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My new favorite lipstick (and her friends)

Danielle Bisbano - Sunday, February 10, 2013

So, yeah, I’m in Rhode Island so I’m one of those people that got completely snowed in this weekend. Thankfully, we never lost power so I have actually been loving every minute of it. Playing with makeup ranks among my absolute favorite things to do. Surprised? I didn’t think so. Being housebound for three days ensures that I can actually justify a few hours of play time. Woo hoo!

I recently scored some awesome Make Up For Ever lipstick palettes at 50% off because they are being discontinued. I initially ordered one of them and liked it so much I scooped up another three before it was too late. Like a good girl, I do my due diligence and try out every single color before I put it in my kit. Yesterday was a perfect day for such a venture and, twenty lipstick shades later, I know exactly how each one wears and applies and I am psyched that I just built up my kit with some quality items at a great price.

Here is my conundrum: I fell in love with one of the shades. What’s so conundrum-ish about that? Well, this perfect lipstick is now discontinued.

Truth be told, I haven’t found a shade that I like for myself THIS MUCH since I was 15 and fell in love with a color called Partly Peach from the long extinct Jane line. It’s a little scary that I still remember this in such detail; my makeup obsession runs deep! It was a CVS special and cost probably three dollars but I loved it. It’s long gone now and, had I known it would be gone forever, I would have saved that scraped out tube to bring to a makeup counter so at least I could have a chance at finding a suitable replacement.

I shall not, however, suffer the same fate this time! Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was able to figure out what this shade actually is and find some full tube leftovers on Amazon. Yeah, baby!

Nigel Beauty Emporium has these palettes for $20 each right now but they are running out. You will have to call to order them because they are not listed on their web site. If you want to check out the shades you can go to the Make Up For Ever product page but you can’t actually buy it there. You could probably do some careful Googling and track some down on Amazon or somewhere else. Try Googling “make up for ever lipstick palette”. They are a great purchase because you really get a good variety of shades and finishes in every palette. There are creamy, full-color shades along with sheer, shimmery shades and they all blend really well with each other if you want to mix them up yourself. The already dug into palette above (hehe) is number 5, Praline Harmony.

Okay, I am signing off for now. I have an Amazon order to get in ;-)

Milk of magnesia is a medicine cabinet miracle worker

Danielle Bisbano - Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Stroll through the Whole Body section of your local Whole Foods and you will find boatloads of hair, skin and beauty products. Do you know why? Because these are the more natural versions of the products that you probably use every day. The fact that they are showing up at Whole Foods should at least make you pay attention. The reason they are there is because the drugstore and salon brands are often loaded with chemicals of various natures and other undesirables. Deodorant is no exception.

Most anti-perspirant/deodorants contain aluminum. Without getting into all the details and exploring a plethora of undoubtedly conflicting reports on the safety of such an ingredient, let’s just assume that we don’t want to be putting aluminum on our skin, especially so very close to our lymph nodes. But if we eliminate aluminum, we are basically taking the anti-perspirant out of the equation all together so try a talc-free baby powder or cornstarch instead. So now we need to find an effective, all natural deodorant. There are dozens to choose from, that’s for sure. Let me know if you ever find one that actually works! There is a solution, though. One you would probably never guess.

The star of part one of the medicine cabinet miracle worker is Milk of Magnesia. Yes, Milk of Magnesia. As in the laxative. Surprise! This stuff works incredibly well for women AND men. One bottle will cost you about five dollars and will last you for at least six months. Try to find a generic brand as the Phillips brand contains an additional ingredient which is a form of bleach; the generic brands are even more natural. Simply pour out a small amount in your hand and massage in with your fingers or a cotton pad. If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can pour some in a separate container and leave the lid off to let it dry out a little and therefore thicken slightly to make it easier to apply.
Milk of Magnesia is colorless and odorless and works perfectly on its own but it also makes a great base for your own homemade deodorant concoction. You could add some baking soda, essential oils of tea tree or lavender and some apple cider vinegar to name a few. Do a little research and make your own master mix.

Amazed? Just wait until you try it. Oh, and we’re not done with M.O.M. just yet. She’s got a few other tricks up her sleeve. Stay tuned …

The Real Girl

How to find your favorite makeup: Part one

Danielle Bisbano - Thursday, August 09, 2012

How many cosmetics brands can you name off the top of your head? You’re already mentally rattling off Maybelline, Cover Girl, L’Oreal. Those are easy! How about a few more? Lancome, Estee Lauder, Clinique? Of course you have heard of them. But what about INGLOT, KohGenDo or Jordana? Maybe not. Why is that? One word: advertising.

 

Try to flip though a fashion magazine without finding an ad for one or even all of these companies. Most of these brands use mega celebrities to represent their brands. Lancome has Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet and Emma Watson to name a few. Revlon has Emma Stone, Halle Berry and Olivia Wilde and the list could go on and on. These are huge corporations with really big budgets but there are literally hundreds of other brands out there that you have probably never heard of simply because you have never seen an advertisement. Some may be expensive but lots of them are not. This is where some industry-specific tools can really come in handy.

 


If you are interested in makeup, or obsessed with it like I am, you should know about a few great ways to wade through the endless choices of products and find the ones that are really worth your time and money. The cosmetics industry is a multi-billion dollar business. Don’t be a casualty with an empty wallet and only your makeup graveyard to show for it (you have one and you know it). We’re going to explore three great methods, one at a time, that you can use to make smart decisions about your makeup and skin care purchases.

 

First, we will consider online reviews. Let’s say you already know the product you are thinking of buying. Google any product name and you will find the vendors that sell it and, likely, a 1-5-star rating. This might be enough to get you started and help you decide if it is still worth looking into. When you see a product on Sephora with a thousand reviews and just about five stars, chances are it is probably pretty good! If that’s enough for you to justify your purchase, you’re all set. If you want more detail or want to learn about great products that you never have even heard of, then Makeup Alley is the place. This is a really helpful site. You can look up just about any product (makeup, skin care, hair care, etc.) and you will get detailed reviews and ratings from real people that have actually used it. One important thing to keep in mind: pay attention to the number of reviews for the item you are researching. An obscure product with just one review and 5-star rating probably won’t hold up against a product with 500 reviews and a 4-star rating. It's a numbers game and this is a place where quantity matters. Makeup Alley is a wonderful resource for learning how products work (and don't work!) in the real world. Valuable details like “this color actually comes out more red than brown” can be your deciding factor when trying to pick out a new lipstick.

 


In the next article we will explore another tool with valuable insights. Video tutorials.

 

 


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