Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I learned about the Secret (L'oreal face primer)

I just bought L'oreal Studion Secrets face primer (one pink primer in a glass jar).  I must say it has been working very well.  I have been wearing it for about a week and a half, and so far no breakouts and no problems.  I don't have to blot my face at all throughout the day.  No caking, pooling, or creasing around the nose.  I am wearing MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC37 and NC40 (I mix equal parts), with MAC mineralized skinfinish natural in medium deep on top.  I get flawless finish that lasts all day.

The primer is one the dry side, and scooping it out of the jar can be a little troublesome, but the effects are great.  A little has gone a long way for me.  It dries to an invisible powdery finish, and truly mattifies the face.  If you have dry skin, this primer might dry you out more.  However, this is great for oily to combo skin.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Escapes should be more exciting (BE Ready eyeshadow)

Some time in November 2011, I went to my first beauty trend show thanks to a lovely friend who doesn't judge my love for makeup inviting me.  The Queen and I woke up very early and headed over to the mall around 7 am to meet up with my friend.  This dedication demonstrates the unconditional love my mother has for me, and my love for makeup.  When we got to the trend show, women were already there enjoying the complimentary breakfast.

The Queen and I were amazed that they had such a lovely spread, full-size bottles of water, and we got free shiny tote bags to hold our booty.  After getting acclimated to the surroundings, we found great seats right up front!

The show started, the musics was pumping, and it was just 8 am.  The women who attended the show were yelling and screaming as if the Clarisonic brush and the new Bobbi Brown collection were rock stars.  It was so much fun.  In my mind it finally registered that this was female bonding time on steroids.  My brain and body clicked.  Here is the thing, when my brain and body click into party mode, my introverted persona takes a back seat to letting loose.  Once this happens, my hips start to pop from side to side, by head starts to sway, and my shoulders start to bounce.  I get an unstoppable urge to do the running man, which is immediately followed by (be very afraid) the sprinkler.  That is right.  I whip out the classic moves.  If I feel really crazy, I will try the worm, and I fail miserably.

Anyway, after my brain clicked that the beauty trend show was mega girl time, there was a transition between the presentation of brands, and the DJ was going crazy with some awesome dance music.  I immediately put my new tote bag of the floor, got up, and showed the surrounding ladies my mad moves.  I got up to dance several times.  It was exhilarating (I need to get out more, definitely).  The trend show host noticed my stellar rendition of a sprinkler and gave me a gift of full-size Bare Minerals (or Bare Escentuals) products.  I received a Buxom lip gloss (I gave to a friend before trying it), a charcoal eyeliner, a moisturizer (I gave away), and one of the new pressed shadow duos.  I was most psyched about the eyeshadow duo.  The duo is called "The Escape," and it has two very neutral, everyday shades: a matte nude beige (Daydream) and a subtle shimmery neutral brown with very soft gold flecks (Wanderlust).

Honestly, I was surprised with the colors since I consider an escape to be a departure from the current state of normalcy, and these colors are very normal.  If you are lacking a quick-pickup duo for everyday looks, then this is for you.  However, I am pretty sure the majority of makeup owners have these colors or a variation of these colors.

Now, for the wear.  They are very pigmented.  These shades glide on without a problem, and they feel very soft and light on the eye.  Daydream is great for a natural wash over the eye just to cancel out any discoloration on light to medium skin tones.  It can serve as a matte highlighter for darker skin tones.  Wanderlust is versatile.  You can use it as a liner, a contour color, a one shade smokey shadow.  It is very safe. Very easy to dupe.

As always, to ensure longevity, I wear Urban Decay Primer Potion as a shadow primer.  Then, I apply this shadow.  To be honest, I think I need to find a new primer because UDPP doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore.  However, I will say that compared to my other less expensive shadows, with UDPP as a primer, this Bare Minerals shadows really didn't hold up longer.  With my usual mark., Wet 'n Wild, or generic shadows, I get at least six to seven hours of wear before the beginning of creasing or fading.  Unfortunately, I noticed that "The Escape" was escaping my eyelids (sorry, I had to) after about four hours.  I tried applying the shadow with different techniques (applying primer, then regular powder, then the shadow; sandwiching the shadow) and the shadows just would not last long on my lids.  So...that's that.

Overall, the shadow feels nice, but I was underwhelmed.  I don't regret dancing for the shadow because the shadow was just a perk to exercising and letting loose.  However, I think I would have regretted paying for this.

Anyone have experiences with the other shades?  The longevity obviously could be just on my eyes, and it could also be exclusive to this duo.

Here are the deets and pics
What: Bare Minerals Ready pressed shadow in The Escape (Daydream is the light shadow, Wanderlust is the darker shadow)
Price: $20
Where: Sephora, bareescentuals.com, and other fine stores

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Book That Changed the Game

I cut my hair.  I cry.  I let it grow out.  I cry.  I cut my hair.  I cry. 

I have evaluated this cycle, and looked at pictures where I have short and long hair, and I have FINALLY come to terms that long hair suits my face better.  In addition, longer hair is easier when it is curly.  My hair is very curly.  I used to relax it, but I haven't done so in nearly one year.  I didn't do a big chop.  I still have enough curl/wave to transitions into not retouching my roots.  However, transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair is awkward and takes some problem-solving skills. 

In a quest to find some solutions, I pored over natural hair blogs and took some tips and hints.  I tried many products, but I still wasn't satisfied.  Then, I came across a source of information that I was looking for but couldn't explain: www.tightlycurly.com.  This website was created by Teri LaFlesh, and I could identify with parts of her hair journey especially because our textures are very similar.  I admired how candid and open she was with sharing pictures showing how she went through the years to figure out exactly what to do and how to do her hair.  After many years of experimentation, research, and trial and error, she found a solution, and she was generous enough to share it with the curly-haired population.  She stopped processing her hair, recognized the delicate nature of curly hair, and hydrated her hair endlessly.  In addition, she learned that curls last best when clumped nicely and smoothly.

I can honestly say that I have benefited greatly from her recommendations.  I don't follow every tip that she offers, however, I have adopted her method of doing hair and I have purchased the products she uses.  In addition, I ordered her book Curly Like Me (2010).  After reading various chapters in the book, repeatedly watching her tutorial videos, and trying out her method until I felt comfortable, I can tell you that I have not looked back at other methods or products. 

After perfecting the method she recommends, I can enjoy second-, third-, fourth-, and even fifth-day hair.  In addition, my hair feels so healthy.  I don't encounter breakage, and it looks the prettiest it has ever.  I haven't even been tempted to relax my hair since I started this method (I relax out of frustration with manageability). 

Beautiful second-day hair!! It looks better than the first day!
She has a list of products that work for her, however, she highly recommends Aussie's Moist conditioner (I reviewed that sometime ago.  I love this conditioner!  I have liters and liters of it.  I buy many whenever I get coupons.)  I also use the Denman brush, which she and others recommend.  For days that are going to be incredibly humid, I apply some light gel on the top layers. 
The Denman Classic Styling brush.  You can find it at Sally's Beauty.

The Curly Like Me methods calls for coating the hair with an extremely generous amount of conditioner, working with forming the curls sections by section, and using the Denman brush to gently smooth out the hair so that the curls can clump nicely.  Sure, it takes some time (my shoulder length hair following this method takes about an hour); however, my curls lasts for up to five days.  At night, instead of braiding my hair (it isn't long enough yet), I clip it up like a pineapple, and then the next morning I refresh the curls with a conditioner and water mix. 

So, if you have curly hair that is in the very curly natural or mild transitioning state, then you should definitely visit Teri LaFlesh's website, and check out her book.

It has helped me immensely, and I don't think I will cut my hair again out of frustration in an incredibly long time.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blogger Guiltville

My, what a break I have taken?! I have taken a long trip to blogger Guiltville. Blogger Guiltville is the place where bloggers with great intentions go when their lives are too busy, and they start to feel guilt for not tending to their blog. Then, because of the guilt, they avoid sitting down in front of the computer to write. Instead, they procrastinate. Blogger Guiltville was like quicksand to me, and I just found a way to emerge. My shopping habits have changed, but my urge to write my opinions hasn't. I plan on easing back into writing, even if I am the only person reading the entries.

Whew, but I will come back later, I have to find out how to get to a three-year old's birthday party.