For The Lips: Perfectly Pretty and Practical.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Happy DIY Friday!

Today’s original recipe can be found here, where a fellow blogger talks about coming up with a copy-cat recipe for Burt’s Bees lip balm and gives step-by-step directions. I’ve experimented twice with it now, and today’s post will be about the second attempt: using it as a base for a mica-powder-tinted lip balm.

WARNING: THIS PROJECT WAS SUPER MESSY.

How messy, you wonder? Let me show you some (slightly blurry) aftermath…

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This stuff hardens REALLY fast when you take it away from the heat of the double boiler, especially if you make it in small scaled-down batches like I did. Combine that with keeping multiple colors and containers separate, and you get, well, the picture above.

Below is the “before” picture of that counter…

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As you can see, the base ingredients from the recipe are being used:

  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Lanolin
  • Essential Oils

Differences: I switched up the “flavors” of the essential oils to have a little variety; I skipped the E oil because I didn’t have any around; I added several different shades of mica powder (all of which had been labeled as “safe for lips”); I scaled down the recipe to make exactly the right amount for the number of containers I wanted.

As messy as this was, they turned out really pretty…

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The mica powder adds a TON of shimmer in the container, but once it’s on your lips it basically looks like regular tinted lip balm. The pink one on the left doubles as a “hint of lip gloss” look without the stickiness of actual lip gloss, because it’s light enough you can’t see the color — just the shimmer.

If I want more of a traditional lipstick look, I just add a couple extra layers and maybe some lip liner. Because I love the shiny and the 3-d lip look, I also add a light coat of loose mica powder (it can even be the matching color!) as a highlight.

The moisturizing factor is amazing; they last even longer than regular lip balm for keeping my lips feeling soft and smooth. Plus, they come out really solid, so I’ve never had a problem with them melting in the containers when it gets hot. Definitely a win in a tropical climate…

I don’t have any demo type pictures this post because I’ve yet to take a picture of my lips that I don’t feel is awkward and weird. Eyes, yes, but not lips. If you have any tips on how to do it, please leave them in a comment!

Tomorrow may or may not have a make-up look. I haven’t taken one, and I don’t know if I’ll get around to it.

I’ll be posting a post about posting soon, too; this month will have some alterations to the schedule, and I’m going to talk about why that is and what they’ll be.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

GeGi.

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.

All The Shiny.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Nail polish! Mica powder! ALL THE SHINY!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you might have seen a couple phone-photos I posted a while back showing off just how excited I was about combining mica powder with nail polish, and the shiny, shiny results. Now it’s time to tell you how I did it here on the blog, for my DIY Friday post.

Couple of warnings, should you wish to attempt this yourself: mica powder is tiny and easily “poofed”, so take precautions to make sure you don’t breath any; this project is SUPER MESSY.

It also has super fun results, so I definitely recommend trying it! Just make sure you try it somewhere where staining isn’t an issue…

First off, gather your ingredients:

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Nail polish, clear or colored.

Any powdered eyeshadow or mica powder.

A plastic bag.

Scissors.

A piece of paper you don’t care about.

Optional: gloves.

If you use clear polish, the color will be only from the powder. If you use colored polish, the powder will give it a new tint and add a LOT of sparkle-goodness. I’ve done both now, and LOVED both results.

For this batch, I used clear polish with a green loose powdered eyeshadow that I never use on my eyes (because the color always came out too dark and muddy when I wore it). I figured a shiny green nail polish would get worn a lot more, and contrast nicely with whatever red/copper/pink shade I used with my eye make-up on any given day.

Step One: Empty the powder into the bag.

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(If I’d thought of it at the time, I’d be wearing latex gloves at this point.)

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Try and dump it as much in one corner as you can. That will help later on.

Step Two: Cut a small hole in the powder-filled corner of the bag with the scissors.

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(By the way, that chipped purple nail polish was made by adding reddish mica powder to a dark purple polish. It’s GORGEOUS!…when it’s not a week old, anyway.)

Step Three: This part is gonna take practice. It’s also gonna get messy. Using the hole in the bag as the small end of a funnel, try and get the powder into the bottle.

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You will want to stick the end of the bag slightly INTO the neck of the bottle — this was just out for the photo.

Gentle tapping on the bag helps to get the powder down. You may need the tap the bottom of the bottle against the work-surface to settle the powder, as well, since it won’t mix into the polish yet. Or you could remove some the polish first to make more room — either way seems to work.

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Step Four: Once the powder is in the bottle, close it up and shake. Then shake it more. And keep shaking. Admire the pretty swirls of color and glitter. Shake some more. Etc. You want to make sure everything is THOROUGHLY blended.

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So pretty! Now keep shaking….

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There’s gonna be wasted powder, at least when you’re first getting used to this project. If that bothers you, find another project to use it on afterwards! DIY is fun, and there’s always more ideas to try. Just keep your work-space clean so you can safely gather and reuse the excess from each attempt.

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Mixed at last!

I tested it over the old nail polish (feeling lazy, and in a hurry).

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Shiny!

When I properly did my nails with it, I discovered that (surprise surprise) adding powder makes the polish dry quicker. Yet it’s also a little runnier while wet. Odd.

And after working three or four days straight at my housekeeping job — not being particularly careful of my nails, and not wearing gloves for most of the tasks — I was quite happy to discover that the powder also seems to help with longevity. Even with no top-coat or base, check out how little chipping there is!

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Alright, that’s all this post. Check back tomorrow for an all-homemade make-up look!

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.