Posts Tagged ‘gel’



For those of you who don’t feel comfortable filling in your eyebrows, either because you like a more natural look or because it’s more effort than you’re willing to exert in the morning, this instant and subtle brow technique is for you! The only part that you fill in is the arch, also known as the High Point. You literally are drawing this figure ^ at the top of your arch, leaving the rest of it natural. Then brush brow gel through the hairs in the directions above. It’s a quick technique but has a big payoff: more of an arched and raised brow that makes your eyes look more awake and younger! Here’s how: (more…)


post + photos by amy nadine, graphic design by eunice chun

We still get many emails about brows, which is why we’re back to brows again today! If you’ve missed our Brow Stencil and Brows 101 photo tutorials, revisit them here and here respectively. If you still need a little help, maybe this new one will give you your a-ha moment! Sometimes you just need to grab an object with a straight side, like a comb, a skinny long brush or a ruler and use it to guide you by outlining the perimeter. Here’s how: (more…)


photos + graphic design by kristin ess, post by amy nadine

Decisions decisions… there are so many options out there nowadays when it comes to lining our eyes, which is so great, but can be a little overwhelming too. Hopefully this will help a lot to find the right type, even though you don’t have to pick just one (I personally could never give up using the other three!). All four can be found at your local drug store, beauty supply or department store.

KOHL LINER: This is the original classic. It glides on with ease and now comes in metallic finishes as well as matte solids. Because of their consistency, kohl pencils are amazing for smudging with your finger or a cotton swab, creating less of a “line” and more of frame. Try to really get in there between the lashes and even into your waterline for a more piercing look. Choose this type for the expansive color options, a softer look, blendability and as the only liner type that is truly safe to rim your inner waterline. ** Tip: for a thin line, use the point of the pencil, holding it almost perpendicularly (90-degree angle) to your eye. For a thicker line, slant the pencil to a 45-degree angle, using more of the side of the tip of the pencil. Don’t be afraid to try holding your pencil at different angles — make-up is temporary and you can wipe it off and try again as many times as it takes for you to get the hang of it. Also, you can adjust the width by how much you sharpen the pencil, so for more precise lines, sharpen it as far as you can to create a true point, and for more of a smoked line, heat up the tip with a quick blast from your blow dryer then dull the point on the back of your hand.

LONGWEAR LINER: These liners are newer to the cosmetic world but almost every brand has caught up and offers one now.  They are usually self-sharpening and turn up from the bottom, so you don’t have control over how how sharp/dull the tip is, but in return, you get a defined eye that once set, won’t bleed, run or fade and will last for hours (hallelujah!). Like the kohl pencil, you’ll want to gently lift your upper lid up with your ring finger first to have greater access to your actual lash line, then drag the pencil back and forth in between your lashes. Once you’ve covered that area, go a little higher and line right above your lashes like you would with a typical liner then again along your bottom lash line if you so desire. You have 30 seconds or so to blend and smooth over the line to make sure it’s not jagged before it sets for the day.

LIQUID LINER: Liquid liners are the most intense and precise way to line your eyes with a straight line or to wing the line into a cat eye. Because the formula dries within five seconds, there isn’t a lot of room for error and this turns a lot of us away from even attempting it. But I promise you, like anything else that’s new and scary, if you just go for it and practice, you CAN master it! Especially when you realize that you can wet a pointed q-tip and easily correct any jags, taking off a lot of the pressure to make the line perfect on your first try. Liquid liners either come in a tiny container/pot with their own super skinny brushes or are “pens” that write like a felt-tip pen but instead with brush-hair tips. Both versions work beautifully but I would look for a waterproof formula so the liquid won’t feather or run. Watch Lauren’s Get Catty tutorial to see how light-handed you’ll want the pressure to be when you draw the lines.

SMUDGE POT: This little beauty, also known as a gel/cream liner, came on the scene around the mid-90’s as more of a grease paint and has been improving and evolving into formulas that wear for hours and come in an array of colors and finishes (matte and metallic). It usually comes with a little liner brush or you can invest in a longer liner brush that is pointed or angled. Pick this type of liner if you prefer using a brush over a pencil and desire a strong line that isn’t as intense as a liquid liner but more intense than a pencil. Like a liquid liner, I would use it only along the lash line but not inside on the water line because a lot of formulas burn and are for external use only. But once you find a brush that you love (and most likely it will be the one that comes with it!), this super user-friendly type of liner might become your favorite because you can paint on the line with ease and it won’t feather.

XO, Amy Nadine


photo: Spencer Higgins post designed by kristin ess

This past weekend I headed to the nail salon with my roommate for a mani-pedi.  I don’t get my nails done very often because I prefer to do a color change every few days and enjoy painting them myself so this was a treat. When we arrived I selected my color (cherry red) and she, instead of doing the same, informed me she would be getting a gel manicure.  I was curious because I had seen the finished product, but never seen it applied.  I watched as the manicurist applied layers to my roommate’s nails and had her place her hands under a blue light in-between each.  She repeated this several times and then it was done.  They looked beautiful and promised to remain that way for up to 2-3 weeks.  This sounded almost too good to be true so I decided to do a little research on these gel nails…

First, I learned that there are two different kinds of gel nails.  The first is the one my roommate opted for.  This was a light cured gel.  It is a premixed gel that is applied to your nail and then cured using an ultra violet light.  Now growing up in a beach town and seeing first hand the damage cause by UV rays this makes me a bit nervous.  It seems too much like a tiny tanning bed for your hands, so I was very excited to read about the second type of gel nails.  The latter process yields a similar result, but does not use a ultra violet light.  Instead the gel is cured using an activator that is painted on top or simply by dipping your nails in water.  While the first is more commonly used in salons, I’d prefer the second.  These manicures are a great option for ladies that don’t have a lot of spare time for nail upkeep or if you are going on a trip and don’t want to worry about your manicure. Now for a few of the downsides. One complaint is that removal can be a little difficult as it is recommended that you return to the salon to have them removed.  If you try and do it yourself you could take off a layer of your nail causing unwanted damage.  Another downfall is that color options can be very limited and there isn’t much use in investing in a long lasting manicure if you hate the color.  Also, gel manicures can cost you a pretty penny… running several times the price of a regular manicure.  So there are the fact ladies.  What do you think?  Are these manicures worth a try or would you rather just stick with a good old fashion manicure?

XO Lauren