Designer Bags


Samantha, my friend from high school, is sweet enough to follow me on Instagram (@electralane), and asked for tips on how to cover under-eye bags. Here's the bad news: short of fillers or surgery - to either tighten that area, or remove fat pads, then get rid of excess skin - there is no perfect coverage option.  More bad news: because it's a texture problem, even the best concealer can't flatten ripples.

BUT there is good news.  With a few skincare fixes and strategically placed concealer, we can at least trick the mirror into showing us a flatter, brighter area.  In no particular order, here's how:

1.  Never, ever, ever tug or pull at the delicate skin around the eye. Ever. Once it stretches, it doesn't go back.

2. Put a cold compress over your eyes to restrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. This is only temporary, but helps especially in the morning hours.

3. If you have allergies, talk to your doctor about getting on an anti-histamine.

4.  Drink lots of water (I shoot for two litres a day) because it pushes out the bad stuff and keeps everything moving.

5. Use a really hydrating eye cream at night to plump that area in a good way.  My favorite is Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.  A little goes a long way, and the jar lasts a very long time.

6. If you really want to pull out the big guns, a brightening eye cream during the day is a huge help.  Also by Kiehl's, I love their Eye Alert because it doesn't cake under makeup.

7. An eye mask delivers lots of good things AND tightens.  I use these on my brides.

8. When it comes to concealer, the best way to cover is to use a concealer + brightener combo: the concealer goes all over, and the brightener goes in the inner corner and the ridge between the eye bag and cheek bone.  Click HERE for the video demonstration where I use the MAC Prep + Prime Highliter pen and brush number 287 with Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer (which lasts for-ev-er).


Let's Talk About Zits, Baby


We all hate pimples, and we all get them, so let's learn to cover them up properly.  Since the actual covering of the spot takes quiet a bit of time, let's look at why we get zits and how to hopefully diminish them in the first place. First, skin has to be taken care of from the inside out.  Drinking water and tea over sodas, juice, alcohol, and sugary coffee beverages will go a long way to keeping skin clear and looking bright (unless you're detoxing, in which case you might actually break out for a bit, and that's totally normal.  More on that HERE.)

Next, skin needs daily cleansing, moisture, sun protection, and at least weekly exfoliation.

Once all the bases have been covered and breakouts are still happening, they're more than likely hormone-related, so figure out what you're triggers are.  For me, it's sugar (especially lactose, aka delicious dairy products), so I try to really exercise moderation in that area.

Now - we have a pimple, for whatever reason, and we want to cover it.  I demonstrate how to do that in THIS video on my Vimeo channel (, and here are products and steps mentioned:

1. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

2. NYX Cosmetics green concealer sick

3. e.l.f. Cosmetics Concealer Brush

4. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (cream concealer); NYX Cosmetics FULL Coverage Concealer

5. Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray


1. Clean and moisturize face

2. Use a primer to smoothe skin, then top with your base

3. Warm up some green concealer and apply directly to the pimple

4. Cover the pimple with cream concealer

5. Set with a little powder and/or setting spray

Mass Confusion Part II: Conceal/Highlight/Illuminate


Welcome back, and thanks for sticking with me. Last time, we talked about contouring and bronzing.  Now, we’re moving on to concealing, highlighting, and illuminating.  Here we go…

What does a concealer do?

It conceals. Under eye darkness, redness around the nose, blemishes, redness in the skin…my favorites are liquid and cream products, and it’s best to have two separate concealers in different colors – one a little lighter than the skin to conceal dark under eye circles, and one that matches the skin to cover redness and blemishes.  It goes on after foundation (in most cases...we'll get into that later).  Depending on your skin and the concealer’s formula, you could just use the under eye concealer as a highlighter.  If you don’t need concealer, don’t use it!  It’s one of those products that’s tricky and can look cakey, dry, exaggerate fine lines, and can actually make the area look darker.

What does highlighter do?

Highlighter tricks the eye into thinking there is light on the face even when there isn’t.  Another way to think of it: all the special lighting they use in photography and film?  This is a cheat for that when you don’t have special lighting.  Typically, areas to highlight are in the center of the forehead, down the center of the nose, under the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and the center of the chin.  If you don’t have dark circles, you can just use highlighter to brighten that area without any extra concealer.  Highlighter also goes under the name of brightener, and comes in liquid, cream, and powder forms.

What about illuminator?

Illuminator, also known as luminizer, and sometimes referred to as highlighter, has light-reflecting particles that brighten up an area when the light hits it. I usually only place this product just on the tops of the cheek bones; even if using a powder version (though I typically use liquid or cream), it could make other areas look oily.

I made this video to demonstrate. Remember, this is just the general idea – contouring, highlighting, and everything else, is incredibly individualized and, like basically everything concerning makeup, should be customized for occasion, longevity, and so on.  We’ll get more into the details in time but for now, have fun experimenting.  If you want another take, check out this how-to from Byrdie.


Mass Confusion Part I: Contour vs. Bronzer


Get comfy, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and let me apologize for this long, rambling, multi-part post. Highlighting and contouring has become such a fad, and it is the number one thing I am asked to teach. Countless YouTube videos and products are dedicated to this technique, but I have yet to find one of either that expresses my take on it.  In this two-part blog, I’ll explain my version, starting with contour, in very broad terms.  I’ll break it down further in future posts and videos.

What is contouring?

Contouring is the process of defining or creating receding areas of the face to give it definition. That’s it.  Areas typically contoured are the hollows of the cheeks and eyes, down the sides of the nose, around the perimeter of the face, and down the center of the neck.  I do some form of contouring every day because I like it, but I promise that you can live a very long and happy life without it.

Where things start to get confusing is when we try to figure out the difference between bronzing and contouring. Bronzer is meant to bronze the skin as if you had been lying out all day and were bronzed (slightly reddened) by the sun, which as you probably know, happens on the high points – not the hollows – of the face.  This is why I like to keep my bronzer and contour separate.

So can you use your bronzer to contour?

Absolutely.  But I have a different bronzer for contour and one for bronzing.

What the heck is the difference?!?!

(Precisely why this is a post entitled “Mass Confusion”). It comes down to the undertones in the product. A product with more grey for contouring will create shadows, while a product with more red for bronzing will mimic what the sun does to your skin after a day at the beach.

So can I use the same product as contour and bronzer??

Yes and no (insert hair-pulling): yes you can, but not at the same time. I mean, you can do whatever you want – it’s makeup – but have you ever seen people with what looks like giant brown rectangles on the sides of their faces? That’s what happens when contour and bronzer collide.  I’ll contour with my red-ish bronzer and forgo the contouring product depending on the look I want to achieve and how tan I am.  I’ll rarely use a contouring product to bronze, though, because that’s where it’s really easy to get into muddy- or dirty-looking territory.

Another option is to contour with one product and bronze with another, using the bronzer in place of blush (remember we still have to highlight, and there’s only so much room on the cheek, so while you can contour, highlight, bronze, and use blush, but that can be a bit much).

A third option, especially if you want to use blush, is something I do commonly for special occasions: contour for definition, add blush and highlight, then set the highlight with highlighting powder (more on that in the next post), and lightly set the perimeter of the face with bronzer instead of powder.  Here’s a video of this process.


  • Contouring defines features and just about any product can be used
  • Bronzing is meant to make you look like you’ve been in the sun; use a bronzer for this
  • You can contour with bronzer but cannot bronze with contour (this is my “rule” and is probably disputed by far greater minds than mine!)
  • You can just contour, just bronze, or do both (or neither)
  • Replace an overall setting powder by setting with highlighting powder on the inside of the face and a bronzer around the perimeter

That’s enough for now. Take a deep breath, re-group, and I’ll meet you for Part II.  May the force be with you.