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Baby Lips: Gross Name, Great Product

11 Sep

Maybelline Baby Lips is the new Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

Approximately 6 million years ago, I wrote about my favorite lip products in a Perfect Pout Product Roundup. Quite a few of my opinions have changed since then (mainly, that I like lipstick now, a change of heart that I have mentioned before). Even though a lot has changed since the dark ages of 2011, I still love all of the products mentioned, and use them in heavy rotation. One of my top recommendations, both three years ago and now, is Maybelline Baby Lips (a product name that I’m really not a fan of, but oh well). It’s just the greatest affordable tinted lip balm/gloss hybrid, and there’s a version for every taste. Allow me to walk you though my favorites (and one that is on the naughty list).

(We’re doing this clockwise from the top left.)

Baby Lips Crystal in Beam of Blush

The Crystal line is the most recent addition to the Baby Lips family. Basically, it’s Baby Lips: Sparkle Edition. These balms have little shimmery bits in them that are actually pretty understated, despite the balm itself looking like a disco ball. I’m not a big fan of shimmer on my lips, but I wanted to try this balm out, since I ardently love all the other iterations of Baby Lips. Sadly, this is the disappointing child of the family. I didn’t mind the shimmer, but I can’t use this balm without gagging, because it’s bubblegum flavored. I’m not sure if this is true of all the shades in the Crystal line, but it’s the case with Beam of Blush. I personally cannot stand the scent/flavor of bubblegum – I’ve hated it my whole life. I’ve tried using this balm a few times and I last about 30 seconds before I have to take it off. So: This balm would be nice if bubblegum weren’t the devil’s handiwork.

Baby Lips Electro in Strike a Rose

When this version of Baby Lips first came out I was just plain afraid of it. Not only are the colors bright neons, they are in shades like yellow, green, and purple. For someone who’s just now starting to feel comfortable with prominent lip shades, it was a big leap for me to be like, “Yes, yellow lip balm, hop into my shopping basket.” But I decided not too long ago to try out one of the more boring Electro shades, a neon pink, and it’s now my second favorite of all the Baby Lips I’ve tried (number one is coming up later, don’t worry). It does look super intimidating in the tube, but once it’s on it’s actually fairly subdued. You can layer it and go full-on neon if you want, but I like to do a quick swipe and dab it with my finger for a bright lip look that’s still completely wearable with any look.

Maybelline Baby Lips are the new Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Soothing Sorbet

I didn’t plan this out as a voyage back through Baby Lips History, but that’s how it turned out, so if anyone asks, this was completely planned. Anyway, Dr. Rescue was the first Baby Lips spinoff, as it were. This is a line that contains eucalyptus, and it feels cooling and a bit tingly when you apply it. The nice thing about this balm is that it’s “medicated” and is meant to help heal and soothe your lips, but it comes in some gorgeous tints, so you can treat your lizard lips while still getting your lipstick look on. I like to keep this balm near my front door or on my dressing table, because it’s great to throw on before walking the dog or running a quick errand. It’s makeup AND it’s medicine! And if that’s not a good selling point for you, Dr. Rescue also comes in a non-tinted version.

Baby Lips (The Original!) in Cherry Me

This is the OG. This is the one I mentioned way back in 2011 as the balm that made me a Baby Lips lover for life. Cherry Me is just… perfection. It’s the perfect amount of tint – a red that is bold enough to make me feel like a fancy lady, but is subdued enough that I don’t get spooked. Now that I think about it, I think Cherry Me may have even been my gateway to being comfortable wearing lipstick. If you’re looking to ease your way into lipcolor, I think a tinted balm is the perfect bridge, and Cherry Me is one of the best escorts you can have into the world of Bold Lipstick. Recently I realized that I was getting sick of moving my current tube of Cherry Me from my bag to my dressing table to another bag to my pocket, so I set out to buy a second tube. It was sold out EVERYWHERE I looked. I looked in countless stores for months, and every time I came up with nothing. When I finally found a store that had Cherry Me in stock? I bought three. It’s that good.

Baby Lips, all varieties: Around $4

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That’s Why Her Hair’s So Big. It’s Full of Dry Shampoo.

28 Aug

NYM Dry Shampoo

It’s time for part two of my Week of Hairstyle Preservation! In this installment, I’m going to tell you about my current favorite dry shampoo. I consider myself a bit of a dry shampoo connoisseur. I’ve tried so, so many, and about 80% of them I find disappointing. As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, I won’t take great pains to style my hair, so I like my dry shampoo to be easily accessible (ie, available at Target), inexpensive, but still effective.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo fits the bill perfectly. In fact, according to their website (and Nielsen), its’ the #1 Dry Shampoo in the US. The price point is fantastic, especially considering it’s a product that actually does what it promises. I’ve tried some high-end dry shampoos, and, based on what I’ve tried, I don’t think there’s too much of an argument for going high-end. For me, the greasiest of grease-monsters, I find that even if I use dry shampoo, I still have to put my hair in an updo that day. So dry shampoo isn’t going to make my second day hair look like first day hair. It’s just not. I have accepted that. What I’m looking for is lift, and a slight amount of oil absorption, that will make me look decent enough to get through the day before washing my hair that night.

The way I like to dry shampoo is to apply it to my roots the night before, so that it can really sink in while I’m sleeping, and when I wake up in the morning I can comb it, fluff it up a bit, and tie it up into a topknot or ponytail. I section my hair and spray a light layer of dry shampoo at my roots, underneath the hair. This is the Great Dry Shampoo Secret. Under the hair! In sections!

Dry shampoo is also a great trick to adding volume to your hair, even if it’s freshly washed. I don’t think hair can possibly be big enough (hence my love of hot rollers), so this trick is a key part of my hair routine.

The one caveat to this recommendation is that I have light hair. I’ve never had the issue of white, powdery residue on my hair. I mean, maybe I have, but it doesn’t show up. So maybe this specific dry shampoo does that, maybe it’s completely transparent. I have no clue. I’ve never experienced anything but fantastic results. BUT, I do know that if you follow my tip of spraying UNDER your hair, at the roots, and sleep on your hair, it will significantly reduce your risk of waking up with artificial dandruff.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo: $6

What Is This Girl, Obsessed With Priming Things?

26 Aug

Living Proof Hair Primer: It Actually Works!I’m a beauty addict, sure, but that addiction stops short at hair. I just can’t be bothered with any hair maintenance that’s expensive or time consuming, or, to be honest, involves anything more than minimal effort. It’s not that I don’t want my hair to look good – I do – I just don’t want to make my hair look good. I remember reading that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had a hairstylist that lived with them while they were still teens that did their hair each morning, and I thought, “That sounds ideal and not at all extravagant. Were I a teen billionaire, I’d do the same.” Living Proof Prime Style Extender isn’t exactly like having a hairstylist live with you, but it’s about as close as us non-teen-billionaires can get.

Here’s the gist: Every 2-3 days I wash my hair with my super fancy shampoo and conditioner that I buy from the TJ Maxx clearance rack, then while it’s still wet, before I even comb it, I run a dollop of this miracle elixir through my hair, roots to ends. I comb it out with my beloved Sephora Wide Tooth Comb (which they no longer make and I’m PANICKED, GUYS), and blow dry with a round brush for my bangs, and nature’s brush (my hands) for the rest. I don’t even do a full blow dry, just enough that my bangs and roots are thoroughly cooked. That’s it. No more maintenance than that. The after-effect is hair that is shiny, smooth, and protected from dirt and grime that makes my second day hair gross and third day hair a nonstarter.

You don’t even need a lot of product. I have medium length hair, that’s relatively fine but dense, and I use about a quarter sized dollop for my whole head. I rub my hands together and work the product in around my face and the crown of my head, then sometimes I’ll add a teensy bit extra, if I feel it’s needed, to the bottom layer of my hair. I concentrate almost solely on my roots, as this is the “root” of my super oily scalp (HAR HAR). I figure when I comb out my hair the product will be distributed well enough throughout the rest of my hair.

This is like nothing I’ve ever put in my hair before. It’s lightweight to the point where you think it’ll do positively nothing, but then it just makes things… better. Remember when I went on and on about how great makeup primers are, because they take your makeup game to the next level? This is the same principle, but it’s a primer for your hair. Once you start with this Style Extender as your base, everything is improved. Even if I don’t use any other products or style my hair. This primer takes about three heartbeats to use and BOOM. Better everything.

In terms of Lazy Girl Hair Styling Secrets, I have another little trick up my sleeve, but that’s for Thursday’s post…

Living Proof Prime Style Extender: $20

Playing Favorites: My Top 6 Urban Decay Eyeliners

21 Aug

My top picks for best Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner shades

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am head over heels in love with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. In fact, a review of these amazing eyeliners was posted in this blog’s infancy, way back in ye olden times (AKA 2012). I really don’t think there’s a better line of eyeliners out there. I’ve tried so many, and while some are actually quite good, I’ve found none to be as consistent in quality as Urban Decay’s. Since I’ve already reviewed these pencils, and told you how great the formula is and how long lasting they are, I’m not going to bore you with more of the same. Instead, I thought I’d highlight my MVPs of the Urban Decay eyeliner lineup. I own SO MANY of these babies, and I love them all, but there are some that I love more than others. I started with a fistful of my favorites, and judiciously narrowed down my selection until I had my Top 6 Favorites.

My top picks for best Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner shades

One thing you’ll notice right off the bat about my favorites: They’re almost entirely dark mattes. This is not to say that I don’t own and love some bright, glittery liners – they’re just not my go-tos. I’ve never had to repurchase them, because one liner is going to last me about a million years. All of my top picks have reached the Point of Repurchase, which I think is the true test of a beloved beauty product. Anyway, enough jibber jabber. Let me tell you about my true loves.

Smoke is a deep gray, that’s a softer alternative to black. It’s just a few shades darker than Desperation, and I had a hard time picking between the two. I went with Smoke because it seemed a little more universally appealing. If you’re pale like me and find that solid black eyeliner is a bit harsh on you, a dark matte gray like Smoke is a great option.

Scorch is the one glittery shade in my favorites, and it’s a great everyday color, especially if you’re not the most adept at applying eyeliner. You can really go nuts with this eyeliner – no need to worry about hugging your lashline perfectly, because it kind of just blends in. I like to wear this when I want my eyes to have a little pop, but I don’t want to look too made-up. Even if I am wearing one of the other colors on my top lashline, I prefer to use Scorch on my lower waterline, because it adds definition and a hint of shade, without making me feel like I have Taylor Momsen Eyes. (In my original review I mentioned this tip, but the color was then a slighty more orange-y shade, Lucky, which is now discontinued.)

Demolition is probably my favorite of the brown 24/7 shades. It’s just a perfect, rich, matte brown. I think this is a great starting place for eyeliner newbies. It’ll kick your eyes up a notch, but isn’t too overpowering or intimidating. As you can see from the photo, my Demolition is well loved and liberally used.

Rockstar, I think, has been around since the first 24/7 liners were released. Don’t cite me on that! But I know I’ve repurchased this color more times than I can count, and even using it as much as I do, the only way I can have gone through so many is if it’s been around since the beginning. At least I hope so, because I’ve bought Rockstar A LOT. The Rockstar eyeliner that I used in the photos is actually a brand new one that I have for when my current one finally dies. Repurchasing is great proof of a well-loved product, but having a spare on hand is proof of a TRUE love product. For a fair amount of time this was the only 24/7 liner I owned, and the only eyeliner I wore. I’d say if you’re a Demolition lover and you want to take things to the next level, try Rockstar. If you have blue eyes, stop whatever you’re doing and get Rockstar RIGHT THIS SECOND. I can just about guarantee that it will make your eyes look like a million billion dollars.

Sabbath, like Smoke, was one that I had to swatch next to another extremely similar shade in order to determine what made the cut. In this case it was between Sabbath and Mainline. And just like with Smoke, I went with the deeper, darker shade. Every time I wear Sabbath I think, “Hot damn, that’s beautiful. You should wear this every day.” So if that’s not enough of an endorsement (and a reminder to myself to wear this more often) I don’t know what is.

Zero was the first black liner in the 24/7 collection. It’s still probably one of the top sellers, although there is now a “blackest-black” shade called Perversion for those of you that can’t get enough black eyeliner (I SEE YOU, MOMSEN). I waited awhile before buying Zero, beacause as I mentioned before, I am very fair featured, and black eyeliner can come off as a little harsh on me. BUT, I love a good tightline, and Zero is my go-to for my upper waterline. It’s reached the point where if I don’t swipe some Zero (or occasionally Sabbath) on my waterline I feel like my eyes just look so… bleh. There’s something about a good tightlining that just makes everything better.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils: $20 each

Wear, Watch, Want #2: The Bloody Naked Leopard Edition

16 Aug

WWW 2

Wear: Nike Free Leopard Print Sneakers

I bought these shoes during Nordsrtom’s Anniversary Sale, and I’m so, so happy I did. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Leopard print is my favorite color. I’ve been wearing these babies so much, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments on them. They’re sleek and streamlined, but also fashionable. They work equally well as full-on workout shoes as well as comfy sneaks to wear when running errands. The day after I bought them I posted a picture on Instagram (feel free to follow me for a million dog photos), but because of my need to use an average of three photo editing apps before posting any photos, the coloring was way off. In reality the pair I bought is like the above photo, all black and white and gray and BEAUTIFUL.

Watch: You’re Next

I’m so not a horror fan. Not by a long shot. BUT I love knowing the plots of horror movies. I’ll see trailers for horror movies and then read spoilers to find out exactly what happens, so I can know the twists and endings without seeing actually seeing any horrific stuff. That being said, I’ve gotten interested in watching horror movies in the past few years. I still wouldn’t call myself a fan of horror; you’d have to pull some crazy Clockwork Orange shenanigans to get me to watch torture porn. But there are some horror movies that I enjoy and like a lot, no matter how unfortunate their classification may be. I was interested in You’re Next when I read some reviews of it last year (you can watch the trailer here). I’m still too much of a horror wuss to see a scary movie in theaters, but this week You’re Next was released on Netflix Instant, and I immediately added it to my queue.

The movie isn’t horribly gory, and the scary home invasion aspect is explained and becomes a lot less scary pretty quickly. There’s one aspect that is never explained and that bugged me a lot, but other than that I really enjoyed You’re Next. I’m trying to avoid revealing any plot points in case you’re as afraid of spoilers as I am of being “entertained” by a story about a psychopath chopping women up into little pieces. I will say though, that the thing I liked most about this movie was the humor. It’s funny. But intentionally funny, not like, Hemlock Grove funny. If you’re looking to laugh at some smart jokes while watching WASPs get shot with a crossbow, look no further.

Want: Naked2 Basics Palette

Yes, last week I also said I wanted an eyeshadow palette. And again this week, I want another one. I swear when I came up with the idea for this feature, I did not intend the “want” section to just be eyeshadow palettes. But then Urban Decay had to go and announce that they are releasing a second Naked Basics Palette later this month. The Naked Basics Palette was actually the first eyeshadow palette I ever owned. I’m slowly getting more comfortable with experimenting with eyeshadow, and the Naked Basics Palette helped me learn how to apply and blend eyeshadow like a… person that wears eyeshadow. Like I said, I’m a newbie. I like the colors, and while I only wear a few of them regularly, it’s still a great palette and was a perfect intro to the World of Eyeshadow. But once I saw the cooler shades in the Naked2 Basics Palette I knew I was going to be snatching it up as soon as it hit the shelves. August 21st can’t come soon enough.