Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Hits and Hell Noes



The Balm Hot Mama! Highlighting Powder, Eyeshadow, and Blush*: As someone with an almost perpetual flush, I’m not usually a blush wearer, so I was surprised by how much I love this product. My aunt gave it to me while we were rooting around in her makeup drawer, and I mostly took it because I felt sorry for the little, brightly colored package, unused and unloved. It says it’s an all over color, so I thought I would probably use it as a deep, rose gold eyeshadow. It looks gorgeous on the eyes, but one day I came down with a nasty cold. Worse, I had to go out in public while ill. Rather than look like I was near death, I popped this on, and it’s awesome. It has a very faint shimmer, but it’s not glittery, and it doesn’t make me look overly made up. This is the first blush I’ve ever habitually reached for, and I think it’s made a blush wearer out of me. 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: Once fall rolls around, my skin goes from combination oily to combination dry, so I set aside the mattifying foundations and go back to my old faithful tinted moisturizer. I’d forgotten how much I love this stuff. It’s oil free, so it doesn’t add too much moisture, and it has an SPF of 20, perfect when the skies are a deep, dark gray.

L’Oréal Project Runway Collection Watchful Owl’s Pout: Erm… so I bought this when it originally came out back in 2011 because… I’m obsessed with owls. There, I admit it. I can’t the first gal to buy something because of a name. I found it the other day, tore off the plastic wrapping, and discovered it was a stunning burgundy, which is very on trend this year. The color is beautiful, the formula is rich and creamy, and the lasting power matches that of high-end lipsticks. Well done, L’Oréal! Too bad it was limited edition, but I found a place where you can still buy it! Just follow the link. :)

Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream*: As much as I carry on about sunscreen, sometimes I forget about it. As in, I forget where I placed the bottle. Thankfully, I had a sample on hand, slathered it on before my tinted moisturizer — because when you are the pastiest of the pasty, SPF 20 doesn’t cut it on sunny days — and fell in love. When I kill off my current sunscreen, I might get this one. It doesn’t leave a white cast (not that it would be detectable on my skin anyway), and it doesn’t make me oily or break out.

Laura Geller Waterproof Eyeliner*: Another acquisition from my aunt’s stash that I don’t know how I’ve lived without. The color bone is perfect to use in the waterline when my eyes are so red I look like I haven’t slept in a week, and because it’s waterproof, it actually lasts on me, which most eyeliners fail to do.  

Michael Jackson's Thriller: I love me some MJ, no lie, but I listen to him more during October because Halloween and Thriller have gone hand in hand for me since childhood. They're like cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes; they just belong together. 

Shockingly, I don't have any hell noes this month aside from the nasty cold I had earlier on. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back to Red


I was born a strawberry blonde, and as anyone with a hint of ginger in their coloring knows, everything but reddish shades look artificial. I've been every shade of the rainbow, but I always go back to some shade of red. During the summer months I was an extremely pale strawberry shade, but as the red tint faded, it left behind an unpleasant cast that looked platinum in daylight and lemony under artificial light. It had to go. 



With autumn in full swing, I decided to go a bit darker to match the changing leaves. On a whim, I grabbed Clairol Natural Reddish Blonde. I'd never used it before, so I Googled reviews. After reading statements like "this is the natural color of my hair without the gray" and "you get the color on the box," I patted myself on the back for a choice well-made and went home to get rid of the faded mess. 

This is just a bit darker than my natural color, only without the gray

You get the color you see on the box



This has never happened before with any dye ever. After years of relying on Revlon and L'Oréal, I've become a Clairol convert. 

So what else should you expect if you jump on the Clairol bandwagon? Strangely enough, the dye honestly didn't smell. That overpowering ammonia odor that steals the breath from your lungs? I didn't catch a whiff. It smelled chemical-heavy -- it's hair dye; it ain't gonna smell like gardenias -- but it wasn't too strong. The conditioner smelled lovely and left my hair in great shape. Best of all, my hair doesn't glow pink or fire-engine red in the sun. It's a rich, russet tone that looks completely natural. 

Whether you're going blonde, red, or brunette, I'd suggest giving Clairol's aptly-named Nice 'n Easy range a shot.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

September Hits and Hell Noes


September turned out to be a hectic month, what with finally having major projects do for school, the chaos that resulted from by Colorado trip, and the death of our oldest dog. So I don't really have much of anything to show for the month because I very rarely wore makeup in Colorado, and I haven't worn a stitch since returning home. When I did wear makeup while traveling, I was happy to have two of my September faves on hand. I can't be without them now! Here we go, the good and the very, very bad. 



Givenchy Eclat Matissime*: This stuff is brilliant. Being ultra-pale, I've struggled with finding foundations that are a.) light enough for me, b.) don't make me oily throughout the day, and c.) don't break me out. Thanks to my friend Amanda, I've discovered this, which ticks all three boxes. The shade porcelain is perfect for my coloring. It has a faint yellow tinge that counters the redness in my face without looking like a mask. Best of all, it's a matte finish, so I don't end up shiny an hour later. I still need to powder after a few hours, but that's the story of my life. Best of all? No breakouts from the makeup!

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser: After the sample-size cleanser I brought along with me to Boulder turned my skin into a sore, blotchy, pimply mess, I dashed into Sephora and snagged this from the bargain bin near the checkout. I don't usually go for foaming cleansers since they're usually too drying and cause my skin to rebound by becoming oiler, but this is formulated with fruit oils and cleanses gently without stripping the skin. Within two days of using this, my skin was less sore, less red, and the blemishes were healing.

Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil*: Another tiny sample I got from Sephora ages ago, this little bottle was a lifesaver when my poor, abused skin was crying in pain. I used this day and night to help it heal, and between this and my Henriksen cleanser, my skin recovered. I may pop for the full size when my Advanced Night Repair is empty.

Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow: I keep hearing about how wonderful these are, and when the gal in Sephora remarked that the shade Hypnotique made for the easiest, longest lasting smokey eye ever, I grabbed the last one. It literally takes twenty seconds to do my eye makeup with this stuff. It comes with an adorable sponge applicator, but I just use my finger. It does crease after about eight hours, but it does so in a way that looks deliberately messy. I love these! The problem? Now I want them all, and they're pricey.

Philosophy Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser*: I have encountered Satan in a bottle, and it is this cleanser. Purity? Pure evil, maybe. I used this the first night on the road, loved the smell, and decided I'd ignore the squeaky-clean feeling it left behind. "I'll just use more treatment oil," I said. The next day, I had red patches on my nose and five new bumps. "It's the stress of travel," I thought. I continued to use this cleanser the first few nights in Boulder, and with each use, my skin felt worse. It was the cleanser. I hate to throw anything out, so I've repurposed it as shower gel. It smells nice and does the job. It does not belong on anyone's face. 

In other news, I've become obsessed with Instagram, so click the little icon on the righthand side of the blog if you haven't already. :)