Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why Mennonite Furniture?

Mennonite furniture as the name suggests, is furniture made by the Mennonites, people of the Mennonite faith. People also refer to this type of wood furniture as Amish furniture. The second thing to note about this type of furniture is that they are solid wood.  In general, solid wood furniture simply means that all the visible parts are made from hard or softwood. Common woods the Mennonites use are cherry, maple, oak and hickory.

Part of the appeal of this type of furniture is the simplicity of the pieces. People tend to love the reminder of a bygone time when people preferred a simpler life. Another reason to buy them is that no two pieces will ever be exactly the same even if they have the same basic design. The grain of the wood for instance, will be different, giving the finish a different look and feel.

Good Reasons to Buy Mennonite Furniture

Apart from the fact that these pieces feature appealing designs, there are many other good reasons why Mennonite furniture is a good buy. Some of these are:

  • Quality wooden furniture is durable and will last for years. If properly cared for they can even last generations.
  • Some of the pieces are highly valuable
  • The finish tends to be very attractive
  • They are generally handmade furniture built by master cabinetmakers who pride themselves on creating the best pieces possible
  • They are easy to care for and scratches or nicks can generally be repaired by getting the piece polished

How to Buy Mennonite Furniture

As with buying any other type of wood furniture, there are certain standard things to check before buying any piece of Mennonite furniture. These include the following:

  • Look for wood grain patterns at the seams or ends where pieces meet. Solid wood furniture normally has these grains visible. Veneer or other manmade material such as particle board normally has the ends covered with finishing material.
  • Check the item for any signs of warping or twisting
  • Check if the joints are loose or show signs of slackening when the piece is lifted or shifted slightly
  • Look at the undersides of the pieces to see if it there is any damage or if the finish is poorly done
  • Run your hands over the surface of the furniture to make sure there are no dents or other signs of damage. Of course, knots in the wood are not often viewed as faults, but rather part of the allure and what makes that piece of furniture different.

Caring for Mennonite Furniture

It is important to care for your solid wood furniture, to preserve not only its look and value, but also its durability. A damp cloth should be used to wipe the surfaces of the solid wood furniture. Either water or vinegar can be used to dampen the rag. If dusting is all that is necessary, then a dry rag can be used. Never use furniture polish on solid wood furniture as the liquid will remove the furniture’s finish over time. This can lead to damage or the development of unsightly stains.

Mennonite adds class to any setting, and the right piece can make any room look special. The different color stains and varnishes used to give wood furniture a finished look means that you will always be able to find the right piece for any room. The versatility of wood furniture makes interior decorating easy. They can suit a modern setting, and the right pieces can transform a room into an 18th century masterpiece. In spite of the many options available, before making a purchase, make sure that the store has a return policy.

Types of Wood Furniture

Buying furniture is an exciting experience, but it can also be quite frustrating trying to determine what to buy. Common household furniture made of wood like beds, canopies, chairs, tables, dressers and armoires can enhance a home’s decor. One major decision rests on whether to go with wood furniture or those made from other types of material. Homeowners tend to find wood furniture attractive for the following reasons:

  • The natural beauty of the wood due to variety of textures and color ranges
  • Its durability once it is properly cared for
  • The different styles and designs

How to Choose Wood Furniture

The bedroom, living room and kitchen frequently feature wood furniture although it is used in other areas as well. Many pieces are designed for outdoor use, which influences the type of wood used. An important first step is to consider your budget and where you will place the furniture. Pieces that will be used often require durable wood, but those that serve decorative purposes do not need to be as strong.

Check the finish on the furniture for defects such as uneven drawers and joints that are not properly fitted. The way the item is made will greatly affect not only the look, but also how long it lasts. Choose colors that complement the rest of your furniture or that set the mood of the room.

Look at the finish on the furniture to make sure that there are no cracks or blemishes. Furniture makers often add extra features to meet the demands of modern living. Some types are scratch resistant or water-proofed which increases their value. Check the bottom of furniture for flaws, since the tops and sides are the most visible areas.

Pressing slightly on joints will help determine if they are strong. If only slight pressure causes them to give way even a little, they are not as sturdy as they should be. This can be dangerous especially for furniture such as chairs and beds. Since they are expected to last a long time, it is always important to test wood furniture for quality.

Common Types of Wood for Making Furniture

When it comes to wood furniture, two broad categories of woods are used; soft and hard wood. Hardwoods are the most popular types and are selected for some of the following features:

  • Cherry: With colors ranging from red to reddish-brown, this wood darkens when exposed to light as well as with age.
  • Mahogany: This one of the most popular woods used to make furniture, not only for its beautiful finish but also because it is durable and does not swell, warp or shrink easily. The colors range from blood red to even a slight grayish hue.
  • Maple: The colors of this wood range from creamy white and variations of white with the heartwood (inner parts) sometimes being a slight reddish-brown. This makes it one of the more attractive options.
  • Oak: Its ability to handle most finishes makes this a good choice for furniture as does its attractive grain and texture.
  • Rosewood: Its beautiful grain makes it a favorite among furniture-makers.
  • Teak: Not only is it moisture-resistant, it also takes different finishes well.
  • Walnut: The texture and color makes this wood very popular as well.

While not as popular for furniture, the following softwoods are sometimes used: cedar, Hemlock, Pine, Redwood and Spruce. Those pieces made from softwood tend to be less expensive and may not last as long as pieces made from hardwood. Softwood also offers beautiful grain and color choices for homeowners.

Always bear in mind the overall look and décor of your home or office when buying wood furniture. No matter how attractive a piece of furniture is, it must fit the look of the room. Also check the rating of the wood used since wood is rated based on quality. The higher the rating of the wood used, the better the quality of the finished product.

What is Mennonite Furniture?

The simplest answer to that question is this:  Mennonite furniture is furniture that is made by Mennonites!

Who are the Mennonites?

Mennonites are people who belong to the Mennonite religion.  Mennonites and Amish people have many similarities as they both came from the same religious movement in Europe back in the 1500’s.  Mennonites were persecuted in Europe.  Their religious beliefs, which did not allow fighting in war or for any other reason, made them a target during many conflicts.  As groups, they moved around within Germany, Russia, Poland, and finally came into North America as they sought freedom to practice their own beliefs without persecution.  The Amish branched off when they made the decision that technological and mechanical advances were not in line with their philosophy of simple living.  The Mennonites did not make that designation and so moved on using newer tools and methods in their work while still embracing a simple lifestyle.

Their Work

So, once again….what is Mennonite furniture?  During their long history (as well as today), the Mennonites made their living from the most simple and peaceful methods possible.  This generally meant farming and furniture building.   The furniture they built was generally all hand-made and of the highest quality.  The style of furniture they embraced originally was of the simplest form, so all their pieces were unadorned and as non-decorative as possible.  This style fit their belief that their furnishings should be functional and well made but not overtly striking.

Modern Mennonite Furniture

While the origins of Mennonite furniture created the quality and simplicity of design that are so sought after now, there have been some changes over the generations as well.  So, in the current era, what is Mennonite furniture?  It is furniture made by Mennonites in their tradition of quality.  Many Mennonite furniture makers have now also embraced more contemporary furniture designs as there is a market for that type of furniture – but the methodology of creating it remains the same;  quality, hand-made furniture.  “Hand-made” may now include the use of some power tools where traditionally only hand tools were used which is the only real change in how Mennonite furniture is made.

Many Mennonite furniture makers these days make a wider range of furniture than in the past.  They make their traditional simplistic style furniture, but also some modern, country style and some have embraced the reclaimed wood movement as well.   So, if you’d asked “what is Mennonite furniture” a hundred years ago, you may have found the answer to be quality, hand-made furniture.  That is still the answer today but with some adjustments to the modern day world.

What is Mennonite Furniture’s Appeal Today?

The simplicity and craftsmanship that seem lost in most modern furniture are what people appear to find most attractive about Mennonite furniture now.  It’s clean and old fashioned appearance often remind non-Mennonites of the simpler things in life.  The yearning to reclaim some quality and minimalism from what most people see as a by-gone era are the most appealing qualities of Mennonite furniture for most people in this modern world.

Expert Makeup Tips for Hazel Eyes

If you have hazel eyes, consider yourself lucky. In addition to being able to sing along in the car with Kelly Clarkson’s chart-topper “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” you have a lot to be thankful for. Hazel eyes have long been a coveted component of beauty, mesmerizing onlookers with their rich blend of green and brown. They are the most striking feature of gorgeous celebrities like Mila Kunis and Hilary Duff, who sport them like they were born to shine with a hazel glow.

And there is even more to be grateful for within the realm of cosmetics. That’s because when it comes to makeup, experts agree that hazel is the most versatile of the eye colors. There are virtually hundreds of makeup looks that will play up your emerald-golden eye hues and cause those glittery eyes to pop. But with so many makeup options, you may feel confused. Here are a few hazel dos and don’ts that will help you capture that perfect look you’ve been searching for.

Hazel Dos

Do #1: Try out a variety of shades to find that perfect look. Pinks, browns, greens and purples all make hazel eyes sparkle, so be creative and have some experimental fun with your makeup palette. Here are two suggestions to start out with:

For a casual daytime look, apply a neutral shimmer on the entire lid, blending it up to the brow bone. Apply a baby pink or mauve shadow on your lower lid and use a chocolate brown as a contour around the crease and outer corner of the eye. Finish this look off with a brown eyeliner that matches the brown hues in your irises. This will look natural while causing your hazel tones to stand out.

For a dramatic evening look, combine a silvery green eye shadow with a jet black eye line. Apply shadow on your lid and use a small angled brush to apply some under your lower lashes. Pair a warm brown shadow as a contour with onyx liner and mascara. Don’t be shy when you apply your liner and mascara. A jet black eye line combined with a silvery shadow will brighten the green and gold flecks in your eyes.

Do #2: Take a close look in the mirror. Let’s be honest. If the only thing you know about your eye color is that it’s hazel, you have a lot left to learn. Hazel can refer to a wide variety of eye hues that blend brown, green, and gray. Some hazel eyes are brightened by flecks of gold, blue, and even violet. Check out the nearest mirror to discover which variety of hazel you have.

If your eye hue is more green than brown, play with pink makeup tones. Even try out a dusty rose or deep berry to see how it enhances your color. If you wear a hazely brown, dabble in all shades of purple, from periwinkle to eggplant. Got golden flecks? You may want to try out bronze or copper colors. A little mirror research could go a long way.

Hazel Don’ts

Don’t #1: Don’t go overboard with dark grays. Using a dark gray or charcoal shadow for your base or contour color will flatten the brightness of green and gold flecks in your irises, dulling the gorgeous tones that make your eye color so unique. With an eye color like hazel, that’s the last thing you want to do.  Stick with warm grays and light silvers to play up the special shade of your eyes.

Don’t #2: Don’t mess with blue. I know it’s tempting to reach for a shadow that will match your eyes with the summer sky, but if you sport baby hazels, think again. Whether it’s aquamarine or teal, blue is your makeup nemesis, certain to transform your irises to a flat gray or dull brown. And don’t even think about pulling a crazy stunt like navy liner or mascara.  If you really have a thing for blue makeup, consider purchasing a flirty sapphire toenail polish- just keep it away from your eyes.

The best thing about hazel eyes? With so many makeup options, you can feel free to vary your look based on your personality and mood. You can find a look that plays up those gorgeous hazels and is truly you. And when your makeup reflects who you are, that’s when you’ll be able to flaunt those hazel dazzlers with maximum confidence.

How to Put on Eye Make up

Apply Eye Makeup Like a Pro

By the time of Cleopatra, eye makeup in the form of thick black lines made by using sticks of khol, had already been in use for about 3,000 years.   Even though khol had its origins in religion and lore (it was believed to ward off “the evil eye” if rubbed around the eyes),  it today ranks as one of the most common ingredients in dark eye liners and mascaras.

Granted, surviving statues and engravings show Cleo and her ancient predecessors certainly used a heavy hand in applying the eye liner, and the effect even today is considered to be beautiful – but let’s not get carried away.  You and I both know that when we get too close to the “Cleopatra eyes” of yesteryear, it just doesn’t fit in with any modern fashion statement.

Today, less is more, color is subdued but rich and muted, and “natural” is the new fashion statement when it comes to eye makeup.  That’s not to say you must limit yourself to beige and ivories!

Even though styles change, colors come and go, and applicators vary and improve – one thing never changes – there is really only one way to correctly put on eye makeup for the best results: on clean dry lids with a light steady hand.

The most common complaint of women over 35 is loss of tissue support in the eye area, making eye lids sometimes weak and “wrinkly”, making it difficult to put on eye shadow that lasts.  Under eye circles and puffiness are close seconds when it comes to concerns in how to make the eyes more attractive.

Follow these simple steps that show you how to put on eye make up and you, too, can have “model perfect” eyes:

  • Never use waterproof mascara!  To remove it you will need to use an oil based product, making it almost impossible to get your next application of eye shadow on correctly.
  • Use an eye cream that includes calcium, CoQ10, and Vitamin C – day and night.  Calcium and C rebuild underlying tissues and CoQ10 is a supercharged antioxidant that helps prevent further damage and wrinkles.  You can buy top quality products at your local drug store for around $25.  Make certain, however, that all cream residue is gone before applying any type of eye makeup.
  • Use a base on your eye lids before adding color or liner.  Let dry for a full minute.   Then, apply eye color.  A quality base helps your eye color to last all day, reduces fading, and stops running.  It’s well worth the extra minute it takes to apply.
  • Eye shadows should always be applied with a special shadow brush.  A good one might cost about $10 but it’s worth the investment.
  •  Add a lighter color directly under your brows and on the rim, and a darker color in the crease.  If this is a bit too dramatic for days for you, forget the dark color for the crease.
  • Improperly plucked eyebrows can kill a look faster than dark circles!  If you have never had your eyebrows professionally shaped, get to your nearest salon today to have it done.  This is more than waxing and plucking.  A professional artist will be able to demonstrate what shape looks best on you and how to get that look.  She’ll also be able to show you what color looks best.
  • Your technique might be perfect, but if you’re not happy with the result – it could be your colors.  Take advantage of a free eye makeover at a local department store.
  • Be careful with under eye liners.  Depending on where your lower lid lies will depend on whether you should line the lower lid, or draw a line under the bottom lashes.  If you have round eyes (as opposed to oval or slanted), stay away from lining under your eye.  Use a brown liner to add color to your bottom rim.  Stay away from black completely.
  • Lining the top lid can add marvelous depth, but this takes a lot of practice to get the line straight and not too thick.  A good quality pencil made with kohl works for everyone.  Can’t draw a single straight line?  No problem!   Use short, tiny strokes that can be blended together.  Most importantly – follow the curve of your eye lid.  If you don’t follow your natural curve, you’ll look…unnatural!  Start drawing the liner at about 10 oclock when you look at your eye in the mirror, and go outwards.  Don’t start at the end of the eye lid near the nose.
  • Remember – your eye make up is meant to make your eyes look magnificent.  It is not meant to match your outfit!  You might look wonderful in powder blue sweaters, but … does the same color really make your eyes look better?  Probably not!
  • Never pull the skin around your eyes!   I know you might be tempted to pull skin taut if you are trying to “straighten out” a few wrinkles, but don’t.  The best way to line around your eyes is with a pencil that has a high level of moisture, such as kohl.   These do cost a bit more but they are worth it.  The more fluidity you have to work with, the less tension your fragile eyes need to undergo.
  • One coat of mascara is all you need.  No matter what.  Period.
  • What’s better than any mascara?  Get your lashes tinted!  This is a simple procedure, costs about $15, and lasts for months.  The dye actually acts as a moisturizer, plumps the lashes, and makes even the skimpiest lashes look like a million bucks.
  • If you are in doubt about a certain eye look, color, or style – forget it.  Whether you have on a new dress or a new eye shadow, pay attention to your gut.  If you look in the mirror and something says, “I’m not sure”, take it off and start all over again.
  • If you need to cover under eye circles, don’t use white!  Use beige, in a cream, in a shade lighter than the circles.  Then blend it in with your foundation.

Asian Women: Make Up Tips

The cosmetic market has grown invariably with its concentration on products to suit the needs of women of different origins and ethnicities. It is because of this fact that the choice of cosmetics available for women with different skin tones and features are available in plenty in the market. The cosmetic companies primarily concentrate on the various multicultural groups and no longer limit their products to be intended to be used only by women with cool skin tones.  In the past, dominant make up colors included pink based foundations, dark red or pink lipsticks, and purple or blue eye shadows.  However, everything changed in the 1980’s when the whole concept of multicultural make up revolutionized the cosmetic market with the introduction of cosmetics which would suit the needs of women from all backgrounds.

It is very difficult for any women to create a very natural look during the day time and it is mainly because of their difficulty in finding the perfect foundation shade which would match their skin. However, major cosmetic companies have worked quite hard to find a solution for this problem of the Asian women by creating foundation in shades of yellow. With the help of these foundations, Asian women are able to look more natural and sophisticated during the day time as well.

Here are some Asian make up tips that Asian women can check out to help them in putting on the right kind of make up for their skin tone and facial features.

To match the skin of Asian women who usually have a yellow skin, foundation, concealers, and powders with yellow undertones must be used. Contrary to what a lot of Asian women believe, foundation with yellow undertones does not make them more yellow.  Instead, this can create a natural look which makes their skin look more flawless.

When it comes to the eyes, which are considered to be the most expressive part of any women, Asian women are advised to go for natural looking brows. A natural look can be achieved by using a black or a brown eye brow pencil.  Having a natural looking brow should be the goal when putting on make up.    The application of such should be done in feather strokes from the inner eye to the outer edges.  This has to be blended further with a clean eyebrow brush.

The best colors for eye shadow for Asian women come in soft browns, plums and peaches. Asian women can sometimes play with darker shades as well, depending on the occasion. It is better to use dark shades of blue and green for an evening outing. However, it is best to avoid colors like purple and violet as they take away the attention from the features of the individual. The darkest shade should be applied first along the upper lash line.  A medium shade should be applied on the eyelid while a highlighting shade should be applied toward the brow bone.  Eyeliner should line the upper lid only and should come in colors like charcoal, dark brown and dark plum. Colors like navy or soft black should also be considered.  Eye lashes of Asian women are generally straight so it is recommended to use a lash curler before applying mascara on the upper lashes to create a really classic look.  The color of the mascara should be brownish-black, deep black, or soft black. False eyelashes have to be used for special occasions only.

These are just some Asian make up tips which can be helpful to Asian women looking for ways to choose and apply their make up correctly. However, every woman is advised to understand her features perfectly, and then apply make up in such a way that she looks a class apart from others.

Make up For Women of Color

Make-up Tips for Woman of Color: Do’s and Don’ts for the Perfect Look

While it’s true that finding the right cosmetics is no longer difficult for women of color, there is another issue. Women of color; that is women whose complexions run the gauntlet from extremely light to extremely dark need to know that not every makeup style and technique will work for them.

Some areas where women of color need to pay special attention when it comes to makeup are:

  • Foundation

This was once for many women of color the most difficult part of their makeup need. Women of color have so many skin tones and undertones that not just any foundation will work. Foundation must look natural, but for women who are not Caucasian finding one that matches their skin can be hard.

One trick is to buy foundation that does not contain titanium. This ingredient tends to sit on the skin giving it an ashy look. To find the right foundation, choose a color that is as close to your skin as possible. If the foundation disappears on your jaw line there is no need to look further as that is the color for you.

Whether you use your fingers or a sponge to apply foundation, make sure to blend it so there are no visible lines. Blend carefully under your chin/jaw line, behind your ear lobes, corner of your mouth and nose.

African-American women will find that two foundations are best, one for the darker areas of the face such as around the mouth and chin and a lighter shade for the rest of the face. However, they must be blended together smoothly.

  • Powder

Choose a powder that is close to your skin tone and brush lightly over your foundation to help it set.

  • Rouge (Cheek Color)

Less is more when it comes to cheek color for women with darker skin tones. Nothing more is needed than to lightly brush cheek color of honey, apricot or caramel if you are light skinned, while purples are great for darker skin. Blush in the same hues as your lipstick can create a special look.

If you don’t want to use cheek color, then try some bronzer.

  • Lipstick

When it comes to lipstick, women of color can generally have a lot of fun. Many different shades and colors work well.

Use lip liners carefully so that there is no stark demarcation. To avoid having your lip liner showing too clearly, use one that is close in color to your lipstick, but a shade darker. When in doubt use a neutral color which will work with almost any color lipstick. Putting on lip liner after applying lipstick prevents having obviously lined lips when your lipstick has worn off.

Generally, dark shades give the appearance of smaller lips, so if you have really thick lips and want to deemphasize them go for darker shades of lipstick. The reverse is also true – to make lips seem thicker use lighter shades of lipstick.

  • Eye shadows

Use two or three shades of eye shadow, use a dark shade on the eyelids (closer to the eyes) and then apply the brighter color below the brow line. Carefully blend the colors so that there are no visible dividing lines.

There are certain brands that have shades made especially for women of color regardless of hue. These brands include popular names such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon, MAC Cosmetic, Bobbi Brown and CoverGirl. In addition, there are cosmetics manufacturers who specialize in makeup just for the woman of color such as Carol’s Daughter, Iman and Fashion Fair.

The most important advice when it comes to makeup for women of color is to go with your instinct. If you don’t feel that a recommended color works for you, trust your judgement – confidence is a big part of making your makeup work for you.

Beauty Tips

Beauty tips might seem superficial and unnecessary, but sprucing yourself up the right way could mean the difference in immediately achieving the position you desire at work or your perceived place in society.

The job market can be very competitive, and like it or not, sometimes the decision by the employer of whom to hire among equally qualified candidates might come down to who is most presentable.

Some may argue that such decisions are shallow and based purely on appearances. Think of it what you want, but the bottom line is: In order to play the part, you must look the part. And looking the part should never be considered a burden. It should be the result of mapping out your direction for better health and a more positive image.

The following are very important beauty tips and suggestions for women who are career-minded, intelligent and driven to achieve success:

  • Health: Eating the right foods and drinking water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soda is practical for your health and your stamina. Water is the most underestimated liquid a body can ingest. If you stick to what the doctors recommend: 8 glasses of water a day (or roughly 64 ounces) you should be in good shape, provided you are not drinking a six-pack of soda along with it. Water helps purify the body and it is very important for your skin. It promotes rejuvenation of the skin and helps give skin a natural glow.
  • Jewelry: The simpler, the better.  You don’t want to detract attention from yourself and your features (perhaps beautiful eyes, smile or physique) by wearing too much jewelry. Just a simple necklace or bracelet will do. A full set of simple yet attractive jewelry – necklace, bracelet, earrings and watch – exhibits professionalism and organizational skills. Flashing eccentric jewelry can also send an employer the wrong image: The person is about style and not about substance. Your body is like a billboard for what you are trying to sell. Appropriate use of jewelry signifies class.
  • Handbags: Women should never underestimate the value of a simple, yet stylish handbag. It says something about your decision-making skills by choosing a simple handbag that matches you and your wardrobe. Again, you don’t want to flash something that is not all about you. You don’t want a handbag that matches the size of a kitchen trash bag. You want a petite handbag that flows with your fashion and jewelry. Matching your handbag with your other features, again, shows you have your act together.
  • Jeans: Obviously, for job interviews, you will want to wear a dress or a blouse with dress pants. However, if you are happy with where you work, and maybe you are still eyeing a promotion, dress up nicely with a pair of jeans (provided your employer allows such attire) every now and then. Matching the right blouse with a pair of jeans that show no age projects a healthy image. You exhibit comfort and confidence in your jeans, yet you are also telling those around you that you will never sacrifice style. It will make people say “Wow” instead of “What?”
  • Devote time to yourself: Too often in a hectic society, where we are all trying to get ahead and by doing so we are trying to impressive everyone around us, sit back and reflect on what’s most important: You. Without taking care of yourself, you will lose confidence and self-esteem. Pamper yourself. Go shopping and buy a new wardrobe in the spare of the moment. Try that perfume you always wanted. And don’t feel guilty, either. By spending time by yourself, reading or trying on new makeup or jewelry, you are renewing yourself. You are not a robot. You are your own best asset. Treat yourself accordingly.

These five topics serve as a backbone for what a career woman should set forth in order to achieve what she wants. They all embody a characteristic of caring about you. We all have an image to uphold. If we don’t plan what’s best for us, our image will not be very attractive to others (including employers). Beauty tips such as this are not shallow and unneeded. They can define you and lead you in the right direction.

Smoky eye make up tips

Have you looked longingly at those models with beautiful smoky eyes and said, “I wish I could look like that”? Well, guess what, you can…smoky eyes are easy to get if you have the right tools for the job.  These are:

  • Eyeshadow (2 shades – one light, one dark. The light eyeshadow should be close to your skin color)
  • Eyeshadow base or primer
  • Eye liner (2 shades – light and dark)
  • Mascara
  • 2 brushes
  • Makeup sponge
  • Q-tips

As with all makeup, ensure that you start with a clean palette, that is, your face, and for smoky eyes, your eye lids must be clean. Now for the fun part:

  • Use a sponge to cover your upper eyelids with primer or base, this will stop the eyeshadow from settling into the creases.
  • Experiment with different color eyeliners to find the best smoky eye look that will suit the occasion. Good colors to start with are black, gray, violet, blue and green.
  • Apply the lighter shade eyeliner to bottom eyelid, then smudge it a bit using your fingertips or a sponge. This will help to give that great smoky eyes look. Depending on the size of your eyes this line should be long, short or mid-lid, for example, if you have large eyes, line them almost to the inner corners, for small eyes stop the line mid-lid. Experiment until you find what works for you.
  • Apply lighter shade eyeshadow on eyelid. Apply from lid to the bottom of the brow bone. Use a crème (cream) shadow for this lighter coat for best results.
  • Next, it’s time to apply the darker shade eyeshadow to get the smoky eye effect. Using a clean brush, start blending in the dark eyeshadow (start at the lash line so that the eyeshadow merges with the eyeliner, and blend upwards). Tilt your head back slightly and raise your eyebrows and blend covering the eyelid all the way to the brow bone.
  • To get a perfect blend you can use a Q-tip to finish up.
  • Examine both eyes when you are finished to ensure that they are alike.
  • Coat your lashes with a good mascara (if you have thin lashes go for a volumizing mascara for added thickness and length)
  • Finish off your smoky eyes by making sure your eyebrows are neat

If you want your eyes to appear larger, use blue mascara, this is great for giving the appearance of larger eyes. Remember that when going for the smoky eyes effect, the focus is on your eyes, so go light on other makeup such as lip color and rouge.

Note: If you want to go all out, use three different shades of eye shadow, one close to your skin tone, one a shade or two darker and then a much darker shade. After using the lighter shade apply the in-between shade before using the darkest and final shade.

It takes practise to get this right so don’t fear it you don’t get the look you are going for the first or second time; just experiment until you get that perfect smoky eye look you want.

Eye Makeup Tips: Basic tips for applying eye make-up for maximum attraction

Eye make up has been around for a long time. Men and women alike have been known to accent the eyes using basic materials such as coal ash, minerals, berries and teas that stain and animal fat for adhesion. Cleopatra may not have been able to launch a thousand ships had it not been for her beautiful eyes and of course a few basic “make-up tricks.”

Perhaps you are someone who would rather have her eyes looking farther apart or closer together. You can accomplish both of these illusions with very little imagination really.  Most eyes look better just a smidge father apart. Why? We really don’t know for sure but some anthropologists might say it is because we are all mostly predatory animals; our eyes are naturally spaced closer together, deeper set, and are smaller than animals of prey. As a collective, we enjoy looking at faces that are similar to our own but the same or less threatening than ours, with eyes spaced an equal distance apart or farther than our own and not quite as deeply set as ours. We tend to feel more secure around people with eyes similar in size and shape, (slant), and age (droop) to our own and especially attracted to those with eyes slightly larger and slightly younger if male and slightly older if female- than our own. There are the extreme and unusual attractors found due to cultural or environmental bias, but in the general public these indicators of beauty remain consistent.

There is a limit to all of this however and just because someone has eyes that are really large and spaced a hands length from the other does not make them beautiful. They must retain that human look.  This balance of having just the right placement of the eyes matched with over all facial symmetry is what we call beauty. Beauty is after all the goal in this article.

Creating the illusion of having the eyes spaced farther apart:

Measure the distance of your eyes from corner to corner. Now check to see if you have less than an eyes width between them. If you do they may look better just a smidge father apart. Apply a lighter tone makeup or concealer near the center of the eyes and smooth outward. Also apply this lighter tone to the outside grey shadow areas of your nose to broaden it. Apply a matte  eye shadow in a medium-to-dark shade & stroke it outward & slightly upward from the middle part of your upper eyelid. Take your eyeliner and start at the pupil of your eye on the upper lid and run this line out past the outer corner of your eye. On the underside of your eye begin with a darker shade of your matte eye shadow smudge a soft line from the middle or pupil toward the outer corner. Then apply the line dark eyeliner over the top of this just as on the top and bring this line out past the corner of your eye as well.

Creating the illusion of having the eyes closer together:

Begin with a light coverage of shadow over the top eye lid and on the bottom near the corner of the eye. Do the eyeliner from the corner of the eye to the pupil of the upper lid area. Then take shiny slightly metallic eyeliner in baby blue or green and complete the line out to just about the corner of the eyelid. Do the same for the bottom lids. Start with the dark eyeliner from the corner to the center or pupil area. Then use the shiny metallic eyeliner in the lighter color of blue or green to complete the line.

Creating the illusion of having bigger eyes:

The right shades are the key here. Light shades of shadow will make the eyes appear bigger, while the opposite is true for darker shades of shadow. Do the same tricks as mentioned above with the eye liner and as a final touch add a touch of white cream high lighter to the center of the brow bone.

Creating the illusion of younger eyes:

Drooping eyelids can be made to look younger with makeup. Apply a darker shade of shadow to the outer corner of the eyelid forming a sweeping upward and outward feline look. Apply a speck of white highlighter above this and skip the eyeliner all together.

Creating the illusion of less deep set eyes:

If you have deep set eyes and want them to appear less dramatic or less intense you can easily do this by downplaying the brow bone. First sweep a light or medium-tone shade on your lid, add a darker shade of shadow above the crease of the eye. When you apply your eyeliner take it from the inside corner of the eye and extend to the outside corner but the difference here will be that you will want to make your line thick in the middle and thinner toward each corner.

Creating the illusion of more pronounced eyes:

The eyelids of Asian women in general can seem to almost disappear when the eyes are open. This is not a structural flaw or a detriment and is quite beautiful, still with globalization and many Easterners trying to look more Western there is a way to do this with make-up. Definition may be found by sweeping a medium-toned shade across the lid & brow own. The underside of the brow should be dusted with a light highlighter shade to accentuate the brow bone and then use a pencil liner to line the upper & lower lash lines. Make sure the line is small and not thick and is natural looking.

Creating the illusion of younger eyes by making your lashes longer:

Place the wand of your mascara brush at the bottom of your lashes and move up in a firm stroke motion. After applying one coat of this to one eye upper lid and before it dries, close that eye and dust the lashes with a powder. This powder forms a bond with the wet mascara which will make the lashes appear much longer and thicker when you are finished.  Some women go the extra length of gluing on lashes in strands of 5 at a time in the center of the eyelid outward. These individual strand groupings of eyelashes come in packs of brown and black and in three lengths, short, medium and glamour or long length. The lash group is applied with a tweezers and special glue that adheres instantly and lasts through showing, and other activates. You must carefully apply these small lash groupings by dipping the root bulb end into the top of the small bottle of eyelash adhesive; instantly applying this to your upper eyelid near the center and extending outward. Usually 3 or 4 of these single hair groupings will be enough to give you that extra special feel without making you looking over done.

Color coordination is a subject all its own but to give you just the basics for your everyday makeup inventory- here are a list of common colors of eyes and the matching colors that do flatter them.

For blue eyes:

You will want to closely with: Taupe, gray, violet, purple,

If you are feeling funky you can try: Fuchsia, deep blue or black!

Green or hazel eyes:

You will want to stick closely with:  Brown, apricot, purple, plum, deep khaki

If you are feeling funky you can try: Gold, lime green, really light green, bright purple

Brown eyes:

You will want to stick closely with: Copper, bronze, champagne, brown, beige, and khaki

If you are feeling funky you can try: Royal blue, hot pink, lime-green

Please enjoy these great eye make-up tips.