Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween: Lady Frankenstein

Hi readers!!! I re created this look I did for Halloween last year. I didn't buy a costume and wanted to have some fun taking the kids out for trick or treating. This is what I whipped up last minute with nothing more than I had in my makeup stash. It requires nothing fancy. You could certainly bump it up with some professional airbrush or special effects makeup. You could also add the color to the body and really dress it up to go all out! Last year I put the front of my hair up into a victory roll, added a bandana, and it instantly gave it an old school pinup vibe. I could totally see someone with long deep waves and a form fitting dress make this into a super sexy version! You can check out the full tutorial here:

                                      Thanks for watching! Remember, you are beautiful, always!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MAC Diva Lipstick Review

                           This little beauty is a new addition to my little makeup family. The other day, I realized I had 6 empties and decided to back to MAC those puppies! If you don't know what back to MAC is, here ya go. If you have 6 full size empty MAC containers, you can return them for a FREE lipstick. Yes, I said in zero dollars! Of course this does not apply to Viva Glam products since that money goes to charity. I originally went in for the shade Sin, but they were all sold out, so I picked up Diva. It's in the same deep, vampy shade family.

                                Diva is a matte finish. Deep, rich burgundy berry shade. 

                      This one is a great color for fall, but of course anyone who knows me....I'll rock it all year long. That's just me! Many do not like how drying matte lipsticks feel on the lips, but I don't mind it. They are the most long wearing of the bunch. Make sure to exfoliate and moisturize the lips well before applying and your should be good to go. This is also a permanent shade. You can purchase for $16 at MAC online, in-store, or at the counter in Macy's. Remember, you are beautiful, always! 

MAC Rebel Lipstick Review

                          Ok, can we just talk about this lipstick? Actually I think I need a moment of silence for this baby! It's by far my favorite lipstick. It is the fabulous Rebel

                              Down to business ladies and gents! This is an all year shade for me. For those who stick to the changes of season, this is THE perfect fall shade. It's a satin finish...again...mahhh fav! Creamy, not too dry. It's a cool, deep berry shade, but vibrant at the same time. Makes you teeth look whiter and brighter. It's absolutely gorgeous and every time I wear it, I get complimented and asked what I am wearing. 

                               It is a permanent shade and is $16 at MAC online, in-store, and at the counter in Macy's. It's so easy to see why this is a cult favorite! You need it in your life, stop right now, get your butt to the store and throw your money at this one! It's good stuff! Remember, you are beautiful, always!

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Review

                           First of all, I am wayyyyy late getting around to this one, but I have had it in my collection for a while now. Why not! I am sure there are some floating around on ebay or amazon with a nauseating price tag! This is the first Viva Glam color collaboration MAC had with Nicki Minaj

                               For those who may not be aware of the Viva Glam line, I'll explain. The original Viva Glam shades are permanent and occasionally, new shades are released. Usually in collaboration with a celebrity. When you purchase a Viva Glam shade, the money goes to a research fund for AIDS. Very cool! So you get to feed your lipstick addiction and help a good cause. This particular shade was the first of two collaborations MAC did with rapper Nicki Minaj. It is bright pink shade that has a coral tone. It's also a satin finish, which I mentioned in my previous blog, is my favorite. Not too slippery, not too dry. Just like in the story of Goldilocks, juuuuuust right! I didn't have a shade like this and I was out shopping, spotted it and decided to try it out. I don't wear the hell out of it because it is limited edition, so obviously I can't repurchase. And ol' girl here is not gonna pay ebay prices! 

                                  I can totally see mixing this in with other shades to get a custom look. I haven't tried that yet, but now that I think of it, it's on my list! Do any of you own this one? Leave me your feedback below. Remember, you are beautiful, always!

MAC Snob Lipstick Review

                           Hello! This is my swatch and review for MAC lipstick in the color Snob

                           This lipstick is a satin finish, which is my favorite by the way! I grabbed this one a few years back when the first Viva Glam Gaga shade launched. People were going nuts over it and I wanted it because I didn't have anything like it. Of course when I arrived at my local counter......all sold out! Immediately, the woman working that day showed me a couple of shades that were similar and Snob was the closest one they had in stock. It's a cool toned baby pink. When I think of this color, I think of the color of a blanket that a newborn baby girl would be wrapped up in. It's not a shade that is going to be everyone's cup of tea. If you like more pale shades and you are a sucker for MAC satin lipsticks, this is going to be something right up your alley.

                                 It feels very nice on the lips. Not super slippery like a cremesheen, but not drying like a matte. It's the perfect in between. I don't find I have to reapply often. It sticks around a good amount of time. This is a permanent shade and can be purchased for $16 at the MAC online store, counter at Macy's, and MAC stores. Remember, you are beautiful, always :)

MAC Creme D' Nude Review

                            Hi! I am on a swatching kick today and decided to blog all of my MAC lipsticks in one day. No big deal, I only have 5. This one is the first I ever purchased. I've had it a few years now and picked it up when the very pale, nude lip was very popular. 

                                   Creme D' Nude. This one is a popular shade. When I uploaded a Youtube review on this a few years back, all these females were so vicious in pointing out that I pronounced the name incorrectly! Not Cream, but Cremmmme. Yes, I knew this, but in my defense, talking to a camera is weird and nerve wracking and I flubbed. So sue me! Hahaha. Moving on....this is a Cremesheen finish meaning it is almost glossy in texture. It has a ton of slip to it and applies a little more sheer than some other finishes. As you can see in this photo, a little of my lip is showing through and I applied it pretty heavily

                                    My lips are very naturally textured, so this kind of finish tends to settle in all the little cracks and crevices. My natural, naked lip color is actually darker than this shade. It can look a bit strange and is hard to pull off without looking sickly. What I LOVE it for is mixing with other shades to lighten them up. It's great for that. Don't be afraid to layer your lipstick to create a customized look! This little booger is almost used up. I will say that this finish does tend to be messy in the tube. It's so glossy that it almost melts and when applying, it will push up against the side of the tube. It has it's purpose, but I don't think it's a stand out shade, for me anyway. It's a permanent shade and retails for $16 on the Mac Cosmetics website, the counter at Macy's, and in Mac Stores. Thanks for reading and remember, you are beautiful, always!

L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint Swatches and Review

                             I'm sure we have all seen these L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paints all over social media. They sure caught my eye! At first glance they look very similar to a product that Too Faced has on the market. I don't own any of the Too Faced version, but I have swatched them in-store. The packaging is similar, but that's about it. They are both great products in very different ways. These are very highly pigmented and glossy in texture, whereas the Too Faced version is more of a matte finish and don't move around. These are more comparable to the liptars by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I do own a couple of those and have worn them quite a bit. They have a slightly glossy finish, but they stain the lips because the pigmentation is out of this world! 
                                They are available from a few different websites and are so affordable. I ordered mine a couple of months ago from ikatehouse. I'll list some more links at the end of this blog, so check at the bottom. They've added more shades since I placed my order. Many of the newer ones are nudes, neutrals, and deep, vampy tones. There are pinks, purples, reds, and oranges too. I think people with any skin tone will be able to find something with the variety they offer. I like to test the waters before diving in with both feet, so I chose just three colors. I am not huge on returning items, so at $2.99 a pop, I could afford to try a few. Might I mention, prices vary depending on where you purchase. Here are the three shades I ordered. From left to right: Hot Mess, Coy, and Pinup

                                Let's talk about the packaging first. The gold lid unscrews from the tube. The applicator is a typical plastic slant tip. No fancy sponge tip. For precise application, you can certainly use a lip brush to apply. The product inside has a minty scent. Not a sweet, minty smell, but a plain mint. I actually enjoy this smell. It also has slightly cooling sensation on the lips. Nothing extreme, but I notice it. They feel very smooth and gel-like. Not creamy and not sticky. There's a lot of slip, so they aren't going to have an insane 24 hour wear or anything. They can feather outside of the lip line if you apply it with a heavy hand. These do last a few hours without a need to reapply unless you are eating or drinking....then you lose a little bit. I don't mind reapplying because I love how juicy they make the lips look! 

                           This is the color Hot Mess. It's a bold orange that has the tiniest hint of peachy coral. I apologize if I suck at color description. This is how I see it. It's one of those stand out shades and I have worn this out in public. I do what I want! 

                                  The next shade is called Coy. It is a creamy looking bold violet-lavender color. Not quite pastel or neon, but it's definitely for those who love to wear something that says "Look at me!"

                                     This one, I HAD to have. It's called Pinup. That is the perfect description. It's a pinup red that is just plain sexy! Red lips are so ME! I tend to gravitate to red shades and I have never shied away from wearing red anywhere and everywhere.

                                         Do I recommend these? Absolutely! If you love a juicy, glossy look, then you'd enjoy these as long as you don't mind reapplying. On the L.A. Girl website, they are $4 each. That's full price and still a great bargain! Leave your own feedback in the comments and feel free to share. Remember, you are beautiful, always!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Growing out my pixie haircut

                    Hello! I figured I would share my experience with growing out short hair and some science and haircare tips. This will be a long one....grab some popcorn! I have PLENTY of experience with this. I am a short hair veteran! Short hair is anything chin length or shorter, medium is from the chin to the shoulders, and anything beyond the shoulders is considered long. Growing up, I was rarely allowed to have a real haircut. I can only remember getting 4 REAL haircuts between 1st and 12th grades. I got a cute one length bob in 1st grade, again at the beginning of my 6th grade year, then a layered cut in 9th grade that ended up looking too much like Mrs. Brady from the Brady Bunch (not even kidding you), and another one length bob my senior year of high school. All the years in between, I had very long hair. At some points almost long enough to sit on. Of course I had every variation of bangs over the years. After all, I am a child of the 80's and 90's. I have had the giant puff-ball bangs, the thick, straight bangs, coke bottle bangs, etc. 

                      Right after graduation, I moved up to Massachusetts and started cosmetology school. When that happens, you essentially become a live model for haircut and color demonstrations in class. That was 12 years ago. I have only had long hair (past the shoulders), for short periods of time TWICE in those years. I love my hair all lengths. I miss having longer hair and styling into curls, updos, and braids. My problem is patience. Growing out a short cut takes lots and lots of it. There is no magic growth secret. Hair only grows anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month. Sometimes more if you are one of the few people who's hair grows like a weed. It also tends to grow slightly faster during warmer months. 

                      Fancy vitamins, a good diet, and water will only aid in new growth being strong and healthy. All hair is dead cells. Meaning, as soon as it sprouts past the surface of the scalp, it is no longer living. All the good stuff happens deeper inside the follicle where cells are alive. Keeping the strands in strong condition is key to noticeable growth. No, cutting your hair regularly doesn't make your hair grow faster. It is still growing the same rate, but it is important to trim about every 6 weeks to keep dry, splitting ends under control. Imagine the patience of letting it grow, then you don't get trims, then the ends split. That split will travel up the hair strand and break off. If your hair is breaking off, even though it is growing, you will not have any extra length. By the way, if a company promises their product will heal split ends, they are so full of doo doo! You cannot....I repeat....CANNOT repair split ends. You have to trim them off. Period! Use good quality haircare that doesn't dry out your hair. Also do not shampoo daily. Even if you get oily, use a dry shampoo on off days. You need natural oils for strong hair. Avoid heat styling as many days as possible and lastly, elastics are the devil! Use them sparingly. They hold the hair so tightly, that you will have breakage over time. Lounging around the house, use a soft, ugly scrunchy for ponytails instead.

                        This last haircut was the shortest I've ever cut it. I felt froggy one day this April and wanted a faux hawk style. I used the number 3 guard on my clippers and buzzed off the back and sides. Cut the top a couple inches long and texturized the heck out of it. This is the result:

                            It was super fun and took just a couple of minutes to dry and style with some hair wax. I soon decided that I'd had short hair for a few years now, so I wanted long hair again. So the process begins! This photo is 2 months of growth:

                                               This one is 3 months (note the slick-back trick):

                                In this photo, I have obviously gone red again, but it's the 6 month stage of growth and at the dreaded mullet phase:

                              This happens because the nape of your neck is the lowest point of your hairline. The hair the grows here is typically longer than the rest. I thought I would deal with it (as I had many times before). You can do one of two things during the mullet phase. Leave it be and wear headbands or fasten the top and sides away from the face with clips and bobby pins. This works great. OR you can have the mullet tail cut up to your hairline to make your style more bob-like. I chose to cut off the tail! From this point, it will grow out much prettier and evenly. So here I am in October, 6 months into growing with a cute little bob:
                               Take note that I also blended the front bang area. This was slightly longer than you see. I cut this at an angle to blend into the section the covers the ear. If not, it would look like a gap or a hole in the ear area. Yes, it looks cutesy-tootsie, but it certainly beats that long stringy back that doesn't nothing but annoy the ever living hell out of you. That, my friends, is how this process begins. I will post an update as soon as some more growth happens. I may also purchase some nice clip in extensions in a month or two. I will definitely post a how to on how that process goes. Hope this helps some of you decide to either chop it off or tough out the growth. Remember, you are beautiful, always!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector: Opal

          Hey girls, guys, makeup enthusiasts! Whether you are here because you are looking at this product for personal use or to add to your professional kit, welcome! This is going to be my own personal thoughts on the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in the pressed form. This particular shade is called Opal. Yes, THE buzzworthy highlight color that every major beauty guru on Youtube is going B-A-N-A-N-A-S over!!!

              Being a mom of 3, I do not splurge on myself very often. Here and there I make an exception when the budget allows. I mostly stick to drugstore products or my own creations. I have a few higher end products in my arsenal. You better bet that I do my research first! I do not like to spend hard earned money on anything that I feel isn't worth it. I honestly couldn't find anything negative when reading reviews other than, "It's too shimmery for my taste". That did not phase me because my face is dry as hell, so I love a strong glowing highlight. I decided that since my 31st birthday was coming up, that is what I wanted to purchase. I headed out to Sephora a couple of weeks ago with my friend and headed straight for the Becca display. Of course Opal was not in stock, so I went with the shade Moonstone. It is a beautiful, more pale shade. My skin tone is light to medium I would say. I feel like I am pale, but I wouldn't consider myself fair. I do burn some, but I do develop a decent tan. Moving on! I wore it a couple of times and although it swatches nicely, it just kind of got lost on my skin tone. It didn't wow me like I expected. I wanted to glow, by gosh! Moonstone would be gorgeous on the most fair skin tones. I will say that the texture of all the shades are very silky and the typical description of creamy, soft, and buttery also apply! They blend out like a dream as well......

               This weekend I decided to go back to Sephora and see if they had the Opal shade in stock. Thankfully there was only one left and I grabbed it and made the exchange. The next day when I applied my full face of makeup, I used this as my highlight and OMG! The hype is the real deal, people! I could not stop looking in the side mirror in my car when we went out for the day. Every time I saw my reflection, I stopped and looked again. It catches and reflects the light so beautifully on the skin. It is not chunky in texture whatsoever like some of the MAC Mineralized Skin Finishes. $38 is definitely a splurge for most gals like me. I'm not sure if anything else is going to stack up to this in my eyes. It is THAT good. If you love a glowy highlight, go grab it. Personally and professionally as an artist, it is an absolute must have and I will repurchase as long as the company continues to offer it.

A fresh, new start!

                   So here I've been behind my laptop for the last hour trying to figure out this blog. I have not blogged in a couple of years because I never really got into it. At that time, I was more into filming reviews and tutorials for my channel on Youtube (link is over there in my bio ---->). With many life changes, I completely fell out of the routine of beauty filming and blogging. You can kind of say I lost the passion for a while. Here's why.........

                  I was living here in the Boston area where my husband and I own a home. It was early spring 2012 and I got a call that my dad's health was declining rapidly and he probably only had a week or two tops left on this earth. We knew he wasn't quite right, but he was a stubborn, old-fashioned man. He didn't like the fuss of visiting the doctor's office. He probably only had his yearly physical because as a truck driver, it was required for his job. At this point he had retired a couple years prior. Within a 7 month period, the symptoms hit him hard. Slowing down, loss of energy, loss of appetite, very labored breathing, coughing fits, and rapid weight loss. He brushed it off as part of "getting old". We suspected cancer or at the very least some sort of respiratory disease. He was driven to the VA hospital and within a couple of days was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He was a life long smoker and had kicked the habit months before the symptoms began. Of course I packed up mine and the kid's belongings and made the trip to Kentucky. My husband came along for a few days, but headed back to Mass to try and put the house on the market. The next week, on a Sunday, he passed away at home. As a child, you know that day is going to come eventually, but no matter what your expectations are, it doesn't fully prepare you! Cancer is a nasty beast. It doesn't discriminate age or gender. It is so incredibly painful and emotionally draining. Not only on the person who has it, but to all of that person's loved ones. I stayed in Kentucky for 2 months, things got very dramatic, and I headed back to Mass with my children. Fast forward.......

                    My relationships with some family members and even my marriage took a negative turn. Some of these relationships are still to this day unable to be mended. Some have grown stronger, including my marriage. Everything happens for some weird reason. We may not be able to wrap our heads around those reasons, but eventually, it's like "Aha!". Late this spring, my niece lost her lifelong fight with a genetic disorder called Cystic Fibrosis or CF for short. She was only 22 and left behind 2 of the cutest little boys on the planet! Needless to say, so much emotional struggle has really taken a toll. So much going on had sucked out some of the passion and creativity for Youtube, blogging, and even with my makeup line. I just did not feel like filming. Didn't feel like sitting in my work area and making eyeshadow pigments or lipsticks. What was the point? I needed to sort out how to feel whole again!

                     Fast forward to now. After having our house on the market for a very long time, we are finally selling! This means a trip back to Kentucky. It's time to settle our roots. To be with people who we love and who love us in return. It's been a struggle for a while now and its time. Time for changes, time to chase dreams...time for some real happiness! I normally don't do personal blogs for public viewing, but you know....I feel like it is part of the healing process. Maybe, someone somewhere reading this can relate in some way. We all experience loss and it feels awful! Most important, we have to cry, we have to scream it out, and we have to find a way to pick up the pieces and carry on. That's what I plan to do! Time to get this move out of the way and get back into what I love! Get my makeup line out there, film videos, blog, and work hard to open a salon of my own in the future!

                    I piddled around with my blog settings and it became so frustrating, I deleted my old blog and decided to create this one from scratch. A fresh, new start!!!