Sunday, October 31, 2010

CoverGirl Amazement Wetslicks... Where have you been all my life?

So I purchased CoverGirl Amazement Wetslicks lipgloss today in Red Riot...  And I'm hooked.

CoverGirl Amazement Wetslicks in Red Riot $4.99

This lipgloss has Crest Peppermint Oil that freshens breath and provides a non-sticky high sparkle to your kisser.

The minute I put it on, I felt a slight tingle and cooling sensation from the peppermint oil, but not quite as intense as with a plumper.  There was a light, fresh smell (Thanks to crest) and my lips were instantly smooth and had a beautiful flash of color

The best part is they're only $4.99 a tube.
AND there's a million colors... well at least 13.  I am SO all over that.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warming up

So I've been eyeing this box of L'Oreal Feria at work for... I dunno... FOREVER, but I was always scared of it because it was a warm tone... traditionally warm tones have not boded well on my head.  (Can you say ginger?  Not that there's anything wrong with red heads, but man, I really don't make a great one.)  So anyways, due to a dye job that I wasn't wild about (L'Oreal Couleur Experte Express Two-In-One Multi-Tonal Color System in Toasted Coconut Medium Blonde Natural, how could you have forsaken me?  You made me a beautiful brunette...) I decided it was time to be a brave girl and give the hair color a try.  L'Oreal Feria Multi Faceted Shimmering Color in Dark Golden Blonde #73 Warmer.  I don't regret it, my color is beautiful, but then again, L'Oreal Feria has never disappointed this girl. 

So here's your kit, you get:
Bottle 1 Shimmering Color Gel
Bottle 2 Shimmering Conditioning Developer Creme Bottle
Aromatic Shimmer Serum
Gloves and instructions
Deep Conditioner

All bottles are clearly labeled and numbered... it's pretty idiot proof which is great for people who really don't like to read directions like me... :/

It's a good idea to wait 24 hours after washing your hair to dye it.  Make sure your hair is brushed and detangled before applying the dye.  If your hair is shorter, like mine, one bottle should do just fine.  Any longer than collar bone length you may want to buy a second box, depending on this thickness of your hair.  If you don't use the second box, you can always return it, it's better to have too much than to start dying your hair and figuring out that you don't have enough.

Anyways... Start by putting on the gloves and opening Bottle 1 and 2.  Pour the contents of Bottle 2 into Bottle 1.

Then, add the Aromatic Shimmer Serum

Put the flat top on Bottle 2 and Shake that baby up until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Remove the flat top and screw on the pointed applicator top.

You should be good to start dying at this point.  I usually start at my part and then work outward towards the roots.   Once your hair is fully saturated, pile loosely on top of your head and leave on for 25 minutes.  After the time is up, hop in the shower and lather and rinse.  DO NOT shampoo, simply squeeze hair and apply the condition supplied to you in the box.  It is wonderful, your hair will drink it up and feel amazing later!


The finished product is beautiful, not quite as dark as the box, but my hair was pretty light to begin with.  It is shiny and soft, very warm without being ruddy or brassy.  It totally redeemed my ashy, one tonal color from L'Oreal Couleur Experte Express Two-In-One Multi-Tonal Color System in Toasted Coconut.  I'm in love right now, but I'll let you know what the color does over time. 

L'Oreal Feria Multi Faceted Shimmering Color in Dark Golden Blonde #73 Warmer $9.99 in most drug stores
(Blonde not for you?? Feria offers a wide variety of colors from the blondest of blondes to a raven black, give it a gander... I've had great success with the box color in the past and have always gotten a TON of compliments!) <3

Blonde's may have more fun, but the upkeep is a pain in the ass!

I'm very excited to be dying my hair later today (I'll be sure to give you the low down on the hoedown, as it were).  In the past, my hair has been all different spectrum's from the whitest of white platinum to red and all the way to a deep espresso brownish black.  It's seen some serious abuse.

I often get a lot of questions and comments about my hair.  Specifically how I keep my hair so blonde, and escape the curse of brassiness.  Since this blog is all about beauty on a budget, it's only fair to share some of my advice to you about color from a box.

If you do decide to do your color at home, I have found that brands really do make a huge difference if you want straight from the salon looking results.  I would advise you to stay away from Clairol and Garnier products; I've found that although these may look nice initially, but they simply aren't strong enough to give you nice, long lasting results in the blonde department, and tend to brass up your hair in a week or so.  (To be frank, I wouldn't really trust these to give me the results I want... I want a Salon look in a bottle, not just a hair color change).  I would also suggest that you avoid any color kits that promises "10 Minute Color"... if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
If its a whiter blonde you're looking for, L'Oreal has a line called Les Blondissimes.  This line has extra lightening agents in its formula that really helps to give you a nice bright blonde... minus the bleach!  (Bleach can be super rough on your hair, frying your ends and giving you a frizzy poofy look.  I got myself past the brunette to brown hump using Les Blondissimes ($8.99).  If you've ever tried to go blonde from a darker blonde, I'm sure you know it can be a battle.  The "two-shades up" rule of thumb simply doesn't cut it as your hair just simply absorbs the lighter dye.  L'Oreal Feria also has beautiful blonde shades that will provide you will all over, shimmering results.  When I was platinum (Think, Gwen Stefani),  i always used L'Oreal Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Color in #110 Very Light Blonde-Cooler ($9.99).  It gave me excellent, shiny results.
I've used L'Oreal's Preference and Excellence Cream. I wasn't wild about the results from excellence, I found it to be kind of flat, but preference gave me natural looking results.

As for Revlon color, Ive never tried it but I find a lot of their stuff to be not so good. (Their false lashes and nails are uber bogus.) Basically, their hair color makes me nervous.
If you do decide to go to a salon for your hair color (especially if you're planning to go blonde) make sure you go to a reputable one!!  A lot of those cheapy salons do not know how to handle blondes, and that is a dangerous thing.  It will obviously cost you more at a salon than a bargain place, but if they screw it up it will end up costing you waaaay more in the long run to fix it.  (Or even cost you your hair!! Severely over processed hair will need to be chopped)  Sometimes salons can be shady, so be careful!  I went to college with a girl that ended up with carrot orange hair!
Everybody's hair is different, and that is something to absolutely keep in mind.  If your hair is prone to reddish tones, stay away from anything that says "warm" and go with a box that has the words "ash" or "cool" on it.  "Natural's" are pretty safe too, but just remember that ash tones will neutralize the red tones, thus keeping you brass free till your next coloring.  :)
I do dye my hair like, every 4 weeks, but i focus mainly on the top and brush through to maintain the color i have.
To keep my hair color as bright as possible and touchably soft, I use Organic's Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.  It smells fabulous and has a mild formula that's easier on your color.  Once a week (usually Fridays) I give it a good wash with John Frieda's Sheer Blonde Extra Lightening Blonde Shampoo ($7.99).  It visibly lightens your blonde and and gives it a healthy look and feel.  I then follow up with Redkin 'All Soft' conditioner all over and I leave it on for 5 minutes.  (CVS carries small travel sizes for $3.50)  You don't need a lot, and the small size lasts me for about a month, and I do use it once or twice a week.  I'm pretty sure it's the best hair product I've ever used.  Makes my hair super soft.
Hope this helps. =D

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Foxy Blue Eyeliner :)

Blue eyeliner is a huge trend this fall... and I have to say, I love colored eyeliners.  It's an amazing way to make your eyes pop, and a great way to add a little color without the intensity of shadow.  You can add as little or as a much as you want, or smudge for a sultry nighttime look.

Here's how to get my look:

1. Start with a clean face (obviously) and then apply your favorite moisturizer.  I'm partial to Lumene's Vitamin C+ Pure Radiance Day Cream myself.  It has a nice light smell and absorbs nicely into the skin. 
Lumene Vitamin C+ Radiance Day Dream
2. I then apply Lumene's Time Freeze Instant Lift Eye Cream to the areas directly under my eye.  It reduces puffiness and helps to lighten under eye circles.  Its a miracle product and one of my secret weapons... Not really necessary to the look, but a great product to share nonetheless.

Lumene Time Freeze Instant Eye Lift Cream

3. After allowing a few minutes for my moisturizer to absorb, I apply L'Oreal Studio Secrets Anti-Dull Skin Primer Secret No.2 Medium/Deep, focusing mostly on the cheeks and then smoothing out over the rest of my face.  It really does a great job of brightening the complexion and allowing your makeup to glide over your skin.  (L'oreal does offer a range of similar products if the color is not right for you.)

4. I then applied CoverGirl's Simply Ageless Eye Concealer Number 210 Light underneath my eyes and blended upwards onto the lids and brow bone.  This brightens the eyes dramatically and also conceals any under eye circles.

5. Now is time for the foundation.  I used CoverGirl's Simply Ageless Foundation in Medium Light Number 235.  Using a makeup sponge round I applied my foundation concentrating mainly on my cheeks, nose, the fullest part of my chin, and the center of my forehead.  Most women do not need to apply a foundation heavily all over, it is meant to cover more problem areas... the trick is to enhance, not cover up.  Once I have taken care of the areas that need the most cover, I blended for a more natural coverage. 

6. I then added Covergirl's Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Plush Peach Number 200 to the apples of my cheeks and blended slightly with the foundation.  This blush gives you a hint of color and it is nice and sheer for a more natural look than powders.

7. Using a Kabuki Brush, I applied L'Oreals True Match Pressed Powder in Warm 3 on top.  The Kabuki Brush allows for a more natural coverage.

8. Next I focused on my eyebrows.  Eyebrows can change the whole shape of your face, and this season more defined brows are in.  I chose a color coordinating set of eyebrow pencils from L'oreal in Blonde 350, but you should find a shade that matches, or if you have lighter brows, is a tad darker.  I start with the lighter pencil, and working in short strokes in the direction of the hair, add density to my brows.  I then took the darker pencil and focused on defining the lower edge of the brow where the shadow hits.

9. Now is time for the liner.  I lightly lined the lash line with L'Oreal Line Intensifique Extreme Wear Liquid Liner in "Earthen Rock" (which is a nice charcoal gray) just to give the appearance of thicker lashes.  Then I lined the bottom lid with Covergirl's Liquiline Blast in Blue Bloom 450.  Next I lined the top lid, and then finally continued the line to the corners of my eyes.

I blended slightly on the top lid.  You can choose to add as little, or as much blue as you want.  Just a line on the lower lid is perfect for adding a little color during the day, or for a more dramatic look, you can stick with what I've done.

10. Beautiful lashes do wonders to complete a dramatic eye look. First, I used an eyelash curler.  (Every girl needs an eyelash curler.  It opens your eyes right up and makes your lashes look unbelievable.)  Then I applied Maybelline's XXL Pro Volume Mascara in Very Black.  It is a two step applicator that makes your lashes look crazy full.  Your apply step one (the white is strange I know) which builds your lashes and then you apply step two, which applies the color and makes your lashes look dark and full. 

11. To complete the look, I lightly applied pressed powder to the area under my eyes, the creases around my nose, and the broad of my forehead (a little shiny).  You can apply anywhere you see fit.  Then I applied CoverGirl's Shineblast Lipgloss in Sparkler.  Its a nice sheer pink color.  The gloss applicator is very precise and your lips aren't gooey and sticky the way they can get with some glosses.  You can use any pink lipstick of gloss you'd like.  Just remember to keep the lips neutral when rocking a more dramatic eye.  :)

Summary of the products:
Price Points May Vary By Location and all products can be found at drug stores
Lumene Vitamin C+ Radiance Day Cream $19.99
Lumene Time Freeze Instant Lift Eye Cream $19.99
L'Oreal Studio Secrets Anti-Dull Skin Primer Secret No.2 Medium/Deep $12.99
Covergirl Simply Ageless Eye Corrector Number 210 Light $11.99
Covergirl Simply Ageless Foundation Medium Light Number 235 $15.99
Covergirl Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush Plush Peach Number 200 $12.99
L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder Warm 3 $10.49
L'Oreals Coordinating eyebrow pencil duo in Blonde 350 $8.99
L'Oreal Intensifique Liquid Liner in Earthen Rock $8.49
CoverGirl Liquiline Blast in Blue Bloom Number 450 $8.99
Maybelline New York XXL Pro Volume in Very Black $8.99
Covergirl Shine Blast in Sparkler $8.99

L'Oreal True Match Roll On Foundation... Quite the disappointment.

I'm going to be honest.

I HATE L'Oreal's True Match Roll On foundation.

And I'm pretty confused about that.
Because... I wanted to love it.  I expected to love it.

I'm a girl who loves her L'oreal products.  I can honestly say I have never purchased anything from them that was an awful disappointment, but I guess there's a first time for everything.  Also, I'm pretty surprised I hated it so much.  Before I purchase anything, I always do my homework.  I read page after page of people who adored this product and I was SO excited to use it. 

Here's the claim:
L'oreal's True Match Roll On Foundation is a "high performance foundation" with a "break through roller applicator" that will give you super even coverage, no lines, no streaks and the end result is a natural-looking, flawless skin.  The applicator is supposed to be flexible and bendable in order to apply the foundation on all the little crevices and hard to reach places on the face.
Long story short... A long lasting, good coverage foundation with an airbrush effect.
Roll On Foundation in W(warm)3
So like a kid on Christmas morning I opened the cute little compact, grabbed that little roller... and started rolling.

And rolling... and rolling... and rolling...

Try as I might I could not roll enough of the product to get any sort of even coverage.  I figured the first use might be a little trying until the applicator got saturated, but try as I might I couldn't get that to happen.  I kept trying it on my hand but the application never evened out.  You really have to use some elbow grease to get an adequate amount on the roller.  When I finally tried to apply it on my face, I ended up with defined lines from the edges of the roller that were very difficult to blend out.
I continuously rolled it in all directions on my face to try to even it out the foundation, but it just really didn't seem to spread out the way I wanted it to.  Then I was faced with the issue of my nose.  Flexible applicator my left foot.  I ended up with all sorts of naked spots and I ended up using a wedge sponge to blend it all in.  The process was just way too labored for me, especially for a product that looks like it's supposed to be so fun and easy.

Furthermore, the coverage was spotty at best.  It definitely didn't give me the desired amount of sheer cover.  I did used the true match W3 Pressed Powder on top (an absolute staple in my makeup bag, I LOVE it) which redeemed the shoddy coverage somewhat, at least enough to go to work.  However, by the end of my shift, I looked awful.  My skin looked blotchy and a patchy, and I just looked tired and a little sallow.  My face felt dirty, even.  I couldn't wait to go home and wash the stuff off my face. 

My FAVORITE pressed powerder! A must in my makeup bag.  L'Oreal Pressed Powder in W3

I would also like to take the time to discuss the roller... It occurs to me that I typically use a makeup sponge and throw it out, as I am prone to painful breakouts.  You're supposed to use the same sponge over and over again and then roll it back over the foundation after it touches your face.  It seems to me that there would be some sort of bacteria build up issue on the roller and foundation.  It doesn't seem to me that the roller would be very washable.  Not very hygenic.

Overall, the idea is great, but in practice it just falls short.

Cute little compact
Adorable (and convenient) little compact
Initial application feels lightweight

Uneven distribution by the roller (streaky)
Can't get into crevices on the face (non flexible applicator)
Awful long term wear, my skin felt very dirty 8 hours later
Formula a little dry for my skin
Price point is a little high: $13.99 reg price at most drug stores

Monday, October 18, 2010

Covergirl SimplyAgeless...The love child of Olay and Covergirl?

Fusing the benefits of Olay's Regenerist Serum with lightweight coverage, CoverGirl's SimplyAgeless products are supposed to float over the skin rather than hang out in the lines and wrinkles on your face.  It also promises to improve your skin over the course of four weeks.  Makeup that actually improves your skin?  Sounds pretty good to me.  And hey, if Ellen DeGeneres is all about it, why not give it a shot?

My trinity of SimplyAgeless
To be honest, I really never had any intention of trying this product.  It seemed like a gimmick to me... and not one geared towards my skin.  (A promise to make you look younger?  I'm a young-looking 24, I have a difficult enough time trying to buy a drink!)  Also, I've never really been too wild about the Covergirl products I had tried in the past.  However, I do love me a non-powder blush and just couldn't resist giving the SimplyAgeless Sculpting Blush a gander.

I have a medium-ish skin tone (more on the lighter spectrum of medium) and I prefer more of a peach tone in a blush.  I decided to try the Covergirl SimplyAgeless sculpting blush in Plush Peach (Number 200).

Plush Peach Number 200 Scupting Blush

I ABSOLUTELY loved it.  I put it over the makeup I was using at the time and it gave me an absolutely amazing, healthy glow and complemented my skin tone nicely.  It actually felt like it cooled my skin as I applied it.  Liquid and mousse blushes always look so much more natural on the skin than powder, and this product is no exception.  I would suggest, if you are not accustomed to a non-powder blush, that you try this product with a light hand.  Although it blends nicely, I feel it would be fairly easy to overwhelm your cheeks with color.

After using the blush for about a week, and falling madly for it, I started debating the foundation.  Since I am only 24, my major concern with the makeup was that it was going to be too heavy or give me too much coverage.  The gravitational force proved to be just to much for me to handle.  After several days of visiting it in the aisle, eyeing the colors, and reading several reviews online, I bit the bullet and dug into my pockets.  I've been using it since Friday.

Medium Light Number 235
I have to say this product is surprisingly light and clean.  It is SUPER easy to apply and you can put it on as light or as heavy as you need.  Sometimes my skin can be a little picky as to what it accepts as "okay" but as this makeup does not make my skin red or itchy.  I did go up a few shades darker than what I thought I needed, as per a few suggestions that I had read online.  I had originally debated shade 220 creamy natural, but I ended up leaving with 235 medium light, and honestly it's a good thing I did.  The color comes out much lighter than it appears in the compact.  I would advise anyone who is purchasing this product the first time to do the same. 

I do find that this product doesn't have a lot of staying power.  It looks fantastic with your first application, but then as the day goes by it floats right off my face, not just over my skin.  The good news is, it does last through a typical 8 hour work day.  The even better news is, although it seems to disappear, your face looks fantastic anyways, and if you're going home you probably won't mind.  If you need a makeup to last longer, this is either not for you or it will require some serious reapplication.  I would liken it more to a tinted moisturizer than a foundation.  (P.S. I would suggest that you use your usual moisturizer or primer even though it swirled with Olay)

Goes on light

Blends Seamlessly!

I also purchased the simply ageless eye concealer in shade 210 light.  (Your eye concealers/correctors should ALWAYS be lighter than your foundation!)  I love this almost as much as I love the blush.  I don't have crazy-dark eye circles, but they are there.  (A night of drinking, a bad nights sleep... we've all been there and needed some serious assistance)  Covergirl claims that this corrector uses blended pigments  that can cover up the darkest of eye circles.  (Under eye circles can make you look tired and in some cases can even age you more than wrinkles!  A good concealer can brighten your whole face, enhance the shape and color of your eyes, and just makes you look better overall)  This product does a fantastic job, my circles disappeared entirely!  My face brightened.  Overall, but face just looked... BETTER.  This product is absolutely replacing my previous eye concealer.

Number 210 Light (<3 it!)

 Overall, I really do like this line of products.  Their fast an easy application really makes them a secret weapon when you're in a pinch.  I love-love-love how they feel on my skin, light and comfortable... my skin can breathe!  Also, although I've only been using the product for a few days, I've already noticed an improvement in my skin.  (A HUGE plus!)  Their price-point is a little high for a drug store brand ($12.99-$15.99), but if you keep your eyes peeled, it's usually on sale somewhere.  Also, the compact for the blush and foundation is a little awkward, I'm not a huge fan, but it serves its purpose.  If you're looking for a makeup with some serious staying-power, this product is not for you (I would suggest a product that's a bit heavier).

Awkward Little Compact...
light weight
clean feel
natural look
improvement in skin tone

no staying power
awkward packaging
kind of high price point
color selection is a bit misleading (go a few shades darker)

Give it a shot, worst case... you hate it and return it.  Also, CoverGirl's website has a guarentee!
What have you got to lose?