Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 10 Places to Purchase Makeup!

As a self-proclaimed Makeup Maniac, I am constantly looking for good deals when it comes to buying makeup.  Quality is obviously a huge factor as well.  This is why I decided to provide you all with information regarding great places to purchase makeup!
  • 10.     SIGMA BEAUTY Sigma is well-known for it's beauty tools - specifically their brushes.  Personally, I own one Sigma face brush, the F80 Flat Kabuki.  It is great for blending liquid foundation unto the face.  However, Sigma's cosmetics are also of excellent quality!  Look at the "Sale" column of the website for great price cuts on some of their products.
  • 9.     BH COSMETICS This is another company that has great quality cosmetics.  They have amazing sales from time to time where you are able to purchase items at 70-90% off the retail prices.  I have a few face palettes from this company and they are all great!
  • 8.     AMAZON Amazon.Com What can I say about Amazon?  You can basically find and buy anything on that website.  They do carry luxury beauty products, which includes makeup, as well as, skin care, health care, and bath/body items.  I have purchased some Lorac Cosmetics from Amazon.  I have also bought organization tools for my stash.  If you look on this site, chances are you will find a great deal on SOMETHING.
  • 7.     TARGET Target has certainly become a very popular store.  Target stores are known for their low prices and good customer service.  The health and beauty section is not too shabby either!  Each store carries an assortment of perfumes, skin care, and cosmetic lines.  What's awesome about Target is that you can pick up some Maybelline mascara one minute and a bathroom towel the next, Lol!  For great deals, always check items marked "Clearance".
  • 6.     E.L.F. The Eyes Lips Face website probably sells the most inexpensive beauty items that you'll find!  They carry everything from brushes, to cosmetics, and now they recently started a skin care line.  You can buy things for as cheap as a dollar - a freakin' dollar!!  E.l.f. products are now being sold in other stores like Walgreens and Target.
  • 5.     HAUTELOOK You have to be signed up to receive their e-mails, but Hautelook is awesome!  Each day at 8 AM Pacific, new sale events are started.  These events feature the best names in women's and men's fashion and accessories, beauty, kids' apparel and toys, and home d├ęcor at up to 75% off.  This is a company owned by Nordstrom, so you know they have good stuff!
  • 4.     WALGREENS Come on...everyone has a local Walgreens, right?  You can find some great deals on drug store makeup brands, such as, Maybelline, Loreal, and Revlon in this place!  With their Balance Rewards card you can sometimes buy makeup and rack up points that eventually convert to dollars that you can use on a future purchase!
  • 3.     CVS  CVS is another great pharmacy!  Most of them are super-sized and jam-packed with everything from soup to nuts.  However, I'm usually there for the MAKEUP!  (duh)  The Extra Care card is their "rewards" system and when you sign up for this bad boy, expect to receive lots of discounts, coupons, and CVS Bucks that you can use to buy more cosmetics! (Or anything else they sell)
  • 2.     ULTA  Ulta is another great beauty store.  This place is really good for those who like drug store brands, as well as, high end makeup brands.  Some stores even have salons and provide waxing services.  Each store carries an assortment of goodies for women that have different budgets.  The chain also has a rewards program where you gain a point for every dollar you spend.  You can then redeem points on anything, at any time!  Can you say, "More, please"?
  • 1.     SEPHORA And, finally, we reach what I believe to be the NUMBER ONE store for purchasing makeup...Sephora!!  This place is like Disney World for beauty lovers!  It has walls of fragrances, shelves filled with skin care, and different kiosk type areas filled with items from specific, higher-end, makeup companies.  This is where I personally love to browse and shop frequently.  Sephora does have it's own rewards program called the Beauty Insider.  There are 3 levels to this program.  You will earn points for every dollar you spend and then you are able to spend those points on product rewards.  These rewards are usually in the form of deluxe sized samples.  You also receive a free birthday gift every year, and you get access to special events and products.  The Beauty Insider is the first step.  The VIB status, the second step, is unlocked once you spend $350 within a calendar year.  And I am actually at the highest form of Beauty Insider, which is the VIB Rouge, which means I spend 1k or more per calendar year at the store...YIKES!
Well, my friends, I hope you've enjoyed reading about what I think are the Top 10 Best Places to Purchase Makeup.  In the comments section, please let me know where you go to buy your goodies.  And as always, don't forget to check me out on Mel's Makeup Mayhem!

5 Makeup Trends for Spring 2015

Can you Makeup Maniacs believe that Spring starts on March 20th?!  Already?  Boy, time sure does fly.
I've been reading some Spring issues of fashion magazines that I'm subscribed to (Elle, Vogue, and Cosmo) and I've noticed a few makeup trends that are repeated throughout each one.  Here, I will talk about 5 different makeup trends for Spring 2015!
#1.     Minimalist
Yes, that "barely there" makeup look from the 1990's is back!  Women are going back to the basics for the Spring!  Using foundation, mascara, light peach blush, and nude lipstick is a great way to achieve this look.  Here's an example of the Minimalist trend:
#2.     Brown Eyeshadow
In my opinion, the neutral brown eyeshadow look is never out of style, but I'm noticing that Spring trends are very classic looks all around.  Here, I used Lorac's shadows in "Mink" and "Cafe":
#3.     Purple Eyeshadow
My favorite color is in style this Spring!  Well, at least on the eyes it is.  I call this one the "Purple Nurple" look, Lol!
#4.     Fiery Lips
Orangey-red lipstick is also a great way to show that you are "in style" during Spring!  Here, I'm wearing "Adora" by  Kat Von D:
#5.     Smokey Eyes
Yes, another classic - the smokey eye is another Spring 2015 trend!  I love this look and it's not just for night time any more!
I hope you enjoyed my versions of these Spring makeup looks!  I love cosmetics and always want to share that love.  That's why I have a YouTube channel!  Definitely go check it out!  Click here to go to Mel's Makeup Mayhem  - my channel!  :-)

#BeautyPhotoChallenge for February 2015

I hope all you Makeup Maniacs are doing well!  I just wanted to share some pictures that I took during my February 2015 Beauty Photo Challenge on Instagram.  I'm a little sad that it's over, but I had an awesome time.  Next time I do one of these, you should all join me!  I'm @Melly_Makeup on Instagram.  
Day 7 - Pink Lips - #325 Spellbound by CoverGirl
Day 11 - Favorite Palette - The Lorac Mega Pro
Day 14 - Valentine's Date Night Look
Day 20 - Purple Eyeshadow
Day 24 - Perfume - Noir Tease by Victoria's Secret
Day 28 - False Lashes
This proved to be so much fun.  It was a chance to meet other like-minded women, be creative, and share my love of all things beauty-related!
Another way I share beauty-related items is via my YouTube channel!  Come check me out on Mel's Makeup Mayhem!  :-)

Cutting the Cosmetics ~ De-cluttering My Makeup Stash!

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  I hope you are all well & still playing with your beauty products :-)
Slowly, but surely, I've been going through all of my makeup and getting rid of things that I don't like or that I know I won't use.  So far, I've gone through all of my lip products, nail polishes, bronzers, powders, highlighters, and primers.  And boy, there was a lot of stuff to go through!  I have a ways to go, but I will get there.  Here is a video showing my lippy de-cluttering.  I share some of my hits & misses, as far as, lip products are concerned!
Cutting the Cosmetics ~Part I~ LIPPIES!! (<-----Click this link to watch on YouTube)

Feel free to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel, so that you don't miss any updated de-cluttering videos.  Here's the link:  Mel's Makeup Mayhem!

Makeup Items that I am LOVING!

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted something on my blog.  Between the holidays, taking care of my family, and working on my YouTube channel, I've been so busy.  I hope all of you Makeup Maniacs are well.  I appreciate everyone who reads my blog!  Thank you so much for sticking around and Happy New Year :-)
Today, I wanted to write about three makeup products that I have been obsessed with lately!  The first is the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Soft Brown.
MaybellineBrow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara
This is an inexpensive (costs $7.99 at ULTA) drug store product that truly gets the job done!  I continue to use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Dark Brown, but just for outlining my brows.  I then use this Maybelline Brow Drama product to fill in the rest of my eyebrows.  It's a colored brow gel that not only tints the brows, but gives them definition with a comfortable hold.
What I love about it is that it applies evenly, defines & separates my brow hairs, as well as, adds volume without clumping!
Another newly discovered item that I have been totally using A LOT lately is the Lorac Alter Ego Lipsticks!  They are a little pricey at $16 per tube, but I feel they are so worth it because of their creamy texture and extreme pigmentation.
LoracAlter Ego Lipstick
I actually own about 8 of these gorgeous lippies.  The one pictured above is one of my favorites called "Centerfold".  It is an awesome beige color that packs a punch and lasts long.  If you are looking for lipsticks that are true to color and apply evenly, check out these wonderful options by Lorac!
The third and final item I want to tell you about is the Giovanni Leave-In Conditioner for hair.  This is a great product that you can find at Target for $7.99.
Giovanni Hair Care 627943 Direct Leave-In Conditioner 8.5 Fl Oz
My great friend, Veronica, told me all about this product.  She has very curly hair and uses this to help with moisture and frizz control, so she recommended it to me.  Because I live in South Florida and it is always humid here, I wanted to see if this would assist with controlling the frizz in my wavy hair.  Well, it DOES!
This is a creamy, white, paraban free conditioner that moisturizes and builds body without weighing down my hair.  I do caution those with thin hair - I feel this is a product that is best for thick, coarse, and/or curly-haired folks.  And a little goes a LONG WAY!
That's it for some of my recent obsessions!  Hopefully, you found these mini product reviews helpful.  If you love makeup and enjoy all things beauty-related, be sure to join me on my YouTube channel called, "Mel's Makeup Mayhem!" 
Until next time Makeup Maniacs...

First Impressions ~ MUA Lip Primer

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  I have yet ANOTHER First Impression for you!  This time it's all about Makeup Academy's (MUA) Lip Primer #515!
OMG!  This stuff is a velvety, matte, lip base that works great with any lipstick.  It helps your lipstick stay in place by preventing creasing, bleeding, and fading.
I recently started using this and I swear by it!  I can use this primer, apply my favorite lipstick, and literally not have to re-apply my lipstick for the entire rest of the day!
I decided to test it further, by applying under my current favorite red lipstick, Kat Von D's Studded Kiss Lipstick in the color "Hexagram".  I had it on for approximately 4 hours before I decided to wolf down jerk chicken wings that had a sweet, guava-flavored BBQ sauce on top.
Did my lipstick stay in place?  YES!  It sure did!  And I could not believe it, but here are the pictures to prove it:
My lips AFTER eating messy chicken wings!!
So, on my 5 star scale with 1 being the worst, and 5 being the best, I wholeheartedly give this product 5 stars!!
Have you tried this product?  If so, let me know what you think in the comments section.
If you love having fun with makeup, I invite you to take a look at my YouTube channel called "Mel's Makeup Mayhem!"  <---------- click the link ;-)

First Impressions ~ Tea Tree Face Spa sheet mask

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  Just wanted to give you another quick review of a product I bought at Ulta not too long ago!  It was part of a haul that I aired on YouTube.  If you are interested in what I purchased during that haul, check it out by clicking here.
Montagne JeunesseCrushed Spearmint Tea Tree Face Spa Mask

This is by Montagne Jeunesse and it's a Tea Tree Face Spa sheet mask!  It also contains crushed spearmint.  It's supposed to brighten, freshen, and energize your skin.
Personally, I enjoyed the cooling sensation this mask gave me.  After I completed my usual cleansing ritual, I put this sheet mask on my skin and left it on for 15 minutes. After removing the mask, I massaged the excess liquid left on my face into my skin.  I did this for 30 seconds before rinsing my face with some cool water.  The mask left my face feeling refreshed and looking bright.

On my 5 star scale, with 5 being the best, and 1 being the worst, I rate this face mask 5 stars!  It did exactly what it was supposed to!  It cooled, energized, and brightened my skin.
If you want more beauty-related info, please check out my YouTube channel!  Mel's Makeup Mayhem!

Let's Talk About...Hormones

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  Today's post is not about beauty or makeup at all, but I hope you will read my little story about my adventures with hormones, Lol!  Perhaps some of you can relate and tell me your stories in the comments section...
At age 37 I started to experience a lot of changes.  Especially in my sleeping patterns.  My energy level plummeted and I would be extremely exhausted during the day, but then at night I would be wide awake.
My skin and hair were unusually dry and I began to experience bouts of depression.  I would be sad for no apparent reason & get quickly off-task.  It was almost as if I was living in a fog that had no end in sight.  I just didn't feel like me.
Although my diet and exercise routine remained the same, the numbers on the scale were increasing.  Overall, I was sluggish and unhappy.  I honestly believed that I was feeling the signs of aging.  But 37 seemed so young to be experiencing all of this!
I finally decided to see my Primary Care Physician.  Eventually, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  My body lacked sufficient amounts of thyroid; therefore, my metabolism was way off. Thank goodness there was an explanation!  And now I must take medication (a thryroid supplement) for the rest of my life.
I was feeling like a million bucks until age 39, when I started to have major issues with mood swings.  I was easily angered, especially a week before my menstrual period.  To avoid becoming easily upset, I would isolate myself and avoid family members.
This time I wasn't having trouble falling asleep, I was having trouble staying asleep!  I would fall asleep just fine, but wake up 2-3 hours later and have serious hot flashes.  I would sweat profusely for approximately 10 minutes and then be wide awake.
Again, I went to my doctor. She explained that I'm probably going through "some changes" related to age.  Since I complained of sleeping problems, she prescribed Ambien.  I actually filled the script, but never took the medication, because I knew there was more to it. I felt that something else could be done and I needed help FAST, because I was going crazy!
I decided to get a second opinion from a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement.  I thought that my thyroid medication needed to be increased; however, after an extreme blood workup, I was told that my Progesterone levels were too low.
Basically, I was experiencing symptoms of Menopause at an early age!  Whaaa??  Well, I decided to listen to my new doctor and take Progesterone days 12 through 26 of my menstrual cycle.  After the first week on the medication, I felt so much better!  What a difference it made in my mood.  I continue to take this medication and I feel like it has saved me from feeling like a total nut job.
The moral of my rambling is this:  know your body!  Don't be afraid to go to the doctor and ask questions!  Don't be intimidated by doctors and continue to get 2nd, 3rd, 4th...opinions if you feel that what they are telling you is wrong.
Thank you so much for reading.  Feel free to leave questions and/or your stories about your battle with hormonal imbalances below, in the comments section.
My usual topics have to do with beauty and makeup, but every now + then I have to do something a little different, Lol!  Same thing goes for my YouTube channel! You should check it out - it's called Mel's Makeup Mayhem!  Subscribe to it, it's FREE!

February 2015 Beauty Photo Challenge on Instagram

Hi Makeup Maniacs!  Hope you are all well.  I just wanted to share something that I created and see if you are interested in participating, because it isn't too late!
At the end of January, my creative side awoke from its slumber, Lol!  I decided to create a beauty photo challenge for Instagram so that I could have some fun during the month of February, as well as, bond with some other ladies on Instagram.  Basically, you do a photo a day corresponding with the date and topic. Here's the picture:

On Instagram, you can follow me, I'm melly_makeup.  It's not too late to participate.  Here's a link to my Instagram page:
It's fun and it's a bonding experience that gives you a chance to "meet" other like minded women.  So, come on...join the challenge!  Use the hashtag #BeautyPhotoChallenge  !
And if you really love makeup, don't forget to join me on my YouTube channel called Mel's Makeup Mayhem!

~Liquid Lipstick Mania~

Well, if any of you Makeup Maniacs have been out to Sephora, Ulta, or the drug store lately you definitely have noticed liquid lipsticks taking over the shelves.
I, for one, have definitely been gravitating towards these vials of molten goodness.  They look like lip glosses, but they are thicker and opaque.  They are usually marketed as long-lasting and highly pigmented.  Higher end brands, such as, Stila, Kat Von D, Too Faced, and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics have launched liquid lipstick lines.  But they're not the only ones selling these concoctions.  Drug store brands like Cover Girl, Maybelline, and Revlon have also jumped on the liquid lipstick bandwagon.  I'm not sure what makes these lipsticks better than the old school bullet type, but I sure do like them.
Take Anastasia Beverly Hills for instance, I recently purchased three of her newly launched liquid lipsticks and I'm totally in love!  Love the way they go on so smoothly and how pigmented they are.  They last a long time, but are not drying.  I only apply them once after lunch then I'm good to go for the rest of the day!  Here is what they look like:
Pure Hollywood
But at $20 a pop, those Anastasia Beverly Hills lippies are definitely tough on the wallet.  Great drug alternatives come to you from L'Oreal!   I've actually tried two different kinds of liquid lipstick by this well-known brand.  The first is the Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in #517 Nude Allude ($9.99 @ CVS).  It applies just like a lip gloss with it's doe foot applicator except it's a lot thicker.  Once this bad boy dries to it's matte finish, it lasts long and looks beautiful!
Infallible Pro Matte "Nude Allude"
The other two liquid lipsticks by L'Oreal are part of the Colour Riche Extraordinaire line ($9.99 each at CVS).  These are a little more glossy and do not last as long, but they still pack a punch in the color department.
Colour Riche #103 "Blushing Harmony"
Colour Riche #502 "Plum Adagio"
Personally, I LOVE matte lippies and the Anastasia Beverly Hills ones are BEAUTIFUL!  But the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss gives them a run for their money.
What are your favorite liquid lipsticks?
Do you love makeup?  Do you have a passion for all things beauty-related?  Check out my YouTube channel called  Mel's Makeup Mayhem!