Face it with @MissCooooooool: Is it worth it? Part 1

MissCooooooool

Written by makeup artist @MissCooooooool

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people about my first makeup post on 20poorandfabulous and I want to extend a sincere “THANK YOU” to everyone that read it. Makes me feel warm fuzzies inside.

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There are thousands of products out there ranging from $3 at the drugstore to $75 at Sephora that claim to do the same thing. “Is it worth it?” is a question a lot of people wonder about expensive products. Even seasoned makeup-doers question if the $3 version of the $75 product will perform just as well. As many of the readers of this blog are in their 20s, poor, and trying to stay as fabulous as they can with post-grad-trying-to-pay-back-loans budgets, I’m going to be offering up some solid advice on whether certain products are worth the extra money.

This is going to be a two part blog. The first part will be devoted to makeup and the second part will cover skin care and makeup tools, including a brush-by-brush breakdown. I’ve tried everything on this list and I’ll give you my honest opinion on if you need to drop the $$$ or not.  Sit back, take notes, and enjoy.

MAKEUP.

Foundation

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation $31 at Nordstroms

Revlon ColorStay Foundation $9.98 at Walmart

worthit_pt1-01Verdict: Spend the $$$. There is a reason why it’s called “foundation.” It is the base for your whole makeup look. You’re paying for so much more than just a layer of skin colored goo. You want a product that blends with your skin, matches the coolness/warmness/neutrality of your skin tone, and covers only as much as you need it to cover, not more or less. You’re also paying money to know that once you apply it, it’s not going anywhere. I’m not saying that MAC is going to have your right foundation, but you should be willing to try a few brands to find your right product. Lancome, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, and MAC are some of the best foundation brands out there. Don’t worry about “what if I end up hating it?” Stores and counters will color match you, give you samples, and have a generous return policy even if you return it partially used.

Concealer

MAC Select Cover Concealer $18 at Macy’s

L’Oreal True Match Concealer $5.29 at Target

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Much like foundation, concealer is important. You’re paying for a color that matches your skin tone perfectly, a product that corrects and covers well, and a product that will last all day. You don’t need to use concealer from the same brand as your foundation, but you do need to use a concealer that will cover target areas. Some concealers are better for dark circles, some are better for blemishes. Talk to a makeup artist at Sephora, MAC, or Bobbi Brown about what problem areas you want to conceal.

BB Cream

Urban Decay Naked BB Cream $34 at UrbanDecay.com

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream $12.99 at Ulta

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. As it turns out, I’m allergic to Garnier facial products, but aside from that, Urban Decay is better. In fact, it’s the best. I use BB cream in place of primer because of its added SPF. You want a BB cream that melts into the skin and provides a nice base for your foundation. The Garnier had a chalky finish that sat on my skin and messed with the finish of my foundation. No, thanks. 

Face Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $36 at Smashbox.com

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer $10.99 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. Primer has been a mainstream makeup product for a while now and it’s pretty easy to find a primer that will work for you. You will still need to try a few if you have oily skin, but most people with “normal” skin should be just fine with a basic primer. Just keep an eye out for breakouts for the first week or two and be ready to try something new if you react poorly to a primer. 

Eye Shadow Primer

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion $20 at UrbanDecay.com

NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base $7 at NYXcosmetics.com

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Eyeshadow primer is a must and a good primer can turn even the cheapest shadows into workable products. There’s a reason why Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is everywhere: it’s the best out there. They have formulas that absorb oil if you are prone to oily lids. Sadly, I’m allergic to this primer and I’m still on a mission to find a good primer that doesn’t make me look like I got punched in the eye. But, my eyeshadow looked great all day before the allergic reaction! 

Finishing Powder

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder $34 at UrbanDecay.com

L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder $8.99 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. You want a finishing powder that is light and blendable. With anything powder based, you want to avoid anything chalky, as they are near impossible to blend smoothly. Drugstore powders were once upon a time cheap and chalky, but companies are now making products with better ingredients and they look really nice on the skin.

Blush

Nars Blush in Sin $30 at Sephora

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Romantic $7.95 at CoastalScents.com

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Verdict: Save your $, but be careful. I tried two blushes in as close to the same color as I could get. I absolutely adore Nars “Sin” and I wear it everyday, but the Coastal Scents “dupe” is just as good. It is possible to find duplicate colors of high end blushes for less money that apply just as nicely. Coastal Scents, ELF, and NYX have some great blushes, but keep in mind the color payout varies from shade to shade. As with finishing powder, avoid anything cakey and chalky. 

Bronzer

MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Matte Bronze $25 at Macy’s

Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic in Light Bronzer $13.99 at Ulta

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Verdict: Spend the $$$. Bronzers are a delicate science. Using the wrong bronzer can make your face look unnaturally tan (read: orange) or even dirty. Yep, bronzer can end up looking like dirt. Most women buy whatever shade of bronzer they find and call it a day, but there are different shades and finishes of bronzer that women should be aware of. I like MAC bronzers because they have shades that will suit every skintone. Keep in mind, some bronzers are better for all over bronzing and some are better for countouring. Ask a pro for color matching.

 Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Naked2 Palette $52 at Sephora

Coastal Scents 88 Original Palette $19.95 at CoastalScents.com

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Verdict: Spend the $$$ but you can save your $, too I guess. Buckle up for this one, because I’ve got opinions. I thought about how to compare inexpensive shadows to expensive shadows for a long time. Comparing palettes is probably the best way to show how cheap shadows are almost worth buying, but not quite. Eye shadows are easy to produce. It’s easy to make them look beautiful and colorful in the package, but it’s all about what they do on your eyelids that matters. Companies like Coastal Scents that produce giant palettes are wonderful and terrible at the same time. They have palettes that boast 88 colors for $19.95, which sounds like a great deal compared to spending $52 for 12 colors from Urban Decay. But of those 88 colors, you might get some/mostly chalky shadows, and maybe 20 will have true color payout and then you only get a dime sized amount of them. What is color payout? Color payout means the color in the pan is the color that you get when you apply it. A good primer can make those shadows workable, but you’ll end up needing to layer a lot of the product to get the look you want and that means you’ll go through it faster. With palettes like the UD Naked brand, you are guaranteed full color payout from every single color without needing to layer and you get a generous amount of each shadow. I guess what I’m saying is yeah, you can make a cheap eye shadow look good, but you’re gonna work for it. You might be better off spending a little more money to get a better over all value.

Eye Liner – Liquid/Gel

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black $20 at Sephora

Rimmel Glam Eyes Precise Design Liquid Eyeliner in Black $5.79 at Walgreens

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Verdict: Save your $, unless you want a wide variety of colors. I love a sleek winged liner. It’s mod, glam, rock n roll, sexy, demure, and sophisticated all at the same time. Rimmel’s liner was actually really great. The brush made precise lines and it lasted all day and night. ELF has a great gel liner if you don’t like using liquid. Look for a liner that will give you a precision brush or felt tip and will give you a true black color. The only downside to drugstore liquid liners is if you’re looking for other colors, especially bright colors, you won’t find much other than black, brown, and navy. Stila has them all beat with delicious colors like cobalt, periwinkle, purple, emerald, fuchsia, grey, white, and brown.

Eye Liner – Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion $20 at UrbanDecay.com

CoverGirl Queen Collection Vivid Impact Eyeliner Pencil in Midnight $8.99 at Walgreens

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Verdict: Save your $ for a simple black or brown liner, unless you want funky colors. If you just need a simple black or dark brown liner, go with CoverGirl on this one. I was super impressed with how pigmented it was and how long it lasted. I’ve been into bright liner lately, and Urban Decay can’t be beat with their 40 color options. When they say 24/7, they mean it!

Mascara

Dior “Diorshow” Mascara in Black $25 at Nordstrom

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black $5.89 at Target

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Verdict: Save your $. I was very unimpressed by the Diorshow mascara, so much so that I returned it. For almost five times the price of my usual mascara, it was pretty disappointing, which is surprising because most women rave about Diorshow. I go through so much mascara that spending anything above $10 is stupid. It’s a product that you should be replacing every 2 months. There are some great drugstore mascaras out there. Maybelline Great Lash and Falsies are ones that you should check out, too.

Lipstick

MAC Lipstick in Japanese Maple $16 at Macy’s

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Soft Nude $6.99 at Target

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Verdict: Oh man, I can’t decide. Spend the $$$ and save your $…? It depends on what color you have in mind. The Revlon Colorburst line has been discontinued which made me so angry. Their Soft Nude color was the perfect nude and the only true nude color for fair skin that I’ve seen at drugstores. Why is it so hard to get a nude color that isn’t a mid-toned brown at the drugstore? I actually took the Revlon Soft Nude to MAC before I ran out to get a duplicate, which led me to Japanese Maple. If you have a specific color in mind, head to the makeup counter where you can try on a bunch of colors before you buy (and have the makeup artists disinfect the lipstick before you apply it.) You’re taking a chance when you buy a drugstore lip color but that doesn’t mean they’re not good colors.

Next up: I’ll be comparing drugstore to high end skin care products and makeup-ing tools. I’ll be going through makeup brushes, from powder brushes to eyeliner brushes. Thanks for reading, you beautiful faces, you!

Tweet me @MissCooooooool (that’s 8 Os) with any makeup questions!

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Face It with @MissCooooooool: Makeup tips for hot people who hate New Years Resolutions

MissCooooooool

Written by makeup artist @MissCooooooool

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This is not a list of resolutions.

I know. The new year started weeks ago. But it’s OK because this is NOT a list of resolutions.

There seems to be this collective sentiment that making resolutions is for the birds. That people who resolve to lose weight, be nice, complain less, and be more awesome at the start of the year will fall off the wagon by February. Sure, most people who make resolutions will not keep up with them, but personally I think that’s a symptom of society’s collective resistance to real change and growth (don’t get me started.) Goals are awesome. Taking a stance against making resolutions because it seems to be what everyone on your Twitter feed is doing is lame, but it seems to be how a lot of you feel so I’ll compromise.

I’ve made a list of beauty things that we as a collective makeup-loving group of beautiful people will NOT do in 2014. They are not-resolutions. It’s easy to follow because all you have to do is NOT do them. How’s that for a compromise, you Resolution-Grinches?

1. WE WILL NOT HAVE DIRTY FACES.

This is number one for a reason. I know too many bitties that don’t wash their faces daily and it hurts me. It breaks my heart. Do not go to bed wearing makeup. Do not forget to wash your face even if you didn’t wear makeup that day. Even if you didn’t wear makeup, the environment has been all up on your face. Wash that gunk off. I don’t care if it’s 4AM and you’ve been out drinking all night and all you want to do is fall asleep on your bathroom floor. Take 5 minutes to wash off that winged eyeliner. Your hungover self will feel that much better about life when you wake up with clean skin.

wash yo face. it's 2014. image from zimbio.com
wash yo face. it’s 2014. image from zimbio.com

2. WE WILL NOT FORGET TO MOISTURIZE.

Start and end your day by moisturizing your skin. And for the love of all that is good in this world, do not use your body lotion on your face. Buy a FACIAL moisturizer. The skin on your face and the skin on your body is very, very different; it must be treated as such. Moisturized skin not only looks better, but feels better, and will hold up better against aging in the long run. Makeup will look much better on well moisturized skin. Moisturized skin is oh so sexy. Imagine you’re a guy and you’re going in to kiss a girl, but you get distracted by the GIANT FLAKES OF DRY SKIN ON HER FACE. Mood killer.

3. WE WILL NOT GO OUT WITHOUT SPF.

Don’t ignore what dermatologists have been telling us about skin cancer and aging effects of the sun. Skin cancer is very real and trust me, having someone cut a chunk out of your skin is not a fun way to spend a day. Plus, fair skin is in, people! A cloudy winter day does not mean that you can get away without putting SPF on your face. There are tons of makeup products and moisturizers that come with SPF in them. My BB cream has SPF 35 and my foundation has SPF 10. Going to the beach? (Lulz, it’s January. I’ve forgotten what a beach looks like.) Goop on at least SPF 30 on your whole body.  And don’t even get me started on tanning beds. I’d rather have my pale skin be wrinkle free in my 40s than attempt to get a tan in my 20s. I’m Irish. I don’t tan and I’ve embraced it.

idiot. image via realclubresorts.com
idiot. image via realclubresorts.com

4. WE WILL NOT AVOID WASHING OUR MAKEUP BRUSHES.

Don’t go more than a week without washing your makeup brushes. Go to MAC, get their brush cleaner, and pick a day each week to thoroughly wash your brushes. Brushes perform better when they’re clean. Your brushes will last longer overall. I have brushes that are going strong after 5 years because I take great care of them. But the real reason you should be cleaning your brushes weekly is bacteria. You might as well apply your foundation with that nasty dish sponge you’ve been neglecting to throw out if you skip washing your makeup brushes. That shit’s gross.

5. WE WILL STOP TOUCHING, PICKING AT, SCRATCHING, AND MUCKING UP OUR FACES.

Don’t pick at your skin. I shouldn’t even have to explain why you shouldn’t. Just don’t. Your hands are gross, they touch gross things all day long. Keep them off your face. Wash your hands before you touch your face. Actually, just wash your hands all the time. It’s just good practice for, you know, avoiding illness and stuff. But it’s also super important for keeping your skin clear and happy. While I’m at it, wipe down your nasty cell phone and change your pillow cases weekly, at least. And as a side note: if you value your fingers in their unbroken state, don’t touch my face or anyone else’s for that matter.

this chick is nearing climax because she doesn't pick at her skin. AND YOU COULD TOO. image via sassisamblog.com
this chick is nearing climax because she doesn’t pick at her skin. AND YOU COULD TOO. image via sassisamblog.com

6. WE WILL NOT KEEP OUR MAKEUP IN THE BATHROOM.

This is a top peeve of mine. A friend of mine kept her makeup on top of her toilet, less than a foot away from where people took shits. Take a moment to think about that. Yuck. The bathroom is a wet, warm place. You know what likes all that steamy air more than you do? Bacteria. You might as well throw a bacteria party in your eyeshadows and gel eyeliners. Steam also breaks down makeup a lot faster than it would normally. Keep your makeup in your bedroom, away from the toilet and away from the steam.

7. WE WILL NOT BE AFRAID TO TRY BOLD LOOKS.

I first tried purple eyeshadow in 6th grade. But all the catty bitches in school were not having it (I saw you bitties whispering about me.) I didn’t care what they had to say, it looked fucking awesome. You want to try blue eyeshadow? I can show you some great looks with electric blue and teal. My next adventure is going to be colored eyebrows, specifically purple eyebrows. (Stanley Tucci in Catching Fire has it goin’ on!) Wear that orange lipstick with pride because you look great. I know some of you might be a bit gun shy with new looks, so I’ll do a post on how to balance bright and bold so you end up looking fierce and not like a clown.

SO HOT
SO HOT image via lovethispic.com

 8. WE WILL NOT FUCK UP OUR EYEBROWS.

Look in the mirror. Do your eyebrows resemble a textbook drawing of sperm? You’ve overplucked. Can you barely see your eyebrows? You need to seek help. Did you shave your eyebrows and get them tattooed on? Stop reading because you are too far gone and I can’t help you. I always recommend that girls find a really good eyebrow waxer/threader and have them shape their brows and then just pluck the strays as they come in to keep a nice shape. Even if your brows are a good shape, don’t underestimate the power of an eyebrow pencil. Well groomed brows can transform your face for the better. I could go on and on about eyebrows so I’ll be doing a post on brows very soon.

Don't end up like this poor dog. image via tumblr
Don’t end up like this poor dog. image via tumblr

9. WE WILL NOT FEEL UGLY.

It kills me when women (and even men) say they look and feel ugly. As cliché as it is to say this, everyone is beautiful. My years of practice with makeup and beauty has lead me to notice and really see everyone’s unique beauty. My goal is to teach people how to use makeup to play up what they have, bring out their specialness, not to adhere to society’s “standards of beauty.” You cannot look like her just like she cannot look like you, so why are you comparing yourself to her? Own your own look. I want to help people shine in their own way.