Monday, August 31, 2009

♥ the skin you're in!

First, let me just say that I'm admittedly a product whore. No shame in my game. If it's health, beauty, or cosmetically-related, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes I fall in love, sometimes not so much. I have a ton of stuff in my medicine cabinet/linen closet that I use occasionally. But, Ms. Girl Friday, you asked for it, so here's my go-to skin care regime:

My first love is Shiseido. All day long. My fave product line is The Skincare but I'll use anything out of any of their lines...if it's Shiseido, you can pretty much count on me loving it. When I have the money, I buy The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam, either the Hydro-Nourishing or Hydro-Balancing Softener (toner) (Nourishing is gel-like, so weather and skin dryness plays a factor in my softener decision making), and Day Moisture Protection. I also fancy the Multi-Energising Creme if my skin is super dry.

That said, Shiseido is expensive: my basic 3 products total $107 before tax. So, as a more affordable option (and before I started working for Boots) I recently picked up some Boots Expert skincare. I snagged several items in the Sensitive Skin line, including: the Foaming Sensitive Gentle Cleansing Wash (love!), Gentle Refreshing Toner, and Hydrating Moisturiser. Total for these 3 products? ...wait for it... $13.47 before tax.

Now, it should be noted that the two product lines are worlds apart in terms of ingredients. The Boots Expert line is very basic, with the main ingredients being Mineral Water and Aloe. Also, there is no SPF in the moisturiser. There are no anti-aging benefits, etc. They feel nice on my skin, though, and will get me through in a pinch until I find something more beneficial for my skin in the No. 7 line.

Side notes:

I dug Boots so much that I recently began working for them as a Beauty Advisor. As such, I'm discovering the No. 7 line of skincare/body care. As I test each product, I'll keep you apprised of my faves. A couple I'm loving right now are:

*Instant Summer Smooth-On Bronzer. Comes out in a spray, and gives a beautiful, natural deep brown color. Washes off.

*Purifying Sauna Mask. Target doesn't carry this but CVS does. Several individual-use packets come in a little box. Open a packet and apply to a damp face, and these lil guys really heat up! Feels great and works like magic to draw out the impurities.

And speaking of masks, there's nothing like Queen Helene's Mint Julep mask. However, I'll be trying the Boots Botanics Conditioning Clay Mask, which "contains a negative electrical charge which acts like a magnet helping to draw deep rooted impurities out of the skin without drying." I'm excited to try it; I'll let you know how it goes!

As for scrubs: Haven't tried any Boots scrubs yet. When I do, it will be the Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator. In the meantime, I'm sticking with the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which I've loved forever. I also remember really liking Clinique's 7-Day Scrub, although I haven't used it in ages. Unlike Ms. GF, I wasn't super impressed with the Mint Julep scrub. I use it for my body mostly.

And what about eye creams?, you ask. Well, I'm still waiting to exhale on that. I've tried a million, including Elizabeth Arden Prevage. I'm currently using Bliss All Around Eye Cream and it's just okay. I just got the Boots Time Resisting Day & Night Eye Care so more on that to come.

And then there's serums. I used to use Oil of Olay's Regenerating Serum and I loved it. Then I went off serums for awhile, guess it just felt like just another step; too much work. Now that I'm at Boots, I'm in the middle of testing our star product, Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum, which was featured on Luxaholics on the TV show Extra. Stay tuned.

Tinted Moisturiser? Yes please! Love this for weekends and heading to the gym. Picked up OLAY DEFINITY ADVANCED ANTI-AGING + SKIN TONE CORRECTION Color Recapture Anti-Aging UV Moisturizer + Sheer Illuminating Coverage Fair/Light SPF 15 (say that 3 times fast!) on a tip from one of my clients and instantly fell in love. I used it this morning and didn't even need foundation! Just a dab of my Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten powder and off I went. Was totally shocked at how great it looks on my face. We'll see how it stands up to the 10-hour workday test today.

Something else I'm dying to try is the Clarisonic. Oh how I *need* it in my life. And --be still my heart-- they have it in PINK for breast cancer awareness. I'm still saving up for that!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

GIrl Friday's Daily Skin Regimine

OMG EDIT!! okay so thank you S_Dot for the error check! holy crap that would have been a horribly hilarious misunderstanding. okay... BOOTS apparently likes to make everything look exactly the same. so make sure when you buy your product... to pay attention.

THIS!!! is the moisturizer











this is the cleaning lotion (face freakin wash!)











So I'm hoping to coax the girls into telling all of us our daily skin regimines as it seems too many people are there forget how important it is to take care of the skin!

So I'll start.

Years ago when I was in junior high and my face started to resemble a chicago style pizza, my mother (who taught me the importance of good makeup and routine skin care) took me down to the Clinique counter at what was once Robinsons, (now a part of the Federated conglomerate of shopping love) where I purchased my first basic 3 step skincare line. It consists (yes you can still get your hands on this puppy) of facial soap, toner, and moisturizer. Weird thing is they say its cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, which makes no sense as it comes with NO exfoliater. WTF!? I didn't need exfoliation at that point because my skin was still in baby mode. But, by the time I hit high school and OIL CITY was my new address, I needed to start exfoliating my brains out.

So now that I'm almost thirty, my skin really hasn't changed drastically as most told me it would, except maybe a little less oily but still a massive T Zone situation. I can still get dry in certain areas while able to fry an egg in others. strange right?

In order to combat this, this is what I do;

  1. wash face and neck with Boots Expert Anti Blemish Cleansing Foam (thank you s_dot for that recommendation). I'm still testing this out Anti-blemish-wise. It makes my skin super soft though and removes makeup nicely.
  2. I exfoliate with Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub which is fine but still strong enough to make me feel like its removing the dead skin. Some scrubs out there feel like you're washing your face with rice pudding. yack. This one is actually fantastic.
  3. Okay here's where I seperate myself from the rest... I actually wash again, a light layer of the Boots Cleansing Foam. One more time to remove the last of the dead skin I just exfoliated. I discovered this one day after years of dry skin drama on my cheeks left behind the actual peeled up dry skin. I thought this was completely foul. So washing again eliminates this and maybe does something for my peace of mind. :p
  4. Yes I still use Clinique Clarifying Lotion #2. it works. it does its job tonerwise and I have done a little toner exploring only to keep coming back to this one. Oddly enough, the website says its supposed to de-flake after exfoliation but lets be honest, it doesn't. I use it to do a last ditch effort cleaning and closing of the pores. Thank you mass amounts of alcohol. Its the only clinique product I have consistantly stayed with. Everything else, I grew out of.
  5. Moisturizers. OH GOD THE STRESS OF MOISTURE! I've gone through, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel which took the place of my oil free moisturizer, Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream, Cosmedicine Primary Care Multitasking Moisturizer, Dior HydrAction Deep Hydration Rich Cream, Clarins (can't remember which one it was but it was a gel base which i did like), Boots Expert Sensetive Gentle Moisturizing Lotion, Oil of Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Daily SPF 15 Lotion, and even St. Ives Mineral Moisturizer. So far I loved Dior, Clarins and Boots the best. I'm using Boots now and love it.
  6. Optional and yet important! Once a week prior to toner and moiturizer, I'll mud mask it up. :D I've used the typical drug store stuff and the fantastic Borghese line from back in the day. S_Dot called me one day and it went something like this "OMG you have to try this stuff!!" "What stuff?" "the Mint Julep Masque!" yeah.. thats how I was introduced to Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque which is apparently the best damned stuff on earth!!! It is a visible pore shrinker, a skin rejuvinator and just plain WOW in a pot. :D so once a week, I'll slather the stuff on, walk around lookin like a zombie for about 10 minutes then rinse and continue my regimine. :D
So there you have it, my skin regimine, keepin me lookin smooth as a baby's bottom (that statement makes no damned sense! we should abolish it because i mean who's feeling up baby butts these days!?) and blemish free. :D


Ladies! post your regimines!

And if you have a product that you know and love, let us know, we'll test it and review it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Warehouse Chic?

In this edition of The Real Couture I'd like to discuss something that hits me a little close to home, work clothes. Now this might just be me, but I do have designated clothes I wear just for work and nothing else. However seeing as I work with computer parts, it's hard to look even remotely nice while lifting boxes and testing parts. I have found some ideas that I think are pretty good, and if you girls are in a similar situation then maybe these will help you out.

1. Always make sure your hair and makeup look exceptional. Even if you wear scrubs all day long, you can set yourself apart from the rest by doing your hair and makeup. Keep in mind that you should think about what kind of hair and makeup you can wear. Obviously I'm not going to do my hair rocker chick messy to go to work, it might scare my bosses.

2. When wearing 'work' clothes make sure they are stain free and ironed. Just because you work in like a warehouse or where ever doesn;t mean you have to dress ultra messy.

3. Always try to add something of yourself in the outfit. Now this rule should be applied to any clothing you wear, but it's especially important if you wear a uniform, scrubs, or what have you. Maybe try a necklace, or a belt, or my personal favorite, I wear an especially funky pair of converse.

These are my ideas for staying stylish even if you don't have an especially stylish job. If you guys have any more ideas feel free to post them in the comments. Later on!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Waisted, Pt. II

See ladies? You can have girls and still do a high waist. Jen's got this look pegged. I ♥ her!




Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Waste That Waist!

So today, as Hootin' Annie and I walked through Victoria Gardens, we were passed by a young woman sporting a high waisted belt.

I should have gotten a picture but I didn't want to get slapped and, lets face it, I'm not that accomplished of a liar to get us out of that scenario. So instead I'll describe the atrocity she was committing:

Starting at the feet, she wore a pair of flipflops, which I highly endorse if you bother to take care of your damned toes. Ladies and Gents I cannot possibly stress the dire need to please take care of your feet. Nothing is sexier than a chick with freakin feet straight from the shire. If you have hobbit feet, please seek professional help in the form of a pedicurist. (thank you Kayray.org for the fantastic hobbit feet socks. DIY FOR LIFE!)

She wore nice fitting jeans (expect a post on jeans and the bodies who wear them!), and a baby pink hoodie. okay.. are you ready for the pain!?

SHE WORE AN OLDSCHOOL BRAIDED 2 INCH BROWN LEATHER BELT JUST UNDER HER BREASTS, OVER THE HOODIE!!!

look, I appreciate originality. I Fully Endorse the world of DIY. I Love the try new things in the beauty world, but ladies!! dear god NO!!!!

I stared, I tried not to, but it was like ignoring the badly dressed baby pink elephant on the street.

So I'm here tonight to instruct you so you don't end up like that girl. A victim of

FASHION GONE WRONG!!!

DUN. DUN. DUUUUUNN!!!

  1. know where your waistline is - this isn't has hard as you think it is. Some people have an obvious waistline. if you are one of these people, lucky freakin you. you have a wasp waist. Your waistline is the smallest area between your breasts and your hips. if you are like me and half a million other fat girls, your waistline has disappeared over the years creating a nice barrel-like look to you. in order to find it, hire a detective and stop eating the morning doughnuts at work. just kiddin. ;p Check out Marian Lewis' article about finding the waistline. She cracks me up.
  2. Find the right belt to fit you - if you have a short waist, try to avoid the gigantic belts. It will only make your waistline look shorter and you pudgy/er. Go for the medium ones. This will only save you time in constantly feeling like you're wearing a japanese kimono (which can be passed off only by the most chic of people. ;p). For the love of all that is holy! PLEASE!!! please don't wear it directly under your breasts if you have large breasts. the belt WILL disappear, thus defeating the damned purpose. it will also look like you are gagging your twins. Love them, don't choke them.
  3. Wear one only when its proper - This is the most important! please do not wear one with A) a pair of pajama pants covered in monkey faces and a wife beater tank top B) with other belts C) with anything masively thick and bulky eg. sweats or sweatshirts of any kind! D) over closed zippers unless a professional can confirm that you can pull it off! E) with tons of accessories and glittering blinding items if the belt strap or buckle is already covered in glittering blinding items such as sequins, gems, glitter freakin glue. Wear them to dress up a cute button down top and jeans, an overly large tea shirt and skinny jeans, a flannel or plaid top and pants, skirts, whatever! I personally love to combine them with the lil black dress. cinch that waist and show off those curves!
So there you have it! the high waisted cinch belts are here at least through fall as it looks so good with a pencil skirt, tights and high heel ankle boots. And be sure to hang on to them because i'm sure at some point, wide belts will come back into fashion to be worn slung low over the hips! :p

remember people, put your best look forward!

This Perfume Smells Like Fritos............

Today I went to Sephora with Girl Friday. You see, after being on four planes in the last week I have probably read every 'fashion' magazine on the planet earth. Even the one's in a different language. I kept noticing throughout the magazines the perfume ads. Some of them had the smell attachment so you can experience it right there. However there were many that didn't. So while at Sephora I thought I might like to try out a few fragrances and relay the smells in terms that everyone can relate to. You know, describe them without all the marketing bullshit.

Like for instance, I tried out all the Harajuku Lover's perfumes, and while the bottles are cute, most of them smelled like alcoholic beverages. So if your looking forward to being given a breathalyzer every time you're pulled over, this is your scent.

I also ran across Burberry The Beat that was a bit........musty? Sort of like grandma's perfume if it had been buried in your backyard for 50 years. The other Burberry scents smell great though, how do they do that?

The old Juicy Couture ones smelled a bit like black licorice tastes, not bad, but it can be overpowering. However Juicy Couture has a Couture Couture perfume coming out I'm excited to try. It's supposed to be pretty different from thee first two.

There are perfumes I enjoyed a lot, such as Michael Kors, Stella and Stella Sheer, Marc Jacobs Daisy wasn't bad. I didn't smell anything by Dior that I didn't love, Gucci Envy Me, and I'll say this right now Givenchy's Play scent is amazing even though it's for men. I loved it.

Now for the good part, on the way home Girl Friday and I were discussing the mix of store bought and home remedies we've all tried for shinier hair, less frizz, smaller pores, smoother coverage, on and on and on. I mentioned one of my friend's solution for smaller pores by using Biore strips before she goes to bed on her nose and face and then applies Neosporin, sort of like healing the holes in your skin. She swears it works. So in the interest of testing out every beauty remedy we can get our hands on here, I propose a test! I will be starting this soon, keeping a picture diary. every few days I will take pictures and at the end of 2 months we can see if it really works. I'm pretty excited seeing as my huge pores is that insane insecurity I have where I think everyone can see them but in reality most people aren't even looking.

This is the part where I encourage everyone to send in any beauty recommendations or home remedies, I will try them out see if they work. Let me know what you want me to try, we won;t know what's right until everything is sampled........just like ice cream.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Test...

Its a blog about....

fashion
beauty
diy
bargains
shopping
grooming

and anything else you can think of that lets us look and feel our best!