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Make-up for Olive Skin: January 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011


For many Olive skinned women the thought of using a bronzer seems laughable. In all honesty until very recently I felt the same way, I thought that women who needed to use bronzer were women with pale skin. Therefore, I never considered it as an option for a skin tone that already has some color to it, but recently I realized that is not the case.
During the winter time our skin type tends to lose its color, whether we like it or not, it's just something that happens unless you're one of those lucky few who can go on vacation to Hawaii for the winter. That being the case, I don't know if you know this, but when an Olive skinned woman loses color in her skin it's waaay more noticeable than when a pale skinned woman loses color. We begin to look a little sallow, grey and possibly even less healthy when that happens. This is why the use of a bronzer cannot be discounted for the olive skinned woman. Bronzer is an instant pick me up that adds a healthy and natural glow to skin if done correctly, think of it as giving your paler winter skin a little bit of help faking what you look like during those warmer months.

The biggest mistake someone can make when starting out with bronzer is by putting it all over the face. That is not a bronzer's purpose, while it is meant to give you a more color it also meant to mimic the effects of being in the sun. For this purpose you only want to apply it to the places in the face that would naturally get more sun: forehead, ridge of the nose, highest part of the check bones and a dab on the chin.

There are several types of bronzers available: powder, sticks and liquid/gels. To pick the best one for you consider your skin type. If you have dry skin steer clear of powder which will make you more dry and use the stick or liquid/gel. If you have normal-to-oily skin stick to the powder. There are also two types of bronzers those that have some shimmer to them and those that don't. Personally I prefer a bronzer that does not have shimmer as it tends to look more natural and blend more easily.  Also, when choosing a bronzer ensure that it is only a few shades darker than your natural skin tone, you don't want a dramatic difference or for it to look orange.

For this reason I like to use Hoola from Benefit. It's a great shade for medium  Olive skin, imparts a good color (no orange), and has no shimmer so remains completely natural if used sparingly. It also seems to get glowing reviews from most people. Hoola comes with a brush with which to apply it, however, I prefer to use Ecotools Recycled Retractable Kabuki instead as it gives a more consistent application, though any kabuki brush you have around will work just as great. Bronzer should be applied after foundation/concealer but before blush or setting powder. Once you've applied bronzer apply a small amount of blush over the bronzer on your cheeks to really get a nice healthy look. Just remember when putting on bronzer for the first time to use a small amount and build from there, it's easy to overdo it the first couple of times and ruin all the work you've done on your make-up. I practiced a lot before going out in public!

If you have dry skin then Hoola would not be the best option for you. Instead, the best bronzer out there for dry skin is Nars Multiple Bronzer, they have several shades some are blushes and some are bronzers, if you follow the link to the left the bronzers should be the last 6 options. What's great about these is that they are multi-purpose, they can be cheek color, lip color, eyeshadow and bronzer all in one.  Cap Vert seems to be a pretty good universal color for Olive skin, but you can also try these are your local Sephora in order to be sure

The same rules apply when applying a stick bronzer, except instead of applying with a brush you should use your fingers for a more even and natural look, first swipe a small amount where you'd like to apply it and blend with you finger tips, if necessary build from there for more color.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maybelline Fit Me - Will it?

For starters let me say that I love a new foundation about as much as I love a new eyeshadow. I've used all kinds and like to change it up until I find my true love. So, it's no surprise that when I saw the Maybelline Fit Me line at my drugstore I was about as happy as a brat on Christmas day. I always like to read up on things before I buy them so I decided to go home and see if there were any reviews or background on the new line.

Maybelline's description is, "No oils, no waxes, no nonsense. Natural coverage that leaves skin the way it was meant to be: fresh, breathing, natural. Exclusive translucent base and lightweight pigments allow skin's natural highs and lows to show through." The way the line works is by having 3 different ranges of foundation light, medium and dark. Each range has 6 foundation colors, 2 concealers, 6 powders, 4 blushes and a bronzer. The idea is that once you find the shade that fits you can easily go on and choose a concealer, powder, bronzer and blush that is guaranteed to fit your skin color. From reading some quick reviews it seemed that people generally liked it and those that didn't disliked it because they felt it didn't provide enough coverage for their needs. However, I love light to medium coverage foundation so I decided that this may be worth trying.

I chose to try out the foundation first, since I wanted to ease into the line. The most amazing part about doing this was that I could find my correct foundation color in store, which is not something you've ever been able to do in a drugstore, it's usually a bit of an awkward gamble to try and guess. This line's display has little testers in front of it so that you can actually match your shade perfectly. So, I did what I usually do when trying a new foundation; I did a quick color match on my hand then put 3 shades on my face and stepped out into day light to find the closest match. Once I did that I noticed that the 220 (Natural Beige) blended in perfectly. The foundation was light, and had a "barely there" scent to it (that I liked) and seemed to blend in easily so I decided to give it a go.

I tried this foundation the next morning when I did my make up routine, I quickly noticed something I wish came with the product; a pump. The packaging it super attractive but without a pump was a little harder to use than I would like, nonetheless, once I used the product I was super pleased. The foundation was light but evened out my skin, blended in nicely and even gave me a bit of dewy-ness that I like from my foundations. I was afraid the foundation might be a little too dewy for my combination skin, but I wore it all day after setting it with my setting powder and it didn't budge or make me oily half way through the day. I usually use Clinique Almost make up and this foundation gave more coverage than that but was on par on just about everything else. Maybelline Fit Me cost me $8 for 1 oz and Clinique's Almost Makeup costs $22 for 1.5 oz. If you can find Maybelline on sale (since drugstores tend to do that often for make-up), then it'll be even cheaper.

All in all I would totally recommend this foundation for people with dry or combination skin. It's definitely worth the price and performs well. With 18 shades the line actually does pretty well at catering to olive skinned women, and that really impressed me, I hope that other lines follow in suit. I also hope more drugstore brands also begin to offer a way to try foundations in store. I definitely plan on trying the rest of the line, I hope it's as impressive as the foundation was. If you're on the fence about this, I say try it, you may be impressed. If you're not you can always return it, since most drugstores have relaxed make up return policies!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MAC Mickey Contractor swatches

Hello Olive Ladies,

I'm sorry it's taken me this long to write about the Mickey Contractor line. I can say right now that most of these are sold out online, however, you can get them the way I got them: by calling around to MAC stores who carry the line and asking if they have it and have it shipped to you.

To begin this party I chose the lipsticks because I am most excited about them and it can't wait. I got all four of the colors and boy am I glad I did! It's a shame that only Mocha is permanent for the MAC line. All the colors were extremely flattering, two lipsticks were matte and surprisingly creamy (Mehr and Yash), one is a Satin (Mocha). I love each and everyone one of these, but the winner for color pay off and consistency is definitely Gulabi, an amplified cream. I have to say this color has some staying power, even after showering and using face soap on it the color will not budge and is still vibrant. This stuff is not going anywhere!
(Note: some of the lipstick pictures are taken without flash because the color is more true in those pictures.)

From left to right: Gulabi, Mocha, Mehr and Yash (natural light)

From left to right: Gulabi, Mocha, Mehr and Yash (With flash)



I decided to only purchase two of the eye shadows and one of the fluid lines. I am very happy with the two I picked and have no regrets! For the shadows I chose Rani, a color close to the Gulabi lipstick, and Saffron a beautiful terracotta color. Rani is a frost and Saffron is a satin. The fluid line I chose is called Siahi and it is gorgeous, I was on the fence about this color but I am so glad that I decided to get it, it's even more beautiful in person.

Left to right: Rani, Saffron eye shadows and Siahi fluid line.  (natural light)

Left to right: Rani, Saffron eye shadows and Siahi fluid line.  (Flash)

Siahi Fluid Line

Rani eye shadow

Saffron eye shadow

Siahi Fluid Line

Saffron eye shadow
Saffron eye shadow
Rani eye shadow

Rani eye shadow

The final item I got from this collection was a blush. I didn't really think I needed another blush but honestly the color looked so amazing in the pictures that I wondered how it would look on me. Well, I was pleasantly surprised as the color was incredibly flattering. I believe this will be my staple and I will be sad when it is gone.



Wearing Sur Blush, Yash Lipstick and Siahi Eyeliner.

 All in all I am a HUGE fan of this collection. I truly felt that the Olive complexioned woman was considered when making this set and that the effort was put in to making colors that would be flattering on Olive skin. Each and every item was attractive and looked beautiful when worn. I am glad that this collection did not boast one thing and deliver another. Mickey Contractor very much delivered as promised; a collection full of flattering colors and products for Olive skinned women.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

MAC Cham Pale

Hola Chicas, I'll be reviewing MAC Cham Pale first as it's going to be leaving the soonest and also because I'm still waiting to get the last items from the Mickey Contractor Collection in the mail.

So, trying something out based on feedback, I'm going to be showing you not just swatches but also pictures of me wearing the make up. Get ready for uncomfortably close closeups!

I didn't pick up much from the Cham Pale collection, some of you more fairer Olive skinned ladies will most likely have more luck with this line but for us more darker Olive skinned ladies it's definitely a little too much on the lighter side.

So, on to the loot.
Paint Pots from left to right: Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection, Chilled On Ice.

Let Me Pop

Vintage Selection
Chilled on Ice

Below I'll show you what the shades look like on skin and on my face. Just a note that this is in my bathroom with no natural lighting, but I think the pictures are pretty accurate.

From left to right: Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection, Chilled On Ice.

Let Me Pop

Vintage Selection

Chilled on Ice

Paint pots are great creme shadow and are most commonly used as bases for other shadows, but are also gorgeous on their own. As you can see Let Me Pop is the most flattering out of the three colors, it's a beautiful gold/orangey shimmer. Vintage Selection is a more neutral beige with shimmer and Chilled on Ice is a gold shimmer with orane-ish undertones. They are all pretty flattering though. The one paint pot I did not buy was Dangerous Cuvée, I tried it on in store and found it to be too gray and really unflattering on my skin tone.

Let me tell you these paint pots have some staying po
wer. I had to use make up remover to get all the color off when changing shades. However, when it came time to wash my face to get all the make up off Cetaphil did it with ease.

Now onto the one lipstick from the collection that I deemed worthy of purchasing. The color is a nice pale shimmery pink. It's flattering, but you also have to be fond of lighter sheer colors that don't change your lip color very much. I tried to photograph this color every which way to get the most accurate color, hopefully you'll get a good idea of what it looks like.Quiet, Please
I personally really like the color but it is frosty, so definitely stay away from this if you're not a frosty lipstick gal. I usually am not a fan of frosts, but this color won me over.

The final thing I got from the collection was Special Reserve Highlight Powder in Rose Olé. Not only does it look really nifty in the packaging, it's a beautiful highlighting powder and unfortunately it's kind of hard to show that in pictures on myself, as much as I tried. You'll have have to trust me that it's a beautiful and flattering highlighter, so if you're interested in one check this out.

Rose Olé

Hope you enjoyed the swatches and pictures. I'll definitely keep doing pictures for the blog. It's a lot of work! However, I think it's way more useful to people this way.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Urban Decay - Show Pony $20 at Sephora

I found a really fun palette that I feel looks wonderful on my NC35 skin. The name of the palette is Show Pony and it's by Urban Decay and I got it from Sephora online. It's a really great value because it comes with an eye liner, their award winning 24/7 in the color zero (black), and also with their awesome eye primer potion.
The shades are gorgeous and highly pigmented. I really love all the colors in the palette. The swatches I'm about to show you are in natural day light and are without a primer.

Here's a good idea of how the palette looks on the inside,
I love the design on this, it's pretty gorgeous.

Here is a close up of the shades in the palette.

Here are the swatches on my skin from left to right in the palette.

Swatches from left to right Snatch, Mildew, and Flash.

Swatches from left to right Pain Killer, Smog and Toasted.
The black is the eyeliner in Zero.

Overall these colors are extremely flattering on my skin tone. The colors are highly pigmented, the most pigmented one being Pain Killer. For 6 Urban Decay eye shadows I say get this if you can, it's totally worth the $20 for 6 high quality AND flattering colors.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mickey Contractor and Peacocky Mac Collections Debut Today!

The new MAC collections are debuting in store today! Mickey Contractor and Peacocky are the new 2011 collections. I plan to try all the shades in store and pick and choose the shades which fit my skin tone best, and post some reviews. I'm not made of money so I'll have to limit myself on what I purchase, but hopefully it will give you all a good idea of what will be flattering on Olive skin tones!

I'm particularly excited about the Mickey Contractor collection, as mentioned before, it holds big promise of being extremely flattering on Olive chicas, so we'll see how tomorrow goes!

The Peacocky collection also has some amazing shades of shadows and lip colors that will work wonders on Olive skin tones. I'm extremely excited to try the lip colors out as I hear the formula looks like a gloss but feels like a lipstick!

I'm a little late to the game on the Cham Pale collection which debuted on December 2010, but I also plan to find the shades that work best for us medium skinned girls from this collection. From the look of it it may be slim pickings since it's meant to be frosty and pale, but you never know until you try!

Hope to have more for you soon!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Foundation - Beginners Guide!

Girls, I've noticed a trend that really needs to be addressed. I realize that picking a shade of foundation can be extremely difficult sometimes, however, it does not give us the permission to wear shades that don't fit. It's hard seeing women walking around with a shade of foundation on their face only see a line on their chin where their foundation ends and their natural skin begins. Foundation should match your skin color perfectly and blend seamlessly from face to neck. It should be your skin only better.

Your skin is the one make up step you cannot skimp on. It's your canvas and your best asset. If your foundation is the wrong shade or the wrong formula for your skin type it can ruin all the work your put into you make up.

So, let's talk. When it comes to picking a foundation shade the best thing to do is to put it on your face, not your hand. You're going to be wearing it on your face, so try it there! The best way to do it is to try the shade you think will fit first, try a small swatch and blend it in completely, it's not meant to sit on top of the skin. Then go from there, if it looks too light try a darker shade and vice versa. If you get it right on the first shot try that shade's lighter and darker option in order to be sure you're spot on. Now, this is the important part, once you find what you think to be the correct shade go outside to ensure it looks the same in natural light.

These tips are great when you're buying a brand you can try before you buy. When buying from a drugstore the situation is a little different, however, the good news is that you can return make-up to most drugstores if it doesn't fit. I would check your local drugstore's policy as it can change from place to place, but I can definitely say I've bought make up at Walgreen's and returned it a week later because the shade just didn't fit right.

Just as important as picking the right shade it's important to pick the right formula. When it comes to picking the right one you have to consider your skin needs and the amount of coverage you want.

  • Foundation sticks give full, even coverage and can sometimes double as concealer for spot treatment. However, it is best for Normal to Dry skin because it is rather thick and can make oily skin more oily.
  • Liquid foundation can range from Full to Sheer coverage depending on the formula. Liquid is great because it's build-able, comes in a variety of formulas for different skin types and can be made sheerer if mixed with sunscreen or a moisturizer. It also can be found in matte or light reflecting formulas for your skin preferences.
  • Tinted Moisturizers are the sheerest type of of foundation available. If you feel comfortable baring your skin then this is your best option as it moisturizes, let's your skin show through and evens out complexion. This also offers more freedom in color choice since your skin shows through very well, but still pick the shade closest your skin color.
  • Cream to powder formulas give full coverage and a matte or natural finish. It's also the easiest of all the formulas to put on, however, is not good for all skin types as some cream to powder can be drying for dry skin and some can be too oily for oily skin.
  • Powder foundations are great for oily skin as it keeps the skin matte. Dry skin should steer away from this as it will be too drying and look chalky.

Side notes:
  • Liquid foundation looks best when applied with a foundation brush. Be sure to wash the foundation brush weekly and let it dry laying flat. Do not use a wet foundation brush to apply foundation as it will be streaky.
  • Be sure to change your sponges often as they can harbor a lot of bacteria from continued use.
  • No matter what formula you choose always opt for a foundation with sunscreen if you don't already use a moisturizer that contains SPF. However, if you do already use a moisturizer with SPF be weary of using a foundation with SPF as well if you're acne prone; too much SPF can clog pores.
  • If you find yourself hard pressed to find a shade that fits, mix two and make your own!
  • Most women need two shades of foundation, one for winter/spring and one for summer/fall as our skin can go from lighter to darker as we tan. So, watch it, and make sure your foundation color isn't past it's season.