Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Matte Lipstick

Let's talk LIPS!

SO what do you do if you are on a budget and you are obsessed with matte lipstick, or you just already found your perfect red shade, you just wish it came in matte as well? Well then hopefully this video below will solve all of your problems!

Oh and something else that's great, mattifying your lipstick also makes it last much longer. It's perfect if you are going into a situation where you probably won't be able to re-apply for a while.
Before you watch the video, please excuse the rampant mess and dissgusting walls...I know I know, it's gross, I'm so sorry, please just ignore it! Enjoy (-:
ELF High Definition Powder here.
Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm/Stain in Sweatheart here.
If you want to make your own lip plump you can look at my post on DIY Lip Plump here.
No time to make your own lip plump?
I also use Salley Hansen Vita-C Lip Plump which you can get here. I got it at Walgreens for $4.
Also, if you made your own Mineral Veil/Face Powder from my post here, you can also use that to mattify your lipstick.
In my matte post I talked about the NARS Lip Pencil in Cruella. This is a great blue-red and looks especially nice against light skin. NARS also has other great matte colors in this same lip pencil. You can check them out here. Below is a picture of the NARS in Cruella.
I know I know, I'm sooo white.
I also love love love Tarte's LipSurgence because it's like the Revlon Just Bitten. It is a lip stain and a balm in one AND it's MATTE--at the same time!! SOO awesome!
 BUT the Revlon Just Bitten Balm/Stain is around $7 while the Tarte stains are more pricey like the NARS, both being around $24. You can check out Tarte here. WARNING: You will be tempted to buy all of the colors!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hollywood Secrets or Aztec Secrets?

Soo this product sounds promising.
Supposedly it is a "super-clearing mud mask" that vacuums out everything in your pores and can also be used as a spot treatment, literally sucking out pimples. Kind of gross but it gets my attention.
Want to see the vacuuming action? Take a look at this picture...
All of those little bubbles are said to be the gunk being sucked out of your pores.
The only problem? It's $69!
Needless to say I am definitely on the fence when it comes to buying this product, I need to be sure it is as awesome as it sounds before shelling out that kind of cash.
I have read all of the Sephora reviews, and honestly, I have never seen so many five-star reviews for one product. I think pretty much every single person gave this product five stars except for maybe one person. You can check it out for yourself here.
This mask came out of Hollywood and one of the big fusses about this product is so many movie stars swear by it. It is packed with tons of good ingredients for your skin and it utilizes this new PORE-MATRIX™ technology saying:

"NEW PORE-MATRIX™ Our Activated-X Charcoal is an Xtreme absorption carbon, attracting toxic substances into its mass up to 500 times its volume from all skin types, within the deepest & toughest areas. Our new proprietary K17-Clay™ will better extract & encapsulate excess sebum oils, bacteria & toxins in a controlled stasis state, revealing a Pore-Matrix™ of extraction dots & areas, ready to be washed away for seemingly poreless skin."
If you want to read more about it, please visit Ivory and Olive's review on this product here.
They go into even more depth about the ingredients in this mask and how it came about.
Now, one reason I really really hesitate to go grab this product, even the sample which you can check out here,  (even the sample packets are a lot of mulah), is because I use this super magnetic Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask that suctions everything out of my pores. It deep cleans and detoxifies and also improves circulation to your skin. The best part? It is only about $6 for a huge 1LB jar of it! The GlamGlow at $69 per jar is not even one pound.
I usually mix some of this clay with some raw apple cider vinegar (which works wonders for skin even on its own) and put it on my face and back until it dries completely--you will know when it is dry because the skin on your face is being pulled by the mask. It works wonders. It detoxifies and clears and heals.
It does not, however, contain all of the wonderful ingredients that GlamGlow clay has, but it is natural and it works, so do I really need all that extra stuff in the GlamGlow mask?
I mean, it does sound enticiing, but I am not sure that it is really necessary to drop $69 v.s. $6 if the difference in results are not going to be that huge.
Most of us really have no choice--we simply cannot afford the $69 little jar of supposed skin miracles. If you are in that boat, then definitely try this Indian Healing Clay. I think that it is a great, very cheap alternative/substitution for the expensive stuff.
This is the back of the jar.
 It is normal for your skin to be a little red or flushed for about a half hour after you use it, but a week goes by and suddenly your skin it starting to looking glowy and clear.
If you have really sensitive skin, do not mix it with raw apple cider vinegar, mix it with water instead. You choose the consistency of your own mask--how thin or thick you want the mask to be, the ratio of water or vinegar you use to the clay--thin masks will be a little more gentle.
You can find this Indian Healing Clay at really any health store around. I have even seen it in a few drug stores like CVS. I get mine at Sprouts but I am sure they have it at places like Whole Foods and New Leaf. If you cannot find any near you, you can order it online here. Here is also a link to the organic apple cider vinegar I use by Bragg.
Don't buy this jar for more than $8 on Amazon, that would be a rip off. I bought my jar for only $4.95 at Harvest House on Monument in Concord, CA.
Hope this helps for all you ladies on a budget, yet drooling over those little jars of GlamGlow like me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blemish Powder

EyesLipsFace (ELF) has this Mineral Blemish Powder that I use every single day. It is awesome.

On the actual ELF site this product has mixed reviews, like most products, but I personally give it five stars. It in no way claims to be a concealer, so it doesn't have a lot of coverage and is very sheer. BUT it fades pimples and makes them less red and it is perfect to wear underneath any foundation/concealer. I feel like it almost creates a pimple-fighting barrier between my skin and my foundation when I wear it.

Sometimes if my skin is looking pretty good, or I am camping in the summer, I will wear it alone. It goes on looking very natural.

Best part?
It has TONS of awesome ingredients in it that give your blemished/acneic/oily skin great benefits.

Kaolin soothes irritated and blemished skin and helps to heal.
Willow Bark helps prevent acne and naturally contains salycilic acid.
Tea Tree Oil is an anti-bacterial and keeps pores clear of dirt and grime.

You can get ELF Mineral Blemish Powder here.

One of the great things about the ELF website is that every product has a video to go along with it. It shows you how to best use the product and also gives you a full list of ingredients.

Do I sound like a walking ad for ELF? Sorry!
But I have found that being a girl on a budget, ELF is such a great website because everything is just so dang cheap compared to other places. You get the most bang for your buck! Target carries some of their stuff, and sometimes so does Grocery Outlet, which is nice because then you don't have to pay for shipping, but sadly, I have not found the Blemish Powder in Target yet.

Anyways, pretty much all of the beneficial ingredients in the ELF Mineral Blemish Powder, you can use to make your own really great acne-fighting concealer. Refer to my post here. And also here for more info on the ingredients.

The one thing that the ELF Blemish Powder has that I don't use is Sulfur. Sulfur is beneficial for acne-prone skin, but not great for sensitive skin because it can be very harsh and irritating.

Hope all is well!

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY Matte Nailpolish

1) One bottle of clear nailpolish (.45 fl oz/13.3 ml)
(I used NYC Long Wearing Nail Enamel #271 topcoat--cheap, only $.85 at Target!)
2) 3 1/2 tsps of cornstarch
As you can see, I made a mess. It is impossible not to! So, learn from my lesson and don't do it on the carpet like me, although, I have to admit, doing it on the carpet was a stupid thing to do in the first place.
The results were not what I expected, and I would recommend shelling out the bucks and buying a matte topcoat instead of trying to make one. Here is the one I usually use.
It turns out that the cornstarch clumps and balls up in the nailpolish as you add it in, so each time you add a little bit, you have to stir it around really well with the nailpolish brush.
After a little while the cornstarch will settle to the bottom so you have to shake it up.
The mattifying effect works alright after you add enough cornstarch. The cornstarch also makes your nailpolish dry a lot faster. So I guess you are kind of killing two birds with one stone.
 If you want to make your own quick-dry top coat that still has a shine to it, add only one tsp of cornstarch to your clear nailpolish.
The color I used to start out: Sinful Colors in Innocent (#944).
I was trying to take pictures of before and after, but it is really hard to see the mattifying effect. The picture at the top is an after picture if you want to look and try to compare. You can tell that the polish doesn't shine as much in the first picture as it does in the pictures directly above. 
Bottom line, if you are looking to quickly mattify...or dry...your nails, the answer is yes, cornstarch works, after much effort and work, and the best thing is that if you have an old clear nailpolish lying around and some cornstarch in the cabinet, and you are pinched for time, it is a lot cheaper and quicker than going to the store to buy a matte topcoat.
One other aside is that people also enjoy adding broken eyeshadow to their nailpolish to change the color slightly and also to give it a more matte color, or just dull the shine a little or add some sparkle. I have not tried this but maybe I will experiment and post about it later. If you have experimented with this I am sure we would all like to hear! Or if you do experiment with adding eyeshadow, let us know how it goes!
On another note, in my Matte post, I talked a little bit about ManGlaze. I LOVE this matte nailpolish and wish I could buy every single color, but it is kind of pricey. Here is a picture of the color "Fatty's Got More Blood". I swear that is the official name of the nailpolish, I couldn't make this shit up. It's a good vampire red and the matte finish gives it an edge.
This is only one coat. It becomes much a much deeper red as you add layers.
"Fatty's Got More Blood"
I will be posting again about DIY matte lipstick! Check back soon (-:


Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY Concealer Updated

Hey all, so I have updated the DIY Concealer/Foundation post. I was finally able to upload all of the pictures. You can check it out here.
I will be doing a DIY matte lipstick post as well as a DIY matte nailpolish post to follow up on my "Matte" post which you can check out here.
Happy Friday!!
Until next time, here is a photo I took on Mount Diablo last weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


As I have gotten older, I have really begun to value a nice lip color without the intense shine that comes along with most lipsticks and always comes along with lipgloss.

My new obsession, matte lipstick.

This is my recent favorite--the perfectly sophisticated, bold red: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella.

This red has blue undertones which make it ideal for fair complexions.

This color is matte but it doesn't dry out lips or become cakey or crumble which I have come across with matte formulas before. Also, like most matte formulas, this stuff is definitely long-lasting and stays put.

Another matte obsession...matte nailpolish.

This color is called Matte is Murder by ManGlaze. You can visit their website chalk-full of all matte nailpolish in so many cool colors here. Not to mention, they have the coolest names for their colors--Matte is Murder? Fuggenugly? They also have artwork on all of their bottles cutomized to the color of the nailpolish inside. Pretty awesome and unique.

I will have pictures up sssooonn. In the mean time, you can check out the finished Matte is Murder here. It's a pretty good picture and it is exactly what the finish looks like.

Sometimes, it is just so much better to have a matte color on your nails. It can be classy when you have something like a job interview to go to and don't want your nail polish to be really flashy. It's also a good fix if you have a color that you like but it is just too bright for an occasion.

Here is an affordable, clear matte topcoat that I like. It can be applied to transform any color nailpolish into matte.

More to come on matte lipstick and nailpolish!

Monday, January 14, 2013

bareMinerals Review: To Glow or Not to Glow

I have no problem saving up for a little while to fork out more cash than I usually would for a product that is going to give me amazing results. This is why I always read every review I can find on every website I can find before buying a product as expensive as this one.

Now, it may not seem that expensive at only $35, but when you do the turns out that without tax, each glow "pad" is exactly $.58. Uhh, that's a lot! that's over fifty cents per pad. So the question was, is it really worth it? Is it really as miraculous as all of the reviews say? I had to find out for myself.

bareMinerals Intensive Glow Pads (if you cannot see on the picture) say on the box, "advanced formula, for vibrant skin". Pssh! Hell yeah I want "vibrant" skin!

So I went all-in. I used these glow pads religiously every night for two months...without the crazy miraculous results that most of the reviews boasted.

What these pads did is really lighten my skin. I already have practically alabaster skin so it is hard to believe, but what I thought was impossible came skin became even lighter! So if you are looking for a lightening treatment, these definitely do the job. The problem is that these pads claim to be a "brightening treatment" which in my mind is a little different than lightening. Lightening whitens your skin while brightening is supposed to give your skin a luminous appearance.

When you read the ingredients in these pads, it seems like a bunch of awesome exfoliating, acne-fighting, nutrient-rich, anti-oxidant and anti-aging products all rolled into one super-product that is free of synthetic dyes and other common ingredients that are not good for your skin. Lactic acid and glycolic acid are two of the main ingredients. Glycolic acid is great for acne and blackheads while lactic acid is a natural exfoliant that can be found in milk (which historically has been used as a luxurious skin treatment--great for at-home face masks...I will talk about this later). The pads also contain lemon extract which is great for acne as well as lightening skin tone.

The pads are actually pretty awesome. There is a bumpy side for more intense exfoliation and a smooth side. I would usually use the braided side first and then wipe the smooth side over my face. But both sides were great and felt like they were really exfoliating my skin.

I don't want to say that I am completely disappointed with this treatment, but it did not give the magical results I was hoping for. My skin was not much smoother than usual, I didn't break out less, and my skin had bouts of luminosity but that was not as intense as I had hoped. Mostly, it just made my skin even whiter than it has ever been before. Perhaps my expectations were just too high, which is always a recipe for disappointment.

Bottom line, if you are obsessed with being tan--do not use these on your face, it will erase signs of ever having been tan in your life. If you have mostly problems with oversized pores and not really any acne, this is probably a great skin treatment for you.

One little tip is that you have to leave your face alone for about a half hour or so after you wipe the pads on your face, then you can follow with moisturizer. But it takes a really long time for the tackiness to go away and the formula to sink into your skin.

Interested? You can get bareMinerals Intensive Glow Pads Brightening Treatment here and here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Toilet Seat Covers

Want a weird tip?
Oily face? Sweaty from dancing in a club or from being smashed between bodies in a crowded bar?
In a pinch...or even not in a pinch...use the smooth side of a toilet seat cover to wipe you face clean.
Oil blotting papers are usually not that expensive, but are honestly just not necessary to spend your money on. I have found that using toilet seat covers to blot the oil from my face sometimes works even better than some oil blotting papers that I have bought from the store or cosmetic companies.
Toilet seat covers absorb the oil from you skin, erasing shine and leaving you with a nice matte finish without taking off your makeup.
There are two sides to the toilet seat cover. One is more papery, and one is much smoother and feels like waxed paper. Use the waxed, smooth side.
This has definitely saved me a few times!
Really, anywhere you are, you are almost definitely going to be able to find a bathroom which almost always has a toilet seat cover in it.
Just one less thing you have to carry around with you in your purse--although, you could steal a few seat covers and fold them nicely or rip them into squares and keep them with you in a little baggy or something.
I know it's weird, but it's free! And who really cares? They are free, sanitary and they get the job done. Sounds awesome to me!
Because you can find them anywhere and everywhere you will never be without any options if you have oily skin or you are stuck rushing across campus on a hot day in spring or summer. Sounds great to me, you are covered at school, work, a restaurant, in a bar, on a date...

Not convinced? Here are some that I like, but I have to say, they cost more than toilet seat covers since they are not free, and they work just about the same!

I hope you find this useful!
Happy Friday

Monday, January 7, 2013

Some Smell-Good Tips

As of right now, my favorite fragrances are...

Miss Dior Cherie by Christian Dior


Burberry Brit

Some Tips to Smell Wonderful All Day Long (or All Night Long...)

1) Emanate from your tresses:
Try spraying your favorite perfume onto your hair brush, and then simply brush your hair. The perfume will stick to the natural oils on your scalp and in your hair, making the scent last long into the day or night and surrounding you with a waft of fragrance wherever you go.

2) Use Vaseline:
Take a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum jelly--any brand will do) and rub a small amount onto your wrists and behind your ears, or the back of your neck. Spray the frgrance on top of the vaseline. The fragrance will stick to your skin longer and also smell stronger because it is sitting on top of the vaseline instead of sinking into your skin. You could also use fragrance-free moisturizer if you prefer, but lotion will sink into the skin much faster than petroleum jelly by itself.

Did you know...
Women have traditionally applied perfume to the neck and inside of the wrists because these are places where blood vessels are very close to the surface of the skin. As blood pumps through the veins, these places generate more heat which releases the scent of the perfume.

Do you have any perfume tips? Any favorite fragrances lately? Share with us all and we will be forever grateful!

Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY Herbal Concealer: Part 2 of 2

Your very own, home-made, cruelty-free, herbal concealer/foundation. For background information on these ingredients, refer to this post.
Concealer Formula:
1/4 rounded tsp of Organic CINNAMON
1/8 tsp rounded WHITE WILLOW BARK Powder
1/8 rounded tsp ROSEHIP Powder
1/8 rounded tsp WITCH HAZEL Powder
1/8 flattened tsp BURDOCK ROOT Powder
1/8 flattened tsp MARSHMALLOW ROOT Powder
1/4 rounded tsp MICA (translucent)
1/4 rounded tsp KAOLIN Powder
1/2 rounded tsp ARROWROOT Powder
Be careful with some of these herbs because they can give you a tone that you do not want. Marshmallow root powder can give your concealer/foundation a slightly sallow tinge if you use too much of it. Willow Bark can give a slightly grey tint if you use too much of it, and rosehips powder can easily overpower the concoction and give it too much of an orange color if too much is added.
These colors, used together in the right amount, work very well. You can also use these colored herbs to modify the color of your concealer. If you have yellow undertones to your complexion, then the marshmallow root's yellowish tint is great for you. I have pink undertones in my complexion, which is why I used mostly cinnamon to overpower the color of my concealer.
Make sure to really grind these ingredients into a fine powder. It is easy to miss some of those cinnamon grains--these will not blend if you do not really grind the ingredients into each other. I use a mortar and pestle which can be found here
I used the arrowroot powder to lighten the formula until it was the right light pink/beige for my skin. You may not have super light skin like me. If this is the case, you may either want to use more of the other colored herbs, or simply less arrowroot powder, but as an added ingredient, arrowroot powder is good for your skin and works really well at absorbing oil.
Mixing Stage

Containers for your DIY concealer/foundation can be found here but I would suggest just using an empty container from old makeup if you have one lying around.
Finished Product

If you would like to refer back to how to do DIY at-home Mineral Veil, refer to this post.

I hope you all give this a try and I hope it goes well!

Here is a picture of my bunny Lola and I...just for the heck of it (-:


**This post has been updated with pictures, sorry for the delay!**

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DIY Concealer/Foundation DUO: PART 1 of 2

So this is part 1 of a 2-part post. I wanted to do this in two parts because there is too much information to pack in to one post. It would be overwhelming.
I like to make my own powdered concealer (you could also use it as a foundation though) because...
1. I know that it is a cruelty-free product, since I made it 
2. It is a lot cheaper than a lot of pricey concealer but just as good as say, BareMinerals and
3. I can use only natural ingredients that are great for my skin and that make my skin look fabulous
For this first part, I just want to intrduce the ingredients that I use for this project. But know that as I tell you about each ingredient and why I use it, you are also welcome to not use whatever ingredients you feel you do not need for your skin. I have tailored my formula around what benefits I think my skin is in need of. Your skin may very well have other needs, or not all the needs of my skin.
All these ingredients are herbs and I usually get them from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are organic and safe and they have a lot of fair trade options. You can visit their website here.
Here goes the list:
  1. Witch Hazel Bark powder: Witch hazel that you can find at drugstores (liquid form) is extracted from the bark and twigs. Witch hazel is anti-inflammatory and helps with vericose veins and can also help tighten pores. Can be found here.

    2. White Willow Bark powder: White willow bark naturally contais salicylic acid which we know is found is almost all acne treatment products. It is anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce swelling and relieve sensitivity. Can be found here.
    3. Rose Hips powder: Rose hips naturally contain a lot of vitamin C. It hydrates the skin rather than drying it out and is contains antioxidants. It is good for anti-aging properties as well. Can be found here.
    4. Marshmallow Root powder: This root is anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic which is why it is used a lot on localized skin problems, like boils, burns and sores. It helps in healing wounds and irritations. I have found a website that lists a lot of the benefits of marshmallow root which you can check out here. You can find marshmallow root here.

    5. Burdock Root powder: Please visit this website here for awesome information on burdock root. This herb is great for detoxification and purification of the skin. I is used a lot to treat chronix skin problems and also, like rose hip powder, contains tons of vitamin C which is a great anti-oxidant and anti-againg vitamin for the skin. Can be found here.

     6. Cinnamon: Yes, I know, quite unusual...if you do not feel comfortable putting cinnamon on your face, no one is making you, but this is a great, natural way to get the right color for your DIY concealer. Cinnamon can bring blood and oxygen to the skin surface which can help with blood flow. This helps with acne and healing. BUT cinnamon can also be drying and irritating. My skin is very sensitive, but I do not use enough of it in my concealer formula to irritate my skin or to dry it out. Chances are, if it doesn't irritate my skin, it probably won't irritate yours--but there is always that chance, so I suggest spot-testing this concealer before you use it all over your face. You can get cinnamon at any grocery store. Use organic cinnamon only on your skin. This is the one that I use:
For these last three products, you can also reference my post on DIY mineral veil here.
    7. Arrowroot Powder: This starch can be found at any health food store, even many regular grocery stores carry this product. Arrowroot powder nourishes and moisturizes the skin while absorbing oil. Most powder products on the market use modified cornstarch. Arrowroot powder essetially has the same effects but it is even better for your skin and is really great for sensitive skin. I also use this as a base in my DIY mineral veil powder.

    8. Kaolin: Kaolin is a product that is used in a lot of makeup products. It has really great covering ability and also absorbs oil. It's real main purpose for me is that it helps to clear up break outs and also sooths irritated, blemished skin. It also refines pores. You can get a bag of kaolin here.

    9. Mica: Mica powder is a texterizer and helps to aid in making the powder adhere to your face while also not irritating your skin. It also helps the different ingredient adhere to each other. It prolongs the staying power of the powder. There are tons of color options when it comes to buying mica. For face makeup, buy the translucent powder. You can get mica powder here.
So there you have all of the ingredients. Check back in about a day or so. I will be posting the exact formula for the concealer that I use. Remember, though, that I have really light skin. Your formula may vary from mine according to your skin color. I will explain more about how to experiment with color in my next post. All the best!