Tag Archives: blush

A Fancy Face With Drugstore Finds

21 May

Anyone who reads fashion magazines, glamour spreads, even blogs may wonder sometimes if any REALLY good makeup can be found at your local drug store. It can be very disheartening to see a killer shade of lipstick on a model in a magazine only to find out that one tube costs over $25. I remember when I was a teen, if I spent more than $5 on ANY makeup product, it was “high end”. Wow… times have changed. I decided to put aside the samples and products that I had gotten from some of the higher end beauty stores or at the cosmetic counter of my local exclusive department store to see if I could get a SLAMMIN’ look for a more reasonable price.

I went through my vanity to find things that I mainly use that could be close to or even equal in quality for less expensive products in my local drug store or retail store for the main products that I use. Now, let me state for the record — I have a TON of makeup. In fact, if I wasn’t involved in what I do as a writer, I’m sure an intervention would have been discussed. I can’t help it if I get products to test and try, get coupons for free items, and I get random products in the mail from brands that follow me on my social medias. But when I did some math in my head, I realized a lot of people don’t have access to many of the things I have. So, my quest began: could I get a great natural and/or glamour appearance with products from my local drugstore without breaking the bank? A full face—from foundation to lip gloss–for a high-quality, almost red-carpet look? Hmmm… Let’s see how I did…

Foundation: There are a ton out there, any glamourista knows that. The problem with foundations is that everyone wants something different from them. Some people need a formula for dry skin, one for oily skin, some like mineral liquids, and others like a powder foundation. Finding one really depends on what your skin type is like. We will just take my skin as a basis for this test. I have super sensitive skin (thank you, red hair) and can go from dry to oily in a matter of 24 hours. After being at The Makeup Show this past weekend, I kept hearing about professional makeup artists using NYX Cosmetics’s “Total Control Drop Foundation”. Okay, wait—these world famous MUAs who have access to ANY brand at ANY cost are picking a drugstore foundation to have in their cosmetic kits? I had to know why. I stopped by the brand booth at the show and talked to two fabulous brand representatives from NYX. They agreed—makeup artists from all over are carrying their Total Control Drop Foundation with them. Why? Well, I bought one to find out. I will say, it IS pretty awesome. It has a dropper so you can get just the amount you need without oversaturating your skin. It is light, buildable, and didn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. Available in 24 shades, it wasn’t hard to find one that matched my very pale skin easily. I like the fact you can “add” things to it so your skin can get an even better look: a color adjuster, a mattifier or even a primer. I was super excited to find this product at The Makeup Show! A great deal for $14.

Setting Powder: Setting powders, for some of us “old schoolers” remind us about when they were skin-toned (not mine), turned into a shiny cookie from the talc, and gave us a nice orange glow. I was over that one fast. I just gave up on the powder thing for MANY years. Then… ta-da! I received a free sample of this new, high end HD powder. It wasn’t a pressed powder–it was loose. Not very easy to carry with me. Not to mention, it was white! Who wears white powder? After reading the details and practicing its application, I came to love it fast! It was translucent when applied to the skin and set my makeup perfectly. I bought a jar and, honestly, to this date, I still have it—it lasts forever! Then, about six months ago, I received an item in a monthly subscription box. It was NYX’s High Definition Finishing Powder. Yeah, there’s that NYX brand again! I put it on my vanity and let it set. One day, when laziness was at its max, I realized I needed an all over evenness to my skin and grabbed NYX’s powder since it was close by and tossed it in my purse to apply at work. Wow…was I amazed! A big brush swiped over the powder compact with a light dusting all over my makeup gave me a soft, flawless look. I was very surprised! I was even more surprised at the price. It ended up being 1/3 of the cost of my high end brand. And it did the same thing. Having this powder in a compact made it easier to carry with me as well. It has now become a staple in my purse. A fabulous price at $10.00

Blush: With my skin being very pale, I do not need a lot of blush to get a rosy hue to my cheeks. In fact, there are times when a pinch with my fingers right on my cheekbones gives me enough color for an hour or so. (That’s a nice trick to remember when your face needs a slight glow.) While I was flipping through a doctor’s office magazine, I saw this ad featuring a beautiful model with gorgeous cheeks. I was shocked when I saw what she had used… e.l.f. Blush in Fuchsia Fusion. I didn’t think this redhead could pull of a color like that but I wanted to try. Wow, I was surprised! I certainly did not need a lot of color, but the shade was gorgeous. Just a tiny sweep on my cheeks upwards was the perfect color I needed. Although it looks a little bold in the package, it gives me a healthy glow. And a little goes a long way. A great find for only $3

Eye Shadow: This is another personal preference. I know people who despise crayon colors, some who love loose mineral colors, and others who only wear natural colored pallets. In my career, I am busy and free time is limited. Because of that, I want—and need—an eye shadow that will last all day. Now me, specifically? I want a shadow that is glittery, shimmery and a long-time wear power. After seeing ads (and with a coupon in hand), I set out to get myself a L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow color. This easy to apply creamy shadow can be put on with your finger or even a tight brush (like a concealer brush) for more precise application. If you want to combine two or three shades, use a brush to get the colors you like then blend, blend, blend to get the look you want. Keeping it simple, I chose to get the color “Silver Sky”. I used my finger to dot, dot, dot then blend. I loved it! Yes, it wore all day. Yes, it was super water resistant. No, it did not crease. I was just what this busy girl needed! Over the years, I have managed to collect about 12 different shades that I like to wear alone or with other shades. When I wear L’Oreal Infallible 24HR Eye Shadow, I don’t stress when I can’t check it. I know it is fine. $8

Now there are your powder shadow girls. That’s okay too. I have about 12… or 70… different shades of loose mineral shadows. There are some very high quality pure mineral shadows on Etsy (like Notyce Beauty & Deviant Cosmetics) but in the stores, I’m pretty picky. A while back, while wandering around a discount store, I found a trio of colors that I loved. They had natural, soft, and subtle looks but I wanted something bold. I grabbed Wet ‘n Wild’s Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in “Spoiled Brat”. Since I don’t use many pressed eye colors, I was hesitant to invest a lot of money for just a few purse shadows. I could not, however, pass this trio up. Of course, other color combos were present and each trio had great shades of pressed shadows for just about anyone. Since loose minerals are hard to carry around with me, this pressed trio of shadows was perfect to give me a few fun colors at a fab price. $3

Mascara: Probably out of all makeup that is on the market, mascaras are the hardest for me to settle on. Every new one that comes out says it is better than the last. And I fall for it every time. There are also ones that I have loved that have just disappeared. UGH! I am often given mascaras to try from different brands to test and only a few times have I flat out not liked them. But there are also very few that I have loved enough to buy again. When it comes to drugstore mascaras, there are so many that I literally get overwhelmed when I go looking. I am not able to try any of those before buying and am afraid of getting something that will irritate my eyes or just doesn’t look good. I actually made a list of what I wanted with a mascara and what I didn’t then went on to various company websites to see if they had something close to my desires. After I chose my brush style, formula, color and longevity, I was able to narrow it down to three mascaras. The first one was difficult to find. It was out of stock in many stores. The second one seemed to do just about everything. I’ve been wearing it for a week and have had no eye irritation, smudging or difficulty in getting it all off at bedtime. It was not that expensive and I had a coupon too. Would I buy it again? Not sure… we’ll see. But am I wearing mainly now? Yes, yes I am. Every day. I like the results I am getting L’Oreal ParisVoluminous® Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara. A decent deal for $8

Eyeliner – Pencil: I am a child of the 80’s. Back then, your pencil eyeliner was awesome if you got it really sharp then heated it with a lighter. Looking back?…ugh, what was I thinking. Eyeliners have come really far since then. There are pencil liners that will stay strong on your waterline without having to melt them on. The problem is that most of them are super high end and are not cheap. One summer on vacation, I realized I left my pencil liner home. I got a little paranoid so I headed out to the nearest drug store to try and find something that could hold me over. Thanks to a recommendation from a customer, I decided to try NYX’s Slim Eye Pencil in Black Glitter. It was a little sparkly but not a ton, just enough. It sharpened easy, glided on without tugging and didn’t smudge at all. I liked it so much I went back and got a few other colors. I really like using the glitter liner on the waterline and then I nbetween the lashes with a thin line of the NYX Silver liner (or other bold color) underneath. A very chic look at a very reasonable price! $3.50

Eyeliner – Liquid: I have only been using liquid liner for a little over two years. It didn’t matter how many YouTube tutorials I read, the “winged liner” look wasn’t flying my way. Thanks to the help of a couple of my friends, I think I have finally achieved the look. It’s not always perfect and takes some time, but I can get there. The liquid liners that I first started practicing with were more than forgiving. I could make a small mistake and be able to fix it without much effort. The only bad thing was that usually meant that the liner didn’t stay as “crisp” as I wanted it to. If I wanted the winged liner look that day, I would have to use the liquid I had then go over it with a pencil or wet shadow. That didn’t always work so well. I was finally given some recommendations for a good pen liner but it was pretty steep in price. Especially since I wasn’t a pro at it. I tried it and was beyond thrilled with it, but that price made me wonder if there was any drugstore liquid liner with the same stay power. Fortunately I found one that was actually BETTER than the expensive pen I was using. Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner has a stay power like I have never seen before. It isn’t a pen (which is my only disappointment) but the applicator has a pen-shaped felt tip. It goes on smooth and gentle and stays ALL DAY! There is no crying or smudging or even wiping this off. Once it is on, it’s on! Now that has its disadvantages if you are a newbie to the liquid liner game. If you make a mistake, you need to fix it FAST or you will need to take it all off and start again. And to take it off completely takes the right products and a substantial amount of time. I find it is best if you give the applicator a blot on a tissue (hold it on an angle–don’t press the tip!) and go from there. That way you will have less product that can get unruly. You may even want to find a super thin, long handled brush to apply it with. (Instead of a makeup store, look for a good super-thin paintbrush at a craft store! Just make sure you clean it after each use so it won’t lose its shape. This gem is remarkably inexpensive for $4.

Lip liner: The main purpose of a lip liner is to keep your lip color from feathering into the fine lines around your lips. A good way to keep those lines from happening is to use your favorite eye cream around your lips morning and night. Eye cream is supposed to prevent you from getting lines around your eyes, right? So why not do the same thing for your lips. Find a lip liner pencil that isn’t too soft but that doesn’t tug when you apply it. I found that Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner was a great find for the cost. Available in 11 shades, this gem is perfect for giving you the perfect pout in a color that matches your lipstick or gloss. The long-wearing formula doesn’t transfer and can stay put for up to 8 hours. Not to mention, if you use a long wearing lip color, you want it to make sure it “stays in the lines” and a liner helps with just that. If you want, you can even use it as a long wearing lip color by itself by filling your lips completely with your favorite shade. And at its low price, you can pick all the colors that you love. $4

Lip Color: When it comes to an all over lip color, everyone has their personal preference to the kind they like. Some like pencils, others like regular lipsticks, many like liquid lip colors, some prefer stains. Whichever one you like best, you are sure to find something reasonably priced in your local drugstore. It might just be a case of trying different ones that give you the formula and colors you like. One little gem that I found is made by NYX called Epic Ink Lip Dye. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not really a “dye” or even a stain. It is more like a liquid lipstick that goes on smooth and lasts a long time without any transfer. The colors are bold and give you a “notice me!” look. There are 12 shades to choose from in the current collection and run about $7.

If you want something that is fairly long wearing but is more of a gloss with a good color, don't pass by L’Oreal Paris’s 8 HR Le Gloss. I've been wearing this gloss for well over five years now and it is still the one I grab when I want long lasting, creamy color that hydrates. Available in 20 shades that include mattes, frosts and shimmers, this stay-put gloss doesn't feather or fade. It is a bit sticky which is not appealing for some but for someone who has dry, chapped lips (like me) they may appreciate that kick of moisture. You can find that in your local drugstore for $10.

One other little goodie that I recently discovered is a neat Lip tint by e.l.f.. Don’t let the color in the package deter you. It actually changes colors with the chemistry of your lips. It is moisturizing because it is infused with shea butter to give your lips some great hydration. It comes in three hues and can be put on at any time … even without a mirror! I had originally gotten Perfect Pink when it first came out but I thought, for a redhead, it was a little too bright for me. Then they released Perfect Berry and I was thrilled! It gives me that nice, rich, shiny light burgundy hue that looks great on my lips and matches my hair. They also released it in Perfect Peach which I am sure would also look good especially to match an outfit with warmer or neutral colors. e.l.f. offers these “Perfect” lip tints for $6.

It can be difficult to select a makeup item from a drugstore simply from a magazine ad or even from a recommendation from a friend. Not everyone wants the same things so without being able to try it out for a while, it’s hard to know if it is the right product for you. I tell my readers to do their research: read online reviews about the product itself at their website, search online for public reviews, and try sites like Influenster that cover all kinds of products—makeup and more. Use these to make your decision but definitely ask the drugstore if you purchase it and find it is not the product for you that you can return it without a hassle. This should be able to narrow your choices down quite a bit and take the worry out of possibly losing money on a product that is not for you.

So Sassy wants to know… what is YOUR must-have drugstore makeup product? How long have you been using it? And of course, why do you keep buying it? I’d love to share your thoughts on your favorite products in a future article. Leave your comments below so I can do some research on the ones you love too!

Product Review: “Model in a bottle”

11 Oct

**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.”**

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B ack in July, I wrote about a product that I had discovered at The Makeup Show NYC. “Model in a Bottle was a featured item that everyone were talking about. The top makeup artists in the industry said it was a must-have makeup kit item. The concept is pretty simple: if you want to keep your makeup look prestige for hours through almost any force, then finish your look and spray on Model in a Bottle. Bam… done. Too easy to be true? I thought so. Because seeing is believing, I contacted the great crew at Model in a Bottle and mentioned that I heard about them in NYC and wanted to feature them in an upcoming blogpost. They were so nice and excited about my interests! They sent me a complimentary bottle as well as a couple of other goodies to try. So the testing began.

According to the information on their sister website link (Hollywood Fashion Secrets), the original Model in a Bottle (pink label) offers the following:

  • Dries with a translucent matte finish
  • Absorbs excess oil
  • Doesn’t clogs pores
  • Never interferes with or reduces the effectiveness of SPF
  • Is fast drying, never sticky
  • Has a fresh clean scent
  • Adds moisture with Aloe Vera extract
  • Not tested on animals
  • Proudly made in the USA

  • (*According to the product statements, the sensitive skin formula doesn’t claim to not clog pores, and is lightly scented with natural lavender.*)


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    That’s a lot of big claims to live up to! Can a product do all of that for a sensitive & combination skinned, raging redhead without any irritation? Can it do all of that AND still keep my makeup looking epic all day–from 9-5 then hit the dance floor without any touchups? We were about to find out.

    First, I’ll start by saying that Model in a Bottle is SO easy to use. Simply apply your makeup as usual, allowing your mascara to dry completely. With your eyes closed, just use 2-4 sprays of the Original Formula Setting Spray (Sensitive Skinned formula if that’s your style) to set your makeup. Keep your eyes closed for a minute to allow it to dry. (If using the sensitive skin formula, give it an extra minute.) That’s it!

    The day I decided to try it, I wanted to put it through a good test. I left my loft with a full faced makeup look: SPF moisturizer, primer, foundation, glitter eyeshadow, mascara, liners, lip color, blush, HD powder. The temperatures were in the high 80’s with humidity. I started out by putting in five hours at the tattoo shop next to a window with direct sunlight. From there, I walked home–close by–during the warmest part of the day. After a bit if sweating (girls like to call it glowing!), I changed into something more “fun” and headed out to see my friend’s band playing at a local club. Several hours of dancing and mingling, I headed back to the loft. As I sat down at my vanity to “take my face off”, I realized my skin and makeup still looked AH-MAY-ZING! I actually was beyond happy at how well my makeup stood up throughout the day and night. Nothing had smudged, smeared, flaked, fell out or streaked. I had a nice matte glow, just like I had when I left the house that morning with no breakthrough shine. Awesome!

    Removing my makeup didn’t require any extra effort either. I took my eye makeup with a cotton ball and my eye makeup remover just like usual. My simple face cleanser washed all the makeup off without scrubbing or a repeat cleansing. I was very happy about that. And so was my face. Even though Model in a Bottle DOES come in a sensitive skin formula (with the added benefit of hydro essential oils of lavender and Aloe Vera, this formula adds moisture to the skin and helps control inflammation for those who have drier complexions or more sensitive skin conditions like rosacea), I didn’t need it. The original formula held my look tight without causing my skin irritation or redness. I was beyond impressed! I had finally found a way to lockdown my makeup look all day! Not to mention? I couldn’t have found this at a better time. A new writing endeavor will have me out and about for long photo shoots and extensive “mingling” and my makeup will need to look spot on for long periods of times, in all kinds of conditions. This is exactly what I’ll need!

    So, regular skinned and sensitive skinned makeup gurus, relax. If you are looking for a product to hold your make up look all day for whatever reason–weddings, outdoor gatherings, late nights, moving activities, photo shoots, etc.–I would definitely suggest Model in a Bottle to hold your look in place!

    Model in a Bottle setting spray offers their original formula (pink label) and their sensitive skin formula (purple label). They also make an Eyebrow Sealer and a new Lipstick Sealer as well)

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30 Days Of Beauty…Day 6

7 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 5

6 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 Aug

Drugstore makeupEveryone loves to share their top drugstore makeup finds with their readers, followers and fans. I’m no different. Even though I have makeup items from the Dollar Store all the way up to a $50 blush (I won it–hell no I didn’t buy it!!), there is no reason why you can’t get a to-die-for look from your local drugstore. I’ve even expanded my Top 10 to a “Top 15” because I want to make sure your drugstore look is COMPLETE!
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So here we go…my drugstore Top 15:

1. Say Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes– No one paints a masterpiece on a dirty canvas. The same goes for your face. Using a gentle but effective cleansing wipe that will quickly give you a clean surface to start your work of art is the perfect way to start your day. Say Yes To products have always been a favorite of mine especially since they have different formulas to target different problems. I like the cucumber ones the best. They are cooling and perfect for sensitive skin.

2. L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate – If you have cleaned your face, you better take care of it. A good anti-aging cream is something to help combat the signs of mother nature without interfering with the look of your makeup. As far as drug store serums, I like this one the best. It it absorbs quickly and gives my skin a smooth all over feel.

3. Physicians Formula Correcting Primer 3-in-1 (Corrector + Primer + Sun Protection) – Three great features in one product. This correcting primer is perfect for me because it comes in a green tint which helps me balance my uneven skin tone. This keeps my smooth and even so I do not look washed out. It also prepares my skin for my foundation as well as gives me a minimal amount of necessary sun protection. With its built in brush, it is easy to apply and is exactly what my skin needs for its bottom layer.

4. Maybelline Fit Me! Shine Free Foundation – A genius must have created the premise for this unique product. A gentle foundation in a stick for easy application has a center strip that is an oil mattifier to prevent shining during the warmer months. Brilliant! The coverage last all day without the foundation sliding down my face or becoming blotchy after a few hours. Perfect for anyone with oily skin or breakthrough shining.

5. Rimmel Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer – I have never really ever needed of concealer. Come on, don’t hate! I guess I am just blessed with no dark circles. But when I started working at my new J*O*B*, I found some nights just felt longer than others. And where did it show? Yup, my eyes. This really cool concealer doesn’t just hide dark circles or imperfections on the skin, but it also puts in a nice highlight to areas that look nice with a bit of oomph. Although it doesn’t come any many shades, I found one to match my pasty white skin tone perfectly.

6. Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow – I have not hidden the fact that I do not have time during my day to touch up my makeup. When I put it on in the morning, I would be very happy if it looks exactly the same way when I get home at 5 o’clock at night. That’s why I really like this eyeshadow. It is a highly pigmented cream, and goes on easily and quickly with your fingertip. And it stays…ALL DAY! I like the fact that I can use a single color all over my eyelid for a simple, jazzy look or I can combine one or two with easy blending for a more intense look. If I wear this eyeshadow, I never check my look in the mirror during the day–I know it will stay strong all day!

7. Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencil – Even though I love my cream eyeshadows, I also like to have other options. This long-lasting eyeshadow pencil is great because it can give the eyes a lot a depth when combined with a darker liner. It has staying power so it can be used as a highlighter, a shadow, a contour color for a deep smoky look, or even as a bold colored liner. I like the fact I can sharpen it as crisp as I want to get it to go exactly where I’d like it. Sometimes I will use a light Tattoo cream shadow shade all over my lid, swipe on a line of bold color with Milani’s Eyecolor Pencil for pop, then line top and bottom with black for an edgy rocker look. Ka-pow!

8. Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Pencil – Long wearing eyeliners are a must in my makeup ensemble. I have all kinds, shapes, sizes, colors. They are the signature on my make up look. I like the various bold colors that Milani’s come in, and I have had the best luck with these not just staying strong in color pigments but also staying strong on my waterline. I tend to use just these pencils on the bottom of my eyelids. They seem to have the best holding power under there.

9. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner – Although I have several liquid eyeliners that I use on my top lids, lately I tend to lean more towards a smudged look when it comes to lining my upper lids. That’s why I really like the waterproof gel eyeliner. The thickness of the line and the darkness of the smudging is totally up to me. It’s also nice to line the upper lids with a heavy smudge line then add a little color along the edge if the top lash line. It just gives it a dramatic effect. Plus this gel liner really stays–it is still on even at bedtime!

10. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara – I have to admit, it is really difficult for me to find a drugstore mascara that I can put in the “love” category. Most of my favorite mascaras are high-end brands or purchased through department or specialty stores like Sephora. I grabbed this one on a hunch and also because it was new and the packaging was jazzy. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for advertising.) So far, I have been quite pleased. Definitely no smudging, no flaking and lashes are still holding strong at the end of the day. First drugstore mascara that I can say that about. Kudos!

11. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush – When cream blushes hit the scene again a while back, visions of my mother with little pots of lipstick colored goop flashed before my eyes. I knew the powder blush I was using faded in an hour which didn’t make me too happy. I’m glad I gave Dream Bouncy Blush a try because it was nothing like anything out at the time. It’s not a heavy cream–it’s a lightweight gel with a smooth texture and blend-able color. The formula seems to have longer wear which I like even more than powder. Oily complexions should not be scared–it’s not heavy at all. Good shades with no shine!

12. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Lip Gloss – I think I am going on my fifth year or more that I’d have to put this is as my favorite lipgloss. And for all the right reasons! It’s available in many, many different shades–warm, cool & neutral. It’s not sticky, but its consistency is just heavy enough to keep the color strong for hours. And if all that isn’t enough, the fact it conditions your lips while it’s on sets it apart from all the rest! I’m not sure if I’d agree with it’s 8 hour claim, but I would say out of all glosses I own, it does stay on and true to color the longest.

13. Physicians Formula Talc Free Mineral Wear Correcting Translucent Powder – This item is odd looking but it does the job. It’s a tri-color talc-free powder that adjusts with your skintone to set your makeup look giving you a nice, even matte finish. Plus it’s formula is gentle even on the most sensitive skin!

14. Milani High Speed Fast Dry Nail Lacquer – Some people may not say a coat of nail polish is part of your daily makeup routine, but for a well-put together look, I think it is a necessity. Nicely polished nails–in any color–just show that you care about your appearance. Does it have to be a flashy color? No. A neat white or bare pink is fine. But a fast-drying coat of polish that you can put on in minutes before flying out the door can really give you a well, put-togethered look.

15. Paul Mitchell Hold Me Tight Finishing Spray – Wait!! Before you grab your coat, purse, sunglasses and cell phone, give your hair one last look, fluff where needed, then give it an all over spray with this non-sticky, soft but strong holding hair spray. It keeps the frizzies in check, holds your style and doesn’t damage your hair with stiff gluey ingredients. Even though it is a salon brand, thank heavens you can get it in your local drugstore. My hair will be forever thankful!

So, I went a little over the usual Top 10 lists, but the fact is this: with my 15 items? Your skin, face, nails AND hair will be looking fab. I want to make sure you have not just MY favorite drug store items but my favorite items that can give you a complete look as well as take care of your skin! I’m not sure what drugstores are local to where you live so I didn’t want to quote stores or prices since they can vary. But, FYI? … All of the items I listed were found on walgreens.com and iPhone app. That can give you a lead on where you might want to start.
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Hope this gave you some helpful info before your next glamour run at the store. Stay sassy ladies!!

Sassy Simplified (Dances with Wolves, part two)

14 May

So earlier this month I wrote about how I had a new job which was keeping me more busy than I’ve ever been before. My mind is calculating and occupied; my body is feeling a bit tired but balanced; and I’m doing something I find fun & exciting. I can still put my passion into writing but I can also interact with people which keeps me fresh and alive. What’s not to love!?!

Last time, I talked a lot about how I’ve simplified my skin care so I can still keep my face looking young and fresh with the least amount of time and products needed. Now, I’m going to talk a bit about makeup. I will admit, my makeup look is always changing since I tend to base my look and colors on my outfit and mood of the day. What is very important to me now? A look that will LAST! This girl ain’t got NO time to check her lashes, liner and lips every 60 minutes. I want to know my foundation isn’t sliding. I want to make sure my eyeliner isn’t running down on my cheeks. And I need a lip color that is light & easy to carry so I can touch up my lips on a whim without a mirror, keeping them fresh and soft. So what are a few of my necessities? Let’s look:

Foundation:
RimmelFoundationI have no time it bring a bag of goodies to work and touch my face up every few hours. I’m busy! Plus, isn’t that what us women really want: a no-brainer look that stays in place all day? After using many foundations, I really like how Rimmel London’s Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation keeps my look in check–ALL DAY! I don’t get oil breakthroughs, no sliding, no blotchy spots. Just smooth, even coverage all day long. I can’t say I’ve been a big fan of many Rimmel products in the past, but this one has me hooked. $5.49

 

Eye Shadow:
LancomeES
Well, I have to admit, I flounder here a bit. It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I want a long lasting powder shadow when I want to blend different colors for a mesmerizing smoky look. Other times I like a long-lasting eye pencil that goes on quick without brushes but I can still add a bold pop of color. Then there are the lazy days…the days I want to sweep one cream color over my entire lid without thinking about blending, highlighting, contouring, fading or creasing all day. So that gives me a few different options with my choices–
Powder: Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow (55+ shades) $20.00
Pencil: Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Wear Eye Color Pencils (12 shades) $6.99
Cream: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow (10 shades) $6.99
If you have the time? Blend, mix, create! The looks are endless.
ColorTattoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liner:
LiquidLinerEyeliner used to be my nemesis. I could never find one that could line my top lids crisp, give my bottom lashes pop on the waterline, and keep them in place ALL DAY. Again, sometimes you have to pay more for what you want, and that’s what I found I had to do to get the long lasting look I wanted. They go on smooth, no running, completely waterproof & weatherproof!–
Pencil: Lancôme Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting EyeLiner w/smudger sponge (9+ shades) $27.00
Liquid Liner: Lancôme Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner, goes on with a fine sponge point to make your line as thick or as thin as you want. (9+ shades). $30.50
LancomePencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mascara:
MascaraMascara is an odd animal. No matter how happy you are with the one you have, you always have to try something new. And if you do try something new and aren’t happy with it? You are annoyed beyond words. I try the newest, latest and greatest whenever a drugstore brand mascara comes out. I have to say there are a few select ones that I have been pleased with. But when it comes to a mascara that gives me fabulous looking, long, lush, lashes? I always go back to my ultimate favorite. It’s super water resistant, doesn’t flake, no under eye smudging and coats and separates each lash. They look so fab, I think they almost look fake. (Hence the name!) Seriously, isn’t that what we all want? And I don’t mind paying a bit more for just that! Which is why I love Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. $23.00

 

Blush:
BlushYou don’t need a ton of blush to make your look natural. And I found very quick you don’t have to spend a lot either. There are some great powder and cream blushes that will go the distance without breaking your bank. And some?…no brush needed. Especially my favorite:
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush. This gel formula lets you dot and smooth right where you want to make your cheeks pop without going a bit heavier as you could with a brush blush. The variety of ten shades are smooth and buildable, if you are looking for a more dramatic look. $7.99

 

Lips:
CovergirlOkay, honestly in this department, I’ve got nothing. See, we all have our vice. Some have Oreos, others ice cream. Some have salt & vinegar chips, others have Ring Dings. Me? Well, I have all those too, but when it comes to makeup, I can’t get enough lip products. Seriously, I have scrubs, balms, butters, stains, creams, lipsticks, colored glosses, clear glosses, the lust just goes on. Honestly, I have no favorite. I’m trying to think, though, what you will ALWAYS find in my purse. It takes a “special” product to always be in there, regardless of outfit choice of the day. That’s easy: For Goodness Grape lip tint in Strawberry Sugar Shimmer ($7.00); Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in “Bronze Glow” ($19.00); Covergirl Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in “Only U” ($5.99); Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in “Mauve Fetish” ($5.49)

ForGoodnessGrape

 

 

 

 

 

So, it’s true–the Sassy working woman isn’t as simplified in her makeup routine as her skin care routine, but I am more aware. I am more aware of the type of products I use that will last the whole day with few or no touch ups. I need quality items that will make it through all kinds of conditions: hot, cold, rainy, rushed, busy, quiet, stressed, chaotic, hilarious and just plain fun. Finding the right products has taken some time, and I’m sure I’ll be looking for more in the future. But for now? I am very content with my edgy, chic, up-to-date look that doesn’t require a ton of money, time or effort. Just what a stylish nine-to-five tattooed rockstar needs!!

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Loving This December…

13 Dec

imageOkay I know. I’m a slug. I haven’t written anything in forever. Sure I could give you the runaround story about being too busy to do this or that but the fact of the matter is with the holidays quickly approaching I’m just beat. It takes effort for me to even get the mail lately. I can’t blog about things that I experience on a daily basis because nobody wants to hear about road rage, packed parking lots, or long doctor visits. You want to read about fashion and glamour, and it is my job to deliver that to you. So let’s work with that.

It’s the beginning of December, and I found a few things last month that I really fell in love with. I try and try to tell myself I have more than enough makeup, skincare, shoes and clothes and don’t need anything else. I don’t even need to try or test anything. I like what I have. Yet without fail, something new makes it into my shopping cart every time I go to the store.

So let me give you a quick rundown of the things that I’ve discovered lately that I quite possibly cannot live without now. Of course, this may change. But hey… I’m fickle… I admit it.

image1. Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford Serum – Okay, I lucked out on this one. I actually got this as a trial sample in the mail, and I’m very glad I did. We all know that serums are the wave of the future for skincare, and this one does everything you could possibly want or need. I admit, it gets confusing and cluttered having a serum around for every problem your skin might have. Fine lines, deep wrinkles, uneven skin tone, large pores, sagging eyes, the list goes on and on. And, of course, I needed something to fight every single one of those problems. Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty serum does it all. No lie. I use a little at night just before bed, and I’m done. If my skin is feeling really dry, I might add an extra moisturizer over it. But if not, it’s one product and that’s it. I love simple. I noticed a difference in my skin in less than a week after I started using this product. My skin’s tone was more even, my pores smaller, less fine lines and wrinkles. I mean a NOTICEABLE difference. If I didn’t have so many other products in my bathroom right now, I’d buy the Meaning Beauty skincare set today. But as soon as my inventory goes down, I’ll be buying this right away.

image2. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish in “Hi Ho Silver” – I like metallic nail polishes just as much as the next person. But the fact is they just look like fake colored paint to me. Or my nails got hit by a glitter blizzard. If I want a metallic polish, I want shine… not frost. I began to look for a nice metallic polish for the holidays several weeks ago. I was finding nothing. The selection was so bad that I almost bought spray paint to do my nails. Although I was primarily looking for gold, silver was still an option. I’m glad it was because “Hi Ho Silver” is a fabulous color. There is no glitter or sparkles. There is no dull color. It’s a flat out super shiny silver like you would see on a brand-new car. It catches the light and shines dramatically. I’m really excited to try it with some nail art pens–I think it would be a great base for some nice designs. Not to mention?… Sally Hansen’s formula is great. It lasts really long without chipping or peeling. This was a great add to my manicure collection.

image3. e.l.f. Studio Blush in “Fuchsia Fusion” – It’s gospel that redheads and most pinks don’t like each other in makeup or fashion. But the fact is, I saw this blush in a glam mag on a redhead and knew right then I had to have it. It was flashy, it was sparkly, and it screamed sassy! I had often seen e.l.f. products at my local Target store, and had heard positive things about the items and their fabulous prices, but had never tried any myself. I started getting a few brushes which are great and affordable, but never got any makeup items. Until now. The blush was in stock at my store, so I was excited to be able to start trying it immediately. And at that price? It’s was a no-brainer decision. I love it! It doesn’t clash with my red hair and gives my pasty winter white skin a nice cool glow with a shimmery pop. Gorg!

image4. Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner – I wish I could take the credit for this one but I actually have to give big props to my daughter. She picked out this set after reading that Moroccan Argan Oil is great for helping hair grow to strong and healthy….and fast! She liked it and yes, her hair grew faster, but she felt her scalp was itchy and was afraid it was this new shampoo that was causing it. So she put it off to the side. One day, I decided to read up on it a bit more. With my color-treated wavy hair, these products seemed perfect! “Organix Moraccan Aragn Oil shampoo and conditioner penetrate into the hair shaft to help mend your hair and give it strength and shine.” I like the fact the formula is free of parabens and sulfates making it safe for color-treated hair. Plus now with my wavy 80’s perm, it keeps my hair soft and silky, while protecting it against styling heat and UV damage. No frizzies here. I love how my hair looks and feels with these products. Finally, my hair is strong and healthy, without it feeling like hay in a wind tunnel. I guess one person’s loss is another person’s gain…at least it was in this house with hair products! Thanks to my daughter for my new hair goodies.

image5. Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Super Skinny Denim Jeans in Denim Blue – I will admit, my jeans collection is extensive. I do NOT need any more jeans. BUT, when I saw these I fell in love. The color is slightly washed out which makes them look more casual. But sharp! The fit is perfect without being too tight or too bunchy. And on one front pocket, there are cool little brass studs. They are über cute. I got them on a steal of a deal and were barely $10 by the time the discounts were taken. With winter weather upon us, it’s nice to have good fitting jeans that you can still tuck in your boots and not have be uncomfortable or look slouchy messy. These jeans are stylish! I’m glad I took the chance with them–even more glad I got more than one (or two!) pair.

Okay, Sassinistas… that’s my December list of new fashion and glamour items that I’ve fallen in love with. How about you? Do YOU have any new finds that you are loving on? If so, share away! I like to know what YOU have discovered…so maybe I can try it too!

Fab Finds In July!

31 Jul

Usually when I find a skin care product that I really like, it will take a lot of convincing for me to try something different. I guess that explains why I have been using the same line of cleansers, day creams, night creams, and eye cream for almost a year now. I like the company, love the results from the products, and they don’t irritate my skin at all. Makeup, on the other hand, is something very different. I’m always in search of the newest, the best, the hottest items on the market. I probably try at least 8-10 new things each month, either through product testing, freebies, samples, coupons, or just curiosity. A few are great, some just good, and an epic fail here and there. Let’s just say my glamour collection is extensive!

This July, I didn’t try as many new things as I usually do, but what I did try I was quite happy with. I can see myself being loyal to a few of them for quite a while. A few others I can see being used once in a while when the mood hits. Either way, there wasn’t any disappointments this month.

So what few things went into my “absolute fave” section of my makeup drawer this month? Here’s what I fell in love with in July:

Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush – I have been using mineral powder blushes for almost 3 years and still love them. But a few weeks ago, I needed to add a touch of blush to my look and the only thing I had nearby was a pink cream eye shadow, so I used that. I was pleasantly surprised how well it looked and stayed on. So then I went in search of a good cream blush. I had seen advertisements in magazines for Maybelline’s new blush for a while now, but I thought it might irritate my skin or make my face oily & shiny. I was so wrong. This blush goes on light, is totally buildable, and doesn’t make my face greasy at all. It goes on like a creamy gel and dries to a powdery finish. And it LASTS…. all day! I picked “Pink Plum” for my shade and it gives my cheeks the perfect light, rosy glow! (Found in most drug stores and retail stores, approx. $6.50)

L’Oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Makeup – Usually I’m not a big fan of liquid foundations, especially in the summer, since I have a tendency to shine up in the heat. But the mineral foundation I had been using just wasn’t lasting and giving me the coverage I wanted. So I decided to take a chance and search out a liquid foundation. After testing several on my wrist, I found that L’Oreal’s colors matched my skin better than most others. When I saw the Visible Lift Serum, I thought the product had a good goal in mind: a foundation that didn’t just reduced the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and age spots but also contained Pro-Retinol A and Vitamin C which would help reverse the signs of aging. The SPF of 17 was an added plus too! Although putting it on straight from the bottle seemed to look a bit “thick” on my skin, applying it with a damp makeup sponge gives me the coverage I like. Not only do I have a foundation that looks good but also prevents the increased appearance of aging. Perfecto! (Found in most drug stores and retail stores, approx. $13.50)

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – It’s no secret that heavily lined eyes are in style right now. Cat eyes, smoky looks and rocker eyes are all over the runway and glamour field. There are all kinds of products to give you these high fashion looks, and honestly, I think I’ve tried almost all of them. The only liner I can’t seem to master is the liquid liner look for the top lid. It either looks too thick, goes on crooked or “melts” into the crease. Many times the brush was too short, too fat, or the liner dried out too fast. I just couldn’t get it mastered. One day, while picking up another skin care item at Sephora, I stumbled upon Urban Decay’s liquid liner. What I REALLY liked about this product is that dries almost instantly (so being precise is a necessity!), is totally waterproof and wears true all day. I also love the brush because it is the perfect length and super thin for a really sharp look. Now I am having a blast wearing all kinds of funky eye looks with my new liner. U/D’s liner makes it so easy. Available in 11 colors including carbon black. (Found at Sephora, $19.00)

Red Apple Lipstick in “Flirt With Me” – Everyone who knows me knows that I am a contest-entering fool. I try to win all kinds of things, especially makeup, glamour and fashion items. This month I entered a contest to win a variety of items from a brand I never heard of. I did a bit of research and loved the premise of the company. Red Apple Lipstick makes lipsticks, glosses, liners, and eye shadows that are completely free of gluten, paraben, soy and allergens. They are vitamin E enriched to keep your lips soft and the color long lasting. It definitely sounded like something I would use. So I entered the contest… and I won a lipstick! Yeay Sassy! Free makeup is a good thing…. free makeup that I LOVE is a GREAT thing! I love the color of this lipstick since it is a light, neutral shade with pink, peach, bronze and gold hues. It went on smooth and easy—no tugging!—and lasted a long time while keeping my lips moist and conditioned in the hot summer weather. I’m already planning my next shade since I just love the way it wears. If you want nice cosmetics made by a company in the USA that is safe and free of unnecessary additives, check out Red Apple’s. They guarantee you’ll like them! (RedAppleLipstick.com, $17.50)

That’s it for July, fashionistas! Summer has one more month of heat and sun, then we will begin to get ready for fall and back-to-school. Wow, where does the time go? Well, I’ll worry about all of that when it gets here. For now, I’m going to enjoy my new makeup items, start searching for sale items, and enjoy the warm weather as long as I can. Because I know it won’t last too much longer!!