Finally Indigo

Makeup and skincare reviews and tutorials, fashion photography, and random rants and raves!


Finally Indigo has moved to a new server.  Most of the posts remain intact, although have housekeeping has been done to remove extraneous or no longer relevant posts from the blog.  Check it out by clicking the link below, and go there for all future posts and updates.  Thank you!

Finally Indigo

Well, the New Site is Up

As the title says, the new site is up.  It’s still in “beta”, meaning I have a bit more organization and posting to do before it’s all finished (a lot of that is going to be adding pictures to posts…)

If you’d like to check it out, click here

Stage One - Finished

The first stage of my blog migration is finished. All I have left to do is move over all of the user questions (there are a lot…) and I’ll be done.  The new blog should be up by Friday.  Thanks for holding on!

Moving to a New Server

So, I’ve decided to leave tumblr and move to a Wordpress server.  Tumblr simply has too many issues and not enough customizing ability for what I want to be doing.  Unfortunately, I’m only able to import posts that I created, not posts that are responses to your questions.  So, to solve this, over the next few days I’ll be resposting all guest questions on my new server, which will also give new readers a chance to catch up on what’s been going on here.  When I’m finished, I’ll post a link, and hopefully all of you can gracefully make the transition to my new site.  I promise you, it’ll be worth it.  I’ll be refraining from posting on here for the next few days to give me some time to work this all out.  As well, I’ll be carrying over current questions on here to my new blog, so don’t fear if you’ve sent me a question and it hasn’t been answered yet.  It will be.

And yet, this is a really good thing.  Now that midterms are over, I have a lot more free time, which means that I’m looking at being a lot more professional in my blogging.  I’m hoping to start doing anywhere from 3-5 posts daily, and as I’ve already mentioned, I got a new camera to support this cause.  My goal is to also do at least one video a week for now, and hopefully ramp up that number once I really get going.

I thank you all so much for your continued support of my blog, and hope that this change doesn’t create a problem for any of you.  If you have any questions or comments about this, please feel free to leave them below, and I will answer them as quickly as I can.

Anonymous said: I was wondering what you think of blue mascaras. I know they're supposed to brighten up your eyes. I LOVE wearing blue liners & shadows because of this effect, but I'm wary of blue mascara as I'm afraid I'll wind up looking clownish. What's your opinion of them?

I love ‘em.  I can’t say that I use them often (as most of my work is for photoshoots using HD cameras…), but I do think they’re fantastic.  Most of the ones you’ll find aren’t like bam-blue!  They’re more of a subtle, navy to cobalt shade that will really only appear blue when they catch the light.  But just like blue eyeliner making eyes look brighter and blue tinted lip gloss making teeth look whiter, blue mascara will definitely make your peepers look fresh and awake.  

Also, blue is a great choice if you don’t want to go so dramatic with black, but want something with a bit more oomph than a natural.  Just make sure to eliminate all clumping with this stuff, as that is when it can start to look a bit clownish.

If you’re afraid of transitioning to blue, try this tip: apply your regular black or nude mascara, and then dab the wand of a blue mascara just on the tips of your upper eyelashes.  You’ll get a cool, yet rather subtle transitional effect, and can see how blue mascara might work with your eyes without committing to it fully.  

Anonymous said: I've been having an issue with my eye makeup fading throughout the day. I've tried Urban Decay's Primer Potion which doesn't work at all for me and lately I've been trying Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow base, which has been working better than the Urban Decay one, but still not great. My shadows are essentially gone by my second period at school. I have extremely dry skin though, so the idea of having oily eyelids seems strange to me, but I don't know. Any tips?

First off, try the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which I think is the best mainstream eye primer available. Second, try layering your products.  Start with a primer, then a cream product, then a powder.  Pat the powder product over the cream to set it, rather than swiping it over it which may disturb it.  You can use a cream product in the same shade as the powder shadow, a neutral, more concealer-like shade, or a basic white (which, depending on the opacity of the product used, may either make the shade bolder or a bit more subdued.  Layering in almost any area of makeup is key to lasting power (think about foundation: first moisturiser, then primer, then concealer, then foundation, then powder.)

If this doesn’t appeal to you, try applying your powder eyeshadow wet with a mixing medium.  I adore Ben Nye LiquiSet.  This stuff makes powder eyeshadows virtually smudge-proof and water resistant, amps up the vibrancy, and is cheap cheap cheap.  The only problem is is that it sets fast.  Like, within seconds.  And once it sets, it absolutely cannot be blended.  So, if you plan on doing a lot of careful blending, or are a slow makeup applier, I’d pass over this.

Otherwise, you can use a more general makeup sealer, like Ben Nye Final Seal.  The only possible problem with this product is that it makes stuff matte, and really matte.  If that’s not an issue, this is your product, as it doesn’t set as quickly and is much more blendable, and you’ll still get the smudge-, water-, and fade-proofness of the LiquiSet.  This minty blue liquid can also be used a general makeup setter (I use this in photoshoots that have really hot lights or in cases when models or actors will be sweating a lot, and it an absolute godsend.)  

In either case, you have two options for application.  Either wet your brush before or after you get some pigment onto it (I prefer before, but doing so often leaves a slight film on the eyeshadow left in the pan, which can just be wiped off with a tissue later; this method also has the benefit of making shades more vibrant and making shimmery or metallic shades appear foiled).  Otherwise, you can spritz either product on a small duo-fibre brush and stipple over the shadow after dry application (this method is better if you still want to be able to blend and work meticulously, but won’t provide the same setting effect as using it as a mixing medium.)

pandagrl90-deactivated20110308 said: Can you do a full review of Tarte cheekstains? They seem quite expensive but I've also heard very good reviews.

I’ll be doing a review on the one I have (Blissful) for Karen next week.  I’ll throw the link up here when she posts it.

Midterms are finally over…

Hey guys!  Sorry for my short disappearance.  This past week was the week from hell: four midterms and none of them on the day they were scheduled for.  I was up until 3am for three nights in a row studying for various subjects that kept changing dates, and it was just awful.  I’ll be back to answering all of your questions and throwing up some posts tonight.  Thanks for hanging in!

Anonymous said: Hi Sam!
I stumbled across your blog a couple of days ago and I've practically read through it. I found that your writing style is clear, concise and addictive. Love that you have what I think is a great approach to make up.
I have what seems like a million question but I hope you’re willing to answer a few. Now, let me start by saying that I have just about the worst canvas in the world for makeup. By that I mean my skin is oily on the outside but dry on the inside, if that makes sense. I’ve found a great skin care line, but I’m still trying to figure out how to get makeup work for me, as most things seems to have difficulty staying on my face.
Now the questions:
1. Could you do a foundation tutorial with a brush using Revlon? I’m really interested in learning how to apply it without looking cakey or stiff. I can afford MUFE but not for everyday use.
2. Where is the line to stop applying foundation/powder? Between jaw and neck or right down to the neck?
3. What is the best brush for foundation? I read that you use Stigma, but we don’t have that over here (I live in Indonesia) but we do have MAC, Shu Uemura and most other mass big brands.
4. Is it advisable to use old make up brushes?
5. I have very high maintenance facial skin and only KOSE skin care works for me. My daily routine includes toner, day serum and then at night toner, night serum. When do I apply primer, after skin care or in between?
6. Is it advisable to dilute foundation? If yes, with what? Doesn’t that disturb the staying power?
7. I would love to use mascara, but I’ve never found one that can stay on me for any amount of time. This is not because of my short Asian lashes as I’m the only one in my (big Asian) family who can’t wear mascara! Do you have any advice for this? Is this because I have very oily eyebags and lids?
I hope that’s not too much! Any advice would be a big help. I’m tired of looking like a blotchy nightmare in pictures!
Xxx, Nita.

So glad you like the blog!

  1. Think I’m gonna try out my new tripod set-up and do one this.  Check my YouTube channel after the weekend!
  2. I always bring foundation down under the chin and partway onto the neck.  This ensures the best blending of color between the lighter skin on your neck and the darker skin on your face, and greatly minimizes the stark contrast that may occur between the two.
  3. If you don’t have Sigma, I’d check out either the Sephora Professionnel Platinum #55 Airbrush for light to medium coverage, or Philosophy The Supernatural Airbrush Brush for sheer to full coverage.  This second one is basically a fantastic, smaller version of my favorite Sigma foundation brush (actually, I like it a bit better…), but the brush head is about half the size, meaning that it may take a bit longer, especially if going for full coverage…
  4. As long as makeup brushes are well cared for, they can last you a good five to ten years (as a consumer; pros replace theirs much more often.)  Just like your own hair, however, if brushes have not been well cared for, they have have split or broken fibers and be harboring bacteria, the first of which can lead to uneven application and skin micro-abrasions, and the second of which can lead to contamination and infections.
  5. Apply primer after all skincare but before any makeup to lock in moisture and use it to its full efficacy.
  6. I wouldn’t say it’s advisable to dilute foundation, however, it is quite possible and many people do it.  My first choice, though probably not the most feasible for the average consumer, is to use an actual foundation thinner (like this one from RCMA), although these often work better with cream foundations and can become quite oily if you use too much (often, a single drop is sufficient).  Otherwise, you may simply mix your foundation with a basic moisturiser to reach your desired level of coverage (I never personally advise doing this, but it is the hardest to mess up method of turning a high coverage foundation into a sheerer version, and is probably your best bet if you’re not totally confident in your blending/application skills).  Just make sure that if you go this route, the foundation and the moisturiser both have the same base (ie. either both oil-based or both water-based), as if you mix the two, they will assuredly separate within a few hours, leading to blotchy, curdled foundation.
  7. I’ve never been big on lash primers, and don’t think they really work all that well, so the only other option I can suggest is to only use waterproof mascaras.  To double-up, try priming your lids and setting with powder to help stave off the oil for at least a while longer, which will definitely help the wear-time of any mascara.

Anonymous said: Hey Sam,
I recently bought the Classic Clarisonic and I love it! But I was just wondering what the difference was between the Clarisonic with 3 speeds and the Pro.

Also, do you have any skincare/ makeup tips for going on an airplane? My face always seems dry no matter how much mosturizer I have on.

The Clarisonic Pro is the one with 3 Speeds.  The Classic only has 2. 

For airplane travel, definitely start out by upping your water intake two to three days before you start traveling. On the plane, skip the soda and make sure to drink at least a glass (or one of those dinky plastic cups they give you that always spills…) of water every hour, at least.

The morning of your departure, take a warm shower, and pat yourself dry rather than rubbing.  This will help your skin remain moist for a bit longer.  If you have time, apply a hydrating mask for five minutes. If not (or afterwards), apply a heavy, rich moisturiser (or preferably, a balm) while your skin is still damp and porous, and let it absorb for a good ten minutes, then blot your face with a tissue.  Apply a silicone primer to lock in the moisture, and if your skin can handle it, apply a sheer cream foundation, which will be much less likely to dry out your skin than other formulations.  Blend a cream blush onto your cheeks, and set lightly with a tiny bit of translucent powder.  

If you can get it past airport security (not sure what the current regulations are…) bring a rich, multitasking balm on the plane with you.  My favorite is CO Bigelow’s Rose Salve.  It works wonders on lips, but can also be applied sheerly on cheeks, cuticles, elbows, or other areas that tend to get dry.  Applied on the top of the cheekbones, it can actually act as a fantastic, glossy highlighter, and reverses moisture loss like no other.

If you want, bring a refreshing facial mist in your bag.  I like the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist, but if you don’t want to spend the money, a cheap, fantastic alternative is to brew up some strong green tea (organic if you can; none of that prebrewed Lipton stuff that has more sugar and chemicals in it than tea) and place it in a spritzer bottle. Add a few drops of vegetable glycerin, shake well, and chill overnight.  Whenever your skin starts to feel tight, hold the bottle six inches away from your face and spritz away.  Just don’t overdo it, or you could end up melting your makeup right off.