Birthday 2017 has been SUCH a blessing and I’m still basking in the high. I love birthdays because it’s like a New Year, but just for YOU!!! We tend to think back on our last year of life and think about all the moments that we’ve made in our journey. Making it another 365 days with so many successes, and honestly some challenges that turned out to be blessings, is a HUGE reason to celebrate. So naturally, when I celebrate things, I tend to go a little cray, and MY BIRTHDAY is quite the exaggeration – because you gotta be your own biggest cheerleader. (#bossbabeism).

The thing about your birthday not being your 21st or your 30th, and that the new age is closer to the latter vs the former, is that you have to learn to pace yourself. Or maybe that’s just because I’m getting old and doing relaxing things like brunch, cookies and shopping sounded more appealing to me, logically and economically vs getting a table somewhere in a crowded place, wearing a body con, music blaring too loudly into my eardrums… either way! The oldness is catching up to me, but I’m really embracing it.

Friday I chose to have a happy hour with my work family, which was GENIUS – drinking earlier in the evening left me time to drink plenty of water before bed and be asleep by midnight. That way the next morning I didn’t feel as bad as I probably would’ve felt had I not stayed hydrated. Saturday morning I didn’t quite feel like myself, but I knew that it was nothing a brunch couldn’t fix. And Bae had just the right idea. We’re big fans of Max’s Wine Dive, but I needed a good Bloody Mary and some rich, spicy foods to bring me back to life. Lucky enough for me,  La Cuchara, a Mexican bistro, sits right next door to Max’s. We checked out their menu online, and found that their Bloody Mary’s are called Bloody Maria – the name Maria just packs spice to it. And I knew I needed to check it out.

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Their food was amazing – it gave you mad, authentic Mexican breakfast vibes but with an inner-city Houston twist so that even the most Mexican person in town to the most indifferent Tex-Mex fan would fall in love. That coupled with the beautiful weather – I was in Heaven.

Next we needed dessert, not just any dessert – something hand-held, and a little bit chocolatey… like the Tiny Boxwoods chocolate chip cookies. Who knew the humble chocolate chip cookie could feel so luxurious as these? Next I needed some jewelry to go along with my boujee cookies – so we headed on over to Rice Village to hit up Kendra Scott for my 50% October baby discount and then over to Sephora to use my 20% Friends & Family. I thought shopping made me happy, but a sale + shopping puts me on a whole other level.

Tiny Boxwoods, Sephora & Kendra Scott

After having such a lovely, relaxing, slow paced day; the last thing I wanted to do was get ALL done up for dinner. But it was my birthday, I had to bring the glamour. Wearing a lightly fitted tee, longer seamed denim shorts and nude, low heeled sandals meant that I could dress up the outfit with a nicer hair style, accessories and a pretty glamorous makeup look.

Birthday Paint - Subculture + Pink Lips

I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eye shadow palette for the first time for this look. I had bought it a couple weeks ago, after telling myself I wouldn’t. After hearing so many bad reviews, I didn’t think it was worth it, but seeing it at Ulta, I wanted to take my own home with me! Let me just say – my initial impression is VERY GOOD! This particular eye look is beautiful for fall and can make even a pink lip transition to feel a little more autumnal. I feel like this palette will be on a decent rotation this season.

Birthday Paint - Stila Liquid Glitters

EYES

Subculture palette
Dawn/Roxy in the crease; Fudge to deepen the outer corner
Electric on the lid with Stila Glitter Liquid Eye Shadow in “Gold Goddess”
Kat Von D tattoo liner in “Trooper”
Vegas Nay “Grand Glamour” false lashes
Brows | Benefit ka-BROW! Cream-gel brow color in #5, carved with MAC Prolongwear concealer in “NC30”

FACE

Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation in “Almond Beige”, highlighted with Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion foundation in “Cream”
Chanel translucent powder to set undereye highlight; Nars pressed powder in “Beach” to set entire face
Bobbi Brown eye shadow in “Camel” + MUFE Bronzer (I don’t see it on Sephora website anymore)
Kat Von D blush in “Wish”
“Mary Lou Manizer” to highlight cheekbones, nose & cupids bow

LIPS

Colour Pop “More Better” + Anastasia Beverly Hills “Party Pink”

Then, as if God were saying, “But wait, the blessings don’t end here at dinner surrounded by your loving family, I’m going to throw in the Houston Astros win that will put them in the World Series”. And here I sit, watching these home town boys putting up a good fight, with the blessings and celebrations to continue.

Thank you all to wished me a happy birthday!! Your love today and everyday mean everything to me!

xoxo

The Glam Greek

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m high maintenance : I put effort into what I wear, my makeup, and my nails – but when it comes to my hair, I’m rather low key about it. I don’t color it because I don’t want to have ANOTHER thing to keep up with. I neglect getting a hair cut for as long as possible, and I’ve only had a blow out once, which is needless to say that my choice in hair products is usually determined by whichever shampoo I find on my Target run that I’d like to try this time around. And don’t get me started about hair care products – I typically just use whatever samples I get from Sephora or off brand Moroccan Oil… until the day I got a sample of Alterna’s Caviar CC cream from Sephora, it’s a leave in hair protector like It’s a 10, but even in just a sample size, I fell in love with it more so than the love I felt for It’s a 10. Luckily, this past summer I had raked up enough Sephora VIB Rouge points to snag me a travel size set of Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging Powerful Hydration line

Even luckier is that I got it a week before going to Greece. I love my time in Ellada, but the salt water and sun ravage my hair. I try not to use too much heat, but something about that mermaid life exacerbates any dry and brittle ends. So if there was a perfect time to try out these products to see if they stand up to the biggest hair challenge, it was then!

I had little faith in a shampoo and a conditioner doing much for my hair. I had never used a shampoo and conditioner that made my hair feel super clean AND moisturized in the first use. I was used to choosing between squeaky clean hair but dry strands, just crying for some hydration or super hydrated hair that always felt could feel just a touch greasy 😕 ? After washing my hair with these two, my hair felt light and airy and replenished.<<<<<<<<<<<
ew that I LOVED the CC 10 in 1 Cream, but paired with the shampoo and conditioner the results were so much better! This cream leaves my hair feeling soft and whether I’m air drying or using a diffuser, it helps keep my curls in tact. If I’m straightening my hair or using a curling iron, it keeps the frizz at bay. I used the Smoothing Hydra-Gelée only a few times but feel that had I used heat tools plus sun & salt water, this would’ve been reviving AF.

<<<<<<<<<<<
le only lasted me about 2 weeks of luscious locks… and like with anything, after I stopped nourishing my hair with these products, my hair went back to its state from before.. and I just wasn’t ready to splurge that much for hair care. I thought, well if my makeup is on point, maybe no one will pay attention to my hair?

BUT TODAY ULTA HAD A SALE FOR 50% OFF ALTERNA CAVIAR 😍😍

You have until 11:59 pm CST to hop on the first step to a glamorous mane by clicking our favorite Add to Cart @ Ulta.com!

BBL, washing my hair.

xoxo

The Glam Greek

Pretty sure we’ve all been there – you’re getting ready for a dinner or a night out and you don’t know what to do with your makeup. You don’t want to do just your regular concealer, mascara and light powder because that’s M-F, 8-5 stuff.

You want to elevate your look but pulling out all your palettes is a hassle and you don’t exactly have all the time in the world to figure out which colors to use… should you do something more vibrant or keep it neutral… what lip color am I wearing… what outfit am I wearing!? WHAT DO YOU DO?!

If you don’t have a go-to smokey, shame on you! Just kidding 🙂 But you should!

This look is one that I learned back in my MAC days because it’s easy, you probably (or probably should) have these colors in your collection, it goes with any lip color (especially nudes/neutrals) and goes with any hair look or outfit; best part is if you mess up a little, the colors are all pretty close and neutral that it can hide most mishhaps. Also – it’s a smokey eye. It’s supposed to be a little messy, and a little sultry.

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Shadows You’ll Need (all from MAC Cosmetics, & in the order of application):

  1. Texture
  2. Brown Script
  3. Folie
  4. Vanilla loose Pigment
  5. Vanilla (eyeshadow)
  6. Nylon

Steps

  • Do brows & prep lids
  • Using a fluffy brush like the 224 from MAC, apply Texture all through the crease
  • Using a dense fluffy brush like the 217 from MAC, apply Brown Script to the lower portion of your crease, careful not to go TOO high up on the brow bone
  • Still using the 217 brush, apply Folie to the outer crease
  • Using a flat shader brush like the MAC 239, apply Vanilla loose pigment by pressing the color onto the lid, and creating a subtle cut crease under Texture+BrownScript+Folie
  • Using a fluffier flat shader brush like the ELF eyeshadow brush, apply Vanilla (eyeshadow) to the brow bone, directly under the arch of the brow
  • Using a flat definer brush like the MAC 212, stamp Folie directly under the lower lashes and bring down as far as you’re comfortable
  • Going back with your 217 brush, still “dirty” with Brown Script, diffuse the darkness of Folie by swiping the brush back and forth under the lash line – this is KEY for accomplishing the smokey effect
  • Using a stiff blending brush, I really like the ELF blending brush for this particular step, apply Nylon in the inner corner.
  • Apply a dark reddish brown pencil eye liner like Costa Riche by MAC to the water line
  • Optional Apply liquid liner
  • Optional Apply false lashes
  • Apply mascara

And done!

These eyeshadows can be used in many different ways, so if these aren’t ones that you have yet… YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE!!

Happy Humpday

xoxo

The Glam Greek

Missed out on the Milani sale earlier this month? Don’t fret, because this brand is as amazing and affordable as they come.

Little else excites me more than a GOOD, QUALITY, and AFFORDABLE makeup brand. I can find the need to buy makeup anywhere I’m at – whether it’s Walgreens or Nordstrom, if lost, you can pretty much 98% of the time find me in the cosmetics department. But little else disappoints me more than drugstore beauty duds. Those eyeshadow palettes that look so pretty in pan, then blend terribly; those lipsticks that feel more like slippery paint than a luscious lip color; those foundations that oxidize and splotch after 2-3 hours of wear.. the list of drugstore beauty finds gone wrong can go on.

But then there are the classics, that though they let you down once in a while, for the most part always seem to come in so clutch!

Milani has been around for a WHILE. I think their Baked Blush was one of my very first purchases from them after being recommended by a highly reputable Youtube guru (I’m thinking it might’ve been Marlena of MakeupGeek?). But since then had only ventured out of my comfort zone with the brand once or twice, trying out their pencil & liquid eyeliner, a couple of their lipsticks and glosses. But with NYX dominating the affordable/drugstore makeup world, Milani has been upping their game. So over this past summer, I accumulated a handful of their other products to see if they live up to their hype..

[I’m contemplating doing full reviews on the foundation and the lipsticks, if interested – please leave a comment!]
  • The first purchase was the Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer; a friend of mine had raved about it, and a foundation that cuts out a step in the glam process is what I’m all about! I liked it so much, I decided to continue expanding my collection
  • Next came the highlighters – another friend of mine used one of these highlighters on her daughter. I halfway blinded myself by looking too directly at the glow. For $11, I had to try these out. While at Walgreens though, I noticed this really pretty warm blush palette, so I threw that in my basket as well. The collection needed to keep growing!
  • Liquid lipsticks are my jam! They’re easy to apply, have longer staying power on average over a regular stick, and the colors come off much more vibrant. Since bright colored liquid lipsticks can sometimes have a splotchy formula, I didn’t want to risk too much (even though these are only $9), so I opted for 2 neutral colors
  • THEN I noticed they had METALLIC LIQUID LIPSTICKS!! *swoon* Considering I had already grabbed 2 neutral colors in their regular matte liquid lipstick formula, and I was so impressed by the wear, color pay off and formula; I decided to bet on a richer, brighter color like the one in the lower left corner in the picture above
  • The products listed above were so amazing, I decided to continue branching and grabbing a concealer/highlighter & their eyeshadow primer. After a couple uses, do I think they’re life-changing and revolutionary?? Not exactly, but for their price range, they are ROCKSTARS!

Milani products used as pictured above : Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer in Golden Tan, Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in Sunglow & Color Harmony Blush Palette in Berry Rays

Milani products used as pictured above : Conceal + Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation + Concealer in Golden Tan, Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer in Light, & Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in Dayglow

Milani product used NOT pictured above : Amore Matte Lip Creme in Obsession

  • Foundation – wears very well and covers EVERYTHING. Redness, blemishes, discoloration – this foundation + concealer has got you covered… literally. It’s very thick, but doesn’t feel like a mask. Although, granted, it doesn’t feel light/airy either.
  • Highlighter – BEAUTIFUL!!! Probably my favorite Milani purchase so far. The pigmentation is incredible alone, but adding a little Fix + to your brush at application will help you be seen from outer space.
  • Blush – what can I say? Milani blushes are some of my all-time favorite, affordable cheek colors. I like these “sun-dial” type blushes in particular because the colors work together to give a gorgeous wash instead of “in-your-face”, loud color. I also think that the formula for this blush in particular helps to achieve the light “flushed” cheek look as well since the product isn’t too powdery, lessening the chance for user error
  • Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting concealer was strange. I found the formula and color to be GREAT! It blended underneath my eye area seamlessly, although I did have to work it a little; but what bugged me the most was the applicator… it was a sponge with a hole in the middle where the product dispenses from. The sponge was a little too hard to use for blending in, so I just applied the product straight to the areas I needed and blended it in with a separate Beauty Blender.
  • BUT THIS LIP COLOR THOUGH!!! I inadvertently found my lip color for this coming fall season. And for $9, this puppy stayed on for about 5 hours, and lasted through a traditional, greasy, messy Sunday-night football dinner of sliders and jalapeno poppers without smudging too much or giving that dreaded chola lip. It’s also a fairly moisturizing formula, so my lips didn’t appear cracked but the lipstick didn’t adhere to my cups or utensils too much either!

This tried and true brand is expanding their presence in the makeup world, and their research & development team is making sure they’re not getting left behind in the dust. Their products are amazing, as they’ve pretty much always been. If you’re looking to try out new makeup products, Milani is the way to go as their products are affordable, good quality and will keep you on trend.

 

xoxo
The Glam Greek

I don’t care what anyone says – back to school is exciting! 🍎✏️📚 I understand it can be a bit of a drag, but think of all the new school supplies, the new pieces for your wardrobe (!!!), getting to see all your friends again, everyone (including parents) getting back into a routine, and if you’re of age, it’s a good excuse to beg your parents to help spot you some money alongside your babysitting earnings for makeup for the new school year!

Taking into consideration how much time you’ll be giving yourself each morning to prepare for the day, here’s a few tips and a before and after of my muse, Dena, for a fresh and light back-to-school look!

Always start by washing your face! Your skin at this age is BEAUTIFUL, young and supple. If you invest more in how you clean and take care of your skin and the less makeup you’ll have to use.

Skin Prep

• Rodan + Fields Soothe or Unblemish Regimen – start with the cleanser, tone, treat and apply moisturizer with SPF

• PRIME! this will help your makeup stay on longer, and when school starts at 730, add in extracurricular activities, this step is essential to an all day face. For Dena, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – great for combination/oily skin types. Apply with fingers.

Face

Typically when doing a full face, I like to start with the eyes. But for everyday makeup, starting with the face is good in case you run out of time, at least you’ll have any discoloration covered and can jet out the door. Seeing as young skin is beautiful and you’ll be wearing makeup for a long day, wearing something light like a tinted moisturizer is ideal – I recommend the Nars or Laura Mercier tinted moisturizers. Or if you prefer fuller coverage, I really like using MAC Studio Fix fluid – pay the extra $10 for a pump, and mix with your favorite moisturizer to sheer out the coverage. Here I mixed one pump of MAC Studio Fix Fluid with a touch of MAC Strobe Cream to keep the coverage light & fresh. Use a beauty blender to apply all over the face, including under eye area.

Eyes

One of my most tragic makeup mistakes in my younger years was not doing my eyebrows. Now that thick brows are in and plucking is out – I always like to start with these bad boys first. As mentioned before, if you’ve only got a few minutes before the bus leaves – brush through your brows with a good, tinted brow gel to tame and fill.

If you have about 15-20 minutes :

• brush A tinted brow gel through the brows – I used NYX tinted brow gel for my model

• apply a shadow primer or cream shadow – I absolutely LOVE MAC Soft Ochre or Painterly Paint Pots. Either are great on their own or applied under shadows to prevent creasing. This can be applied with the fingers or a fluffy blending brush.

• invest in a good neutral palette – the Urban Decay Heat palette has become an essential and warm toned colors are complimentary to all skin tones for any season. For an everyday look:

1. apply a shade just a touch darker than your natural skin tone in the crease (like Sauced) with a fluffy blending brush like the MAC 217

2. apply a light creamy shade to the lid (like Chaser) with a flat shader brush like the MAC 242

3. apply a light, soft shimmery shade (like Ounce) over an off-white shimmery pencil like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt to the inner corner of the eye with a pencil brush like the MAC 219

4. apply a dark brown shadow (like Ashes) along the top lash line in place of a pencil or liquid liner for a more natural looking liner, use a flat defined brush like the MAC 212

5. (*optional) apply a nude eyeliner like Rimmel London’s Kohl Kajal liner in Nude to the water line to create big, open, awake & sweet doe eyes

6. Apply favorite mascara! Here I used L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

The rest of the face

I really like an angled blush brush, like the MAC 168, to apply blush and bronzer. Taking the very edge of the brush, apply a light bronzer like MAC’s Give Me Sun to the perimeters of the face and directly under the cheek bones. Then taking the flatter side of the brush, apply a peachy blush color like MAC’s Peaches lightly to the apples of the cheeks. Finish with MACs Soft n Gentle at the tops of the cheek bones, nose & Cupid’s bow for a bit of glow, using a fan brush like the MAC 187.

Lips

I know many young girls prefer to not use lip products, so either finish off with your favorite chap stick or lip gloss. For my model, I used MAC’s lipstick in Lovelorn. It’s a “lustre” finish which means it’s creamy, moisturizing, gives of a bit of a shiny finish and comes off very sheer. It’s a beautiful light pink color but doesn’t come off too crazy, so it’s like your lips – but better!

 

This face is simple, easy and the ENTIRE process including eyes should only take about 20 minutes.

What are your favorite products for a quick morning look?

xoxo,

The Glam Greek