Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Product Review: Zenni Optical

A few weeks ago I was listening eavesdropping on a chat between two people about glasses.  This girl said she had these zebra frames that only cost $8.00!  My ears perked up, and I scribbled down the name, but had written it wrong.  So, I kept trying different words and the search engine suggested the word "Zenni."  Bingo!  I tried it, and found the website and looked around.  I wasn't sure but I didn't mind trying something for $8.00 because if something's good, I'll stick with it until it either discontinues or gets shut down.  I found some frames that I thought would be cute and placed what I thought would be a simple order.  I don't know my measurements, face shape, etc. so I just picked the default or "average" sizing.  Seriously, for the amount it would be no big deal if I didn't score a deal so...
Unfortunately, I ordered a blank frame on accident.  I never said I was smart good at optical dispensing or online orders  anything.  I called the company, who's in Northern California and they offered to refund the amount with no problem.  WIN!  I would have married him through the phone.  You were willing to refund me on my word?  That never happens.  They always take 30 days, a dispute, forms, and a note from your mom to give you your money back.  It didn't take long and they came !!!!

(not bad for $8.00 a pair)

If you are the type who are into labels when you were frames, pass this site, unless you need a spare for driving, reading, watching television or not being "found out."  It's not always cool to have your friends find out you are frugal, peer pressure.  Me?  I used to be ghetto fab stylish and buy all those several hundred dollar lenses.  Unfortunately, I lose, drop,
break, forget, everything things at times.  I'm really not happy to wear glasses.  Not because I'm vain.  I tried contacts and they were too much work.  I'm just absent minded busy and on caffeine the go, so I was happy to get these.  I wasn't paid, and I completely recommend this company if you are broke like me want to save $$$.

sophisticated lenses :)

 blind and miserable without :(

Monday, April 26, 2010

High End v. Low End Cosmetic War: Competition Continues

<~~ If this is how you have it in life, and shop like this, I'm not hating on you, but this post won't speak to you.  See the red square in the top right?  Hit the "x" and keep it moving.  The rest of you thanks for reading and I hope this little post is informative and will help save you a few $$$ or, if you have a sick twisted sense of humour like me, you will giggle to yourself at just how far companies are going to get you to leave your coveted high end products and give their brand a go. 
I guess when I see this, I think of the boy likes girl, but girl likes the other boy (who's a jerk) so he is going to come up with a strategy to get her to notice him and all his attributes, and then the fairytale stops.  Well, the consumers have a lot of potential suitors these days.  Many companies are vying for you to allow them to be your new suitor.  Did you hear about that NYX sale?  I did a little late, but I was perusing the site and couldn't find the sale, because I was over thinking stupid.  I clicked on all these links, but no bundles.  Then I find their link to "Sneak Previews" and voila!  I see items that remind me of a familiar high end brand.  It's not unusual, but cos I'm silly,  for some reason this was really blog worthy to me.  I'm still smiling as I type.  Just look at my half arsed lovely attempt at photo editing.  Hey, at least you know I'm not photo shopping my pics, haven't figured that out yet what you see is accurate.


I could have sworn I've seen that somewhere NYX.  Oh!  I remember, it was here.  Who would have thought?  Gee, Anastasia costs $21.00, I wonder what NYX will charge?  Remember, that marker they were advertising a few months back?  Didn't seem suitable for me, but it looks a bit like:


Wow!  NYX is really paying attention to what's on the market these days.  I thought the only company who had their ear that close to the makeup community was Coastal Scents.  This is quite impressive to me, since so many high end brands haven't realized the economy is a large part of why people aren't throwing money around like footballs.  Seriously, how many body parts need a primer?
So, then, I got really nosey and....yep, another one :)

Brow lift by Benefit too!?

 NYX went hard this time around.  I give them a standing ovation for this one.  The products aren't scheduled to launch until June, but if I were Benefit or Anastasia I'd be thinking of some serious promotions.  After all, Leslie of Bare Escentuals used to be just about foundation, and now Bare Minerals has all the same things every other brand has such as, mascara, lip gloss, etc.  Even Bobbi Brown had a "moment" and left her neutrals to give the bright colors a go.  It was an epic fail, but she evidently had been paying attention to what was selling and that we can only work the "warm" tones for so long before we want some color.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MAC Viva Glam GaGa: Darker Skin

I confess!  I am a "little monster" I don't want to admit it, but something about this artist is intriguing.  It took me a long time to get past her "image" but in time, I listened to the sound that came from that tiny diaphragm and was also impressed with her live show.  Who doesn't love GaGa
I didn't love her enough to buy the lipstick yet, but I did get a sample of it.  The artist had just opened the tube, and cut me a piece from the lower end of the lipstick and let me take it home to try it.  You all have read reviews, seen swatches, tried it on etc., but a lot of women with darker skin tones haven't seen what it looks like on brown skin.  So, in honor of us "foxy browns" and gave it a whirl. 

(powder donuts? crack?)

I feel like that guy Chris Rock played that was a crack addict.  Some things just need not be done.  So why the post? Well, to back my previous statement before.  Sometimes we have to play the hand we're dealt.  Not every shade, no matter how great the packaging, the artist behind it or the hype surrounding it, just doesn't justify dropping a huge chunk of change to "make it work."  Seriously, if they were giving it away?  By all means go for it, but buying something that doesn't fit just to alter it with layering, mixing, etc. is silly.  Why do that when you know the likelihood of you reaching for it is slim to never due to all the steps you have to take?  What's more, after you've done all the "tweaking" it's not the same color!  So when someone compliments you and says, "Hey Cherub what color is that?"  You apprehensively tell them it's Viva Glam GaGa.  They give you a look that says, "Are you sure?  Mine looks nothing like that."  Then you tell them you lined your lips with "X" then layered it with "X lippie" and then topped it with "X gloss" and by the time you look up they are long gone.  Yep...my point exactly. 
The bottom line:  Don't waste money on a product just because of the hype.  There are so many other colors available, it's okay to "pass" on a few items.  Aren't you worth it?  Cosmetic companies work for the consumer, so if you don't buy they get the message.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Year New Me: Day 1

Whatever! I know it's damn near May and I'm calling this post New Year, New Me, but gotta start somewhere right? Right!  So...after being painfully envious of all the women I am about to see prancing around in their bikinis, short shorts, and micro minis in a few days, I decided to be pro active.  I'm not saying "I'm so fat, I need to lose weight!" at all.  I am definitely not one of those, but I know being healthy is about more than what you eat and how much of it.  I don't like to exercise.  I don't like to sweat.  So why the sudden change?  Because I don't like it, doesn't mean my body doesn't deserve better.  Exercise is more than weight loss and burning calories (you could do that with sex ya know).  I really need to be healthy for me.  I give lovely compliments to people all day everyday because it makes them smile and makes me happy to have people not always giving me the side eye.  So I wrote down the food I ate in two days and was alarmed.  I don't eat a lot, but what I do eat is not benefiting my mind, body or skin.  I don't drink enough water to replenish what I use so I'm surely dehydrated.  I don't get enough protein to build muscle
which means I burn sugar and not the fat (see the arrow that says lift?) so all the squats and lunges will burn sugar but not target the fatty tissues, nor will I build muscle.  I can drink coffee/tea in the morning, have a protein bar or two during work and then Lord knows what after work.  What I'm learning is that it is true we are what we eat.  I'm caffeine and sugar all day everyday and that's why I'm a spastic mess who is tired so often.  I'm not giving my body the right fuel to go on and I'm not eating the right way to have my few little lunges, leg lifts, etc. to make any difference. 

See the picture above how tiny my upper body is?  You can see my ribcage and my arms are quite small.  Who knew when I stand up it would look like there was a midget in my back pocket?  Yes, I said it!  But, women who are heavy set get all the flack from the media, but us girls with the junk are just as guilty we just carry the evidence differently.  Today, I join with my friends who struggle with food.  Why do you think you struggle?  I know my reasons:
  1. I am intimidated by the gym.  I go there and immediately feel insecure.
  2. I am not motivated.  This weekly post will force me to be accountable.
  3. I like my junk food.  Not fair to treat my body bad which makes it feel bad.
  4. I give up too easy.  It's a lifestyle change not a diet small steps to change nothing serious.
  5. I am never going to be _____!  But I'll be a better me even if I look the same I'll feel better, it's true!
So those are my top five.  I'm not expecting to look like I should be on the cover of a fitness magazine by fall, but if I force myself to do something more than what I did today.  For example, if I didn't leave the couch and tomorrow I walk around with the dog, or dance for 30 mins it's more than what I did today.  Progress!  I'm committing to not giving up on myself and getting to the point where I like what I see in the mirror and I know it will make my life different in so many ways.  I'll be more confident, happy (naturally) and won't cringe when I see a mirror.  This is day 1.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Truer words have never been spoken. Let's talk...If you have more than a dozen friends, you're being used. If you think some of your "friends" don't secretly harbor jealousy or envy, you are fooling yourself. The internet is great! You "meet" people by e-mail, texting, instant messaging, etc. and they can live in the same town or even a different country. What people don't realize and it happens far too often. People only show you who they want you to see online. People can create an identity and use it to gain your trust, your friendship and in many cases, your money. People have agendas and their are a lot of lonely and f*cked people in the world. Cruel? Let's give a few examples:

You Tuber is so sweet, so helpful, so nice and beautiful. Guess what? There are gurus who have more sh*t going on in their heads than in a 24 hour psychiatric ward. You Tubers may enjoy making videos, but it's because they like the responses and interaction at first, then ... yep. People get scammed all the time, so lesson? Stop thinking what you see is real! Some of them are, but stop with the idolizing, no one is perfect and they sure as hell aren't better than you!

You have a best friend, one in that dozen you call "friends." You tell her all about your problems with your boyfriend, she knows about your sex life, the fights, in fact you know more about him than he knows about his self. Guess what? Yep, they had sex. Of course they did! She secretly had a crush on him, and one day he asked her why you were being such a bitch. She saw an opportunity, played him by using you and "it just happened." No, it didn't. Get this, if your partner, lover, et al is all that, remember when you told her about the shopping spree, over time she's going to end up loving the same things about him you do!

Your co-worker "friend" who you can vent to about "work stuff" *face palm* Girl, if your game is on, she's waiting. Trust me, if you are a female at any job, if there are women there you have the ingredients for drama. It's not about if it happens, it's a matter of when. Why? If you read this blog you're a diva. You know that YOU are the most precious commodity. You go to work looking stellar, you smell good, makeup is fab, clothes are on point and you're rocking the heels. I'd hate on you too! Women don't work well together in an office environment. I dunno why, but eventually one of your "secrets" will get out and feelings get hurt and then all the "venting" you did was transferred to someone who can use it against you. Don't think because you work together you can trust each other, it's a game and times are hard and no one wants to be unemployed. Remember to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, talk to them, build alliances, but don't get caught up. Keep it short, sweet and simple, need to vent, journal, cry, but don't spill it!

Sorority Sisters are my "best friends." I shouldn't even have to waste my time on this. If you believe this you've been watching Lauren Conrad on the Hills. That girl through the word "best friend" around like a football. Dumb ass. The only one who she could trust was the one she left out the most. Whitney! Sororities are great ways to make friends for a long time, but not all of them are to be trusted even after pledging. You will eventually be successful and success breeds contempt. Do you think all of the shenanigans you pulled off is going to be a secret forever? One word: Facebook!

By now you're thinking "Oh my God this post was so negative, you don't know (insert name here)?" No, I don't. What I do know is that I have lived in a lot of countries, I've been "that" girl EVERYONE confides in. Boys, girls, bosses, co-workers, clergy, married, single, straight...The reason people tell me so much? I don't repeat it. I love secrets, it's a form of insurance for me. Sick? I know, but I learn a lot as well. What's more, I've been burned too. People I've known who "found out" insider information leaked it. Recovery is possible, but it's a bitch.

Just be careful. The friends who you lean on the most need to be acknowledged all the time. That one sided friendship is selfish. To have a friend be a friend, but don't be stupid. Stop sending money, gifts, etc. to people on line unless you've established they are bona fide and even then, go slow, we're human we all make mistakes. You know the friends you had and you f*cked up and quit talking to? Dumb ass! There is nothing that cannot be fixed by communicating. If you still think of them, they probably were a true friend. As we get older, it's not easy building friendships. We go off to college, graduate, marry, travel, find a new crowd or have kids. That's why there are so many messed up people in the world. Love truly heals a broken heart. A road trip with music and snacks? Cheaper than therapy, but stop wasting time on the wrong people.


p.s. "A good friend will come bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying...'Damn, we fucked up!'" <~ so true

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten Tips for Beauty (Affordable)

So many women are dropping all their fun money into "miracles in a bottle" that promise to give you everything short of an orgasm. All the snake oil in the world doesn't work. Every so often I'm going to give quick tips to get ahead and/or get gorgeous.

1. Face mask! Aspirin, oatmeal, or lemon doesn't matter, but take care of your skin.
2. Exfoliate! Whether it's your face, lips or body, if you have sugar, an essential oil (baby oil works) mix 3:1 and slough the dead skin away.
3. Manicure/Pedicure! Easy as trimming your cuticles, shaping and applying for favorite color, your hands and feet need pampering too. Ped Egg will change your life, and don't forget to moisturize.
4. Scalp massage! Take the balls of your fingers and pretend your head is dough and you are kneading it. Circles all over, and don't forget to rub your neck and shoulders.
5. Music! Turn it on! Doesn't matter what kind, but it has to be something that makes you feel good. Remember to dance like no one's watching and if they are, who cares?
6. Clean up your brows! They are one of the things that can make or break your overall "look." If you're in between waxing/threading conceal the hairs by using a concealer and spritzing it with hairspray to set. Don't go overboard or you will look like something is growing above your eyes.
7. Lists! Make a list of ten things you like about yourself. Look and the mirror and repeat what your wrote and tell yourself how beautiful you are!
8. Smile at your haters! Don't be stupid or they will see you as crazy. You know that look that says, "I know something you don't" It works every time. Haters want to see you look sad, flip it and make them even more jealous. I promise you'll feel better.
9. Posture! Practice sitting, standing and walking straight. It comes across as confident and people find confidence sexy. A mediocre women who appears confident will go from a 6 to a 10!
10. Wear a bold lipstick! Do you know how sexy lips are? Well why aren't you working one of your best assets? Everyone can wear a bold lippie, even if you wear glasses you will turn more heads than you think. Try it!

I'm not going to say beauty is not important, but we all have to take what we have and make it the best. So you don't have great hair, experiment with color or a style that suits your face. On the heavy side? Please! I know thick women who have more game than all the skinny Penny's on the planet. Package yourself well and your weight will be the least of your worries. Remember, you look good and you'll feel good. Go!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Product Review: Essence Soft Touch Mousse Foundation

I always love a good deal! Anyone who doesn't must be the type who can wipe their arse with $100 bills. Even if I could, there is far too much I could do with disposable income. I found out about
Essence flipping through and ad for ULTA. I was looking for a nail varnish similar to one I had seen on someone in a video. I found the dupe, but this mousse was sitting there staring at me. I thought, "No way this will match my skin."

It's based in Europe and I've never been able to get colors in foundation that suit me in the U.K. but it worked. I don't know why, but it's less than $5.00 it goes on like skin and it doesn't turn me AS oily as most foundations. I'm always oily and have to blot so no way will I say I went hours without blotting, I blot my face every two hours and eventually have no makeup on at the end of the day. I had a coupon for $3.50 off, and since this is not a prestige brand I was able to get everything in the picture for less than $10.00. I haven't done the nail art. It looks like a knock off of that Konad that everyone is using right now, but for work, I am very simple. It's either french tips or solids. That flashy stuff is reserved for special events and weekends.
I would recommend this product to anyone since it isn't expensive, but they do have testers and they will allow you to take a sample, try it (always in the sun) and you can purchase it at a later date if it doesn't oxidize. This didn't oxidize on me, which is rare. I'm usually orange about two hours after applying makeup or powder foundation. Good luck!


Monday, April 12, 2010

MAC Dupe: Grease Paint Sticks

I hate dumb people. Ignorance is one thing, because no one knows everything, but people who are just dumb abhor me. I'm on hold with MAC inquiring about a color from the Art Supplies Collection. The girl who answers tells me, they don't carry Grease Paints. Really? Considering the display was there this morning I find that strange. She puts me on hold, and here I am. The reason for this post is not to promote this even though I love grease paints. I have several and I'm doing a CP for a reader who is being charged an insane price. Unfortunately, there are some colors which are exclusive to this collection which I don't have in my makeup collection at all. Not under any other brand especially Urban Decay who has loads. I've looked.
Fortunately, L'Oreal HIP offers the exact same product for less than $3.00 USD. They are revamping the line at most stores, so in places like Walmart, they are clearanced which means Dollar Store here they come! In the top left is the MAC Grease Paint. It's lovely no? Glides on creamy, and makes a great base, or liner. I cannot attest to smearproof because anyone who guarantees any product not to smudge or transfer is foolish. We all have different levels of ph in our bodies as well as oil production so, for me, the paints are always primed if used as a base, and I don't use them as liners on clients ever. Notice that it has an attached sharpener? Well, that liner is pretty useless, you lose loads of product unless you freeze it first. Now look at the crayon from L'Oreal.

Notice the difference? Me neither, and I have them both. We've seen what the black swatches look like so, they are both solid black with no shimmer, glitter or duochrome. I hope this post has saved you a bit of money, or at least been informative enough that you will consider this when you cry in your tea over the "limited edition" unavailability which will no doubt be in CCO's. Remember Hello Kitty? Yep, in my CCO going on six months now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't throw out that loose powder yet!!

I love discoveries! I have been meaning to toss out all my loose powder mineral foundations. I hate, HATE the process. I like everything quick and simple and the tap, shake, buff is not for me. I don't knock the final results but I seriously cannot stand having to have a separate brush, use the lid, and then the brush gets dirty so it has to have a separate case away from the other makeup. Um...no. I was watching something and I guess I've known and seen velour puffs in the casings, but never put the two together.
It's quite simple really. Rather than toss, swap or sell an otherwise good foundation, use the velour puff, which can be found for less than a dollar at any store with makeup. The puff sits atop the tray and all you do is shake the container to get the foundation on the puff. Then roll the puff onto your skin. You roll it especially if you have large pores. I learnt this from watching Goss Makeup on Youtube. Or, be simple and just apply the way you would a solid foundation. This works on any type of those foundations which have sifters. Hope this saves you. Here's a visual if you learn by seeing. xo