Foundation Fundamentals From A Pro!

30 Jan

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show (www.themakeupshow.com) in NYC. I had gone the year before and it literally changed my life. I learned about makeup, skin care, glamour applications, and so much more. I was privileged to be invited back to learn what new products were out, what new makeup techniques were being used and to learn more about the artistry side of the makeup industry. As a sensitive skinned redhead, one of the most challenging things for me to find is the right foundation. Over the years, I have found that MANY individuals are faced with the challenge of finding the perfect foundation. Some have skin that is easily irritated, skin tones that are hard to match and past foundation experiences that do not make us smile. Ugh. The horrors. When I asked the PR director for The Makeup Show who would be the best person or organization to get information about foundation, she immediately said I should talk to Sebastien Tardif, co-founder of Veil Cosmetics (www.veilcosmetics.com). After reading about him more, I knew he would have tips and tricks to help me as well as followers & readers.

Talking to Sebastien was fabulous…he was a plethora of information! He has been working in the skin care and makeup industry for over 15 years. Originally from Canada, he started his career with a well-known brand in the industry overseeing top-tier education for artistry managers oversees. In addition, he was also a key makeup artist and brand ambassador for New York’s Fashion Week. In 2011, he launched Veil Cosmetics and, to date, oversees all aspects of the brand: brand activities, marketing strategies, sales and business development as well as developing the products themselves. He even mentioned that he had worked with many sensitive skinned redheads over the years. In fact, he himself has sensitive skin and understood the problems when it came to foundations and our skin:

Sassy: What made you want to get into the product end of the makeup industry?
Sebastian: “I have always loved makeup and skincare, but wanted to see them integrated a little more. I, too, have very sensitive skin. I knew I could develop products that could do more for the skin than what was out there. That’s basically how Veil Cosmetics came to be. I was inspired by my passion for skin and a fresh, new take on weightless, complexion solutions. My mission has always been to modernize the traditional approach to makeup by revealing gorgeous skin not masking it.”

Sassy: It is very difficult for many to find a perfect shade of foundation. Sometimes it is too dark, too light, too orange, too pink…just not right. What is the best way for people to find the one we need?
Sebastien: “The best way to find the right foundation is to test them! Foundations are mostly based on three hues: pink, neutral and gold. Find a few shades of a foundation brand you like that seem to match your skin tone. Swipe a small, thin swatch of your choices from your jawline towards your cheek–make sure you have no makeup on already! Remember which ones you are wearing then go outside! You want completely natural light around you when you choose your foundation shade. With a mirror, see if the ones you have applied look natural on your skin. If they seem off, then that is not the right one for you. Natural lighting is always best when choosing shades.”

Side note: You can usually find out which hue you are by holding a white tissue up to your clean face and seeing what ‘tint’ your skin has compared to the tissue. Even though I thought my skin was pinkish, the test actually showed I was a neutral! Just that small discovery changed how my foundation now looks on my skin.

Sassy: How does someone goes about picking out the “right” foundation formula? How do we know if we need something with moisture, something oil absorbing, something organic or something else…?
Sebastien: “Many people think price is a major factor, but it doesn’t have to be. You really need to know what your skin needs and what it doesn’t. If you have oily skin, you are most likely going to want a water based formula of foundation. If your skin is normal or dry, you want ingredients that naturally hydrate or moisturize, but avoid products that contain oils—they can clog pores.”

Side note: Since we need need sun protection more than others, it is important to know about different brands and the ingredients they contain. Researching what is in a foundation is important. Ingredients in a product are listed in descending order of what is the majority ingredient followed by smaller, less portioned down the list. Look for things don’t seem right, and if you aren’t sure what it does, research!

Sassy: Why is Veil Cosmetics foundation different from others?
Sebastien: “It has always been easy to cover your skin with a foundation, but what I wanted to create was a foundation that had skin care in it as well. That way, the foundation doesn’t just sit there…it is actually working with anti-aging ingredients built in to keep your face looking smooth, fresh and young!”

Sassy: So a big question that most people have is what is the best way to apply foundation to your face? Any suggestions?
Sebastien: “For starters, begin by putting just a few drops of the foundation on the back of your hand. If you apply foundation directly to your face and use too much, you can over-apply and end up with a cakey look. Put the foundation on your hand, and use your fingers to dot-dot-dot the foundation into your skin by gently pressing it in slowly and precisely. Apply another thin layer if you want to build it up a bit.”

Side note: If your foundation needs a color adjustment, an oil-mattifier or an SPF, you can add it to the drops on the back of your hand, mix it until blended then apply by dot-dot-dotting. If you want more coverage, keep building until you get the coverage and natural look you want.

The composition of foundations is always changing. Newer formulas are always being developed to help people with a variety of concerns for their skin. Veil Cosmetics is different than many foundations on the market right now. It became a popular item amongst makeup artists for films and television. Infused with ingredients that are perfect for brightening, hydrating and soothing, Veil’s products didn’t just look natural under all those bright lights but also enhanced the skin’s natural beauty. It is important that your foundation works well with your skin care routine to continuously smooth and brighten your skin even while wearing all your makeup.

Veil Cosmetics have two ingredients that are extremely helpful to the health of someone’s skin: White Water Lily Extract and Cinnamon Bark Extract. White Water Lily Extract helps to soothe the skin, reducing redness and inflammation. Cinnamon naturally plumps skin by increasing collagen levels. Both ingredients help to reduce the signs of aging, stimulate healing (like what can occur around wrinkles), smooths & hydrates skin and has antiseptic properties fighting off bacteria. This is very important when keeping the skin smooth and toned to prevent aging. If you have had issues with foundations in the past, it is very important to research, read labels and look for ingredients that actually help keep your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, toned and young. And not just in skin care either but also in color cosmetics as well!

It was great meeting Sebastien Tardif and picking his brain about what us sensitive skinned glamouristas should be looking for in a great foundation, the correct application and ingredients to look for. I enjoyed our time together and he promised me he would keep me updated if he learned or found out anything that would be of help. I look forward to hearing, talking and working with Sebastien again in the future!

If your are interested in the three great products Veil Cosmetics have (Sunset Skin foundation in 12 shades; Sunset Light Primer Serum and Complexion Fix which also comes in 12 shades), you can find them at VeilCosmetics.com. A huge thank you to Sebastien for his generosity and incredible knowledge, and I looking forward to working with him more closely as he continues to develop products and techniques that everyone can benefit from!

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It begins…

4 Dec

Coffee of the Day (COTD): French Pressed Triple Chocolate with frothed Amaretto Creamer, dusted with Cocoa Powder. My mug of choice is a pink polka- dotted mug that says “HERS”:

Happy Monday Sassinitas!
You may notice a new section to the right of of here. It’s entitled “Coffee Talk”. Anyone who knows me knows I have a not-so-secret obsession with coffee. I like to make different flavors in different ways, enjoyed in different cups. It has also become a routine for me to make a fab cup of coffee, grab my iPad and start writing. I don’t need it to stay awake or jump start my writing process. It has just come to the point where coffee and writing go hand in hand. Like now.

Starting today, I will be posting the occasional piece in the “Coffee Talk” section where I may talk about anything and everything. It might be an inspirational quote, it might be a description of my day, it may be a pretty picture I took or found, it could also be just me ranting or raving about anything and everything or nothing at all. You just don’t know!

So I encourage you to look out for my “Coffee Talk” posts. There is only one catch…

…the posts will be password protected!

So if you want to see what I post – just in this section – you are going to have to request the password from me! Trust me, there will be nothing sketchy posted. It may be serious, it may often be funny. It may have to deal with a personal frustration, or it may have to do with a success story. It could be anything, but I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

So what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email or “Contact Sassy” so you can get the password to keep up with my rants and rambles!

Let’s have some fun!!!

Sassy’s Faves for August & September

26 Oct

Fall is officially upon us which means things are really changing when it comes to skin care, hair care, make up and anything in the glamour department. The colors get bright and warm with shades of red, orange, burgundy, purple, green and all neutral browns being front and center in the fashion and make up department. It is also time to think about our skin—both face and body. This is the time of year when days are warm and nights are cool. Your skin can easily get confused, and your fashions can go from a tank top one day to a hoodie the next. These things don’t help our skin either, bringing out the worst for those with combination skin. With that in mind, I had a basis on what to look for during the last months of summer. Here’s what I found:

Deviant Cosmetics Eyeshadows: Finding eyeshadows is a difficult task for me. Almost all “commercial” shadows contain ingredients that have a tendency to irritate my eyes and skin. Because of that, I look for mineral shadows from indie companies that are more pure than those found in the cosmetic department. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girly girl. I am all about the shimmer, the glitter, the gloss and the shine. And that includes my eyeshadows! I had come to a time a couple of months ago where I needed a bright white, super sparkly eyeshadow that had little or no fallout but didn’t irritate my eyes. Deviant Cosmetics had exactly what I wanted: a loose shadow named “Loose Diamonds”. When it came, I fell in love! It didn’t take long for me to order a few other shades that were bold and shimmery. Their website splits the shadows up by color which makes it super easy to find what I’m looking for. They also have hand-pressed glitter shadows with a gel-like consistency that helps to keep them in place. I love those for bold lining and face decorating because they stay on longer and look amazing. These shadows are a great buy for less than $6 each!

NYX Hydra Touch Primer: Primers are definitely where it’s at in regards to your skin right now. There are ones that help to adjust the tone of your skin and there are some that fill in large pores for a more even look. There are even primers that can give you a matte or glowing look to your skin. I tried the Hydra Touch Primer in a store to see if I would like how it felt. It was not thick and sticky—it’s light and soothing. Filled with moisture and skin-refreshing ingredients, this primer enhances your complexion giving you a flawless canvas for your look. It is a perfect hydrating base for either liquid or mineral powder foundations. A nice addition for my sensitive, combination skin at a very reasonable $14.

Korres Lip Butter in “Wild Rose”:
Even though I have red hair, I have to admit that I am horribly afraid of wearing red lipstick. I never think it looks good on me, I feel I look paler, and the ones I do have seem to bleed or look blotchy. True, this could be the type or brand that I am wearing, but it just doesn’t look right to me. I needed something that was “red” but a very sheer red. I got a Korres Lip Butter in Guava which was clear a while back and loved it. I liked it so much that I ended up going through three of them very quickly. It makes my lips super soft for a very long time, especially when I put it on before bed. When I decided to get another one this year, I saw that it now comes in different “flavors” and tints. The “Wild Rose” has a very slight rose scent and feeds my lips tons of moisture while giving me a super sheer red tint. It’s PERFECT! It’s not a red overload—just a right amount of color with a super shiny finish. It is just enough red for this redhead! This can easily be found at Sephora stores and at Sephora.com

NYX Butter Glosses: I know I just raved about Korres Lip Butter, which is amazing for when I want something extra hydrating (and the color red when I need it!) but I absolutely love wearing smooth, creamy glosses when I need a pop of color with a nice amount of shine and moisture. That’s usually what I choose for my lips during the daytime when I’m at my shop, running errands, or just hanging casual. The NYX’s Butter Gloss color selection is awesome with over 30 shades. They go on with a tint that is a bit sheerer than a liquid or regular lipstick but still a noticeable color. The scent a nice and light and it isn’t overly sticky like most glosses. For a more intense look, layer it over the top of your lips lined and filled in with your lip liner. My newest favorite shade is Angel Food Cake. It’s a true mauve with a sweet scent! A great purchase for only $5!

Tallie Frayed Waist Guess Jeans: I get that a pair of jeans can’t really be a super find, but I have to give kudos to these. I changed clothing sizes over the summer (in a good way), and a large amount of my clothes went into the donation bin. The main thing I had to look for jeans. And jean shopping can frustrate the hell out of me. My favorite line of denims are Guess? Jeans. What is awesome about them is I know exactly what size I wear and can shop online. These skinny jeans have a great frayed waistline that doesn’t ride low. They are comfortably tight without squishing the air out of you. Although they only come in one wash style, they can be dressed up or down, and they are perfect with a cropped top that allows the designed waistline to show. I bought three pairs! Find them on GuessFactory.com before they are gone!

Rad Soap’s “Love” Body Cream: It is definitely the time of year when our skin goes from warm and oily to cold, cracked and dry very quickly. Although I have a few lotions, creams and body butters, I usually like something a little richer for the beginning of the colder months. That’s when I usually bump myself up from lotions to butters. When I found this local company’s products in a gift shop near where I live, I had to give it a try. First, if I can “shop local”, I do. I love supporting businesses in my area and watch them grow and succeed. In addition, I like products that DON’T a lot. What does that mean? It means I like products that DON’T contain parabens, sulfates, gluten, nut oils and harsh chemicals. I have had issues with things like that in the past, so to know that the products are safe for my sensitive skin is important. Rad Soap’s always list the things you won’t find in their products. And the scents? Amazing! My favorite is the “Love” Body Cream which has the tasty scents of Spanish almonds and Acerola cherries. My skin stays super soft with this highly moisturizing, quickly absorbing body necessity. Check out their website at radsoap.com to order online or to find a retail store near you. A great find for $18 in a large tub.

With fall here in all its glory, I’m sure I will be finding some great new skin care, makeup and fashion/glamour items that will be perfect as my looks change for the season. Not to mention, being a redhead makes fall that much more fun — I match the trees! Make sure you keep an eye out on my blog this month. Like last season, I will be doing a giveaway of one of my favorite makeup items that I mentioned today. Hmm… which one will it be? Stay tuned and get ready to WIN!

…. and we have a winner!!

2 Oct

THANK YOU to all of my readers and followers who entered the September contest! We had many entries and a lot of tags and shares on the posts. The winner will receive three awesome lip tints from Ginger Bliss Naturals! They are perfect shades to keep your lips moisturized and soft as the cooler temperatures roll in.

And the winner, chosen by a Random Number Generator was…..

 

@lady_achouak

 

Thank you again for all who entered and keep an eye out for a new giveaway for October!!

**CONTEST ALERT!!** **CONTEST ALERT!!**

29 Aug

Hey Sassinistas!

I told you I was going to be doing a monthly post about what new makeup, glamour or fashion items I found the month before. This July Blog Post, I talked about products I fell in love with in July’s Faves including leggings, leave-in spray for your hair, mascara, body products and these great tinted lippies that help keep your lips smooth with nice color. Well, YOU have the chance to win a set of those awesome lippies from Ginger Bliss Bath Co.!

Ginger Bliss Bath Co. is a small, privately run business who does most of their business out of Etsy. When I needed a little color but a lot of moisture during a recent camping trip, I hunted around for something that would give me both. I bought Ginger Bliss’s lip tints as a set, mainly because the colors that were featured together were PERFECT for my skin tone. I was very happy to have been able to bring something to keep my lips in great shape with the perfect amount of color for casual, daily wear. After getting these lip tints, I found that the company has a lot of other natural, handmade products that interested me. Some of the things I think I will be trying soon are their face masks, mineral eye shadows, and more lip tints.

I will be giving away a set of the same three lip tints that I featured in my July’s Faves. They are great colors: Ruby Rave (subtle glistening red), Vixen (sheer bright wine), and Candy Pink (light, shimmery pink). All three of these shades go with almost all skin tones and keeps your lips feeling soft. Because they are moisturizing lip tints, they don’t always stay on for a long time. But because they are compact and easy to carry, it is easy to throw them in a purse, bag or pocket for quick application.

To win these three lippies is EASY PEASY! Just complete the following tasks:

1) Follow me on Instagram at @SassyAuburn
2) Subscribe to my blog here at SassyAuburn.com
3) Leave a comment on this blog post below about your current favorite lip product
4) Follow Ginger Bliss on Instagram at @GingerBlissNaturals

The contest will close at 11:59pm EST on September 29th. All entries must be completed by then. A winner will be selected on September 30 with a random number generator. After verification that they completed the requirements, the winner will be contacted via Instagram and announced on my blog!!

Let’s get our lips ready for fall with this great contest and fabulous products. Thanks again to Ginger Bliss Bath Co. for the super prize! And now?

LET THE CONTEST BEGIN!!

Sassy’s Selections for July–WITH A CONTEST SOON!

24 Aug

Wow! It’s… like… August! Already! Are you like me, wondering where the heck the summer is going? I swear, I just packed away my winter clothes a month ago. Then again, I might have. The weather has been cool and raining this entire season. I should have invested more $$ in rain boots instead of sandals this year.

Regardless of your weather situation, the fact remains that a new month is upon us which means it’s time to talk about Sassy’s Hot Finds. July was definitely a month where glamour and fashion needed a lot of thought since most of the weather was so most erratic – the worst I had seen in years. And that brings with it a different group of items that were must haves last month. So what did I pick up to help me stay fab and fashionable during that damp, dreary month? Let’s see…

Ginger Bliss Naturals Mineral Lip Tint: I had to go to an outdoor camping trip last month. Although it was an outdoor-type festival, I wanted to make sure my lips were conditioned. I wanted to find a lip balm to keep my lips hydrated and soft, but I didn’t want to have to apply a balm AND lip color since we’d be roughing it. I browsed on Etsy and found several people that had different balms in different formulas but I was hoping to find a “set” so I could have a couple of shades that would go with all my outfits. Ginger Bliss had just that! These little balms are made with 100% natural ingredients: beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, Candelilla wax and natural coloring. The colors are strong and have a deeper hue than most tints. I ordered Candy Pink (icy pink), Ruby Rave (a pinky red) and Vixen (deep wine). Not only did they make my lips look jazzy but they were also soft and it was convenient to just carry one little lippie than three or more! A great find on Etsy for only $16.00 (sold by GingerBlissBathCo)

Pantene Pro-V Serious Repair Detangler: After several years of working with my hair stylist, I finally have healthy hair. No more burnt, frizzy, split ends. I now use the right shampoo and conditioner that keeps my hair clean and shiny without a ton of extra ingredients to weigh it down and strip its natural oils. The only thing I was missing was something to leave in to protect it from getting damaged from the hair styling products that I use. And that includes things from flat irons to hot rollers…. every day. So I did some searching on my own, looked at a few reviews and, of course, asked my stylist. After several suggestions, I decided to go with the Pantene product. This lightweight spray was perfect for what I was looking for. After I get out of the shower, I lightly towel dry my hair then spray the Pantene directly on the middle and ends of my hair since that is where I want the spray to work the most. After that, I spray my hands with two or three spritzes, rub them together then run my hands through the roots out towards the ends. This gives me the just a light coating so my hair isn’t weighed down where hair tends to get oily first. Seriously… a little goes a long way! After it air dries for a while, I run a wide tooth comb through it without any snags. Perfect. It gets all the tangles out while giving them a little extra moisture, protection and strength. A great product that does just what you need. You can find this in most drug stores or department stores for less than $5.00.

Leggings: Oh I know ALL the hype is out for leggings, especially since this new shop-from-home, home-based legging business hit the scene. All different colors, patterns, designs, themes, you name it—you can find it on a pair of leggings. I will admit, I bought a couple of the “party” leggings but I started thinking: there has to be a way to find leggings in styles and sizes I like without paying a fortune. So, I began to hunt, and my hunt did not last long! My search started and ended with one click to the Amazon website. Amazon has several different “stores” that carries many styles and sizes. I ordered a couple of pairs to see how they felt. They were soft, fit perfectly, had a great selection of different sizes and colors, and were more than $20 cheaper!! Ha!… no brainer there. The company that I purchased most of them from was were sold by Conceited Co. and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. What I really liked is that Amazon suggested tops and cardigans that went with the leggings. That was a nice touch to make complete outfits. I now have comfortable sets to wear through the fall and into the colder months. Each pair was only $10 with free shipping!

Covergirl’s Total Tease Mascara: I know I recently wrote about a great mascara I had recently found, but I couldn’t resist picking up this little goodie since I had a coupon and pretty much got it for free. In the past, I have always thought that if a mascara was really good, it probably has to be expensive. This is a great example that drugstore makeup can be awesome if you do your research. Available in four colors, this mascara has a formula that makes your lashes long, full and defined. The key word there is “defined”. The little combs on the brush separate your lashes without any clumps, making sure each lash is coated. Then, at the end of the brush is a small round ball covered with the same little combs. This part is EPIC to coat your bottom lashes individually to get a full lashes look. Then, use the same little ball to get to all the tiny lashes at the corners of your eyes. I purchased the color Blackest Black in the regular formula and it lasts ALL DAY with no smudging or flaking. I have been using this one pretty consistently for several weeks now, and I am very pleased. Great new product, Covergirl! The regular price is approximately $8 but because it is new, look for coupons and deals for different stores.

Bath and Body Works “Hello Beautiful” Scented Products: When I am going to an appointment where there might be others around, I don’t want my fragrance to make me stick out like a sore thumb. I personally think it can be a distraction or borderline rude to “bathe” in a scent when others may be around. Not every scent is appealing to everyone and some can even start a sneezing fit for those that are scent sensitive. In times like these, I like to use other products that I can layer on very lightly or a little heavier if I’m not really going to be in public. Today, I was preparing to go to a doctor’s appointment later this afternoon and I don’t want to take the chance on irritating another patient’s nose. So instead of spraying on enough perfume to last for 6 hours (cough cough!), I decided to let other products work for me. The key is LAYERING. Today, I just used my new “Hello Beautiful” Body Lotion that I am totally in love with. That way I could put the scent on from head to toe without it being overbearing, but that can last on my skin for several hours. If I wanted it to last longer with a stronger scent, I would have used my “Hello Beautiful” Shower Gel then followed it with the Body Lotion. If I REALLY wanted to get the full effect of the scent, I would use the gel and lotion, then follow it up with the Diamond Shimmer Mist for a more full scent with some shimmer as well. Any part of the routine can be used alone or in combination with the other scented products to give you a just a touch of pretty or a full-on head-to-toe smell of this white gardenia, jasmine petals & magnolia blossom bouquet. There are always sales and coupon codes out there so look around for your best deal—online or at the store. Not on sale, the Diamond Shimmer Mist retails for $16.00

So those are my Fab Finds for July! As kids return to school and parents attempt to regain their sanity once again, these products may be just the thing to help you get back on track as we head towards fall. I am sure there will be a lot of newer items in all categories as we slide out of summer and into autumn. Plus the weather will be changing as well so there will be things needed in both the glamour and fashion departments of your ensemble.

BUT WAIT!!!!!!


Keep watching my blog for an awesome giveaway of one of the items that I discovered in July. Who doesn’t love free stuff? I will let you know how to enter and tell you all the details of the contest soon. Don’t miss out Sassinistas!!

Sassy’s Outfit of the Day (8/11/17)

11 Aug
Sassy's Outfit of the Day (8/11/17)

Nyx blush
selfridges.com

Sassy’s Selections for June—AND A CONTEST ALERT!

19 Jul

I do not hide the fact that I love to write and I especially love to write about the things I love most: makeup, skincare, haircare, nails, fashions, accessories… anything glamour! I have realized that is time to get consistent with letting my Sassinistas know what I have discovered in the past month that I have fallen in love with. Some months I may have tried several new things, and some months there just wasn’t anything I needed, wanted or found. I might also find something buried in my room of “stuff” that I haven’t used in a while that may take the front row again for a bit too. You never know!

So what was new on my vanity this June? Let’s take a peek:

Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil: This little goodie was in my June “How to be a Redhead” subscription box. Even though the warmer days of summer are here, there are days when my face just feels tight and dry. I have great moisturizers that can help that, but it helps even more when my cleanser doesn’t strip my face of its natural oils before I even get to the moisturizer stage. The Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil is great to wash your face when times like this happen. It’s super easy to use—just a put a dime-size amount on the tips your fingers and rub it gently on your face. You will see the dirt and makeup just dissolve. Finish by wiping off the oil with a warm cloth. For convenience, I like to wipe the oil off with a cleansing towelette to make sure I get EVERYTHING off. The formula is gentle on my skin, the scent is light, and it gets my makeup off gently but thoroughly. Although the packaging doesn’t say anything about using it in the eye area, I personally find that it is great to remove long-wearing eyeliners, eye shadows, lip colors and even waterproof mascara. This has definitely been a great add on for my skin care routine. ($15.99, Ulta Beauty Beauty)

NYX Epic Ink Liner: A while ago, I began to master the art of the liquid liner. The best thing I found to practice with are those great little felt-tip “markers” that gives you the stability to get a nice, straight line and wing it out. There weren’t many companies that were on board with the marker liners so the ones I found to use were pretty steep in price. Now that I have pretty much mastered the winged liner look, I am finding there are more liners available now to choose from. There are some companies that make them in jazzy colors too for real edgy looks. Some are still somewhat expensive, but there are a few that are excellent to work with and reasonably priced. My favorite right now is NYX’s Epic Ink Liner. It’s pretty simple—just shake it up, take off the cap and line away. It is easy to work with and stays put all day. If I do happen to color outside of the lines, the Ink Liner is pretty forgiving and can easily be touched up with a cotton swab and a little bit of cleanser (I use NYX’s Micellar Water!). Epic Ink Liner is a great, professional, high-end quality product that doesn’t drain your wallet! ($8.00, nyxcosmetics.com)

Sephora Foundation Brush #95: “Your projects are only as good as the tools you create them with.” I’m not sure who said that… it might have even been me. When I got into the field of cosmetics, skin care and glamour, the first thing I did was invest some money to buy some professional brushes. I had so many different ones: concealer brush, eyeliner brush, smudging brush, fan brush, lip brush…you name it. My favorite brush was my angled foundation brush. It was slanted to get your foundation right where you wanted it. The bristles were tight and it didn’t shed. I loved it. After a few years, the brushes began to break down just from over use. I added brushes that I liked that were less expensive but not as good. I never found another foundation brush like my favorite. Then I went to The Makeup Show this year. Sephora was there, focusing specifically on their line of brushes. The representative that I talked to knew about the brushes I had bought almost eight years ago. She also knew that brushes had evolved quite a bit since then as well. When I asked about a good angled foundation brush, she showed me something better. As soon as I touched the Sephora PRO Core Diffuser Angled Brush (#95), I fell in love. The brush is thick, round and angled. In the middle of the brush is a dense core of bristles that allows you to apply a medium-buildable coverage while the looser outer bristles diffuse and soften the look. I was thrilled that it worked with all types of foundation too. It gives me more of an even look with the coverage but allows a softer, less “made up” look. I have retired my original slanted foundation brush now that I can get an even better result with Brush #95. ($32, Sephora.com)

NYX Pore Filler: I think since I was a teen, I’ve hated the fact that I’ve had large pores around my nose. I have my father’s genes to thank for that. If I had kept all the money that I had invested in pore reducer products that hadn’t worked over the years, I probably could have bought a designer handbag and still get change. There are ways to help them appear smaller, but the fact is they will always be there. I guess what I had been looking for was a way to just make them “invisible”. When I was putting an order together for some of my favorite NYX products recently, I stumbled across a new item called Pore Filler. The price was surprisingly inexpensive so I thought I would give it a chance. Man oh man, I do not think I could have done anything better when it comes to the appearance of my pores. This pre-foundation base coat does not contain talc or oils and gets its consistency from pure Vitamin E. It is a very light weight cream, translucent, and also buildable if your pores are exceptionally large. It smooths over the areas where large pores give your face in uneven texture an appearance. The way my foundation looked after just using it once was amazing. I did not need a lot of the product to get the results I wanted. The only thing that is a little difficult to figure out is how to get it from its packaging to your skin. That sounds a little odd but the consistency of the poor filler is a little like cookie batter. (Hard to find the words to describe it any way else.) It “balls” up quickly if you squeeze out too much and then it will just fall off your fingers. It doesn’t feel creamy when it comes out of the package, but when it is applied, it will just melt into your pores to give you a flawless look. Even with sensitive skin, I had no problems with it. My skin did not burn, feel irritated, or turn red. A lifesaver for me! With warm weather at our doorsteps, I could not have found this at a better time. ($14.00, nyxcosmetics.com)

I am sure that over the next month I will be grabbing something here in there that I find are very beneficial in regards to my skin, make up, hair, nails, and any other glamour accessory. Check back with Sassy each month to see what I have discovered that I am really liking.

But here is what I am wondering…

What beauty/makeup/glamour/fashion item(s) have YOU found lately that you want to talk about? Have you discovered a product that you just cannot live without? I want to know all about it!!

Stay tuned in the next few weeks for a BIG contest announcement! Your awesome finds could make you eligible for a sweet prize.

**(More information and contest details to follow… stay tuned!)**

A Fancy Face With Drugstore Finds

21 May

Anyone who reads fashion magazines, glamour spreads, even blogs may wonder sometimes if any REALLY good makeup can be found at your local drug store. It can be very disheartening to see a killer shade of lipstick on a model in a magazine only to find out that one tube costs over $25. I remember when I was a teen, if I spent more than $5 on ANY makeup product, it was “high end”. Wow… times have changed. I decided to put aside the samples and products that I had gotten from some of the higher end beauty stores or at the cosmetic counter of my local exclusive department store to see if I could get a SLAMMIN’ look for a more reasonable price.

I went through my vanity to find things that I mainly use that could be close to or even equal in quality for less expensive products in my local drug store or retail store for the main products that I use. Now, let me state for the record — I have a TON of makeup. In fact, if I wasn’t involved in what I do as a writer, I’m sure an intervention would have been discussed. I can’t help it if I get products to test and try, get coupons for free items, and I get random products in the mail from brands that follow me on my social medias. But when I did some math in my head, I realized a lot of people don’t have access to many of the things I have. So, my quest began: could I get a great natural and/or glamour appearance with products from my local drugstore without breaking the bank? A full face—from foundation to lip gloss–for a high-quality, almost red-carpet look? Hmmm… Let’s see how I did…

Foundation: There are a ton out there, any glamourista knows that. The problem with foundations is that everyone wants something different from them. Some people need a formula for dry skin, one for oily skin, some like mineral liquids, and others like a powder foundation. Finding one really depends on what your skin type is like. We will just take my skin as a basis for this test. I have super sensitive skin (thank you, red hair) and can go from dry to oily in a matter of 24 hours. After being at The Makeup Show this past weekend, I kept hearing about professional makeup artists using NYX Cosmetics’s “Total Control Drop Foundation”. Okay, wait—these world famous MUAs who have access to ANY brand at ANY cost are picking a drugstore foundation to have in their cosmetic kits? I had to know why. I stopped by the brand booth at the show and talked to two fabulous brand representatives from NYX. They agreed—makeup artists from all over are carrying their Total Control Drop Foundation with them. Why? Well, I bought one to find out. I will say, it IS pretty awesome. It has a dropper so you can get just the amount you need without oversaturating your skin. It is light, buildable, and didn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. Available in 24 shades, it wasn’t hard to find one that matched my very pale skin easily. I like the fact you can “add” things to it so your skin can get an even better look: a color adjuster, a mattifier or even a primer. I was super excited to find this product at The Makeup Show! A great deal for $14.

Setting Powder: Setting powders, for some of us “old schoolers” remind us about when they were skin-toned (not mine), turned into a shiny cookie from the talc, and gave us a nice orange glow. I was over that one fast. I just gave up on the powder thing for MANY years. Then… ta-da! I received a free sample of this new, high end HD powder. It wasn’t a pressed powder–it was loose. Not very easy to carry with me. Not to mention, it was white! Who wears white powder? After reading the details and practicing its application, I came to love it fast! It was translucent when applied to the skin and set my makeup perfectly. I bought a jar and, honestly, to this date, I still have it—it lasts forever! Then, about six months ago, I received an item in a monthly subscription box. It was NYX’s High Definition Finishing Powder. Yeah, there’s that NYX brand again! I put it on my vanity and let it set. One day, when laziness was at its max, I realized I needed an all over evenness to my skin and grabbed NYX’s powder since it was close by and tossed it in my purse to apply at work. Wow…was I amazed! A big brush swiped over the powder compact with a light dusting all over my makeup gave me a soft, flawless look. I was very surprised! I was even more surprised at the price. It ended up being 1/3 of the cost of my high end brand. And it did the same thing. Having this powder in a compact made it easier to carry with me as well. It has now become a staple in my purse. A fabulous price at $10.00

Blush: With my skin being very pale, I do not need a lot of blush to get a rosy hue to my cheeks. In fact, there are times when a pinch with my fingers right on my cheekbones gives me enough color for an hour or so. (That’s a nice trick to remember when your face needs a slight glow.) While I was flipping through a doctor’s office magazine, I saw this ad featuring a beautiful model with gorgeous cheeks. I was shocked when I saw what she had used… e.l.f. Blush in Fuchsia Fusion. I didn’t think this redhead could pull of a color like that but I wanted to try. Wow, I was surprised! I certainly did not need a lot of color, but the shade was gorgeous. Just a tiny sweep on my cheeks upwards was the perfect color I needed. Although it looks a little bold in the package, it gives me a healthy glow. And a little goes a long way. A great find for only $3

Eye Shadow: This is another personal preference. I know people who despise crayon colors, some who love loose mineral colors, and others who only wear natural colored pallets. In my career, I am busy and free time is limited. Because of that, I want—and need—an eye shadow that will last all day. Now me, specifically? I want a shadow that is glittery, shimmery and a long-time wear power. After seeing ads (and with a coupon in hand), I set out to get myself a L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow color. This easy to apply creamy shadow can be put on with your finger or even a tight brush (like a concealer brush) for more precise application. If you want to combine two or three shades, use a brush to get the colors you like then blend, blend, blend to get the look you want. Keeping it simple, I chose to get the color “Silver Sky”. I used my finger to dot, dot, dot then blend. I loved it! Yes, it wore all day. Yes, it was super water resistant. No, it did not crease. I was just what this busy girl needed! Over the years, I have managed to collect about 12 different shades that I like to wear alone or with other shades. When I wear L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow, I don’t stress when I can’t check it. I know it is fine. $8

Now there are your powder shadow girls. That’s okay too. I have about 12… or 70… different shades of loose mineral shadows. There are some very high quality pure mineral shadows on Etsy (like Notyce Beauty & Deviant Cosmetics) but in the stores, I’m pretty picky. A while back, while wandering around a discount store, I found a trio of colors that I loved. They had natural, soft, and subtle looks but I wanted something bold. I grabbed Wet ‘n Wild’s Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in “Spoiled Brat”. Since I don’t use many pressed eye colors, I was hesitant to invest a lot of money for just a few purse shadows. I could not, however, pass this trio up. Of course, other color combos were present and each trio had great shades of pressed shadows for just about anyone. Since loose minerals are hard to carry around with me, this pressed trio of shadows was perfect to give me a few fun colors at a fab price. $3

Mascara: Probably out of all makeup that is on the market, mascaras are the hardest for me to settle on. Every new one that comes out says it is better than the last. And I fall for it every time. There are also ones that I have loved that have just disappeared. UGH! I am often given mascaras to try from different brands to test and only a few times have I flat out not liked them. But there are also very few that I have loved enough to buy again. When it comes to drugstore mascaras, there are so many that I literally get overwhelmed when I go looking. I am not able to try any of those before buying and am afraid of getting something that will irritate my eyes or just doesn’t look good. I actually made a list of what I wanted with a mascara and what I didn’t then went on to various company websites to see if they had something close to my desires. After I chose my brush style, formula, color and longevity, I was able to narrow it down to three mascaras. The first one was difficult to find. It was out of stock in many stores. The second one seemed to do just about everything. I’ve been wearing it for a week and have had no eye irritation, smudging or difficulty in getting it all off at bedtime. It was not that expensive and I had a coupon too. Would I buy it again? Not sure… we’ll see. But am I wearing mainly now? Yes, yes I am. Every day. I like the results I am getting L’Oreal ParisVoluminous® Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara. A decent deal for $8

Eyeliner – Pencil: I am a child of the 80’s. Back then, your pencil eyeliner was awesome if you got it really sharp then heated it with a lighter. Looking back?…ugh, what was I thinking. Eyeliners have come really far since then. There are pencil liners that will stay strong on your waterline without having to melt them on. The problem is that most of them are super high end and are not cheap. One summer on vacation, I realized I left my pencil liner home. I got a little paranoid so I headed out to the nearest drug store to try and find something that could hold me over. Thanks to a recommendation from a customer, I decided to try NYX’s Slim Eye Pencil in Black Glitter. It was a little sparkly but not a ton, just enough. It sharpened easy, glided on without tugging and didn’t smudge at all. I liked it so much I went back and got a few other colors. I really like using the glitter liner on the waterline and then I nbetween the lashes with a thin line of the NYX Silver liner (or other bold color) underneath. A very chic look at a very reasonable price! $3.50

Eyeliner – Liquid: I have only been using liquid liner for a little over two years. It didn’t matter how many YouTube tutorials I read, the “winged liner” look wasn’t flying my way. Thanks to the help of a couple of my friends, I think I have finally achieved the look. It’s not always perfect and takes some time, but I can get there. The liquid liners that I first started practicing with were more than forgiving. I could make a small mistake and be able to fix it without much effort. The only bad thing was that usually meant that the liner didn’t stay as “crisp” as I wanted it to. If I wanted the winged liner look that day, I would have to use the liquid I had then go over it with a pencil or wet shadow. That didn’t always work so well. I was finally given some recommendations for a good pen liner but it was pretty steep in price. Especially since I wasn’t a pro at it. I tried it and was beyond thrilled with it, but that price made me wonder if there was any drugstore liquid liner with the same stay power. Fortunately I found one that was actually BETTER than the expensive pen I was using. Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner has a stay power like I have never seen before. It isn’t a pen (which is my only disappointment) but the applicator has a pen-shaped felt tip. It goes on smooth and gentle and stays ALL DAY! There is no crying or smudging or even wiping this off. Once it is on, it’s on! Now that has its disadvantages if you are a newbie to the liquid liner game. If you make a mistake, you need to fix it FAST or you will need to take it all off and start again. And to take it off completely takes the right products and a substantial amount of time. I find it is best if you give the applicator a blot on a tissue (hold it on an angle–don’t press the tip!) and go from there. That way you will have less product that can get unruly. You may even want to find a super thin, long handled brush to apply it with. (Instead of a makeup store, look for a good super-thin paintbrush at a craft store! Just make sure you clean it after each use so it won’t lose its shape. This gem is remarkably inexpensive for $4.

Lip liner: The main purpose of a lip liner is to keep your lip color from feathering into the fine lines around your lips. A good way to keep those lines from happening is to use your favorite eye cream around your lips morning and night. Eye cream is supposed to prevent you from getting lines around your eyes, right? So why not do the same thing for your lips. Find a lip liner pencil that isn’t too soft but that doesn’t tug when you apply it. I found that Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner was a great find for the cost. Available in 11 shades, this gem is perfect for giving you the perfect pout in a color that matches your lipstick or gloss. The long-wearing formula doesn’t transfer and can stay put for up to 8 hours. Not to mention, if you use a long wearing lip color, you want it to make sure it “stays in the lines” and a liner helps with just that. If you want, you can even use it as a long wearing lip color by itself by filling your lips completely with your favorite shade. And at its low price, you can pick all the colors that you love. $4

Lip Color: When it comes to an all over lip color, everyone has their personal preference to the kind they like. Some like pencils, others like regular lipsticks, many like liquid lip colors, some prefer stains. Whichever one you like best, you are sure to find something reasonably priced in your local drugstore. It might just be a case of trying different ones that give you the formula and colors you like. One little gem that I found is made by NYX called Epic Ink Lip Dye. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not really a “dye” or even a stain. It is more like a liquid lipstick that goes on smooth and lasts a long time without any transfer. The colors are bold and give you a “notice me!” look. There are 12 shades to choose from in the current collection and run about $7.

If you want something that is fairly long wearing but is more of a gloss with a good color, don't pass by L’Oreal Paris’s 8 HR Le Gloss. I've been wearing this gloss for well over five years now and it is still the one I grab when I want long lasting, creamy color that hydrates. Available in 20 shades that include mattes, frosts and shimmers, this stay-put gloss doesn't feather or fade. It is a bit sticky which is not appealing for some but for someone who has dry, chapped lips (like me) they may appreciate that kick of moisture. You can find that in your local drugstore for $10.

One other little goodie that I recently discovered is a neat Lip tint by e.l.f.. Don’t let the color in the package deter you. It actually changes colors with the chemistry of your lips. It is moisturizing because it is infused with shea butter to give your lips some great hydration. It comes in three hues and can be put on at any time … even without a mirror! I had originally gotten Perfect Pink when it first came out but I thought, for a redhead, it was a little too bright for me. Then they released Perfect Berry and I was thrilled! It gives me that nice, rich, shiny light burgundy hue that looks great on my lips and matches my hair. They also released it in Perfect Peach which I am sure would also look good especially to match an outfit with warmer or neutral colors. e.l.f. offers these “Perfect” lip tints for $6.

It can be difficult to select a makeup item from a drugstore simply from a magazine ad or even from a recommendation from a friend. Not everyone wants the same things so without being able to try it out for a while, it’s hard to know if it is the right product for you. I tell my readers to do their research: read online reviews about the product itself at their website, search online for public reviews, and try sites like Influenster that cover all kinds of products—makeup and more. Use these to make your decision but definitely ask the drugstore if you purchase it and find it is not the product for you that you can return it without a hassle. This should be able to narrow your choices down quite a bit and take the worry out of possibly losing money on a product that is not for you.

So Sassy wants to know… what is YOUR must-have drugstore makeup product? How long have you been using it? And of course, why do you keep buying it? I’d love to share your thoughts on your favorite products in a future article. Leave your comments below so I can do some research on the ones you love too!

Yeay!….Spring?

24 Mar

According to the calendar, spring came on Monday this week. As I sit here at my desk, you might not believe that. There is a still a coating of snow on the ground from a two foot storm we got LAST week. Some of it has melted but today the temperature is bordering on freezing so the rain that is falling right now is a combination of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Fun, fun. Let your inner self feel my excitement. Can you? Yeah… I can’t either.

With the date saying one thing but the skies saying something else, what are glamour and fashionistas to do when they want to add a few new things to their fashion/glamour collection but don’t know how to integrate them into this fickle weather? I have been looking carefully for things that I can use now but can also transfer into my regular spring routine (or even summer!) when the temps balance out to where they should be. It can be frustrating, but if you do your research there are a few things you can grab now that will be great for this time of year AND continue to be a plus as the weather continues to brighten up.

So what has Sassy been using lately? Here are a few things you may want to check out:

**Victoria Secret PINK Hoodie** – A hoodie of any sorts is a great seasonal transitioning piece. If it’s cold, wear it under a warm jacket. If it’s warmer, wear it under something lighter like a leather coat. If it is getting “warm”, wear a jazzy tee and leave the hoodie opened up. The thing that is nice about a hoodie is that they are so versatile that you really can wear any type and any color in ANY season. Since spring is here, I thought I would add a really nice pastel pink hoodie to my collection. I own no pink clothes. No really…nothing. I never thought it looked good with my auburn hair. But the shade I recently got looks really awesome. The color is flattering, the hoodie fits well, it is warm…. oh! And it was on sale! Cha-Ching! This is a great item to find on sale now so keep your eyes open for one you like.
Victoria’s Secret, prices vary by style.

**DSW’s Black Ballet Flat** – A few days ago, it was nice enough out for me to put aside boots and high-top sneakers and actually pull out a pair of flats to wear with my skinny jeans. Woo Hoo! Well, that was until I tried on the pair I wanted to wear. I couldn’t even get my toes into them! I have put on a couple of WANTED and NEEDED pounds over the winter and it seems some of it went to my feet. Maybe? It could also be from the foot surgery I had almost two years ago. I went through and tried on all my flats and realized I need about three different styles of black flats. I ordered a pair of ankle lace ups, a pair of fancy small wedges and a cool pair of flats with “studs”. Thankfully, all the other flats I have fit just fine. Flats are a must-have shoe style when the temperatures start to rise. It may be too warm for boots, but it may be way too cool for sandals. Flats come in all styles now so don’t be afraid to add a couple of pairs you like.
DSW.com, $39.95

**Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème** – I haven’t been one to use concealer much over the years. I’ve been lucky—the eye creams I have used have treated my eye area nicely, kept away dryness, and have prevented dark circles and fine lines. In my last Sephora order, I got a nice little sample of the KVD Concealer Crème and I put it on my vanity to try. This winter took its toll on my eyes a little bit. Over tired, stress, eye strain, even the sun. But after I tried the sample, I was VERY impressed. I will be honest…my face brightened right up! Not only does it do a great job at hiding little imperfections in the eye area (especially underneath) but it does an amazing job at illuminating my eye area AND face! This is great for this time of year because we often find that we need to moisturize our eyes more during the colder weather, but forget to use a product to brighten the skin around them. As it gets warmer, we can protect them from the sun to keep the eye area bright but often forget to use a gentle moisturizer. While we find the right product(s) that will help keep our eye area from aging, a good concealer can hide little tell-tale signs during the process. Kat Von D’s Concealer Crème does just that! The formula is gentle and the coverage is fabulous!
Katvondbeauty.com or Sephora, $26.00

**TwinMedix Pro: Essentials E5** – About a year ago, I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. It truly was a life changing adventure, both personally and professionally. I had the opportunity to meet with world-renowned makeup artist James Vincent who was a plethora of knowledge for me. When I mentioned I was frustrated with my sensitive skin and not being able to get my hands on good skin care near me, he told me to talk to Michelle Shaffer with TwinMedix. She was a doll. I explained to her that my skin gets irritated easily and I had to switch out brands and products depending on the season. She introduced me to the TwinMedix Pro line, explaining what each product did. Five simple products was the entire routine for day and night. Easy peasy. I have been using it faithfully ever since that day and my skin has never looked better! The one item, however, that I did not know how to put into the routine was the Essentials E5 product. Come to find out, this product is actually a MUST HAVE especially when seasons are changing. It contains pure Vitamin E which protects the skin from environmental damage while hydrating and soothing skin especially when it is exposed to harsh and changing weather conditions. It also calms sensitive skin like mine. I began to use it like a primer and I have noticed that no matter what it is doing outside, my skin feels soft and protected. I use it daily, along with my other TwinMedix products. It’s nice to have a great base to my look that doesn’t just smooth my skin but nourishes it as well!
TwinMedix.com, $90.00

**Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum** – Winter can do job on our hair. The heat, the cold, the wind, the dry air, you name it. I have a shelf… okay two… of products to use depending on what is up with my hair. Right now? I’ve got some dry ends to deal with. But earlier in the week, my hair felt oily and gummy. Ugh! I can’t keep a ton of things in the shower, so what do I do? Not to mention, my hair is color treated which doesn’t help me try to find products that won’t hurt my “enhanced” auburn tresses either. I try to find the best shampoos and conditioners for what my hair is going through and help it get healthy with those. What’s a challenge is, without extensive research, those two items can either help a lot or do even more damage if it contains chemicals that aren’t good for my hair. But when I get out of the shower, that is when I need a good product to keep my red hair in check. I need something that will smooth without leaving it feeling greasy. I need something that will give it shine without drying it out. I need something that will keep it soft without making it fly everywhere. I need something that will protect it without weighing it down. I need something that can gently “coat” each strand to keep it healthy. Oh…and I need something that can do ALL of that no matter what the weather or temperature is outside. It needs to give me what I need without checking a forecast first. PM’s Super Skinny Serum does just that. No matter what is going on outside, a small dollop of the Serum will smooth fly-away hair on dry & windy days, it will lightly condition and seal your hair strands keeping them healthy, and it will control your hair with a formula that keeps your hair shiny, silky and frizz-free in any weather. It is also an added bonus that the Serum will speed up your drying time so you hair is not wet in unhealthy elements, giving you the results you want in less time. The Super Skinny Serum is perfect for ALL hair types so it allows you to not just get the look you want but will also allow you to add it to your haircare routine without any interference. So no matter what the weather is outside, your hair doesn’t have to become damaged from it–just a bit of Paul Mitchell’s Skinny Serum will lock in the results you want.
Paul Mitchell Salons (see their website for locations), prices may vary.

So, are you ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome in the sunny days of spring? I know I am! Gently convert your wardrobe, skin care and hair care with these items and you can cut out some of the frustration of flip-flop weather and keep your routine on the straight and narrow!!

Please share!—Sassy wants to know what YOU have that helps you transition your fashion and beauty routine between seasons. Do you have any products that helps make these changes easier? Let me know!!