Sunday, September 30, 2012

Liquid Eyeliner Tutorial

I have been a little negligent in the video/tutorial department, but, upon acquisition of a new webcam that has drastically streamlined my process, I am excited to begin creating them again!

Below is a brief tutorial on how I like to apply my liquid eye this tutorial, I use Milani Infinite Liquid Liner in Everlast, a deep and glossy black shade that doesn't budge one iota until it is removed.  Of all the liquid liners I have tried, this is by far the most powerful.

If you'd like to view the video in a larger format, click on this DIRECT LINK which will take you to the same tutorial on my YouTube channel.

I hope you enjoy it!

--The Beauty Professor

Other cosmetics worn in this video include...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stila Stay All Day Foundation and Concealer

I haven't bought a product from the Stila line in a long time, however, my affinity for foundation compelled me to try the Stay All Day Foundation while at Sephora one afternoon due to its promise to provide amazing coverage, oxygen technology, a flawless finish the ability to last, well, all day.   I must note that I purchased this mere days before procuring the Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup, and, although I have been using Maestro consistently, I feel compelled to keep the Stila because it is a lovely product and I know I will use it. 

I was in a hurry when I chose my shade, but, having had an absurd amount of practice in this department, I fared well with Buff (7), a warm beige shade for light to medium skin tones (close to about NC 27 or so).  This foundation, which retails for $44, comes with a build in concealer in a corresponding shade as well as a flat foundation brush (that I have yet to try).  

According to the Sephora website...

What it is:
An oil-free foundation and creamy concealer—the ultimate multitasking duo for flawless, breathable coverage.

What it does:
This pairing features an oil-free, high-definition, high-performance foundation that stays all day and delivers a flawless finish. Unique oxygen technology leaves skin hydrated, nourished and helps prevent premature aging. The formula’s synergistic combination of botanical extracts have been shown to help enhance circulation and blood flow, resulting in an increase of oxygen delivered to the skin. This foundation glides onto skin, immediately going to work to help minimize skin blemishes and imperfections. It is also enriched with an array of skin-loving ingredients, and unlike other long-wearing formulas, innovative extracts help to slow down the onset of premature aging. This multitasker also contains a creamy, full-coverage concealer inside the foundation’s cap and a mini mirror for touch-ups. The easy-to-blend concealer instantly hides blemishes, dark circles, and age spots creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.

This set contains:
- 1 oz Foundation 
- 0.02 oz Concealer 
- Spatula
- Mini brush

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

The concealer is housed in its own little mirrored compartment in the top of the foundation cap.  
I can only imagine that there is but a tiny bit of product in there (e.g., the space seems shallow) but so far, a little bit goes a long way and I also have other concealers that I prefer to use over this one (Cle de Peau, Giorgio Armani and OCC).
Once the larger cap is removed, the foundation contains a smaller lid (making the plastic bottle more compact for transport).

The foundation itself is quite creamy and is dispensed with a built in spatula scooper.    This is not the most hygienic way of accessing the product but not a deal breaker for me in and of itself.

Only a dime-sized amount is necessary to cover my entire face; I use my trusty Sephora Airbrush to buff and blend it in and am consistently pleased with the medium to full, natural matte finish that this provides.  My skin looks flawless (scroll on for face images) and the foundation (which, by the way, is unscented!) really does seem to last a significant amount of time without budging or experiencing that "tight" feeling.  A pleasant surprise indeed.

Above from bottom to top: A heavy swatch of Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Buff (7), a heavily blended swatch of the same product (note how this seems to completely disappear!)  and a swatch of the corresponding concealer (closest to bracelet), all in direct sunlight.

Above from bottom to top: A heavy swatch of Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Buff (7), a heavily blended swatch of the same product (note how this seems to completely disappear!)  and a swatch of the corresponding concealer (closest to bracelet), all in the shade.
Seven swatches above from LEFT (closest to bracelet) to RIGHT: (1) Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Buff (7), a very blended swatch of Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Buff, (3) a heavy swatch of Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Buff, (4) Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup in 5.5, (5) Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup in 6.5, (6) Le Metier de Beaute Classic Flawless Foundation in #7, and (7) Le Metier de Beaute Classic Flawless Foundation in #9...photographed in direct sunlight.

Seven swatches above from LEFT (closest to bracelet) to RIGHT: (1) Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Buff (7), a very blended swatch of Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Buff, (3) a heavy swatch of Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Buff, (4) Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup in 5.5, (5) Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup in 6.5, (6) Le Metier de Beaute Classic Flawless Foundation in #7, and (7) Le Metier de Beaute Classic Flawless Foundation in #9...photographed in the shade.

A weekend of using Stila Stay All Day Foundation in Buff (7)...perfect for hot days and long nights, this foundation does what foundation is supposed to do!

Bottom Line: The Stila Stay All Day Foundation is a fantastic "all around" base.  It provides wonderful coverage, a remarkable lasting power and is friendly to my overly sensitive skin.  I am happy with the natural satin matte finish and am enjoying it much more than some other foundations that I've tried in the last few months including the latest installments from Givenchy (overly scented for my taste) and Kat Von D (a little too matte at times).  Although the concealer is just "OK" (not bad, just not amazing), the foundation is excellent!  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation

The Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation retails for $58 for .25 ounces of product...a little goes a long way!

 I recently had the opportunity to try the Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation.   Those who read Beauty Professor regularly likely know that I am a foundation fanatic...I am always in the market for a medium coverage, yellow based, skin finish kind of base that wears well and ideally lasts all day.  I love the Youngblood line...quality ingredients that treat my highly sensitive skin kindly, my appreciation for the Youngblood Loose Mineral Foundation has been expressed in previous posts.

I received the Creme Powder Foundation in two shades:

  • Warm Beige (suitable for NC 25-27 skin...light to medium beige with warm undertones) 
  • Barely Beige (which nicely matches NC 20-23 skin...light beige skin with pale yellow undertones).  
Currently, Warm Beige is perfect for my NC 27ish post summer skin (for comparison, I am also regularly wearing the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation in 6.5).

Above: This is a creme to powder product that boast buildable coverage, a light texture and a powdery (yet natural) finish.

The foundation comes in a sturdy matte black compact with a generous mirror and a separate storage compartment for the sponge (see images above and below).  For reference, this is almost exactly the size of the Beauty Is Life Nose-Chin Repair compact; it is easy to open, yet also locks securely in place when closed.

Above: Warm Beige and Barely Beige side by side...

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation (swatched lightly, then heavily) in Barely Beige and Warm Beige in direct sunlight.

The cream to powder texture of this foundation is interesting...the product itself is both very creamy and a little slippery, though it dries to a powdery finish within a few seconds.  It is light, which is a bit of an anomaly for creme foundation (I attribute this to the mineral intensive ingredients) and does not morph into a heavy, pooling mess as the day turns to night.  The coverage is medium to a very buildable full, but the foundation must be blended quickly and thoroughly in order to achieve the most natural look. I prefer using my fingers to apply and finishing it off with my Sephora Airbrush for a flawless finish.   When I use this as a mid day touch up or an agent for extra coverage, fingers are also best...needless to say, my sponge in its separate compartment is currently pristine, though I take solace in knowing it is there, just in case.

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation (swatched lightly, then heavily) in Barely Beige and Warm Beige in the shade.
To provide the most accurate reflection of the product, the following images depict the YB Creme Powder Foundation worn in various lighting and at different times of the day...

Warm Beige worn as a single foundation...its coverage is remarkable while simultaneously feeling very light and natural.

Above and Below: Although powdery in finish, this foundation imparts a soft matte that yields a bit of glow, making it look like natural skin.  Even after hours of wear (these pictures were taken at 6 PM after a full day of teaching), my complexion feels fresh and balanced.

A combination of Giorgio Armani Maestro makeup in 6.5 with Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Warm Beige added for extra coverage and uniformity.

Bottom Line: The Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation is a lightweight creme foundation option that provides wonderful coverage and is impeccable as a mid day touch up product as well; in turn, it has become a new staple in my handbag.  Additionally, I have not had any adverse skin reactions while using this product (thanks, Youngblood, for using premium ingredients that treat my skin well) and am very pleased with the natural and long lasting finish.  Another fabulous foundation offering from the Youngblood line!

**PR sample provided for review, however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The latest and greatest from Beauty Blogs everywhere! Enjoy your reading time...

--The Beauty Professor

Friday, September 21, 2012

FOTD GA Maestro, Youngblood Creme Fdtn and Chanel Chintz

I recently took a quick trip to Hot Springs, Virginia...since I was only gone for four days, I toiled to pack a restrained amount of makeup and clothing so my suitcase made it under the 50 lb. limit.  I am delighted to report that I was successful.  I strived for a simple and classic look (no big departure for me, there!) that would take me from daytime leisure to evening social events with ease.  In the following images I am wearing...


From left to right: Youngblood Mineral Cream Foundation in Warm Beige, Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata and Sunday Riley Blushing.

Swatches from L-R: Youngblood Mineral Cream Foundation in Warm Beige, RBR Delicata, Sunday Riley Blushing.

  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow in #28 (all over lid)
  • NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia (on lower and upper lid lines)
  • NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Campo De Fiori (in outer and inner edges of eyes)
  • Sephora Waterproof Retractable Eyeliner in #12 Glitter Copper (under eye)
  • Mally Volumizing Mascara

The full effect!
From L-R: NARS Via Appia, Sephora #12 Glitter Copper and NARS  Campo de Fiori.

Swatches from bottom to top: NARS Via Appia, Sephora #12 Glitter Copper and NARS Campo de Fiori.
  • La Prairie Lip Enhancer (as a base)
  • MAC Lip Liner in Naked (thank you duty free store in Atlanta!)
  • Chanel Rouge Coco in Chintz (thank you again duty free store in Atlanta!)
  • Tom Ford Lip Gloss in Naked
MAC Naked liner, Chanel Rouge Coco in Chintz and Tom Ford Naked Gloss.
From L-R: MAC Naked liner, Chanel Rouge Coco in Chintz and Tom Ford Naked Gloss.

Swatches from L-R: MAC Naked, Chanel Chintz and Tom Ford Naked.

All in all, a wonderful trip! The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA is breathtaking!
Bottom Line: Although I certainly brought more, I only used 13 makeup products for the entire trip...this reminds me that I can travel with less and still be prepared in the beauty department!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tom Ford Lip Gloss in Naked

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Naked.

Tom Ford's lip colors are expensive...there is no way around it.  Spending over $40 for a single lip product is a bit daft, but the colors, texture and formula of this line are magnificent, making it a splurge worthy-purchase from time to time.  I recently bought the Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Naked during the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event and couldn't be more pleased with the perfect color, opacity and overall quality of this product!  Please allow the following images to speak for themselves...

Naked is a creamy and opaque nude beige pink.

The Tom Ford Ultra Gloss comes in a clear square lucite-like container with a brush applicator.

This gloss is so opaque yet illuminating without any obvious shimmer...a divine combination.

It is a touch sticky, but for me,  that lends to the lasting power of the gloss!  

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Gloss in Naked alone on the lips.
Wearing a touch of GA Maestro Foundation and a swipe of TF gloss in Naked...paired down yet polished.

Bottom Line: Tom Ford's Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Naked is a beautiful, creamy nude that looks lovely alone and even better over a peachy/pink lipstick like Beauty Is Life Cosmopolitan or Chanel Rouge Allure in Gracile (to be reviewed very soon!).  It is quite opaque but has enough of a pale pink beige hue to avoid washing out the face.  I have used it in some capacity everyday since purchasing $45, it is an investment, but the consistent wear I get out of it makes it a worthwhile purchase for this nude lip color fanatic!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giorgio Armani Maestro Makeup...My Review is Finally Ready!

maestro foundation review
My very own bottle of Maestro in 5.5.  The product is dispensed with a dropper for added control and precision.

The foundation-related posts on Beauty Professor are innumerable.  This is because I love foundation.  In light of this affinity, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Maestro, Giorgio Armani's latest wunderkind makeup that is the product of eight years of research and preparation.  Worthy of its own face-makeup category, Maestro Fusion Makeup was created to fulfill the seemingly impossible duality of transparency and coverage.  This foundation is currently available at NordstromNeiman MarcusBloomingdalesBarney's NY and Saks.

Scroll on for the REVIEW...

5.5 is a medium beige for medium skin with neutral-to-warm undertones.  

Touted as a "complexion enhancer" rather than a traditional foundation, Maestro, which retails for $62, was created with five distinct principles (with my commentary on the right in bold italics!):

1. A water and powder-free base (to avoid a cakey finish)
2. Totally non-comodogenic (to be kind to sensitive skin)
3. Five time-released oils evaporating gradually (to last for an inordinate amount of time)
4. Smart pigment technology (to seamlessly adapt and adjust to one's unique skin tone)
5. An easy, fast, fresh and flawless application (no explanation necessary here!)

The result is a light, whisper-thin, luminous finish that mimics airbrush, uniform, perfected skin without any of the usual signs of foundation (e.g., powdery finish, uneven, heavy texture etc.).  

As soon as it arrived domestically (it will be available later on in September and October online and at most GA counters), I raced to the Armani counter at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills to behold this potentially miraculous makeup.  I personally selected 5.5, a medium beige with neutral undertones (I am banking on my summer tan fading into oblivion over the next few weeks) but couldn't wait to swatch all twelve shades for my Beauty Professor readers...I have been scouring the Internet for weeks to catch a glimpse of the shades in real life (to no avail) and am confident that the following Maestro images are making their exclusive debut!  Read on for shade descriptions...

maestro foundation swatches
Maestro Fusion Makeup shades 2-6.5 in the shade.

maestro foundation swatches
Maestro Fusion Makeup in shades 2-6.5 in direct sunlight.
Maestro Shade Descriptions 2-6.5:

2: Pale beige for very fair skin with yellow undertones.
3: Pale beige for very fair skin with neutral undertones.
4: Light beige for fair to light skin with neutral to warm undertones.
4.5: Light beige for light skin with yellow undertones (slightly darker than 4)
5: True beige for light skin with neutral (leans a bit cool) undertones 
5.5: Medium beige for light to medium skin with neutral, almost peachy undertones.
6.5: Medium golden beige for medium skin with warm yellow undertones (definitely a shade deeper than 5.5)

maestro foundation swatches
Maestro Fusion Makeup slightly blended in the shade.

maestro foundation swatches
Maestro Fusion Makeup slightly blended in direct sunlight.

maestro foundation swatches
A closeup of the shades in the oft-purchased light to medium range.
maestro foundation swatches
Maestro Fusion Makeup in shades 7-12 in the shade.

maestro foundation swatches

Above and below: Maestro Fusion Makeup in shades 7-12 in direct sunlight.

Maestro Shade Descriptions 7-12:
7: Medium warm golden beige (very similar in tone to 6.5, just a hair darker)
8: True medium to medium-dark tan with neutral undertones for medium-dark tan skin.
10: Warm dark tan for warm tan skin with very golden undertones.
11.5: Dark brown for dark brown skin with warm undertones.
12: Darkest brown for dark brown skin with neutral undertones.

maestro foundation swatches

 Bottom Line: I will be trying Maestro Fusion Makeup during my long teaching days all week...I cannot wait to experience its finish and document its staying power!  Though I haven't had the chance (in the five hours of owning it!) to properly give it a trial run on my face, I can attest to the fact that it is inordinately silky, blends like a dream (even with fingers!) and provides a significant veil of natural coverage without a "makeup-y" finish.  So far, (and I concede, this may be premature) I am smitten.  Please check back later on this week for more images and my review.  In the meanwhile, I hope that these swatches are abundantly helpful as you seek your perfect Maestro match!

--The Beauty Professor

AND NOW for the REVIEW...

After almost ten days of daily use (perhaps a bit of a foundation milestone for me!), I am finally prepared to weigh in on the efficacy of the Maestro Fusion Makeup.  Earlier this month, I posted all twelve shades of this "complexion enhancer," with hopes that seeing true-to-life visuals would assist those who couldn't get to an Armani counter to select their perfect match in person.  As much as I wanted to write about my experience with the product at that point, I decided it was prudent to use it for a week or two before officially weighing in...

In the past week or two, I have had a couple of realizations...first, I can wear both 5.5 (which I initially bought) and 6.5 (which I recently picked up as well).  Although both adjust to my current skin tone, my summer tan is not fading as fast as I thought, so 6.5 should take me through the fall with 5.5 taking over where 6.5 leaves off (scroll on for close up shade images).  I also like that I can combine these two shades, as needed, to assist with the seasonal transition.  And second, Maestro does not apply well with a brush...this may be the first and only foundation that I have used that does not benefit from the lovely blending powers of my beloved Sephora Air Brush! Using one's fingers is the only way to get it to meld with the skin without streaking.       

5.5 is a touch lighter and peachier in tone than 6.5, which is but a hair darker and a smidgen more yellow beige.

There are countless Maestro reviews on the Internet that describe the formula, ingredients and backstory of the product's development.  I included some of those details in my initial swatch posting and anything else of this nature can be easily found in an online search.  In this review, I specifically wanted to focus my attention on highlighting the subtle visual differences between shades 5.5. and 6.5 and also discuss my personal experience with my skin's reaction to the foundation.  

Swatches in direct sunlight.
Using this makeup is so easy.  After applying Sponge Ladi Avokanto Oil, followed by LMdB Peau Vierge and some Koh Gen Do UV Milk (SPF 30), I only need the recommended three to four drops of Maestro to cover my entire face (using my fingers to apply). Its velvety texture melts into the skin instantly while somehow simultaneously erasing imperfections and unevenness on contact.  This is a wondrous process to just makes your skin better in a flash, while still looking just like your skin.  The finish is satin in nature...matte enough to not need powder right away but glowy enough to be believable.  It lasts for a good eight hours, even in heat, and I've endured some 12, yes, 12 hour teaching days lately in which my foundation looks basically the same as when first applied it!  My only concern was the added octinoxate chemical sunscreen (I much prefer physical sunscreen and have very sensitive skin in general) but, despite preferring it not be included, I thankfully have not experienced any breakouts or reactions.  All in all, Maestro is living up to its hype!

Maestro after a few is blended and has dried down to an almost imperceptible skin like finish...note that 5.5 and 6.5 do not look drastically different in shade at this point.  I attribute this to the makeup's built in ability to adjust to one's skin tone. 

Maestro on the face...during my Maestro trial period, I tried to take pictures of the makeup in action in different lighting and at various times of day to provide the most accurate depiction of its finish: 

Maestro 6.5 indoors with direct sunlight from the morning.

Maestro 6.5 in complete shade in the afternoon.
Maestro 6.5 mid-day in partial shade.
Maestro 6.5 mid-day in partial shade (again!).
A blend of Maestro 5.5 and 6.5 at the end of a ten hour day in direct sunlight...a bit glowy but still completely intact.
While my expression is dubious at best,  I think this image masterfully reflects the flawless velvet texture that Maestro (in 6.5) yields on the skin!

--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: The Maestro Foundation is unlike anything I have ever used before (and I have indeed used my fair share of foundation formulations).  The texture is like velvet and it just melts into your skin upon contact, instantly blurring imperfections like hyperpigmentation, freckles, fine lines, enlarged pores and general unevenness. The coverage is quite opaque and long wearing, especially in light of how incredibly fluid the formula is!  As long as you are safe to wear chemical sunscreen and are comfortable applying this with your fingers, you will marvel at how quickly and furtively this makeup improves the surface of your skin without looking the slightest bit obvious.  Only time will tell whether Maestro will continue to remain in my current rotation, but if the last ten days are any indication of the future, I suspect my favorite foundations are in for some serious competition.  Currently available at NordstromNeiman MarcusBloomingdalesBarney's NY and Saks.


--The Beauty Professor