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Six Products I Cannot Live Without

Danielle Bisbano - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Drawers, cases, plastic bins.  Wicker baskets, Tupperware, glass jars.  Carts, boxes and pouches.  I have makeup everywhere.  And lots of it.  It’s a sickness.  I get it.  I accept it.  I am working on it.  It is hard to resist all the colors and textures.  I am only human after all. 

We don’t need to address my skin care product graveyard just yet, either, smarty pants.

With all these choices, there is probably something to be said for the products I keep coming back to time after time.  The staples of my kit.  The things I buy in multiples and often give away just to share the joy.  I figured you might want to know about them so here goes . . .

 Beautycounter Every Night PM Hydrating Cream (a.k.a. the best facial moisturizer ever)

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This was the first product that turned me onto Beautycounter.  I had been actively searching for the perfect moisturizer for my kit.  I needed something that wasn’t “active” so it wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin.  It needed to absorb completely without leaving any residue and it needed to play well with makeup.  This product does it all.  The difference in the softness of your skin after even just one use is remarkable.  For really dry skin, you can literally apply layer after layer and it will completely absorb and soak in until the skin is soft and supple.  It has worked wonders with rosacea and eczema and is gentle enough even for really sensitive skin.  It works great mixed with foundation to create a hydrating, fresh look that is perfect for summer.  Although this is technically a night cream, both the day and night creams are interchangeable.  Every Night PM Hydrating Cream retails for $44

 Beautycounter Countertime Vibrant Eye Perfector

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Same deal here.  Long list of “must do”s for my kit.  The most important of which is that it fully absorb.  You can’t apply eye makeup to greasy skin.  This one is perfect.  It absorbs completely and leaves the eye area refreshed and ready for the next step.  This product retails for $55.

 Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator

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Koh Gen Do does highlighting right.  Such a subtle, soft shimmer.  Nothing too shiny or sparkly.  Less than one pump will subtly highlight the high points of your face.  Dab under or over makeup and gently blend.  I love this under airbrush foundation.  If you want to feel like a goddess, mix a few pumps of this with your body lotion for a barely there, all over shimmer.  This also comes in a golden tan shade.  This product retails for $39.

 MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture

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This is the most amazing nude shade ever.  I use this on almost every single person in my chair.  It is the perfect blend of pink and light brown and it goes well with pretty much every lipstick or as a base for a layer of gloss.  The texture is perfect; not too moist, not too dry.  I can’t live without it.  This product retails for $15.

 Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze

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I got this when I did makeup for a RISD fashion show a few years ago.  Maybelline was one of the sponsors and in addition to getting actually getting paid (!) each makeup artist got to take the entire line home with them.  I shared most of those products with some appreciative friends but these babies stayed in my kit.  This particular color is another one that flatters almost everyone.  Sometimes I just use it as a base for darker shadows due to its staying power but it is awesome on its own, too.  This is a cream shadow that you can apply with your fingers or a synthetic brush.  Ironically, you can also blend and buff it out with a fluffy brush.  Apply one layer for a soft wash of color or add additional layers for intensity.  It is a very versatile product at about $7.

 Jordana Squeeze’n’Shine Super Shiny Tasty Lip Gloss in Honey Luau

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Wow, that name is a mouthful and kind of makes me feel like a 12-year old for using it but I am telling you it is a cheap little wonder!  This gloss is a golden beige with shimmer and it smells like vanilla.  The color is so pretty and it looks amazing over everything.  Extra bonus for it being $1.99.  I like it better than my $25 gloss that is the same shade and half the size.  The only place to get Jordana is online or at Walgreens.

 Well, there they are.  Six of my all-time faves.  I hope a few of them will make it into your rotation.

The Real Girl

New Jordana Stain is the Balm

Danielle Bisbano - Sunday, September 15, 2013

The next time you go to Walgreens to stock up on your fave Jordana mascara, you are going to see that they revamped the whole line!  I'll give you the lowdown on the new mascara formulas later. Right now, there are more important things to talk about.  Like their new Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain.  In a word?  Wowza.  These things are amazing.  Part lipstick, part lip balm, part stain and all the best parts!  They go on super smooth and pack quite a punch as a stain.  This is me wearing Cranberry Crush; my favorite shade for fall:

My favorite thing about these little guys is their versatility.  You can apply a full coat for rich, intense color or pat on and blend with your fingertips for a soft wash of color.  Or you can just use it as a stain.  Put it on, wait a minute, wipe it off and top with clear lip balm or gloss.

I don't have a whole lot to complain about with these little miracle crayons.  I will say that not all shades are true to color.  Sweet Pink seems like a soft pink but it goes on just about as bright as Tropical Frenzy.  Terra Crave also wears much redder than the tube looks. I haven't had these long enough to comment on the packaging.  The product twists up and I am not entirely confident about how well the mechanics will hold up but for $2.99 you literally can't lose.

My favorite shades are Nude Chic (a cool-toned neutral with a hint of shimmer), Tropical Craze (a pure hot pink for when you're in the mood for a bright) and Honey Love (a neutral warm brownish-pink). Rock’n’Rouge is also a phenomenal shade of red but you know me and red lipstick.  It takes a miracle to make it out the door with it on.  Oh, yeah, Cranberry Crush is pretty awesome, too.

Here is a picture of MOST of the shades:

Honey Love and Nude Chic are missing because I already gave them away.  I like to share!  Interesting side point; these are paraben-free. At least they are making an effort!  Here is the link to the product page.

 So, there you have it.  Off to Walgreens you go . . .

The Real Girl

 

 

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara

Danielle Bisbano - Friday, June 21, 2013

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It just so happens that mascara is one of those products that is not easy to make “healthy”.  Dr. Hauschka makes a great one if you are willing to shell out a few extra bucks for it but if you are looking to save some money or, if you’re like me and you need five for your kit, one of my favorites is just $2.99 and it is great.
 
Jordana Best Lash Extreme doesn’t come with a bunch of claims.  None, really, since there is actually no packaging to speak of; just a clear plastic seal around the tube.  You have to discover for yourself what it does.  I kind of like that.  Going in not expecting anything as opposed to outrageous claims and ridiculous photos of airbrushed models sporting fake lashes.  Case in point: look at this ad for a Dior mascara.  I’m sorry but a mascara ad sporting a photo with lashes THIS fake should come with an asterisk, a disclaimer AND an LOL! 

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Call me crazy but doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?  It’s like a shampoo ad where the model is wearing a wig.  False advertising much?  Anyway …
 
I think this mascara was the first Jordana item I ever bought.  It makes sense because there was some reason why I went back to buy practically everything else in the line.  It is that good.
 
This mascara makes your lashes long and thick with just one coat.  It’s not considered waterproof, at least it doesn’t say so on the tube but my own test says it sure is.  Smear some on the back of your hand and then try to rinse it off.  Not happening.  Yet it doesn’t feel hard and stiff like most waterproof mascaras.  The brush that comes with it works well but sometimes dispenses a little too much product so you may have to wipe some excess off first.  I like it even more when I use one of the disposable brushes in my kit. 

I did a before and after picture for you!  Top pic is my nothing special lashes with no mascara.  Bottom is after one coat of Best Lash.  Not bad, right?

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Of all the cosmetics we use, mascara has the shortest shelf-life so don’t waste your money on “designer” mascara.  All you are really paying for is their fancy, phony ads.  Try this instead and you can ensure that your mascara is nice and fresh for a fraction of the cost.  Beauty steals like this just have to be shared! 

Jordana is only available online or at Walgreens or Kmart!

The Real Girl

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