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Posts for Beauty Category

Bumble & Bumble’s New Version of Don’t Blow It, Keepin it fiz free

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - July 17, 2017

Last summer I wrote about Bumble & Bumble’s leave in conditioning styler called Don’t Blow It. This styling product was designed to work with warmer more humid air and it is intended to give finished looking hair sans dryer. No it may not make you look like a blow out exactly but it will make your look fuller and smoother with out the aid of a hair dryer.

This year Bumble & Bumble have a new version for for thicker or courser hair. My hair is not thick—at least not anymore, it was when I was a kid and in my teens but it has since thinned out a bit. But my hair can still be a bit on the wiry side.

I will keep you posted on my experience with the new version, I am hoping for great results

So I decided to try out this version. It may be to heavy for my hair but I am excited to try as I really liked the original version. I picked it up today on my lunch break—there is a Sephora across the street from the office I work in—oh boy! I will keep you posted on my experience with the new version, I am hoping for great results. And how do you handle your hair when when it is super hot and humid?

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Do you Blush? Or are a sans blush kind of girl

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - March 15, 2017

I wore blush on a regular basis when I was in tenth grade, and I have not really worn it since. With naturally ruddy English-Irish skin, blush seemed to be a bit redundant.

 

 

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I wore blush on a regular basis when I was in tenth grade, and I have not really worn it since. With naturally ruddy English-Irish skin, blush seemed to be a bit redundant. And I found it difficult to work with, it just did not blend well with my naturally red tinged cheeks.

I remember in high school using a tri-colored blush that came with a lighter colored high-lighter, a darker color for contouring, and a third color for the “apple” of the cheek. Yep, in tenth grade I did the full make up thing, and then I become a goth and left the blush in the dust.

I did out grow my goth stage, but never returned to wearing blush. It did not seem sophisticated to me, and I felt I looked too made up. So when it came to makeup I focused on evening out my skin tone and, if anything, playing down the red in my skin. And playing up my eyes instead. And as many of my readers know I don’t wear lipstick opting instead for glosses. So for me it was all about the eyes. But recently I have been rethinking my ban on blush.

Whoa, it kind of freaked me out. But I blended it in to best of my ability and then I used an eye shadow highlighter over it it. And, honestly? I kind of liked the end result.

I tried it out, just a wee bit the other night when I was meeting Elle of the Elle Diaries for a drink. I have a small travel sized makeup kit which I keep at work  for going out, and it includes a blusher. I didn’t have a brush handy so I used my fingers and when I first applied it, I was bit taken a back. Whoa, it kind of freaked me out. But I blended it in to best of my ability, and then I used an eye shadow highlighter over it it. And, honestly? I kind of liked the end result. Especially with spray tan I got for my trip to Florida.

So now that I am in the market for blush, what should I try? I am thinking of going with NARS’s Orgasm as it is a very natural warm pinky-peach shade that works on all skin tones. It is fairly sheer and can be built up. Though still not sure if I will do blush during the day to the office, but a night out? Yes most certainly. Baby steps, baby steps…

And what say you? Do you do blush? If so what it is your go to blush and when and how do you wear it?

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Hits, Misses and Something Else, and a surprising new discovery

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - January 30, 2017

Expensive makeup does not always mean better performance. Although, I often find drugstore makeup does not measure up to my expectations either.

Expensive makeup does not always mean better performance. Although, I often find drugstore makeup does not measure up to my expectations either. But you can surprisingly find a hit or two in unexpected places. And on that note I found some of my favorite makeup at a clothing retailer.

I was shopping for clothes in And Other Stories when I spied their cosmetics counter. Always one for experimenting with free makeup I was tempted to try some of their shadows and brushes and I am so glad I did. The first thing I tried was their angled brow brush which I used to line my eyes with powder. I tried it with their black matte shadow and I was quite impressed. I struggle with liner. Liquid liner is just a no go for me.

But it is all too noticeable with liquid liner. I get a bumpy line that not only ages me, but also looks pretty busted

I have thin Irish-English skin which means it can be creapy. Without liner on, you can not see this aspect to my skin. But it is all too noticeable with liquid liner. I get a bumpy line that not only ages me, but also looks pretty busted. Not a good look. Pencil liner is better, but it doesn’t last. Most of it wears off within a few hours, and I have tried dozens.

So it seems the powder method works best for me, and with And Other Stories super fine sharp brush and lush matte black color I can achieve the line I want and it will not wear off. And in fact, I liked the brush and shadow so much I returned and bought two more colors and two more brushes.

Both are affordable at $11.00 and $12.00, and work better then some more expensive brands. The colors blend well and have a silky matte finish—perfect for day to night looks. The taupe tones are exactly what I have been looking for, and can be surprisingly hard to find. Though they do not stop there, and there are dozens of colors and finishes. Trust me you will love these shadows and brushes.

misses

Now for the misses, like I stated, I struggle with drugstore makeup and find that it just does not perform the way I would like. And mascara is certainly one of the toughest things to buy in a drugstore, or at least for me. I find that is either way too clumpy, or it is too light—and I do not get much of an effect.

Clumping lashes is a major pet peeve of mine and I am quite picky when it comes to mascara. Neither of these mascaras’s were super clumpy, but they were not as defining as I would have liked, and neither of them meet my repurchase requirements. Both of them went on too light and in the case of Revolon’s Dramatic Definition there was also fall out. Ugh. Not for me.

And the Edward Bess shadow was the biggest surprise of all.I purchased this set when I was traveling in Paris and it was not cheap. It cost $69.00 euroes which is about $73.00 in the States. Although I liked the colors and they were what I was looking for—a trio of matte taupe-toned shades, this set now sits in the bottom of my makeup bag. The biggest issue with this shadow is that it is like using talcum powder. It had zero staying power and would be completely gone with in three hours or so. Very surprising and disappointing.

I love this idea—you purchase the case and then you can choose which colors you want

I replaced these shadows with MAC’s mix and match colors. I love this idea—you purchase the case and then you can choose which colors you want. It is not expensive and a quad is about $25.00. The MAC shadow lasts significantly longer then the Edward Bess shadow, but I have found MAC shadows a bit difficult to blend. It could be that I have deep set eyes and thin skin, not sure. Have any of you ever noticed this?

But I do love the colors, and the option to mix it up and choose your own colors and it is affordable so I would recommend this, especially if you have heavier skin and more shallow set eyes.

Finally on Friday night after work I popped in to Macy’s and picked up Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara. It went on very well, even over the mascara I was already wearing so I am hoping this is going to be a keeper. I have not had a chance to use it yet, so I will be sure to keep you posted…

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Pale Matte Metallics—The Updated Frosted Lip for 2017

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - January 11, 2017

Last I checked it was 2017 not 1987, but the eights are back in more ways then one. And dare I say it—but it seems frosted lips are back

Last I checked it was 2017 not 1987, but the eights are back in more ways then one. And dare I say it—but it seems frosted lips are back. Who knew?  OK, so maybe not frosted exactly, but more a pale metallic or what is sometimes being described as matte metallic. We all know that matte lips have been a huge trend for a while now, thanks to the likes of Kylie Jenner.

Though certainly hip, they are not for everyone, and can be difficult to pull off—with one looking more like the undead, then the uber stylish. But add a little shine in a gun metal kind of way, and perhaps just perhaps, it could work.  Although, overly frosted lips also run the risk of making one look like a resumed corpse, but done right it can be a chic way to compliment a smoky eye or play up one’s lips with out going bold.

As my regular readers know I don’t do a bold lip as I do not like my teeth or my smile. But a pale metallic lip? This I just may dip my toe in. Do you do metallic or frosted lips? Have you ever done this? For a great tutorial on trying out this super chic winter trend head to The Beauty Department. And for some glittery inspiration click through the items below.

Image via pinterest

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Estee Lauder’s Modern Muse Delightfully Sophisticated Scents for the Modern Woman

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - December 5, 2016

I am on a fragrance kick. Must be the holiday season and the fact that I am spending more time in department stores. But the fragrance counter is one of the places I seem to navigate to first. I just love to try out different scents and spritzing myself with options. Last February during NYFW I attended an event at Macy’s and of course before I headed upstairs to the event I had to stop by the fragrance counter. And the clever bow tie packaging of Estee Lauder’s new Modern Muse line caught my attention. There were a total of four fragrances to choose from and after spraying them all on to individual tester stripes I chose one to try on.

I then continued on my way. And as the day wore on I found I really liked the scent and decided I would at some point go back and purchase it. But I found when I returned to the counter months later I could not recall which of the four scents I liked. Any time I would find myself in Macy’s I would spritz myself with one or more the Modern Muse fragrances, but still could not discern which of the scents it was that I liked. So this weekend when I was Christmas shopping in Lord & Taylor and came across this gift set I knew I had to have it. At only $35.00 it is an affordable way to try out all four offerings. This way I will have plenty of time to experiment and figure out which of these scents is my favorite.

And much like the scent I wrote about last week the fragrances in this collection tend to be more on the spicy side. There are floral notes to be sure, but these perfumes are intended for the modern woman and they are not overly sweet or delicate. But are layered scents of subtle sophistication. I believe this gift set is only available in stores. So if you are in need of an affordable gift for the fragrance lover in your life, or like me you want to gift yourself something for the Holidays this should fit the bill. So get your derrière in to Lord & Taylor tout suite!

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Don’t feel guilty it’s gucci–get your gucci on

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - November 28, 2016

It’s that time of year again. And for all of you that put off shopping until Thanksgiving it can seem like an overwhelming chore at times. I have friends who do the Black Friday

It’s that time of year again. And for all of you that put off shopping until Thanksgiving it can seem like an overwhelming chore at times. I have friends who do the Black Friday shopping ritual. My friend Laurie and her sister get up at four in the morning, leave the house at 5:00 so they can be outside the stores by 5:30 am. And they shop all day until about four in the afternoon. OK, I so do not do this and have never shopped on Black Friday. But hey to those that do I bet there are some great deals to be had.

I like to shop for the holidays starting in May or June, and put things away so it is not so overwhelming when the holiday season finally hits. But much like last year I didn’t keep up with this. So here I am shopping in November. I hit up Macy’s after work last week and found quite a few bargains. And though this gift may not exactly be a bargain, it is a good deal. The normal price for a bottle of Gucci’s Guilty is $100, but this gift set is $104, so for an additional $4.00 you get a spritzer bottle to carry around in a purse and you get a small bottle of body lotion. Plus, it comes in a nice gift box which will decidedly make more of an impact then the perfume by itself. Don’t you think?

I am not a fan of fragrances that are too sweet and have the typical perfume smell.

I purchased this for my mom. I love this scent and wear it often. One day my mom commented on it and said she thought it was a really nice scent and she liked that it was not overbearingly sweet. And she is right, it isn’t. Gucci’s Guilty is more spicy and not overly floral. I am not a fan of fragrances that are too sweet and have the typical perfume smell. I have been wearing this fragrance for a few years now and I recently discovered a close friend of mine Angela also owns and loves this scent. So if you have someone on your list that is a fan of Gucci’s Guilty or you know someone that likes more understated fragrances this gift should fit the bill. And I just may go back and buy this for myself.

Images owned by ALLIE NYC.© Please do not use without permission and or crediting/linking back to ALLIENYC.com

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Getting a Blowout I mean a “brushing” in the city of lights.

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - October 26, 2016

Nobody likes bad hair, and there is nothing worse then having bad hair when you are traveling. I have heard that one can struggle with their hair when in Paris.

Nobody likes bad hair, and there is nothing worse then having bad hair when you are traveling. I have heard that one can struggle with their hair when in Paris. Some say it is because the water is very hard in Paris, and the deposits left on your hair can weigh it down and make it hard to manage. Others say it is hotel hair dryers. I think it may be a combination of a number of factors. The water may indeed be hard, also it is quite windy in Paris and many of the pathways in the parks use a dusty, fine sand-like element which becomes air borne quite easily. But what ever the case may be, my hair was giving me some grief.

And two nights before I was due to leave I gave my suit cases to my step family who I would be staying with my last night in Paris. I had to check out of my hotel Friday morning and of course I did want to lug my suitcases around all day, so Thursday evening when my step sister dropped me off at the hotel she took my luggage with her. However, I had neglected to take my hairbrush out of my overnight bag and I was unable to wash my hair. And by the time we had returned to the hotel it was too late to run out and buy a brush so I was stuck.

saravy-salon

And to make matters worse I had not washed it the night before. I had wanted to wash it Thursday evening and let it air dry, but without a brush to brush it out, this just wasn’t going to happen. I would be left with one giant knot ball. It may be clean but I would look like I had an over-sized dread lock on my head. I tried curling it with a curling iron I purchased in Paris, but to no avail. Either this curling iron is a dud or my hair was really dirty because I did not get one curl, not even a wave, not even a dent. Nada. I think it may have been the dust in my hair from the Tuileries but it was a no go. I had stringy dirty hair. And I was going out to dinner to a fancy restaurant that night. What should I do? I had planned on going to the Musee Orsy. A museum, or a blowout? Hmm.

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I wondered, do Parisian women get blowouts? Is there such a thing as a blowout in France? So I took to the internet and after a bit of research I discovered, that yes Parisian women do indeed get blowouts. However in France they call it “brushing” you want to ask for a shampoo and brushing. And via Vogue I discovered Saravy which is located in the Montorgueil area of Paris in the first and second arrondissements, and refers to the infamous street—Rue Montorgueil. A street that is known for it’s cafes, restaurants, salons, bakeries, wine stores, cheese shops and flower shops. A real haven for foodies. You can take the 3, 4 or 9 trains to this area. I took the 9 to the Bonne Nouvelle stop and then walked south.

saravy-paris-salon

The price for my blowout was 35 Euros, cheap by NYC prices. And for France this was on the high end. The salon was beautiful, clean and quite. When they shampoo your hair which includes a ten minute massage, they dim the lights, recline your chair and you get to watch peaceful images of waterfalls, babbling brooks and floating sea horses accompanied by soothing mediation like music. We are talking pampering here.

This was one of the best blowouts I have ever received. My regular readers know I don’t like the blowouts I get in New York, they are either too straight or I end up looking like Florence Henderson circa 1977

I did not have too much trouble communicating and asked for a wavy blowout, and that is exactly what I got. This was one of the best blowouts I have ever received. My regular readers know I don’t like the blowouts I get in New York, they are either too straight or I end up looking like Florence Henderson circa 1977. But this was perfect, I had wavy cool girl chic hair. I will definitely visit Saravy again when I am in Paris. And if you are on a budget you can even get a “brushing” for 18-22 Euros. I saw a bunch of shops advertising this on my way to the salon. So a definite, affordable, guilty pleasure in the city of lights.

Images owned by ALLIE NYC.© And Saravy. Second image by Gillesmoulinphotography.com Please do not use without crediting/linking back to ALLIENYC.com and Saravy.com and Gillesmoulinphotography.com

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Jelly Floral Lipstick from Kailijumei—a gorgeous treat for your lips

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - October 5, 2016

A mood ring for your lips? Well not quite but this jelly floral lipstick from Kailijumei does change shades depending on your body temperature.

A mood ring for your lips? Well not quite but this jelly floral lipstick from Kailijumei does change shades depending on your body temperature. This lipstick is making quite the statement in the blogosphere and going viral as they say, but with good reason. Who wouldn’t like it’s striking candy apple red and rose gold packing.

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And the lipstick itself is also quite eye catching. The clear lipstick made from jelly and is imbued with gold flecks, also has a miniature flower at it’s center. This lipstick is almost too pretty to use. Right? Although when you do use it, it will impart a lovely light pick shade to your lips that will deepen and change with your body’s temperature. And the best part? It is readily available at Amazon. It has sold out in the past, so if you want to get your hands on this you better hurry.

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IBKN New York 3D Flash Cream Radiant

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - August 31, 2016

We all know strobing is a huge trend and although it is striking and can certainly give the face an alluring glow—it can also be a bit much during the day. A few months a go I saw a young women on the train whose makeup was impeccably done, and it was obvious she had used the strobing technique quite strategically. It would have been great for the red carpet or stepping out to spend the night bar hopping. But for the early morning heading off to work? Hmm, not so much. I like the idea of strobing but I like for it to be subtle; to achieve the effect without it being overtly noticeable.

So when I came across IPKN New York’s 3D Primer at Birch Box I was intrigued. It has since been replaced by their Flash Cream Radiant Primer which also contains an SPF of 15. This is a Korean  beauty product and is a light weight moisturizing primer with a bit of a sheen. Some people have complained that it is to greasy for oily skin, but I do not have oily skin. It does not strike me as being overly oily or overly moisturizing. I would describe it as lightly moisturizing. If you have normal to dry or combination skin I think it would be fine for you, if you have oily skin prone to breakouts and are looking for a drier primer this may not work for you. They do however make a gel mattifying primer which may be better for oily skin.

The subtle shimmer effect is a great way to strobe for day wear

But if your skin is average to dry like mine,then this a wonderful light primer. The subtle shimmer effect is a great way to strobe for day wear. I wear it under my makeup and it the case of summer—a tinted moisturizer. I apply it to my cheeks, nose and chin. I do not apply it my forehead as I do not wear foundation on my forehead in the summer. Some say it is hard to see under a heavier foundation, I have not tried this yet but I think it it would be fine. However this winter I am thinking of switching back to a mineral foundation and I think this primer would be perfect to use in combination with a mineral or powder foundation.

This is a product I would defiantly repurchase. However I would have to buy their Flash Cream Radiant Primer which is more or less the something with some minor tweaks and a new name. So do you strobe? And if you do, do you strobe during the day? Or do you keep this look primarily for evening?

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The Bold Eye makeup trend—Do you do it? Would You Do It?

Beauty - alimackin@gmail.com - July 27, 2016

Bold eye makeup is trending in a big way right now.  From bright colored eyeliner to brilliant metallic eye shadows and extreme cat eyes it seems the bolder the better. This trend may not be for everyone but for those of you who are daring this trend can be liberating and fun. I am a former goth and I have mentioned before on the blog that at one point I considered becoming a makeup artist.

Much like fashion, I love the element of transformation that makeup embodies—being able to become a different person or express the inner you, or just being able to stand out in crowd

Much like fashion, I love the element of transformation that makeup embodies—being able to become a different person or express the inner you, or just being able to stand out in crowd. And much like Cinderella you can transform yourself in to a more daring, more extreme version of yourself, even if it is just for one night. And then? When your done? Just wash it all off. No harm no foul.

When I was younger and went out to clubs I relished in trying out different looks with my makeup. These days I don’t indulge in the nightlife scene very much so unfortunately I don’t wear bold makeup too often, I mean a band of navy eye shadow just may be a bit much for the office. But there is Fashion Week and a wonderful excuse to pull off a bold look. So I just may be revisiting my bold makeup days. So what say you? Do you do bold makeup? If not would you consider trying it out for a special event? Or are you a strictly naked kind of girl?

Images via 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

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