Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Beauty Buys

Happy Holidays!
Hopefully you are enjoying your holiday season and are in the best of health and spirits. I just wanted to take a moment to share 'some' of my 2013 beauty buys now that the year is coming to a close. Pardon the lengthy post. Hope its helpful.

Skin Care:
Sephora Face Complexion Brush ($7, Sephora.com) - Love the gentle exfoliation I get daily from this brush (used with the Purity cleanser usually).  It is also an inexpensive way to stimulate your circulation and improve skin texture. My skin feels clean but never dry.

Simple Sensitive Skin Expert Cleansing Facial Wipes  ($6.49, CVS) - This is a great make-up remover wipe that doesn't irritate my skin. I use this before a work out; to clean up mistakes; or if I'm in a hurry and don't have time for the Boscia cleanser. It is also great for travel.

Clarins Toning Lotion ($22, Sephora.com) - I never liked to use toner because my skin is so dry, but this tones and leaves my skin super clean without any drying or irritation. It has chamomile in it and is alcohol-free. I got a free sample from Sephora and I plan to buy a regular size bottle. Will work great in the summer when my skin is more oily in the t-zone area.

First Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum ($34, Sephora) - Its all about trial and error for Penny but this was an error. Not only did it not do anything for the redness (caused by my eczema) but it smells awful. And for the price it was a big fail. It happens.

L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara ($9, CVS) - Love this mascara with its unusal wand. It separates my lashes easily and catches even the shortest and finest of lashes. Works great on top and bottom lashes.

NARS Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 ($34, Nordstrom) - I love that this foundation primer has SPF; it gives me that extra protection I need since I don't touch up my make-up during the day. Its a light weight liquid that absorbs quickly.

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY, Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl Sheer ($28, Sephora.com) - Was so disappointed with this purchase. I really wanted to love this gloss but is was too gooey (is that a word?). LOL! It didn't stay put long enough and the peppermint oil in it dried out my lips. Bought it in beautiful shade called 306-Sweet Escape (well it was beautiful in the ad).

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tar Stained Gloss ($18, Sephora.com) - Bought this in a beautiful deep berry color called Rhythm Box. Its a great stain to use alone or under lipstick for a long lasting effect.

Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Concealer ($25, Sephora) - This has become my staple. As described by the brand, this concealer is a "heavy duty, highly pigmented, transfer- and water-resistant, multitasking concealer." After trying many other brands, I find that this covers my hyperpigmentation better than any other, and stays put all day.  I apply this with my Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush ($21) in a stippling motion for full coverage.

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot ($20, Maccosmetics.com) - This cream eye shadow is what I use daily as a 'base' to neutralize the dark color of my lids and allow my eye shadow colors to show true. I use eye shadow primer underneath this for longer lasting looks. Comes in a variety of colors but I didn't find the one that matches my skin tone until I went into the MAC store; its hard to tell how the color will show on your skin online. Layin Low is the best match for me.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Refill ($38, Nordstrom) - This is a really good lightweight cream foundation with medium-full coverage. The texture of this cream almost feels gel-like when you apply it. I've never had a cream feel so light. For me it wears best when set with powder; lasts all day. The empty compact case is sold separately ($10).

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beauty Bonus - Tips for the Holidays

Hey Beautifuls!

I can't decide what I want to share with you today so I might just give you a potpourri of sorts. Hope its helpful and fun. :-)

1) Out with the old, in with the new:
Now is a great time to replenish your make-up stock. It's cool to catch the holiday sales, the limited edition colors and palettes available now. Look for coupons and promo codes for additional savings. If you're a make-up maniac like Penny, sign up for any rewards programs and rack up your points; the savings are worth it! There are a plethora of new technology, colors, formulas, and products that debut during the holidays. You may also have more 'expired' make-up in your bags than you know.  Remember that expired cosmetics usually don't perform well, but can also cause break-outs and allergic reactions. Here is a link to Sephora's blog with a great answer on how long you should keep some of your products (i.e. Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, Mascara, etc).

2) Glam it Up:
CG LipPerfection in Euphoria
It's the holiday season and many of us have seasonal events to attend. If you want to get glam for the holidays but your not quite sure how to amp up your look, try some of these tips:
  • Try a bold, bright lip and slightly shimmery eye. Don't overdo it with the sparkly eyes if you're wearing a bold lip; you want the focus to be on your lips.
  • Try a smokey eye (especially if you're not used to wearing one) and nude or light pink lip. This is easier than it looks and is always a good sultry 'go to' for a festive occasion.
  • Wear your hair down  or partially down if you always wear it up (and vice-versa). You want to change up your usual look to get heads turning. Wear heels if you normally wear flats, etc.
  • Accessorize with jewelry, a statement purse, or funky shoes. Step out of your comfort zone and try something with a pop of color, texture, or both. If you normally wear small earrings, then try something larger. If you're not used to chunky necklaces, then try one with your comfortable small earrings. 

We all notice that red lips are classic but especially hot this time of year. Believe Penny when she says there is a red out there for everyone! Ask the cosmetic rep at the beauty counter to help you find one you are comfortable with. Don't be afraid. If you're not used to bold make-up maybe try a sheer red like Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet or Candy Apple (love this stuff). If you are comfortable doing bold, wear a bright true red color like NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (goes w/ almost every skin tone; looks great on darker skin tones)...or Covergirl Lip Perfection in Passion. Or try Covergirl Lip Perfection in Smitten or Euphoria for a deep wine/plum color.

Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet
To keep bold lips from smudging or feathering outside your lip line, use a lip liner in the same shade or slightly darker shade as your lipstick. Line your lips then blend the color in toward the center of the lip. By filling in the lip with lip pencil it will help your lip color to last through lots of eating and drinking. After applying lipstick, blot it with a tissue, then apply one more coat for staying power. If you make a mistake when applying your lipstick or liner, you can always clean up around your lips with foundation or concealer and s stiff brush, but be sure to blend it out so it is not obvious. NOTE: If red is not your color, try a deep fuchsia or bright pink; they still make great statements if they match your skin tone.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bad Habits

Hi all:

At first I was going to review some of my latest beauty buys and then I came across this article the other day that I just had to share with you. This article by Amanda Storey basically reiterates what I've been saying to some of my friends forever. We all have Bad Beauty Habits that we need to pay attention to. Check it out:

Breaking bad…beauty habits! Why you shouldn’t hang on to that old lipstick.

Here are some of Penny's products that you might be interested in:
  • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes ($4.99, Target) - These are the first non-irritating wipes I've found to remove makeup on my sensitive skin. Keep these in your nightstand for those late party nights. LOL!
  • Simple Kind to Eyes Makeup Remover ($6.97, Walmart) - Like the wipes, this is the mildest eye makeup liquid remover that is actually effective. This doesn't burn or irritate my eyes or eye lids. This will help with that stubborn mascara and smokey eye makeup that never seems to come off.
  • Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner ($7-$15, Sephora.com) - Cleaning your brushes in between washes may seem strange to some but this helps. Some makeup brushes harbor bacteria and can cause break outs. Also, if you use the same brush for more than one product you definitely should clean them in between so your products don't cross contaminate. Don't worry about your brush being wet; they dry very quickly. Penny still cleans her brushes weekly with soap and warm water; daily cleaning doesn't replace that. 
  • Honey-n-Brown Sugar DIY Lip Exfoliator - Put a drop of honey and a pinch of sugar in the palm of your hand and mix together. Lightly rub this gritty paste across your lips; leave on for a minute, then rinse with warm water and pat your lips dry. This is the best dry skin exfoliator AND moisturizing lip treatment in one! This is great for the dry winter weather and for the trendy red and oxblood lipsticks and lip stains we all love this season.
Hope this was helpful.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.