+forever+

I love natural beauty, and I think it’s your best look, but I think makeup as an artist is so transformative.

Marina and the Diamonds, Welsh singer-songwriter (1985-present)

Something that any makeup user knows is that it doesn’t last forever.

I’m not talking about the time it takes to start smudging on your face – I’m talking about its longevity.  As much as we’d like to deny it, the truth is that makeup, like most things, has an expiration date.

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Despite spending a pretty penny on the products that you love, it’s frustrating to know that if you don’t use it within a given time frame, it’ll go bad.  However, even though we know that we should use it by a certain date, the fact that we spent so much on it deters us from tossing it – we want to use it for as long as we can.

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Most of us, myself included, have two reasons for not throwing away makeup, besides its cost.  One reason is because even if a product is expired, if it doesn’t show any adverse side effects, we convince ourselves that it’s still viable.  Another reason is that we generally don’t know when makeup expires because we don’t understand how to read the makeup expiration dates.

To this day, I still don’t know how to read the confusing combination of letters and numbers on makeup products.  Strangely, many articles, beauty shows, and YouTube clips are confusing and unclear about it because in each country, their expiration codes are different.  France won’t have the same code as South Korea does, and this discrepancy makes users reluctant to find out.

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From what I’ve experienced, as well as what is agreed by various professionals, I have compiled a longevity list for different types of makeup products.

NOTE:  Keep in mind that once you open a product, its shelf life decreases because putting your germs or letting the makeup come into contact with the air will inevitably contaminate it.  That being said, unopened makeup products do last longer, but that doesn’t mean that they last forever.
  • Basic Cleansing Products: cleansing foam, cleaning tissue, cleansing oil, etc.
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 12 months
  • Basic Skincare Products: toner, lotion/moisturizer, eye cream, essence, sunblock, etc.
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 12 months
  • Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Lip Tint
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 6-18 months
  • Mascara, Eyeliner
    • Before opening: 24 months
    • After opening: 6 months
  • Powder, Compact Products
    • Before opening: 60 months
    • After opening: 36 months
  • Basic Coverage Products: Blush, Concealer, Base, Foundation, etc.
    • Before opening: 36 months
    • After opening: 12 months

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Why can’t makeup products not have expiration dates?

Every makeup brand will have a slightly different combination of chemicals and materials that go into their products, and each material will have a different longevity.  Combining these materials will create a certain use by date.  Think of prescription medication: we need to use them or toss them by its expiration date because the chemicals in the medication will start to deteriorate and turn funky past that date.  Makeup, like medication, has chemicals in it, so it will have a period when it is most effective.

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If you are still confused about how long your makeup lasts, you should consider going on a brave journey to decipher the expiration code.  Or, you can simply pop into your nearest Sephora, or beauty specialty store, to ask how long a certain product lasts.  When in doubt, ask someone, whether it’s Google, or a real person!  You don’t want to get some sort of weird skin condition because you couldn’t be bothered.

xoxo,

the girl who’s trying to use her makeup by the expiration dates

IMAGE CREDIT: Condé Nast Traveler

+pockets+

Don’t forget that healing takes time.  Don’t expect to try meditation and a new skincare line and end up with perfect skin in a week.  Give yourself the gift of time and patience.  The body is a complicated, miraculous system and each body processes change in its own time.

Yancy Lael, Soulful Skincare: The Ultimate Guide to Radically Transforming Your Complexion (2016)

For as long as I can remember, every few months or so, I would develop a sty along my waterline.  It made blinking irritating because the top lid would have to touch the bump on my bottom lid.  Each time I had one, it would disappear on its own after a few days, and I would forget that I even had one.

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As I got older, and started putting on makeup, the occurrences of stys didn’t increase (thankfully), but it made me remember that I had them because I wouldn’t put on makeup for the week of the stye.  However, I knew that I couldn’t live like this anymore, not because of the inconvenience of not putting on makeup, but because it was just made a natural body function annoying.

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A few weeks ago, during my recent eye doctor’s visit, which coincided with the time I started feeling a sty develop 😂, I asked her if there was any solution out there.  I told her my situation, explaining that makeup was definitely not the cause, as I hadn’t put it on in over two months because makeup’s a hassle when you work in the summer.

She told me that the oils in my glands probably moved slower than most, so I had a proclivity towards developing infected oil pockets along my waterline.  There was no permanent solution to get rid of it – I just had to be vigilant about keeping the area clean.  She also recommended hot compresses at least once a week for ten minutes to stimulate movement in my glands in my eyes, though it would be most effective if I did a compress once a day.

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I don’t know if I was doing it wrong, but the sty in my eye didn’t go away and grew more painful.  I was desperate for a solution, but everyone online said the same thing my eye doctor said.  I started thinking about all sorts of solutions, and one of them was a lymph node drainage method I read a few years ago, and thought that it would help with my affliction flushing out the dirty oils.

I discovered this method because of other problems – unluckily, I have been genetically cursed with eye bags, which made me look perpetually tired.  I didn’t want to get fillers to get rid of them because the price of fillers add up over time, and while I don’t hate cosmetic surgery, I just don’t want that for myself.  I stumbled across the lymph node drainage method after a few days of research, in which a person or yourself massages your face to help drain dirty fluids from your body.

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It’s a simple method, and I have listed the steps below:

  1. Using your clean hands, use two fingers to massage the base of your neck, working your way up to your temple by going right under your ear and along your hairline in a circular motion.
  2. Next, massage towards your eyes, above and below, thoroughly, before going back to your temple.
  3. From your temple, massage downwards, back to the base of your neck.
  4. Repeat this a couple of times at least twice a week.

It may sound counterintuitive to go back up to your eyes, but to stimulate movement, you should open the channel both ways.  I can’t really remember why it’s good to go both ways besides this reason, but if someone is familiar with this method, please explain it in the comment section below!

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Besides helping get rid of stys, it’s also very therapeutic because it feels very refreshing and it’s also good for your health.  I know it’s probably pseudoscience, but since it did work for me, I’m not going to say otherwise because if you suffer like I do, you become desperate for a solution.  This is essentially the manual method of a skin brush, as it massages the nodes right under your skin to flush out fluids like excess water weight.

xoxo,

the girl who admitted getting stys, something girls don’t want to admit having

IMAGE CREDIT: Homemade Beauty Tips

+pink+

“Creativity is your best makeup skill, don’t be afraid to experiment.” – Pat McGrath, makeup artist (via azquotes)

In high school, Urban Decay released its Naked3 Palette, a pink hued set of eyeshadow colors.  To my disappointment, I quickly realized that only ⅓ of the total colors looked good on my skin color, let alone showed up on it.  Seeing how limited this expensive palette was, with a heavy heart, I didn’t purchase it because I didn’t want to spend money on something I could rarely use.

On my 21st birthday, my best friend gifted me with Eye shadow x 9: Burgundy Times Nine, from MAC Cosmetics, amongst other beautiful things from Sephora.  Its colors were similar to the Naked3 Palette, but also very different.

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True to its name, it was a set of nine colors, half-glittery and half-matte.  Because of how chic the design was, I didn’t touch it for a good month, before I caved into the temptation of trying it on.

Right off the bat, I noticed that it was a lot more pigmented than any of the Naked Palettes, a pleasant surprise.  Not to say that Urban Decay’s aren’t pigmented, but MAC’s was noticeably more stronger in color.  If I used my normal amount of eyeshadow to paint one eyelid, I now could use the same amount to color in both lids with my new MAC palette.

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I tried, using the only way I know how, to maximize the colors of my MAC palette onto my eyes, and written below is the steps I used to achieve this.

  1. Wash your face with your preferred method of cleansing – mine’s the double cleansing method described in +cleanse+.
  2. Prepare your eyelids using your favorite eyeshadow primer.  I exclusively use the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Anti-Aging*.
  3. Color your lids with the color on the MAC palette that most closely resembles your skin color; this may sound weird as no one naturally has a chemically made pink tone.  If possible, you may also consider starting off using a basic eyeshadow color that is actually similar to your skin tone.  I personally mix a color from the Naked and Naked Smoky Palettes to achieve my skin tone color.
  4. eyeThe basic eyeshadow rules (via You’ve got STYLE!!!!!).  Keeping in mind this helpful picture, you should transition from light to dark as you go towards the outer corners of your eyes.  You may consider mixing the glittery colors with the matte colors to make everything pop out a little more.  TIP: to make this a more dramatic and smoky look, like for the an evening event, I would consider simply coloring outwards, or incorporating your go-to smoky eyeshadow colors, though it may be helpful to pick out darker purples, as seen in the Naked Palette.
  5. At the midpoint of your eyelid, dab the glittery orangey-gold color to make your eyes brighter.  I personally love gold glitter, so I add more, using the “Half-Baked” color in the Naked Palette.
  6. OPTIONAL: Draw in your eyeliner and put on mascara, though it if you use liquid liner, you may want to wait a minute before moving onto your lashes.  I swear by Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper (Black) for a precise cat eye, while Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink emphasizes provides a strong black color, as well as working well with your upper waterline.  I currently use a drugstore curler, and while it isn’t perfect, it does get the job done.  I use two mascaras – Benefit’s they’re real! lengthening mascara in Black and Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Mega Plush Mascara ‑ 270 Blackest Black; I really should start investing in a lash primer to make my lashes look longer.
  7. Dab a sparkly white color from your eyeshadow collection to the innermost corner of your eye.  I can’t tell if it actually makes your eyes larger, but they definitely make them look brighter!

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In Step 2, it’s imperative you use an eyeshadow primer before applying your makeup.  Like every other millennial who saw primer as superfluous and a waste of money, I noticed that around lunch time, or three hours into wearing my eye makeup, it would become duller and almost dirty looking.  Hating the way it looked, I decided to invest in primer and haven’t looked back since.

If you notice, I also use a lot of UD products (Urban Decay, please notice me and send me goodies 🖤!!)  I only use the UD anti-aging eyeshadow primer because all other primers, even primers from UD all left weird track marks on my lids, making me look like I had a skin condition or something.  In regards to my Naked Palettes, my friend gifted me with the Naked Palette for my birthday, while I bought the Naked Smoky Palette when Urban Decay was having a promotion, selling them for 50% off.

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I know that it may seem out of place in June to wear pink eyeshadow because after all, Burberry made pink eyeshadow cool back in their 2015 S/S collection, and we’re almost upon 2018 S/S collections soon.  However, fashion rules are set to be followed, but also to be broken.  Like my dad sarcastically remarked, “Who wouldn’t love to go out looking like they just got punched in the eyes?”

xoxo,

the girl who wishes makeup wasn’t so expensive

p.s. Listed below are links to the brands mentioned in this post.  Hopes this helps!

  • Urban Decay Naked3 Palette – Urban Decay, Sephora
  • MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow x 9: Burgundy Times Nine – MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Anti-Aging – Urban Decay, Sephora (I use and prefer the one without the wand applicator, but I don’t think UD still makes them squeezable anymore 😭)
  • Urban Decay Naked Palette – Urban Decay, Sephora (In my opinion, the Naked Palette works well with Asian skin tones, much more than the Naked2 Palette)
  • Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette – Urban Decay, Sephora (I think this is the most pigmented amongst all the Naked Palettes – future post idea?)
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (Black) – Sephora
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink – Sephora
  • Benefit they’re real! lengthening mascara in Black – Benefit, Sephora
  • Maybelline Volum’ Express The Mega Plush Mascara ‑ 270 Blackest Black – Amazon, or your nearest drug store
Image Credit: MAC Cosmetics

+cleanse+

“My mother taught me to cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice a day, so I always do that – I could be partying or working late, but I’m never too tired to take care of my skin.” – Emilia Clarke (via BrainyQuote)

Growing up, I never understood my mother’s face care routine.  She would start off normally: using a cleanser and washing it off with lukewarm water.  However, she would immediately follow up by washing her face in ice-cold water for a minute.  She would also air dry her face for a few minutes by basically hitting her face dry with her palms.  Her toner, moisturizer, and serum would also all be applied exclusively with her middle and ring fingers, never rubbing.  This entire ritual seemed superfluous to me, but I was just a naïve child, unaware that no one was actually born with healthy complexions.

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Going into freshman year of college, I quickly realized that while there is a generalization that non-white skins are stronger, not wrinkling and aging as quickly as their white counterparts, in general, healthy skin is crucial, regardless of genetics.  It can streamline your makeup routine, and for me, a.k.a. an extremely lazy person, especially when it comes to makeup, I saw this as a brilliant way to kill two birds with one stone.

Obviously, we all know that regardless of gender, we should be cleansing and moisturizing our faces twice a day.  Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, we generally live in polluted areas, and our skins, which are like sponges, absorb horrible toxins in the air daily, so we need to rid ourselves of it daily.  Also, by incorporating a little more skincare products into your daily routine (i.e. serums, masks), you would save both time and money.  We would essentially spend less on our trusted makeup brands to cover our problem areas, and can wake up later because we would put on less makeup.

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Initially, my skin routine was simple, consisting of only four things.  Below is my original nighttime and daytime rituals, routines that didn’t work well for me:

  1. First, I removed my makeup with Q-tips dipped in makeup remover.  There’s no clear reason why I did that, but everyone says that rubbing your face would agitate and cause early onset wrinkles, so I sought to remove my makeup with more precision.  (Side note: when I say makeup, I mean eyeliner and mascara because I didn’t use it much, so Q-tips were actually a lot more convenient in removing it.)
  2. Then, I washed my face with Dove® soap.  Unlike other bar soaps, Dove® is a reliable cleanser for a fraction of the cost.  Also, good genetics prevented any drying out.
  3. Finally, I dried my face with a hand towel and put on the Shiseido® Pureness balancing softener (toner) and the Shiseido® Pureness moisturizer on with my palms.

The Shiseido® Pureness balancing softener (toner) and moisturizer were recommended by the Shiseido® sales representative at Macy’s® – we went to the Shiseido® section because my family has a history of sensitive skin, so it made sense to use the brand that everyone in my family used.  The sales representative, who assumed that since I was 18, I had your stereotypical teenage skin.  In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have trusted her once she said “Teenaged girls all have oily skin” and directed me to the Pureness line, which targets that skin type with matifying solutions.

While we can blame the sales representative, my mother and I did not do our research, so we just followed her advice, especially since “all the girls your age use this line.”  However, there were horrible consequences, as I immediately broke out after my first use, which scared me.  Word of advice: know your skin type before you go out to buy something!  Even if a sales representative tries to find a fit for you, in the end of the day, they’re hired to sell you a product, so proceed with caution!

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After that fiasco, I began to experiment, taking matters into my own hands.  Thanks to daring purchases and samples, I have found a skincare routine that has worked for me for the past three years.  Below is my new and improved ritual that I adhere to daily:

  1. First, remove makeup with the Shiseido® cleansing oil on a dry face, using your ring finger.  Cleansing oil serves two purposes: to remove makeup and to remove dirt that has accumulated in your pores from your daily activities.  It must be applied to a dry face because oils are hydrophobic, and one you add water to it, it becomes ineffective.  This should be done with your ring finger, the weakest finger in your hand, to prevent premature wrinkling and sagging.  Remember to thoroughly clean your last line because when makeup residue is stuck there, it will cause blockage, which leads to painful oil pockets along your waterline.  This should be washed off with lukewarm water, as hot water dries out your skin, and cold water is ineffective in completely removing the oil.
  2. Next, double cleanse with a pea sized amount of the Shiseido® Ibuki cleanser.  The purpose of the double cleanser is to make sure that there is no remaining oil on your face, similar to dishwashing detergent on oily pans.  This should also be washed off with lukewarm water, making sure to get near the hairline, so no soap suds remain.  Immediately follow that up by washing your face with cold water for a minute.  Some say that washing your face in cold water will tighten pores, though some dermatologists have said that it’s impossible to shrink them.  However, I don’t think it wouldn’t hurt to do this because it is quite refreshing.
  3. Then, air dry your face completely, or gently blot it dry with a clean tissue, if you’re in a rush.  I don’t know if people do the latter, but it streamlines the air-drying process without tempting you to rub your face dry with a bacteria-laden towel.  Rubbing your face with a towel may feel refreshing, but you’re not doing your skin a service by giving it germs and premature wrinkles.  It’s never to early to start worrying about aging!
  4. Next, apply the Shiseido® softening concentrate (toner) and the Shiseido® Ibuki moisturizer, about a pea sized amount each.  Apply one after another by tapping your middle and ring fingers against your face, allowing your skin to accept its nutrients.
  5. 2-3 times a week, apply an exfoliating or a regular, preferably sheet, mask.  It requires you to let it sit for 10-15 minutes, so your skin can absorb more nutrients.  (Side note: like the cleanser, be thorough when removing masks because they tend to be annoying at the hairlines, sticking to your hair.)

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The reason why I double cleanse is because I feel a sense of security in comparison to just using a makeup remover and cleanser.  I also enjoy the feeling of my skin reverting to its original, baby quality at night, and double cleansing makes that possible for me.

While I did mention that it was my new routine, during the mornings, I only go through steps 2-4 because you don’t need cleansing oil when you spent the night indoors, and I certainly don’t wear makeup to bed.  I think you’re supposed to double cleanse twice a day, but for me, double cleansing once a day seems quite adequate for my skin’s health.

Disclaimer (although a late one): obviously, my skin isn’t representative of all skin types, as I have yet to meet a person who has the clear, yet sensitive skin like me.  My results are all from trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if this method doesn’t yield the same results as I have just described!

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I would say that I’m still trying to find the best combination possible without becoming broke because we all know that Shiseido® is ranked the world’s leading makeup brand, and the best is never cheap.  That being said, I would love if Shiseido® would send this poor girl some freebies, if they ever see this review, considering the fact that I’m running low on cleanser and softening concentrate right now.  😬

xoxo,

the girl who likes pampering her skin

p.s. Listed below are the brands that I have mentioned, along with key points that you should consider before considering purchasing them.

  • Shiseido® Instant Eye & Lip Makeup Remover – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
  • Shiseido® White Beauty Bar – Dove, Amazon, Target
  • Shiseido® Pureness Balancing Softener Alcohol-Free – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Pureness line is targeted for clients generally in their teens, who have oily skin and frequent break outs because of hormonal changes)
  • Shiseido® Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Softening Concentrate – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam – Shiseido, Macy’sSephora (The White Lucent line is targeted for clients with age spots who seek to even out their complexions; usually for older adults, though I did use a sample because it had the nicest rose smell ever)
  • Fresh® Soy Face Cleanser – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom (A great product, as it has the essential amino acids and nutrients that help feed and rejuvenate your skin, but for someone with similar skin types to me, it may cause some subtle reactions, usually from the soy)
  • Skinfood® Black Sugar Wash off Mask – Amazon, or any Skinfood® store
  • Fresh® Rose Face Mask – Fresh, Sephora, Nordstrom
Image Credit: Silverkis’ World

+transfer+

“I’d never want to be Gene Simmons, an old man who puts on makeup to entertain kids, like a clown going back to work.” – Trent Reznor (via BrainyQuote)

Disclaimer: I know the activists who read this are going to complain, saying not all women put on makeup, hence it is not representative of all women, so I will say this: yes, not all women put on makeup, but this post is catered to women who do and suffer from this issue like I do.  So, if you are upset, remember that I am targeting a demographic that may or may not include you.  Thanks.

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The best (worst) thing about being a woman is that we are almost always associated with a notorious six lettered word that sparks intense debates, M A K E U P.  That sharp cat eye people have been raving about in recent years?  Queen Cleopatra (69 BCE-30 BCE, Ancient Egypt) was the woman who made it famous.  That metallic nail polish people have been flaunting over social media in recent years?  The Chou Dynasty’s Royal Family (1046 BCE-256 BCE, Ancient China) painted their appendages in gold and silver, years before it was the “it” statement of the F/W 2015 runways that Harper’s Bazaar covered.

For many women, makeup was an obligation of the societal expectation of their times.  The Tudor Dynasty’s (1483-1603, England and its colonies) most recognizable fashion trend was its high and white foreheads, achieved through a foundation made of a toxic blend of lead and vinegar on a shaved hairline.  Women thought and were thought of as beautiful if they partook in these dangerous fashion fads to enhance their natural beauty.

In recent years, however, women are not as unified in their makeup tastes as their predecessors – we have a diverse range of makeup styles that is represented all throughout the streets.  Women walk down the Theatre District in a bold red lipstick, while others scrutinize fabrics in the Fashion District, wearing a demure plum eyeliner.

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My own makeup journey began with my affinity towards visual arts.  From a young age, I loved to create light to dark color transitions that mimicked nature.  However, as I got older, the time I could spend mixing colors and creating bold designs faded, and the only time I could practice my brush strokes were in the ten minutes after breakfast, where I would color my lids, line a subtle cate eye, and lengthen my lashes quickly before running to class or work.  This was my compromise – my face became my canvas, albeit a tame and simple one, that I carried every day.

Still, the one thing that I absolutely hate about art, and by extension makeup, is unintended smudges.  A morning spent perfecting my lids and lashes are thrown out the window because of one smile or one facial expression using my eyes, causing the bags under my eyes to be smeared with black.  Smiling inadvertently causes the tops of my eyelids to stamp onto the lowest corners of my eyes, which makes you question if water proof makeup even exists.

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The easiest solution would be to either a) not wear makeup, or b) not smile, but both alternative are ludicrous, given who I am.  This led to my search to find a method that would stop this problem, but to no avail.  I talked to juvenile and professional makeup artists alike, who all directed me to expensive products I cannot afford, or to alternatives that did not work at all.  However, I found a solution that worked: the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone (clear).  One swipe of this liner under my lower lash line and eye bags prior to putting on eye makeup prevents eye makeup transfer for the whole day.

Like all of you reading this, putting on lip liner on my eyes was not something I would have considered, but at Sephora, I had a random thought.  If lip liner could prevent lipstick from bleeding out, then could it work for eye makeup as well?  Throwing caution to the wind, I bought it for $20 that same day.  Twenty dollars is quite a steal for a took that serves a dual purpose; it prevents both your lip and eye makeup from spreading out of its allotted space on your face.

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Before you start rushing over to your nearest Sephora and buying this, I would like to mention that this is a solution that worked for me, so it may not work for you.  I was simply very lucky and had a Eureka moment at the right place, at the right time.  Almost like fate, it just so happened that the method that worked for me was the cheapest and most reliable method out there.  If it works for you, then wonderful, but if not, do not lose hope!  Your solution may be waiting for you somewhere.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Urban Decay for creating this, even if it may have not been its intended purpose.  And no this is not an ad, though it would be nice if Urban Decay would send me freebies to test out.

xoxo,

the girl who looks like a clown wearing makeup

p.s. Attached below is a nice blown up picture of the lipliner from Urban Decay, as well as two links to buy this amazing creation.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 4.04.52 PM

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Ozone: Urban Decay, Sephora