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Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

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

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

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

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

My evening skin care routine should be:

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

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

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

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

Let’s start with the A.M.:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

imageIn the glamour world, very few things stand alone. Oh sure, you can have that über gorgeous red carpet dress that turns the heads of every status photographer on the runway, but the fact remains that the hair, makeup, jewels and shoes all play a part in that outfit being a front page headline.

That simple fact can also play a part in everyday looks for anyone. Whether you are a 9-5 office worker, a stay-at-home mom, an ever-scouting fad writer or an out there/have-your-own-style tattoo shop manager, layering fashions, accessories, skin care ingredients and makeup items can move a simple daytime look into the WOW! category with a couple of easy steps.

Here are a few to get you started. Following the bouncing ball:

image**Skin Care**-Washing, treating and moisturizing are, nowadays, the bare necessities. If you AT LEAST do that? You’ll hold your ground. But why not combine a few skin-loving ingredients to treat your face to an experience that will multitask with just a few natural, easy to find things. Because my face tends to be a bit dry in the winter, I tend to make my own cleanser/masks to get moisture and anti-aging properties from natural ingredients for the best results. It’s actually simple…

1. Combine 2 tbsp of a mashed overripe banana, 1 tsp raw honey (local is best), 1 tsp heavy cream, 1/2 tsp instant coffee & 1/4 tsp white sugar. (This may sound like a lot, but think ahead: you can freeze extra overripe bananas in the freezer, buy the instant coffee once to use in other things as well, and substitute powdered milk for heavy cream for longer shelf life.)

2. Mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the sugar till the consistency is a bit thick and the coffee has dissolved. Then add the sugar last.

3. Begin to rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Go over it a few times, adding a bit more each time.

4. After about 5-10 minutes, wash off with warm water & a gentle cleanser (like Aveeno’s Foaming Face Wash)

5. Pat dry.

Whala! Instant face treatment with a combo of fresh ingredients. Your skin is clean, moist, soft and treated. Easy mixing, right? Now, let’s think about what you just did: *Bananas naturally cleanses while hydrating & adding anti-aging vitamins into your skin; *Raw honey is a natural healer and will help heal fines lines due to small skin cracks and stretching; *Heavy cream is loaded with moisturizers and antibodies to fight infection and environmental skin damage; *Instant coffee has just enough caffeine to constrict blood vessels, even your skin tone and awaken tired skin; *White sugar is a gentle exfoliant that will remove dead skin cells and allow the other ingredients to work on the next active layer.

Kind of all makes sense, huh? It’s not a lot of work and if you refrigerate the leftovers you can use what is left daily for up to a week. There are so many ingredients you can add or substitute if you want other skin problems targeted. Tip: Don’t like the way the bananas turn brown in the fridge? Use Stage 1 baby food bananas. They last longer, don’t turn brown and the little bit of lemon juice that is in them helps even out your skin tone too. Baby peaches are good to soften skin. Oatmeal powder can reduce pore size. Yogurt has natural bacteria to help fight acne and breakouts. (Click here for other ingredients and recipes that can help your skin type.)

image**Mascara**-Any YouTube video will tell you that you should wear between 8-10 coats of mascara for drop dead looking eyes. Ummmm… no offense? I don’t have time for that. And it never looks like the pictures anyways. So what’s my layering trick for great, long lashes? It’s kind of simple and doesn’t need a lot stuff. But you will need 3 different mascaras:

1. Get a good mascara that has a great comb wand. This will enable you to coat each lash for length and keep them separated. Plus you can get the little innie lashes with a pointed brush. My go to brand? Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. (Sephora, $24)

2. Next, when mascara is completely dry, curl them with a eyelash curler. None specifically, just make sure you are comfortable using it and it doesn’t pinch your eyelid or pull out any lashes.

3. Another coat of mascara. This time use one that lengthens and keeps the separated but begins to add volume. Again, a good wand is important. A comb is good again but can be one whose “bristles” are tighter together. I really like Buxom Lash Mascara. It keeps them fanned with a bit of thickness. (Sephora, $19)

4. Last step? One coat of a thick foofy brushed waterproof mascara. Lock in that look and keep your butterfly eyes looking smudge-proof all day. There are always new ones on the market and I try them before mine dry out and get old, but I’ve always had great success with Lancôme’s Waterproof Hypnose Drama Mascara.

Don’t get scared away by my suggestions of department store brands. I have had great success as well with drugstore brands such as Rimmel’s Scandal’Eyes Show Off Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline, and L’Oreal Power Voluminous 24hr Mascara. Each is easy on the wallet but still layer-able to get the look you want.

image**Lips**-Maintaining a good, even lip tone with color, gloss, or both will take a little getting used to. The fact is, I don’t have time all day to constantly reapply an entire color routine on my lips. And between chatting all day and drinking coffee, it stays everywhere but on my lips. It has taken some time to get a good routine down, to maintain a lip look that will only need a touch up now and then. But you’ve got to trust me to play with this till you get the look/color you want. Ready?:

1. Exfoliate your lips with 2-3 drops of olive oil and a pinch of white sugar. Dab it on your lips then roll them back and forth so the oil penetrates and the sugar takes off any dry skin. Wipe off excess sugar with a tissue and blot excess oil.

2. Outline your lips with a neutral lip pencil. A great find is Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish Pencil Lip Liner in Nude or Avon’s Glimmersticks Lip Liners in Simply Spice or Pink Cashmere.

3. Next time you are shopping, hunt and find a packet of unsweetened Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and/or Cherry Kool-Aid (if you find other flavors, grab them. They are pennies and can be combined for great shades.) Using a Q-tip, dot a little bit of the powders on your lips, combining to achieve the color you want. If you have to add a drop of water to the other end of the Q-tip to help blend, that’s fine. Just add evenly so you don’t have one lip one color, one lip another. When done, let sit & dry for about 5 min. (If you prefer to just use one flavor, that’s fine too.)

4. Using a lip brush, apply a small amount of a good balm or gloss to keep lips soft. I prefer a balm, as glosses can get oily and transfer more easily giving your color less stay power. My fave right now? Chapstick’s Cake Batter formula. Yum! If you like a bit of frost to your shade, Nivea has a “Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care” which tops off for a nice, long-lasting sexy frosty shade while keeping lips soft & smooth.

5. Carry a gloss with you that matches today’s Kool-Aid shade in case of early fading or blotchiness or for an extra hint of colored shine.

If a stain isn’t your thing, try to find a ONE STEP lipstick with mega-stay power to keep your lips bright & soft. It won’t last as long but will buy you time in between lip breaks. A good find for me? New York Color Expert Last Lipstick. I find it lasts longer than any tube lipstick I own and the price is a steal.

So there you have it. Layering to get the look you love and the stopping the clock of aging. (Okay, not really but we can sure try to slow it down!) Good luck with these suggestions and please–PLEASE!–share if you have any of your own!

Next time? I think we will tackle eye liners, sweaters and….let me think on it.

Don’t Take Away My….

11 Sep

image
Recently, I wrote about how you can get a great, long lasting stunning look with just one stop to the drug store. At one time this was not easy, but with the development of better formula cosmetics, skin care and hair products, it is absolutely possible to get a great look without hitting a high end store and maxing out a credit card. Beauty can now be achieved on less than a paycheck. If you do it right, you could do it on a big trip to a bottle redemption center. Takes time & practice, but it can be done.

I do have to say, though, that even with the great products that are available on a drug/department store retail level, there are a few things that I just CAN’T live without. I admit, the majority of my ultimate faves are slightly higher end products, but not all of them. And this isn’t just for makeup and skin care either. I have a few fashion items that would make me cry if they disappeared from my closet. The fact is, no matter what the cost or where it came from, there are some things that I would throw a major hissy over if someone took them from me. They are all part of my glamour holy grail list.

So what do I love and can’t live without? Read on:

imageBenefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara – I have more damn tubes of mascara in my house RIGHT NOW than most people use in a lifetime. I test them, I review them, I am given them as samples, and sometimes curiosity of a new product just comes over me. They’re Real! came into my possession thanks to a sample from Sephora. I was a little hesitant since the “brush” applicator was very stiff, comb-like, and not fluffy like I had been used to using. It was the brush that actually sold me on this mascara! It lengthens, gently thickens, separates each lash, and although it isn’t waterproof it is “water resistant” and it seriously doesn’t move all day. No clumping, no flaking, no smudging. I was definitely sold after one use and no matter what other mascaras I’m testing or trying, I need Benefit’s They’re Real! in my drawer. I’d be lost without it.

imageLancôme Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner – I’ve always been intimidated by liquid liner. I don’t know what I do wrong, but my eyes never come out like the picture. But liquid liner is the classic example of “practice makes perfect.” And of all the liquid liners out there, Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner makes practicing easy. The foam-tip “brush” doesn’t clog up or run out before you finish your line. You want to be able to get an even color swipe without having it fade in the middle of the application. Not to mention, it comes in other popular colors so you can get a nice bold look with colors that pop. I also like the fact that you have about five seconds to smudge or touch it up before it dries and doesn’t move…. all day. Yeah, it’s a bit steep in price but a tube lasts a long, long time and saves money if you realize you don’t have to redo it 2-3 times!

imageBuxom® Full-On™ Lip Polish – Yup, I’m a lipgloss whore. I have more tubes of glitter goop than some people have shoes. Hmmm, bad reference. But I’m a sucker for trying new stuff, so if it has a good catch, decent advertising and jazzy packaging…I’m sold. But there is one lipgloss I only have three shades of and I would be lost without them. Why is this lipgloss such a staple in my collection? Well, once again we go back to the “samples sell” philosophy. I got a mini tube in the neutral color “Sugar” (a pinkish truffle). But I also have a wine/violet shade called “Gabby” that goes with anything and a bright strawberry pink called “Kanani”. The gloss is rich, thick but not sticky, and leaves your lips tingly for a pinch of plump. The colors are bold and there are many to choose from. Again, the glosses are more $$$ than an average gloss, but they do last because you need to reapply them less often and the color stays strong. I recently got a gift card so I think I will invest in a few Fall colors to keep my lips smooth with seasonal colors!

imageRoberto Cavalli Black T-Shirt – Okay, sit down because this is an epic story: One day last year, I went into my favorite “second hand” store, Plato’s Closet. While flipping through the tees, looking at the labels (because a designer item that sneaks in unnoticed is an epic find!), I see the name Roberto Cavalli on this black, logo tee with sheer zebra stripes on the back. My hands began to shake as I picked it up and saw the genuine logo medallion hanging from tag. Thanks to my years of watching Sex And The City, I knew immediately who and what I had found. I had stumbled upon a hidden treasure! I looked around, thinking this might be some kind of trick and Heidi Klum was going to pop out of a dressing room like I was in a Pranked skit or something. No one approached me, so I clinched the tee (which was my size!) like it was the last bottle of water after the Apocalypse and tried to act cool. I didn’t even look at the price tag because in my mind I knew approximately what it would have retailed for and I had to have found a deal. Holy smokes, did I. The cost on the Plato’s Closet price tag?…$6. I began to sweat as I walked towards the register, pretending I knew nothing about my find. As soon as it was rang up, paid for, and handed to me, I almost jumped the cashier. “Do you know what up this IS ?” She looked at me like I was on dope. I grabbed it out of the bag. “This is a Roberto Cavalli…ORIGINAL!” Still, a stone look on her face. No clue. Ugh…kids. Oh well!–too bad, so sad! Your loss, my gain! My days of ole watching Carrie Bradshaw and eating Hagen Daas out of the carton with a spoon on my couch had paid off. After extensive research, I discovered that the shirt I found was approximately four years old, and discontinued the same season it was released. The price new? About $350. I paid $6. Moral of the story? Watch your fashion shows, read your glamour mags and surf the net for the latest glamour news. It just may pay off. No one I see in my travels around where I live “gets it” when I wear my shirt, but I do! Oh I certainly do.

imageRampage Enamel Studded Satchel – Right up there with lip glosses, my number of black handbags is probably preposterous to the average American female. I have black purses in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of features, accents and hardware. Some have locks, some have rhinestones, some have feathers. Some are worn out, some are stained, some are basic, some are designer. All kinds for all reasons and seasons. But this specific bag is unusual. It was on clearance at tjmaxx.com and I actually stumbled upon it while looking for something else. I had just recently started helping out at the tattoo shop, and I thought an edgy, studded, rocker looking handbag with a lot of space for new items that I needed to carry with me (datebook, two cell phones, business cards, etc.) would be good. Honestly, when the purse arrived, I seriously thought about returning it. It was bigger than most of my bags, it had handles shorter than I was used to, and it didn’t have a lot of organizational features. But it was cool, the inside was hot pink which looked fab with the black exterior, and it definitely had a rocker vibe. So I loaded it up and gave it a try. I ended up carrying it for over two weeks which is long for me. What I’ve noticed, however, is that even when I do swap out handbags, I only carry them for a short while then come back to this one. I have a connection with this purse. We are compatible. It’s comfortable to me. I love that. Although it has been discontinued, it’s still a bag I could not live without. Best handbag investment I think I’ve ever made. AND it was on sale. That’s saying something!!

imageJ’adore Necklace – Like a purse is a must-have accessory, so are pieces of jewelry. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to have seasonal, in-style statement pieces but once in a while, you need to invest in a piece that is just you. A piece you can wear any time, any place and feel so comfortable in it you forget you’re wearing it. And if you take care of it it can last a long time, becoming your signature piece. Just like Carrie had her name on a gold necklace that she wore in almost every episode of Sex and the City, I have a necklace that I had to have the moment I saw it. I discovered on clearance on Nordstrom’s website. My necklace isn’t my name, but it is very Carrie-like: it’s says “J’adore”. Not only did I love it in gold, but I hunted it down in silver as well. Now I can wear my “statement piece” with whatever my outfit calls for, while still feeling NYC chic!

So that is my list of glamour and fashion “don’t touch!” items in my ensemble. We all have a few, and I’m sure the time will come to add a few more. What about you? What things can you think of that, if they were to disappear, would leave you mourning for a long while? The items you can’t imagine not being there if you needed them. They are your total comfort items, your glamour security blankets. Do you have a few too? I want to know! Share with me a photo if you have one. I want to see your must have’s too!

Casually Wet Wednesday!

27 May
Casually Wet Wednesday!
Tomorrow’s outfit for the day: super casual with a graphic tee
& jeans, a bit of leather for the cooler temps, and long-wearing
makeup that will withstand the elements!
Oh, and perfect for my rockstar look too?…You bet!

Must Haves In May

5 Jun

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I hate May.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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