Get the Look

Perfect Skin Chok Chok Makeup Tutorial

Photo Credit: asianclub

Ever wonder how those Kpop stars have such perfectly glowing skin? 

In Korea, there is a word to describe anything that is literally moist: chok chok. This elusive, natural dewiness is the ultimate achievement in terms of Korean skincare. However, not to be confused with oiliness which is excess sebum on the face, chok chok is a glowy freshness of the skin that makes it look, well, moist, and also lit from within.

While the “10 step” Korean skincare routine’s contribution to any run-of-the-mill Kstar’s enviable skin state is old news by now, there are still a few tricks hidden up the Kbeauty sleeve for achieving that perfectly dewy, glowing, chok chok skin.

It’s going to start with the obvious: moisture.

Even though “true” chok chok skin requires time, patience, and diligence, it can be faked to an extent in a matter of minutes. By focusing on the “apple zone” of the face (an invisible triangle shape formed along the cheekbones to meet at a point on the jaw), it becomes easier to cheat having fresh, dewy skin. 

Photo Credit: Pinterest/CosRX


To begin, apply a deep moisturizing cream or serum all over the face. Seal in the moisture by applying a half sheet mask, or cotton pads soaked in a brightening toner/serum to the apple zone (I personally find first treatment essences to be best with their high concentrations of brightening yeast ferment).There are also specific patches available for purchase that brighten this zone, but the effects are relatively easy to recreate at home.

Photo Credit: Byrdie


While the mask/cotton pads are working their magic, move on to the eye area. This tutorial is about the skin, but if you decide to go the Korean route, eye makeup is generally light-colored, natural, and subtle, with little if any mascara and deep brown/black tighlined eyeliner. Eyebrows are thick, full, and straight, but filled in with a light-hand. 

At this point, the mask sheet/cotton pads can be removed (you can keep it on for longer if you’d like, but once the edges of your mask/pads start to dry, it’s time to remove them or they will begin to sap the moisture back out!). Gently pat in any remaining product with your hands. Your skin should be noticeably softer, smoother, and moist. 

Photo Credit: Blogarama


To even out skin tone and hide any red areas/blemishes, mix a 1:1 ratio of Bb or Cc cream with a facial oil, serum, lotion, or cream. This makes the coverage light and natural, and ensures your skin won’t dry out during the day. 

*Beauty Note: be aware of your bases here. If your Bb cream is oil based, and your facial lotion is water based, the resulting concoction will have a high chance of separating on your face. Make sure your keeping water-based formulas with other water-based formulas, and oil with oil-based ones. 

For the most natural effect, apply your base by dabbing it on with clean fingers or with a damp makeup blender/sponge. Build up more thin layers in the areas that need additional help.

Got some pesky spots that still need more coverage? Pin point concealing works best with chok chok style skin. To do this nearly undetectable concealing technique, simply take a full coverage concealer on a pinpoint eyeliner brush, and directly cover the area (presumably zit). Then take a clean finger/blender, and dab to blend the edges out.
Chok chok skin not only looks fully hydrated, but bright and glowy as well. Accentuate this with a liquid or cream highlighter along your cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, nose bridge, and the centers of your forehead and chin. Basically, anywhere natural sunlight would hit your face. Concentrate your efforts on the cheekbones/apple zone. 

Photo Credit: Fashionlady.in


Don’t forget to apply a subtle pink blush along your cheeks for a natural healthy glow. It should blend seemlessly into the skin; the more natural, the better!

With this look, there is no need for lots of powder. Powder will only kill that beautiful dewy sheen you’ve just worked so hard to achieve! If you do use it, do so sparingly and lightly, and only to set areas like the undereye that tend to crease regardless of a product’s moisture content.

*Bonus Tip: to further set off your now luminous and glossy skin, add a pop of bright color to your lips. In Korea, the gradient lip is all the rage for doing this!

Photo Credit: SeoulStine


This look is quick and simple, highlighting radiant moist skin instead of forcing skin into perfectly matte, powdery submission.

All to often, makeup is used to masterfully hide flaws instead of masterfully accentuate the good. This look is not only easy to accomplish, but easy to wear!

Keep calm and chok chok on!

A Non-Perfect Brow Guide for People with Non-Perfect Brows

 As I seemingly am always pressed for time getting ready (thank you Korean skin routine) and am not really a fan of spending 15 minutes doing my brows alone like so many of the tutorials and YouTube videos out there, I thought I would write about how a “brow-lazy” girl does her brows (in two minutes, tops, no joke).

This post was originally inspired by a comment on an article on the Into the Gloss website. It was something along the lines of “yet another girl with good eyebrows to begin with doing a brow guide-what about the non brow blessed people?!” Good-to-begin-with brows or not, I still think it’s a great starting point for those learning how to fill in their eyebrows

But this comment did get me thinking. Blonde brow’d people have so few products that match their color (always seem too brown) AND that are also easy to find (when I went brow makeup shopping, ULTA had two Anastasia taupe brow kits and no blonde ones, but about 10-15 of brown and black shades kits!). They also deal with young children questioning their brows’ existence all the time-we certainly aren’t the most disadvantaged brow population out there, but we definitely don’t come to mind whenever “bold brows” is tossed around! So, here is a Non-Perfect Brow Guide, made by a Non-Perfect Brow Person.

These are the products I use and how I use them to do my brows on a daily basis:

I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Kit in Taupe and like Maybelline’s Brow Drama Mascrara. Super simple, super easy

Prep work: About once a week, I’ll go in with a pair of tweezers and focus my efforts in the Unibrow Danger Zone. I’ll also take a minute to clean up the space under my brow, removing any weird baby hair or strange strands that don’t belong. If anything is getting overgrown, I use a pair of manicure siccors to trim it down. Regularly keeping the brows groomed helps keep makeup time down- much like clearer skin means less time spent on base makeup 🙂 This is generally the area of eyebrows that leads to Non-Perfect Eyebrows via Brow Horror Stories. Try to prevent that.


1) Since I like to use powder over pencil, I run a clear brow gel through my brows to give the powder something to stick to and to brush my brows into a fuller, more well-kept state.

2) I then take a spoolie and brush my brows downward, and use brow powder to sketch out the arch, making a light line. I then use the spoolie to brush the hairs back up over the line.


3) I take the same shade of brow powder and use light, feathery strokes to add definition and color to my brows. I use the spoolie to blend out the powder and distribute it evenly throughout the hairs.

Tip: Go easy on the color on the inner parts of your brow, and avoid extending the brow longer than the outer edge of your eye-this can make the eye area look droopy!

4) Repeat powder and blend step as necessary. Generally once will suffice. Make sure there aren’t any weird gaps in the application.

5) To add a final layer of definition and to keep brows in place all day, I finish off with a tinted brow mascara. I lightly run this through my brows in 1-2 quick strokes. Run the spoolie through brows a final time to disperse any clumps or concentrations of color.

Bonus Step: to get my brows to “pop,” I’ll add a little highlighter both on my brow bone and slightly above the arch of my brow during that step of my makeup.

I personally feel that blonde brows are more forgiving than darker brows in terms of maintainence, but a lot harder to actually define and use makeup on. In a way it’s nice (forgot to pluck? Not really a problem!), but also it makes many looks harder to pull off without that bold brow to frame everything. For me, a hint of color and combing things into place is enough for daily wear.

What is your current brow routine?  Do you have any Brow Horror Stories of bleaching or overplucking? 😜

“A” Pretty Little Makeup Tutorial

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another Beauties on Fire Collaboration post! 

This week’s voted theme was movies and books. Since I was such a bookworm as a child, and have probably watched more movies on Netflix than a human should during their lifetime, narrowing down such a theme is next to impossible for me. 

After hemming and hawing over all the possible options that would be best to do for this post, I decided to simply do something based on the most recently watched show on my Netflix history queue, which turned out to be perfect as the show is also a book series: Pretty Little Liars.

This show (and what I remember from reading most of this book series as a preteen) is full of twists, turns, and suspense as four girls lives are changed forever as a mysterious and violent stalker enters their worlds. The show is by no means the Most Amazing Show ever, but the fashion, hair, and makeup is definitely worth the watch (of at least the first season). 

Hair:

Long, loose curls with a beachy vibe are the staple hairstyle of the show. To get their signature style, prep hair with a heat protection spray. Section off the top 2/3 of your hair. Take a small-medium (like 1/4″-1″) barrel curling iron, and curl small chunks of hair  away from your face. Repeat on the next sections. On the final section (the hair on top of your head), create a center part before curling. Once all of your hair is completely curled, mist it with hairspray, and let the hair cool. Don’t touch the ringlets until hair is completely cooled. After they are cool, gently finger comb them out. For a softer, more feminine look, mist again with hairspray if needed. For a more beachy variation, spray with a sea salt texturizing spray and scrunch it through hair before the final spritz of hairspray.

A lot of the time, this hairstyle is supplemented with a stylish headband, or sometimes pulled back at the sides with braids.

Makeup:

Each of the girls has their own unique style, but in general, the four rock dark, suductive eyes, subtle contour, and soft pink blushes and lips. The customization tends to focus on the eye makeup. Aria’s look tends to use deep, smokey purples to help her eyes pop, while Spencer has a classy brown matte eye. Emily’s look is very sweet and utilizes lighter neutrals and pinks with subtle tight lining and lots of mascara, and Hannah is known for darker, smokier greys with dramatic liner.


This tutorial combines all of these elements for a look that is classically PLL. Feel free to customize it to your favorite character (or eye color)!

1) While none of the girls wears a thick pancake of foundation, a flawless, matte finish is non-negotiable. I personally used a cushion compact for a smooth, light, and natural finish, but a beauty blender/makeup sponge would also work just as well.

2) Conceal whatever needs concealing. I took Skinfood’s Salmon Dark Circle Concealer to help with my undereye area and some red spots, then brightened my eye area, the bridge of my nose, the center of my forehead, and the center of my chin with Urban Decay’s Naked concealer.

3) Give everything a quick set with some translucent powder. 

4) While contouring in this show is often done half the time with some strategically placed blush without formal contouring,  I went ahead and lightly contoured my cheeks, forehead, and jawline. I then swiped blush directly along my cheekbones, helping create a more chiseled effect.

5) I used some brow powder and clear brow gel to achieve a neat and groomed (but natural) brow.

6) As this week had been crazy hectic, my eye area was still tragically dark and tired looking. To counteract this effect and look a little more awake, I used a light, bone colored shadow all over my eye area, from my lashes to my brow bone, focusing my efforts on the inner eye area to “fake awake.”

7) I began defining my eye by swiping a light grey shade all over my lid, just above the crease. I also took it below my eye, just using it on the outer half of my waterline.

8) To smoke out the eye and achieve the signature PLL smolder, I took a deep black pencil liner and applied it along my lash line and halfway along my outer lower lash line, using a Q-tip to smudge and blend out any harsh lines.

9) To define my eyes even more, using a precision brush, I tight lined my eyes with black gel liner. I lightly smudged it into my lashes with the Q-tip.

10) Once my lid makeup was complete, I moved onto my lashes. Since I am apparently allergic to any and all eyelash glue, I, of course, proceeded to curl the living daylights out of my poor lashes, but this would be the time to apply some falsies if you aren’t cursed like I am. Layer on the mascara, both the top and bottom lashes. 

11) For the lips, I went for a classic PLL light pinky nude shade. Actual red lips are a rarity in the show; most likely as such a dramatic eye would look strange paired with a dramatic lip. Finish off with a clear gloss to complete the look.


I really like the core makeup idea used in this show. Depending on the colors you use, it can be very casual or very dressy, but always pretty and polished no matter how you wear it. Strategic “blush contouring” is a great time saving makeup hack I picked up from this show, and now use almost daily. Best of all, the more natural lip colors mean optional lip liner, and a heck of a lot less reapplication and double checking in the mirror sessions throughout the day. 

So have you ever read or watched Pretty Little Liars? If you have, who is your favorite? 

And, as always, be sure to check out all the other amazing collab posts by clicking the picture below!

And by the way, all pictures of the cast were found on Pintrest 🙂

Get the Look: Bold Brows


Bold brows have made a comeback: having your “brows on fleek” is perhaps now just as much of a beauty necessity as perfect winged liner or a Kylie K-worthy pout.  They are nature’s natural face framers, and just like contour, can make or break your look. Read on to see how to get brows that even Cara Delevingne would envy!

The first step is to make sure your brows are somewhat tamed: you don’t have to go tweezer-happy, but make sure there isn’t any unintentional unibrow or random stray hairs lurking about.

The next step is to brush your brows into shape with a clear brow gel (or a spoolie with a little hairspray on it). This organizes your brows into their fullest state and tames any baby or rebel hairs. The clear gel or hairspray also gives the brow powder in the next step something to hold onto, helping it to last all day long.

Now it’s time to fill in your brows. Using an appropriately colored powder, use a precision or brow brush to lightly feather in over any thin spots and help define the shape of your brows. Comb through with a spoolie as you go. Light layers are the key to achieving the most natural look.

Once you’ve filled in your brows, finish off with another round of clear brow gel or a tinted brow mascara. This will add more depth and help ensure your brows don’t move throughout the day or fade.

Some people prefer to use pencil to literally “draw” in the hairs. I personally prefer powders over pencils because they are more “goof-proof” (not to mention faster) when it comes to more natural, born-this-way looks.

If you really want to amp up the bold factor of your brows, a color slightly darker than your hair color will help them pop. Applying concealer around the brows and/or highlighter strategically around the brow area (brow bone, area right above temples) can also help emphasize brows.


Is your brow game where you would like it to be? Let me know if you try my method for achieving bold brows the easy, natural-looking way 🙂

Get the Look: Melty Icecream DIY Mani x Beauties on Fire: Summer Styles

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for another Beauties on Fire Collaboration! This week’s theme is summer styles.

While, yes, summer means SPF, water-proof mascara, pool party hair, and beach bunny looks, it’s also about letting your hair down, relaxing, and having fun. Why not let your creative, fun side out with a super-cute manicure featuring a cornerstone summertime theme: ice cream!


Melting Ice Cream Nails:

1) Paint the bottom 2/3 of your nails with a biscuit-esque color that will serve as the main cone color.

2) Once the main cone color is dry to the touch, use a toothpick to draw thin, diagonal lines across your nail where the cone color is, in criss crossing rows, in a dark brown color. These are the lines of the cone.

3) After the cone part has completely dried, use a dotting tool or a round nail brush, begin to paint the melting ice cream. It works best to take a saturated nail brush/dotting tool and start with the drips, moving them upwards towards tip of the nail. Let this coat dry completely.

4) To add more “pop” to this look, add a layer of white (but brown, pink, or really any color would work), over the first ice cream color, following the same process as step 3. Leave a little of the original ice cream color peeking out though!


Variations:

Once the second ice cream layer is dry, it’s a perfect time to add sprinkles! The easiest way is to simply use a glitter polish and make sure the glitter chunks are evenly distributed. The fun way is to gather up your favorite nail polishes and hand paint them using a toothpick (or dotting tool). Basically, take a little nail polish onto your tool of choice, and lightly dab it onto the ice cream part of the nail. Clean off and repeat with the other colors.

No icecream sundae is complete without a cherry on top! The cherry can be simply a big red dot, although small jewels would also look quite nice.
Once everything is dry, don’t forget to apply 1-2 clear top coats to seal everything in and add some shine.

Warning: it may be hard to avoid biting your nails with a mani this yummy! 😂

These nails embody one of the trademarks of summer while looking super cute and yummy. While they may take a little time and practice to achieve, I think the results are beyond worth it. If you decide to try this, let me know! I’d love to see how they turned out 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the other summer styles posts from this collaboration-simply click the link below!

beauties on fire

Now I’m off to grab some gelato; this tutorial has made me hungry! Till next time! 😘

Get the Look: Modern Veronica Lake/Beauties on Fire Collab: Classic Beauty

Welcome to the first installment of the Beauties on Fire collaboration (read more about it here)! Our first theme is all about classic beauty.When the theme was first announced, Veronica Lake, an acting queen of the 1940’s, came immediately to mind. Nothing screams classic beauty more to me than the Hollywood glamour rocked by the actresses of that era. Perfect curls and seductive lips create the backbone of the look, making it perfect for cocktail parties and sexy date nights. So without further ado, let’s get on to the tutorial.

Makeup:

Portrait of Veronica Lake in I Married à Witch directed by René Clair, 1942

Veronica Lake was all about rosy cheeks paired with a bold pout

Base:

To let the lips take center-stage, skin needs to be as smooth and flawless as possible. Start with a moisturizing primer to plump the skin and give it some glow. Apply a matte foundation on top to even out the skin and provide coverage. Once that’s out of the way, go ahead and begin concealing. Take your time with this step, gradually building coverage with thin, sheer layers. A full, matte finish is what we are aiming for here.

What I used: Bare Minerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation in Bare Porcelain 01 (very light coat as primer), Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Snow, Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream , Urban Decay Naked Concealer in Fair/Neutral

Face:

Now that the base is ready, it’s time to sculpt and highlight. Subtlety is key here; you want just enough product to do the job, nothing more, nothing less. Begin with contour using a light brown shade, just underneath the cheekbones, around the forehead, the jawline, and the sides of the nose. Add a small pop of glow to the tops of your cheekbones, the center of your forehead, underneath your contour, and your Cupid’s bow. Like the contour, keep this subtle as well. I personally used Urban Decay’s Naked concealer to first lighten up those general areas and then went in with a shimmery highlighter for more precise shimmer in the centers of those areas to keep things as natural  and matte as possible.

Now it’s time for the iconic blush. With bold lips, which can make the face look slightly drained, the pop of color blush provides helps counteract this effect. A light pink blush effortlessly lifts the face and keeps the bold lip from overpowering the face.

A well-groomed brow also helps balance out this effect. I filled in my brows using a brow powder that was a little darker than my natural hair color to add a little extra oomph (if you aren’t blonde, you probably won’t need to do this). I finished off with a clear brow gel to hold everything in place.

What I Used: L’oreal La Palette in Nude 1(medium brown shades 3 and 5 for contour), Urban Decay Naked Concealer, Benefit High Beam Highlighter, Palladio Matte Blush in Peach Ice, Anastasia Clear Brow Gel, Anastasia Brow Powder in Taupe

Eyes:

Since the lips are going to take the center stage, its best to keep the eyes simple and slightly smokey. I used soft brown shades to add subtle emphasis to my eyes and balance to the look.

To start, swipe a matte cream color all over your lids, up to the brow bone. Next, take a shimmery gold-brown shade and apply it to the inner corners of your eyes, sweeping it to just past the middle of your eye lid. Use a matte, medium-brown shade on the outer part of your lid, applying it just above the crease, and blending it to the center of your eye lid (where it will meet and overlap the shimmery brown shade). Follow up with a deep brown shade in the outer part of your crease and outermost part of your lid. Drag this shade underneath your eye, along the water line, until the center of your eye. Blend well.

To add emphasis to your lashes, tight line with a deep black gel liner. Don’t wing it out. Use your finger tip or a Q-tip to blend this line into the lashes. Curl your lashes and apply mascara. False lashes would be a perfect addition to this look and I would recommend them. I actually would have used them in this tutorial, however, my eyes and eyelash glue have yet to get along (I am legitimately allergic to the stuff). So when you look at the pictures, just pretend they are there, okay?  🙂

What I Used: L’oreal La Palette (shades 1, 4, 5, and 6), Essence Gel Eyeliner in 01/Midnght in Paris

 

Lips:

From right to left: concealer, Tarte lip crayon, matte lip gloss, final product

 

Lips are the center of this makeup look. For flawless application, gently scrub and moisturize your lips to remove any dead flakes and get them looking plump and smooth from the mild exfoliation and moisture. To ensure the richest color payoff, I applied a thin layer of liquid concealer on my lips, patting it in with a damp beauty blender. I wanted a color that was something different from the typical classic red lip that has become a bit, well, basic over the years. To add a little flair, I took a nod from vampy, berry colored lips and combined the two ideas to get that “just bitten” red. What this translated to in terms of my makeup collection was a purple-red Tarte holiday lip crayon applied then lightly blotted off, then the color left on my lips was smoothed over with a matte lip gloss in a deep matte pink. I didn’t need to line my lips because once the matte gloss dries, it will not budge.

However, if you happen to be using something else, the general rule of dark, bold lip colors is to apply once, gently blot it off, use a lip liner to even things out and set boundaries for the next layer of color (darker colors draw extra attention to any unevenness and can make your lips look smaller so the liner helps correct any imbalances and can be used to “cheat” your natural lip size), then another layer of color is lightly applied, most often with a lip brush for the most precise application.

To help the color pop, I applied a thin layer of concealer in the area immediately around the outline of my lips and blended it out with a makeup sponge. For added effect, you can also use a contour powder underneath your bottom lip for more depth.

What I Used: Urban Decay Naked Concealer, Tarte Holiday Matte Lip Tint Crayon in Glaze, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Seduction.

Hair:

The goal? Glossy, glamorous waves

Now that the face is done, let’s talk about those classic Hollywood glamour girl curls.

To achieve this style, you will need heat protective spray, a brush, a large-barrel curling iron, hairspray, and a little shine spray/hair oil.

The first step is to protect those locks by misting them with a heat protective spray.

To begin styling, pin up the top two thirds of your hair. Curl large sections away from your face. Repeat with the middle third.

For the top third, create a deep side part (if you want to get super-technical, part your hair where the highest part of your eyebrow’s arch is. It seems to look best this way, don’t ask me why). Curl large sections away from your face.

Now that your hair is channeling its inner Goldilocks, take a hairbrush, mist it with a light dusting of hairspray, and gently brush through the curls until they merge into the signature, uniform waves that were once all the rage. Give it a liberal mist of hairspray. To finish off, take a little shine spray or oil, rub it into your palms to heat it up, and gently smooth it over your hair. Feeling glamorous yet?

Portrait of Veronica Lake in The Glass Key directed by Stuart Heisler, 1942. photo by  Eugene Robert Richee

If you want to do it the old fashioned way, using pin curls, here’s how:

  1. Dampen your hair. Either do this out of the shower or with a spray bottle. Hair just needs to be damp. This is very important.
  2. Starting at the top of your head, use two fingers to roll your hair up towards your scalp. Pin it in place with a bobby pin. Much like rag curling, your curls will depend on the thickness of the section, how much hair is used per curl, and how big the roll/”loop” formed is.
  3. Let your hair dry like this. If you use bobby pins, sleeping with them in isn’t too horrible (much like rag curlers). You can also be lazy and use a blow dryer (low heat works best).
  4. Once the curls are dry, gently remove the bobby pins. If you start from the bottom, it is easier not to miss any.
  5. Finish off by brushing, hair spraying, and shine-adding as described above.

 

 

The completed look

 

This look is perfect for all those holiday parties coming up in a couple of months. Its sultry and sexy, but full of understated glamour. Why not show up to your next date or Christmas party looking like a modern-day version of those beauties from the 40’s? This look is easy to dress up or down, depending on your personal style: from a traditional red lip, to a dark cherry or berry color, the cheeks, simple eye, and classic curls will help you pull off whatever color suits your mood. Falsies can add even more drama and glamour should you choose (and aren’t allergic to eyelash glue like me :/). Of course, don’t forget to top off the look with some pearl studs and matching necklace.

Let me know if you decide to recreate this look-I’d love to see your glamour-babe transformations!

Just in case you are curious, here is what I think would be in a modern Veronica Lake’s beauty bag:

IMG_5145

Lipstick, obviously, and in a sexy, daring shade. A gorgeous compact for those quick little touch-ups between shoots.To help keep those trademark curls their glossy, shiny best, a bristle brush. A natural, soft blush is perfect for adding life to the face and balancing out those dramatic lips.

 

If you would like to find out more about Veronica Lake, this site is a good place to start.

All photos of Veronica Lake are not mine and were found here. Collage photos, clockwise (1, 2, 3, 4).

And here is the link up to visit the other blogger’s classic beauty posts-go check them out!

beauties on fire

See you next time!