Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

DIY Haircolor w/ Professional Colors

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Sorry to have been behind on my posting–believe it or not, tax work has kept me busy in August!  But I am back, with my newest find…

At the end of July, I had to go to my hair stylist to fix my hair color.  Why?  Because I tried to short-cut the hair coloring rules and paid the price.  What happened was that because of the sun, pool water, etc., my hair was really fading out and I decided that I wanted to return to my natural color (minus the grey!).  So I tried to put a darker permanent color on my roots AS WELL AS the rest of my hair so I wouldn’t get stuck doing permanent on the roots and semi-permanent on the rest to get everything to match.  BIG MISTAKE.  Even after doing test strands, I ended up red.  Rather red indeed.  After trying to fix it and testing swatches of hair with semi-permanent color and not getting very far, I gave up and called my stylist.

Tiffany @ Cosmopolitan in Brewster, NY is excellent and I highly recommend her.  She is a great stylist and manages to cut my stick-straight boring hair in such a way to give it some body.  And she also fixed my hair mishap with a Redken semi-permanent color.  She was also kind enough to write down exactly the color combination she used, because we often chat about my home-haircoloring adventures. 

So I went online and purchased the Redken hair coloring products myself and voila–this time it worked!  So don’t be shy about asking your stylist to give you your color formula–good stylists understand that the economy is tough right now and that they would rather keep you as a haircut client and have you rave about them to your friends than try to keep your color a secret. 

Have a great week!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

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Buying and applying makeup: 2 different animals

Monday, April 28th, 2008

So, as I was getting at in my last post, makeup buying is a funny thing.  There is that moment, whether in the department store or drugstore or wherever you buy makeup–the potential new addition to your arsenal.  It looks great on the packaging, on the ad, in the container.  Then as you pay, a certain amount of hope courses through your veins.  This will be the one that transforms me to that babe in the Lancome ads, maybe even with no Photoshop necessary.

 If it is a lipstick, the packaging comes off in the car and on it goes.  Sometimes, it’s truly a hit–and we vow to buy that shade until they stop making it (which, unfortunately in many cases, will be in about 6 months–damned makeup companies!).  Same with mascara.

If it is something like a foundation, powder, or eyeshadow, we must restrain ourselves and wait until we get home to rip it out of the packaging.  If it was purchased at a department store, we maybe even had a “color test” on our cheek or one eye (why don’t they ever do both?) and now can’t wait to try the whole face.

On those rare occasions, the full face application is a success.  We may not look like the Lancome chick, but we are not looking like the before shots in the beauty ads, so that’s okay. 

 Many times though, it doesn’t work out.  And you are left standing there with a problem.  A foundation that is too dark and turns you into one of those spray-on tan Oompa Loompa girls.  Or too light and funeral-home worthy.  Or the powder makes you realize you haven’t waxed your mustache in a really long time.  Or the eyeshadow is so dark it looks like you applied your mascara to your eyelid by accident.

Now what are you supposed to do with this unfit makeup item?  Try to make it work?  Toss it in the back of the closet with all of the other misfits?  Can’t throw it in the garbage–it’s hardly used and the guilt makes us reach in and dig it out. 

 Better solution: return it.

Huh? But it’s been used! It’s makeup!  Doesn’t matter.  Return it.  Take it back to the store where you bought it and tell them the truth.  It didn’t match, it didn’t do what it promised, whatever the reason. 

Yes, with the exception of Target, the store will take it back.  I have tried this in department stores and drugstores alike, and can vouch that it works. 

Here are the rules:

1. Keep the receipt and original packaging.  Make sure this includes the product barcode. You may be able to squeak by without a receipt, but best to have it.

2. If returning to a drugstore, tell the cashier exactly what happened.  My usual problem is: “It made me look ready for the morgue.”  A woman cashier will usually empathise and a man, well, he doesn’t want to get between women and a makeup problem.

3. If returning to the department store, do the same.  Most of the department store makeup lines are really quite understanding and will refund your money with no questions asked.  And don’t feel embarrassed–it happens all the time.  Just don’t end up walking away from the counter with twice as much stuff as you just returned.

4. Drugstore: don’t buy 3 of the same color and try to return all at once.  Sometimes they will take them, but you might get yourself blacklisted (been there, done that at Walmart).  Instead, see if the makeup line sells mini-tester shade packets, usually with 3-5 colors in them.  This will help immensely.

If you have a really hard time finding the right foundation color, save yourself the headache and go to the department stores.  Pretty much everything else you can get in the drugstore, but if foundation is a constant problem for you, it saves more time and money (and gas money!) to get it over with at the department store.  Besides, unless you are spackling your face with the stuff, it will last awhile.

And if you aren’t even sure where to start, seriously check out www.beautypedia.com.  I really don’t mean to sound redundant, and no, I don’t get a cut of the profits.   Paula’s listings are so helpful. For those of you intimidated by the makeup people at the department stores, it is a real equalizer. 

Anyone have a favorite foundation that they just can’t live without?  Mine is Prescriptives Flawless Finish in Ecru.  But at $40 a bottle, I use it carefully.

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

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Makeup tips for real women

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Do you ever get that feeling that you have “outgrown” your make-up?  It’s sort of like outgrowing your pants.  You realize the look that worked in your 20s all of a sudden seems to not work anymore when you hit your 30s.  Or when you become a mom and stop getting any sleep.

 I look at photos from when my son was born back in September to what I look like now…and it seems like the 7 months of lousy sleep has put 5 years on my face.  The bags under my eyes have bags large enough to be charged an extra $25 if they were going to fly US Air anytime soon.  And the cover-up that used to hide the circles isn’t enough anymore. 

 But what’s a mom to do without a lot of time or cash in the budget for beauty products?  When it seems like all of the info on beauty products out there promises to get rid of wrinkles and “aging signs” that don’t go away…and all of the women advertising this stuff are either 25, 25 and airbrushed, or 35, botoxed and airbrushed.  Or had really great lighting.  (Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could walk around with people carrying studio lighting for us all day so we could all look dewy and stunning?)

 For a long time, I have been following the work of Paula Begoun. She is a former make-up artist turned consumer advocate and publisher of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (currently in its 8th edition), a book that puts in real people-speak exactly what the cosmetics companies are selling and if it works or not.  However, the book is huge, so going to the website and accessing all of her reviews there (www.beautypedia.com) is worth the $25/year subscription.  You can search just about any cosmetics and skincare line available in the US as a whole or product-by-product!  And to save you time and money, she has her list of Paula’s Picks, so you don’t have to try to figure out what is good and what isn’t.  She even has a free cosmetics dictionary for nerds like me who like to look up exactly what is in my face cream.

 And guess what–you’ll find that there are plenty of products at the drugstore that are good to even better than what the department stores carry.  For a lot less.  (What a relief for those of us who like paying 99 cents for a lipstick!)  So it was back to consult Paula again, to find out what to do with this ol’ face of mine.  More on that next week.

But in the meantime…have you found any drug store products that have worked better than the department stores? 

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

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