A Birthday Girl's Crowning Glory

To unwind some people crack open a cold one, pop in a DVD or take a cat nap. That's not my style. My personal form of recreation is travelling the blogosphere looking for the latest news in beauty/hair trends. But when the boredom is unbareable I whip out my train case and aim my tools at the nearest available human head. In this case, it was Deana Sdao on the day of her 20th birthday. Here are a few tips:

When using a curling iron you want to start at the middle of the hair shaft and not at the ends. Your ends are the part of your hair that will fry first. Ideally, you should leave them out. This will prevent split ends in the future.
If you aren't in a rush and you have a couple pins lying around before unwinding the curl from the iron release the iron carefully and slip it out of the hair. Pin the curls in place and then spray with a fine mist hairspray. I recommend Elnett by L'Oreal.
The longer the curl has time to cool in this shape the longer it will hold. If you have enough pins do this technique to every section of hair. If not, I recommend just doing the top. Typically with any hair setting the volume at the crown of the head is the first to fall. Keep the crowning curls pinned and do your makeup, get dressed and have a drink while they're in place. Then let out the pins, unwind the hair and finger-comb to separate the sections. Voila!

At Home Airbrushing :TEMPTU

Have you ever picked up a consumer magazine like Cosmopolitan or GQ and sneered at the celebrity on the cover and said, "That's so airbrushed!"? Your suspicions were probably accurate as many magazines use digital photo enhancing software like Adobe Photoshop to make cover girls (and guys) look flawless. Airbrushing isn't simply a click and drag of the mouse; what most forget is that airbrushing is a makeup artist technique. Many pro MAs are trained to operate airbrush machines that spray a micro-mist of foundation onto the skin to achieve an impeccable complexion. A major producer of this pro tool, TEMPTU is bringing that technology from backstage to your bathroom.

TEMPTU advertises itself a mini airbrush machine that gives you the same finish as professional-grade airbrushes. Besides the soft-focus immaculate finish, TEMPTU has its cons. This perfection painter comes with a hefty price tag. Beauty authority, SEPHORA.com, retails this product for $225 (US) which only includes the AIRbrush Makeup System. Makeup is not included and the AIRbrush only works with TEMPTU AIRpod™ foundation ($55). TEMPTU says its pod foundations last 2-3 months but a novice will most likely use more product than they should in the initial trial and error phase before they get the hang of it. So if you have $300 to spare and your roommates won't mind waking up to the sound of a noisy air compressor in the morning then the TEMPTU Makeup System is for you.
(Photo: Sephora.com)

The Thin Black Line

This fall, whether it is a gel, cream, kohl pencil or liquid formula eyeliner is taking center stage. Marc Jacobs Spring '09 show features thick, winged-out structured lines where as D Squared has their models sporting a soft, smudged out smoldering look. Though both looks are extreme variations of both can easily be carried over from the runway to the sidewalk.

(Photo: maccosmetics.com)
Smudged and Smoldering
If eyeliner is a new addition to your beauty arsenal, MAKE UP FOREVER's AQUA EYES eyeliner pencil is a definite staple. Its long-wearing, blacker than black formula glides on effortlessly minimizing the need to pull your eyelid taught and increase the chances of sagging in the eye area in the future. To achieve this look, line the top lash line and the waterline with the pencil and then take a small smudge brush (e.g. MAC #219) and dip it in a black eyeshadow and trace along the pencil lines to soften the line. Brushing powder over the pencil seals in the liner to make it last longer.


The key to keeping this look more Angelina Jolie and less Amy Winehouse is choosing a precise liner that you can control: a gel eyeliner like MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack or my personal favourite L'oreal LineurIntense in Carbon Black. The key is not to try to make the line in one shot. Use tiny strokes to make an outline of the thicker line then fill in. Also, try not to go too far away from your eye when winging out the end.