You might hate me for this. I might hate me for this. But you know what? I think most of us like beauty products. It’s a billion dollar industry in the US alone and I’m not the only one buying ;) So today for No D Day, where we don’t talk about our chronic condition, I’m going to stroll down vanity lane. Don’t forget, I’m from Venezuela-land of what I like to call “Beauty Effort”. In other words, people aren’t more attractive there-they just spend more time and effort making the most of what they’ve got.
So here is a list of my top 10 beauty products put together through countless, shameless hours of testing: (share yours in the comments please I’m always on the lookout and ready to learn more!)
10. Round boar bristle brush. I don’t care so much about the brand name I just care that it’s boar bristle and easy to hold. Works like a charm and is gentle on the scalp and distributes oils to the rest of the hair for maximum shine and hair health. The round aspect is great for volume while blow drying hair.
9. Lip Stain- Revlon makes a great one. It’s a nice way to perk up lip color and make it look natural-looks like you just ate some strawberries! It also feels like it’s not there which is a great plus. I also like the natural, matte look of it. Sometimes the shininess of gloss is tiring.
8. Maybelline Color Tattoo. Creamy eye shadow that doesn’t budge for over 24 hours. Comes in the most gorgeous colors. Perfect for Fall. (Yes, I sound like a cheesy Allure columnist, oh well).
7. Lacquer Liner 24 hour L’Oreal Infallible. Amazing. Seriously. It’s the only eye liner that I’ve ever described as “success!”. No smudging, no leaking into the eye. And the brush is pure genius. I’m really lousy with having a steady hand and even I manage this like a pro. The black is really harsh so don’t be afraid of the slate or bronze-they are very bold and pretty but great for those of us who are no longer 21 years old.
6. Neutrogena Make Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. I’m lazy about washing my face at night (how to keep water from going all over the sink, down one’s neck and elbows is beyond me) so I use these wipes. They work so well and I think they help exfoliate, too. I keep one corner of the wipe clear each night to use in the morning when the little remaining eye make up has smeared down under my eyes. Ya know, just so I stay classy.
5. Bronzer. Used correctly, it works miracles. Figure out how to contour your unique face shape. This stuff is excellent when you feel pale and sickly, to just bring back some glow. But don’t over do it.
4. St. Tropez Self Tanning Mouse. I don’t use it often so it lasts me well over a year (which is good because it’s the most expensive thing on this list). It’s awesome though. It looks great on all skin types-even really dark skinned girls, because it gives a warm and healthy glow. It’s probably carcinogenic so I don’t recommend using it all the time. But for example, for an event where there is a dress involved, this stuff makes getting ready seem more effortless.
3. L’Oreal Ellnet Satin Hairspray. It’s not cheap, it’s not found in small towns sometimes, but it’s great stuff because you can brush your hair after applying it and have hold with neat looking hair that still moves a plenty! Or you can do what I do and just use it to hold hair’s volume after a blow dry. (I’ve lost lots of my hair over the past decade so this makes up for it!)
2. Mascara. Ya know, I don’t have a favorite brand. I suppose I haven’t found it. But, I don’t go without it very often, it’s just too fun. In fact, I try a different brand every few months just for kicks.
1. Lip liner. If you’re like me, your lips are on the thin side. Which is fine except mine are also not very defined and tend to just blend into my skin. SO, nude lip liner it is. Revlon Colorstay Natural to be exact. It really makes a difference. Just be sure not to go outside the lip line. That look isn’t in and never will be. And my dear fellow Latinas…please stop the light lipstick and dark liner thing. Just stop.
Last but not least, a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way:
1. Don’t over pluck brows. Magazines constantly reiterate this for a reason-we all need the reminder. Leave well enough alone! Brows are most gorgeous when their natural shape is retained because that natural shape was made by nature for your face and your face alone.
2. If you don’t like wearing make up, don’t wear it! I say cheers to you, sister and don’t even begin to apologize. Just do me a favor and be sure to moisturize.
3. Similarly, if you do love wearing make up, don’t be ashamed. One of the most calming things for me is to put on make up. It’s like a creative outlet. There are so many colors and techniques!
4. There are a lot of rules out there. Break em’. Wear white after labor day, red lipstick to the grocery store, and no make up to a party. If you’re happy with it, nothing else matters.
5. A way to save skin from aging is to stay moisturized. And as much as I like to use natural products, unfortunately coconut oil or organic lotions don’t do much for my scaly dry skin so I use Vaseline Intensive Care. That said, if coconut oil works for you, awesome.
Last comment: Go out and learn what colors, make up techniques, hair color, and jewelry flatter you. It’s a great way to love exactly who you are because it’s about supporting what you already have instead of trying to cover it up or completely change it.
My favorite website that has free info on how to figure out your best colors, make up techniques, hair color, jewelry, style, hats, etc, is thechicfashionista.com. There you can get tons of guidance for free and take some time to appreciate your unique sense of beauty.
This post wasn’t so shallow, was it?
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