How I Do Glam

There are levels of makeup. There’s the five-minute I’m-Lucky-To-Get-There-On-Time, every day makeup. Then there’s fancy night out/wedding guest/celebration makeup when you want to step it up. Finally, there’s special occasion makeup when you usually call on a pro (Like me – Email Jessica@ElectraLane if you’re in the DC area or need a lesson via Skype).

Since I mostly focus on skincare and basic makeup, I’m going to show you the second type – for when bottles are poppin’, selfies are taken, and you want to look GOOD. The good news is you can make a big impact with a few simple changes like swapping foundation for your daily tinted moisturizer and adding some highlight to your face’s high points. But there are some other tricks involved, and I’ll explain a few now.

Quick disclaimer – this makeup is what works for me, for my skin type, my bone structure, and so on. If you do something I suggest and it doesn’t work for you, please DO NOT get frustrated! Hit me up on Instagram (@ElectraLane) and ask a question. Or, better yet (another shameless plug), set up a 30-minute chat session to ask all of your burning makeup questions.

Ok – y’all ready to get glam?

Step 1 – SKIN (part 1)

Prep your skin (here’s what I do). If you have time, I highly suggest doing a face mask to further get your skin ready to handle all the goodness you’re about to apply. My favorite is the Glamglow Gravitymud mask that makes you look like an alien but then firms and plumps the skin, taking at least 2-3 years off your face.

Next, I add a primer – there are millions it seems – so get something that works for your skin type. I also like to take this opportunity to prime my eyelids with a little concealer and powder. Here’s where it gets fun – at this point, I like to skip to my eyes. I know traditional wisdom says start with foundation (because it’s the *cough* foundation), but there are lots of benefits to letting makeup set/settle/sink in so I like to skip around.

Step 2 – EYES

Again, a million options here, but I like to do eye shadow/liner/mascara/lashes, but wait to do the brows. THIS is one of my favorite eye looks.

{Bronze Smokey Eye Glam – my favorite fancy look}

Step 3 – SKIN (part 2)

Now that the primer has soaked in, I do THIS technique to get flawless, long-lasting foundation, and HERE is a tip for perfect blush plus my #1 favorite trick that pulls the whole look together. Also interested in my favorite bag-busting, dark-circle cancelling under-eye concealers? Boom.

{Your sweat won’t be your only sparkle when you work out}

Step 4- BROWS + LIPS

I find that somewhere between blending eye shadow and applying foundation, my brows get a lot of junk in them, so that’s why I wait to fill them in – which I do with anything from a brow pencil, to a gel liner, to a plain, old eye shadow. Do what you like! Just make sure to comb out all the other makeup particles first (with a spoolie or eyebrow comb). Then, on to lips. I tend to go for a nude gloss that can easily and discreetly be reapplied throughout the night as needed but, if you love a bold lip, you must try THIS trick to keep your lips on all night!

{Everyday Glam}

Step 5 – FINISHING TOUCHES

You made it! You’ve sat through at least 20 minutes of makeup application, so let’s make sure it’s perfect and it stays on. Take a Q-Tip and use it to gently buff any harsh lines, pick up eye shadow or mascara that’s fallen, or fix any bleeding lipstick (which you won’t have if you do my trick…just saying). Once everything is in place, spray it with a setting spray (like Urban Decay’s All-Nighter) then go have fun!

{Special Event Glam}

TOUCH-UPS

I absolutely hate to leave the dance floor to check my makeup, but when I do excuse myself to the ladies room, I like to have a few things in my bag in case anything needs a little tweak. Obviously, carry your lipstick or gloss with you. I also like to have a couple Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks on hand to clean up any makeup that’s moved, and I definitely suggest keeping some eyelash glue nearby if you’re sporting falsies (which you should because they’re amazing).

{All day, erry day. Photo c/o Drugstore.com}

Please tag @ElectraLane so I can see your own Glam Goddess selves, and I’ll meet you back here next week!

Sheet Masks 101

If you’ve wondered why a bunch of people on social media are running around looking like Hannibal Lecter, let me explain.

Korean skincare is pretty much the standard; Korean women have some of the most beautiful skin you’ve ever seen thanks to skincare routines with 11 steps or more. While we tend to look at a face mask as a maybe-weekly indulgence, cleansing, toning, masks, and facial massage are just a few among the many daily rituals performed. I had the pleasure of studying with a beautiful facialist from Korea, and she taught me that we only get one set of skin so we must take impeccable care of it.

Just like the recent commercial burst of Eastern health practices (yoga, Ayurveda, meditation…) , Eastern skincare is having its bright and shiny moment. With so many great skincare options popping up everywhere, including the corner drugstore, now is the perfect time to reinvent your own skincare routine – and sheet masks are a fantastic way to start.

Like a regular mask, a sheet mask delivers a hefty dose of potent ingredients to the deep layers of the skin. Unlike a regular mask, however, a sheet mask also provides a protective barrier so that the air doesn’t absorb any of the moisture you want in your skin, and basically pushes all the good stuff deeper into your skin.

When should you use a sheet mask? As a part of your morning or evening skincare routine, before a night out, as a weekly refresh for your skin, or any time you need a little pick-me-up. Each mask has a different purpose, so if you want to brighten, tighten, lighten or hydrate, there’s a mask for that.

I found an amazing company called FaceTory that offers a mask subscription service – I get 4 masks a month for just under $6 (which is amazing since a Sephora brand mask is $6 for one!). If you’d like to try any of their products or sign up for a subscription, here’s a link for 10% off: http://facetory.refr.cc/jessicay.

Finally, I put together a little demo to show you just how to use a sheet mask. Please check it out and give it a *like* if you enjoyed it. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog so you never miss new tips, products, and makeup insider info. See you next week!

One Technique, Endless Opitons

I think makeup should be like cooking – you have a recipe and, while you can tweak the ingredients to your taste, you follow the recipe and you get basically the same results.

Today, I’m giving you the simplest makeup recipe that requires only three ingredients, but yields endless outcomes.

For this eye look, the ingredients are a medium eye shadow, a dark eye shadow, and an eyeliner. As far as tools, a fluffy crease/blending brush and eye shadow brush are all you need, but an angled or smudge brush helps, too.

Here are the steps:

  1. Blend the medium shadow into the crease
  2. Line the eyes on top and smudge the liner up towards the crease color, then add a little liner on the outer corner of the bottom lash line – smudge towards the inner corner
  3. Pat the darker shadow on top of the liner using the eye shadow brush (or your finger!) as well as under the bottom lash line
  4. Define the eyes by lining again but just the top lash line
  5. Blend the shadows around the edges with the blending brush to make sure there aren’t any hard lines, then add mascara and/or faux lashes

That’s it! Now it’s up to you to get creative. Choose a mix of matte, metallic and/or sparkly shadows, and don’t just stay with traditional, neutral eye shadow colors – experiment rosy tones, blues, greens or violets, just make sure the shades aren’t super close together. Get even more adventurous by keeping your liner close to the lash line or wing it out like Amy Winehouse. It’s up to you!

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for you to follow:

Please give this look a try, and tag me on Instagram @ElectraLane so I can see your awesome work! Please *subscribe* to this blog so you don’t miss any more tips or tricks, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next week.

 

Better Skin on a Budget

I LOVE me some La Mer. I’ve tried to break up with it several times, but I always come back because it’s that. good. It has completely transformed my skin, and both the original moisturizer (there are several versions for various skin types) and the lip balm continue to amaze me even after seven years. Plus, people constantly comment on how great my skin looks, so I know it’s not just me trying to justify the price tag.

Speaking of the price tag, La Mer is insanely expensive. I get that. And I get very annoyed when bloggers post something that most people can’t afford (i.e. their 5th Chanel bag), then add, “but here are some affordable options,” as if to say, “I’m rich, but you’re poor so here’s something for you peasants.” AmIright? Although I won’t begrudge someone for how she or he chooses to spend their money, I know we all make decisions regarding what works for us and our budgets – and skincare is where I choose to invest.

And, full disclosure, I used to work for La Mer. I researched the line for years, and it was on my One Day When I Have Extra Disposable Income list (along with Louboutins and a Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM…still hoping for those), so I never planned on using the products this soon. But, then, I saw the results, and I’ve never turned back.

However, if you’re never ever in a million years going to spend this amount on skin care (which is totally understandable), I have rounded up three dupes that are only a fraction of the price and still produce results.

Lip Balm

Never would I have ever thought that lip balm would be such an important part of my skincare regimen, but whenever I run out of it my lips dry out and skin starts falling of in sheets. I love La Mer lip balm because not only does it penetrate to heal and plump your lips, it also protects so you just apply it twice a day (more here at the 5:50 mark). But, it’s $60.

Enter Korres Lip Balm in Guava, I get it from Sephora. At only $12, it is very hydrating and buttery. Unlike the La Mer, you have to apply it more often and it has a very glossy finish. They have a couple of flavors with pigment, so this would be an amazing, moisturizing gloss to use throughout the day. Another option in stick form is the lip balm from Treat Beauty.

Moisturizer

If my clients purchased one product from the line, it was the original Creme de la Mer moisturizer. I’ve dabbled with the Soft Cream, but I always come back to the OG. Like the lip balm (and all La Mer products), it’s dual action: it heals your skin from the inside out while protecting the top layers of skin from outside irritants. This moisturizer was created to heal chemical burns, so think about how much it repairs and replenishes normal skin. But it starts at $170 for one ounce (which lasts around seven months using once a day). So let me introduce you to TruKid Easy Eczema Cream for $15, available at Amazon.com.

While this product doesn’t heal and protect my skin, it absolutely does hydrate it – I love to mix it with a few drops of skin oil and use it as my night cream. It’s meant to be used on the entire body, too, so it’s great for dry winter skin.

Eye Cream

I saved the best for last, because this product is so good that it made me ditch my La Mer The Eye Concentrate! The Eye Concentrate is focused on reducing signs of ageing, which it does beautifully, but it absolutely knocks out dark circles. Unfortunately, the price rapidly keeps going up and up, so I began a relentless search for a replacement.

Enter Miraculous Anti-Wrinkle Retinoid Eye Repair by Philosophy (mine is from Sephora):

It doesn’t hydrate as well as the La Mer, but that’s an easy fix because I layer my aforementioned night cream concoction on top. It also does not obliterate my hereditary and allergy-induced dark circles, sadly. However, there are so many great concealers now that I can cover up the circles. What it does do, and in my opinion better than La Mer, is firm the skin around my eyes – most likely due to the retinol.

~~~~~~~~

If you’re interested in the other skincare products I use, here is my morning routine and my nighttime skincare. Keep in touch on Facebook or Instagram for more tips and tricks or to ask questions, and have a great week!

Do This One Thing for Big Impact

Back in the day, the only time I wore false lashes was when I was on stage with ballet or theater performances, or competing in pageants. I just couldn’t get over the label of “fake” anything.

Well I did get over it, and I really believe that lashes are one of the best makeup investments you can make. They’re affordable, elevate your entire look to where you practically need no other makeup, and, with a little practice, are effortless to apply.

AFFORDABLE

At just over $2 a pair, my favorite strip lashes are an incredible investment. Think about it – if you’re someone who wears little or no makeup every day but you want to up your game for a special event, and you don’t want to spend lots of money on a whole makeup wardrobe, lashes and a bold lip will make you look amazing for less than $10.

Pictured below are those strip lashes as well as my all-time favorite lash, the KISS clusters:

ELEVATE

Last month, I did Maggie’s makeup for an Inaugural Ball. She loves a red lip and was wearing a MAJOR dress, so we focused on the lashes by doubling up. A lengthening lash topped a full-fringe lash for lots of drama:

We kept her eye makeup very simple and added dimension with just bronzer so the focus would be on her gorgeous eyes and stunning lips:

My point is that with some lipstick and great lashes, you don’t have to have a ton of time, money or skill to look like a million bucks.

EFFORTLESS

I used to be so intimidated by lashes, but they’re really not that scary. Here are three videos to show you how to apply your lashes, as well as customize them so they work for you:

 I hope you’ll give lashes a try! As always, don’t hesitate to reach out @ElectraLane on Instagram or Facebook with any questions. For a personalized makeup lesson, or just to ask all of your makeup questions, email me at Jessica@ElectraLane.com to set up an appointment (online or in-person). See you next week!

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