EmsyJay on YouTube: The Five Minute Makeup Challenge

MsButtahfly tagged me to join in The Five Minute Makeup Challenge, and I was glad to oblige.

Complete listing of products used:

MAC Studio Fix powder foundation – NC43
MAC Spaced Out powder blush
MAC Global Glow Mineralize Skinfinish

HiP Attentive Color Rich Cream Crayon
Cover Girl Very Black LashBlast mascara
Maybelline Define-A-Brow Gel

MAC Mahogany lip pencil
MAC Sci-Fi-Delity lipstick
MAC Pink Grapefruit lipglass


EmsyJay on YouTube: Yellow, Orange, and Pink Partial Spectrum

This video was in response to a YouTuber’s request for a rainbow look. I like to wear just one section of the spectrum at a time, so I decided to share a bright, summery yellow, orange, and pink (red) look. Enjoy!

Complete listing of products used:

MAC Studio Fix foundation – NC43
MAC Style powder blush

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
MAC Corn shadestick
HiP Flamboyant eyeshadow (yellow)
HiP Flare eyeshadow (orange)
HiP Brazen eyeshadow (pink)
MAC Gorgeous Gold eyeshadow
HiP Black Color Truth Cream Liner
HiP Black Color Truth Eyeliner
Cover Girl Very Black LashBlast mascara

MAC Moonbathe lipglass

EmsyJay on YouTube: Emerald Eyes for May

Here’s the birthstone look for May.*

Complete listing of products used:

Correction — The highlight eyeshadow is a pale yellow green, not a light greenish gold.

MAC Studio Mist foundation – Medium Dark
HiP Flawless Liquid foundation – Cafe
MAC Mocha powder blush

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
MAC Lucky Jade shadestick
Urban Decay Vert eyeshadow
Urban Decay Acid Rain eyeshadow
MAC Velvet Moss eyeshadow
HiP Green Color Truth eyeliner
Cover Girl Very Black LashBlast mascara

MAC Prrr lipglass

*I still haven’t done one for April, but I’m thinking about combining April and June (i.e. diamonds and pearls). I have no idea how. 🙂

EmsyJay on YouTube: A Job Interview Look

A YouTuber requested a look suitable for a job interview. Here it is!

Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX foundation – M3
MAC Mocha powder blush

HiP Witty paint
HiP Foxy eyeshadow (pink)
HiP Mischief eyeshadow (gold)
HiP Brazen eyeshadow (brown)
HiP Brown color truth eyeliner
L’Oreal Blackest Black Telescopic Clean Definition mascara

MAC Hodgepodge lip liner
MAC Shitaki lipstick

Change It All!

At this time of year, my makeup is in serious need of a lift. But I have begun to realize that I have more than enough makeup. I probably passed the ‘enough’ stage a couple months ago, as a matter of fact. So a springtime makeover — for me, at least — will have little to do with new products.

Instead, I have decided to change how I see the products that I already have. I started with my HiP eyeshadow duos. Previously, I had them arranged by duo in pencil tins (check out my HiP depotting video for more info).

I could keep track of which shadows were originally packaged together, but that arrangement had little utility aside from allowing me to easily identify duo names when I made tutorials. I knew that I had a lot of wonderful colors in these two tins, but their arrangement didn’t allow me to see their true potential.

But now I do see that potential because I’ve separated the neutrals from the colors and arranged all the shadows chromatically.


In addition to revamping my HiP palettes, I left behind my old Caboodles traincase in favor of a couple plastic drawer sets I picked up from Target. The traincase will still go with me on long trips, but the drawer units are more convenient for at-home use.

Want a versatile brush for a fantastic price? Emsy recommends …

… the synthetic flat top blush brush by Sonia Kashuk, available at Target.

I purchased this brush about a month ago and have used it every day. As a blush brush, it performs well. I particularly like it for cream blush or for contouring.

But my favorite use for this lovely item is foundation application. Since I got it, I haven’t used anything else for liquid or cream foundation. It has completely replaced my MAC 187 duo-fiber brush, which I now use solely for applying face powders. Because it’s a blush brush, the head is smaller than the 187. But there are two important reasons I prefer this one.

First, I get better coverage. The 187 seems to work better for light to medium coverage, and it takes some doing to build coverage. But with the Sonia Kashuk, I don’t have to keep going over my problem areas.

Second, I find that I lose less product with the Sonia Kashuk brush. I am only using about two-thirds of the foundation I used with the MAC 187, but more product actually makes it to my face. Because the hairs of the Sonia Kashuk brush are so tightly packed, it’s harder for liquid and cream to get caught between the individual hairs.

The best thing about this brush is that, at a mere $14.99, it has performed better — for me, at least — than  the MAC 187, which retails for $42. (I purchased mine at the Cosmetics Company Store for close to $30, though.)

Expanding Your Collection? New to Color? Emsy Recommends …

… the Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box ($36 @ Urban Decay).

(Official UD pic)

(close-up of Emsy’s own set)

This set is as lovely for the seasoned eyeshadow lover as for the color newbie. Among the nine deluxe shadows are five vivid hues, three soft neutrals, and a highly pigmented black. Included in the set are two double-ended sponge-tip applicators and a mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion. This is the perfect starter kit for anyone interested in Urban Decay’s eyeshadows. The velvety texture alone shows why the Deluxe Eyeshadows are the cream of the Urban Decay crop.



Fafi Fever

From Specktra to YouTube, the greatest excitement of Winter-Spring 2008 has been MAC’s Fafi collection. Inspired by the artwork of French graffiti artist Fafi, the collection’s packaging is covered in a psychedelically colored trio of Fafinettes. According to promotional materials, “a Fafi girl is a nymphette with a Ph.D. in passion … an adventuress with a very animated love life.”

To please the MAC fanatic, the Fafinettes adorn a number of limited edition products, including a t-shirt, a scarf, variously sized plastic makeup bags, and a large plastic tote. But the non-makeup centerpiece of the collection is the Fafinette dolls, which more closely resemble action figures than dolls. MAC entreats us to enjoy and emulate the Fafinettes’ “pouting on compacts” and “preening on packaging,” insisting that, while a Fafi girl is defined by her boisterous sexuality, she is undeniably “cute.” But what should we make of these preening and pouting nymphomaniacal figurines and the collection they represent? What, precisely, is the action being sold here?

© 2008, EmsyJay

My Skincare Regimen

A number of YouTube viewers have requested a video on skincare. Because watching Emsy wash her face just isn’t an exciting thing to do, I will use this post to tell you all about how I take care of my face.


I begin my day by cleansing with Olay Gentle Foaming Face Wash for sensitive skin. I have a stock of (inexpensive) white washcloths that I use solely for my face. After using my hands to lather the cleanser on my face, I use a damp washcloth to remove the cleanser and gently exfoliate.

After cleansing, I treat any blemishes I might have with Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10. I use this product because the active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. Unfortunately, I have a sensitivity to salicylic acid.

Then I moisturize my face with Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion SPF15 for sensitive skin. Finally, I moisturize my lips with MAC Lip Conditioner.


The first thing I do is remove most of my makeup. These days I’m using MAC Cleanse Off Oil.

I scrub twice a week with Olay Smooth Skin Exfoliating Scrub. Otherwise, I just
cleanse with Olay Gentle Foaming Face Wash. After cleansing, I treat blemishes with Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10.

At night, I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream on the driest and most delicate parts of my face. I use it under my eyes all year round and also on my cheeks in the winter. In addition to my face, I also slather the Cetaphil on my neck to keep the delicate skin hydrated and youthful. On nights when I use the scrub, I moisturize my whole face with the Olay sensitive skin moisturizer, but on other nights, I generally only moisturize spots that are dry. The last step is moisturizing my lips with MAC Lip Conditioner.

Beauty is everywhere …