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Academy Awards Season

And the Oscar goes to…

Oscar Statuette

How about those Oscars last night? Normally I don’t watch awards shows and I didn’t watch the entire program (it’s just way too long) but I love Ellen DeGeneres and she didn’t disappoint.

Awardees’, Jared Leto ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ and Lupita Nyong’o ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ speeches in my humble opinion, nailed it for being authentic. They both acknowledged their wins by speaking to the hardship, pain and the disparity of others. What really touched me most about these two people was they are the products of their dreams.

When Jared talked about his 17-year-old single mom who was pregnant with her second child and how she fought to make a better life for herself and her children. And Lupita’s “No matter where you’re from your dreams are valid,” gave me chills.

As children I think we all have dreams of someday accomplishing great things. I remember when my oldest son, Tristan, graduated kindergarten (yes, it was an actual graduation ceremony). All the kiddos wore these adorable red caps and gowns as they filed in to the music of Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance.

Once the children got to their assigned spots on the stage the moderator asked each of them to tell the audience what they wanted to be when they grew up. As long as I live I will never forget what Tristan said. My heart swelled with pride as my little boy, standing there so proud in his cap and gown said, “when I grow up I want to be a fireman and live next door to Arby’s because I really like their food.” The audience chuckled, as did I, but what they didn’t know was Tristan did indeed like Arby’s but for him back then, this was a rare treat.

I’m so thankful today that little boy whose dream in some people’s eyes may have seemed small has not only achieved but he has overcome. Tristan joined the army, was in South Korea for 1 & ½ years before returning stateside and being based in Texas for another 2 years. This child, who as he got older didn’t think he would ever fly, ended up traveling abroad and through the U.S. He came back home, got his Associates Degree and is now working on his Bachelor’s in Computer Sciences. He amazes me but I’m not surprised because I always knew my children would inherit the gene to conquer.

Conquering doesn’t come easy and it can take considerable time however it’s been my experience that through prayer, persistence and people we can get through anything. It’s humbling when I think of all the people who have left lasting impressions on me because they were placed in my life at a time when there was a need.

This is one of the reasons why I place extreme value on giving back. If in some small way my blog can help you with fashion, makeup and style then it’s my pleasure to serve you. With that on today’s menu, I present you with the cat and smoky-eyed look:

Makeup pouch, 2 eye shadow brushes, 3 eye shadows from
beth bender beauty

Last Monday I told you about two stencils I found at BethBenderBeauty from which you can achieve a cat or smoky-eyed look. It wasn’t until yesterday when I was talking with my friend Sherri that I realized I didn’t explain exactly what these two looks are. In its simplest form cat and smoky eyes are achieved by using eyeliner and/or eye shadow to create a sultry look.

Cat eye and smoky eye stencils and instruction pamphlet
beth bender beauty

In the BethBenderBeauty video tutorial the makeup artist uses eye shadow for both looks. Following are the steps you would follow when using the stencils:

Smoky Eye

  1. Close the eye and place the stencil on the eyelid round end out.
  2. Hold in place.
  3. Using your eye shadow brush or applicator dip into dark eye shadow (tap off excess).
  4. Fill in the exposed area of the eyelid beginning at the base of the eyelid.
  5. Remove the stencil.
  6. Soften the edges of the shape by blending with a clean blending brush.
  7. Take a mid-tone and contour shadow and work it into the crease of the eyelid to warm up the darkness.
  8. Next, using the top of the stencil, place it under the eye to use it as a guide for lining with shadow. I like the soft look achieved with lining the eye with shadow as I’ve always used pencil.

For the smoky eye look precision isn’t necessarily required as it’s more important to blend. Always clean the stencil after use.

Amber-Heard-bronze-smokey-eye Beth Bender
Amber Heard
Bronze Smokey Eye
Beth Bender

Cat Eye

  1. Close the eye and place the stencil on the upper lid rounded end out. (With this stencil you’ll want to experiment with the thickness of the line dependent upon where you place the stencil).
  2. Using your eye shadow brush or applicator dip into dark eye shadow (tap off excess).
  3. Fill in the exposed area.
  4. You can leave it like this or you can go over the line with eye liner.

Always clean the stencil after use.

subtle-cat-eyeliner Beth Bender
Subtle Cat Eyeliner
Beth Bender

My first attempt at using the stencils was less than stellar. If I were going for the Panda Bear eye look then I could safely say “nailed it.” It’s going to take me some time to get used to using these but I will conquer this too!

If you have any questions or comments please comment below or email me at

“Nobody should be judged on their looks. Beauty is not found on the body but in the soul. The only thing the media has done is change the definition of the word. I mean being attractive may make it easier to catch some one but being kind and loving is how you keep some one. Also with makeup it’s like putting on a mask some masks are creative and fun most others are just used to cover who you really are up. Be yourself.” ~Danyon Guthrie-Lewis

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