Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shine On Part 2

In late May I ordered Benefit’s liquid highlighter High Beam. Here’s my previous post.

Benefit High Beam – liquid highlighter

I’ve been meaning to do another post to let you know what I thought about it. I’m sure you might have seen it around. I’ve been seeing it for years on Sephora’s website, but never thought I’d want a highlighter. (When I first saw it, I didn’t even know what to do with a highlighter.)

I’ll admit that my desire to find that perfect dewy look came from watching ABC’s Private Practice. I had never watched the show before, but I started watching it on Netflix this spring. I immediately became enamored with Kate Walsh’s makeup.

Kate Walsh at Dr. Addison Montgomery on Private Practice

She looked so effortless and beautiful. Not overdone at all. And her skin had this amazing glow to it. I thought it was just a good dermatologist and Creme de la Mer. Turns out she had a list of her 10 favorite cosmetic items on Sephora’s website.

Number 7 on her list is High Beam from Benefit. That’s all it took for me to place an order on Sephora. When it came, it took some time to figure out how to use it. There are some places on your face you don’t want highlighter. Check out this if you want to see where to apply highlighter.

I liked that the color was perfect for me. It had a perfect shimmer. Not glittery, not too shiny, just right to catch the light and make my skin look young and dewy. I didn’t like that High Beam dried really fast. I learned to blend quickly. I wish it came with a felt tip applicator instead of a brush. The brush is similar to what you’d find in a bottle of nail polish. It’s just a personal preference.

I think it’s worth the $26, and I’ll replace it when it runs out. Do you use a highlighter? What face product do you love and recommend? I’d love to hear from you.

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Vacation Lipstick

Most people slim down their cosmetic bag when they go on vacation, I always end up cramming it full. I always imagine situations where I’d like to have more options than less, so I take 3 types of mascara instead of just one. This trip, I brought along mineral and liquid foundation, 11 shades of eyeshadow, 4 eye liners, 3 concealers and exactly 20 shades of lipstick.

I know you must be thinking I’m crazy, but I had to do it. I’m only gone for 10 days, and I’ve doubled that in lipsticks. Here’s why. First of all, I’m addicted to lipstick. Second of all, I love to layer the colors. I almost never wear one shade straight from the tube. It has to be a phenomenal lipstick for me to wear it solo. I normally will start with a darker shade, and then layer on a lighter or glossier shade over the top. Sometimes I’ll tone down a bright magenta, or a bright orange with the perfect red. Sometimes my sheer pink needs a little oomph of color, so I’ll mix in some peachy tones.

I’m always finding new combinations when I mix my lipstick colors. I love it.

In the past week I picked up 4 new shades that I’m loving. I’ve always been a huge fan of Clinique’s Chubby Stick, and they just recently came out with new shades. I really was wanting Oversized Orange, but my local counter was out of that shade. So I picked up Pudgy Peony instead.

Oversized Orange

Pudgy Peony

The Lipstick Gal in Clinique’s Pudgy Peony

I was still looking for an orange shade for summer, so I went to the drugstore. I picked up another Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous.

Revlon Rendezvous

The Lipstick Gal in Revlon’s Rendezvous

It wasn’t the same shade as the Clinique Chubby, but it was similar. Somehow, I was back at the drugstore on Friday afternoon and I saw that the Revlon Lip Butter shades were on sale. These have been my absolute favorite drugstore lipsticks in the past several months. I’ll admit, I was a slow adopter, but I’m in love with these now. I picked up Red Velvet, and a Creme Brulee.

Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet

The Lipstick Gal in Revlon’s Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee

The Lipstick Gal in Revlon’s Creme Brulee

That brings my Revlon Lip Butter collection to 6 shades. Every one looks fantastic on, and I love that some have sparkle, and some are just a creme color. The ones that sparkle, don’t over sparkle and look like something an 8 to 12-year-old girl  would want to wear. It’s just enough sparkle, and not too much. I also adore the hydrating sensation that I get when putting them on. For being a drugstore lipstick, I’m in love. I recommend them to everyone who asks me about lipstick. You don’t get the price shock of the higher end lipsticks, but you still get a great product.

I’ve told myself that I’m not allowed to purchase any new lipsticks on this vacation. I can get anything else, but I really couldn’t possibly need anymore lip color. We’ll see if I can hold out.

What I’m hoping I end up getting time to do is stop in at a Sephora store. It’s been years since I’ve been to a Sephora store. My closest store is 4 hours away from my house. I do all of my shopping online. I’m coming up on my 10th anniversary, and I hope to be able to convince my husband that I need a shopping spree in Sephora as an anniversary present. The one thing I’m really looking forward to finding out more about is the Clarisonic.

What good is it to have lots of great makeup if your skin isn’t a great canvas? I’m going to see what all the hype is about and if it’s for me.

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Midweek Manicure

All three colors are Zoya Nail Polish. Keiko (purple) with accent nail in Wednesday (turquoise) and Purity (white)

I finally removed my zebra print Sally Hansen nail strips on Monday, and painted my nails a muted beige. When I came home from work today I had to liven up my manicure. I felt too ladylike in my nude nails. I felt like I should have been wearing a twin set and pearls.

Over the past 9 months I’ve become a huge fan of Zoya nail color. I love the amazing color selection they offer, and how great their polishes apply. I also love how instead of being 3-free, they’re 5-free. They just don’t put all the yucky stuff in their nail polish.

So if you’re looking for a new shade to add to your collection, check out the Zoya website. You can search through their 300+ colors and find one that’s right for you. If you’re lucky, you might have a local salon that carries Zoya products.

Polish away, and wear some bright colors this summer.

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Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility

I have to thank Google reader for this post. I came across this article about the props needed for the new film Rock of Ages while I was reading this morning. What really caught my eye was reading the word codpiece.

So if you don’t have a chance to read the article, let me sum it up for you. There is a man who makes script specific props for Hollywood, and for the new movie Rock of Ages he was asked to make a jeweled codpiece for Tom Cruise’s character Stacee Jaxx.

 I’ve been looking for an image of the prop, and I haven’t been able to find one.

The reason this really made me stop and do a double take is that first and foremost, I am a child of the 80s. I love 80s music. I will unabashedly admit to it. It’s my guilty pleasure. Just watching the trailer made me nostalgic. Second, I’ve never paid much attention to what rockers wear in concert because I’ve never been to a rock concert. When I read that Tom’s character was wearing a codpiece, I was surprised to say the least.  (By the way, I’ve never been to a concert because I’d rather spend $100 or more dollars on shoes, a handbag, or cosmetics.)

When I hear the word codpiece, I think courtiers in the time of King Henry VIII of England. It’s not that the codpiece wasn’t around long before, but I know lots about English renaissance court fashion. I learned about this during my misspent youth following my parents around to renaissance fairs and renaissance costume workshops in my tween years. My dad has a beautifully detailed King Henry VIII costume. He also plays the renaissance lute. Back in the 80s, when my dad was in his 30s, and had a full beard, he could easily have played Henry VIII.

In all the costume workshops I went to, I learned that men (especially King Henry VIII) used the codpiece to show off their junk to the ladies. It was a sign of male virility. The larger the codpiece, the more virile the man. Of course, there came a time when it became a piece of jewelry as well. To attract more attention to the codpieces, courtiers would pin on expensive jewels. Of course, not to be out done, there is an anecdotal story of King Henry VIII saying that no one was allowed to have a larger or more bejeweled codpiece than him.

So why am I surprised to find that many male rock stars have worn codpieces? I suppose now that I think of it, I’m not. Men of prestige and riches calling attention to their supposed male virility. Why wouldn’t you strap on a bejeweled cock pocket when you have thousands of screaming fans yelling your name?

I’m trying to think if we women have an equivalent. The Million Dollar Bra? I’m not sure it’s the same. What do you think?

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I Might Be Crazy, But I’m Doing It Again! Part 2

So, nearly three hours later, I’m done coloring my hair with color from eSalon. Of course it didn’t take 3 hours to color my hair, but I wasn’t about to make a video with wet hair, or crazy-frizzy-just-dried-hair. I also wasn’t about to make a video without some makeup. This is my beauty blog after all. I needed a little time to primp.

The coloring process took about 55 minutes. It might take less time in the future if I get faster at applying color. I also had to invest the help of my husband. He’s always willing to help me with my crazy DIY projects, especially the beauty ones. Apparently they entertain him.

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I Might Be Crazy, But I’m Doing It Again!

A box showed up on my doorstep today. One I had ordered on Wednesday from eSalon. Yes, I’m attempting to color my hair at home again. I know I swore in previous posts I would never do this again, but I had to try it. If I kill my hair again, I know what to do, and where to go.

I decided to make a video that explains the eSalon process to you. Here it is.

I promise to make a follow up video no matter what the state of my hair. If it’s bad, I’ll still make a video. I might be crying during it, but I’ll make one. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it all turns out OK.

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Snake Rattle and Roll

I read in a tweet early this week that Sally Hansen was making their Salon Effects Nail Strips for toes. I was excited to hear that since I had just tried the Salon Effects for nails for the first time a few weeks ago. I was quite pleased with the results.

I was at my local mega-mart today, and I happened to notice a display with the Pedicure Salon Effects strips. I tossed one in the cart,  and quickly headed home to change my polish.

I grabbed the ones called Snake, Rattle & Roll. They’re a snake print in purple, green, beige and black. The rest of the pedicure prints were a little too much look for me.

Here are my toes before with regular nail polish. By the way, I’ve got Zoya nail polish in Trixie on. I’ve had it on for 4 weeks with no chips. That’s saying a lot. I LOVE Zoya nail polish. I find that this silver foil color is like jewelry for my toes. I love it with my jeweled sandals during the summer! You can see with the grow out, it’s time for a pedicure.

I’ve never been able to just trim my toenails. I have to clip them down to stubs. I was kicking myself after the first snip of the nail clippers. I went too far. After massacring the large toenail on my right foot, I had to continue. So now they’re all way too short, and I have this really loud snake print on them.

I really like the print. I’ll probably buy it again, but I’ll make sure not to have some crazy fingernail art going on at the same time like I do now. Did I mention that I’m also wearing the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips in Wild Child? It’s too much. I think the Zebra stripes have to go bye-bye this weekend.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips in Wild Child

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Hands down, one of my favorite nail blogs. I love the designs and the color swatches that show up on Polish You Pretty. Check out today’s tutorial on Dry Marbling. I’ve got to try it! – The Lipstick Gal


We can not even begin to express how much we love Pams & Kin  – the brand + the girls behind it. Parris & Kiri hail from California (lucky) & have been popping up everywhere with their own brand of nail polishes & their amazing nail art skills – so if you don’t know, then you should defintely jump on board this train! Check out their Etsy shop here – it MUST be noted, their polishes all have song names – which instantly get stuck in your head after applying, they should really come with a disclaimer (We are still singing Karma Chamelelon).

We have seen a design popping up lately that we had to try – the ‘dry’ water marble using a needle/toothpick. After some research we can across Get Nailed’s youtube tutorial & thought we’d give it a try with Pams & Kin’s vibrant shades. Check out the…

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June Birchbox Unboxing Video

I got home this evening to find my June Birchbox waiting for me on the bed. I was so excited. I wanted to open it right up, but it was dinner time. After dinner, it was time to start the bath for my 2 and 4-year-old girls. The bedtime routine takes quite a while. After everyone was safely tucked in bed, and I had time to open my Birchbox, I decided to do an unboxing video. This is my first time recording myself opening what was essentially a mystery box. I didn’t know what I was getting.

In about a week, I’ll write up a review of the products so you know a bit more about them if you’re interested in trying some of these products.

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Real or Fake?

When there’s a debate about real or fake, I usually side with what’s real. I’ll take butter over margarine for flavor’s sake. I don’t care what color the sweetener package is, pass me the sugar. I want real cheese instead of the non-melting vegan “cheese”.

All my shoes and most of my handbags are leather instead of faux. I prefer natural fibers over synthetics. (does 2 or 3 percent Lycra count in a pair of jeans or t-shirt?) When it comes down to it, I’d rather see a dusty potted plant than a dusty silk flower arrangement. Not that I like the dust, but you get the picture. I just like the real stuff.

When it comes to jewelry, I also like the real stuff. As much as possible, my costume jewelry is handmade using semiprecious gemstones, and gold or sterling silver wire and findings. I either make it myself, or support a local jewelry artists. When I go to my local bead shop, I only buy real stones. The reason I’m telling you this is because I’ve always thought real was better. My motto has always been “Never wear fake when you can have the real thing”.

I was so surprised when I saw Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge in the news with the words “Fake Earrings” all over the headlines. What? Really? Why?

Kate Middleton wearing an Alexander McQueen dress and “fake earrings” during the Diamond Jubilee celebration

Duchess or no, we’ve all been thinking of Kate as a princess. She’s royalty now. She came from a well moneyed family to begin with, so I think that she could afford a pair of earrings that cost more than $75. She’s also married to someone who could pull a few strings and get her access to the crown jewels for a special event. At least I hope so.

After my initial shock wore off, I thought it was cool that Kate wore earrings the rest of us could own. Of course, after she was outed in the media for her “fake” earrings, they’re now out of stock.

Maybe because she already has lots of pretty jewelry, or access to amazing gems, wearing a pair of pretty cubic zirconia and faux pearl earrings is just as easy as putting on her stunning smile. She doesn’t even give it a thought.

I used to feel wearing quality CZ jewlery was like lying. People always think you paid more for it that you did, and they form an impression of you based on what they think they know of you, not the truth. Maybe I should let that go. Maybe I should be more like Kate. If it’s pretty and sparkly, and goes with my outfit, who cares if it’s real. Wear it!

P.S. It’s quite possible she’s also making a political statement with these earrings too. Royals can be thrifty. Still, I like it.

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