Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Smoky Sparkle" New Year's Eve Makeup + Glitter Application Tips!

Hey everyone! So, who doesn't love a last minute New Year's Eve tutorial?  Every time I get ready for a party or special night it's pretty much always a last minute ordeal. After rushing around to finish my hair and makeup and trying on 50 outfits before finally finding the "right one", my bedroom usually ends up looking like a bomb went off. A pretty, sparkly bomb of course. But, NYE makeup doesn't have to be stressful, it's actually pretty easy! Throw in a little smoke and a dash of sparkle and you're good to go! In the tutorial below I'll show you how I created this blackened, glittery look and some tricks to make your life easier when applying glitter... so you can get back to popping that champagne!  

Products Used:

NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base  //  Revlon Midnight Express Cream Eyeshadow Palette (black color)  //  Anastasia Brow Duality - "Sand Shimmer"  //  Urban Decay Vice Palette - Anonymous, Desperation, Nevermind, Black Market, Echo Beach  //  L'oreal Carbon Black liquid pencil eyeliner  //  L'oreal Power Volume 24HR Black Smoke mascara  //  Khroma "Glimmer" false lashes  //  NYX Gold Glitter Powder

Revlon Colorstay Whipped foundation, Natural Beige  //  Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder, Nude Beige  //  Anastasia Brow Wiz, Ash Blonde  //  Revlon DNA Advantage concealer, light  //  Bare Minerals Well Rested eye brightening powder  //  Tarte Mineral Bronzer in Hotel Heiress  //  NARS Lustre blush  //  Rimmel Airy Fairy lipstick  //  Bonne Bell lip lites gloss in Strawberry Parfait

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Get Ready With Me! ♡ Makeup, Hair & OOTD

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas! I'm back in Philadelphia after all of my holiday travelling. This year was so relaxing and it was nice to get away from the usual rat race in the city and spend time with friends and family. I knew I wanted to do this post as soon as I got back because it's probably the #1 most requested video from my readers and subscribers in recent memory. So... I invite you all to get ready with me - in fast forward of course!  Watch the video below to see my current everyday makeup routine, hair straightening routine, a mini braid tutorial and even a cozy, winter outfit of the day.  I've also included an IG pic of the aftermath that ensues when I really "do" my makeup.... needless to say it gets a little chaotic in my filming room ;)

You can refer to the list of products used below in case you miss any of them while watching the video:

Revlon Colorstay Whipped foundation, Natural Beige  //  Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer, Sand  //  Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, Nude Beige  //  Maybelline Brightening Age Rewind concealer  // Revlon DNA Advantage Concealer, Light  // Bare Minerals Well Rested powder  // Too Faced Shadow Insurance  //  Elf Eyebrow Kit, Medium  // Urban Decay Naked Palette
Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner  // Urban Decay Perversion Pencil Eyeliner
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara  //  Cargo Medium Matte Bronzer
MAC Gentle Mineralize blush  // MAC Creme Cup lipstick
Bonne Bell Lip Lites gloss in Strawberry Parfait

Kenra Protect and Finish Hot Spray  //  Remington flat iron
Brushes and volumizing comb from Sally Beauty

Monday, December 24, 2012

Favorite Lip Products + Storage (Updated!)

Hi everyone! I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Christmas Eve with your families if you celebrate :)

Recently I uploaded a video to my YouTube channel all about my favorite lip products and a look at how I store them. A fun new product that I've discovered lately are the Burt's Bees and NYX tinted lip balms! I know that doesn't sound like a new innovation but I think the formulas I've tried more recently are definitely new and improved with a modern color selection, great color pay-off and a nice, hydrating formula! These have been my favorite products to carry in my on-the-go makeup bag because they are tiny and do the work of a balm and lip color in one. Scroll down to see which are my favorites in the video below, as well as how I use these votive candle holders from Pottery barn to add a touch of understated glam to the top of my vanity.

Lip Liners:
Rimmel Lip Liners in Natural, East End Snob, Rapture

NARS Red Lizard
YSL Rouge Volupte #1 Nude Beige
MAC Creme Cup
Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Pout
Rimmel Airy Fairy

Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Bellini
BonneBell Strawberry Parfait Lip Lites 
NYX Mega Shine Gloss in Perfect
NYX Mega Shine Gloss in Beige

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Honeysuckle and Petunia
NYX Color Lip Balm in Asante

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Makeup: Rose Gold & Teal

I wanted to challenge myself and think of a fun way to wear teal makeup for the holidays without it coming across too summery, the solution? Metallics! Pair any color with a precious metal and you have instant, party-worthy glam! I went with rose gold for a warm, romantic look but you can just as easily pair a color like teal with silver, gold or bronze. Scroll down for the video tutorial and full list of products!

NARS Pro Prime Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base // Laura Mercier Rose Gold Metallic Creme Eye Colour // Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Palette // Revlon Midnight Express Cream Eyeshadow Palette // NYX Waterproof Retractable Eyeliner in Turquoise Blue // Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink  // Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara  // Revlon Self-Adhesive False lashes - "Flirty" set

Wet n Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink  // Lorac Perfectly Lit Spotlight Highlighting Powder // Rimmel Lip Pencil in Spice // YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in #1 Nude Beige // Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Bellini

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and stay tuned for more posts and videos later in the week!

Friday, December 7, 2012

*Holiday* Purple & Bronze Makeup Tutorial

The only thing that I love more than the holidays is holiday makeup! It's glamorous, sparkly and colorful... what more could you really ask for? ;)

For this look I used some of my favorite eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and my Maybelline "Eggplant" eyeliner - both of which I mentioned as being some of my November Favorites. I've been wearing a variation of this look to all of my holiday events this season, so check out the tutorial if you'd like to see exactly how I do it!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance  //  MAC Painterly Paint Pot
Urban Decay Naked Palette: Half Baked, Naked, Buck, Virgin and Smog  //  Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner in Eggplant  //  NYX Slide On Pencil eyeliner in Purple Blaze  //  Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Demolition  //  Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara 

Cheeks & Lips:
Cargo Medium Matte Bronzer  //  Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso  //  NYX Glam Gloss Aqua Luxe in VIP

Hope you enjoyed this look and stay tuned for more holiday tutorials throughout the month of December!

Monday, December 3, 2012

November Favorites: Makeup & Fashion!

I tend to forget that November favorites are my last normal favorites post of the year. It's crazy to think that next month I'll be counting down my favorite beauty finds of 2012! This monthly milestone kicks off the holiday season and throughout the month of November I had a wide variety of products and even some fashion finds on my "favorites" list.  I didn't do a "Week in Instagram Photos" yesterday because I thought I would include some of my favorite pictures along with the products I've been loving! 

My Thanksgiving makeup, using my Naked Palette

an oufit of the day

Dance off with my best friend while home for Turkey Day (skills)

I snapped these shots while helping my grandmother decorate her Christmas tree *so cozy*

my favorite things:

Garnier BB Cream

MAC "Gentle" Mineralize Blush

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey lip balm

Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliners in Eggplant and Brown

NYX Retractable eyeliner in Turquoise Blue

Converse Military Jacket (Target)

JustFab "Keena" Sneaker Wedges (October Lookbook)

Rihanna "Unapologetic"

Don't forget to keep an eye out for my "Best in Beauty: 2012" and in the meantime, check out my Must-Have Winter Accessories post featuring the Keena sneaker wedges I talked about in this video :)

What are your favorite products from the month of November?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How I Clean & Dry My Makeup Brushes! ♥

Cleaning your makeup brushes can seem like a daunting task. There they are, dirty brushes calling your name. "Alli....Clean Me!" After hours of procrastination you finally give in. Well, that's how it goes for me anyway.  So it may not be the most fun thing but it is definitely very important. Aside from the major issue of sanitation (dirty brushes = dirty skin), clean brushes are just so much more enjoyable and easy to work with.  It keeps them soft and ensures that they hold pigment evenly in the bristles, making for an even layer of application and easier blending. Clean brushes are like a breath of fresh air.  Besides listing all of the reasons why you should take care of your brushes, in the video below I'll show you how I keep my most precious beauty tools squeaky clean.  All you need is a good brush cleaner (I love my MAC Brush Cleanser), some towels and well... a sink! 

*BTW dont mind the weird tan lines in this video.  I self tan and usually it wears off a bit more around my wrists cause I wear bracelets and stuff but the lighting makes it REALLY obvious in this video for some reason lol!  Oh well...enjoy!!

My Must-Have Winter Accessories

I thought I'd spread the fashion love today by talking about the accessories I've been wearing non-stop so far this season. I think these particular pieces have gotten so much use because they seem to coordinate with a LOT of different looks while still being fashionable and fun. Accessories do a lot to enhance an outfit and, depending on which ones you choose, can totally change the look and feel of what you're wearing. I like to invest in trendy accessories from season to season and pair them with the staple pieces in my wardrobe to create a look that is on-trend without breaking the bank on larger, pricier items. The best part? Most of these accessories came from a recent trip to .... can you guess? TARGET! That place is so dangerous for me....

Burgundy beret, Target - I've been loving rich, wine-hued faux fur vests and pants this season. But, again you don't have to invest a ton of money to rock the oxblood trend. This chunky knit beret incorporates a pop of burgundy and it's one of those no-brainer items that you can grab and go. I also have an infinity scarf in the same color. A piece like this is very doable and commitment-free... not to mention it keeps you warm and toasty ;)

Faux Fur Infinity scarf, Target - This is so versatile and I love how it gives that bohemian feel, just a little more luxurious ;) This scarf is the perfect wintertime accent to any top, sweater or jacket. It can immediately add that "glam factor" to an otherwise run-of-the-mill ensemble.

Metallic Python Envelope Bag, you guessed it, Target! - anytime I wanna dress up an outfit I leave my daytime purse at home and grab a clutch-style bag.  But that doesn't mean they have to be tiny. This oversized metallic python bag is still sleek making it easy to tote around with you. It also adds texture and shine to any outfit and the neutral color means it matches pretty much anything.

*JustFab "Keena" sneaker wedges (October Lookbook) - I've been eyeing the Isabel Marant sneaker wedges for a while but I'm not gonna lie, the price tag makes me cringe. This pair from JustFab is a much more affordable option and a dead-ringer for their high-fashion counterpart. I know this is more of an urban trend and it might not be for everyone. However, I ADORE these because I've been able to pair these babies with so many looks. Jeans, skirts, leopard print, flowey blouses, motorcycle jackets, military jackets... the list goes on and on. They also help to elongate your legs while still keeping your overall look casual and sporty.

 H&M studded belt - Just because, well... I love studs. A trendy belt always comes in handy. Wear it with a dress to add a metallic accent or belt an oversized shirt or sweater to take it from slouchy to structured with one little accessory.

Rhinestone spike earrings, Charming Charlie (I have a blog post all about this magical place) - I've always been drawn to gold jewelry and geometric accents so naturally these earrings have been my go-to. I just love how over-the-top and fierce they are.

Mint Green watch, Target - There's nothing wrong with incorporating some color into your look, any time of the year! Especially since winter clothes can get sooo serious sometimes. This candy-colored watch by the "Xhilaration" brand makes me happy when I look at it and for $15 it totally works within any budget.

Here's a look at how I recently paired some of these items together:

Thanks for checking out this post and pardon my somewhat amateur-ish photographs. I'm relatively new to fashion blogging ;P You can expect another beauty-related post from me later today!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I ♥ Perfume Tag + Collection Overview

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. A few days and a couple bowls of green bean casserole later, I'm back with another tag/collection video! This time it's all about my perfumes and fragrances.  I only started really getting into experimenting with different scents a few years ago so I don't have an extravagant collection but the ones that I do have I love...a lot!  Choosing the perfect scent can represent the same kind of self expression as applying different makeup looks, and we all know I'm more than a little fond of that...Fragrances can change your mood, make you feel empowered and ultra-feminine, youthful or more grown-up.

Recently I was tagged by Tracy and Stefanie of EleventhGorgeous to do the I Love Perfume Tag that they created!  I could really go on all day about my favorite perfumes but I thought these tag questions would be much more interesting ;)

::Tag Questions::

 1. What was your first perfume you ever purchased?

2. What's your signature perfume?
Miss Dior Cherie. Now just called "Miss Dior" but the same fragrance for the most part

3. What's your most recent perfume purchase?
Coach Poppy

4. What perfume would you wear at nighttime/date night?
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

5. What's your favorite spring/summer perfume?
Kenzo Flower Tag and Kenzo Amour

6. What's your favorite fall/winter perfume?
Jimmy Choo

7. What's your favorite scent category? (fruity, floral, fresh, oriental, woody)

8. What perfume are you currently lusting after?
Dot Marc Jacobs

9. What fragrance/cologne do you like on your significant other?
Gucci by Gucci, Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Home

Let me know, what are your answers to the tag questions? Your favorite perfumes?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sigma Performance Eyes Kit *First Impressions*

This post was originally meant to be a "beauty wish list" blog post, but I was finally able to try out the *Sigma Performance Eyes Kit and give a mini-review and my first impressions! This kit is made up of eight brushes specifically designed for precise application of cream and powder products, and as always the packaging was as beautiful as the brushes themselves.

I've been testing them out for about a week and I've already noticed how convenient they are when doing colorful looks. You can easily pack on color in precise areas without them all blending together and looking muddy, which can happen when using a "clunkier" brush. I immediately thought of all the holiday looks I could do with these babies... the possibilites are endless!

 Although I thought all of the brushes were pretty genius, of course I had a few immediate favorites...

Left to Right:

E46 - Shader - Inner Corner: Apply highlight shades onto the inner corner of the eye. 

E56 - Shader - Lid: Controlled application of  color onto precise areas of the lid.  I'm loving this one for applying color or highlight shades into the inner corner :)

E47 - Shader - Crease: Application of deep shades onto the crease. This one was my favorite in the kit. It makes applying any dark or black eyeshadow completely effortless. I've always loved using my pencil brushes to apply black shadow in the "tiny V" area of the crease but always had to go back with a fluffier brush if I had any harsh lines. The E47 is tiny AND fluffy so it blends as it places the color (magic!) and is perfect for dramatic looks.  I love it!

E36 - Blending: Precise blending of powder products onto small areas of the eye. I've been using this one to apply a glowy, fresh-faced highlight into the inner corner of the eye. I always find that applying a highlight shade with a fluffy brush allows the light to reflect through the pigments in the shadow and the result is instant bright eyes! This one is smaller and a little more "agile" than the brushes I usually use for that which is a nice change.

L to R:

E17 - Waterline Liner: Apply cream or gel liners onto the lower waterline. 

E16 - Tightline Liner: Press gel, cream or liquid products onto the upper lash line.  Fill in the space between lashes.  I haven't been using a lot of cream gel eyeliners lately but I've just purchased a few of the Maybelline Gel Liners in various colors and I can't wait to dip in with these! I used the E16 to tightline my eyes with a powder eyeshadow and it seemed to have a nice reach since it's a bit longer than the waterline liner brush.

L to R:

E11 Eye Liner: Use with gel or cream liner to create detailed and artistic effects. So far I haven't needed the precision of the E11 (this guy is TINY). I could see it being perfect for a dramatic double winged liner look and adding color to the lower lashline.

E21 Smudge: Precise application and smudging of color onto the upper and lower lash lines.  I feel like the E21 is the new and improved version of the E20.  Although I still love that little smudge brush, the one that comes with the Performance Eyes Kit seems to be easier to work with due the the bristles that are a touch longer and more flexible than the E20.  It helps to be able to smoke out the lower lash line to perfection without getting that scratchy feeling that can result from more tightly-packed, natural bristles. My old smudge brush was great for stamping color but I feel the E21 is more ideal for actual smudging. It works beautifully.

I've been pretty excited about trying this set for a while. I just thought it was such a brilliant idea to create specialized brushes geared towards more elaborate looks. However, a bunch of these (like the E21, E56, E47 and E36) have been coming in handy in my every day makeup routine and I've pretty much made them go-to's. And I'm always a fan of any beauty tool that makes my life easier. A few of the more precision-geared eyeliner brushes seem to be more useful if you are doing fairly detailed looks on a regular basis. My first thought was obviously a professional makeup artist or someone who just really, REALLY loves their eyeliner looks ;) Also, I think this kit would be extremely beneficial to someone with smaller eyes or hooded lids and the smaller sizes make them perfect for sultry, smokey eyes!

I'm headed off to visit some friends and family for the infamous Thanksgiving Eve ;) 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoyed my first impressions of the latest brushes to be added to my beauty collection!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Favorite Eyeliners: Drugstore & High End

Today I thought I would cross a video off my to-do list and do a round-up of my favorite eyeliners in a range of different colors and price points.  I realized towards the end of filming this video that I included a lot of products, but you should see all of the pencils and little gel liner pots that didn't make the cut!  

For me an excellent eyeliner must possess two main qualities: it should be easy to work with and have great color payoff, regardless of the color. Throw in some decent staying-power and you have yourself a winner!  I'm happy to be able to include a bunch of affordable options from the drugstore, as well as some of my guilty pleasures from more high-end brands. 

Products Mentioned:

-MAC Blacktrack Fluidline

-Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner in Eggplant

-Maybelline Line Stiletto

-Maybelline Master Precise

-Loreal Carbon Black Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner

-Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal eyeliner

-Covergirl Silver Spark Liquiline Blast

-Maybelline Master Drama in Saphire Strength

-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On eyeliners in Perversion, Demolition and Bourbon

*To see how I apply my ultimate fave, my Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner, refer to my Everyday Eyeliner tutorial.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Week in Instagram Photos

This week was spent trying to catch up on work and makeup-y goodness before the craziness of the Thanksgiving holiday ensues. One of my most successful ventures was a little trip to Target, which I might add is a very, very dangerous place for me.  A few weeks back I donated three huge garbage bags of old clothes, some items I had shamefully been hiding in the back of my dresser drawers since high school. It was time. It felt like a huge weight was lifted after I dropped off the donated clothing and what was even better, I now had a scarily significant amount of space for new stuff in my half-empty closet! Check out the Outfit of the Day Instagram pic below to see the the great accessories I found on my little shopping trip...

Found this old pic of me getting my art on.

A screencap of me filming my latest Ulta Haul (I got some good stuff, have you seen it?)

Just because I love dog noses.  My Dad sent me this epic photo of my parent's dog, Edie.

Look who snuck into this picture! That's my cat, Biscuit, by the way ;)  Here is a look at some of those Target finds: a faux fur infinity scar, metallic envelope clutch and my beloved mint-green watch ($15!).

This is a peak at the tutorial I currently have in the works,  I think I might actually re-film this one to get the colors just right. It needs a bit more holiday "pizazz".  But hey, at least its a nice close up of my new favorite watch! lol.

My blog wasn't very busy this week so I think this weekly post is a great way to keep you guys updated on what is going on with me. Thanks for checking back and hope your Monday isn't too manic ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ulta Beauty HAUL!

Not many things can make me school-girl giddy like shopping for makeup and beauty products during pre-holiday time. I have a very certain idea of what I'm looking for and usually it's glittery and jewel-toned. On a recent trip to Ulta I purchased a few things that fit this description and some others that are a little out of the ordinary for me. So I thought I'd film a little video and show you all what I found while cashing in my coupons and rewards points.  Chances are you'll be seeing a few of these products in the near future!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Week in Instagram Pics

Hi everyone!  Sundays are always a day for me to relax, unwind and of course catch up on some of my favorite shows on DVR ;)  It's also a day to reflect on the past week and look forward to the days ahead. Tonight I felt like doing some late-night blogging (it's technically Monday morning), and I thought I might start a tradition here on my blog. Every Sunday, or as close as I can get, I'll be sharing some highlights of my recent activities through the eyes of my Instagram snapshots.  IG is a fun place for me to keep you updated on my random activities and give sneak peeks to upcoming videos.  If you don't already follow me there and on Twitter I'm easy to find: @MakeupByAlli

Earlier this week I made a trip back home to visit my parents. It's always nice to get out of the city and be back home in the cozy comfort of the small town I grew up in. While I was there I was able to visit with some of my close, long-time friends and surprise, surprise.. also did a little impromptu makeup and beauty shopping during a quick trip to Wal-Mart. I shared some of my drugstore beauty finds in the photo below, but I also stocked up on some new, sparkly makeup for holiday tutorials earlier today. It's safe to say you can be expecting a few hauls in the near future!

A comfy Outfit of the Day for my car trip back to my hometown. I love to wear my graphic tees all year round and pairing them with a faux fur vest and chunky statement necklace remixes those kinds of tops for fall.

I can always count on my mom to stock the fridge with pumpkin roll this time of year - a Pennsylvania staple and my favorite fall dessert! The cream cheese filling is to die for :)

I headed to Wal-Mart for some drugstore makeup goodness, so far I've been loving the Maybelline Lasting Drama eyeliner in Eggplant!

My first Sephora catalog arrived in the mail. It was aptly named "A Beautiful Blizzard", since it arrived during the first snowfall of the year.

I broke out my Sleek "Oh So Special" palette this week, it has a pretty and unexpected color assortment for fall. Stay tuned for a holiday tutorial ;)

A pic from dinner at a local sushi spot. Josh landed the big job he interviewed for so we had to pop some champagne to celebrate :)

I always admire the care that goes into Sigma product packaging. I'm so looking forward to test-driving these precise little brushes from the Performance Eyes Kit.

 Taking a break while filming my Mascara Routine video.

I made an effort to use up some of my skin care samples I've been accumulating after cashing in my Sephora points. I'll be saving a select few to throw in my makeup bag during my holiday travels in the coming weeks :)

I hope you enjoyed these little photographic tidbits from my week.  I love sharing the world through my eyes on my blog and it seems to have cured my insomnia ;)  Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back with more posts later in the week!

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