1. Be a Better…Beauty.

    I wrote a beauty post a few months back and the inevitable happened…a slew of folks then had a bunch of follow up questions that NEED to be answered, because EYEBROWS ARE IMPORTANT, DAMNIT! You can’t just leave life’s questions unanswered…so here we are. 

    A little Monday Q+A for ya’:

    Q: I have blonde hair and blonde eyebrows…should I still fill them in, and what color would I even use? 

    A: For God’s sake. YES. You of all people, should be the first to be banging on the doors of your local Sephora for an appropriate brow solution. The transition from bare brows to filled brows is often initially the most challenging for blondes/redheads because it makes a HUGE difference and WILL change the way your face looks, but take heed Aryan women…trust that it’s the right thing. Use a conservative hand and a brow powder made for blondes (should be an ash color). Try Laura Mercier Brow Powder in Deep Blonde or Soft Blonde. Follow up with a clear mascara or brow wax to keep your hairs in check. 

    Q: I love the idea of bright blush, vibrant lipstick, and a smokey eye…how can I do them without looking like a clown?

    A: The answer is…you can’t. That is, all at once. Pick one focal point on that mug of yours and keep the rest simple and clean. Here’s a trick…get your face to the point that it’s all prepped and ready for color (foundation/bb cream, contour bronzing, brows finished)…then choose your beauty weapon of the day and apply it first. Dark plum lipstick? Put it on and THEN apply your blush, eyeshadow, etc…you be sure to keep all the rest toned down and in sync with that one pop. 

    Q: I try and wear fake eyelashes, but they always fall off or are uncomfortable…am I doing something wrong? Do I use mascara at the same time? 

    A: First off, you probably aren’t trimming them to fit your eyelids. I’m not sure whose eyes are naturally as ginormously long as the average fake eyelash strip…the only person I can think of is Steve Buscemi. Trimming is the key to having lashes: 1) stay on 2) be comfortable 3) having you not look like a whorish American Girl doll. When you first buy your lashes, trim the strip (not across the hairs) and hold it up to your eyeball. Each end should stop a few millimeters from the tear duct and outer corner of your eye. To keep those suckers on, apply AFTER eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow and use eyelash glue, not just the sticky substance that comes on them in the package. Then, a light coat of mascara to blend them in with your natural lashes. 

    Q: I have a big forehead…anyway to make it look smaller with makeup?

    A: Oh, the classic five-head eh (I’m sorry about your genetics, I have large feet). Make a matte bronzer and a stiff contour brush your best friend, girl. After applying whatever you do to make your face look human and less like facesofmeth.com (my concoction is BB Cream and an oil control powder), take your bronzer and start applying at the temples. Brush upwards on each side of your forehead. Then dust a little on the very top of your forehead. This should instantly help your case, and might even fool people into thinking you spent the weekend in St. Tropez. Because, you can’t have those bangs forever, right?

    Q: Smokey eyes look so good on other people, but when I use kohl liner, I look trashy, HELP!?

    A: Oh yes, I see that. You look like you work at Hot Topic in a Iowan mall, please grab some eye makeup remover and come sit over by me. Smokey rarely should be black, ladies. Unless you are going for a goth vibe, never use black under the eyes, save it for the lids. To create the perfect smokey eye, choose shadow/liner colors that compliment your eye tones. If you have poop colored eyes like me, choose greens, golds, and coppers. If you are lucky enough to have green eyes, choose an eggplant tone to make those eyes look extra sessy. Got baby blues? Pick a brown or bronze shade. For you hazel gals, use golds, bronzes, greens, and eggplant. Last but not least, if you have completely blacked out eyes (see below), try red eyeliner, it’ll really set the whole “i kill people” look off, just right. 

    Be Better Forever,

    x Chinae


  2. Be a Better…Beauty.

    Make-Up Basics Edition:

    Most of us are adult people, and need to be looking that way as well. As hard as it is to roll out of bed 5-10 minutes earlier, the cost of looking like an adolescent or a bridge troll is not worth it people. One of the most common topics that I get asked about in girl land is how the hell to look amazing, but not put too much work into it. This topic seems elementary and mundane but I assure you, if you aren’t doing these beauty tricks…you should be. 

    Basic Make-Up Tricks and Tips:

    -Concealer Cocktail: When I see girls with dryed out, concealer-caked patches of skin on their face, I want to cry big Tyra Banks tears. There is no reason to have tectonic plates of Maybelline on your mean mug, ok?! Here are two tricks for concealing: 1) Put your base/powder/tinted moisturizer all on first and THEN apply your concealer. By putting it on first, you are probably using more than you really need and that’s making you look very Tammy Faye Baker. 2) With a small concealer brush, mix your concealer with a tiny bit of your moisturizer before applying…this will thin it out and make a flawless application, leaving out the flakey, cakey alternative. A great concealer set to try: Make Up Forever’s 5 Camouflage Cream Pallete No. 1.

    -Cheek Color Always: I know a lot of you people skip your cheeks in the whole morning battle, Girl vs. The Clock. This is a huge mistake. If there were 3 things I would never skip, they would be: cheeks, mascara, and brows. When you don’t balance your cheek color to the rest of your make-up, you look like a preteen. You really might as well not wear a bra and make-out with a boy (who may or may not be in Show Choir), behind the Computer Lab at school. The preteen thing especially comes into play when you apply thick eyeliner and the rest of your face is pale and very Johnny Depp circa Edward Scissorhands. Get the most bang out of using a bronzer/blush combo to contour your cheeks and then add a pop of color. Cheek color is one of the quickest things to apply, so no excuses, play like a champion. My favorite line of cheek colors is: Make UP Forever Powder Blushes.

    -White Power (this sounds racist): We’ve all had those mornings where you look in the mirror and you see Gary Busey. It happens. Sometimes an overload of soy sauce/salt (bloated), too much vodka (haggard), or a bout of the stomach flu (deathly) can seriously affect what your normal face looks like. This happens to me about once a week (see: this morning). What to do? Chug two glasses of agua pronto and then get out the white/cream eyeshadow or shadow-stick. Adding a little splash of white right below your brows (lifts the eye) and right near your tear duct (opens up the eye), will help you fake a full 8 hours and 2 less vodkas. PROMISE! My favorite white shadow: MAC White Frost.

    -GO Kit: Spend some time figuring out what goes in your make-up emergency kit. This should include 5 items that you could grab and go and still look polished as sh*t. Now that you’ve picked your gear, buy an extra set of all 5 and store them in a mini-bag, that travels. This way, when you get unexpectedly whisked away for an impromptu tropical vacation, get stopped to be on a reality TV show, or are just f*cking late to work, you have everything at arms length! Also, this kit is perfect for those after work dates or happy hours that require attendance right after work…you’ve heard of day-to-evening dressing, now do that same thing to your face. (It needs it). Another great idea is to get some good/larger samples to stock your Go-Kit, a favorite beauty sample company I like is Birchbox…which gets delivered, straight to your door monthly. 

    -Pick Your Weapon: I saw a girl on the subway yesterday…smokey, sultry eye make-up, amazing bright cheek color, and saucy, red, matte lips…and yet, it was SO SO wrong. This is where application, no matter how good, is only as good as concept. Think about what you’re wearing clothing-wise, or what facial feature you want to accentuate, and JUST punctuate that one. Otherwise, you WILL look like one of the children from Toddlers and Tiaras.

    If you want to do a smokey eye, keep the rest of your face neutral (though still polished and accented) and try a nude gloss instead of pairing it with a colored lip. When trying a highly-pigmented (see: bright and thick) shade of lipcolor, make sure you keep eyes simple and wear a cheek color that compliments the shade of lipstick ( if you are doing a warm red lip…steer clear of blush with a cool pink tone, etc). One of my favorite looks this season is a bright, punch of color on the cheeks, simple but exaggerated black liner (top lashes only, for a 1950’s bent), and a light gloss. So pretty and SUPER easy.

    -Bronzer: Everyone looks better with a little. No, you don’t have to change your race but if sunkissed and healthy is not a look you like, I don’t want to be your friend. Even you need some, Anne Hathaway/Renee Zellweger/Uma Thurman. (If you are Anne Hathaway, Renee Zellweger, or Uma Thurman and you are reading my blog, I sincerely apologize and you can go bronzer-less and I will still adore you) My favorite bronzer: NARS Bronzer in Laguna.

    -Filled-In Brows: OK, if I ran for political office, this would be one of my core issues. BROWS. (Yes, this is also why I should never run for political office) Filled in brows get a really bad wrap these days…I blame the Chola community (which I have a particularly strange fondess, for). Every person (EVERY PERSON, ARE YOU LISTENING) should be filling in their brows and setting them with wax or brow mascara. The only way to look perfect polished and finished is with a groomed brow. Gals get scared of filling in their brows for a lot of reasons, but I venture to say, that will the right product, you’ll preach the gospel of brow maintenance one day too. Most people should invest in a good brow powder. It’s the most natural way to fill ‘em in and most powder comes with a wax to set your eyebrows as well. Here’s a good option: Lorac’s Take a Brow.

    OK, enough beauty-related rambling for today…hope this solves some of your make-up woes and if you have specific questions, send them to me at bebetterblogger@gmail.com or send me a tumblr message and I’ll answer them right here!

    xo Chinae