Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lovely, Lively Lips and More

Hi All,

It's been too long since I blabbed on about makeup, don't you think?  Today I'm here to chat about a few new favorites…..

Of course, you all know by now that I adore lip products.  And I've recently decided that sheerer is better.  Please excuse me for using an overworked word, but the best description of sheer lip color for me is, yes, "FRESH".  Sheer just looks young and fresh, and I can't get enough of it.  I recently spent a night watching HSN, something I don't normally do, especially because the host that night was probably my least favorite of all of theirs.  For some reason, I don't think other people feel the same way as I do, because she's on a LOT.  I shan't mention her name, so as not to be unkind, but there was a hint at the beginning of the sentence for those of you who are true HSN fans.  LOL  

In any event, Trish McEvoy is part of the HSN family, in a somewhat limited fashion, although I didn't actually purchase my products from HSN that night, wanting to see them in person before buying.  (Don't faint!  Sometimes I can exercise restraint when it comes to purchasing makeup!)  I made a trip to the Trish McEvoy counter at Nordstrom's recently, and did pick up two items that I saw that night on HSN.  The first is Essential Balm in Gorgeous Coral.  I LOVE this stuff!!!!  It is light and has a slight minty flavor, but the color is just so sheer and beautiful I can hardly stand it.  It is not the longest wearing product, but, considering how sheer it is, it does okay.  I believe there were several other colors from which to choose, one of them being more pink, but I cannot swear to it.

The second great recent lip find is from MAC.  I haven't purchased much from MAC in recent years, mostly because I hate the taste of the lip products.  It changed from what it had been in the past to something I cannot describe properly, but do not really like….Maybe it's vanilla, although in real life, I do like vanilla….puzzling!  In any event, the PatentPolish Lip Pencil is quite nice in the shade Revved Up, although that is not the shade I initially wanted to purchase.  It is a lighter version of the coral that I had in mind, but, unfortunately, the MAC counter at Nordstrom's only carried the shades in the 'first row' of the display, and because I just had an unstoppable urge to try one of them, I went home with Revved Up.  Turned out to be a very happy choice.  I'm not sure why the Nordstrom MAC counter only had four shades available.  Perhaps you'd have better luck at a freestanding MAC store.  In any event, here are the two lip pencil products swatched below.  

Top one is the Trish McEvoy product, and lower one is the MAC.  Dang, swatched like that, they appear quite similar!  Oh, why am I not surprised?  By now it must be obvious that my entire makeup stash consists of all of the same colors of lipsticks, merely in different packaging!!!!!

In any event, I highly recommend either of these, although to be honest, I favor the Trish McEvoy.  I am a huge fan of lip color 'pencils' these days.  Just can't get enough of them.  I believe I have previously written about the Clinique Chubby Sticks.  Still lovin' them, too!

Onward to the next group of products - eye brighteners!  Yep, we need them at our age……lucky for all of you, I've tried a few, and am here to tell you all about them.  I was first introduced to them in the Bare Minerals line, with the Stroke of Light  eye brightener, and that one is still my favorite.  It's readily available at Bare Minerals counters, found in your local Ulta stores.  It just does something very nice for the under eye area.  It comes in four different shades, ranging from the lightest to darkest.  I, of course, purchased the lightest, because even though I might not have the fairest of the fair skin tone, when it comes to my under eye area, I just want LIGHT!  Hopefully I'm not walking around looking like a raccoon. (I can never remember, is the white part closest to their eye, or does a small dark patch appear closer?)  And when you see the swatches, you will probably be able to tell why I like the Bare Minerals product the best - it's the LIGHTEST!  LOL

I also tried the Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift, having seen it demo'ed on HSN.  I believe that there might only be two choices of shades for this product, basically a very light one, and then a much darker one, and most people would probably know which one they would need.  If in doubt, the salesperson behind the counter could give advice.  

 The way Trish applies this is pretty ingenious.  Wish I had Photo Shop to be able to draw on a face to illustrate, but, alas, I do not own Photo Shop, so you will just have to picture it in your head.  You take the Instant Eye Lift (or any eye brightener product of your choosing), and basically draw an inverted triangle, using the bottom of your eye as the shortest part of the triangle, and extending the two longer sides of the triangle onto your cheek area.  There you go.  I have cleverly posted a photo below of the shape Trish used under the eye.  

This does a bit of  contouring, I guess, and lights up your face.  Of course, you can just use the stuff in a light tapping under the eye, as I usually do, foregoing the triangle, with equally nice results.  The under eye brighteners can often be used alone, with no concealer, as was told to me by the Bobbi Brown makeup artist who sold me the Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener recently.  The Tinted Eye Brightener comes in a variety of shades.  Best to get the advice of the makeup artist assisting you for the proper shade.  Had it been left up to me, I'd of course gone for the lightest shade……but since the makeup artist color-matched me, I went with her recommendation.  Maybe that's why I don't like the product quite as much as I thought I would. hahaha

Swatched below are my three eye brighteners, from top to bottom, they are:  Bobbi Brown's Tinted Eye Brightener, Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift, and Bare Minerals Stroke of Light:  

I think the thing to remember when using these is to make sure you blend, or tap, to make sure that they melt into the skin.  I think that the texture of the Bare Minerals is also the lightest of the three.  It just seems to add a very nice bit of brightness to my under eye area, and I sometimes skip the under eye concealer when using these products.  

Now I'm off to my local Ulta!  I understand from a reliable source that Mally products (formerly available only through QVC) are now lurking on the shelves!  Of course, I must go check it out.  I shall report back, I promise!  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Recent Indulgences

Oh, girls, do I have some good stuff for you today!!!!  (Well, if you love peachy colors, you will think it's good stuff, but if you are a Pink Girl, you can probably stop reading right here.....)  My youngest daughter, Kelly, stopped by yesterday, and in the course of events, she suggested a little trip to our local Sephora.  Who am I to deny my child?  We went!  We saw!  We purchased!  Here are the juicy details:

As any Beauty Junkies are probably aware, Sephora has begun featuring special products (usually the new ones, naturally) in a large display right as customers enter the store.  Kelly and I were immediately drawn to the lovely blooms of Spring Color.  (I, of course, was drawn to the large poster of a gorgeous young girl, supposedly wearing some of the products displayed, momentarily forgetting that those same products would not have nearly the same effect on MY face, but we'll save our journey down the Poor-Me-I'm-Not-Young-Anymore path for another day.)  

One of the new products spotlighted at the front door was the new Nars Matte Multiple.  Ooohlala!  I guess I just recently wrote about the original Multiple, but, girls, you MUST check out the new Matte!  It is absolutely wonderful!  What is NOT wonderful, though, is the fact that the new Matte Multiple will set you back the same amount ($39) as the original Multiple, and it gives you only HALF the product!  I had a glimmer of a thought in the store that the tube looked smaller to me, but I was so enraptured by the color/feel of the product that this thought was like a buzzing, but easily escaped, fly that I almost immediately forgot. Hence, the product came home with me.  Had I realized the true import of the price, I might have been tempted to leave the product on the shelf, but, luckily, I had no such concrete knowledge, and am now enjoying a beautiful new cheek/lip color, that can be used WET OR DRY!!!!  My favorite kind of product!  I don't understand exactly what it is about the whole wet/dry thing that positively sends me, but whatever it is, it has one POWERFUL hold over me.  The color is already a gorgeous sheer wash, but I guess that using it wet further dilutes the color and makes it, according to the Nars website, 'melt into the skin'.  I confess I only just now learned of this feature, and have not attempted it myself.  What I HAVE done, though, is wear this gorgeous product (in the very strangely-named Exumas - well, I thought it was strange until I looked it up on Google Maps and found that Great Exuma Island is a gorgeous spot in the Bahamas) today and totally fall in love with it.  The color glides onto the skin (and, let's face it, we're not talking baby-fresh skin here,'s seen a few suns in its day and might give a product a bit of resistance when applying it) and gives a gorgeous glow.  Exumas is swatched below so that you can see exactly what I mean, but, of course, there are other shades available - five others, to be exact - and one of them is sure to catch your fancy.  

On to the second gorgeous find of the day, hydra-smooth Lip Color ($19) from benefit in Tutti-Cutie, billed as a 'sheer coral'.  OMG, I have not been this excited about a lip product in quite some time, as so many of them seem filled with promise but never live up to expectations.  I had not read anything about this product or seen it advertised before yesterday, but I am sure hoping that it will become a part of the regular benefit line, as it is really one of the best lipsticks I've tried in a VERY long time!  Upon checking the benefit website (, I discovered that I happened to purchase one of the sheer colors, which I adore, but there are other shades in the hydra-smooth Lip Color collection that are medium, and medium-full coverage.  There are ten colors in this collection, several of which would fit the 'I Look Good in Pink' category quite nicely, should that be your most flattering tone.  I love the way this product feels on my lips, and even though I purchased one of the sheer formulations, it stayed on my lips for longer than I'd hoped for.  I highly recommend trying one of these lip colors - soft, flattering, and sheer color, with NO FEATHERING (of course, I always use a lipliner as a first step in 'applying my lips', but I think you would receive the same performance even without one).  And I'm not one to go gaga over packaging, as I believe that what is really important is the performance of the product, but the packaging on this product has an interesting retro-feeling to me, although I've never seen anything similar in the past.  Hop on over to your closest Sephora or Ulta and check these lip colors out for yourself.  

I would also like to mention several other products, although I confess I did not purchase them just yesterday.  They are two offerings from the Urban Decay line.  The first is the Naked Basics ($28) eyeshadow palette.  My fellow Makeup Junkie daughter, Kelly, gave me this as a gift at some point in the past, either for a birthday, Mother's Day, or Christmas present.  I truly cannot recall which occasion it was, but it is a very well-chosen and well-loved gift.  It is a very, well, BASIC collection of neutral UD eyeshadows, namely Venus (shimmery cream), Foxy (matte cream), Walk of Shame (pale pinky-nude), Naked 2 (pale taupe), Faint (dark taupe), and Crave (brown-black).  These are great shades,and today I am wearing Naked 2, which I had thought might be too pale to give me any real definition, but is a perfect barely-there wash of eye-defining color.  I paired it with a dab of Venus under the browbone, and some they're real! mascara from benefit for a very natural-but-better look today.  If you are just building your collection of eyeshadows, be sure to include this palette.  

The final product today is the Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss ($20)...boy, is THAT a mouthful! (pun?)  Mine is in yet another coral shade called 'Streak', but, again, there are eight other shades from which to choose, if coral is not your thing.  I guess that these glosses are supposed to help give more volume, add hydration, and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the lips! (I don't know about you, but I don't care if the lines and wrinkles on my lips look better, I would like them to just disappear entirely!)  In any event, I like this gloss quite a bit.  It is not your typical sticky lipgloss.  It gives a pretty decent boost of color, and lasts a fairly long time on the lips as well.

Finally, here are the pictures of the afore-mentioned products, as well as a few swatches of color.

Last picture, top to bottom: 
hydra-smooth Lip Color from benefit in Tutti Cutie;
Nars Matte Multiple in Exumas;
Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Streak

Hope you make your way to a local Sephora or Ulta very soon to check out these little lovelies in person! 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Hi ho, Beauties!  Today I'd like to tell you about a Nars Multiple that I have been using.  It's a pretty decent product, and I particularly like the wide range of colors to choose from.  Mine is in the shade 'Portofino', a warm coral/peach.  Sephora describes it as 'shimmering coral', so I guess you could say that it has a bit of shimmer.  I don't find it to be In Your Face Shimmer, though, because I barely noticed any at all. :)

The Multiple has been a part of the Nars line for quite some time.  It's a multi-use product that looks equally great on cheeks and lips.  It's billed as a cream-to-powder finish, which I only just now realized.  I've read that some even use it as a quick eyeshadow, but I think that might not be for everyone, depending on age and coloring.  My favorite use is as a lovely cheek color, but I've recently begun using it for a lipcolor as well.  It does not have the best staying power on the lips, but it is no worse than the majority of other lipsticks.  Here is the swatch:

You can find Nars products at your local Sephora.  I think I read somewhere that there is a new shade for spring.  You can bet that I will be checking it out very soon.  :)  Oh, they are not cheap, but then what products that I recommend are?  $39.00  And if you look at it as a product that it can take the place of blush AND lipstick, is the price really all that bad?  ;)

I would also like to talk a bit about IT Cosmetics lip products today.  If you've read anything from me previously, you know that I have a Special Weakness for lip products, so it should not surprise you that I drank the IT Cosmetics Kool Aid and own a few of their lip products.  First, let me say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the IT Cosmetics lipliners.  The founder of the line calls them 'lipstain lipliners', and I guess that technically they DO stain your lips.  But the staining ability is probably not why I have moved the IT Cosmetics lipliner to the top of my lipliner heap these days.  These lipliners glide on very smoothly, a major selling point for me and my crepey, dry, OLD lips, and the Nude Blush shade is just perfect for my purposes - a brownish pinky neutral, shown below:

I can also tell you that these lipliners STAY.  After taking the above picture, I discovered that that little heart is gonna be on the inside of my wrist for quite some time, because rubbing it with my finger, and rubbing it with water on my finger, had absolutely no effect!  Still there!  I am sure that taking some of my eyemakeup remover to it will do the trick, but, for now, I'm going to enjoy my little heart tattoo.

HOWEVER, I can NOT rave equally about the IT Cosmetics lipsticks and glosses.  (Well, I could RAVE, but it wouldn't be in a good way.....)  I have tried and tried and tried, but no matter WHAT shade of these I purchase, they all turn the same Somewhat Garish Pink on my lips.  (And they stained the inside of my wrist the same color after swatching them!)  I will say that the shade of pink they turn on me might actually be a GOOD shade for someone with different coloring than mine, but if you are fair, with warm skintone, you do not want to waste your money on these products.  Here are the glosses and the lipstick I tried:

The packaging is very pretty.  It's just too bad that the colors all turn the same shade once you apply them!

The shades are Damsel (lipstick), Naturally Flushed (gloss on L), and Je Ne Sais Quoi (gloss on R), but, honestly, it doesn't matter WHAT shade you pick.  After wearing it for less than five minutes, you will see that your lips are stained PINK PINK PINK.  And that's fine if you look good in that shade.  I, personally, look like I'm auditioning for Clown Grandma, which is not generally the look I'm going for....Hot Grandma, or even just plain Not So Bad Grandma is more what I'd like people to think when they look at me. ;)

I tried to snap a picture of my lips wearing these products, but, shockingly, when I compared the color in the photo to the color that I actually see in the mirror, it was not the same!  In the photo it actually looked like a decent color, whereas, I can assure you, in person, Clown Grandma!  Yikes!  I SO wanted to love these products.  But I just cannot.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sally Hansen Gel Polish! Yes!

Oh, my, more about nails!!!  But this one is really good!  :)  My wonderful eighteen year old son gifted me with the Sally Hansen Gel Polish kit for Christmas.  Now, I ask you, how many eighteen year old boys actually pay attention to their moms?  I am blessed to have one that does.  He heard me remarking on how much I liked his girlfriend's nails (okay, maybe that was why - it had something to do with His Love! ;)), remembered it, and purchased the kit for me when it came time to scrounge up a gift at Christmas.  (And my youngest daughter bought me an 'accessory' color to use with the kit in Pink Pong that is shown below on my nails - the two of them are often co-conspirators in such things.  LOL)  In any event, pictured below is the kit that Sally Hansen has put together for those who would love to do a no-chip manicure at home.  I believe the cost of the kit is in the vicinity of $49.00; I also believe that one no-chip manicure at a salon runs not much less than that for one time.  You do the math! :)  Ca-ching!  Quite a savings.  Which, for those of us in our Golden Years, is a very nice thing.

As you can see, everything you need is supplied - step-by-step instructions; a file and orange stick; the base, color, and topcoat (conveniently labelled 1, 2, and 3); the LED lamp used for curing the manicure; the wipes that you use as the final step in the manicure; and some gel polish remover.  

I had not realized that the nails needed to be cured after each step (base, color, and topcoats), so it did take me a bit longer than I'd thought, but all in all, it was pretty simple.  You make sure that your nails are clean and dry; apply the basecoat; cure the nails under the LED light for 30 seconds (although it actually takes two minutes all told for each coat, because you insert four fingers for thirty seconds and then your thumb for thirty seconds and repeat with the other hand); apply the color; cure the nails under the LED light; apply a second coat of the color; cure the nails under the LED light; apply the topcoat; cure the nails under the LED light; wipe each nail with the special little Nail Cleanser Pad; viola!  Finished!  All told, it might take around twenty minutes when you get the steps down pat.  If you apply two coats of the main color, your total curing time will be eight minutes, I believe.  But don't trust me.  I was never all that hot with math.

The really cool thing is that when you are finished, there is no additional sitting around for twenty minutes while your nails dry! They are finished the second that you have wiped them with the Nail Cleanser Pad!  You can comb your hair, eat dinner, walk the dog.  Whatever.  It's amazing!  Of course, many of you are probably much more sophisticated than I, and have already experienced the magic of a No Chip Manicure in a salon, but, for me, it was quite a novel experience.  At this point, it's been about a week since I gave myself the manicure, and my nails are still glossy and pretty, as you can see below!  

I love this stuff, and heartily give it two thumbs up!  And the shade Pink Pong is a lovely neutral that can be worn with nearly every color in your wardrobe to good effect.