Tag Archives: lip gloss

How Organic Can Impakt Your Life!

3 Apr

**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.”**

Over the years, especially when my skin went south into the “sensitive” zone, I have become more aware of what I use on my skin. Certain ingredients I specifically look for because I know if they are in a product, I can’t use it. If the label looks good, the ingredients are ones I can handle, and the reviews are decent, there is still a chance I won’t be able to use it. Anything can trigger my sensitive skin, and it takes knowledge and patience to see what will happen.

Another thing I learned quick enough is that there can be a big difference between a product being “natural” and a product being “organic”. Organic skincare products that have been made with organic ingredients, grown and processed without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or chemicals are he only ones that are allowed to call themselves organic. What matters most are not the ingredients present in skincare products but rather the ones that are absent. Organic skincare products typically don’t contain parabens, sodium laureth sulfates, synthetic chemicals, dyes, preservatives, fillers, petroleum-derived ingredients or artificial colors and fragrances. And those of us with sensitive skin knows those ingredients specifically can cause havoc on our skin.

A few months back, I had found a lip conditioner that made my lips feel fantastic. It was a sample in a subscription box that I had received. It’s one thing to protect my lips from the elements… it’s another thing to get something that heals them as well. I was so amazed by the performance of the product that I immediately ordered two more lip products. I even told them that if they had samples of other products that they made, I’d be willing to try them. They sent me some GREAT things to get my opinion on, and I have been using them long enough to really let you know what fabulous results I got with them.

Impäkt Organic Skincare takes pride in saying that their Ulta Pure, Professional Skin Care offers “truly effective solutions to difficult skin care issues.” Their products are “sourced pure and made fresh by hand in small batches. Pure. Elevated. Effective. Thoughtful.” Not only do they address specific issues, but they stand by their word of being organic, powerful, with no fillers or chemicals. Let me give you some first hand experiences with some of these gems from Impäkt Organic Skincare:

Foaming Clay CleanserI love the days when I would treat my face to a deep conditioning mask. I used to think I couldn’t get that fresh, deep, detoxifying clean unless it was mask day, but this cleanser gives it to me daily. This is the perfect cleanser for not just people with normal/sensitive skin, but it is great for those with blemishes, uneven skin tone and area with eczema or psoriasis. You can mix a quarter-sized amount with a bit of water and wash with a circular motion avoiding the eyes. It will clean your face throughly while gently exfoliating. What I do? I apply with an even, thin coverage directly on your face (avoiding eye area) and watch as it turns a white as it dries… which doesn’t take long! Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. If you find that your face feels a bit too tight after cleansing, cut the mask amount in half and add Vitamin E or Jojoba Oil with a little water. Depending on your skin issues, you can buy this in different strengths. I use the full strength formula, but when my skin is super dry (like after the head cold I just went through) I just add a moisturizing and healing component like a few drops of Vitamin E and/or jojoba oil. Ingredients include: glacier-fed marine clay, coconut husk charcoal, sea kelp, aloe vera, pure shea oil and hyaluronic acid.

Moroccan Rose Clay Cleanser – Clay is a renewing and purifying organic cleanser, but different types of clay are out there to do different things. If your skin is more on the dry, mature, uneven-toned or patchy side, this may be the better clay cleanser for you. The rich Australian pink clay gently draws out impurities and detoxifies while algae and kelp helps to restore cell damage. Like the foaming Clay cleanser, just take a small amount and add water to it to create a creamy cleanser. Wash face avoiding the eye area and rinse clean. I like to apply a thin amount to my dry face then jump in the shower. Let the steam allow the mask to deep clean then rinse clean. It leaves my face feeling deep cleaned and nourished with stripping it down. Ingredients include: Australian pink clay, organic glacial living marine clay, hyaluronic acid, organic hand-ground rose petal powder, red algae-derived sea minerals, aloe vera, pure honey, shea butter, and goat’s milk.

Under-Eye Serum & Facial Toning OilFor the first time in years, this past winter season has been rough on my face. The air and heat has made my skin extremely dry and even cracked in some areas. After being involved with the skin care industry, I know that nothing will show your age more than the wrinkles caused by dry skin. The first thing I did when I noticed was to increase my water intake. Hydrating from the inside out will help even more than just your skin… you know that! But my regular moisturizer just wasn’t enough right then. I needed something deeper. I had been using the Under Eye Serum for almost a week when I noticed that the rest of my face was barking for attention too. In addition to using the oil straight for under my eyes, I began putting about four drops of the serum into my nightly moisturizer. This made a HUGE difference, and I began seeing results in about a week. My face was softer, more plump and definitely not as taught. Even though my face is definitely not as dry as it was before, I still continue to use the serum around my eyes each night and as an addition supplement to my nighttime face moisturizer once or twice a week. Always remember to shake well to blend the botanicals and oils for the best results. Ingredients include: rice bran oil, camellia oil, Immortelle Flower essence and hyaluronic acid.

Molten Botanical Body ButterLike I had mentioned before, my skin has suffered greatly during these cold and dry months. Of course, my first concern was my face since I could feel it getting drier and tugging almost every minute. But it didn’t take too long for me to notice that the dry, cracking skin that my face was suffering from was also happening to my body. I even noticed that a scar that I had gotten from a foot surgery several months ago had cracked, split open and had begun to bleed again. Although I had tried several hydrating skin treatments for my face, my body usually needed nothing more than a light layer of fragranced hydration. That had to change! I started with my feet, seeing as how it was critical for me to get them moisturized to avoid a trip to the foot doctor. I put several pumps of the Molten Botanical Body Butter onto my feet for several nights and covered them in clean white socks. After about the third day, they had already softened and the cracks healed. I kept that up for several weeks until even the callus that I had were softer and less thick. With such great results, I moved this Botanical gem into my body care. I upped my after-bath moisturizer to an enriched cream, and added several pumps of the Body Butter to it. Not only did this help to hydrate my skin better, but I didn’t have to repeat it as often. Now, I don’t moisturize with anything that goes on my body without some added Botanical Body Butter mixed in. And if nature’s taking its toll a bit? I use it straight up! Ingredients include: organic lanolin, raw fresh beeswax, American oryza sativa, organic African shea butter, raw silk extract, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts.

Glossing Lip Treatments – I am the poor soul that has to deal with chapped lips… all year long. Because of allergies, TMJ, and other issues, I am mouth breather. And that causes me to have dry lips 24/7-365. Then you add in the occasional cold, stuffy nose and allergies and you can guarantee I will have not just chapped lips but cracked, bleeding and sometimes scabbed lips. Skin care and cosmetics make up a big part of my life, between writing, endorsing and modeling. To say that my lips need to feel good as well as look good is an understatement. Many lip colors on the market right now are very very drying, yet I do not feel complete unless I have some sort of lip color on my face. A running joke is that I will not even go outside to get my mail without mascara and lipgloss. It’s easy to find a lot of lip products that will give me some moisture as well as color but for the most part they do not last. And they definitely do not heal the problem. I first started using the glossy lip treatment sample that I got in my subscription box while I was at work during the day. It is very dry area and I found that a little bit of the glass over my lip color helped to not only moisturize but to heal them as well. I noticed the biggest difference in my lips when I started using the Treatment at night. My lips (and the skin around them) began to get softer, less cracked, and stayed hydrated longer. Not to mention, the SPF helps to prevent sun damage to dry them out even more. It didn’t take long for me to order several more sample sizes as well as a full-size glosses in my favorite flavors. To date, I have four minis scattered across my house in rooms where I may notice I need one, as well as a full-sized tube at work, in my purse and next to my bed. My favorite go-to flavors are Raw Cocoa, Spiced Coffee and Jasmine Vanilla. Available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic raw African shea butter, sativa oil, Japanese camellia oil, and organic botanical extracts.

Deep Detox Deodorant – I have been a tester of MANY organic, natural and/or vegan deodorant. Most are the swipe on kind, and a couple of them have been spritzers. For the most part, I have liked only a few. Most of them don’t seem to neutralize an odor as much as I’d like them too. And of course, they aren’t anti-perspirants so the sweat still happen. This one, however, definitely controlled the odors better than any I have used in the past. Application was smooth, and its light scent is pleasant and natural. What I did notice was I didn’t seem to sweat as much when I wore it. I should say I very seldom have to wear deodorant like I used to, but there are times and occasions when it is necessary. It will be good to see if this holds it own as temps start to rise. But so far? It is in the tops of my favorite natural deodorant. It is also available in classic and vegan formulas. Ingredients include: organic African shea butter, waxes, organic glacial clay & coconut charcoal powders, and organic lavender, chamomile, broccoli seed and cacao extracts.

Headache Hope Nutrient Oil – Chronic pain… whether it be headaches, migraines, joint or muscle—can debilitate you and take over your day. The things that cause us these pains can not always be pinpointed. All we know is that they hurt. Whenever possible, it would be nice to have an option when we don’t feeling like taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication. This little bottle of “Hope” might be able to offer some relief to those who might like to try just that. There have been studies with oils and extracts that have shown to help with increased circulation, blood flow and pain relief and muscle relaxation. That, in turn, can help ease pain. This Oil contains three levels of these ingredients which work together at different times to combat the triggers that cause pain. I will be honest, after I used it the first time I had a headache, I didn’t think I would ever use it again. It’s STRONG! The scent is a little strong, the “tingling” can be a bit overwhelming, and the warmth can be hard to get used to. But after I debated washing it off my temples, I noticed it began to work. I felt less pressure, I relaxed a bit, and the warmth turned to a cool refreshing feeling. So let’s just say it takes some time to find the amount to use that’s right for you. Come to find out, a Q-tip dotted on the end of the roller was enough to put a quick dot on both of my temples for a headache. What was REALLY awesome? It helped with pain in other joints and muscles. I have had reoccurring tendinitis in my one foot. I can rub regular moisturizing lotion on my foot then use a Q-tip to apply a small amount to the Hope oil to my foot and I will notice not only the pain ease but the swelling as well. This past week it was a knotted muscle in my neck that needed a couple of drops. But it worked. There is a LOT in a rollerball, but don’t think you will need it all. Start VERY small… like one drop on a cotton swab… and go from there. Be careful around the area of the temples too, as the scent is strong near the eyes. But think beyond just a headache for this organic pain elixir. Ingredients are organic oils and botanicals including: Indian peppermint, lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and more.

The more we become more aware of the products, the more we take notice of the ingredients in them. It is important for many of us to not just think of ourselves when selecting quality items but we tend to think more about the environment as well. Impäkt Organic Skincare products are eco-friendly, sustainable, truly natural and organic which make positive changes in the environment as well. No fillers are used and every ingredient can be traced back to its origin. Even the packaging focuses on recycling with minimal footprints. Plus, rest assured that no animals were ever harmed or tested on from Impäkt. In fact, they are Leaping Bunny Certified. Rest assured, when you use these product in your skin care routine, you aren’t just helping yourself but helping the world as well.

You can find Impäkt Organic Skincare online at impaktorganic.com, or Instagram at @Impakt_Organic

Watch here and on my Instagram feed (@SassyAuburn) for a chance to win TWO of my favorite Glossing Lip Treatments in April!!

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Great Products for the New Year…

8 Mar

Let me start out by saying this redhead has been busy! Over the past year, I have taking on two more writing positions, have become a brand ambassador for two fabulous companies, am a full-time promo model for a hot magazine and I still continue to hang with my friends while managing a fab tattoo shop in town. Everything I have learned over the years in regards to fashion, skin care, make up, glam and the tattoo industry is helping me to live my dream. Not only am I evolving my life, but I’m also the healthiest I have been in years while I am doing it. I have a great support team and I thank them every day for lifting me up with their encouragement. I am truly blessed.

I know that it is way past the beginning of a new year, but I have still been testing and trying new products and styles that help me keep up with my cool yet chaotic life! Because things are so crazy, I definitely need things that are going to do their job. And if they can save me time (and of course money), then hip hip hooray! Have I found new super products that do just that? You betcha!

Here are a few goodies that anyone could appreciate in their daily routines:

1. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray – Preparing your makeup for a photoshoot can take a LONG time. The last thing you need is anything like sweat or rain to cause your look to start sliding off your face. I have used setting mists in the past, but they have either fell short or turned my skin into a potato chip. You don’t need a lot to set your look and it will stay out for hours. Just spray your face in the shape of an X , keep your eyes closed for about 60-90 seconds and touch-ups will be reduced to slim-to-none. It has become a life saver in my travel bag. (Ulta.com)

2. Youngblood Mineral Rice Setting Powder – When I first got this from the How to be a Redhead Subscription Box, I really wasn’t sure if I would use it since I have my fair share of non-talc setting powders. Plus the tint in this one made me hesitant since it was more of a yellowish powder. After the first time I used it, I knew it was going to be a go-to during my makeup application. The rice powder and corn starch base helps this powder keep the shine away all day and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The powder sets perfectly clear with no color at all, leaving your face with a nice matte finish. (YBSkin.com)

3. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara – Aren’t we all really just in search of the ‘be all, save all” mascara of all time? I am and I’m sure I may never find it as long as mascaras keep improving their formulas. This one, however, is certainly damn good. One coat for daily wear, two coats for special occasions will leave your lashes looking long and luscious. The brush is really fat which gives you a nice even, full coat from base to tips. You may find the brush is hard to maneuver on the bottom lashes—I do—so I have disposable skinny wands for precise bottom lash and corner lash applications. (Lancôme-usa.com)

4. Kryolan Contour Pencil in 971 (Black) – I picked up some of these great pencils last year when I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I saw them used by a fabulous makeup artist and thought that any pencil that can have that many uses and be that inexpensive must have some sort of down side. I have yet to find one! I learned that by lining the water line of my upper lid can help my hooded eyes to have more pop. And this pencil does it perfectly. I get a line that stays strong all day and comes off easily with eye makeup remover. Plus the tip can sharpened to your liking, and is soft enough to not tug at the skin around your eyes. (Kryolan.com)

5. No 7 Instant Illusion Wrinkle Filler – There are only so many miracles we can fix without hiring a plastic surgeon. I expected a full-blown face lift when I bought this product. Because I didn’t see that immediately, I put the tube off to the side. After a week or so, I decided to try it again with more realistic expectations. That’s when I saw what amazing things this actually does. Although it can’t hide deep deep laugh lines, it does fill in fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes, lips and forehead. It helps to defuse and reflect light giving my face an all-over smooth look. (Ulta.com)

6. Impäkt Organic Skin Care Glossing Lip Treatment – This winter has been hell on my skin. Especially my lips. I have always battled the chapped lips devil all through the year, but this year has been terrible. They haven’t been getting just chapped either. They split, peel, bleed and even get blotchy. I was lucky enough to try a sample of this (thanks to my friends at How to be a Redhead) little gem in Raw Cocoa and noticed an improvement in just days. Ingredients such as raw beeswax, sativa oil, raw honey and shea butter put healing nutrients into the skin and not just over it. The healing begins on a cellular level, which helps to prevent the problems before they occur. (impaktorganic.com) ** Watch my blog for reviews on more products from Impakt Organics soon!**

7. TwinMedix Pro:Refine Primer/Moisturizer – When time is of the essence, it is helpful to have products that can do multiple things at the same time. This is a nourishing moisturizer that not only preps and primes the face for smooth makeup application but it also plumps and firms giving your skin a nice all-over glow. Packed with rich hydration from shea butter and jojoba oil, this gem also gives your face boost of nourishing B5. Finish those great ingredients off with a touch of hyaluronic acid for a youthful appearance. (TwinMedix.com)

8. Crown Brush Tapered Concealer Brush C425 – Since I have been getting very precise and detailed with my eye looks, it is important to me to have a good concealer brush that is tight enough to get around my eyes with intricate accuracy. I have A LOT of brushes that I have picked up over the years, but this one is always clean and close by during my makeup application. It is small, fine and flat enough to hide skin imperfections while cleaning up any last minute fall out or errors in the area. (Crownbrush.com)

I wish the contents of my vanity only showed these few products plus a little more to be able to have everything I needed to do a full skin care and makeup look each day. Unfortunately, depending on a number of factors, I need all of that and MUCH MORE. No worries, though. I have managed to get my supplies organized in a way to have access to whatever I need at any given time. It is important for all of us to remember to keep our items clean and fresh. Remember to go through your entire product drawers once in a while (when you change the clocks is a perfect time!) to look, test and smell each item you have. Things can go bad, as well as pick up bacteria to make them “spoil”. One thing that is good to help you avoid the transfer of ickies is to scrape out just what you will need with a (clean) makeup spatula, put that on a stainless steel mixing plate (crownbrush.com, $8.95 for the combo) and apply it from there. Not only does this reduce the chance of your makeup acquiring bacteria but it also prevents color mixing.

With these new goodies, I plan on having fun trying and developing new looks for myself in the future. Do you have any new goodies to share that you have discovered are “must haves” in your glam box? Share with me and others so we can all know what is hot on the shelves!!

Steady and True… Fabulous and New!

17 Aug

Hello summer! I can’t tell you how busy this sassy redhead has been over the past few months. So many new endeavors going on. I am still managing the tattoo shop; I was asked to be the writer and editor of a small, upcoming magazine which I gladly accepted; and I was chosen to be an alternative model for a well-established magazine. Thanks to me taking a leap of faith, I put myself out there a little more than I am used to and because of that, I have now been featured in three magazines with another spread coming out soon. I guess all I can say right now is WOW! It’s amazing what possibilites are out there for you if you just reach for the brass ring. I am extremely blessed to have these fun opportunities… and I plan on making the most out of all of them.

In addition to taking all these great breaks I have been presented with, I am also taking the time whenever I can to continue to write about my endeavors in the glamour and fashion industry. And there has been many! My yearly trip to New York City for The Makeup Show was such a success in May. I made some fabulous connections and will be working with some big names in the makeup industry in the near future. In addition to going to see my glamour guru friends, I also learned some great new makeup tricks. This has actually come in very handy when I need to prepare my face, skin and makeup before a photo shoot. Let’s take a look at some of the tried and true products that I fell in love with last year and still have a place on my vanity. Those are:

* Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

* Make Up For Ever Waterblend Face and Body Foundation

* Crown Brushes

* NYX Butter Gloss & Epic Ink Eyeliner

* TwinMedix Skin Care System

Then there are the items that I tried, fell in love with and have been using ever since. They have earned their place on my Vanity of Love. So what am I crushing on big time right now? Let’s take a look:

 

NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50 – I have used many primers over the years. Many of them were just okay, a few were worth a second purchase, and there was the occasional product that did more good in the garbage than it did on my face. This little gem was a sample that came in an Ulta purchase a few months ago. It was instantly obvious that I had found my primer of the lifetime! Being a redhead means I need to protect my skin from the sun whenever needed, and this primer with a high SPF actually helps my skin in two different ways. It gives me a nice, matte, consistent finish all over my face to prepare it for whatever foundation I choose to use. Plus, the high SPF protects my skin no matter what foundation I wear… even if I choose to wear none at all. It doesn’t clog my pores, isn’t irritating to my sensitive skin, and the large tube lasts for a very long time (even with daily use.) It is going to be a challenge for any product to try and replace this in my daily routine. A definite multi-purpose must have! (Ulta, $36)

Pixi Glow Tonic – We all know how awesome it feels to put on our skin care and makeup right after we have exfoliated our skin. In order to not irritate our skin, we should only exfoliate our skin 2-3 times a week and deep treat with a mask once a week. So does that mean our skin can’t feel freshly fabulous during those off days? Not anymore. Glow Tonic is a highly concentrated facial toner that gently exfoliates and purifies your skin each morning with a small amount of Glycolic Acid. Packed with natural ingredients like ginseng & aloe vera, this toner helps to remove more of the renewed cells on your face that have shed during sleep. Use a small amount on a cotton ball then sweep it over your freshly cleaned face to give you a smooth surface that your makeup will appreciate. (Pixibeauty.com, $29)

OFRA Pro Mixing Palette – If anyone was to see this item in my work room, they would probably laugh their asses off. The fact is… I have no artistic ability. Sure, I can write, take photos, do my makeup, edit pictures, design outfits, lots of different types of art. But when it comes to drawing? Painting? Nope, nope, nope. My statement always is that “I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler.” So why would I have a mixing palette in my glamour room? For just that… mixing! Working in a tattoo shop has made me very aware of the color wheel and what colors create specific shades. I may have a look that I want to put together for a formal event, but don’t have the shades of eyeshadows and/or lipsticks that aren’t available on a retail level. That’s when I get out my palette and start blending. Having a palette is very helpful with foundations as well. Putting a small amount of your foundation on a palette lets you control how much you are putting on with a brush or a sponge. It also enables you to add a little color corrector to your foundation if your skintone needs a touch of altering for whatever reason. It is also perfect for creating shades of lipstick that I would want for an specific look but don’t own. Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is a great example. I will put a “swipe” of the colors I am looking to blend and then take a lip brush to mix them. Voila! A new shade that will last all day. After you are done mixing on your palette, just wipe it off with a disinfecting cloth and you are ready for the next day! (Make Up For Ever, starting at $6)

Kryolan Dermacolor Camouflage Creme Erase Stick in White – I am very happy with the concealers that I use on an almost daily basis. They have a long wear time and stay put. After a while, however, I began to notice that under my eyes sometimes had an oily shine in some of my photos. I tried mattifying powders and balms but nothing seemed to work when a flash was involved. After a great class at The Makeup Show by Kryolan Cosmetics, I found this gem of a stick to hide not just under-the-eyes discoloration but also heavy laugh lines, wrinkles and discolorations. This little baby worked like a gem!! Even though it is pure white, it doesn’t have an oily consistency and blends well into your other makeup. A lot of time has been saved during my makeup prep time, thanks to this little diamond in the rough. If you go to Kryolan’s website, take some time to browse around. They also have some wonderful makeup pencils, primers and other makeup must haves! (us.kryolan.com, $14)

H2O + Beauty Oasis Hydrating Treatment – It isn’t easy for me to find a good face moisturizer that doesn’t make my face feel greasy in the summer. I know, no matter what the season is, my face needs hydration. EVERYONE needs hydration for their skin. You can help it by drinking more fluids, especially in hot temperatures, but you still need something to protect it on the outside. I recently got a sample of the H2O Hydrating Treatment about two months ago. The product made sense—-a gel that absorbs quickly but is long lasting. Infused with Sea Grass and Water Lily extracts, this hydrating gel gives your face the moisture it needs without heavy creams or oils. Your face feels soft and smooth without a greasy texture or shine.

I never leave The Makeup Show without learning about some great new products or skin care items that target my needs. And I am getting great leads on new, top-of-the-line products to try out. Plus it allows me to come on here and share these tips, tricks and new items with you. This year, since I have doing some occasional modeling, it was important for me to learn about techniques and products that would be helpful for the shoots. As time goes on, I am sure I will find some tips about photoshoots that I can share with my modeling friends around the world. Not to mention? I’m sampling stuff more often than ever. So stay tuned, beautiful people! Who knows what epic items I will have to share with you next time!

Sassy’s Faves for August & September

26 Oct

Fall is officially upon us which means things are really changing when it comes to skin care, hair care, make up and anything in the glamour department. The colors get bright and warm with shades of red, orange, burgundy, purple, green and all neutral browns being front and center in the fashion and make up department. It is also time to think about our skin—both face and body. This is the time of year when days are warm and nights are cool. Your skin can easily get confused, and your fashions can go from a tank top one day to a hoodie the next. These things don’t help our skin either, bringing out the worst for those with combination skin. With that in mind, I had a basis on what to look for during the last months of summer. Here’s what I found:

Deviant Cosmetics Eyeshadows: Finding eyeshadows is a difficult task for me. Almost all “commercial” shadows contain ingredients that have a tendency to irritate my eyes and skin. Because of that, I look for mineral shadows from indie companies that are more pure than those found in the cosmetic department. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girly girl. I am all about the shimmer, the glitter, the gloss and the shine. And that includes my eyeshadows! I had come to a time a couple of months ago where I needed a bright white, super sparkly eyeshadow that had little or no fallout but didn’t irritate my eyes. Deviant Cosmetics had exactly what I wanted: a loose shadow named “Loose Diamonds”. When it came, I fell in love! It didn’t take long for me to order a few other shades that were bold and shimmery. Their website splits the shadows up by color which makes it super easy to find what I’m looking for. They also have hand-pressed glitter shadows with a gel-like consistency that helps to keep them in place. I love those for bold lining and face decorating because they stay on longer and look amazing. These shadows are a great buy for less than $6 each!

NYX Hydra Touch Primer: Primers are definitely where it’s at in regards to your skin right now. There are ones that help to adjust the tone of your skin and there are some that fill in large pores for a more even look. There are even primers that can give you a matte or glowing look to your skin. I tried the Hydra Touch Primer in a store to see if I would like how it felt. It was not thick and sticky—it’s light and soothing. Filled with moisture and skin-refreshing ingredients, this primer enhances your complexion giving you a flawless canvas for your look. It is a perfect hydrating base for either liquid or mineral powder foundations. A nice addition for my sensitive, combination skin at a very reasonable $14.

Korres Lip Butter in “Wild Rose”:
Even though I have red hair, I have to admit that I am horribly afraid of wearing red lipstick. I never think it looks good on me, I feel I look paler, and the ones I do have seem to bleed or look blotchy. True, this could be the type or brand that I am wearing, but it just doesn’t look right to me. I needed something that was “red” but a very sheer red. I got a Korres Lip Butter in Guava which was clear a while back and loved it. I liked it so much that I ended up going through three of them very quickly. It makes my lips super soft for a very long time, especially when I put it on before bed. When I decided to get another one this year, I saw that it now comes in different “flavors” and tints. The “Wild Rose” has a very slight rose scent and feeds my lips tons of moisture while giving me a super sheer red tint. It’s PERFECT! It’s not a red overload—just a right amount of color with a super shiny finish. It is just enough red for this redhead! This can easily be found at Sephora stores and at Sephora.com

NYX Butter Glosses: I know I just raved about Korres Lip Butter, which is amazing for when I want something extra hydrating (and the color red when I need it!) but I absolutely love wearing smooth, creamy glosses when I need a pop of color with a nice amount of shine and moisture. That’s usually what I choose for my lips during the daytime when I’m at my shop, running errands, or just hanging casual. The NYX’s Butter Gloss color selection is awesome with over 30 shades. They go on with a tint that is a bit sheerer than a liquid or regular lipstick but still a noticeable color. The scent a nice and light and it isn’t overly sticky like most glosses. For a more intense look, layer it over the top of your lips lined and filled in with your lip liner. My newest favorite shade is Angel Food Cake. It’s a true mauve with a sweet scent! A great purchase for only $5!

Tallie Frayed Waist Guess Jeans: I get that a pair of jeans can’t really be a super find, but I have to give kudos to these. I changed clothing sizes over the summer (in a good way), and a large amount of my clothes went into the donation bin. The main thing I had to look for jeans. And jean shopping can frustrate the hell out of me. My favorite line of denims are Guess? Jeans. What is awesome about them is I know exactly what size I wear and can shop online. These skinny jeans have a great frayed waistline that doesn’t ride low. They are comfortably tight without squishing the air out of you. Although they only come in one wash style, they can be dressed up or down, and they are perfect with a cropped top that allows the designed waistline to show. I bought three pairs! Find them on GuessFactory.com before they are gone!

Rad Soap’s “Love” Body Cream: It is definitely the time of year when our skin goes from warm and oily to cold, cracked and dry very quickly. Although I have a few lotions, creams and body butters, I usually like something a little richer for the beginning of the colder months. That’s when I usually bump myself up from lotions to butters. When I found this local company’s products in a gift shop near where I live, I had to give it a try. First, if I can “shop local”, I do. I love supporting businesses in my area and watch them grow and succeed. In addition, I like products that DON’T a lot. What does that mean? It means I like products that DON’T contain parabens, sulfates, gluten, nut oils and harsh chemicals. I have had issues with things like that in the past, so to know that the products are safe for my sensitive skin is important. Rad Soap’s always list the things you won’t find in their products. And the scents? Amazing! My favorite is the “Love” Body Cream which has the tasty scents of Spanish almonds and Acerola cherries. My skin stays super soft with this highly moisturizing, quickly absorbing body necessity. Check out their website at radsoap.com to order online or to find a retail store near you. A great find for $18 in a large tub.

With fall here in all its glory, I’m sure I will be finding some great new skin care, makeup and fashion/glamour items that will be perfect as my looks change for the season. Not to mention, being a redhead makes fall that much more fun — I match the trees! Make sure you keep an eye out on my blog this month. Like last season, I will be doing a giveaway of one of my favorite makeup items that I mentioned today. Hmm… which one will it be? Stay tuned and get ready to WIN!

…. and we have a winner!!

2 Oct

THANK YOU to all of my readers and followers who entered the September contest! We had many entries and a lot of tags and shares on the posts. The winner will receive three awesome lip tints from Ginger Bliss Naturals! They are perfect shades to keep your lips moisturized and soft as the cooler temperatures roll in.

And the winner, chosen by a Random Number Generator was…..

 

@lady_achouak

 

Thank you again for all who entered and keep an eye out for a new giveaway for October!!

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!

Black is the New Black….

31 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mid-Life Goth Crisis

28 Jan

GothRedheadEveryone who knows me knows NOT to ask me my age. I am the first one to say, I will lie about the actual number ‘til the cows come home. I don’t look my age and I certainly don’t act my age…except for the occasional ache, pain and doctor appointment. With that being said, I grew up a huge fan of everything that pushed the limits of my generation. The makeup, the big hair, the fashions, the movies, the music. It was then that I fell in love with the “punk rock” movement. I wasn’t a huge follower of all the music that was out and evolving at that time, but I vividly remember listening to hits by The Clash, The Ramones, David Bowie (RIP), Adam Ant, Modern English and more. It was the clothing and all that went with it that drew me in. The fashions were awesome! I loved my leather jackets and miniskirts, lace tops, tight jeans, colored high heels with torn fishnet stockings, old rock t-shirts and heavy boots. The accessories of studded bracelets and chokers, some bright hair done in a unique non-mainstream style were beyond everything that I loved. It SCREAMED rebellious. My problem? My mother hated all of it. So I ended up wearing your basic honor student outfit then changed into a neon top, put on mega lipstick, melted on heavy black eyeliner and put in studded earrings before school. Then, like many other inverted rebels, I’d wash it off on the bus on the way home. I was bad and I liked it. Oh, those were the days….

Let’s fast forward to today. Even at this “stage” of my life, I like to be a little edgy. It keeps me feeling young. Although I think I am past the fishnets, tutus, leather pants (kind of), Doc Marten days—but never say never—I still like to keep my closet ranging from comfortably chic to eclectic nouveau. This past summer, I discovered a fun gathering of people who were different from many others I have ever known. They live for the day. They find joy in their own interests no matter how out there some may seem. They do what they have to do during the day but at night, they do what they want. And these friends? Well, they all have a mutual love & common bond: they love the art of spinning and performing with fire. And their fashions? I am pretty sure aren’t a top priority, but the variety each person has is striking! It is a combination of punk, Goth, individualism, comfort and performance…all in one. I will be honest, when I first met them, I was in awe. Not just at their outlook on life, attitudes towards tomorrow AND their performance talents but in their thoughts about what was awesome! They find happiness in the here and now. It is a no-judgement zone to be free with yourself and among your friends. To say the least? I felt at home. I felt I could be the “me” that had always wanted to be. And that was empowering!

After getting totally enthralled with my new adventures, I fell hook, line and sinker for my newly found interests and “freedom”. I went out and invested in an LED hula-hoop and two short fire staffs so I could play outside with fire with my friends during the summer and keep fit inside hooping when it was cold during the winter. I decided to bring out that edgy side of me that was suppressed as a teen. Managing a few days a week at the tattoo shop, you would think that should have allowed me to be expressive on the outside. Especially since that industry is a no-judgement zone as well. Sure, I could have gone wild with all types and styles of makeup, fashion and accessories that weren’t what a mature, “age unspecified” adult would normally wear. I did a little bit, but I was still afraid of being discriminated against with a “WTF?” conviction. Trust me, there could be outfits that might get me a second look from the grocery shopping moms at the market on a Monday morning. But you know what? With my newly discovered self-confidence, I didn’t care. That’s one thing my age does give me: GUTS. If I am going to take things one day at a time, I sure as hell want to do them my way.

My first mission was to embrace the clothes and makeup that were outside my norm. A little more edgy than usual. Darker, sexier, borderline “goth”. I absolutely love the dictionary.com’s definition of Goth: “a person of no refinement; barbarian”. SERIOUSLY? When does a tightly-laced corset and thigh-high boots make you a barbarian? Ugh. Listen, I will never deny I like my leather, I like my lace, and I swoon over rhinestones and studs. I like piercings, heavy necklaces and endless bracelets. I embrace tattoos, pride myself on stunning make-up and like my BOLD auburn hair that stands out in a crowd. If that makes me unrefined then I challenge Webster to a cup of tea and a “special” brownie to justify it!

You may be wondering: Is she going to change her ways? Is she diving off the deep end? No. Oh hell no! You can’t change me. I’m one of a kind, that’s for sure! I have always been and will continue to be a bit brassy, super sassy and fierce beyond flames. But can I embrace a slightly side of me that never really showed too much before that’s been laying kind of dormant? Oh HELL YEAH! And I plan on doing just that.

Let’s talk about my inner-goth, shall we? Black leather coats, combat boots, studded bracelets and choker necklaces. Rock t-shirts, big hoop earrings, bold makeup and wild hair. All of these things have ALWAYS been a part of me, but the older and more knowledgeable I become, the more I realize I can pull all of this off in a tasteful yet saucy, spunky, gritty way! Want to know how a mid-life crisis MILF goes “goth”? Check out some of the items that are helping me with that:

NYXGlossNYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Transylvania” – Right now, matte is all the rage. And I can see why. That smooth, sultry look that you can only get from flat, matte formulas are hot especially with eye shadows, lips and nails. I have always been a high gloss person till I tried this product. What’s great is they come so any colors. Dark colors too! REALLY DARK, like “Transylvania”. It is not a black because it has just a hint of purple in it. But when I put it on thick, it is deep! The matte formula stays bold longer and also doesn’t dry out my lips. A formula and color I love with a price that’s even better! Perfect. Ulta, $5.99

BetterThanSexToo Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara – When mascaras all jumped on board with the little comb like plastic brushes, I thought I was in heaven. Something that coated each individual lash, keeping them separated. What we all want, right? Well…… eh, not so much. Even though I still used the random mascaras that I bought that promised me long, lush lashes I found myself going back to the old ways with a mascara that had a fluffy brush. The problem was that they were not easy to find anymore. And to look a little edgy, a little out there, you need thick, bold, black lashes. Coat after coat. THEN, I had a come-to-makeup-mecca moment. I went to one of my favorite makeup stores and got a free with purchase sample of Too Faced’s best products. In it was their epic eyeshadow primer, a cool as hell eye liner (we will get back to that), and a mini tube of the Better Than Sex mascara. When I first tried it, I wasn’t a big fan. I thought it was clumpy, thick and got everywhere. Blech. BUT then I realized if I gave the brush a quick wipe on a tissue, the amount left was perfect! I am still using the trial tube, but I went out and got a full sized tube. It isn’t waterproof but it is SUPER long wearing, has a rich color, helps curl the lashes and keeps them full and luscious. I can’t see me trying any other mascara for stunning, rocking lashes like these! Ulta, $22.00

TF LinerToo Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eye Liner in “Perfect Black” – Yes, this was also included in my little Too Faced goodie bag that was the gift with purchase at Ulta. I have a lot of favorite liners. Some are expensive and some are super cheap. This one, I have to say, is a little on the pricey side. But oh man, does it work! First, it needs to be sharpened which I love because I want my liners to have a tight, sharp line. Second, it is a gel-like formula so it goes on smooth without “skipping”. And lastly, it has a smudger on the opposite end if you want that smoky-eye look. This liner doesn’t move AT ALL! Even on my bottom waterline, it’s still there by day’s end. And when I want a deep, Goth look for my upper lid I just smudge it up and out for a smoldering look that will look all day and night. The pencil is a little longer than drugstore liners so you do get a bit more than usual. Ulta, $18.00

SallyNailsDark Nail Polish – Everyone tends to think black when thinking Goth colors, but when it comes to nails, you can do a variety of things. Today I am wearing flat white polish with black French tips. You can also do black polish with red hearts stenciled in. I like to wear black polish with a high silver sparkle on my ring finger. Be dark but different with you polish choices. You can still be stylish and chic without being a bubblegum pink perky. I like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in “Black to Black”, “Cinni-Snap” and “Grape Shifter”. Ulta, $4.99

GothAccessoriesAccessories – It is easy to find black tops, jeans, jackets, corsets in leather and lace but accessorizing your edgy outfits might be more of a challenge. I do a lot of shopping on EBay and Etsy when I am looking for something specific. There are also other specialty stores that you can browse through. I think when it comes to the general look I am seeking, I tend to look at chokers for necklaces; leather and spikes for bracelets and purses; big hoops or straight lines for earrings and anything else out of the ordinary. Don’t hesitate to look in thrift stores and consignment shops when it comes to finding unusual pieces. Someone else’s junk just might be your unique treasure. Look for these items and more at stores like Dolls Kill (dollskill.com), Rebel Circus (rebelcircus.com), and franchises like Plato’s Closet (my local one is Plato’s Closet in Schenectady NY). Rebel Circus and Plato’s are great to find out of the ordinary clothing too.

GothThriftClothes – I mentioned above about how to find some great pieces of clothing when you are feeling a little dark and rebellious. Sure, there are retail stores that entice people to buy different things for just that genre but it really isn’t about what it is…it’s about how it makes you feel. If you feel good in torn jeans, trying to wear leather pants isn’t going to allow the real you to come out. Try before you buy. And take a friend who gets it. When I first went looking for edgy clothes, I took one of my “burner” friends with me. Sometimes you hate an item on the rack and pass it right over. But if you bring a different set of eyes with you, they might lead you towards things you’d never give a second thought to. I tried on things WAY out of my usual comfort zone: graphic shirts, netting tops, cropped tees, torn jeans, dark leggings, and high boots. It was fun and gave me a bigger zone to look towards when shopping for clothes. Sure, I’m wearing jeans, combat boots, a flannel and a tee at my shop today, but if I decided to stop out to listen to a band and enjoy a drink with friends afterwards, I have something a little more extraordinary to slip into. For clothes like this? I look everywhere. Retail sale racks, thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, going out of business events. Any place that you might not find the norm. Not only can you get some cool things but you can get them at a really inexpensive price!

As the weather begins to warm up around me (I hope?), I am looking more and more forward to unpacking my newer, more eccentric clothes that I had picked up last year and have been adding to ever since. Not to mention, I am using this down time to play with my makeup pallet—trying new looks, styles, colors and designs. Every outfit is a piece of canvas and everything from the fashions, accessories, makeup, hair, nails and more are the paint! And what is the message you want your piece of art to convey? Well, my Sassinistas…. that’s called your attitude. Go out, be you, and create your piece of art!!

“Letters From The Loft” (?) ……

5 Nov

Im-SorryI feel bad. I really do. I have completely ventured off course in regards to my list of the “30 Days of Beauty”. I don’t even think I got through a third of it. That’s sad. My dilemma now is this: do I finish the list, taking however long it will take me, or do I just write a blurb here and there while mainly focusing on the things that are awesome and hot right now in the industry. Rather than miss an opportunity to show my readers and fans the things that are new, hot, steals or seasonal stuff, I think I will keep my Sassinistas in the loop and just drop a “30 Days” article in once in a while.

WriterNow, let’s talk about my writing for a second. The fact is, I haven’t done much of it lately. And my passion for sharing my love of this industry has been very minimal over the past year. I really don’t know why either. I love to write. I love to try new products and share my experiences with my readers. I love to teach. I love to find great sales and steals and share with all. I love to design and create new looks based on what is new, what is hot, as well as integrate existing fashions into today’s trends. So why haven’t I done just that? Have I been too busy with life? Has my other J.O.B. consumed my every waking second? Have I fallen out of love with fashion and glamour? OH HELL NO!! In fact, I’m seeing it through a different perspective lately. I just haven’t had the time, energy or ambition to… for lack of a better term… focus. And that’s not good. Not good at all. Oh what is a Sassy red head to do?

After a long thought process, I have decided to make a big move in regards to my writing career—I have decided to look into renting some space where I can go, by myself, to focus on my blog and my desire to be BIG in this industry. Carrie Bradshaw had her Manhattan “Loft” in Sex and the City, and it worked for her. Why couldn’t it work for me? I could use that time to either research, test, write or brainstorm about what I want to share with my fans and readers in regards to items that I have discovered or fell in love with. I would need a space where I can spread out endless magazines and circle pages with a big marker of what I think is awesome. I could find things that are fitting for the season, things I discovered, items I have tried and loved, creations or concoctions I have made for my skin, and of course, research things that may or may not–in my opinion–live up to the hype. The time to go and write would be my own. The space would be free from distraction. I would be able to put myself and my writing first without interruption. It would be exactly what I need to refocus on my passion.

LoftA friend of mine recently rented a small apartment in a very historical part of a town not too far from where I live. He asked me if I could watch his place one day while some electrical work was being done by his landlord. He had to be at work and couldn’t take time off to be there so I said yes. To kill time, I decided to fire up my pathetically dusty laptop and try to write. BOY DID I! I began this article and started my next one, more than I have done in months. Even with the maintenance men there, I was able to get stuff edited and photos downloaded. I had a beautiful view out of the old, classic framed windows to inspire me. It overlooks cobblestone streets, gorgeous foliage, with only sounds coming from the bells of the old churches and the occasional car driving by. When I first saw it, all I could think of was Carrie’s apartment. It was almost exactly the same, except for the fact there are no designer shoe stores nearby. C’est la vie. But there is everything else—-which is exactly what my career needs. My friend is only there a few hours a night, and I would only need it a few hours each day. Professionally AND practically, it’s perfect! And for less than the cost of a bottle of Xanax, a daily cappuccino (or three) and a portion of my sanity, I could pay a small amount towards expenses such as electricity, tea and toilet paper and write without bother. All I would need to buy is a desk, a chair and a surge protector. I mentioned it to him and he thinks it’s a great idea. I’m already considering adding a new section to my blog called “Letters from the Loft” where any topic is free reign.
I. Freaking. Love. It.!!

So, without bogging you down with details of obvious necessities that this fashion writer needs for her future work area, I’m going to address things that ANY working woman might find they need in their “space” at work. Of course, these might be a little more glamour oriented, but that’s perfectly okay. It is TOTALLY fine to be a high-profiled woman who has the things she needs to ROCK her job and her look…and that includes me! Here are a few things that I would make sure sit by me at my desk in “The Loft”:

GoopBurtsBeesAlmondHand Cream: Interior environments for us women can be detrimental to our hands. Between shaking them, typing with them, writing with them, washing them, not to mention dry-as-hell interior heating sources, our hands can get parched as a pile of fall leaves. The texture and appearance of a woman’s hands can give her age away faster than any driver’s license can. That’s a true fact. It is especially important to keep them hydrated with a fast-absorbing cream during the day so you don’t leave your work area a greasy mess and an extra emollient cream at night to lock in moisture while you sleep. If at all possible, use a good hand cream with SPF to protect them from sun damage that can come in through work windows, cars, sunroofs as well as sun/wind/snow glare. If you find a hand cream you like that doesn’t have an SPF in it? Just transfer the hand cream to a small jar and add a good, gentle SPF to it. Sassy likes: For day…Supergoop! Handcream at Sephora (A Best of Beauty by Allure award winner). Sephora, $12/1 oz., $34/10 oz. For night…Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream  (2013 Natural Health Beauty Award Winner). Drug stores, $9.00

eosBlackberryFGGKateLip Balm: I never hide the fact that I have a serious weak spot for ALL lip products. Sometimes when I am not going out in public, I just want a good balm that will moisturize without question. If I think I am going to have to interact with anyone, I prefer something slightly jazzy with a bit of sparkle or a hint of color. It is kind of a pain to keep two things with me, but I’ve carried much heavier things in my purse. Plus, at The Loft, I can leave two without causing clutter. Remember to look for a lip balm/tint that focuses primarily on the condition of your lips and less on the scent or flavor. Sassy likes: For just moisture… eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere Blackberry Nectar. Drug & retail stores, $3.29; For moisture plus a tint… For Goodness Grape Lip Tint in “Kate”, a natural peachy pink shade loaded with oils and butters to keep your lips pretty and smooth. Forgoodnessgrape.com, $9

SallyHansenTripleRevlonEmeryStrong Nail Necessities: Oh you KNOW this has happened to you! You sliced or chipped a nail while doing something at your job and that one nail file you keep in your drawer is now being used by Tom in accounting to try and fix his picture frame. *shakes head*. I don’t recommend keeping anything spectacular or expensive to mend a nail at work, but you need to carry something. ALWAYS carry something! Get an inexpensive package of nail files and put one in your purse, one in your pen holder, one in your desk, one in a file marked “Hit List”, whatever you need to do. With using scissors, typing, picking off tape, or bumping them into desks, you can be sure your nails will take a beating. Keep them strong with a good protector or top coat and a go-anywhere file in your work space just in case. Sassy likes: Sally Hansen Triple Strong Advanced Gel Nail Fortifier. Walmart, $8.19; Revlon Compact Emery Boards (pack of 24). Walmart, $2.00.

Paul_Mitchell_Freeze_and_Shine_Super_Spray_500ml_16.9oz__87755.1345152407.328.245

paul_mitchell_express_dry_stay_strongHair Hold: Even if you don’t move all day, your hair will. I am not quite sure how that happens, but it does. Sometime during the course of my day I will grab a quick peek in the mirror. I check to make sure my eye makeup isn’t running down my face, my lips are soft and tinted, my skin isn’t shiny or splotchy, and my hair doesn’t look like frazzled. If I have used the right makeup, I can be pretty sure the first three are fine. But the hair always seems to have a mind of its own. Of course, there are a lot of products that can literally glue my hair into a Barbie & Ken plastic look, but that’s so not me. I am not a big fan of the helmet head look. I’ve tried many products to keep a look without feeling crispy and without falling flat due to weather. There are only a few on my bathroom counter that gives me the hold without feeling sticky. And that’s definitely a good thing. Sassy likes: Paul Mitchell’s Express Dry Stay Strong Hair Spray, $18.99 & Paul Mitchell’s Freeze and Shine Spray, $26.68. Available at select salons through paulmitchell.com

LiveColorfullysephora_atomizerA Touch of Scent: I don’t like to wear a lot of perfume if I am going to be around a lot of people I don’t know. I wish some people would follow the rule that just because YOU can’t smell yourself doesn’t mean others can’t. Sample spritzers of perfume that come free with purchase or a try-size at a place like Sephora can be a life saver if you want a touch of scent to make yourself smile or to add to a application from earlier in the day. I am a BIG BIG BIG fan of the perfume rollerballs. I can carry them with me when I’m out and about as well as have a scent I like without investing a ton of money with the chance I’ll get sick of it or worse, have it “spoil” from age or elements. If you have found a scent you like, I suggest getting a couple of sample sprays from a place like eBay to keep at your desk or in your work. You can also get yourself a small refillable atomizer to carry with you with your favorite scent or maybe get some empty rollers to carry a few. You can change it up depending on your mood or season. Either way, it helps you feel refreshed to add a light burst of your favorite scent when you need a mood or motivation boost! Sassy likes: “Live Colorfully” Rollerball by Kate Spade, $25; Sephora Collection Color Universal Atomizers, $16.00. Both available at Sephora.com

celestial-seasonings-1024x682Good Teas: Not everyone is a coffee person. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but on days I need to stay relaxed, keep my head, focus, and maybe warm up a bit, I am a big fan of different flavor teas. I like loose teas when I have the time and where with all to make them and enjoy them, but that isn’t always possible. If I am in writing mode, I prefer to grab one all ready to go. I had won a contest with Celestial Seasonings a few years back which got me hooked on many of their flavors. It’s still my go-to tea when I need a warm “ahhh” moment from a beverage that is just good for me, inside and out! Sassy likes: Celestial Seasonings “Sugar Plum Spice” — a flavor that is just like the name; “Tension Tamer” that is a combination of peppermint, ginger & lemongrass; and “Honey Vanilla Chamomile” that is sweet and relaxing. The Sleepytime teas are a great relaxer as well, in great flavors like “Decaf Lemon Jasmine” which also helps with a cold at night and “Sleepytime Peach” with its calming, gentle peach flavor. Oh, and don’t forget an awesome mug. It’s a must! Sassy likes: Celestial Seasonings various teas available at select markets and online at celestialseasonings.com, prices vary.

As I think about my work space in the tattoo shop, I can say that many of the items I keep there are pretty much a necessity for my daily existence to maintain the look and feel I want throughout the day. Of course, there might be some of you who need extras and some who might need less. But for me? These items are kind of a “go to” list for when I just want to try and get through the day looking my best. So tell me… did I miss anything? Do you have a must-have item that is with you in your purse or at your desk every day? Let me know what it is! I’d love to see what necessities are must haves for you! Maybe they will even become a must-have for me too!

…and in the meantime? I will keep you posted on my status with the Loft. New endeavors have to begin somewhere. Personally? I think my writing career may have turned over a new leaf right here!
LetterBook

When One Isn’t Enough…

13 Jun

imageI am guessing that if you ask any true fashion- or glamourista how many pairs of black shoes they own, the response of “just one” would be slim to none. There are times we need several STYLES of something in the same color, but only a few of us can actually say we have MANY colors/sizes of the same item or brand. As I put on my eyeshadow this morning, I am one of those select few. Certain makeup items will jazz me so that I will actually go to the store to get more of the one that I bought to try. Although it is not as frequent, I will also find an an article of clothing that I like so much that I will get it in every style and color. I guess, as a fashion follower, this is every brand’s dream. Get the buyer hooked. No matter what the competition offers, they know they have you as a loyal customer to at least one thing.

So, I guess you’re asking yourself, “What item does Sassy have an abundance of colors of in her makeup drawer or closet?” Let me answer that for you:

imageLancôme Eye Shadow – Once upon a time, I was a winner of a huge bag of goodies from Glamour Magazine. Holy bonanza, the stuff I got was insane. Makeup from high end designers, a flat iron, perfumes, brushes, bags… it was crazy. One thing I got was a Lancôme eyeshadow in “blue”. I thought I might never use it because I never wear blue on my eyes. In fact, other than jeans, I don’t wear blue anything. But this color actually coordinated perfectly with denim and I began using it as contour color often. The formula was soft, easy to apply (wet or dry) and had an all-day wear without fading or falling out. I was so happy with it that I picked up a few other shades. Then a few more. And a few more. I probably have over 20 single Lancôme shadows in my collection now and I always have a combination to compliment my look of the day. Do I need more? Probably not. Will I GET more? Most likely. Macy’s, $20.00

imageBuxom Full-On Lip Polish – Again, let’s talk about the “gift with purchase” program shall we? Way back when, I got my birthday mini gift from Sephora. It was a nice mini lip pencil and a small tube of a Buxom lip color in a very neutral shade (no longer available). I used it often. I loved the thick consistency and that little bit of tingle that made my lips fresh and plump. Although the gloss gave my lips a natural look and kept them moisturized, it didn’t have an “all day” wear. Didn’t matter to me though. In almost 100 different shades, there is a color for anything, anytime, anywhere. A touch up now and then doesn’t bother me at all. It must not–I own over 20 and am still adding! Sephora, $19.00

imageRimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner – A while back, I took it upon myself to test drug store pencil liners against high-end department and speciality store brands. I did my research and tried three popular brands of each. With a high recommendation, one of the drug store brands I tried was ScandalEyes. I will be honest…I was hesitant to put a lot of stock into into its reviews. Most Rimmel eye products I had tried in the past was a serious fail for me. Smudging, running, flaking. Not good. But it got rave reviews from many consumer and reader’s choice awards so I put it in. My first thought?…GREAT color selection! Even though I’m usually a strictly black waterline girl, I loved the fact they also had a Sparkling Black with a hint of shimmer, a cool turquoise for a layering look with pop, and an epic silver to layer with other colors for a dramatic look. These colors, no lie, held their own all day without fail. Not a bit of smudging, no running, stay put color, a wide variety of shades. I like that they can be sharpened. I like this because I can get two of each pencil–one that I can give a crisp, sharp tip to for fine lining, and the other can be more blendable for a bit of smudging. Do I need two pencils for lining? Hell no, I could just use one. But at this great price? Why not! Last count, I think I had eight of these liners–two in each black and one each in four other shades. If they came out with others? I’d definitely be quick to pick one (or more) up! Ulta, $4.49

imagePINK by Victoria’s Secret Athletic Hoodies/Tops – Trust me when I say I am not a name shopper. I know good brands and what would be considered a good deal on some names or designers. But do I fill my closet on just high-end fashions? Oh HELL NO! I am all about style, fit, and what I like. That simple. But when a name or brand has something I like, that fits good, and is stylish? I’ll set aside some dough-rae-mee to get what I like. If I can land a sale or deal? Even better. And that’s what happened when I found this line by PINK at VS. It started with a limited edition melon-colored athletic hoodie that I fell in love with at a retail store. I got a coupon and immediately ordered another color (flecked grey) after the first wear. When the line was discontinued, I moved from a full zip to a curved-hem half zip in Minty Fresh. Am I done? Probably not yet. I got one more coupon in the mail and will probably get another curved half-zip before the month is out. They are easy to wash, comfortable to wear, stylish and eye catching. My kind of fashion!
PINK, $45.95

imageGuess? Jeans – Here is another case where the name doesn’t sell the product…the look and fit does. We all know Guess? jeans have been around since 1981, making them one of THE most popular brands of denim for both men and women. Since then, Guess has introduced many other fashions and accessories. Ranging from t-shirts and coats to jewelry, fragrances, purses and more, Guess continues to be a big name in the fashion industry. The Guess brand in Sassy’s house is HUGE! I have several pieces of stylish jewelry, gorgeous handbags, shoes, coats, t-shirts and more. But what I have the most of and continue to add to often is my collection of jeans. I remember purchasing my first pair of Guess jeans after a mini windfall over 8 years ago. Fact: I still have those jeans. They have never faded, lost their shape, shrunk, ripped, nothing! That’s a good product if you ask me. Another reason I love my Guess jeans? I take the same size every time. I don’t have to worry about a different fit or style. The size I order in skinny jeans is the size I order in straight cut and that’s the same size I order in boot cut. No “guessing”, not wondering. I love that. Plus it makes it easier to keep an eye out for sales too. Right now? I’d be willing to bet I have over ten pairs of Guess jeans in all different styles and colors. And I’d also be willing to bet they will ALWAYS be a fashionable choice. Guess or Guess Factory, prices vary.

imagee.l.f. Makeup Brushes – Any artist will tell you that the painting is only as good as the materials you used to create it. I honestly have to say that you if you bought a high end foundation, blush, eye shadow, powder, lipstick, etc. then applied them with a cotton ball and a few Q-tips, my guess is that you wouldn’t achieve that epic look you just saw in Glamour magazine. There is no doubt that there are probably more makeup brushes that do different things than you could count. Are all necessary for a very nice, professional glamour look? If you are a makeup artist working Fashion Week in NYC, then yes. But for home? No. Hell no! No more than a few are necessary for an above-average, put together do-it-yourself look. A long time ago when I decided to work with makeup, my first glamour priority was to get myself some professional brushes. I spent a lot. Probably more than I should have. Do I like them? I love them! They are about eight years old now, haven’t shed, wash easy, kept their shape, and only a little wear & tear on the wooden handles. But, I have to ask myself: were all these brushes worth what I spent? Probably not,…but they are cool! Recently, my daughter bought an e.l.f. Concealer Brush to help her with her mineral coverup. She loved the brush so much, she went out and got three others. They were soft, non-shedding, good handle length, easy to clean. So now I was intrigued. Were brushes priced from $1+ comparable to ones I had paid up to $40 for? I guess it depends on what you want to do with them, the types you want, and the look you want. But looking back, I think many of the e.l.f. brushes would have been just fine for a beginners collection to use various types of makeup with professional results. My favorites? e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush, $3; Defining Eye Brush, $1; Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush, $3; Small Stipple Brush, $3; Lip Defining Brush, $3. I probably use one of these brushes each day, find them an asset to my makeup look as well as my wallet, and give my already large professional brush collection a great boost! Walmart, $1 and up

So, you have my specific list of frequent items you’ll find in my glamour routine, all in various shades, shapes and styles. I’m sure there are others, but these are necessary for my own edge and panache to create a look I am happy with. They can have subtle differences, but these precious few that I turn to almost daily gives me that extra hint of jazz and confidence in my step. How about you? Have a go-to line or brand that you would own everything of if you had the chance? Feel free to confess to Sassy… tell me you secret glamour addiction. I promise I won’t tell!
image