Monday, September 1, 2014

Beauty Flash! Lots o' Lash for Little Cash

When better than Labor Day weekend to share a little bit of beauty advice? I know it has been an awful long time since my last post, but that's only because when I post I want it to be meaningful. And of course, what is more meaningful to us ladies than how to get long, voluminous lashes??? (Okay, there is plenty more meaningful things in the world but for the purpose of this post, let's just pretend for the moment, mmkay?)

Now, I am not going to lie and say that I don't already have long lashes, because, well, I do. But, they are blonde, sparse, and certainly lacking volume. And, because we're all being honest here, I will admit to being a biiiiit of a mascara whore (good for recommendations, bad for my wallet). Since I started wearing makeup in middle school, I would pretty much try a different brand and/or formula when a tube's three months were up. I had tried almost all the top reviewed mascaras, both high end and low, and for awhile refused to admit the possibility of finding the perfect formula at the drugstore. For years I swore by YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils and Armani Eyes to Kill, but after some formula changes, I set out on a quest for the best drugstore mascara to satisfy my specific needs.

After some intense online research inclusive of watching countless YouTube videos (this one became my obsession), I realized that not only can the perfect lash be achieved with drugstore mascara, it must be achieved by layering. So after much trial and error, I have finally--to your benefit--perfected the look of ultra-dramatic, super intense, mistaken for falsies, lashes. Behold:

Mascaras used: L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume

Step 1: Apply one coat of Voluminous Butterfly to upper lashes using the short end of the wand. Flip to the curved edge to cover bottom lashes and finish off what is left of the product on your upper lashes. 
Step 2 (Optional): Remove any excess clumps with a spoolie brush.
Step 3: Use LashBlast as your second coat, covering your upper and lower lashes, focusing most of the mascara at the base of your upper lashes until you have used up all the product on the brush. If you need to go back with the spoolie, do as you wish and ta-da! You're done!

User beware: someone in line behind you at Starbucks will ask you what mascara you are wearing. It happened to me today, true story.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fast Post Friday: Fab Forever Find

Getting this post in just under the wire, here's a bright beauty tidbit to kick off the holiday weekend.

While Forever 21 is known for trendy clothing at bargain prices, I have been purchasing products from their Love & Beauty cosmetic line long before I ever bought a $5 t-shirt. One of the last times I was there, I happened to snatch up their Velvet Lip Gloss in Fuchsia. It is more of a liquid lipstick, akin to the Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick for a fraction of the price (and honestly, a bit easier to apply too!). At $3.80, how can you go wrong?

Now go forth my friends, and bare a bold lip!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Back in the High Light Again

If you don't understand the origin of my title, well, you clearly aren't as cool (or as old) as I am.

To put it mildly, I am a collector of sorts. It began with Trolls in the 4th grade, morphed into Breyer horses in the 6th, and as I continued to "mature," suddenly I was collecting shoes, nail polish, and lipstick. Anyone who reads my blog can easily ascertain this.

My desire to collect comes in waves, phases, if you will, as if - perchance - influenced by the cycles of the moon. I am currently in a "highlighter phase" in which I continue to buy products that claim to give skin the look of being "lit from within." I may, in fact, be a sucker for marketing. Go figure.

As a teenager with acne (no but really, I eventually succumbed to Accutane and never regretted it), much of my experience with makeup had been in an effort to matte-ify my face, so this recent development is quite the deviation from my prior routine. But the tables, how they have turned! Now I can't get enough of glowing, shimmering skin. (No glitter particles, though, as it is not 1996. Granted, 1996 was kind of awesome and that glitter gel from Contempo Casuals was preeettty a-maze-ing. But that is another post for another time.)

Glitter!! Fabulous for the face, not so much for movies by Mariah...

In the past two months, I have purchased the products pictured below:

I may single-handedly be boosting Maybelline sales

While I use all of the above on a fairly regular basis, I have determined that two products in particular are my all-time-favorite-for-the-last-two-months-time-ever. That's a thing, just go with it.

Splurge: Benefit High Beam $26
Save: Maybelline Bronzer Stick in Subtle Bronze $7-$9 (LE but here for cheap) And if you can't find this in your local drugstore, Warm Nude is a pretty close alternative.

While these two products are of a different color family, both are amazing highlighters with just the right amount of sheen. Keep a light hand though, no one wants to be overly frosty. Unless, of course, you're an ice queen, because then, by all means, frost away.

And now, I leave you with me trying to get a good shot of how my skin looks wearing High Beam, told through some creepy bathroom selfies. The things we bloggers do!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Oops! I Did it Again

I hate to say I told you so, but I most definitely have no problem writing it.

Yesterday, the fiercely fashion forward, fresh-from-the-runway, ultimate e-commerce dream closet, Moda Operandi instagrammed a rainbow of mirrored sunglasses by the Italian brand Spektre. That name should ring a bell because last Januray I spent a whole blog post singing their praises.

The mirrored lens trend is still going strong, and yours truly is proud to have been one the first to share the news. It also certainly doesn't hurt my ego to now learn that Moda Operandi is the first American e-tailer to stock the brand. 

So yeah, I told you so 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Because it's Friday, it's Gonna Rain...

...and maybe I just wanted to sleep in a little more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Hue Review: What a Cool Blue

If you follow me on Instagram (and you should), you know that I've amassed quite the collection of cobalt nail polish. Nudge nudge,wink wink. Here's a hint, click this link.

Go ahead and judge me, I don't care.

It is well documented that blue is my favorite color and I will buy any almost any bottle in existence (see photo above as Exhibit A), so Jin Soon's "Cool Blue" from her Spring 2014 was of course no exception. When I saw the swatch on All Laquered Up, I knew I had to add it to my collection. 

Blinded by Blue

While my thoughts on nail polish usually begin and end with "will I wear this color?," I can say that the formula on this blue is fabulous. It went on like buttah, and five days after wearing it--yes I have been wearing the same polish for five days, pick your jaw off the floor--it has only just begun to chip. In other words, this is a rave reblue. Yeah, I went there.

Get enabled here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fast Post Friday: I Told You So Edition

Remember this post I wrote almost three years ago? You probably don't so I'm here to remind you that I was way ahead of the curve, because orange lips have been smeared all over the beauty news recently. I don't call myself the Sensible Trendsetter for nothing, people!

So if you happened to follow my lead back in 2011, you should be more than prepared for Spring 2014. If you never took the leap, I'm here to offer up some of my favorites to get the look; most of them daring, a few a slightly more demure.

From the Top:
- Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave - The perfect bright red orange
- MAC Amplified in Vegas Volt - Leans on the coral side
- Urban Decay Super-Saturdated High Gloss Lip Color in Punch Drunk - True, glossy orange
- Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick in Siren - Lighter and brighter
- Revlon Moon Drops Creme Lipstick in Orange Flip - A creamy, darker, true orange
- MAC Amplified in Morange - The boldest of the bunch, bright, almost neon amazing
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Fruitti - A sheer orange for the more timid

If none of these options speak to you, check out the links I provided above for additional inspiration.

Orange you gonna listen to me next time?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Beauty PSA - Fast Fresh Face

Because on Wednesday I couldn't get out of bed in the morning.

If you read my blog, you should already know the following things about me:
- I love beauty products
- I often choose lazy over everything

Putting on one's "face" seems like the anti-lazy person's ideal, but let me tell you that there really are some simple and easy steps to look instantly pulled together, even on a tight schedule.

You know the scenario: the idea of sleeping for just 30 more minutes sounds way more enjoyable than showing up to work with curled hair and perfected eye makeup. In situations like these, I rely heavily on the following:

- Pssst Dry Shampoo. I have touched on this product in a previous post, and whichever brand you favor, dry shampoo is a lifesaver for me. A few spritzes and I instantly feel better. After almost 30 years of hiding unwashed hair, I no longer fear oversleeping. I now clearly embrace it.

- Conair's Bun Maker. As someone with fine hair and not a ton of it, most of my attempts at buns just seem sad and small so I have NO shame when it comes to using a little filler. There are a lot of products out there (Hot Buns anyone?), but the Conair Bun Maker is easily purchased at any drugstore, Target, Ulta, etc. Not to mention that a Bun Maker bun looks much more "done" and fools coworkers into thinking you tried harder than you did. Trust me on this one.

The Hair Necessities

- Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in Nude. There's a not-so-secret-beauty-trick that lining your waterline with white eyeliner gives the appearance of being more awake, but I recently learned that the same can be achieved with nude eyeliner, and in a far less dramatic way. Every time I would rim my lids with my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, it just felt...scary and unnatural. But when I read about the Rimmel eyeliner, I realized there was a far more natural way to get that doll-eye look. I tend to pair mine with a simple winged cat-eye, but if you are more pressed for time, I recommend Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe for a no-primer-needed, gorgeous wash of color.

- Bright blush: I don't really have a "go-to" blush, but these days I reach most often for Maybelline's Master Glaze Blush Stick in Pink Fever. A few swipes in a pop of pink instantly adds life and energy to your face.

- Highlighting powder. Now, this is a new one for me. I didn't own a highlighting powder until last week but since purchasing one I've been using it every day. I do have a free sample of Benefit's Watt's Up and am definitely a fan, but when I stumbled upon Maybelline's Master Hi-Light Powdered Blush (can you see I have a thing for Maybelline these days?) in Nude (Permanent) and Natural (LE), I was wooed by their shimmer and color (and the reviews online weren't bad either!). Brush a bit of this shimmery goodness over your cheekbones and temples (hell go for the nose and cupids-bow if you are so inclined) to get that "oh-so-rested" glow.

3 Products is all it takes!

- Pink Lips. A matte, creme, or even glossy light pink lip is my first choice for a fresh face. Yesterday morning I chose Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate in 17 because it's a soft, creamy, neutral pink. I tend to prefer something light and easy to keep anyone from catching on to the fact that I haven't showered in over 24 hours...

On Wednesdays we wear pink. Check out the pocket mirror that I bought in '99!

So next time you see me in the office sporting the above products/makeup look/hair, you may want to steer clear. Just kidding guys, I don't smell.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Insta Gratification

As strange as it may seem, it took me quite awhile for me to adapt to a world with Instagram. While most of my friends had begun scrolling and snapping fiendishly, I hadn't even opened up the app.

To be perfectly honest, I have never been great at taking pictures, even with the convenience of a smartphone. This is clearly evidenced by my meager number of postings, and a small crew of followers. Nevertheless, I am trying to become a better blogger by being more engaged with this whole social media thing, so check out some recent pics and follow me @Gift4Style!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Purple is the New Everything

Because apparently I can't stop buying and posting about lipstick these days, I am here to tell you that purple is IT.

Forget the red, orange, and neon pink, I cannot get enough of a bold violet, lavender, or eggplant lip. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's Lorde, but this winter I went on a serious purple lipstick binge. Four new tubes later, I think that maybe--just maybe--the craving is finally satiated. You be the judge: 

My attempt at Instagram artistry

L to R: Nars Full Frontal, MAC Flat Out Fabulous, Lancome Rouge in Love Violette Coquette, MAC Heroine

While Nars "Full Frontal" is Limited Edition, you can purchase the other 3 colors here:
- MAC "Flat Out Fabulous"
- Lancome Rouge in Love "Violette Coquette"
MAC "Heroine"

Also, I may have changed my mind since I started this post and am now seriously considering adding MAC's "Up The Amp" to my collection. What?! A lot can change in just a few paragraphs!

But don't just take my word for it, Buzzfeed also understands the relevance of this daring lip trend. I mean, purple is the color of royalty, so, you know, it totally rules.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Well I'll Be Damned.

As it has already been established that I have an addiction to lip products, it is safe to assume that if there is a lipstick I want, I will do everything in my power to ensure that I get my grubby manicured little hands on it.

Case in point: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in "Damned."

The color has been around for years, but due to much internet publicity in the past few months (I mean, the deep matte magenta screams "Fall!"), it became nearly - if not completely - impossible to procure. After going into every Sephora I could (yes, even the one at 99th Street and Columbus Avenue), stalking every department store website, and checking in on; finally notified me that it was back in stock, so obviously, I ordered it on the spot.

And here she is, in all her glory.

And dammit, she's perfect.