Tag Archives: brush

Is There Ever A Limit?

16 Jun

Overload

Today, I had an unexpected day off from my j*o*b*. I wasn’t too upset. A weekday to myself to do what I wanted is something that hasn’t come my way in months. Don’t get me wrong–I love my job at the tattoo shop. It’s fun, it’s different, I get to meet great people, and it keeps me out of the makeup aisles at drug and department stores. Except today.

I don’t think I was off the phone with my boss for two seconds before I was grabbing my comfy shoes, keys, purse, cell phone and credit card and was in the car heading for the mall. It was like old times. In my early days as a writer, I would grab my tablet, pick up a drive-thru coffee, then head out for hours at a time testing, trying, sampling and sniffing the latest and greatest additions to the glamour market. Now, I don’t get to play makeup as often as I used to, but when I do get the chance–like today–I take full advantage. And I did.

I did have a goal in mind when I left the house: find a rich, deep, violet purple lip gloss with a lot of shine and sparkle. That was it. One thing. Simple, right? Wrong. Not when someone releases a glamaholic in a local Sephora store. Opportunities? Endless. Overwhelming? Not a chance.

With one item to find, I entered my makeup Mecca and began my search. I went right to the department of the brand I liked the most, but to my dismay they did not have the color I was looking for. So, the worst case scenario followed: I had to search the ENTIRE STORE–front to back, top to bottom–to seek out what I wanted. The question remains…did I find what I was looking for? Not really. Did I find other mind blowing cool shit? Ab-so-freaking-lutely!!!

So, what did I land in my makeup haul today? Let’s take a look:

Purple glossSEPHORA COLLECTION Ultra Shine Lip Gloss: I know I talked about these in my last blog post, but seriously I can’t get enough of these little gems. Sephora’s ultra shine lip glosses come in a huge variety of colors, including sheers, shimmers and glitters. I got one as a free with purchase with my last order (#11-Shiny Pin-up Pink – bright fuchsia pink shine) and turned around and in less than a week, ordered six more: #07 Shimmery Purple Red – raspberry with opalescent shimmer; #13 Reflex Miami Pink – sheer pink opalescent shimmer; #17 Shimmery Golden Beige – light caramel with opalescent shimmer; #19 Shimmery Black Currant – rose wine with opalescent shimmer; #49 Metallic Copper – dark bronze with a hint of shimmer; #50 Rose Petal – rich rose shine. So I was covered right? Wrong. I wear a lot of purple in the summer and found I was scrambling to find a shade for those fashion items. When I went to the store today, they did not have the Sephora gloss in a shade I liked. Phooey. But that didn’t stop me from grabbing two others that will work as well: # 21 Shiny Honey Purple – sheer grape shine; and the very evasive #24 Reflex Dazzling Violet – sheer purple opalescent shimmer (sold out online for over two months!). They weren’t exactly what I wanted, but they were still awesome. ($14.00)

LipstickSEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Shine Lipstick: With a deep purple lipgloss by Sephora being out of reach, I decided to try the next best thing: a good lipstick. I found a great color with #47 Heartbreaker – Glossy – sheer royal purple. This lipstick is very similar to the shade of gloss I wanted, plus the lipstick is glossy as well and not your usual matte. I’m not anti-lipstick at all, just more if a fan of a gloss. I am in fact an odd bird because I am one who does love the mega high shine and stickiness you get from a gloss. I know, call me weird. But this great lipstick color certainly can be jazzed up with one of those high shine glosses I purchased as well. A great combo of endless possibilities. ($12.50)

Grey shadowSEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow: I was going to BROWSE the store for a not-to-dark, definitely-not-silver eye shadow. While I was looking at the Sephora line of lip products, I couldn’t help but to glance over the eye shadow section. And, of course, Sephora has samples of every color of every item, so I began finger painting my hands and arms with shades of greys (no book title pun intended) till I actually found one I liked. The #58 Winter In London – Grey Shimmer was exactly what I wanted. Not too dark and smokey so it would look great for daytime blending. It had enough shimmer to make my eyes pop but not too much glitter to make me look like a stri… umm… girl wearing too much glitter. This will be an awesome color to play with! ($13.00)

SpongeSEPHORA COLLECTION The Perfectionist Makeup Sponge: Not too much to say about this purchase. With warmer temps coming soon, I wanted a makeup sponge so I could apply a nice thin coat of foundation and build when and where necessary. This sponge was on clearance, was the perfect size, and hell… it was purple too. ($7.00)

BrushSEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Mineral Powder Brush: This was an item I had been considering buying for some time, and since I was already at the store, I said why not. Being able to pick up, try, feel, touch all of the brushes made the decision to get this one easy. I knew I want a powder brush that wasn’t too big and too loose. It had to be somewhat dense to get to the areas I wanted with precision but still soft to gently apply either my mineral foundation or loose setting powder. Plus I wanted a flat–not rounded–top. This brush is perfect. The antibacterial synthetic bristles makes it perfect for picking up light or dense powders. Easy peasy! ($24.00)

Acqua di gioiaGIORGIO ARMANI Acqua di Gioia Hydrating Body Mist: ALERT! ALERT! TOTALLY UNEXPECTED PURCHASE! Of course when anyone goes to a makeup counter, they always sniff a few if the newest scents that have come out. Typically, I like to buy my fragrances in rollerballs. That way they don’t “spoil” and loose their original scent if I don’t use them up quick (and I never do!). None of the newest rollerballs tickled my fancy. In fact, many were heavy on rose notes which I am not a big fan of AT ALL! A couple were too spicy or woodsy for me in the summer months, a few others were similar to others I already had. Then I picked up this bottle. Without reading the description, I sniffed the bottle and I liked what I smelled. Then I sprayed it on my wrists. *GASP!* It was white! Yeah, not clear like other perfumes, it was watery white. Then I rubbed it in. Ooooo, it was silky! Totally fascinated and intrigued by this point, I read the bottle: hydrating body mist. So, it wasn’t drying like an alcohol based fragrance. It actually provided some moisture. So I decided to break out the iPhone and get some further deets. I discovered the scent “begins with a “mojito” inspired sensual blend of crushed mint leaves, warmed by brown sugar and mixed with the zest of Italian Limone. Then, feminine floral notes emerge with joyous hints of aquatic Jasmine, dew of Peony and subtle traces of pink pepper.” Now, we take those scents which I like, infuse it into an all-over moisturizing body mist, and you’ve got my newest love for the season! Yeay me! ($36.00)

Okay, okay, so I dropped some coin today. But I can easily say nothing I bought will go to waste. I’ve already used one of the glosses (broke it open in the car, what can I say?) and spritzed my skin twice with the Body Mist. I’m sure, depending on my attire tomorrow, most of the makeup items will get used as well. That’s the difference between a new makeup rookie and a glamour guru like myself. Makeup rookies make a purchase to try a new look. Glamour gurus make a beauty investment to enhance and accessorize an already established ensemble.

Of course, then there’s me. I just like to buy cool stuff!

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OCC Lip Tars & Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique

14 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out LeCosmetique’s site HERE

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

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

My Fab Finds of 2010…

28 Dec

Another year has come and gone, and much like last year, I have no clue where the days went. I could spend endless hours sitting around with my friends from high school, remembering so many of the fun times of our teens just like it was yesterday. We’d talk about the fabulous hairspray metal bands of the 80’s, headlines, fashions and trends like we were still in class together. But if you asked me what I did last month, last week, even yesterday?… it all blurs together like cream in coffee. I should follow in the footsteps of the hilarious bogus talk show host, Jiminy Glick (played by comedian Martin Short) and use “Ginko Bilobo” to improve my memory. But like him, I’d probably forget to take it.

There are a few things, however, that I never forget as time goes on: my fabulous discoveries in the world of fashion and glamour. Once a hot find gets burned into my mind, I truly believe it is there to stay. Not only do I personally get the benefits of these little treasures, but I get to share them with the people around me! Nothing makes me happier than to talk about a product, look, style or sale that I have stumbled upon with my friends, family and blog followers. It is like graduating from the student to the teacher!

So, as I sit back and enjoy my memory-stimulating treats (rosemary-mint hot tea and those dark-skinned… umm…. berry things, the name escapes me), I will share with you a few of the things that Sassy found and fell in love with this year:

1.  Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – I love the look of defined eyes with a deep black liner, but I could not find a pencil that had the stay power I wanted or a liquid that I could perfect. The oil-free formula of Maybelline’s Gel Eyeliner is highly pigmented for dramatic color and keeps going strong all day with its smudge-proof, water-proof wearability.  Although it was hard to master the look I wanted with the brush it came with, I decided to try something different. Which is how I came to fall in love with….

2.  Bare Escentuals’ Slanted Liner Brush – For those of you who feel like a five year old who can’t color inside the lines when using liquid/gel liners (like me), try a brush specifically designed for those who are straight-line challenged. This brush enables you to keep your hand straight in front of you without bending your arms in ways that would make Gumby frown. It works well with gel liners as well as powder eye shadows that can be used as eyeliners too. Plus it cleans up easily with regular soap and water and holds its shape. A must have brush in anyone’s collection.

3.  pureDKNY Perfume – Talk about squeaking in under the wire! I received a small bottle as part of a promotion that Sephora was running when I ordered my slanted liner brush two weeks ago. I’m a big fan of DKNY’s BeDelicious perfume, so I was happy to give this newer scent a try. I must say, it is totally different from BeDelicious. And that’s a good thing. With that scent focusing on top notes of apple and grapefruit, pureDKNY is primarily a floral perfume wrapped in the soothing scent of vanilla. Normally I lean towards citrus-type scents, but I absolutely love this one. I can see me wearing this as an every day scent. It’s genuine, soothing, simple and calm. And that’s exactly what we all need in our busy lives!

4.  bebe Logo Knit Top – I don’t care what age you are… everyone needs a little bit of bling in their closet, and bebe is well-known for their logo tops with some sparkle! The white logo top I found at bebe has half sleeves and is ribbed for a bit of extra style. It’s classic yet eye-catching, and is always worth a head turn or two when I wear it out. Even on a basic jeans kind of day, my bebe top makes me feel NYC chic!

5.  Vintage Leopard-Print Trench Coat – Some people call them thrift shops. Others call them vintage stores. I call them a gold mine… on the right day! Earlier this year, while looking for items for a costume party, I stumbled upon a brushed velvet animal-print trench coat with the original tags still attached ($75). It was stylish beyond belief and it was mine… for all of ten bucks.  Anyone who has ever watched “Sex and the City” knows that their infamous costume designer, Patricia Field, is the queen of mixing high-end designer fashions with off-the-wall vintage finds. I LOVE that! It inspires me to seek out great items at my local thrift store that can be worn “as is” or to be vogued up to push the style envelope.

6.  Cardigans, Cardigans, and more Cardigans – Before this year, the word “cardigan” brought to mind a four button, argyle sweater with the pizzazz of a slice of white bread. Yawn. This year, however, designers brought this layering piece to front of the class! Ruffles and lace, long and cropped, metallics and neutrals, buttons and belts… the styles were amazing. It brought a whole new dimension to my closet, and the mix and match possibilities were endless. And now that the colder temps are here, they are stunning and functional too!

7.  Over-The-Knee Boots – Usually when I think of high boots, visions of Goldie Hawn on “Laugh In” wearing her slamming white go-go boots always came to mind. (Did I just date myself?) For the past couple of years, the height of the boot has continuously been getting higher and higher. And with jeans getting skinnier and skinnier, the tucked-in pants look has been growing more popular. Of course, this look is NOT for everyone. I think when worn correctly on the right person, the OTK boot look just screams style and self-confidence.

As we all think back about what 2010 brought us, don’t forget to realize that on January 1st, we will be given 365 blank slates to use for whatever we want. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” We can expand our knowledge, learn new things, and develop new talents. I challenge you all to do, be or learn something new next year. You will be so glad you did!