Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'm waiting for my first video tutorial to be uploaded to YouTube. I tried loading it right on here and I left it over night to process and it didn't work properly. So I will be doing all my videos through YouTube.

I'll have this post updated after I get home from work this evening.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weapons of mass creation, part two

Part Two has arrived! If you haven't read part one of this post that's ok, there isn't any particular order. If you'd like to start at the beginning, here's the link; http://impassionatevanity.blogspot.com/2010/08/weapons-of-mass-creation-part-one.html

Moving along....

Eye Brushes

There are many, many types of eye brushes out there. Choosing one that you need may seem a bit daunting at first, but I'll help clear some of that up. Shader brushes, angled brushes, fluffy brushes, and blending brushes. There are sub-types for each of these 'main' types of brushes. They all come in different sizes and shapes. Again, I'll go over what I have and what I use them for!

The MAC 252 SE, No-Name brand small shader, Sonia Kashuk Small shader, Sonia Kashuk Concealer brush

Shader brushes have many uses and come in different sizes and stiffnesses. The MAC 252 is a larger sized brush, while my no-name brand is much smaller in comparison. These brushes are also different in their firmness. The MAC Brush is much stiffer in compairison to my generic small shader. They are both soft to the touch.

-Shading eyeshadow
-Shading and blending emolient based products
-Packing eyeshadow onto the lid

Top: MAC 252 Bottom: No-Name

The odd ones out...

My two Sonia Kashuk brushes are different from the first two shader brushes I mentioned above, but I would still definately consider these shader brushes. Firstly, the concealer brush is made from synthetic fibres (I mention the reasoning for this in my previous post) and the small shader is not. I use these for a lot of different things.

The concealer brush:

-Applying concealer (obviously) to the under eye area and anywhere on the face.
-Applying emolient based products
-Packing glitter products on the lid

The small shader:

-Applying shadow to the lower lash line (As eyeliner)
-Applying shadow to the upper lash line (As eyeliner)
-Defining the crease
-Blending out eyeliner
-Blending small areas of eyeshadow
-Applying small amounts of highlighter to the inner tear duct and brow bone.

So you can see that I use these in several different ways, and I have to say, I really love that Sonia Kashuk small shader!

Fluffy or Blending Brushes

Again, fluffy brushes and blending brushes come in several different forms. So I'll just jump right into it!

The MAC 219SE, Sonia Kashuk fluffy crease brush, Face Secrets shadow blender, No-Name fluffy brush, Sonia Kashuk dome shaped blender, Sonia Kashuk fluffy brush

The MAC 219 gave me trouble in giving it a catergory, so I added it here because it makes the most sense. It's a stiff, densely packed, natural bristle brush with a very pointed tip, giving it it's name; pencil brush.

-Blending out crease colors
-Packing color into the crease
-Creating sharp lines
-Accentuating the 'outer V' of the eye
-Blending eyeliner on the upper and lower lash lines

Sonia Kashuk fluffy crease brush is a soft natural hair brush that is loosely bound to make it nice and fluffy.

-Applying light washes of color to the crease
-Blending out crease colors
-General blending

The Face Secrets Shadow Blender (which is a discontinued product from Sally Beauty Supply) is a stiff, flat, natural fibre brush that is densely packed.

-Applying highlight color to the brow bone
-Applying highlight color to the cheek bone
- Intense blending (because it's so stiff)

No-Name fluffy brush is an interesting brush that I don't use enough. It's a fluffy tapered/squared brush that's pretty flexible compared to the Face Secrets brush.

-Applying highlight color to the brow bone
-Applying highlight color to the cheek bone
-Light blending
-Applying light washes of color to the lid
-Applying light washes of color to the brow bone

The Sonia Kashuk dome shaped blender is a fantastic tool, on the stiffer side, it's a natural hair brush.

-Applying meduim to heavy color to the crease
-Intense blending
-Adding color to the inner tear duct
-Applying highlight to the brow bone
-Blending the 'outer V'
-Layering crease colors

Sonia Kashuk Fluffy Brush is another natural fibre brush that is not very stiff and can be used for all the same things as the no-name brush discussed previously.

-Applying highlight color to the brow bone
-Applying highlight color to the cheek bone
-Light blending
-Applying light washes of color to the lid
-Applying light washes of color to the brow bone
-Blending crease colors

Eyeliner and Brows

From left to right: Bent Liner, MAC 209 SE,
 No-Name angled liner, Sonia Kashuk
 angled brow brush
These brushes pictured are used for lining the eyes and filling in the brows. You can use the liner brushes with gel liner, cream liner, powder, cake liner, and any eye safe emolient products. The angled brushes I use for filling in brows and lining the eyes. The bent liner brush is my favorite out of all of these because the angle of the brush itself makes lining the eyes incredibly easy. Definately worth the investment!


Hope this was helpful! And now that I feel like I have gotten a lot of preliminary information covered I will hopefully have tutorials and reviews posted soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weapons of mass creation, part one

Brushes are one of the most fabulous cosmetic investments you can make. I myself never used to believe in brushes. I used to use those terrible sponges-on-a-stick. -shudder-

At any rate I'd like to go over some basic brush types and their many uses.

First rule: Don't limit yourself!

Just because a brush says "Bronzer" on it, doesn't mean you can't use it for more than that!!

There are two types of materials the bristles of a brush are made out of. Synthetic hair, or natural hair (so if you're allergy prone you may want to avoid the natural bristled brushes, or if you're anti 'cruelty'). Some brushes are a blend of synthetic and natural bristles.
In general the synthetic hair brushes are used for cream products like foundation, cream blush, cream eyeshadow, etc. The reason behind this is synthetic bristles do not absorb a creamy product like natural hairs will, making for an easier application. Natural hair brushes are used for powders like pressed eye shadows, loose eye shadow, loose foundation and brow powder. However, don't forget the first rule!

Face Brushes

Powder, bronzer, blush, contour, buffer, etc. I don't own all the different types of face brushes, but I can certainly go over what I do have ;)

The MAC 187 SE

The SE just stands for Special Edition, which in this case means that it came in a holiday brush kit and has a short handle as opposed to MAC's longer handles. MAC doesn't name their brushes really, they assign numbers to them. This brush is a blend of synthetic fibres and natural fibres (The white fibres are synthetic and the black are natural). It's a loosely packed brush, which means that the bristles aren't bound together tightly, as you can see in the photo.  It's very soft and has many uses.

- Light blending of powder
- Light blush application
- Bronzer
- Foundation application
- Soft layering of products

Sonia Kashuk Long Handled Kabuki, BareMinerals Mini Kabuki

Kabuki brushes are typically short handled like my miniature kabuki by BareMinerals. But I purchased my long handled kabuki-style Sonia Kashuk brush a couple of Octobers ago for breast cancer awareness month (I'm a sucker for pink).

Sorry, it's a wee bit dirty
Kabuki brushes are very densely packed and are used for applying powder, and buffing powder products (particularly foundation) into the skin for a very soft perfect finish. The mini buki I usually use for contouring or for blush.

The MAC 168 SE, BareMinerals Angled Blush, and Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush

All blush brushes aren't created equally!

My MAC blush brush and my BareMinerals brush are angled brushes. These allow for maximum ease for cheek contouring. These brushes are packed rather tightly and are made from natural hairs. These can be used for blusher and contour. I mostly use them for applying blush.
Left: Sonia Kashuk Right: MAC 168
On the other hand the Sonia Kashuk blush brush is dome shaped. I also use this for blush application, but I'm fairly careful since it's a much fuller and larger brush than the two angled brushes. The dome shaped brush can also be used as a general powder brush for buffing out small areas or applying powder. I use it for touch-ups after I apply my full face of makeup.

Now, there are many types of face brushes that I do not yet own. But you can check them out at http://www.maccosmetics.com/flash/brush_finder/index.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT1751%3f This is a great tool to look up brushes by their usage, or if you're curious about brushes in general.

I know that brushes are very pricey, but if you maintain them properly they should last you years to come. The Sonia Kashuk brushes I featured in this post I purchased from Target. These brushes are very good quality, and affordable. http://www.target.com/s?keywords=sonia+kashuk+brush&searchNodeID=1038576%7C1287991011&ref=sr_bx_1_1

Stay tuned for part two of Weapons of mass creation!! I'll be covering eye brushes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A random thought

I just had an amazing idea... I want to do tutorials for Halloween! I will not be consuming the whole blog with Halloween stuff during the period of time before Halloween comes, of course.

But if anyone has any requests, I'd love to tackle some fabulous Halloween makeup! If not, I'll do what pops into my head.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Your mirrior is your friend.

Wash your hands, pull your hair back, and get ready to poke and prod at your face!!

In this post I want to talk about getting to know your facial structure. Knowing how your bone structure works will help you to better apply your makeup.

I think the thing that most women have the biggest problem with is blush placement. For a very long time I was an adamant blush-hater. I never really had a reason for it, either. But now, after learning how to use blush properly, I'm what they call a "blush-whore".
To figure out the perfect placement on your cheeks for blush you'll need to get up close and personal with your mirror. Grab a makeup brush, or a pencil (Please don't poke your eye out ;)) and get ready to make some funny faces.

First, make sure that you have good lighting. Ok. Look at your face. Notice where the light naturally falls on the highest points of your facial features. Then take another look and notice where you have shadows on your face. Knowing these points will become useful later on.

Now, to the blush part of this activity. With your (clean) fingers find your cheek bones. Some people have very prominent cheek bones, and generally they are considered lucky. Other people need to bring this area out. This is where blush comes in handy if used correctly. Run your fingertips all along your cheek bones, and get to know that area. Smile. When you smile you get the "apples of your cheeks" to become more pronounced. This is where you start applying blush, and you sweep it back up along your cheek bone towards your hairline.

Underneath that bone you may notice an indent, or a fleshy pocket, if you will. This is where you make a fishy face, c'mon, you remember how! Besides, no one's looking, right? Anyway, while making this face, remember how we discussed the importance of noticing where the shadows fall on your face? Well, in the hollows below your cheek bones there is typically a shadow. Place your pencil or makeup brush handle in that shadow. This shadow is where you would apply a contour color, and you'd want to follow the natural angle of your face. Contouring is typically done with a matte product that is one to two shades darker than your skin tone. Contouring is used to make your face more shapely. If you don't have very defined cheeks, or jawline, or if you have a very round shape, adding a slightly darker matte shade to this area gives you that slightly "gaunt" look that a lot of folks find attractive.

Now in general, anywhere you have the light falling on the high points of your face is where you would apply a highlighter shade, and no I'm not talking neon yellow :)  A highlighter is a specific product that is becoming more popular. It's placed on the tops of your cheek bones, bridge of your nose, chin, and brow bone (under your eyebrow).

Obviously I will do looks later on with pictures so these techniques can be demonstrated and expanded upon.

Leave a comment and tell me what you noticed about your face, or try out some of these techniques and tell me about it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A little bit about me, and a disclaimer.

Hello all,
             I'm Stacey, and welcome to my blog.
            Firstly I'd like to tell you all a little bit about myself. I'm a twenty-something college graduate with a BA in Music who has always (since I can remember, anyway) had a passion for makeup. My mother sold Avon when I was a child, and I'm absolutely certain that's where it began. She used to give me the samples that she'd get for her clients, and I'd go nuts with them. In addition to that, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, with all the fun face painting and freedom to look however you want for just one day a year.
             Growing up I was always pretty insecure about myself. I was over-weight, and awkward, and I felt like an outsider about 95% of the time. I went through the "Goth" phase. I liked black, and as a matter of fact, I still do. I wore it all the time, clothes, accessories, makeup, the works. It, oddly enough, made me feel more secure. After being made fun of for 10 years in school, I graduated and left my home town for college. I thought to myself "I can finally be me", and my first semester there I met my boyfriend of (almost) six years. After six bitter years in college, and dozens of doses of bad luck, I am here today as myself. The person who I always knew I was inside. I am a strong woman, who is still over-weight (according to Wii Fit), and more comfortable with myself than I ever have been.  I'd like to pass this on to you.
Makeup is an accessory that should be worn with confidence.

               With all that said and done, I'd like to explain a couple things about what I will be posting here. I will be posting pictures of makeup looks, reviews of products that I think will benefit my readers, and general musings about makeup. I'd love to take requests for looks, product reviews (within reason), and any questions you have.

              The advice and recommendations in this blog are based solely on my opinion and experiences, I am by no means a physician, esthetician, or licensed in any state to practice cosmetology or medicine. If you have serious inquiries I recommend asking your doctor.

Enjoy! ;)