Monday, November 11, 2013

em michelle phan: Arched Defining Brow Liners

I have a confession to make - I have never watched a Michelle Phan makeup tutorial on her YouTube channel, up until recently. And if you are a blogger and into makeup, you have heard of her. If not then you must have waken up under a rock...a very big, heavy rock. She was innovative early in her tutorial videos by adopting a voice over format. It's a very documentary like feel. As a former art student, she approaches makeup application like art work. And anyone that mimics their tutorials like the awesome PBS Bob Ross instructional show, is extra cool in my book. She was named a video makeup artist by Lancome and has recently launcher her own cosmetics line, EM Michelle Phan.

I am a very, very lucky girl to have received an invitation to try out some of her products.

Arched Defining Brow Liners:

There are five shades to choose from: ash blonde, medium brown, caramel, brunette and black. Since I wasn't sure just how dark the black pencil was I opted for both the brunette and black pencils. I like that these are self sharpening and there's a spoolie on the other end for blending.

Brunette has a bit of red in it and black is not what you think. It's a dark neutral brown that has a bit of grey in it.

Here's a very naked eye with Brunette:

This is a great shade for the days where I don't want to do a heavily shaded lid or on the weekends when I'm running errands with my daughter and I just want to keep my makeup super simple.

I have been blending the two shades together and I'm loving the results:

I love that it's not too dark and it looks like it could be my actual brows if I were blessed with naturally dark and full eye brows! 

For the past twenty years, I've been a shadow and slanted brush kind of girl. In fact, it would take me less than five minutes to do both brows. Then again, that's on a good day. I actually shunned all pencils, only using to fill sparse sections of my arches. The pencils I have used are often waxy and weren't that great. I love the formula of this pencil, just enough creaminess to go on easily but still sturdy to be long lasting and it blends like a dream with the spoolie brush. I am very impressed with this product, as I take my brows seriously. 

Yes, I'm that girl that doesn't leave the house without her brows on to go on a four mile run on the weekends. 

On that note, these pencils do not fade even after an intense workout. The irony is I have bangs again and my brows are covered for the most part. Well luckily, I found this pencil to define and darken my brows when my bangs are blown haphazardly on a windy day. 

These pencils retail for $19/USD and can be found online, click here

These were sent to me for consideration. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Makeovers: Not Just for the Jilted....

I've taken a bit of time off, just in case you haven't noticed. Well, a few things have happened - busy workload and a anxious feeling about my status since the sale of half of the company, where I work and fulfilling my duties as my sister's maid of honor for her wedding last weekend.

The problem is the longer I stay away it becomes so easy to slack. And if slacking were a career, I'd be CEO!

So, I'm getting off my lazy butt to just share a few new things I have tried out.

On my birthday, last month, I enlisted the help of NARS makeup artist, Laura, to give me a hot birthday look for my karaoke outing. I also got a chance to visit the NARS boutique in the Lower Pac Heights neighborhood, SF.

Even the outside exterior has a very sleek, minimal look. The window display was sparse but that didn't mean there wasn't an impact on those window shopping in the neighborhood.

The inside of the shop, did not disappoint either. I love this little book collection nestled above the makeshift fireplace.

But let's get back to why you guys are here. The makeover and the amount it took to transform me into a smoky karaoke chanteuse. 

If only my bathroom counter looked like this, well organized and gigantic!

The wonderful makeup artist, Linda talked me into beefing up my brows. Not just darkening but giving me full throttle editorial brows. I was scared but I thought "what the hell, I'm 39 and like Nars says - it's just makeup..."

Here's the result:

I know not that bad but I've been rocking a slim brow for years and years. By the end of the day, I was use to it and really giving thought to getting a prescription for a hair growth treatment from my dermatologist. The dark brow really complimented my strong lined smoky eyes with copper shadows. 

More scenes from the NARS boutique:

My current favorite NARS product - eye paint. I really need to get that review out since it's been about a month and a half of use - ugh, I'm a lazy a**hole I know!

I love how much light comes into this boutique. The placement of the makeup stations are ideal, not for anonymity from the public but at least you'll really see how your makeup looks in natural lighting. 

I can't wait to return to this shop for some holiday shopping, especially since the Guy Bourdain/NARS gifting collection has debuted. 

If you would like to visit the NARS SF boutique in person, here's the address:


My makeup was a hit at karaoke that night, my face didn't melt but then again I wasn't dancing with 500 other people in a packed club, thankfully. 

After trying a different brow from what I was use to, I start to think more about my looks and what else I could improve. I think it's because I'm 39 now and really not that far from 40 but don't worry, I'm not looking into medical procedures (well, never say never....)

I really started thinking more and more about my hair and what I wanted to do next. Go back to light brown/dark blonde highlights? No, that's an upkeep expense I can't keep up with. Cut into a cute choppy LOB that a lot of off duty supermodels have been rocking? No, I took way too long growing it this long and plus I'm not 5'10, 105 lbs and 23 yrs. old. Just judgments here...just lacking courage. 

What else could I do? Well, I've been thinking about a look that I really loved and was my trademark before my daughter was born - bangs.Yes, it is upkeep but it would just be a few bucks and my hair stylist's salon is about 5-7 minutes walking distance from my office. 

I had the longest time debating and probable exhausted everyone with their thoughts, my husband especially. I had to take the advice I given to others when they want to change their hair, "It's just hair, it'll grow back"

Yeah it'll grow back, albeit a long year or two, but I'll just give my bitching and moaning to myself when I'm in the awkward pinning my bangs back, grow-out phase. 

Behold my bangs and the man who keeps my hair in check for the past twelve years, Melvin Burns.

Isn't he adorable? If you're in San Francisco and need to find a new stylist near your office in the Financial District, please, PLEASE check out:

And here I am working it and upholding my Maid of Honor duties for my sister's wedding, last week:

I think I made the right decision. And you can't tell but my brows are dark and full under my fringe.

Up next, my the current skincare regime that's changing my skin for the better.