Beauty Babblings

Beauty on a Budget Week

Since the world as we know it has taken a nose dive and gas prices have risen up to $4.95 USD per a gallon and the future of the presidential election is the biggest mystery since Elvis appearing on a slice of whole wheat toast I’ve decided that we must have a Beauty on a Budget Week!

Yes kids, now is the time to take responsibility for our money and hope for the best.

And everyone from England who’s groaning about the ridiculously low cost of gas should know we yanks are spoiled and $4.95 USD is damn expensive!

The moral of the story is today my sister brought me to Walmart (I should say a few days ago as this was written a bit ago! Sorry ’bout that peeps!) as I kicked, screamed, and pleaded with her to PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ME TO WALMART FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THINGS GOOD AND HOLY!

I hate Walmart.

With a passion.

I really do.

Sorry if you love it.

I simply hate it.

It’s a giant space filled with really cheap stuff…I mean seriously cheap….I mean tacky cheap….I mean….ok I’m being a bit dramatic…you get the point. Aside from that I won’t get into what an evil empire it is!

Anyway. She’s going on holiday shortly and needed a few bits and bobs so somehow that translated into “Let’s go to Walmart!”

And it turned into a day trip with her, my best friend Jai, and myself. Praise Jebus that Jai came along for the ride! I mean seriously who else could I trade catty remarks with while browsing the aisles of really cheap crap laying around Walmart.

I’ve no idea how we got invovled in this road trip but obviously we had nothing better to do with our fabulous selves aside from following my sister around while she loaded her cart with enough stuff to cloth, feed, cleanse, and make up an entire country.

Since Jai and I drew the line at following her into the clothing department (our eyes were burning enough already imagine if we were presented with racks and racks of cheap clothes???) we wandered into the cosmetic aisles and amused ourselves with really cheap drugstore cosmetics.

And as we browsed we decided that we’d spend some bucks on really cheap drugstore finds and do an article on all the cool or maybe not so cool stuff we found!

So since inspiration struck in the middle of the cosmetic aisle at Walmart I’ve decided to bring you a week in review of really cheap, Beauty on a Budget finds!

You’ll see a new Beauty on a Budget review each day for the next week (or until I run out of crap to review).

In all seriousness, catty comments aside, I think it’s a great way for me to broaden my horizons and see what else is available that can’t be found at Neimans, Saks, Sephora, Nordies, or the inside of Japanese, Korean, and Singaporean drugstores.

It’ll be a real learning experience for me!

It’s a great essential guide for you as well since these may be a few items you might have wanted to try but like me have been burned one too many times by drugstore brands and have passed them by chalking them up as money well NOT spent.

I’ll be featuring many items I’ve passed up MANY times that I’ve wanted to try but have been highly skeptical of!

I hope you’re excited to learn more about these items and hey maybe I’ll find something in this pile that I actually really do LOVE!

What are your Beauty on a Budget favs?

Share ‘em with the Muse!

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Fake Jill Stuart Palettes

Unbelievable. I just read about this on Risser’s blog and I was absolutely gobsmacked. It appears that a few fake Jill Stuart Palettes have popped up on a yahoo auction. The seller appears to be in Hong Kong.

One of my original Jill Stuart Palettes:

Amazing how alike these look right? Even down to the plastic cover sheet! Wow. Just wow. It was pointed out that the only thing missing from the fakes is the Jill Stuart logo on the bottom right hand corner of the open palette! If you see my photo and compare it to the fakes you’ll notice the logo is missing! Interesting.

I’m absolutely astounded.

Can you believe this?

I can’t help but look at the palettes and think how great the color combos are though hehe! I’m awful aren’t I?

Honestly, the boxes and compact looks freaking awesome for a fake don’t they!?

You can read some rants about this seller by clicking here.

But seriously this is just fascinating. The things people do!

So beware kiddies when bidding on auctions from another country! I bid on abroad auctions all the time so this might be an eye opener for me!

Thanks to Risser for keeping us in the know! Risser explains in her post that it’s common for MAC and Bobbi Brown to pop up with counterfeit items but it’s not everyday you see Jill Stuart being duped like this!

This is rather sad for people who are new to the brand, not knowing the color selection and buying these blindfolded and being screwed over! Very sad!

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MAC Mutiny Pigment and MAC Pop Blue Eye Pencil: A Marriage Most Wonderful!

Since MAC Mutiny Pigment is my current obsession I’ve been looking through my collection for various items to pair up with it!

Since it’s so beautiful I did decide that it would be best to try it all by itself when I finally get around to doing an FOTD with it!

However, while seeking colors to match up with it, right under my nose, happened to be MAC’s Pop Blue/Black Funk Dual Ended Eye Pencil from the Heatherette Collection!

Ahhh a marriage most wonderful!

How about you?

Loving Mutiny?

What are you pairing up with it?

Tell the Muse!

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MAC Submarine Versus Freshwater

I got plenty of emails this weekend asking after MAC Eyeshadow in Submarine and Freshwater. Here are the comparisons if you’re thinking of purchasing Submarine but already own Freshwater!

Freshwater swatches as more of a aqua blue while Submarine is more of a true blue in my opinion!

Hope this helps!

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Beauty Secrets: Whitening Your Skin, How To Rid Yourself of Dark Circles, and Other Babblings

Great title right? Whiten your skin? Sounds very strange!

You may have read on a few occasions where I mentioned that I use a “secret” whitening agent on my skin prior to foundation. This is in fact a post about what I use to achieve not only a flawless completion but also how I take the shade of my skin down a notch or two or three if I so desire (I normally try to lighten it one shade down as I believe it makes me appear fresher).

Those of you from the western side of the world may find this a strange technique and those of you from the eastern side of the world may very well relate to wanting your skin a shade or two lighter then what it already is.

But Muse why do you want your skin tone lighter?

The Muse does not embrace the idea of being tan or bronze. For myself personally I don’t like my skin as it is. It’s a medium fair and to me it appears very dull. This is not to say that darker skin types aren’t beautiful because they are very gorgeous! The problem is that I don’t like the way I look in a shade of medium. My skin somehow lacks the flawlessness I seek in it’s current state. My sister favors my dad and is a deeper tan color and she works it well but my own skin tone feels dull to me.

So what do I do? I take it down a notch or two and make it whiter (or paler whichever way you want to say it!).

I think whitening it gives me not only a fresher look but also a good working canvas for my makeup. Colors seem to be brighter on my face, my foundation seems to work better, and I just appear younger and more flawless looking when I take the extra step to whiten my skin.

Think of the beautiful Geisha and maiko and the utter elegance of their makeup. Granted we don’t want to appear that white but the beauty of the Geisha’s flawless face can’t be denied.

I think Asian woman on a whole are always looking for that extra step to whiten their skin a notch or two which could account for how popular whitening fluids, foundations, etc…are within Japan, China, Etc…. Most of these products do not technically whiten the skin but just offer a bit of shimmer or what I call a candlelight glow. I can’t count how many items are available for purchase that have “whitening” in the title outside of the US. From creams to foundations and powders! And yes the Muse has tried and used them all!

The idea and popularity of a pale complexion within the Asian culture is pretty common and woman go to extreme lengths to keep their skin pale.

I admit that I do much the same. I am utterly obsessed with staying out of the sun. I look terrible tan. Absolutely terrible. And I go to the extreme myself to keep my skin as pale as humanly possible.

I guess I’m babbling a bit here and you’re about ready to hear what I use to whiten my skin.

I don’t normally share my secrets but since the Muse loves you so much she’ll tell you exactly how to take your skin tone down a few notches. Since starting Musings and mentioning my “whitening agent” I get at least an e-mail a day asking about it. I know of at least six readers that actually went out and purchased the item that I am about to show you and have had good to great success using it (I hope they’ll comment and let us know how they are doing with it!).

Lilac Base.

Huh? What’s dat?

If you can find a cream base of lilac you can easily take your skin tone down a notch. Blended correctly it’ll look flawless and very natural.

I’ve been using the same Lilac Base for Mmmmm about 12 years or so? Maybe a bit more. This may come as a shock but the Lilac cream base I use is from Signature Club A. Those of you here in the US are probably familiar with the line. It’s sold via HSN. The entire collection is pretty much geared towards the mature lady and truly most of the items sold are utter crap but the lilac cream base is freaking outstanding.

A really, really long time ago a friend of my mother’s had seen how into cosmetics I was and she had purchased me a kit from Signature Club A. Granted it was super nice of her to do so but at the time I couldn’t help thinking, “what the hell am I going to do with this garbage?”

Turns out she did me a rather awesome favor because inside the kit was a color wheel palette which included several face primers ranging from beige, pale blue, lilac, pink, peach, and yellow. I ended up using three of the colors religiously in my everyday routine and to this day I still use them and repurchase them again and again and again.

Which colors and how do I use them?

  • Lilac: Used as a pre-foundation base for lightening my skin.
  • Light Blue: Used under my eyes prior to concealer to diminish dark circles COMPLETELY and brighten my eye area 100%!
  • Yellow: Used under my eyes and sometimes on my face to calm any red spots.

The lowdown on Lilac:

You have to be very, very, very, very careful when using this cream. It’s very pigmented and it reminds me of clown makeup. It’s referred to in some reviews as stage makeup which is very correct. It’s very emollient so it’s great for anyone with dry skin. The potential for clogging your pores with this is a reality so to prevent that be sure to wash your face throughly after use. If you’re prone to acne or your face is suffering from break outs now I’d avoid it as this could potentially make it worst. Is it breathable? Yes. It feels very natural on and it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a mask of makeup.

Lilac Cream Base

This is not for using as a foundation. This is not for using on it’s own. This is not for using all over your face.

You can’t wear this alone because you’ll look like a ghost. This is most effective when used in conjunction with your normal foundation. You can’t use this all over your face. It’ll make you look awful.

The best way to use this is prep and prime with your toner, moisturizer, and primer of choice. Apply the Lilac onto the sides of your nose and slowly blend it outwards. Apply to the sides of your mouth and above your lip area and blend. These are places that shadow on my skin so they are the areas I concentrate on brightening up. Use a little touch of the product to begin and slowly build it up but don’t go overboard.

Now apply your foundation and concealer and you’re done. Flawless and ready for your main point makeup!

The basics of Blue:

Light blue as a concealer could never work could it? Yes, it works perfectly. Tricia Sawyer knows that but failed to come out with a good enough product to perform the job. Signature Club A’s version of the failed Tricia Sawyer Eye Slept is entitled Anchorwoman Blue. It’s been around a whole lot longer than Tricia Sawyer’s version. I’ve been using this for ages and I’ve never found a better product for totally vanishing my dark circles. This is a light baby blue color and I apply it prior to concealer. You can use it alone if you prefer but be sure to blend properly and not to go overboard. It’s easy enough to apply. A few dots, a pat of your fingertip, and you’re done. I normally apply a concealer on top as it gives a more natural look for me.

It does wonders for Dark Circles. I swear to you that it will erase any dark circles you may have. The Muse promises this product will change your life. Honest to god. I’ve been using it for over ten years for that reason!

What’s Yellow do?

The final product I use is a Yellow Cream Base from Signature Club A and this basically conceals redness, blemishes, and other imperfections. I use this mostly as a prep for my upper eye area as it preps my eye area for shadow prior to applying my Primer Potion. I normally use Benefit Lemon Aid but I do reach for for this during the breakout days!

All these colors used to be included in a color wheel palette and I’m actually relieved they now sell them individually for a very inexpensive price of $14.50 USD each. You get a brush and a pot of the concealer color of your choice plus shipping which to me is a deal and a half. Strangely enough this post was inspired by the fact that I am running low on all three colors so I had re-order and decided to go ahead and do a post about it!

Happily the concealers are now only available in beige, yellow, lilac, and blue where in they used to be combined in a palette with pink and peach as well. I never really used the beige, pink, or the peach so it’s nice that I can now buy the colors I need instead of being forced into buying a palette for a few colors (not that I mind as I’d kill for any of the three colors I mentioned to you).

So that’s all folks. My article on how to take your skin tone down a notch, how to rid yourself of dark, icky circles, and how I achieve “false” flawlessness!

What are your Beauty Secrets?

Share with the Muse!

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