Weekly Cheap Secret:

I seriously do not know how or why I haven’t reviewed this product sooner. I guess it is one that I use so frequently that I forget about it? I really didn’t mean to take it for granted. This is a product that I really like and it retails for under $6.

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush has a mousse texture. It blends nicely and feels weightless on the skin. It works great on my normal skin type. I love that it feels like it isn’t there at all. This texture feels much more expensive than what the product retails for. I’ve used $30 blushes that were going for this effect and couldn’t achieve it. I’m not naming names. There aren’t many colors available. There are six to be exact. However, there are a few I really like. ( I loved Whipped Strawberries but I can’t find it on the website. That was the perfect flushed pink for pale skins.) I like Pink Frosting, a pale pink shimmer that I usually use as a highlighter, and Peach Satin, a sheer pale peach. Both colors are sheer so I choose to layer them and layer them for more color. I apply this blush with my fingertips. I only use a tiny amount. I rub it on to the cheeks. There is no tugging since this product has such a smooth texture. I layer and layer until I get what I want. I’ve used deeper colors (Cloud Wine) and “one coat” was enough to get what I wanted. It doesn’t streak with extended wear. Like I said before, my skin is normal, rarely super dry or oily. When I dip my fingers into the pot, I occasionally get little clumpy Maybelline Dream Mousse bunnies. This doesn’t bother me. I’ll either wipe it on the rim of the jar or I was going to use that much cream blush anyways, so it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it doesn’t clump or streak on my skin. It doesn’t do that. (It is gross when it gets under the nails. Sometimes I use the end of a makeup brush to dip it out onto my hand, then my finger tips so that I’m not digging in the pot.)

My complaints are that the colors are limited. Just like all drugstore makeup, they start with a few perfect colors that compete with department store brands but then get rid of them for unknown reasons. There aren’t enough colors for medium to deep skin tones.  If you are pale with normal skin this can be a perfect blush for you. It looks natural, somehow the shimmer ones look natural too. (Well, that is coming from me and I don’t mind shimmer on my complexion to give me a “plastic” look). It’s a great price at under $6. The packaging is hefty and glass. It seems like it is “more” than what it is.

It is available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

I am a lipstick gal. This is something that I wear daily. There is not a shade or a finish that I steer clear of. I was very intrigued when I heard that Tom Ford was launching a lipstick line with 12 colors (wasn’t that how many Private Blend fragrances that were initially launched?). I remember when Tom Ford did a few beauty stunts with Estee Lauder. I was in love with the packaging. The colors in Tom Ford’s own line are much better than those offered by Estee Lauder years ago. The colors range from muted vanillas to fiery 50’s corals to classic bricks. Don’t forget the red. Tom Ford describes these shades as being “re-imagined in a modern and authoritative way”. Yeah, whatever that means. I’ve seen all of these colors before and these shades have been around forever. I guess these are “authoritative” if you aren’t used to seeing your pout covered in bold pigments. The finish is satin, moist but with no sparkle. I do love the finish since it is moist enough to give lips a younger and plumper appearance. Fine lip lines look smooth. I tire of sparkle since it can be created with a gloss top coat. However, the finishes of this lipstick are not as “jelly” and lush as those pictured in his super sexy ads. Nothing in a tube alone creates a finish like that. I wish the company would let out what gooey lip gloss they are using to achieve that Guy Bourdin look. Anyways, the colors are richly pigmented. The formula is creamy with lots of pigment so it does travel. Half a tube will be on your travel mug. It isn’t long-wearing but like I said earlier, the formula is kind to the lips. Lip lines are “filled” in. I haven’t noticed any feathering but I do predict that it could happen.

They have a vanilla aroma, mild enough. It only adds to the butteriness and creaminess of these lipsticks. These are sooo creamy.The packaging is pretty but I expected more vintage charm. Oh, well. I still like it. It is deco enough for me. The ads are super sexy or vulgar depending on your take on Tom Ford. He’s a man that sells sex. He saved Gucci that way and brought YSL fragrances back into the picture.

These retail for $45 each. It’s costly but you’re a grown-up. You know what you will or won’t spend money on. I wouldn’t say this is the best lipstick I’ve ever used, but it is up in my top 5. I’d rather have one of these than 2 of Chanel’s. Currently, they are available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. So, what did I end up with? True Coral. However, I would love Black Orchid for the fall/winter. Ginger Fawn would make a nice “everyday” color for spring/summer. Check out the website for all of the colors. Between my love of his fragrances and these lipsticks, I’m never going to have enough money to finish my home restoration…

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.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I am a fan of Black Radiance lip products. They come in a great range of color and have lots of different formulas from matte, full-coverage lipstick to sheer glosses. And they are really, really cheap. I love the shade #5064 Cleopatra Red in The Indelibly Radiant formula. This formula is glossy, packs pigment, and is pretty long-wearing, especially for a glossy formula. This color looks even better on me the more it wears off. It can mimic a berry kissed lip stain and it really reminds me alot of Bobbi Brown’s 2009 Nautical color collection. And I have a Cleopatra complex so I couldn’t find a name that I love more.  Anyways, below is a pic of me wearing this shade. Please ignore me (too humid to wear foundation that day and flashes are rude, I’m not too vain, right?) and just look at the amazing shade. The first picture is of me wearing it straight from the tube. It’s a bit Barbie pink with lots of shimmer. I’ll wear it heavy like this with a pairing of Urban Decay glitter liquid eyeliner or a swipe or navy mascara with nude eyes. The second is it blotted and worn for about an hour. It is a little more “fresh”. It shows a bit of my natural lip color. It looks amazing just paired with a stroke of liquid liner for a cat-eye effect or really with nude shadows and a cheekstain. It looks “healthy” and not overly made up.

The color in the tube looks like a deep raspberry with tons of gold shimmer. It has a slight fruit fragrance. I got my tube for less than $2.50 at Wal-Mart. You can not beat that price for this product. The tube is slim and gold toned. It looks way more expensive that what it is. It is available at most drugstores and super stores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart.

blackradiancelipstick

MAColdgold

The picture on maccosmetics.com does not do this product justice at all. It is described as “frosted tarnished gold”, the picture online looks like an antiqued gold, something on an heirloom locket. It looks tame and like it would wear nicely on anyone. It looks like a perfect super shimmery neutral and like the perfect “with a tan” shade. Above the pigment is smeared on my hand dry. It is a really vivid metallic. I wouldn’t describe it as a gold at all. It is more of a melange of rust, gold, blue, green, teal pigment particles. It only looks “gold” under bright light and then it isn’t an antique or tarnished gold but a 24K flake spray paint gold. I like this color. It wears nicely with blues, greens, and orange. It is very metallic and looks good even alone worn as a wash (applied like this, it looks very green on my skin). It is just that this color doesn’t fit the description, so buyer beware if you are purchasing online or sight unseen.

I love MAC pigments, they can be worn anywhere mixed into a gel or cream base, applied wet or dry. I do find that if I apply this like a traditional shade like with an eyeshadow brush worn with other powder shadows, it does crease. This often happens with super shimmery products. After a day’s wear it is creasing big time even with an industrial strength base 🙂 I haven’t mixed this one into a gloss/gel base because I think it has too much green and blue to look OK on the lips or cheeks. I have been using this on the eyes only.

It retails for $19.50 and comes in a generous sized container. I am sure I will be throwing this out before I can use it all up.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

It took me a long time to get on the mineral makeup bandwagon since makeup is made of “minerals” anyways. I was constantly drawn into every Bare Escentuals infomercial ever. I didn’t even wear foundation or really needed but I wanted to feel good about swirling something on my face. Those infomercials did a great job because I felt like I was doing my face a disservice by not using the products. So I got my hands on a sample and used it for a week and I really wasn’t impressed. I found that it clumped to any of my dry patches or to any patches where my day cream was applied a little heavier. In the middle of the day I was oilier than if I used no products at all. And by the end of the day, it was gone. But, anyways this isn’t a review about that.But, I want you to know that I have tried the big name in mineral makeup.

Years passed and I got bit by the mineral hype again. This time I purchased Maybelline Mineral Power Powder Foundation because it was cheap. Oh and I had a coupon. I purchased Nude which is much darker than I had imagined. I am not wild about the mini kabuki brush that is included. I now use it for cleaning wild mushrooms. I used my NARS kabuki/bronzer brush with it. It applies very smooth and nice with the tap and swirl method. It provides much more coverage than Bare Escentuals. This doesn’t mean it is “too” much at first but it has potential to really build. You can apply more where you need and it still looks natural, no clumping. The bonus is that the coverage is even and wears like that all day sans primer! I’m kind of happy I have the darker shade because it makes a great bronzer alternative. Since it is so easy to blend I can blend it down the jaw and it works. If I want it lighter I just mix in some lighter loose powder and apply. I do not use a powder with this product usually because shine is not an issue. I do like a dewy look. That is my one complaint (other than the brush), I feel the powder doesn’t look luminous enough and that is what the company is using to sell the item. It does have a tendency to accentuate some lines because of the “luminous” minerals. It looks a bit dry-ish. Just look at the models for the line, it looks like that on the skin. Luckily with my own oils that come out throughout the day, the foundation keeps from looking too flat and one dimensional. My skin actually responds positively to this foundation. No break-outs and it actually looks better, even with foundation off. My skin looks healthy. I finally feel like I have found what works with my skin. I still use concealer under my eyes if needed. I need to add that I have pretty happy skin that is on the normal to dry end of the spectrum. I have some discolorations and baby the hell out of my skin. No line issues since I am in my mid-20’s. The powder is a bit messy and I do not apply it while wearing my clothes. I get foundation all over my tops. I apply it over the sink so I just wipe it down after application. This is an issue with all loose powder foundations. And I am sure that it doesn’t help that I am using a full-size kabuki brush and not the little mini brush that is included with the foundation.

There are nine shades, not that much of a variety. It is a bit hard to find that “perfect” match. But, you can find a close one and make it work or purchase two and mix them. There are many more choices in the Light category (4) than in Dark (1). I purchased Light 4 Nude. It is a bit on the orangey bronze side. The other options looked too cool in the packaging so I went for the warmest and it is really warm. It really works well in the summer when my skin accidentally gets some color. I kind of like it because when I use I don’t have to apply a bronzer. I want simplicity in the summer! It is a good price at about $8.00 (depending where you shop) for .28 ounces. (Bare Escentuals is $25 for .3 ounces). I wish I could get it without the brush for like $5. The packaging is simple and easy to use. Overall, I will keep using it whenever I feel like wearing foundation. Why should I flirt with other mineral brands if I found something I like? And it is cheap.

Sometimes your angel is the centerfold, this includes your Liz Taylor as Cleopatra complex. I really, really like Nars summer 2009 look. It is everything that I love, heavy teal eyes and blunt bangs. It is meant to be a very “tropic” look hence all the deep bronzes but it has enough of that Old Hollywood “Egyptian” vibe to be fun and interesting and not just another pretty, bronzey, summer look.

EYES: There is an Eye Shadow Single in Tropic which is a rich teal blue with silver shimmers. It is very pretty and very Cleopatra when paired with heavy, black liquid liner. It retails for $22. There is a nice “everyday” Eye Shadow Duo in Scorching Sun. This contains an orangey copper shimmer and a golden peachy sheen, both really warm shades. This has to be one of the best colors lately that has hit the market to really enhance blue eyes. Talk about making the eyes steal the show. Duos retail for $32 and I am so tempted to grab this one.

LIPS & NAILS: There are two lipstick shades. There is Falbala which is a warm, rose, shiny shimmer and Outsider which is a bronze coral. I am in love Outsider. It really helps to pull the rest of this collection together. There is a super friendly Lip Gloss in Belize which is a light rose with gold shimmer. It looks so nice with dark eyes. Lipsticks and lip glosses go for $24. There is a Lip Liner in Tonga which is a neutral mauve that retails for $20. There is a sheer golden peachy pink Nail Polish in Adelita that is sure to enhance any sunkissed complexions. It retails for $16.

FACE: A new shade of Bronzing Powder has been launched. It is Irrestistblement which is a dark chocolaty bronze with gold shimmer. It looks very pretty but is too dark for my Laguna loving complexion. It retails for $30.

Overall, I love the collection. It is one of those “hold me back” colllections. I have to talk myself out of buying everything. It works for pale and deep complexions. A bronzer is the star but look at the fair, blue-eyed model. She looks great. Nars is finally giving me what I like again after a few “dry” seasons.