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).

(read full story...)

Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation ($34, Sephora.com) - Since I liked the concealer so much I thought I'd try the foundation and I really like the coverage I get from this. This is in a pump bottle but it is a formula that is more cream than liquid that lasts all day. In order to find the right shade without going in the store, I used Sephora+Pantone Color IQ service online. http://www.sephora.com/color-iq The color initially seemed a little peachy but gives me a nice warm tone to my skin this winter. (No, I don't look like an oompa-loompa. LOL)

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-use Powder Foundation Powder ($36, Sephora.com) - This has become my staple. I use this with a dry sponge to set my concealer on my cheeks and under eyes. It lasts longer and provides more coverage than translucent powder on those areas.

BareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara ($18, Sephora.com) - Although I'm a self-proclaimed mascara maniac, and would probably try anything;  I really like the thick creamy formula of this mascara. I have short fine lashes and this does a great job of volumizing.

Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara ($20, Sephora.com) - This mascara also has a thick creamy formula which thickens and lengthens my fine lashes. But what I love about this mascara is that it also curls my lashes.

MAC Sheen Supreme Lip Glass Tint ($20, maccosmetics.com) - Got this in the color Simply Wow. Nice formula and color for a lip gloss but not fond of the packaging. Its a pen with a brush tip. But you can't tell how much product is in the tube.

MAC Powder Blush ($21, maccosmetics.com) - Great powder blush; has a beautiful smooth finish; easily became a staple in my weekly routine. I have three of these in the matte formula: Harmony (fave), Buff, and Mocha.

LORAC Pro To Go Eye/Cheek Palette ($38, Loraccosmetics.com) - Love this palette; great color eye shadows and blush/bronzer. The only thing to be careful of is that the formula is a fine powder that gets loose easily which can get messy if you aren't careful. But the application is smooth and long lasting. Great for travel!

Hair Care:

Redken Curvaceous Curly Hair Shampoo and Curvaceous Conditioner for Wavy Hair ($5 -$19, ULTA) - Love these products because they make my hair super soft, and smell great. This sulfate-free and alcohol-free shampoo lathers well. I sometimes use the Curvaceous Curl Dive Hair Mask for Curly Hair as a deep conditioner. These products are formulated for my naturally curly hair but I can wear my hair blown out (straight) or air dried (curly).

KeraCare Edge Tamer ($14, ULTA) - This gel-like product works well to tame my frizzy edges whether my hair is wet or dry and a little goes a long way.

*If you are looking for a good hair stylist in the downtown Silver Spring, MD area Penny has a good one. Let me know if your interested.

  • Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush ($21, Amazon.com) - I have two of these brushes; one for my concealer and one for my liquid or cream foundations. Excellent brush to provide full coverage.
  • Sigma F20 Large Powder Brush ($29, Sigmabeauty.com ) - This is a great brush for setting powder or bronzer; super soft.
  • Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush ($14, Sigmabeauty.com ) - This soft fluffy brush blends my powder eye shadow perfectly (especially my crease color) every time.
  • MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush ($32 , MAC Store) - Might be one of the most popular brushes. Its a good tapered brush but not sure if its worth the high price. I might prefer my Sigma brush better as far as function.
NOTE: Some of these products are pricey and Penny wants to be more budget-conscious in the coming year, so I plan to find some duplicates that work just as well. I don't believe that you have to pay a lot for quality products. If you're interested in any of the budget-friendly dupes, let Penny know. ;-)

Hope that the stuff I share is helpful in some way. Thank you for your interest and support. 

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Be blessed. Be beautiful.


  1. love it! Happy New Year! I don't know if you have experienced the very inexpensive NYX line...loving the matte lipsticks, the lip butter and the liquid illuminator for under makeup. Their eye concealor is also great until I can afford to replace the Bobby Brown concealer! Continue your great work hear and I hope the companies are sponsoring you somehow so you can keep on trying stuff:) mwa

  2. Thanks Sharlene! Happy New Year to you too! I do like NYX and have tried a few things from them but I couldn't get it all into this one post. LOL! I really like their lip products (i.e. butter cream, mattes, glosses, etc) and I think they have great products at very affordable prices. Oh...and no...no sponsors...just Penny's bad habits. LOL! I will have to budget better in 2014 if I plan to keep up this blog though, so we'll see. Hugs...

  3. Hey!! I've heard great things about the la girl line. Mainly the pro concealer. I heard that it's a MAC dupe. I haven't tried it myself yet.

    1. Happy New Year Natasha! Thanks for the feedback. I have not heard of them...gotta go check them out. If its being compared to MAC, its probably pretty good. They have good products but can be pricey so a lot of companies are making similar products to stay competitive. Let me know what you think if you try it. Hugs to you and that beautiful fam of yours! ;-)