tokidoki Sale at Sephora

I got an email this morning about a raging tokidoki sale going on at Sephora right now, so I clicked over to browse.  I love tokidoki for its endlessly cute packaging, and surprisingly good quality makeup.. but by the looks of this sale, it won’t be around for long.  C’est la vie – stock up while you can!

Stop by sephora.com/tokidoki to pick up some great deals, like various shadow and blush Arte palettes for $6 each, rollerball scents for $10 (I can’t vouch for the scents, but they are CUTE), and lip glosses from $9.

If nothing else, they’re a couple extra bucks in your cart to bump you up to free shipping!

M

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10-second review: Jeffrey Campbell Perfect Spike

A few days ago, I “seized the sale” and picked up a couple of pairs of greatness.  They arrived a day or two after I placed my order (Solestruck, you know the way to a lady’s heart), but sadly, one pair is on its journey back to the warehouse.

And it’s the Perfect Spike.  Bummer.

I was fully prepared to love this shoe, and grab a couple more colors on sale.. but I guess there’s a reason no one else is scooping these up.  Just like my spiked Litas, these are wonderfully heavy and well-made.  Unlike the Litas, though, there’s not much holding them up!

I’m no stranger to high, high heels – and if a great-looking shoe scrapes by as “barely walkable,” I’ll make it work.  But as much as I love the Perfect Spike’s look, it’s unavoidably dangerous.  Before buying it, I paid no attention to how tiny the ankle strap is.  See that little guy?  Flimsy!

I tried one on and knew immediately that I’d snap that ankle strap right off with a heavy night out in Hollywood.  The shoe is just too weighty, and the platform is high enough to cause a major wipeout without better ankle support.

Sad to see you go, Perfect Spike, (but I love to watch you leave.)

M

Best Stuff: Rapidlash

Over the past couple of years, eyelash extensions have blown up in my social circle.  All of my friends have regular appointments with lash experts, getting individuals, full sets, fills, mink, synthetic… it’s an all-out regimen.  Naturally, I tried it.  Once.

My little asian eyelashes are (or were) short, fine, and stick straight.  But a makeup artist named Vince changed it all with an-hour long session, gluing individual falsies onto my baby lashes with a magnifying glass.  They looked gorgeous.  At first.  Full, thick, and curled – no mascara needed – but they were noticeably heavier and a little itchy (like wearing a full set of temporary eyelashes ALL THE TIME.)  And as much as I love makeup, artificial add-ons kind of freak me out.

In about a week the glue weakened, and one by one the lashes fell out.  Skimpy little spots started appearing and worse – the almost-fallen-out lashes dangled and twisted into awkward positions.  It took a lot of combing, curling and mascara to keep them together.  Ick.

While I hated my nasty break up with lash extensions, I missed how beautiful they were when first applied.  I didn’t realize how great my eyes could look with a little lash boost.  So I started looking into growth serums (like Latisse), but was decidedly too lazy to drive to a doctor for a prescription.

Then I saw Rapidlash.  No prescription needed, and it’s sold, um.. everywhere (Dermstore, Amazon, CVS, Overstock, and Hautelook, to name a few).  It’s usually about $25-$30 and the tube lasts me a couple of months.

I’m a little wary of cosmetics that alter the way my body works, but I haven’t read anything negative about Rapidlash.  I do keep an eye out, and I don’t use it every night as directed.  With that said, this stuff works.  I wish I had taken “Before” photos, because it’s made a dramatic difference in my eyelash length and thickness.  With a coat of mascara, my natural lashes are as fabulous as the extensions (without the pokey, crispy, dried glue texture!)

I haven’t noticed any negative side effects aside from a bit of itchiness on occasion, but it goes away quickly.  It’s been worth it – I can get away with less eye makeup and never, ever need to glue on temporary fakes any more!

M

Average Day Arsenal

I recently shared with you my super-quick makeup arsenal.  It gets me through the grocery store and the post office, but if I’m doing anything social I usually step my game up a bit.  A very tiny bit.

Here’s my “average day” makeup routine.

First comes the Devita SPF 30+ moisturizer and Clinique Repairwear eye cream.  Keeping my face together under the makeup is a must.  I give the moisturizers a little time to soak in, and stare blankly into my closet at all the “nothing to wear.”

Then comes Rimmel London Primer (apparently now in the lead in the battle of the primers).  It just feels a little more moisturizing than my Make Up For Ever primer, and it makes me look more natural in the day time.

I smear on about two small pumps of Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in #145 or #150 ($42) near the center of my face and then buff it out with my foundation brush.

The Sephora Pro Foundation Airbrush #56 ($32) amazes me.  As long as it’s clean, it buffs liquid foundation out to a really smooth, even layer.  The trick is shampooing this brush often, because after about three days, the bristles are so stuck together with leftover foundation they’ll leave straight-up stripes on your face.

Next, I tap on Benefit Erase Paste in Medium ($26) under my eyes, using my finger.  It’s a little lighter than my skin, but its crazy miracle formula blends right into foundation.  As advertised, it really does brighten up dark circles – but it takes a very tiny bit to look good and not like a reverse raccoon.

To set the erase paste, I use a wedge sponge to dab on MAC Studio Fix in NC35 ($27).  Then comes the big powder brush to buff on a very light powder layer.  I know it’s kind of foundation-over-foundation, but it works.

Then blush.  The three I have in heavy rotation right now are: Milani Blush in Luminoso ($7.49), Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Pretty Peach ($3.99) or Benefit Bella Bamba ($28).  I just follow my heart.

Next I use the Sephora Complexion Brush #53 ($19) to add a little Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess ($29).  The brush is not my favorite, and I don’t especially care for it.. but it’s big, and it’s here, so I use it.  The bronzer goes just under my cheekbone for a liiiittle bit of contouring – I’m no crazy 80’s freak, but I like a little definition.  This is a perfectly subtle warm color.

Then again, the eyebrow fill-in with the darker brown in Clinique Colour Surge Eyeshadow Duo in Coffee Shop  ($19.50) and an angled shadow brush.

A quick swipe of Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 0L ($18) along the top waterlines and lash lines.

I set the liner with tokidoki Cromatico Eye Shadow in Adios matte black ($15) and the flat side of Sephora’s Classic Dramatic Eyes brush ($7 on sale).  I might even be fancy and go for a little bit of a cat-eye (ooh la la.)

With the opposite end of the Dramatic Eye brush, I sweep a little of the Tarte bronzer from the outside corner of my eyelid along the crease.  It’s the no-eyeshadow eyeshadow.

I do a little highlighting with a small shadow brush with Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Soft Shimmer in Sugar Sugar – shimmery white and/or Starstruck – shimmery light nude ($15) in the inner corner of my eye, along the inner bottom lash line, and just under my eyebrows.

 Then I curl my eyelashes and choose between Smashbox Hyperlash or Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara (both from Splurge Steal or Skip awhile back) – depending on how humid it will be, or whether I plan to cry later in the day.  Who knows!

Lastly a tinted lip balm if I’m keeping it casual, maybe some lipstick if I’m being a fancy guy.  But more on that later.

M

Best Stuff: Lush Face Masks

I LOVE stopping into Lush stores because of the giant soap boulders, fun little scrubs and bath bombs.  And Lush is the perfect name for this company, because when I’m soaking in one of their adorable bath bombs (especially the ones that release glitter or flower petals), I feel like the damn king of luxury.

But Lush’s most lovable product by far is their fresh face masks.  These babies are a cheap thrill at $6.95 each, and each pot is good for about 10-15 masks.  Their ingredients are so fresh, you need to keep them refrigerated and each one is handily stamped with an expiration date.

I love-love-love the way these masks smell, and they’re the most effective masks I’ve ever used.  Brazened Honey is probably my favorite, with its exfoliating almond bits and strong sweet honey scent.  Love Lettuce and Cupcake share second place.  Each one affects my skin in a different way, but I can honestly say that I see a difference after one application.  My pores are tighter, my face feels clean and smooth and my skin actually glows.  IT GLOWS, friends.

I really can’t convey the greatness of these masks over the internet, so I’ll ask you to do your skin the favor of finding a Lush store and trying one.  Or a couple.  Because when you bring in 5 empty pots, you get a fresh face mask free!  And that’s awesome.

M

10-second review: Orly Oh Cabana Boy

Forget June gloom.  This color caught my eye from across a crowded drug store, and I couldn’t stop staring.

Orly “Oh Cabana Boy” is a superbright almost-neon polish with a really unique hot pink iridescence.  I don’t know how to describe it – it’s a shocking metallic pink that is so, so right for summer.  Looking at my manicure is a total pick-me-up.  I feel like a Nicki Minaj Barbie doll.

A pink this bright can border on tacky – but in a really fun Heatherette sort of way.  I’m digging it for now, but I will absolutely only wear it 1) with a tan and 2) on very short, rounded nails.

Go bold.

M

6-Minute Makeup Arsenal

Even on the laziest (or most rushed) of days, I won’t subject the outside world to my makeup-free face.  I feel like a beady-eyed, pasty little mole rat.  I’ve found that taking about 6 minutes to pretty up my face makes all the difference to me.  Here’s my running-out-the-door makeup routine.

I wash my face if necessary, then moisturize with Devita SPF 30+ moisturizer and Clinique Repairwear eye cream.  I fix my hair while I wait for it to soak in a bit.

Then I rub Rimmel London Primer (from battle of the primers) all over my face with my hands.  Sounds primal.  Usually is.  The subtle tint evens my skin out a little, so I don’t have to mess with a lot of foundation and concealer.

I use a wedge sponge with a heavy dose of MAC Studio Fix in NC35 ($27) to cover up any problem areas, and my under eye circles.  I bust out the big powder brush and buff on a thin dusting to even out the rest of my face.

To look a little more human, I brush on Milani Blush in Luminoso ($7.49) – I found it on Temptalia’s dupe list for Nars Orgasm blush, and I love it.  Right now, I use the Sephora Complexion Brush, but it’s pretty ‘meh’.

Because my hair is so dark, I feel like my eyebrows look awkward when I haven’t filled them in a bit.  I use an angled shadow brush and tap on a bit of the darker brown in the Clinique Colour Surge Eyeshadow Duo in Coffee Shop  ($19.50).

I know a lot of magazines say black eyeliner isn’t for daytime, but it’s all I use.  My eyes are dark, my eyelashes are dark.. black works for me.  Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 0L ($18) is a smooth, dark black, perfect for my water line and upper lash line.

To set my eyeliner, I use tokidoki Cromatico Eye Shadow in Adios matte black ($15) with the flat side of Sephora’s Classic Dramatic Eyes brush ($7 on sale).  Waterproof or not, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes smears if I don’t use powder eyeshadow over it.

If my eyes are looking dead tired, I use a small shadow brush with Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Soft Shimmer in Sugar Sugar – shimmery white and/or Starstruck – shimmery light nude ($15) in the inner corner of my eye, along the inner bottom lash line, and just under my eyebrows.  I rub it in a little.

Then I curl my lashes quickly, skip the mascara, and add some tinted lip balm.  Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Rose ($22.50) is my fave right now, but it takes a gentle application.  (It’s so soft, I broke the top off while rubbing some on at a bar.  The shame.)

Easy, fast, and pretty works for me.

M

Attention Shoe Fiends!

Solestruck’s 8th Anniversary sale is on now til Sunday, rejoice!

I love Solestruck to death because of their free (and fast) shipping, easy returns and amaaaazing selection.  Best shoe store on the web, according to me.

My original grab-as-I-go shopping cart was a few thousand dollars, so I painstakingly whittled it down to two pairs.  I’m now anxiously awaiting these babies:

Jeffrey Campbell Libby Tick in Black 
$169.95 marked down from $269.95

and Jeffrey Campbell Perfect Spike in Black 
$119.95 marked down from $174.95

All the Perfect Spike colors are SO CUTE it was heartbreaking to pick only one.
(First world problems).

These amazeballs shoes won’t last long with vultures like me grabbing at them, so get going!

M

Best Stuff: SPF!

Summer’s here, and the time is right for dancing in the street.

Alright, that was lame.. but the video is hilarious, if you haven’t watched it.  Plus, I totally have the hots for Mick Jagger AND David Bowie.

As you may know from previous posts, I am terrified of wrinkles and sun damage.  Unfortunately, I am also easily freaked out by greasy skin products and weird chemicals.  That being said, finding a good sunscreen took a lot of trial and error.  I’m super happy with these picks, and I think you’ll dig them too.

For the face:
Devita Natural Skin Care Solar Protective Moisturizer
 SPF 30+ (about $17)

I am totally in love with this moisturizer, and the SPF is just an added, undetectable benefit!  It has a creamy lotion texture with absolutely no stickiness, greasiness, or sunscreen smell.  Best stuff, indeed.

For when you forget yours:
Neutrogena Men’s Triple Protect Face Lotion SPF 30 ($6.99)

On the off-chance I’ve forgotten my Devita moisturizer at home, I’ve found that my husband’s SPF moisturizer is almost as good (and easy to find in drug stores everywhere).  It smells a little manly, but it’s non-greasy and easy to wear under makeup.  Couldn’t ask for more.

For when you’re already wearing makeup:
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45 ($30)

Once I’ve painted on my layers of foundation, concealer and powder, there’s no way in hell I’m smearing a lotion sunscreen over it.  Awhile ago, I picked this SPF powder up at Sephora and loved it.  It’s a bit tinted, so while I’m upping my sun protection, I’m also refreshing my makeup.  Unfortunately, I’ve read a few articles about how sunscreen powders can be harmful if inhaled, so I stopped using it just to be safe.  Like any news story, it could be sensationalized, but I’d say use this one at your own risk.  And hold your breath if you do.

For everywhere else:
Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 60 for Sensitive Skin (about $15)

After (again) being terrified by reading up on sunscreen chemicals, I found Vanicream mineral sunscreen and gave it a shot.  It’s very thick and very white, and it takes some serious deep tissue massaging to get it all rubbed in.  It makes my skin a little bit sticky-shiny, but not nearly as bad as most others.  The good thing is that my skin is completely protected… the bad thing is that I don’t tan at all with it on.  If I know I’m out to get a little bronze, I pick up any generic low SPF spray at a drugstore and grease myself up like buttered popcorn.  I haven’t found the perfect middle ground yet, but if you have – share!!

M


Best Stuff: Water Bottles

Ok, I realize this is way off from what I normally blog about – but I sincerely love my water bottle and really need to share it.  I’m so obsessed, I’ve given these bottles as gifts to literally every one of my family members.

Being an avid internet creeper, I found myself engrossed in a documentary about plastic water bottles a couple of years ago.  I’ve read, in passing, that you shouldn’t keep disposable bottles in a warm car because chemicals can leak into the water and can cause breast cancer.  Horrible.  But there’s about a million other little ways that disposable plastic bottles can negatively affect you, and the environment.  I won’t get preachy now, but if you’re interested, here’s a video by Vice about where plastic goes when it floats into the ocean, and here’s a short article about how the chemicals in plastic affect women.  Ick.

Anyway, I decided it was time to help out in a little way and get a reusable bottle.  I needed one that could keep drinks cold, hold juices (or let’s be real here, vodka red bull), and hopefully looked decent.  I’m no square!  I ended up at Good Life Bottles.  My favorite thing about them is that they’re recyclable – not a lot of reusable bottles can say that – and I’ve only had to recycle one so far.  My also favorite thing about them is that they’re a cool, honest company.  Their bottles have a “limited lifetime warranty,” and when the bottom fell off my heavily used bottle, they sent me two new ones because they didn’t have my color any more.  That’s love.

These water bottles look cute in a bunch of colors, they keep drinks cold (or hot) for hours, they never give off a metallic taste or scent, and they’re completely non-toxic.  OH, and dishwasher safe (except the cap).  Miracle bottle, seriously.

The 1000mL Venture Bottle ($29.95), 700mL Traveler Bottle ($26.95) and 500mL Go Bottle are on Good Life’s website at goodlifebottles.com.  I should also add that they’re available at Target in blue and red, but the Target ones aren’t covered by the warranty.. and they’re also oddly leaky (my original Good Life bottles never leak at all).  Buy directly from the website if you get ’em!

Stay healthy, friends.

M

*As a side note, I realize my blog posts are often about random products, and usually very positive reviews.  I want to let it be known that I haven’t been paid or compensated by any of these companies, and I’m genuinely in love with all of my “best stuff”s.  What we have together is the real deal!