Thursday, November 29, 2012

WEN Fall is almost over!

WEN by ChazDean Fall Ginger PumpkinSeasonal Cleansing Conditioner,16o
Photo by

HURRY HURRY! The Autumn scent of Wen is almost gone! To be locked away for 3 whole seasons!
This lovely, warm and spicy miracle is one of the best haircare products I've ever used EVER!
As told by my previous love-post here. is the place to get the best pricing I've found (in the U.S.) though occasionally you can find it on

I WISH IT WOULDN'T GO AWAY!!! However, the brightside is that Winter is coming! And that means the Winter Wen Scent is on it's way! HOORAY!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A little Life Hack: Hoodie Drama Save

I live in California, The Land of Hoodies. Recently the second worst thing that could happen to a hoodie (the first being lending it someone and losing it forever), the hood string came out!
I'm not sure where I learned this Life Hack, but I'm gonna share it because it's brilliant!

Feed the string through a LARGE paperclip, then run the paperclip through the seam for the string. Since the paperclip is bigger and a different texture, it slides easily and quickly for the quickest fix ever!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nightstand Treats: Cuticle Oil

Hi there! It's been quite the while since I've posted, sorry. Stuff gets in the way of other stuff and so on.

I've been meaning to post about this marvelous little beauty, Handbag Holiday by butter LONDON for some time. I was privy to an express manicure at the butter LONDON salon at SeaTac Airport, where I made my purchase. (I took advantage of the 2 treatments for $25) The treatment retails for $18 US and can be purchased at Nordstroms,,, etc.

This lightweight oil, smells delicious and doesn't even need to be rubbed in to be effective. Which is terrific because, cuticle treatments past have been goopy and sticky and a pain in the rear, at least in my opinion.
I love this mineral oil free oil as my last step before I drift off to dreamland. Keeping the bottle on my nightstand is a good reminder to use it. A simple brush-brush-brush over my nail-beds and I'm set. I haven't noticed a residue on anything like my sheets or pillowcase, but I haven't been looking either.
The cuticle oil absorbs quickly, but yes it's an oil so you can't slather on a ton and rub your eyes. Less is more, and you don't need to dip back into the bottle often to get more product.
My cuticles look hydrated in the morning and I'm quite pleased with my pampering purchase!

With the holidays looming, or for an anytime present to yourself or your favorite nail enthusiast; Handbag Holiday is an easy choice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tinfoil: It's not just for hats anymore!

I can't remember which Pinterest link I saw that clued me into this gem of a tip. But I do fully credit Pinterest!
I saw a pin regarding glittery nail polish easily, tried it and discovered that it works with EVERY polish!

Here goes: (follow the pictures left-to-right, top to bottom)
You're going to need tinfoil, cotton balls or pads and nail polish remover. I use Acetone because it's cheap.
Pull a decent length of tinfoil, enough to make a long rectangle when folded in half length ways. Then fold end over end, creating a smaller rectangle. Tear the rectangles off, then tear them again, repeat until you've got a decent stack of tinfoil rectangles.

Soak the cotton ball in acetone, place it on your nail. Take a foil piece, start wrapping your nail, making sure you wrap as tight as you can. Sealing the foil around your finger as much as you can. I wrap once, then fold the end up, then wrap the rest around my finger. Continuing that process until your whole hand is silver tipped is awkward. But I find the appearance to be funnnnnnny, reminiscent of Family Holiday dinners where my cousins would put olives on their fingertips!

I wait 1-2 minutes, then gently pull off the tinfoil fingertip, pushing/pulling a little to make sure all the polish attaches. And Presto! No more polish! No back and forth! You're done!
So there you have it! An easy way to quickly change your polish!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WEN, it's time for Fall

I'm elated! My enormous 32oz Ginger Pumpkin WEN showed up yesterday!
Purchased from, this warm and dreamy scented beauty debuted last year at the launch of the Seasonal Scents.
I love this hair product in the first place, but wrap it in spicy ginger and warm pumpkin and I'LL PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE WEN!

The scrumptious Fall scent just came back, but it's going to be limited release, surely. If you're a fan of WEN, then give the regular size bottle a try. QVC pricing for the 16oz bottle is $29 plus S&H and applicable tax.
Since I've already established my adoration, I jumped at the chance to get the BIG size, 32oz Ginger Pumpkin WEN for around $60 plus S&H and taxes. However when I went back to check the pricing, I couldn't find the big size! It may have sold out, I'm not surprised one bit.
I'm a big fan of Fall, and the Seasonal WEN is only adding to my fandom. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Color patterned!

I've been eyeing this pattern on Pinterest for months.
Working on my dotting has been painstaking. Which sounds ridiculous, but TRUE.
I purchased these China Glaze colors Traffic Jam and Elephant Walk from and I'm really digging them.
Traffic Jam is a deep raspberry cream, no shimmer. Elephant Walk is a soft gray with the slightest hint of silvery dust.
I still need more practice, but I'M GETTING BETTER! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just call me Pinky-lee!!

Ok, don't really call me that. I just looove this Pink combination!

Both are China Glaze colours. Dress Me Up is the pink I reviewed earlier. The glitter is Material Girl, and lemme tell ya, it is GLI-TTER-Y!! Multiple sizes of glitter gives a terrific saturation of the sparkly stuff. I had to use it to cover the entire accent nail because I haven't mastered the gradient glitter application look...but I'm trying!!

Both were purchased via because of the free shipping (you have to shop around to find it sometimes) or low shipping costs. Both were under $5 and included free shipping.

What do you think? Do you like it??

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No More Arm Bumps? Awesome!

Hi everyone! It's been a busy summer hasn't it? Have you been neglecting your skin? No no, not the skin on your face, but your body??? All those scrubs and lotions and the sunblock/sunscreen I know everyone has been slathering on: well, if you're like me, you can get little bumps on your arms or legs. It's annoying.

I was first turned on to this little potion by the lovely Cora of (HI CORA!!!) and at the very next opportunity I rushed to the store to get myself my own bottle.

Enter in CeraVe Renewing Lotion. A body lotion with salicylic acid, ceramides and vitamin D (as per the bottle). The Salicylic Acid helps break down and improve the "slough off" factor of your skin, improving the texture slowly. Which is the real key. If you scrub and scrub and scrub your skin raw, you are going to have softness for about an hour, but then the roughness comes right back because you've scratched the surface of your skin. Literally. Breaking down the cells slowly and evenly improves the texture overall and for a longer run.

I've only been using it for about 2 weeks, every other night because frankly, I forget. It's been hot and the thought of putting anything on my skin that wasn't icy-chilled was an abysmal thought. I have noticed a reduction in the bumpies on my arms and my elbows seem to be softer, score!!

Now, this stuff does not come cheap. The 8 oz bottle (above) cost me about $16 with taxes and that's at a regular box store (Wal-Mart). Ouch. Fortunately, a little goes further than you'd think. One short pump and I was able to saturate my entire arm and it absorbs fairly quickly. 

Because it's a chemical exfoliant, using the CeraVe before bedtime is optimal. There's very little scent, so there's no real risk of offending yourself or a loved one. I'm betting you could probably layer on a nighttime lotion (your Lavenders, your Chamomile scented lotions) but I would use them sparingly. You don't want to negate the good stuff in the CeraVe.

The following day, you can use your regular lotion (I recommend Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion) but it's my opinion that you should also be adding sunscreen to your regimen. You can knock both off by using Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion with SPF 15.

Whatever you do, treat your skin well, it's got to last you for your life!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anti-Frizz: When "Lightweight" is a GOOD thing.

I've been using the Frizz-Ease Sheer Solution for close to a month.
It's a bi-phasel system (two liquids in the bottle that you have to shake to activate/mix) that you use on wet or damp hair.
Here's their words: "This non-greasy, shake-to-activate formula fights frizz without weighing your hair down"
Here's my words: That's pretty accurate actually! I haven't noticed that much frizz fight, but I shower and wash my hair at night (most nights) and go to bed with it wet so no matter what I use (short of axl grease) I'm going to have some frizz in my morning hair. That being said, the texture, is extremely light and distributes quickly and as near as I can tell, evenly. I've used thick, sticky frizz fighters before with terrific results in anti-frizz but at the expense of my hair looking greasy. I'm happy that there's an alternative in the Sheer Solution. It doesn't have that heavy silicone feel the original John Frieda products have; so I would definitely recommend it for those who suffer from thin and fine locks.

This product was provided for review via BzzAgent. So I have no idea what the price point is or is going to be.

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Razor's Edge: Adequate?

Shaving. No matter the body part. Razors are the go-to.
I was given the opportunity to try out and review the BIC Soleil Savvy razors and while I can't rave about them; I will say they get the job done.
Here's their words: "The convenience of a disposable razor, now with the premium shave performance of a refillable cartridge system"
Here's my words: I liked the compact nature of the disposable razor; but frankly I'd have paid more for a better shave.

Again, the product was provided for review so I have no idea what the price point will be, but it's safe to assume it's going to be affordable. If you're looking for cheap and travel friendly, I say go for it! If you're not so much concerned with price, then keep these in mind for when you are.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fall-ing for these colors (even in Summer).

I've got a new nail polish obsession.

China Glaze: The Hunger Games Collection colors in Foie Gras (left) and Dress Me Up (right).

Foie Gras is a plum-ish brown which sounds hideous, but looks lovely after two coats. More like a melted milk chocolate than duck, Foie Gras looks terrific on it's own or paired with a creamy-yellow-white or blue toned accent color. Don't be afraid to experiment! The color is rich but not goth.

Dress Me Up is a soft warm pink-brown. Now, in the picture it does appear more brown than pink, but in person I'd say it resembles a well worn ballet slipper. Muted, but by no means boring! Somewhere between neutral and professional.

Both colors have great color saturation, (I'm not a big fan of sheer washes on my nails unless the color is super neon bright or baby pink) two coats was all I needed. I don't see a problem with wearing these colors in any season. They feel very "grown-up"

Again, is my shopping destination of choice for my polishes. However I did my homework! I looked to for color swatches and options.

What do you think? Would you wear either of these?

Friday, June 29, 2012

And the new WEN Summer Scent is....

And it is WONDERFUL!

I got my new WEN scent from yesterday and could not wait to use it!
Much to my surprise; the stronger note in the bottle is the MANGO and not the coconut! I thought for sure I would smell like suntan lotion/the beach experience upon using the shiny new concoction, but no! The scent is strongly fruity, but not super sweet. Unlike other WEN scents, this one lingers long after. The smell is sweet but not overly so. Completely lovely!

photo courtesy of community picture
My recommendation? If you're already a WEN fan, give it a shot! I'll be ordering another bottle soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stained your nails? EASY fix!

Have you ever used a dark or colorful nail polish, then after taking it off eventually you discover *GASP* your nails are stained BIG TIME?

Me too! My best friend (HI SCHMOOPS!!) gave me a terrific tip on how to remove the stain with minimal effort but maximum results:

Lemon juice and baking soda! That's it!
Spoon or dump some baking soda into a bowl, then add lemon juice and mix until you make a liquidy paste. It should feel very gritty, but not dry. You need it to stay liquid for ease of use. Then, dip your fingertips into the grit and massage your finger tops with opposing hands. Just like you would wash your hands normally.

It takes about 3 minutes, then wash your hands! Repeat if necessary, but I only needed to do it once and my darkly stained nails were pristine! (Naturally I didn't take a before or after picture of my nails. Frankly because I didn't think it would work as well as it did!)

The clean-up is as easy as every other step. And it's cheap! You probably have the elements in your kitchen already. Give it a shot! You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't forget your Top Coat!

If I hadn't purchased and tried this product for myself, I wouldn't have believed it.

Enter in Seche Vite fast dry top coat!
When it says fast, it means FAST! After applying two coats of nail color on each nail, starting at my pinky I applied one coat of the Seche Vite to each nail and by the time I was finished with my second hand, THE FIRST HAND WAS DRY TO THE TOUCH!! I'm not even kidding! Not "sticky" or "tacky". Slick and dry! (Granted, if you stab the polish, you're going to nick it still)

I first tried the top coat ten minutes before leaving for a night out; by the time I'd reached for my car keys I was marveling at my freshly painted fingertips and picking my jaw up off the floor that they were DRY!

I can paint my nails with regular polish, use the top coat and go straight to bed! Anyone who's learned the hard way that wet polish and bedtime equals ruined manicure by morning knows what I'm talking about.

Not with this little beauty!

Pricing varies, I suggest shopping around. I relied on my trusty and was not disappointed.

The only downsides were the smell being very chemical and if I have a small cut it burns burns burns! Honestly, any polish burns when that happens.

To maintain my finger paint, I alternate days of application. Putting some OPI Nail Envy on first then the quick coat.

I highly recommend this top coat!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UGH!! Yuck!

Normally I only like to write up stuff I can recommend.

But I gotta tell ya, this base coat is HORRIBLE!

Sally Hansen's Tough as Wraps basecoat. I wish I could say anything positive but I just can't.

Even the thinnest coat of it bubbles and yellows almost immediately. Who wants their nails all bumpy??? (look at that picture! Yuck!!!) Not me!
If you're considering purchasing a new product for nail strength, I suggest OPI Nail Envy instead.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Matte about my nails!

Ok, admittedly I'm not the greatest at painting my own nails. And the picture below only confirms it, however I have meant to write up the Essie Matte About You top coat.for awhile and showcase it over a dark enough polish to show it off.
The solid blue is a non-shimmer blue creme from MAC, specifically the Wonder Woman collection that was limited. The matte top coat makes the polish look like paper, and gives it a papery texture too. One coat is all you need to turn the tables on your regular nail color. The drying time is minimal, when it looks matte, it's basically dry. It's like having a brand new drawer of polish options! Plus, because it's a top coat, you can change up your polish on a whim and change back to shiny and glossy really quickly and easily!
Ordering from is the best way I've found, the prices are competitive so you can get a fantastic deal!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A little Lip service

Inspired by a Facebook post by my darling friend, Anne (aka Muse Mama) I decided to give a little Lip service! Lip color that is!

Here's my lips, with nothing on them; naked as lips can get.
I didn't even put any regular lip balm on like EOS or Burt's Bees!

I've been a big fan of lip tints for a long time. Sometimes a lipstick can be too hard looking, and a gloss can fade away too fast. I'm happy to report that Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter are a beautiful alternative to both!

Rich in texture like a lipstick, but creating a gliding and slick-smooth surface like a gloss with a terrific hydration and decent wear; bonus, Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters come in 20 shades! TWENTY! That's a LOT of choices, my friends! Playing it safe, I purchased two of the Lip Butters. Pink Truffle and Red Velvet.
(Pink Truffle is on the left in the product picture but on the right in the swatch; Red Velvet is on the right in the product picture and on the left in the swatch)

Pink Truffle is in the pink family, but it's more muted than it is baby or bubble gum pink. I found it to be my go-to when I just want a little color. It's a good "bare but not" look.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle
With no liner needed, it gives a fuller appearance without being overbearing. 

To kick it up and frankly, the name just made me grab it with my hot little hand; here's Red Velvet. A blue red that's got a sheerness that makes it easy to wear with or without liner (this is without). Also, I found that layering Red Velvet over another more "blah" color like a brown-ish neutral really boosts the look of the original color.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet

As you can see, it's totally wearable on it's own as a daily as well. The pigment is stronger in person, but don't be afraid to use it on the fly! The colors slightly deepen with more layers, but not by much so it's not like you have to have a light hand applying them.

These are my two favorites and the ones that I think are good starters for those who are leery of lip products. They cost about $7 US and can be found at most major box retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Never fear: Bold Colors ARE Wearable!

Bold colors are always beautiful. But how one pairs them and wears them can be a challenge. Without going "Full Drag", adding bold colors can seamlessly be incorporated into your eye makeup repertoire!

Maybelline New York has really upped their game when it comes to long-wearing, affordable and easy to use products. Their EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24 hour Cream Gel Shadow works fantastic! The pigments are bright. The formula is creamy but controllable. The top layer does tend to dry out and can crumble when you're dipping into them; but once you're past that slight film, the product is undeniable.

The two brushes I used were a flat liner brush from and a lip brush by e.l.f. Cosmetics. Both are synthetic hair that stain easily. Neither one was expensive so if I need to replace them, it's no big deal.

I purchased the Tenacious Teal and Fierce and Tangy simply because I've always loved a good ocean-y blue and years ago in my stint as a makeup artist I found that bright orange is a really fun and workable color. Both colors are beautiful and really do go well together! The cool of the teal acts as a great accent color to a wash of the orange on just about everyone. Though it's not a combination that most would wear. Don't be afraid! It works!!

Using the smaller e.l.f brush, I put a small wash of the orange from my inner lid towards the outer corner. Once I had the orange placed, I used my finger to smudge the color to cover the majority of my lid. (This creates a good background for your lashes.) Next I used the flat liner brush and tap-swept the brush along the outer lid area until I'd built up a good color saturation. Going little by little ensures you can blend any mistakes away. After I'd gotten the top line, I ran the same flat liner under the lower quarter inch or so of my lower lashes. Again, it's all about contrasts. Because I'm so pale, the cool blast of teal really pops without making the undereye look heavy. (Additionally, putting a little color on the outer edge helps draw attention away from my darker undereye circles.) With the Color Tattoo products, working quickly is a must. The product sets quickly, and as promised, lasts. Zero and I mean ZERO fading. I didn't even use an eyeshadow base. These suckers are on. Next, I used the Tightlining Technique and Products from my previous post. Curled my lashes and put on a good coat of Cover Girl 24 Hour Lash Blast Mascara and I was done!

The Maybelline New York Eye Studio shadows were under $9 US each and since so little needs to be used, they will last both on my face and in my makeup case! The general rule is less is more when it comes to bold and bright colors; but don't be afraid! Play with them! They are really fun and are worth the little time it takes to get used to them! Happy painting!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Essentials: A good foundation

Foundations are tricky. The newest foundation trend is Beauty Balm, aka B.B. cream. There have been an influx of brands from drugstore to department store suddenly shouting "BB CREAM"! What is BB cream?

It's a cross between tinted moisturizer and foundation. Typically lightweight and quick drying. Working quickly is a must with BB cream. A sponge or brush isn't necessary nor is it recommended (personally) since the pigments blend out easily and evenly with just the fingertips. Additionally, a small amount, seriously the diameter of a chick-pea, is all you need for an application.

I bought the Smashbox BB cream in Light.

Here is the swatch with the approximate amount needed to cover the face. When I say "cover the face" what I mean is you start in the middle (nose/T-zone) area and blend out to your cheeks, then up and down onto the forehead and chin areas. Don't go crazy and try and put BB cream on like a regular foundation. It's not. Take a look for yourself!

Here is the before: I know, pore issues. But relatively even skin with just a little redness on my cheeks. 
And here is the end result before powder. 
BB cream definitely helps to tone down any redness immediately and give a smoother look with very little effort.

BB cream can be used as primer as well, I've yet to try it since I've found the coverage is exactly what I wanted. Something light that looks like skin but as near perfect as possible.
At $39 US, the Smashbox BB cream is pricey, but I liked the fact that so little is needed for results which means I'll be using this BB cream well into the summer and possibly fall seasons.

Have you tried any BB creams? Any thoughts or questions? Feel free to ask!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nailing it!

These are one of my favorite Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips I previously wrote about.

This set is called "Love Letter" and it is just lovely, it looks like an old handwritten letter and it's one of my favorite non-holiday related strips.

The popularity of the nail strips is making me really happy since they are so much easier to apply and maintain than regular liquid polish. The range of color and pattern for Sally Hansen vary store to store during each season, however Love Letter seems to be one of the staples. I'm glad because I thought it was limited to the February-Valentines patterns.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From the Infomercials: Spring Wen!!

I'm one of those people who fell for the infomercial and am now hooked for life when it comes to Wen by Chaz Dean!

I started with the regular formula Sweet Almond Mint, and ordered every single scent. All of them.

Last fall, a seasonal scent was introduced Ginger Pumpkin (the only word I can use to describe it is WARM. It smelled WARM) followed by the Winter Vanilla Mint which smelled softer than a peppermint candy, but more like a soft white chocolate mint smell.

Now it's spring, and I was apprehensive that they would go the flowery route and it would be overwhelming and I would hate it. I am happy to report that I was wrong! Well, sort of.

WEN® Spring Gardenia Green Tea Cleansing Conditioner 16oz
Photo courtesy of

The new spring scent is Spring Gardenia Green Tea and let me tell you, it is delightful!! Soft and subtle, the gardenia is not the in the fragrance forefront which made me very happy since I cannot stand overwhelming gardenia. The green tea gives a fresh, clean, but not stringent smell that makes using this Wen flavor fantastic!

The product can be used as instructed, as a cleansing conditioner, however you do have to use a lot of the product if your hair is shoulder length or longer. And it isn't cheap. The prices vary from site to site. (Available at Wen by Chaz DeanQVC, and or you can google/bing it for yourself and try to find it)

The water in my city is hard, so I use a different shampoo (le gasp! Sorry Chaz!) on occasion but I use whatever Wen is in season and/or the original Sweet Almond Mint whenever the mood strikes me, as my conditioner and leave in treatment every time I wash/condition my hair.

I've been converted, I'll be a WEN girl for life, I love love love it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Red. Yellow. GO!

Personally I don't suffer from Rosacea, but it's a common enough problem that I feel comfortable posting about it without first hand suffer-knowledge of the issue.

That patchy redness (mainly found on caucasion skintones) can make the search for correct foundation an ordeal. While the color looks right on your lower cheeks (most commonly where foundation color is gauged) and jawline; when the foundation is applied over the reddened T-zone and cheeks, the colors can turn anywhere from ashen to bright pink and that is a major problem!

If you suffer from rosacea or require other color correction; you may have seen various creamy or powdered pallettes of dark beige, lemon yellow, pale green, soft lavendar, etc. However the texture of those sometimes make using them less than optimal. Too heavy a balm or cream and the skin can look dry and cakey. Same goes for powder; a powder is used with a fluffy brush normally used over an existing foundation/tinted moisturizer, however if you go overboard, you can't undo it. I don't recommend color correting with powder unless you're already really comfortable with it. Now, that doesn't mean the pallettes that are meant to brighten with the color correction aren't terrific! Those are great because the pigments aren't high (meaning the color isn't saturated and you won't end up with a green streak if you go heavy-handed) so you get a diffused color correction as opposed to the stright purple or green or yellow powders themselves.

photo from
My favorite product to recommend is LORAC Oil-Free Neutralizer for under foundation color correction. Used with a sponge, preferably damp (fingers or a brush wouldn't be optimal because you'll end up using too much product) a small amount of this yellowy-greeny liquid can be stippled onto just the red zones on the face. Once the neutralizer is dry (only takes a minute or two), you may use the foundation of your choice over it. Using light stippling (as all liquid foundations should be applied) you can blend blend blend your foundation on and the results are remarkable. The Neutralizer helps create a better color base for your foundation to lay on resulting in a better coverage, which is the whole point of foundation. And since it's oil-free, there's no fear for breaking out or irritating the skin.

Neutralizer can be used as a contour makeup as well. But use with caution! It may look like a light cream-colored foundation in the bottle, but when it hits the skin it is definitely a greeny-yellowy liquid. It's not meant to be used on it's own unless your skin is so fair that you can get away with it.

Bottom line: if you suffer or know someone who battles with rosacea, the LORAC Oil-Free Neutralizer is worth a try. You can get your hands on it at Ulta and Sephora and see for yourself. You can also order it online at LORAC Cosmetics, Sephora, Ulta, and of course The retail price is $30 US but the .90fl oz bottle lasts a long time. One pump is almost always too much. Little goes a long way with this one!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gimme that Base!

Sometimes finding the right eyeshadow base can feel like big game hunting on the Moon. Impossible.
Creaseless eye art is the goal, and I've found a couple contenders you may want to try.

Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray
Photo courtesy of BeneFitCosmetics via Amazon
 Stay Don't Stray by BeneFit Cosmetics

1. The Good: Cost is $26 US so it's affordable. Available online and in department stores such as Ulta, Sephora, most Macy's, BeneFit Cosmetics,, etc. The texture is liquidy. Easily spreads with finger or cream shadow brush and keeps the eyelids oil free. You can use any type of shadow on it; cream or powder or cream to powder or loose shadow. It keeps your shadow on and if you can use it under your eye, it keeps your concealer in line as well. It color corrects so you may end up using less under eye concealer in the first place.

2. The Meh: It comes in a pump, so you will end up using too much until you get used to the "half pump" and even then, you'll end up with too much. Additionally, you can't see how much product you have left so if you run out mid-application, you're out of luck. It only comes in one color so if you have a tan or are darker complexted, you're in trouble. It'll end up looking chalky and dry and no matter how much you try to color correct, it doesn't blend out. You're stuck. Because of the pump, extra bits of product leak out and can make a bit of a mess. It can be difficult to blend your dry powder shadow if you don't have a light hand.

3.The Verdict: If you have the time and patience to work with it, travel a lot and need to have products that double their use, and are very fair skinned; Stay Don't Stray is fine for you. However I do recommend stopping into a store to physically see and feel the product for yourself.

Laura Mercier Eye Canvas
Photo courtesy of Laura Mercia via
 Laura Mercier Eye Canvas

1. The Good: Cost is $26 US. Available online and in department stores such as Sephora, some Macy's,,, Nordstrom, etc. Five colors are available right now. Spreading a thin amount of the creamy base creates an almost magnet-style attraction for eyeshadow. You end up with a true to color result for your shadows. Cream, powder, cream to powder and loose powder shadows work well on this shadow base. Brightens and color corrects the lid, removing any redness and creating a good neutral-skin colored canvas for your colours of choice. Dries down quickly so there's no waiting to put on your eyeshadow. It's easy to blend your eyeshadow on this product even if you accidently get a little heavy handed. The wear is fantastic, I checked my shadow application after 15 hours and my look never faded!

2. The Meh: Though it comes in 5 colors, the color range doesn't go deep. So the same applies here; you could end up with a chalky look if you don't use it sparingly and have a deeper complexion. If you don't have a cream shadow brush, you can use your finger but you'll use too much. Trust me. Plus, you don't want to put your finger into the container, the oils from your fingers break down the product. The pot is glass and the lid plastic which means if you drop it just right you could end up with a shattered eyeshadow base or a cracked lid and the product is garbage bound.

3.The Verdict: I love this product! I recommend testing it yourself to find the right color, but other than that, GO GO GO! I purchased the EC1 (the lightest shade), and it brightens and makes the eyespace look more open. The texture is lovely and creamy, doesn't drag on the tender skin of the eyelid and you can't argue with results. It worked so well after a particularly trying evening of karaoke, dancing around like a maniac and of course, adult beverages; I was thoroughly impressed. Not a single greasy-lookin' crease and the colors were the same as when I first applied it. Highly recommended!

What counts the most is that your eyeshadow base does it's job: keep your eyeshadow looking the way you want it until you want to take it off. If what you use right now (or if you don't use any) isn't cutting it; give one of these two a try! You might find a whole new world in your pallette of shadows once your base is doing it's job.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Even the best look has got to go!

Down the drain of course!
You never, and I mean never want to sleep in your makeup. I don't care how "natural" it is, don't sleep in it! Especially your eye makeup. I've long grimaced at bi-phase makeup removers (the kind you have to shake-shake-shake) but I've found one that meets my demands. 1. Affordable and available. 2. Does the job. 3. Doesn't burn my eyes.

Enter in L'Oreal Paris Clean Artiste Waterproof & Long Wearing Eye Makeup Remover.
Photo courtesy of

A little shake to activate, a cotton round (or cotton ball, whatever your preference) and you are ready to take off the art you beat on your eyes. It takes off even the most stubborn waterproof eye shadow, liner or mascara, including the marvelous CoverGirl 24 hour Mascara I wrote about previously. It takes a little swiping, but the effort in removal isn't nearly as difficult as putting on the makeup in the first place!

There was a little residue, but it was nothing the Baby Shampoo Tip I wrote about couldn't make quick work of.

Even with my contacts on, I didn't experience any burning. At all! I was shocked! Normally with a bi-phase remover there's some sort of burning or irritation, however mild. I thought maybe I wasn't getting all the makeup off, but nope. I got it all and my eyes were perfectly fine. Major points!

The cost varies, the suggested retail price is $6.99 US, I believe I got mine for under $6. Now, there's little to no excuse not to take off that makeup!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hydration Happiness

Heavy moisturizers. They come in jars and I've avoided them for most of my life. They have such a negative reputation. The greasy, heavy feeling, no thanks!
However I was looking for a moisturizer with a little more oomph and I came across Abyssine Cream Plus by Kiehls. On the pricey side, at $48 US, however this little sucker is fantastic!!

Photo straight from, here's their deets:
•Anti-wrinkle defense cream to help reduce the signs of aging and protect skin from external damage.
•Abyssine, a survival molecule which thrives under the extreme conditions in hydrothermal ocean vents, helps soothe and protect skin. 
•Helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while defending skin from free radical damage.
•Dermatologist-tested and suitable for sensitive skin.

Super. But what does it mean??

What it means is a small amount works itself effortlessly into the skin with no greasy afterfeel!! Skin feels hydrated and soft without the weight associated with most "creams". I didn't have to wait for it to absorb to begin my makeup. The texture is dense but whipped. Which doesn't make sense but when you feel it for yourself, you'll see how quickly it spreads and absorbs into your skin. It smells terrific too!  Not flowery, but light and fresh.

Have I noticed any difference in fine lines or wrinkles? No, but I wasn't looking for them in the first place really. I wanted something that felt good and had value. I found it. A little dip with a Q-Tip and away I go! *Little known fact, you never want to touch your jarred creams, like eye cream. The oils from your hands can break down the product when it's left in the jar.*

If you're starting to look at your moisturizer and think, "What have you done for me lately??"; do yourself a favor and get yourself some Abyssine Cream Plus by Kiehl's. It's perfect for day or night or both! The beauty of Kiehl's is if you can get into a store (A Kiehl's Store or department store like Nordstroms) , they will almost always let you have a sample to take home. If they don't have any samples, you can open the tester and touch the product yourself which I always recommend. 

So there's the little gem that's been making my face feel amazing for a little over a year (one jar lasted me about 6 months!). I couldn't be happier with it!

Friday, February 17, 2012

How-to: Tightlining. The better way to line your eyes.

Eyeliner, is not just for the top of the eyelid anymore! Well, it hasn't been for some time, but the Tightlining Method isn't as popular as it should be.

What is Tightlining?
Tightlining accentuates the existing lashline by coloring the space between the eyelashes. It allows for more room on the eyelid for color (helps those of us with "hooded" eyes) and gives a more natural emphasis than a pencil or powder liner. Sounds hard you may be thinking; it's not. It's surprisingly easier to master with the right tools and a just a little practice.

The Tools You'll Need
Originally, I was taught the Tightlining method with a pencil, wet to dry eyeshadow, brush and water. The result was great. Incredibly messy, but great. The pencil and wet/dry shadow thickened the base of the lashes and made the lashes mimic false eyelashes. Then the process was consolidated to a cake eyeliner which was fantastic, until the cake liner formula was changed and now it crumbles and flakes. Boooo! What oh what to do?? Most conventional liquid eyeliners come in some sort of brush-in-handle combination where the brush is built for top of the eyelid application. Doesn't help for tightlining.

I found an alternative! Actual liquid liner, no brush included in the cap! For about $20 US, the MakeUpForever Aquarelle paint is perfect. It wears great due to Film Forming PVP Polymers, translation? The pigments dry down and bond quickly which means minimal flaking and long wear without being waterproof. Why don't I want waterproof tightliner? Because waterproofing agents can irritate your eye. The Tightlining technique puts the liner right near the eye. Unless you want to be rubbing your red eyes all day, you want to avoid irritants.

The brush below is a must. Believe me, I've tried and tried to find something similar and every brush I've tried has failed compared to the Mercier brush. The brush itself is about $24 US, but it was absolutely worth every penny. The bristles are thin and flat enough to get right where you need to. Other brushes that may look similar almost always end up being too square or too thick or too flimsy. This brush was MADE for this technique. It's one that use every day and I've had it for over 8 years. Washing it is easy, just don't squish it and it'll bounce right back to the flat and thin shape you need.

The Tools I use.
Lightbox_1329541150371.jpg What's in the cap should be enough for both eyes. 
Lightbox_1329541232167.jpeg Use the back of your hand as a pallet! It's the perfect spot, plus you'll wash your brush and your hand after your done anyway.
Lightbox_1329541361878.jpeg Using your lashes to guide you, take the flat brush and wiggle the bristles in between the lashes. Think of it as coloring in the spaces between them.
Lightbox_1329541458448.jpeg Go back to your pallet as needed, keep the brush thin and flat so you can get between each section. Keep going until you finish the whole lash line.
Lightbox_1329541563526.jpeg See? Like this. Sometimes I "blink down" onto the brush, but not a full blink! Just enough to put a little pressure on the brush and get the eyeliner liquid in between the lashes.

Lightbox_1329541846956.jpeg Now a quick curl of the lashes and some mascara and all done! 
Lightbox_1329541897952.jpeg As you can see, the eyelid is liner free, but my eyes are still defined!
  The befores.
Lightbox_1329541846956.jpeg Lightbox_1329541897952.jpeg The afters! Quite a difference, right?? And no other makeup, including concealer or eyeshadow base was used!

Tightlining is very easy once you get a hang of it. My tricks are to look down into a mirror, that way I can see without having to try and hold my eyelid up and wiggle the brush into my lashes. A handheld mirror has become my super friend for that.
Also, when you're just beginning to tightline, do it first! You can always put your concealer or eyeshadow base over any oopsies (I've done it) that you smudge on your lid. 

Tightlining looks great on everyone and is very easy to build on as far as whatever eyeshadow art you intend to do. From natural to cut creases, from shimmers to mattes! Tightlining is like a little black dress, it's perfect for every look!

Give it a try, see for yourself!