Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MUA SPOTLIGHT: Shanii Mitchell

There is a LOT of unnoticed talent in the makeup community. Every few weeks, I'll be putting the spotlight on some upcoming and very talented Makeup Lovers. First up is a artist I found a few months back on Twitter. She's extremely talented, interacts with people who look up to her and drops bomb looks. She has a few videos posted on Youtube and has a Twitter account separate from her personal account dedicated to Fashion and all things Beauty with a following of over 30K.

S h a n i i  M i t c h e l l 

Age: 20
Location: Los Angeles, CA

1)How did you get into makeup?
- I was inspired by my cousin last year and I started watching YouTube videos and learned from there.

2)Are you completely self taught?
- Yes.

3)How long have you been into makeup?
- It's been one year.

4)What are your favorite brands?
- Makeup Geek, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Morphe Brushes

5)Who/What do you look to for inspiration?
- I usually look at art paintings on google and use the colors from the pictures I see.

6)If you had to use ONE product for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- ABH Foundation Stick -- my holy grail.

7) What is your holy grail ... 
Foundation - ABH Foundation Stick
Concealer - Maybelline Fit Me (30 Cafe)
Eyeshadow Palette - Violet Voss Holy Grail
Highlighter - ABH Sundipped Glow Kit
8) Why do you love makeup?
- I love being creative and just playing around with different colors.

9)What goals have you accomplished this year (in terms of makeup)?
- Blending my eyeshadow nicely and being noticed by Makeup Geek.

10) What goals do you have set for yourself makeup wise for 2017?
- Start my YouTube channel and be consistent with my looks.

11) What tips do you have for other MUE/MUA who want to better their skill and increase their following?
- Keep practicing whenever you can and post really unique fun looks that'll bring the followers in. Also, be yourself and have fun. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Finals Time 2016

It's December which is officially grind time for College Students. While it's really exciting to be getting ready to wrap up the semester and spend the holiday's at home, this is also one of the most stressful times of the year. Between papers, final exams, that extra credit and trying to get your professor to raise your 60 to a 90.. a lot of people can lose their way.
I ran a poll on my twitter (@demaiatashawne - follow me if you don't already), to see what students similar to myself wanted to see in terms of help with their finals in this post. I gave three options; how to get through finals, relaxation techniques or studying tactics and habits. The poll ran for 24 hours and the final choices were split. Since all three of these topics are important for students, I've decided to include them all in this post. It's kind of a necessity.

Studying Tactics & Habits
Despite what people think, it isn't easy to tell people HOW they should study. Different things work for different people. For example, I do a lot better with lists. Seeing things get crossed off the list makes me feel good and makes me go harder to finish more stuff.

  •       If you're a person who strives off seeing things being finished, MAKE A LIST. Don't try to remember everything you have to do because you WILL forget something. Forgetting something increases anxiety and you'll do much worst. 
  •       Create a system that works for YOU. Color code your notes based off what you're learning. You'll be a lot more likely to pay attention and retain the information if what you've written or typed is highlighted or in different colors (other than blue, black or red.)
  • DON'T study somewhere you're comfortable. College students are well known for studying in their bed. While it's cool because you're comfy, it's not ... because you're comfy. When you're laying in bed studying, you're more likely to just lay down. There's been plenty of times when I've been in the bed studying at 4 and then I blinked and it was 9:30. All because I took a nap while I was supposed to be studying. 
  • Pick some place that stimulates your learning. For some people, sitting in the library at a desk or table is the only way they can be productive and get things done. For others, Starbucks is the best place because there are other sounds. Wherever you feel the best, that's where you go. 
  • Don't just read your notes over and over again. Find other ways to get and retain the information. Check out YouTube videos on the topic you're studying. Or ever go to Khan Academy and get step by step information. 
  • Study in chunks & Create a Schedule. It's college students favorite thing to wait until the last
    minute and cram everything the night before the exam. Don't do that.. please, don't do that. Try to set up intervals for yourself. You have to make incentives for yourself to follow. If you study for an hour, reward yourself with a 15 minute break. Create a set start time and end time. Disciplining yourself is a MAJOR key. If you say you're going to start studying at 6 and end at 9, hold yourself to it. Don't say you're going to start at 6 and start around 8 and still end at 9. Push yourself. If you're late, study later. ALSO, make a rule for yourself. I often tell myself that past 11, I'm not doing anymore work. That way I can still get in the bed and relax. 
  • Determine if groups are better or not. Some people strive the best when they're in a study group. Some people don't. I'm one of those people that can do homework with other people, but it can only be like one other person. If I'm in a group, I'm more likely to start talking about other things and get distracted and get nothing done. It makes me more lazy. 
  • As far as distractions go, minimize them. Music is cool, music is great ... but it can distract you too. If your favorite song comes on Pandora while you're studying, you're more likely to turn it into a mini concert than staying focused on what you're doing. Try low volumes.. and definitely put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" or turn it off. You'd be surprised what you're likely to accomplish if you're not tweeting or snapping. 
  • Reward yourself. If you've been sticking to your schedule, or you're understanding a topic you didn't at first.. treat yo' self. Promise yourself a burger if you get something done by 8. Do like me and order something you probably don't need. The bottom line is, YOU HAVE TO ROOT FOR YOURSELF.

Relaxation Techniques
Relaxing can be the hardest part of finals. Stress and anxiety are at an all time high. The problem with this is that professors don't understand the more they stress us out, the worse we'll do. This applies to papers, exams, group projects, etc. No matter what is going on, you have to find ways to relax:
  • End every night listening to your favorite Pandora station.. (or Tidal if that's your thing.)
  • Get rest! Stop overworking yourself. I understand you want to do well, but you need to sleep and unwind just as well. 
  • Netflix and Chill. When it seems like stuff is too much, just take a step back. Watch a new movie on Netflix. Eat snacks and take a break.
  • Watch a Youtube video on something interesting that has nothing to do with school or what you're studying. If you're into cars, look up videos or pictures of the cars. If you like hair, youtube a tutorial on a new style you've been wanting to try.
  • Hit the Gym. It's so easy to eat horrible during this time and just want to pass out. When you need a break, the gym can be the perfect place to go. Go walk around the track, get on the treadmill, life weights, ride the bikes, etc. (It's also included in your tuition... so might as well.)
Getting through Finals
This can be an extremely stressful time. Use positive self-talk to get yourself through it. I understand that a lot can be riding on finals in terms of taking classes over again, failing, etc. Remember ONE thing: Your GPA does NOT define you and you success is not compared to others. Don't compare yourself to others in terms of how you're doing, how fast you're getting it done, etc. Focus on your own path. Nobody said anything will be easy, but if you push yourself and do what you've gotta do.. you'll be just fine. Also, go see your teachers! It's late in the semester, but I'm sure they won't mind talking to you and giving you encouraging words. They might even be willing to help you in one way or another. Ask for extra credit. If opportunities are given FOR extra credit, DO IT!

If there are any methods you do that you feel might be helpful, feel free to comment them below!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Kylie Cosmetics 2016 Holiday Palette Review & Dupes

A few weeks ago, Kylie shut down the makeup world by releasing her 2016 Holiday Collection full of lip kits, her first set of brushes, glosses and more. As someone who has been watching and debating on buying more Kylie Cosmetics, I was very interested in this collection. More specifically what caught my eye was the eyeshadow palette. Before I had this palette, the only Kylie product I owned was the Burgundy Palette. That palette was literally amazing; from color payoff, to shade choices, to pigmentation. It quickly became one of my favorite palettes.

Packaging & Overall Look
What caught my eye about this Holiday palette is initially the packaging. Kylie's packaging is usually really pretty, but this palette is metallic. It also has a mirror, unlike the two palettes that were released prior to this one. The overall look of the palette is nice, but I still wish the shade names were under or below the actual pans instead of on the back. I also like that she added a mirror to this one unlike the other two. It's a good size mirror as well. In terms of packaging, this palette definitely gets an A+.

Shade Choices
When first looking at this palette, it's easy to tell that it's for the Holiday's. There are 9 shades total and all of them are very cool and Winter-themed. Of the 9 shades; 5 are shimmers and 4 are matte.
On the official Kylie site, there are descriptions to go along with each shade:
Sugar Cookie (warm nude) - Matte
Frosty (platinum silver) - Metallic
Chestnut (dusty mauve) - Matte
Mittens (deep mahogany/red) - Metallic
Winter (denim blue) - Metallic
Nutcracker (silvery plum) - Metallic
Gingerbread (silver bronze) - Metallic
Evergreen (teal green) - Matte
Silent Night (blackened plum) - Matte

                                                          Swatches & Final Review
(with flash)
(without flash)
All and all, this is a beautiful palette. It's perfect going into the winter and the holiday season. I'm very picky about the mattes I blend before adding my shimmers, so I may dip into other palettes to pair with the shimmers, but I'll definitely make use out of all the colors in this palette. In the Burgundy palette, the colors blended super easy and were really creamy. In this palette, a few of the mattes felt kind of chalky, but it's nothing you can't work with. Some of the colors have to be built up on me because I have deeper skin, but they all are beautiful colors. If you're like me and love eyeshadows, this could definitely be a must have for the holiday season.

The Kylie Cosmetics Holiday Palette retails for $42 and can be purchased separately from the Holiday Collection.

TIP: If you want to create a custom palette similar to this, you can purchase singles and dupe it out. If you're like me and buy whole palettes for a few colors IN them, just buy singles which are kind of like it to achieve the same look you're going for. Nothing wrong with wanting to save a little coin!
*These are not perfect dupes, just an idea if you wanted something similar.*

Sugar Cookie = Makeup Geek x Confection ($6)
Frosty = Colourpop x Liberty ($5)
Chestnut = Makeup Geek x Unexpected ($6)
Mittens = Anastasia Beverly Hills x Red Earth ($12)
Winter = Anastasia Beverly Hills x Prussian ($12)
Nutcracker = Makeup Geek x Toxic ($6)
Gingerbread = Anastasia Beverly Hills x Amber ($12)
Evergreen = L'oreal x Green Promenade ($5.99)
Silent Night = Anastasia Beverly Hills x Deep Plum ($12)