Tag Archives: gloss

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!

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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Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

imageIn the glamour world, very few things stand alone. Oh sure, you can have that über gorgeous red carpet dress that turns the heads of every status photographer on the runway, but the fact remains that the hair, makeup, jewels and shoes all play a part in that outfit being a front page headline.

That simple fact can also play a part in everyday looks for anyone. Whether you are a 9-5 office worker, a stay-at-home mom, an ever-scouting fad writer or an out there/have-your-own-style tattoo shop manager, layering fashions, accessories, skin care ingredients and makeup items can move a simple daytime look into the WOW! category with a couple of easy steps.

Here are a few to get you started. Following the bouncing ball:

image**Skin Care**-Washing, treating and moisturizing are, nowadays, the bare necessities. If you AT LEAST do that? You’ll hold your ground. But why not combine a few skin-loving ingredients to treat your face to an experience that will multitask with just a few natural, easy to find things. Because my face tends to be a bit dry in the winter, I tend to make my own cleanser/masks to get moisture and anti-aging properties from natural ingredients for the best results. It’s actually simple…

1. Combine 2 tbsp of a mashed overripe banana, 1 tsp raw honey (local is best), 1 tsp heavy cream, 1/2 tsp instant coffee & 1/4 tsp white sugar. (This may sound like a lot, but think ahead: you can freeze extra overripe bananas in the freezer, buy the instant coffee once to use in other things as well, and substitute powdered milk for heavy cream for longer shelf life.)

2. Mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the sugar till the consistency is a bit thick and the coffee has dissolved. Then add the sugar last.

3. Begin to rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Go over it a few times, adding a bit more each time.

4. After about 5-10 minutes, wash off with warm water & a gentle cleanser (like Aveeno’s Foaming Face Wash)

5. Pat dry.

Whala! Instant face treatment with a combo of fresh ingredients. Your skin is clean, moist, soft and treated. Easy mixing, right? Now, let’s think about what you just did: *Bananas naturally cleanses while hydrating & adding anti-aging vitamins into your skin; *Raw honey is a natural healer and will help heal fines lines due to small skin cracks and stretching; *Heavy cream is loaded with moisturizers and antibodies to fight infection and environmental skin damage; *Instant coffee has just enough caffeine to constrict blood vessels, even your skin tone and awaken tired skin; *White sugar is a gentle exfoliant that will remove dead skin cells and allow the other ingredients to work on the next active layer.

Kind of all makes sense, huh? It’s not a lot of work and if you refrigerate the leftovers you can use what is left daily for up to a week. There are so many ingredients you can add or substitute if you want other skin problems targeted. Tip: Don’t like the way the bananas turn brown in the fridge? Use Stage 1 baby food bananas. They last longer, don’t turn brown and the little bit of lemon juice that is in them helps even out your skin tone too. Baby peaches are good to soften skin. Oatmeal powder can reduce pore size. Yogurt has natural bacteria to help fight acne and breakouts. (Click here for other ingredients and recipes that can help your skin type.)

image**Mascara**-Any YouTube video will tell you that you should wear between 8-10 coats of mascara for drop dead looking eyes. Ummmm… no offense? I don’t have time for that. And it never looks like the pictures anyways. So what’s my layering trick for great, long lashes? It’s kind of simple and doesn’t need a lot stuff. But you will need 3 different mascaras:

1. Get a good mascara that has a great comb wand. This will enable you to coat each lash for length and keep them separated. Plus you can get the little innie lashes with a pointed brush. My go to brand? Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. (Sephora, $24)

2. Next, when mascara is completely dry, curl them with a eyelash curler. None specifically, just make sure you are comfortable using it and it doesn’t pinch your eyelid or pull out any lashes.

3. Another coat of mascara. This time use one that lengthens and keeps the separated but begins to add volume. Again, a good wand is important. A comb is good again but can be one whose “bristles” are tighter together. I really like Buxom Lash Mascara. It keeps them fanned with a bit of thickness. (Sephora, $19)

4. Last step? One coat of a thick foofy brushed waterproof mascara. Lock in that look and keep your butterfly eyes looking smudge-proof all day. There are always new ones on the market and I try them before mine dry out and get old, but I’ve always had great success with Lancôme’s Waterproof Hypnose Drama Mascara.

Don’t get scared away by my suggestions of department store brands. I have had great success as well with drugstore brands such as Rimmel’s Scandal’Eyes Show Off Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline, and L’Oreal Power Voluminous 24hr Mascara. Each is easy on the wallet but still layer-able to get the look you want.

image**Lips**-Maintaining a good, even lip tone with color, gloss, or both will take a little getting used to. The fact is, I don’t have time all day to constantly reapply an entire color routine on my lips. And between chatting all day and drinking coffee, it stays everywhere but on my lips. It has taken some time to get a good routine down, to maintain a lip look that will only need a touch up now and then. But you’ve got to trust me to play with this till you get the look/color you want. Ready?:

1. Exfoliate your lips with 2-3 drops of olive oil and a pinch of white sugar. Dab it on your lips then roll them back and forth so the oil penetrates and the sugar takes off any dry skin. Wipe off excess sugar with a tissue and blot excess oil.

2. Outline your lips with a neutral lip pencil. A great find is Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish Pencil Lip Liner in Nude or Avon’s Glimmersticks Lip Liners in Simply Spice or Pink Cashmere.

3. Next time you are shopping, hunt and find a packet of unsweetened Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and/or Cherry Kool-Aid (if you find other flavors, grab them. They are pennies and can be combined for great shades.) Using a Q-tip, dot a little bit of the powders on your lips, combining to achieve the color you want. If you have to add a drop of water to the other end of the Q-tip to help blend, that’s fine. Just add evenly so you don’t have one lip one color, one lip another. When done, let sit & dry for about 5 min. (If you prefer to just use one flavor, that’s fine too.)

4. Using a lip brush, apply a small amount of a good balm or gloss to keep lips soft. I prefer a balm, as glosses can get oily and transfer more easily giving your color less stay power. My fave right now? Chapstick’s Cake Batter formula. Yum! If you like a bit of frost to your shade, Nivea has a “Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care” which tops off for a nice, long-lasting sexy frosty shade while keeping lips soft & smooth.

5. Carry a gloss with you that matches today’s Kool-Aid shade in case of early fading or blotchiness or for an extra hint of colored shine.

If a stain isn’t your thing, try to find a ONE STEP lipstick with mega-stay power to keep your lips bright & soft. It won’t last as long but will buy you time in between lip breaks. A good find for me? New York Color Expert Last Lipstick. I find it lasts longer than any tube lipstick I own and the price is a steal.

So there you have it. Layering to get the look you love and the stopping the clock of aging. (Okay, not really but we can sure try to slow it down!) Good luck with these suggestions and please–PLEASE!–share if you have any of your own!

Next time? I think we will tackle eye liners, sweaters and….let me think on it.

Free, Contest, Win, Goodies…. What Else Do You Need To Know?

16 Jul

imageSo… You’re entered into my fab contest to win a Sassy Set of goodies from ForGoodnessGrape, right? This is the last week to enter! Winner is picked next Monday….

….what? You haven’t entered yet? You’re not serious.

LET’S GET MOVING PEOPLE!

Let me remind you of the fabulous prize that is up for grabs on “The Sassy Is Right”:
You have a chance to win – FREE – a set of FGG‘s top products. ONE lucky winner will receive FGG’s most popular flavor–Lemon Cupcake–in a lip candy lip balm and sugary lip scrub. And…AND… because I am such a cool blogger and you luuuuuuuuuv me, I am also adding a “Kate” Lip Tintx–a peachy-pink moisturizing lip tint with a hint of golden sparkle. Face it…. you know you want this! “Oh Sassy, this is soooo cool! And you are so awesome! How do I enter?” Well you can check out my last blogpost for details OR follow the instructions below. It’s easy-peasy:

1. FOLLOW SassyAuburn on Twitter here: https://mobile.twitter.com/sassyauburn (@sassyauburn)
2. FOLLOW ForGoodnessGrape on Twitter here: https://mobile.twitter.com/4goodnessgrape (@4GoodnessGrape)
3. LEAVE A COMMENT HERE (go ahead, click it!) answering this question: If you could create your own lip balm flavor, what would it be??

(If you DON’T have a Twitter account, you can “Contact Sassy” above and I will let you know what you can substitute that with.)

Now, maybe you already are a fan of FGG products. Maybe you already entered and just can’t wait to see if you won. You need a balm fix NOW! I feel ya. Okay, let me sweeten the tea just a little bit more:

Thanks to the fabalicious Lisa from ForGoodnessGrape, you can order your fave lip balms, scrubs, tints and then-some and get 15% OFF…. let me spell that out… FIFTEEN PERCENT OFF!…. just by using the coupon code “SASSY” at checkout. No, I’m not kidding. But I’m telling ya, you gotta get moving!

You now have less than a week. Let’s get entered in the contest then jump over to FGG’s website and use that discount code before your lips start to cry. Oh they will. Trust me. And it won’t be pretty–but they can be if you treat them right with some goodies!

If you have any problem getting entered, please “Contact Sassy” with the homepage link.

The clock is ticking….. GO!

OCC Lip Tars & Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique

14 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out LeCosmetique’s site HERE

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

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

Cosmetic Review: Stila Lip Glaze

13 Aug

Stila Lip Glaze

By Stila Cosmetics

Price: $22 at Sephora.com and Sephora retail stores

Item Description:

What it is: An ultra-high shine lip gloss in a nifty click pen.

What it does: Stila’s ever-popular lip glaze is back in action with larger pens (twice the size of the original) guaranteed to keep your lips glossier, longer. The gloss gives lips a punch of color and adds a delicious scent. Whatever sweet flavor you are in the mood for, it is sure to be found in this collection of classic shades.

Things I like: High gloss shine; moisturizing; long wear; tons of awesome shades and flavors; pen-style applicator with “clicking” dispenser; built-in brush.

Things I don’t like: A little steep in price; twistable dispenser takes a while to master, but once you do you’ll love it.

Rankings:

Packaging Design: 5 out of 5

Portability/Convenience: 5 out of 5

Wearability: 5 out of 5

Shade/Color Variety: 5 out of 5

Value: 4 out of 5

Overall Ranking (on a scale from 1 – 10): 9.5

Likely To Buy It Again? Absolutely

Why?

When it comes to shine, this might be the product that all others will look up to. I can see why Stila called this a glaze and not just a gloss. It’s thick like a melted frosting and makes your lips shine like a newly waxed car! I could see the thickness being a problem for some, as it is a hair and fuzz magnet. But that’s what makes it extra super shiny and moisturizing. I love the fact there is a color and flavor for every mood and style I have. Now that it is summer, I’m enjoying the Banana and Grapefruit shades the most. I can see that fall might entice me to pick up the Brown Sugar and Plum colors. I personally prefer a lip gloss with a brush rather than a spongie applicator. I think the spongies can get nasty if they are used over different lipsticks. The brushes seem to be more precise and put more product on instead of taking existing colors off like the spongie applicators do. This price is a little higher than what I have used in the past. But I have to say, I use these glazes much more frequently because I like how they look and feel so it only makes sense I am getting my money’s worth. I can see how lip glosses can be a personal preference selection, but I will definitely put Stila Lip Glaze at the top of my list. It’s a must have glamour item that goes with me everywhere, every day!