Winged eyeliner, demystified: Tips for a feline flick

Yes, winged eyeliner is hard to do. For me, it's tricky and time-consuming to this day, and I've really been practicing!

But there's no need to fear. Everyone can achieve this cute and sexy eye look — we just need to deconstruct it a bit.

First, your tools.

The liquid eyeliner that looks like a marker is more precise than the type with a little brush. You can find them at the drugstore. No surprise here, I like the Revlon one!

You'll also need some Q-tips and makeup remover. I always have to revise my work. I like to use one side dipped in makeup remover (preferably something like a cleansing water — you don't want something greasy that will move where you don't want it and take off the rest of your makeup), and the other side dry to wipe off the remover.

Next, take a look at your canvas. For some people, imagining the wing coming up at the same angle as the lower lashline works. For me, I like to line up the outer corner of my eye with the end of my eyebrow for reference.

I draw the wing first. Take your eyeliner, choose your reference point, and draw as straight a line as you can, barely applying any pressure. This is the outline of your wing.

Then, I hold the liner horizontally, parallel to my upper lashline, and starting at the middle of the eye, a draw a thin line as close to the lashes as possible. Use short, smooth strokes. Go in the direction of the wing.

Once you've finished that, visualize a straight line going from the highest point of the wing to the line you just drew along the lashes. Draw that line. You'll be left with a triangular shape. Fill it in and check your work.

Now, I think you should do one step at a time on each eye — it's less daunting trying to get the eyes to match if you're working on them simultaneously.

Regardless, they probably look a bit wonky and mismatched at this point. Q-tips to the rescue! Again, alternate your cleanup from eye to eye. Take off less than you think you need to. I'd hate for you to start all over!

To finish up, line the inner part of the lashline that we skipped earlier. My reasoning for this is that you'll be making a lot of adjustments to the outer half, and if you're doing the inner part at the same time, you'll end up with a much thicker line than ideal. The line should be thickest at the outer part and taper smoothly into the inner corner. Add mascara, slick on some gloss or a red lip, and if you suddenly feel the urge to purr, well, who am I to stop you?

Oh, this isn't a blurry photo — it's "mood lighting"


Sunday Pinspiration No. 5

Street fashion pictures are some of my favorite images on the Internet. I prefer the ones that look real and not like a staged outfit of the day post (although those are fun, too!). And I love seeing celebrities in their day to day lives to see how that persona they've built up is reflected in what they wear to run errands.

These pictures include a lot of red lips and structured layers, very glamorous, but the casual looks are great, too — just look at how adorable and fresh Shailene Woodley looks! But I think the queen of street style has to be Gwen Stefani. The woman can do no wrong.


Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick swatches and review

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipsticks are intensely pigmented and feel light and moisturizing. If you're familiar with MAC lipsticks, I'd say these lipsticks look like a Cremesheen (bright and rich) but feel like a Lustre (much nicer and more hydrating than a Cremesheen, without that slimy feeling).

I've been on a Bare Minerals kick. I blame Shelbey. These lipsticks are so creamy that they're a bit difficult to apply without getting everywhere, and they do feather with wear. As long as you blot some of it off, or maybe use a lipliner, you'll be OK. They stain nicely, too. The packaging, with a slide-out tube that locks into the lid, is an elegant touch.

From left: Light It Up, Risk It All and Live It Up
bare minerals marvelous moxie light it up
Light It Up
This is my newest addition. I got it in the name of being a makeup adventurer, because coral is a very un-Liz lipcolor. It's less pigmented than the others and sinks into every line, so I recommend using a balm beforehand to make sure lips are totally smooth, or a lipliner. It's a nice, soft orange with the tiniest hint of pink.

bare minerals marvelous moxie risk it all
Risk It All

This one is a vibrant hot pink. It's pretty dupable fair — similar to Rimmel Show Off/Apocalips in Apocaliptic. I love it regardless.
bare minerals marvelous moxie live it up
Live It Up
I'm in love with this tomato red. It's not as orange as MAC Lady Danger or NARS Heat Wave. The sheen is sensational. Now that I'm typing this, I'm thinking this might be the same shade as my Lancome Lovered nail polish!

From left: Light It Up, Risk It All, Live It Up
The shade range is impressive, ranging from pale nudes — not my thing, they make me look like a dead person — to insane, in-your-face purple. Marvelous Moxie has lipliners and glosses as well, and I do have my eye on a few of the glosses, which I've heard are like my beloved gloss from sister-brand Buxom but less tingly.

Have you tried any of the Marvelous Moxie lipsticks? Which shades do you love?


25 random facts about me

I enjoy bloggers doing more personal videos. It's always nice to get to know a little bit more about the people I turn to for reviews, laughs and general YouTube tomfoolery.

Maybe you feel the same way, too. If you ever wanted to know more about me, here goes nothing! From romancing geeks to my early days as a third-grade stage diva, here are 25 totally gratuitous facts about moi.


Sunday Pinspiration No. 4: Manic pixie dream girls need love, too!

While reading feminist criticism about Clara Oswin Oswald, the character played by Jenna Louise Coleman in Doctor Who, I kept seeing articles questioning whether she is no more than a "manic pixie dream girl."

That term has always been jarring to me. It was coined to describe Kirsten Dunst's character in Elizabethtown, and denotes a sassy, free-spirited girl whose purpose in the story is to save the brooding, emo male lead from himself and teach him to enjoy life. 


The opposition to the MPDG — which is valid — is that she's shallow and outwardly motivated, existing only as an object of desire. Clara saves the Doctor, all while being spunky and very pixielike. But by saving him, she saves the universe. She didn't do it JUST for him. Clara didn't swallow up the time vortex and exterminate all the Daleks the way Rose did, so naturally, we can't judge her based on her own merits, and choose to belittle her and her contribution because we can do some mental gymnastics that lodge her into a neat little archetype we can then digest. And you know what? Just as much criticism is levied at female characters who require saving.

The MPDG just can't win!

But isn't it just as sexist to portray men as so emotionally fragile and self-centered that they can't get it together without a cute girl to hold their hand? Isn't it their own fault for objectifying the woman? Who are we to punish and marginalize female characters who possess traits like spunk and humor, and just continue female-unfriendly patterns by saying women should be something but not something else? What kind of message are we sending to women and girls who genuinely enjoy indie music or old movies or collecting books or making flower chains, or any other MPDG-esque pastime?

The message we are sending is, if you fit into this category, that's all you can be. You are shallow, you are a stereotype, you are nothing. If a man desires you, that's your identity, and it's somehow all your fault. Never mind that completely takes accountability away from other characters and from the viewer, who are presumptuous enough to assume you have no inner life or motivation toward your own happiness just because you add to someone else's life.

Even outside of the MPDG trope, we miss the point. Katniss Everdeen isn't any less hardcore and tough because she's got relationship drama with two boys. We, as readers and viewers, are the ones totally missing the point and narrowing her story's main theme down into Team Peeta or Team Gale.

I have yet to hear anyone call Ryan Gosling in The Notebook a manic pixie dream guy, even though he encourages the stuck-up and sheltered Rachel McAdams character to lie down in the middle of a street and look at the sky, and persuades her to go on a date with him by threatening to fall to his death.

At the core of any rant is something personal. I think that if someone made me a character into a movie, I'd be written off as an MPDG. As a result, any time that someone befriends me and says I'm funny or weird or that they like some oddball, whimsical trait of mine, I get worked up about it inside and get paranoid that I'm not being seen as a real person.

This is an unusual Sunday Pinspiration theme, but I propose that this week, we celebrate the unfairly maligned manic pixie dream girls. The women in fiction and in reality who are charming and "off," who might tell us the secrets of the universe if we stop dissecting them long enough to listen. After all, if she knows how to teach you how to enjoy life, chances are she's done loads of suffering to get there. Let's embrace the saviors of cinema and the ones needing saving, and stop worrying whether it's a girl saving a boy, a boy saving a girl, or a girl saving a girl/boy saving a boy.

A little whimsy and magic never hurt anyone.


First impressions: Cargo Key Largo blush

Hello there, friends!

This swatch post requires an introductory rant. I was psyched about this month's Birchbox because one of the items was an Instain blush sample from TheBalm. I've longed to try one of those blushes, but had never even seen any items from TheBalm in person.

So you can imagine my fury after how excited I'd been, and how I positively squealed when the box arrived, when I opened up the quarter-sized sample to reveal a thumbnail-sized blush. Dub. Tee. Eff. Really now, how did you want me to apply this blush sample, with an eyeshadow brush?

I was so pissed that even though I did like the actual product, I couldn't bring myself to give Birchbox or TheBalm money to encourage such insultingly small samples. My sample shade was Swiss Dot, but I was in love with the swatch images of Toile, a hot pink and orange hybrid with zero shimmer and tons of attitude. I became obsessed for days with finding a doppelganger for the shade.

And here it is.

Look at this freaking insane beauty of a blush.

I've tried one blush from Cargo before, Ibiza from the water resistant line (irony of ironies, it was a Birchbox sample, in a size that did not make me want to write an angry email and switch to Ipsy). When my Web search for a dupe yielded nothing, I specifically looked to see if Cargo had a comparable shade. Cargo Key Largo is a dead ringer for Toile and is a vibrant hot pink in the pan that blends out to a coral that is equal parts pink and orange. A postcard sunset in a pan. It rocks.

Heavy swatch
Blended swatch. See how it leans more orange?

Here's a quick and blurry shot of me wearing the blush. I used a stippling brush and layered three or four times, using as little as I could each time and building until I got a lovely flush. I think it's a very pretty and fun color, and I can't wait to take it for a test run!


Book review: Tear You Apart by empress of erotica Megan Hart

"I carry the weight of my secret like a stone, and I hold it in both my hands because I don't want to let it go."

Megan Hart writes about sex. That's the simple version.

But there's no such thing as a simple version with Hart — she writes books that lure you in with lust and mystique and then sink their claws into your most vulnerable emotional spots until you're huddled in a corner sobbing. She writes about love, loss, evolving as a person and, yes, about sex in a way that's lyrical and sincere. Tear You Apart, named after a badass She Wants Revenge song, is another unflinching, unapologetic erotic novel that consumes one's thoughts long after the last word.

The title is a warning. This book will leave you in shreds.

Another warning straight from the novel's sexy leading man: You never know how thirsty you are until someone offers you a drink ...


Shalimar: Not (just) your mother's perfume

YouTube scent expert Katie Puckrik calls Shalimar by Guerlain "the original bad girl perfume" and cites its reputation as the fragrance of 1920s flappers. My friend Kristina wrinkled her nose at the mention of the perfume and said she could never wear it, because it's what her mother wore. I asked my mom, and she has also worn the classic. When I first sniffed it at a Dillard's while perfume shopping with my friend Carlos, I handed him the bottle and he deadpanned, "It smells like doughnuts."

Well, if Shalimar is just a doughnut, order me a baker's dozen, baby.

Most people who smell it on me do notice the vanilla sweetness first. There's more to it than that (much more — the scent includes, among other notes, tonka bean, leather, opoponax, patchouli, vetiver, iris, lemon and bergamot), and a true expert would be better to talk to about the nitty gritty. So I'll describe Shalimar a different way.

Shalimar is what Catwoman would spritz on between her cleavage to go on a date with Batman. It's the haziness in your brain when you're in an incense-filled room watching a bellydancer's slow movements and you've been sipping amaretto or something just as sweet. It's a woman in a white sundress. It's a poem that makes you cry, hot cinnamon rolls out of the oven, the lingering warmth of a last look you wish would last longer.

Shalimar just smells cozy, sweet, sexy and sophisticated to me. Super-feminine, with none of the saccharine. Classy, but not old ladyish. It's a bad-girl scent with a heart of gold.

I sampled the eau de parfum one day and the eau de toilette the next. The eau de parfum smelled delicious, but gave me a headache. I was too conscious of it — it was just too much. The eau de toilette hit the spot. To me, it smells exactly the same as the eau de parfum but more gentle. I think it would really go with the wearer and the wearer's mood.

As I type this, I'm wearing Givenchy Dahlia Noir Eau de Toilette. You all know I adore that perfume. But forcing myself to take a break from Shalimar hurts my spirit a little bit! Where's the sweet, heavy warmth? I think I need a day or two between Shalimar and another fragrance to be able to enjoy not-Shalimar scents now. That's how in love with it I am.

I've also compared this to Flowerbomb, another oriental, gourmand perfume, and I immediately noticed the Shalimar heritage in Flowerbomb. But Flowerbomb wishes it could be Shalimar — it's squeaky patent pleather to Shalimar's vintage leather.

I obviously enjoy the gourmand perfumes, so I'm eager to sample Thierry Mugler's Angel (which sounds delightfully eccentric) and Lolita Lempicka. Today I went to the library and picked up Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, an encyclopedic snarkfest reviewing almost every perfume you can think of. I'm loving it!

What do you think of gourmand fragrances? Would you ever try Shalimar?


Sunday Pinspiration No. 3

The world will get a newborn royal any day now. This week's Pinspiration board is devoted to the color of royalty. Purple can be ethereal or wild, sophisticated or brash. Feel like royalty this week!


Shop Your Makeup Personality: The Elle

Legally Blonde is my ultimate feel-good movie. Whether I'm feeling inadequate and insecure or just going through a big change, I return to this movie because within the glittering farce is an empowering message. No one takes Elle seriously until she makes them. And as she demonstrates the full talents of her legal mind, she still turns it out on the beauty and fashion front.

Does this sound like you?

You're always decked out, whether at work, school or just running errands.

You keep up with fashion magazines and know all the makeuping basics — when you turn to YouTube tutorials, it's for the advanced tips!

You love to pamper. It's an essential, not a luxury!

You're a fan of all things pink and sparkly.

Your challenges

Not getting bored with your routine.

Buying too much makeup and STILL not feeling like you have enough (can you tell The Elle is the archetype yours truly associates with?)

Your shopping list

Shop your makeup personality: The Elle

Click through to the jump for more on my Elle picks!


Adored Items No. 3 | June's Sort of Favorites

June was a busy makeup month for me, and I had a hard time picking favorites because there was very little I used consistently. But I had to give you an Adored Items video, so I chose to discuss some products that impressed me this past month, and that very well could rise to favorites status.

I also discuss a favorite book and a favorite TV show.

Enjoy the video, and please subscribe so you always stay in the loop of my madness!

Products mentioned:

J. Crew chambray shirt

Lush Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask (doesn't ship — you've got to buy it in a brick and mortar store)

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

Covergirl Embrace lipstick

Wet n Wild Fergie lipstick in Ferguson Crest Cabernet

Lancome Vernis in Love polishes in Lovered and Rose Boudoir

Physicians Formula Concealer Twins

Pre-order Megan Hart's Tear You Apart here. It's freaking amazing. The Catherine Tate Show is on Netflix. Go stream it! The former will make you cry, the latter will make you laugh until you cry. Both are brilliant and cathartic and fully display the talents of two fantastic women.


Sunday Pinspiration No. 2

This week, I'm feeling decadent. I'm inspired by the pearl-encrusted Alexander McQueen boots Karlie Kloss wore in this month's Lucky. Since then, I've been thinking of all things opulent, excessive and over-the-top. Imagine drinking tea in a luxurious bubble bath, dressing in a corseted gown with a giant skirt and intricate beading, enjoying a cupcake almost too pretty to eat. Leather and diamonds, colors and curves, Victorian architecture and cars fast enough for Bond. Fantasize this week. It's good for the soul!


Casual Friday: 5-product face

Every glamour girl benefits from a romp with minimalism. 

Today, I limited myself to five products.

For my base, I used Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Cashew Beige, a recent favorite I can't stop raving about for its light yet full coverage. I stippled NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Hot Pink high on my cheeks, then set everything with Bare Minerals Translucent Mineral Veil.

For mascara, I used Clinique Bottom Lash in the black/brown shade. It's surprisingly good on top lashes, too. And finally, I used a pink lipstick that's an exception to my meh-ness toward understated pinks — Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate lipstick in shade 104. Some people hate the texture of this matte lipstick, but there must be some bad batches out there, because I find mine as comfy as ChapStick.

Check out my morbid and cool New York & Company necklace. It cost $10, and yes, I bought it because I thought it was so wild that it resembles vertebrae. Gilded, glittery bones around my neck.

An invisible extra I'm wearing is the gratuitously sexy Shalimar Eau de Toilette. Just look at that bottle. You bad, bad girl.

You could probably wear Shalimar while in grass-stained overalls and still feel like a siren.

What's your minimalist look? Is stepping out of your comfort zone less about putting something on than it is about taking something off?


Shop Your Makeup Personality: The Tai

I'm excited to bring you Part 1 of my Shop Your Makeup Personality series!

Who can't relate at times to Tai, Brittany Murphy's character from the quotable '90s hit Clueless?

Does this sound like you?

You can't be bothered to make the time or effort to do your makeup in the morning. Zits? Dark circles under your eyes? Chapped lips? Meh, that's as good as it's going to get.

You dread special events like prom and weddings where you'll have to dress up.

Makeup completely intimidates you.

Your challenges

Figuring out exactly what you need to buy and how to use it.

Not spending too much on stuff you won't use.

Finding a makeup routine that isn't complicated or time-consuming for a makeup virgin (whether you can or can't drive!)

Your shopping list
Shop your makeup personality: The Tai

Keeping your skin clean is the first step to ensuring your makeup looks good and that you'll feel the need to use less of it. I like the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Acne Scrub. It has an invigorating scent and gently exfoliates, plus it has salicylic acid to make breakouts disappear. Make sure to moisturize after. I recommend Simple's Hydrating Moisturizer.

You don't need a full face of foundation — trust me, it's easy to screw up if you're starting out. For blemishes, just use a creamy stick concealer like Almay Clear Complexion Concealer + Treatment Gel. If you have more cash to splash, head to Ulta or Sephora and have someone match you with your perfect shade of Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer To Go (no one on this earth needs the full-size bottle), which you can also use to cover dark undereye circles. Also, pick up the Real Techniques Core Collection brush set.

Next, set your makeup. I'm loving the Bare Minerals Translucent Mineral Veil. Back in the day, I really liked MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. For the most coverage, there's Benefit Hello Flawless! Custom Powder Cover-Up. Use the Buffing Brush from the Real Techniques set to put on whichever powder you choose.

You can use that same brush or a contouring brush to apply Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. It's cheap, universally flattering, and has shimmer so it's like a highlighter and blush in one.

I know I rub my eyes a lot, and if you aren't used to makeup, a waterproof mascara like Maybelline Define-A-Lash can do the trick without the smudging. No need to worry about eyeshadow palettes and brushes just yet: dab on Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked In Pink with your ring finger, and that's the eyes done!

You'll want a lip product that adds a bit of color without requiring fussy and precise application. For that, I recommend Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, a my-lips-but-better shade. Feel like being a bit more fancy? A nice, sheer starter red like Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Cherry Flip packs a punch.

Finally, make sure to take all that off before bed to avoid major skin drama! Before doing your cleanser and moisturizer routine again, wipe everything off with Neutrogena wipes.

Above all else, once you're a makeup magician with luscious lips and a flawless complexion, don't morph into a monster like Tai did. No homies will want to roll with you if you behave like this:


That awkward moment when you film a haul video and take forever to put it on your blog

Hey guys! I uploaded a little clothing and makeup haul on my YouTube channel recently, and because I'm a ditz sometimes, I forgot to post it here. But there's no need to be a slave to my whims — click here and subscribe so you never miss a video!