BODY-ODY-ODY, Kitchen Sink Beauty, Moisturizer, Pinterest

Dispatches From Pinterest: Shaving Your Legs with Baby Oil

I’m always on the hunt for a faster/easier/more efficient way to do everything. That’s how I ended up trying to shave my legs with baby oil gel. Pinterest said to do it. It clogged the hell out of my razor. It turned my shower floor into a living nightmare.* My legs weren’t any smoother than when I use shaving cream. I had to scrub the shower when I was done. That’s more work. NO DEAL.

britney gif

Pinterest sent me chasing a lie. Again. I keep at it though. I just can’t help myself.

*My biggest fear used to be smashing my own forehead into the bathroom counter when I flip my hair over while I’m blow drying it. But, then I did that. Now my biggest fear is slipping in the shower to catastrophic result.

Standard
Beauty Tools, Cleansers, Education, Maintenance, Skincare

Cleaning Your Brushes: Bacteria and YOU!

When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? A month ago? Last year? Never?

NEVER?!

DID YOU JUST SAY NEVER?!

I just…

I mean…

I can’t even…

That’s not ok.

It’s not like I’ve never been guilty of letting my brushes get dirty. For a long time, it didn’t even occur to me to wash them. I think I thought since I was the only one using them, it wasn’t necessary.

WRONG. JUST SUPER, SUPER WRONG.

Oils, dust, dirt, makeup, bacteria…these are the things that live on your dirty brushes. So then you use them, and you smear all that gross stuff around your skin. Doesn’t that sound awful? Keeping your brushes clean is good for the life of your tools, and it’s good for the life of your skin. Plus, it’s really easy and super satisfying.

photo-2

These are my dirty brushes. It’s been way too long since the last time I washed them. I’m really trying to get my skin in tip top shape, and I figured getting my brushes clean was a good idea. I’m not really acne prone, but I get those little white bumps. You can’t really see them unless you’re really looking, but I know they’re there, and I know what they are. Tiny little underground bacteria rocks. Gross. Have you ever tried to squeeze one of those out? That’s how I end up with a big hole in my face.

First, you’re going to need a cleanser. You can use a mild shampoo, like a baby shampoo, but I prefer to use a cleanser specifically for brushes. Those usually have the added benefit of being antibacterial.

sephora brush shampoo

Sephora, 2 oz., $7

I use this brush shampoo from Sephora. It does a great job of pulling even the most pigmented colors out of my brushes, and a little bit goes a long way.

After you’ve decided on a shampoo, and you’ve washed all the dirty dishes in your sink, you’re ready to get started!

First, thoroughly saturate your brush with lukewarm water.

photo 2

DO NOT drop it down the garage disposal. This was a dangerous game I was playing here. If any of those suckers had slipped down into that disgusting pit, that brush would have been dead to me. Like, might as well flip the switch and chop it into a million pieces because I never want to see it again. So, yeah, get your bristles good and wet, being careful not to lose it forever.

Next, squirt a small amount of brush shampoo into the palm of your hand.

photo 3

Don’t skimp, but don’t go crazy either. You want enough to break everything up, but not so much that you can never rinse it out, or you waste a bunch.

Then, swirl that brush around in the palm of your hand. You can go crazy here.

clean brush gif

Really scrub it good! You’ll start to see all the makeup coming out of the bristles, it’s pretty gnarly. Add more shampoo if you feel like it’s running short. Sometimes, I do this part twice. Especially on my foundation brush. That’s the one in all the pictures, as you can see, it was really dirty.

After you’re satisfied the shampoo has lifted out all the makeup and debris, give it a good, thorough rinse in the lukewarm water.

photo-2 copy

I see that this photo is sort of redundant. But, I’m trying to be as detailed as possible! Rinse, rinse, rinse the brush. Rinse it so good. Rinse it until the water is clear, and the bristles feel clean. You DO NOT want any extra shampoo or makeup left behind. That would make this whole thing totally pointless.

After your brush has been fully rinsed, gently squeeze out any excess water, and then reshape your bristles and lay your brush flat, to dry.

photo-2 copy 2

I like to put mine on a towel so they don’t go anywhere, and water doesn’t collect underneath the handles. I also like to let the bristles hang over the edge. That way, they dry evenly and you don’t have to come in and flip them. I wash my brushes when I know they’ll have plenty of time to dry, preferably overnight.

When everything is dry, just get the bristles fluffed back the way they need to be, and you’re all set! No more gross tools of cross contamination!

How often you clean your brushes is up to you. If you use your brushes on anyone else, you have to wash them after every time you use them. If yours is the only face they touch, then once is a week is the gold standard. If you never ever clean your brushes, try to get into the habit at least once a month, and work up from there. It’s a good thing to do for your tools and your complexion. My brushes are an investment, and they’ve been pretty carefully curated. I’d like them to last as long as possible.

Keeping your brushes clean is the kind of thing that seems obvious, but I have a feeling that it’s the territory of people who are really serious about makeup. I know I sleep on cleaning my brushes more often than I should, and I’m a state licensed beauty professional. I should really know better! Let’s make it our Thanksgiving resolution to keep our brushes cleaner. Together, we can make the world a less bacteria laden place.

P.S. I cleaned my BeautyBlender with Ivory soap. It took forever to rinse it clean, and I haven’t used it since then, so I don’t know if it was a complete success. It LOOKS like it’s clean, but the jury is still out. I’ll let you guys know.

Standard
General, Sephora

Waiting Room

My Sephora Friends & Family order is out for delivery today and I am EXCITED.

After my sad lament that the sale was only for VIB status cardholders, I was thrilled to open my email and find out my friend, Click, had sent me a code for the event. The note on the email said, “BAM” and yeah, BAM!!

Now, I don’t want to be gross and, like, “women be shoppin,” but, sometimes, ladiez be shoppin! Can I get an amen?!

I shopped for days trying to figure out the best way to get the best bang for my buck. It’s kind of tough because where I used to just cosmetics shop for me, now I cosmetics shop for this site. For the world, really.

You’re welcome, world.

So, this lady be shopping, and I end up torn between buying a blush that’s been out for three years because I want to try the color, or, buying a blush that’s new and hot right now. It’s the story of my life, do what I want or be trendy. Can I tell you how many times I’ve picked trendy over do what I want? No times. Well, hardly ever any times. Would you like to see the shoes I picked for myself in grade school?

gold sneaks

JAZZ FEET

Blazing that glitzy trail! Pretty far ahead of the times, right? Do you know where I found a bunch of pictures of these shoes? Etsy and Ebay. Some hipster girl with a handlebar mustache is likely bidding on my childhood mistakes right this second. She’s like, “Oh. These shoes will look great with my sunflower print overall shorts!” Which is probably the exact thing I thought. And the cycle continues…

Back to the blush! I ended up buying the newer blush. I’m weak. But, I’m still excited for it! It’s a berry color, so I thought that would be pretty for winter. I don’t have any blush that color, all my blushes are pink or coral. My hope is that it will make me look like I’ve been out, tussling in the icy air, but, there’s a chance it will make me look ghoulish – that’s cool too, though. If it does, I’m going to make sexy winter ghost a thing. Sexy winter fog ghost. I’m going to make that one up as I go along because my winter experience is not extensive. I live in Southern California. We don’t really have winter. I wore a tank top to Thanksgiving last year.

Once, it snowed here in the middle of the night, and when I woke up and looked out the window, I thought something had gone wrong with my vision! Nobody could go to work that day because it was too dangerous, but we were all able to drive around and look at the snow. Literally thousands of pictures of snowcapped palm trees were taken that day. We still talk about it – The Great Snowstorm of ’99. The snow only lasted for one day, but, that was long enough to pull together some dingy looking snowmen. It was also long enough for me to learn I never want to live somewhere that gets snow on the reg. It’s far more preferable to be able to wear sandals all year. My aversion to inclement weather is so great, I don’t even know if we have an umbrella! I think we have a travel umbrella around here somewhere. One travel umbrella for two people; that’s our emergency rain plan. I fall apart in the cold, but if you ever need someone to endure multiple 103 degree days in a a row, I’m your girl. The sun makes me strong. *MUSCLE ARMS EMOJI*

I’ve been tracking my delivery like it’s a kidney. I just want it to show up! It’s bad enough I have to set up and photograph everything before I can use any of it. Must I endure this horrendous wait as well?! *BLERG! EMOJI (YOU KNOW THE ONE. IT LOOKS FRUSTRATED AND IT HAS AN UPSIDE DOWN OPEN MOUTHED SMILE)* I’m wearing headphones while I type right now, and I still keep thinking I hear UPS outside. I need to step away from the window and go do something with my life. I’d like to go wash all my makeup brushes, but the sink is full of dishes and I would *not* like to wash all of those. Unless, doing a good deed will make my order get here faster? Like, the universe will reward me for clearing out the sink with my Marc Jacobs lipstick? Is doing your own dishes a good deed? Tis the season for good deeds, right? You know? Good deeds? Something like, looking at your grandma’s pills, but not taking any. Or, blocking a family member’s idiot updates from Facebook before you lose your mind and never talk to them again. I’ve done both these things, so I’m an angel come to earth, you guys.

I’m going to wrap this up and try to be patient and wise about the whole thing. Like the old adage says, “A watched pot never boils, and an anticipated UPS truck takes fucking forever to get to your house even if the last tracking update says it was out for delivery at 5:00 AM.”

Standard
Beginner, Education, Guest, How-To, Lab Bunny Crew

Newbie to Junkie: Tips for Beauty Beginners

Today, I have a post from MY NEW INTERNET FRIEND, STEPH. I asked her to write a guest post after another friend, Denys, said she thought, based on Steph’s comments, she’d be a great fit for the site. After Denys pointed it out, it seemed so obvious! DUH. The only reason I missed it was because I spend most of my time thinking about myself. 

Because cosmetics and beauty have always been a part of my life, I often forget that not everyone has the experience and know-how that I do. It’s come up here before. Steph pitched her idea for a post about tips for beginners who are looking to step up their beauty game, and I was like, YES, DO THAT!! Her recently acquired knowledge is thorough and insightful. She’s a natural! 

I’m super excited to have her stepping outside the comment box and into the spotlight! I hope you all enjoy reading what she has to say as much as I did. Thanks for your great comments and warm messages, Steph! I’m so happy your voice is a part of The Lab Bunny!

*****

Steph post photo

Hi!  I’m Steph, fellow beauty junkie!  I’ve been a fairly regular commenter on The Lab Bunny and was extremely flattered to be asked by Sarah to guest post.  I’m a novice when it comes to makeup, especially compared to Sarah’s mad skills, but I’ve been actively working to get better over the last year.  I want to offer some advice on getting started to my fellow newbies, but first I want you guys to understand why I stayed away from makeup for so long. 

My first experience with makeup was a traumatic one.  I was in the fourth grade and had been picked to represent my school for a fundraiser.  Being the representative was a BIG DEAL; I wanted to look perfect for my moment onstage, so I asked my stepmom to give me a makeover.  She agreed, and I immediately started imagining what I’d look like once she was done.  I’d never worn makeup before, but even at that age I was a firm believer in its ability to make the ordinary into something more.

I remember sitting down in the dining room, surrounded by her beauty tools.  As she went to work, I envisioned what the end result would be.  I was guessing I’d pretty much look like Cindy Crawford or Jennifer Aniston.  As soon as she finished, I raced into the bathroom to check out how gorgeous I’d become, only to see this staring back at me:

mimi

I wish I was joking, but I had bright red lipstick, an insane amount of blush, clumpy mascara, and blue eyeshadow for days.  I’ve got nothing but love for Mimi, but I just don’t have the coloring to pull that kind of look off.  As I stared at my reflection in horror, I heard my dad call to me that it was time to head out.  There was no fixing this before school started.

I’m not going to get into the details of how that day went down for me, other than to say that the adults at my school were surprisingly polite about my brand new baby hooker look.  Predictably the other kids were assholes.  I decided that day that makeup was not to be trusted.  Some people looked good with it, but I was not one of those people.  I stayed pretty far away from makeup after this, except for lip gloss and mascara when I occasionally went to a school dance.  Luckily I was a big tomboy in high school, so it didn’t come up often.

It wasn’t until I hit my mid-twenties that my girly gene finally kicked in.  I started small by having mini spa days every few weeks, complete with manicures, face masks, and deep hair conditioning treatments.  To me, these things are basically the gateway drugs of the beauty world.  They take almost no knowledge or expertise to use successfully, so using them served as a good transition into girliness.  After a few months of that, I felt ready to start tackling makeup again.

Getting into makeup can be really intimidating.  There are a million different products, many of which you may not have realized existed before.  Below is the best advice I have for someone who’s just starting out.

Know what look you’re going for, and don’t get overwhelmed.  There are so many different ways to do your makeup, and if you don’t get an idea in your head of what you like, it’s going to be hard to decide where to start.  Take some time to look at pictures and think about what speaks to your.  Do you want to look natural?  Dramatic?  Retro?

Personally, I’m obsessed with a perfect cat eye and really red lips.  When I started out, I knew that’s what I wanted to be able to do; it helped me get an idea of what products (other than the basics) I need to buy and what techniques I needed to learn.  Going to a makeup counter and asking them to give you an application in your favorite style is also a good idea before you start buying products.  A smoky purple eye could look amazing on you, or it could make you look like you’ve just gone up against Mike Tyson for a few rounds in the boxing ring.  It’s best to find that out before you buy the eyeshadow.

Practice every chance you get.  DO NOT wait until an hour before you’re leaving the house to attend a party to become an expert on creating the perfect smokey eye.  You will fuck it up, you won’t have enough time/expertise to fix it, and the night will end in tears.  When the pressure’s on, stick with tried and true makeup you’ve done in the past.  Practice applying colors, products, and looks you’re never used or done before when there’s no rush.  One of my favorite times to test new tricks out is just before I wash my face at the end of the night.  Even if I completely screw it up, I only have to look at my face for a minute before it becomes a clean slate again.  There are still things I regularly make a mess of, but practice really does make perfect.

Use the internet!  Seriously guys, it’s not just for porn anymore.  There are a million different resources available, including everything from product reviews to step-by-step tutorials.  Whenever I’m getting ready to buy something new, I do a ton of research before I take the plunge so I don’t get stuck with something I hate.  Once you’ve got a short list of products you’re interested in, head to a Sephora, Ulta, or department store makeup counter and test all the things.  There is no substitute for getting a product in your hands and checking it out for yourself.  I always feel better about making a big makeup purchase if I do both of these before I pull the trigger.

Some of my favorite online resources for buying products and getting tutorials (other than The Lab Bunny, of course) are listed below.

Reddit’s Makeup Addiction Subreddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/MakeupAddiction/)  Reddit can be an awful place sometimes, but their Makeup Addiction subreddit is fantastic.  You’ll find links to articles, tutorials, information about new products, and before and after pictures.  You can also post your own pictures up for constructive criticism and suggestions on your makeup.

Reddit’s Makeup Exchange Subreddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/makeupexchange/)  This is another really useful subreddit, and it’s one of the first places I go when I want to try a new product.  It’s premise is this: users post up lists of the products they have that they’d like to get rid of, or lists of products they’re trying to track down.  Other users can then offer to swap products from their own collection, or buy products outright.  Sometimes the products are used/sanitized, sometimes they’re brand new.  I’ve had great luck trading here; this month alone I picked up Urban Decay foundation and the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for well below retail.  More details on how the swapping system works are listed on the site, and there are many other makeup swapping sites out there if this concept interests you.

Temptalia (http://www.temptalia.com/)  This is one of the greatest sites for product reveiws.  Not only do you get detailed descriptions, ratings, and gorgeous swatches to look at, duplicate shades from other brands are linked so you can check out all the options available to you.

The Beauty Department (http://thebeautydepartment.com/)  This site has so many comprehensive how-to guides for basically every aspect of makeup application.  If you don’t even know how to apply foundation yet, The Beauty Department can help.

xoVain (http://www.xovain.com/) This site has a lot of good (and completely random) makeup tutorials.  They did “how to look like Bowie” earlier this year!  Alle’s posts in particular are wonderful.

I hope this was helpful!  I know I’m kind of long-winded, so thanks for putting up with my rambling.

Standard
Naked 3, Upcoming, Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette Colors!

Urban Decay released a sneak peek of the colors in the upcoming Naked3 palette today!

The video is HERE on their Instagram. 

It looks like the leaked photos floating around the internet are the real deal. The shadow names and colors in the video all match up with the names in these pics.

naked3 leak photos

Photo via Reddit

What do you guys think? Do you want it? I’m sort of on the fence. I’m not crazy about how rosy all the shades look in the pan, but I’ll have to see it in person to be sure. It’s going to be tough to pass it up. I’ve been able to mostly squelch my addiction to buying UD palettes, but these Naked products keep callin’ my name!

 

Standard
Birchbox

Birchbox November 2013, Review & Photos

birchbox 11:13

 

REAL TALK: I took photos of this month’s Birchbox much faster than usual because it had a snack in it. I mean, I was on it with a quickness. Never mind that I just got rid of all the leftover Halloween candy. This is WAAAY better than picked over Whoppers.

So, my November box was already in it to win it with the inclusion of food. And things only got better from there!

TOCCA Crema da Mano in Cleopatra

What they said: Loaded with natural oils, this grapefruit and cucumber lotion absorbs in a flash.
What I say: This hand cream is already out on the coffee table as my new “house lotion.” I’m a sucker for all things Cleo, and I love a nicely scented grapefruit product. It smells wonderful, and it moisturizes nicely without leaving any greasiness or weirdness behind.

Color Club polish in Top Shelf

What they said: From the new Cocktail Hour Collecion, this shimmering shade give nails a gorgeous glint.
What I say: I do not understand why I keep getting polish in this color! What’s with the rose gold obsession, Birchbox?! This color is not me, at all. Plus, it’s kind of a bummer that I really did get another Color Club polish in a nearly identical shade just a couple months ago. This was the dud of the box for me.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil

What they said: This face illuminator brightens and contours – it can be applied 10 different ways!
What I say: YAY! This is in my makeup bag, and it’s my new eyebrow highlighting pencil. The coverage is great, it blends nicely, and the color is nice. I’m super stoked to get such a good product in a generous size!

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

What they said: This customer fave mimics effects of microdermabrasion for a glowing, smooth complexion.
What I say: Another really solid product! When I was an esthetician in salons, one of my favorite treatments was a papaya enzyme peel. This product is really close to the one I used in my facials; the texture and the effectiveness are remarkably similar. I loved this. I miss my peel! So far, I’ve only used this once, but there was a noticeable difference in the brightness of my complexion, and the texture of my skin. It lives in my shower now, and if it keeps up the good work, it could become permanent.

Chuao Chocopod

What they said: Made with premium cacao, these inventive treats satisfy any sweet tooth.
What I say: The piece I got had candied orange peel in it, and that’s all I needed to know. Yum, yum, get in my belly. I ate it all up, and it was DELICIOUS!

*****

Besides the boring nail polish, this was an A+ box. I had a hand cream AND a brow highlighter in my Sephora cart, then this box came, and I was able to buy other stuff! Between that and the chocolate, it’s like Birchbox has got me bugged. Add in the fabulous papaya peel, and I was SO EXCITED. This month was totally worth the $10 price! I’ve found myself, more and more, really looking forward to getting my Birchbox every month. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for December!

Get your own Birchbox subscription HERE.

Standard
Floss Gloss, Nails

New Floss Gloss!!

floss gloss gangsta boo

KARMALOOP exclusive, $8

NEWWWWWW FLOSS GLOSS ON THA SCENE!! I don’t have it yet. I want it though! This color red is very underrepresented in my polish collection. I want sexy lady nails! Come to me, my sweet…..

Buy the Floss Gloss x Gangsta Boo Collector’s Edition polish HERE.

Standard