Beauty Post: Staying Power

My sister rocks. For many reasons — I will not list them all here — but I will share a few. Time for a list (in no particular order of awesomeness!

  • She loves me so much that in the last eight weeks, she has been here with me twice to go to my Chemo.
  • She also loves me so much that she will come right after my surgery to take care of me.
  • She buys me things from Ulta and brings them to me. This is especially awesome because our closest Ulta is like 30 minutes away, and I don’t like driving there.
  • She lets me eat whatever I want — and occasionally procures it for me — and doesn’t judge me.
  • Her husband is a kick-butt bartender. Technically that’s why he is awesome, but she picked him, so …
  • I keep a note that she wrote me like a year ago in my planner, because it is one of the sweetest things she’s ever written to me. I showed it to her today, and she cried. Finally someone who cries more than me!
  • Ok, I did save the best for last. She does this all while coping with Multiple Sclerosis. The poor thing gets sick practically every time she flies, but she is still willing to come see me. MS makes her tired, but she’s still coming to see me.
  • Wait! I thought of one more. She comes in the room with me before Chemo when I have to have my port accessed and blood drawn even though she really hates needles.

I could go on, but I will save it for some gigantic card or something that I will write her when all this is over. Plus, this is supposed to be a Beauty Post. I promise she’s related to it because the post is about the two presents she brought me this visit:

The first one is this is Stay Don’t Stray by Benefit. This is for eyes. Three dots on the eyelid and three underneath the eye. Today wasn’t my best eyeshadow day, but boy did it stay put.

My sister has good taste. This product works amazingly. Sis is a loyal Ulta customer, so I am also linking the product so you can buy it there. Look how amazingly my concealer has stayed on! And this is with allergy eyes that are watering constantly! (By the way, I forgot to share on the other post that my stuffiness and what I thought was a cold is far more likely allergies. My NP suggested some different OTC allergy meds).

I will try to post another pic when I have a better eyeshadow day (my eyes were swollen this morning). All shadows I used were from Bare Minerals (I’m not naming or linking them because they are older, and I don’t think they are carried anymore), which normally don’t have great pigmentation. With the base of the Stay Don’t Stray, the pigmentation was much better! And it stayed all day. This makes me more likely to purchase eyeshadow from Bare Minerals in the future. Note: I have only used single colors in pots, not any pressed eyeshadows.

The second product is called Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray. Sis also purchased it at Ulta. The picture was taken tonight (again). Keep in mind that I have blown my nose at least a dozen times today:

Wow. Just wow! Look at how well my makeup stayed on! Before applying the product, shake well. Then, while holding it 8-10 inches from your face spray once or twice in an X motion (close your eyes first) and once or twice in a T motion. It dries and sets quickly. Less makeup comes off (at least from what I see on a tissue), and I am able to go for 12 hours (probably more) with great-looking makeup.

I am fortunate to be able to try these two products, as they were gifted to me, but if you are a regular makeup wearer, I suggest considering. The Stay Don’t Stray helps lighter-pigmented shadows pop.I used yesterday with an e.l.f eyeshadow duo and the shadows went from barely there to gorgeous! So you could rationalize that the more expensive base allows you to experiment with less expensive shadows. Just saying’. Plus the way it holds my concealer on, even with allergy-eyes makes it very likely I will use again.

As a girl with allergy issues, I would also recommend the Urban Decay Setting Spray. So little is used with each application, and it keeps makeup on better than a makeup base. Nor more red nose by the end of the day! If you’re not sure, I’d weigh your needs against the cost. If you’re not a huge makeup wearer, duh, it’s not for you. But if you enjoy wearing makeup and find that blowing your nose, or wiping your mouth tends to remove bits of your makeup, this may be worth the investment.

That’s all for tonight, kids. Thanks for being willing to see picture after picture of a bald me and for reading.



My FIRST Beauty Post

I am SO excited!!! Can you tell?? Before I get started, I have to thank my longest friend (I used to say oldest, but then people started thinking she was old), whom I have known since I was six years old. She was three. I’m not sure we were actually friends at that point, because I mean … she was a toddler. But we’ve stayed friends: she was in my wedding. If she gets married, I know I will be in hers (wink, wink). She’s my sister’s sister-in-law. She gave my now husband the affectionate nickname “Stalker” when we went to Italy together in 1999. It’s been a good run, and even though we don’t talk or email much, I think we have mutual faith that we love each other and we ALWAYS have each other’s back.

And my cancer diagnosis was no exception. She gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I received. Gifts to make me feel feminine and pretty. Nail polishes, lipstick, and a fabulous eyeshadow gift set. Plus a gift card to pick my own goodies. I have taken such an interest in my make up now, especially since I am now bald as a cue ball (you’ll see soon). So A, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel pretty when I go out 🙂

This post will be a little longer, because I’m going to share with you some of my basic routine. First of all, I am horrible about a cleansing and moisturizing routine. Which is bad because my skin gets very dry. So I recently signed up for BirchBox. So far, I am enjoying it. They send different samples each month, and if you like them, it is super easy for you to order from your “box.” I have ordered a serum and a moisturizer from them. Once I give it a few weeks, I may review them here (I am not being paid by BirchBox, I just want to share things with my friends that I think works).

I am a pretty loyal Bare Minerals user. I have been for years, now. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all, and I don’t feel quite so guilty when I sleep in my makeup. Although, since I’m so focused on my eye makeup, I tend to wake up looking like a, well, a person who might wake up in an alley questioning her previous night’s decisions (was that PC enough?). Not to mention my poor pillowcase. So I am focusing on washing my face at night now. How quickly I digress.

My favorite thing from Bare Minerals right now is this product, applied with the pictured brush.

It’s a tinted hydrating cream. In the summer, I sometimes wear this without their famous BareMinerals Powder Foundation. Right now, though, I start with this as a base, applying it to my face with my finger, and blending in with the brush, paying closer attention to dark or red spots, and applying specifically under my eyes (dark circles) and on my eyelids. I follow with the three-steps of the powder foundation.

Here is my look from today. I didn’t have a chance to take it until this evening, so some of the makeup has undoubtedly worn off, especially since I’m still blowing my nose a lot.

I had on one of the cute hats that my friend S knitted for me, but I was too warm when I got home, so I decided to show you my new bald head.

I wore a black and grey top today, so I decided to try out the sample I received in my December BirchBox. But, I wanted to throw some more dimension too. Here are the shadows I used:

So my inspiration for the look was the sampler in the middle. I think it is found in the set linked there. But, since I received Le Grand Chateau from Too Faced as a gift (I linked the brand site, but feel free to search your favorite makeup place, too), I felt like two shadows weren’t enough. As far as tools go, I do have a set of eye brushes that I got from Sephora (worth it, in my opinion. I have other brushes too, but I got a gift card, so I got this new set with several more brushes. Bottom line is that eye brushes — whether a few or a set — make a huge difference in application).

I started with La Marais from Too Faced as an all over color — up to the brow bone, down to the lash line. It looks very white in the case, but it actually has this gorgeous pale pink shimmer to it (upon further research, it appears that this is only available in the gift set I was given. However, I am sure that they carry a similar, if not, exact color with a different name). Then I used the left color in the Sample Pack under the brow bone, to the corner, to the lash line. Feel free to connect that all to appear as one stroke. I did this two or three times on each eye to build the color.

Next I used the Mojito in the crease (again several applications). Unfortunately, this did fade quite a bit. I’m still hoping for an eye shadow primer in one of my future BirchBoxes.

Finally, I took a liner brush to the darker Sample Color to create the look of an eye liner to the lash line. For me, the shadow ends up creeping to the lower lash line, so I just need to fill in a bit to get the bottom liner look.

I followed up with Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I’m not being dirty, that’s actually the name of it. It was part of the gift set, and I didn’t fully realize till I looked at the picture with my eyes closed how much I like it!

I finished up with Tre Fab bronzer, which apparently is only available in Le Grand Chateau, linked above, and a swipe with my Bare Minerals finishing brush. I don’t add more powder, just use the remaining in the brush to create a seamless look. The eye shadow can spread to your temples and under eyes … just take a big fluffy brush to wipe away. If you don’t have a brush, a tissue works wonders too 🙂

OK, that’s a wrap! Please provide your critiques, suggestions, adulation, whatever, in the comments.