Tag Archives: Ulta

Sassy’s Lifesavers (Part Two)

14 May

In a previous post, I wanted to share my skin care routine with my readers and followers. I know that many of us are dazzled by makeup and all the colors and techniques that go with it. Before you can have any glamour look amazing on your face, you need a good canvas. A clean, fresh slate to work your color magic on. When I first got into the skin care and makeup industry, I learned how important it was to have your skin in the best condition possible. Otherwise, your makeup just won’t look its best. I’m often reminded of the story of the farmer that couldn’t understand why his barn always looked old even though he would try to put a fresh coat of paint on it every year. Why did it look sloppy? Because the farmer didn’t “prep” the barn before painting it. He didn’t remove the old paint, sand down the rough spots, wash it thoroughly or treat the wood properly. He just kept slapping on new paint without taking care of the barn first. Your face is the exactly the same way. You need to treat your skin to give you the best base you can before you add any color.

I mentioned before that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:
• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

An evening skin care routine show be:
• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)
• Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Although it sounds simple—and it should be—it can be difficult to get into the routine if you haven’t had one before. You need to take some time to make sure you are getting what your skin needs, with ingredients that are pure and healthy, targeted to do what you need for your skin’s concerns. I am an exception to the rule with my skin being “normal”. I will say, however, that it took MANY years of right’s and wrong’s to get it that way. When you do some research, try some products and get what is right for you, you will notice the change in the way your skin looks and feels very quickly. The clock is going to keep ticking when it comes to your skin… the best we can do is give it what it needs to slow that down as much as possible.

Part One we covered my morning routine. Today let’s talk about the evening:

Before Bed Routine

Cleanse:
Same As The A.M.

You don’t need special products to clean your face in the evening. Your morning cleansers work just as good. Follow the directions and use them just as you would before you put on your daily makeup.

Exfoliate:
This is where things can get a little “sensitive”. Literally. Anyone who has sensitive skin knows that many exfoliators can have ingredients that can be irritating, burning, harsh or down right painful for your face. This may take some different trial products to find the ones you like. I seriously suggest you go to a makeup store (like Ulta or Sephora) to get samples of the ones you may want to try, just to use them a few times before making the final purchase. Another idea may be to sign up for a glamour subscription (like “Ipsy” or “How to be a Redhead”) and try some of their suggestions. The only negative about that is you have no idea what you will get and won’t be able to research ingredients or reviews first. Depending on your skin type or what you want your mask to do, you may just want to do a search of these products and read which ones are fan favorites.

For me, I absolutely love Albertini International’s Warm Love Exfoliating Mask. This came as a sample in my H2BAR’s October subscription box and it was not just great for fall but for any time of the year. It does say “mask” however I tend to just rub it on my face (it will get a little warm and tingly as it stimulates blood flow) and rinse off with cool water. It’s a gentle scrub that doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

Another one of my favorites is BeFine’s Exfoliating Cleanser. When you use this product 2-3 times a week, you can eliminate your cleansing step that day as this does both. This natural gem is filled with brown sugar for a light scrub, ginger root extract for detoxifying, sweet almond oil to keep your skin’s moisture balance, and orange oil to help heal skin imperfections. This non-irritating healthy cleansing scrub clears away dull damaged skin that can accumulate after a couple of days. Your skin will feel soft and will instantly brighten your face.

Mask: Well, that depends…
Masks are essential in your weekly beauty routine because they get “down and dirty” to target problems with your skin. Because of the different brands, formulas and types of masks that target specific issues, giving your skin a treatment mask will help you ultra-nourish your skin with a weekly dose of goodness. They tend to have more precise/stronger ingredients than daily products do. That is why you really only need them once a week.

There are times when I can feel the buildup of environmental “ick”. I think you know what I mean. This is when I use my newest find. Last year, I posted about a new body cream by a company called Rad which I love. A few weeks ago, while killing time at a local mall, I actually saw Rad’s flagship store! I was SOOO excited to go in and meet the owner to rave about how much I loved her products. We chatted and talked for a while, as she remembered me writing about her products. She knew I had sensitive skin (from the article) and insisted I try this face mask that she thought I would like. She was right! Rad’s Skin Psyche Detox Face Mask is incredible. Enriched with ingredients such as Marshmallow Root, Coffee Bean and Jojoba, this mask is blended with essential oils to detoxify the skin by opening pores and drawing out accumulated toxins. After the first time I used it, I can’t begin to explain how soft and healthy my skin felt. The jar is large and you don’t use a lot. Just apply—avoiding the eye area—let sit for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse.

When I am getting ready for a week of photos and need my skin to feel a little more tight and fresh, I fall back on an old-school style peel-off mask by Labotica called Transforming Liquid Foil Mask. There isn’t much this mask doesn’t do, but my main attraction to it is how well it brightens and firms up your skin. Made with nourishing botanical exracts that calm inflammation, this luxurious pearlescent saint goes on like a creamy liquid and dries to a silvery, shiny, peel off mask. I like to make sure it is doing its job, so I let it set about 30 minutes then peel. Get off as much as you can, being careful around the eye area. Any little specks that you can’t peel off will come off with a cotton ball and water or micellar water. I love how my skin looks and feels after this relaxing treat!

Night Serum: TwinMedix Pro: Essentials A15
I bet by now you are seeing a trend with my love of the TwinMedix products. That’s because they work to keep my skin healthy and young looking—hands down. TwinMedix Pro:Essentials A15 night serum is formulated with 0.15% Retinal (pure Vitamin A) and antioxidants to help improve and diminish the appearance of aging skin by softening the look of existing wrinkles and increasing cell turnover to bring younger skin to the surface. Using a small amount over your clean face before bed will leave you waking up to softer, fresher looking skin.

Moisturizer/Night Cream: Lumene Artic Lumenessence Valo Light Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream
Way back, when I first began writing, I had used several of the Lumene products since they were easy to obtain at my local CVS drug store. After a while, two things happened: 1) CVS began to carry less and less Lumene products and; 2) because my skin was way more sensitive than it had once been, I was concerned that this product may not agree with my skin the way it once had. One day, I received an email from a beauty company that asked me to try a moisturizer and give them my feedback. I got a coupon, and out I went. It was Lumene’s Overnight Cream. Awesome! I went out, grabbed a jar, and took it home to try. The first thing I noticed about it was that it had a great citrus scent to it. It wasn’t heavy but it did feel enriching. The jar is decent sized and the amount you need is very little. Plus the added benefit of it containing Vitamin C helps to even skin tone and brighten my face while I sleep.

So that is how Sassy tends to her skin–keeping it soft, smooth and young looking as I try my hardest to fight the hands of time. For someone my age?…. I think I’m winning. Some of my skin care products are a necessity due to my sensitive skin. Others, however, can be used by anyone. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body. If you would do everything you could to make sure your heart and brain were in tip-top shape, why wouldn’t you do the same for your skin. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Whatever you choose to buy, just make sure you do your research first. Keep yourself looking your best (and youngest) with natural products and ingredients that will fend off Father Time for as long as possible!

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End of the summer? – Start Preparing…

29 Aug

summer-is-almost-over

You have probably been to the store and have started to see school supplies in the aisle. If you live someplace other than where I am (upstate NY), schools may already be in session. That means it is time to start thinking about cooler temperatures and autumn colors. Don’t worry—you definitely have some time. We will still enjoy some warmer temps before that fall chill hits the air. (FYI, this is a great time to start hunting for summer/year round necessities that may be on clearance) But before the hustle and bustle of back to school, starting college, soccer mom schedules or anything else overtakes your precious little bit of free time, you may want to keep a look out for a few of these goodies to prepare yourself ahead of time!
Foot Peel FootCream AloeSox



1) Time for post-summer home pedicures. You have been wearing sandals all season and your feet feel like leather. It happens to many of us, including me. I try to keep my feet soft, smooth and healthy all season but I really want to make sure they are in great condition before boots weather hit. I suggest an alpha-hydroxy foot cream that sloughs off the dead skin without harsh abrasives. Then follow with an extra rich foot cream with natural oils and minerals. For an extra boost, apply at bedtime and cover with aloe infused socks! Sassy uses: Shemen Amour Foot Peeling Cream and Mineral Foot Cream. Shemenamourusa.com, $20.00 each; Airplus Aloe Infused Spa Socks. $2.97, Walmart.

GraffitiNudes ClayBlush BrushCleanser

2) Give your makeup a once over. Pull out those drawers and boxes where you have all of your makeup stored. Look over each piece. Is it leaking? Is it crushed? Is it more than a year old? (3 months if it is mascara), Do you still wear it? Do you have doubles of things? Really think about each piece you look at. If you aren’t going to use it or if it is old, just toss it. Don’t take up the space if it isn’t needed, wanted or might not be a healthy option. Try to minimize your makeup as much as possible. And just because you threw out one thing doesn’t mean you need to replace it with two! (I know you do it…. Because I do too!) If possible, throw out multiple singe eye shadows and replace them with one new, good pallet. Try reducing your blush colors to just two—a good warm shade and a nice cool one. And don’t forget about your makeup tools. When was the last time you took care of them? Give them a good cleaning with anti-bacterial soap and let them air dry. Get in the habit of taking care of your tools by rinsing each one with a quick, daily cleaner after each use. This will not just keep the brushes in good condition longer but will keep the makeup you use with them fresher longer too! Sassy likes: Maybelline’s Nudes Eyeshadow Palette in Graffiti Nudes and Rock Nudes. Ulta, $9.99 each; Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Glisten (shimmering peachy pink) and Dazzled (shimmery soft rose), Ulta, $28.00 each; Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner. $24.00, Sephora.

WomenCardigan LongLeanTank HenleyTee Yoga

3) Analyze your closet. Now is a good time to take a look to see what you did wear and what you didn’t during the summer. If you did wear it, you are good to go. If you didn’t? Start asking yourself some questions why: Does it fit? Is it out of style? Is it out of your style? Can you integrate it into the fall/winter season? Is it worn? Was it just a bad purchase decision? Use these guides to help you decide whether you want to keep it out for next season, you will pack it away for next season when the weather gets cold, or if you need to give it away. This time of year, after my sorting has been done, I try to see if I can grab anything that might be on sale that I can wear during the fall with a sweater or jacket. Things I like to look for are things like camis, t-shirts, thin long sleeves, lightweight cardigans, maxi dresses and other clothes that can be layered. These items are perfect with a cardigan or even a hoodie. Sassy likes: Junior Drape Front Open Cardigan, $13.78; Women’s Long & Lean Tank, $2.70+; Women’s Crochet Front Henley Tee, $12.58; Junior’s Yoga Tie Waist Pant (assorted styles), $4.48. All available at some Target stores and Target.com

skinnyserum Olay burtsbees ShemenHand



4) Get ready for extra moisturizer. When the season changes, the first thing that usually notices is your skin…. so now is the time to get ready. Really think from head to toe: your hair, your face, your lips, your hands and especially your body. All of these things can be affected when the weather gets cooler and indoor heat starts kicking on once in a while at home and at work. If possible, keep the temperature in your home warm not hot, avoid cranking the heat, crack the windows for some fresh air whenever you can, and grab an extra blanket instead of turning on the furnace. Adding a few plants will keep moisture in the air which helps your skin as well. You do not have to go out and change everything you need for your skin—sometimes just adding a product once in a while can give your skin that little extra boost without spending a ton to improve its moisture retention. Sassy likes: Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum at select salons; Olay Regenerist Regenerating Face Serum (Fragrance-Free), $23.99 at Walgreens; Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal Lip Balm, $4.49 and Burt’s Bees Body Lotion w/Milk & Honey, $9.99 at Walgreens; Shemen Amour Mineral Hand & Nails Cream, $18.00 at ShemenAmourUSA.com

AntibacterialSoap5) Get your body ready too. Kids are getting ready to head back to school, if they haven’t already. This means that those charming little nasty germs are going to be flying around more than ever. I remember when my kids were in elementary school, they would both bring me home a case of strep throat in less than a month after classes began. As much as you can prepare or try to prevent, it is not unusual for some of those buggers to get to you, and it isn’t hard to go from parent to patient very quickly. Even if you don’t have kids, just grabbing a shopping cart at your local supermarket can turn your hands into a germ breeding ground. If you haven’t yet this year (before it gets really busy!), get yourself to the doctor for a physical to make sure your health is good. That would be your chance to ask about any immunizations needed, vitamins, or general tests you might need. The best thing to remember is that your hands are germ breeders. Keep them clean with anti-bacterial soap and use hand sanitizer only if you can’t wash them properly. General rule?—It takes 20 seconds of washing to kill germs and bacteria. Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” twice while washing to be effective! Sassy likes: Softsoap Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap with Moisturizers in Fresh Citrus, price varies at different retail & drug stores.

So now you have ideas that will help you transition into changes in weather and temperatures. Of course, you may run into days that will be hot like the middle of summer as well as days that are cooler than fall. Days like that may throw your usual fashion and skincare selections into a tailspin. Don’t panic. Each morning, take a look at the weather forecast and take a possible +/- 5 degree difference into consideration when making your selections for the day. With a little hunting and different options, it’s not too difficult to make this transition as “smooth” as possible!

Sunset

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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