Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beauty on a Budget Tip #2 -Vaseline

Vaseline should be in everyone's medicine cabinet, diaper bag and purse. Here are some uses for this wonder jelly:

Don't waste money buying those expensive glove treatments for hands and feet. Slather on the Vaseline, slip on some socks and gloves, then wake up to baby soft skin.

Vaseline smoothes rough patches, knees and elbows better than any body butter I've ever tried.

Vaseline is also a great lip balm. Mix in some colored mica and sweet almond oil and you've got a tinted lip gloss!

If you have dry skin, Vaseline is great for removing makeup. I don't, however, recommend keeping petroleum jelly on your face over night.

Apply Vaseline around your hair line before coloring your hair. This will prevent the dye from staining your skin.

Mix dark eye shadows with Vaseline and apply to eyes with your finger. This gives that Old Hollywood glamour look.

Got anymore ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Makeup Mondays: Unpenciled Eyeliners

I love cream, gel, powder, and liquid eyeliners. They last longer, glide on smoothly, and are easier to manipulate. "Unpenciled" eyeliners are perfect for creating shapes and effects such as cat eyes or smokey eyes. I generally use an angled liner brush for all these formulas (except liquid), but most companies have a brush specifically made for their cream/gel eyeliners. When it comes to liquid eyeliner, I prefer the foam tips as opposed to the brush applicator. It's less messy and more precise. Here are some of my favorites:

Liquid eyeliner:
Artliner (Lancome, $28)
Liquidlast Liner (M.A.C., $16.50)
Metal Eyed Liner (Too Faced, $17.50)

Cream eyeliner:
Brush On Cream Liner (Clinique, $14.50)
Ink for Eyes (Urban Decay, $22)
Aqua Cream Liner (Make Up For Ever, $20)

Gel eyeliner:
Fluidline (M.A.C., $15)
Ink Artliner (Lancome, $23.50)

Powder eyeliner:
Carbon Eye Shadow (M.A.C., $14.50)

266 Small Angle Brush (M.A.C., 19.50)
Get Bent Brush (Benefit, $16)
Smudger Brush #10 (Lancome, $24.50)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Marissa's Pick of the Week - 18 Uses for $15

It's gratifying when you find a product that exceeds your expectations at a great price. It's even better when you find one that works 18 different ways! Peach Nut Oil Liquid Soap 18-1-Uses (C.O. Bigelow, $15) is a must have in every home! I have used this wonder soap on my face, hair, and body, and I've given my children a bath in it. It's great for sensitive skin and smells so good! I've also used it to clean my leather couch and car dashboard. The oil makes the leather and vinyl soft and shiny while effectively cleaning.
C.O. Bigelow has been selling this product since 1905 in their little West Village apothecary in New York City. The main ingredient, peach kernel oil, is a fast absorbing moisturizer perfect for sensitive skin. This essential oil soothes itching and irritations such as eczema. Lavender extract is an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic that balances, soothes and heals. This added ingredient can help treat acne and balance oily skin. Since ancient times, Lavender extract has been used as a household cleaning agent. Other ingredients include glycerin to retain moisture and vitamin E for antioxidant protection.

List of uses:
  1. body wash
  2. shampoo
  3. face cleanser
  4. shave soap
  5. hand soak
  6. nail soak
  7. foot soak
  8. dish soap
  9. laundry soap
  10. floor cleaner
  11. car washing
  12. boat washing
  13. surf board wash
  14. pet baths
  15. jewelry cleaner
  16. comb and brush cleaner
  17. household cleaning
  18. carpet shampoo

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beauty on a Budget Tip #1

Baby wipes are great for removing makeup. The best ones are cotton and fragrance free. My favorite wipes are Parent's Choice Organic Baby Wipes (Walmart, around $2 for one pack or $8 for a wholesale box of 6 packs). These biodegradable wipes are made with organic cotton. If you want to "splurge" a little, Pamper's Sensitive Wipes (drugstores, around $3 for a tub of 60 or $13 for a wholesale box of 6 packs). These alcohol free cotton wipes are hypoallergenic and soothes irritated skin with chamomile.

Makeup Mondays: The Matte Movement

Remember when the cool, special makeup colors had shimmer, and matte color was the normal boring stuff? Nowadays it's the opposite. Of course shimmer and glitter and sparkle are everywhere! The girls love it! Supply and demand, right? I'd like to present a challenge to all you millennium kids: leave the shimmer behind. Don't get me wrong, I love shimmer too, but there comes a time for change. I personally think matte makeup is more sophisticated and does a better job at defining facial features. Maybe it's my inner goth, but deep merlot lips and black shadowed eyes exude seductive, mysterious and inviting. My softer side thinks matte neutrals are perfect for achieving a romantic, vintage look. The best brands I've seen for matte makeup are Make Up For Ever and M.A.C. Matte will probably be a new trend this fall, so keep a look out for limited edition matte makeup from your favorite brands.

My faves!

Eye shadows:
Carbon (MAC, $14.50) - the blackest black. I also use this as an eyeliner.
Orange (MAC $14.50) - the perfect orange.
Fuchsia (Make Up For Ever, $19)
Teddy Bear Colour Surge Eyeshadow Quad (Clinique, $25) - I wear this quad on simple days to brighten my eyes. It enhances a very naturally.

Plum (Make Up Forever, $19) - a deep burgundy
Rust (Make Up For Ever, $19) - warm nude
Pink Chocolate (Clinique, $14) - neutral warm pink
Diva (M.A.C., $14) - reddish burgundy; this is my favorite plum ever!
Viva La Glam I (M.A.C., $14) - intense cool red; %100 of the profit goes to M.A.C.'s AIDS find
Viva La Glam III (M.A.C., $14) - warm plum; %100 of the profit goes to M.A.C.'s AIDS fund
Sephora Flame (NARS, $24) - the perfect red for warm skin tones

Peach Apricot (Make Up For Ever, $19) - a light coral for a natural look
Pumpkin (Make Up For Ever, $19) -orange for bright and kind of crazy
Dusty Pink (Make Up For Ever, $19) - warm dusty pink for a natural look
Fever (M.A.C., $18.50) - Intense reddish burgundy for a vampy look
Melba (M.A.C., 18.50) - soft coral

Teint Idol Ultra (Lancome, $40) - oil free, buildable coverage, and wears for 14 hours
Perfectly Real Makeup (Clinique, $23) - long wearing, light weight, natural finish
Studio Tech (M.A.C., 29.50) - compact makeup that diffuses light and had a powder finish
Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation (Make Up For Ever, $34) - oil free, controls shine, water-resistant
Dream Matte Mousse Makeup (Maybelline, $8-$10 available at drugstores) -super matte finish, light weight, buildable coverage

Friday, August 7, 2009

Marissa's Pick of the Week! - Modern Friction

Exfoliation and Rice - Origins put 2 of my favorite things together a little piece of Heaven called Modern Friction ($37.50). This natural, oil-free facial scrub is gentle and effective showing a visible difference after the first use. Using Modern Friction 3-4 times a week brightens skin, and evens out texture and discoloration. It also helps to reduce the size of pores and the signs of aging.

Why I love Modern Friction:
The vegan formula is made without parabens, phthalates, propylene, glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petroleum, paraffin, DEA, and fragrance.
The cushy, plush consistency is made with all natural ingredients that each have a little job of its own. The rice starch gently sweeps away dead skin cells, brightens dullness and evens out skin tone. Lemon oil illuminates lack luster skin and has antiseptic benefits. This is great for oily and acne prone skin types. Comforting aloe soothes and calms inflamed skin, preventing post scrub redness. Bergamot was added to stimulate your senses, but it also has the ability to fade scars and marks. Peppermint, a natural stress reliever, brightens dull skin, helps balance oiliness, stimulates blood circulation, and keeps you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The icing on the cake...recycled packaging!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brand Spotlight: Make Up Forever

In the magical year of 1984, the Make Up For Ever cosmetic line was created by sculptor and painter, Dany Sanz. Since the 1970s, Dany's Parisian Makeup Academy has taught makeup application that range from basic to advanced stage effects. Because of the quality of her makeup formulas and special techniques, her services as a makeup artist were high in demand. Later, she was able to create a line of quality cosmetics available to the public.

Why I LOVE this brand:
My career fantasy is to be a makeup artist for music artists and bands. I love to be creative and to transform people. Make Up Forever is perfect for photo shoots and television because they offer their HD Generation collection. This line of complexion perfection (includes foundation, primer, concealer and powder) makes skin look flawless on camera no matter how close up your close-up is. They also provide a large selection of matte colors for eyes, face and lips.
Make Up For Ever is also perfect for live gigs thanks to their long lasting, highly pigmented formulas. They carry the widest selection of waterproof cosmetics I've ever seen. Their Face and Body Liquid Makeup ($38) is a super light weight water-based gel is long lasting and waterproof. Their Aqua eyes eyeliner ($17) comes in 25 shades, Aqua Creamliner ($20) has 6 shades. Tested by professional synchronized swimmers, Pro Waterproof Eyeliner is only available in black at Make Up For Ever boutiques. To top it off, (as if their makeup wasn't awesome enough already) Make Up For Ever carries a sealer for face and eyes.
All fantasies aside, I love Make Up For Ever because of the quality and selection. My favorite formulas of makeup to use are cream, gel and liquid. Major department store brands only offer a few colors of these textures. With Make Up For Ever, I don't have to bounce around from counter to counter to get every color of cream shadow I want.
Here is a list of my favorite Make Up For Ever products:




Monday, August 3, 2009

Makeup Mondays: Concealers

Concealer; a girl's best friend. A great concealer can hide acne, scars, redness and darkness. There are so many choose from. What color? What formula? What brand? Stick, wand or cream? Why is this one green? Every pesky imperfection has a concealer made just for it.
Let's start with the basics. Aside from the hundreds of flesh tone colored concealers, there is also green, blue, and yellow. On a color wheel, the colors that are directly across from each other cancel each other out.

You can see that green neutralizes red, blue cancels out yellow, and yellow cuts purple. Knowing what color you need is the first step to choosing your concealer. In most cases, a flesh tone is desired to hide mild discoloration, but corrective concealing will require green, blue or yellow for the best results. I suggest using a corrective color with a flesh tone on top.
Choosing a flesh tone concealer is where most people have confusion. It's a common misconception that the lighter the concealer is, the better it will be at hiding discoloration. I can usually see where the concealer is on a face, and while it does hide the discoloration, it also shows where they are hiding it. Just remember this: You wear foundation to even your skin tone. You wouldn't pick a shade lighter or darker than your natural skin or your neck would be a different color. Why would you choose a concealer that makes light or dark spots on your face? You should only go 2 shades max lighter than your skin. If it's still not a good enough coverage, then you need a corrective shade of green, yellow or blue.
Concealing your eye area is a little different than hiding a blemish or sunspot. The eye area is more sensitive and the skin is less dense. It's hard to brighten the eye area without caking on
the makeup. Of course, to neutralize red eyelids, use a yellow concealer like Lemon Aid (Benefit, $20). Something that isn't shown on the color wheel is the magic of pink. I used to use yellow to brighten my dark circles and it always looked unnatural. Then I discovered pink eye brighteners. They do a much better job of cutting the blue and purple under my eyes than yellow ever did. It looks natural and
smooth. My favorite eye brightening concealer is Maquicomplet in the shade, "Brightener" (Lancome, $27.50). Just a tiny amount instantly and naturally brightens the inner corners and dark circles under my eyes. If you have fine lines and wrinkles, patting concealer over it (even if you use a concealer brush) will make the wrinkles stand out more. That why I use Ooh La Lift (Benefit, $22). This remarkable miracle in a tube brightens darkness without giving the
appearance of raccoon eyes or enhancing wrinkles. This cream, although the consistency is more of a liquid, has light reflecting pigments and cell protecting raspberry extract. If I've had a good night's sleep, Ooh La Lift is all I wear. On a normal day, I will apply Maquicomplet on the inner corners and under my eyes keeping it below my fine lines. I follow with Ooh La Lift on top of the Maquicomplet, as well as directly under my lash line. Finish with a loose powder to set.

Concealing different things calls for different formulas. For acne, you want a concealer with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree. My
favorite is Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer (Clinique, $13.50). It comes in 3 flesh tone shades and green. For age and sun spots, birth marks and scars, a brightening flesh tone concealer would be best. Look for a radiant finish concealer like Airbrush Concealer (Clinique, $19.50) so light will deflect and scatter darkness. Airbrush Concealer is also great for under the eyes and as a flesh tone topper to corrective colored concealers.
As for applying concealer, I like to pat it on with my index finger after putting on my foundation. The ring finger gives the least amount of pressure, so it is ideal to apply anything to the eye area with it. After applying to target areas, smooth over with a concealer brush. Don't stroke or it may look streaky. Just pat gently until it blends flawlessly with your foundation. If you use a powder foundation, apply your concealer first. Finish with a loose powder to set your makeup.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Skincare Safety for the Pregnant Ones

Swollen ankles, blistering back pain, restless nights, and bad skin. If it weren't for the over ecstatic joy in my heart, I would've have never gone out in public. The best attribute to my physiology was that glow. No, it's not a myth. Pregnant women actually glow. Okay...HAPPY pregnant women glow. Glowing made it easier to look in the mirror despite the acne and bruised bags under my eyes. I wish I knew about skincare what I know now. I knew what I needed to avoid (salicylic acid, retinol, most herbs), but I didn't know what I could use instead.

The following information is simply suggestive and based on personal experience. While these ingredients are usually topically safe, I am not a doctor so please consult yours for more specific details and recommendations.

What to stay away from and why:

Salicylic Acid -
What it does: In skin care products, this ingredient is added because it is strong enough to penetrate the skin's natural oils and clean out pores, exfoliate dead skin cells more proficiently than an abrasive, and reduce redness and inflammation.
Why to stay away from it: Being a form of aspirin, high doses can cause birth defects and complications. Most doctors will give the okay to use as a topical treatment as in face toners and cleansers. However, most first time mommies to be will take the extra precaution to avoid this ingredient.
What to look for on the label: Sometimes salicylic acid will be identified as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) on the list of ingredients
Substitutes: Tea tree oil, witch hazel, patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), and benzoyl peroxide are great for oily and acne prone skin. Use a manual exfoliant (facial scrubs, buffing bars) 3-5 times a week to keep skin uncongested.

What it does: A common ingredient in anti-aging skincare products, retinoids speed up cell renewal and prevent the destruction of collagen. In other words, super rapid exfoliation guarantees that your newest brightest skin is always at the surface, and protected collagen slows down the inevitable forming of wrinkles.
Why to stay away from it: In large doses, this form of vitamin A can cause birth defects and complications. Some doctors will give the okay to use retinol in over the counter products that contain retinol.
What to look for on the label: retinal, retinoid, retinyl, retin-A, Retinoic acid, retinyl ester, adapelene, tretinoin, Tazarotene, Retinyl palmitate, and Retinyl linoleate
Substitutes: Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Use an spf of at least 15 to keep your skin protected from sun damage. Use a manual exfoliant 3-5 times a week. Great anti aging ingredients include; beta carotene, vitamin a, zinc, vitamin e, neroli oil, green tea, rose hip, and patchouli (Pogostemon cablin).

Aloe Vera-
What it does: Medicinal Aloe is used to soothe cuts and burns. Aloe Vera extracts have antibacterial and anti fungal qualities to help speed up the healing process. In skin care, aloe vera is used to moisturize as well as kill acne causing bacteria.
Why to stay away from it: This strong purgative can cause serious birth defects including (although not proven) abortion. Topicals are fairly safe in moderation, but DEFINITELY ABSTAIN FROM ALOE VERA JUICE.
What to look for on the label: aloe barbadensis, curacao aloe and lily of the desert
Substitutes: rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, peroxide, tea tree oil, honey, grapefruit seed extract pineapple and eucalyptus

What it does: With vitamin E as a natural component, soy protects skin from free radicals, boosts collagen production and is an anti inflammatory. Skin appears brighter, more even toned and more radiant.
Why to stay away from it: Soy will not cause birth defects or complications, but it does make cases of melasma worse. Melasma, also known as the "Mask of pregnancy," is identified by dark discoloration of the skin. It usually goes untreated until post delivery due to the use of retinoids.
What to look for on the label: Lethicin, Phosphatidylcholine, soya, soya bean, glycine
Substitutes: If you have melasma, just avoid soy all together. Other that that, it's ok to use. Rice and milk are other great ingredients that help with radience and exfoliation.