Kryolan Opens Boston Store and I Geek Out

Kryolan City Boston
When I first started geeking out about makeup about six years ago, one of the first brands I stumbled upon was Kryolan. The German brand made its name in theater and became critically acclaimed for its professional grade products. Up until recently it was only available in-store or by special order, which is why I never saw their products in person. So you can imagine my excitement when fellow Boston blogger Elissa of Style Wire told me that they opened a Boston store.

Kryolan City Boston
Though they have stores all around Europe, Kryolan City Boston is the brand’s third U.S. store. They also have locations in San Francisco and Chicago with plans to open up a New York City store next month. My experience at the store was unlike any other makeup store. U.S. brands like MAC and Sephora pale in comparison. The store is bright yet friendly and the products are a-maz-ing!

Kryolan City Boston
These products pack a punch with quality pigmentation and unique colors. They carry a green lip gloss and lipsticks that glow under a UV light. They even carry blue lipstick, which I’ve been hunting for since December. They have eyeshadows in just about every color. Needless to say, this isn’t a routine shopping experience.

Kryolan City Boston
The staff was also very helpful, and unlike other stores, I never felt talked down to. They had great advice and helped me find exactly what I was looking for! It was very welcoming and I never felt intimidated despite never having seen Kryolan in person.

Kryolan City Boston
Another great thing about Kryolan is that prices range from $2 to $42. I bought two lipsticks that retail for $2.40 each. Their lip glosses run around $17 while their HD foundation costs about $42. Since Kryolan manufactures their own products, they’re able to keep prices relatively low. If you don’t want to spend a fortune to have some fun playing with color, Kryolan is a great place to get started.

Kryolan City Boston
I definitely plan on stopping by Kryolan City Boston soon! You can visit them at 31 St. James Avenue in Boston.

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How Long Does It Take to Apply a Full Face of Makeup?

How Long Does It Take to Apply a Full Face of Makeup? |

Whether you’re an expert or a novice, around the holidays you might pull out your makeup stash more than usual. In your quest to find the perfect look, you might stumble across makeup guides that promise a great holiday look in no time flat. With estimates from anywhere from three to thirty minutes, it may be difficult to estimate just how long it takes to apply a full face of makeup. So, how long does it take exactly? I sat down to find out!

Process and Tools

Products for Full Face of Makeup |

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2, Milani Mineral Blush in Mai-Tai (similar), Tarte Smooth Operator Powder in Translucent, Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Buff, Stila Stay All Day Mascara, Nyx Matte Lipstick in Merlot, Maybelline Expertwear Eyeliner in Ebony Black (similar), NYC Kohl Eyeliner in Taupe, MAC Lipliner in Redd, Benefit Blush in Bella Bamba Not Pictured: Urban Decay Naked Palette

For my time trial, I used Bobbi Brown’s “Makeup Manual,” which outlines 10 steps for achieving a basic makeup look that requires a full face of makeup. Though the process advertises ten steps, it could easily be closer to thirty in order to get the look you want.

1. Corrector and Concealer
2. Foundation
3. Powder
4. Blush
5. Lipstick
6. Lip liner
7. Brows
8. Eyeshadow
9. Eyeliner
10. Mascara

Before I started my makeup, I pulled all the products so searching for them wouldn’t add to my time.

The Verdict: How Long Does it Take to Apply a Full Face of Makeup?

As a moderately skilled makeup user, it took me nearly 16 minutes to apply a full face of makeup. That means if you’re new to makeup, this look could easily take you 30 minutes to get it just right. No matter how long it takes you to properly apply makeup, the key is to take your time, have fun and enjoy the process! When you take your time instead of rushing, your makeup will turn out better and you might learn a new trick or two in trying to get the perfect application.

How long does it take you to apply your makeup? Do you ever find yourself rushed around the holidays? Comment to share your experience with me and other readers!

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My $10 Makeup Lighting Solution

Makeup Lighting Solution |

I recently realized that I needed to update my makeup lighting system. In an ideal world, I would always apply makeup in natural lighting. However, in the real world where the sun goes down at four o’clock in New England, this is simply not realistic. I went on the hunt for a new lighting system and came up with an easy $10 solution!

My old lighting method for makeup application was to sit in front of a floor lamp placed directly in front of me. However, this always cast shadows on one side of my face, making it impossible to evenly light my face. I also tried to light my face from both sides with clamp spotlights but experienced the same issues with shadows.

The quick and expensive route would be to buy a lit vanity or lit makeup mirror. However, living in a one bedroom apartment on a budget led me to rule out both of these options. Then one day I remembered I had a few white round hanging paper lamp shades from Ikea that were sitting unused under one of my dressers. These were left over from my wedding and I initially repurposed them for video lighting before moving onto a studio lighting kit.

I dug out the paper shade and hung it over my desk from an unused curtain hook. The great thing is this setup takes up zero desk space and can be adjusted up and down, which means I can use the shade as a desk lamp or for makeup lighting. When I use it to apply makeup, I position it directly behind my mirror so it casts a natural soft light that mimics sunlight. I’ve had zero issues with shadows and my makeup always turns out nice, soft and well blended.

If you’re like me and have limited space and budget, a simple hanging paper lantern from Ikea might do the trick!

Kate Winslet Ruined My Eyebrows and Other Tweezer Tales

Searching for the right eyebrow shape takes time, but with patience and creativity, you can find the shape that best suits your face. Keep reading to find out how I found the right shape for my face as well as tips I recommend for those new to eyebrow grooming.

Titanic In 1999, I loved Titanic like most 12-year-old girls. One day I sat on my bed staring at poster of Leo and Kate when I became fixated on Kate’s eyebrows. I grabbed a pair of my mother’s tweezers, sat down in front of the mirror and proceeded to pluck off half my left eyebrow. That’s when my eyebrow obsession began.

While most girls my eye were busy with hair and clothing, I became consumed with eyebrows. I drew different shapes in my notebooks and pointed out to my friends which shapes I liked the most. I always plucked them myself, reasoning that if I messed up then it was a learning lesson. If someone else messed them up then I would just be, well, angry.

On Finding the Perfect Shape

Up until college, I followed the general rule of thumb for eyebrows to never pluck above the arch. Then a friend suggested I throw out all eyebrow rules. Breaking the rules wasn’t easy, but once I started, I wanted to try everything. I experimented with shapes–thin, long, short, arched, straight. However, for the past five years, I’ve kept my eyebrows relatively the same. Inspired by Natalie Portman’s eyebrows, I tamed my arched eyebrows to be straight.

If you’re uncertain about how to find a shape that works for you, here’s some guidelines to help you out:

Buy a good pair of tweezers. Do not buy $1 tweezers from the bin at the drugstore. Investing in a quality pair of tweezers will save you time and pain. I use Tweezerman’s Slant Tweezers.

Start slow. Don’t pluck off half your eyebrow like me. If you’ve never plucked your eyebrows, you may not know how quickly your brow hair grows. If your brows grow slowly, avoid making drastic changes if you’re unsure of the results.

Learn the rules, then break them. I spent the first six years of plucking my eyebrows following these rules: 1) Never pluck above the arch, and 2) Keep the ends long. Learning the basics first will give you a good idea of what type of shape you like without over-plucking or ruining your brows. Once you learn these rules, break them all you want.

Notice other people’s eyebrows. Since most models and celebrities in photoshoots will have their brows filled in or photoshopped, looking at magazines can be unreliable. Look at candid shots of celebrities instead. You can also look at the brows of the people around you. What shapes do you like? Can you try it out on your own brows? Just because your brows aren’t like someone else’s doesn’t mean you can tweeze, pencil and fill your way into them.

How to Pluck Your Eyebrows

Two years ago, I made a video on how I pluck my eyebrows for my YouTube channel. I’ll try to make an updated video soon, but here’s the older one!

If you’d like to see more videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Let me know if there’s any videos you’d like me to make!

Green Corrector: My Beauty Secret for Taming Red Skin

I’ve had acne since my teens, and while its severity has decreased, I still have redness and scarring. In the past, I leaned on foundations and concealers to tone down redness, but all this did was cause me to cake on products with little result. I also had trouble covering up acne scars even with the best foundations and concealers. Then I discovered green corrector and it changed my beauty routine.

How Green Corrector Works

Color Wheel |
At first blush, it may seem odd to put green on your face. To understand why green concealer works, take a look at the color wheel. For any color you want to correct, you should choose the the correcting color that’s directly opposite. Since green is directly across red, you can use it to fix blemishes and redness. You can also try this out with other colors you’d like to correct.

Different Types of Green Correctors

Like most beauty products, there are a ton of different green correctors. Some are meant to be allover primers used before foundation while others are spot-correcting formulations. The key is to play around to find which ones work for you. Here’s a collection of a few options on the market

Correcting With Allover Green Primer

Before Green Corrector |
Here’s my skin sans makeup. As you can see my redness isn’t severe, but my skin definitely has a pink undertone with additional scarring. I also get flushed very easily. That’s why I prefer to neutralize my pink skin with an allover green corrector.

Allover Green Primer |
I’m using L’Oreal’s Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer. I dot the primer onto my face and gently rub it in. Since this product sinks in without giving a green cast to the skin, I like to use it to tone down the redness of my skin on days when I’m not wearing any other face products.

After Allover Primer |

As you can see compared to the before photo, this primer gives a natural look. If you blend it fully, you won’t need to even use foundation.

Correcting with Spot Correcting Green Concealer

Apply Spot Corrector |
Here I’ve applied Physicians Formula Conceal Rx Physicians Strength Concealer to my acne scarring and under eye area. I’ve also applied it to the area between my nose and my cheeks where I tend to get most red. I used the EcoTools Smudge Eyeliner Brush to pinpoint conceal spots. For larger areas, I used the bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush.

If you apply this much green corrector, you will have to add color back with your foundation and concealer. I do not recommend ever going outside like this! It may look ridiculous now, but in the next step, you’ll see the full benefits of using this much green concealer.

Applying Foundation and Concealer After Green Corrector

Before and After Green Corrector |
The final step is to add back color with foundation and concealer. Here I used Revlon’s ColorStay Foundation and Cover Girl’s Smoothers Concealer. You’ll notice that my skin looks smooth, clear, and most importantly, less red.

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