Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pretty Packaging!

Everyone loves getting mail. Especially beautiful, well packaged mail. Most cosmetics come in pretty, fancy boxes which are then sent in lovely, decorated mailers. I won't lie. I, too, am a sucker for pretty things. My MAC brush set that I was given for Christmas came in a tasteful box that I loved. However, one of my favorites has to be Amy's packaging for her new line, Sugarpill. The boxes these products come in are miniature works of art. Unfortunately, I have no use for the empty box and it would look a little strange if I stuck it on my wall. Therefore, it ends up in the trash. How can you throw something like this away?

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking. What good is all the beautiful packaging if it ends up in your junk drawer or the trash? It eventually ends up adding to those huge, unsightly landfills that pop up all over the place. I love giving my customers nice things but I can't justify contributing to the amount of unrecycled trash we just dig a hole and bury. I want my company to be more environmentally aware and conservative. I've taken to cutting down on the amount of paper products I use. I would rather write things out by hand, giving my products a personal touch, then slapping more paper on it for the landfill. I want to take the time to personalize every order, so that my customers know that they mean something to me. They're not just dollar signs and I can let them know this, and save my planet at the same time.

I urge you all to recycle everything you can. If not for yourself, then for the people of tomorrow. Your friends, family, children. Everyone who will be effected by the actions that we take today. is an excellent place to find information about recycling, including local centers. You may be just one person, but one person can change the world, a little at a time!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Faery Inspired Look

I am far from being one of the youtube or blogger make up queens. I'm a normal, average working girl with minimal make up skills. But I can still pull a few rabbits out of the hat. Thanks to my friend's demands I'm going to give a tutorial a shot.

I was browsing books and decided that I wanted to do an eye shadow blend based on Into The Wildewood. Here's a picture of the cover so you can see where I got the idea from:

First off, everyone pretty much knows how to apply foundation, blush, etc. I'm just going to cover a simple shadow blend. First off, I seriously suggest having a good set of tools. These are the brushes that I use all the time:

The first brush on the left, the pink one, came from my ingredient supplier. I absolutely love this brush. It's right up there with my MAC brushes for quality. The middle brush is MAC 224SE, which I use for blending and highlighting. The last brush on the right is a MAC 275SE, which I use to put most of my shadow on.

The colors I used for this blend are Carnival Queen, Nymph, Absinthe, and Frost. I've swatched the colors on my arm. The swatches on the left are on Urban Decay's Potion Primer, while the swatches on the right are on bare skin with no foundation, primer, etc. I've found that I can't get them to stick well without foundation. I also noted the wear of the swatches on my arm. Those that were under the primer have held up better to being rubbed from my sleeve. They also hold up better in conditions where your face will be damp or sweaty, such as concerts. Here are the swatches (minus Frost since I forgot to swatch it):

And now here's the look I went for: 

In order to achieve this look, start with Carnival Queen. Use a thin brush and pat, rather than brush, the yellow shade from the corner of your eye to the inside of your iris. Next, add Nymph to the area just over your iris. From the outside of your iris to the outside corner of your eye, apply Absinthe, blending the colors into each other as you go. Next, use a thicker brush to blend the shade onto your brow. Finally, use use the angled brush to blend Frost from your brow down to the top of your shadow blend. If you like, you can apply a thin line of Carnival Queen under your bottom lash line as I have done. Finish the look with black eyeliner and mascara. Here are some photos of the finished look:

Foundation: Mary Kay

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What's in your make up?

On the whole, I know more people who wear make up than people who don't. Even a few guys. With that being said, I think more of us should question the things we put on our face. Our skin is our biggest organ. Logically we need to be careful what we expose it to. When I started making eye shadows, I started doing a lot of ingredient research. It made me realize how much unnecessary junk we end up smearing on our face.Parabens, dibutyl phthalates, etc. Most of that is those lovely carcinogens that masquerade in the form of preservatives. So the question is, how much of your health are you willing to sacrifice to be pretty?

Since everyone is becoming more aware of what their using, chemicals don't have to be an issue anymore. A considerable amount of companies are starting to phase out those ingredients. All we need to is a basic knowledge of what to stay away from, and how to research the ingredients we're not familiar with.One way to do this is by searching ingredients on the cosmetics database. I'd advise comparing these ingredient results with a google search. Some items on the database have data gaps, and if it really is a dangerous ingredient, you're pretty likely to find it mentioned elsewhere.

 There are quite a few companies that make safe products. Morgana Minerals, Burt's Bees, Fyrinnae, and my company, Dark Heart Designs, all offer products that are free from parabens and safe to use. I hope after reading this you'll take your health into your own hands and be more aware of the things you're using.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Face of Art

I don't think of make up as something necessary to improve someone's looks. I think everyone is beautiful just the way they are, without all the so-called beauty enhancers. I've always thought of make up as an art form. The face is one of the most beautiful canvas's there is and the things that can be done with it are amazing. With just a few simple products, you can completely change your look. From simple, natural looks to complex, sophisticated masterpieces, all can be achieved with the right imagination and plenty of practice.

 Make up should be something you enjoy. Not something you feel the need to have on your face before you're willing to go out in public. We sometimes think that we need to do all these things to better ourselves, when there are people who appreciate us for who we are, not how we look. I want people to have fun with my make up and try new things. There are tons of tutorials on the net to help perfect application skills, and plenty of cool colors that can have you on your way to being the next Botticelli. We're only confined by our own minds!