Beauty Quiz: What’s Your Nail Art Personality

Beauty Quiz: What’s Your Nail Art Personality


Here at MDC, we’ve always worn our heart on our nails. In fact, you can usually tell how we’re feeling with just a quick glance at our manicure. A bold color block mani? We’re feeling determined and ready to take risks. A pretty pink or purple? We might be swooning a bit on the inside over a certain dashing someone. A moody gunmetal gray? We’re probably feeling a bit temperamental at the moment (hey, at least we warned you).
Whether you consider your nails your very own mood ring or usually stick to one or two of your favorite shades, our nail quiz will help you find the manicure that best describes your unique personality. Because a girl can never have too many manicure options…

1. Which of these everyday outfits are you most likely to wear?
A.) A brightly-patterned vintage dress, belted cardigan and flat ankle boots
B.) A crisp blouse, black skinnies and Chanel ballet flats
C.) A color block tank, leather leggings and oversized sunglasses
D.) An off-the-shoulder tee, leggings and knit hat
E.) A fringe dress and ankle boots

2. Which of these going-out outfits are you most likely to wear?
A.) An A-line skirt, striped tank and chunky heels
B.) An LBD, stiletto pumps and sparkly jewels
C.) A two-piece crop top and skirt set paired with a sleek clutch
D.) A swingy pink drop-waist dress and smoking slippers
E.) A sheer, flowy skirt and crochet top

3.  If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, you would go to:
A.) Ibiza
B.) Milan
C.) Tokyo
D.) Paris
E.) Hawaii

4. Pick your favorite flower:
A.) Sunflower
B.) Red rose
C.) Orchid
D.) Chrysanthemum
E.) Dandelion

5. Your favorite type of movie:
A.) Comedies
B.) Dramas
C.) Indie
D.) Romance
E.) You like all type of movies

6. It’s your birthday – at 7 PM you’re most likely to be found at:
A.) The amusement park with friends
B.) A fancy candlelit dinner
C.) The mall, treating yourself to the to-die-for dress you’ve been eyeing
D.) At the modern art museum
E.) Who knows? You’ll go wherever the day takes you

7. You’re most likely to spend your paycheck on:
A.) A quirky one-of-a-kind home décor piece
B.) Diamond earrings
C.) A bold top from Prada’s spring collection
D.) A dreamy painting
E.) A handcrafted dream catcher

8. Your ideal rainy day activity
A.) A fun DIY project for your home
B.) Window-shopping at Barney’s
C.) Planning out different outfits for your fashion blog
D.) Journaling and sketching
E.) Frolicking outside with your friends

9. Your favorite makeup look:
A.) A fun coral lip and swipe of bold liner
B.) Smoky eyes and a matte red lip
C.) Radiant orchid lip stain and a graphic cat eye
D.) A sheer pink lipstick and wash of shimmery eyeshadow
E.) Bronzer and sheer lip balm

10. Among your friends, you are always the one:
A.) Cracking jokes
B.) Choosing the new brunch date setting
C.) Causing them to ooh and aah over your outfit
D.) Inspiring them with your artistic talent
E.) Playing peacemaker


Results:

Mostly A’s: Chevron Manicure
You’re fun, you’re outgoing and you never take yourself too seriously. Always the one to make people laugh, your bubbly personality is infectious and you’re never afraid of a challenge. A quirky, eye-catching chevron mani is the perfect match for your cheerful demeanor.
Mostly B’s: Caviar Encrusted Manicure
You have a taste for the luxurious – and who can blame you? With a weakness for all things sparkly (especially in jewelry form), you prefer beautiful, understated classics as opposed to anything bold or trendy. But just because you live in the lap of luxury doesn’t mean you don’t know how to let loose and get a little daring – a graphic caviar encrusted manicure reflects that perfectly.
Mostly C’s: Double Half Moon Manicure
You fall asleep dreaming of tomorrow’s outfit options, you’d gladly spend every paycheck on Gilt.com and you’re never afraid to take a fashion risk. The color-blocked Double Half Moon Manicure is the perfect reflection of your stylish self – bold, eye-catching and always ahead of the trend.
Mostly D’s: Watercolor Nails
Like this art-inspired manicure, you’re a mix of feminine and artistic. You consider yourself a dreamer and are known for creating a mood board (or two) whenever you have free time. You’d just as soon spend a day inside sketching or painting as you would lose yourself in a pile of pastel dresses at your favorite local vintage shop.
Mostly E’s: Feather Manicure
You’re a free spirit and the most easy-going one in your friend group, always settling fights and playing peacemaker. You love spending time outdoors and will go wherever the wind takes you – whether it’s on an impromptu cross-country road trip or just a solitary hike through your favorite scenic route. The feather manicure will perfectly complement your closet, which is filled with fringe, crochet and flowing fabrics.

Iconic Beauty: The Looks We Love Year After Year

Iconic Beauty: The Looks We Love Year After Year

In life, there are some things that get better with time (wine, cheese, Julianne Moore); some that are best enjoyed when fresh and shiny (the thrill of opening a gorgeous, brand new lipstick is matched by few); and others that stay timeless and elegant, no matter the time or occasion. Today, we’re highlighting three makeup looks that fall in the latter category – these are the looks have withstood the test of time and emerged as bright and beautiful as ever. Because as much as we love our ombré eyeliner and neon lips, going with the tried-and-true will never steer you wrong (read: they’ll save you from any “What was I thinking??” moments years down the line).


Look #1: Cat Eye + Red Lip
 

We’re just going to put it out there – nothing will ever be more classically glamorous than a perfectly lined cat eye and a bold red lip. The two go together like two peas in a (very beautiful) pod, and will be spotted at many stylish soirees for years to come.
Face:Makeup artist Tara Shakespeare dusted Jouer Highlighter in Camellia above model Faith’s cheekbones for a pearly glow.
Eyes:Shakespeare filled brows with a soft brown powder and angled brush. For the perfect cat eye, she used a pointed eyeliner brush and black cream eyeliner – we’re fans of Yves Saint Lauren Effet Cils Crème D’Eyeliner in Deep Black for ultimate precision and staying power. Finish off the eyes by curling your lashes and swiping on a curl-enhancing mascara like Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara to really make your cat eye pop.
Lips:For a velvety-matte, ruby red pout, Tara used Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 400.

Look #2: Soft, Romantic Neutrals

Soft, smoky shadow, long lashes and a pale pink lip – we’re swooning over this romantic, date-night ready look.
Face:
Makeup artist Jessica Scantlin
 used Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera and Jouer Highlighter in Camellia to give Allison a peachy glow.
Eyes:Using the brownish-purple shade Snakebite from Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, Scantlin softly lined Allison’s eyes and smudged the color into her crease with a fluffy brush. To add dimension, take a lighter brown shimmery shadow and blend along the top and bottom lash lines. Finish with a lengthening mascara like L’Oréal Telescopic Original Mascara.
Lips:Scantlin lined Allison’s lips with a soft nude lip liner and filled them in with Lime Crime’s lipstick in Coquette.

Look #3: Bold Brows + Flawless Skin

We’re all about a good bold brow here at MDC. Gone are the days of harsh, super-skinny, overplucked eyebrows – nowadays, it’s all about soft lines and full, face-framing arches. Paired with glowing skin, this look is one that will stay gorgeous for years to come. 
Face:For glowing, even coverage, Scantlin applied foundation to model Alicia’s face using a stippling brush anda sponge.  Taking a matte bronzer (we love Yves Saint Laurent Terre Saharienne in Terre Ocree), she contoured Alicia’s face and set everything in place with a dusting of translucent powder. (No idea how to contour? We’ve got you covered here).
Brows:For statement-making brows, Scantlin used a pencil like Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in a medium brown shade to softly fill in Alicia’s brows. For a more natural look, use a spoolie to brush out your brows and soften any harsh lines.
Lips:Since the focus of this look are brows and glowing skin, Scantlin kept things simple on the lips by using a nude lip liner and a swipe of Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Child.

The MDC Guide to Finding the Right Shade for Your Eyebrows

The MDC Guide to Finding the Right Shade for Your Eyebrows


Eyebrows are a frequent topic of discussion around the MDC offices. Fine-tuning the shape, perfecting the arch, mastering the proper eyebrow defining technique–we could talk brows for days. For today’s dissertation on our favorite feature, we’re focusing on color. When selecting brow makeup, finding the right shade is make or break. So we turned to celebrity makeup artist Elle Leary to help us assemble this guide to finding the right hue.

Dark Hair

In general, sticking with your natural brow color will be your best bet, but dark-haired beauties should avoid selecting a shade that’s too dark. “If you have black hair, go with dark brown. This will be more realistic and won’t give you that Sharpie effect,” notes Leary.

Light Hair

Blonds should pay extra attention to the undertones of the products they pick. Leary recommends blonds choose a color that has a little green in it. It may sound strange, but any blond who has ever walked away with brow pencil that was too warm leaving them with slightly reddish-looking eyebrows, should remember this tip.

Red Hair

Redheads have it the hardest. Leary likes to start with an auburn shade, and then go in with a medium ash color to give the brows some depth. “You want both the red and the ash,” stresses Leary. Ash is a variation of the color gray and its hue is neutral. In brow makeup, it actually makes the eyebrows look more lifelike.

And remember, the product formula you choose matters too. Leary says, “If you have a pretty full brow and just need to fill in and define, use either a shadow or brow powder.” If you have sparse brows, Leary suggests starting with a wax or pencil and then adding just a little powder as a finishing touch.

How-To: The Chic Chignon in 4 Steps

How-To: The Chic Chignon in 4 Steps

The chignon – tough to pronounce, difficult to master and sounding vaguely like a fancy brand of French cheese. We hear the word tossed around way too often in the beauty world, but what exactly does it mean? A quick Google search brings up all sorts of hairstyles, from sleek buns to stiff rolls to intricate twists. So what is it that sets a chignon apart from, say, a bun?
Time for some History of Hair 101: chignon is actually a shortened version of the French phrase chignon du cou, which means “nape of the neck.” And therein lies your answer – though there are many variations, a chignon is traditionally worn low and near your neck, while a bun can be braided, twisted and placed anywhere on your head. It is also considered a hairstyle reserved for more formal occasions, though we see nothing wrong with adding some texture and rocking it to the office.
Whether or not you have a black-tie event planned for your future, we dare you to try our simple, chic chignon – all the better for you to channel that elegant French je ne sais quoi, of course.


1. Gather your hair as you would if you were making a half-pony, with 2/3 of your hair in the ponytail.  Clip this top section away.
2. Twist the remaining bottom section of hair (section 3)  into a bun and secure in place with bobby pins.  For a fuller appearance, tease this section and give a spritz of texturizing spray (we love L’Oréal Professionel Densité Thickening Primer) before creating the bun shape.
3. Unclip the top section of your hair and divide it in half, split diagonally down the middle from left to right.
4. Taking the right section (section 2), wrap it over and around the bun in a counterclockwise direction and pin it in place.  Repeat this step with the section 1, crossing it over the bun in a clockwise direction and pinning it in place.

Finish with a strong-hold hairspray like Ganier Full Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray to set everything in place. If you have any tendrils left in the front, use a 1-inch barrel curling iron to create pretty, face-framing curls.
And there you have it – a simple, chic and elegant chignon you can wear on the daily or save for special occasions. 

How-To: Jeweled Half-Up Twist

How-To: Jeweled Half-Up Twist

Elaborate updos, bouffant braids, va-va-voom volume…we’re all about taking risks when it comes to our hair. But let’s face the facts – we’re way more prone to admire those intricate hairstyles on our Pinterest boards than execute them on the daily. As much as we try to spend quality time with our locks, it usually ends up getting pushed to the bottom of our list of priorities (trying different cronuts colored eyeliners takes up a lot of time, you know). That’s why we’re so in love with this simple half-updo – it’s the perfect way to give your everyday hairstyle a touch of elegance without requiring too much time in front of the mirror. Plus, we’re suckers for anything sparkly so it’s a win-win in our book. Here’s how to get this look…


Instructions: 

1.) Curl: Before curling, spray your hair with a heat protectant spray like Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist – Heat Protectant Spray.  Wrap your hair around a curling iron, curling away from your face in ½ inch sections.  After you’ve finished curling, give your locks a spritz of hairspray to hold everything in place (makeup artist Tara Shakespeare used Paul Mitchell Freeze & Shine Super Spray).
** For extra volume, give your strands a little tease before step 2.
2.) Twist: Take two strands of hair on either side of your face and twist back.
3.) Secure: Secure the strands in place with your favorite jeweled hair clip.
4.) Voila! You’re done – simple, chic and elegant. Don’t be surprised if you get a few double-takes today…

Matchy Matchy: 3 Cosmetic Combos that are Totally OK to Wear Together

Matchy Matchy: 3 Cosmetic Combos that are Totally OK to Wear Together

Sometimes “matchy matchy” can be a bad thing (pretty sure we all have photos from our youths to prove it). And sure, the whole bag-matching-the-shoes situation is more faux pas than fabulous; but beauty-wise, “matchy matchy” can be pretty fantastic. Case in point: these color cosmetic combos that we can’t get enough of.



Orange: eye shadow and lipstick.

Orange can be an intimidating color to commit to. But if you’re going to go for it, then you’ve really got to go for it. Choose highly pigmented products to ensure your oranges look vibrant, rather than washed out. All orange everything, however, would be a bit much, so LA-based makeup artist Jessica Scantlinfirst gave the eyes a light glimmering base using the pale shimmer shadows from the Urban Decay Naked2palette. Then she added two shades of orange to give the eyes dimensions. Try Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Freelove with a pop of Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in Tangerine. On the lips, she applied Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in 40 followed by a touch of L’Oréal Colour Riche Le Gloss in Naturally Nude.

Red: lipstick and blush.

You already know bright blush is a statement worth making. But did you know matching your bold blush to your even bolder lips can be a (matchy) match made in heaven? Scantlin proved it when she dusted red blush onto the apples of our model’s cheeks and paired it with a classic red lip. Try NARS Blush in Exhibit A or Yves Saint Laurent Blush Radiance in No. 5 with a true red lipstick, like the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb used here. The key is to keep color off of the rest of the face. A little shimmering eye shadow and black eyeliner complete the look without competing with the reds.

Plum: nail polish and lipstick.

If you’re not ready to try color coordinating face makeup, we suggest taking this subtle and oh-so chic approach: match your manicure to your lip color. Choosing a dark color like plum keeps this look grown-up and refined. We’d also love the combo in burgundy, oxblood or aubergine. Scantlin used Lancôme Rouge in Love Lipcolor in Fiery Attitude on the lips, which was a perfect match for essie Bahama Mama. Flawless skin and a smudgy, slightly smoky eye balance out the bold lip.

Flawless Face Makeup Application Tricks for Every Age

Flawless Face Makeup Application Tricks for Every Age

As we age there are a few hard truths we need to accept. Our favorite black mini doesn’t look as good as it did in our 20s. We can’t stay up until 3 am and then rise the next morning resilient and ready to tackle the day without caffeine. And we absolutely can not keep up with the slang of younger generations. What we can still do is keep our makeup looking flawless even when the rest of our life changes through the decades. Young or old, these tried and true makeup application tricks will help you maintain a perfect face at every age. You can call these tips the Fountain of (Flawless Face) Youth


Moisturize first.

Nothing maintains a youthful glow quite like nourished skin. Before applying any makeup enlist your favorite moisturizer, eye cream and lip balm. This, along with primer, will set the base for your makeup and help foundations and other creamy products look natural on your skin.
Product picks: Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30, Estèe Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator,Maybelline Baby Lips.

Stick with liquid concealers.

The older we get the more fine lines develop. Those nooks are the perfect hiding place for caked up makeup. When preparing your eyes for the addition of color, try using a click pen liquid eye concealer. Avoiding a wax based concealer will halt products from creeping and leave you with silky smooth coverage.
Product picks: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, Lancôme Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer, Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Concealer Pen.

Skimp on face powder.

After applying foundation you should always lock in the product with a powder. Makeup artist Megan Lanoux shares, “This will make it easier to apply other powder products such as blush and/or bronzer. Powder blends with powder more easily…sometimes if you apply blush directly over a liquid foundation, too much of the pigment will show up.” If you’re in your 20s or early 30s she suggests keeping pressed powder on the cheeks to a minimum. This will keep them looking dewy and natural all through the day.

Think up.

If gravity begins pulling our skin (and rest of our body for that matter) down, the last thing we want is to aid its task of taking over our beauty routine. Gain control of your face and overall look when you think upward. Lanoux recommends starting with your cheeks, then moving to your eyes. “Blush should start at the apples of the cheeks and lift at an upward angle towards the hair line. Eyeshadow should never droop downwards.” After applying eyeshadow, run your finger from the outer corner of your eye up to your brow to clean excess product that has dropped below the eye.

Curl your lashes.

Mascara is a makeup must for many of us. Light lashes. sleepy eyes. Mascara combats it all. But the true savior behind our glamorous, bright eyes is our eyelash curler. Curled lashes open up the eyes leaving you with beautiful baby blues (or greens or browns). An eyelash curler also becomes more necessary as we age. Your lashes begin to straighten over the years, leaving eyes closed off and lackluster. Make a quick curl part of your routine early on and you won’t be sorry when you reach 50.

Beauty Fact or Fiction: 4 Common Hair Myths, Debunked!

Beauty Fact or Fiction: 4 Common Hair Myths, Debunked!

Bad news: the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist. Not surprised? Hm…let’s try again…oh, here’s one: you shouldwash your hair before you color. Got your attention now, have we? Today, we’re talking myths – more specifically, hair myths. We don’t know why exactly there are so many widely-accepted hair myths out there, but we do know that we’re here to put an end to them. Below are four of the most common hair myths, debunked. Your hair deserves the truth and so do you…

Myth #1: Frequent trimming will help you hair grow faster

While trimming your hair might make it look healthier, it won’t help it grow faster. Your hair grows from the roots, so what you do the ends makes no difference on the rate it grows. However, you should still continue to get trims every few weeks; split ends can lead to breakage, making it harder for you to maintain the length of your hair. To keep breakage to a minimum, we recommend using gentle hair elastics and a heat protectant spray like Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist – Heat Protectant Spray before heat styling.

Myth #2: You shouldn’t wash your hair before a coloring appointment

You may have heard that you should avoid washing your hair before a dye appointment because color adheres better to dirty hair. This is not true – in fact, Matrix celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolasstates, “It’s a myth that hair color takes better to dirty hair; it actually makes it easier for your colorist to see your natural color and find your most flattering hue when it is clean.” Product buildup and oil can make your hair color appear darker than it actually is, so it’s best to give your locks a rinse if you want to help your hair colorist make the best decision.

Myth #3: You should switch up your shampoo and conditioner because your hair will “get used” to them

This is a skin myth that many people also mistakenly apply to their hair. After you use your favorite shampoo and conditioner for awhile, you may feel like they aren’t giving you the same soft, silky locks as before. In fact, you might notice that your hair is starting to look a bit…dull. Before you chuck your products and search for a new shampoo to pledge your loyalty towards, know this: your products aren’t any less effective than they were the first time you bought them. Your hair, on the other hand, is probably the victim of the b-word: build-up. Some shampoos and conditioners leave behind residue after each wash, leaving your hair looking dull and lifeless over time. To counter this, simply use a clarifying shampoo once every week or so – we like Pureology Purify Shampoo to get our hair back in the shine game.

Myth #4: You should always lather, rinse and repeat

Beware the danger of over-sudsing – no matter how much you love the squeaky clean feeling after a good shampoo sesh, it’s a slippery slope to go down. Over shampooing your hair strips it of the lipids that make it shiny and healthy. Instead of repeating your lather or shampooing every day, use a dry shampoo likeGarnier Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo or Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk to extend the life of your locks instead.

Ask the Experts: How to Remedy Dry, Ravaged by Winter Hair

Ask the Experts: How to Remedy Dry, Ravaged by Winter Hair



Dry, brittle, dull…the winter season has not been kind to our hair. In fact, we find ourselves reaching for our hats more often than not nowadays, just to ignore the fact our locks seem to have entered full hibernation mode. We dream of the days when our hair was cooperative, shiny and full of life. Le sigh.
Before we let ourselves get any further in this downward spiral, we’re going to put our feet down and take a stand. That’s right – we think it’s officially time to put a stop to dull, ravaged by winter hair, once and for all. We stand here on our podium type to you from our headquarters and shake a fist at Old Man Frost – his hold over our hair is over! With celebrity hairstylist Ruth Roche on our side, we’re here to help you banish brittleness and once again restore shine, luster and softness to the kingdom that is your hair.  Here’s how…

At Home:


1. Clarify
Clarifying is the first step in restoring shine and body to your locks. Over time, all those creams, leave-in conditioners and serums can build up in your hair, leaving it looking dull and dirty. To remedy this, Roche suggests using a purifying shampoo like Pureology Purify Shampoo to remove build-up and restore your hair to its natural, bouncy self.
2. Strengthen
We have two words for you: hair mask. The same way you treat your skin, you should pamper your hair with a hair mask once every week to soften your hair follicle and give it a dose of moisture. Roche notes that a good hair mask will not only make your hair feel healthier, but it will add suppleness and elasticity to your strands. We love Kérastase Masque Nutri-Thermique because locks nourishment deep into the core fiber of your hair.

At the Salon:


1. Trim
Sometimes, you just have to take to the shears. Your ends tend to be much drier and damaged than the hair closer to your scalp, says Roche, so snipping them away might be just what you need for a fresh start. Have separation anxiety with your hair? We’ve got your covered – just make sure you ask your stylist these five questions before he starts cutting. 
2. Brighten
When all else fails, a salon gloss will always pull through. “A brightening color gloss will add shine and luster to your hair,” says Roche. This is a great option for those of you who regularly color or highlight – a tinted gloss usually lasts four to six weeks and can give your color a boost between dye sessions. MDC tip: They’re also a great way to get rid of brassiness in blondes.

Manicure Monday: The Reverse Half Moon Manicure

Manicure Monday: The Reverse Half Moon Manicure

As manicure trends take a turn for the simple and sleek in 2014, we’ve reluctantly packed away ourfeathers and glitter. But our fondness for nail art has kept us from completely swearing off the stuff. Instead, we’re merely adopting the minimalist approach. Take today’s tutorial, for example—no scissors, no tape, no tweezers or stickers—just two pretty polishes. Without further ado, we give you the understated reverse half moon manicure (no supplies necessary).


Supplies
  • 2 nail polish colors
  • Top coat
Directions
  1. Apply a base coat to protect the nail then apply two coats of polish. This will be the color that will peek out at the base of the nail. We chose Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Violine Surrealiste.
  2. For the top color, apply the polish as you normally would except instead of extending your brush strokes down the entire length of the nail, start the brush about two-thirds of the way down leaving a small portion of the base color exposed. We used Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer in Bleu d’Armani.
  3. Allow the polish to dry for a few minutes then finish off your reverse half moon mani with a swipe of top coat.