Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

How can I save money on makeup?

There are a whole bunch of ways to save money on makeup, and let me tell you some of my favorite ways.

Bargain beauty. There are bargain websites, like makeup.com, which sell some name brands for up to half off.  YMMV, though, because sometimes nothing strikes my fancy and other times there’s a bunch!  Beautycrunch.com also has a few brands available at discount prices, too.  My favorite way is just doing some preliminary searching on the internet to try and find a deal.

Friends & Family Sales. These days most brands are getting into the friends and family spirit by holding annual (or sometimes semi-annual) sales where you can save 15-20% off on everything.  I have found many of these deals are good online only, though.

Keep a Lemming List. Don’t ask me the history of “lemmings” and why they’re called such, but if you keep a list of products you have an eye on… you can easily check it to see if an item is on sale.  Say you spot a F&F sale going on, but you’re not sure what you loved–your list will help you remember.  This also helps me keep my eye on the “prize” (prizes?), because I’ll often save up for an item I really want and skip on an item that’s just so-so but might catch me with its fancy packaging.

Know What You Have. There’s a good reason why people ask, “What’s a good dupe for _______?”  Most of us don’t want to own ten versions of Deep Truth eyeshadow (though, despite this, many of us own at least one or two).  You can easily save money by not buying duplicate products, but also going for variety rather than collecting them all.  Even when there is a slight variance, you might ask yourself, “If I used a different base or layered it with X shadow, could I dupe it that way?” An easy dupe might not be available, but you might find a good dupe by layering colors (e.g., lighten your deep green with a frosty yellow).

Gift Sets and Gift With Purchase. With the holidays right around the corner, nearly every cosmetic retailer gets into the spirit of the holidays by pushing gift sets, palettes, etc. Usually, these are a good deal.  Often you’ll get more for your money than buying things alone.  Sometimes you can try new products out by spending less (like getting a trial set).  Also, brands do GWPs throughout the year, which let you try new products or rediscover old favorites, plus a cute makeup bag or what have you.  (By the by, Clinique has an amazing one coming up!)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Should I get full size brushes or a brush set?

It isn’t actually a question of which one to get, but which one will better suit your needs. There is often debate between brush set quality vs. full-size brush quality. In the case of MAC brush sets, they are machine made, while full-size brushes are handmade. These brushes contained in sets aren’t terrible, and they get you good value for the price. They just aren’t identical to full-sized brushes, and it makes sense, because you’re getting the brush set for much less than if you bought the full-sized brushes together.

Value is the number one reason to purchase a brush set over individual brushes. The MAC face brush set contains the SE 187 and the set retails for $49.50 (as of Holiday 2008)–and the full size version retails for $42.00! Say you rarely use the 187, then you really don’t need the full-size version, right? You just get more brushes for your money than you would buying individual brushes. Budget beauty addicts may find brush sets a way to invest in good brushes without breaking the bank.

Finally, those who are new to makeup might find this an excellent opportunity to take advantage of trying out multiple brushes at once. This way they can figure out what brushes they actually will use and how often will they be used. If you love eyeshadow, you might find you just need to have MAC’s 239 brush–and perhaps even a few of them.

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Go ahead! Ask your questions–now’s the time to get product recommendations, comparisons, or just find out what my favorite moisturizer is. I’ll be keeping an eye out on this post so I can answer questions quickly aka today! :D Feel free to chime in with your answer to someone else’s question, too!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

One of my most frequently asked questions in makeup is: what color eyeshadow will suit my ______ colored eyes?

Generally speaking, both artists and makeup artists are knowledgeable about the color wheel, which displays several colors in a circle. Complimentary colors are opposite of each other; for example, red’s complimentary color is green.

Typically, the following is advised:

  • Green eyes: Purples, pinks, and reds
  • Blue eyes: Oranges, coppers, golds
  • Hazel eyes: Warm tones, bronzes, greens
  • Brown eyes: Browns, bronzes, greens
  • Gray eyes: Grays, cool tones, brown

Do you agree? Do you find that the colors that make your eyes “pop” are complimentary? I have hazel eyes, and in that respect, both greens and bronzy colors do work well; depending on the hue, it will either bring out the green or the brown/gold flecks in my eyes.

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

As I was browsing Sephora’s latest products, I came across Cargo’s Essential Eyeshadow Palette, which comes in three different versions (Warm, Cool, and Dark). Each eyeshadow palette consists of four nude/natural colors, and as you can see, they are labeled to make your life even easier.

Do you want brands to make it easy on you? This is a great example of a no-brainer when it comes to makeup application. Much like makeup palettes and quads and quints, many of us get that there is a highlighter, crease, and lid color. But do you listen? Do you prefer to have no labels on what you’re using so you have utter freedom?

I think this could be great for someone who rarely wears makeup, because this information just isn’t ingrained into them like it is in us beauty addicts. But me, I wouldn’t mind a quad that didn’t have a highlighter color in it. I think it’s fun to try and come up with multiple combinations using the colors all sorts of different ways. I’m definitely not against these kinds of products, but they’re not up my alley. What do you think?

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Have you had that Ah-ha! Moment? It’s that moment where you’ve used a product and felt like it’s changed your life or completely tilted your world’s axis. As a long-time beauty addict, my ah-ha moments are few and far between these days, but I’m always inspired when I see others have them.

Last week, I went with my younger sister so she could do some back-to-school shopping (and I could have an excuse to window shop!). My younger sister is so not like me; we are definitely two different people. With that being said, I’ve only recently managed to nag her enough to start cleansing and moisturizing on a regular basis. (Don’t get me started on trying to get anyone in my family to wear sunscreen!) I noticed her cheeks were flaking a bit when I applied Studio Fix Powder on her (I figured what easier way than a compact–with a sponge–foundation for her?), and I was like, “You need to EXFOLIATE!”

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