I’ll admit…Valentine’s Day isn’t really my favorite holiday. It’s this weird double-edged sword, ya know? If you’re single you curse every happy relationship while you binge eat chocolate and drink too much wine while watching some sappy rom-com. If you’re in a relationship, there’s so much pressure for it to be perfect that you constantly overanalyze everything your significant other says or does, all while eating an overpriced meal at an overpacked restaurant.

However you spend your day, chances are you’ll still want to look somewhat like a human. More specifically, if you’re like me, you’ll spend way too much time doing your makeup, only to end up being that girl drinking wine alone in her bed. Either way, I get it. It feels good to feel good. Now is not the time for my “you’re more than your image” rant, because even I know that when you feel like you look good, everything else just goes so much better.

So, I’ll leave you with this: more pictures of my face where I’m wearing way more makeup than your average college girl but loving every second of it…because it feels good. 

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Are you guys surprised this isn’t a warm-toned red look?! Because I am… Surprise! I can be versatile when I need to be! I figured I’d go with the clich√© pink tones but still add my own dramatic twist because as you all know, I’m just a little extra ūüėČ

I got the Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette and as soon as I opened it I was inspired by this pink-y purple shimmer shade called Paranoia. It’s perfect because its not too pink to the point that it’s unwearable – in other words, you don’t feel like Barbie pink has thrown up all over your face. Great visual, you’re welcome.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar with different eyeshadow styles and techniques, this one is called a Halo Eye. Basically, you keep a darker color concentrated on the inner and outer corners of your eyes while you put a bold/shimmer/light/different color in between the two. I’m not sure exactly who named this because I feel 100% less angelic than normal whenever I wear this technique. I pretty much just end up feeling like a total badass who has some clue of what she’s doing with her face.

Because I’m all about drama, you guys know that I had to take it up a couple notches and keep the darker tones in deep purples, namely Eggplant and Plum from the Lorac Pro 2 Palette.

How to create a simple Halo eye:

  1. Prime!!! I can’t stress this enough. If you want your eyeshadow to last and not crease, you have to prime the lid. I used a concealer and set it with a flesh colored shadow to cancel out any discoloration on my lids and get everything else ready.
  2. Transition shade: aka the lifesaver step. Take any medium shade – I always use some kind of peachy/neutral brown – and sweep it all in your crease and a little above it. This just makes everything blend out easier so you’re not stuck in front of the mirror for hours. Unless that’s your thing.
  3. Pick your shade for the inner and outer corners: I always end up going with a darker, more matte shade than I want in the middle, but you can use anything you want. Build the color up until it is as intense as you want. You have the option of connecting the two sides through the crease, but that’s up to you! (I’m pretty sure this is where the “halo” idea comes from). Just make sure you leave a blank space in the middle of the lid!
  4. For the middle color, pick something that either compliments or contrasts your corner shades. I love putting shimmery metallics in the middle because it makes the eyes seem so much bigger and more dimensional. Pro tip* If you want your metallic to really pop, get your brush wet and then pat the shadow down on your lid! It will give it the most beautiful reflect and intensity.
  5. Finally, you just have to blend it all out. Halo eyes aren’t necessarily as blended as other eye looks, just because you want to get the definition of actually having a bolder color in the middle. Just make sure you don’t have literal lines dividing your eye because that looks good on no one, sorry!

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Of course I added winged liner and lashes because I can’t help myself. But this is the general idea of it all. You can see the separate colors but they’re still somewhat blended – ignore my left eye okay, I’m not perfect.

*p.s. is anyone else’s favorite body part their collarbone? please let me know that I’m not the only one*

So, no matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day, just know that you are loved by someone on this earth! Whether it’s your mom, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister’s cat… you’re someone’s reason to smile and that’s a really powerful thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in who “loves” us that we seek that validation from another person. Right now, I want you to know that it is more than okay to just love yourself. Love the freckles on your chest, the way your top lip is bigger than your bottom, even love the way your thighs touch when you sit down. It’s OKAY to think you’re pretty. It’s OKAY to feel good about yourself when the world wants you to feel shitty. It’s OKAY to be so happy in your own skin that people’s words don’t mean a thing to you.

In the wise words of one of my favorite drag queens, Jinx Monsoon, its all water off a duck’s back

This Valentine’s Day I challenge you all to love those around you, but remember that you need to love yourself too. Treat yourself to another piece of cake, give yourself an extra compliment in the morning, and go throughout your day knowing that you are love.

IG: Riannajamesmua

Elixir

So, here we are, my final fall finals week of college (god, even saying that is stressing me out). I have four tests, two papers, and an internship to balance but all I can seem to think about is Chick-fil-a and my incurable Starbucks addition. Naturally, in a way to procrastinate even more than I’m comfortable admitting, I grabbed some new products and decided to play around. I’m sure a ton of you are familiar with the brand ColourPop -ya know, the sister company of Kylie Cosmetics…? I’ve been obsessed with their lipsticks for months now and I finally decided to order some eyeshadows and highlighters & WOW GUYS. Seriously, these things are pigmented, creamy, and probably the most blendable shadows I’ve ever used.

Oh, and they’re hella cheap which makes them great when you’re a broke college student who already spends too much money on makeup ūüôā So, in case you were wondering, here’s what I ordered!¬†eye_shadow_kit-_fall_2016_2_1024x1024

This is called the Zingara pack and it comes with Paradox, Elixir, Seeker, and Jinxie, all for just $18! Honestly this just reminded me 0f a huge glass of sangria so it was absolutely necessary that I purchased this. Elixir, the terracotta shade, is probably one of the most gorgeous mid-tone orange colors I have ever seen. Basically, what I’m saying is that you need to spend the money on these shadows people!!! Separately, they’re $5 each and come in different finishes that go from matte to metallic. Each one has a unique texture thats somewhere between mouse and creme but you’d need to touch one in order to know what I’m talking about.

I also decided to get two highlighters and two Lippie Stix which are also freaking incredible. The best part is that I only spent $42 dollars on all of this stuff…including shipping.

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The highlighter I used on my cheekbone and inner corner in this photo is called Wisp & it’s ¬†probably the prettiest champagne gold/silver I’ve ever seen. It literally makes you look like you’re glowing and I mean who doesn’t want that?

Basically, I just put a light orange color in the crease – I think Orange Soda from Anastasia Beverly Hills ($12) – and then used my finger and put Elixir all over the lid and ta-da! I didn’t feel like doing a wing because 1) I’m lazy and 2) I love the color so much I didn’t wanna hide it at all.

All I did was my normal makeup routine: brows, bronzer, blush, highlight, and lips! Okay, I know that sounds like a lot, but when you’re trying to hide from your responsibilities it doesn’t seem like enough. I could probably do my makeup for 3 hours and still figure out more things to plaster all over my skin, but that really shouldn’t be surprising by now.

And just to be clear: I don’t do this because I hate how I look without makeup. I’ve always been obsessed with creative things ever since I was little and since I have 0 artistic abilities with pen and paper, this is the closest thing I get to art, alright? Of course I have days where I’m insecure and want to hide an annoying pimple, but most days I just love to stand in front of the mirror and create new shapes and color palettes on my face.

People oftentimes think girls do their makeup to impress other people but lemme tell ya what… that’s not the case at all. I don’t remember the last time I wore my favorite grey-toned lipstick and got a compliment from a single person. But you know something? IT’S OKAY!!! Art is an expression of yourself and as long as you’re happy and content with what you’re doing, validation from others kind of just slips to the wayside and disappears. Of course I love when people admire what I do, but I don’t¬†need¬†it in order to be happy with myself. I think that’s a HUGE thing for a lot of girls to understand in today’s society. So many people are in desperation for validation, compliments, or even recognition that they think without it they are nothing. Well, I’m here to tell you ladies that no matter how many times people say your black lipstick looks bad, if you like it then you should wear it however often you want. {I may be biased towards black lipstick, but I mean who doesn’t want to feel like a cross between cat-woman and Avril Lavigne? No one? Just me? Okay, fair enough.}

Anyway guys, if you take away anything from this just know that A) it’s perfectly okay to do things for yourself even if other people don’t like them, B) Yes, it’s also okay to spend 45 minutes taking photos of yourself in order to get the best possible angle for your highlight, and C) Do whatever it is you do with so much passion and love that other people see it and want to become just as passionate as you are.

Until next time xoxo

P.S. It’s also okay to absolutely LOVE parts about yourself and its even more okay to want to showcase what you love. For me, it’s my eyes and lips so here they are in their full glory. Lemme know what you love about yourself!!! Let’s spread the self-love today ūüôā

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****please go follow my Instagram account @riannajamesmua!! It would mean so so much to me **** follow me on Instagram!

May your foundation match your neck, your concealer be creaseless, & your eyeliner so sharp it could cut a man. Amen. 

 

As upsetting as the title of this post is to my mom, it definitely makes me smile. Totally feel like I’m rockin the 2014 era Kylie Jenner lip – two years later and it’s still my favorite.¬†Original, I know. But the point of this all is that makeup is supposed to be what makes YOU happy!!! How cool is it that we get to literally create something on our face every day?! ¬†The one thing that I constantly find myself falling in love with about makeup is the fact that there are no rules. Of course there are trends, I mean who doesn’t love a deep burgundy lip in the fall?? But you can go from wearing black lipstick one day to drawing on the freckles you always wanted the next and it is perfectly fine.

 

if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right

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The best thing about this eye makeup look is that it takes about 2 minutes and uses 2 colors.. how much easier could it get?

Naturally, I went back to something I’ve loved for two years – the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette. This is an incredible palette to have on hand at any time – it has a great mix of warms and neutrals with the perfect balance of matte to shimmer shades. Here’s what I did (in I kid you not, 2 minutes):

  • Grab a big fluffy brush and dust Peanut Butter all throughout the crease. You can take this color as high as you want – I have hooded eyes so I like to bring it up past my natural crease in order to see the color when I’m looking straight on.
  • Next, I just took my finger, dipped it into this beautiful shimmer champagne color called¬†Butter Pecan¬†and placed it on the inner 2/3 of my eye.
  • To blend it all a little better, I grabbed the same fluffy brush and with¬†no extra product¬†blended back and forth on the outer portion of my eye to get a gradient going from brown to gold.

I swear anyone can do this!! So many makeup looks people post are absolutely stunning, but it can get a bit difficult for the every day girl to try and recreate a look using 13 shadows, lashes, liner, and pigments. I’m all about being a little out there¬†(I don’t think you’ll find someone who likes grey-toned lipsticks more than I do) but something like this is so much easier for every day wear.

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While I L O V E liquid matte lipsticks more than half the things on this planet, they can get a little messy and take me a good 5 minutes to apply precisely. To get my perfect¬†King Kylie¬†shade, I took a MAC Cosmetics lipliner in the color¬†Boldly Bare (by the way, 10/10¬†highly reccomend) and applied it all over my lips. Not only has this bad guy stayed perfectly in place all day, it doesn’t transfer onto any cups/food which is a huge bonus.

 

I’m always open to hearing suggestions on what you guys would want to see, so don’t ever be afraid to reach out! Again, please click the link at the top and follow my instagram account and keep checking back in here to see what I post next!!

 

XOXO lex