Sassy’s Lifesavers (Part Two)

14 May

A Previous Post, I wanted to share my skin care routine with my readers and followers. I know that many of us are dazzled by makeup and all the colors and techniques that go with it. Before you can have any glamour look amazing on your face, you need a good canvas. A clean, fresh slate to work your color magic on. When I first got into the skin care and makeup industry, I learned how important it was to have your skin in the best condition possible. Otherwise, your makeup just won’t look its best. I’m often reminded of the story of the farmer that couldn’t understand why his barn always looked old even though he would try to put a fresh coat of paint on it every year. Why did it look sloppy? Because the farmer didn’t “prep” the barn before painting it. He didn’t remove the old paint, sand down the rough spots, wash it thoroughly or treat the wood properly. He just kept slapping on new paint without taking care of the barn first. Your face is the exactly the same way. You need to treat your skin to give you the best base you can before you add any color.

I mentioned before that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:
• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

An evening skin care routine show be:
• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)
• Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Although it sounds simple—and it should be—it can be difficult to get into the routine if you haven’t had one before. You need to take some time to make sure you are getting what your skin needs, with ingredients that are pure and healthy, targeted to do what you need for your skin’s concerns. I am an exception to the rule with my skin being “normal”. I will say, however, that it took MANY years of right’s and wrong’s to get it that way. When you do some research, try some products and get what is right for you, you will notice the change in the way your skin looks and feels very quickly. The clock is going to keep ticking when it comes to your skin… the best we can do is give it what it needs to slow that down as much as possible.

Part One we covered my morning routine. Today let’s talk about the evening:

Before Bed Routine

Cleanse:
Same As The A.M.

You don’t need special products to clean your face in the evening. Your morning cleansers work just as good. Follow the directions and use them just as you would before you put on your daily makeup.

Exfoliate:
This is where things can get a little “sensitive”. Literally. Anyone who has sensitive skin knows that many exfoliators can have ingredients that can be irritating, burning, harsh or down right painful for your face. This may take some different trial products to find the ones you like. I seriously suggest you go to a makeup store (like Ulta or Sephora) to get samples of the ones you may want to try, just to use them a few times before making the final purchase. Another idea may be to sign up for a glamour subscription (like “Ipsy” or “How to be a Redhead”) and try some of their suggestions. The only negative about that is you have no idea what you will get and won’t be able to research ingredients or reviews first. Depending on your skin type or what you want your mask to do, you may just want to do a search of these products and read which ones are fan favorites.

For me, I absolutely love Albertini International’s Warm Love Exfoliating Mask. This came as a sample in my H2BAR’s October subscription box and it was not just great for fall but for any time of the year. It does say “mask” however I tend to just rub it on my face (it will get a little warm and tingly as it stimulates blood flow) and rinse off with cool water. It’s a gentle scrub that doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

Another one of my favorites is BeFine’s Exfoliating Cleanser. When you use this product 2-3 times a week, you can eliminate your cleansing step that day as this does both. This natural gem is filled with brown sugar for a light scrub, ginger root extract for detoxifying, sweet almond oil to keep your skin’s moisture balance, and orange oil to help heal skin imperfections. This non-irritating healthy cleansing scrub clears away dull damaged skin that can accumulate after a couple of days. Your skin will feel soft and will instantly brighten your face.

Mask: Well, that depends…
Masks are essential in your weekly beauty routine because they get “down and dirty” to target problems with your skin. Because of the different brands, formulas and types of masks that target specific issues, giving your skin a treatment mask will help you ultra-nourish your skin with a weekly dose of goodness. They tend to have more precise/stronger ingredients than daily products do. That is why you really only need them once a week.

There are times when I can feel the buildup of environmental “ick”. I think you know what I mean. This is when I use my newest find. Last year, I posted about a new body cream by a company called Rad which I love. A few weeks ago, while killing time at a local mall, I actually saw Rad’s flagship store! I was SOOO excited to go in and meet the owner to rave about how much I loved her products. We chatted and talked for a while, as she remembered me writing about her products. She knew I had sensitive skin (from the article) and insisted I try this face mask that she thought I would like. She was right! Rad’s Skin Psyche Detox Face Mask is incredible. Enriched with ingredients such as Marshmallow Root, Coffee Bean and Jojoba, this mask is blended with essential oils to detoxify the skin by opening pores and drawing out accumulated toxins. After the first time I used it, I can’t begin to explain how soft and healthy my skin felt. The jar is large and you don’t use a lot. Just apply—avoiding the eye area—let sit for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse.

When I am getting ready for a week of photos and need my skin to feel a little more tight and fresh, I fall back on an old-school style peel-off mask by Labotica called Transforming Liquid Foil Mask. There isn’t much this mask doesn’t do, but my main attraction to it is how well it brightens and firms up your skin. Made with nourishing botanical exracts that calm inflammation, this luxurious pearlescent saint goes on like a creamy liquid and dries to a silvery, shiny, peel off mask. I like to make sure it is doing its job, so I let it set about 30 minutes then peel. Get off as much as you can, being careful around the eye area. Any little specks that you can’t peel off will come off with a cotton ball and water or micellar water. I love how my skin looks and feels after this relaxing treat!

Night Serum: TwinMedix Pro: Essentials A15
I bet by now you are seeing a trend with my love of the TwinMedix products. That’s because they work to keep my skin healthy and young looking—hands down. TwinMedix Pro:Essentials A15 night serum is formulated with 0.15% Retinal (pure Vitamin A) and antioxidants to help improve and diminish the appearance of aging skin by softening the look of existing wrinkles and increasing cell turnover to bring younger skin to the surface. Using a small amount over your clean face before bed will leave you waking up to softer, fresher looking skin.

Moisturizer/Night Cream: Lumene Artic Lumenessence Valo Light Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream
Way back, when I first began writing, I had used several of the Lumene products since they were easy to obtain at my local CVS drug store. After a while, two things happened: 1) CVS began to carry less and less Lumene products and; 2) because my skin was way more sensitive than it had once been, I was concerned that this product may not agree with my skin the way it once had. One day, I received an email from a beauty company that asked me to try a moisturizer and give them my feedback. I got a coupon, and out I went. It was Lumene’s Overnight Cream. Awesome! I went out, grabbed a jar, and took it home to try. The first thing I noticed about it was that it had a great citrus scent to it. It wasn’t heavy but it did feel enriching. The jar is decent sized and the amount you need is very little. Plus the added benefit of it containing Vitamin C helps to even skin tone and brighten my face while I sleep.

So that is how Sassy tends to her skin–keeping it soft, smooth and young looking as I try my hardest to fight the hands of time. For someone my age?…. I think I’m winning. Some of my skin care products are a necessity due to my sensitive skin. Others, however, can be used by anyone. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If you would do everything you could to make sure your heart and brain were in tip-top shape, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whatever you choose to buy, just make sure you do your research first. Keep yourself looking your best (and youngest) with natural products and ingredients that will fend off Father Time for as long as possible!

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Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

If you don’t, I’d understand. My blog has been slacking for WAY too long now and since I finally have a break in the action today, it’s time to sit down, break out the iPad and write! There are so many things changing, growing, building, etc. My time is a whirlwind right now. In addition to writing my blog, I have also found myself doing some writing for new magazines, going on new adventures to learn about different genres to write about, traveling a bit, hiding in my loft because winter sucks, and stuff like that. Oh…. and I’m modeling! Yeah, this “32 and holding” blogger has had the opportunity to do some photo shoots, be featured in a few magazines, and I am loving every second of it! (I’ll show you all a picture or two at the end.)

So I am hanging out here in the Northeast, coming out of a horrible winter of weird snow storms, cold temperatures and unusually wicked winds. I’ve been near ice jams and flooding, had a tree limb fall on my brand new car after a very heavy 15” snowfall, and winds that have knocked down trees and power lines. The calendar says spring, but we are still working on getting there weather-wise. This means the sweaters are still out, boots aren’t tucked away yet, face moisturizers have gotten a little more intense, hand creams are a necessity in every room, and eye creams are being used constantly. During this nasty winter season, I had to reevaluate my skin care routine just a bit to make it a bit more hydrating since the cold temperatures, slapping winds and dry indoor heat really took a toll on my face. I actually signed up for a continuing ed course that helped me organize my skin care routine to make sure I got exactly what I needed to prevent dry skin and wrinkles and keep my skin hydrated. It was such a help!

I learned that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:

• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

My evening skin care routine should be:

• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)/ Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Sounds simple, right?? Well, it is if you are in the skin care/beauty industry because you know what you are looking for. You know your skin and you can tell from the ingredients on the products if it is right for you. I will say, for the record, that I have what the experts call “normal” skin. I seldom have dry skin on my face (or body) with just the occasional dry patch. There is no oil in the T-Zone and blemishes are few and far between. The only thing I do have is sensitive skin. And that is common for most redheads. I think that ingredients in some products can do more harm to sensitive skin than using the wrong products for a special skin type.

After going through my entire routine today, I thought I would give you a list of the products in my skin care line for my face so you can see what I use. Every item in my program can be used by ANY skin type. There are no harsh chemicals, heavy ingredients, drying agents or dyes. Fragrances in the products are either naturally subtle or non-existent. So if you are looking for some great products to get your skin ready for spring, you may want to consider some of the ones I have on my vanity.

Because the list I have is kind of long–explaining each product and why I use it–I’ll post my MORNING routine first, and next week I will post Part Two which will be the evening routine.

Let’s start with the A.M.:

Cleansing: Derma E Essentials Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil
Just because the name of this products says “oil” doesn’t mean you will feel greasy instead of clean after its use. This cleanser literally dissolves any type of makeup (even long wearing and waterproof) and impurities while nourishing it with skin conditioning organic oils and subtle rose water. Just apply a dime size amount of the Cleansing Oil onto your fingertips, and massage into your face and neck. Rinse with a cloth and warm water. You can also use a pre-moistened facial cloth like Simple’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes. This can also be used to loosen hard-to-remove eye makeup by massaging a bit onto your eyelids and lashes before wiping clean. Both products can be found at Ulta stores and Ulta online.

Tone: Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Bring your skin to a healthy balance by using a toner before you start to fight the hands of time. This toner contains Vitamin C, Fruit Stem Cell Complex (to increase cell turnover) and super fruit antioxidants to help with improving the skin’s tone and texture. The added boost of Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and calm skin sensitivity. Just a few spritzers on a cotton ball, wiped all over the face (avoiding the eye area) will balance your skin’s pH factor. Available online at Ulta.

Vitamin C/Antioxidant Serums: Twin Medix Pro/Essentials C10 & E5
There is a reason why I am a brand ambassador for this fabulous company….the products are AMAZING! I discovered them at my first Makeup Show in NYC three years ago. I explained to Michelle Shaffer, one of TwinMedix’s founders, that I was looking for a good skin care line that worked together but had formulas with ingredients that could keep myself looking young (even younger if possible) but wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I was given a set of the TwinMedix line and headed home to try it. Wow, the way my skin looked and felt was noticeable right away. The C10 serum is formulated with 10% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) to counteract the look of hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles for brighter, more even toned skin. The E5 serum is filled with 5% Tocopherol (pure Vitamin E), a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from oxidation and free-radical damage by locking in moisture and soothing skin exposed to harsh weather and environmental pollution. This is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin because it puts up a “barrier” locking in the skin’s natural moisture and locking out the damaging elements. Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Cruelty-Free, these little gems can be used alternatively from day to day or worn together for extra protection. Available at TwinMedix.com

Moisturizer: Freedom Naturals Calming Moisturizer
Finding the perfect moisturizer isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult if you have sensitive skin. Sometimes the weather or environment can give your face a tingling or burning sensation… even after just a calming wash. When I opened my “How To Be A Redhead” subscription box in October, I discovered the best moisturizer for when my skin needs hydration but no irritants. This non-greasy formula gets absorbed into the skin so quickly that there is no time to even say the word “oily”. Containing only natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Allentown, Arnica and Beeswax (but free from cortisone, parabens and steroids), your skin is sure to thank you. If you are looking for something a little lighter, give Clinique’s Moisture Surge a try. This extremely lightweight gel-cream is infused with aloe water which actually helps skin create its own moisture to give you a plump, dewy, healthy-looking glow. This oil-free moisture magnet continues to generate hydrated skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face. Allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and Paraben free for all skin types. Freedom Naturals Moisturizer can be found at FreedomNaturals.com and Clinique’s Moisture Surge can be found at most cosmetic counters as well as Ulta and Sephora.

Your eyes are a different entity altogether. The skin around your eyes is very, very thin. It’s often referred to as crepe-ish. Because of this, it’s easy for the eye area to get dry which causes wrinkles. Squinting, tugging and aggressive washing can all contribute to wrinkles occurring. Eye creams are specially formulated for that area to give it the hydration it desperately needs. Like other skin products, formula is everything, so test some if you can. If you can’t, check it’s the store to see about their sample or return policy. I have found two eye creams that don’t irritate my skin or eyes and give me noticeable results. Ole Henriksen’s Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel and Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream. I find that the Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel is PERFECT for mornings–it helps to reduce the puffiness with its cool gel formula. I like to use Benefit’s Potent Eye Cream since it helps to fade dark circles and restore elasticity and firmness around the eyes while providing much needed moisture. Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel can be found at Sephora stores and online; Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream can be found in Ulta stores as well as Ulta.com

Sunscreen: A MUST-HAVE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen to your face EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your face is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays even if you aren’t going to the beach for some tanning (which isn’t great either!) The sun’s rays will find you just about anywhere—through your car windshield, through your living room window, coming into your office windows, walking out to get the mail. Face it… even when the sun isn’t out? It’s rays still get through. Some people find that adding this step to your beauty routine just adds another step which can become tedious. That is when it would be better to make sure you can find some SPF in another beauty product that you would normally use every day anyways. I find it easiest to get a healthy dose of facial sunscreen in a product I already have to use. Skincancer.org recommends a broad spectrum (protecting you from harmful UVA & UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 or higher. Some ways you can get this important protection without adding another step to your routine is to find it in a moisturizer, a primer or even a foundation.

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
Although this product can be optional for some people, I find that a primer is a great way to prep my skin for foundation and makeup, giving me a soft, smooth canvas to “paint” on. Not only do I love this primer for how it makes my skin look and feel, but it also has that high SPF to give my skin the protection it needs. This skin-smoothing formula blurs my skin’s imperfections, prolongs and enhances the look of my makeup, and fights against the sun’s cancer-causing rays. In addition, it contains antioxidants to fight off pollution and environmental aggressors to support healthy skin. Available at Ulta and Sephora, in store and online.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
I have to thank my Makeup Show guru, James Vincent for this fabulous recommendation years ago. Yes, I will admit this is an odd name for a foundation, but it does just that—it provides a sheer yet buildable coverage with a natural-looking, dewy glow and flawless finish. Formulated with 80% water and enriched with pro-vitamin B5, this foundation actually hydrates and improves your skin’s elasticity. With an array of 20 different shades to match all skin tones, this foundation can be used not just on the face but anywhere you want to hide “imperfections”. The formula has a water-gel texture and applies easily, then sets quickly to ensure a transfer-resistant look that will last all day. You may think the cost is a little pricey, but I can tell you that I bought my first bottle—that was not tiny—over two years ago and I JUST ran out. A little goes a long way for a perfect finish.

You are now off to a perfect start for your day–keeping your skin smoother, softer, hydrated and looking younger with a good skin care routine. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for samples, write down product ingredients, keep track of your favorite products then begin to assemble your daytime skin routine. You may have a few items already that work perfectly for you. That’s awesome! Find where your favorites fit into your routine then go from there. Before you know it, you will have a skin care regimen to help stop the signs of aging, and even reverse some of those tell-tale signs of time.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2–Sassy’s PM routine!!

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!

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!)**