Naked!

I just got myself the Naked palette, by Urban Decay, and I’m in love! I must confess that I wasn’t really an eyeshadow kinda gal. Where’s the time? But it just takes one or two successful experiments to become a convert. I had an ancient eyeshadow palette of 4 shades that had been hanging around in my makeup case for ever. I had tried applying it randomly before, with not the best results, and then one fine day, after browsing through a couple of articles on eyeshadow application, I got it right.

I started applying eyeshadow regularly, and realised that I needed a new palette. My current one was at least 7 years old, and although my eyelids didn’t react in any unsavory way, I wasn’t about to push my luck. Sephora to the rescue!

I browsed through the website, and it didn’t take me long to realise that I had to get the Naked palette. So there’s Naked, and Naked 2. The reason I opted for Naked is that they seemed to have warmer shades, while the Naked 2 shades are more pearly. Another reason I opted for the Naked palette was that it came with an eyeshadow primer – something I didn’t have. Naked 2 comes with a lip gloss, and well, I have enough and more of those buggers! So for me it meant a little more value for money.

My husband, who was in the United States for work, brought the palette back for me. Ohh, excitement!!

The Naked palette has 12 eyeshadows, and can be used morning or night to create a number of different looks and shades. It has two matte colours, and the others are all shimmery.
This palette suits all skin colours as all the shades are neutrals. It’s not cheap at 50 dollars, but it’s going to last and last, so I figured it was a good buy and worth the money. I use it almost everyday, and I feel ‘naked’ without it! When applying at night I don’t bother applying primer as I don’t need it to last beyond a few hours of partying. But when I apply the eyeshadow during the day, I apply the primer – and it lasts and lasts! If you’re a working gal, I’d recommend you wear the primer daily so your eyeshadow stays on all day and you look gorgeous from morning to evening.

I use the brush that came with the palette. It’s perfect for me, and I’m not going to bother investing in another eyeshadow brush as long as this one lasts.

If you don’t apply eyeshadow, you’re missing out. You know it. I knew it too, but I didn’t bother earlier, because, as I said, I never got it right. But work at it – its worth it!

Keeping my fingers crossed

I just bought a bottle of Estee Lauder’ s Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronised Complex. Although the name says Night Repair, this product is meant to be used in the morning and at night. My husband bought it for me from Dubai Duty Free for 50 USD. Pretty pricey for such a small bottle, but as you need to use very, very little at a time, it should last at least 8 months – or so I believe from information posted on other blogs. Am going to find out soon enough!

The product comes with a little spatula – a little gimmick I’m guessing, but also, when there’s less product left, you don’t want it all to be wiped and absorbed by the fingers. And with eye creams worth their weight in gold, every little bit counts! So I’m supposed to get a little cream on the spatula, and dab three little drops of the cream under each eye. Then with my ring finger, I need to gently dab the cream on the skin. (When applying undereye cream, dabbing with the ring finger is the standard method of application. Never rub or pull this delicate area.) I’ve just started using it this morning, and the cream felt wonderful. I’m hoping for just as wonderful results. I’m going to post the results after a month of use.

Dark Circles

Many of us are often troubled by shadows under the eyes. In some cases, these dark circles are temporary, especially when they are caused by lifestyle choices.

Dark circles are often due to a lack of sleep, or a change in sleeping patterns. Make sure to catch up on your sleep, and you will see the shadows disappear.

Alcohol does at times cause dark circles and puffiness. Keep your drinking within limits. Everytime you get drunk, you’re not doing your liver or kidneys a favour, and if the effects of your debaucheries are showing on your face too, it may be worth curbing your intake just a wee bit 😉 

Are you anemic? Is your hemoglobin low? These factors could also cause dark circles, so if you haven’t had your blood tested in a while, I’d suggest going in for a blood test, especially if the dark circles are a new and fairly sudden occcurance. Alternatively, try a daily multivitamin supplement like Centrum. Increase your intake of green veges, and eat plenty of beetroot.

If you’ve never tried yogic breathing or pranayam, give it a shot. Doing this for ten minutes early morrning will not only make a marked difference to your health, but your face is going to glow, and you will see a marked difference in dark circles and puffiness.

Try applying tea bags and cucumber slices to your eyes, and lie down for a while. In addition to relaxing you, doing this cools down your undereye area, and helps increase circulation to the eyes.

Always wear sunglasses when stepping out into the sun, to combat uv radiation and consequent effects like pigmentation.

Drink water. Lots of it!

Break a Vitamin E capsule, apply a little oil on the area under your eyes, and drink the rest. It’s good for your skin, so apply it, eat it!

At times you may not be able to get rid of your dark circles completely, in which case concealing them is your best bet. Apply concealor in a shade lighter than your skin colour just under your eyes. Blend it well, and follow up with your regular eye makeup.

Try these tips, and let me know how it goes!

Quick Tip: Eyes

If you want a natural, unmade-up look for your eyes, try this. Apply a dot of lip gloss with a small brush to your upper eyelid, right in the centre. It will make your eyes shine. I did -this once and received a number of compliments. Don’t apply it to your lower lids if you are wearing eye make-up on your lower lid too, as your make-up will run. But just a dot of gloss on a sparsely madeup upper lid will really make your eyes pop. Try it, and let me know how it looked!

Brow Basics

For the longest time I resisted getting my brows plucked, but when I started, wow, I loved the striking difference it made to my eyes. So if you’re thinking: to pluck or not to pluck, go for it!

The very first time around, it makes sense to go to a professional. This way, you get the perfect shape and all you need to do is keep trimming it yourself at home. If you start from scratch, it is easy to mess up the shape. You pull out one extra hair, and your eyes are going to look wonky. 

When plucking your brows, stick to your basic shape and just clean up stray hair. Don’t go for something drastically different from your natural shape. A lot of women love thin brows, and so do I, but thicker brows make you look younger. If you have very thick brows and want to keep them thin, remember that they will require a lot of maintenance and it’s easier to go wrong when plucking.

If you have a low tolerance to pain, pluck your brows after a shower. The steam will open up your pores, and plucking will be less painful.

Never overpluck your brows, always pluck slowly and carefully. Pluck regularly, depending on how fast your hair grow back. Plucking will be less painful that way, and sticking to the right shape will be a lot easier. I pluck my brows every alternate day, cleaning up stray hair as soon as it shows up, but then, my hair grows monstrously fast.

You’ll need some basic tools to keep your brows looking in top shape.

Powder: I find that applying powder to the brows cuts the grease and the tweezers get a better grip on the hair, making plucking a lot easier.

Magnifying mirror: I have a mirror that magnifies 5x times. Its brilliant, I can see every single hair! It’s very difficult to pluck hair without a magnifying mirror, so don’t try it – you will only mess up the shape. Everytime I pluck my brow hair looking into a regular mirror, it ends in disaster. I never do that now!

Tweezers: Invest in the best pair you can find. The best tweezers will help you pluck out the finest hair with ease. Get one with a slanted edge, so you carefully pick out fine hair. My personal fave is Tweezerman.

Eyebrow Pencil: Fill in gaps in your brows and plucking errors with an eyebrow pencil. Get one that matches your brow shade fairly closely. I have black brows, but always use a brown eyepencil. Black makes my brows stand out a little too strongly. Brown, on the other hand, blends in very well with the skin and with my brows. Experiment, and find the colour that works best for you.

Scissors: Get a pair of small steel scissors to trim wayward hair. This adds a great finishing touch. Use an old toothbrush to brush your brows, and trim all hair that sticks out above from the brow line. Generally you will need to trim hair on the side of your brow closest to your nose. Use scissors that end in a point, rather than those that have blunt ends, for greater accuracy. Trim your brows after plucking, not before.

Finish off by applying a cooling/soothing lotion or gel on the area.

Thinking of threading or waxing regularly? I have had my brows threaded a number of times, and the look is sleek and perfect. The only issue I have with threading is that I need to pull my skin taut during the procedure. I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy with all the stretching the delicate skin around my eyes has to go through. I know someone who threaded her eyes every week for a number of years, and the skin around her eyes hangs a lot. She is not young, but she does look older than many of her peers, and I figure this could be one of the reasons. Thus, I thread or wax my brows only when I have a big night out, for extra oomph.