Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Mention of MAC

I wanted to quickly mention something that most of you may already know about. However, it's good to mention, nonetheless. S informed me of the MAC Recycling Program a few months ago and it's a cool program! I thought about it this morning as I applied my Ricepaper shadow to my lid - I'm starting to run low on that stuff because I use it every single day!

The MAC Recycling Program essentially has you trade in six of your old MAC products to a MAC store or via snail mail and they will give you a free MAC lipstick in exchange. This way, you are properly disposing of your old makeup materials and getting a little something out of it at the same time. In fact, I believe S was able to get a new eyeshadow when she went to the store in person. That's a great way to try out a new color!

So be sure to save your old MAC containers and do the exchange. It's a win-win situation.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best Part of Waking Up

I don't usually walk into Bath and Body Works anymore, but I did last month and something caught my eye. It was the packaging of a product. I saw a golden and green shiny bottle that was intriguing to me - almost calling my name. My mom was at the front of the line already so it was crunch time if I needed to throw in an extra product - I didn't want to wait on that long line again! I grabbed it, smelled it, and decided it would be a great body wash for me. After all, I was in the market for a new body wash. I went with it.

A few days later, I finally broke out my Ginger Mentha Warming Mint Body Wash by C.O. Bigelow. I was pleasantly surprised when I felt it on my body - it warmed up instantly!! You would think I would have realized this with the keyword "Warming" in the very name of the product, but alas, I did not. Ginger Mentha is minty, creamy, and even has some scrubbing beads in it.

Ever feel like you can't pull yourself out from under the warm covers on a cold, rainy day? Well, C.O. Bigelow's formula is the perfect way to wake me up in the morning and definitely to get me going. It keeps me fresh and comfortable -- who wants to feel cold in the shower?

I love C.O. Bigelow's Ginger Mentha Warming Mint Body Wash! Makes for a great stocking stuffer too! ;)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Stage with my Sole Mate

I've heard many-a-girl tell me they are so tired of the cult favorite nail polish Wicked by Essie. So I went on a mission to find something that could replace it. What did I find, you ask? My new fave is Sephora by OPI's On Stage.

This shade of purple (yes, purple) is great for the Fall and Winter seasons. It's dark (but not too dark) and vibrant. And because it's a Sephora by OPI, it lasts well over a week, dries fast, and looks nice and shiny. I absolutely love it. And it's not like it clashes with anything - it can definitely match anything you're wearing. I love it!

I've also been eyeing Sole Mate by Essie for my nails. It's a deep red/burgundy color that I think is great for the holiday season. I have yet to actually seek it out (hey, I've been thinking about Christmas shopping for others!), but it's a great stocking stuffer. Maybe Santa will bring it to me ;).

Sometimes we tend to get a little bored or tired of the same old stuff. Luckily, we have lots of options each season to adapt our normal favorites to represent new trends. On Stage and Sole Mate are two of this year's favorites for me.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not So Blush

Being the makeup-obsessed lover that I am, I of course had to sneak a peek at the new Lifetime reality show, Blush. I hadn't heard much buzz around it - in fact, I missed the first episode. Had it not been for @ElkeVonF, I would have probably let the show go under the radar. She had said that she wasn't too thrilled with the work they did on the show and I definitely need to agree.

Now, I'm no professional, but I just think the work they were doing on the show was so boring or way too over-the-top. Their first challenge was to use a bunch of food products as makeup for the models' faces. I guess they did their best - who knows what I would've done with the products myself - but for professional makeup artists (some are amateurs, however), I don't know how they are where they are.

Of course we have the diva attitudes and crazy personalities. One guy is just ridiculous and of course he was saved from elimination the first day. Now, if you were saved from elimination and were mostly praised by the judges for your work on your first task, wouldn't you just keep quiet? It seems that he has some sort of issue with himself or his work or with being with other people. He has his guard up and it's quite annoying. He may be doing an OK job, but he needs to get out of there.

I do not know what happened after that premiere episode. Despite watching it on demand, I didn't feel compelled enough to watch the second episode. This is one reality competition show that I'll sadly have to pass on. They still need to learn a few things for sure, but this makeup lover is definitely gonna stick to working my own mascara and blush.


Friday, November 21, 2008

A Pleasant Liquid Eyeliner Surprise

I never thought that I'd like any kind of cream or liquid makeup, but I was definitely wrong. I decided to try out some liquid eyeliner because it seemed that when S used it, her eyes seemed much more dramatic than my pencil-lined eyes. S uses Chanel's felt-tipped liquid eyeliner, but I decided to try out Maybelline's Lineworks® Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner because of its similar felt tip (not to mention it's significantly lower price).

I absolutely love this liner. It's so rich in color, sharp-looking, and lasts all day. And although I normally stay away from waterproof because it's so hard to remove at the end of the day, this is the perfect liner that will come right off with a few wipes of my cotton ball soaked in eye makeup remover.

Liquid liner should be applied only above the top lashes and in an almost dotted-line fashion. It's easier than doing one flail swoop and you'll get a straighter line this way. The good thing about liquid liner, too, is that you can fix any mistakes with a Q-tip. It's great!! (Just don't forget to connect all the dots!!)

I'm really excited that I found a great drugstore product. Although I usually go to Sephora for all my makeup needs, I scored a great liquid eyeliner with Maybelline's Lineworks® Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. This just goes to show you that you might find such a great product when you least expect it. I never thought liquid or waterproof products were for me. I also don't normally run into the drugstore to pick up a new product because I can't test it. But this time these three variables really helped me pick the perfect eyeliner.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is This All I Need?

I got back to the gym yesterday. I am very excited about that. I've been pumped all day long! After my lovely shower last night, I decided I should really put moisturizer on right after I get out of the shower. My moisturizer even says to put on after you've washed your face and it is still damp. I thought, hey, why not follow the directions? My face felt so soft and protected and smooth. I was very happy about that.

Now my question - was it that I put moisturizer on twice yesterday or that I've begun using yet another different moisturizer? I purchased Prescriptives All You Need + SPF 15 moisturizer for oilier skin recently and have found my face to be nice and smooth. With my new revelation, I think what I should do is put my tinted moisturizer on in the morning and my regular Prescriptives on at night. That sounds like a good plan.

I've been rather obsessive in my search for the right moisturizer, I know. And my face literally produces more oil than a bottle of EVOO. Now, I know what you're thinking, if you have such oily skin, why a moisturizer?

I was told by a makeup artist at Nordstrom in Vegas that everyone should use a moisturizer, no matter what their skin type. If you have dry skin, it's obvious why you'll need a moisturizer. But if you have oily skin it's also important. You see, when you wash your face, some of the natural oils are whisked away. Your face naturally produces oils after this, but overcompensates for the fact that your face has no oil on it at all. And poof! Way too much oil - which is very hard to accept. I'm certainly not a fan.

Two thumbs up for Prescriptives moisturizer. I'll keep you posted…


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twinkly and Sparkly

I was recently talking about bronzers with S and told her how much I love my NARS Laguna. She pointed out that she wasn't that big a fan of Laguna because it has sparkles in it and she likes her bronzer to be matte. I thought this was a great point, but I had never even noticed that this NARS bronzer had any sparkle to it! But she was right because when I looked at it again I noticed the subtle sparkles in the palette.

Sparkles. There's a time to use them and a time to save them. Are they a look we should strive for? Last year I got a sample of Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy and loved it when I paired it with Urban Decay's Mildew. When I bought it a few months later, I felt that it was way too sparkly for a day at work, which is why I prefer MAC's Ricepaper (even MAC's Gleam is a bit too sparkly). In fact, Urban Decay's website does define the shade as "pink champagne w/ lots of silver glitter."

For daily wear, I do continue to use my NARS Laguna because I feel like my face is not all sparkly. Sparkles, to me, indicate party time - a night out on the town when you want to highlight and be dramatic. However, sparkles can actually be very fetching and fun if done correctly.

Subtle sparkles are the way to go for a day at work or an event where you want to have a more natural look. Glam it up with fun sparkles when you go to the club or want to liven up your typical smoky eye. It's a great way to have fun with your makeup!! Let's just not go crazy… I mean, I don't want to see my reflection in your eyes, but a little sparkle here and there is always a good thing. It's like putting a little twinkle in your eye. ;)


Monday, November 3, 2008

Sephora is Like Family!

Not much to report today, as I'm feeling under the weather. However, this made me feel a lot better! What will you be buying at the Sephora Friends and Family sale?? It's a great time to stock up and/or buy for the holidays!! Enjoy!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Almost Sold on Moisturizer...

I tried Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. I'm loving it and using it daily: it is oil-free, tinted, and has protection from the sun - it's the triple threat of moisturizers. I needed to replace the Stila moisturizer because it just wasn't doing it for me anymore. I felt that when I made the switch from the SPF 15 to the SPF 30, I couldn't apply it as easily and it felt heavy on my face.

So when I got a sample from Sephora of Laura Mercier, I was much more inclined to try it out. I liked it and went to go pick one up for myself and have been using it daily. It's sheer, non-greasy, and provides nice coverage

However, I'm still not convinced on the Laura Mercier moisturizer, as $42 is pretty hefty to pay for a moisturizer. With that said though, I feel that if I'm going to spend money on something, it might as well be on a good moisturizer. My face has a tendency to break out and I have long battled a history of acne. I really do want to make sure that I have a good product on my face that will not clog my pores and cause me to break out.

What do I need in a good moisturizer? Requirement one is certainly having it be oil free. Requirement two would be for the moisturizer to be light on my face. Lastly, I would look at the price. I think that having it be tinted isn't really the most important part because I do use bronzer on a daily basis. It's nice to have a little bit of color, but to be honest I don't think that it gives that much "tint" to your face.

I'm not sure if I'll buy Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer again. I'm going to see what else is out there, but moisturizer is really so important, even with my severely oily skin. Go figure. I'm still on the hunt…


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Extra Super (and Fabulous) Lash

My cousin is a genius. I mean GENIUS.

BP called me up the other day after reading some of my posts and told me that I just had to get Rimmel London's Extra Super Lash mascara. She claimed it worked really well, didn't run down her face ever, and made her lashes look long and full. And the best part: it only costs $2.99!!

Extra Super Lash is a thin, short brush that goes on nice and light, but keeps my lashes straight up all day. Yesterday, AB asked me if I was wearing false eyelashes. I was not! Just two coats of Extra Super Lash.

Of course, I prepped my lashes with a curl of my shu uemura eyelash curler and a base coat of Prescriptives Lash Builder primer. This is a perfect mascara for everyday wear and will certainly not break the bank! Go get Rimmel London's Extra Super Lash now!!! Thanks, prima.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Pencil

I used the brown Smashbox cream eyeliner pencil from the On in 5 kit the other day and came up with a few conclusions.

1. It goes on really smoothly. I mean it pretty much just glides right on to your lid. That's cream for ya.

2. That same creamy goodness may have also been what led it to run a little bit on my lid and disappear by the end of the day for the most part. While nice and dark at first glance, it pretty much blended with the rest of my makeup the rest of the day.

3. It was so dark at first that it was so noticeably brown. I had to offset that with a non-black mascara, because let's face it - I really hate black and brown together. Ha. It's pretty much an impossibility for me. So I just had an extra excuse to use Benefit's BADgal Plum!

4. I'm not totally loving Smashbox cream eyeliner pencils, but I think they could be good if you're just going out for a few hours and want to line your eyes quickly. I wouldn't say they are great for long-lasting wear, but great for ease and dramatic color.


FYI: It seems that this pencil is an exclusive from the kit. Most Smashbox cream liners come in a little pot and you need a brush to apply it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Falling Flat

I have a dilemma. It may sound silly. And it actually is not makeup-related. But for the sake of beauty I must ask this question: what flat iron should I be using?

Let me tell you a little story. I was about 15 years old at a debate tournament in Albany (yes, I was a nerd) when I tried my first straightener. It was a 2" Solano Sapphire flat iron with a comb on one side. I was instantly hooked and needed to purchase one immediately. Ever since then, I've been using the same flat iron. I know, it's crazy. It's been eight years - EIGHT! But I can't seem to get rid of it.

Last year, in fact, I decided that I needed a new one so of course I went with the Chi. I figured that the 1" would be perfect for me. However, it seems that this is not the case. I cannot get as straight or as silky as I do with my Sapphire. I'm actually not satisfied with my Chi at all! When I cut my hair significantly to have a bob in April, I thought the Chi would work much better for me, but to my utter disappointment it still does not.

I've been doing a lot of thinking on this puzzling problem and came up with a few things: maybe my Chi doesn't get hot enough or maybe I need to have a comb in my flat iron like the Sapphire to brush through my hair as I straighten. Whatever the case may be, I must get on it. I can't get the Sapphire again because I just feel like it's too heavy and bulky - this is technology from eight years ago that we're talking about here.

Can anyone suggest an amazing flat iron for this slightly wavy-haired gal?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

REVIEW: Smashbox On in 5

Alright. I'm here to tell you about my Smashbox On in 5 kit. It came so incredibly quickly! I placed the order on Tuesday afternoon and my package was waiting for me on Friday when I got home from work. And it came via USPS - nice work!!

As for the kit. I'm in love with pretty much everything. Here's the breakdown:

• Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermexyl Complex - first of all, I love that the primer has SPF in it. I cannot say enough good things about having SPF in your face products because it's so important to protect that sensitive area of your body. I, at one time, had the Photo Finish Correcting primer. It's the green one. I liked it but got tired of it after a while. But this is slightly different. It is such a light product. I can barely feel it on my face. It's just so nice to not feel like I have at least six different products on my face. I think it works very well.

• Bionic Mascara in Jet Black - I love mascara, as you may have guessed. However, I think this Smashbox mascara is average. I wouldn't say it blew me away or that it's the worst one I've ever tried, but it's definitely good to use once in a while or for daily, neutral wear.

• NEW! Cream eyeliner Pencil in Midnight Brown - I have yet to try the pencil. I'm not sure about the "cream" part, but I'm willing to give it a shot of course!

• Photo Op Under Eye Brightener - when you say "eye brightener" to me, I somehow think I'm going to instantly appear awakened. I don't have a problem to begin with with dark circles, but my eyes are probably around the same after I applied the product. I'll continue to use it and will need to monitor the difference over time.

• Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illumene - gloss is a sticky subject for me. And this is a typical gloss. However, I do like the light, natural color. This is great if I'm really exaggerating my eyes. Dark eyes and subtle lips often work well to balance your look out.

• NEW! Fusion Eye & Cheek color in On In 5 - here, I'm a little confused. This palette is for eyes and cheeks. But I'm not sure that I'd use this on my cheeks. I like a more pigmented, universal hue. But for eyes, it works on a daily basis or just for a typical, natural look.

All in all, I do think this Smashbox kit is worth the money. And if you need basic products, they are all in this kit. Really, you can complete your entire natural look in this little box. Nice work!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Exceptional Chanel

I'd like to continue today's mascara theme by talking a little bit about my trials as of late. Like S, I love to find a new mascara that will enhance my lashes to the fullest extent. With that in mind, I finally got to try out Chanel Exceptionnel. I had heard mixed reviews on the product - that it flaked; that it was too difficult to use; that it wasn't worth the money. But I would have to give this Chanel mascara two thumbs up!

OK, so Chanel Exceptionnel is not your typical mascara. It has an interesting brush - one that will not allow for smooth application if not used correctly. You cannot apply it like you would any other mascara - carefully wiggling from root to tip. Instead, you must use it in circular motions, rolling it outward from the root until you get to the tip. Chanel has a nice demo on their website in order to help you get the best usage out of this new mascara product.

It's not very difficult to learn how to use Chanel Exceptionnel. It works so well once you get the hang of it because it's like you are applying mascara, while curling your lashes at the same time. I find the result to be full, long, non-clumpy lashes that are sure to brighten anyone's face. It's an absolute must to try out. It is a little pricey at $28, so see if you can score yourself a sample - that's how I did it. I got a card in the mail from Macy's and brought it by the Chanel counter. Otherwise, if you can spend a few extra dollars on a good product, I'd suggest going straight for it and checking out why Chanel Exceptionnel is so exceptional.


On in 5!

I just discovered a great combo kit. It's by Smashbox and it's an Ulta exclusive. On in 5 has all the essentials you'll need for a fresh, natural-looking face:

• Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermexyl Complex
• Bionic Mascara in Jet Black
• NEW! Cream eyeliner Pencil in Midnight Brown
• Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
• Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illumene
• NEW! Fusion Eye & Cheek color in On In 5

Primer is a must for any face that's about to see some foundation. Eye brightener is perfect for those nasty under-eye circles and lines (I've heard such good things about this particular Smashbox eye brightener). Mascara, liner, and blush are really just essential. And gloss is a great finishing touch. The best part is that this kit is by Smashbox, which is a great brand! But what's even better is the price - it's only $47 on (and it's worth $141!).

I just might have to order this kit! With such great products and easy applications, you really can be On (or out the door) in 5!


Ultimate Disappointment

I have been on the hunt for another mascara. Now, I know what you must be thinking - you already use so many! But as I have said many times I am a firm believer that when using mascara, more is MORE!! Daily, I use about four different mascaras and, no, it doesn't take long at all!! My makeup is done in five minutes flat.

I ALWAYS use Mac Prep and Prime and Mac Zoom, without substitutions. To add to this daily combination, I decided to try shu uemura's Ultimate Expression mascara and I was totally disappointed. I mean it literally felt like there was no improvement in my lashes at all. The formula, itself, was kind of dull as well so overall it was just a bad purchase. THANK GOD Sephora will exchange almost anything for you because $23 was a lot to spend on a bad product.

It's back to the drawing board for me, but I'm sure I'll be able to get a good review up for all you Makeup Lovers soon!! Until then, keep searching and let us know what your cant-live-without mascara is!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dreaming of Gleam

Talking to makeup artists and salespeople often is a good idea. I, myself, have been skeptical in the past, thinking that all they would try to do is sell me something I don't really need. However, you must remember that while they probably earn a commission for what they sell you, they are extremely knowledgeable (we hope) and deal with these products all the time.

Case and point - my MAC store experience the other day. I walked in looking for a navy-colored shadow and was immediately greeted by a girl who helped me see that the shade I would have picked at first was not eh one I should purchase. It was a different shade (Contrast) that I initially wasn't too sold on. She then asked me what I might pair it with. Ricepaper, of course, was my answer.

She was very approving of my choice, but still suggested another I may not have though of - Gleam. It was also soft, but more of a peach color. I did love it, but decided it was unnecessary. But now - I can't stop thinking about it! I really want to pick myself up some Gleam.

Lesson here: listen to salespeople, but don't impulse buy either. If it's something that might end up working for you, then you'll be back to the store eventually!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Neutral and Natural

I think every girl needs a neutral eyeshadow in their makeup repertoire. My staple product: MAC Eyeshadow in Ricepaper. Retailing at $14.50, it is worth every penny. I use it every single day for a neutral, work-look and even on the weekends for my dramatic look for a night out. It's my default and most sought-after color.

MAC's Ricepaper is a shiny, golden color and is light so it's great to throw on as a little something extra. Ricepaper is great as a base and as a highlighter for under the browbone. I've also added Ricepaper over other shadows to give my eyes an extra glow.

Whether you want to be natural, accent your look, or want to blend your shadows, this neutral shade of MAC eyeshadow is perfect for any look!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Make Eyes Bright!

Ok so I know that I have basically been on hiatus, but my life has been one big mess lately! One thing that I can say that has been pretty amazing, however, is the compliments that I have been getting every single day without fail on my eye makeup. The funny part about it is that all I ever wear is mascara, and one other magic eye product - Benefit EyeBright.

This is the most amazing eye pencil because it basically just makes your eyes pop. It's a pinkish-white liner that goes on the corner of your eyes and just makes you instantly look awake. The best part about this product is that it comes with instructions!! Basically, Benefit EyeBright is foolproof in more ways than one.

So if for whatever reason you just cannot get enough beauty sleep, Benefit EyeBright is the product for you!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Makeup Police

Despite the disaster of a show that was the Emmys last night, I managed to make a few observations on the faces of some of TV's finest. Some were good and some were bad. Welcome to the Makeup Police.

Despite all the speculation of the Desperate Housewives star being pregnant, Eva Longoria Parker swears she's just fat. But this doesn't mean she needs to look like a crazy person. Personally, I love Eva. She's great in her role as Gabrielle Solis and she's cute as a button. And I loved when she got her bob (I have one myself). But what was with her makeup? Her raccoon eyes were so jarring, matched by her feathery short number. She was lost in the glamour that was her Desperate Housewives co-stars.

What Eva should have done was dialed down the eyes just a little. While stage makeup needs to be a bit heavier to be seen, she wasn't performing. In fact most of the night she was sitting down. I am the number one fan of the smoky eye, but on Eva last night it was not flattering. It almost looked like she couldn't get all her eye makeup off from the night before!

I loved Lauren Conrad's makeup. She usually gets that right. Our favorite The Hills actress was glowing and had just the right amount of makeup to go with her look. I've always been a fan of the way she lines the top of her eyes. Now if only I could perfect that on myself!

A quick mention of Christina Applegate and America Ferrera. Though they both looked stunning in their gowns, I was not really a fan of their makeup. Christina needed a different color on her lips and maybe a different bronzer. She also should carry some kind of oil blotting sheets or perhaps Smashbox's Anti-Shine compact for touch-ups. America's lipstick was far too bold for my taste. However, if we're going to go light on the eyes, we should have one part pop - and that was the lips for America. She just looked kind of young to me.

Finally, we have Tina Fey. She looked fresh-faced and ready to accept her Best Actress and Best Writing awards! And she was Sarah-Palin-glasses free! Though she may have benefited from some eyeliner and some more color, she looked great and let her dress and humor shine through for her big wins. I'll call Tiny Fey the anti-Eva Longoria.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Liners and Risk Takers

I've been seeing a lot of blue liners for the bottom lid recently. On Friday, I went to do SEV's makeup. Upon doing her eyes, I put a thin turquoise line under her bottom lashes (in addition to lining the inner, bottom lid with black). After all, her dress was this color and I really thought it would accent her eyes perfectly.

When she first saw the color there she was a bit jarred, but slowly got used to it after a while. And when she asked the opinion of others, they told her she needed to leave the color there because it looked amazing. She ended up loving it and said I had made the right decision with the color.

I love taking risks. It does depend on what risk I happen to be taking, but I generally like to do some things that are out of the ordinary. SEV also ended up wearing a pair or orange earrings with her turquoise dress. Was it a perfect match of colors? Absolutely not. Was it daring? Most definitely. Did it look amazing? It certainly did.

And these are just little risks. A change in makeup or accessory can be a slight deviance but it may make a huge difference. Switch it up, be daring, and add some color to your face, especially if black is a staple in your everyday wardrobe - the possibilities are endless.


Photo: Hilary Duff on - Jeff Frank/Zuma Press

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Faves Modified

I'm pumped! I've been following Beauty and the Blog (that's Sephora's very own beauty blog) and saw some great things they are discovering at Sephora's San Francisco Headquarters. Check 'em out. I can't wait until they come out!

Product 1 - Laura Geller Tinted Spackle - beginning September 24th, you can now buy this excellent foundation primer in a tinted version. How great is that!! Now, I can use Mario Bedescu's regular moisturizer and save the tinting for the primer during the winter months. I'm sure I'll switch back and forth, however, on the Stila tinted moisturizer and the good old original spackle

Product 2 - Benefit BADGal Plum Mascara - Our fave blue mascara for the summer will now be available in a deep purple for the fall! Purple is the new black and is certainly the fashionable color for this next season of leaves dropping and cool breezes. Walk out into the world with fashionable eyes and use purple mascara to accent your eyes. This sounds absolutely amazing!


Consulting on Makeup

I had my first makeup consultation the other night. It was so much fun!! I worked with Chanel makeup (which blends in such an amazing way!), did some smoky eyes for the mother of the groom, and booked myself a job for the day of the wedding! Hopefully this is just the beginning of a great side job!

M had had surgery on her eyes a while back, so without any makeup they are a bit red. But never fear! We used Prescriptives Flawless Skin concealer on her eyes and in no time, they were just the same color as the rest of her face, which gave me a fresh canvas to work on.

I used the new Chanel palette - Quadra Eye Shadow. It has white, silver, charcoal, and black in it. The colors blended beautifully. I used M's liner (I think it was Lancome), but I suggested she switch to the Prescriptives Softlining pencil. It goes on much better and darker, which is perfect for the smoky look. I also used her three Estee Lauder mascaras, along with shu uemura curler.

For her face, I did my typical combo with her products. Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer, Laura Mercier primer, Prescriptives foundation, Chanel Bronzer, and Chanel blush. Her face makeup looked awesome and I really think it was due to the bronzer and blush - the must-have finishing touches.

We worked on a few things and now know exactly what we'll do for the big day. Can't wait to show you pictures!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Vampy Lips for Fall

Since Fall is coming and dark is in, I'm wondering what to do with my lips. I keep seeing black lips, which I think is way too dark. So what to do?

I'm still in the I'll-only-wear-Softlips phase and I'm not sure how dark dark gloss will look on me. I have Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect by Dior in color 817, which is a dark brown. I came upon it last year and loved the color on me, but only after I blotted once to lighten it up a bit. I occasionally wear this when I'm going to be a bit more formal and need color in my face. Will this be my new Fall gloss for vampy lips?

I don't think I'll ever be able to pull off a noir look on my lips. Let's face it, I'm pretty fair-skinned so I think that such a dark lip would make me look slightly goth and that's not actually a look I like to go for.

If you want to go for something trendy, go for something that will supplement your skin tone. Perhaps go a shade darker than you would normally go, rather than trying the extreme. It will still have an effect on you, without making you look like you're trying to start Halloween a bit prematurely.

Tip: Check out Smashbox's Wicked Lovely collection this Fall for a dark palette, seen above.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Shiny and Long-Lasting

My mom had told me about Sephora by OPI. I was a little skeptical at first because I prefer Essie over OPI, but I thought that any Sephora product deserves a chance. While in Sephora last week, we decided to buy a bottle. It advertises a chip-resistant polished look. Now, we can't always believe what we read because how many nail polishes are there out there that actually work like that?! Well let me tell you a little story.

Last Saturday I was getting ready to go to a family BBQ. My nails were an absolute disaster, but I needed to shower, get ready, and clean my room. I had to at least take the old polish off and maybe put on a base coat to keep my nails strong and neat. Well at the last minute, as I was waiting to leave and had maybe just five to seven minutes left, I decided to start polishing my nails. I used the base coat and polish, both by Sephora by OPI and Out the Door's top coat (old faithful, let's call it).

Now, I did this ever so quickly, as I was being rushed out of the house, but I somehow got all four coats on in that short period of time (two of the Sephora by OPI in Can U Keep a Secret? - a light, natural color). I sprayed on some finishing spray and left the house.

I was very careful in the car and as I moved around, to ensure that my polish wouldn't get messed up. But what was great was that it stayed shiny even after it dried, which was fairly quickly - maybe it was fully dried in 30 minutes, I'd say.

It's been almost a week now and, still, no chipping!! It's also still extremely shiny. I'm so excited. I'm going to go back and pick up another bottle of a darker color, maybe something vampy for the Fall!! Can't wait!!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Falling for Eyeliners

I've made the decision that my everyday liner doesn't need to be jet black. I made a purchase over the summer of another Prescriptives Softlining Pencil in Void that I perceived to be different than what it actually is, mainly because I ordered it online.

I thought this would be a light and bright shade of teal, which would be fun for a night out. What it actually turned out to be was somewhat of a forest green. I'd use it occasionally to switch up my look, but I recently decided that this is something I can use on an everyday basis because it's not as harsh as black and creates a more natural look.

If you like liner, but don't want your eyes to be so smoked out during the day (which is actually a good tip), then it's definitely a good idea to invest in some dark green and brown liners. Think earth tones. And these would be perfect for the Fall season!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Power is Yours

We've seen all the ads and celebrity endorsements before: a mascara that is clump-free and voluminous. But how many of those actually work without using your shu uemura eyelash curler and a few mascaras on top of a primer? This brings me to the vibrating mascara.

I'm pretty intrigued with the new vibrating mascaras I've been hearing about. The Lancome Vibrating Infinite Powermascara is said to make 7,000 oscillations per minute to give you the best coverage and full lashes! That's pretty quick movement. If it does what it says, can you imagine how much time could be taken off a girl's daily makeup routine! The only thing is that it's not available until December now in Sephora and it will run you $34.

There's also Estee Lauder's TurboLash, which has been available since July, but exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. That one is $30.

I can't help but wonder if this will be an effective tool to throw on my list of makeup faves or if it is just some kind of marketing tool. Why is it that it's either a limited edition or only available at certain stores? (although TurboLash will be available throughout the US in December as well - right in time for the holidays of course!).

But perhaps it is not just another kind of mascara that you can add to the bushel that doesn't work. Maybe it will work after all. We'll only know when we try it out so stay tuned to when I get my hands on an oscillating and vibrating mascara!


Friday, August 29, 2008

A Natural Low-Key Day

One of the first thoughts I had this morning was "I don't want to wear makeup today." Gasp! I don't leave the house without makeup - what could I be thinking!

At the dawn of a long weekend, I just didn't want to deal with it. I'm so tired and need this long weekend so badly! But I needed to push through and look presentable. After all, I wasn't going to be hanging around in my pajamas all day catching up on Season 1 of Gossip Girl (though that is very appealing to me).

I decided to go with my initial instincts. My makeup routine for today was very minimal. I used a sample of Dior moisturizer (because why not try something new?), Benefit BADgal Blue mascara, MAC's hyacinth eyeliner, and my bronzer and blush. I didn't even use eyeshadow! However, I supplemented that fact and the minimal makeup decision by using different colors to spice up my eyes a bit.

I feel very liberated today, which is interesting. I will certainly return to my regular routine tomorrow for sure, but for today I'm keeping it low key with just a dash of spice.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something Old, Something New

I opened up my new Sephora Lash Plumper this morning. It was glorious. I had forgotten that brand new versions of a product you've already been using could be so exciting. In fact, I was just writing a blog the other day about how I was only excited to write about products that I hadn't tried out before and hadn't been in my routine. But I didn't realize the pleasure you get out of using something new, no matter what it is.

It was certainly time to order a new mascara. I was so not excited at the prospect, however, because it was something I was used to. In fact, I decided to place an online order and not waste a trip to the mall (not to mention I got some free samples!). But I had been stuck with this particular tube for a little longer than I should have been - it had been about six months since I had switched it out for a new tube (that's way too long - it should be more like three months!).

But when I opened up my Sephora Lash Plumper, it was quite refreshing and started my day off on the right foot. It was neat and clean and glided onto my lashes like butter spreads on bread. It was just so easy and my lashes seem perfect today.

At least I know my products are some of my faves for a reason. Although I'm in love with new products, they don't have to be unknown to me. They're just as fabulous from my good old makeup repertoire.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's in a Name?

I'm always intrigued by the names of products. It is so important for marketers to name their product with just the right touch, like I would write a headline for an article or an author might name their book. It's products that have strange names that really get me thinking about how they'll work. What you call your product is almost as important as the product's productivity and is the key to success.

My Laura Geller Spackle intrigued me from the moment I saw it. As a sample, I figured I should try it anyway, but the spackle part made me feel as if I were about to fix my face like they fix a wall on the DIY Network. Now while that may seem strange - who wants to pretend their face is part of carpentry - it was an interesting concept to me. Spackle is actually something that fills in holes and smoothes out a surface. I tried it and fell in love.

Similarly, I got an email from the Sephora Beauty Insider this morning, entitled "Best. Mascaras. Ever." That, in and of itself, was intriguing to begin with. Then when I opened it up, they listed a few mascaras I might be interested in. Here are just some of the names:

DuWop Lash Venom Mascara
Sephora Brand Atomic Volume Mascara
Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point

The terms venom, atomic volume, and lash injection immediately caught my attention here. I mean who wouldn't want lashes so large as to have been injected with some kind of venom to get volume that's just atomic?!

It's true, however, that not all products can live up to the names they sport. It's like juding a book by its cover. You may be attracted at first, but will this product leave you looking attractive?



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fountain of Youth

As much as I'd like to deny it, the Fall season is almost upon us, which begs the question: Do you still need a moisturizer with SPF in it?

Like I may have said before, moisturizer is so important for all different skin types - this comes from the queen of oily skin. And since you're already wearing a daily moisturizer, you might as well use one that has an SPF, even if you're not going outside all day and soaking up the hot summer sun. I'd say the same for a cloudy day in the summer. The sun's rays are so strong that you must have some sort of protection.

This goes for both women AND men. Sometimes you think you're not really getting any sun because you're not explicitly tanning, but you definitely are. In fact, my editor just told me a story of when she spoke to a dermatologist for an article she was writing. The doctor said that the most cases of skin cancer he sees happen to be located on a person's lower left arm. This is due to the fact that they spend most of their life in traffic and let their left arms rest on the door. It's interesting, but definitely scary.

My face is the most sensitive part of my body. A girl with acne during pretty much her entire adolescence, I know what it's like to have even the slightest thing mess up your face even if it's just for a little while. And like I've said before, I fully intend to keep my face protected when I'm out in the sun.

So incorporate a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 into your daily routine. Your skin will stay protected, healthy, and young. Consider this your fountain of youth.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Get the Look: My Mom

My mom was going out to a barbecue on Saturday and wanted me to do her makeup for her. Of course I did so -- I love doing makeup!

Since it was an outdoor event during the day, I didn't want to give her anything too crazy and definitely nothing too heavy for her face. When she was there, her friend was in love with her makeup. When my mom told her I had done it for her she said that she wanted to know if I'd do her makeup for her son's wedding. At first I thought this was a joke -- I didn't really do anything too crazy to my mom's face. But when I realized she was serious I was ready for the job. We'll see how it goes.

As for the look - here's what I did:
1. I had my mom apply all of her natural face products - moisturizer, primer, oil control lotion.
2. I primed her eyes with Urban Decay Magic Potion.
3. Her shadow was MAC's Ricepaper as the base and a shade like MAC's Juiced or Goldmine in the corner, as a darker contrast (the one I used has been discontinued).
4. I lined her top and bottom lids with her Cover Girl liner in black.
5. I used her shu uemura curler, Prescriptives primer, Clinique High Definition Lashes, and Bourjois Yes to Volume! No to Clumps! Mascara.
6. We finished the look off with Clinique bronzer and Clinique blush.

Apparently it was a success. A subtle look for the afternoon that had her batting her lashes and finding me some new projects!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Can't Live Without This: Product Survey

I did a little survey to see what the girls out there are using and what their three cant-live-without-these-products would be. JH, SV, JL, KS, and of course your other MLA girl S were all asked what they must have daily if they're just running out of the house and need a quick face.

It seems there is an overwhelming consensus among the girls in using concealer. This definitely makes sense since concealer can really get you out of a bind within seconds. That's why it's definitely worthwhile to invest in a good concealer. The cheap kind probably won't blend as well and may leave your face looking cakey. Although, don't be too quick to dismiss the good old drugstore makeup. S says that her fave concealer is none other than L'Oreal's True Match Concealer.

Three out of these five makeup lovers say that they need their lip gloss. It's about conditioning their lips and ensuring they don't end up with those nasty chapped, peeling lips - ick! S and I aren't ones to use lip balm regularly (sometimes I'll use the Softlips remember), but on occasion it's necessary for these girls to use their lip gloss or lip balm to keep their lips colored and conditioned.

Mascara and eyeliner were also on the girls' lists - to give the appearance of brighter, fuller eyes. They like to use these eye products to finish off their looks and make themselves look more alive. However, S prefers Smashbox's Photo Op Eye Brightener over all else.

Finally, blush appeared on SV's list (like me) and I found bronzer on JL and and S' lists - S likes Benefit's Hoola bronzer. These are the products that can really finish off a look because they add color and pizazz to each girl's face.

As you can see, each girl has a different take on their favorite products. It's all about trial and error and seeing what works for you. Remember, no two people are alike so it's really up to you to find what suits your skin the best. But until then and even when you find your fave three, MLA is here to help you along the way!



Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can't Live Without This: Product 3

My final product in the "What three products can't you live without" series would have to be something that really brightens my face. It gives me color on a pale day and makes my smile happier. It's my rosy MAC Powder Blush in the color dame.

Blush is tricky sometimes because there are so many shades to choose from. Which one is right for you? You can break it down into a few options. We have cream and powder; pink, orange, and brown shades; sparkly and matte. I've chosen a shade of pink because of the blue in my eyes and my fair skin. I think brown shades are better for darker skin types, while orange is good for more olive tones. I don't particularly like cream anything because it feels rather heavy on my already oily skin - why add to that? And, to me, sparkly makeup is best for dramatic eyes on a night out.

I really love blush as one of the products I can run out of my house with. It can take a dreary face into a bright face and make you look more awake. You can forget pinching those cheeks for color when you have blush - it makes you come alive. And with the right angled brush you can really get complete coverage over the applets of your cheeks.

So now you've seen my three favorite products: Prescriptives concealer, Prescriptives eyeliner, and MAC blush. With these three products combined I'm ready to run in less than 60 seconds. And these are all such little products that I can easily throw them into my bag and hang on to them for quick touch-ups. I think these three products enhance the quality of my face. While concealer is something that hides imperfections, it's the right concealer that will go on smoothly and give a flawless appearance.

Your three favorite products may be different than mine. Maybe you like mascara better than liner or bronzer more than blush. Tell me all about it in the comments section of Makeup Lovers Anonymous!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Can't Live Without This: Product 2

I haven't been able to live without this second product for years. Giving my eyes a sharper look and my face a brightness when I'm not wearing any makeup at all, my eyeliner is my best friend. In fact, my product of choice is another Prescriptives product. It's the Softlining Pencil in Jet (that's black).

The best part of this pencil is its ability to have a very solid black line. I tend to line the inner bottom lid of my eye with this pencil and it glides easily and stays on for most of the day. For a night out, I'll slip the pencil in my bag and re-line throughout the night. It's definitely a solid pencil. The other side has a blending side to it, but I don't use that very much.

Eyeliner is great because it's something that goes on your eyes, which is the place most people are looking when you're talking to them. It's an extremely quick way to not look tired and to give the appearance of having makeup on without having to do up your entire face. I really believe that eyeliner makes your face complete.

It's so simple to just slip right on! You don't even need to put it on the top for a day face (though I suggest using a thicker pencil when you're lining the top lid).

Grab and go with the Prescriptives Softlining Pencil! And while you're at it pick up the sharpener from Prescriptives - it's only two bucks!



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Can't Live Without This: Product 1

I've had an unfortunate bout with some "imperfections" on my face in the past two weeks. And were it not for my concealer, I don't think I would've been as confident leaving the house.

I first discovered Prescriptives Camouflage Cream concealer when S gave it to me. She hadn't been using it and I was in desperate need of a quick fix while I was at her house. She said that I could just have it because she was using another and ever since, I've been hooked!

It came especially in handy recently because I was able to use it to blend perfectly to my face. No one noticed my imperfections when I used the Camouflage Cream and when I pointed it out to a select few, they had to stare hard at my face to even see what I was talking about.

The Prescriptives Camouflage Cream concealer also works like a charm for those nasty dark circles under your eyes. You'll brighten up your face in no time at all. I just love this Prescriptives product to pieces! It's gotten me out of quite a few messes!

This is just one of the three products I cannot live without. What are your three makeup must-haves??


Monday, August 4, 2008

It's a Peeling Summer

I'm having a slight dilemma that I thought I'd share with you, ladies. While I have stated my undying love for Stila's tinted moisturizer, I've found that it's not the best summer product. Furthermore, the SPF 30 certainly feels heavier on my face than the SPF 15. In the summertime, I find that it's not as necessary to use a tinted moisturizer since I sometimes may have that sunkissed glow.

However, being as fair as I am, I tend to peel. A lot. I found this specifically true last weekend when I laid on the beach for just one day. I got lots of color (even though I used an SPF on my face) and two days later, I found my whole face peeling off. I first had a tightness in my face, followed by a hardening of the top layer of my skin, and finally a disgusting peeling for a few days. I'm thinking a higher SPF is in order, as well as a little more face coverage when I'm in the sun.

In any case, I found myself missing something very important throughout this whole experience. I didn't have the proper moisturizer to soothe my peeling face. My Stila moisturizer was simply not easily spread throughout my face and didn't give me the proper moisture necessary to alleviate the horrible issue I was having, fault completely due to myself.

Last week I purchased another moisturizer by Lancome, but I'm finding that I don't like it as an everyday product. I'd rather use this one for protection in the sun, specifically because it has SPF 30.

My face, by now, is much better than last week, but I'm still looking to find the perfect summer moisturizer that will be just right for a completely dry, aching face (even though naturally I'm extremely oily). I will certainly be protecting myself better, however, and I will keep you posted on what I come up with. It may be August, but summer is far from over!



Friday, August 1, 2008

Nourish Your Lips

OK girls. I've got some lip news for you. As you know, I'm not too fond of putting anything on my lips, mainly for their sticky value. But sometimes it's just so hard when I feel like my lips are slightly dry. Simply licking them will not do the trick! So I found a solution!

My editor got some samples recently of Softlips and gave me some to try out. I'm so excited she did, even though I was so hesitant to begin with. It has SPF 20 and is ever so light on my lips. I feel like I'm barely wearing anything, yet my lips feel hydrated and protected. I'm loving it!

They come in a variety of flavors - my choice is the vanilla. While reading up on it a little, I saw that Softlips has a line of tinted lip protectants as well. It's a great product and I'm giving it an excellent review!

Though it's not something that will work for me when I go out and need the slightest bit of shine and color, I know Softlips works great for everyday wear. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect lip gloss, but in the meantime I'll condition my lips (with a two pack that runs under four bucks) and get them ready!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Mascara Routine

So we just got back from a fab beach weekend and I felt it was very important to blog about my mascara routine. As we all know mascara can basically change your entire look (for the better) and many times it's all you need as you run out the door. My routine, which I think works great for me (and could for you too!), is as follows in order:

Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler
Mac Prep and Prime
Mac Zoom in black
LashBlast by Cover Girl in very black
Tarte Lights Camera Action in black
Maybelline Lash Discovery in black

Now I know what you all must be thinking - OMG!! So many mascaras to use at one time! But I am telling you, you will be amazed at the results when you use more that product as well as the eye lash curler. No more fake eyelashes for this make up lover. Oh and by the way I promise it will only tack on about two extra minutes to your normal make up routine. Give it a try! Tell me what you think about it…



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Please Excuse Me While I Powder My Nose

I go back and forth on the usage of powder. I used to use it a long time ago and then I stopped. I often go through periods where I do this with products. I recently got back to using powder when KA was telling me about hers. I felt like powder would be a good fit for me since my face is very oily and could use a touch up every now and then.

My choice: Stila's Sheer Pressed Powder. Made specifically for oily types, this powder does do its job well. Anytime I've been out for a long time, whether it be a weekend project or just a day at the office, I can rely on my Stila powder to take away my shine instantly. I wouldn't say I'm completely blown away, however. If I found another powder that did the same or a better job I may be easily swayed. I've heard good things about Clinique, but we'll see if I can score a sample of some other powder. But I do like the Stila powder for now and will continue using this product to powder my nose.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Steal of a Deal

Brushes are a must, but sometimes it's very pricey to buy all the necessities. Lucky for us, Nordstrom is having their fabulously delicious anniversary sale right now and they always have a ton of wonderful deals. One in particular that I took advantage of was a MAC brush set, exclusively sold at Nordstrom. For only $49.50, I got some of the most important brushes you'll need to add to your makeup repertoire.

Five brushes come in this collection, as well as a makeup bag and a wallet-style brush holder. I bought the purple one, pictured here, but the same set also comes in green. The red set is a set of five different brushes, but the one I purchased seemed the most appropriate for my makeup routine.

Brush 1: 187 SE - This brush I'll use with my bronzer. It's for lightweight application and it really smoothes your face out to evenly apply makeup. Purchased separately, it'll cost you $42.

Brush 2: 168 SE - This white brush (don't get scared, because you'll be washing your brushes frequently, right?) is perfect for your cheeks. I use it with my blush and get the perfect amount of color to exaggerate my cheekbones. Alone, it runs for $32.

Brush 3: 275 SE - Perfect for blending your shadow, this small angled brush works well after you've applied your colors. Smokey eyes will be a piece of cake with this brush. You can even apply your shadow with this brush, making it multi-functional. Retail price is $24.50.

Brush 4: 219 SE - For some added exaggeration in your crease or on your lash line, use this pencil brush for precision. Since it's still flexible and completely stiff, you'll be able to get some nice blending with the rest of your lid. It's normally $23.

Brush 5: 212 SE - This flat brush is great for lining the eye. I like to use it under my bottom lashes with a shadow that I may not have a liner for. It makes not having to buy more pencils a nice money-saving plus. Buy it out of the set and it's $21.

Now, if you add up all those brushes, you'll be brought to the grand total of $142.50 and you won't get the nice purple cases! But hurry because they're only there as long as supplies last at Nordstrom - it's the one limited edition I really couldn't live without!