Stacy B here! What a week. I don't even know where to start. It's Halloween, I started a fantastic new job for a smaller company that allows me to work from home for 25-30 hours a week so I can see my kids more, my older son turns 5 in a few more days, my husband was named Rep of the Year for his company and they gave him a 5-day vacation anywhere we want to go up to $5,000!! Anywhere! I'm thinking hot and sunny during the dead of this upcoming New England winter! Or maybe Vegas!! We'll see, but I'm very proud of him! Hard work really pays off!
Oh, and a little thing called the WORLD SERIES just happened and we won!!! Yes, I love make up and fashion and yes, I'm a huge sports fan. I stayed awake for every second of the game last night, I was so excited, I didn't even sit down until the 5th inning! What a great thing for my beloved city of Boston. No matter what you think of us Bostonians, or our scrappy little city, you can't deny that after what happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this year, this city needed something to hold on to. Thank you Red Sox, for giving us hope, reminding us that good people who work together can produce more happiness and good will than two a-holes with a homemade bomb.
Wow, I really feel like I've been walking around with a smile on my face for days! Even though I've started working from home and don't need to get dressed up every day, I still have errands to run, occasional meetings to attend, and pick up/drop off for the boys so I don't want to look like a mess every day.
I have a double whammy for you today, two great Covergirl products that I've been using lately. One is great for every day (when I'm home, or out) and one is a perfect "get me from day to night quickly and easily". My husband and I go out to dinner once a week while my kids torture the grandparents so I like to have something to transform me from work-from-home Mommy, to fun, sexy dinner date.
I am not a red lipstick person, so I look for eye products to glam me up and make me feel put together. Covergirl's "Clump Crusher by LashBlast" mascara has been great this week. It has one of those newer style flexible plastic wands that's sturdier than the traditional bristle wand. I like both and think they are good for different things. This is a great everyday mascara. It truly separates each lash and there are no clumps whatsoever. I do feel it lacks volume, and only moderately lengthens, but for being at home, running errands, or even slow days at the office, this is great. It's subtle, defines each lash, separates them all and opens up your eyes. I have noticed no clumps or bits and pieces on my face at the end of the day. And it washes off really easily so I'm not killing my delicate eye skin by scrubbing.
My next item is my 'you have 10 minutes to get ready for your date' item: Covergirl's "Gel Eyeliner: Ink It! By Perfect Point Plus" eye liner in black. This is by far the blackest black liner I've ever had. It's sharp and precise. And it sticks around! I was shocked at how perfectly black it is, how versatile it is, and what a difference it made in just a few seconds. I can use it lightly for a subtle line on my lashes, or press down a little harder and thicken it up for a more dramatic look. It's so easy to use, it's a twist up tube, so no sharpeners needed, and it's thin so you can be creative and create a serious cat eye. Even if you decide to give it a smudge for a more smokey eye, it still maintains its pigment. It really is like lining your eyes with black ink without the messiness of a liquid. Which is perfect for Halloween!! Glam it up! It's so bold, I would love to check it out in other colors.
Meg here! I promised Jon I would stop swearing in my posts because much like my grandmother, it offends him. I'm going to try to stop swearing which is coming at a very inopportune time since I want to say how F$^#ing Amazing Dedra Beauty is.
Dedra Whitt has been a top makeup artist in Hollywood for 17 years. While she isn't applying the faces to Jessica Biel, Julia Ormand or Mila Kunis you can catch her making up The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (and sometimes being drawn into the drama. Poor Dedra, she was just trying to apply a smoky eye!)
More than the toast of the town for her talented ways of making famous faces fresh again, Dedra is a wife and a mom and a wonderful friend! She is super cool and I enjoy her completely. I also enjoy her philosophy behind her new line. In a nutshell, she wants you to look like the very best you and EASILY. Her makeup is designed for the everyday woman. "It's so easy you can put it on in your car."
I love everything in her line and will be telling you about each piece individually and why it is so special. I have to start with Smudge Pencil.Dedra Beauty Smudge Pencil is my new go to. I have it in my purse cosmetic bag because I feel panic start to set it in when I'm without it.
It's chubby and it glides on smooth as silk. I don't know how Dedra managed to formulate both a pencil that's so blendable with such great staying power. It wears beautifully all night long. I am in love with the "Baroque" shade. It is such a deep, coppery brown. It's the best universally flattering color and it wears day to night.
Personally, I know Dedra Whitt and have met with her several times over the process while she worked on her products. The lady is a total perfectionist. I can't tell you how many times she sent back samples because everything wasn't 100 percent up to her very high standards. She waited until this line was completely right, a line she herself would use on her very famous clients. That's commitment to your brand and Dedra wasn't willing to put her name on something until she got it right. She really got it right!
There are already so many different cosmetic lines on the market, I'm always slow to advise anyone to jump into the arena. If you're going to take the plunge you have to be bringing something new to the table since we're all inundated all of the time.
Before we delve into Urban Decay, I just want to say "THANK YOU!!"If you were able to donate to AMANDA FOUNDATION or prayed for Banner (we renamed him Grimmy-he's a gremlin.) or prayed for us, or sent your positive energy and thoughts or hugged your own pets harder that night-IT WORKED! What looked like a serious surgery, became a miracle. I believe it was all of you and your love. Once Grimmy went down on the operating table the tumor just came right off! Like it was a zit and not a tumor! How did that happen? That wasn't suppose to happen. It was suppose to be a major surgery. Instead it was like a giant blackhead removal. You know what happened? I do. You guys happened. Your heart sent out love and we got it! THANK YOU! Not to get weird (but to get weird) all of the positive energy hit the universe and it got sent to someone in The Universe's Executive team and it went like this.
Universe Management: Hi! Sorry to bother you but it seems like we have a situation on our hands.
Universe: Egypt? Kabul? Oh, let me guess? It's that damn Al Qaeda again? What have they done now? How much time is this one going to take? I have lunch in 15. Can we make this quick?
Universe Management: We got this whole "positive energy of hope and love surge." I wouldn't normally bring this to your attention, but it's out of Los Angeles and that usually never happens unless Ryan Gosling is in town. He's not. It's about this hairless, tumor ridden dog. So strange, I know. Can we make his surgery work out? The natives are getting restless and we don't have a Gosling movie slated until 2014 so we need to do something?
Universe: I need a Subway 6 inch. I'm starving. Shut them up. Cure the damn dog.
The next thing the surgical team knew, the tumor almost fell off Grimmy's ear. You can say I'm crazy (you wouldn't be unique) but that wasn't suppose to happen-I thank you. I thank The Universe's Management and I thank The Universe. I also give huge thanks to The Amanda Foundation.
More than that, Grimmy thanks you most. The donations poured in to save him and I am humbled. THANKS MEGHEADS! (also, thank you Ryan Gosling for not being in Los Angeles this week.)
Urban Decay I also thank! Not only does Tammy bring us awesome products but PLEASE REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO BUY- URBAN DECAY IN 10 YEARS HAS NEVER REFUSED TO DONATE TO AN ANIMAL CAUSE THAT I HAVE ASKED FOR THEIR SUPPORT FOR. NEVER. That's ridiculously generous and insane and they ALWAYS HELP.
Our dollars decide who succeeds and this company has heart. When you love what you do you give love back. Urban Decay has always been at the cutting edge of beauty and they are beautiful inside and out.
A lot of you got a build your own palette from Urban Decay! Their shadows are heavily pigmented, colors to die for and blend like a dream! They're featured in every top make up artist's kit and their letting you build your own with a palette and UNIVERSALLY FLATTERING SHADE!
So again, we reach out to the universe. I'm sure he enjoyed his Subway and this was a no brainer for him.
Meg here! I've been very sick. I'm 88% better but it has been a rough week. Running around NYC (in what is COLD to me 40ish degrees) gave me a terrible flu once I returned home.
After being isolated and asleep and sick for three straight days, I needed to get out of my house. There was a danger of me turning into Howard Hughes and starting to pee into bottles. I needed to visit the outside world. I had taken my meds and while I was not feeling even 70 percent better, I was no longer a contagious threat. A shower and easy night out was what I was needing.
Our Manly Monday leader, Nick Stern was kind enough to be my escort. I booked our tickets online and we were set for the 6:30pm showing of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL!
This was just what I was needing, during my illness I was too sick to open up my recent packages. Fresh from a (much needed) shower, I took my new strength and open a fedex marked from Urban Decay. What was inside transported me to a land filled with bright technicolor! I was only in black and white before I opened what may be, the most beautiful palette to ever exist!
Well, there were two of them looking up at me. The Glinda Palette (I confess, I have not opened it yet.) Is packaged white and pearlized and looks almost angelic. The EIGHTcolors inside were pinks and peaches and golds. Flanked with a plum eye pencil and sheer beige lip color. It is so pretty. I hate when they package things so gorgeous that you almost feel guilty when you open them! It's like people that only put out the good hand towels when guests come over. USE IT ON YOURSELF is hard for me. I mean, it's normally hard for me. It WAS hard for me. I couldn't tear into the Theodora Palette quick enough.
The Theodora Palette is chock full of sexy, smoldering style. The warmer hues in sables and minks, the EIGHT shades were also rounded out with greens and golds. A black eye pencil and creamy red lip are included. I am IN LOVE! This is definitely the NIGHT palette.
Between Glinda for Day and Theodora for night, you have every eye look you will ever need. FOR A LONG TIME! Are you a good witch or a bad witch? (I don't know why I threw that last sentence in there, I must still be a bit feverish.
These palettes are so gorgeous you are never going to want to be without them. You can even customize them once you go through the shadows (but trust me, it will be a LONG time before then!) You can actually just pop in any UD shadow pots-how great is that?
Nick Here! I actually just woke up from my Derma nap only a moment ago which inspired me to write.
This is a lie, he was woken up from his beauty sleep by by my shrill yell "Nick Stern! OMG get up! I've walked the dogs and done the dishes and you need to get me my Manly Monday!" By the way? What's a Derma nap?
Meg, you don't know what that is? That's okay but don't act surprised if you start hearing that term more often...it's literally the new thing. Taking a nap has many benefits and it literally takes no effort. It helps your metabolism, eliminates stress by literally bathing your brain in the neurotransmitter serotonin, and most importantly regenerates skin cells for younger looking skin.
Wait? A nap regenerates your skin cells. Nick Stern, I thought you were just being lazy. All this time you were just doing research? I'm going to need to eat some humble pie. You have my full attention, go on...
I wish we lived in a world where a nap could cure everything: Too fat? Take a nap! Too stressed? Take a nap! Having bad sex? Take a nap! Have bad skin? Take a nap!
But wait, you're losing me here. You just said if you have "bad skin" to take a nap.
Meg, a nap, only takes you so far. You have to compliment a nap with a well balanced routine to make it a true Derma nap. My favorite skin products are the ones that you put on right before a rejuvenating slumber. My go to overnight product right now is the Kyoku Eye Fuel which combines two repairing formulas conveniently in separate pumps. The first is the Uplifting Eye Gel which removes under eye puffiness and the Eye Radiance Cream which prevents dark circles and early-onset wrinkles. With cane sugar extract and anti-aging micro-particles working deeply to brighten and lift up the eye area, you can feel proactive without actually being active. This is literally what every man strives for so ladies while your man slumbers just pat gently under his eye and turn that nap into a derma nap. Now for that six pack overnight gel.
"So ladies, while your man slumbers just gently pat under his eye and turn that nap into a derma nap." I think Nick Stern is still dreaming if he thinks on top of cooking his dinners and providing witty companionship, I'm going to start patting cream under eyes during his siestas. I also, would not recommend any women doing this. We have to draw a line somewhere. I AM intrigued in two different products with two different pumps in one bottle though. That's pretty cool. It takes up less counter space, did you like one formula better than the other?
Stacy B here! I missed you all last week! My house was under quarantine, every one of us got the 24-hour stomach bug...and each on different days. I missed 3 days of work, partially for my own healing and partially because I couldn't leave my 4-year-old home with a husband who was just as sick, too!
It was gross. Luckily, it was a fast moving bug, so we really were better after a day or so, but that one day was not fun. My kids bounced back fast, they are so resilient. My husband and I took a little longer but I think we didn't heal as fast because we were focused on making the little guys feel OK. I spent $40 at CVS on Pedialyte, Gatorade, crackers, soup and Tums over the course of the sickness. Even the cashier commented that I must have been having a rough weekend. Thanks lady.
At least I lost 3 pounds...it was worth it, right? (Sure, until I'm rehydrated and back to normal...what a fad diet sickness is.)
Needless to say, there were lots of hot showers, hand washing, face washing, anti-bacterial use and teeth brushing. We were trying so hard to stay clean!
Normally during winter I need a stronger, thicker lotion for around my eyes and face and when I'm sick, or taking care of a sick person, my skin gets even worse. I'm dehydrated, taking hot showers, doing lots of washing and generally stripping my skin of all moisture. It's tough. I'd been using Nature's Gate Grape Seed Eye Cream off and on over the last few months with mixed results. This was a true test of this product and I'd give it a passing grade. Not an A+, but a pass.
Meg here! How do you build a better mousetrap? That's been an age old question. The more popular question? How do you build a better mascara?
When I first opened up the cult fave "Mesmer Eyes Mascara" from the genius that is Napoleon Perdis I was more than a little nervous. I was perplexed by the brush, it wasn't the usual bristle application that I was used to. I was a stiff wand, with one end completely flat. Hmm, it says its a "trip threat mascara that lengthens, adds volume and curl."
Ok, I'm game. The trick is to to keep applying the color while your lashes are still wet and to curl with the flat end of the wand.
I'm hooked and I know I've gotten this out to more than a few Megheads in their makeup packages. The wand does take a little bit of effort to get used to and you do have to spend a minute longer while applying compared to the usual types of wands but it is so worth it. If you get too much on the wand a little blot with a kleenex with bring you back to business. Once you learn the flat end handle trick you can cut out curling your lashes all together.
Its another Napoleon win but what else can you expect from this perfectionist? How about a fantastic beauty event February 20th? Napoleon and W Magazine's Beauty Director Jane Larkworthy are coming together for what is sure to be the beauty event of a lifetime. A master class, tips and trends from Jane Larkworthy herself and each attendee will get a gift from Napoleon himself!
How could this be even better? THe $75 enrollment fee can be used to spend on Napoleon Perdis products! What even better? WINNING 2 VIP Tickets to attend for FREE
Stacy B here! I wish I had a cute lead in story to this post that linked my fabulous life with a great product all with clever anecdotes and witty comments that will keep you coming back for more.
I don't. It's been a fairly boring week.
Everyone is finally healthy (mostly) so you'd think we'd be getting good sleep, feeling better and living life to the fullest. Nope. Enter night terrors. My poor kid. And poor us. No one sleeps when your baby is screaming at the top of his lungs, thrashing around like someone is killing him and there's NOTHING you can do. Nothing. You aren't even supposed to pick them up, wake them up or anything. You just have to let it happen. Last night was 30 minutes between 12:15 am and 12:45 am. The night before was midnight to 12:25 am and I'm praying tonight doesn't happen. It's been 3 of the last 5 nights. Poor kid.
My only relief is that our doctor says that even though there's nothing we can do, we should be comforted by the fact that he doesn't remember anything when he wakes up. I know this is true because once he finally stopped screaming last night, he quietly sighed, opened his eyes, blew a giant raspberry at me, giggled, and rolled over to sleep the rest of the night peacefully. Thanks kid.
Ugh, I just want us all to sleep!
My creative juices are just not flowing this week so I'm going to jump right in. Buy a makeup brush from EcoTools. No, it will not cure night terrors, croup, sinus infections or world hunger but it's an awesome tool to get some makeup on those tired eyes and get you through the day looking good and feeling good about an environmentally friendly tool.
I used the Bamboo Eye Shading Brush this week and loved it. It was so soft, smooth and easy to use. I told a coworker about it and she said she bought these expensive brushes from Sephora and they were terrible. Stiff, didn't pick up the shadow and were too prickly to spread what little shadow was on the bristles evenly. She was so mad she wasted money on them. I just gushed about this brush, and I think I may have convinced her to buy one! And why not? It's only $4!
The whole line in cruelty free and made with resuable materials. The bamboo handle is light and easy to grip. I really like bamboo, I've been using it in my kitchen mostly, for cutting boards, cheese servers, etc. It's a great looking, good for you, easy to take care of wood. I was pretty excited to use it in my bathroom, too!
Stacy B here! Rough week ladies. Nothing bad happened, thankfully, but it's just another crazy week around here, with more coming. I guess I should remember that my family is healthy, I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and heat in my vents but still. Hectic weeks are hectic, no matter how fortunate you are.
I've been overloaded with Christmas shopping, and having relatives in LA really puts the pressure on because those gifts need to be either bought, wrapped and shipped by next week, or shipped directly with hopes that the right person opens the box and can wrap everything before the wrong person sees! Every day I have boxes outside my door and my list is not close to being done. Throw in a teething 7-month old, a very smart 4-year-old who asks about 10 times a day "how many days until Christmas?! And can we make MORE Christmas cookies today?!?", a sick husband and 3 full days of required corporate in-house training (fun, I know) and this week was over before it started.
Oh, and tomorrow's our team Secret Santa at work because my manager is on maternity leave starting next week. Which means two things. 1. I will be shopping for my $10 or less gift at lunch tomorrow before the 3 pm party and 2. I can't answer her emails fast enough about what is done and what must be done before she is out. Crazy.
Did I mention I'm in charge of refreshments for the party? Thankfully it's on the company dime but I still have to order food and go pick it up! Is it 2013 yet??? I'm sure no one will notice if I get a mojito at the bar while waiting for our team appetizers, right? They don't itemize the receipts do they?
Guess what usually suffers when I get busy. Make-up and fashion. So sad. Well, that and sleep, but let's be honest, I have two kids, sleep is a luxury at this point. Now, I never give up entirely on my outward appearance but I am in 'multi-use product' mode. Soaps that moisturize, hair serums that dry straight and frizz-free so I don't have to use a flat iron, eye products that brighten and stay put for the entire whirlwind of a day so I don't have to reapply. Give me quality products that save me time and money and I can focus on what really matters: having enough red and green sprinkles for the Christmas cookies I seem to be making at an astonishing rate.
NYX to my rescue! Again! They have a great little shimmery eye shadow stick called the Slide On Eye Pencil. It's like a little sister to their jumbo eye shadow stick which I already love. These are much thinner and more precise though. It is so smooth and glides on so fast. I love their color selection, too, way beyond the typical eye liner colors.
Stacy B here! I'm not sure what I'm more excited about this week, no more annoying election ads or the fact that it SNOWED a little on Wednesday! I heard the forecast for snow and was not all that pleased, it's still fall! And it's early November! Too early for that kind of cold and precipitation! But....then I saw the flakes and instantly I was a little kid again. All I wanted to do was run out of my office and play in it!!
It's like the unofficial start of the holiday season now. Even though it's supposed to be almost 60 again on Saturday...whatever, New England weather keeps me on my toes. But you know what this makes me think of? Sparkly, festive, holiday make up!! Perfect parties, glittery dresses, fancy heels, furry mittens and holiday martinis! Presents and snowflakes and lights!
Someone needs to talk me off the holiday ledge. Or at least get me a spiked hot chocolate and a fancy eye liner.
NYX to the rescue again. I got their Glam Liner Aqua Lux Collection and its' perfect for the next few weeks! No, it didn't come with spiked hot chocolate, but since this product is so easy to apply, I'll have time to make my own.
Normally I hate liquid liners, I just don't have the steady, or artistic, touch. They get all over my face, they are never even, they bleed all over the place, it's always a total failure. But, this is not bad. It's glittery, so the need for precision is not as great as a straight black or deep color. You can be a little imperfect and it's OK.
I was really anxious to try this so I couldn't wait for a holiday party. I threw caution to the wind and wore this to work. I did apply it VERY lightly and smudged it a bit, but I did it. I have a fellow make-up lover who sits about 4 doors down and before she even got all the way in my office, she was gushing over this liner. She loved it and said it was really cute, for day or night!