My 7 Favorite Tricks of the Trade

I’m always getting asked what some of my beauty and make up tricks are, so I’m going to try and keep this post short and simply for all you people who are wondering what my usual beauty routine consists of!

1. MOISTURIZE

Yes, I know this one is pretty simple and self explanatory. I personally have extremely dry skin, which means if I DONT moisturize before using make up, I will look like a hot cakey mess. For me, moisturizing always makes my face look 10 times better. Seriously, don’t skip this part of your routine because it makes all the difference.

2. PRIMER IS A MUST

I really can’t live without primer .. I don’t know how I ever did in the past. Primer always helps me out because it keeps my make up on for a longer period of time, which really cuts down on how many times I have to touch up my face. It always prevents the make up from sinking deep into my pores, especially if I’m using full coverage make up, or getting really decked out. Primers allow for your face to have a smooth surface to apply make up on while filling in the wrinkles and smoothing out bumps and blemishes on your face.

There are some really great primers out there, and I highly recommend doing some research before purchasing one! Some that I love are Smashbox PhotoFinish, Sephora Base Zero Brilliance Anti-Shine Primer, and Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment. I also ALWAYS wait for my moisturizer to get fully soaked into my face and dry properly before I apply any type of primer just so my face doesn’t get oily and this also makes my foundation application easier.

3. USE AN EYELASH CURLER

I always love my eyelashes to be full of volume while being extra long. However, I get pretty lazy when it comes to using my eyelash curler; but when I’m going for a full face of make up, I definitely whip out my eyelash curler and use it to make those bad boys extra long and beautiful. ;]

4. HIGHLIGHTING AND CONTOURING

This is something that I seriously have an obsession with. Highlighting and contouring is something that REALLY makes a difference when applying make up. The whole point of this technique is to create a more chiseled and slimming  look along your cheekbones, jawline, temples and sides of the nose by using a darker colored foundation or bronzer which adds depth and shadows to your face. Highlighting does the opposite because it enhances other parts of your face and makes them stand out – such as the bridge of your nose, your cupids bow (above your lips), the middle of your forehead, and the undereye area. You can highlight and contour more or less depending on what look you’re trying to achieve. (I’ll be creating a seperate post on how I Highlight and Contour my face soon!)

5. FILLING IN EYEBROWS

Yet another obsession I have. WARNING: Once you start doing this little trick, it may be hard to stop! (seriously tho, it’s addicting). I absolutely love the look of full, thick eyebrows, regardless of whether I’m doing a full face look or just a quick make up routine. I start off my combing and brushing my eyebrows (with those small mascara wands from sephora and ulta), just so they look clean and tidy and then I usually take whatever is left on my brush after I apply my gel liner (I use a standard angled gel liner brush) and use that to lightly fill in my brows. I fill them in by sweeping my brush in the same direction that the hair falls in. For Example, if the hair is standing UP (like the hairs closer to my nose), I move my brush vertically, and for those that are closer to my arch, I move the brush horizontally. I try to go darker where my arch is and lighter closer to my nose just so it seems more natural that way. After I’m done with that, I go back with the little mascara wands and brush out the brows again just so the eyebrows don’t look to harsh and dark. I have naturally fuller eyebrows so I don’t fill them in too heavily, but again, this is something that you can tweak depending on what you want the final product to look like.

Personally I use Blacktrack Gel Liner from MAC to fill in my eyebrows just because its fast and it works just the same as everything else I’ve tried. bBut you can also use a darker shade of matte brown eyeshadow, or an actual eyebrow pencil with the same technique for similar results!

6. THE OCCASIONAL LIP SCRUB

This is something that I do every other week, just to exfoliate my lips which makes them look healthier and fuller. I take a little bit of honey and mix it with sugar and use that to scrub my lips lightly. It really makes a difference when you apply lipstick or liners. I also use this technique before applying any Matte lipsticks because it just makes the lipstick look so much better on the lips. P.S. Don’t forget to put some chapstick on after you do this! :]

7. CLEAN BRUSHES ARE HAPPY BRUSHES

This is something EVERY girl needs to and should do. One of the main reasons you should clean your brushes is to get rid of all the bacteria that can build up and accumulate on your brushes. I clean my make up brushes about every two weeks with regular shampoo and conditioner. I try doing it more often but I get pretty lazy, and I have a LOT of brushes so it literally takes forever. I know some people go out and purchase an actual make up brush cleaning solution but I find that if my shampoo and conditioner cleans my hair and leaves it feeling soft and lucious, it can do the same for my brushes. Basically I lather up my brushes with shampoo and rinse them and then do the same with conditioner. I let them dry overnight and the next day they’re clean, soft and ready to use (plus they smell amazing). Clean brushes can make all the difference when you’re trying to get a flawless finish with your make up, even though cleaning them can be a pain in the butt sometimes!

So that’s pretty much all the things I do for my make up routine! (even though I’m sure there are a few things that I forgot to mention!) If you have some techniques you love and you want to share them with me, leave a comment below :]

Until next time!

– Preksha :]

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm

A couple of months ago I found myself at the MAC (of course) messing around with the new (well it was new then) “Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm”, while I was picking up a new bottle of my studio fix foundation.

I’ve had a long and tedious fight with BB creams. When they first became popular, I went out and got a couple of drug store brand BB creams, and I also went to sephora and got a couple of samples of Smashbox and Tarte Cosmetics BB Creams. However, I found that I hated these creams. I felt that they never really did anything for my face, and the coverage was too sheer for my liking. I noticed that I would use these BB Creams and then I would put some foundation over them because there wasn’t enough coverage – which was something I thought was pointless because I didn’t want THAT much product on my face. I mean, what’s the point if I’m just going to put foundation over it? So, needless to say, I gave up on the thought that BB Creams were for me.

UNTIL RECENTLY… when I found MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm. I asked the MAC Sales Associate which color would match my face, and she looked at me and said “DARK”. I looked at her like she was crazy, because usually my skin tone is a medium tan color. But she saw the look on my face and told me not to worry because the BB creams blend out their color. And so I tried the DARK Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm and she was right. Surprisingly the color matched my face almost perfectly when it was blended it out a bit. As soon as I tried this BB Cream on my face, I couldn’t believe the results. I was SO intrigued with this BB cream because it was a thicker cream than most BB creams I had used in the past. This BB Cream was similar to a light/medium coverage foundation and it actually blended incredibly well into my skin. I seriously couldn’t believe how amazing it was. So I asked the lady at the counter if she could hook me up with a sample of the BB cream because I wanted to go home and see if I could do a full face with this product.

The next day, I used some of the Prep +Prime BB Beauty Balm before I went to class in place of foundation in my normal make up routine. As the day progressed, I noticed that BB cream was still on my face and it didn’t wear off. The more I used the BB cream the more I noticed that my face was looking natural but still somewhat flawless. It covered most of my old acne scars and imperfections while still looking like I was wearing hardly anything on my face. I began raving about this product to both of my roommates and they couldn’t believe it either.When my roommate Sneh found out that I was going to purchase this product, she told me that she wanted to get it for me instead for my birthday. So she ended up getting me the BB Prep + Prime Beauty Balm in the color “Dark” for my birthday because she saw how much I loved it (I really do have the best roommates ever).

BB CREAM

Basically MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm is an amazing product if you want something that is lighter than foundation but has similar coverage PLUS this BB cream is SPF 35, so it does protect your skin from the sun. I usually get a great result when I use this BB cream with concealer and bronzer. It helps my face look flawless without using that much product. I usually use this BB cream during the day when I’m going for a light make up look. I wouldn’t suggest this BB cream or actually any BB cream for someone who has lots of scars and imperfections they want to hide, because you would probably be better off using a medium to full coverage foundation. But for those people who are looking for something light and fast, this might be the perfect thing for you! MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm retails for $30 at the MAC counter, which is a bit expensive but most of MAC’s foundations and primers are around that price. I really do believe this BB cream is worth the 30 bucks because it is a high end product and the coverage of this BB cream is phenomenal! 

– Preksha :]

Just a Tad Bit of Organization

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So basically I’ve been a make up hoarder all my life. Seriously, I WILL NOT throw anything out (besides mascara and eyeliners and used up stuff of course) if I haven’t used it, or if there’s NO possible way I will ever use it. Recently, my bestfriend/roomie came up with a great solution for her make up disaster and I decided to take on her idea. Debbie (thats her name) bought a large basket and organized her make up in there, so that when she does want to do her make up, all she has to do it pick up her basket and go into the bathroom. This also got rid of her hoarding problem because she ended up putting all the things she doesnt use in the basket too so she would actually start using it.

I ended up purchasing a large basket this weekend, and it really has made my life SO MUCH EASIER. Yeah, it’s a simple solution that I’m sure you’ve heard of before, but this really changed my life. I am a chronic make up POUCH user, which gets really annoying because I have about a million different make up bags and sometimes I’ll forget about things that I could have used because they’re hiding in another make up bag. By putting all my make up in the basket and organizing it that way, I’m able to place everything that I use daily in a neat and organized manner in the basket and put all the things I dont use there too so maybe if I see it everyday I’ll actually use it. It’s easily accessable and I can move my basket with me wherever I need to do my make up in the apartment.

Basically having this basket for all my make up really does make my everyday make up routine a hundred times easier and makes it really hard for me to misplace my make up or lose anything! I definitely recommend using something of this sort to organize your make up :]

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 – Preksha :]

MAC Ruby Woo

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All my life, I’ve been in LOVE with red lipstick. Its classy, bold, and sexy. But I definitely NEVER thought I could pull it off until one day I walked into my local MAC store and looked at the MAC Ruby Woo lipstick. Of course I had been doing lots of research on red lipsticks and had bought a couple drug store brands for a trial run, just to see how it would look on me. However, this particular day I decided to ask the sales associate at MAC about the different red lipsticks they had, and she showed me both Russian Red and Ruby Woo. At first she told me to try Russian Red but I found that color to be a tad bit too dark. I then went for the Ruby Woo, and instantly fell in love.

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The color is an EXTREMELY matte color. It is a tad bit drying so I would suggest putting on some chapstick or lipbalm before actually putting the lipstick on. The color is very vibrant and has is a very long lasting color. I put it on in the morning and I dont have to touch it up for about six hours. I always thought that I could never wear red lipstick because of my Indian complexion, but after buying this color, I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone if you haven’t thought of wearing such a bold color before.

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– Preksha :]