Monday, February 28, 2011

How to prevent losing your shimmer or brightness when blending your eyeshadow

I've gotten a few questions about how to keep from losing the brightness or shimmer of your eyeshadow when you blend. I love mattes and shimmers, but probably reach for shimmers a little more frequently. I also tend to use a lot of loose shadows, which are a bit more work, but often more vivid in my opinion. It's easy to blend to a dull finish, but who wants a drab eye after all that work? You've gotta keep it sexy and make those eyes pop!

Anyway, here are my tips to maintaining the shimmer and brightness when blending your eyeshadow:

1. Use a really good primer or eyeshadow adhesive (I use my own company's eyeshadow adhesive primer called Sure Thing) so that the eyeshadow is really on there good. The Glamour Smoke look featured on the LookBook page of the B.Koi website (click here) was done with loose shadows from B.Koi (Do Not Disturb, Truce and one that has not yet been released, but will come out SOON!). Pressed shadows can be much easier to blend, but loose shadows can be more pigmented so it depends on what you like and are comfortable with!

2. Pat shadows on (especially shimmery or glittery ones), don't swipe them. Swiping them across your lids will likely result in less shimmer or color to start.

3. Don't over-blend. I definitely like to blend, and with an eyeshadow primer or adhesive the shadow should stick a little bit better, but if you over-blend it'll work away at the shadows and make them dull or make them look patchy. I think the best way to keep from doing this is to apply the color you're using for shading with a moderately light hand so that you can easily meld the two together rather than blending, blending, blending to avoid harsh lines. You can always pat on another layer if you want the shaded area to be a bit darker. If you don't have a thick layer to blend where the two meet and overlap, it's going to be much smoother and less work.

4.Use really high-quality brushes! I think that natural hair brushes work best personally (I'm a MAC fan, but I know other people love other companies as well), but I have some taklons that I like, too. Good quality brushes make applying and blending so much easier--no doubt about it!

5. Apply a very light dusting of the shimmery/bright shade over the main area you originally applied it when you're done blending if you feel you lost any of the original sparkle or highlight. If you put a light dusting on it'll ensure you have a nice bright finished look where you want it!

6. I really think the quality of the eyeshadow makes a big difference, too. When it comes to loose shadows, the first things to come off in the fallout are glitter and then shimmer. If you have a well-blended shadow that has binding properties in it, it'll still have fall-out but there's a little bit less issue with it adhering to your eye and itself.

If you have any other eyeshadow questions feel free to email them to contact@bkoicosmetics.com and I'll definitely try to answer them!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Grayscale is almost here! Fabulous matte shadows available March 4th.

I announced about a month ago that B.Koi would be releasing another mini shadow collection that was a bit unique. Though it isn't available for purchase until March 4th, I decided to upload information and images on the site so you can see the shadows a week before they're available! These shadows are very pigmented and range from deep black to pure white--all are matte. They make highlighting, blending and shading effortless!
B.Koi's Grayscale Mini Collection

Make your eyes pop or give them some sultry shading--perfect for creating a sexy, smokey eye!

Check them out HERE!

I hope you enjoy them, I'm very exited about them!

Also, just to update you all in things to come, I will be releasing a few shadows around St. Patrick's Day that you won't want to miss (related to the Golden Shadow Giveaway) and the B.Koi Spring collection will be released in March! The date has not yet been decided, but hopefully by Mid-March as well.

I'm so excited to bring you guys new shades and shimmers. I'm working constantly to flesh out the colors we offer so B.Koi can provide a truly unique assortment of shadows. After all, what makeup lover doesn't crave a rainbow of OPTIONS???

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

B.Koi Cosmetics Golden Giveaway!

B.Koi Cosmetics is having a giveaway RIGHT NOW! Two winners will receive samples of several soon-to-be-released shadows perfect for glamming up St. Patty's Day!

To enter, visit B.Koi Cosmetics' facebook page for instructions HERE!

Trust me, these shadow samples are worth their weight in gold ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things to come . . .

I have been hard at work formulating and planning out new shadows. As of right now, I'm planning to release a brand new shadow to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (this will continue to be available after St. Patrick's Day), a new mini collection and a 2011 Spring collection. What is the timeline I'm looking at? That's a bit up in the air at the moment. I intend to release the St. Patrick's Day shadow and new mini collection soon (definitely before St. Patty's Day). I think the Spring collection will probably go up by mid-March at the latest--hopefully!

What can you look forward to? Well, the mini collection is going to be the type of collection that everyone can use in many, many different looks. Think of this mini collection as a mini collection of some helpful essentials. The St. Patrick's Day shadow is going to be gorgeous and certainly one worth owning! Love it! The Spring collection has already been planned out and has partially been formulated. I'm really excited about it because: 1. it's B.Koi's first full-sized collection 2. the colors are going to be amazing!

So much work left to do! I'm determined to expand B.Koi's eyeshadow list as soon as I can without compromising the quality of the colors and formulas. Check back soon! I may be posting a sneak peak not too long from now ;)

Until then, shop our All's Fair in Love & War collection!

Etsy and beyond!

I recently decided that, like many of the other indie cosmetics companies I respect, B.Ko Cosmetics should have an Etsy store. Yes, our website has a fully functional shopping feature, but let's face it--Etsy is great exposure! Not only does Etsy already get a huge amount of traffic, but Etsy has some decent SEO features.


Do I think Etsy will compete with my website? I don't think so. I think one will compliment the other. I don't know if I'll continue to keep the Etsy store forever, but for now I think it's a wise choice to gain even more exposure.

You can view B.Koi Cosmetics' Etsy store here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BKoiCosmetics

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big, bad Talc. What's the real story?

For some of you this may be the first time you've ever been told Talc may be something you want to avoid in your cosmetics. For the rest of you, you're probably familiar with the concept that we should avoid Talc, but you may be unsure of why. When I was first introduced to the concept of avoiding Talc, I accepted it as probably being legitimate, but didn't know the details of why. I'm a fairly conscious consumer and I don't like putting a lot of chemicals on or in my body if I can help it (though I still have some guilty pleasures I can't shake).

Anyway, I did a little research on Talc and why we should avoid it. What I came across was actually a bit more severe than what I expected. Talc is a mineral. Doesn't seem so bad, right? Well, not all minerals are the same or good for you for that matter. Talc comes from Talc rocks, which are mined, crushed, dried and milled. Though processing can get rid of some things, fibers similar to asbestos are minute and can remain behind. Talc has been linked to negative health effects like tumors in both the ovaries and lungs. Talc easily passes through the reproductive system and sticks to the walls of your ovaries apparently. Doesn't sound so great to me :( It can also be easily inhaled--not good for your lungs!

If Talc is so bad, why hasn't it been banned by the FDA? First of all, I am not a huge fan of the FDA since they tend to approve a lot and ban things later.For example, materials like BPA, which is banned in many other countries and has proven negative effects on your health, has not yet been banned for a number of different reasons. The FDA isn't unfamiliar with the risks associated with having cosmetic-grade Talc in makeup. In fact, the FDA drafted something in '73 which would limit the amount of harmful fibers in cosmetic-grade Talc! However, nothing has come of it since. This is even more shocking since a report in 1993 by the National Toxicology Program stated that cosmetic-grade Talc (minus the asbestos-like fibers) caused tumors in animal subjects. Now I'm not a fan of animal testing, in fact it makes me really sick to think about, but it's even more infuriating that those poor animals needlessly suffered in vain

What should you do? If you don't already do it, check your cosmetics BEFORE you buy them. You may be shocked by how many products contain Talc. It's disappointing, but some of my personal favorites are full of Talc :( Do some research for yourself and see what you think. Determine whether or not you want to avoid Talc all together, limit your exposure or not change your usage and hope for the best.

What are companies doing in response to the information that has surfaced over the years regarding Talc? Some companies are doing nothing. Some companies aren't changing their original products, but have added mineral makeup lines that don't include Talc to their product lists. Some companies have been launched and are Talc-free. I launched B.Koi as a Talc-free company. I wanted to give makeup junkies fabulous shades and shimmers without having to worry about the ingredients in them. I wanted to offer fabulous products and to me that means products that don't carry known severe health risks.

I just wanted to share a little information that I found on something that is kind of important to me, considering how passionate I am and have always been about makeup. I know those of you who read this blog are just as passionate. And the bottom line for me is: Regardless of the decision you come to, do what you feel is best for you!

Be Playful. Be Colorful. B.Koi

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Always wanted an airbrush system for foundation? MakeupTalk is having a contest where you can win one!

www.MakeupTalk.com can be a great resource for learning about the newest products, trends and more in the makeup industry. I like to browse through and catch up on what people are chatting about when it comes to cosmetics, it keeps me current and it helps me give you all what you really want! I recently noticed that they're having a fabulous content for an airbrush system by Luminessair. For those of our customers and readers who have always wanted to try one of these systems but haven't been able to spend the money, this contest is the perfect opportunity to try and win one! You can go HERE to learn more and enter.

Good luck makeup junkies from B.Koi!

New Mini Loose Shadow Collection: All's Fair in Love & War


B.Koi's women-empowered Valentine's Day collection launched last week. I wanted to celebrate women in control of their love lives, which is why I didn't opt for the sugary-sweet, flowers and candy route--no pastels in this collection!

All's Fair in Love & War consists of the following colors:
Chocolust - Chocolatey brown with slight green/gold shimmer
Delusion - Vivid teal with green shimmer
Do Not Disturb - Deep black with light-reflecting flecks of pink, red and orange
Temptress - Deep purple with blue shimmer
Too Hot to Handle - Hot Pink with slight orange shimmer


Check out the swatches:
Chocolust

Delusion

Do Not Disturb

Temptress

Too Hot to Handle

To smokey eye or not to smokey eye, that is the question! Also a Smokey Eye How-To

It seems as though the "smokey eye" has become a huge trend over the last couple years, especially with all of the Jersey-based shows become so popular, but is it for you? I honestly think a smokey eye can look good on ANYONE, but to me it's more about where you wear it and how comfortable you are with it. While I may wear a smokey eye to pick up a movie at redbox and think nothing of it, someone else may feel comfortable only wearing one when they go out at night. I think some of it has to do with how daring you are with your makeup and of course your personal preference regarding what you think "appropriate daytime/professional makeup" looks like. I don't think I've ever overly censored the makeup I've worn during the day or to work. After all, unless you look like a "working girl", what can your boss really say? And if you wear your makeup with confidence, I doubt it will make him/her really view you any differently. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and it's your choice whether or not it's worth wearing a bit less to make your boss happy if they're particularly picky.

But I digress, back to the smokey eye! The question is, should you wear a smokey eye? I say, give it a try if you haven't already! The thing I like most about the smokey eye is that it really emphasizes your eyes in a sultry way. Of course your smokey eye doesn't have to be black-shading only. I use deep browns, purples, etc. It's nice to switch it up and keep it fresh! I think there are a few major things to remember when creating a smokey eye. Of course these are my opinions based on the way I like my smokey eyes to look, but here they are:

1. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND!!! I personally don't like smokey eyes with sharp corners or edges, but then again some people like that. I think a smokey eye with blended out edges and colors looks fabulous. Practice if you're unsure of how it looks. Try different colors, too. If you're not super sure how you feel, you may want to lighten up the colors you use during the day and darken them at night.

2. USE DON'T ABUSE! I love a gorgeous smokey eye and once you get super confident with creating one or if you just like them in general, you may get into the habit of only wearing smokey eyes. Not that that's a huge idea, but I think it's nice to flex your creative muscles and switch it up on a regular basis. To me, smokey eyes for some people become like chocolate and they just can't stop indulging! I know that sometimes we get used to using the same application techniques because we like them and they take less and less time the more we use them, but I get a lot more comments on looks when I switch things up!

3. MAKE IT YOUR OWN! I know the smokey eye is a fairly defined look, but I honestly think you can make your smokey eye your own. Play around with it, use different colors, lighten up, darken up, switch up your liner colors, etc.

There you have it! My little rules for myself when it comes to smokey eyes.

If you're new to smokey eyes and aren't quite sure how to create one, here's a quick how-to on how I like to create a super basic, dramatic smokey eye. Everyone seems to have different ways of doing it, but here you go:

1. Use a good primer! Of course I use B.Koi Cosmetics "Sure Thing" eye serum, but any good quality primer will work.

2. Some people like to line their eye first and use it to create the smokey effect later. I don't always do this, but if you choose to, line your top lid from midway to the outer corner for smaller eyes (makes them look bigger) or across the entire lid if they're nice and large. If you don't want to line your top lid, I usually just do the upper waterline instead of on the lid. I prefer wet shadow over pencil by far (personal preference), but do what you're most used to.

3. Choose a lighter color that pops or a lighter neutral, then pick a darker color for the "smokey" effect that compliments the lighter color. I always pick my shadows out before I start so that I can carefully plan out what I want to wear, otherwise I'd probably sit there with half my makeup on and never get out the door!

4. I place the lighter color in the inner corner of my eye from the lash line up to the crease and blend it across your lid most of the way over. Since the "smoke" will be in the outer edge I don't usually put the lighter color here as much, just enough that they'll overlap and blend a bit.

5. Take the darker color and apply it along the lash line from about the middle to the outer corner, then sweep it up and around the crease. So far you've got a light eye with a half-ring around it on the outer corner. Looks lovely I'm sure!

6. Now comes the blending! If you lined your upper lid with a pencil or wet shadow, gently blend it up and out towards the outer corner with a smaller blending brush. If you didn't line your lid, begin blending the dark shadow along your lash line up and out towards the outer corner. *If you're using a super dark color like black and don't want the lighter inner-eye color to get too muddy, don't blend up too much into the lighter color near the inner corner, just enough to give the dark color a soft effect where the light and dark colors meet. I always make sure the outer edge near where my eye socket ends is soft and not harsh, but some people prefer a harsh line. Do what you like!

7. Blend the darker color in the crease with a good blending brush. I use an angled, densely-packed blending brush because I find it easiest, but any good quality blending brush should do--use what works for you! Blend the darker color so that it's smokey rather than super intense as you move upward. Make sure you blend it up past the crease so that it lightens into a light smokiness above the crease.

8. Highlight your brown bone with whatever color you usually use. You may want to blend the light smokiness above your crease with a neutral color on the edge so that there isn't a bare skin barrier between the smokiness and your brow bone. This can also keep the edge from looking super severe.

9. Now that you're all smokey on top, blend the bottom lash line a bit. If you want it super dark and smudgy then go for it! If you simply want a soft effect, then don't blend it as much.

10. Don't forget your lashes! Either apply fake lashes or use your favorite mascara. For me, it depends on where I'm going as to whether or not I use fake lashes.

Hope this all helps! And again, this is the way I like to do my smokey eye. There are a million different ways out there and if this doesn't work for you, google it and you'll find them!

By the way, B.Koi loose shadows work well when it comes to blending and creating a smokey eye. Give them a try! You can see them HERE.