Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara

Um, my husband is AMAZING. He came home from work yesterday with a Sally Hansen nail polish that is a cheaper version of the Gargantuan Green Grape that I've been drooling over, and....

Maybelline's Vibrating Mascara!!

I'm sorry you're so jealous of me.

So I tried it today and it was just plain COOL. I felt like a stud (what's a girly substitute for stud?). You hold the button down to make it vibrate, just slide it over your lashes and POOF you have dark, long and defined lashes. I've always wanted a magic wand....

I have only 2 hesitations. First, it's like $15!!! I'm afraid to fall in love with this stuff because I know I can never justify spending this much one just one beauty product. I'm a firm believer in saving money wherever I can. Hey, if I consistently buy a $6 mascara, I'm saving $9 a pop! That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. It's kind of like if you see your face wash on the store shelf, with a generic brand right next to it that's EXACTLY the same except for the name, why the heck wouldn't you buy the cheaper one? Anyway, that's a whole different discussion.

Oh yeah, second of all, I'm not sure it does anything for thickening your lashes. They don't look much denser, just longer. Maybe tomorrow I'll do a side-by-side comparison of Pulse Perfection and Maybelline's XXL, which I really like for special occasions.

Peace out, all of you girls with husbands who are not as cool as mine :P.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Maintaining your scrumptious haircolor

I say scrumptious because that's how I would describe my current hair color. It's technically called strawberry blonde. But sometimes when I look in the mirror I'm reminded of the color of Cheetos dust, and that makes me hungry. So either way, strawberries or Cheetos, I still call it scrumptious. The only problem is that it doesn't stay that way for long. After 3 glorious days, the strawberry part washes down the drain and only the blonde remains. Which is OK, but I really like strawberries.

So how do I keep it looking like strawberries? says that red shades fade much faster in hot water. Hmmm..... Considering all of the thousands of magazines I've read, how have I never come across this much-needed piece of information??

I just dyed my hair yesterday and have yet to wash it. So for the price of beauty (and edibly delicious hair) I will start taking cold showers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I need this nail polish right now....

But $9 for nail polish????

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to pick out a lipcolor

It's a very simple, self-developed rule for picking out your perfect shade. You'll be amazed at just how easy it is. Ready?

Buy the first shade you're attracted to.

I know, I know. So easy!
In case you're skeptical, let me explain. Usually your eye is drawn to shades that work well with your coloring. USUALLY. Unless you're still attracted to frosty pink lip gloss from the 80s. If that describes you, then I'm afraid you're beyond my helping abilities. But generally speaking, fair girls are attracted to lighter, brighter shades, warmer-skinned girls are attracted to beigy nude colors, and dark-skinned girls pick dark, dramatic colors. Want proof? Here are the colors I'm ALWAYS magically drawn to in the makeup aisle:

From left: Maybelline Superstay in Special Sparkle (discontinued), WetnWild Diamond Brilliance in 611 Baby's Got Bling, Maybelline Color Sensational in Peachy Scene, and Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine for Lips in Peony. Oh yeah, the one at the bottom is something I got at the dollar store is unidentifiable.

Yup, uncannily weird that they all look the same. And you know what? All of them are flattering on me.
Go out and try it. Bonus points if you can get a flattering lipstick for free :P.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One positive of a bad economy: haggling for lipstick

This is how bad the economy has become, folks. You can actually barter for makeup! Well, only if you do it right. So pay attention.

I went to Walgreens a couple of days ago to pick up some Sinful Colors nail polish (it's BOGO this week!), and happened to browse through the clearance bucket at the back of the store. I picked up a tube of lipstick (it's like a compulsion.... step away from the lipstick!!) and found a smushed-up, but still fetching shade on the inside. It had a price tag of $7 on it! Inside I was thinking, "who would pay 7 bucks for a lipstick that looks half eaten?" I mean, it had lipstick all over the inside AND the outside. It was seriously a mess. So I marched up to the cashier's desk, and said (smiling and charming, of course), "I don't think anyone's going to purchase this. Would it be OK if I took it off your hands?" The dude said sure. He didn't seem too happy to be alive that day, but oh well because I got lipstick! Here's the lovely shade after I cleaned it up:

Nice, huh? It's very flattering. It's a Loreal Colour Riche shade called "Laetitia's Blush", which is (of course) discontinued. That's always my luck- I find a super lovely shade and this makes me elated, but my elation is tempered by my knowledge that my elation will be short-lived. Sigh.

That's OK, because it's not absolutely perfect. It has some small silver shimmer going on, which I don't really care for. I like a creamy and un-shimmery effect, for my lipstick at least. Lipgloss is a different story.

Anyway, if you're going to try to bamboozle some makeup from your own local drugstore, I have some guidelines which I think will make it more successful:

1. Make sure the product appears undesirable. I mean to anyone who's not you.
2. Try to ask a male cashier, if at all possible. You can probably get away with more if you smile pretty. And they probably couldn't care any less about old tubes of lipstick.
3. Always have something else to buy at the check-out. I had my nailpolish. I figure it looks better if you seem like a legitimate customer, and not someone who just wants to use up their free air conditioning.

Have at it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sinful colors nail polish- BOGO!

From left: Bali Mist, Tokyo Pearl (I couldn't resist- I'm a Tokyo girl, born and raised), Easy Going (which is really a pale pink, not white), Mercury Rising, Euro Trash, and Boogie Nights.

This week at Walgreens (sale ends on Sunday), these nail polishes by Sinful Colors are buy one get one free! They're normally priced at $1.99, but getting one free would make it a dollar! I've reviewed "Mercury Rising" before, a shiny brown color, but let me tell you that all of these shades are great! They're long-lasting, come in several different finishes, and have a HUGE color selection from nudes that my grandma would wear, to intense brights that my 8-year-old sister keeps trying to steal from me. The shades above are only the ones that I have, but the display at Walgreens probably has 50 different colors. Go check em out!

If you're perhaps crazy and feel like you need more color options, check out and browse many, many more shades. BUT (here's the kicker) they're $2.50 online! Plus S+H! Gasp. You'd do much better to heed my sage advice and head to Walgreens.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why I will wear Great Lash until I die

Or until it's discontinued, in which case I'll die. So it all ends up the same way anyway.

Photo: RealSimple Magazine

The reason I'm defending Maybelline's Great Lash now (as opposed to like 20 years ago), is because of all the hate it gets on the internet. I was reading's reader's favorite beauty products, and Great Lash won in the best drugstore mascara department. Is anyone really surprised? Not me. The people who like Great Lash are cultic followers (as am I), and the people who dislike it violently dislike it (you can read all of the nasty comments on the glamour post). I'm not sure why women hate it so much, except for maybe just as a stubborn rebellion of its cultic following. But here's why I love it:

(No, I'm not going to write "Because it's cheap" first. That's a silly reason to like anything, especially if that's your only reason.)

1. The brush is the perfect size for getting all of your lashes, even the little lower ones. A lot of mascaras these days have GIMONDO brushes, which I think are hard to maneuver.
2. You can get it in "Blackest Black" (my favorite), which is really inky and makes your lashes glossy, not dry-looking.
3. My eyelashes never feel hard or crunchy after applying it, just soft.
4. I never have to use an eyelash curler. I know Great Lash doesn't claim to curl your lashes, but it does for me! I used to have to curl my lashes when I used Maybelline Lash Stylist, XXL, and
Define-a-lash. (And when I lived in Japan and used a bunch of Japanese mascaras that you've never even heard of, so why would I tell you what they're called?)
5. It's versatile. You can apply one quick coat and have dark enough lashes for daytime (which is what my mom does), or you can apply several and get a dramatic look (which is what I do). The trick is to apply several coats all at once, before the mascara dries. Otherwise, you'll get clumpy stuff going on, which is what the haters complain about.
6. It's fairly smudge-proof. Unless you start crying, then it will definitely streak. But if you plan on crying a lot, buy the waterproof. It works just as well.

The point is, I am a life-long fan of Great Lash, and not because I've been using it for 20 years (nope, just 2 years) or because it's cheap. I would still use it if it were $10 a tube.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Triple Smoothing Body Lotion

How can I explain how much I love this stuff? For as long as I can remember, I've had chicken skin (Keratosis Pilaris is the spiffy science-y word) on my arms. You know, that bumpy stuff. I used to put acne medication on it, and that only helped slightly. But I read online that the ingredient in this lotion (AHA) chemically exfoliates skin and gets rid of the bumps. I bought this stuff for around $7 at Walmart (where else?) and have been using it for about a month. Can I just say that my arms are somehow smooth now? They've never felt smooth before. And the red bumps are mostly gone. If I don't use it twice a day though, the bumps come back a little. But it's really great. It smells good too, kind of light and flower-esque.

Let me also say that this lotion has many a purpose. Like I said yesterday, you can use it on your face to make it really smooth and even. And at the risk of getting too personal, I also use it on my bikini line after I shave it, because it exfoliates and keeps it from getting irritated. Problem solved!

So here's the bottom line: This stuff is all-purpose and just plain awesome. Oh yeah, and cheap!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Review: Noxzema Plus Moisturizers

Because my face is so dry, I always wash it with something mild (like Cetaphil, or my Dial White Tea Hand Soap, which I wrote about earlier). But then I always worry that my face isn't actually getting clean. Like maybe I'm just rubbing warm water over my face every day. So, because of good reviews, I went out and bought Noxzema (hey, it was only $3 at Walmart!). I thought I'd be really tricky and buy the kind with moisturizers, that way my skin wouldn't know I was trying to deep clean it and dry it out. Alas, my efforts were to no avail. My skin didn't exactly feel dry and flaky like it does when I use something harsh, but it didn't feel good either.

When I got out of the shower and looked at my skin, I had magically morphed into a 48-year-old. My skin had moon craters for pores, and it felt kind of rough.
But, it didn't exactly dry it out either. So confused. Maybe it just opened up all of my pores to get all the gunk out? Not sure. All I know is that it made my makeup look cakey that day. At any rate, I'm still using it a couple times a week, followed by my Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Triple Smoothing Body Lotion (phew, long name). Yes, it's body lotion, but it has AHA to "smooth dry, flaky skin", and I occasionally use it on my face and it really makes it look glowy and even. Hey, a lot of facial cleansers have AHA these days (aka glycolic acid), so I figure, what's the difference?

More about the Lubriderm tomorrow. As a body lotion, I mean.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

behold the amazing power of: clear top coat!

So when magazines say that you should apply a clear top coat over your regular nail polish, I always said, "meh", and disregarded it as superfluous beauty advice that is nice, but utterly useless (like using a facial toner, lipliner, cuticle oil, etc.). Seems like another conspiracy to get women to spend extra money on little tiny beauty steps that (bonus!) also take way too much time. But today I was hanging out at my parents' empty house, bored out of my mind (why are there only 4 decorating shows that replay over and over and over??- This is why i don't have cable), and I borrowed my mom's clear top coat, and decided to try it out of sheer (get it? sheer??) boredom. I was already wearing my mom's Sally Hansen nail color (in "Rose-a-Go-Go"... If you think it looks like that mauvy-pink official bridesmaid color of the 80s, then it's definitely my mom's and not mine), and I just layered this over it. I'd had a couple nicks in my polish, and that fingerprint that always magically appears on at least one nail (hey, I never said I was perfect), and this stuff "glossed over it" (haha) and smoothed it all out! Plus now it looks more modern and not quite so 80s bridesmaid-y.

All I have to say is, why didn't I discover this earlier?? Like i said, I'm not the greatest at applying my own nail polish, and this really makes it look more professional. But hey, I'll let you be the judge. And oh yeah, as I said, if you hate it, blame my mom not me.