Girls, we like our products. And we're always in search of that next cosmetic miracle. None of us has the funds to try every new product that gets our attention, so here are the observations I've made on various beauty products I've tried. Hey, if it helps one person save a buck or snag that soon-to-be-treasured beauty breakthrough, my job here is complete. Cosmetic junkies, unite!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

So...I'm back

My friend Heather was telling me about her newest cosmetic finds, and I found myself dishing out some of my latest and greatest as well.  Instead of texting her all the links and info, I thought: why not share it on here?  So after 2+ years, here we go!  Enjoy!

Eye Liners

Bobbi Brown - Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Two are my latest faves.  One is near and dear to my heart.  My sister told me about it when she used it for her wedding.  I quickly fell in love and used it for my own wedding.  Now I use it everyday to line my upper water seal.  It is Bobbi Brown's gel liner.  I have pale skin and blue eyes, so the caviar ink (dark, almost-black brown) is my jam.  When I want really dramatic eyes, think party going or attempting rock-star status, I line my upper and lower waterseal AND smudge it around the the eye as well. I'll be honest, lining the waterseal is gonna guarantee black eye boogers even with the best materials, so stay on top of that.

The next is from Smashbox.  I found this little gem by accident during a Sephora perusal.  I thought a good way to make my eyes look brighter would be to find a white or cream liner that would work in my water seal.  This beast sharpens itself, y'all.  Seriously.  You twist it in to cap it and twist the cap off to use it, and the built-in sharpener does its work.  You have to try it to believe it.  I was almost dismayed because the tip broke off, and I quickly realized there was no way to manually push up more.  I had to cap and recap it only a couple of times and VOILA!  Straight-up sharpened point.  I got one in bare nude and another in French navy for when I want to use blue on the waterseal.  The word must be out because as I'm posting this, Sephora is sold out of every color but two on the website.  Check your local one!

The last thing I was sharing with her about is my go-to cleanser for years.  I even use that bad boy to clean brushes.  Based on my devotion to it, it was the first post I ever put on here.  Rather than reinvent the wheel.  I'll send y'all over to that one now for more info.  Go on, head over. 

I'd like to recommend more if you have questions or suggestions.  I don't have extraordinary skills or good skin, but I've tried almost everything!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Come Rain or Sun, but No Shine

This stuff's like the relief pitcher they bring in out of the bullpen to seal the game.  It's a finisher like none other.  Whether  you're dry or oily, it has something to offer you.  It's HD Finishing Powder.  It's a white, translucent powder that should be applied after foundation/concealer and before bronzer/blush.  Or that's when I use it.  You can brush on a bit on at any point to provide an airbrushed finish to your complexion.  The bigwigs use this to create a flawless look in photos and on film.  I took it to my sister's wedding this weekend for the bridesmaids, and they raved about it.  See for yourself...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This Balm's the Bomb!

As we're heading into summer, I'm wanting to cut back to only the necessary steps to my face makeup routine.  I want to spend less time getting ready and more time in the sun (when we get to see it here in Washington state).  So how do I combine moisturizer + sunscreen + face primer + my usual foundation of a tinted moisturizer?  This guy...

It's Dr. Jart's Premium Beauty Balm.  It has a basic color that blends with your skin tone, which means you don't have to stress about which color matches you.  This guy's got SPF of 45, so no extra sunscreen product that inevitably breaks my face out on a regular basis!  It evens out my skintone, doesn't cause tiny irritation bumps to my hyper-sensitive skin, and covers enough to where I barely need concealer.  And this girl's got problem skin!  Long story short (like my new face routine), I'm a believer.  It's legit. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fabulash in 2011

I found a new one!  And I love it.  I went home to Tennessee for the New Year, and my sister Jada introduced me to this guy: lights, camera, lashes by Tarte.  It's a money-maker for sure.  It made my lashes thicker and longer and didn't clump!   No, I'm serious!  So if you've decided 2011 is going to be the year of the lash or you're just wanting a mascara change, try this guy out. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crossing the Line

As a girl that has been exploring how to play up my eyes since about the 7th grade, there's a special place in my heart for eyeliner.  Kinda like the eyeshadows, there are many options regarding product type and application technique.  I almost never leave home without some type of product heavy around my lashline.  Here are some options:
  • Pick any eyeshadow - preferably a darker one - and use a thin-lined brush to apply it at the lashline (top and bottom).  I have almond-shaped eyes, so I tend to drag that line out a little further and make it a little thicker at the outer corners for effect.  To get a heavier pigment from it, dab your brush in water and make a paste with it before applying OR you can employ a sealant like this one from Illamasqua.  Use the same technique as with the water.
  • In terms of pencils, I've used a zillion products over the years, but I've yet to find one that delivered like the Kohl liners from Mac.  They're fabulous.  They can be applied as a line, OR you can line your eyes and then smudge the product at the lashline for an immediate smokey eye.  Genius, I tell you.  "Teddy" is one of the best browns I've ever used on my blue eyes, but it's hard to beat the sparkly blackish grey "phone number" or the classic black "smolder".  Fabulous products.  It's possible that I own four of them.  I won't confirm or deny.
  • For extra drama and to add a bit of rockstar quality, use eyeliner on the waterseal of the your eye (the part of your lid between the lashes and the eyeball.  See the picture above?  She's got liner on the inside of the lashline AND around the outside on the top lid.  So dramatic, but not overwhelming.  Some pencils will have enough pigment to use there, but many will not stick to the slippery surface there.  I often use a potted gel liner (kind of like a cake) with a super-thin brush to apply it underneath the top lashline and above my bottom one.  
  • Last but certainly not least is liquid liner.  I don't use it that often myself, mainly because a pencil or a brush tend to be way more forgiving.  But for those with a steady hand, it's hard to beat the classic Audrey Cat-eye look.  So chic.  I don't have any recommendations regarding specific products because, again, I don't ever use it.  ;)  I'm going to defer to my friend Jeni the Mac-star pharmacist for that one. 
  • TOOLS: There are a couple of brushes (dipped in various eyeshadows) that I love to use to easily produce a nice line to make my eyes pop.  
    • Your basic angled eyeliner brush is a must.  This cheap one from almost any drugstore is one I use about 5 times a week.   
    • Use a small blending brush to apply shadow at the lashline for an immediate smokey eye look.  This one is one of my favorites!  Regardless of your eye shape or lack of a steady hand, this guy is your friend.  Who knew shadow as a liner could be so easy but effective?
These are good places to start or to build on what you're already doing.  I'd love to hear y'all's suggestions or questions!  Happy lining!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Living in the Shadows...

This girl loves me some eyeshadow.  So much.  It just opens up a world of possibilities like no other individual cosmetic product.  You can use them to contour, highlight, bring focus, take away focus, enhance eyecolor, and so much more!  They come in matte, shimmer, sheen formulas, and there are loose powders, pressed powders, creams, liquids, etc.  See what I mean?  Isn't your head spinning?  And the awesome thing (well, let's be honest, it's just ONE of the awesome things about shadow) is that you don't have to come out looking like a drag queen.  You can use 4 different colors and still be rocking a subtly beautiful "I-didn't-spend-40-minutes-getting-ready", neutral-colored face.  It's all about the choices and the placement.

But I'm not going into all that today.  Today I just wanted to answer one of my best friend's requests to give her some solid shadow recommendations that I believe are solid investments since they will continue to withstand the test of trend and season.  And so I thought I'd share them with you too.  Here goes:
  1. "Kitten" by Stila is my all-time, top shadow pick EVER, and you're looking at it above.  I'm not exaggerating.  It looks good on any complexion, all over the eyelid, for any occasion.  I'm serious.  This perfect shimmering light pink is a wonder product.  Go ahead.  Get you some.  Set yourself free, girl.  (I should also give you a heads up: Stila sells the shadows separate from any type of container.  So you buy a refill pan and you either need a single case, or if you think you'll get more since their shadows are high-pigment, blendable, and stay forever, get the case that holds 4.)
  2. "Queen Tiffany" by Bare Escentuals  is a beautiful shimmery greyish taupe that also works on any skin tone and with any outfit.  It's one that you'd only want to use on the lid and not all the way to the brow.  The 80's are over, sister.  
  3. Everybody needs a good gold.  Use the Queen Tiffany link above to get to "True Gold" by Bare Escentuals.  It's money in the bank- pardon the pun, and it's especially fun for the holidays, fun nights out, or just a little extra for the day-to-day.  
  4. For those of you short on time, grab some easy-to-use cream shadow by Benefit.  It's super easy to apply (requiring only your fingertip), and it should last all day.  Pick a light, versatile color like "Tattle Tale", "RSVP", or "Birthday Suit" that can be used all over the lid or just under the browline and inner corner as a highlighter.  If you're feeling really edgy, try "Skinny Jeans" or "Busy Signal" on the lid or smudged near the lashline.
  5. Pick at least one good, shimmery brown that can be used to contour or as an eyeliner.  One of my favorites is Mulch by MAC.  It really makes blue eyes pop, and it's a softer alternative than the typical black to get a smokey eye for those of us pale-skinned girls. 
I hope these are helpful; they're definitely just a start.  My overall advice with shadows is spend the money for solid products if it's a color you're going to use a lot.  If you're wanting to try that pseudo-electric blue (not that I would know this from experience ;) ) for the season, maybe just grab a cheap version of it at Target rather than buy the >$10 brand?   With the right primer and brushes, you can make almost any shadow fabulous. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pssssst - I got a secret

And it's that I didn't wash my hair today.  Come on, now.  We've all done it...or do it regularly.  Second-day hair, ladies!  So many different options than on Day 1.  However, if you're like me, you get greasy.  My hair is not so cooperative on Day 2, mainly because I kept running my fingers through it on Day 1.  There's a couple of ways I've combated this in the past.  My mom's long-time tried-and-true remedy: baby powder.  And that worked perfectly for her and my sisters with their light blonde hair.  I have also tried almost all of the  powder or spray dry shampoos from Sephora, and they're okay but not any better than baby powder.  UNTIL...drumroll please...
THIS GUY .  It's a spray shampoo found in just about any drug store.  And this junk works!  It also happens to be about half the price of all the product options at Sephora.  So, buy it up, spray it on, and thank me later.  It'll be our little secret.