Sigh … I’m A Makeup Snob.

Chanel-Makeup It’s true.

I was running late, per usual, rummaging through my makeup drawer, desperately looking for my MAC bronzer, about to throw a fit when I realized, holy hell, everything in my makeup drawer, besides one awful Revlon Very Red lipstick mistake, was all designer makeup. What had become of me?!

We may be living in a material world, but I am certainly NOT a material girl. I’m more of a whatever looks good and makes me feel good, kind of gal, no matter if it comes from Walmart of Barneys. I don’t discriminate. I was brought up to embrace and run wild with personal style and not bow down to all-mighty labels … even though you may find me drooling over them here and there. I get more excited over a good deal then exercising my credit card, but hey, that’s just me. Okay maybe I have a few designer pieces in my closet, but all of them I covet simply because I scored them for a ridiculous deal.

So realizing my makeup drawer was swimming in designer makeup was a bit unnerving to me. Like why? It was only :::mumbles::: year’s ago that I was a broke college student digging through the clearance makeup section at Target praying that I could find a decent foundation that, somewhat, matches my skin tone. And now I like ball out at Sephora.

Yes, I have a big girl job, and I have HAD a big girl job for :::mumbles::: years now, but I also have big girl bills. And clearly grown into big girl tastes for makeup. But my question is, why? I think it is because some glamazon who works behind a makeup counter knows the right tricks to make me look and feel fantastic. It puts me in a trance and then all of a sudden I’m out $100.

Sephora, Ulta, and department stores are the modern day woman’s candy store. The pops of branding, the colors, the deliciousness of the packaging. Just as I once ran to the candy store to lift my mood, I now wander through the aisles of Sephora until something shiny catches my eye. Do I need it? Absolutely not. But my bad mood CRAVES it.

“Generic” brands like Rimmel, Revlon and Covergirl spend MILLIONS getting these actresses to sponsor their makeup. But I always wonder, does Kate Moss REALLY get the London look. Is Katy Perry REALLY easy and breezy? My gut is telling me no because why would they buy makeup that is sometimes next to BenGay, Advil and Cheetos when you can frolic in the land of pure beauty with people who can put the right kinds of makeup on their skin so they can look their part. And let’s be honest, they can afford it.

The only time I buy makeup at the drug store is if I’m desperate, sick and indulging in impulse shopping as I wait for my prescription to be ready, or if I read online that something got an amazing review. But a part of me wonders if I’m just getting blinded by fancy names, beauteous colors and shiny packaging, when I could be saving some cash and getting the same bang for my buck at the drug store.

Ponder THAT, my friends … ponder THAT.

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Power Brows

tumblr_mahbppvjjy1qjgjwko1_1280I remember the days when my eye brows were the bane of my existance. Picture it: My young middle school self, already 5’8 and awkwardly thin, desperately trying to pump the breaks on the whole puberty nonsense. No I didn’t wrap my taa’s with an ace bandage or anything, but I did turn a blind eye to the training bras my mom would sneak into my Christmas stocking.

When I was 13, my brows had a life of their own. They were bushy, curly, and pretty much about to take over real estate on my eye lids. The only person who appreciated them was my Nana who thought I was the next Brooke Shields, but every other person in my life just wanted to tackle me and take wax to my face.

When I did finally bite the bullet and get them waxed, they were insanely thin. Like pencil thin. That was the look, and still is, kind of. Eye brows should not take center stage, they should just be there to frame your face a bit, right?

Well maybe a year ago I would have agreed with you, but recently I have actually started to pay attention to my brows a bit more. Usually I would just notice stray hairs and decide when to schedule a waxing appointment, but as of recent, I’ve been focusing on their color, length, and thickness (by the way I loathe that word, I can’t believe I just said it.)

Insert the eye brow pencil stage right. Now I never understood why women used such a thing. I just thought it was for ladies who didn’t have brows, or luscious brows, but I was sorely mistaken. And since I was craving darker, more prominent brows, I marched myself to Sephora and purchased my very first eye brow pencil at the age of 27.

I gotta say … by actually giving a shit about my eyebrows has given me a totally new look. The whole experience of embracing the “Power Brow” was really empowering, and I have no idea why. Like for example, my eyebrows were much lighter than the color of my hair … AND I had a few gray brow hairs. Gray brow hairs!

I want to give a slow clap to Brook Shields who started this “Power Brow” movement years back and who dealt with a lot of criticism for it. She made it okay for models like Hilary Rhoda and Cara Delevingne to rock the power brows … which then trickled down to gen pop (hello, self).

So the moral of my story is brows do matter and an eye brow pencil can change your life. Boom.

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Anxiety In The Makeup Department

Ulta counter email to LG for blog 7-10-062013 is here and I don’t know about you, but I get the urge to revamp every aspect of my life this time of year. I feel empowered to work harder, try new things, get healthy (although I am not one of those diet-obsessed/gym membership-crazed freaks), and really just get the urge to start kicking ass and taking names. It feels amazing … even if I know it may or may not last.

But I also find myself VERY bored with my overall appearance. I’m literally yawning at myself in the mirror. I feel like my hair style hasn’t changed since early 2002, which concerns me. Have you ever seen those women with the hairstyles from the 1980’s who think they look absolutely smashing, but clearly are unaware of the fact that 20 years have passed? Am I that person now?! Are ” the kids” laughing at me saying like, “wow, nice straight hair from 2002, granny!” Eek!

So I had an Ulta gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and thought why not start revamping my look with some new glam-a-lam. There were two definite things I ran out of that I needed, but besides that I had an open mind. When I got there, I had extreme makeup ADD. My mind was literally going, “oh Stila, but wait … Smashbox lip glosses?! OMG stop … Bare Minerals … ahhh!” Like I could NOT focus for the life of me.

In essence … here is why I cannot shop in stores that strictly just sell beauty products.

1. The pretty colors distract me: I know, I’m five. But seriously, the way the makeup lines are set up with all the pretty colors and containers exposed makes it extremely difficult for me to focus on one thing. I’m like jumping from lip glosses to shadows to different brands to hair dryers in seconds. Not only that it’s like lip glosses, eye shadows, nail polishes, hair styling tools, spa items, bags, hair accessories … like my sweet Jesus … enter anxiety attack stage left.

2. Idiots Work There: I mean no disrespect and I’m not saying ALL people that work in these stores are idiots, but if you are working in a department that sells $40 lip glosses … you should probably know a thing or two about A. customer service and B. the product itself. I was clearly wandering around like a lost fool in front of these two sales associates today who were having a really vibrant conversation about their college experience and what they wanted to do with their lives. “:::twirls hair::: Like I have a broadcasting degree … but like, you can’t really do a lot with it, so I’m just here for now until I figure something else out.” Seriously, that’s fantastic and all … I’m glad your educated, but mama needs help picking out products. Help a sista out, for the love of God! They didn’t even acknowledge me, and I really didn’t want to ask their opinions because I just had this inkling that they would turn me into Snooki. And yeah … no.

3. Brand Overload: We all have brands that we are loyal to for one reason or another, but like I said … new year, time to branch out a little. But how do you know what is good and what isn’t? Sure, you can read all the reviews and ask for opinions … but at the end of the day everyone’s skin and style is different, so really you are forced to just test products blindly. No offense, but buying a $20 eye liner without knowing for a fact that I am going to adore it doesn’t seem too appealing to me. They blind us with brand bling … yet I have no guarantees.

4. The Necessities: I went into Ulta for two products, but had an open mind for some new thangs. I found myself torn between what I needed and what I wanted. I wanted to try out a dark red lipstick, but I needed new gold-ish eye shadow because I knew I was going to run out shortly. I wanted the cool new colors from Smashbox, but needed a new Mascara. Hence why I was walking around the department like a lost fool. The stylish angel on my shoulder was pushing me one way while the saucy devil on the other was trying to get me to do bad things.

5. I’m Super Cheap: The beauty behind Sephora is that they don’t give you the “cheaper” option. They are literally like too f-ing bad … we have high-end brands and if you must go slightly cheaper, we have the Sephora brand for you … which is still kind of pricy. But with Ulta you have one side full of glitzy, higher-end brands, and then the classic Revlon, Almay, Covergirl, etc. on the other side. So when I find a $20 designer eye shadow and fall in love with it … I end up going to the other side to go find it for cheaper. That’s just how I roll.

So there ya have it. I literally didn’t step out of my makeup comfort zone because I got so overwhelmed by all of the above. Sigh … damn you Ulta … you’ve won this one.

And I Just Wanted A New Bronzer …

After getting a good nights rest, for once … I threw on a pair of skinny jeans, my Rolling Stones T-shirt, threw my hair (which was overdue to be washed) in a messy bun, put on some oversized shades so I could hide from the world because I looked a hot mess and went out on my quest for the day: To invest in a new bronzer. Why not Sephora? Well … too many expensive temptations there. Ulta’s higher end makeup section is more refined. I don’t like asking for a bronzer recommendation and being offered YSL’s latest color palette, okay. Homegirl is on a budget. At Ulta you can either go to the land of Smashbox or Benefit, and if they aren’t doing it for me then I move over to the world of Revlon and Maybelline. Genius and affordable.

So I go in … minding my own business, investigating the mascara’s when this fantastic guy asked if I needed any help. Wasn’t wearing an Ulta shirt or name tag? Had better makeup on than any woman in the place? Hello makeup rep … how ya doing? Rule number 1: Only trust the makeup advice of actual makeup reps when wandering around these places lonesome. They know how to apply makeup and know the brands and how they function. So I politely said, “no thank you,” but then said to myself, honestly what would it hurt to get his opinion on what would look best on me. Remember … I judge a makeup artist by the makeup they wear … and he passed with flying colors.

So I walked over and retracted my statement about how I didn’t need help. He told me to sit down at his station and then flew away to get products … uh oh. I made it clear that all I wanted was a simple bronzer, yet he came over with all of this jazz. Primer, blush, foundation/blush, all these brushes … my God. Turns out he was a Laura Geller rep and all of this was Laura Geller makeup. I knew I looked heinous. My skin was all broken out, I was barely wearing any makeup … but Christ … did I need all of this?

After giving me my Ph.D. in Laura Geller makeup, he started with a face primer and explained every aspect of it … every. aspect. It was kinda fab … I’ll give him that much and yea … I did end up buying it. It is called Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer and feels like spa heaven when applied. But then it was like this foundation-ey looking stuff … then blush … then eye shadow … then the blush that turns into eye shadow. Applying all these different colors to different parts of my face. Sitting there trying to act interested but wondering how the hell I ended up sitting here acting interested in a makeup brand I have never even heard of. Typical me.

You know what the worst part was. Sitting there … mirrorless, listening to the whole spheal, getting done-up by a complete stranger who may or may not know what he/she is doing and wondering the whole time if you will look fab or a hot tranny mess. The makeup was weightless … which was a good sign, but I still had my doubts. There was too many different colors and brushes going every which way. He then allowed me to review his work and the minute the mirror hit my face I had to pull out my voice and enthusiasm I keep tucked away for during the holidays when I get horrendous gifts. It was a lot if look … I’ll leave it at that. My cheeks were a different color that my chin, my forehead was a different color than my nose … and my neck was still pale as shit. But oh no … he wasn’t done.

So then he starts on my eyes. Yes people, I have blue eyes. Correct. And yes, golds and browns make blue eyes pop. NOT ORANGE. For the love of Christ. NOT ORANGE. This is the SECOND makeup artist that has applied orange God damn eye shadow to my eyes. Seriously, why is there even an orange eye shadow. And not only that … but applying it up to my eyebrows and like all the way close to my temples? Like, what? Seriously, what? I looked like an ex-broadway actress who lives in an alleyway in NYC by a dumpster who only wears a mink coat, pearls, has lipstick on her teeth and lots and lots o’ cats.

I had come into Ulta just wanting a simple new bronzer, and all of a sudden I had spent 45 minutes in some makeup artists chair and turned into a done-up mess. Dirty hair thrown up in a hot mess bun, vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt and jeans … and I pretty much was ready for the prom, and not in a good way. He STILL wasn’t done though. THEN there was the lipstick. But oh no, this lipstick had vitamin E in it and didn’t even really feel like lipstick because who wears lipstick there days … yeah I get it … LET. ME. GO.

So I ended up settling with the tinted primer, which they ran of out. Christ. Then I felt bad because this dude had just spent 45 minutes selling me on the ways of Laura Geller and I ended up walking away with just Benefit mascara. Wait … didn’t I go there for bronzer? Yeah, that’s what I thought to. Instead I got roofied by Laura Geller’s henchman.

Lesson learned: Keep your head down and mouth shut when makeup shopping … and do your research in advance.

In other news … I think I got brainwashed by that Laura Geller rep … because I can’t stop saying her name. Laura Geller, she’s so hot right now … Laura Geller.