Archive | July, 2015

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 7

14 Jul

SkincareI have officially taken “slug” to a new level. My 30 Days of Beauty are so behind, I don’t think Red Bull will help me catch up. I don’t have an excuse, but I do have a reason. Seems my “I don’t like to talk about them” health problems have really kicked my ass. I think it’s the heat. And when it’s not the heat, it’s the rain. And honestly where I live, if it isn’t one, it’s the other. So, basically, till this weather trend breaks or fall gets here, I’m screwed. I’m trying like hell not to let it get me, but after about three hours out of the house, I’m done. If any of my readers have silent pain inflictions or auto immune issues, you get what I mean. Because I’m involved in fashion, beauty and glamour, the “Oh you don’t look sick!” statement is heard at least once a week. I realize they don’t know, I don’t feel like explaining, and it’s just easier to smile and take a Xanax. Feel me people.

So instead of doubling up on my posts, I’ll just post when I can, covering all 30 days when I can. No rush, no pressures, and still a success when I finish. Sound good?. Good. So let’s move on to our next topic–skin care. Oh great. I probably talk about skin care here on my blog about 50% of the time. I have sensitive skin. I also have those medical issues that mess with my skin as well–some things make me itch, some additives make my skin warm an/or red, other ingredients can be too drying, some make me blotchy. It’s frustrating to pay a substantial amount of money for an item that will sit or not get used. I’d return products if I knew right away they weren’t going to be good for me, but sometimes I don’t know for several weeks. What’s worse? When they seem fine for a month then I can use them–or return them–at all. Bah.

Over the years, I have found that if I want to take the time and treat my skin to fresh, natural ingredients, my best best is to make my own skin care. It’s not that difficult. In fact it’s easy peasy. The only problem is you can only make a weeks worth for it to stay fresh, and if you are running late in the morning or are too tired at night, taking the time to whip up a batch can be a nuisance. I love the nighttime moisturizer recipe I created on THIS post and that actually lasts for months. My cleansers, however, are “made to order” depending on specific skin issues, season, problem areas, etc. That’s when I do make a batch of cleanser, I look to THIS post to guide me with the ingredients I need. Fresh is best, and I try to stick with that whenever possible.

But let’s take this week, for example. I haven’t felt good at all. Sometimes getting out of bed is a challenge. What can I keep in the bathroom on semi-good days or even next to the bed on super bad days to keep me skin clean, fresh, treated & moisturized? There are a couple of go-to retail products I have had great success with and will always turn to them when I’m just too tired to make my own. I always have in my possession:

imageNalpure’s Coconut & Honey Aloe Cleanser: I don’t know how I got hooked on this, but I did. The title of the coconut and aloe must have done it, since I know how beneficial they are to keeping skin looking young. This thin-based wash is gentle for every day use, day and night. It hydrates, softens, and restores damaged skin. When I can, I wash my face in the sink with it. When I’m having a bad day, I keep a bottle bedside to wash my face with then gently remove all the gook with a cleansing wipe. Good, easy face pampering!

imageSimple Facial Wipes: Whether I use them alone on non-makeup days, or I just use them to remove my other cleanser, these wipes are perfect. They don’t dry out, are perfect for my sensitive skin, soft and effective. They get my face clean without worriers. They come in other “types” but everyone, including me, seems to find these best for the quick & simple face cleanse without anything funky.

imageOle Henriksen’s Ultimate Lift Eye Gel: This is a product that is everywhere in my beauty ensemble. I can’t make anything that does the job like it does. The price may seem steep, but considering I’ve only bought TWO in the 3+ years since I’ve discovered it, I say it’s well with it. Under my skin care in the morning & under my night cream in the evening, this gem helps to reduce puffiness and lifts & firms skin with peptides and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I noticed an immediate change below and above my eyes. A huge plus for me.

imageHey Honey’s Good Morning: Honey Silk Facial Serum: Yes, samples sell! A few months ago I got a small sample sized tube of this little gem in my monthly Ipsy bag (a glamoursta’s must-have subscription!!). I didn’t notice a ka-pow result right away but after consistent use, I really liked how it balanced my face. It’s ingredients are natural and must-haves when treating your face. I also love how it gives my face a smooth base if you use a natural mineral foundation. Even if you want, you can add this to your evening routine too. A great add on when just chillaxin at home or have a full day ahead.

imagePerfectly Posh’s Moisturize 911 Caffeinated Face Cream: If my face doesn’t look tired, usually some other part of me is. But when my face is dull and lifeless, I love the light pick me up that Moisturize 911 gives me. Packed with Aloe Vera, Palm Oil Lipids and Vitamin E, this gem has a touch of caffeine that wakes up your skin and gets the blood flowing in your face to bring about a fresh, natural, awake look. It’s not a heavy cream at all so your face stays hydrated and not greasy!

imageNalpure’s Anti Aging Serum with Matrixyl: When it’s bedtime, I’m tired. I know if I don’t take off my makeup or wash my skin, I will pay for it. If it doesn’t cause a pimple or four, cause a rash, make my face blotchy, it will at least add a week onto how young I look or so they say. Nope, I’m not having that. But after the wash, I need to “treat” my face at night to turn those aging cells over, tighten my pores, yadda yadda. You’ve read the articles, I’m sure. So I’m exhausted, my bed is calling my name, and I only have the energy for one more anti aging product before bed. And I found it. In my nightstand is a bottle of this little miracle that does so much with just a few drops. Read the product details Nalpure Information but the long and short of it is it is good for all skin types, moisturizes, combats aging with peptides and cooling & calming extracts to reduce age spots and uneven skin tone. Usually it take several ingredients to do what this one moisturizer does. At this point, simple is best.

imageBurt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Crème: This is just an extra add on. We know it’s true: hands are in the top three areas that show your REAL age first. After a long day of doing nothing or doing something our hands can get tired and dry. I had a great cooling lotion that a company used to make that really would cool down my feet, toes and hands. Unfortunately they don’t make it anymore. I still needed a good cream for night that would just be rich, moisturizing and hydrating for my hands while I slept. This one works perfect. Great ingredients like sweet almond oil, Vitamin E and natural beeswax moisturize your hands and then lock it in. I think it can be a little heavy for day use, but it’s scent and rich ingredients make it perfect just before bed. An extra treat for me.

So that’s Sassy’s skin care instruction for Day 7. I hope I gave you ideas on products and ingredients that are important to your skin. There are soooo many things out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I suggest you do your research, know your skin, know what you want to change about it, then start researching. Knowledge is power and samples are your friend so don’t be afraid to ask for them and read other people’s reviews and thoughts on a product before you buy or invest. Good luck, have fun and treat your skin with TLC!

Oh! And don’t forget!!: Somehow — in a day serum, moisturizer, primer or foundation –get an SPF on your face! Read the product details and try to get at LEAST an SPF of 15, up to 30 would be best. Sun without sunscreen is asking to age quickly and subject yourself to hazards no one wants to think about.
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30 Days Of Beauty…Day 6

7 Jul

BrushesYup. *sigh* I’m still a day behind. There’s nothing worse than feeling like a dog chasing its own tail. I will find a way to get back on track. It might require me to lock myself in my shed for two days, but if I have to I will. It won’t help with the laundry I’m behind doing but my writing will be up to date.

30DaysToday is a good day on the list: Brushes. It is kind of an easy one to tackle for me, but I will do a little thought processing while I share. Most of you know that I spend my days helping out my guys at their tattoo shop. They are artists. FABULOUS artists. One is amazing at photo realism. Another is great with American Traditional. I have a girl who does great stippling work. And my owner loves Japanese and does beautiful script work. There is something for everyone. Even though they all have a different style, they are all particular about one thing: their equipment. You could pick out the most beautiful pink ink to tattoo a rose with, but if your artist uses a crappy, old, bent tattoo needle and uses a worn out machine to draw it on with, my guess is your rose isn’t going to be very pretty. In fact, it might not even look like a rose. It could be blurry, uneven, messy or even blotchy. Not cool. All because you picked an artist with the wrong tools.

The same goes for a great makeup look. You need the right tools.

I’d be willing to guess the makeup that the models are wearing at the Christian Dior fashion show was not applied with cotton balls and Q-tips. Those models have a fab makeup look not just because someone used good makeup but because the artists used the right tools. Tools they selected based on how they create their looks, brushes and tools they are comfortable using, and brushes that are dependable–solid. No matter what the price, it is what you are going to want in this industry.

When I first started dabbling in the skin care and makeup industry, the first thing I wanted was a high-end set of quality makeup brushes. I picked up one here and there till I had an amazing set. I will admit—I spent a lot of money on them. But I had it to spend and wanted a set that was good and would last. I got just that! Now, that set is almost 10 years old and are still in great shape. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But since then, I have found a few other brushes that were much less expensive and still had the qualities I liked. They are made of good, solid materials; they don’t shed; and they clean easily. Am I upset that I could have spent less on my full set? No. I got brushes in sizes that no other line carried except the higher-end brand. But it’s nice to know that there are good quality, less expensive makeup brushes for the beginner glamourista!

Here are my two go-to brush lines that you will find in my makeup case. In fact, they are the ONLY brands you will find. I love the way they apply makeup, giving me a look I like while doing what they are supposed to without leaving bristle pieces everywhere. Two good, solid brands of brushes depending on the kinds you want and the price you want to spend. Day 6 of my 30 Days of Beauty brings my selections for brushes:

Sephora BrushesSephora Collection # Brushes — Sephora’s synthetic brushes are professional and tough as nails. I never have had any fall out with the bristles. The long handles make it easy to manipulate to get the look I want. And they wash easy with mild antibacterial soap. The price is high for many of the sizes, but their line has many shapes & designs for the look you want. From brows to lips and everything in between, these brushes do not fall short. At all! Available only at Sephora Brush Sets.

Elf Brushese.l.f. (EyesLipsFace) Brushes — Surprised? It’s okay, I was too. I was desperate for a lip brush one day and stumbled across their brushes at a Target. They had an EXTREMELY inexpensive lip brush which worked great! Since I wear several shades of eyeshadow each day, I thought it would be good to have a few extra inexpensive brushes so I wouldn’t mix colors and get a look I wasn’t aiming for. I wasn’t just pleased with the “higher end” e.l.f. brushes, but also liked the $1 brushes as well! Go figure! I will say, stores like Target don’t carry every style of brush they make, but they have quite a few. For a bigger selection, check out their website and see what they have there. Also, sign up for their emails. They often will have one-day sales and the discounts are phenomenal!!
Check the e.l.f. website for brushes for a store near you or purchase what you want from there.

Don’t chance a beautiful makeup look with items that don’t have what it takes. Do some research and find what is important to you in your brushes. Create your piece of art with the tools that you like, and will make you feel and look fabulous!!

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 5

6 Jul

MakeupClipartYeah, it was bound to happen. I missed my post yesterday. I had a REALLY good reason though: it was the World Cup final! USA! USA! USA! The game was awesome, the win was fabulous and the beverages around me were tiring. Which means we won–and I fell asleep. I hang my head in shame.

30DaysSo I need to catch up on yesterday’s post first then do today’s later. Let’s start with “Day 5: Day Make Up Look”. I wish I could say this was simple, but since most of my days are spent at the tattoo shop, I kind of have to have a quick and easy yet edgy look. If I have some extra time, I can get a little more involved with colors, play with different eye looks, lip shades, stuff like that. But I have had to do this for a while now so I’m perfecting the “just fell out of bed” respectable day face. The key is to have a bold look that consists of go-to colors that go with ANYTHING. It took a while to get the right products together: products that were easy to apply, would last all day, would not fade or run, and could work in any weather. A lot of testing occurred. A lot of products were tried. But, success happened! We found a throw-on, go-to daytime look.

Let’s talk a little about what you really want to do first before you perfect a day look. Skin care is really important so no matter how much or how little time you have, washing your face is important. A mild exfoliant in your wash will also remove the dead skin cells that surfaced during the night. If you don’t have a gentle exfoliating cleanser, put a little bit of fine coffee grounds or white sugar into your cleanser. Pat your face dry. Use a light day serum under a gentle moisturizer. Make sure one of them has an SPF of 30 or more. Then, according to your skin type, select a foundation that makes your skin look smooth and even. Then you can move on to your day look makeup.

So here is what I have found to put on for an easy, go with everything, casual Day Make Up Look:

* L’Oreal Studio Secrets Color Corrector Primer in green
* Maybelline FIT ME!® Shine-Free Foundation
* LA Minerals High Definition Diamond Veil
* e.l.f. Cosmetics Blush in Fuchsia Fusion
* New York Color (NYC) Trio Eye Shadow in Skyrise Steel
* Too Faced Cosmetics Perfect Eyes Eyeliner in Black
* Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara in Rich Black
* Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil in Ozone
* Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Gabby

There we go. A few products that gives me a simple yet slammin’ day look. What’s nice about these products is that some of them can transition into a very vibrant evening look as well with just a few additional enhancements. That is something you may want to keep in mind if time is minimal to go from a day to night look is something you do frequently.

With Day 5 of “30 Days of Beauty” behind us, you have what my favorite day look products are. It is important to have products that are staples in your vanity that you are comfortable wearing, have mastered their application, and can wear with anything. That sets you up for an easy, stylish look you can start your day with…. any day!!
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30 Days Of Beauty…Day 4

5 Jul

30DaysHapply Fourth of July everyone! Today is the day we celebrate with picnics, fireworks, family and flags. I feel like I fit right into this day: Blue Nails, white sparkle eyeshadow and bright red hair. Speaking of hair, we are up to day four: Hairstyle. Of all the things I probably could have the most trouble writing about, this topic will most likely be the one. Over the years, I have had issues with my hair. Between chemical treatments, over processing, bad products and more, re-establishing my long, soft, luscious auburn locks has taken time. I’m thankful my new stylist has taken care of me to get my hair back on track. A lot of teaching, a lot of pampering, and a lot of good products to give my tresses some TLC!

Red hairSeveral months ago, my writing and my love for good hair products caught the eye of the infamous Paul Mitchell company. They asked me to be a Paul Mitchell Insider, trying and testing new products they were getting ready to launch. They also would send me items from their line that might help me with my quest to rebuild my healthy hair. My challenge was always to find styling products that would help me hold a look without them drying out my hair or leaving it feeling sticky. With all the goodies that they had me try, I was able to do that.

After a while, I found the products I needed to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy. But now I was faced with a different challenge: the damage that had happened over the years had caused my hair to frizz, thin and break. I needed my length back. I read all kinds of articles on how to speed up my hair growth. I tried sprays, oils, waters, and vitamin-enriched products. I guess they helped, but I’m impatient. I’M A REDHEAD!!! I wanted long hair now. That’s when my stylist suggested I get a Halo Hair Extensions system. This new product is not damaging to your hair like extensions, clips or glues are. Basically it’s just a clear headband with real hair that sits on your head which is gently tucked under the top layer of your own hair, blending and flowing with your natural stands. Because it is real hair, it can be wash, dried, colored, curled, flat ironed or styled just like it was your own hair. I jumped at the idea of adding several inches of new hair to my head and got a Halo. I love it! It’s easy to work with and feels natural. So, until my own hair catches up, I can give my hair some waves and length to keep me feeling sassy!

So, the question becomes what am I using right now to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy? It’s involved so here is the list:
PaulMitchell

Halo Hair Extensions in #33 Dark Auburn in the 16″ length
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo
OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner
Paul Mitchell Products Super Skinny Serum
Paul Mitchell Products Thicken Up
Paul Mitchell Products Fast Drying Sculpting Spray
Paul Mitchell Products Hot Off The Press Spray
Tool Structure Bone Super Rattail Comb from Sally Beauty Website
The Wet Brush from Sally Beauty Website

That sums up my hairstyle on Day 4. My hair is and probably always will be my signature feature to my look. Blazing red tresses hanging down pass my shoulders makes me stand out in a crowd. Even if you can’t remember my name, you never can forget me. I’m that sassy redhead with flaming, flowing hair and the feisty attitude to match!
Redheads

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 3

4 Jul

NailsHey, congrats me! Three days in a row and I’m still here! We now have a holiday weekend upon us, so let’s see if I can stay on course with my challenge. A few things are going on so we will see. My days have been busy lately but I’ve had time in the evenings when I can’t blog earlier. I don’t mind–it gets me in a fashionista mindset. I like that!

30DaysHere we are at “Day 3–Nails”. Oh… EASY PEASY! Especially since I just got a manicure Wednesday. I used to be a Monday Mani kind of girl. Come home from the day, turn on the TV, get my tools and favorite polish, and pamper myself with a jazzy manicure in all different colors and styles. Then I got frustrated. You see, with what I do during the day for a J*O*B, a pretty manicure lasts only about 24 hours. I would chip my nails on doors, drawers, metal, clipboards, sinks, you name it. Didn’t matter what I used for a base coat, a polish or a top coat–a chip would happen. One turns into two, then turns into three, and so on and so on. By Tuesday night, I’d be needing another manicure already. And then I was too tired, frazzled or frustrated to do it all over again. UGH!

Finally, a person I work with suggested I get an ANC manicure. ANC, short for Amazing Nail Concepts (http://amazingnailconcepts.com), is a process that is more gentle on your nails than a gel coat, but has a LONG wear. In fact, I found they actually grow out before they chip, loosen, or anything. The first time I got one, I was amazed. It was just a routine of filing, powder layers, special polish, more smoothing, and finally a shiny top coat. As a bonus, throw in a hand massage and I was good to go.

ANC RemovePutting on an ANC polish doesn’t take a really long time. Actually, taking off the old color takes just as long. Taking off ANC is a process: you get a piece of cotton soaked in acetone & put on the old coat of color, then each finger is wrapped in aluminum foil. Next?…. you sit. And sit. I sat for over 30 minutes. But the salon had TV and magazines, so I kept busy. And it was my time, so I was just zoned out. When they took the old ANC off, it had turned into a gooey gel which came right off. I had long, clean nails again. I picked a new color, and we did the process again. Still long and strong, my nails look FABULOUS!

Because ANC is new on the scene, you have to call salons to see if they do it. And if they do? Make sure it’s GENUINE ANC and not a cheap knockoff. It’s better for your nails if you can let your own grow since it doesn’t hurt the nails or nail bed. And it its MUCH better than acrylic ails, tips or gel. It’s just a good solid powder polish that protects your own nails with different styles and colors.

With Day 3 of “30 Days of Beauty” upon us, this one might be the easiest. It might not be for many of you, but from someone who has tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it:

Day 3 – Nails:
ANC – Amazing Nail Concepts manicures (my current color choice was Blue Topaz…love them!)
ANC Nails

30 Days Of Beauty… Day 2

3 Jul

FluffBenter late than never, I say. Actually, I say it too much. Sometimes things get busy and I put things off. Other times, I just say “I’ll do it later.” That’s what I did today with this post. The problem was I took a nap when I got home earlier and woke up just in time to go to bed. *sigh*. Oh well, I’m (trying to) get Day 2 done before the clock strikes midnight. And that’s what counts. Right?

30DaysThis puts us at Day 2 which is “Daily Make Up Product”. This is tricky. I will have a product of one brand that I wear almost daily, but I have it in different colors, so in my opinion that really doesn’t count. I had to really look at stuff that is a daily use product, no matter what look I am wearing, what the temperature is, or what my skin feels like. A product that looks good and works well no matter what the conditions are. And yes… I have one.

Way back when, I fell in love with a big brand name micro powder that was the perfect setting powder I had ever used. It was luminous, colorless, evened out my look, and gave me a nice smooth finish to my face. I got a sample from Sephora and I fell in love. The only problem I had with it was it came from this high-end beauty store and was steep in price. Then, one of my absolute favorite “indie” makeup beauties told me she had a powder that was almost the same if not better. She sent me a full sized product to try just for an honest review on hers and other websites. It looked like the expensive stuff but with a touch of healthy shimmer (NOT glitter,–more like a light, sparkling glow). I got way more in this jar than I did with the other brand. And I used much less than the expensive stuff. What was even better? I was supporting an independent makeup “retailer” who takes pride in her products, containing natural ingredients while saving a good amount of money. Even though that jar of the “big brand” powder is still good and in my drawer?… I’ll still grab my new setting powder before any others. And I don’t think I’d ever change now!

So that brings us to my product choice for today. A High Definition Diamond Veil that softens the look of fine lines, reduces the appearance of pores, improves and evens out skin tone, smooths and mattifies your makeup look. I personally like the fact that it “seals” in my look, holding it strong all day. I don’t need touch ups, and if my day runs into overtime, a quick dusting will make it fresh again. It’s even easy to apply using a fluffy powder brush, with just a light layer dusted all over your finished makeup look. Then, you’re done–pretty powder perfect!

So, what’s this savior that is my must have? Easy…

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Day 2: Daily Make Up Product
L.A. Minerals’ High Definition Diamond Powder. Found only at http://www.LAMinerals.com , $19.99

30 Days Of Beauty–Day 1…

1 Jul

30DaysHere we go. July is here and we are going to begin the 30 Days of Beauty challenge. It’s also the “Can You Remember To Write & Post Something For 30 Days” challenge for me. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to do this. Let’s see if it works.

So Day 1 is “Favorite Lipstick”. Actually, this was difficult for me since I am more of a gloss girl. Plus, my very favorite lipstick is actually older than dirt and has been discontinued. I looked in my lipstick drawer to see if any of the ones that were in there were ones I would grab on an average day. And you know what?… There was.

A few months back I was asked to test, try and review a new lipstick by New York Color (NYC). It was a new, longer lasting formula with fade-resistant properties, long lasting shine, and didn’t feather or bleed. After my first use, it lived up to the hype. I really liked how it was long wearing but didn’t dry out my lips. There were many shades in all colors and hues. And the price? Awesome! I’ve paid 10x more for a lipstick that didn’t last half the time!

After a week of testing, I realized that this was a lipstick I could invest a few bucks in to get a couple more shades. I went with a very light frosted pink and also a rich chocolate shade. My daughter found the pink tube one day, wore it, and it’s been MIA from my vanity ever since. The chocolate shade gets used more in the fall. But the initial shade I tested–Sugar Plum–goes with everything. So when the day requires a bright, steady, non-drying lipstick with long lasting color, this is what I turn to:

Day 1: Favorite Lipstick
NYC (New York Color) Expert Last Lip Color in “Sugar Plum”. Found at drug stores, retail stores and at http://www.newyorkcolor.com, $1.99
NYC