June 27, 2009

How To: Brow Chart(s)

Here is a quick reference guide about brows. It briefly breaks down the same info I shared with you in my brow tutorials (part I & part II). I'll also suggest products that you can use.


I prefer to tweeze my brows. You may want to wax them or even thread them. Regardless of which method you use there are 3 points that you need to consider when arching and, if you choose to, shaping your brows.

1. First determine where you brows should start. I like to use the indentations above my nostrils as my guide. Take the handle of a makeup brush and hold it vertically at that indentation. This is the brow should start. 2. Now, pivot the handle so that it crosses the center of your iris. This will mark the highest point of your arch. 3. Finally, move the brush to the outside of your nose. Again, pivot the handle so that it crosses the outer corner of your eye. This will show you where your brows should end.

Product Recommendations:
Revlon Expert Tweezer, Slant Tip $6.99
available at Ulta, Walgreens, Target locations & most places Revlon is sold


Whether you choose to fill in your brows to better match your hair color, to make them appear thicker and/or fuller, or you have very sparse hair and have to create brows where none exist, this step works wonders. An angled brow brush works best for this. Take it and either a brow powder or eyeshadow (pick a shade that either matches the brow or is 1-2 shades lighter for dark hair and 1-2 shades darker for light hair) and begin to fill in where the brow is sparse or throughout the entire brow.

Product Recommendations:
Brush: MAC #266 Small Angle Brush $19.50
available at www.maccosmetics.com, MAC cosmetic counters or MAC Freestanding stores

EcoTools BAMBOO Angled Eyeliner Brush $4.99*
available at Ulta and Walgreens locations

Brow Powder/Eyeshadow:
Smashbox Brow Tech $24.00*
available at www.smashbox.com, Ulta locations, Smashbox cosmetic counters
MAC Eyeshadow $14.50
available at www.maccosmetics.com, MAC cosmetic counters or MAC Freestanding stores


You can certainly stop at filling your brows. However, I like to go in and clean up the shape of the brow. This creates clean edges. It can also change the shape of the brow or the angle of the arch, which is helpful if you are not happy with the way your brow has been arched or decide you want to change the shape of your brow without re- arching. Simply, use a brow pencil to draw a line following the shape of your brow along the top and bottom, connecting the two at the start of the brow. Make sure to use a brush to blend out the pencil

Product Recommendations:

Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil $22
available at www.sephora.com, Sephora locations, www.anastasia.net

CoverGirl Brow & Eye Makers Pencil $1.99*
available at Walgreens locations, Target locations & most places CoverGirl is sold


This is the a completely optional step. It's not something that I do everyday. When I want a really clean brow or my brows are growing out I will use this trick. Apply a concealer (2-3 shades lighter than your foundation) around the perimeter of the brow and blend it out. I like to use an angled eyeliner or brow brush. The best concealer for this a full coverage concealer. I also like to use one that is waterproof and stays put so that if I start to sweat it won't melt off.

Product Recommendations:

MAC Studio Finish Concealer $15.50*
available at www.maccosmetics.com, MAC cosmetic counters or MAC Freestanding stores

*Products that I prefer

June 23, 2009

Product Review: Santee Nail Polish

This polish is the bee's knees. Here's the story. I was at my local beauty supply making a purchase. I needed to spend $1 more to use my debit card. So, I looked around until the nail polish rack caught my eye. I scanned it and saw a pretty pearlized blue that was $1.49. The name of the polish line was Santee, which I had never heard of, and since I long ago left my polish snobbery behind to try a world outside of OPI I added it to my purchase and made my way home.

Once I got home I decided to swatch it AND FELL IN LOVE! The polish applied smoothly. The brush was nice and wide which made application pretty quick. The polish dried pretty quickly and the color, Sky Blue, was gorgeous. I have since gone back to purchase 8 more colors and will be going back to purchase even more. I even had a friend compliment me on Sky Blue so I picked it up for her. The color selection is great. The pigmentation is great, although a couple are more on the sheer side so you have to apply several coats. I noticed that the colors come in about 5 finishes - glass fleck, frost, creme, glitter, and pearl.

Here are some of my favorites:
Sky Blue
Brown Speckle
Neon Green
Pearl Jungle

Overall Rating: 5!
Cost: $$1.00 -2.00
Availability: Check your local beauty supply store, Ebay, Cherryculture.com, or just google it!
Pros: Inexpensive, great color selection, great finishes, easy to apply
Cons: None

Formula: Smooth, not too thin or too thick, dries well
Brush: Some of the brushes were wide and some were the standard width.
Color Selection: Great. There were neutrals, bolds and everything in between.
Wear/Longevity: Really impressive. I think my manicure (without a base) lasted about 5 days. My pedicure lasted about 2 1/2 weeks.
Application: Very easy. No fuss.


June 22, 2009

About Face: Brows Part II - Fill, Shape & Define

Here is the second part of my brow tutorial, "Fill, Shape & Define".

This is my favorite and, in my opinion, the most important phase of a finished brow. Arching is important and a lot of people will stop there. However, I think the finishing touches make all the difference. I don't want people to be put off by filling in, shaping or defining their brows. Don't think of it as an unnecessary step or too much work. It really isn't and you'll be happy that you did it. I can guarantee that most of the people that you see whose brows you admire have at lease filled in their brows a bit if not more. I present 3 steps here. Try 1, 2 or all 3. It's completely up to you. If you do try it for the first time let me know what you think in the comments. :)

June 20, 2009

About Face: Brows Part I - Arching

Brows are such an important part of a finished look. A lot of people neglect them and don't realize how your brows really frame your face and pull together your overall look. In this video I will you how I arch my brows. This is part I in a two part series. The second part, "Fill, Shape & Define" will be coming next.

June 14, 2009

Evolution: Rihanna

Evolution is a new feature on the blog that you can definitely expect to see more of in the future. Look for upcoming posts featuring Alicia Keys, Eva Longoria, Keyshia Cole, Kelly Hu and many more.

When you take a look at celebrities - musicians, athletes, or actors/actresses - you'll notice that their look changes, usually drastically, over the course of their career. The simple fact is that as a person's profile rises more money and more focus is put into their public image. Teams of hair stylists, makeup artists, and wardrobe stylists are hired to revamp, reinvent and fine tune every detail of a celebrities appearance. Since I just shared my interview with Mylah Morales about Rihanna in my last post it's fitting that I feature her in this one. I decided to take a look, year by year, at how her look has evolved over the past 4 years focusing mostly on her makeup.

2005 marked the beginning of Rihanna's career. She was 17 and I think the makeup highlights her youth as opposed to trying to fight it. Her skin was glowy, soft color on the lip, soft and flirty lashes, and simple smudged black liner and a neutral eye.

2006 was the year after her first album was released and she was in heavy promotion. She started playing with her look a bit more. She was slowly coming away from her island girl, beachy look and focusing on a more polished look. We see her experiment with bolder, red lips, heavier blush and more color on the eye.

2007 introduced us to the "good girl gone bad". I loved this transition. Rihanna really started taking risks that distinguished from her counterparts. First, she chopped off her hair into a sleek angled bob and dyed it jet black. Then we saw her experimenting with looks that ranged from fun & colorful to fresh faced & natural to elegant & refined - and everywhere in between.

2008 is perhaps my favorite year. This is the year that proved to me that Rihanna was a trendsetter and not a follower. The year took her through several incarnations. We saw her chop her hair again, going shorter and a little edgier. We saw the rocker. We saw the vamp. We saw the ingenue. We saw the belle.

2009 is half way done. Again, we've seen her look go through a few incarnations. She always keep us guessing and I can't wait to see what is coming next.

Images courtesy of http://rihannadaily.com/

Asebella - Free Products!

Asebella is a new personal care company based in Indiana that focuses on fresh, handmade products. They offer body lotions, massage oil, shampoo and conditioner as well as body wash and a lot of other products. I got a chance to try a few of the products and I will have a review up for them in the next day or so. So, keep a look out for that. In the meantime, you can check out the website here:


That's a little background on the company but that's not the interesting part. Apparently, they are conducting a test group to try out some of the new products they plan to launch and you get test try them for FREE! Unfortunately for me I'm not eligible (I'm not even 30) but here is the info for those of you that may be:

We are conducting a study group to road test some of our new products. We really want to get them into your hands and know what YOU think!

Here are the details:

Age 35-65
Currently have experiencing issues with puffy eyes, dark circles, and/or wrinkling.

The new products are:
a. Puffy eye creme
b. Dark eye creme
c. Anti wrinkle serum and anti wrinkle creme
d. Night reparative complex

You have to agree to a two month test.
You'll need to send before & after pics of yourself
You'll receive products to try and receive a supply of products upon successful completion of the study.
Your results will be posted on our blog

All will be notified by June 21 if they have been selected
. All clients will receive there test products, instructions, etc by June 30. All clients are expected to begin the study on July 1 and agree to stop using their current (similar) brand immediately upon beginning use of our product.

If you think you qualify contact Kevin at kgross@ggwlabs.com.

If anyone takes part in the study I would love to hear about your experience and know what you think of the products.

June 10, 2009

About Face: Roaring Tutorial

Soooo....naturally this took much longer to get up than I planned. But, better late than never? Let me know what you think of the tutorial. I plan to do live tutorials in the future as well but expect to see quite a few with this format.

June 6, 2009

Post Ideas

Mirror|rirroM: Specktra Members look.
Behind the scenes look at mac testing colors for fashion week
curlformers review
magazine cover recreation ala vogue:


Interview with Mylah Morales

You may not be familiar with Mylah Morales by name. However, I can guarantee that you've seen her work. Mylah is a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with artists Leona Lewis, Jazmine Sullivan, Usher, Lil Kim, T.I., Amerie and most notably Rihanna. I never knew who Mylah was but I did know that whenever I saw Rihanna on the red carpet, in a magazine or in a video that I loved her makeup. Back in November I got a chance to talk to Mylah about the look that she created for Rihanna at the 2008 American Music Awards as well as a couple of other things. It was originally posted on the Specktra.net blog but I have reproduced it here for you.

Rihanna is it.

She is the hottest thing out right now in the world of music. And in the last couple of years she has transcended that world and become a style star, a fashion maven, and a makeup muse. The woman behind the amazing looks Rihanna wears on the red carpet, in magazines and on stage is makeup artist Mylah Morales.

I had an opportunity to speak with Mylah about Rihanna’s look for the 2008 American Music Awards. I fell in love with the look as soon as Rihanna stepped onto the red carpet and as it turns out it’s one of Mylah’s favorite looks too!

Azia: So, can you give me an idea of the direction you are taking with Rihanna’s makeup? It seems as though she’s been going for a softer, more feminine look lately.

Mylah: No, I wouldn’t say that. It all depends on what she’s wearing, really. Her “Glam Squad” gets together to discuss the entire look and I’m always inspired by what she’s wearing. Fashion is always the inspiration.

With this particular look Mylah explained that Rihanna’s dress reminded her of a baby doll so she decided to go with a look that was fun and youthful with a focus on flushed cheeks, lush lashes and glowing skin.

M: I’m all about skin! Right now my favorite foundation to use is Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation SPF 20. Then I use La Mer The Powder. It gives a really pretty, glowy, natural look to the skin. And actually I always ask Rihanna to hydrate her skin well before any red carpet event. She uses Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask. It works really well to energize and revitalize the skin especially since she’s always traveling, which dries out your skin.

A: I could see that. I have noticed that Rihanna always has a really pretty glow to her skin, a really pretty sheen. I have always wondered how you do that.

M: Yep, that’s how I get it. The Le Mer powder has a slight luminescence to it; it’s not matte. So, it gives the skin a really pretty glow. As for the concealer, I also used Kevyn Aucion The Sensual Skin Enhancer under the eyes.

A: Can you tell me what you used on her eyes?

M: Sure. I used Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Mascara in Black Ruby. It’s got pigments in it that really bring out your eye color and it creates really long & lush lashes.

A: Did you use lashes too?

M: (Laughs) Yeah. But they aren’t a full strip. I cut them to look more natural on the eye. They’re by Red Cherry but I don’t remember which ones exactly. Maybe the #42’s… but I’m not sure.

A: Ok. No problem. Can you tell me what shadows you used? Do you use a palette or do you use specific shadows by brands like MAC or Make Up Forever?

M: You know what? I love using a palette by Dior. It’s a neutral palette. I have been using that a lot. You can use it alone or add a splash of color. Then on her cheeks I used Orgasm by NARS. Actually, it is called Super Orgasm.

A: I was wondering what that was! It’s so pretty. I heard that it shows up better on olive skin or golden skintones because the original Orgasm doesn’t.

M: Yep. And to contour her cheeks I used GlowFusion® Micro-Tech™ Intuitive Active Bronzer. It’s a really great bronzer.

A: So what color did you use on her lips?

M: It’s Cover Girl Trushine Lipcolor in Brillo Delilah**

A: Okay. I think that’s about everything. Oh, one more thing! What did you use on her brows?

M: I used Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil to define them and then used an angled brush with brow powder to fill them in.

And with that we said our goodbyes. I’d like to thank Mylah, once again, for being so gracious. I really appreciate her taking the time to break down the look for me and the rest of our Specktra members.

Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation SPF 20
La Mer The Powder
Kevyn Aucion The Sensual Skin Enhancer
Dior Palette Neutral
Red Cherry Lashes
Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil
Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Mascara in Black Ruby
Nars Super Orgasm
GlowFusion® Micro-Tech™ Intuitive Active Bronzer
Cover Girl Trushine Lipcolor in Brillo Delilah**

**NOTE**: I misunderstood Mylah. Specktra member (Mtrimier) pointed out that it was "brillo de lilac" which would be Cover Girl Trushine lipcolor in Lilac Shine #450.

Check Mylah out at:

June 4, 2009

FOTD - Face of the Day Roaring

As promised, my first FOTD post. I'm also posting a YouTube tutorial on it later today. This look was actually inspired by a look that Erin B. created on her Scandalous Beauty YouTube channel.


My version is a little different. I brought up my lid and crease color further into the crease and my crease is actually a little darker. I liked it but loved the original. Speaking of Erin, she just agreed to do an interview with me for the blog so look out for that in the next couple weeks...but more on that later.

This is actually a mega post. It's 3 posts in one - a FOTD, a Beat-4-a-Buck look, and a
Mirror|rorriM look. Beat-4-a-Buck and Mirror|rorriM are a couple of features you'll see here in the future. Beat-4-a-Buck will show you how to "beat" your face for a buck, or a few bucks anyway. You'll see looks that are created with mostly, if not all, drugstore brand makeup. Mirror|rorriM will show you looks that are recreated or inspired by a look someone else has done.

Ok, I have rambled on enough. On to the look...

EDITED: In my excitement to get this up I forgot to tell you what I used. Sorry about that. Here's the Face Chart:

June 3, 2009

En Route

So here is what I have coming up:
~ A FOTD featuring the look from....
~ My FIRST YouTube tutorial (YAY!)
~ My interview with Mylah Morales
~ Current Collection Look


This is my inaugural post. I have been contemplating this for a long time. There are SOOOO many blogs out there and I wondered if I really had anything new to add, anything new to say. Well, I decided that I do and after a lot of thought I finally decided to JUST DO IT. I have so many ideas and so many things I'd like to share. My hope is that this blog will present something new and serve as a resource for women of color - all colors. I want to inform. I want to educate. I want to inspire. I want to entertain....and I want you to be a part of it. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to tell me what you think.


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