Archive | March 2009

NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Eye Powder

Yet another impulse buy, but unlike most impulse buys, this is one I was actually glad I bought. I’ve seen NYC’s Color Wheel Mosaic Eye Powder in stores, and I’ve read great reviews about it, so when I was deliberating my next frivolous cosmetics purchase in the Wal-mart make-up aisles, I grabbed the Color Wheel in Beyond the Sea (colors below):


The first challenge with this product is how to apply it, as each individual color is rather tiny, and the eye shadow does not come with an applicator. I bought a small pack of disposable eye shadow applicators and was on my way.

One pet peeve I have with eye shadow sets is that I typically like a handful of colors in the set and would never dream of touching the rest of the odd, not-for-me colors in the palette. However, I like all of the colors in the Beyond the Sea color set, from a shimmery light brown to a deep brown to a pale aqua. My favorite is the shimmery brown, but the aqua looks great with a bold, black liquid eyeliner to offset its light color.

For a whopping $3.99, this is a great product. The eye shadow colors stay true and apply smoothly. The shimmery colors are not cheap glitter and don’t shed glitter all over your face like some other sparkly shadows I have tried. They’re just the right touch of dazzle for your eyes, but still subtle and classy.

I have yet to be disappointed by NYC’s cosmetics, and I wish stores around here carried a more extensive selection of their items. I’m a fan of their lipsticks especially, which I’ve reviewed here: NYC Ultra Moist Lipwear.

The Color Wheels come in 5 color options:

Brown Sugar
Beyond the Sea
Pink Cadillac
Brown Eyed Girl
Purple Rain

My only complaint is the lack of an applicator that can remain with the eye shadow case. For such a low price, I can deal with it, but I wonder why an applicator isn’t part of the price.

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20 Beauty Blogs to Follow

Today I noticed several referring links on my visitor stats from a site I didn’t recognize, so curiosity got the best of me and I checked it out. Imagine my surprise to see my humble little blog listed as one of the 20 Beauty Blogs to Follow on Glimmer.Gloss.Glow!

Thank you to Keri, who wrote the article, for including my blog in the list. It made my day to see Lipstick Graffiti on this list!

TRESemme Heat Tamer Spray

Now that I am growing my hair as long as it will grow, I am much more concerned with protecting it and keeping it healthy. I blow-dry my hair as infrequently as possible, with the result that most days, my hair is either in a ponytail or dangling lazily in my face.

I hit the hair care aisle in search of something to protect my hair on days I actually don’t sleep in, and actually have time to blowdry it. I decided to try TRESemme’s Heat Tamer Protective Spray.

Product claim:
“To guard against heat styling damage and friction, spray this multi-use protective spray to keep your hair shiny and incredibly soft. It’s a fantastic tool for instantly transforming all hair textures, enhancing hairs’ flexibility to reform and hold shape. Also, the moisture-locking vitamin complex hydrates and is heat-activated to guard against harsh styling damage.”

Instructions for use:
“Spray liberally 6-8 inches away from mid-shaft to ends. Its trigger spray offers easy misting.

Use both on damp hair before you blow-dry and on dry hair before curling or flat ironing to shield hair from damaging heat.”

I have tried this product a few times now, spraying it on the lower half of my hair before blowdrying. I don’t use mousse or gel because (a) I don’t like the greasy feel of product in my hair, and (b) my hair is stick straight and doesn’t need any coaxing to be flat as a board.

The result? I love this stuff. It not only smells good, it makes my hair soft and shiny, and there’s way less frizzing than when I don’t use it during blow-drying. I can’t keep my hands off my hair today, it’s so soft.

Apparently I’m not the only fan, as this product garnered some pretty enthusiastic reviews on Drugstore.com.

Bottom line: for about $4-$5, it smells great, conditions my hair, makes it smell good, makes it soft, controls frizz, and even seems to add some volume. What’s not to love? I would definitely buy this again.

Cover Girl Continuous Color Lipstick

Cover Girl’s Continuous Color lipstick is not new, but I’ve never tried it before. I have to admit I am not a Cover Girl fan, partly because of their wildly annoying “Easy breezy beautiful!” advertising campaign. (Is “easy” really a word most women would like associated with themselves?)

On the prowl for a new lipstick one day, though, Cover Girl’s Ice Blue Pink #505 caught my eye:
Drugstore.com offers this swatch of the color:

I decided to give it a try. I love the color, and it looks great with spring-y eye colors like teal, blue, and aqua, offering up a pretty color on the lips without being garish, bubble-gum-y, or overpowering, even on a face as white as mine. Being fair and very light, few lipsticks don’t look loud on me. This one is great and already one of my favorite lip colors.

As for the long-wearing claim of this product, well, I haven’t found that to be true. A few sips of water from my water bottle, and the color needs to be reapplied. That’s my biggest pet peeve of lipstick in general, and this one is no exception, despite its claim of “lasting color”.

Still, for about $5, this lipstick comes in so many colors, you are bound to find one that looks good on you. Having trouble finding a color? Cover Girl’s website offers a service called Get ColorMatched. Simply register with your hair color, eye color, skin tone, and a few other questions, and you’ll receive their recommendations for colors that will look best on you.

According to Cover Girl, my best lipstick colors are Rose Quartz and Iced Mauve.

Bottom line: the product doesn’t live up to its long-lasting color claim for me, but the choice of colors is amazing, and the lipstick has a great texture and feel, and I like the ColorMatch option on their website. I was disappointed the color doesn’t last longer, but I still recommend Cover Girl’s Continuous Color lipstick.

My Wish List

Here are some items I’ve spotted and would love to try!

1. Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion: Sin:

I saw this on Sephora today. According the product description, “Sin combines incredible staying power with a shimmering champagne hue that complements almost any eyeshadow. This two-in-one beauty miracle can be worn alone to give eyes just a hint of tint for when you’re in a hurry or in need of that “no makeup” look.”

I love the regular Eyeshadow Potion, and this one got excellent reviews.

2. Avon Spectra Lash Mascara:

This reminds me of Maybelline’s old Dial-a-Lash! According to Avon.com, “With the innovative spectra dial, you can customize your lashes to build volume for any occasion or mood. More volume. More options. No clumps or flakes.” The mascara comes in black, brown, black/brown, and navy.

I’m a sucker for new mascaras but will hold off on this one until there are some reviews posted. Has anyone tried this yet?

3. Oscar Blandi Trattamengo al Fango Not many products get a full five-star review on Sephora.com, but this intensive hair conditioner is deeply loved by everyone who raved about it. I’ve tried one other Oscar Blandi product, the Jasmine Smoothing Conditioner, and it was a lifesaver after a nightmarish perm gone wrong. VERY wrong. It didn’t provide a miracle fix for the bad perm, but it made my hair softer, smoother, shinier, and healthier-looking, a minor miracle after being butchered at the salon.

4. Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain:

I saw these at Walmart and am dying to try one. I have a love/hate relationship with lipstick and lipgloss. I love the touch of color and shimmer on my lips, but I hate having to reapply and fuss every time I drink, talk, eat, etc. I end up falling back on trusty old lip balm instead of digging out the lipstick and a mirror from my purse every time it needs to be reapplied.

Cover Girl claims these lipstains “give lips a beautiful, lightweight flush of color that won’t come off, lasting for hours without the heavy look or feel of an ordinary lipstick. Its pen-like precision applicator makes it easy to define your lips-just draw on color without any hassle!”

The reviews on CoverGirl.com are hardly positive, though. Has anyone tried these to give us an opinion?

10 Shaving Tips

Most respondents to my beauty poll said that shaving their legs is the top beauty ritual they would love to give up and never have to do again! I researched some shaving tips to make this chore a bit easier (and less painful). Julyne Derrick offers these tips on About.com:Beauty:

1. The trick to shaving is to wet your skin and let it soften from the heat and moisture. You don’t want to shave dry skin. Shaving is a natural exfoliator and you’ll clog up the razor with dead skin while putting yourself at risk for nicks.

2. There’s no need to waste your money on shaving creams formulated especially for women. They are virtually the same as the creams sold for men. (Now if you can just find a scent you can live with).

3. You are going to have to experiment with razors until you find the perfect one for you. Ask your friends for recommendations and look for a razor with lubricated strips, pivoting heads and spring-mouonted multiple blades. I’ve sampled several types and varieties and was amazed at how different each feels.

4. Be sure to change razors or cartridges on a regular basis, a dull blade can lead to nicks. Also, it’s best not to borrow your guy’s razor. His hair is coarser and will dull a blade. (Plus, don’t men typically hate it when women borrow razors?)

5. Be sure to exfoliate your skin before shaving. It gets rid of all the dead skin cells that could clog up your razor, preventing a close shave.

6. Since your leg hairs grow down, you’ll want to start at your ankles and shave up. For your underarms, you’ll need to shave in every direction since the hair there grows every which way.

7. When finished, apply oil or moisturizer. The skin on your legs has few oil glands and has a tendency for dryness.

8. Ingrown hairs are caused when the hairs curl back under the skin. Avoid ingrowns by exfoliating daily and using a glycolic acid body lotion.

9. If you have a chronic case of ingrown hairs, try Tend Skin, an over-the-counter lotion for ingrown hairs, applying it in the morning and at night. The bumps should disappear within a couple days.

10. Consider opting for waxing, at least on your legs. You’ll find that if you have coarser hair, it won’t grow back as fast.

I won’t be opting for #10 anytime soon, as hot wax poured on my body and then ripped off along with hair sounds like Medieval torture, not a beauty ritual. I have personally found that men’s razors work better than the pink flowery women’s razors, and that hair conditioner makes a great shaving cream.

By the way…did you know that the shaving and hair removal market is a $1.8 billion industry, with an 8% growth since 2002-07 (source: reuters.com)?

Mary-Kate and Ashley Paper Me Pretty

Okay, I’m humbling myself to admit I purchased a cosmetic item from Mary-Kate and Ashley, best known as the diapered, bug-eyed duo from Full House, but what can I say? As an oily-skin victim, I am irresistably drawn to any product that promises to control the oil.

Walmart carries the Mary Kate and Ashley cosmetics line, mostly glitter this and glitter that, but the Paper Me Pretty items caught my eye because I like mattifier (oil blotting) sheets. Instead of caking on a build-up of pressed powder, oil blotting sheets dab up the oil and don’t drop more make-up on your face to cause a break-out waiting to happen.

Mary Kate and Ashley’s Paper Me Pretty Mattifier sheets come in a small box that slides open to remove the sheets (called “glamour sheets” on the box…how quaint). I bought a box, considering the $4 purchase an investment in my beauty blog research, and tested them out.

Bottom line? I can’t stand them. Waste of money. The “glamour sheets” are teeny-tiny, which is great for not taking up much room in my purse, but means I have to use 2 or 3 sheets to blot any oil off my face. Given that oil-blotting papers are most likely going to appeal to us with oily skin, cutesy little sheets that may blot an entire one-square-inch area are not very practical.

The paper itself just doesn’t seem to apply itself to that oil-blotting task, either. Even e.l.f.’s $1 oil-blotting sheets perform better than Mary Kate and Ashley’s version.

My advice? Take that $4 and spring for Clean & Clear’s Oil Absorbing Sheets. They’re the best ones I’ve tried so far. But if glitter eye shadow, glitter lipstick, or body glitter is your thing, then Mary Kate and Ashley still have you covered!