Tag Archives: eyeliner

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!

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Fave Beauty Companies-2016

19 Feb

sephoraaislesAround this time, I start thinking about the products that I fell in love with last year. As I sat at my vanity today, I realized I fell in love with A LOT of things in 2016! Skin care, makeup, fashions… you name it. I think I have my visit to The Makeup Show in NYC last May to thank for that. I learned about so many big companies as well as “indies” that had products that were above so many others. Not to mention, I was able to ask questions about their ingredients so it could help me decide on possible items that my sensitive skin wouldn’t protest. So instead of me singling out each product that I am crushing on big time (and trust me—there are many), I thought I would talk about some of the companies that have given me items that are now a part of my regular beauty and glamour routine:

twinmedixTwinMedix: None of my makeup products would look or feel good on my face if my skin wasn’t in great condition. I had been using a “variety” of skin care products from different companies to try and get my skin to a place where I was happy. I admit, I am fighting the clock when it comes to anti-aging skin care for my face. I thought I was winning, but then I began to realize that all the different products I was using were usually created to work their best with other products from the same brand. Sometimes those sister products were hard to find, very expensive or even irritated my skin. I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. That was until I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I was honored to meet and be able to have a little one-on-one time with the fabulous makeup artist, James Vincent. I asked him what smaller, unknown companies at the show should be on my “must see” list. His first answer?—TwinMedix. I stopped by their booth and met their fabulous President, Michelle, who was a sweetheart. I told her about the problems I was having with my skin and what I wanted to achieve in the long run. She introduced me to the ENTIRE line from TwinMedix. If I was going to try this brand, I was going to do it right and use ONLY that product….and I am so glad I did! My skin has NEVER looked and felt as good as it does now. I have been using each product faithfully since last May and I love the results. Their state-of-the-art technology enables them to create the purest and most professional formulas that integrate pharmaceutical-grade vitamins to treat and protect your skin. It is so high tech that there are very few products that are needed—a great cleanser (O2), a phenomenal exfoliator (X), and vitamin enriched serums (C10,E5 A15) that are used each day and night. For a redhead with sensitive skin, I have to say my face has never looked and felt so good. The vitamins they use are known to help fight against aging, and they are abundant in the TwinMedix line. As hesitant I was to try a skin care line without research, Michelle told me how to use each product and why! She even told me to let her know what I thought after I used them for a while… and I did. I am glad I found the TwinMedix line of skin care products. I still don’t like getting old but now I have the goods to help me help kick over the hourglass in the aging process!

katvondKat Von D: Being in the tattoo industry made me aware of the KVD line of cosmetics as soon as her line was released. Anyone who follows her knows that she doesn’t blend in with the crowd and she is proud of it. After many years of “blending”, I finally found my voice (and pen!) and began being the sassy redhead I am now. When I am out in public, I like doing my makeup in different ways. No matter what the attire is for the day, my makeup always has a pop to it. Sometimes it’s a bold lip, sometimes a rocker eye look. When the winged eyeliner look took off, I was lost. VERY lost! I couldn’t get it to look good like some girls that came to the tattoo shop. I watched videos, I played dress up, I tried. Then I learned that it might be easier to get the look I want if I used a better liner. What did everyone suggest? You got it… Kat Von D’s. It all started with her famous Tattoo Liner. I fell in love immediately! The long wear formula and easy peasy pen design let me get the winged liner look the way I liked. It even gave me the precision of the thin pen design to create some fun, “out there” looks. My next love was her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. It is no secret that I like to talk. If I am out and decide to have a cup of coffee with a friend, I don’t want my ordinary lip color to end up on my teeth or all over the coffee cup. I want it to stay put for a long time. KVD’s Liquid Lipstick does just that! If it is on, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The colors she has are awesome—bold, flawless and long lasting. She even has colors that are REALLY bold, like purple, hot pink, blue and black. What I like to do is create my own color of the day. I pick the shades of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick that I want to blend, use a clean lip brush, and apply my own shade that will last. I don’t think I have ever created the same color twice! The possibilities are endless. My lip look can be as neutral or as strong as I want. In fact, when I went to order my latest KVD lip color, I had the opportunity to get a sample of her Lock It Concealer Cream. When it came, I thought I would just try it out since I don’t really have dark circles under my eyes. Well, that may be true but I couldn’t believe how “bright” my makeup looked on my face when I used it. The color was spot on (which is difficult for a redhead to find) and it carefully hid the flaws that I didn’t know I had! I was in awe and I ordered the full-sized product that week. I will be looking forward to sampling different things in the KVD line when I get the chance to get to a Sephora and adding to my favorite cosmetics. (Oh, by the way? Do not overlook her makeup brush collection. She may not have many of them but the ones she does have in her line are FABULOUS!)

makeupforeverMake Up For Ever: This is a big name when it comes to cosmetics. That’s probably because they are masters of just about everything in the industry! If you are looking for a product that you loved from another company and it recently got discontinued, I suggest you look at MUFE. They even have things I never knew about or thought I needed… but now are part of my makeup routine. One of those items is their Aqua XL Eye Pencil. I love my liquid liner on my top lid, but when it comes to the waterline on my bottom lid, it is hard to get any liner to stay there for a long time. The Aqua XL is perfect for just that. Not to mention, it is a pencil you have to sharpen yourself so you can get a nice tip for precise application. It is a product I use EVERY day. I am also a big fan of MUFE’s Aqua Seal, especially since almost all of my eye shadows are mineral loose powders. If I need to keep my eye look in place through the craziest of situations (all-night dancing, tear-jerker movies, photo shoots…in the rain), I will use a just a little on my eye shadow brush and pat it on using my shadows. It does dry quickly, so have an idea of the look you want before you start because it is meant to stay and IT DOES. This is also great to use if you want to create eye liners in wild shades. Using an angled liner brush, dip the tip in the Aqua Seal, pick up a bit of pigments from shadow pot and apply along the top lashes or in/below the bottom lash line. The bottle lasts a long time, just keep it sealed tight. When it comes to finding a foundation, I will take and suggestion or recommendations (let’s not forget about samples!) really help me decide on one I might like to try. I find my skin to be very sensitive to department store & drug store liquid make-ups. When I had the chance to pick the brain of a professional makeup artist, I asked what his go-to foundation was. He didn’t hesitate: Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face and Body Foundation. It is SUPER light but buildable. It doesn’t “hide” my skin but in fact makes my skin look natural and flawless. Again, the bottle is REALLY big and lasts a long time. Some might be put off by the price, but if a bottle lasts an entire year, that breaks down to pennies a day. Then, to complete my look, I like to give my face a nice dusting with an HD powder. It sets my makeup and leaves my skin flawless. The finishing powders I had used in the past left my face looking “cakey” so I was hesitant to try them again. Then I received a sample of MUFE’s HD Microfinish Powder and I’ve been using it ever since. It was hard to process that a powder could be white but it truly is colorless and anyone can use it. A nice, light finish for all day wear and perfect for movies, videos and photos. I always keep an eye on Make Up For Ever to see if they have any new items that I might love as much as these.

lamineralsLA Minerals: “Who?” you ask. Exactly. LA Minerals is a small indie company that I stumbled on while looking for products that wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin many, many years ago. I was able to try many different formulas and shades (which they have many of!) to see what mineral powder foundation would work for me. They have samples available for almost all of their products so it was nice to try ones I liked and see after a couple of uses whether it would work for me. Well, they did. They ALL did! I ended up getting hooked on a light coverage formula (Valley Girl) for summer when I just need an all over dusting in the heat; a heavier coverage mineral makeup foundation (Hollywood) during the colder months when my skin is a bit is a little paler and uneven toned; a pure, no talc blush in a color that goes with everything I wear without giving me itchy skin; an oil-controlling finishing powder that keeps the shiny-ies away when my skin gets a little oily in the summer and during workouts; “diva dust” that works as a fantastic high-sparkle cheek, lip and eye highlighter; and pure mineral eye shadows that can go on wet or dry, contain no talc, and requires very little product for a great look. What is nice about LA Minerals is that they have a “frequent flyer” code every month for returning customers. You will never see this company in magazines, on TV, or in cosmetic stores. It is all done by one fantastic woman with a great product that thrives on referrals. I have been singing her praises for MANY years and will continue to do so! (Footnote: LA Minerals just released a pure mineral LIQUID foundation which its AWESOME, especially on my dry, winter skin.)

Paul Mitchell: If your skin and makeup are looking great, you might as well make sure you have beautiful hair too! After a horrid hair decision over 3+ years ago, I had to find someone that would fix my mistake and get my hair healthy again. My BFF at the time said he knew just the person and set up a time for her to come discuss my options. She was a miracle worker! She still keeps my hair, even today. I still have a bit of damage to my ends, but they are almost completely grown out. Whenever I would go see her for my appointments, I would ask her what items would work best on my hair to do this or that. The first item she suggested was a Paul Mitchell spray called “Hot off the Press”. It was a multi-function styling product that could be used with hair appliances to hold the style or after I was completely done with my hair for a good hold that wasn’t sticky or damaging. It was exactly what I needed and there is always 1-2 cans in my loft at all times. Since I had been “enhancing” my hair color over the past several years, it was important to find the right products that would extend the life of my color without causing more damage. PM came out last year with a fabulous line of products just for that! The Ultimate Color Repair line not only helps repair current damage but also seals in color preventing fading and keeps hair shiny & soft. This has been my go-to line ever since it came out to keep my auburn tresses bright and healthy! In addition to those favorites, I also have other Paul Mitchell styling products that I love that helps give me a fab look for the day/night. You will find Super Skinny Serum, Stay Strong, Thicken Up, Extra Body Finishing Spray in my collection at all times. Even with that chaotic hair experience, my stylist along with Paul Mitchell’s great products has helped my hair to get healthy again… and has what I need to keep it that way!

We all know that when we see an advertisement in a magazine or on TV for a beauty product, our ears perk up and we try to justify how this great product could fit into our beauty routine. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. As I have gotten more mature, I have learned that new doesn’t always mean better. Although for us makeup junkies, it is hard to turn away from something new that looks great. Nowadays, I find myself asking “Is it worth the time and money to try this or should I stick with the product I already have that I KNOW does exactly what I want it to do?” Sometimes I do venture off and try something new, but I am also finding that loyalty has its privileges…and results!

Let me know what you think about this: Do you have a brand that you are completely loyal to? Do you have any “must have” products from different brands that do what you love and won’t try anything else? Or are you an “I have to try it!” person who is always looking for something newer/less expensive/better? Let me know your thoughts on brands or products you LOVE!
makeupaisles

Black is the New Black….

31 May

imageI think every makeup connoisseur has SOMETHING black in their cosmetic collection. If they don’t?…. they should. Nowadays, black goes beyond just mascara. If you go down the makeup aisle at your local drugstore or venture into your Sephora mecca, the items you see will most likely have a “shade” that is a form of black. What is nice is that you don’t have to be considered goth to wear black anymore. Black is back. Plain and simple. And black glamour is awesome.

There are a few things I have in my makeup go-to bag that are black and are MUST HAVES for me no matter where I go. I may not use them every day, but I need to know they are close by…just in case!

imageL’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow in “Eternal Black”: It is hard to believe when any makeup product refers to itself as “24hrs” but this one comes really darn close. This silky shadow comes in a little pot that you apply with your finger. The key is to just dot and blend QUICK! A little goes a long way. I like this shadow as a lid color when I want a bold look or a great smoky edge when using a pop of color. The glitter content is high but because of its great binders, it doesn’t crease or fallout. Don’t worry about hot days either–it’s waterproof and sweatproof! For an extra intense look, I will apply it along my bottom lash line with a flat-top brush. It is also available in 12 other bright colors. Sexy! (Available in most major drug and retail stores, $7.99)

imageUrban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in “Legend”: If you are like me, you love that dark, crisp black eye lined look on your lower lid. The problem? It only stays that way for a few hours. Grr. I actually found this product at Sephora when I did a search for a 24 hour pencil liner. In fact, it was the first one to pop up! I love the fact I can sharpen it myself to get a nice, crisp point on the pencil. It glides on with no tugging and yes…. it stays put all day! The black is a nice creamy, demi-matte shade that goes on easily and stays put. If you like the formula and its stay power, it comes in five other shades too! (Urban Decay, $20)

imageSenna Lash Detail Mascara: Over the years, I have tried a countless number of mascaras in different formulas and colors with all types of tubes and brushes. It is probably the one makeup item that I am the most fickle about. I really really like a few different ones I have tried, but to say I love them enough to throw out all of the others wouldn’t be possible. Not to mention, I have different mascaras for looks I want–natural, lush, evening, day, even for when I wear false eyelashes. The one thing that has been difficult for me, no matter which mascara I use, is being able to hit those teenie tiny lashes in the inner and outer corners of my eyes. The bigger brushes either can’t reach them or leave a clump of mascara or worse…a blob of black on my lid or side of my nose. When I attended The Makeup Show earlier this month, I was given a tube of Senna’s Lash Detail Mascara to try. Wow! Anyone that is very detailed about their makeup look needs this mascara, no questions asked! The “brush” is about as thin as a coffee stir straw. It gets in the corners without a problem and hits the bottom lashes from corner to outside without an issue while coating them with a “don’t move” formula. Whether you wear your own lashes with your favorite mascara or add false lashes for extra fullness & length, don’t forget the hidden lashes. Give them some love too. (Senna Cosmetics, $20)

imageDuo Brush-On Adhesive with Vitamins in Dark: Speaking of lashes, I can tell you I have been trying to master fake lashes for years. I either put them on too high, too far to the right, too far to the left, get glue everywhere but on the lid, you name it. Instead of fake lashes, I end up with a real disaster. If I do happen to get them close to normal, I always seem to have a small space between my own and the strip where you can see the skin tone of my lid, and getting a liner in between is virtually impossible. At The Makeup Show, the press was given a set of fake lashes to try. I liked the look of them in the package–soft, long, dark and full (but not too full). The lash glue was okay, but I still had issues with applying it neatly. On my next visit to my local drug store, I checked to see what other options there were in the fake lashes aisle. I saw all different kinds at all different prices with styles from natural to peacock feathers. Umm… wow. But then I saw something unique. They had this fake eyelash glue that was applied with a thin brush–similar to a thin eyeliner brush–that had an easy to apply, stay put adhesive. But what I really loved about it? It was dark…almost black! And when I put the lashes on, it looked like I had epic top liner on too! Two pluses in one product. The lashes stayed put ALL DAY with no smearing. This is JUST what I needed! (CVS, $6.49)

imageHard Candy Lip Gloss in “Black Rose”: I’m not so goth where I will wear straight-up black lip gloss or lipsticks, but I like to add a touch of midnight to a few of my favorite pencils and lip colors. Some of the products I have tried cannot be altered–just all-day black and only black. Personally, I like to wear a reds, dark wines or purples and add a thin black gloss over it for just a bit of an edge. So far, Hard Candy has been the only cosmetic company to offer that. Granted, it doesn’t have a long wear, but if you put it over a lip product with some serious stay power?… a touch up now and then it is well worth it especially since the gloss is seriously inexpensive! A great way to bring out your mysterious side with your regular colored lip products. (Walmart, $5.00)

I have talked before about how it is okay for you to embrace your inner goth even if you aren’t a teen anymore, but when it comes to black makeup items, you need something! You can be as edgy as you want with a touch of class without looking outrageous or out of place. If working with black makeup products is out of your element, take some time to practice till you are comfortable with the application and the look. You have a lot less room for error when creating a look with blacks than others so take your time and try different techniques. I don’t usually recommend this, but it might help to watch a couple of good YouTube videos for help or ideas. I can happily say that it won’t be long before this sassy redhead will be creating a YouTube channel to help you with many of the things I write about here! I am excited–I hope you will be too!
Roses

I Spy, With My Little Eye, From The Loft….

11 Nov

RainyFallI’m sitting here at The Loft staring out the beautiful picture window, filled with grey fall clouds above and red brick on the building next door, darkened by the passed rain. As dreary as some might think it is, to me it’s beautiful. The colors blend beautifully with a darkened hue of autumn’s best. Even though I appreciate the vibrancy of it all, the fact still remains that I will be wearing the usual black and white fall-back colors to the tattoo shop for the day. My closet is filled with shades of the season and I’ll still dress like a newspaper. I’m so ashamed.

As I look at all of the colors outside on this cloudy, dismal day, I can’t help but think of some great quotes as well as some fabulous song lyrics that fit the view that I see. Songs and poems come to mind that flow beautifully even with the overcast sky above. It also reminds me that the sights and colors that may seem bleak to many are actually vibrant and bright in my glamour collection. This goes far beyond the colors in my 64 pack of Crayola crayons as well. There are hues that only Mother Nature can create. Nature’s beauty seriously takes my breath away.

With the ever-changing weather in my neck of the woods, let me give you a little insight into what I’m seeing outside my window today, and how it relates to the products that I am partial to when I see them. I’ll even throw in a nice quote or song lyric to make it a bit more fun:

WetRedLipstick* Wet Brick* – “The rain stains the brick a darker red” gives you a great visual. It is a line from a song by singer/song writer Ani DiFranco. It’s definitely not the most uplifting song, but it gives you images you can’t erase. Looking across the lot from my window shows me that color in all its glory. A dark, rich, warm red with almost a charcoal undertone with a feeling of gloom. That’s the color. Is it easy to find? Absolutely not. But is it beautiful to wear if you find it? Hell yeah. Especially in a lip color for the cooler seasons. Sassy’s find: Sephora’s Rouge Cream Lipstick in “Deep Brick Red”, $12.50. Sephora stores and Sephora.com

YellowNails*Yellow Maple Leaves *“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” ~ Pablo Picasso. Wow, that makes you think, doesn’t it? The lemon-painted growth has left its home on the tree and fallen to a beautiful death to cover the ground in magnificent colors. The blanket of yellow leaves on the grass outside of The Loft covers the greens of the grass with a vibrant shade of yellow. Although the day is dreary, the color of the leaves warms the land with its intensity. No matter what the sky is doing, you can’t help but smile. Sassy’s find: Formula X Liquid Crystals Nail Polish in “Highlighter”, $12.50. Sephora stores and Sephora.com

GreenShadow*Green Pine Trees*“…your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen.” That is from another great song, this one by Ed Sheeran. What a fabulous way to describe something that stays strong with time, never changing over the years. The intense, bold greens that give an earthly background to the other colors of the season create the perfect canvas to the bright shades pictured on it. This green is perfect for a smoky look with some color. Add a touch of glitter for a bit of pop. Sassy likes: Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in “Iggy”, $21.00. Sephora stores & Sephora.com

CloudShadow*Grey Fluffy Clouds*“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think this quote applies to so many things in life. Just when you think everything is going the same, it changes. Don’t get too comfortable on your path—you’ll see a detour soon enough. The same goes for fashion and for glamour. In fact, we have an entire WEEK—twice a year!—that tells us what changes are happening to the norm in this industry. And like the clouds that are outside my window right now, I’d be willing to bet they will change their shape, their color, their type, their size before I look outside at them again. A brilliant performance by a simple mass of condensed water, in colors from white to gray to black. Amazing! Sassy likes: Rimmel London’s Glam Eye Shadow Quad in “Smokey Noir”, $2.99. Ulta stores or Ulta.com

NYXGlitter*Shiny, Wet Pavement*“The road that leads to nowhere for others might just be the road that leads to somewhere for you!” ~ ildan. Wow, I can seriously relate to that one! Most people cringe when they realize they need to drive at night during a rainstorm. You can’t see the lines on the road, the pavement is blacker than black. This morning, the road outside the loft was still wet from the rain last night, but it had a slight shine and glimmer to it. A gothic gloom with a hint of glitz. Yeah, that works. It was definitely dark, even during the day. It was the kind of look I love in a good eyeliner. Especially one that can withstand water and rain–which is what I will be facing today. Sassy likes: NYX Slim Sparkle Eye Pencil in “Black Sparkle”, $3.49. Ulta stores and Ulta.com

This is a just a little taste of what life looked like outside of the window of The Loft this morning. It may not have been the brightest, most sunny of days but it still conveyed a mood, a feeling with its colors and contents. It is nice to look into my glamour drawer and see items that remind me of the beautiful things that can surround me every day or at any given time, no matter what the season. I encourage my readers to step outside of their box once in a while and look at products in shades that they may not normally wear but still look amazing. Just look around–if nature can capture the beauty of these colors and hues, why can’t you?

S.O.S. — I’ve “Hit Pan”!!!!

19 Apr

Running outIn the dark world of us makeup addicts, we often use a secret phrase: “I’ve hit pan.” This is a secret code us color junkies use to tell others that we have run out of a product we love. Usually us makeup lovers know when we are getting low on a fave and pick up a backup for a smooth transition when we run out. Of course, certain products we won’t stress too much about because, since makeup addicts are always trying new things, we may have already found a new love with a different brand of a former mainstay. But every glamour guru will have a few select items that are always–ALWAYS–around. And when we see the bottom, we tend to panic a bit. But we are professionals. We will fix it. And fast.

So, a few things started to get low–or worse–disappear this week in my makeup drawer. A couple I tried “alternatives” to, maybe to test the competition or save a buck or two. But the fact is that they are items I will be loyal to till someone says they aren’t around anymore. (*Gasp*–don’t even want to think about that!). Here is what I have/had to restock in my makeup drawer recently:

Lancome**Lancôme CILS Booster XL**: I never thought I needed a mascara primer…until I used a mascara primer! This was the first one I bought after a makeover day at a local department store. I bought it immediately. I used it only when I wanted really *POW!* lashes like for a night out or a dinner date. I started running low, plus it started to get some age on it, so I grabbed an inexpensive drugstore brand to see if I could save a few dollars with the same results. Yeah….no. The drugstore brand did nothing really–not like Lancôme’s did. It probably is the most expensive on the market, but you do get what you pay for. My lashes are longer, thicker, bolder when I use Booster XL. And it puts a nice barrier of Vitamin E between my lashes and mascara, keeping them healthy and preventing lash dry-out. Heading out tomorrow for a new tube! Macys.com, $25

Maybeline**Maybelline Fit Me® Shine-Free Foundation**: The weather here at home is (finally!) changing. Temperatures are changing and my j*o*b is throwing me a little stress. Let’s add a few hormone issues I’d prefer not to speak of, and the result is a skin texture and tone that is hard to work with. My winter moisture-packed foundation is too heavy; my powder mineral foundation is too light. So I dug out what I had put off to the side and found my Fit Me® foundation from last year. After using it just once this year, I knew it was now my go-to foundation for the season. After a week, I noticed my ‘swivel’ was tapped. I was at the end! Next day on my way to work, I made sure I stopped at my local drugstore to get another. My face looks smooth, natural, and the foundation controls oil, fading and streaking all day. I don’t have a lot of free time for makeup touch ups during the day–I want to do what I can to make sure my look stays put all day. This Maybelline foundation helps to make sure that happens! CVS, $8.99

Rimmel**Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sparkling Black**: I did a whole eyeliner comparison last year–drugstores vs. department stores, waterproof vs. long wear, liquid vs. pencils. I think when it was all said and done, my go-to brand ended up being Rimmel’s Scandaleyes. The color variety was huge, the stay power was great, nothing smudged or ran ALL DAY, and oh–the price was EPIC. Even though I tend to always use black on my waterline with color underneath, I had began using the sparkling black because the hint of glitter softened the heavy black and gave it a nice glimmer. I ended up buying another one so I had two: one for home and a backup in the purse. Well, I switched them out when home’s got low and now sharpening is getting difficult again. So it’s time for a new full one–that kind, that brand, that color. Walmart, $3.97

image**Perfectly Posh’s The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub**: Okay, I have to be honest here. This is not the first time I have “hit pan” with this product. In fact? I think I’m probably on my 6th container of this little beauty. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a coffee fanatic. Then to find a natural bath product that does what I want with the feeling of bathing in an espresso is even better! The Daily Grind energizes skin and gets your blood pumping with a cup of coffee before you get out of the shower. It’s packed with the cleansing and rejuvenating properties of coffee, as well as clearing, anti-cellulite and energizing traits. This scrub cleanses as well as removes the dead skin cells keeping your skin soft, fresh and glowing. Oh, and did I mention it smells damn good? I don’t even want to think of this gem not ever being in my bathroom. I shudder at the thought. PerfectlyPosh.com or an Independent Represenative, $24

Simple**Simple Facial Wipes**: I will forever stand firm on something a friend told me years ago. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it was enough to scare the mascara off my eyes. “If you fall asleep with your makeup on, your face will age an extra six days.” Okay, ummm, NO! I’m fighting against time now and my age lying is getting pathetic even for me (although no one usually questions it.) I did a little reach on my own and did find articles that say not washing your face before bed WILL age your appearance. The good news? No one is sure how much. The bad news? Six days was the LOWEST number! Eeek! So, since then I try to remember to take off my face for the day with a nice gentle cleanser then treat it with a good serum. But, I will admit, I get tired, get upstairs in bed, then realize I forgot my bedtime facial. So, let’s just say I’m a bit lazy. If I’m in bed?…I’m in bed. I have phones, remotes, food, reading material and ice packs on a rough day. So, I figured if I can make sure I have a “stash” of goodies for lazy evenings, I can include skin care too. I have a little bag with skin care necessities: hand cream, cotton balls, mini eye makeup remover, trial sized night cream and eye cream, and my Simple Cleansing Wipes. They do the trick when I need to get the “crud” off and prepare myself for a night of cell rejuvenating. The formula doesn’t bother my sensitive skin, it gets off the toughest makeup, eye color, eyeliners and mascaras. They aren’t abrasive, they do the trick, they are easy to keep where I need them and they aren’t expensive. I have gone through two packs of Simple Wipes and a pack of a different brand. I went right back to Simple’s. They just did the trick–no fuss, no muss. And no more waiting…I need a new pack tomorrow! Walmart, $4.49

So that, my makeup beauties, is what it means to “hit pan”. I’ll be anxious to see if I find any other products this year that I will fall in love with, worthy enough to create chaos if I “hit pan”. I’ve tried a few new products recently: a new face wash, a perfume, new body cream, long wear mascara. Will any of them make themselves worthy to enter the “hit pan” elites? I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a lot of time ahead, a bunch of products to trial, and a whole lotta time to see what other items big named cosmetic companies come up with.. Let’s see if anything else in my makeup drawer becomes worthy to enter my “I hit pan” club soon!

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Don’t Take Away My….

11 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!!

Sampling Some Samples – January…

6 Feb

Samples
Companies know us women are suckers for samples. When it comes to playing makeup, we are never too old! Just about every month, I consider myself to be blessed that I am on so many “try before you buy” sample lists. Some are ones I request from advertised offers, others are new products I won, some are gifts with purchases, and others are trial offers. Doesn’t matter to me… I LOVE to play with new products. I think a good number of my favorite skin care and glamour products came to me through a trial or sample somehow. What is nice is I get to see if I like a product enough to buy it in a full size without worrying about the monetary commitment. This is especially helpful with high end makeup and skin care items as well as expensive fragrances.

January was no different. Trials and samples came rolling in, just like it was Christmas still. Every trip to the mailbox was like a trip to the mall of freebies! Here are just a few of the samples I got last month that caught my eye (and nose and skin) as well as my thoughts on if I’d consider them for a future purchase or not:

YSLMascYves-Saint-Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils Shocking – I am pretty lucky. I have good lashes. My only problem? They are pretty straight and light in color. Curling is a necessity no matter what. But if I can find a mascara to give them some extra pop with a little extra length, volume and color, I’m pretty happy. YSL’s Shocking mascara gave me just that. After two coats with its easy to control brush and then a tight curl with my lash curler, it really gave my eyes the look of wearing false lashes! The mascara wore true all day and didn’t smudge, clump or flake. Something I noticed with this mascara that I hadn’t seen in others? The black color was shiny, almost patent-leather shiny! It really gave my eyes a more dramatic look. Although I was a fan of the sample, I would have to seriously fall in love with it to pay the high end price. Still… I liked this mascara A LOT!
Available at Sephora for $30

BillBoyfriendKate Walsh’s “Billionaire Boyfriend” Perfume – If thoughts of diamonds, yachts, and dreams of wealth and glamour consume your mind throughout the day, this might be a scent for you to try. This high-floral scent with oriental influences has notes black jasmine, velvet orchid, gardenia and patchouli flower. Even as the scent dries down, its back notes of sandalwood and golden amber keep it rich. It is a forward, bold yet pretty scent and it does last. Personally, however I have never been a high floral-scented perfume person. I lean more towards citrus-based fragrances. If you are a fan of strong-scented, sophisticated, warm scents, you might really like this. Me?.. I have to pass.
Available at Sephora for $65

BFTEBeauty From The Earth Mineral Eye Shadow in “Suede” – Last month, BFTE had a special on their sample jars for only one dollar each. It was a new year and I thought I needed to try some new colors to spice up my makeup look. I went outside my comfort zone and grabbed some colors that were going to be hot this year and that were very new to me. When my order came, I was so loving the new colors I had selected. I was also delighted to see that BFTE sent me a sample of one of their other colors. “Suede” is a high shimmer light grey with a touch of taupe that makes it a great highlighter with any color shadow. For a real wow look, wear it alone with a bold liner like a purple or bronze. Here I had ten great uber chic colors that just arrived and I couldn’t stop playing with the speck of shadow in the little plastic baggie!! We will have to see how much I like the colors I did get as the days go by, but right now it’s the freebie that has my interest for a future buy!
Available at BFTECosmetics.com for $6.50

ChanelChanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner – I’ve been wearing eyeliner since I was 16. It is a must have in my makeup routine. Always black, always waterproof and always a pencil that I can sharpen to a crisp point. When I got this pencil to try, it was pretty much a fail on every thing I wanted in a liner. It >was waterproof. But that was about it. Sure, it had a high-ticket name brand, but if it wasn’t what I liked, it wasn’t going to matter. Since the pencil came in a purple-ish bronze color called “Grenat”, I thought it might be nice to try it with BFTE’s sample! Wow… what a stunning look! The liner went on very smooth with a crisp line (even with the self-sharpening pencil.) The color was bold and classy and it gave me a very unique look that was new to me. As to its wear power? All day is an understatement! The liner stayed true, did not smudge, and looked as good when I took it off as it did when I put it on even after all day wear. The good points are it is easy to use, stays put, didn’t irritate my eyes with my lenses and comes in a LARGE array of colors. Its downside? The price. Since I have been wearing liner since 16, I am guilty of saying I don’t think I have paid more than $10 for a liner. However, with the Chanel liner’s stay power, ease of application, and a variety of colors for different looks? I’d seriously consider purchasing another one in the future.
Available at Macy’s for $30

A new month is here and samples, trials and winnings are already rolling in at my house. This is going to be a fun month for testing out new things in my beauty routine. I should have lots of reviews and opinions for you next month. How about you? Did you try or sample anything new recently? Did you like it? Would you buy it in the future? Let me and my other Sass-inistas know! We always want to hear about what our friends have tried recently and what we think! Seriously… don’t we just love to give our opinions whenever possible? So share away!!

When The Student Becomes The Teacher….

11 Jul

A while ago my husband found that writing relaxed him after a rough, stressful day. Then he realized that he couldn’t get the right words from his mind to the paper and instead of easing his soul, it caused him more anquish. That is not a good thing.

So, for Father’s Day last year me and the family gave Mr. Sassy a camera to take nice photos with. It took him a while to get into it, but now he ventures out into the unknown taking photos of anything and everything that jazzes him. He’s very fussy and very self-critical about his pictures but I think his work is fabulous! Plus it is still a way to channel his “down time” so he doesn’t go insane from boredom. Although what he calls boredom, I call relaxation. C’est la vie.

I think when I first started writing, I too did it to relax me and keep me focused on things other than the ones that stress me out. I didn’t think about family issues, I didn’t worry about money, I didn’t concern myself about my health, I didn’t get anxious about my mother. I could submerge myself completely in my writing and get lost in the world of fashion, glamour and makeup. It was a dream world for me and I was loving every second of it. Every day, I’d walk the red carpet…. even if it was in my own mind.

Today, while at CVS getting a new top coat for my nails (I am no longer using my previous fave due to certain reasons). While there, I found a mom and her daughter in a dilemma about which mascara they should get since they were going to a water park tomorrow. I couldn’t help but chime in with my two cents. I told them that currently, my favorite waterproof mascara was Covergirl Lashblast 24 Hour Mascara. Lasts all day with no smudging or flaking. The mom said she had used that before, but didn’t like the brush too much. She was also hoping to take advantage of the Maybelline sale that was going one—Buy One Get One Half Off. Okay I can work that. I said that my favorite Maybelline mascara, by far, was their Illegal Length Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black. It stayed put no matter what you put it though. She asked if it would withhold the torments of a waterslide park and I said no problem! With the BOGO sale, she wanted to take advantage of another waterproof eye product but didn’t know what to choose. I told her that I absolutely loved Maybelline Master Drama Eye Studio Cream Eyepencils. I said they were smudgeproof for up to 16 hours and I found them to be very waterproof myself–so much so, that I had one in every color! I loved the way it went on easy, had the intensity of a cream, but was convenient in a pencil. She decided that she would give that a try in Bold Brown. She seemed happy with her selections and even continued to browse at a few of the other products I had pointed out earlier that I had liked and why.

After I helped her with her choices I decided to take advantage of the BOGO sale as well and picked up two of Maybelline Color Tattoo by Eyestudio Eyeshadows since I am totally loving long-wear cream shadows lately. With coral being my new hot color in my wardrobe, I got two shadows that would match this color perfectly: Fierce and Tangy and Bad To The Bronze. With my auburn hair, these colors should look ultra fab! Plus… hello?…. we all know this year’s color of the year is Tangerine Tango and these eye colors should enhance any outfit with that shade! With those shadows plus my new top polish, Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, my beauty shopping was done for the day.

Just as I was about to leave, the mom and daughter came running after me as I headed to the door. She once again thanked me over and over again. She didn’t just thank me for giving her my opinions but also educating her on a few different products and brands. I just smiled and said no problem–the honor was mine. And truly it was.

I realized something while helping the mom and her daughter out in the drug store today. My love and knowledge of the fashion, glamour, and makeup industry is not just something I do when I’m bored or when I need to do something to ease my stress. It now has become a part of me. I’m trained, educated and informed and can actually help people when it comes to these loves. It’s not just a case of “This is a jazzy color!” anymore. It’s become a “I really like this product because…” which gives me a good feeling inside.

I know I don’t know everything there is to know in this industry, and that what makes it so interesting. It is always changing and that means I am always learning. I challenge you to find something you’d like to know more about, then start learning. Ask questions, read books, talk to experts. Anything. And keep learning, keep asking, keep reading. Become an expert on something, and just when you think you know it all…. go learn more. Like the great Eartha Kitt once said:

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.”

The “Eyes” Have It!

19 Apr

Today, I got the glorious experience (said with sheer cynicism) to visit my eye doctor for my bi-yearly checkup. Because of meds I’m on and health conditions, it’s important for me to go every 6-9 months. I feel bad. You see, my eye doctor is my favorite doctor of them all (and I have quite a few). I’ve known him for over 23 years and he’s seen me through my marriages, babies, radio talk shows, sports, and now my blogging. He makes me smile, and I like to make him laugh. It’s good to have that kind of rapport with your doctor.

When he asked about my blogging today, I was excited to tell him I had my own domain name now. I’m my own “dot com” I boasted. Oh, he thought that was the cat’s meow. He wrote down the website to check it out and everything. I don’t what learning about Springtime accessorizing or the which all-day lip color would be best for him on rainy days, but I’m not one to turn away any of my fans. So, in honor of my favorite eye doctor, I will tell my Fashionistas fans the best way to wear your eye makeup when going to the eye doctor for a full appointment.

Most doctors will tell you not to wear any eye makeup at all, and in all honesty, they are right. But you see there are a few of us who can’t leave the house without our “face” on. So certain things you need to be aware of.


Let’s start with mascara. Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof. Don’t wear anything that is going to make your lashes too thick or will make it difficult to look comfortably in the little eye testie things. Plus after all the air poofing, dying your whites orange then jamming the blue rod into your eye, I guarantee you’ll be tearing. (Excited yet?) So you’ll want them to look great, natural and not smudge or run. Sassy’s Suggestion: Maybelline Volum’ Express One-By-One coats each lash without clumping, running or blotching. It keeps them looking nice and natural–for a long time!

Want some line to define? This is actually the product that can cause the most damage to your look–it gets wet, smudged and runny. Find a good eyeliner that claims to either be 24 hour or waterproof. My recommendation? I would use a liner that you sharpen yourself. There tends to be a bit more wax in them, keeping them on longer, and more resistant to water, drops or tears. Try avoiding lining the waterlines on your eyes too. It won’t last while everyone is poking around there. Make a nice crisp line along your bottom and top lashes, feathering the liner in between the lashes for a slightly bolder color. Sassy’s Suggestion: NYC New York Color Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. It’s soft enough to go on without tugging the delicate area, but stays put while giving you that deep smooth color you want to outline your eyes!

Now, how about just a LITTLE color? Your eye doctor really doesn’t want to see your eye makeup looking like you want to leave his office and tear up the dance floor at Studio 54. Since everyone will have their hands on and in your eyes, you want to put on ONE neutral color so it won’t look a paint swatch mess when they are done, with maybe just a thin line of a darker color in the same family across the top lid and along the bottom lashes. Don’t use any eye shadow primer… the fewer the chemicals near your eyes, the better. And leave the glitter and sparkle for the after 5pm dinners. Plus you don’t want your eye techie digging out flecks the whole time. Sassy’s Suggestion: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Explosion in Caffeine. A nice neutral shade that will still give your eyes a bit of “wow”.

So there you have it…. 20/20 vision with no problems (except your pupils will be the size of dinner plates for a while) and eye makeup that stood up through it all. It will probably be the hardest makeup to keep on under the most extreme conditions so if you can still leave the office looking fabulous, you, my Fashionista friend, have done YOUR job and done it well. Congrats!