Stacy B here! It's started already. My pants don't fit and we've had one holiday! I'm a whale and it's barely December!
OK, exaggerating a bit, but still. Doesn't it feel like that sometimes? I try really hard to stay healthy and consistent - I even went to the gym the morning of Thanksgiving and twice more over the long weekend - but it gets hard this time of year. Not to mention the external changes I have to deal with living in a cold part of the country. My hair is getting some static, my skin needs more lotion and my lips are dry as a bone.
To think, I wish for dryer, frizz-free weather half the year, and then I get it, and all I want is just a little bit of humidity so I don't wake up with my lips cracking and my eyes red and dry! We are never satisfied, are we?? My lips have been really bad lately, so bad that the skin around them is red, raised, and irritated, and my lips are cracked and painful. I have been sticking my face over a bowl of boiling water multiple times a day, slathering them with Blistex and petroleum jelly and will even admit to getting so fed up that I actually rubbed some diaper rash cream on the skin around my lips. Not the actual lips, I was too afraid I'd actually ingest it, but just around the edges. I admit a lot of crazy things to you guys...
Believe it or not, the good old Triple Paste that I rub on my baby boy's behind actually worked. I have yet to tell my husband this, I actually think this may be one of first secrets I will keep from him forever. He'd be horrified.
While my lips are on the mend, I've sworn off any sort of color, stain or stick. Too risky. Luckily I work from home now and only have meetings a few times a week so I can get away with crazy lip remedies and pale winter lips. But, I still have errands and play dates and dinners with my husband (as long as the diaper rash incident stays buried) so sometimes I want a dash of color with a ton of protection. Not being able to smile without bleeding is disgusting and not something I want to return to.
I was nervous about it, so I tried it on one morning where I had a 2 hour meeting and that was it. I figured if it didn't work, or my lips started to rebel, I had my Blistex in my bag and I wouldn't be trapped long. It was the perfect color for me (I tried Be Sweet, this amazing purple-ish/pink-ish/frosty neutral) and the perfect amount of pigment, too. Shiny, a little color and it lasted through the meeting.
Stacy B here! Anyone out there have two kids under 5, a full-time job and a husband who has to travel occasionally for his job? No? Just me? Hopefully it’s just me, it’s a tough role to fill!
I’m sure some of you have very hectic lives, just like I do, so you know the value of quick, easy and reliable…anything. Whether it’s makeup, dish detergent, meal prep, outfits or anything else you have to manage on your own with two crazy kids running around, you know the value of a good product that actually helps you. Bonus if it fits within your budget.
I’ve had a very strong acquaintance-type relationship with ELF Cosmetics. I have kept my eye on this brand for years. I use it occasionally, I’ve never had anything bad to say about it, but it’s lower on my list of financially responsible but still high quality brands. We’re sometimes friends. You know the type, you see them every once in a while, always have a good time, but for some reason, never really latch on. You can’t quite explain it, and there’s no hard feelings or drama, it’s just an easy-going, no pressure, 4 visits a year friendship.
This week my husband was in Baltimore for 4 days. I was very focused on the boys and their activities (summer camp, Grammy’s house, daycare, swim lessons…these kids have a better social calendar than I do and they are 4 and 15 months…) As usual, I needed quick and easy products to get myself work ready and presentable while making sure my little one didn’t choke on something and my bigger one actually got dressed on his own. OK, I’ll admit it, one of the nights I was helping him get in the tub and noticed his underwear was on backwards. It was like that all day. What are you going to do. I still have to take a shower every morning. J
I found ELF’s Shimmer Lip Gloss in my drawer and started using it as I was running out the door. Or more accurately, chasing after my naked baby who has very skillfully figured out that I have to let go of him for about 5 second during diaper changes to get the new diaper ready and he can get up and start running in just that amount of time.
Stacy B here! I just got back from the happiest place on earth...DISNEY WORLD!! We took my boys and they loved it. Well, my youngest didn't seem to care too much, he's only 14 months, but he was very happy all week and did enjoy a few of the family rides. Really, his favorite thing was the shuttle bus from the hotel to the parks. Every time they pulled up he started yelling and clapping and shouting "bus, bus, bus!!!" Great, my 14-month old has about 10 words, and one of them is 'bus'.
It was REALLY hot though, like mid-90s and humid all week. We chose late June because my mom is a teacher so she's out of school, and my dad had a friend offer his time share and that was when it was available. And...it was a 2 bedroom condo with a full kitchen for FREE, on the resort! We saved SO MUCH MONEY by not having to pay for the hotel. And, I could order groceries and cook healthy breakfasts and dinners so we didn't kill ourselves on processed junk for 7 days. Best way to do it.
The heat was so bad, my makeup took a back seat, and so did my hair. Ponytails, waterproof mascara and sunblock. That was about it all week. I can't really complain though, getting ready was really easy every morning and no one looks great in 90% humidity so I just went with it. Our first morning was an early one; we had to be on a 6:45 am shuttle to make it to our character breakfast reservation. This was essential because I refused to chase Mickey Mouse around the park and wait in the picture lines in the heat. I scheduled a breakfast with a guaranteed Mickey sighting first thing on day 1 and got that overwith in the air conditioned restaurant. Not going to lie, I gave myself a nice pat on the back for that stroke of motherly genius.
My oldest practically died of happiness the first time he saw Mickey come around the corner. His face could not have smiled any wider. I thought his lips were going to crack! Good thing they didn't, although we did have one split lip incident when my youngest decided to pull the kitchen chair on top of himself and split his lip open. Sorry hotel maids, that washcloth full of blood is not what you think... Don't worry, he was fine after a few minutes!
Even if I did have some lip cracks due to excessive smiling, or burnt lips due to the opressive sun, I was ready for it. I brought some Australian Gold Lip Balm with me, with SPF in it. This stuff exceeded my expectations. I was not anticipating anything more than a standard lip balm with some sun protection. This not only protected my lips (no burns, on me, my hubby, or the boys) but it healed some weird spring chapped lips I was suffering from in early June. I have no idea why or how my lips were dry in June in New England. It's hot here, and humid so there's moisture everywhere. Plus, it rained for like a week before we left so it's not like it was desert-dry conditions.
Meg here! It has been said that women eat 7 POUNDS of lipstick in their lifetimes. As with all things, I tend to binge so I can safely assume I've eaten 30 pounds of lipstick thus far in life.
If you're going to be snacking on your lip products then I guess Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss would be your kale. I mean, they sell Juice Beauty at Whole Foods so you know it's organic. I'm not suggesting that the next time your tummy growls you try to suck this gloss down, I'm just pointing out that if you do indeed ingest it, it's not going to hurt you.
I try to pare down my summer looks. Today was a sweltering 100 degrees in Hollywood. I'm looking for lightness and not a lot of goop to melt on my face. That said, I'm a busy lady with an active social life and I'm not going to run around town unkept. You know the second you do that you end up running into an exboyfriend or TMZ. Side note, I go out all the time and have never been on TMZ. I really need to up my game.
So many lipglosses are sticky and your hair gets all caught up in them and are filled with petroleum. The petroleum will end up drying your lips out. Not good.
Karen and Julie are really, really healthy. They love to eat well and exercise and they're really nice. They're not at all annoying if you want to have 3 double vodka tonics and smoke a pack of Marlboro's. They just love when I do that! (Side note, they threaten me and suggest I seek counseling but other than that, they're super chill.)
Since being well and active and you know that whole "staying alive" bit is important to them, it makes sense that they're going to come up with not only a great gloss but a healthy one. (whenever I point out that the "cool kids" are always the first ones to leave the party it kind of falls on deaf ears with those two.) Anyhow, Since they want to stay in this "life party" a long time they've gotten down pat how to do it and look beautiful all the while.
This gloss is a "combination of anti-oxident rich berries, minerals and sweet agave that will wrap your lips in brilliant color." People claim it smells good. My sniffer isn't the best so I have no idea but I know it tastes delish and lasts a long time. It also makes my lips a gorgeous sheen.
Stacy B here! I cut almost 6 inches of hair off this week. Just throwing that out there. A lot of people would have a tough time with that but my hair grows so fast, I'm sure by fall I'll be able to cut another 6 inches off and not even bat an eye. It's been long for so long, I needed a change!
It's actually been a pretty significant week of change for me. All good, too! Spring is really here, it's been warm, sunny, happy and colorful around here. People are in good moods, work has been less stressful, and my hair is much easier to manage now. I had a very good shopping day with my husband on our 7th anniversary at an outlet mall near us and have been wearing new clothes every day since. And, I lost another pound! Must be all those walks we've been taking with our kids after dinner now that it's still warm and light later in to the evening. I live on a huge hill, so this is not an easy walk!
Let's see....new clothes, new hair, new weight, new accessories...what's left? Of course...new makeup! Why not? I have to round out the look, right? It's spring, so I'm into light, shimmery, easy to apply makeup. What better than a fun new gloss shade that I can easily toss in my new bag as I slip on my cute new wedges and head out the door...without a coat!!
I stuck with a trusted drug store brand that fit easily into the last bit of my 'new spring look' budget, NYX. I have always had decent luck with them and their prices are so good, I can't pass up the opportunity to try something new. This week I've been into their Mega Shine Lip Gloss. My go to color has been Vanilla, a 'shimmering midtone beige'. The name is odd to me, it's not vanilla flavored and it's not off-white or a vanilla color. But I guess that doesn't really matter since it's a great color for me!
It's a hint pink, a bit peach, and a tad brown. My wheelhouse. Nothing red in there, nothing orange, or anything that would make me look like I kissed a pumpkin. It's not very sticky or tacky, although I still try hard not to let the wind blow my hair into my mouth, it would still get stuck if that happened. It's not the best brand for sticking around through a meal, but it does stay put for the first few hours I'm at my office. Usually I just have to reapply after lunch and I'm covered for the day.
I love layering glosses, it's like multiple colors in one. I can layer it over a darker shade for more dramatic sparkle, or a lighter peach for more of a sunkissed look. Wearing it alone makes my natural lip color shine. I have not noticed any drying out of my lips but I do always put some balm on in the morning before I apply any lipstick or gloss. It goes on really smoothly and is easy to apply if you don't have a mirror because the color is not too heavily pigmented.
Stacy B here! Happy Valentine's Day! What a weird, poloarized and kind of pointless holiday. I get the 'you should tell your loved one you love them everyday, not just today' argument, but I also get the 'it's such a nice reminder to do something special in a world that's totally busy and overwhelming" argument.
Yes, you SHOULD appreciate your loved ones everyday, but life is hectic and DOES get in the way. So yeah, this day is a good reminder for us all to slow down for a bit, hug your special someone, call your mother, support a local business by buying overpriced flowers or chocolates and enjoy it. Single or paired, there are people in your life you should show love for, and today's a great day to do it.
Thankfully, it's only one day. Red is not my color. I am wearing a nice red sweater with an adorable white button down shirt with black polka dots underneath it but I feel pale and washed out. Red just really gets me! No bold, sexy, red lips for me today! Or ever!
I hear over and over that "anyone can wear a red lip" but I just can't. I look terrible. No matter what shade I try, my skin looks pale and yellow against it. And they always start to look orange on me after a while. Once, I found a burgundy shade that almost worked, but it was just too bold for me. I like to play with my eye makeup, not lips. I've always been an eye girl, not a lip girl.
But, in the spirit of St. Valentine, I decided to try a red gloss from Wet n Wild. Of course, Wet n Wild because it's cheap, fun and a great brand to experiment with. Their quality has really improved but their prices have stayed the same so what better brand to try something new for less than $5.
Today, I'm wearing Wet n Wild's Mega Slick's Lip Gloss in Red Sensation. It's not bad. It's still red, but it's a gloss so the pigment is not all that strong. I layered it over a nice gold/nude color I have and that dulled the orange that always seems to come out when I try on a red. I still feel a bit self-conscious, it's redder than anything I'd wear normally, but so far no one's given me any crazy looks.
Meg here! Sometimes I can call 'em! I think it was back in 2006 when I proclaimed Liptini my most favortie lip stains ever! Back then they were a little boutique company right here in LA. The last time I was in NYC I was walking down the street and saw, much to my delight a big display of Liptini right in the drugstores window! It was a big drugstore too, like a Duane Reade or a Walgreens. It's a nice feeling when I am validated that "yes! that was a pulse my finger was feeling!"
I know I'm not alone in my obsession with these gorgeous colors, amazing staying power and conveniently packaged tubes of greatness. Over the years, I told all of my friends to go pick them up if they wanted a great item whose color you can layer for an even bolder effect. I know I know my stuff but it is great when I "google" the Liptini and see thousands of A+ reviews with lots of women agreeing with me! So you go Liptini! This Momma is so proud!
I recently tried Liptini's shade "Pink Squirell." It looks a lot redder in the tube but once it goes on, it's really a perfectly innocent, youthful and realistic pink. The type of pink lips you'd get if you were 5 years old and playing in the snow. It's that healthy natural pink that no one seems to ever have naturally. I know. Go figure. I like to layer so I apply it, let it dry and repeat 3x. Sometimes, I'll add a clear gloss or a complimentary shade in a pink.
Meg here! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so thankful for you and your support and comments! Today I'm talking holiday beauy with Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in the iconic shade of Cherries In The Snow. When I opened my pack from Revlon I was thrilled. I've been a fan of Cherries In The Snow since I was borrowing it from my Gram's vanity since I was 7 years old. The color is really great for the holidays and I always get tons of compliments when I wear it.
It goes on smooth and seems to make my teeth look whiter, as a coffee drinker and disgusting smoker, I need all the help I can get.
Lipliner has gotten a bad rap ever since the mid 90's. Am I the only one that remembers when women would line their lips with brown eyeliner and then fill in with a nude lip? Lord, that was awful, you know what was also pretty bad? When ladies mismatch shades. You don't want your liner to be darker than your lip color. When done properly, lipliner is a girl's secret weapon. I like to put it on after I've applied my lipstick. Revlon Colorstay Lipliner really does the trick.
Stacy B here! I ran out of my favorite lip balm last night. That's the worst. I could feel the curved edges lightly scraping my lips even after turning that little wheel at the bottom a dozen times. I knew it would happen, I've been using it forever but still, it's a hard thing to deal with. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who is very attached (and very territorial) about my bedside balm! Hubby's not even allowed to use it, and it's hidden away from my curious 3-year-old.
I have been using, religiously, every night for about 6 months now, the Jason Sunbrellas Lip Balm SPF 25.I know. No one needs SPF at night but this stuff smelled so good and lasted so long, it became my night time balm by default. I could put this on at night, sleep a full 8 hours (ha! I said COULD, not would...I do still have an infant) and wake up with lips that are moist, smooth, not chapped at all and ready for the day. Even while I'm still getting up at night now to feed a little one, I don't have to reapply throughout the night. One good swipe before it's lights out and I'm good for the day.
It has a great minty smell and flavor that is not too strong, doesn't sting or tingle like some mint flavors can do, and doesn't overwhelm you. The best part is it's all natural, so no artifical colors, no animal testing, nothing in there that will cause weird lip cancers or something and it really lasts. I've used this through winters, springs and summers and even in the dryest of New England winters, it worked. On weekends I'll put some on in the morning if I'm not wearing make up or haven't showered yet and I'm usually good for the whole day. Even through eating and showering, when I get around to it.
Stacy B here! I've had a lot of time to myself lately. Well, me and my newborn, but as much as I talk to him throughout the day, he doesn't talk back much. Being home with a very good but demanding little baby who much prefers to be held while walking around the house offers me a lot of time to play around with new make up and make up styles.
I know, it's pretty funny to think about me walking around the house with my handsome little man who probably spit up down my back, in yoga pants and a t-shirt, most likely un-showered and hair in a 2-day old ponytail with full glam, red-carpet-ready make up. But it's happened a few times! Sometimes I have time to wash it off before my hubby gets home but not always. He's gotten used to seeing me in various states of made up and just calmly takes the baby and lets me shower.
This certainly isn't the first time I've admitted to something slightly embarrassing in the name of make up reviews! And I bet it won't be the last.
Being home alone is a good time to try things you wouldn't normally try. I've been trying various shades of NYX's Pump it up Lip Plumper because I have always been afraid to try this before something important. What if I react badly to it and it makes me look like I got punched in the lips and then doesn't go down? I'm sure that's unrealistic, but when you are home all day with a baby, your mind goes to weird places...
The good news is that this did NOT make me look like a crazy balloon lipped lady. The bad news is that I'm not sure it did anything. It is a gloss so it can stand on its own which is nice. I didn't need to layer a lipstick under it to get color. Although there is a clear one which I could have used to layer if I wanted to. It's mildly sticky but not too annoying, and went on fairly smoothly. It's definitely not a high quality gloss, but it's not bad. It's usually sold for under $6, so keep that in mind.
At first, nothing happened. Then, after a few minutes, my lips started to tingle. It was a very weird feeling, like I ate too many of those little cinnamon red hot candies and licked my lips about a dozen times. I was afraid to talk too much or eat anything. I had an odd fear that it was like when you go to the dentist and get novacaine and if you talk or move too much you drool everywhere. Again, not realistic but come on, I am still up twice a night to feed my little man!
I kept checking the mirror to see if I could notice a difference. I couldn't so I asked the Mister. He very quickly said he could tell that my lips were a little more swollen than normal. Too quickly. I am not sure I believe him. And yes, he used 'swollen' which I guess isn't the worst thing he could have said.