Thursday, April 25, 2013

Odds and Ends

Hi Ho, Beauties!

I've had a lot of fabulous new discoveries lately (don't tell the DH, he might fall down in a dead faint if he knew that the Overflowing Makeup Collection was growing in girth, and we wouldn't want him to hurt himself!  Yeah, that's the reason I don't want him to know - concern for his health.....)  But I'd also like to address the topic of under eye concealers for a bit.  I may have already mentioned previously that I think that under eye concealers are an absolute MUST for brightening an Older Face.  After my brows, I head right for the under eye concealer as the second step in preparing the Face for the day.  Today I bring you several different choices, all pretty decent:

 From left to right, we have Laura Geller's Dream Creams Concealer & Highlighter Palette (mine happens to be the Porcelain/Fair choice, but there are others to suit your skintone); Mally's Cancellation Concealer (mine is the Fair choice), shown without its coodinating setting powder, which I do not use; and Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer in the Ivory/Pale Yellow combination.  I did not show them open because with the exception of the Bobbi Brown palette which is brand-spanking new, the others are looking mighty sad these days from months of use.  

I just tried the Bobbi Brown product for the first time this morning, having received it (and a few other goodies which I shall review at a later date) this week.  I hate to say it, but I'm not impressed.  The title of the product SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES the word 'creamy'.  I am sorry, but it is not particularly.  Creamy, that is.  Nope.  My Laura Geller and Mally products are MUCH creamier in consistency than this puppy.  And Bobbi's products are not cheap.  I confess I have blocked the actual price from my head (although I did snag it during the Friends and Family sale last week and I DO remember that it was at a discounted price), but I know it was more than $25.00.  I also cannot recall the prices that I paid for the Laura Geller and Mally products, but I do know that, at least in the case of the Mally concealer, the product came as a part of a kit from QVC, and therefore the price per item was extremely reasonable, as makeup kits from the Q generally are.  (Yes, I'm a confirmed Q-a-holic when it comes to beauty, fashion, and jewelry - the Trifecta of My Downfall!)  Of course, there is a fine line between being WONDERFULLY creamy under the eyes and OOPS IT SLID RIGHT OFF MY FACE creamy, and we definitely need the previous and not the latter.  Bobbi's product (and Mally's as well) comes with a fine powder to 'set' the concealer in case it threatens to slip too much.  I personally am wary of powdery things under the eye, as, for me, they tend to magically accentuate the fine lines that have magically developed there.  (If only that magic worked to make things DISappear equally well, because I can think of a FEW things that need 'disappearing' right about now!)

But I digress.  As usual.  I highly recommend the Laura Geller and Mally concealers.  If you particularly love the Bobbi Brown line and need an under eye concealer, go ahead and knock yourself out, but I personally will not be replacing this brand of concealer if and when I use it up.  And one more word of caution when using under eye concealers, girls:  Apply sparingly.  And concentrate it at the inner corners, where there is the most darkness.  You generally don't need to extend it all the way to the outer corner of your eye!  Be sure to take it up along the side of your nose just above the inner corner of your eye as well, because there can be a really dark area right there that totally benefits from being lightened up. :)

On to some new finds!  I've recently become enamored of Stila products.  (Please refer to my April 1st post for comments on the new Stila Lip Balms that I am actually STILL loving - you know how sometimes we Beauty Hoars have the attention span of a gnat and flit from product to product, each one becoming our 'new favorite'.  I'm still really loving the Stila Lip Balms.  And I might have purchased another one in an equally beautiful color.  Maybe.  Yeah. Because deep down, I AM, after all, a Beauty Hoar.)  

So, for the eyes!  Stila has come out with something called Countless Color Pigments.  Now, if you go to the Stila display in Sephora, you will see a lot of choices for this product that are totally inappropriate for an Older Beauty.  I am SURE that these products are geared toward the gorgeous Twentysomethings (don't hate them, we were all gorgeous Twentysomethings back at the Dawn of History ourselves, right?), but there is ONE color choice that is FABULOUS for Older Beauties, and here it is!!! (Shown below in 'Groupie', with the equally wonderful Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in 'Lionfish'

And further swatched below, on my STILL wrinkly Fiftysomething arm, with the liner in the little heart shape at the top:

I cannot say enough about these colors.  (Top smudge of shadow is the darkest shade in the pan, middle smudge the lightest, and the bottom swatch is what my brush picked up at the bottom left side of the pan.)  I happen to believe that browns/taupes/bronzes and the most flattering shades of eyeshadows a Beauty of ANY age can wear, and the eyeliner is an absolutely delicious melange of brown/gold that just shimmers and glimmers in the bright light.  Color payoff is great, and you only need one swipe to get wonderful depth of color with this formula.  And, remember, with eyeliner for Older Beauties, we only need the thinnest line possible, and on the bottom lashline, we do NOT need the line to go completely from edge to edge of the eye.  Try only the outer third.  Lining the entire bottom lashline can give us that 'beady' look.  And I'm pretty sure we were going for 'beautiful' and not 'beady'.  There are other color choices for the liner, but I recommend the brown (Lionfish).  And the formula is - oooh, my favorite Word of the Day - CREAMY - it just glides over the crepey upper lid.  Oh.  You don't have crepe there?  Liar.  Or Lucky.

And speaking of brushes, I picked up the newest Bare Minerals kit that was featured as the TSV last week, and the pictures below show one of my favorite parts of it - a nifty new brush design!  Very clever, because it solves the problem of storage for double ended brushes.  I like to have my frequently-used brushes standing up in a basket next to my lighted makeup mirror, but double ended brushes get ruined when you try to stand them up!  This new design is wonderful, because you have two brushes in one, but you can still store them on end.  Love.  Here is the brush as it appears when it arrives:

And here is the brush with its clever bottom removed!

The top portion is great for applying blush, and the hidden portion is a great eyeshadow brush that I used this morning to apply the Stila shadow shown above.

Finally, a new lipcolor.  Also a part of the aforementioned Bare Minerals TSV from QVC last week, we have a Moxie lipgloss in the new shade of Starlet.  Well, I think it's a new shade.  Please don't think I'm intentionally misleading you.  I am not totally conversant with all of the Moxie shades, but I believe that Leslie Blodgett mentioned that this shade was exclusive to this kit.  However, as with everything else these days, the hearing is not what it once was! ;)  I love the Moxie lipglosses for their lovely colors and the minty tingle, and this shade is pretty decent.  I think it might actually look good on both warm and cool skintones.  I'll try to remember to do an update when I speak with youngest daughter Kelly.  She is a fellow Beauty Hoar and also purchased the kit, and she is a cool skintone where I am a warm.  Of course, she is one of those Twentysomethings, and pretty much everything looks great on her.  LOL  Anyway, here is the Moxie swatched:

And here it is on the blurry kisser:  

Dang, my face looks THIN in that shot! LOL  Please ignore the nostrils.  I took several pictures trying to get rid of them, but a photographer I am not. (Ha.  As if you hadn't already figured that out!)  

I'm really liking the more sheer formulas on the lips these days.  They just seem right for the season.  So get out there and check out the Sheer Stuff.  I wouldn't be caught dead with sheer clothing, but for the lips, it's a big thumbs up!

Until next time, my Beauties, go forth and treat yourself to a new beauty product!  <3

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Holding the Line!

Hello Beauties!

I had a few queries regarding keeping lipstick/gloss in place stemming from my post a few days ago, and wanted to address them today. :)  Unfortunately, as we transition from Young Beauties to Older Beauties, there are little telltale signs of lost youth.  One of these is vertical lines above and below our lips.  Dang!  As someone who never smoked a cigarette in her life, and who mainly kept out of the rays of Old Sol, reading books, snacking, and playing the piano safe inside the cocoon of my house, I felt a little gypped to see these lines appearing about around my kisser several years back!  Heck, hadn't I done everything possible (with the small exception of being diligent about applying moisturizer, of course) to avoid getting these little buggers in the first place?  Wasn't it UNFAIR for me to be gifted with them?  Ha. Ha. Ha. One of the things you learn if you are blessed enough to reach Older Age is that LIFE IS NOT FAIR, so accept it and move the hell on!!!

Ahem.  On to sharing some products I have found work somewhat well to help keep the lipcolor where you put it - on your LIPS, NOT in the crevasses above and below your lips!  I'll be disappointingly honest and tell you that with some lipcolors/glosses, there is NOTHING that will keep them from travelling where no gloss should go.  Sad.  But true.  Short of erecting a permanent fence around your lips (not the most attractive option, IMO), if you are of a certain age and try to apply a creamy, gloppy color to your mouth, you are very liable to catch an accidental glimpse of yourself a short while later and want to sink into the earth right then and there, because your lips appear to have melted, or, in the alternative, been drawn on by a crazed clown.  So please stay away from lipcolors touted to be 'extra creamy' and glosses in general, because pretty much ANY gloss is too thin and creamy to not make an unauthorized trip to the Death Valley area surrounding an older beauty's lipline.......that said, I will say that I (makeup junkie that I am) own some glosses, and even use them occasionally (but mostly I buy them and after one disastrous use, pass them along to one of my Still Young four daughters).  One of my favorites is the Moxie gloss by Bare Minerals...or is it Bare Escentuals?  I never quite know how to refer to this company, and I should, because I own (gasp) hundreds of their products.......However, if you DO dare to venture into the Gloss Zone, please only apply a small daub to the very center of your bottom lip and then blot your lips together.  Any more gloss and you WILL be sorry.......

And I STILL have not gotten to the products I promised to mention, so here they are:  Urban Decay makes very good lipliners.  If you are an Older Beauty and do not need/use a lipliner, I kind of hate you.  I know that there are some of you out there who don't have the Crevasse Problem, and would you be willing to share some of your genes with me?  Dang.  Too late.  The majority of us need a little help keeping the lipcolor where we put it, and I have relied heavily on Urban Decay lipliners. You can pick a color that is good with the majority of your lipsticks.  For me, that would be Midnight Cowboy (and some of you might even be old enough to remember the movie......does that mean that the creators of the line are actually NOT YOUNG????), a kind of neutral brownish pink.  And if you prefer the 'clear' lipliner, Urban Decay offers Ozone.  I will warn you that Urban Decay also makes a white eyeliner (whatever FOR?) that sometimes can be mistaken for the clear lipliner, both being housed in a white pencil.  How do I know this?  A while back, I bought what I thought was a new Ozone lipliner, and arrived home to find I was now the proud owner of WHITE EYELINER!!@#$%^%$$#@!!!  Ulta is a wonderful place, though, and happily exchanged my stupidly purchased white eyeliner for the product I INTENDED to purchase. :)

I have also been liking the Mary Kay lipliners recently, and, again, my perfect shade is a pinkybrowny neutral called Neutral. ;)  Other lipliners I have known and loved include the now unavailable Bare Escentuals lipliner; Aveda lipliner; Cargo lipliner; and Mally lipliners (my friend Cece shared that Mally makes a good colorless lipliner, which I've not yet tried, but I will take her word on that!).  Basically, I believe that I've purchased nearly every lipliner ever offered in any cosmetics line......some that I recall NOT liking (either due to color selection or formula) are Smashbox, Lancome, and Hourglass.  I think it was the Hourglass one that was VERY expensive and touted by a Sephora employee to become waterproof that 'bled' all over the place.  Horrors!  Creating the very problem it was supposed to solve!

While a good lipliner will go pretty far in helping your lipcolor stay in place, there are additional steps that can be taken to help keep the color where you put it.  I was recently talked into purchasing some Lancome eyeshadow base (Nude) to use on my lips.  The Ulta employee told me that she'd never found a LIP base that worked the way it was supposed to, but that the Lancome eyeshadow base worked very well.  I'm just giving it a try now, and hopefully in a future post will have a good report for you.  I have used the Laura Geller Lip Spackle in the past to somewhat good effect, but no longer own any.  I will mention that if you choose to go the lip primer route, make sure that you apply it with a light hand, and apply it not only to your entire lip, but also blending it a bit above and below the lipline.  Otherwise it won't hold a thing.  I've considered doing a YouTube video to show how these things are applied, but my vanity precludes me from showing my unmadeup face to anyone but the immediate family, and even they rarely see it, as I stay up later and get up earlier than anyone else in the household!  ;)   A few of my favorite (and well-used) products below:

 From top to bottom:  Mary Kay lipliner in Neutral; Urban Decay lipliner in Ozone, and Urban Decay lipliner in Midnight Cowboy.

Also, the Lancome Eyeshadow Base:

Yikes, that photo looks very odd.  Hope it doesn't give you vertigo like it's giving me.......

Finally, I'd like to share a lipcolor I've recently been wearing a lot - it's the Loud and Clear Lip Sheer from Bare Minerals in Tangerine Trance:  (Sorry for the blurriness - I used the 'macro' setting on my camera, but I guess it wasn't all that successful!)

And here it is swatched on my wrinkly wrist:

It actually looks more sheer on my wrist than it does on my mouth....Oh, wait, I snapped a picture of my makeup job this morning, hoping that it looked somewhat decent in the picture.  I often feel that my face looks okay IRL, but when I try to take a picture, HUGE it just the camera?

Here I am this morning, wearing the aforementioned Loud & Clear lipcolor in Tangerine Trance; along with my Mary Kay lipliner in Neutral; some Bare Minerals blush in Confidence; Smashbox Brow Tech in Taupe; some Urban Decay brown shadow from the small Naked Palette (a Christmas gift from my fellow makeupaholic youngest daughter Kelly); and some Bare Minerals Lengthen and Curl mascara.  I am loving the Loud & Clear for its very sheer and pretty color.  At this point, it is only available in three colors....this Tangerine shade, and two others, one of which is a pink that might work for those of you with cool toned complexions.  The colors look kind of scary 'in the tube', but, at least in the case of the Tangerine, go on to be very wearable and soft looking!  Just perfect for an Old Broad! ;)  Oh, I forgot to mention that I am also wearing some Laura Geller concealer on the dark undereye circles and the dark inner eye corner circles.  That is probably one of the best ways to erase the years from the face - getting rid of the darkness around the eyes.  A MOST necessary piece in the makeup arsenal, girls!

Till next time! <3

Monday, April 1, 2013

The April Fool!

Well, since it's been quite the long time since my last musings, I should make this one extra-long, but don't worry, it will be fun. :)  And probably not all that long, as I am wanting to make the trek to my favorite clothing source:  the Eileen Fisher Company Store (read 'outlet' for 'company' and you get the drift).  In case any of you are in the Chicago area, the aforementioned store is located on Golf Road in Schaumburg, very close to the Woodfield Mall. I do not have the exact street address, but you should be able to find it if you really want to. ;)

Today I would like to share a few new makeup finds.  First, for the lips.  What else?   My favorite part of the face, for various reasons.....Okay, one of the reasons is that if you apply the right color to your lips, the rest of your face looks absolutely amazing.  Truth.  There are waaaay too many women out there walking around with the wrong color on their lips.  Too dark.  Too brown.  Too light. And, horrors!  NO LIPSTICK/GLOSS AT ALL!!!!!!!  Ladies, there is NO EXCUSE for going without lipcolor.  (Except maybe for being comatose, and even then, if you make sure that in your Living Will you designate a trusted friend/relative to apply that gloss in the ICU, you will still be covered.....).  

You think I'm kidding. Girls, I'm not.  Lipcolor really takes your face from good to sublime.  If you pick the right color! There is no real secret or trick to this.  It just involves trying on a LOT of different colors to see which lights up your face the best.  You don't have to buy them to try them on.  Any Sephora or Ulta, or the makeup counter at your favorite department store will be happy to accomodate your wish to try color on your lips.  I'm not entirely sure that I love the whole 'sanitizing' the lipstick thing and prefer nicking a small bit from the side of a pristine tester.  But any way you choose to do it, please get out there and try on some colors that you might not have looked at before.  As we get older, surprisingly, we often need a pop of color on the lips to brighten us up.  Yes, I know that the author of "How Not to Look Old" says that we Old Bags need to go light and pink on our lips.  Sorry, honey, I've got news for you:  that  doesn't work for all of us, and for some of us, it makes us look positively washed out!  I absolutely look brighter and younger when I am wearing a brighter shade of lipcolor.  And I'm not talking garish, I'm talking pretty.  And lively.  And pretty.  :)  Sometimes a color looks downright scary in the tube, but wonderful on the lips.  Again, I would refer you all to the fabulous Lisa Eldridge for videos of how to get different uses out of one lipcolor on her website:  www.lisaeldridgecom  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on 'videos', you should be able to find the one where she talks about "How to Wear Dark Lipsticks and Look Good".  She demonstrates applying the lipstick with your finger for a stained look of a brighter color.  Very informative, and I adore her accent!

So onward to my latest discovery:  Stila Color Balm Lipstick.  I LOVE this stuff!  It's got my favorite pepperminty feel/scent, and a pretty decent range of colors to choose from.  I chose Isla, which is a warm shade, but there are lots of cool-toned shades to pick from as well.  Here is Isla, in the tube and on the wrist:

This product feels wonderful on the lips, and wears somewhat well.  It's definitely not a long-lasting lipcolor, but it stays put for a bit, as long as you're not eating a burger. :)
I have found it in person at both Sephora and Ulta, and I am sure that it would also be available on their websites.  I actually do not recall the price, but I'm going to guess it's in the $20 vicinity.....I found that I don't apply it quite the same way as I would apply a 'regular' lipstick, but I use more of a patting motion on the lips.  If you take it and apply it from one side of the mouth to the other, I think that you end up with too much product on your lips.  You could also dab a bit on your ring finger and then dab it onto your lips as well, for a more 'stained' look.

On to the eyes!  I am not really a huge fan of Bobbi Brown products (although I do love her Bobbi fragrance), but I have to say that I love the Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow in that line.  They go on like a dream and last until you remove them with your favorite eyemakeup remover.  I've been known (shhh!) to sleep in them and still see color in the morning.  Mortal sin.  I know.  In any event, they are wonderful, and a little goes a long way, which makes them budget-friendly, right?  Again, I can't recall the exact price, but it's probably in the $20 vicinity as well.  (All right.  It's probably more than that, but that's all I'm admitting to.)  The two shades I really like are both warm-toned, of course:  Antique Gold and Beach Bronze, but there are lots of other shades from which to choose.  Here they are in the pot and swatched.  Antique Gold is on the left and Beach Bronze on the right in both cases.  

I will warn you that Antique Gold could leave a few flecks of gold glitter somewhere other than your eyelids if you should happen to rub your eye during the day, but I still love the product and would not discount it just for that reason.

And since I've been sitting here trying to write this little review, I've had three phone calls and two people trying to get through while I was on the line with the other calls, so I'm not going to make it to my Eileen Fisher Company Store today.  Dang.  But good for the pocketbook!

Until next time, my Beauties, put on some lipstick and go forth with a smile! :)