Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the culprit!

so since my post from yesterday regarding my terrible skin reaction to Philosophy's Hope In A Jar, i've been doing some research on it and have found what i think is the culprit! thanks to some help from a very knowledgeable makeup diva named Linda (hi Linda! thanks for your help!!!), i found out that one of the ingredients in HIAJ that many people find very irritating is Lavender Oil. check out this info from Medline Plus:

Side Effects and Warnings
Mild rash can develop after applying lavender oil. Reports describe increased sun sensitivity and changes in skin pigmentation after applying products containing lavender oil. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, headache, chills, confusion and drowsiness are sometimes reported after inhaling lavender or absorbing it through the skin, or after large doses of lavender or perillyl alcohol (derived from lavender) are taken by mouth. The essential oil of lavender may be poisonous if taken by mouth.

now, WHY in the HELL would you put something like this in a skincare product?! there are obviously going to be a lot of people out there who are allergic to Lavender who are going to have terrible reactions to HIAJ! so why would Philosophy add this potentially irritating oil? for the smell of the product? when are cosmetic companies going to get it through their heads that we would rather have a scentless product that doesn't cause a horrible facial eruptions than one that smells pretty?! and, just for the record, people all over LOATHE the smell of HIAJ! as a matter of fact, many people on Make Up Alley cited the smell of this product as the reason they had to discontinue use, because it smelled so GROSS. so adding that horrifyingly irritant-inducing Lavender Oil not only made the product unusable, it also made it stink. end of rant.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

bright eyes

i was watching QVC the other day (shocking!) when i came upon this new product from Mally Roncal's line called Mally Beauty Liquid Light Eye Brightener. i thought i would share this with you, my beloved readers, because i find it's delivery system very interesting! it's basically a concealer-type product that you can use under your eyes, on your brow bones or cheekbones, and/or on your nasal-labio folds to brighten things up. what's fascinating to me about this product is that it starts off as a powder that you shake into the palm of your hand but then when you use your finger to swirl it around, the warmth of your skin changes into a liquid! Mally said she wanted a product with the finish of a powder but the application of a liquid and thus the Liquid Light Eye Brightener was born. after you apply the creamy brightener to your face, it dries and changes back into a powder finish on your skin. neat, huh? not only was the gimmick of it unusual, but the demo's on the models showed that the product actually does work well to brighten things up. want to wake up those tired eyes? the Liquid Light Eye Brightener, available in two shades, is only available through QVC so click on over there and check it out! there's even a video to watch if you want to see the shape-shifting brightener in action! and Mally is so cute and funny, i'd watch her do just about anything. i love it when she refers to herself as a drag queen! girl loves her makeup and her big hair, and there's nothing wrong with that!

red, itchy, and pissed off!

readers, instead of doling out advice today, i am pleading for some help from you! i am currently sitting in front of my computer desperately trying to keep my hands off of my itchy, bumpy, irritated face. i wouldn't say that i have 'sensitive skin', because most things that i use like makeup and regular skincare (not containing anti-aging ingredients) don't bother me, but lately my skin has been very out of whack. since i recently turned 25, i've been wanting to start some kind of a skincare regimen to prevent the early signs of aging and just keep my skin in generally good shape, but i've had no luck with any of the products i've tried. every time i use something with retinol or AHAs (two of the most important things for keeping your skin young and fresh looking) in it, my face breaks out in a red, itchy, bumpy rash. after i tried Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Serum, i was left with two silver dollar-sized patches of super dry, itchy skin on the left side of my face that STILL won't subside. strangely, the right side of my face seems to tolerate anti-aging products while the left side goes haywire. now, i know that a lot of products that contain AHAs and/or retinol can cause your skin to purge, but this is not purging. this is my face coming into contact with an anti-aging product and shrieking, "NO! no no no no no!!!" at the top of it's lungs.

the product i had the highest hopes for was Alpha Hydrox's 12% Glycolic Souffle, a HUGE cult hit with the members of Make Up Alley, loved unanimously for it's ability to improve all skin types no matter how sensitive. well, guess what?! i broke out in a huge red rash! as a matter of fact, the area of my face that broke out from the AH Souffle is still slightly redder than the rest of my face, and it was almost a year ago that i used it. this is a great product that comes at a fabulous price (you can find it at most drugstores) and i would definitely recommend trying it if your skin is lacking clarity and glowiness, but make sure you do a patch test to see if your skin can handle it.

the culprit of today's tomato face look is Philosophy's Hope In A Jar, another product i've been wanting to try forever. many people achieve excellent results with this cream but for me it's a no-go. i don't understand how people with skin that's generally very sensitive can use HIAJ and AH Souffle with great results when my not normally sensitive skin freaks out after two nights use?! it's very frustrating! which brings me to my questions for my readers, is there anyone else out there who's skin can't take anti-aging ingredients? and if so, what do YOU use to keep your skin young and happy looking? also, what's the best fix for soothing upset skin? any tips, suggestions, helpful hints? let me know in the comments!

Monday, April 28, 2008

you know you love me...

confession time: i am utterly OBSESSED with the show Gossip Girl! although i'm well past my own angst-ridden teenage years, i find it very fun to voyeuristically revisit them via Blair and Serena. a few years ago one of my friends started reading and loving the books that Gossip Girl (the show) is based on and forced me to read a few myself, and while they were ok for a junk food-esque read (you know, completely devoid of any kind of real knowledge or substance), i didn't like them 1/10th as much as the show. i was immediately hooked after watching the first episode and felt that the hole in my heart left by the O.C.'s departure had finally been filled! i would probably even watch the show on mute if i had to, just to see the clothes and makeup that Blair and Serena sport. so as you can imagine, i am ridiculously excited that the second season started last week, and i just watched the first episode of it last night (i had TiVo'ed it), and it was good!

but...(there's always a 'but') here is where i have to go off on a tangent, and i know i'll probably feel the heat for this one, but i absolutely DESPISE Jenny Humphrey! i find her character to be so annoying and such a wannabe and i don't think she's cute or that it's understandable that she's so obsessed with getting into the 'in' crowd. i knew girls like this in high school and i never understood them either, why would you want to pretend to be someone else just to fit in? why stress about looking or seeming a certain way (RICH and spoiled in this case) to fit in with a bunch of stuck-up snobs? just be yourself, dammit! anyways, i really hate how Jenny's trying to replace Blair because even though Blair is a psycho bitch, i like her, and she is the one who belongs wielding the evil, Queen Bee-type power over her flock of moronic rich girls. and, in my opinion, it's so apparent that Jenny and Nate are going to get together, and that really makes me ill, because then Jenny will think she's even more of a Queen Bee. and it's not that i want Blair and Nate to get back together because i think he's totally wrong for her, she needs someone just as evil and manipulative as she is to keep up with her (Chuck, anyone?).

anyways...back to the point of this post, i am very excited about the arrival of Serena's bad girl friend from the past, Georgina, (played by Michelle Trachtenberg) and i was just looking at some pictures from the show and was wowed by her gorgeous smoky eye makeup and flawless skin! check her out! this is the kind of smoky eye i constantly covet and can never seem to pull off without looking like Rocky Balboa.

want to copy this gorgeous look? try a dark, shimmery brown eye shadow like MAC's Mulch on the outer third of your lid, in your 'V' and crease, and under your lower lashline. next, use a gold shadow like Stila's Oasis to highlight your inner eyelid and brow bone. to define your eyes, try a soft smudgable eyeliner like MAC's Eye Kohl in Smolder to line your upper and lower lids and waterline, making sure to smudge to get a soft, imperfect look. to make lashes stand out against a strong eye, use a lengthening, volumizing mascara like Too Faced Lash Injection (my favorite high drama mascara) and keep lips pale with a shiny, baby pink gloss like MAC's Oyster Girl Lipglass. with a face this glam, you'll be a girl who's gossiped about yourself!

and now, just for fun, check out these before and after pics of Blake Lively (aka Serena Van Der Woodsen) and her 'alleged' nosejob!

Friday, April 25, 2008


thank god it's Friday readers! today i've got the scoop on a few products i've mentioned previously in my blog, starting off with MAC's new Mineralize SPF 15 Loose Foundation (check it out here). i finally got to a MAC counter Wednesday night to test this out and i'm very excited about my first impression! now we all know that sampling a product at the makeup counter is a lot different from actually using it at your convenience in your own bathroom, but usually you can get a fairly good idea of how the product will work for you. the foundation comes in 9 shades and i was matched to Light which seemed to work pretty well on my NC20 skin. the problem i'm anticipating with the shades is that someone with skin lighter than mine may have a hard time finding a good match because Light is the palest shade they have and it's not that light. the powder seemed to apply really smoothly considering i already had my Maybelline Mineral liquid foundation on, and for the first time since i started using mineral makeup i could see that 'soft focus glow' that Leslie Blodgett is always raving about with Bare Escentuals. however, i've never achieved that kind of glow until i tried MAC's mineral makeup. i couldn't get a great idea of the coverage since i already had makeup on but it did seem to mask the redness i had on my cheeks and didn't look cakey, powdery or pore-magnifying at all, a problem i've had with Bare Escentuals that really bothers me being that i have very small pores. i figure if something makes my pores look big it would be hellish for someone who had bigger pores already! what i really didn't like about the Mineralize Loose Foundation was the packaging; i can't see myself using that sponge to apply the powder as i far prefer a brush and even if i did like the sponge, i feel like it would get very dirty and bacteria-filled. i don't think washing it would be easy since it's attached to the plastic lid of the packaging. it also seems like it would be very messy to apply if you chose to use the sponge. don't get me wrong, this wouldn't stop me from purchasing, but i would probably transfer the powder to another jar and apply it the regular way (swirl, tap, buff my dears). value-wise the MAC mineral makeup costs $4 more than the same amount of Bare Escentuals, but i wouldn't mind spending the extra few dollars to get a product i liked much better. i will probably purchase this when i have a chance (and some cash!) and report back further on how it's working out for me.

i also finally got my very own pot of Erase Paste! yay! i'm still very excited about this product and loving it, so if things change i'll be sure to fill you in.

when i was stalking the MAC counter i happened to take another look at the Heatherette Collection and ended up falling in LOVE with the Bonus Beat lipglass! this annoyed me greatly because i feel so relieved when nothing from a collection appeals to me since that lets me save some money! i had also tried this particular lipglass on before and felt very 'meh' towards it, but now i'm thinking that's because i tried it on over the Fleshpot (aka hideous corpse-like concealer-looking) lipstick. anyways, it's a gorgeous golden-beige gloss that gives you the most perfect summer nude lip ever! i am obSESSED with nude lips as i'm sure you'll learn from future posts and this one is going to be the most gorgeous summery looking lip to go with a (faux) tan.

another item that shoved it's way onto my To Buy list was Shiseido's eyelash curler. i know, i know, it's all about the Shu lash curler says everyone i know and every magazine i read, but i'm telling you i had absolutely NO luck with the Shu at all! it didn't fit my eye correctly and so i couldn't grab my lashes at the root and it was a big disappointment after i'd dreamed about how great it would be for years. i've been using a Japonesque curler for quite a while now (and i do like it a lot) but since i'm always looking for the next best thing, i decided to try the Shiseido and it was fab! i really loved it and it even curled the very outer lashes on my top lids which i usually have a problem getting curled in one shot.

so that's what i've been up to, what new beauty discoveries have you made this week? have you tried out MAC's new Mineralize Loose Foundation and if so, do you love it or hate it? i'd love to hear what you think so don't be shy!

by the way, the photo above of the MAC Bonus Beat lipglass was borrowed from Ebay since i couldn't find another picture of it anywhere!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


so, where have i been lately? not reading up on gossip i guess because i didn't know Ashlee Simpson was engaged and pregnant! supposedly she's pregnant to her fiance, Pete Wentz, he of the annoying guy-liner habits. do you think this is just a publicity stunt for her new album or is it the real deal? and how mad must her INSANE dad be to have another daughter doing something as un-christian as having a child out of wedlock?! first Jessica gets divorced and has sex with Bam Margera and now Ashlee's preggo! actually i think their dad is most concerned with squeezing every single red cent out of those girls, but i could be wrong. still, who's dad makes comments about their daughter's boobs like he does?! he totally creeps me out. just my opinion though.

Tool Time: Part Two

hola chicas! time for part two of Tool Time, where i will focus on some more brushes that i think are crucial for getting your best makeup application. now these are brushes that are a little more specialized, probably better suited for someone who's into experimenting with her makeup and working on creating different looks. so if you're more than happy using your fingers to apply your makeup, don't feel bad, it's all about what makes you the most comfortable. here are some more of my favorites, so read on and enjoy!

4. this next brush is one that i only recently started using and fell deeply, head-over-heels in love with. MAC's 194 Concealer Brush, $18.50, is firm, flat, and slightly tapered, making it perfection for covering small spots and blending concealer underneath the eyes. all these years i've been of the school of thought that undereye concealer is best applied using the ring finger, because the heat from your finger helps warm and blend the concealer seamlessly. i still do believe that, but using the 194 brush to first apply and blend makes the task quicker, easier, and delivers a better end result. it's slim but firm shape is also great for concealing the darkness that some of us lucky girls have right under our lower lashline, a place impossible to get to with your finger. now i stroke on my concealer with the 194 and just use my ring finger to tap, tap, tap and blend away into invisible perfection. and the small point of the bristles is perfect for getting just the right amount of concealer onto a blemish without highlighting the skin around it. a cheaper alternative? try Essence of Beauty's Synthetic Conceal Brush, $3.99 at CVS stores or at their website.

5. our next brush gets the privilege of having cult status! people practically die over this brush and it's many, many uses! MAC's 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush, $42, boasts natural goat hair AND synthetic bristles, giving it it's distinctive two-toned look. often referred to as a 'skunk brush', this type of brush is made by many brands but none come close to the quality and performance of MAC's. the 187 is quite the multi-tasker, performing equally well whether it's being used with cream, liquid, or powder products. many swear by the airbrushed finish it gives when used with liquid foundation, and it's light touch is the perfect answer to highly pigmented blushes or shimmery highlighters. it also is wonderful for giving a light-as-air dusting of powder to set any look. it took me quite a while to be convinced that it was worth the money, but i'm here to tell you it definitely is. this is a brush i use almost every single day, and have washed many times, that still looks brand new. really want a skunk brush but don't have the cash for this one? try Flirt's Feather Dust-her Brush, $6, a brush that performs surprisingly well for it's low price. Flirt cosmetics are available exclusively at Kohl's, so stop in and check it out!

6. this next brush is one you've seen mentioned previously on my blog when i discussed smoky eyes. it's a wonderful brush that stands up a to a beating and ended up being well worth it's price (which i was not too happy about at the time). MAC's 209 Eyeliner Brush, $17, is just money well spent. it's slim but just stiff enough bristles give you the most perfect application of gel eyeliner that you never have to trace over! it also works really well when used damp with a powder eyeshadow to give you a softer intensity eyeliner. for brightening up any eye look i'm going for, i like to use my 209 dry with a white shimmery eye shadow to trace a line under my bottom lashline and around the inner corners of my eye. need a less expensive alternative? try E.L.F.'s Lip Defining Brush, $1 (yes, only one dollar! all of E.L.F.'s makeup is only a dollar, check them out here) which is the same shape as the 209 and could help you decide if this type of eyeliner brush is for you before you spend more money on it.

7. up next on the list is the perfect brush to bring out when you're in the mood to create a sexy, smudgy, soft looking eye. MAC's 219 Pencil Brush, $23, was made for precision shading on the eyelid, in the crease or along the lash line. the soft, smooth fibers of this brush are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip that's the ideal firmness for blending out sharp lines and keeping shadow in it's assigned place. i like to use this brush to softly line my upper lid, lower lid, and to accentuate the outer 'V' of the eye. another option that's less expensive but works just as well is Essence Of Beauty's Crease Brush Duo, $4.99. this two-pack of brushes is a thrilling find for under $5! it includes two brushes, one being a bit larger than the other, that blend shadows, find your crease and hug your outer 'V' in a way that makes even an amateur feel like a makeup artist. i have to say i own both the 219 and the EoB brushes and i don't know which ones i use more, it's a close call!

8. finally on the list, i've chosen a little tool that's become indispensable to me. you may have noticed that i love a multi-tasker for the time it saves and it's convenience, and Sephora's Professionel Platinum Lash & Eyebrow Comb #21, $10, earns that title proudly. it packs two tools in one, a fabulously made brow brush and a clump killing metal lash comb. here's where i have to climb up on my soapbox and beg you readers please, please do not buy the lash combs that are made of plastic! they don't work and will probably end up doing more harm than good. the plastic teeth are never sharp or thin enough to get into your lash base and they just plain stink. you need metal teeth to bite their way into those clumps! this will be the best ten dollars you've ever spent when you see how much better your eyelashes look after a sweep of the lash comb. plus, the brow brush side works super well for taming brows and blending in your brow pencil or powder. i use this little guy every single day and don't know what i did before i owned it! another great option that gets many rave reviews is Tweezerman's Folding Ilashcomb, $7, which you can find at drugstores or Tweezerman's website. i've never tried this one but i trust the reviews on MUA and they seem to love it!

now of course there are many, many more brushes that i could talk about but i think these are my most essential. i hope you've enjoyed hearing about them and maybe found something in your price range to check out! always remember that the better you care for your brushes the longer and better they will serve you. i wash mine atleast once a week (and my 209 brush that's used for gel eyeliner each and every time i use it) with a mild soap like Dial which i like for it's antibacterial qualities. after gently squeezing the water out of them, i lay them flat on a hand towel and allow them to air-dry. this seems to work well for me and should for you, too. and one more thing, some of these brushes are very expensive, but i've found that if you buy one at a time, here and there, you will be happy that you spent a little extra for items that will last.

what are your favorite brushes? any that you've bought and hated? let me know in the comments!

Monday, April 21, 2008

copy and paste!

ok readers, i know i promised you part two of Tool Time today but it's getting postponed because i am soooooo incredibly amped about this product! sunday i made a special voyage to the mall just to check out Benefit's new concealer, Erase Paste, $26, because of the amazingly positive reviews it's been getting on MUA, and i was not disappointed!

i guess i should do some background info on why i'm so thrilled by this find: since birth (not exaggerating), i have had horribly dark circles under my eyes. now i'm not talking about the 'i didn't get enough sleep last night so i have a slight darkness' circles, i'm talking about 'hey Kitten, did you get punched in the face, TWICE, last night?' circles. these are inherited (thanks Dad!), genetic circles, possibly exacerbated by allergies, that don't respond to sleep, change of diet or vitamin-intake. they go the whole way around my eyes and even darken the skintone on my eyelids. not fun! so i've been concealer searching since the age of 13 and when i find one that really performs, i tend to get overly excited.

there are a lot of good concealer options out there, some of my favorites being Bobbi Brown Correctors (what i have been currently using), which actually neutralize the color of your circles so they blend in with your skin, and then there's the Bobbi Brown Concealer, which you're supposed to use over top of the Corrector (but i just use the corrector and it works wonderfully). Laura Mercier Secret Concealer was one i used for a few years faithfully, and it is good, but i think the Bobbi Brown is better. Amazing Cosmetics makes an AMAZING concealer that is really heavy duty coverage and i like to use it on the very darkest bits of my circles that peak through even after using my regular concealer, etc etc etc. so yes, there are many good concealers out there, but usually if a concealer works really well for concealing dark undereye circles, it doesn't work for red spots, blemishes, discolorations, and other common face ailments. here's where Erase Paste is different! Benefit claims...

"Signs of stress & fatigue are a thing of the past with this innovative formula. This concentrated, creamy, blendable concealer instantly brightens & camouflages all-in-one. The three brightening neutral shades give every gal correction perfection."

to really test out this concealer and see if it was worth it's hefty price tag, i went to the mall completely bare-faced except for my eye makeup (eye shadow and mascara)! yes girls, this is what i will sacrifice in order to bring you the real 411 on new products! so when i got to the Benefit display and snatched up the Erase Paste in #1 (Fair), i had very dark circles PLUS several red spots and splotches to conceal. all i used to apply this concealer were my fingers and i was literally shocked by how well it covered everything i had to hide! it completely concealed my dark circles without looking cakey or mask-like and managed to brighten up the whole eye area, too. for the red spots on my face, only the tiniest dab was needed to even them out and make them pretty much invisible, plus the areas i had covered didn't stand out against the rest of my bare skin. it didn't look too shiny or moist like some concealers can, so in my opinion powder is not needed over the top to set the product. without the help of a powder, it managed to last until late that night when i washed my face and it still looked pretty good. the jar that it comes in contains a TON of product and since it's very concentrated, you only need the teensiest bit, making the price actually pretty reasonable. they also include a tiny spatula so that you don't have to stick your fingers into the jar if you don't want to. i am wow-ed by this concealer, and it is #1 on my Next To Buy list!

have you tried Erase Paste? if so, let me know in the comments and tell me what you thought of it! if not, what's your go-to concealer? i'm all ears!

Erase Paste is available in 3 colors and retails for $26. you can find it at Macy's, Sephora, or the Benefit website.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tool Time!

hello all and happy weekend to you! today i am going to focus on what i consider the most important part of all beautifying regimens, and that's the tools! no matter how amazing your collection of makeup is, if you don't have the right tools to apply it, you might as well not even waste your time. i mean, look at any professional makeup artist (what i'm always aspiring to be in my own bathroom, wink wink), they carry a whole arsenal of different brushes, sponges, applicators and blending tools. to get your makeup picture perfect, you need the tools that make the most of what you're working with. now i know that not all of us (including myself) have the money to go out and buy every single brush that a line carries, so to be frugal and still get exactly what you'll need, i've composed a list of what i think are the most important tools that every girl (or guy!) needs to own. most of my top picks happen to come from MAC, because i think that MAC has the absolute best brushes in the business, but i'm going to suggest other, less expensive brands for those who can't afford department store prices. so read on, and enjoy!

1. i guess the first brush everyone probably buys, or thinks to buy, is a big fluffy powder brush. i know it was my first brush! it's a great buy and very multi-purpose, not only is it great for dusting on a light layer of powder to set your makeup, but you can also use it for blush, bronzer, shimmer products, and/or to blend. my pick for a powder brush is MAC's 129 brush, $34. i know that's kind of expensive, but i believe that tools are one thing you should buy quality because you'll have them for a long time and they'll work hard for you if you take care of them. the 129 is fluffy, soft, and perfect for powder and bronzer. too expensive for you at the moment? try Sonia Kashuk's Powder Brush 01, $11.99 (available only at Target). it's also nice, soft, doesn't shed too bad and lasts for quite a long time. i use this one still!

2. next, your second most essential brush is a multi-purpose eye shadow brush. if you're crafty, you can get by for quite a while doing simple eye looks with a brush like this. it can do a wash of color on your lid, define your crease, highlight your brow and blend, blend, blend! my favorite pick is MAC's 275 brush, $24.50. it is a blending MASTER! i'm telling you what, i've never met a harsh line i couldn't smooth away with this brush. it's nice and soft, fluffy enough, and angled perfectly to fit into your crease. it's really a can't miss creation! $25 for one brush more than you're willing to spend? try Sonia Kashuk's Small Eye Shadow Brush 09, $4.99. this was the ONLY eye shadow brush i used for years and it served me very, very well! it's the perfect size for doing ANYTHING, lid, crease, brow highlight, even under your bottom lashline! it's a truly genius find for it's price.

3. up next for your perfect face? a foundation brush. now here's where the crowd splits: if you use a liquid formulation, you'll want a synthetic bristle brush that doesn't soak up your foundation. if you're more of a mineral powder girl, you'll want a natural bristled brush. since i've been both kinds of girl, i have two suggestions.

for liquid lovers, the MAC 190 Brush, $32 is where it's at! this powerhouse seems to do what no other foundation brush does, it spreads your foundation over your face evenly without leaving brush strokes! it was love at first swipe for myself, and you should all be appreciating it, too! feeling kinda tightwad today? try Ulta's Foundation brush, on sale right now for $13.50! this one is also worth your hard-earned cash.

for mineral mammas (that was so silly i just laughed out loud!), my pick of the litter is Bare Escentuals Heavenly Face Brush, $30. now i would do anything to avoid paying $30 for a brush if i didn't have to, so you can get a much better deal on this brush buying from a reputable Ebay seller or waiting until it's included in a kit on QVC. either way, this brush is unparalleled in it's application of mineral makeup. i am telling you, i had completely given up on minerals until i bought this brush, that's how much i love it! the flat top design and ulta soft, plush bristles buff your minerals into a perfectly even layer that never looks cakey or gross. it doesn't shed and retains it shape after washing, too. also getting an honorable mention in the mineral makeup field? Bare Escentuals Handy Buki Brush, $20. this brush is also completely fabulous and gets a lot of use in my bathroom! for cheapie seekers? try Essence of Beauty's Kabuki Brush Face, $9.99 at CVS stores or on their website. i've never personally tried this one, but it gets RAVES on Make Up Alley.

think that's all you need? think again my pretties! stay tuned for part two of Tool Time tomorrow, and have a wonderful rest of your weekend! meow!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fiber Fixation

so check it out everyone, this is my newest lemming! i first spied the tube of Make Up Forever Lash Fibers in my latest Sephora catalog, and i am SO all over this one! the catalog says...

"apply a coat of this genius base pre-mascara. made of nylon fibers for massive density and mile-high length, plus nourishing rice wax, it's a must for moms serious about their wink..."

(remember if you got the catalog, it was all about mother's day). this is right up my alley, and i am dying to get my arse to a Sephora and test it out! what i'm wondering is if it's loose, dry fibers or if it's more like a regular liquidy mascara base? i'm hoping on it being the latter because i've heard nothing but misery regarding the dry fibers, supposedly they fly around and just cause a general mess. now here's where i need some feedback from you guys: how does MUFE do lash products? i know they make killer false lashes but i've never tried out their mascaras and i'm kinda hesitant to fork over $20 + S&H by ordering it online without ever trying it (for some reason, even though i live in a totally urban city, the nearest Sephora is 30 mins. away in a suburb, grrrrrrr!). if any of you have tried MUFE lash products, let me know how you feel about them in the comments.

MUFE Lash Fibers is available only at Sephora so if you're interested, check online or visit your nearest store.

Miracle Grow!

i thought since i got a shout-out from Pursebuzz (one of my all-time favorite beauty bloggers) thanking me for her new fabulously long lashes, it was only right that i post about our little secret. the product that is pictured above is hands-down one of my top three most valuable beauty possessions IN THE WHOLE WORLD! it's called Mavala Double Lash and ladies, it has changed my life! now i know i sound overly dramatic (which i definitely am!), but i have been lusting after long, thick, gorgeous eyelashes for as long as i can remember. unfortunately, i was born with lashes that are barely average, and that's being generous. they're totally transparently blonde, not very thick and hardly medium in length. nothing that would garner a second glance! so, as you can imagine, i have been trying every eyelash curler, primer and volumizing, lengthening mascara i could get my hands on since roughly the age of 12. little did i know that this miracle serum was floating around out there in the world for the very reasonable price of $20! (that's about what it comes to with S&H).

this little lifesaver comes from Mavala, a Swiss company that's been in business for forty years. i've never been able to find it at a store, but it can easily be ordered from various cosmetic e-stores online (i always order mine from Strawberry Net and it comes wrapped like an adorable birthday present!) for around $15-$20. it's packaged in a little glass jar with a mascara wand attached to the lid, and you apply it to clean lashes, just like mascara. the serum itself is a cloudy liquid that goes on clear and can be worn alone or under mascara, but i only apply mine at night before bed. within about 3 weeks of nightly use, your lashes are completely transformed! they're softer, stronger, shinier, and LONGER! i'm telling you, and this is NOT an exaggeration, my lashes grew CENTIMETERS within the first two months of using Double Lash! and if you think about it, adding centimeters to the length of your lashes is a very noticeable difference. this is definitely NOT a product where you'll be looking into the mirror going, "hmmm...i might notice a little something, but i'm not sure...?" there is a very apparent difference in the quality and length of your lashes after using this product. not only are your lashes longer and stronger, you may even get new lash growth that thickens your lashline! i noticed a few new lashes growing where i know i didn't have them before. and, you know how when you remove your mascara, wash your face, or rub your eyes, sometimes a lash will fall out? well when you're using Double Lash, that's a thing of the past.

now when i curl my lashes, they touch my eyebrow area, and that NEVER happened before! i'm proud to say that the picture on the left is my very own set of natural eyelashes, loud and proud (and enhanced by Too Faced Lash Injection!). and, i have been using Double Lash regularly for over a year now, and the effects have never tapered off or disappeared. the considerable length and healthiness i achieved during those first few months of use has stayed put. i also had a little bald spot on my eyebrow where i had gotten too tweezer-happy and applying the Double Lash there nightly has helped the little hairs grow back quickly and evenly. so you can use this on your lashes AND your eyebrows! not only that, but one little bottle will last you atleast six months, no joke. this stuff takes forever to use up, making it very cost-effective.

i don't want to give you unrealistic expectations, because Mavala Double Lash will not take your lashes from measly to ultra-lush and false looking, but it will definitely help you out on your way to a more glamorous fringe. i beg you to give this a try, you won't be disappointed, and you can come back here and thank me (like Pursebuzz did) for sharing this fabulous secret with you! now go on, order away!

(for anyone who cares, in the picture i'm wearing MAC Nocturnelle eye shadow on my lid and Bare Escentuals Cultured Pearl Glimmer below my bottom lashline)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ferociously FIERCE!

how HOT is this haircut on her? i am loving it! since i'm terrified to cut my hair this short i won't be copying it, but oh how i'd love to! what are your opinions on Rihanna's haircut? love it, hate it, want to marry it? let me know! and thanks to Perez Hilton, who i stole this hot picture from!

hair scare!

i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you, like me, have had more than a few horrendous hair moments. it doesn't matter what kind of hair you were born with, it will rebel against you and go crazy at some of the most crucial times! i'm not going to promise you a sure-fire solution to these hair mutinies, but i will share with you some must-have products for any hairy situation that might pop up.

is your hair feeling greasy, limp, and just generally misbehaving? you probably have some product build-up. if you use serums, cremes, gels or any other styling products, they can build up on your hair shaft and kill volume and shine. my favorite (and super wallet-friendly) solution? Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo, which removes build-up GENTLY without zapping your hair of moisture. it's even safe for color treated hair! i have used this on my hair when it's been long and highlighted blonde, mid-length and natural colored, and short and dyed dark reddish-brown, and it performs beautifully every time. it leaves your hair soft, bouncy, shiny and deeply cleansed without drying it out. i generally use this about once every 2 weeks and it does the trick! afterwards, i always follow up with a rich deep-conditioning treatment to restore moisture to my newly clean hair slate.

is your hair feeling dry, fuzzy, flyaway and rough? you're likely in need of a serious dose of moisture! many things can dry out your mane, some of them being heat-styling with blow dryers and flat irons, washing too frequently or using styling products that contain alcohol. to give your hair a hardcore drink of water, try using a deep conditioning treatment formulated for dry, damaged hair. i'm currently using Kerastase Masquintense twice a week and it's working really well, but if you're looking for something a little less expensive, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask works just as well at restoring some softness and shine to your hair. if you're really broke and need a quick fix, a hot oil treatment always works wonders. you can buy a two pack at the drugstore for around $3 and you're all set! i've had good luck with the Queen Helene brand myself.

are you experiencing embarrassing dandruff flakes?! eeeeeek! don't worry, it happens to almost all of us at some point. i recently had a case of dry flakies on my scalp after a dye job went awry and since i'd never dealt with that particular affliction before, i was at a loss! i used every deep-conditioning treatment i could find and even slept overnight with Ojon Restorative Treatment on, but no relief. as a last ditch effort at freeing myself from those snowflakes, i grabbed my boyfriend's Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo and lathered up! i was terrified using a dandruff shampoo would suck every bit of color out of my hair but desperate times call for desperate measures, right? well, after two washings with the Head & Shoulders Shampoo (followed up by the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask), i was flake free! those flakes disappeared and haven't been back, since. and not only that, but using the H&S shampoo gave my hair surprising volume and bounce! i wouldn't hesitate to use this shampoo again if my hair was feeling less than stellar.

i know i haven't covered all the hair woes that exist, but i'll get to those in another post, and hopefully these ones can be of some help. just remember, if all else fails, you can always channel Britney and shave it all off or don a hot pink wig!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

mascara showdown!

today for your viewing pleasures, i will be comparing two of the newest drugstore mascaras! if, like myself, you find it almost impossible to pass up a shiny new tube of mascara while waiting to have your prescription filled, then read on!

up first is Milani's new Power Lash, a mascara that promises to thicken and volumize, giving you high drama, clump-free and virtually unsmudgeable lashes. it has an old-school bristle packed brush which is very big and fluffy(think Diorshow or Too Faced Lash Injection). i find the name and advertising for this mascara to be very misleading because it did not give me 'power lashes' by any means. the consistency of the mascara is on the thinner side, and to get any volume i had to apply two coats, allow dry time, and then apply a third. one or two coats of this mascara gives nicely defined, natural looking daytime lashes but a third coat still doesn't really amp it up enough for evening, either. i have experienced no smudging or clumping, and the mascara is very comfortable to apply, meaning i had no problem building layers while avoiding spider lashes. also a good thing, Power Lash leaves your lashes very soft and smooth to the touch, almost completely bare feeling! it's curl holding ability is average, not amazing hold but enough to keep my lashes visible, which is VERY important to me as i am a super-strength-lash-curler. i would (and will) definitely rock this mascara for my daytime look, but it would not be enough to make an impact. the only shade i saw was Black 101, which is black but not as rich or deep as it could be, and when applied to my bottom lashes, they remained almost totally invisible. this is a huge pet peeve of mine, so shame on you Milani! darken up your formula and you'd have a fabulous natural mascara! i'd give this mascara a 7 out of 10, above average and almost really good but not quite there yet...

up next is L'oreal's Voluminous Naturale, the newest product in the growing line of Voluminous mascaras. this mascara boasts an ability to provide natural looking volume and definition with zero clumping, and even has a built-in 'clean sweep brush system' that wipes each and every bristle perfectly clean for an even, clump-free application. the brush it comes with (seen to the right) is one of the newer, plastic bristle brushes but also has the same kind of flexibility as Maybelline's Define-a-Lash mascara. i was a little skeptical about buying this mascara because i am NOT a fan of the regular Voluminous, which i think is spidery, clumpy, and a lot more trouble than it's worth, but since this one promised to be 'lightweight' i caved. what a pleasant surprise! this mascara is very nice, has a great dark black color, and applied very easily with no clumping at all. this was my first experience with a flexible brush and although i can't say i loved it, it definitely didn't impede the application. no double-dipping of the brush was necessary, and also there was no need to wipe off the tip of the brush where that little mascara build-up can sometimes occur. the 'clean sweep brush system' must be working! i would say that the finished result of this mascara was also a daytime look, but that's fine with me because i don't want crazy volume when it's light out, just clean-looking, dark and defined lashes. curl holding ability was also average, which is the only bad point i can see so far in this mascara, because i like my lashes to stay curled STRAIGHT up all day long (yes, i'm one of THOSE girls!). the plastic bristles on the brush made it very easy to get right to the root of my eyelashes, which is important when you have blonde lashes, so that's something i definitely appreciated. when applied to my lower lashes, they looked long, dark, and not at all spider-like! score! i have also had no flaking or smudging so far. i'd say this mascara clocks in at a 7.5 out of 10 for me. at around $8 a tube, i would definitely give Voluminous Naturale my stamp of approval, and will be using it frequently from now on (although i probably won't repurchase because i like to try something new EVERY time! no brand loyalty for me!) to get a great looking, natural lash look.

so the winner? probably the L'oreal, although mascara is something that's so personal that it's hard to say if you would feel the same way. but actually, both mascaras were above average, so you can't really go too wrong choosing between the two. happy mascara'ing to you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

QVC easy as 1,2,3

let's talk about QVC, bay-bee! i am totally, utterly addicted to this home shopping channel! i feel like no one ever mentions this GLORIOUS resource of beauty booty on the makeup blogs i read, and i can't help but wonder why? Lisa Robertson, (pictured to the left) a host on QVC, always says "no one does beauty better than us", and i'm telling you, girl knows what she's talking about! not only do they carry almost ALL of the best brands, (for example: Tarte, YSL, Bare Escentuals, Philosophy, Smashbox, Ojon, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Prescriptives, Kate Somerville, Kinerase, LORAC, Stila, and many, MANY more- seriously, check out the list of brands they carry here) but they have the BEST prices EVER! QVC almost always sells their products for less than what you'd spend in the stores, and they have fantastic deals where you can get, say, two tubes of Dr. Denese Self Tanner (usually $25) for $26.14! also, they have 'easy pay', which is this really helpful payment plan where you can divide the price of something costly into several payments (say you're buying Kate Somerville Exfolikate and it's selling for $100, you can do 4 payments of $25 a month so your wallet doesn't take such a hit all at once!) the prices can't be beat, and you have 30 days to try out anything you buy and then SEND IT BACK if you don't like it for a total refund. plus, S&H is totally reasonable and you can get whatever you order within 1-1.5 weeks.

ok so...fabulous selection of products, check! amazing prices, check! shopping while on the sofa in your favorite sweats, check! could there really be more to love about QVC you ask? yes! yes there is! QVC is the best BEST best thing to watch when you're bored! they have whole shows devoted to beauty (my two favorites, Beauty Beat and Saturday Night Beauty) and they are wildly entertaining! not only do they show you what you can get but they have the creators of the makeup lines there with them, showing you HOW to use the products they're hawking! it's great! i DVR each and every beauty related program on QVC and veg out in a makeup-induced coma while watching from the comfort of my aforementioned sweats. every saturday night there is an hour of Saturday Night Beauty, hosted by my favorite QVC girl Patti Reilly (right), and i'm warning you, lock up your credit cards before tuning in because you will want to buy EVERYTHING!

also, an interesting tidbit: QVC is now getting exclusivity with the brands that they sell! for example, Smashbox released their Halo Hydrating Perfecting Face powder a few months ago on-air, but you won't be able to buy it anywhere except QVC until this coming december. since that one launched, i've seen several other brands doing the same thing, so if there's something out there you're desperate for, your only shot at acquiring it may be to hit up QVC!

you can tune into QVC anytime because it's on 24/7, but if you're just interested in the beauty shows, check their showtimes at QVC's beauty page online. their online website is amazing too, it has tons of How-To videos, reviews, and information about the brands and products for sale. and don't say i didn't warn you about the impending bankruptcy you might fall into!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

how to get that glow

doesn't everyone want to copy this gorgeous, healthy looking, glowing skin Lindsay Lohan is sporting? i know i always have! but if you don't have a clue how to get from dull, dry skin to this level of fabulousity, fear no more because i am here to help! i've been obsessing about this sort of glow for about a year or so now, and so i've found a few amazing products to give you the perfect sheeny look.

first of all, of course, you'll want to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturizer properly before you apply whatever your favorite foundation is. after that, the fun begins! my favorite pick for copying the exact look La Lohan has going on up above is MAC's Mineralized Skin Finish in Light Flush, $24.50. this super finely milled powder has the perfect amount of pinky-peach color and shimmery (but NOT glittery) finish. it looks gorgeous on top of blush or alone for a subtle wash of color.

already have a favorite blush and just want to turn it up a few notches with some shine? try MAC's MSF in Shimpagne, a neutral beige shimmer powder that gives you the gleam without the color. want the same look but can't afford to shell out $25 for it? then you'll want to go for one of my Holy Grail shimmer products, Wet'n'Wild's Silk Finish Blush Compact in All Over Shimmer 832D, $2.99.
this AMAZING and inexpensive product is probably my #1 vote for All Time Greatest Drugstore Treasure. it has the most perfect beigey-golden-silver color and is incredibly smooth, pigmented, and blendable. it gives everything from a very light, faint shine to over the top drag-queen shimmer! you can use this on your cheekbones, your browbones, your lip's cupid's bow, your inner eye corners, etc. it will last you ages, also, because only a tiny amount is needed. only problem is, these little suckers can be difficult to find, and lately they haven't been turning up at all of the usual Wet'n'Wild displays. my best bet? if you live on the west coast, like me, try KMart. they seem to carry them all of the time.

not a fan of power products? don't worry! Benefit makes two wonderful liquid highlighters called High Beam and Moon Beam, both $24. these light, lotion-like highlighters pack a powerful punch of shimmer, shine, and a non-drying, moist finish for skin that can't take powder. they're also packaged in a cute, nail polish-inspired bottle with a little brush applicator! since you only need a dab, they should also last you quite a few glowing faces.

now that you're armed with the info, go ahead lovelies and get glowin'!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

private (smoky) eyes, are watching youuuu.....

hey all! a post tonight on an obsession/phobia i've cured once and for all...the simple smoky eye! this is a look i've coveted since i was about 10 years old when i hurriedly paged, wide-eyed and breathless, through Sassy magazine (which i loved and MISS so much, oh why can't Sassy please come back?!). however, i was born with a cruel affliction known to the general public as BLONDE EYELASHES! eeeeeek! if you're familiar with this curse or suffer from it yourself, you know you look like hermit crab without mascara and that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to wear black eyeliner because you can always see your blonde lash roots peeking forth and it completely ruins the look! try and try again as you might, you'll never conquer this annoying lash-root-visibility until you have the proper tools...

1. a flat, STIFF, eyeliner brush! my personal favorite (pictured here, the Japonesque Travel Sized Flat Eyeliner Brush, around $8) is the most IMPORTANT tool i can urge you to purchase for this mission, ladies! sometimes referred to as a 'push' brush, this badboy will take those blonde eyelashes and make them wish they were born dark! the way you'll use this wonderful little brush is by taking some dark pigment (such as powder, cake, pencil or gel eyeliner) and actually 'pushing' it into your lashline, right between your eyelash roots. this masks fair eyelash roots and makes your lashline blend into your eyeliner line just like it's supposed to! also i should mention along with this first tool is how essential an eyelash curler is to helping this look come together. if you curl your lashes sky-high before you attempt to use the push brush, it will help to open up the area and give you easy access to those between-the-lashes spots. next up in order of essentialness...

2. your choice of black eyeliner! i come from the 'black is best' side of the fence, whether it comes to mascara or eyeliner, i feel that EVERYONE looks best in black. that's not to say that you might not want to rock a rich brown or shimmery purple (as i sometimes do, also) but since we're discussing the simple smoky eye, i figure we'll stick with basic black. my pick for eyeliner for this task is MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack, $15. this, my friends, is perfection and LIFESAVER in a pot! Blacktrack is a soft gel eyeliner with the blackest black pigment and the BEST staying power, EVER! it applies smoothly and evenly in the first stroke of your brush, no retracing needed, and the economically priced pot will last you AGES. what i like to do when going for the simple smoky eye is first trace a line of this on my top lashline with MAC's 209 Eyeliner Brush, $17, and after letting it dry for a minute or so, i curl my lashes and then whip out my handy Japonesque push brush and get to darkening those lash roots! i do this by gently tapping the tips of the bristles into the Blacktrack and then wiggling them into my lashline. easy as 1,2,3 and works like a charm!

3. personalize your look! this is where you get to flex your creative muscles. you can add some black eyeliner to your bottom lashline and waterline or just go for the dark look on your top eyelid. you can smudge or leave your lines sharp! for a softer looking, pencil eyeliner for your bottom lashline, i am LOVING Rimmel's Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Jet Black, $3.19 (at, which is so soft and sooty and black! it goes on without a bit of tugging and lasts fairly well for a pencil so soft and smudge-able. i wore this the other night on my bottom waterline and it did need a few touch-ups but for the look it gives you at the cut-rate price it comes at, no problem for me! when i'm doing a smoky eye, i like my lashes to be as over the top as i can get them, and Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara, $19.50, is my personal FAVORITE PICK for ultra lush volume and length. this mascara, another in the tube variety like Imju's Fiberwig, gives you amazing volume, holds a curl like CEMENT and never flakes or smudges. this is the mascara you will want to use for your best look at me lashes!

well i hope i've helped just one of the lash challenged girls who i used to belong to. rock your smoky eyes with all the gusto you can muster up, ladies! it doesn't have to be hard, as long as you get the basic elements of the look down pat, you can run with it! meow!

Monday, April 07, 2008

SWF seeks TM

i must admit, i've never been a big fan of foundation. my first experiences with foundation were around the junior high years, and they were not very positive. i remember purchasing liquid and cream foundation from the drugstore and never being able to get an exact color match or an even application. so, being that i've been blessed with pretty decent skin, i gave them up! none of the formulas seemed to suit me and i didn't want to put the time into making them work. but my how the times have changed!

technology in makeup is light years ahead of where it was in the 90's and there are so many wonderful foundations to choose from that i've been trying to give them a second chance. for a while, i was a faithful user of Bare Minerals mineral makeup, but then i gave that up because my color match still wasn't perfect and i hated how it could make you look drier and more wrinkly than you ever knew you were! i then flirted with Prescriptives Virtual Skin foundation, and although this was a great one, it still didn't feel like that perfect fit. since i only wanted light coverage, i began on a quest for a tinted moisturizer. this seemed like the natural choice for me, and i first went to my favorite makeup brand, MAC. their version of a tinted moisturizer is Select Tint SPF 15, and i was sure that this would be the one. i bought my perfect color match (NC20) without having ever even tested the product, and took it home in excited anticipation. once i got out my trust MAC 190 foundation brush and began to apply, i was less than thrilled. the color did match, and the formula was moist and easy to blend, but the coverage was about a 2 on scale from 1-10! it wasn't enough to even out my redness and when i looked very closely in the mirror, i could see the pigment from the Select Tint settled into my pores, which by the way are very small! i was so disappointed, and into the rarely used beauty cupboard the Select Tint disappeared.

next there was DuWop's Revolotion Face, a TM i had heard great things about and read a lot of exciting opinions on from Beauty Addict , who i almost always agree with. the shade Nanci was a good match for my pale skin and i really liked the formula of the TM, which was a little drier and more substantial than the Select Tint. however, once again, i found that this TM gave me almost NO coverage whatsoever! i couldn't understand it, when i had read about how well it worked for others, and i was just not seeing it! feeling forlorn, i took a break from my search and hadn't really thought much about it until...

this little gem from the drugstore reached out and grabbed my attention one day! i wouldn't have given it a second thought if it hadn't been for the freshly set up display that included TESTERS of the foundation colors! speaking of which, why don't ALL the drugstores carry testers? don't the cosmetic companies who sell their products from these places (i'm talking to you, Cover Girl, L'oreal, Almay, Neutrogena, etc...) realize that this would dramatically increase their sales AND prevent so many returns to the stores of products that just have to be thrown out after they've been opened, used, and brought back? anyways, this new Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Liquid Foundation is a truly amazing find. it totally knocks the other, much more expensive high end formulas i tried out of the ballpark. this was really surprising to me because i was pretty much resigned to the fact that foundation is one beauty product best bought on the higher end. boy, was i wrong! this formula is moisturizing, light-weight, and incredibly comfortable to wear on your skin. it blends in like a DREAM with a minimal amount of effort with my MAC 190 brush. there are no traces of uneven color or un-matching pigment visible anywhere on my face, and i can even go as far as to say that when i'm wearing this, i can't even tell i have any foundation ON at ALL! it gives light-medium coverage, and can be built up a bit for more opacity. i cover my dark undereye circles with concealer first and then smooth this over the rest of my face for a flawless finish. after wearing it for a few hours, my normal to slightly combination skin can use a blotting paper around the t-zone, but that's no problem for me, or any different from when i'm wearing any foundation type product. this is what Maybelline has to say about the product...

Discover the power of micro-minerals:
• Only our formula combines micro-minerals with a liquid in a lightweight texture for a healthier, more natural finish
• Naturally breathable, seamlessly blendable
• Provides buildable, even coverage
• Talc-Free
• Oil-free
• Fragrance-Free
• Non pore-clogging
• SPF 18 sunscreen
• Medium Coverage

the foundation is available in 16 (!!!) shades and retails for around $10 for 1 fl. oz. i hope someone will love it as much as i do! what are your favorite foundations or tinted moisturizers?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

MAC Mineral Makeup!

VERY exciting news my (non-existant) friends! MAC has finally jumped on the mineral bandwagon and is creating it's own brand of mineral power foundation. although i have a very love/hate relationship with mineral makeup, for some reason i find the news of a MAC version very exciting. my favorite mineral foundation of the moment is Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals, but it does come with some caveats. more on my tips for the best mineral makeup application later. anyways, MAC says it's new Mineralize SPF 15 foundation is...

"A lightweight loose powder foundation that utilizes the power of minerals to provide the skin with a smooth, radiant, natural finish. Brushes on the skin for sophisticated, medium-buildable coverage. Special mineral complex helps keep skin healthy and nourished while the blend of moisturizers and conditioners in the formula help create a smooth, flawless application. Provides essential everyday SPF 15 sun protection."

with the cost being $29, it is on the pricier side for mineral foundation (Bare Escentuals full-size mineral foundation being $25), but not by much. so far i've found that it's available in 8 shades and we know MAC is usually pretty good about covering all skintones out there, so i'm sure this foundation will be a perfect match for some of the people who could never find their ideal shade with Bare Escentuals. i know i'll be giving it a good testing at the counter when it's availabe and will report back with my opinions...stay tuned!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

paint it black

i am a mascara maniac, self proclaimed and self indulging! i've always loved long, thick, sexy lashes but in the last 2 years i've become abnormally obsessed with the quest for lash perfection. i thought i had finally found my Holy Grail with Dior Maximeyes mascara until, alas, it was discontinued and torn from my possession after only owning it twice. since then, there have been many mascara failures, 'meh' moments, and hopefuls, but until this Japanese gem came along i haven't even considered buying anything twice.

Imju Fiberwig mascara is the REAL DEAL when it comes to imitating the look of falsies. the company explains that "Fiberwig is made up of two types of extra thin nylon fibers; a short and a long fiber. The short and long fibers intertwine to form a light and smooth film coating that gently surrounds and seals unto your lashes. As the fibers seal unto your lashes, they seal unto each other. As a result the extended fiber lashes give your natural lashes the appearance of extreme length!" and honey, they aren't kidding.

this mascara delivers length like i've never seen before! you apply from roots to tip (but i HIGHLY advise against wiggling, more on that later) and then continue applying to just your lash tips until they are extended to your liking. my scrawny lashes touch my brows when i am wearing this mascara! not only that, but it is AMAZING at holding a curl! your curl will NOT budge with this mascara! volume-wise, Fiberwig won't give you a ton of thickening, but coming from a girl who once sought out the most volumizing mascara she could find, you won't miss it. it definitely thickens some, and the finished result is purely perfection! and, since it's one of the tube mascaras (similar to Blinc's Kiss Me mascara, the first of the 'tube' variety), it's waterproof and smudge-proof without requiring a heavy duty eye makeup remover. when you're ready to remove, all you do is wet your lashes with some warm water and gently wiggle the tubes off. the Fiberwig lash tubes absorb the water and swell, making them easy to slide right off.

if you're a mascara freak like myself or are just looking for a reliable, non-smudging and lash lengthening mascara, give Fiberwig a try. you can find it at Sephora,, and Japan (for much cheaper i've heard!) if you're lucky enough to visit. the price is a kind of steep $22, but it's so worth it.

my very first post!

hello readers! this is a blog inspired by all the wonderful blogs i've come to know and love, and i thought i'd give blogging a try myself. here goes nothing!