Tag Archives: Rimmel

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!

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

11 Nov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When One Isn’t Enough…

13 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 Apr

Running outIn the dark world of us makeup addicts, we often use a secret phrase: “I’ve hit pan.” This is a secret code us color junkies use to tell others that we have run out of a product we love. Usually us makeup lovers know when we are getting low on a fave and pick up a backup for a smooth transition when we run out. Of course, certain products we won’t stress too much about because, since makeup addicts are always trying new things, we may have already found a new love with a different brand of a former mainstay. But every glamour guru will have a few select items that are always–ALWAYS–around. And when we see the bottom, we tend to panic a bit. But we are professionals. We will fix it. And fast.

So, a few things started to get low–or worse–disappear this week in my makeup drawer. A couple I tried “alternatives” to, maybe to test the competition or save a buck or two. But the fact is that they are items I will be loyal to till someone says they aren’t around anymore. (*Gasp*–don’t even want to think about that!). Here is what I have/had to restock in my makeup drawer recently:

Lancome**Lancôme CILS Booster XL**: I never thought I needed a mascara primer…until I used a mascara primer! This was the first one I bought after a makeover day at a local department store. I bought it immediately. I used it only when I wanted really *POW!* lashes like for a night out or a dinner date. I started running low, plus it started to get some age on it, so I grabbed an inexpensive drugstore brand to see if I could save a few dollars with the same results. Yeah….no. The drugstore brand did nothing really–not like Lancôme’s did. It probably is the most expensive on the market, but you do get what you pay for. My lashes are longer, thicker, bolder when I use Booster XL. And it puts a nice barrier of Vitamin E between my lashes and mascara, keeping them healthy and preventing lash dry-out. Heading out tomorrow for a new tube! Macys.com, $25

Maybeline**Maybelline Fit Me® Shine-Free Foundation**: The weather here at home is (finally!) changing. Temperatures are changing and my j*o*b is throwing me a little stress. Let’s add a few hormone issues I’d prefer not to speak of, and the result is a skin texture and tone that is hard to work with. My winter moisture-packed foundation is too heavy; my powder mineral foundation is too light. So I dug out what I had put off to the side and found my Fit Me® foundation from last year. After using it just once this year, I knew it was now my go-to foundation for the season. After a week, I noticed my ‘swivel’ was tapped. I was at the end! Next day on my way to work, I made sure I stopped at my local drugstore to get another. My face looks smooth, natural, and the foundation controls oil, fading and streaking all day. I don’t have a lot of free time for makeup touch ups during the day–I want to do what I can to make sure my look stays put all day. This Maybelline foundation helps to make sure that happens! CVS, $8.99

Rimmel**Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sparkling Black**: I did a whole eyeliner comparison last year–drugstores vs. department stores, waterproof vs. long wear, liquid vs. pencils. I think when it was all said and done, my go-to brand ended up being Rimmel’s Scandaleyes. The color variety was huge, the stay power was great, nothing smudged or ran ALL DAY, and oh–the price was EPIC. Even though I tend to always use black on my waterline with color underneath, I had began using the sparkling black because the hint of glitter softened the heavy black and gave it a nice glimmer. I ended up buying another one so I had two: one for home and a backup in the purse. Well, I switched them out when home’s got low and now sharpening is getting difficult again. So it’s time for a new full one–that kind, that brand, that color. Walmart, $3.97

image**Perfectly Posh’s The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub**: Okay, I have to be honest here. This is not the first time I have “hit pan” with this product. In fact? I think I’m probably on my 6th container of this little beauty. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a coffee fanatic. Then to find a natural bath product that does what I want with the feeling of bathing in an espresso is even better! The Daily Grind energizes skin and gets your blood pumping with a cup of coffee before you get out of the shower. It’s packed with the cleansing and rejuvenating properties of coffee, as well as clearing, anti-cellulite and energizing traits. This scrub cleanses as well as removes the dead skin cells keeping your skin soft, fresh and glowing. Oh, and did I mention it smells damn good? I don’t even want to think of this gem not ever being in my bathroom. I shudder at the thought. PerfectlyPosh.com or an Independent Represenative, $24

Simple**Simple Facial Wipes**: I will forever stand firm on something a friend told me years ago. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it was enough to scare the mascara off my eyes. “If you fall asleep with your makeup on, your face will age an extra six days.” Okay, ummm, NO! I’m fighting against time now and my age lying is getting pathetic even for me (although no one usually questions it.) I did a little reach on my own and did find articles that say not washing your face before bed WILL age your appearance. The good news? No one is sure how much. The bad news? Six days was the LOWEST number! Eeek! So, since then I try to remember to take off my face for the day with a nice gentle cleanser then treat it with a good serum. But, I will admit, I get tired, get upstairs in bed, then realize I forgot my bedtime facial. So, let’s just say I’m a bit lazy. If I’m in bed?…I’m in bed. I have phones, remotes, food, reading material and ice packs on a rough day. So, I figured if I can make sure I have a “stash” of goodies for lazy evenings, I can include skin care too. I have a little bag with skin care necessities: hand cream, cotton balls, mini eye makeup remover, trial sized night cream and eye cream, and my Simple Cleansing Wipes. They do the trick when I need to get the “crud” off and prepare myself for a night of cell rejuvenating. The formula doesn’t bother my sensitive skin, it gets off the toughest makeup, eye color, eyeliners and mascaras. They aren’t abrasive, they do the trick, they are easy to keep where I need them and they aren’t expensive. I have gone through two packs of Simple Wipes and a pack of a different brand. I went right back to Simple’s. They just did the trick–no fuss, no muss. And no more waiting…I need a new pack tomorrow! Walmart, $4.49

So that, my makeup beauties, is what it means to “hit pan”. I’ll be anxious to see if I find any other products this year that I will fall in love with, worthy enough to create chaos if I “hit pan”. I’ve tried a few new products recently: a new face wash, a perfume, new body cream, long wear mascara. Will any of them make themselves worthy to enter the “hit pan” elites? I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a lot of time ahead, a bunch of products to trial, and a whole lotta time to see what other items big named cosmetic companies come up with.. Let’s see if anything else in my makeup drawer becomes worthy to enter my “I hit pan” club soon!

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An easy-going Tuesday outfit for spring! Simple jeans & tshirt, Chucks & an epic bag, highlighted by nice silver accessories and spring-toned makeup. Casual with an edgy? Perfect!

14 Apr
An easy-going Tuesday outfit for spring! Simple jeans & tshirt, Chucks & an epic bag, highlighted by nice silver accessories and spring-toned makeup. Casual with an edgy? Perfect!

Juicy Couture white top
$80 – harrods.com

GUESS blue jeans
lordandtaylor.com

Converse shoes
$99 – mytheresa.com

Hoop earrings
jcpenney.com

Lips makeup
sephora.com

Rimmel black eyeliner
$8.01 – asos.com

Whipped Shimmer Butter
bathandbodyworks.com

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.

Nice outfit for a date night, without losing my sassy “edge”: skinny acid wash jeans, leather blazer, animal-print top, sexy boots, smokey eyes, red lips. Fun & sexy!!

15 Mar
Nice outfit for a date night, without losing my sassy "edge": skinny acid wash jeans, leather blazer, animal-print top, sexy boots, smokey eyes, red lips. Fun & sexy!!

This fall outfit brings in a thumb hole white top, straight leg jeans and silver Chucks. Add a bit of bad with a cropped leather jacket, an edgy purse and some deep fall makeup colors. HAWT!

12 Sep
This fall outfit brings in a thumb hole white top, straight leg jeans and silver Chucks. Add a bit of bad with a cropped leather jacket, an edgy purse and some deep fall makeup colors. HAWT!

My work outfit today–simple yet jazzy & edgy!

22 Aug
My work outfit today--simple yet jazzy & edgy!

15 Must-Have Drugstore Glamour Items

14 Aug

Drugstore makeupEveryone loves to share their top drugstore makeup finds with their readers, followers and fans. I’m no different. Even though I have makeup items from the Dollar Store all the way up to a $50 blush (I won it–hell no I didn’t buy it!!), there is no reason why you can’t get a to-die-for look from your local drugstore. I’ve even expanded my Top 10 to a “Top 15” because I want to make sure your drugstore look is COMPLETE!
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So here we go…my drugstore Top 15:

1. Say Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes– No one paints a masterpiece on a dirty canvas. The same goes for your face. Using a gentle but effective cleansing wipe that will quickly give you a clean surface to start your work of art is the perfect way to start your day. Say Yes To products have always been a favorite of mine especially since they have different formulas to target different problems. I like the cucumber ones the best. They are cooling and perfect for sensitive skin.

2. L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate – If you have cleaned your face, you better take care of it. A good anti-aging cream is something to help combat the signs of mother nature without interfering with the look of your makeup. As far as drug store serums, I like this one the best. It it absorbs quickly and gives my skin a smooth all over feel.

3. Physicians Formula Correcting Primer 3-in-1 (Corrector + Primer + Sun Protection) – Three great features in one product. This correcting primer is perfect for me because it comes in a green tint which helps me balance my uneven skin tone. This keeps my smooth and even so I do not look washed out. It also prepares my skin for my foundation as well as gives me a minimal amount of necessary sun protection. With its built in brush, it is easy to apply and is exactly what my skin needs for its bottom layer.

4. Maybelline Fit Me! Shine Free Foundation – A genius must have created the premise for this unique product. A gentle foundation in a stick for easy application has a center strip that is an oil mattifier to prevent shining during the warmer months. Brilliant! The coverage last all day without the foundation sliding down my face or becoming blotchy after a few hours. Perfect for anyone with oily skin or breakthrough shining.

5. Rimmel Match Perfection Skin Tone Adapting Concealer – I have never really ever needed of concealer. Come on, don’t hate! I guess I am just blessed with no dark circles. But when I started working at my new J*O*B*, I found some nights just felt longer than others. And where did it show? Yup, my eyes. This really cool concealer doesn’t just hide dark circles or imperfections on the skin, but it also puts in a nice highlight to areas that look nice with a bit of oomph. Although it doesn’t come any many shades, I found one to match my pasty white skin tone perfectly.

6. Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow – I have not hidden the fact that I do not have time during my day to touch up my makeup. When I put it on in the morning, I would be very happy if it looks exactly the same way when I get home at 5 o’clock at night. That’s why I really like this eyeshadow. It is a highly pigmented cream, and goes on easily and quickly with your fingertip. And it stays…ALL DAY! I like the fact that I can use a single color all over my eyelid for a simple, jazzy look or I can combine one or two with easy blending for a more intense look. If I wear this eyeshadow, I never check my look in the mirror during the day–I know it will stay strong all day!

7. Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencil – Even though I love my cream eyeshadows, I also like to have other options. This long-lasting eyeshadow pencil is great because it can give the eyes a lot a depth when combined with a darker liner. It has staying power so it can be used as a highlighter, a shadow, a contour color for a deep smoky look, or even as a bold colored liner. I like the fact I can sharpen it as crisp as I want to get it to go exactly where I’d like it. Sometimes I will use a light Tattoo cream shadow shade all over my lid, swipe on a line of bold color with Milani’s Eyecolor Pencil for pop, then line top and bottom with black for an edgy rocker look. Ka-pow!

8. Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Pencil – Long wearing eyeliners are a must in my makeup ensemble. I have all kinds, shapes, sizes, colors. They are the signature on my make up look. I like the various bold colors that Milani’s come in, and I have had the best luck with these not just staying strong in color pigments but also staying strong on my waterline. I tend to use just these pencils on the bottom of my eyelids. They seem to have the best holding power under there.

9. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner – Although I have several liquid eyeliners that I use on my top lids, lately I tend to lean more towards a smudged look when it comes to lining my upper lids. That’s why I really like the waterproof gel eyeliner. The thickness of the line and the darkness of the smudging is totally up to me. It’s also nice to line the upper lids with a heavy smudge line then add a little color along the edge if the top lash line. It just gives it a dramatic effect. Plus this gel liner really stays–it is still on even at bedtime!

10. L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara – I have to admit, it is really difficult for me to find a drugstore mascara that I can put in the “love” category. Most of my favorite mascaras are high-end brands or purchased through department or specialty stores like Sephora. I grabbed this one on a hunch and also because it was new and the packaging was jazzy. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for advertising.) So far, I have been quite pleased. Definitely no smudging, no flaking and lashes are still holding strong at the end of the day. First drugstore mascara that I can say that about. Kudos!

11. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush – When cream blushes hit the scene again a while back, visions of my mother with little pots of lipstick colored goop flashed before my eyes. I knew the powder blush I was using faded in an hour which didn’t make me too happy. I’m glad I gave Dream Bouncy Blush a try because it was nothing like anything out at the time. It’s not a heavy cream–it’s a lightweight gel with a smooth texture and blend-able color. The formula seems to have longer wear which I like even more than powder. Oily complexions should not be scared–it’s not heavy at all. Good shades with no shine!

12. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Lip Gloss – I think I am going on my fifth year or more that I’d have to put this is as my favorite lipgloss. And for all the right reasons! It’s available in many, many different shades–warm, cool & neutral. It’s not sticky, but its consistency is just heavy enough to keep the color strong for hours. And if all that isn’t enough, the fact it conditions your lips while it’s on sets it apart from all the rest! I’m not sure if I’d agree with it’s 8 hour claim, but I would say out of all glosses I own, it does stay on and true to color the longest.

13. Physicians Formula Talc Free Mineral Wear Correcting Translucent Powder – This item is odd looking but it does the job. It’s a tri-color talc-free powder that adjusts with your skintone to set your makeup look giving you a nice, even matte finish. Plus it’s formula is gentle even on the most sensitive skin!

14. Milani High Speed Fast Dry Nail Lacquer – Some people may not say a coat of nail polish is part of your daily makeup routine, but for a well-put together look, I think it is a necessity. Nicely polished nails–in any color–just show that you care about your appearance. Does it have to be a flashy color? No. A neat white or bare pink is fine. But a fast-drying coat of polish that you can put on in minutes before flying out the door can really give you a well, put-togethered look.

15. Paul Mitchell Hold Me Tight Finishing Spray – Wait!! Before you grab your coat, purse, sunglasses and cell phone, give your hair one last look, fluff where needed, then give it an all over spray with this non-sticky, soft but strong holding hair spray. It keeps the frizzies in check, holds your style and doesn’t damage your hair with stiff gluey ingredients. Even though it is a salon brand, thank heavens you can get it in your local drugstore. My hair will be forever thankful!

So, I went a little over the usual Top 10 lists, but the fact is this: with my 15 items? Your skin, face, nails AND hair will be looking fab. I want to make sure you have not just MY favorite drug store items but my favorite items that can give you a complete look as well as take care of your skin! I’m not sure what drugstores are local to where you live so I didn’t want to quote stores or prices since they can vary. But, FYI? … All of the items I listed were found on walgreens.com and iPhone app. That can give you a lead on where you might want to start.
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Hope this gave you some helpful info before your next glamour run at the store. Stay sassy ladies!!