Monday, April 22, 2013

Wearing stripes when you're a plus size chick

I've heard the suggestion not to wear horizontal stripes on "wider than ideal" parts of your body.  I normally follow this rule.  But occasionally I break it.  Click here for MORE

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Simple, neutral make up

After a sad and tension-filled week following the bombs at the Boston Marathon, life begins to go back to normal.  I'm doing my first beauty tutorial in quite awhile.  This is a pretty simple look that I wore to go to the gym and the grocery store.  I had recently bought a new shadow from MAC, a beige-gold called "Amber Lights".  I wanted to try it out, and since it was sparkly, I kept the rest of my make-up simple.  Here was my finished look:

And here's the products I used:
Urban Decay primer potion for eyes
MAC Amber Lights shadow
MAC Rice paper shadow
MAC Powerpoint eye pencil in Stubborn Brown
L'Oreal's Voluminous False Fiber mascara
Make Up For Ever full coverage concealer
Dr. Brandt's Pores No More tinted
MAC Velvet Teddy matte lipstick

I didn't seem to get the primer in all of the little creases that I have in my eye lids now, because when I looked at these photos close up I noticed that the eye shadow didn't fully cover my eye lids.  Oh, the joys of getting older.  I've been trying out some new skin care and eye creams lately, because I'm not the type to grow old gracefully.  I've gotten rid of most of the fine lines around my eyes, but I haven't yet had luck in tightening the skin above my eyes.  After a lifetime of wearing contact lens and pulling on the skin to put them in and out, maybe it's asking too much for an eye cream to tighten the skin. (But I haven't given up yet!)

Anyhow, after the amber shadow, I used a matte, off-white shadow called Rice Paper as a highlighter under my brow.  It's so light, however, that I really couldn't tell that I'd put anything on.  I'll probably stick to Vanilla for my highlighting from now on.

I used a brown eye pencil to line my upper and lower lids.

 Then I smudged it with a smudge brush from Laura Mercier

Then I curled my eyelashes (not shown), and brushed on mascara

I always use the tip of the mascara wand to get at the lashes in the outer corner of my eyes

Last I did my lower lashes, and then put on a nude, matte lipstick to keep the look understated

When I go to the gym I usually use a tinted moisturizer or Pores No More and just a little concealer, skipping foundation.  A quick, relatively simple look but still nice enough that I saw something I liked while I worked out.  That helps a lot when you see other things that you don't like so much.  :-)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clarisonic Opal review

You might have heard about the Clarisonic.  I had but didn't know much about them, so I did some research.    It turned out that there are several kinds of the Clarisonic, each with different names.  There are at least three that are for cleansing your skin, the Aria, the Mia, and the Mia2.  I'll have a review of the Aria written soon.  This review is for the 4th one, the Opal.  The Opal isn't for cleansing, it's only for putting serum or cream around your eyes.  If you look at the picture below, you'll see a little white nub at the top edge of it. It's a solid but somewhat flexible, rubbery circle.  You put your eye serum or cream in it, then you turn the Opal on, and move that nub around your orbital bone.  It's similar to patting your eye cream on with your fingers, which dermatologists recommend.  The Opal, however, can go much faster than your finger, therefore the theory is that it gets the cream or serum to penetrate better.  The only downside, in my opinion, is that you are only supposed to use it on the skin over your orbital bone - the bone that surrounds your eyes.  For me this means that I can't get it on the fine lines right under my eye, or the loose skin on my upper eyelid.  For those I put the eye cream on with my finger like I always have.  (The concern is in using a machine that vibrates your skin over your eye ball could cause some type of damage.  That's something that I don't want to mess with, so I follow directions.)  BUT, I don't see fine lines on the corners of my eyes anymore.  If my eyes are puffy and I use my Opal, the puffiness goes down noticeably.  On top of those two things, it feels good.  Those 3 things are enough to make me love it.
You can buy the Opal at Sephora, Nordstrom and probably a few other stores that I'm unaware of.  Also there are a lot of online sites selling them, including the Clarisonic site.  It is pricey, and partially for that reason I bought mine at Nordstrom.  Not only did I have the reassurance of their great return policy, but the saleswoman showed me how to use it.  AND I got mine in a beautiful glittery red color (I only see black and white on the Clarisonic site).  Time will be the best indicator of how well it works, but I'm enjoying using it.  Have any of you tried any of the Clarisonic products?  If so, what did you think?


Saturday, April 13, 2013

MAC Violetta swatches - a bright but sheer lipstick

I LOVE bright lipstick, especially deep purple shades.  There aren't usually too many of them per brand, either. So when I saw Violetta from MAC I thought, "Wow! A purple that I don't already have".  I ordered it online and hoped that I'd like it.  I was thrilled when I took the cap off.  It's BEAUTIFUL.  It's almost too pretty to use!  
I swiped a sample on my hand below, and put some on my lips as well.  It is bright but sheer, as you can see from how it looks on my lips.  I will build it to a more opaque color, but it's nice that it's sheer for those who don't want too much color.  Perfect!!
Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time for shades and bright lips

Finally, we have some warm temperatures and sun this week in the northeast of the U.S.!  (Denver, you have my sympathy.)  It's time to either get out your favorite sunglasses, aka sunnies, or go buy a pair.  And then indulge in the brightest lipstick that you're comfortable wearing.  Bright lipstick is my way of celebrating warmer temperatures.  And I have plenty of brights!  My favorite color is bright pink, like this one from MAC (named Show Orchid).  I also have been enjoying the bright oranges and pinkish orange hues.

Now as far as sunglasses - how do you choose yours?  Do you buy whatever the current trend is?  I've never been big on trendy sunnies.  The giant-sized roundish ones don't look good on me, therefore I won't wear them, no matter how trendy they are.  I've been wanting a pair of cat eye sunglasses for years (honestly), and I finally found a pair a few weeks ago.  I would have went for an even more exaggerated shape if I could have found them, but these will look good for a long time.  In addition to a look that I like, I also pay attention to their quality - do they protect from UVA rays as well as UVB?  And also important is how they look on your face shape.  I have a bit of a long face, so things that break it up horizontally are good for me.  If you have a round-shaped face or square-shaped there will probably be different shapes of glasses that look best on you.

Whatever you choose, wear them all of the time when you're in the sun to protect your eyes and the skin around them.  Most sunscreens aren't meant to be worn near the eyes, so your sunnies/shades are your only protection!  Choose wisely, everyone, and then have fun with them.

Sunglasses from DKNY, lipstick from MAC, "Show Orchid"

My "cool" look   :-)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Goodies in the mail

Do you love getting something good in the mail?  I do!  Usually it's just magazines, but recently I've been on a make-up and skincare mission, so I've been ordering online and getting lots of things in the mail.  For me it's like opening a present (except that I know what it is).  My favorite is ordering make-up, because it's colorful.  For me it's like getting paint or craft goodies.  It's art.  Plus since I order from a web site, I don't really know what the lipsticks  etc.will look like (which is sometimes bad, but usually good.). 

What's your favorite thing to get by mail?  Do you have some favorite online shops?  If so, please share!  It's always nice to find some new sites with good stuff.  So far, MAC, Sephora and Nordstrom are my favorites.  Nordstrom and Sephora give you free samples, and if I order online I'm not tempted to buy anything other than what I intended.  That's not so easy when you're in a store.  Of course, Nordstrom has a fabulous return policy, which is a big "pro" in my book.  One thing I haven't done is  to order clothes on line.  I'm afraid that I'll get something and it won't fit.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring colors

Finally, I think spring is coming.  It was cold today in Pittsburgh (highs only in the 30's), but it's supposed to start warming up after this.  Finally!!! Everyone is so tired of the snow and cold.  I'm slowly getting my wardrobe ready for spring with brighter colors.  I do have a lot of clothes, unfortunately many of them don't fit.  I've see-sawed from one size to another for most of my adult life, so I hang onto things that I really like even if they don't fit at the moment.  Right now, however, I'm at the largest size I've ever been, so I don't have many clothes in this size.  And I really don't want to buy that many, because I don't plan to stay this size.  But I'm going to have to get a few things.  I've started with some things that won't change no matter what I weigh - shoes!
Come summer I'll be living in flip-flops and sandals, but for spring I need something that can get mud on it and wipe clean.  What better than these patent leather Doc Martens?  I love the three-tone color, and the oxford styling.  The flat soles are good for my back, but they're fun and stylish at the same time.  If any of you are interested, I ordered them from the online Doc Marten store.  The style name is "Harrie". They also have a pair that are yellow, pink and orangey.  Just too cute!  I prefer these classic styled Docs, but they're branching out and have a lot of different styles of boots and shoes now.

 Next in the bright color department is this colorful maxi dress.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it, as it has a few fit issues.  I bought it (from Wal-Mart, believe it or not) because I loved the colors and the straps on the back.  Since it doesn't fit quite right, I'm going to look around and see if I can find something similar but better fitting.  If not, I may have to use my sewing skills.

It's hard to truly see the straps when it's on a hanger, but this gives you a general idea of how they look.  I love the criss-cross.

Last, this shirt is made in such a clever way.  Most of it is cotton, but the side panels are made from stretch knit.  And it's such a fun color.

Shirt by Zac and Rachel from Marshalls
 I realize that some of you are going into autumn rather than spring (Australia, is that you?).  Bear with me, I'll be back to make up tutorials soon.  I've bought a lot of new skin care products and make up lately, so I have a lot to share.  I just had to write something about spring since it's taken soooo long to get here this year!!
Tell me what you're looking forward to wearing?