Happy Anniversary – Product Reviews!

Happy anniversary! Of what you ask? It’s been one month since my last post, duh. In celebration of my negligence, I’d like to share some product insight I’ve gained as of late.

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I’ve been using these guys (foundation, concealer, under eye concealer) from Revlon for a while now and I can confidently say they’re… adequate. The coverage is good for people like me who need more coverage, but I’m not crazy about the finish or the fact that the foundation seems to oxidize like two shades darker over time. I don’t even use the foundation by itself, I mix it (like 50/50) with a really light shade. This is also after making sure that I went a little lighter than the Loreal True Match shade I used last. Bottom line, it’s meh, and I’m debating trying out Urban Decay’s foundations after I use this up (yes, I’m the type of person who uses up a product I’m not even a big fan of before I buy something new – poor people problems).

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Next, we get into the Christmas presents. While we’re already past Valentine’s Day, at least you know I’ve had plenty of time to use these things. I got the Sigma Dry ‘n Shape, which is the bomb. The only downside is you definitely can’t wash all of your brushes at once, which I like to do, but I guess it’s good for washing your most-used ones at once. It does what it says though – it perfectly dries and shapes your brushes, better than just leaving them on a towel all night. No more frayed bristles or 8 hour dry times ladies!

I also got the Sigma Spa Glove in black. Not gonna lie, this isn’t something I probably would have spent money on on my own, but it does save your hands from getting dried out and prune-y and makes it a lot easier to wash your brushes thoroughly. I just think it’s more of a luxury item that you can do without, but if you hate washing your brushes, this might make it more fun.

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Two presents in one picture: Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold Brows Kit, and a TEN, yes TEN pack of mini OPI nail polishes. Can I just…before we get to the brows, I just need to say this pack of ten OPI colors is PERF SMURF if you’re like me and don’t want to spend $10 on nail polish that will dry out before you use all of it. I love the colors that came in it, I love the size, I love how easy OPI polishes go on, ugh. Love.

Okay, brows. I was using Bare Minerals brow products before and I think Anastasia is a step up. The Bare Minerals brow powder is loose, and I’m liking the powder compact with two shades for more dimension. The double-ended brush is nice, although the Bare Minerals brush is a little stiffer and denser, ALTHOUGH you don’t have the spoolie end on that one. The ABH brow gel is lovely; with Bare Minerals, mine was useless for a while because it dried out, but when it was new I felt like so much gel came out on the brush and then it didn’t really lock in your eyebrows. With the ABH gel, the wand and the tube have a magical relationship of understanding so that the wand has just the right amount of gel when you take it out. 5 unicorn horns out of 5.

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Lorac Pro Palette! (said in Oprah voice) Loving it. This is competing against my Naked 2 Palette and they are neck and neck. I’ve been playing with the Lorac Pro more though to try out all the colors and I loooove them. I gotta admit, there are a couple colors in the UD Naked 2 that I rarely touch, but with the Lorac Pro I can easily use all of them. Even that blue-ish grey-ish color in the bottom right. It also comes with Lorac shadow primer, which works wonderfully, so there’s another point for Lorac. Naked gets a point for including a double-ended brush though, and another point for the plastic case rather than the papery-cardboardy Lorac one. But overall, the shadows are the bomb-dot-com as far as color and pigmentation.

IMG_5579Last but definitely not least is Living proof, as a whole brand I guess. I got these three products for Christmas (PHD shampoo/conditioner, and texture mist), but I’ve also used two others from the line, and really like everything. I’m all about that sulfate-free life, and trying to protect my hair that I need to blow dry every time I wash it. I can get away with washing it every other day before I get too greasy to handle, but then on day two I need to straighten it and it just seems like my hair cut requires a lot of styling to look halfway decent. Anyway, if celebrities help sell things, and you happen to be a Jennifer Aniston fan, she created this line. And, according to the Ulta salesperson, it’s the only line they carry that uses science (opens eyes wide and waggles fingers for effect) to treat your hair. SCIENCE. (You can get actual info on this from their website.) Basically I just wanted something that actually strengthened and protected my hair for reals and I chose the most expensive shiz out there, but it does what it says, I gotta say.

Alright guys, hopefully you got some needed information here, or maybe you just wanted some light reading material while you avoided doing your taxes. I for one need to finish doing my taxes, so it’s time to go. Peace out!

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Random Thought #13

Is it just me or was 2014 the year of the eyebrows?  I swear it was all about eyebrows in the makeup world. I just watched a video from “Makeup Game on Point” and she was talking about how we can say goodbye to super faded, super defined, super highlighted, and super contoured eyebrows. If this is the consensus I am on board, because the nonstop Instagram pictures of “super brows” is getting a little old in my book. Who’s really walking around with those on the reg?

Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

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Just a Little Yummy

I really felt the need to share this new little creation from my kitchen. I regularly eat this tuna salad-type mixture on it’s own, but something on Pinterest inspired me to spice it up for myself.

Boop, hello open-faced sandwich. (That’s what you’d call it right?)

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Maybe it doesn’t look amazing, but I freakin’ love tomatoes and an excuse to put something on bread. The cucumber added some extra crunch too. And TBH, this organic bread I randomly picked up at Whole Foods is the bomb dot com, even though I ended up spending way too much on groceries last week.

To make my easy tuna mixture, I take a can (I use the larger cans of tuna – 22 grams of protein!!) and like a squirt of mayo, if that was an official measurement. I add a small pinch of cumin and a big pinch of dill, and mix that up. Like I said, I’ve been eating that by itself for a while but now my life has been upgraded.

Toast some bread, slice some cucumber and a Roma tomato, and you have yourself the perfect post-workout munchie. Makes you forget all about the protein shake you just made yourself chug. Plus, I realized having a cucumber and a couple tomatoes added to my grocery list each week is only costing a couple bucks. Worth it!

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Disappearances and Licensing

Yes, I’m still alive. Just randomly disappearing as usual. It’s hard to keep up guys; I just finished my third day at my new job in a salon/spa as an esthetician, and am waiting to hear back after an interview for a makeup artist position on a bridal team. (Exciting!) I’m ALSO preparing to take my esthetics licensing test SIGNIFICANTLY earlier than expected. I’ve been over here leisurely living life and trying to learn the new product line at work when I was told, “haha jk your test is next week!” I’m sure that’s what the website would have said if it could talk, but yeah, I picked the location closest to me and saw the dates available and the latest was December 19th. The 18th just happens to work out better for me because I don’t have work the day before, so I can take it after a day off rather than after having closed at work the night before.

10 days people, 10 days. To be honest I’d rather get it over with and be focused on studying for that time rather than have it be a month away; more room for procrastination and less motivation to stay focused. Plus, it’s closer to the time I was actually in school and the information is still fresh in my mind. But seriously, I need to go get my study materials out. Sorry for the continued negligence, but as any deadbeat parent will tell you, I’ll definitely be back for Christmas. Promise.

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Update: Getting out into the Real World

A little update here… I graduated from my esthetics program and got a job offer last week! The job offer is in a salon/spa near me that I think would be a really good fit, although getting comfortable with a totally new skincare line will be interesting. After working with Bioelements in school and getting certified in PCA Skin, and seeing their effectiveness, I’m definitely biased against other lines. The owner raved about the line they use though, and I’m hoping I can learn everything about it and enjoy using it as well.

I’m also hoping to keep doing makeup on a more regular basis, and actually applied for another position doing bridal makeup. I feel like bridal/special occasion makeup and that clientele is the type that’s most appealing to me, and I would love to do more work in that area.

Overall I’m just happy to finally be done with school and able to start my career, even while I’m “license pending” until January. I can’t wait to see where everything goes!

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Sharing is Caring: Hooded Eyes Makeup – Do’s and Don’ts

I love this video from Stephanie Lange because she does such a good job of explaining what to do and what not to do when working on yourself or a client who has hooded eyelids. I always remember a college roommate saying she liked my eye makeup and asking me to do hers the same way, and then when I started to do it, I realized I couldn’t do it the same way because her eyelids were completely hooded. I’ve also tried to copy a makeup tutorial in the past and then realized I can’t do it the same way because my eyes are slightly hooded. So, I’ve outlined the key points below for a quick overview of what Stephanie suggests.

(FYI, know that your actual eyelid is called the “mobile lid,” while the hood is the skin that covers the mobile lid. People with hooded eyes have skin that covers the mobile lid when looking straight on, with varying degrees of “hoodedness.”)

  1. Rather than applying eyeshadow to the mobile lid only, you want to blend it up over the hood, to create the illusion of a visible crease. (The real crease on hooded eyes is hidden under the hooded skin, if that makes sense.)
  1. Choose matte rather than shimmery or satin colors to go on your lid and hood. Using shimmery colors on the hood will emphasize the hood because they attract light, while using matte colors will push the hood back and create the illusion that the area is receding.
  1. Avoid winged liner or adapt it to suite the hooded eye. Winged liner, the way we typically see it done, makes the eye look even more hooded because all you see is the liner on the mobile lid. This emphasizes how limited the space is on the mobile lid. Instead, you can apply eyeliner to the water line only (or, if you’re really set on winged liner, search for adaptations for hooded eyes; I’ve found a couple).
  1. Apply highlighter only a small area right next to the brow without bringing it down too far. If you apply a highlighting color to too large of an area, it will literally be highlighting the hoodedness of the eye.
  1. Keep the top and bottom lids balanced. Applying too much liner or dark eyeshadow on the bottom compared the top will drag the eyes down and make them look droopy. Really this applies to any type of eyes or level of hoodedness.
  1. No matter how hooded the lids are, use a volumizing mascara because it will help to open up the eyes. Avoiding mascara when the hood comes up to or almost covers the eyelashes won’t do the eyes any favors.

That’s it! Check out the actual video for a really good visual on the do’s and don’ts, and find other helpful videos from Stephanie on her YouTube channel here.

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Random Thought #12

Changing Siri’s voice to United Kingdom English was the best decision I’ve made since quitting my office job to go into esthetics.

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Graduation is Approaching!

Guys… I’m graduating from my esthetics program in a week. I passed my final hands-on and written exams with A’s and all I have to do is finish out my hours and hand in a giant binder of assignments (which I’m currently procrastinating on but mostly done with). I can’t wait to put this education to use and get back to making money! I have a few different options I’m looking into for jobs, and also want to do more makeup on a freelance basis, but I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll have something soon. Now that my testing is done, I just want to get my binder assignments squared away and am excited to not be working for free anymore (once I’m not at school…my motivation to take clients here has dropped since I finished my sign-offs two weeks ago!). Obviously practice is always a good thing, but you know… I’m ready to move on.

Clearly I haven’t been sticking to my claims of posting more consistently, because I keep thinking things are about to slow down and then they don’t. But I’ll get there… hopefully.

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Random Thought #11

You know how when you get a coffee at some places (the types of places where you literally order “a coffee” and not a venti triple espresso drip skim mocha whatever) and they ask, “room for cream?”

Well when you go to the movie theater and get popcorn they should ask, “room for butter?” because come on, I need room to butter, shake, and butter again without making a mess all over the condiment counter.

Maybe if someone had noticed the effort I made last night to clean up after myself at said counter, they would have been inspired to enact a policy change.

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“Tanned Skin is Damaged Skin”

Since I’ve been in an esthetics program I’ve realized just how bad certain things are for your skin, including UV light exposure. As a white girl who knows a lot of other white girls, I know how crazy people can get with their tanning beds and time out in the sun. For myself, I used to enjoy laying out in the sun in the summer. I was never into tanning beds except for one winter where I signed up for some tan time because I was desperate to cure my cold weather blues. (Those warm fuzzies you get are definitely a pick me up!) Either way, very bad for the skin. If you think you’re immune to skin cancer, you’re not, and if you’re not worried about turning into a wrinkly prune, you should be. I guarantee you if you don’t already see fine lines creeping in, they’re just under the surface along with hyperpigmentation.

The Department of Health and Human Services came out with a press release this summer which reported that rates of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) are increasing, and over the past 30 years, the number of people who had skin cancer was higher than the number of people who had all other types of cancer  – combined. Contributing to this is the fact that one out of three white women between 16 and 25 tans indoors every year. That’s not to say that only white women are at risk or are engaging in risky behavior with the sun, because it can happen to anyone, but it seems like people take the health of their skin for granted.

Acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H. said that “tanned skin is damaged skin, and we need to shatter the myth that tanned skin is a sign of health.” This seems like a huge part of tanning and the disregard for the risks involved – people say things like “I’m so pale” or “I just look better when I’m tan.” Personally, I see the appeal of having bronzed skin but I also see the beauty in any other skin tone, if that’s your natural skin tone. I don’t see the appeal of looking unnaturally tan, especially if someone who lives in Chicago in December looks like they’ve been on a beach every day. You’re not fooling anyone. (Then again,  look however you want to look and do whatever makes you comfortable, but be safe and spray tan instead.)

Of course, it’s not that everyone lays in a tanning bed all the time; I would bet that the average person doesn’t wear sunscreen on a daily basis or, for women, assumes that the SPF in your foundation is good enough. In reality, you would have to use a ton of your foundation with SPF to get the protection you need.

I’ve also heard some people say that they’re not worried about wrinkles because they’ll just get Botox or some other procedure when they’re older. But why…when you could just prevent unnecessary and premature aging? You could wear sunscreen now, or wait until later and pay for Botox every six months, which won’t do anything for the sun spots or a sagging neck and loss of elasticity. Once you lose collagen, it’s gone girl (as in, it disappears and everyone blames Ben Affleck but it’s really your fault*). Can we also talk about how much faster your décolleté ages because it’s the most neglected spot? If you’re not trying to have crepe-y neck skin (let alone skin cancer), let’s just stay out of the tanning beds and remember to wear sunscreen everyday. It may not be on your mind, but it’s never too early and you’ll thank yourself later.

*I don’t actually know the plot of that book-turned-movie so I’m not sure if that analogy holds up, but it sounded clever.

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