October 22, 2013

New & Noteworthy Drugstore Gems

New & Noteworthy Drugstore Finds

Before I get started, I am now on Bloglovin! It's a really cool site where you can keep track of all the blogs you follow all in one place. Check me out!

Alright, now that the business end is covered, let's get down to the fun stuff! I don't know about you, but every month I go into a drugstore or wander the cosmetic aisles of Target, I am overwhelmed with new products! I'm not complaining, it's a foggy haze I love finding myself in...however, for those of you that are looking for a dialed down report of what's new and groovy, here are my FAVE handpicked items of "New Arrivals". Enjoy!

1)  Um...did you guys know that Covergirl has Hunger Games Collection lipglosses?! Well they do! They come in 4 shades (Violet Flare, Firecracker, Glow For It and Turn up the Heat). Slick some on and get pumped for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere coming out on November 22nd. Also new in this line is their Flamed Out Mascara which gives you some SERIOUSLY thick lashes. No joke. If you're afraid of clumps, go easy with this stuff or have a lash comb handy for in between coats. You're gonna need it. If you like the spider-lashes look (no judgment zone) this is alllll you, baby!

2) The next new mascara out and about is L'Oreal Paris' Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. This guy has an asymmetrical shaped "brush" that is supposed to grab the outer lashes to lift and extend, giving you a "winged out" look. Perfect for a sexy cat eye with flawless liquid liner! Okay, this next one gets me JAZZED. When I was Counter Manager for YSL, we had the most AMAZING product called Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains. They were a stain/gloss hybrid and they stayed on literally all day (through 5 or 6 iced americanos...but that's besides the point...what I'm trying to tell you is they were test-driven HARD and delivered exactly what they said they would). A little insider tip: one of the ingredients in the YSL formula was the same material pharmaceutical companies use to make the outer coating for gel tab pills. Isn't that cray?! Back to the topic at hand...L'Oreal now has their OWN glossy stain (called L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Laquer Lipstain) which costs far less than the YSL version and has the EXACT same signature brush applicator that makes precise application a breeze. I'd say to use the L'Oreal version for the trendy colors you're not sure about yet (my favorite is Berry Persistent) and save the YSL big guns for the "everyday shades" since they're just over $30 (oh so worth it, I swear). Here are a couple tips you NEED to know with this product (either YSL or L'Oreal, which are both owned by the same company BTW). Firstly, do NOT apply over lipstick. It will not last like its supposed to, and it gets a weird texture. Secondly, once applied, do NOT rub lips together like you would with a lipstick or a gloss. I know this takes some getting used to seeing as its in our DNA as females to do so once we apply anything to our lips, but trust me, DON'T.

3) It seems like every gal I know is always trying to perfect the smokey eye. It's sexy without being slutty (when done correctly) and looks awesome with a nude lip color. Maybelline just came out with their Eye Studio Master Smoky Shadow Pencil in 6 shades. YOU GUYS. This pencil makes it soooooo easy to get a smokey eye. There's literally 2 steps and they're both in the same pencil. No more messing with liners, smudgy brushes, shadows, more liner, UGH. You just draw on your thick liner with the chubby liner end, and smudge the ever-living-shit out of it with the other smudgey end. Voila! Slap on some mascara and you're "ready to PARRRRTY". I don't recommend using these next little goodies with the aforementioned liner. It'd be too much. Tooooo much. Maybelline's Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments are great little drugstore gems. They can be a bit tricky if you don't have a steady hand or tend to be messy with loose powders, but if that kind of thing doesn't freak you out, by all means, try these! I highly recommend first using a GOOD quality shadow primer (my favorite are from NARS and Trish McEvoy) and let it dry completely before you start. When I'm applying lighter or neutral shades of pigment, I "press" them onto my eyelid with my pointer finger. All over the lid but no higher than the brow bone. If I'm applying a dark, dramatic pigment to the lid of my eye (black, charcoal, emerald, etc) I use a stiff eye brush like this or this for more accuracy. Then you can take a blending brush and pop on a transition color (usually a few shades lighter than what's on your lid) into your crease and onto your brow bone. My favorite shades are Barely Brazen (a warm nude) and Black Mystery (black with flecks of green and teal).

4) Revlon's new collection called Evening Opulence is eeevvvveeerrrrryyyytttthhhiiinnnnggggg. It is so so pretty and holiday-esque and it makes me want to go to cocktail parties and leave lip marks on glasses of champagne. They have a new Colorburst Lipgloss in a shade called "Embellished" that is the perfect plummy, burgundy with some serious sparkle and shine. I can't wait to get it on my kisser. Next up, Revlon partnered with one of my favorite dress designer's Marchesa to make these beautiful textured 3D nail appliques. My favorites are "Gilded Mosaic", "Crown Jewels" and "24k Brocade" but they're all pretty maj-or.

5) Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition "Jewel of an Eye" Eye Couture Palette. I am a sucker for a good palette. I'm an even bigger sucker for anything that is limited edition. This one has the BEST colors for the winter/holiday season. Don't let the jewel tones scare you off, there are still enough neutral shades to anchor this beauty. I am obsessed with rust-colored shadows. The third row down from the top gets me all twitterpated just looking at it. Sonia Kashuk shadows are seriously pigmented and super blendable which are must-haves requirements. Get your mittens on this one before it's too late.

6) Almay Smart Shade CC Cream comes in 3 color options that make it super simple to match your skintone. Great for sensitive skin and gals looking for light, sheer coverage. I like this one better, however, for a primer under other foundation. Incredibly smoothing and comfy on skin.

7) Alba Botanica makes one of my favorite lavendar suncreens so I was really pumped to learn they have a new CC cream called Even Advanced CC Cream. It's pretty dreamy. It's 100% vegetarian, cruelty free, no artificial colors or fragrance, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or sodium myreth sulfate. Translation: an awesome choice for sensitive skin. This line is just all in all groovy and this CC cream will have a permanent spot in my bag for "days off" from foundation.

8) Lastly, Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream is L-E-G-I-T. I got a $3 off coupon and little sample packet in my latest Vogue. No lie: I could see a difference after that one use. My skin looked plumper around the mouth (smile lines) and my eyes just seemed brighter and less "tired looking". I can't wait to see what happens after continued use. Here's a bonus: they make a fragrance free version that is just as effective. If you're skeptical, get thee to the magazine section of your local drugstore, grab a November Vogue (buy it...I don't condone sample swiping) and give it a try! Let the plumping begin!

October 20, 2013

S-A-TUR-DAY NIGHT is Alright for a Spa Sesh!

So yesterday, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in passing. It wasn't good. I don't scare easily, but holy shit. This was frightening. No makeup (yikes), hair lookin' like a teenage boy who couldn't quite master the Bieber swoop (darn), fingernails with chipped red polish and every other nail broken off (grody), and my skin just looked parched, dingy and reminiscent of a morning after a sad, wine-binge (the WORST).

Something needed to be done. And fast. I decided once the man-boy went down for bed, it was time for a good old fashioned DIY spa night! The kind you used to do with your girlfriends in junior high at slumber parties while you listened to Black Street and/or Aliyah and talked about how you were going to be a really successful fashion designer when you grew up (was that just me? Don't answer that.)

If you've never done an at-home pampering sesh, 1) I feel sorry for you and 2) here are the pinch points of how to get down with your bad self.

1) Get your ducks in a row. For me, I gathered my current skincare "holy grail" products and a "new kid" face mask sample I received from my latest Ulta shopping spree.

1: ROC Daily Resurfacing Disks I have been using these bad boys for the better part of a week now and WOW. They are legit. They are pre-moistened, one side is soft and the other is slightly textured for exfoliating. Use the soft side for around the eye area. They make my skin smooth as a baby's booty, clear and oh-so bright! Rinse with warm (not hot) water and pat dry.
2: DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum I got a deluxe sample of this serum in my latest Birchbox. If you don't know about Birchbox yet, I highly recommend it. It's $10 a month and you get some insanely awesome samples (sometimes full-sized) beauty products. It's like Christmas every month in my mailbox. Anyhoo, this serum ROCKS. It's full-sized self is $85 and I can say whole-heartedly that it is worth it. I used to sell $300 face serums when I worked for Nordstrom and this one works better (in my opinion) than some of the ritzy-snitzy products. DDF is one of my ALL time favorite skincare lines so it's not like you're slumming it with this one. It's still a high-quality, results driven line that will blow you away. If you're interested in Birchbox and want to give it a try (you can quit whenever you want) here's my referral code to get started!
3: Warm oil (see #4 down below for specifics)
4: Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Mud Mask how often do you get a little sample packet of something, use it, toss the empty envelope out and move on with your life with no intention of buying what you just used? If you're anything like me, it happens OFTEN. Not in this case. I love, love, LOVED this mud mask. It had a nice creamy consistency, didn't necessarily give me any "tingling" while on, but the "miracle" happened when I rinsed it off after 15 minutes. I was a bit nervous from the slightly oily feel to my skin after rinsing, but I patted my mug dry and my skin has NEVER looked so even, smooth and clear. My redness was nearly gone around my nose and chin and I swear my pores were smaller. Story in a nutshell: this bad ass mud mask has been purchased and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
5: Ladies, if you don't own a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush...WHY NOT?! It is the best small investment you will make for your skin. Period. This is not up for debate. Mine is a limited edition blue leopard print Mia2. You can find them all over the place and different retailers offer different "packages" but typically Nordstrom and Sephora are the best places to purchase from in this case. Get one.

Ok moving on...

2) Push "play" on a funky Pandora channel (personally, I was bouncing back and forth from my 'early 90s R&B channel' and my 'Hall and Oates channel'...I'm not even close to kidding, it was amazing and I highly recommend starting your own. Thank me later.)

3) Lock the door because ain't NO one got time for an errant husband/kid/boyfriend/dog/cat/burglar walking in on you while you're looking like THIS...

4) For my warm oil treatment, I warmed a little bowl of equal parts olive oil and coconut oil (about 1 TBS each) to massage into my scalp. Make sure you don't nuke it any longer than 20-25 seconds...remember, you're going for warm scalp massage, not scalding hot skin graft). If you're very careful and precise, you can drizzle the oil directly onto your scalp like something you'd see in a Maxwell video (wear on old grubby shirt, it stains) OR you can be safe like me, and just dip your mitts into the oil and start applying it to your scalp with your fingers. Concentrate on temple area, top of head and base of hairline by your neck). Once you have sufficiently oiled your noggin, slap on a shower cap (I got mine on Amazon, and if you're feeling REALLY adventurous, you can get this one and make me eternally jealous) or a ratty (but clean!) warm, dry towel will work in a pinch. You'll want to leave this on throughout your spa session to really get the max benefits out of your warm oil treatment. After you're finished and your nails are completely dry, wash out with a moisturing shampoo and conditioner. Lately, I'm loving Aveda's Dry Remedy shampoo and conditioner. Perfect for these chilly temperatures.

5) Start your skincare routine. If you have your own, good on ya. If not, see #1 above for some helpful tips.

6) Get those nails under control. I always use one of those multi-sided filer/buffer doo-hickies like this to shape, buff and shine my nails before I start my painting. I lay down a base coat, let dry, and paint two coats of polish on top (in this case, I was using a random cabernet-colored sparkly 'perfect for Fall' shade), pop an anti-chip coat over your color when it is dry and then finish with a top coat. My base/top coat is the same so you don't have 37 different bottles to keep track of.

7) Lastly, I love slathering my feet with thick lotion and putting on luxurious socks. I am a big fan of Butter London's Kitten Heels Powder Finish Foot Creme it's on the pricey side for a foot lotion, but it's worth it. It smells minty fresh and leaves a dry, powdery finish so your socks don't get all gooey, yet it's still super moisturizing. Now, I would never tell you to go out and buy cashmere socks....actually, that's exactly what I'm telling you. They're AMAZING. They make all my other socks wimper with insecurities and I don't even feel bad for them. They deserve it. The ones pictured below are from Macy's from last year and they are SO soft and warm and cozy, and very reasonably priced. Do yourself a solid, and snatch some up.

When I was finished primping, I finally started feeling human again (read: female) which I'm sure the Boss Man appreciated. Like I really give a rat's furry ass anyway (obviously seeing as I was looking so fly before this spa night went down)...it's ok...he's not suffering. I sauntered downstairs, plopped my freshly-scrubbed self down on the sofa and the Mister and I watched scary movies and were fast asleep by 11pm. This is what I consider a perfectly delightful S-A-TUR-DAY NIGHT!
October 17, 2013

Snow White Lips and My Top Picks for Warm Undertoned & Cool UndertonedGals

I love red lips. Bright red, orange red, pinky red, wine-colored, oxblood...you get the picture. I usually save the deep hues for Fall and Winter and sport punchy, poppy reds in the warmer months (something about rocking a deep, vampy lip in 90 degree weather just doesn't feel right). So now that "sweater-weather" is upon us (when did that phrase get so popular anyway? I blame you, Pinterest) I'm busting out the the blood-sucking varietal! And I'm starting with a new color that I literally just opened yesterday! It's by NYX and it's their Extra Creamy Round Lipstick, the color is called Snow White (no. 569) and it's a DEEP blue red satin formula. If you haven't tried NYX Round Case Lipsticks yet, GET THEE TO ULTA IMMEDIATELY. They feel like buttah on the lips and they cost, like, $4...I know! And if you are an avid Ulta shopper, you'll notice that they often do either "buy 1, get 1 50% off" on NYX or they're having a big 40% off sale. As of right now, it's the former.

But I digress...back to the lips...This color is actually a bit deeper in person. These photos are unedited, UNFILTERED (there's a first for everything, right?) and just taken in my bright white bathroom with the flash on. Make sure your skin is FLAWLESS. Now is not the time to skip foundation or concealer, it's just not. Make sure your brows are on point and for God's sake, ladies, keep the eyes classic and simple. No heavy smokey eye with your vamply lips unless you're going to a costume party as a Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" video girl. Actually that's a great idea...*makes mental note*. If super dark red lips scare the shit out of you (no judgment) my favorite COOL red lipstick for all you gals with cool undertones is Dior 'Rouge Dior' Lipstick in 999 Iconic. And for you warm undertone gals (can I get a 'what what'?!) my fave warm red is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square. That should be a good place to start experimenting.

:: Here is everything I used to achieve this look ::

After I moisturized my face, I applied:
L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur Cream all over my face (a little more than half a dime size dollop) applied with fingers.
Revlon PhotoReady Makeup in 004 Nude applied with a stippling foundation brush like this. Dot around entire face and "buff" into the skin using the brush to get an airbrushed finish.
YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in No. 2 "Radiant Ivory" applied using the Trish McEvoy "Triangle of Light" technique (see here) this feels crazy the first time you try it, but once you do, you'll do it every time you do your makeup. It brightens up the whole face and makes your cheekbones scream "HELLLLLO!!"
NYX "Set it and Don't Fret It" Matte Finishing Powder in Light/Medium all over with a fluffy face brush (I use this one) to set foundation
L'Oreal Paris True Match Powder in N7 Classic Tan to contour underneath cheekbones, sides of nose, around forehead and along jawline.
YSL Creme de Blush in No. 2 "Powdery Rose" applied with fingers on apples of cheeks.
NARS Hungry Heart highlighter duo. Apply the darker shade over blush and the lighter shade along cheekbones.
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Auburn/Red on brows applied with an angled brush (I use this one) and NYX Eyebrow Shaper underneath brows to keep them in shape.
Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials Brightening Eye Shadow Primer in "Demure" all over lid before shadow.
NYX The Natural Eyeshadow Palette (from left, I used the 4th color in all over lid up to brow bone, then the 3rd color in in my crease and blend up to just above crease).
NYX Super Fat Eye Marker to draw a thick line on top lashes ONLY.
L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara in Blackest Black on top and bottom lashes.
MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry
NYX Extra Creamy Round Case Lipstick in "Snow White" applied with a lip brush for accuracy.

One last thing...this color makes teeth look CRAZY white. It was an added bonus. When I removed my lipstick later that day, it had a definite blue/pink undertone (which you can't see when it's on) but any lipcolor with this undertone typically makes teeth look very white...just a piece of trivia for you...in case it ever comes up...you never know!

So, for all you ladies out there who say "I wish I could pull of red lips" blah blah blah, YOU CAN! The best thing you can do (aside from mastering the application technique) is wearing it with confidence! Cheesy? Yes. But if you are rocking a red lip with an "I know I look sexy" attitude, I promise NO ONE will be thinking "why the hell is she wearing red lipstick?" They will be admiring your sassy pout and thinking "I wish I could pull off a red lip!"
October 8, 2013

HUGE Urban Decay Sale!

Alert! Alert! Alert! Urban Decay is having a 20% off site-wide Friends and Family sale! Use code FFHOLIDAY13 when you check out! Even better news? The promo works ON TOP of sale items, too! I know...I know...I'm freaking out along with you. Urban Decay has some of my all time favorite items ever. Here are my top picks and suggest you check them out while the gettin' is good!

Urban Decay NAKED Palette in the original "Naked" shades. Comes with an awesome brush. I really can't say enough good things about this sucker. One of the best ranges of colors in one palette I've ever worked with. The pigment is INSANE, the blendability is amazing, they flatter every skin tone...just trust me on this one, buy it and don't look back. 

 Okay, this one is DOUBLE exciting because not only are these the prettiest eyeliners in the world, they're waterproof, they last all day, THEY'RE MARKED DOWN TO $6 AND THEN ANOTHER 20% OFF ON TOP OF THAT! (That was in all caps because I was screaming it at you). There are 9 colors on sale (1999, Binge, Crash, Deviant, Eldorado, Graffiti, Lucky, Lust and Ransom). These glide onto eyelids like a hot knife through a stick of butter. If you have blue eyes, snatch up "Lucky" which is the most killer copper color that makes blue eyes pop like you would NOT believe. Brown-eyed ladies (holler!) look incredible in "Crash" which is a perfect plum.

I've been dying to try out the Naked Skin Liquid Makeup ever since it came out. Now that it's on sale, I have the perfect excuse to try it! I used the "Find Your Shade Tool" and discovered that I am a 1.0 (shocker...I'm one pasty Irish-skinned broad). I plan on applying it with.....

The Optical Blurring Brush. I am a BIG fan of buffing brushes to apply foundation. They give the most perfect airbrushed finish without the streaks that traditional foundation brushes can give if not used properly (or with the right kind of foundation).

Like I mentioned above, don't forget to peruse the "Sale" section since you can use the 20% off discount on top of already discounted prices!

October Picks :: Target Edition

October Picks :: Target Edition
Hi, my name is Colleen, and I am a Target shopper. Can we get real for a second? When did Tar-jay get so sassy?! I have to say, their "stoof" has gotten pretty major. I think it is really cool that chicks (and fellas) have some budget-friendly options to keep themselves looking fly. And while I do think it's important to TREAT YO SELF on occasion with a pricey staple piece, there's ab-so-lute-ly no reason to break the bank on trendy, seasonal Fall pieces that will be so over before you can say "egg nog latte". As a new mom, I find myself walking the aisles of Target at LEAST once a week to grab baby items, so sue me if my eyes have wandered to the clothes, shoes and accessories on my way to the Ella's Kitchen baby food pouches...I'M FEMALE...it's like I can't control it. Anyhoo, these are the items that have been continuously catching my eye either in-store or online. Yo! Clothes and shoes! (I'm talking to you)...you will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine. {Click my collage above and it will take you to my Polyvore profile with all the links if you don't feel like picking them out from below}

Mossimo shirt / 3.1 Phillip Lim cable pullover / Mossimo sweatshirt / Mossimo faux leather jacket / Mossimo clothing / Pants / Merona / Mossimo high heel bootie / Mad Love black chukka boots / Mossimo ankle booties / Mossimo lace up high heel booties / 3 1 Phillip Lim tote bag / Merona wallet / Merona shoulder bag / Necklace / Tortoise bracelet / Stainless steel stud earrings / Earrings / Gold earrings / Nickel free necklace / Snake necklace / Black and white scarve / Sunglasses / Merona studded glove / Merona dots glove / Home decor / Glass jar candle / Xhilaration Juniors Jeweled Sweatshirt - Blue Dream / Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Denim - Dark Wash / Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Corduroy Pants - Assorted Colors / Xhilaration Juniors Love High Low Graphic Tee - Pink / Xhilaration Juniors Midi Pencil Skirt - Assorted Colors / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / Xhilaration® Juniors Knee High Socks - Assor... : Target / Xhilaration® Juniors Knee High Socks - Assor... : Target / Jungle Fever Rectangle Kit / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / LATTE MUG HOME BW BEADED / iPhone 5c 32GB Green Sprint with 2-year contract
October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Addiction is a Very Real Thing...

Pumpkin Faves

I was going to follow up this blog post by saying "and I need the cure" but what I really need is just more pumpkin. Anything. More pumpkin anything and everything. In the spirit of Fall, I have put together a list of awesome pumpkin packed beauty products for the freaks (present company included) who not only need to shove as much pumpkin food items down their gullets, but need to slather it all over their faces, bodies, etc. WARNING: do NOT eat any of the listed products you see here. Go out and buy yourself a pie or a Pumpkin Spice Latte or something...

Here's where you can get those KILLER leopard and orange slippers (I'm dying for them), the insane orange chandelier that could cost you a few car payments and one of the cutest coffee tables I've ever seen! I believe the orange throw is from One King's Lane.

1) A totally yummy, creamy facial cleanser that removes impurities, environmental toxins and and protects skin's moisture balance. Oh...and it smells like pumpkin pie! Need I say more?!
2 & 3) Okay, so this technically doesn't taste or smell like pumpkin, but the lipstick color is called "Pumpkin Pie" for goodness sake! And the liner is called "Pumpkin"...just get it on your lips and thank me later when you can still fit into your skinny jeans for the holidays.
4) The thought of pouring pumpkin scented shampoo all over my head and just letting the pumpkin sudsy-ness (totally a word) wash all over me, is almost too much to bear.
5) While you're slathering your face, hair and body with all this pumpkin deliciousness, light this candle from Anthro so your bathroom will smell like the inside of Cinderella's carriage.
6) I LOVE this line. Like...really love it. Arcona makes some seriously amazing, active skincare and this pumpkin body lotion has 10% glycolic acid (one of my TOP fave skincare ingredients) to improve tone and elasticity in the skin. Plus, it smells so freaking good. Like someone shoved a slice of pumpkin pie into a bottle and called it a day.
7) Demeter has a knack for nailing quirky scents. Tomato? Dirt? CINNAMON TOAST?! Seriously, get thee to their website and check out their scents. Luckily for us, they have this pumpkin pie cologne for those of us that want to smell like we've been slaving away in the kitchen all day making the perfect pie.
8) Philosophy is another line that has perfected some tasty smelling scents. Their homemade pumpkin pie shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath hybrid smells yummy enough to pour in your morning coffee...BUT DON'T.

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