Tuesday, October 14, 2008

*cue soap opera music* As the foundations rotate...(part 1)

I had vowed to myself a while ago that I would write about the foundations that work for a NC 35-40 (MAC foundation system) person.  After thinking I was NC40 for a while, I have come to realize that I am more of a NC35 most of the time.  It is only during the really warm weather that I truly become a NC40.  I, like any true makeup lover, have many foundations that cater to the two tones.  On any given day, you can see me mixing, matching, and adjusting the different foundations to get the shade just right.  I actually like the entire process, I feel like a mad chemist.  I guess that is how some of the small makeup companies start, anyway.  Most of these foundations are drugstore or etailer.  I tend to get them on sale to ease the blow.  I did recently "splurge" and get a Clinique foundation, but, honestly, the price wasn't very far from the drugstore prices.  Was it really a splurge? No, not really.

Alright let's start with the powders first
palladio everlasting tan
1) Palladio Natural Rice Dual Wet/Dry foundation
Price:$9.00 at Sally's Beauty Supply.  I do have a review written up on it here.
Shade: Everlasting Tan.  This shade works well for my NC35 days.  It covers brilliantly, and lasts all day on my oily skin (although my oilies have eased up).  One thing, this shade does have a tinge of pink in it.  So if you are super golden, forget it.  

natural and honey
2) Mark. Powder Buff Natural Skin Powder Foundation
Price: $8.00 at www.meetmark.com, www.avon.com
Shade: Honey Skin.  This is a NC40 day shade.  I tend to use it during the summer days now that I have realized that I am a touch lighter.  I did wear this every day for several colder months (aka the light-skin months) without really realizing that I might have a demarcation line.  Anyway, I liked this compact so much I used up the first one, which is a milestone for me.  I ordered a second one, and I absolutely love the finely milled powder.  The powder just melts into my skin and gives me a flawless look.  Since the powder is so finely milled, it really does not leave a chalky residue.  It does leave my skin matte, but I really do like the matte look.  You can apply this powder foundation with a sponge or with a powder brush.  Of course, the sponge will offer the heaviest coverage, which is full.  Sometimes, I just use the powder as a concealer, and I love it!  These mark. shades were introduced last year, and they are more yellow based than they were before. If you are on the cooler side, then I don't know if this will work for you.  If you are warm and golden, then yes, you are in the right spot.

3) Mark. Powder Buff Natural Skin Foundation (again!)
Price: $8.00 at www.meetmark.com and www.avon.com
Shade: Natural.  This is a step above the Honey shade, which is more fitting for my regular shade, NC35.  The rest of the review above applies to this shade.  Excellent buy.  I will say that this powder kind of reminds me of MAC Studio Fix without the breakouts.  Oh, and I believe these are oil-free, and they feel super light on the face.

4) Everyday Minerals Matte Foundation
Price: full size-$12 at www.everydayminerals.com
Shade: Buttered Tan.  Yeah, I am a food group, yum, butter.  I love that name.  With Everyday Minerals, the shades darken as the formula intensifies.  I also have Buttered Tan in the intensive formula, but it is a touch darker (better for NC40 days).  The Matte formula works swimmingly for my NC35 days.  I love that the matte does a pretty good job of controlling my oilies, and it really covers beautifully.  These powder last forever, and a little goes a long way.  I have a review and swatches here.

5) Everyday Minerals Intensive Foundation
Price: full size-$12 at www.everydayminerals.com
Shade: Golden Medium.  This is a nice alternative to Buttered Tan.  Golden Medium is under the olive category, however, it does look a touch more yellow than Buttered Tan.  I like both. I bought it because I could, and sometimes I alternate if I feel more yellow.  Makeup is emotional and makeup should adjust to those moods.  I have this shade in intensive because the other formulas are too light for me.  The intensive formula is really nice.  Although it doesn't fend off the oilies as well as the matte formula, it makes the effort.  In addition, this offers superior coverage.  I like to wear this when my skin just absolutely hates me.  You can look at the link above for pictures.

Now, for the liquids

1) Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Liquid foundation
Price: about $9 to $10 at local drugstores
Shade: Light Beige, medium 0.  This is definitely not for oily skin, and it really doesn't offer a ton of coverage. I wanted to like it, but I looked like a grease-filled frying pan within several hours.  Not Fun.  I don't know how much "mineral" it has in it, but it definitely imparts luminosity.  This would work well for less oily, less blemished skin.  I love the dropper style bottle it comes in.  The color range is not bad.  I found an excellent match in Light Beige; unfortunately, this shade is not in many of the other lines.  The shade does have a touch of pink in it, but it is warm enough to make it blendable into warmer skin.  This works well for my NC35 days.

revlon active
2) Revlon Colorstay Active Light Makeup foundation
Price: around $12-13 at local drugstores (buy on sale)
Shade: True Beige, 08.  This is more spreadable than the regular colorstay, but not by much.  It really does not feel lighter than the regular colorstay.  As a matter of fact, I prefer the regular one (when I say regular, I mean the Colorstay with softflex in the glass bottle.  I know the original, original one is long gone.) to the active formula.  I really can't find an awesome match with the active formula since there is less of a selection.  True Beige is a little cool on me, and I have to mix it with the Golden Beige of the same formula.  True Beige is closer to my NC40 days (actually, it can even look a little darker), but the cool undertones are still kind of noticeable, so I usually have to always combine this with something else.  I use this foundation as an adjuster color, really.

3) Revlon Colorstay Active Light Makeup Foundation
Price: around $12-13 at local drugstores (buy on sale)
Shade: Golden Beige, 07.  definitely a better shade for my NC35 days, still has a touch of pink, but it is more manageable.  I mix this with a pin size of True Beige on my NC40 days, when I feel like wearing this foundation at all.  One reason I even wear this foundation is because of the container.  It is great for travel, and if I lose it I won't cry.  So this is not a priority, but it works.

wnw tm
4) Wet 'n Wild Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer
Price: around $3 at local drugstores
Shade: Tan.  I have a review here.  I really like this tinted foundation, and contrary to the name, it is not sheer.  This provides solid, medium coverage.  Not bad at all.  This specific shade works well for NC35, and it has more yellow than Revlon Golden Beige in the active formula.  I really enjoy this foundation when I am in a rush.  I think it will definitely get worn in the upcoming colder months. Definitely!

swatches 2

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Do you remember Ramona the Pest? Remember how she was curiously committed to the idea of pulling on one of the her classmate's curly tendrils?  BO-ING, BO-INGG.  Ok, ok, one more time, BO-ING.  It is just so amusing to pull on curls.  I like to call curls "Nature's slinky."  Why buy the mad-made slinky when you can just befriend a curly-haired person, right?  Plus, nature's slinkies are easier to detangle: man-made ones, no so much.

Anyway, as stated before, I am letting my hair grow out.  I went through a phase where I wanted straight, shorter hair: the Rihanna look.  Well, I got a haircut and a relaxer.  I have gotten relaxers, but Queen Fierce is the one who usually does the entire process.  I have never had problems with relaxers, ever.  I ignored my gut and went to a salon to pay a ton of money for a service that cost pennies at Queen Fierce's home.  Well, long story short, I looked hot for about two weeks after the new 'do, and then my hair started to break off.  I freaked out for about two days.  After the panic, I went to the Queen Fierce with my tail in between my legs and said, "Let's just go back to basics.  Cut it all off."  I have kept it short for some time, and the next time I decided to tame my curl, I went to Queen Fierce.  No problem.  One thing, short hair takes a lot of maintenance, and for some reason, my hair grows really fast (or at least it feels that way).  So, I would get a mild relaxer, hair would grow, hair got cut, and I would have the natural curl again (I was going for the Mia Farrow pixie).  After several upkeeps, I said "Forget this, I am growing out my hair, au natural."  Plus, times are tough, and I need to prioritize my disposable income, ya heard?  (I'm stalking the makeup counters, I am thinking about buying a new foundation.)

So, it's back to playing with products that define curl; it's back to headbands, scarves, and barrettes; it's back to the BO-ING!

I'm bringing BO-ING back, Justin.  Maybe you should follow me.

Anyway, I have never stopped using my staple everyday conditioner, Aussie Deeeep 3 minute miracle.  However, I just leave it in for like 2880 minutes.  Since my hair is one the dryer side, I don't have to wash it very as often; it soaks up everything.  Aussie Deeep isn't heavy, sticky, filmy, or gross in my hair.  In addition, the conditioner has wonderful slip, and it preserves my curl pretty well.  I usually have to wear another product with the conditioner.  I have so many hair products, I could open my own shop.  I was trying t use up what I had, but I got bored.  The other day when I was in the pharmacy to pick up prenatal vitamins (I have just graduated from my first trimester, and this is my first baby.  Let's hope everything goes well.), I swung by the hair aisle.  I found this John Frieda silicone/gel hair product called "Clearly Defined."  I contemplated and say, "sure, why not."  I used it yesterday, and I have to say that I do like it, overall.  Here's a breakdown:

Consistency:  More gel than silicone.  It is very clear, has nice slip and feels light but substantial in my hand.  There are little silicone beads that seam to evanesce.  I have to use several pumps for my hair because I like to make sure everything is coated.

Hold: Firm.  Does it feel touchable, kind of.  I definitely feels like I have product in my hair.  However, once the hair is dry, I can smooth out any sharp, crisp curls to make the hair look fluffier, but still defined.  I don't like the "wet look,"  I like the "defined but approachable look."
I also did not notices any flakiness.

Smell: Pleasant, floral, fruity, clean

Frizz-control: Very nice!

Drawbacks:  The bottle says that it imparts shine, but I didn't notice a ton of shine.  Once the hair was dry I had to use a little coconut oil to add the crucial shine.  Also, and I don't know if this is due to the hormones, but my hair feels a touch dry.  To be fair, my hair has been feeling this way, though.

2nd day hair: Nice, very nice.  I just had to rake my hand through my hair to fluff the flattened curls.  I twisted some of the curls to refresh the definition, but I was impressed.  I have a touch of frizz, but nothing that can't be twisted/patted down.  

Overall:  I am impressed with this product.  To compensate for the lack of shine, I will use shea butter or coconut oil, but I feel like my hair needs that anyway.  I will let you know if my opinion changes.  Oh, and by the way, the bottle says that it can be used for straight hair too, like before a blow out.  So, it's not strictly for the slinkies.  

4.5 out of 5 happy wallets
Price: about $7, buy it on sale!

Here are pics of the growing hair and product
First day

Second day (and Hand model audition)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hmm..I love this smell

Photo by Mark Coldren found at publicdomainpictures.net

Every fall I thank God I am alive to witness it. I absolutely love seeing the changing colors, feeling the warmth that only a cool fall evening can bring, and I love the anticipation of Halloween. And even though I hate candy corn (I overdosed on it a while back, and ever since then I can't bear to smell it), I love the idea of having it around. I just absolutely love fall. I come alive after experiencing the swampy drain of the summer heat.

It's amazing, the minute the first orange leaf drops to the bare ground, I immediately get an urge to change my hair color, do my nails, buy bold lipsticks--of which I already have too many in my makeup drawer--and sport lush lashes. The cold air makes me want to look sophisticated and well put together 24/7.

I always gravitate towards plums during this season. I love plummy lips and a hint of purple around the eye. I also really appreciate the smudgy plum eye look. Hmm, makes me want to eat my face.

So, excuse me while I go paint my nails a deep burgundy and whip out the plum lipstick. One thing though, I have to find a nice chocolate brown hair dye. That shouldn't be so hard, right?

BTW, anyone notice that all of the Allure covers look the same. The women always have deeply contoured noses, smokey eyes, light lips, and straight, side swept bangs. Ms. Linda Wells needs to step back and be reminded of the variety in this nation, actually, in this world.

Tip of the of day: It's allergy and cold season. More people are coughing and sneezing into their hands. We all do this, unless we wear face shields there is not much to be done. However, always remember to not shake hands immediately after spraying your hands. Just acknowledge the awkwardness and say, "Whoops, I just dispensed a mist of germs in my hand, and I'd rather not give your hand a taste of it. Let's just rub elbows. Yeah, much better." Unless of course, you don't like the person. If so, taint away, my friends, taint away.

Muah! Inexpensive, but still quality, kisses to all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hi Blog, how are you?

I haven't been around you, blog, in a while.  This teaching gig's got me really busy, and when I am not prepping or grading, I am catching a break.  I really do miss you, my dear sweet blog.  I have even been wearing makeup again.  For instance, the other day, I did a cat eye using Revlon Colorstay pencil eyeliner.  I usually use liquid eyeliner because pencil eyeliner smudges and makes me look like a two-year-old applied my makeup.  

I was motivated to try the pencil liner because of lack of tools.  I just wanted to line and go.  Well, my ever patient blog, I am glad I did not have my favorite brush for liquid liner.  The Colorstay pencil liner glided on, made a perfect line, was easy to manipulate, and lasted all day.  The liner even lasted through a nap without fading or smudging.  I was in awe, absolute awe.  I think this will be my signature look for the fall: pencil-drawn cateye.  Nice!

Anyway, how is everyone?  Any fun new purchases?  I haven't been checking up on the awesome blogs on my blog roll.  I need to catch up.  I swear, I yearn for December when class is over, and I can actually go back to swimming in my makeup storage.

Oh by the way, awesome discovery today!  I met one of the managers who works at the Sephora distribution center in my area.  He is in charge of the the online department of Sephora.  You ladies are definitely keeping him busy, and he totally know about makeupalley.com.