Tag Archives: pigment

The Redhead, The Disaster and The Extensions….

14 Oct

Sassy AuburnOnce upon a time, there was a sassy redhead who loved her red tresses. They were her signature “accessory”. She loved to design her look with her fiery locks in mind. Not to mention… she had the attitude to match!

Then, tragedy occurred.

Somewhere in her clouded mind, this feisty redhead thought that a head full of long, red, wavy curls would look fabulous. And just like she was back the 80’s, she spent hours in a salon with stinky processing solutions and tight rollers that gave her a migraine headache. When she was done, her hair was full, curly and bright with color.

To quote the title of a S. E. Hinton book: “That Was Then, This Is Now”.

After a few weeks, her color began to turn a bland red with no shine or finesse. Her waves turned into a huge hairball of frizz. And every time she would brush, comb or wash it, hunks would break off in her hand. Eventually, the damage became so bad, she needed to cut away most of her marred mane just to salvage what was still in tact. The sad part? To do this she had to cut off about 6″+ of her beautiful ruby stands. Unfortunately, what was left wasn’t very healthy and needed continuous TLC. It was going to be a long process.

It didn’t take a lot of thinking to convince the sassy redhead to go to a new salon. On a referral from her friend, she found her hair savior beautician who worked magic better than Houdini. The red tresses got stronger, the perm s-l-o-w-l-y relaxed and her hair became more and more healthy. The only thing that was still frustrating? The length of the locks seemed to be taking FOREVER to grow. She wanted her long hair back…now! (Did I mention redheads are impatient too??) So she asked her magical hairdresser what she could do to get her long hair back sooner. The answer was obvious and not cheap if she was going to do it right. The only option: extensions.

With samples from her beautician, the sassy redhead thumbed through the options for her extensions. Colors, materials, grades, textures, the works. This Sassinista decided these were going to be an investment, something she would utilize for years to come, so she wanted the best of the best. She had worked hard for the money she was going to use to buy them, so the decision was hers: another pair of Manolo Blahniks that she’d wear only twice a year… or gorgeous long, red hair that would lift her spirits daily. The decision was easy. Hair it was.

Two weeks later and five sets of real hair auburn red extensions in hand, this sassy girl–moi!–got the hair she had always wanted. It was long, bright and soft, and it felt like it was made just for me. I was in tears, so happy that I had my long hair back…and then some. But now I was faced with a new challenge: keeping my new hair looking fresh and natural. With the proper instructions and the right products, I actually have found this to be very easy!

So what are some necessary items to keep my new long hair investment looking and feeling fresh, natural and healthy? Check these items out:

pure Image Shampoopure BLENDS Color Depositing Shampoo – This shampoo is part of the pure blends fade prevention and color correction system. The shampoos come in a variety of shades so you can create the tone that you like best and keeps your natural or enhanced color looking bright in between trips to the salon. It is sulfate & sodium chloride free, created with an herbal blend, plus is keratin and collagen infused to create a hydrating formula that will eliminate color fade and color washout. I use a combination of two parts Red and one part Marigold to give me the bright red I love with a hint of copper. The pigments are strong, the scent is appealing and the color is perfect to keep my hair blended perfectly with my extensions! A fab find for my hair. (Check salons in your area poor ones that sell the pure Blends line.)

RouxRoux Color Refresh Mask– If you are finding that you need a major “oomph” in your color that your shampoo can’t keep up with, this is a great way to get a mini blast of temporary color that can hold you over in between freshen-up dye jobs. This product is sold in a packet with a reclosable tab so you can get almost two uses out of a packet. Follow the directions exactly for the best results, especially about timing how long to leave it on. Although the color selection is very limited (only four!) I have found that by mixing the Fire Red with some of the Light Beige Blonde gives me the shade for me. This with the pigmented shampoo really keeps the frenzied fading reds in line! (Sally Beauty, $3.99)

Miracle 7Miracle 7 Leave-in Mist For Extensions – When I got my new hair, the one thing I was told was, before I combed it with a wide-tooth comb, to spray it with a healthy detangling spray. This one is just for extensions and is great. It helps to reduce static electricity, frizz and tangling while helping to blend your natural hair with the extensions. It also protects against UV damage which can cause fading and increase a natural looking shine. This is a must use for me every morning and every night before my routine comb out. (Sally Beauty, $13.99)

Wet BrushThe Wet Brush – Okay, ever since I started really taking pride in my hair and its health, I knew that the ultimate no-no was to brush your hair wet. It pulled, it broke damaged strands off, and it weakened even healthy ones. The Wet Brush does help reduce that, but I’m still a wide tooth comb after washing girl however. What I do love about The Wet Brush is that it is super gentle on my natural hair and extensions when they need a brush fluffing. The tips are super soft and the bristles are über pliable so the hair–real or extensions–aren’t pulled, tugged, or ripped out. A super gentle brush to give your hair body and shine. (Sally Beauty, $8.99)

Paul MitchellPaul Mitchell “Hold Me Tight” Hair Spray – Some hairsprays I think are in a competition to see who can hold your style the best in the middle of a hurricane. I’ve used “solid hold” sprays that actually held my hair in place because it turned my hair solid! With my new extensions, I needed a spray with a light, manageable hold with flexible control while still locking in moisture and shine. I’ve had many sprays over the years on my bathroom counter, but to keep my hair in place, maintaining a natural look, without causing buildup or dryness…this is my one and only, go-to spray! (Target, $17.99)

There you have it–the story of the redhead, the disaster and the extensions. Although I am sad that I had to “buy” myself long hair again, I have to say, at the present time, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It’s an investment, no doubt. An investment in yourself. But just like a house is an investment, you do what you need to do to keep it looking its best. And if you do?…it will hold its value for a long, long time. Which is exactly what I plan to do with my “new” accessory!

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A Trick Of The Trade…

3 Aug

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Over the years, I have been asked on several occasions to try and review different cosmetics. One of the big items I get many samples of is loose mineral eyeshadow. I put any samples I get into 5 gm sifter jars and arrange them in my makeup drawer usually from light to dark. I would easily say I have over 100 samples of different colors. I’m not proud of that. I will probably have enough to last me till I get to the nursing home someday, and then will have enough to trade for chocolate pudding on weekends.

Although I have tons of different colors of loose mineral eyeshadows, I’m sad to say I use very little of them. It’s not that I don’t like them. In fact I love them! They are natural, highly pigmented, long lasting shades that take very little to achieve a desired look. But here is the problem: they are messy. If I don’t make a mess with the powder falling off the brush, I then have to fight the mess of shadow fallout on my face and cheeks. That part is annoying. I’ve always tried to follow the rule: do your eye makeup first, but even then, some mineral shadow falls out and can’t be blended naturally into the skin when it comes time to prepare your face. Then a face cleanser wipe is needed to clean the entire face–minus the eyes–and the face routine must be redone. Annoying. Hassle. Bah.

During my recent Twitter surf, I might have found the answer to my loose mineral eyeshadow problems. I’d love to give credit to the original poster but it’s been around Twitterverse so long now, I’ve lost track of how it was mapped! So, I decided to just throw up this “How To” blog post so if you are like me, you can get a solid grip on these loose high pigment shadows without your bathroom counter looking looking like a powdery rainbow explosion.

What you will need:

  • Loose powder mineral eyeshadows in jars
  • Q-tips
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol is the best)
  • Small piece of Saran Wrap
  • Pressing pans & compacts (if desired)

image1. Take your loose mineral eye shadow and remove the sifter if there is one. Gently tap the container on a counter or table so all the shadow is even at the bottom. If you want to add or mix colors, do it now. Make sure after you add any new pigments, you replace the cap, shake to mix & tap to make it even again.

image2. Take the cotton off one end of the q-tip so all you have is the stick. CAREFULLY add a couple of drops of alcohol to the powder. You can do this with an eye dropper or by dunking the cotton end of the q-tip in the alcohol and squeezing the tip with your fingers so the drops go in the container.

image3. Mix the powder shadow/alcohol mixture with the stick end of the q-tip. If it’s very dry, thick or clumpy, add one drop of alcohol at a time till it becomes a thick but still smooth paste.

image4. If you want to put it in a shadow pan, use the q-tip to scrape it in. If you want to keep it in the jar, smooth it out as much as possible. Take the small piece of Saran Wrap and lay it over the shadow. Take a quarter (for a pan) or a bottom of a small tube, like a lipstick tube (for a jar) and press down a couple of times to pack it. Let it set with the weight on it for a minute or two.

image5. Remove the plastic wrap and check to see if it is packed and solid. If it’s still loose or clumpy, add another drop of alcohol and pack again. If it’s too watery, let the alcohol evaporate for 5-10 minutes then pack again to see if it hardens. (You could also add a bit more powder shadow to thicken it up a bit, leave the top off for 5-10 min. then repack again.). If it is a perfect solid shadow, then you did it!

image6. Leave the open jar or pan out in the air for 15-30 min to let any remaining alcohol “burn off”. Then take the finish product and either cap it if it’s in a jar or put the pan in a compact. Done, solid, no more mess! Your “new” solid eyeshadow is ready to use! Go play makeup!,

**NOTE** – Make sure the shadow is completely dry and packed before you use it. If it is the slightest bit creamy or “wet”, that means the alcohol hasn’t evaporated completely or you used too much and putting it near your eyes can cause burning and irritation. If you feel this happening, rinse your eye out with water and wait a while longer for the alcohol to evaporate. You can also add a bit more pigment powder in a similar shade to help thicken it and quicken the process.

The one thing I love about doing this is that I can blend various colors together to get unique shades. For example, tonight I combined a very light aqua blue, a bit of very dark blue sparkle and a bit of cream frost for a smoky peacock turquoise. SOOO pretty. My next challenge will be a deep maroon purple!

If you are looking for reasonably priced pans and pallets, the best place I’ve found is Stars Makeup Haven. They have all kinds of empty containers. Since my samples tend to be in small quantities, I’m leaving them in their 5 gm jars and just “solidifying” my favorites.

Enjoy mixing and creating! This is a great way to keep your favorite loose shadows ‘tight’ without a powdery mess in your drawers, purses, cases or bags! Try it and enjoy a new way to use natural mineral eyeshadows in a controlled, solid way!

It’s New… But Is It Good?

10 Sep

Back to schoolSchool is back in session and with that come all new fashions and cosmetics to help you get your vogue on! New styles, hot looks and chic accessories to help you make the start of the new season first-class fab! Today I stopped to talk to my favorite glamour consultant who was filled with the latest info on what was new on the market. What was cool is some of the things she showed me I had already tried, so I was able to give her my personal opinion as well. She helped me, I helped her!

So what are THE hot new makeup and glamour items out right now? Let me show you a few:

image1. Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Waterproof Mascara – The thought behind this product is supreme! Why someone didn’t think of it before now is beyond me. The concept is simple–the purple end of the mascara has a long, big brush to coat your top lashes to look full . The opposite black end has a very thin, comb-like brush to get at every skimpy lower lash to make them stand out. You can even use this brush to get in the corners of your eyes to coat those hidden lashes. My experience? I have been using this mascara on and off for a month now. The brush idea is great! I am really able to “get in” and coat ALL of my lashes with both brushes. The mascara formula? I’m not completely thrilled with. It does stay ALL DAY–doesn’t smudge or flake–but I don’t think it makes my lashes as “lush” as other formulas. I’m not quite sure yet if I’d buy it again myself. But for the price and stay power? Completely worth the purchase!

image2. Bath & Body WorksSignature Fragrance Collection Shimmer Mist in “Beautiful Day” – If you are a glamour girl heading back to school, then this is your time to shine! a shimmer mist gives you a flirty scent with an all-day sparkle to make you look, feel and smell fab. This scent paints you with a crisp top scents of fall apples, pears, peonies and blonde woods. Delish! My experience? I love, love, LOVE this new scent! It’s fresh for spring but has the scents of fall fruits to keep it seasonal. I layers this scent to help it last its longest: shower gel, triple moisture body cream, and the shimmer mist. No matter what is on my agenda, this scent just keeps me smiling all day!

image3. Maybelline FitMe Shine-Free Foundation – If you are like me, the thought of any type of foundation in a stick sounds like it would be heavy, greasy, any not in a shade that would match my skin at all. And up till now, that has been my experience. But Maybelline went a step beyond. They put a foundation in a gel with anti-shine core that neutralizes oil the minute you put it on and keeps absorbing to give you an all-day matte finish. Convenience combined with clean coverage–perfect! My experience? If the stop making this foundation, I’ll cry for years. In all my years of wearing, trying and testing foundations, I have never used one with such fabulous coverage but still feels light as air. I don’t have to worry about shine no matter what. It stays put and does slide off my face like liquids do when it’s hot. And convenient? The gel stick makes it a breeze to just swipe, wipe & go! A MUST-HAVE.

image4. Hard Candy All Glossed Up – I grew up on the glamour and convenience of pencils in a beauty routine and I’m very psyched when I see a company nowadays revamp the old crayon into a new, luxe makeup item. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss. The sad fact is, though, that crayons have a limited style life so they may be hot and hip with the current colors but then the seasons changes and the colors and sticks are gone. What is nice about these Gloss sticks is they are über glossy, but are infused with the long lasting pigments of a stain. Long lasting color with a non-drying formula. Exactly what a girl on the go needs! My experience? I really love this gloss stick. I have yet to find a straight-up stain that stays put, doesn’t dry out, or doesn’t stay true to its original color. Although this goes on like a colored gloss, the base color does stay true like a stain. Even if the gloss disappears during coffee or lunch breaks, the stay will “stick” around. Then I can just add a moisturizing gloss if my lips start to get a bit dry. Available in 8 go-with-all shades–great long lasting, drenching color that lasts. I will be getting more because they are SO convenient and simple!

image5. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments Loose Powder Shadow – Maybelline is no stranger to the long-lasting eye shadow concept. Now they have come out with a loose powder with high pigmented color with no fall-out glitter. Yeah, I said those two things in the same sentence–no fall-out and glitter. In order to have this stay power in the past, shadows had to be a cream with a built-in primer and sealer. But now they have a loose powder in power colors that do the same!! My experience? Gotta say, I haven’t used it. But boy am I intrigued! I have more eye shadows than I know what to do with. But it might be a nice in an all-over highlighter color for me to build off of. Especially if it is high in sparkle and low in fall out!

Get ready–here comes the yellow bus! It doesn’t matter if you are getting ready to get on yourself or if you are putting on one of your own. Make sure you look your best! The glamour industry has so many innovative products now. Daily touchups are barely needed. Don’t think that these long-lasting make-up items are all hype. Seriously, most do what they say they will. I can’t tell you how convenient is not to run to the restroom every two hours! And as a student in school? It is a blessing. These all-day products certainly get an A+!!

OCC Lip Tars & Armour Lip Glosses from LeCosmetique

14 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out LeCosmetique’s site HERE

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

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