Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday "Glow" Makeup Look

Happy holidays everyone! I can't believe it is already almost Christmas. Although I feel like I have been in the spirit for over a month now - decorating the whole house from top to bottom in holiday decor, turning the tree on every night, watching Hallmark movies literally all day; everyday, wrapping gifts, decking myself out in red, you get the picture. I love this time of year! Everyone seems so warm & happy when they are out, even when it is completely hectic. Plus, we have snow up here! Which isn't surprising, but it is definitely going to be a white Christmas in MN.

This last weekend we took some last minute Christmas card photos, & I decided to go for a very natural, basic holiday look that would stand out in photos but not be too "glam." I don't usually wear a lot of makeup, so instead of loading on the dark eyes to make a statement I decided to go with more highlight. I wanted to create a "glowy" look to pair well with all of the red, gold, silver, & glitz of the usual holiday wear! I asked you guys on my Instagram story (@emilybfahlsing) if you wanted a kind of step-by-step tutorial to this look, & you guys overwhelmingly said yes! So here we have it. A little tutorial without the video for how you can create this holiday "glow" look at home. PS! I want you guys to know that none of these makeup products are part of a collaboration. These are all my tried & true products that I have used for a long time, & love!

I always start with a clean and moisturized face. I then prime my face with Benefit's The POREfessional primer. This primer has always made my face feel super soft & gives me a good amount of coverage without having to use a lot of product. I follow the primer with my absolute favorite foundation (cc cream if you will) from IT Cosmetics in the shade "Light." This foundation is light enough that it doesn't feel caked, makes my face feel extra moisturized, but also conceals a lot of redness/fine lines. I love it for everyday use! I usually just apply this with my fingers all over my face & blend.

I then apply concealer with a beauty blender underneath my eyes, between my eyebrows, & to the bridge of my noise. I use Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer in the shade "Fair Beige." I will never switch my concealer again after finding this product. I have horrible under-eye circles & this concealer really helps to brighten my eyes without accentuating my fine lines. I like to get a shade lighter than my skin in concealer because I want it to also serve as a highlight (why I apply it to the bridge of my noise & between my brows). I seal in my foundation & concealer with my tried & true matte powder from Rimmel in the shade "Translucent." I try to focus on my under-eyes when applying the powder so that I can again, create a more highlighted look for my dark circles.

For this look, I then applied bronzer to my cheekbones, forehead, & to the bridge of my nose. I didn't do a dramatic contour, more or less just used a basic blush brush to apply the bronzer to these areas. I use the Anastasia Powder "Light to Medium" Contour Palette for my bronzer & I kind of just mix all the shades together. I then applied a small amount of blush to my cheekbones in the shade "Orgasm" from NAR's. This shade of blush has pinky-peach undertones with gold flecks so it provides a good highlight base. I wanted even more highlight for this look specifically, (to reflect all the glow of the holidays) so I then applied highlighter to the very top of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, & right above my lip with the pinky highlighter shade from Carli Bybel's Highlighter Palette. I adore this palette for highlight, I also love her eyeshadow selection! Perfect for everyday use (I love golds/pinks/browns). Any gold/pinky light highlighter would work for this look though!

For my eyes, I took the pinky tinted highlight from the Carli Bybel Palette & applied it to my brow bone. I then applied the light gold shadow from the palette to my lid. I took a white eyeliner pencil (any white liner from the drugstore will do) - & I applied it to my lower waterline. I made sure this was nice & pigmented, & then I took the gold shadow that I put on my lid & applied it over the white liner line with my finger & blended this in. I took my usual mascara, (I have used Loreal's Telescopic Carbon Black since high school, & I haven't found any mascara I like more) & applied it to my upper & lower lashes. I don't have to do much with my brows anymore - since I got them micro-bladed (see my post on my micro-blading experience here) but I do fill them in a little with Sonia Kashuk's brow pencil in "Taupe."

A bold lip really completes this look. Red was my color of choice (because Christmas, duh) ;) & I used Maybelline's Red lipstick in shade "Ruby Star."

& there we have it! My "glow" makeup look step by step for the holidays! You guys should trial this weekend. You really can use any similar products that have the same pigments (or just take the products you have to work with if they are similar to mine & go in the same order); otherwise I have linked all of the products I use throughout the tutorial above & directly below.

& My Outfit:

Bonus! I attached some last minute gifts under $50 below (great stocking stuffers) for those in a bind to get their Christmas shopping done. All of these are guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve! So get shopping!

Hope everyone has an amazing Christmas with their loved ones. I really do love this time of year.

Lots of love! Xx. E.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Microblading 101: My Experience

Hey y'all! I have had TONS of questions secondary to my microblading experience with the ever so talented Ally from Highbrow Studio in Minneapolis. & I have been so excited to share with you guys! I can't rant & rave about this enough, I think it is such an amazing option for pretty much anyone who wants a fuller natural brow (without the day to day hassle of filling in/makeup application, etc).

I literally butchered my brows as a teen, & for some reason went years without caring at all about brow care/filling them in, etc. I mean no- I didn't completely let them go; but I literally would either over pluck or just leave them be, & because of my lighter hair color- they were basically non existent. Bring on my college years & big, natural, gorgeous brows started to come back in, & I was like WOW. I really need to step up my brow game. I had moments of fail/no-fail with makeup application, started getting them waxed (to formulate a shape) about every 3 months, & then finally came across a brow I was fairly happy with. This is great! But unless I fill them in on the daily with my routine makeup application (I use Sonia Kashuk pencil in Taupe- btw), I still struggle with how light/patchy they are in some spots from my years of butchering. Anyways. There is my personal brow story. Can I get an Amen 90's baby ladies?

I came across microblading this last year when I stumbled upon Ally's IG- & I was very intrigued. I have never gotten a tattoo, & I have absolutely NEVER been interested in permanent makeup. I am one of those who gets easily scared away by others makeup applications (except Mindie @makeupbymindie- cuz she's a literal makeup master), & so this both excited me & frightened me all at once. I was like whoa! This could be a major game changer. Her skills seemed to be absolutely ON point, & I loved the brows that evolved from her technique. Super natural, filled in (but not too extreme), gorgeous. What every girl wants without the hassle, amiright?

So after much back & forth inner convincing, I booked! & guess what? I LOVE & LOVED. Everything about the experience has been a major YES in my book. I love my new brows- & they are still healing! So I know I am going to love them to their full potential for years to come. To answer all (or hopefully some of) your questions about my experience, I wanted to do a little Q&A. For any other questions you guys may have- feel free to DM/PM me!

Microblading Q&A
(with much help from the master herself, Ally @ Highbrow)

1. What is the investment?
Most sessions will cost you $300-500 for your initial session & your touchup depending on the studio/artist. If you are booking below this amount- question it & the studio! This is a big investment but also absolutely necessary for the tedious work it takes to micro-blade.

2. Did it hurt?
Yes & No. HA! I went into the process thinking it was going to be SUPER painful, & I braced myself for the worst. I have never had a tattoo, & I had no idea what to expect. For the initial go around, she pre-numbed me; but it wasn't enough to really completely numb me. The sensation is worse than anything, due to the tool they use & the cuts that are made. It was more "uncomfortable" than painful I would say. After the first initial cuts are made- she numbed me again; so for the second go around I was completely numb & I didn't feel a thing! This whole process only takes about 20 min so it was definitely tolerable.

3. What is the process like? (How long does it take)?
(This is from my experience specifically, everyones might be different): First, she pre-numbed me with a gel/solution and then we went over my consult (30 min). She mapped my brows (seen in photos above) with a pencil to show me how she deemed my brows would look when complete. These were symmetrical and specific to the shape my brows "should be" when finished with the microblading process. Following this, she showed me a few pigments that would work for my brows (hair color/brow color). I was able to pick from these pigments which shade fit me best based on the pencil/makeup color I use & my hair color.

Following this, we started the initial blading process. As I stated above, I could feel this process- as the topical numbing doesn't completely numb you. After she makes the first initial cuts (this takes about 10 min), she applied the second layer of numbing cream- & let me sit for another 20 min to let this kick in. Once kicked in, she went over my brows and bladed again (another 10 min) which ended in completion of my brows! All in all, the process took about 2 hours (which is fairly typical for a session).

4. How long do they last?
Typically, (from the reviews + research I have done) they last about 1-3 years. Everyone's skin is different!
** You WILL absolutely need to go back in for your 6-8 week touch-up (some people ask if you need to go in for your touch up session or if its just as needed), but the touch up is really what solidifies & gives you your "perfect" brows. In the initial session, they aren't able to make every stroke necessary to achieve your brow as they don't want the tint to run together. In your touch up session- they can add these extra strokes, along with adjust your tint/shape as well if you'd like! It is a two step process, but oh so worth it in the end!

5. How do they match/achieve your wanted brow color?
As said above, she made a swatch of some tints on my forehead so I could see which ones fit my skin tone/brow color best. She also makes her suggestions, & you kind of go over a mini consult as to which tint matches your hair color/makeup you use to fill. I went with her suggestion, & they match perfect! (in above before/after photos- you will notice they are slightly reddened in appearance, but this is just my skins reaction beneath the tint color ((like when your skin is slightly red/swollen surrounding a new tattoo)).

6. What does aftercare involve? Will I be able to go out in public?
Aftercare is pretty easy, not to mention Ally is SO cute & she swags you up with an aftercare package- complete with organic baby soap (for cleansing your brows), grape seed oil (to keep them moist so they don't dry out), chocolates, etc! Pretty much aftercare involves no touching/cleansing your brows for 24 hours (as they are essentially an open area), no sleeping on your face, no long showers/extensive exercise/sweating (so that bacteria isn't introduced)- for 2 weeks. You are also instructed to cleanse your brows with the baby soap & apply the grape seed oil (after the first initial 24 hours) for 2 weeks. I am in the healing process now, & I have noticed a small amount of flaking - but nothing too extreme!

The first 1-2 days I did notice my brows got a lot darker in appearance, which Ally states is completely normal & to not freak out when this happens. This is just the scabbing process of your cuts/tint. Following this, (the process I am going through right now) when things start to flake off, your brows get MUCH lighter in appearance & I am all like- "where have my brows gone!" But fear not! They will return in the next few days, & will be further enhanced at the touch up appointment.

7. Will I still need to wear makeup to fill in my brows?
I asked Ally this question because I was all about not having to do the whole 2-5 min brow makeup filling process on the daily. She stated its kind of up to everyone, but that she usually doesn't have to fill her brows in. If you wanted a more dramatic look for a night out- you probably could, but as for me so far- I haven't even thought to fill mine in, & I am LOVING it!

8. Do I have to do anything to prepare for my appt?
I didn't really have to do any specific prep, but it is smart to avoid any types of blood thinners, tanning or extreme sun exposure, chemical peels/extensive face scrubs, etc. so that your skin/brows are prepped & ready for the microblading process.

If you want to bring in any photos of you with makeup on, or how you want your brows to look post micro-blade, this can be helpful! Along with the color of makeup you use to fill in your brows if you want this specific tint.

9. How do I book?
I have attached all the necessary contact info for booking below! Along with Highbrow's Instagram & Facebook page links.

{Ally, Highbrow Master & Owner + Myself}

10. What did YOU think initially?
See video below for my reaction. ;)

Highbrow Studio
701 North 3rd Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota
(IG): @highbrowstudiomn
(FB): Highbrow Studio

All of this information is secondary to my personal experience, & all questions/answers are specific to my experience with Highbrow Studio. No ones experience is guaranteed the same! If you guys are going to another studio- make sure you ask in depth questions prior to your appt!

PS: My girl Alex is also a MAJOR boss at Highbrow & just started expanding her client base. If you need another highbrow artist to book with - she's your gal!
Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! I had a ton of fun writing it because I am seriously super in love with my new brows, & I know you guys would/will be too if you decide its worth it!

FYI; Highbrow's prices will be increasing post the New Year, so if you want to give your brows a little treat, act fast for the holidays! :)

Happy soon to be Thanksgiving! Love to all. Xx. E.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall 2017 Trends I Love & an Instagram Roundup

Heyyy all! I hope everyone's Fall season has been treating them well; & that it has been filled with lots of PSL's, bonfires, apple-everything, sunny days, & crisp nights! Like I said in my last post a few months back - I have been kind of off the grid a bit; blogging is still so much fun for me but I want to keep it fairly low-key & as a relaxing/enjoyable hobby/positive outlet!

I decided to round up a few looks from my Instagram today - because although I haven't been as on the ball with blog posts I still try to keep up with fairly frequent OOTDs & daily updates on IG! I thought it would be fun to share with you guys some recent IG posts so that you can all easily shop my most recent outfits without signing up for!

Fall Workout Wear // Athletic Zip-Up Jacket: Romwe | Leggings: lululemon | Kicks: Adidas

This jacket is super light & perfect for an outdoor run! It actually blocks the wind well. I love that it comes in a few different colors!

Mad about Suede // Lace-Up Suede Dress: Sara-Boo | OTK Boots: Steve Madden

September Wedding Wear // Romper: Forever 21; Similar Linked | Embroidered Pumps: Lulu*s | Phone Case: Ideal of Sweden | Lip Color: NARS "Toy"

Favorite Jacket & Boyfriend Jeans // Suede Moto Jacket: Blank NYC Jeans | Boyfriend Jeans: Brandy Melville; Similar Linked | Slip on Booties: Dolce Vita; Similar Linked

This jacket sells out super quick every time it is back in stock! You can find it in a few other colors {here}.

Cozy Knits // Off the Shoulder Sweater: American Eagle | OTK Boots: Similar Linked | Jeans: Similar Linked | Phone Case: Ideal of Sweden

So there we have it! A few looks I rounded up from the last few weeks on my IG! (@emilybfahlsing) I will continue to link & post fairly consistent OOTDs here if you guys want more day-to-day updates!

Instagram is my go to for new & updated trend reports. My fellow bloggers are my main inspiration for updated fashion ideas & looks, & I have been getting all the inspo this season! Let me break down my 5 favorite (well, some of my absolute favorite) Fall trends this season for you all.

{Refer to the Links & Image for Original Image Source}

via June Sixty-Five

1. Chunky Knits with Delicates

via Neiman Marcus

2. Mid-Length Sweater Dresses with OTK Boots

via Gal Meets Glam

3. Corduroy Skirts

via Olivia Rink

4. Blanket Scarves with Everything (but mostly messy Up-Dos)

I feel like I tend to like the same or very similar trends every season, but with a different twist to some extent! I did a poll today on IG - Do you guys want me to share some Fall makeup favorites with links either on the blog or in an IG post? YES/NO? Answer with the Poll on my story. & now, it is off to Yoga for me! & then I am thinking Tacos for dinner...Could anyone else have Tacos literally every night of the week?

Lots of love! Xx, E.