Pretty With No Makeup On

While flipping through the February 2011 issue of Elle, I stumbled upon this interview (above) with Dany Sanz, the artistic director for Make Up For Ever. My initial reaction? Is this sh*t for real?!

Designer brands and drugstore brands alike have “High Definition” foundations that “create the illusion of flawless skin,” (Elle 2011). Maybelline’s new foundation line is called “Fit Me.”

Did it ever occur to these cosmetic companies that maybe I fit myself just fine without a foundation to cover “me” up?

I learned from makeup artists like Bobbi Brown and Kevyn Aucoin, both proponents of natural and minimalist beauty, and never got the impression that makeup was supposed to cover you up and make you some sort of HD version of you.

The truth is: If you’re not happy without makeup, no amount of makeup will ever make you happy.

Being happy with yourself can’t be found in a lipstick or eyeshadow, but only after you get to the root of potential issues that are causing you to be unhappy with yourself.

When I was 15-years-old, I got my braces taken off . I knew I should have felt pretty but I didn’t. I told my older sister, “My teeth are straight, my skin is clear and my hair is nice. Why don’t I feel happy?” She responded that happiness had nothing to do with the way I looked.

And she was right.

As I got older, I realized that the way I chose to live my life and invest my passion in is what made me happy. Not orthodontics and drawers of makeup. Sure, I have my bad days and earlier I was balling my eyes out over my foster dog getting adopted.

Foundation isn’t going to make you feel better in the long term, no matter what any high-end makeup artist says. The cosmetics market is out to sell an idea of beauty and happiness, but in the end all you want is more products to make you feel better. You are beautiful just the way you are.

DIY Makeup Brush Organizer

After purchasing nine new makeup brushes, my old system of sorting them in jars quickly became outdated. I needed a quick solution that didn’t cost much and would allow me to sort my brushes by function. I’ll show you how to take you typical six pack beer carrier and turn it into the ultimate makeup brush organizer.

For this project, you’ll need

    • Empty six pack
    • Tape. Preferably duct tape, but scotch tape works as well.
    • Scissors
    • Wrapping paper or contact paper. You’ll be using this to cover the six pack.
    • 8 to 10 sheets of tissue paper

Optional: If you want, you can paint the container. You can also cut off the handle.

Step 1: Cover Bottom With Tape

Cover the bottom of the container with tape. This will give the box a stronger frame and prevent it from bending. Cut the strips so most of the pieces of tape extend up the side of box, which will reinforce the container.

Step 2a: If Using Wrapping Paper

If you’re using wrapping paper, place the container in the middle of paper as you would a present. Measure the paper and make sure it will cover all four sides of the container. Cut where necessary and tape.

Please note: Step 3 is for contact paper. If you are using wrapping paper, please skip to Step 4.

Step 2b:If Using Contact Paper

Using this method, you’ll want to cut paper for each side. Line up the grid to match each side of the container and cut. It is optional to cover the bottom.

Step 3: Lay Cut Piece Flat

Lay the contact paper flat against each side. Make sure you lay it all down at once, as this will prevent bubbling and creases. Press contact paper against cardboard.

Step 4: Crinkle Tissue Paper and Rip in Half

Ball up a sheet of tissue paper and rip the sheet in half. Next, roll each half into a ball. You’ll need about 4 to 5 balls per compartment.

Step 5: Insert Tissue Paper into Compartments

Push tissue paper balls into each compartment, making sure to compact them and push them down the bottom. The length of your brushes will determine how many balls you need. For example, if your brush handles are long, you’ll need less paper. However, if they are short, you’ll need them more so your brushes don’t fall to the bottom of the container.

You can mix and match the tissue paper colors to your choosing.

Step 6: Organize Brushes by Type

Makeup Brush Organizer

My brush categories:

  • Detail brushes
  • Flat brushes
  • Blending and fluffy brushes
  • Powder Brushes
  • Concealer brushes
  • Other face brushes

Finished Project

And you’re done! Now you have a cheap, easy and efficient way to organize your makeup brushes.

Links à la Mode: February 3rd

Here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons. My run as an editor for this venerable list is coming to a close, and as it does I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what makes the internet such an awesome place. Ahem. It’s you. Yes, you! I don’t get to read as much online as I once did, and this list kept me in touch with the, dare I say it, zeitgeist of style writing. I was often amazed at the diversity of topics you writers were willing to tackle. Keep those keyboards clacking, stay strong, and be good to the incoming editors. We are only human.

Edited by Thom of The Sunday Best

Picking and Choosing Blog Content

This week’s Friend Friday is all about picking and choosing blog content: Do I participate in Women’s Heart Health Month? Or go crazy and pick only 30 wardrobe items to wear for a month? The science behind what we choose to do and what we ignore. Included in this edition of Friday Finds if an update on my Wedding Craziness and some links that helped me be a less crazy bride-to-be.

With all the blogging events out there how do you determine which ones to participate in and which ones to avoid?

I joined Friend Friday (FBFF) early on in my blogging career because I wanted to make friends and be part of something. It was like arriving alone to a party that started, oh, about ten years ago, and saying, “Hey, I’m Courtney, want to be my friend?” I stuck with FBFF because it became a community, not just something I posted about on Fridays. I gravitate towards events that make me feel included in something. It’s also important to remember that any event you participate in may take away from your original content since it’s programmed to an extent. Unless you post every day, this may be a challenge to incorporate.

Be honest, have you ever jumped on the bandwagon of some blogging movement/event for the wrong reasons? How did that turn out?

My most notable bandwagon-jumping event was the first time I did 30×30 in November 2010 at the height of my blogger apathy. My initial reason to participate was, simply, “because all the cool kids are doing it.” I was ready to quit my blog at that point, which made for awkward timing to participate in 30×30. Needless to say, I did not post my outfits, though I did pick 30 pieces and remix them on my own, so it was beneficial to me personally.

How do you give your own flair to a blog event while still maintaining the general mission and purpose?

For 30×30, I decided to put my stamp on the challenge by posting makeup looks once a week instead of posting remixed outfits everyday. I also decided not to post everyday because my schedule allows me to post 3 to 4 times a week, and posting 7 times a week realistically wouldn’t work for me or my sanity. This tweak maintains the integrity of my blog and allows me to enjoy what I do by not feeling overwhelmed by events.

When determining the best content for your blog what criterion do you keep in mind?

Does it excite me? Is it something I feel passionate about? Do I have a bond with the person who asked me to participate? Do I have the time to write the post? Does it fit with my blog? If the answer is yes to a majority of those questions, I will probably do the event. Having the time and drive are the two most important factors in participation for me.

While everything will not suit your blog, how do you try and support your fellow bloggers who are participating in something worthwhile but not your style?

With FBFF, we all support each other behind the scenes with layouts, HTML, questions. Doing this helps me feel connected even if I myself am not participating. Also, though linking to blogs via my blogroll continues to help fellow bloggers.

(Hopelessly) Lost in Wedding Land

I’M GETTING MARRIED IN 5 MONTHS! Crazy, right? I know. For the past six months, I’ve been in denial about the fact that I have to plan a wedding so when my mom asked me what my wedding colors are, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know! Pink? I like pink I guess.” It tailed spun out of control from there: Pink became “dusty rose” with baby pink and ivory with some sort of purple and white flowers. Then I’m ordering wedding invitation samples and postcard save the dates and booking photographers. Who knew wedding planning could be this enjoyable?

I grit my teeth and did my best not to show it, but blogging was hard this week! I usually write my posts at least three days in advance and work on editing them throughout the week. This week? I wrote them the night before, filled with spelling and grammar errors. Why? Because I spent 10 hours of Photoshop trying to make a postcard only to mention it to my friend Alex, who whipped up a beauty in less than an hour.

Links for Wedding Sanity

Design*Sponge, how I love you so! Not an outright wedding website, Design*Sponge will give the brain a breather with a wide variety of content from furniture “before and afters” to Do-it-Yourself projects that can be incorporated into wedding decor.

$2000 Wedding is a must-read for anyone wanting to have a wedding on a budget.

Aside from featuring “blog worthy” weddings, A Practical Wedding features editorials from Wedding Graduates in talking about issues from being a military family to practical books to read.

Overnight Prints is great to order from as it was the only site I found that offered order quantities lower than 100. Some people do have small weddings!

Last, but certainly not least, let’s give it up for our small businesses on Etsy. You can find anything on Etsy that you’ll find at large businesses except for half the price and double the customer service. You can’t beat it!

Natural Smoky Eye Tutorial

Earlier this week I announced my take on 30 for 30: Thirty different makeup looks over 30 days. I bring you week one: Three neutral looks rooted in easy to wear colors like gold, brown and dark brown.

Mary Queen of Scotts

Source: Face makeup from Aucoin’s Face Forward tutorial Mary Queen of Scots. Eye makeup from Eye Candy by Linda Mason.

Foundation and Powder
Bare Escentuals Foundation in Light 1G
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil Original
Applied with: Medium powder brush and buffed out with kabuki brush (Eco Tools Mineral Brushes)

NARS blush in Orgasm
Applied with: Medium powder brush (Eco Tools Mineral Brush)

Eye Brows
E.L.F. Eyebrow Gel
Maybelline Define-a-Brow in Brunette

Urban Decay (UD) Primer Potion in Original
UD Half Baked from Naked Palette on lower inner lid and brow bone. Applied with medium shadow brush (Eco Tools Mineral Brush)
UD Buck from Naked Palette on outer lower lid and brow bone. Blended with blender brush (Eco Tools Mineral Brush)
UD Virgin from Naked Palette applied to brow bone and inner corner of eye with smudge brush (Eco Tools Mineral Brush)

Mix of Pixi Light Pink and Coral Lip Gloss (similar) applied with Sonia Kashuk lip brush

Feles-Femina Gold Neutral Eye

Source: From Kevyn Aucoin’s Face Forward tutorial “Feles Femina.” Did not include winged out liner or eyebrows.

Foundation and Powder
MAC Studio Tech in NW20
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil Original
Applied with: Sonia Kashuk Foundation Brush and buffed out with Bare Escentuals kabuki brush

Peachy Pink Blush with shimmer (similar)
Concealer and Corrector
Bobbi Brown’s Corrector in Porcelain Bisque applied under the eye with synthetic concealer brush (Loew-Cornell 7500 Filbert Taklon Brush)
Lancome Concealer applied with concealer brush and blended with mineral concealer brush by Eco Tools

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
Urban Decay Half Baked (gold) on lower lid. Applied with medium shadow brush by Eco Tools.
Urban Decay Sidecar (glittery light brown eyeshadow) from the Naked Palette applied to brow bone with
Wet ‘n’ Wild Toasted Almond cream eyeliner (
similar) applied with angled eyeliner brush

Clear nude lip gloss (similar) applied with Sonia Kashuk lip brush