Monday, December 21, 2009

product test drive: airbrush tan

for my wedding, i had my first spray tan experience.

i had expected what i had seen from my big-city experience: a booth that you go into, raise your arms, and get hosed. what i actually encountered in a much smaller town was very different.

after calling around to the various businesses in the area, i found that there were no spray tanning booths. what i finally found after LOTS of digging was a lady who did a type of airbrush tan, with a gun she sweeps across your body while you stand there wearing...not much.

that was a concern i hadn't counted on, because in a booth nobody gets to see your pale goodies as you get sprayed. you have privacy. however, if you are standing in front of a girl with an airbrush, she is all up in every bit of your untanned junk.

this gal was nice, don't get me wrong. but she took me down into her unfinished basement and had me strip down to my unmentionables, and then gave me the chills while she sprayed and powdered me. it was a little awkward for a pregnant plus-size chica.

the end result was better than i expected, color-wise. i wasn't orange, since i asked her to use her lightest formula on my already-pasty skin. i felt like my chest got a bit tanner than the rest of me, and it didn't cover my swimsuit straps as well as i wanted, but it did help them blend. i felt like i looked pretty natural, and i think my pictures turned out well. the first day i kept smelling the formula, but that wore off.

what i didn't like was how it came off-in chunks! then again, i was on my hawaiian honeymoon, sweating and frolicking in the ocean for a week. but the color would start to pill off of me, like an old sweater, and it would make a big streak when i wiped it. this happened mostly on my legs and chest. it made me feel dirty, and i started to wonder how much people could tell that my tan was fake.

i don't regret having it done, but i probably wouldn't do it again.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

just for wedding face blog

okay, in an attempt to wash myself of the guilt and shame of being a horrifically inconsistent blogger these past few months, here goes a shout out to kyl about my wedding makeup....

even i was surprised by what i ended up using. being pregnant has caused my skin to really throw me for a loop, making my normally oily skin into a flaky, dry foreign thing. i fight oil my whole life and buy products to combat it, and on the most important day of my life, i end up having to wear something...moisturizing? i wore Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation, which would have been an absolute no-no if my skin were acting normal. i find it so hydrating that my face would generally turn into an oil slick within minutes, but not so on my wedding day. i topped it with Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, just to give it a nice finish.

My blush was Cargo blu-ray blush/highlighter in pink.

i had my eyes planned out for months. of course i used Urban Decay Primer Potion to start, because your wedding day is the last event you want your makeup to slide on. i used Cargo's 2008 Holiday Palette, and i wish i could tell you the colors, but the package doesn't state what they are. It was in a retro satin case, and had a palette of silver eyeshadows, a highlighter blush, a silver glitter pen, and a silver eyeliner. i created a muted silver smokey eye from the palette, lining my eye with Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Jet. i lined the inner rims with the silver liner from the holiday palette. i covered my under-eye circles with Benefit Erase Paste.

here was a big mascara. i was all pumped up about using Dior Blackout Waterproof. i'm a HUGE fan of the regular formula, but since i didn't want to cry it off on my big day, i decided to try the waterproof. it didn't pump up my lashes nearly as much as i wanted, and i found that it flaked off fairly easily. i put in on top of Lancome's Cils Booster XL as usual, but i didn't have the glam eyelashes of my dreams. on the upside, it didn't come off when i cried.

i stuck with an old faithful for my Bourjois Lip Stain (which is getting harder and harder to find....). i topped it with Chanel Glossimer in Constellation (which i don't think they make anymore either). i got so caught up in the day that i forgot to reapply after the initial application and there was quite a bit of kissing, so i can't blame my lip stain for bailing after about three hours. i also think that my husband still looks dashing with a little bit of glitter on his lips from me ;).

i'll post pics of my wedding face soon, and i still need to tell everyone about my spray tan experience.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

spray on that marital glow!

i'm getting married in 9 days.

i didn't picture it going exactly this way in all my girlhood dreams. i'm definitely not the size i'd like to be as a bride (that's what happens when you get pregnant-no dieting!), and i'm a pale, pale girl.

i had almost come to terms with the paleness, except one day over the summer i got into my mother-in-law's pool and returned with some VERY noticeable stripes from my bathing suit. my dress won't be able to cover these, and i know they'll show up in the pictures.

i'm considering a salon spray tan....maybe. not to look like a malibu bride, but to simply even out. however, i've heard that the tan can look orange if you are pale to begin with. i'm a little nervous, but something has to be done, and i don't trust self-tanner in this situation. or maybe it's me i don't trust.

i also plan on doing it a few days before the wedding so that i can remedy the situation if need be.

my other dilemma: my hawaiian honeymoon and this spray tan. i've heard it doesn't hold up well under salt water. nothing says glowing newlywed like a streaky pregnant lady on the beach!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

my wedding day fragrance: Idole D'Armani

up until last weekend, i had my mind made up about what fragrance i would wear on my wedding day. Versace by Versace was my special occasion fragrance.

it's a sparkling, laughing floral that makes me envision that spectacular moment when we are announced man and wife and descend back down the aisle. that joyous, feminine smell had the potential to mark a memory. i'm not a floral girl, but this particular scent would go brilliantly with all the glitz of my wedding day, and dry down very nicely as the night wore on.


last weekend, on a whim, i sauntered through the cosmetics department of macy's. i decided to sample the new Armani.

i love the Armani fragrances, because they are so well made. Mania is still one of my all-time faves, and i had a crush on Sensi for a long time. She is an excellent choice too-it reminds me of a friend from long ago.

Idole D'Armani is a grown-up version of Sensi. Sensi was sheerly sweet without being saccharine, with just enough woods to give it depth. describes it this way: "An ode to the feminine ideal, this spicy floral fragrance captures a woman's grace, beauty and strength. Opening with dazzling clementine orange, juicy pear, ginger and davana, it boldly blends absolute saffron, jasmine and rose loukoum with base notes of patchouli and vetiver for a lingering, sensual luminosity".

if Versace was the walk back down the aisle, Idole D'Armani is a night filled with hugging loved ones and being kissed by the one you love. it's an abundance of sweet warmth, cozy and intimate. it makes you want to lean closer to the person you are talking to.

Versace laughs, while Idole huskily murmurs. it doesn't ooze sexuality with musk and sugar, it's subtley beautiful because it smells like skin in candlelight.

that's my wedding day scent.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

product test drive-clarisonic is worth the money!

i got a clarisonic for my birthday!!

i know it's foolish to say everyone should run out and get one-they are pricey. but everyone should definitely have it on their wishlist!

i had heard such amazing things from people who owned these miracle machines. tales of soft, clear skin that boggled the mind. even people whose skin broke out initially after they used it still weren't sorry. with reviews like that, it's natural to be curious.

first of all, it doesn't operate like i thought. i don't know where i got this idea, but i thought the brush spun around, but it doesn't. it simply vibrates. this vibration (while feeling very soothing on your skin), loosens dead skin and allows your product to penetrate better. it is your arm's job to move the machine in circles.

another cool feature is that it times each area of your face. once you start, it beeps after a certain amount of time to indicate that it's time to go to the next area of your face. no clock-watching!

all in all your daily clarisonic experience lasts about a minute and a half.

my skin does feel renewed after using this. the dull skin vanishes, leaving behind softer, smoother, cleaned skin. i couldn't stop touching it! it doesn't irritate existing blemishes and actually helped mine go away.

clarisonic is available with different cleansers and textures of brushes.

this is worth every penny. and then some.

Monday, July 13, 2009

i'm still here....

i'm sorry that i haven't blogged since april! it's not that i haven't missed you or found any new products to rave about. i've just been a little....busy.

in a nutshell, i'm pregnant. we moved the wedding up. it's been a whirlwind.

but, this will give me a whole new set of things to blog about, such as wedding beauty (at least until october), and then how to be pregnant and not feel like a homely, haggard beast (which i'm still working on).

don't give up on me yet-there's more to come, i promise!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

product toss....zoe flat iron

in a moment of weakness, i caved and went with a cheaper option. i should have known better with a hair tool-cheaper usually isn't better when it comes to flat irons!

i had a 2 inch ceramic Conair flat iron that i promised to someone when i upgraded to a tourmaline flat iron. tourmaline gets hotter and delivers better results quicker, with less damage to the hair. ceramic was the rage before they discovered tourmaline.

what i ended up with was a 1 inch Zoe flat iron from Ulta. bad choice. i miss my old one, even though it wasn't tourmaline. i may beg for it back.

the Zoe flatiron takes forever to get through my hair (though the downgrade from 2 inches to 1 is probably playing a part in that). it also pulls my hair.

the best flatiron i've ever used was a Sedu. it was quick and left my hair stick-straight and crazy silky. you can read great reviews on tons of hair tools, including Sedu flatirons, at .

i guess my quest for a flat iron that rocks my world continues.....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

product nails!

there is nothing that perks up a girl's spirits like a manicure.

unfortunately, with the economy these days, little splurges like that can creep to the bottom of the priority list.

so you can't afford to hit the nail salon every 2-3 weeks and get a mani or have your nails filled? you may have crossed the idea of doing them yourself off the list.

i feel your pain. i learned my lesson about fake nails many years ago, back in junior high. the nail didn't fit my actual nail bed, they didn't stay on, and it was a train wreck just trying to apply them. they made me look like trailer park barbie!

hear me out-give Broadway Nails a shot. their "real life" nails look as good as any acrylics from the salon (without the tell-tale fill line!), they don't chip, they are easy to apply, and here is the best part-they stay put!! i promise. i'm hard on nails. i tap, i type, i open cans.

though they don't stay on endlessly, they will stay on for almost a week or more. for around $7.00 a pack, you can't beat it!

nobody has to know that you did them yourself.....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

as seen on tv beauty

do you think there is any way this would really work? i'm so curious!!

i also really want one of these!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a cool wedding blog i found....

here's a really cool wedding blog i found...a vintage wedding blog. it has great DIY ideas on every aspect of a vintage-inspired wedding!

Monday, March 23, 2009

product crush....Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Face Wash!

i really want to try the Peter Thomas Roth Line. it's prices scare me a little bit, but i'm from the group that will pay extra if it yields the desire results.

all i've been able to try so far is his Glycolic Acid 3% Face Wash. it was a tie between that or Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Face Wash. let's see...fight age or fight blemishes?

luckily, i knew that many of the ways to fight aging are just as effective on blemishes, so i chose to fight age. it's based around cell turnover-the more you exfoliate and stimulate new cells on your face, the less you visibly age and the clearer your skin will be.

i really like this face wash. you've heard my oily skin woes, so you know that not all washes are as hardcore as i'd like. i don't want a gentle face wash. i want to take a power hose to my face and make that oil haul tail! i don't mean to say that PTR's face wash is going to wreak havoc on less-oily skins, but this one does a great job of chasing my excessive oil away. my face feels clean but not tight, and it feels smoother with just a few uses. the purpose of this cleanser is to smooth and clarify, and i'm sold.

it's $32.00 for 8 oz, available at Sephora and Ulta.

there are other products that i can't wait to try, such as Lashes to Die For Night Time Eyelash Conditioning Treatment, Anti Shine Mattifying Gel, Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, and the Sulfur Cooling Mask.

have you tried any of this line?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

product test drive.....Johnson's Baby Oil Body Wash

sorry i've been away, readers. i moved to a totally new state!

but i'm trying to get things back to normal....and part of that includes trying new products!

i've got dozens of shower gels. Victoria's Secret, Philosophy, Bath and Body Works. i should shower three times a day...i have enough to last me for years! still, sometimes i can't resist the urge to buy just one more. the attraction is usually the scent or the other benefits that it can offer. in this case, VERY soft, moisturized skin!

if you didn't have your body rubbed down with Johnson & Johnson products when you were a baby, i'm certain you've at least heard of them. they do a great job of making sure that baby's delicate skin stays soft, and they finally caught on adults want soft skin too.

Johnson's Baby Oil Body Wash is about as pampering as it gets. not only does it smell amazingly soft and clean (not like a nursery), but it leaves your skin silky. it promises that you'll keep the softness for 24 hours. it's tempting to leave my other gels behind, since none of them give me that kind of hydration. i love the way my skin feels and smells when i step out of the shower. it's also great to shave with!

you don't even have to hit the mall to find a great shower gel...just go to your local pharmacy or even Wal-mart and stock up on this stuff!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

changing my atmosphere

moving within the next two weeks seems pretty possible. it's overwhelming!

this is different than changing apartments...this is changing lives. as i pack the boxes, i'm hit with the magnitude of it. this is the last time i'll live by myself. when i move back to illinois, i'll be under grandma's roof again. and soon after, i'll be mrs. prince charming's wife.

my personal space is surely under attack, lol.

the things i cherish about living alone will be long gone. the ability to be a hermit for days.....the daily household chores i leave undone til whenever "later" comes....sitting on the couch watching girly shows for hours while i inhale a burrito....

i want to spend these last nati days calling up all the people i'll miss and spending some time with them, but i have so much to pack.

part of me is worried that some of these people will forget about me, and as the months separate us, they will find it easy to pass up my wedding-an event that i'm hoping brings all those people i miss back to me for a few hours. i know that means that perhaps their season in my life is over, but that's so sad.

i almost feel as though part of me is in mourning. i know in my heart of hearts that i will not see some of these people ever again. these last days are the last moments we will share. as intricately as they are involved in my live now, the busyness of life will slowly put us on different paths.

and yet, i'm excited to start a new chapter of my life. i'm getting married and most mornings i still wake up and can't believe how lucky i am. i'm in love with the people i'm moving toward, but i'm not in love with the place.

i'm getting pretty emotional, and i'm not good at goodbye. i have to say goodbye to almost ten years of nati friends....and to a city that i honestly thought i'd live my life out in.

i'm sad....and happy...and sad....and happy.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

love/hate feelings for smashbox halo

i kept hearing great things about Smashbox's Halo Hydrating Powder. curiosity got the better of me, and i had to try it for myself.

i was a bit leery because the name, "hydrating", implies that it might not be the best option for the oily-skinned. i was prepared for this to further slickify my face.

i have good news and bad news about this product.

the good news is that this stuff, for the most part, rocks. it makes my skin flawless, and it keeps shine at bay for hours. even without a mattifying primer, my skin never looks oily. it stays put all day, too. i like it better that UD's Surreal Skin and Bare Escentuals.

the containter is fun and portable, which is quite a feat when it comes to loose powder. this is actually just a pressed powder with it's top layer shaved off, thus created a loose powder.

the bad news is that is costs $59. that's a mighty expensive habit. also, it may turn people off who buy things based on how it feels on the skin. while it looks great, it makes my face feel waxy. it didn't cause breakouts, though.

tried this? do you share my mixed emotions?

Friday, January 30, 2009

product lust.....urban decay primer potion sin

any glamourista worth her salt has tried and loved Urban Decay's Primer Potion. nothing works as well to make your eyeshadow stay exactly where you put it ten hours before.

but now, UDPP has a shimmery little sister called Sin. she does the job that the original does, but she's a pinkish goldish champagne hue that makes any eyeshadow pop, or wears well on it's own.

it reminds me of what Two-Faced tried to do with their eyeshadow base (which was far too greasy for my oily lids). it was meant to illuminate the eye or wear alone.

i haven't seen this in person yet, but i have such a crush on the original that i'm bound to love this one too!!

have you tried this?

relationships are bad for your face!

though i've griped about my cosmetic laziness before, my progress isn't going as well as i'd like.

my beauty routines are still taking a back seat. i can't really explain why. i used to NEVER go out without makeup on. i would never even think about skipping night cream before bed. normally, i was always preened and pruned and coifed and polished.

since becoming someone's girlfriend, i've really been slacking. i don't slack on my weekend job, of course. people literally buy things off of your face there, so it's unthinkable to not have your face done.

i haven't forgotten how to do it. i just don't do it as much anymore. i'll catch a glimpse of myself throughout the day and think, "oh, i wish i'd put on some concealer" or "i look so tired, i need some blush!"

i need to push myself to look better. i can't let the fact that my boyfriend thinks i look beautiful when i first wake up keep me from looking good in public. if i get lazy, my skin will suffer. i'll look bad in all the pictures i'm in. and i want to be proud of the way i look, like i used to.

call it the glamourista's beauty rut. i gotta grab my sephora #14 smudge brush and dig myself back out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

product lust........victoria's secret shoes

it's odd for me to write about spring shoes when the ground is currently covered in several inches of snow, but indulge me. you know how the world of fashion always releases everything early. you buy parkas in july, and bikinis in january. or something like that.

these are some fantastic shoes i dug on the victorias secret website. it's the heel that's grabbing my's just amazing!

look at that heel! i wonder if stuff catches on it...

these are betsey johnson. love them, but can't see myself dropping over $200 for them. i bet they make tanned legs look awesome!

more cuteness. i mean the shoes, not the model. but she's cute too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

wedding hairstyle!

the glamourista is getting married!

and this beauty blog is the perfect place to rack my sequined brain and concoct my perfect look for that special day. don't worry, i'll still be reviewing products and lusting after things that sparkle. i'll just be throwing a lot of wedding items into the mix for the next several months.

so far, i've chosen my bridal party (4 bridesmaids and 1 junior bridesmaid), the ceremony site, the reception site, my colors (mostly white and a little black), bridesmaids dresses (they are actually choosing their own-anything long and black).

when it comes to myself, though, i'm a little overwhelmed. i thought making decisions about my own look would be easy. not so!

today's hairstyle!

i want a veil on top of my head. some places call it a fountain veil, or a bouffant veil, and even some bubble veils fit my description. i want to add height. i'm leaning towards a half-up/half down hairstyle, but there are a LOT of stunning updo's to choose from too!

half-up/half down works well with my naturally curly hair, but so would a messy updo. i also don't want any hair showing between the tiara/headband/headpiece and the veil, i.e. the veil looks like it comes from underneath a cascade of curls.

here are some pics of things that i like....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

product lust....Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain

you probably already know about my lust for lipstain. this lazy glamourista has a love/hate relationship with's need to be re-applied is frustrating. lipstain gives me low maintenance color.

my fave lipstain is Bourjois. however, sephora discontinued it and ulta doesn't carry it. i liked it because it went on like a felt tip marker, which gives you much more precision than a sponge would (like Urban Decay) or a roll-on (Lorac) or a brush (Stila). put some shiny gloss on top, and you have a unique lip look. i get more compliments when i do that than any other product i put on my lips.

i am ecstatic that Cover Girl heard my plea and released a lipstain worth my while. It has the same felt tip application, and it comes in ten shades!

like other lipstains, you will need to exfoliate your lips (easily done with a toothbrush) before you apply, otherwise it won't go on evenly.

i cannot wait to try this stuff!

Have you tried it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

head and shoulders for toes and soles?

we all know there are a zillion web pages out there with home remedies for this or that, based on products you probably already have in your house.

a lady at work told me that head and shoulders (the dandruff shampoo) will give you soft feet. if you use in the shower and scrub your feet with that product and a wash cloth, she swears it makes her biscuit heels super soft after about 2 weeks. another guy i work with swears by it, too. he's brave enough to put in on his feet and sleep with it on. according to him, the skin easily sloughs off in the morning.

those things aren't recommended uses for head and shoulders, and i'm sure the company would never advertise such practices. call me a daredevil...i'm gonna try it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

product test drive....too faced smurfette collection

leave it to too-faced to come out with a line honoring our favorite little blue cartoons. contrary to what you might think, they are not designed to turn you blue like their heroine, but rather make you "smurfy".

first, we'll start with the windows to the smurfy soul. too-faced has an eyeshadow palette and glitter eyeliners, all designed to make your peepers pop.

the shadows are actually very pretty. the So-Smurfy Eyeshadow Collection is quad of two neutrals, one blue and one pink, all easily worn separately or together. as expected, the colors are glittery. despite the versatility, i think you can pass it up for it's price of $32.50. the smurfy-eyed liner is just like the other available too-faced glitter liner shades, with the smurfy colors being bright blue and opalescent white glitter, and priced the same at $17.50.

the Mood Swing Emotionally Activated Lip Gloss is a take on their already existing Mood Gloss. it will alarm you at first application, since it comes out blue and glittery. however, it quickly changes to a rather boisterous pink. my lips were the brightest i'd ever seen them, but apparently still flattering (i got a few compliments). this is no indication of what it will do to anyone else, since each person's lips product a different shade. it also tastes and smells like blueberry, which is fun!

the So Smurfy Illumination Face Powder is probably the worst part of the collection. it's concept is right-to color correct and highlight. however, on even the palest person, it shows up white. kinda like an alien, or one of those ethereal advertisements where the women look all pale and shiny. to get any use out of it, it would have to be used sparingly. wierdly, it's getting great reviews on, but i've seen it in action and it's a little odd.

the verdict? over-priced trendy collection with no must-haves. the only thing i may purchase would be the gloss.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

product crush.......Pore Effect

try as we might, we will never be able to create an absolutely truly smooth face. we have products that work like industrial spackle that only give the illusion of what we really want.

it's those pores that are the problem!! they get gunk in them, they get infected, they stare our from our face sometimes like caverns (ew).

there is no miracle product that will make your pores go away. it doesn't matter what it claims to do, that's just not a realistic expectation. but what can a product do? clear out a pore and make it appear smaller, thus making your skin look smoother. the pores won't be gone, but if you get out all the junk that makes pores more visible, your face will look better.

a product i've recently discovered is Dr. Brandt's Pore Effect, a clarifying cream with salicylic acid that "penetrates follicles to clear acne, tighten pores, normalize oil production, stimulates cellular turnover, and calms redness and irritation". i'm converted!

the Pros: it's as effective as any mattifier that i've ever used in the way that it stalls oil production. also, a little goes a long way. you won't even need a separate moisturizer when you use this because it has enough hydration.

the Cons: it's super thick. because of the tea tree oil, it has a medicinal smell.

just to be safe i sometimes use Smashbox Anti-Shine on top of it, but i really don't need to. putting this product on before my foundation makes my skin shine-free for hours, and i have noticed my skin looking clearer, too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

product lust......Clarisonic

some of the best ways to find a new product is to let someone else try it out for you, especially if it's pricey!

let's face trendy tools and products come out everyday, all proclaiming to be life-changing. and few of the lot actually are.

when i find out about a product's amazingness on accident, when it's not from a rep from the company or from some advertisement, i find that opinion much more reliable. that's how i found out about Clarisonic.

in short? it's a skin-care brush that spins against your face. in sephora terms, it's this: "From the creators of the Sonicare® toothbrush comes Clarisonic® skin care. Sonic technology first changed the way we clean our teeth, it's now changing how we cleanse our skin. The sonic frequency moves Clarisonic's soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second. The sonic micro-massage clears your pores, loosening dirt, makeup and oil. Clarisonic® is proven to remove more dirt (sebum and makeup) than traditional, superficial cleansing, allowing your serums and moisturizers to absorb better. Skin is left soft and pampered without harsh abrasion or chemicals. Clarisonic reduces dry skin patches, oily areas and blemishes and removes 6X more makeup. Pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles appear smaller".

$195.00 sounds totally steep. for that price, couldn't you just buy a brush and move it in really fast circles all over your face? i'm less appalled by price if the thing actually works. here's why i believe that it does: more than once, while i've been giving a consultation to a client and noticed that they had great skin, they told me they were using Clarisonic. they raved about how it made their skin look and feel and weren't sorry AT ALL for the price they paid (i was crass enough to ask).

i want one of these. it's not just cleansing and makeup's diminishing fine lines and pores. the price is hard to ignore, but if you read the online reviews, these customers are so satisfied. i want one so that i can be satisfied too!!!

i haven't received confirmation yet, but i hear some Dillard's carry this item. and i have a Dillard's card. hmmm........