Beauty Products: Update #4

Hey you guys! It’s been a while since we got girly and talked about beauty products, so, let’s. Some things I’m into since the last times we chatted:

1. DIOR Diorshow Iconic Waterproof Mascara - On the last Ermie shoot, I asked Bea what her favorite waterproof mascara was so I could cry through some stuff at the wedding. She didn’t even have to think for a second before recommending this baby, and while I thought I wouldn’t want to wear a waterproof mascara every day, I actually have been. It washes right off with face wash and does not budge or end up under your eyes. Through a hilarious clumsy accident I sprayed water all over my face and put it to the test: does not budge. Sweaty LA days: does not budge. Also, does not clump, looks natural, but takes your eyeslashes up a notch. A+

2. Alima Pure - Jen posted about this brand a while back and I ordered every sample ever from them asap (can all makeup have a sample option for ordering please?). They make all natural mineral makeup in Portland, OR. I’d never tried mineral makeup before, and the results are mixed. My face isn’t into the concealer or eyeliner, but I LOVE the blush. I’m still working on my samples, rotating between the Satin Matte Blush in Honey Rose and the Luminous Shimmer Blush in Freja - both peachy tones, but the first is darker and more rosey, better for a more noticeable look. I also got an eyeshadow sample that I’m not super crazy about the sparkle in it, so I want to order a matte color next time as I really like the texture and how long it lasts. This is great makeup for looking really fresh faced.

3. Almay Wake Up Under Eye Concealer – A couple years ago when I wrote my first beauty post, I told you about how much I loved Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer. But I was going through it fast and dang, that stuff ain’t cheap. So while milling around the makeup at Target, I saw this Almay concealer that sounded very similar. At half the cost of the Clinique stuff, I figured I’d give it a try. The applicator is not nearly as nice (you squeeze it, which can lead to mishaps), but guess what? It’s basically the exact same product inside and covers my dark circles like a champ. ‘Nuff said.

4. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - This one I owe to you, dear readers, as so many of you recommended this eyeliner in my last post asking for recommendations. I’d never used eyeliner with this type of application before – it comes in a little pot that you apply with a brush (I use this angled one) – and I’m so in love. It looks exactly the same at night as it does when I apply it in the morning. High-five to those who told me about it!

5. Stila Stay All Day Lipstick - I’ve been on this truly epic quest for a lipstick to wear for the wedding, my main criteria being that it won’t come off when: kissing, eating, or drinking as I think lipstick coming off on things is disgusting. I’m not talking about the way Nars lipstick stays on really well, I’m talking does! not! come! off! at all – for at least four hours. I think I tried them all, including the Makeup Forever Aqua Rouge that came so highly recommended (no thanks, sticky glue lipstick) and the surprisingly awesome Maybelline 24 hour lipstick (I don’t like the colors though! Too dull). The winner is Stila, by a landslide. Beso is a classic vintage red that I’d compare to MAC Ruby Woo, but it looks SO different on everyone. I’ve made three other friends try it and it looks completely different on all of us. It has a matte finish much like a stain, but I found it way less drying than all the others and outlasted all the others through eating, drinking, fake kissing my arm (true story, I’m 12 again?). I could see it being too dry for some people, but that’s why Sephora has free returns. I use a brush to apply it as I’m better with a brush, other friends swear by the lipgloss-like applicator it comes with. You have to remove this baby with an oil-based makeup remover – keep a q-tip with it nearby while you apply.

6. Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel - When Bethany cut my hair she used this stuff and I was intrigued because I like to put something in my hair after a shower and I can’t find my favorite coconut mousse anymore. Works awesome for taming my unpredictable waves while they dry. Affordable for how huge and lasting it is, and I buy it where I buy my vitamins, though I’m told Whole Foods also carries it!

7. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact - It seems like everyone loves her tinted moisturizer but me – it just goes on so thin and rubs off easily, I’d rather just use concealer where I need it. But sometimes you need a little more coverage (for photos, going out all fancy, etc.) and months ago I got a sample of this stuff and ignored it until the other day. I love it! Really into it more than the tube stuff. I wet the sponge it comes with and apply a thin later everywhere and apply a little more where needed. When I use it, I still use my beloved MAC concealer on blemishes. It definitely won’t be something I use often, but it’s nice to have something with more coverage when you need it.

Ok, your turn. Tell me all about what you’re into these days. I’m on the hunt for an under-eye cream that brightens that doesn’t use retinol. I think maybe it’s a lost cause? You can see my past beauty posts about other products I use daily!

 

Beauty Products: Update #3

A recent discussion on twitter about moisturizer lead to the request that I update my beauty product guide (previous posts part 1 & 2), which I am happy to oblige because I suck at knowing what to blog about lately and can talk about beauty products all day long. Things that have happened since the last time we talkeds: 1. I lost my Clarisonic. It was tragic and I have NO idea how it happened, but it did. However, this new face wash I bought is so magical that I haven’t needed it. 2. Sephora stopped making that awesome cheek stain I wrote about in the last post. Since then I’ve just been using my magic marker lip stains that I’ve decided look terrible on me as cheek stain, which works ok. 3. Every day I still use M.A.C Select Moisturecover and Blot Powder, and Clinique Airbrush Concealer.

New things, pictured:

1. Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed Super CremeAfrican Red Tea Foaming Cleanser, and Invigorating Night Gel. MAGICAL TIMES! I was looking for a new face wash as my face decided to start rejecting my Boscia stuff, and I decided to get a kit from Ole Henriksen since it was so highly recommended on Sephora. The only thing I hated in the kit was the eye cream, which left my eyes sticky, but everything else was lovely. These are just the three things that I love the most and ended up buying full size in. It ain’t cheap, no, but the bottles are huge! They work amazing and smell delicious like citrus and the face wash really smells like red tea. Despite being called super creme, the moisturizer is wonderful on my oily skin. The night gel is the best overnight product I’ve ever used.

2. My new favorite weapon for random break outs is Fresh Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar. I bought it to use as a cleanser, and that was a disaster as it was way too drying. But I dab a little on blemishes and leave it on for at least an hour, if not overnight, and it instantly shrinks. Where was this when I was in high school? It’s expensive, but will seriously last you a life time. I’ve barely used a 1/4 of it and I’ve had it for months! I admit it’s awkward to store – I keep it in a plastic bag as it get crumbly.

3. For Christmas, my besty Andrea got me the BEST gift, a collection of some of her favorite makeup products. Genius, and I loved every single one of them. First up, Buxom Lash Mascara. The thing I love best about it is the synthetic brush, which I find works amazing with mascara at getting an even coat on your lashes. It doesn’t end up under your eyes – downside to that is that you have to use eye makeup remover to get it off at night.

4. She also gave me a MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque, which is really universally flattering shimmery gold that adds just a little bit of fun to you eyes. I don’t normally like creme eyeshadow, but us usual, MAC gets it right.

5. What makes the above mentioned eyeshadow even better is the best eyeshadow base ever by NARS. Not only will eyeshadow cease to crease on your lid, but it makes colors pop and stand out more since they have a matte base. Great for those of us with oily eyelids. I’d file this under “nice to have” however, since it’s a little splurgey and I only wear eyeshadow for long periods of time once in a while. I’m definitely re-stocking up before my wedding.
6. I’ve found some fun new shades of lipstick. MAC Lipstick in Plumful and So Chaud and NARS Funny Face. Plumful (another Andrea gift!) is a really good basic color for those of you who are not daring enough for bold colors, or you need to take it up a notch but be professional. So Chaud is an orangey-red color I saw on Cup of Jo ages ago and saved up my glass containers to trade in for recently (oy that takes forever, but so awesome!). Funny Face is a really classic fuscia, a color I would have gagged at years ago but find really fun these days. It is a little bit opal when it dries, but my friend Ali assured me it looks awesome and I think the pink is a nice change from my usual red. I forgot to mention this in my last beauty post, but NARS Heat Wave is also the very best. Very similar to So Chaud, but not matte. And as always, lipliner: a bright lipstick’s very best friend in accuracy.
7. Speaking of my mom, she gave me some e.l.f. Studio Brushes in my stocking for Christmas and even though they are so cheap, they are amazing! $3 and they feel very similar to the Sephora brand brushes.
8. My nose is so flaky and painful during the winter thanks to the dry weather here and my allergies, and everything I’ve tried makes me break out or doesn’t do a thing. I recently discovered, out of desperation, that Burt’s Bees Hand Salve works wonders for this problem. It doesn’t just treat my flaky skin, but since I use it every night, it stopped coming back. Funny enough I don’t like it as a hand salve as it doesn’t do anything for my dry hands (don’t get me started!).
Ok guys, here’s what I’m in the market for: blush! I prefer liquid stain, but I’m open to other things since that obviously hasn’t been working for me lately. Hand cream. Eyeliner – I’m feeling disappointed in my usual Sephora pencil lately.
Update: all of your recommendations are so amazing, I added them to a Svpply collection here if you want to see them all together. Please comment with things outside of my blush/eyeliner/hand cream request as well and I’ll add ‘em!

Ombré!

It only took me, oh I don’t know, 100 months or something dumb to finally write this post, but after a lull in pestering from you guys, a reader’s email wanting to know how I ombréd my own hair prompted me to realize I needed to finally get this thing out there before ombré hair is totally over. It actually might be totally over but sometimes being a freelancer in LA means I don’t get out much and spot fashion trends nearly as much as I did in NYC riding the subway every single day, so WHO KNOWS. All I know is that I ombréd my own hair and I effing love it.

Before we begin I would like to note that I’m not a complete amateur at this kind of thing: my mom was a hairstylist when I was a kid and permed my hair at age four and dyed my hair for the first time at age 12 and taught me a lot (tortured me a lot? We are both unclear). I have had every haircut that exists (Winona pixie included – not a good look for me) and dyed my hair every color of the rainbow over the years. So, what I’m saying is that this is not for everyone. If you have never dyed your own hair before I don’t know if I would recommend this even though it was not super hard, it was tricky for sure.

There are approximately 1 million tutorials on how to ombré your hair, which is why I think a lot of you have asked me how I did it because it’s REALLY overwhelming. I researched for weeks before making the plunge. I know how my hair reacts to bleach and dye, and everyone’s hair is different!

There are two popular methods. On both your hair should be dry and at least 24 hours after a shampoo, and you should have no product in your hair if you can help it:

1. Apply bleach on the ends of your hair* below your chin line where you want the ombré to start. Wait 20 minutes or so (everyone is different!) Wash bleach out. Dry hair. Re-apply bleach a bit lower. Repeat steps until desired effect is achieved.

or

2. Apply bleach* at the very tips of your hair where it will be the lightest, wait 10 minutes, apply more bleach (not washing it out!) starting a little higher this time. Repeat steps until you reach the point you want it to start.

*Applying bleach with a big paint brush, a brush meant for applying highlights, or a soft bristle brush (what I used as I had it) makes it look more natural. Don’t try to do a perfectly straight line, it will look so fake and weird. I even grabbed a few random strands a bit higher and applied bleach to those.

I decided to go with option #1, and the problem with this is that washing the bleach out and then drying your hair in between each step is a nightmare and destroys your hair. I don’t understand how some people did it this way. So I was left with a very, very faint ombré because it just wouldn’t get any lighter and it felt SO brittle. I used Clairol Born Blonde and the bleach barely took to my hair, but I’d used boxed bleach before that had a tint and it was way stronger. So I did a deep conditioning hot oil treatment a few days later (I used this, it smells weird but works well and is at most drug stores. My mom likes the VO5 kind) and waited 1 week til I thought my ends could handle another round and bought a different box of bleach and re-did it using method #2. Bingo! So much better. I’m sure doing it the first time helped, but it may take two rounds. It’s still pretty subtle, but I like it like that.

Some things to consider:

- Bleach is toxic stuff and may burn your eyes. Please open a window/door/do it outside (ha) and don’t attempt this if you are sensitive to such things. I’m sure we could get into how terrible this is for you, but let’s just skip that argument as I almost never bleach my hair anymore and once a year isn’t any worse than my burrito/ice cream/coffee/laziness/not flossing/margarita loving indulging. :) :) :) (Three smiley faces to ward off arguments, natch.)

- This dries the holy heck out of your hair. Fortunately I have incredibly oily hair so this actually had an awesome result on my hair because styling it is much easier now. It holds a curl better and isn’t as limp. If you have dry hair, please be careful or go see a professional. You could literally break your hair off. A friend of mine had to cut her hair into a bob because it went sour. Pay very close attention to the condition of your hair while applying the bleach. Again, hot oil treatment is your friend for your bleached ends every few weeks. I also use strong, thick conditioner on my ends every time I shower. I was using the stuff that comes with the hair dye but just ran out and started using this, but I can’t report its effectiveness quite yet! I really like the Organix brand.

- The timing is different for everyone, and I did so many steps and back and forth that I can’t even remember my exact times, but I believe I waited 20 minutes between each application. This is kind of a dangerous time as it says to not leave it in your hair for more than a total of 40 minutes and I most certainly did, but it worked for me. I was just super careful and know my hair well.

- To add complexity to this story, my hair was bleached a year ago and dyed back to brunette, but I have to re-dye brown on top every once in a while as it fades in this bright California sun. So a month ago I had to re-dye my roots and avoid my ombré. Somehow I did it, basically just reverse ombréing my hair, but it was TRICKY! But it is possible. This makes me think that maybe it’s possible to reverse ombré your hair if you’re blonde. But the grow out might look ridiculous, just a warning. This tutorial is a similar method.

Phew! Did you just read all that? Anyone have any tips they want to add? Any photos to share? I think if you were a cooler person than I am ombré + a fun color like blue or pink would look rad. It definitely takes a certain person to pull it off without looking like a teenager, however.

details: my shirt is by the lovely Ilana Kohn, I use Organix Coconut Mousse on damp hair, dry it a bit with a towel – or better yet – a t-shirt, let it air dry (I know, forever) and then curl it a bit with a curling iron. My glasses are discontinued. You can read about other beauty products I use here and here.