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Archive for the ‘Make Up’ Category

Again, inspired by some of the wonderful ladies out there on the intertubes, I’ve discovered something wonderful about beauty organization and efficiency: they’re connected!

Yes, it’s true, the more organized you are, the more efficient your morning routine can be.

Let’s take a look at what I started with:

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This first pic is my messy bathroom, with my products and tools lying around.  The second pic is my ever growing collection of make-up.  It doesn’t fit in one bag any more and whenI’m looking for a particular color of shadow, I’m constantly searching through the bag.

My first idea was to get several plastic divider-type things to organize my drawers. Then I thought, “What would be really great would be if I could buy a vanity.  But I don’t have room for a vanity.”  But then I realized…. “Wait… I already have a vanity!”

Of course, most of you probably won’t have a vanity lying around in your house, but I just happened to have an empty one in my guest bedroom which was part of a set of bedroom furniture my parents gave me.  I then went out and found plenty of drawer organizing tools at my local Target and this was the result!

287I’ve since added two matching lamps that I had stored in a closet.

Here are the drawers:288290

The first pic is of the middle drawer.  As my collection grows, I will probably move my eyeshadows to a separate drawer and use this middle drawer just for the daily essentials.  But isn’t it fun!  I open up my drawers and it looks like a beauty counter!

I went on and on about how excited I was about this space all my own to my husband, but I won’t do that here.  Suffice it to say, I am much more organized, it makes things easier, and my morning routine is more efficient.

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Make-up: MAC

I live in a town where we have just recently seen designer-brand make-up appear in a cute boutique store downtown.  Prior to the arrival of this store, a woman’s options were limited to Macy’s, Herberger’s, Wal-Mart and Target, unless you wanted to purchase Aveda products at the local salon.  At the department stores you had your choice of Este Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, and recently, Prescriptives.  Of course, Target and Wal-Mart carry the typical brands.

As I’ve already said, I’ve discovered recently that if I spend more money on a higher-end product, I’ve been much happier with the results.  A great make-up brush helps too.

I’ve only been using Bare Escentuals for the past year, and while I love that make-up line, the pigment in the eyeshadows wasn’t nearly as deep as I would have liked it to be.  As I pondered a way to improve my make-up regimine, I also realized that I as in deep need of an eye shadow base.

Enter MAC products, purchased at a Macy’s in Washington, D.C. and only available about and hour and a half away from my town.  I purchased the highlighting stick from MAC, as well as two brilliant shades, a bright purple and a deep forest green.  It’s been a while since I’ve used pressed powder shadows, as all Bare Escentuals shadows are in mineral powder form.  But these MAC eye shadows are simply brilliant.  They come in a nice, small, black container with a large viewing circle in the center, making for easy identification.  The shadows are smooth and apply evenly and smoothly and look bright and exciting on the eye.

The highlighting stick, which is used as a base for shadow, works wonders as well and I’m surprised I’ve actually gone this long without it.  You can apply the highlighting stick on its own, which works well for an on-the-go application.  On me it is a shimmering nude color.  I apply the creamy, marker-ish product all over the eyelide.  Then I apply my eyeshadow, usually below the brow bone, leaving the highlighting product alone to do its job near my brows.  Using the highlighting stick makes a significant difference to the application of the product, as well as helping it stay bright longer and preventing creasing.  I’ve also realized that highlighting stick makes my mineral eyeshadow look better too, which is great because I’ve been becoming more and more disenchanted with those eye shadows for a while now.

Additionally, I purchased a MAC mascara in a color called brownette.  The mascara comes in a black stick that is wider than it is long.  I think this accounts for the fact that  I find more product on the brush in this mascara than I normally did on other mascaras.  MAC mascara makes my eyelashes really pop in a way that no other mascaras have.  It separates the lashes well and coats evenly and thoroughly, but most importantly, the MAC mascara is what tops off my perfect eye.  The mascara gives my eyes a pop of glam and, along with the shockingly purple shadow, creates a beautiful look that I wish I could wear even more often.

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Beauty Secrets

In every grocery store aisle all across America are hundreds upon hundreds of articles about the best beauty secrets that you can use to look amazing.

You don’t have to look far, though, to find the secret to great beauty.  I could be very cliche and tell you that the secret to great beauty is within yourself and that you just have to have confidence in yourself and your own beauty and that it will shine through, no matter what.  To a certain extent, I believe this with all of my heart.  I won’t for a minute tell you that you have to be thin, wear the right clothes, or have great hair to be beautiful.  However, today I’m going to talk about something that a lot of women neglect: their make up.

Make up shouldn’t be about covering up.  It should be about enhancing your best features.  The problem is that cheap products from the drug store are not going to work for most women.  There are certainly some products out there that work well, and Sara from Bombshell Beauty regularly features these items in her blog.

I’ve gone through stages in my adult life regarding the kind of make-up person I am.  At first, I wore make-up for the sake of wearing make-up.  I got free items from Clinique and wore them whether they looked good or not.  Next, I was a make-up whore, buying things at the drug store, online, and from department stores.  I tried everything and I tried wearing everything.  Both of these strategies did not work.  Next, I tried the minimalist approach, wearing only bronzer and lip gloss.  While this works for some girls, I wanted color and excitement.  I’ve now finally settled on what I think will be the best approach to make-up for me for the rest of my life.

The secret, ladies, is buying quality products and taking care of them.  A little boutique store called About Face opened up in Rochester a few years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The women there are friendly without being pushy and they are willing to help you find what you need.  I would suggest finding a similar store in your home town.  Find a place that carries specialty products that you wouldn’t normally find in a drug store or a department store.  Look for something small where the people who work there are willing to let you try different things.

My first purchase there was the Bare Essentials basic kit.  This product does not work for everyone, but it has worked very well for me over the past year and a half.  Once I found that I like the products, I started trying the eye shadows.  The shadows comes in dozens of different colors and shades and it is easy to find something you like.  The best part is that the pigments are strong and the shadow is easy to apply.  Another secret that I’ve discovered is that a good brush is worth the money.  You may be turned off  by the $30 price tag on a simple eye shadow brush, but trust me — that brush will last you forever and you will be so glad you bought it!  As long as you take care of your brushes by cleaning them weekly, you won’t have any problems.

Now my make-up drawer is full of high quality items that are going to last me a very long time.  The brushes, blushes, glosses, and eye shadows I’ve acquired work wonders no matter what look I’m going for.  I’ve also discovered that this approach is fairly easy to keep up.  Now that I know I like a certain shade, for instance, when it runs out, I just go buy a new one and don’t bother trying a new shade just for the sake of getting a new shade.

While I’ve probably spent more on make-up in the last year than I have in my entire life time, I am more happy now with my make-up than I’ve ever been.  The real secret, friends, is finding the make-up that works for you, using high quality brushes and products, and sticking with something that works.

And then find that confidence that is within you because without it, you won’t look your best.

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