Posts Tagged ‘ Makeup ’

Drugstore Buying Guide-Skincare, Hair & Makeup!

Our local French Quarter Walgreens

Before I started reading reviews of makeup, skin and haircare I found the choices at the drugstore overwhelming. I buy both high-end name brand items as well as drugstore items but I used to only shop at the drugstore for stuff. Part of the reason why I started liking Sephora better is because you are more likely to find quality items whereas I found my drugstore makeup shopping was so often hit or miss. I was wasting money on stuff I couldn’t try first that ended up not working out. The cost and the inconvenience was adding up.  I just happen to have tried a lot of different brands as well as read a metric ton of reviews so I have some tips to share.

I’ll start with something I would have never tried if it weren’t for the great reviews on beauty blogs- Wet N Wild makeup!  I remember WnW as being play make-up, something for kids and teens more than something I would want to buy and use but they have undergone quite the brand makeover. Like most drugstore brands not everything will be great but the standouts of the line are the Color Icon shadows & palettes, their natural face powders & their blush especially the Color Icon Blush. They are one of the least expensive lines in the drugstore.

The best lipsticks I’ve found at the drugstore are L’oreal Color Riche Lipstick, Revlon Color Burst, Revlon Super Lusterous, Covergirl Queen Collection and Maybelline Moisture extreme. They all have good color payoff, are non-drying and come in an array of colors and finishes.

As far as lipgloss goes, Revlon seems to nail it with every line. They offer many types of glosses and so far I haven’t found one I don’t like. The only complaint I have is with their Color Stay Mineral Lip Glaze only because it has a light plastic smell and taste-some shades are worse than others. If you are looking for a sheer gloss to just add a bit of shine to your lipstick without overpowering it, CG wetslicks are great and inexpensive. Milani makes a nice sparkly gloss called 3d Glitzy Glamour Gloss (silly name, great gloss!) L’oreal Infallible 16hr gloss is great too. It doesn’t last 16 hours (what does??) but the colors are true and it has decent staying power.

Just a broad hint to those looking for bright colors at the drugstore. I have seen some that look bright and enticing but you get them home and it’s so disappointing (Cover Girl,Jane!) but one little thing- try eye shadow from lines aimed at women with darker complexions. Usually they are more pigmented in order to show up properly. There’s usually a wider selection of dark colors in the lipsticks too!

As an overall decent brand, Milani scores high on my list. They have lots of fun edgy colors. Their eyeliners are all amazing- I use them regularly and their Liquif-Eye pencils actually rival Urban Decay’s 24/7 liners. Their shadows go on a bit sheer, but so far that’s my only complaint. Check them out next time you crave a makeup fix!

Eye Liners & Mascara- I am never disappointed by L’Oreal’s liquid eye liner or mascara. They offer the blackest blacks and some great formulas but you will be paying the price. I don’t like to spend much on drugstore makeup when for $5 more I can get something from M.A.C but L’oreal’s Liner Intense liquid liner in Carbon Black is one of the best liquid liners I’ve ever used. They make a mean mascara as well.  Cover Girl Lash Blast, the original in the fat orange tube is a good mascara you can swipe on quickly that won’t make your lashes spidery and won’t clump or over-deposit product. Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara is decent but you need to be careful when applying- wipe the brush off and get any extra mascara off before swiping it on. I always brush my lashes after using this too but then it looks great! Rimmel makes good mascaras, lip liners,  and their moisture renew lipstick line is good. Cover Girl liquid last liner pencils are another Urban Decay 24/7 rival- they are creamy and smudgeable and once they set they stay put.

I will flat out tell you I do not love any drugstore foundation. Foundation is one of the most important things you put on your face and it’s what people notice when they look at you. I think the cheaper stuff works best if you have normal skin, no problems and a nice complexion minus things you’d want to cover. Then you could probably use anything but the fact is, many of us have some skin woe. If you have dry skin then not using a primer and wearing whatever costs $6 at Rite-Aid is going to highlight your flaws, look flakey, cakey and just not right. You can’t try before you buy and you’re usually paying at least half of what a decent foundation would cost  anyway. I cannot stress enough how “worth it” a good foundation is. I understand we can’t all afford it though so if you are buying drugstore one of the safest bets is Revlon. Both their Color Stay and Photo Ready formulas are pretty good. They are even better with primer underneath. If those two are good then they probably make others that are decent but I don’t have personal experience with them. L’oreal True Match has the most extensive choice of color but their liquid foundation looked horrible on me. It aged my skin and the coverage wasn’t to my liking either. Their powder is great though. It’s not cheap but it’s possible to get it on sale or with a coupon.

Things to avoid- Maybelline Blushes, the darker shades of Rimmel’s moisture renew lipsticks, Jordana lip liners, Cover Girl Cheekers blush, Covergirl single shadows, Covergirl foundation. I find a lot of Cover Girl and Maybelline lacking in quality.

Neutrogena, Almay and Physician’s formula make nice natural makeup for people with sensitive skin. Physician’s formula gel eye liners are worth picking up. Almay loose powder is fab.


I usually purchase my skincare items from the drugstore. I’m such a color addict that I hate spending gobs of money on a cleanser from Sephora- I’d rather buy a bright shadow and get my cleanser for $5 at Walgreen’s which is silly because the better you take care of your skin the better makeup will look. Anyhow I have engaged in much trial and error in this area. I have found that one brand that never steers me wrong is Garnier. Their Moisture Renew line is amazing- You’ve heard me rave about their gel cream moisturizer but their cleansing foam rocks too. I will skip ahead a bit here and say that they are great for hair products as well. Their shampoos, conditioners and styling products all come closer to achieving what they claim to do than any others that I have tried.

Makeup remover is not something I think you need to spend a lot of money on. I have a bottle of Lancome Bi-Facil that I love for taking off waterproof or heavy eye makeup and I even use it to clean my eye brushes sometimes but I use a noname brand for regular everyday light makeup removal. Wal-Mart’s Equate brand facial cleansing cloths come in these double packages which last a long time if used daily and work great for a quick clean-up or to get light makeup off before properly washing your face. Wipes like that are great for after workouts!

I already wrote about the ingredients to look for when buying skincare products for acne or combination skin. I don’t think the brand matters so much as the ingredients in the products as for what you need specifically for your type of skin. If you need something with 2% Salicylic Acid there are about 15 different products from different brands where that is the main ingredient, so I have no opinion on brands when it comes to that stuff.


I already mentioned the greatness of Garnier. If Garnier doesn’t have what you need, Tresemme or Tigi probably do. I am a huge fan of Tresemme styling products such as their shine spray, heat protector, curl creme and hairsprays. Tigi (the Bed Head people) make some great stuff but it’s a little pricey. You can find some TiGi dupes in the Got2B line. Got2B has some spray products that are great when you need big, and I mean BIG hair. If you were, say, wanting “scene” hair you would reach for Got2B glued freeze spray in the big yellow can. They do some hair-friendly glue type stuff for punky spikes and such. I remember guys I knew using actual glue in their hair- luckily, you can buy stuff for that now that’s much better for your hair than Elmer’s.

So, how about you? Do you shop drugstore cosmetics?  Any finds or fails you can share?

I have some lots of swatches and reviews coming up! Lots of indie companies including DreamWorld, Meow and Evil Shades! Fyrinnae too  ;D


If I Could Swap This for That…

These three things are recent purchases that didn’t work out for me. I found myself griping about the money spent on them and what a waste it was & what I should have spent it on instead so I decided to post about exactly that!

Benefit Realness Of Concealness Kit-$36 at Sephora. The kit includes mini-sizes of Ooh-La-Lift, High Beam,& Lip Plump in little tubes like gloss with doe-foot wands. It also includes a small serving of both Lemon-Aid and Boi-Ing. I gave the Ooh-La-Lift to my mother as I don’t need it and she didn’t care for it. The Lip Plump looks so incredibly NASTY on my lips- it’s a beige color that looks so insanely horrible on that even if it plumped, which it doesn’t appear to at all, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it.I think on slightly darker lips it would work like lip concealer though.  The High Beam isn’t a complete miss- it looks pretty dotted on my cupids bow and on my cheekbones over matte blush but is too white and shimmery for an all-over highlighter. Lemon-Aid is amazing- I use it under my eyes and on my lids when I skip shadow and it cancels out redness, fights my dark circles and mattifies. I have a full-size Boi-Ing that I’m halfway through and I love that stuff but the shade included in this is way too dark for me. So essentially I only use the Lemon-Aid and occasionally the highlighter. Fail!

Mini JLO Glow-$12-Walgreen’s- I used to have a normal size bottle of this that I purchased from a fragrance counter in a department store so it was obviously authentic.  I didn’t buy it because it was by JLo but because it smelled so amazing and pretty that I couldn’t resist. That was the only perfume I ever wore that men would ask what I was wearing and it happened a lot! In cabs, elevators, bars, stores, it was so weird! When I saw this itty-bitty bottle for so cheap I thought “score!” and snagged it only to find it smelled like it cost $12- cheap and harsh.  The packaging looked like the real thing but it must be an imitation scent from some company that does  mini versions of popular fragrances. Sadface.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm, color “Twilight”-$8.99 at local pharmacy- I haven’t found a way to make this work. The one thing I can say for it is that it seems to last & stay put. When I applied it the first time it went on so spotty and streaky and stuck to the dry spots of my lips and highlighted every flaw- then it dried and stayed exactly where it was. Luckily I had the foresight to test it when I wasn’t getting ready to go out. I am planning to try this again after I purchase a lip scrub. I plan to exfoliate my lips and slather on lip balm and let it sink in for awhile before applying.  I also want to find a way to not use the marker tip to apply it directly- it felt like rubbing a kids magic marker on my lips and came out looking that way as well! Yuck. Here it is swatched, blurry but it shows the color well-

It’s too bad because the color is pretty!

So, If I could trade them in for other products what would they be? Instead of the concealer  kit I would purchase a full-size Lemon-Aid ($20 at Sephora.)  I would trade in the Mini Jlo scent for Depravity (love it!!) from Gloi Locks and Body on Etsy ( Price unknown while store is closed for a bit) & I would trade the Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain for a sample set of “Wicked Glosses” from Evil Shades ($10) as it is chock full of fun colors and I’m obsessed with gloss of late!

What’s the latest thing you wish you could trade in?

Swatch Time! High Voltage & A Morgana Lippie

I want to start posting more swatches, I’m just trying to get better at taking accurate pics of them. These are from when I first got my High Voltage sample pack and I was actually thinking of doing this while it was still light out so I took them in sunlight rather than in my kitchen or something. They still aren’t great, you can’t see the shimmer in some- like cloud 9 in this pic looks flat but it’s super glittery!

LTR-Roadie, Secrets & Lies, Electric Gypsy, Cloud 9, Crazy Crazy Nights

Here’s the last four closer up- You can see the glittery Cloud 9 a little better.

Below is Morgana Minerals Vegan Lipstick in Blueberry. It’s cropped super close because I was having an awful skin day and it may seem blurry but it is still an accurate depiction of the color.

Just as dark as black but not as cliche!  Haha. If you like the way black looks but are afraid of looking like a mall gawth, this may be your answer.

I just ordered foundation, concealer and blush samples from Meow Cosmetics. I’ll be posting a review once I get to test-drive them enough. Fun!

The Best Goth-friendly cosmetics Part Deux- Indie Companies (& cyber,loli,punk etc)

There are a lot of indie makeup companies out there nowadays. Because of sites such as TKB trading, pretty much anybody can whip up their own products and set up an “online company.”  Most of the indie companies flooding the net are selling mineral-based products. This is usually for one of two reasons and the first is the one you have to watch out for; someone is looking to make a quick profit buying straight mica from a wholesaler, putting it in their own packaging and selling it as an original product at a much higher cost. The other reason is usually something along the lines of someone who is a makeup lover themselves and they want to provide all natural, safe and original makeup.  These companies provide makeup that is often vegan and free of all sorts of ingredients we are better off not putting on our skin. Many offer inexpensive samples which I think is awesome and makes me much more confident ordering makeup off the internet in general, no matter the company.

It’s good to do a little homework before purchasing from an indie internet company’s site. There are other sites that go into this much more in-depth and explain things much more clearly than I can, many of which are in my blogroll (and two mentioned at the end of this article)  Here I would like to list indie companies I trust that make awesome goth-friendly makeup.

On to the pretties!

Morgana Minerals~Best.Lipstick.Ever! It is a vegan formula and it is so vibrant and long-lasting. Her color selection leans towards dark and daring with black, silver, blues, dark purples, etc. She offers some more wearable shades but I wish she had even more of the tamer colors because with a formula this nice I want one in EVERY color! I just ordered a full-size of her amazing foundation in pale C. It looks ghostly on the site but is actually perfect for us paler-than-the-palest-drugstore-shade gals.  Even better, it doesn’t melt or sweat off in the summer heat! She has a nice variety of eye shadows and glitters, as well as brushes.  She also offers Manic Panic and Jerome Russel hair dyes at lower prices than most stores.

Fyrinnae– They offer an extremely wide array of loose eyeshadows and many can also be used anywhere else you are inclined to decorate. The quality and innovation of their product line has me smitten! Pixie Epoxy is something all sparkle-fiends must have in their arsenal as it is worn over primer to help glitter and glitter-packed shadows adhere to skin and look super vibrant.  Also, their lip lustres (liquid lipcolors )come in lots of fun funky shades and enough wearable everyday shades to cover any occasion. They go on with a wand like a gloss but  dry down and end up fading to a stain. Their loose blush, highlighter and bronzers are worth trying.  All their products are vegan.

High Voltage– Rock N’ Roll themed Mineral Makeup line. Some of the most wearable eye shades I’ve tried. They offer a wide range of matte shadows as well as shimmery and dramatic colors. Samples are just $1.  All the shadows are vegan. They also offer lip stuff in lots of fun colors and wonderful formulations.

Sugarpill-This company is quite different from the others on this list but equally amazing. It is not advertised as mineral-based, they only offer a limited selection of eye makeup, both loose and pressed. Their colors are also different in that they are basically primary colors for your peepers. The red isn’t a dark pink, it’s stoplight red. Same with the pressed yellow & orange, two other colors that are always diluted to be mass-marketable.The pressed colors are pigment rich and not for the faint of heart! Until Sugarpill, if you wanted colors this bold you had to compromise on quality by buying from the type of line offered at Hot Topic.  The loose colors are truly beautiful and some may find them more wearable than their pressed sisters. The quality of the product and the fab packaging score points too!

Evil Shades– A goth-centric Mineral Makeup company. 15 eye samples are available for $10, which is less than one eyeshadow from a department store and possibly more in line with your style! Blushes, glosses and lipsticks are also available. They have unique lipstick shades but their uniquely hued glosses have found their way into my regular makeup rotation, especially “Deadly.” It’s a gorgeous deep plum that makes my lips look dark and luscious.

These are just a sampling of companies out there that are considered small businesses and make original and goth-friendly products. If you want to know more about repackaging or companies you can trust please  check out   Fresco Phyrra’s blog and  Le Gothique

Happy hunting for pretty things that suit your dark desires!

Goth-friendly cosmetics (&cyber,rockabilly,lolita,deathrock, etc)PT 1

There are so many cosmetic companies out there that either have products that look like they’d be great and after trying it, it’s disappointingly unoriginal. There are plenty of companies who claim their colors are so bright, XXX and you learn after trying them they either aren’t all they cracked up to be or have such shoddy business practices you don’t even want to buy their products. If my links on the sidebar aren’t enough, I’d like to introduce you (or possibly just provide a refresher) on some companies worth supporting that have makeup that is friendly to extreme, unique and subcultural styles. None of these companies test on animals (unless I’ve somehow been mislead, in that case please let me know) Most of the websites and products say right on them that they do not test on animals. Here is a list of companies that do not test on animals as well –

And here’s another link,this one all makeup

Another note on that, most of these brands I know don’t test on animals because it says so on the products I own from those companies. The rest I found out about online.

First off, some major cosmetic companies;

Too Faced- Their powder eye shadows are buttery-smooth and drenched with pigment. True to the color in the pan once on your skin. They make some really nice inexpensive palettes. Their eyelid primer, “Shadow Insurance” often referred to as TFSI on beauty blogs across the web is a must-have to make your shadows appear more vibrant & last longer without creasing or looking messy. Their glitter eyeliners are (In my opinion) some of the best you can buy if you want a very glittery line. Most glitter liners I’ve tried you have to layer like crazy to get a sparkly enough  line but these give you glitter-encrusted lids with 2-3 swipes. The Lash Injection mascara is on many makeup maven’s favorite-product lists. The liquif-eye liner transformer is a must have- it transforms any eyeshadow into a liner with this clear formula and eyeliner brush, I *love* it! You’ll never have to purchase a colored liner again. Of course they have plenty of other products but these are the ones that come to my mind first and we could be here all day if i keep going.

MAC- Self explanatory, right? I was actually never wowed by the way their products looked. I wasn’t interested at all until recently. I understood that everyone and their mommas (and their aunts, best friends, co-workers) were in love with all that is Mac but trips into the mac store had me feeling…meh. I finally picked up one of their pigments because it was a dupe of a too faced color I had been looking for and WHAM- I was a convert. With that one product, I finally saw the light. I am not obsessed yet but I did return soon thereafter for the shadow that was a close match to the pigment. I spent awhile swatching everything I could get my hands on.  I’m impressed by how vibrant their colors are. The loose pigments are all really amazing. They are so multi-dimensional and they aren’t that way by being stuffed with glitter. Everything about their products is high quality. If you can afford it, try replacing so-so brushes with MAC tools. Google mac brush reviews or even makeup tutorials for an idea of which brushes might suit your needs, or of course just go to a mac store.

Make Up For Ever-  Ok, This company consistently blows me away with product quality and their fearlessly bright colors. Do you pine after those cybergoth bright pink (or red, green etc) eyes? You know, the almost neon colors with black liner and super high brows?  This is a line that will help you get the look. They also have red, orange and yellows that aren’t dulled down to be more easily marketable like some other companies.  Their mattes, aqua creams, aqua color waterproof liners, crazy false lashes, star powders, all of it is just amazing! I’m in love with their face primer too, in case you didn’t see my review. (it’s just a few posts down)

Urban Decay- Another line that is probably self-explanatory. I know I’ve been in love with this company since I saw  a full-page ad for their nail polish in the early ’90’s.  A lot of their shadows have glittery and duo-chrome finishes. They have so many beautiful shadow shades I want almost all of them! They shadows are nicely pigmented and apply easily, though with the glittery ones you will probably have some glitter particles fall out onto your cheeks. My solution is just to do my eyes before my face makeup. If glitter isn’t your thing they now have a matte line, and also the deluxe shadows which are more of a satiny sheen, no glitter.I recommend the deluxe shadow palette. Their eye primer has attained holy-grail status, Urban Decay Primer Potion or UDPP as it’s called in the beauty blogs comes in three formulas and is one of the best eye primers available (IMO). I switch between the original and Eden formulas. Eden is yellow tinted and a little thicker than the whitish-clear original. Eden can be worn alone to color-correct your lids and give them a matte finish. They have a variety of liners available and their 24/7 pencils are a product I can’t live without. That is the best black pencil eyeliner I have ever used and I have tried plenty different kinds in the 14 years I’ve been wearing liner. The big fatty mascara is great for volume. Their lipsticks are popular, as are their face products. The De-slick oil control products are supposed to be amazing. Oil is something I struggle with and I look forward to trying those.

Kat Von D- Perfect for goth and rocker looks, Kat Von D’s palettes feature dark smoky colors and tattoo design packaging. The quality of the shadows is wonderful, they are smooth, buildable,  rich in pigment and blend easily. She mixes it up with different finishes featured in each palette so you can find your lid, crease & highlight colors all in one spot. A lot of her shadows work great as liners also. She has been coming out with new products lately including eye primer, concealer that claims to cover tattoos as well as dark circles and lip colors.

If the above products are a little out of your price range don’t fret, there are some drugstore brands that don’t shy away from bright colors and give decent bang for your buck.

Milani- I didn’t know anything about their stuff when I purchased my first shadow compact. It was called Runway eyes and had 6 shades of black fading to gray and silver. I was impressed with the pigmentation and how they retained the color when blended. It is a fantastic palette for smoky eye looks. Their eye quads are something I want one of each of. They feature four colors that can be used alone or together for an quick and easy look that requires no guesswork! Their singles in fun glittery finishes are like a drugstore competitor for Urban Decay.  The eyeliners are the best drugstore liners I have found, both pencil and liquid versions!

Nyx- The Eyeshadow trios come in fun, bright colors but the payoff varies. I’ve noticed the medium to dark colors are true to color whereas yellows, lime green, just lighter colors in general come out looking kind of sheer. I love their purple shadows the most! Their jumbo shadow sticks are a holy grail makeup base rivaling Mac’s paint pots. The colors most often used in internet makeup tutorials are “Black Bean” and “Milk”. I’m looking for someplace local that carries these as we speak !(type?) They offer a full-range of cosmetic products & are even the official makeup of RuPaul’s Drag Race the TV show! Their glitter liners are popular as are their lipsticks.

Rimmel- Sexy Curves Mascara is the best waterproof drugstore mascara I have found. I honestly don’t have any experience with their other products but I know people rave about the bronzer and blushes. It’s very inexpensive so check it out and experiment!

Well, I hope this was helpful. I realize that if you have a beauty blog, practically live at Sephora, have been into makeup for awhile, etc. That this isn’t going to be anything you don’t already know. That’s fine, I want to help people looking for makeup to compliment their alternative style that don’t already know where to look or want something new to try. I didn’t include links because all of these brands can be found  so easily using google or by checking in sephora or on Happy hunting and playing!