Tag Archives: Beauty

Tough as Nails

28 Apr

In a previous post, Manicures What Ails Ya, I wrote about the excitement of starting a new nail polish collection since my nails were growing out healthy and strong. The day after posting said blog, I broke two nails at work. Ironic. (I think. Alanis really got me confused over the proper use of the word.) My nails have been shit ever since. Part of it is the job. I never knew retail could be so hazardous to a manicure, but somehow I’m breaking nails left and right. It’s got to have something to do with those evil hangers. One got me right in the face a couple weeks ago, the bastard. Also, it was super dry in Colorado, especially the month of March. “One of our snowiest months,” according to the news. Not this year.

Something had to be done. I want to be able to use my growing nail polish collection (got some scented nail polish this week that I am dying to try). I turned to an old favorite; perhaps my favorite drugstore product ever. It’s definitely a hero product.

Nail Cream

Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream will (hopefully) rescue my nails. I’ve used it before with good results. I’m not promising a miracle, but it is really good for your nails and cuticles. There are a lot of moisturizers and vitamins in that little 1 oz pot. Healthy nails start with healthy cuticles, so any nightly cuticle cream or hand lotion will help, this guy just seems to pack a little extra punch for the nails. They changed the packaging from what I remember and made it look even MORE 80s fabulous, so I thought it’s very own Glamour Shot would be appropriate. This definitely looks like one of those scary drugstore products by a brand you don’t recognize that looks like it may have been on the shelf since 1987, but it is legit. Don’t be afraid of Hard as Hoof.

And as for my nails, so far so good, BUT I have had the last two days off work (seriously! those hangers! evil!). Applying nightly cuticle cream is a habit that can only benefit me, and I love having a nightly beauty routine (ooo, I should write about that). I’m going to keep drinking plenty of water, taking my multi-vitamin, and start eating more Jell-O. Gelatin helps your nails stay strong and helps your joints too! Is there anything Jell-O can’t do? Which reminds me, Hard as Hoof has a cherry almond scent that is delicious. I mean, smells good. Don’t get it mixed up with your cherry Jell-O. You won’t get the same results.

 

Hard as Hoof costs 5 bucks at your drugstore or Wal-Mart, scumbags!

Making faces

25 Apr

I’ve got to post about this right away, just in case you want to go buy this makeup kit before it’s gone. On sale this week, the $20 regularly priced UO Beauty Playground Kit is only $4.99. I’ve been staring at this kit for weeks while I work, unwilling to pay the $20 for eyeshadow in a paper box. Mostly I’ve been plain curious to try the Urban house brand of cosmetics, wishing I was a beauty buyer picking out the product or the merchandiser packaging it.

The kit includes 4 eyeshadows, black pencil eyeliner, gold shimmer powder, and a lipgloss. Shimmer powder is almost as useless to me as glitter. I just don’t need it or really dig it. I wore it today as a highlighter on my cheekbones today just to try it. Eh. Maybe if I was a tan girl and not Snow White I would love it. The eyeliner was pretty basic. It went past smudge-able to “you can practically wipe it off.” I wore it under my eyeshadow so it set pretty well. The eyeshadow palette was similar to a Mary Kay one I got for free, am almost out of , and loved. Again, they may look better on a tan girl, but they’re still good metallic neutrals. I’ve been seeing a lot of magazine spreads using colors like the lightest shade, a shimmery peach, as a base, highlighter, and along the lower lash line. It’s been a great change for me from the super light base colors I’ve been using. No more white mask around my eyes.

I’ve saved the best for last. The lipgloss was my favorite part. It’s a great rusty cherry color (always worry about reds and the whiteness of my teeth and this looked good). The lipgloss was smooth and not sticky, it felt great. It didn’t last terribly long but maybe that’s because it smelled and tasted like candy (yummy).

If Urban sold these lipglosses individually, I would snatch them up. Especially if they featured the new trends (bright orange? Hot pink? Yes please.) I understand the difficulty of creating an in-house cosmetics line: loss prevention, training employees on the product, keeping sanitary testers, building a brand and regular customers. BUT Urban should totally push these lipglosses. They’re doing well with their nail polishes. The great colors get girls to buy them. I think the quality for the price gets them to come back for more. Nail polish and lipgloss have become as important as jewelry to a girl’s wardrobe.
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Loving the skin I’m in

16 Jan

My new best friend

 

An update on a previous post, titled This Cheatin’ Skin. I am happy to share with you that my relationship with my Curel lotion is going even better than expected. I kicked my cocoa butter lotion to the curb before I even finished the bottle. The itchy dry skin had gone on long enough. Good riddance to it! My skin is staying hydrated and comfy (yeah I said my skin is comfy) all day in this dry Colorado winter. The best part has been restoring my hands. I  don’t bartend anymore, but my hands were worse than they have ever been; chapped, cracked, painful skin and weak broken nails. Curel Ultra Healing lotion has helped a lot. My nails actually grew out this week and I haven’t had a split cuticle since I started using it! Yay! When my skin feels better, I feel better.

If I had a million dollars…

6 Jan

Forget 24k gold facials or crazy surgical stuff, if I had tons of money to spare I would do two things. One, commission a fragrance to be made based on my own personal scent and body chemistry (eau de scumbag!). My friend Ryan would have to be in charge of this because he has an amazing sense of smell and can identify me based on scent. I think it would have a lot of orange and other citrus. Two, I would buy THIS Clarisonic PLUS Sonic Skin Cleansing System. This is the one that comes with the body brush, which is what I want it for the most. That body brush and the multiple speeds make this bad boy $225. Yowzers. If someone gave me this as a gift right now, I would probably feel obligated to marry them and bear their children. But I would do it all with amazing skin.

 

Makeup Muse: oh my goth!

10 Dec

Today is my dear friend Miranda’s birthday. I was thinking about her and her signature style as I was getting ready today, and I totally did homage makeup, copying her. I don’t know how much of it was intentional, but she always makes me want to be more goth. Here’s a picture I stole from her (it’s so fierce!)

The bad ass goth older sister I always wanted.

Every day this girl has the porcelain skin, goth eyebrows, cateyes (or wings I sometimes like to call them), and red lips. Oh, and she always has the best bangs. I don’t know what I would do if she suddenly started using bronzer or changed up that eye makeup. My world might collapse in on itself. The movie Cry Baby always reminds me of Miranda. The Cry Baby girls had the same winged eyeliner.

Traci Lords in "Cry Baby"

Miranda is the queen of eyeliner. I won’t tell you how many years of practice she said she’s had with it, or how old she’s turning today. After stealing and posting her picture without her permission, that would just be too far. (Good thing she loves me.) I’ve always been so in awe of her skills because I am eyeliner deficient. She can do this makeup with liquid or pencil. I’ve only recently started using pencil and could not make these lines so smooth and sharp. Maybe if I had gel eyeliner I could do it, but I can’t see myself using it every day to justify buying it. The scumbag way is to make do with what you’ve got.

close up

a little bit goth

Miranda and I have the porcelain skin thing in common, so that’s a check. I used my darkest rusty blush just under the cheekbones. No rosy apple cheeks with this makeup. I kept my standard eye makeup as a base. L’oreal Morning Light Perle eye shadow as an all over highlighter, then Rimmel Smokey Quartz to define the crease. I started with my black pencil eye liner, but couldn’t get the wings sharp and straight so I busted out my angled eyeliner/shadow brush (Sonia Kashuk) and my good ol’ black eyeshadow (CoverGirl Shimmering Onyx). I’ve done this before by wetting the brush, but didn’t really need to today.

To get the really red lips like Miranda’s, I usually do some combination of a stain, pencil and lipstick. Today I decided to just smear on some cherry red lipgloss. It was the solid kind from a palette. I always like the texture of those better than a tube, but I do have a red fingertip now. (I find lip brushes annoying.)

Now if I could ever have rockin’ bangs the look would be complete.

This Cheatin’ Skin

3 Dec

I love the music of Amy Winehouse. Especially when I’m driving and I can sing along, no holds barred. I was listening to the song “You Know I’m No Good” and it made me think of my body lotion, of all things. The song tells of her infidelities as she sings “I cheated myself.”  I totally cheated on my favorite body lotion and now I’m the one suffering.

Here’s the love of my skin.

Curel Fragrance Free Lotion

I started using this after I got my first tattoo. That particular tattoo artist said this was her favorite fragrance free lotion, and I listen to tattoo artists about skin care. Curel lotions all absorb into the skin quickly and deeply. They do not clog your pores (none of that nasty mineral oil shit). I’ve used this body lotion year round, in dry Colorado and in humid New York. My skin always feels smooth and comfortable, never greasy or thirsty. Curel’s been good to me.

 

 

 

 

Now here’s “the other lotion.”

Vaseline and CVS brand cocoa butter body lotions

This is Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep conditioning body lotion, and the same formula by CVS pharmacy. (Deep conditioning, my ass. Liar.) I had used Vaseline before and either my memory failed me or I am too forgiving. My mind was focusing on stretch marks as I shopped for lotion. Cocoa butter is known to help with skin tone and texture. When I first used this body lotion, I was still living in New York and we were just coming out of summer so my skin wasn’t very dry, but applying this body lotion the first few times felt like trying to rub water into your skin. I didn’t feel hydrated beyond the surface. Now I’m in Colorado in the midst of freezing temperatures and 10 inches of snow. My skin is killing me. Just a few hours after moisturizing my skin feel dry and tight. I miss the 24 hour deep moisture of Curel. I’m cheap so I’m trying to use this up before I transition back. (Wasn’t I smart in buying that value size!)

 

 

This is what I’m running back to.

Curel Ultra Healing Intense Lotion

The transition to Colorado dry air has been rough on my skin, so I’m going to pamper it with the Ultra Healing formula. I’ve used it before during some fierce winters, and I’m pretty sure this winter will be just that. This one won’t clog your pores either, it’s still non-greasy and absorbs quickly. It helps soothe my super sensitive winter skin. My skin’s itching to use this the more I talk about it!

 

 

 

 

 

Check out Curel’s website where you can check out their products, including ingredient lists. I used the Skincare Advisor and they suggested I used the formula for sensitive skin. Hmm, maybe. I should ease back into my Curel relationship first. I also linked all the images above to the product pages in drugstore.com.

Ladies and gentleman, the late Amy Winehouse…

What a LUSH!

1 Dec

I’ve spent so much time in the drugstores I don’t notice boutique cosmetic shops. I usually assume they’re always out of my budget anyway. BUT I came across LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics at the mall a couple of weeks ago and have been so excited by this company ever since. First off, I want to share with you their beliefs.

We believe in making effective products from fresh, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.

We invent our own products and fragrances. We make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients, and tell you when they were made.

We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.

We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.

We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.

We believe our products are good value, that we should make a profit and that the customer is always right.

* We also believe words like fresh and organic have honest meaning beyond marketing.

Pretty awesome, right? But I’ve come across other companies with good will and good intentions, but a crap product. I think that too often cosmetic companies are making things too one-size-fits-all. At LUSH, there was a product for every need, every skin type. I told the sales associate that I have oily skin and she showed me at least 3 different face washes I could use. There was oily with acne, oily and sensitive, oily/combination. I asked a million questions about ingredients and came away impressed. So, there’s this ethical company selling me body products that are just as based in science as the big chemical companies? Again, awesome.

My biggest adjustment with LUSH is their little to no packaging. They make products into solids whenever they can to eliminate the waste of a bottle. Yay for the environment, but… solid shampoo? I’m so scared of it. I have to try it. And now that I’ve poured over their catalog, I have found the perfect products for everyone I know. I want to get the coconut shampoo for my curly-haired friend. I want to pick out a solid perfume for my dad, since he can’t do alcohol based sprays. There’s even a solid body tint bar, for my friend who hates being pale. I also think this is a great collection for men as well. The (little) packaging is cool and nothing in the store screams girl. I’m grateful to LUSH for getting me excited about body care again. It got this blog started!

Here’s what I went home with after my first LUSH experience:

Herbalism clay face cleanser and a sample of Enzymion moisturizer

I’ll come back to these to let you know how they worked out for me, but I encourage you to go into a LUSH store and play. They said they also give facials in store so you can try stuff. Also, here‘s a review NYLON magazine did online of LUSH dry shampoo.