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Drugstore Beauty Swaps Part II

You guys loved the Drugstore Beauty Swaps Part I so much I just had to do another one - here are some more items that may, or may not be!, better at the drugstore -

Cover Girl Bombshell Shineshadow ($7.99 for .18 fl oz) MAC Paint ($20 for .23 fl oz) - both have tons of silicones and each have a petrochemical so it's all about color choice on this one though you do get a little bit more product from MAC.  That being said if you can find the color you like I would go with the Cover Girl for more bang for your buck.

Makeup primers that add luminosity to the skin make you look younger AND help your foundation stay put are all good in my book!  Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer ($11.49 for 1 oz) has amazing reviews on Makeup Alley and gives a pearly sheen to the skin.  Guerlain Meteorites Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer ($73 for 1 oz) has little pearls of luminosity suspended in a clear gel-type formula that burst as they go through the pump.  Neither line posts their ingredients online (boo) so we can't compare them that way but based on the achieved finish, especially if you're on a budget, I'd go with Almay - though I will say it's very satisfying to watch those pearls burst :).

I used to work for tarte and was a huge fan of their Cheek Stains ($30 for .5 oz).  They've since revamped the formula and they're full of yummies like Maracuja, Pomegranate, Acai and Gogi Berries.  100% Pure's Lip & Cheek Tints ($17 for .26 oz) are a wonderful alternative as their first ingredient is Cocoa Butter while Tarte's is Propylene Glycol - a petrochemical.  100% Pure also uses fruit pigments to color their products so instead of dyes you've got Pomegranate, Blackberry, Raspberry and about 10 other fruits comprising the formula.  In doing a lot of makeup inventories with ladies I find that they keep their Tarte Cheek Stains too long because they still have a lot in there when the year expiration date mark is up so I'm fine with the 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Tints being half the size.  They're also nearly half the price and petrochemical-free - bueno!

BB Creams are all the rage and those of the bronzing variety are hot for summer.  Urban Decay just launched their Naked Skin Beauty Bronzing Beauty Balm SPF 20 ($34 for 1.18 oz) which uses Watermelon, Silicones, Light Diffusing Spheres and the anti-aging Vitasource in their formula.  Their SPF is 2/3 chemical (Octinoxate) and 1/3 physical (Zinc). HERE's why I like physical SPFs more than chemical.  Physician's Formula also just launched their Bronze Booster Glow Boosting BB Cream SPF 20 ($14.95 for 1.2 oz) which uses Shea Butter, Velvet Bean, Vitamin E and Silicones with a physical sunscreens Zinc and Titanium Dioxide (yay!).  The nice thing about the Urban one is you've got a good anti-ager in there.  The nice thing about the Physician's Formula is you've got a total physical SPF.  So, it depends what's more important on this one to you - both are valid - so it's a toss up on this product.

Concealers are SO PERSONAL - it's all about the texture for ladies and for those that like a thin texture that won't crease up the "twist up pen" variety is a good bet.  Makeup Forever's HD Invisible Cover Concealer ($29 for .05 oz) has a little silicone applicator and its oil-free light/medium texture contains Green Algae, Gatuline IN TENS (lifts) and a number of silicones for longevity and an even finish.  L'oreal's Visible Lift Serum Absolute Concealer ($12.95 for .05 oz) is heavier on the petrochemicals (they both contain them, mind you, L'oreal's just has more) but also has silicone to smooth it out and Vitamin A, Hyaluronic Acid and Pea Extract for anti-aging.  L'oreal gives you four color options while Makeup Forever gives you fourteen.  I like the ingredient list more for Makeup Forever so on this one I'm going to pick the more expensive option.

Dry shampoo has become my best friend after going red and so many of them have a white finish that is so not flattering.  Rita Hazan has her Root Concealer for Gray Coverage ($25 for 2 oz) and when I used to be a trainer in Sephoras people went nuts for it.  I used to rec the Rita Hazan as well as Bumble and Bumble's until I saw my friend, Ruthie, whose roots were grown out a couple of inches but you would have never known it because of her Dry Shampoo in Light & Blonde from Batiste ($8.99 for 6.73 oz).  It was AMAZING and it's three times the product for less than half the price.  The red one is already in my bathroom!


Colbie Caillat's "Try" Video

 If you can't view the video click HERE

This video has been making the rounds but I wanted to share it in case you haven't seen it - Colbie Caillat's "Try" has an awesome message about loving yourself and being comfortable in your skin with, or without, a full face of makeup.


Makeup Must-Haves For Summer

What do I want for summer makeup?  Sheer shimmering textures and pops of color.  Here are some of my favorite summer launches  - 

Most liquid eyeshadows crease within hours but with the new Coconut Water Eye Shadows from Josie Maran ($18) you get long wear color and all the benefits of a 50% Coconut Water formula.  My favorite color was Playa del Pink which is a champagne shade but they have a great "neutral shimmer" for all skintones - Rio de Rose Gold for medium/tan complexions and Beach Sand or Bora Bora Bronze for deep complexions.  The deeper the color the less time you have to blend so keep that in mind if you grab one.  AND, they didn't crease - hallelujah!  

I must admit that there are times when I miss my goopy petroleum based lipbalm - sometimes you just need a serious, thick lipbalm but they're all full of junk - until now!  Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask ($26) feels AMAZING on your lips and has a base of Resveretrol (grapes), Lanolin, Castor Seed Oil and Shea Butter.  They now have it in a color - Champagne Pearl - which is a rosey gold that's sheer and perfect for all skintones.  It's pricey for a lipbalm but totally worth the splurge.

I love a clean face with a bold lip in the summer especially and YSL's Kiss and Blush ($40) shades are perfection!  The whipped mousse texture is sheer and blendable so it actually does work for the cheeks but opaque enough that you get a solid lipshade.  There are tons of colors but my favorite for summer was Orange Fougueux and the doe foot applicators and awesome at giving a clean lipline.  

Becca is one of my favorite lines and their new Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle ($27) is gorgeous!  They combine a creamy cheek shade, shimmery highlight and cheekstain all in one and I'm kind of obsessed.  My fave colors are Watermelon/Moonstone (coral red with pale gold - reads as pink), Papaya/Topaz (bright tangerine with golden bronze - reads as tangerine) for cheeks and Fig/Opal (nude with golden opal) for a highlight.  They look a little strange in the pot but once the colors swirl together on your cheeks they're shimmery prettiness.

How cute is this little brush?  He's about 3 inches long and comes in a little plastic holder to keep him clean and I'm in love!  The Sephora Collection Classic Mini Multitasker Brush #45.5 ($14) is a mini of their full size dude and this one can go in your beach bag/vacation tote as a perfect travel foundation brush.  Yes please!
For the times when you do want to throw some eyeshadow on for a summer night out Kat Von D's new Monarch and Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palettes ($46 each) are beautiful.  The suede soft texture, crazy amounts of pigment and warm or cool toned palettes have excellent quality.  The other neat thing is she has given you larger "base" colors and the "fun" colors are a bit smaller, but still plenty big!  There are neutral colors as well as fun ones and they all work together to give you butterfly-winged lids!

So grab something new for summer and have fun!


How To Keep Your Makeup Looking Cute When It's Hot as Blazes

You guys - that's what it feels like to me when I know I have to walk the 8 minute walk from my house to the subway.  And my makeup can end up in a puddle on the sidewalk.

I made a video with all of my "must have steps" for keeping your makeup looking great all day long in nasty humid weather so watch away and proceed to look cool as a cucumber :) - 

If you can't view the video click HERE

One thing I left out, which is kind of annoying to ask of someone, is to walk more slowly - meaning to add about 10 minutes into your travel time.  I know that's obnoxious but when you're in a hurry you naturally get warmer and if it's hot outside that adds to you getting sweaty.


DIY All-Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

There is so much crap in our cleaning supplies you guys and we are breathing all of it in (and paying a LOT for it).  I have been playing with different recipes for cleaners, laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent and have settled on some faves that I'll share with you over the next bit of time.  Today is a breakdown on my favorite All-Purpose Cleanser which works beautifully on everything except granite and marble.  It still smells a bit like vinegar, just better, once you add all the goodies, but the vinegar smells dissipates in seconds.  It is SO much more healthy than the bleach and other chemical laden ingredient and WAY cheaper.  One batch of concentrate is good for 4-5 bottles of cleaner.  I found my recipe at The Yummy Life and she has other recipes you could do instead so check it out!  

You'll need
*4-5 lemons
*3-5 sprigs of herbs (rosemary, sage or mint)
*white vinegar
*airtight jar to put it in

I was juicing so I had a bunch of orange peels, and a couple of orange peels, gathered up so I figured it was a good time to make another batch of the concentrate.  I just leave the stickers on as you can see.

Throw all of of the peels in an airtight jar

I grabbed some rosemary and sage from my garden but you can throw any herbies in there - wash them off first of course

Add the herbs to your jar of citrus peels

Add 1-2 tsp of vanilla

Cover with vinegar

Let it sit for 2-4 weeks (yep, 2-4 WEEKS) and strain it - it'll end up looking like the jar on the right.

Run one of your existing spray bottles (or buy a new one) through the dishwasher to get all of the chemicals out (thank you Method).
Then pour in 2 parts water for 1 part vinegar concentrate.
Start cleaning!


The Day I Bought Mineral Oil or How To Remove Individual Lash Glue

My sweet friend, Liz, and I in our pin up garb (complete with apron!) 
Okay folks, so I had a big helping of humble pie this past Fourth of July weekend - my neighbors put together a lovely holiday shin-dig and our theme was to do "Pin Up" hair/makeup/etc.  I went all in!  I attempted, and failed, victory rolls and did a full beat face complete with lashes which I don maybe once a year - I was feeling festive.

Duo Individual Lash Glue on the left, regular Eyelash Adhesive on the right
While in Los Angeles last month I went to Naimie's, and behaved like a pig in mud thank you very much, and whilst there picked up Duo's Clear Individual Lash Adhesive.  I hadn't seen it before, neither had the salesgirl, and thought it must be good because I love their Eyelash Adhesive for all of the lashes I apply for my wedding/event ladies.   Then a major fail occurred.  I did not read the box.  Nor did I keep it.  Once home I threw it out and put the glue in my kit.  Cue foreboding music.

I applied my Ardell 305 Lashes, thank you Kate Baldwin, used my Duo Individual Lash Adhesive figuring it was fine and went to the party.  One am rolled around and we got home and I went to wash my face.  "Hmmm....this glue is serious.  These lashes feel really solid" I thought as I tried to peel them off my eyes.  They wouldn't budge.  After MUCH perusal online I realized that the lash glue I had used was for 2-4 week lash wear - what?!!!  I had a mild panic attack when I realized these were not going to be slipping off easily.  I also finally found info on how to get it off - um, you can't really but if you want to try "try a q-tip with some mineral oil".  Well, have we met?  I don't use mineral oil because it is a major petrochemical and hardcore badie.  So I cracked out my coconut and olive oils, mixed them together and felt certain they would work to dissolve the cement that was on my eyelids.  Nope.  It was about 2:30 in the morning at this point and was ready to put motor oil on my eyes if it might work.  I asked Daniel, champ that he is, to go to the drugstore and get me, HORRORS!, some baby oil (which is made of mineral oil) so we could get this show wrapped up.

My eyelash is holding on for dear life - it had really bonded with me :)
I took a shower while he went in an effort to dissolve some of the glue - no go.  Daniel got back and I ditched the qtips and switched to dipping full cotton pads into the Mineral Oil and holding it on my lashes.

Carnage from the night - and yes, those are MY lashes in the front bowl of mineral oil.  So sad.  
You guys, it literally took an hour to get them off.  It was 4 am at that point and poor Daniel stayed up rubbing my back while I sat there with my eyes covered in Mineral Oil soaked pads occasionally wincing, as that stuff sucks to get in your eyes, and making little squeaky noises as I slowly was able to pull off a millimeter at a time of the lash.  I was ready to kiss that little bottle of Johnson and Johnson!

4am selfie sans makeup, hair and, gratefully, LASHES!!!  
The ONLY reasons I'm putting this out into the world is I wish someone would have just written somewhere to soak a cotton pad in baby oil and hold it on your eye if you ever do this AND to reiterate that reading your labels is SO IMPORTANT.  And to show the power of makeup/hair because the before and after on this, or rather the after/before, is kind of nuts.


Erin's Faces Swaps - Part II

Part II of some department store swaps for Erin's Faces goodies - for Part I click HERE

It is super tough to find an anti-aging serum targeting an oilier/breakout prone skintype - most are too heavy or cause acne flare ups.  Chantecaille is a beautiful botanically based line whose Vital Essence Serum ($105 - 1.7 oz) is for oiler skins.  There are a lot of great ingredients in the formula, they're just not at the top of the list - Squalene is 7th  and Hyaluronic Acid is 11th.  Within the first 10 ingredients you've got two petrochemicals and a paraben which is less than ideal.  Which is part of why I have my Organic Clarifying Serum ($60 - 2 oz.) - within the first 10 ingredients you've got Aloe Vera, DMAE, Jojoba Oil, three Tea Extracts (Rooibos, Green and White), Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid.  There are NO petrochemicals or parabens in the formula at all.  I totally support people spending $ on skincare, just read your labels!

Omorovicza, as we have discussed is one of my favorite lines and their Deep Cleansing Mask ($120 - 1.7 oz) is no exception.  Sidenote, I also appreciate that they list all of their ingredients on their website - it's ASTOUNDING how many companies do not.  Thermal Water, Clay, Hungarian Mud, Cherry and Yeast are all awesome ingredients.  I wanted my Organic Green Clay Detoxifying Mask ($25 - 2 oz) to have just as yummy ingredients but be more affordable.  French Green Clay, Aloe Leaf Juice, Green Tea, Lavender Flower Water & Oil and Tea Tree Oil make up a wonderful formula.  Both are great choices - it's all about budget on this one.  

Bobbi Brown was one of the first companies to have a Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($24 - 3 grams) which sold like hot cakes and for good reason - they look beautiful and stay on until you wash your face.  There were a number of knock-offs but most don't stay put which is why I fell in love with the formula in my Cream Eye Liner ($18 - 3.4 grams).  It wears and looks just like the great ones but you get to save some $ - love!  Bobbi definitely has a wider color range so that can be a deciding factor but if you're into basic shades it's an easy choice.  

Okay, so Cle de Peau's Concealer ($70 - .17 oz) is beautiful - no doubt about it - but you guys, I have played with it and I have no clue why it is $70.  $70!!  I loved used to rec Hourglass' Hidden Corrective Concealer ($32 - .12 oz)as a great alternative that was cheaper until I came out with my Mineral Photo Touch Concealer ($20 - 2 g) which, to me, wears just as well as all the fancies but is $12 and $50 cheaper.  Yes please!

I remember when I came out with my Organic Milk Cleanser - my stepmom said "Oh!  I have a milk cleanser I just bought at the drugstore" - we looked at the ingredients and it was all chemicals.  She promptly switched!  Sisley is a line that is one of the fanciest at Bergdorf Goodman and ladies go nuts for it.  Their Cleansing Milk with White Lily ($118 - 8.4 oz) is full of all sorts of yummy things - Sunflower Seed Oil, Orange Water, Mallow Extract - but you guys, the THIRD ingredient is Mineral Oil - total petrochemical, total bad news!  My Organic Milk Cleanser ($30 - 8 oz) is petrochemical-free and contains Aloe, Milk (real milk!), Lavender, Chamomile, Green Tea, Bilberry Extract - the list goes on.  And it's $88 ($88!!) cheaper, so there's that.

I used to work at the La Bella Donna Mineral Makeup counter at Bergdorf's and it was one of my faves.  They have since come out with their Ultimate Pure Perfection Liquid Mineral Foundation ($58 - 1 oz) which is full of amazing ingredients - Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe, Cucumber and Squalene just to name a few.  It does contain oils but they are botanically based - Jasmine and Rosa Canina - so unless you're super sensitive you should be okay.  My Mineral Powder Liquid Powder Foundation ($35 - 1.2 oz) also has Hyaluronic Acid as well as Nylon-12 and Vitamins A and E.  The main difference between the two is mine has an SPF, is oil-free and accommodates a wider skintone range - La Bella Donna works for fair to medium skintones while mine goes from fair to deep.  Both are great choices - it just depends on your budget and what color you need.

Stay tuned for Part III!