Archive | October, 2012

Mascara THROWDOWN!

31 Oct

I have been trying different mascaras lately. I don’t know why. Boredom? I just thought, there are so many out there, why not? Largely a disappointing experience, but here are my findings anyhow, in a very short, succinct format.

Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara
When I bought this, she told me it doesn’t smudge. That is a lie. It does. A lot. It smells like roses and it’s not the worst of the smudgers, but it does end up under my eyes after a long day. Good color, good consistency, easy application, good volume. Too expensive to smudge that way.
3/5 lashes

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara
I like the logo for this brand, and I think we all know I’m a sucker for anything pretty or gimmicky. I’m not sure what the thought process was in naming any mascara “skinny” anything, because that seems pretty counterintuitive, but this mascara is actually awesome. I literally just took a nap in it and it looks exactly the same as when I applied it. I have had no smudging issues with it; when it comes off it actually just seems to flake a little, which is way easier to remove than smudging. Color is good, lashes look thick and long. A tiny bit clumpier than I’d prefer but not too bad, and might thicken up with repeated usage. One coat is enough. Only complaint – hard to get off. Really had to scrub it off my eyes.
4.5/5 lashes

Make Up Forever Smoky Lash Mascara in 6 (Purple)
Great mascara. I picked this up at Sephora because I had a hankering for some purple eyelashes. Great application, great staying power, easy to remove, little to no smudging, BUT (isn’t there always something?) doesn’t look very purply on. If you look VERY carefully it’s purple, but it’s not jumping off my face purple. The only reason to wear purple mascara is so that people are like, Hey, look at those wild lashes! This doesn’t accomplish that. I may as well just use the black. So as a mascara, 5/5 lashes. As a purple mascara…
3.5/5 lashes

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara
The definite winner of the bunch, and a reader/friend submission at that! Wendy F. recommended I try this brand after one of my other mascara posts, so I did. It’s great! Color is good, application is easy, nice thick lashes with no clumping, one coat does it, easy to remove, minimal smudging, meets pretty much every requirement I have! I am at the end of the tube now, hence my exploration into other types, but if you’re not in the mood to explore and simply want a reliable, standard mascara, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.
5/5 lashes

On a related note, the first person to tell me what the hell mascara and flagellation have in common wins a prize. EVERY time I write about mascara, WordPress suggests I tag my post with flagellation. I must know why.

New Blog

30 Oct

I’m working on separating my girly-girl product lover life and my boring, baby-making, giant belly life, and this is the result:

Holy Crap, I’m Making a Person.

Feel free to follow me there for baby news and views and hopefully bizarre stories about what I am hoping will be one weird kid.

xo

Product Name FAIL

27 Oct

Seriously… there is nothing about the name “Lip Tar” that makes me in ANY way want to try this product. Lip TAR? Seriously? Let’s think about tar for a moment here. Thick. Black. Sticky. Dirty. Smelly. There isn’t ONE adjective on that list that says “put me on your face” to me.

The description sounds way better than the name implies, but I still won’t be checking this out because of the name. Thoughts?

 

Sephora Spin to Win Codes

18 Oct

So I need to pick up some more ExfoliKate, but that stuff is très cher, so I have been putting it off. Well, Sephora is doing its Spin to Win game again, so I had my fingers crossed for a 10% off coupon. Just like last year, however, I keep winning crap I don’t want or need like sample size mascaras and moisturizers. Just give me my 10% off, already!

Well, thanks to Google, I happened upon the Looks Cute Though blog, which helpfully provided the following list of codes:

BINGO! Thank you, Mayette!

– Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum Deluxe Mini (code: MT34S7, 7.5:10 odds)
– Shiseido Urban Environment SPF Sunscreen Deluxe Mini (code: MS2U8E, 7.5:10 odds)
– Lancome Defincils Mascara Deluxe Mini (code: ML4D02, 7.5:10 odds)
– 10% Off Purchase (code: BRG3P8Y, 1:10 odds)
– Free Shipping on purchases over $25 (code: F1AS12, 1.5:10 odds)

Caudalie

17 Oct

Ah the long awaited Caudalie Blog!

I have been promising this for months but failed to deliver. Well HERE I AM!

I started using Caudalie maybe six months ago (maybe a year ago? It’s been awhile) and have noticed a dramatic change in my skin. It’s better hydrated (so much so that the aesthetician I see a couple times a year for facials actually remarked on it), clearer, softer, more refined, and with fewer wrinkles and less noticeable pores. It feels healthy and looks healthy and honestly I think I owe most of the “pregnancy glow” comments I have gotten not to Junior but to Caudalie products.

So what am I using? Well, that’s the tricky part, and part of what has held me up from writing this blog for so, so long. Although I have stuck entirely to Caudalie products, I have drifted between different ones and found them all largely to work the same! Now obviously I don’t mean a cleanser is a serum is a moisturizer (duh), I just mean the cleansers are largely the same, the serums are largely the same, etc. ad nauseum. I have found it’s less about which specific Caudalie products I choose, and more about the regimen I follow. And that regimen is:

AM

  • Wash
  • Eye moisturizer (under eyes and around sides)
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer

PM

  • Wash/Cleanse
  • Lip Balm
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer

If you go to Caudalie’s website, you can customize what regimen you want, but again – I have found most of the products to be pretty comparable, regardless of price. This is important, because some of the products (such as the Premier Cru line) are priced OUTRAGEOUSLY and offer little benefit other than those I find from all their products (that line does smell especially nice). Additionally, part of the reason I have switched products multiple times is that they keep discontinuing the products I am using. I am not sure what’s going on, but it’s pretty annoying. Thankfully, since all the products are similar, it’s not been too much of a hassle.

There are always exceptions to every rule, however. That being said, here are the Caudalie products I STRONGLY endorse:

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir – Not part of my daily routine, but a lovely, refreshing water you can spritz on your face any time. Especially nice in the hot summer months after spending some time in the sun.
  • Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser – LOVE this, my go-to face wash. NO sulfates but nice and sudsy, gets my face uber clean without drying it. Much prefer it over their gentle cleanser, which leaves me feeling greasy. Could not recommend this more highly.
  • Caudalie Vinosource Riche Moisturizer – Pricey but worth it, and lasts forever. Super thick and hydrating, maybe not for those with oilier complexions. For me it is PERFECT. I mix a pea-sized dollop with…
  • Caudalie Divine Complexion Tinted Mineral Cream – Don’t be scared! I do not get a line. I mix a pea-sized drop of this with an equal amount of the Vinosource Riche, rub them between my hands, and smooth them all over my face, jaw, and down onto my neck. The difference is VERY subtle but definitely brightens up my sometimes sallow complexion. THIS is the pregnancy glow, ladies, combined with a dusting of my favorite bronzer.
  • Caudalie Cleansing Water – A little of this on a cotton pad and all my makeup is gone. Soft and gentle.
  • Caudalie Moisturizing Concentrate – My go-to before bed serum. Smells fantastic and gives an extra moisture layer.

So I love Caudalie. I think this is the longest I have EVER stuck to a single product line in my life. I am actually convinced that there is nothing better at a comparable price currently available on the market. If I had to choose just one product to insist you try, it would be the Foaming Cleanser. Two, and it would be that and the Tinted Mineral Cream. Both have changed my life and my perspective on skin care.

Even so – the most important thing about caring for your skin is not the brand you choose but how it works for you. There are some fabulous drug store brands out there, and some fabulous top of the line brands. Be consistent, explore, and find what makes your skin look its best!

 

A Bold Lip!

15 Oct

I am going to try to blog MWF this week to make a little headway. I have about a billion things I could blog about – many of which I have been meaning to blog about for. ev. er. – but the months are quickly escaping me! I will start making draft blogs now though to remind myself of all of them and hopefully that will give me some impetus!

I am choosing to start this week with a special request blog from my friend (and amazing interior designer) Colleen. Norms I do NOT post photos of myself or loved ones in this blog, but this one is actually applicable. This weekend, the huzz and I went to a Swanky charity event and got all dressed up. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and feeling every week of it, but I had my hair done and made a go at my makeup and one of the resulting pics is this one:

Oh hey it’s me and that guy I married!

Well the outpouring of compliments on this photo has truly stunned me and I am SO grateful to have such kind friends! Besides that, however, I received this helpful suggestion from Colleen: “Please do a blog post on strong lipstick and disclose what you wore.” So here it is!

I tend to shy away from a bold lip. There are many reasons for this, chief among them:

    • it’s hard to find a color I can commit to that is dark/matte
    • it’s hard to color in the lines, so I am always afraid I’ll look like the Joker
    • bolds often bleed – see previous reason
    • I like to do eyes up and if you do eyes and lips, you end up looking like an 80s supermodel (which apparently is the new Estée Lauder campaign? Baffling.)
    • I end up with color on my teeth
    • I am afraid dark colors will highlight imperfections in my skin (it happens, truth)
    • I am a wuss

That about sums it up.

Now, as an Aries AND a fair blonde, they tell me red is supposed to be my friend. But I am just NOT a red girl. I’ll go for red toenails now and then or maybe a red sweater around Christmas, and I do BUY red things, but wearing them is a real once-in-awhile experience for me. Now and then, however, the time arises for a bold lip and I try to take that bull by the horns and ride it, which is what I attempted to do Saturday night, and I think somehow pulled off.

Here are the hints I have:

1) Think of the lipstick as your accessory. It should either totally match your dress (like the red is the EXACT COLOR as the red dress you’re wearing, and that can be tricky!) or it should be your glitz, along with your jewelry. In my case, I wore a very plain black dress, some sparkly silver jewelry, had my hair did, and then whammo with the lips. If I’d worn a red dress and done red lips, I’d have toned down the jewelry/hair. And if I’d worn some fab dress and shoes and jewels, I’d probably have gone with a fairly neutral shiny lip. Point being it’s all about balance. Don’t throw yourself over the cliff of glam.

2) I did a low-key eye. I used a light pink base with a gray highlight (Lancôme’s Ombre Absolue Duo in shade A01 Night and Day, which they apparently no longer make), my Buxom eyeliner in Onyx on the upper lid, Urban Decay liner in Dime on the lower lid, and Lancôme Hypnose Drama mascara (which incidentally is okay but does smudge so I’m not recommending it). Okay yes that sounds like a lot but refer again to the Estée Lauder picture above and stay with me. It was understated, so allowed me to be a little crazier with the lips.

3) Normally I stay away from reds that have ANY hint of orange/warm undertone because they make me look jaundiced, but this one was a little on the true red side and still turned out okay. Still, my typical advice is: if your skin has yellow undertones, seek reds in the blue, purple, brown families; if your skin is pinkish, then you can pull off those more orangey or yellowy reds. A good way to know which type of skin you have is to ask yourself if you can tan. I tan like crazy because of all my yellow pigment. Pinky fairs tend not to tan as well or at all.

4) I used a lip liner first (helps to keep you in the lines!) and then as soon as I applied my lipstick, asked my husband, “Is this too bright?” He said no, that it WAS bright, but not too bright, that it looked good. And the key here: I BELIEVED HIM. I walked away from the mirror instead of obsessing, and tucked a lipgloss into my bag in case I got self conscious later.

5) I didn’t have to put this into action last night, but I recently read that when wearing a dark color lip, use your finger tip to apply and blend and it will help keep you in the lines. Genius! I do plan to use this in the future.

6) I took both the lipstick and liner with me, along with the gloss. I didn’t have to reapply the liner at all, but I did do one reapp of the lipstick to keep it looking fresh, and it did the trick.

Okay so! All that said, what are the products I used? Estée Lauder Automatic Lip Pencil Duo in 06-Poppy Red, and Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in 35 Rich Red. WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS THAT LIP PENCIL SO EXPENSIVE ON AMAZON? Well I can’t find it on the EL site, so maybe it’s discontinued, which figures. However I know you can go on the EL site and chat with a beauty consultant if you really feel like you need to find the closest match, or they have one called “Red” that I bet is comparable. Stop discontinuing my products, people! Argh ANYHOW, I love that EL lipstick because it has that smell that is so pleasant. Lancôme lipstick smells like a granny to me, but EL lipstick smells like sweet tea, and seems to have good staying power. Plus they’re not lying about the “Hydra” part – in spite of that nice bold color, my lips didn’t feel dry or matte-y at all.

Also, a final hint that often works to keep color off your teeth: After application, wrap your index finger (otherwise known as your pointer) in tissue, place it between your lips, and close in an “ooh” mouth around your finger. The stick that gets on your teeth is the stick that’s in that area, so blotting it helps to reduce transfer.

This has taken me WAY longer than anticipated but I hope it satisfies – as usual, any questions, feel free to ask!

 

NEW GIVEAWAY!

8 Oct

Oh here it is, and it’s a goodie! With a retail value of $120 (!!!!), I present you:

Tarte’s Statement Lips 5-Piece LipSurgence Collector’s Set! I know I don’t have to tell you to ENTER NOW! And spread the word!