Monday, September 12, 2011

My Top 5 Beauty Items EVAH

I know that the last few posts to this blog have been of the Debbie Downer variety. Sorry about that. Life has been busy and not altogether fun the last few weeks, but that doesn't mean that it is all bad. It does mean, however, that the only times I've actually taken the time to come out with something on the ole blog is when I'm feeling overwhelmed or tired or upset and just needed an outlet. And I will say that writing each of those posts made me feel much better. Hitting that "publish post" button is kind of like my therapy.

But you know what else makes me feel good? BEAUTY PRODUCTS. They make me feel like I'm on crack--a really nice crack that doesn't make me lose my teeth or force me into any situations where I have to consider what horrible things I would do to a Republican senator for a little scratch. I get this honestly--growing up, many nights that started off poorly would end in a trip to a quiet beauty counter in some desolate Belk's and a new lip gloss. Witness this verbatim (as best as I can remember it) conversation with my mother, who recently moved:

Mom: Well, I'll just pick it up when I go to Dillard's next week.
Me: What are you getting at Dillard's?
Mom: Well, I just haven't been to that one yet. And I need to go find it and see what it's like. For when I need it.

And yeah, I knew exactly what she meant. And for those of you who don't, you have to realize that she recently took a teaching assignment at a college that had an Ulta on the same exit. That wasn't the only reason, but it was a big draw. For when she needs it.

So without further adieu, I give you My Top 5 Beauty Items, EVAH.

1. Nars Orgasm Blush. (See an original post about it here.) Nars Orgasm is that kind of holy grail product that you find once in a lifetime. It is kind of like true love in that regard. What makes it so special? Well, the color for one. It's that "Oh look at my cheeks! ONLY BETTAH!" kind of look. There is a bit of subtle sheen that comes off fresh--not tarty or too young. Also, this stuff lasts. And lasts. And lasts. I have used this every day of my life for about 4 years (it is a very true fact that I wore it while in labor with Alice and touched it up that afternoon--a fact which many of the nurses found to be humorous) and I'm only on my second compact. That should tell you something. Lastly, this stuff looks good on everyone. My mom wears it and she is 56 and has a much different skintone than me. She even has it in The Multiple. And as we have discussed together, the color really seperates the women from the girls. It takes a strong ass woman to walk into a Sephora and say loudly and proudly, "I'll take one of your finest ORGASMS please!"

2. Moroccan Oil. (Original post here.) They say that absence makes the heart go fonder, and that may not be true in all cases. Absence sometimes makes the heart go on Facebook and rekindle with lost loves. Or it makes the heart start hitting on that cute Starbucks barrista who really understands you...and how to shake your double shot to perfection. But when it comes to some hair products, this is very true. I had Moroccan Oil and I loved it. Dreamed of it. Wanted to marry it in a very twee ceremony where we read vowels printed off the internet and take pictures of our hands making hearts. And then I ran out. It was over the summer and I was busy and had started cutting my own bangs, so I wasn't at the salon to replenish my stock. I thought about ordering more online, but didn't. Either I kept forgetting or I went over my budget for the week or I was on vacation. You know the drill. So I went without. And I'll say, my hair missed the stuff. I started getting gnarly tangles on the back-right of my head. I would pull them out, soak them with conditioner, and then they'd come back. Weird. The ends of my hair looked deader--fried even. Some of this I attributed to summer activities--FUN IN THE SUN, YO--but it was then that I realized that the major difference was the Moroccan Oil. As soon as I bought it again and remembered how to use it (start with a little on ends and work up through wet hair), life continued on and again and my hair was shiny, lustrous, and AWESOME. And the world continued spinning on its axis.

3. L'Oreal The One Sweep Eye Shadow: When I first wrote about this here, I was not as enthused with this product as perhaps I should have been. It was servicable, yes, but not something fantastic or life changing. It was pretty. Definitely pretty. However, I didn't realize just how awesome it was until I my life got a good deal more demanding after summer was over and the kids were back in school. Then it became imperative for me to get ready even faster (since I have to be at work 30 minutes earlier than I used to) and to look even prettier (new title means I'm with the public more). That's when I realized that this stuff is magic. In just a few rushed minutes, I can put on my whole face of make-up, including eye shadow, which used to be the hardest part (and the most likely for me to skip). When I'm feeling especially daring, I've found that a little liner picks the whole thing up. The most conclusive evidence that I like this stuff? Not only did I repurchase it when I ran out, I got three more colors. And for a girl that never repurchases, that just goes after the next shiny thing like some sort of terrier on meth, this is saying something.

4. MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation. This is another one of those, "You don't know what you've got, till it's go-one" kind of things. I used to buy this stuff when I lived in California. I'll admit that first I bought it because I just really liked how this particular drag queen who did makeovers put it on me. It is the one time in my life that I looked in the mirror and thought, "HOLY CRAP, I LOOK STUNNING." But then I realized that even with my untalented paws applying it, it was still pretty damn nice. I have a hard time finding foundation because I am exceedingly white, and everything that I try and like gets discontinued (AHEM, PRESCRIPTIVES.), but this has been around for at least 5 years and still works like a charm. And it's funny--I fight its working. I have tried everything else since I found it--drugstore brands, other prestige brands--and always wish I had gotten this. Which brings me to a good point--if you find something you like, you're probably not going to find something that measures up. I have wasted tons of money trying to pick up something that would be just as good, or do in a pinch and failed miserably each time. So you best sack up, drive the hour and a half to go pay $40 for it, buy yourself a caramel macchiato on the way home and just forget about it.

5. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (See my original review here) When I bought this, I went typically ga-ga for it, as I well should have. It is awesome, the lipbalm equivalent of coming home to find Ryan Gosling in your living room holding a plate of chocolate eclairs and a declawed baby koala. To be honest, though, when I bought it, I thought of it as a typically spring/summer product--light, airy, easy to apply and cute. However, as we have inched into Fall, I've seen that this product is going to be in my purse (and in my makeup bag and in my desk drawer--yes, I have three tubes) all year round. The color is the perfect "totally my lips, but better" and I love that the formula moisturizes well while looking pretty. As someone who is a chronic lipbiter when confronted with a stressful situation, I can say that this product does a wonder on my lips, even after the worst day. It is my go-to lipcolor for work and play, and I love it, in the way that my daughter loves Dora, deserts love the rain, and Justin Bieber loves the nose candy (What? You don't think he does? Did you see that movie? That's the only excuse for that nonsense.).

In closing, I will point out that combined together, these products not only allow you to have sex with Joe Mauer, they allow you to take him on an apple picking excursion where you have a charming photo shoot with a pile of leaves, wear cardigans from Anthropologie, and drink pumpkin spice lattes from an independant coffee house, possibly out of those big mugs that are more like bowls and that you bought a lot of when you were in college, thinking you would make your own coffee, and then you were like, "Fuck this noise. I'm just going to eat an entire box of cereal out of this crap and watch E! until I puke." And then, you know, you'll have sex and fall asleep in a lovely pile on a bed with sheets that he lovingly knitted together for you out of old Twins t-shirts, using a pattern that he pinned on Pinterest just last week. It's like that, yo.

So, if you need me, I'll be the girl in the cardigan, waiting for the Twins' no good, very bad season to end and patiently reapplying her lipbalm.

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