We're had a lot of chats the past couple of weeks regarding eye creams and how very hard it can be to find "something" that's effective yet gentle and contains luxurious ingredients that work but doesn't cost a month's salary to buy!
Goddess Granny here just back from watching a gaggle of five-year old boys "play" baseball. After a couple of hours in the South Texas Spring-heat and sun, I feel about as drained and dried up one as can be...does it count for the entire season if you attend the first ballgame?
My eyes are literally crinkling at the outer corners from squinting to spot a small grandson in the mix of kids all dressed alike and I am in need of some serious intervention in the area of delicate skin around the eyes care!
I truly believe that an eye cream was the last holdout I had on my list of "can't survive without them" beauty products. I don't have dry skin as a rule and never really even noticed the crinkles and fine cracks (like those in the most delicate porcelain) until a couple of years ago. I am a passionate wearer of sunglasses and am seldom in the light without them so I do believe this has helped my cause over time. Once that fragile skin started to deteriorate, it became REALLY obvious, terribly fast! I scrambled to find something that would smooth, soothe, replenish and even repair. I needed a cream to prevent more lines and cracks from forming. I stood in shock more than once in Sephora at the vast array of products designed to treat the eye area along with a dropped-jaw at some of the price tags!
It's been hit and miss for a while, fortunately I do receive a product from Meg to review from time to time but not all eye creams are equal as WELL many of us know from the sounds of the posts lately...
The Lash Em company has been on a mission to correct, enhance and amplify the lashes and to beautify the eyes in a major way: their products are precisely formulated to be hypoallergenic, highly-effective and nature-based. I love their "Picture Perfect" Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream for several reasons: The packaging is sleek and superior to many in that I personally don't wan't to have to double-dip a finger into an eye cream to apply for fear of cross-contamination to the remaining product! This beautifully designed tube features an airless pump that after priming, dispenses just the right amount with no fear of anything nasty getting in it. It LIFTS the skin around the eye area almost instantly and although this dramatic effect may be short term, everyday use of the product can make a huge difference in the hydration and brightness of the eye-skin!
Is it Spring in your little corner of the universe yet? Goddess Granny has flowers blooming and trees budding all around and everything is looking fresh and bright! Except my complexion which is sallow and drab and so very murky looking that I'm standing here pinching my cheeks to see IF I'm still alive. Have I've simply morphed into a hot-looking Zombie chick? Seriously...I need something to pick me up and kick me in my dreary face that will give ME that beautiful bloom of Spring and yes, I can/do apply makeup and and pat on a gorgeous cheek color but I'd really love to be able to run out without a full face of makeup just once in a while and not scare small children and animals!
Oh Tarte...how DO I love thee and I'm still counting the ways:you've managed to source an ingredient that's in included in MANY of your current line of amazing products that is unique, natural, effective and so exotic to say: Amazonian clay! This perfect product normalizes, neutralizes, calms, protects and brings a gorgeous harmonious "balance" to skin of ALL types. Even sensitive, moody, okay downright impossible skin like mine! No matter what your particular skin concern might be, Tarte has you covered. They've included this brilliant ingredient in almost everything you need to be beautiful! I'm raving about "Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum" of course WITH Amazonian Clay because this is a very different sort of serum/primer from anything else I've tried...
High quality packaging in one of those "you gotta' love it" portable tubes that looks classy and you get a good amount of product! This serum actually has a bit of coverage and brightens without being goopy or hard to manage! It glides on and right out of the tube. You start to FEEL the active and exciting ingredients start working their magic on your Winter ravaged skin. The chamomile extract soothes and reduces inflammation, vitamins A, C,and E provide a healthy dose of goodness and skin-loving protection. Our new friend, Amazonian clay minimizes oil and ALSO hydrates and soothes like nothing else out there! Literally no matter your age or skin type,you'll notice the difference immediately after you apply and it really is you only MUCH improved!
It corrects and blends out any spots or uneveness enough so that somedays, bit's all I need to look polished and fresh...Add a bit more coverage here and there if you must and you have a face that is ready to face the music. The staying power of this serum-primer is nothing short of miraculous: it holds for hours as does any other product you use on top of it!
Did you remember to SPRING forward last night or are you still hiding under the covers of darkness? Goddess Granny is excited about Spring and honestly, I'm much more of an Autumn-type of girl but for some reason I am currently giddy about life and possibilities in the weeks ahead. I'm loving the fact that now we'll have an extra hour of daylight to enjoy! It gets to be hard on one's looks and soul when those gloomy days prevail...
I'm also excited about some new, fresh and fun "things" to brighten my look I am trading my dark nail colors, which BTW still ARE very much on trend. Ready for some fresh pale neutrals (but vivid coral, you SHALL be mine soon! ) because they just feel like the start of Spring. They have brightened up my cheeks and lips with vivid pinky-reds so that I don't get left in the dust when all those gorgeous flowers soon start to bloom!
It's always a delight when there is a new product to chat about because most things have simply been done before: not so with this slick, sleek, original gem from our genius product designers at Tarte! Don't you just love being able to use "Tarte" in a sentence:) Tarte is SUCH a fav around Megsmakeup.com and I don't know many who haven't at least tried their iconic "cheek stains" as well as many of their other amazing products. They were the first and still the best at creating high performance NATURAL yet totally of the moment products in fabulous colors and formulas that nourish your skin as well as giving you that "roll in the fresh cut grass" glow! This brand manages to remain innovative and EVERYTHING they make is something. I want to try and use because SO many of their products like their stunning cheek stains, their incredible Lipsurgence lip colors, most recently their truly waterproof and effective line of "Amazonian Clay" products are at the top of everyone's "must have" list! Tarte is always current and classy and they have cultivated a following of pros, celebs and loyal fans who sing their praises like no other!
I cannot live without several Tarte products and their original skinny black magic-stick named "EmphasEYES inner rim eyeliner pencil" is one I won't part with: nothing else stays on"waterline"(lower lid/ inside rim of the eye above lower lashes) or can be used to "tightline" inside upper rim of eye inside upper lashes...a bit tricky but very much worth trying!) like this pencil designed just FOR these areas that normally are resistant to eyeliners...you can get a Totally new and knock-out look using just this one item!
It's one of my favorite Sunday's of the year: Goddess GrannyLOVES to curl up and watch all those ridiculously beautiful people with impossibly good genes and tons of talent strut their stuff down that red carpet on their way to a coveted front-row seat next to "Jack" at the OSCAR'S! I'm a huge movie buff and although I don't think this was Hollywood's "best" year, there are still some amazing films and even more amazing actors to cheer for! I just love the glamour! The hype,the over the top dresses, the faux-pas. I especially love to try and figure out what products have been used on those celebrity faces to insure red carpet perfection and style!
You can bet that the VERY best makeup artists and stylists, manicurists and hair dressers in the universe have been hired, begged or bribed into service! No matter who you are, there's nothing like a PRO to make sure you stand out in a crowd. Your carefully-designed look for the evening needs to stand up to all those lights, cameras, kisses and interviewers who tend to be snarky much of the time! You do NOT want to be forever known as that "...pretty girl who had a great role but walked down the red carpet fumbling with a fake eyelash that fell off and landed on her sticky lipgloss so she looked like she had a spider on her face!" You MUST look amazing and it HAS to stay put!!!
I can guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that beautiful Miz Carol Shaw, the creator and genius makeup artist behind our much-loved "LORAC" brand is booked to the max. She's been responsible for making and keeping some of THE most extraordinary faces in Hollywood that way for over 15 years! LORAC can proudly proclaim that they are "The Red Carpet Authority!" They focus on trends rather than fads or runway looks. LORAC sets the standard for a fresh contemporary style by marketing the EXACT products that Carol and many other pros demand for use on their famous clients. Their products work for everyone, their colors are classic with a modern edge and I can personally attest to the fact that I am never without at least 5 LORAC products in my makeup kit at all times! Carol was the FIRST to create a foundation that was oil and fragrance free and I remember being on a wait-list for my shade when it launched. My granddaughter uses her products today! You simply cannot go wrong when you invest in anything that has the name "LORAC" on it: the staying powder and flawless formulations are simply perfection!
Okay...humor Goddess Granny on a dreary day and play a game with me:What is the ONE single makeup-related product that you think has the power to transform an average look into something spectacular? I thought about my answer the other day when a friend asked me this very question and red lipstick first came to mind but then I realized that I'd have to have one more thing paired with that to create my amazing face and that "it" would be false eyelashes!
I'm already seeing the eye-rolls and hearing those "it takes too much time/I can't DO it!" protests but have you honestly ever worn a pair or tried to put them on? Have you seen how even a few individual hair applied to the outer corners of your eyes have the magic effect of making you look younger,more innocent, (well...I'm probably pushing my luck here a bit on both counts:) and just slightly like the "Girl Next Door" we all WISH we looked like? How a half-style lash makes you look like Marilyn? How a FULL set of sweeping flutters turns you into a femme-fatale with the power to stop a clock with a glance? They have such power. What ARE you waiting for? You can have them applied at any decent makeup counter and/or draft a sober friend because it takes a tiny bit of practice and a sort of steady hand although I can do mine in the dark after champagne...
There is no "formula" for applying false lashes but the one that I and many other pros depend on is this: gently "roll", don't pull the lash from the container. Coat the not-fringy end with lash adhesive (more in a bit on this) and here's the trick: you HAVE to let the adhesive set up a bit until it's tacky before you gently place it right above your own lashes and gently press with a finger, tweezers or in my case, the round-end of an eyeliner brush. Voila! You are gorgeous! Then it's my advice to GENTLY use a curler and slightly clamp the false to your own lash and then coat with a bit of mascara to "merge" the lashes...liner goes on AFTER your lashes if you want perfection in my opinion, I always do lashes before anything else.
Oh....now I have your attention? Which lashes and what mascara is foolproof when you're not a pro? Yet again I have your fine-selves covered:you want to use the new and amazing line of lashes from yes....wait for it...Urban Decay!!! They are new to them and there are so many really wonderful styles available that I'd be hard-pressed to name my favorites! I'd suggest you start with the half-lash styles first because they truly ARE almost impossible to mess up and then move on to find your alter-self and explore some of the truly amazing and even downright dramatic options our creative and ever so cool friends at UD have designed for us! They have left NO look un-imagined and have dipped into downright fantasy in a couple of styles and I LOVE them all! Super high-quality and reusable of course if you are careful with them (I use Neutrogena Towelettes and wipe the lashes gently to remove any adhesive residue or makeup after I take them off and place back in their case. They are ready to rock at a moment's notice!) The adhesive that comes with the UD eyelashes is SO perfect! It has a slightly blue tint so you can see where you are applying it but it dries clear and holds like cement! My favorites alter-brand would be "Duo" lash adhesive but I'm hoping UD will begin to sell a tube of theirs individually soon! Check them out here!
Now here is the utter genius of this brand we LOVE, Urban Decay: they saw a real niche in the product-market and created an incredible mascara JUST for the purpose of merging your own lashes with the false ones! There is nothing else like "Urban Lash Mascara for False Lashes" on the market and it is something else in a tube: it's NOT a mascara that is designed or intended to be used on your own lashes alone, they have some stellar formulas for that already. THIS particular mascara is thin and glossy. It acts like a go-between while is shines and seals your lashes as they say it "blends reality and fantasy." It sets them for the duration! A super-small shaped brush allows you to lightly coat on top or under and one swipe of this rich black "overcoat" REALLY makes the falsies yours! It "coats" rather than lengthen or add volume because when you wear extra lashes you simply don't need that formula in your mascara! I suggest slowing pulling the brush out of the tube because it's a bit wetter than most traditional mascaras but you can instantly see what it DOES to enhance your hard work and to really makes your own lashes happy to be a part of the ones so many of us wish we had!
"It's just a little crush, not like I faint every time we touch..." (1998 by Jennifer Paige)
Before the current bunch of pop princesses, we had our own catchy little tunes in the 80's and Goddess Granny remembers this song because...well...who among us HASN'T had a "crush" on someone at one time or another? I was deep the the middle of one when this song hit and although I did get at least a night with the man of my obsession, the thought of it all turned out to be a lot more rewarding than the reality! I still get "crushes" but they are very innocent these days...sort of. Most of the time...
I was watching a marathon of "Sex In The City" the other evening (oh how I MISS the girls!) and it seemed like the subject of love, un-requited, all-consuming, or otherwise occupied just about all of these lady's lives when they weren't having lunch or shopping? I think we're all just hard-wired into the essence love itself by nature and no matter who or what or how we "love", it's what has the power to make us smile and BLUSH, right?
I have admitted it before and will continue to shout it from the rooftops: I LOVE Urban Decay and everything they create! Since I discovered this line, I take more risks when it comes to my own look and I have literally stood in Sephora and Ulta and promoted/sold Urban Decay products. No, I don't work for either place! I simply can't help myself when I'm standing there (usually trying to find what is fresh and unique in the marketplace...) and notice the panic many people have when they try to choose a new product on their own. I understand, it can be overwhelming, expensive and not without risk! I guess I have that "Do you work here?" look about me because 99% of the time,someone asks me what I think of a product and I am off and running. I ask what they want to achieve and how much they know about the art of beauty. Without fail, I start to gravitate towards the UD section because honestly, I know these products SO well that I'm confident there's something for everyone in the line!
When the "Pocket Rocket" lip glosses first came out (and yes, I had one before the stores did, thank you Meg!)I just about caused a sell-out on a Saturday afternoon due to my "crush" on one of the men featured on the applicator! It's a real beauty-coup when a delightful young man buys three to share with the people in his life!
Whether or not you are currently in love, lust or "crushing" on someone, you CAN and MUST get your "Afterglow" on asap with the new Urban Decay "Afterglow Glide On Cheek Tints!". I was over the moon when the highlighters may with a similar formula came out and wondered why this amazing no-cake, no-fade, no-brainer of a product didn't yet come in COLORS that could be used as a blush? Well...now it does and the shades are AMAZING and PERFECT! These gorgeous little compacts with the sexy-snake embossed in gold contain the secret to THE most natural,effortless,and beautiful glow you could wish for. I mean you'd have to work REALLY hard at it to come close any other way ! They contain the skin-loving vitamins and vegan-goodness that we know Urban Decay is famous for. These tints look rather bold in the pan but you can touch, tap, blend and control the application to your heart's content! I have tried them alone on foundation, with a dusting of powder over and here's a rare treat. On TOP of foundation and powder and there's not a single sign of anything that you don't want to happen. There is nothing but silky light coverage and believable,buildable,gorgeous and sheer cheek color! You really don't even need a mirror because they are SO natural and easy to wear! No shimmer or sparkle, just that legendary "Afterglow!"
My absolute favorites shade is "Crush" and it's on the top of SO many beauty editor's "must have" lists for Spring 2011 that I suggest you score yours now. It's the bold hot- pink pictured above but when applied,leaves you with that freshly-flushed look that just screams youthful and pretty to the world! I have even tapped a bit on my lips for a pink pout and again, there is nothing else on the market that shares this Urban Decay unique formula. I don't know how they make their magic but they have me under their spell....again!
"All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust..." Tinkerbelle
You know, there are days that Goddess Granny REALLY believes this to be true! There are those days that the mirror tells me I must use every super-power at my disposal to get myself looking like the Diva I am most of the time! Sometimes a swipe of lip gloss and a dab of powder simply isn't enough. I don't have an "everyday" look, it tends to depend on how much time I have to primp on what I'm doing. I am one of those rare breeds that enjoys using makeup to convey a persona or mood regardless of the occasion. I don't just use products to enhance or improve on what Mama Nature dished out, I use my makeup to let the world know how I'm feeling...
I do however have decent taste and stick to the rules of NOT wearing it all at once. If you do a killer eye, keep the lips pretty simple. If you put on a screaming red lippy, don't go all metallic orange on your eyes! These rules however ARE meant to be gently bent in my opinion and sometimes you DO need a damn good dose of pixie or other cosmetic "dust" to get you by...The power of metallics, foils, glitters,and shimmers is nothing short of an external light source when done correctly and with a sense of fantasy and purpose!
I can't use mineral makeups on my face for the most part and the only ones I have ever tolerated are those created by the fabulous Dr. Dima. For that I am grateful as her products are amazing! I can however enjoy the effects you get using minerals on the eyes and have a collection of colors that range from a whisper to circus-worthy! They can be a bit messy and require a bit of practice and the right tool for the job to apply. They offer color choices and a lasting finish like nothing else! I have honestly never seen pressed shadows in some of the ranges of the rainbow that mineral pigments, dusts and shadows can be found in..it's the whole box of 64 colors and then some!
Exposed Organics is a pretty straight forward and delightful company that creates beauty products that are affordable and as natural as possible. They don't use synthetic dyes and are paraben, petroleum and lead-free! Always a must for those who know! They offer a brilliant selection of minerals for the face, eyes, lips and nails. I like the idea of their "custom colors" and paintbox packaging a lot! You can mix their pigments, glitters and minerals into bases for multi-purpose use. You can even add a hint of temporary color to your hair with some of the more brilliant colors as well as mix them into clear nailpolish for a hint of yummy shimmer! You can even mix them into your body lotion for a custom-glow!
I am in love with the color "Platinum" above and have used this Exposed Organics Eye Dust both wet and dry with spectacular results! I adored Christina's sparkling eye makeup in the movie "Burlesque." I went to great lengths to be able to reproduce the look: this platinum eye dust REALLY makes it a snap to be stage worthy in minutes!
Goddess Granny here! It's that time of year in Texas again when everybody is yelling "Let's Rodeo!" and they don't mean coming back to their place for a bottle of wine and a bit of naughty as they do when this term is used in other locations!
They literally mean that for almost a month, the REAL rodeo is in town. Everything you've ever seen or heard about this iconic event is true: the bling, the bulls, the blood and the boys! Those hard-hitting and elusive species know as the "Cowboy." I could say a LOT about the definition and the men. Suffice to say that if you've ever been lucky/cursed enough to have a real one, you won't soon forget it!
They inspire legend to many and there's even a special sort of girl who collects this rare edition known as the "Buckle Bunny." They elevate the art of feminine allure to the BRIGHTEST level possible and simply can't be missed along the rodeo circuit! Their BA-bling, big-hair, colorful-makeup and carefully chosen ensembles are guaranteed to catch the all eyes. Especially of the lanky rodeo man she hopes to add to her collection along with his "trophy buckle!" Urban Decay's AMAZING new "Glide On 24/7 SHADOW pencils" will no doubt be in the crystal-encrusted pocket of every in the know BB this season! Color of choice? "Midnight Cowboy!" (Of course.)
The ultimate in famous eyeshadow shades and all-time UD bestseller,"Midnight Cowboy" has yet again stayed on top in the standings. Its an entirely new and dare I say the best EVER formulation of this wearable but glam to the max color. It is Urban Decay's latest incarnation, the Glide On 24/7 Shadow Pencil! The ravishing pinky-beige nude is the ultimate boudoir-babydoll! It's a buckle bunny color infused with shimmering silver sparkles! It can now be applied with a single swipe of the fat pencil and the color payoff is nothing short of spectacular! I found that no blending was required to get everything placed just where I like it! The wearability and long-lasting finish on this new formulation is simply the BEST I've experienced with or without a shadow primer. You really need a solid remover to get this baby off. For me, that's about as good as it gets! My new and improved version of my "Midnight Cowboy" stays on as long as I want it to. It lasts a LOT longer than any cowboy I know can and can stay the course!
Goddess Granny is in "edit and purge" mode and it's not because of the full moon/start of a new year: it's because I find that more and more I have less and less of THE most important thing in my life....time. I want only things that work, enhance or improve. Things that really define who I am and what I do at THIS point in my life and not even a couple of years ago! A daunting task indeed (especially when my husband is a hoarder) I have my "spots and spaces" here at the ranch. I am going to do my best to hack away at any offending items that don't give me immediate and intense gratification until things are calm and orderly....check back with me in a few weeks and see if I've made a dent?)
This process includes my vanity and the plastic bins of shame (aka those colors and products you paid too much for to get rid of?) It's stressing me out, I am cautious to toss away that weird shade of purple-pink lipstick. I KNOW it will be just what is required to pull off a look if I do...too bad, so sad, it's going to happen now. I will persist until I'm left with what is classic, current, and works. No tube or compact is safe from my tossing-hands anymore!
I'm weeding out to make room for what promises to be an exceptional year ahead for products and colors! Our much-loved friends at Urban Decay have left me speechless and lusting over the "face charts for Spring 2011" they posted on their Facebook page the other day: if you haven't "liked" UD on Facebook yet, you're missing out! They have contests, reviews and really give their fans all sorts of "news you can use!" Handy when elusive products return to stock as well as advance product-launch info! It's one of the best kept pages on Facebook because UD interacts and teases their fans almost daily! I expect no less from SUCH an amazing company and I am among their passionate followers! SUCH iconic products that never fail to perform and delight. From what I've seen here and on those face charts, it's going to be a colorful and GORGEOUS season for us because of them!
Check out what's rolling out for Spring 2011 here and rumor has it there is a lot more to come, the "looks" are beyond-fabulous on this campaign!
Okay...I've had it! It's sooo dismal and dry this season that I literally can feel my skin cracking in the corners of my mouth when I smile! Forget about the "laugh line" I am etching...they have become a comedy of errors instead! Goddess Granny is whining about how very dry and cold this Winter has been! Short of slathering up in organic coconut oil or Vaseline on my person (non glam for sure but works!) I have been confounded as to how to control the issues of dry skin, especially on my pretty lil' face! It's a viscous cycle: you are dry and irritated, you smear on something lovely only to be rewarded by clogged pores or breakouts because you NEED moisture so badly that you will sacrifice potential spots in order to find comfort!
Especially around the eyes, it's horrible to apply pretty makeup on top of greasy creams. It doesn't last and ends up looking like a zombie-inspired effect rather than an inspiring one! If you don't apply something, you risk looking like the Shahara desert complete with cracks and crevices as well as those horrible stuck in the lines mascara streaks! This is a horrible dilemma for anyone who isn't in a balmy climate with perfect humidity right now. I bet I am not alone in my misery?
We LOVE the "Suki" like of exceptional skincare products here at Megsmakeup.com and with good reason: absolute luxury, purity, performance, and a hefty-dose of social responsibility. It's the choice of only the best organic ingredients that have earned Suki high-honors for every beautiful product they create! I truly believe this line to be among the very best in any class. I know that many of us use and love these products with confidence as well as an impressive gathering of gorgeous celebs! Meg started the Suki-ball rolling a couple of years ago with her praise for the "Exfoliating Cleanser" and many of us haven't looked elsewhere for skincare that meets our highest standards!
When the Suki "Eyelift Cellular Renewal Cream" in it's elegant glass-airless pump arrived on my doorstep, I wasted NO time trying it out: I usually use a gel/balm under my eye makeup for day and something more nourishing at night but I have been suffering this season and this AMAZING product is my newest love in a long line of crushes! It is silky, creamy without being gooey,glides on like a dream leaving SUCH a gorgeous velvety finish behind that I can use it 24/7! No makeup smearing! It repairs the delicate eye-area tissue at a deep level with gorgeous botanicals and I can honestly say it "fixed" my dry-eye bugaboo in about 3 days!!! The entire area around my eyes looks rested and repaired and someone even asked "what I had done...?" Always a nice thing to hear when you're smearing on and not healing from a procedure! It tightens but not like a gel and if applied at night, you can see a HUGE difference the next morning! A tiny drop goes a long way and I've been applying any overage to my upper-lip area as well for similar spectacularly-renewed results! I can see where my eye area has actually been evened-out in terms of color and texture!