Friday, September 5, 2014

My $5 or Less Foundation Steal


Unlike yesterday's post featuring two luxury, curly-girl buys, today we're focussing on a budget friendly item — Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Liquid Face Makeup. This $5 steal is giving my department store foundations a run for their money.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't usually experiment with drugstore foundations. Why? First, you can rarely get a good color match without actually trying a foundation on. Seriously, have you ever nailed the color correctly by just looking at the bottle's shade? Second, their formulas have usually been heavy in consistency and not compatible with my finicky, sensitive skin. I prefer a very natural look with light, breathable coverage. I just have never found this type of product at the drugstore, so I stopped looking many years ago.

But Fit Me Foundation is a different beast. It's a light, gel formula that mimics your own skin. It's oil free, but very hydrating. It feels great on the skin and reminds me of my favorite tinted moisturizer not a foundation. As such, I don't have to worry about piling on my moisturizer before application. One caveat...if you have oily skin or live in a super humid environment, this product probably isn't for you.

I chose shade 110 Porcelain, which is the lightest one of their 18 shades. 115 may have worked, but I was afraid it would be too pink especially if it oxidized. 110 leans more yellow/warm in hue and appeared to be a better fit for my NC 15-20 skin. If you're paler than NC 15, you might be out of luck as this is lightest shade available. On the other end of the color spectrum, Fit Me seems offers new shades designed specifically for women of color. This might be a good option if you are challenged to find a darker shade of foundation. I know fair and dark colors are often trickier to find.

My only complaint is that it doesn't wear all day. I find that by late afternoon/early evening it starts fading. With that said, Fit Me does fade evenly at least. You're not left with awkward splotches of color and no color.

Over all...I'm quite impressed. If you have normal to dry skin and can find your skin's shade, this is a keeper!

Purchase info: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Liquid Face Makeup is available at most mass retailers and drugstores. It typically retails for $5.00 or less.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Two Luxury Finds for Unbelievable Curls


Today's post is dedicated to all of the naturally curly girls. If you're blessed (or cursed!) with curls, you can never predict a good hair day. It just happens. However, don't let a not-so-beautiful curl day get the best of you. Here are two luxury items that can come to your rescue. I purchased both this summer and they have not me down!

Thairpy 365 Thairacurl Digital Clipless Curling Iron

It seems counterintuitive for a curly girl to own a curling iron...right? I thought so, too, until I got my hands on this one. A clipless curling iron is very different than a traditional iron. I've found that it allows me to wrap my hair around the iron's barrel similar to how I would wrap my hair around my finger to create the perfect ringlet. As such, it eliminates any crimped ends, ridges, or kinks. I find that all I need to do is create a half dozen or so curls and I'm good to go. I just focus on the spots that need a little more definition, such as the strands around my face or those jumping off pieces that transition from my shorter to longer layers. There's no need to do my entire head of locks as I think that would look overdone and unnatural. 

What I like about the Thairacurl iron is that it heats up in less than a minute and beeps when it's ready. I can also easily control the temperature setting. Personally, I crank it up as I find the hottest setting works best for me. With that very careful not to burn your fingers. There's a reason it comes with a heat-resistant glove. Trust me!

While this item is a complete luxury — it retails for $180 — I justified the expense since I have not purchased a hair styling tool for nearly 20 years. I also used a 20% off coupon, which lowered the purchase price. Available at select retailers including b-glowing.

Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray

After I'm finished using the Thairacurl iron, I give my curls a generous spritz of Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray. Unlike a hair spray that makes your hair stiff, a dry conditioning spray adds extra moisture, shine, and softness. I find this gives all of my curls an added boost to help them look their best. 

I also use this spray on second (or third) day hair when I especially need extra moisture. Oribe revives my locks and makes them smell like just-washed hair!

This spray is also a luxury item. It typically retails for $35 a can at Oribe salons. Gulp...that's a chunk of change. But totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Makeup Splurges: 5 Under $50


Summer is officially half-way over...eek! Before we start thinking about fall and all the new makeup goodies hitting the counter for the next season, I wanted to share five items that I'm loving this summer. Each one is under $50!

  1. Pur Minerals Gloss Stick (Coralline): A random find at my local Ulta. This buttery gloss pencil adds just the right amount of color for day and night. It's easy to throw in my bag and go. Loving its coral, apricot hue. ($16)
  2. LORAC Unzipped Palette: I had every intention of purchasing the new LORAC Pro Palette 2, but this lovely one kept calling out to me instead. It's the perfect warm combo of mattes and shimmers especially for those of us with hazel eyes. ($40, includes item #3)
  3. LORAC Mini Behind The Scenes Eye Primer: How have I missed this eye primer? It's AMAZING. This non-drying primer keeps my shadows intact all day. I'm fond of its squeeze tube applicator as I think it's more hygienic than the doe foot applicators found on other primers. (The mini was included with the Unzipped Palette; the full-size version is $21.)
  4. NARS Matte Multiple (Anguilla): Another winning cheek multiple from NARS. Its ginger pink hue (neutral leaning cool) is super flattering on my fair skin. I usually pair it with a highlighter or shimmering bronzer for best results. ($39)
  5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Skinny Brow Pencil (Caramel): This is one of the most natural looking brow fillers that lasts all day. The spoolie on the other end is also convenient. No need for another brush or other brow tool. ($21)
What about you? What are your favorite summer splurges so far?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Wine-Inspired Body Scrub


I know summer is here when I start emptying my body scrubs faster than any other skincare product.

One of the new scrubs I've recently discovered is 100 Percent Pure Cabernet Grape Body Scrub. This sugar scrub beauty is packed with fruit oils to deeply moisturize while anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants nourish. And its fruit acids brighten gently for a healthy glow. Anything to bring on more glow...right?

This one is also sugar-based (not salt), so it's fairly gentle on my sensitive skin. I don't have to worry about going overboard in the exfoliation department. For that very reason, I try to avoid using salt scrubs as they're way too abrasive for my skin (except on my feet!).

More than anything, I'm thoroughly intoxicated by its cabernet grape scent. It makes me want to go pour a big ol' glass of wine. And did I mention the longevity of its fragrance? I can still get a whiff of the scent the next day. Yum!

If cabernet grape is not your thing, 100 Percent Pure also makes other delicious scents to choose from including Meyer Lemon, Coconut, Honey Almond, Green Apple and a bunch more.

Purchase info: 100 Percent Pure Cabernet Grape Body Scrub is available in the company's brick and mortar stores (a few nationwide), as well online. A 15 oz scrub retails for $28.00.
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