cosmetics

NYX Micro Brow Pencil Review & Brow Wiz Comparison:

"Because there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away."

- Sarah Kay

Hey beauties! How are you?!

NYX is one of the most difficult brands to find where I live. They are always SO picked over, everything new is sold out and they seem to never be restocked any time I check. So I was really excited to find a brand new, untouched display at Target. I grabbed two of their brow products: the Micro Brow Pencil, which we'll chat about today and the Eyebrow Gel (let me know if you'd like a review on that too!) and have been testing them out ever since.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil 1

This is a double sided product, exactly like the Anastasia Brow Wiz!

NYX Micro Brow Pencil 2

One end is a spoolie brush for combing out your brows and the other side is the pencil.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil VS Anastasia Brow Wiz

The packaging is pretty much identical. I prefer the spoolie on the Anastasia Brow Wiz a tiny bit more because it has more bristles so it really gets in there to comb out the hairs and really blend the product but you honestly won't be able to tell much of a difference between the two. As for the pencil side, I want to say the NYX pencil is a TINY, little tiny bit smaller than the Brow Wiz which is nice because you can get very fine hair-like strokes throughout your brows very easily.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil Up Close

The shade I purchased is Taupe; there are 8 shades total.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil Swatches Taupe

Here you can see a variation from light to dark depending on how much pressure you apply. The pigmentation is nice, the pencil is more on the dry side versus creamy, which is a must for brow pencils in my opinion! It's easy to get tiny strokes of product throughout the brows to make them look natural.

NYX Micro Brow on brows

Here are my brows using only the Micro Brow Pencil. I absolutely love it!

Compared to the Anastasia Brow Wiz:

Price Point:

Brow Wiz - $21                       Micro Brow - $10

Shade Selection:

Brow Wiz - 9 shades                             Micro Brow - 8 shades

Amount of Product:

Brow Wiz - 0.085g / 0.003 oz.                 Micro Brow - 0.09g / 0.003 oz

Lasting Power:

I have heard people rave about the Brow Wiz lasting forever but it's a fairly normal wear-time for me. I'd say both last about the same amount of time (on me, it may be different for you!). After maybe 5-6 hours, I could throw a little bit more on in some of the more bare spaces in my brows. So they are about identical with how long they last for me. I also try my best not to touch my brows so if you do have the tendency to touch them often, your wear-time may not be as long.

Overall, I think these two are super comparable. I've been grabbing for my Micro Brow even more than my Brow Wiz so I'd say it's a fantastic dupe. I haven't seen all the shades so I can't say whether they are shade dupes as well, but Taupe is definitely identical!

Have you tried the NYX Micro Brow yet? If so, let us know your opinion in the comments below!

You can purchase NYX online, at Ulta or check their website for locations of your local distributors.

*This post is not sponsored. I purchased this product with my own money. All opinions are – and ALWAYS will be – 100% my own.*

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Thank you for reading! xoxo.

For Beginners - Color Theory & Makeup.

It's true, there are no rules when it comes to makeup. With experience comes the comfortability to play with color and different techniques. But for people just starting out, makeup can be very intimidating and color theory can be a good tool to remember.

Quick run-through of the basics:

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When you remember the basics of color theory, it can give you a starting point to finding what colors look best for your skin color/tone and eye color.

If you need more of a visual, a color wheel is a great tool to quickly see what colors will work best for you.

Color wheel

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To make your eye color pop, you want to choose colors opposite on the color wheel. If you put colors similar or close to your eye color, it will blend into your eye color and give no dimension.

Blue eyes - bronze, browns, burgundy - warm colors will make blue eyes pop.

Green eyes - purples, burgundy, copper.

Brown eyes can have different tones to them. If you have a more golden tone - coppers, purples, burgundy. Dark, warmer brown eyes - blues, purples. Deep, very dark browns can pull off any color.

 Hazel eyes - you have multiple colors in your eyes so you can play up whichever color you want to pop more. For example, if your eyes are blueish green and you want to play up the blue - bronze, browns, burgundy. To show the green in your eyes - purples, coppers.

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With blush, the main two categories when it comes to skin tone and choosing a blush color is light to medium, and medium to dark.

Lighter skin tones can wear the light pinks while darker skin tones would look more washed out/ashy.

Lighter skin tones want to avoid darker shades because it will wash you out. A tip to remember is to avoid any shades that are darker than your natural flushed color. After working out, take a look in the mirror and see what color your cheeks flush to. Try not to apply a color much darker than that, it will look unnatural.

Darker skin tones look great with blushes that have a slight shimmer to them because it will add a nice glow to the skin.

Bright colors are great with darker skin tones.

** There are universal shades that look great with any skin color!!

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Lipstick/lip color in my opinion, is more flexible. Although many makeup artists stick with the rules of color theory when it comes to lipstick, I don't like to.

Traditionally, many MUA's do not like putting darker lipsticks on light skin tones - but in my opinion, dark colors on light skin care be absolutely beautiful. Yes, darker colors can wash you out, but if you choose the right shade and warm up your face with bronzer - light skin tones can pull off dark lipsticks.

Universally, you want to avoid a color too light because no matter your skin tone, it can make you look dead.. And we don't want that :)

If you are a neutrals girl or are scared to go all out with color, try adding a little bit first. Maybe a winged eyeliner on your lid and then a pop of color on your lower lash line, or a fun colored eyeliner. Start slow and see how you like it.

Remember - makeup is fun! It can be extremely intimidating at the beginning because there are SO many colors, shades, tones, etc. but just have fun with it and play with colors. It can always be washed off!! And you may find different combinations that you never thought would work actually look lovely.

<3

— Contact Info:

I’d love to hear from you! <3

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If you have any questions, requests or just want to talk – themakeupaffairblog@gmail.com

Feel free to contact me at any time: any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat!

Business Inquiries & product reviews – feel free to email me: themakeupaffairblog@yahoo.com

Thank you for reading! xoxo

How to make lipstick last longer:

Sorry for the lack of posts! I just got over being sick, also quite a lot going on lately. Working on a few more in depth posts this week! ❤ Lipstick can be intimidating to a lot of women. One question I get asked a lot is how to make lipstick last longer. Although some aren't made for long wear, example: sheer & light colors typically don't last long - there are steps you can take to make your lip color last longer than it usually would. The key is layering!

Lip liner first, fill in lips completely - it gives you a base and the first layer of color. Lip liner becomes more essential with darker colors. Reds, plums and berries, deep colors can typically migrate outside of your lip line easier so lip liner not only helps lock in the color, but also keeps it where you want it and prevents feathering & smudging. Then apply lipstick, place a thin tissue/toilet paper to lips, hold and dust translucent face powder onto the paper/your lips. Remove the paper then apply a second coat of lipstick. Blot color, then you're good to go. **Translucent powder is optional. It helps to give a more matte finish.

You can also just blot without powder, apply another coat, then blot again. The reason you do it twice is to lock in layers of color so it lasts longer.

Also, applying a little concealer around lips (typically outer corners) can clean up any mistakes, and help prevent feathering as well.

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These are ways I can stay connected with you, feel free to contact me via those sites. Any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat! I’d love to hear from you <3

Business Inquiries – email: marie_estycare@yahoo.com

Holy Grail Foundations:

I got a request to do a post on the foundations I use.. Thank you for the request!!

I have combination skin, acneic and sensitive to many skin care products (lots of allergic reactions over the years). It has taken me a long time to put together a skin care regiment that keeps the breakouts under control. For many people, the most important thing to remember when putting together a skin care routine is it will more than likely be trial and error for you. What works for some may not work for others. It can be a frustrating process for those with difficult skin but very rewarding once you find the right regiment for you. <3

My two holy grail foundations are the original Revlon Colorstay and the Colorstay Whipped.

(I know there are many reviews on this so forgive me!)

*I borrowed a friends camera for the time being but am still getting used to the settings so I apologize the pictures aren't the best.. But they are better than if I'd used my iPhone :)

The original Colorstay comes in a dry/normal formula and one for combo/oily skin. It's medium to full coverage and is great for covering up any imperfections you want to hide, but it can feel a bit heavy on the skin (and sometimes cakey) if not applied with a light hand. I use this on days when I have a blemish or two and feel I need more coverage than usual (I typically like more coverage than most prefer, even on my good skin days). This sets pretty quickly on the skin so you need to move fairly fast to blend once it's applied. The staying power is great and although I can't speak on the 24 hour claim (who wants to wear foundation for that long?!) it has lasted me throughout the day and does not move, even in the summer.

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I have combination skin.. My shade in the summer is 250 Fresh Beige and 200 Nude in the winter.

(Sorry again for the photos! I'm trying to learn how to use this darn thing! lol)

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I use the Sedona Lace FB 07 Flat Top Buffer Brush when applying this. I will pour a small amount onto the back of my hand, then dip the brush in, buff it into one side of my face, then grab some more and buff the other side. Then I usually take whatever is left and go over my whole face one more time to make sure everything is blended well.

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Me with the original formula (and my old red hair! :) )

Colorstay whipped has become the foundation I use almost daily and has a lighter feel on the skin than the liquid formula. I don't have a problem with this looking cakey and it gives an airbrushed looking finish. It has build-able coverage, however I don't think it has as good of coverage as the original formula. If I do have a spot that needs to be covered up more, I've taken a dab of the foundation and used it as a concealer too and it worked well. The staying power is great, but with oily skin it may not last as long as the liquid formula. I usually need to reapply pressed powder to my t-zone after maybe 5 hours of wear (again, I have combo skin so oily may need to apply it sooner to soak up some oiliness and to tone down any shine).

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My shade in this is also 200 Nude. You may have trouble finding your right shade because these jars do NOT show the true color well. Be sure to keep your receipt just in case; I had to return mine the first time.

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I apply with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Unfortunately, with the jar I usually just dip my brush in, which isn't the most sanitary (you could purchase a stainless steel spatula and use that to scoop some of the product out, then wash the spatula for the next use. There are also disposable spatulas but could get pricey buying them after a while).. I stipple it all over one side of my face, then buff it in. Then do the same with the other side. Then I will take a little more and apply anywhere I need a little extra coverage, then make sure everything is blended.

(Having to explain what I do in words is a little difficult, hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say... Blogging makes me tempted to do videos but I'm a little shy for that yet!)

***With this foundation, I think it's more your preference when it comes to application. I've heard many people say love the look when using their hands, a beauty blender (or drugstore version), and others preferred with a buffer brush. I've tried all of these and didn't like the way it looked. The stippling brush gave me the best finish on my skin. So you may need to play with different ways of application to find the one you like best.

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& me with the Whipped formula.

You can find these foundations at any drugstore, Walmart, Target, etc.

Revlon Colorstay - $12.99

Revlon Colorstay Whipped - $13.99

* Search around, you can sometimes find them a few dollars cheaper! The drugstores almost always have Revlon buy 1, get 1 %50 off.

Lastly, I always set the whipped foundation with a pressed powder (I typically don't need to apply powder with the liquid formula). My holy grail pressed powder is Rimmel's Stay Matte. I have the translucent shade and absolutely love it. It sets everything perfectly and helps add to the airbrushed, matte looking finish. This keeps any shine away and does not end up looking cakey if you apply it throughout the day as needed.

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I apply the pressed powder with the Elf Powder Brush. I press the powder into my face versus buffing it so it sets the foundation better.

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Contact Info:

Instagram: Estycareblog

Follow me on twitter!

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These are ways I can stay connected with you, feel free to contact me via those sites. Any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat! I’d love to hear from you <3

Business Inquiries – email: marie_estycare@yahoo.com

Skin Care Routine

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Clarisonic Mia 2 ($150): I can't say enough good about this, and I may do a review in the future. You can use a makeup remover and two cleansers, and the Clarisonic will STILL find makeup left over. It removes blackheads and although they do not claim that these exfoliate your skin - they do. Quite the investment but absolutely worth it. There are different brush heads you can buy, although I've only used the sensitive one so I can't speak about the others.

** If you have acneic skin, be very careful. This can spread bacteria around if you have current breakouts (no matter what brush head you buy).

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($7.99): super popular in the youtube & blogging communities... I like this, it works well. However I usually have to go over twice because doing it once just doesn't cut it.. But, I do layer mascaras so that could be the reason why.

Bioré Steam Activated Cleanser ($7.49): I use this to cleanse my face in the shower in replace of the Cetaphil. It is good to switch up cleansers from time to time because your skin can get used to them and if that happens, they could be less effective for you. I like to use the Bioré one for a little change, and I also like the way it leaves my skin feeling after. It has a few small "exfoliating beads" in the gel, however not enough to actually exfoliate your skin so... Not sure why they bothered but hey, as long as it works, right? :)

Cetaphil Cleanser For Normal To Oily Skin (11.99): This is fantastic. Always one I recommend to clients, and is also dermatologist recommended. It is gentle and great for sensitive skin, removes makeup well. It does have a scent that kind of bothered me at first but I got used to it after a while. Another cleanser similar that I would recommend that doesn't have as strong of a scent is CeraVe (they have a foaming cleanser for normal, combo & oily skin and a hydrating cleanser for dry to normal).

Cetaphil also has an oil control foam cleanser and one for all skin types. Additionally, they have a body wash, cleansing bars, and moisturizers.

Thayers Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner ($9.49): I did a previous post where I mentioned this toner. I can't say enough good about it. Works wonders, smells nice, removes any access makeup that is left over, and helps heal any blemishes faster.

Here is my previous post:

http://themakeupaffair.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/why-use-a-toner/

Keyano Aromatics Alpha Beta Exfoliating Cleanser ($25) & Dermabrasion Cream ($30): I used these in the spa while working at my school. I believe they are only available for purchase online via the company to professionals, however my school did have retail of this brand and you may be able to find spas who sell this, also Amazon has it (cleanser, couldn't find the dermabrasion cream on there)... The exfoliating cleanser is amazing, the dermabrasion cream can be dangerous if you don't know how to properly use it. It's extremely abrasive and many have gone overboard with using this and damaged their skin. But when used correctly, it works wonders.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($3.79): I also did a post on this. It's super cheap and more effective than many high end masks I've used. It's a clay based mask that dries up any acne and clears away blackheads.

More about this product in my post:

http://themakeupaffair.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/mint-julep-masque/

 

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer ($5.99): I have a love/hate relationship with this.. Although I try to avoid clean & clear products - simply because I believe many of these brands are geared towards younger skin - at times, this works very well for me.. Contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid, feels nice on the skin and is oil-free. It's very lightweight so I'd recommend it for summertime.

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream (the small jar with white top) ($13.13): I bought this because I needed an eye cream for my state board practical exam and just grabbed it while wondering Target.. Have been using it for the past few weeks and can't give much of an opinion on it yet.. I haven't seen any results. It smells and feels nice though.

*Prices may vary slightly :)

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Contact Info:

Instagram: Estycareblog

Follow me on twitter!

https://twitter.com/marie_estycare

Like me on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/estycareblog

These are ways I can stay connected with you, feel free to contact me via those sites. Any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat! I’d love to hear from you <3

Business Inquiries – email: marie_estycare@yahoo.com