Tag Archives: New York Color

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

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Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Pat dry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once, Twice, Three Times with Sassy…

17 Feb

3+
Without researching, I would be willing to say that there are over a million different makeup, skin care, hair and nail products on the market. That doesn’t even include the various colors and formulas of many of them. It is not easy for a company to get a consumer to buy a product once. The money they put into television and print advertising is beyond comprehension. Now, to hold the customer’s interest with eye-catching displays, money-saving deals, and quality results in order to get them to be a repeat customer is pretty amazing. After that, it’s a crap shoot. The cosmetic company now hopes they have gained your loyalty and business. They hope you love it so much that you would not even consider shopping out the product and buy it a third time—THAT is a cosmetic company’s dream come true, and an accomplishment beyond words.

I can totally relate to this as a glamour junkie. Commercials, displays, magazine ads and samples could literally get me to jump the fence on almost anything I use with the right tactics. Even if I’m thrilled with the product I am currently using, I can justify in my head and heart to try something else, even if it’s just once. But really… isn’t that what the cosmetic companies want? Just a chance? They know I’ll either say, “Wow, this is the best xxx I have ever used! Why haven’t I been using this before? I’ll never use anything else ever again!” Or I will give it an immediate thumbs down, kick myself for being a traitor to the product I had been using before, beg for glamour forgiveness and go back to using the one I had loved all along. Not to mention, with me winning contest prizes, getting products to try or review, or sending away for samples for me to try on my own, I’m always getting “teased” with things that are new, improved or could be better. That’s what the companies are hoping for. Some times, I admit, it works. But for a few products, I won’t even bother to deviate. I stick with what I love. Not just once, or even twice…. but have bought them three times or more because to me, they far exceed anything else I have tried or tested. I have found they truly are my favorites at what they do.

So what are these heart stealers that have shown me that “third time’s a charm”? Here are my ultimate favorite products that you will always find somewhere in my beauty ensemble, either in my drawers or on my vanity:

OleFoam**Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser** – Having sensitive skin has made finding the perfect cleanser difficult for me. I want something that washes my face, fights aging and doesn’t strip it of its natural oils, drying out my skin. I have tried a LOT of cleansers, I fell in love with Ole’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser after their customer service department sent me a sample because I thanked them for their “Three Little Wonders” box set I got for a holiday gift one year, which stole my heart. The cleanser immediately became my favorite face wash. My skin felt and looked noticeably healthier, it didn’t irritate or make my skin burn, and the foaming formula really made it so you didn’t need a ton. Plus, in combination with Ole’s other products I had, I really noticed an overall improvement in my face’s skin. I have been using the African Red Tea cleanser pretty consistently for over two years now. Even though I have tried a sample of other cleansers here and there, I always use Ole’s at least once a day. Happy to say, I’m on my fourth bottle! (Available at Sephora, $30)

BurtsBeesHandCream**Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream** – I never used to be a hand cream kind of girl. I never had to be. My hands never got dry, cuticles were healthy and I had no problems. Then came this year. I don’t what changed but my cuticles turned into corn flakes, my hands felt dry and the tops of my hands looked…old !!(*GASP!*). Oh no, no, no. My years in the cosmetic and skin care industry taught me that your eyes and your hands can tell people your age better than your driver’s license can. The minute I felt my hands drying out, I went looking for something good. I tried several simple “squeeze” lotions for my hands, but they didn’t seem to keep them moist for too long. Burt’s Bees caught my eye because of the Almond Milk in the name. I love the scent of almonds and know that almond oil is fabulous for moisturizing skin naturally. The beeswax is perfect to lock it into the skin and really keeps the hands, nails and cuticles soft. And the scent is to die for! I just dove into my third jar last night—and I’ve only been using it since November! (Available at most drugstores, $9)

TreeHut**Tree Hut Brazillian Nut Shea Body Butter** – The more natural you can keep your health and beauty products, the better they are for your body. I have always turned to almond or coconut oil to keep my body soft after a bath. In the colder months, however, I need something a bit more rich when my skin begins to get dry and itchy. I saw a review for Tree Hut’s Body Butter on a review site once, and remembered seeing the product at my regular retail store, so I thought I would look into it a bit more. It had my two favorite natural moisturizers that I love in it: shea butter and cocoa butter. In addition, it also contained Brazil nut and safflower seed oil, both rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help to keep the skin healthy. The smell is divine… like a yummy latte from your favorite coffee shop! I like the fact that it is not a liquid or a lotion—it is a solid “butter” which goes on thick and melts into the skin. This leaves the skin soft and moisturized for a long time. Since I first discovered this about four years ago, I have purchased at least six jars of this gem. Currently I have one in my bathroom AND bedroom! (Available at some local retailers or drugstore.com, $7.49)

NYCliner**New York Color Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil** – Eyeliners are a dime a dozen. I’ve seen some liners as cheap as 99 cents and some as expensive as $30. It is not too difficult for me to describe what I want in an eyeliner. The problem is… finding it. I want a DARK black pencil that I can sharpen myself so I can get a crisp, tight line. It has to be soft enough to go on with ease but tough enough to not smudge or run. And it has to last—I mean LAST ALL DAY last. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, right? Ha, that’s you think. I have tried so many liners over the years, it’s crazy. The fact is I’ll probably continue to try different liners, depending on the look I am going for. But if someone said I had to grab ONE liner to use for the rest of my life? I’d take NYC’s Waterproof Eyeliner. It can sharpened to a good point, soft enough not to tug at my eyes, cry-proof, rain-proof, sweat-proof and even swim-proof. It. Stays. Put. No smudging, no running. Even though I have tried gels, liquids, minerals and kohl liners for different looks, my go-to everyday no-fail eyeliner will always be NYC’s. Oh, and by the way? It won’t drain your wallet. And that is always a plus! (Available at Walmart & other retailers, $3.99)

I can’t deny that I don’t like to try new things. I’m a girl. It’s not just my nature but it’s also my job! There is nothing wrong with seeing what is out there. What is good for me may not be good for you. And what is good for you might just be what I am looking for! Times and styles are constantly changing so it is expected that cosmetics are going to change right along with it. These items I mentioned might be my go-to products for what I am looking for right now, but who knows if they will even be available in a year! I’d like to hope so, but in case they aren’t, I need to keep track of what other options are out there in case I need to switch. But today?…I am pretty content with these products for their specific purpose and will love ‘em till they are gone!

How about you? I am sure you have a couple of “must have” items of your own. No matter what else is out there, you will use them regardless of the competition. Are they makeup items—a favorite lipstick color? A blush? What about skin care—an eye cream? A moisturizer? Maybe it’s a nail polish remover. Or a can’t-live-without hairspray. Let me know what items are staples in your routine and I’ll let you know if I agree!

Marvelous Finds In March

14 Apr

My husband just asked me what today’s date was. I honestly had to pull up the calendar app on my iPhone because, frankly, I had no clue. Time seems to have stood still for me because no matter what I am writing—a check, a bill, a letter, a gym excuse my for my kids—I have been putting down “March” on everything. Then it dawned on me when my husband had me check today’s date that I had been writing the wrong date for several weeks. Maybe it is because it just doesn’t feel like spring too much here in Upstate New York yet. Maybe it’s because all of the days feel the same to me lately. My guess? If I refuse to write the real date, life will slow down. Yeah, well, not so much.

So since I am already two weeks behind for all of my April writings, I figured I better chime in quick with my awesome March discoveries before I get them confused with April’s. If I don’t watch myself, I will be writing that my latest fashion find in July was a pair of cashmere gloves. Without further adieu, here are a couple of things that I added to my glamour and fashion collection during March that you may want to look into as well:

1. Grape Seed Oil— I have never hid the fact that I think that several natural oils are fabulous for medicinal, nutritive and moisturizing purposes. Grape seed oil is derived when the light oil is extracted from the seeds of several different kinds of grapes. Mainly, the seeds left over from making wine are used for this purpose. It is wonderful when the oil is used for cosmetics and skin care because the natural anti-oxidants and age-fighting properties found in grapes then get transferred directly onto the skin. Grape seed oil has a built-in astringent quality so it is great for naturally tightening the skin. It also contains linoleic acid which is known for cell repair and renewal, keeping skin at its most youthful state. And finally, because it is a lightweight oil, it is easily and quickly absorbed into the skin providing excellent moisturization—even around the delicate eye area—without clogging pores. I now use grape seed oil every night before bed to moisturize my face and neck, with a little shot on my cuticles as well. My skin has never been so soft and smooth! Available at most supermarkets in the organic oils section

2. NYC (New York Color) Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil— A while back, I had found a great sharpen yourself eyeliner that I insisted would be the pencil I would use for the rest of my life. It wasn’t a big, well-known brand and I could only get it at one store locally. Yeah, well, that changed when I saw the display with my eyeliners in it wearing a big “Clearance” sign on it last month. Damn. Time to start hunting once again. While shopping at my local Wal-Mart one day, I saw a big display for the NYC brand. They had an extensive variety of products and colors at a price that was more than reasonable. I liked the fact they had a waterproof eyeliner that was the kind you sharpen yourself, which is the only kind I will use. After using it only once, I knew it was my new favorite liner. It was soft, easy to apply, and had superb stay power. The color was true and still sharp and strong even when it was time to take it off at night! For those who like these kind of liners, this is a must try. Available at many local retails for less than $4

3. mark Save The Day Anti-Acne Concealer Stick— I wish I could take the credit for discovering this item, but all the love has to go to my daughter. She has often asked me if I knew of any acne-treatment companies that also made a concealer that would hide a stubborn pimple while treating it as well. To be honest, it really wasn’t my department. I am the queen of the dry skin, not really a breakout princess. But after doing a bit of research, I saw that mark. had a product that was just what she was looking for. Not only does the concealer stick contains 2% salicylic acid to treat the culprit, but it also comes in four medium-coverage, buildable shades. This little item has become a cult favorite with her friends as all of them love how it hides and treats little flare ups at the same time. Available at Avon.com and through local Avon representatives for $6.

4. Steve Madden’s Shelbi Wedge Sandal— Okay, here’s the story behind this purchase: I had won a gift card from DSW during the holidays. I thought it would be fun to buy a pair of peep-toed boots when they went on sale after the holidays. When the pair I liked arrived at my house, I realized I didn’t like them at all. By this point, it was March and the thought of buying boots was silly and I knew I really should look for a pair of sandals instead. So I went to my local DSW store, returned the boots, and tried on anything and everything that caught my eye. Originally I shied away from wedges because… well…. they just didn’t jazz me. HA! That was until I tried on these little cuties! The heel isn’t too high (2” stacked wedge), they were comfortable as heck and they looked chic and stylish! I grabbed a pair in black. The weather around here finally allowed me to wear them for a full day this week. My feet loved them as much as my eyes. A perfect shoe to wear with jeans, capris or shorts! I love them so much, I think I’ll grab them in the color taupe sometime in the near future. Available at DSW retail stores and DSW.com for $49.95



I think I can finally say that spring is beginning to show itself after a long, hard winter. People are breaking out their bright colors, packing up the heavy sweaters and coats, and everyone is sporting the fashions and glamour of the new season. But as April evolves, are we serious when we say that the dark, cold gloom that hung its head over us for so long must surely gone? Well, if we listen to the gospel of the late Leslie Nielsen from the ever-popular movie Airplane, we would believe it one hundred percent:

“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”