Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Save or Splurge : Eyes (Part One)

Hello Beauties!

We're continuing with our save or splurge makeup essentials today, and we're looking specifically at eye essentials. (Read the first part of this series here, and learn more about primer, foundation and powders)

I'm dividing eye makeup into two parts, because this is a fairly text heavy post already and would be hectic if I covered everything in one part. I'm really trying to be as thorough as possible, and give you all the information I can!! Part two will follow next Wednesday, and the week after that we're looking at blusher and lip products.

So let's get right to it!

* Eyeshadows

This is probably what you've been waiting anxiously to read about since the start of this series. :P

?? What does eyeshadow do ??

+ Adds some colour to your face, and accentuates your eyes.
+ Can be used to fill in eyebrows (important step!!)
+ Can double up as highlighters, eye and lip liners, and blushes.
+ Can be used to set any liquid, gel or cream based product that was applied before this one.
+ Gel or cream based eyeshadows can be used as eye primers too, and are often waterproof and crease-proof.

Save or Splurge verdict?
It's a draw.

I personally use a lot of Sleek makeup's eyeshadows, which are in the mid-end range of products and are on the less expensive side. Believe me when I tell you they compare well to some of my professional eyeshadows in terms of pigmentation and staying power.


What I have found is this; the professional stuff tend to last ten times longer in the pan and, more importantly, on the face. They break less easily too. So you spend more cash on them, but they'll last you forever. Inglot is still my favourite high end brand when it comes to eyeshadow. Yes, you pay a pretty penny, but they last forever, are very pigmented and not powdery at all.

While some of the less expensive brands are pretty good, they can be more talcy, and do crease more easily when you wear them.

I absolutely do not use eyeshadows from China Mall, for instance. Because, except for the fact that they're animal tested, they're either stone hard or so powdery that they leave residue all over your face. I'm not a big fan of Essence's shadows either, although almost all of the finishing products I love comes from their range (aka liners, glosses and mascaras). Nyx eyeshadows are pretty good, and the palette of theirs that I own, has seen a lot of work.

My advice to you is to try a variety of products and pick the ones you feel comfortable working with. If you're buying this for your pro kit, try to work in some higher end as well as mid end products. That way, you can offer most clients a good makeup service that actually fits their budget and looks good.

I use :
Sleek I-divine palettes (around R120)
Inglot's Freedom System palettes (the eyeshadows are R99 each, and you get the palette they come in for free. So the price depends on how many shadows you take. I like the 5 shade pans, because they're compact and hold easily.)
I own eyeshadow from basically every brand out there, but the top two are my favourites.

* What to look for in a good palette :

1) A colour that you can use to wash over the entire eyelid. This is usually a MATTE colour, 2-3 shades lighter than your natural skin colour. In my case, it's #1
2) A good, pigmented black (or grey / brown if you choose), to use as an eyeliner, or to set your liner. I have yet to find a black as pigmented as #2, which is Noir by Sleek.
3) Good, neutral, matte shades. The three I have selected as #3 are really good eyebrow colours too. They're perfect for crease work, great for matte smokey eyes, and good for everyday wear as well. Always choose a palette with matte shades as well as shimmery ones!
4) Light shimmery colours for daytime looks, highlighting and inner corners. The two colours I've selected for #4 are actually slightly lighter than they show on the photo, and they're really beautiful to use as highlighter on the cheeks and nose too!
5) Darker colours for evening. #5's colours are all shimmery, and add dimension to every look. I use all of these during the day as well, but they work great for a night out. (AKA that thing I haven't seen since before I had my baby :P). These are also good colours for lining the eyes when you don't want to use black.
* The two pinks are an added bonus, because they work pretty well as blusher. These are both matte colours, and are slightly lighter than in the photo.

The palette featured here is the Sleek I-Divine in Oh so special. This is my current favourite palette. I could actually go on holiday and just take this palette, BB cream and powder, some makeup brushes, lip gloss and a mascara, and be able to makeup my entire face, for day and night.

 * Eyeliners

Liners are probably amongst the most versatile products you'll ever own. I've lined eyes with these, as they're obviously intended to be used, but I've also used eyeliners as lip liners, makeshift mascara's, pencils to plot out fantasy makeup looks, eyeshadow bases and more.

?? What do eyeliners do ??

+ Lines and accentuates your eyes
+ Makes the lashes seem thicker at the root.
+ White or cream liners can make the eyes seem larger.
+ In fact, you can completely alter the appearance of your eyes with your eyeliners.
+ Fills in brows
+ Can be used as a base for your eye makeup (and makes the colour you apply over it appear truer and more vibrant)

Save or splurge verdict?
Save, save, save!

Quite frankly, an eyeliner is an eyeliner, folks. You can use the expensive ones all you want, and sure, they go on smoother a lot of the time. But the less expensive ones work really well, stay just as long, and do the exact same thing as their higher end counterparts. If you've got one that's slightly less soft, get a lighter, and hold the pencil's tip to the flame for a few seconds. Soft. As. Butter.

You need waterproof? The lower end brands can offer you that. You need the felt tip liners? Lower end has 'em too. Colours? Oh, friends, the colours!

So my advice is, save a buck here and splurge it on the foundation.

I use :
Liners by Essence. They have a huge variety and are priced from R19.99
Catrice Kajal Liners

 * Brow Essentials

As I said above with the eyeshadows, you need matte shadows to fill in your brows.

?? What do brow products do ??

+ Brow powders are used to fill in the eyebrows.
+ This is important because filling in the eyebrows really does bring out the eyes (frames them!!)
+ Brow gels keep unruly eyebrow hair in place. (It's basically a clear mascara that you apply over the brows with a mascara wand. The gel sets and keeps the brows where they're supposed to be.)
+ Eyebrow gels can actually serve as a good mascara primer!

Save or splurge verdict?

The brow gels out there are all made up of the same stuff and all do the same job. You get waterproof and tinted gels as well, and there's really no need to splurge on this. Brow duos are basically eyeshadows, so if you have matte eyeshadows in the right shade, you may be able to save on this completely. As in, not buy it at all. :)

If you're a makeup artist, you may want to get a few shades for different clients. Dark greys work great on people with black hair, and medium browns work on everybody. I have a reddish brown for redheads, which I usually mix with a medium brown. And the brow gel is a good to have too. I find clients with curly hair tend to have wilder eyebrows, and it's always nice to help them tame it.

There isn't much else to explain about this, but I want to add this little bit of advice. The general rule of thumb is that blondes should fill their brows 2-3 shades darker than their haircolour and brunettes can go either 2-3 shades lighter (which will give a more natural, soft look) or 2-3 shades darker (which is more polished and dramatic). Some makeup gurus will tell you that your brows and hair colour shouldn't match 100%, while others will tell you it's nice when it does. I lean towards not matching perfectly.

Another bit of advice is to use both shades in the brow duos at once. Mix them! Your hair is never just one single colour, because you have natural highlights and tints in your hair! So why would you use a single shadow on your eyebrows? I mix up to three shades sometimes! :P

I use :
Essence brow duos and Lash and Brow gel.

And that's it for today! We're looking at part two of the eye essentials next week (mascara, falsies and lash glue), so don't miss that.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,