Addicted to LipSense

Lip_Sense

Is this an addiction? Everything on the left side of the divider that you can read a label on is LipSense–eeek. This is a long-lasting stain; you apply three thin coats about 5 seconds apart. You top with one of their glosses and re-apply gloss after eating, and it lasts 8+ hours.

Pros: Won’t smudge or come off on glass, etc.

Cons: The darker colors are more noticeable as they start to flake off at the end of their life cycle. They’ll come off prematurely if you eat greasy food or are lazy about the gloss and switch to whatever lip balm is handy.

Here are some pics I’ve been cataloging of the colors on me. Sorry the names of the colors are cut off in this collage:

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Now that my hair is a weird colors, most of these don’t match my coloring anymore. Someday I’ll be back to a blonder shade though!

Have you tried a long-lasting lip stain? What do you like?

Dry Shampoo & Push Through

dry_shampoo

Have you heard of “hair training”? I got on this train recently.

The idea is to get your hair used to less frequent washing so it produces less oil and can go longer between shampoos, improving hair quality because you don’t have to blow dry/heat style every day. Your style will last till your next shampoo.

I was always someone who turned into a greasy mess on day 2. Day 2 was strictly ponytail only if I wanted to wash every other day. I’m now up to day 4 (YES you shower in between–just put hair up and don’t wash it). Day 2 looks just like day 1; day 3 it needs a little dry shampoo and can be worn down, and day 4 is hat or ponytail.

I’m hoping this will make for stronger and thicker hair in the long run, but all of the dye and washing I’ve done lately has caused a lot of breakage, so for a while I’ll have to go back to a shorter hairstyle.

Is there any trick to how you wash? YES! I used the steps outlined by Jasmine in this video and it really worked:

When you’re ready for dry shampoo, I’ve tried a few. The silver one has no white color, which I like. The small bottles are samples from my Birchbox subscription; the foam one on the left was my least favorite.

What about you, how many days between shampoos? Do you use dry shampoo? Drop comments below.

Back and Redder than Ever

red_hair

After a sketchy eight months to the day since my last blog post, I’m finally back! (This was supposed to go live on Aug. 22 but WordPress wasn’t working for me in Chrome. I finally tried it in Safari–usually so glitchy–and boom. Google product, you have failed me.)

Inspired by a good ol’ kick in the pants from my friend Virtual Brush Box (https://rodneyssaga.com/), I realized I can make anything into a post that I want. Doesn’t have to be a Ph.D.-level dissertation.

The recent topic that my FB friends are too well aware of is my hair color situation. I wanted to dye it dark red, but instead, it came out…

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PINK!

Now, this might be cute on some people, but I am not that people. I’m more of a blend-in-with-the-crowd person. Pink hair is not about that.

I think, although not a permanent dye, it really grabbed hold because I have light hair and left it on too long. Freaking out about a family wedding I had to attend, and once again DETERMINED to do it myself, I purchased some semi-permanent dark red “for dark hair colors.” VERY luckily, it did the trick and covered the pink.

(For those interested, it was Clairol Natural Instincts Crema Keratina in Medium Red.)

Anyhoo, crisis averted, family loved the hair color for all the group pics at the wedding. Not sure if I will keep it, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Also crushing on my L’Ange curling wand … also discovered through a FB ad! (See previous post on creepy FB ad stalking.)

Have you ever had a hair mishap? Please make me feel better by sharing in the comments.

Powder Dip Nails

powder_dip_nails

I recently got addicted to manicures for the first time in my life. I liked the gel nails because they didn’t chip like polish, but they really sand down your nail each time before applying the gel polish 😦 As a result, my nails were about 1 molecule thick after four manicures in eight weeks. I decided to try SNS dip powder nails instead because it uses a completely different method.

It cost a little more ($40 vs. $25), but stayed nice for four weeks instead of two. After that, I had it removed and decided to grow my nails out completely from the bottom up. They STILL buffed off the top layer again even though they were just removing the powder nails before sending me on my way! 😡

Anyway, when my nails were finally grown out, I wanted to get powder again before a wedding I was planning to attend. Browsing FB one day, Zuckerberg must have creepily read my mind as usual, and I came across an ad for DIY powder nails… ooooh boy! If you know me, I looooove DIY and will stupidly try to do anything and everything myself instead of paying an expert to do it.

Even though I ordered it 2.5 weeks out from the wedding—plenty of time for anything to ship that I’ve ever ordered—it still didn’t come in time, so I had to slap some ugly polish on. Turned out it said “7-18 business days” for shipping. It came almost a MONTH after ordering–arggghhh!

But anyway, it finally came yesterday, so last night I tried to apply in poor lighting. I did 3 coats, and granted, painted the base layers a bit sloppy. What you need to know here is that under NO circumstance is there any room for error with getting it on the skin around your nail. When I put the sealant and top coat on, I realized my grievous error.

The photo is AFTER I took a rough file to the edges (sides & bottom)–still sloppy overspill. Other than that, I love the natural color and how strong my nails feel. Jury is still out as to whether I’ll be able to stand this for a couple weeks before soaking it off or if I’ll just re-do the whole thing shortly to try for better aim.

EDITED TO ADD: After less than a week, I decided to re-do them. It took nearly an hour of soaking in nail polish remover to get them off–note to self: this method sucks, don’t do it again.

Last night I re-did the nails, being MUCH more careful with the base coat and not going to the edge until the 3rd coat. After each powder dip, I waited a few minutes and then dusted off the excess powder with a brush. This kept the base coat brush from getting gummed up with powder. And voila! No sloppy edges, almost perfect result. A few nails got hilly bumps that I filed down, but otherwise I did not sand before top coat. I did a 2nd coat of top to get a glossier shine. Very happy with this!

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What kind of nails do you like to do? Polish, bite them off, pointy claws, etc?

Birchbox Has Arrived

birch-box

Got my first Birchbox today! Have you heard about this? For $10/month, they will send you samples of hair/makeup/fragrance/beauty products based on your personal profile. I haven’t tried anything yet, but I’m excited to.

The box itself is very cute, and you can (of course) buy full-sized products on their website if you like anything. I do wish you could tailor it a little more to your preferences. For instance, I’m a skincare consultant and have PLENTY of products, so I really don’t need those! I also don’t wear fragrance, and the minimum you can get is 4x/year. I’m a big makeup junkie so I’d like to get more of that … except primers, what is the deal with those? I have at least three or four sample-size primers on my sink right now.

BUT I’m willing to ride it out a few more months to see if I come across any gems. In the mean time, I’m going to post about a few of my favorite makeup items – hard-fought finds with billions of drugstore rejects in the wake of each! Think of it as kind of an “Oprah’s Favorite Things” … minus the Oprah.

The Perfect Body Wash

 

So a weird thing happened. We were on a layover at Heathrow Airport in London, and I got to peruse my first Boots store. Of course I’ve heard of it – it’s kind of like the CVS of England – but so, so much better. I got right to exploring all the beauty brands.

Realizing I forgot to pack body wash, I picked up a cute pink bottle from a brand called Soap & Glory. I admit the packaging sold me. #sorrynotsorry

I loved it. To my surprise, I realized when I got home that Target was now carrying the brand. I invested a hefty $8.99 in the full size, but it was sooo worth it. This isn’t one of those lathery, drying deals. It feels nourishing, gets you clean without the stripping cleaners, and smells amazing.

Even the back of the bottle is cute! Turns out it is a U.K. brand. Look at the copy about getting it in your eyes. Genius.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing

Go get some!

Makeup review: bareMinerals BarePro

 

BarePro

Confession time… I haven’t used a liquid foundation since high school, and back then it was cheap Cover Girl or something that got stuck in my smile lines, even as a teen! I graduated to chalky powders in college, but they still looked fake and cake-y. Finally, I settled on mineral makeup, which was much more natural.

Recently I went to Sephora and got sidetracked (as one so often does), and ended up bringing home a liquid foundation. At $30 it was not cheap, but the bottle is big and they had so many shades I was able to find an excellent match – not easy when my skin tone falls between Geisha-pale and yellow-y/tan. Usually there’s not much for us fair but cool-toned types after the bright white shade.

As you can see from the pics, I have really pink skin thanks to rosacea. It gets even worse if I get hot, angry, upset, embarrassed… you get the picture. So I like to have on something, preferably with SPF.

Two pumps on a makeup sponge (they’ve come a long way since the old days, although I didn’t spring for the $20 “Beauty Blender” that is in every YouTube video), and I was in business. You have to work quickly before it dries, but that just means your makeup goes on quickly!

Pros: Covers well but not too heavy.

Cons: Still got a little dry by the end of the afternoon, but if you have oilier skin this shouldn’t be a problem.

Recommendation: Give it a try if you’re looking for a good but natural coverage. Sephora will take returns on anything if you get home and the shade looks wrong when you see it in better lighting. Happy shopping!