Posts Tagged: makeup

5 Great Beauty Products Under $5

beauty products under 5

Words fail to express my undying affection for places like Sephora. I like quality, I like investing in myself, I’m even the particular flavor of fool that will buy something for it’s packaging. I’m hardly practical when it comes to my shopping habits, spending my life on the lower part of the economic spectrum has made everything a novelty. Sometimes I will even purchase something because – not in spite of – its impracticality. If I’m being honest, at least a part of every paycheck is spent chasing the elusive specter of “luxury.” The heart wants what it wants. The wallet, however, may have other plans.

Much as we would love unlimited funds to splurge on the latest and greatest, it isn’t always possible. Life gets in the way when you’re busy making plans to buy the new Naked Palette. But fear not, friends! Your lack of funds hardly means you have to go empty handed. Some of the greatest products I’ve encountered were surprisingly affordable, and yet effective enough to keep in permanent rotation.

Let us gaze upon them together:

elf

elf Baked Highlighters: Perhaps you’ve heard about the “newest” trend called Strobing? It’s a fancy name for practically bathing in highlighter in place of contouring. I’ve been all about this life for many years now. It works just as well in winter as in summer, noticeable without being overbearing. While I’m a true believer in Nars Copacabana, I’ve fallen in love with the selection at elf. Actually, everything at elf is pretty top notch since they veer towards the shimmer at every opportunity (as do I). You can even use some of the baked eyeshadows as highlighters. Two for the price of…three bucks.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful: I’m big on masks. I’ve been known to frighten the Domino’s delivery guy with my vast array of face masks. No matter how much money I have to spend on something fancy, I am loathe to part with my Freedman masks. My skin is dry so my personal favorites are the Chamomile and Aloe Sleeping Mask, The Brightening Mask, and the Avocado and Oatmeal mask as a spot treatment, but friends who have tried the others had nothing but glowing reviews.

Sinful Colors Nail Polish: This drugstore staple has been with me since high school. They have a great variety of colors, and last longer than Essie or OPI.

NYC Eyelash Curler: Nothing works better for me than this eyelash curler. I’ve really tried to get rid of this one because well…it’s just not that pretty. It’s an eyesore in my bag and I get sick of looking at it. But damn it, the thing works. I think it has something to do with the spring because it curls my lashes much more forcefully than anything else and they don’t fall down again the rest of the day. I don’t know how to quit you.

Wet N’ Wild Fergie Velvet Matte Lip Color: I may have to forgive Fergie for the atrocious ear-worm that was “Let’s Get It Started,” because this make up line is super. I love a good balm/stain and these rival the Nars offerings in opacity and color selection. Not sticky, not drying, what’s not to love?

Treat yourself. And email me with any beauty questions.

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Kristine Rose is a make-up artist, esthetician, and writer. She strongly believes in each individual’s right to express themselves through style, make up, and body modification (or lack thereof). Beauty writing is her one true passion and she intends to revel in it until her untimely death, crushed under the weight of her own jewelry. Follow her on Instagram: @swansaredead and @_partoftheproblem_.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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How to Switch Handbags Quickly and Easily

Not so long ago, I owned one handbag. ONE. It was a black hobo with two external pockets, and I used it for everything. But when I began to want my bag to align more closely with my outfit, I realized that one slouchy black leather hobo didn’t actually feel right with everything I wore. And now, several years later, I’ve got a lovely collection of bags. I would say that I generally swap bags every day or every other day, even on the weekend. My bag choices are similar to my other accessory choices: I want them to feel harmonious with my chosen clothes. And that means the one-bag-fits-all philosophy no longer works for me.

I’ve gotten loads of questions over the years about how I swap bags so frequently without leaving items in various unused bags, wasting gobs of time in transferring items, or just getting frustrated and fed up with the process. I’ve tried to answer them individually, but now I’m going to answer them generally and visually. And the answer I’ll give? Compartmentalization.

how to switch handbags

This is what you’ll find inside any bag I carry every day of my life. OK, in the dead of winter there might be gloves/mittens and sometimes I’ll shove a book in there. But this is the bulk of it. Eight items: Sunglass case, wallet, makeup bag, checkbook (I’m old-fashioned) handkerchief (I’m allergic), phone, keys, miscellany pouch. All of them easy to grab and transfer. When switching, I’ll dump everything on the bed, put the previous bag away and pick my new one, pop everything inside and go. Usually takes three minutes or less.

makeup bag

The black bag is my LeSportsac makeup bag and there are probably five or six glosses and balms floating around in there, but I also keep a Tide pen, Band-Aids, fashion tape, a pill case, a foldable brush/comb combo, anti-shine powder, nail clippers (no lie), and lots of other stuff. I may not have kids, but I’m as prepared as many moms for everyday personal emergencies. This little makeup bag came with a larger handbag, and it is one of my most valuable possessions. I have had bottles of hand lotion and cheek stain burst in there dozens of times, and the inner coating has prevented any leakage. I LOVE YOU, INDESTRUCTIBLE MAKEUP BAG.

compartmentalized handbag

The polka-dotted pouch is my real secret weapon. Inside is my gum, tissues (sometimes you need something disposable for your nose issues, ya feel me?), business card holder (I didn’t mean to match my phone case and card holder, it just happened), and ANOTHER pouch that holds the various loyalty/rewards cards that would otherwise bulk up my wallet. Many items, one pouch. Mine is Cath Kidston and the smaller one hails from Etsy. I recommend oilcloth or other coated materials that are water repellent. Not that it’s wet inside most handbags, but just makes them less likely to get gunked up quickly.

And there you have it: My not-so-secret secret to swapping bags on a near-daily basis. Could this system work for you?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Body Love and Power

 

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Why is it important to love and accept your body?

Simple: Power.

Many, many companies profit off the low self-esteem of women: Diet companies tell us that losing weight will make us feel better about ourselves, cosmetics companies tell us that wearing makeup will make us feel better about ourselves, drug companies tell us that getting face-tightening injections will make us feel better about ourselves. All we have to do is give them some money, and they will give us better body images. And sometimes we do, and sometimes their promises pan out. But the marketing machinery is still whirring in the background, so that once we feel decent about our wrinkles we begin focusing on our love handles, once we’ve got those under-eye circles under control the worries about hair texture and color crop up. Make no mistake; Money is being made off of women’s body insecurities.

Of course, the beauty standards being thrust upon us by Hollywood are mixed up in there, too. If every woman felt equally beautiful, there would be no aspirationally gorgeous movie stars for us to worship. So the movie industry insists on tall, thin, young women with unblemished skin and just a hint of muscle, a figure that is attainable for a tiny segment of the population. Because they firmly believe that the escapism of movies is inextricably tied to the audience’s desire to see people who look nothing like themselves on the screen.

The messages we are fed make us feel shame and fear. Since virtually everyone hears the same messages, and since many buy into them without thinking, we end up with endless streams of body- and appearance-based judgment from the press, social media, our peers. We are told that unless we look a certain way, we are lesser, laughable, worthy of scorn. And the threat of that backlash just for looking like ourselves? It frightens us further. We become less bold, less willing to step up and be seen, less capable of taking risks and moving into leadership positions. Because the scrutiny, the scathing criticism, the blatantly misogynist diatribes that will undoubtedly be hurled at us will be more than we can bear.

Hating your body can strip you of your power. Hating your body yields that power to others, outsiders, people who know nothing of your strength and potential and brilliance. Hating your body stifles you.

Which is not to say that those who are on the path to body love are all mighty Titans, or that they need to be. Or that all women are susceptible to these negative messages and feel lesser because of them. Merely that committing to loving and accepting your body can be a move toward reclaiming some stolen power. When you feel good about your physical form, some of those negative, manipulative messages will start to bounce off of you. You’ll hear them and think, “Nope, I’m just fine, thanks,” and you’ll move on. And depending on how you’re wired, gaining ground on body love and acceptance may empower you to be more visible in your daily life, family life, professional life, artistic life. When you’re able to let snark slide off of you, you aren’t as leery of speaking in front of a group or offering to lead a team. You’re bolder, braver, stronger. When you aren’t worried about how others will look at or think about your appearance, you’re free to make bigger choices. Or just different choices. Ones that mean action without fear of judgment or repercussion.

Fighting the industries that profit off of our low self-esteem is important and necessary work. But you can wage war on a smaller scale: Work toward accepting and loving your body so you can deflect those misguided messages about body “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.” Work towards hearing and discarding useless criticism of women’s bodies. Work towards knowing that you’re amazing just as you are so that you can move through your life’s work unencumbered. We may not see a world free of body snarking in our lifetime, but we can reclaim our power by loving ourselves and moving on.

Image courtesy Liam Wilde

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