Q&A corner

Q&A corner

You asked! We provided… well something like that. 

We present to you Q&A corner



What is your all-time favorite foundation?

Stevie: My all-time holy grail foundation is actually a BB cream, but I’ve been using it since it was classified as a tinted moisturizer! (A LONG TIME) it is Tarte’s BB Cream in Light. It has enough coverage to help hide minor imperfections, but isn’t cakey at all – and allows my powder foundation and concealer to do the heavy lifting only where necessary. Warning though – it definitely oxidizes, so grab a few shades as a sample first at your local store to try out and find your perfect color.


Laura: This is like asking me to pick my favorite child! For affordable drug store I love the L’Oréal Infallible pro-Matte and pro-glow. (Check out my ride or Die post) As for Prestige brand I too love Tarte but I’m a sucker for the Amazonian Clay foundation. It makes my skin look airbrushed and doesn’t break me out. I prefer full coverage because I like the added protection from free radicals and the sun. Yet this doesn’t make me look pancake faced. 



-Best Primer?

Stevie: I find that primers don’t do a lot of good for me, so you’ll find me using them very infrequently. However, some favorites of mine are Heroes Beauty, CoverFx Anti-Acne Mattifying Primer, and Hourglass.


Laura: I use a primer only to hydrate my skin and balance out the oil. I am a huge fan of Too Faced Hangover primer with coconut water. It smells awesome and makes my face feel nice. However lately I have been using Urban Decay B6 prep spray and Dermalogica Active moist for my primer. 

-Is it better to use BB Cream or Foundation?



Stevie: This really depends on how much coverage you need. BB Cream is a category of products that has much lighter coverage, and in fact, once was called tinted moisturizer. If you have a lot of discoloration or skin issues to hide, a regular foundation is a better bet – since it will hide more of these so-called imperfections. There are also quite a few levels of coverage within the foundation category, so I suggest trying samples of a few to determine how much coverage you need. My favorite mix is to use BB Cream as a base with Powder Foundation to set.


Laura: So it’s all about preference. If you’re taking care of your skin and using quality products, you can use whichever one you prefer. BB stands for Beauty Balm and CC is Color correcting. Some BB creams can have a fantastic coverage and provide skincare benefits at the same time. Buuuut so can foundation. If you find the right ones. It’s all about product and ingredient knowledge. It helps you make the right decision when choosing a product. I personally have fallen in love with It cosmetics CC cream. It’s light but has enough coverage plus it’s SPF 50! (My little dark heart rejoices) Added bonus is the anti-aging serum and pore minimizing primer. Products are so subjective! What someone likes others may not. Definitely try things before you commit! That’s what makes beauty stores awesome is all the testers. 

-Best drugstore primer for combination skin?



Stevie: I swear this isn’t me being a princess, I don’t think I have ever used a drugstore primer! I very rarely use them under my makeup, so most of what I have was either given to me, or samples that I received with purchases of other items. Hopefully Laura has a better answer for you on this one!


Laura: Oh my…I have to think..actually I do really like NYX primers! Especially the Hydra touch one. I also remember when Maybelline released the Baby face one and I did use that for a bit during my poor kid phase. I hope that helps. Maybe this is something Stevie and I should do as a review in the future??




What is the trick to getting eyeliner the same for both eyes? Which products are the best and easiest to use, which don’t involve tape?



Stevie: I find that prayers are the most important part of the process. Eyeliner is tricky, and even seasoned vets get scared everytime we put that liner on, because as the meme goes…it can sense your fear! I prefer gel liner with a fine angled brush, as the gel does not spread on my wrinkly eye skin (any felt tip or liquid liner just makes a huge mess for me) and gels are thicker and more precise. As much as I would love to give you the perfect liner, I haven’t found a great one yet. I’m using beauty bakerie right now and it works well but is pricey for a tiny pot. ELF used to make a great one, then they watered it down. Now, I actually use a bit of tape, pulled off of the back of my hand to soften the adhesive after I have marked a thin starter line (to get that angle right). BUT if you don’t want to put tape on your sensitive skin I totally understand. just work with tiny strokes and a stiff fine bristled brush and go little by little. Again, pray! It really is one of those situations where practice makes slightly better than before.

Laura: I use Stila stay all day liquid liner. I just watched a video from Kat Von D explaining how to draw the perfect liner. I will link it here. I found using light strokes makes me mess up. So I go for the gold and draw my starting line above my lashline in one full motion. Now for application on other people, I use the side of the felt tip to press it into the eye and then in one motion outwardly I smooth the top line. To create a wing I have always done the little curvy wing because I like it. Work from your ending point of the wing inward. That way you create the same length on both sides. I don’t like tape cause I’m a skin snob. However, the side of a business card can help when contouring your shadow and creating a sharp edge for liner. It takes practice. Lots of practice. Everyone does it differently too! Don’t get discouraged. Find what works for you and don’t let the internet police tell you it’s wrong. Unless it makes you look like Hatchet Face from Crybaby. 


-What is the best eyeshadow primer?



Stevie: I love TooFaced Shadow insurance, but also use MAC cream concealer in the lightest shade quite often. It gives you an even toned base to work on, so the only color variance is your shadow. TooFaced glitter glue is also pretty clutch.


Laura: Hands down Too Faced Shadow insurance is my fav. I also love the underrated Benefit Air Patrol. I love that it doesn’t have that silicone slip to it and it has SPF in it. It’s a BB cream for your lids! It dries Matte and has a great coverage so if I don’t want to wear shadow it protects and evens out my skin tone.

Do you believe that there are any beauty trends, colors, or looks that should stop with age? Or can I continue to rock any damn look I want to for as long as I want to?



Stevie: Is this the best question ever asked? Probably! Am I going to answer it in a pages long novel? You betcha. There are “rules” to makeup which help to direct people who are just learning or do not love makeup like we do. Some people are pretty steadfast about these rules, like they’re societal etiquette. I am not. I am all for having general guidelines to get you started – but if you are 50, 60, 900 years old and want to cover your entire face in glitter – DO IT ALL DAY EVERYDAY BABY! This is for you, and the most beautiful thing a person can wear is confidence – so throw those middle fingers up to anyone who opens their mouth about anything fun you put on your face!


Laura: Heck no!! I am almost 40 and I refuse to ever stop being me. If you embrace your inner self and rock that look who cares what anyone says. I live in a town of 60k and growing up I was always the weird kid. I still am but my clientele is Country club mature women who love their funky haired stylist. I own my look. There are too many opinions about what is ok in the beauty world. I say fluff them. We all are unique. Let’s act like it! Embrace your fellow beauty enthusiasts and that will make it easier to rock looks at any age. Whew. End rant. Did I answer that question?……..
❤️Wanna play? Leave your beauty or whatever questions below in the comments. ❤️


It’s like “The Purge”……without the killing part 

It’s like “The Purge”……without the killing part 

Foreword: I love to write, I find it therapeutic and sometimes I feel like I have important stories to share. Besides the all skin and makeup tip stuffs. I hope this helps you all out too. Leave a comment letting me know if you would like more of these more personal stories from us.  -Laura ❤️




Hi, my name is Laura and I am a beauty product hoarder. 

Whew. That feels better. 

I’m sure many of you can agree with me that it’s hard to say no to all the fancy palettes and lippies. I’m a sucker for good packaging and a great marketing scheme. I used to (I will get to the “used to” part soon. I promise) have hundreds of palettes that I would touch once. I had lippies that had never been opened aside from removing them from the packaging. I had stacks of bottles for hair, skin and whatever else keeps you young. Did I mention I’m a skincare fanatic? 

My favorite past time was pursuing the interwebs staring at all the beauty products. Then I’d get a wild hair and decide I need the “vault” collections of everything. That in turn gave me 3 products I would use and then 50 I wouldn’t even look at again till it was time to clean my beauty cabinet out. 

My collection is the equivalent to a walk in closet filled with clothing and shoes. Only it’s in my vanity and the spare bedroom. Oh and my purse….es. Because every purse has at least 2 lippies, lash glue, and an eyeliner just in case. (I should add I have a lot of purses too. Ugh the struggle is real). 

For a few years I did pretty well not collecting too many items. I also lived in ponytails, baseball caps, hoodies, jeans and work boots. Makeup application was a max of 5 minutes. I call this the “dark time” others may call it depression. When I decided to take back my fashionable life (not that it was ever physically taken away) that is when I began my obsession. It began with finding the perfect drugstore brand. Everyone wants that! I felt I could share with the world all I discovered about the mass market! And write about it. The writing part never really happened, except in IG captions. Then, I discovered Melt cosmetics and Jeffree Star cosmetics. After that it was Kat Von D beauty….. online Sephora……the list continues….I was hooked. Although I’m not an overspender, I am an overbuyer. I like a good deal!! Thrifty and a lot of it. That was my motto. Alllll of the deluxe samples and free gifts. 

Ok, so I want to explain why I purged a large portion of my expensive and cherished collection. However, first I need to hit a few key points that were my motivation:

  •  Being a working makeup artist doesn’t justify the chaos.
  • Having skin and hair doesn’t validate excessive amounts of bottles crowding out my husband’s side of the bathroom cabinet or taking over the guest bedroom with eyeshadow palettes and liquid lippies. 
  • I read a book. Really I did. I’ll link it here

Let’s get to the gritty stuff

A few weeks ago I decided to go to my storage unit I have had for 6 years. Yes. 6 fluffin years. I have owned a house for 3 of those years. I’m just lazy and you know the old adage “out of sight out of mind”. Anyways, I decided it was time to empty it out. As my son and I went through the items my throat began to burn and I realized that in the center of the unit all of my books and artwork were covered in black mold. (Look up black mold). I told my son to get out of the unit and I stood there staring at all of my treasured possessions destroyed.

 Crates of books I had collected and read over and over again. Paintings I had brought back from Scotland, the only trip I ever took with my deceased grandmother and mother. My son’s baby clothes. College textbooks. Expensive Prisma colored pencils. Antique fabric.

Just some of the damage

The list goes on. I wanted to cry but instead I got pissed and said “fluff it”. It was a different word but you get the point. (When you get to know me better you will notice that I can disconnect quickly from things) I decided to close the door and worry about it another day. 

After a few days, I return to the moldy abyss. I had a fresh mind and ready to salvage what I could. That was until I opened a vintage suitcase given to me by my Aunt. Inside that tightly sealed suitcase was my Nana’s jewelry box and all of the 1950’s and 60’s costume jewelry. Destroyed. Completely rusted and molded. My heart broke. 

Deep rooted-

I feel like I should start at the beginning. The very beginning of my detachment. When I was 23 I was in a terrible relationship. After a few years of emotional and physical abuse I packed up and left during the day when he was at work. I unfortunately forgot I had a huge box of my childhood collectibles in his storage unit. When I returned for them a few months later he gave me a box of broken porcelain figurines and torn up photos. My whole childhood was in that box. Things I could never replace. I threw the box away and left. Closing that chapter behind me. 

Let’s fast forward to 2010 and I was living in Phoenix. I received a phone call from my now ex husband telling me that our garage had been backed into by an elderly lady who lived in the apartment below us. Seriously, this happened. A lead foot elderly lady hopped up on pain pills drove through our garage. Destroying everything in its path. Boxes of antiques. Motorcycles. Tool boxes. Photo albums. We only received $1600 in damages for the super expensive toolbox. FYI: Certain Renters insurance only works for your living quarters. Not the garage. 

Ok, let’s push past all the dramatic “Once upon a storytelling” and focus on the real subject. I lost material objects. Objects that truthfully have been weighing me down. These items although they are special memory wise really do not bring me joy. If they did I would’ve had them in the open where they belong. Not locked in a box or in a garage to be forgotten.  

That’s how I feel about majority of my beauty products now. I don’t use all of them. I covet them because they’re popular or fancy. I buy them and then they sit in a drawer until I remember I even have them! Sometimes even after I remember they still sit in the drawer. Example: I bought the Jaclyn Hill Becca Champagne pop palette. I’ve used it maybe 4 times. Whhyy???! What is its purpose?? Besides to make me feel so fancy and cool and relevant. “Why yes I am wearing Prosecco Pop!” said no one ever. 

Purge:

pərj/Submit

verb

1. rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release.

“Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her”

synonyms: cleanse, clear, purify, wash, shrive, absolve

“he purged them of their doubt”

noun

1. an abrupt or violent removal of a group of people from an organization or place.

“a purge of the ruling class is absolutely necessary”

synonyms: removal, expulsion, ejection, exclusion, eviction, dismissal, sacking, ousting, eradication

“the purge of dissidents”

So I decided to purge. I know that word could be a trigger but it’s explains the emotions involved when decluttering. For example, I began slowly by looking at the palettes telling myself I may need that olive green shadow one day. What if someone wants a lesson? Having all those options would be nice. Then I would put it back in the drawer. By the end of the day I had only parted with 2 Wet n Wild palettes (and those were contemplated on for a very long time). I was far from successful. I fooled myself into thinking I was though. 

It wasn’t until I read the book I keep linking you to, that I fully started to realize what I needed to do. Now, I need to clarify I’ve had this book for 2 years. I have a serious problem with buying things and setting them aside. I only recently really dove into it when I flew to visit Stevie in L.A. I think my traumatic experience with my storage unit allowed me to be vulnerable enough to really understand the message. 

So I returned and decided to really purge the collection and make it a space that fills me with joy. Not frustration. 

This is what I did:

  1. Only touch things once (trash, donate, save)
  2. Remove everything from my vanity and beauty boxes
  3. Throw away expired and icky makeup
  4. Don’t look how cute the packaging is or what it could be used as
  5. Colors or formulas that are never going to be used are donated or tossed
  6. Palettes that are never opened are not opened and donated (this was the hardest! I kept making excuses)
  7. Throw away crappy products and tools. Stupid brushes, samples, etc
  8. Write the date on the bottom of the container (this helps for expiration reasons. Also to hold usage accountability)

It’s not easy. I won’t lie. It was hard and emotional but when I was done I had a huge box to donate to my sister’s theater group. As well as a black trash bag full of crap. 


I made a deal with myself too. If I can keep my stockpile in check (aka clean and organized) I will take out $75 a month. This will either add up to a plane ticket to see Stevie or help me replenish my luxury skincare products. 



I want to clarify that it’s ok if you love thousands of palettes. If it brings you joy, do it! For me it doesn’t. It’s overwhelming and I’m done with the clutter. I want to live a more maintained beauty collector life. 

Ps. I’m sure when I get to much stuff the demolition gods will step in and have a moldy angry old lady ruin my shit as always.

What about you? Any tips on organization or how do you decide what stays and what goes?


The Perfect Pout

The Perfect Pout

This past Wednesday, I came to the realization that the public side of the blogging/instagram/internet world probably isn’t for me. I walked into this stunningly lovely event, full of beautiful people, all gathered together to celebrate the launch of a fantastic lipstick line…and my heart sank. I don’t belong here. I’m not as beautiful, fabulous, confident or socially astute as any one of the people here. Continue reading “The Perfect Pout”

It’s all about balance. PH balance. 

It’s all about balance. PH balance. 

Let’s start first with a science lesson:

Your skin is acidic with PH level of around 5.5. 


This is the ideal level for your skin to maintain its perfect state of being. What this also means is ideally the items you put on your skin should allow it to return to its natural state of 5.5 ph. 

If you have seen “Fight Club” you know that this isn’t that case with soaps and cleansers. Cleansers tend to be alkaline based and this is great when breaking down oil. It helps liquify the sebum and dirt aka gross stuff clogging pores. While that sounds like a fluffin dream hold your horses before you drop reading this and go wash your face. WARNING: alkaline can be extremely caustic to your skin if used improperly (once again remember the scene from Fight Club?). I noticed there is a trend of using baking soda to wash your face. I’ve also noticed a trend of people getting caustic burns after this. So I thought I would jump in and save the day and your face with my nerdy knowledge. 
Back in the day 


When I went to esthetics school they taught the steps of a proper facial: 
1)Remove eye and lip makeup with makeup remover. 
2) Precleanse (this helped remove foundation and open the pores instead of grinding dirt into the skin when cleansing)
3) Cleanse (kind of like the hobbits second breakfast. Did I mention I love Lord of the rings?)
4). Tone 
5) Exfoliate
6) Mask
7) Serum
8) Moisturize
9) Sunscreen 

It varies from company to company and training to training but this is how I always have it in my head. When I began working for skincare companies they were trying to minimize the steps. They felt the consumer was in too much of a hurry to do majority of these steps. Just like the pointless All-in-one shampoo and conditioner, they began to combine products like moisturizer and sunscreen. However they noticed this combo left a heavy film on the skin they dwindled the physical SPF down. Moisturizers with sunscreen are found to be less effective now because of consumer needs. Put that in your back pocket and think about it. 

Another major thing that changed was toners aka astringents. They were being eliminated or combined with facial wash or exfoliants. One less bottle to worry about. Consumers don’t want to be bothered. 

Unfortunately, by removing this step you are not returning the skin to its original acidic state. You have allowed it to stay in the alkaline level which disrupts the skins natural process. It continues to “dissolve oil” which is the good oil. Yes oil is good for your skin. It protects from the harsh environment we live and work in. 

Now let’s add all of this together. A large majority of people don’t exfoliate, treat or even moisturize. This skincare snowball wreaks havoc on the skin causing dryness/flakiness, abrasions/infections from the skin microcracking, pigmentation from said dryness affects, acne breakouts due to dryness and infections (whaattt? See prior posts if you’re confused) and last but not least PreMature Aging. I knew that would get your attention. Yup. That’s right. Fine lines and wrinkles are in the future. 
Toner has been looked at as unnecessary simply because our “quick service” society we live in deems it so. Just like waiting in line frustrates the fluff out of us. We are too much of an instant gratification society. Our bodies, mind and bank accounts show it. 

Tone tone tone

Now, you have to realize that not all toners are created equal. Let us not forget the scary world of astringents like Sea breeze (flesh burner, but doesn’t that mean it’s working? Nope.) and toners that are just scented water. 

Fear not. Because I am a ingredient nerd I will do all the fancy work for you. 



Break it down:


Toners should return the skin to a ph level that will allow your exfoliant, mask or serum (or all of the above) to penetrate and work to its fullest advantage. It prepares your skin for success. College prep for your face. 
Some companies label chemical exfoliants as toners for example:  Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner or Pixi Glow Tonic. These are awesome but you need to only use them as directed. Thinned skin is not cool and causes infections and pigmentation. If you have sensitive skin be cautious. 

 You technically should only be exfoliating 2-3 times a week at the most. This doesn’t mean you can use a different exfoliator everyday! Be gentle to your skin. Chemical exfoliants like Glycolic (10% or higher) and Salicylic (5% or higher) count as an exfoliant. *Free pass though- if your skin is dull and dry use the Glycolic toner once daily until it clears up! I usually use it in the morning, before moisturizing, to freshen my face for perfect makeup application. 

Toners should have an acidic base. Witch hazel has a ph level of 3.3 and works great, plus it is fairly inexpensive. Make sure it is low alcohol, you can find the lowest alcohol content witch hazel at the natural grocery stores. Although alcohol is beneficial in opening the pores, it can dry the hell out of your face! Witch hazel is great for calming acne. I swear by it. *Helpful tip-never exfoliate ruptured acne. It’ll make it worse. Instead use witch hazel on cotton rounds and place them in the refrigerator for a bit. Then apply to face. You are welcome. 
Rose water can be found at the natural stores or online. It’s smells beautiful and is packed full of vitamin c. Unfortunately it’s only a PH of 6-7 so it won’t bring your skin back to the desired state quickly but it’s a start. You can however use it as a face refresher during the day. Spritz it on your face to freshen makeup. Or before bed (after you have washed your face and done all the right steps) mist your face and lay back and relax. *Tip- if you must use it as a toner mix it with Witch hazel! Boom. You’re welcome. 
Some companies still have awesome toners. Dermalogica, Origins, Mario Badescu, Clinique, Lancôme, Murad, No. 7, Burts Bees, etc are just a few I recommend. The nice thing is you can mix and match toners. It can be a toner for dry skin and you’re using an anti-aging face wash or maybe a calming toner with an acne fighting serum. Regardless you can customize! 

Everyone’s skin is different. Be brave! Try it out and see what you think. Let me know if it’s helping or if your feeling frustrated. I’m here for you 

The end…of summer

The end…of summer

Le gasp! Can you believe that it’s almost the end of summer? Well, for some of us, it is rapidly approaching. Seeing the middle of August on my calendar I felt this was the perfect time to give you all some guidance on how to cope with the changing of the seasons affecting your skin! Continue reading “The end…of summer”

ZPalette Dupe

ZPalette Dupe

I’m a single shadow junkie. Well, I’m a makeup junkie, but I have an embarrassingly (or impressively, depending on whether you’re insane like me) large collection of single shadows. Until now, I have shelled out $28 a pop for an XL ZPalette on Amazon. These palettes hold anywhere fro 20-35 single shadows depending on the pan size and shape. That’s nearly $1 per shadow to store them conveniently. I just spent $1 per shadow at the Coastal Scents’ hot pot sale. Continue reading “ZPalette Dupe”