“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

makeup tutorial with cat eyeliner

Monday, April 28, 2014






I've been having good skin days for the past week (crossing my fingers this lasts) so I thought I would do a makeup tutorial for you all! I tend to do this look quite often, changing up the eyeshadow color and sometimes using other types of eyeliner. This eyeliner is pretty basic and not too dramatic, so it's great for a daytime look. If you're going out, pop on a bit of lipstick and you're all set!


Start off with a clean face, if you usually wear lotion, make sure to allow it to "settle in" before you begin.


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I use a matte primer by Boots No7 because my skin tends to get a bit oily after wearing foundation and I think this helps my foundation last a lot longer on my face. I also found I could not live without this primer for when I was having major acne breakouts. It helped keep the foundation in place and also helps to conceal my dry skin (I think I have a combination skin type). It has mixed reviews, so it might not be right for you but I love it!




Today I'm using Revlon Nearly Naked foundation in the color 120 Vanilla. It seems to fit my coloring pretty well and I have a light complexion. I use my fingers to apply it all over my face. I usually start with a tiny amount on my chin and work up, since my chin/neck area is where I have had the majority of my breakouts (although you can't tell in the pictures). I try not to get any near my eyes after a terrible reaction that made my eyes puffy with eczema. I finally figured out the reaction was coming from my foundation and probably because it has spf in it! (I later found out I have a benzoyl peroxide allergy, which caused my eyelids to swell up, even if I used the tiniest amount on my face.) I also use a beauty blender sponge to finish blending in my foundation since it always gets kind of streaky on me when applying with my fingers. I got my sponge at Walgreens. Next use concealer under eyes and on any blemishes.

Using my Lily Lolo mineral foundation in porcelain, I go over my face with a light dusting. This is just what I have so I use it, but you can use any setting powder you have (I have now switched to Rimmel in transparent). Sometimes I skip this step.

I used a taupe colored eyeshadow as a base. I don't have an eyelid primer right now so I didn't use any, but it does make a difference if your eyeshadow tends to crease. Then I used a pretty purple shadow from an e.l.f. eyeshadow book (Warm #85038). I like to build it up starting on the outer edge of my eye. I used the No.07 eyeshadow brush by Sonia Kashuk to apply.

The cat eyeliner takes a bit of practice if you aren't used to applying eyeliner. But it gets easier. I use a lot of different liners, depending on my mood. But this waterproof gel liner by Rimmel is really easy to work with. The color I used is brown 002 and I used an angle brush by EcoTools to apply. The angle brush is just my preference as I've found it's easier for me to make even flicks on each eye. But you can use whichever eyeliner brush you like. I start by making the line on the outer corner of my right eye and then try to copy as closely as possible on my left eye. Then I fill in the rest of the liner along my upper lash line. There are great tutorials on YouTube if you have never applied eyeliner before. Leave a comment if you need recommendations.
After I apply my cat eyeliner, I curl the lashes with my favorite eyelash curler by Shu Uemura (a present from my sister!). I highly recommend you don't skip this step. It makes ALL the difference, believe me! Then I apply my mascara. I use waterproof, since other types of mascara always seem to uncurl my lashes (so annoying). My all time favorite and the one I always go back to is the Voluminous Million Lashes mascara by L'Oreal (my favorite drugstore brand) in black noir. I use a separate mascara for my bottom lashes as I have trouble with smudging. For some reason the cheap CoverGirl waterproof mascaras never smudge when applied to my lower lashes. I'm using the Exact Eyelights mascara in black gold
The last step is adding a bit of blusher, although I decided here to add only bronzer. This one is from a Laura Mercier palette (another gift, which I just adore). But use whatever blush you like. I also really love the Tarte blush in the Aqualillies for Tarte palette (similar Tarte palette) from last year (another gift!).

That's it! I hope this was helpful! I know, this is rather lengthy! Maybe someday I'll do some beauty video tutorials instead. I'm sure it would be loads easier than trying to take pictures!! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading! 

xx
Anna

P.S. I didn't use anything on my lips other than plain old Vaseline. :)

Book Review: The Little Book of Thin

Thursday, April 24, 2014

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I happened upon this book purely by accident a few weeks ago and was hooked after reading only a short excerpt. It looked exactly like the kind of book I needed to read so I picked it right up and read it straight through in one afternoon! It’s really cute and small enough to fit into a handbag, which I think is very convenient! The illustrations throughout the book are too adorable. I also like that this is not really even a diet plan, so the author doesn’t give you a strict diet you have to follow. It’s more like a lot of healthy tips and tricks on how to stay slim or lose the extra 5-10 pounds you might be having a difficult time losing. And she does NOT advocate calorie counting, which I absolutely LOVE! I also appreciate that the author has a masters degree in nutrition. When I read that she likes eating sprouted grain bread, prefers grass fed beef (I can’t always afford it, but I like eating it when I can), and that she believes fat free milk and soy products (besides fermented soy) are unhealthy, I instantly knew I was going to like her. It’s nice to have an updated health book that is not all about the low fat and processed diet foods. I just don’t see how so many people are still buying into the highly processed, fake fat free food hype! Fat free should be a thing of the past, but unfortunately a lot of people still think fat free foods are good for you. I’m happy to say Lauren Slayton actually discourages highly processed and fat free foods in her book.


There are a lot of great tips throughout the book, and while I don’t agree with all of them, I don’t think the author’s intention is to force me to do everything she says. For instance, she says you should be doing 180 minutes of cardio a week or 100 minutes if you are just starting out. I’m sorry, but even 100 minutes of cardio seems like a little bit much to me! I love going on hikes and walks on a regular basis, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the thought of all that cardio! I also happen to think you can do other types of exercise that take less time and can be more beneficial. Of course I’m no expert, so I could be wrong! My favorite type of exercise (for someone who HATES exercise) is the kettlebell swing, which is an exercise combining both cardio AND weight training! I have only been doing it for a short time, but so far it’s the best kind of exercise I’ve ever done, and I don’t even need to step outside my living room to do it! I am trying to do it 2-3 times a week at about 15-20 minutes per workout (as a beginner). It’s not easy, but it’s a lot more fun than running on a treadmill for an hour! And I feel it makes a bigger difference on my body in a shorter time compared to when I tried doing only cardio workouts. Even if I get in one workout a week, I know it was a really good workout.



Anyway, back to the book! I think one of the main points the author is trying to make is that you need to build lasting habits that you will stick to if you want to stay thin and healthy throughout your life. Crash dieting may work for losing weight in the short term, but you are unlikely to keep it off unless you figure out a habit you can stick with. And she has loads of tips to help you plan it all out. Again, not all of her suggestions fit into my lifestyle, but many of them do. She really stresses the importance of planning your meals ahead of time. You will have much more success if you take a little time each week to plan a menu. I have always done this, but I haven’t always planned out my snacks. I think that is my problem, snacking way too often, even when I’m not really hungry. So if I can plan out what snacks to have in advance, and wait until snack time to have it, I am much more likely to eat the amount that I need and not over indulge.


I really enjoyed this quick read and it’s a refreshing change from your average diet book. It also has some fun and interesting recipes with minimal ingredients. I like her simple salad dressing recipe that is made up of only three ingredients, miso paste being the featured ingredient (new to me, but unique and flavorful). If you are looking to lose a few pounds or worried about staying thin as you age, you might be interesting in checking this out. It’s one of those “diet” books I actually wouldn’t be embarrassed to read in public!

xoxo
Anna

Brand New Blog!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lake Sammamish Lake Sammamish Lake Sammamish Lake Sammamish Lake Sammamish

If you haven’t noticed already, my blog has a new look! And a new name and url address! Please feel free to change your links to www.annamcclurg.com. However, the old link will redirect to my new address automatically. It took me forever to figure out which name to finally use for this blog, but I was annoyed with my previous name (Wildflowers::Pretty) which doesn’t really make sense. And I was getting sick and tired of “gracefullady” because that name really doesn’t belong anymore. Plus even if I wanted that name, the domain name is already taken. I decided to simply use my name and call it good. I know it’s boring, but I just couldn’t think of a creative name that I liked! I hope it isn’t too confusing, since I already have a website with my maiden name “Allen.” But “annamcclurg.com” was available so I snapped it up while I could. And now that I have my very own url, I can drop the “blogspot” and hopefully that will make my blog look a little more legit! What do you think?

I have been trying to think of ways to “reinvent” my blog for a long time now and I thought a face-lift and a proper url was just the thing I needed to get started. I have a lot of interests, more than just sewing and I think it would be fun to share these here. I would love to write more beauty posts, maybe some makeup and hair tutorials. Or even some book reviews or product reviews. Maybe even share some of my daily routines with you? What do you guys want to know? Lately I have been reading a cute little diet book (I’m really not one to “diet”!) that I recently discovered called The Little Book of Thin which talks about how to create healthy eating habits to stay slim without getting into a dieting trap. I could write my thoughts on this book if you are curious. I’ve also been working on clearing my skin with a few herbal supplements and would be happy to talk about what I’ve been doing to clear up my hormonal acne (it got really bad from going off bcp recently). I also have some fun curling wand tutorials that I would love to share. I have been getting pretty good at my cat eyeliner flick and I’m always experimenting with fun ways to do 1960’s inspired makeup on myself. Would you be interested in some beauty tutorials like that? And of course I like to update you on what I’ve been working on over at Anna Allen Clothing, from time to time. Including what I’ve been sewing and fashion related topics. I would absolutely LOVE to hear what you are most interested in reading about here on my “new” blog! Feel free to comment here or email me if you have any suggestions!

xoxo
Anna

P.S. I finally figured out a way to reply to individual comments. I don’t know why I hadn’t figured that out before! So now it is much easier for me to reply to questions and comments in the comment section of each post. 


Images from a recent afternoon at Lake Sammamish, Washington.