It’s such a myth that you always have to spend a lot of money to get good cosmetics and skincare… There are treasure troves full of well-performing drugstore products that rival their most expensive department store competition. But then sometimes they don’t… Occasionally I’ll find that even though the drugstore brand is good, the department store brand is better — way better. So how did the Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen ($30) measure up to L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($8.99)? Let the battle of the long-wearing black felt-tip eyeliner pens begin! For those of you who love a good winged cat eye but you’re terrified you’ll mess it up, you’re about to find your new baby.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc’er Precision Pen ($30): This long-wearing liquid liner just looks expensive. In fact, it reminds me of a lighter Mont Blanc pen. The color is a deep, rich black and flows continuously without fading or running. I’ve never experienced such a precise, fine tip, yet if you press the pen tip harder your line will get thicker. It literally lines like a calligraphy pen. The downfall? Of course there’s a downfall… It stayed on too well and lasted too long. After trying to remove it with several Q-tips full of waterproof eye makeup remover I simply gave up. Every night I tried to get more off and it became a terrifying tar that came off in chunks. After three days I was free. Now, keep in mind because I have eyelash extensions I’m very limited in what I can use as eye makeup remover. I’m not allowed to use any oil-based products so I can’t vouch for how an oil-based waterproof makeup remover would perform.
Verdict: Unless the removal process is worth it to you because you’re attending a day wedding, a rave, an outdoor concert, or you’re a working actor who needs her makeup to last 16 hour days, despite all it’s strengths, I would skip this one.
L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($8.99) This long-wearing liquid liner pen is by far the best drugstore version on the market. In fact, I think it beats quite a few of the department store brand versions as well. While it doesn’t have the exact fine tip of the Marc Jacobs pen, it’s pretty damn close. Just like the Marc Jacobs pen you can press harder to create a thicker line. The color comes out in a rich black (though the MJ black is slightly richer) and does not fade, run, or flake. It gives a precise, smooth application and allows you to easily create winged eyes. The downfall? It’s advertised as lasting 12-hours. I would say it starts fading at around 6 hours. Now, for someone like me who goes out for 3-4 hours max to a dinner with my husband or a party, this is the perfect eyeliner because I don’t want it to last any longer.
Verdict: If you’re looking to wear this eyeliner to work, keep in mind it’s going to fade before your mid-afternoon coffee buzz. If you’re like me and you just want to use it to create a nighttime look, this is the perfect eyeliner pen.
Coming Soon: Keep your eyes out for a review of the entire new Marc Jacobs Beauty Makeup collection.Posted by janna Tags Drugstore Cowgirl, Drugstore Makeup, Eyeliner, L'Oreal, Liquid Liner, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Steep vs. Cheap, Winged Eye
We’ve all been there before… Okay, in all honesty I haven’t been there since the 10th grade, but let’s face it, I’m not the norm. My good friend Rachel frantically wrote me from vacation saying she in fact had forgotten her makeup bag at home and she needed a drugstore shopping list from me pronto. Rachel had the right idea in replacing her makeup with drugstore finds. The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of money on dupes of department store and Sephora makeup. And depending on where you’re on vacation, such luxuries may not even be an option. So don’t panic! I’m going to get you through your vacation:
Foundation: Do you really need foundation on vacation?? Really? I personally say skip it but if you insist, try L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup ($10.95) which contains no oils, fragrances, or pore-clogging fillers. It also has skin-loving ingredients like Vitamins A and C, wheatgerm and grape fruit extract. And most importantly, it comes in 33 different shades so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a match.janna Tags CoverGirl, Drugstore Cowgirl, L'Oreal, Neutrogena, Physicians Formula, Revlon, Rimmel, Wet n Wild
I admitted in my very first Drugstore Cowgirl post last year that I shamefully neglected drugstore beauty products since high school. Once I overcame my ignorance and embraced the treasure trove of amazing products found amongst the plastic and metal aisles, I quickly discovered favorites and integrated them into my daily routines. This post is the first in a series highlighting my short list of the best drugstore beauty products. Enjoy, my beauties!
1. Clean & Clear Instant Oil-Absorbing Sheets ($5) These bad boys are stashed in every handbag I own, taking the crown as my most essential summer beauty product. I don’t care how pretty the packaging is on your rice paper blotting sheets. I hate the way rice paper crinkles and feels, whereas the Clean & Clear Instant Oil-Absorbing Sheets are a soft film that visibly soak up shine without smudging makeup or leaving a powdery residue.
2. L’Oreal Sublime Sun Face Lotion SPF 50+ ($15) Fashionistas and beauty editors always stocked up on this super-thin power protector when traveling in Europe for its long-lasting, ultra-water resistant formula. Now available in the States, this oil-free sunscreen lotion is suitable for sensitive skin.
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I just discovered your blog and I’m obsessed! You have the most gorgeous curly hair!! Mine is curly, but I feel like I’m always struggling to find the right product, dryer, diffuser etc. I’d love to know your curly hair routine and recommendations?
Oh, Ellie… don’t you fret a hair… I would love to share my curly girl regimen! I warn you though, there are several steps:
1.) I only shampoo twice a week at most. I use Frederic Fekkai Advanced Technician Shampoo to preserve my color (though you can use any hydrating sulfate-free shampoo) or if I’m fearing a frizz-out day I use L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo.
2.) I try and juggle my conditioners to avoid build-up. For everyday, my two favorites are Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color and It’s A 10 Miracle Daily Conditioner. They are both hydrating, yet light enough not to weigh my hair down. Once a week, I use a nourishing mask like Phytocitrus Restructuring Mask for Color-Treated Hair (though I do find my hair looks A LOT better on days I do a light conditioner and no shampoo).
3.) When I get out of the shower I use a paper towel to blot my hair dry (NEVER use a regular towel! It will frizz you to high hell), then I finger comb a dime size of Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Hair Oil (one of my favorite hair products of all time) from root to ends.
4.) I spray (about 5 sprays) of It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product into my hand and finger-comb through my ends.
5.) I take a quarter-size of Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Creme for Medium to Thick Hair and scrunch through half my head. Then I repeat the step on the other half of my head.
6.) I flip my head and scrunch the ends with another paper towel
7.) I diffuse my hair with my head flipped. You do not need any special brand of diffuser, as long as it has fingers.
8.) Once I flip up, if I have frizzes, I will rub a dime size of Ouidad Clear Control Pomade between my palms and pull my hair back like I’m putting it in a low pony tail.
..and VOILA! No fail curls!!
Good luck lovely Ellie and do keep in touch on how this regimen works for your curls!
Posted by janna Tags Curly Hair, It's a 10, L'Oreal, Living Proof, Oribe, Ouidad, Phyto, Shu Uemura Art of Hair
The final dark chapter in my “Weathering the Cold” series addresses frizzy, static hair and cracked, rough hands. Uplifting, yes?
Regardless of your hair texture, the harsh, cold conditions outside mixed with the bone-dry indoor heat are a molotov cocktail of damage. You have to apply the same logic as treating your face and body to your hair — prevent and protect!
Sleep with a Humidifier. Go for short warm (not hot) showers. Wear a cashmere hat (I know it sounds pretentious, but wool absorbs the moisture your hair needs.There’s simply not enough to go round.). Go easy on the straightening, curling, blowing out, etc. Your hair is going through a vulnerable stage! Also, take Omega-3 fish oil pills. They will help prevent hair damage as well as skin damage (and it has tons of other health benefits!).
Start at the beginning… Before you even shampoo, try a pre-shampoo oil treatment once a week like Phyto Huile d’Ales Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment, especially if you color-treat. Arm yourself with multiple hydrating shampoos and conditioners (it’s true what you’ve heard… if you use the same products every day they build-up and lose their effectiveness). In my shower you will find everything from L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Repairative Smoothing Shampoo and Pantene Pro-V Medium-thick Hair Solutions Frizzy to Smooth Conditioner to Shu Uemura Silk Bloom Restorative Conditioner for Damaged Hair and It’s a 10 Miracle Moisture Conditioner.
Moving onto hands… What can I say? Let’s face it, when that winter chill hits you’ll be like Sisyphus trying to keep your hands soft and hydrated. Because it’s cold and flu season you’re going to be washing your hands even more than usual and you SHOULD be applying hand cream after every time you wash. So by the end of day, even though you’ve moisturized your hands more than a dozen times, your hands will feel like you haven’t applied cream since last Christmas. The constant washing is exacerbated by the dry air outside and inside, leaving your hands feeling like you’ve been working in the fields. So what can you do?
The obvious! Be armed with hand creams by your desk, in your handbag, in your car, by your nightstand. Make it your religion that every time you wash you moisturize. I personally use the Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Hand Cream because it’s nice and thick and smells divine. At night though I use good ole’ Vaseline to coat my hands and then I put on Bliss Glamour Gloves. These really work miracles. They are lined with this magic gel that seems to penetrate the Vaseline into my skin. The difference the next morning is palpable. But then of course I start washing my hands and I become Sisyphus pushing the boulder once again…
Okay, enough about the coming winter months. I just can’t put myself through this. The cold is misery and I just want to talk about fun stuff now, okay? So let’s flip the switch and talk about the holidays. The holidays! Make sure you make this site a favorite for your loved ones because I assure you I will be churning out my gluttonous wish list from now until Christmas, and my list is long and distinguished. (See, we forgot all about the cold, didn’t we?)Posted by janna Tags Bliss, L'Oreal, Pantene, Phyto, Shu Uemura Art of Hair
I am in love with my colorist. I’ve been colored by at least twenty colorists throughout NYC (including Brooklyn) for the past 10-15 years. Most were fine, but all were underwhelming. I wasn’t expecting miracles. I mean, come on, I’m a brunette. How much can they do? But I wanted something, some subtle wow.
I found my subtle wow with Meghan Baldwin at Eva Scrivo Salon in NYC. She is the first colorist to really analyze my features. She then combines that information with my wants and her artistry, and creates the kind of color that makes me match my makeup and clothes to the different hues.
I asked Meghan to jot down some thoughts, share her knowledge, and tell you a couple secrets you probably haven’t heard before. Enjoy:
Determining the right hair color well suited for a client can make them look more vibrant and compliment their skin tone. Two important rules for hair color is matching your skin tone and staying within your natural color range. Do you know what color skin tone you have? In order to figure this out, you need to know what undertones make up skin tone:
- If your skin is COOL toned, avoid using yellow, gold, bronze and red tones. (This will cause skin to appear sallow)
- If your skin WARM toned, avoid black, violet and blue tones
All this comes down to a client’s consultation (my consultations sometimes last 30-40 minutes). Their input is extremely important — figuring out what they like about their hair and what they’d like to see different. Everything from their appearance (bone structure, eyes, skin, weight, clothing), their lifestyle (career and time spent at home to recreate your work), hair texture, and head shape all play a role in executing my client’s expectations.
Janna has been a client of mine for a little over a year now. Every time she comes in, it’s a fun experience for the two of us! She loves keeping people guessing and wondering what color she will be next! Janna has cool skin and a pink base (which fortunately looks good with almost any hair color if done properly).
Like I do with each client, we started with our consultation. After about 5-10 minutes of getting a clear understanding of what we were doing we began mixing. We decided to go deep brown with blue/purple undertones; this helped cool the red in her cheeks and make her blue eyes POP! I used L’Oreal Majirel on her roots and Wella Color Touch on her ends. While her base was processing, I balayaged (hand-painted) a few highlights to frame her face. These few highlights add amazing subtle dimension to Janna’s haircut and color.
After one shampoo we towel dried really well before adding glaze, making sure the ends are slightly dryer then the roots. I used Wella Color Touch 86 Pearl Violet and a cool natural to tone her ends. We left it on for about 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye on color because each visit can be different. After glaze and rinsing color I typically seal a client’s color in with a treatment. I prefer to do treatments after color because the cuticle is opened and can penetrate into the hair shaft. I prefer to use Kerastase Nutritive Nourishing Treatment (Aua-Oleum, Vita-Ciment, Oleo-Fusion, or Pixelist), depending on the client. These treatments last 3-4 weeks — adding shine, vitamins and helps seal in color.
I am strong believer in using quality product to protect your investment. For Janna, I recommended Bumble and Bumble Cool Blonde Shampoo to help maintain her color as long as possible. Keeping bright tones in a client’s hair is not always easy (especially reds because they do rinse) Bumble and Bumble’s color shampoo works well keeping hair vibrant and protecting bright colors.
To visit Meghan and get your owns subtle wow (or not so subtle):
212.677.7315Posted by janna Tags Eva Scrivo, Kerastase, L'Oreal, Meghan Baldwin, Wella