Monday, December 6, 2010

REVIEW: BeneFit Products that Rock My World

It's time to unveil some of the products that are contributing to my new-found hotness. let's start from the base up:

1. BeneFit's You Rebel Lite SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer

Note that I, of course, have to use the specially made, corpse colored version of a perennial favorite, but at least they make it, unlike countless other brands. This is a great, blendable, buildable tinted moisturizer. It is yellow-toned, so instead of looking pink or Snooki orange, this calms redness and leaves a fresh, more even complexion. And it's oil free. You also get a ton of product (a little goes a loooooonnnnggg way) so this will last even with daily application. If this product was a person, it would be Anne Hathaway. A pale, intelligent beauty that stands out amongst all the botoxed, tanned, shriveled Hollywood whores. Truly lovely.

2. After applying You Rebel Lite, I move on to my newest bestest friend: BeneFit's The Porefessional
This stuff is freaking wonderful. I have huge pores in between my eyebrows, and along the sides of nose. my cheeks are even starting to join the giant nasty pore parade. It's awful, disheartening and makes me die inside a little when I see them, winking at me with their huge, greasy vastness in the mirror, mocking me.

The Porefessional is like a pore assassin. it helps temporarily fill in the pits created by pores, stop their incessant oil leaking, and create a smoother, softer, oil free canvas for you to base the rest of your look on. This knocked my proverbial socks off ladies. If I was given the choice of no more The Porefessional and a night of endless pleasure with Brad Pitt a la Legends of the Fall, I would send young, long-tressed, Adoniis-bodied, virile Bradley packing. This goo is that amazing. You know how your make-up settles into fine lines and your pores after a while (or in my greasy case, after 20 minutes)? This slows that process down, and for less oil prone gals, stops your make-up from sliding into your nooks and crannies. Heart.

3. BeneFit's Boi-ing Concealer
 Remember my love of Erase Paste? My introduction to Boi-ing makes that fondness seem like a school girl's crush. this is a bit dryer of a formula, which works much better on my skin. A little dab'll do ya, and you can mix it with a touch of The Porefessional for a silky, light touch concealer and primer in one step. I just knocked your ass to the ground with that I know. It's what I use around my eyes when I don't have deep, dark circles. When I do have straight up purple bags, I use Boi-ing Straight up. It conceals without being heavy or gross, or caking into fine lines.

There is more to come Dear Internet, but this is it for now.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mo' Money, Less Problems

Forget what Diddy said ladies. Sometimes, by spending more money up front for beauty products, you save yourself time, anguish, and most importantly, cash.

For example, you buy Brand X foundation at La Drugstore. After you actually wear Brand X in public, you realize it sucks in a triple X kinda way. It's the Jenna Jameson of foundations, and you've spent $12.00 bucks on it. La Drugstore's return policy on cosmetics varies from store to store. You live in an urban area, so you are totally SOL. NO RETURNS. Balls.

You instead have to purchase another foundation, and hope for the best. If it doesn't work out for you, the cycle continues. I've lived this folks. Let me tell you something--it's not worth it. I've had my come to Grilled Cheesus moment. I  saved money and bought a few real, returnable, high-end products.

I look f$%ing fabulous.

I also returned 2 foundations and a powder before I was satisfied. Here are some tips I am passing down to you before you enter the scary customer service driven worlds of Sephora and Ulta.

1. Research products online and read reviews.

Duh. There are people like me tripping over themselves to make sure you don't buy a shitty product. Let us help you chicas. Google it. Read about it. Be informed about what you smear on your face.

2. Look good when you go shopping.

Seriously, I don't want no scrubs shoppin' at Sephora wit' me. Look good. You will feel confident, and the sales people are less likely to hone in on you like cheetahs on an injured antelope. Strut bitches, strut.

3. When they ask if you want help, tell them no, even if you need it. 

But Amanda, you ask, isn't this counterintuitive? Yes and no. If you tell them that you are browsing when you walk in, you don't have to worry about them stalking you and pressuring you to buy something. In my case "help'"consisted of two very orange foundations and an illuminating powder that lit me up like a Studio 54 Disco Ball (I did, however, get directed to the bestest mascara in the world). Under the prison lights of their stores, anything looks good. Daylight is the real test. If you need advice ask for it, but browse on your own first. Smear the back of your hand, your collar bone, and your cheek with a million sundry products. Go crazy. Narrow it down to three or four items like items. Then ask a sales person for help if you are still lost.

When I browsed and picked out products on my own, I hit home runs. I know how pale and greasy I am, and how large my pores are. These beatches have no idea about my struggles. Know thyself, and buy products that work for you.

4. Don't be afraid to return things.

If you hate it, return it. Life goes on. Pick something else instead. Don't let the stank eyed gaze of the salesperson scare you. RETURN IT.

5. Don't be scared to try something different.

Get sucked in by cute packaging. Pay too much for something you don't feel like you can live with out. If it sucks, you can always make like number 4 and RETURN IT. It could be the best purchase you ever made.

I'll be posting reviews on my high end haul shortly. Don't think I've abandoned my dollar store roots Internet. I will forever prowl the aisles of CVS looking for eyeshadow quads and lipglosses while slightly buzzed off of vodka and sugar free Redbulls. Old habits die hard.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Breaks My Heart

My red hair washed out after 4 days. I only washed it twice. I'm a natural looking medium reddish brown now. I LOVED the red day one. It was awesome, and I'm, sad that it happened.

I did, however, learn a valuable lesson: IF YOU WANT TO BE RED GET YOUR HAIR COLORED BY A PROFESSIONAL. That was very capslock Harry Potter a la book five, but it's the truth. Don't play.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fab or Fail: I'm a Ginger Now

Ok peeps, time to weigh in on my newest rash decision--red hair. I've had the bug for quite some time but being blond is safe, generally flattering, etc. Whattya think?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Revlon Foundation Round-Up: Fantastic or Fail?

Hola Chicas,

CVS had a bogo sale on some Revlon foundations and I could not resist the temptation to purchase the 2 that had been twinkling in my eye for some time now: SPA Age Defying Foundation and Colorstay Mineral Mousse Makeup.

SPA Age Defying Foundation in FAIL. 

Colorstay Mineral Mousse Foundation in INFINITE SADNESS.

I wish I had better news for you girlfriends, but the facts are in. DO NOT BUY. Revlon has such amazing products (Colorstay with Soft Flex, Just Bitten Lipstains, Colorstay LipSheers...) that I was floored at how crazy bad these were. Someone was drinking too many Mike's Harder Lemonades when they were cookin' up these formulas.

SPA Age Defying Foundation

-Dewy finish
-Lot's of product

-WTF is with the unsanitary, needless-streak-causing-funky-brush applicator? You have to use tools to pull this thing off. I'm She Hulk and I can't rip it off. SHENANIGANS!
-This is not true to color. It's actually far lighter than the tube and that's saying something coming from this snowflake.
-It's not really any kind of coverage. I've used tinted moisturizers with more bang.

This might be good mixed into something too heavy for you, or as a color corrector for something too dark. On it's own. Meh.

Colorstay Mineral Mousse Foundation

-It was a nice try

-Wack coverage, can get clumpy, settle into fine lines and pores
-Not true to color
 -Color doesn't stay

If you are like me, the glowing picture of Halle B. sucked you into to this purchase. It was a sad mistake, as I will never be a beautiful Oscar-winning screen actress famous for humping Billy Bob like she really meant it and being absurdly hot. Smearing this on your face makes you look more like Crazy Aunt Dot, with the crepe paper skin, neon pink lipstick and haphazardly smeared brow pencil. It will also make you smell like her--the faint scent of Gold Bond, cats, and musty Danielle Steele novels.

Stick with Colorstay ladies. Get your ass in gear Revlon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a G-D Shame.

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been wrestling with an ethical dilemma and how I want to phrase my thoughts without sounding like a PETA hypnotized, granola munching, hemp-raising hippy. That being said, I eat a mostly vegan diet, recycle, turn the faucet off, buy organic, shun non-cotton underies, despise sulfates, and make all natural bath and body products as a hobby. Patchouli should be wafting behind me in a perfumed curtain of Aquarian goodness and sunflowers should sprout in my foot prints as sparrows braid my hair. Did I mention I have an herb garden?

I don't think animals are people, although my dog might disagree with me as he watches television next to me with eerily human intent. I do believe they have the right to a life filled with as much freedom and dignity as possible, even if they end up on the dinner table, or are incubating the possible cure for breast cancer. There are, in my opinion, justifiable reasons for animal testing. AIDS, Leukemia, and MS are but a few of these reasons. Thumper can take one for all the kids suffering at Saint Jude's. Don't get me wrong--those animals suffer and live an extremely shitastic existence, it sucks, and if there is any possible alternative for testing it should be taken. End of story.

I don't think that in the year 2010 Thumper should be getting mascara and lipstick shoved in his adorable little eye. My plumping lip gloss doesn't need to be forcefed to rats to make sure it's safe. Cosmetic companies shouldn't be putting crap in my mascara that they think might be that effing questionable. This isn't even a question for me.

To be honest, I didn't even think this was an issue anymore. It's 2010, wasn't there supposed to be a flying car by now? Haven't we moved beyond such asshatery? Well, these cosmetic giants haven't:

Johnson & Johnson
Sally Hansen

This only names a few. More information can be found here.

Neutragena doesn't test on animals, but its parent company, Johnson & Johnson does. So the drugstore brands we have left are:

Physician's Formula

These are the brands you will be seeing featured from now on. Hopefully, this will expand. I will also be supporting Neutragena's decision to stop animal testing. As a consumer, my purchases can also be meaningful and just.

Let's face it. This sucks. No more Lashblast. No more Voluminous. Get with the program cosmetic giants! I want to buy your shit. I want to be sucked in by the young starlet in your ridiculous marketing campaigns. I desperately want to purchase your sulfate-free shampoos that infer Sawyer from LOST will take me again and again in a polar bear cage while Jack watches.

Stop poisoning bunnies so we can be BFF's again.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

REVIEW: CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara

We all know I am obsessed with mascara. It is my one beauty must have other than tintes moisturizer with an SPF. I tried the original LashBlast mascara and was not impressed. I was the opposite of impressed. It was gloppy, didn't stay put, and managed to get everywhere during application.

This waterproof version, howevr, lives up to all the hype I've been seeing about this stuff. The brush is still a bit outrageous and hard to control, but the product delivers. Go CoverGirl.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

REVIEW: Sally Beauty Supply Hair One Cleansing Conditioner

I've noticed a trend lately, I only blog about stuff I'm in love with. This is no different. I bought the knock-off of Chaz Dean's Wen Hair Care System for a fraction of the cost at Sally's. I chose the Aloe and Cucumber Hair One formula for normal hair. IT IS AMAZING.

Here's what Sally has to say about their freaking great product:

Sulfate Free

All natural approach to hair care

No damaging detergents or harsh chemicals

Formulated with natural herbs and oils

Cleans with an astringent and antibacterial properties

Introducing Hair One ... a salon quality product that provides a new all natural approach to hair care and hair detox that leaves hair cleansed, conditioned and in optimum shape. This conditioner has no damaging detergents or harsh chemicals. It's made with an elixir of natural herbs and oils that clean with astringent and antibacterial properties through a luxurious, penetrating cream without the stripping of detergents. Hair is left with remarkable shine, moisture, manageability and polish. With continued use, Hair One Cleanser Conditioner will stimulate the scalp, promoting better blood circulation, allowing for healthier hair growth and prevention of hair loss.

Sally isn't telling a fib here kids. My hair has more body, bounce, and shine and I have eliminated the use of my conditioner, leave-in, shine serum, and mousse. I just blow dry and throw some styling paste in. It's miraculous. If this product were a man, he would look like Timothy Olyphant, put the toilet seat down, encourage you to have seconds (maybe even thirds) and taste like chocolate.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

REVIEW: Revlon Colorstay Foundation

I'm a greasy gal. I'm also in sales so I need something that is going to even my skin tone, withstand the oil slick that is my t-zone, and last through a 12+ hour day. I've tried Revlon Colorstay Foundation in the past, but I wasn't sold. It looked clumpy and downright streaky on my skin.

Due to my CVS Extra Bucks (of course) I was able to get a bottle of the Combination/Oily formula on the cheap. I'm pale, but I've got my spring glow going on, so I was able to buy the shade one step up from bloated white corpse. It was very exciting even though it's indicative of sun damage in 50 degree weather while wearing SPF 30. Sigh.

Here are my tips for successfully using a Colorstay foundation:

  1. Exfoliate. Long-wearing foundations will accentuate every nook, cranny, and flake you have on your face. Scrub it off!
  2. Moisturize and Protect. Slather on your sunscreen (I'm quite partial to Aveeno's Positively Radiant SPF Moisturizer).
  3. Use a Foundation Brush. This formula dries quickly and can be streaky, so putting it on with your fingers can be a challenge. I use a fluffy foundation brush and start with my nose and work outward. I just want a thin layer for a little coverage. If you need full coverage, you can definitely achieve that with this formula.
  4. If you need concealer, apply it over the foundation. Counter-intuitive I know. Just believe me.
  5. I use a liquid highlighter on my cheekbones and a dab on my chin. 
  6. I don't finish with a powder. You know me and matte. We don't get along.
This might seem like a process, but in reality it takes less than 5 minutes. I get compliment worthy skin that actually lasts through a business day. I do get a case of the greasies by mid afternoon, but a blotting paper cures that, and the make-up stays on my face, not on the paper.

This is my new go to for work days. Keep on exfoliating ladies!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rediscovering Old Friends

Do you ever pick up a product that you used ages ago and kick yourself for quitting it? I had that experience with Noxema. I haven't used it in years.

Yes. Noxema. Don't hate ladies. This minty, cold cream-ish, goo was a staple of my teen years. I had better skin then than I do now, and use of this product (in conjunction with good ol' St. Ive's Apricot Scrub) is probably why. AND IT'S CHEAP!  You can't get much better than that. Unless it came with chocolate, booze, or Matthew McConaughey. Or if it vibrated.

I also got a coupon for CoverGirl Clean Make-Up and thought I would get super retro (circa '99) and try it out. It was almost free, so couldn't be that bad right?

Wrong. I should have used that 4 bucks to save the whales (and before you freak, I totally do contribute to ASPCA and other funds so back off PETA-breath). If you are going with a CoverGirl line, stick with Trublend. It isn't tragic like its older sister.

Have you guys used something again and had an epiphany that it was totally awesome?


Friday, March 19, 2010

Here's Your Once Chance Fancy Don't Let Me Down

I tried using a fancy-pants foundation from Stila. I placed all my hopes and dreams in this fancy little bottle that promised a one-step process to skin perfection. Putting down a decent chunk of change for this, I felt so sure that I would be transformed into a velvety-skinned goddess.

It was not to be. My skin turned into a red, flakey, mess. I looked like I was jonesing for a rock, but really I'm allergic to something in the product. I've passed the product on to one of my dear friends and blog commenter SGY. We will see if she has better luck with the stuff.

On a happier note, Physician's Formula was on sale at CVS and I picked up the Mineral Wear Correcting Concealer Trio. It's amazing. Corrective colors are hard for pale folk to wear, but when used with a light hand and paired with the Mineral Wear Powder foundation, it's magical. My skin is even and glowing despite my alcohol intake last night.

So my lessons learned:

  • I'm not a fancy gal. I don't need fancy make-up (nor does it need me apparently).
  • Sometimes sticking with what you know isn't boring, it's practical.
  • Physician's Formula keeps delivering. I love that brand almost as much as I love CVS.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Sunday Scrub-tacular!

I love to exfoliate. There is nothing like blasting away old, nasty, dead skin cells and  my mortal enemy, the blackhead.

Here are a few of my all time fav products, new and old:

St. Ive's Apricot Scrub: Hello old friend. You never cease to be an effective, reasonably-priced solution to problem skin. Almost everyone I know has used this, or the medicated version. It's a great product, and I always have on on hand.

L'Oreal Go 360! Cleanser: I was not tempted by this until a friend recommended it and I had a dollar off coupon. (Insert shout out to CVS here). I picked up the cream cleanser version and it is AMAZING. This stuff comes with a scrublet, which sounds super lame, but in reality is your face's best friend. It exfoliates without tearing your skin up, or causing micro-abrasions that old school products, sorry St. Ive's, can. And when it's on sale for 4 bucks, it's worth a try.

Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub: This is a bit too hard core for regular use with my sensitive skin, but it kicks ass. Salicylic acid and mirobeads partner up to take problem skin to task.

Blast away at those blackheads ladies and gents!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Let's Discuss

How hot is Johnny Weir? Also, does everyone know he is a make-up maven? I want to be his wingman.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Eyebrows

My eyebrows are in need of serious help. I have bangs so I've neglected them. It's tragic.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

REVIEW: The WORST Make-Up Ever

I was very excited when I got a coupon to try Revlon's PhotoReady make-up. It's not even on their website yet. With the product performance I experienced, it won't be.

If you are a reader of da blog, you know that I'm not a fan of the super matte look. I like a little reflective property in a foundation or tinted moisturizer that mimics good skin. The marketing totally sucked me in with Hottie Halle Barry and "light reflective particles" and a COUPON: I know better now. In the words of the great songstress Kelis: you might trick me once, but your not gonna trick me twice. I'm on to you Revlon. You are suspect.

Let me just say that I have decent skin. I have a few fine lines, and some pore issues, but nothing major. I'm really just looking to cover up the pink and red tones that come with having skin the color of milk. I'm not looking for miracles, botox in a bottle, or anything crazy like that. I want a nice medium coverage base that will get me through the day at my marketing job without scaring any clients away. I wanna be me, but butter. That's a typo but it stays because butter is delicious. I also properly prepare my skin for make-up. I clean it. Exfoliate it. Moisturize it. Wear sun screen. I'll even wear a primer if I need to. I'm dedicated to a make-up's success. I'm its freakin' cheerleader.

Revlon Photoready foundation acted like I had done none of those things. It settled into every nook and cranny in my face. I looked like an English muffin. I didn't even know half of this stuff was happening on my face. It was a bad surprise, like The Others on Lost or the end of The Sopranos. My skin looked rough, flaky, and nasty. I looked like Britney post-breakdown. It was tragic. I have ok skin, and it did this to me. I can't imagine what it would do if you really had an issue you needed to deal with. Probably make you look like Gollum or the Crypt Keeper. Or Joan Rivers.

It also made my nose itch. That might have been the first twitches of rage I was feeling about this product though. This is the Gigli of foundations. Stay away from it. Hopefully they will yank it soon and we will all be safe once more.

I'm not the only gal that's had a bad experience. I feel validated.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

REVIEW: Generic Value Products

Sally Beauty carries a line of knock-off styling products called Generic Value Products. For a mere fraction of the cost your usual bottle of Paul Mitchell or Biolage stylers, you can get two or three GVP's. Which is awesome. They even have knock-off Chi's. This is more of a confirmation that Sally's is a portal to a heavenly dimension, where everyone's hair is shiny, their eyebrows waxed, and their nails neatly manicured.

I love Matrix's Biolage Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioning Balm. It smells great, feels great and works great. It's also damn expensive. GVP's version is all of the above, without the pricetag, so a frugalista can luxuriate in nice suds, and still have a little green in her wallet. Awesome deals, awesome products.

My next flat iron and blow dryer will be GVP's. Maybe even bright pink ones. If I'm feelin' saucy.

PS Natalie Wood--When are we gonna stop and get some coffee?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

REVIEW: Benefit Erase Paste

Every once in a while, a chica deserves a product that can found outside of the glorious confines of CVS. I might have had a dirty martini, or two, and wandered into ULTA, whereupon I found an awesome product. I was totally swayed by the adorable Benefit packaging and the booze-soaked blue cheese olives, and I picked up a tiny pot of Erase Paste (around $24-26).

That's quite a few CVS items, but the smooth texture and pale color drew me in, and I deserved something nice damn it!

This stuff is great. You only get a small amount of product, but you really don't need that much. It's easily blended with a ring finger or a concealer brush, and provides even, believable coverage. I use it under my eyes, around my nose, and a little on my chin. It's pretty fab.

Go get thee some after you've had a few drinks.