Sunday, December 23, 2012

THE DECEMBER TAG! [Tagged by DustyOHunter]

So Dusty tagged me to do NikkiTutorials' December tag and being that I was in a car accident a week ago and fractured my nose, I'm not going to do this on camera - but I wanted to do it, hence why I'm doing it here!

1.  What do you love most about December?
  Probably snow.  I do live in New England and there is just something about a true white christmas that is etched into my being.  I also love the smell of balsam fir trees and it's really only sold in mass quantities during Christmas time.

2.  What is your favorite perfume to wear with the holidays?
   If I had to pick my signature scent for the rest of the year it's Calvin Klein Beauty.  But during the winter holiday months I adore spritzing on just a bit of Paco Rabanne's Lady Million.  It dries down to an inviting warm honey and patchouli scent that just reminds me of an oversize snuggly sweater, a fireplace, and reading a book.

3.  Which 3 products can't you live without this December?
   First would be moisturizer.  Any and all moisturizer.  I have notoriously dry skin so I try to keep it as hydrated as possible so that I don't get flakies!  Then after that probably my iPod because I love Christmas music!  (or just music in general!!)  And lastly...glitter...because 'tis the season!

4.  What is your go-to look this month?
   Well, I was in a car accident about a week ago, so currently a bruised everything is my look ;)  I'm fine don't worry!   Before that though it was probably something golden and glittery and glowy with lots of lash.

5.  What is your most favorite glittery product?
   Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Glitter Liner.  End of story :)

6.   Show us your favorite ornament from your Christmas Tree.
   My mom just has a "christmas table" with a replica Charlie Brown tree on it and Nana didn't do a tree this year so unfortunately (to my chagrin) I can't take pictures of any of my favorites because there's no tree to put them on :(

7.   Which candy are you going to eat too much of this month?
   Since I don't really enjoy candy all that much -- I'll go out on a limb and say anything peppermint flavored but again -- I think the only thing I've had has been a peppermint hershey's kiss on a cookie at work...soooo yeah.

8.   What is your favorite December/Holiday related movie or TV show to watch?
   I enjoy so many of them that I can't choose just one!  Elf, Grinch (animated), Jetson's Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart or George C Scott)...love them all!

9.   What do you really hope Santa has wrapped in a present for you this year?
   An iPad mini but I know I'm not getting it so I'll say my Clarisonic Aria that I know is under the tree!

10.   The Holidays are all about sharing the love, who do you want to give a shout-out and why?
   As cheesy as it is, everyone who reads my blog, watches my videos, talks to me on the phone...basically everyone who has an active participation in my life.  I'm so grateful for all of my friends and family and I wouldn't want it any other way <3 p="p">

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone and wishing you a happy new year as well!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Glamcor Hygienic Hand Palette

Every once in a while something comes along, and you think to yourself: "WHY did NOONE come up with this idea earlier?"

The Glamcor Hygienic Hand Palette is one of those little things!



Now I have to take a moment to tell you that I had a first impressions blogpost on my blog before as I had been asked by Erik (Glamcor founder) if I would be interested in testing the prototype...but when my blog went screwy...I lost every. single. post. and. photo.  Can you say angry?  Because I sure can.   Thankfully I have emails with my first impressions!  Thank goodness for archiving!


So a few months ago (meaning like...4 or so)...Erik was kind enough to send me a box of the final product to test out!  I am not being paid to write this blogpost nor do I have to say anything other than my own opinions so head past the jump for photos and what I think!


Holiday Looks (guest blog by Elizabeth)

I love the holidays.  That's an understatement - I LOVE the holidays.  The music, the decorations, the food (mmmm cookies, candy canes and hot cocoa!),  and I love dressing up.  That's why my dear friend Ashleigh and I talked about me writing this.  I want to be festive in my holiday looks all day everyday, sometimes a full on smokey eye or red lip is just too intense, though; I am going to share some everyday holiday looks.


First off is a sparkling natural eye that can be worn from the office to holiday shopping, very simple but amped up for this time of year.  It's super chic to wear a neutral colored glitter shadow as a wash over your entire eyes, lash line to brow, after putting on primer (Too Faced shadow insurance is my fave) dust your entire eye in the glittery shadow (I'm using Too Faced Peach Fuzz) then line the eye with either a black liquid liner for a more classic look or take a festive green for a more fun look (for a liquid liner I'm using Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #13). You can either just line the lash area following the shape of your eye, or if you want a little more elegance wing it out just slightly for a cat eye suitable for the daytime.   Don't forget to curl your lashes and load on the mascara!  My current obsession is Eyeko London Skinny Brush Mascara.

This time of year is traditionally all about a bold lip, but when it's cold out and my skin and lips are feeling dry I don't always want to have a full on red lip all day.  I still enjoy color, I just decide to go more sheer with it, choosing something ultra glossy and hydrating.  My go-to lip choices are Korres Lip Butter in Rose if I want a red lip, or byTerry gloss in Moka Chili if I'm opting for a slightly more elegant look.  During the holidays a sheer glitter gloss is also a fun, yet subtle, look.


Using a  highlighter and rosy blush is a must!  A more ethereal snow queen look is fitting when the snow is falling (we get snow in L.A., only it comes from machines at the outdoor shopping malls!) so feel free to skip your bronzers and faux tans. A light golden highlight (Candlelight from Too Faced is my choice, or Albatross from Nars) or a slightly pink-silver (Benefit High Beam and Make Up For Ever Uplight #11 are both gorgeous) both can work beautifully.  Dior and Stila make blush that adjust to your perfect shade of pink, or the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are fabulous options.  As far as foundation goes, something radiance boosting is definitely the way to go, anything that will leave you glowing!  Using a radiant boosting primer under your foundation of choice is another way to add that magical feel.

To pull the look together a holiday themed manicure is a must!  Red, green or white nails with a glitter top coat and you're ready to go!


Happy Holidays and I hope you all have a fantastic New Year!  Xoxo

Friday, November 30, 2012

YouTube Series: ABC's Once Upon A Time: Rumplestiltskin Look #1 [Robert Carlyle]


Rumplestiltskin kind of reminds me of the Beetlejuice of fairy tales!  And that reminds me of the old Beetlejuice movie and it just makes me giggle.

It's not very often that I pick a character that I'm head over heels about from the beginning of a series (the one exception being Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager...she was always my favorite because she's a coffee loving badass!)  But Robert Carlyle has to be that one for me for this show.  He masterfully plays both sides of Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold to sheer perfection, so how could I not do an inspired look based on his character?

Head past the jump for inspiration photos, look photos, and the tutorial!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Living Proof: Straight

I don't talk too much about hair.  This is for a couple reasons.  One is I don't like my hair feeling like it's been weighted down by excess product, and two is that I don't like the way my hair feels with product in it.

Much like my skin, my hair is very dry...and on top of that it's damaged from years of hair dye (I'm attempting to go September 2012 to September 2013 without putting dye in it (unless required for a show)...whether or not it happens remains to be seen...).

I don't heat style my hair often unless I need it to look a certain way.  But when I do, I make sure it's protected.  If I do heat style, I will blow dry and either flat iron or curl depending on the occasion...and if I flat iron, I need it to stay somewhat straight for the next day as well because I don't wash my hair every day.

Enter: Living Proof Straight Spray.


Using the amazing technology from their wildly successful No Frizz line - the molecule PolyflouroEster (also known as OFPMA- this weightless spray can be applied to your hair wet or dry, before and after styling - and doesn't weigh the hair down with unnecessary silicones, resins, or chemicals.

For the photos below I applied the spray to my damp hair, applied heat from my blowdryer, finger raked, and achieved a massive mane of hair (that is pretty straight for me...I did not use a brush or a comb either - if you blow dry with a paddle or round brush, you will get a more sleek look than what I achieved here).



Another round of Straight spray applied, then flat ironed and here are the results!




I tend to finish off with a gentle mist of the spray after I'm done flat ironing (almost like hairspray but there's no hold to it...again, I hate feeling like I have a ton of product in my hair) and all I have to do the next day is remist and run a flat iron to get any pillow kinks out of my hair!

It sounds like you use a lot of product - and if you were to use it every single day as I use it you would most likely go through the can in a month.  I only straighten my hair around once a month so I've had my can for the better part of a year and it's only 1/3 gone.  If that gives you any kind of reference point.

I have to say I love it though...one of my favorite hair products I've used in a very long time.  Give it a try the next time you're looking for something life changing and you won't be disappointed :)



DEMO!





I did receive this product through my work but this has no bearing on my opinions on how the product functions...I am completely honest in all of my reviews.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autumn Edit: Current Skincare Routine

I feel like I keep updating my skincare routine.  If I'm completely honest about it though I am a proud product junkie so I love using things up to try more! (and believe me, if you could see my bags of skincare I have waiting to be used, you'd understand why I'm so impatient!)

My big thing right now is minimizing the amount of products I actually have opened at any one given time.  I tend to get super excited about the next thing I want to try and (admittedly) sometimes I'll give in to the temptation and open it while I'm still trying to use up my current products.

All that aside - here's what I'm using currently as we transition into winter!  I've got a photo of the current skin creams and I'll list the rest :)



Cleanser (not pictured):  Still using my ever trusty Boscia Makeup Break-Up oil cleanser
Toner (not pictured):  Sephora Collection Instant Refreshing Toner
Serum:  Rexaline Hydra-Force Concentrated Hyper Hydrating Anti-Wrinkle Serum*
Eye Cream:  Rexaline Hydra EyeZone Hyper Hydrating Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Contour Cream*
Day Cream:  Beyond Belief Vita-C Nourish & Diminish Day Cream
Night Cream:  Lancome Primordiale Night Skin Recharge Cream*
Exfoliation:  I use multiple types of exfoliation and my skin can handle it.  Know your skin and what it likes when you exfoliate...and please don't over do it!
  • Day:  F.A.B. Daily Radiance Pads
  • Evening:  Philosophy Miracle Worker Pads
  • Manual: Peter Thomas Roth Peel & Reveal Dermal Resurfacer OR Philosophy Microdelivery Peel (2-step)
  • Chemical: Dr. Denis Gross Alpha-Beta Daily Peel Pads


* - Product has been discontinued

I'm so sorry to have so many discontinued products in my line up right now - especially for people who come to my blog looking for dry skin fixes (I will be writing a post on some of my favorite *not discontinued* hydrating products soon!)

In regards to the Rexaline products - Sephora manufactured them - and now they have their own collections of skincare dedicated to your specific concerns...which is why you won't find Rexaline on the shelves anymore!  Don't pay exorbitant prices for it online...it was replaced by the Sephora Collection Skincare which has many of the same ingredients and gives many of the same benefits!  Rexaline worked because of high doses of hyaluronic acid to hydrate - and the new Sephora Collection Skincare has Hydrosenn+ (a plant derived version of said acid)

Boscia Makeup Break-Up has been on my favorites list for going on a year.  I was a little wary of oil cleansers at the beginning (yes, even with my dry skin!) because I completely despise any greasy feeling.  However, it goes on creamy when massaged into dry skin (it doesn't feel greasy to me!) and turns into a lovely milk texture once you add water to it.  And it rinses completely clean!  It takes off everything from dry lash glue to waterproof mascara - all around it's a winner!

Sephora Collection Instant Refreshing Toner was a random purchase for me.  I don't think everyone needs a toner, and certainly no one needs an alcohol based toner!  I basically use toner to pick up whatever my cleanser missed - nothing more and nothing less.  I haven't yet joined the ranks of the Clarisonic users so until that happens, I will be happy to use this as a final sweep.

Rexaline Hydra-Force Serum has been a staple of mine since last winter.  I have really dry skin and for some reason last year it got a little out of hand and all of a sudden I had chapped and cracking skin ON MY FACE.  Painful doesn't even begin to describe it...but this serum helped my skin so much that I bought a bottle of serum, and then a kit that had the serum and a moisturizer when it went on sale (as it was being discontinued for the Sephora Collection Skincare).

Rexaline Hydra-EyeZone Eye Cream again is in my line up because of it's intense hydration.  It's an all around eye cream that packs a punch with hydration.  My skin eats it up!

Beyond Belief Vita-C Day Cream is something of an accidental discovery.  When Em was visiting over the summer we went to Sally Beauty Supply and the deluxe size samples were on 99c. offer at the register.  So being the junkie I am and not being tied to any one brand/company/etc. I decided I wanted to try one.  Am I glad I did!  It's an anti-aging day cream and because of the vitamin C it's a BLT (Brighten, Lighten, Tighten).  It's not too thick and it keeps my skin nicely hydrated throughout the day.   I can't wait to get a full size!!

Lancome Primordiale Night Cream - I can't say it enough...my skin...LOVES Lancome and for the life of me I can't figure out why.  This night cream is supposed to retexturize your skin as well as kick start your cell renewal over night and contains Biotin which is a water-soluble B-vitamin (B7 specifically...which is vitamin H).  My skin never feels greasy and it's so soft every morning when I wake up.  LANCOME WHY YOU DISCONTINUE GOOD STUFF (Collaser-5x?  Remember that? I LOVED THAT!)

My exfoliation is a long list.  Basically my skin is so dry I can exfoliate it to death and it doesn't hurt it.  Granted I still will only exfoliate up to 3 times a week (unless it's the dead of winter and sometimes I'll do 4x)...but in a nutshell here's what I like about these exfoliators:

  • F.A.B. Daily Radiance Pads - Lactic and Glycolic acid gently exfoliates chemically.  Safe and gentle enough to use every day and even good for people with "angry" skin (aka skin that gets red very easily)
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker Pads - high performance retinoids (HPR) boost surface cell turnover rate (which slows in your 20's from 30 days to 60 days...did you know that?) and the best part is...no irritation like you would get with a traditional retinol!
  • PTR Peel & Reveal Dermal Resurfacer is a bead based manual exfoliator.  It peels with alpha hydroxy acids, exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, and polishes with aluminum oxide crystals.  Leaves skin silky smooth AND it smells like pumpkin pie. 
  • Philosophy Dual Phase MicroDelivery Peel - polishes skin with vitamin C/peptide crystals and a lactic/salicylic activating gel that warms on top of the polishing beads.
  • Dr. Denis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads - this is quite possibly my favorite exfoliator on the face of the planet.  I'll give you a moment to process that.  ................. I LOVE THESE THINGS!  I'll have to owe you a legit post on them...but the short story is:  travel friendly packettes, no irritation, great for all kinds of skin concerns (helps complexion issues, balances oil production, tones skin, boosts radiance!) and just all around amazing.  Non irritating and great for use every day!


What have you been using lately that you are in love with for your skin type?


Some of the products contained in this post were obtained through my job and some were purchased by myself.  Any and all opinions are fairly based on my own experiences with the products and no one else has any bearing on what I say on my blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Snacky Cakes: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

After making them twice in 2 weeks and my dear friend Jess asking me to blog about them...Here's some tasty photos to look at!  I grabbed the recipe online (it's below the pix!) and baked away!

These are always a hit at parties or just for those random surprise treats!  A fair warning, there is real liquor in these cupcakes...and while most of it is cooked out, there is straight up Bailey's binding together the frosting.  FAIR. WARNING!  Haha.

(Side note:  I fill the cupcakes with the ganache using a bismark filling tip...and this time I put two whole nips of Bailey's in the frosting rather than the 4 Tbsp it calls for...it thickened nicely and was not crystalline at all!)








Recipe can be found HERE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashionista: Christophe Guillarmé S/S 2012 recreation



Just as a little treat I thought I'd recreate an image that I found while browsing through an online magazine called EN VIE Fashion Magazine.  I hope you guys like it :)












Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby Lips and Mascara Madness: Maybelline Great Lash - Lots of Lashes

Ok.  I caved.  I found a pretty good deal at WalMart one day...I was in getting something for my grandmother and happened across this little gem:


It was around $5 and change and you got both a Great Lash and the Baby Lips.  I've been itching to try Great Lash Lots of Lashes - even though I despise the original Great Lash - and everyone has been talking about Baby Lips so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone.



First thing I want to say is that I do like the texture of Baby Lips.  I do not like Pink Punch the color.  At least, not on me.  I'd heard a lot about it from Tanya (pixi2woo on youtube) and it looks fabulous on her but I think I'm a little too olive toned for it...it's just too pepto pink on me for my tastes.  I think that I'd love the clear ones though!  So I'll have to check it out the next time I'm in a drugstore to see if I can nab one because it did make my lips super soft, I just can't get past the color.  To my sister it goes!

Then onto Great Lash Lots of Lashes.

My initial gripe with the original GL is that it's too wet and the brush doesn't do anything...now I'm not expecting any miracles with the second one - but I'm also not jaded enough to go into it hating it!  I was actually very excited because the brush reminded me of the new Lancome Doll Lashes brush (or should I say that in reverse since the Maybelline one came out first? haha)

So I tested this both alone and over my love - the Tarte MultiplEYE primer!


Great Lash Lots of Lashes alone




 Great Lash Lots of Lashes over Tarte MultiplEye primer


So here's my take on it.

Much like the original Great Lash, I find the formula is SO WET.  It can get clumpy if you try to build it...and I found the wand to be almost too flexible so that I felt I wasn't actually getting my lashes....however on the plus side, it didn't run on me throughout the day and it didn't flake onto my skin!  Points there Maybelline!

BUT.

It can be saved!  I feel that I mentioned in my love review for my Tarte primer that I said you can put any mascara over the top of it and it's fabulous!  I still hold this to be true.  Just look at my lashes in the photo!  Not clumped, nicely separated, well coated.  It is almost like it's a completely different mascara!

So I would say that if you're looking for an okay mascara from the drugstore, yeah, it's ok.  I'd still take my CoverGirl LashBlast over this one though (which someday I will repurchase and review for you guys - it's my absolute favorite drugstore mascara since the US discontinued my ULTIMATE favorite drugstore one - which is MaxFactor 2000 Calorie if you were wondering!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughts: Marcelle BB Cream

The current trend in foundations right now kind of runs the gambit from liquid powder foundations (hello Hourglass Immaculate or Tarte Amazonian Clay) to the glowiest of them all (hello Tarte Miracle Maracuja or Lancome Teint Miracle)...to the hottest buzz right now -- BB Creams.

I know that western BB creams differ quite a bit from the Asian varieties that are quite popular...and I won't start an argument about which is better because I think that when you make a product you have to keep your consumer in mind...What I can tell you, coming from my medium-full coverage foundation loving self, is that I am smitten with our version of BB creams right now.  So many brands from higher end (Smashbox, Dior, Dr. Jart) to drugstore brands (Garnier, Maybelline) have one!  And while there are some differences as they crossed over borders, there is a unifying theme of what they should be.  Skincare PLUS makeup.  Our BB creams here in the west are much more like a tinted moisturizer (texture wise) but will still offer  more coverage than said tint and still quite a bit less than a medium coverage foundation.  Again, you will find that this is going to vary between brands.

I die over foreign drugstore brands because I find them far superior to 90% of American ones...so imagine my sheer delight when Em brought me a tube of the Marcelle BB Cream from Canada on our past vacation :)



Head past the jump for more information and in-depth thoughts!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thoughts: Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40


This is truly a sunscreen for people who (like myself) do not like typical sunscreens.  I personally find traditional creamy sunscreens to be too heavy (especially for my face).  I will use them on my body [ahem when i remember to] and that's pretty much it.

The difference for myself for the Clarins one is that it's liquid and lighter than most foundations - almost watery!  Give it a good shake, drop out a few drops onto your palms, emulsify, apply, and you're off!  

Clarins says this sunscreen has 100% mineral filters for UVA/UVB protection (SPF of 40) and includes an anti-pollution complex.  Cantaloupe extract is the antioxidant of choice in this particular product.

At $38 it is pricey for a sunscreen but it performs fabulously and I'll never go back to thick creams for my face.

Head past the jump to see more product photos!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Subtle Smokey ft: Urban Decay NAKED Palette

This is a great look not only for people like myself who want to wear neutrals but have it be a little more dramatic without being overkill...but it's also a great look for events like prom and weddings!



Head past the jump for the video :)



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Makeup Memories: MAC Shell Pearl Beauty Powder

 I'm sure that many of you, like myself, have fond memories associated with makeup!  Yes?  yeah?  No?  Oh.  Ok, so I'm weird!  SO WHAT?!  Haha!

This is a different kind of post because not only do you get a review, you get a story of my life...and if that bores you...please just skip and click on the jump to go to the review (don't worry, I don't blame you if you don't care haha)

So when I first started watching videos on YouTube, one of the original "guru's" I watched was MakeupbyRisa (pretty sure she went by SonRisa on Specktra or the MAC Community on livejournal? Yes?  Wow that was a long time ago...) and I clearly remember her mentioning a beauty powder that MAC made called Shell Pearl.





Shell Pearl was originally launched in 2006 as part of MAC's summer collection SUNDRESSING and it was a hit back then too!  Relaunched in 2010 with MAC's Liberty of London collection, I recalled how much I adored the finished looks I'd seen with it and was convinced it had to be mine.

 So the release date comes, and at 10am I phone MAC (and 5 minutes later called MAC PRO) to place an order with my PRO card.  No can do...it sold out online from both the PRO site and the regular site (remember that time when they were 2 different sites?)

So I dialed my local counter (since where I live we only have ONE counter for the whole state).  They only had received a couple and they were on hold.  *breathe* ok...I dialed the store I used to go to when I lived in Florida (I had moved back home in October, it's now March) Nope..they didn't have any available either.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?  And this was a time before people were literally INSANE about limited release collections...and I could ALWAYS find things that were sold out at my counter because COME ON, IT'S MAINE.  Haha...if you live here you'll get it.

So I had been on twitter and posted a tweet about how frustrated I was because I literally couldn't get my hands on the one item I'd been talking about since I'd heard rumours that they were bringing it back.

An at-reply came back fairly soon after from someone I'd only known through Irene, Naomi, and Chris' blogtv chat days (when I lived in Florida I got heavily into makeup communities via youtube and we used to do blogTV chat nights weekly.  It was so much fun!  At any rate...)

I got that at-reply from someone I barely knew offering to pick me up a Shell Pearl because he'd already put one on hold at his local counter that he was picking up later that week and did I want one?  DID I WANT ONE?!  UM....YES!

Who is this kind stranger you ask?
You may know him.  I may have mentioned him a few times.
He may just be the Will Truman to my Grace Adler.
He's my favorite Canadian ;)

Em Wyllie and I in Jasper, Alberta

And the story and shenanigans never end...We became best friends in about 5 seconds and to this day, two years later...we owe our friendship to Shell Pearl Beauty Powder (I wonder if MAC would ever print this as a story?  Bahahaha!)

Of note, Em will be back in America visiting me exactly 2 weeks from today!  YAY! :)

Head past the jump to see my thoughts on Shell Pearl :)


Friday, June 29, 2012

MUSIC: Summer playlists

*some of my current favorites*

So with summer in full swing here in Maine (hey, the A/C is in the window...it's legit!) I have begun to craft my summer mix!  With an hour drive each way to work and countless days spent at my mom's pool, I need to have a good selection of music...something most people don't realize is that I simply cannot have what we as a society call "silence" (as a music major I do not believe that silence exists) around me.

So I thought as something fun, I would share my work in progress with you guys, and hope you guys share some awesome suggestions as that's what makes a mix more fun!

Head past the jump to see what's going on in my playlist right now!

(pictured in the photo:  Jefferson Airplane "Surrealistic Pillow", Steely Dan "Aja", The Who's Tommy, Scissor Sisters "Magic Hour"

Updated Skincare [DRY]

Just a quick little update as I swap out my skincare products once they're used up (remind me to take a picture of the BAGS of skincare I have sometime and you'll understand where I'm coming from when I say I'm not always loyal to my products...I promise!)

sorry about the photo quality...iPhone is not my favorite camera...


Not pictured is my current cleanser and toner which varies depending on the day/what I've got on my face already.


My Current Routine [6/29/12]
Cleanser:  Boscia Makeup Breakup Oil or Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Exfoliation: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
Serum: DDF Restoring Night Serum and Perricone Intensive Pore Minimizer
Day Cream: Ole Henriksen Nurture Me
Night Cream: Clinique Youth Surge Night
Eye Cream: Lancome Renergie Microlift


I do want to mention that there is a product in this routine that I'm not 100% positive that I love.  Specifically it's the Clinique night moisturizer...I'm not a huge Clinique skincare fan and I do receive a lot of products from my job so I feel obligated to test them so I know how they function and work.  I'm sure you'll know how I feel one way or the other eventually ;) haha.


Past Skincare Routines:

Thoughts: Clinique Even Better Foundation SPF 15

I am going to start out being 100% honest.
Clinique and I [generally] do not get along and I am not a fan.  Especially of their skincare.
3-step?  No.  I don't think you can pigeonhole people into one whole line of cleaners/toners/moisturizers.  I dislike the cleansers, the toners have WAY too much alcohol in them, and the DDML/DDMG (aka Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion/Gel respectively) quite frankly, suck.

Now.  That being said.  I understand that for many people the 3-Step program works wonderfully.  I am not here to dispute this.  I simply am stating my opinions based on personal trials as well as feedback from others.

HOWEVER

Then there comes a product or two that for one reason or another will just blow you out of the water.  I have 2 such products from their cosmetics range (most of which underwhelms me too, for the record) and I will probably love these 2 products until either a) they're discontinued or b) i die.  One is a mascara will will be included in a Mascara Madness post when I open my new tube...and the star of the post today is Clinique EVEN BETTER SPF 15 Foundation!


Head pas the jump to see my thoughts and opinions on this product!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mascara Madness: Lash Primer Love! My Holy Grail!!

I know I give a lot of time to lashes...but 2nd to eyeshadows, mascara is probably my most favorite beauty item.  A mascara can completely change a look just depending on what it claims to do.

I know I said in my last mascara review my thoughts on lengthening and thickening and how every mascara can do both...and I still firmly believe this to be true (unless of course the lengthening has fibers in it which is a completely different story).

Something I haven't mentioned however is how I feel about lash primers.  I'm pretty sure everyone at one point or another has tried the drugstore equivalent with their double ended tubes of white primer on one end and blackest black mascara on the other.  My major issue with those is that no matter what, the primer and mascara combined leave your lashes one of two ways...clumpy or gray.  Neither of which is my personal favorite mascara look, but if it's yours by ALL means please keep going with it :)

I've been jaded about primers.  I've tried the Dior one, I've tried the Lancome one...both of which fell short on my priming expectations.  I was resigned that a primer just wasn't for me.  Which is perfectly fine - I'm not saying that like a face primer a lash primer is something that is completely necessary.

Enter:  Tarte multiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer.



Head past the jump for my thoughts on what is now my holy grail of lash priming.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mascara Madness: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara




I'm going to wholeheartedly admit that I am one of THOSE PEOPLE when it comes to mascara.  I have the ones I love...and then I have a graveyard area where I toss the rejects to save just in case I need one for theater/I run out of my favorite and I need something until I can get another one.

But when it comes to Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes mascara...it kind of lives in this weird limbo area between the two.  I simply cannot decide one way or the other about it.

Head past the jump for more of my thoughts and photos of application!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Where The [beep] Have You Been!?

Hello!  Hello! Hello!

Before you chastise me for not being around on virtually ANY social media outlets for the past month, let me just explain haha!

I got a phone call back in...March? from a director asking if I wanted to step into a local community production of The Who's TOMMY as they had lost a few cast members.  Um, heck yes!

Side note:  if you don't really know me, or are new to my blog...I have a degree in musical theater performance!

Being that I came into the process almost an entire month late, I've had my work cut out for me...full time at job #1, part time 2 nights a week at job #2, and then rehearsals 2 night a week until April when I went to one night a week (so I could go to 3 rehearsals) and then the 1st week of May where I put my 2nd PT job on hold for a couple weeks so I could go through hell week and performances...*deep breath*  so as you can see...social media took a back burner.

The show IS currently still in production :)  We close this upcoming Sunday and I am utterly devastated already.  This has been such a welcoming and phenomenal cast, pit, and crew...and I love them all dearly.  Many I've worked with in the past, and I've made so many new colleagues!







Hopefully I'll be back in full swing sometime in June <3

Missed you all!

xo

-A-

Sunday, April 22, 2012

YouTube Series: ABC's Once Upon A Time: The Siren [Aria Pullman]


Mythology.  Some of the most interesting stories are born of myth.  Sirens are usually portrayed as a type of femme fatale and they lure men (out of mythology fishermen/sailors) to their death by drowning or hitting their ships on rocks and then drowning.  All by just using their voices.  Aria Pullman's Siren in Once Upon A Time was no exception...sort of.  (No spoilers, you'll have to watch the show!)

Head past the jump for inspiration pictures and the embedded video!

First Impressions: Almay Clear Complexion Foundation

Far Right:  Almay Clear Complexion
Shade: 220 Neutral


So I was at work last week.  And I kept seeing discounted cosmetics come through my checkout lane.  And I was intrigued.  So I checked it out on my break and while most of the lighter shades were gone I did manage to grab a couple light shades in this foundation and the Cover Girl NatureLuxe foundation (review forthcoming and will be linked when I've had a chance to test it!) for only $1.50 USD each!  I think my store is just discontinuing these particular products...I don't think the companies are...but correct me if I'm wrong!

So at any rate...on to my first impressions of the product (head past the jump!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

YouTube Series: ABC's Once Upon A Time: Red Look #1 [Meghan Ory]


Firstly...the photo I chose was the one above SOLELY because of how hard I laughed when I looked at the wolf's face.

Red is one complex character for reasons I'm not going to go into on the blog...just because if you've not seen her episode, I don't want to spoil it!  Go watch it though, it was kind of an epic twist.

Head past the jump for the photos and the video of my first Red look from Once Upon A Time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tag: 11 Beauty Questions [GlossMenagerie]


So one of the first blogs I stumbled across in my Easter Day sleepy stupor this morning is one of my favorites!  Alyson (GlossMenagerie)  had done an 11 Questions beauty blog tag and it reminded me of how much fun tag posts can be!
I know that since I've revamped my blog (due to a mishap with all of my photos being deleted through google...which I'm still angry about haha) I haven't done any tags, so let's make this one the first.  Happy Zombie Jesus Appreciation Day everyone!! xoxo

11 Things About Ashleigh:
* I'm addicted to the taste and smell of peppermint 
* the only thing i was truly ever good at in school (at least in my opinion) was singing and theater which is why i went to school for musical theater performance
* i have a performance degree from university for musical theater, and a minor in criminology
* i still wish i could be an astronaut (but as my lungs collapse in zero g due to asthma it sadly won't ever happen) but i still secretly want to be in the field of astronomy
* star trek is my favorite television and movie franchise.  ever. (yep. you got me. i'm a trek nerd)
* i'm a crazy cat lady despite being severely allergic to cats
* my favorite book of all time is Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney (also one of my top 5 musicals)
* my favorite musical of all time is CHESS
* i love autumn for it's colors, the changing of the leaves, and the perfect temperatures you get between the end of august and mid-october
* i would never want to live in florida ever again but i do miss the people i met while i was there terribly.
* despite being a makeup artist, i never seriously wore makeup at all until 2005

And these are the questions that Alyson's having us answer!

1.) What beauty brand do you own the most of?  Probably MAC at the moment with Urban Decay coming in a close 2nd
2.) If you had to choose, lipstick or lipgloss?  Lipgloss.  Always, lipgloss.
3.) Have you ever had a beauty disaster (bad hair cut, burned at the waxer, etc)?  Yep. My waxer back when I was in high school accidentally waxed off 1/2 my eyebrow by blobbing wax on it.  Thanks.
4.) Do you prefer pre-made palettes or homemade palettes?  I'm lazy.  I like pre-made palettes.
5.) What is your most prized possession of your beauty stash?  MAC Shell Pearl beauty powder.  It's how I met my best friend!
6.) Do you collect any beauty products? What about non-beauty items? I used to collect MAC pigments and mineralize skinfinishes, but now I don't make it a point to have everything because I'll never go through what I have.  As far as non beauty...I collect musicals on cd and movie musicals on dvd.
7.) What is your favorite beverage?  I love seltzer water.  Flavored or plain...doesn't matter to me!
8.) What kind of phone do you have and what is the design of your phone cover?  I have an iPhone 4S with a purple and white Otterbox.
9.) What’s a beauty product that you love but most people don’t?  probably my paintbrushes that came from the craft store that I use for eyeshadow HAHA!  Other than that...it's easier to tell you what I don't love that everyone likes...Diorshow Mascara.  WHY DOES MY MASCARA HAVE TO SMELL LIKE A NANA?!?!?!?!?  I don't like rose scent anyways and it's all I can smell when I open it. Haha.
10.) What’s on your nails right at this very moment?  SPArituals Illume and Sephora by OPI Once A Cheetah
11.) What’s the oldest thing in your stash and how old is it?  My MAC Violet pigment harkens back to 2005.  It was my first high end beauty purchase.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thoughts: NARS Sheer Glow vs. Sheer Matte


Very few foundations have crossed my path and have wow'd me enough to purchase it outright.  4 to be precise.  Maybelline Dream Nude, Maybelline Dream Liquid, Clinique Even Better (review forthcoming!), and NARS Sheer Glow.  Yes, Glow...not Matte.

Did I mention that Sheer Glow is my #1 foundation of all time?  No?  It is :)


This is going to be a comparison between the two finishes of the NARS Sheer foundations.  While I prefer Sheer Glow on myself, this in no way means that I dislike Sheer Matte.  It's just not formulated for my particular skin type.

Firstly I need to let you know that judging from the photo above you may think that these foundations come with a pump.  You would be wrong in your assumptions and I am sorry if I misled you :)  You do have to purchase a pump if you want one - and as far as I can tell, you can only get them from their website (narscosmetics.com) for $6.00 USD.  I purchased mine around a time when Temptalia had an offer for a free mini gloss trio and I would highly recommend that if you are going to purchase a pump that you make sure you need something else as the shipping is minimum of $4.00 (bringing the cost of your lone pump up to $10!?)

That's pretty much my only con with the foundation.  The price isn't a con for me because I will pay for it if it's that good. I absolutely ADORE the coverage and the texture of this foundation.  It's light...buildable...and it's actually made for fingertip application!  I know that in a lot of my videos you'll see me using a brush, but when push comes to shove and I'm getting ready in the morning, you can bet your boots that I'm using my hands - it saves me time (and I'm not acne prone, so I don't find a problem with applying foundations this way).  Alright enough rambling...here's the skinny on these foundations!!!

NARS SHEER MATTE:
While I will admit that sheer matte is not for my skin type (it's primarily best for normal/normal-oily/oily skin types) it has the most gorgeous soft matte finish that I've ever seen coming out of a matte foundation.  Some matte foundations tend to pull rather chalky and look unnatural...this one doesn't do that - even on my dry skin!

It is oil-free, absorbs oil, and controls shine.  It also contains antioxidants and NARS' Complexion Brightening Formula so not only does it help mattify your skin, it doesn't make it look fake in the process while giving it an overall even and bright look.

As I have said, this is not the foundation for my skin type.  I received my bottle of Sheer Matte from my job, used it a few times, and passed it along to my sister (who has just done a skincare guest post for my blog!) as she has a more oily skin type.

NARS SHEER GLOW:
Now this foundation...I could write a book on this one (ok, maybe not a book...).  This is my own personal holy grail of foundations!  I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF.  So much that I purchased my very own bottle haha!

Sheer Glow is best for normal/normal-dry/dry skin types as it imparts a dewy glow to your skin to keep it from looking dull.  It's also hydrating, contains antioxidants, and contains turmeric extract to help improve the radiance and tone of the skin.  I've been using this since last summer and I can definitely say that when I'm wearing this,  I get more compliments on the appearance of my skin than any other foundation I own.

Even having dry skin I do like to set this with a translucent powder.  I work 17 hour days and I found it will NOT hold that long...even with primer.  So the powder locks it down without taking away the glow.

Have you used NARS Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte?  If so, what do you love?  If not, why would you try it?






Product: NARS Sheer Glow, NARS Sheer Matte
Availablility: sephora.com, sephora stores, narscosmetics.com, nars counters
Price: $42.00 USD



Skincare: Oily & Acneic Skin? Troublesome, But Not Terrible!

Today's guest post is a guest post coming from Adrian (aka my younger sister!  who can be found at: lightmeuplikethesun.blogpost.com)


I can speak at lengths about dry skin, and fairly knowledgeably about other skin types, but I thought that it would be nice to have the perspective of people who actually have other skin types.  So I asked her to guest post about her more oilier, hormonal acne type skin.  Enjoy and if you've got the same type of skin, let us know what works for you!!


(Quick Facts:  Adrian is a 22 year old, double music major currently in college)

----

Naked Face!


For as long as I can remember, I've had issues with having oily/acneic skin. I never really "knew" what my skin type was until May of 2010 when Ashleigh and I took a trip to New York City and stopped by the Mario Badescu salon. I got a personalized skin care routine based on the fact that I have combination/oily skin. The acneic factor is primarily hormonal, so my acne is based predominately around "that time." - Let's talk about inconvenient. I feel like crap, and then on top of that, my skin looks like crap!!

So I seem to have hit the jack pot with "crappy" skin. I have to constantly have blotting papers on my person, or I have to matte down my skin with primers. I also only wear matte finished foundations.

My saving grace? Dermadoctor Wrinkle Revenge Facial Cleanser. It's 10% Glycolic Acid is enough of a chemical exfoliation to deep clean my skin, yet it's not harsh enough to destroy my sensitive skin. Oh… I forgot to mention that bit? Yeah. I have extremely sensitive skin… more negative points for my skin! /sarcasm.

I have become so incredibly picky about what I use for my skin care routine, that once I find something I tend to cling to it (which I know I won't be able to do forever, since your skin typically changes multiple times throughout your life); however, as of right now, I look for products that have roughly around 10% glycolic or salicylic acid in it. If I want more exfoliation on certain days, I have an Olay Professionals spin brush that I use for less than 30 seconds over my entire face. For moisturizer, I specifically look for mattifying moisturizers that are oil-free, and for eye cream, I prefer to have a firming eye cream, because even though I'm young (I'm 22 years old), I firmly [hah] believe in taking good care of your skin as early as possible!

SO: Here's what I [personally] use to keep my oily/acneic skin at bay as much as I possibly can:

* Prescribed birth control: This has been prescribed to help keep as much of the acne at bay as possible, before my natural body chemistry takes over.

* Dermadoctor Wrinkle Revenge Facial Cleanser: I started only using it in the morning, and slowly worked myself to using it morning and night. With things such as this, and with sensitive skin, I find that you really don't want to go overboard at first.

Side note: For days that I want a gentle cleanser, I use Cetaphil original. There's nothing in it, which is great sometimes.

* Dr. Brandt Pores No More Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion: This mattifying moisturizer is wonderful! It's hydrating enough to keep my skin looking as great as it can, but also hinders oil production to an extent.

* DDF Advanced Eye Firming Concentrate: This eye cream is fantastic! It's thick, but light, and even in the short time that I have used it, I have noticed a significant difference in the texture of my skin around my eyes.