Monday, June 30, 2008

sick of being slick....the search is on!!

as the seasons change, your skin can do some crazy things.

i'm an oily girl. add the summer heat and some humidity, and we have a real issue on our hands. i've tried so many products, just trying to keep the issue under control. i don't necessarily have a breakout problem, but the oil does get bothersome.

i'm in the process of changing my skin care routine (which definitely plays a part in making things less greasy). another key part is to start your daily face with a good mattifying primer.

i used to use a discontinued product by Philosophy called Never Let Them See you Sweat (not to be confused with the recently released Never Let Them See You Shine). i recall that working fairly well, though i wear more makeup now than i did then.

Benefit's Dr. Feelgood works fairly well for me in the cooler months, but i need something a bit more potent right now.

i'm uber picky about mattifiers, but it's because i expect a lot. i want it to last all day, not only be matte but FEEL matte, hold makeup well, and not break me out. those stipulations would intimidate any mattifier.

here are a few i've tried:
-Artistry Matte Finish Gel (no longer made. doesn't last throughout the day anyway)
-Cargo blu-ray High Definition Mattifier (i desperately wanted to love this, but it didn't even last me 8 hours)
-Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer (makes my foundation smooth, but didn't really do much mattifying)
-Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Spray (i don't like hosing my face down. it didn't give the texture i wanted, either)

i used Dr. Brandt Pores No More today. i'm going to be test-driving it for the next week.

i'm also going to try Urban Decay's De-Slick, Philosophy's Never Let Them See You Shine, Smashbox AntiShine, and Smashbox Compact AntiShine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

primer potion autopsy

sometimes you have no idea what you are truly throwing away. the buzz lately is how to crack open Urban Decay's Primer Potion and get out every last drop.

check out this blog and this blog to see how others have fared with their quest.

i thought i would post the pics of my own adventure. sorry they aren't the best quality, but you'll get the idea. i was completely amazed by what i almost threw into the trash-there was so much left!!

i used a steak knife, but i don't recommend it. it could have easily sliced open of my fingers. one blogger used an exacto knife, and that's probably a better idea.

the scene of the crime...this poor defenseless bottle was found sawed in pieces on the kitchen counter of a semi-young ohio woman. she could not be reached for comment.

a picture of the autopsy confirms that this bottle still had so much life to live!

the preserved remains now rest in a sample jar.

the amount that you can't reach with the wand actually might be a crime. i cringe when i think how much i threw away last time. if only i'd hacked it open before!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

personal trends....

while i keep up and try many of the new industry trends, i find that i go through personal trends too. i'll go through days or weeks of a certain color, look or scent. not because that's what's hot in the fashion world, but just because i really like it at the moment.

lately, i've been rocking a lot of brown/gold/pink eye looks. i didn't always love brown. as a matter of fact, for a long time i thought it was the most boring color on earth. i cringed when it was pointed out that brown made blue eyes look bluer. it was so disappointing!

some brown really is boring. i'm not a neutral girl, and sheer eye makeup doesn't normally thrill my soul. i had to experiment and make friends with brown.

the trick (for me) is have a sparkly, metallic or shimmery brown. Guest List or Impress by Lancome can be worn day or night, and they make my eyes look really bright. pair them up with pink or gold on the browbone, and i'm all set.

i'm finding new value in neutral shimmers (like pinks, peaches or golds) for the brow bone. i may stand alone in this opinion, but i find browbone colors with no shimmer to be useless. that's one of the best places to sparkle! unless it's come as a gift with purchase, i don't own any non-shimmery browbone highlighters.

here are the five i use most:
~Victoria's Secret Douse Me with Diamonds Wet/Dry Eye Shadow in Flirt
~Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Honey Drop
~Lancome Color Focus in Suntouched
~Elizabeth Arden Eyeshadow in Sparkle & Aura

if i only had those five to survive on, they would go with every other eyeshadow i own. i use them almost every day.

i've also recently discovered Prestige eyeliners (at CVS), and Charcoal Brown has definitely earned it's keep! Black eyeliner will always have my heart, but brown is a great way to mix it up, and to tone down some dramatic looks for daytime.

do you have any personal trends?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

product crush......kenzo vintage

i haven't been blown away by a fragrance in a while. i have purchased a few this year, and i like them, but i've been wanting to be completely enamoured by a scent.

at last, my love has come along.

Kenzo Vintage is gorgeous. at first, i pegged it for a typical oriental, but i was so wrong. i smelled it on someone else and liked it, smelled it on the card, and then smelled it on me. i can't stop smelling my arm! there is no turning back now, because i absolutely adore it.

contradictory to my usual taste, it's unisex. normally, i'm not drawn to that genre of fragrance, but this one is so different. it's musky and sweet, light and modern. it doesn't scream femininity (as expected with a unisex scent), but it's definitely mysterious and provocative. you don't want to stop smelling it...because you're trying to figure it out and because it's pleasing.

the notes are: mandarin, tonka bean, heliotrope flower, cedar wood, musk, and vanilla.

i cannot wait to own this. it may make a lot of my other perfumes jealous!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

early summer product lust....there are so many!!!

ah, so many products i'd like to test drive this summer, and so little time (and....sadly...fundage). but, here are some things that i'm lusting after at the moment.

for my nails:
~Essie Night Fever (found: the perfect 1950's red with glitter in it-hooray!!)
~Essie Party Girl collection
~Essie Smoothies collection
~Lippman Collection in Sarah Smile (thanks, kyl)

perfume (like i need more, but you and i both know it will happen!):
~Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy. i've had my nose on this for two years. i should just break down and buy it.
~Ferragamo Encanto Shine

~Stila Convertible Color, though i'm undecided on which color.

~Cargo blu-ray High Definition Mattifier
~Too-Faced Pink Leopard Bronzing Powder
~Sephora Make-up Artist Brush Belt Set. well, it's ONLY $275.00!!

~Urban Decay Big Fatty Colored Mascara in black cherry and purple haze
~Talika Eyelash Lipocils. i want to know if it really does make your eyelashes grow!

bath and body stuff:
~Carol's Daughter Ecstasy Collection. i actually haven't smelled this, but i totally want to.

have you tried any of these? are you in love? did you waste your money?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

my unbelieveable deal!

some girls have all the luck. saturday, i was a "some girl".

i was shopping at bath and body work's semi-annual sale with a friend, and as i was digging through the 75% off table, i saw it.

i thought it was a mistake, or that someone had left their purchases behind from another store.

sitting on that table was a sealed bottle of Prevage Eye Anti-Aging Moisturizing Treatment and Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum.

it's okay if you are puzzled. i was too! after all, BBW doesn't carry those items. however, their umbrella stores (like C.O. Bigelow) do!

i took them to the salesgirl in case someone left them behind only to discover that they really were on clearance, because someone had erroneously returned them to that store. since it's not regular stock, they had to take it back but they have to price it to sell it quick.

Prevage is normally $95.00 and Freeze 24/7 is normally $105.00. i walked out of there with 2 expensive eye creams for FIFTY. i felt like i had won the lottery!

both of these eye creams have gotten rave reviews, and i've wanted to try them both. and now i can!

how fabulous is that??

Sunday, June 8, 2008

club face!

the cool thing about getting all made up to go out to a club is that you can be a little more adventurous. your makeup can be bolder, louder, sparklier....whatever you want! it can also be tricky to create a face that lasts all night. i went out with my girlfriends last night, and this was my face of choice.

On my face: Benefit Dr. Feelgood
Almay Pure Blends Mineral Makeup, light to soft medium
Rimmel Natural Bronze in Sundance
Sephora blush me! in rose rebelle n1
Clarins Instant Light Perfecting Touch

On my eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Lancome Color Focus in Suntouched (all over the lid and browbone)
Lancome Color Design in Guest List (in the crease and on the outer edge)
Styli Style Flat Liner 24 in Blackest Black
Lancome Cils Booster XL
Diorshow Blackout

On my lips: Sephora lip pencil #132 (over the entire lip)
Lancome Juicy Tubes in Fifth Avenue Frosting

What i smelled like: Stella

Monday, June 2, 2008

product lust......Diorshow Blackout Waterproof

someone up there is listening to my prayers.

and, i'm ditching my diorshow waterproof mascara because Diorshow Blackout just graduated to waterproof. if it performs as well as regular Blackout, it will be love at first blink. it's the blackest black and it makes you look like you've been squinting in a mirror all morning putting on false lashes.

it's $24.00 at sephora. mark my words, it will be mine.

VIP found on vacation...MAC Viva Glam V!!

until last week, i had only admired MAC products from afar. i had heard they might change my life, and i just figured i'd get around to them eventually. what better time than vacation?

i headed to the MAC display at macy's, unsure of what i wanted to make my first purchase. without doubt, they had an amazing color selection. then it occured to me that MAC might be able to one of my most frustrating cosmetic quests-the quest for the perfect nearly-nude lip.

i played it cool, and waited for the salesgirl to approach. when i posed my question, she didn't even miss a beat and pointed out five colors that were their most popular nude lip selections!

the right nude lip has eluded me for a long time. you can end up looking muddy, or corpse-like, or just i've got a few things that come close, but what i wanted was a colored gloss with a bit of shine. even better if i didn't have to line to lips first.

MAC Lipglass in Viva Glam V skyrocketed onto my VIP list with the first wear.

it's a nude pink with very fine gold shimmer, and it is magnificent. perfect with a smokey eye, perfect with ANY look. it doesn't taste bad and lasts a long time. i have the biggest crush on this stuff! my only two complaints are that it's not available in longwear and that it doesn't come in a bigger tube (my tube may not last me a month, at the rate i'm going!). it comes in a lipstick form as well.

this product single-handedly just made me a MAC devotee.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

aw, do i really have to?

i always forget the guidelines on this, but the beauty bunny outlines it all in a blog about when to throw cosmetics away here. sigh, it makes me sad, i know there's no way to use all of everything i have. and yet, i keep buying more!

stuff to slather, scrub and shimmer...vacation finds, round 2

i had to put all my vacation finds in separate blogs. had i mushed them all together, it would be one LONG blog. so here's some of my body product haul....

i've had a crush on philosophy's variety of shower gel scents. particularly, senorita margarita, which i happily picked up along the way (the gel, not the scrub. that's still on my to-do list). then, i saw lemonade! i didn't realize they had that scent, but i was smitten at first sniff. i got the shower gel and body butter, but skipped the lip gloss.

after hearing all the hype about bath and body work's Hello Sugar! line, i had to see if it really was the lemon-meringue-pie-utopia that it claimed to be. they were out of the body wash, but i snagged the Moisturizing Body Meringue (which is like a mousse) and the Lemon Lip Gloss/Sugar Powder. the gloss puts a pretty golden sheen on your lips and has an acceptable taste. when you put the silvery sugar powder on top, it's even more sparkly. it can't hold a candle to Chanel Glossimer, but it's fun.

at BBW, i also picked up the Chocolate Amber body wash. the first time i smelled it, i thought it was wierd, and not in a good way. now, i'm thinking it might really smell good under my new Tom Ford Black Orchid perfume (see the previous blog on that and my other fragrance adventures from vacation).

major juice haul....vacation finds, round 1

this trip allowed me to rekindle some old loves. mainly, some fragrances that i had all but written off.

i'd written before that i had been pining away for calvin klein truth. it happily reminds me of my junior year of college. it's a perfect blend of sweet greens and clean earth, not too heavy and so wonderfully breathable. it's not easy to find, but i purchased a HUGE bottle.

my cousin had a small bottle of givenchy extravagance d'amarige, just sitting on her counter, ignored. it was released in 1998, and joined the long list of "things i never bought that i wish i would have". i tried it on every time i went to the store. the top notes are green mandarin, rose, and pink peppercorn (or, depending on which site you ask, taget and violet as well). heart notes are jasmine, violet, and orange blossom (or wisteria, depending again on which site). base notes are sandalwood, cedarwood, black iris, and musk (and wild strawberry, depending). to me, it has a wonderful old-school french quality that doesn't have that stale, mature smell that so many of them can. it feels classy and expensive. put a fragrance like that on a younger generation and lately they've been labelling it as "edgy". i convinced my cousin that i would give it a more appropriate home, since she barely gravitates beyond shower gel. i see myself wearing it on breezy, summery days.

tom ford black orchid finally seduced me, and i bought a bottle. it confused me at first sniff, and i alternated between love and indifference. but it stuck in my head and i pondered it for weeks, and realized how much it intrigued me. that moved it WAY up on my list, and now, i have a bottle of my own. i know i have to be careful with this juice-it can be heavy and it's not for every occasion. this is a dressy smell, not made for a light day of shopping or grilling out with friends. this is "going to dinner and a broadway show" or an "important date with an important guy" in restrained amounts.

of course, i picked up some samples along the way, which creates more product lust. i can't wait to see how the new Versace warms up on me. it's note are: Living Dew Drops, Icy Black Currant, Purple Wisteria, White Lilac, Lotus Flower, Living Orchid, Angel White Jasmine, White Lights Azalea, Snowbird Azalea, Musks, Cedar, Cashmirwood, and Amberwoods. what interests me most about this smell is that it reminds me of a past smell that i used to love, and i can't say if it's Kenzo Parfum d'ete (which seems to have changed for me over the years) or Fred Hayman Touch (which they no longer make). it's unmistakably floral and feminine, a definite departure from my collection of woodsy/musky/herby favorites.

surprisingly, prada parfum d'iris has creeped into my soul. i haven't sprayed it on my skin, and i actually don't have a sample to take for a test drive, but on the strip....i keep going back. i cannot be appeased until i have worn it. The top notes are orange blossom and mandarin, and base notes of galbanum, lentisc, benzoin, incense, vetiver and cedarwood. it's not nearly as floral as the name would have you believe, but there is something so..husky about it. it's a throaty, robust flower that cannot be taken lightly. it says, "i'm feminine, but not giggly".

i'll let you know as i try my other samples, too....all these new fragrances are sufficient fuel for awhile.