This is BIG. Huge. A Holiday Giveaway!

Normally, I take time off from the blog from Thanksgiving through New Year. This year, though, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all of you who have stuck with me the past 2 years.

I am giving away 25 samples of some of my most loved products, all packaged in a signature Glossier pink pouch.

To enter, just make sure you are subscribed to this blog. To sign up, tap the red *SUBSCRIBE* button on the right of the screen for desktop view, or scroll to the bottom on mobile devices, and enter your email. I won’t spam you or sell your email, but I will drop a delicious blog post once a week right into you inbox. The only other stipulation is that the winner gives me an address where I can send the goods!

Here are 10 of the 25 samples…

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

I feel like I’ve worn this out, but I love it, I use it every day, and I can’t wait for you to try it!

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SF 50

This is a recent favorite, but it was love at first sight. I just returned from an 8-day work trip with long hours in a stuffy conference hall, but I received so many complements on my skin. This is why.

m-61 Power Glow Peel

This is a great brand I’ve followed for some time, and these peels perk your skin right up with out irritating it. You can use it before a night out or as part of a spa night.

Marc Jacobs Lip Cream in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Since I couldn’t find a sample size of my favorite Marc Jacobs gloss in the shade Sugar Sugar, the next best this is this luxurious lip creme.

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches

I use these on all of my clients to not only prep their under eyes, but also shield their cheeks from eye shadow fallout.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Vice

This royal purple shade is one of my favorites, and I own several of these pencils because they go on easily, let you smudge them out or create a precise line, then stay in place all night.

Weleda Skin Food

Remember last week when I shared all the amazing things about this product? Well, now you can see for yourself!

Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade

This is the stay-all-day brow gel you’ve heard about nonstop since its launch. It also makes a fantastic gel eyeliner.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

This. Is. Everything. You have to have a vitamin C in your anti-ageing skincare routine, and this is the best I’ve found (even over more expensive versions).

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation AND Fluid Sheer #2

While this foundation is perfect on its own, adding a layer of the Fluid Sheer underneath – or mixed right into a pump of foundation – gives the skin the most ethereal, silky, air-spun finish.

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Yay! I can’t wait to treat the winner, so don’t forget to *subscribe*! I’ll announce the winner NEXT WEDNESDAY, December 14, right here on the blog (and you’ll know who you are since you’ll be subscribed and you’ll wake up to this awesome news. Just saying.). Cheers and good luck!

 

Images c/o Author, Google Images, Sephora.com and Birchbox.com

Drugstore Divas

Now that we’re past Thanksgiving and it’s full steam ahead to Christmas, there are several gift guides floating around. I don’t know about you, but the number of people I need gifts for seems to outgrow my wallet every year, so here is a roundup of my ten favorite beauty items from the drugstore, all $12 and under, that you can gift yourself or others.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

clay

While you can purchase this on Amazon for around $13, I got my jar from Whole Foods for $7. This mask is everything I would ever want a clay mask to be – deep cleaning without stripping my skin, and all-natural. It claims that your skin will “pulsate;” and while I didn’t have that experience, it was slightly tingly in a good way. I’ve tried a few other natural clay masks, and they irritate the daylights out of my skin, but this one is gentle enough to use daily. I’ll even mix in a bit with my a.m. cleanser to add a layer of exfoliation.

RCMA No Color Powder

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Technically, this isn’t a drugstore item, but since it’s the best loose powder on the market and you get so much of it, $12 is very fair. Head over to Beautylish.com and pick up a bottle so you can prep your eyelids, pour a little in a travel container for on-the-go touch ups, and, of course, set your makeup when you’re buffing.

Weleda Skin Food

c/o Birchbox.com

This super product is popping up everywhere now – like Target – even though I used to only find it at Whole Foods or Amazon.com. For $11, you get a skin-saving moisturizer models swear by during fashion week when they have makeup applied and removed multiple times in a day. As the weather gets colder, I use it on top of my nighttime moisturizer and as a body lotion. Another use I accidentally stumbled on during a recent weekend getaway: a very small amount warmed up in your palms and applied just to the ends of your hair keeps flyaways and frizzy ends under control. And, oh by the way, it smells amazing.

Glossier Balm Dot Com

glossier-balm-dotcom-06

Another multitasker, this $12 goo comes in five “flavors,” my favorites are mint and coconut, and I have found myself stashing them all over the house – and in every purse – because I miss it when I don’t have it. Hang nail? Chapped nose? Dry cuticles? Lip balm? Illuminator? Lip gloss? I could keep going, but this does it all. (For 20% off your first purchase, you can go through this link.)

Maybelline Brow Pencil, Gel Liner and Mascara

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This is a 3-for-1 because each of these products can stand right next to high-end versions and you wouldn’t know the difference – even though they are each $7 and under. The Brow Drama pencil is waxy enough that you don’t need a separate brow gel, comes in several shades and has a built-in spoolie brush at the end so you can comb the product through the brows.

liner

This Eye Studio Lasting Gel liner comes in several shades if you want to be adventurous, but I love Blackest Black for a long-wearing liner that’s easy to apply.

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I feel like I’ve written or spoken about Falsies mascara way too much, but that’s because it’s legit. Love the curved brush, and I stick with Blackest Black.

Dr. Bronner Castile Soap

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So, obviously, I use this multi-purpose solution for cleaning makeup brushes, but starting at $2 for a travel size of the liquid (you can also get bars of soap), this miracle product can be used for everything from cleaning your floors, to cleaning your expensive jewelery, to cleaning your face. There are several scents – my favorite is almond – and it’s a must try.

Thayers Witch Hazel

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The best astringent I’ve ever used costs $90. Not joking. The second-best is this one, and it’s around $8. I use the alcohol-free versions, but if you’re super oily and/or acne-prone, you can get away with their awesome astringent.

NYX Butter Gloss (or blush, lipstick, bronzer, etc…)

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NYX is such a great company because they provide quality makeup at incredible prices, and they’re cruelty-free. My favorite is the Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee ($5!), but it would be tough to find something from the line that doesn’t meet your needs.

Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks

c/o Drugstore.com

I am shocked by the number of people who don’t know about these little magic wands, but for less than $5, you can do everything from cleaning up a cat eye to removing mascara smudges at the end of a long day. These are so, so good – they’re in my purse at all times, and on my makeup table, and they’d make a great stocking stuffer.

KISS Cluster Lashes

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These. are. amazing. Also around $5, these are the lashes you wish you had growing out of your eyelid. They are super easy to apply – unlike individuals – and you can customize them for as little or as much fringe as you please. And, unlike strip lashes, you don’t have to worry about the corners of these little nuggets popping up at the wrong time. Maybe it’s because they sit flush to your lash line, but I feel like these wear longer than other lashes, too. (I use the clear DUO gel, also a drugstore product for about $6.)

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There you have it! Make sure to subscibe to this blog, as well as my YouTube channel, and follow @ElectraLane on Facebook and Instagram so you get all kinds of sweet makeup knowledge flying at you from all directions. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I can’t wait to meet you back here next week.

Images: Author, Google Images, Target.com, Birchbox.com, Glossier.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I’m taking the week off to enjoy time with my family. Wishing you a day full of hope and gratitude!

How to Get Disney Princess Skin

I’ve been playing around with the “buffing technique” for a little over a year, and I can’t believe how cool this trick is…you’ll see the proof at the end. It makes me feel like a Disney Princess, and I hope you’ll give buffing a try. P.S. If you could see me right now, I’m doing my happy dance, which kind of looks like this:

 

via GIPHY

I’m so thrilled because I’ve spent hours upon hours of my life sifting through YouTube footage and blog posts about buffing, then trying out different combinations of all that info, so I can definitively state that layering proudcts in a certain way, then buffing them all together, makes your skin look insanely beautiful. Stick with me – this post is a long one – but I’m taking off next week to celebrate Thanksgiving so think of it as a two-for-one special!

Step 1: Skin Prep

There’s a lot going on with this look, so it’s imperative that your skin is ready. I make sure to follow my normal morning skincare routine: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, apply serum/eye cream/moisturizer. If I have time, I also like to do a peel or mask after the exfoliation step.

Glossier

Once I’m ready to start with the makeup, I use a thin concealer on my lids and dust on a light layer of translucent powder. I then mix a primer with an illuminator, and smooth the concoction all over my face and neck.

Step 2: Eyes

Do whatever your heart desires here – I would suggest, at a bare minimum, curled lashes with two coats of mascara.

Here is an easy smokey eye and an over-the-top gilded eye to try.

Step 3: Skin

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Here is the inspiration…

…but I had to take it in another direction. It’s like a recipe – I always follow the instructions the first time, but then I start tweaking it to fit my needs. This method requires layers upon layers of makeup that no one really has time to apply (this video, by far, shows the least – many I’ve seen do a primer, thick foundation, cream contour, highlight and illuminator, concealer, powder, powder contour, powder blush, bronzer and illuminator, and a shovel to remove it all later), so here’s my version – which you’ll see in action on Friday:

Primer * Concealer * Foundation * Setting Spray * Loose Powder * Powder Contour/Blush/Bronzer/Illuminator * Buff with Pressed Powder * Setting Spray

I realize that still seems like a lot of makeup, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, the addition of the loose powder (this is amazing) keeps you from buffing off your foundation. Second, make sure to add foundation on areas NOT covered by concealer so there is only one layer of product (even though there are two products).

Step 4: Brows and Lips

Fill in your brows, add your favorite lippie and you’re done! I’m not wearing any lipstick in the photos below because I got so excited about the skin that I just hauled off and started snapping. Please forgive me.

*Can’t-Miss Tips*

*Sheer down the foundation by adding some moisturizer, primer or illuminator (unless you want full coverage) to keep it light

*When it comes to the powder blush/bronzer/contour part, you don’t have to do all three. I would suggest picking at least blush or bronzer so the face has dimension – and if you do contour, I would also blend that out with some blush and/or bronzer

*Make sure setting spray dries before adding loose powder. This is still my favorite.

*This one is important! When applying the loose powder, you need to use a powder puff or sponge to press and roll the powder into the skin. Don’t be afraid of it! You’ll knock off the excess when buffing

*The buffing brush doesn’t have to be special, but it should be soft with a flat-ish top. A great steal is from Real Techniques – only $9! For a luxury option, you can’t beat Wayne Goss’s #13 for $53.

 

Real Techniques

Real Techniques

Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss

The Three Things That Make This Awesome

Out of all the versions of the buffing technique I tired, these are the three constants, the three things you must do in order for this to work:

  1. Make sure your concealer and foundation do not overlap
  2. Press the loose powder over the entire face
  3. Don’t be scared to buff for a while, making sure to use the smallest amount of pressed powder on the brush

The Proof

These are un-retouched, unedited iPhone photos in a dark room with a flash – a.k.a. the worst light possible.

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RIGHT?! You can still my skin – I intetionally did not cover sunspots/freckles/pimples to show that even with all of those “layers,” the buffing action beautifully blends everything together and makes the makeup look like it’s your skin (if your skin were made of glass).

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I feel like I need a nap after all of that. I really do hope you’ll give this a try, and don’t forget to follow @ElectraLane on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss the Friday Flash of this look (a sped-up demo). As always, thanks for stopping by, and please subscibe to this blog! As I mentioned, I’m taking next weekend off for Thanksgiving, so I hope you enjoy your week.

Images: Author, Ulta.com, Beautylish.com, Google Images

Every Day Contour

I think everyone wants defined features, but, for every day, not everyone has the time to contour. And since lots of people still seem confused by what contouring is, I’m going to share a little about contouring, then give you two quick ways to rock it.

We contour to give the face dimension. Think about it: if you put one color all over your face, i.e. just foundation, your face will look flat. Add some shading, and things become more interesting. Here’s a visual:

yellows

And, so, we introduce blush and bronzer and contour and highlighting into our makeup routines. So…how and when do I contour on a daily basis?

Create Shadows

For true contour, I use a small brush to precisely and strategically place a grey-ish powder. For every day? I take a big, fluffy brush (this one is my favorite) and sweep bronzer in seven places to create subtle shadows:

magnificent-seven

  1. Top of forehead
  2. Temples
  3. Nose
  4. Cheeks
  5. Chin and slightly under jawline
  6. Down center of neck
  7. Under collar bones

If this seems confusing, just think about the last time you were in the sun – what parts of your face showed color? (Hint: it’s usually the parts that stick out.)

Liquid Smudges

When all else fails, take a little concealer (in a shade a couple darker than your foundation) or a liquid bronzer and finger paint! Because this technique can get a little messy, I usually apply the cream or liquid just under cheek bones.

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I contour every day because I love how it makes me look alive and gives my face structure, even if I’m not wearing anything else except brows, mascara and gloss. If you liked these tips, make sure to subscribe so you can learn more, fun makeup tricks – we can also keep in touch on Facebook and Instagram @ElectraLane.

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