Weekly Cheap Secret:

OK, so I purchased this because Ellen DeGeneres is the face for this product line. Well, that was one reason. The other: I have been looking for a concealer to love. Currently, I have been using MAC Studio Finish Concealer with SPF 35. I have not been impressed with the MAC concealer to cover dark circles. It’s too thick and I have to mix it with Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch to make the MAC concealer smoother and more manageable. (I miss Prescriptives.) Anyways, I thought I would give this Covergirl concealer a try. Ellen made me buy it.

Here’s what I’m looking for: a creamy, easy to smooth concealer to use under my eyes to cover up both redness and darkness. I’m in my mid-20’s, no real lines yet, and I am light with yellow/jaundice undertones.

The consistency of this product is so smooth. I purchased the Corrector to use as a  concealer since my complexion is exactly this color. The others available were all wrong. I think this is supposed to be a 2-in-1 product but I don’t get it. It isn’t a substitute for eye cream. It really is a “swirled” product with Olay added?  In the pot the texture is very nice, it looks dewy and the color is perfect. On my skin, the formula looks less dewy, too dry for my tastes. Since the color is perfect for me, it does cover up discolorations well. I feel this stuff shows more “lines” on me. It isn’t that it settles in the lines. It is that it doesn’t. It settles around them, leaving me with little blue-ish fine lines. That is annoying.  At first I thought I was using too much. I don’t think I am. I think it is doing that line thing after hours of wear. It’s a shame because I do find it a nice consistency and color. I just wish it was dewier and wore longer.

I’m still using this stuff so it isn’t terrible. I’m using it because my eye area looks better with it than without it. It just isn’t fitting my needs. I think I may be too picky when it comes to concealer. I think I can find something wrong with any formula by any brand. I do like this much better than using the MAC concealer alone. The MAC stuff makes my under eye area look terrible (and adds years)  if used alone. I also don’t love the MAC when mixed with the Clarins. So for now, I am using this Covergirl product until I find something I like better. I may use the entire jar. I may not. I just don’t think I will repurchase. Also, I need to state that I am using the Corrector. Does it even feel the same as the Concealers in the line? And maybe I’m getting the lines because I’m not using a concealer over it?

Retails for about $10.99. That isn’t super cheap for a drugstore product. But, it is cheaper than department stores. The MAC I used was about $16.50 + I was using the Clarins product. The Covergirl tub is quite generous, much larger than the MAC pot. Plus, if you shop around you’ll find coupons or BOGO. So, yeah, it doesn’t do what it claims to do, but it isn’t awful. I’ve used worse. It is available at drugstore.com.

I love a rusty colored lip. And can one go wrong with retro cateyes? Nope.

To get beautiful Märta Torén’s look:

FACE: Marta’s complexion is flawless. Apply concealer where needed. Shiseido Concealer Stick can cover anything from blemishes to undereye circles. Follow up with foundation. Try a mousse foundation like Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation. This is a nice formula and it looks great if you buff it after applying with a “buff” brush. Lightly dust a translucent powder over the face. I love MAC Select Sheer Loose Powder. Apply a coral/orange powder blush to cheeks. Take a fluffy brush and apply Paul & Joe Face Color in Moroccan Orange to light-medium skin tones or a shade like Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow Cheek Color in Fira (a mango orange, not pictured) for medium-dark skin tones.

EYES: Marta’s eyebrows are amazing. To get a similar look, make sure everything is cleaned up, tweeze and tweeze. Take a brow pencil that is slightly powdery such as my all time favorite Lancome Le Crayon Poudre (not pictured) in your shade. Fill in brows and brush into place with the spoolie on the end. Shadow is matte and neutral. All  you need are the colors that are in NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Portabello. Apply the lightest shade from lash line to brow bone. With eyes open, apply the darker shade in the compact above the crease. Blend until it looks completely seamless. Next we go to the cat eyes. Get a black gel liner like Bobbi Brown Long-Wearing Gel Liner in Caviar Ink. Take the liner brush of your choice, for me this is a fine liner art brush and apply to the top lash line and wing out. I do this with my eyes slightly open and “tugging” it into place with the other hand. Apply false lashes or a few coats of a lengthening mascara such as L’Oreal Lash Out Lengthening and Separating Mascara in Black. Apply 1-2 coats to bottom lashes.

LIPS: Lips are a soft rusty orange. Apply concealer around lips to keep color from feathering. Make sure to blend thoroughly. Apply a rusty golden shade like Lancome Color Design Lipcolor in Groupie, a great color of orange red and gold shimmer (this would look better on deeper skintones). Another great color if you want more orange is Lancome Color Designe Lipcolor in Studded. Studded is more Marta-ish. I apologize for the crummy pictures. The colors are much more vivid and lovely in real life. Apply a sheer gold lip gloss to bottom lips for a plump effect. I recommend Lipstick Queen Shine in Gold Saint.

Choosing a fragrance has been hard for this “look”. I’d have to go with Byredo Parfums Pulp. Perhaps because of the “Swedish” influences?

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I have a way for falling for gimmicks but with age I am getting better. I purchased L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion mascara just out of sheer old curiosity. It sure looks a lot like Givenchy Phenomenon Mascara which retails for $28. This L’Oreal one goes for about $9. L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Explosion’s claim to fame is that it gets every lash. This sure sounds like a miracle that is too good to be true but I read others’ reviews and just had to try it. The brush is spherical as you can tell from the pic. It is on top of a super long and skinny wand. I don’t dislike the mascara but I don’t love it. That being said I haven’t found any mascara that I love yet.

Who is this mascara for? It is for the person that already has nice full lashes but they want to emphasize each and every one of them. This brush does get every single lash, even the tiny ones on the top and bottom. I love the brush despite the too long and flimsy wand, I can look over that. I am not a fan of the formula. The formula doesn’t flake or irritate. This is good. But,  it doesn’t do much of anything for my short and thick lashes. I need length and curl. All this formula does is darken and thicken my lashes. They don’t get any longer even with a few coats of this stuff and it is a heavy formula so it doesn’t hold a curl. Applying a few coats of this stuff takes forever because of the precise wand. It does get all of my bottom lashes and this is a great feature. I’m just finding that this mascara is a lot of work. To get “wow” lashes I need to curl lashes and apply a basic lengthening mascara of a different formula, apply a coat or two of Lash Explosion to top and bottom lashes. I can apply false lashes in less time than doing this routine. And I’m not wild about the “heavy mascara” look. I don’t think that this formula is clumpy. I think anything will look that clumpy with that many coats of product. I don’t hate this product, it could be wonderful for some people. Those people with long and maybe thin lashes or for those that have light but perfect lashes and just need color. For me, this isn’t my holy grail and I most likely won’t be repurchasing. I love that it gets all my lashes coated but I need length. So what I am saying is that I love the brush but I don’t like the formula.

I purchased Black which is OK but it has too many cool tones and in my opinion appears navy or midnight blue. Why don’t companies offer black/brown in all of their formulas? Blue eyes benefit from mascara with a warm undertone.

This product is available at all drugstores and drugstore.com.

I don’t usually do light blue shadows. They are too Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets horrible big hair 80s makeup. Plus, I feel it washes out my complexion. I realized that I needed a warm light blue. I’ve found the perfect shade with Scott Barnes Eye Ice in Blue Angel. The color is a lovely light sea blue with tons and tons of gold shimmer. It really warms it up and creates a gilded blue. I have never seen a color like it and this is coming from somebody that has steamer chests full of shadows. This colors really works with my complexion and makes my blue eyes pop. The pigment is very rich and one wash of color does the trick. It is a loose shadow formula in a glass cube container. It is a bit hard to get out without wasting a ton of product. The opening is not large enough to get a brush into. I am not wild about the packaging even if it is pretty. I’m trying to find something else to put it in so I won’t waste so much of this precious pigment. I’ve tried a few of the other colors and I love them too. They are kind of pricey at $25 but I think I am going to buy the purple, Glenda, because it is a dusty lilac that is packed with gold shimmer too.

My eye.

My eye.

I have blue eyes and khaki or olive eye makeup really doesn’t make them stand out but I do love the look because it works with my complexion and dyed red hair. I love olive eyeshadows are dark skintones and ladies with brown or hazel eyes. If you have a bit of violet in your eyes it will make them pop. Plus, khakis and olives look great on redheads including the au naturale redheads that I am so jealous of. It is stunning and easy. It can be applied like a “wash” and it looks wonderful. It makes a great smoky eye without using the much too harsh black that most people reach for. Some of my favorite olive shadows include the following:

Pick Your Own Singles: Cheaper-What I am wearing in the pic above is mark I-Mark Custom Pick Eyeshadow in Vintage Khaki. It is a deep khaki infused with tons of gold shimmer. It is long wearing even without a base and it retails for $4. The case is sold separately. More Expensive-I also like Prescriptives Colorscope Eye Color in Sage. It looks alot like the mark one. It retails for $14 and the case is sold separately.Both of these look nice paired with nude shimmers or golds as a base.

Shimmer Singles: Cheaper- I like L’Oreal Eyeshadow Single in Golden Olive which is a medium olive shade that retails for under $5. One of my all time favorites is Milani Powder Eyeshadow in Golden Bronze which is a green with pearly gold and it retails for under $4. I have went through many of these, have I mentioned they look great on redheads? Even the natural kind. More ExpensiveLorac has an Eyeshadow Single in Olive which is a nice medium olive shimmer that retails for $17. Another really nice one is MAC Eyeshadow in Greensmoke which is a deep dark olive shimmer that retails for $14.50. There is also Sumptous Olive which is nice but a bit more khaki and with less “green”. Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Designer is an awesome super shimmery olive with silver shimmer. It retails for $16.50. For a more brown but still green shimmer, Dior 1-Colour Mono Eyeshadow in Khakis is very shimmery and nice. It retails for $25.

Matte : Cheaper L’Oreal Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Duo in Forest is nice. It has a matte soft clover green and a matte medium olive. It retails for under $6. More Expensive– This is a bit of a matte, Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Dill. It is a deep olive with minimal gold shimmer. It retails for $16.50. Make Up For Ever has a matte olive in Olive Green 47 and it retails for $19. I find that there aren’t many matte shadows on the market in this shade. I must say that olives really do benefit from shimmer. It seems to add depth and keeps the eye area from looking too “dead”. I have all three mentioned above and I like them. They don’t make me look like a rotting zombie corpse.

Duo/Sets: CheaperL’Oreal Eye Shadow Quads in Landscape and Eva’s Violets have nice olives and other coordinating shades. These retail for under $7. Revlon 12 Hour Eyeshadow Quad in Spring Moss has a lovely khaki and three other nice greens. It retails for under $7.  More Expensive YSL 5 Colour Harmony for Eyes in Garden of Eden has a nice olive and four other great greens for $56. DuWop Smoke in Olive Branch makes a great olive smoky eye and retails for $28. It comes with a gel liner and shimmery eyeshadow.

Eyeliner: Cheaper Sephora Slim Eye Pencil in Olive is OK for the $5 price tag. I also like Covergirl Outlast Smoothwear All Day Eyeliner in Olive because it is so smooth. It retails for under $7. Another nice one is Avon Ultra Luxury Eye Liner in Khaki. It retails for $5 and creates a soft line.  More Expensive– MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Forever Green which is an olive shimmer that retails for $14.50. It has a really smooth formula and wears for hours! One of my favorite liners ever is the one I am wearing in the pic above. It is Lancome Artliner in Starshower. As you can see, it is an olive that is so dark that it is almost black with lots of gold shimmer. It retails for $28 and looks awesome just worn alone. It is way more fun than your basic black and it is much more flattering for hazel eyes. Black can be too harsh on most skintones as well and it can be aging! I also like Dior Waterproof Crayon Eyeliner in Iridescent Khaki. It is very long wearing and retails for $26 and comes with its own sharpener.

I am so happy that I saw this before I bought it. It is such a rip! It retails for $70 which isn’t bad for 35 bright matte eyeshadows by Bobbi Brown. Bobbi Brown eyeshadows come in a great formula, pack pigment, and blend easily. I love them. When I saw this I was shocked! Each “pan” is so extremely tiny and it seems you would only get a few wears out of each color. Yes, you get a variety but you do not get much of it. This is not a palette for gals that aren’t afraid of color. This is a palette for gals that just might like to “try” color every now and then. It is 6.3″ long and 4.25″ wide. That is really tiny considering that 35 shadows are crammed into this slim and tiny compact! The shadows which range from in your face brights to some washed out pales come in a sleek (tiny) black compact with a mirror. I will not be buying this and I am so happy that I tried it before I bought it! Another makeup mistake has been avoided!

Cheap Secret:

I’ve tried quite a few of these Revlon Illuminance Creme Eye Shadow kits. I really like them. That’s why I have so many. They wear nicely as a shadow base and create a lot of depth. They come in a wide range of colors and come in both mattes and shimmers. I’ve went through two of the Moonlit Jewels because they make for an awesome liner kit. These cream shadows are all super shimmery. They aren’t greasy and they usually stay in place. I need to add that I do not have an issue with oily lids or anything, so these do not travel. I do not know what they would do on oily lids. I take a thin liner brush from the art store, coat it with this cream and then line. It is so easy to use. It doesn’t “set” so you can create any kind of line you want. I really recommend this for “beginners”. You have a lot of control with this product. Moonlit Jewels comes in a medium shimmery brown that looks great for adding “light” around the eye. The other three shades make for an awesome cat eye or even used as a smoky eye if used with an angled liner brush. The other shades are a rich navy shimmer, emerald forest green shimmer, and a perfect warm brown shimmer. These also make a great base up to the lid if you want to layer with a dark color for a smoky look. And these things are great because you can pick them up at any drugstore or super market for under $8.

Smeared on my hand.

Smeared on my hand.