Tag Archives: makeup

The Lipstick Effect…

2 Jun

As I was checking my website this morning, I realized that I haven’t posted anything to my blog since February of 2020. Yeah, I know, I have been slacking. But I honestly have a few good reasons. First and foremost, a week after my last post, I got sick. I mean REALLY sick. COVID was just beginning to be discussed and the symptoms of the virus were just coming to light. I went to the ER because the fevers I had were horrible, I ached from head to toe, and I had completely lost my sense of taste and smell. At that time, the only test they could give me was a flu test. That came back negative. Once they saw that, however, I was IMMEDIATELY sent home. I was sick for almost three weeks. When I finally felt good enough to regain my regular routine, the country had gone into shutdown mode and my place with the tattoo shop had temporarily closed until further notice. Now, three months after that… I am home. Still. *sigh*

I am not going to get political or medical in this post. I am not here to bitch and complain. I will not take a personal stance on what the country is going through, what my out of work friends are dealing with or my thoughts on the state of our society. I am a writer. I write about the glamour industry. I write about makeup and skincare. I write about things like lipstick colors, good moisturizers and shoes. Sometimes I write about my love of coffee and my appreciation of nature. And to be honest with you, that is what I am going to continue to write about.

So before I get into future posts about what products I’m loving, needing, appreciating or feel just meh about, I want to talk to you about something I have noticed over the past three months. Something I learned about MANY MANY years ago, and never had the chance to see it in action until now. Why do women (and yes, some men) feel the need to shop extensively for beauty items when times are tough? Since the end of March–when the world had gone into a “pause” because of this pandemic–I have seen people all over the world not just talking about makeup but also BUYING it. A LOT of it! Money is tight for some, many people are out of work, others haven’t left their homes in months. Yet questions about what is the best foundation, lipstick, nail polish, hair dye and so many others show up on my social media throughout the day. If I am not going out for anything other than medicines and groceries, why would someone want to know what my favorite eyeliner is right now? The answer is simple… it’s called “The Lipstick Effect.”

Taken from shmoop.com, the definition of the “lipstick effect” is explained as follows:

The economy is slowing down, and as a result, we are tightening our financial belt. For instance, we were going to buy season tickets to see our local football team, but now we’re just going to upgrade our cable package instead and watch the games at home… It gets its name from the phenomenon that the chairman of Estée Lauder noticed after 9/11: the company’s lipstick sales were going through the roof even while the economy was tanking. The theory here is that people can’t necessarily afford the luxury items they would’ve bought before—like, say, a diamond necklace—so they compensate by buying a smaller, cheaper luxury item. Like lipstick.

I am going to take that and put my own Sassy spin on it. A huge number of us have lost our jobs due to closings or have had hours and/or pay reduced. Any money we have is being put aside for necessities: housing, food, medications, utilities and other bills. Essentials. Things like the plans for a new couch, repairing the deck or getting a new stove are all put on hold. It is not a priority right now. But by nature, we thrive when we can give ourselves a bit of luxury now and then. For example, before the pandemic, it might have been a case of going out to get a gallon of paint for the garage door and coming home with that AND the big new gas grill that was at the store’s entrance at the same time. On a lesser level (but no different), it would be going to your local pharmacy to get your blood pressure medication and grabbing a bag of candy and a magazine while waiting at the checkout. That’s why it’s there. It is a quick, impulse buy that makes you feel good. And, of course, some are more expensive than others. Now, after being shut down for 3+ months, many of us feel we need a fix. A fix of something that isn’t really needed, isn’t too expensive but will make us feel lavish and somewhat alive again. Normal. You can’t justify or even afford a pair of Louboutin heels but you CAN find a way-make a way to get that Chanel Lipstick in shade 92-AMOUR. You may not even go anyplace special, but when you wear it you will feel FABULOUS. And that is important for some people’s sanity.

Is there anything wrong with that? That is on you. Everyone’s situation is different. No matter how you justify it, excuse it or deny it, the fact remains that since the Great Depression, The Lipstick Effect still happens during rough times. Especially right now. Makeup and skin care industries aren’t flourishing at this moment, but they are seeing that definite trend. Because of the expansion of the glamour market, this phenomenon includes many more things like nail polish, mascara, eye palettes, serums and even bath items. Prices of these items vary, but for a good shopper you can find that most will not break the bank. Do you really need them? That’s your call. Do what you think is right for you. For your wallet and your sanity. And keep smiling.

Current Subscription Box Faves…

24 Feb

Each month, it’s like Christmas. I get three different subscription boxes (hopefully four soon!) loaded with goodies to try. Sometimes I get full-sized products, other times it is just little trials. I like the minis the best, I think. Because I have super sensitive skin, not everything works for me. This gives me a chance to try out some new items without losing money if it isn’t something that is right for me. There have been times that I have fallen in love with some of the goodies I get and have invested in full-sized products when I run out. If you are new to the skincare or makeup revolution, this is a great way to get your feet wet before diving in head first!

Over the past few months, I have to say that I have found some great items. With the seasons changing, this is a great time to try some different colors for spring looks as well as add some skincare items to help adjust to the new temperatures. And we can’t forget the hair and nails too! So what are some of my latest faves? Let’s see:

The BrowGal Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown My brows are something that I have never really messed around with. A makeup artist that I know has always said “Don’t f*ck with the brows… leave them alone!” I have followed that tip faithfully…. until a couple of weeks ago. I won’t get into details but I had a slight mishap with a lighter which left my right eyebrow looking a little off. Okay, I burned half of it off. Don’t ask. But I had gotten this pencil a few months ago and it was finally going to get used. With my dark red hair, this was the perfect shade that I needed. It is a very good sized pencil that comes with its own sharpener as well as a shaping spoolie. I have already picked up another one of these because I know this is going to take a while to grow out and fix. Insert pathetic half-grin here. ($23)

Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – As soon as the temperatures outside dropped about 20 degrees and the heat kicked on, my face began to get dry. I do have extra rich moisturizer for when the weather gets colder, but this came at the right time to test out. I love how it feels on my face! It is super rich but not greasy at all. Not only did it give me that extra boost of hydration that my face needed but it also left my face looking smooth and matte. A really great product with a noticeable result. ($65)

Ciaté London Extraordinary Translucent Loose Powder – I learned last year at The Makeup Show that HD powder can cause a flashback with cameras when using high-powered flashbulbs. When I made this change for my makeup before my last photoshoot, the difference with how my skin looked in the photos was amazing. I had the chance to add this product on to a subscription last month, and I’m glad I did. The formula is soft and silky with no shine or opalescent shadows. It’s the perfect product to help “bake” your makeup. Seriously, a must-have product for artists, performers and models. ($22)

Banila Co Clean It ZERO Cleansing Balm – I don’t really hide the fact that I wear a lot of makeup. I like a bold eye look every day, and usually have a dramatic lip color to match. Because skin care is super important for me at my age, I want something that is going to get everything off easily. Someone had mentioned that cleansing balms worked great so I grabbed ZERO as an add onto my monthly subscription from Ipsy. I absolutely love how it melts onto my skin loosening everything from eyebrow pencils to an all day glitter lip look. I wipe it all away easily with a cleansing wipe and I’m done. From there I follow up with my nighttime regimen. Super happy with this product and will look for it again in he future. ($19)

Luxie Blending Brush #237 – I have no problem saying that I am addicted to makeup brushes. From thin eye liner brushes all the way to big fluff brushes, I can find a use for every one I get sent. I got this brush several months ago, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was going to get used often. And it does. It is the perfect size with the perfect amount of “fluff” to gently cut my crease with a touch of contrast shadow. Or, if I want a stand out look, I can use it to gently blend several colors together without making a blurred mess. I have found other subscribers who aren’t brush lovers like me and had decided to sell theirs which allowed me to pick up about four more. And that’s fine by me! ($14)

Although I am always very strict with myself when it comes to good skin care and makeup, I am always happy to see what is new out there that I may not know about. I think subscription boxes are a great way to try and see without making a huge financial commitment. Especially for people like me with fussy skin.

So tell me: Do you have a favorite subscription box/bag? Are you thinking about switching? What have you found that you love? Chime in and let’s get a coffee talk started!

What I Am Loving Right Now—Sassy’s Top Five

11 Sep

A fabulous artist in the makeup industry recently made an observation that the retail market for cosmetics in the United States has slowed down considerably. There is a decrease in revenue, and there is thought that the boom may have reached—and passed—its peak. This isn’t slowing down big-names and companies from releasing their latest launches however. In fact, I personally have noticed that EVERYONE is having a launch. Of something! Honestly? It’s getting a little dull and repetitive. How many new lippies do I really need? How many palettes with duplicate colors need to be in my bag? As a writer, it is becoming borderline insane to keep up with all of the items coming onto the scene. The cosmetic industry needs to just calm down. An overload in the market doesn’t generate revenue, it creates confusion. And that’s not good.

With that being said? I am still finding items, thanks to my subscription boxes, that have been great additions to my skincare and makeup. What are my latest faves? Let me show you!

1) LA Girl HD Pro Conceal in Light Yellow & Lavender – I have been to The Makeup Show enough times to say I have learned my share about color theory. I know what needs to go where to correct the tone issues that I have. Some days the dark area under my eyes is worse than others. When regular concealer won’t do the job good enough, I don’t need more concealer… I need to color “correct” the problem! Dark circles come from blood vessels showing under the thin layer of skin under the eye. Although blood is red, the reflective light bouncing off the skin makes the circles appear a dirty brick or purple color depending on how fair you are. I am super fair, and my circles are a blurred purple tone… so to correct that, I use yellow concealer on rough days. If that problem isn’t enough, there are days when my entire face has a yellow undertone. (Thank you strange health condition!) On those days, I put a thin layer of the lavender concealer under my foundation to balance out my sallow skin. It’s nice that these great coverage products aren’t steep in price so I can have the colors I need for minor tone adjustments. (Available at LA Girl’s website or at Ulta.com)

2) essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara – There are a lot of makeup companies out there that claim that they have the mascara that will end everyone’s search for the best one ever. And we believe them. We don’t have to worry about throwing out our mascara every three months because we keep finding a “better” one. Or so we think. I follow a lot of chats and websites that talk about makeup and, of course, that includes mascara. I’ve noticed that one brand’s name comes up more often than not. I decided to research that one a bit more, but when I saw that the price of all of their formulas were less than $5, I thought that must be a mistake. No good mascara could cost under five dollars, so I continued to buy other expensive ones, and went on my merry way. After an epic fail with a high end waterproof mascara, I finally gave in and decided to try it. I got the essence False Lash Effect and waited to say “Ha!” but I couldn’t. It was everything I wanted in a mascara and more. The formula doesn’t budge, the brush combs and fluffs the lashes, and I especially love that the tip of the wand is thin enough to get the bottom lashes without clumping. I can honestly say that this great mascara isn’t “cheap”… it’s just inexpensive and I’m now a fan. (Available online at the essence cosmetics website or at Ulta.com

3) Victoria’s Secret “Crush” Rollerball – Perfume used to be a staple in my beauty routine. I had countless sprays, spritzers, rollerballs and body lotions in all kinds of fragrances. Now that I am involved in industries where I am working very closely with different people each day, I don’t wear fragrances as much. I don’t want to overpower people that may be sensitive to certain smells. I did, however, smell a really nice perfume while I was out shopping one day and knew instantly that I loved it. I asked the person wearing it and she said it was Victoria’s Secret’s “Crush”. I wanted to order a few things in that scent, so I waited to get a good coupon code before I placed an order. I was able to get two rollerballs, a body mist and a body lotion for less than $20. I wear it to work a few times a week, and always moisturize after bath time. I love the fresh notes of peony and peppercorn, and is a perfect pick-me up for a light day-to-day scent. (Available at the Victoria’s Secret website.)

4) TwinMedix Pro:Refine Moisturizer – I will always stand strong when I say that TwinMedix saved my skin. Their original Pro:Essentials line helped to nourish my skin back to health after years of struggling with sensitive skin and various retail brands. I was super excited to see the introduction of the Pro:Refine line for some added TLC to the face as well as target areas. The Pro:Refine Moisturizer is now my one-and-only go-to daytime moisturizer. Not only does it give your face the rich hydration it needs, but it is also full of B5 and Hyaluronic Acid to smooth and plump your skin. You actually feel the increased smoothness as you apply it. My face and makeup stay fresh all day and my skin continues to say “thank you” with TwinMedix’s pharmaceutical-grade formulas. *Note* – This is a reformulated version of the previous moisturizer that I had reviewed in March. The packaging is different and the ingredients & vitamins are even more beneficial to the skin! (Order TwinMedix products by clicking hereSend Sassy a message for a super secret promo code! ❤️)

5) Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water – Probably out of ALL the items that I have gotten a sample of in the past 10 years, this is the one thing that I thought I would never buy a full size of. Who the hell buys water… in a can… to spray on their face? Well I guess the answer is me. I do my entire skin care routine, then apply my primer. Next, I spray my face with a layer of the Thermal Spring Water, then apply my foundation with my brush. It glides on with no streaks and helps hold moisture in my skin. Even on hot and humid days, that light layer of hydration keeps my skin balanced. I will say this step is not for everyone, but I have come to like it very much.

So those are my newest faves on my vanity. With subscription boxes giving me all kinds of new things to try, it’s nice to see what is out there that I normally wouldn’t even look at. Some things, however, will always be staples that I won’t give up. Let’s see what fall has to bring to the table with changes in skin condition and the colors of the season. But for now? Let’s ride out the summer for another few weeks and enjoy great products while we continue to look and feel amazingly sassy!

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!!

“I Hit Pan” + “Look What I Found” Items

16 Oct

I would think the majority of people I know in the makeup and skin care industries understand the term “I hit pan”. It’s a simple way to say that you have used your favorite makeup product so much that you can see the silver from the container it is in. In other words… you better go shopping. I actually experienced that a few times in the past couple of months. In the process of restocking some of my almost-empty faves, I have also discovered some great NEW items that are now must haves. Let’s take a look at what needs restocking and what is new on my vanity:

RESTOCKING…

1. NARS Smooth and Protect Primer SPF50 – I have tried a lot of primers over the years. Some have worked, some haven’t done such a great job. This came across my way several months ago as a sample in an Ulta order. I loved how it went on, hiding and blurring pores and imperfections on my skin. Because it is necessary for this redhead to keep the bad rays of the sun as far away from my skin as possible, this has actually become one of the steps in my daily skincare routine. When I realized I was using a clothespin to get as much as possible out of the draining tube, I figured it was time to get another. (Ulta, $36)

2. RAD Soap Co. OUCH Salve – I fell in love with the RAD soap company after picking up one of their body creams (you can see the review here)! When I stopped by their flagship store which isn’t far from me at all, I picked up some favorites as well as this little gem. I was told it cuts healing time of small scrapes, scratches, bites, blisters and more WAY down. And it is true! I actually use this on my tattoos when they are healing. It keeps new ink moisturized and helps it to heal easier. I knew I was getting more work done on my leg tattoo so I picked up a second jar. Good thing… I’ve finished my first and I’m on to the next! (Radsoap.com, $10)

3. Make Up For Ever XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner – I will admit, I have collected my share of liquid and pencil eyeliners over the years. I am always looking for the ultimate stay-all-day liner for my bottom waterline. Many work great, but not all have that kind of stay power. I finally admitted to myself that it would just be better to stick with the first long-lasting one I tried. This one! Because I don’t use it for anything else, it lasts! Plus you only need a little for a deep matte black look. All the others can take a back burner as I replenish this treasure. (makeupforever.com, $21)

4. Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – I am a firm believer that every bath or shower should immediately be followed by a rich, emollient body cream. I have a few favorites and usually will change them up with the seasons. One thing that I noticed needs a little extra TLC is your tooshie. You know, your bum. Buttocks. Behind. Derrière. Rump. Fanny. Rear end. You get what I’m saying. Not many people would say that it is feasible to buy a special “cream” just to moisturize your bum. But if you think about it… it is probably the one place (not counting your face and neck) that needs a cream that will keep your skin smooth, soft, firm, and “tight”. I remember friends saying, “You could bounce a quarter off that a$$!” This cream? It helps to make that happen. Stocked with guaraná – an Amazonian plant whose fruit contains the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet. That, mixed with cupuaçu butter, açaí antioxidants and coconut oil will help give you irresistible touch-me skin. You will love this fast-absorbing cream that is lightly scented with pistachio caramel leaves, and formulated to leave your skin feeling its smoothest and tightest! (Sephora, $45)

5. Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème – I think we all know the day when we realize we need a concealer in our life. It’s not a good day. It might be needed after a night with very little sleep, tired eyes from studying, droopy eyes from allergies…you name it. And you’ll notice it. I’ve tried many concealers over the years, but this came to me as a sample in a Sephora order and I’ve been hooked ever since! To me, the formula is a bit drier than many concealers I have used and this seems to help keep it in place longer. It has a great applicator, but I use it only for “dotting”… I will use my finger or use a good small concealer brush to press it in. Because you need so little, one tube lasts and lasts. I don’t think I’d switch at all now. I found my saving grace in Kant’s concealer and it couldn’t have happened at a better time! (Sephora, $26)

NEW FINDS:

1. RAD Soap Co. VIBES Natural Deodorant – Ever since I was a teen, I have always had a hard time finding a deodorant that is effective, smells gentle, and doesn’t leave nasty white marks on my clothing. Let me just say it has been VERY difficult over the years to get that in one product. When I went to get my OUCH Salve, I found this off to the side. I’m trying to find products for my vanity that are more natural, so I took a sniff of the Oatmeal & Vanilla bottle and was hooked. Of course, the real decision maker was going to be if it worked or not. It did! Easy to use, completely natural and perfect for those with sensitive skin. I went through a hot summer using this and was not disappointed. It’s nice to have an environmentally friendly product that works as good as this! (Radsoap.com, $10)

2. Miss Spa Chocolate Self-Heating Clay Mask – It is a fact that face masks are ALL the thing right now. You have peel-off masks, detoxifying masks, deep treatment masks and so many more. This mask was included in my H2BAR subscription box last month, and it took me no time to order more! Dark chocolate is very good for your face AND body because it has a high level of antioxidants to help repair and protect your skin from damage. The clays work together to absorb any excess oils and the lactic acid helps shed dead skin cells. And that awesome warming feeling? That is your circulation being stimulated to help get good blood flow to your face, which assists in an even glow to your skin. Smells decadent too… just don’t lick your fingers! (Ulta, $4)

3. Wet n Wild Perfect Pout Gel Lip Balm – If I sorted out all of my lip products in my vanity, I would say that I probably wouldn’t need a new type or color for years. YEARS! Does that stop me from trying new ones? Hell no! I found this at my local drug store. Of course, it has a “new” sign on it and I had to stop and look. Over the past few years, the rage has been the long-lasting matte lipsticks. Although it is fun to mix and match the colors, the fact remains that they are extremely drying to my lips. For times like work or a pick-me-up walk, I like having a lip product that will not just give my lips some long lasting hydration but also great color. I picked up one of these in the shade Love which is a pinkish rose and loved it. I could put it on without a mirror and it lasted, keeping my lips looking and feeling great. I picked up two more colors before the end of the week—Rule and Tease. A great grab and go items when you need to make your lips feel and look good. (Wetwildbeauty.com, $3)

4. TOULLGO 3D Fiber Lash Mascara – I have never hid the fact that I cannot master the technique of the false eyelash AT ALL. The glue is messy, I can never get them in the right spot, half sticks & half doesn’t, and every other problem that goes with them. I have good long lashes, but they are thin and straight. So I am always looking for a way to get a false-lash look without the hassle. This mascara is a two-step process but doesn’t take much more time to apply. I love the look I get from this product. My eyes look dramatic without any clumps, fiber fall out, or running. I will definitely buy this again! (Amazon, $15)

5. Embryolisse Re-Densifying Eye and Lip Contour Cream – I have been using products from Embryolisse and TwinMedix for years now, and I am happy to say that my skin has never looked so good. I have a smooth, even-toned complexion that looks younger and younger each day. When my awesome girl, Michelle, told me I should really give this eye cream a try, I agreed. In the back of my mind, however, I was skeptical. I am always looking for the “miracle eye cream” and as much as I have seen a slight improvement with most creams, nothing has really floored me with a dramatic change. But I did what I promised Michelle I’d do. And like other eye creams I have used in the past, I was slightly pleased with the results. But it was only week two. I think I was looking for a miracle… not an eye cream. So, regardless of what I saw, I kept using it. After a while, I did notice that the skin around my eyes was firmer, less fine lines, and my dark circles definitely weren’t as dark as they were. Had I found my miracle? I’m not sure. But I am sure that I will be using this regularly—day and night—to keep my younger looking eyes around for a while. The price may seem steep, but to slow the aging process of my eye area down is seriously priceless to me. Plus the bottle lasts forever!! (Embryolisseusa.com, $55)

With fall finally here, we glamouristas need to take some time to evaluate our skin care, hair care, body care and makeup to see if we need to make any changes to keep up with the changing seasons. Lower temperatures and frequent changes in the humidity can wreak havoc on our standard beauty routines. Check to see if you need to incorporate some extras or eliminate some items that may or may not be needed now. Also check your makeup colors that you are currently using. You may find that you need to push the pastels to the back of your vanity and bring out or pick up some deeper colors for the cooler months. Have a fabulous fall everyone and rock your sass!

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!

It begins…

4 Dec

Coffee of the Day (COTD): French Pressed Triple Chocolate with frothed Amaretto Creamer, dusted with Cocoa Powder. My mug of choice is a pink polka- dotted mug that says “HERS”:

Happy Monday Sassinitas!
You may notice a new section to the right of of here. It’s entitled “Coffee Talk”. Anyone who knows me knows I have a not-so-secret obsession with coffee. I like to make different flavors in different ways, enjoyed in different cups. It has also become a routine for me to make a fab cup of coffee, grab my iPad and start writing. I don’t need it to stay awake or jump start my writing process. It has just come to the point where coffee and writing go hand in hand. Like now.

Starting today, I will be posting the occasional piece in the “Coffee Talk” section where I may talk about anything and everything. It might be an inspirational quote, it might be a description of my day, it may be a pretty picture I took or found, it could also be just me ranting or raving about anything and everything or nothing at all. You just don’t know!

So I encourage you to look out for my “Coffee Talk” posts. There is only one catch…

…the posts will be password protected!

So if you want to see what I post – just in this section – you are going to have to request the password from me! Trust me, there will be nothing sketchy posted. It may be serious, it may often be funny. It may have to deal with a personal frustration, or it may have to do with a success story. It could be anything, but I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

So what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email or “Contact Sassy” so you can get the password to keep up with my rants and rambles!

Let’s have some fun!!!

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!

Sassy’s Selections for July–WITH A CONTEST SOON!

24 Aug

Wow! It’s… like… August! Already! Are you like me, wondering where the heck the summer is going? I swear, I just packed away my winter clothes a month ago. Then again, I might have. The weather has been cool and raining this entire season. I should have invested more $$ in rain boots instead of sandals this year.

Regardless of your weather situation, the fact remains that a new month is upon us which means it’s time to talk about Sassy’s Hot Finds. July was definitely a month where glamour and fashion needed a lot of thought since most of the weather was so most erratic – the worst I had seen in years. And that brings with it a different group of items that were must haves last month. So what did I pick up to help me stay fab and fashionable during that damp, dreary month? Let’s see…

Ginger Bliss Naturals Mineral Lip Tint: I had to go to an outdoor camping trip last month. Although it was an outdoor-type festival, I wanted to make sure my lips were conditioned. I wanted to find a lip balm to keep my lips hydrated and soft, but I didn’t want to have to apply a balm AND lip color since we’d be roughing it. I browsed on Etsy and found several people that had different balms in different formulas but I was hoping to find a “set” so I could have a couple of shades that would go with all my outfits. Ginger Bliss had just that! These little balms are made with 100% natural ingredients: beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, Candelilla wax and natural coloring. The colors are strong and have a deeper hue than most tints. I ordered Candy Pink (icy pink), Ruby Rave (a pinky red) and Vixen (deep wine). Not only did they make my lips look jazzy but they were also soft and it was convenient to just carry one little lippie than three or more! A great find on Etsy for only $16.00 (sold by GingerBlissBathCo)

Pantene Pro-V Serious Repair Detangler: After several years of working with my hair stylist, I finally have healthy hair. No more burnt, frizzy, split ends. I now use the right shampoo and conditioner that keeps my hair clean and shiny without a ton of extra ingredients to weigh it down and strip its natural oils. The only thing I was missing was something to leave in to protect it from getting damaged from the hair styling products that I use. And that includes things from flat irons to hot rollers…. every day. So I did some searching on my own, looked at a few reviews and, of course, asked my stylist. After several suggestions, I decided to go with the Pantene product. This lightweight spray was perfect for what I was looking for. After I get out of the shower, I lightly towel dry my hair then spray the Pantene directly on the middle and ends of my hair since that is where I want the spray to work the most. After that, I spray my hands with two or three spritzes, rub them together then run my hands through the roots out towards the ends. This gives me the just a light coating so my hair isn’t weighed down where hair tends to get oily first. Seriously… a little goes a long way! After it air dries for a while, I run a wide tooth comb through it without any snags. Perfect. It gets all the tangles out while giving them a little extra moisture, protection and strength. A great product that does just what you need. You can find this in most drug stores or department stores for less than $5.00.

Leggings: Oh I know ALL the hype is out for leggings, especially since this new shop-from-home, home-based legging business hit the scene. All different colors, patterns, designs, themes, you name it—you can find it on a pair of leggings. I will admit, I bought a couple of the “party” leggings but I started thinking: there has to be a way to find leggings in styles and sizes I like without paying a fortune. So, I began to hunt, and my hunt did not last long! My search started and ended with one click to the Amazon website. Amazon has several different “stores” that carries many styles and sizes. I ordered a couple of pairs to see how they felt. They were soft, fit perfectly, had a great selection of different sizes and colors, and were more than $20 cheaper!! Ha!… no brainer there. The company that I purchased most of them from was were sold by Conceited Co. and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. What I really liked is that Amazon suggested tops and cardigans that went with the leggings. That was a nice touch to make complete outfits. I now have comfortable sets to wear through the fall and into the colder months. Each pair was only $10 with free shipping!

Covergirl’s Total Tease Mascara: I know I recently wrote about a great mascara I had recently found, but I couldn’t resist picking up this little goodie since I had a coupon and pretty much got it for free. In the past, I have always thought that if a mascara was really good, it probably has to be expensive. This is a great example that drugstore makeup can be awesome if you do your research. Available in four colors, this mascara has a formula that makes your lashes long, full and defined. The key word there is “defined”. The little combs on the brush separate your lashes without any clumps, making sure each lash is coated. Then, at the end of the brush is a small round ball covered with the same little combs. This part is EPIC to coat your bottom lashes individually to get a full lashes look. Then, use the same little ball to get to all the tiny lashes at the corners of your eyes. I purchased the color Blackest Black in the regular formula and it lasts ALL DAY with no smudging or flaking. I have been using this one pretty consistently for several weeks now, and I am very pleased. Great new product, Covergirl! The regular price is approximately $8 but because it is new, look for coupons and deals for different stores.

Bath and Body Works “Hello Beautiful” Scented Products: When I am going to an appointment where there might be others around, I don’t want my fragrance to make me stick out like a sore thumb. I personally think it can be a distraction or borderline rude to “bathe” in a scent when others may be around. Not every scent is appealing to everyone and some can even start a sneezing fit for those that are scent sensitive. In times like these, I like to use other products that I can layer on very lightly or a little heavier if I’m not really going to be in public. Today, I was preparing to go to a doctor’s appointment later this afternoon and I don’t want to take the chance on irritating another patient’s nose. So instead of spraying on enough perfume to last for 6 hours (cough cough!), I decided to let other products work for me. The key is LAYERING. Today, I just used my new “Hello Beautiful” Body Lotion that I am totally in love with. That way I could put the scent on from head to toe without it being overbearing, but that can last on my skin for several hours. If I wanted it to last longer with a stronger scent, I would have used my “Hello Beautiful” Shower Gel then followed it with the Body Lotion. If I REALLY wanted to get the full effect of the scent, I would use the gel and lotion, then follow it up with the Diamond Shimmer Mist for a more full scent with some shimmer as well. Any part of the routine can be used alone or in combination with the other scented products to give you a just a touch of pretty or a full-on head-to-toe smell of this white gardenia, jasmine petals & magnolia blossom bouquet. There are always sales and coupon codes out there so look around for your best deal—online or at the store. Not on sale, the Diamond Shimmer Mist retails for $16.00

So those are my Fab Finds for July! As kids return to school and parents attempt to regain their sanity once again, these products may be just the thing to help you get back on track as we head towards fall. I am sure there will be a lot of newer items in all categories as we slide out of summer and into autumn. Plus the weather will be changing as well so there will be things needed in both the glamour and fashion departments of your ensemble.

BUT WAIT!!!!!!


Keep watching my blog for an awesome giveaway of one of the items that I discovered in July. Who doesn’t love free stuff? I will let you know how to enter and tell you all the details of the contest soon. Don’t miss out Sassinistas!!

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!