Monday, April 30, 2012

Putting Your Best Face Forward

Part of being a woman in this culture is being concerned about youth and beauty.  Fortunately,  looking young has yet to be an issue for me.  However, I do agonize over looking good for my husband on almost a daily basis.  Maybe it’s the 25 lbs. I gained after we got married, but I never want to feel like I’ve gotten lazy when it comes to my appearance.  I want my hubby to always find me attractive.
When it comes to beauty regiments, there are two issues that daunt me: time and money.  There was a time when I would wake up an hour and a half early just to make sure that my hair and makeup were perfect and that my belt, bag, and shoes matched… then I graduated from high school.  Today, I am all about “low-maintenance”.
Let me preface the following information with this disclaimer: I am not and have never been a cosmetologist, makeup artist, or beauty consultant.  I am just a woman who likes to find simple ways to accentuate my best features while still looking natural.  So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite beauty products!
Recently, I experienced a breakout due to an allergic reaction which left me with acne that was worse than anything I experienced as a teen.  I tried everything to calm my irritated skin, and then I remembered how well Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser worked for me in the past.  Let me just say, this was a life saver!  For less than $8, it completely cleared my skin, and it leaves my skin feeling exceptionally soft!  I also love how well this product balances my combination skin. As an added bonus, I think it smells really nice. 

Another product I love is St. Ives Apricot Scrub.  It’s great to use in the winter for dry patches, but it also helps lighten acne scars.  I also like to use this product prior to getting a spray tan.  This product is less than $4.

If I had to splurge somewhere in this step, it would be the moisturizer.  I absolutely love Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.  Again, this is a great product for balancing combination skin.  Even better, it leaves your skin feeling smooth instead of sticky!  My husband has even been known to grab this moisturizer in place of aloe to treat a peeling sunburn.  A small bottle will cost you $13, but a little goes a long way.  However, you could wait to buy this during Clinique “gift” time and walk away with a makeup bag filled with quality freebies (which is what I like to do)!

I am very particular about my foundation.  This is another beauty product I believe should be purchased with quality in mind.  I prefer Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra.  Not only does this product feel like you’re wearing nothing at all, but it has superior coverage to every other foundation I have ever tried.  It will cost you $44, but I promise it is worth every penny.  On the bright side, you really don’t need press powder with this product.  You can purchase the “Fresh Wear” version with SPF 15 for $34 though.   This is another product that you can save for “gift” time with Lancôme too! 

I love playing with makeup, and I have always felt that when it comes to color, you can afford to be cheap.  I will say that the more expensive the product, the more highly concentrated the pigment is, so you won’t need as much of it.  You can make the most of the pigment in a cheap product by purchasing a quality primer though. 
I have relatively sensitive eyes, and the best mascara I have found for my sensitivity that also lasts all day and is easy to remove is Avon Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara.  This will cost $6.50 when it’s not on sale.  If you don’t know an Avon representative, have no fear.  You can be matched with a representative in your area online, and many representatives are opening their own Avon stores.

My favorite drug store eyeliner is NYC (New York Color) Classic Brow/Liner Pencil for $1!  It applies very smoothly, and it is great for smudging into a smoky eye look.  It also removes very easily.
Eye shadow and lipstick are areas I like to experiment in.  My favorite brands of eye shadow are Avon and Cover Girl.  My favorite brands of lipstick are Avon and Wet ‘n Wild.
While I think blush is a necessary for a finished look, I’m not very picky about the brand.  However, I do normally buy Avon or Cover Girl for this product too.

Et Cetera:  
I highly recommend using Dove products for bathing, whether it be the bar soap, body wash, or hair care products.  Everything they say about Dove leaving no residue is completely true! 

When it comes to my nails, I refuse to buy anything but OPI nail polish anymore despite the $8.50 price tag.  Also, the trick to keeping your nails looking good for a long time is a good top coat.

Also, I love Curél Continuous Comfort lotion.  While this product is sold in limited locations, it will likely cost you less than $10 for a 16.25 Fl. Oz. container.  You could also try their Daily Moisture lotion as well.

You can also save yourself a few dollars by investing in a pedicure set with pumice stone and foot rasp instead of spending $20 or more every other week at a salon.

Additional Notes:
I am still looking for the perfect sunscreen, although I’ve been wanting to try Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock.

In addition, I am also trying to find the best hair products for my budget, although I've heard great things about Redken Water Wax 03 Shine Defining Pomade.

Lastly, your makeup is only as good as the tools you apply it with.  I have had my brush set for so long that I couldn't begin to guess what brand it is or which store it came from.  However, I can tell you that I have heard nothing but good things about ELF (Eyes Lips Face) brand brushes.  You can buy them for $1 each or the entire collection for $12.  That's a steal!  Otherwise, stick to natural hair brushes over synthetic.

I hope that you found some of these suggestions helpful.  Simplifying your beauty treatments and consolidating your cosmetic collection will be sure to improve your morning routine as well as boost your confidence... and may even give your man whiplash!

1 comment:

  1. Nice list of products. :) My new fave is to melt about 1/2 cup of coconut oil and mix in as much sugar as I can to make a bath/shower scrub. You could add a fragrance but I'm okay with it like it is.