InTruBeauty: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to get a bunch of stuff for around $20!



This blog would've been even more amazing if our stupid Target in this town carried NYC cosmetics and had in stock Maybelline baby balm. Right now, Target has $2 off of maybelline lip products including balms and there is a manufacturers coupon on facebook for $1 off of baby balm.

  •  That means regular price $3.49 at target - $3 total coupons = .49 cents (walmart has baby balm for $2.79, but you can't use the target coupon at walmart)

Also, with the $1 off NYC at Target, you could get a mascara for free since they are $1, a bronzer for a dollar and some change (check out Sunny), or a dollar and some change for a great lipstick (check out Blue Rose). I'm debating how far I want to drive to get these deals since they don't have these products in our town.

Here are the products and the price I ended up paying for them
  • John Frieda Collection root awakening strength restoring conditioner, 11 fl oz (30% more free bottle) 
    • Original price: $5.99 for regular bottle of 8.45 oz. Price paid after $1 manufacturers coupon I got from a free sample I requested = $4.99 for 11fl oz. This is a great product line by the way
    • St. Ives Apricot Scrub, 6oz
      • Original price $3.49. Sale price $2.88. Target online coupon for .75 cents off.                    Price paid = $2.13
      • Rimmel London eyeshadows in 500 Posh Peacock and 300 Night Jewel 
        • Rimmel Shadows
        • Original price per shadow is $2.49, Price paid with $1 off Target online coupon = $1.49 each, $2.98 for two eyeshadows
        • Burt's Bees facial cleansing towelettes with white tea extract, 30 pack. 
          • Original price $5.99. Price paid after $1 Target online coupon = $4.99. This is a great deal for 30 towelettes. These are listed online on a lot of sites around $11-$12
            • They smell amazing, had good makeup removing properties, and felt tingly and refreshing. I love this brand.
          • AcneFree Oatmeal & Jojoba Gentle Acne Scrub, 4.8oz & AcneFree Acne Astringent Toner Pads, 60 pack
            • Original price of both products $6.99. If you bought 2 of this brand, you receive a $5 Target giftcard. I also had a 20% off of an AcneFree item. Since I had to purchase them in the same transaction to get the giftcard, I only got 20% off one item.                                                    Final price paid for both = $12.58
              • ELF brightening eye color in 2003 Silver Lining. This was the only thing I bought without a coupon since it is already only $1.00. This is a decent palette. Okay color payoff, not that creamy, but for $1 its great! 
                Elf Shadow
                Plus I got a $5 Target giftcard which you can use on your next transaction. Since you can only use 1 coupon per transaction, you can use this on your 2nd one and get an ever lower price per coupon items. 

                Total amount paid for 8 items = $28.67

                PLUS $5 TARGET GIFTCARD, so Total equals

                $23.67 or $2.96 per item. 

                This isn't my best coupon haul ever, but it at least shows you how much you can get for your $$ when couponing. Unfortunately the best coupons I had were for products our store did not carry!! Boo!! I also had other coupons, but the prices were not right and they weren't already on sale. So just because you have a coupon does not mean you have to purchase the item. Make sure its something you like and want too!

                Thanks for shopping with me and Happy Halloween!

                Jessica

                Sunday, October 30, 2011

                Peacock Inspired Look!!

                Here is a DIY Peacock Inspired Look Perfect for Halloween:







                You can make the perfect costume up just with hair and makeup! 

                Products Used:


                • Bare Minerals All over face color radiance
                • Rimmel lasting finish foundation
                • Physicians formula happy booster blush in rose
                • NYC Sunny matte bronzer
                • Palladio rice powder in natural 
                • Benefit Watts up
                • Lips: Sinful colors in fushia, Lancome electric pink, NYC in blue rose
                • Clinique mascara high impact
                • Wet N Wild single eyeshadow in Lagoon
                • Benefit POREprofessional and "that gal" face primer and High beam highlighter
                • Sephora jumbo eye pencil in gold
                • Clinique brow pencil
                • NARS single eyeshadow in Night sun
                • the Balm Shady Lady volume 2 palette (see prior blog for swatches) in runaround rebecca and open to offers olwen
                • Maybelline trio creme makeup (green shade)
                • Victoria's Secret single eyeshadow in Jade a Kissed



                Prep and Perfect

                Hello!  We've done quite a few makeup looks, but we haven't talked as much about perfecting the all over look of your complexion so that makeup looks go on even better!

                We will list the products and who makes them, followed by approximately how much they cost.  Keep in mind many of these products we don't spend nearly the retail price on as they are available at our local TJ Maxx store!  We would love to know your skin care routines also!  Leave us comments.

                Here is Justina's current routine:  (Combination Skin)

                Nighttime: 

                • Remove eye makeup with Neutrogena Hydrating Eye Makeup Remover Lotion ($7)
                • Wash face with Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild ($9)
                • Exfoliate with Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub ($5)
                • Remove any lingering eye makeup by applying Vaseline and wiping off excess with a cotton ball. ($2)
                • If skin is feeling dry, use Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Visible Skin Renewer serum ($42)
                • If skin is feeling oily, use a more liquid serum- the Balm Time Balm White Tea Strawberry Nourishing Facial Serum Infused with Strawberry Extract ($49)
                • Apply Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel to entire face and neck area.  ($13-24.50)
                • If eye area is feeling dry, apply Clinique All About Eyes ($29-47.50) 
                • Apply Vaseline on eyelashes and eyebrows to strengthen and for growth. ($2)
                • On occasion, when skin is flaring up with breakouts, apply prescription Trentinoin (retinol)- available through your doctor's office

                **I am currently review the RoC Microdermabrasion Cleansing Discs ($10), and will let you know soon what I think!

                Morning:

                • Rinse face with cold water.  Towel pat dry.
                • Apply one of the following Clinique serums:  Turnaround Concentrate ($42.50), Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector ($49.50), Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum ($39.50) 
                • Apply Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($13-24.50)


                Follow with normal makeup routine.  I like to use some sort of luminizer every day to make my skin look even more glowing!  My favorite right now is High Beam by Benefit. ($29)





                Here is Jessica's current routine: (Combination skin)

                Nighttime:

                • Wash face with Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar ($2)
                • Use Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 2 ($14)
                • Apply the Balm Time Balm Skincare White Tea Eye Perfection Gel Infused with Brazil Nut Extract ($30)
                • Apply Lancome High Resolution Eye Refill 3x on facial areas showing the start of wrinkles ($40)
                • Ponds Dry Skin Cream on whole face and neck area. ($8)
                • Vaseline on eyelashes and eyebrows to strengthen and for growth. ($2)



                Morning:

                • Wash face with either Lancome Cream Radiance Clarifying Cream to Foam Cleanser ($25) or Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub ($6)
                • Ponds Dry Skin Cream on whole face and neck area. ($8)
                • Occasionally use Rare Minerals Triple Treatment Eye Cream when experiencing dryness. ($19)
                Follow with normal makeup routine.  Jessica likes using a luminizer every day to continue her glowing complexion.  Her favorite right now is the Balm Mary Lou- Manizer ($23)




                Yours in Beauty, Justina and Jessica

                Fall fragrances

                Easy Everyday Up Do



                Pictures of the completed look:



                Saturday, October 29, 2011

                Acne Solutions: When is enough enough?



                Description: I basically used the Clinique Acne Solutions system properly except that I used 2 toners which can be very drying on your skin. Clinique skincare (even when used properly) has never been my favorite.

                Remedy:
                This is one of the few products I would attribute the word "magic" to. It is great for breakouts, burns, skin
                irritations, insect bites, etc.

                JR Watkins Petro Carbo Salve, $10.99, 4.37oz
                www.jrwatkins.com
                Product Description:

                Petro carbo is a protective, soothing, healing topical dressing that is safe and effective for relieving pain and itching associated with minor cuts, burns and scrapes. It has antiseptic, antifungal, and anestheic proterties. 



                Relied upon for generations, Petro-Carbo Salve is still a staple for every home medicine cabinet and first-aid kit. Its active ingredient is phenol (carbolic acid), but it derives other benefits and its unique aroma from botanicals such as camphor, oil of spruce and the tea tree relative, cajeput.



                This stuff is really amazing, Watkins Petro Carbo Salve is a first aid kit in a tin! Sometimes known as the black drawing salve, although the salve isn't black in color any longer it still has the same drawing abilities. It actually helps draw out slivers and other small foreign materials emedded in your skin.



                Can be used for:


              • cuts
              • scrapes
              • minor burns
              • bed sores, pressure sores
              • road rash, draws out embedded dirt
              • insect bites and stings
              • wind burn
              • chafed skin
              • blisters
              • chapped skin
              • slivers, draws out prickles, slivers of wood or metal
              • athelete's foot
              • boils
              • cracked skin


              • This is a natural product and this brand has been around for awhile, is based in Minnesota, and has a great reputation. You can find some of their products at Target. The only downside may be there is a strong smell, but its WELL worth it for the results of this product! I have also been using Sunday Riley JUNO transformative serum I got as a sample in my October birchbox. For $125 for the full size, 30ml, I would not be repurchasing. I was hoping it would help with my skin irritation, but Watkins instead came to the rescue!

                      Update: My skin is feeling 90% better the next morning. Thanks Watkins. This is the only product   
                      out there that could have saved my face in 1 day! 

                Jessica

                Is Almay's Eye Makeup Remover Really #1?

                I decided to test six eye makeup removers. Three that would be considered more high end and three that can be found at the drugstore. The following ones were reviewed:



                1. Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover $15.50 for 3.4fl oz, Macys.com
                2. Clinique take the day off makeup remover for lids, lashes & lips $18.00 for 4.2fl oz, Macys.com
                3. Sephora Face eye makeup remover $9.50 for 4.2 oz
                4. L'oreal clean artiste 100% oil free eye makeup remover $6.49 for 4fl oz, Walgreens
                5. Neutrogena eye makeup remover lotion hydrating $6.99 for 3oz, Walmart or $7.99 at Walgreens
                6. Almay oil free eye makeup remover liquid $5.99 for 4oz, Walgreens. 
                Almay claims they are the #1 eye makeup remover brand in America. See my past posts for a review of the makeup remover towelettes (do recommend, especially for sensitive skin, non oily) and makeup eraser sticks by Almay (didn't like/not worth your $). 

                I use to have Lancome Bi-facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover $26 for 4.2fl oz. I used this all up, so couldn't test it, but it is a good remover. Although for $26, I don't know I would repurchase when a lot of these high end v. drugstore are VERY similar in their removal capabilities. 

                I used a wide variety of eye makeup products to test out how these work on different products. Those products (see first picture) as swatched in the order below left to right 

                Left to right:

                1. (Left) Hard Candy Glamoflauge heavy duty concealer
                2. L'oreal Studio secrets 920 Lush Raven eyeshadow
                3. Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless creme eyeshadow in stiletto
                4. bareMinerals powder eyeshadow in Aquamarine (this came in a quad palette along with coffee bean, firefly, and retro and those colors are beautiful as well as this blue)
                5. Sephora jumbo eye liner crayon 12 H wear, waterproof in gold. LOVE this one!
                6. Sephora flashy liner waterproof in 13 flashy violet
                7. Covergirl perfect points plus eye pencil in black onyx 
                8. NYC liquid eyeliner in 887 Black
                9. Almay intense i-color liquid liner in raisin quartz
                10. Clinique Instant Lift for Brows crayon
                11. (Right) Dior Show mascara
                I applied the product as evenly as possible for the length of my arm, starting swatches from both ends and making sure middle was the same application and with the same pressure. I'm sure it can't be perfect, but they were pretty evenly applied. I waited about 10 minutes for everything to dry and set in. I didn't use any primer or makeup setting spray (check out Urban Decay--love!!!)

                I tried to do this in the most "scientific" way possible. I would put the cutip in the bottle, count to one one thousand, remove it and tap it twice on the bottle top to remove any excess. I would then swipe it through the swatches, then take the dry end and swipe that through, then go one more time with the wet end and one more time with the dry end. I did the same process for each brand. The only one that was different was Neutrogena because it is a lotion. That may account for its less than stellar result, only because it is hard to measure if I had the same amount of lotion as liquid.

                I ran out of room, so Almay actually became #1 when tested instead of #6. 
                So #1-6 are in that order: Almay, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Sephora, Loreal, Neutrogena


                It was kind of hard to get a picture to show everything. It really is hard to tell the difference which for me means just go drugstore on this one. Unless you have a specific skin allergy, super sensitive skin, etc, I would not purchase a higher end makeup remover. My favorite for a long time has been the L'oreal clean artiste. I do not like oily removers. My new favorite is Neutrogena lotion remover. Definitely check this one out!

                I will still list the best and worst for these swatches though
                1. (Left) Hard Candy Glamoflauge heavy duty concealer
                  1. Best: #3 Clinique. Worst: #4 Sephora
                2. L'oreal Studio secrets 920 Lush Raven eyeshadow
                  1. Best: Neutrogena. Worst: Tie for #3 and #4 Clinique and Sephora
                3. Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless creme eyeshadow in stiletto
                  1. Best: Almay and Estee Lauder. Worst: Clinique
                4. bareMinerals powder eyeshadow in Aquamarine (this came in a quad palette along with coffee bean, firefly, and retro and those colors are beautiful as well as this blue)
                  1. Best: Almay & Estee Lauder. Worst: Neutrogena
                5. Sephora jumbo eye liner crayon 12 H wear, waterproof in gold. LOVE this one!
                  1. Best: Almay and Loreal Worst: Neutrogena & Clinique.
                6. Sephora flashy liner waterproof in 13 flashy violet
                  1. Best: Almay & Clinique. Worst: Estee Lauder
                7. Covergirl perfect points plus eye pencil in black onyx 
                  1. Best: Clinique. Worst: Estee Lauder and Neutrogena
                8. NYC liquid eyeliner in 887 Black
                  1. Best: Almay Worst: Neutrogena & Sephora
                9. Almay intense i-color liquid liner in raisin quartz
                  1. Best: Loreal. Worst: Neutrogena
                10. Clinique Instant Lift for Brows crayon
                  1. Best: Loreal. Worst: Estee Lauder
                11. (Right) Dior Show mascara
                  1. Best:Loreal  Worst: Estee Lauder 

                I was surprised that Neutrogena was the worst in a lot of categories because I do love this product. Maybe its just the feel of it that I like more though. I did use it last night and noticed this morning I had the crack binge look ie: black makeup smeared under my eyes. Again, it was a little harder to be fair with this one because it is a lotion and not a liquid like the others, so there may have been less product on the cutip. 

                So who was the ultimate winner?

                I don't think you can go wrong with Almay or Loreal. Based on this test, those would be the top 2 I would recommend. Like, I said before though, the difference really is hard to tell. Almay is the cheapest for the size of the bottle which for me pushes it into the winner category. Gold medal for you Almay. Estee Lauder was the worst in 4 categories but has the highest price tag. Coal for you Estee Lauder. 

                Another great product is simply using vaseline. Rub this on your lids and lower eye area, leave one for 10 seconds and wipe off with a cotton ball. You will be amazed to see how much makeup your other removers left behind. Plus, using vaseline gives you great long lashes!

                So whats your favorite? Do you go high end with makeup remover?

                Thanks for reading! (I need to get this craziness off my arm now before emerging into public) :)

                Yours in Beauty, 

                Jessica

                Justina's 2 cents:  

                Hello everyone!  I just wanted to share my opinion on my favorite makeup removers!  I have tried various makeup removers by Clinique, Estee Lauder, Sephora, Loreal, Lancome, Mary Kay, Neutrogena, and Almay.  My main concern is that I don't have to tug too much at my eye area with the cotton ball in order to get the eye makeup remover working.  A lot of different lines have removers that work great.  

                I'm with Jessica on the fact that it is hard to differentiate between the different removers and which one is best/worst/etc.  I actually really like the feeling of the more oily removers because I feel that I can easily get the product off my lids and the oily feel really dissolves it all right off.  A couple of the more oily based ones:  Clinique has one, Lancome does, and Mary Kay.  I don't like the ones that are a little more drying, one example being Estee Lauder's.  An oil based eye makeup remover won't make you break out, because you're washing your face right after using it (I hope).

                Truth be told, I rarely ever buy eye makeup remover, because it is one item that always seems to be in a free gift with purchase that one of the makeup counters is doing.  Recently I did purchase some of the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover Hydrating, and I like it quite a bit.  Lately I've been using that on my lids and lashes, and if I am still having a hard time getting some off, I apply a little Vaseline and tissue the rest off.  Both products are pretty cheap and effective!

                What do YOU use to take your makeup off?

                Yours in Beauty, Justina

                PS- I just bought a new webcam today, so stay posted for some HD videos to come! Hooray!


                Friday, October 28, 2011

                BRIGHT Pink Lips: Lancome Electric Pink. One of a kind or can you get this look for less??




                Victoria's Secret Hot Pink (center)                                    Lancome Color Fever Electric Pink
                $5-6 range.                                                                      $26.50


                These look like color dupes, but...


                Left- Lancome, Right, Victoria's Secret

                Notice that they look like exact dupes, but it could not be any more different.  This is why SOMETIMES high end is worth the extra cash.  Watch our vlog above for our attempt to recreate this look.  Although sometimes it's not possible to completely duplicate the same exact color, you can often have a similar look. I would describe both of our looks as a "hot pink" however, in the vlog you can see that they are not exactly alike when we tried to recreate with Sinful Colors lip gloss (Walgreens).  


                NYC 405 Blue Rose is a very similar color. If you add some high sheen gloss with glitter, you may be able to get a similar look. I got similar to the Lancome, but not to dupe status with this NYC fave of mine. 



                Top to Bottom: 1) Sinful Colors extra shiny lipgloss, $2.99 at Walgreens, 2) Lancome La Laque Fever in Electric Pink, 3) NYC in 405 Blue Rose. Sinful Colors is shockingly pigmented for $2.99. Although not a color doupe, this will get you the closest to the Lancome look which is $26.50. The Lancome is an amazing color with pink glitter details. Hard Candy has a product called Show Girl's Secret, Glitter Glue. I haven't tried it, but maybe some pink glitter with this sinful gloss would be the best match. Sinful smells amazing too!

                Lancome is going to have the most staying power. This is the one I was wearing and Justina was wearing the Sinful Colors. Throughout the night, my color did not budge, but the brightness to her pink did not seem to stay as well. 

                So what is the verdict? One of a kind or can it be recreated for less? 

                One of a kind!!!! You can recreate a bright pink lip with the NYC or Sinful above, however, this exact look is truly one of a kind. It is amazing.

                Another reason to try before you buy!  Check out our Shopping Secrets Part vlog for more awesome tips to help guide your shopping choices.

                Yours in Beauty, Justina and Jessica.



                Makeup up FOREVER

                No, this posting is not about Make Up Forever Professionals, the beloved brand from Sephora. This posting is about the makeup that I have been wearing today that I am FINALLY ready to review.


                Hooray!  My makeup has lasted all day, except the lipstick, which I just applied 4 hours ago.

                On my eyes:
                Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer- Jessica recently reviewed this product and loved it and so do I!  I have been using this the past few days on my lids and I'm lovin' it!  One tip that I have is to wipe the wand on your finger, then apply it to your lids.  I don't like to put the wand on my lids because I can't get enough product on there.

                Clinique Strike it Rich Eye Shadow- This is one of their best sellers.  A gorgeous gold color that's not too overpowering, but just enough to make a statement for during the day.

                Milani Liquid Eyeliner in Everlast- I will be doing a full review on these phenomenal $5.99 eye liners soon. They are wonderful and blow my fancy Lancome Artliner right out of the water.

                Loreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes in Blackest Black- Can I just say how much I love this mascara?  A full review on this later!



                (Freakishly long eyelashes brought to you by Vaseline!)

                I'm also lovin' on my lip color.  It's one of the ones on my hand in the previous post.  Can you guess which shade and win the spectacular prize?


                You're welcome for the exclusive peek straight up my nostrils, and of course the trout pout.  (Not brought to you by juvederm lol)  This lip color is Wet'n'Wild 907 C Mauve Outta Here, and YES I will totally be repurchasing this long lasting, matte, gorgeous lip shade for under $3!  Holla!

                Ok all, this little boy needs a bath






                and this girl needs to clean the kitchen.  Yikes.

                Yours in Beauty, Justina

                Thursday, October 27, 2011

                Berry-licious swatches!

                Hello everyone!

                My very naughty dog just knocked over all of my lipsticks that were sitting in perfect order waiting for me to show you!  I swatched berry shades on my hand.  I'm actually thrilled to announce that I don't think any of my lipsticks are dupes for each other!  That means I not been wasting money buying duplicates of the same products.  Also- many of my lipsticks came in a free gift with purchase, meaning I already needed something like powder, and I spent enough money to qualify for a free sample of products.

                Goodness!  I have gotten exactly this far in my blog and my dog has knocked over all my lipsticks exactly three times!  That rascal.  Here's a picture of Ruckus. You can't tell in this pic, but he just went through the garbage while I was doing swatches and has something on his head.  I can't clean it up til I finish this blog or I'll ruin my hand!



                Ok, so here are the swatches:



                Which 2 cost me under $2? 


                Not gonna lie, I SO want to post which color is which, but 2 of these gorgeous shades are actually Wet'n'wild lipsticks which I love! The first person to guess the 2 Wet'n'wild shades (you have to get them both right) gets a prize. That's right, a prize!

                I'll give you a hint, the rest of them are Lancome, Mary Kay, Clinique, and Estee Lauder, so if you have any of those brands at home, swatch them and see if you can find me out. If you are swatching, please send us the pictures so we can post!

                Love and doggie baths for my naughty boy,

                Yours in Beauty, Justina



                He SO knows he's in trouble.

                Are you Red-y for fall?

                Hey everyone!  I'm totally loving the blogs that Jessica has written- that blog on how to spice up your living area was great!  She inspired me to organize my bathroom (and makeup)this week, and in doing so, I rediscovered a lot of my red lipsticks that were laying around.

                A lot of people think they have to save red lip colors for when they are going out somewhere fancy, or for night time.  WRONG!  Red lip color (when done properly) totally wakes up your face.  There are some really really terrible red colors out there, but I will show you three of my favorites for fall.

                Can you guess which is which?  The three brands are NYC, Clinique, and Lancome.



                I totally love all three of these shades!  Have you guessed which one is which yet?





                1st shade- NYC Sheer Red 309
                I love this shade, it is kind of a gloss, but not thick.  It is very versatile and definitely has some kick, but with a neutral eye, it would be great for during the day!

                2nd shade- Lancome Jezebel
                This shade looks ultra dark and scary in a swatch, but is actually a gorgeous deep red once you put it on.  I love the way this looks with pale skin in the winter and maybe a little bit of a smokey eye.  Beautiful, versatile color that has a bit of gloss in it!  Funny story about this lipstick- I was carrying it in my purse one day, and didn't think twice about it.  The next day, I saw this awkward little navy and gold thing laying on the ground crushed up next to my car.  It was beloved lipstick!  I put it in a baggie and that is where it lives, without its beautiful cap, in my makeup container.  Now THAT is love.  P.S.- how did my Lancome lipstick survive being run over yet every one of their eyeliners I have has a broken cap?



                3rd Shade- Clinique Dubonet
                I ran across this color when I asked the lady at the counter for an every day red color that wasn't too overpowering.  I am loving it!  It has a bit of gloss to it but has more of a matte finish than the other two.  I have really been into this color and have gotten a lot of compliments when wearing it.

                Which is your favorite?  I love the dubonet the best because of the silky smooth feel of the lipstick, and the color makes me happy.  :-)

                Yours in Beauty, Jessica and Justina

                Top 15 wish list

                I was just going through my magazines and online blogs and I'm compiling a list of top 5 products I want to try.  I couldn't come up with JUST 5 so I'm separating it into EYES, LIPS, and FACE.  Please post your top 5 (or 15 like I did!)  I am loving all of the ideas I have heard from all of you!

                EYES
                1.  Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner
                2.  Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara (I own this, but still haven't tried it!!)
                3.  Revlon Diamond Lust eye shadows (none of our stores around here have them!)
                4.  Gucci Westman for Revlon line (once again, we don't have them here!)
                5.  Physician's formula shimmer strips for brown eyes

                LIPS
                1.  Revlon Lip Butters (peach parfait, lollipop, berry smoothie, red velvet)
                2.  Revlon Colorburst Lipstick (petal)
                3.  Gucci Westman for Revlon line
                4.  Project Runway for Revlon (I think)- Walgreens has them right now
                5.  more of the EOS lipbalms- the best!

                FACE
                1.  Clean and Clear Persagel (for acne)
                2.  Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
                3.  Rose Water spray
                4.  Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream (triple hit of antioxidants?  yes please!)
                5.  E.l.f. HD powder (our local target doesn't sell it, sad face)

                I will be looking for coupons for these items online- so if you know of any good deals- please share!!!

                Yours in Beauty, Justina and Jessica



                Rimmel Fever Pallette :-(

                Save Your Money and Just Use Your Own Goshdarned Cutips!!!

                Product Description:
                perfect for effortlessly erasing mistakes during application without disturbing the rest of your makeup. these easy to use soft cotton tip swabs are individually filled with the best selling almay® oil free eye makeup remover formula.

                You know when you're browsing in the beauty isle and you spot a product that is a really great idea, but there is this voice inside you saying "it may look like a cool concept, but it isn't going to be worth it!" I know this isn't necessarily a new concept, but its probably the most accessible product for us without ULTAs, Bare Minerals, etc around.

                Well, that is how I feel about Almay oil-free makeup eraser sticks. I do like Almay products and like their makeup remover towelettes, however, I'm not a fan of these eraser sticks which are basically just cutips for 5x the price. I didn't think they had exceptional makeup removing properties either. I had on Make up For Ever black eyeliner and could still see traces of the liner after using 2 of these "eraser sticks". You only get the benefit of using one end as opposed to being free to dip both ends of your regular cutip in makeup remover which is not a difficult concept or task to master! Also, the liquid that moves down into the other tip is not a large amount. The end of the cutip isn't even that wet. You obviously don't want too much liquid as it will become oily or remove concealer you don't want removed, but I think these should pack a little more bang for their buck.

                These are $5.99 for a pack of 24. You can usually get hundreds of regular ones for a couple bucks. If you like their formula, I would say just dip your own cutip in the liquid makeup remover. For me, these just aren't worth the price. I could see using it to put in your purse or for traveling to correct any makeup smudges during the day, however a tip of a wet paper towel would likely do the same thing for free. I just don't think I would use these enough to justify repurchasing.

                Do you really have enough moments in the day where you think, gosh, my makeup looks pretty good, but if I only had a prefilled little cutip, my problems would be solved and my makeup would look flawless? I sure don't. Maybe I'm just the cheese stands alone on this one though, who knows?! :)

                The cute little package comes with 24 liquid filled sticks and states it gently removes makeup, no greasy residue. One end of the cutip has a purple line around it and the other end looks like a normal cutip end. You are suppose to gently "snap" the purple lined end allowing the liquid to be released from this end, flowing down the clear stick into the regular looking end. I think these have sold people more on the convenient packaging and marketing than on the product. I mean, do you want to give some company $6 to pre-fill a little stick for you? I mean really think about it. I was surprised when looking for reviews on the Internet that in general people seem to like these.

                Thank goodness I bought these with a coupon and Almay was Buy 1 Get 1 50% off! :) Otherwise, I would feel like I was duped. You could buy an entire bottle of makeup remover for the cost of these. Fool me once, shame on you...but fool me twice then shame on me....

                Well, the first one I tried to snap gently, but the entire tip came off. There was a little liquid that tricked down to the other end, but not very much. I had to snap a 2nd one which went a little bit better. But these are a little stiff and so I doubt I'm the only one to ever have completely snapped the top off so much that not much liquid traveled to the other end. It also warns to use carefully around the eye area. Of course, you are going to use ANY product carefully around the eye area, but I would think these would be made for the eye area. I mean where else are you going to be using a cutip to remove makeup? Certainly not your whole face. You would need to use all 24 sticks for that!

                Normally, I take a regular old cutip, dip the end in makeup remover, usually Clinique Take Off the Day, and use to remove any pesky liner that washing my face or using a cotton pad or cotton ball didn't remove. I would say for this, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

                I do however enjoy the Almay Oil Free makeup remover towelettes. $5.99 for 25 towelettes.

                Product Description:
                soft, pre-moistened towelettes instantly lift away all traces of makeup, dirt and oil in one easy step. conditions, hydrates and soothes skin without irritation. botanical blend of aloe, cucumber and green tea nourishes skin as it gently lifts away even waterproof or longwearing makeup. this face makeup remover leaves no greasy residue, so there's no need to rinse.

                This is my second package of these I have used. The second time around I learned to put these towelettes in a plastic baggy because the flap opening does not want to stick after its been used a couple times and the towels tend to dry out. I use these when I don't necessarily feel like washing my face but want my makeup off. These feel really amazing on your skin and will leave you feeling refreshed. That is the main purpose I see with them. As for their removal properties, they are okay. It definitely takes several swipes on both sides of these towelettes to remove most of your makeup. These are not a one wipe does it all towelette. The second best feature is this product really does seem oil free and it does not make me break out, so they are great for sensitive skin. These are great for summer months to make you feel refreshed without showering. Another benefit is these are not drying.

                So, if you're looking for something that is a refreshing face wipe and non-oily, I would say consider buying the towelettes, otherwise these are not a must have product if you are looking for heavy duty makeup remover capabilities. I would stick with Clinique Take the Day Off.

                Or I would also recommend Neutrogena Hydrating Eye Makeup Remover Lotion. $6.99, 3 fl oz. This was rated 5 of 5 stars on Neutrogena's website based on 10 reviews.

                I love the concept of makeup remover in a lotion form. This feels great going on your skin and is fantastic at removing makeup. I am a big fan of Neutrogena products, and this is no exception. Fantastic product. This has been a little hard for me to find at stores, they must either be selling out or just not on all store shelves. So, if you're looking to try something a little new in the makeup remover arena, I would try the Neutrogena lotion and skip the makeup eraser sticks aka really expensive cutips.

                Product Description:
                This light, residue-free lotion gently dissolves your hard-to-remove eye makeup while conditioning your eye area.

                The unique formula quickly removes makeup--even waterproof mascara--while still being gentle enough to use daily. Plus, a replenishing blend of cucumber and aloe extracts helps smooth the look of dry lines and puffiness.

                Your skin will look clean and refreshed, and feel soothed and hydrated.

                • Gentle enough for daily use
                • Removes waterproof mascara
                • Fragrance free
                • Cucumber and aloe extracts

                What is your favorite alternative makeup remover? Ie: cloths, lotions, swabs, etc (non liquid). What are your thoughts on the fancy cutips?

                Yours in Beauty,

                Jessica

                Wednesday, October 26, 2011

                Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Cleansing Mask & Norwax Body Pack


                Whenever a product claims to magically erase blackheads, I'm always very leery. There are no magic immediate result products; however, this is a really great product. It is around the $5-$10 range which is a great value for the quality of the product and the size, 5oz. I'm always drawn to any product that claims to fight pesky blackheads.

                Here is what the product claims to do:

                Salicylic acid acne medication. Draws out trapped dirt & oil. Loosens blackheads. Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Cleansing Mask draws out dirt and oil to help keep your skin thoroughly clean. Immediately after applying, you will feel a cool tingle telling you that it has started working. After 5 minutes, simply rinse off for skin that is clean and fresh. Helps prevent future blackheads from forming.


                After using this product a couple times a week for a few months, I did seem to notice a difference in the appearance of blackheads and the formation of new ones. Any mask isn't going to magically erase your blackheads. I do recommend pore strips for the actual removal of blackheads. This is a product I highly recommend.

                Also, it has a great light fresh scent and goes on nicely. This is a mask you will like putting on. As it dries, it feels great and is a little tingly and again fresh scented. You leave this on for 5 minutes and then wash off. It feels great when putting it on and as it is drying and when removing it. Basically, this is my favorite mask right now & has been for awhile. I do put moisturizer on afterwards, but this isn't a mask that will leave your face feeling too dry.

                Sometimes I tend to be a little sporadic in my skincare "routine" when a product's instructions are to use it regularly. If I don't see results soon enough, I often forget about the product. If your not using a product as often as directed you may not be reaping the benefits. This is a product I reached for a couple times a week without fail. Actually I couldn't find it when my bathroom closet was messy and I had a very panicked and sad moment. This is a product that will easily make itself into your skincare routine and won't end up being one of those sitting on the shelf that you have forgotten about.

                Another spot treatment that I have started using lately but am liking is AcneFree University Medical Terminator 10 Medicated Spot Treatment. This is a great spot treatment product and I apply a dab on any pimples and also on the sides of my nose and chin where I have the most blackheads. I will be reviewing this at a later date in a product comparison to Clean & Clear and Neutrogena spot treatments so stay tuned!

                The facial cloths I use are Norwax Microfiber cloths. I always use one of these to wash off the Clean and Clear Mask and to wash off a Avani Mud Mask I have (the mud can leave some staining behind though). A pack of 3 is around $20. You can find these from direct sales people/Norwax parties or some online stores. You may recognize this name as cloths known for their great household cleansing properties.



                Here is the product description:

                Great antibac cloths for removing makeup, regular facial cleansing, exfoliating or in the shower! Package of three cloths.

                These are great face &  body wash cloths. I tend to reach for them more when my face is breaking out because my face does feel much cleaner and squeakier afterwards. These typically come with a warranty too. Norwax towels and products have a great reputation.

                What I'm trying:

                Product Description:
                Frutique Apple Night-Restore Creme is a night renewal moisturizer that helps all skin types repair its appearance and recover from daytime damage. It is suppose to leave skin soft, smooth, and younger; diminish the appearance of fine lines; nourish the skin, and is enhanced with apple extract (yum!) $12.99 ($11.79 with Sally's Card), 9.6oz


                I recently picked up a few samples of Frutique Apple Night Restore Cream at Sally's Beauty. There were some free samples along with $3 off coupons for this brand, so I swiped a couple...or four!!! :) So far, the best thing about this product is the scent. It is yummy! I don't know if spending $10 on a product for scent alone is worth it though. I also love the packaging and am a sucker for cute packaging. So, if Sally's has this on sale and I use my coupon, I will definitely consider purchasing to do a more extensive review. So far, I think on the hydrating side it has much to be desired. I had to put some Lancome face product ontop of this on my dryer areas. I do have skin that tends to be on the drier side though, so maybe this product will work for you if you're looking for a lighter moisturizer. I will let you know any updated opinions.

                 Scent: A+       Packaging: A        Moisture: B (I would categorize this as a light moisturizer)

                This was given 5 of 5 stars based on 4 reviews on Sally's Beauty website. With my $3 off coupon which they had at the desk at Sally's Beauty, I will probably end up purchasing a full size of something in this line.

                I also have a sample of the Citrus Brightening Creme in this line and am excited to try this (4.5 stars, 5 reviews). Other products include Peach Smoothing Creme (3 stars, 2 reviews), Mandarin Anti Puff Eye Roller (5 stars, 2 reviews), Purifying Berry Gel Cleanser (4.25 stars, 4 reviews), Papaya Exfoliating Gel (4 stars, 15 reviews), Nectar Nourishing Mask, and Harvest Grape Firming Creme (4.5 stars, 6 reviews).

                I always look up a product on my smartphone before buying it and don't purchase many products that don't have a minimum of 4 stars. Skin care reviews can be a little touchy since everyone has such different qualities to their skin that not everything will be a home run for everyone. I like to see at least 5 reviews of a product before I will put much weight in the overall stars. However, this brand seems to be off to a great start. Check back later for a more extensive review after my inevitable purchase :)

                What is the #1 skin care beauty "product" that costs the least amount of $?

                       WATER!!!!! Drinks lots and lots of water, especially starting out your day with a large glass. This is  
                        the best thing you can do for your skin. #2 I would say is Vitamin E caplets (especially for scars).

                Thanks for reading!

                Yours in Beauty,

                Jessica

                Monday, October 24, 2011

                How to Redecorate with Little to No Money!

                Have you ever looked around at your home and just got that urge to do something completely different? It can be a big task to think about redecorating or remodeling an entire room. In this post, I'm sharing with you my top tips on how to change the entire look of a room with little to no money! This will save you time and money which we are all short on and satisfy that urge to decorate and change things up. So keep on reading and learn how to redecorate on a budget.

                Here are my top tips:

                1. Shower Curtains!
                My favorite decorating technique is just to change my bathroom shower curtain. Especially living in an apartment, you are limited in colors and paint you can use, so having some great shower curtains can add some style and life to an otherwise dull bathroom. I have many curtains I switch out depending on the season or just on my mood. I find my best shower curtains at TJ Maxx and Kohls. You can find shower curtains from $10-20 that will change the entire look of a room. I like buying cloth shower curtains because they look more expensive and you can wash them.

                 

                These are 2 newer shower curtains I have which added pops of lime green in. I bought a lime green bin and then just moved a green vase I had in my living room into the bathroom. Another great way to incorporate another color into a bathroom is just with small wash clothes that you probably already having laying around. You may have picked up some packs of 10 that you see at Walmart or Target. I like to buy packs with some great colors in them and then I roll them up and place them in a bin like you can see in the corner. This blends in your old color scheme with your new and ties everything together for a very small price tag.

                I have accumulated these shower curtains over 10 years, so the cost is very small when spread over the years. Whenever I feel bored with my bathroom, I just drop $15, move some decor around, add a different pop of color, and switch in some of my matching wash cloths.


                See above for my 6 curtains that I switch in and out. As you can see, I stick with a general color scheme, for me it is brown and blue. I don't have to have everything matchy matchy, so I like that there are different colors of blues. If your bathroom scheme is red for instance and you buy a blue shower curtain to change up the look of the room, you're going to have to switch out a lot of your decor. If you have a red bathroom, I would pick maybe a brown shower curtain with some red in the design and maybe for your pop of color add in some golds.

                2. Pick up an unfurnished piece of furniture, paint it, and decorate it

                I picked up an unfinished nightstand at Fleet Farm years and years ago. This means that the piece of furniture is built, but there is no finish on it. I found the perfect green paint to match my bedroom and finally found the perfect drawer pulls. Drawer pulls are also a great way to easily change the look of a piece of furniture for cheap. I found mine at TJ Maxx for around $12 I believe. You can go to any hardware or decorating store and they will likely have knobs. They are usually a few dollars a piece which isn't much to pay to change the entire look of a piece of furniture.

                 




                3. Pillows!!!
                Pillows are a great way to change the look of a room. Again, I have acquired these pillows over years. Pillows can be expensive at $20+ per pillow. Walmart has had a great line of pillows in the recent year that are stylish and yet very affordable. I always search the clearance racks or TJ Maxx for pillows and will not pay more than $10 for a pillow. As you can see, I stay with the same color scheme. I would say keep 2-3 main colors so you can easily mix and match and coordinate different rooms. Mine are plum/purple, brown, and a teal blue. These bright yellow pillows I got at Target because I'm sure not many people are in the market for bright yellow pillows, however, I made these work with the blue/plum/brown color scheme I already had going and I think I got these for less than $5 a piece which is a steal.


                Actually pulling out all your pillows and putting them in one large pile is a great way to get started. First of all, it will create some color combinations you may not have thought of. Again, I don't like things to be perfectly matched and so I like mixing and matching different shades of blues, etc. Look down at your pile of pillows, pick up some and put them in a room that they were not in to begin with. You can completely change the look of your bedroom, guest bedroom, and living room merely by switching some pillows around. 

                When incorporating another color into your already existing color scheme, I like to put one to two other items in that room to pull together the other color. I didn't have anything yellow in my living room until I bought these bright yellow pillow, so I added a yellow candle to tie the colors together into the room. This also tied in the yellow centers to some flower pictures I have hanging on my wall.

                Notice the yellow candle in the corner cubby in the photo above! 


                Above: This is before any decorations (obviously!)


                See how adding a pop of yellow can change the look of the room? And again, the pillows together were probably $10. Don't be scared to experiment with color!

                4. Pull out your old decorations, move decor around
                I do the same thing with my pillows that I do with my decorations. Pull photos, vases, throws, knick knacks, wall hangings from their spot, put them on the floor in an open space, take a good look at them and start having fun putting them in new places. Whatever is left that I don't have a place for, I put in my storage closet. In 6 months, you can pull those out again and it will be like finding new decorations. This costs no $ and you can focus on 2 rooms so you don't get too overwhelmed at first. Actually a lot of my living room and bathroom decor is interchangeable, so sometimes I will just focus on those two rooms. 

                Another great way to change a room is to buy a new throw or to switch a throw that may be in your bedroom to the living room and drape it to the arm of a couch for a new pop of color. 



                5. Antiques!
                I love antique shopping and usually limit my budget to $5-$10 per item. I have found many unique items at antique shops and you can really have fun experimenting with these. I have many many antique scores, but here is one my uniquest finds and a demonstration of 2 different ways I have used this. 



                (see also tip #7 regarding the stick on wall art here)


                6. Change your comforter! 
                Okay, last tip ladies (and possibly any gentlemen followers). Yes, a new comforter can be expensive, however, you can find a lot of great comforters on clearance or at TJ Maxx. Both of these were from a family member, so I didn't actually pay for either. When I had a smaller sized bed (I have a king size now), I would just use duvet covers from IKEA. They are a really great inexpensive way to change the look of your room and is easier to wash than an entire comforter. 


                7. Stick on Wall Art 
                Stick on wall art can be an easy and affordable way to spice up any room. If you live in an apartment where you can't paint, you will especially love adding some designs and colors. These are usually removable and reusable. You can also place this on furniture pieces. This is a great way to add some artistic expression into your home without having to paint or create anything yourself! You can find ones like the ones below that come in several smaller pieces so you can use and reuse these in many different ways.




                Here is your bonus tip: Make something!!!! I had this huge cork board that my friend gave to me. I loved loved the gold frame but wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but I knew I wanted to showcase it. Then looking at all my Christmas cards (this was last year), I realized I could use this as a card holder. I put pretty Christmas scrapbook paper on the back and secured it with a tack and then decoratively added the cards and some fun little stick ons! This is a low cost way to create a new showcase for your room! 


                You can also search for old discarded furniture and revamp it. Spray paint is your best friend! I have this coffee table that I found abandoned in the basement of one of my college apartments. It has been spray painted different colors over the years. Again, I took scrapbook paper and decoupaged it onto the top of the table. I then picked out some of my favorite travel pictures and decoupaged them onto the table as well. This has held up well through the years and any wear on it just adds to the look of the table. I've also bought photography books from stores like Half Priced Books or other used book stores and used some of the pictures in those books in my crafts, artwork, or picture frames. You can find some really beautiful and unique pictures that you can use in your own place from old books. 



                What is your favorite cheap redesign tip? 

                Yours in Beauty (and Design), 

                Jessica :)

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