Wednesday, August 25, 2010

wishlist for fall: shiny brown hair color

i haven't been dyeing my hair for a couple of months now. it's been liberating, easy, and just plain lazy. perfect for summer. but i'm becoming more and more discontent with my natural look. you know why? because i've been reading (too many) september issue magazines, which are basically comprised of 500 pages of wishful thinking. they make you unsatisfied with everything in your closet. oh yeah, and the weather. it's still scorching hot outside, and i'm wishing for changing leaves and a brisk feeling in the air. and a beautiful autumnal (gah, i hate that word!) hair color to match. 

now here's the tough part- which one do i want??

photo: nicky hilton,

light golden brown?

medium golden brown?

photo: jessica biel,

rich auburn?

tell me which one is better! i'm thinking i wanna make the change before i leave for my trip to new york in 3 weeks! :D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

a couple of weeks ago, there was a sale at walgreens- certain brands of sally hansen nail polish 2 for $4. i couldn't help it.

l: "pacific blue", r: "glazed sand"

with flash

"glazed sand" look like a beautiful rose gold color.... but on me, it looked really pale. champagne, really. disappointed....

but "pacific blue" is awesome! kind of like an electric version of royal blue. love love love. i first wore it on my hands, but now it's on my toes too, because i think it's perfect for the end of summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

new nail polish: wet 'n wild megalast in "private viewing"

have you tried the new wet 'n wild polishes yet? and by new i mean a few months ago.... well you should, because they're amazing! they're $2, available everywhere, last forever, and are all super sophisticated colors. here's the first one i tried-

2 coats, no top coat

,i really like this shade. it's kind of so ugly that it's awesome. lucky magazine featured a shade like this a few months ago, and i much prefer it to the dark taupe shades that are soooo popular these days. kind of reminds me of chanel inattendu:

or this awesome rimmel one (in milk chocolate) that is now defunct:

wet 'n wild's "megalast" formula is amazing, by the way. i've bought another one, and still want more!
so what do you think about this color? kind of reminds me of chai tea... mmmmmm, chai tea. i should go make myself some. isn't rainy weather perfect for a hot cup of chai tea? and jazz.... and jelly shoes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 ways visine can make you prettier

 1. well let's get the obvious one out of the way- use it as eyedrops! i do this when i have to get up at an ungodly hour to work at an estate sale at 7 in the morning.... and also in the afternoon when i inevitably get sleepy and bleary-eyed....

2. dab it on pimples or red spots. eye drops don't just get the red out of your eyes, they take it out of your skin too. i do this a lot when i go swimming and can't wear lots of concealer. just put it on any red spots on clean skin and leave it, or put on makeup after that. it makes your skin tone more even.

3. use it to mix liquid liner. last week i was just piddling around at home, and tried to wash my hands, and the water wouldn't turn on! the maintenance guys were working on the plumbing. oh, the joys of living in an apartment.... but it was one of those days where i *really* needed some eyeliner. but somewhere in the deep recesses of my cognition, i remembered reading that you can use visine (instead of water) with dark eyeshadow to make eyeliner. perfect! that's so genius, because visine is formulated for eyes, so it won't irrate them as eyeliner! and it worked great!

so recently, i've just permanently kept a bottle of eyedrops in my makeup bag. it can really save the day. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

easy every day eye makeup look

this is an eye look that i do a lot, especially when i want to look classy and professional. like for meeting my boss, going to church, and oh yeah, my college graduation!

me and daniel being silly.... and look, he wore green on my big day, just for me! awwwww.....

me being silly all by myself....

it's really easy- all it takes is 2 shadows:

 covergirl eye enhancers 4 kit in "urban basics"

1. the taupe shade (2nd from L) on the lid

covergirl eye enhancers 4 kit in "country woods"

2. sable brown (on L) in the crease

that's it! this would be perfect for an every day wear-to-work look. just add brown liner, mascara, pretty, neutral lipstick, and you're ready to go!

Friday, August 13, 2010

favorite face wash: neutrogena acne stress control power-cream wash

you might have noticed that my posts have been less than sporadic lately. i have a super good reason for my flakiness too: my skin went haywire this summer! you don't exactly feel like taking pictures of yourself and putting them out there for the world to see when you have a sudden bout of acne all over your face.... you ladies with acne know what i mean, right?

i don't really know what happened to my face.... as a teenager i never really struggled very much with acne.... just a couple little blemishes every now and then. i think i remember having a huge monster zit only once in high school.... so why did my skin wait until i was almost graduated from college to freak out on me?? who knows. i had painful, monster zits everywhere. and i hadn't really changed my routine at all. i was so excited when my husband bought me my clarisonic mia for graduation, hoping that it would solve all of my problems. it definitely makes my face smooth, but didn't really clear up (or prevent) the random acne. that st. ives green tea scrub felt nice, but i guess the 1% salicylic acid wasn't cutting it.

then one day a little over a month ago, i saw an ad in a magazine for neutrogena's acne stress control face wash (with 2% salicylic acid), which claims to prevent most acne from even surfacing! i was too curious not to try it. so i did.

about $6 or $7, depending on where you buy it

last month around the time of my period my skin was awful. it took me like 30 min. every day to cover up all of the red spots with makeup.... but when i started using this cleanser, i noticed that slowly, my spots started disappearing. the redness started fading too. i was using less concealer. and you know, the big nasty zips have never come back! it's almost magical. it really keeps big zits from popping up! i still have the occasional little bump that's not really a zit, but that's what my skin in high school looked like anyway. glad to have you back, old skin.

i couldn't be happier with this face wash. the actual product is mint green, like the packaging, smells clean and awesome, and has a great tingle. i use it once in the morning and once at night with my clarisonic. i know skincare is very personal, in that what works for me may not work for you, but you may want to try it if you have frustrating acne like i did!

i actually just found a coupon for $1 off a neutrogena cleanser, so i'm gonna go buy another tube today!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

new most favoritest lip gloss. of. all. time.

apparently i will just brainlessly haul off and buy anything that gianna from nouveau cheap says is awesome. but hey, it's been working for me! she's always right.

my latest discovery? a very unlikely one.... a lip gloss from black radiance. haha. it's only funny because i bet the manufacturers didn't think that someone of my pallor would buy their products for women of color.... lol. it reminds me of that time my (male) cousin bought the pantene shampoo for women of color because it was the only formula in the drugstore he wasn't allergic to.... good times :).

well, gianna tested out a darker berry shade, but i had my eye on this amazing golden peach color. i actually ran out the very next day to buy it....

black radiance radiant lip gloss in "copper glow"

$2.84 at walmart!

isn't it beautiful?? it's 10 times more shimmery, metallic, and pigmented in real life. and it's not sticky at all! it has a sort of strong flowery fragrance to it that fades after not too long. buy hey, old lady smells have never really bothered me. and it lasts pretty long for a lip gloss!

i'm not really much of a gloss person, but this one is changing my mind!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

sally hansen hard as nails in "sheer vanilla"

you know how in magazines editors are always talking about their favorite sheer pale pink color for their skin tone? well i think this is mine.... except it's not pink. huh?

i don't really like the look of pink polish on me, but this milky shade is perfect. it only takes one quick coat to make you look polished (ha) and professional. i usually don't need to look polished and professional, but sometimes i do! plus it's super long-lasting, only $2, and available almost everywhere. 
did you also know that it's a great base coat? oh, and sometimes i paint a coat of this over a different color to make it more pastel. more about that later :P. don't worry, i won't leave you hanging.
anyone else have a boring, sheer, neutral favorite?

Monday, August 9, 2010

inspired by: the chanel runway

i love silver eyeshadow. and i love gold eyeshadow even more. but it never really occurred to me to combine them in one makeup look. check out the chanel face on the right:

photo: who what wear 
my version's not quite so dramatic, but i like it anyway:

definitely good for those sleepy bleary-eyed days!

silver on top, gold on the bottom courtesy of my trusty old profusion palette. and you thought i'd forgotten about it. ha.

and on my lips:
covergirl's lipslicks in demure. just a sheer wash of a sort of mauvey color. i love these things because they're moisturizing. wish they had more colors!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

wet 'n wild idol eyes creme shadow pencil in "pixie"

i have a confession to throw out there: i LOVE me some cream eyeshadow. i would wear cream eyeshadow all the time, if i could get away with it. i love the consistency, the easy blending, and the metallic or pearly sheen of them. they just have much more of something special to them than do powder eyeshadows. 

the problem is, there don't seem to be many good ones at the drugstore. and there certainly aren't very wide color selections. i've worn the revlon cream eyeshadows before, and they're just ok. nothing very wow about them, at least not to me. 

anyway, i saw a good review online about this cream eyeshadow that's (gasp!) only 2 buckaroos! i swear, i will buy just about anything for $2. pathetic, i know.

and surprise, i actually like this! the color is a kind of champagne/taupe and the consistency is very smooth. easy to glide on. the finish isn't particularly metallic, which is ok, because i like how subtle it is. just a nice flattering wash of color. kind of like a candlelight glow. because it's so subtle, this shadow stick is ideal for highlighting the browbone. i hate it when people use white (or any kind of pale) shimmery shadow to highlight their browbones and it's just way too shimmery and metallic. i want my browbones to subtly catch the light, not blind you with a ridiculous amount of shimmer. 

it's also really great for swiping over the corners of your eyes (the tear duct area), or underneath your lashes to look very awake. and because it applies smooth and not sticky, it's perfect as a powder eyeshadow base. i've tested it with multiple colors, and it keeps powder eyeshadow on longer, makes it more vibrant, and adds a little extra glow. love

Friday, July 16, 2010

inspired by: hermes scarf ad

once, a very long time ago, i purchased a beautiful ralph lauren scarf on ebay. i think i may have worn it once... or twice. ever. and then i saw this ad:

aha! now i finally have a cute way to wear it:

it's really easy. you just tie it around the crown of your head (wherever is most flattering on you), and tie it at the nape of your neck. then when you divide your hair into 3 sections, include the ends of the scarf in 2 of them. then just braid like normal and tie with a small, neutral ponytail holder (mine is off-white).

i like it when the ends of the scarf hang down lower than my actual braid. makes my hair look longer or something. just saying....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

walgreens alpha-hydroxy face cream

i have stumbled across a hidden drugstore gem. i never would've found out about this product were i not an obsessive beauty blog reader. but someone (now i don't know who!) said that this face cream was cheap and amazing, which meant that i had to track it down because cheap and amazing are two of my favorite things. in fact, when my husband first met me he called me cheap and amazing. 

not really. 

are you curious yet? it's not even a name brand product! it's a walgreens brand cream spiked with alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHAs.... you know how i feel about AHA).

i call this a hidden gem because it's not available at every walgreens.... first i could only find it at one like 20 miles away from my house.... so i snatched it up! now i've seen it in multiple locations. but it's only $5.99!

because this cream has such a high level of AHAs, it works wonderfully for me. as i've said, i have "chicken skin" on the backs of my arms, and AHA is the only ingredient that helps. my old lotion (lubriderm) did ok at keeping the chicken skin at bay, but this stuff is on a whole different level! i apply it at night before bed, and wake up with smooth, silky arms! never in my life have i had smooth, silky arms. don't you love it when your old favorite is discontinued, only to find a new, better favorite? i do now.

yeah, i know, this is supposed to be a face cream. have i tried it on my face? yup, every night. has it made a noticeable difference in my skin? i think so. i don't really see any flakes on my face by the end of the day anymore (unless i use an acne spot treatment, which is a whole different story). so am i happy with this stuff? yes! will i take it with me on all of my little trips this summer? yes! will i cry if i can't find anymore? most definitely YES!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

revlon colorstay eyeliner in "teal"

did you know that revlon's amazing colorstay eyeliner is only $5 at walmart? i did not. i guess it's been a while since i bought one of these, even though i used to be obsessed. i wore the "black brown" like every day in high school...... why did i stop that again? i can't remember.

at first i didn't like this liner. i couldn't really get it right. then i realized it looks totally dorky unless the liner is very sharp. i lined my eyes almost all the way around, and i like how it brightens them up. this would be a great look for summer traveling, because all revlon colorstay products are the mother of long-lasting, and because it only took me one product for my eyes (not including black mascara, of course). oh yeah, and because the packaging is very travel-friendly. 

*note to self: take this with me to mammoth cave and dinosaur world next month!! woot!

Friday, June 11, 2010

ode to skinny eyebrows

i've always admired dark, thick, glossy eyebrows like megan fox's and kim kardashian's. but just recently, i've felt that super-groomed, skinny brows are oddly appealing. 

oh alexis, you can do no wrong. i would eat mayonnaise if you told me it was cool.

i always just kind of let my brows do their thing, which is ok since they've always been skinny. but is society right? is there really no such thing as too skinny?? the skinnier the better?? i don't know, but i'm debating whether or not i should find out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

revlon nail enamel in "minted"

alright, so i caved. i finally bought this mint polish after walgreens-stalking it all over town. i know i say this about every new nail polish i buy, but this one is my *favorite*

(until the next one, of course.)

doesn't it go perfectly with my bangle??

ok, so the formula's not so great. but that's what base and top coats were invented for, folks! i've gotten four days of wear from this manicure already, with only one tiny chip. and it's not because revlon nail polish is amazing, it's because my sally hansen top coat is.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

maybelline eye studio eyeshadows... be ye warned!!

if you're thinking about buying one of these new maybelline shadows, be careful!!!!!

 they look almost the same, don't they?? but one of these things is not like the other.... one is shimmery and beautiful, and one is total crap. of course, i got duped into buying the crap one first..... grrrr. at least it was on sale....

just to prove that there's a *huge* difference-

sunset seduction- for those who want dull, boring eyes

copper chic- for those who want glamorous, shimmery, dynamic eyes

"sunset seduction" looked shimmery in the package, but as soon as i put the applicator in the pan, it became obvious that the shimmer was frugally dusted on top only. no shimmer in the actual product! booo.... now "copper chic", on the other hand....

here's a simple look with copper chic (just the peachy color- super easy):

so, just to summarize:

"copper chic"- good. buy.

sunset seduction- baaaad, do not buy!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

wet 'n wild meglast lipstick in "just peachy"

oops, sorry for being absent. i've been off having some birthday/memorial day/summer vacation fun. but don't worry, i have *tons* of new stuff to review and gush about. first off, my new favorite peach lip product! (i refuse to say "lippie", because i hate that word. almost as much as i hate "gorge." bleh). 

it's part of wet 'n wild's new collection called megalast. let me just say, both the lipstick and the nail polish from this collection are awesome. i highly recommend them, especially because they're dirt cheap. here's the lipstick in "just peachy" in person:

oh look, it's featured in my lip products hall of fame =P. it's the one on top in the black tube.

now, this is called "megalast" after all, so it's very matte and long-lasting. if you weren't born with perfectly moist, pillowy lips, then it will probably accentuate any dry spots. so uhh, exfoliate! even still, i like to wear it with a little balm or gloss over it. 

here it is with just a little balm:

and here it is with shiny gloss (which i think i prefer):

can we talk about the color? how perfect is it?? it's like the love child of pale peach and pale pink. for some reason, this perfect shade is *so hard* for me to find at the drugstore. who would've thought that one of the cheapest makeup brands in the world would make it? it's laughable.

by the way, there are lots of other mouth-watering shades too. "wine room" looks particularly appealing.... anyone else love these lipsticks? or found your perfect peachy-pink shade?