Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 6.21.2015

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Last week I posted about our upcoming trip to St. Louis. We got back today and had a great time! Might have been nice to not have a typhoon hitting St. Louis while we were there but hey, have to roll with the punches, right?  This post is about the makeup I packed. Because at the moment, my brain is mush and it's all I could think to do! A popular video on YouTube is "What's in My Makeup Travel Bag" and I'm always astounded at how much some ladies take on vacation or weekend trips. I'm a a very light packer, pretty much have it down to a science. My philosophy is that if I really need something or the weather drastically changes, chances are I can run to Walmart and buy it. The thought of packing an extra sweater, an extra top, an extra this and an extra that is not in my nature. There are times I'm very risk averse, however, packing is not one of these. I throw caution to the wind!

The getaway was 4 days. I'm almost certain I would pack the exact same thing for a two week trip, maybe different lipstick shades in colder weather.

Foundation - Sephora Teint Infusion - Happens to be one of my favorites at the moment, high coverage but an extremely lightweight formula, still looks natural even in sunlight. I also wanted a foundation that would not disappear as my oil broke through. Long wearing is not important to me while on a trip (although this foundation does give me 8 to 10 hours of indoor wear) since we are rarely gone from the room more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. It can be applied with fingers. I'm not bringing a foundation brush on vacation! Last thing I want to to do is be washing brushes or sponges. I always pick a foundation that applies well with fingers and that is true of this Sephora foundation. Speaking of washing, whenever we return to our room, one of the first things I do is wash my face. Hotels always have white sheets. If we are back in our room, it means I'll be napping. Can't stand getting makeup on the pillow cases.

Concealer - Mac Prolongwear - Absolutely one of my top three concealers.  I can use Mac Prolongwear under my eyes and on my red nose whereas my other favorite concealers are only great under my eyes. This concealer wears beautifully for me under my eyes but you should know I do not have dark circles, only uneven tone. This is not perfect for my red nose but it will do just fine rather than bringing my Dermablend. Mac Prolongwear is also easy to toss in the purse to have if I need to freshen up my nose.

Brows - Anastasia Brow Powder in Medium Brown -This has two powder colors in it so I can define rather nicely with a light and a dark shade. This is always my go to brow product so a no-brainer for me to bring along.
Anastasia Brow Powder in Medium Brown
Shadow Primer -  Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden - This is a must have product for my oily and discolored lids. It is pale yellow pigmented to neutralize discoloration, matte, my shadows never crease and stay true for 12 hours and longer! Another no-brainer for me to bring this favorite product.

Face Primer - Cover FX Mattifying Primer.  In warm weather, I can't skip this step because I must use mattifying primers. Do they keep me matte? A bit longer and I'll take any improvement. I had a sample size of this one which is why I packed it. It was very warm in St. Louis, I think in the low 90s yesterday with high humidity. I think my blotting papers were much more helpful than this primer for oil control but the primer did keep my foundation in place.

Setting Powder - NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder - I'm liking this one lately and find it really keeps my foundation in place, especially on my oily nose.  Also, when traveling you have to know that any makeup in powder form might crack. This is very inexpensive and if it shattered, no big deal. The packaging is slim and lightweight making it easy to toss in my purse for the day.

Mascara - Too Faced Better Than Sex - I had this is deluxe sample size and like this mascara. I like most mascara but especially this one. This happen to be the first I reached for in my sample size stash.

Eye Lash Curler - I have several and the one I grabbed is a no name I bought at TJ Maxx, I think. I use a lash curler every single day with my stick straight, downward pointing lashes. This is an automatic step for me, not a special occasion step. Thus, I always pack a lash curler.

Eye Liner - Urban Decay 24/7 in Mushroom. I line the bottom of my eye with a taupe shade. Black liner, to me, looks harsh at my age and it closes up my small eyes. This is one of my three "go to" pencils and happened to be the one I grabbed.

Blush - Tarte Off the Cuff Palette - I have a few blush palettes I could have brought. My criteria is a pink blush, a peachy blush and a matte bronzer. Any of the blush palettes would work. I like the packaging on this one, it's relatively flat, has a nice mirror I can use for applying my makeup in a hotel room, and Tarte blushes are long wearing. This was limited edition and might be my favorite blush palette so I did hesitate slightly only because of shattering possibility. But I've taken this palette on several trips and it has survived. I rolled the dice one more time and it survived, again. Let's face it, even if it shattered I own plenty of other blushes!
Tarte Off the Cuff Blush Palette, Limited Edition
Eye Shadow - Too Faced Naked Eye Palette - Love this palette. Packaging is a bit bulky but still light weight. It has the perfect range of color with both matte and shimmer. I can achieve a super natural, daytime, tourist perfection look or a  dramatic, evening, let's celebrate with champagne look and everything in between. The packaging keeps the powder shadows safe and Too Faced shadows are not powdery soft messy pans so they travel well.
Too Faced Natural Eye Palette
Lipstick - Wet N Wild Balm Stain in Festival Fashionista and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart. I like jumbo lip crayons for ease, they don't melt in heat, easy to apply on the go and without a mirror. Both of these are happy bright summer colors and they leave a stain so I always have color on my lips which is great for those spontaneous touristy pictures. I always have a Dior lipstick in my purse so if I want to impress someone in the ladies room at Cracker Barrel, I can always whip out the Dior. I crack myself up.

Highlighter - Marc Jacobs Bright Idea - This is the one item I could have easily skipped. I did use it for our evening out, nice dinner, carriage ride night. This is a typical click pen style, easy to control, shatter proof obviously, takes up minimum room and does the trick! I must say if you are over 50, I think the "triangle of light" trick under the eyes is an instant age reversing trick.

4 Brushes - NARS Yachio, Wayne Goss 04 and 05, Sedona Lace Brow Brush. The Yachio is great for blush and because it comes to a pointy tip, I can use for contouring my cheeks. It can be a bit challenging for bronzer but with my self-tan, I don't bronze, only contour. And let's face it, if I had to bronze, of course I could make this brush work. If I was not self tanning, I would have packed a bronzing brush. The Goss brushes are my go to brushes lately for my eyes. I can apply lid color, crease color, brow bone and blend with these two brushes. I could use my finger if I had to, this isn't my first rodeo! The brow powder brush is my favorite.

That's it!


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 6.14.2015

It's Flag Day in the US! And one week from today is our wedding anniversary. We live in the Chicago area and could easily take 20 vacations in our own back yard and not run out of things to do. However, we decided to go away to a nearby city. We had Madison, Indianapolis, and St. Louis on the list and chose St. Louis. When we go away, we like to be tourists! So we will pack as much as possible.into the 4 days. Soulard for sure and a great little restaurant with a patio, some music and a killer Bloody Mary, Annheiser Busch tour, Saint Charles shopping and dining, celebratory dinner
downtown followed by a one hour carriage ride, meeting a Facebook friend for lunch or coffee, (I'm sooooo excited - we've never met, she's a friend from a beauty group!), Pappy's for BBQ if we can find an off time to go (will this really compare to the over the moon BBQ from Memphis? We shall see), we hear the Zoo is a treasure, and hoping for a trip to Kimmswick for more window shopping and a piece of pie at the infamous Blue Owl. I'm really looking forward to a day in Saint Charles. Are we doing the arch? No. Did that when the boys were younger and it was not an experience I enjoyed. At all. My anxiety was OFF THE CHART. Going up in that arch, more than once, was in the top ten "tests of motherly love" in my book. Never. Again.

Well, wasn't that all beauty related? No. But I'm sure a trip to the local Sephora or an Ulta we drive buy or hopping into a Walgreens to find that elusive Fergie palette will be involved. I see other bloggers and BeautyTubers talking about "What's in my beauty travel bag?" When we take a trip, my makeup bag is minimal. I'm a very light packer, always have been. It's America! If I need something, I run to WalMart and buy it, right? As I like to say, reality is, no one is looking at me except me and I seriously doubt that when the family sitting behind us on the tram at Disney go home, they will be talking lady in the hat who sat in front of us on the tram. Right? The only place the world is about me is right here on this blog. Which is why I love my blog!

Decisions, decisions. Now that I'm back in the swing of filming (I think I'm supposed to call it "creating content") YT videos again, I need to ponder the direction of my channel and the direction of my blog. I know many YTers use their blog as a place for better photos and swatches of products they feature on their channel, like companions holding hands skipping in a field of daisies. I don't want that. It's hard enough to talk about something once, let alone writing about it. And can lipstick be THAT interesting that I need to film AND write about it? As much as I love lipstick, and you know I do, I can't do a repeat video and blog. Link to my most recent YT video here.

You may see some experimentation on this blog. It may take a more Nutty Professor twist by using my fancy, singular interpretation of science to explain skincare or cosmetic knowledge. For example, when a pore is clogged, I call that gunk. Highly scientific terminology. Here's a snippet....BHA exfoliates gunk, AHA exfoliates snakes (picture snakes shedding their skin). I could, instead, explain that the difference is their lipid solubility.  BHA, beta hydroxy acid, is oil soluble and therefore is more effective at breaking up sebum and dead cells that fill your pores and AHA, alpha hydroxy acid, is water soluble and is more effective at dissolving the connective tissue holding dead surface cells onto the surface of the skin. I won't even talk about the proper pH of each or the difference in molecule size between mandelic acid and glycolic acid. So just remember, BHA cleans gunk, AHA cleans snakes. So much easier than understanding solubility, right?

I'm not in corporate Learning & Development but I have spent a good time of my professional career developing, training and mentoring peers and associates.I LOVE sharing knowledge, I LOVE gaining knowledge, I LOVE researching for facts, tearing away layers of opinion and getting to the nuggets of fact. Once I have the facts, then I look at opposing opinions. Only after sprinkling my magic dust on the facts and opposing opinions, I find peace. I've done public speaking and written manuals in my other career. I enjoy it and I'd like to extend my love of sharing knowledge about skincare, hair care, and cosmetics here on this blog. I hope it will help you make the right choices, spend your money on effective products and cut through the marketing messages in the glossy magazines and on shopping channels. Lots of wonderful products out there, I hope to give you the tools to help you select the best of the best for YOU and your skin, your budget, your style, your requirements which are different than mine.

Eco Tool Konjac Sponge - Very odd, indeed. When it's dry, it feels like a piece of styrofoam. maybe a bit smoother. It's that light and kind of makes the same sound as when you kind of smack a piece of styrofoam. Because it's completely normal to smack styrofoam. When you wet it, it gets completely soft and mushy. I'm not sure why, but I don't like the feel of it when it's wet. It's smooth and almost gel like. I used it three times and I'm done. This is not for me. But I have no idea why.

Alba Botanica Oil Control Lotion - I don't have acne, actually I never break out even with my very oily skin. This is a part of Alba Botanica's Acne Dote line. I'm sure I don't own every oil control lotion in the world....but I bet I'm close! I like this one. It seems to work better than most. What does that mean? I'm less shiny throughout the day. In other words, I still get shiny but not as shiny as without a mattifying product.

Everyone by EO Face Cleanser - I took out a second mortgage and went shopping at Whole Foods. How much for ground beef???? Is that a head of lettuce or head of green gold???? I'm perfectly fine with eating preservatives. After all, the more preservatives I eat, the more preserved I'll be, right? Got to say, all these chicks walking around Whole Foods are not looking that good to me. Completely emaciated. Of course, how could they afford to actually eat if they shop at Whole Foods? And for Pete's say, go put some gluten free lipstick on, would you?  Why, if I feel so strongly about Whole Foods did I go in there? Strawberries. I can't find good strawberries. So I took out a second mortgage and went to Whole Foods. Bought strawberries. They tasted the same (bland) as the strawberries I buy at Jewel. But I guess I won't glow in the dark since they probably weren't radiated. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Purity cleanser by Philosophy. This cleanser looked interesting. It was certified by every kind of free trade, gluten, natural, let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya organization I've never heard of. I really was curious to see what it was like. Eh. However, I did hug my tree today. Excuse me, I have to go eat a hot dog wrapped in bacon.

Emjoi Micro-Pedi Electric - This is by far one of the most incredible gadgets invented for those of us who are a little over the top about taking care of our feet at home. It's right up there with crock pot liners.I have the original, battery operated version. When mine starts to lose its effectiveness, I never know if its time to change the batteries or the roller. This would make me crazy. First world problem, I know. Saw a great price on amazon and bought the electric. Used it yesterday. My feet could be in some kind of a commercial.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in Melted Strawberry - If you like bright lipstick, this has to be in your collection. I'm always wondering if I have a favorite lipstick, if that is even possible. This one would be a real contender for that title.
Too Face Melted Liquified Lipstick in Melted Strawberry
Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale Haul - 3 Wick Candle in Bamboo Grass, Wallflower duo packs in Warm Vanilla Sugar and Frosted Cupcake, hand soaps in Pink Grapefruit, Boardwalk Vanilla Cone, and Perfect Beach Day, two Pearberry shower gels (hey, it's limited edition of an oldie but goodie), and Georgia Peach Body Spritz. Used my $10 off  $40 coupon.


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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 6.07.2015

If you follow my blog by email, thank you! 
To read this post on my actual blog rather than via an email here's a link back. 
By reading on the actual blog site, you see pretty colors and the ability to comment!

I went to Sephora this week. Not that you need instructions on how to shop at Sephora but Rule One e is wear comfortable shoes since you most certainly will walk the entire store no less than 137 times. Second rule, take a list of things you want to swatch or sniff or touch. Third rule, take a list of samples you want to request (sub rule: do not ever leave Sephora without requesting at least 2 samples). Fourth rule, prepare to enter Nirvana. Keeping in mind this blog is written for those with crow's feet.....Remember your ability to perfectly lip sync to Carol King's Tapestry album because it had all the lyrics, they about sum up my trips to Sephora..... "I feel the earth move under my feet..." or "My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hues" or "You make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like a nat-u-ral wo-man." Those were the days my friends (quick, who sang that?) of the best music ever! Favorite album? Not sure if Tapestry or Sticky Fingers or Led Zeppelin IV would get that award. Can't forget Abraxas. Honorable mention to Aqualung. Can we have a moment for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant? I'm completely off topic here but if you have not seen Heart performing Stairway to Heaven at the Kennedy Center for Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, stop this very moment, blast the speakers (heats up at 4:45), and click this link. You will get chills and I daresay, shed a tear for the memories...... (trivia, Bonham's son is on the drums). Anyone who followed my train of thought in this paragraph, take a bow.

If you haven't heard, I'm back to making YouTube videos. Rather fun, I must say.  Here's a link about my trip to the mothership.

Best Beauty Purchases in May
St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil - I did one of my "side by side" reviews between this and the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster. They are both terrific products. St. Tropez is easier to use. I apply it every night to maintain a nice subtle color. Neither St. Tropez or Clarins will give you a Hawaiian bronze. Here's my side by side video review.

St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil
Tanwise Self Tanning Mousse - The price point on this compared to St. Tropez, Vita Liberata, and Famous Dave's is significantly lower for a better, deeper color. I'm loving it!

Philosophy Lemon Custard Set - Painful to admit, I really fell of my wagon on the "no more shower gels for 2015"beauty resolution with this set. It contained, I can hardly admit it, a 64 (sixty four) ounce shower gel. This is one of my top 10 all time scents. In the set was also the most incredible body souffle, my heart be still, and a fragrance spritz.
Philosophy Lemon Custer 3 in 1
Ever Pro Gray Away - Multiple repeat purchase on this puppy. Holy Grail status. It's a spray that comes in hair colors and I use it to spay over my thin spots as well as gray outgrowth. All of three seconds and I'm done.

Tarte Beauty in the Basics Kit - QVC had this as a Today's Special Value. I fell in love with the cream foundation and the brush. The brush. My new all time favorite foundation brush.

Drawer insert system for lipstick storage -  Not that anything that has anything to do with makeup is life changing, let's be serious, but if something was life changing, this would qualify.

Worst Beauty Purchases in May
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder - The original, loose version is a favorite of mine. However, this was a chalky mess that left a white cast on me. Most reviews on this are positive. I tried several application methods and did not use too much. However, compared to other pore blurring or finishing powders, I have much better in my collection. My YouTube review is here.

Tressa Watercolor Shampoos - I rarely chastise myself on beauty purchases but this is one, actually four, that I'm kicking myself over. These are color depositing shampoos which I bought in four shades to enhance my color. I thought it would be fun to be a bit more burgundy one week, a bit more lush brown the next, a bit more auburn and so on. Nope. None of them make a difference. They were amazon purchases. I have to check on the return policy once I stop kicking myself.

Westmore Foundation - The daughter of the head makeup artist for Star Wars or some such movie has launched this makeup line, allegedly using movie set technology blah blah blah. Don't believe it. Very light coverage and not comfortable on the face. Even better, pores became craters.

Alterna Kendi Dry Oil Micromist for Hair -  I'm not sure this belongs on the Worst list but I was so very disappointed by this product. I had high hopes it would solve my frizz problem. It helps but does not nearly solve it.
Alterna Kendi Dry Oil Micromist
Edits and Deletes
Cover Girl Lipstick - The formula that was out previous to the current collection was horrible. Gee, that helps. I love applying lipstick. Long wearing formulas don't matter to me because I like reaching for the tube during the day and refreshing my lipstick. That said, this previous formula of Cover Girl didn't even last the morning commute. Where does it go? I pulled these all out from my collection. Delete.

Hey, Honey, Take It Off Peel Off Mask - Some of us care about packaging, some of us care about results, some of us care about price. I care about scent. In some things, I want no scent. In things that are scented, if I don't like the scent, I won't even try to make it work. That was the case with this mask. I detested the scent. It did not smell like honey. It smelled like cheap perfume. Delete.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara - Trying to work through my mascara this month, especailly the samples, many in duplicate and triplicate. The Estee Lauder will be removed from my collection. It's a fine mascara but the brush is too big for my eyes. Edit out.

Upcoming Side by Sides
The weather in the Chicago area is finally climbing into the high 80s this week. I detest hot weather so this is not at all exciting for me. It does, however, give me the chance to run some side by side comparisons of various mattifying products. A "side by side" is when I use a product on one side of my face and not the other. This gives me a true performance evaluation.


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