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!