Monday, October 31, 2011

Skin Care Boot Camp

[first, a quick note, winner for the makeup giveaway will be chosen next SUNDAY! that is November 6th so be sure to get your entry in.]

this weekend was a whirlwind. we left Denver friday afternoon, drove seven hours to SLC to visit our newest little niece and and nephew (twins!) and left SLC sunday afternoon to make it home in time for school/work today. phew! if i seem a little out of it, now you know why. i had intended to get these posts ready before i left but, like always, life got in the way and here i am doing it at the crack of dawn. i am devoted to you, i promise.

i decided to focus this week on skin care. i originally began my beauty prowess in the skin care industry, working as an Aesthetician at a cosmetic plastic surgery center. we did chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning (that's where i would take a scalpel and scrape the top layer of people's skin off of their face, crazy sounding right?!) skin care regimes, and a few months before i retired and was married, we started using IPL (intense pulse light) for skin care, hair removal, and vascular removal.

needless to say, i have tried it all and done it all. nothing makes me crazier than hearing terms like: opening and closing pores, removing wrinkles, etc. it has been nearly ten years since my aesthetician days, but i still know a few things about skin care (plus, i married a doctor so that makes me an expert right?!). i do know that pores DON'T open and close, in fact, they don't even shrink, however, you can reduce their appearance with good skin care. wrinkles and fine lines? just like pores you cannot get rid of them, even with the most expensive over the counter product, but you can reduce their appearance. it sounds a little bit like smoke in mirrors but without actual plastic surgery, or the help of botox and fillers, wrinkles are smile lines we can be proud of (not get rid of).

this week i will bring you tips, techniques, and suggestions for how to best take care of your youthful, aging, dry, acne prone, oily, wrinkled, smooth, beautiful skin. each day will be a new tip so be sure to check in regularly.


ps. if there are any special requests, just message me! krispie2009 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeing People For Who They Are

last night i was reading through Glamour magazine and there was an article featuring Stephanie Nielson of Nie Nie Dialogues. Stephanie and her husband were in a plane crash where she sustained burns to 80% of her body. her blogging began before the crash and has turned into an international phenomenon as she shares her journey of recovery and faith with the world.

i am always so inspired by what she has to say. her heart is so pure and she has such a love of family and a faith that seems unshakeable. in the article she wrote about how her perspective changed after the crash:

"something else happened. i began seeing people for who they really are. i began seeing their soul. the greatest thing that we can do as a human race is to see each other the way God sees us: beautiful. no matter if people have a disease, a handicap or a burned face, their eyes are saying something, and most of the time they are saying, look at me, not my trial."

i still get a little teary just reading it. i am a person who loves people. i love my family, i love my friends, i love my children's teachers, i love our neighbors. it may seem that i throw that word around casually but i really do love people. often times when i tell people that i write a beauty blog or that i work as a makeup artist they immediately become self conscious and make a joke about how terrible they look. i cringe a tiny bit when i hear that because i don't see terrible, i see beauty in thin lips, in a larger than average nose, in a small and pointy chin. i love that Stephanie writes that she can see people's souls. wouldn't it be great if we COULD see eachother the God sees us, or even ourselves?

my challenge to you this weekend is to be more conscious of the way you see yourself and the way you see others. hopefully your spirit will be lifted and your mood will be happy.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Makeup {Makeup Look}

it's the theme this week. getting yourself together without any fuss. 5 minute makeup, quick curls, all tips to get you out the door without investing an hour of your time. this post is how to look good while wearing no makeup (yet actually wearing a little bit of makeup).

you're watching t.v. and the main character rises from bed to start the day and they look fresh although they don't seem to be wearing makeup. you wonder, "why don't i look that great when i wake up?"

i'll tell you why, because they are wearing MAKEUP! photographs, commercials, movies, they all do it. they can make a person look like they are wearing no makeup while the person is actually wearing a TON of makeup. there are few people who have naturally flawless skin, dark lashes, rosy cheeks. i am not implying that if you don't wear makeup, you don't look good, it's just that the perfection the media portrays is not realistic.

SO, if you are one of the many woman who prefer not to wear makeup, here are some steps that can help enhance your no makeup, makeup look.

  • apply a lip and cheek stain. they're not heavily pigmented, they don't give sharp color, they simply enhance the color already there.
  • conceal under your eyes. you may not like having a face full of foundation but a small dot of concealer under your eyes goes a long way.
  • curl your lashes. no mascara needed. curled lashes help your lashes look thicker, longer, and fuller.
your beautiful mug is now ready to meet the world, makeup'd or not.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Makeup Giveaway 2.0

it's time for another makeup giveaway and i would just like to say THANK YOU! i was gone for quite some time and it is so good to be back blogging, to see my stats back on the charts, and my comments starting to fill up. YOU are the whole reason i blog. i like hearing from you, i like reading your comments, and i like being a part of this blogosphere.

to say thank you i have a couple goodies to giveaway!

first is a Napoleon Perdis makeup palette (MSRP $29). included in this palette are three lip colors, five eye colors and one blush color. i selected the color palette and you shouldn't be dissapointed! Napoleon Perdis makeup is infused with Jojoba Oil to ensure a smooth makeup application while Beeswax imbues the lips with moisture.

next is my absolute fave Seche Vite. Seche Vite™ Dry Fast Top Coat is widely acknowledged as the world's finest top coat. its patented formula penetrates through the nail lacquer to the base coat forming a single solid coating over the nail plate for a much more durable finish, guaranteed not to yellow and leaves nails silky, stronger and resistant to chipping and peeling.

since i cannot thank you all individually, i thought a giveaway would be the next best way. to enter to win these treats you must be a FOLLOWER of Blushing Basics (how does one become a follower? simply click on the Google "Join this Site" button, enter your email (any email), and you're done! i won't stalk you by e-mail, i promise, it just updates your Google blog reader)

To have a chance to win:

1-become a follower of Blushing Basics and like my facebook page--------------------------------------->

for extra entries:

2-leave a comment with your tutorial request! (more nails, hair, fall makeup, etc.)

4-post, tweet, or blog about this giveaway. (just come back and tell me each thing you did.)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Guest Blogger Meredith Jessica

i came across another makeup blog a while back and loved it. blogger Meredith Jessica creates some really great looks as well as some really helpful posts. she has graciously sent me her review on velour eyelashes to share with you guys which i thought might be helpful to compare with my own review of Shu Uemura lashes.
So, a while ago Makeupbee & Velour Lashes approached me to do a look inspired by one of the lashes in the Velour Lashes line. Being from Toronto, I chose the T Dot ... Ohhh! Lashes, as they are named after this great city. However, the lashes are also inspired by Taylor Swift's signature look and are designed to emulate her beautiful feline eyes.

"Unique and special like our hometown Toronto, this lash has a personality of its own. Its funky style produces a two tone effect, with the inner section being more dramatic than the ends. This semi dramatic lash is designed with a pattern that gradually gets longer towards the ends giving you the Taylor Swift wing at the corner of the eye. These can be worn for multiple purposes whether it is for a rockin’ concert, drinks with the ladies, or a casual day out. Toronto- first class city, first class lashes." - Mabel & Angela, Velour Lashes

Naturally, I wanted to do a look directly inspired by the beautiful Ms. Swift herself. I found this gorgeous smokey blue eye she wore to an awards show and instantly fell in love.

I knew the lashes would work wonderfully with this look so I was really excited to recreate it. You can see my version of it here. The silvery blue tones are so soft and romantic, and the smokey cat-eye effect gives it the perfect amount of sultry allure. To sum it up: amazing date makeup - sexy and sweet, the perfect blend. I toned down Taylor's Cherry Pink lips to a softer nude pink to make the look more wearable but it would look pretty either way. Have a look below.

This look is so soft & romantic, but the lashes give it the perfect amount of eye-catching drama. Here is a picture of the lashes on their own so you can get the clearest view of them possible.

REVIEW: I'll start out right away by saying this - these lashes aren't cheap. They are on sale right now from $59.00 to $29.00, but even at half-price these puppies are going to cost you a pretty penny. The reason for the high price tag is partially because the lashes are made from mink (cruelty free). There are definite benefits to luxury lashes though. For starters, they go on SO nicely, they contour beautifully to your lid and they look so realistic. Even these high drama lashes are made to look as authentic as possible when you've got them on. You can also wear them up to 25 times which is a lot of mileage for falsies. Most of my other fake lashes are garbage after about five wears. If you're put off by the price, you might want to invest in one pair and save them for special occasions, they'll last years. The only major con I experienced is that the lashes are very long and this can be a bit annoying. For example, these lashes touch my brows when my eyes are open, they are THAT long. And I don't have low arched brows either. However, having spoken to Mabel & Angela I know they are thinking of shortening the lashes so this shouldn't be a problem for long.

RATING: 4.5/5 - Honestly, if I had the money I would probably invest in the entire line, they are that nice. Everyone who has worn my pair has fallen in love, myself included. However, the price is a bit high for most wallets and the super long lashes can be a big distracting.

RECOMMENDATION: I've literally worked with every single pair of lashes in the collection, upper and lower, and it's impossible for me to pick a favorite, but I highly recommend "Are Those Real" and "You Complete Me" which are some of their best sellers for their high impact, but natural look. I also really like "Oops Naughty Me" for a slightly sexier stare. Check out the site and see which pair best suit you.

Finally, I leave you with a short YouTube tutorial on how you can get this Taylor Swift look using Velour Lashes. Enjoy and have an awesome weekend!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How to Shape, Trim, and Fill in Your Eyebrows

one of my very first video tutorials! how to shape your eyebrows. the following video gives you some guidelines on how to shape, trim, and fill in your eyebrows.

my family will be taking some portraits today and this video is an essential. my eyebrows have been neglected of late and when taking a portrait that we may be looking at for the next 50 years...well, i don't want any regrets.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Beauty Treatments

i have to share this quick little anecdote. the other day Tman and i were in the kitchen eating lunch and Tman says to me, "what's up with these new Bounty rolls? they are shorter than normal". i of course start cracking up and explain that i cut off 1/3 to use for my makeup remover towels (which i did weeks ago). i laugh even harder when i hear him explain that he thought i was trying to be frugal and save money by cutting the towel roll in half. he debated whether or not to say anything and then just could not hold it in any longer. what a guy. he puts up with my crazy antics, even when he doesn't understand them.

if you would like to make your own makeup remover towels, you can check out my post here. they also make great wipes when your daughter has broken into your makeup drawer and "helped herself".

with that said, here are a few more DIY beauty treatments, courtesy of Glamour magazine.

1.   brown sugar + milk = body exfoliator
2.   yogurt + honey = sensitive-skin and redness remedy
3.   safflower oil + sunflower oil = scalp treatment
4.    petroleum jelly + raw, unrefined sugar = lip scrub (love this one, just     grab an extra packet of sugar next time you are at a restaurant)
5.    a dash of salt + water = surf spray for hair
6.    rosewater + coconut milk = relaxing bath
7.    warmed-up olive oil = prewash treatment for hair
8.    green tea + water = toner
9.    lemon juice + chamomile tea = hair lightener
10. epsom salt + almond oil + cinnamon oil + sandalwood oil +   allspice oil = hand and foot scrub (or you could skip all the oils and just use vegetable/olive oil)

if you have any good homemade DIY treatments, please share!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Create Loose Curls

here's a quick hair tutorial. i don't know what my problem is but i turn into a robot every time i get in front of the camera. so awkward! hopefully you can look past my awkward robotics and learn something from the video.

hope you are having a fantastic Wednesday!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage {Grail or Fail}

i have owned the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage product for a long time and initially i wasn't such a huge fan. the product is very solid and almost difficult to remove from the pan. because of this, i avoided using it. every once in a while i would look at it in my makeup kit and then mentally kick myself for spending $28 on a concealer.
then i ran out of my beloved MAC Pro Longwear and was forced to use this until i purchased a replacement. so i used it for a few days and guess what? it's amazing. it is magic in a compact. this is the concealer for your darkest circles or your reddest zits. such a small amount of product produces a large amount of coverage. if you want serious concealing, this is your ninja.

i know i said before it is difficult to remove from the pan. my best results came when i stopped using a concealer brush to apply and just used my fingers. the warmth of your skin helps soften the product just a bit and makes it easier to pick up.

the MAC Pro Longwear is a great option for your average concealer issues, the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage is your product for major (i.e. you only slept 3 hours last night) concealing.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Makeup (your) Questions (my) Answers

Kristie, I have a question for you. What do you do when your fashion (and life) inspiration moves and you are left wandering through a humorless life wearing pajama jeans (actually, my husbands old lacrosse shorts. Pajama jeans would be an improvement).

Ohh - also, how do I hide this mustache thing I got going on from pregnancy mask without looking like I have a concealer addiction?

Dear P,
don't i know the feeling. as hard as it is to have a friend move away, it is just as hard for that friend to start anew. countless days are spent wandering the aisles of Target and wishing you had someone to meet you at Chick Fil A for lunch, or someone to call for a much needed GNO. if only you had the support system (better than any bra) that you found in the gray city of Columbus.
but this is a blog about makeup and i digress, SO on to the pregnancy mask issue. unfortunately, ain't nothing you can do about a little miscoloration when you are pregnant. i know, that answer sucks but it is a hormone issue that can't be addressed until that little fetus is safely out of the womb. in the mean time, try a concealer that is very high coverage without looking too cakey. liquid concealers won't do the trick. you need serious, compact cream concealers. something like Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage (grail or fail to come soon). the stuff is incredibly light yet covers like magic. on the pricier side but some things in life are just worth it.
good luck and know that your bestie {urban dictionary defines as: An adoring nickname for one you hold in highest esteem, more commonly known as a best friend. A bestie is the person who you not only go shopping with on a regular basis but also trust implicitly with anything. besties do not come and go like waves and sandcastles, they are more like permanent marker on American Eagle jeans, they'll stay with you forever. It is much better to have one pure and good bestie who is true to you then multiple 'besties' who are only like pants that stay with you only until you get too fat for them, or you tear them, or just until they fade. A true bestie would stick with you through all of it, walking in when the world walks out.} misses you too.

ps. i am a little obsessed with Urban, it's awesome.
pps. if you want to check out my How to Get Luminous Skin guest post for, click here

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How To Layer Clothes For Fall

since we have already had snow here (twice!) and the weather is turning cold, i thought i would repost this video i created last fall on how to layer clothes. check it out for info on mixing colors, patterns, creating aesthetic lines for your body, etc.

hope you guys have a great weekend!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fish Makeup Halloween Tutorial

are you sick of these yet!? here's another halloween makeup totorial that is a little more difficult than the first two. the techniques in this video can be used for other halloween looks as well, be sure to watch so that you can customize your own costume makeup.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pixie Makeup Tutorial

halloween is so close i can taste it! or maybe that's the insane amounts of candy we have been consuming here at the Blushing Basics household. i love creating new costume makeup tutorials and messing around with ideas. if you have any requests, PLEASE let us know. i am happy to oblige.

here's another quick and easy Halloween Makeup Tutorial by reader request. i am by no means a costume makeup artist, but i do know a few tips and tricks on how to achieve costume makeup styles. if you are interested in learning be sure to watch the videos.

if you are looking for some costume inspiration, then feel free to browse through these posts for ideas.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pirate Halloween Makeup Video

i like to think that makeup is the most crucial step in a halloween costume.  i also think i am highly biased. the next few weeks i will be putting together some halloween makeup tutorials that you CAN do yourself. they are simple, easy, and will give your costume that extra oompf.

the first tutorial is Pirate Halloween makeup. so simple and you will look like a pro once your costume is complete:

any requests for future videos, just let me know. happy haunting!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Color Block Your Life

color blocking is a huge hit this fall, again. you see, color blocking has been around for ages, and keeps coming back, and back, and get the picture. each season its variables are tweaked such as what colors are used, or what proportions are used, etc. color blocking can be a clever way to hide problem areas, or an easy way to add a splash of color to your look. whatever the use, color blocking can be fun.

enjoy experimenting with your own color blocking. if you are pear shaped, add your color to the top half of your body. naturally people's eyes will be drawn to the color and you will have a more flattering silhouette. you can color block by layering two tops of equal color intensity. pair that with a neutral pant and belt and you're set to rock your bod.

perhaps color blocking your clothes isn't your thing? then how about taking a less risky approach and color block your nails? it can be as easy as changing the color of one nail, or as difficult as add a color block to each nail. whatever you choose, remember, this is an easy way to be on trend with this fall's look.

me, color blocking with teal and grey

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Allure Best of Beauty Award Winners

Sephora just release the newest list of the Allure Best of Beauty award winners. i love this list because i have yet to try an Allure Beauty award winner that i didn't like. i was pleased to see that a few of my own recommendations ended up on the list, such as St. Tropez self tanner (you can read about it here)
or my absolute favorite foundation, Make Up For Ever HD (you can read about it here)

and of course, my favorite little Beauty Blender (you can read about it here)

looking at the list there are a few products i have on my product wishlist, such as NARS blush

(i know i failed their bronzer but i am hoping this blush won't let me down)
and the Clarisonic cleanser

if you could share any of your own Grail or Fail reviews of the Allure Best of Beauty award winners, please let us know!


ps. don't forget to check me out at kiki creates today, i have another costume makeup video tutorial.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Makeup Cleansing Towelettes

with all of my costume makeup-ing i have been in dire need of makeup remover wipes. washing your face in the sink helps clean, but it does not remove ALL makeup residue. i find that often i have residue around my eyes, hairline, or near my earlobes that i have missed. since our budget is a little tighter of late, i decided to research making my own makeup remover wipes.

i have put together the following tutorial so that you too can make your own makeup remover wipes.


1  2-ply paper towel roll
very sharp knife
4  cups water
a dash of baby wash (i prefer Aveeno, non-comedogenic, hypo-allergenic, and doesn't sting your eyes)
a container for your wipes (high class all the way, an old Daisy Sour Cream container)

step 1:

measure your container to your paper towel roll to determine length of cut. with knife, cut through paper towel roll.

step 2:

mix a dash of your preferred baby wash (why baby wash? because it is a gentle cleanser and typically doesn't irritate skin) with 4 cups of water.

step 3:

place paper towel roll in container to make sure it fits! (roll will be very difficult to re-cut once it is wet)

step 4:

remove paper towel roll, add 1 cup of water to bottom of container. replace paper towel roll and add remaining cleansing solution. once solution is absorbed, remove cardboard center.

that's it! so simple and the whole process took me less than five minutes, including finding all materials which i had around the house. place your wipes in a location that doesn't scream, SOUR CREAM and enjoy!


ps. congrats to Elizabeth for winning the Bare Minerals eyeshadow! i will be contacting you shortly for your mailing address. i hope to see you all of you guys enter the next contest. this one was surprisingly quiet. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good, Better, Best. False Eyelashes Reviews

just wanted to repost my False Eyelash Review i did for kiki creates:

if you know me personally, you know i am no stranger to false eyelashes. i have tried everything from false eyelash strips, individual lashes, and eyelash extensions. false eyelashes are a must for photography and if willing, i encourage everyone i make up to use them. it opens yours eyes, makes them brighter, and more defined. trust me, they're worth it.

with that being said, here's a look at some lashes:

Ardell Fashion Lashes can be picked up at any Drugstore or major Supermarket. made of 100% sterilized human hair, they claim each pair can be re-used up to three weeks. i typically use these lashes for photoshoots because they are inexpensive and work. however, they are not the most comfortable to wear and do not look as natural "in real life" as they do in a photograph. three weeks is a stretch, i would say three uses. average price $4-5.

Revlon Fantasy Lengths can also be picked up at any Drugstore or major Supermarket. their claim to fame is that they are safe, latex free and come with self adhesive strips making them easy to apply. yes, self adhesive strips do make them easy to apply, it just does not make them reuseable. product comes with extra strips but it can be a bit cumbersome removing the old adhesive strip and applying they new one. great for single use and photography. average price $6-8.

MAC false lashes come in a variety of styles. most popular would probably be number 7, claiming natural length and everyday glamorous. M·A·C Lashes are handmade to exact specifications. if properly cared for, lashes can be reshaped or adorned if desired. because of the craftsmanship, these lashes last much longer than the first two and at a higher price point, $15 a pair, you can see why.

saving the best for last would be Shu Uemura's Luxe Black false eyelashes. inspired by the mink false eyelashes custom-ordered by celebrities (typically costing $120-300 a pair), this synthetic version features a criss-crossed design to provide the most voluminous lashes. thicker at the roots, it tapers at the tips for luscious-looking lashes with a defined eyeline. these lashes cost $23 a pair, but worth.every.penny.

i was recently sent a pair to review and i originally thought, can these really be any better than the department store brands i have previously tried? let me tell you, Shu Uemura knows lashes. they are AMAZING. incredibly comfortable to wear, incredibly crafted, incredibly natural. after having worn these i would hate to go back to the $5 lashes. thankfully, due to the craftsmanship (thick and sturdy band that keeps lash shape and allows for easy application and removal) they last much longer than the other pairs and are worth the initial investment.

if you are looking to try false eyelashes, or even if you aren't, i would highly recommend these. typing GRAIL in all caps cannot emphasize my feelings enough. when it comes to lashes, Shu Uemura is the industry leader. if you'd like, you can also read my Shu Uemura eyelash curler review here.



Though Shu Uemura eyelashes were sent to me, no monetary compensation was given for the eyelash product review. All opinions stated were my own personal reviews.