Category Archives: tools, brushes, gizmos, gadgets

Cotton Swabs Aren't Just for Babies

Q-Tips Designer Vanity BoxesOriginally called “Baby Gays” (seriously), Q-Tips entered the market in 1923.

These days, you might find a cheaper cotton swab, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. Fluffy tufts of cotton wrapped around a sturdy paper shaft. Genius.

Over the years, Q-tips expanded their uses to include ear health, cuts ‘n scrapes hygiene, fixing nail polish goofs and most applicably (pun intended), makeup application. They’re perfect for achieving the perfectly blended smoky eye look and soft, subtle face contouring.

Not only has the Q-tip become the cotton swab we all reach for, their packaging has become more and more sophisticated too. No longer are you limited to the blue or white dispenser reminiscent of tupperware.

In fact, recently Q-tips released some really cute new vanity packs that are suitable — heck, designer — enough for any bathroom counter. The new boxes hold 285 swabs and are available for around $3 in funky, pretty patterns on a field of either red, blue, purple or yellow. Now your Q-tips can be displayed on your vanity-top right and look beautiful next to your loveliest make-up and accessories. For makeup professionals, this box is pretty enough to take along on any make-up gig — your brides will LOVE it.

Paint Your Eyes with Color Contact Lenses

Dual Jade Green Contact LensesSkin care, anti-aging bargains, self improvement eyelids, moisturizing makeup and surgery: Whole industries have emerged to protect, maintain, enhance and even alter natural beauty. There is however an additional product that will create the desired effect. Today’s beauty tip is about color contacts and how they can make your eye sparkle.

The color contact is like any skin care product, meant to enhance natural beauty with the option of correcting eyesight. What many do not know, is the variety of ways in which it can be used. Contact lenses are for the vision impaired you say and color tints only fitting for Halloween.

There are however several types of color contact lenses:
* Enhancement tints
* Color tints
* Theatrical/Crazy/Special effect

All three types correct eye conditions such as myopia, farsightedness and light astigmatism, but can also be used on regular eyesight.

Enhancement color contact lenses

The color contact that enhances your natural eye color rather than replacing it, is perhaps the most unfamiliar of the three. Available is shades of common eye colors blue, green and brown, the enhancement tint will give the color of your eyes a distinct shade, increasing the volume of contrast for a more intense impression.

Color opaque contact lenses

For complete replacement of eye color, the opaque color contact lens is recommended. It gives you the freedom of switching the color of your eye while still keeping a natural look. This type of color contact is suitable for you with a natural dark eye color.

Crazy contact lenses

Popular in Hollywood, the theatrical contact lens is a frequent prop on movie sets. Indeed also suitable for Halloween and masquerades, thus type of color contact lens will transform your eyes completely, for a more fun and radical effect. While mentioned color contacts above only exist to decorate around the iris, the special effect lens is available in larger sizes, to alter the look of the whole eye, including the white of the eye.

Color contact safety tips

With or without vision impairment, using contact lenses require extra care. Faulty use may lead to any number of eye discomfort, including infections and dry eyes. If you choose to buy a pair of color contact lenses, the first rule of thumb is not to share them anyone. Also note for how long they are to be used (daily, weekly or monthly). Contact your local eye doctor for more information and instructions on proper usage.

Written by Jessica Elerby

Cut Your Own Hair? Only As Long As You Follow This Guide!

I’ve cut my own hair for years. To be clear, I earned my barber’s license way back when. So, I don’t necessarily recommend you follow suit. I mean, I have good, solid professional training and experience, and I even manage to screw up from time to time…and when you screw up a hair-cut, there’s no undoing that ‘do. You just have to wait for it to grow out. And most of us have to go out in public–at least every once in a while…without a scarf.

That said, we have to balance the pricey cost of hair-cuts with the need to get a quick trim every 3-4 weeks. So, I was glad to find the following video that offers an easy step-by-step guide to trimming your own hair. If you decide to try this, follow these steps to a “T;” otherwise, leave it to a pro.

NOTE: If you have short hair, you’ll need some bobbi pins to pull your hair back as described in the video.

Economy Busters: Eight Beauty Discounts and FREEBIES Not to Be Missed!

Elf CosmeticsE-gads, can you believe this economy? The news only seems to get worse.

But, just because the economy s*cks doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy, beautiful skin, hair and face! In fact, now more than ever is the time to take care of yourself. The added stresses of these trying times can wreak havoc on your looks, so fight back — in smart style — with these terrific specials on beauty favorites:

  1. Through April 1, MD Skincare is offering 25% off (wow!) your next purchase. Just enter “THANKS” in the space for coupons and click the “use coupons” button when you check out. Plus, they’re having a sale (save up $75 and more) on select Gift Sets. Note: these savings cannot be combined, so one or the other, People!
  2. Beauty.com exclusive: FREE bag designed by Shoshanna and filled with deluxe samples with your $100 Beauty.com purchase! A cute floral print bag contains $120 worth of deluxe samples from top brands like LORAC, ARCONA, stila, tarte, Smashbox, and more. While supplies last
  3. Also at Beauty.com: Get $10 off any $60 purchase. That’s a full 20% off any $60 purchase…nice
  4. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is offering free shipping on any $60+ purchase. Plus you get free samples
  5. Lancome Canada online exclusive: free 7-piece gift ($125 value)plus FREE shipping with a $50 purchase
  6. Sephora.com: you pick your favorite five samples FREE with ANY order. Good this week only
  7. Feel sexy on the cheap: 10% off any order at Booty Parlor. Enter the promo code “RISKY” when you check out
  8. 10% off E.L.F. (where almost everything is $1 already!). Enter promo code “EGTENAZ” when you check out

Longing for Spring? How to get a sun-kissed look without the sun

With the latest blast of winter weather, many of us are yearning for a hint of Spring sun. If you’re one of us, check out this video which will show you — in about a minute and a half — exactly how to get that lovely sunkissed look, minus the sun (and the UV damage). Your friends, family and colleagues will swear you snuck away to the beach!


Applying Makeup Foundation for a Bronzed Look — powered by ExpertVillage.com

Kelli LaBar is a NC make-up artist and esthetician. Check out her Bronzed Makeup video series here on expert village.

Got the Economy Blues? Beat 'Em with These Beauty Values

Economy got you down? Have you — like most everyone else — had to pare back your beauty regimen to just the basics? I’m here to tell you that just because there’s less money in the coffers (or in your pocketbook) you don’t have to give up on having the latest cosmetic finds.

Here are a few AMAZING values for your beauty box that won’t break the bank.

Smashbox Try Me collection
Smashbox Try Me collection, $29

Smashbox gives us sooooooo many options when it comes to looking for a great bargain. One of their best is the Try Me collection featuring best-selling signature items, all in portable trial sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on-the-go. For $29 (!!!), Smashbox generously includes Photo Finish Primer, Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, Brow Tech & Cream Eye Liner Pallette, Double-Ended Eye Liner & Brow Brush, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal (sheer), and a special instructional DVD.

Sephora Deluxe Palette
Sephora Deluxe Palette, $32

Sephora’s Deluxe Palette (only $32 but valued at $200) is a sleek, triple-tiered compact that opens to reveal eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and powder on stackable, sliding trays. A selection of applicators and a mirror embedded under the lid give you all the tools to create a polished, impeccable look anytime, anywhere. This savvy, multitasking set has it all: 18 eyeshadows, two cream eyeshadows, two blushes, two compact powders, 24 lip glosses, two double-sided sponge applicators, a double-sided blush/powder brush, two lip gloss brushes, all in a chic black case.

Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit $32
Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit, $32

Bare Escentuals helps us beat the bear with its Go Bare Kit, a six-piece set of mini BareMinerals must-haves. This set features a miniature versions of Eyecolor in Joy, Blush in Golden Gate, Mineral Veil, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Eva, a Contour Shadow brush, and a Flawless Application brush, all housed in a portable box with a built-in mirror.

So there you have it. It really doesn’t cost a fortune to look beautiful, or have the latest and greatest beauty buys from some of the best around….

Stila Shine On Gift of Glaze: another great value collection!

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 1

Properly applied make up can make you look fabulous. But unless it’s done the right way and using the right amount, make up can actually add years to your face.

As a 37 year old former makeup artist, I’ve learned a few simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:

FACE

  • Moisturize your skin–face and neck–with a light moisturizer before you apply your makeup…and allow it to sink in, about 5-10 minutes
  • Apply makeup primer BEFORE any makeup. The least expensive and one of the most effective I’ve found (it rivals Smashbox): Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. It contains the EXACT same ingredients as most of the best makeup primers. Plus, you can pick up a tube at most drugstores for $5
  • Apply your concealer BEFORE foundation. Using your finger or a concealer brush, pat a little concealer under your eyes, around your nose and on any blemishes or discoloration. Concealer before foundation prevents you applying too much foundation.
  • Apply less foundation. And switch to mineral foundation. The better brands and newest formulations (Jane Iredale, Everyday Minerals are some of my favorites) give excellent NATURAL coverage with a light application
  • Apply blush to the apple (round part that pops out when you smile) of your cheeks. For a youthful glow, use a cheek stain or cream blush in a pink, rosy or peach-y color
  • Blend your makeup well and use a light touch

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 2

A few more simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:

EYES

  • Groom your eyebrows. Pluck only stray hairs (those are the ones that fall outside your natural eyebrow)
  • Apply eyeliner to the top lash line only. And unless you have medium-or-dark toned skin, DO NOT use black eyeliner. Brown, grey, plum and green are better for fair-to-light toned skin
  • Apply two coats of mascara maximum. One coat for daytime wear is best
  • Curl your lashes. If you don’t like the traditional lash curlers, use an electric version. Sephora’s is terrific and a great deal at $16
  • Avoid shimmery eyeshadow
  • EXCEPTION to above tip: Use a shade-lighter-than-your-skin-tone colored shimmery eyeshadow applied with a light touch to your brow bone (the area just below the outter two-thirds of the eyebrow), AND apply a dab of shimmery ivory shadow to the inner corner of your eyes. These tips really open up the eye area–young!
  • Also, avoid ‘cool’ eyeshadow colors like grey, blue, true green. Opt for colors like pink, peach, gold, warm greens (olive, moss, sage), plum, ivory, brown, taupe

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 3

And even more simple tips that will help you look younger starting today:

LIPS

  • Use lipgloss or sheer lipstick–NOT lipstick. Use a shade just deeper than your natural lip color. Avoid ‘cool’ colors and dark colors. Instead, choose a sheer pink, peach, rose, mauve or berry
  • Apply lipbalm or clear gloss when not wearing colored gloss. This will keep your lips moist and young-looking all the time

More Anti-Aging Tips:

  • Take care of your skin by cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing it every day using good skin care–P.S. good does not necessarily mean expensive
  • Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunscreen every day
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Go for a walk at lunch, shoot for 3 times a week. It’s a great excuse to catch up on your window shopping; just don’t take your wallet–debt makes you look and feel old
  • Smile, or better yet, laugh–a lot
  • Eat plenty of protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables
  • Manage your stress levels. Take up knitting, painting, piano, yoga or meditation. Find something you like to do and ‘just do it’
  • Get plenty of sleep–sleep is a proven fountain of youth

GirlPaint's YouTube Connection

Searching for an all-new look? Or maybe just the newest trend in holiday make-up? Look no further than GirlPaint’s YouTube Connection: makeup and skin care tips and tricks from the pro’s who know.

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