I’m about to write a pretty girly how-to makeup post. It would almost warrant a YouTube video—if it weren’t simple enough for a monkey!

Two completely random events conspired last week for me to come up with a whole new makeup look (just when I thought I’d tried it all). 1) A 100-degree heat wave hit Los Angeles for two days putting the entire city in a sweat. And 2) I ran out of my favorite dirty mascara.

And so, the look that I’m calling “night-for-day face” was born. All you need are two products that you likely already have: bronzer (or blush if you don’t do bronzer) and a pencil eyeliner. It’s night-for-day because I like to wear eyeliner (with mascara) and bronzer for evenings out in the summer. But, while the eyeliner gives this look a touch of evening edge, it’s so light that it passes as polished without being too much for daytime wear.

The absolute best part about this face though? It’s 100% weather-and-activity-proof. There’s no leaks or smudges or runs. And it’s really really easy to reapply during the day. Also, it’s super liberating to not wear mascara but still have a little eye happening! Here’s what I do.

Prep: I’ve been using the Marie Veronique face oil, which smells and feels amazing. (Would I pay the $110 for it? Nope, probably not, but I got this bottle gifted.) The oil really helps the bronzer apply nicely though your usual moisturizer will likely do the trick. My skin has been pretty clear lately so (knock on wood), I’ve been using minimal concealer.

Apply: Bronzer with my finger (love the studio 78 one) under my cheekbones and slightly up around the contour of the bone. A tiny bit along the bridge of my nose as well as my eyebrow bone. Then I very lightly line the inside of my eye with a black pencil (Jane Iredale or HoneyBee Gardens). Very very lightly though, so that it’s more of a translucent gray than black if that makes sense. If you go too dark without mascara your eye will look small, but somehow that doesn’t happen if you do the line barely there.

That’s it! You can add some lip gloss or a touch of color on the lip, but the trick is light touch with everything or else you just look made up.

What have you been doing with your makeup these days??


Happy Friday Deal From Kahina Giving Beauty!

Aww, yeah!

Our old favorites are back in time for the holidays, and not a minute too late. I, for one, have simultaneously run out of my brightening serum, toning mist (more here), and cleanser, all of which I swear by for everyday use. And, really, I’m not sure there’s anything I want more for Christmas than the things I depend on daily to keep me feeling (and, OK, looking) my best.*

Some reasons we love the products, if you’re new to Kahina Giving Beauty: The line is incredible. Their products have been in my bathroom and on my vanity for more than three years now, and there are a few good reasons why. First, the products are gentle enough for my very sensitive skin. Second, they’re so full of natural actives that you get the satisfaction of knowing, because of what you see in the mirror and how your skin feels, that they work. Finally, they’re pleasant to share. Men like them because they’re unisex and unfussy but get the job done. Our moms like them because they’re appropriate for more mature skin, too. Our friends like them because they give them a taste of luxury and high-performance without being frou-frou or gimmicky.

Simply put: They work. And like a great friend or partner, they’re reliable and they make you feel good, day in, day out.

Without being over the top, I’d like to add: I’m also wild about the eye cream and the mask and the argan oil soap trio. They’re also selling these unpredictably chic pouf necklaces (I have one of those, too). They make boring outfits pop and attract compliments from the most unlikely people, like cranky strangers on the train.

So with that said, this Friday we’re delighted to share a very merry Kahina site-wide deal. It’s simple: A generous 15% off your purchase. The code is nondenominationally charming: HAPPYMERRY. And the deal lasts until next Thursday at midnight.

What are you getting? I hope my pals and mom aren’t reading this, because I think I just gave away what’s going in their stockings.

* K, maybe there are a few things, but they’re not the kind of things I would print here. Womp!


Help! I Need A Beauty Pick-Me-UP

I’m having a small case of the beauty blahs and I don’t know what to do… I want to feel fresh and new for spring but I’m a bit stumped on ideas. Who has done something totally drastic—but not totally chemy—in the last little while? Hair cuts, new makeup colors, awesome discoveries?

Here are my ideas so far…

1. White eye liner. Has anybody tried this? Word is that it really makes eyes pop.

2. A bold new lip color. Maybe coral? Suggestions?

3. More semi-natch highlights. Do I? Don’t I? I’ve trimmed off a lot of my golden pieces from last summer, but can I put myself through all that hair washing again?

One thing I’ve never gotten into at all is eye shadow. Maybe it’s time. I know there are some really fun colors right now, even among naturals. I just feel like shadow looks a little silly on me—even though I often love it on others. Is there a trick to wearing? Help!

Image of bored beauty via


Mad Men Makeup and Hair…Done Naturally

Life got a little bit better a few weeks ago when I noticed that Mad Men had become available on Netflix Instant. I love television. From Breaking Bad to Boardwalk Empire, I think that the little box often has movies beat these days. But nothing is as close to my heart as Mad Men.

Part of it is that I’m an ad gal myself, so I get excited around that creation process. But what gets me even more is the women: Joan, Betty, and Peggy, in all of their outward beauty and inner suffering. As I rewatch the early seasons I catch myself constantly pausing to take a picture of the screen to capture a look, a moment, a color—all of my senses being satisfied at once.

This gave me an idea:

What if we tried to recreate three big beauty trends from that time—with natural products, of course—that also happen to be hot right now?

A quick cross reference with Elle’s Spring Beauty Preview proved very fruitful indeed, so here goes…

1. Top lining: I’ve always loved heavily lined eyes, but as I get a little bit more mature I’ve become a bigger fan of the top-only line. There’s something classy and clean about it, though a lot of women are intimidated because the mags make it look like this. If you look at Betty’s eyes here though, you can see that there’s a much more subtle version of this style—one that doesn’t even require using that pesky liquid liner! Instead I use my basic Jane Iredale Eye Pencil in black, which is way more forgiving if you don’t have a steady hand. The trick is running the pencil right at the lash line. I start toward the middle, getting thicker as I go.

2. Bold lips: Still in in a big way: Elle may be calling it red, but really the word for lips is bold (whatever your color choice is).

Since nobody needs a lesson in lipstick application, I’ll just say that  if you have yet to try the pretty and poppy hues from Ilia, or the seriously strong colors from W3LL People, you are missing out. Find our full favorite lipstick recap here, then share your own in the comments.

3. Hair with height: High retro hair has definitely gotten a modern makeover. I told you a few weeks ago how I made a blowout last for days with dry shampoo, but the best kept secret about this stuff is the height it can give to hair. It’s so easy too: Simply shake a little bit onto the area you plan to raise, and then fluff and move it around with your fingers at the root until you can’t see the powder (you’ll start seeing volume immediately). Then, using a comb, tease the spot just a tiny bit and see it rise to the next level. Now take the piece of hair right in front and smooth it over the little mound for a more finished Joan-type look.

Questions? Comments? You know what to do!

There’s been a whole lot of confessing going on on the site lately—and I must say, I’m finding it both cathartic to share, and comforting to hear from everyone and remember just how alike we all are in our struggles. So here’s another one for the circle of trust: I’ve been in a total beauty funk lately! Don’t get me wrong, my skin’s been behaving (thank you Tammy Fender), and my hair is happy, but I just haven’t been, well, feeling my shizzle. And at this point in my life, I know too well how far a little self-love (or at least acceptance) goes in the looks department…

See, I’ve long ago stopped pining for things that I won’t have: wider cheekbones, a narrower nose, longer legs—I like to call that the gift of the thirties.

I fully embrace the very mantra we put forward in the book, which is that your outlook is your look. If I’m not feeling it, nobody is. So this Saturday I decided to switch up the energy, and I did something I haven’t really done for a while: I went shopping.

They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing! After several hours spent picking over a reliable vintage store in the valley—I emerged a different woman, with no less than three summer dresses in tow. I forgot how good a new dress can make a girl feel, even when it’s not technically new (and it only sets you back 10 bucks).

There are two other things that also always make me feel better when I’m not feeling my look: eyeliner (mine is black and from Jane Iredale) and bronzer (currently I’m using one from Living Nature). What do you do when you’re in need of a beauty boost?

Image via