A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for April, 2012

The Hunger Games: a must read

For those of you that know me in person, you are likely tired of hearing about The Hunger Games.  So I decided I should take a few minutes and spread the wealth of my obsession to my virtual friends and followers too.  😛  I will say though, this post does NOT contain any spoilers, in case you are reading the books or heading to the theatre.

I hadn’t heard much about The Hunger Games, certainly not at all when the books first came out.  A couple of months before the movie released I heard the odd thing, someone read the books, someone else asked for a gist of the story….from what I overheard I thought it sounded like a book I read a long time ago called “The Long Walk” by Richard Bachman (an alias belonging to Stephen King).  A similar premise in some ways…but it turned out to be very very different.

I don’t need to tell anyone about all of the hype surrounding The Hunger Games.  It was certainly the most anticipated movie of 2012.  Based on the novels written by Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross directed this adaptation and got it ready for the big screen.  On opening weekend, The Hunger Games was the third highest grossing movie of all time, falling only behind The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2.  In the first four days of its release, The Hunger Games became the highest grossing film in Lionsgate history!

For anyone that doesn’t know (perhaps you live under a rock) IMDB gives The Hunger Games a tagline of :

“Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.”

Katniss volunteering for Prim

Knowing my husband wanted nothing to do with the movie, I decided when Samira and I were heading to the theatre in Quebec City, it would be a great opportunity to see it.  I remember enjoying the movie a lot, I remember thinking “huh, that was pretty cool”.  I wasn’t floored by any means, but I was intrigued.  I thought “what an incredibly interesting story”.  I wanted to know more, I had some questions I wanted answered.  That night I spoke on the phone with my husband about how he was off the hook and how he no longer had to fear being dragged to the movie theatre to see The Hunger Games…he sounded thrilled that we weren’t going to have to have that discussion! 🙂

When Samira and I arrived home 4 days later I was presented with a gift, one that was wrapped by someone you could tell didn’t normally wrap gifts…but certainly tried his best.  ❤

Tearing off the ribbon and paper, I discovered the full hard cover set of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  Now I am someone that used to love to read and I used to read a lot.  It has been a couple of years since I’ve taken the time to enjoy a good book…but this opportunity that I was presented with, seemed like the perfect time to sit down and get back into a hobby I used to truly love.  A couple of days later, I started into the first novel in the series.  Within 7 days, I had finished all three of them.

Katniss with her bow

The novels are so engrossing!  You don’t care about eating, or tv, or your emails.  You just want to get to the next page.  The hours flew by and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading.  I was thinking about the characters, I was thinking about their world.  I was anticipating where the story would go, what would happen.  These books are, in a word, phenomenal.

I don’t ever remember caring about characters as much as I cared about Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  When I finished the books, I saw the movie again.  This time I felt super torn about the film.  Half of me was upset about the glaring omissions from the book.  I kept wishing that the movie had been just 15 minutes longer….if they could’ve just added one more thing here or there….(even though the film was already 2 hours and 22 minutes)  The other half of me was filling in the blanks with what I knew from the novels.  How I already felt about the characters, how I knew what they were feeling, even if it wasn’t clear in the movie.  I filled in the gaps and by the end of the movie I was almost in tears, applying everything I had in my mind about the characters to what I was seeing on screen.  The actors were no longer just these characters on screen I knew nothing about.  They were instead Katniss and Peeta and Haymitch and Effie, straight out of my books.

Katniss and Peeta in the cave

I definitely recommend, if you have the chance, to see the movie after you have read the book.  Everything on screen will make more sense and if you give yourself over to it, it will be more enjoyable.  If I were to conduct a full analysis of the movie, I would come up with about a billion problems with the adaptation as The Hunger Games made it’s way to the big screen.  I would describe it as “scraping the plot surface” in an effort to tell the story and not much else.  Yet somehow, every time I see the trailer for the movie, it makes me just want to watch the movie again…so it is hard for me to be very convincing when I say the movie just scraped the plot surface.  I am however, 100% sure that the gem in all of this, is the novels.  If I hadn’t read the books, I don’t believe the trailers or the movie would have the same affect on me as they do currently.  So if you happen to walk by the novels and think to yourself “I wonder if they are any good”, the answer is yes.  Make time to read them, you won’t be sorry.

Catching Fire, the sequel is rumoured to be hitting theatres in November of 2013.  I will be eagerly awaiting it and will likely even re-read the books before going to see it.  I hope it is four hours long, because that is probably the only way I will be truly satisfied! 🙂

But isn’t it always like that with a book and movie adaptation?  Have you ever found a movie based on a book that didn’t disappoint you as a reader in some way?

May the odds be ever in your favor!

xox,

Shannon

May the odds be ever in your favor


my Inglot cherry popped

I ventured into an Inglot in Montreal with Samira a couple of weeks ago and decided it was certainly time to pop my cherry.  Inglot, a 25 year old cosmetic company from Poland has only 4 stores in Canada (all in Quebec) and only 9 locations in the USA (find a store near you), so Inglot is not a brand that you will run into often – depending on your locale.  When I ventured into one of the 3 Montreal stores, the sales associate immediately started to tell me a little bit about the brand…comparing their products to that of MAC Cosmetics and Makeup Forever.   The mission:  to produce high quality products at fair and reasonable prices, using only the best possible ingredients and raw materials from the most reputable suppliers.

Their “Freedom System” of palettes is what she said they are most famous for.  The combinations were endless and I knew I was in trouble.  There are 15 different shapes and styles of palettes.  You can have only “face” palettes” or only “eye” palettes if you want, but there are also combination palettes where you can have 2 eyeshadows, a blush and a face powder all together.  How amazing is that?!?  Everything is customizable!   When you are in the store, they let you walk around with a big magnet, so you can just pull out whatever you like and stick it on your magnet so you can see everything together and keep track of what you are interested in.  Genius.

So let’s take a peek at what I got!  I took a lot of pictures, so please hang in there!

Inglot PackagingInglot Palette and Eyeshadows

First, let’s take a closer look at the AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow I purchased in shade 70.

AMC Pure Pigment Eye ShadowAMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow

Their range of pigments is massive.  I’ve linked to the US online store so you can see all of the colours available.  Tell me – what competitor offers this many options???  You get 2g of product for $14US.  I believe I paid $19CAD in store in Montreal.  This colour is stunning.  I was sold before I even swatched it in store, all it took was seeing it sitting on the table.  Just look at this swatch of AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow in #70 in natural light.

AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow swatch

For palettes, after much deliberation I opted for the 10 eyeshadow palette.  Because of their instore promotion, I got 10 colours of my choice and the palette for $79.00 + tax.  That works out to $7.90/eyeshadow with a free palette!   For comparisons sake – eyeshadow pans at MAC are $14.00CAD/each and that isn’t even taking into account that you have to buy the palette and you get less product….

Freedom System eyeshadowFreedom System Eyeshadow - square

Each palette has small magnets in all four corners of the lid as well as the palette itself.  So it easily pulls into place when you are closing up your palette.  You can also stack palettes and use only one lid on top.

10 Eyeshadow Palette from Inglot

Freedom System Square Eyeshadow PaletteFreedom System 10 eyeshadow palette

Both swatches were taken in natural light with no flash.

Eyeshadow swatches for Inglot eyeshadowsSwatches for Inglot Eyeshadows

What I love:

  • The amount of each product in each pan is enormous.  From what I’ve noticed, not all pans are the same – it seems to vary depending on the texture of the shade.  My matte shadows are each 2.3g and my others vary from 2.5g up to 3.5g.
  • Their Freedom system of palettes is amazing and is to my knowledge the most flexible and customizable option available to beauty addicts and makeup artists alike.  I love how with the magnets on each corner, you can actually stack all of your palettes together and simply put a lid on the top one.  I’m excited to grow my Inglot collection!
  • Their products actually GO ON SALE!  I’m so used to MAC Cosmetics where in Canada you will never see a sale – EVER.  (Residents in the United States luck out with the Cosmetic Clearance Centres available where all of the limited edition left over products go to die and be sold at discount – I WISH.)  But I was thrilled when I started building my palette and the sales associate was running off numbers and then used the phrase “except, it will be even cheaper right now because we have a promotion on these palettes.”  *Angels sing* I couldn’t believe it, a promotion!
  • Rainbow eyeshadows!  They have a line of rainbow eyeshadow pans that actually have 3 shades of the same colour in one palette pan. http://inglotcosmetics.com/rainbow.eye.shadow/products/657/793
  •  Their collection is all encompassing.  They cover everything from eyes, lips, face, brushes, accessories and even a new nail lacquer line which is described as “breathable Nail Enamel ensuring better health care for nails whilst enhancing their beauty.”  It is one of the many things on my “next time” list.
  • Their selection of pigments was huge compared to MAC cosmetics.  They had a much larger range of colours (it would be comparable to the collection available at MAC pro stores, but I think even then MAC would fall short, Inglot just has soooo many.)

What I hate:

  • The shadows aren’t named, only numbered.  I like being able to use a name when talking eyeshadow colours, rather than “I used number 207 through my crease…”  But that might just me being used to a certain way.  I guess I figure I am more likely to remember the name of something rather than a catalogue of numbers.  (Makeup Forever products are the same way – numbered.)
  • There isn’t an easy lip to be able to get your product out of the pans and move them around if you like.  You need to use something like the blade of an exacto knife to pop out each shadow from the palette.  Not a huge deal, but slightly inconvenient if you are in a hurry.
  • Unlike at MAC, they don’t offer samples of their loose pigmented eyeshadows.  You can try them all in store, but if you want to check it out with your makeup from home, you will have to buy it.
  • Unfortunately, their online shop doesn’t allow for shipment to Canada.  They have full sites for which you can purchase product in the US, Australia, UK, Netherlands, South Africa and Finland.  I will unfortunately have to wait until my next visit to Montreal.
I wanted to do a makeup look using these new shadows so you could all see them in action.  And rather than doing a neutral everyday look, I ended up doing something dramatic…surprise surprise.  Regardless, I hope you enjoy this look.  I think it is fun for a night out or special occasion.  I would avoid wearing it to work.  😛
Inglot Makeup LookPink Dramatic Eye Makeup
For this look, I used #48 all over my lid, #72 as my darker outer eye shade #46 to highlight and #482 to do a nice dark line under my lower lashes.
Inglot Makeup LookMakeup Diagram for Makeup How To
The pigmentation and quality of these shadows was lovely (I did use an eyeshadow primer).  They were very easy to blend together and I had no issue getting the colour payoff I was looking for.
Dramatic Pink Eye MakeupDramatic Pink Makeup Look

For the rest of my look, I used the following:

Skin –  Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation in shade 118 topped with Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus by MAC

Lashes – Ardell’s Demi Wispies False Lashes and Too Faced lashGASM mascara on my bottom lashes

Liner – Maybelline Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Black on my lids and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline.

Lips – Clinique’s Longlast Lipstick in Heather Moon

Cheeks – Margin blush by MAC

Brows – Mystery Eyeshadow by MAC to fill in my brows

With flash:

Dramatic Pink Makeup

With natural light:

Pink Makeup

The verdict: The shadows were long lasting and didn’t crease or budge after several hours of wear.  For the price, I see this brand has incredible value and a giant range of shades.  I will be visiting Inglot upon my next visit to Montreal for sure in order to try out some of their other raved about products.

I hope you found this post useful.  Do you own any Inglot products already?  If so, what are your favourites??

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled the next time you are near an Inglot – or maybe on your next vacation.  You won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading!

xox,

Shannon

Pink eye makeup for a night out


MAC Pigment Swatches

MAC Cosmetics

I recently, over the last month or so, picked up a few more pigments from MAC’s collection.  I wanted to do swatches of them for you…and realized that I had a couple of other ones from before that I could swatch as well.  So I decided to swatch all of my MAC pigments today, plus the few samples I have picked up along the way.  (This post will not include Butterfly Party and Aloha crushed metallic pigment sets which have already been fully swatched and reviewed on EYEMASQ.)

What is pigment? 

Reviews of MAC Pigments

Pigments are highly concentrated loose coloured powder.  They are very buildable, so you can just add a subtle touch of colour or really get an intense look.  MAC Cosmetics advertises them saying: “Does not streak or cake. Easy to blend and long-lasting.”  With each pigment you purchase you receive 4.5g of product, this is 3 times the amount of product in a standard eyeshadow pan.  MAC pigments retail for $24CAD or $20US.

MAC Pigment Review

At any time, you can go into any MAC store and request samples of pigments.  I’ve recently started buying one and requesting a sample of another.  Generally, the samples are large enough to get several uses out of them.  Depending on the colour, you may never need to replace these and simply use your free sample forever.  As you can see, you get a fair amount in each sample.

Violet, Emerald Green, Platinum and Blue Brown Pigment

Let’s take a look at some of the pigments.  I swatched the pink and purple toned pigments together.  These four shades are available at all MAC counters and stores, they are not from their Pro stores.  Grape is the first MAC pigment I actually ever bought.  I was trying to find a nice deep purple to use along side Parfait Amour and Satellite Dreams to create a nice purple smoky eye.  To this day, it is still one of my favourites.  After picking up the sample of Violet just yesterday, I’m excited to try the two of them together.

Pink and Purple Pigment Swatch

Violet – vivid bright violet purple

Grape – vibrant deep purple

Rose – rose with copper sparkle (frost)

Kitchmas – shimmering pink/mauve pearl (frost)

Pink and Purple Pigment Swatches

A couple more shades from their collection are Golden Olive and Blue Brown.  Blue Brown I expected to be a lot like Club (swatched here), one of MAC’s pressed eyeshadows, but it is actually much warmer where Club has cooler undertones.

MAC Pigments

Golden Olive – high frosted green gold

Blue Brown – brown with blue/green pearl (frost)

MAC Pigment Swatches

Now MAC does have different shades available from their PRO collection that are only available at PRO stores.  For more about this, or to find a store near you, please click here.  The next shades I am going to swatch here are all only available at PRO stores.  Please keep in mind though, even if you don’t physically live close to a PRO store, you can always call them and they can ship you whatever you need.  I know at the Canadian stores, shipping is $7, no matter where you are in Canada.  I am not sure about the cost in the US.

MAC Pigments from their Pro shades

Emerald Green – a vibrant true emerald green with silver sparkle

Basic Red – a true matte red (no obvious blue or orange undertones)

Gold –  deep golden metallic yellow

Copper – copper with a metallic sheen

Platinum – gorgeous metallic silver

Pigment Swatches from MAC Pro's Collection of shades

The texture of the 3 metallic shades are unbelievable.  They are smooth, creamy and slide on your skin like a dream.  I used Platinum in a look here, but am excited to try out Gold and Copper so I can see them in action.  I’m thinking they will be stunning paired with black for a smoky metallic eye.

Is there a certain pigment that you can’t wait to see in a look?  Please let me know, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!!!

xox,

Shannon

MAC Cosmetics


Feeling Sweet…or Sour?

Sweet & Sour Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo from MAC

A few weeks ago I picked up another mineralize eyeshadow from MAC.  I loved Fresh & Mint so much, I was aching to get another duo.  I ended up falling in love with Sweet & Sour, described by MAC as a Dirty Gold paired with a green and deep blue veining/warm gold.

Keep in mind, these are all hand made, so every one is a little different than the one next to it.  So for me, I wanted one that was more green than blue, so I actually went to a couple of stores to find the one I was in love with.  But if you aren’t as picky as I am, you don’t have to worry.  You won’t hear any regrets from me on this product, I love the colours together and this product lives up to what I’ve come to expect from MAC Cosmetics.

Sweet & Sour Eyeshadow Duo

These gorgeous duos retail for $24 CAD or $20 US and give you 2.5g of baked colour goodness.  For comparisons sake, in a regular MAC eyeshadow, you receive 1.5g and pay $18 CAD or $15US.

Sweet & Sour Mineralize Eyeshadow by MAC

Dry swatch of MAC’s Sweet & Sour:

Swatch of Sweet & Sour Eyeshadow by MAC

I think what I love most about their mineralize baked eyeshadows are that they are super easy to apply, work with and blend together.  They always seem to just seamlessly form a gorgeous eye with no work at all.

Sweet & Sour Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo from MAC

If you want a softer look, use a dry brush.  If you want your colours a bit more vibrant, use a wet brush to apply these mineralize eyeshadows.  For my look, I used a wet brush.

How to create this look for your eyes:

  1. Fill in your brows and shape them how you like.  I used MAC’s Mystery Eyeshadow for this.
  2. Apply your primer all over your lid.  I used Urban Decay’s Potion Primer.
  3. Wet your eyeshadow brush and apply the greenish/blueish side all over your lid.  (You don’t need to use this MAC duo, any green or blue shimmery shadow will work for this.)
  4. Wipe your brush off on a kleenex, re-wet your brush and apply the dirty gold throughout your crease and the outer edge of your eye.
  5. Using an eyeliner brush, apply the dirty gold under your lower lashes as well to bring the look together.  (Again, if you don’t have this duo, feel free to use a shimmery gold that you may have from another brand.)
  6. Line your upper and lower lash line with black eyeliner of your choice.  I used Maybelline Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Black on my lids and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline.
  7. For my lashes I used Ardells #102 Demi False Lashes on top and Clinique’s High Impact Mascara on my bottom lashes.
  8. Viola!  Super easy, no blending required with this MAC duo.  You simply slap it on and just by having the two colours touch each other, they blend themselves.  Fool proof!

Sweet & Sour Eyemakeup

For the rest of this look I used the following:

Skin –  Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation in shade 118

Lips – Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing Gloss in Fame

Cheeks – powder blush and bronzer from Too Faced’s Natural Face palette

This picture is indoors with flash:

Sweet & Sour Mineralize Eyeshadow Makeup Look

This picture was taken in natural light, no flash:

Sweet & Sour Makeup Look

 

Do you own any MAC Mineralize shadows?  How do you like them?

xox,

Shannon


Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Makeup Geek and they wanted me to post some looks to the Idea Gallery on their site and give them feedback on the process and the way that part of their website functions.  In exchange I would get some free eyeshadows to add to my collection.

I was super stoked!  I’d wanted to start posting in the Idea Gallery anyway, I might as well take some notes and select a few colours to help round out my Makeup Geek collection.  I was really looking forward to being able to actually try creating a look with only Makeup Geek eyeshadows, rather than always having to use them as an addition to an existing look.  I thought this would help me get a better idea of their quality as well, because I really hadn’t used them much at all.  And it is important to me that you all know that even though I received these eyeshadows for free, my opinions and reviews in this blog are always based on my honest opinions and experiences and are not influenced in any way.

With that being said, let’s take a look at my new Makeup Geek shadows:

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

I’ve also swatched them all too, because I find that swatches always offers up a more accurate look at the shadows.

MUG eyeshadow swatchesMakeup Geek Eyeshadow swatches

For swatches of the other eyeshadows in my Makeup Geek collection, please visit my previous post here.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows in Z-Palette

I decided now that I had some basic eyeshadow shades in addition to some brights that I was finally able to do a complete look.

Here is what I came up with:

Purple and Blue Smoky Eye Makeup

This is the first look in a long time that actually terrified me as it was coming together.  Very often as I do my makeup, I know I will like the end result as I’m doing it…but for this look I almost took it off so many times as I was applying it.  I think the main reason is because Poolside is such a vibrant blue I was worried about either looking like a hooch from the 80’s or some sort of clown.  Instead of scrapping the whole look, I made a few changes about half way through.  I actually took some makeup remover and pushed Poolside back from the inner corner and lightened that area with White Lies.  I was also originally using Wisteria as my purple, but it was just too light paired with Poolside.  So I switched out Wisteria for Purple Rain and it made all the difference.  These two changes really softened the look and helped it flow together.

Poolside and Purple Rain in a makeup look

I’ve created a tutorial diagram so you can see what shadows are where.

How To: Bright Eye Makeup

I hope this is helpful!  By the time my look was done, I absolutely loved this makeup look!  I think it is possibly my favourite creation colour wise.

For the rest of my look:

Skin –  MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus

Brows – MAC’s Mystery Eyeshadow to fill them in

Primer – Urban Decay Primer Potion

Lashes – Ardells #102 Demi False Lashes on top and Clinique’s High Impact Mascara on my bottom lashes

Liner – Maybelline Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner in Black on my lids and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline

Lips – Pretty Amazing Gloss by bareMinerals in Panache

Cheeks – powder blush and bronzer from Too Faced’s Natural Face palette

Funky eye Makeup

Now to the actual shadows.  First, you must know I use a primer every single time I wear eye makeup, so all of my observations and opinions are all based on use with a primer.  I cannot speak for what this product is like without the use of a primer.

The big difference I noticed between Makeup Geek eyeshadows and MAC eyeshadows (other than the price) would be the texture.  I wouldn’t say that MUG is worse, but it is certainly different.  Perhaps the best way to describe it would be that it is slightly drier.  But it is still easy enough to work with, just a bit of a different feeling than what I am used to. The colours are easy to blend, they are super pigmented and you get great colour pay off in your looks.  You barely have to touch your brush to the eyeshadow pan to pick up the product.  I actually found myself blowing off the brush constantly with the MUG shadows so I wouldn’t apply the shadows too heavily.  Which is something I never do with MAC eyeshadows.  That isn’t a complaint, just an observation.

I think if you are just starting out with building your makeup collection than the Makeup Geek eyeshadow line is a great place to pick up colours.  They are affordable and good quality.  Remember though, unlike with MAC or Sephora, you can’t try the colours out in your local store and you can’t return them if you aren’t happy with a product (or at least not as hassle free).  And even though they have 56 shades of shadow, there are colours and textures missing from their line up.  But they are always adding new colours, so keep an eye on the Makeup Geek store, or sign up for their newsletter which always announces new shades.  For me, because I already have so many shadows, I have a hard time finding any colours that I don’t already have a look alike for…which is exactly why my collection of MUG shadows is a little odd looking and missing all of their lovely neutral shadows.

Verdict: MAC will always be a “go to” for me because of convenience and extreme versatility in their lineup.  I like being able to go into a store and feel and touch everything first before buying it…and if I use it and hate it, I have the ability to walk in and get my money back.  But Makeup Geek is a fantastic alternative that everyone should consider, after all, it is HALF the price per shadow.  You won’t have problems with the Makeup Geek shadows in terms of quality and if you need multiple colours to build your collection they make the most sense.   I have no doubt that I will place more orders with Makeup Geek (especially as their store grows) and grab the odd shadow as their colour range expands.

Thanks for reading everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

xox,

Shannon

Blue and Purple Makeup


How To: Neon Gradient Nails with Glitter

Pink and Purple Gradient Nails with Glitter

Gradient Nails are something I’ve loved the look of, but never properly tried out.  I decided today was the day.

First, pick your colours.  I went with two neon polishes from China Glaze, Flying Dragon and Purple Panic.  (Interesting Fact: “Purple” Panic is the pink one.)

Neon Nail Polishes by China Glaze

You will also need either a foundation sponge or one of those foam eyeshadow brushes.  I opted for the eyeshadow brush, because I never use these for makeup and I thought the smaller sponge would be easier to work with.  But either will work, if you are using the foundation sponge, just use a corner.

Sponges for Gradient Nails

Then, you want to start by painting your nails with two coats of one of your selected polishes.  I personally like it best when the darkest colour is on the tip, so I painted my nails with Purple Panic (the pink).

Neon Pink Nail Polish

Wait until dry.  (Thankfully neon colours dry super fast, so I didn’t really have to wait at all.)  Your next step is to take your second nail polish and deposit a bit of it on a piece of paper.

Flying Dragon by China Glaze

Then, using your sponge dip the tip into the polish.  Dab the sponge off onto the paper a little so you don’t have too much polish on there and carefully dab the sponge onto the top half of your nail.  Concentrate on getting the most coverage at the tip.

Pink and Purple Gradient Nails Tutorial

Repeat for all your nails.  After one coat of sponging your nails should look something like this.

Gradient Nails Tutorial

Once they are mostly dry, repeat the process, but only sponge the tips of your nails this time.  You want to make the tips nice and dark, filling them in so you can’t see any of the pink.

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

Make sure you get the sides/corners of your nails.  You will really have to get the sponge in there, likely creating a mess all over your skin.  But don’t worry, that is the easiest thing to clean up.

Gradient Nails How To

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

Take a Q-tip, dip it in your nail polish remover and take a minute to clean up your skin surrounding your nails.

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

At this point, your nails should have a nice gradient affect, fading from dark to light.

How To: Gradient Nails

If you want, you can stop here (although I would absolutely use a shiny top coat to finish off the look – which I have NOT done in these pictures).

Neon Gradient Nails

I found previously with my blue ombre nails that adding glitter really helped pull the look together, so I wanted to try that here too.

Using Orly’s Winter Wonderland (a clear/white glitter) I added a thin top coat to all of my nails.

Glitter Gradient Nails Tutorial

After this, my pink and purple glitter gradient nails were all done.

How To: Gradient NailsGradient Nails Tutorial

I would love to hear what you guys think!!  Have you already tried this nail technique?  Or do you think you will?

Pink and Purple Gradient Nails with Glitter

Thanks for reading everyone – hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

xox,

Shannon

Gradient Nails with Glitter


The Space Between

Blue and Silver Smoky Eye Tutorial

In between our trip to Toronto and heading out for Quebec City, we had one night back in Ottawa and had a small gathering to get some friends together and enjoy the long Easter weekend.  So it seemed like a good occasion to experiment with a new makeup look.

MAC Makeup Look

This silver and blue smoky eye was easy to create and a good option for an evening or a holiday look.  I find using blue instead of black (like you would typically see with silver) also makes it a little more fun by adding a pop of colour, black would be much sexier and more dramatic.  So it just depends on what sort of look you are trying to create.

MAC Makeup Look

To create this look:

  1. Start by applying an eye primer all over your lid and up to your brow.  I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion for this step.  Give it a minute and let it set.
  2. Gently press Platinum Pigment by MAC (or you can use any silver eyeshadow) all over your lid.  Depending on the texture of the shadow you are using, sometimes I find that pressing the shadow on results in better coverage and a nicer colour payoff than what you would get by brushing it on.
  3. Then select your darker colour of choice, I went for Deep Truth by MAC which is a shimmery navy blue.  Spread this colour throughout your crease and at the outer edge of your eye.
  4. I then took a little bit of Black Tied eyeshadow by MAC (a black with small specks of silver) and really intensified the outer edge by making it just a tad darker, adding more depth.
  5. Using a lighter colour as a highlighter, softly brighten the inner corner of your eye and your brown bone.  For this I used Forgery eyeshadow by MAC, a very light silver shade.
  6. Then, using an angled shadow brush, I dusted both the navy blue eyeshadow (Deep Truth) and the platinum pigment under my lash line to bring the top and bottom together.
  7. For eyeliner, I would recommend either a gel eyeliner or a liquid liner.  For both my waterline and my upper lashes, I used MAC’s Fluidline in Blacktrack.
  8. I finished the look off with 2 coats of Too Faced lashGASM mascara.  (If you want to see this mascara face off with it’s competitor, please visit my Ultimate Mascara Review)

Silver and Navy Blue Smoky eye

Please let me know if you like this format of breaking down the shadows, if you find it useful or interesting, please let me know and I can keep doing it!

Blue and Silver Smoky Eye Tutorial

Now, onto the rest of the evening!  Samira brought with her from Brazil, not only some recipes, but also some actual ingredients so we could make authentic Caipirinha (a Brazillian drink) and Brigadeiro (a Brazilian sweet).  It was a perfect night to try everything out seeing as we had a room full of people eager to sample.

Caipirinha!

What you need:

Caipirinha Recipe

  • A Bottle of Cachaca
  • Sugar
  • Lemons or Limes
  • Ice (Crushed ice would’ve been better I think)

Start off by cutting up your lime or lemon into four pieces

Homemade Caipirinha

Remove the peel and place the pieces of lemon/lime in the bottom of your glass.  Add 4 spoonfuls of sugar on top.

Making Caipirinha

Use anything you have to mash up the fruit and sugar until it looks like this:  (As you can see, we had to use the handle of our whisk)

Mashing lemons for Caipirinha

Now this is where this gets insane.  Add Cachaca and a few ice cubes.

This drink was insanely strong.  It smelled and tasted like pure alcohol.  No one was able to finish theirs, except for Samira.  I think this was some sort of sick joke…although she was able to finish more than one.   +1 Samira, you win!

I think if I was ever going to make this again, I would used crushed ice and pack my glass full, before adding the Cachaca…that way you only end up with about 2 ounces of alcohol in your drink, instead of 10.

Brigadeiro

After the drinks, I think everyone was a little weary of the Brigadeiro…haha, but everyone ended up loving this typical Brazilian sweet.

What you need:

  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • chocolate sprinkles
In a medium saucepan, pour in your condensed milk.
Condensed Milk for Brigadeiro
Add your butter and cocoa powder.
How to make Brigadeiro
Mix everything together
Making Brigadeiro
Cook over medium heat until it thickens (takes about 10 minutes), you will need to stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of your pot.
Brigadeiro
Once it is nice and thick you have options.  Samira said that making the traditional balls takes forever so it would be best to just put it on a couple of plates and forget about the balls.  So we poured the Brigadeiro onto two dinner sized plates, added some chocolate sprinkles and put them in the fridge to cool.  (Okay, so one plate made it to the fridge, the other one I dropped on the floor making an awful mess…..)
After about 15 minutes, the plate I didn’t drop had cooled enough and was ready to eat.  Everyone loved it and it was soooooooo easy to make!  So go ahead and make some homemade chocolate and enjoy yourself some Brazilian Brigadeiro!

***If you want to make your Brigadeiro into balls: remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Form into small balls and eat at once or chill until serving.***

How many of you are rushing off right now to go make some homemade chocolate?!?!?  Be honest!!

But seriously, I would love to hear from you if you’ve ever made either of these before and what you thought!  (Or, if you think you’ll try them in the future.)

Thanks for reading!

❤ Shannon ❤

MAC Makeup Look