26 September 2008

Highlight Colors of the Week

From left to right, all MAC Pigments

Helium, Your Ladyship, Vanilla, Blonde's Gold, Jardin Aires.

With Flash:

Without Flash:

21 September 2008

a leave of absence?

I've been away for awhile, staying at someone's house and taking care of her dogs, without internet and with a lot of drama. I had a chance to go to MAC/Sephora while I was there and will have a haul blog later. I came home with several goodies (I'm counting 8 right now, but I'm sure that's a bit on the low end) and I have a package from Sephora arriving sometime next week (yay for presents to myself for my promotion!!)

Because of the recent purchases, there will be some comparisons in the next few days. I plan to review eye creams and eyelash curlers and eyeliners...lots of eye stuff! I'm continuing my search for the perfect eyes, and there were a lot of great samples to choose from on Sephora's website. I even got to use my Beauty Insider points to get a sample that wasn't in the stores, so I'm really excited about that.

There's another trip to MAC in my future..I have enough (I think) for a Back 2 MAC exchange and I'm excited about that. As soon as I find my camera there will be hauls + tutorial + reviews.

09 September 2008

HIP vs MAC eyeliner

I just got back from Walgreens, where I was surprised to find that all HIP products were buy one get one 1/2 off. I picked up two gel eyeliners - in Midnight Blue and Eggplant - and imagine my surprise when I got home and realized that Eggplant was super close to MAC Fluidline in Ultraviolet.

I swatched them, and there was a difference.

From left - MAC Ultraviolet, HIP Eggplant, and HIP Midnight Blue.

Okay, I am absolutely in LOVE with the blue, and surprisingly, there is a difference between the two purples. I like the texture of MAC better, but I like how the HIP is flat, without a lot of shimmer. Personally, if I'm wearing a louder eyeliner color, I don't want it sparkly, on top of that. It would make a great base, though, if you're going for a dramatic smokey eye look with purples.

07 September 2008

How to clean makeup brushes/DIY cleaner by EnKore

Since I started using higer quality makeup brushes, I've always used baby shampoo to wash them on a weekly basis.  I know, I know, I should wash them more often, but the shampoo dries out my (already dry) hands, and I've noticed that, if I use it too much, it makes my brushes not soft and sort of frizzy.  I hate the idea of spending $11 for mac cleaner for 7.9 ounces of cleaner.

I was watching previous tutorials from EnKore's youtube channel when I found a really easy recipe for brush cleaner and how to clean your brushes. I did not come up with this recipe myself.  I followed EnKore's recipe, and he gets all the credit for that.  Links will be at the bottm of the entry for the videos I watched on youtube.

I was kind of hesitant at first to try the home made recipe.  It wasn't that I didn't trust his recipe, but since I recently acquired some MAC brushes, I didn't want to ruin them.  You can't have reward without risk, so I figured why not?

Here's what you need:
* Distilled or purified bottle (I used aquaf
ina, since I didn't want to have to buy a whole jug) - $1.38
* Rubbing alcohol, either 70% or 91% alcohol.  I chose 91% because it will dry faster
*Leave-in conditioner.  It *must* be the spray-in kind, not a gel or cream.  The only kind I could find was Nexus - $9.42 (I didn't want to spend that much, but I'll use it on my hair, 
* baby shampoo (I had this at home, and it came from the Dollar Store)
* Spray bottle - $0.98

* Dish detergent (preferably Palmolive, not pictured)
* A cup for mixing (white cup from home)
* 1 cup, 1/4 cup, 1tbsp measuring units (from home)
* spoon (for mixing)
* Funnel (optional)

After a trip to Wal-Mart, I spent $15.68 for the ingredients, including a roll of paper towels, because we were out.  His directions are easy to follow and took less than three minutes to mix together.  Here are his ingredients for one batch.  Because the spray bottle I bought was so big, I made two batches.

1 cup water
1/4 cup alcohol 
1/2 tbsp dish detergent
1/2 tbsp baby shampoo
1 tbsp leave-in conditioner

Combine all ingredients in a cup or container.  Stir slowly and try not to let the ingredients bubble or foam (mine foamed a little from the leave-in conditioner).  Pour the ingredients from the container into the spray bottle, using the funnel to help.  The reason I bought a spray bottle was to clean the larger brushes.  I also bought a small jar -$0.64 to use to clean the brushes.

Here's what I did.  I poured a little bit of the brush cleaner into the jar and submerged the first brush.  DO NOT adgitate!  You do not want the brush cleaner to become dirty from the shadows/blushes.  Let it sit in the cleaner for a few seconds then wipe the brush on the paper towel.  Use back and forth motions, do not go in circles!  Circle motions will damage the bristles of your brushes.  Wipe the brush on the paper towel until the excess liquid is off the brush.  Repeat until there is no more color coming from the brush.  Set brushes horizontally on a towel, do not dry vertically.

I was COMPLETELY surprised at how well the cleaner worked!  It left my brushes feeling soft and conditioned.  The liquid itself has a slightly alcohol-y smell, but it didn't dry my hands out like I thought it might.  I washed the brushes maybe an hour and a half ago and the smaller ones were dry  about 30 minutes after I washed them.  It cut through my Fluidline eyeliners like they were nothing!  I know I'm bad about cleaning my brushes on a daily basis, but I know this will improve that.

* Watch EnKore's recipe for DIY brush cleaner
* Watch EnKore's video on how to clean makeup brushes
* Watch EnKore's video on how to deep clean your brushes - should be done once a week

05 September 2008

Review - Philosophy 'Hope in a Tube'

I absolutely adore the Philosophy skincare line.  I use Purity on a daily basis, and I'm slowly working my way to only using that brand for moisturizers, facial soaps, etc.  I ran out of my eye cream today, so I was thrilled about the trip to Sephora to buy Philosophy's 'Hope in a Tube.'  

About a year ago I purchased L'Oreal's 'Age Perfect Eye Cream.'  I liked it - it glided on my skin easily, made my eyes look brighter, and lessened the severity of my under-eye circles.  It lasted forever, considering I only paid $15.99 for .5 ounces  I was happy with it, but I wanted to try something new.  For the price it wasn't bad.  What I liked about it was it firmed up my upper lids.  The skin was starting to move a bit when I put on  my eyeshadows, so I was happy it helped with this.

I washed my face about 20 minutes ago, eager to try 'Hope in a Tube.'  I didn't have to force myself to buy it, but the hefty $33.00 price tag for .5 ouncces almost made me consider buying something else. Before I bought it, I tested it on the back of my hand, and noticed the texture was a bit different than the L'Oreal cream.  It didn't seem quite as smooth.  I brought the tube home (along with a clearanced travel makeup bag and half-priced eyeshadow) and tried it out.

My first reaction was that the cream didn't smooth nearly as well over my lid as the L'Oreal cream did.  I feel like I had to use more than I would have with my previous cream.   I like that, half an hour later, it's still tacky on my eyelids.  I think that if I didn't have time (or forgot) to wear an eyeshadow base, the eye cream would work just as well.  My right eye itched, but I don't know if it's because I got the cream in there, or soap, or eyemakeup remover.  My eyes also burned, but it could have been from the same things.  I plan to re-review this in a few weeks to see if I still like it, if I notice any improvements or changes, and my all around impression

04 September 2008

Day One - The Basics, Sort of.

I love makeup.  Nothing in the world makes me feel as satisfied and happy as buying the perfect shade of blush, the right finishing powder.  When I sit at my vanity, I feel calm, and everything melts away.  I am at peace there, in the soft glow of my makeup mirror.  Here it doesn't matter what the rest of me looks like, it doesn't matter what happened at the office or how my drive home took longer than usual.

I guess that's why I started this blog.  My husband doesn't get my addiction, and few of my friends do.  I could talk about makeup all day, if I'm given the chance.  I'm trying to figure a way to worm my way into the industry, so my passion can also provide some income.  

Here's a little bit of what I plan to do with this blog. 
* Product review, product review, product review!  There's a lot of makeup out there, and if you don't know what you're looking for, it can be overwhelming!  I want to be able to help guide people to the products that will make them look their best. 
* I'm always up for product experimentation.  I'm completely open to suggestions as to products I should review for the blog (or for personal use!)
* Tutorials on how to use the products reviewed
* Pictures of products, makeup storage organization, cosmetic looks I'm pleased with

And that's just the beginning.. :)