Just Swell: 3 easy ways to plumper, fuller lips

full lipsThink fast!  What immediately comes to mind if I were to mention Angelina Jolie?  I know some of us might let out a sigh and say “that hottie Brad Pitt”, but more often than not I think the answer is– her lips.  Considered by many to be perfectly swollen, and the epitome of sexy lips all while making popular tabloid news, whether we want to admit it or not!

Over the years, the formulas for lip plumpers have been improving perpetually with no signs of slowing.  First-generation lip plumping glosses focused solely on immediate gratification, using capillary dilating ingredients like niacin and cinnamon oil which temporarily cause a lip swelling/tingling/burning sensation.  The downside, they’ve proven they aren’t for everyone.  I enjoy a little lip burn myself now and then– but it’s also considered an intolerable effect by many consumers who have sworn they’d never subject their poor pouts to the torture again!  With entire websites devoted to showcasing bad plastic surgery and celebrities constantly being scrutinized for going under the knife, or straight up becoming the butt of all jokes for their “trout pouts”– what’s the best way to achieve a plump pout without going too far?

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Drew Barrymore’s classic look from The 61st Annual Primetime Emmys

61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre, L.A

I have a confession to make, and I promise I’m not trying to be mean.  Lately, I’ve thought that Drew Barrymore looks like a mess– which isn’t very becoming of a CoverGirl.  I’ve loved Drew for as long as I can remember and think she’s utterly adorable, so imagine my surprise when she was sporting this funky two-toned hairdo not too long ago!  I sincerely hope that was for a role, Drew.  Thankfully, I think she’s earned back her CoverGirl status with her classic feminine look from The 61st Annual Primetime Emmys, whew!  That was a close one.

Makeup artist Debra  Ferullo explained the look was inspired by a modern Grace Kelly that let her perfect skin and lips take center stage for the night.

To create this look at home, start of slow and build from there.  Keep the skin fresh. If you tend to need heavier coverage, use a foundation with more pigment to cover any spots but make sure it’s not too oily because it will crease along the skin. Define the cheek and blend, blend, blend to create a soft, classic look.”

Offsetting her bold matte pink lips achieved with CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain in Berry Smooch, her eyes were simple with a soft shimmer and long lashes.  Using Chanel’s Silky Eyeshadow in Gold with warm brown and maroon in the crease gave depth to her eyes without being too dramatic.  CoverGirl Exact Eyelights Eye Brightening Liner in Vivid Ruby, along with a few coats of LashBlast Length Mascara topped off the elegant look.

Review: L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara

L'Oreal Telescopic Explosion MascaraOne of the newest mascara wand innovations out there is a ball, literally!  I reviewed Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Mascara last year, and while I liked it– it wasn’t without it’s faults.  L’Oreal’s new Telescopic Explosion Mascara has an extremely similar brush, so I imagine their intention was to create an affordable drugstore dupe of the prestige brand’s creation, which happens in the beauty world all the time!  My verdict is in on Telescopic Explosion, did it meet my expectations?  Well… yes and no.

First, let’s go over the pros of this baby.  The little funky Medieval Times-looking ball at the end makes it possible to get every last lash that a cumbersome mascara wand would miss.  That’s a huge plus to me since I have such a hard time reaching the corners of my lashes like you probably do, it’s a pretty common complaint we share!  I also really liked how the formula stays a little wet and allows you to work with it a bit before it dries.  So many times a mascara will dry before you can even get past a first or second coat to perfect it.  You know I like to experiment so I have to share this discovery– I tried this over another mascara and it looked incredible!  It’s not an ideal use and I wouldn’t recommend purchasing it for that benefit alone, I just thought it might be good to know.  *wink*

Like Phenomen’Eyes, Telescopic Explosion isn’t without it’s faults either.  Eek!  Right away, I noticed that it will definitely deposit a few clumps if you don’t wipe the ends of the brush on the lip of the tube when you take it out.  If you are mindful of this, it shouldn’t be an issue with application– but the fact that it’s even a probability is no bueno!  Additionally, the black isn’t very dark… it actually looks more like a dark graphite-grey in my opinion.  I LOVE a shiny blue-black on my lashes and this one isn’t the answer for me.  Another issue that may be of importance to you is the fact that we’re all so used to swiping a mascara horizontally across our lashes pretty quickly, you probably won’t really be able to do that with this one right off-the-bat.  I found this applied best when holding the wand vertically and that can seem a little intimidating.  Be prepared to take some time!

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Too good to be true? LORAC VIP Starter Set for $18.50, I kid you not.

What if I told you that you could score $160 worth of killer makeup for $18.50?  Yes, you read that right.  $18.50, and this is not a joke!  Right now LORAC is offering their VIP Starter Set exclusively on loraccosmetics.com with 10 pieces of gorgeous essentials that create perfect year-round looks.  I’m really diggin’ that new Front Of The Line liquid eyeliner pen, it’s perfect for my shaky little hands that can never apply traditional liquid liners!  Here’s what the set includes:

3 Eye Shadows in “Cappuccino”, “Harmony”, and “Persuasion”
2 Lip Polishes in “Delicious” and “Bliss”
Front of the Line Liquid Eye Liner in Black
2 Cream Lipsticks in “Eloise” and “Charity”
Mini TANtalizer Baked Bronzer
Double-Ended Eyeliner/Shadow Brush

I would scoot on over there and pick one or two of these up ASAP, they won’t last for long with a price like this.  Think how stoked you would be to get something like this for a holiday gift… your bestie would probably be very appreciative and think you spent a fortune!  LORAC’s site also does free shipping on orders over $50, can’t beat that with a stick!

Cheat Sheet: Pur Minerals for Fall 2009

I’ve had great luck with Pur Minerals products in the past, so there’s no better time than the present to share a subtle Fall look using a few of the newest shades.  Here, four colors of Pur Minerals’ Mineral Shadows are featured on this Cheat Sheet:

It’s easy to update a softer smoky eye look with Chrome Cryolite and Burgandy Malachite eyeshadows, pairing up Champagne Citrine and Midnight Jade with that combo works really well for me!  Due to the shape of my eyes, I can’t really go too heavy-handed when it comes to the crease because I don’t have a lot of real estate on my lids– anything too dark makes my eyes look so small and closed.  Of course, if you don’t have this little issue of mine, go more intense!  Burgandy Malachite is fabulous for the crease due to it’s light-reflective qualities (burgandy & green) so it doesn’t close up the eye, it’s almost chameleon-like in these swatches below:

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Currently Loving: Suki Pure Cream Stain for Lips & Cheeks

As the upcoming season is calling for either a bold lip or eye– we have to tone down the cheeks, or risk looking quite tragic!  Neutrals are the way to go and are extremely versatile, which is why I’m currently loving Suki’s Pure Cream Stain in “Nectar”.  The color is perfect for my pale skin and allows my lips to take center stage while giving my cheeks a subtle flush that looks perfectly balanced with a more dramatic eye as well.  I find the formula effortlessly buildable, allowing me to alter the color intensity depending on what I’m going for and it’s so easy to use.

For cheeks: use a foundation brush or apply directly to the apples of your cheeks with a clean fingertip.  Sponges also work well and will deposit a little more product than the other methods.  For lips: apply with a lip brush for a very sheer kiss of color– or if you’re not a fan of using your fingertips.  Usually I’m not big on the fingertip-in-a-pot method, but found it actually worked best for me on the lips!

This creamy stain is enriched with several naturals oils, along with 100% natural crushed mineral pigments.  It didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or settle into my pores which is a road block I often hit with cream blushes.  The texture in the pot is firm, but warms up to the touch quite easily!  The staying power for this stain wasn’t as long as a liquid stain, but that kind of goes along with the cream stain territory.

Don’t be fooled by the depth of the color in the pot, it will apply with a subtle shine (no shimmer), and is a perfect happy-medium if you just can’t give in to matte– another huge Fall trend.  This one will will help you fake it!  A few of the other colors available (7 total) do have shimmer however, so if you prefer a softer shimmer or pearl finish check those out.  An environmentally-friendly company, Suki specializes in organic solutions to advanced skincare needs and offers hair, face, and body lines in addition to color.  You’ll find Suki products on beautorium.com, a natural and organic beauty emporium.  I’ll be keeping this one close and handy in my makeup arsenal this Fall!

First look: Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pots

Hello, Dolly!  Stila is now previewing three Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pot shades infused with shimmer.  I don’t know about you– but Purple Pumps is a-dora-ble!  These will retail for $20 each and are currently available on stilacosmetics.com, I’m not sure when they’ll be in stores.  Remember these cuties?

Stila is offering free shipping on orders over $25 with coupon code: SMUDGEPOTS until 8/29/09.  Free shipping means more moolah to spend on cute Stila goodies!

Are you buying this? Twilight-inspired cosmetics to hit shelves soon

Are you so Twilight-obsessed that you’ll buy Twilight-inspired cosmetics?  Lambus Partners, a Los Angeles based cosmetics firm is banking on it!  Launching in September, you’ll be able to purchase cosmetics that will be geared towards two Twilight loving audiences:

“The Twilight beauty franchise has been separated into two lines. Volturi Twilight, named for a ruling vampire clan in the “Twilight” series, is aimed largely at teens and is launching the middle of next month at Hot Topic, Torrid and Ulta. Luna Twilight, a play on the moon themes in “Twilight,” is targeting older girls and teenagers’ mothers and is launching in the middle of next month at Nordstrom and Dillard’s.”  — via womensweardaily.com

Piggybacking on the extremely popular series of books and films seems to be a lucrative idea– but is it one that will stand the test of time?  I hope I don’t have a stake driven through my heart by any Twilight fans out there, but I say no!  Will I check it out?  Absolutely.  But I’m pretty sure I won’t pass up my fave brands in order to own any Luna Twilight any time in the near future.   However, I can’t deny that I do hear the sounds of cash registers at Hot Topic ringing up Volturi Twilight lip glosses all over the world!  Are you Twilight-obsessed enough to buy from these lines?