30 May 2009

Tips for growing long nails and keeping them that way!

Even though I already have a Nailcare how to video on Youtube with lots of tips, I wanted to share some additional advice on how you can grow your nails long, and keep them that way without breaking!

  • Think of your nails as jewels, not tools! This is one of the best tips I learned. Start treating your nails as if they were precious jewels at the ends of your fingers, don't use them as tools to open soda cans, scratch off stickers from your purchases, or wedge them in between things. Be aware of how you use your fingers for your daily tasks, use the flat part of your fingers to push against surfaces; try to avoid using the nails. Use a butter knife to open soda cans, don't ruin a nail due to your soda craving! If you need a sharp tool to scratch or scrape something, don't use your nails! Try not to bang your nails against sharp edges or corners, this is one of the most frequent instances of breakage. Use rubber gloves to protect your nails when doing any kind of household chores where your hands are strongly required. If you have to do a chore that requires force from your hands, get someone else to do it (haha!) This may all sound incredibly prissy but reducing the amount of stress on your nails ultimately results in stronger nails with less breakage. If you complain that your nails always break, try to think of what kind of strain you are putting your nails under on a daily basis and minimize or altogether avoid it. I've definitely made a few changes in how I operate my hands to reduce stress and impact on my nails.

  • Always wear something on your nails. Bare nails are just begging to be bashed against something and break or chip. Always use a nail strengthener (I like NailTek Foundation II) and if you don't like to wear color, use a clear top coat. Nailpolishes create a hard extra layer on your nails once dry and this can also prevent breakage if you bang them against something. As soon as I remove my nailpolish, I put another one on. Even a day with completely bare nails usually results in a split, crack or break.

  • Don't soak your nails in water. Try to reduce the amount of time that your nails are exposed to water; nails are permeable and will soak up water, which will make them more malleable. Obviously washing your hands, showering and bathing are a necessity, but use rubber gloves to wash your dishes! The harsh soapy water can do a world of damage to your nails, and also dry out your cuticles. After washing your hands, apply hand cream to moisturize your cuticles and restore oils to your nails.

  • Eat a balanced diet. Eat plenty of lean protein, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to get enough calcium and healthy fats. Some people have noticed improved hair and nails upon taking biotin and silica supplements regularly. (I've tried out silica supplements but didn't notice much difference.) Your nails are an organic part of your body; if you fuel yourself with crap, it's unlikely that your nails will look good because you probably lack vital nutrients for healthy growth.

  • Don't pick at your nails. This one's pretty obvious. Don't chew, lick or play with your nails. If you feel like your nails are rough or uneven, use a crystal nail file to smooth them out again. Reversely, don't over-buff them, buffing the nail too much will actually remove too many layers and make them weak and thin.

Hope that helped! Happy nail growing. Got any other general tips on maintaining long nails? Add them in the comments below.

Haifa Wehbe Arabic makeup (requested)

This gorgeous, editorial kind of look on the Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe was requested by a viewer. When I saw the picture, I just had to do it! It's so gorgeous, dramatic, and even a bit vampy and  you all know how much I love these darker kind of looks. Here is my own take on it:
Requests can be sent with a picture to my email address julia.youtube@gmail.com however I cannot promise to fulfill all requests. I always have lots of looks lined up so I only do requests if I really love the picture that was sent in or if I have time. Thanks! :)

Revlon Colorstay foundation in Ivory, MAC Cream Color Base in Bronze, MAC Shimpagne MSF
ArtDeco e/s base, MAC Sharkskin Shadestick, Obsessive Compulsive Loose Color in Red Light, MAC e/s in Beauty Marked, Carbon, Mulch, Solar White, gel eyeliner (generic), L'Oreal Voluminous mascara in Carbon Black, MAC Brow pencil in Spiked
MAC Velvetella lipliner, Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tars in NSFW and Tarred, Kiko Milano Lipgloss in Grape
OPI - Kiss on the Chic

22 May 2009

Ask me Beauty: I stick out like a sore thumb!

How do you make the transition from a woman who wore no makeup to one that is now sporting a full face of makeup? I love the looks at home but when I get out in the work environment or to a family dinner I find it difficult and uncomfortable with all the double takes and comments. They have all been positive and complimentary but I still feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Should I try just wearing one or two products and slowly increase?

Dear Stacey,

I love the fact that you are becoming more comfortable and adventurous with your makeup - bravo! Especially since you have been receiving positive feedback from family and friends, it means people are noticing this change and like your new look. Of course it can be a little unnerving to be the center of attention sometimes if you're not used to that, especially if you're not used to being complimented on your makeup.

I like your own idea of starting out with just a few products on your face at once, and then - if you want - gradually building up to a level that you feel confident in and happy with. This could mean wearing a pretty lipstick to an evening out, applying a few extra coats of mascara during the day, or just brightening your face with a bit of blush. You will get more comfortable with the idea of wearing makeup, and other people will grow more accustomed to seeing you with it on. You could also experiment with different colors, try neutral shades first, and if you want - gradually add in a bit of color by maybe wearing a bolder lip color, a fun colored eyeliner, or even a bold eyeshadow now and then. Or just stick to wearing neutral colors at work and keep things toned down, and then surprise your co-workers one day at a staff party with a more dramatic look to show the other side of your personality! You might even end up liking that "surprise" effect. Especially as you grow more confident in your skills, you'll start to care less about other people's reactions, because you'll know you look great.

Bottom line: You should just wear the type and level of makeup that you feel comfortable with. It's all about number one, baby! I feel perfectly fine going out in a full face of makeup with artistically applied, bold colors and if I'm going out somewhere at night I'm usually wearing more than other women, but I realize that not everyone might feel that way. And even if you do get the odd look now and then from a family member - remember it's your face and you have to be happy with the reflection in the mirror, not others. And with time, people will appreciate the new you! So just have fun with it and enjoy experimenting.


If you have a beauty related question and need advice, please email your question to askmebeauty@gmail.com The best questions will be published on my blog, your anonymity is guaranteed.

21 May 2009

Review: Afterglow Brushes

(Above L to R: Angle Liner, Oval Eyeshadow, Crease, Concealer, Blush)
(Above: Kabuki Brush)

www.AfterglowCosmetics.com had contacted me a while ago to review some of their mineral makeup products, and included these brushes in the package, along with their mineral foundation, some eyeshadows and various other things. You can see a review and video tutorial of that by clicking here. I'm finally getting around to doing a review on these brushes!

These are vegan, animal cruelty-free brushes, meaning they are completely synthetic.They are handmade brushes, and the material is high quality Taklon. Now, Taklon comes in a few different varieties, I have some cheap Taklon brushes from Crown Brush and these ones from Afterglow are absolutely nothing alike. These are definitely high quality brushes; they are very well crafted and sturdy, precisely cut, and very, very soft but still offer enough resistance for good control.

What amazed me is how densely packed these brushes are! They are extremely dense, especially the kabuki and the blush brushes, which are my two favorite in this set. I also love the concealer brush! I'd wager to say the Afterglow kabuki is studier and denser than the MAC 182, and although I still love the 182, this is a great synthetic alternative. It is a bit smaller, so it would probably be more comparably to the limited edition MAC 181. The Afterglow brushes do not lose any color dye whatsoever upon washing and barely shed - in fact, I'd say these brushes have not shed at all. The added bonus of these brushes is that since they are synthetic, they keep their shape perfectly and you don't need to be as careful when washing, compared to natural hair brushes. They dry perfectly in shape and don't have any flyaways.

The only downside I can point out is that the oval eyeshadow brush is pretty large, so for small-lidded people like myself, it's a bit clumsy to work with. If you have a larger lid space, I could see this working to your advantage. The crease brush is very comparable to MAC's 222 brush, only I find it doesn't offer enough control because the hair is pretty long. But if you like the MAC 222, you will probably like this synthetic version of it. They also sent me the long-handled sponge tip applicator brush, but I didn't even bother posting that on here - I'd say give that one a miss.

All in all, if you are looking for high quality, vegan, synthetic brushes, these ones by Afterglow are very good. They are a bit pricey, but they are just as well made as some of my MAC brushes. The handles and ferule are sturdy, the brushes are densely packed, and made of good materials.

If you want to try out some of these brushes or other Afterglow products and live in Canada or USA (Free shipping over $100 purchase):

If you live outside Canada and USA, please visit the UK Afterglow site:

19 May 2009

Brigitte Bardot - Beauty Through the Ages

I haven't done a look for my Beauty through the Ages theme in ages. I feel like I've been neglecting it, kinda got a bit bored with it so I thought it's best to leave it be and come back when I feel inspired again. I've been wanting to do a Brigitte Bardot inspired look forever. The Bardot look is so retro and so 60s without being overly dramatic like Twiggy or other icons; it remains feminine and sultry. These are the pictures I used for inspiration:

And here's the tutorial!

(BN = Ben Nye)

Revlon Colorstay foundation in Ivory, BN blush in Natural and Latte, Benefit HighBeam

MAC Untitled Paint, BN e/s in Toast, Natural, Apricot, Cork, Dark Brown, MAC Carbon e/s, Lancaster black kajal pencil liner, black gel eyeliner (generic eBay one), Maybelline white pencil, L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

Rimmel Tiramisu lipliner, MAC lipsticks in Myth and All Revealing

Please check back to vote on tutorials in the future on my blog!

14 May 2009

Japenese Cherry Blossoms: Kabuki inspired makeup

This is my look for Lauren Luke's contest on Youtube! The theme of the contest was flower-inspired, so I used Japanese cherry blossoms as my main inspiration, then added elements of traditional Japanese culture. The look was also inspired by Japanese kabuki theater makeup, geisha lips, and the kanji symbol for spring on my forehead, since I associate cherry blossoms with spring awakening.

These are some of the images I drew inspiration from:
And this is the Kanji symbol for spring:

Jofrika white grease paint, Ben Nye Neutral Set powder, Ben Nye black cake eyeliner, Mehron Paradise palette in Paradise and Tropical, white eyeliner, Ben Nye Azalea and Red eyeshadows, 28 blush palette from eBay, MAC Red Enriched lipliner, MAC Red lipstick

Please vote for me! To vote, please go to the video listed below and write my Youtube username MissChievous in the comments. I would really appreciate it! Thanks so much. :)

Click here please to vote

13 May 2009

NOTD: Black Diamond

(Click on the pics for the full effect)

I love black nails. I especially love black nails, layered with something over top. This is Man Glaze's (yes it's really called that, reminds me of something nasty) The Death Tar polish for the black base, worn for 1 1/2 days, with Essence's Fashion Victim nail polish layered on top. Result = shimmery black goodness. It's hard to accurately photograph the result, but it's like a very shiny, shimmery and metallic looking black with a silver pearl. Very chic!

The Man Glaze Death Tar polish is a matte black and it's very cool looking, but also a bit flat. I think this topcoat works really well with it. I did notice that the Man Glaze polish chips quite fast because you can't put a topcoat on it, unless it's a matte topcoat, because that will negate the matte effect of course. You can already see noticeable tip wear after just one day.

Let me know what's on your nails today in the comments below. :)

72 Neutral, 72 Ultra Shimmer and Concealer palettes Review

These are two palettes that I received as a sample gift from my trusty eBay seller jolieeeee (aka Sarah) who I have purchased many palettes from previously with great customer service. On the right in the above picture is the 72 Color Professional Eye Shadow Neutral Palette. The neutral palette is very similar to the 28 neutral palette, which I reviewed earlier on my blog and on Youtube. The main difference between this one and the 28 neutral palette is the size of the eyeshadows, they are quite small but as a trade-off you do get more colors. The color payoff and finish is really pretty much the same so make sure to check out my earlier review.

The palette on the left is the 72 Ultra Shimmer Palette which is the exact same format and size as the neutral palette but these colors are very bright, pigmented, and the finish is shimmery/sparkley. These shadows do contain a lot of sparkle/glitter in them so I wouldn't recommend this palette if you don't like that kind of finish as they are all like that. However, I did use a few of the shades for some looks already and they do look really pretty when combined with matte eyeshadows. I used a sparkley color on the lid and a matte in the crease and for me this was the perfect combination. It's a real mixed bag of colors but this is a great palette if you like sparkley eyeshadow, I could see this being very appealing to younger girls and teens. The finish is similar to MAC Lustre eyeshadows, but I found these apply and adhere better.

Sarah also sent me the 10 Color Professional Camouflage Concealer Palette that I was really keen to try out. The color range is great, I am lighter than MAC NC15 and I could still find a color in here that was right for my skintone! I am not sure what the darkest shade would equate to in MAC, sorry. So color spectrum - thumbs up.

As to the quality of these concealers, well...they are OK. I still would opt for my Ben Nye concealer wheel over these as far as lasting power and strength of coverage, but these aren't bad either. I was actually surprised at the quality, these are better than some drugstore concealers I have tried out! What I like about the texture is that it is very emollient and easy to spread, but then very quickly dries down to a smooth powder finish. It's almost like a cream-to-powder foundation in texture, but not overly heavy, and could even be used as a foundation.

The only thing is that this palette doesn't come with any color correctors (green, orange, lilac shades) so this would be of limited use to a makeup artist having to color correct, but these would work well to go over a corrector to even out the skintone again. I could see this palette being suitable for a beginner makeup artist just venturing out into the professional world without a huge budget to spend on kit essentials, or someone who just likes to apply makeup on other people, their friends, etc. Because at $6.99 for this palette (without s&h) you can't really go wrong. The quality is admittedly not top-shelf, but considering the price, this isn't a bad purchase for those people I just mentioned.

I have purchased several times from Sarah's shop and have always been happy with my purchases, the customer service, and shipping turnaround time. I would not be endorsing this seller if I did not stand behind her business practices. Her packages are always very well wrapped and I've never received a package with even a single broken eyeshadow. I would recommend insurance though just in case.

Her eBay store:

All Lacquered Up feature

Michelle from All Lacquered Up, one of my favorite nail blogs to read, asked me if she could conduct a short interview with me regarding my nail polish preferences for her weekly "What's On Your Nails?" article for her blog. Of course I was thrilled that she considered me!

Michelle's blog is chock full of nail polish swatches from current and yet-to-be released collections; she often gets the insider's scoop before us mere mortals are clued in on upcoming nail polish trends! If you are interested in nail polish, I highly recommend checking out and subscribing to her blog.

And of course, you can click here to read the full interview with yours truly, and find out my favorite nail polish color and brand at the moment with a pic!

12 May 2009

Email Subscription Service

Hi! This message is for my around 200 readers who subscribed to my blog by email updates. I will shortly be updating my email subscription service by Feed Burner and changing the email address I use for this blog. This may result in your email subscription to my blog being deleted - I'm not sure. If this is indeed the case, don't worry, I will offer email subscription again on my blog. You will just need to visit my blog and sign up again for the new service. Then you will continue to receive my blog updates to your email inbox!


Again, I'm not sure if your subscription will indeed be deleted, but if so, please make sure to sign up again with the new Feed Burner email subscription service, same as you did before. Thanks so much!

If you are not subscribed to my blog by email, don't worry, this will not affect you.

10 May 2009

Contest entry: Mother Nature

This look is for a contest entry for MakeupbyTiffanyD's contest on Youtube. The theme of the contest was to create a tutorial for a look inspired by a movie. The movie I chose is Baraka, a 1992 documentary about the Earth, nature, and humankind. It is a visually stunning compilation of cinematography and music, filmed by a three person crew over a period of 14 months in 24 countries across 6 continents. It is one of my favorite films and worth seeing on the silver screen if you can see it at a repertoire cinema.

I chose to incorporate elements of nature, growth, night and day into this look, and mirrored the theme into my hair where I used leaves, vines and red apples to create a tousled updo. I have to say, a well-stocked craft store is a veritable goldmine for makeup artists who want to get creative! I sometimes just browse around my local craft store and come up with ideas.

Products used

Mehron Paradise aqua palette in Tropical, Ben Nye Lumiere eyeshadow palette, MAC e/s in Blue Flame, Plumage and Carbon, Ben Nye cake eyeliner in black, MAC Red Enriched lipliner, NYX Chaos round lipstick, MAC Red Romp Lipglass, Obsessive Compulsive red cosmetic glitter, generic brand green cosmetic glitter, Jofrika false lashes, Jofrika white cream face paint, Ben Nye Neutral Set powder, red rhinestones, holographic silver stars, Ben Nye black eyeliner, Maybelline white kohl eyeliner, DUO glue

Nailpolish: Misa - Green With Envy

6 May 2009

Featured on Illamasqua

OK I totally forgot to write about this on my blog but I twittered about this a few days ago so some of you might have already seen it. A few of us who entered the Illamasqua contest hosted by MizzWorthy are featured on Illamasqua's official website!

This doesn't mean any of us have won yet, hopefully the results will be announced soon though. You can read the full article on Illamasqua's website here.

5 May 2009

Vote! Which look do you want to see next on my Youtube channel?

I've created a poll to let you have a vote on which type of look you want to see coming up on my channel. There's a few different looks I have ideas for and I'll let you vote on which one you want to see.

The choices are:
  • A classic bridal look
  • Another Arabic inspired look
  • The next video for my "Beauty through the Ages" series

Please vote in the poll on the right side of my blog. If you are reading this in Google Reader, you will have to visit my blog to participate and vote in the poll!

4 May 2009

OPI Spain collection - Fall 2009

These promo images were recently spotted online for OPI's fall collection, this time the theme is Spain!

Barefoot in Barcelona, Can You Tapas This? Give Me Moor!
Pink Flamenco, No Spain No Gain, Ate Berries in the Canaries.
Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, Here Today… Aragon Tomorrow, Manicurist of Seville.
Pamplona Purple, Conquistadorable Color, Bullish on OPI.

Pictures spotted on P'ssion.se

The dark vampy green one looks interesting and there's a few other shades that are catching my eye! It will be a while yet until these are available in stores or online. From what I have read, these will launch August 5, 2009. What do you think of this collection so far?

Tutorial: Deep Ocean Blue

This look reminds me of oceans, of holidays and summer. I was playing around with my Mehron pastel palette last night and was just drawn to the bright pastel blue color, and wanted to use it for a makeup look. This is what I came up with! If you don't have the Mehron palette, you can use a light blue creamy eyeliner pencil as a base, or a white base would work as well. The Mehron base just gives it that extra vibrancy. Remember, these Mehron palettes are not traditional eyeshadow bases, they are water-activated face painting products that can also be used as eyeshadow base to make the colors very vibrant and rich!

Bare Escentuals mineral foundation, NYX Angel blush, NYX Mosaic blush in Highlighter Nr. 1

ArtDeco e/s base, MAC water-based Mixing Medium, Mehron Paradise Aquacolor palette in Pastel (I used the light blue shade), 88 matte and satin palette from eBay, Maybelline white eye kohl on waterline, generic false eyelashes from eBay, MAC Vellum e/s, Maybelline The Colossal mascara

MAC Angel lipstick, NYX Lipgloss in Smokey Look