The Coruscating Dragon A Scintillating Beauty Blog. en-us Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:41:44 +0000 Sett RSS Generator Neutral Brown Makeup for a Professional Evening Event As you can tell by now, I like shimmer shades! I'm an NC 37 in MAC Pro Longwear SPF 10 Foundation with warm-neutral undertones and with my rabbit brown eyes, I think it just looks good one me (of course this is MY opinion, you may think differently and I don't mind hearing back.) Now of course, with age, we're supposed to lessen the use of frost, shimmer and the like, but I believe it depends on your technique, lid type and the product. I tend not to use frost and if I want some sparkle, I prefer shimmer, satin, or fine glitter. Here are a few good references on eye shapes and eyeshadow textures, which are important (as they may help you go a long way with improving eye design techniques.)

Robert Jones Academy Eye Shapes (an interactive guide)

Beautylish article - What's Your Eye Shape (examples with celebrities)

MakeupTutorials article - Types of Eyeshadow + How to Apply Them (sorry, lots of ads)

The Fancy Face - Tips for Beginners...Eyeshadow Finishes & Textures (dated and based on MAC eyeshadows, but one of the best I've found because she shows the products on the skin.)

Buzzfeed Blog article - 19 Eyeshadow Basics Everyone Should Know (a really nice primer on everything "eyeshadow")

Makeup Geek Tutorials (beautiful, + they have good quality eyeshadows in Duo Chrome, etc.)

Now onto the look:

Indoors, w/diffused daylight from the front (you see the shimmer better)

Indoors, w/shaded daylight from the side (you can see the truer hues, which are rust)

And here it is for entire face

Again, I feel the eyeshadows are a slightly darker in person & indoors, but I do believe this is what I'd look like outdoors or with a lot of natural indoor lighting. My foundation was all cream, Anastasia's Contour Cream Kit (Medium), Banana & Cream w/Chocolate to contour. I would have preferred a lighter lip color, say a neutral taupe/very light caramel, but alas who would have thought I don't have any light nude lip colors. Hmm.... ;)

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Fri, 19 May 2017 16:56:31 +0000
Natasha Denona's Sunset Palette is OUT & Stunning! This palette is so lovely and in line with the quality of her Star palette, which I've rav]]> It's on it's way! Thank you Beautylish team! They have excellent customer service! Even helped me with choosing a different shipper due to my having issues with a certain provider.

This palette is so lovely and in line with the quality of her Star palette, which I've raved about. Apparently the Crystal Chroma finish has been improved (likely due to that really being the only quality complaint customers had with the formula when it debuted in the Star palette.)

Check out the new Sunset palette on Beautylish's site, where I just learned it's already sold out as I was writing, wow!

And even on Natasha's site it's sold out! Argh! Well keep your eyes out (and a little techie watch on the pages). I'll definitely be reviewing it as soon as it arrives.

PS. Also, here's the first site, Popsugar, where I saw the preview a few days ago, with swatches. ;)

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Fri, 12 May 2017 15:47:08 +0000
A Casual, Everyday Look to Prove You Can Wear Foundation Layers Hi! Just a quick post to show that you can wear foundation layers and not be overly made up.

I was just playing around and trying different foundation techniques, in particular BB cream type foundation over a primer and then contouring creams (but almost as a foundation overtop the rest).

The base was Kat Von D's Lock-It Hydrating Primer (very lightweight like a day fluid, but you have to place it quickly as it feels a tad tacky if it's moved around a lot).

Then I used a staple, Iman's Skin Tone Evener BB Crème (Sand Light). It's a really good BB that I'd recommend, not heavy and giving light to medium coverage. She really has some great products, though not all of them are a hit, but I've gotten a few that I'd repurchase (like the lip glosses and the BB cream) , and that says a lot with the choices available worldwide.

And the surprise of the day was Anatasia's Contour Cream Kit (Medium), the colors Cream, Banana & Chocolate work well for me, and Cream could be my Spring foundation color, so I was very pleased.

Last, but very important in the routine, one of the very best powders, as you can't beat the price for the quality, RCMA's No-color Powder. I can put this on under my eyes over concealer, then go back over it again with concealer and still look good. It doesn't settle in your lines if you pat it on and then brush it off. I'm sure even more mature women (of which I am) could bake with it too, brush it off and look good.

So I hope you enjoy this look as much I did!

A close up (so you can really see the lines, how they aren't filled in or cakey)

The overall look (on the left - indoors, no flash w/diffused daylight in front & then on the right - indoors w/flash & diffused daylight in front)

Have a great hump day! Interesting fact : "The Creation narrative in the Hebrew Bible places the creation of the Sun and Moon on "the fourth day" of the divine workweek." (Source: Wikipedia)

Yes, that's Wednesday!

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Thu, 11 May 2017 14:05:04 +0000
Try, try again! Pat McGrath's Dark Star 006 Dark Matter As promised, I tried again, and like "The Little Engine That Could" (version by Watty Piper), I finally achieved a look more in line with those on Pat McGrath's site (though not as glistening). My camera (though HD and of good quality) doesn't do it justice though (or it could be the camera person, LOL), because I think the look is much more smouldering and sultry. That said here's the evolution of the look, which I did my way, so there again, you may try sticking to her technique. (Please see previous post May 2, 2017 to see the content of the Dark Star 006 Kit)

***Note: There is slight fallout from the metallic pigments, so:

  • either do only your eyes or
  • your upper facial foundation,
  • do all foundation, but clean with eye cream and redo under-eye makeup,
  • use shadow shields, or
  • place powder under the eyes that you'll brush away later.

Step 1: Shade only the Dark Matter pigment (I used Zoeva's 235 Contour Shader), from outer corners to inner. Open your eye and see how high you want to place your shadow. I went for above my crease, highest slightly before the peak of my brows. Note that I did my brows, foundation, lids (primed only with a creme foundation, but a primer would be best) and mascara (dark brown) before starting.

Step 2: Shade with Mercury pigment only on lid before slight fold.

Step 3: Since my fold wasn't significant, I put Mercury fully on lid to crease (if you do have a significant fold, I'd leave across the smaller lid area that shows when you eyes are open & not necessary all of the lid into the crease, but perhaps to mid lid when eyes are closed).

Step 4: Blend (with clean brush, I used Evgeny's blending brush, a really good all-over or wide area blending brush) and add the Astral White pigment on the brow bones. Note that I didn't use her blending brush, not because it isn't good, but because I had one I use regularly. Since it comes with the set, I'd recommend using it versus buying one like the Evgeny blending brush, which is round and larger.

Step 5: Add Cyber Clear gloss to the lid to crease area and Astral White layed down on the lid over Mercury, but not as high, then blend all over (you can do as you like. I like the change it gives to the other two colors, Dark Matter & Mercury (as you can see it makes a blue reflection, though in reality less so on the crease and brow bone areas)

Below: Here's the amount of gloss you'll need, perhaps a tad less if you have small eyes or more, but definitely not more (I used a lay-down brush, 135142 by Peggy Sage, but one like Zoeva's 234 Luxe Smoky Shader would do. Use a small brush that allows you to pat the product onto the lid exactly where you want, thus not too large.)

Step 6: I added a little more Astral White (+ gloss, if you need) for more of a dramatic look and shine.

Step 7: Blend (again always with a clean brush, as I learned from Robert Jones, one that you haven't used to place color.) Here it looks like I've removed lots of the color, but in reality it looks dramatic & sultry (with more than enough color).

Step 8: Place a smoky eyeliner as close to the base of the lashes as possible (or tightline if you have large eyes, which I did every so slightly) with Pat's Black SmudgeLiner eye kohl (it looks darker in person and you can darken by lining twice, which I did not do) and add a little Astral White w/o gloss in the inner "V" tear duct corner of the eyes). Last, add a black mascara and voilà! Though I didn't do so here, adding false lashes would definitely give an evening flare!

Her shadow and dark style work well for those with glasses. (***The overall look is slightly darker and gradient in person.)

Here's what it looks like in an incandescent lighting after some wear, so primer would definitely give it more staying power, as the gloss brings shine and glistening, but makes the pigment move. That said, the lighting gave it an ethereal glow, but the effect is still dramatic and slightly darker than here.

All I can say is that Pat McGrath's shadows are unique and give that certain, "Je-ne-sais-pas-quoi" glistening effect that for some may be worth the cost (or not). I don't regret having it now that I'm learning to work them.

Finally, here's a discounted beauty products and spa offers site, beautéprivée, for anyone in Metropolitan France, Belgium or Luxembourg. (I'm not sponsored by this company, but I have made a couple of purchases, and if you know your companies and products, you can find very good deals. NOTE: using this link provide me with "parrainage" [patronage referral] points.)

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Mon, 08 May 2017 14:20:08 +0000
Pat McGrath's newest: Dark Star 006 Dark Matter!!! First, let me say I purchased this because, well if you see any of the videos showing eyes with this product, you will drop your jaws in awe. Yes, INSPIRING!

Now leaving the blinding road and moving on to share my experience and thoughts about Pat McGrath's beautiful, glimmering eye design kit, Dark Star 006 Dark matter

Here it what I received:

Dark Matter pigment
Mercury pigment
Astral White pigment
Cyber Clear eye gloss
Black SmudgeLiner eye kohl
Blender brush

(ruler in cm to give you perspective on the size of the products)

And here are the pigments (in the order listed above) close up so that you can see how they shimmer and sparkle (yes, they do look almost exactly like the photos)!

So on to my story...I thought I'd watch her great videos over and over and achieve similar results, and that is not the case. Not because I don't think the products are good, but because I think these are not basic products made for the mass. The pigments are dry, but not at all flaky, more like soft flint.

I'm a "budding" makeup artist (MUA) and as with Natasha Denona's last eyeshadow "Star" palette, I would say you need to know a bit about technique, pigments and using gels to achieve professional and tantalizing results before embarking into using these.

So due to the price, and it's quite expensive (over 100$/€ with shipping), if you aren't a professional MUA or don't have to be the unique one at the party with THE eye look, I would suggest DIY'ing it and purchasing Makeup Geek pigments, a translucent gel and a L'Oréal kohl crayon and call it a day.

That said, if you have you're own personal expert MUA or are a professional MUA with lots of experience AND don't have time to create textures and products to achieve awesome results, well Pat McGrath's Dark Star 006 kits (and there are three gorgeous ones to choose from) are for you! The one with the UltraViolet Blue pigment will simply call you like a siren, so beware!

While I wrote this article, I looked over the list of products in the kit and told myself, you WILL learn how to work them and you WILL make this worth the cost. Because whether something is worth it or not is about whether or not it brings value to you. And even if momentarily my personal satisfaction hasn't been met, I value supporting an artist with talent and very unique, scintillating products in a small and selective industry as the makeup artistry business, in particular where there are so few blacks present. She like her products shines above the rest!

I'll have to update you when I do achieve an eye-stopping look with her latest gems. Peace!

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Tue, 02 May 2017 00:17:45 +0000
It's been over 3+ years, and yes, I'm alive! And still VERY much into beauty & makeup! Here's just a short note to revive this blog (I pray) and start anew in the world of sharing my passion and hopefully new career: beauty & makeup. Why do I emphasize the "beauty" aspect now? Recently, I had the opportunity to serve as a speaker during a church seminar for women on the subject of make up and beauty and I was reminded as I prepared for the presentation that beauty is all about the heart. One of my favorite makeup artist's, Wayne Goss quotes Kevin Aucoin on the that fact, that "no amount of makeup can mask an ugly heart ". And I believe that this is truth. Scripturally, God's Word is clear that beauty is about the condition of the heart and not the outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3-4). And so , with that brief, reintroduction I am opening the door to again share my "light" in the area of beauty and adornment! I am so looking forward to spending "virtual" time with you! Do share your thoughts and insights, and techniques!!!!! This is about building virtue "together"!

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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:01:49 +0000
A Brief Pause & Why Hello my new readers; however few you may be for the moment, you merit being updated frequently and I wanted to let you know why I've taken and will take a few weeks pause, due to unexpected travel obligations (related to family health.) So stay in prayer (those of you that do and believe in prayer) and I'm still ever so looking forward to sharing makeup tips as soon as possible.

I'll be Stateside (yeah!!!) for a few days later in the week and I've been thinking that it's a shame that despite my obligations, I have little thoughts about having access to soooo many makeup goodies while there that are unavailable in France.

Yes, France one of if not THE fashion and pharmaceutical leader of the world, I've noticed is very often behind the trends on cosmetic happenings! I know, it's a sad situation (boo hoo, and I can see some of you thinking, "She's in France and complaining."), but I try not to critic without also providing a solution. ;) So I'm planning hard to change this aspect of such a beautiful and creative nation, in my own way via the blog and other entrepreneurial ideas I'm cooking up, but that is food for another post (and that, once things are really under way. ;) )

Until I have a moment to try a few new products, here's a quick tip for ladies over 40 or with cheeks started to hang or simply chubby cheeks:

PLEASE DO contour along the lower jawbone from the chin to near your ear (both sides of course) with a very dark (that is a dark to very dark brown with the same undertones that you use for your foundation, usually yellow or olive based for most women) cream foundation, concealer or contouring cream. The point is to place the contour line on the jawbone along the area where the skin sags to slightly under the jaw on the fold of the skin.

This one tip REALLY makes a difference for anyone that has saggy cheek, even if they sag only ever so slightly.

Here are a few sites that I think are helpful on contouring overall and that cover the jawline issue (also check out Iman's "The Beauty of Color" and Kevyn Aucoin's "Making Faces" books that cover the subject well).

My Virtual Makeover

Jordan Liberty (You Tube)

Goss Makeup Artist (with Mandy) (You Tube)

Please share any good makeup books on contouring and makeup application that you prefer. And again, keep me in prayer for my trip and I hope you have a few makeup discovers that simplify and brighten your look until my next post.

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Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:25:50 +0000
Another Neutral Makeover Here's a quick makeover similar to my previous one from a week+ ago, but with peach-toned colors.

By the way, despite the list of products used, both looks take approximately 15 minutes to achieve presuming you've understood the instructions I provided. I thought I'd try to make sure to mention when I use a brush or fingers, as perhaps for some fo you such details may provide helpful.

Indoor, with daylight influence:

And again under indoor and diffused, outside lighting (through a window):

As you can see, I have a slightly warmer look if I were to wear this outdoors.

Now as to what did I do...

1.) Since I began this session in late afternoon, I needed to clear off the natural oil that's released throughout the day from my face. I used a "micellar" solution (a cleansing liquid, and you can check out Wikipedia or other sites like this one to find out more about them) because it leaves no residue and your face feels normal after use. (Cotton pad application)

2.) As always, I used a base before my foundation (and today I tried a new foundation) and I simply put on a moisturizer, NUXE (an organic line) Fluide Merveillance (which is supposed to help for existing facial expression lines). I wouldn't say that my lines have reduced since using it (almost a year), but they haven't gotten worst and I like it's light texture. A little goes a long way! (Finger application)

3.) I contoured my face with Kett Fixx Creme Makeup (can be used as foundation, concealer, contouring, etc.) with shades: O1 for inner eye and under eye circles (I have always had dark under eye circles), the bridge of the nose & lower forehead areas; N3 for covering my red apple of the cheeks and any redness (which I've gotten with age); O7 for contouring around my upper forehead head near my hairline (since I have a high forehead); and O9 for under the cheek bones, jawbone (lower sides), and sides of the nose bridge and tip. I would recommend learning highlighting from Wayne Goss on You Tube or getting Kevyn Aucoin's book, "Making Faces". Once your learn how to contour, you really can sculpt and change your facial features, that is to say create an illusion of change with shadows.

4.) I tried a new foundation (sample I received from my local Sephora, thanks!), Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint in "Natural". It's perfect match for my skin color right now (after the summer) and likely will still do for the winter if I want a slight summer glow. I like the texture very much, it's not too heavy nor too light. However, you do feel like you have foundation on, so please use it sparingly. Here, I used a drop about the size of a used eraser tip of a pencil (ahhh, that means one, very small pump will do.) (Brush application; Makeup Geek foundation stippling brush, which feels compact, dense and not too scratchy, and evenly distributes liquid foundation. I think it would work for cream foundation too, but I have a tendency to use my fingers with creams.)

5.) Bobby Brown again served as the overall colorist for the face, as I used her Pot for Lips and Cheeks in "Hibiscus" (which is ever more so of a burnt peachy-orange than a true hibiscus red to me), but it gives a nice "pop" peach to the eyelid (yes, I did), high-cheek bones and lips. Again, this is very pigmented for a cream, so you barely need to tab it with your fingertip for each cheek, lid and lip. Lightly swipe each. (Finger application)

6.) Next, KIKO Infinity High Pigmented Eyeshadow (CLIC system) in "n°214" (a matte, light mocha brown) was swiped on the inner eye and upper brow area over the top of Bobby Brown's "Hibsicus" and the same brand KIKO eyeshadow in "n° 215" (a semi-matte brown with tiny orange irridescient "specks") placed in the outer lid corner, crease and outer brow, very slightly for day, add heavier for evening.) (Finger application)

7.) My lower and upper eyelids were lined close to the lash base with a beautiful metallic, burnt burgundy color, KIKO Glamourous Eye Pencil in "N° 403" (Hand with pencil application)

8.) I finished off the eyes (well almost, see next step) with a definite lash favorite, Givenchy Phenomen' Eyes Mascara in "n° 2 - Water Brown" (meaning waterproof). The tip looks like a medieval spike ball, which due to being round, works well in distributing the mascara on each individual lash and in a formula that for me has never clumped. (Hand with wand application)

10.) I highlighted my inner eyelid to inner upper brow area with GOSH Giant Sun Powder "n°001" using a Make Up Forever Professional Brush "n° 12S" (a flat, medium, rounded paint-like brush). I tend to use this brush A LOT for overall eyelid eyeshadow application. Also, I applied the GOSH bronzer as a highlighter under the eye and over the cheeks areas with the previously-used, Makeup Geek brush. (Brush application)

11.) Finally, I finished my lips, as remember they have Bobby Brown's "Hibscus" on them still. I covered them slightly with HEMA Sun Lipgloss spf 15 in "n°12214"(HEMA is a Dutch company that to me is an IKEA-like, general department store). Since this lipgloss will be really hard to find, it suffices to say you should find a soft peachy taupe gloss that glistens with rose reflections and opalescent tiny glitter. Yeah right. ;) Come on, you can do it! I topped the centers of my upper and lower lips with a final highlighting, NYX Glam Gloss Aqua Luxe in "Do the Hustle". (Hand with tip application)

Well that's it! Yes, truly it only took 15 minutes. Explaining it however, takes MUCH longer. ;) But I think it's worth it to share "real life" makeovers.

God bless and do have fun!

Note: I try to provide color descriptions so that even if you don't have the exact product, you should be able to come close to the results in my photos.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:47:28 +0000
A Quick Makeover at a "French" Mall Yes, I did what must be taboo for French woman, I did my makeup in public!!! Of course, I only assume this is a faux pas because during the more than five years that I've lived in France, I have NEVER once seen a woman do her makeup in public...ok, with one exception, I saw a lady put lipstick on in a French metro, likely on her way to work.

I know, it is surely a Miss Manners taboo for all women, but after I made a "tiny" beauty purchase ("haul" for MUA's, online beauty junkies, etc. ), I simply had to do my face with a few of the new products (especially since I had NOTHING on it and hadn't slept, but a few hours.)

You see, when you really want to, you you can find an excuse for anything. ;)

So, here was the result:

I think not too bad for a quick, refreshing look after three hours of sleep, a vitamin and Benefit's "Girl Meets Pearl" & one of Make Up Forever's new line of eyeshadows, Artist Shadow in "Silver Brown" (ME-612; Metallic Finish). NO, that's not all I have on, but those were the new items that just had to try ASAP.

This is what I did to achieve the complete look:

  1. My base, Dr. Brandt's CC Glow with signature RUDY CRYSTAL in light to medium (in travel size ;) )
  2. KIKO Full Coverage Concealer n° 4 (as a concealer & spot foundation) & Kryolan Ultra Foundation in OB 2 (a refill i carry, also used here for spot foundation coverage)
  3. One of my favorite compact palette's, Too Faced "Glamour to Go" (I used: the bronzer under the cheek of the apple and cheekbone, the peachy pink blush slightly on the upper cheekbone towards the temple, a mauve-brown metallic eyeshadow in the outer corners and creases of the lids, a tad bit of the charcoal black eyeshadow in an outer side "V" and the creases, a pink eyeshadow over the creases and under the brows, & a light creme or champagne eyeshadow lightly on the rims of the inner eye corners and upwards towards to pink eyeshadow)
  4. NOTE: Make Up Forever's Artist Shadow in "Silver Brown" served as my eyelid base, BEFORE the Too Faced eyeshadows, and I put it over the entire eyelids up to the creases.
  5. I used one of my "favorite" eye pencils from a likely unheard of company called Reserve Naturelle. They have very nice "natural", and I think, unique colors for their eye pencils, and they're very inexpensive and work very well texture wise. This one is a kohl pencil in n° 24 (a mauve, blue-grey color) Here it looks a little bluer than in most light, it really is such a soft, mauvish grey.
  6. Then Bobby Brown's Tube Tint in "Pink Cloud" (n° 17) over her well known, likely well-used "Pale Pink" Lip Liner as a lip base (yes, meaning put it all over your lips). Here's a pause to check out the lips a little closer and under two different lighting : Daylight (it's ever so slightly pinker, but not much) indoor LED lighting (again, just a hint more pink than you see here, but less than in daylight.) Don't be afraid of the tube color, it IS NOT (at least on me with the "Pale Pink" lip pencil base, a bonbon pink like it appears in the tube. You have to do a heavy coat to get it pinker and would definitely need a candy pink pencil to achieve the same effect as you see in the tube or on the site.)
  7. I highlighted my lips (just under and to the sides of the peak and bottom center) with a metallic champagne-colored lip gloss that was in my Too Faced palette (really you can do much with this palette and it's not expensive, about 20€ - 22$)
  8. The finishing touch was the Benefit "Girl Meets Pearl" as a highlighter over all high points of the face, neck & shoulders.
  9. NOTE: I bought a GOSH Giant Sun Powder n° 001 later and then added a "wee bit" on the high cheeks & apple areas and bridge of the nose, shoulders and neck. (Found at Marionnaud, the only place I've every seen this non-expensive, but effective make up line...I have a few things from them that do the job in a pinch and often very well.) And this is my first bronzer in a loooong while, as I rarely use them, but the color is really great (especially for light to medium-toned ladies) and it has a versatile texture that help you go from having a subtle glow to a hot disco evening look with just a little more pressure when swiping with a finger, for example.)

And in case I haven't mentioned my skin color (foundation color wise), I'm a NARS Barcelona, Urban Decay n° 6, & MAC NC 42 (? need to confirm, it's been a while), and L'Oréal Nutrilift Gold 330 (Golden Honey). Most of the time in the winter I'm light/medium to medium (sand) and of course during the summer I'm a medium (honey to golden honey). So I hope that helps. This photo is very true to color, so I hope that helps you when selecting products for you skin tone.

Everything I used should work well for those from the palest to medium dark skin ranges. The darker eyeshadows, even the new, Make Up Forever Artist Shadow in "Silver Brown", highlighters and bronzer would work for even for darker, ebony beauties, but truly as that, highlighting.

Whoa, that was detailed, but I hope I proved you with HELPFUL reviews, swatches and "how-to achieve" instructions. God bless!

PS. Please do share your experiences and views on "maquillage dans la rue" (doing your make up in public), I promise to do better! (Okay I know what the say about old dogs, so don't go there! ;) )

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Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:21:58 +0000