If At First You Don’t Succeed….

I have fostered a borderline obsessive relationship with hair and makeup since I was a little girl. Growing up in the 80’s, I proudly sported big bangs, lots of hairspray, and blue eyeshadow. Each day before school I spent an inordinate amount of time sculpting my bangs into the perfect shape and making sure that my blue eyeshadow created a precise wing. A master I was not, but I would not be deterred from whole-heartedly attempting to reach beauty greatness. In these pre-Youtube days, a girl was left to her own devices to muddle through trial and error while everyone witnessed the slow evolution. There is a tragic reel of photos documenting several phases of my makeup mistakes; white, powdery face makeup, over-plucked razor thin eyebrows, crazy long eyeliner wings, and of course, the aforementioned blue eyeshadow.

Thank God for Youtube

In my quest for world makeup domination, I have spent countless hours over the last 20 years studying, practicing, and researching every detail of the makeup industry. Youtube has undoubtedly been my best resource, as some of the world’s greatest makeup artists are demonstrating their techniques and sharing their favorite products with stay-at-home moms like me who would otherwise never come into contact with the upper echelon of the makeup world! Over the last 10 years, as I have worked to up my makeup game, I have sought the expertise of the many Youtube stars for everything from how to apply liquid eyeliner to how to properly blend eyeshadow.

The MOST Important Element

Which leads me to the most important information that I have ever learned from my Youtube gurus. While it is tempting to make a trip to Sephora and drop an obscene amount of money on a gorgeous makeup palette or a tube of mascara in slick packaging, it is important to know that more expensive makeup will not necessarily equal better looking makeup. IF YOU CAN ONLY AFFORD TO SPLURGE ON ONE ITEM, MAKE IT YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES! Seriously. Any good makeup artist (or amateur makeup connoisseur such as myself) can take a collection of drugstore makeup and make it look like a million bucks with the right brushes. Good brushes ensure even blending of your creams and shadows and that your makeup is more Kim Kardashian and less Boy George!

Makeup Brush 101

Zoeva and MAC are two of my favorite brands for brushes, but Z0eva is a fraction of the cost of MAC with comparable quality, so I have chosen to highlight their brushes in this post. Here is a quick run down of how to use each of these brushes:

  • 234 Luxe Smoky Shader: Use this brush to apply neutral powder all over the lid to set your eyeshadow primer or to pack a lighter color onto the lid
  • 134 Luxe Powder Fusion: Use to apply a lighter transition color into the crease and slightly above the crease
  • 228 Luxe Crease: Use to apply a slightly darker shade into the crease
  • 231 Luxe Petit Crease: Use to apply a dark shade in a V shape on the outer corner of the eye
  • 230 Luxe Pencil: Use to smudge shadow under the eye alone the lower lash line
  • 238 Luxe Precise Shader
  • 317 Wing Liner: Use for applying gel eyeliner or gel eyebrow product
  • 227 Luxe Soft Definer: Use for contouring small areas such as the nose
  • 132 Luxe Powder Finish: Use to set concealer under the eyes
  • 105 Luxe Highlight: Use to contour cheekbones and forehead
  • 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek: Use to apply blush to cheeks
  • 90 Luxe Grand Powder: Use to set foundation with powder all over the face

I often think back to my teenage self and wonder, “If I’d had the right brushes, could I have avoided so much makeup tragedy?!?” Probably not, but a girl can dream;)

All the ❤︎,


Check out some of my other favorite beauty posts here:

Long-Lasting Makeup Products and Techniques

Makeup Your Mind; My Daily Makeup Routine

The Best Hair Products & Tools