Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Review 

Oh my gosh I am in love…. and hooked on this stuff!  Let me introduce y’all to (the late)  Kevin Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer.  Here is what the Beauty Bar says about it: “As versatile as it is effective, The Sensual Skin Enhancer can be used as an all over foundation, a concealer and a highlighter. From a sheer wash of color to complete coverage, this must-have product does it all.”  So….yea…it does it all.  Most importantly…it does it all well.  Check it out:

I know what you are thinking….”Gee..that is a tiny freaking container for something that is supposed to be used as foundation…”  And now that I am telling you that it is $45.00 you are thinking “Gee…that is a tiny freaking container for something that is 45 smakaroos..”  I can see why you are thinking this….the craziness is not lost on me.  But saying “a little goes a long way” with this product is the understatement of the year and does not do it justice.  This container will last you -trust me. I admit that I overuse product….and I have barely made a dent in this in the few weeks I have had it.   Anyway…the consistency is something in between peanut butter and cream cheese…if that makes sense-the stuff is thick.   It looks a little somethin like this:

It is soooooo pigmented that one little dab goes a very,very,very long way.  On the top left you will see a little dab that I put on an area where I had smudged some liner…to the right of that you will see how much that one little pin prick covered.  On the lower left you will see a pinkie “dab”  (dab..not dollop) that I put on my hand…that covered my entire hand and halfway up my thumb.

Ah-mazing….It is wonderful.  Now, if you google reviews of this stuff you will see that the majority of people are in love…like me..However, some people just flat-out do not like it.  They say it is “too thick”, “doesn’t blend”..things like that.  I’m not saying these people are wrong…I am just saying there is definitely a learning curve to this product and that might be why some don’t like it.  The best way I have found to apply it is to make sure that you have some moisture on your skin before you apply …you just need a little bit of slippage for it to glide on well.  I also used a Beauty Blender sponge to apply this as foundation and the combination of my moisturized skin and the damp Beauty Blender sponge gives a beautiful coverage.  I have used this multiple ways..and it passes every test.  I used it as a concealer for my eyes and it gave wonderful coverage and stayed put all day.  I used it as a highlighter (because this color is lighter than my skin tone) before I applied my foundation.  Lastly, I mixed it with a dab of darker colored foundation (so it would match me) and used it all over as a full coverage foundation–gorgeous. I can’t say enough good things about this product.  It is now one of my “must-haves” right up there with my MAC Paint Pots and my Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner.  I would google who has it closest to you and stop in and try some…it really is a hidden gem.

Erin

 



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Carolina Bride-Get Fit Challenge 

 I have the pleasure of being involved with a great contest currently running in Carolina Bride Magazine and it was just featured in this issue that recently hit the stands!

The contest is called the “Get Fit Challenge” and it is following soon-to-be brides on their weight-loss and fitness adventures! I was very excited to do the makeup for their “before” photos and I will also be doing their makeup in their “after” photos…

The winner is getting a craaaazy amount of wedding goodies like a honeymoon, bridal session, wedding dress, makeup from yours truly, etc…..The best part of this contest is that the contestants are blogging throughout it…. so you get to check in with them throughout their journey!  Check out these beautiful images below captured by the talented Nathan Abplanalp:

Nathan Abplanalp Photography

Nathan Abplanalp Photography

Aren’t they a gorgeous set of ladies??  I can’t wait to see them at the end of their journey!  Go pick up your copy of Carolina Bride today and check it out!

Erin



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Winged liner with a Twist 

The winged liner look is so fun…and versatile.  Lots of times when I am doing a super smokey eye look on myself, I like to add some winged liner to “extend” my eye and darken up the look a little more.  BUT I can also be super crazy about things lining up perfectly so I like to extend my bottom liner to meet up with the wing on the top…..The end result is something like a small Cleopatra-esque eye.  I did this look today with soft eyeshadows so you could really see the wings….but as I said, I generally do this on a darker eye because it makes it all the more intense!  I also did this eye look very lightly–you can make your connected wings big and bold for a stronger look!  If you don’t have these MAC shadows use a pinky highlight for “Naked Lunch” , a deeper taupe for “Coquette” and a deep brown for “Brun”.  Enjoy!

Products Used:

MAC Eyeshadows in “Naked Lunch”, “Coquette” and “Brun”, MAC Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre”, Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner in “Blackest Black”, MAC Lipstick in “Girl About Town”

PREP:

Conceal the entire lid up to the brow, all around the eye and underneath the eye.  Set with powder.  Apply your eyeshadow primer, I used MAC’s Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre”.

Step 1:

Using your big fluffy, apply “Naked Lunch” all over the lid stopping at the brow bone.  This step is not shown because you would barely be able to see it.  Using your big fluffy, apply “Coquette” into the crease from the outer corner to the in.  It should look something like this:

Step 2:

Using your bullet brush, apply “Brun” to the crease and the outer “V”.  Unblended it will look something like this:

Step 3:

Using a thin liner brush, apply your gel liner to the top of the eye…when you get to the outer corner “Wing” it.  If you have trouble doing this,  here is a great tutorial using tape to get the perfect wing. Another way to apply connected winged liner (not shown) is to start at the bottom….apply your liner to the lower lash line and create a wing going up from the base and outer corner of your lower lash line….then you can fill in a wing from the outer corner in and then line the top of the eye.  Either way works!!!  Don’t worry if when it first goes on it isn’t completely smooth..we can smooth it out later.  It should look something like this:

Step 4:

Line your waterline with gel liner.  Apply gel liner to the outer corner of the lower lash line and “connect” it to the top wing.  You can take this time to “smooth” out your top liner!  I also used  a bullet brush to smudge the bottom liner just a bit. It should look something like this:

Step 5:

Using a stiff brush, apply a highlight from the brow bone down into the inner corner.  Using a big fluffy, blend your dark eyeshadows together….then blend out your highlight.   Apply your false eyelashes.  Go over any excess glue with gel liner.  Apply a coat of mascara to blend your real lashes into your fake ones.  Your final product will look something like this:

and this:

I added some MAC lipstick in “Girl About Town” because I was feeling sassy and fancy….It is a beautiful bold color and it is great when you want a glossy bold lip! Hope you enjoyed!

Erin



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Benefit “the pore -fessional” primer review 

One of the biggest things I hear about as a makeup artist is pores….mostly in the form of a question about foundation like “will it sink into my pores?” or “will it make my pores stand out?” and then that is sometimes followed by “what is the best way to make my pores smaller?”—All legitimate questions!!!  One of the best ways to explain pores is an analogy that I heard in esthetician school.  You have to think of pores as one of those ziplock bags….When you put things in those bags, they begin to gape open and appear larger at the top or “mouth”.  Then, when you take whatever you put in out, the gape or top of the bag closes back up.  This is a great way to think of pores.  You cannot make pores smaller….but you can make them APPEAR smaller by getting the “stuff” out of them.  Clean pores=smaller looking pores just like an empty ziplock=a smaller looking ziplock.   The upside to you beauties with large pores?-You generally have more oily skin which keeps more moisture in your skin and can help you age better :)

I generally do not like face primers…I haven’t seen any that make a big enough difference (without interfering with my foundation application) that warrant the $30 or so price tag….until I met this:

I am sorry that I don’t have a before and after picture….I think my only chance for you to see the difference would be with a macro lens…and, well, I don’t have one of those so you are just going to have to take my word for it.  This stuff is impressive!  While there is nothing on the market that is going to make you look like you have no pores, this does a great job of minimizing them and smoothing out your skin tone.  It also has a great mattifying effect!  Stop by Ulta or your nearest department store with a Benefit counter to try it out…I think you will love it!

Erin



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How to color correct with makeup 

Color correcting is so easy to do on yourself once you understand it…and it is so worth learning!

The Basics

Green:

Counteracts redness in the skin.  The perfect color corrector for people with rosacea or a lot of general redness in their skin.  Also works on any areas of localize redness such as acne.

Lilac:

Counteracts sallow/yellowed skin.  The perfect color corrector for people who have a bit too much yellow in their skin.  Lilac will brighten up skin!

Yellow:

Counteracts lilac or purple to blue undertones (you see how this is working :) ).  Perfect for people who have purple undertones that are often found under the eyes.  Yellow will also brighten up skin!

Apricot:

Counteracts dark discolorations  Perfect for people who have more visible darkness under the eyes.  Also great to conceal bruising and freckles or hyperpigmentation.  Can give the skin an overall glow.  Eve Pearl’s “Salmon Concealer” has some apricot in it and works wonders to brighten!

Pink:

Counteracts blueish tones and brightens.  Perfect for people who have visible veins on the skin or underneath the eyes.  This also brightens up the skin.  Be careful though as pink and blue make purple…so you want to look for a pink that is closer to the apricot side than the purple/blue side.

This post was inspired by my mom when we went searching for a new color corrector for her this weekend.  We settled on this one by Dermablend because it was SUPER pigmented and you could really see a dramatic difference in her redness:

I  loooove Dermablend’s products because most of them are sooo pigmented…they are great for tattoo cover! I have a lot of yellow in my skin but not a lot of red so I dusted some bright red blush on my arm so you could see how well this color corrector works. The image on the left is my blush filled arm…the two images on the right are after I applied Dermablend’s corrector to the part of my arm closest to my wrist.   Look at the difference:

Crazy good right???

There are so many color correcting primers out there in every price range from Smashbox, L’oreal, Stila and sooo many more that you are sure to find one to suit your budget.  This one by TEMPTU is next on my list to purchase!!!

Great right?  All the basic colors you need!!!  I hope this post helped you with some color correcting basics!!

Erin



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