Monday, March 31, 2008

When do you put on your makeup?

First, when you put on your makeup, do you do it in a hurry because you feel like you have to, or do you take a little while to do it and enjoy every moment? I treat my makeup routine like a time to relax in the morning. It's like sitting down to enjoy a cup of fresh coffee and just prepare for the day.

Second question: When do you put on your makeup? Right when you wake up while the kids are still asleep? After you put them down for a nap? On the way to work? I usually do mine before my daughter wakes up, but sometimes if I need a little extra time to sleep in the morning, I'll wait 'til her first nap of the day (that's when I do my tutorials, too. LOL).

Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips

I bought some Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips sort of on a whim because Wal-Mart was out of both the Crest Whitestrips and the Equate version of Crest Whitestrips. Then I started thinking these might be even better. Why? Because I won't have to touch the nasty strips to throw them out once 30 minutes are up, and I won't have to worry about keeping an eye on the clock, either. I can stick them in my mouth and forget about them until the urge to brush out the residue just gets too great. LOL

Here's my tentative review on them since I'm not done with the box yet:
Pros:
1. They are quick. They've dissolved long before the 30 minutes you have to leave the other brands on.
2. They taste like mint. I'm not a fan of mint, normally, but I can tolerate this flavor.
3. They're not gooey before you get them in your mouth. One thing I always hated about Crest Whitestrips is that they'd cling to my hands and get the bleach stuff all over.
4. They're $21.00 at Wal-Mart. That's cheaper than some of the others.
5. So far, no gum/tooth sensitivity. I usually get that within the first 3 days if I'm going to get it.
6. I can forget about them.
7. It's easier to talk with these in than the others.
8. I think the Listerine ones cover more teeth than other brands. The strips seem longer.

Cons:
1. Not a con for me, but my husband tried them and he said they dissolved too fast to do anything. He had a problem getting them to stay where he put them (I didn't).
2. I haven't noticed as dramatic of a difference in whitening as I did when I used Crest Whitestrips. I have noticed a little though, and as I said earlier, I'm not done with the box yet.
3. They feel kind of gross in your mouth after they dissolve a good bit.
4. You have to swallow the dissolved strips. Well, you don't have to, I guess, but who wants to stand by the sink that long?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

MAC Pink Pearl Pigment

I prefer to buy pigments from MAC when I know I'm going to be able to use them in more places than just my eyelids. I bought Pink Pearl because I knew it'd be a pretty color for lids, lips, and even cheeks. I already had Pink Opal which is just as versatile. Today, my look consisted of:

Clinique Supermoisture foundation
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
MAC Bare Study Pain Pot from lash line to brows
MAC Sharkskin Shadestick from lash line to crease, inner corner to outer
MAC Pink Pearl Pigment from lashes to right above the crease (so it looked like two different colors against the Sharkskin, then the Bare Study)
MAC Pink Opal Pigment to highlight and blend out under brows, on the inner corner, and around the outer edges of the shadow
MAC Pink Pearl on cheeks
MAC Pink Opal to highlight cheeks/temples
Vaseline (a small amount) on lips
MAC Pink Pearl Pigment tapped into the Vaseline and swirled in with ring finger to make gloss
Bourjois black liquid liner
L'Oreal Voluminous Naturale Mascara in Very Black

It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. I really only used two, maybe three (counting Sharkskin as a base) color products. It's a neat little monochromatic look to do in a hurry. You could even go ahead and pre-mix some Vaseline and pigment in a small jar if you'd like, to carry with you on the go. The eyes look like a lot more work went into them than what really did because of the multiple colors in the pigment itself, plus the fact that it's blended from one color base to another helps look like I put on a blue-violet and a sheer magenta.

I would've shared some pics, but I couldn't manage to take one that didn't make me look like I'd been out all night drinking. LOL I promise I wasn't! I was up 'til 2:30 laughing at random things with the hubby while he tried to watch something on TV, and then the baby woke me up at 7-something.

Oh, and as a side note: If you wanted MAC's Hollywood Nights lipstick from the Heatherette collection but they sold out before you could grab one, go to your local drugstore and look at Wet 'n' Wild 511B. It's sooo close in color.

When Heatherette's not out anymore, you can still get Pink Pearl pigment by calling the number at MACPro.com. You don't have to have a membership card to order; you just have to have a card to order online.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hot Pink Lips Sorta Tutorial

Lips are pretty self-explanatory, but in a salute to warm weather, I'm playing with the bright lips. Ignore the bangs. I hate them as much as you do and can't wait 'til they grow out again. ;)

I used:
Wet 'n' Wild Creme Lip Liner in 664C
MAC Girl About Town Lipstick
MAC Pink Poodle Lipglass



Have a great weekend!

Funny Babies

I am going nutso with the off-topic (or just slightly on-topic) stuff today! I was on YouTube and I saw this funny baby video I have to share. Start your weekend with a smile:

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer

I really, really want to read this book. I hope I can pick it up tonight, actually. My husband was listening to NPR and when he came home, he said, "I'm taking you to buy a book!" Unfortunately, it wasn't out then, but it's out now! It sounds right up my alley, because I was/am one of those girls who wants a career and time with her kids.

I wouldn't want to give up my WAHM status for anything, but I would really like to get some more writing done than I actually do. This sounds inspirational and entertaining all at once. Wish I'd written it! LOL

Here's the book:


Sounds like Sex and the City for the baby folk. I needed an upgrade from the single girls' entertainment.

So my daughter's learned to shriek...

I'm talking blood-curdling, ear piercing (hey, I needed a new one--I only have two in each ear...wouldn't mind one in the cartilage at the top), how-the-heck-do-you-listen-to-that-sound-inside-your-head-you-crazy-munchkin SHRIEKING.

It's enough to send me running from stores and cafes to protect the ears and sanity of others (unfortunately I can't leave the sound behind, so I'm not commenting on my own ears or sanity). If I'm lucky, everybody else leaves first, thinking the fire alarm's going off and they're all about to die. Then when the shriekfest is over, I can sit there in a deserted coffee shop with my favorite drink. Me, the kid, and maybe the person who makes me the good drinks. Cafe Americano, anyone?

To keep it on-topic, let's just say it's hard to show off your makeup very well with your head permanently turned sideways, one ear forward and one ear back, trying to miss a direct assault of the squeals, face scrunched completely in anticipation of the next scream (do you have to be so dang happy all the time? Kidding, kidding...glad she's a happy baby), lips pointing down on each side making a parabola even a TI-85 couldn't graph (eh? eh?)...

Guess I better start doing my hair instead.

Heatherette Tutorial


As promised, I tried again on the Heatherette eye tutorial. It worked this time. Unfortunately, I had to edit the heck out of it to put it on YouTube, then I just ended up having to do it in two parts anyway. I changed a few things (eye liner and lipstick). Hope you enjoy!

Part One:


Part Two:


Sorry again about the horrible editing! I've never done it before today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just for Fun--a Baby Post

My daughter just got a big playpen to replace the smaller Pack-n-Play one she was used to. Here's her reaction:

MAC Heatherette Trio 1 (supposed to be a tutorial)

Man, I sat down and did my first tutorial and it was pretty good (I think). But guess what happened when I tried to save it? Something! Don't know what. LOL So I don't have it anymore. I thought about wiping all my makeup off and starting over, but my daughter might wake up and then I'd have to walk around looking scary for the rest of the day (I just got my makeup on at 3:30!). It's been a looong day. So I got a little goofy with the aftermath. And I, having no shame, decided to post it anyway. I hope to be able to try again tomorrow, with even better results. There are some pics at the end of the video, but they turned out lighter than I'd have liked. Darn iPhoto. I thought I'd be quick about it.



Here's what I used:
Face: Maybelline Mineral Power Liquid and Powder, MAC First Flush MSF (?)
Eyes: Bare Study Paint Pot, Delphic Fluidline, Heatherette Trio 1 (all colors), Rimmel Exaggerate Full Color Eye Definer in Noir (and it looks wonky on the video, but I'm not sure why because it isn't crazy in person), MAC Glitterliner in Pewterpink, L'Oreal Voluminous Naturale in Blackest Black
Lips: Dr Pepper Lip Smacker (and it is lip smackin' good)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Curling with a Flat Iron? Who Knew?

Sorry the pic's so dorky looking. I had to hold my head at some weird angles to show the curls in my hair. LOL! Anyway, I got up bright and early this morning and instead of being productive, I went over to YouTube to see how to curl my hair with my Chi since I've never been able to manage it. I found this tutorial:


It works pretty well. I need some practice, but those are my first-timer results up there (I've tried before, but I got NO curl at all because I wasn't doing it right, so I don't count that). And you know, it's way quicker than a curling iron! Easier, too, once you get the hang of it. I like to think it does less damage to your hair since the flat iron's always moving rather than sitting there for 20 seconds on each chunk you want to curl.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Atlantis Prophecy

This is way off-topic, but I'm always up for promoting new books--especially when the writer seems like such a nice person. I just saw the trailer for The Atlantis Prophecy by Thomas Greanias and it looks like a fun read, so I'm going to share it:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunscreen

I was typing an email back to my aunt today and I started talking about how anti-sun I am. I slap on a sunless tanner to cut the glare from my legs, and I dabble in bronzers for my face. I also love bronzers for my legs that don't come off unless I tell them to (with soap and water).

As the editor of LoveToKnow Sunglasses, I am always preaching about wearing sunglasses that have 100% UV protection. If you don't have the UV protection but you have the shade from the tinted lenses, your pupils widen more and allow more sunlight in--doing more damage to your eyes in the long run.

So anyway, that brings me back around to protecting your skin from the sun. Want to fight wrinkles before they start (how's that for sounding like a commercial)? Skip the sun. Skip the tanning beds. If you want color, get it from a bottle or a compact. The cool part is, when you get your color from a bottle, you can scrub it off a few days later for a retro glam look featuring red lips on a fair face. It's like being a chameleon.

And you aren't left with freckles, moles, or skin cancer for your trouble. Maybe a little dry skin. Maybe.

Since I'm just a sunscreen nerd and not an expert, I'll direct you to Sunless.com for all the information about which sunscreen is best and why. While there, you'll also see step-by-step tips on how to apply your tan, how to manage your tan on vacation, and how to choose products that will work best for you. I will say that my favorite sunscreen is Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 45. It's not sticky like so many others.

During the summer, I hope to hop back onto the sunless tanning wagon and do some reviews of my own.

As proof that I'm really freaking out about the fact that I can't put sunscreen on my daughter until she turns one, here's a picture:
Yep, the sunglasses are crooked, but she's a baby on the go! LOL She was obviously not as shaded as I'd have liked, but right after the picture was taken, we turned our backs to the sun for our walk. She got so many giggles while we were walking around the park (we straightened her sunglasses before proceeding!).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Products That Do Double Duty

Say that three times fast.

When I'm in a hurry, I hate having to pull out tons and tons of products from my stash just to put on a presentable face. Half the time I'm going out to take dry cleaning or grab some coffee, so it's not like I need to shoot for a seductive smoky eye or smudge-free red lips (not every day, at least!).

I'm not the 1950's housewife who vacuums her house in heels with one arm and holds a baby yanking on her pearls with the other. Quite the opposite, in fact. I like colorful jewelry that sparkles, I've just about forgotten how my vacuum works (my husband loves the vacuum), and I'm not so into multi-tasking that I hold my baby while I do what I consider "heavy" housework. And those heels? Well, I'm back in heels as an earlier post will prove, but I don't just wear them around the house for fun! LOL

While the 1950's housewife image is the epitome of multi-tasking, I prefer to do it in other ways. I like it when my makeup multi-tasks. It gives me more free time so I don't have to multi-task at such insane levels. Here are a few of my favorite multi-tasking products:

Pigments/loose shadows: So many different lines have them, but honestly, I don't have a favorite. NYX is cheap and it's just as good as MAC if you can get past the PITA packaging. Dump it into a small screw-top jar and you're good. If you buy neutral colors, you can use the same pigments for eye shadow, blush/highlighter, and lipstick (just mix with chapstick or clear gloss). You can even get a slightly shimmery one in a color that's close to your skin tone and make your mundane liquid or loose powder foundation come to life by mixing them together.
Bourjois has the mini sizes for $9 at Ulta. It's not as good of a deal as the MAC Pigments for $19, but who uses those whole jars up anyway?

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly: This one won't work for everyone, but if your coloring is similar to mine (P-A-L-E), try using this as a concealer. It's also an excellent eye shadow base, which is what it's designed for. If I don't want to mess with eye shadow on top, it helps to even out the coloring of my lids, too.

Basically, I use this on my upper and lower lids every day. If it's too pink-based for you, try Soft Ochre, which is more golden. You may even want to branch out to the Paints for more colors. Make sure if you're ordering online, you check the finish of the product. Some are too shimmery to use under the eye. You're looking for the ones that say "Cream" after their name.

If I do feel like doing an eye shadow/liner look, this works very well for holding them both on for hours and hours. I prefer these to the Urban Decay Primer Potion everyone talks about. At least you can access all of the product you paid for (if you don't tear open the packaging on the Urban Decay stuff, you throw away over half...and a tube is almost $20).

Mineral (Powder) Makeup: Mix it with the moisturizer you were going to put on underneath anyway to avoid having to break out the kabuki brush and create a tinted moisturizer right in the palm of your hand.

Stila Convertible Color: Put it on your cheeks with a skunk brush like the MAC 187 or use your fingertips to distribute the color. Then put some on your lips. Voila--fresh-faced beauty. I have this one in Peony. I really, really want to try their product called Cherry Crush but I couldn't find it in the Ulta near me. It's in the same type of container as their Lip Glazes (click-click-click).

Stila Convertible Eye Color: I will include this though it's not technically one single product that you use for more than one thing. It's one product that has eye shadow, liner, and a smudger in one. It's really handy to just have to pull that one out, rather than fish around for complementary shadow and liner shades, then something to smudge the liner with. The one I have is Onyx. There's a liner on one end, a smudger on the other, with an eye shadow camped out between the two ends (twist the middle apart...some people don't even notice this part of it at first...I didn't).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Curse of the Sweatpants

Before I ever got pregnant, I swore I wouldn't be one of those moms who forgot that the cosmetics aisle was an array of dazzling colors, a smorgasbord begging for the touch of a creative hand (or even a cheap brush). It is conveniently next to the Bottom Butter (great stuff, by the way! It doesn't sting little baby butts and it smells like cocoa butter.), the baby powder, and the lavender vanilla baby wash, after all.

I promised myself I'd wear "real" clothes and became even more vehement in that vow during the last few months of pregnancy when yoga pants and sweats were all that would fit my semi-newly-acquired--and untouchable to strangers, dagnabbit--weighted beach ball belly.

After giving birth, the weight didn't just fall away like I'd planned on it doing (ha ha). I was convinced I'd be one of those miracle girls whose skinny jeans fit the day she left the hospital. There's nothing to that whole wishful thinking thing, y'all. It didn't work. Pregnancy may have robbed me of my sanity (and arguably my sense of humor on especially hot days when I was 9 months pregnant in August), but it obviously didn't snatch my imagination away. So...on went the yoga pants, the sweat pants, and even the fleece pants with the drawstring waistband--again.

They just kept coming back.

I think I've finally shaken my desire to wear them all the time, now that my daughter's more manageable and I have time to button my blue jeans (and zip them too!). It could also be that the weather's too cold for such thin pants, but I like to think that I don't have to live in fear anymore. Fear of summer, fear of my next pregnancy (will the sweat pants really dig their claws in, along with my well-loved watermelon colored Crocs flip-flops?), fear of soft and stretchy cotton in bright pink, coral, and even gray...

For now, I'll leave my stretchy pants for going to the gym. And I'll keep slapping on makeup every morning like I'm getting ready for work outside the house--not a day of errands and writing articles on my couch. It's kind of become a relaxation technique anyway.

Stay tuned (probably for a few years) for Pregnant Crystal, Part II: the Return of the Sweatpants. In the meantime, I'll keep blabbing on about makeup, my daughter, and more. I promise I'll do some actual tutorials soon. I've gotten a little more behind in my work than I'd like to be, so I haven't been posting as much as usual.

Speaking of multiple pregnancies (not pregnancies with multiples!), for those of you with more than one child, how long did you wait between babies? I know I want about a soccer team (though hubby says no more than 4, but preferably we'll stop at 2), but I'm not sure how to time it all out. Some days, I think it'd be best to go ahead and try now and get all the craziness out of the way at one time. Other days, I think it's best to wait until the first is at least potty trained. How did you decide to space out your kids?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Plucking Your Brows

A reader had a great question--what's the best pair of tweezers on the market? Tweezerman tweezers! Not only are they very, very precise and often come with a free sharpening certificate, but they are keeeey-yute! There are bright colors, animal print, and more utilitarian colors (if you must). They're eye-catching on your bathroom counter, but the most important thing they catch is your hair.

I'd always read about Tweezerman tweezers in magazines and on different beauty sites, but I was never a believer. My slanted tip silver tweezers from the drugstore were fine, right? Then my friend gave me a [red] pair for Christmas with the seal of her approval.


They're sharp, so they can really get in there and grab the smallest hairs (those aggravating ones that grow in right at the top of your eyelid that you have to try over and over again to grab, for example). I don't stand there, mirror in one hand, tweezers in the other, pinching and pulling at my delicate eyelid skin anymore.

Why not just go get them waxed or threaded, you might ask? Because I prefer to spend my money other ways, and I really don't trust other people with hot wax on my eyebrows on a regular basis. I like my brows thick, but not unruly, and a lot of places will take half of the hair off rather than just cleaning them up. So I go and have my brows waxed every few months, tweezing and trimming on my own in between sessions.

Threading's supposedly awesome, but again, that's trusting your face to someone else's opinion on what a face should look like (LOL), and I've never found a place that does threading.

Anyway, you can find Tweezerman tweezers at Ulta and Sephora for right around $20-$25. You can also order online at Tweezerman.com or Amazon.com. If you order the mini green tweezers from Tweezerman's website, they'll donate $1.00 to the National Arbor Association--for every one of these sets of tweezers sold, a tree will be planted.