Archive for category Makeup & Beauty

My Top 5 Beauty Products of 2012…So Far!

1. Product: Laura Mercier Velour Puff

Why it’s amazing: MACHINE washable Puff!  Just throw this puff in the washer with your laundry and it comes out just like new!  Plus, if you use the rolling technique Laura Mercier sales people tell you about, your makeup does look great all day!  Another great aspect of this puff is that it is big enough to powder larger portions of the face at one time

Downside: Too big to fit into a regular size compact, so its strength is it’s weakness (I am making it sound like a superhero or something).

Cost: $12 (sephora.com or Nordstrom.com)

 

2. Product: Naked 2 Palette

Why it’s amazing: 12 neutral eye shadows that are highly pigmented for $50.  That works out to just a little bit more than $4/color.  That’s a great value!  I was totally a skeptic when I bought the first Naked palette for a wedding I was in last year, but the versatility of the colors won me over!  The neutrals are not boring like I first thought they would be, and they are flattering…even on darker skin!

Downside: Not a lot of mattes.

Cost: $50 (sephora.com)

 

3. Product: Beauty Blender Sponge

Why it’s amazing:  It is billed as a sponge that will help your foundation/concealer go on seamlessly…and it totally does that!  I got one of the lower priced dupes, and I hated it!  The Beauty Blender is squishier, larger, and the egg-shape is better than the others, which have a more of an hourglass with a pointy top shape.

Downside: COST!!!  This “sponge” costs $19.99/each.  I bought the 2-pack which was $24.99, somehow spending $5 more, but have reducing the cost per Beauty Blender to $12.50 each made it easier for me to deal with!!!

Cost: $19.99/each or $24.99/2-pack (sephora.com)

 

4. Product: Lash Stash

Why it’s amazing: There are 10 mascaras, 8 minis and 2 full sized mascaras.  The brushes on all the minis are the same size as the brushes on their regular sized counterparts, so you get to try out a bunch of different mascaras to find a new favorite or just keep it interesting!  Plus every year Sephora comes out with a new Last Stash.  So if you missed 2011’s…it will be back!

Downside: Only available during the holidays/until Sephora sells out of their stock.  Keep checking the Sephora website if you can’t find it, sometimes they pull the Lash Stash from the website and then put it back up after a couple of days.

Cost: $49.99 full price (before Christmas) or $32.00 after Christmas. (sephora.com)

 

5. Product: Seche Vite

Why it’s amazing: Super fast drying, super shiny nail polish topcoat.  I picked this up from my local Sally’s Beauty Supply, thinking I was crazy for plopping down $7.99 for a topcoat, but it was totally worth it.  I haven’t once had the problem of falling asleep after doing my nails, thinking they were perfectly dry only to find sheet prints in my nail varnish when I woke up.

Downside: Spendier than I would like, however Sally’s Beauty Supply often has promotions with this product so you get a free base coat or free color polish with purchase.

Cost: $7.99 (sallybeauty.com)

 

 

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The Basic How-To YouTube Makeup Video Script…!

Makeup videos on YouTube are one of my guilty little pleasures. It gives me such a kick to watch those from the truly great to the truly cringe worthy. Plus a number of YouTube posters give better, more accurate advice than the so-called experts at the makeup counters! But I have to say by far and away the bestest how to video posts are those that are pretenders to the “everyday look” throne, because they are anything but an everyday look. They are a glut of products, tools, and money!

The first time I ever heard of the Coastal Scents 88 color eye shadow collection was on a YouTube video, where it seemed like at least one quarter of these colors were used to achieve an everyday look. But now after watching a couple of videos I have seen this infamous 88 color eye shadow collection a number of times along with a ton of other products use to create the perfect everyday look. Between cosmetic companies and other woman telling us to buy enough makeup products to stock a CVS no wonder financial health is taking a back burner! I am a gal that LOVES makeup, but holy crap this is getting crazy!

Here is my sarcastic version of the typical script for an “everyday” makeup look you would see on YouTube (to help you keep track of the number of products featured I am going to go ahead and number them as they are used):

Hi everyone, I’m KBirdy and today we are going to do an everyday makeup look! I have gotten a ton of requests on this, so I just wanted to post something really quick so you guys can see what I use! So let’s get started!

Always start with clean and moisturized skin! I am going to start with Smashbox’s Photo Finish face Primer (Product #1, $36 for 1 oz). The facial primer helps your foundation apply smoothly, and keep it from settling into the lines and wrinkles in your skin. In order to make all of this mind spinning information seem more complicated I am going to use a foundation brush, instead of my fingers to apply the product (Product #2, $25, Sephora Brand).

So I am going to now start with my foundation (Product #3, $40 Sephora MUFE), I like to concentrate on my problem areas, I use a foundation brush to apply my foundation so I get that perfect coverage. Of course you cannot use the same foundation brush you just used for your Primer, you have to use a different foundation brush (Product #4, $25, Sephora Brand). Once I have achieved good coverage I move onto concealer.

It is important to get a good concealer to hide the dark spots (Product #5, $14, Sephora Brand) and of course to apply the concealer just right you need a concealer brush (Product #6, $14). If you are like me, sleep is hard to come by and I have undereye circles from all those sleepless nights, and we cannot use the same concealer for more than one problem. To cover my raccoon eyes I have Bobbi Brown’s concealer kit (Product #7, $32). This handy kit comes with a pressed powder to set the concealer that applies like a dream with Bobbi Brown’s concealer brush (Product #8, $22).

Once you have evened out your complexion I like to set everything with a translucent face powder, I like Lorac’s translucent face powder for that airbrushed finish (Product #9, $28). You just dust this powder onto your face and it just helps hold everything and keep it fresh, use a fluffy face brush (Product #10, $19, Sephora Brand). Now that we have set this look, let’s start putting some color on your face!

I like to keep my makeup simple for an everyday look so I just put on some eyeshadow, eyeliner, a couple swipes of mascara and some lip gloss, blush, highlighter, and I am out the door!

I start out with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow primer potion (Product #11, $19) and smooth that on my eyelids and let it dry for a second or two! You don’t need a brush for this; just make sure you cover your whole eyelid, right up until you are under your eyebrow. Because this is an everyday look, no need to get too crazy! I just like to put a vanilla shade on the on the inner corner of my eye and under the brow, on the brow bone. I picked up Lorac’s Shimmer and Matte shadow collection (Product #12, $36) because it has six great basic shades that all of us could use! The easiest way to get the shadow just perfect under the brow and in the inner corner is using a fine tipped crease brush (Product #13, $20). I put a medium toned color on my eyelid up to the crease using a dense shadow brush (Product #14, $18), and then a darker toned color from the Lorac shadow palette into my crease using a crease brush (Product #15, $20). Then I blend from the crease up to the brow bone using another clean crease brush (Product #16, $20) to avoid adding any of the darker crease color to the light beige color that we are using to buff out and blend the shadow up to the brow.

Using a dark brown liner (Product #17, $6) I like Milani’s Liquif’eye I draw a quick line, wing it out a little at the corner and move onto my brush. If this ordeal hasn’t already frazzled your nerves on a Wednesday morning, just wait there is more! I use Lancome’s Star Bronzer because it is so neat and easy! The bronzer is loose and already filled into a tube with a brush on the end, so you just push the little button on the back of the canister it releases some bronzer into the bristles and you are ready to go (Product #18, $33)! I highlight lightly down the bridge of my nose, and from my temple under my cheekbone, and lightly across my chin. To give me a little bit of a color to my cheeks I use MAC’s Mocha blush (Product #19, $22) and apply it to the apples of my cheeks.

Now that my face is done I use Loreal’s Great Lash (Product #20, $5) in black to pump up my lashes! I know this is an old school product, but it’s still around for a reason ladies…IT WORKS!

Almost done!  Just lips and we are out the door, I apply Clinique’s Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick in Delovely (Product #21, $14.50). This is a great formula it gives you shine and moisture, without giving you that lipstick look! For a little extra gloss I add Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Soul (Product #22, $20) on top of the Clinique Colour Surge and I am out the door!

Okay guys! Seriously, it is so easy once you do it. I mean other than the fact that you are working to buy makeup and products and tools, you are going to love this routine! I don’t even think about it anymore when I do it, it’s just automatic and quick get ready to face the day routine!

Okay see you next time, I will post a great going out look! Bye!!!

This basic look could be yours for the bargain price of $526!!! Throw it on a credit card, long-term financial health means nothing if you look good!

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Milani Liquif’ Eye = Affordable Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

You know that NAKED Urban Decay eye shadow palette that everyone is raving about; well I was in a wedding that had a beachy theme so I bought it! After months of lusting after it I totally pounced and I was the proud new owner of the NAKED palette!

http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P267200&categoryId=B70

The palette is gorgeous, but the problem was I read the review and description of the palette when it first came out. When the NAKED palette first came out it came with an Urban Decay (UD) liner pencil — half black/half brown. Fast-forward almost a year after the NAKED palette first came out, and the liner pencil was replaced with a brush. Good luck finding a use for this brush, I sure haven’t found it useful yet. This lack of a pencil left me with a hole in my heart and in my makeup stash. I was in desperate need of brown eyeliner, but the thought of plopping down another $18 for the UD Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon, made me want to wretch. I just wasn’t in the money-spending mood!

Anyone who has used multiple brands of eyeliner knows that all eyeliners are not created equal. Instead you have some that go on like a dream, and others that were likely created by Crayola as colored drawing pencils and unfortunately mislabeled. I was in the middle of a horrendous Crayola experience with some eyeliner from Cargo. When I was making trails in Target and the closest brand to the aisle was Milani. But they had a brown eyeliner, I needed a brown eyeliner, we were a match made in Target’s cosmetic section heaven.

…And what a match it has been! The Milani Liquif’ Eye eyeliner is AMAZINGNESS!!! If they wouldn’t get sued by UD for using “24/7 and Glide-On” in the name of this eyeliner instead of calling it Liquif Eye or Liquif’ Eye or whatever, I would totally recommend doing it! For the bargain price of $5.50 this liner does exactly that…it lasts 24/7 and it Glides-on! For people who love smudging, you can smudge this liner, there is just a limited window for smudging, because once it sets it stays on beautifully even when it is worn with shimmery highly pigmented shadows! Another thing that I loved and hadn’t even noticed about the Cargo liners until I finished with them was that because they were so hard and I had to work so hard to actually get a decent line with them I usually ended up with big chunks or the sharpened tip breaking off, so I wasting more than I was using! Totally not the case with the Liquif’ Eye, smooth, lovely line with practically no effort!

Okay I am raving, or about as close to raving as I get! If you are like me and you need a brown and/or black eyeliner because you got the stupid brush with the UD NAKED palette and find yourself reticent to make the $36 UD purchase, or you just need a great eyeliner checkout Milani’s Liquif’ Eye the next time you are in the drugstore or Target! It’s a great substitute at a great price point…I LOVE IT!!! Oh and here is a link so you can check out the brand and the other colors they have!

http://www.milanicosmetics.com/p-74-liquif-eye-metallic-eyeliner-pencil.aspx

Oooh, and I also got the Aqua pencil as well, and it looks muy, MUY bueno with Coppering eye shadow from MAC! Plus the gold liner goes really well with a couple of colors in the UD NAKED Palette!

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A Ramble on Makeup, MAC, Laura Mercier, & Sephora

I love shopping, but hate shopping for anything in particular. Shopping for something in particular is worthy of the 9th ring of hell in my opinion, the pressure to find the right thing at the right price at the right time is more than I can bear. Shopping in a pressured situation like this takes the la de da fun out of shopping, so I avoid it at all costs. Of course there are times when you are just forced into shopping for a particular something, and in those moments I find myself wondering “whatever happened to customer service?” Bad customer service is a constant pet peeve of mine. I WILL write to the company if I get bad service, but I also write when I get great customer service, yes, I have issues…;)

The funny thing is I never knew there was a difference in levels of customer service until I traveled to the third world. Yeah, yeah I know it isn’t PC to call the third world the third world, but the third world is a different world…not a Cosby Show spin-off. In the third world when you visit with tourist dollars that might seem like nothing to you, all of a sudden you are treated like a rock star. Shopping means sales assistants fawning over you, store owners and managers running to get you bottled water, and stores extending their hours to make sure you don’t feel rushed in your decision to buy a traditional outfit which you will never wear once you get home. I don’t envy celebrities much, but I sure envy that! By comparison shopping in a cookie cutter mall in Southern California that is slowly being overtaken by cheapo stripper shoe stores and Footlocker type knock-off stores, you don’t feel like a rock star at all, you find yourself asking again and again “whatever happened to customer service?!” This was exactly what I felt when I was again in search of the perfect concealer when the new one I purchased a few days earlier broke.

Starting at Nordstrom, the supposed bastion of good customer service before you leave the stores us mere mortals can afford, I knew what I wanted and I was going to get the right color matched to my skin and get out of there. Walking up to the Laura Mercier, which I hereby dub the Laura Bitchier counter, I told the associate which concealer I wanted and asked for a color match. This elicited a rundown of the concealer and an explanation that it wasn’t made for under the eyes even though the company website said it was great “for getting rid of dark circles”. Insisting I wanted the product the sales associate soon shucked me off to another associate so she could go help someone else. I was starting to lose it, the little imaginary thermometer over my head was heating up fast, I just got ditched and had to explain everything again to another associate and listen to her explanation of why this concealer wasn’t right for under my eyes. Finally, after again insisting I wanted to get color matched she started trying something on under my eyes the whole while saying despite what I read on the website or was told by a representative of the company on the phone this concealer was not meant for under the eyes. A couple of mind numbing minutes later I was handed the mirror, and was shocked. Why would any sighted person have applied makeup to someone’s under eyes like this?! I mean really?! The first color she tried on me was so light it was almost blinding, the second color was so awkwardly pink completely ignoring the yellow undertones in my skin, I really had to wonder if she was color blind. Clearly she hadn’t been parted of the sighted world for long. Saying thank you after wiping off the horrendous clown makeup I took the associates advice and headed over to MAC.

Foregoing the MAC area of Nordstrom is usually part of my silent non-violent protest against MAC’s attempts to be more than they are. They are a makeup brand, nothing more, nothing less. Yet they routinely have some of the bitchiest men and women employed to work that counter. The air of superiority with which their associates swan around their counter combined with the annoyingly loud music makes them seem like the are trying so hard to be cool, they have somehow overshot the mark in a big way.  Back in the old days wealthy patrons would support artists and put up with their crap so they could in someway be part of the history this artist was creating. Well the wealthy patrons of the MAC makeup artists is Estee Lauder, and their patroness is pimping out her artists, making them work their corner and hawk her products. So why MAC makeup artists act like they are doing you a favor when you need help finding a product I have no clue. But after having my concealer done by a guy with perfect makeup I again found myself wondering if he too had just joined the sighted world, and if his patroness would be mad that he just botched a sale. When I expressed my doubt over the splotchy mismatched concealer and asked if he thought it was a good match he said “yes, let me know if you need any more help” before walking off. Now you, gentle reader, know that is some CRAP. Here I am asking if this horrible effort he made on behalf of my under eye circles was correct and his stuck up self just walked away, WHAT IN THE WORLD?! I was getting really irritated, and before I did something stupid, ala Aldo Shoes screaming match with a sales associate I was walking off I needed to cool down, I just shouldn’t have tried to do it in another makeup store.

Heading to MAC, the store, it was more of the same. Wait around to be helped and then when you finally get some help, the information is so bad, so inaccurate you almost wonder if they are for real. According to the MAC store associate what seems like a variety of different concealers perched on their display was simply one single type of concealer with different delivery methods…WTF?! So essentially what this makeup artists was telling me was that MAC/Estee Lauder in their infinite wisdom and wish to waste money packaged the same concealer in different pots, pencils, tubes, etc. just for the fun of wasting money?! Aside from the disbelief over this obviously wrong information, my under eyes were aching. They literally hurt for all the “stippling” and “smoothing” and “tapping on” of product. Worse I found myself wanting to salute those sneaky bastards at the makeup companies. Not only have they created products that cost $22 for a quarter of an ounce, they have now split the concealer category into eye and face. Not one of the people I asked from the time I stepped into Nordstrom to that moment in MAC agreed or even understood my request for a single product for my under eyes and face. Every single time I requested an eye and face concealer in one I was met with blank looks and explanations about color canceling, etc. etc. I never remember hearing this eye/face concealer distinction until just recently…sneaky, sneaky!

Under eyes weary, I left the MAC store without a product in hand and went to Sephora. Hopefully the color I needed for the next day was in stock even though I had called earlier and knew that wasn’t the case. Walking into the store I was immediately asked if I needed help! It was amazing things were going my way, finally! Taking me over to the the CoverFX display after I told her my concealer was out of stock from Makeup Forever, Sephora is Makeup Forever’s pimp, the associate moved towards me with the concealer, and I could hear my under eye skin screaming “OH THE HUMANITY”…lol. Well, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, I just asked her if I could apply the concealer instead of her because my eyes were getting irritated from all the trying on, but I wasn’t to worry she was going to try the concealer on my neck. I thought this was a good idea so try she did, and a fail it was, I could see a patch of concealer on my neck, it was darker than my skin tone, how was I supposed to cover dark circles with a concealer darker than my skin?! This definitely wasn’t going to work. Expressing my doubt again, the sales associate said “concealer doesn’t always have to be lighter than your skin.” What?! How the hell am I going to conceal dark circles with concealer darker than the circles?! What in hell?! I had walked into Sephora and apparently stepped into an alternate reality, I was in opposite world. With excuses of just wanting to browse some more I separated from the sales associate and left the store no concealer in hand.

Leaving the mall I reflected on all my bad makeup advice and makeup trying on experience of late and tried to come up with a reason for it. There had to be a reason. Maybe I was giving off a bitch vibe, that definitely could be it, but I wasn’t in a bad mood at the first counter I was at and still got shoddy service. It could be that I was only looking for one product not a regimen, but they never really tried to sell me anything more or asked me if I wanted anything more, so how would they know?  Then finally it came to me, I wasn’t wearing any makeup. I walked up to these makeup counters in nothing but my good old trusty Oil of Olay moisturizer. My hair was pulled back into a not cute ponytail and I looked comfortable in my jeans and washed too many times hoodie. There were times I had received great customer service from MAC and as I reflected back on those moments it was when I walked up to the counter with makeup on. For some strange reason I really think that I got worse customer service at the makeup stores and counters when I didn’t have makeup on.  Instead of taking one look at my face that was was clearly devoid of products and seeing a huge commission on sales, they thought it wasn’t worth their time to try to convince me to buy what they were selling. It made me think back to an article I read about gender differences in the workplace and how women who didn’t wear makeup were perceived as not caring and that they weren’t as “good” at what they did as their female colleagues that wore makeup. Adding insult to injury they were also paid less. I only wish the article talked about men who wore makeup, now that would have been an interesting article.

Sometime soon I am going to have to get all dolled up and go back to those same stores and the same makeup counters and see if I can get help from the same people. I bet you a MAC eye shadow that I suddenly get treated much better, not as well as you get treated when shopping in the third world, but definitely better!

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From Sephora to Nordstrom and Back Again

A couple of months ago I ran out of concealer and I realized my foundation made my skin look like an oil slick. Since I came to my realization the foundation has been a permanent resident of makeup drawer waiting for its notice to vacate to the trashcan once it was replaced. Unfortunately the replacement process has been slow and steady, a complete novelty for me in the makeup buying process. Usually I am the first person to read about a new product or be convinced by the person at the makeup counter that this amazing product from the company they work for is totally the product “I HAVE TO HAVE”. Well this year, after last year’s Smashbox’s tinted moisturizer debacle, I refused to end up with yet another product that never got used. Time and experience had taught me to be cautious in my “complexion” makeup purchases, no more buying products I don’t use, AKA making donation to corporate giants. Heading to the makeup Mecca, Sephora, I started the process armed with recommendations from “experts”, actual users, and my pocketbook.

First of all walk into a Sephora store with a face devoid of any product except moisturizer and you might as well have the word “patsy” written on your head in Urban Decay eyeliner. The sales associates take one look at you and think you are going to listen to every wild suggestion they might have for a new “makeup routine”. All the talk of primers, color correctors, concealers, eye shadow bases, setting powders, pigmented powders, mineral powder, cream shadows, etc. etc. forever and ever, will make anyone’s head spin. But this time I wasn’t going to be swayed I wasn’t walking out of the damn beauty store which might either be a girlie heaven or hell with something I didn’t go in there intending to buy. I was buying tinted moisturizer, concealer, and color corrector for my panda eyes, period.

Of course, my resolve was soon tested. It is practically impossible to go in that store and not act like a kid in a candy store!!! All of a sudden my eyes got bright and shiny when I looked at all the pretty colored eye shadows and eyeliners and nail polishes…I wanted EVERYTHING! My head was swimming! I started trying out blue eye shadows, then greens, but I forced myself back on track, I was going to spend at least $100 on the other stuff on my list, I couldn’t add more unnecessary eye shadow to my collection. So then, focusing on the goal I did the unthinkable…I asked one of the “Product Consultants” for help. I have a theory about advice from makeup stores and makeup counters, its kind of something we forget when we are listening to all these makeup “experts”…trust your own judgment…after all it’s going to be on your face. So when the Sephora Product Consultant recommended the Makeup Forever (MUFE) #4 concealer palette with five different concealer shades that can be blended to create the perfect shade…I dismissed her recommendation immediately and stopped listening to her advice shortly thereafter.

I am sure she had great stuff to say and good advice on something, but when you recommend I buy a $36 concealer palette in which the lightest color is more than a couple shades darker than my skin tone, we are not on the same wavelength or maybe you are just clueless, either way I channeled my inner Cher and gave her a mental “AS IF”! Seeing my disinterest I was soon passed off to the Stila guy who was there shilling for his brand. He had his hair done up, looking very 50’s, very Grease with a 21st century spin, and I thought, oh yeah, this dude is gonna give me some great product advice etc. Ten minutes and a lot of blinking later due to his attempts to apply concealer way too close to my lash line instead of just having me do it myself when he saw me tearing up, I was horrified. One eye was done in concealer and I looked like a tired panda, and the other eye that was done in some sort of base looked like a panda that didn’t know their colors yet. I was definitely NOT falling for the Stila makeup. Realizing he wasn’t going to make a sale for Stila he passed me off to the lady who was there shilling for Cover FX.

Let me start this out by, I hate to be mean…but…I didn’t want the Cover FX lady making any sort of recommendations for anything. When I walk up to a makeup counter, I want the person with the best looking makeup to ask me if I need help. Not the person whose makeup is just a total and utter tragedy. In the makeup-selling world, I really think it is all about the look of the makeup that counts! Seeing absolutely no tactful way to get out of it, and hoping maybe she did other’s makeup better than her own I let her get started. She first picked out the darkest concealer color she could find, and soon realized there was no way that was going to work. Another trial and error session later she finally landed on the best color when she tried the third tube. Taking a look at her work a couple minutes later colorblind panda and tired panda were definitely gone…I now looked like dry flaky, gross under eye skin panda. My eyes were looking bloodshot from all the irritation of people apply concealer under my eyes, and I was getting really frustrated with this whole process.

Instead of standing around and getting more frustrated I walked to the Bobbi Brown counter at Nordstrom. I have heard great things about Bobbi Brown concealers in the past, so I was definitely going to see if the sales people at the counter could do better than Sephora. As I walked up to the counter, there was a girl with impeccable makeup, yay!!! There was also an assortment of concealers covering every surface of the counter, double yay!!! Five minutes later, double boo. Some other sales associate, not the one with the impeccable makeup, but someone with questionable makeup, had applied color corrector under my eyes and by applied I mean there were literally chunks of color corrector glopped under my eyes and then there were chunks of concealer glopped around the color corrector. With a satisfied look, and a lot of self congratulating the sales associate told me the prices, making some quick excuse about wanting to walk around the mall for a bit and seeing how the concealer looked after I had it on for awhile I hightailed it out of there swearing never to go back as long as she worked at the counter.

My hightailing meant that I retraced my route back to Sephora. Back in the store, the pretty colors and shiny objects all around the store did not completely not enthrall me as they had before, no, I was on a mission and I was going to complete it. Plus I was getting hungry, I was tired of walking around, and I have to be in a wedding in two months and Mrs. Fields was looking better and better every single time I walked by it! Twenty minutes, lots of indecision, and lots of consulting my own council later I had a color corrector, concealer, tinted moisturizer, and no mas! Now after a weekend of wear and very close inspection I can officially recommend the following three products:

– Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer; it feels great and light on your skin.
– Makeup Forever HD Concealer, spendy, but it does conceal!
– Makeup Forever lipstick #40 used as an under eye color corrector, weird, never would have thought of it on my own, but strangely it works! (Thank you for the recommendation Sephora Rancho Cucamonga Product Consultant…you were awesome!)

So yes my process of research, trying, waiting, researching some more, and not going with the first thing someone said looked “good” on me was frustrating and in the end was expensive. But I have learned the hard way the most expensive makeup is the stuff you buy and never use.

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My “He’s Just Not That Into You” Hair Moment

Being a SATC devotee even now, years after the show went off the air, I love the episodes more than the first time I watched them, I feel like I just get them more now that I am sadly older. Like a whole bunch of other devotees out there one of my favorite episodes is the “He’s Just Not That Into You” episode. For those of you who don’t know the episode, this is the episode where Carrie’s man, Berger, tells Miranda that the guy who Miranda went out on a date with the previous night who didn’t go up to her apartment for a little wink, wink after dinner was “just not that into her”. Berger went onto explain if a guy was really into a women he would go up regardless of an early morning the next day or meetings, etc. Naturally an uproar ensued all the girls tried to soothe what they thought would be Miranda’s hurt feelings over this piece of blatant honesty from Berger. But instead of being hurt by Berger’s pronouncement Miranda felt free. Free not to obsess about when her date would call, why he didn’t call, what he meant when he did call. Miranda was free realizing he wouldn’t call and when he did he would be saying they wouldn’t be seeing each other anymore.

Of course this piece of wisdom, this inherent inability in women to realize when a guy is “just not that into you” spawned a book, and then a talk show for the staff writer who first uttered the phrase…basically it became a phenomenon. So basically the blatant, non-sugar coated, the honest truth became a phenomenon. After years of reading articles and books with titles “7 Signs He’s Really Into You” and “Decoding Your Crush’s Behavior” the truth of “he’s just not that into” seemed harsh, even when it was said to a fictional person! But I guess that sometimes that reality check is what we need, not just with potential dates, but with everything in life in which we delude ourselves into believing things can actually workout the way it does in our fantasies. I mean not to be a totally downer, but I think it is nice when books, and magazines, and online articles occasionally tell us the truth like “give it up, he doesn’t like you” or “he might be trying to better deal you”…harsh, but sometimes I guess the truth hurts. I learned about this harsh reality first hand when I was recently reading an article about hair.

I am a sucker for shallow, poorly written articles on how to achieve the perfect hair, makeup, etc. There is something about them that calls to me, with the pictures, and promises of perfection in 5 minutes or less that just makes me want to click, read, and experiment. Inevitably I will run out and buy the recommended perfect navy blue eyeliner, or the eye shadow blender brush #8, or Moroccan Oil with Argan oil which is supposed to make my hair like totally perfect. After racing to the store and then racing home after work, and messing up my hair shampooing schedule or just reapplying my makeup for no apparent reason at 10:00 on a Wednesday night I realize the promised miracle product and problem solver is just a big fake! It doesn’t solve all my makeup dilemmas or make my hair shiny and bouncy. So I add the new product to my overflowing makeup drawer or stash it away with hairsprays that don’t spray anymore and mousses that don’t foam and re-start my search for the next new cure all.
This vicious cycle which has lead me to become a Sephora VIB, a person who has spent $500 or more in one year at Sephora (I need to seek help), and has made me susceptible to buying all sorts of potions, and tonics, and conditioning aids from a myriad of overpriced companies. I was a dupe! Well I was, at least until a couple of weeks ago when I was reading an article whose author apparently channeled the “he’s just not that into you” wisdom, she was blunt and honest, and the truth stung a little. The author laid it out like no other author had in a DIY hair article, “stop trying to replicate the blowout you get when your stylist does your hair, it’s not going to happen. Your stylist went to school to learn how to blow dry and style your hair that way, they also do it numerous times a day, let it go…you can’t do it…!”

What?!!! This is hair blasphemy, was all I could think! I know I can replicate it, I KNOW I CAN, my mind, pocketbook, and overly full bathroom cabinets screamed! I bought the ceramic flat iron, the special boar bristle hair brush, the non-Goody hair tools, the hairspray that cost $23.95 and doesn’t fit under the bathroom sink due to its ridiculous height, I even bought the X-rated, looks like a dildo, tube of hair de-frizzer/shine…I CAN make my hair look like my hair stylist does was all that was going through my mind all while a little voice told me the author of this article had just told me the unvarnished truth. And then, like Miranda from SATC who heard “he’s just not that into” and realized that was exactly what she needed to hear, the truth of the “forget trying to replicate it” sunk in and I felt a little bit more at peace about my hair. I mean yeah, I still hate that I can’t get Texas big hair the way my stylist can in 10 minutes with only a brush and hairdryer, and it still bothers me that my wavy hair can’t just calm itself and be straight…but I am not a hairstylist, and I am happy that I am not.

No doubt I will still fall for the occasional “get hair like this model” in 5 minutes using these 10 products that cost $15 – $300 each, but from here out, I think I am going to look for the Herbal Essences $3.25 substitute.

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Articles on Makeup, The Kind you Wear, Not Making up…:)

I LOVE reading articles online. One of the worst fakeouts online is when you click on a link that you think is for an article and it takes you to a stupid video clip! It is just maddening! I also LOVE makeup. So when I come across articles online with titles like “What Do Our Makeup Artists Have in Their Makeup Drawers?” or “Five Must Have Makeup Products for The Holidays”, I am so in! That article is a guaranteed CLICK. However, what inexplicably bothers me are articles like the most recent makeup article I read on AOL.com about the shelf life of Makeup.

The title, Makeup Shelf Life 101: When To Toss Your Cosmetics, is a great little article about how long you should keep your makeup before sending it to that big makeup drawer in the sky, or that big makeup drawer in the landfill, take your pick. So here are the factoids:

Mascara – Replace every 3 months
Eye Shadow – Replace every 3 months
Lipstick – Replace every 1-year
Foundation – Replace every 6-12 months
Blush – Up to 2 years
Natural Makeup (what is that?) – 6 months

So basically harmful germs build up in your makeup, so if you are keeping longer than recommended length of time, you could get sick, sick, sick, or lose an eye, or I don’t know, break out. The information isn’t really bad information, but I am sorry, I hate to say it, it’s not practical advice! Who uses enough makeup in a 3 month – 2 year timeframe to buy/throw out makeup at the rate they suggest?! Alright, if you are on any of the “Real Housewives of ‘Anywhere’” you probably do go through enough makeup to adhere to this timeframe. Seriously, Teresa from NJ and Phaedra and Kim from ATL, WTF, step AWAY from the makeup, chicas! Who can afford to adhere to this advice, and not be millions of dollars in debt (big ha, ha, ha at Teresa)?!

I wear makeup almost everyday, and I am totally boring, so I wear the same neutral eye shadow EVERY WORK DAY, 5 days a week, and still I couldn’t make it through an entire eye shadow pat in three months. Plus, I have big eyelids!! LOL! The only mascara I can make it through in three months are those little sample size mascara tubes that you get as testers or as part of the “bonus gift”, and as for blush, forget it! Even with a 2-year time limit, I can’t make it through the entire compact in 2 years; I don’t wear the same blush season-to-season. I don’t know, maybe this makes me a super dirty germ infested person, but I just can’t make it through my makeup that fast, and I can’t throw it out either, I paid WAY TOO MUCH FOR IT. Even if I were to give up my MAC/Smashbox addiction and trade it in for a Wet & Wild addiction makeup purchased and thrown away at the suggest rate would still probably get spendy!! Unfortunately my last name isn’t Lauder or Factor, I simply can’t afford it! So if makeup companies really cared about us, and about our safety, which let’s be real they don’t, they would do something to make these timeframes possible to adhere too.

I think the simple solution would be to make smaller sizes of eye shadows, blushes, mascaras, lipsticks, foundations, etc, and have them priced SENSIBLY. Don’t just create an eye shadow that is half the size of the current eye shadow pat and charge fifty cents less than the full size! Or make some sort of self-cleaning makeup, I mean it will probably cause cancer, like everything seems to, but that isn’t stopping the food industry from using suspicious ingredients! But, don’t hold your breath, it’s not going to happen. Cosmetic companies are going to continue to sell us a 3 year supply of eye shadow for $15, then hire people to write articles that give you a crash course in makeup throw out timeframes. Then as part of their evil plan they will “publish” the articles in places like AOL SHOPPING, yeah, the article I read, Makeup Shelf Life 101: When To Toss Your Cosmetics, is on AOL SHOPPING. When you realize where the article is “published it’s hard not to think, they just want meto ditch my makeup to go buy more makeup via the helpful links they provide, which they get compensated for. Hand meet cookie jar.

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