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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sephora Beauty Insider Perks + Promo Code for Too Faced Primed Poreless Bronze


So I'm thinking about placing an order to use a gift card but I don't know if my impatience can handle a 5-7 day weight for my Hourglass Velvet Creme Lipstick in shade, Fable. But I did see the new Sephora Beauty Insider 100 point perks and they are:

Paco Rabanne Lady Million .17 ounce perfume in a very cute jewel shaped container

Sephora Collection Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer .27 ounce 

Kinda boring if you ask me..zzzzzz... but there's a good promo code out there if you spend $25 or more, with the code PRIMED, a Too Faced Primed Poreless Bronze Tint SPF 20, deluxe sample.

OH, and the 500 point perk is still the Too Faced "eye love" Palette and it comes w/ a Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This is a good one ladies.. and the primer lasts a decent amount of time too. Great great eyeshadow selection and super soft and vibrant. Ya turned me around, Too Faced, you turned me around. 

The Shades of Rimmel: Some Classic Rimmel Lipstick Faves

It isn't very often that I watch a YouTube video or read a beauty blog where someone is talking about their favorite drugstore lipsticks and one of these shades isn't mentioned. When my makeup addiction first got serious back in 2008, I purchased these two shades from Rimmel after hearing non-stop about them. And last night, one of my followers (thanks Nene) reminded me how great Rimmel Lasting Finish Airy Fairy is. So I went to the top drawer in my bathroom, which is kind of like the drawer less traveled because I don't use the cosmetics in that location very often. Not because I don't love them, just because I have a rotation going right now and other lipsticks just need to be patient to get a turn. 

Rimmel Lasting Finish Airy Fairy: This is a very nice pink, on the mauve side, with a splash of nude thrown in for good measure. No shimmer, very wearable, attractive sweet scent, comfortable wear, and all around well-respected lipstick. Some say its a dupe for MAC Viva Glam 5. 

Rimmel Vintage, Rimmel Airy Fairy, Rimmel East End Snob lipliner

Forgive me, my little girl begged me to let her be on my blog wearing Airy Fairy. She's co-producer.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Airy Fairy
Rimmel Lasting Finish Vintage: Not to be confused with Rimmel Moisture Renew Vintage Pink which is probably an even more gorgeous shade and will make a cameo below. Vintage Pink is "pinkier" than Airy Fairy and has a subtle shimmer than can be felt on the lips actually, but not enough to be bothersome. This is a true pink shade with no visible undertones. That's about it, its freaking pink and that's it. 

Rimmel Lasting Finish 026 Vintage

Rimmel Vintage is the first shade, the light picks up the sheen very nicely

Rimmel Exaggerate Full-Color Lipliner East End Snob: The ultimate classic pink drugstore lipliner. This one goes perfectly paired with the two aforementioned shades as well as pretty much anything pink in your collection. Also works well to fill in the lips and apply a nude shade over it that may look a bit scary when left to its own devices. I put on the swatch rather thick but it doesn't come across that dark upon first coat, it basically looks like the shade was created with Airy Fairy in mind. Cannot go wrong with this one people. This is one of those twist up liners that you don't have to mess with sharpening and it applies very easily and smoothly. Cheap and good is a win win in my book.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Vintage Pink: I don't have this and I want this. Plain and simple. I must have been living in a bubble for not seeing this one before. I am going to show you a picture of someone wearing Vintage Pink and then a picture of the same lipstick but with MAC Fantabulous Dazzleglass over it and you tell me how awesome it is. If you don't think its out of this world gorgeous then I'm going to have to ask you to leave. This is one beautiful lip combo, BAM! 

Above, Rimmel Moisture Vintage Pink, below is same shade + MAC Funtabulous Dazzleglass

Do you love lipsticks? Do you love free lipsticks that you cant go out and buy because they're sold out? Then go enter my contest for a MAC Hibiscus lipstick from the Surf Baby Collection! See link below for details and sign up to follow today!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Favorite Products Survey: Products + Surveys = Love!

I stole this survey from my pal who writes a beauty blog as well, http://GrayBeautyReviewsEtc.Blogspot.com I love these sorts of things and I love reading other people's responses to their favorites as well. These products are my favorites but they may not necessarily be what I'm using at the moment, more like what I long to use in the moment but maybe they aren't accessible to me right now.

Favorite Products @ the Moment!

Shampoo: Rare Elements

Conditioner: Rare Elements

Treatments: It's a 10 Leave-in Conditioner, L'Oreal Rosemary Mint Deep Conditioner, L'Oreal Overnight hair repair (the sulfate-free line in the green bottles)

Styling Products: It's a 10 Leave-in Conditioner, Pureology smoothing serum, Big Sexy Spray and Play Hair Spray, Big Sexy Curling Spray, Big Sexy Powder Play (you must have this volumizing powder if you are someone who has hair)

Styling Tools: Hot Tools hair drier, Sedu flat iron, Conair 1" curling iron (CVS), CHI round brush

Shower Gel: None, only use Dove bar soap.

Body Moisturizer: Cetaphil Restorative Moisturizer, Burt's Bees Radiance Body Lotion, L'Oreal Sublime Glow

Fake Tan: L'Oreal Sublime Glow Bronzer lotion

Deoderant: Degree

Cleanser: Obagi Gentle Cleanser for dry skin

Exfoliator: The Obagi Nu-derm System w/ Retin A but when I am not using Obagi, I love Dermalogica Microexfoliant

Primer: None, they break me out

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse (love love love and more love)

Foundation Brush: Coco Beau Big Fat Firm Foundation Brush (from the UK)

Concealer: Cle de Peau (beige) or Hourglass (pearl)

Blush: MAC Stereo Rose MSF, Rock and Republic Call Me, Nars Orgasm, MAC Ripe Peach Ombre (do not have anymore but totally love)

Bronzer: Dior or Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (do not have but want want want and have tried numerous times)

Highlighter: Wet N' Wild Mega-Glow (the pink one, discontinued), Nars Orgasm Illuminator, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Illuminator

Eyeshadow Base: Urban Decay Primer Potion (Greed), Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Palladio Herbal Eye Primer (Sally's Beauty $7 and just as good)

Eyeshadows: Wet N' Wild Color Icon Trios: Walking on Eggshells, Urban Decay Naked Palette, Bare Escentuals Bare Skin

Mascara: Dior Lash Primer, Bare Escentuals Buxom, YSL Faux Cilis Volume Effect (#1 of all time loves)

Eyeliner: Wet N' Wild cream liner in black, MAC Blacktrack fluidline, Urban Decay 24/7's in various shades

Eyeshadow Base: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed or MAC Paint Pots

Brows: Dior Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Universal, brown, Anastasia Brow Gel (the taupe shade)

Lipsticks: MAC Marquis D', Myth, Playing Koi, Gosh #134 Darling, L'Oreal Fairest Nude, Revlon Colorburst Soft Nude, MAC Pink Friday, MAC Hue, Clinique Angel Red, N.Y.C. Cafe (@ 99 cents, its a must-try champagne nude)

Lipgloss: MAC Bubble Tea, Nice Buzz, and Big Baby Plushglass, Nars Orgasm, Revlon Peach Petal, MAC Bonus Beat Lipglass, MAC Pink Lemonade, NYX Mega-Shine in Beige (which is not beige at all)

Eyelash Curler: Shiseido

Nail Color: Essie Topless and Barefoot, Essie Absolutely Shore & Lapis of Luxury, OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, OPI Sweetheart, Revlon Blue Lagoon, OPI Teenage Dream, OPI My Private Jet (Holo-version)

Check Out Some More "Favorites" Lists on YouTube! EmilyNoel83 does a really great series every year called "The Emily Awards" in which she breaks down each cosmetic category and reveals her favorites. I've included a couple of those videos but you should check out the full collection for each cosmetic category years 2008-2010.






Don't forget to enter my contest for the coveted, BNIB MAC Hibiscus lipstick from the Surf Baby collection. See contest link in the sidebar on the top of the page or scroll down and find it, I'm lazy.

Nail Tip: How to Paint the Opposite Hand with Ease!

This may be the dorkiest post I have ever done and this tip may just sound totally uncreative but it works well for me and in using this tip, my right hand now looks just as neat as my left hand when it comes to my painted nails. You know that we all have this problem with our coordination in the hand opposite to the one that we write with while attempting to paint our own nails. I used to just sit at the table or stand at my counter to paint my nails but I was missing the elbow support that one needs for a well-balanced, steady, polish application. It wasn't enough to have had my wrist resting on the hard surface I was doing my nails on. So I started to do this: I sit on the ground with my knees bent, feet on the floor, and nail polish bottle conveniently placed in between my knees for easy accessibility. In this position, you can rest your whole forearm on your leg while painting the opposite hand. The elbow support is the key to a neat and precise application. No more do-overs and no more uneven applications. Unless someone comes and bumps you or you drop that polish out from in between your knees, then you're pretty much screwed. Tight grip ladies, tight grip. Here are some really lame photos to give you the idea of proper polish position.
I give my 5 year old credit for taking this photo for it was the only place that the lighting was decent, I don't really do my nails sitting on the stairs.

Like I said, make sre you have a tight grip on that polish bottle, its kind of a thigh workout while you paint.

Oh, nail polish featured in today's post is Essie Lapis of Luxury, currently available @ most drustores and Wal Mart and highly recommended.

And don't forget to enter my contest!  Click below for details..

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time for the June Contest! Win a BNIB MAC Hibiscus Lipstick from Surf Baby!

I love contests. I am going to have one once a month or until I go broke. This time I am going to go a little cheaper than last month and give away the new MAC Hibiscus lipstick from the Surf Baby collection. To be fair, the word "cheaper" is rather subjective, depending on how you assess the value of it since its SOLD OUT online and  in the stores I've checked. This situation tends to elevate the value of the lipstick, as we are all aware of, when it comes to MAC. I chose this color out of the collection because I feel its most wearable and the most flattering for various skin tones. Hibiscus is a truly lovely shade which is going to be perfect for summer. Its a bright and cheery combination of orange-red-pink and very unique to the MAC lipstick shades.
And in my quest to branch out and try new brands, I want to know:

1.What is your favorite MAC lipstick and what is your favorite NON-MAC lipstick? 

My answer: Mac Creme d' Nude. For non-Mac, Estee Lauder Rose Amethyst

Contest Rules:

1. Must must MUST be a follower. Just sign up to the right in the side bar by clicking "follow". If for some reason this doesn't work, send me your email address and I will send an invite.

2. Must be 18 or over or at LEAST have your parents permission so that they don't think I'm a creepy old lady trying to groom their young daughters for God knows what.

3. I will ship to ANYWHERE in the world, no matter where you reside, you are free to enter!

4. Please comment only once unless you have something else to say aside from the contest. Only your entry with the answer to my contest question will be considered.

5. Answer these questions from above. And you can be as detailed as you like because I want to know what others like!

Contest open from NOW until June 15th (My Birthday! Which would be totally exciting if, say, I was turning 21 or even 25 or hell, even 29. Anything that begins with a "2" would be fine but, sadly, it starts with a "3" and ends with a "3".

Goodluck and I hope you enter every month for a chance to win something different yet hopefully relevant to the current makeup trends and new collections. And hey, if you hate the lipstick shade I'm giving away, so what! It's free! Exchange it for something else! :)

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick: as Good as it Sounds?

A kind woman bestowed upon me a $25 gift card to Sephora today. Instantly upon seeing the black plastic, my wheels were turning. What to buy, what to buy? Perfume? Lipstick? Eyeshadow? Lipstick? Mascara? Lipstick? I settled on lipstick. I have an affinity for it and I almost always choose it above any other cosmetic category if I'm not shopping for a specific purpose. But I admit, I've been stuck in a MAC rut. It's convenient, it's easy, fairly inexpensive, and I am familiar. Never underestimate the power of familiarity. Through my admitted complacency, I have stifled my opportunities to try other brands. But now is the time. Having never made a purchase without fully reviewing beauty blogs and Makeupalley first, I got to work. After sifting through piles of contenders, I've come up with the Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Cream Lipstick. How good does the word Velvet paired with the word Creme sound? Heaven. I haven't met a bad Hourglass product and I haven't heard a single bad thing about them either. I love and adore their concealer stick and their eyeshadow is an absolute dream. And other than Yves Saint Laurent, I haven't tried any lipstick brand at Sephora over $30. And unfortunately, I don't like for my lipstick to have the consistency of vegetable oil so the YSL option is totally, and without question, out of the running.

Here's What I've Heard About The Hourglass Lipsticks:

-Super duper pigmented

-Hydrating

-Comfortable to wear, non-drying

-Unscented

-Refill cartridges available for $24, big bonus to not have to pay another $30 for a totally new tube (BIG BONUS!)

-Kind of annoying super flat square tip (made for the ability to pack on a lot of color to a lip brush, I've read)

-Gorgeous and large shade selection

The shade I'm eyeling, Hourglass "Fable"
I hope Fable looks this good on me!

Please tell me if you have tried them and what you think, or if you have another suggestion for a great lipstick sold at Sephora in the nude shade genre.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Collection: Picked Up a Couple Little Things While I Was Out!

I ended up buying two things from Surf Baby, My Paradise Cheek Powder and Hibiscus lipstick. Coincidentally, they were the two things that sold out the fastest both online and in store. Actually, not really a coincidence because thats pretty much the reason why I wanted them in the first place. I have a sickness, don't judge. But I was weak to the beautific nature of My Paradise Cheek Powder. As if the packaging weren't cute enough, that gold overlay of the Hibiscus flower on the powder was a total deal sealer. This is some heavily pigmented stuff too, let me tell ya. It's a very pretty peach that borders an an orange shade, darker than a standard MAC peach blush. If you're familiar with Ripe Peach Ombre,  My Paradise looks nothing like it. This powder also has shimmer. And I don't know why MAC doesn't just call it a blush. It's like their giving you directions with naming it "cheek powder". And what's the diff between beauty powder and cheek powder? Well, for one, the cheek powder is waaay more pigmented with a much better texture than the beauty powder which is so dusty that you need 100 coats to get some color pay off. But if someone were to come along and blow on your face, off it would fly, into the wind never to be seen again. My Paradise is not like that. Oh, and the gold flower in the blush isn't what supplies the gold shimmer but rather, both parts to the blush have gold shimmer. 

MAC Hibiscus Review:
I heard that Hibiscus lipstick is like no other MAC shade and that its a must-have, unique color. That paired with the fact that it sold out fast, and I love coral, made it a no brainer. Hibiscus is a cremesheen, thank God. I can't tolerate another shade that I love being a satin formula. Its like having a gorgeous, hot pair of shoes but they're so incredibly uncomfortable to walk in that its almost not worth wearing them. So the lipstick applies like any other cremesheen but seeing as how the color is deeper and brighter than say "Creme Cup" or another neutral, it doesn't maximize the imperfections on the lips as much as a light shade would. The color is a very opaque, orange-toned red with some pink thrown in there for good measure. Its more both more red and more orange than other corals I own but the pink undertones kind of balance it all out to make it work. It is a deeper orange tone than MAC Ravishing which tends to be more of an approachable look with those comfortable peach tones. But Hibiscus is still a great shade, no doubt. I think it would look best on medium to darker skin tones but I'm a fair-medium and I can pull it off. Corals look excellent on brunettes especially. Just my opinion.  

Oh, and I haven't used My Paradise yet so I will get back with ya on that one!





MAC Hibiscus Lipstick, Cremesheen formula

My Paradise Cheek Powder: the gold, the coral, the mixture of both
Photo from Blushering.blogspot.com I had to post this because look how gorgeous this color looks on her!

MAC Hibiscus Lipstick swatch, pure gorgeousness.. ahh...




This gives me an idea. Maybe since I think Hibiscus is so beautiful, you may think its so beautiful too and therefor may like to see it as a prize for my next contest? I mean, even if you hate the color, its not like you are paying for it. Stay tuned for further details on the next contest, coming soon...

Drugstore Gem: Skin Effects Glycolic Day Cream SPF 30 @ CVS


Rarely do I ever give props to a moisturizer, but its happened like once. And never do I give props to an a moisturizer with a good amount of SPF. Its either I find a decent moisturizer without SPF or a decent sunscreen that doesn't really moisturize. I'm very cynical when it comes to these products because of the fact that everything I've tried has screwed me over in one way or another. Now, you've heard me speak highly of incorporating a Glycolic Acid product into your skin care regime if anti-aging is a concern for you. Skin Effects Glycolic Day Cream will take care of this for you as well as provide you the hydration and sun protection that we look for in our daily moisturizer. I will say that Glycolic Acid isn't some gentle, luxurious component in your skin care product. Unless your skin is already used to it or not sensitive in the slightest, you may need to use baby steps with this stuff. Try it every other day or less if you feel a mild burning sensation. This is normal, and its normal to experience some redness at first. I said, some redness though, not the kind of red you may experience if you walked into a burning building. So if your skin is screaming bloody murder and begging to be freed from the fire, go wash it off immediately and seek some other anti-aging alternatives through your Dermatologist. 

What it is:
-A daily moisturizer infused with Glycolic Acid and SPF 30, comes in a 1 ounce jar with a very unique pump dispenser that I'm sure you haven't seen before. The GA component helps to exfoliate your skin and remove old, dead, skin cells to reveal a fresh and youthful appearance. 

What's So Great About Glycolic Acid?

-Glycolic Acid is used most commonly for chemical peels but is available over the counter in much lower concentrations. GA has the ability to penetrate the skin deeply and work with the upper layer of the Epidermis to weaken the lipids that hold dead skin cells together. This process allows for exfoliation to take place and eventually expose the new live cells. Also useful in skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, and acne scarring. If your skin care regime can't do this, please consider switching to one that includes Glycolic Acid.

Who It's For:
-Someone with anti-aging concerns, late 20's on up

-Acne prone skin

-Most skin types, especially good for normal-oily and even those on the normal-dry side without being really dry and in need of a much thicker and more hydrating moisturizer.

Who It's Not For:

-Super sensitive skin, those that can't tolerate Glycolic Acid or Alpha Hydroxy products

-Dehydrated, really dry skin

-Someone who requires more than an SPF 30

-Someone who is currently dealing with sunburned skin. Please wait until the skin is healed before applying any GA product, for it will burn like hell if you don't.

Texture of Product:

-Very silky smooth, if you've ever tried Clinique Dramatically Different Gel formula, its similar to this but with more hydration.

-A little goes a long way, its a thin texture but this doesn't mean you need a ton of it to do the job. If you use more than a thin layer, you run the risk of it balling up and flaking off.

-Wears very well under make-up because the consistency feels like that of a primer in a way and gives you a smooth surface to begin your make-up application.

What You Should Know:

-Created by Dr. Jeffery Dover, I've seen the Skin Effects brand exclusively at CVS but I am not sure if that is the only place it can be found.

-Depending on your location, this can be found for around $16-$19 dollars, which isn't half bad for all that it does.

-It's recommended that you use this day cream after you've cleansed with the Skin Effects Glycolic Cream Cleanser. I haven't tried this. I am doing the fairly rigorous Obagi Nu-Derm system and do not want to push my luck with using back to back Glycolic Acid in combination with the ingredients in my daily skin care regime. 

-My skin is sensitive, fairly dry, prone to redness and break-outs around the chin area, and very picky about the ingredients in foundations and moisturizers for risk of breaking out in those little white bumps. And I have no problem tolerating the Skin Effects GA SPF 30 day cream. 

-If you are hesitant about using a Glycolic Acid moisturizer, I would suggest trying a GA cleanser first. Because this is a way to try it and wash it off rather than a moisturizer where you keep it on your skin all day. Same with the cleanser, start out every other day or even once a week and work your way up as you become more tolerant.

If you'd like to read more about Glycolic Acid and its benefits in a skin care routine, visit the link below for the  "8 Reasons To Use Glycolic Acid"

http://911skin.com/glycolic-acid-skin-care-benefits-are.html

Friday, May 27, 2011

Makeup Tip of the Day: Making Liquid Eyeliner Easy

I don't know about you but I've been using liquid and/or gel eyeliner in all forms for years, and yet I am still not comfortable with applying it. Its a similar feeling to when I'm putting nail polish on my right hand. And those times when I can't will myself to keep my liner from jacking up, cleaning up the mistake is not as easy as it may seem. Often times, an entire do-over of your eyeshadow and liner is in order because in cleaning up the liner mess, you end up rubbing off parts of your eyeshadow. So.. I have a little tip for the beginners and the pro's to bring a little peace of mind and ease of use to your liner application.

I am sure you don't feel quite as nervous when applying a regular pencil or one of those twist up liners, right? So use this stuff first. Draw on your liner first with your pencil or whatever is most comfortable for you and THEN go over that line with your liquid or gel liner. This way you already have the foundation and a guideline to stick to when your trying to figure out how to put that liner on straight without any freak jerks of the hand or do-overs in your future. Its quick and easy and it will save you a headache and those q-tip clean ups that end up resulting in frustration. And if you have a hard time even applying the pencil liner, there is no hope for you. 

Some Amazingly Good & Amazingly Cheap Liquid/Gel Eyeliners:

Wet N' Wild Mega-Last Liquid Liner: 
This stuff stays the hell put. Cheap and effective and good for times when you think you will be crying that day. A make-up artist friend of mine prefers this in black over any other liner she's used.

Wet N' Wild Mega-Eyes Cream Liner: 
Seriously, this stuff is amazing. The black happens to be the blackest black I've ever used. If I had to choose between this and MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, I'd feel better protected from smudging and transferring in the WnW.

Maybelline Line Works Waterproof Liner: 
Tried and true, safe and reliable, transfer-resistant liquid liner. Easy to apply in that the felt applicator tip offers you more control than a brush does.

The Urban Decay Naked Palette Contest is Over.. Winner Revealed!

Thanks so much to all who entered my first contest. For me it was a big success even if it brought one new person to my blog but in the end I doubled my followers so I couldn't be happier. Well, I could be actually, but let's not spoil the moment. And please please keep checking back because I plan on making my contests a monthly thing to keep you interested in me.

To be perfectly fair, I assigned your comment a number in the order in which it was received and put them into the generator at random.org and came out with lucky #7, and that person is .....

Amber Gray! Congratulations to Amber for winning the Urban Decay Naked Palette. And more importantly (at least to me anyway), thanks for reading and following my blog!!

And I'm thinking my next contest will involve something from the MAC Surf Baby collection, so please check back for details!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Nail Polish of the Day! Essie Limo-Scene, Available @ CVS

I took a chance on a really really light polish that wasn't super solid white but somewhere in the white family. I can see this shade looking really great on tanned skin, especially the toes. But I was confused to see pink nail polish when I was looking for this milky-white shade online to get an idea of how this color came across, so I guess there are two versions of Limo Scene. One looks like a pastel pink with subtle lavender undertones and the other looks like a nude-white. Different shades, same name. Come on now, aren't there enough words out there to be able to string something together and give each shade its own unique name? Especially when one is white and the other is pink. Regardless, I am really digging this version of Limo-Scene. I haven't had a polish quite this light. It's probably around 3-4 levels lighter than Essie Topless and Barefoot. It's by no means a freakish "white-out" white, rather, it looks very natural and pretty. You can get away with three coats to be fully opaque but I used four just to totally seal the deal. Topped off with Seche Vite for instant dry-ness and shine and my look was complete.

Essie Limo-Scene w/ four coats + Seche Vite on top


Do you ever put the second and third coat on too fast and it drags the polish off of the part of the nail close to the cuticle? I hate that. So that's pretty much why I had to use four coats, to fill in the blank spots at the bottom of my nail.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

REPOST: Last Days to Enter My Contest for Urban Decay Naked Palette! Now Through May 27th!

WIN A BRAND NEW IN BOX AND VERY POPULAR URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE ! See link below..

This is what it looks like and also comes w/ a travel sized Primer Potion


Please follow the link below for the instructions to enter the contest, anyone who signs up to follow my blog, anywhere in the world, has a chance to enter. The odds aren't bad either!

CONTEST ENDS MAY 27! 

Beauty Q & A: How Do I Figure Out What Undertones I Have? Warm? Cool? Yellow? Pink? HELP!


Dear Unnatural Beauty,

I am constantly trying to find a foundation that matches my skin tone and usually I choose something too dark or too light or not the right undertone. I am so confused as to what that even means when someone says they have a neutral or yellow undertone to their skin. Can you tell me the difference between "cools and warms and neutrals" and make sense out of this whole "undertones" thing when choosing foundation?

This is definitely a question that most of us have when we make that leap from drugstore cosmetics to dabbling in some of the more high-end products and foundations. I don't recall having been too concerned about yellows and pink undertones when I was in college or high school. I just grabbed what I thought I was, and I was probably wrong. Here are some tips to follow in attempt to break things down for you:

Warm VS Cool Tones: Which Am I?

1. First, anyone working at a cosmetic counter is usually more than willing to color match you. But get a second (or maybe third) opinion because sometimes these women are in a rush and sometimes they guess without even testing a shade on your skin. 

2. Take a look at your veins. If you see that they are green in color, you most likely have a warm skin tone. If you see blue, you are on the cool side. This is your starting point, you aren't done yet.

3. If you look terrible in yellow, you most likely have yellow undertones. But I wouldn't take this as scientific advice, take it with a grain of salt and read on.

4. I have heard that if you appear pinkish or your skin has the tendency to look a bit blotchy or red, and/or you burn easily in the sun, you are cool-toned. 

5. I don't know how true this one is but I've read that if you look better in gold jewelry then you are warm-toned and if you look best in silver, you are most likely cool-toned. 

6. Warm girls most likely have yellow undertones while cool toned girls have pinky undertones. A mixture of both would put you in the neutral category. 

7. Think about what colors you look best in according to clothing. Do you look good in jewel tones or do you look better in those earthy tones? Earth=Warm, Jewel=Cool.


MAC Shade Matching Confusion:

And if you are buying MAC foundations, you will be thoroughly confused if you've been listening to tips from above. Because MAC kind of does it backwards. Their NW shades are actually cool-toned and their NC shades are warm. This is due to the fact that MAC bases their shade selection on the color wheel. NC shades are meant for warmer tones to neutralize them and vice versa for NW shades. So does that mean if you are an NC in foundation, then you are NW in concealer? Nope. Really confused now? If you are an NC in foundation, you will need an NW concealer to neutralize.

Memorial Day is a Time to Shop: LOTS of Promo Codes for Various Stores


Below is a list of current promo codes for several online stores. I am not sure if they have the same deals in stores. And here is a very important tip for promo codes:

If you are trying to find promo codes and come across something that has expired but its only been a day or two after the expiration date, TRY THE CODE ANYWAYS. I have been able to use several promo codes after the expiration date. Its worth a shot!

MAC PROMO CODES:
Not sure if the one below is still working, I find that MAC lets them run over a day or two and usually updates new ones after one has expired.
MAC Free Shipping w/ Promo Code:  Balm or Sandra
MAC Free Shipping when you spend $50+, No code necessary

Sephora PROMO CODES
You can see the available Sephora codes when you go through the checkout process on the website but these are extras that aren't on there as of now, besides the Benefit and Clinique.

Benefit Skin Care Samples w/ Promo Code: BRIGHT
Clinique Skin Care Samples (see promo codes at checkout thru Sephora.com)
 
Sun Safety Kit, for $25 (Reg. $147) includes Clinique deluxe sample of Pore Refining Solutions Correction Serum w/ code: SHRINK
 
Bare Escentuals travel sized sample of Bare Minerals, code: NOURISH
Free Lancome Anti-Aging Serum w/ any order, code: YOUTH
Free Acai Spf 30 lip balm w/ a $25 order, code: ACAIBALM
Free DiorShow Lash Plumping Serum w/ any Diorshow mascara, code: DIORMAX

Other Random Beauty Promo Codes:

Philosophy.com and receive 20% off the Summer Fan Faves, code: SUMMERFUN (EXP 5/25)

Get $10 off a $40 order at The Body Shop, no coupon necessary (EXP 5/24)

Get $5 off of $30 at Walgreens now through 5/28, code: MEMORIAL5

Mario Badescu, 15% off of skin care for a limited time only w/ code, PROMO15

Sally Beauty Supply, get 25% off of orders $25+ w/ code, 555968 (EXP 5/26)

E.L.F. Get 50% off of orders $15+ w/ code, WINNERELF (Exp 5/30)

Carol's Daughter, get 10% off any order w/ code, PROMOTIONAL10  

Home Shopping Network, 15% off of New Customer order w/ code, C50842 (EXP 6/30)













Current Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point Perks Online (Selection May Vary in Stores)

If you're like me, you don't do the Sephora Beauty Insider 100 point perks unless there is something left after cashing in on the 500 point perks. I've had enough sample sized items to last a lifetime and usually end up giving them away. Why? Because I don't think that using something once or twice is even near enough time to make a decision as to whether I want to buy the full size. Unless the item just blows me away at first use which either never happens or I don't trust it when it does happen because it may break me out with regular use. But if you are just too impatient to wait for the 500, you might like to know what your options are for the 100 point perks! A couple of weeks ago they had the Urban Decay Primer Potion in shade, Greed but that has changed.

Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point Perks:

Dior Instant Eye Makeup Remover .50 oz.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, 7 pads
Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging SPF 10 Day Cream .34 oz.

Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk (still):

Too Faced "eye love" Eyeshadow Palette (for more info, see link below for swatches and photos)
Unnatural Beauty: A Humorous and Heavily Opinionated Beauty Blog: Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk: Too Faced Eyeshadow Palette w/ TF Shadow Insurance

MAC Surf Baby: Update on What's Sold Out and What's Coming Soon


This is just an update from yesterday's post in regards to the new collection being available online on May 23rd rather than 26th like I had originally thought. I listed a few things for you that had sold out fairly quickly and there are two new updates to mention.

1. Hibiscus lipstick is SOLD OUT, all other shades are available.
2. My Paradise Cheek Powder SOLD OUT!

So you should be able to get the things you want if you go to your MAC store or counter Thursday morning. But, knowing MAC, they will bring back certain items that are currently sold out. Like they did with the last few collections when they brought back Pink Power MSF from Wonder Woman or Summer Shower lipstick from the Fashionflower collection. Its so annoying because it creates a sense of urgency to track down what you want and then they leisurely bring it back at their discretion leaving you to feel like a total psycho fool for pimping yourself out to get a hold of a freaking lipstick. Which I may just have to do if I don't get that Hibiscus lipstick.

Hibiscus on the left, and some shade that I have no earthly clue how anyone with the face of a human could pull off. Maybe its just me but wouldn't it make more sense to widen the demographic of who can wear a certain lipstick so that you can get more people to buy that lipstick?

Monday, May 23, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Collection is Online NOW! May 23rd! Hurry!

My mouth is watering for this packaging, so dang cute!

So, I had no idea that this stuff was going to be online today. Like a complete moron, I saw the release date as May 26th and therefor thought the collection would be released on May 26th.. How could I be so naive? Apparently MAC likes to surprise us so that when we get online to check on other things and happen to see that Surf Baby now is up for grabs, the items we really wanted have been SOLD OUT for hours. Nice. Way to be MAC, way to be. But if you want some of the sold out items, people are already selling it on Ebay before they get their grubby hands on it.

WHAT'S SOLD OUT:

Hibiscus Lipstick (the Coral Cremesheen)

My Paradise Cheek Powder (that gorgeous peach powder w/ the gold Hibiscus flower overlay)

Gilded White Powerpoint Eye Pencil

Surf the Ocean Pigment Stack (the other one, Summer Stash, is labeled "Coming Soon")

Wouldn't you know it, I wanted the lipstick and cheek powder that is sold out. Now I must call in for reinforcements from my MAC store. But, does this mean that it released early in stores as well? Well, I called MAC online and asked that very same question and the Customer Service rep said that it "varied by store" and to call your specific store to inquire. Apparently the surprise release was a mystery to certain MAC employees online as well because when I was messaging back and forth with one of them and I asked when the collection came out online, she replied, "I think it was today maybe??". Well, if MAC doesn't even inform its own employees as to when a certain collection is going to be released, I guess its just out of the question to make their customers aware of this top secret information.

Here is a video of some of the collection if you're interested in seeing some of the things you can't get!



Please follow the link below for the instructions to enter the Urban Decay Naked Palette contest, anyone who signs up to follow my blog and comments on the original post, anywhere in the world, has a chance to enter. The odds aren't bad either!

CONTEST ENDS MAY 27!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

OPI Chip Skip: Does it Help to Skip the Chip or Not?

OPI Chip Skip works as a base coat to adhere your nail polish and give it something to grab on to, in attempt to get it to stay put. At first glance, I thought this was a super odd formula in that it looks like water when you shake the bottle around. The brush is very teeny and you don't apply it quite like you would any normal polish because it dries before you can even see where you put it. Rather, I had to lay the brush on its side and swish back and forth to get a proper amount of product on the nail. The formula instantly absorbs onto the nail leaving you wonder if you even applied enough for it to do the job. In order to avoid being hasty with my judgment, I wanted to use this stuff a few times to give it a fair shot. It wouldn't be exactly accurate if say, I used the product, and went about my day bleaching my bath tubs or scrubbing the inside of my oven and then reporting back that my nails were chipping and it was all Chip Skip's fault! Rather, I've used the product several times with the same results, leaving me to surmise, that OPI Chip Skip is totally worth skipping. Rather than being a "Chip Protector", it acts more like a "Chip Provider." Below is a photo of me wearing three coats of Essie Lapis of Luxury over OPI CS and under one coat of Seche-Vite. In order to be even more efficient, I've used a couple of different top coats while testing out the OPI CS. One good thing I can come away from this experience with is that the Essie polish I used is an absolutely gorgeous periwinkle shade that I will be using over and over.

This is what I used to paint my nails on Thursday and this is what my nails looked like by late Saturday:

Essie Lapis of Luxury over OPI Chip Skip (after 2 days of wear, above)


Reminder! Now through May 27th, Urban Decay Naked Palette Contest:

Like a broken record, I will be re-posting my contest link time and time again so that I don't lose my original contest post in the sea of new posts I'm writing.Why not just re-post the original? Because then I would have entries on several different versions instead of just the one. So I am just going to annoyingly remind you daily, maybe even hourly, that there is a contest and you are free to enter. See below for details and please read the instructions!


If you log on and constantly see this current post as the most recent, just scroll down and I'm sure there will be new "non-contest" posts. I would hate to have you think you are all caught up just because you see the same contest post on the front page. 

Thanks so much for all who have entered already! It means a lot to me and I appreciate you taking the time to enter and follow my blog.

A Highly Recommended, Soothing & Refreshing Toner: Obagi Nu-Derm!

I have been using the Obagi Nu-Derm system on my face for the past month. Its a very hard-core and rigorous skin restoration program that incorporates the use of Retin-A and Hydroquinone to improve hyperpigmentation, fine lines, acne, and texture and clarity of your skin. I have to be honest, this stuff is no joke. There are six steps in the program and aside from the cleanser and the toner, some of these products are fairly harsh. But love it or fear it, there is one product in the system that is really worth mentioning and recommending whether you use Obagi or not. And that is the toner. 

This toner is very gentle and free of alcohol and other harsh ingredients that keep people from incorporating toner into their skin care regime. Mean to restore the skin's natural Ph balance, this product is designed to tighten the skin and the pores in a very non-drying manner. One of the reasons why a toner is important in our skin care routine is that it removes any of the remaining impurities in the skin that your cleanser leaves behind. And finally, using this toner prepares your skin for absorbing other products in your regimen.

Bottom line, I love this stuff because it smells and feels refreshing and its very soothing to the skin. With ingredients like purified water,aloe, and witch hazel, the Obagi toner is truly one that anyone, regardless of skin sensitivity, should be able to use. If you hate toners because they make your skin feel tight or dried out, try this one and you will change your mind about what a toner can feel like.

And if you're interesting in using the entire Obagi Nu-Derm system, you must be prepared to accept the fact that you will be pretty ugly for about 6 weeks or so. And don't even think you can hide the hideousness with makeup because foundation only makes the dryness and peeling appear worse. Think, really massive sunburn when it goes into the peeling phase, and that is what I went through for a long time. But in the end, I think its worth it. I just never knew I had so many layers of skin to shed. My point is, I look forward to using the Obagi toner in the middle of the other steps of the program because I feel like it really gives my poor skin a break by its soothing and cooling properties. I have purchased it through Ebay for about $16-$18 a bottle (for the 6.7 ounce).

Obagi Nu-Derm Toner contains: purified water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hamamelis virginiana (wich hazel) distillate, potassium alum, sodium PCA, panthenol, DMDM hydantoin, polysorbate 80, allantoin, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, borago officinalis extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, saponins, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, fragrance, FD&C blue No.1.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Good Nude Lipstick Alert: L'Oreal Color Riche Fairest Nude

If you have kept up with my blogs, you know that I'm a freak for nude lipsticks and in constant search for the next best one. Recently I did a post about how to best pull off a nude lip for those that are intimidated by the task and I listed some good entry-level nudes to make the transition easier. L'Oreal Fairest Nude is a perfect inductee to this category of wearable nudes. If Beyonce can pull this shade off and look stunning, anyone can. What, you didn't think someone of color could pull off a nude? Think again sister. Actually, I think this shade actually looks better on tanned or at least a medium skin tone. But don't be fooled by the name "Fairest", because "Fairest" it is not. Rather, its more of a brown or tan nude. 

-Looks very natural
-Wearable for a variety of skin tones
-Creamy formula, good texture
-Especially beautiful on tanned or darker complections

Dupe Alert:
I've heard that L'Oreal Fairest Nude is a good dupe for MAC Viva Glam II and MAC Blankety. Personally, I agree more with the VGII comparison but you can get an idea of what Blankety and FN look like side by side in a swatch picture below.

Price: 
Outrageously enough, this lipstick was close to $11 at CVS but a mere $5 at Wal Mart. Personally, I wouldn't ever pay $11 for a drugstore lipstick when I can add a few more bills to the equation and get a MAC lipstick instead. 

Maybelline Born W/ It, MAC Blankety, L'Oreal Fairest Nude, MAC Kinda Sexy (L2R)

I can see how this lipstick comes across as a pinky/nude (just not on me)







CLICK BELOW For instructions on entering my contest for a BNIB Urban Decay Naked Palette! Contest ends May 27th! Must be a follower to enter, sign up today!