Saturday, September 8, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
I'm not, I repeat, not a typical lipstick wearer. It feels dry on my lips and emphasizes any flakiness I might be sporting. So when I choose lipstick, I look for ones that are highly moisturizing and shiny - the closer to lip gloss, the better!
My pick for lipstick happens to be a three-way tie. They also happen to be the only three drugstore lipsticks I've tried in years, and I love them all. Best of all, you can get two of them for less than $2 each!
And the winners are:
- Revlon Shiny Sheers. This little gem of a lipstick bears a striking resemblance to MAC's Slimshine lipstick - a super creamy formula that's been popular with MAC addicts like myself. But at $7.99 (or less, if you find them on sale!), they are almost half the price of their MAC counterpart. My fave shade is Sheer Afterglow for a pretty pink pucker.
- NYC UltraMoist LipWear. For $0.99 (yes, that's right!), you might as well pick yourself up all 20 shades. These lippies go on very smoothly and give nice color payoff. My fave shade is Sheer Red, for those days when I want to amp up the drama.
- Wet 'n' Wild's Wild Shine lipstick. These babies are only $1.99, so picking up all 10 shades won't break your bank either. The lipsticks have the same soft-but-glossy consistency as my favorite high-end lipstick by Paul & Joe. The perfect "my lips but better" color is Oh Baby, a creamy natural pink shade (the number on the tube is 324A).
Bronzer is a staple for the summer. There's nothing better than instantly brushing on a gorgeous faux tan! My Holy Grail of bronzers, NARS Laguna, is fabulous, but at $28, it's not something everyone can afford. Luckily, there are some amazing bronzers out there at your local Walgreens.
My pick for best drugstore bronzer is a tie between two products - one that you can find at your local Walgreens, and one that you can't. At Walgreens, be sure to pick up Jane Shimmering Bronzer Powder. My fave shade is Tahiti (and trust me, you'll look like you just returned from there!), but the others are just as lovely. And you can't beat the price - $5.99. This bronzer might be best used at night, since it does have a good amount of shimmer. If you're looking for something slightly more matte, though still with a hint of shimmer, check out ULTA's Powder Bronzer. If you're not lucky enough to have an ULTA near you, check out their website - they retail for $10, but you can get them 50% off right now!
I go through a lot of powder in the summer. I'm constantly blotting with my favorite blotting papers (Clean & Clear!), then repowdering to hide the shine. As such, I go through a lot of powder this season! Luckily, there's a wonderful product that helps me keep shine at bay, and is insanely affordable. Once again, NYC is taking home an award for its Smooth Skin Face Powder. This gem of a product comes in two varieties - pressed or loose. Depending on your lifestyle and preference, one of these will be perfect for you. If you're always touching up on the go, try getting the pressed powder. If you only touch up at home, the loose might be your style. I personally am a fan of the loose translucent powder. I use a gigantic powder brush to place a fine dusting of the powder over my foundation to set my face for the day. Works like a charm. And you'll be surprised how silky this powder is for $1.99!
Don't despair, I'll be back again for a third installment of my top drugstore picks - concealer, lip liner and nail polish. I know you'll be waiting with baited breath - I know I would be!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Shadow is a staple in my makeup case, so finding quality, cheap shadows can be a challenge. The hands-down winner for best drugstore eye shadows, in my book, goes to Wet 'n' Wild. Who knew that such great quality could come so cheap? Literally, I have not been disappointed by a single eyeshadow I've tried from this brand. For the best value, however, you definitely need to pick up an Ultimate Expressions Eye Shadow Palette. For $4.99, you get 8 fantastic shadows with a quality that rivals MAC. There are a few options for colors, by my personal pick is the Paradise Cove palette - the rich browns, purples and mauves are striking on every color eye! But if neutral colors are more your style, the Sand Castle palette is another must-have. These are staple shades that every makeup maven needs in her cosmetic case. But heck, for $4.99 each, you can afford to get both - for less than the price of one MAC shadow!
Next to eye shadow, lip gloss is my true love. I carry more tubes of gloss in my purse on any given day than some people have in their entire makeup stash! One particular gloss that's consistently impressed me is Maybelline Lip Polish. You'll remember that I've sung praises about this gloss in the past, but I just have to reiterate - It. Is. Fabulous. The gel-based formula is not sticky, but instead is incredibly creamy and smooth. The color payoff is fabulous for each color I've tried. And it's only around $5 so you can't go wrong. If you can find a store that still has a display up for the limited edition City Safari collection, snag a tube of Papaya Kiss. It's a gorgeous peachy-coral color that will be perfect with your (fake) tan this summer!
I'm not trying to toot their horn too much, but my pick for best drugstore blush also comes from the Wet 'n' Wild line. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - Wet 'n' Wild Silk Finish Blush in Naive is simply amazing. The bright pink/color color will flatter a number of skin tones, and it gives you an instant glow when you brush it on. For $3, I suggest you stock up if you come across this gem. It's got quite the cult following, so it can be very hard to find. If you have a Kmart nearby, go peruse the cosmetics department, since this particular shade often pops up at Kmart stores.
That's it for now, but stay tuned for the next installment of my Top Drugstore Picks. On the docket for next time is powder, lipstick and bronzer. See you then!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Before I get into sunless tanners, I thought it would be interesting to examine the lure of the suntan. Who decided that brown skin was in? Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, a suntan was considered completely undesirable. A tan indicated a person spent a lot of time outside, which indicated the person was a manual laborer. While those workers were outside bronzing their skin as they worked in the fields, the wealthy classes lounged inside, in their pale splendor. However, in the 20th century, that all started to change. The working class started working inside at factory jobs and the like. Meanwhile, the wealthy class had the leisure time to spend time outside in the sun. Since then, the suntan has continued to evolve as a status symbol.
To safely achieve a status-symbol tan, consider using a sunless tanner. Sunless tanners are quite an ingenious invention. The basic principal is that the lotion (or spray, or towel - there are tons of options!) temporarily dyes the top layer of your skin using an ingredient called DHA. I'll be honest - the DHA can be a little stinky and very distinctive. But consider the trade off - would you rather allow the sun's rays to break down the DNA in your skin's cells (scary, huh?) in your attempt to get a glowing tan, or would you rather get a gorgeous tan by applying a lotion that, albeit stinky, keeps your DNA intact?
My favorite sunless tanner is a gradual tanner, which means it slowly builds up color in a way that look natural. I've tried my share of tanners, although there are definitely a few more out there I'm dying to try! But I have to say that Coppertone's Endless Summer Gradual Tanner is good stuff! The color is very natural, and even if you apply the lotion every day, you don't end up with ugly splotches after a few days, as I've experienced with other gradual tanners. The smell is very non-offensive (I've used much worse), and it dries pretty quickly!
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a day in the sun (with SPF 45) every now and again. But I'm going to rely on my favorite self tanner this summer to help me achieve my bronze glow.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Since it's late and I'm too tired to give you the skinny on both of these outstanding brands, I'll give you the highlights on one - Laura Mercier.
Laura Mercier, renowned makeup artist, has a line that's filled with timeless, flattering, chic products that make you look flawless. Her website says, "Laura Mercier's philosophy is simple. Making your skin look perfect is the first and most important thing you can do to achieve a truly great look. The key is to enhance your natural beauty - accentuate the positive."
Perfect is an understatement. I only have two Laura Mercier products - her Secret Concealer and her Secret Brightening Powder. I can't attest to how perfect her products make my entire face, but I can tell you that my undereye area looks damn near flawless.
I have undereye issues - dark circles, dry skin, fine lines from all the smiling I do... Usually, when I use a concealer, it's too dry, doesn't really hide the dark circles, and creases like mad. But when I use the Secret Concealer, which has a wonderfully thick but creamy consistency, my undereye is moisturized, totally concealed, and...thanks to the Secret Brightening Powder that I use to set the concealer...totally crease free!
Perhaps I should back up there. Do you know that you can "set" your concealer with a translucent powder to help prevent creases and add to the longevity of the makeup? If you use a poor quality powder, the fine lines under your eyes can be enhanced when you set your concealer. But the Secret Brightening Powder is ultra-silky and finely milled so the powder doesn't settle into your fine lines. The results are a smooth undereye.
Unfortunately, Laura's products aren't exactly budget-friendly. Both the Secret Concealer and the Secret Brightening Powder are $22. But trust me, you're going to want to "keep" Laura's Secrets in your makeup bag for a long time!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
On to better and brighter topics...makeup!
The right makeup brush can make a huge difference in your makeup application. I thought I had found the Holy Grail of brushes (Essence of Beauty Kabuki) to use for applying my bareMinerals, but I was wrong. Way wrong.
Upon the recommendation of many people on my most trusted source for beauty information, MakeupAlley, I purchased a foundation brush from a mineral makeup e-tailer called Alima Cosmetics. With baited breath, I waited for only a few short days (they have fabulously fast shipping!) for my brush to arrive. If this brush was anything like what I had heard, I knew I would be pleased.
Pleased is a drastic understatement of what I felt after trying the brush. Elated, awestruck, stoked. These words all come to mind. This definitely was the best purchase I made this month, and perhaps the best purchase I've made this year (with the exception of my iPod, but that doesn't count).
The brush is the softest thing I've ever felt. And the densely packed brush head makes for flawless mineral makeup application. Honestly, after doing my makeup using this brush, I don't know how I could ever revert back to my beloved kabuki.
If you get a chance, check out Alima's website. The brush is called #25 Foundation Brush. At $25, it will set you back a few bucks, but you won't regret it!
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
The product? Chanel's newest addition to its foundation family, Teint Innocence Naturally Luminous Fluid Makeup. On the Chanel website, they say this product "allows skin's natural glow to show through while it evens out skin tone and helps to conceal imperfections."
Indeed it does! The foundation is very light and fairly sheer, which is why I was shocked at its coverage capabilities. I have a few red marks on my face caused by my bad habit of picking at blemishes (which, thanks to my AHA Souffle, are slowly fading!), so sheer foundations do not usually work for me. But this foundation has a certain creaminess to it, that, even though it's as light as air, covers these red marks remarkably! Instead of having to put on foundation, then a few layers of concealer to hide these marks, I can use my Teint Innocence alone for nearly perfect coverage. With the help of a little concealer, my face looks darn near flawless!
However, this little puppy will put a bit of a dent in your pocketbook. At $42.50, it's not the most expensive foundation out there, but it certainly is up there in the ranks. Fortunately, I don't need to put much on, so it should last me for a while.
A word of advice: ask the Chanel counter for some samples before you take the plunge and whip out your credit card. Like fine wine, foundation is an extremely personal preference - what works for one person may not work for others.
And just so you know, I don't plan on abandoning my beloved Bare Minerals. A girl just needs a change every now and again!