Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Beauty of Accesories: A Guest Post by Erin Kidd

Hello blog readers, this is not Amanda speaking. Actually, this is Erin Kidd, someone who loves Amanda very much :)

That's me :)
 Anyway, for those of you who do not know, I have my own blog called Becoming a Girly Girl. Basically, I am a once tomboy, no makeup wearer, who is trying to learn the ins and outs of being girly. My blog is documenting my journey to become a true woman...or at least a girlier one.

So, for this blog post, you are stuck with me instead of Amanda. Oh yeah, I know you are excited. ;)

Today, I am here to talk to you about my experience with accessories. For years, my only accessory was a cross necklace that my momma gave me for Christmas. It was simple, elegant, and represented something that I was passionate about. It was the only accessory that I felt like I needed.

You see my cross necklace?
However, I have recently began to experiment with other types of accessories because I am trying to be girly and girly girls accessorize.

  Headbands, bows, necklaces, rings, hats, bracelets, etc....they are all slowly making their way into my life. I am starting to understand how just the right accessory can bring an entire outfit together. I now own some bows for my hair, some long necklaces, and some hats. I have to say that I am proud of myself for broadening my horizons and jumping onto the accessory train.

pretty headband
So I guess the morale of the story is, girly girls accessorize. If you see a cute accessory in a store that you just have to buy, go ahead and splurge...just make sure that you have an outfit that will go with it. I am currently expanding my collection, and will continue to girly myself out with accessories.

What is hair?

Hair, it is our ultimate accessory. We carry it with us everywhere we go so we always want it to look great. But have you ever thought about what hair really is, what it’s made of? What makes our hair different colors and different types like straight or curly? Well, I am here to tell you.

What is hair? 
First off, your hair grows out of follicles on your scalp. Hair starts out as a bulb. Then the follicle grows under the skin and the shaft is the part of the hair that is seen outside the scalp. The only part of the hair that is really alive is what is under the skin. This is where the hair grows. Also under the skin around the hair follicle are the sebaceous glands which produce sebum, an oily substance that coats the hair making it semi waterproof. This is what allows water to run off hair when it is washed. This diagram shows a picture of hair under the skin. 

Hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin which gives hair its strength. The hair shaft itself is made up of three parts. The first layer is the medulla. The second layer is the cortex. This layer is the main source of the shafts strength and where the hair collects water. The top layer is the cuticle. This is the layer that provides protection thanks to the cells that make it up. This is the layer of the hair that is damaged by things such as rough brushing, heating products such as curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers, as well as chemical damage from hair color. It is important that you use protective styling products to keep you hair as damage free as possible! 

What determines hair type and color?
The secret of hair type and color lie in cortex layer of the hair. The shapes of the cells that make up this layer determine how straight or curly your hair will be. The more round the cell the straighter the hair and the more oval or abnormally shaped the more curly. As for hair color, it is determined by something called melanin. Different types of melanin and the abundance of it determine hair color. Eumelanin causes dark blonde, brunette, or black hair. Pheomelanin makes red hair. Blonde hair is not caused by a specific type of melanin but the lack of melanin. Grey hair begins to show as the melanin in your hair starts to decrease and slowly disappear. 

Now that you know a little more about what exactly your hair is I hope that you will appreciate it more. Hair is more complex than we like to think. It is very important to keep your hair healthy and protected so you will always have you best accessory!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lip color: The final step of your beaty routine

The last thing every girl needs to complete her make up routine is lip color. Even if you prefer going “nude” it is good to put some type of product on your lips such as a gloss or balm like Chap Stick so they do not look too bare against the rest of your made-up face. The #1 rule of lip color is not to play up your eyes AND your lips. This simply means that if you are putting a lot of emphasis on your eyes then down play your lips. If you are going more natural with your eye make up then play up your lips to get a dramatic effect somewhere on your face.  

STEP 1: Liner
Not all women use lip liner when applying lip color but that is fine. The point of lip liner is to correct any flaws in your lips, make them appear larger or smaller, and to give the color product a base to stick to. Lip liner does make your color last longer so it is good to use. When applying liner you should follow the natural line of your lip. If you want to make them look bigger line right outside your natural line but DO NOT go over board! You will be able to see the natural line of your lip if you make a fake line too far away from it. The same rule goes for making lips appear smaller but make your line slightly inside the natural lip line. After you have made the outside line, color in your lips with the liner.


STEP 2: Lip color
I keep using the phrase “lip color” because traditional lipsticks are not the only products you can use to get color on your lips. You can use colored glosses and balms as well. You should pick the product that feels most comfortable to you. 

When picking a lip color it is important to remember that not all colors will look the same on all people. You have to keep in mind the colors of your skin tone and feel free to try different shades before picking one that is right for you. Also keep in mind you can mix colors to create a perfect shade.

When applying your lip color you should follow the line of your natural lips or the line you created with your liner. You can use a lip brush, your finger, or the tube/wand itself, just do what is easiest for you. After you apply your color, rub your lips together to blend the color. A tip I learned works to keep lipstick off your teeth is to stick your finger in your mouth, close your lips around it and pull it out. I know this sounds funny but it will remove any color that would rub off onto your teeth!

After this step, you are finished with your lip color.  You should now have all the steps and tips necessary to complete a basic make up routine! I hope that you have are excited to try your new routine out and remember, BE CREATIVE!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This week I am going to continue the trend of make up how-to’s. Our make up routine is not complete just yet. After foundation, powder, some blush and maybe a little bronzer, it is time to shift to the eyes. Your are probably the most powerful things on your face and applying make up to them in the right ways will help them POP!

When applying make up you should always begin by applying your eye shadow. It is important that your eyelids be primed with foundation and powder so that the eye shadow will stick without wearing off. In today’s age, it really does not matter what color your eye shadow is. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MATCH YOUR EYESHADOW TO YOUR OUTFIT!! It is ok to experiment with different colors. Neutral colors like browns and tans go with every skin type and are a safe bet if you are not sure what color to pick. Many products today are geared for specific types of eye colors and come in pallets with 2-4 different shades of colors.
Eye shadow pallet
When applying the eye shadow you should start with a lighter color on the lids of your eyes. Apply some of the shadow to your brush and starting at the inside corner of your eye sweep the color to the outside corner. Next, you want to get a color a shade lighter than the lid color and apply that to your crease. To find your crease close your eye and open it again; the natural crease is where you want to apply the darker color. For an even more dramatic look, you can apply and even darker shade to the outside corner to give your eyes definition. Finally, you want to apply a translucent color to your brow bone and the inside corners of your eye near your tear ducts. The light shimmer makes your eyes look bigger. Applying shadows in this order will give your eyes amazing definition and make them pop! Make sure to do the same steps for both eyes.

The next step to eye make up is eyeliner. Eyeliner is not always necessary when applying eye make up but is another way to add definition and make your eyes stand out. It is good to stick with neutral colored eyeliner if you are applying it with colored eye shadow, but again feel free to experiment. I recommend black or brown or if you believe that these colors are too dark opt for a gray. When lining your eyes it is most important to do the top lashes. This will make your eyes appear larger. Before applying your liner, find your natural lash line, this is where your eyeliner should go. You do not want a space between your lashes and your liner. Just like with your shadow, start at the inside corner of your eye and work out. It is good to do small strokes so you can follow the natural lash line. You should stop at the outside corner of your eye or if you are feeling daring add a small wing to the end! Repeat the same steps on the other eye.

Mascara tube
In my personal opinion, mascara is the most important eye make up. You can go without shadow or liner and mascara will define your eyes by itself. Mascaras come in all forms; lengthening, plumping, waterproof, etc, you should find the one that best fits your needs. When applying mascara you should start with your bottom lashes so you do not smear the mascara on your top lashes on accident. Remove the brush from your mascara tube and gently apply the make up to your bottom lashes. Go slowly so you do not accidentally hit your skin with the brush. If this happens, simply use a wet q-tip to remove the excess make up. After the bottom lashes are done, then apply the mascara to your upper lashes. Some people find it easier to apply it on your top lashes if you slowly blink while pulling the brush upward. When all lashes on both eyes are evenly coated with mascara, you are done with your eye make up!

I hope that you find these steps easy to follow and remember eye make up is all about being creative. Use it as a tool to express yourself!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blush: The second step of your make up routine

Hello readers! Since last time I told you how to start your make up routine, applying foundation and powder, this time we are going to talk about the next step, blush. Like your foundation and powder, your blush should be applied before the rest of your make up.
Step One: Picking your shade
Picking the right shade of blush for your skin tone is the most important step. The point of blush is to give you a natural, feminine glow, NOT to make you look like Bozo the Clown! The basic rule of thumb when it comes to blush is to flatter your skin tone. Simply put, the lighter your skin the lighter shade of blush you should choose. If you do not know your skin tone, has a unique tool that can help you.
Once you have determined your skin tone next you should pick your blush color. The easiest way to determine the appropriate color is to lightly pinch your cheek and pick the shade closest to the color your cheeks turn. It is good if you bring a mirror with you when you go to buy your blush in case there isn’t one available. WARNING: sometimes the incandescent lights in department stores can alter the color of your blush. If you get it home and realize it is not the right color, TAKE IT BACK!

Step Two: Applying your blush
After you have found your perfect shade it is time to apply. You will need a blush brush to apply the powdered product. The bigger the brush, the more natural the application will look.
Blush Brush
Rub brush in circular motion over blush to get product on it. Lightly blow off excess blush. Next SMILE! The round apples of your cheeks are where you want to start applying your blush. Apply in small circular motions up towards the temples. Soften the line by doing the same motions over again until the blush is well blended. You may want to add a little blush to the bridge of your nose and forehead.

My Bronzer
Optional Step Three: Bronzer
Adding bronzer to your blush step can help give you a sun kissed look. The same rules apply with picking blush. If you have a lighter skin tone pick a lighter bronzer. You should apply bronzer to places where the sun would naturally hit your face: bridge of nose, forehead and high on your cheek bones

Now get out there and find your perfect shade of blush and bronzer. These two products can help your skin pop! Good luck!