Sunday, December 23, 2012

Empties #2 (part 2)

FACE: This is my weakest/strongest area.  Such a sucker for the latest and greatest, and we won't even mention "the Resolution."  More on that after January 1st..........

1. Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover - I use this everyday - love it and will always re-buy, BUY
2. Smith's Rosebud Salve - great multi-tasker for lips, dry spots, soothes minor cuts etc.  Have it in tube form which I prefer for sanitary reasons.  BUY
3. Skindanavia Makeup Setting Spray - again, I use this every day to set my make-up and have it last longer. Though I use primer as well, this takes the powdery texture of setting powder and smoothes it all out.  It comes in different finishes, but I do not know/notice any difference. BUY
4. Almay Get Up and Grow Mascaras (reg and waterproof) - love how these make my lashes look fluttery and voluminous, however I will only buy the Waterproof again.  The regular version transfers so I get smudges under my eyes.  BUY (wp only)
5. Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Cleansing Gel - too harsh for my dry skin.  It has chemical exfoliants which I am interested in using, but because my skin is so dry, it felt stripped of all moisture.  I think this would work very well if you have oily/combo skin.
6. Murad Skin Perfecting Primer - did not notice any significant smoothing and it did not help my make-up last any longer.  NO BUY
7. Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara - eh, good separation, not enough volumizing for me.  NO BUY
8. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45 - good texture, absorbs quickly, high level SPF.  Would buy in summer. BUY
9. Tarte Emphaseyes Inner Rim Pencil in black - dried out too fast, does not roll down, breaks easily.  NO BUY
10. Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencil in dark purple - love the texture and staying power. BUY
11. Trish McEvoy lip pencil in #12 - good basic pencil, kinda pricey and think you can get same or better quality for less.  NO BUY
12. Caudalie Vinexpert Radiance Day Cream - leaves skin glowy and smooth.  However, disappointed that it does not have SPF for a day cream therefore NO BUY
13. Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Moisture Cream - ditto above comment, have quite a few samples that I will use up, but NO BUY
14. Chanel Sublimage Essential Regenerating Fluid - used up sample and I believe that to see progress with skincare, you will need to use it longer than a week.  With that said, it did not break me out which is why I was really testing it.  It is extremely expensive ($300!) and with my short-attention span and limited funds it is a NO BUY for me.

Empties #2 (part 1) - making some progress!

First off, apologies for being absent.  I have been going through some personal/work stress, making some decisions, etc. that are going to affect me, family, work, home and been really focusing on those.  I will post on those changes most likely beginning of January, once it all is finalized.

So on to Empties!  As you will see there are quite a few hair/body items that have been used up.  Now I will confess that in some cases, it was a family effort to finish these up.  I do have a few shower products that I keep hidden when not in use and take them into the shower with me, then hide when I am done.  The primary reason for this is $$$$.  Love Hub and Kids, but the fact of the matter is that some of those "secret" items are pricey (Exfolikate by Kate Somerville) and/or hard to get (Haus of Gloi body scrubs and butters) so I want to keep grubby little hands off so they do not go to waste and down the drain.  Hub does not care as long as there is some version of shampoo, conditioner, face scrub, and body wash.

Regarding my BUY/NO BUY label, will only label if I feel STRONGLY one way or the other.  If there is not a label, it means that I may repurchase if it was on sale, and would not be opposed to trying it again.  Kinda wishy/washy, take it or leave it!

I have divided them up by body part/usage to make it a bit more organized (messed up a couple hair products in the pics, but you will get the gist).  I also need to break this up into 2 parts since there is a Label limit.  So on to hair and body.  Make-up/face stuff will follow.

Looks like alot - right?  It is to me!
HAIR:  I am not a hair-person.  As long as it is relatively clean and not all frizzed out, I really do not care too much.  I see all these really cool styles and have great admiration for those that can do a waterfall braid on themselves.  I just ain't one of them!  With that being said, use the hair product reviews at your own risk!

1. L'Oreal Eversleek shampoo and conditioner - sulfate-free, can be hard to get a lather if I have been using alot of dry shampoo.  Decent, would get again IF on sale!
2. Bain de Terre Lemongrass Volumizing Shampoo - cleaned my hair, great smell.  Was OK.
3. Global Keratin Juvexin Shampoo and Conditioner - received this via Glossybox and it made my scalp itch.  It could be the cold weather that we are having, but it was noticable enough that I have to rate this as a NO BUY.
4. Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo - in general, I like all Fekkai products, so would BUY.
5. Fekkai PrX Intensive Fortifying Mask (sample) - ditto see above, but I have to confess that I do not see a big difference between a "hair mask" and regular conditioner - I am such a heathen!
6. Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment - I like hair oils in general.  Since I have fine hair (just alot of it), I need to be careful that I only apply to the lower 1/2 of my hair, or it will be grease-city.  I think this stuff is pretty expensive, and I have a few others that I am trying out so will not be rushing out to re-purchase any time soon.
7. Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep - This is a spray that you apply to roots to give it volume.  Saw an immediate difference that did not last all day.  Too expensive for it not to last - NO BUY
8. Biosilk Silk Therapy - really smoothes out the hair, just need to be careful on amount used and placement. Again, have a few similar products that I want to use up before I purchase.
9. Clairol Natural Instincts Color Treat (step 3 in hair dye process) - this came from my box of home hair dye - yes, I dye my roots every 3-4 weeks.  I started going gray at 18, and need my monthly fix or I look like a Pepe lePew's girlfriend.  I pretty much buy whichever permanent dark brown dye is on sale, and sometimes buy in bulk if on clearance.  Sooooo sad..........

BODY:  I love body stuff.  Scrubs, exfioliators, oils, lotions, buffers, etc.  I have VERY dry skin, and tend to get scaly especially in winter.  I also like taking baths, but the tub in our house is so small, that it is just not comfortable.  So it is a bit surprising that I do not have that many empties, but I have 5-7 open containers right now.  I will try to use them up before trying the next new thing.

1. Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts in Relax - smell good, especially for night.  Kids used this most of all.  Terrific price for a large amount.  BUY
2. Philosophy Pure Grace Foaming Bath and Shower Cream - great suds, a little goes a long way.  This scent was a little too flowery for me.  I prefer clean, fruity scents for body washes.  May buy a couple other scents.
3. Philosophy Hands of Hope Cream - really like this hand cream, not a feminine scent so Hub likes it too. Have bought back-ups already, BUY
4. L'Occitane Hand Cream (sample) - have bought this in the past and may buy this when my Philosophy is used up.  It is a little richer, and leaves more of an emollient feeling on hands.  Can see using this more for night, or if I will be outside for long periods of time. BUY
5. Memoire Liquide Creme de la Creme in Amour Liquide - I got this in a QVC Beauty Test Tube and I liked how it applied and absorbed into my skin.  However, the scent is too sweet for me (creme brulee?).  I ended up using the last of it on my feet after the shower.  NO BUY
6. Ulta 3-in-1 Shower Smoothie - I mainly buy these for the kids since they love the smell.  They clean the kids, but the bubbles die out pretty quickly.  My son also has VERY dry skin so I need to make sure he gets some lotion on after using this.  Would only buy again when on super sale.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Haul: Baby did a bad, bad thing..........

Whatever happened to Chris Isaak?  I love his music and the fact that he was a Cali boy through and through. 

As I was looking at my holiday shopping loot, his song was running through my mind.  Of course, I did not have a hot (have no idea if he is still hot, where the hell is he????) surfer singing in my ear.   Only the sound of guilt-waves crashing through my brain.

Oh yeah baby, mama went shopping!  And not just once, multiple times.  So what did I haul?

Josie Maran: holiday set from Sephora, and F/F sale from JM website

Korres Scrub/Facial set, Orgins Vita-Zing, sample scrub from Laura Mercier
Holy Armani Batman!

Wet-n-Wild, LM, Dior gloss, UD, Tarte

Swatches from Wet and Wild Palette and LM Eye Color Stick in Khaki

Armani swatches
I am not going to list everything because I am lazy.  I just felt like I needed to document/record this for posterity.  I am still on the fence about a couple of the Armani items (will do a separate Armani Blog/review later) and want to give them a few more trys before I decide.

Just a call-out to the ones that I am really pleased with:

- JM Argan Oil Balm - I have been carting this around for my dry, cracked fingers and cuticles.  Have definitely seen some improvement in texture.
- Dior Lip Maximizer/Plumper - I just love the Dior lip products that I have (balm, plumper, lipsticks and lip liner).  I am holding out on getting any of the glosses since they have a brush applicator of which I am not typically a fan - much prefer the doe-foot type.
- Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Facial - love the smell of this cream.  I think you are supposed to wear this overnight, but my skin is so dry I am using it under my primer.  My skin is staying soft all day, makeup is not slipping, and all is right with the world!
- Armani Sheer lipstick #30 - great nude lippie!

HG Lips: Clarins Instant Light Perfector (and Book Rec)

Chicago continues to surprise me even after 2 years.  Do you know why Chicago is called the Windy City?  Most assume it is because of the wind coming off Lake Michigan.  While it can get tremendously windy, the city got its nickname from the "hot air" coming out of its politicians mouths at the turn of the 20th century.  When we knew we were going to be moving here, Hub and I read the book Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  It gave us great insight into the history of the city as it is now, as well as entertaining us with a true serial killer story - highly recommend!

Anyway back to present day, we moved here in time for the record-breaking blizzard of February 2011 which made us second-guess our decision to move here.  However, last winter and this winter (so far, hope I don't jinx us......) has been relatively mild.  It is actually going to be in the mid-60s tomorrow, in December!

My lips on the other hand are acting like it is in the 20s.  Dry, flaky, peeling etc.  So I broke out my summer lip balm/gloss: Clarins Instant Light Perfector.  These glosses/balms are DA BOMB baby!

They come in 3 colors: 01 pink, 02 peach, and 03 nude.  I love all 3 and wear them equally.  I keep one in my purse, one at my desk, and one by my bed.  I consider these one of my Holy Grail (HG) lip products.

Swatches and on my lips below (01 pink):

BUY them now!  You can get them at any Clarins counter (Macy's, Norstrom's) and Clarins Cosmetics USA website

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Morning Sunshine!

As a follow-up to my night routine, I decided to share my morning routine.  I do not wash my face in the morning.  I know some people do, and fankly I never really understood why you would assuming you have cleansed completely the night before.  What are these people doing at night?????  Rolling around in the mud?  Gettin all sweaty?  Well I guess all this could be true............however not for me!  Love ya hubby!

Anyway, after the potty and teeth brushed, this is what I do:

1. Press cold water onto my eyes.  My 2 biggest concerns in the morning are puffy eyes and making my makeup last all day.  The cold water on my eyes cleans out any goop, and wakes me up.
2. Apply Philosophy Eyes Wide Open under eyes to help the de-puffing process.
3. Lip balm to help lips stay hydrated under lippies (currently Korres lip butter glaze)
4. Moisturize, Clinique Even Better - on the fence with this, may not provide enough moisture to last through the day.
5. Eye Cream - using sample of Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Cream, really like this and lasts throughout the day.
6. Treat and Prime - CoverFx Hydrating Primer.  Holy Grail product!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A good night's sleep...........

When the weather turns cold (it is currently 17 deg F, feels like 9 deg brrrrrrrrrr), my focus tends to shift from color to skincare.  Though I am always trying to make my eyes bigger and nose less red, my biggest concern is skincare.  See, I have a confession:  I am a picker.  When my skin is dry and flaky, people, it is Party-time!  Pick, pick, pick.....

So to try to prevent my face from becoming a landscape of spots, flakes, and dry patches, I try to exfoliate and moisturize as much as possible.  Here is my night-time routine:

1. Remove eye makeup with Sonia Kashuk eye makeup remover and 2 cotton rounds.
2. Use a Cleansing Oil (currently Mac) to remove the rest of makeup, wipe it off with hot, wet wash cloth
3. Exfoliate with Clarisonic Mia 2 and a face cleanser (trying to run through my samples, will review during an empties post).  I do this 2-3 times per week.  For the other nights, I just use a cleanser and hot wash cloth.
4. Treatment - focus is primarily on brown spots (damn baby oil and sun when I was a teenager) and eveness/tone.  Thankfully, wrinkles and fine lines are not a big issue yet (or at least I do not care enough about those that I do have).  Using up samples, currently Chanel
5. Moisturize with Josie Maran Argan Oil.  I use about 5 drops for my face/neck.  I think the directions say 2-3 drops, but maybe my face is drier/larger than the average persons.
6. Apply current lip balm and smush lips together (Korres Lip Butter Glaze, may be drying out my lips, will use 1 more night and then decide).

Ta da!
 Night night!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TAG - 4 or More

One of the tags that is going around right now is 4 or More.  Essentially what it is: look at all your products and determine what products you have 4 or more of.  The thought is that if you 4+ of them, you must really like them.  The caveat is that it cannot be products that you bought in a multi-set (of which there are a TON out right now due to the holiday collections).

So I took a dive into my drawers and cabinets and this is what I found - very easy to see that I LOVE lip and eye stuff:
Revlon and Chanel - both ends of the spectrum!

For lips, I love Revlon lippies: lip butters, balm stains, and glosses.

At the other end of the spectrum is my Chanel Rouge Coco Shines - best combo of balm, color, and gloss ever!

For eyes:

Love me some liners........
 I love quads.  I just find them so convenient for travel. I have several palettes, but there is just something about a gorgeous quad that I find hard to resist.  From the pic above, again Chanel has my heart, followed by the Mac quads that I can customize.  The singles below the quads are from Burberry (who just released some new quads......I must resist) and they are just fab!

Next pic shows my fave drugstore shadows - NYX.  Smooth, buttery and super pigmented.  I need to use a light hand with the dark colors or I look like I got punched in the face.  Mac Paint Pots follow as a terrific base for covering up my multi-colored lids and helping the shadow stay put.  I need to make sure to use a very thin layer, or they do not set and end up creasing.

Liners - I love eyeliners.  Faves are pencils from Stila and Bobbi Brown.  These are waterproof (more like resistant), but smudgeable for a short time so you can avoid the 80's harsh line (oh come on we've all been there).  I am not too adventurous when it comes to colors, mainly sticking with brown and black.  But I love buying the olives, purples, deep navy........I just do not end up using them very often.

So that is it, not too terribly bad.  I have alot of other products but have not really hit the magic 4 yet for others.  I love these products and still have to resist picking up more of them (hoarder much?) especially when there are holiday sets with 5 liners for only $32 (hate you Stila!).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Loving.........ILY Couture Statement Necklace & DEAL

Courtesy of Michelle Money (from some reality show that I cannot remember and never saw), I bought a few of these Statement Necklaces from  ILY COUTURE

There is a great deal going on until 11/19, when buying one (or more) of these you can enter code MONEY and get it for $15 (reg $49!).  I ordered 3 more this week for Xmas gifts and love this deal.  They are bold and not for the faint-hearted!

Though I never saw her in a reality show, I do subscribe to her channel on YouTube: MMandLShow

She and her friend Laura are so funny.  Most of the time I think that they have had a few glasses of wine before filming and it makes me wish I was there in the kitchen swilling right along with them.

Taaaa Daaaaaa........Empties #1

Woot woot!  I have empties!  I realize that I started this blog to focus on reducing my cosmetics, but as we know from my last post, I am not really hitting my stride (ahem - discipline) yet.  But I need to feel like I am accomplishing something, and just seeing all these items headed for the recycle bin makes me feel sooooo productive.

Empties #1!!!!!!!!
The majority of these are completely empty.  However there are a couple items that I am tossing because they smell/look funny, and we all know that ain't a good thing when applying to your face/body.

So here are the items and quick thoughts on them:

Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter (super sized) - never again will I get such a large size!  Yes I know economically it makes more sense, but when you have the attention span of a gnat and want to move on, the never-ending size drives you bonkers!  That said, good hydration, love the scent - BUY

Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Balm (sample) - love, just wish I had less eye creams so I could purchase right now - def BUY

Eve Lom Cleanser (sample) - Blech!  Hate the smell and consistency, felt like I was spreading super-thick Vaseline on my my face and the muslin cloth it came with was crap - NO BUY

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - my basic make-up wipe.  I do feel like I need to rinse my face after I use these, but I get a huge amount for little money at Costco.  Not totally in love, but will keep buying them - BUY

Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Eye Cream (sample) - holy schlamoley, this stuff costs $265 full sized!  Good thing I liked the Kiehls stuff better - NO BUY

Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo/Conditioner (samples) - eh, ok?  I am not a hair goddess and I only wash my hair 2-3 times/week.  As long as it is clean, smells decent, and doesn't (unintentionally) turn my hair hot pink, I am ok with it.  Probably would not make special effort to buy it - NO BUY

 Befine Night Cream with Cocoa, Millet, and Rice Bran (deluxe sample) - good basic cream.  Used it this summer when it was humid and did not slide right off.  Better stuff out there. Not enough hydration for cold winters - NO BUY

Clairol Colorseal Conditioning Gloss - this came with my hair dye and I actually like it as an intensive conditioner.  I do not know if they sell it alone, but this tube lasts me a while and I have back-ups already.  However, this is due to the fact that my hair grows pretty fast and I have to do my grey roots pretty frequently, bummer - BUY

Origins Vita-Zing SPF 15 - bwaaaaahhhhhh, so sad I am done with this.  I held firm during the various F&F sales and did not repurchase this, but it was hard.  Love this stuff and will re-buy as soon as I get through my other SPF stuff - BUY

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.5 (sample) - coverage was good, did not cake or build-up on my skin - BUY

Lucy B's Roll-on Perfume Oils (samples/ Birchbox) - love fragrance oils, just seem to linger longer on my skin than typical perfumes - BUY

Heaven's Alchemy Fragrance Oil in New York - have had this in my travel bag for so long I cannot remember where I got it. eh - NO BUY

Josie Maran Argan Oil  - HG moisturizer especially for winter - BUY

L'Occitane Honey & Lemon Foaming jelly (deluze sample) - delish scent, just need a little to get lots of foam - BUY

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potuion (old packaging) - works terrific, but I did not finish since the paint (?) on the package started flaking off and getting on my lids.  Have a couple samples in new packaging, assuming performance is same - BUY

Giorgio Armani Regenessence Rejuvenating Eye Balm (sample) - little bit went a long way, only used it for a little time so could not see any difference.  Still like Kiehls above better - NO BUY

Alfred Sung Shi roller perfume - used to love this scent, have had it for YEARS and the scent has changed so I am tossing it.  Do not need any new scents - NO BUY

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation - bought this last year, color texture, and application was fab.  However, brought this out again for winter and there is a layer of greasy oxidized stuff on top.  Yuck - NO BUY

Chantecaille Foaming Cleanser (sample) - it was ok, felt a little grainy and am not sure if it was supposed to. Eh - NO BUY

Skin79 Super BB Cream (sample) - used mostly this summer, decent coverage, but it did wash me out a bit. - NO BUY

Trish McEvoy Precious Pink Jasmine (sample) - really liked this, but it is pretty light and more likely to wear it for spring/summer - BUY

CoverFx Brite Prep Primer (deluxe sample) - this has some luminizing properties and I really liked it.  Need to get through all my back-ups - BUY

Whew - that was actually quite a bit!  I have a few more items that I am on the tail-end of and may not wait so long for #2.  I am glad that I getting through these (especially all the samples) so I can focus on what I really like and in which I am willing to invest.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I suck.

As you may know, the Sephora Friends&Family sale is going on.  And the F&F.  And the Banana Republic F&F sale.  And (ELF Cosmetics).  Holy crap people!  What is a person just starting "rehab" supposed to do?????  Well, I'll tell ya.......




I started off so well.  Bought 3 items from, 3 items from  A crap-load from ELF because it was so darn cheap.  And I used EBates, so I earned cash back.  See how fiscally-responsible I am ?????

Then decided to meet K at Sephora "just to browse" and because she wanted to use my discount.  I am such a great friend, that I am willing to meet her there, just to help her out. 

Like crack, people.......

Ya know those mini-baskets that are there to help you?  Did you know that you can pack so much in there that your arm feels like it is going to fall off?  Well yeah you can!

And I have GUILT!  But not enough that I want to return anything just yet.  There is 1 item that I am on the fence about, so I may return it.  And of course I am thinking that I will return it and get something else because, you know, the money is already spent.

I have issues.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Current 10 Faves!

Hellllooooooo!  It has been a few days 'cuz life is just gettin' crazy!  I have a new boss at my "real" job and trying to get to know him and vice versa has been sooooo mentally draining.  No desire whatsoever to come home and blog.

BUT, I did put together my Current 10 Faves that I have been using and loving.  Again, not sure this will be a monthly thing, but just felt like doing it!

Look at me being fancy with Instagram!  I rock!

Top 10
1. ELF Golden Bronzer - just pure shimmery goodness
2. Chantecaille HD pressed powder - softens those wrinkles that are starting to pop
3. Korres Lip Butter in Guava - smooth night moves baby!
4. Kiehls Rosa Arctica eye balm - sample size, thinking full size when I can
5. CoverFx Skin Prep Primer - treatment, hydration, and primer in 1 product
6. Origins Vita-zing - just about out of this moisturizer, bummed I have so many others I have to get through
7. Real Techniques Setting Brush - perfect size for setting concealer under eyes, around nose, chin
8. Beauty Bleander sponge - not sure why it took me sooooo long to love this, have had it for months
9. Chanel Blush in 02 Rose Bronze - the smell, the sheen, feel so pretty when I use it
10. Smashbox trio in Proof Sheet - hey look neutral eyeshadows, I am so NOT surprised!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My first gig - here comes the bride!

My friend S's wedding was on Saturday and I did the make-up for the bride, 4 bridemaids, mother of bride, 1 junior bridesmaid, 2 sisters-in-law, and 3 flower girls.  Grand total of 12 people!  I started at 7:30am and finished at 3pm.  The ceremony started at 3:30 and I skipped it b/c I needed a shower and a nap!  I was able to rally, so Hubs and I had a "hot" wedding date!

The reception was at 6:30 and all ladies still looked great - so proud of my first paying gig!  There was one mishap with K's false lashes: her contacts were bugging her, she kept messing with them and one lash was 1/2 off.  Thankfully it was after pics and I was able to fix her up before the reception.  I did ask the photog to take some headshots so I can start building a portfolio.  I am still on the fence on how much effort I will put in to building this business.  Already having a full-time job, being a wife, and mom to 2 young kids takes time and tons of energy.  Thankfully, Hubs is soooooo supportive!

Here is pic of me doing one of the BMs:

And of a few us from the Chicago Book Club:

It was a beautiful wedding reception.  Very classy and personal and I feel very honored to have been asked to participate - thanks S!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite blogs is written by Karen in Novato, CA: Makeup and Beauty Blog.  She has a terrific sense of humor and I love her creative reviews/posts on products (as well as the luscious food pics).

This past week, she has been posting awesome Halloween costume ideas and one in particular stood-out!


I took her idea and am wearing it as we speak (yes, at work):

Here is the full "look"

For those of you that know me, this costume is somewhat ironic since I DO NOT LIKE CATS!  I am a dog-person, and am very allergic to cats.  Even the kiddos were questioning my choice as I was pinning their beloved "stuffies" to my robe.  I am not a fan of the felines.  I stopped at 3 since #4 would have been baby Simba from the Lion King and I refused to spend more than $10 on the costume.

My thinking on it is this: when else will I ever have the chance to wear pajamas/slippers to work?  I have never been in the office during Halloween (usually traveling for work), so I decided to just go for it.  There is a costume contest at noon, and am hoping there will be some great prizes!  Also I won't have to change into anything later tonight when I am handing out candy/taking the kids out.

Even the nails (love the Dollar Store - G & H are probably laughing at that!) are in theme:

Hope all of you have a great day and spooky evening!  Trick or treat!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tag - A to Z of Beauty

I was watching some of my fave beauty "gurus" on YouTube today and saw this video upload:

and I decided I wanted to do it as well. 

The Tag is to pick your favorite beauty/skincare/haircare  brand (A to Z) and your fave product from that brand. 

I am not sure if I have something for every letter, but I am going to see what I can come up with!  Thank you Total Beauty for a comprehensive list of brands: Total Beauty Brands List

A - Almay, Get Up and Grow mascara - gives volume to my longish/sparse lashes
B - Burberry, Pale Barley eyeshadow - great basic for day and night looks
C - Chanel, Rouge Coco Shine in Fetiche - perfect all day, everyday color
D - Dior, Nude Concealer in Beige 002 - terrific coverage and no drying
E - ELF, Studio Bronzer in Golden - see previous post
F - Fresh, Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose - great color and moisture
G - Giorgio Armani, Maestro foundation - like my skin but better
H - Herbal Essences, shampoos/conditioners - smells fab
I - IT Cosmetics, Universal Brow Pencil - rocks!
J - Josie Maran, Argan Oil stick and oil- keeps it soft in dry Midwest winters!
K - Korres, Lip Butters - every night for soft/smooth lips
L - LORAC, Pro Eyeshadow Palette - great combop of both shimmer and matte
M - Maybelline, Color Tattoos in Bad to Bronze - great everyday shadow base
N - NYX, single eyeshadows in any color - super pigmentation and range
O - OPI, all colors - my go-to nail brand
P - Philosophy, Eyes Wide Open - for my puffy, not quite awake yet,  morning eyes
Q - Q-tips (not sure this is a brand vs. product name, but that is how TB had it listed) - love me some clean ears!
R - Real Techniques, all brushes - fave brushes of all
S - Skindinavia, make-up setting spray - makes the face last longer through the day
T - Tarte, blush in Exposed - great natural philosophy and pretty cheeks
U - Urban Decay, Primer Potion - lets my struggle for decent eyeshadow placement stay put
V - Visine, eye drops - reference P above
W - Wet n Wild, eyeshadows - ties with ELF cheek products for BEST Beauty Bargain
X - ????????? never tried Xen-Tan so I am out
Y - Yves St. Laurent/YSL, Glossy Stains - most innovative, trend-setting product of 2012
Z - Zoya, nail polish - 2nd fave brand behind OPI

Whew, done baby!

P.S. while I was writing this, my 8-yr old was doing "hair salon" on it??????

Loving.........ELF Studio Bronzer

I use matte bronzers for contouring and giving my face a bit of color.  I typically do not see a need for shimmery, glitterly "bronzer" since I feel it makes your face look like a dimming disco ball - not a good look!

With that being said, I found a terrific shimmery bronzer that is an awesome highlighter - the ELF Cosmetics Bronzer (in Golden Bronze):

Courtesy ELF Cosmetics:
This is a fabulous highlighter!  The combination of 4 different shades is so versatile depending if I am using peaches, corals, pinks, roses, plums etc. for the rest of my "look."
ELF has 2 other Studio bronzers in Cool and Warm shades, but I did not see these at Target, and frankly the mid-tome Golden is just perfect for me!

And the 2nd bestest part?  The cost is only $3!  You can get this at Target (maybe - it is really hit or miss with the ELF inventory) and ELF online:

If you are not familiar with ELF products, I highly recommend you pick up a few items.  Brushes are decent and the blushes are comparable to NARS/MAC.  I do not have too many of their products, but I am loving those that I do have.  Prices range from $1-$10 for most products and ELF online has a special of FREE shipping with $25 order (code: SHIP25).  I am getting a couple brushes, lip gloss pencils, and a baked blush.  You can really stock up for so little!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LOTD 102812

Revlon Balm Stain in Crush, blotted, layered, blotted and topped with Burberry Lip Mist in Blueberry.  Great day look with berry lips

Friday, October 26, 2012

FOTD 102612

I have a ton of errands to do today in between working from home (WFH).  Kiddos have activities and a school H-ween party tonight, and karate belt test tomorrow.  The weather has turned relatively cold (mid-70s yesterday, low 50s today - love Chicago!).

I felt like trying out a look that I will be doing for the wedding next weekend.  A couple of the BMs requested a brown smoky eye.  With smoky eyes you need to be careful on the amount of product you put on the lower eye or else you could look very Goth.  S is getting married at 3:30 in the afternoon, with a reception later that night.  I want to do a day-to-night look, where I can add some extra liner and blush/highlight for the reception.

Here is the daytime look:

and the stuff:

Chanel Perf Lumiere in 30
Bare Escentuals in Summer Bisque
Dior concealer in Beige 002
Physician's Formula bronzer
Almay get up and grow mascara
Pixi black liner
Laura Mercier Color to go palette warm neutrals
Chanel Loose powder to set
Chanel lip liner in Natural
LM gloss in Baby doll

To bump it up for night, I would  add black liner in lower waterline, more mascara, shimmer at inner corner of eye, add deeper blush and highlight on cheeks.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall 2012 Beauty Trends & Faves

I am not sure if I will do monthly faves, probably only when I am feeling especially inspired.  For now, let's take it big-picture style and do season trends and faves.

For the start of the chilly season, there are so many trends out there it can be difficult to decide which to embrace.  I have essentially decided to focus on 2 this season: deep lips and smoky brown eyes (but not at the same time).

Smoke in my eyes and daring lips!

It all begins with prepping this dry face of mine.  Night time is for oils, specifically Josie Maran Argan Oil.  Directions say to use 1-2 drops, but I need at least 4 to do face and neck.  Pitter, patter around for a bit and then off to bed.  And by pitter/patter, I mean try to get my kids outta my room and into their beds!  They love to do headstands, cartwheels and "exercises" in my room right before bed.  Too bad Mommy has NO desire to exercise......................

To start my morning face, I love Origins Vita-Zing and I have maybe 20% left.  There is a very very slight tint to it, but absolutely no coverage.  It is just getting chilly/dry enough for me to start needing more moisture in the morning.  I am trying to use it all up before moving on to Embryolisse (always wanted to try from Pixiwoo videos: - thank you Birchbox Points!  Then the CoverFx Serum Primer - love this!  Adds moisture, treatment, and extends the life of my make-up - the perfect trifecta!

For lips, I am loving the Revlon Balm Stains in Crush and Romantic especially for night.  In my wild nights at home with the Hub and 2 Kiddos (Friday Night Pizza and Movie nights anyone????), I really like the smooth consistency and the ability to re-apply without it building up in chunky bits.  I do add some Smith's Balm underneath to keep it all smoooooooth.  For day, I use more sheer tones of red and berry such as Burberry Lip Mist in Blueberry and Korres lipsticks.  At night, I do not turn out the lights until I have put on my Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector or Korres lip butter.

Swatches from top: Smiths Rose Salve, Korres Lipstick, Revlon Romantic, Mally gloss, and Clarins
For brown smoky eyes, I typically use the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Mahogany as a base with various shades from the LORAC Pro Palette.  Burberry also make some terribly beautiful shades such as Midnight Brown and Rosewood. 

Though the trend shows/fashion experts may say different, I just cannot wear both of these trends together - it just seems too too too much! For lips with a smoky brown eye, I usually pair a soft pink lip using my Mally gloss or Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.  Love this look!

Swatches from top: Color Tattoo in Mahogany, Mally eyestick in Plum, NYX shadow pencil, and Milani brown liner

LORAC Pro Palette: some fave shades/swatches (shimmer and matte!)
This post is prompting a few more FOTDs using these products and looks.  For pics though, I think I may have to bump it up so I do not look completely washed out!  Also thinking I may do some collection videos, especially my Chanel quads and Coco Shines, and Burberry shadows.

Monday, October 22, 2012

FOTD 102212

I debated a bit on whether or not to do a FOTD, but decided that I would like a way to keep track of what I wear regularly.  I figure this will help me know better what I really LOVE and what looks decent.  Here goes:

and the stuff:

CoverFx Brite Primer
Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
Hourglass stick concealer
UD eye primer
WnW Brulee
Chanel Rives quad
Maybelline Mahogany color tattoo
Kat Von D tattoo liner in Trooper
Tarte emphaseyes in black
Almay get up and grow mascara
Mac Dirty Blond for brows
JM Rosey stick for cheeks
Korres light trio in Santorini
Revlon just bitten in Romantic
YSL Sheer Candy #7 Sweet Fig

Now that I look at the pic on a bigger screen, think I need to up my blush application  I look pale.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Final Counts and next steps

Final inventory, way too anal, love spreadsheets:

Lips - pink/plums/berry20
lips - balms15
lips - pink/neutral14
lips - neutral19
lips - brights23
lips - total91
shadow bases19
single shadows14
shadow palettes - small15
palettes - large/mixed9
eyes - total139
Face - total113
Product Total379

Next steps:

Send some stuff to friends:

and swap on Makeup Alley (all posted)

I am going to start tracking what I am using up as well.  I have started an Empties bag and will post periodically as I fill it up.  Also thinking of regular posts that I could do on a regular basis such as: weekly/monthly faves, links/posts that I like, product reviews, deals/sales, etc.

End of Inventory!

The final categories and counts:

Face Primers - 14:

Treatments - 21:

Face Moisturizers - 22:

Perfumes - 36:

Grand total of all products dum da dum ta da!  379 - holy schnikeys Batman!

I need to FACE the music.....

Here is the down-low on all the face stuff........actually not as bad as I thought it would be after seeing all the eye and lip stuff.  It is pretty clear that I am on the hunt for my HG foundation since I have 19 (!) full/sample sizes.  Powders are minimal in my opinion since I usually have Sahara-dry skin except around my nose.

Let's break it down:

Foundations - 19:

Concealers - 8:

Powders - 4:

Blushers - 13:

Highlighters - 12:

Face total - 56

I am going to get pics and post data for face skincare/primers, but most of that is in sample sizes and I just need to stop buying full-size!  Have to confess that I am a bit worried that once the "no-buy" is triggered on 11/4/12 (with the F&F exceptions) that I may compensate with other skincare items (hair stuff, lotions, etc.) that I currently to do not binge on.  Gotta be strong!