November 23, 2009

Black Friday Tips!

Hey Beauties!

This being Thanksgiving week, I'm curious as to how many of you brave the pre-dawn madness and take advantage of all those Black Friday deals?? Add a comment below telling how you prepare, who goes and what was your best deal ever?? If you have any hints for the rest of us, please pass those on too!

Stay Beautiful!


November 11, 2009

Over 40? Come on in!!

Hey Beauties!

I'm sorry I haven't blogged much lately...I was concentrating on my ARBONNE business launches and celebrating my 43rd birthday...which were wonderful...but now that those are over, I'm baaack!

I've done lots of browsing of makeup tutorial videos on You Tube...there are thousands...and all the ones I viewed were beautiful and amazing (Kandee Johnson is my fav!). I noticed, however, that almost all of these very talented girls were young enough to be my daughters! While watching them apply gorgeous makeup looks, I was saying things to myself like, "No way would eyeliner go on these eyes that smoothly," and "pretty, but why so much shimmer?" and "She sure can wear that dark lipstick, but yikes, I'd look a hundred years old!" So that led me to think that I should blog about all the issues we have with our 40, 50 and 60 year old skin, and eventually do the videos as well (still working on that!). A guy I used to know said that he thought women got more beautiful as they aged because their looks were more interesting. I could say something snarky about "interesting" makeup on over 40's, but I'll save that rant for it's own blog!

SO...I'm going to present appropriate makeup for over 40's along with comments about special application techniques and products to make the magic happen! I think it's time for us to show the world what real beauty looks like!

Stay Beautiful!


November 1, 2009

Ravishing REDS!

Hey Beauties!

Have you tried wearing red lipstick? I can be intimidating for some people, particularly for our fairer haired friends. There are so many shades of red out there: deep dark burgundy to paler coral red. I truly believe that there is a red for everyone, but I acknowledge that it can be very difficult to find that perfect red. Some people still have a mind block about red...they have the perception that it is trampy or trashy. I think that is only true if the person wearing it is going for that image. Red is CLASSIC! In the 40's red was the standard! Ok, enough of the soapbox...

I have used Mary Kay lipstick in "Red" for years. It is definitely in that darker wine-red category, but for my pale skin, the blueness of the red works perfectly, if only for a more dramatic look. This lipstick has good staying power, stains well and doesn't have too much slip.

I recently purchased two reds in a couple of new lines, so here is what I found...

I tried the L'Oreal Color Riche (with lip serum in the middle of the lipstick) "Real Red" first. It is a very vibrant blue-red (as opposed to an orange-red) that will definitely get you noticed! The lipstick went on so creamy and smooth, it was like heaven, but after a few minutes, my lips started to sort of tingle. I toughed that out, owing it to the serum that you can see right in the middle of the stick. In my work, I talk to professional clients both on the phone and in person. I really don't want to worry about my lipstick, so good staying power that doesn't dry out my lips ranks as tops in my book, which was why I tried this particular product with the serum inside. I checked my lipstick after about an hour because it felt like it was wearing off and sure enough, it was. As the formula warmed up on my lips, it became very slippery and it began to wander outside my lip line...right over the lip liner...and it just disappeared (yeah, I know, it was on my water cup and I'm sure I swallowed a bunch). Even though it was a good color, it just had too much slip and virtually no staining power. I give this stuff an F, which is sad, because I have several of the original Color Riche line and I love them.

The second one was the Maybelline Colorsensational "Red Revival." This is also a blue-red, but in a slightly darker shade. By darker, I mean just not as bright. It is still a basic red, but I wouldn't say it was bright. This lipstick went on smoothly, a bit thicker and lots less slippery than the L'Oreal. Again, I was at work (which I consider to be the ultimate test for lip products!) but I did not feel it wearing off. In fact, I was stunned to see that it was still perfect after a couple of hours!! This had all the makings of a brand new HG!! After lunch I reapplied and did not have to touch up until I had a snack later in the afternoon. Then I touched it up and it lasted the rest of the day. This stuff is AWESOME!! A+ I plan to get a couple more colors!

A note about application: I always use a lip liner pencil with red or any color far away from my natural lip color. For red I love MAC "Brick" or "Cherry" Lip Pencils, and for bright pinks (MAC "Lickable" is my fav) I love "Cranapple" Creamstick Pearl Liner also from MAC. I don't always use a lip liner with nude shades but I like Maybelline's "Toast" color. I start by making sure my lips are smooth and exfoliated. Then I apply a tiny swipe of Burt's Bees Lip Balm. I use the pencil to outline then fill in my lips. Then I blot with one ply of a two ply tissue, the cheap kind, not Puffs or anything too soft or you'll get lint all over your lips. Then I apply the lipstick carefully to my lips, ideally with a brush, but more typically from the tube at a stoplight in the car. I press my lips together, blot, check the outline and use either a reverse lip liner like DuWop or concealer (I love my Smashbox Camera Ready Concealer for this because it is in a slim tube that fits well in my makeup case) around the outside of the lip line to correct or contain the color. Then one more light coat and Voila! Perfection!

My first attempt at swatches...not a fabulous pic, but let's just go with it...

L to R: Mary Kay Red, L'Oreal Color Riche True Red, Maybelline Red Revival, MAC Brick Lip Liner.

I hope you'll consider trying one of this fall's most popular trends, although I would say that red really never goes out of style. Go somewhere to try different colors, like Sephora or other makeup counter, until you find the one that you like. You can also go to Maybelline's Color Advisor at to locate your best shade!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!!


P.S. Stay tuned for a video blog test...I want to see what my web cam can do...

Halloween FUN!

Hey Beauties!

Here are some pictures of Halloween makeup I did on Mark, Bailey and myself! Enjoy!

Vampire Mark:

Dalmatian Puppy Bailey:

And Me as a Vampiress:

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!

Stay Beautiful!


October 19, 2009

What a FLAKE!!

Hey Beauties!

Wow, we are in that weird time of year, in my part of the world, where we got a good hard freeze Saturday night and today it is supposed to be 70 degrees! My skin is totally showing the change of seasons. I was getting dressed the other day and I noticed my shins were actually flaky! My hands are also starting to get that winter eczema scaly patches too. Time to tweak the old daily routine for the season!

In winter the heating in your home can reduce the humidity to Saharan-like levels! Unless we've put a protective humectant layer on our skin, the moisture will leave our skin and hydrate the air! But to make our skin look it's best, we have to change some habits and use some different products for the winter season.

Exfoliate! I use ARBONNE Aromassentials Awake Sea Salt Scrub. It is simply the best salt scrub I've tried. I bought it for the first time about 6 years ago, and thought, "this stuff better be good for this price!" I was stingy with it, but when I managed to use it all, I couldn't see spending the money to get more, so I went on a quest to find an appropriate, comparable, cheaper alternative. I just have to say that there are a lot of yucky scrubs out there. Many are weirdly scented, some are too coarse, some are too fine. None of them worked like the ARBONNE product. So I went back to it, and still can't figure out why I bothered to stray! The only one anywhere close was Philosophy's Lemonade Hot Salt Scrub, which really isn't abrasive enough, but it smells wonderful. If you have sensitive skin, look for a sugar scrub instead...they tend to be less abrasive. I like to use my salt scrub in the shower after I'm all clean and I've rinsed the conditioner out of my hair (learned the hard way that hair has to be washed again when coated with oil), and shaved my legs. Be careful if you accidentally cut yourself shaving if you use a salt is literally putting salt in the wound!

Cleanse Gently! If you like a really hot shower, you are not doing your skin any good, especially in winter. The warm water tends to let the water evaporate more quickly, leaving your skin parched. Take a cooler shower an you won't be as likely to suck all the water out of your skin! Then use a milder cleanser or soap, like Dove Beauty Bar, that won't dry you out. Rinse well, so there is no soap film on your skin to aggravate it. Pat yourself dry, don't rub.

Moisturize! Switching to a moisturizer that penetrates the skin and leaves a protective barrier is a must. My favorite is Curel Ultra Healing (I have this in my purse, on my desk...) but I've recently re-tried ARBONNE"s RE9 Body Serum and Lotion. This two part system is amazing for solving all those rough patches, or in my case, rough shins! After just 2 days, no more flakes!! And it has a nice mild citrus scent that doesn't linger. If your feet are getting cracked and scuffed up, apply your moisturizer to your feet and sleep in socks (if you can stand it!) You can do the same thing for dry hands: apply moisturizer and sleep with cotton gloves on.

I apologize for taking so long to post! I am preparing to host a couple of launch parties for my new ARBONNE business, so I've been crazy busy!! If you are ever interested in any of the ARBONNE products mentioned, let me know and you can try it to see if you like it!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!!


October 8, 2009

Read my lips: Winter is coming!

Hey Beauties!

In my part of the country, the Midwest, the weather is changing and Jack Frost just can't wait to paint the landscape white! The temperatures have dropped to some of my favorite weather, that chilly, windy, dampness of fall. Next week they are forecasting a couple of nights that might actually freeze (yay! no more allergies!)

So what does all these weather changes have to do with makeup? Plenty! Have you ever tried to put a dark lipstick (oh so IN right now!) on rough chapped lips?? SO not a good look! Lips must be smooth and prepped to handle a dramatic look like that...dark and bright lipsticks are not the least bit forgiving of lip texture.

With the weather changing, unless you live in one of those places that is always 80 degrees and sunny (we need to talk if you have a guest room!), lip care should step up a notch. You'll still need that go-to lip balm (mine is Burt's Bees), but you'll need to add, if you don't do so already, an exfoliation step. There are many lip treatment products out there, but in an effort to save cash, lube your lips with a little lip balm or petroleum jelly. Then take a toothbrush and gently scrub your lips. This will remove most flakiness and leave lips smooth.

To keep lips smooth out in the chilly weather, don't go out without lip balm, lipstick or lip gloss on your lips, and use moisturizing or protective products. I recently purchased a Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Lip Balm, SPF15 from Sephora. It only comes in a sheer pale pink shimmer color and it has kind of a bubble gum scent (but not the nasty aftertaste), but I noticed the second day that my lips were noticeably smoother. Us over-40 chicks may also appreciate how it smooths out the wrinkles, making our pout a little younger looking!

Products that will make dry lips look or feel worse: dark/bright lipstick, matte lipstick, long-wear lipsticks and glosses and some plumping glosses. A hint to keep lip color smooth is to apply lip balm balm before applying the lipstick or gloss (yes, before gloss!). The lip balm tends to help products stay put longer too.

I've got my lip balm and lip gloss on, so I'm outta here!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!


September 24, 2009

Mascara Madness!

Hey Beauties!

Mascara! It plumps, lengthens, colors and makes your eyes look alive! It comes with all kinds of brushes: skinny, fat, round, vibrating, rubber, plastic or bristled. It can cost $5 or it can cost $50. It is a makeup must-have!! The biggest problem is find the perfect one (or more!)...piece of cake! Riiiight. Mascara, like all makeup, is very subjective, and this blog is strictly my humble opinion, so you may totally disagree with me and your best friend as to which is perfect...add your views to the comments below!

I have a small pile of mascaras here, both purchased and samples, so I did some mini reviews of them using the same criteria for each (how scientific of me!).

First I'll list the name, the type of brush, waterproof or regular formula, color, and volumizing, lengthening or curling formula. Then I will rate each one based on the following qualities:

Did it stay put (STAY PUT) all day?

Was it clumpy (CLUMP) going on and require combing out?

Did it keep my lashes curled (CURL) or straighten them out?

Did it volumize/lengthen/curl (PERFORMANCE) per the advertising claims?

How easily is it (REMOVE) removed?

I'll also include NOTES about my experience.

Ready, set, GO!

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash: Large diameter rubber bristle brush, regular formula, black, volumizing formula.
NOTES: This mascara would be my favorite non-waterproof. I totally love the big fine bristled rubber brush...I never have to de-clump. It does undo the curl in my lashes just a bit, but not totally.

Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara: Curved, tapered traditional bristle brush, regular formula, black, curling formula.
NOTES: I tested the curling performance by curling the lashes of one eye and not the other before applying the mascara. The pre-curled lashes only lost a small amount of curl and they stayed that way all day. The uncurled lashes didn't curl much and only unevenly. I would say that if you want curled lashes, buy a Shu Uemura lash curler at This mascara sort of came off in crumbs...and not all at once, so even though it wasn't waterproof, I had to use eye makeup remover to get the remainder off. I didn't get a lot of clumps, but I did comb out the lashes to make them look better.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara: Large diameter, tapered traditional brush, regular formula, Black, volumizing formula.
NOTES: I'm not exactly sure what volume and lifting mascara is supposed to do, but it made a clumpy mess of my lashes and straightened out my lashes completely. Yuck.

Benefit Bad Gal: Large tapered traditional bristle brush, regular formula, plum, volumizing.
NOTES: I got this because I wanted to try out a plum mascara to see if it would make my eye color pop. It didn't exactly do that, but it is dark enough for my lashes. Being a large traditional brush, it didn't surprise me that it clumped a bit, but it did some volumizing, didn't obliterate the curl and was easy enough to remove. I like to use it once in a while for the plum color, but it isn't a formula to use everyday. Meh...

Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara: Narrow plastic bristle battery powered vibrating brush, regular formula, blackest black, defining formula.
NOTES: Is it really necessary to have a vibrating mascara wand?? I mean, isn't wiggling the brush back and forth manually enough? I guess somebody thought it wasn't. Well, save your money on this one. The plastic brush is one of the worst type of brushes second only to the comb versions. The color is fine, but it started to flake late in the day, didn't define much and I still can't figure out what good the vibrating is. Only the last third of the brush vibrates anyway. Pass.

Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara: Very large twisted double-helix style traditional bristle brush, regular formula, jet black color, lengthening/defining.
NOTES: This has the biggest mascara brush I've ever seen, and I use Lash Blast! It is also the worst brush I've ever used. It is so big that it is impossible to get to the lashes at the corners without smearing it on your is awful to maneuver! Also related to the brush, it clumps everywhere, completely straightened my lashes, and certainly didn't lengthen or define anything. I love love love Smashbox, but I hate hate hate this mascara. Sorry.

Cover Girl Lash Blast: Large diameter rubber bristle brush, waterproof, Very Black, volumizing formula.
NOTES: This is my HG mascara! It makes my lashes very black, very full, keeps them curled and stays put all day (and all night if you forget to take it off!!). It does require waterproof eye makeup remover, but I've found 2 brands that whisk it right off: Mary Kay Non-Oily Eye Makeup Remover and Make Up For Ever Sens' Eyes Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover.

Cover Girl Lash Blast Length: Long narrow rubber bristle brush, regular formula, very black, lengthening formula.
NOTES: This is a brand new addition to the Lash Blast family, and it lives up to its pedigree. It does for length what Lash Blast does for volume. It is a regular formula, so the curl relaxed a bit more than I would like, but it really made my lashes LONG! It comes off just fine and never clumps. I have a new secret: I curl my lashes, use Lash Blast Length, then top it with Lash Blast Waterproof...woohoo! My lashes look like falsies!!

Smashbox Bionic: Medium sized tapered traditional bristle brush, regular formula, black violet, lengthening/volumizing formula.
NOTES: I like the color of this mascara...deep purple, dark enough for my dark lashes. It didn't flake until late in the day, didn't clump much, but it also didn't do much for my lashes either. No extra length and not much volumizing. Kinda mediocre, but I will use it for casual wear.

There are hundreds of mascaras out there, so this is just a drop in the bucket. I didn't get smudging from any of them, but I keep my eye area oil free which keeps that from happening. If you have comments about the mascaras listed here, or anything else in fact, be sure to add them below!! I'd love to hear what you think!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!


September 23, 2009

Pretty Peepers: Smashbox Eyes Have It!

Hey Beauties!

This week I've been playing with my Smashbox toys for eyes and I've found some brand new keepers and a couple of items with the potential to line the trash can if they don't pass some new trial runs. I have to apologize for the lack of pictures...I took pictures, but technical difficulties have gotten the best of me this week. :-(

Photo Finish Lid Primer - This little tube has me questioning my loyalty to Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion...Gasp!! What it has that the UDESPP doesn't have is that it acts as a sort of concealer for the eyelid. It dries more completely and manages to cover any visible veins and darkness on my lids. I was able to blend eye shadows more smoothly and they stayed put all day. I think I may have a new fav! A+

Eye Beam Double-Ended Brightener - When I first looked at this double-ended pencil, I wasn't sure it was something I'd be using. I have the Photo Op Under-eye Brightener, and highlighters for the brow area, so why do I need this? WELL, the beauty of this handy little tool is the point of the pencil makes it very easy to precisely highlight the inner corner of the eye without getting the rest of the area messy. It also allows a precise application just the under brow. The "eye" end of the pencil is a slightly pink shimmer and the "brow" end is a pale gold shimmer. After practicing a few times, at least the brow end is quite useful. My only issue with the eye end is the shimmer...fine lines abound in my inner eye area...not a great look. I like to use a pale matte eye shadow in that area but younger eyes may like the shimmer better. B-

Cream Eyeliner in Black Plum - I really like the soft but not too soft texture of this eyeliner. It went on smoothly, even underneath my upper lashes, and stayed on all day. I love the Black Plum color also...purple, but dark enough to be grown up and not too flashy. And the bonus is, I haven't had a good purple/plum liner because I hadn't found one I I have one! A

Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Midnight Purple - I really, really wanted to love this liner. The color is great and it is waterproof! The first day I put it on, I used it under my upper lashes with a touch of pale eye shadow for a casual day. Within about an hour, it started flaking off into my eyes and it continued the whole day! I was miserable! The second time I used it, I put it on the top side of my upper lashes (with the cream liner underneath!) and it was just fine. The texture of this liner is very firm and sort of dry...been in the warehouse too long?? As long as I use a larger brush (MAC 209) to apply it, it is workable, but the small liner brush (MAC 208) just can't pick up any product. If I can't make this work, I'll stick with the creme liner. C+

Waterproof Shadow Liner Duo in Ideal Eyes - I wasn't quite sure what to do with this stuff when I got it. It is in a little compact, but it has a small plastic cover over the product inside. One side is a creamy pale gold, the other is an ashy brown. A liner/shadow brush was included in the set to use with this product, but it was a bit large and not pointy enough for the liner and shaped funny for shadow: I have other plans for this brush. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with cream shadow anyway, so my less than glowing experience just means I haven't messed with it enough. This product comes in other colors that may seem more useful to me...maybe I'll try one of those, but I'm keeping my mind open on this one. B

Glamoureyes Hazel Eye Shadow Quad - This is one of those products that only comes in a set and it comes in several eye colors: blue, brown, green, and this one, hazel. The hazel version includes a pale gold satin, a lavender taupe matte, an olive green shimmer and a very dark slightly shimmered dirty plum. I have been using the pale gold quite a lot and the green is very nice with it. I like the lavender taupe with the dark plum, but the plum is a little bit hard to blend compared to the other colors. Depending on the shade of hazel your eyes are, either the cooler purples or the warmer gold/green will make your eye color pop...mine look great with the purples because they are a greenish blue with a little dark gold around the iris. My sister has yellow green hazel eyes and the gold/green combo is striking. A-

And last but not least, my favorite and oddly enough the only real freebie in the bunch:

Eye Shadow Trio in Head Shot - These are my new favorite shadows for everyday or casual wear! Pale gold and beigey-pink shimmers and a velvety chocolate brown matte make for a nice natural, easy wearing combination. These shadows are extremely long wearing and stay true all day. Ding, ding, ding! I think we have a winner!! A+

Coming up: Mascara Madness!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!


September 15, 2009

In your face: Smashbox!

Hey Beauties!!

Lately I've been collecting an extraordinary number of products by Smashbox, so I've divided my stash into groups, starting with products for your face!

The first face product I tried in the Smashbox line was the High Definition Healthy FX Foundation, $38 at I got it as part of a purchase of the Master's Class Vol. 3 Complexion Perfection-Light. I like this foundation because it goes on smoothly and has good for your skin Vitamin C even though it is a bit less pigmented than the Make Up For Ever HD foundation. The color in this set, Light L3 is a bit dark for my skin, maybe L2 or L1 would be better...guess I'd better get myself over to Sephora to find out!

Oddly enough, while the foundation in this set is too dark, the Camera Ready Concealer 3.0 is a bit too light! The concealer is pretty good if you don't have circles in the heavy duty class like mine...there wouldn't be enough in the tube to cover mine!! Good creamy texture though!

One of my favorites in this set is the Photo Op Under Eye Brightener. This stuff really does perk up my eyes and helps to reflect light away from my under eye bags and circles! Bravo!! You just pat this luminescent liquid in the under eye area ON TOP of concealer. Magic!!

After my experience with the makeup artist video during my Arbonne makeup demonstration (see the blog in the archives), I've finally put the next product to good use: Pressed Powder/Bronze Lights Duo in Fair/Light (Bronze Lights is sold on its own for $28 at Sephora). I've never had much use for bronzers...I always thought they looked too fake, or if they were shimmery, too shiny. The makeup lesson demonstrated contouring using bronzer, so I've been working the contouring using this matte bronzer and I really like it! It is the perfect color for my warpaint stripes here!

The next two face products are from a Smashbox set I purchased on QVC. They have several makeup lines on their website ( and have some exclusive items in each line. If you haven't looked there, check it out!

The first product from that set is the whole reason why I ordered it in the first place: HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder. This is my Holy Grail of powder foundations! It has a shaver to freshly shave off the silky, buildable coverage powder. My face feels soft and hydrated, not tight or dry in any way! In fact my complexion was nearly flawless! Definitely a keeper, $59 at Does the price seem steep? Compare the price of HALO at $59 for .75 oz to Bare Minerals at $28 for .2 oz: HALO is $78.6 per ounce; Bare Minerals is $140 per ounce! Surprise!

The last product was another one of those that I wasn't sure I'd have a use for. The Soft Lights powder ($28 at Sephora) in Illuminate is a highlighter powder with four colors of powder to swirl together. Using the contouring and highlighting tips from the Arbonne demonstration, I'm using this and the bronzer every day! It isn't too glittery-shimmery (you know how I hate glitter!!) and it gives just the right amount of light where it is applied.

Of course I love and use the Artificial Light that I wrote about last week in my favorite things and I love the Photo Finish Foundation Primer, primarily because a combo version of these two items was included in the Complexion Perfection set. It was a nice idea to put them in a tube with another tube inside of that, so that they could be squeezed out together, but in reality the ratio was always different depending on how hard it was squeezed. Now I just have separate bottles and mix in my hand...same effect!

Smashbox really has an outstanding line of foundations and face products. I encourage you to try them! One of the other highlights of the line is that the compacts, if they have a solid or half solid lid have mirrors inside! I like that I can take a compact with me and not have to worry about how to see the application.

Next time: Pretty Peepers by Smashbox!

Until then, Stay Beautiful!


September 8, 2009

FOTD: A Few of My Favorite Things!!

Hey Beauties!

I hope everyone had a restful holiday weekend!

I was rummaging through my makeup drawer and decided to do a blog about my favorite products. These aren't current favorites (those can change daily!!), they are more like all time favs. They aren't in any particular order, so let's take a look!

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion - This stuff is worth it's weight in gold! A swipe on each eyelid, spread around with a fingertip, apply your shadow and it won't budge for the whole day (and night if you don't wash it off!). It comes in two versions, the original, sort of a transparent off white that pretty much disappears on your lid, and the newest version, Sin, a shimmery pale gold-beige (same as eyeshadow with same name) to use as a base color. The cute little genie bottle has been accused of making it difficult to get the stuff out after a's a hint: when it seems like it is almost gone, take out the swiping stopper thingy. There is A LOT more in there!! Wouldn't do my eyes without this stuff! The price is right for making eye makeup stay on...$17 at Sephora.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm - Best lip balm I've ever used. Period. It goes on smoother than ChapStick and smells like peppermint. In the winter, when my lips get so dried out, this is the only thing that will heal them. I wear it to bed every night and use it under lip gloss, lipstick, etc. and on its own. I love that it has coconut oil, peppermint oil and vitamin E and costs about $3 at drugstores and discount stores.

MAC Eye Shadows - Yes, all of them. They are very highly pigmented resulting in excellent color payoff. The range of colors and finishes is just amazing for $14.50 at MAC stores and counters or I have more MAC shadows than all the others put together...probably because they were the first ones I started to collect!

Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer - I have the darkest most permanent circles under and around my eyes, due only to, dad and sis all have them too. I feel like I have tried every concealer out there (not true, but I have a drawerful that might appear so), so when I took the plunge and tried the BB Corrector, recommended for really dark circles, with the Concealer, I found my Holy Grail concealers. Granted they are expensive by my standards at $22 for each one at, but I tried others when my first containers ran out, and probably spent 3 times that on concealers that didn't even come close. So I caved and got the best. Never. Going. Back.

Bare Escentuals Brow Color - My eyebrows aren't that bad...maybe a little sparse, but I've spent the last couple of years getting them to the shape I want. I use different brow products here and there, but my every day go-to product is this brow powder. It is fast, fills in and still manages to look natural. AND, it is very reasonably priced at $11 at Sephora.

NARS Blush - It sounds like such a cliche, but really, this is the best blush!! It isn't all flyaway powdery, and it goes on like silk. It lasts forever, and has such awesome colors, like the iconic Orgasm. My personal fave is Deep Throat. Time to empty the piggy bank to shell out the $25 for it at Sephora!!

Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion - My skin used to be all peaches and cream when I was growing up (yeah, I was one of those). But after 40, it started looking dull and kinda dead. That's where this luminizing lotion makes a difference. Sometimes I like to mix it with my primer and put the foundation on top, but I've also mixed it into my liquid foundation for nighttime looks. I've found it works to put it on before mineral powder foundations too. So if you are in that 40-something or older group and your skin is looking tired...try this stuff: $24 at Sephora.

These are really the only things I could come up with that I hadn't changed in a long time! I love trying new products, so if you have any suggestions, add your comments below!

Until next time, Stay Beautiful!!


September 5, 2009

A Seester FOTD!!

Hey Beauties!

My seester Cheryl and I did a little bonding over makeup today! To say that she isn't the makeup addict that I am is like the Black Knight's exclamation in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail upon having his limbs cut off: "It's only a flesh wound!" The woman almost never wears much makeup. She doesn't have a regular office job, so she doesn't see much point.

SO, I begged her to let me do her face and frankly, I think she is GORGEOUS!! So here is the before shot, actually with foundation and concealer, because we almost forgot the photos altogether:

Then after I worked my magic:

We didn't do a before picture for me because we were racing against nap time for my nephew, so here is my finished look:

We used the very same colors except for the foundation and concealer and being the paleface and she having a swimming pool in her neighborhood.

Yeah, we're related! Now tell me who is fair cheating!!

FOTD products:

Foundation-Cheryl: MUFE HD in 123
Foundation-me: MUFE HE in 118
Concealer-Cheryl: MUFE Lift Concealer in 2
Concealer-me: Bobbi Brown Warm Ivory
Loose Powder-Cheryl: NARS in Beach
Loose Powder-me: NARS in Eden
Powder Blush: Smashbox in Blushing Rose
Bronzer: Smashbox Bronze Lights
Highlighter: Smashbox Soft Lights in Illuminate
Under eye Brightener: Smashbox Photo Op Under eye Brightener
Eye Brow Powder: Bare Escentuals in Brunette
Highlight Eye Shadow: MAC Blanc Type
Mid-tone Eye Shadow: MAC Omega
Contour Eye Shadow: MAC Satin Taupe
Gel Eye Liner: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lashliner in Leatherette
Pencil Eye Liner: MAC Powerpoint in Industry
Mascara-Cheryl: L'Oreal Voluminous in Black
Mascara-me: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash in Blackest Black
Lip liner: Maybelline Moisture Extreme in Nude
Lipstick: Maybelline Moisture Extreme in Peach Mocha

I played with some of the Smashbox products that I'm blogging this week, but only a few!

Until then, Stay Beautiful!!


August 31, 2009

Hollywood Makover by Arbonne!

Hey Beauties!

We had a fabulous gathering at my house this weekend! Rhonda (my Arbonne manager) brought her stash of Arbonne makeup and an eye opening video to guide us through a "Hollywood Makeover." I am an Arbonne consultant, but had never tried any of the makeup, SO...I had a couple of Arbonne loving friends over and voila, we all became movie stars...or at least we looked like them! Sorry, no friends are camera-shy!

The video had some interesting techniques that I hadn't heard of so I'll do a run down of the steps we went through to become movie stars:

The first step was Virtual Illusion Makeup Primer. The makeup artist in the video said we should always use a sponge to apply primer. Looks like I've been doing it all wrong by using my fingers...oh well! This primer has a blend of vitamins and anti-aging ingredients to help tone, smooth and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. It has a nice silky texture that goes on of my favorite primers!

The next step was concealer because we were trying out the mineral powder foundation. The three of us palefaces used the About Face Cream Concealer in Fair. This concealer has anti aging ingredients to help minimize fine lines-bonus!! The makeup artist in the video had us first put the concealer under our eyes from the inner corner out only as far as the iris of the eye to avoid emphasizing fine lines. Ok, my fine lines START in the corner of my eye and my circles are legendary...but I followed directions. Then the concealer was applied in the center of the forehead, tops of cheekbones, bridge of nose, chin and just above the jawline. Seemed like a lot of concealer to me, but again, I followed directions. I liked the creaminess of this concealer, but I think the color was a bit pink for me.

Then we got to the foundation itself. I'm a fan of mineral powder foundations in general, so I was thrilled to try the About Face Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15 (sunscreen, yay!) in 3N. The application was the same as any other mineral powder: swirl the brush in the powder, tap off excess, swirl on face. The powder is silky and has decent coverage, but it also includes the ingredient bismuth oxychloride, which some people are sensitive to. If you like Bare Minerals, you'll love Arbonne.

After the foundation, we used a product I love in a surprising new way. We used the Awaken and the Unwind Rejuvenating Body Mists from the Aromassentials personal fav...spritzed our foundation just once, lightly with our favorite fragrance, to set our foundation. I've used Evian before, but not anything like this. These body mists have the Essential Oil Blends unique to each fragrance. The makeup artist cautioned against using the toners from the skin care lines because those would dissolve the foundation instead of just setting it. The jury is still out for me on using this technique.

The next step was a laugh riot for a while! We used the BefoRE Sun No Sun Intended Bronzing Powder and a fan brush to do contouring in the hollows of our cheeks, temples and under the jawline. The video instructed us to use the fan brush sideways to apply the bronzer. The funny part was when I drew what looked like stripes of warpaint on my pale cheeks and my friends' eyebrows went up and we all just howled. Rest assured, I'm a blending freak, so it did not end up so war paint-ish.

We also used the FC5 Mattifying Powder to reemphasize the highlighting. The bronzer is really blendable, but it has a little shimmer, so I'll stick with my matte bronzer or darker pressed powder. The mattifying powder is very fine, oil absorbing and is tinted a very pale green, intended to reduce any redness. My skin has never been oily, so I will probably pass on this one, but if you are oily, this stuff is great!

We recovered from our laughing fit and attacked our eyebrows...ok, maybe attacked is a little strong, but just wait. The first part was to fill in the brows with a pencil. I started with the Virtual Illusion Eye Definer in Hepburn, dark brown, because my hair and brows are dark brown, but it was way too warm of a brown so I went with Monroe, blonde instead. The directions were to color in the brows from the outside in, kind of like petting a cat backwards. After using this soft automatic pencil, I had some crazy wild brows!

Then we used the About Face Brow Wax in Blonde with a brow brush, to basically glue them down the other direction. I usually use brow powder, so I was feeling like my brows were glued to my face. The Arbonne Eye Definer pencils are very soft and blendable and have great color payoff....I just won't be using them for my brows. There was just too much product for me. I'm still considering the Brow Wax...maybe for those wild brow days?

Next we moved on to color, my favorite part! First was the About Face Blusher in Savvy, a warm rusty color. The trick now was to put the blush just on the apples of our cheeks so that we didn't mess up all the highlighting and contouring we had already done (concealer, bronzer, etc). No sweat: using a fluffy blush brush, smile, put blush on the fleshy part. I actually ordered this blush in Flirt because the colors are so silky and blendable. It is also SO close to NARS Orgasm, I just had to try it.

The eye look we did is called the Audrey Eye and the products actually come in a set. Virtual Illusion Liquid Eyeliner (black) on just the top lid was first. Applying liquid liner takes practice. The other girls were chicken, so I did it just to show it could be done. The video instructed to start in the corner of the eye and make one stroke to the outside of the eye. WELL, my eyes are aging and one smooth line was not to be had by these instructions. FYI, on crepey eyes, you have to do small strokes, close to the lash line and then smooth out the line with a finger or other clean up tool. This was where I had to deviate from the directions. (who me?) I really liked this liquid liner! It has a nice skinny, but not too soft brush and it stays on really well. It might even give my gel liners a run for their money.

Then we put a base of About Face Eye Shadow in Linen, third one down in the picture, from lashline to crease with a medium shadow brush. Next was a matte brown shade, Smudge, top color in the picture, in the crease with a crease brush. The next step was interesting. We used Petal, pale pink, bottom color, with our medium shadow brush, over the crease color and up towards the brow. I get that it blends that
crease color out a bit, but when I want to blend out a crease color, I usually use something closer to the crease color, not pink on brown. But it looked nice. The last was Tulle, a light shimmery ivory, second one down, that we put on the lid again. I also snuck some up on my brow bone...shhh...don't tell on me! The shadows were very silky, blendable, with great color payoff. I ordered three colors: Inkling (seriously dark navy bluematte), Flannel (the perfect medium gray shimmer), and Demure (pale taupe matte). Eclipse Eye Definer Pencil went on OVER the liquid liner, then ANOTHER coat of liquid liner. Seems like a lot of liner steps to me. Finally, Virtual Illusion Dual Volume Mascara, Black. Thank goodness!!

Time for lips. The makeup artist in the video said we should always use at least 2 colors of lip liner and lipstick and always use a lip brush to apply. It was then that I realized that us mere mortals couldn't compete with movie stars because we slicked on one measly color, no liner, at the stoplight on the way to work! I used the Virtual Illusion Lip Definer in Sienna from the outside corner to about a third of the way across on both top and bottom. Then the color Nice for the rest. About Face Lipstick in Bravo went over the Sienna lip liner and Hula lipstick over the Nice we see a trend here? And if that wasn't enough, we dotted concealer in the middle of our bottom lip and feathered it into the lipstick. I've used a frosty lipstick, shimmery eye shadow and shimmery gloss for this effect, but never concealer. I'm going to store that for future reference. We topped all that off with About Face Prep & Plump gloss in Delicious. The lipsticks are uber creamy and very pigmented, while the gloss had a generous amount of color also. My lips felt pampered!

Recap of products used:

Virtual Illusion Makeup Primer, $32.50
About Face Cream Concealer, $20
About Face Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15, $34
Rejuvenating Body Mist, $16
BefoRE Sun No Sun Intended Bronzing Powder, $28
FC5 Mattifying Powder, $25
Virtual Illusion Eye Definer, $16
About Face Brow Wax, $18
About Face Blusher, $14
Virtual Illusion Liquid Eyeliner, $18.50
About Face Eye Shadow, $12
Virtual Illusion Dual Volume Mascara, $28.50
Virtual Illusion Lip Definer, $16
About Face Lipstick, $16.50
About Face Prep & Plump, $28

We had a great time being silly and trying new techniques and new products, but if I had to do all this stuff everyday, I'd never get out the door. I've since incorporated some of the contouring tips, but I still use just one color of lipstick...yes, applied at the stoplight on the way to work!

Next week, Smashbox! I can't wait!

Until then, Stay Beautiful!


P.S. Arbonne products are loaded with skin loving botanicals and are formulated in Swizerland, but manufactured in the USA. If you are interested in purchasing Arbonne products, let me know and I can help you with that. All products can be viewed at

August 24, 2009

MAC Fall 2009 Collection

I had the opportunity this weekend to have my makeup done by a makeup artist at our local MAC counter using the new Fall '09 collection, MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics ( It was such fun! I really like all of the makeup artists at our counter. We had fun rocking to the Black Eyed Peas while Jen did my face.

This is one of the more versatile collections I've seen in a while. The collection is in three parts, each with it's own artwork by a separate artist (check out the website above to view the videos of each artist and how they interpreted their part of the collection).

The first artist (and my personal fav!) is Richard Phillips. Here are the products in his group:

Notoriety: Skintone 1-Light White Pink, Skintone 2-Dirty gold, Notoriety-Dirty Brown with Gold Pearl, Rich and Earthy-Rich Coral Bronze (bought this one!) Notoriety looks almost matte in this picture, but it is definitely has a nice gold pearl in it. This whole quad is pretty sparkly. I probably won't wear them all together, but mixed in with some matte textures. The Rich and Earthy color goes really well with Beauty Burst from the MAC Loves Barbie collection a few years ago.
Photo Realism: Photo Realism-Gold Shimmer with Gold Pearl, Fresh Approach-Cool Mint Green, Image Maker-Dirty Grey Green, Grey Range-Deep Blue Green (bought this one too!) I totally love this quad. I don't even wear much green, but these colors are so soothing and beautiful together that I just had to try them. This is the quad used in my makeover. Stunning.

My eyes done with this quad:

In the Gallery: Lightfall-Pale Pink, Look at the Eyes-Light Violet, In the Gallery-Dirty Blue Pink, Private Viewing-Deep Brown Plum. These colors are very pretty and I love purples because they make my eyes look really green, but I didn't buy it because the cool palette I got from last Christmas's collection is all pinks and purples too and I thought I had enough of those!(for now)

Lipglass: Young Thing, New Spirit, On Display, Personal Taste. Didn't buy any of these, but they are all simply gorgeous and have that yummy vanilla scent!

Lipsticks: Front Lit, Full Body, High Strung (bought this too!) , Hold the Pose, Lovin It. I don't usually go for light, frosty lipsticks, but when I use High Strung with a pale pink lip liner underneath, it is wonderful and goes so well with the smokey green eyes from the makeover!

Powder Blush: The Perfect Cheek (It is! Of course I bought it too!), Notable. MAC blushes are just luscious. This one, The Perfect Cheek, is a matte and goes on like silk. And it creates the perfect cheek!

Mascara: Plush Lash

The second artist is Maira Kalman. I didn't try any of these because I wasn't in the market for the bright colors...but the yellow (Crest the Wave) eyeshadow did catch my eye! The products this group are bright clear colors:

Eye Shadows: Crest the Wave, Maira's Mood, Violet Trance, Purple Shower, Off the Page, Haunting. These colors are so pretty! Of course you wouldn't wear them all at the same time (geez I hope not!) but they would be very nice as an accent color or a sheer wash of color. I have the Haunting color from the Alexander McQueen collection from last year.

Technakohl Liners: Artistic License, Graphblack, Full of Fuchsia, Obviously Orange, Colour Matters. I love Technakohl liners, but I've never really gotten into bright colored liners (maybe I should try it!). I think these would create some fun faces for Halloween maybe?

The third artist is Marilyn Minter. I do like pigments and have several, including the Cocomotion in this group. You know how I feel about glitter! 'Nuff said! The pigments and glitters in this group are:

Pigments: Brash & Bold, Push the Edge, Cocomotion, Heritage Rouge

Glitters: Gold, Reflects Copper, Reflects Rust, Fuchsia

Clear Gloss: I think the artist used this with the glitters in this group, but this stuff is great by itself!

My new picture is me with the Photo Realism quad, The Perfect Cheek blush, Blacktrack Fluidline, Very Black Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara (that's a review for another day) and a mauve lip liner with High Strung on top, all of it done by me. When my mom saw me after I had my makeup done, she said, "They didn't do it any better than you do!" Thanks Mom!!

Coming up next week: Arbonne cosmetics! I love their products but have never tried the makeup. I'm going to try their powder mineral makeup!

August 17, 2009

To line or not to question!!

Last week, my brown cream eyeliner started to flake off into my eyes...not exactly a great look. So this weekend I went in search of the perfect brown cream, gel or liquid eyeliner.

I love eyeliner and I am always looking for interesting colors and textures, even though I typically use black or brown on a daily basis. I had seen an ad for a metallic liquid liner by Too Faced (Metal Eyed Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner, $17.50 @ Sephora). Since metallics are all the rage these days, I thought I would at least see if it was something I would like. Now when I think of metallic, I think of super shimmery, like more shimmer than color. While this eyeliner had a nice thin brush and good texture, shimmery it was was a fine, iridescent GLITTER!! Some people love glitter, but they are usually under 30 and don't have a professional job. I'm over 40 and generally don't do glitter (I'm sure my CPA boss appreciates that). It was very pretty liner and comes in 8 beautiful colors (my favorite is Get Lucky, a glimmering forest green), but definitely not for Moi.

I decided to skip looking for metallics and focus on the brown I was in the market for. I found two candidates and decided to put them to the test.

I picked up Bare Escentuals' new cream eyeliner, Buxom Lashliner ($15 at Sephora). The black (Leatherette) looked like it might be shiny like patent leather when it dried (oooh, something to try later!) but the Suede color was the dark brown cream I was in the market for. Using a MAC 209 brush, I applied it as I usually do, first under my upper lashes, then on the top of my lower lashes, then on top of the upper lashes, making sure no lid showed between the lashes. This is the most silky soft liner I can remember using! It went on smoothly and stayed on perfectly all day. At the end of the day it came off completely with my usual eye makeup remover. It doesn't get much better than that. Don't tell anyone, but I think this may be better than MAC Fluidline...SHHH!

As I was shopping, I came across Clinique's Brush-on Cream Liner in Deep Brown ($14.50 at Sephora), which I have used before. As I was trying to decide between the BE and the Clinique, I discovered a Clinique color I hadn't seen before: Black Honey, a nice medium brown with a very fine shimmer. That settled it, I needed BOTH! It comes with a teeny little brush, but I like a longer brush, so I chucked it. The liner went on smoothly with the MAC 209 and that fine shimmer was perfect, even better than the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner ($21 at in Chocolate Shimmer that I was replacing! It is a slightly lighter brown than the BE liner, but darker than the BB Bronze Shimmer I already have. The lower price and availability of the Clinique make it a hands down winner.

As a side note, I have several friends that swear that MAC's Fluidline in Graphic Brown (dark brown with shimmer) was the best eyeliner ever made, but because it isn't a part of the permanent line and is only rarely repromoted, we are all in search of a suitable replacement. This creme liner might just be comparable!!

So this morning, I reach for my HG eyeliner, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, and OMG, I saw the bottom of the jar!!! I wonder if they have any more of the BE Leatherette at Sephora... :-)


August 13, 2009

In Search of the Perfect Lip Gloss...

Welcome to FOTD (Face Of The Day for you newbies)! I am obsessed with makeup and skincare in general, probably sparked by my 40th birthday mid-life crisis. I am in search of the perfect products, from wrinkle cream to lip gloss. Of course product performance is subjective...everyone can have a different experience. All I can give you is my opinion of the latest product, trend or technique. Here goes:

I recently made an impulse purchase (I think this is the only kind involving lip gloss) of Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips Full Color in Raquel. It is a shimmery brown/beige lip color/gloss with plumping properties. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I already own the same brand/type of lip color/gloss in Vanessa and Carmen, but I'll share the differences.

When I first purchased this particular brand/type of lip gloss, I really loved the texture, the color and the staying power and I still do. What I did not like was the applicator brush. Lip gloss is typically simple to apply, but this stuff is packed with color, so it is more like applying lipstick. The brush was just too imprecise, held too much product and got weird when you put it back in the tube and one or more of the bristles got stuck going the wrong way. I still used the product, but cussed that stupid brush. But that has all changed with my recent purchase.

The company has replaced that nasty brush with a doe foot applicator and this is me applauding! Much less product, more controlled and no wayward bristles to put stray marks on your face! They also made the fragrance/flavor better: more vanilla to go with the minty finish. My boyfriend, who is all honesty loves it when I wear almost any lip color/gloss LOVES this one! He first tasted it when I kissed him goodbye and it made him think of me the rest of the day!

I love the color of this one too...I was in the market for more nude colors and this one is really pretty. I have fairly pigmented lips, so the usual pale shades look like a mask on my lips. This stuff is just dark enough but not too pink and lots of shimmer, not glitter.

Let me know what you think if you try it! I'm thinking of trying some more colors and maybe the new eyeliner brown liner is starting to flake.

Until next time,