Nail Polish Organization Idea

I’m always looking for new and inventive ways to organize my stuff.  Yes, I know Pinterest has TONS of suggestions.  To be honest, I have a hard enough time keeping up with 2 teenagers, 3 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts, and 4 e-mail addresses to spend a lot of time on Pinterest (yes, I do have an account…).  So, I have to get my inspiration from the random Facebook postings of my friends…

Background:  Here’s how MY nail polish is “organized.”  This plastic bin weighs 11.4 pounds (approx. 5 kg).  It’s a replacement bin, because the last one couldn’t handle the weight and cracked.  It lives in my closet.  Sadly, this bin doesn’t even hold all my nail polish.  I have more in the downstairs bathroom.  I’m even a little embarrassed to post this photo.  I’m normally a very organized person and like to have a place for everything.  All my OTHER beauty products have a good home…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Alternative:  This is a beautifully embellished spice rack.  Yes, really.  A spice rack.  My friend picked it up at a resale shop and made it look pretty.  It’s perfect for holding nail polish.  If you wanted to, you could even mount it to the back side of a closet door for convenient out-of-the-way storage.  (note: If your doors are hollow, you’ll need some sort of anchor.)  You could also hang it with over-the-door hooks.

photo courtesy of Ella Cordial

photo courtesy of Ella Cordial

Now…   I just have to find a bunch of spice racks. (I’m OCD, so they’re going to HAVE to match!).  Between my nail polish collection and my daughter’s, I find myself wondering if spice racks are sold in bulk multi-packs…

Sephora – More than Just a Beauty Store

If you’re a big Sephora fan (like me!), you may already know all about the information in today’s post.  However, I just found out about Sephora’s “other” services (you know, other than selling fabulous, addictive makeup products!), so I’m sharing with anyone else who might not know…

Free Mini-Sessions:  Sephora has a set of “express services” that are offered on a walk-in basis.  You can change up your look with the following express services:  Smoky Eye, Perfect Lips, Treat & Conceal, Blush & Bronze, Everyday Eye, Essential Eyeliner, Flawless Foundation, and Faux Lashes.  These services (at least some of them) are also offered at the Sephora Inside JCPenney locations.

Makeup Application:  Many stores will do a makeup application for a special event (or “just because”).  The 45-minute session is one-on-one and is a great way to find a new look.  The catch:  You have to spend $50 on stuff to get the service.  (But hey, you get to keep the stuff – if you’re going to spend $50 in there, you’d might as well get the makeover, too!)  This service seems to be available at all the stand-alone stores (not the ones inside JCPenney stores). A handful of stores (ones located in major cities) even let you book this service online.

Personal Beauty Advisor:  You can get a 90-minute consultation that goes over your hair, skin, makeup, “and more” (don’t know what else there is!).  This service also comes with a custom makeup application session.  For this one, you have to spend $125 on products.

Classes:  Apparently, Sephora offers some sort of “classes” at select stores as well.  The one listed on the website now is called “Extraordinary Holiday Eyes”.  Call your local store to see if they offer classes.

Miscellaneous Info:  All the information about these services, as well as a list of locations that offer online reservations can be found here:  Sephora Beauty Studio.

A Beauty-full Christmas

I haven’t posted in a while.  The Christmas holiday (along with some other commitments) has kept me very busy.  Now Christmas is over so I can get back to “normal” (whatever that means).  I haven’t gotten a chance to use all my new Christmas gifts, but here’s a look at the new beauty products I got…

 

Lip Balms:  I’m a never-leave-home-without-lip-balm person.  I have one in every purse I use regularly and one in my car.  My family knows this.  My daughter got me the Burt’s Bees lip balm in “Soothing” formula (with eucalyptus and menthol).  It seems Burt’s Bees adds a new variety of lip balm every month – I haven’t even heard of this one!  Expect a review very soon.  My husband got me the Jack Black in Natural Mint (my all-time favorite lip balm!).

Bath & Body Works:  My son got me a Bath & Body Works gift card.  Although he is well aware of what I like and don’t like (he is one of the only teenage guys I know who will actually go into a Sephora store – often to shop for me!) I guess he thought I’d enjoy picking out my own stuff more.  Or he knows I’ll have coupons and can get more for the money…

Clarisonic Brush Heads:  I love my Clarisonic machine, but I hate paying for the replacement heads (my current one is looking a little “fringy”).  Luckily, my husband bought me a 2-pack in “deep pore cleansing”.

Nail Polish:  My daughter and I share a love of nail polish. (Maybe it’s genetic???)  She got me the Sinful Colors brand in white.  I haven’t ever tried this, either, so a review is in the future….  Also from my daughter:  The Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Gunmetal”.  Very cool color.

A Very Merry Christmas:  Here’s hoping you all got what you wanted for Christmas.  It seems I always have what I want – a family who loves me enough to enable my beauty product addiction.  🙂

Thumbs-Down: Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner

Since Ulta was having a Buy One, Get One Free deal on their brand of products, I recently picked up the rather horrible Whipped Eye Shadow (read review here:  http://wp.me/p1Z8Rq-zG)  and this Gel Eyeliner.  As I often say: a good deal is only a good deal if you’re getting a good product…

Pros:  Made in USA.  Moderately inexpensive.  Has a nice “sparkle” to it.  Paraben-free. Stays on pretty well.

Cons:  Not deeply pigmented.  Formula is too thin.  Doesn’t go on smoothly.  To get a dark line, you have to “dab” it into place, which forces you to use a LOT of the product.

In Summary:  I gave this product two chances.  The first time, I was using a brush (angled eyeliner brush) that I had been using with black eye shadow, so I thought the powder leftover in the brush messed up the results.  The second time, I used a brand new brush, and got exactly the same results.  Both times, I ended up going over the gel eyeliner with black eye shadow to “fill in” the pale, streaky spots.  As with many other products I haven’t liked, this one got good reviews by other people.  Maybe I’m too picky.  Maybe I expect too much for $10.  Maybe I should stick with using black eye shadow to do my liner…

Suggestion:  If you like this type of eyeliner, you should try Stila Smudge Pots ($20) or L’Oreal’s HIP Cream Eyeliner ($10).  I’m also tempted by the L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner ($10), but I haven’t tried that one.  Maybe when I have a coupon, I’ll pick one up…

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars  1.5-stars

Price:  $10

Available at: Ulta stores and website

ulta gel eyeliner

Review: Batiste Dry Shampoo with a Hint of Colour (Dark/Deep Brown)

I’m a regular dry shampoo user.  (See my review of other dry shampoos here.)  It’s not that I’m too lazy to wash my hair (OK, sometimes I am. Hey, I’ve got a lot of hair!)  I just think sometimes your hair needs a break and dry shampoo is a good way to make your hair look clean without stripping its healthy oils away.  Since I have moderately dark hair, I’ve been hoping to find a dry shampoo with some “tint” to it, so it’s easier to blend into my hair.    I know there are several products out there designed for dark hair, but I haven’t been willing to pay for them.  I found this one at a discount store, so I wanted to give it a try…

Pros: Paraben-free.  Small container fits into a medicine cabinet better than some of the other huge dry shampoo bottles.  Smells really nice.  Feels less “chalky” than others.

Cons:  Expensive.  The “hint of colour” is a dark grey they add to the dry shampoo.  (Why not brown?)  You probably wouldn’t want to use this on light (or highlighted) hair. You have to shake the bottle a lot to get the tint to distribute properly.  When I first tried it, I didn’t see any color at all.

In Summary:  This dry shampoo is better than most of the ones I’ve tried because of the fragrance and texture. However, it is significantly more expensive.  I will probably use it for the times I’m in a hurry and need dry shampoo (When I’ve overslept or lost track of time – it happens!) because it blends in faster than the regular stuff and doesn’t run the risk of making my brunette hair look like it’s going grey.

Note: Batiste makes many varieties of dry shampoo.  If you like dry shampoo but are looking for something different (like “shimmer”!), you should check out their selections. Unfortunately, the Batiste line of “coloured” dry shampoos  got discontinued before I got a chance to try it. 😦

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars  4-stars

Price:  approx $9 for 6.73 fl. oz

Available at:  drugstore.com, Ulta.com (other varieties), folica.com, other online retailers

batiste dry shampoo dark

Q & A: Drugstore Beauty Products

I saw this post on Sicilianna Beauty and decided to share my thoughts on these questions with you. I’m a big fan of several “drugstore brand” products, but some are just plain disappointing. Here’s a quick rundown…

1. What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand? Rimmel

2. What are your favorite cheek and lip products? Revlon makes great lip glosses (haven’t tried one I didn’t like). I haven’t found a drugstore brand blush that I like yet.

3. Least favorite product? Maybelline eye shadows. I’ve tried a few different varieties and they were all horrible.

4. What is the best makeup bargain? Wet N Wild nail polish. The brushes are amazing and it lasts as long as more expensive brands.

5. What’s your favorite underdog product (something that often gets looked over)? Cover Girl Brow & Eye Makers pencils. There are sooooo many (expensive!) brow-specialty products and kits out there, but I get good results with these.

6. A drugstore product that is overpriced is? I think most foundations are too expensive for what they are. Some of them aren’t much less expensive than “prestige” brands.

7. Your best drugstore dupes! I haven’t put enough thought into finding cheaper versions of expensive products, I guess. Sorry!

8. Drugstore product that isn’t worth the hype? Any foundation product that promises to “match” your skin tone. My experience with these products has taught me that they’re just a base (lotion-type stuff) with some color beads. As you move it around on your skin, it gets darker. I don’t see how it could magically match your skin tone perfectly, and haven’t found one that has.

Thumbs-Down: Ulta Extreme Wear Whipped Eye Shadow

Ulta had a Buy One, Get One Free sale on their products last week (as well as a coupon and a “free item with purchase” deal).  I haven’t been impressed with the few Ulta brand products I’ve tried, but I wanted to try this eye shadow, since I’ve liked the cream eye shadows I’ve tried in the past (Revlon).  So, I picked it up in “Strawberry Cream”.  I should have found a different product instead…

Pros:  Inexpensive(ish).  Good variety of colors.  Made in USA (at least this color is). Paraben-free.  “Not animal tested”, according to the Ulta website.

Cons:  No ingredients list on the package. Color not very vibrant (doesn’t match up to color it looks like in the container). Apply too little and you can barely see it, apply too much and it looks really bad.  It’s a little bit too creamy – it’s more like a lotion than an eye shadow.

In Summary:  I really, really don’t like this stuff.  I doesn’t go on very well.  I believe the “extreme wear” claim, but who cares how long it stays on if it looks horrible while you’re wearing it?  I ended up removing it and applying another product.  I didn’t like how chalky it looked on my eyelids.  Since the color is so light, it made it look like I had flaky, dry skin on my eye area.  It got good reviews on Ulta.com, so maybe there’s some trick to applying it that I don’t know about.  I guess I’ll keep it around in case I find a use for it, but I suspect it will get tossed out in my next “bathroom purge”…

Rating: 1 out of  stars  1-star

Price: $8

Available at: Ulta

ulta extreme wear whipped eye shadow

Strange But True

I’ve really been enjoying reading the Twitter feed from UberFacts.  I just like knowing random things.  And – for some reason unknown to me – I’m able to remember useless information better than important things (like my anniversary).  Someday, I may be able to profit from all this trivial knowledge (I tried out for Jeopardy! but didn’t make the cut – this time)  but until then, I’m just going to enjoy learning fun facts.  Here are some beauty-related facts you might find interesting…

Did You Know?

– On average, women spend fifty-eight days of their lives shaving or waxing unwanted hair.

–  In the late 18th century, members of The French Court (Marie Antoinette, et al) obsessed over having flawless alabaster skin. They faked it with thick  layers of white powder (made out of everything from white lead and talc to  pulverized bone) combined with wax, whale blubber, or vegetable oil

– A 1991 study showed that female politicians who employed Hollywood makeup  artists and photographers were 30% more likely to win elections.

– During the reign of Elizabeth I, there was a tax put on men’s beards.

– Most lipstick contains fish scales.

– The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off.

– Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.

– In Kentucky, it’s the law that a person must take a bath once a year.

– The more attractive a woman is, the more impaired the brains of surrounding males become.

– Eating onions and garlic helps your hair grow.

– During the nylon shortages of WWII, many women used eyeliner to draw “seams” up the back of their legs.

 

So there you go – useless information.  And no, I don’t expect any of those questions to show up on the next Jeopardy! tryout, but there’s no such thing as too much knowledge…

Holiday Beauty Buys ($15 and under)

I already posted about all the $10 and under Burt’s Bees “value sets” available for your holiday shopping needs.  Here are some others you might be interested in…

Tarte Clean Slate Deluxe Primer Trio

$9 at Ulta and Sephora

tarte trio

Laura Geller “Lips in Lights”  (lip gloss set)

$9.75 at Ulta

laura geller lips in lights

Smackers “Sweet Treats” (misc. products)

For the young girl in your life or the young girl in you

$9.99 at Ulta

smackers sweet treats

Benefit “Besties” Set

$12 – only available at Ulta

Mini brightening primer and cream-to-powder foundation (“medium”)

benefit besties

Stila Lip Glaze Trio

Korres Lip & Lash Duo

Normally $16, on sale at Sephora.com for $10

korres lip and lash duo

Sephora Collection Jumbo Color Wand for Lips

6 glosses in a wand. 2 color varieties.  $11.

sephora lip wand

Sephora Collection Nail Wand

available in 2 varieties (only one online).  $12.

sephora nail wand

Sephora by OPI Tinsel Town Set

originally $19.50, on sale online for $12

sephora by OPI set

The New Black Candy Cane Scented Nail Polish Set

$14 at Sephora

the new blackL’Occitane Hugs & Kisses set

Out of stock online, but may be in Sephora stores.  $15.

l'occitane

Bliss Misletoe Musts Lip & Hand Duo

$12 at Sephora

also available from Bliss:  Hand Cream Duo, also $12

bliss set

Harajuku Lovers Perfume Set

$15 at Sephora

harajuku

And Much More!   There were lots of other “mini kits” available at Sephora and Ulta, but I didn’t want to list ALL of them, so browse the store/website for yourself and see what you can find.

Availability:  I found all these online, so they may not all be available in retail stores.

Important Note:  Some of the gift sets out this holiday season are made in China. (even if the brand’s products normally aren’t)  If you’re avoiding made in China stuff, read the label.  (Also look for “Made in PRC” – this is a sneaky way of avoiding putting “China” on the label – it’s an abbreviation for “People’s Republic of China”) On Sephora.com, sometimes you can check the “Q & As” and find out where it’s made.

Burt’s Bees Gift Sets – $10 and under

If you need a budget-friendly gift, either for a gift exchange, stocking stuffer, or whatever – here are some things that are available this holiday season that won’t destroy your budget.  I found these all on Target’s website, but they’re often available at WalMart, Ulta, and some drug stores as well…

Lip Balm 4-pack

Great gender-neutral gift

$9.99 at Target

bb 4 pack

Here’s a “girly-er” version, also $9.99.

This set is also available in a “basic” version – with just the Beeswax Lip Balms

(So, for the same price you can buy just the 4-pack, or the 4-pack with a gift box thing.)

bb gift setBody Butter & Lip Balm Set (2 varieties)

OK, this one is $12.99 at Target.  However, if you use a Target Red Card, you save 5%.

If you buy 2, you get a $5 Target gift card, making them cost under $10 in the end.

BB body butter & balmLip Balm & Cuticle Cream

This is basically a Buy One, Get One Free deal after the gift card!

Tinted Balm Shimmer Combo

$9.99

Tinted Balm Duo

tinted balm duo

If You’re a Burt’s Bees Fan on a Budget:   Check stores like TJ Maxx & Marshall’s.  They often have Burt’s Bees products at a considerable discount.  Sometimes they’re the “discontinued” ones, but who cares?