Please note: All images on this blog (except where noted) are original works of Miki Baxter and cannot be duplicated without permission. Also, if you're inspired by a project featured on here, then please link back to me and give proper credit. Thank you!!!


Winged Eyeliner aka Cat Eyes...How To

After the "Put Your Face On" Party over at The Stories of A to Z, I was asked to do a tutorial on how to do a Winged Eyeliner aka Cat Eye.  I'll be using black pencil eyeliner for the eye with the shimmery tan eyeshadow and black liquid eyeliner for the eye with the blue eyeshadow.    
Tip:  I apply eyeliner to my top lids with my eyes open.  This is especially important when you extend the eyeliner to the outer edge - when you close your eyes, the lid is a straight line but the actual shape is rounded.  Keeping the eyes closed will distort rather than follow the natural shape of the eyelid.  Make sense?  Also, don't draw a hard, line in one swoop.  Starting with the inner part of the lid, I use gentle strokes to slowly draw the line.  Following the line but with a less intense stroke, curl up the line past the outer corner of your lid.  You can always add more, but start off conservatively until you achieve the amount of wing you want.
Next, line the bottom of the eye.  You can line the outer edge or line your entire eye, depending on the level of drama you want to achieve.  The challenge with pencil eyeliners is that there always seems to be a gap between the eyeliner and base of the eyelashes.  To fill it in,  I go over the eyeliner with a black eyeshadow.
With liquid eyeliner, I start with the inner corner of the eye and slowly extend the line around my lid, keeping my eyes open.  Again, closing your eyes to apply eyeliner to the top lid will distort the line versus following the natural, rounded shape of the eye.
After the initial line, I go back over it to make it thicker and to feather out the edges into the shape and amount of wings I want.  A light touch while extending the eyeliner and making wings is very important.  Lastly, I lightly line my bottom lid.  Tip:  It used to be a popular thing to line the inside of the lid, but this makes the eyes look smaller and can irritate your eyes.
The Winged Eyeliner or Cat Eyes look has a dramatic/retro feel to it, which is a lot of fun to play around with.  For these photos, I teased my hair into a beehive and put on orange lipstick.  For a more subtle look, you can use brown eyeliner with a smaller wing at the end.  Remember:  Follow the natural shape of your eye and start off lightly, adding to it until you achieve the look you want.  
I think I like the beehive look!!!  My husband did a double take when I came downstairs to work on this post - he saw my hair way before the rest of me.  I did a funky fix to these bottom photos to add to the retro feel.

I hope this tutorial is helpful and inspires you to try something funky with your make-up!  I welcome any questions or requests for other tutorials! 


Coming Soon: Winged Eyeliner Tutorial


I had a request for a photo tutorial on how to do the "Winged Eyeliner" look and will post it in the next few days!  Please let me know if there are any other photo tutorials you'd like.  There are many ways to achieve various looks, and I'm happy to share mine! 

Dreaming in the Midst of Winter

Do you dream in color or in black & white?
Let me simplify...
What is your dream?
Stuck in the barren landscape of winter with mounds of stubborn snow, it's hard to imagine warmer days and the soft, fresh breeze of Spring. Likewise, the current circumstances of my life leave me feeling a little trapped, hope for relief too far a distance away.
But it's just a mirage. Because in a matter of weeks, signs of life will be evident all over, the delicious breeze a welcoming embrace. To a new season.
And so are the seasons of life. Underneath the surface of today are the slowly unfolding seeds of hope for tomorrow. The hard work of today and faithful prayers reaping rewards and answers right around the bend. It's coming, I know it.
In the meantime, dreams...
My husband and I once saw an old, run-down theater near our home that inspired us to consider creating a small, community playhouse for amateur performances. Theatrical productions of all varieties. Original works and garage bands. Dancers and poetry readings. Musicals. I would like to make this happen one day.
Transforming an ugly duckling old home into Cinderella at the ball is a long-standing desire of mine too. We almost purchased a fixer-upper Victorian house a few years ago with a gorgeous, winding staircase and wrap-around porch. The slum lord had turned it into three apartments, slapping up dividers haphazardly as well as stringing electricity on the outside of the walls. A family of hoarders lived on the ground level, a prostitute on the second, and a couple that didn't mind living among dog droppings and giant roaches on the third. With a newborn baby, it was a crazy thing to consider. Ugh, the clean-up alone would have driven us over the edge. But still the house was amazing.
More dreams...
A gallery showing of my photographs and art, one day.
Amateur ballroom dancing competitions with my husband, one day. I am so blessed - he is an amazing dancer !
A Bed & Breakfast with crisp white sheets. A long, rustic dining room table. A garden of hydrangeas with a gurgling river close by.
An apartment in Paris, with daily walks to gain inspiration for art and books.
Actually, I'd love to walk in many cities all over the world. It's in walking around, taking in the sights and smells, that I've learned the most about the people and places I have visited. Childhood memories of Tokyo. Navigating the marketplace labyrinth in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). Coming across the exuberant dancing of a gypsy wedding celebration in a village in Bulgaria. Amsterdam, a city made just for walking and discovery. And stepping into the uncomfortable shoes of a season of unemployment, but growing in the understanding of challenges many people face here in the States.
    The dark winter days are short and cold. Sometimes you have to huddle for warmth. Light a fire, cuddle under a blanket with a soothing cup of tea. The lingering, sun-kissed days of summer will shine again soon. In the meantime, dream.


    "Get Your Face On" Party & Make Up Tips

    I've had so much fun preparing this post for Beth's Get Your Face On Party!  I'll share make-up tips along the way and some excellent resources at the end.  Please say hello to...

    my naked face.   
    My make-up routine is to first wash. tone. moisturize.

    1.  Concealer for blemishes, blended in gently  
    2.  Liquid foundation, also blended in gently (I use a triangle shaped sponge.)  
    3.  Face powder to set the make-up (I use loose powder at home and pressed powder for touch-ups.)
    A light, neutral color all over the lids.  Why the powder blotches under my eyes???  A tip I picked up from a make-up artist: the powder "catches" any eyeshadow that falls from the brush and prevents color smudges.  After you finish your eye make-up, brush the excess powder away.

    I used a dark brown pencil eyeliner around my eyes, smudged it with a small sponge applicator, then used brown eyeshadow over it to soften the look.

    Curling my eyelashes makes a huge difference.  Mine are long but very straight.  They wouldn't be as visible even with mascara on if I didn't curl them.

    I finish my eyes with black liquid eyeliner across the top lid.  
    Next is blush, then I line my lips with a lip pencil.  It defines my mouth and keeps the lipstick contained within the borders.
     For long lasting lip color, I also fill in my lips with the pencil before applying lipstick. 
    Lipstick as the finishing touch!  Voila!
    The final look:
    Depending on my mood, I like to vary my look.  Back to the naked face.
    This time, I am going for a smoky eye using a plum eyeliner and eyeshadow, with a dark grayish-black color in the crease plus my signature black liquid eyeliner across the top lid.
    Since there's so much drama with the eyes, it's good to keep the lipstick more neutral.  
    This final look is the opposite, with toned down eyes and a bold lip color.
    A few tips and tricks:
    1.  Always blend in your make-up gently - don't rub your face or eyes.  A make-up sponge works really well to apply foundation and blend it in so that you don't get it all over your hands.  And an eyeshadow brush (not the applicators that come with eyeshadows) is a really helpful tool for blending.

    2.  Don't draw harsh lines (on eyes or lips).  With a light touch, slowly line them with short strokes adding more as needed.

    3.  For good mascara coverage, I like to hold the wand in front of my eyelashes and slowly blink several times.  Instead of moving the wand, my eyelashes are doing the work.  They end up looking fuller and it also helps curl them.

    4.  As far as make-up rules, there are no make-up rules!!!  The most important thing is learning how to apply the various elements well, and that takes practice.  My two favorite make-up gurus are on opposite sides of the spectrum in their philosophy.  Kevyn Aucoin has several over-sized books that can be found at the library detailing transformations and a more dramatic style of make-up.  He passed away a few years ago, but he was undeniably a major influence in fashion and the art of make-up.  Bobbi Brown has numerous books out also that teach make-up application.  Her style is more natural and classic.    

    5.  Another author I recommend is Lucy Beale, who wrote "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Better Skin."  The book has great information regarding skincare and the numerous products out there.  It also breaks down the various make-up brands/companies.

    More tips, techniques, etc. again soon - this has been a blast and a trip down nostalgia lane!  It's been years since I did any modeling or acting, but I have a lot more to share!!!  And how to pose and be more natural in front of the camera - I think I've come across a minefield of inspiration!

    Thanks, Beth, for hosting another fabulous party!


    Valentine's Roses in My Ballard's Inspired Vase

    I previously shared this Ballard Designs inspiration...
    ...and my version with an Ikea container.
    It was just the thing to hold the beautiful Valentine's roses my son gave to me yesterday.
    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!


    Robin's Egg Blue Birds & Apothecary Jars

    I had originally painted these Dollar Store tea light birdies a cream color but wasn't thrilled with the outcome - too rugged versus shabby chic.
    Totally inspired by Grace at Ruby Moon Designs and her charming Nutmeg Eggs, I ran out to Michaels and squealed when I saw the very same paint she used! Robin's Egg Blue. (Read about her obsession here...but watch out, I think it's contagious!) On top of the blue (a flat paint), I dabbled on some iridescent white gloss paint for a contrast of color and texture.
    My current obsession? Apothecary jars. Yesterday, I found this beauty at Micheals for 40% off and placed my beloved pears inside...happy sigh.
    And this one was behind the counter at the thrift store, a spot I rarely check. But they kept announcing that everything was 50% off in that section, so I took a quick look. And there she was! Inside is a pale green and silver garland left over from Christmas.
    This petite jar I glued to a candle holder, both found at the same thrift store as above. It holds two of my special teaspoons, the rest got packed away along with my favorite napkin rings that I wanted to add. Oh well...
    Inspiration from the Ballard Designs catalog...
    An Ikea storage jar covered with a netted bag and several clusters of grapes inside. With these newly acquired treasures, I wanted to experiment with different fillers, though the fun is in changing them out seasonally or for holidays.
    You know what's next, don't you? They have caught my attention and my curiosity is piqued...cloches. Though behind in my discovery of these decorative accessories, I'm not one to jump on a trend unless it makes sense for my life. And if I am genuinely enthused about it. I heart apothecary jars! I'm linking to...

    DIY Day @ ASPTL