March 28, 2011

Top Knot: Go Big or Go Home

Check out my bouffant top knot! Go BIG or go HOME, right?

Sometimes a fun hairstyle makes me stand straighter and walk taller. In this case, the hairstyle itself gave me a couple of more inches!

Creating this look was so much more simple than I thought:

1. Smooth hair into a very high ponytail. I like to turn my head upside down to make sure that the back is smooth and straight. Use hairspray to keep fly-aways in check and some Moroccan Oil to put the shine back in there.

2. Using a boar bristle brush, or teasing comb, get to ratting! Tease the heck outta that pony tail. The goal is to look like your ponytail needs it's own zip code! Bigger IS better!!

3. Smooth down the outside layers of the tail with your boar bristle brush being careful not to brush out the rat. Grip the the ponytail ends, and start to twist into a loose bun.

4. Pin where necessary and then shellac that baby!

One great tip I have for creating a nice round shape is to use the pointed end of a comb or brush to pull and shape the hair. Just stick the pointed end into the bun and lift up gently to mold it.

Pro Tip: An oval shape top knot is more flattering than round, so go egg-static with your shape!

March 25, 2011

Birchbox Diaries - Anyone Tried Pomega5?

When I received my very first Birchbox this month I let out a little squeal. The concept is awesome, get small samples of high end products to try. Like it? Buy it. Hate it? You are only out 10.00 and with an average of five samples per box, you're destined to at LEAST get your money's worth.

This month was a delayed "hooray...let me explain...

In the box was a sample of these: Pomega5 Revitalizing Concentrate

A transformational experience for the skin and senses, Daily Revitalizing Concentrate captures the essential life force of Omega 5 in its purest and most concentrated form. Each pearl-like ampule contains over 60% of this antioxidant-laden ingredient, along with calendula, rosehip, and jojoba oils to deliver vital nutrients, protect and restore life to lackluster skin. If you ever doubted the existence of miracles, this rejuvenating Omega blend will turn you into a believer.
Transformational experience huh? Those sound like Charlie Sheen words, maybe there's tiger blood in them too! But, seriously, the ingredients seemed alright, lots of yummy for your tummy, er uh skin stuff:

Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Verbena Officinalis (Vervain) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl Benzoate*.

On average? I hate capsule packaging. Something about it SCREAMS pretentious to me and I steer far and away from them. But free capsules? Well...

They sat on my vanity for a solid week without even giving them a second look. Then I decided, "well I paid for them, I might as well give them a try so I can throw them away in good faith." o. m. g.

These little capsules contain bits of joy and life in their tiny shell packaging. Seriously!

You twist off the top and squeeze the "concentrate" into your hand. Pat all over you face (after washed and dried of course) and VOILA! Instant moisture and softness that lasts. I was actually shocked (and it takes a lot) to touch my face 20 minutes after my first application and still feel that buttery softness that occurred immediately after rubbing it in.

I'm in love. I have since rushed out to buy a full size container of them, and here's the but...they're over 1.00 per capsule. 1.60 each to be exact. Unless there is unicorn oil or something in these babies, I don't know that I can swallow 1.60 per application. They're not big enough to split over two days either, or even two applications (day/night). So 1.60 per application is what'cha get...

Is their yummy skin-nourishing goodness really so special as to justify cost? Only time will tell. But for now, I have a 30 day supply :)

Here's whats in them and where to find em:

Pomegranate Seed Oil: Cold-pressed from the seeds within the juice-filled arils. Rich in rare Omega 5 essential fatty acid. Potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, promotes cell renewal, stimulates collagen production, protects against sun damage, reduces redness, heals irritations.

Jojoba Oil: Obtained from the crushed bean of the jojoba shrub. Rich in Omega 9. Antioxidant, unclogs pores, conditions, moisturizes, softens, reduces wrinkles and stretch marks, lightens.

Calendula Oil: Rich in Omegas 3 and 6. Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, heals wounds and burns, soothes pain, promotes cellular regeneration, treats acne and irritated skin. Rosehip Oil: Extracted from the seeds of the rose plant. Rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and vitamin A. Antioxidant, improves skin elasticity, rejuvenates, moisturizes, reduces scars, wrinkles and age spots, soothes and softens. Grapefruit Oil: Essential oil distilled from the grapefruit peel. Anti-bacterial, treats oily skin and acne, detoxifies, tones, combats depression, headaches and stress, energizes.

Purchase online at the Pomega5 website. 30 capsules for 48.00

March 20, 2011

A Shoe Love Affair

I'm having a love affair with these babies. I'm picturing black tights to make this winter appropriate during these last few cold weeks, and then in the summer? Bright pink toes make the perfect accompaniment. what'cha think?

Urban Outfitters - Jeffrey Campbell Platform Wedge Hill

March 17, 2011

Crackle Polish: yay or nay?

What do you think: Crackle Nails - are they a yay or nay?

Nails of the day: Color Club (brightest pink I could find) with the China Glaze crackle in Purple

Bronzer Breakdown

From Left:

MAC contour powder in Bone Beige

Physician's Formula Bronzer in Light Bronze

Rimmel Matte Bronze in Sunlit

MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Medium Dark

These are the bronzers currently cycling in my collection. My quick breakdown is as follows:

MAC Bone Beige:

My go to for cheek contour. It's not too muddy brown (hello benefit Hoola) for my pale skin, blends well and applies in layers from soft to dramatic. Biggest hit against the product is that it is a pro MAC product and can only be found at the pro MAC stores.

Physician's Formula Bronzer in Light Bronze:

Since taking these pictures, I've actually removed this from my collection. It was more of a light blush than a bronzer, and didn't give the hollows of my cheeks the depth I needed for the contoured look

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit:

LOVE this drugstore product. It's a lot of product for just a few dollars and works great to "sun me up" when I feel like getting my bronze on. It pulls a little more to the orange side, rather than brown, but never makes me look like an oompa loompa. I've been using this a lot of bridal clients who want more of a warm glow for their winter weddings.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Dark:

This one will quickly be discarded from my collection. Upon first application it's the perfect color. Toasty and warm, I just love it. Flash forward three hours to when it's oxidized on my skin and I do look like a fake tan gone wrong.

That said, the MSFs and I don't seem to get along (save the blushes which I LOVE!). I noticed that my medium light face powders turns dark and funky on me too.

From Left: MAC Bone Beige, Physician's Formula Light Bronze,

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit, MAC MSF in Medium Dark

From Left: MAC Bone Beige, Physician's Formula Light Bronze,

Rimmel Bronze in Sunlit, MAC MSF in Medium Dark

March 4, 2011

Illamasqua never fails for Inspiration: Toxic Nature

Illamasqua already holds the coveted spot of my favorite blush products; their texture and pigmentation made me a huge fan and their intense lip glosses have long been on my "want" list. In fact, every product I have purchased from them (hello nail polish) has completely exceeded my expectations.

Another thing I can always count on from them is to inspire my creativity and remind me how makeup can push the boundaries of artistic imagery. Their two latest collection promo pictures, Toxic Nature and Throb, are a perfect examples of that.
When I saw these, I actually said "WOW" out loud. Not only am I baffled by how they come up with these images, but the application is so perfectly precise without being short, I'm stunned. Here ya go, take a gander....

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Collection for Spring/Summer 2011

Pictures courtesy of Temptalia, see the full write up of the collection here

Illamasqua Throb Collection

Pictures courtesy of Temptalia, see the full write up of the collection here

March 1, 2011

Happiness is...

Owning all but ONE color of the Urban Decay 24/7 liners

(missing color: 1999)

My first, home made, lippy palette.

Top row is random favorites (MAC, Rimmel, Revlon)

Bottom is the new Bobbi Brown Rich Lip colors (LOVE!)

Dupe it Up: MAC Sublime Culture

Top: Rimmel Exaggerate Liner in Addiction $4-5

Bottom: MAC Creamstick liner in Sublime Culture $17.50

Top:Rimmel; Bottom: MAC

While there is no doubt that MAC puts out a good liner in a large variety of shades and textures (creamsticks vs pencils), sometimes the high prices make close my wallet and run the other direction.

The glory of a bad economy right? We are walking away from the high brow and looking for more affordable options. In this case, my friends, we've struck gold.

Enter Rimmel Automatic Liner for 4-dollars and change at your local drugstore...

Rimmel left, MAC right

FIVE DOLLARS? Huzzah to the cheaper alternative.

The Nitty Gritty:

The Rimmel liner is a little bit larger at the point, which can make it slightly more challenging to get the thin, precise, line you may be looking for and the texture is less creamy than it's more expensive cousin. However, the product is more available since you can find it at any drugstore carrying Rimmel products and it's price point more than makes up for it's different texture.

As a color comparison, the two are pretty spot on. If I HAD to nit pick I would say that Sublime Culture is a pinch more peach whereas Addiction pulls a pinch more pink, but the difference is hardly noticeable at glance.

Bottom Line:

Run, don't walk, to replace your more expensive MAC Sublime Culture for it's cheaper relative, Rimmel Exaggerate Liner in Addiction and use the extra cash to buy yourself a coffee, cause "ya done good kid".