Friday, June 26, 2009

Quick Tip: L'oreal eye shadow primer and more fun

The L'oreal Decrease eyeshadow primer is not bad. I bought this a while back and tried it yesterday for the first time. I was impressed; this is just a first impression. However, is this still easy to find? I found mine on clearance at my Target, but I am not sure if the clearance of this item is universal.
hmm...

Also, I like these quick notes. I know there is twitter, but this is more beauty focused. Twitter is more random thoughts, I guess.

Opinion on these quick notes? Stop? Continue?

BTW check out Nouveau Cheap's alert about new Sally Hansen polishes, color is great for summer.

Also see Gloss's review on mark.'s new fruity mists! Just don't wear them around bees.

MakeupbyRenRen shared her views on the ubiquitous 42 stack palettes (want!), and she offers up a tutorial on a rockin' look.

Suffer from eyeshadow fallout? Check out Makeup on a Budget's savvy money-saving tip!

Have a fun one lovelies!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nice KaPOW, but not worth the walk of shame


I love voluminous eyelashes, and L'oreal's new mascara promised me lush lashes. Did they fulfill the promise? Yeah, for the most part, but the mascara brought along some other baggage that I don't really appreciate.

I mean, really, I want the lush lashes, but I don't want people to say, "Wow, lush lashes, but check out the dark circles. Sleep much?" when they look at me. Instead I want people to say, "Wow, that woman has some lush lashes. Is she batting her lashes at me? Wait, what is this feeling running through me? Hmm, put a fork in me, I am done. That woman's lashes have seduced me to the core." Then the people, enchanted by my seductive, lush lashes, offer me all of the makeup of the world. Bwhahaha. (You have now learned my plot to conquer the makeup world.)

Unfortunately, L'oreal Extra Volume Collagen mascara in Blackest Black can cause the former reaction. This new mascara comes in a lovely, sleek tube. It looks very chichi, too bad I can't sport the tube on my eyes. The brush is a throwback brush. Forget the spikey, rubbery, jabbing plastic brush; Extra Volume sports a mildly thick "teddy bear" brush. The bristles are long, and plentiful. In addition, the brush has the much appreciated pointed tip, which is vital to get the corner lashes. I would best describe this brush as overzealous at grabbing lashes. It takes its job so seriously that it can grab too many lashes in sections and clump them together. Yes, this brush can create some clumps, and let's keep it real: clumps do not equal volume. After applying one coat I have to go over the lash with a lash comb.

As for the formula, well...Formula is a matter of preference. I tend to like drier mascaras. I feel like I can control them more, and I can just "swipe and go." the Extra Volume formula is dense and creamy. This consistency also lends itself to clumps and tends to smudge during application and hours after application, which is frustrating after the rest of the eye is complete. With this said, however, after all of the maintenance work has subsided (declumping, wiping the brush down a bit before application, second coat, same process, wiping away any mascara marks on lid) this mascara leaves behind a very full lash line, which is excellent. However, several hours later I look like a rolled around in the hay with a stranger in a college dorm room. Then found out I was late for my early Friday morning class, and I rushed out and proceeded to conduct the walk of shame down the all-male dorm hallway. No woman wants to look like she is parading down the hallway of shame, and not many women want to flaunt a bawdy affair by way of smudged mascara. Granted, bawdy affairs can be excellent, but we don't have to show exactly how earth-shattering it was. And if we want to show how insane the night was, there are other ways to show it, like say...I don't know...leaving a shoe behind or writing a telling message on the mirror with a lipstick (although that would be a waste of lipstick). Hell, I'll even take smudged lipstick before I take smudged mascara.

Anyway, back to the mascara (do you see the sexual power lush lashes have?), Extra Volume provides extra volume, but it also provides extra dark circles and hassle during application. Now, let me say one thing: L'Oreal mascaras do tend to smudge on me for some reason. So, if you have had luck with L'oreal Voluminous (the consistency of Extra Volume kind of reminds me of Voluminous) then try this out when it is on sale. However, if L'oreal or creamy mascaras smudge on you then...try it out with some corrector nearby just in case, or just walk away.

Rating:
3 out of 5 happy wallets (great lush factor, poopy stay on quality)
Price: $6-$8 found at drugstores, big box stores

Pics

See? Creamy...



two coats

two coats

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quick Tip: Revlon Colorstay Ultimate liquid lip

Don't rush out to buy these. Not so good, not so conditioning (as claimed), very sticky. Never seems to dry to a nice finish. A review will come.

Children's books do more than just teach to read...

The other day I was reading to Cheeks McGee. Sure he is only 11 weeks old, but it keeps him entertained for about 30 seconds, and those are 30 seconds that I don't have to panic about how to keep him entertained.

Anyway, we were reading Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Wow, what a long, boring book. I have to say that this is not one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books; even Cheeks was like "alright, Milk Provider, I have had enough of this." Now, the colors of the book are fun and festive, and I got to thinkin' "hmm, this would make a fun eye combination, and I have not done an EOTD for a while, and my 88 palette is collecting dust, and I can incorporate a mascara review. Wow, that was a run on sentence!"

Soo, this morning Cheeks gave me some time to play around with the eye colors. Pretty cool.
Here are the pics, and the next post will be a review for the new L'oreal Extra Volume Collagen mascara.

First, Mr. Cheeks McGee who initiated the inspiration.
cool dude
glasses by the exclusive Fisher-Price!

The Book Cover
The inspiration

The Eye of the Day (EOTD)
Dr. Seuss inspired eye

Dr Seuss inspired 2

Ingredients
L'oreal Decrease Primer
NYX jumbo eye stick in Yogurt lightly spread over lid and as brow bone highlight
88 e/s palette (matte version) used:
Yellow
Two shades of dark blue
Deep Green
Styli-Style line and seal black liner in waterline and tightlined
L'oreal Extra Volume Collagen mascara in black, two coats
Maybelline Define-a-Brown pencil in Dark brown on brows

Let me know if you would like any reviews on the products.
Also, what inspired you?
Have a happy face day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

What Not to Wear will not surprise me (I hope...)

I love makeover ambush shows. They are dangerous to my productivity. If a show is on and I happen to catch it, forget the dirty laundry. I am going to have to go to Walmart or Target to get spare undies because the dirty ones will just have to wait to be washed. Now, even though I am addicted to makeover shows, I really don't want to be the person nominated. If I am on the show I hope it is because I have volunteered myself.

Anyway, many of the shows have the perfunctory overworked mom with time for everyone but herself. The women always walk around in beat up pants, their husbands' torn up shirts, the 1980s scrunchy. They also smell of spit-up, cheerios, cleats sweat, and Elmer's glue. Then after several days of humiliation, which leads the women to "embrace their inner female again," viola! The women are converted to MILFs.

Even though I have only been a mother for approximately 11 weeks, I have stuck in my head that I don't want to completely lose myself in Cheeks McGee (feh-feh's new blog nickname. His cheeks are so big, they are too heavy for his face.). I mean Mr. Cheeks has already dictated my sleeping schedule, staked claim on my boobs, marked his territory by peeing on me, and caused striations on my torso. Not only all of this, but he has stolen my heart and has provided enough cause to constantly worry about his future simply due to his cuteness. What more can he do? A lot more; however, he will not take away the power of makeup. Even if I just have time for lipstick and clear mascara, I will not give up the joy that is applying makeup. Before Cheeks was here, I could easily spend two hours on my face. Now, I have application timed to 9-10 minutes. Granted, there are some days where only one eye is done, but hey I am not perfect. Cheeks may spit up and slobber on my handiwork even before the mascara is dry, but at least I have set aside 10 minutes to do something for me.

This dedication to makeup may sound trivial now that I have another life depending on me, but I have to take care of myself in order to take care of Cheeks and the Scholar. It is important to feel pretty because that nourishes the confidence, and I need the confidence to fight the world and protect my cub. Sure, sure there are people who say that you don't have to feel pretty to get confidence, and that is true. However, I only speak for myself. When I feel put together, I feel like I can conquer the world.

So this morning I timed myself to be sure this was truly a 10 minute face. I had some interruptions for which I stopped the timer, but all in all, I was quite surprised that I was able to manage a full face in just 10 minutes. It isn't a crazy creative eye, but at least I won't cower in a corner if I happen to come across Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) or Eric from True Blood (holla if you watch True Blood!).

So here are the ingredients and brief reviews on some of the products. I listed in order of usage.

10 minute face ingredients
Tools:
MAC 217 brush--Marlena from Makeupgeek said all makeup lovers should have this brush, and she wasn't lying. You could do a full eye look with this beauty. I have yet to find a good dupe for it. Although rumor has it that Sigma makeup is coming out with one. I use the 217 for the base color on lid and the contour.

Loew-Cornell 1/4 maxine mop brush--a stiff but soft semi-detail brush. This is actually an art brush, but it works excellently for the eye work. I have two of these brushes I love it so much. I like to use this brush for defined contour and the smudged liner look. This brush can be found at Michael's.

Bare Essentials Concealer brush--nice, solid, wide concealer brush. Great for undereyes

ELF Powder Brush--crazy, friggin' awesome brush for just $3 on the ELF website. This brush has synthetic bristles, is super soft, has not shed on me, gives really lovely full coverage when used with a powder foundation. Does excellent blending. Has a slight chemical smell (I imagine the dye), but that dissipates eventually. I bought a second one of this brush. Helloo!

Sigma Makeup SS109 brush--Very nice buy. I was really wanting the MAC 109 after hearing that it was great for applying liquid foundation. When I went to get it, because I had not found a dupe, MAC was sold out. Luckily, I heard that Sigma Makeup was about to release the SS109, which is almost identical to the MAC 109. The Sigma version is a little rounder from what I understand, and it is not stellar with liquid foundation application (it sheds), but it is a gem when contouring the face (precise, blends well, doesn't shed with dry products). I have also started to use it for blush application. I believe it is only $14, nice price!

ELF regular line spoolie, or mascara brush--it's $1, basic. I use it to blend the brow pencil and comb the brows. This particular brush is firm and sturdy, so use a gently hand when combing.

Face:
Eyes--3 minutes
UDPP

Maybelline Expert eyeshadow in Browntones duo: great neutral shadows. Light brown and accompanying deeper, cool brown. Very close to my NC40 skintone, so it works really well for a subtle-contour-but-still-natural eye. The pigmentation is better than excepted for maybelline (they show up, but they don't look unnatural), nice staying power, has a very low shimmer to them. Very low shimmer. Soft formula.

Wild n' Crazy eyeshadow in Mad Raven--one of the hits. A nicely pigmented black shadow that I use as a smudged liner. I apply with the Loew-Cornell brush very close to the lash line just to thicken the lashes. Pretty much a matte color. A very, very, very slight glimmer of shimmer, but almost not there.

Styli-Style line and seal 24 liner in black--Several other lovely bloggers have reviewed this pencil. This pencil works very well on the upper lash line for tightlining. I also use this liner on the bottom lash line, very close to the waterline, but not on the waterline.

mark. Make it Big mascara in Raven--Love/Hate relationship with this mascara. Big, thick brush, dryish formula. I like the dry formula, the brush is nice, just doesn't initially provide the volume I want. Interestingly, I prefer the mascara after it has been opened for several weeks. The formula seems to stick better.

Base/Cheeks-5 minutes

Base/foundation--I apply after the eyes to avoid fallout complications, although the Maybelline shadow does not have fallout. I use the Everyday Minerals foundation with my ELF studio line brush. This foundation provides full coverage at half the time of the Revlon colorstay, plus I don't have to wash my hands after application. I also use this foundation as concealer. If I have time or need more help I grab the Maybelline coverstick in Deep Beige.

Cheeks--
Sally Hansen Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy Blush in Poppy.
Mouthful! Let's just call it Carmindy. This is a lovely, very highly pigmented blush. The color is a deep, pink raspberry with a touch of luminous shimmer. This gives off a great flushed look. It does not change color throughout the day, and the shimmer doesn't really get all over the place because it is so subtle. Great buy, even though I do find Carmindy annoying.

Sealer--
mark. mist opportunity facial spray
Since I wear a powder foundation, I like to meld everything together with a mister. Mark.'s is excellent. The smell is a little plasticy at first, but that goes away. I also find this spray to be very moisturizing. Instead of looking powdery and unnatural, I look glowy.

Brows (finally!)--1-2 minutes
Maybelline Define-a-brow in dark brown--This is a very solid, dark brown. There are no hints of red in it, which is great for me. Very find point, twists up, a little goes a long way, stays put. Very easy to use. A holy grail item. I have bought it repeatedly. I will say that it does only last about 1.5 months.

ELF Lash and Brow Clear mascara--basic clear gel for brows. A two-sided tube the offers a clear gel for the lash and brows. The brow brush is shorter than the lash brush. I cannot tell the difference between either gels. They both are effective at keeping the brows in place.

As far as the lips, I just use the gloss in my purse, which is a reddish/pink tone. In these pictures, I am just wearing Aquaphor.

And that is all.

End product!
10 minute face and cheeks mcgee

IMG_4588

What is your 10 minutes face?
Any tips?
Any requests for more in depth reviews, drop a line, let me know!

Monday, June 15, 2009

There is nothing "ultra" nor "gel-like" about this

I live in a bittersweet state of mind when it comes to accessibility of cosmetics. When I lived in Northern Virginia, I had my pick of brands and stores. Granted, I didn't always take advantage of the accessibility, but it was nice to know that everything was there and that I would not have to pay shipping costs. Now, I live is a distant land (not really just one state away, but far, far up in the state in a rural area). I live at least 25-45 minutes away from cosmetic counters, and many of the new and fun seasonal additions to drugstore lines rarely ever make it up here. When I have a hankering for something new that I read about, I go to search for it, only to find out that it will never come up my neck of the woods. I pout, but not for long. My love for new and cool stuff is ephemeral, and I soon find something else to test out. Plus, the lack of accessibility motivates me to try other products I typically wouldn't try.

Not so recently ago, I lost my L'oreal HiP cream liner. To this day, I have no idea where the heck it went. Anyway, I was perusing the Sally's website, and saw that the Femme Couture line had a cream liner with some good reviews. In addition the price is nice at $4-5 depending on the sale.

I got the cream liner, although they call it an "ultra smooth gel liner," in black. The packaging is cute, but not always well functioning because the top doesn't tightly seal. Therefore, the gel liner has a tendancy to dry and crack. Anyway, I had nice expectations for the the gel liner because of the reviews I had previously read. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this product. There is nothing gel-like about his liner. The consistency is very creamy and thick, which makes the application of any type of line very difficult and blothy. Also, the liner really doesn't seem to dry, and the finish is dull. I used this liner for almost a week, but I was unsatisfied every time. I was hoping this would be like the much-celebrated Wet n' Wild cream liners, but not so much.

Last I checked, at my local Sally's, they had a bunch of these on the clearance table. So I think I am not the only one who was disappointed, but that could have just been at my store.
You know sometimes it is best not to mess with a good thing. Several weeks after purchasing this possible alternative, I got the HiP cream liner again, and this time I will not lose it again.

Rating:
1 out of 5 happy wallets (does not set, dull finish, drys quickly, spreads unevenly)
Price: $5 when not on sale
Sally's beauty supply stores.



Monday, June 8, 2009

Hmm...I'd thought you'd be cooler

I didn't date a lot in college, but I did crush a lot--and by "crush a lot" I don't mean the Big Pun way (meaning sex), I mean the regular school girl way (see a person, find attractive, think about what the children will look like, run away when crush is seen). I made crushing on guys a hobby, I would change crushes like I changed my underwear: every day, except during exam time. I preferred to have crushes as opposed to actually going out on dates. As many of us know, dates are troublesome, at least they were for me. Half of the time, I was so nervous my digestive system would overact and I would have to clench my butt cheeks so that I didn't fart all over the place. After a series of dating episodes my digestive system suffered, and I still am recuperating. Dating...all it got me was a surplus of calories from eating out and overactive gas.

Now, with crushing, well, this was just easier on my digestive system, and it was a great inspiration for my imagination. When I was bored, all I needed to do was create a scenario with a crush. This fantasy would help me get by in my more boring class. Interestingly enough, my fantasies weren't comparable to skinemax. They were more like Jane Austen novels. My fantasies would merge the beautiful faces with the beautiful minds. I think this is why I would run away from crushes when I saw my crushes; I had a sneaking suspicion that they were dolts. Why ruin the fantasy?

I vividly remember two encounters with two crushes (usually my crushes were just people I saw on the street, bars, or in classes). The differences were incredibly different. The first memorable encounter happened during my senior year in college. I had been eyeing this really great looking man. I used to see him out at bars. I would just stare at him, but I never mustered the guts to actually approach him. Plus, he was always surrounded by people. I used to imagine him coming over and talking to me. He stimulating my brain with opinions on current events, etc. Well, one night while I was out with some friends, I saw him at one of the bars. I noticed that we looked at each other all night. At the end of the night before I left again with just my dreams, he approached me and said that he liked my chartreuse sweater (he was an interior designer). We also exchanged numbers. We went out on one date. This encounter was confirmation it was not always good to actualize my crushes. This guy was a disappointment. His voice grated my ears, his conversation was lacking, and he was quite weird. There went that crush; there went those dreams. Time to move on! All of that effort to look inconspicuous while absorbing his features wasted.

I feel the same way about the Mixed Chicks Products. The Mixed Chicks products are hair products that are meant for curly hair. The products were created by two women of interracial descent. For years they struggled with finding products that worked to tame and define curls. I understand this struggle. There were times when I used three, four, sometimes five hair products to keep my curls in check. The buildup was crazy! After many years, I managed to find the right ingredients, and I was able to narrow the number of products to two. Both items found at discount stores (Aussie Deep and Suave gel, the green one).

Even though, I found the perfect mixture for my hair. I developed a crush on the Mixed Chicks products several years ago after first hearing about them. I would constantly visited the website and look at the before and after pictures. Mixed Chicks has three main products: the shampoo, the deep conditioner, and the star product, the leave-in conditioner. The leave-in conditioner promises to eliminate all excess products. All a curly-haired person needs is this one product. The leave-in does it all: condition, style, eliminate frizz. I would read the testimonials time and time again. The testimonial raved, the curls inspired angels. I really wanted to try the products, but I just couldn't make the final step. That was until recently. One day, I visited the site and took the plunge.

I decided to order the bundle, which included the shampoo, deep conditioner, and the leave-in for about $39. This is a splurge. the leave-in alone costs $17. Typically, I wouldn't pay that much for a hair products, but my crush was so intense!
I received these goodies, and immediately imagined lovely, perfectly defined curls. Well, the products did deliver very nice curls, my hair did feel hydrated, but...meh. Maybe my expectation were too high, maybe my crush too intense. There was something missing. I think it is the fact that the price is high, but the delivery fell short.

The shampoo and deep conditioner are good, but there is nothing special. My hair doesn't feel any different than when I use my Aussie or Garnier products. Now, as far as the leave-in. Well, this was really "meh." I liked how the leave-in conditioner defined the curls, and I like the use of just one product. However, I really don't like the smell of the conditioner. I don't get it, the shampoo and deep conditioner smell lovely and fruity. However, the leave-in conditioner smells musky and manly, which is fine, but I don't want to smell like a man all the time. Sometimes is fine, but not all the time; I have to be in the mood. In addition, the leave-in has to be used in moderation. Go overboard and my hair would feel coated/clumpy and it would take forever to dry. It took me awhile to figure out exactly how much to apply. The catch-22 is that I would have to use more product when my hair au natural, which is when my hair felt super coated. I have recently chemically processed my hair, and I need less, which is perfect because the drying time is less, and the smell is able to dissipate. In addition, I am not feeling the price of the leave-in at all. I don't want to shell out $17 for a 10 oz. every two months, which I can buy Suave hair gel for $3 and it lasts twice as long. Just like the outcome with my aforementioned crush, my excitement for the product fell hard. As a matter of fact, I rarely use this product. It really isn't my favorite. Well, at least I know that i don't have to shell out the mad cash to replenish these goods. I will use it up, but it will take some time.

Rating:
2.5/3 out of 5 happy wallets (The performance isn't worth the price in my opinion. Granted, there aren't many "one product can do it all" goods at the drugstore, but creative alternative can be found. Plus, I like to customize my combination depending on how my hair is acting. Right now, I like Aussie Deep with Suave gel. I also have fund with Salon Selectives Hydralicious conditioner with Sauve gel. Sometimes, I like to use Body Shop's cottonseed gel. See what I mean. I like to mix and match, which I can't really do with the Mixed Chicks leave-in. The shampoo and deep condition aren't anything special either, at least for me. The 2.5/3 is because it does define, but whatever, other products do the same.)

Where to find: www.mixedchicks.net
Price: Leave-in-$16.99, Shampoo-$11.99, Deep Conditioner-$10.99, or Bundle of three-$38.33


By the way, the other encounter with my crush led to marriage and a baby. It is funny how things turn out. I am glad this crush approached me because it has made me a happy woman.

Zee hair:
First day hair. Second day holds up okay.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We have a Winner!

The drawing transpired on a Saturday evening. The names were written on little pieces of paper. The papers were expertly folded so that no one could see the name. Then The Scholar was solicited to pick the winning name. He was watching the Nationals lose again (or one of those sports teams) so he was open to taking a break from the heartache.

As he closed his eyes tightly and looked away, I vigorously shook the bowl because that is what one does. Then the scholar, eyes still shut and looking away, put his hand in the bowl and grabbed a piece of paper. This process was absolutely exhilarating. Who was going to win? Whose name was one the paper? We were sweating with anticipation. Even little Feh-Feh was quiet (and this little baby can make some noise). Curiously, at the same time that I was about to open the piece of paper, the faint sound of a drum roll resonated from a distance. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrAH

And the winner of the elusive Sonia Kashuk Skunk Brush is the lucky Laura R!!
Congratulations, Laura R!!!

To the other participants, thank you so much for your excitement! No worries, this contest thing is fun, and I will be doing another one soon.

BTW, I went by the Target again, and the Skunk brushes were GONE. They didn't even have an open space for them. CRAZY!