Make-Up Pro Saves Me from Racoon Eyes

Last year I set a goal to refine my make-up application skills mainly because I didn’t know how to apply eye make-up. My lids almost always went bare and sometimes it made me feel like my look was incomplete. And when I did attempt eye make up, I either looked like an 8th grader who got into her mother’s cosmetics or a racoon.

When I first attempted to refine my skills, I took to YouTube – taking in tutorial after tutorial, with each beauty vlogger swearing by a different product. I would set my laptop in the bathroom and try to emulate what I saw and … it wasn’t pretty! Racoon eyes! Ashy face! HAHA. I needed help! A make-up tutor!

I called my friend and make-up expert Danielle Henry and asked her if she would help me. She agreed and we set a date. Fast forward a few weeks and I was on Dani’s doorstep lugging two huge tote bags filled with all the make-up, brushes and contraptions I owned and had accumulated.

The I had to main goal of the session – 1) make sure I was using the right products and tools and edit out what I didn’t need (Marie Kondo that bag) and 2) to improve my application skills like, learn to properly conceal my undereye area, apply eye make-up, do a cat eye etc.

The first thing we did was look at everything I had (several sets of brushes, 4 different foundations, countless highlighters… it was a mess) and Danielle helped me build a basic kit – what I needed for my day-to-day cosmetics bag. This was less about letting go of items that didn’t spark joy and more about getting rid of products that simply didn’t work for me (and wow I must have had over $600 worth of product in the edit pile at the end). Then, she watched me apply make-up how I normally do and she made suggestions in my technique (let’s be honest, my lack of technique) and small refinements that have made a big difference for me.

Here are the most important take-aways from my session with Danielle:

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Could This Everyday Item Be Drying Your Lips?

Dry lips drive me crazy. The last thing I do at night is slather balm on my lips because I cannot fall asleep if my lips are dry. I rarely ever leave home with out “lip stuff” as I call it. To say I am obsessed, my be an understatement.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my lips were consistently dry and chapped. The creases in my lips had deepened and my skin felt taut. I tried to combat by moisturizing a little extra. I used Vaseline (my go to), Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Repair Balm (SO GOOD), lip scrubs… didn’t work. I tried sloughing off the dry skin but nothing really worked for long. I thought maybe it was my matte lipstick so I stopped using it for a while (a very painful decision) but that didn’t help either! What tipped me off that something was really wrong is that my lips were not absorbing moisture. Anything I applied just sat on top of my skin; the tight and dry feeling remained no matter what I did. I got so frustrated that I went to my dermatologist, Dr. Mack, to get some insight.

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From Freebie to Fave

Here is the thing about new beauty products… I love getting new products but I often times end up with a baskets full of new untouched products simply because I am a creature of habit and rely on my “tried and true” products.

I moved into a new home this year and just when I think I unpacked all of my products, I find another box with little packets, boxes and tubes – some of brands I am familiar with and some I am not. Because I don’t want to be wasteful I committed to give some of them a try.

The very first product I opened was

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