Monday, 23 November 2015

Selfie Makeup Tips

We all want our makeup to look perfect in our selfies, don't we?  So do make-up manufacturers, because that means good publicity and more sales for them.

The first step is to use the right products.

According to the New York Times, companies are now making sure their products pass the 'selfie test' before putting them on the market. CLICK HERE to find out what they are doing.  It makes good business sense to be in tune with your customer and to make products that meet their needs.

Enough of the business aspect, it's time for some tips.  All you have to do is CLICK HERE for the details.

Let's hear if for selfies and social media, hip-hip-hoorayyyyyyyyy...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Lip Creases Are The Enemy

Yes, I have been going on, and on, and on about my lips.  This will be my final pity party...for now.

My lips have creases, and whenever I apply lipstick guess where it ends up? Yep, that's correct, in those creases and it looks absolutely dreadful.

To combat this I
  1. smile as widely as possible to prevent the lipstick from going into the creases 
  2. apply the lipstick sparingly
  3. use my finger or lip brush to apply the lipstick evenly
  4. blot my lips with tissue to remove any excess product
Is this 100% effective every time? Nope.  


It's another reason for my 'Bring on the Gloss Campaign' (CLICK HERE for the details).

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Friday, 30 October 2015

Review - e.l.f Essential Super Glossy Lip Shine

I was checking out the e.l.f products in Kmart's beauty aisle.  I purchased the Essential Super Glossy Lip Shine - Angel and a few other products. I didn't open it, I didn't even swatch it or smell it.  I was waiting until I had finished either of the 2 lipglosses that I was using at that time.  I wasn't going to open the new lipgloss just to satisfy my curiosty and risk it's expiration before I was ready to really put it to use. (CLICK HERE for makeup expiration tips).

The day I had been waiting for had finally come - approximately 1 year had passed, and I was so excited. Who wouldn't be, after seeing a product description like this:

Product Description:
This Super Glossy formula leaves your lips with a healthy glossy glow. The delicious flavor and sweet scent will leave you licking your lips in delight. The perfect on-the-go tube that is mess-proof for easy application anywhere and anytime. Wear alone or layered over your favorite lipsticks for gorgeous, glossy lips!

The first thing I noticed while applying the lipgloss was the smell.  It smelt old and musty.  Next was the consistency, it was unusually thick and wasn't spreading easily. I thought nothing of this since I was not familiar with the product.  Soon after, I was gazing at my lips in the mirror when my lips started to tingle slightly.  I checked the ingredients for menthol but even if it had in menthol in it, this was a different kind of tingle.

Well bearing in mind my current lip strategy (CLICK HERE for the details ), I wiped it off immediately and threw away the gloss.  I was not taking any chances.

I have a low tolerance right now when it comes to lip products.  This was the first e.l.f Lipgloss that I had used.  The price was right so I bought it to give it a try.  I wanted to see if it would give the more expensive glosses some competition, but it didn't.

So what if it only costs $2 on e.l.f.'s website?  A product's price is not always a true indicator of it's quality (CLICK HERE to read about that ). I don't even think that I will buy another one to try.  There are too many lip products out there that I haven't tried yet.  Plus, buying that e.l.f lipgloss was a waste of my money which is a huge "no-no".

I'm not sure what went wrong because the lipgloss has some good reviews on e.l'f's website.  Also, I've never had a problem with any of the other e.l.f products I have used before (CLICK HERE and here for the reviews).  Nor have I ever had a problem with the lip products from other brands that were not opened for a long time after they were purchased.

This is strike one for e.l.f, but since this is the first offence after a good track record, I won't hold it against you.

"...because your make-up should always BE (Blend and Enhance)." - Nakita Squires

Friday, 23 October 2015

Time To Say Goodbye

After it dawned on me that my lips might be having an allergic reaction to lipstick ( CLICK HERE to read about that 'aha' moment), I decided to throw away my personal lip products that I was holding on to that had expired.

Yes, you read correctly, expired.  Sadly, make-up does not last forever, but after you have spent so much money on your make-up, it seems like such a waste to get rid of it.  Especially when the majority of the product has not been used  (to get the make-up expiration times CLICK HERE ).  I had decided to keep using them because they still smelt and looked the same.

Believe me when I tell you that this was not an immediate decision, I thought long and hard about this.  I removed the products from the shelf but I couldn't bring myself to just throw them in the garbage.  They were all excellent products so this post is a brief tribute to them.

Roll Call
  1. Arista Lipstick - Purple Rain (View Swatch
  2. Bath & Body Works Liplicious Lipgloss - Cotton Candy
  3. OCC Lip Tar - Hoochie (View Swatch to see the swatch)
  4. NYX Lipsmacking Colours - Hero (View Swatch)
  5. L.A. Colors Moisturizing Lipgloss - Blazing Violet (View Swatch)
  6. NYX Lipgloss - African Queen (View Swatch )
  7. Makeup Forever Lip Gloss 
It honestly pained me to discard them, but I still have quite a few left - some that I haven't used yet (CLICK HERE to see what I mean).

This is why I wish there were more mini-sized products - CLICK HERE to read about that.  I would definitely feel much better about tossing a mini product.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Thursday, 15 October 2015

These Lips, These Lips, These Dry Lips

Image Source -
For as long as I can remember, my lips always stage a revolt after I apply my lipstick. 

Let me explain...

My lips look normal before and after I apply lipstick.  But eventually dry skin appears on my lips out of nowhere it would seem. 

It's not a good look at all.

I drink water on most days and exfoliate my lips often.  I also use lip balm before applying lipstick, and lip gloss after.   I've tried different brands and formulas - including moisturizing and the results are always the same.  While writing this post I considered the possibility that I am having an allergic reaction but I can't possibly be allergic to them all!  

Years ago I had even stopped wearing lipstick and only wore gloss.  I was wearing eyeshadow then, so I was still getting my  colour fix.   All was well with the world until I stopped wearing eyeshadow (CLICK HERE and HERE to find out why) and  yes, you guessed it - lipstick was my 'friend' once more.

Well,  that friendship is on rocky ground again, but I'm still not wearing eyeshadow. Sooooo I'll be lining my lashline and wearing blush and mascara to compensate.  We'll see how long I can keep that up because that will require more time and I am always rushing to get ready.

Want some lip exfoliation tips? CLICK HERE 

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Exfoli...Wait A Minute!!!

Exfoliation is nothing new to the make-up world, it is the removal of dry, dead skin.  

I've known about face scrubs from my early make-up days but I can only recall hearing about lip scrubs in recent years.  

I have tried some lip scrub products but they did not work.  The only method that leaves my lips smooth is using a soft toothbrush.

I used to think that that I had to keep scrubbing until all of the dry,dead skin was removed.  I mean what's the sense of exfoliating if dry,dead skin is still on your lips when you are finished? On two recent occasions the skin was very stubborn but I was determined to remove it.  

Well, I achieved my goal but it left my lips sore...OUCH!  I only realised this after I was finished. I didn't feel any soreness while I was scrubbing.  I wasn't rough, I didn't scrub with wild abandon, I really don't understand what went wrong.  I've been exfoliating my lips for years and this has never happened before.  It won't happen again, you can bet on that.

The discomfort was bearable but it's not something I want to repeat.  I hope you never have a similar experience.

CLICK HERE (WIKIHOW) and CLICK HERE (The Gloss) for some lip exfoliation tips. 

Just be aware that you should always exfoliate with care! (that has a nice ring to it *smile*)

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Would You Use These 'Beauty Tools' ?

While I would never encourage anyone to use stationery on their face because I'm sure there are more hygenic alternatives available, these are some useful tips.  If you can find a sanitary substitute, I encourage you to give them a try.

My favorite is using tape to clean up glitter fallout.  I use medical tape instead and it works.  It's great for eyeshadow fallout also.  CLICK HERE to find out more.  

To get all of the details from Beautylish's article CLICK HERE .

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Contouring and Highlighting

Contouring and highlighting is nothing new to the make-up industry. Originally it was used primarily for photoshoots and video. Currently, it has become very popular for creating everyday looks.  

From what I have seen, some have mastered it, while others make a mess of it. I have lost count of the times that I have cringed at some of the make-up I have seen.

For those who have never tried it, or haven't mastered it as yet, it isn't hard to do at all. You just need the right products, tools and technique.  I love this Wayne Goss YouTube video , I used it as my guide when I first did it.

Let me warn you about how crazy your face will look BEFORE you blend the products. I was horrified at what I saw. I was convinced that I had done something wrong because my face looked like a huge mess. 

I was very skeptical and had many doubts about the outcome, but I decided to finish what I had started. I had come to far to turn back now. The skepticism and doubts vanished when I say the finished look - my face looked amazing. I did not recognise the person staring back at me in the mirror. 

I currently do it sometimes for special occasions but I don't do my entire face, just my cheeks. I only did my entire face when I was entering make-up competitions. Highlighting and contouring requires time that I don't have to spare. I'm always rushing to get ready remember? (Read about it here)

So if you have the time to spare, give it try and let me know how it goes or how it has been going.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Friday, 11 September 2015

How I 'Fixed' My Faulty Make-up Setting Spray Nozzle

I remember when Setting Spray was part of my make-up routine.  It no longer is after this happened.

I've tried three brands so far ( (read my reviews here).  Make-up Forever sprayed on evenly, but Graftobian and Elf did not.  It seemed as though the nozzles were faulty because the spray was not coming out in an even mist.  Whichever area I sprayed (cheeks, forehead etc), the spray would drench a small spot, leaving the rest of the area untouched. This was very frustrating.

I would not dare toss the product - that would be a waste of product and the money I had spent. What could I do?  I had to find a way to make it work.  I continued spraying the product onto my face but I started using my powder brush to spread it evenly.  This worked but I had to work quickly before the spray dried - so no daydreaming for this make-up addict.

One day I decided to skip spraying the setting spray on my face and I sprayed my powder brush instead. Next I pressed the dampened brush onto my face.  This worked even better than the previous method.  There was still no time to lag with my daydreams but I didn't have to work as quickly as before.

After a few days the brush started to feel sticky and stiff.  Luckily I had two of them so I started using a seperate brush to apply my powder.

I never thought that something so simple would have solved this issue.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Day My Concealer Brush Disappeared

Image Source -

I had just finished filling in my brows with brow pencil and  I reached for my concealer brush to neaten and highlight my brows.  Why wasn't it in it's usual spot?  I looked everywhere, but I still did not find it.

Why me? Why now? What about my brows?

Talk about bad timing.

As I stood there trying to figure out how I would finish my brows, I remembered a recent conversation with a work colleague.

She had mentioned that she preferred to use a flat eyeshadow brush to highlight her brows with concealer because it worked better than the concealer brush.  When she showed me the eyeshadow brush, I saw that since it was a flat brush like the concealer brush it would work.

I found a flat eyeshadow brush and put it to the test.  It earned a distinction!  It applied the concealer easier, easter and better.  I was very pleased with the results.

I was so pleased that even after I found the concealer brush weeks later I continued to use the eyeshadow brush.

This is why you shouldn't obsess over the brush type/label; the shape, thickness etc are more important - click here for more.  Years ago there weren't so many different types of brushes, it's great to have them all but you don't need most of them.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review - 21 Genius Lipstick Hacks Every Woman Needs To Know

What would life be like without Lipstick?  Obviously less colourful, and probably less fun.

Let's see if these 21 tips found on MSN Lifestyle are truly genius, and if we really need to know them all.

1 - This is a similar concept to using a toothbrush, which is the best method I've tried so far.  Another option is a lip scrub, which is popular right now, but the ones I tried didn't work for me.

2 - Great tip but then you have to clean your finger after. I prefer to use this method and toss the tissue in the garbage when I'm done. 

3 & 4 - Most makeup products are multi-use products, despite what is specified on the label.  You don't have to wait until your eye-shadow is broken though, I surely don't.

5 - Using a lip brush or the lipstick directly has the same effect.  All you have to do is take your time and apply it as many times as necessary to get the look that you want.  

6 - For a stained look you just need to apply a small amount of lipstick and spread it lightly. 

7 - Has anyone tried this? I honestly never remember to do it because I'm always rushing (read about my dilemma here).  I just default to auto-pilot and do the basics, I don't have time for anything more. 

8 - You can also try this if your lips are hyperpigmented to provide an evenly coloured base for applying your lip product.  How dark or pale your lips are will also alter how the colour looks on you e.g the more pigmented the lip product, the better for darker skin tones, otherwise you hardly see any colour.

9 - You should try to make your lips look larger if they are NOT naturally large, but any lip size can fill in their lips with lip pencil etc.

10 - Has this worked for anyone?  I always promise to try this but that's a promise I can't seem to keep - I wasn't kidding when I said that I am always rushing.


11 - Too much to remember? Here's a simple guide -  nude lipstick is not visible or it's barely visible on your lips.

12 - This is a good starting point for finding a red lipstick. Personally, once I test the lipstick and I like how it looks on me, consider it bought. 

13 - Be careful not to draw the "X" too wide or too narrow; otherwise you will create a bow - just not cupid's.  If you blend your lip liner with your lipstick there should be no tell-tale line.

14 - Use the correct shade of concealer for your skin-tone, keep the line as thin as possible and blend it in.

15 - Or you can pack a lipstick or lipgloss that can wear with every outfit - that's what I do.

16 - You can also keep the broken lipstick in a container and apply it with a lipbrush.

17 - I wonder if this will affect how smoothly the lipstick glides across your lips.  You may have to wait until it's at room temperature before using.  None of mine have ever melted but some have sweated.

18 - Don't forget to blend the colours where they meet.

19 - If this works the days of lip stick ruined items will be numbered.

20 - You can also use a smudge brush.  BONUS - this will work with your eyeliner too.

21 -  This should work depending on how bad the wrinkles are. Click here to find out what Primer does.

These are some excellent tips, easy to follow and helpful.  I hope you found tips that you can use or share them with someone.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Review - E.O.S Lip Balm

I remember when E.O.S Lip Balms first burst onto the beauty scene.  The stir that this product created with its novel packaging and shape is still fresh in my mind.

Image Source

Image Source

All of the fuss surrounding this lip balm and the rave reviews caught my attention.  Besides it's unique package; what else did this product have to offer?

It was quite pricey here in Barbados; so I bought one on my next trip overseas.  I was so excited!!!!!  I didn't delay.

I opened the package, took note of it's mild yet pleasant scent, applied the lip balm and waited for the magic to happen.  I was expecting fireworks, something...anything.  Sadly, I got nothing.  My lips didn't look different,  my lips didn't feel different, was I missing something?

 I visited the product website hoping to find some answers.   The first thing I saw was that they were also available in stick form (which I prefer).  I was a bit surprised because I had not seen the Smooth Sticks in any of the ads nor the reviews.  The sphere shape is too big and clumsy for me, I prefer something sleek.  

Image Source

Image Source

I also saw that this product is 99% natural, petrolatum-free, paraben-free, gluten-free and phthalate-free. *Translation* it's better for your skin than the majority of lip balms out there.  That alone would normally be reason enough to buy it, but after all the hype I was expecting something more.

Don't get me wrong, if you want to try it go right ahead.  I'm just letting you know that it didn't do anything for me.  I was neither wowed nor 'blown away'.

*Blog Love* -You can also read Moden Makeup's review of the E.O.S Lip Balms here.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Day My Make-Up Melted

I was attending an outdoors event during the peak of summer, and I anticipated that the sun would be at its hottest.

I had  no worries when I applied my make-up that day. I believed that the Primer (click here) and Setting Spray (click here) would help my make-up to last, which is what they are supposed to do and they usually work for me (click here).  I even wore a baseball cap and took an umbrella. I felt confident that I would survive the sweltering heat.

Soon after arriving at the event I began to perspire - the heat of the sun was scorching!!!  I wasn't concerned because my make-up always lasts, but as the saying goes, 'there's a first time for everything'.

The sweat was pouring down my face.  I touched my face and when I glanced at my hand, it had make-up on it!  I was very disturbed; this has never happened to me before.  I could not believe my eyes.

I was very confused.  My make-up has survived the summer heat before, but today it was much hotter than usual.  My make-up didn't have a chance against the extreme heat.

I felt angry and disappointed that the products did not work; products that I had sworn by and recommended to others.

I was so upset that I stopped using Primer and Setting Spray in my personal make-up application routine. Don't get me wrong, these products have their purpose, but they failed me when I needed them most and I do not take that lightly.

And so the quest to for make-up that lasts in this tropical climate continues.  I'm planning to try a spray that water-proofs make-up -  I'm hoping this will give me the result that I am seeking.  One thing that I do know is that I'll have to keep trying products until I find something that works for me.  The reality is that products do not always work the same for everyone, even if it has rave reviews.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Do You Listen To Your Skin?

When I took the time to chat with a friend who had lots of questions about skin care products; I never imagined that this quote (created using Polyvore) would have been the result!

It's time for a reality check - products do not always have the same effect on everyone's skin.  It doesn't matter if the product is popular; it doesn't matter if it is expensive.

Never use products that irritate your skin.  If it stings, blisters or dries out your skin; please stop using that product.  That's your skin 'talking' to you; that's it's way of telling you that the product is too harsh.  Don't you agree that you should take the time to listen?

We must take care of our skin because we can't return it, we can't trade it in.

It's the only one we have!

For more advice/tips about caring for your skin, here are 2 other posts:

1) Make-up Hygiene Tips

2)How to Avoid Allergic Reactions to Make-up.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Day I Decided To Stop Using Toner

As I splashed Simple Soothing Skin Toner on my face while getting ready for work one morning; I stared at my reflection in the mirror wondering if using this product was a waste of my time.I've used Toner for many, MANY years - after Cleansing/Exfoliating and before Moisturizing.

Simple Soothing Skin Toner claims to

1) prepare the face for perfect moisturising and is essential for healthy and radiant skin

2) remove the last traces of make-up and cleanser and help to clarify and refresh your skin
3) soothe, help tone and tighten pores
4) be non drying, leave skin soft and maintain the pH balance of your skin

Early in my make-up journey a Professional Make-Up Artist told me that Toner helps to even out your skin tone.  I don't know about you, but that has NOT been my experience.  Even though my skintone is still uneven, I'm thankful that it hasn't changed for the worse.

I stood there with all sorts of thoughts rushing through my mind and I concluded that I didn't need to use Toner since my cleanser works well and removes all traces of dirt/make-up.  Also, my skin is naturally soft, healthy and radiant, and I don't have visible pores.  In fact, all Toner does is makes my face wet and delays my make-up application as I wait for it to dry.

I'm not a fan of wasting time or money, so I decided that I would stop buying Toner.  The bottle I was currently using was going to be my last!

I was satisfied with this decision, until one morning soon after I had this epiphany.

I was applying moisturizer, but it wasn't spreading easily, and my face didn't feel as soft and as smooth as it usually does.  I couldn't figure out why this was happening and my mind raced trying to solve this 'mystery'.  I eventually realized that I had forgotten to use Toner.

I could not believe it, Toner actually made a difference!

I really needed this product after all!

For one split second I even considered splashing some on over my moisturizer, but had to admit that doing this wouldn't make sense.

That was a close one.  I'm just glad that I realised the importance of using Toner before the bottle was empty.

Click here for tips on prepping your face for make up.

"...because your make-up should always enhance." - Nakita Squires