Friday, September 30, 2011

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation

You've probably heard before that there are places to save money with your look and places to spend. Inexpensive eyeshadow and lipgloss are easy to come by but we've been told over and over to spend money on foundation and skincare to make us look our best. While I definitely think that you can find great foundation at the drugstore I do see the point with that philosophy. If your skin doesn't look it's best than the rest of your look is basically pointless. My favorite foundations do a pretty great job of making me look good but if I had unlimited income I'd definitely splurge for something a little higher end, something like Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation. At $42 I could probably buy 6 of my drugstore favorites but this is the real deal.

I was a little shocked when I tried this foundation because I didn't have high hopes for a shade light enough for me to wear. Of all the foundations and tinted moisturizers I tried at Ulta there were very few that actually worked with my skintone. That is one of the worst things about being so fair. Most shades are too dark and too yellow for me, I'm more pink than yellow. The lightest shade in this foundation is slightly yellowed but easily blendable and looks great blended out. I would say this was the closest color match I'd seen all day.

The foundation felt amazing on my skin and wore wonderfully. I had absolutely no problems with it alone or over primer. It is a medium to full coverage product but you can easily sheer it out if you need to. It felt slightly hydrating but didn't make my face shiny or slick. I think this foundation would be perfect for the winter months when I need something a little thicker for my dry skin. I highly suggest getting a sample of this one, it could be your holy grail foundation.

Face-Off Friday: Bryce Dallas Howard

I'll have to admit that I know very little about Bryce Dallas Howard except that her father is Ron Howard, she was in Twilight and she's a cute redhead. That's all I need to know. I'm not a huge fan of Twilight, know very little about Ron Howard but I do love red hair.

Bryce is so pretty and it's easy to see why she's a movie star. Her look really sets her apart. I'm fairly certain she's not a true redhead but she rocks the look all the same, much like myself. I love how she can sex it up or be cute and approachable looking. But do tell, which look do you prefer on her.

This Kate Spade ad caught my attention today. I've been loving the ads she's done for them but I picked this one because it's very fall. Love the retro bump in her hair and the winged liner, it's a look I love on her. I wouldn't actually sport this style with a matte red lip but it works beautifully for the ad campaign. Check out this other picture of her sporting the look. This one's a little more wearable and every day with a berry-pink pout.

Then to compare it to, here's BDH looking cute and barefaced, natural texture in her hair. This one definitely seems more natural and less glammed up. For some reason she really reminds me of Hayley Williams from Paramore here. Does anyone else see that?

While I'm a big fan of red hair natural or not I have to say I love Bryce's amped up redhair and sex kitten vibe in the first two pictures. It's nice to see a redhead as a sexy symbol instead of being viewed as cute and cuddly. If I had to choose between the two I'd pick the glamourpuss. She totally rocks that look.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Gray's Anatomy with Swatches

Sorry to flood you with nail polish swatches but there is one more that I picked up on my vacation that I wanted to share with you, Wet 'n' Wild Gray's Anatomy Swatches. Unfortunately this one is going back to Rite Aid. While it's interesting and pretty it's not me. Here are some pics to see if it might be a better fit for you.

The pictures don't really tell the whole story with this one. Sometimes it appears to be green other times purple, taupe or gray that does not appear in pictures. It has a watery effect even though it is fairly opaque, all I can think is faeries. The wear is pretty good but the shade seems to be less complex as time goes on, I'm mostly seeing purple sometimes a little bit of green.

Jesse's Girl Baked Eye Shadow Collection with Swatches

Take a look at this beautiful collection. I think baked eyeshadows are my favorite because of the subtle shimmer in them. MAC makes some pretty great ones but you don't have to shell out that kind of money to rock this look. This Jesse's Girl Baked Eye Shadow Collection is from Rite-Aid (also in New Hampshire) and cost me $6.99. Yeah, you heard that right. As you can see there are 9 beautiful colors to choose from and I think they are universally flattering for both cool and warm and light and dark skin. They're gorgeous. Here are some swatches so you can see for yourself.

The first shadow is a medium purple based blue. The good thing about baked shadows is that you can wear them as sheer or built up as you want to. This would look beautiful lightly applied or worn as a darker shade. The pale pink is a gorgeous color for all. I normally can't wear pinks but this one looks like it will look great without making me look like I'm suffering from pinkeye. The light green has a slight goldish tint. I'd wear this one as liner with a matte nude on the lids. Last in this picture is my favorite shade, a lavender that has the perfect intensity. It perfectly matches the shirt I'm wearing right now if I wanted to go the matchy-matchy route.

This orange shade is probably the least flattering for me but the light rust shade would look glorious with the last color in this picture for a sunrise eyeshadow. Second is similar to the first color in the image above but without the purple, this one is a clear blue. If you're looking for an instant eye brightener pick up the shimmery nude that's third in this picture. It really makes the eyes look alive and would work amazingly with a bolder lip. I swear it's not as coppery as it looks in the picture. If you're more into nude gloss try the black shade, it's perfect for a smoky eye, not too dark but deep enough to be flattering. Lastly is a gorgeous cranberry shade. Again, I know this shade is not the most flattering for my skintone but sheered out I could wear it as a wash or even a blush.

If you're still on the fence about baked shadows you should pick up this palette. If it doesn't work for you you're not out too much money and I'm sure someone would be willing to take it off your hands. Plus, it's beautiful to look at. If you want something more intense layer it over eyeshadow primer.

PS-I'm completely aware that my swatches went downhill. Shoot me! LOL.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: Gillette After Shave

Alright, we've discussed it before, I'm kind of a metro-sexual, albeit not a very good one. I try to keep my body hair free, particularly my stomach, chest and armpits. Shaving in the shower works fine and doesn't require anything special, however, in the summer months especially it can cause razor burn. Something about sweating after shaving just doesn't work very well with my sensitive skin.So I use the only thing that helps, Gillette's After Shave for Sensitive Skin.

The cupboard in my bathroom has two different kinds in it, one is the lotion and the other is a gel. Both work but I do prefer the gel slightly more. They smell almost the same although the gel smells a little more, well, gel-y, it has a little more of a fresh water scent to it. My face was a littler dry yesterday so I actually wore some on my face for a change, what I really love about the gel is that even hours later when I scratched my face, the smell came back. Hey, that makes my cheek kind of like a scratch n sniff sticker. It's not an overpowering scent, just a light touch of cologne. There is a version that claims to be unscented but it does still have a slight cologne smell to it.

Both after shaves work the same. I don't use them on my face very often but when my skin is overly dry I dab a little on and don't have any problems for the rest of the day. Since I don't use a blade on my face and don't shave closely anyway I don't ever need it for razor burn on my face but considering it works so well on my chest I'd assume it'd work on my face as well. And granted I haven't used very many after shaves in my day but I'm a kid of the 90's, when Macaulay Culkin slapped some on his face in Home Alone it appeared to burn like hell, mine doesn't burn. I guess that's a good thing, though I've always wanted to experience it.

So if your man gets dry flaky skin after shaving, this is the perfect product for him. And if he shaves his body, I highly recommend using this afterward. During the warm months I even use it on my armpits and barely get even the slightest burning sensation. The cologne type scent is just an added bonus.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Essentials Monday Part 2: L'Oreal Skin Genesis and Garnier Skin Renew

This morning I talked about a new essential of my routine, Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum but now I wanted to share with you my regular skincare routines, the ones I've been using for a while and loving. Unfortunately the products are discontinued but I've had good luck tracking them down on Makeup Alley and at discount stores. To me they're pretty easy to find and definitely worth it in fact I already have a backup of a couple of the products.

Garnier Nutritioniste is an awesome brand that I highly recommend. They have a lot of products still in stores but my favorite, Skin Renew Daily Regenerating Serum, has been discontinued. I'm not really sure why, I love the stuff. I can't deny how good it smells, so fruity and sweet without being overpowering. I love it. Also, the texture of this product is amazing. It's a little thicker than other serums but goes on like butter. It sinks right into my skin and magically leaves me fairly matte. It leaves my skin feeling like silk and doesn't clog my pores or feel heavy. It's absolutely perfect, I don't even need to add another layer on top, it's that great. I should mention that adding another moisturizer and then makeup can be a little disastrous. I wouldn't recommend that but like I said you probably don't need to.

Another product that I can't live without is L'Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15 Day Lotion. this one also smells like heaven but is more of a floral scent that doesn't sting my sensitive skin even in the middle of the winter. This product hydrates my skin and leaves it feeling powdery soft. I think it sinks in even faster than the Garnier and doesn't require another layer to quench my skin. It's also light enough to wear in the summer but hydrating enough for the winter. If I need a little extra moisture I just layer on something else on top with absolutely no issue.

Every Monday for the forseeable future I will be featuring my favorite products, my essentials if you will. If there's a product category you'd like to see me cover just let me know and I'll be happy to feature it just for you.

My Essentials Monday: Juice Beauty Moisturizers

Sometimes you just have to switch things up. A while back I got samples of Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum and Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer and I knew that a time would come where I would get around to fully trying them. Months and months ago I tried them a few times but never consistently enough to write up a review on their efficacy. Now I'm ready to change that.

You have to know that I love the serum formula. It feels so light on the skin and you can really feel it penetrating your pores. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy but I think these are my favorite types of moisturizers. They may not be as hydrating as something a little richer but they feel better on my skin. Of course during the winter they are no where near enough for me but they are my first line of defense, the first layer I put on my skin.

As far as serums go Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum is great. The texture is like a more liquidy gel. I only had a small sample of this $52 product but a little goes a long way and that 1oz bottle will last forever. It makes my skin soft and smooth without the use of parabens and synthetic dyes and fragrances, in fact it smells quite delightfully of apples and sugar. It's refreshing and cooling on my skin. I could see myself using this on its own in the summer (which I did a couple weeks ago) or under moisturizer when the weather gets warmer. It's wonderful under makeup, it doesn't pill when you add layers on top, I love that!

Then it's time to add another layer to the skin to get all the benefits. Honestly, I find Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer a little too greasy. It doesn't feel thick on the skin but I end up being shiny for days and since I have dry skin it's rare that I look shiny. I'm not sure why. I've never had this problem before. What do you think? In the future I'd probably use the serum with another hydrater over it because that doesn't seem to have the same effect on me. And just so we're clear I did this with and without the serum so it wasn't the combo but the moisturizer itself. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for this product, it's no longer available on the Sephora website, I'm wondering if they may have discontinued it. I know that the stores do not carry the line but the website does have a few items.

Any recommendations for a moisturizer that is heavier but not pore clogging? Now that we're heading into the colder months my skin is starting to crave a little more moisture but I can't risk clogging my pores or using something irritating with age fighters in it. Any recommendations will be very much appreciated.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sinful Colors Boogie Nights Swatches

I told you yesterday that I'd show you pics of my pedicure pick so here you go, Sinful Colors Boogie Nights. Read on for my description.

I was a little disappointed with this one because it looked more coral in the bottle and more of a tomato red on the nail. It's a little too dark of an orange for my tastes and I wish it had shimmer instead of being one dimensional. On my fingers it looked a little more lively but on my more porous toenails it looks pretty flat. Today my Mom visited and she had nearly the same color on her toes only with some bright gold sparkles, I was jealous. I like my toenails to show off a little bit.

Now, in case you're looking for a little shoe porn here are my most recent purchases, I like to include them in my pedicure posts to give you something else to look at besides my gargantuan feet. These are by Madden Girl (a sub-division of Steve Madden) and I got them at TJ Maxx for $27 on clearance. The only pair I saw were 9 1/2 and I normally wear 10s but they fit wonderfully. I love that they zip up over the top of the foot instead of the ankle, it's much easier to maneuver that way, especially when you're working with a shoe that is a little tight. Take a peek....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sinful Colors Paradise with Swatches

One of the best parts of vacation is buying a few new beauty products. You see I brought my nail polish remover but I was hoping to find some nail polish while I was there. Would be a little easier if I'd vacationed in a more cosmopolitan area than the mountains of New Hampshire where your choices for nail polish stores are Rite Aid or Walmart. Luckily after striking out at Walmart I found the Sinful Colors display at Rite Aid after I'd all but given up hope. Why do they hide it on a supposedly easy to find display? I don't get that. Take a look at the aptly named Paradise, perfect name considering I bought it in my own personal paradise.

Paradise is a rich baby blue shade just a smidge darker than North Carolina Tarheels blue for anyone who gets the reference. It had no sparkle but didn't look the least bit flat on my nails. You'll have to excuse the peeling my nails were doing, I'd just done a six mile hike a couple days before that included a lot of pushing and pulling on rocks for balance.

Sinful Colors retail for $1.99 (seriously!) and are fabulous. I got 6 day wear without a topcoat which is basically unheard of for me. The only issue I had was due to the condition of my peeling nails and nothing to do with the polish itself. If you feel like picking up some inexpensive nail polish head to your local drugstore and scour the shelves until you find this brand. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Check back tomorrow for what I picked up for my toesies.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

For as long as I can remember I've been in love with Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea scent, all the way back to when it was newly released and on scentstrips in every magazine. Why did it take me this long to buy it? 'Cause I never saw it at TJ Maxx until today.

Every time I go to Ulta I always spray this scent on me. I love that it really smells like green tea, so fresh and inviting that it both calms me and energizes me. I honestly don't like drinking green tea, usually I find it to be too bitter for my tastes no matter how much Splenda I add. Also there is something about drinking hot caffinated beverages that doesn't sit well with me and I ALWAYS get the jitters. I could drink 100x more iced coffee and be fine but if I drink even 8oz of the hot stuff I'm dizzy and shaking. Weird huh?

Back to the perfume. This stuff is amazing. I got a huge 3.3oz bottle for only $14.99. If you know a lot of perfumes that you want to buy if you could only afford them I suggest scooting over to TJ Maxx to pick up a few. The only bummer is they don't have testers so you really have to know what you're buying because you can't test drive it beforehand. There have been many scents that I wasn't sure I'd like there that I passed on when I now know I shouldn't have (ahem, Ralph Lauren Blue for her).

One of the best things about this perfume is the cute bottle. It looks like a body spray type container but it actually houses an EDP, EDT or in my case a Eau Parfumee Vaporisateur, whatever the hell that is. Either way I'll take it. (Picture is from, obvs)

Face-Off Friday: Nina Dobrev

I hate to admit it but many of my favorite shows are starring teenagers or about teens/young adults and on the CW or ABC Family. I'm 26. Is that wrong? To be fair many of the actors are my age or older if that justifies it a little bit. Well, ever since Vampire Diaries started a couple years ago I've been fascinated. I'm not one to give into the vampire phenomenon, I had vowed not to see Twilight until I got free tickets and I caved. I'm cheap! Don't get me wrong I love supernatural stuff and I love the show Supernatural for reasons beyond Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. I didn't have high hopes for Vampire diaries but what can I say Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley captivate me and Nina Dobrev, Candice Accola and Kat Graham are amazing actresses. I watched the first half of Season One while on the elliptical during the reruns that ran all week long in December!

Today I want to focus on the gorgeous Nina Dobrev. I love her dark hair, nearly black eyes and pale skin. She's so striking and a little less cookie cutter than the normal blonde-blue eyed starlet. I have a thing for brown hair-brown eyes, those are usually the prettiest girls to me with the exception of the beautiful Candice Swanepoel (my fave model). I can't say I've ever seen her looking bad but there are times when I think she looks better than others especially now that she's back to a healthier weight. Take a look at the next two pictures and let me know what you think.

In this one she's looking completely age appropriate in jeans and a tee. I hate to say it but I abhor high top sneakers on girls, especially when they are loose and floppy. It seems to be a street trend that I can't get away from. I used to see it all the time when I lived in CT and now it seems to be making it's way mainstream, especially here in Maine where we're always 2 years behind the times. Nina looks pretty and exactly as someone her age should but I think that I like her better in the next pic, all glammed up.

This is an example of when Nina was a little on the thinner side. While I don't prefer that look on her (I'm not judging!) I love her all spiffed up. She got major attention after this event when many people didn't even know who she was. Her bone structure is so great that she looks awesome with her hair up. Most important of all she has good posture on the red carpet unlike some stars out there like Miley Cyrus. She looks confident, self-assured and like she belongs there. I wish I had half the poise she does. Maybe she'll teach me.

PS- I hope you caught TVD (cause VD is something else entirely) last night. I'm definitely going to be downloading it and last week's episode plus a few from the end of last season that I missed. And... in a case of total randomness Bury Me Alive by We Are the Fallen is up next on my shuffled playlist, a song they featured on the show that you need to check out if you like rock music.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush

You may remember a while back I told you about Tigi Rockaholic Dry Shampoo. It's still my favorite but I wanted to branch out and give some other brands a try. I knew ahead of time that my vacation spot has the softest water on the planet and leaves my hair with residue even after a deep clean. Seriously, as a girl who can wash her hair once a week and still look fine I'm never impressed with the greasy hair on day two that I get here. So sad when I'm thinking about getting a condo there in the future! Luckily I've started my experimenting early so by the time I make the move in a few years time I'll hopefully have figured out a regimen that works.

Batiste's dry shampoo
is probably one of the more talked about products out there in this category. I've never tried any products from the brand so I didn't know what to expect, all I knew was that they had a free travel bottle with the purchase of a bigger bottle. SOLD!

I gave this a try right away. I'd planned on taking a shower Sunday night but with all the last minute planning I did there was no way that was happening. Come Monday my hair was a little worse for wear and I wanted it to look pretty. Upon purchashing this I actually used it in the car as Mr. Dudesday was trying to eat. Ooops. I don't think I spoiled his BK too badly. This product doesn't have an overpowering smell like I was expecting so that was nice. It only has a slight white floral scent but honestly it's just fresh instead of noticeable.

Today I tried it again on my incredibly greasy hair (I put conditioner on my ends last night after my bath). I took my hair out of it's requisite bun and spread it out a little bit. Taking the can I pressed LIGHTLY on the button. If you push too hard you get too much product and it can turn your hair white and make for a lot more brushing out. Honestly even on my super dark hair I had no problem blending it in even when I used too much. If you're worried that you can't master it they also have a colored version as well as the regular and "refresh" versions. With my hair in this state I can't say I would go outside but it definitely looked and especially felt better than it did before. I also find that my hair looks better behaved and my flyaways lay down a little better after I use this stuff. How is that for great?

Overall my hair feels a lot better after using this product and if I slick it back up into a bun it looks healthy and shiny not greasy and grimy. Does that make sense? It wouldn't replace a good shampoo but it can extend it for a day. I think it would be great if you "accidentally" had a sleepover so keep the mini in your bag next to that spare pair of undies and your mini toothbrush.

The price is right on this one it's only $7.99 and like I said I got a free mini with mine at Ulta but I don't see that offer online.

eos Lip Spheres in Strawberry Sorbet

I know we've talked about these babies before but I think they bear repeating and it is, afterall, my site!

Now that the weather is getting colder it's time to get that lip balm out and attach it to your hip. While eos lipsheres aren't the best for toting in your pocket (that honor would go to my beloved blue Blistex) they are great for the makeup bag and purse. The round shape makes them so easy to find.

I had to share these with you again because I just got around to picking up the Strawberry Sorbet "flavor" and am keeping it firmly by my side as the weather starts to get cooler and my lips inevitably flake and peel into oblivion. Ick!

The scent on this one is subtle and it has no flavor but the pink ball is perfect for all you girlie girls. It'll even look good on your desk at work. I'm telling ya pick one up before I have to yell at you. I found mine at Ulta.

I like these best after you've used them a couple times and the balm isn't as rounded, I find them to be less waxy that way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift

It should come as no surprise to most of you that I am not a Taylor Swift fan considering the music posts I have done on this site. I'm not a country girl at all and I wouldn't even be caught dead listening to the pop station, it's only programmed on the car radio for Mr. Dudesday to get his fix, I never ever stop there. However, it may also surprise you that I am hugely fascinated with Taylor's new scent Wonderstruck, to my knowledge her first perfume. Just as a side note this is not to be confused with Vera Wang Lovestruck which I talked about here.

Taylor looks beautiful in the ads and I don't normally think she pulls off the model look. Have you seen her Covergirl ads? Talk about unnatural, is anyone with me on this one? Back to the perfume, it's not just the ad that screams out my name but the bottle as well. The gorgeous purple and gold glass bottle is so me that it's almost ridiculous. I'd love to have it on my vanity. It'd perfectly match my purple bedroom makeover that I shall be posting on Drug of Choice Decor as soon as I get the site up and running.

Well it's all good to have a pretty ad and a gorgeous bottle but that means jack to anyone who is more of a fan of the perfume than the name on the bottle. I may have mentioned before how I can't tolerate certain scents. I don't know what it is but lower end perfumes have a tendency to give me a headache and even just a perfume strip in a magazine (like Wonderstruck sitting beside me as we speak) make my head pound. Avon's out, as is Victoria's Secret, which is a bummer since I love a lot of their scents. I've also found this to be the case with many lower end celebrity scents like Heidi Klum Shine, most Mariah Carey scents and now Taylor Swifts. It's the overly powdery topnote that brings the skull crusher on.

If you're more tolerant than me Taylor Swift Wonderstruck is "a charming and sparkling surprise of vibrant fruits, kissed by a bouquet of soft petals and a touch of sweet indulgence." I can definitely smell the fruits but I also get an overwhelming powdery floral scent that I can't quite place.

You have to tell me if you pick this one up. I'm dying to hear your reaction and to see if anyone else has the same problem as I do.

High vs. Low: Benefit Instant Brow Pencil vs. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always the best at brow upkeep. In fact I'm pretty bad at it. Lucky for me I have light brows that are pretty well behaved. Sometimes I'm ashamed to admit how long I go between tweezings though especially with the fabulous tweezers I have that I told you about.

Well, when I want to look polished one of the first things I do is spiff up my brows. On a daily basis I don't really do anything to them but when I want them to look good I immediately head for a brow pencil. As a dark brunette with light brows I have a lot of leeway when it comes to my brows. If you didn't know you'd probably assume that my brows were a few shades darker than they really are. When they are on the thinner side I can make them darker and you wouldn't notice. Sometimes though that's not an option and I like to look great for all occasions. Here are my high and low picks for flattering brow pencils for those of us with light brows. Both products are also available in other shades for those of you that may not fall into this camp.

First up is the high camp. While I'm not really into spending any more money than I have to I do have to say how much I love this one from Benefit. Benefit's Instant Brow Pencil in Light is exactly what the doctor ordered for me. I love the natural waxy formula that gives my brows a natural hint of color without overpowering me. This one is super natural and it's pretty damn hard to overdo it here. I also love that it comes with a spooly on the other end to help coax the brows where you want them and also remove any excess product. This product it controlled my brows through the night and I woke up with perfectly in place brows, a huge feat for me.

This one is placed in the high category for its $20 price tag but to me it's worth the price. I've never tried anything as fabulous.

Then on the lower end of the spectrum but equally great is Rimmel's Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel. Hazel has to be the worst name for it in the world, it does not conjure up the right image. I assure you this is a perfectly realistic light brown. This one is a little less waxy and shows up more on the skin so you have to be careful not to use too much product and give yourself a fake look. This is a truly fabulous color though and it looks amazing on my brows. Make sure to apply it in upward strokes that are the same length as your brow hairs for the most realistic look.

This one is a much more budget friendly $3.09 on but might be a little harder to find in stores. Lucky for me I stocked up when I had a chance and now I have two tucked away!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Philosophy Purity Made Simple and DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Yesterday I promised a post on my current skincare regime and I was not about to flake on that promise. Today we'll be focusing on my current favorite cleansers with future posts on moisturizers, exfoliators and treatment products like masks and acne products.

You know there are the "right" things you're supposed to use on your skin. You may have heard Cetaphil over and over again in the press but I didn't like the milky consistency of this product, I wanted something with a little more lather that was still simple and bare bones. Enter Philsophy's Purity Made Simple. This cleanser is it, the holy grail of gentle yet affective cleansing. The simple scent doesn't irritate my skin but I don't find it particularly pleasing either. It's not gross just a slightly herbal scent that does nothing for me, somewhere between cucumber and dirt. I'm hyperaware of scents in products and even I can barely smell this one, I just picked up on it when I was looking for it.

I love the lather I get with this one and my skin is left feeling clean but not stripped. Hours later, even without moisturizer, my skin is still silky smooth. You can't get much better than that! And since a pea sized dab is all you need a bottle will last you quite a while. Best of all you can get a 3oz bottle for $10, a steal with such a luxury product. 3 oz might not sound like a lot but I assure you in cleanser you'll be able to ration this stuff without missing out.

When I'm in dire need of a deep clean without drying out my already dry skin I like to start with DHC Deep Oil Cleanser. I know, I know, it sounds scary but really, I swear on my life it's not. Oil cleanser is actually great for oily skintypes as well as dry. It dissolves makeup and leaves my skin soft and not at all greasy. Since I like to follow it up with my regular cleanser or a bit of exfoliator I swear you won't notice any leftover residue. At night I've been known to not finish up with another cleanser and therefore I have a little bit of oil left on my skin that sinks in by morning for a healthy complexion.

This product is also super affordable at just $4.95 for a 1 oz bottle. If you frequently wear a lot of makeup I definitely recommend that you look into it for effective and gentle makeup removal. It allows you to skip the scrubbing and even works wonders on the eyes without clogging them with oily residue.

Now it's your turn. What do you use to cleanse your face? Do you have a different AM and PM regimen or do you stick with the same routine morning and night?

Dudesday Tuesday : Hair Color

Okay, confession time. I have white hairs, more than I'd like to admit. I want to color them but that doesn't go over so well, they just look blond which really show up in my dark brown hair. The thing is, I'm a guy, so I can really dye my hair to look like it's natural color. It's either that or bleach it circa Eminem a decade ago or go with some strange color that would make everyone stare. Luckily for you as a woman, don't really have to worry about that. Girls dying their hair is not only acceptable but pretty much expected.
No one is ever happy with the way they look and one of the easiest things to change about yourself is your hair. Girls with dark hair like to go blond and blond girls tend to want a darker shade. Straight hair should be curly and girls with curls want to straighten it. Here's the thing, your hair will be gorgeous no matter what you do with it. But please keep these few things in mind because even guys notice these flaws.
When coloring your hair, be consistent. No one likes to see the roots, especially if you have dark hair and you're dying it lighter. Slightly visible roots without much of a color difference can actually be kind of sexy, like here with Jessica Simpson, whereas the drastic change Taylor Momsen is sporting looks kind of trashy.
Don't keep switching colors, at least not drastically, subtle changes are less noticeable and appear more natural. Stick with actual hair colors, unless of course you're a punk rock chick in which case go for the blues and pinks. If you dye your hair, don't do it a solid color, adding some highlights will make it prettier and more realistic. Another thing to keep in mind is the color of your eyebrows because yes, guys notice, well most of us. If you're naturally a blond and go with a darker shade, it's not a good idea to leave your eyebrows light, it just looks off. Scarlett almost pulls it off here but not quite, all it would take was a slightly different shade on either her eyebrows or hair.
Most men find longer hair attractive so you're probably better off not cutting it too short but if you do, honestly, most guys have absolutely nothing against extensions. I'm pretty sure no matter what color it is, men will love it. In my experience there isn't really one color more popular than the others except of course the stereotype about men loving blonds. I've always found that one to be false which isn't to say that men don't like blond girls, it's just that they love brown, black and redheads as well. Really any style is attractive whether it's in a simple ponytail or extravagant braid. Basically, guys are easy to impress when it comes to your hair, so do whatever you find pretty, honestly, most of us will agree.

Monday, September 19, 2011

DDF Amplifying Elixir

I don't know about you but my skin is certainly feeling this weather change and not in a good way. I'm not feelin' it, I'm feeling it. My skin is dry and papery and so tight it almost hurts to move my face. I can't stand it.

What is a girl to do when she loves her skincare routine she already has but just needs a little more oomph from her favorite products? Why I'm glad you asked. When I saw the ad for DDF Amplifying Elixir I knew I'd found the solution to my problems. This serum is designed to be used in conjunction with your current skincare routine to add a little more life to it. It's proven to up the moisture barrier of skin by 50% so you get more hydration from the moisturizer you already love.

I'll be the first to admit that at $70 it is a little out of my price range but just think about all the money you'll save searching for a whole new skincare routine when you already have one that you love. Plus it's pretty potent so a little goes a long way. If you're curious I would definitely ask for a sample at Sephora and see how it works out for you before you make a purchase.

I love that they aren't just marketing this to current DDF users, it's been tested on the top 3 professional skincare regimens. I've never been one to stick to one company or one product range. I think that for more bang for your buck you're better off combining the products that you love that are also great for your skin. As a girl with both dry and acne prone skin I know I can't just slather on a sublimely rich hydrator without also upping my risk of breakouts and that I can't use irritating acne-ridding ingredients on my Sahara-like face. DDF lets me keep using the products I've tried and tested but keeps my skin looking great even as the weather changes and the cold and dry air comes in.

You probably know already that I'm not stuck in one skincare routine but I do have some definite favorites that I will outline tomorrow after Dudesday Tuesday with Mr. DOC. I love to try new things and this is one of those products I would love to try.

Nail Polish Swatches

Hey guys. Sorry for being MIA for the past week. I should have planned ahead but unfortunately that did not happen and despite having great internet access on vacation I just didn't get around to posting anything. Apologies.

While on my way to my favorite vacation spot I love to stop in at Ulta. I have to drive right by and without an Ulta in my area I thought that it would be a good excuse to check out some new stuff. I mostly only picked up a few odds and ends which I will be reviewing later but I also took the time to swatch a few nail polishes. I always feel so weird swatching polishes but even though I doubt you're technically allowed to I see people (well, women) doing it all the time. To me swatching is the only way to get an accurate picture of the color you're choosing. I also picked up a couple other polishes at Rite Aid and unfortunately two have to go back because I ran out of fingers to swatch on. Of course, being the blogger that I am, I will let you see swatches before I do my returns. I'm stealthy like that.

Here are some new swatches for you with a rundown of the colors to follow.

On the thumb is Essie's Smooth Sailing. I love this blue/purple shade with tone on tone shimmer. It perfectly matches one of my favorite Old Navy Tees so you know I'm loving that color. This isn't the best picture of it but if you're looking for more check out Ashley's review of the color here. Since I happened to hit up her post while I was waiting for blogger to upload my image I only thought it was appropriate to share it with you as well.

The pointer finger is Essie Coat Azure a color I'd been looking into for a while. It's very similar in color to Smooth Sailing but slightly blue-er and without the shimmer. For me this color just wasn't doing it. It was a little too toned down for my wild tastes but I think it would be perfect if the occasion called for something slightly muted but still fun. This shade would be perfect for work.

My middle finger is sporting Essie Borrowed and Blue. Are you seeing a theme here? I've always told you that I love blue nail polishes and these are no exception. This is a perfect pastel blue. In this picture it took on a greener quality but it's significantly less green in real life. This one has no shimmer at all. I could definitely see this as a wedding pedi color.

The ring finger (perhaps my favorite of the day) is Orly Frisky. I love this color. It's very similar to China Glaze For Audrey but perhaps a little brighter and a little greener. I would wear this one for sure. It's so pretty. No sparkles here either. I've seen swatches of it online and it appears to be a bright robin's egg blue color but in my opinion there is a lot more green in real life especially swatched next to bluer shades.

Lastly, on my pinkie finger, is Orly Frolic. It's a pinkish leaning purple. In every day conversation I would not call this a purple but for polish it definitely is, if that makes sense. It's bright and clean with no shimmer and PERFECTLY matched the leggings I was wearing under my dress on swatch day. I found that so amusing! I'm not one to match my polish to my clothes (don't have time for that) but I love that I could if I wore those leggings out of the house more often. I usually wear these babies for sleeping and working out but I decided to pop them on under my black dress to add a little color and comfort to my traveling wardrobe.

Here's another picture so you get the whole idea.

Which one is your favorite? Do tell in the comments.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fyrinnae Velvet-Gel Silca Primer Dry Skin

Primer and I are in the midst of a love affair. I only wear it for special occasions or days that I want my makeup to last all day but I still need it in my life. As a girl with dry skin I know it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Luckily Fyrinnae's Velvet-Gel Silca Primer for Dry Skin is my new BFF. I wore it all this weekend and I have to say we're getting along great. No adverse reactions to speak of and I'll definitely let you know if that changes.

Right now I'm heading out to a concert and it seems those days are the ones that I most like wearing vibrant makeup. Primer's help to keep everything in place when the weather is warm but also keep the colors true to life and bright. This one's meant for the skin but I smoothed it over my eyelids as well and it's doing a wonderful job keeping the bright blue of MAC Freshwater bright and vibrant, the only way I'll wear blue on my lids.

If you've ever tried matte primers you'll know that they sometimes have a tendency to eat all the shimmer you apply to your face. As a chica with dry skin I like to apply shimmery blush or beauty powder all over my face to distract from any dry patches and this primer lets me do that without making me cake on the product to get any shimmer to show up. I know with one's I've tried in the past I had to give in and wear my face matte, which I honestly hate to do.

Just in case you're wondering it does appear to be different from the non-dry skin formula and I felt a slight cooling hydration upon application. I woke up the next day with slightly less dryness but it didn't stick around through my second day of product testing. I think the way it helps foundation skim over dryness, fine lines and imperfections makes it perfect for those days when I have to exfoliate but don't have time. I don't know if I can say that about some other primers that just seem to leave me feeling well, drier.

I haven't had ANY experience with other Fyrinnae products but I know so many other bloggers who love the line that I have to do more digging. They're vegan (always a plus), sell samples and make some really unique shades of shadow. Gotta do more digging into this wonderful brand. It's too bad I can't seem to find this product on their rather touchy website (the last few times I tried to go there to finish this post it wasn't there!) If you know something I don't please pass on your information.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Face-off Friday: Katharine McPhee

It's been a while since we've heard anything from Katharine McPhee but that doesn't stop me from thinking she's the most beautiful girl in the world. I just saw a cute new picture of her in the newspaper (aka one of my tabloid "rags") and couldn't help but think she needed her own Face-off Friday. As always, tell me what you think in the comments, good or bad!

Here's the older picture that I love. I love the smoky eye makeup, the pretty waves and her cute attitude. I always wanna hang around girls who can have a good time no matter what, those are the girls I wanna be friends with. Girls like Katharine, Amy Lee and Sophia Bush. They all happen to be brunettes (usually!) and adorable as hell. I really have nothing bad to say about this Katharine look.

This is the picture I came across a while back. While I'm not a huge fan of Kat's shorter hair I do think it looks great here. I love the cute little braid and the wavy texture. How cute is that. This girl can totally rock a "no-makeup, makeup" look, can't she? She's also got the most amazing eyebrows I have ever seen. Jealous!

Since it was hard to just pick one look I also thought I'd feature this recent picture of Katharine with a topknot and a sexy cat's eye. This is perfectly executed and it takes center stage just like it's supposed to. The simple hair and subtle lipstick and blush are the perfect compliments to her black liner. Since this is the way I wear my hair most days I have to say that she rocks it. The messy texture is so hot on her. Usually I like something a little neater but this screams rock 'n' roll to me and trust me, I'd know being that I am a rock girl at heart.

If I had to choose I'd say Katharine looks best in the first picture, hair down and smoky eye makeup accentuating those gorgeous brown eyes. I'm sure she was wearing a headfull of extensions but I loved that look the most. I wonder if she misses it?

What do you think? Which of these is your favorite? Is there anyone you want to see featured on Face-Off Friday? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dudesday Tuesday: Tattoos On Women

Tattoos. It seems like everyone has them, men and women, hell even kids are getting them as soon as they possibly can. People who can barely afford to pay their bills are more than willing to shell out over a hundred dollars for one. I can’t count the number if girls I see walking around with a pair of ass antlers more commonly referred to as tramp stamps. The question is, do men like women getting inked?

Sorry, but there’s no clear cut answer here. Some men like it, some don’t. Some like big intricate in your face tattoos and some like cute little hidden ones that aren’t visible to the world. If anything, I have noticed they are excellent conversation starters. There are a few general stereotypes that go along with tattoos on women though and the one you should know about is; the more tattoos, the easier she is. Of course this is not an accurate way to judge the sluttiness of a girl but it’s a stereotype for a reason.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind before you get a tattoo. Most importantly is to make sure you actually want it, don’t get it for any reason other than wanting it for yourself. Make sure your tattoo can be covered up because sometimes they just aren’t appropriate. And maybe this is just a personal pet peeve of mine but please do not get a cross if you are not religious, get one that means something to you on a personal level. And last but certainly not least, if you’re going to get ink put on your body for the rest of your life, make sure it looks good.

Keep in mind, men love the female body. Always have and always will. They were painting nude pictures of women before we had cameras to take pictures of them. A lot of men don’t want to see markings all over those beautiful bodies, quite honestly, from a distance they usually look like moles or some kind of dis-figuration. I find that men tend to respect women more who do not have tattoos, or at least no visible ones. Make sure it’s meaningful, artistic and worth altering your beautiful body for.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mascara Monday Wrap Up: Part 3

Mascara Monday is officially coming to an end today. It's a little bittersweet to be honest. While it means the end to a series on DOC it also sparks the beginning of a new one, one I hope you'll enjoy as much as I know I'll enjoy writing it, My Essentials Monday. It'll be a little more fun because, let's face it, not everyone is entranced reading about mascaras every Monday. I'll share with you everything in my beauty arsenal that I can't seem to live without! I hope you'll enjoy it and I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

The first batter today is Urban Decay Cannonballs. UD is my favorite beauty brand for their pigmented colors and incredible wear time. Although I only gave Cannonballs a light, in store test I thought it was good enough to write home about! I'm not a waterproof girl but if I had to use one it would be this one. My lashes didn't feel dried out or cakey like they usually do with waterproof. I don't have enough experience with this one to give it a formal grade for fairness sake.

Smashbox Lash DNA- You know how some mascaras are really all about the brush? Well, this is one and not in a good way. The chopped off design left something to be desired and was downright scary next to such a delicate area. The mascara itself is dark black and leaves my lashes volumized, lengthened and clump free. Sadly, the brush makes this one a C at best. Luckily, it's no longer on sale at Sephora.

Too Faced Lashlight Mascara- I adore this one! It's cute little flashlight is adorable but it's not the only reason I can't live without this TOP 5 mascara. The smaller brush gives great separation and leaves my lashes lengthened and fanned out as well as giving them the proper amount of volume for any less-dramatic event. This one gets an A-! TOP 5 for sure.

L'Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara- Again, I can't get past the brush on this one, it's one of those spiky ball-type contraptions. I can't do it. I'm an admitted klutz but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a chica who could actually maneuver this thing. This one's not very black and I ended up clump city. Sadly this is an F product but here's the link anyway.

If I were a lesser blogger (and a cheater) I would give Sephora Give Me Some Lash TOP 5 contendership. I can't do that. It's not fair. This one is actually a set of mini mascaras. It's a great way to try out products that you can't really test in the store. Who wants to put possibly germy product on their lashes with a sub-par disposable spooly brush? Not me. These make great gifts and they always seem to be available around the holidays. I might even beg Mr. Dudesday for another one next year if they have a different variety than what I've already reviewed for y'all. This one, of course, gets an A+, it's how I found most of my favorite new mascaras.

Here's another Tarte mascara for you, 4 Day Lash Stain. I can't get over the 4 day part. Unless you don't shower for 4 whole days you're not going to get that much wear out of this product. Sounds like camping trip material, if only it were worth it. I didn't find this to be a stain, it was a pretty crappy mascara. It's definitely dark and it made my lashes long but there was no where near enough volume! Guess that's why they called it a stain. This deserves no more than a D+.

The last one in my quest for a perfect mascara is Rimmel Sexy Curves. Great name, great packaging, great mascara? You betcha. I would have liked it even better if it gave me the promised curled look without a lash curler but with it I was fine. This baby clumps a little bit but nothing to worry about. I'd give this sucker a B-.

You've seen the TOP 5 contenders Buxom Lash, Too Faced Lashlight, Korres Abyssinia Oil, Sephora Advanced Lash Booster and Benefit BADgal but are you ready for the BOTTOM 5? I probably shouldn't admit this to everyone but sometimes it's more fun to hate a product and write all the crap that you usually keep bottled inside.

If you've read all my reviews you know how I feel about Maybelline Great Lash, frankly, I hate it. Every time I see that iconic pink and green tube I get the urge to toss it in the trash and stop some poor soul from paying actual money for it. I'm glad it's under $4 because at least then it's a lesson you can learn on your own.

Lancome Definicils! I don't honestly know why Lancome get's all the hype they do in the mascara department. I haven't tried anything else by them but if they are only as good as this one you'd find it hard to convince me they are worth the $25+ they retail for. With that kind of cash I could buy a couple tee shirts or a pair of jeans at Old Navy, no thanks!

Clinique gets marks in bad taste for preying on the gulibility of its customers. Repeat after me "I do not need a special mascara for my bottom lashes." I swear, you do not. You can skip it altogether if you want (I do frequently) or if you really want to learn how to do it properly I'm sure there are great Youtube tutorials on the subject.

Another Clinique waste of cash is High Impact Mascara. This one is so high impact that it's hefty. This is like the chubby sister of many great mascaras, it has good intentions, somehow makes good grades (by others) but overall it's not worthy of a date with, like, the superhotboynextdoor!

Rounding up the worst of the worst is Telescopic Explosion from L'Oreal. This brush is crap, plain and simple. I'm decently skilled at makeup application but even I can't deal with this brush. Keep the cash in your pocket and pick up a few Pumpkin Spice Coffees at Dunkin Donuts, it'll save your sanity and your wallet.

I can't wait to hear what you think about my choices in Parts I, II and III. I'm also excited for next week when you can start learning all about my essential products! Let me know what you think!