Monthly Archives: February 2015

Gilded Glamour Look from NYX

Winter sucks. There is no other poetic way to phrase that. I’m tired of 14 degree weather (on a good day). I’m exhausted from trudging up the hill on my campus with snow boots and a puffy winter coat. One day I had to pull my knit cap over my face to protect myself from the wind. I was desperately trying to see through the cracks of the knitting, and oh yeah I was walking around with a hat covering my entire face! Not a good look.
I’m not going to sugar coat this by creating some kind of spring look to try and trick us into thinking of warmer weather. Instead, I’m going to keep it real. Winter is heavy and dark, and that’s the makeup look you are getting today. Let’s look at rich shadows and intense lip butter from NYX. Let’s do this people.
The Products:

Girl Talk Eyeshadow
(champagne color)
Bedroom Eyes Eyeshadow (chocolate bronze)
Jewel Eyeliner.
Toasted Marshmallow Intense Lip Butter.
Tinted Brow Mascara in Espresso.

See a pattern here? Everything revolves around food and beverage. That’s basically what winter is all about.
Let’s have a look:


Yeah, I named this look Gilded Glamour because Winter Slump wasn’t as catchy.
Let’s talk about some of these new things.
What I love:
πŸ’‹ The shadows are gorgeous. Probably even more so when applied wet. I didn’t get there yet, but I’m sure it’s good stuff.
πŸ’‹ The brow mascara is a warm shade and has just enough product to hold my brows in place without making them look too heavy. Are you over the Groucho brow look? Cuz I am.
πŸ’‹ The lip butter is wild. Verrrry deep. I’m not sure my iPhone cam
Is capturing the color depth. It has so much pigment. I’m not sure about why they went with the name choice of Toasted Marshmallow. It’s nothing like a toasted marshmallow. Red velvet cake would have been a better name. Does that color exist already? I don’t know, but I’m getting hungry.

Ok, another shot:

Now let’s focus on the lips (but again, this is not showing the contrast enough) :

So there it is. My Gilded Glamour look. My bad-ass, screw you Winter, I’m gonna look fabulous anyway, look. You can’t break me. I’ve got a tough exterior and some kick-ass Lipcolor.

(Bitch face)

Till next time…


The Power of Makeup.

Yesterday I woke up to a very red and irritated t-zone. The winter weather had dried out my skin and it did not take well to a BHA treatment I put on the night before. Of course, I had to go to work yesterday at my makeup job.
How did I cover it up?
I used my Vasanti Wonders of the World concealer in Y2 and topped it off with Clinique Almost Powder Foundation in Shade 4. That was it.
The Vasanti product takes the prize for covering the redness. This product is supposed to be for under eye circles but it is perfect for redness and breakouts.
Plus it’s oil-free, and no breakouts!

Here are the fruits of my labor. The rest of my makeup is nothing to talk about (I just got over being sick).
But I covered this⬇️ and that’s pretty damn good.


ROTD: Reaction of the Day and some lovin’ for La Roche-Posay

Ok, ROTD is not a thing, I know. So my skin was looking pretty dandy. Random breakouts were clearing and life was good. I noticed some clogging on my tzone, so I used a 4% BHA that I’ve used on an off. The results on my face this time were wayyyy off.
Without further ado…

I woke up to this.
I will not name this product because it’s kind of amazing and it never gave me a problem before. It’s just my freaky deaky skin. The point of this post is to show you that your skin can change at anytime if it feels like it. This is probably sensitivity from the cold weather. Maybe I will try this again in the summer.
In the meantime I will use this to calm the redness:

Rosaliac AR Intense Serum from
La Roche-Posay
. This stuff is my holy grail for skin. I really hate that expression. I’m sorry I resorted to it, but I’m in pain.
I use this stuff to keep my mild Rosacea and Perioral Dermatitis in check. So soothing. So magical.
Till next time.

Almay: Simply American?

In January, Almay launched their “Simply American” brand statement featuring their brand ambassador, Carrie Underwood. The advertisement features a radiant Underwood, along with picturesque images of rural landscape. These images are complimented by a voiceover of Underwood saying these words:

“Almay celebrates the true spirit of American beauty, which rises from the heart of our great country.
Dreams are born, hopes fly high,
We love this country with a passion. You can see the pride in our eyes, read the joy in our faces, hear the love on our lips.
We create products that deliver an effortless beauty look; genuine and glowing with confidence.
Almay. Simply American.”

When I look at Carrie Underwood she does seem to embody the best of American Beauty- from the 1950’s. Her blond hair and fair complexion are quite lovely, but are they really still the American ideal of beauty? Before I explore that I’d like to note that the other two people included in this advertisement are two blond children. The only non-blond is the dog which Underwood is holding in her lap. After seeing this ad, my mother quipped, “They should call it Simply Blond.”
While that’s kind of funny, there is something about this ad that I find unsettling. This feeling rises in me when I think of the limited shade selection that Almay has to offer. Their shades, which I will showcase in a bit, run only as deep as a medium skin tone. Keeping that in mind and watching the images of the blond Underwood and the blond children have me realizing what could possibly be the subtext here.
Almay:Simply White.
I’m not suggesting that this was intentional, but nevertheless it is still offensive. In reality, true American beauty is a variety of skin tones. Yet companies like Almay and Neutrogena seem to exclude many consumers by offering a limited selection catered solely to Caucasian consumers.

To understand this a bit more, let’s have a look at some of Almay’s deeper skintone offerings.

Those were images taken from their website, but I’ve also included a photo which I’ve shot myself:

As I mentioned before, Neutrogena offers a limited selection as well.
Let’s look at their brand ambassadors:

(Images taken from
Now let’s look at the deepest shade they offer, which is “Tan”:

(Images taken from and
I think this “Tan” shade is a bit deeper than Almay’s shades are, but it is a medium-deep tone at best. As you can see, there are many other skin-tones excluded by this line.
Not all drugstore brands offer such a limited selection. For example, Maybelline and Covergirl have expanded their shade selections with their newer foundation lines, Fit Me and TruBlend.
Here are some examples:

While these lines have more variety, there is always room for improvement.
So if Almay is not the only drugstore brand to offer a limited selection, why am I focusing on them? Well, the Simply American campaign really bothered me, and I wonder if it bothers anyone else. How can they create a commercial about celebrating American beauty when they do not celebrate ALL of American beauty?
If it isn’t clear enough, let’s look at a true representation of skin tones as provided by MAC Cosmetic’s color scale. This company uses undertones and number levels to categorize complexion, and I prefer that as opposed to using marketing terms like alabaster, caramel or espresso.
To help understand the ranges of skin tone as categorized by MAC Cosmetics, I found this handy dandy color chart from

This gives you an idea of what the full range looks like.
Now, I will insert where I think Almay’s colors fall in…

That brings it to about an NC40, and that’s being generous.
As you can clearly see, Almay leaves out a large section of skin tones with the limited shade range they offer. By having a shade range which extends from light to medium only, Almay has excluded women of color from their business. This is something that can be frustrating and hurtful to those not represented.
These were the thoughts which inspired me to write this piece. Every time I’d see the commercial, I had an uncomfortable feeling. I knew that something was wrong and it needed to be said.
I’d like to note that I am actually a big fan of Almay’s other products, and I’ve reviewed them on my Pretty Fresh Beauty Blog. They were recommended to me when I was a teenager by my dermatologist, and I find they are an excellent brand choice for sensitive skin on a budget. However, it is 2015 and they need to get with the times!
Before I go, I have a sincere request. Almay, please expand your complexion selections. Offer a range of tones which reflect the beautiful varieties of American cultures. And finally, please insert this message of appreciating diversity into your advertisements.
Here are some pictures of amazingly beautiful women I know- just incase you need some inspiration

Till next time…

Contour No More!

It started out innocently.
First some tips on how to bronze your skin…
Draw a number 3 along the side of your face
Then tips on how to combine bronzing with blush:
Sweep a matte bronze shape in the hollows of your cheekbones and then pop a blush color on the apple.
Then highlighting…
Apply highlighter in a “C” around your eye from above the brow to below the eye.
Then in 2007 this show aired...

And all contour hell broke loose.
Contouring is everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

Google the word contour and this is what you’ll find:

Layers and layers of pancaked makeup in stripes and designs suitable for the cast of The Lion King. My skin is breaking out at the thought of putting that much crap on my face.
Now I should note that these wild stripes are usually all blended out seamlessly, and the overall effect makes the model look like an entirely different person. But that right there is the problem.
Makeup is supposed to accentuate your beauty, not hide it under layers of shadows and light. Have you ever looked at the amount of color placed on a model before the blending begins? It is a mask of makeup- A MASK! What’s more concerning to me is that it is changing the look of skin tones. Those with deeper skin tones are having their complexions lightened with an overdose of highlighter, and those with lighter skin tones are piling on the bronzer. Nobody is celebrating the beautiful skin they were born with.
Where we were once a melting pot of beautiful complexions ranging from fair to deep, we now have one skin tone: KARDASHIAN.
It has to stop.
However, I’m not sure it will. Even one of the companies I work for has now come out with a crayon set for contouring. No one is safe. I can’t wait until prom season when I have 17 year olds requesting The Kardashian Circle of Life look.
Look, I get the benefits of contouring. It can help to distract from visible scars, it can be put on the neck to lessen the look of jowls, and it can give a nice definition to the face. However it has crossed a line when it is distorting people’s features and skin tone. This sends a message out to young girls and boys that they are not good enough as they are.
ENOUGH! Enough with the globs of white grease paint, and the stripes and the Kardashian worship.
Honor your natural beauty.
Till next time…

Free Sample! Review of Jane Intense Color Lipgloss

The best things in life are free. Laughter, love, happiness, all that Hallmark shtuff. But germs are free too, and right now I’m thinking they aren’t so great. I’m feeling a little under the weather, and while I’ve prided my immune system on surviving customers coughing on me, and having everyone around me sick, I think I’m finally succumbing to something. Gross. What can I do?
I guess I can distract myself with some beauty babble…
Let’s discuss:
Jane Intense Color Lipgloss in
Make a Statement

I’ve seen these sold at Ulta and Kohl’s and today I was given this FULL SIZE FREE SAMPLE from the lovely beauty department cashier at Kohl’s. No rhyme or reason. She just stuck it in my bag along with some Juicy Couture Fragrance samples (I will pass on those).
Well, the best things in life are free, because I am in love 😍

So much color and moisture! The color choice is spot on too!
This gloss normally sells for $7.00, and you get a nice amount in there.
It’s time to wrap up this post and stay still till my Advil kicks in. I will do my best to stay awake for Better Call Saul. That show! So good, and it’s free!
Well, not really. Fios doesn’t pay for itself. Smooches! πŸ’‹