Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How To: Brush Holder!

Many of you have probably seen the Sephora inspired makeup brush holders on websites and beauty blogs. They are so simple to make and great for storing brushes in an attractive and practical way! I used to store my makeup in a brush roll, which is great for travel by the way, but found the roll got dirty quickly. So, check out my take on the Sephora inspired makeup brush holder.

Isn't it cute if I do say so myself? It was easy and quick to make and very cheap!

What I Used:

-Glass Vase from Michael's Craft Store (approx. $5.00)
-Flat Marbles (often found in floral/candle section of craft stores) in peachy pink colors (approx. $4.50)
-A thin Pink Ribbon & tape (approx. $1.00)
-Scrapbooking 3-D Butterfly Stickers (approx. $2.50)

Total Cost: around $13.00

The best thing about this craft is how customizable it is! Alternatively, you can change up the ribbon, beads, and stickers to create a completely different look. Or try painting the glass with appropriate paint. Others have used plastic containers and paint pens for an easy way to add a personal touch and design.

Some websites (including glitzy-glam.com) sell premade brush holders but I recommend making your own. You'll save money on the overall cost and of course, shipping and be able to personalize the holder to your own style.

Let me know what you think! I've been reaching for brushes that I'd previously forgotten about now that they're on display. What is your brush storage system?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation

I'll be doing several reviews over the next few days. I've got some new favorite staples and a few fun things to talk about so be sure to return to my blog frequently to keep up!

I thought I'd review my favorite foundation, Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra. Teint Idole Ultra is a liquid oil-free foundation that comes in a glass pump tube. I have been using this foundation for the past five years. It's a staple in my everyday makeup look. I have oily acne-prone skin. My skin can be very sensitive to products. I use Retin-A so I have to be careful what sort of products I put on my face.

With Teint Idole Ultra, I do not use a primer. Instead I use Coppertone Oil Free Faces Lotion in SPF 30. I don't think you need a primer with this foundation unless your skin is dry and/or you want to fill in lines and wrinkles first. It is a personal preference. After using sunscreen, I either apply the foundation with clean fingers or the Sonia Kashuk skunk brush. The best thing about this foundation is it's ability to blend and the amount of coverage. I would describe the coverage as medium; you can build up to a full coverage look with more layers. Personally, I prefer medium coverage because you can hide imperfections but forego the "pancake" look. You can easily cover blemishes, marks, and lights scars with this foundation. I can even skip concealer under my eyes if I'm in a hurry. It does not cover acne scars fully. You will need a concealer for that and I recommend Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage.

The foundation is easy to apply and a little goes a long way! The finish is some what matte. Teinte Idole is not a foundation that will give you a "dewy" or "glowy" look. Instead, it deemphasizes pores with a shine free finish. I find that using this foundation plus a good concealer you can achieve an airbrushed look! If you want a more glowy look, try pairing this foundation with a shimmery blush or highlight shade.

And yes, this foundation does wear well! I do not know if it lasts 14 hours since I've never worn it that long but it does last at least 8 hours without touch up. It doesn't even sweat off when I'm at the gym. I have never experienced any break outs from the foundation. That's why I've been coming back to it for five years!

This foundation is expensive, priced at approximately $40.00. I know this is a lot to spend on a foundation but the good news is Teint Idole performs amazing well and lasts quite a while. A bottle usually gets me through four months and I wear makeup almost every day. Since you don't need to touch up, you won't be using as much makeup. If you are worried about cost, try mixing this foundation with your favorite drug store foundation to save money (learned this trick from the lovely Panacea81)!

Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra comes in eighteen shades. I wear Ivoire 2C and it's the perfect match for my skin tone. For reference, I am a MAC NW20.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros: Long wearing, build able coverage, wide color range, easy to blend, oil-free
Cons: Expensive, may be too matte for some wearers

I highly recommend this foundation to anyone who struggles with acne and blemishes. I have been through the ringer with skin issues and this foundation has never failed me!

Of course, I can not promise it will work for you but I put my confidence behind this product. If you've tried Teint Idole Ultra, let me know what you think! Do you prefer another liquid foundation?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top 10 Beauty Winners of 2009

In a recent issue of Glamour magazine, the readers and an expert panel chose their top 50 most glamorous women. I agreed with many of their picks but I thought I'd list my own Top Ten Beauty Winners of 2009. Continue reading to find out who I chose!

10. Katy Perry

Katy Perry's fashion sense is pretty bold and risky and so is her makeup! This is a girl who loves to have fun with makeup and doesn't take it too seriously. She's cheeky and a bit irreverent. Any girl who wears a hot pink lip gets an A in my book.

9. Kim Kardashian

She may come as a strange choice but I have to admit, I love Kim Kardashian's make up and overall look. She has come off too strong in the past but she's toned it down and looks gorgeous! I love her shiny long waves and doe like eyes. She (or perhaps her makeup artist?) does a great job balancing her eyes and lips for the perfect look.

8. Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is my favorite make up artist, hands down. She is someone without any formal training but instead takes an artistic approach to beauty. She often forgos brushes and works strictly with her hands. McGrath has done a huge range of looks and thought I'm disappointed that her associated cosmetics line Max Factor is being discontinued, I look forward to the day when I can buy Pat McGrath make up....and I hope that's very soon!

7. Diane Lane

Could she be any more beautiful? This woman seems to get more gorgeous every year! I love her wholesome, natural look. Her skin is phenomenal! Talk about the fountain of youth.

6. Queen Latifah

I LOVE Queen Latifah and I always have. Did anyone else watch her talk show in the past? Maybe that was just me but you have to admit, she is an amazing model of self-confidence and poise. She just seems like an awesome person who has remained to true to herself and her values in Hollywood.

5. Kate Winslet

I think Kate Winselt is finally getting the credit she deserves. She is an amazing actress- someone with a true talent and not just a "celebrity." The media has been too caught up in her weight in the past, which is ridiculous because she has an amazing figure. I hate to be cliche but this woman glows from within and it really shows!

4. Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama gets my vote as a beautiful woman because she has brought the role of First Lady up to its 21 century level. She doesn't come across as a prop or sidekick to the President but instead is a real person, a loving wife and mother, with her own interests and values. Her style is chic and effortless, tailored to fit her athletic figure while mindful of the country' economic situation.

3. Cate Blanchett

I love Cate Blanchett because she is beautiful and unique at the same time. She doesn't fit the cookie cutter mold of beauty- she embraces her beautiful fair skin and rejects nips and tucks. I find myself looking up to her the most as a beauty icon out of all the women I listed. And like Winslet, she is a phenomenonal talent!

2. Reese Witherspoon

I might be a bit biased as I'm a Tennessee girl too but who can resist Reese Witherspoon? I love her whole attitude and ethos. She comes across a polite put together woman with a strong sense of self. And her sense of style is spot on! Witherspoon had one of the best break up come backs Hollywood has every seen and I love her for it!

1. Freida Pinto

Pinto is my pick as the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. Or maybe the world! She is absolutely gorgeous and seems completely unaware of her beauty. Just like her recent runaway hit, Slumdog Millionaire, Pinto is a sleeper in this category- someone slightly under the radar destined to become a huge success. I love her combination of neutral smokey eyes and natural lips at the Oscar's.

There you have my Top Ten list for 2009! Let me know what you think. Who would you have chosen? Check back soon and I'll have some celebrity beauty misses to talk about!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

All Natural Product Review: Sensual Soaps

I had the pleasure of coming across Nancy Lee's Sensual Soaps booth at the Memphis Agricenter this past Saturday. If you live in Memphis or plan to visit the Memphis area soon, definitely check out the Agricenter's Farmer's Market (located on 7777 Walnut Grove Rd.) on Saturdays in the summer for delicious local produce and beautiful home made products!

Nancy Lee's soaps are made entirely from natural ingredients- goats milk, olive oil, coconut oil, and other natural oils. For those of us concerned with going green and living simply, this fact is a huge plus! The soaps come in a wide variety of scents including: Lavender, Citrus, Tropical, Sweet Pea, Natural Goat Milk, Gardenia, Oatmeal, Rose, Rosemary-Peppermint, Blue Raspberry, Coconut-free Oatmeal, and Lilac! There is definitely a scent that will please everyone.

I opted to try the Lavender soap. I was very impressed by the light but distinct scent of this soap! It is not heavily perfumed like many products on the market nowadays- instead the lavender scent is fresh and natural (meaning you can layer this soap with your other scents and lotions with no worry!). I have sensitive skin and I prefer naturally scented products since they are less likely to irritate my skin. I also like that the soap is soft to the touch and doesn't strip away at your skin like many soaps. The soap lathers up nicely and left my skin smelling clean and feeling soft. I've experienced no break outs or reactions.

My mom chose the Gardenia soap (pictured above), which also smells heavenly. Nancy Lee sells Sherpa Pink Himalayan bath salts as well. The soaps are $4 for 3.75-4.5 ounce bar.

I recommend these soaps to anyone looking for a naturally scented soap at a nice price! I will definitely repurchase from Sensual Soaps.

Please check out Nancy Lee's products yourself at: http://nancylee77.etsy.com
Or Email Sensual Soaps at nml501@yahoo.com

Overal Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Pros: Variety of Scents, Soft Soap, Natural, Home-made, and Lathering
Cons: None

Price: $4 per bar

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Top Ten Lip Products: Swatches

Here are rough swatches of the products I've mentioned. I used the short names only to save space. They are in order of appearance on this list. Please note that color can depend on skin tone, flash, and monitor settings so these colors may look somewhat different in person!
Products 6-10:

Products 1-5:

Let me know if you want to see any other swatches of products I've mentioned in the past or just in general. Thanks for reading!

Top Ten Lip Products

My Top Ten Lip Products:

So, this list has been circulating around blogs for quite a while and I thought I'd join in. "Lip products" includes lip sticks, balms, glosses, stains, and treatments--the whole nine yards. I've chosen by top ten based on both their formula/wear and the actual color.

*Please note- these photos were taken by me. While in no means professional, they belong to myself and this site. So, if you choose to share them in any way, please link back to butprettyisasprettydoes.blogspot.com and do not remove the text. Thanks!*

10. Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Formula- approx. $1.39

This is my absolute favorite lip treatment and I've tried everything from Chapstick to Kiehl's #1. This balm stands out because it's soothing and moisturizing without being too thick and can be found at any drugstore. I also like that the product has an almost blue-ish clear tint which makes my lips look natural but better.

9. L'Oreal HiP Jelly Balm in Delectable- approx. $9.00

Jelly Balms are a dupe for MAC's Tendertones but actually like their texture better. They are definitely "jellies" in the sense that their texture is sticky and smooth. I love the berry red color and the cotton candy smell!

8. Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie in Energizing Melon- approx. $18.00

Juicy Tubes are some of my favorite lip glosses. They are quite sticky which can be troublesome if you have long hair but they also last longer than most glosses because of said stickiness. I can put up with the stick factor because I adore the "Energizing Melon" shade. It's a bright coral shade with pink undertones and golden shimmer. The color is not as scary as it appears in the tube but it is bright and perfect for summer! Because of the fuchsia and coral blend, I think this lip gloss would flatter both warm and cool skin tones. Wonderful staying power!

(*I'm sorry the picture quality isn't better on this one. The flash took on a green-ish cast for some reason*)

7. MAC Hello Kitty Lip Stick in Fashion Mews (Glaze)- approx. $23.99 (LE so it's typically found on ebay now)

This limited edition lipstick is not for the color shy. Fashion mews is a pinky pale lavender hue that is very cool toned. I love Fashion Mews when I want to put the focus on my lips and I find the shade quite flattering. It's such a unique shade and the most wearable lavender lipstick I've found.

6. MAC Dazzleglass in Love Alert- approx. $16.50

I guess I'm a bit of a MAC addict when it comes to lip products. Dazzle glasses are amazing and rival my love for Lancome Juicy Tubes. The formula is less sticky and even more shimmery. Love Alert is my favorite because it's an easy way to wear red lips during the day time that isn't too over the top.

5. Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Tiramisu -approx. $22.00

I think EL gets a bad rap as an "old lady" brand. They actually have great foundation, blushes, bronzers, and lip colors! Great color pay off and staying powder. (I'm just not crazy about their eye shadows). Tiramisu is no exception. I recently discovered this lip stick and it is beautiful! I know I'm a beauty addict but this color leaves me gushing. It's a sheer peachy nude with bronze flecks. It applies with a glossy finish and it is a great color for day time. Even though, it's a warm color I find it quite flattering and feel like this shade would flatter everyone. (Tiramisu has received amazing reviews on MUA).

4. Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Maraschino- approx. $22.50

Another EL? See, I told you they have good colors! This is my favorite red lip stick right now. It's a cherry red shade. Great red for fair skins as it brings out your natural color without being too over bearing. Perfect long lasting formula.

3. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Airy Fairy- approx $4.99

My perfect nude lipstick! I love this pinky-nude for day time or night. It's a good price and wears just as well as higher end lip sticks.

2. Too Faced Lip of Luxury in Marcia, Marcia, Marcia- approx $18.00

Where to begin? The packaging is adorable in a metallic pink case and crystal "gem" on top. It smells like champagne! The color is one of my favorites and perfect for blondes with its frosty pink finish and bronze shimmer (seeing a trend in my favorite colors?). I generally dislike frosts but this one is lovely. I receive the most compliments when I wear this lipstick and that's good enough for me!

1. MAC Lipstick in Snob (Satin)- approx $14.00

Snob just recently beat out Marcia, Marcia, Marcia as my favorite lip product. A baby pink with lavender undertones, this lipstick just stands out with its color and application. The lip stick applies evenly and can build up to more color. Great way to brighten up your complexion!

Honorable Mentions:

* Lypsyl Beeswax Lip Moisturizer- Cute bee inspired packaging, readily available, and softening!
Approx. $2.99

* NYX Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss in Perfect- Inexpensive, great shine, and perfect nude lip gloss! Approx. $3.50

Do any of your favorite (or least favorite) lip products match up with mine? Any suggestions? Feel free to ask me to review any item you're curious about!