Tag Archives: chapstick

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.

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Sassy Thinks It’s The Best Lip Balm…EV-AH!

2 Jul

imagePinterest and Etsy have become the hot media outlets where you can share your handmade products and recipes with the rest of the world. Seriously, what a fabulous idea. You post how you made that delish chocolate peanut butter banana mousse in a blender in less than 10 minutes and I’ll show you how to braid leather and glass into a couture bracelet in a day. (Please don’t ask me for the directions to either. I have no clue.) My personal DIY abilities are quite limited. I can FIX anything. I can even make the basic better. But to CREATE? I can take a top, pants, shoes, bag and accessories and CREATE an outfit. But that’s even pushing it. I have the utmost respect for those who can create. Designers, tattoo artists, builders. And if you can create something for fun that ends up being really good–like sellable good? Sweetheart, you’ve made your mark!

A friend of mine, Doreene, has been raving to me about these lip balms that she got from Etsy for a while now. She knows my life revolves around fashion and beauty and said I HAD to try these best lip balms ever. I didn’t want to pop her bubble, but do you KNOW how many lip balms are on the retail market? Gazillions!! So, what made these special? But Doreen pressed on. I couldn’t let it go–Doreen said I HAD to try them! Okay, okay… I am a tester at heart, and an honest one at that. So you want to know what I think? Sit down and be ready because I WILL tell you.

Let me give you a brief background of the products: “ForGoodnessGrape’s” (FGG) Philosophy is simple – This is the last stop on your quest for the BEST LIP BALM! As stated on their website, “products are made with high quality ingredients and hand blended in small batches resulting in fresh high quality beauty products. Each has a combination of at least 3-4 different highly moisturizing butters and 2-3 different superior skin softening oils.” As a victim myself of chronic chapped lips, and a strict studier of oils and butters, I knew already this company had a smart grip on what they were doing from just what I read.

With a ton of questions and a lot of curiosity about the products, I figured I would touch base with Lisa, the contact person at ForGoodnessGrape.com. I explained to her who I was, what I did, and that I was told her fabulous products needed to be exposed which is where I came in. Lisa is a doll to work with if I have a question, she is right there with an immediate answer. I asked for a couple of samples of her best selling products which she sent me… quickly and over-abundantly!

My samples came with their three favorite items (well, for me): Lip Balms, Lip Tints and Shimmers, and Sugary Lip Scrubs. The packaging was simple but “cozy” (if that makes ANY sense to you), the items arrived well protected, and in fact they didn’t seem “handmade”. I easily could see them in a drug store retail environment, but I liked the fact I could look at the ENDLESS list of goodies online, changing my mind (and shopping cart) every other second if I chose. I’ll break down my thoughts on each…

Lip Balms: FGG balms have just about every flavor imaginable. No, seriously. You usually don’t get moisturizing/healing ingredients in a flavor you like enough to use often to help your lips heal. Plus, all items are handmade to order. No stale products from shelves like many mass marketing names do. Your order was made with you in mind. They contain 3-4 different moisturizing butters and 2-3 skin softening oils to keep your lips soft and silky. Sassy’s suggestion? Buy at least 3-5, and put one everywhere! I have one in my purse, one in my makeup drawer, one in my car, one next to my bed and one I can throw in my pocket if I am on the run. If you want them all the same favor?…that’s up to you. But variety is the spice of life, so I have favorites like lemon cupcake (a must have), cake batter and kahlua and cream. Yum!
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Lip Tints & Shimmers: There are times when we want a hint of color with a lip product that keeps our lips soft and smooth at the same time. Lipsticks have a tendency to be drying, even after going on moist. That’s why FGG Lip Tints & Shimmers really caught my eye. I am so lost with lip products. Some are long-wearing but drying. Others tug and hurt my already chapped lips. Others are so focused on being “moisturizing”, that they slide off or transfer almost immediately. And this one company who had my hopes up with “baby” -feeling lips was unfortunately a fail when it came to lasting tints and softness. A lip tint–with enough “couture” color to stand out but the right formula to keep lips soft–was something that grabbed my interest right away. I was sent a sample of “Bitten” which was a soft, true red right out of the ‘old days’. “Mystery and Macabre” is a dark red tint that definitely wears more bold and dark than “Bitten”. I tend to use “Bitten” for daytime/casual wear, and “Mystery and Macabre” for evening events. I liked them so much I ordered four more in a variety of colors today. It’s also nice to know you can blend tints to come up with a shade just for you! Hooray for FGG Lip Tints–two great products in one simple tube!

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Sugary Lip Scrubs: Oh, people…. let me tell you this is the lip scrub to end all lip scrubs. For years, I’ve been making my own lip scrubs, with exfoliating and healing ingredients. So when I saw that something that I myself had been making had been improved to store in a lip balm holder, in flavors I loved?… I was impressed. You could carry it with you as needed, as well be appealing to the eyes, nose and taste buds! (Yes, you can lick the excess off the tube!) Lisa sent me “Cherry Vanilla” and at first I was a little sad. I’m just not a big cherry-flavor fan. But it STILL was the first item I had to open and try because I had to see how it worked. And it DID! Not only do the various sugar grits rid the lips of dry skin, but its base is moisturizing and its flavor yummy!! I cannot WAIT to get more of these. Listen!—Sassy lesson coming here!–No matter WHAT you use on your lips for color or gloss (or especially if you use nothing,) you need a good lip exfoliant to use 1-2x a week! Nothing will ruin a great makeup look than blotchy, scratchie, ouchie lips. Scruff them off, then balm them up! FGG Lip Scrubs will be your new BFF.

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Okay, so if you can’t tell, I’ve found some of my new favorite lip products right here at ForGoodnessGrape. It’s nice to be discovering some of my new favorite beauty products coming from small local or home-based businesses. I won’t hesitate to pay a little more if I love what I get, it exceeds even my expectations, and helps us friends out here at home! I am happy and proud that ForGoodnessGrape has made that list for me. Welcome to my glamour-ama, Lisa!

Find ForGoodnessGrape at…
Main Shop: http://www.ForGoodnessGrape.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/4goodnessgrape
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/4GoodnessGrape
Blog: http://www.confessionsofalipbalmaddict.com/

(Flavor and Fragrance List can be found on my Blog here: http://www.forgoodnessgrape.blogspot.com/p/forgoodnessgrape-fragrance-list.html)

Sassy's Summer Sampler

Don’t miss the opportunity to get the “Sassy Summer Sampler” from ForGoodnessGrape named just for ME!
Just click the picture to go to this HOT deal!
(Pssst….check back very soon for a special treat for lip balm addicts everywhere!)

Shopping Steal: Better Than Average Balm!

27 Mar

I am the first to admit it: I love lip products. Lipsticks, glosses, stains, balms, scrubs, you name it. I think nicely tended-to lips are sexy on a woman and should be paid attention to as much as your regular skin care. They need moisturizer, they need exfoliating, they need shine, they need color, and a nice flavor doesn’t hurt either. Finding the right products for your lips isn’t always easy either, and I think that’s why many of us end up with the bottomless pit of lip products in our cosmetic drawer at home–with more items we dislike than love. We’re always looking for THE one. I have finally reached the conclusion there is no “THE” one product. But there are a lot of good ones, and you have to find the one that is right for you.

Each day, the products I use on my lips vary. Sometimes it depends on what I’m wearing, where I am going, whether I need something super long lasting, whether I need something super moisturizing, it’s always different. At night, however, I want one thing: I want a rich, emollient lip balm with a nice light taste that will stay on from the time I go to bed till I get up in the morning. Simple, right? Wrong. I can’t find anything. I’ve tried $10 products, I’ve tried $1 products. I’ve tried simple Chapsticks. I’ve tried glossy balms. I’ve tried bags and bags of different things. They work, for a little bit, but then after a while the glory wears off and I’ll eventually wake up with dry chapped lips one morning.

…. till now.

The other day while at Walmart I saw a small display at the check out with little Mountain Dew cards all over it. On the cards was a soda bottle-shaped lip balm in Mountain Dew flavor.Okay, I’m not a HUGE soda lover, but oh I do love my Dew. It was soooo cute! Hmmm. Another balm to try and add to the collection? What the hell. I picked up the original flavored (they also had Mountain Dew Red, but I’m not that familiar with that), took it home and put it in my nightstand for my bedtime beauty routine. Well, I’ll be damned…. this is THE most moisturizing lip balm I think I’ve ever used. It’s not sticky, tastes uber fab, lasts all night, and keeps my lips super moisturized right up till morning! Oh.. and get this: it was on clearance. FOR 75 CENTS!

The closest thing I’ve used that has moisturized my lips this good was the EOS Egg which I really liked (and got at Walmart’s check out as well.) But… um… this was about $2.00 cheaper, tastes sweeter and works better! I don’t want to be a hoarder, but I will be picking up a few more of these and stashing them away because at 75 cents? You can’t beat that.

So there’s a shopping tip for the day: If you see the Mountain Dew Lip Balm while you are out and about? Keep in mind that Sassy thinks it is dew-tabulous!!!