Friday, December 21, 2012

How I've Missed You ... (BB CREAM!)

all so much! I'm so sorry for the HUGE delay in updating my blog posts! Life has been insanely hectic lately and I'm sans computer so I'll do the best I can until I get a new laptop!
Zoe - 11 months old!

Well Merry Christmas just about everyone! I hope you're all enjoying the holiday seasons and that Santa will be good to you! My little Zoe will be 1 on the 29th and I just cannot believe how fast this last year has gone by! I'm so grateful to any of you that are still out there reading my older blog posts and that will continue to read my newer ones and for being so patient with me! Zoe has had me running around so again, I apologize!

Without any more delay ...


I know, it's been talked about. Every brand and their mother makes a BB Cream now and its on all the shelves of drug stores, beauty stores and even at the high end department store counters. Here's a real quick synopsis of what the hell BB Cream actually is for those of you who've missed the boat and then I'll tell you about my favorite one!

BB Cream stands for a variety of things. In East and Southeast Asia where it began its popularity, it stands for Blemish Balm or Blemish Base. In the Western markets, where I'm sure it is unnecessary to say BB Cream has gained popularity, it's widely known as Beauty Balm.

The real wonder of the little tube is its multi-use abilities. It is designed to be an all in one product. It is intended to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock, essentially saying all your skin care, makeup, and sun protection in one little tube.

While I LOVE my BB Cream, I disagree personally that it can replace ALL of these items. First and foremost, while it may be a substitute moisturizer for some and maybe more useful in the summer, it doesn't pack quite enough moisture for drier skins, especially in the winter.

Serum? I don't think so. Serums are SO personal. There are so many out there for so many different skin concerns and one BB Cream universal for everyone aside from 3 different shades cannot replace any and every serum. If you are using a basic serum and have younger skin, it may be good enough, but in general, don't kick your serum out yet!

It can certainly replace foundation has it is opaque and helps fade blemishes, redness, and discolorations. However, unless you have pretty flawless skin, it only DIMINISHES! It doesn't hide true problem areas, it makes them fade out a little.

In my opinion, the BB Cream makes for an excellent primer/lightweight concealer. It fades my redness, diminishes my dark circles, and makes any pimple less noticeable. It also does hydrate my skin as far as primers go, but I still use a regular moisturizer morning and night, but for a little kick-start of hydration before applying my makeup, it's perfect!

It, of course, is a wonderful sunblock as long as it is worn daily and has a decent SPF, though most major companies distributing BB Cream to our stores have included an SPF so that's not a big worry when shopping.

Dream Fresh BBMy personal favorite is Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream. It comes in 5 shades online, but you'll generally find 3 in stores: Light, Light/Medium, and Medium/Deep. Most people will fall into the Light/Medium shade. If you are very fair with pink undertones, go light and if you are tan, especially with an olive pigment, choose Medium/Deep.

At Target or Walmart, it's generally around $7.50 and at Ulta, it is $8.99, but with their coupons, especially if you're buying a few other things, they can offer a better deal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How've you been?

Hey! I missed you all! I'm so sorry for the infrequent postings and general lack of posts lately! My life has been hectic to say the least, but it seems to finally be coming together. My hubby is all settled in at his new(ish) job and doing extremely well ... and not only that ... he loves the job & they love him! So happy and proud of him. Our little Zoe is growing TOO quickly; she'll be 10 months on the 29th. She's a little behind schedule with teeth, but her bottom two just broke through a few days ago! She is days away from walking and growing beautifully. As for me, oh boy! My ankle is a mess and I've been sick for WEEKS, but I'm working on it!

Anyway, I know I'm going to be a week behind (I'm sorry), but October's Beauty Week will begin this Sunday, October 21 and I'll plan to continue all future beauty weeks as they were: occurring the week of the 15th each month, beginning on the Sunday of that week. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding.

I also got an update from AdSense and it seems ads on blog feeds will be leaving so you'll be saying bye to those soon too. Feel free to visit any of the side or bottom ads while they're around if you find anything relevant or useful in them!

I would like to give the heads up to my readers that Forever 21 will be having their Friends & Family sale this Sunday, October 21, 2012!!! If you visit them online, you'll find a banner along the top suggesting you to subscribe for e-mail updates to get info on sales, deals, and especially the F&F discount on 10/21! I'm anxiously awaiting the announcement of what the actual sale will be; I've heard 20% off, but not quite sure since they seem to use a theme of the number "21" when it comes to sales days, return window, and so on so I guess we shall see!

Forever 21 recently reopened their new store in the King of Prussia Mall with a new space, which is now two floors and features TONS of new stock! They now offer Forever 21, Love21, Forever 21 Girls, 21Men, Forever 21+ Plus Sizes with a huge variety to choose from! They also have a big accessories section with jewelery, shoes, purses, scarves, and more!

They have amazingly low prices and a big range of looks, styles, colors, and sizes. The only downside I've found to this store is that you MUST be sure of your purchase before you make it since they have a very strict return policy. All returns must be made within 21 days of purchase date, you must have your receipt and the tags must still be attached. All returns are either exchanges or can be returned for store credit-no monetary reimbursement! It's well worth shopping here and the drive out, if you're not close to KOP (or wherever your Forever 21 is), for the amazing selection and value! I got a whole head-to-toe outfit (purse included) for around $80! This included a pair of skinny jeans, a cute top, a skinny belt, a pea coat, and purse! Killer deal, right??

Anyway, this post was much longer than I meant to make it, but I'll keep you loves updated on the F&F sale! Don't forget to visit Forever 21 in store and online and sign up for the e-mail updates!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Clearasil Acne+Marks Spot Lotion Review

I was recently visiting my local Dollar Tree (surprising, I know ;) ...) and can you believe they already have Christmas decorations out?! I mean we're not even in October yet and some of the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations shelving have been given up to Christmas! While I adore the Christmas season, I think we could slow down a little, huh? Anyway, back to the point of this post ... as the title says .. Clearasil Acne+Mark Spot Lotion! .. and for $1.00!

I have tried many an-acne spot treatment and some work really well, others don't do a thing, and one even scarred a pimple onto my face! In my experience the percentage of salicylic acid is what makes the difference. It has to be high enough to actually do something, but low enough (for everyday users anyway) to not burn your skin. Obviously prescribed acne treatments can often have a higher percentage when necessary or even a stronger medication. I have found that for everyday, random pop-up blemishes, 2% is the perfect amount. Not too strong, but effective. This spot lotion has just that-2%.

Another issue I've found with even effective ones is that they burn horribly when applied and have a very strong smell. God forbid you were cursed with a blemish around your nose or eye area and have to use one of these. You'll be pouring tears from the combination of the smell and burn.

This product has a very soft smell that is pretty pleasant and doesn't smell like medication. It doesn't burn at all and is, just as the name says, a lotion. It's not a gel or a clear liquid like many others; instead, it's a white lotion. You can apply it strictly as a spot treatment or over an area of blemishes or previous acne scars.

My husband and I both gave it a try. I have very occasional, small blemishes, while he gets more boil-type blemishes. He only gets them very sporadically now, but used to have bad acne and has acne scarring. We both found that it did not burn or have a bad odor. We also found that it reduced the size and redness of blemishes for both of us, from small pimples to boil-sized blemishes. As far as the acne scarring, we haven't used it long enough to see its effectiveness on that. So far, so good for its name and promises and I will keep you posted on its ability to erase prior acne scars.

From my research, it appears that this product has been updated and that new product is on the shelves in stores now, but this one is at the Dollar Tree and a few other stores, like Walmart. However, it is $6.17 online on Walmart's website so give your Dollar Tree a try! Big savings! AND Dollar Tree now accepts manufacturer coupons!!! Here you can find the new version from Clearasil!

Friday, September 21, 2012

One Month, One Week, One Day Before the BIG EVENT

We all want to prepare our skin so it's in its ideal condition for that big event. As we are in September, we have upcoming weddings, whether its our own, one we are in, or just one we're attending, holidays are arriving which is when we see all the relatives we don't see often, or maybe you're heading back to your home town and want to show that ex of yours what he missed out on when you run into him at the grocery store, or just want to prep your skin for the change of seasons. Whatever your reason, simply piling makeup on your skin, especially skin that needs some TLC, is not the fix. A great look, makeup or not, begins with great skin. I'm going to give you some advice for preparing for a big event whether you have a month, a week, or only 24 hours to prepare!

One Month:

When you have an entire month to adjust your skin's condition, you have to start from within. If you don't eat or drink properly, you gain weight and it shows when your clothes don't fit, right? Well when you're not ingesting the proper nutrients, it shows in your nails, hair, and of course, your skin! Water is ESSENTIAL. Hydrating from within makes skin glow. Eat lots of fruits and veggies for the vitamins and of course, because they are high in water content. It is also advised to avoid (or at least lessen) your intake of caffeine. Green tea and pure cranberry juice (***not from concentrate***) have always been known to have amazing health benefits internally and they are great for your skin too! Eating salmon is also wonderful for your skin.

If you are acne prone, lower your intake of saturated fats. Increase your water intake and eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. And I'm sure it goes without saying, but, STOP SMOKING! Smoking is HORRENDOUS for skin ... and pretty much everything else.

When you have a month to prepare, feel free to try different skin services. Whether you visit the spa or a dermatologist, or simply do at-home kits, a month is an ideal amount of time to try something new. Microdermabrasion for example leaves skin red and irritated looking for a few days and if you were to have a bad reaction to something new, you'll have plenty of time to recover. Glycolic peels work the same way in that you need some down time before applying any makeup. If you have drier skin, give oxygen therapies a try!

One Week:

This is the time to just maintain your skin care. Trying anything too rough or new is a big risk with only 7 days from a big event. Oxygen peels or masks are ideal at this time because they hydrate and renew the skin with big, noticeable changes without the need of any recovery time.

At the one week mark, your best bet is to maintain your healthy diet, increase your water consumption, stay faithful to your skin care routine, wash makeup off daily, and if you do anything "special", make sure it's something you've tried before, with no risk of an adverse reaction. Again, oxygen masks are generally a safe way to go.

One Day:

Let's face it: Rome wasn't built in a day. Whether you've been faithfully taking care of your skin up to now or are just beginning to worry about it, there isn't much more you can do with 24 hours notice. The key is rest. Rest yourself and your skin. Don't overdo exercise or try a whole bunch of products. Drink plenty of water, eat well, and take a walk. Get the body moving and blood flowing, but don't exert yourself.

Even if you've taken immaculate care of your skin, blemishes pop up; that's just life. And I know every woman out there feels like they'll be the "one" to get a pimple right on the tip of their nose the morning of their wedding. It happens. Don't cake on tons of concealer or try to pop it because not only will that look bad in pictures, you'll end up oozing and scarring! If you notice it the night before, try a trusted, PREVIOUSLY USED spot treatment. The morning of, apply cold to lessen the size and redness. Wrap an ice cube in a thin kitchen towel and just rest it over the pimple for a couple minutes. Apply one layer of concealer to reduce any residual redness and continue with your makeup regimen as normal (or as planned for the big day) and know no one is perfect!

The most important thing to remember, no matter how much time you have, is to relax. Stress is proven to be so bad for us, inside and out, so stressing about your skin care will just cause more problems! Relax, enjoy your skin care & makeup, and have fun at your big event!

If any of my lovely readers have any questions about preparing for an event, specific products, or makeup for certain events, comment below or visit me on Facebook! I love hearing from you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Subtle Saturday

I apologize for the late posting! Happy Saturday, loves! It's been a hectic day and I just got to a computer so I apologize if you've been waiting! I'm making it in under the midnight mark though so it's still fitting to be called Subtle Saturday! Here it is, just for you!

Subtle Saturday (#3 September 15, 2012)

I know today is Saturday so the last thing (hopefully) on your mind is work! Maybe you do work weekends so this could apply to you this weekend, or on Monday, or any day soon! I know the economy is in rough spot and finding jobs is NOT easy right now. Believe me, I know! There are so many key factors to getting the interview and landing the job. Your answers in those little personality quizzes when you apply, your cover letter and resume, your voice mail answering message when a possible future employer call all weigh into their decision and opinion of you. So let's say you get through the application and they are interested and call you in for an interview. Here's the key part! You've got a foot in the door in the sense that they now know your work history, a little bit about you (professionally anyway) through your cover letter and application, but now you have to wow them during your interview.

It's not really fair to say, but it's true: a book is judged by its cover. Let's face it, if you don't put yourself together for the interview trying to get a job, especially when it's so hard today, when are you going to? The key is polished and professional, basically putting effort into your look, showing you care about yourself and how you present yourself. Now for makeup lovers and non-makeup lovers alike, what is the "right" thing to do as far as makeup and hair and clothing? Do you go all out to show you care or is there such a thing as too much?

Here is my opinion:

Clothing: I believe the clothing for any interview, from McDonalds cashier to CEO should always be professional. Your clothing should fit properly (too tight AND too loose are NOT good) and be clean, as well as neat. Whether it be ironing, tucked in, buttoned, whatever that particular outfit should look like ... make sure it does. Choose professional colors: black, brown, navy blue, gray, tan (or in those color families). Pops of color can be okay, especially in artistic fields, but make sure it's classy and professional. Pants should be worn appropriately and shirts should NEVER be low-cut. Shoes should always be professional too: heels, flats, anything that matches your outfit. NEVER EVER are sneakers, flip-flops, or casual sandals appropriate. The key, in my opinion, is you should *ALWAYS DRESS FOR AT LEAST THE JOB POSITION ABOVE THE ONE YOU ARE INTERVIEWING FOR!* This means that if you are interviewing for a stockroom position, dress as if you're going to be selling on the floor, and if you're up for a sales job, dress the part of a manager. It shows that you care about your interview and not only want future advancement opportunities, but allows the interviewer to see you in that light.

Hair: I'm going to focus mostly on women for this. Essentially, just make sure your hair is done! No crazy colors (unless it's a funky hair salon where that would help your case), meaning only naturally available shades. If you're a blonde, but went dark, that's perfectly fine! Just make sure it's a form of a color you could have been born with ... aka no aqua blue or Hulk green or neon pink! Whether you style your hair curly, straight, wavy or somewhere in between, today is not a day to forgo it! Style your hair and make sure it will stay that way with gel, hairspray ... whatever. No messy buns EVER, but well-kept "ballerina" type buns are perfectly fine, and very "in" right now! Ponytails I'd personally avoid, as that more says "gym" or "cleaning" than "professional- HIRE ME!", but certain styles may be okay. If you question it, don't do it.

As for the men, just well-kept. Brush your hair if you have it, apply product to keep in place and whether you shave your face entirely, keep some facial hair, or grow a full beard - groom it!

Makeup: This is a BIG thing! For women, the fact is whether your interviewer is a woman or a man, makeup matters. Maybe if you're going to be a scientist in a back lab it won't, but in general, it will. It shows you care, that you put time into your look in the morning. Don't feel as if you need to go insane and create a look that would be in a MAC cosmetics ad (unless of course you are interviewing for them!). Just do a look that fits you. Be sure to conceal under your eyes and any redness (typically around the nose and anywhere else you may have it), blend and even out your skin tone and set it with powder. DO NOT FORGET PRIMER so your makeup can stay put! Bring blotting sheets or oil-absorbing powder for just before to touch-up. Soft eyes, like a light-brown smokey eye, are great to look professional and elegant. Thin liner is perfectly acceptable; however, if you're a fan of lower lash line-lining, only go with the waterline. Your lower lash line can be perceived as a "going out at night" look rather than professional. Of course, apply mascara and do your brows. Blush is a key piece too to add color so you don't look washed out and ghostly. For your lips, I'd go simple for most job position interviews. Nudes, pinks, and peaches are ideal. I would recommend lip stick and gloss for staying power and so it will be visible.

The key is to looking professional and hire-able and avoiding looking over or underdone. I felt this was pretty fitting for a Subtle Saturday because to me, interview looks are just that: finding subtle ways to appeal to your future employer! Dress, accessorize, and prepare yourself like you care and it shows! Best of luck, loves!

Feel free to visit me on Facebook for more looks or look throughout my blog too! If you have any questions or ideas, comment below or write me on Facebook!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fierce Friday

It's Friday! Woohoo! The weekend has arrived and it's time to let your hair down! Or put it up .. or style it .. and throw on some makeup ... and paint the town RED! Not to mention what's in this season, RED LIPS! Today is a post on a Friday night look just for my BEAUTIFUL readers! Let me know what you think!

Fierce Friday (#3 September 14, 2012)

Here it is:

1. Apply your flawless face, concealing anything you need to, blending, and creating a perfect canvas! Apply your bronzer & blush. Here is the link to the "Flawless Face" post from not too long ago!
2. Next, prime your eyes and apply a matte beige shadow on your entire eyelid.
3. Now, add a deeper, neutral shade with a shimmer to your lid from lash line to the crease. Work this color into your crease as well.
4. Next, apply a deep color (I used a plum red shadow) in your outer corner for a more dramatic look. You don't want to use black or build the color up too much because it will end up competing with your lip look.
5. Add a light, soft, shimmery peachy pink shadow as your highlight color on your brow bone and inner corner. This will open your eye area and make your eyes look brighter.
6. Line your upper lash line and lower water line with a dark brown liner. Apply mascara and fill in your brows.
7. TIME FOR LIPS. Simply apply a red lipstick. I used a cherry red color for this look for a bright, pop of color. I applied a clear, blue lip gloss over top to make the lip look less matte, to hydrate my lips, and to bring on the blue undertones in the lip color instead of orange hues. Blue toned colors also whiten teeth so there's a little extra bonus from your gloss!

And there you have it! Fierce Friday Night look with sexy, red lips!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teaching Thursday


Happy Thursday! We are officially in the end half of the week and I hope you're enjoying yours so far! I hope you are all finding September's Beauty Week interesting, helpful, and informative ... and of course FUN! Anyway, here is Teaching Thursday!

Teaching Thursday (#3 September 13, 2012)

Today's teaching post is about a great, artistic, new nail polish trend: Ombre Nails! It's that two-tone nail polish look where one color fades into another. It looks somewhat difficult right? Like maybe I need lots and lots of practice to do that? Nope! It's really simple. All you need is 2 color polishes and a top coat.

- When picking your two colors, you'll first need to decide the look you're going for. For subtlety, you'll need two colors that compliment each other or for a more bold, dramatic look, try two colors that would otherwise be "opposite" or clash.

- You'll also need a sponge. A makeup applicator wedge sponge is perfect for this. You should also keep near by a tooth pick and a protective cover (newspaper, magazine, foil, etc.) since this gets a little messy!

Picture from StyleCaster
*First: Begin by applying the lighter of the two shades. Make sure it dries completely.
*Next: On a flat surface (ideally on foil or wax paper), paint a good amount of each color right next to each other. Make sure they touch.
*Then: Use your tooth pick to swirl the colors together where they met. The area which you swirl it will determine the length of the graduation of color. Long graduation=bigger section mixed; less fade=mix only slightly.
*Now: Take your sponge and dab it directly over the swirled nail polish a few times. Dab the sponge directly on your nail, with the lighter colored side (your base color) closest to your cuticle. Continue to dab it lightly and move very slightly up and down the nail.
*Feel free to repeat this step as much as you'd like to achieve the desired effect and pigment. It is very important to be SURE each layer is COMPLETELY DRY before adding another. If it's not, it will likely smear and ruin the entire look.
*Next: Apply the top coat to seal and protect the color from wear and chipping. The sponging effect makes the nails somewhat bumpy so you may want to apply a few layers of top coat to smooth it out.

As you may have already guessed, this is a messy nail polish application. Using the sponge will undoubtedly leave your entire fingertip covered in polish. Simply use a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to spot-remove excess polish. You can also use a small brush (tiny paint brush or lip or eye liner brush) dipped in nail polish remover to clean up a little more precisely and around the cuticle.

AANNDD! Don't forget to revisit last month's Teaching Thursday post for amazing, quick, INEXPENSIVE tattoo concealing!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, aka Wednesday, loves! The week is half over ... yay! I hope you're having a great week so far and are enjoying all September's Beauty Week has had to offer. I'm curious if any of you have plans to recreate my Philadelphia Eagles makeup look or even create your own for your teams colors? Have any of you ran out to try the Sally Girl mascara? If you haven't, go do it! It really is great! I hope you enjoyed my information from yesterday on all the different nail polishes and some tips on telling the duds from the deals and maybe I let some of you know about a great, inexpensive nail polish brand!

Today's post, as I'm sure you already know, is "Wellness Wednesday", which is quickly becoming my favorite. It's my one day a month where I devote an entire post to overall wellness and tips for you that I find generally from my First for women magazine. I love to share these interesting tidbits I find with my readers and share with you all an AMAZING, inexpensive magazine that offers so much, for us normal people especially! Don't forget to check them out the next time you're standing in line at the store and give them a go! The subscription is TOTALLY worth it!

 Well without any more discussion, I'm going to begin Wellness Wednesday with a tip you can use some of yesterday's post for:

Wellness Wednesday (#3 September 12, 2012)
(Tips from First for women magazine Sept. 10 2012 edition)

^ from my First magazine on Facebook!
1. Hate it when all your keys look the same and it takes you 10 minutes to get in the door after trying your whole ring to find it was the last key? Don't mix them up anymore with a simple, essentially costless idea: NAIL POLISH!

Simply take a different color for each key (any polish you have lying around will do) and paint the top portion. Let it dry entirely then paint the other side. Finish with a top coat or even a paint sealant and you're good to go! (pg. 6)

2. Two birds, one stone to ease the pain of sunburn? Yes, please! We all know the AMAZING wonders aloe works for tight, dry, painful sunburned skin. Try filling an ice cube tray with the gel you buy for sunburns and let freeze! The cold and aloe combined are a treat to such sensitive skin! (pg. 6)

3. Hate that tight, rough feeling of brand new jeans? Try this! The first time you wash a new pair of jeans, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash. First magazine tells us "The vinegar's acetic acid breaks down the starch (which manufacturers add during weaving to keep jeans looking crisp) while the alkaline baking soda dissolves the residue left behind, softening the fabric. Just be sure to wash the jeans inside out to prevent fading." (pg. 15)

4. Ever struggle with varicose veins? Want to erase them without surgery? Eat more basil! First tells us "to reduce the appearance of dark blue veins, season dishes with basil. According to a study in the Journal of Vascular Research, the vitamin K in this herb helps prevent minerals from coating vein walls and clogging blood flow-which stops blood from pooling downward and keeps veins from stretching and bulging." (pg. 29)

5. Special event tomorrow and just found a pimple? Clear a blemish overnight! First tells us that simply "mixing 1 tsp. of sugar with a few drops of water, then dabbing on the affected skin, and leaving it to sit while you sleep" will make it disappear! "The sucrose will inhibit the growth of bacteria, reducing redness and swelling by morning." (pg. 86)

Well there you have it, my loves! I hope you enjoy Wellness Wednesdays posts as much as I do! I just love finding new uses for things sitting at home, finding simple cures and fixes using things you'd never think of, and innovative ideas to solve little problems without dishing out cash. I hope you find these posts helpful and don't forget to give First magazine a try!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Truth Tuesday

Hey loves and I hope you're enjoying September's Beauty Week so far! Today is Truth Tuesday and it's the day I spill on a beauty-related subject, whether good or bad, I give my honest thoughts & opinions. I have spent a lot of time in the beauty field and have a sincere passion for all things beauty (like you didn't know ;) ...) so I love to share my knowledge and expertise with all my fellow makeup addicts! So without anymore intro, here it is:

Truth Tuesday (#3 September 11, 2012)

Today I'm going to tell you my thoughts and opinions on all the nail polishes out there. Obviously one blog post can't encompass every nail polish brand and type so the focus on today's post is inexpensive nail polish versus the more expensive counterparts and if there is a true difference in the quality and longevity of wear if you spend a little more money.

To start some brands on the costlier end of nail polish that I've tried & tested are OPI, Sephora by OPI, and Butter London. All 3 are great polishes. They apply evenly and even the first coat provides color and a second coat is ideal. Two coats will give true color and when worn with a top coat, the polish lasts too. Obviously polish on your toes will generally last longer than your fingers, unless worn over acrylic nails, because your fingers do a lot more work and get more wear, but these polishes provide good color and decent wear-ability.

However, the downside is really the price. OPI generally costs about $8.00, Sephora by OPI costs around $9.50, and Butter London's polishes cost $14.00. In the scheme of things, $8.00, $9.50, and $14.00 isn't very expensive, but it adds up ... and for nail polish!

On the cheaper side, there's L.A. Colors, Sinful Colors, NYC, and Hard Candy. These range from $1.00 per bottle to about $4.99 for a bottle. However, how do you know which one is worth saving the money without sacrificing quality? It's pretty much a guess and check. It helps to open the bottle in store and partially remove the brush from the bottle and look at the consistency of the polish on the brush. If it seems very sheer or slides right off the brush instead of forming the shape of a rain drop, it probably isn't a very quality polish. L.A. Colors, for example, makes nail polishes and something called "Nail Art Deco Polishes", which are the ones used to do designs. The design polishes are very nice, but the actual nail polishes are very faint, take many coats before you get any real color, and chip extremely easily.

NYC & Hard Candy's polishes are definitely much better than L.A. Colors, but still have their downfalls as far as quality, color, and lastability.

My favorite, favorite, favorite polish is Sinful Colors. They can be found in Walmart and Walgreens for $1.99. They come in so many different colors and types. They come in matte, shimmer, glitter and endless colors and shades within a color. They release collections like OPI does and have staple colors all the time. They are often on sale at Walgreens for $1.00 too so you can get an even better deal! They are toluene, formaldehyde & DBP free, which is a great thing too! Sinful colors are high quality and 2 coats is plenty. They last just as long as their costlier counterparts so why not save the money?

***DUPE ALERT: MAC's new collection Style Seeker, has a harvest orange color nail lacquer in "Styleseeker". Sinful Colors makes a polish called "Cloud 9" that is a very close dupe. It's a little brighter than MAC's, but it's definitely close and at $16.00 a bottle for MAC's and $1.99 for Sinful Colors ... I'll take it.***

Below are some of my favorites, but there are many MANY more!
Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7

Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7
Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7Professional Nail Enamel, 24/7

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mascara Monday

Happy Monday, gorgeous! As all my blog readers know, Mondays in my monthly beauty weeks are Mascara Mondays. I write about & review my favorite mascaras for all of you. Mascara is a tough beauty product because there are so many on the market, ranging in price, brand, style, color, formula, brush-type, and more. These Mascara Monday posts are to share with you a variety of mascaras I've tried, tested, and loved from super inexpensive to on the costlier end, from drug stores to department stores, to share with you all some choices for your mascara! On to Mascara Mondays:

Mascara Monday (#3 September 10, 2012)

Sally Girl Mini Mascara in "Jet Black"

This mascara comes in both "Jet Black" and "Brownish Black" so you have options. It is described as "intensely pigmented for a dramatic look". Sally Girl says that "it's great for lash definition", meaning it will lengthen and volumize the individual lashes to create gorgeous, luscious lashes.

It is, as the name says, a mini mascara so it fits in pockets, purses, wallets, and clutches with ease. The other benefit to a mini mascara is you'll actually get to use the entire product you purchase before the mascara would dry out. It of course, being mini, will need to be replaced a little more often, but if you buy 2 or 3 when you visit a Sally Beauty Supply, you'll be set.

Best of all, it only costs $.99! Sally Beauty Supply also offers a rewards program. It costs $5.00 to join, but you do get a discount on all your purchases.

Give it a try & let me know what you think! I've found it gives me personally super dramatic lashes without having to apply multiple coats, lasts until you remove it with makeup remover, and is really inexpensive. Let me know what you think after you try it, loves.

A product thumbnail of Sally Girl Mini Mascara Jet Black

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Seasonal Sunday (September 2012)

Hey there, my gorgeous makeup lovers! I hope you are all enjoying your September so far! Finally (at least in my area anyway), the weather has broken! It's finally not 90 degrees all day long and boy, are the 70's nice! I have had a series of unfortunate events and my camera's battery or the battery charger has decided to quit on me so this week's pictures will be the final ones for a little while. My iPad takes pictures, but the quality is only so-so, so I'll see what I can do until I find a way to fix my issue or get a new camera! Regardless, September Beauty Week will go on!

As many of you, especially those with husbands or boyfriends ... or any male family member, know today is the season opener for football! I'm sure plenty of ladies out there are excited too and the rest of the women know that Sundays & Mondays are now rather busy for the man in their lives. Whether you love football yourself, embrace it and cook the halftime snacks for your man, or are just trying to get into football (for him or yourself), why not do so to the 9's? Might as well throw on a jersey of your favorite (or your man's) team, or at least a shirt to match? How about your makeup though? What about doing team-theme eyes? I am from Philadelphia and my family is essentially split down the middle on Eagles vs. Steelers. My hubby is an Eagles fan, as are my grandparents, so I made a "Go Eagles" onesie for my Zoe and did my makeup in tribute to the Philadelphia Eagles colors. Here goes:

Seasonal Sundays (#3 September 9, 2012)

"Philadelphia Eagles ... Football Chic"

To get this look:

- First apply your flawless face. I used the same makeup in my Back-to-School post with a deeper pink/nude blush.
- Next, prime your eyelids and under your lower lash line. I use (as always) MAC's Paint Pot in "Painterly".
- Now to get the eye look above, you will first apply the darkest shade. I applied a matte black shadow to my outer corner, to about halfway in to my eyelid. I brought the color a little farther in on my lid towards the bottom near my lash line.
- Next, I applied a deeper green shade with shimmer (not dark or hunter green though) to my lid from the inner corner to meet the black shadow. I worked some of the green onto the black to get a blended look.

- Then, I took a little more of the black shadow and reapplied it to the outer corner for definition.
- I lined my eye with a black eyeliner on my upper lash line and my lower waterline (inner lash line). I then took a flat, angled eyeliner brush and applied the black shadow in a smudged line under my lower lashes.

- I applied about 3 coats of mascara (in black of course) to both my upper and lower lashes.
- Next, apply your brows. I use NYC's eyeliner/brow pencil in "Taupe".
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Ultra Shine Lip Gloss

- Finally, finish up with a soft pink (or nude if you'd prefer) lip. I used MAC's lipstick in "Angel" with Sephora's Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in "20 Shiny Perfect Nude". Feel free to use any soft pink lipstick and nude lip gloss to recreate this look!

Lots of love, gorgeous! Go EAGLES!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fashion's Night Out 2012 - King of Prussia Mall, PA

Hey there, loves and happy Thursday evening! Tonight was Fashion's Night Out and I decided to head out to King of Prussia Mall to see what was going on. They had different sections set up throughout both sides of the mall, the Court and the Plaza, with photo booths, food samplings, wine & beer tastings, raffles, and more. Many stores participated in the event, offering discounts on purchases and free gifts and/or bags with qualifying purchase.

The night was phenomenal, in theory. It's a rough economy so why not host a free event with samples of local foods & drinks, raffles, and discounts and I get that. However, when I think of fashion's night out, I don't think of food; I think of clothes, bags, makeup, and hair ... all in the upcoming season's colors and looks. Why wasn't there a small runway in one of the main areas (Lord & Taylor's Court, Nordstrom's Court, or Bloomingdales' Court)? They had little photo areas set up without anyone really around for people to have their own picture taken and an area with random "models" candidly having their photos taken.

To me, it just seemed a little "thrown together". It felt like there wasn't a whole lot of planning into it. Fashion's Night Out should focus on the looks of Fall and Winter, showing us mall-goers how to piece together the looks of the seasons, encouraging us to take advantage of the sales in store. It felt as if it was a food & drink sampling event with some discounts in store to convince you to shop while you were there. Not really the point of a Fashion's Night Out. Essentially, unless you were planning on spending money, it wasn't really worth the drive out. Many stores offered discounts of 15% or free gifts and/or bags with a $100 purchase, not exactly a killer deal. Most stores have daily sales and/or coupons offering at least 15% off and free gifts become a lot less enticing when you have to spend $100.

Overall, I was really disappointed. King of Prussia Mall usually pulls out all the stops for their events. I mean simply decorating the mall for the holidays seems to have more effort put into it. I've attended Nordstrom's beauty events before and that store alone puts on a runway show of upcoming seasonal looks and lessons and then offers pre-made appointments at all the makeup counters to have your makeup done. You do have to purchase tickets for this event, generally $15, but that $15 essentially acts as a voucher towards a purchase from your makeover. That is a FAR better deal and superior as far as quality of the event.

Next time, KOP, take some tips from Nordtrom's events planners before you plan another Fashion's Night Out!

Above is the food sampling in the Court. Williams-Sonoma was raffling a KitchenAid hand mixer, but had a full sized stand mixer on display. Little misleading?!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

*Fall Trend Alert 2012*

It has arrived. September is here and with it comes Halloween & Thanksgiving decorations in stores and all those fall colored clothes. I have spent hours upon hours diving into online articles and magazines, walking the stores and malls reviewing displays and the new fall stock. I have gathered together a synopsis of the upcoming Fall Trends for 2012. However, even my summary of the many words, upon sentences, upon paragraphs, upon pages I've read and the hours I've perused the displays, I still have lots to say. I will be writing multiple posts on the Fall Trends of 2012 so stay tuned!

Here's a little sneak peak because I just love you so much:

-Black & Gold
-Black & White
-Purple & Gold
-Lips, Nails, and Eyes
-Looks for your age

Vague, I know, but try & guess what means what and you'll soon see if you're right! Leave comments here or on my Facebook page with ideas & thoughts! I can't wait to hear from you!

"5 Makeup Myths Busted" by Good Housekeeping ... Not Quite!

Today just got away from me! It's already almost 10pm and I was planning on doing today's post this afternoon so my apologies for the delay! It was for good reason though because my husband got a new job today! So excited and so proud of him! Anyway, today I wanted to discuss something that I find extremely irritating, not to me, but for all of you. I worked in cosmetics and have many years of practice, training, and experience combined in makeup and skin care. That is why I am extremely irritated by articles I read and things I hear about makeup and skin care that just ARE NOT RIGHT! For example, I was perusing all my magazines gathering together my Fall 2012 Trend Alerts and my September Beauty Week ideas when I came across a copy of Good Housekeeping I got from a family member. In it were some interesting tips on budgets and some yummy sounding recipes - things a HOUSEKEEPING magazine would encompass. And in the following statement I mean no disrespect, but, STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW!

Flipping through the magazine I cam across a section of award winning, anti-aging products in the Good Housekeeping Anti-Aging 2012 Award Winners. At the end of this article was a little bubble of tidbits entitled "5 Makeup Myths Busted". Immediately I knew my blood pressure would be raised. Lo and behold, 4 out of 5 were stereotypical "myths" that were just WRONG!

And I will now list them below as stated by Good Housekeeping. I will then explain why they need to stick to HOUSEKEEPING!

1. You do not have to use a primer.
Okay, ladies, sure you don't have to do anything, but what is it? Pay your taxes and die. However, if you'd like your makeup to stay put through at least your lunch hour, look how it was intended to look, and reduce waste of product, just wear the goddamn primer! How long does it take to smooth an extra layer over your skin? I mean really. Primer creates a barrier so your skin doesn't drink your makeup causing clogged pores and messy makeup. It allows your makeup to glide on effortlessly; therefore, saving time and product. It makes colors look true and your face look flawless. And it keeps all your makeup put. Sure, you could skip the primer, but might as well just forgo the makeup all together since in a few hours without primer it'll look like you did anyway.

2. A foundation brush is not a necessity.
This one really gets me. No any makeup brush is not a necessity. You have fingers and sponge applicators so obviously there is options. However, your fingers are skin, skin has natural oils. Oil breaks down the composition of makeup. Oil on your face causes breakouts. Fingers obviously can work, but they equal some major downsides.

Sponges. What is a sponge's main ability? Absorption. You use a sponge to apply foundation. As you apply it to your face, the sponge is absorbing makeup. Therefore, you are left with an uneven distribution on your skin. Beyond the obvious downfalls to your look, you are also wasting makeup. Sponges hold the makeup and are often stored in cosmetic bags or in bathroom closets: dark, warm places. HELLO ... BACTERIA! Ew. Now reuse that sponge tomorrow? No. A new sponge everyday? Just go buy a foundation brush and clean it regularly with baby shampoo, face wash for sensitive skin, or a brush cleaner.

3. Base does not need to go all over.
To an extent this is true. If you have a few problem areas that need true coverage you can use a thicker product to conceal your little flaws. However, if you dabbed makeup on your under-eye circles, on pimples, and a red spot or two only, you'd look like a "connect-the-dots". You can use a tinted moisturizer, or a BB cream, or a light-coverage foundation overall after concealing the problem areas. You don't need to mask a nice, even face, but you do need to blend if you're going to wear makeup.

4. Powder, or mineral makeup, is okay.
This is the one I agree with. In fact, when it says that there's an "official green light" for powder makeup, I was kind of surprised. I was unaware that there was a "no-no" on powder. Powders can set and finish your look, absorb oil, or suffice for your actual makeup. Mineral makeup can be great too as another option. 1 for 4, Good Housekeeping.

5. "There's no need to fuss about your undereye concealer shade."
What the *expletive* are you talking about, Good Housekeeping? So if I'm through & through snow white, Irish complected I can just pick up my good Italian, olive-skinned friend's concealer and just throw that on? HELL NO! They do mention you don't want raccoon eyes by going too light or too dark, which is true, but shade does matter. If you're concealing under-eye circles, bruises, anything bluish gray, peach/pink will counteract that. However, if you're concealing redness whether it be facial redness or a blemish, yellows and greens would counteract that. Before you even consider the correct shade, you need to decide what you're concealing and find the right undertones: cool or warm, pinks or yellows.

I appreciate the effort, Good Housekeeping, and your magazine has many helpful insights. Leave the makeup to the experts, please, for all of our eyes and our mirrors!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Magazine Articles, Blog Posts Galore ... Recommending Products You'd Need Millions to Score?!

Okay, so does it bother anyone else when you read real people magazines and articles and online posts about makeup, hair, pretty much anything beauty and they recommend products WAY out of our budget? I just got an e-mail today from a website that discusses everything beauty and fashion. They e-mail you articles and I got one today with basically your go-to products for specific events that a clutch is more practical over a big purse for. The tips were super interesting and helpful. They recommended specific products you'd need for certain events like petal heel inserts for a night out and mini mascaras for wedding tears and even the ideal style clutch for each event. I found the article both informative and helpful.

What I didn't like though was for each event they suggested a clutch-ful of products for, they included a picture and recommended products below. Some of the items just baffled me. For example, the mascara duo they recommend for a wedding was $24 and for the night out clubbing, all-over shimmer for $22. I get it some of you may have the budget to run out and grab those things for events that will cost you money already (you've heard of the whole "buying you and your guest's dinner plates as your gift amount minimum and price of drinks while you're out? Not cheap!) or you may even have these items at home, but what about the rest of us?

Another example. I just love when magazines take gorgeous, runway outfits and show us how to shop in our malls and get a $5,000 runway look for $500 (if you're lucky), but even $1,000 beats the hell out of a $5,000 head to toe look. But come on! People who have a random $500-$1,000 laying around to go recreate that have-to-have look are the only ones interested in fashion? No. And I get it they show you a picture of the runway look and the "discount" look so you can hit discount stores, consignment shops, and thrift stores to try to piece it together yourself. But why the hell is it so hard to give us a third look in the magazine? I know, you'd be shrinking two looks where stores are named and I'm sure are paid advertisement, but you'd be helping the rest of us. Tell us how we can get something similar to that look cheaper. Recommend pieces that we'd probably already have in our wardrobe: a black tank for example would be like $150 in the runway look and $48.50 from some store ... don't most of us own a black tank? Or could find one at Target for like $10 ... or Walmart for $5! Please, we're not stupid and you'd get more loyal readers and subscriptions if you recommended things we could actually consider. A third look wouldn't kill the magazines. I know I'd be much more likely to buy regularly or subscribe if these magazines offered more than "10 Dirty Things Your Man Wish You'd Do" ... please I can find that elsewhere ... like talking to my man! Give us more out of your magazines than ads after ads and articles that make us drool over things we'll never afford!

That's why I just love First magazine. I know this sort of seems like a plug for them, but I mean it. It's not so much fashion as it is health, wellness, beauty, home-life tips that actually affect everyday people ... and things you can afford! I have my guilty-pleasure magazines as much as the next girl, but something that can actually be useful in my life? Yes, please!

I'd love to hear my readers' thoughts on this article. I know many of you love your magazines and maybe you have or haven't thought of this, but I'd love to hear if I'm the only one that feels this way. Like thanks for recommending what people with great careers can afford, but what about students, minimum wage workers, people on fixed incomes? We count too!

Here's the link to the article on "Evening Purse Essentials" from
And, I've provided this link before, but in case anyone is interested again: First for women Magazine

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pretty Little Liars? More like "Pretty Little Makeup Addicts" ... ;)

which is just fine by me! I've recently been watching old seasons of television shows on Netflix at home and just got into Pretty Little Liars from ABC Family. I was afraid it was going to be kind of stupid and young for me, but it's actually really a great show. It's got drama and makes your heart race and makes you really root for relationships ... oh and it makes you super jealous of their makeup looks! If you're looking for a new show to watch, I'd definitely give them a try!

Anyway, back to the point of this blog post: Pretty Little Liars makeup looks. I was searching online about their makeup looks and found a link with an interview from the head makeup artist of the show, Cindy Miguens. She basically describes the personality of the characters and the makeup looks that go with them. It was interesting to hear, well read, about what went into the thought process of creating the girls' looks and how they executed them.

I'll include the link to that article from, but this post is about my 2 favorites, look-wise anyway. Hanna and Aria are so very different. Hanna is pop-bubblegum while Aria is dark-mysterious, but I just love both of their looks, from head to toe. Hanna always has a smokey eye and super luscious lips, which I adore. Aria has the dark, sexy look going, with the deep brunette hair, generally fairly simple, but dark eye makeup, and a subtle, yet noticeable lip. Hanna always wears super magazine-cover friendly outfits, while Aria looks like she goes estate and/or thrift shopping to piece together a killer (no pun intended), chic, old-yet-new look. I love both of their looks completely and think each of the girls' characters fit the looks they are given.

In the picture below, found in a Google Image Search, is Hanna at her prime. A little less girly than typical in the show, she still has her nails done, hair flawlessly messy-chic, and her ever-seductive smokey eyes and soft, sexy lip. And of course, in a gorgeous dress and heels.


In the pictures below, also found in a Google Image Search, is Aria, in all her many style-forms. She rocks an edgy, almost punk look in a super stylish way. She also wears clothes you would find in the special brand-name sections of department stores, and then below, in the pink dress, she rocks a Betsey Johnson dress and the necklace, Betsey Johnson too! Punk princess, edgy glam, and so much more could be used to describe her ever-changing style ... which I just love!  And her hair and makeup? Stylish, classic, and perfect from day-to-night, school-to-going out and pretty easy to recreate. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

*New Product Alert* from e.l.f. cosmetics

I just wanted to make a quick little announcement for all my beauty lovers out there, especially those that love killer beauty deals. Many of my fellow makeup addicts know about e.l.f. cosmetics and their amazing deals and I know anyone who has followed my blog at all has certainly heard of them. Anyway e.l.f. cosmetics shared a picture today through Instagram on Facebook of a new product they 're releasing soon: 

e.l.f. cosmetics Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow!  I am so so so excited for these. They come in ADORABLE packaging and remind me of MAC's shadows' package. Here's hoping they're highly pigmented, gorgeous colors!

I'll keep my readers posted once I find them in stores and see how they work! Fingers crossed.

Picture from e.l.f. cosmetics on Facebook through Instagram. Follow them on Instagram at OfficialElfCosmetics!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School's Starting ... Flawless Face For Under $20.00!

Well August is officially coming to an end signaling cooler weather and of course, back to school! Whether you're starting a new chapter in your life and heading off to high school or college for the first time, going back to school after years of working and you've finally figured out your calling, or simply heading back for another just another year, why not look your absolute best? Especially if you can do so for under $20.00 for a flawless face!

I am going to show you how to create an even, flawless, face using a handful of drug store and dollar store cosmetics to keep you face, from primer to powder to blush and bronzer under $20. I know most girls have their go-to mascara and eye look and have more lip glosses than they could count. However, the most common problem I've come across is ladies of all ages not knowing how to create that billboard-worthy, flaw-free face. And as my readers know well, I have had and will have plenty of posts on different eye looks and lip looks and I will happily take questions in my comments or on my Facebook page if you'd like to know tips on a full-face or a particular eye and/or lip look ... especially how to do it inexpensively. For now, a picture-perfect face:

1. NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer (Shade 684 - only comes in 1 shade) $3.99
2. Hard Candy Glamoflauge heavy duty concealer (medium - found at Walmart) $6.00
3. NYC Smooth Skin Liquid Makeup with Vitamins A & E (my shade is #679 Soft Beige) $2.99
4. NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder (#741A Translucent) $2.99
5. L.A. Colors Pressed Powder (BPP320 Nude - found at Dollar Trees & Family Dollars) $1.00
6. L.A. Colors expressions Bronzer w/ Brush (in Bronze Glow- Dollar Tree) $1.00
7. L.A. Colors expressions Blush w/ Applicator (in Berry Plum-Dollar Tree) $1.00
For a grand total of: $18.97!
- Begin by applying the primer to your face. Make sure your face is clean and moisturized, but let any moisturizer absorb fully before applying anything else. If you don't, as the moisturizer absorbs, it'll pull anything else on your face in with it, causing your makeup to disappear and clog your pores.
- Next apply the Hard Candy concealer to any areas you'd like extra coverage on. For me, I cover redness, under-eye circles, and any blemishes. This concealer is not kidding when they say "heavy duty" so a little does a lot! Keep that in mind.
- Then apply the foundation to your entire face to give a blended, even coverage and look. Use a stippling application technique to apply to makeup, not spread/paint it on. Stippling in this sense, by definition, means to apply paint, powder, etc. to something with many light dabs. Essentially, apply the foundation by quickly dabbing the makeup on your face repeatedly until achieving desired coverage.
- Using a powder brush, apply the loose powder by dabbing it on over your foundation to set your makeup. The one I recommended above is translucent, meaning it has no color, so it does NOT add any coverage or color; it merely sets liquid makeup.
- *This step is NOT necessary; I just prefer it.* I take a powder brush and apply a pressed powder in a matching shade, like L.A. Colors Pressed Powder, in nude for me, to give the entire face a finished look. It helps set the liquid makeup with the loose powder while absorbing any oil and/or sweat. It also gives a last layer or barrier of coverage and color which I always appreciate.
- This step is optional as well, but I recommend it. Here is where you apply the bronzer. Many people are afraid of bronzer or feel it always looks fake or orange. The key is finding a natural shade and applying it accurately. Take a bronzer or powder brush and apply it in the shape of a "3". Begin in the center of your forehead, wrap around the outer corner of your eye and come in over your cheek bone, back out and around your mouth and finish in the center of your chin. Repeat on the opposite side. Run the brush down your nose and lightly brush over your forehead and chin again. Essentially, you want it look like the bronzer is where the sunlight would hit your face naturally for a sun-kissed look.
- Apply your blush now. I recommend L.A. Colors in "Berry Plum" for the perfect fall shade. It's also what I have on in the pictures below. Feel free to use another color if you'd like, but for the upcoming season and clothing colors, it'll be a great color for just about everyone. Apply the blush in an upward motion from the apples of your cheeks outward to your hairline. Bring the color up around your eye, essentially the temple area, for a contoured, professional look.
... and voilà! You are camera ready ... and certainly hallway ready! Strut your stuff knowing your face will be the envy of the class! Lots of love and remember any questions about this or any other looks are more than welcomed! Comment below or visit me on Facebook, my loves!
Full face (ignore eyes & lips for above post)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Subtle Saturdays!

Hello, my loves, and Happy Saturday! Today is the final day in August 2012 beauty week and the next beauty week, in September, will be when I've just begun cosmetology school so exciting things are coming! Anyway, Saturdays are Subtle Saturdays in my blog beauty week and today is no exception. Whether you had a Friday Night Out and are having a Saturday Night In, or vice versa, I'm going to help you today with some subtleties, meaning small things that make the big difference in your look.

Subtle Saturdays (#2 August 18, 2012)

1. Brows. This is number one because it's one of the most important and most forgotten parts of a full face routine. I mentioned this briefly in yesterday's post since Fierce Friday's focus wasn't brows so I'll elaborate a little more here. Full brows are in style according to the trends in fashion and makeup for Fall 2012, meaning no more pencil-thin brows. Your eyebrows frame your eyes and help give structure to your face and whether you have the blondest blonde or the blackest black brows, age/waxing/tweezing and more cause thinning. Whether you have some holes in your brows, the tail ends have started thinning out, the shade of your brow hair color is fading, whatever your case may be, touch them up! Maintaining your brows isn't simply keeping them from looking like you were finally found after being stranded on an island for months; it's keeping them clean, neat, full, and even. And face facts: if you're out of high school, you probably need a little assistance. Waxes, gels, powders, pencils and more are out there to keep your brows looking perfect and staying that way for the day!

2. Lips. This one will never cease to amaze me. Watch your favorite TV shows, especially with younger characters, look around you in the mall and grocery store, or at least think for a minute and tell me what you notice everyone seems to just forget. THEIR LIPS! You take all that time to conceal, blend, set, highlight, contour your face, then your eyes, whether you simply swipe on some mascara or do the whole nine yards. And then after all that you say, "ahh screw the lips"? No. Not okay. You don't have to go crazy with it and wear some super noticeable, red, sexy look. But simply forgetting them is NOT okay either. You look unfinished, like you just forgot something. There's simple solutions out there too: nude lipsticks, sheer glosses, tinted chap stick for crying out loud! There is NO excuse to doing a full face of makeup and just leaving your lips out. Your lips are where you speak, and smile, and kiss, and so much more from .. don't leave them out!

3. Blush. I understand the thought here why many forgo cheek color. I have too too too much redness in my face, especially my cheeks and I know I'm not alone in that at all. You spend all that time applying primer tinted to reduce redness, then concealing the redness, then blending that out with the rest of your skin, then setting all your work and now you're supposed to add color back to your cheeks?! The answer is yes. When you successfully cover your redness (or whatever else you may be concealing), you are left with an even, smooth canvas. And I know once you find the right products and application techniques to achieve this, it's a godsend ... but you can't stop there. If you don't add some sort of cheek color, you look washed out. No one in the world, not even a baby with perfectly untouched skin that you envy, has an exactly even skin tone. It's just not natural. And if you choose to forget the blush, you look undone, washed out .. like you're going for the living-dead look. Find a shade that's natural and complimentary to your skin tone and the other makeup you're going to wear, not one that will fight with your eyes or lips. As you get more comfortable adding color to the same place you just hid color, experiment with different cheek colors. Blush is honestly one of my favorite portions of cosmetics and there was a time I never ever thought I'd say that, but it's true!

4. CORRECT shade choice of foundation. Oh boy, is this a big one! It amazes me walking through drug stores and even department stores and seeing how people think they choose the correct color. I've seen matching to the under side of the wrist, matching directly to their face in the cheek area, matching to the top side of the hand, and more. Wrong, wrong, wrong! And it's not even your fault! Magazines, home shopping channels, and many other places you turn are all giving different, conflicting advice as to how to match your color to your skin tone. Here is how, and it's a two-parter:
  • Begin along your jawline. When you apply your foundation, it needs to match along your jaw and into your neck. Your face gets more sun than your neck, obviously, so matching to your face alone will inevitably leave a line once your makeup meets your neck. The first step is to figure out your undertones: are you cool (pink) or warm (yellow). Next, choose 2-3 shades around your skin tone and run a swatch from the bottom of your cheek, down your jawline, into your neck. Place all 3 swatches next to each other and the one that seems to "disappear" is the right one.
  • Also!!! Make sure when the makeup is on, your chin matches your collarbone and chest (cleavage) area. When someone looks at you dead-on, if your face is a different shade or undertone than your natural skin on your chest, it stands out! Don't forget that when finding the right makeup color, there are TWO key points!!!

Well I know that's only 4 tips, but they are certainly not short ones so I won't dump a huge book on you for Subtle Saturdays. These are just a few crucial points that are truly "subtle" differences that will make a HUGE impact on your look! I hope you find them helpful and if you have any questions about them or anything else comment away or come find me on Facebook!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fierce Fridays!

TGIF! It is the weekend! Now since this is Friday and in my monthly beauty week Fridays are Fierce Fridays, I want to help all my gorgeous girls and style-conscious men work their own version of fierce every weekend. It is officially the end half of August, which means school will be starting in 2-3 weeks for most of us and for anyone and everyone else that doesn't have a "back-to-whatever" event, Fall isn't too far away! Whether you're gearing up to dress-to-impress for classes or just getting ready for all the autumn looks arriving, you certainly want to look fierce doing it, right?!

Of course you do! BUT, I know you don't want to drain an entire paycheck to do it. Doesn't it sound just WONDERFUL to sneak out of work a little early and pamper yourself before the weekend plans? Hit your salon or spa to get a mani/pedi, touch up your color, try a new color, or get some low-lights for the Fall season? How about a quick wax to make your eyebrows perfect since the fall trend is full, natural brows?
I have to stray off topic quickly and mention, THANK GOODNESS FULL BROWS ARE BACK for the Fall 2012 trends! I'm not talking bush, cave woman, au natural look, but you don't need to look like you drew a line ... the thickness of a pencil ... to create eyebrows. Eyebrows are an ESSENTIAL portion of your look. They frame not only the eyes, but the entire face as well. Believe me, do your makeup from soup to nuts and leave your eyebrows undone and look in the mirror: you will look completely unfinished from just that one thing! And if you weren't blessed with full brows or have over-tweezed or waxed, remember there's plenty of products to help with that, from serums to help the hair regrow to pencils, waxes, and powders.

Anyway, what about getting your makeup done to save yourself the time getting ready tonight? Spend it, oh I don't know, drinking a glass of wine while you dress instead of rushing around with a curling iron in one hand and a mascara wand in the other, tripping on the wire. I know sounds fabulous to be spoiled and pampered, doesn't it? I also know you're thinking, "Sure, how in the hell would you like me to afford all that ... and even be able to consider going out tonight to show it all off?", aren't you? Well, lovey, I will tell you how!

I, as most of you know, FINALLY am getting to cosmetology school this fall! My orientation is on September 4th and classes begin on the 10th. There are different stages in cosmetology school based on how much you've learned and how much supervised work you're able to preform on live clients. Well eventually when you reach the "senior level", you do any and every salon service available on live clients to get the most practice in a real-life environment, all under the supervision of experienced teachers, aka professionals in the field.

These clients are you. People who want salon services can go to most local cosmetology schools for a full menu of salon services, done by students under the supervision of their teachers, at a discounted rate. I know the school I will be attending says about their prices that they "charge for the reasonable cost of materials and products", meaning you're not paying the crazy salon prices for the salon name. And you'd be surprised: many of the schools have a beautiful, state-of-the-art student salon and you'll still feel like you're being pampered, without the headache of hundreds of dollars to do it!

Quick example at my school for anyone to walk in:
(*List of schools & links to their sites below for Delaware County, PA*)

Haircolor (shampoo, conditioner, any style)- $20.00
Haircut (same as above) - $8.00
Brow Wax - $5.00
Makeup Application - $10.00
Spa Mani/Pedi (Hand & Arm Massage, Foot & Leg Massage, Mask, Polish) - $24.00
_____________________________________________ Totaling: $67.00

Where the hell can a woman get a single process color, cut and style for under $70.00? And this includes hair, nails (with a massage!), wax, and makeup ... for $67.00!

Men's Haircut (Shampoo, Conditioner, Any Style)- $5.00
Basic Manicure (Hand & Arm Massage, Mask, Polish Optional-Clear)- $5.00
___________________________________________Totaling: $10.00

Most men's haircuts at discount, in-and-out places cost $8-$10 alone. They offer basic facials, waxing, and more for men as well!

And kids cuts: $3.00!!!

This way you can completely pamper yourself and still let hubby and kids in on it too .. all for under $100! It's the perfect way to treat everyone after a long, hard week or to get them all ready for back to school without pouring that whole paycheck into a salon.

Visit Google and look up some local cosmetology schools near you. Check out their sites and see if they offer a "guest menu" online or call the schools to find out the services they offer, prices, and hours. Often they only take color appointments up to 2 hours before they close since the services take a little longer since they are being preformed by the students. Many schools take walk-ins, but if you need a certain service at a specific time and they take appointments, make one. In today's economy everyone is looking for the best deal so they are often busy places!

Local to my area: Delaware County, PA

Empire Beauty School Guest Services (Springfield, PA)
- They also have an Exton campus too

Jean Madeline Aveda Institutes Client Menu
Jean Madeline Aveda Institutes' Local Campuses List

Venus Beauty Academy (Sharon Hill and Aston, PA)
Venus Beauty Academy Clinic Menu

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teaching Thursday!

Happy Thursday, aka: the day to let you know the weekend is finally not so far away! As you probably remember from last month, today is all about teaching! Once a month, for a week in the middle of the month, I host a beauty week for my blog. Each day gets its own theme, Thursday being Teaching Thursday, where I give a mini lesson a technique for makeup application and so much more. Since many of my readers will be going back to school in a few short weeks or maybe beginning a new job after graduating this summer, or have a fall wedding coming up, I thought this lesson would be perfect for my readers and beyond since this applies to a large group of people. Without any further adieu:

Teaching Thursdays (#2 August 16, 2012)

For Teaching Thursday in my second installment of beauty week, August edition, I will be covering ... drum roll please ... TATTOO COVERAGE ... AND FOR UNDER $15! For those of you who have ever looked into this and the products on the market designed for tattoo covering, you know the individual concealer can run well into $20-$30, not to mention the foundation/body makeup and setting powder you'd need to get it to look natural. Anyway, I will include a list of items used, step-by-step directions, with step-by-step pictures so you can see for yourself! My husband volunteered to be my model so thank you very much to him for letting me play with makeup on him!

Products Used:
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer with Concealer Pencil (I used "Medium 313") - $6.00 (can be found at Walmart)
- NYC (New York Color) Smooth Skin Liquid Makeup in "Classic Beige" - $2.99 (Walmart)
- NYC (New York Color) Loose Setting Powder in "Translucent" - $2.99 (Walmart)
- L.A. Colors Expressions Pressed Powder in "Nude" - $1.00 (Dollar Tree)
- e.l.f. Professional Foundation Brush - $1.00 (Dollar Tree)
- e.l.f. Essential Powder Brush - $1.00 (, Dollar Tree, Kmart, Target)
For a grand total of: $14.98 (plus applicable taxes in your area + shipping if ordered online)

*Keep in mind if you already have a foundation brush, powder brush, foundation and/or powders you are happy with, you may only have to buy the Hard Candy Concealing set. I just wanted to let all my readers know exactly what I used in case you don't have success with your own products so you know what to buy without breaking the bank.*

1. Make sure the area is clean and dry. I used a baby wipe on it first to remove any dirt, oil, and/or impurities and allowed it to dry.

2. Take the Hard Candy Concealer Pencil and line the outline and boarders of the tattoo and then fill in between the lines, coloring over the tattoo.

3. Take the Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer and apply it to the area using the foundation brush. Use a "stippling" application technique, meaning you essentially dab the brush repeatedly and quickly over the area. Painting it on can end up removing makeup you had already applied or just moving around the concealer instead of applying it for good coverage.

4. Take the NYC Foundation and apply it over the concealer to give a blended look so it can be smoothed into the skin. Apply this using the stippling technique as well to avoid moving and/or removing work you've already done.

5. Now, apply the loose powder to set the makeup using a powder brush. Again, don't "paint" it on, rather dab over as if you are pressing the powder into the skin.

*This is how the tattoo looked after 1 layer, so I needed a second one.*
6. This step may vary for you depending on how dark your tattoo is. As you can see from the original picture, some places on the skull are very dark, like the eye sockets, so I did a second layer of product for coverage. If yours is lighter or you just feel you have enough coverage, this is the point where you'd apply your pressed powder for the finishing touch to have a natural, blended look and fully set your work. Remember to use (especially for this final touch) a powder that matches your skin tone IN THAT AREA, not just a face powder unless it matches!!!

7. I reapplied a second layer, skipping the concealing pencil. I applied Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer, followed by the NYC Foundation, using the stippling technique for both. I applied the Translucent setting powder, followed by the pressed powder to match the skin tone.

And there you have it! You can go get that tattoo you've always wanted and know you can cover it for special events rather inexpensively. You can keep the tattoo concealed while you're in the process of having it removed without going into any more debt, since tattoo removal is painful, physically AND financially. And if you're sticking with what you've got, but have one in a hard to hide location, this post is for you! It doesn't take too long, many of the products you may already have, and even buying it all, it still doesn't cost much.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you! If you have any questions, suggestions, and/or tips for tattoo concealing let me and all of the readers know!

*My husband didn't remove the makeup for about 6 hours and it didn't fade or sweat/melt off so you know you'll be good for awhile.*