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Monday, June 27, 2011

Drugstore Gem: NYC Blushable Cream Stick!

Photo Credit:
I have tried a few products from the cheapie drugstore brand, N.Y.C. (New York Color) and haven't been disappointed. Much like Wet N' Wild, they have their own little hidden gems in their collections that most people wouldn't try unless prompted to. In NYC's case, their lipstick, liquid eyeliner, and matte bronzer have my total respect as great products. If you want to try a cream blush but don't want to drop the big bucks on one in Sephora or department store, you really can't beat this $2.99 item. There is a range of super pretty colors to choose from and the packaging isn't as flimsy and crappy as WnW plastic is. That's a big plus if you plan to carry one of these in your purse or makeup bag. Another product I can add to my list of products by N.Y.C. that I was pleasantly surprised by. I can now stop being surprised when I use something from the brand and end up really liking it.

Things I like:

-The price tag, $2.99 + 25% off NYC cosmetics at Kerr Drugstore
-The shade selection, especially the beautiful peachy shade that I chose
-Sheer and natural color, no shimmer or glitter
-Like the idea of a stick form for a cream blush rather than a pot or compact (like Stila Convertible's)
-Easy to apply and then just rub into the skin without having to blend it with a brush

Things I Don't Like:

-That they didn't make these sooner
-Lasting power isn't great. My suggestion would be to use it and set it with a powder that isn't going to interfere with the color OR use it as a base for your powder blush in the same type of shade (see below).

How to Use:

-Just apply it to your cheeks or up your cheek bone, wherever you choose to apply your blush, and either blend with fingers or a dense brush (MAC 109 works best for cream blushes)
-Either use it alone or as a base to give your powder blush something to grab on to. Much like an eyeshadow primer would work for an eyeshadow. It may also make your powder blush last longer and give a different tone to the color.

N.Y.C. Blushable Cream VS Stila Convertible Color
Stila Convertible Cream Blush/Lip in Gerbera

-NYC is much less sticky

-NYC is more sheer

-Stila CC lasts longer

-NYC packaging is more sanitary in its packaging

-NYC is way cheaper

-Stila CC can be used on the lips while NYC doesn't make this claim. That is not to say you can't try it...

-NYC is easier to blend with fingers alone, the creamy and sticky texture of Stila CC will require (at least for me) a dense brush for blending unless applied very lightly.

-Stila CC has always broken me out like a teenage boy on prom night, jury is still out as to whether NYC does the same.

Amazing, Cheap, and Amazing! Eyebrow Pencils by Ybf

Never heard of Ybf cosmetics? "Your Best Friend" is sold on HSN and is the creation of former model, Stacey Schieffelin. Most famous for her amazing brow pencils, which have sold over 10 million worldwide, while being featured in countless magazines, Stacey brings simplicity and quality to her audience. Where can you buy TWO amazing eyebrow pencils for $20? Its hard enough to just find ONE! Sure, you can find brow pencils for cheaper than this but they sure won't work like Ybf. So here's the 411:

Ybf Eyebrow Pencil Duo
-Sold on HSN, you receive a brow pencil DUO for $20
-Created in one universal taupe shade that adapts to your personal characteristics in order to give you a natural and believable eyebrow shade. No matter if you are a platinum blonde or a red head, it will work!
-They come with an instruction booklet which is most helpful for those that are totally intimidated by doing their brows!
-You get a "must use" spooly brush to comb through your brows after you apply the pencil (in order to simulate a more natural look) on the opposite end of the pencil

You will not be able to find a more loved eyebrow pencil out there, which makes me wonder where I have been all this time.  Do you know how hard it is to get even 10 women to agree with one another on a product, let alone in the hundreds of positive reviews I've read for this brow pencil? Check out Ybf beauty creator, Stacey, and her famous brow pencils in action..

She makes it look so simple doesn't she?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A KERR-azy Drugstore Find! + Mini Haulage.

I've been to Kerr Drugstore twice now. The first time to buy some emergency makeup when I noticed my skin was peeling off of my face layer by layer (during the first week of Retin A) right before I was about to go into my daughter's school to be the lunch mom. I couldn't embarrass herself or me by looking like I suffered a massive sunburn. So I returned to a different Kerr Drug today to try something new since I always go to CVS. I live life on the wild side, as you can see. 

I went to the makeup aisle first of course and couldn't help but notice their much neater and stocked displays for Wet N' Wild than any other store I'd been to. And for the first time (in my experience) in drugstore history, I saw a tiny OPI display of the old collection with the You Don't Know Jacques and Eiffel for this Color, etc. You know, the French one? And right next to, with absolutely no rhyme or reason or affiliation to this collection in any way, were three bottles of OPI Mad as a Hatter. The super famous multi-colored glitter nail polish from the Alice in Wonderland collection. The one that sells for around $40 on Ebay. The one that I would have sold myself on Ebay for in order to get my hands on it, at one time. Thankfully, it didn't come to that and I was able to get get a couple of them the honest way. But anyway, I saw those bottles and I saw dollar signs. I snatched them up and didn't look back. I looked all down the aisle for more hidden little gems but came away with just the three. I already have my own MAAH so I am not tempted to keep one. 

OPI Mad as a Hatter x 3, and on my own nails is Essie Turquoise and Cacos (love!)
One nail polish that I did purchase to keep for myself was OPI Dulche de Leche from the OPI South American collection. I have to admit, although nothing looked wrong with my MAAH's, the other shades in the display box looked old. Some of them had yellow in the color which didn't disappear after giving the bottle a good shake. But the DDL shade looked just fine. It appears to be a creamy caramel, as the name suggests, but with pinky-taracotta look to it. It may be a refreshing departure from my typically preferred nude shades.

OPI Dulce de Leche
Adding to the mini-haul was another Wet N' Wild Mega-Last lipstick, this time in 902C Bare it All. If you missed my post about yesterday's WNW lipstick purchase, scroll down a couple of posts and check it out. I give an A+ to these lipsticks, having taken two pluses off for more poorly constructed WNW packaging. Bare it all isn't as bare of a nude as most of my others. Its actually the darkest nude that I own, most closely resembling L'Oreal Fairest Nude but with more brown and less pink. If you feel like you can't wear the super light nudes or that your skin tone is too dark for nudes, you should try this shade. It's much darker and warmer than what shades like MAC Myth or Creme d' Nude are. If you like the MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 shade, you will probably like the WNW Bare it All. Swatched on my arm, it appears brown-ish nude with a mauve tint. Take it or leave it, it was $2.99 so its worth a shot. 

L'Oreal Fairest Nude, Wet N' Wild Bare it All, Revlon Colorburst Soft Nude (L to R)
That may just be the miniest haul I've ever done in that I'm keeping two and selling three of the things I bought. Drugstores can be your closest friends when you're trying to stop spending a lot of money on makeup. I am actually a makeup minimalist when it comes to my own collection and the things that I keep which far differs in size to the things I've purchased throughout the years. And I like it like that, I know what I like and what works for me and feel the need to try try try everything I see. Well, that's a total freaking lie because I do feel that need, but my wallet doesn't like to comply.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sephora Beauty Insider Perks & Promo Codes: What's New, What's Free!

Here's the 411 on the latest Sephora perks and promo codes.. 

Beauty Insider Current 500 Point Perks: Boscia Skin Care set (zzzzz) or Smashbox Perfectly Polished Lids kit (yay!)

Deluxe Sample of Smashbox Halo Finishing Powder, free with online order and code: TRYHALO

Beauty Inisder Current 100 Point Perk: Benefit They're Real Mascara, trial size (for more info, see my post here: Unnatural Beauty: A Humorous and Opinionated Beauty Blog: New (and Tempting!) Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point Perk: Benefit "They're Real" Mascara

Bare Escentuals: Free Buxom gloss mini w/ the purchase of the new Buxom (love!) Amplified Lash Mascara

With any $25 purchase, choose one mini-bronzer from a selection of: Dr. Brandt, Clarins, St. Tropez, Bare Escentuals, w/ code: SUNKISS

With any $25 purchase, try a free Benefit Refined Finish Facial Polish w/ code: REFINED

With any $25 purchase, try a free deluxe sample of Murad Time-Release Acne Cleanser w/ code: CLEANSE

With any $25 purchase, try five free mini sized items from the Sephora Collection, you will receive: two eyeshadows, two mascaras, and a tinted moisturizer w/ code: FIVE4U

DOUBLE YOUR BEAUTY INSIDER POINTS! From June 14-30, buy any hair product(s) and double your points. Points will appear in your beauty bank on July 30.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Drugstore Gem: Wet N' Wild Mega-Last Lipstick

I have said it before and I will say it again, Wet N' Wild has my total respect as a cheap drugstore brand that puts out some good quality products. First it was their famous Brandywine Lipliner that I wore for a good 15 years, then on to their blush and Mega-Glo Highlighter products, before finally raising the bar to new heights with their Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio's. And once again, I am impressed. This time its with their Mega-Last lipsticks. I give the credit for my discovery to my five year old daughter who, when given the option to pick out a lipstick at the drugstore, chose a WNW Mega-Last lipstick in a super bright red (911D). This stuff is like a lipstick/lipstain all in one because once the initial moisture of the lipstick wears down, you are left with the budge-proof dry color on your lips for plenty of time to come. Not sure if this happens because that particular shade of red is so ridiculously vibrant or if you'd get the same great lasting power with any of the shades. All I know is that when my little girl plays dress up and puts this lipstick on, it ain't never comin' off. I had to get actual oil-based makeup remover today to clean up all the "drawing outside of the lines" mistakes that she did with the lipstick.

So I decided to conform to my daughter's lipstick tastes and try one in a shade that is more my style. Gorgeous was the shade selection and it was hard for me to choose. I ended up going with a peach shade, 903C Just Peachy. I adore this shade! I am so tired of trying to find a true peach lipstick only to be bombarded with peachy-pink or peachy-nude or peachy-pink-nudes. I have been looking for a perfectly peach, a true peach, with no interfering undertones. "Just Peachy" is pretty much on point. The color is vibrant, and totally opaque which I love but also feared because opaque matte usually equals super drying and chalky. And for $2.99, could I even expect much else? The answer is yes.

Photo Credit: Makeup Mish Mash, (Wet N' Wild Mega-Last Bare it All! Gorgeous x100!)

What I Like About Wet N' Wild Mega-Last Lipstick:
The price! $2.99 a piece!
-The shade selection goes from beautiful neutrals to the bright and the bold
-The matte finish is opaque and long-lasting without being totally drying
-No plastic or cheap fragrance smell, in fact, no scent at all
-Goes on very smooth yet stays matte
-I didn't need a lip liner because this stuff doesn't bleed or flake outside of the lips
-Unlike some super opaque matte lipsticks that magnify every imperfection of your lips, I found this one to cover imperfections rather than highlight them. Its thick enough so that it won't bring out the peelies!

What I Don't Like:
-You can't build on this color without creating a mess. If you want to touch up your lipstick, just wipe off the remnants and start over! Don't add to it or you will end up with a caked up disaster.

-The packaging, in true WNW fashion, is junk. Be careful keeping these lipsticks in your purse, and be careful with how far you twist up the lipstick because it may not twist back down! The plastic lid is prone to cracking just by looking at it the wrong way and it doesn't stay on very well or provide that really satisfying click that tells you that your packaging is secure.

Overall Judgment:
Mad props to Wet N' Wild for giving us a great long-lasting matte finish lipstick that doesn't do all of the things we hate about a long-lasting matte finish lipstick! 

Possible Dupe Alert: 
For those that like Kat Von D Celebutard lipstick or hated it because of the texture, you should try the WNW Mega-Last lipstick in 901B Think Pink. The color isn't spot on, being that it is a true bright pink and less milky white-pink but the texture of the WNW is so much better for an opaque matte lipstick. If you like the look of a milky-pink like Celebutard but hated the chalky appearance, you might like the Mega-Last more than Celebutard, which I found, made me look like I created a special kind of Pepto-Bismal chalk for my lips.

Wet N Wild Think Pink is the first shade (Photo Credit: TheGlamShack Blogspot)

Photo Credits: Lacqured, Painted, Polished blogspot

901B Think Pink, 902C Bare it All, 903C Just Peachy, 904B Rose Bud, 905D Smokin' Hot Pink

Photo Credit: Lacquered, Painted, Polished blogspot. This is the shade I have but these are not my lips!

Check out the YouTube Video Below for more Wet N' Wild Mega-Last Love:

Contest News:
Don't forget to keep checking back for news on my July give-a-way! If you are looking forward to checking out some of the new lip products from the upcoming MAC Semi-Precious collection, stay tuned to my blog.. I am giving away a lipstick AND the matching lipgloss to one of my lucky blog followers!  **Sign up to follow today so you will be all set to enter when the time comes!**

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New (and Tempting!) Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point Perk: Benefit "They're Real" Mascara

Normally I don't cash in 100 of my Sephora Beauty Insider points unless its something I'm dying to try. Otherwise, I like to save up for the big stuff. I'm typically NOT a Benefit mascara fan, having been equally disappointed by Bad Gal and the Bad Gal Blue. But I can't lie, I am a sucker for any mascara that uses the "false lashes in a bottle" gimmick. Because, well, I love the look of false lashes. But I hate putting them on. So naturally, I'd love to find a mascara that really does provide for me the look without the mess. Designed with an exclusive brush that has a dome shape at the tip to maximize even your tiniest lashes, while the precision bristles work to get close to the root to provide enhanced length and volume. "They're Real" is already getting great reviews on Check those out as well as the catchy little video which demonstrates the new Benefit mascara in action.

The Claims (as taken from
-Lengthening, Volumizing, Curling, Long-Wearing 
-Silky lashes that will not clump, smudge, or dry-out
-Glossy formula reveals lashes you never knew you had
-Dome-shaped tip will curl even your teeniest lashes
-Precision bristles grab at the root to enable superb length and volume

The Price:
$22, which is not too bad at all. Considering many of the top of the line department store mascaras are in the $30's.

The Shade Selection (thus far):
Waterproof? No.

Sephora Promotional Video for Benefit They're Real Mascara:

MAC Candy Yum Yum Lipstick: Looking for a Dupe? Look Here.

I had my hands on a few of the coveted MAC Candy Yum Yum back when it was released with the Quite Cute collection, of which I sold on Ebay for a decent chunk of change. But my chunk paled in comparison to the much larger chunk it preasently goes for on Ebay, now that the dust has settled and the supply depleted. Do you know that currently there are only two sellers who have it up for auction/buy it now? There was a time when there were two or three pages of CYY options. I should have held on to those puppies! I'm kicking myself. I have seen them sell for around $75 making it just as popular as Pink Friday when it was exclusively sold for a few weeks at the end of last year. Congrats to all of those who were able to snag the hot pink perfection because it is definitely THE lipstick of the year, at least as far as MAC is concerned.

But for those that didn't get a chance to purchase Candy Yum Yum, the matte pink wonder, there is still hope. Either you can snag one for around $75 IF you end up winning an auction or you can settle for a drugstore dupe. Now, there are two kinds of people in the MAC world. Those that don't care that the lipstick is MAC or that its a limited edition item, they just love the color and want it strictly for the color that it will provide for their lips. And then there are those that, while they do like the color and plan to wear the color, they wouldn't pay it much attention if it weren't MAC and weren't limited edition and hard to find. I admit, I am in the latter group. I'm a sucker for hard to find things whether they be MAC or not. For instance, today at Walgreen's I was eyeing some new Maybelline lipsticks on a display in which Christy Turlington, their model, was wearing a certain shade and it looked nothing less than AMAZING on her. I looked down to find the shade and it was sold out, along with all of the other shades but one. Immediately, I began thinking of which stores to hit next in the area to find the lipstick. Completely oblivious to the fact that I am not Christy Turlington and perhaps the beautiful shimmering frosty pale pink was enhanced with the use of fancy editing tools and that it would look nothing like that on me. Where am I freaking going with this? Oh yeah, you may not care to have a drugstore dupe of CYY if you aren't into the lipstick strictly for the color.. Here's what I have found to be the closest dupes, along with a few other suggestions.

Barry M. Lip Paint #62 
(matte neon pink) if you can get a hold of this or have a friend overseas, or you are overseas, you may have a chance for this one but Barry M. isn't sold in the US. So now not only can you get CYY but you can't get the dupe. Ha ha! 

                 Barry M. Lip Liner in #12 is a great match as well.

Photo Credit: AintThatPretty09.blogspot. The Barry M shade VS CYY

Milani Rose Hip

Photo Credit Barogque in Babylon.blogspot

Janet, shade #50, haven't heard of this brand?! Have you been living in a cave?! Just kidding, I don't know this brand either but I've seen it sold on Ebay through Casper Cosmetics. This isn't a matte finish, but the color is very similar to CYY.

Photo Credit Adrienne Adores.blogspot, Janet on the left, CYY on right

Maybelline Fuschia Fever

Givenchy Vamp Pink, MAC CYY, Maybelline Fuschia Fever (left to right)

Wet N' Wild Nouveau Pink

Photo Credit Makeup and Macaroons.blogspot, Wet N' Wild Pink Noveau

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Mini Review: Le Metier Color Core Lipstick in Palm Springs

I have built up the Le Metier lipstick in my mind for months. In my mind, it was the greatest lipstick known to man and my life would be utterly empty without adding it to my collection. Having heard rave review after rave review about the Color Core lipstick and its myriad of gorgeous and unique shades, I was convinced that as soon as it touched my lips they would turn to gold. What made it even more lust-worthy was that it isn't really all that accessible. And we (or maybe just me) always want what we can't have. I kept putting it off because I am super impatient and totally compulsive and when I want something I want it now and if I have a gift card or extra money, I want to buy something that I can immediately have and not wait for it to be shipped to me. My Nordstrom doesn't have the Le Metier line in their store, just online.  But when I got a Nordstrom gift card for my birthday, it was an invitation just begging for an RSVP. I did it. I took the plunge and purchased the coveted Le Metier Color Core lipstick in shade, Palm Springs. I went back and forth between which shade to get and ultimately settled on one that is described as "peachy pink" or "pinky nude". So it arrived today and as I ripped the box open and found my little gem, I was getting excited for the lipstick love affair that was about to bloom. It was just me, my mirror, and my Le Metier. And ultimately, me and my mirror were left a little disappointed. 

Things I liked:

-The packaging is sleek and classy
-The shade selection is great
-I like how they name their lipsticks after exotic locations
-It wasn't drying and most lippies described as a stain are very drying
-Palm Springs is a nice color, similar to MAC Creme Cup
-Decent staying power

Things I didn't like:

-Color pigmentation wasn't that great on Palm Springs, not sure if they are all like this. I needed several swipes to get some good color payoff. 
-The texture is nothing special, not thick or thin. It seemed a tad waxy, had a hard time building the color to show up better.
-No scent. I happen to like scented lipsticks.
-Price, for $32 I expect something special like what I get when I use an Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme lipstick for the same price.
-The staying power is decent but the actual lipstick wears off quick and leaves the stain which is the part that stays. 
-This is called a moisturizing lipstick and is infused with things like Shea Butter and Jojoba, but I honestly wouldn't have ever guessed that just by using it without prior knowledge.
-Described as creamy and I didn't feel it was creamy at all. 

Photo Credit: Lovesong for my Lipgloss, Palm Springs is third from the end. The other shades are probably more pigmented because of the depth of their color, so I really can't complain that my shade came off too light!

I don't know if I'd spend another $32 to try a different shade. I don't know if my shade is just a less pigmented one because of its pale pink color, or if they all go on semi-sheer. Overall, disappointed and much more willing to purchase two MAC lipsticks for one Le Metier. I am not going to totally give up on the brand, as I've heard great things about their glosses and eye pencils so there may still be hope yet.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Makeup 101: How to Wear Your Eye Makeup According to Eye Color

We've all made mistakes with our eye makeup. Sometimes we pick colors that we love but that don't necessarily bring out our own eye color in the best ways. Sometimes the wrong eyeshadow combo can actually diminish how pretty your eyes are. Face it, you should be choosing colors that work with what you have and not with what you want. It really does make a WORLD of difference. Try some of these tips.

1. Think of the color wheel. The color opposite your own eye color on the color wheel is what will be the most complementary. For blue eyes, this color would be orange and for green eyes, this color would be red. I doubt you overly excited about the chance to wear red or orange eyeshadow. You don't have to. Simply pick shadows that may have hints of these colors in them, such as rusty-orange shades rather than just plain orange or cranberry instead of read.

2. Shades like Aubergine or Violet are created from red bases and therefor will intensify green eyes. This is what it means to work with the color family and not the specific color that is opposite of yours.

3. Rich copper shades as well as gold will have an orange undertone and will bring out the blue eyes. 

4. Hazel eyes, being a combination of brown and green can wear most of the shades that those with both brown or green eyes can. 

5. Brown eyed girls have the most selection as far as what looks good on them. To narrow it down, you have to determine what looks best with your skin tone and hair color. Sometimes those with light brown eyes don't look best in what looks best on those with darker brown eyes. 

Color wheels are very useful for choosing makeup or decorating your house! Choose what is opposite your eye color and stick to something in the same family.

Breaking it Down by Eye-Color

Blue Eyed Girls:

*Do not wear blue. Contrary to popular belief, blue does absolutely nothing for you. Why? Because the blue shade of a eyeshadow/liner will compete with the shade of your eyes and you will come out being the loser. No matter how pretty your eyes are, they won't be as vibrant as the shade of a blue shadow or liner. Don't work against your color, work WITH it~!

*Pay attention to the range of color in your blue eyes. This matters. If you have blue-green eyes, you may be able to wear some of the color palettes that a green eyed girl can wear. If you have some violet in those blue eyes (lucky girl), you may be able to wear some of the shades that a hazel, green, OR brown eyed girl can wear. Play around, experiment!

*Generally, you look best in the following colors: Browns, particularly bronze because brown is a complementary color to blue. Also, copper and gold make blue eyes sparkle! Since I have a bit of green in my eyes, I find that shades of violet and eggplant work to deepen my blue eye color.

*Silver can either make or break a blue-eyed girl. Its up to the individuals exact tone of blue and how the shadow is applied. If the silver is over-blended with the accompanying colors, it has the potential to look like you have been punched in the eye. If you are going to use silver, don't use a blue shadow or you run the risk of making this happen. Keep your silver separate and pair it up with a shade that really stands out. 

Blue-Eyed Babes, Try These!
 *MAC Coppering in the crease with a neutral shade on the lid

*Urban Decay Baked palette, the gold tones in this palette as well as the shimmery brown will do amazing things for your blue hue.

*Cover Girl Eyeshadow Trio in Shimmering Sands, a beautiful neutral browns go-to trio that you will use to death.

*MAC Cranberry looks amazing in the crease and really brings out the blue 
Green-Eyed Girls:

*You look especially beautiful in plums, violets, eggplant shades. The purple tones look amazing against green eyes. Chocolate tones and other dark browns as well as dark greens that have copper or gold shimmer or sheen to them. Dark green eyes look best with dark purple! Metallic shades are also your friend.

*Avoid light and dark blue, or pinks and purples with blue undertones. Pink tones are tricky because they can either work amazing or not work at all. Its up to the individuals exact shade of green.  It has also been said that green eyes should avoid silver.

*Not all pinks are alike. Go for the darker pinks instead of the cool-toned pinks. 

*On the other hand, a steel grey eyeliner looks best with green eyes, or something dark brown.

*Greens will work with green eyes if they are DARK green and used in moderation and not as the dominant color.

Green-Eyed Gals, Try These!
MAC Sketch for your crease
MAC Woodwinked, a great metallic tone with a gold sheen to it
NYX Exotic Green
NYX Mermaid Green
Hazel-Eyed Girls:
*Since you have a combo of both brown and green, you can often use the same shades that work with the green or brown eyed girls. It depends how much green and/or how much brown you possess.
*You look best in warm tones, bronzes, deep browns, greens, peaches, and certain pink-toned shades.
*Try to avoid basic black eyeliner, if you are wearing a purple toned shadow, use an eggplant eyeliner. If you are using a brown eyeshadow, use a gold liner.

*Neutral shades add definition to hazel eyes. You can't go wrong with a good neutral brown-based shades. Grey and black can also work if they are not overdone. 

*Try rich golden tones like gold shimmer, sunflower, wheat, sand, mustard tones.

*Avoid using too much blue, which can tend to DULL your gorgeous hazel eyes and have the opposite result as what you're aiming for.   

Hazel-Eyed Beauties, Try These!
MAC Shroom on the lid, and Shag in the crease.
Try Sun or Kitten by Stila on the lid and Heath or Eden (also by Stila) in the crease
MAC Sable is great for those with green-hazel eyes
MAC Sketch is a great one to wear either in the crease or as a liner. It's fail proof for hazel eyes. 
Brown-Eyed Girls:

*Avoid certain shades of brown that can make your eyes appear dull. This is where experimentation comes into play because it will depend on what shade of brown your eyes are and what shade of shadow/liner you are using. If you have dark dark brown eyes, you must lighten up your link or your eyes will appear too harsh. On the other hand if your eyes are in the light-medium brown range, the sky is the limit.

*Typically brown-eyed beauties can pull off most shades but look best in blues, violets, and golds. Just as I've said that for blue-eyed girls, brown will be your friend, it is the same rule for brown eyes just reversed. 

*Metallic browns, golds, and pinks look best. Wearing a pink shade, with a darker pink in the crease will really make brown eyes stand out. 

*Try a neutral shimmering taupe on the lid, and a darker purple, green, or pink shade in the crease. 

Brown-Eyed Girls, Try these!
MAC Goldmine
MAC Humid
MAC Trax in the crease, with a neutral pink on the lid (Naked Lunch or Expensive Pink maybe?)
Almay Intense I-Color Play Up the Brown, takes the guesswork out of choosing your perfect shades because you get all of your complementary shades in one!

*Please take all of my suggestions with a grain of salt. For every suggestion I've made, you can find a contradictory one on a million other sites. Do what works for you and simply use this as a guideline. Remember, this isn't a cut and dry subject. Other things come into play such as skin tone, shade range of eye color, hair color, age, etc. Experiment! Have fun with color and try to work with and not against your eye color!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dying to Try: Laura Geller Eye Rimz Baked Marbleized Illusion Liner/Shadows

I'm not much of an eyeliner junkie. Most of the time it transfers from my lid to my crease and smudges all over the place. But as I was watching Laura Geller today on QVC, I cannot say I wasn't totally infatuated with the way that the Eye Rimz Baked Marbleized Illusion shadow liners looked. I mean, they were like BAM! I'm including a link to the item on QVC where you can watch the video, because you can't make a decision based on photos alone. In order to truly appreciate the vibrancy of these shades, you need to see them in action.
What are they?
These are baked marbleized liners that you can use wet or dry as an eye liner or dry as an eyeshadow. You will get a bolder metallic color if used wet. The dominant color in the shadow liner is pitch black with swirls of a metallic color, depending on which you choose. The design of this gives multi-reflective results.
Shade Selection:
Cobalt (blue), Violet, Green (my personal favorite and the most vibrant of all the shades), Copper Cadabra (brown), Bronze, Enchanted Forest (dark green), Plum Like it Hot (the darker purple)
QVC price includes the eyeliner brush for $23.52 and this is the LAST day at the featured price.

There are NO photos that do this product justice besides seeing them swatched on the model's hand in the video from the link below. If you want to see it, go to where the photos are and it will give you an option to watch the on-air presentation. Seriously, its worth a look.

Latest Make-Upsession: Gwen Stefani Elle Magazine May 2011

Did anyone see the Gwen Stefani spread in the May 2011 issue of Elle magazine? Holy smokes! I've never seen such gorgeous makeup on Gwen, or anyone for that matter. Normally she is known for her signature red lips (some of her favorites include MAC Ruby Woo or Russian Red) so it was a big departure for her to sport a nude lip. But coupled with the heavy heavy black liner and glamazon lashes, it just worked. It beyond worked. It had me totally drooling. Whatever nude lipstick she is wearing, I want it. I really don't like how Elle says "to get so and so's makeup look, try such and such by L'Oreal..." or something like that. Telling us to TRY a certain product to achieve a similar look to the cover girl is not telling us exactly what product was used in that exact shoot. I've tried to search for the answer and I have come up empty. 
Gwen is an amazing woman to look at. She is just walking artwork. She is always wearing something that you won't see on anyone else because she seems to be two steps ahead of everyone at all times. This is one star that has my total respect because she's genuinely made it BIG in Hollywood without a sex tape or a few stints in rehab. 
Known for being very particular about her makeup, she admits that she wears it every day and doesn't feel "energized" until she has it on. Most of the time she does her own makeup for public appearances! And her husband, Gavin Rossdale, loves her red lips. Gwen says this is a big reason why she keeps it, she keeps the lipstick to keep the husband. I appreciate her candid nature. I dare you to say that this woman isn't the picture of perfection with the most gorgeous to die for makeup you've seen in a long time. 

Are you serious? Breathtaking!

And what is that nail polish she's wearing? It looks gorgeous with the whole look!

The definition of classic beauty and style!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Current Sephora Beauty Insider Perks: Featuring the New 500 Point Perk

If you are like me, you only really get excited when the Sephora 500 point Beauty Insider Perk is something makeup related. I have mentioned before that I completely tune out when I see skin care sets. Blah, blah, boring, bring me some makeup, please. Thank God they brought us the Too Faced "eye love" palette after suffocating me with what seemed to be a never ending saga of skin care, one dull set at a time. But I am pleased to announce that Sephora seems to be listening to our (my) pleas, by bringing another makeup related gift, the Smashbox Perfectly Polished Lids set.. (sigh of relief)

Smashbox Perfectly Polished Lids:
 Cream eyeliner in Midnight Brown
Eyeshadow Trio in Vanilla, Champagne, and Brazilian Bronze
Mini Photo Finish Lid Primer
Mini Lash DNA Mascara

Oh! and if anyone gives a rat's ass, you can also choose a Bosia skin care set if the Smashbox option doesn't do it for you. It isn't exactly new, as its been featured before by my local Sephora store during an exhausting and long makeup drought (AKA, we ran out of the Too Faced eye love palettes and won't be re-stocking)

Which brings me to my next point....

*If I may suggest, many many times the actual Sephora stores are given limited supply or they sell out fast and aren't re-stocked with their 500 point perks, so if you are eyeing one of them, I would call ahead to your store to see if they have it or just place your order online!

The Current 100 Point Sephora Beauty Insider Perks (may vary from your local Sephora store and

Benefit Coralista blush mini (in a super duper cute black plastic box) (not currently offered @ but check your local Sephora stores)

Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Antiwrinkle Day Cream SPF 10 (

Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smooth Primer (

Paco Rabanne Lady Million Fragrance (very cool packaging,

Summer Favorites List! My Most Loved Products for May/June!

I've been quite lucky with the products I've chosen to use this year. I've found some truly great things that I couldn't do without and I thought I'd share some of them with you! I have ventured outside of my "makeup box" where I've been living with the same brands over and over and over again purchased from the same stores over and over and over again. I have learned that there is more to live than Sephora when I decided to look in places I may not have otherwise looked to try new things and new brands. Along the way, I've found some cheap and excellent products! I admit I am a total and unapologetic Home Shopping whore. I am addicted to QVC and HSN. I live and breathe for it. I would rather watch someone hyping up a lawn and garden tool than watch another reality show. I credit these retail venues for bringing me some amazing (and often CHEAP) skin care products. Who doesn't love that combination?! Without further babbling, here are some of the products I've been loving this summer. And I do mean, loving. That's why they're on the list.

Serious Skin Care C-Cream SPF 30

I die for this sunscreen/moisturizer. If you are one of those gals that can't see past Sephora or the drugstore, try some of those cosmetic brands that you see on QVC/HSN that you have never heard of. Check out the reviews for Serious Skin Care, a brand created by Jennifer Flavin-Stallone (you got it, Sylvester's wife). They make some unbelievable things for great prices too! I know, not another ex-model who co-created a skin care line. Well, yes, its another model who has created a skin care line. Only, this time its different and really really good. At least I think so. We need Vitamin C in our skin care routine and that is a fact. Anyone who has ever spent time in the sun and is trying to undo the damage they've done in the past should incorporate Vitamin C into their daily lives. It is formulated with 5 sunscreens including octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone and avobenzone and chalked full of antioxidants that VC provides, this stuff creates a barrier between you and the evil toxins in the environment. While it works to correct SOME of the photo damage of the past, it shields against the sun damage of the future. This stuff has a light citrus scent, is very creamy, is not as harsh as some VC products I've tried, and it truly does moisturize rather than dry me out like some VC products can. It makes me shiny in the face for a few minutes before it settles down but my makeup applies very well over it. I do believe I picked up a 2 oz. tube of it on Ebay, sealed, for $9.99. And I'd do it again, and again. I have sensitive skin, and break-out prone in the chin/jaw area and this stuff works for me amazingly! If you want to take a look at who Jennifer Flavin-Stallone is and what she AND Vitamin C are about, check out the video below to get a little glimpse. But seriously, get your butts out there and get some Vitamin C products. Try a serum or a sunscreen or a night cream, anything!

Wen Cleansing Conditioner (Sweet Almond Mint)

For years I have passed this stuff up every time I see the presentation on QVC. Always tempted by the gorgeous and shiny heads of hair on the "Wen Girls" but forever talking myself out of the idea of using a conditioner as a shampoo. I bit the bullet and bought a small size on Ebay just to try it out and I have to say, I was hooked. You have to have an open mind with this stuff because being that its a cleansing conditioner, you will be saying goodbye to the lather that you're used to. Often times you have lather because of the evil sulfates that strip and dry out your hair and if you don't know anything about this, please look it up or read my blog post about it. I have heard that even lathering shampoos that don't use sulfates can dry out and strip your hair which can cause you to need to color it more often. So what does Wen do for me? It makes my hair shinier, bouncier, smoother, less dry, softer, and easier to manage. I love the idea of only having to use one product to do the job of a shampoo + conditioner. I'm very glad I finally let Chaz Dean (creator of Wen) tempt me enough to get me to take a chance on this stuff. Sold in a variety of fragrances that target each and every hair type as well as a couple that are good for all hair types. Chaz says that if you don't know where to start, try Sweet Almond Mint (the original cleansing conditioner) or Pomegrante (probably their most popular, I just bought the gallon size!)

Ulta Fabulous Face Compact Foundation:

I would have passed this baby right up time and time again unless I was super desperate and someone told me that it was pretty good. Which is what happened. I was desperate to find a replacement for my BELOVED Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation whose consistency and application is amazing on my skin, not to mention the shade Creamy Natural was created just for me and blended like a dream. If it weren't for all of the damn breakouts it caused from its oily nature and ability to make my face very shiny throughout the day, I would have gone the distance with it. I hate trying new foundations and I am honestly about 2 for 100 when it comes to the daunting product. Long story short, I've learned to love again. And cheaply. Ulta was having a 2/$10 on their foundations and I picked up two different shades and the rest is history. It's OIL-FREE, and just as good if not better than Maybelline's version. It sinks into my skin easily and doesn't cause my face to become greasy or broken out (so far!). I am very very amazed that I can get a foundation that, for me, works better than Chanel or Dior and it's only (reg. price) $12.50. Don't judge a foundation by its price or brand ladies! The Fabulous Face Compact Foundation is proof of that. Only draw back? Not a great shade selection. It seems they've skipped the medium tone. You have light, lighter, lightest, and medium-tan. I have purchased a darker one than usual as well as a lighter one and its been smooth sailing. Currently, its $5 on Ulta website so either the sale is still going on or they are phasing it out (which will cause me to be quite disruptive in my protest) But anyways, way to go Ulta, you show those fancy pants brands you have to hang out with all day that YOU are the superior foundation in that store!

Hourglass Rouge Femme Velvet Creme Lipstick (Shades: Fable, and Grace)

I have blog posts about this lipstick so I don't need to say too much except for that this lipstick is perfect. Creamy without being too slippery, smooth, moisturizing, smells like MAC lipsticks, and perfect in every way that I judge lipstick against. I have two shades which are perfect nudes. Fable is a warm nude that most anyone could pull off and Grace is a pink/nude that most anyone could pull off. By far, my favorite lipsticks I've ever owned. Sorry MAC, I have stepped out on you and fallen in love with another. 

Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer:

Photo credit top and bottom from Musings of a Muse

I bought this little TF sample set of their lip, eye, and face primers. Mostly I purchased it for the Too Faced Shadow Insurance but I was happy to try the other two items as well. Having never owned a lip primer, I have been missing out all of these years! I really like this stuff! It creates a tacky base that your lipstick adheres too so that it lasts longer throughout the day. I appreciate this concept because often times when a lipstick is too slippery or the lasting power is crap, it means it needs something to stick to in order to perform up to your expectations. The smell isn't the greatest but it gets the job done. I apply it before liner or lipstick and it certainly has become a staple in my collection. Too Faced hasn't let me down with their primers which has made me a loyal customer.

Laura Gellar Balance -N- Brighten Powder (Foundation?):

I hate powders. I hate them. They are just not ever flattering for those that have fairly dry skin. And they take away any dewey-ness that you are trying to achieve with a foundation. They just come along and stomp it right out. So I have pretty much stopped wearing them until I saw someone review Laura Gellar Balance -N- Brighten foundation powder on YouTube (EmilyNoel83) and then I became smitten. And finally, this past week, I went from smitten to totally in love. This isn't a typical powder in that its texture is kind of creamy without being liquidy so this eliminates the "drying factor". Some say that they use it as a setting powder and some use it on its own because they feel it does provide coverage. I use it after I apply my new Ulta foundation and it really brightens me up and negates the need for me to apply bronzer. I find that if you are wearing a foundation that may be too light for you, you can toss this LG powder over it and it provides some warmth that you may be lacking prior. Balance -N- Brighten is baked in a terracotta pan and that is pretty much what Laura Gellar is known for. This is my first baked product and I am totally digging them. I picked up shade medium because my skin has more color to it in the summer so this shade is pretty perfect. It has a medium-beige base with shades of brown and orange swirled into it. If you are a pale girl and normally wear light, this shade would be a great contour shade or something that could act as a bronzer if you find most bronzers to be too dark. To sum it up, this product provides warmth to your face and helps to even out your skin tone. I need more coverage from a foundation and so I am not able to wear it on its own, but I'm sure that many women can and should! A perfect, light, "am in a hurry but need something on my face" kind of product. Its much more special than any normal old powder in that it provides some coverage and adds color to your face. Eager to try more baked products from Laura Gellar.  This is the video I watched that caused me to take the Balance -N- Brighten plunge. Enjoy..

Pro-Active  (Cleanser, Toner, Repairing Lotion + Repairing Treatment)

I never thought I'd be sitting here writing about Pro-Active, let alone how much I love it. I never thought I'd be 33 years old and seeking the assistance of an anti-acne skin care regime. But here I am. I've tried a lot of new products on my skin this past couple of months and needless to say, my skin hasn't reacted well to some of them. I blame the Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation and a glycolic acid cream for creating most of my break-outs. I spoke to my aunt about my skin trauma and she brought over for me a trial sized 3-step program by Pro-Active: cleanser, toner, repairing treatment. These are benzoyl peroxide based products used to take care of break-outs and keep them from coming back. I was just desperate enough to give them a shot. First, I really love the cleanser. It is composed of super duper fine micro-beads that act as an exfoliator as it cleanses. I love this because the beads being so fine make it feel less harsh than larger grainy beads. The toner is nice, very basic and standard. And the repairing lotion is what really brings it all together by being slightly moisturizing yet powerful in that it dries those little assholes out very quickly. I also got a sample size of the spot treatment which is fantastic because not only does it work in combination with the lotion to dry out the blemishes, it also takes the redness away and makes them less noticeable during the day. I really appreciate that quality in an acne spot treatment. Overnight, I saw an improvement. The break-outs I had were much more dried out and much smaller! I took a break from Retin-A and my glycolic acid products so that I could put an end to what was happening to my skin in the way of break-outs. So glad I did because I'm still going strong with this stuff. I have decided to use it a few times a week and cut my Retin-A use down to 2-3x per week as opposed to 7x/week. I have to say, with all of the research I've done on finding the best skin care products and all of the MONEY I've spent making sure I have the best, I am totally shocked that I am finding solace in Pro Active. All of those annoying commercials and overly eager testimonials. I can now understand and agree with the enthusiasm. Only I'm way less annoying about it.
MAC Eyeshadow in shade: Coppering

Photo Credit: CheetoKisses Blogspot
I will admit, right here and now, that I'm not a huge fan of MAC eyeshadow. While I find their shade selection impressive, I do not find their texture and staying power (on me) equally as impressive. I find that MAC shadows aren't good for lids that tend to get oily or for people with slightly hooded lids. No matter the primer I've used beforehand, I always tended to see creasing with the use of MAC shadows. And I don't find their texture even NEAR as good as brands like Inglot or Hourglass or even Wet N' Wild! But back to why I do see why people love their eyeshadow: the shade selection. I have sold or swapped most of my MAC pro-pans but I saw one today that I have overlooked. And I'm glad that I did overlook it or else it would have been in someone else's make-up drawer right now. Coppering is so gorgeous! Its a beautiful bright rusty-orange shade with a gorgeous sheen. It looks so amazing in the crease and extra amazing on those with blue eyes because the orange tone makes them sparkle while bringing out the brightness of the blue. I wore it today with a cheapy WNW shade that has a peachy/orange tone and in desperate need of some dimension. Coppering provided that and gave me a reason, many reasons, to keep it. Just a word to the wise, I used to use Coppering with Amber Lights and it looked like a gorgeous sunset. 

Photo Credit Temptalia, Coppering is the third shade

Jergens Skin Firming Lotion

I am 100% skeptical of any product that claims to firm skin, diminish or remove cellulite, or do anything similar to either of these concerns. Cellulite is here to stay. Even skinny girls have it. The only way to remove it is to surgically remove it from your body. You can hide the severity of it with things like tanning products or pants, but you will never rid yourself of it. You can tone up the area that cellulite is lurking and you can burn the fat, but unfortunately not much can be done about those little dimply areas that we can thank our own mother's and mother nature for. But we can firm things up, right? At least a little bit. With the help of lots of squats and Jergens Skin Firming Moisturizer. I was told that Tyra Banks really likes this and that its the only product of its kind that has worked for her. Now 99% skeptical, I gave it a try. Something about it does make my skin feel firmer. It has a slightly tacky texture that makes me feel like I'm being held in better. I don't know about you, but I constantly feel like the skin that attaches the thigh to my butt area is thinning. It may be in my head but I know that elasticity or lack thereof of it is a major aging concern of women. I truly think that this Jergens product makes me at least FEEL like my skin has more elasticity, even if it doesn't. And its really all about perception. If you feel good, you look good. Plain and simple. And for $6 a bottle, really, even if you think it sucks, you still have a moisturizer right? When is the last time that Jergens has failed you? It didn't fail me with its self-tanning products or its original cherry-almond scented body moisturizer. So I took another chance on the household name, and pleased I was again. But please, don't expect miracles. Its not like you're going to put it on and good to bed and wake up sans-cellulite. Get real.