Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Glam it Up for the Holidays

Hi there!
Penny here with some last minute tips and products for cool Holiday looks!

It's that time of year when many of us get dolled up to attend holiday parties, shows at the theater, and to be the hottest hostess! So the dilemma becomes...do I go with my typical red lips and sparkly eyes or do I try something new?
Stila, MIND palette
For the company holiday party I did a little bit of classic with a twist (unfortunately my pics didn't come out well). I used my new Stila 'Eyes Are the Window' palette in Mind; these are matte shadows used to create a slightly neutral eye, but I added a touch of shimmer using NYX Roll-on Shimmer Powder in Almond (love this stuff; I put it on the back of my hand then tap onto the eyelid to avoid using too much). I mixed my staple MAC Blush in Harmony with NARS Blush in Sin (which has a slight shimmer).

For my lips I did an ombre, deep red color using Make Up For Ever Lip Liner in 11C Matte Dark Raspberry, Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in Prayer, with MAC's Lip Liner in Nightmoth blended from the outer corners in for an ombre effect. The look was completed with MAC's Viva Glam Rihanna 2 lipglass for a slight opulent shimmer. It was cool to see that lip gloss over a red color.

Penny loves this time of year when all the 'limited edition' and new palettes and colors are released. Check out the following if you're in the market for great new eye shadow shades:
  • Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar ($49, Sephora)
  • STILA Eyes are the Windows Eye Shadow Palettes ($49, Sephora)
  • Maybelline The Nudes ($8.99, ULTA; quickly became a Penny staple)
  • Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($54, ULTA)
  • Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Palette ($65, Bloomingdales)
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-con No.7 in The Starlet 204 ($59, Sephora)
  • Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette ($54, Sephora, eyes and cheeks; Penny's fave right now) 

MAC Viva Glam Rihanna 2
Trending Now:
Metallic lips and eyes in gold, bronze, and pewter
Plum and berry lip colors
Metallic or vampy nails
Smokey eyes with browns, bronze, blues and grays

Red or shimmery lips
Sparkly eye shadows
Kat Von D, Prayer
Smokey eyes
Red nails

Check out this beautiful beauty blogger/vlogger and fellow product princess (Cindy Diaz) who posted a beautiful holiday look 'tutorial.' Her blog is: www.vinylblush.com
The step-by-step video is on YouTube:
- Check out her video for the 'jewel-toned smokey eye look' too for something different this holiday season.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.
holiday party makeup ideasgold eyeshadow holiday party makeup ideas  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Skin Woes

Hello Beautiful!

Penny is not a fan of the Winter season...many of you probably know this. And one reason is because of the havoc it wreaks on my skin. Aside from aggravating my eczema, the cold dry air, or the dry indoor heat causes itchy skin all over. It causes my face to feel dry and my lips to get dry and sometimes cracked. Not only is this not 'pretty' for Penny...but it's uncomfortable. To combat dry, itchy skin I have tried a multitude of products and routines over the years. Yes, many will say I need to drink more water...that's a given...I'm bad at that. I've also been told to use a humidifier at home...and that helps but only a little. Instead, as soon as the weather turns cold  I find myself with the winter woes; having to change my daily routine to help maintain soft, supple, moisturized skin from head to toe. So here's what's been working for me this winter:

Body treatment:
C. Booth Ginger Sugar Body Scrub - One of Penny's faves! Not only do I really like the ginger smell but the sugar buffs my body smooth, and the natural oils makes my skin as soft as a baby's bottom. LOL! This is a staple in my household. ($8.99, ULTA.com)
NOTE: Please be very careful as this product makes for a very slick bathtub/shower floor. Once you safely exit the shower, be sure to scrub the surface with a cleanser as the oil will stay on the surface and create a slippery surface even after it dries. 

Body Gloves
Earth Therapeutics Body Gloves ($6.49, ULTA) - Since I exfoliate daily in the winter months I use these great body gloves to slough off any dead skin cells which preps my skin for the moisturizing treatments that follow. These are easy to use, and inexpensive so you can replace as often as you'd like. I prefer these to the shower 'puffs'  and loofahs because you get better exfoliation and mold  often grows on the puffs at the base of where the rope is tied on (gross!).

Waxelene - A natural alternative to petroleum jelly made of organic soy oil, beeswax, organic rosemary oil and natural Vitamin e. I love the texture and the fact that it absorbs well into the skin. It is a little costly for the size it comes in ($16.99, 9 oz jar). You can find it at your local Whole Foods grocery store or on Amazon.com (sometimes slightly cheaper; $15.49, 9 oz jar on Amazon). I use this nightly mixing in other essential oils at times.

Coconut Oil - Everyone knows that there are many benefits to pure coconut oil. I not only use this in my hair sometimes but I also use it at night in combination with the Waxelene for added skin softening. I bought the Nature's Way brand at Whole Foods ($19, 32 oz jar) and later saw it on Amazon for $17.24 for the same size. Coconut oil is rich in proteins which contributes to cellular health, and tissue repair; which counteracts the damage caused by my eczema. I can even use this on my face at night without breaking out.
  • Penny's Perk: Just tried NOW Foods Wheat Germ Oil  for the first time at the recommendation of a friend ($11.69, 16 oz, Amazon.com). I'm not a fan of the smell but will try to use it with my Waxelene at night to see how it works on my eczema. This oil has a heavy fragrance and dark color and should be stored in the refrigerator. Those with wheat allergies should avoid wheat germ oil. 
(read full story...)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Beauty Blitz

Penny's back!

The beautiful fall season with its warm rich colors always inspire me to go shopping for beauty products. (Not like I need any encouragement!) LOL! So this is just a brief review of some of my most recent purchases, and/or shades that I'm loving this season:

Maybelline 'The Nudes' Eye shadow Palette
Maybelline The Nudes 
Love this compact palette! Been using it almost daily. Perfect for travel. I've have gotten both daytime and nighttime looks out of this palette. ($9.99, Target)

MAC Lipstick in 'Fetish'
This is an old standard. This gives me the perfect coppery bronze lip for the season. Remember, metallic colors are in and not just for a holiday outing. ($16, MAC store)

Maybelline Color Sensation The Buffs Lip Color in 'Touchable Taupe'
Beautiful neutral shade. I did a great monochromatic look with this lipstick. Great cool, winter nude. ($5.59, Target)

MAC Lip Pencil in 'Stone'
Perfect lip pencil for the taupe look I was going for. ($16, MAC store)

L'Oreal Lipstick Privee' Collection in 'JLo'
A pretty brownish pink nude. Just a real nice neutral at an even nicer price. ($8.99, CVS)

L'Oreal JLo's Nude
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in 'Black Honey'
A beautiful alternative to black. This deep burgundy, almost black shade works great for a soft smokey effect. It easily compliments wine, bronze, and brown shadows without the harsh look of black. ($16, Sephora)

NYX Vampy Lip Cream in 'Enamored'
This dark jumbo lip pencil went on smooth and dried to a pretty matte shimmer finish. I love the control you have with a lip pencil and often wear them without lip liner. ($6.49, ULTA)

Bite Beauty Winterberry
MAC Blush in 'Taupe'
I've used this true taupe shade as a blush but prefer it as a contour shade. Worked great for the monochromatic taupe look I did. ($22, Macy's)

Bite Beauty Remix Lip Collection (Winterberry shade)
Love these jumbo lip pencils by Bite Beauty. They are creamy but long lasting with a great pop of color. Especially love that this line uses natural ingredients. I had a great pic of this color on me but it wouldn't post for me. Will try to put it on my Pinterest page. ($25, Sephora)

Most of you know that dark and red lipstick shades can make your teeth look more white and bright. So nudes and pinks could do the opposite if you already have non-white teeth. Penny recommends using a whitening strip like Crest Whitening Strips before you head out the door. 

What are some of your recent fall finds?

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Penny's Going Pink!!

Hi all! Hope this post finds you in the best of spirits!

As you all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Penny loves sharing the multitude of beauty bargains that support this cause. It's time to "Fight Like A Girl!" Let's shop with purpose and do our part to help find a cure for breast cancer (and all the cancers out there affecting us all). Here are just a few of the products you should look for this month, and more than a few of the products Penny will be purchasing. :-)

  • Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink Ribbon Lip Gloss Collection ($60) – $12 from this purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
  • Essie 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness Mini Cube (4 bottles); ($17)
  • Sexy Hair Concepts Breast Cancer Awareness Big Sexy Spray & Play Hair Spray, $36, www.JCPenney.com
  • Jergen's Original Scent Cherry-Almond Moisturizer, $7, www.Drugstore.com
  • Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, $7, www.Target.com 
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Smooth Start Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner, $6 each, www.Ulta.com 
  • Bobbi Brown
    Pretty Pink Ribbon Gloss Collection
  • Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo, $41, Walgreens.com; Redken Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner, $22, www.Walgreens.com
    • Estee' Lauder Evelyn Lauder Dream Solid Perfume Compact ($49.50) – 100% proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
    • EOS Strawberry Sorbet and Fresh Watermelon Lip Balm Duo ($5.99) – 100% proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research.
    • Aerie Limited-Edition Bridget Bra ($29.95) aerie.com – 100% proceeds to Bright Pink.
    • Clinique Great Skin Great Cause ($38); A limited-edition 6.7 oz bottle of Clinique's #1 moisturizer. Comes with a 4-charm key chain. – $10 from this purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Fall 2014 Makeup Trends

    Hi! Hope this message finds you in the best of health and spirits today! 

    FALL is here! Well, almost. The leaves haven’t changed or anything but once I get the September issues of the fashion mags, I jump into fall mode. LOL! Although summer will always be my favorite, I will always love the beauty of the fall colors. I love fall clothing and all the cool shoes introduced in the fall. But most of all the fall MAKEUP colors are Penny’s passion!

    Metallic Lips and Eyes
    Now, we can’t all pull off the looks on the runway at NY Fashion Week…but why would we want to? Penny says find your own look! Trends are fun…but they are just trends…customize something and make it your own!  I have my own runway (and drum beats in my head…LOL), so when I want to strut my stuff this season I will gravitate toward some of these cool 2014 fall looks and customize them for what looks best on moi. [NOTE: Be sure to check out ‘PennysPenchant’ on Pinterest for more photos].

    • Metallic Touches – silver, bronze eye shadows and liners; especially smudged along the bottom lash line. (e.g. MAC Eyeliner in Phone Number; MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy; Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Shadow in the Leather Collection)
      Tight-line; lower lash line
      Lined Looks – Tight lining; line bottom water line. Winged liner looks are still in this season too but Penny can’t pull that one off. J  (e.g. NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner pencil in Via Veneto; a Penny fave)
    • Smoky Eyes – Yes…these are here to stay. Smoky Brown Eyes; Smoky Plum Eyes (e.g. Revlon Eye ShadowLinks in Cocoa, Taupe & Onyx; Make Up For Ever Matte Shadow in #165 and #17; Benefit Longwear Powder Eye Shadow in Kiss me I’m Tipsy, and Gilt-Y Pleasure; and black or chocolate eyeliner of your choice)
    • Metallic Touches – Brown, Bronze, Burgundy (e.g. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Deborah w/ Larger than Life Gloss in Rouge Tribal)
    • Bold Lips and Soft Smokey Eyes
      Red Lips – Deep red; mixed hues; try a plum or wine liner with your tried and true red lipstick and blend well. (e.g. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Jeanne); your classic reds also work
    • Vampy Lips – This is a fall ‘classic’ so you probably already have deep plums, wines, and burgundy lipsticks and glosses in your arsenal. (e.g. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Chocoliscious; Penny’s fave is  Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Prayer or Homegirl)
    • Bright Lips – If you are not a fan of dark lip colors enhance the bright colors of the spring/summer collections. For example, the Pantone Color of the Year (Radiant Orchid) can be used with a darker liner (blend well). Or you can use a medium brown or rust liner with your orange lipstick to give it a darker hue. (e.g. Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Liner in, Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick in Jilted)
     (...see full story)

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Nail News

    CND Shellac


    (Let me try this again...accidentally published this before I was finished. Ooops! LOL)
    Penny's back! Today I'm going to chat about nails. Some of you know Penny to be a bit fanatical about the nails. I quickly became a nail polish addict (harboring about 50 bottles at my peak). LOL! Well about 6 months ago I took a big step and stopped getting acrylic nail enhancements. Why is that a big deal you ask? Well for almost two decades I have worn some sort of nail enhancement...acrylics, silk wraps, gel nails (old skool kind), etc. So I was used to having 10 just about perfect nails every two weeks. Yes...for at least the last ten years or more I was getting my hands and feet done every two weeks...all year round. Like I said...a little fanatic about the nails. LOL!
    Click to enlarge
    Nailtiques Treatment Kit

    After taking off my acrylics it was a major struggle. I couldn't stand to look at my hands. But I kept my nails super short and started the Nailtiques After Artificial Nails Treatment Kit ($20, ULTA). I realized I had to remain diligent and use the products as directed to see results.  I also did not wear colored polish for a few months (gasp!) LOL!  The Nailtiques kit had two polish treatments Formula A and Formula B, and a cuticle cream. I believe this product helped to strengthen my super thin, weak, and splitting nails in the following months and I'm glad I stuck to it. After I finished Formula A and moved on to Formula B, I was less consistent and ready for a professional manicure. Eventually I tried a strengthener by China Glaze but wasn't consistent so I don't know how well it worked.

    Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy
    I wasn't keeping track but after about 4 months my nails started looking better. I had an event to go to so my nail tech persuaded me to try a Dip Powder Gel polish. I liked it. It was easy; and required no UV light to cure it. The removal was the same as any other gel polish though. So I had to go back for removal. I tried 2 colors of the dip powder gel, but the range of colors wasn't enough for me, and I wanted something I could maintain myself so I started polishing my own nails at home. This was harder than I remembered. Who would have thunk it?! LOL! Practice makes perfect so I'll keep it up (besides, its saving me a lot of money). Zoya is still my favorite brand and I can't wait to get the new fall colors (Naturel Deux 2014)! http://www.zoya.com/

    Vinylux Top Coat
    More recently I've had professional manicures with the CND Shellac Gel Polish and liked that. My manicure lasted about a week and a half and that was okay. But Penny doesn't want to go back to being a slave to her nails again; having to go to the nail salon every two weeks. So I'm mixing it up. I've tried at home products like Revlon's Colorstay Gel Envy polish and top coat; as well as the CND Vinylux Top Coat over regular OPI and Zoya polishes.  The Revlon product was pretty good but I have to get used to the wide brush. The polish lasted about 4-5 days without chipping. I'm not as impressed with the Vinylux product, but I want to try it with the Vinylux Weekly Polish to see if it lasts longer. I found that I needed to use more than one coat of the top coat for a good shine pay off, and that it chips after a couple days. But I will give it another go since I heard that its a great top coat.  At the end of the day I want to keep my nails polished and nourished so that they stop splitting and breaking and become more healthy.
    SpaRitual Cuticle Oil
    My latest splurge is the SpaRitual Cuti-Cocktail Nail and Cuticle Oil ($17, ULTA). I love this stuff! It hides my rough, dry and peeling cuticles and smells heavenly. I haven't used it long enough to know how well it works, so I'll be sure to review it again later. It is "formulated with a conditioning blend of evening primrose, grape seed oils and aloe extract. Scented with aromatic extracts of ginger and Fuji apple to keep nails fresh." Thank goodness for my ULTA rewards coupon because this is going to become a Penny staple. :-)

    What are your favorite polishes and how do you get a long-lasting manicure?

    Be blessed. Be beautiful.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Foundation Feedback

    Happy Summer to you all!

    Hope everyone is enjoying one of my favorite seasons of the year! And most importantly, that you are never leaving home without your sunscreen.  :-) Most all of you lovelies should be sure to use a product with at least SPF 30 on your face and body, especially if you're going to be outdoors for any length of time. Keep a small travel tube in your purse or the car in case you forget to put it on at home (and my dermatologist said I should reapply every 2 hrs).
    Penny has been trying to get back here for weeks to no avail, but I made it. (Not feeling the 'real job' that keeps getting in my way. LOL) Today I want to share my experiences with you as I tried two newly released cosmetics. I actually tried these when they were first released but couldn't find the time to blog about them.
    bareMinerals bareSkin Serum Foundation  SPF 20 ($29, ULTA)
    bareSkin Serum Foundation &
    Perfecting Face Brush
    Penny was not a fan of the original bareMinerals products even though I saw that they worked well on others. For some reason, the powders made me look ashen and just didn't work well with my skin tone. But when the new bareMinerals bareSkin Serum Foundation with SPF 20 was promoted it peaked my interest. Especially since I'm getting treatment for my melasma and my dermatologist wants me to be diligent about my sunscreen usage. I wear a full face of make-up every day to go to work so I promised her I would find make-up with  sun protection. I was excited about trying this product. 

    Although I think this is a good foundation for some, it did not work well for Penny. I returned it after a couple days. The thin liquid formula was light weight and offered decent buildable coverage. I have to admit I did not use the Perfecting Face Brush recommended for this product (already have so many brushes).  ULTA's website describes the formula as: "ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance." The foundation was easy to blend and I easily picked out my shade (they have 20 shades).  What didnt work for me was the wearability. By the end of the day my make-up was fading and I could see my dark under eye circles and a little of the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks. I always set my foundation with powder but that didn't seem to help. With the summer being so humid, I need a long-lasting foundation.

    Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick ($44, Bloomingdales)
    BB Skin Foundation Stick
    As many know, Penny has been a fan of Bobbi Brown forever. So I was excited to see that they released a new and improved BB Foundation Stick. According to their website: "Foundation Stick gets an update with a transparent base plus skin tone correct pigments for an incredibly natural look. Its creamy yet weightless texture blends seamlessly so it mimics the look of healthy skin."  Right away I was curious to know how this new stick was different from the original formula. According to the website the new formula contains skin emollients like shea butter and olive extract as well as: " Light diffusing powders and oil-controlling minerals perfect the appearance of skin while reducing shine (even in sweat, water and humidity)." Penny likes this foundation for the portability, the creamy formula, and the lightweight feel. However, I need to try it a few more times to get the personal coverage I prefer. The coverage was better than I thought it would be but I was applying it on the run and didn't have the right brush or the proper cosmetic sponge. The wearability was good too; it did not run or fade (although I still have to try it 'all day' to confirm).

    This BB Stick Foundation comes in 24 shades and I was able to pick the right one even though I ordered mine online at Sephora. I think it would be great for my friends who don't need a lot of coverage but want an even tone, natural look. Since its a creamy formula, and we are dealing with heat and humidity, be sure to set the foundation with a light dusting of setting powder. This formula blends and buffs easily into the skin and was non-irritating for me.

    • If you use foundation daily, try a setting powder with SPF for the summer. I have been setting my foundation with bareMinerals READY Touch Up Translucent Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($23, ULTA) powder.
    • Use a make-up setting spray like Kat Von D's Lock-N-Load Make-up Setting Mist ($24) to make sure your look lasts all day. Urban Decay's All-Niter and Make Up For Ever's Mist & Fix are also good.
    • If your mascara runs often, try a waterproof mascara.
    • Set your eyeliner with powder. By that I mean use a powder shadow in the same color over it if you lined your top lid. If you line your bottom waterline, follow with eye shadow just below the waterline to help seal the liner.
    • Use a lip liner if you find your lip gloss is not lasting as long as you would like, or if its moving outside the lip line as time passes.
    What's your favorite summer foundation?

    Be blessed. Be beautiful.