Hawaiian Sunrise.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Time for mica makeup!

I’m calling this look “Hawaiian Sunrise” because the color combo reminds me of a yummy tropical drink — the kind with fruit and a paper umbrella, perhaps…

First, I use a pointed blender brush to apply the semi-matte mica powder mixed with arrowroot powder as a primer around my eyes. To show the difference, I took a photo when only one eye was done (it’s the one I’m pointing to):

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It’s very subtle, but it evens out the skin tone a little and adds some brightness to the shadow areas (like under my eye). It also helps the mica powder spread more evenly and stick around when used as a primer.

When used as a finishing powder — which I highly recommend trying — it evens out different shimmer levels so the makeup has a more uniform, polished look. It also helps keep the mica from traveling to the creases of the lid quite as quickly.

Once my eyes were primed, here’s the powders and brushes I used:

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  • Copper mica 
  • Blue Claret Pearl mica
  • A domed blending brush
  • A domed smudge brush

All were bought from Coastal Scents.

And here’s the Hawaiian Sunrise eyeshadow look!

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So pretty!

As you can see, I used the pink on the medial edge of my lid which blends into the copper on the lateral edge. Nothing else was used to get this look.

Be sure to come back for my Monday Media review!

Love,

GeGi.

Three-In-One: Black Eyeliner Looks.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

It’s DIY Friday! This time, I’m going to show off my homemade black eyeliner.

Today’s post will be a little different from previous some DIY, because I’m not going to do a step-by-step how-to. This is partly because (amazingly) I can actually give you the link to the original recipe I modified, and partly because I ended up taking a lot of pictures showing off several the ways this eyeliner can be used, and thought that might be more interesting.

I was specifically looking to make an eyeliner that didn’t use activated charcoal for the color — very common in DIY recipes, I’ve found. I have nothing against using it, I just never have and didn’t have any around.

However, I did have black iron oxide. I found this original recipe if you’re interested in trying it yourself. I basically just modified it for what ingredients I happened to actually have at the time.

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Those ingredients happened to be sunflower oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, clay, and of course, black iron oxide.

Obviously, this means my eyeliner came out a little different than the original… But I still followed the same basic steps, melting and adding in the double-boiler.

Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

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Very solid, and very black.

I was a little worried about how well I could use it with my small detail brush (stolen from my oil painting brushes before it ever got used), since it was so very solid. But I was worried for nothing!

Running the brush over the eyeliner several times quickly turns the bristles black, and it easily transfers to my skin. It looks like nothing is getting used because it takes very little to be effective — basically it means this tiny jar will last approximately forever.

Now, onto the looks!

First up is my eye with nothing on, for comparison purposes.

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And then with a simple thin line, very basic.

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I LOVE how much control and precision the brush gives me, and the homemade eyeliner is very cooperative.

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You can see there is just a little smudging onto the crease above my eye.

I’ve yet to use ANY eyeliner that doesn’t do this if I put it on too thick (I put on quite a few layers to make sure it’d show up on the camera). With the homemade stuff, though, mistakes come off super easily and cleanly, while still lasting quite a while where I want it. I can’t say as much for every store-bought eyeliner!

My second look really demonstrates how much fun you can have with homemade eyeliner and a good detail brush:

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Fairy makeup! I can’t resist it…

As mentioned, this cleans up very nicely! The beeswax base means it slides off super cleanly, with just a little warmth and/or oil to help if it gives you trouble.

I got look number three when removing the fairy makeup…

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The classic, ever-popular, smudgy smokey eye.

So there you have it: three quick and easy looks using only homemade eyeliner!

Be sure to come back for tomorrow’s post when I show off a little more of the mica powder looks…

Love,

GeGi.

Daytime friendly.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Time for another home-made make-up look!

Today’s eye makeup is daytime-friendly, that can easily transition to evening.

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For this look, I started with a base of arrowroot/mica powder, applied with a blending brush.

Then I took the darker shadow mix I created (from this post) and used a dome smudge brush to apply along the upper lid and slightly into the outer crease.

I took a clean blending brush to smooth out the edges, and then used it to apply arrowroot/mica as a finishing powder along the underside of the eyebrows and the lower lid, blending it into the edges of the shadow.

I took a detail liner brush, and applied a cream eyeshadow I made out of a dark purple mica powder (look for a future DYI Friday post on making that!) along and slightly beyond the outer edge of the lash line, top and bottom.

This makeup wears well. I didn’t noticed the color migrating — like it did in last week’s look — until I teared up during a particularly feels-filled scene of a movie later in the evening. After that, the shadow was definitely heavier in the creases of the eyelid. But I find that an acceptable exception. We’ll see how much that happens with the powder base verses a cream base in future looks.

Also, on the rest of my face, I’m wearing a homemade face cream, concealer, and finishing powder! Those will all get future blog posts as well.

Love,

GeGi.

Subtle Enough For Work.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

As promised, here is my all-homemade make-up look!

For the first official post, I went with something completely different: subtlety. This is because I needed an eye make-up look I could wear to work, something very neutral. So I figured I’d share it with you all!

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My eyes:

I used a tinted cream as a base (keep your eye out for that future DIY post: tinted chapstick).

Over this, I used a dome smudge brush and a pointed blending brush to apply two mica powder eye shadow mixes:

A lighter one for my lid,

And a darker one (from this post last week) for the outer edge and crease.

Then I used a detail brush to apply a thin coat of my black iron oxide eyeliner (also in a future post!) along the upper lash line.

I used my arrowroot and mica mix — and another blending brush — to finish off under the eyebrows and the lower lid with some translucent brightness!

I also used a not-homemade mascara on the outer upper lashes, after I curled them (shh, don’t tell!).

Pro Tip for naturally-long-lashed people who wear glasses: even if you don’t wear mascara, try curling your lashes anyway. It helps keep them from brushing against your lenses! I went WAY too long before figuring that out for myself…

This look lasted through my work-day without any big issues. The color migrated a little bit to the folds of skin on the upper lids, but it was only noticeable when I closed my eyes, and the overall appearance was still good.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Love,

GeGi.

Mixing Micas!

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Last week I reviewed the new mica powders I just bought. This week, I’ll show how I used them to come up with a new eyeshadow! If you use mica powders at home, remember this Pro Tip: breathing those tiny particles are bad for lungs — so please take proper precautions, and have fun!

Since I don’t have a lot of extra money, instead of spending more on a make-up pallet for mixing colors, I re-purposed a plastic artist pallet I had around for painting and never used. I cleaned it thoroughly before using, of course.

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On the pallet, you can see I have nearly even proportions of four powders: Metallic Pearl Honey Tan (left), Cosmetic Iron Oxide Red (right), Blue Claret Pearl (bottom), and Semi-Matte plain mica (in the middle).

This is what they looked like after careful mixing with the metal spoon — I recommend a lot of “chopping” style mixing to help de-clump the powders without stirring them up into the air much.

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I wanted to see what it looked like with a little more of the matte red, and also added some Copper. I mixed the result with arrowroot powder (which you can find in most health food stores — I recommend checking the bulk section).

I’m using arrowroot as a filler for a number of reasons; I have it on hand, I know my skin doesn’t react to it, it’s fairly translucent on the skin so it won’t change the resulting color much, and it helps the mica powder go on smooth and stay longer. I made a primer with the Semi-Matte and arrowroot (half and half). For premixed shadows I use a little less; experiment and see how much you like!

I put the finished product in one of the ten oz jars with a sifter. Pro Tip #2: Make sure you ALWAYS label everything!

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When applied, it makes a nice half-matte orange-brown that works for a more subdued daytime look. Here it is with no other make-up on my face, applied with a dome smudge brush:

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Pretty, isn’t it!

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I’ve got a lot more make-up and skin-care DIY projects to share with you, so come back every Friday for the latest product photos. As a bonus, I’m going to try and add a new make-up look created entirely from my homemade products each week as well, so keep your eye out for that on Saturdays!

Also, I’m going to try and do a media review post (movies, tv, book, etc) every Monday, and a food (cooking, baking, whatever!) post every Wednesday. Check those out too, and enjoy!

Love,

GeGi.

Making Make-Up, part two.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Since the wordy-bit introduction was in the last post, I’ll get straight to the point! All of these mica powders were bought from Coastal Scents, who have nothing to do with this post other than selling me the samples.

I used the Semi Matte and the Metallic Pearl Honey Tan as a base. The Semi Matte works as a good primer/filler to even out skin-tone, and the Metallic Pearl Honey Tan is perfect for a daytime shimmery eyeshadow.

Over this, I tried the red/pinks in batches of three. All were applied with a blender brush.

First batch, left to right: Cerise Flame, Bordeaux, Blue Claret Pearl.

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Cerise Flambe came out very bright reddish and shimmery; Bordeaux looked like a deep pink/purple and also pretty shimmery; and the Blue Claret Pearl seems like a great warm semi-matte color for adding depth and shade to any look.

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(Side story: when I blended them together after this, it turned into a perfect shade for a fake fresh bruise. Amateur make-up artists take note!)

Second batch, left to right: Roussillon, Sienna, Satin Rouge.

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Roussillon turned out to be a bright, burnt, shimmery coppery red; the Sienna was also very shimmery and on the pinkish side of red; and Satin Rouge was a semi-matte darker reddish, which I’ll primarily use for shading warm eyeshadow color combos (and possibly lipsticks, etc).

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(This one did not look like a bruise when blended together, in case you were wondering. It was too bright and shimmery.)

For the last set, I did a complete “look”; I still used the same base of Semi Matte and Metallic Pearl Honey Tan, and then used Copper over the lid. I used Blackstar Red along the upper lashes, applied with thin liner brush.

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The Copper is really warm, kind of on the reddish side of orange. The Blackstar Red is a nice deep purple.

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That’s all of the micas!

I hope this was helpful if you’re considering getting any of these colors, or inspiring if you’re considering making your own eyeshadows, or at least entertaining if none of the above apply to you!

I’ll be using these in various experiments and looks in the future, so keep a lookout for those at some point.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

GeGi.

Making Make-Up, part one.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

About a year or so ago, I started down the path of making my own skin and hair care products. It’s been a fulfilling and addictive habit, and has led to the natural progression of wanting to make my own make-up. If I’m going to make the effort of keeping everything I clean and moisturize with fairly healthy for my body, then it only makes sense to do the same with make-up!

That said, I admit I don’t go to the same lengths as other people with keeping everything natural. I like what I like, and I’m okay with a little compromise once in a while. I figure I still have a net benefit, because most of the things I’m using really are great, I know exactly what’s in everything, and there aren’t any extra weird chemical ingredients.

Also, this post is in no way sponsored by anyone, nor am I receiving any compensation for my opinions, nor am I endorsing anything or anyone. This is just a review based on my perception. Okay, disclaimers over!

I recently make an order of mica powder (and a couple iron oxides, and 10 gram jars with sifters) from Coastal Scents. I’m planning on using them for color in basically everything: eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish, blush, etc. I LOVE shimmer in my make-up, so mica powders are perfect for me. If I’m going for a neutral look, I tend to just not wear anything; make-up for me is to show off.

I figured I’d review the mica powders a little, in case any of you were curious about some of the colors Coastal Scents have to offer. The ones I got are all made with just mica and iron oxide, none of the other ingredients, and they are all marked as safe for use around eyes, lips, skin, and nails. I mostly ordered samples of the different shades of reddish-pinkish colors, because I wanted to compare them.

I love using reds and coppers to bring out the green in my irises. My eyes are kind of a medium blue-green with yellow flecks; I think of peacock feathers when I look at them closely. And, obviously, I have light pinkish skin; the kind that burns in sunlight and never really tans. Kinda like a vampire, but warm-blooded.

Part one of these posts will be unpacking the box, and on Friday part two will be a sample around my eye.

Let’s begin…

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…with all the colors!

These are one swipe with a make-up brush out the sample bag, no fillers or primers.

From left to right, there is:

Cosmetic Iron Oxide Red (the only one without mica powder).

Blackstar Red.

Copper.

Metallic Pearl Honey Tan.

Blue Claret Pearl.

Bordeaux.

Cerise Flambe.

Roussillon.

Sienna.

Satin Rouge.

If you want to see any of these closer up, just leave me a comment. Otherwise, I’ll skip posting a billionty pictures. I’ll talk a little more about my impressions of each of these in the next post.

I also got Semi-Matte, which is a mostly translucent plain mica powder. I used it to show the size of the sample bags from Coastal Scents:

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They gave me very generous samples; even the smallest amount was enough to fill a 10 gram jar with a sifter (the average size of storebought loose eyeshadow powder that last approximatly forever). Most of the bags had almost 20 grams, enough to fill the jar twice.

With the powders and the box of 25 jars, they also gave me a free sample of their African Black Soap; also a generous size, though I haven’t actually tried it yet.

Alright, that’s everything for this half. My next post on Friday will show them applied around my eye, so you can get a better idea of what they’re like to use. If you want more pictures of them after that, just ask me in the comments!

Love,

GeGi.