wiper.

Last I used a matte off white shadow under the arch of my eye.

Then I used a rounded-tip brush to blend the shadows.  Go back and forth or around in small circles until it's blended to your satisfaction.  The darker the color, the longer it typically takes to blend it.

Next I used a black eye pencil to line my upper eye.  Since I am getting older, the skin on my eye lids is getting looser.  (If you're younger you can skip these next sentences.)  This means that drawing a line across isn't as easy as it used to be.  The small creases in your skin will keep the pencil from drawing a straight, smooth line.  If you're going to smudge it like I do, it's not such a big deal.  If this were liquid liner, I'd need to go back and dot the little spaces that didn't get liner the first time.

After the upper lid, I lined my lower eye with the same pencil.  I draw it as close to the inside of the eye as I can get it.  It just looks better that way.

Then I use a smudge brush - a brush with short rounded bristles - to smudge the eye pencil.  You can also use a cotton swab.

 Last I curled my lashes and put mascara on upper and bottom of all the lashes.

I used L'Oreal's telescopic mascara to get at the lashes on the corners of my eyes.


Once I finished my eyes I put on foundation, blush, and some bronzer to contour (a tutorial for that is coming up soon).  On my lips I just used baby lips lip balm, which amazed me because it looked so much like lipstick.  (see previous post for review of those)

A great look that I need to remember to use often!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review of Maybelline's Baby Lips balm

 The packaging of the Baby Lip's tubes might make you think it's for tweens, but it's actually a great lip balm for girls and women of all ages.  Some are clear balms, and others are colored.  All of them are very moisturizing, and feel much better to me than the waxy types of lip balm.  And as a bonus, the colored ones actually deposit visible color on your lips. I can wear these as both a moisturizing balm and a gloss.  The clear ones have an SPF of 20, but the colored ones don't appear to have any SPF.  That's the only negative that I can think of.  Another positive is really nice smells.  No taste that I notice, but that's a plus for me.  The price is usually a little above $3.00, which is about the same as Nivea and other similar balms.  All in all I love these.  They've become my new lip balm of choice.  Take a look at the colors.
The pink punch balm actually has a matte look to it

Grape Vine, Coral crush, pink punch, quenched

Monday, January 14, 2013

What earrings are best for you?

 It's the time of year for most of the award shows - Golden Globes, the SAG awards, the Grammys, the Oscars... and probably more that I'm unaware of.  The gowns are the fashion item that garner the most attention, but after those it's the jewelry.  Did they choose the best jewelry?  Should they have just worn the dress with no necklace?  Whatever dress they wear, one piece of jewelry that is always appropriate is earrings. Aren't you glad that people don't scrutinize your jewelry choices that much?  (Unless you have a nasty co-worker, boss, or mother.)  I'm wondering what kind of earrings will be "in" this year. I've seen a lot of hoops this past year, along with very large earrings.  Some are so big I wonder if they're uncomfortable.  I mean, how much can a little ear lobe hold?
Honestly I don't choose my jewelry by trends, unless it's something I truly love.  I wear something that matches my outfit in both color and style.  If in doubt I wear silver, since it goes with anything.  I don't wear huge earrings anymore, although I do prefer dangles over studs. I started making my own necklaces and earrings a few years ago.  I have a shop on Etsy called 405 Creations, and I also get custom requests on my Facebook page.   I don't have the equipment to make elaborate earrings or solder metal earrings, or the money for diamonds or other expensive gems, but hopefully someday I will.  For now I tend to use Swarovski crystals and some glass beads or pearls.
Independent Fashion Bloggers proposed a project this week involving a post about earrings.  Since I already have so many photos of my own creations, it was a natural choice to feature my own.  I truly do wear my own earrings most of the time, although I also have some favorites that I had bought before I started making them.
What are your favorite kinds of earrings?  Do you like dangly ones with crystals, bead, or gemstones, or do you prefer just metal? Studs? Have you ever tried ear cuffs?  Do share!

Swarovski crystal and copper french hooks

Butterscotch pearls and Swarovski crystal small earrings with copper french hooks

Peach and clear crystals (Swarovski) with sterling silver french hooks

Butterfly and bicone crystals with silver spacer beads and silver french hooks

peach and clear crystal with silver accent beads

crystal and pearl earrings
crystal and silver accent beads with french hooks

green and blue crystal earrings

Clear crystal and topaz and fuschia round crystal with sterling silver french hooks

Silver filagree and amethyst AB crystals with silver french hooks

silver filagree chandelier earrings
Silver filagree daisies with round crystals at bottom, sterling silver french hooks
Silver earrings from photo above

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I've been nominated for the Liebster award

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award by Monica, of A Pear-Shaped-Gal.com  blog.  The Liebster Award is an award given to up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.  No one knows where it came from or who started it, but it's an interesting and fun thing to participate in.  Thank you, Monica, for nominating me!

If you would like to participate, there are a few simple rules to follow:

  • Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions written by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Write 11 questions for the other bloggers to answer

Here are the 11 random facts about me:
  1. I'm a computer geek
  2. I've lived in Atlanta, GA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Orange County, CA
  3. I've done technical support for law firms for most of my working life
  4. I'm a very creative person
  5. I make and sell beaded jewelry on Etsy under the name 405 Creations
  6. I always wanted children but the only ones I have are my cats, whom I adore
  7. My hair has been blonde, red, black, and blonde with black tips
  8. I love alternative music the most, but I also like some punk, rock, pop, blues, new age and classical
  9. I majored in Fashion Merchandising for a short time, but ended up getting my degree in Communications
  10. My favorite cosmetic brand is MAC. If I was blindfolded and someone walked me into a MAC store I'd know where I was just from the smell.
  11. My most interesting job was traveling the U.S. training the new TSA screeners at airports after 9/11.
And here are my answers to Monica's questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog?  To promote my jewelry shop on Etsy, named 405 Creations
  2. What type of things do you blog about?   Mostly make up tutorials, beauty products, fashion, my favorite TV shows, and the psychology of beauty and fashion.
  3. What is your favorite article of clothing?   It changes, but right now it's a sweater with a detachable fur collar that I got at a Goodwill store.
  4. Are you on time or fashionably late?   I hate to say that I'm usually fashionably late.
  5. Do you have any pets?  I did have 3 cats, two older girls and one young boy.  My oldest girl, Buddy, had kidney disease and I had to put her to sleep in October after she suffered continuous seizures one night.  It was one of the worst nights of my life, and I still miss her terribly.  My other girl is Scully, who is 15.  Sadly, Scully is still looking for Buddy, wondering where her long-time companion has went.  Max is just 2, and he's the sweetest boy you could imagine.  He'll let me hold him like a baby, touch his feet, scratch his belly - anything is fine with him.  I found all of my cats when they were babies.
  6. Where do you like to find your fashion news?  Books, magazines, Internet, other?  I still like magazines, but I also read blogs and look at fashion photos on Pinterest.
  7. What are your favorite nail polish brands?  Essie and OPI.
  8. Do you consider yourself a good cook and if yes, what is your favorite dish to make?  I am a good cook, but I don't enjoy cooking much anymore.  I like to make quick, easy dishes like turkey burgers or chicken with pasta.
  9. What is your favorite electronic device?  my laptop.  I couldn't live without it.
  10. What do you do to keep in shape?  Walking, yoga, running, weights, other?  I walk, lift weights, and do the elliptical machine at the gym.  I've been a yogi for a long time, although I've not been doing it much since my favorite teacher quit.
  11. What is the best city/country that you've traveled to?  My favorite city is L.A./Hollywood, with New York a close second.
Here are the 10 bloggers that I nominate.  I tried to find 11 with under 200 followers and it was terribly hard! If there are two of you out there who would like to be nominated, let me know and I'll add you to my list.
  1. Heather at Heather's Thrifty Closet 
  2. Joni at Walking Colors 
  3. Terry at Terry's Two Cents 
  4. Paula at Fashion Over Fifty 
  5. Maxens at The Scavengers Daughter 
  6. Jan at Fort Smith Stylista 
  7. Maya at Girl loves color
  8.  Becky at The Fluff Report
  9.  Sophie at Pretty Passions, Fine Fashions  
  10.  Jennifer at Obsidian Soul and Dreamcatchers
My 11 questions for the nominees:
  1. What blog post would you write if you could do ANYTHING?  Pretend that you'd have money, great camera and lighting equipment (if necessary), as many assistants as you needed, you could be anywhere, and you'd look great in any type of clothing.
  2. What color clothing do you have the most of?
  3. Have you done any collaborations yet?
  4. What are your hobbies?
  5. What subjects do like to read about?
  6. What are your favorite TV programs, if you watch TV?
  7. What makes you the happiest about your blog?
  8. Do you have any pet peeves about blogs? Is there something that makes you decide NOT to read a blog post?
  9. What social media do you like the best? (there can be more than one)
  10. Do you like reading about celebrity fashion?  Why or why not?
  11. Is there anything that you wish that you could do more of with your blog?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gray and olive eye shadow tutorial (with false eye lashes)

So this is my attempt to make the KISS brand false eye lashes look decent.  As I wrote in an earlier post, I got them free to try out, and I wasn't impressed.  They were too short to fit across my eye lid, and something about them looked "too false".  I've worn other brands and they blended well with my natural lashes.  These didn't.  I decided to put on some eye shadow to see if that would make them look better.  It definitely did.  It looked good enough to make me want to wear false lashes more often, at least.
Here's the finished look:

Products used:
Urban Decay primer potion
MAC matte eye shadow in Meet the Fleet
MAC eye shadow in Sumptuous Olive
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencil in Zero
L'Oreal Voluminous false fiber mascara
Nars lip lacquer in Sweet Charity

I started by putting eye primer on.  When it dried, I put a matte gray-blue shadow in the inner corner of my eye.

I brushed an olive green shadow in the center of my eye lid

I added the dark shadow on the outer corner of my eye as well

Then I brushed the same shadow into the crease of my eye lid

I lined the bottom of my eyelid inside the lash line with a waterproof black pencil from Urban Decay

Then I blended the shadows

I like to put a little of the shadow under the eye.  I think it adds a nice finishing touch.  For this I use a flat brush with a straight end.

I added off-white shadow under the arch of the brow.  It makes the area under the arch look larger, thereby emphasizing the arch.

I put mascara on my real lashes

The finished eye looked like this

And this was the complete finished look with Nars lip gloss.  I really liked the way it looked, so I'll try this look again, but with different false eye lashes.