Tuesday, January 11, 2011

my drugstore tried and trues!

i'm a tightwad. really. i only buy expensive beauty bits when i absolutely think it is worth it. looking incredible does not mean a fat wallet. to me, it means being thrifty and paying close attention to what certain products are for- i say this because me, like many others i know, will at one point (or several times) purchase an eyeshadow, a foundation, or a blush, use it once or twice and then chuck it. why? because it doesn't work!  right? sometimes this is true, but i have found that sometimes these cosmetics just weren't used right.

 Let's begin shall we?

 Mabeline's DREAM-SMOOTH mousse
$4 - $6
this may seem like a risk not willing to take, but i beg to differ. these are one of those said products that seem very crappy first use. my theory is because there are two kinds of Maybeline mousse- one in a little glass pot (which in the same container are varied shades of blush and cream shadows as well), and there is the one shown above which is in a compact with a mirror, and a little applicator. if you use the applicator, this foundation is way more than "full coverage" and ends up looking cakey. my tip for success with this product is to wash your hands and fingernails thoroughly, gently smooth a finger over the makeup itself and apply it by hand. don't spread it over your skin- gently pat it like machine gun fire, and then finish with a loose powder, or even pressed powder will do. your skin will look flawless.  *another tip: if you wash your face and moisturize every morning before you put on makeup- wait until your skin soaks in almost all the moisturizer and feels kinda tacky to the touch- it's like the perfect primer for the Mousse foundation.
**Eczema friendly!**

 NYC's Liquid Eyeliner
$2 - $3
  i buy this at Target and i have been for the last 3-4 years. it is unstoppable and i love it. this liquid eyeliner is the type with a little brush at the end, but it's tapered, so it's pretty easy to get the hang of with practice. but it's all a matter of preference. i've never liked the felt tip kind because they typically make a messier application. NYC's eyeliner in Black is actually very dark, unlike most others i have used turn out looking like a softer black, or a gray, if you will. what i love the most about this eyeliner is that it lasts all day without flaking off, and it doesn't burn or sting when you apply it.

 L'OREAL's Neutral matte palette
$4 - $6
i think this Loreal palette is called, "earthscape" but it's not important, what is however is that this is one of the best neutral eye palettes i've come across. not just because of the great colors which have a gorgeous matte finish, but that these work both as a dry shadow, and a wet shadow to achieve a richer pigment. but ditch the little foam applicator, those things usually pop off of the plastic stem within 3 uses anyway. use an eyeshadow brush to apply.

$6 - $8
Loreal's mascara is incredible any day. it does give volume: the thickness, the length, the oomph you desire to give bambi a run for his money. i have found that even after those late late nights and you find that you have mascara residue still, on a rushed morning you can actually apply this mascara over the aftermath and still look fabulous.

 Suave's MAX HOLD hairspray
$2 - $3
 i typically don't like to mess around with cheap aerosol hairspray unless it's AquaNet, but i'm not even a fan of AquaNet for all over hair stay power. Need an inexpensive hairspray in a pinch? go for Suave's Max Hold hairspray in the spritzer bottle, i love it to death. it gives excellent day long hold when used properly (please spray at 4-6 inches away from your hair). i especially love this hairspray because i like to spritz my hair lightly when i'm curling it. when my curls are cooled and dried, i can brush them out and shape them to my desire without the stickiness and the stiffness- and it really will hold your curls for at least 8 hours, which is a school day/or work day. 
Goody's Satin Fitted Sponge Rollers (37 in set)
$8 - $12
i love these!!! foam/sponge curlers really are my favorite for an overnight set. the set comes with 37 rollers total, 2" curlers, 1" curlers, and 1/2" curlers. i typically use the larges. each little spongey curler is fitted with a satin cover, which i didn't think much about when i first bought the set- but it actually keeps your hair smooth while your set is drying. they are fantastic.

**-Now for the pricier, but incredible beauty products that i recommend to you-**

 Davine's Hairspray for Wizards
$25 - $30
 that's right. the label clearly states that this is indeed made for wizards to use. this stuff is incredible, it holds like cement, but is not sticky. it is soft to the touch, and it is actually pliable! so you can mold your hair like playdoh, but it will not fall! it is perfect for you beehivers! you can achieve the tallest most perfect hive. there is no crunchy/stiff feel, a little bit goes a long long way, it washes out surprisingly easily- and listen here: it smells like sugar cookie dough. it's very light and not overpowering. plus- the packaging and label is so delicate and pretty.

Kevin Murphy's Powder.Puff
((watch the video below, Kevin tells all about this remarkable product!))
$25 - $30 

MATRIX's BIOLAGE conditioning hair mask
$25 - $30
 i had asked my sister what conditioner i should look for to hydrate and repair my hair after dying and color treating it, and she gave me a jar of this stuff. i had never seen it before and did not know where to find it- but i had to know because after the jar finally was done, i was totally hooked. this conditioner smells very fresh and light. it feels like a thick cream to touch. you leave it in your hair for 3-5 minutes in the shower- shave your legs or whatever, rinse, and you will probably cry because your hair will literally feel like the softest silk in the entire planet. AND your hair will smell so fresh and incredible for days! this stuff will completely repair your hair to it's strongest and softest it will ever be. you can also goop up your hair, wrap it in some saran-wrap and lay out in the sun for an hour and wash it out. and it's the easiest deep conditioning treatment you will never have to pay the salon for.

 Estee Lauder's Pure Color Eyeshadow
$15 - $23
my boyfriend's mom has this little glass-like box, that when opened, has a mirror, and a velvetey brown pigment. it's really dreamy stuff. i've used it only a couple times for special occasions, and it's just flawless. the eyeshadow is so incredibly pigmented that what you see right there is exactly what it will look like when applied to your eyes. it blends remarkably, and is so so sultry. also, this shadow can be layered, and it lasts literally all day and into the night without smudging and fading.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

skin skin skin

some people are blessed with low maintenance skin. some people can use whatever soap they want, whatever perfume, whatever laundry soap. some people can relax in any environment and not have to worry about what their skin thinks. i, however, am the opposite. i have had moderate atopic dermatitus my whole life. most people know this skin disorder as


1 in 4 children have eczema on and off throughout their childhood, and it usually clears up by the time of puberty. i wished and hoped that my condition would disappear like i had read and researched so thoroughly as a kid. i, like few others had quite the opposite. into the end of middle school, my eczema was full-blown, excruciating,  and there was nothing i could do to ease the pain and inflammation of 24/7 eczema. if you don't have moderate eczema, or know anyone who has it- this is everyday life for me:
to begin- i am going to try to find photos of what mine looks like, i say this because i cannot generalize what mild, moderate or extreme eczema looks like for everyone. this is because the name is for a very vague and mysterious disorder that looks and feels and reacts differently for everyone.
most of the time, my skin looks like this- many irregular shaped red, dry patches that itch and flake.

sometimes it looks like this, they aren't pimples, but small red bumps will appear and disapear and are very itchy as well.

when my eczema is at it's worst, it looks like the two photos above with the acquaintance of red welting and blotches of red/purple.
many people don't notice these physical ailments on people or even understand the excruciating pain, and psychological effects of having eczema. to shed some light, the patches of dry, red, inflamed skin feels like a bad sunburn, rubbed with gravel and poison oak, and a splash of lemon juice. i'm not kidding, it's enough to drive anyone crazy. i remember the itch of my eczema caused me to sratch so much without thinking to where it almost became like a tick. the itch was so intense that i would lose sleep, staying awake scratching all night. even when i was able to sleep, i would have to tape socks over my hands and cut my nails, because scratching in my sleep was actually more dangerous than when i was awake. i often would wake up with blood under my nails and find that i scratched the top layer of my skin off. i couldn't feel the pain, because all i could feel was the itch!
back then, me and my parents didn't know that laundry soap, food, and lotions, the humidity, seasons, and animals could cause this. as well as eczema, i also have asthma and allergies to cats, dogs, pollen, and mold.  there is no cure to any of these three, and it is only treatable. at least now, i figured out that i can't take hot showers, it has to be lukewarm, sometimes cold. too much water irritates my skin, so no longer than a 10-15 minute shower. i cannot be near cats or dogs without completely falling apart. no soaps or lotions with fragrances to smell nice, these usually contain alcohol and other terrible things (i don't recommend these kinds of lotions to anyone anyway). i can only use fragrance-free, lather-free, sensitive formula soaps. i used to use hydrocortisone steroid cream. about 1 tube per shower (all over my body). this is a great temporary relief, but your body becomes addicted to the steroids, and soon your skin will need it more often. i weaned my skin off of the hydrocortisone and started using Curel lotion.
usually $5.99-$12.99 per bottle depending on which kind you buy.
so the red and blue label bottles are greasy to me, and does not soak into my skin, but rather, leaves an oil on top that feels sticky, and itches. my tried and true is the green label bottle. it instantly absorbes into my skin and leaves my skin soft and protected all day! which is incredible. this lotion leaves my skin feeling hydrated and actually doesn't burn. i've tried basically every lotion available. and this is the only brand that works. even aveeno, lubriderm, eucerin, gold bond, jergens and others literally BURN my skin, it feels like a chemical burn on my skin and leaves a stinging sensation after i even washed it off for hours. i use a small, very expensive perscription tube of ointment that is highly toxic to ingest on extreme problem areas. i believe it's still a steroid, but i only have to use a tiny bit to a big surface area and spread it thin. but for anything else i use curel because their website explains all the testing they do to ensure relief and hydration. it is dermatologist tested and approved for dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. see link below.
so if you are not perfect like me, and are looking and searching for help, try curel. even if you are afraid of what your skin will do- do not be afraid, and do not let your tempermental skin rule over your life. i used to think i was done for, now i have dreams of modeling on the side because my eczema is mostly under control. i still have bad days every once in awhile, but for the most part, my itchiness can be ignored. thanks to curel, my skin actually feels healthy and flexible, instead of like sandpaper. it saved my life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Everybody loves Dean Martin

Oh what a lovely character. i've been drooling for a set of the Dean Martin Show. this man is not only so incredibly entertaining with one of the most extensive guest spots on his show than most others. But also, so talented, so hansome, such a sweetheart, and one of the greatest american icons in my opinion. if you don't know much about the Dean Martin show, here's a brief- Dean Martin is the lead host of a variety show that extended through 9 seasons, beginning in 1965-1974. His show aired on NBC every Thursday night at 10:00. His act was hilarious, as he would play a drunken, silly, "playboy". although it is reported that the glass he often held was filled with apple juice. hahaha
i love the man, i think he did an incredible job, as what drew me to this show was the charm of all characters acting candidly, working with mistakes and missed lines. enjoy one of my dear favorite songs he performed:

Everybody Loves Somebody

shoes, booze, and tattoos!

there are many vintage reproduction pieces that i will not venture towards; many dresses made in chinsy cotton or spandex type material are not supportive or strong enough to last and keep it's shape. this is why i enjoy vintage clothing so much- original pieces circa 50's-60's are built to last, while tucking you in and pushing you out giving a woman such a beautiful and intoxicating shape. with stockings, i would have to say that i much prefer to use repoduction seamed stockings made with nylon. they stretch and last very long, given that the owner takes necessary care of them. the stockings of old are unforgiving and tear much too easily for my taste. when it comes down to shoes- i used to be very set on vintage shoes if a lady wants to get all dolled up in the pin up fashion; But i've been swayed of my opinion lately. upon my search for vintage reproduction shoes i am delighted in my findings- and upon further investigation of comments and researching materials these shoes have been constructed with i am excited to say they are trustworthy for some thourugh tromping around.


cheetah cheetah bang

on a wing and a pair (aka the chocolate strawberry shoe)

wind beneath your wingtips (aka the toffee and cream shoe)

the soft serve heel

if you're looking for more a more sassy kind of stomper, trot down to www.pinupgirlclothing.com

satin holiday heel

satin holiday heel in brown

rose-slip shoe

satin pump with chiffon flower heel

patent peep toe platform in mint
although some are more expensive than others, they're worth their weight in style and reliability. from what i could tell with the comments left from proud owners, these picks are worth their licks.