Tag Archives: foundation

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

Product Review: “Model in a bottle”

11 Oct

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 8: Holy Grail Makeup Products…

25 Sep

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***Disclaimer: Due to much wandering in the preparation, healing, and recovery for my foot surgery, the “30 Day” challenge has been extended. Thirty days will now be referred to as “… whenever.” Don’t hate–Sassy is trying her best.***
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Now, back to the beginning. Holy grail products–what a vague topic. I’d be willing to take a guess that when it comes to makeup, every woman will say, without hesitation, that when it comes to our glam, we need to know only one fact: if we own it? — we need it. Plain and simple. But here is the twist: If we own it and it is in her vanity, makeup drawer, Caboodle AND purse? It now falls under the heading of “Holy Grail”.

I’m trying to go outside of the box and think of things in my routine that I need… NEED!… but may not be makeup and are with me constantly. I might not use it every day, but I need it close by. For whatever reason.

So what are the necessities–my “holy grail” items– that are must haves in my glamour routine for whatever reason. Here’s what I came up with:

image1. Paul Mitchell’s Styling Products: As a big fan of big hair, I am a huge supporter of hair styling products that hold. There are times I want a strong hold that would stand up in a hurricane and there are times I want a soft, touchable hold that feels natural. Paul Mitchell has products for just that and everything in between. I’ve used high-end products as well as drug store ones. Some do okay, some make my hair feel like cardboard, others are an epic fail. My fab hairstylist gave me a can of PM’s “Hot Off The Press” soft hold finishing spray and it changed my thoughts on hair products completely. Because my red tresses, I need a specific shampoo & conditioner to keep the color strong, Paul Mitchell’s HOTP came as a strong recommendation from my stylist when my hair was recovering from almost beyond help chemical damaging process. It held my style without a nasty buildup but it was low in alcohol and didn’t put anything in my hair to cause more damage. Soon after that, I became a Paul Mitchell Insider and have been able to fall in love with even more great styling products like PM’s Thicken Up, Extra Body Thickening Spray, Sculpting Foam, Fast Drying Sculpting Spray and Super Skinny Serum. After my hair appointment this week, I fell in love with PM’s Freeze and Shine Super Spray for a volume boost to the roots and the Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturizing Sea Spray. Their scent and hold gave me a reason to continue to smile about my Paul Mitchell products!! Visit paulmitchell.com !, prices vary.

image2. Ole Henriksen’s Skin Care: Having sensitive skin makes trying and finding a good skin care line difficult at times. Even though I am often asked to try new and natural skin care products, I often find myself coming back to my first skin care “Ahhhh” moment. My “samples sell” statement is what got me hooked on the Ole Henriksen’s various skin care products. It started with a few Sephora samples, then went to trying a mini travel set, which took me to talking to the company directly and trying several of their products that might be right for me. What I found was several items for my skin care routine that didn’t irritate my skin but also made my face younger looking. I seriously noticed a difference! His Truth Serum Collagen Booster gave my face some oomph for the day. The Truth Revealed Super Cream SPF 15 is a gentle daily moisturizer with good sun protection. I would be lost without the Ultimate Lift Eye Gel to keep aging around my eyes at bay. The Invigorating Night Treatment is a non-sticky gel that actually smooths fine lines and renews skin cells to keep your face taught without drying. And the African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser is enriched with anti-aging extracts to remove dirt and makeup gently as well as Vitamin C and citrus extracts to brighten and purify the skin with astringent properties! Although those are my top fave OH products, I am also a big fan of other items such as the Sheer Transformation Moisturizing Cream, Walnut Complexion Scrub and Total Truth Eye Cream w/SPF 15. With the change of seasons happening soon, I am going to see what changes my skin has and get some products to try and see how they work. OleHenrikson.com’s online store!, prices vary.

image3. L.A. Minerals Valley Girl Foundation: A good foundation is a must have for any makeup look that goes on my face. The only time I can think of when I’m not wearing foundation (other than bedtime) is if I’m working from home and go out to get the mail. Oh, I’ll still have lipgloss on–and mascara!–but no foundation. I have a couple of drug store foundations that I will turn to depending on what is on my day’s agenda, the weather, special occasion, etc. But if I want a natural, smooth finish with my makeup, I most always use my mineral foundation that I love. I was lucky enough to take advantage of an L.A. Minerals sample sale where I could try different formulas and shades to get the one I wanted. The Valley Girl formula is perfect for us sensitive skin girls who need a light formula with good coverage. (It’s even a plus if you have mild acne issues!) A light dusting with a foundation brush over a great primer is perfect for a natural look that won’t slide off my face before the end of the day. Visit L.A. Minerals.com here!, prices vary.

image4. ForGoodnessGrape Lip Balms & Scrubs: I’m a lip gloss whore, I’ll admit it. I’ll try any color, any kind, any formula. I probably have more glosses than this country has states. That’s awesome and sad all at the same time. The only thing I know for sure is that no matter what I use on my lips for color, it won’t look good unless my lips are soft and healthy to start with. In order for that to happen, I need to exfoliate & moisturize my lips in the morning and condition them at night. Plus because I’m a “Chatty Cathy”, I can talk any bit out moisture right out of my lips during the day. I always need a lip balm on hand 24/7. ForGoodnessGrape doesn’t just keep my lips in tip-top shape but they offer a RIDICULOUS array of flavors so you have no excuse not to have one (or two or ten+) convenient at all times. Right now? I have Coconut Milk & Lavender in my purse; Chocolate Iced Cream Soda at my desk; Vanilla Hazelnut Latte in my car; Blueberry Sugar Cookie in the bathroom; Marzipan in the Living Room; and about twenty other flavors I can pick from at bedtime. Plus I use Cinnamon Sugar or SWAK Lip Scrub to exfoliate the dry skin on my lips each day & night. They may all taste & smell different but they all have something in common: each balm has several natural butters & oils to keep lips moisturized and soft. And each scrub has real sugar plus moisturizers to gently remove dry skin on the lips while conditioning as well. The fact is that NO lip gloss, lip stain or lipstick will look and stay its best with badly-conditioned lips. And Lisa’s “ForGoodnessGrape”s balms and scrubs do just that. Stock up and be adventurous with your flavor selection. Go balm wild!! “The Best Lip Balm Ever!”, $4+

image5. Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover: Meh. Many face cleansers will say they are safe for washing off eye makeup. While that MAY be true, I find that it’s mainly a lot of hoohah. Facial cleansers aren’t all formulated for sensitive eyes and heavy duty, long wear eye makeup. Not to mention? Some cleansers can clog oil ducts in the eyes causing dryness and lash loss. AND if you use any cleansers with acne meds or exfoliators in them, you especially want to steer clear of the eye area with those! They can cause burning, reddening, or even scratch the eyes with the microbeads. I’ve never really hunted down eye makeup removers because the one I was introduced to when I started my blogging days is still the one I use most. That’s Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover. It’s not “cheap”, but it lasts a LONG time because so little is needed to get off even the toughest waterproof liners, shadows and mascaras. Plus I usually add a couple drops of water to my cotton ball before adding the remover. That’s just my preference. It extends the use of the product, prevents an oily feel if I accidentally use too much, and I still can remove my stubborn eye makeup completely. I have no sensitivity to the formula with my eyes OR contacts. One large bottle is in the bathroom, another trial size bottle (often received as a gift with purchase) is next to the bed for those nights when I forget to take off my makeup before bed and am too lazy to go downstairs. That’s my idea of a necessity! Lancôme US Website,$29

image6. Good Tweezers: This is a no brainer. It is certainly not makeup, but if you wear makeup?… these are a necessity! I waxed my eyebrows for many years till they got to the point where I would only need to tweeze a here and there straggler once in a while. I heard that Tweezerman tweezers were an ultimate must-have, and the rumor was right. Yes, they can be pricey but use this tip: save some cash and buy the MINI slant tweezers. They are just as precise, they stay sharp, are easy to handle and are much less pricey than a full-sized one. Just keep the little plastic tube they come in–it’s easier to store and keep track of them!! My online Sephora store., $14.

I probably could list a thousand other items that I love, but I tried to narrow it down to things that are a must have. Every. Single. Day. With the ever-changing makeup, glamour and skin care industry, and my constant sampling and reviewing of new products, it’s hard to really lock in to specific items that I would consider “Holy Grail” items. But these items, I have to say, are always found in my vanity and purse and know I couldn’t live without!
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Do YOU have any “Holy Grail” items in your beauty routine? I want to know…what can’t you live without?!? Share your must have’s with a comment below!

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 6

7 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Days Of Beauty…Day 5

6 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sassy Simplified (Dances with Wolves, part two)

14 May

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

ForGoodnessGrape

 

 

 

 

 

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

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It’s New… But Is It Good?

10 Sep

Back to schoolSchool is back in session and with that come all new fashions and cosmetics to help you get your vogue on! New styles, hot looks and chic accessories to help you make the start of the new season first-class fab! Today I stopped to talk to my favorite glamour consultant who was filled with the latest info on what was new on the market. What was cool is some of the things she showed me I had already tried, so I was able to give her my personal opinion as well. She helped me, I helped her!

So what are THE hot new makeup and glamour items out right now? Let me show you a few:

image1. Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Waterproof Mascara – The thought behind this product is supreme! Why someone didn’t think of it before now is beyond me. The concept is simple–the purple end of the mascara has a long, big brush to coat your top lashes to look full . The opposite black end has a very thin, comb-like brush to get at every skimpy lower lash to make them stand out. You can even use this brush to get in the corners of your eyes to coat those hidden lashes. My experience? I have been using this mascara on and off for a month now. The brush idea is great! I am really able to “get in” and coat ALL of my lashes with both brushes. The mascara formula? I’m not completely thrilled with. It does stay ALL DAY–doesn’t smudge or flake–but I don’t think it makes my lashes as “lush” as other formulas. I’m not quite sure yet if I’d buy it again myself. But for the price and stay power? Completely worth the purchase!

image2. Bath & Body WorksSignature Fragrance Collection Shimmer Mist in “Beautiful Day” – If you are a glamour girl heading back to school, then this is your time to shine! a shimmer mist gives you a flirty scent with an all-day sparkle to make you look, feel and smell fab. This scent paints you with a crisp top scents of fall apples, pears, peonies and blonde woods. Delish! My experience? I love, love, LOVE this new scent! It’s fresh for spring but has the scents of fall fruits to keep it seasonal. I layers this scent to help it last its longest: shower gel, triple moisture body cream, and the shimmer mist. No matter what is on my agenda, this scent just keeps me smiling all day!

image3. Maybelline FitMe Shine-Free Foundation – If you are like me, the thought of any type of foundation in a stick sounds like it would be heavy, greasy, any not in a shade that would match my skin at all. And up till now, that has been my experience. But Maybelline went a step beyond. They put a foundation in a gel with anti-shine core that neutralizes oil the minute you put it on and keeps absorbing to give you an all-day matte finish. Convenience combined with clean coverage–perfect! My experience? If the stop making this foundation, I’ll cry for years. In all my years of wearing, trying and testing foundations, I have never used one with such fabulous coverage but still feels light as air. I don’t have to worry about shine no matter what. It stays put and does slide off my face like liquids do when it’s hot. And convenient? The gel stick makes it a breeze to just swipe, wipe & go! A MUST-HAVE.

image4. Hard Candy All Glossed Up – I grew up on the glamour and convenience of pencils in a beauty routine and I’m very psyched when I see a company nowadays revamp the old crayon into a new, luxe makeup item. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss. The sad fact is, though, that crayons have a limited style life so they may be hot and hip with the current colors but then the seasons changes and the colors and sticks are gone. What is nice about these Gloss sticks is they are über glossy, but are infused with the long lasting pigments of a stain. Long lasting color with a non-drying formula. Exactly what a girl on the go needs! My experience? I really love this gloss stick. I have yet to find a straight-up stain that stays put, doesn’t dry out, or doesn’t stay true to its original color. Although this goes on like a colored gloss, the base color does stay true like a stain. Even if the gloss disappears during coffee or lunch breaks, the stay will “stick” around. Then I can just add a moisturizing gloss if my lips start to get a bit dry. Available in 8 go-with-all shades–great long lasting, drenching color that lasts. I will be getting more because they are SO convenient and simple!

image5. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments Loose Powder Shadow – Maybelline is no stranger to the long-lasting eye shadow concept. Now they have come out with a loose powder with high pigmented color with no fall-out glitter. Yeah, I said those two things in the same sentence–no fall-out and glitter. In order to have this stay power in the past, shadows had to be a cream with a built-in primer and sealer. But now they have a loose powder in power colors that do the same!! My experience? Gotta say, I haven’t used it. But boy am I intrigued! I have more eye shadows than I know what to do with. But it might be a nice in an all-over highlighter color for me to build off of. Especially if it is high in sparkle and low in fall out!

Get ready–here comes the yellow bus! It doesn’t matter if you are getting ready to get on yourself or if you are putting on one of your own. Make sure you look your best! The glamour industry has so many innovative products now. Daily touchups are barely needed. Don’t think that these long-lasting make-up items are all hype. Seriously, most do what they say they will. I can’t tell you how convenient is not to run to the restroom every two hours! And as a student in school? It is a blessing. These all-day products certainly get an A+!!