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 :]

Nars Guy Bourdin – One Night Stand Cheek Palette

This year, I received one of the best gifts I have ever EVER been given for my birthday from my darling bestfriend and roommate Debbie (shoutout to the bestfriend in the world snitchesss <3) . If any of you know me personally, you know I have a slight obsession with Blush. I like lots of it on – dark colors, light colors, shimmery, matte, everything. I JUST LOVE BLUSH. So my best friend in the whole wide world of course, schemed and plotted to get me the most amazing present ever. Basically, I was pretty much done with my Nars Orgasm Blush I had purchased earlier that year, and I was pretty bummed so Debbie decided to get me the “Nars Guy Bourdine – One Night Stand” Blush Palette. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, this is one HELL of a birthday gift. Basically, its 4 of Nars’ popular blushes (including my fav Orgasm!) along with their extremely famous bronzer “Laguna” and a highlighter as well. Debbie was soooooo excited to give me it, she actually gave me the palette before December had even started (because she loves me THAT much) and I think I almost cried when she gave it to me (lol seriously).

Moving on…

I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS PALETTE. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a specific piece of make up as much as I love this palette. I think I actually wake up everyday a little bit happier when I see that beautiful thing on my dresser (I don’t even know if I’m joking or not). This palette is AMAZING for anyone who loves blush as much as I do. Seriously, it’s all the good and love in the world put into one amazingly packaged item (okay, I may be going a tad bit overboard, but not really). Here’s a look at the most gorgeous thing I have ever owned…

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Basically this palette has it all, a great bronzer, highlighter, and four awesome blushes, so you can really build any look you want because it has so many options.

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Here’s a little review on the product.

All the colors in this palette are highly pigmented, as are most of Nars’ blushes and cheek products. So here’s the review:

1. Orgasm – I’m really not going to go much into detail about this blush, because I’ve already done a review on this color (see my first post if you’re curious). Basically with this color, Nars gives you a peachy pink with fine gold shimmer. It’s not gold glitter, which makes it  a really unique color. The shimmer is so perfectly mixed into the color that it really looks flawless on the cheeks. This color is one of Nars most famous blushes, and its well worth what you pay for.

2. Goulue – This is a great plum colored blush, with hints of golden shimmer. It’s not as shimmery as Orgasm, but instead its more of a subtle shimmer. It looks amazing on any skin tone, and I would definitely wear this color more in the fall and winter, but thats just me personally. Honestly, it would look great on any skin tone because it’s a buildable color. You can load on more color if you’re going for a more dramatic look, or just do a light flush of color as well.

3. Mistinguette – This is the color I have been reaching for MOST out of this entire palette. It looks like an extremely bright pink, but don’t let the looks of this color deceive you. This is an AMAZING matte pink color. It really looks beautiful on your face, and again, it’s a very buildable color. I usually use this color when I do a heavy eye look and I don’t want that much shimmer all over my face and cheeks, and other times, I use it for an everyday look with just some BB cream underneath. Either way, it’s my new favorite color from Nars and surprisingly I’ve been using it more than Orgasm (not saying I like it more but it’s getting pretty damn close!). It really looks good on any skin tone, and I can’t wait to see what its going to look like on my face in the summer when I’m a little bit more on the tan side.

4. Deep Thoat – This is a color thats similar to Orgasm, but has a LOT less shimmer and looks a bit more on the frosted side. Basically it’s a similar shade of pink as Orgasm but looks more muted because it’s less golden and shimmery. Personally, I haven’t really tried this color as much as I would like to, but I feel like it’s a color that’s going to look better on me in the spring or early summertime. But I have tried it a couple of times, and it’s a great color and if you’re someone who likes orgasm, but you want less shimmer I would definitely recommend this color.

5. Devotee – This is the highlight that Nars gives with this product. This is a great highlighter; it does it’s job and does show up well on the skin. Its shimmery and doesn’t have a bronze or golden undertone like some highlighters do have, which is something I really like because I don’t like my highlighters too look too bronzy. I do like using this highlighter a lot, but I don’t think I would have purchased it seperately if it didn’t come with the palette. But regardless I’m glad it came in the palette because it does look great on my skin tone.

6. Laguna – So here’s one of Nars’ most famous bronzers, Laguna. I hate to say this, but I was a little bit disappointed with this bronzer =( . It’s a bit too light for my liking and it takes a while for it to show up on my skin because I really have to build the color to get the look that I want. I feel like the color of the bronzer just isn’t for me. I know a lot of Makeup fanatics love this color, but I have to disagree. I don’t think this is an ideal color for contouring my cheeks. However, I do like this color to use as a bronzer on the apples of my cheeks when I want more of a bronze look overall. I also tend to use it sometimes to contour my nose if I’m in a hurry and I don’t want that much of a contour. I’ve also used it as an eyeshadow a couple of times to blend out my eyes, and put in my crease, and I actually do really love it for this purpose. I’m definitely going to try to contour my face a couple more times with the Laguna bronzer but as of right now, I have to say it’s the one thing in the palette I use least. Maybe I’ll find more uses for it later on? Who knows!

Of course, this palette comes with great packaging just like all of Nars products. Its a sleek and thin palette that’s pretty easy to take anywhere. I do feel that it’s a bit delicate but that’s just because I’m a little OCD when it comes to my make up. I defintely would be terrified to drop this baby anywhere or just throw it in my purse but it’s pretty tiny to pack anywhere else.

So basically, that’s my opinion on the Nars Guy Bourdin One Night Stand Cheek Palette. I am in love with this palette, and I really am so SO happy that I own it. I believe that this palette was a limitted edition palette from Nars, and I don’t think that it’s available anymore in Sephora or through Nars, however, you can purchase any of these colors separately for about $29 each at any Sephora, Nars counter, or online. I know it’s a tad bit on the pricey side, but I honestly do love all of Nars blushes and I think they’re a great investment for anyone who loves blush.

If you have any questions, comments, or have any other personal favorite Nars Blushes, definitely leave a comment below and follow my blog :]

❤ – Preksha

P.S. Special Shout Out to the BEST bestfriend in the whole wide world. ❤ don’t know what my life would be without you tinky!

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Let’s Talk About Primer!

Primer is something that every girl (or guy <3) should use if you want a flawless look thats gonna last for a while. Personally, I started using primer about two years ago, and the first one that I purchased was a sephora brand primer, and it was a pretty good deal. I paid about $14 for it, and it worked pretty well. I ended up liking it quite a lot so I bought another one as well.

This past semester, one of my roommates and bestfriends Sneh had gotten the Smash Box Photo Finish Primer. She told me it was a good primer and she told me that I had to try it. As soon as I put this primer on my face, I was sold. HOLY CRAP! This primer is something that is SERIOUSLY worth the money. Yes, its very pricey, I’m not going to lie, BUT it is the most amazing tube of product I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Turns out my precious roommate had also gotten me this magic tube of perfection for my birthday. ❤ (YAY!)

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I’ve had this primer for about 2 weeks now and it really is incredible. Its a clear cream like lotion that applies amazingly. Literally, the moment I put this on my face, it gets rid of any uneveness on my skin, masks any bumps or pores, and fills in my fine lines like a pro. It allows my face to feel silky smooth and buttery without being too oily, which is awesome for my oily/combo skin. This primer also helps to inhibit the destruction of collagen and the vitamins and antioxidants help smooth over your skin, pores, and fine lines to achieve that flawless end result. After I use this primer, my foundation practically glides onto my face with such ease. Honestly, I don’t know what I ever did without this primer.

It runs for about $36 at sephora, yes, that’s a hefty price for some primer, but I really believe it’s worth the money because it does make my face feel amazing, and ever since I’ve started using it my face doesn’t really break out as much and I feel like my face is just generally softer and clearer overall. If you don’t wanna pay $36 for the big tube, sephora does also sell a smaller version for about $15! For all those who want to try this product but aren’t sure if it’s worth the money, I highly recommend marching into your nearest sephora and asking one of the sales associates if you can take home a sample of primer. I do it all the time, because I’m just one of those people that have to try something before I buy it (especially if it’s a higher end product).

I’m on the lookout for a good drug store primer as well, so as soon as I find one that I like I’ll definitely review that one too. If you have a drug store primer you think I should try, or have any questions or concerns comment below :]

 – Preksha :]