Saturday, September 18, 2010

Get naked

Seriously, you just don't know. This bad boy from Urban Decay has been sold out online and in stores pretty much since its release. The makeup gods were more than smiling on me when I scored this beauty at the Northpark Macy's on my birthday last Saturday. Did I need? Of course not. Did I lust for? That's an understatement. Since it is a permanent item from Urban Decay, I figured worst case scenario I'd just have to wait for the hype to die down and then I'd be able to get my hands on one. Thank you to Betty Boop at Macy's (husband's name for sales associate) for going to "the back" and rounding up one for me! Favorite shades so far are Sin (champagne shimmer), Half Baked (bronze), Dark Horse (bronze-plum shimmer), and Toasted (taupe-bronze). Neutral lovers unite!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pucker up

One of my favorite beauty gurus on YouTube recently raved about a very inexpensive lip plumper/smoother/line filler and of course I had to have it. Do I really need plumper lips? No, that and straight teeth are a few of the things the gene gods decided not to make me struggle with my whole life but I love the thought of "fluffier" lips. I also love any product with retinol in it because it promotes skin renewal and the smoothing of lines. Beyond Color Plumping Lip Conditioner SPF 15 with Double the Retinol is a beauty bargain at $3.99. It's colorless, not at all sticky or waxy, and has no taste. I've only been using it for a few days (I bought two- one in my lip drawer and one in my handbag) and I must say I'm just loving it! It's not at all "gooey" or too thick. As far as plumping, do any of those products really work? The ones that do actually sting and cause an allergic reaction on your lips, hence the swelling. So if you're a masochist maybe you have found one that brings the burn so you see results and then go back for more. I'm not quite one of those people. The Beyond Color does give me that "fluffy pout" feeling and does a phenomenal job smoothing out lines in my lips which makes any other lip product go on and look like a dream. Now I don't have an Avon representative so I just ordered directly from the website. Shipping wasn't too expensive and my package came in 3 days with nothing damaged (you know I ordered more than just this product.. shhh..). This is something I recommend trying! I almost feel guilty letting Mark be the only one that gets to smooch me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a no-go

I had such high hopes for this product! My skin is mottled with pigmented scars (thank you, breakouts since the age of friggin' 10) and so consequently there's pretty much nothing within my means I won't do to lighten or dare I say get rid of them. I forked over the fifty-some-odd dollars for this product about 2 months ago and my experience has been less than magnificent. My husband tried to warn me that Clinique's advertising for this product was all wrong and so the product shall be also (the egg with spots is actually considered lucky). I'm desperate so I committed to using this serum twice a day and I don't know if it was coincidence, but I'm telling you my skin got worse! Now yes, I've heard that these types of products can "bring discoloration to the surface and then they disappear" but not only did my skin become more red, but it also broke out within a week of using this stuff. Since I've laid off of it my skin has been much more forgiving and my regular breakouts are much less noticeable. Grr! If you've had a positive experience with this please let me know! I want to like it and I want so badly for it to work for me! However, it's looking like I'm headed back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don't be scurred

Bright fun colors- how much longer can we get away with putting them in our repertoire to make our look "pop"? Did blue eyeshadow die with MiMi and the Drew Carey Show circa 1995? I say no. To an extant that is. I am, like many of you, a child of the 80's but wasn't quite old enough to rock the wild eyeshadow during that fashion-challenged decade. Well, I'm getting my vengeance now! Ok, so yes, I work in a field where I cannot wear neon colors on my eyelids to work and still be within the boundaries of the dress code. Maybe one day... But until then I have to use subtlety when I want to step a little outside the box on my face. I have discovered NYX jumbo eye sticks! Aside from being flippin' adorable, they have over twenty shades to choose from and give superb color payoff and pigmentation when applied to your skin. Did I mention that they're a mere $4.19 at your local Ulta?! Sold! So here's how to get away with a lavender, orange, green, or whatever color your heart desires hue in your look without looking like you're ready for a rave. Put on your normal every day face makeup including a more natural eye look from the top lashes up. Now sweep a color from a jumbo eye stick on the bottom lash line only. Apply one coat of black mascara to bottom lashes as desired. Blue-eyed beauties, for a show stopping look put a little hint of purple, turquoise, orange or gold below your peepers. Brown eyed dolls, you can rock any shade of blue, purple, pinky peach or especially green. Speaking of green, those green-eyed divas out there have the pick of the litter when it comes to color around your eyes. Any shade is flattering for you! Rock it! And by no means stop there, folks. Dare to wear *any* color that gives you that "Why, yes I am a goddess of gorgeous" mentality. I implore you to be willing to add just a little spice to your look when you're feeling extra sassy, especially with how easy and inexpensive it can be to do! DO NOT FEAR COLOR, ladies and gents. Embrace it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Revlon ColorStay pressed powder

Almost two months ago, in search of a new fabulous powder to set my foundation, I gave a Mineralized Skin Finish natural from MAC a try. These babies retail for $26.00 each which in the higher-end makeup market isn't too much of a budget buster especially since an MSF (Mineralized Skin Finish) can be worn alone as a very decent foundation with buildable coverage. On the particular day I was visiting my local MAC Pro store I was in a hurry because technically we were celebrating Father's Day at the mall and I was supposed to be roaming with the herd of my family.

Immediately upon entering the store it was the same old scene: too few makeup artists overwhelmed with MAC hungry women swarming like bees. Holy cow. Weren't all these women supposed to be with their fathers in the Apple store or Sharper Image? Anyway, after a slightly annoying wait I found a few other things to go with my MSF purchase and left with my goodie bag as quickly as possible. The bummer came the next morning when I swirled on this gorgeous powder and realized in my rushed pursuit of powder I'd chosen a shade or two too dark. Rats. I just grinned and was able to bear the shade for a few weeks when one very late night at WalMart I stumbled upon the Revlon cosmetics section. I'd heard rave reviews about their ColorStay line so I thought, what the hay, I'll grab a pressed powder in a much more appropriate shade to compliment my paleness. The Revlon ColorStay powder only cost me $7.49 so I sort of thought that even if it didn't work I hadn't broken the bank on it. How pleasantly surprised I was the first time I reached for this product once I got it home! I am a walking oil slick and a few days ago after running errands in this brutal Texas heat I just knew my face would be a melted mess when I finally made it back home and encountered a mirror. Wrong! This stuff hadn't budged! It kept me shine free and polished all (hot and humid) day. Revlon being cost effective, check. Revlon ColorStay pressed powder living up to its claims, check check. Color me impressed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The pen is mightier

When it comes to eyeliner- which to do you prefer, pen or pencil? I was a pencil girl myself from 1997 until I figured out I was doing it all wrong. I could never get a thin line drawn on my upper lids in the the precise way I was going for. A sharp pencil was painful... a dull pencil was useless. I attempted to use my mom's liquid eyeliner for a dance in 11th grade and thank gawd I'd gotten ready way early for pictures because I had time to start over. I was a black inky mess from the nose up. So for the latter half of high school I settled for a thick but comfortable penciled eye line look. Blah. Enter magical Lancome lady circa 1999. She handed me an Artliner Precision Point eyeliner in the nonthreatening shade of Sparkling Noir. Oh, mercy me! The ease of which it glided over my lids was astounding! It was literally liquid magic. I was sold. $29.00 for eyeliner sold. Yes, that's almost thirty dollars for a 1.5 ml well of inky greatness. For years and years I paid this price without batting a well-lined eyelash thinking that it was the end-all and be-all of eyeliner.
Enter present day where something so horrible has ahold of me that I shudder to think of writing it for fear it may mean I acknowledge its presence. Yes, the infamous "B" word. Budget. Shiver. Ok, so this summer I've been put on a financial leash and have had to get creative when it comes to supplying my makeup habit. I really prefer to splurge on products that turn my face colors so I've been willing to look for a more economical solution for my mascara and eyeliner needs. If you've read my previous post, you already know that I'm set in my ways when it comes to mascara. Lancome's prices still don't phase me when it comes to making my nonexistant lashes come to life. However, after much research and watching video after video on YouTube of famed beauty gurus I've come to stalk I found yesterday what's referred to as a "dupe" for Lancome's Artliner- L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip liquid eyeliner in Carbon Black. Off to Target I went! I wore it for the first time today in this thousand degree heat we're having in Texas and I must say I am super impressed! Not only did this product allow me to very carefully pen an incredibly thin velvety black line on my lids but it also didn't move all day. And folks, I mean all day. Through direct sun exposure, sweat, a small nap and what I feel are labor intensive household chores my eyeliner stayed perfection. Have I mentioned yet that the L'Oreal Lineur Intense sells for a mere $8.50 at most drug stores? And that Lancome and L'Oreal are owned by the same folks? Hmmm...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"You gotta, bat your eyes like deese.." -Sebastian the crab

Guys have some of the longest and most full eyelashes that can be grown on a human. It's unbelievably not fair. In a way I suppose it could be fair since mascara is marketed quite predominantly towards a female audience and so since most men don't care to wear mascara (aside from it being probably not as accepted socially) they have nothing to rely on but good genetics to help enhance their eyes. I suppose this is why God let us ladies have mascara because He knew most all of us need some help in the "lush lashes" department. Grr. Anyway, having naturally sandy/dark blonde hair myself translates to almost invisible light colored lashes. Believe me when I say I've tried just about everything to help them stand out and be recognized or at least help play up my peepers a bit. I have no idea what lead me to a Lancome counter years ago in search of mascara but one particular brand of theirs has been and will always be my holy grail- Cils Booster XL lash primer topped with Hypnose mascara in Deep Black. Oh my gawd. I'm so serious when I tell you I've (me!) been accused of wearing false eyelashes in public since wearing these products on my lashes! Before you head to your local Lancome counter, please note that the "vibrating" versions of these products I feel are a gimmick. They cost $20 more and I do not see an ounce of benefit in the wand vibrating, call me crazy. The Lancome counter person will most likely try to up sale you to this snazzier version of both Cils Booster XL and Hypnose mascara so just lie and say you've tried them and weren't impressed, unless of course you enjoy lighting a match to your cash. So there you have it, ladies! And to the mascara-wearing men of the world, I commend you for not seeing makeup as simply a 'girl thing' but a universal tool to make anyone feel better about themselves. Amen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The perfect couple

*************** Lately I have been quite motivated to layer my makeup products- first you lay down a creme and then dust with powder to set. Via the Internet I came across a fabulous no-nonsense makeup artist in London who swore that NARS blush in the shade Exhibit A looked fabulous on every skin tone, and that "everyone should just accept this and quit swatching blushes!" Well I took this as a direct command to seek out the closest Sephora and stop at nothing until this NARS product was in my hot little hand. I perused through the store trying to keep my eye on the prize dodging sixteen overly helpful Sephora girls on my way to the NARS products. I located the electric-red shade of blush and, trusting the know-it-all-Londoner, tested it lightly on each cheek. Being a very fair skinned gal (my husband refers to me as his pale pretty princess but I swear it's just a way to keep me from spending money and skin cells on tanning beds) I was very impressed at the vivid yet not too vivid flush it gave my skin. To the checkout! Now, needing a creme base to layer underneath my very "hip" new cheek color I stopped in at the MAC pro store and quickly identified the cremeblend blush in Joie-De-Vivre to be the perfect partner for NARS Exhibit A. Never have two products been more in love. On my face.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Holy spackle, Batman

So I turned to my go-to beauty gurus on YouTube yesterday and came across one who suffers from similar skin ailments as I: redness, acne scars, discolorations. She posted several videos professing her adoration for an Estee Lauder product that I decided I had to have. Off to Dillards I went! After having a religious experience at MAC (curse you, friendly makeup artist!) I strolled over to the Estee Lauder counter and announced that I wanted to purchase the product that had worked so well for my kindered youtube spirit. The woman behind the counter gave me the crazy eye and asked was I sure I wanted that product? Um. Excuse me? I held back as much attitude as I could when I confirmed that yes, I wanted what I wanted. What did she know? Uh, well, it turns out she knew a whole heckuvalot. She asked me to sit down and talk with her a little bit about why I wanted the product. I kept saying how bad my skin is and she kept the crazy eye on me as she tried to convince me that my skin wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was describing. I agreed to let her take off the makeup covering my right cheek down to my chin and paint on the Double Wear foundation she said I'd love instead of the product I came to buy. I invisioned what reaction I'd give her when she finished that wouldn't hurt her feelings but at the same time would communicate, "Lady, I know what I'm talking about and I'm sorry but this stuff isn't worth my time." She finished after probably less than a minute and handed me the mirror. Here it was, the moment of truth- and how wrong I was!! The coverage was outstanding, the color was a perfect match for my skin tone, and it gave the fabulous matte look us oilyer-than-thou girls dream of. I smiled politely and told her I'd take a bottle. Maybe I'm not right all the time.

Note- she also gave me a free Double Wear eyeliner in black as a gift with purchase. I wore it the next day on my waterline and it was gone fairly quickly-Laura Merier's pan eyeliner in Black Ebony has yet to find a worthy challenger.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Power wash, moisturize, prime, then paint

When did putting on war paint (as my husband so fondly refers to it) become such a process? Then again who am I kidding- the more products I get to smear all over myself the better I feel. Folks at the makeup counters see me coming from a mile away. I up sale to myself. Recently I went the drugstore route to buying cleansing products and holy moly did my skin pay for that mistake. Say it with me ladies (and gents) you get what you pay for. I have oily and breakout-prone skin that also happens to be sensitive with enormous pores. I've been drowning in the deep end of the gene pool since puberty and have actually learned to deal with my problem skin. Gone are the days where I'd sneak into the bathroom before my husband awoke and quickly dust on powder foundation simply because I was so ashamed to be seen "naked". The dear man caught on quickly and demanded I stop such a foolish ritual immediately. Since I had the ring already I thought, what the heck. For better or worse, right? My bare skin was and always will be to me the epitome of worse. This is what he signed up for.

There are a few products that have allowed me to go "naked" much more comfortably the last few years and try as I might to find a cheaper alternative, THERE. ISN'T. ONE. Beg and borrow people. Do whatever you have to do to get the good stuff. You will not be disappointed with...

Power washing: Clinique Liquid Facial soap (I use the one for oily skin) and Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3
Moisturize: Clinique Even Better *Clinical* Dark Spot Remover, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, and Philosophy Eye Hope cream
Prime: **Product I'm trying: Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion- Pore Perfecting
Paint: Oh, the possibilities. The paint is the heart of this blog. The textures, finishes, and colors are endless. Join me as I attempt to try them all.