Archive | June, 2013

Sassy’s Thought of the Day

30 Jun

imageWe did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.

~ Lynn Hall

Sassy Redheads Love Denim!

19 Jun

imageBeing a redhead, I am pre-programmed to know what colors look good on me. I can wear green, I cannot wear reds (or so I think). I can wear browns, I cannot wear pastel pink. I can wear purple, I cannot wear lilac. I try sometimes to sneak taboo colors into my closet, but their time there is often short lived because I’m afraid to wear it.

The one tricky color for redheads is blue. I can say, without a doubt, it’s the most difficult color for me to feel comfortable in. Royal Blue? Oh no!…. That’s like arsenic to my fashion code. Powder blue? Eh….it’s okay but washes me out even more. (Really…can deathly pale look any worse? Ah, yeah.) Turquoise blue? That, I have to say, I do well with. Probably because it has yellow undertones which go with my auburn hair. Dark blue? Gag…. next.

These colors are out in the makeup and fashion world all year ’round so they are unavoidable. You just need to try, blend, mix, discover. Although there are many shades of blue, the one constant on the fashion pallet is not just a color but a material too–denim. Denim blue, no matter how varied in shades, it is a must in a redhead’s–or anyone’s for that matter–closet. I LOVE MY DENIM!!! And now with jeans being just as classy and dressy as they are casual, everyone with all hair colors need a varied collection of denim fashions.

Oh trust me…it took a long time for me to become a fan of denim jeans. Before? None of them seem to fit me right–too loose here, too tight there, too long, too short. Bah. I virtually gave up ever finding a nice, chic pair of jeans that looked and felt good all over. Then someone suggested I try to find a pair of jeans at a thrift store. Ummm… huh? They said they have been worn out in some places, shrunk to fit in others, have their color faded perfectly and…oh yeah…are cheap. So for a couple of weeks that’s what I did. I tried on all brands and sizes of jeans imaginable till I found what I loved. It didn’t take long to find certain brands and styles that fit me like a glove. And that enabled me to make jeans my number one priority in my wardrobe. Woot!

Now just because blue denim jeans are a must for my edgy, rocker-girl look, that doesn’t mean denim starts and end with jeans. There are so many other pieces (and accessories) where denim blue can play a fab role!! So how can this strong-spirited, must-have help take an avant-garde girl to the next fashion level? Let’s see what Sassy has:

Jeans (of course). I can easily say 1/3 of my closet is full of jeans. I have several pair of skinnies, boot cuts, jeggings and straight cuts in all types of washes (stone, whiskered, dark, acid, destroyed). Each cut and each color has a time and place. A nice date night may call for a pair of dark skinny denims with a sequined cami and a nice boyfriend jacket, finished with a pair of platform pumps. A day at a family birthday party screams faded stone-washed straight-legged jeans, maybe even with a few select worn holes. Top it with a graphic tee and a pair of contrasting gladiator sandals and you have a fun, comfortable look for the day. Always remember there is a pair of jeans for almost ANY occasion–you just need to find them. SASSY’S FAVORITES: dELiA’s Morgan Low-Rise Skinny Jean in Charlotte Wash, dELiA’s stores and delias.com, $46.50; Guess Starlet Leg Jeans in Noisy Wash, guess.com, $89.00
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A denim jacket. A denim jacket, no matter how old you are, is a must. This “Plain Jane” piece has been around for decades with only a few changes here and there depending on the latest fads. A standard denim jacket is a staple for both men and women. Women are the primarily the ones who enjoy jazzing them up to go with the current fashions. Me personally? I have a basic dark wash denim jacket — but I love to add accent pieces like pins, scarves, chains and rhinestones for a jazzier look. SASSY’S FAVORITE: Women’s Denim Jacket (also available in petite & tall) in Dark Worn; oldnavy.com, $34.94
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Jewelry. Yeah, that’s what I said…jewelry. Granted, there aren’t a ton of pieces out there that fall into this category, but what you find will probably look cool. Plus, when it comes to jewelry, it doesn’t have to be actual denim material. A denim-colored jeweled necklace can make a pair of boots, straight-legged jeans and a white classic top look stunning. And bracelets? Perfect! Find some denim blue rhinestone bracelets and stack them up with black leather cuffs, pearls, and links for a bold look that matches with its own style! SASSY’S FAVORITES: Napier Silver Tone Bead Multistrand Stretch Bracelet in blue, kohls.com, $18.00; 2028 Crystal Flower Pendant Necklace, macys.com, $38.00
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Purse. This gets a little squirrelly in my book. I think an all-denim handbag can look SO out of place with a pair of jeans if the wash and style aren’t the same. Some say it’s trendy, I personally say it’s match-y and gauche. If you want to integrate some denim with your bag, find a purse that has pieces of denim in it or has other materials and textures to break up the look. Your bag should compliment the outfit, not be a piece of it. This will be a challenge. I’d prefer to say phooey and just compliment your look with a nice black or metallic bag. But if you must… SASSY’S FAVORITE: Coach Poppy Pop C Denim (Groovy 15351), amazon.com, $228.00
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Eye Shadow. Ok, duh, I know you can’t glue pieces of denim to your lids, but there are some stunning shadows out there that are denim hued that will finish off your look with a pop of color that will look good on anyone. Stay true to the denim shade–don’t lean towards powder blues or midnight blues. You will know it when you see it. Use it as a crease accent with neutrals for a highlighter and lid shade. Use a fine liner brush to extend the crease color to the outer corner and along the bottom lash line. This will give you a soft smokey look for day and night wear. SASSY’S FAVORITES: Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow Smooth Hold in Little Blue Dress, macys.com, $19.00; Maybelline Eye Studio Color Pearls Marbleized Eyeshadow Duo in Downtown Denim, CVS & cvs.com, $6.99
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With warm weather upon us, extend the denim look into some capris and shorts as well. Same rules apply with the colors and washes. What is great about summer denim is you can make your outfit look simply FAB by rocking some stunning sandals or footwear to really take those basic blues to another level. Denims can last a long, long time and will usually last longer than its style. To keep them looking as new as possible, wash them inside out, in cold water with a splash of color safe bleach. It’s also best to wash all your denims together without any other clothes. This will prevent any color from bleeding into other items and keep them soft, fresh and bright. With the right denims that fit you perfectly, you will have the one fashion that will ALWAYS be your best friend!

OCC Lip Tars & Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique

14 Jun

imageIt is not a surprise that color cosmetics are strongly judged by customers based mainly by two things: the strength of the pigments (base colors) in the product and how long these colors last without reapplication. These qualities are important in general, every day makeup as well as performance makeup used in TV, films and stage. Ever since I began my fascination with makeup years and years ago, I have seen some make ups go from lasting 20 minutes to wearing 24 hours. Companies know our time is precious and limited so the less touch ups we have to do during the day (or night), the better. Not only do cosmetics wear longer in general, but the colors and features are more vibrant. There are no more days of just jet black liner, mascara, powder blue eye shadow and fuchsia lipstick. The colors, styles and features are endless. And if you know your stuff? You can create yourself a look prettier than a peacock!

Recently, I saw an add for a cosmetic company called LeCosmetique. This company sells professional makeup supplies for makeup artists as well as makeup fanatics. One item they feature is a product they sell called “Lip Tars” by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC). Since I began blogging, I have seen lip tars here and there, but didn’t know what made them different from other lip colors. It seems that lip tars are HIGHLY pigmented and as the product itself wears down, the stain from the pigments keep the colors going strong. Because lip tars are oil based and not waxed based, they HAVE to be applied with a brush which conveniently comes with each one ordered. (FYI, I tell all my Sassinistas to put on ANY colored lip product with a brush–tars, lipsticks, tinted balms or even glosses.) Using a brush helps to keep the product from bleeding into the feathered cracks around your lips. It also helps to “press” the color into your lips, staining them, to make it last longer. You can even buy retractable lip brushes to use while you’re out and not mess up your purse or makeup bag.

Being a lip color addict, I have to admit that these “tars” intrigued me. They were packaged like some cream eye shadows are so it was hard to conceive them being like a manageable lip color. I asked LeCosmetique if they would be willing to let me try one, just to be able see what it was like compared to other lip glosses or lipsticks. They were more than happy to send me not just one but a couple of their favorite products to let me play with and see what I thought in comparison to other retail-store products. (LeCosmetique store is only online.) I was thrilled when I saw they sent me four products to test out–two OCC Lip Tars and two Armour Moisturizing Lip Glosses. Oh yeay…time to play makeup!

The first products I tried were the Lip Tars. It only took one ridiculous application to realize immediately two things: 1) the colors are very, VERY highly pigmented; and 2) a little goes a long way. Since each lip tar comes with its own brush, I highly recommend not interchanging the brush with its color. Now that’s not saying that you shouldn’t combine lip tars to create your own unique colors. In fact–just the opposite! It’s fabulous to have a pallet of lip tars to blend up a color that works perfectly for your color theme of the day. Use just a dot, blend it in thoroughly, then add more if you want a bolder color. Seriously though, listen to Sassy–APPLY ONE SMALL DOT AT A TIME! When you realize how very little you need to get the bold long lasting color you want, you’ll realize that one tube of OCC Lip Tar will most likely last the rest of your life. Really… I’m not kidding. If you do use a lip brush to blend several colors, make sure you wash the brush out as soon as you’re done with a little eye makeup remover and gentle cleanser. That way you won’t have any straggling color mixing in with your new one.

The two OCC Lip Tar colors I was sent were Harlot and Clockwork. Harlot is a BRIGHT fiery red that is neither warm nor cool. It is a straight up neutral red that you can wear alone for an old Hollywood look that is so in style right now. Or, if you wish, you can tone it up or down with other Lip Tars to give you a warmer or cooler tone. It is not easy to find a true, neutral, bright red lip color but you get it with Harlot. Being a redhead, I admit I was a little intimidated by its boldness. I had never worn a red that bright before! But I found if I applied the Lip Tar, blotted the oil, and reapplied if necessary, the color gave me a nice red tint to my lips which didn’t look overbearing. Nice! The other color I was sent was Clockwork which is a rich terra cotta shade with vivid orange undertones. With the warmer temps and my hair being richly red, this color looked great on me. Although its base notes are warm, the shade can be “pressed” into a long lasting neutral shade that can look good with all fashion shades. It can also be used very lightly to give an almost nude hue. A great color for a day of errands or light enough to wear when you want to bring attention to your emphasized eyes so they won’t collide with your lips.

I really liked how the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars looked and felt on my lips. They gave me a great base color and allowed me to jazz them up if I wanted with different shades of glosses (read below) for some high shine and pizazz. I couldn’t stress enough the importance of using a lip brush when applying the OCC Lip Tars. It’s also great to know that the Lip Tars are made in the USA and are both vegan and cruelty free. Yeay OCC and LeCosmetique!
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In addition to the highly pigmented OCC lip tars, LeCosmetique sent me two of their Beauty Lip Glosses by Armour. These are different from the Lip Tars because the Lip Glosses long-wearing formula is more moisturizing with a base of shea butter, avocado, mango and olive oil, grape seed oil and vitamin E. These great glosses come complete with a doe-foot applicator and go on bold–but not as bold as the Lip Tars. They are long wearing but super moisturizing which I LOVE. I was sent two shades of glosses–Gypsy and Hello.

Any fan of the 80’s will be thrilled to hear that the Gypsy Lip Gloss was, in fact, named after the popular Fleetwood Mac song. This gloss is a soft sheer peach with tiny specks of gold shimmer. I love that I can wear it by itself as a long-wearing, every day color. It has a light vanilla/grapefruit scent which isn’t over-bearing. Want to go bolder? Kick up your favorite Lip Tar shade a notch by topping it with this high shimmery shine. Gypsy is truly THE perfect nude shade to do just that! Then there is Hello. When I first saw this color as I took it out of the package, I thought, “Where the heck am I ever going to have the opportunity to wear this color?” I am a RAGING redhead and this gloss screams bubblegum pink with TONS of pigment. Sooooo not me! But you know what? … I was VERY pleasantly surprised! It’s light and bright, and it is one of THE hottest shades this season. Vanilla & grapefruit scented, this naturally based, long wearing, Rock ‘N’ Roll lip gloss is a great addition to your lip color pallet. Named after an ode to Hello Kitty and 1960’s Hello Magazine, this pink is without a doubt a must-have this year. Easy does it, though. The color is bold and it is better to dot it on with the applicator then blend in with your fingertip then to swipe it with the applicator. THEN you can add more if you want more pop! Like you don’t have enough reasons to love OCC Lip Tars and Armour Lip Glosses already, there’s more: they are both paraben free and do no animal testing….ever!
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The main thing I really liked about Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique are that I can get a rich, long-lasting color with moisturizers and shine in ONE easy-to-carry product. We all know many big named cosmetics offer these things but not all in one tube. Sometimes you need as many as four! Well hellz bellz, I ain’t got time for that! The more simple you can make my routine, the better. And this gloss is certainly simple!

I am already putting together my next order to LeCosmetique for more Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars and Armour Lip Glosses right now! The thought of mixing and blending for some unique, long-lasting colors sounds exciting and fun! Plus it’s nice to know I am helping support local companies here at home that provide excellent products that are environmentally friendly. I definitely suggest you go and check out the numerous products that LeCosmetique has to offer. Whether you work on a big make up or cosmetology job level or just want a few quality items for your personal collection, I have no doubt you will find something you will like with LeCosmetique.

Check out LeCosmetique’s site HERE

This is me wearing OCC's Lip Tar in "Harlot" and Armour Beauty Lip Gloss in "Gypsy", both from LeCosmetique.

This is me wearing OCC’s Lip Tar in “Harlot” and Armour Beauty Lip Gloss in “Gypsy”, both from LeCosmetique.

Must Haves In May

5 Jun

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I hate May.

How is that for an opening remark? I really don’t think any month tears me up more than May. I have lost several close relatives in the month of May, the weather is so unpredictable, allergies are brutal and… oh, let’s not forget the best of the best… my birthday is in May. Getting another year older always puts a smile on my face….NOT! I hate getting old and will fight ANY signs of it as much as possible–mind, body & soul. Which is probably why most of my fab finds this month will help me stay 29…again!

So what are my new favorite makeup and skin care items I found this month? Read on and find out:

image1. Lancôme Visionnaire – A few of the tell-tale signs of your real age is what begins happening to the skin on your face and neck. Fine lines appear, pores look larger, face takes on an uneven skin tone. Everything that screams old. Since cosmetic procedures are not an option to me (don’t know if I would even if I could), I always read about the latest products to fight the signs of aging. My friend Lisa who is a manager at the local Macy’s said I HAD to try this product for a couple of weeks and gave me a few samples of the Visionnaire serum. My current night cream was getting low so I thought it would be a good time to try it out. I had been using a night gel so this Lancôme Serum felt really nice to put on. It absorbed quickly with no tight or sticky feeling. I already notice my skin tone is evening out, and my pores and fine lines seem less noticeable. Boo-Yah! Just what I am looking for. The only down side it’s pretty expensive, but a little goes a long way and I believe the bottle I got will last at least six months to a year. That’s a good investment in younger looking skin. I top it with my favorite moisturizing night cream and let nature do the rest! ($89 [1oz], Macy’s stores & online)

image2. L’Oreal RevitaLift® Miracle Blur – Okay, true story: I was asked to be a product tester for this product early in the month. I read all the info, used it as directed, but I personally didn’t think I saw the results I was supposed to get, so I tossed it aside after a week. Blur is not a moisturizer, Blur is not a foundation, and it is supposed to do more than just a primer does. But it just didn’t seem to give me what i wanted. Then, like only NY can do, the weather did a complete 180, turning not just warmer but flat out HOT! I realized I needed something to keep away the makeup melt-aways and nasty shine. A product that did that PLUS help me with a broad spectrum SPF would be really great. Hmmmm. Funny–those are things that the new product Blur promised. Okay, lets try this again. Now, the directions say you should apply Blur after your moisturizer and before your foundation. When I did that, I didn’t really get the look I wanted. But when I used a little less and applied it OVER my foundation, I got the look I loved with lasting results I wanted. Sometimes I even blend a bit of my mineral foundation into it in the palm of my hand with the Blur which gives me a nice, all-day matte look. Sometimes things just need another chance and a little adjusting. We hope our serums will work fast, but if they don’t do the job 100%, this will hide that little percentage it missed! ($24.99, most drug stores)

image3. Yes to Grapefruit Brightening Facial Towelettes – Obviously I have an OCD issue with the evenness and tone of my skin. I don’t want blotchy-ness and I don’t want scars from my teen years. If I could get my skin to brighten and even-out where I would need minimal to no foundation, I’d be thrilled. These towelettes take off all my makeup with a gentle textured no-rinse wipe. I was worried my sensitive skin might find it contained a bit too much acid from the grapefruit, but my skin tolerated the wipes just fine. I do feel some tingling after using them, but nothing that irritates or breaks out my face, more like a clean feeling. Oh and I love the scent! These are awesome for those “I’m too tired to take my face off” nights. Just leave a pack in the bed stand for just that! Congrats to Yes To for another fabulous line of products!!($5.99, most retail stores)

image4. Jimmy Choo’s “Flash” Parfum – Okay, so a new scent may not make you look younger, but it can definitely make you feel younger. And isn’t that what counts? This second fragrance from shoe expert, Jimmy Choo, has a pop to it that just takes the wearer’s charisma to a whole new level. The perfume caught my attention on a scratch & sniff page in one of my favorite magazines. (“Samples sell!!”) I INSTANTLY fell in love with it and the search was on. I was able to snag a mini bottle on EBay till I could get a regular sized bottle. This is truly one of those WOW! scents. Notes of pink pepper, strawberry and tangerine open you senses to a rush of power, allure and sexiness that you can even see within the person wearing it. It is very new, so watch for it. I think you hear more about it in the months to follow. ($55.00 [1.3 oz], Nordstrom’s and Nordstrom’s online)

image5. benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara – I am embarrassed to say how many mascaras I have featured on my blog as the greatest, best, advanced, favorite new product I’ve ever tried. Especially since I’m going to do it again. Ok, Sassinistas…. what do I always say about samples? (Look above, silly!). The sample of this mascara was actually the birthday gift to Sephora Insiders, so I picked mine up when I stopped in the store a few weeks ago. Okay, nice, a cute mascara, I’ll try it someday. Well, that day came while my husband was out of town recently and I had nothing to do with my free time except try makeup looks out of my glam mags. I grabbed a few of my fave products from the bathroom including “little” items that were easy to carry. I grabbed this mascara since the mini tube was easy to handle. I knew as soon as I put the mascara on a few of my lashes that is was really different. The “brush” coated each lash more like a comb, separating and plumping each lash. Seriously, they chose a great name for the product because it makes your lashes so lush, they almost look fake. As full as they were, removal wasn’t that difficult at bedtime either. I cringe to think about adding another mascara to my beauty drawer, but dang! I have GOT to get this one!! ($23.00, Sephora stores and online)

And there we have it! It may not be my favorite month of the year but trying new products kept my mind and writing hand busy. Phew, no doubt…. May was BUSY!! Soon, I’ll be talking about hot summer items that you’ll want to have on hand (and feet), so keep reading to learn about “summer must have’s” in your closet, beach bag, makeup drawer and on your bathroom counter. Is there anything YOU want to know about: Hot nail colors? Must-have hair products? Stylish shorts? Summer accessories? Skin tamers? Ask me! I’d love to do a blog post where I can help my readers with their fashion & glamour questions. Don’t wait… send them in!!!!