10/28/16

Tiger Halloween Makeup

Tigers are my absolute favourite animal! They have been since I was a kid. So it should come as no surprise that I was excited to try and turn myself into one!


To be honest though, I hummed and hawed about doing this look quite a bit. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off. And then I remembered that makeup is supposed to be fun and experimental! It doesn't have to be perfect. It also helped that NYX Cosmetics sent me home with a bunch of goodies after attending a Halloween themed party last week. I couldn't resist playing around with their new products and testing my skills at some more theatrical makeup.

The whole look was actually inspired by this copper and black ombre winged liner I wore earlier int he month. The colour combo immediately made me think of my favourite fury feline.


I used my Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Get Paid (are you sick of hearing me talk about this product yet) for the inner half of my eye, and continued the line with the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel EyeLiner in Blackest Black, making sure the two connected and blended in the middle. On a normal day I'd have a fairly small wing, but this isn't any normal look...

I chose to focus most of the attention on my eyes, extending the wings out just passed the tail of my eyebrows and extending both inner corners, which gave the illusion that my eyes were a little more downturned and cat-like.


Aside from the eyes, everything else was actually fairly simple! I bronzed the crap out of my skin, particularly in the hallows of my face - basically anywhere I would normally contour - using a fairly orange-toned powder to achieve a more tiger-like complexion. On the high points I used a matte white eyeshadow topped with Vegas Baby Pigment from NYX. I just couldn't resist adding a little shimmer and glitz! It is Halloween after all - the time of year when someone could douse themselves in glitter and call themselves a disco ball. Hmmmmm, I may be on to something...

I used black face paint for the nose and stripes, which I highlighted using one of NYX's new Lip Of The Day Liquid Lip Liner in Hex. It's a metallic rust colour which can be used to create interesting lip art, but I broke the rules and used it on all other parts of my face instead. To finish everything off, I painted my top lip black. To be honest, it may be the only time you'll ever catch me wearing black lipstick...



In the end, I think it turned out pretty good! Although I did forget to apply mascara or lashes!! (SIGHHHH) You should have seen my face in the mirror when I realized this half-way through washing all of the makeup off...

All products used:

Face

Eyes
Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Medium
Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Get Paid
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel EyeLiner in Blackest Black
Lorac Pro Palette - White, Sable, Espresso and Black
NYX Slim Eye Pencil in White

Lips
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Alien

Happy Halloween!

xxx

10/21/16

One Makeup Product, Three Uses


Today's post is to prove that you don't need to own a ton of products to create a full face of makeup. The fact is, many products on the market can be used in a variety of different ways. Try using a darker shade of foundation or concealer to contour. A gel eyeliner can make a great eyeshadow base. Or use a lipstick as a cream blush, a blush for eyeshadow, or get creative and use a lip liner as eyeliner.


For this look I used the NARS Blush in Sin on my eyes, cheeks AND lips. The mauve shade works well with my skin tone and is a perfect hue for fall! I used a fluffy blending brush to concentrate it in my crease and blend it ever so slightly over the lid, creating a nice transition and gradient effect.


It's probably one of my favourite blushes to use during this time of year and packs some powerful pigment! I swept a small amount on my cheeks for a flush of colour.


Finally, I created my own custom lip shade by combining small flakes from the blush with some of my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. A clear gloss would work well for this as well. 


I have to admit, it hurt me a little to scrape away at such a beautiful, high-end product, but I really love how the colour translated on my lips. It's a trick I just may have to continue using in the future... 


Other Products Used:

xxx

10/18/16

Pinned & Tried: Homemade Vicks Shower Tabs


Sniffly nose, sore throat, headache and a chest cough got you down? I'm not surprised...

Fall my be beautiful, but it's also the ugly time of year when EVERYONE seems to get sick.

Last week I came down with a rotten cold - something that rarely happens, but when it does, it slaps me in the face! After a few sleepless nights and a raw nose from using an entire box of Kleenex, I was desperate for some relief. It seemed like the perfect time to test these homemade Vicks shower disks I spotted on Pinterest.


I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of the decongestant ointment...the thick, greasy texture always seems to make me break out when applied directly to my skin. Therefore, these dissolving tablets are the perfect alternative to clear my sinuses. Steam releases the iconic eucalyptus and menthol fragrances, filling the shower with vapours that help loosen unwanted boogies and create a clean nasal passage.


They're pretty easy to make too! Just combine baking soda, corn starch, VapoRub and a little bit of water. I added a couple drops of blue food colouring to make mine look a little more interesting. Stir the mixture and then press into an ice cube tray, or candy/chocolate mold for fun shapes. Stick in the freezer for a few hours before popping them out and storing in an airtight container. When ready to use, place one near your shower drain and let the hot water go to work.


I was actually pretty impressed at how slowly they disappeared. Mine lasted until I was finished washing up! They weren't overly strong smelling, though. I believe this is either due to their petite shape and size, or perhaps because I used lemon scented VapoRub, which is a little more mild. Either way, I did find it easier to breathe. And the best part! No breakouts!!!


These would also be super cute to give a sick friend or family member as a 'Get Well Soon' gift! Something to keep in mind...because once you've caught it, there's a very good chance you'll pass it along to someone else...

xxx

10/14/16

Nail-O-Ween #3 - Halloween Colour Water Marble

It's the third and final Halloween themed manicure of my Nail-O-Ween series! This one is definitely my favourite! But it's also the most tricky to create...


It took me a couple of tries to figure the technique out, but once I did, it was so cool to see the patterns appear on each nail! And I promise, it got easier with practice. 

The trick I learned right off the bat is that it is VERY important to use room temperature water in a smaller sized dish - it can be a Tupperware container, plastic cup or shot glass. Just make sure there's enough space to dunk a finger (or two) at the same time, but not too much space or the colours will spread too far. I also had to experiment with a variety of different nail polishes to find ones with just enough density to float. I had originally wanted to use black, but my polish was a little too thin. 


I started by painting all of my nails white, which helped the other colours appear brighter. I found it also very helpful for the water marble pattern to transfer onto a mostly dry base. Therefore, I waited roughly 15 minutes after painting my nails with this first coat before 'diving' into the fun part. While waiting, I taped around each nail to protect the surrounding skin from catching excess polish.

For this look I chose to use four different colours: orange, dark purple, light purple and neon green...a.k.a. my interpretation of Halloween colours. Another trick with this technique is to work fairly quick, so I found it handy to have the lids of each nail polish bottle unscrewed and ready to use. One at a time, I placed droplets of colour onto the surface of my room temperature water, being careful not to hold the brush too high or else the polish would sink to the bottom. I used the 'bullseye' design, which is created by dropping one colour in the centre of another, repeatedly until it looks like a shooting target. 


The next step was also a bit of a learning process for me. Using a toothpick to 'draw' my design, I realized that it is imperative to not begin from the outermost edge. By the time I had finished creating my bullseye, the largest ring (the first colour we dropped) would be dry and appear to have a gummy texture. It would stick to the toothpick and just make everything very sloppy. Instead, I started a wee bit closer to the middle, which created much smoother lines. 


Aiming for a pattern that I thought would look neat on my nail, I dunked my finger into the water. One more tip I learned: try to keep your finger on a 45 degree angle to avoid air bubbles. 

While my nail was in the water, I used a toothpick to remove the remaining polish from the surface and around my finger. Once the top was clear, I pulled my nail out and took a look and marvelled at my design.


Finally, I removed the tape from each finger and used a Q-Tip with some nail polish remover to clean up any areas of skin that may have been smudged during the process. 

I was so shocked at how many compliments I received from this manicure. Family members, friends and even strangers seemed so intrigued. It was quite fun to tell them "no, they're not stickers" and then giggle inside at how simple the nails were to create.


There may not be ghosts, or blood, or cobwebs, but I think this nail art is a more generic way to show Halloween spirit. Or...how psychedelically cool would it be paired with a 70s or disco themed costume? Otherwise, the colours can easily be changed and it can be worn as an eye-catching manicure at any time of the year!

xxx 

10/12/16

Nail-O-Ween #2 - Easy Skull And Crossbones

Well, my attempt at creating simple skull nails, ended up looking less like the spooky faces seen on a pirate ship and more like aliens...

Regardless, they're still Halloween appropriate and easy to achieve in just a few steps.


I started by painting a base coat on each nail, choosing to alternate between white and blue. I used a fairly large dotting tool to create each head, and decided to drag some of the polish down into a point,  to create a longer looking face. Using the same colour as my nail polish base, I then placed two tiny spots for the eyes. To create the crossbones I used a thin brush to paint diagonal lines overlapping each other and applied two dots on each end. 


I hope you the second post in my three-part Nail-O-Ween series. I can't wait to share the final manicure with you on Friday! 

xxx

10/10/16

Nail-O-Ween #1 - BOOlicious Ombré Candy Corn

My nails are the longest they've ever been!! So before they break (which is bound to happen very soon) I thought I would take advantage of their length and create this Nail-O-Ween series, featuring easy Halloween themed nail art anyone can do. This week I'll be coming at you with not one...not two...but three different ideas, starting with this ombré candy corn and ghost combo.


The ombré technique is one of my favourites! I've used it a couple of times on my blog before (here and here), so if you're interested in learning how to do it yourself, go check those out! It's soooo super easy and I'm always pleased with the way it turns out.

The ghost was actually even more simple to create! Starting with a white base, I used a dotting tool with some black polish to create two medium sized circles for the eyes and a large spot for the mouth. Then, using a nail striper with the same black polish I painted triangles shapes, creating a jagged french tip.


I used a matte top coat....a) because I'm obsessed, but b) because it helped mimic the rough texture of candy corn. I do suggest waiting for your nails to dry a fair bit before applying any sort of top coat, however, or you'll end up with some imperfections and smudging like I did. 

Stay tuned for my next Nail-O-Ween post, which will be up on Wednesday! 

xxx

10/7/16

One Pot Pumpkin Mac 'N Cheese

At this point October may as well be renamed Pumpkin. It seems the orange squash is all people can talk about this month...including myself! Admittedly, I've been putting it in my morning smoothies, oatmeal and breakfast quinoa.


Pumpkin is a good source fibre, potassium and vitamin C, which encourages the production of collagen and helps our skin glow. I've made it a point to keep our pantry stocked with a can or two recently, for times when the pumpkin spice cravings kick in.

I recently had some leftover puree sitting in my fridge begging to be used, so I did a quick search on Pinterest - which is currently overflowing with pumpkin recipes - for inspiration and stumbled upon this One Pot Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta. I'm a big fan of KD, but with a trip to Jamaica planned in a month I'm trying to stop eating so much crap. I liked the sounds of this healthier version and after a very long day in the office I was craving some comfort food. Quite frankly, I was exhausted and had zero energy to even stop for groceries on my way home. So instead I improvised and used ingredients I had at home. I didn't steer too far from the recipe and it turned out even better than I had expected! It definitely hit the spot! And it was all made in one pot, which saved my sleepy butt from having to clean up a huge mess afterwards.


Ingredients:
1 small onion (diced)
1 cup organic vegetable stock
2 cups organic chicken stock
1/2 package of ditalini pasta noodles
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 teapsoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (cut into cubes)
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper)

Instructions:
1. In a small(ish) pot combine onions, pasta noodles, vegetable and chicken stock, pumpkin puree and spices. Stir together and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for roughly 10 minutes. I put a lid on my pot but uncovered it quite frequently to stir and ensure noodles did not stick to the bottom.
3. Once the majority of liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is cooked, remove it from the heat and stir in the cream cheese, cheese and margarine.

Now I have to admit, these photos were taken a day after I made the dish. I was ravenous and devoured a big hot bowl of it before deciding it was even worthy of a blog post. I promise, it turns out much more creamy when made fresh, but tasted just as good as leftovers for lunch.

And yes, I do like ketchup on my mac 'n cheese. Don't you?!

xxx

10/4/16

The Blogiversary Photos You Didn't Get To See

I don't often arrange big photo shoots for Beauty by Birdy...normally it's just me behind the camera lens taking images of products. But a blog anniversary is a big deal in my eyes, and I've made it a tradition to celebrate with some fancy photos. This year I came up with the idea to pose with balloons (two to be exact, since I was celebrating my second year of blogging) on a nearby cliff while the sun set in the distance. I recruited help from my very patient boyfriend, who did a wonderful job capturing the photos I included in this post last month. 


Unfortunately I only shared a small fraction of those great shots with you, so today I'm posting even more. Here are the blogiversary photos you didn't get to see, including a peek behind the scenes. 


What you don't know is we actually used four balloons for these shots. I just could not trust my dear friend Mother Nature with her prickly bushes and tree branches. It was also a pretty hot day. Sun and heat + helium balloons = POP! I was not willing to take the risk and figured backups were necessary!

Ps. If you have a great attention to detail and notice my snazzy purple sneakers in the photo above, I have to let you know that these were only for safety during our hike. They came off and I switched to more outfit flattering shoes once we reached the cliff for our photo-op. 


Check out my handsome photographer for the day!! 


Dev also surprised me with an extra prop...champagne! Which happened to pop itself sitting on the ground while we fiddled with the camera...

After the bubbly erupted like a volcano, there was not much time (or liquid) left to capture celebratory shots, so we had to act quick! 

Despite some unpredictable moments and elements, which (aside from the eager champagne bottle) included extreme winds and a couple failed attempts to let the balloons go, I was quite happy with how the photos turned out. 


Special Acknowledgements
I wish to convey special thanks to the weather man for predicting clear skies that week. 

I would like to thank the cute, but hesitant dog we encountered on the trail for choosing not to destroy my precious balloons.

But most of all, I extend sincere gratitude to Dev for putting up with my crazy ideas and frequent requests. 

xxx