I have been dreading the day that I finally have to start coloring my hair! Now, don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I have an entire head full of grey hairs. But I was getting enough that it was getting to the point that I could no longer pluck out the few random ones or cover them lightly with eyeshadow or root touch up spray. I was also on the quest to get my scalp to a healthier place, which means not using a lot of products that cause buildup. *That will be talked about in another post! But trust me, if you want your hair to grow and grow in healthier, your scalp holds the key to growing beautiful locks.
Anyway, the issue I have always had with dying my hair, is the tone that most brunette dyes have. I’m not a fan of the reddish hues that most dark hair dyes have. I also don’t want to color every hair on my head, as I realistically only have between 10-15 grey’s, if that. So I started researching and decided to give Clairol Natural Instincts a try. It’s semi permanent and washes out in 28 shampoos. The issue was this, the first color I tried, 5C Brass Free Medium Brown, was exactly the same as my natural color. I only applied it to my roots, but since it was the same color as my hair, it didn’t do a great job of coloring the grey’s completely. So the next round, I decided to mix in about a 1/4 of a darker dye, 4 Dark Brown, to the original mixture. That did the trick. I was left with perfectly rich dark chocolate, grey free roots. It blends in so beautifully with the rest of my hair, that It never looks colored at all. I usually get the full 4 weeks out of the product, but I have gone as long as 5 1/2 weeks without the need to touch up! I can honestly say, this has been a game changer for me. My hair is so much healthier and is finally starting to grow again…and I don’t have grey’s, so that’s the icing on the cake!
As you already know, I own way too many red lipsticks. From low to high end, I love a bold red lip and I have quite the collection to prove it!
I have been a huge fan of Pat McGrath’s work as a makeup artist for years. Coming from a fashion and modeling background myself, I have been in awe of her work on the runway, covers and editorial work since the early 90’s. Yes, you heard me correctly. I started modeling in 1988, so it’s fair to say, I’m quite aware of Pat McGrath’s phenomenal artistry.
Since launching her own cosmetics line after being the Global Creative Design Director for GUCCI cosmetics in 2014, Pat has become known for her super pigmented shadows and vibrant and bold lipsticks. With the lipsticks bearing a hefty price tag of $38 a piece, I was a little hesitant to take the plunge. So I decided to pick up the travel sized trio of the MatteTrance lipsticks at Sephora for $25 a few months back and they blew me away! I knew I would need to invest in the full size version as soon as they ran out. The trio included the shades Elson, Obsessed and Full Panic. Obsessed became my absolute favorite of the three shades. I also love wearing Obsessed on top of Elson for even more depth and dimension. I can wear both shades with my favorite Revlon Colorstay lipliner in the color red. What I love most about these lipsticks is their comfort and pigment. They are matte, but without the drying effect that most matte lipsticks usually consist of. The color pay off is also second to none. They stay super pigmented without the need for touch ups for hours on end.
In case I have not made it entirely clear, these Pat McGrath lipsticks are worth every penny and then some. After all, it’s okay to splurge once in a while! These lipsticks are absolutely one of my favorite makeup finds of this past year.
I must admit that I am somewhat of a foundation junkie, and the older I get, I scour to find foundations that give me back the skin of my youth. I had recently started using the La Mer foundation, and while I absolutely love it, I was a bit hesitant to wear a $120 foundation on a daily basis. So I set out to find another alternative that would be perfect and forgiving on my super dry, slightly textured skin.
I started out doing my research like I normally do, a google search! Time and time again, I kept coming across the Too Faced Born This Way foundation. It sounded perfect. It was described as highly pigmented, medium to buildable full coverage foundation that was also great for dry skin. It also seemed to be a favorite of many bloggers which claim it is better than most of the higher priced foundations on the market.
Since it was that time of year when Ulta offers its perks members 20% of their entire purchase, including prestige brands, taking a chance on a new foundation was a no brainer. I picked up this foundation in the shade Natural Beige, and although it is darker than my face, it matched my normally self tanned body perfectly. It has just the right amount of warmth with out being overly yellow. As for the foundation itself, it is pure perfection. It has a rather thin consistency but it so pigmented, and a little goes a long way. I often times do two layers on the area of my cheeks where I have a bit of discoloration and it covers everything completely without looking heavy or cakey. I prefer to use a primer with all of my foundations, and this one was no different. I just get a smoother complexion when I prep my face properly. I have applied this with both a sponge and a brush, both applications work great with this foundation. Since I have super dry skin, I lightly dust the Hourglass Veil powder on top to leave my skin looking perfectly dewy and hydrated. If you have oily skin, I would highly advise against this combo. I also love this foundation with my RCMA powder and also with my Coty Airspun, but both provide a more matte finish and are better at absorbing any oil. I then finish everything off with my MAC Fix Plus or Estee Lauder Set & Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist. The overall look is perfect skin! I often times only need to touch up late in the day with a light dusting of powder, if at all. Obviously you can tell I absolutely LOVE this foundation and for $39, you simply can’t go wrong!
Primers are such a must for beautiful, flawless looking skin. I never do my makeup without first applying a primer. Since I have super dry skin, I’m always looking for a primer that tends to lock in moisture and keeps my skin looking dewy and fresh all day long. I’m an avid user on the Amazing Cosmetics Anti Aging Primer but was super excited when I had the opportunity to try their Line Smoother + Primer.
Amazing Cosmetics Line Smoother + Primer is formulated with Neodermyl, that consists of powerful and concentrated blend of peptides, ceramides and botanicals to help smooth, firm and hydrate your skin, delivering long-lasting results. The rollerball applicator also provides a soothing and cooling effect as it massages the skin. Not only are you getting the short term effects of flawless skin, this primer is actually treating your skin and imperfections while it primes. I truly love how refreshing it is when applying it under my tired eyes.
This particular primer is a bit thicker in consistency than the Amazing Cosmetics Anti Aging Primer that is my holy grail but, I actually love to use the two together. Since my skin is often times dehydrated, I like using the Anti Aging Primer on my forehead, nose and my chin, while using the Line Smoother Primer on my laugh lines, cheeks and under eyes. The Line Smoothing Primer does a great job of filling in my pores and fine lines, while the Anti Aging Primer keeps everything dewy and fresh! At my age, my makeup is only as good as my skin and my preparation prior to application is the key to beautiful makeup. I will NEVER be without a primer, ever. It’s as simple as that!
On my latest mission to find a great replacement for my beloved Dolce & Gabbana Lifting Foundation (that has become increasing impossible for me to get my hands on) I think I may have just found my new Holy Grail! Giorgio Armani’s Lifting Foundation. Can I just quickly say, this aging thing definitely has it’s upsides, but the struggle is real for the downsides tool! Well, at least for the constant battle of searching for the fountain of youth. Sigh.
When it comes to my favorite foundations, I’m constantly searching for not only a foundation that gives me medium to full buildable coverage, but also a foundation that doesn’t settle into my fine lines or accentuate my dry skin. On my latest mission to replace my D&G staple foundation, I ran across some mixed reviews on the Armani Lift Foundation. In the past, I was a HUGE fan of Armani’s Designer Shape Cream Foundation, which was one of the BEST foundations I have ever used to date. When Armani decided to discontinue this foundation, many people (Kim Kardashian included) started scrambling to stock up on every last jar in existence. Story has it, that Kim K. even contacted Giorgio Armani himself to get her hands on as many jars as possible! Yes, it was that good. So fast forward to today. After researching great foundations for mature skin (yes, I may have just cringed at using the word mature) because there it NOT a mature attribute about me (at least behavior wise). I then ran across the Armani Lifting Foundation. It seemed to have everything I was looking for in a foundation. It was medium to full buildable coverage, it didn’t settle in fine lines and it was actually great for us dry skinned girls. BINGO! Now to find a store that actually carried this little gem.
I was able to locate the Armani Lifting Foundation at my local Nordstrom. I had done my research extensively and I had basically pinpointed what my color would suit my skin tone by some other reviews I had read online. I also found it a bit odd, that this specific foundation had a very limited range of colors. Could it be that this foundation is also on it’s way to becoming extinct? Limited availability and color range is usually a tall tale sign of what’s to come. SO, when I was approached by the salesgirl at Nordstrom, I was a tad bit disappointed when she barely knew the product line, or even very little about this specific foundation itself. Like I said, since I had done my own research, I basically color matched and confirmed the shade I needed, which is 5.5. It is a perfect match for my more medium than light skin tone and definitely more yellow based, which is what I prefer.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
Now onto the application. As you already know, I never do my make up without first applying a primer. And with this foundation, it was no different. Since I am currently using the Dermalogica Skinsmart anti aging primer, that is what I used. After slightly pressing my primer into my skin, I used my Real Techniques foundation brush to get the perfect coverage. I did try using my Beauty Blender the next day, but felt the foundation worked better with a brush in my opinion. This foundation worked beautifully with my Tarte Shape Tape and after setting my face using a damp beauty blender and my RCMA No-Color powder, I was left with virtually flawless skin. The Armani Lifting Foundation does a great job of staying put and it also did not settle in my fine lines. It also looks amazing in pictures. This foundation is a keeper for now, but I’m hoping and praying that someone comes out with another stellar full coverage foundation for aging skin in the near future. When I find something that works, I definitely stick with it, but in life, it’s always good to have options!