Tag Archives: lipstick

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!

Fave Beauty Companies-2016

19 Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Define: “Steampunk”…

24 Jun

SteampunkCartoonSteampunk is…a joyous fantasy of the past, allowing us to revel in a nostalgia for what never was. It is a literary playground for adventure, spectacle, drama, escapism and exploration. But most of all it is fun!” ― George Mann

From the Oxford dictionary:
steampunk
Pronunciation: /ˈstēmˌpəNGk/

1.1 A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction:
the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist.

I don’t think without a proper dictionary definition, the steampunk style could be understood. Even with the definition? It’s hard to process. Anyone directly in the alternative world of fashion and design may get it. But many on the outside looking in may be baffled. I tend to think of it like this: take a Harry Potter style, give it a punk edge with some designer style and you are on your way to a steampunk look.

Steampunk is definitely not front and center in the glamour & fashion world. In fact, it’s a little underground which makes it that much more eclectic and romantic. It is definitely built around the individual and each look is unique. No one goes into Macy’s and asks for the steampunk section of the store. But that doesn’t mean you can get a look there either.

As my fire-spinning evolves, so does my look. I find myself looking at things that I like, with an edgy flair, and a mystical aura. Do I still love my Manolos? Hell yeah. But you might find them next to a pair of worn black suede combat boots with wired taffeta laces. What can I say? Style is about individuality. That’s why I love this industry.

So you want to look at some steampunk inspired items? I happen to like these items when I’ve got the S-punk urge:

Makeup: Because steampunk is a genre which embraces individuality, no makeup look is right or wrong. There are a few things that can give your look more of an edge than a general look.
**Dark lips are always a plus. Heavy outlined lips, true red lip colors or black matte lipsticks or glosses are a nice look.
**Stenciled designs such as gears, feathers and scrolls around the eye/temple area is cool. You can also find temporary tattoos to give you this look. Enhance them with black or metallic liner for an extra pop.
**Dark gold or copper eyeshadow is a MUST! And the more sparkle and glitter, the better. Add a touch of glittery black liner for a deep look. A touch of the shadow in the middle of your bottom lip looks awesome too.
Sassy Likes: Eye Kandy Cosmetics Eye Kandy Glitter in Taffy (Copper Penny), $7.50; Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”, $20.00 – Sephora

Clothes: Take a mixture of the Victorian era romance, elements from the Industrial Revolution from the 1800’s and a hint of the post-apocalyptic era and you may have an idea of what the general steampunk look is like. The key is individualism–wear what you feel comfortable in and feel it represents the style that reflects you. Key pieces to look for are long, flowing dresses, regal jackets and bodices, ruffled and/or lacy tops, unleveled hemmed skirts and more. I advise people to look at what other steampunk lovers wear and see what jumps out at them. Remember to try before you buy. What is good for some may not be good for you. Looking at styles presently in your closet may give you an idea of what types of s’punk clothes might interest you… if any! It may not be for you, but if it is, there are lots of places to shop. Start with your local thrift and consignment shops. You’d be surprised what treasures you may find there. You can even find a base and embellish it the way you want. If you are looking for something specific, there are several online stores that offer options such as SteampunkEmporium.com, pyramidcollection.com or my favorite rebelsmarket.com
Sassy Likes: Rebel’s Market Black Corset & Buckles Halter Top, $32.40; Belladonna Corset, $44.95 – goodgoth.com

 

Accessories: Your steampunk look most likely will never be ordinary but accessories can help take it to another level. These items can fall into categories that range from head to toe. They include hats, boots, jewelry and everything in between. When it comes to jewelry, the key thing to look for is bronze. Not necessarily the metal but the color! Necklaces and bracelets with old keys, buckles and chains are a perfect add-on. Chokers made of lace, velvet or leather accented with gems, gears, keys and locks are a pretty pick as well. Boots are a popular choice for footwear. All boot heights including knee high lace up, mid-calf with buckles or low Mary Janes are always popular. When it comes to shoes, dark colors of lace, velvet or leather look fab. And those cute mini hats are always cool if you can pull them off!
Sassy Likes: Necklaces from @Fishscalecreations on Etsy; UGG “Simmens” leather boots, $169.95 – Nordstrom; Steampunk Velvet Top Hat, $19.95 -yandy.com; Black leather metal studded fingerless gloves, $22.00 – rebelsmarket.com

Row

If punk is a little extreme for you ladies but still want to stand out from the crowd, see if the individuality of the steampunk genre is your cup of tea (or poison). If you would like to know more about the why’s, who’s and what’s, check out the links below to give you more information. And as always…. keep me posted on your finds, looks, styles and so on. I’d love to see and share!!

www.steamfashion.livejournal.com: This link gives you a LOT of information. What steampunk is, your individual style, plus it’s history. A great start.

www.pennlive.com: If you want to master a steampunk look or costume, this is a great tool. I love how it talks about the recycling aspect of the look. It doesn’t have to be new, especially since the theme is Victorian based anyways.

thesteampunkempire.com: I love the fact that this is a discussion group that addresses questions you might have. The contributors are people just like you and me that need answers too!

Enjoy and be Steamsavvy, Sassinistas!!
Stopwatch Fierce

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

11 Nov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Days Of Beauty–Day 1…

1 Jul

30DaysHere we go. July is here and we are going to begin the 30 Days of Beauty challenge. It’s also the “Can You Remember To Write & Post Something For 30 Days” challenge for me. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to do this. Let’s see if it works.

So Day 1 is “Favorite Lipstick”. Actually, this was difficult for me since I am more of a gloss girl. Plus, my very favorite lipstick is actually older than dirt and has been discontinued. I looked in my lipstick drawer to see if any of the ones that were in there were ones I would grab on an average day. And you know what?… There was.

A few months back I was asked to test, try and review a new lipstick by New York Color (NYC). It was a new, longer lasting formula with fade-resistant properties, long lasting shine, and didn’t feather or bleed. After my first use, it lived up to the hype. I really liked how it was long wearing but didn’t dry out my lips. There were many shades in all colors and hues. And the price? Awesome! I’ve paid 10x more for a lipstick that didn’t last half the time!

After a week of testing, I realized that this was a lipstick I could invest a few bucks in to get a couple more shades. I went with a very light frosted pink and also a rich chocolate shade. My daughter found the pink tube one day, wore it, and it’s been MIA from my vanity ever since. The chocolate shade gets used more in the fall. But the initial shade I tested–Sugar Plum–goes with everything. So when the day requires a bright, steady, non-drying lipstick with long lasting color, this is what I turn to:

Day 1: Favorite Lipstick
NYC (New York Color) Expert Last Lip Color in “Sugar Plum”. Found at drug stores, retail stores and at http://www.newyorkcolor.com, $1.99
NYC

Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Pat dry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soothing Somethings When Your Sick….

26 Feb

imageYup, it’s been forever since I’ve been on my blog. I’m such a slug lately. Oh I have a ton of reasons (err….excuses) on what’s kept me away, all of which seem legit. Living in Upstate NY, I can easily say I’ve been trying not too freeze to death, I can’t type with gloves on inside, I shiver so much my spell check gave up on me. I honestly have been fighting the flu for 2 weeks now. Not a cold with the sniffles-flu. The full-blown 102 fever, body aches, hacking cough, runny nose flu. The kind that only responds to one medicine, and it costs $125. With how horrible I felt?…I would have sold my car for the right medicine, I was so sick. I’m finally back on my feet, just in time to deal with another week of below zero windchills. Not to be a stick in the mud, but the this weather SUCKS and I’m sick of it. I won’t complain too much though because I would never leave. I love the other three seasons too much.

So, while I was battling the flu, I bundled up and tried to find things to do. In bed. Without moving. Other than sipping tea and watching endless daytime repeats of Law and Order: SVU it was hard to find things to keep me occupied. Shopping on EBay is always a good time killer, but it can get expensive. I think I even read magazines older than my cat. What other things did I find to humor me, keep busy but still rest? Here are a select few:

image1. LA Girl Luxury Creme Lip Color in Romance–Thanks to the social media Pinterest (which in all reality is just online hounding) I found an epic lipstick that someone had posted. This color was WAY out of my comfort zone. It was a dark, creamy shade without a frost or high gloss finish. I have never seen this brand in any of my local stores, so I took a chance and ordered a new one from Ebay. It came fine without any problems. And the color? AWESOME!! Definitely looks bold against my pale skin and goes great with my auburn hair. The color went on in the same shade as the picture and I was thrilled. Not necessarily and everyday color, but definitely a color for a special event or night on the town! eBay, from $4.75

image2. Style & Co. Stripe Lace Pointelle Tunic— After being stuck in bed for five days hearing the wind howl outside my window, I realized I’d never leave the house unless I knew I had a few extra sweaters to keep me warm. This one sweater really caught my eye. It was long and flowy which I like. It did have a loose knit pattern to it, but with a long or short tee under it, it would be toasty warm. Then, come spring, it could be worn alone or with just a cami for a lighter feel. This sweater was also a big deal because it had dark blue stripes. I NEVER wear blue! I don’t think it looks good on me, but with the white against it, it actually looks nice. A great investment piece on clearance! Macy’s, $38.99 (discount coupon codes available)

image3. Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Polish in “Too Haute”–Nothing can lift a mood like a new manicure with a jazzy color. Where I work, it’s easy to blow a new mani in 2-3 days with all the picking, scraping, bumping and cleaning I do with my nails. I don’t want to weaken my nails with a salon gel color so I want the longest lasting nail polish I can get with a good formula, a brush & a topcoat. I have used the Miracle Gel Polish before and although it still chips after a while, I probably get twice as long with my manicures using this formula than any other. And the Too Haute color? A bright, bold raspberry purple that can’t be overlooked! CVS, $9.99

image4. Jamberry Nails in Leopard–Sometimes your datebook doesn’t even allow you to do your nails nice twice a week. Because time is of the essence and healthy nails are a must, some people are stepping away from salon gel colors and doing funky manicures at home. “Jamicures” are a big deal right now. They are kind of like a stick-on adhesive manicure, but I find that they stay on much longer than regular stick ons. I think this has to do with the fact you need to warm them a bit to make them stick better. Stuck in bed, I found it easy to have a good pair of cuticle scissors, a tea light candle, and a pair of tweezers. With clean nails, free from lingering polish, lotion or lint, I take the size I need and hold it with my tweezers. I hold the Jamberry nail cover about 4″ above the tea light’s flame. When the Jam begins to “curl” slightly from the heat, I press it on to the bare nail and hold. When it cools and is stuck on, I trim it around my own nail so it looks even and pretty. When a busy week is ahead of me where doing a manicure 2-3 times is too time consuming, a Jamicure is a great solution to having jazzy nails with stay-power! Jamberry designs are often purchased through home parties or independent consultants. I get mine from my fave Jam Family member Jessica. www.facebook.com/jamcapades, $15 for 4+ full manicures

image5. ForGoodnessGrape Lip Balm in Chocolate Ice Cream Soda–Fact: when you are sick, you blow your nose about every 10 minutes, coughing in between. You try to drink frequently to stay hydrated. That does help on the inside but the fact remains that your lips will feel like potato chips by about day two. I’ve always been a big fan of FGG lip balms, scrubs & tints. But when the body is calling in sick, I call in the big guns to keep my lips moist. Their formula is based with different butters and oils to help rehydrate and lock in moisture. Then they create unique flavors you could probably never imagine! And their prices are so reasonable, it gives you a chance to get a few to try. Oh, and if that’s not enough… rubbing a little bit on your finger to moisten that sore, flaky nose helps big time too… with no burning! It doesn’t matter how sick you are, we all know we are a sucker for an ice cold chocolate soda whenever possible. Okay, well I am. Even if my stomach is flippy, a little bit of chocolate that I can at least smell can bring a smile to even a sick girl’s face! ForGoodnessGrape.com, $4.00

The cold and flu season is not fun for anyone. We can follow the doctor’s orders, take our meds, get a lot of rest, and drink endless fluids. Although these things might be good to feel better faster, it’s hard not to get bored in the process. Getting ideas from magazines for the new season is always a good call. Trying new makeup styles can be fun too. Just remember to keep the germs away and you will be back into fashionista mode in no time!

Is There Ever A Limit?

16 Jun

Overload

Today, I had an unexpected day off from my j*o*b*. I wasn’t too upset. A weekday to myself to do what I wanted is something that hasn’t come my way in months. Don’t get me wrong–I love my job at the tattoo shop. It’s fun, it’s different, I get to meet great people, and it keeps me out of the makeup aisles at drug and department stores. Except today.

I don’t think I was off the phone with my boss for two seconds before I was grabbing my comfy shoes, keys, purse, cell phone and credit card and was in the car heading for the mall. It was like old times. In my early days as a writer, I would grab my tablet, pick up a drive-thru coffee, then head out for hours at a time testing, trying, sampling and sniffing the latest and greatest additions to the glamour market. Now, I don’t get to play makeup as often as I used to, but when I do get the chance–like today–I take full advantage. And I did.

I did have a goal in mind when I left the house: find a rich, deep, violet purple lip gloss with a lot of shine and sparkle. That was it. One thing. Simple, right? Wrong. Not when someone releases a glamaholic in a local Sephora store. Opportunities? Endless. Overwhelming? Not a chance.

With one item to find, I entered my makeup Mecca and began my search. I went right to the department of the brand I liked the most, but to my dismay they did not have the color I was looking for. So, the worst case scenario followed: I had to search the ENTIRE STORE–front to back, top to bottom–to seek out what I wanted. The question remains…did I find what I was looking for? Not really. Did I find other mind blowing cool shit? Ab-so-freaking-lutely!!!

So, what did I land in my makeup haul today? Let’s take a look:

Purple glossSEPHORA COLLECTION Ultra Shine Lip Gloss: I know I talked about these in my last blog post, but seriously I can’t get enough of these little gems. Sephora’s ultra shine lip glosses come in a huge variety of colors, including sheers, shimmers and glitters. I got one as a free with purchase with my last order (#11-Shiny Pin-up Pink – bright fuchsia pink shine) and turned around and in less than a week, ordered six more: #07 Shimmery Purple Red – raspberry with opalescent shimmer; #13 Reflex Miami Pink – sheer pink opalescent shimmer; #17 Shimmery Golden Beige – light caramel with opalescent shimmer; #19 Shimmery Black Currant – rose wine with opalescent shimmer; #49 Metallic Copper – dark bronze with a hint of shimmer; #50 Rose Petal – rich rose shine. So I was covered right? Wrong. I wear a lot of purple in the summer and found I was scrambling to find a shade for those fashion items. When I went to the store today, they did not have the Sephora gloss in a shade I liked. Phooey. But that didn’t stop me from grabbing two others that will work as well: # 21 Shiny Honey Purple – sheer grape shine; and the very evasive #24 Reflex Dazzling Violet – sheer purple opalescent shimmer (sold out online for over two months!). They weren’t exactly what I wanted, but they were still awesome. ($14.00)

LipstickSEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Shine Lipstick: With a deep purple lipgloss by Sephora being out of reach, I decided to try the next best thing: a good lipstick. I found a great color with #47 Heartbreaker – Glossy – sheer royal purple. This lipstick is very similar to the shade of gloss I wanted, plus the lipstick is glossy as well and not your usual matte. I’m not anti-lipstick at all, just more if a fan of a gloss. I am in fact an odd bird because I am one who does love the mega high shine and stickiness you get from a gloss. I know, call me weird. But this great lipstick color certainly can be jazzed up with one of those high shine glosses I purchased as well. A great combo of endless possibilities. ($12.50)

Grey shadowSEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow: I was going to BROWSE the store for a not-to-dark, definitely-not-silver eye shadow. While I was looking at the Sephora line of lip products, I couldn’t help but to glance over the eye shadow section. And, of course, Sephora has samples of every color of every item, so I began finger painting my hands and arms with shades of greys (no book title pun intended) till I actually found one I liked. The #58 Winter In London – Grey Shimmer was exactly what I wanted. Not too dark and smokey so it would look great for daytime blending. It had enough shimmer to make my eyes pop but not too much glitter to make me look like a stri… umm… girl wearing too much glitter. This will be an awesome color to play with! ($13.00)

SpongeSEPHORA COLLECTION The Perfectionist Makeup Sponge: Not too much to say about this purchase. With warmer temps coming soon, I wanted a makeup sponge so I could apply a nice thin coat of foundation and build when and where necessary. This sponge was on clearance, was the perfect size, and hell… it was purple too. ($7.00)

BrushSEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Mineral Powder Brush: This was an item I had been considering buying for some time, and since I was already at the store, I said why not. Being able to pick up, try, feel, touch all of the brushes made the decision to get this one easy. I knew I want a powder brush that wasn’t too big and too loose. It had to be somewhat dense to get to the areas I wanted with precision but still soft to gently apply either my mineral foundation or loose setting powder. Plus I wanted a flat–not rounded–top. This brush is perfect. The antibacterial synthetic bristles makes it perfect for picking up light or dense powders. Easy peasy! ($24.00)

Acqua di gioiaGIORGIO ARMANI Acqua di Gioia Hydrating Body Mist: ALERT! ALERT! TOTALLY UNEXPECTED PURCHASE! Of course when anyone goes to a makeup counter, they always sniff a few if the newest scents that have come out. Typically, I like to buy my fragrances in rollerballs. That way they don’t “spoil” and loose their original scent if I don’t use them up quick (and I never do!). None of the newest rollerballs tickled my fancy. In fact, many were heavy on rose notes which I am not a big fan of AT ALL! A couple were too spicy or woodsy for me in the summer months, a few others were similar to others I already had. Then I picked up this bottle. Without reading the description, I sniffed the bottle and I liked what I smelled. Then I sprayed it on my wrists. *GASP!* It was white! Yeah, not clear like other perfumes, it was watery white. Then I rubbed it in. Ooooo, it was silky! Totally fascinated and intrigued by this point, I read the bottle: hydrating body mist. So, it wasn’t drying like an alcohol based fragrance. It actually provided some moisture. So I decided to break out the iPhone and get some further deets. I discovered the scent “begins with a “mojito” inspired sensual blend of crushed mint leaves, warmed by brown sugar and mixed with the zest of Italian Limone. Then, feminine floral notes emerge with joyous hints of aquatic Jasmine, dew of Peony and subtle traces of pink pepper.” Now, we take those scents which I like, infuse it into an all-over moisturizing body mist, and you’ve got my newest love for the season! Yeay me! ($36.00)

Okay, okay, so I dropped some coin today. But I can easily say nothing I bought will go to waste. I’ve already used one of the glosses (broke it open in the car, what can I say?) and spritzed my skin twice with the Body Mist. I’m sure, depending on my attire tomorrow, most of the makeup items will get used as well. That’s the difference between a new makeup rookie and a glamour guru like myself. Makeup rookies make a purchase to try a new look. Glamour gurus make a beauty investment to enhance and accessorize an already established ensemble.

Of course, then there’s me. I just like to buy cool stuff!

OCC Lip Tars & Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique

14 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The main thing I really liked about Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique are that I can get a rich, long-lasting color with moisturizers and shine in ONE easy-to-carry product. We all know many big named cosmetics offer these things but not all in one tube. Sometimes you need as many as four! Well hellz bellz, I ain’t got time for that! The more simple you can make my routine, the better. And this gloss is certainly simple!

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

Check out LeCosmetique’s site HERE

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

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

Sassy’s Product of the Day….

17 May


I can’t hide the fact that I am a lip-product junkie. Lipstick, gloss, stains, balms, you name it…. I’ve probably tried it and/or owned it. When I finally embraced the fact that I had been blessed with full, luscious lips–Anjolina Jo-lips lips–I became a fanatic about lip products. Honestly, I’ll try just about anything. Shiny, sparkly, bright, matte, frosted, glittery, you name it. I’ll either love it or hate it (there really is no in between) and will make my thoughts known. Like right now.

I discovered Maybelline’s SuperStay 24 Color for lips close to a year ago when it first came out. Although I like my glamour to have a pop of color on my lips, I’m not too fond of having to check it or touch it up every 2-3 hours. That’s why I’ve been a fan of GOOD long-wearing lip colors. Many of them make the claim to last for hours and keep your lips healthy, but most don’t live up to the hype. Some even dry my lips out to the point where potato chips have more moisture. I saw the ads for SuperStay 24 Color in almost every magazine on the market when it first came out. I tried it, and loved it immediately. There are MANY (30) shades to choose from, and the color and moisturizer are conveniently packaged in one slim tube. I’m sure if you are looking for a specific shade, you will find one on the shade list which can be found here.

Even though I already own about seven shades of this great product, I felt the need for another color–something more vibrant, more bold, more spring. And I found it. Maybelline’s SuperStay 24 Color in “Lasting Lilac” is not a shade for the faint of heart. It is a bright lilac combined with a touch of light pink with an iridescent shimmer to it. I have to say, alone it has a MAJOR “wow” factor. And that is not a bad thing! But what is even better? It blends well with any of the other SuperStay 24 colors to create something totally different and unique! It’s great for day and night wear and will last and last. For example, I put it on today at 1pm and it’s still on even now…at 11pm! (FYI? Eye makeup remover takes it off at night with no problems.) If you feel your lips getting a little dry during the day, just pop off the end that contains the built-in moisturizer and give your lips a little hydration and love.

So are you looking for a great makeup item to really give your Spring look a pop? I seriously suggest you pick up Maybelline’s SuperStay 24 Color in “Lasting Lilac” for something bright, fun and long-lasting! It’s a color that does not run with the norm, and blends easily to create fun, fancy shades all your own!

(Available at most drug and department stores, approximately $6-8)