Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Seriously, the Dollar Store? Yes.

The Dollar Store.

Normally, your first instinct is off brand food, cheap candy and other miscellaneous items that you probably will never need in your life but at such a low price point you feel compelled to spend at least $10 every trip.  Would you ever consider buying makeup there? I was always skeptical over this.  How can their makeup be good for your skin since it's so cheap?  Does it really last for a few hours, or does it fade within 10 minutes after application?  My mind was always tormented with the how's and why's until I decided to give it a shot.  I was in need of some new eye shadow and wasn't in a position to spend upwards of $30 just to restock on various colors of eyeshadow.  I spent a total of $8 (plus tax)  which covered an eyeshadow brush, blush brush, liquid eyeliner, and five compacts of eyeshadow.  I was very anxious to get started. 

I have to add that I have very sensitive skin and can not use most makeup brands on my face.  I have an allergy to a lot of makeup brands that claim to be hypo-allergenic or are meant for sensitive skin.  When I started using the dollar store brand of makeup, I kept my allergy medicine handy just in case I broke out into a rash or worse.  I am very pleased to announce that not only does the makeup last five to seven hours with out a touch up, also I had no adverse reaction to the makeup.  No rash, no itchy eyes, no hives - nada!  I couldn't believe it and part of me still can't believe it - to be honest.  I have been using it for almost a month now and still have had no issues whatsoever.  The liquid eyeliner goes on smooth, doesn't smudge and looks great.  The brush is thin enough to do a basic line around your eye, or add curved lines on the side of your face, or create the "cat eye" look. 

I have nothing against expensive brands but if you are ever in a lurch and can't afford to fork over another $40-$50 for department store makeup, take a trip to the dollar store.  You will be pleasantly surprised.  There is also a wide variety of eyeshadow colors, blushes and liners that you can mix and match to completely customize your look. 

My loot from the dollar store

My custom color eyeshadow.  This was taken about 5 hours after application.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What's Your Unibrow Situation?

I have thick eyebrows that try and meet in the middle to discuss politics, or whatever they do to shame me into not wanting to go out in society.  I used to pluck them when I was younger, sat through wax torture one time in my life and have settled upon using an eyebrow razor to keep them in check.  This has somewhat worked but I knew they didn't look as great as they could.  Let's face it, we all want that perfect arch that actually lasts longer than a day (or three if you are lucky).  If you have found something that works well for your face, mazel tov!  My experience with waxing was so incredibly painful that it changed my view on torturing war criminals.  I was later told that the girl wasn't too experienced and it shouldn't hurt "that much."  C'est la vie?  C'est mal. :(     To me, pain is pain, and I don't believe beauty should be so painful that your skin is red for most of the day,  and your hair doesn't grow back properly afterward. 

As we age, our skin changes; period.  Everything changes.  Eyebrows included.  Skin sags, and if you over pluck or over wax when you are young, once you hit your 40s, they won't look right on your face anymore.  You will get your intended result of the hair growing in finer but it will be harder to style on your face.  If you are looking for an alternative or want to try something new, I suggest the technique of "Stringing."  They use regular string to whisk away unwanted hair on your eyebrows, upper lip, chin - whatever you need done on your face.  I am not sure how many higher end salons do this but it gives proven results and it is fairly inexpensive.  Mine cost $12 (plus a $2 tip).  I think $14 every month is worth it.  There is an extra charge if you want your upper lip done as well and any other facial hair but it is still worth it.  The results last and your hair will grow back in at a slower pace each time you have it done.  It's also not too painful and is great for sensitive skin.  No creams, no wax, no redness - just positive results. 

There are a lot of locations, I usually go to the location in my local mall.  I do have a few suggestions before you head in.  Make sure you know your face.  If you have thick eyebrows, just have them clean up the edges and trim their length. The trimming is included in the price.  For those with thinner brows, have them contour your eyebrows so it will be easier when/if you use a pencil to fill them in.  Also, a big one, make sure they use hand sanitizer before they start working on your face.  If they don't have a bottle sitting out, or they say they don't use it or make a big deal out of using it- get up and leave.  They are working very close to your eyes.  You don't want any extra bacteria sliding down there.  Why risk getting yourself sick or an infection?  That is not cute.

I have been doing this over the past year and love the results each time. 

On the left is the before, and the right is the after.  

Good luck! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hey, What's Your Color?

Pretty nails, cute toes; top coat, primer, base and go!  

There is nothing more relaxing and satisfying than a mani/pedi, even if you do them at home. It is even better when you have a beautiful color on your nails that does not fade, chip or cause damage to your nails.  I put my nails to the test each day by washing my hands multiple times, doing dishes, laundry and a whole host of other things that normally cause my nail color to chip off and look horrible a day or two after I paint them.  I used to go through the long process of base coat, mineral coat, paint, top coat and gloss for nothing.  If I'm lucky, it ends up peeling off which strips my nails of any goodness they had.  I have used various brands too.  Nothing compares to OPI, of course, but who has the money to shell out for one small bottle?  What if you want multiple colors to change to every other week?  The cost really adds up!  I have found a reasonably inexpensive nail polish that will last through a week of being human.  The hand washing, showering, laundry, kids, and work - you know, life. 

Sinful Colors Professionals is a great product found at most stores, and it is under $2 a bottle.  I still go through my process of mineral base coat, nail polish then top coat but this brand lasts a week and still holds up.  I would say on day 8 or 9 is when I noticed some chipping but it wasn't anything compared to what I have experienced before.  I currently have 7 bottles in my rotation and plan to buy more as we get closer to summer.  Do yourself a favor and test it out.  I also have to mention that if you don't have the time to do the base coat, polish, then top coat, this product by itself will last around 5 to 7 days without chipping or fading. 

Stay beautiful.