Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beauty and Skincare Picks

It’s been a heck of a long time my people. So long that my 7 followers have probably gone down to three followers. The followers meaning my Mom, a random person from halfway across the globe, and the sweet older lady from church. The OG fans of PFB. Cut to my Mom saying “What the hell is OG?”

I find this app frustrating, but it is the best way to organize thoughts and pictures so here I am giving it a try again. Grad school is over after 3 years of anxiety and I am ready to once again play with makeup and spread the word about some of my favorite things. Like this gal:

Disclaimer: No one is getting a car, or anything for that matter. Unless you count witty banter.

So without further adieu, here are my favorite things.

First Aid Beauty

It started out with using the Pure Skin Face Cleanser, a thorough face wash that removes dirt and makeup. As you can see from the squeezed bottle, I use it all the time. It is maybe my second or third one.

Then I began getting smaller sizes in Birchboxes (I broke up with Birchbox btw, too boring) and a fantastic Sephora 500 point reward. The Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser has been my go to product for the summer. I give my face a wash with the other Cleanser then I follow up with this to really get into the pores and remove the grimy NJ air. The Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (part of the Sephora reward) has been like a little shot of hydration to my skin. I use it on place of moisturizer for the summer. The Coconut Skin Smoothie Primer Moisturizer is being used under my eye as it is a bit rich for my face. It smells like real coconut too 😍 That was also in the 500 point reward which was hands down the best reward I have ever gotten. Finally? The Ultra Repair Cream is perfect for my dry peasant hands AND it’s good for eczema too. Love this brand because it caters to sensitive skin. I’m curious to try their new Retinol Serum. πŸ€”


If you follow me on IG (giginessa13), you know that so many of my makeovers involve this brand and I seriously live for them. Well, them and ice cream. And coffee. Anyway because I am a Lip junkie I have included some favorite formulas and colors. The Ultra Glossy Lip in Aquarius (pinky nude), the Ultra Satin Lip in barracuda (deep mauve Berry) and London Fog a beautiful pinky red. Also included is the Blotted Lip in Drip and Lolly. Finally, my most favorite formula, the Ultra Glossy Lip this one is from their collab with Hello Kitty. Did I mention these are 5 and six dollars?!!!

I love so much from this brand but the only other thing I will mention is the She palette from the Karruche collab

Just gorgeous. And 16 dollars.

Screw Naked Palettes, ColourPop is wear it’s at. Here are some ColourPop looks

Next CliniqueI can’t get enough of the new Even Better Glow Foundation. I wear Ecru. It makes my skin soft and luminous without the obvious glitter. Also I do not break out from it. Hallelujah. I’m proud to say they have a wide range from shade 2 to shade 90.

I always love my Chubby Lash in Portly Plum (so many compliments when I wear that). It lengthens, separates, and bathes the lashes in a flattering purple tone.

Finally, my Extra Mild Liquid Soap that I use to take off my makeup at night. I hate the feeling of a wet face and hair in the evening. It wakes me up. This you can tissue right off. It’s supposed to be used as a soap, but I use it for makeup remover and soap and the world has not stopped turning. #rebel

Next up, a mousse for Curly hair from L’OrΓ©al.

3.99 for a mousse that doesn’t weigh my hair down and holds my curls in place.

You know what also helps with that? This from R&Co

It’s a mousse texture conditioner! You can use it on a day off from shampoo but I use it every day and with shampoo. So expensive though, so thank God for my guardian discount angel hookup at a particular store that shall not be named. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

FINALLY, this setting spray from Too Cool For School

I got this on sale a K-Pop set from Birchbox. I never thought I’d like it because I was afraid of breaking out. I spray it before makeup and after to lock it in place. The smell is eh, but the feel is nice as heck.

Are you still with me? It’s 3:52 am in NJ. I need to sleep. Maybe I should do a favorites on chamomile tea, ambien, and counting sheep.

Till next time,

Smooches! πŸ’‹

p.s. This blog post better save πŸ™πŸ»


Channing Presents…July Birchbox

It’s no secret that I’m pretty lame when it comes to photographing my subscription box. So I decided I would be super lazy and make a photo collage of what was in my Birchbox (with images from as brought to you by Channing Tatum in his Magic Mike costume. 

Yup. Still want that artsy unboxing picture? I didn’t think so 😏

Overall, I’d say this month was a win! I took a chance by not choosing the curated box or even a sample choice, but I completely forgot. 

Let’s talk about what’s inside:

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara:

I love this mascara because it has a curved wand AND teeth. For the most part it combs and stretches lashes but you can see in my picture, it can also give them a tangled curl: 

Either way, you get lashes that stand out. Oh, and it removes easily when you want to take it off. 

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot:

I’m sorry did hell freeze over? Because this is the first time I actually like a perfume sample from Birchbox. I don’t think this company is connected to Harvey Prince. Harvey Prince is the stinky fragrance monopoly that ruins every Birchbox. This scent is technically a vanilla fragrance, but it also has notes of apricot and jackfruit. I’m not sure what jackfruit is but it smells pretty damn fine. Thumbs upπŸ‘πŸ»

MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme SPF 50:

Ok, I’m not sure how this will work out with my skin, but I’m psyched that it has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc. I do NOT fare well with  chemical sunscreens that begin with the letter O, as in “O hell yes you will break out from using this.” Excited to try this, but no promises just yet. 

Dr. Brandt Pore Dermabrasion:

I have not tried this yet, but I have always wanted to try it. I assume it will help with surface texture, not unclogging. You need a leave-on BHA for that. It will probably give a nice polish to the little flakes around my nose. Oh, it actually retails for 58 bucks so there is no way in hell that I will buy it unless I had a ton of Birchbox points or Dr. Brandt decided to gift it to me. Is Dr. Brandt a real person? Does he/she read obscure blogs with just 100 followers? Prob not. 

Rene Furterer Karinga Hydrating Styling Creme: 

This is a silicone free styling creme to smooth out frizz, static, and dryness. It’s not strong enough to use on its own, but it is a great finishing product. And the smell! It smells like the beach ❀️

Makes me think of Channing on the beach

Hello again! 😍

Till next time…

Smooches! πŸ’‹

Super Sweet 16: The Sara Edition.Β 

My sweet 16 was all the way back in 1994. I had a big party at a venue called The Zeris Inn, and my sister Valerie planned the entire thing. Tonight, history repeated itself as my niece Sara celebrated her sweet 16 at the same restaurant and Valerie, her mother, planned the entire thing.

Everything from the center pieces to the candles and the ornate candy bar was crafted by Valerie. I’m in awe at how she can pull things together. 

My niece was a goddess in rose gold

There she is pictured with my sister, Valerie. 

Since this is a makeup blog, I guess you’d like some makeup highlights. 

I did Sara’s makeup using the Naturally Pretty Palette from It Cosmetics. The lilac and pink shadows made her  green eyes pop. Her foundation is the Ivory shade of Beyond Perfecting from Clinique. Is there another foundation as amazing? I think not. Her blush is the elf cosmetics light blush quad, and her lipstick is from Kiko Milano. The shade was a trend item and no longer available, so why give you false hope? Plus I’m in bed as I write this and I do not have the energy to search for it. #bloggeroftheyearrighthere. 

I should note that my day was spent doing homework for a few  followed by doing Sara’s makeup. When I finally got to my own, I was so stressed that the vein was bulging out of my forehead. You can witness this in my before and after transformation below:

Makeup: Clinique Beyond Perfecting 6.5, itCosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette, Jouer Tint in Poppy, Marc Jacobs lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 

Btw, that shrug there is something I bought a long time ago when Loehmann’s was still open. It is from Lulu Guiness and it was just about the best 20 bucks I ever spent. I wore it to this event as well as other events. I will wear it to your children’s weddings and their children’s weddings. We will all quietly understand that I am going to wear this so much that you will bury me in it.

I’m sorry, but isn’t my niece gorgeous? 😍

I’m going to go for now. My fingers are swollen from the amount of sodium I consumed tonight. It’s hard to type, but I will leave you with a 

Till next time…

and a

Smooches! πŸ’‹

Still here? Here’s a bonus pic of a table shot from my sweet 16 in 1994. πŸ™Š

Instagram vs Reality

I’m a makeup artist who rarely wears a great deal of makeup. Most days I run out of the house to get Smarshmucks without much makeup on at all (I bet you can’t guess that name. #slick). Many times I’m people watching, but sometimes I engage in conversation. When I tell people that in addition to grad school, one of my two or three jobs is being a makeup artist, I get a puzzled look. This is because I usually look like this:

Ok, picture non-styled hair. I’m not that brave to do no makeup AND scrub hair in this post. 

My usual “I tried” look is not much more:

(Foundation, blush, mascara and a strong lip). 

But today I had a conversation with a gentleman about makeup, particularly Instagram styled makeup. I explained my appreciation for the art form, but how I would never leave the house that way. This is mostly because I’m just not comfortable; however, I was looking for an excuse to procrastinate and put my nervous energy to good use. )I start the second two classes of my four classes summer tomorrow. Ay yah yahhhy.)

So here is a heavy makeup look I created and I will list the products below:

This is the amount of product I used


❣Beyond Perfecting #9 Neutral. My summertime tan color. Usually I’m a 4 in the winter, 6.5 in spring/early summer, and now 9 after a tan. 

❣Chubby in the Nude: Clove as contour. 

❣ Dark blush in elf quad

❣Shadows: purple from NYX on lid. Mystery, transforming pearl on lid from itcosmetics, fate nd desire blended in. 

❣ Maybelline waterproof mascara

❣ Urban Decay vice lipstick in Moshpit. 

Verdict: Too heavy. I think I will stick to my usual. FYI Moshpit is an awesome lipstick. I will wear it alone, without competing eyes to throw it all off. 

Till next time. πŸ’‹ Smooches!

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick: A Tale of Insanity.Β 

Today was the day. 100 new lipstick colors from Urban Decay were released out into the wild. Do you know what I did today? I worked just about 12 hours between 2 different jobs and the second job was 7 hours of selling a different brand of makeup to cranky customers, but I STILL summoned the strength to make my way to Ulta to pick out my 1 out of 100 shade

So this happened:

Ok, so that’s not all of them, but it certainly is a lot. I felt like a leopard. Those poor Ulta employees. I feel your pain. I am your pain. 

Oh, were you looking to find an organized blogger who labels each swatch? Send me a link to her blog, because I’m looking for that post too. I have no idea what colors I’m looking at. I can say, that some of my favorites were Ravenswood, Moshpit, and Zzz

Hey, here’s the display:

*Not the full 100. Certain stores have certain colors. 

Here’s a close up of the section I favored:

*The display fixtures gross me out. It looks like chewed gum. Just sayin’

Now, there’s at least 65 colors to choose from in this store alone and what did I choose? The liptone tone. πŸ™„. That’s how I do. 

My 1 of 100: Ravenswood

Couple things: 

1. I’m exhausted. 

2. I love how my “unboxing” photos are done in my car in the parking lot. I feel like a makeup junkie. Moments like this make me realize I have zero impulse control. 

Some highlights:

I really like the cream and comfort matte finishes. The sheer finish is not so good. This lipstick is 17 bucks. That’s a good price for a luxury brand. I had a 10 dollar birthday coupon, so I scored this little guy for 7 bananas. 

So far (the last two hours) I really like this. My lips look and feel full. I feel like Kylie Jenner, but with a lot less money and a lot more personality. 

Till next time…

Smooches! πŸ’‹

Oh, here is a link to an impressive blog post about these lipsticks. Check it out.

Adventures in the e.l.f. Cosmetics store.Β 

I finally had the time to meet one of my best friends in NYC. When she asked me what I would like to see I told her: 

 1. Sailors (it was Fleet Week and 2. The e.l.f. Cosmetics Store (because it exists). This company is expanding and opening more stores including one that will open right by me in July. But it was not July yet and I’m impatient. So off we went. 

Here’s what I got:

 I am seriously the worst photographer when it comes to makeup blog posts. What is that? 

I cannot resist lipstick. It’s an addiction as deep as my love for coffee and icecream, sometimes together, sometimes separately. Here is a brief description of the lippies. 

  • The long tube is a dual sided lipstic called “I Love Pinks!” 
  • The clear tube is called Touch of Blush. 
  • The gloss is Pageant Princess
  • The foundation is not a lipstick (duh) but it it is the acne formula. My breakouts are pretty good now, but I figured it could be a good lightweight foundation. 
  • The Rose gold liquid eyeshadow was disappointing. It barely stays on and you have to layer it to show up. 

Here are some lip swatches:

ANNNNDSome live action shots:

There you have it. Some e.l.f products for you, and most are worth the couple of bucks they cost. Barely any sailor sightings though. Booo

Till next time,

Smooches! πŸ’‹

Random Beauty Blurb

It happened again. I fell into a black hole of grad school papers, blackboard posts, and juggling work. Today I was a makeup artist, yesterday I worked at a school. Next week I will be both, plus a singer. I. am. tired. 

But my 7 followers, if they’re still with me, need these intermittent postings on beauty things. More importantly, I need to procrastinate. So here is a short blurb about some new shtuff…

Ok so we may not trust the Honest Company with sunscreen but they make a pretty damn good conditioner. I’m not 100% certain, but this may be made for babies. Sometimes I can be a huge baby, so I give myself permission to use this. It has a delicious natural creamsicle scent and it loosens up knotty hair in a flash. I purchased mine at Harmon’s for $9.95 and I used a 20% coupon. 


It says to sing a song and rinse out. My current songs are selections from the musical Waitress. I’m sure my neighbors are pretty tired of hearing it. 

Next up: 

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild

I am more of a combination skin, so I was surprised I could use this. Even though it is a soap, I use it to remove use as a wipe off makeup remover and then I follow with Marcelle’s Micellar Water. I save the water rinsing for my morning shower. This combination leaves my face clean and soft snd it’s super perfect for my lazy lifestyle. Maybe I’m not lazy so much as not interested in having wet hair from washing my face. 

Ok, I’m a little bit lazy too. 

Till next time…

Smooches! πŸ’‹

*Honest pictures from their website. Clinique picture from Clinique Australia.