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Archive for the 'Bargain Beauty' Category


Vaseline- The Beauty Multi-Tasker

Friday, April 1st, 2011
By Glinda

Not just for lips any more!  I’m always a big fan of beauty products that can multi-task, and this product, which has been around in commercial form since 1870, fits the bill nicely.  Women have been using it as a cosmetic aid for at least a century.

And just for clarification, I’m talking about the product that is 100% pure petroleum jelly. Which could technically be another brand other than Vaseline, but let’s face it, Vaseline is the most famous.

Vaseline can be used for:

  • Removing eye makeup.
  • Moisturizing the face, including the eye area.
  • Eyelashes in lieu of mascara.
  • Some people swear that if they apply Vaseline to their lashes at night, it makes them grow thicker.  Haven’t tried this one.
  • A brow-tamer.
  • Mixing with pigments or eye shadows to give them a nice sheen.
  • Moisturizing and strengthening nails and cuticles.
  • Softening feet.
  • Keeping elbows and knees from looking dry and ashy.
  • Mixing with a lipstick for an instant blush.
  • Making split ends not look quite as split, although nothing cures split ends except cutting them off.
  • Mixing with sugar to make a scrub.
  • A natural looking eye enhancer when used alone on the lid.
  • Mixing with your regular lotion to make it last a bit longer.

 

Now you know why it is sold in such a big tub!

Did I miss any?


On Sale Now…

Friday, March 18th, 2011
By Glinda

I was just browsing through the sale “rack” at Sephora and thought I would pass some of these on…  I’m almost tempted to get the Tarina Tarantino palette for the price…  Oh, and be sure to read the reviews before buying! I always do!

Tarina Tarantino Jewel Box Palette   Mixed reviews on this, although a four-star rating overall.  The price can’t be beat for what it includes, though.

Sephora Collection Concealer Palette  If I still wore this type of concealer, I would strongly consider this.  Half off!

MUFE Beauty in a Box: Make Up Tricks & Treats OK, so this is a holdover from Halloween.  So what? It has almost all regular-sized products and it is more than half off!

Korres Color With Skincare Benefits Collection  I have not personally tried Korres products, but I hear lots of good things about them.  Positive ratings on this one, although I hate people who take stars off because they were upset that the sizes are “too small.”  Then read the damn description before you buy!

Balmshell Lip Gloss  At eleven bucks I’m not enitrely sure how great a deal it is, but the reviews are quite good. Lots of different colors, too.

Sephora Collection Black Sequined Bag Collection  If you are looking for a good makeup bag, the prices will make you smile.

Urban Decay Beauty In A Box  This was given 4.7 stars out of 5 from 123 people, so I’m going to guess this is some good stuff.  Not bad for forty bucks.


Cosmetics Cage Match: Boots Botanics VS Dr. Brandt

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
By Glinda

In this corner: Boots Botanics Intensive Wrinkle Reduction Serum

In the other corner: Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster

Both of these serums, meant to be worn every day under regular moisturizer, purport to boost collagen production, firm skin, and reduce wrinkles.

I’ll be using three criteria to declare a winner.

The winner will be the serum that 1) Feels best on the skin. 2) Produces a noticeable difference in skin appearance, anywhere from reduction in fine lines to plain old “healthier looking.”  This, of course, is highly subjective. 3) Value for the money.

First up we have Boots Botanics.  In the beginning of this blog, I was surprised by a bunch of Boots No. 7 love that was being thrown out there by readers.  Impressed with the praise but unfamiliar with the brand, it wasn’t until I got back home from the store that I realized I had bought the Botanics line and not the No. 7 line, but I was too lazy to take it back.

Both products were used for three weeks, with a two week “breather” period in between to make sure that I wasn’t attributing the effects of the first serum onto the second.

So, on to the fight!

The Boots Botanic serum felt lovely on my skin.  It has a very velvety texture that I liked a lot.  It seemed to absorb well into the skin, although I certainly wouldn’t use it in place of a moisturizer.

Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster has a more gel-like texture, but it also absorbed well.  To be honest, it seemed like I could feel it on my skin during the day, as opposed to the Boots, which does a nice disappearing act once applied. It also felt a bit tingly the first few applications, but that wore off after about two days.

Point to Boots!

Boots Botanic has somewhat reduced the two fairly prominent (to me, anyway) vertical frown lines on my forehead that I am using as a performance barometer.  It seemed like they went away to a point, and then the serum just sort of threw its hands up in defeat.  My skin doesn’t look very bright, but I would have to say it looks better than before I began using it.

Dr. Brandt’s Collagen Booster made a rather shocking impact on those stubborn wrinkles.  They all but disappeared.  I had to really get close to the mirror to see them.  It was this short of amazing.

It also seemed like my skin was brighter and younger looking. 

Point to Dr. Brandt’s!

Now, value for the money.

This is where the opponents are both getting dizzy and it looks like they are both ready to pass out from sheer exhuastion.

Because although the Boots Botanics did not perform as well overall in affecting the actual look of my skin, it only costs about fourteen bucks for one fluid ounce.

The Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster costs $75.00 for one fluid ounce.

Is the Dr. Brandt really worth $61.oo more a pop?

Even though I have say that the Dr. Brandt is a better product than the Boots Botanics, (as well it should be for that much money!) I have a truly hard time heartily recommending a product that is so very pricey.  At this stage in my personal wrinkle game, I am loathe to spend that amount.  I can’t say that at some point a few years down the road that I won’t change my tune, though.

Ding, ding, ding…

A draw!


A Mineral Makeup Primer

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
By Glinda

Because there was so much reaction on my Bare Escentuals post, I simply had to make another one!

The superfantastic Jelly wanted to know:

This powder foundation: I can use it with my oily skin? It won’t cake-up on my face at 2 p.m. like my foundation/powder process that I’ve given up on?

Jelly, as someone who has oily skin herself, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that the mineral foundation will not cake or slide in the dreaded mid-afternoon slump.  It is so finely textured, and the kabuki brush I use to apply it does a great job of really getting it on there.  Also, if set with the Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, not even a hot summer day will cause this stuff to look much different than when you applied it.  Thus my undying love for it.

The lovely Toyouke also had this to say:

I’ve tried Bare Escentuals before, but I didn’t really see any benefit over regular foundation/powder. Is it something you need someone to show you how to do? I don’t wear makeup a lot, and it’s entirely possible I was doing it wrong. Is there a trick? Should I have someone at the store show me what to do?

I’m sorry that you didn’t have a good experience with the product.  Without knowing a lot about how you put it on, my first guess would be that you might have used the wrong type of brush to apply it.  Mineral makeup looks and works best when applied with a type of brush known as a kabuki.

Kabuki brushes tend to have shorter handles (although they do make them with regular-sized ones) and a set of soft, full bristles. The wide arc of the bristles is perfect for applying powder foundation evenly.

I love my short-handled BE kabuki brush (as pictured above)  lots.  I also have one with a long handle, and for no reason that I can pinpoint, does not seem to work as well.  So Toyouke, I would suggest that you try the kabuki brush (if my guess is correct, which it may not be) and give it another shot.

The only other trick I have, as I said in my reply to Jelly, is to set it with the Mineral Veil finishing powder to really give it the oomph to last all day.

And when in doubt, it can never hurt to have someone show you how to do it if you are unsure!  Or, if you still have the makeup, try YouTube, they’ve got lots of makeup tutorials. I found one that didn’t annoy the crap out of me.

A few people mentioned a bad reaction to one of the key ingredients in mineral makeup, which as noted by some astute commenters, is Bismuth Oxychloride. More than a few readers recommended Everyday Minerals as an excellent bismuth-free alternative, and I’m inclined to believe them! I noticed on the website that you can actually order a free sample online, so if you have any doubts, that would definitely be the way to go. Lord knows I love free makeup.

So I hope this helped a bit. I’m determined to have everyone I know switch to mineral foundation! And, I have gotten a big fat zero in compensation of any sort from any mineral makeup producer, so rest assured that my motives are pure!


Hot Right Now: Pink is Having a Moment

Friday, February 4th, 2011
By Glinda

Pink is back for spring! Pantone chose Honeysuckle as 2011’s color of the year, and pink is showing up all over red carpets and beauty editorials alike.

Can I tell you how much I love pink makeup? Oddly enough, I don’t really own any pink clothing, but I LOVE pink cosmetics. Especially eyeshadow and lipstick.

I’m someone who believes that pink can pretty much be worn by anyone.  As always, it’s just the trick of finding the right color that works best with your skin, eyes, and hair.  You can go dark, you can go light, you can do sheer, you can do highly pigmented.  Peachy-pinks, pinky-pinks, purple-y pinks, it’s all up to you!

Pink eyeshadow can be a bit tricky- you don’t want to look like you’re recovering from an all-night bender.    I personally find that using a fairly strong eyeliner and mascara go a long way to making sure I don’t look like I’ve got an eye infection of some sort. 

Pink lips are easier, go for a shimmer or a sheer over matte, skip the liner, and go easy on the blush.

Here are some of my favorites out this season.

Dior Petal Shine

Ooooh, how much do I love this palette?

Benefit Bella Bamba

I’ve been on a bit of a bronzer kick lately, but this could woo me back to blush.

OPI I Think in Pink

Pretty, classic pink.

Rimmel Airy Fairy

A good shade for lighter skin tones.

Laura Mercier Lip Shimmer Amaretto

A lovely shade that’s a mauve-y bronze for darker skin tones.


Better Late Than Never?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
By Glinda

The delightful Nomi asks:

I’m in my early 50s, and I’ve never learned to use eye makeup at all. I played with it a little in high school (never eyeliner though!), but as I got into my 20s I just didn’t have time, plus it felt yucky. Those two factors have never changed for me. Should I even bother, now?

That totally depends.

Do you feel as if using eye makeup is something you should be doing rather than want to be doing?

There will be a slight learning curve at first, but you could get a shadow trio that would make things really easy for you as far as knowing what to apply where.  You know, mid-shade on the lid, darker shade in the crease, and lightest color on the brow.  Or you could just go for a bunch of colors and experiment. They’ve even got ones that talk to you!  Time will be a factor, but like most things, the more you practice, the quicker you will get.

As for the makeup feeling yucky, I’m going to say that  the shadows that are being produced nowadays are formulated differently than the ones you used in high school.  Shadows are now pretty much whisper-light, although sensory issues differ from person to person.

That being said, have you been wistfully eyeing shadow colors and wishing you could join the party?  Or are you feeling pressure from outside sources and sort of reluctantly thinking you should add eye makeup to your repertoire?

If wearing eye makeup makes you uncomfortable, then there’s just no good reason to do it.  If you don’t have the time or more importantly, don’t want to make the time, then it’s probably not going to work if you feel resentful about frittering away with a palette when you could be doing other things.  But if you’d like to play around with some color and see how it feels, I’m all for that too. 

Do whatever makes you feel the most confident, and the most comfortable, and once you’ve made the decision, go with it and don’t second-guess yourself! 

I’m going to open this up to the peanut gallery, what say the wise ladies of the Manolosphere?


To Swap or Not to Swap?

Friday, January 7th, 2011
By Glinda

I promise that I had a post for today, but the server decided it was hungry and ate it.   So, let me try again.

Everyone has them.  Those beauty purchases that for whatever reason didn’t work out.  Perhaps you were having an off day.  Perhaps there was an extremely persuasive saleswoman on the floor that day, and she got you in a weak moment.  Whatever the reason, we’ve all got our rejects.  And even though most stores have generous return policies for cosmetics these days, sometimes we are too lazy to ship it back if we purchased over the internet, or we kept it longer than the return window. 

Some women, instead of relegating these items to a drawer, participate in swaps.   The best (and ostensibly, reputable) site for this is here. Some people give to relatives or friends.  I’ve even heard of makeup swap parties, which actually sound kind of fun.

I usually just give my stuff away, and if I happen to get something back, it’s a bonus. 

But I have to say the idea of swapping intrigues me.  And scares me a bit the same time.  I have no idea who the other person I’m swapping with is, and even though the product would be perfectly safe for me to use, I would probably be too paranoid to do so.  Apparently I need some faith in humanity, but it’s a slow process.

What about you?  Would you be willing to swap your unwanted products?  And would you be fine with swapping, say, translucent powder, but hesitant on something like lipstick?

Do tell!


Gift List for the Beauty Lovers in Your Life (or Yourself)

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
By Glinda

There is definitely a trick to giving beauty gifts to people other than those closest to you. Your aunt may not mind if you present her with some Caudalie wrinkle-fighting cream (that you know she’s been dying to try), but somebody else might look at it and wonder that their wrinkles looked so bad you felt the need to buy them some expensive cream to help them out. So my rule of thumb is that unless I am absolutely sure the person wants a specific product, I try to stay as general as possible. These next gifts fit the bill nicely.


Harajuku Lovers Makeup Girls Makeup Bags  I’m not a huge fan of the Harajuku Girls line, but even I have to admit these bags are hella cute.


The Gingerbread House from philosophy I know many, many women who are hooked on these scents.


Bliss Butter+Bubble Spa Blends in Blood Orange+White Pepper  Bliss’ highly regarded body butter, and a bubble bath. What’s not to like?


Sephora Collection Makeup Brush Box  Better than a bag, great for traveling.  Can even fit a toothbrush and toothpaste in a pinch!


L’Occitane Shea Butter Discovery Collection  What better way to treat your friends with help for their winter skin?


Sephora Collection Microfiber Hair Turban Who couldn’t use a little more Norma Desmond in their lives?


Tarina Tarantino Tulle Flower Anywhere Clip  The Swarovski crystals really make this pop!  More colors, too!


Kinerase, Coming to a Wal-Mart Near You

Monday, November 22nd, 2010
By Glinda

According to this article in the LA Times, it seems that some prestige skincare brands, such as Kinerase, Rodial, and Borba, will be producing lower-priced “capsule collections” in order to expand their customer base.  Hey, in the clothing world it’s worked for Lanvin and Karl Lagerfeld, right?

 Well, some of them won’t carry the brand name into the drugstore, because apparently upon seeing that someone could pick up the same brand at Walgreens, the customer who pays $78 for a small tube of undereye cream would run away screaming for something a bit more elitist.  No, these products will operate under the assumed names of Dr. Lewinn for Kinerase at Walgreens and Wal-Mart, and NIP+FAB for Rodial to be sold at Target.  Borba is keeping the name, but adding the term “Collection” to the products. 

The trick will be for the products to still contain the pricey ingredients, there will just be less quantity of them.  Both in actual amounts and number of different ingredients.  Where the full-priced version might contain eight expensive ingredients, the lower end will have two.

I will admit to being extremely interested in Kinerase products, only to be turned away at the thought of paying that much money for only one tube of something, to which would need to be added at least one other tube, which would result in a bill of a couple hundred bucks.  Maybe I’ll be willing to drop that much into skincare in ten years or so, but not right now.

So I have to admit they’ve probably got a good marketing strategy going.

And, I’m sort of in love with this quote from the founder of Borba,

The innovator also sees potential for more dedicated consumers: “People can buy the entire Borba Collection armada, instead of saying, ‘I can only afford this product this month.'”

The Borba Armada, ready to launch Operation Wrinkle Remove on your face!












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