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Fall/Winter Fashions & Trends This Year…

22 Sep

Fall fashions are hitting the stores like RIGHT NOW. Retailers are discovering what Fashion Week has brought to the table this year. And into our closets! Patterns and textures, colors and shapes, accessories and accents. I seriously could write about this coming season’s style for hours. But the fact is? Some of these items are going to go fast. So grab this list and plan a day for yourself—you have some fall updates to make to your personal collection:

Colors

Hot Pink – (Pantone 18-2133TCX *Pink Flambé*) Oh fantastic! Fuchsia is always a dream shade to see, but I often feel it clashes with my red hair. The great sisters at howtobearedhed.com say that us redheads should get that stinkin’ pink thinking out of our head. “[Our mother] went on to explain that, thanks to our redhead locks, we simply couldn’t pull off certain colors of clothing. We’d be washed out…certain colors clash with our hair.” That’s simply untrue. Red hair comes in all different shades, and pink glamour does as well. Go easy or go bold. Just remember to stay true to YOUR style. What I’m loving: Marc Jacobs Medium Quilted Tote in Peony, $94.99 (Saksoff5th.com); Fuchsia Round Neck Gathered Flounce Sleeve Sweater, $18.00 (SHEIN.com); Juicy Couture Zip Front Hoodie, $119 (Macys.com)

Medium Heather Gray – (Pantone 18-0202TCX *Lava Smoke*) Thank heavens—a workable color for everyone! Each season, it’s good to have a color that can coordinate with other colors already in your wardrobe. This color even goes with other colors in this season’s new pallet. A smoky gray can tie warm and cool colors together as well. It literally can go with almost anything! A few loves of mine? DAZY Zip-Up Hooded Teddy Jacket, $32 (SHEIN.com); 1.State Bubble Sleeve Sweater, $12 (Macys.com); Cashmere Long Fingerless Gloves, $19.95 (Amazon.com)

Style

Fur Accessories – YAASSS! I am ALL about fuzzy ANYTHING! I live for glitter and fur, rhinestones and sparkles. And designers are making fuzzy pieces this year that make me drool. From head to toe and accessories in between, you are sure to grab some WOW pieces that will turn heads! Check out: Bow Décor Phone Case, $2 (SHEIN.com); AllFuzzy Purse w/Wristlet, $8.99 (Amazon.com); Steve Madden Faux Fur PomPom Beanie, $19.99 (Norstromrack.com)

Cargo Pants – Pockets, pockets, pockets. This season will give you comfort and organization with different styles and colors of a fashion staple that’s been kicked up a notch. It’s like the 90’s are back with some new edgy possibilities. Hell, rock a TLC’s Waterfalls look—you will still fit right in. Some of my faves: And Now This Cargo Trousers, $49 (Macys.com); High Waist Side Pocket Cargo Jeans, $29 (SHEIN.com)

Clogs – Yes, 80’s generation … they are back in all their glory! This fall is rocking the footwear trend that I may have enjoyed during my high school years (depending on what age I’m lying that I am.) We can’t deny that they are comfortable, easy to throw on and look great with a nice casual denim look. Even some classic brands are making an appearance. You may like: MIA Women’s Elsa Mule, $128 (Amazon.com); kensie Joselynn Clogs, $89 (Macys.com)

EXTRA FAB FAD! – There’s always something out there that becomes the rage for a season. I saw this coming and got mine before it hit the “must have” list. Pop-Sockets were the rage when people knew there was a new way to comfortably hold their cellphones. This is similar except that it is MUCH more blingy. Turn your phone into a “bracelet” with the rhinestone chain and just slide your hand in between the chain and phone. This frees up your fingers to still do things with your phone in hand. And it looks FABULOUS! Glitz and glam at its functional best. Find it here: DEAVON Silver Crystal Bracelet Cell Phone Case, $16.99 (Amazon.com)

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. The cooler temps, gorgeous colors and scents of the season are always comforting to me. I think the layering of clothes and colors also makes autumn stand out each year. Enjoy these fashion forward ideas and trends this year and keep your sassiness strong during these cooler days!

Sassy’ s Current Faves…

27 Aug

It’s been a while since I’ve kept you in the loop about what beauty and glamour products I have found that have worked their way into my list of current faves. I think I had become comfortable in my beauty routine and didn’t really find a need to look for anything different. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, we do have to realize that the products in our vanity are constantly changing… and improving! Here are a few new discoveries that I am currently crushing on:

Maybelline Hyper Easy Liquid Eyeliner – I always have a liquid liner at hand, but to be honest I do find it a challenge to get my top lid just the way I like it. Which is thin and even. Which almost never happens. I’ve used precise brushes and gels, pens, pencils, you name it. If I could “come close” to a nice, smooth top line, I’d be thrilled. But that very seldom happens. The marketing for Maybelline’s newest liner is outstanding. It even captured my attention when it first came out. Long wear, deep black color, easy-to-hold pen. That was my main draw. (Pardon the pun.) It’s definitely easier to handle compared to other pens and the wear does last all day +. Plus it is super water resistant. No problems with sweat or tears either. I like the tight line I get and don’t think I’ll tire of this liner and its look any time soon. (Maybelline.com, $10.79)

Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum – Who doesn’t want to keep their age hidden for just a little bit? Or a lot a bit? *Sassy raises hand* The first thing that started showing how old I am was my eyes. Fine lines? I could handle that with a good moisturizing eye cream. But what about those dark circles? Rumor has it that those are just shadows from what I call “potholes” that have developed under my bottom lids. I believe my dark circles may be from a couple of other things too. Those include fatigue, thinning skin around the eyes (with dark blood vessels becoming more visible), and even just general eye strain. All of these I can relate too. I’ve tried skin brighteners before, but most just feel like a light moisturizer or greasy oil. Kiehl’s Vitamin C Eye Serum is super concentrated and goes on smooth. After only five days of using it, the darkness was noticeably lighter. Using a small jade roller helped too. Just dot on under your eyes each night after your regular beauty routine and massage it in. Yes, it’s a tad pricey but a little goes a long way for a long time. (Sephora, $50)

Makeup Revolution x Coca Cola Makeup – I very seldom jump on board when a makeup company uses another brand or Influenster to jack up the hype of new line. What I do like is a brand that gives me good products in shades and formulas that I love. I own other Revolution pallets that I absolutely love, but when I heard the Coca-Cola eye pallet was ALL frosts or shimmers, I knew it was a must have. The colors are GORG and highly pigmented. They blend together well and last all day with no creasing. I grabbed the Makeup Revolution x Coca Cola Juicy Lip Gloss in the shade Elevation as well. Although the gloss has a hint of a pink tint (three tints are available), there is no color there really. There IS an amazing taste, scent and shine without terrible stickiness. (Revolution Cola’s mascara was unfortunately unavailable when I made my purchase, so I have no input on that.) All the products have a jazzy sparkle that gives me so many glamorous looks. Not hating at all. (Makeup Revolution & Target: Palette-$17.99; Juicy Lip Gloss, $6.99)

Jeffree Star Magic Star Setting Powder in Lavender – First, let me say for the record that I am not a follower of influencers. I have nothing against (most of) them personally and I totally respect the hustle. But when good products get caught in the middle of glamour drama, I usually say “Check please!” and GTFO. I want to keep my blog as stress free as possible. I have to say, however, that when I find a product that is beyond anything I’ve ever tried, major kudos must be given out. And that’s exactly what has happened with Jeffree Star’s setting powder. The reason I love the lavender is because a minor health condition I have can make my skin seem sallow. It’s hard to adjust my makeup when it does this. After learning so many tips and tricks from The Makeup Show in NYC from the best artists in the business, I began correcting my skin tone with a complimenting color—lavender! After applying my concealer and foundation, I “bake” my makeup with JS’s lavender setting powder and it neutralizes the yellowish appearance of my skin. It feels super soft, plus it even nourishes it as it is packed with Vitamins C & E. I seriously get a flawless, airbrushed look all day. The fact it is scented like cotton candy doesn’t bother my sensitive skin either. I’ve looked around for other lavender powders, but nobody has one. Even if I did find one, I’d doubt I’d ever switch now. This has been a lifesaver! (Jeffreestarcosmetics.com, $22)

ColourPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Hydrating Foundation – I have said to myself that I was not switching foundation brands ever again. I had found one that was a water blend that gave me a sheer, buildable canvas. Then they discontinued it. Then age became relevant with my skin care so I had to find a foundation for specific needs. Last month, I got a subtle summer glow and I needed to adjust for that. Geesh. My foundation needs are shook. After falling in love with an eyeshadow from ColourPop, I decided to research their foundation. It actually caught my eye because the they had several different shades and age-fighting ingredients. I bought this without testing it first, but the swatches online helped me nail the color on the first try. Since I began using it, I have gotten several compliments on how my skin looks porcelain smooth. It is buildable, easy to blend and lasts all day with a powder set. I am very happy with my choice. (Ulta, $16)

Seasons are changing which means there will be some new Fall looks coming soon. I’ll break down what will be hot in fashions and accessories soon too, and the colors to look for. But for now? Let’s rock these products to keep our skin looking and feeling great. All while keeping it sassy, of course!

Remember me?……

5 Jun

Shame! Shame! Shame! I feel like Cersei taking that embarrassing walk in Game of Thrones. Over the past few years, life as we know it has changed. And because of that, my writing inspiration hit rock bottom. My focus turned to, basically, staying alive. With certain health conditions that I have, getting COVID could have killed me.

It’s taken a while (and a few vaccinations) to even get comfortable to resume my “regular” routine. Doctors gave me the okay to go back to work part time, as long as I didn’t go overboard and stayed safe. Things were rolling smoothly as they possibly could and I was pleased to be comfortable in the world’s new normal. My favorite activities were open again, holidays were spent with family and I was in my social element being back out with the general public. My mental health improved without that feeling of confinement, seclusion and depression hanging over my head. I thought I had turned the corner.

Then we welcomed in 2022. Bright future ahead, right? Not really. COVID went into a new strain that was more contagious. The only positive was that if you had your shots, especially for us autoimmunies, the severity would be less dangerous. Winter started out okay but by the end of the March, I felt like ass. Something hit me hard and I couldn’t eat. Like anything. If I got a Jello or ice cream down, it was a good day. But I watched the pounds just fall off me. I was weak, depressed again, low self confidence and very emotional. I worked hard on my health for years… and it was gone in 3 weeks. I was thinner than I was in high school. And that’s not good. It lowers my resistance to diseases and that puts me in a compromising position.

So while drs tried to figure out what was going on with my stomach, I took a fall (unstable from being weak) and fell on a storage tote and broke a rib. Holy shit, that HURTS. It hurt to breathe and my ribs made popping noises frequently. Sleeping was near impossible. That took me out of work—and the outside world—for 4 weeks. *sigh* Here we go again. I did everything the doctors said and by about 3+ weeks, I could sneeze without fainting from pain. I was increasing my stamina, but my stomach was still holding me back. I was able to eat enough to maintain the weight I was at. I just needed to get the missing 15 pounds I lost.

Just when my drs found a medication to help with my stomach, I came down with a simple cold. Or so I thought. After 2 days of head congestion, a cough and a slight fever, I figured I better do a home COVID test. That indicator turned dark purple. I tested positive. I called my doctor who immediately sent in a request for me to receive monoclonal antibodies the next day. The procedure was quick and easy. Now came the waiting game. They said I should feel better in 24-48 hrs. My time was 36 hrs and I felt like a different person. Not only did it fight off COVID, but it “fixed” my stomach issue as well. I’m happy to say I’m now only about 6 lbs from my target weight. Yay me!!

Before COVID, I wrote an article for my local arts paper. I explained how I realized a lot of things weren’t the same anymore. Employment, hours, prices, kindness, manners. Things I thought were a given. I probably could have come back to writing sooner, but I just didn’t want to. No other reason. It wasn’t in me. No inspiration. No beauty trends. The struggle WAS real. But I’m good now. I feel a lot better. Better than I even did before the pandemic. I see that I am ok and will be. Strong and fierce, just like the wrist tattoos say. And I’m resilient. Damn resilient. So don’t fucking try me or my health. The odds are not on your side.

So let’s do this my friends. Let’s get the party started…. AGAIN!!

This or That……

13 Aug

I have been studying and reviewing glamour and skin care products for over ten years now. I have tried a LOT of things. All different things too, from head to toe. As the cosmetic industry evolves, so do the products. New ingredients and formulas can make your favorite life savers almost obsolete. Of course, that does not mean you have to go out and buy every new product that has just been released. It can, however, give you other options depending on what you feel you might need or may want to improve. This can be especially important when you have sensitive skin. Something may be okay one day and then cause irritation the next. You need a back up. You need alternatives.

You also must remember, though, that many skincare targeting products can take up to 6-8 weeks to show any improvement in that area. Try to give the products you are choosing time to work the way they are supposed to. If you notice something new is working better than your previous product, hooray for you! Go ahead and switch if you want. But do not forget your previous faves. You may need to fall back if something in your routine goes off the rails.
Here is a list of my skin care “this and that’s” which have worked their way to the top of the list over the years, as well as some that are super new that I am loving right now. Especially with summer causing my skin to become finicky depending on the heat and humidity. It is really important to have products that are lighter and gentler close by. Alternatives are a must, and here are mine:

CLEANSERS

MAC Cleanse Off Oil – A perfect oil cleanser that loosens up everything from foundation to waterproof mascara. I apply it all over my face with a circular motion then remove it with a pre-moistened cleansing cloth. It comes off easy and my face is soft and clean. ($24)

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Banila Co. Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm – This balm is the bomb! Packed with healthy skin ingredients, it feels like a light-weight gel. It melts from the temp of your body, loosening up any daily makeup or dirt. Rinse with water, micellar water or a wet face cleaning cloth to remove thoroughly. ($19)

SERUMS

Skin Inc. My Daily Dose of Glow – Just a small amount on your fingertips is enough to treat your face to what it needs each day. Pink and blue “bubbles” pop open to fortify your face with Vitamin A, Chlorella extract to combat damaging free radicals, and hyaluronic acid. This instantly combats aging and calms the skin while hydrating and brightening your skin. Light weight and gentle for all skin types. ($65)

LUE Balance by Jean Seo – This is a very thin serum that helps to hydrate as well as calms the skin from incidental irritants. If you want to use this with a heavier targeting serum, put LUE’s on first. It is thin and easily absorbed into the face without a heavy greasy feel. It also is a great base to minimize pores while still helping to restore optimal moisture retention. ($15)

TwinMedix Pro:Essentials E5 – I have been using TwinMedix Skin Care for over 5 years and I cannot tell you how amazing my skin has become because of it. Its medical grade vitamins keep your skin looking amazingly young. The E5 is formulated with pure vitamin E to help soothe, protect and heal & protect damaged skin. It’s the perfect last layer before your moisturizer. ($90)

TONERS

Pixi Glow Tonic – I had stopped using toners many years ago. A waste of time, I thought? Not so. Toners have been reformulated over the years and are now an essential part of a skincare routine. This is my daytime toner because I like the way it removes the last traces of dirt and cleanser, getting the skin its cleanest before you apply your serums. Filled with skin brightening natural extracts, this product gives your face a nice, natural glow. ($18)
Ulta Watermelon Facial Mist – I admit it, I am a sucker for anything watermelon scented. I have been since I was a kid! Even on “no makeup days”, a spritz of this will help keep my skin fresh and hydrated. Need a quick cleaning? Spray the mist on a cotton ball and go over your face to give it a quick detox. The watermelon extract balances the skin’s hydration while giving you a scent you will absolutely love! ($10)

MOISTURIZERS

TwinMedix Pro Refine Moisturizer – After YEARS of oily skin, I just thought my skin would never need anything with any type of moisturizer in it. Well, that was wrong! First, maturing skin definitely needs some type of moisturizer no matter what condition my skin is in. Second, there is a BIG difference between moisturizer and hydration. It is good to use products that give and create both. Not only is this moisturizer great for all skin types (especially sensitive skin) but it also gives you a nice, even matte finish to your face. A must have in my vanity. ($18)

Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – Even with all of the products that I have been able to try and use over the years, I am still reminded that money can be a deciding factor when purchasing makeup and skin care. The Sunday Riley brand is known for how good it hydrates and pampers your skin, but many see the price tag and shy away. I get it. I definitely get it! I was lucky enough to get TWO small sample jars of this moisturizing cream in one of my subscription boxes over the winter, and it came at the perfect time. It is more for dry, mature skin. But when my face is dealing with dry, tight skin from the weather, indoor heat, or cold winds… this is the pampering my face needs. ($65)

*H2O Hydration Oasis (Honorable Mention)* – In the summer (especially this year), it can feel too hot to wear any makeup. That does not mean that your skin should be neglected. This gel moisturizer goes on cool and extremely light to replenish much needed hydration without it feeling heavy on your face. A couple of dots is all my face needs to keep it smooth and dewy. It is also a great base to add a bit of my mineral foundation to so I can blend it together for a slightly tinted skin hydrator without that sweltering makeup feeling.

MASKS

Sand and Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Face Mask – There is something special about taking the time to give your face a pampering session. Because clay is a great ingredient to help reduce oil on the face and helps to tighten pores, this is a nice mask to use in the summer to keep your skin in check. Apply it to a clean face, let dry, then remove it by splashing it off in the shower or sink. Your skin will feel firmer and give you a wonderful glow.

Hey Honey Sweet Treat Wild Berry & Honey Yogurt Recovery Mask – Packed with tons of antioxidants from dark skinned berries, this creamy mask not only gives you a boost of hydration but it also contains the healing properties from the honey to build your skin’s protective barriers as well as restore its elasticity. Added Vitamin E also helps to heal and restore your skin’s moisture balance from this 15-minute pick-me-up treatment. ($48)

EYE CREAMS

TwinMedix Pro:Refine Eye Corrector – I think many of us are waiting for that love all, save all, spend all eye cream that will bring our eyes back to looking like they did when they were 19. When it comes to keeping your eye area looking young, you need to look for good ingredients. After that, however, it is all on you. Consistency is key. This cream comes in an easy to dispense bottle and the results were noticeable to me in just two weeks. The skin is lighter under my eyes, has helped to reduce the fine lines in the corners as well as plumps the areas were deep lines tend to settle. This quick-absorbing light cream is perfect for anyone and works during any season. ($35)

Soroci Spot Light Eye Cream – Here is another little gem that was found in a monthly subscription bag and now has become a mainstay in my daily routine. A little goes a long way when using this cream that is packed with various peptides to give the area around the eye elasticity to help avoid “tightening” skin that can cause wrinkles. It does not bother my eyes, even wearing contacts, and its skin-toned cream goes on translucent giving the eye area a nice smooth look.

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This may seem like a LOT to process when it comes to finding the right products that work with your skin type, the results you are looking for, and the ingredients you may or may not be able to use. As always if what you are using is working? Feel free to stick with it. You need to remember, however, that products and ingredients are constantly evolving, some giving you even better results you may be getting now. Do your research, do not hesitate to ask for a trial size if you want to see how a product works, and read reviews. Including mine! Hopefully, you will find the latest skin care items that can keep your face looking amazing, becoming the perfect canvas for the look you want to achieve!

The Lipstick Effect…

2 Jun

As I was checking my website this morning, I realized that I haven’t posted anything to my blog since February of 2020. Yeah, I know, I have been slacking. But I honestly have a few good reasons. First and foremost, a week after my last post, I got sick. I mean REALLY sick. COVID was just beginning to be discussed and the symptoms of the virus were just coming to light. I went to the ER because the fevers I had were horrible, I ached from head to toe, and I had completely lost my sense of taste and smell. At that time, the only test they could give me was a flu test. That came back negative. Once they saw that, however, I was IMMEDIATELY sent home. I was sick for almost three weeks. When I finally felt good enough to regain my regular routine, the country had gone into shutdown mode and my place with the tattoo shop had temporarily closed until further notice. Now, three months after that… I am home. Still. *sigh*

I am not going to get political or medical in this post. I am not here to bitch and complain. I will not take a personal stance on what the country is going through, what my out of work friends are dealing with or my thoughts on the state of our society. I am a writer. I write about the glamour industry. I write about makeup and skincare. I write about things like lipstick colors, good moisturizers and shoes. Sometimes I write about my love of coffee and my appreciation of nature. And to be honest with you, that is what I am going to continue to write about.

So before I get into future posts about what products I’m loving, needing, appreciating or feel just meh about, I want to talk to you about something I have noticed over the past three months. Something I learned about MANY MANY years ago, and never had the chance to see it in action until now. Why do women (and yes, some men) feel the need to shop extensively for beauty items when times are tough? Since the end of March–when the world had gone into a “pause” because of this pandemic–I have seen people all over the world not just talking about makeup but also BUYING it. A LOT of it! Money is tight for some, many people are out of work, others haven’t left their homes in months. Yet questions about what is the best foundation, lipstick, nail polish, hair dye and so many others show up on my social media throughout the day. If I am not going out for anything other than medicines and groceries, why would someone want to know what my favorite eyeliner is right now? The answer is simple… it’s called “The Lipstick Effect.”

Taken from shmoop.com, the definition of the “lipstick effect” is explained as follows:

The economy is slowing down, and as a result, we are tightening our financial belt. For instance, we were going to buy season tickets to see our local football team, but now we’re just going to upgrade our cable package instead and watch the games at home… It gets its name from the phenomenon that the chairman of Estée Lauder noticed after 9/11: the company’s lipstick sales were going through the roof even while the economy was tanking. The theory here is that people can’t necessarily afford the luxury items they would’ve bought before—like, say, a diamond necklace—so they compensate by buying a smaller, cheaper luxury item. Like lipstick.

I am going to take that and put my own Sassy spin on it. A huge number of us have lost our jobs due to closings or have had hours and/or pay reduced. Any money we have is being put aside for necessities: housing, food, medications, utilities and other bills. Essentials. Things like the plans for a new couch, repairing the deck or getting a new stove are all put on hold. It is not a priority right now. But by nature, we thrive when we can give ourselves a bit of luxury now and then. For example, before the pandemic, it might have been a case of going out to get a gallon of paint for the garage door and coming home with that AND the big new gas grill that was at the store’s entrance at the same time. On a lesser level (but no different), it would be going to your local pharmacy to get your blood pressure medication and grabbing a bag of candy and a magazine while waiting at the checkout. That’s why it’s there. It is a quick, impulse buy that makes you feel good. And, of course, some are more expensive than others. Now, after being shut down for 3+ months, many of us feel we need a fix. A fix of something that isn’t really needed, isn’t too expensive but will make us feel lavish and somewhat alive again. Normal. You can’t justify or even afford a pair of Louboutin heels but you CAN find a way-make a way to get that Chanel Lipstick in shade 92-AMOUR. You may not even go anyplace special, but when you wear it you will feel FABULOUS. And that is important for some people’s sanity.

Is there anything wrong with that? That is on you. Everyone’s situation is different. No matter how you justify it, excuse it or deny it, the fact remains that since the Great Depression, The Lipstick Effect still happens during rough times. Especially right now. Makeup and skin care industries aren’t flourishing at this moment, but they are seeing that definite trend. Because of the expansion of the glamour market, this phenomenon includes many more things like nail polish, mascara, eye palettes, serums and even bath items. Prices of these items vary, but for a good shopper you can find that most will not break the bank. Do you really need them? That’s your call. Do what you think is right for you. For your wallet and your sanity. And keep smiling.

Current Subscription Box Faves…

24 Feb

Each month, it’s like Christmas. I get three different subscription boxes (hopefully four soon!) loaded with goodies to try. Sometimes I get full-sized products, other times it is just little trials. I like the minis the best, I think. Because I have super sensitive skin, not everything works for me. This gives me a chance to try out some new items without losing money if it isn’t something that is right for me. There have been times that I have fallen in love with some of the goodies I get and have invested in full-sized products when I run out. If you are new to the skincare or makeup revolution, this is a great way to get your feet wet before diving in head first!

Over the past few months, I have to say that I have found some great items. With the seasons changing, this is a great time to try some different colors for spring looks as well as add some skincare items to help adjust to the new temperatures. And we can’t forget the hair and nails too! So what are some of my latest faves? Let’s see:

The BrowGal Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown My brows are something that I have never really messed around with. A makeup artist that I know has always said “Don’t f*ck with the brows… leave them alone!” I have followed that tip faithfully…. until a couple of weeks ago. I won’t get into details but I had a slight mishap with a lighter which left my right eyebrow looking a little off. Okay, I burned half of it off. Don’t ask. But I had gotten this pencil a few months ago and it was finally going to get used. With my dark red hair, this was the perfect shade that I needed. It is a very good sized pencil that comes with its own sharpener as well as a shaping spoolie. I have already picked up another one of these because I know this is going to take a while to grow out and fix. Insert pathetic half-grin here. ($23)

Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – As soon as the temperatures outside dropped about 20 degrees and the heat kicked on, my face began to get dry. I do have extra rich moisturizer for when the weather gets colder, but this came at the right time to test out. I love how it feels on my face! It is super rich but not greasy at all. Not only did it give me that extra boost of hydration that my face needed but it also left my face looking smooth and matte. A really great product with a noticeable result. ($65)

Ciaté London Extraordinary Translucent Loose Powder – I learned last year at The Makeup Show that HD powder can cause a flashback with cameras when using high-powered flashbulbs. When I made this change for my makeup before my last photoshoot, the difference with how my skin looked in the photos was amazing. I had the chance to add this product on to a subscription last month, and I’m glad I did. The formula is soft and silky with no shine or opalescent shadows. It’s the perfect product to help “bake” your makeup. Seriously, a must-have product for artists, performers and models. ($22)

Banila Co Clean It ZERO Cleansing Balm – I don’t really hide the fact that I wear a lot of makeup. I like a bold eye look every day, and usually have a dramatic lip color to match. Because skin care is super important for me at my age, I want something that is going to get everything off easily. Someone had mentioned that cleansing balms worked great so I grabbed ZERO as an add onto my monthly subscription from Ipsy. I absolutely love how it melts onto my skin loosening everything from eyebrow pencils to an all day glitter lip look. I wipe it all away easily with a cleansing wipe and I’m done. From there I follow up with my nighttime regimen. Super happy with this product and will look for it again in he future. ($19)

Luxie Blending Brush #237 – I have no problem saying that I am addicted to makeup brushes. From thin eye liner brushes all the way to big fluff brushes, I can find a use for every one I get sent. I got this brush several months ago, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was going to get used often. And it does. It is the perfect size with the perfect amount of “fluff” to gently cut my crease with a touch of contrast shadow. Or, if I want a stand out look, I can use it to gently blend several colors together without making a blurred mess. I have found other subscribers who aren’t brush lovers like me and had decided to sell theirs which allowed me to pick up about four more. And that’s fine by me! ($14)

Although I am always very strict with myself when it comes to good skin care and makeup, I am always happy to see what is new out there that I may not know about. I think subscription boxes are a great way to try and see without making a huge financial commitment. Especially for people like me with fussy skin.

So tell me: Do you have a favorite subscription box/bag? Are you thinking about switching? What have you found that you love? Chime in and let’s get a coffee talk started!

What I Am Loving Right Now—Sassy’s Top Five

11 Sep

A fabulous artist in the makeup industry recently made an observation that the retail market for cosmetics in the United States has slowed down considerably. There is a decrease in revenue, and there is thought that the boom may have reached—and passed—its peak. This isn’t slowing down big-names and companies from releasing their latest launches however. In fact, I personally have noticed that EVERYONE is having a launch. Of something! Honestly? It’s getting a little dull and repetitive. How many new lippies do I really need? How many palettes with duplicate colors need to be in my bag? As a writer, it is becoming borderline insane to keep up with all of the items coming onto the scene. The cosmetic industry needs to just calm down. An overload in the market doesn’t generate revenue, it creates confusion. And that’s not good.

With that being said? I am still finding items, thanks to my subscription boxes, that have been great additions to my skincare and makeup. What are my latest faves? Let me show you!

1) LA Girl HD Pro Conceal in Light Yellow & Lavender – I have been to The Makeup Show enough times to say I have learned my share about color theory. I know what needs to go where to correct the tone issues that I have. Some days the dark area under my eyes is worse than others. When regular concealer won’t do the job good enough, I don’t need more concealer… I need to color “correct” the problem! Dark circles come from blood vessels showing under the thin layer of skin under the eye. Although blood is red, the reflective light bouncing off the skin makes the circles appear a dirty brick or purple color depending on how fair you are. I am super fair, and my circles are a blurred purple tone… so to correct that, I use yellow concealer on rough days. If that problem isn’t enough, there are days when my entire face has a yellow undertone. (Thank you strange health condition!) On those days, I put a thin layer of the lavender concealer under my foundation to balance out my sallow skin. It’s nice that these great coverage products aren’t steep in price so I can have the colors I need for minor tone adjustments. (Available at LA Girl’s website or at Ulta.com)

2) essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara – There are a lot of makeup companies out there that claim that they have the mascara that will end everyone’s search for the best one ever. And we believe them. We don’t have to worry about throwing out our mascara every three months because we keep finding a “better” one. Or so we think. I follow a lot of chats and websites that talk about makeup and, of course, that includes mascara. I’ve noticed that one brand’s name comes up more often than not. I decided to research that one a bit more, but when I saw that the price of all of their formulas were less than $5, I thought that must be a mistake. No good mascara could cost under five dollars, so I continued to buy other expensive ones, and went on my merry way. After an epic fail with a high end waterproof mascara, I finally gave in and decided to try it. I got the essence False Lash Effect and waited to say “Ha!” but I couldn’t. It was everything I wanted in a mascara and more. The formula doesn’t budge, the brush combs and fluffs the lashes, and I especially love that the tip of the wand is thin enough to get the bottom lashes without clumping. I can honestly say that this great mascara isn’t “cheap”… it’s just inexpensive and I’m now a fan. (Available online at the essence cosmetics website or at Ulta.com

3) Victoria’s Secret “Crush” Rollerball – Perfume used to be a staple in my beauty routine. I had countless sprays, spritzers, rollerballs and body lotions in all kinds of fragrances. Now that I am involved in industries where I am working very closely with different people each day, I don’t wear fragrances as much. I don’t want to overpower people that may be sensitive to certain smells. I did, however, smell a really nice perfume while I was out shopping one day and knew instantly that I loved it. I asked the person wearing it and she said it was Victoria’s Secret’s “Crush”. I wanted to order a few things in that scent, so I waited to get a good coupon code before I placed an order. I was able to get two rollerballs, a body mist and a body lotion for less than $20. I wear it to work a few times a week, and always moisturize after bath time. I love the fresh notes of peony and peppercorn, and is a perfect pick-me up for a light day-to-day scent. (Available at the Victoria’s Secret website.)

4) TwinMedix Pro:Refine Moisturizer – I will always stand strong when I say that TwinMedix saved my skin. Their original Pro:Essentials line helped to nourish my skin back to health after years of struggling with sensitive skin and various retail brands. I was super excited to see the introduction of the Pro:Refine line for some added TLC to the face as well as target areas. The Pro:Refine Moisturizer is now my one-and-only go-to daytime moisturizer. Not only does it give your face the rich hydration it needs, but it is also full of B5 and Hyaluronic Acid to smooth and plump your skin. You actually feel the increased smoothness as you apply it. My face and makeup stay fresh all day and my skin continues to say “thank you” with TwinMedix’s pharmaceutical-grade formulas. *Note* – This is a reformulated version of the previous moisturizer that I had reviewed in March. The packaging is different and the ingredients & vitamins are even more beneficial to the skin! (Order TwinMedix products by clicking hereSend Sassy a message for a super secret promo code! ❤️)

5) Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water – Probably out of ALL the items that I have gotten a sample of in the past 10 years, this is the one thing that I thought I would never buy a full size of. Who the hell buys water… in a can… to spray on their face? Well I guess the answer is me. I do my entire skin care routine, then apply my primer. Next, I spray my face with a layer of the Thermal Spring Water, then apply my foundation with my brush. It glides on with no streaks and helps hold moisture in my skin. Even on hot and humid days, that light layer of hydration keeps my skin balanced. I will say this step is not for everyone, but I have come to like it very much.

So those are my newest faves on my vanity. With subscription boxes giving me all kinds of new things to try, it’s nice to see what is out there that I normally wouldn’t even look at. Some things, however, will always be staples that I won’t give up. Let’s see what fall has to bring to the table with changes in skin condition and the colors of the season. But for now? Let’s ride out the summer for another few weeks and enjoy great products while we continue to look and feel amazingly sassy!

Five Things I Learned This Year At The Makeup Show…

5 Jul

Every spring, I take my annual trip to NYC to attend one of the premiere makeup and glamour events in the country. The Makeup Show makes it stop at the beginning of May in the Big Apple which is not too far from my actual location here in Upstate NY. Ever since the first one I attended in 2016, I am always amazed by the talent and education The Makeup Show brings to the stage as well as the brands that go. This year was no exception. We heard tips and tricks from the industry’s leaders with insight into what is new and hot for the seasons ahead.

There are always exceptional products that never cease to amaze me as well as new trends to follow. I always feel honored to have the inside “T” in regards to make up looks, hot colors, trends, ingredients and tips. Sometimes I just hear something that gives me a “No kidding!” moment. And that happened more than once this year.

So what shockers did I experience? Let’s see….

1. “If you don’t have glitter adhesive for your eyes, use some clear eyelash adhesive and gently pat glitter onto the lid with a small, flat, synthetic brush.” This was kind of a “Wow! No sh*t!” moment for me. I have a few different glitter adhesives (that I actually got from The Makeup Show last year!) but this was a great tip for someone that may want an easy backup plan who needs a bit of sparkle to hold during an impromptu meeting, lunch, dinner, club date or even a glam moment. It makes total sense… if it is safe enough for your lashes, it’s safe enough for your lids. This is an inexpensive way to play with different glitter looks you want to try as well. Also, synthetic brushes don’t “absorb” as much product, so the majority of the product you pick up with gets to the eye. Especially glitter!

2. “For a dewy look on your body (neck, shoulders, cleavage, chest), use a simple sunscreen rather than a ton of different products.” I have done many reviews on different types of sunscreens over the years, but I never thought that they could be used as makeup. The ingredients of sunscreen tend to be slightly thicker than general makeup, and are needed for long term wear to block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. This richer formula is perfect for giving you that soft, silky, dewy look without needing a ton of time with brushes, bronzers or highlighters.

3. “Do not use an HD powder when doing a photoshoot. HD powders tend to use shimmering agents that actually causes the flash to bounce off your face.” Whoa. THAT was a serious “Ah-Ha!” moment for me. In the past year, I have been doing a lot of professional photos with photographers. I always thought that the fine grind of HD powders would give me a flawless finish. That’s true, but not if cameras are involved. What can happen is your powder can cause flashback, which shows up on film as a white or oily look, coming from the flash of the camera hitting reflective surfaces. Products with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (natural sunscreen ingredients) can cause this to happen as well, but to a lesser extent. I stopped at one of my favorite vendors to discuss what I had just heard, and to ask what I needed instead. They felt my pain and directed me to the powder that I should use. Phew!

4. “Yes, you can find a long-lasting lip color that will stay true for over 8 hours without drying out your lips.” For years now, I have loved the idea of a lipstick that will not transfer onto my coffee cup, straw… or someone else’s face! I have definitely found a few brands, but with my unusually dry lips, the colors tend to cause more problems than they are worth. They dry out my lips causing cracking, peeling, and unappealing blotchiness. I usually end up exfoliating them with sugar and honey to get the uneven color off then just apply a moisturizing gloss tint to try and repair the damage. A company was there that asked me if I would try their long-lasting liquid matte lipstick with a glitter topper to see if they could convince me that theirs was “different”. Sure… why not? After long hours of running and rushing to and from seminars; from classes to subways; to trains then driving home, I gave my lips a look on the train to see how they looked. Holy ah-may-zing. The color was strong, the coverage was even, the glitter had no fall-out and I was still getting compliments on how they looked. I touched base with this great company and placed an order for my favorites within days. Kudos to this great crew for introducing me to my new fave lip color. (To see the brand, click here!)

5. “Choose gain over gossip.” No matter how well you do in your industry, people will talk. They will talk about how you are handling yourself, how you handle your business, how polite you are, how bitchy you can be, your mistakes, your successes, you name it. But the bottom line is that those who want to further themselves in their industry only make up 10% in that line of work. The other 90% are making excuses. Tabatha Coffey held a great seminar this year, not just talking about the makeup industry but how you respond to those around you that like to cut you down. I have said for years that if you don’t like me, yet still watch everything I do?… Bitch, you’re a fan. It’s nice to be reminded that if you are investing in yourself, you are already a step above the rest.

I continue to support those that I am proud to call my friends in this industry and am honored to be with them as we all continue to grow. I have seen amazing things from companies that I have been working with for over the years now, and am so glad that so many have taken me under their wing and shown me things I’ve only dreamed about. This amazing field of makeup and skincare continues to grow, and I look forward to the years to come as we all fly higher than we ever have before!

(Thank you to Glamorous Chicks Cosmetics for their glitter tutorials and the introduction to their long-wearing liquid lipsticks; to Danessa Myricks and Matthew Jordan Smith for the great class on working as a team with your photographer & tips for artists and models of all kinds; Kryolan with suggestions for achieving a great looks on film and in print; and Tabatha Coffey for her inspiration and motivation. And as always… thank you for all of those who do such a great job organizing one of the best makeup shows ever.)

How Organic Can Impakt Your Life!

3 Apr

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

Over the years, especially when my skin went south into the “sensitive” zone, I have become more aware of what I use on my skin. Certain ingredients I specifically look for because I know if they are in a product, I can’t use it. If the label looks good, the ingredients are ones I can handle, and the reviews are decent, there is still a chance I won’t be able to use it. Anything can trigger my sensitive skin, and it takes knowledge and patience to see what will happen.

Another thing I learned quick enough is that there can be a big difference between a product being “natural” and a product being “organic”. Organic skincare products that have been made with organic ingredients, grown and processed without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or chemicals are he only ones that are allowed to call themselves organic. What matters most are not the ingredients present in skincare products but rather the ones that are absent. Organic skincare products typically don’t contain parabens, sodium laureth sulfates, synthetic chemicals, dyes, preservatives, fillers, petroleum-derived ingredients or artificial colors and fragrances. And those of us with sensitive skin knows those ingredients specifically can cause havoc on our skin.

A few months back, I had found a lip conditioner that made my lips feel fantastic. It was a sample in a subscription box that I had received. It’s one thing to protect my lips from the elements… it’s another thing to get something that heals them as well. I was so amazed by the performance of the product that I immediately ordered two more lip products. I even told them that if they had samples of other products that they made, I’d be willing to try them. They sent me some GREAT things to get my opinion on, and I have been using them long enough to really let you know what fabulous results I got with them.

Impäkt Organic Skincare takes pride in saying that their Ulta Pure, Professional Skin Care offers “truly effective solutions to difficult skin care issues.” Their products are “sourced pure and made fresh by hand in small batches. Pure. Elevated. Effective. Thoughtful.” Not only do they address specific issues, but they stand by their word of being organic, powerful, with no fillers or chemicals. Let me give you some first hand experiences with some of these gems from Impäkt Organic Skincare:

Foaming Clay CleanserI love the days when I would treat my face to a deep conditioning mask. I used to think I couldn’t get that fresh, deep, detoxifying clean unless it was mask day, but this cleanser gives it to me daily. This is the perfect cleanser for not just people with normal/sensitive skin, but it is great for those with blemishes, uneven skin tone and area with eczema or psoriasis. You can mix a quarter-sized amount with a bit of water and wash with a circular motion avoiding the eyes. It will clean your face throughly while gently exfoliating. What I do? I apply with an even, thin coverage directly on your face (avoiding eye area) and watch as it turns a white as it dries… which doesn’t take long! Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. If you find that your face feels a bit too tight after cleansing, cut the mask amount in half and add Vitamin E or Jojoba Oil with a little water. Depending on your skin issues, you can buy this in different strengths. I use the full strength formula, but when my skin is super dry (like after the head cold I just went through) I just add a moisturizing and healing component like a few drops of Vitamin E and/or jojoba oil. Ingredients include: glacier-fed marine clay, coconut husk charcoal, sea kelp, aloe vera, pure shea oil and hyaluronic acid.

Moroccan Rose Clay Cleanser – Clay is a renewing and purifying organic cleanser, but different types of clay are out there to do different things. If your skin is more on the dry, mature, uneven-toned or patchy side, this may be the better clay cleanser for you. The rich Australian pink clay gently draws out impurities and detoxifies while algae and kelp helps to restore cell damage. Like the foaming Clay cleanser, just take a small amount and add water to it to create a creamy cleanser. Wash face avoiding the eye area and rinse clean. I like to apply a thin amount to my dry face then jump in the shower. Let the steam allow the mask to deep clean then rinse clean. It leaves my face feeling deep cleaned and nourished with stripping it down. Ingredients include: Australian pink clay, organic glacial living marine clay, hyaluronic acid, organic hand-ground rose petal powder, red algae-derived sea minerals, aloe vera, pure honey, shea butter, and goat’s milk.

Under-Eye Serum & Facial Toning OilFor the first time in years, this past winter season has been rough on my face. The air and heat has made my skin extremely dry and even cracked in some areas. After being involved with the skin care industry, I know that nothing will show your age more than the wrinkles caused by dry skin. The first thing I did when I noticed was to increase my water intake. Hydrating from the inside out will help even more than just your skin… you know that! But my regular moisturizer just wasn’t enough right then. I needed something deeper. I had been using the Under Eye Serum for almost a week when I noticed that the rest of my face was barking for attention too. In addition to using the oil straight for under my eyes, I began putting about four drops of the serum into my nightly moisturizer. This made a HUGE difference, and I began seeing results in about a week. My face was softer, more plump and definitely not as taught. Even though my face is definitely not as dry as it was before, I still continue to use the serum around my eyes each night and as an addition supplement to my nighttime face moisturizer once or twice a week. Always remember to shake well to blend the botanicals and oils for the best results. Ingredients include: rice bran oil, camellia oil, Immortelle Flower essence and hyaluronic acid.

Molten Botanical Body ButterLike I had mentioned before, my skin has suffered greatly during these cold and dry months. Of course, my first concern was my face since I could feel it getting drier and tugging almost every minute. But it didn’t take too long for me to notice that the dry, cracking skin that my face was suffering from was also happening to my body. I even noticed that a scar that I had gotten from a foot surgery several months ago had cracked, split open and had begun to bleed again. Although I had tried several hydrating skin treatments for my face, my body usually needed nothing more than a light layer of fragranced hydration. That had to change! I started with my feet, seeing as how it was critical for me to get them moisturized to avoid a trip to the foot doctor. I put several pumps of the Molten Botanical Body Butter onto my feet for several nights and covered them in clean white socks. After about the third day, they had already softened and the cracks healed. I kept that up for several weeks until even the callus that I had were softer and less thick. With such great results, I moved this Botanical gem into my body care. I upped my after-bath moisturizer to an enriched cream, and added several pumps of the Body Butter to it. Not only did this help to hydrate my skin better, but I didn’t have to repeat it as often. Now, I don’t moisturize with anything that goes on my body without some added Botanical Body Butter mixed in. And if nature’s taking its toll a bit? I use it straight up! Ingredients include: organic lanolin, raw fresh beeswax, American oryza sativa, organic African shea butter, raw silk extract, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts.

Glossing Lip Treatments – I am the poor soul that has to deal with chapped lips… all year long. Because of allergies, TMJ, and other issues, I am mouth breather. And that causes me to have dry lips 24/7-365. Then you add in the occasional cold, stuffy nose and allergies and you can guarantee I will have not just chapped lips but cracked, bleeding and sometimes scabbed lips. Skin care and cosmetics make up a big part of my life, between writing, endorsing and modeling. To say that my lips need to feel good as well as look good is an understatement. Many lip colors on the market right now are very very drying, yet I do not feel complete unless I have some sort of lip color on my face. A running joke is that I will not even go outside to get my mail without mascara and lipgloss. It’s easy to find a lot of lip products that will give me some moisture as well as color but for the most part they do not last. And they definitely do not heal the problem. I first started using the glossy lip treatment sample that I got in my subscription box while I was at work during the day. It is very dry area and I found that a little bit of the glass over my lip color helped to not only moisturize but to heal them as well. I noticed the biggest difference in my lips when I started using the Treatment at night. My lips (and the skin around them) began to get softer, less cracked, and stayed hydrated longer. Not to mention, the SPF helps to prevent sun damage to dry them out even more. It didn’t take long for me to order several more sample sizes as well as a full-size glosses in my favorite flavors. To date, I have four minis scattered across my house in rooms where I may notice I need one, as well as a full-sized tube at work, in my purse and next to my bed. My favorite go-to flavors are Raw Cocoa, Spiced Coffee and Jasmine Vanilla. Available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic raw African shea butter, sativa oil, Japanese camellia oil, and organic botanical extracts.

Deep Detox Deodorant – I have been a tester of MANY organic, natural and/or vegan deodorant. Most are the swipe on kind, and a couple of them have been spritzers. For the most part, I have liked only a few. Most of them don’t seem to neutralize an odor as much as I’d like them too. And of course, they aren’t anti-perspirants so the sweat still happen. This one, however, definitely controlled the odors better than any I have used in the past. Application was smooth, and its light scent is pleasant and natural. What I did notice was I didn’t seem to sweat as much when I wore it. I should say I very seldom have to wear deodorant like I used to, but there are times and occasions when it is necessary. It will be good to see if this holds it own as temps start to rise. But so far? It is in the tops of my favorite natural deodorant. It is also available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic African shea butter, waxes, organic glacial clay & coconut charcoal powders, and organic lavender, chamomile, broccoli seed and cacao extracts.

Headache Hope Nutrient Oil – Chronic pain… whether it be headaches, migraines, joint or muscle—can debilitate you and take over your day. The things that cause us these pains can not always be pinpointed. All we know is that they hurt. Whenever possible, it would be nice to have an option when we don’t feeling like taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication. This little bottle of “Hope” might be able to offer some relief to those who might like to try just that. There have been studies with oils and extracts that have shown to help with increased circulation, blood flow and pain relief and muscle relaxation. That, in turn, can help ease pain. This Oil contains three levels of these ingredients which work together at different times to combat the triggers that cause pain. I will be honest, after I used it the first time I had a headache, I didn’t think I would ever use it again. It’s STRONG! The scent is a little strong, the “tingling” can be a bit overwhelming, and the warmth can be hard to get used to. But after I debated washing it off my temples, I noticed it began to work. I felt less pressure, I relaxed a bit, and the warmth turned to a cool refreshing feeling. So let’s just say it takes some time to find the amount to use that’s right for you. Come to find out, a Q-tip dotted on the end of the roller was enough to put a quick dot on both of my temples for a headache. What was REALLY awesome? It helped with pain in other joints and muscles. I have had reoccurring tendinitis in my one foot. I can rub regular moisturizing lotion on my foot then use a Q-tip to apply a small amount to the Hope oil to my foot and I will notice not only the pain ease but the swelling as well. This past week it was a knotted muscle in my neck that needed a couple of drops. But it worked. There is a LOT in a rollerball, but don’t think you will need it all. Start VERY small… like one drop on a cotton swab… and go from there. Be careful around the area of the temples too, as the scent is strong near the eyes. But think beyond just a headache for this organic pain elixir. Ingredients are organic oils and botanicals including: Indian peppermint, lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and more.

The more we become more aware of the products, the more we take notice of the ingredients in them. It is important for many of us to not just think of ourselves when selecting quality items but we tend to think more about the environment as well. Impäkt Organic Skincare products are eco-friendly, sustainable, truly natural and organic which make positive changes in the environment as well. No fillers are used and every ingredient can be traced back to its origin. Even the packaging focuses on recycling with minimal footprints. Plus, rest assured that no animals were ever harmed or tested on from Impäkt. In fact, they are Leaping Bunny Certified. Rest assured, when you use these product in your skin care routine, you aren’t just helping yourself but helping the world as well.

You can find Impäkt Organic Skincare online at impaktorganic.com, or Instagram at @Impakt_Organic

Watch here and on my Instagram feed (@SassyAuburn) for a chance to win TWO of my favorite Glossing Lip Treatments in April!!

Great Products for the New Year…

8 Mar

Let me start out by saying this redhead has been busy! Over the past year, I have taking on two more writing positions, have become a brand ambassador for two fabulous companies, am a full-time promo model for a hot magazine and I still continue to hang with my friends while managing a fab tattoo shop in town. Everything I have learned over the years in regards to fashion, skin care, make up, glam and the tattoo industry is helping me to live my dream. Not only am I evolving my life, but I’m also the healthiest I have been in years while I am doing it. I have a great support team and I thank them every day for lifting me up with their encouragement. I am truly blessed.

I know that it is way past the beginning of a new year, but I have still been testing and trying new products and styles that help me keep up with my cool yet chaotic life! Because things are so crazy, I definitely need things that are going to do their job. And if they can save me time (and of course money), then hip hip hooray! Have I found new super products that do just that? You betcha!

Here are a few goodies that anyone could appreciate in their daily routines:

1. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray – Preparing your makeup for a photoshoot can take a LONG time. The last thing you need is anything like sweat or rain to cause your look to start sliding off your face. I have used setting mists in the past, but they have either fell short or turned my skin into a potato chip. You don’t need a lot to set your look and it will stay out for hours. Just spray your face in the shape of an X , keep your eyes closed for about 60-90 seconds and touch-ups will be reduced to slim-to-none. It has become a life saver in my travel bag. (Ulta.com)

2. Youngblood Mineral Rice Setting Powder – When I first got this from the How to be a Redhead Subscription Box, I really wasn’t sure if I would use it since I have my fair share of non-talc setting powders. Plus the tint in this one made me hesitant since it was more of a yellowish powder. After the first time I used it, I knew it was going to be a go-to during my makeup application. The rice powder and corn starch base helps this powder keep the shine away all day and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The powder sets perfectly clear with no color at all, leaving your face with a nice matte finish. (YBSkin.com)

3. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – Aren’t we all really just in search of the ‘be all, save all” mascara of all time? I am and I’m sure I may never find it as long as mascaras keep improving their formulas. This one, however, is certainly damn good. One coat for daily wear, two coats for special occasions will leave your lashes looking long and luscious. The brush is really fat which gives you a nice even, full coat from base to tips. You may find the brush is hard to maneuver on the bottom lashes—I do—so I have disposable skinny wands for precise bottom lash and corner lash applications. (Lancôme-usa.com)

4. Kryolan Contour Pencil in 971 (Black) – I picked up some of these great pencils last year when I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I saw them used by a fabulous makeup artist and thought that any pencil that can have that many uses and be that inexpensive must have some sort of down side. I have yet to find one! I learned that by lining the water line of my upper lid can help my hooded eyes to have more pop. And this pencil does it perfectly. I get a line that stays strong all day and comes off easily with eye makeup remover. Plus the tip can sharpened to your liking, and is soft enough to not tug at the skin around your eyes. (Kryolan.com)

5. No 7 Instant Illusion Wrinkle Filler – There are only so many miracles we can fix without hiring a plastic surgeon. I expected a full-blown face lift when I bought this product. Because I didn’t see that immediately, I put the tube off to the side. After a week or so, I decided to try it again with more realistic expectations. That’s when I saw what amazing things this actually does. Although it can’t hide deep deep laugh lines, it does fill in fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes, lips and forehead. It helps to defuse and reflect light giving my face an all-over smooth look. (Ulta.com)

6. Impäkt Organic Skin Care Glossing Lip Treatment – This winter has been hell on my skin. Especially my lips. I have always battled the chapped lips devil all through the year, but this year has been terrible. They haven’t been getting just chapped either. They split, peel, bleed and even get blotchy. I was lucky enough to try a sample of this (thanks to my friends at How to be a Redhead) little gem in Raw Cocoa and noticed an improvement in just days. Ingredients such as raw beeswax, sativa oil, raw honey and shea butter put healing nutrients into the skin and not just over it. The healing begins on a cellular level, which helps to prevent the problems before they occur. (impaktorganic.com) ** Watch my blog for reviews on more products from Impakt Organics soon!**

7. TwinMedix Pro:Refine Primer/Moisturizer – When time is of the essence, it is helpful to have products that can do multiple things at the same time. This is a nourishing moisturizer that not only preps and primes the face for smooth makeup application but it also plumps and firms giving your skin a nice all-over glow. Packed with rich hydration from shea butter and jojoba oil, this gem also gives your face boost of nourishing B5. Finish those great ingredients off with a touch of hyaluronic acid for a youthful appearance. (TwinMedix.com)

8. Crown Brush Tapered Concealer Brush C425 – Since I have been getting very precise and detailed with my eye looks, it is important to me to have a good concealer brush that is tight enough to get around my eyes with intricate accuracy. I have A LOT of brushes that I have picked up over the years, but this one is always clean and close by during my makeup application. It is small, fine and flat enough to hide skin imperfections while cleaning up any last minute fall out or errors in the area. (Crownbrush.com)

I wish the contents of my vanity only showed these few products plus a little more to be able to have everything I needed to do a full skin care and makeup look each day. Unfortunately, depending on a number of factors, I need all of that and MUCH MORE. No worries, though. I have managed to get my supplies organized in a way to have access to whatever I need at any given time. It is important for all of us to remember to keep our items clean and fresh. Remember to go through your entire product drawers once in a while (when you change the clocks is a perfect time!) to look, test and smell each item you have. Things can go bad, as well as pick up bacteria to make them “spoil”. One thing that is good to help you avoid the transfer of ickies is to scrape out just what you will need with a (clean) makeup spatula, put that on a stainless steel mixing plate (crownbrush.com, $8.95 for the combo) and apply it from there. Not only does this reduce the chance of your makeup acquiring bacteria but it also prevents color mixing.

With these new goodies, I plan on having fun trying and developing new looks for myself in the future. Do you have any new goodies to share that you have discovered are “must haves” in your glam box? Share with me and others so we can all know what is hot on the shelves!!