How To Pick The Right Red Lipstick For You



by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

Choosing a red lipstick can be daunting at times. Fret no more my dear, McKenzie Renae to the rescue! Whether you're after a fresh new look, a spicy option for a night on the town, or just a glam alternative to nude lips, everyone can gain something from the tips below. Check them out and get ready to put your best pout forward!

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I Swapped My $42 Holy Grail Foundation For This $11 Drugstore Gem


Source: McKenzie Dawkins / McKenzie Dawkins

by McKenzie Dawkins via MadameNoire.com

I’ve come a long way in my makeup journey. From learning how to color-match foundations to finally understanding the importance of a good brow, it’s been a trial-and-error process from basic to beat-level application skills. I’m by no means an expert; in fact, I’m still making new discoveries every day. One of those realizations is that more expensive doesn’t always equal “better.”

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If You’re Ready to Grow Your Eyelashes, Give These Products a Try!

INARTICLEprince-akachi-780383-unsplash
PHOTO -- PRINCE AKACHI


Most of us know at least one person, often a child, who has eyelashes that are so long and beautiful, we can’t help but to secretly envy them.

We get that it’s the result of their DNA; the problem is, no matter how hard we try to achieve lashes that come even close to theirs, shy of getting a pair of faux lashes which can get pretty pricey, we fail. Miserably.

Here’s the scoop on eyelashes:

Yes, the natural length and curl that you have largely depend on genetics. Something else to keep in mind is eyelashes go through growth phases just like the hair on our head does—they grow, they fall out, and it takes approximately 1-6 months for them to grow back in.

Whether you want longer lashes than Mother Nature gave you or you’re in the process of waiting for some of yours to grow back, there are products—some of which are pretty affordable—that you can put on your eyelashes in order to give them the “Oomph” they need to reach new heights relatively-speaking.

If you’re thinking about doing a little eyelash product shopping this weekend, whether online or off, here are some excellent products to try.

10 Drugstore Products to Try This Fall!



Whether it’s makeup, hair, beauty, or skin, the drugstore is that tried and true friend who’s always got you covered. We all know the beauty aisle is filled with a variety of go-to and lesser-known brands, most of which rival high-end products. Ready to change up your look or try something new? Here are some drugstore beauty products to look out for this season, because you deserve to look luxurious on any budget.

All of these products are available at stores such as Walmart, Ulta, CVS, and Target.

Why You Should Always Clean Your Makeup Tools

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If you wear makeup on a regular basis or watch “how to” makeup tutorials, then you probably know which makeup brush to use for concealing, applying foundation and contouring. Are you aware that you should be cleaning your brushes regularly? Washing your brushes (and sponges) should be a vital part of your beauty routine. Dirt, oil and bacteria may get trapped in the bristles, which leads to clogged pores, which in turn leads to breakouts. Also, makeup tools can sometimes be a bit pricey, so proper cleaning extends the life of your brushes, protecting your investment.

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Makeup Tips For Women With Sensitive Skin

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By Monica Williams

Sensitive skin can affect people of all ages and complexions. If you suffer from this particular skin type, then you know irritations can arise easily for several different reasons. Sometimes your skin will rebel against you due to harsh cleansing, trying new products, climate change or chronic skin sensitivity. This can result with unpleasant sensations (stinging, burning, pain and tingling). Regardless of the cause, it’s important to learn how to pamper your skin and avoid common irritants. Here are 5 tips for you to try!

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4 Makeup Tips For Busy Moms

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Mornings can be a struggle for anyone. Getting out the door on time is a cause for celebration. On top of getting yourself prepared for the day, imagine what it's like adding children to the mix. If you are a working mom, then you know the struggle is real. Who has time for full makeup applications when you must take care of the children and get ready for work at the same time. If you need a little help, here are a few tips that will save you a time with your makeup routine.

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5 Products for Long-Lasting Makeup During the Summer Heat


Summer months are full outside activities. We love social gatherings, lounging at the beach and traveling with family and friends. Amid it all, the temperature could potentially be a deal breaker for your makeup. Having it ruined by heat and humidity is a fear of most beauties. No need to use heavy powders in the blistering heat. Try switching up your arsenal and consider using these lightweight products to help keep your makeup flawless!

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The Best Black Makeup Artists on Instagram

IG @ellarie

by Sabrina of SeriouslyNatural.org

It seems like the world of makeup, hair and all things related to beauty has taken Instagram by storm. The number of hashtags, posts, and accounts dedicated to makeup and beauty is astounding. If you’re a follower of beauty and fashion, then I’m sure you know of just how large the makeup and beauty community is on Instagram.

From pics of stunning nail art designs to flawless makeup selfies, the amount of awe inspiring beauty pics is enough to have you heading out the door and to your local beauty supply store.

Despite the popularity of the makeup and beauty community, it often feels as though certain demographics are lacking in the exposure department. Women of color, especially black women, often have difficulty finding makeup and beauty accounts that represent their respective communities.

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Lipstains and Random Banter


For me, shopping online for lipstick is a lot like web shopping for jeans.  Just as my long, spindly, chicken gams, small waist and disproportionately large booty (it's a far cry from a donk, but I like to #LookBackAtIt) makes it difficult to find jeans that (a) don't flood, (b) drag on the floor, (c) gap in the back, or (d) serve up extra material where my hips should be, my naturally two toned lips makes it difficult to find flattering colors that don't exacerbate the fact that I have one pink lip and one brown one.  << that sentence was hella long.

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4 Ways To Test Your Makeup Safely

 
by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

Every girl loves playing around at the beauty counters! We can get so wrapped up in all of the pretty colors, new collections, and seasonal trends, that we tend to forget about proper sanitation when testing out products at the counter.

I read a startling and disturbing fact from Rowan University’s study on makeup tester germs. They reported from their study that “more than half of all testers were contaminated, and we found staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria from feces.” Gross!!

Ok, so here’s the up side to things. I know most of you ladies want to see how a color looks on you before you purchase it. Here are 4 of the best ways you can test your makeup safely!

1. Ask the salesperson to prep the tester

For lipstick: Ask for the lipstick to be sprayed or dipped in alcohol, then scrape off the top layer, and use a new, disposable applicator (not their finger) — or a brush sprayed with alcohol to apply.

For lip and eye liners: Because all of the contamination is on the surface layer, sharpening works for lip and eye liners.

For powders: Powders can be just as germy as creams, so you can try bringing your own makeup alcohol wipes to clean them. Make sure to wipe the entire surface of the tester, and still have the salesperson scrape it afterwards.

2. Shop on weekdays

From the Rowan University study, they took samples from different days of the week, and Saturdays were the most contaminated days (b/c more people shop during the weekend). The least-germy batches were Friday morning and Wednesday morning, since the nights before tend to be low-traffic.

3. Beware of the pot

Don’t try anything that comes in an open jar people dip a finger into, such as lotion, lip gloss, or loose eye shadow, because then the contamination isn’t just on the top layer — it’s throughout, so there’s no way to clean it (unless you’re sure it’s a new jar).

4. Get cheeky

It’s fine to apply foundation, blush, or any other products to the back of your hand, or jawline (the worst that could happen is that you get a zit). Unless you know you’re getting a clean sample, avoid applying testers to your eyes or lips, which are direct entry points for germs and can lead to infections and viruses.

Don’t you feel better that you know all of this?!

Happy (sanitary) makeup shopping :)

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes



by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com 
Do You Know How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes?


Great skin starts with a fresh base. Many things can contribute to skin issues, like constantly touching your face, not washing your face at night, and even dirty makeup brushes.
Foundation and concealer brushes should be washed at least once a week to prevent buildup of product. Because these tools are used on your face regularly, the cleaner, the better. Brushes used on and around your eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month and all other brushes are safe for once a month.
Most of us are guilty of not cleaning our makeup brushes enough, but that comes to an end now. Here’s how it’s done — I'll even bet you will see a difference in your skin and the way your makeup looks once it’s applied.
What You Need:
Water
Gentle soap or brush cleaner. (I like Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo)
Your makeup brushes
How You Do It:
1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water, cleaning one brush at a time.
2. Place a drop of cleanser into the palm of your hand, and gently massage the tips of the bristles in your palm. (Try one part baby shampoo and four parts water)
3. IMPORTANT: Keep the metal base of the brush head away from the soap and water. This can cause bristles to loosen and shed from the glue at the base.
4. Rinse the bristles and squeeze out the extra moisture with a clean towel.
5. Always reshape your brushes so they dry in their original form. Tip: Hang the heads of the brush off the edge of a counter for maximum air dry time, and to avoid any unnatural flat sides.
When To Get Rid Of Your Brushes:
When the bristles start to fray, shed, or loose their shape. The right tools are just as important in getting the look you want as the actual makeup itself. They just won’t do the job if they are too pinched or squashed. 


What are some of your favorite makeup brush sets?

How to Apply Strip Eye Lashes



by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

False eye lashes have come a long way since the 70’s! Lashes spice up your features for a special night out or just to jazz up your look during the day. Have fun with them and allow yourself plenty of time to apply… you will be a pro in no time! Follow these easy steps :)



What You Will Need

-Your favorite strip lashes
-Tweezers
-Eyelash Curler
-Scissors (You can use small manicure scissors.)
-Q-tips
-DUO lash adhesive
-Mirror
-Mascara
-Clean Fingers
How It’s Done:
1. Carefully remove the lash from the tray by rolling your thumb over the lash. This will help maintain the curve of the lash, which is necessary to keeping the lashes on with ease.
2. Measure the lash by placing it on your eye lid without glue. Cut any excess off by starting on the outer corner.
3. Take the DUO lash adhesive and adhere a small ribbon of glue to the silicone band. Tip: Use dark DUO adhesive for any smokey eye and clear for any natural look.
4. Let the DUO adhesive set about 40 seconds until tacky.
5. Place the lash on your natural lashes. Start aligning them from the outside corner, following the lash line.
6. Take your tweezers and gently push the lash into the lash line so there is no noticeable separation. Tip: Apply a thin line of eyeliner to your lid for easier blending between the lashes and your lash line.
7. For one-time usage and dramatic effect, curl lashes with a lash curler.
8. Apply mascara to the lashes.
PRO TIP: The less mascara and glue used, the longer the lashes will hold their integrity for longer usage.



**Roll the lash off gently with your thumb**


Eyebrows to Match Your Hair...

How to Bleach Your Eyebrows


by McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

Because I color my hair, and my eyebrows are naturally very dark, I have to bleach them from time to time to compliment my hair :) (the things girls go through lol) It takes me anywhere from 10-15 minutes to do, because I usually have to bleach them twice for the color to take (as you can see above).

I use the Jolen Creme Bleach Kit available at Walgreens for around $6. It’s gentle, doesn’t break out my skin and most of all, is easy to do at home! Here’s a step by step guide to bleaching your own brows at home:


**BEFORE ANYTHING: Test out the bleach on a small patch of hair on your arm & wait 24 hours to be sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

1. Wash the eyebrow area with cold water and a gentle face wash.

2. Take the spatula and measure out about one half teaspoon of creme.


3. Clean the spatula, and measure about a quarter teaspoon powder and place on the tray. Mix well.


4. Apply the mixture with the spatula and completely (& carefully) cover the area of hair you want bleached.


5. Leave on for 10 minutes.

6. Gently remove with a cool damp washcloth (one you don’t mind getting stained lol)

7. If the area isn’t as bleached as you would like, reapply the mixture and apply for another 5 to 10 minutes.

8. All done!

Have you ever bleached or colored your brows to better match your curls?

How to Pick Your Summer Bronzer


McKenzie Renae of McKenzieRenae.tumblr.com

If natural kisses from the sun aren’t quite your forte, then bronzer will become your new BFF! Bronzer is used just like blush, but is meant to give you a more sun-kissed, just-back-from-the-beach glow that will have the guys wondering how you look so luminous. The goal is to look exactly that … sun-kissed! Here are some helpful tips and great products to get to started with enhancing your beautiful skin :)

Picking a Bronzer

Shimmer? Matte? Highlighter? Yes, there are many options when it comes to bronzers, but take a deep breath and don’t feel overwhelmed. There are a few simple things to keep in mind.

1. Pick a bronzer that is right for your skin tone. It’s easy to go too dark and look dirty or too light and look shiny and ashy.

2. Pick a bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Look for descriptions like “dark” and “deep” or higher-numbered labels. Make sure it’s pigmented.

3. Bronzers come in liquids, powders, sticks and beads. So, experiment and play around by choosing the one that makes you look your best.

TIP: If you’ve got normal-to-oily skin, try a powder formulation. For dry skin, a cream or gel bronzer is probably the way to go.



Applying Bronzer

First note, a little can go a long way. It’s better to apply less and add more as you go. You don’t want your bronzer to look like it’s just sitting on your foundation or bare skin, so blending is key!

1. Sweep your bronzer on with a big fluffy brush on areas of your face the sun would hit — the temples, cheeks, bridge of your nose, chin and along the hairline. Make sure to tap off any extra bronzer before you apply to avoid going overboard.

2. As for the rest of your makeup, keep it simple. A pretty peachy lip gloss, soft pink cheeks and warm eyes complement bronzer well. If you are comfortable without foundation, bronzer is great to wear alone on top of clean, bare skin.

TIP: If you have oily or combination skin, use oil absorbing sheets to gently blot any excess oil away. This prevents you from potentially removing your bronzer and looking splotchy.

What are some of your favorite bronzers?

I'm Dark Skinned, I Can't Wear That...


by Rachel Odem of Makeup by RachelO

Yes, you read the title correctly, and as a licensed skin therapist and makeup artist, this statement makes me cringe. Why do dark skin women think their complexions limit their choices when it comes to makeup colors?

Recently, as I was doing a bridal consultation and helping a client with color suggestions, she made the statement, 'I have dark skin so I can't wear a lot of colors'. I wanted to shake her and say, 'snap out of it, beautiful, you can wear any color you want'. Dark skin is gorgeous and as a matter of fact, I love to play with pastel colors like pinks, oranges and reds on darker skin.

As some of you may know, I enjoyed working with Ebony Magazine on the September 2011 edition Beauty Awards issue. While flipping through the pages I came across the above photo and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought of every client with dark skin I had ever worked with... I just wanted to show them this photo and say BAM! Do you see this? This model is beautiful with vibrant colors and so are you.

Do you feel your complexion limits your choices in makeup colors?
Share your comments and concerns below.

Hair and Makeup Rescue 911


by Miss Lycia of All Day Natural

Ladies, stop what you’re doing right now. Don’t walk…run to your bathroom. It’s time for a cosmetics overhaul. That Wet-N-Wild lipstick you’ve been wearing since the 8th grade? Chunk it. It’s killing your lips. The “all-purpose” vaseline you slather on your skin? Petroleum is great for fueling cars, not so much for your body.

Thanks to our friends at Skin Deep, here is a list of ingredients to avoid in your products. These ingredients have caused severe allergic reactions and been linked to cancers, as well as complications with the nervous system:

1) Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene; all
dark permanent hair dyes

2) Liquid hand soaps with triclosan

3) Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde

4) Lotions and creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA, and BHA acid

5) Hair products with parabens or “-paraben”

6) Shampoos or soaps with sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate

7) Lipsticks and eye makeup with synthetic dyes (D & C)

Does that mean you’re destined to live a bare-faced, ashy life? No! There are a plethora of resources on the web, including natural hair and beauty and healthy living sites. Many of these have reviews on safe products that look good on you and are great for you. Here’s to a healthy (and beautiful) you!

What types of “safe” cosmetics have you had success with?

Skin and Makeup Must-Haves from Essence

Essence.com writes:

With so many new products on the shelves, revamping your makeup bag for fall can be a tad overwhelming. Ladies, we went straight to the top for answers! Here, super-famous celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff (Keri Hilson, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys are devoted clients) gives us her picks for the top ten makeup and skincare products every Black woman should have in her arsenal this season. Hope you’re taking notes!

Smith’s Rosebud Lip Salve
Smith's Rosebud Lip Salve ($6) is an old-time favorite,” says Sheriff. “It adds instant moisture and helps soothe chapped lips and elbows. “Plus, when I dab it on top of eye shadow, it gives a gorgeous, glowing affect.

Cover Girl Queen Natural Hue Pressed Power
“Cover Girl Queen Natural Hue Mineral Pressed Powder ($8,) is affordable but gives great results,” says Sheriff. “The shade match for women of color is awesome, it’s long-lasting, and it controls shine up to 30 percent better than leading brands.”


Find the rest of the tips HERE!

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