make up

My First Luxury Purchase

At the ripe old age of 13, I decided to confront my mother. I was a teenager now and it was high time I looked like one. I deserved something more than Cover Girl or even worse Artmatic from my local D & K store. I wanted to go to the cosmetics counter at Kaufmann’s, which (at the time) was the Mecca for high-end makeup, jewelry, and fashion here in Beaver County, PA. To my wonderful surprise, my mother said yes! So armed with $25, off to the Rochester Kaufmann’s I went.

No one in the beauty department paid any attention to this newly-teenaged Diva in training.  I freely browsed each counter and gawked at Clinique, Estee Lauder, Adrienne Arpel, Shiseido, Ultima II, Clarins and more.  I picked up products, sniffed them, swatched them to my heart’s content for what seemed like an entire day. So what did I chose?

shiseidoAfter much contemplation, I finally decided on a beautiful lipstick from Shiseido called Bermuda Bronze. It was the most-perfect combination of bronze, nude and gold. I was so proud making this purchase, getting my very own Kaufmann’s bag. And when I got it home, I wore it constantly with blue Maybelline eyeshadow and lilac Cover Girl blush. I felt at least 16 years old when I wore my Shiseido lipstick. For the first time I truly understood the power of makeup, which still has me under its spell 3+ decades later. Funny enough, Bermuda Bronze has been my one and only Shiseido product, but I feel a trip to Sephora can easily rectify this!

P.S.  My second luxury product was a bottle full of liquid green color corrector from Ultima II. It made my face so shiny and oily it was horrifying. And it didn’t cover a stitch of redness. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of working with the Beauty Advisor who sold me this product. Although in her 70’s, she still had gorgeous skin and remembered that exact product I had bought. This seasoned pro will never forget that feeling of purchasing a luxury brand for the first time. Again, the power of makeup!july 17

 

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June Product of the Month

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation and Brush

IT products real

 

Retails for: $35 (brush additional)

Available at:  http://www.itcosmetics.com

A dear friend of mine recently gifted me with IT Cosmetic’s Celebration Foundation. I absolutely love other products I’ve tried from this line, but I’ve never tried this. It’s a powder foundation in a compact that claims to be full coverage, talc free, absorbs oils and lasts all day without settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Plus it has a SPF of 50 and came with the most intriguing looking blending brush. I couldn’t wait to try this out!

PROS – Surprisingly enough, the shade my friend gave me was medium and it worked beautifully with my very fair skin. You couldn’t tell I was wearing a much deeper shade than I normally wear. It blends wonderfully, covered all my redness, imperfections and—most importantly – did not exaggerate my pores. It also stayed fresh for at least 8 hours. I have even worn it over a lighter serum foundation and BB cream as a setting powder and it didn’t look cakey or over powdered.

CONS – none that I can think of.

OMGosh, I LOVE this foundation! I’m most certainly adding the Celebration Foundation to the list of IT Cosmetic goodies that have found a place in this part of my galaxy!

Beauty Q & A

CamiCami would like to know how long her makeup should last or should she expect to touch up her gorgeous face throughout the day?

Quite honestly, I check my face and touch up my make up several times a day. You can call me vain or paranoid, but factors like weather conditions, the type of skincare and cosmetics you use that day, and unexpected personal issues will play a part in how well your face stays put. Oil-free moisturizers, primers, long-wearing matte foundations and lipsticks, along with a makeup setting spray all help me out tremendously. p263504-av-01-LheroUrban Decay’s All Nighter makeup setting spray is like having an invisible force field on your face. If you have oily or combination skin, I suggest carrying a powder compact or oil blotting papers with you. They take away the shine but leave your makeup intact. I’ve been using and loving LipSense lip products lately.  Apply it on properly and you can eat, drink, talk, and kiss all day and the color doesn’t budge! See my previous post for a more detailed look at my LipSense experience.

THANK YOU to everyone who has submitted a beauty question to the Dark Side Diva.  Keep sending your comments, complaints, criticisms, and conundrums — the beauty universe is infinite and a long way to go we have!6727172

My Time with LipSense

Recently I was contacted by the daughter of a friend who I went to school with. She kindly asked me if I was interested in trying a brand of cosmetics called LipSense by SeneGence, in particular a 3-piece lip set. Too be honest, I have seen this brand all over social media and wondered if it was a bit too gimmicky. Lip color and gloss that lasts all day? Come on, we all remember the dreadful Revlon Colorstay lip products that were the first of their kind and started a revolution. But being the makeup addict that I am, of course I said yes!

I met with Abigail, who explained the proper procedure for applying the product. I chose the gorgeous shade called Napa, a kind of berry color that I wanted for spring and summer but is definitely wearable all year long. The kit comes with the lip color, lip gloss and the Oops Remover. Starting at the top of your lips and keeping your mouth completely wide open, apply 3 coats of the lip color to clean, dry lips. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next. I should have paid extra attention to that because on my first try, I closed my mouth too early and my lips stuck together. Nothing major, but I learned my lesson, lol! After the third coat dries, apply the gloss. The following are my honest thoughts. I did receive this as a gift, but all opinions are my own and 100% unbiased.

So I kinda cheated after I got home from my meeting with Abigail. I already had my face on for the day, but I decided to apply the Napa on my hand. The same way it was explained to me. Just a little circle of it with some gloss. That circle never budged through hand washing, dishes and laundry, sleeping and holding a baby. I know hands and lips are entirely different body parts, but I was impressed! It lasted two days before I removed it! This beauty blogger will go to extremes to review a product for you 🙂

The next day I tried it on my lips for the first time. I should have done two things differently, but it had nothing to do with the product, just my first time using it. As I already mentioned, I needed to keep my mouth open wider and the entire time, as it did get sticky on me. I also should have moved quicker, as it dried faster than I anticipated. I was so concerned with getting it even that I let it get “patchy” in some places. But I applied the other two coats, then the gloss and went on with my day. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I ate, drank, talked, kissed nieces, nephews, and cats and it never moved. In the 10+ hours I wore it that first day I think I put the gloss on two or three times. The color never transferred from my lips onto the lip gloss applicator, which I thought was amazing.

lipsense napa

Napa the perfect shade for Summer!

I’ve used Napa about four more times since then and, now that I know how to properly apply it, I absolutely love it! Abigail told me that I might experience a slight tingling sensation, but if you’ve used any Buxom, GlamGlow, or Too Faced Lip Injection products, this won’t bother you at all. It was a non-issue for me, but be aware that you may experience it. I’ve worn this color for anywhere from 8-13 hours a day and I’ve only had to reapply the gloss. I’ve gone for walks in the humid Western Pennsylvania weather, taken naps and just lived my life and it still stays beautiful. You most certainly need the Oops Remover to take it off. For research purposes I tried various makeup removers but it was a waste of time. Only trust the Oops!

The only negative thing I have to report about LipSense lip gloss is that I can’t wear it two days in a row.  Because of the alcohol content, it’s just too drying on my lips.  Otherwise, it’s a fabulous product that lives up to its promise!

SeneGence has more than just the 3-piece lip kit I was lucky enough to receive. They have an entire line of skin care and cosmetics. I cannot wait to try more of the line, especially the foundation and cream eye shadows. I’m up for any long lasting product. I definitely recommend LipSense! It is truly unlike any other lipstick, gloss, stain, or color product I have ever used. It may take you a few tries to get the hang of it and you may experience that tingling sensation, but you will never have to worry about your lip color disappearing on you. Just keep the gloss on you at all times. I forgot to mention there are different gloss formulations too! The 3-piece Lip Collection is $55 but all products can be bought separately.

Check out Abigail’s Facebook page “Abigail’s Alluring Lips” for pictures, testimonials, and special offers. You’ll get to see beautiful faces wearing the lip and other color products in the line. If you have any trouble finding her FB page, please contact me and I’ll get you in contact with her! She can help you with products, colors, or even if you are interested in becoming an Independent Distributor. Just tell her that Lisa aka “DarthLisa” sent you.

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Abigail Rieder

PS….I am not sponsored in any way by LipSence and do not receive any kickbacks, products or commissions. I’m just interested in seeing if this blog helps her out in any way!

Abigail Rieder, Independent Distributor for LipSense

Instagram @abigailsalluringlips

www.facebook.com/groups/abigailsalluringlips

 

 

Dark Side PSA: Be Nice to Your Beauty Advisor!

Some of the happiest, proudest, and most fulfilling moments in my life happened when I was a Beauty Advisor (hereafter to be referred to as BA) for Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Lancôme. Unfortunately, some of my most stressful, exasperating, and frustrating moments have also occurred during this time. If you would indulge me for a moment ….please be nice to your BA. Here’s why.BA pics

  1. We’re not all mean girls. You know what I’m talking about. That preconceived notion that BA’s are nothing more than conceited, arrogant women or men. In some instances that be true. But if you get to know us, you’ll see that we are friendly, love what we do, and honestly want to provide you with top-notch skin care and cosmetics advice. If you get to know a particular BA, they will be your friend for life at that counter! They’ll throw some samples in your bag, give you advance notice of special sales and promotions, and let you know when company makeup artists are in town. And, believe me, you do not want to miss that day!
  2. We’re not airheads. A customer once referred to me as one. Not to my face, but as she was leaving my counter. I find your lack of faith disturbing. BA’s are highly trained professionals. Some are even licensed cosmetologists with years of school and training. Cosmetic companies require their BA’s to have multiple, off site trainings throughout the year, including role playing segments (UGH. Just UGH!!!). Regional managers also stop in frequently for additional on-site trainings and product updates. Our clients are the ones who benefit from the knowledge gained through this continuous training.
  3. We’re not just “perfume sprayers”. I also had that lovely little ditty thrown at me before. Do you know how many products some beauty lines have? Besides fragrance? Multiple skin care lines for different types of skin concerns; four or five mascaras that do completely different things; lip products in hundreds of shades, formulations, and finishes; twenty shades of foundations in various formulas; concealers and color correctors; waterproof formulas of multiple products; hair products; and deodorants for crying out loud. Not to mention all the limited edition, holiday promotions, and gifts with purchase. As stated previously in point #2, I am a highly trained professional and not just in perfume.
  4. Can you make me look like Rihanna? While I am completely confident in my skills as a makeup artist, no I cannot make you look like Rihanna. I can try to use similar colors and products on you, but here are the facts. You might be a 40 year old woman with completely different features. I may not have the fluorescent green eyeshadow she is wearing in that picture. And that picture is an advertisement for (insert company name here) that has most-likely been photo shopped and airbrushed. I also cannot make you look like the client that just left my counter. We all look different. Products that work well for one person may not work for you. Companies have different colors and collaborations with celebrities. If you have your heart set on using colors from an ad that you’ve seen in a copy of InStyle, it might be best to try that brand first. MAC will thank you and so will I. I will not be offended.
  5. Don’t let my look scare you away. Please don’t assume that because I look like Snow White’s spinster Aunt that I’m going to make you look the same way. Paler than snow skin, black eyeliner, completely matte face with blood red lips is just my signature look. BA’s have so many colors to choose from, and if you have an idea of what you want to try, say it loud and proud! One of our great joys is to play with different skin tones, face shapes, and individuals that love cosmetics as much as we do. If you want rose gold colors, that’s what we’re going to go for!

You may have noticed that I left out a few controversial BA topics:  sales, sales goals, and pushy BA’s. That may be a future post, if I have the strength. I prefer to keep my blog on the positive Dark Side. That’s not always possible but try I do. Being a BA is a glamorous, fun, sometimes difficult and stressful job but it is also very rewarding. I wouldn’t change 95% of it, except the few things I mentioned today.  Be nice and thank your BA today! Ask the cosmetic department if you can run to the food court and get them a drink! Send pictures and thank you notes after they do your makeup for an event! They will never forget you!