Thursday, February 17, 2011

Make Believe Eyebrows

If you're like me, you have barely there eyebrows. That means eyebrows that are too skinny, too pale, too thin, too... non-existant! Since my most dedicated reader (hint, hint... she gave birth to me) wrote in asking for help on filling out naturally thin, barely there brows, I was obviously all too happy to help to help her! I'll be giving 4 simple tips on how to achieve a natural, every day eyebrow when you don't really have one to begin with.

And don't be put off by the detailed instructions- it's really quite easy to follow! I'm just a detail oriented person and will be showing you step-by-step how to shape and fill your thin brows. Here we go...

I've been very lazy lately and haven't been plucking and shaping like I should, so my brows started off this little eyebrow makeover session completely natural, unshaped, and without any filler at all. Basically they were just sitting there like two pathetically thin lines across my forehead!

(On a side note, please forgive the clumpy mascara and not bothering with face makeup. It's been a long day! lol)

So how do we go about fixing these thin, crooked little lines parading as eyebrows? Follow these 4 simple steps!

1) Shape Those Brows! One of the biggest mistakes I've made over the years concerning my brows is that I didn't have enough of a brow to shape them. WRONG! Even if they're pale and barely visible to the naked eye, they are still in fact there. Almost. No matter how little you've got though, you need to shape those brows and give them the arch you always wanted!

Start by finding the center of your brow and go slightly outwards (where your arch should be) From the point down, start plucking down the top of the brown on the side closest to the nose. It should be following an invisible line like in the picture below. This helps to make the arch more defined.

Now do the same thing on the BOTTOM of the outside brow. First, find your arch and go slightly up into the brow hair. Then draw your invisible line and start plucking downwards. As you can see it doesn't exactly follow the natural line of my brow but you will be shaping it to fit in between those little invisible lines.

If it seems like you're plucking a lot of hair when you don't have any to spare... don't worry! Brows are easy to fill in and it's the shape that is most important! The end result from shaping should look something like this (brow on the left is shaped, one of the right is normal)

Even though the brows are thin, you can already see a notable difference just due to the shape. The one on the left is much more arched and makes my eye look bigger.

2) OUTLINE! Once you have gotten the basic shape of the brows you want, use a pencil one shade darker than you natural brow color to outline them. You will follow the invisible lines where you plucked and also further enhance the arch by outlining the now plucked shape of the entire brow. It should follow a line like this:

Don't smudge the line or blend it in. It is supposed to be darker so it will give you a defined edge and shape within which you will work. We'll blend later. It should look like this (more or less) when you finish, depending on how hard or soft a line you put. (again,... left one is done, right one is natural.)

3) FILL! Now that you have a shaped, arched, outlined brow to work with, it's time to fill it in. Choose a matte eyershadow the same color as your hair color (or similar at least). In my case, I'll be using a slightly darker color than my natural brow since my hair is currently dyed darker. Using a clean shadow brush, swipe the shadow from the inside point up to the arch. Get more shadow and then sweep it from the arch down to the outside point. You're brows should look nice and filled. Use your finger to blend it slightly.

If you've gotten too much shadow on and/or it's too dark, get out your every day compact with pressed powder and sweep it lightly over your brows. It will instantly tone down the color and make things look much more natural. It will also take out the shimmer if you don't have a matte eyeshadow to use when filling the brow.

4) ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE! Now that you have gloriously arched (yet natural) brows that are filled in and fuller looking, there is only one final step. Taking a pale pink or beige shimmer shadow, brush it slightly under the outline of the brow. It will give even more definition to your new arch.

Then take a matte nude eyeshadow and brush it along the UPPER outline of the brow. Again, it gives definition without there being noticible makeup floating above your brows.

It will look like this:

Make sure you keep your brows even with all this shaping and plucking. Mine are very uneven naturally, but they actually look semi-even and equally full after I'm done. The color is important too- although I'd love to have darker brows, anything darker than what I have on in the above picture is too dark for my skin/hair color. Play around with the eyeshadow on your brow until you find just the right shade! Of course, there are also a lot of shadows made specifically for eyebrows so you are sure to find a color there! In my case, I have a good, cheap eyeshadow I use that works great! So why would I buy an expensive brow shadow when my own works equally well?

Also make sure that both brows end and start in the same place. It sometimes helps me to make a quick swipe at the start and finish of the brows with a q-tip, your finger or a clean shadow brush to get an even line and remove any excess powder.

So... remember where we started? Barely there brows that were untamed, uneven and thin.  Let's refresh our memory, shall we?

And here are the final results with both brows done!

Simple, natural and ready for every day!

In the end, I may never have the
gloriously thick eyebrows of Keira Knightly....  

               or the uber-arched ones of Megan Fox...  

                          ...but I'll take my new eyebrows over my old barely-there ones any day! :)

                                                                          Good luck!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Salvage a Stained Shirt

How many of you have favorite tees or shirts that have gotten stained right on the front, yet you just can't bring yourself to throw it away? You can't hide it under a jacket or coat because the stain shows blaringly on the front- a testament to your messy eating habits. Well that's true in my case at least.

One of my favorites in particular is a super soft, white t-shirt from Kohls that fits perfectly. It doesn't cling and doesn't lose it's shape, no matter how often I wear it! So imagine my distress when drinking my coffee, I was distracted by some major love drama between 2 young people and spilled coffee all down the front of my shirt! *sigh* I suppose it serves me right for being nosy and listening to their drama. Although, they must not have been concerned about privacy since they were playing out said drama in the middle of Starbucks! Anwyays.. moving on.

No matter how hard I scrubbed or how many times I sent it round the wash cycle with a double load of Oxy Clean, the stubborn stain stayed! Therefore, I had an idea! Why not use extra material and accents to cover the stain and create a cute, one of a kind t-shirt in the process?

And so, good people, using a few basic supplies I was able to salvage my favorite tee and make it into something unique within a matter of minutes. And since I was pleased with the results, I thought I would share the how-to on this DIY project!

Here's what you'll need:

1 t-shirt (stained or not... your preference!)
scrap of colorful material
accents (such as strand of sequins, etc)
stitch-witchery (a.k.a. the best invention ever known to man)

1) Start off by ironing your shirt. Cut the material to the desired width. I chose to cut my material to about 7 inches wide and lay it from my neckline to the hem of the shirt. I was hoping the long pattern would draw attention down the one, skinny strip in the middle and create the appearance of a long, lean center. (Stop laughing, please. It actually did make it flattering, though long and lean are still not 2 words you would use to describe my body.)

2)Next, line up the material along the hem and pin in place if necessary. This will give you an even base from which to pull and stretch the material tightly along the sides. Using a long strip of Stitch Witchery, iron the material flush with the hem. If you've never used Stitch Witchery, it's really simple and cheap. Just follow the directions on the package. As you iron, remove the pins from the material.

3) Follow the directions above for ONE of the sides of the material. Leave it plenty long around the neckline.

4)Pinning the other side, start trimming the extra material around the neck. If you are using a v-neck tee, make one long cut towards the V. Then fold the excess material around to the inside of the neck. Pin and then turn inside out. Proceed in using the Stitch Witchery to "sew" the material into the neck of the shirt.

5) Once the bottom, side and neck are complete, then you can move on to the last side of material. Stretch it tight so you lose any wrinkles in the material. (Hint: don't use cotton on cotton, it sticks to badly and is hard to pull tight.) Once it is in place, iron it shut with the Stitch Witchery. (isn't that fun to say? lol)

6) You should have a long, rectangular piece of material now attached from neck to hem. Using your accents (I used long strips of oversized sequins) you can attach those down the sides of the material. It also will help cover any wonky lines in the material you might have gotten as you ironed it down. Use Stitch Witchery for this too. Make sure to let the towel cool and use caution when peeling it off. The sequins can stick to the towel and you don't want to pull them off as you lift the towel.

7) NOTE: When ironing on sequins or anything plastic, fold a thick kitchen towel in two and hold over the sequins as you iron. Since they are so thin, you will only need to hold the iron in place for a few seconds. This will help the sequins be attached but they wont' melt or lose their shape. HOWEVER... if you want to create a slightly different look, don't double the towel and let the iron sit there for a good 15 minutes. It helps the sequins melt and mold together, creating almost a shiny, rubber affect. And I totally did NOT find that out by accident when I got distracted and left the iron on for too long. *clears throat*

Hmmm... since my pants are on fire (liar, liar) I will confess and say I did in fact slightly melt one small group of sequins. But I liked how it looked, so I melted them some more and proceeded to do it the all the rest of them as well. And I really think it looks cool and unique. Plus since I'm constantly snagging my clothes, now I dont have to worry about one stray sequin popping off or anything when I run into something. Which I most undoubtedly will at some point when wearing this shirt.

8) When you're finished, just let it cool completely. You'll want to stop and try the shirt on several times as you do the project- making sure it fits properly and the material doesn't bunch when you put it on. If you don't feel secure enough with the Stitch Witchery, run over all the seams quickly with your sewing machine and voila! YOu now have your very own custom-designed, one of a kind, unique t-shirt.

Personally, I'll be wearing mine this spring with a long black boho skirt, sandals, and chunky jewelry!!! :)

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


As we all know, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is happening right now in New York. If you've been keeping up with the designers and the newest collections, you might have noticed the biggest trend for Fall/Winter 2011 is to be insane.


When has fashion gone from being trend-setting to being outrageous? I understand that each designer has to push themselves and be really cutting-edge. Otherwise, you get lost in the hundreds of shows happening around New York this week. But I don't understand how cutting-edge has turned into weird, ugly, wacky, outrageous, wild, hideous, and overall strange designs.

I also know that no one ever wears the designs straight from the runway. But could it be that designers have forgotten that we the public are the ones who actually buy their things? Not the newspapers or magazines that push their designs and decide what is "trendy" and what is not this season. But WE the people are the ones who should be pleased and enticed into buying pieces from their collection.

Therefore it is up to you, dear reader, to stop this madness and stop swallowing their "this is so now" hogwash. And yes... I just said hogwash. I'm from the South, so I'm allowed to. If we don't stand up and say "No! I am absolutely not wearing that because it's ridiculous," we shall be forced to endure even more so-called "trends" such as harem pants, tapered jeans, hair feathers, alien-like shoulder pads and more. Don't let the ridiculousness continue!

Personally, I think it all started going downhill the minute they let the first Hollywood starlet start designing clothes. Just because you're famous (of sorts) doesn't mean you can design. Yes... I'm looking at you, Jessica Simpson.

I love fashion. I truly do. And after so many years, there is only so much a designer can do to push themselves and become more creative. After all, it seems like everything has been done before. But many of the collections I've seen so far this Fashion Week, go beyond anything I've ever seen. They're not wearable. They're not even laughable. They're just... ridiculous.

I miss the days when fashion was about making a statement and going where no one else had dared go before BUT at the same time, designing for the real women of this world. Sadly, the designers seem to care more about pleasing the few critics in magazines than pleasing the people in real life. And it also seems that to be an acclaimed designer nowadays, you only need to use clashing fabrics, outrageous silhouettes, every material known to man (including meat?) plus wacky makeup and weird hair. Mash it all up together and what do you get? Astounding! Unbelievably edgy! Gorgeous! The next big thing!

Well... so the magazines would have us believe.

Wouldn't you just love to see a magazine say "With a few exceptions, this Fashion Week was a joke and should be completely dismissed by the women in the world as an attempt to brainwash us into believing it was fashionable. From the impossibly hideous shoes to the outlandish costumes they called clothes, I hated every minute of it."

To be fair, I have seen some really gorgeous things this year. But most of them are coming from the established designers that don't have anything to prove. They design beautiful clothes and they know it. They don't have to do "wacky" in order to get noticed. Perhaps my next blog, I'll forget being mean and focus of them instead. :)

But as for the rest of them... seriously?!?!?

I mean, think of the most fashionable woman you know and then ask yourself if she would actually be caught dead in this???

You can almost hear this poor model thinking, "How did I end up in this? Is this their idea of a cruel joke? It can't be possible that they actually think that putting my head in some sort of straight jacket and then dressing me up as a giant egg coming out of a red, black and white Easter basket is fashionable!!! Oh man, my picture is going to be everywhere! I'm going to be the laughing-stock of New York! Oh, I think I'm going to be sick! I wish I knew where the bathroom was but I can't see because of these huge, fake moths they have glued to my eyes!!!!"

Isn't it time we put an end to this weird and wacky sideshow called "cutting-edge fashion"? If not for our own eyes, then do it for the sake of the models. Should they really be forced to endure such embarrassing moments like the one above?

No, I think not.

For those of you interested in seeing live feeds of some of these freak *correction* FASHION shows, go to the Fashion Week website or watch them on youtube.

In the meantime... let's all work together to do our part for the poor runway models of today.

Forget the whales! Save the models!





Monday, February 14, 2011

Cutest DIY Blog

So for those of us truly on a budget, there are times when we have to get creative! Im a big fan of DIY projects when it comes to clothes and jewelry. I especially love revamping vintage clothes and giving them a modern twist.

The woman at the "Welcome to the Good Life" blog has recently come to my attention and I have to say... she's amazing! Check out this easy way to modernize a plain black t-shirt.

I'll be sure to check back in with her and see what other tips she comes up with for updating our wardrobes!