Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Fashion Day 3

Dark Lips

One of my favorite classic looks for fall is dark lips. With a rich dark lip color, you instantly look pulled together, sophisticated, and mysterious. With this look, it's important to keep the rest of your look simple. Your lips will be so dramatic, you won't want to load on the blush or have a dark eye.

My ideal look with red lips is a simple beige shadow, mascara, and hair that doesn't had much thought put into it. In fact, the messier, the better. Blush is optional, and often omitted. It's a very European look.

Since I sport this look so often, I have several different dark shades in my makeup case, so I'm going to share them with you. Most of them are drugstore, so they're decently priced.

Rimmel Moisture Renew in 540 Burgundy Lustre About $5

Rimmel has been wowing me with many of their products, mascara and lipstick being the most impressive. Their moisture renew feels amazing on the lips, and comes in several flattering, rich colors.

L'oreal Colour Riche in #860 Spice About $5-6

This color has a lot more of an orange-brown undertone than the previous. It doesn't look so brown once it's on your lips. The color is a lot more matte than the previous, and richer.

Wet n Wild Mega Colors in 907B Blackberry about $1!

Now, I'm letting you in  on a little secret. This has been my favorite red lipstick for several years, and I've actually already finished off one tube. I love finding diamonds in the rough. So many people automatically assume that cheap means bad quality, so they don't even look. I feel that it's worth scanning through to see if there is an exception. Well, this is it. The color looks so expensive and beautiful!

Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain in 425 Plum Pout about $8

I've been eager to try some stains to see how well they work. I lucked out on my first try with this one. It is like using a marker, and is incredibly easy to apply. Just be very careful that you stay within the lines. It will not come off!

Fresh Sugar Rose & Sugar Plum $22.50 each
These last two are more spendy, but I had to include them. One of these need to be in everyone's purse. I can't say enough good things about how beautiful they look and feel, and how well they nourish your lips (SPF 15 also). These can be worn alone, or to finish off a look with lip stain. (As you can see, I couldn't get the lip stain off with makeup remover before taking this picture).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Fashion, Day 2

Ok, up next, is one of my favorite fall/winter fashion items, and they will never go out of style.
Leather Gloves 
They're functional, beautiful, sophisticated, and timeless. The best part is, depending on what you wear them with, you can have a vintage look, a rocker edge, or a simple modern feel. Besides, there's something about leather that makes you feel special.
These, I love. How often have you seen teal leather? A coat in this color would be excessive, but it's got just the right amount of pizazz as a pair of gloves. They're just long enough so that your wrists don't get cold, and the ruching at the wrist keeps the warmth in. I would love to wear these while driving a classic Mercedes.
I absolutely love a dark burgundy color for colder weather. It instantly reminds me of cranberry sauce, which leads to thoughts of Thanksgiving and other wintery activities. These suede gloves are in such a rich velvety suede, and are lined with silk! I don't know if you're all aware, but silk is an excellent insulator. I have some silk liners that I ski with, and they keep me so toasty! I love the idea of slipping my hands into these posh gloves.
These gloves are soooo perfect! Perfect length, classic cut, and the zipper? Just right. These are definitely the type of gloves that would channel a modern Amelia Earhart.
If you know anything about me, you'll know I absolutely love girly details, like ruffles, lace, or bows! These gloves are a bit shorter, in a rich black leather, with the cutest understated bow accent! Need I say more?
Ok, so I'm a little in shock about how inexpensive these gloves are. $34 for some quality, chic leather gloves? Snatch these up! They come in two other colors, and each of them have different stitching and accents. I'm particularly fond of these caramel ones. The stitching is very hippy/indie, but the leather ups the sophistication factor.
Yay for fall!
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  ( =' x '=)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Fashion!

I'm always so excited about fall fashion. Spring/Summer is fun, but I'm all about layering and being cozy, so I'm super stoked! In light of this, I'd like to blog about some of my must-haves or "wish list" for this fall. I'll do a different item every day until the first day of October!
For me, this fall is all about basics. Classics! I don't want to keep spending tons of money on super trendy things. I'm sure you've all heard the phrase, "Women wear about 20% of their closet 80% of the time". It's so true! I've gone through my closet and weeded out what I never wear. I'd love to be like a classic Parisian, with a few gorgeous and well-made pieces that all work together. Still, the economy isn't that great, and we all need to watch our spending. So, I'll always have a Budget-Friendly alternative in each category. Today's item is:
Grey Boots
Why grey? Well, you can never go wrong with a neutral, and the best part? It looks great with both black and brown! With fall/winter boots, I think it's important to focus on comfort as well as style. You don't want to be teetering around on the ice in terror, do you? Here are some that strike my fancy.

These booties would look adorable with so many things! Leggings and a slouchy sweater, under a maxi dress, or with tights and a flouncy skirt! They'd also flow into spring perfectly. I'm in love!
Eeeee! These riding boots by Nine West are so classic and perfect! I can't believe they're under 100 bucks! Under bootlegs, over skinnies or leggings, with a skirt, with a cute dress, these are awesome!
Nine West, you've done it again. I love fashion that looks more sophisticated and complicated than it is. Notice the awesome laces that go all the way up the boot. Wouldn't that be a pain? Well, it's a good thing they come with a handy zip on the inside of the boot! These are so quirky, yet classic and elegant. They would make any outfit seem pulled together, and would be so comfortable to boot.(No pun intended).
As I realize there are very few of us who are swimming in cash, here is another adorable style of grey boot that wont break the bank. These boots may not be leather or suede, but they are freakin' cute, and would be comfy with the thick heel and rounded toe. How can you beat 27 dollars for a pair of adorable winter boots?

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  ( =' x '=)

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Time is Prime

So, I figure it's time to have my say about primers, both for eyeshadow and foundation.

I don't know about all of you ladies, but when I was first introduced to the magical world of makeup, the word "primer" was not in my vocabulary. In fact, I never even knew the product existed until I was 23, and about to get married. This was on my very first visit to Sephora, and I was ready to drop a whole bunch of money to get my "wedding day look". My fabulous consultant introducted me to an eyeshadow primer, and it just blew my mind.

A product that simultaneously makes shadow brighter, last longer, and prevents creasing? Low and behold, it worked! Since then, I've been hooked. In the months following, I've tested a lot of other primers to see if any of them worked as wonderfully as my current product. Here are the products I've used; The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY!

*Disclaimer: These reviews are based on how the products work on MY skin. My skin is combination, with a tendency to get oily throughout the day. In order to be sure of how these products work on your skin, I recommend you test them at your local Sephora.

Eyeshadow Primers

I believe that every self-respecting artiste should have an eyeshadow primer in her makeup collection. The difference is phenominal, and can make even the cheapest shadows look vibrant and superb.

Urban Decay Primer Potion  $18 for .34 oz

This incredible product is the very first primer I've ever had the pleasure to use. It has been one of the #1 sellers for several years, and if you try it, you'll see why!


-Blends in smoothly
-Only a little product is necessary each use
-Shadow applies smoothly, and is buildable with each application
-Colors are more vibrant
-No creasing, and it lasts the whole day!
-Especially great for oily lids


-Dries out over time (With each time you pump the applicator, your are pumping air into the tube
-The bottle is small, and the product is difficult to get out, especially after time

Bare Escentuals bareVitamins Prime Time Eyelid Primer  $16 for .05 oz

If you haven't tried any of Bare Escentuals products, I highly recommend you do. Their shadows are to die for, as well as their Buxom lip glosses. This primer is also excellent.

-Made without oil, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, or phthalates
-Tube is less wasteful than Urban's Primer Potion, every last bit will be used with the clicking applicator
-Formulated especially for use of loose eyeshadow powders (but works great with everything in my experience)
-Fights oil throughout the day to prevent color from sliding around the eyelids
-Sheer tint doesn't affect the colors of your eyeshadow


-Even though the tube is efficient, there is a lot less product! It's only .05oz, so that is something to consider when making your choice
-You have to be careful when twisting the applicator, to many clicks and you have too much product on your hands, and it will go to waste

Hmm, what to say about this stuff. I absolutely love LORAC's eyeshadows, so when I got a generous sample of this primer with my purchase, I was excited. When I used it, I was beyond dissappointed. What boggles my mind is that all of the reviews on Sephora are five star raves about how amazing it is! Clearly my eyelids are different, or else these people have never tried another primer.


-Once this stuff grabs on to your shadow, it's not letting go!
-You definitely get a lot more product for your money
-Tube is very efficient


-Once I applied it, it was blotchy and uneven. It felt like glue on my lids!
-Shadow wouldn't blend over the primer. It was patchy and stuck in place

Foundation Primers

This is an area that I'm still pretty skeptical about. When I use liquid foundation, I set it with powder and it stays all day. When I use powder foundation, it takes care of itself, and blends smoothly over my skin. I believe if you properly exfoliate and moisturize, and use high quality foundations, you won't need a primer. Regardless, I've tried a couple, and have a few things to say.

This product has been around for a few years, and has had all sorts of positive reviews. I got a hefty sample of it in an online order, and at the time was very confused about its purpose. Honestly, it sits in my makeup case getting shoved aside as I dig for something else, but maybe it's your new dream product.


-Feels incredible and silky as you apply it on the skin
-Only a small amount of product is needed
-Blends seamlessly into the face
-Made with silicone, antioxidants and vitamins


-I've heard a few negative things about products with silicone, but I have no idea why. If anyone does know, please comment!
-I have yet to see any difference when using this product as opposed to foundation without.

I was very impressed when a drugstore brand tried their hand at face primers. I had to try it, because it was a great deal!


-Obviously the price is a great pro, you can't beat $12.95!
-Only a very small amount is needed
-Goes on very smoothly, creamy
-Oil free, fragrance free, non-comedigenic, non-acnegenic


-I'm a little squeamish about the container. I'm not a big fan of a pot that you have to dip your fingers in again and again, but I guess if you are really anal you can use a brush or applicator of some sort


Eyeshadow Primers: You must have at least one of these in your makeup bag. I recommend you get out there and try one. You'll never go back!

Face/Foundation Primers: Frankly, I'm indifferent about these. I definitely feel a little more "done up" when I use one, but I don't notice a difference either way. Perhaps they work better for more mature ladies with wrinkles. If so, please tell me!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Incredibly Refreshing Summer Drink

My husband and I are having a "tropical" themed night in commemoration of the Lost finale (Boo!). He came up with the idea to make a beverage with watermelon. Having previouslybeen a bartender for three years, I decided to mix up a delicious concoction. I present to you....the Pomermelon Splash!

Pomermelon Splash
Ingredients (Yields 2 beverages)
♥8 cubes frozen watermelon
♥2.5 oz Smirnoff Pomegranate Vodka
♥Splash of lime juice
♥A few ice cubes

Throw them all in the blender, and blend, blend, blend! After the ice cubes and watermelon get ground up, the drink starts to get really frothy, and almost carbonated (see picture below). This would be a great drink to whip up for a summer BBQ, or just for your own night in.

PS, don't drink and drive, and this is of course for peeps 21 and older!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Personal Makeup Palette

I love going to Sephora and getting a makeup consultation. They give you these cool makeup charts with the names of all of the products written on it, and the makeup actually applied to the chart as an example. Sometimes, it's hard for me to come up with new makeup looks, so I decided to make my own personalized makeup chart. It was really fun! I just drew a simple outline of my face while looking at a picture of myself. Then I scanned it into the computer and cleaned it up on Photoshop. Here it is:

Pretty fun, huh? Now I can actually do "rough drafts" of looks or ideas, without having to wash it off of my face. Also, this will be a great way to save some of my favorite looks. I think that I'll have a binder with some of my favorites.

If you aren't artistically inclined, there are plenty of great templates online for you to use. Here are a few that I've found:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Quick-Fix for Chipping Nail Polish

So I got this adorable pink Essie nail polish the other day. I've been wearing it for about a week, and now the edges are starting to chip. Instead of repainting them, (ugh), I decided to find an easier and lazier solution.

Behold, a new artsy twist on the french manicure!

I just grabbed some purple nail polish and painted it on the ends of my nails. I used short, choppy, uneven strokes to give it a jagged, multidimensional edge. Any girls out there who have a hard time painting a straight line on your nails? This is the look for you. Besides, we're in a stage where it's popular to wear your underwear over your clothes. I think the world is ready for this look.
There are a couple important keys to this look, or else it'll just look like a bad attempt at a rigid french manicure.
First, make sure you chose a color that isn't too similar to the one you already have on. Contrast is a very important key in this look. In fact, I believe the more contrast, the better.

Secondly, you want to make sure that each stroke is a different length. You want to have clear, distinct brush strokes, or else it will just look like a sloppy blob.

Well, there you have it! A quick, easy way to update your chipping nail polish. Just watch, I'll bet this look will catch on when people realize how much time it saves, and how awesome it looks!
Oh, and these are my nail polishes:

The pink is  "Cast Away" by Essie
The purple is "Dream On" by Sinful Colors Professionals
I love nail polish color names, don't you? Who gets that job?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Whimsical Wish List

I'm constantly falling in love with new products. I need them. I must have them. Obviously, I can't live without them! Well, I think I'll survive, but I'll be much happier once they are in my collection. Here is my first wish list:

1. So this brand seems to be my little secret. I've never seen it spotlighted, never seen it sold out. But I will share it with you. If you want some of the most highly pigmented, rock star eyeshadows, look no further than Kat Von D. I already own the limited edition True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Memento Mori, and I'm absolutely obsessed. The colors are unusual and phenomenal, and each blends well with one another in a unique way. Seven of the shades are silky shadows, and one is a gel/cream shadow/liner. The next palette to add to my colorful collection will be the True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Metal Orchestra. I've totally been into the whole 80's rocker revival, and this palette will help you with that smoky eye superstar look. My favorite part is the silver colored cream shadow. It's like dipping your finger into molten silver! This palette is also limited edition, so don't buy them all up before I get one!

2. Summer's coming up, and I want to stock up on more natural looking, less cakey makeup. I've been on the prowl for a good cheek stain, and I think I've found my pick. Tarte's Cheek Stain in Blissful is a peachy glow, perfect for summertime.  It's free of oil, parabens, and alcohol, so your skin will be very happy. It comes in a short, fat stick that's perfect for swiping on and dabbing in.  I can't think of a better word to describe this product than "juicy." How can a product be any more summery than that?
3. Although I haven't delved into the DC club scene yet, I want to be ready when I do. When I think of dressing up, I think glamorous. Tarina Tarantino's new makeup line, (which I'm in love with), will help me feel glittery. I must have Tarantino's Sparklicity Shimmer Dust. I can't decide what I like about it more; The super classy bottle and the way it poofs the shimmery sparkle, or the way the tiny sparkles shimmer without looking like cheap chunky disco glitter.  Must have!

4. I've been on a real tint kick lately. In the spirit of lighter makeup for warmer weather, I've been in the search for a moisturizing lip balm with a little splash of color. Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 by Fresh has met all of my criteria. Ok, so some of you ladies might like to bake out in the sun, and I get that. But your lips don't need to shrivel up in the UV rays. With ultra hydrating ingredients and SPF 15, you will protect your lips and make them look plump and rosy at the same time.  I can see this traveling with me to Vegas in July.

5. And last, but of course not least, is the Perfetto Eyeliner by an adorable newbie to cosmetics, Tokidoki. Being in love with Japanese culture and all things "kawaii", this brand just tickles me with their precious packaging and lovable characters. Now, this is no ordinary eyeliner. It's waterproof, and it comes in this awesome ink pen-like container similar to what cartoonists use. Don't let the name fool you, this gem can be used for much more than lining your pretty lil' eyeballs. Feel free to think of your skin as a blank canvas. Sketch designs, or create your very own temporary tattoos! There are as many options as you have ideas. Collect them all! I certainly will. Besides, one look at those cute characters, and you just wont be able to say no.

Well, now you've had a taste of my cosmetic wants and desires! Have fun shopping and creating your own special wish lists. It always feels so special when you want something for a while, and you finally get it! It's a much different satisfaction than just buying things on a whim. Bye bye!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Miracle Potion

I have found the single most valuable cosmetic to have on hand. Whether you are traveling, going clubbing, or are just heading to school or work, this is your sure-fire way to have your skin look awake, youthful, healthy, and vibrant. The best part about this cosmetic? It takes seconds to apply, and the container lasts forever. So I'm sure by now you're asking, "What is this miracle potion you speak of?"

I will tell you. Or even better, I will show you.

It's Amazing....

It's awe-inspiring...

It's magical...

It'll be your best friend...

It's tasty!

Well, maybe not so much.

This miracle potion by Benefit is called... High Beam!

High beam is a luminous highlighter product. It works well with all skin types. It's flattering on all skin tones. It's age appropriate for all. Best of all, people will stare at you wondering why you look so amazing!

So. You may be asking, "How do I apply this wonderful concoction?" or "WHERE do I apply this magnificent cosmetic nectar?" Well, hush so I can tell you!

Highlighters are meant to bring out the parts of your face which would be exposed to and ideally reflect the most light. This includes the bridge of the nose, the brow bone, the chin, and most importantly, the cheek bones.

Not sure where your cheek bones are? Try sucking your cheeks in and make a fishy-face.

 High Beam comes with an awesome brush applicator. It's very similar to a bottle of nail polish.
 I recommend applying this at the end of your makeup ritual. Once you've smeared it on your skin with the brush, use a blotting technique with your fingers or a makeup sponge to blend it in. You don't want to rub it into your skin too much, just enough so that it looks smooth.


Look at the energy! See how luminous? My face looks fresher and more awake! There's a beautiful glow! This will be even more apparent in real life. Now, here's something to keep in mind. There are no rules that say you need to apply this to all of your highlighted areas. Usually, I stick with the cheek and brow bones. Sometimes I just do the cheek. For a more dramatic look go for the gusto and highlight them all!

This sensational face-treat can be purchased at Sephora. For 24 bucks you can get this generous .45 container of pure heaven. It will last you pretty much forever.  Besides, there's no price-tag for a miracle, right?


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Controversy: Drugstore vs. Department Store?

Let's get right to it. All of us have thought it more than once. "Do I have to spend 20+ bucks to get quality cosmetics?" This is a thought that I find rolling around in my brain frequently.
Currently, my vanity is cluttered with a smattering of products from Sephora to CVS. I've dropped over $200 for two or three "high-end" products, while at times I can get a whole shopping basket for $45.
I'm often confused by company's claims of "highly pigmented," "no-smudge," or "HD coverage."  While I've found some more spendy products that I consider invaluable, I've also found some drugstore products that really hold their own.
So far, I believe that the most important piece of advice I can give you, is to not get stuck in one way of thinking. If you are of the mindset that you wont spend more than $10 a pop, you will surely miss out on some life-changing products. Some will not only make your life simpler, but will also enhance and compliment your less expensive favorites. I would also warn the consumer who avoids Walgreens like the plague. You may be overspending on products that you could find for a fraction of the price, and the same quality. I remember a beautiful shade of dark burgundy lipstick by Wet & Wild that I wore down to a nub. I received an endless number of compliments on it, and only dropped one hundred pennies.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is open your mind! Explore! Yes, often magazines have good advice, but often they don't! Use your own sleuthing skills and experiment with new products, colors, and brands. You will discover new favorites, and have fun in the process. Beauty and skincare should never be monotonous. It should be exciting, thought-inspiring, and an adventure!
So the next time you're in need of a new foundation, or you loved that lilac shade of eyeshadow you saw on the girl in line at Starbucks, go to that store you've always avoided. Maybe you'll find the shade you can't live without, and it happens to be $20. Or maybe, you'll find an inexpensive foundation that blends and goes on just as smoothly as that one you've been dropping fifty-five bucks on at that fancy-shmancy department store.


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