cosmetics

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50 Shades of… Red

Published May 17, 2016 by lesleyhope

You know how your friend walks into brunch with some sort of BEAUTIFUL bright red lip and you immediately know two things: 1) you want that color 2) you will never look the same in that same color.

I got to think the other day when this happened to me. Some girls I work with can pull off these beautiful warm toned red shades- the ones that error on the side of red-orange. They’re beautiful!… on them. On me… not so much. And that’s totally ok. One of the most important things I have learned throughout my lifetime is shades and tones of color are important to know. And no, I am not going to get all complex with the color wheel and color theory. I could, because I take an interest in colors. It’s much more simple than that. I just want to break it down with one color. Red!

Red is a color that looks good on everyone. It really does. Everyone should just aim to find the shade of red that suits their skin tone, hair, eyes and most of all CONFIDENCE! Feeling good and loving the color you have on your lips is most of the battle. I personally love greys/taupes and I JUST started wearing them in public.

Let’s take my red lipsticks for example. I went through all of my reds last night and found some patterns. One, I love the cool toned, blue-based reds. Two, I don’t mess with any reds that start going orange. Three, I have reddish pinks but don’t prefer them. There. Those are my red preferences summed up. Maybe if I ever went to Mexico for a tropical vacation and got a beautiful tan (can I do that without actually ruining my skin?) would I try one of those orange reds that my darker skinned coworder can flawlessly pull off. Even then I think I would still feel clownish! Just me though I guess, not my cup of tea.

Below are all of the reds: (some look much pinker in this picture than I thought)

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From the top to the bottom:

-Kat Von D Gold Blooded (Limited edition I believe… my awesome bro got me the set for Xmas ūüôā )

-MAC- All Fired Up

-Anastasia Beverly Hills- American Doll

-MAC- Russian Red

-NYX- Bloody Mary

-Colour Pop- Bossy

-NYX Hollywood

-Marc Jacobs- So Rouge

-NYX- Alabama

-MAC- Chili

So, in conclusion- swatch the shit out of colors and try them on in the store if you don’t know what is best. Also, I have learned that sometimes the sales associates in Sephora and Ulta don’t know what they’re talking about. Trust yourself. That’s it!

Here is my favorite red (mix between Russian Red & Bossy).

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Happy hunting!

Xoxo,

Lesley

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After a Long Hiatus… Let’s Do Some Cream Contour!

Published April 2, 2015 by lesleyhope

Cream contour is all the rage right now. Well, contouring at least is. Using creams is a little tricky and daunting but VERY, VERY easy IF you break it down to the basics. So… let’s break it down to the basics!

Here are the products I use:

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Yes I do use my fair share of brushes and that’s NOT needed but I will verify which steps are required and optional.

Step 1: apply moisturizer (not pictured). The key with cream contour is that your skin needs to be SUPPLE!

Step 2: apply primer (OCC Skin Primer) with a foundation brush (first brush pictured). It can be any kind of foundation brush or even your fingers. I apply it this way because the primer is water based (similar to Mac Fix + Spray) so it kind of primes my brush too.

Step 3: apply foundation (Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Mousse) all over the face- shade: Nude. Ok so **sidenote**- I bought this foundation on clearance at Target for 50% off so I am still up in the air to if I like it or not. It’s not my exact color (about one shade darker than what my skin is). I figure that in the summer I can get decent use out of it. The formula is very light weight which I do like, especially for a cream contour routine since I am applying various products to my face.

Step 4: Apply using either your fingers or a small foundation brush the cream contour (ABH Cream Contour Kit) on the hollows of the cheeks, temple and along the sides of the nose. Apply with your fingers the highlight color on the bridge of your nose, middle of your forehead, under your eyes, cupid’s bow and middle of chin (I like to mix a pink from the kit along with the shade vanilla to get a color much lighter than my skin tone). NOTE: For this post, I did half of my face at first to show the difference.

Exhibit A:

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Step 5: Blend it out! I use my beauty blender but you can use any smaller (or larger) synthetic brush.

Step 6: SET! It’s crucial that whenever you apply a cream to the face (no matter if it’s foundation, highlighter, blush, concealer, etc) that you set it with some kind of powder. I used the ABH Contour Kit to set my contour in all the places I applied it with cream. Then I set my highlight with one of the lighter (keep it matte though) to all of the places I applied the cream highlight. I used my Wayne Goss brush for the contour but I would suggest Real Techniques Contour Brush¬†for a cheaper option. I used my Sephora #80¬†to set most of the powder under my eye, nose and forehead.

Step 7: Buff it all out. I learned this step from Wayne Goss. I used my Smashbox Photo Filter Powder and a large, fluffy powder brush to buff it all over my skin. This will not disrupt the cream, powder or placement of either- it actually just adds a beautiful finish and makes everything blend that much more.

Exhibit B:

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OK I kind of cheated and did one of my eyebrows and eyes so you could see a transformation but I don’t even think it does my skin justice…. so here’s more.

Exhibit C:

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Do you see that? A SERIOUS transformation of my skin. And super subtle too… this wasn’t even a going out look- just a simple, daytime cream contour. It proves that makeup can transform and bring out your best features.

Going to rest now… I am sick but had to get this post up!

xoxo,

Lesley Hope

False Lashes

Published October 14, 2014 by lesleyhope

These are an important aspect of any big event. It’s crazy to think how much they transform your eyes and your face for that matter. No wonder all the youtube/instagram girls wear them all. the. time. Not to mention Kim K, Katy Perry and Twiggy who started the phenomenon! It’s such a difference compared to regular mascara!

I don’t wear falsies on the regular (thank goodness). But I have a few pairs that are just “voluminous” or “natural” looking so I thought I would shake some cobwebs off my skills and wear them a few times this past weekend.¬†I didn’t have a party or anything crazy to go to- I wore them to cocktails with the girls, then to Gone Girl the next day (don’t judge me). I probably was the most fabulous looking chick in that movie theater. Nah, probably not- but I did wear my Nike high tops which are pretty dang bomb. Back to the point- I’ll go through each of the phases and steps to successful falsies.

1.¬†I first put the lashes up to my natural lash line. Normally for me, I always have to cut them with tiny scissors or nail clippers a TINY bit because they are a tad longer than what fits on my own lashes. I didn’t know this at first and would always just try and go for it. Don’t try it, doesn’t work. Clip them if you need to where they fit along your own line.

2. Take both edges of the lash and bend inward to create a ‚ÄúC‚ÄĚ shape, and hold for a couple of seconds.¬†This is the easiest way to ensure smooth application and make sure the lashes match the natural curve of your eye.

3. Put on one coat of mascara. Doesn’t have to be crazy- just a normal coat so the lashes can adhere to your own better.

4. Apply the glue that came with your lashes OR you can buy glue such as DUO Eyelash Adhesive. If you have a steady hand, you can squeeze straight from the tube onto the strip. Usually the glue comes out bubbly and streaky for me so an easy trick: put glue on the reverse end of your tweezers and glide it across the strip. Be generous at both the inner and outer corners so the glue won’t unstick when you blink.

5.  So once the glue is lined along the false lash line- wait about 10-20 seconds. I do this just so it gets a little thicker/stickier and makes it easier for it to stick to your lashes.

6. K, ready for the toughest part? You can either use tweezers for this or your own fingers. I prefer tweezers because I personally don’t like touching the false lashes and clumping them. If you’re using your hands, place the lashes on the base of your lashes right on top of your own lashes. Tweezer method:¬†Take your tweezers and pick the falsies up on the opposite side of the strip, right in the center of where they will adhere to your lash line. Place them in the center of your own lash line, as close to the base of your natural lash line as possible but not touching the eyelid. Now, most will have a natural curve to them so they might just fit perfectly on yours without you having to do anything. Great, welcome to the 1% of times that has ever happened to me! The other 99%, I usually have to make sure once the center is in place and not going to go anywhere, take the tweezers, grab hold (lightly) to somewhere to the right or left of the center and push the falsies¬†onto your own lash line. Sometimes I have to hold it there for a few seconds and make sure everything is staying in place. Be light about it and be patient!

7.¬†Once the false lashes are on, they will feel weird if you haven’t worn them before (and even if you have, they always feel a little weird to me, like a wig on my lashes or something). They feel kind of heavy and I always think everyone is staring. If they are staring- it’s probably because your lashes look fantastic. Apply one coat of mascara to your new and improved lashes. I always feel like this is sealing the deal because it brings everything together.

8.¬†If the false lashes didn’t get applied directly right onto the lashes, a thin application of black liner or black matte eye shadow as a liner to cover and blend everything together. This also helps the glue dry more quickly.

9. Voila! ¬†Now that you’re done, look in the mirror and admire! Bat those babies and practice your smile!

Good luck! Lesley

Vamp It Up For Fall

Published October 1, 2014 by lesleyhope

Let’s start it off today… 5:45AM. Alarm goes off. I wake up. NOPE, not happening. I go back to bed. Set my alarm for an hour from now. 6:45AM… I’ll wait 10 more minutes. Well, 10 turned into 30 and I was officially running SO behind. Luckily I had my outfit all picked out (burgundy button down, navy pinstriped pants). I pull on my clothes, brush my hair (before you start judging HOLD THE PHONE- I showered the night before chill). Now it’s 7:20AM- ok, 20 minutes to do my makeup. Damnit, I usually prefer a good 30 to take my time but oh well. I go into my normal foundation, bronzer, face routine and have to skimp on the eyes but I swear, a little medium matte brown in the crease and a creamy shimmer on the lid- good to go. Now it’s the lips. Shit, it’s 7:38AM. I’ve got 2 minutes to get the heck out of there otherwise I’m going to be mad late. I could swipe on a nude- nah, too plain. I could put on the color I wore yesterday- nah, too plain. If you know me- you know I love color, I love lipstick and I LOVE switching it up. Ok… hurry, quick. AH! One of the OCC lip tars from their new fall collection, Unknown Pleasures? YEP! Winner winner! Technopagen to be exact. Yes, it’s dark AF. Yes, it’s purple with some shimmer. Yes, it’s vampy. Yes, I put it on and rocked the hell out of it. Ok fine, I put it on then mixed it with NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero which is a peachy pink just to soften it a little.

Fast forward to work. I’m pretty confident rocking different colors but this Technopagen. My goodness, it’s really extreme. I am honestly surprised I chose it. But the things you will do to get your coffee on time… So work, yes. I get into work and people aren’t looking at me much different. Whew. Ok. I’m good. My friend comes up to my desk “Oh my gosh, your lips.” “yeah?” “Awesome!” That was all I needed.

Throughout the rest of the day, I was complimented not only by several women but men too! They were straight as well. They liked that my lips matched my shirt (kind of- dark burgundy, dark purple, I’ll give it to you). The moral of this story is YOU CAN. YOU CAN YOU CAN YOU CAN wear dark lip colors. Especially this fall! I Actually really like when people coordinate their lips with their outfit in some way (green shirt, red lips ALWAYS because they compliment each other). So go for it ladies!

2014-10-01 11.04.20 (1)Xo,

Lesley Hope

Make a Stunning Entrance… Into Fall!

Published September 30, 2014 by lesleyhope

So it goes like this. I check the weather on my phone this morning: high of 73! Walk to work in my cute skirt with flip flips (brought my heels obvi). Go about my day… work, spin, sauna. Come outside in my workout clothes and flip flops: HELLO FALL! I could feel it on my skin, I could smell it in the air, hell, I even could taste it when a leaf blew into my mouth. Winter takes no prisoners, especially in the Midwest. BUT, winter gives us this beautiful thing called fall and I am going to breakdown what you need to make the easiest and classiest transition. Warning: this list does not include zip ups, Pumpkin Spice Lattes or Uggs.

1. Matte. Everything. (Almost) all of the time. I am not condoning shopping sprees but if you cannot go into your makeup bag and pull out a medium matte brown eyeshadow a medium matte¬†any color eye shadow, I highly suggest you hop on Sephora.com, makeupgeek.com or go to your nearest Ulta. You need those mattes in your life. Especially the medium shades for everyday. We’re done with the corally shimmers and golds for a little bit right now. Put them away for like a week. Then you can get them back out. My favorites? The Naked Basics Palette sold online and in stores a Ulta and Sephora. It’s great for beginners. If you’re a tad more advanced or already have it, try the Lorac Pro Palette from Ulta. Awesome range and what a great bang for your buck.

2. More Matte. Everything. But now I’m talking about lips. And let me be more specific, matte browns and nudes. YEP I said it. This woman of color has said it and there is no going back. This summer was all about the color but this winter is about them warm toned shades. I can’t get over these colors¬†because they were the colors I wore when I first EVER started wearing makeup.¬†The mocha shades, the berry colors, the muted roses. I went to Ulta yesterday and NYX is PACKED with these type of colors- they are $3.50 too! My favorite shades and MUST HAVES for anyone are Whipped Caviar, Maison, Butter, Euro Trash. MAC¬†has some awesome colors as well: Pink Plaid, Kinda Sexy and Velvet Teddy are a few.

3. Last but not least- I have talked about matte this and medium this. I am leaving you with ONE last item that you will need this fall. A true bold ass lip color. And maybe a little haircut or style. But definitely a bold, daring, dark or vampy lip color. And not for everyday- hold those horses. For the night you go out for dirty martinis with your girlfriends, or the day you pull on your sweater and sunglasses and go window shopping downtown, or the night you go on a third date to the pumpkin patch or haunted house (I swear I’m not naming these from experience). Really though! Get on that dark purple, those dark jeweled tones and get a little lose. But wear your pearls. Check out this new collection from NYX¬†that I’m about to obsess over. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Those are pretty crazy but there are tons of other deep, rich colors that will do the trick just fine. Suggestions: MAC Cyber, OCC Anita, OCC Vintage, Loreal Lip Crayon in Petite Plum. Do it.

I am dedicating the next month and a half to….. The MISS SJ 2014-15 Pageant! I have been asked to do the make up for it and I could not be more excited!

I also have a bomb project I have been working on for Halloween… the 7 Deadly Skins. Can’t wait to show you guys!

Lots of love,

Lesley Hope

Lips For the Bold and Brave Only!

Published August 12, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hey ya guys! I’ve created a few posts so this blog aint gonna be dry this week!

Allright let’s see…. I feel like I should update you all on some life events. I GOT BRACES! On my bottom teeth but whatevs. They hurt real bad and for the first month (no lie) they were sooo sore. I could barely chew crackers. No lie, no lie, no lieeee (Drake voice). I’m going on 2 full months with these babies and I am proud and impressed with the improvements! I will show a progress pic after the next adjustment.

K let’s quit babbling and talk MAKEUP baby! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m, like, obsessed with lipstick. And color. I love bright, I love dark, light, nude, mute, purple, green, black. You get the point.¬†I never say never with lip color because, I mean, who knows?

So I’ve got a ton of lip tars and I thought, why not start swatching them to actually see the colors. I’ve swatched about 14 so far and boyyyy I have definitely learned a lot of things about my undertone, skintone, what looks better with a tan, what colors I am apprehensive to pull of. This first round of colors are… bright. Really bright and really bold. I look at this as the “secondary” colors. The primary ones are kind of boring to swatch… red, black, white yellow, blue. Secondary lippies are colors that you can create with any of the above ^^ but also, ones that you could possibly wear alone if need be.

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So minus the blue- they are secondary colors. Left to right… RX, Mannequin, PowerPlant, Nylon and Cha Cha.

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RX. Kinda blurry- but just a true blue. Can make any purple shade under the sun with a black or white mixer which is why I ‚̧ it!

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Mannequin. DAAAAMN check that out. It’s a for real light, BRIGHT, matte pink. The thing with mattes is, they are harder to blend out. You can see the unevenness on my lips and I still had a lot of product on! They are tough- and this is a really tricky color to pull off alone, I always pair it with a little some some else.

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Power plant- it’s a metallic emerald. Honestly, you might be able to pull this off if you’re going to a club since it’s metallic. But probs not. I LOVE pairing this with a true red- it creates the most beautiful muave/purpley/brownish color along with that bomb ass metallic finish. Like this a lot to pull off many different looks, but wouldn’t say it’s a staple in anyone’s makeup kit.

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Nylon- it was a Sephora exclusive when OCC first came out and it was my first lip tar. Ever. I have a special affinity for this color. It actually looks waaay brighter and Barbie pink in person but regardless, it’s a¬†bright, summer pop of pink that looks swell on some tan skin (but skin the rays guys- just use some bronzer).

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Chacha. Last but not least. And I thought I’d hit ya with a selfie. That’s me! Hey! Check out my freckles, ha. Ok I used my picture for this color because it’s one of the colors you can wear just alone (I mean you can wear of them alone but this one looks the least cray cray). It’s a beautiful pale coral- but it’s still super bright. One of my favorites.

In conclusion… I am really into the brights right now. We’ve got 1 more solid month of summer and I say, GO FOR IT ALL! I am going to Spain in exactly 32 days soo I’m trying to swatch my life away now so I can bring the perfect¬†few colors over there. Definitely going to bring either ChaCha or Nylon- need to look up with Spanish guys like more. ūüėČ ha just kidding, kinda.

More to come… stay tuned!

And stay beautiful! Go Spartans!

xo, Lesley Hope

Contour and Highlight that Ish!

Published July 16, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hey guys! Wanted to walk you through the steps that I outline in my video. (I messed up on my blush step so these won’t be step for step as they are in the video…but they’re close enough and you get the point).

Okay so I didn’t know what contour and highlight meant until probably a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how much awesome stuff you can learn on the web. I learned a TON from Marlena at MakeupGeek. She is honestly the best and I have yet to buy her products but that’s next on my list! If you’re not down with highlighting and contouring and the whole shabang that is totally ok, but you can get some tips with one thing or another from the process I PROMISE!

Step 1: Pick a contour color that you are comfortable as a bronzer color- this is pretty important in terms of shades. You want something that is about 2-3 shades deeper than your foundation made skin AND a tint (warm, neutral or cool) that goes with your eye/hair/skin tone. For example, I generally don’t ever put anything on to contour that is too taupey or too golden as I’m pretty neutral toned. OK, anyways. After you’ve done that- apply the contour to the following places with a smaller, dense bronzer blush: under the cheekbones, on the jawline, on the temples, along the outer edge of your forehead and **optional** on the sides of your nose. (If you’re opting to use cream which intensifies the contour, then you can use your fingers for each one of these places).
Step 2: Use a cream concealer as a highlighter to lighten the following places: under your eyes, bridge of your nose spanning to your mid forehead, cupid’s bow (just above your top lip), and chin. I prefer to use a concealer that comes with a wand as the product is usually creamier and easier to blend out.
Step 3: Use a dense, dome brush to pad the concealer into your skin. Do not rub it!!! Some people like to use a stippling brush or a small fluffy brush which you can do so as well but it creates a weird pattern for me, so I like to just use my Stila foundation brush for this.
Step 4: Finish the highlight with a lighter matte powder. Like I mentioned previously, I like to match a color to my skin tone in terms of warmth/coolness. I usually chose a color that is 2 shades lighter than my skin tone with similar undertones. Use a small fluffy blush to blend over the concealer and blend out the powder into your contour. Use this same brush to blend out the powder over the rest of your concealer to soften.
Step 5: Use a bigger, round brush to soften the contour by buffing where you have the contour OR pick up a little more powder bronzer and intensify the lines. I would suggest a kabuki brush as it’s large and since you already have product down, you don’t need any perfect lines. Use this brush to go over the contour and again, soften any harsh lines/edges.
Step 6: BLUSH! This is the step I forgot in my video. I like to use an angled blush brush to pick up whatever color I’m feeling that day (and really… I mean whatever color- lavender, coral, dusty pink, berry pink, purple, burgundy). I apply the blush to right on the top of my cheekbones which should be above your bronzer slightly but you can blend into it and a small amount on the apples of my cheeks. Like I said in my video, do not apply much product inside the invisible line that ends at the outer corners of your eye.
Step 7: Powder highlight! I use a flat foundation brush or a small contour brush for this just to apply a small amount of shimmer right above the blush. If you need to, you can use a fluffy brush to blend them into each other a tad. I really wouldn’t recommend applying shimmer to your forehead or nose as the highlight draws attention and can make you look shiny. So just on the tops of your cheeks to appear fresh.
Step 8: Use the biggest brush you can find and a finishing powder to set. Just a little. You can also use the brush to buff any lines you aren’t feeling.

THAT’S IT! Any questions let me know- my video has more steps because I consolidated on here but that is the jist. Ya’ll got questions? Holla!

Happy contouring and highlighting!
Xo, Lesley