The Ultimate Wedding Touch Up Bag

This week my husband and I are celebrating a big anniversary, so I’m feeling all nostalgic. I’ve prepped a beautiful bag to keep me fresh throughout my festivities, and I wanted to share what’s inside with you because this is also the perfect kit for brides to use during your wedding reception or on your honeymoon.

Pick a Gorgeous Bag

I still have (and use!) my precious little Orla Kiely makeup bag from my wedding, so choose something that’s both sturdy and functional, as well as one that makes your happy. For my anniversary, I picked this gorgeous Ted Baker with cherry blossoms:

Since we’re doing a month-long staycation in Washington, D.C., I love the iconic cherry blossoms on this bag – and especially this year because the delicate blossoms pulled through some rough weather against all odds, just like a good marriage (awww…).

Get Practical, but Stay Pretty

It’s not fun to think about body odor, but trust – you do not want to be caught without a few ways to freshen up. Still, you can make this process fun by choosing out-of-the-ordinary items. I packed a lovely little deodorant, some antibacterial wipes, my perfume in a travel size, and my favorite mints:

Skincare with Flair

Long days and nights of dancing, being outside, sweating, laughing and crying can take a toll on your skin, so it’s important to have a few tricks in your bag. My favorite makeup remover sticks from Almay are a must for cleaning up mascara smudges and travelling lip gloss; I also use them to remove concealer, but more on that later. Keep a multi-purpose balm on hand for lip balm, to groom brows, hydrate cuticles, and a myriad of other uses. A refreshing facial mist keeps you glowing and looking awake, and an eye cream – especially in roller ball from – tightens and brightens. Finally, I have to have a luxurious hand cream:

 

Makeup Must-Haves

It goes without saying that you should have your lipstick or gloss on hand, but I think it’s important to also keep some concealer with you, too. Remember those makeup remover sticks? When your under-eye concealer starts looking a little crazy, just use them to remove everything under your eyes, apply some of your eye cream, and tap on a fresh layer of concealer. This trick will instantly refresh your entire look! Finally, have a pretty powder compact with a mirror so you can touch up anywhere as well as have something to set your concealer. If you’re dry like me, and powder doesn’t look the best, take advantage of the new blurring technologies to set your makeup.

~~~

I think having a special bag filled with some of your favorite beauty items is such an affordable indulgence because you’re not only giving yourself permission to feel beautiful, but you’re creating memories as well – whenever you use that lipstick or inhale that perfume, you’ll relive some of life’s most precious moments. And while it’s important to treat yo self, remember that the best makeup is a sincere smile; so even if you aren’t a bride, it’s the perfect time to do a little beauty spring cleaning and update your makeup bag.

Have an incredible week, and please stay in touch @ElectraLane on Instagram!

Images c/o Author and Google Images

Master Class with Melanie Mills

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a master class with Emmy award-winning makeup artist Melanie Mills. And it was amazing. So this week, I want to share some of the top things I learned (I took pages upon pages of notes!) that will help you add a little – or a lot, let’s be honest – of glamour to your everyday makeup.

{Melanie Mills and a fangirl}

The master class was held at my hair salon, Sylists @ North (the cutest salon with the most amazing service!) and they did a top-notch job hosting – check out the scrumptious treats:

After we had some time to chat, we all sat down to take in the gloriousness that is Melanie Mills. Personally, I am 100% on board with her makeup philosophies because she’s all about looking glamorous, false lashes, and glitter. In fact, she wrote a book called Glitter and Glam that I highly recommend if you want to know more about how to do your makeup like a pro.

{Image c/o MelanieMillsHollywood.com}

Our gorgeous model, Laura Rose (@lauraroseyoga), arrived bare-face, but left like this:

{So. Gorgeous.}

Melanie started with a daytime look, then bumped the look up for nighttime. In case you’re wondering why you need to do that, take a picture of yourself in daylight and then at night with a flash. It’s darker at night, which means you need bolder colors so they show up, plus there’s usually a flash which causes you to look washed out unless you have more color on your face. It’s worth the extra 15 minutes!

{The calm before the beautiful storm}

The top three things I learned:

Baking = Caking

I HATE baking. So much. I appreciate it for stage makeup, but you have to take your time and you have to do it right. When you see everyone on YouTube and Instagram baking every day, you start think you’re crazy because you really hate the trend. Thankfully, sometimes it takes someone who’s won an EMMY (!) to set you straight. Melanie said, “Baking equals caking, especially on mature skin…it’s called baking because it looks like flour” While there is a time and place, it’s certainly not necessary for every day makeup.

Keep Lashes Intact

This is a two-for-one tip! To get a really great curl, sometimes it’s fun to curl your lashes after applying mascara. The problem is that method can rip out your lashes. The solution? Powder your eyelash curler first with a light dusting of translucent powder. And for false lashes – this one blew my mind – Melanie suggests not trimming them to fit your lash line because it messes with the integrity of the lash. Instead, use individual or cluster lashes, or find strips that are already a good fit.

Don’t Forget Body Makeup!

“Completion is key!” Melanie mentioned a famous late night talk show host (*cough* whose last time rhymes with mole bear…) who hates having makeup applied to his ears. The problem is that, especially under TV lights, this makes his ears look super red compared to his face. The same thing happens when you do this gorgeous makeup on your face, but neglect your neck and chest. One of the best solutions is to invest in good body makeup, especially now that we’re headed into the warmer months. Melanie has an insane line of body makeup, called Gleam Body Radiance, that tightens and brightens your skin. It can be used as a primer and illuminator, too. I purchased the Disco Gold shade, but will be heading back to purchase Rose Gold as well!

For more of Melanie’s tips and tricks, make sure to order her incredible book and follow her on Instagram @Gleam_MelanieMills. Thanks for joining me this week, and let’s stay in touch on Instagram @ElectraLane. If you like the blog, please let your friends know so they can join the fun!

How I Do Glam

There are levels of makeup. There’s the five-minute I’m-Lucky-To-Get-There-On-Time, every day makeup. Then there’s fancy night out/wedding guest/celebration makeup when you want to step it up. Finally, there’s special occasion makeup when you usually call on a pro (Like me – Email Jessica@ElectraLane if you’re in the DC area or need a lesson via Skype).

Since I mostly focus on skincare and basic makeup, I’m going to show you the second type – for when bottles are poppin’, selfies are taken, and you want to look GOOD. The good news is you can make a big impact with a few simple changes like swapping foundation for your daily tinted moisturizer and adding some highlight to your face’s high points. But there are some other tricks involved, and I’ll explain a few now.

Quick disclaimer – this makeup is what works for me, for my skin type, my bone structure, and so on. If you do something I suggest and it doesn’t work for you, please DO NOT get frustrated! Hit me up on Instagram (@ElectraLane) and ask a question. Or, better yet (another shameless plug), set up a 30-minute chat session to ask all of your burning makeup questions.

Ok – y’all ready to get glam?

Step 1 – SKIN (part 1)

Prep your skin (here’s what I do). If you have time, I highly suggest doing a face mask to further get your skin ready to handle all the goodness you’re about to apply. My favorite is the Glamglow Gravitymud mask that makes you look like an alien but then firms and plumps the skin, taking at least 2-3 years off your face.

Next, I add a primer – there are millions it seems – so get something that works for your skin type. I also like to take this opportunity to prime my eyelids with a little concealer and powder. Here’s where it gets fun – at this point, I like to skip to my eyes. I know traditional wisdom says start with foundation (because it’s the *cough* foundation), but there are lots of benefits to letting makeup set/settle/sink in so I like to skip around.

Step 2 – EYES

Again, a million options here, but I like to do eye shadow/liner/mascara/lashes, but wait to do the brows. THIS is one of my favorite eye looks.

{Bronze Smokey Eye Glam – my favorite fancy look}

Step 3 – SKIN (part 2)

Now that the primer has soaked in, I do THIS technique to get flawless, long-lasting foundation, and HERE is a tip for perfect blush plus my #1 favorite trick that pulls the whole look together. Also interested in my favorite bag-busting, dark-circle cancelling under-eye concealers? Boom.

{Your sweat won’t be your only sparkle when you work out}

Step 4- BROWS + LIPS

I find that somewhere between blending eye shadow and applying foundation, my brows get a lot of junk in them, so that’s why I wait to fill them in – which I do with anything from a brow pencil, to a gel liner, to a plain, old eye shadow. Do what you like! Just make sure to comb out all the other makeup particles first (with a spoolie or eyebrow comb). Then, on to lips. I tend to go for a nude gloss that can easily and discreetly be reapplied throughout the night as needed but, if you love a bold lip, you must try THIS trick to keep your lips on all night!

{Everyday Glam}

Step 5 – FINISHING TOUCHES

You made it! You’ve sat through at least 20 minutes of makeup application, so let’s make sure it’s perfect and it stays on. Take a Q-Tip and use it to gently buff any harsh lines, pick up eye shadow or mascara that’s fallen, or fix any bleeding lipstick (which you won’t have if you do my trick…just saying). Once everything is in place, spray it with a setting spray (like Urban Decay’s All-Nighter) then go have fun!

{Special Event Glam}

TOUCH-UPS

I absolutely hate to leave the dance floor to check my makeup, but when I do excuse myself to the ladies room, I like to have a few things in my bag in case anything needs a little tweak. Obviously, carry your lipstick or gloss with you. I also like to have a couple Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks on hand to clean up any makeup that’s moved, and I definitely suggest keeping some eyelash glue nearby if you’re sporting falsies (which you should because they’re amazing).

{All day, erry day. Photo c/o Drugstore.com}

Please tag @ElectraLane so I can see your own Glam Goddess selves, and I’ll meet you back here next week!

Sheet Masks 101

If you’ve wondered why a bunch of people on social media are running around looking like Hannibal Lecter, let me explain.

Korean skincare is pretty much the standard; Korean women have some of the most beautiful skin you’ve ever seen thanks to skincare routines with 11 steps or more. While we tend to look at a face mask as a maybe-weekly indulgence, cleansing, toning, masks, and facial massage are just a few among the many daily rituals performed. I had the pleasure of studying with a beautiful facialist from Korea, and she taught me that we only get one set of skin so we must take impeccable care of it.

Just like the recent commercial burst of Eastern health practices (yoga, Ayurveda, meditation…) , Eastern skincare is having its bright and shiny moment. With so many great skincare options popping up everywhere, including the corner drugstore, now is the perfect time to reinvent your own skincare routine – and sheet masks are a fantastic way to start.

Like a regular mask, a sheet mask delivers a hefty dose of potent ingredients to the deep layers of the skin. Unlike a regular mask, however, a sheet mask also provides a protective barrier so that the air doesn’t absorb any of the moisture you want in your skin, and basically pushes all the good stuff deeper into your skin.

When should you use a sheet mask? As a part of your morning or evening skincare routine, before a night out, as a weekly refresh for your skin, or any time you need a little pick-me-up. Each mask has a different purpose, so if you want to brighten, tighten, lighten or hydrate, there’s a mask for that.

I found an amazing company called FaceTory that offers a mask subscription service – I get 4 masks a month for just under $6 (which is amazing since a Sephora brand mask is $6 for one!). If you’d like to try any of their products or sign up for a subscription, here’s a link for 10% off: http://facetory.refr.cc/jessicay.

Finally, I put together a little demo to show you just how to use a sheet mask. Please check it out and give it a *like* if you enjoyed it. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog so you never miss new tips, products, and makeup insider info. See you next week!

One Technique, Endless Opitons

I think makeup should be like cooking – you have a recipe and, while you can tweak the ingredients to your taste, you follow the recipe and you get basically the same results.

Today, I’m giving you the simplest makeup recipe that requires only three ingredients, but yields endless outcomes.

For this eye look, the ingredients are a medium eye shadow, a dark eye shadow, and an eyeliner. As far as tools, a fluffy crease/blending brush and eye shadow brush are all you need, but an angled or smudge brush helps, too.

Here are the steps:

  1. Blend the medium shadow into the crease
  2. Line the eyes on top and smudge the liner up towards the crease color, then add a little liner on the outer corner of the bottom lash line – smudge towards the inner corner
  3. Pat the darker shadow on top of the liner using the eye shadow brush (or your finger!) as well as under the bottom lash line
  4. Define the eyes by lining again but just the top lash line
  5. Blend the shadows around the edges with the blending brush to make sure there aren’t any hard lines, then add mascara and/or faux lashes

That’s it! Now it’s up to you to get creative. Choose a mix of matte, metallic and/or sparkly shadows, and don’t just stay with traditional, neutral eye shadow colors – experiment rosy tones, blues, greens or violets, just make sure the shades aren’t super close together. Get even more adventurous by keeping your liner close to the lash line or wing it out like Amy Winehouse. It’s up to you!

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for you to follow:

Please give this look a try, and tag me on Instagram @ElectraLane so I can see your awesome work! Please *subscribe* to this blog so you don’t miss any more tips or tricks, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next week.

 

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