Archive of ‘Reader Questions’ category

Shespace Swatches the Autumn 2008 Collection & Reader Questions!

I finally did swatches from my She Space haul last month. These are just SOME swatches from the Autumn 2008 collection that can still be found on her site.

Aren’t they pretty? No base was used for these swatches.

Here are some recent reader questions:

Q: Are the little darlings lipglass/lustreglass sets sticky?
A: Yes they are sticky, they are exactly the same as their full-sized, permanent siblings- the only difference is that they are smaller (hence little darlings), but they are the same in terms of pigmentation, consistency, smell, taste, and texture. ALL MAC lipglosses are sticky to me, but I like it because they stay on a little longer than normal lipglosses I own; even though my hair disagrees with me when it finds itself stuck on my lips!

Q: Do the soft sparkle pencils have long staying power?
A: Unfortunately they don’t, they smudge and wash away easily, but they have great pigmentation and color. I personally love Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeglide Pencils, they do not smudge, they stay on and they are waterproof!

Q: What’s the actual difference beetween lipglass, lustreglass, dazzleglass etc? to me they all look the same…….
A: The lipglasses have a sponge-tipped applicator, they have a lot of shine, and can be work alone or on top of lipstick/lipliner, the lustreglasses have a tiny brush wand and they are a lot more shiny and have a “glass look” almost metallic in some colors, the dazzleglasses are in a longer tube and have actual tiny flecks of glitter to give a more obvious shine and sparkle.

Q: What are the differences between MAC eyeshadow finishes? (Such as frost, satin, veluxe, etc.)
A: Enkore has a GREAT video on this!

From Specktra, they are described as:
SATIN – Pure color in Satin style finish, provides soft subtle non frost light refractive sheen.

FROST – irridescent shine that adds a highlight quality to any color.

LUSTRE – smoothly pearlized; intensely frosted with a deluxe ultra fine “conditioned” finish.

VELVET – Soft look finish, plush velvety look & feel.

VELUXE – superfine texture. Pigment rich & very luxe. Supple to apply, silky smooth matte finish.

VELUXE PEARL – Vibrant velvety soft with a metallic shimmer veluxe formula overlaid with high-shine pearl.

Q: What ingredients are in the Acmedica Acne Night Powder?
A: I accidentally threw the packaging away, but sites say it contains Sulfur and Vitamin C derivatives to help prevent acne.

Reader Questions:

This week has been insanely busy. I am preparing my company to go to NY for a show (luckily we are on rotation so I am not going this year), so it’s been busy at work trying to get everything finalized; so sorry there was no post today…it might be like that this week until I am caught up with everything. Sleep has also been lacking from my life, I run on 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night which of course isn’t good, even though my body is used to it. I want to start getting back into the habit of going to bed around 10 or at least 11 at night, but it’s hard! It feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day for me and lately it’s been taking a toll. I haven’t had time to do anything other than eat, take a shower, blog, work, and repeat the process. LOL

Anyway I received a lot of reader questions from recent posts so here they are!

Q: What brand is that dazzle dust? (The post with the UK palette)
A: It’s by a makeup brand called Collection 2000. I have tried searching online for more information about this brand, but hardly to any avail. They do have other products such as nailpolishes, and eyeshadows, and these are sold in the UK in Super Drugs stores (equivalent to a Duane Reade, Walgreens, CVS, etc). Seems like a product that is very hard to find for those of you such as myself who reside OUTSIDE the UK.

Q: Where is that palette from?
A: Again I did not buy this palette, it was given to me by a friend, therefore I do not know where she particularly bought it, but based on my UK friends, it is available at Super Drugs.

Q: Does Ly-Na Pearl Cream whiten your skin?
A: I personally have not noticed it whiten my skin, it also does not have hydroquinone which is a lightening agent, so I do not know if it factually lightens the skin. The ingredients in Ly-Na are: stearic acid, cetanol, lanolin, glyceryl, monostereate, isopropyl, myristate, sulfur, perfume, ion exchange, potassium hydroxide, and pearl powder.

Q: Where can I get Ly-Na in Malaysia?
A: Ly-Na is even hard to find in the US, so I don’t know where exactly in Malaysia you can find it, I have suggested Asian markets or beauty stores in my Ly-Na post so you can call around and see if there is any place near you that sell it.

Q: What are the basic steps in your makeup routine?
A: In order:

1. Cleanse my face
2. Apply moisturizer, let it dry, then apply face primer
3. I then apply my eyeshadow base, and eye makeup, mascara, and eyeliner (sometimes I will put foundation BEFORE my eye makeup)
4. Apply my mineral foundation using MAC 180 brush
5. Eyebrows
6. Contour my cheeks with either “Emote” blush (MAC) or “Sculpt” powder (MAC PRO)
7. Apply Blush on the apples of my cheeks (highlighter optional)
8. Lipstick/Lipgloss/Chapstick

Q: I love your haircolor do you get it colored or do you color it yourself?
A: I get my hair colored from my friend who is a licensed cosmetologist, he is fabulous with cut and color! I usually do a dark chocolate brown since I look weird with hair color lighter than that shade, so I tend to stay in the medium to dark brown range.

Q: Suggestions to do a “Marie Antoinette” costume?
A: Pick a light powder, almost white, blend on your face and neck, apply a brown mascara, keep the eyes simple, and create thicker squared eyebrows using a light or medium brown powder, top off with a nice deep plum/raspberry or deep rose lipcolor. MAC “Romancin'” lipstick from “Adoring Carmine” is perfect!

Q: Ly-Na Pearl Cream contains mercury?
A: I have not found any reports that had this, a reader said it was discontinued, but FDA regulations here in the US will not allow a product to be sold with such a chemical without being approved. Therefore I found no evidence personally to withstand that claim, as there is also no mention of it on the box or ingredients.

Reader Questions!

Q: Are you Stephie’s biological sister?

A: Haha, no we are not biological sisters, I am actually the oldest in my family and have two younger sisters, one that just turned 11, and one who is turning 18 in February. Stephie is awesome and she’s my “play sister” like all my other blogger sisters! She is also originally from around where I live now and we ALL have just grown close and formed a tight little community; it’s nice to have my “sisters” online since most of my friends in real-life are guys! Hi Stephie!

Q: What is your favorite mascara?

A: I really like L’Oreal’s Telescopic mascara, it does what I need it to do and doesn’t clump on me, I also like how it’s cheap!

Q: What is your favorite nude lippie?

A: I like MAC’s “Fleshpot” or NYX’s “Circe”. For a more pinkish nude lippie, I like the LE “California Dreamin'” lipstick I got from MAC, NYX’s “Strawberry Milk” is nice too!

Q: What mineral foundation are you using right now?

A: Purely Cosmetics Skin Smoothing Foundation in “Olive Beige”- a perfect match!

Q: What lotion do you recommend for sensitive skin?

A: I love Nivea lotion, it moisturizes, keeps me moisturized and doesn’t feel overly greasy.

Q: What moisturizer do you recommend for sensitive skin?

A: I like Aveeno, very gentle on the skin, I think they even have one specifically FOR sensitive skin, during the winter I dab a drop or two of the Nivea cream (the one in the tin) on my face for extra moisture. Right now I am using Merlot moisturizer from Walgreens.

Q: What happened to your online store?

A: I no longer have my online store because it was basically going haywire in terms of selling the same ONE product to different people and it was causing more of a headache than making my life easier. I also haven’t had any time and I don’t even have anything to sell at the moment. I know many of you international readers enjoyed getting drugstore brands from here that you don’t have over there, but we’ll see… I just don’t know yet…

Reader Questions:

Q: What are the ingredients in the Mehron palette?


Q: How did you create the ‘star’ in your politically pretty FOTD?

A: I used the tape method in which I placed little pieces of tape in the shape of a star to create a nice even borderline, and just colored the inside of the ‘star’ with the MUFE white; then I carefully removed the tape to reveal my “dancing star”. :)

Q: Where is the Ohayo store in the Puente Hills mall?

A: It’s downstairs across from Ross and next to See’s Candies.

Q: Is it easy to remove the Mehron paint?

A: You can wash it off like you normally would when you wash your face, however the darker colors stain, but before you panic, any eye makeup remover will take it completely off! :)

Q: How much paint did you use on the politically pretty FOTD?

A: I actually didn’t use a lot because with the Mehron palettes- a little goes a long way. When you wet it a little there’s already enough color on it so you don’t need so much when applying it to your face, the more wet the paint is, the more pigmented it is. You can let it dry and re-apply if necessary.

Q: What makeup products do you use everyday?

A: I use MAC’s Fluidline in “Blacktrack”, L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, Purely Cosmetics Mineral Foundation in “Olive Beige”, and Anastasia’s Brow Products.

Q: Where do you usually shop?

A: I shop at random places sometimes, like the little mom and pop shops near where I live which sell nice clothes for cheap, I shop at Wetseal, Forever21, I also like Victoria’s Secret, Rampage, and Arden B. For shoes I like DSW,, Delia’s.

Q: You look so tiny, but you are tall in pictures, how tall are you?

A: I am 5’6″ and I avoid wearing heels so I don’t feel like a giant and because I can’t walk in them if my life depended on it. My sis is pretty tall too, she is almost my height and she is only 17, my other sis on the other hand is super tiny!

Q: How much money do you spend on makeup? Or how can you afford things during this economic crisis…

A: My mom always said asking people how much they make or how much they spent on something isn’t polite, but I know it’s natural to wonder when it comes to beauty! So I don’t mind this question at all. First of all, I work in advertising- that industry alone is a booming and steady business because everyone is always looking for ways to advertise their business, and many of them do online. I make pretty decent money considering that I am single (as in I don’t have a family to take care of), however I DO have bills like everyone else (car payment, insurance, rent, utilities, etc) and of course that is priority and I allot enough to cover those things, I also put money aside for savings and 401K, I have awesome credit and know how to budget and manage money because both my mom and my grandma BOTH have worked at banks and know the value of money and so by default I was taught how to be good with money. And growing up, I realize how good credit gets you places and the value of a dollar, especially since I have been on my own since I was 18 years old and had to fend for myself.

But why work so hard just to have it go to bills, bills, bills??? So a girl has got to treat herself sometimes, and hence I have “play money” that I can use to buy whatever. Also, I don’t buy designer things, like purses, clothes, or even makeup, so my money can stretch a bit more. (The Dior tinted moisturizer I bought from a giftcard). I buy my clothes at affordable places like Forever21 or other little clothing shops because fashion is always in and out before you know it, so for me it’s ridiculous to spend so much on ONE thing. I don’t buy designer bags because I put so much stuff in my purse and I always throw my bag around, and I don’t take good care of my purses, lol. As for makeup, I haven’t really bought much lately in comparison to how much I USED to spend on it. I don’t go crazy over the MAC collections if you’ve noticed because to me, they are starting to look all the same, some are even re-promotes. Lately, I’ve been trying to make use of the things I already have.

Even though my BF does occasionally spoil me with things, usually NON-beauty related stuff, like things he knows I could use (he was the one that bought me my Nikon D40x digital SLR camera); he does it on his own accord, I don’t ask him to buy me anything and he doesn’t do it often. He’s the type of that guy that likes to share his “wealth” with friends and family by treating them out or buying them things. Also, companies send me samples or complimentary products to test out and write a review on my site. So not everything is from my pocket.

Another thing too is that I do product reviews also on things I already have had for months, not just recent things I bought- I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it so like 5 product reviews at one time may seem like I just bought everything at once, but I didn’t. :)

Q: How do you get your skin so clear?

A: Lately my face has been crazy, one minute it’s super dry and the next it feels like a slip and slide. It has its moments and I get zits too. I don’t get blackheads, but I like prevention, which is why I am careful when it comes to certain things I put on my face. My skincare routine is pretty basic- I wash my face at night only using the oil cleaning method in which I clean my face with an oil cleanser which removes makeup and moisturizes at the same time. You gotta fight oil (Sebum) with oil. And since I have dry skin, the oil doesn’t give me a dry tight feeling like most cleansers do. After I use Pure Luxe’s Calamine Soap Bar to calm any redness as well as to rinse off any oil residue. In the morning I just use a makeup wipe to freshen up, and I exfoliate with a scrub three times a week. (Any scrub will do)

I realize that the simpler your routine is, the better your skin will be. When you are using like 5 different products at one time, it may do more harm then good. Also washing your face constantly will make matters worse because you are over-cleaning your pores allowing more bacteria to enter and you also can make your skin more raw and dry. Oil blotting tissues, masks, and oil absorbing powders are also good at controlling oil and preventing or healing pimples.

Q: You always have cute nails, where do you them done?

A: I get them done at a place called “Fashion Nails” on Reseda and Nordhoff (it’s upstairs), prices vary.

Reader Questions

Q: Where can I get those palettes you got from the show?
A: Unfortunately they are not available for retail sale, as I mentioned on my posts, Modern Basic is a WHOLESALE/PRIVATE LABEL ONLY company, meaning they only sell in bulk for business owners who want to use their own logo on their products. At the convention shows, Modern Basic sells their items individually- so the only opportunity to buy them at retail value and not bulk is at the convention shows.

Q: Does any other company sell Modern Basic items?

A: Not that I know of, I tried to search for them myself in other places and couldn’t find anything close to some of their items (other than the Coastal Scents palettes). Their products are mainly their own which is probably the reason why since they aren’t really distributors, but a private label company.

Q: I love the picture you took from SF! Which camera did you use?

A: I actually only used my digital pocket camera- the Canon SD750!

Q: Why do you use mostly MAC products? Are they better?

A: I use MAC mainly because I get a discount, so essentially it’s cost-effective and cheaper for me to get MAC products than other products that are a lot more, but occasionally I will buy other brands and splurge, although I stay true to also the drugstore brands like L’Oreal, Revlon, Milani, etc. when it comes to certain things like mascara or eyeshadows.

Q: Do you know what brand that steamer is from the show?
A: Unfortunately I don’t, I didn’t really look, I just took a pic of the BF getting a super quick facial!

Q: Hi Vanessa, you have really nice lips, how do you get them so soft and supple?

A: Thanks! I use vaseline on my lips to keep them moist and then using some sugar and a toothbrush I brush the sugar granules on my lips with the toothbrush to exfoliate and get rid of all the dead skin cells on my lips; I then just reapply vaseline or chapstick.

Q: Will you be selling more palettes? They sell out so quickly and I wanna get my hands on a few!
A: I am in the process of trying to get more, I just don’t wanna buy a whole bunch and no one buys any and then I am stuck with it, so I am thinking the best way is to see what y’all want (take the poll on the right), then I will ask those who want it to paypal me first, then once I receive them I will ship it out to you all….

Q: Hi Vanessa, I love your blog, I check it daily! Can you tell us a little bit about your modeling days? Any tips as far as getting started? I want to start, just for fun though ,and I’d love some advice from you. I really like the pictures you’ve done, especially the one of your profile on the site. Its so adorable! Thanks.
A: Thank you, well it was fun in the sense that I got to travel and get my makeup and hair done, and it was nice meeting new people. (How I got into it can be found on my personal website that is still up, It just wasn’t really for me, I didn’t want it enough to make it into something bigger- the drive just wasn’t there. And I know many people who think it’s easy and all you do is pose and smile, but if you can’t handle pressure easily it can definitely take a toll. I would go from audition to audition (casting calls), go-see’s, etc. and it was very tiring and disconcerting when you spent all day at a call- and you don’t get the gig, especially if it was one you really wanted. And yes, even though it goes with the territory, it can still be frustrating, and casting agents and directors do NOT sugarcoat. They will tell you if you are fat, have buck teeth, or whatever, that for some, they DO walk out crying from that room full of strangers that gave you only 5 minutes to showcase your ‘talent’.

I remember waiting to be called when I was with the EAM Casting agency, and I got more and more anxious as many showed up for the SAME gig you are fighting so hard to get. The mind starts to play games and you find yourself unconsciously comparing yourself. “She is pretty, she has nice legs, pretty eyes…” and so forth. I took acting workshops and theater in highschool and first year of college which helped me a bit as I have a bout of stage fright, which helped me relax when it came time to do a shoot with people I don’t know.

Also, depending on what type of modeling you do, there are restrictions as to what you can and cannot do, for example if you are a hair model, you cannot just cut your hair on a whim without consulting with your agent first. I had a personal trainer who I worked with 3 days out of the week, I did Yoga and gymnastics (not required but as I did it as a child and did it for fun). Hence why you will notice I was A LOT skinnier back then and now I am “thicker”. LOL, and that’s why I got a chubby face now but I love it because I am a lot happier and comfortable in my skin.

For anyone that is interested in modeling I HIGHLY suggest you do your research before you do anything. If you are working with a photographer, or meeting anyone from online, do your research on them. Don’t EVER meet up with someone you don’t know. See if they have a website, a portfolio of their work, Google their name and see if anyone else has worked with them or if anyone recommends them. Model mayhem is a great place to network. Break the ice by meeting them in a public place with a lot of people, don’t ever go with them anywhere else if they insist on it, see if they have any creative ideas. If it seems like they just want you to take your clothes off, then forget that fool! LOL. You should never do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. If you are under 18, bring a parent with you as they have to sign a consent form anyway, if you are 18+, bring a friend with you to any shoot. Many photographers I have worked with NEVER had a problem with this, if anything, they insisted I bring someone. If a photographer isn’t ok with you bringing anyone, there’s a problem. If you have a jealous boyfriend, don’t bring him. It slows down the shoot, makes you and the photographer feel like crap, and it wastes everyone’s time.

You DO NOT have to pay incredibly high amounts of dollars to get some decent headshots. The way I look at it, they should pay you, not you paying out of your pocket to achieve your dream. So, find a decent photographer, like your friend, and have them take some decent shots, you can either create your own ZED or Comp cards online (the cards you give to casting agents and directors that have your picture(s) and your stats), or simply bring a picture to an agency and go from there. Unfortunately many agencies want gals that are 5’7″ and above (I am 5’6″), and who are like a tiny 90 lbs! So even I don’t make the cut for some gigs thanks to that one inch! LOL. But there are some that fib on the info on their comp cards (hardly anyone notices) just to get more gigs. Just don’t take things personal when people try to put you down, it just makes you stronger. :)

Example of a comp card:

Q: I love your belt and dress that you wore at the show where did you get them from?

A: Thanks, I got the dress at Target believe it or not (, and the belt I bought from H&M when I went to NY last year….since it was kinda cold in SF I wore the dress over a pair of black skinny jeans which is hard to tell from the pic…

Q: How can I match my foundation to my face?

A: I will be doing a tutorial on this soon, I basically swipe the various foundation shades I am testing on the jawline of my face, seeing which one blends with my skintone so that it “disappears”, I then look in different kinds of light to see, such as tungsten (often bathroom lights), natural light like daylight, and then I take a picture with flash to see if it gives any white-ish cast. If it passes all those tiny tests it’s usually a perfect match. But like I mentioned before, I go a few shades darker than my skintone to match my neck and arms since they are darker than my face.

Q: What are your steps to applying foundation?

A: 1. Moisturizer (very important to avoid having blotchiness or un-even patches of makeup on your face)
2. Primer (creates a smooth canvas as well as helping your foundation stay on longer)
3. Conceal (conceal any dark circles, scars, discoloration, etc)
4. Apply your foundation, if you use mineral, I do the tap, swirl, buff method for a nice even airbrushed finish, for liquid, you can use a sponge (like the beauty blender sponge) and just dab it lightly all over your face.

Reader Questions Answered!

Q: Hey Vanessa, I was just wondering, did you go to college? and if so, what did you major in or what degree did you get?

A: Yes I did graduate from college, I graduated with an AA Degree in Science. I took all AP (advanced placement) classes in high school, maintained good grades, and took a class at Santa Monica college for extra college credit. I was then nominated to intern for the National Youth Forum on medicine in Washington D.C. (I wanted to be a pediatrician), after being in the pre-med program for 2 years, taking biology, micro-biology, AND chemistry (on top of general ed courses) I decided that it wasn’t for me, I was burnt out, so I turned around and changed my major to Business Administration, and joined a co-ed business fraternity (yes boys AND girls!) called Alpha Kappa Psi, I was part of the Mu Phi chapter. :)

Q: Do you know the brand of the polka dot bags you got from the show?

A: I looked and did not see any brand on the bag, it seems like one of those bags you can find at Amuse (the accessory store)…

Q: Hi Nessa, what are Italian Badger brushes? How is it different than other brushes? Do you use them?

A: Any brushes (not just makeup brushes, but also shaving brushes) that have the word “badger” in it, means that its hair is made out of an animal, obviously of a badger species. Wikipedia describes it as: “Badger is the common name for any animal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: the same mammal family as the ferrets, the weasels, the otters, and several other types of carnivore.”

Many say that badger hair is softer than sable hair, I can vouch for this as they ARE a lot softer than sable (horse) hair. I had one sable hair brush (I didn’t know it was sable at the time) and it smelled bad even when I first got it, it shed, and the smell worsened when I washed it. I personally look for SYNTHETIC brushes (man-made brushes) just because the thought of animal hair on my face as well as animal cruelty irks me out, but I notice that most brushes are made out of animal hair, I am not too keen on telling which one is which sometimes, so I know I have a few animal brushes…but as much as possible I prefer synthetic brushes even if they don’t perform as well as some of the animal brushes.

Q: How do you take such amazing photos?!!

A: I have a link on “How to take a good makeup photo” on the labels to the right since I get this question a lot. The cameras I use again are a Nikon D40x (digital SLR) and a Canon SD750. I use photoshop to crop and sharpen my photos.

Q: I notice you use both painterly and soft ochre paint pots. The painterly has more of a pinkish undertone while the s.o. is more yellowish. I was wondering which do you use for what? Like what shadows work best with painterly and which for soft ochre. Do they yield different results?

A: I personally don’t notice different results among the two, I just tend to use Soft Ochre when I do neutral looks (such as browns, taupes) or when I do some colored looks such as greens, golds, corals since it’s more of a neutral/yellow tone that blends easily with my skin. I used Painterly a lot (still do) because it was the only neutral, matte PP I had before Soft Ochre came out, and I still use it for colors such as pinks, purples, (in case I don’t have “Fresco Rose” handy) even the other colors I mentioned above, it really just depends on whatever I reach for first, but they both go nicely with any color…

Q: Did you ever go to school to learn makeup?

A: I never went to school for makeup, after college I pretty much went to work in the Search/Advertising industry. Although I DO want to go to school for it (I am just trying to figure out time to go as well as the money part since it’s so expensive!), but I pretty much learned everything I know from researching, trial and error (see what works for you and what doesn’t), and a lot of practicing! I think the best way to learn is just doing things on yourself, researching and reading a lot on techniques and beauty tips and tricks, trying different products and tools, and patience! Usually people get so discouraged if the look isn’t what they envisioned, but with time and practice you’ll get things down in no time! Remember everyone has different needs, different skin types, etc, so what worked for someone else, may not work for you.

Q: Are your sisters into makeup since their big sis is like a makeup guru?

A: Haha im not a makeup guru by any means, I just love makeup so I am more makeup-obsessed! But surprisingly my sisters were NEVER into makeup (they don’t need it, I think they are naturally pretty!), but also because they are still young (17 and 10 years old), but every time they visit and rummage through my stash they nab a few things for themselves! The 17 year old is very much into makeup now, but not a whole lot, but she is definitely experimenting with different techniques and products that suit her needs and of course calls me for a second opinion, luckily she can get away with just mascara and some lipgloss! The 10 year old is actually into clothes, so she has years to go before she even thinks about makeup, but don’t be fooled, she loves expensive stuff! LOL. My mom on the other hand doesn’t wear makeup either, but she does like getting any leftovers I have, but she likes my hair recommendations!

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