Duos to Love

It's a dreary, grey day in New York and I've got some matching grey eye shadow to go with it. Oh, the wonders of makeup. Amazing how a little dab here and there helps you ease into the mood of the day. Eye shadow is fun and helpful that way, and I recently found 2 extremely versatile and loveable duos that would work well on most skin tones.

NARS Duo Eye Shadow (Brazil) - I love this thing. It is one of the few products about which I have no economic-value doubts. It lives outside of my makeup drawer and has a spot reserved in my travel bag. With the most perfect, basic bronze and an almost metallic, slightly deep pink/mauve, I don't know how anyone can go wrong with this duo. The NARS description - "warm sand pearl/rose pearl"is pretty accurate once on the skin. It's fool-proof for any makeup "look" or outfit, any season, day or night. All I have to say is - get it. $32.00 @ Sephora

elf Duo Eye Shadow Cream (Pecan) - You know me - at 1 dollar, I would force myself to like just about anything. But with this friendly little pot, it wasn't hard. The Duo Eye Shadow Cream has a bronzey-brownie shade and a shell pink. The pink is a great highlighter, and I like the brown shade to dab over the lids. $1 @ elf cosmetics

Although the shades in each of these duos are different, they are equally versatile and easy-to-use. Neither is very overly-pigmented, so a good base or primer definitely helps, but that's the beauty of both. Very "me" kind of makeup and for once, extremely satisfied with both. With my Shady Lady Eye Shadow Palette from TheBalm, the possiblities are endless.


Be Jane, Be Happy!

My recent tinted moisturizer experiments included the Jane Be Pure Aquaceuticals Sheer Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30. Luckily, a promotion at the time allowed me to experiment with some other products from this new line of all-natural, organic, and paraben-free makeup from Jane Cosmetics.

The first product that I really love but wish I had in a different shade - the Agua Blushtix. There is a lot of product in this twist-up creme blush, and worth every penny on that front. If you were thinking about trying Clinique Blushwear Creamstick, I'd experiment with this first. The formula also isn't at all greasy or chalky. I chose Shimmering Brown (the other 2 available shades are Shimmering Peach and Shimmering Pink) because I thought it might be interesting for summer and am already involved with a lovely pink creme blush from Stila. Unfortunately, the color doesn't show up on me too well, but it does give a nice, light, bronzey glow that is not overwhelming or sparkly. ~$8.00

Next up were 2 AguaShimmer Eye Shadow quads. The magnetic, cardboard case (mirror inside) reveal 4 sheer, pretty neutrals for spring (Bamboo pictured here). I have Reef and Sandstorm, and think they are so cute and versatile. Pick one up to keep in your makeup bag! ~$6.00

I've seen these mostly at Rite Aid, but if this makes you super-excited, you can also purchase them online here. What did I say about drugstores? An American makeup dream! Enjoy...


Good Gloss

Oh, how difficult it can be to find one that does not glue hair to your lips or make you look like you just ate a lot of fried chicken. My current favorites for dress-up are ck Calvin Klein Delicious Pout Flavored Lip Gloss in Pastel Gold and MAC Lip Gelee in Saphoric. Milani Crystal Lip Gloss in Taboo is a reliable everyday gloss but I have not gone near it in ages. Partly because I don't wear gloss to the office, and partly because I've been moving away from pink browns with blue undertones and leaning towards peach. By some twisted logic, these two reasons encouraged me to find a better everyday gloss. Read - I'm bored.

I gave Revlon Colorstay Mineral Lip Glaze in Forever Fig a try and found exactly that. The color is a natural, sheer peachy/pink, and the formula is far more moisturizing than I expected. Nice shimmer, but not over-the-top. A very mature and versatile gloss. Give it a try if you want something reliable to toss into your bag.

$7 @ Drugstores


Favorite Liquid Eye Liner

I promised I would report back if I dropped my Calvin Klein and other liner pens and stuck with L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black - so I am.

This is seriously the best liquid eye liner I have ever used. It's not like most other "felt" tips - those are usually more like the pen/marker liners. This tip doesn't have a specific shape, and because it is flexible (it is a tiny nubby little thing at the end of a short wand) it lets you draw clean, thicker lines across the upper lash line or dig a little deeper into the nooks and crannies of the lashes for finer, precise definition.

I wish they had it in more colors, and a waterproof formula, for the spring/summer. Can you believe this is actually a repurchase? I can't either, but I'm happy to put my liner woes to rest.

Tinted Lip Balms & Luscious Lips

Really, it is that easy. I'm a lipstick lover, but I also have perennially dry lips, a condition made worse by the recent icy weather in the Northeast. So I had stopped using some of my neutral lipsticks and was waltzing into work with a pretty boring, bare lip. Luckily, a lunchtime trip to the drugstore resulted in an amazing find - Neutrogena Moisture Shine Tinted Lip Balm.

I love this little gray tube of moisturizing goodness because it makes me feel at once young and simple, but grownup. The practicality of tinted lip balm is a no-brainer, but Neutrogena did a particularly good job with these pretty, sheer shades - these are not the Lip Smackers of your teenagehood. I have a couple each in Clean (mauve), Pure (berry pink), Sunny (bronze), and Warm (nude bronze). There was an amazing sale on them and I could not bear the thought that this might mean the product was being discontinued.

If that does end up beign the case, however, I'll likely move onto these alternatives: Jane Cosmetics Be Pure Mineral Lip Balm and Tarte Lip Sheers Tinted Lip Balm.

While it most certainly doesn't feel like spring here, hopefully lightening up the makeup with these babies (and avoiding the dreaded chapped lip) will make it so.

Tinted Moisturizer Trials #2 & #3: Clinique Almost Makeup vs. Jane Be Pure Aguaceuticals

Experiments just keep falling into my lap lately, especially when it comes to tinted moisturizers. Here are my latest findings:

Trial #2: Clinique Almost Makeup, SPF 15 - I really wanted to like this more because it was about 20 bucks. Sadly, it could not nudge my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer off the counter. Clinique has 2 products that are comparable to a regular tinted moisturizer - the Almost Makeup SPF 15 foundation, and the Moisture Sheer Tint SPF 15 (which I plan to try as well). So while its not exactly a tinted moisturizer, if you're interested in trying something with a little bit more coverage, this would be a good alternative. But not for me, for the simple reason that the shade match was not great. I tried Deep, which is surprisingly the darkest shade Clinique offers in this range of 6 shades. I have the LM moisturizer in Fawn, which is actually number 4 in a range of 7 shades. So it is not surprising that the Clinique didn't match well with my skin. It also had a more matte, "makeup-y" finish which definitely didn't feel like "almost makeup" to me. I prefer the more natural glow and soft finish of the LM. This one was a no-go for me.

Trial #3: Jane Be Pure Aguaceuticals Sheer Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30. Did I dare try a drugstore tinted moisturizer other than the snobby Neutrogena? You bet. I saw the clean and simple packaging, of this new "organic beauty" line from Jane Cosmetics (read about it here) and was immediately ensnared by phrases like "paraben-free" - not to mention a buy-one-get-one-free sale. Haha. But no, really, I was intrigued by the new line and since it is a drugstore cult favorite, I had to try it. Hey, we're in a recession - good drugstore finds will be a blessing for many downgrading from Sephora.

This is a great product and completely delivers - and not just for a product that is under $10. I found it to be better than Neutrogena's in many respects - it is slightly creamier, feels more like a moisturizer, and is more comparable to the LM. It also does a better job of smoothing out the skin a bit before applying any other makeup. In fact, it is everything I thought Clinique Almost Makeup would be. Better for colder, drier weather and in smaller portions as a foundation. Color match is somewhere between Neutrogena & LM's. Additionally, it has a higher SPF than Clinique Almost Makeup (Neutrogena & LM are both also SPF 30). There are 4 color options, but the darkest one (Medium-Tan) worked well for me - highly recommend this!

template by suckmylolly.com