September 28, 2010

Tips For Better Looking Skin

Every one, man or woman, wants better looking skin.  It's really the first thing people notice about your face, without actually realizing it.

This is my "happy skin face."  It was an exceptionally good skin day.

People say, "oh, it's the eyes that I notice first on a person and draw me in." Weeelllll, if those eyes are surrounded by red blotchy skin or a big angry pimple in between them, then those eyes are secondary in what we see.  I will go ahead and preface this blog by admitting, I am NOT a dermatologist.  I don't claim to be one and never have.  I can only tell you what works for me and my skin.  But hopefully you will get something out of these tips that can work for you.

And if you happen to have skin like mine...

  • normal to dry
  • with few to no breakout problems 
  • around the age of 30 something 
...then maybe these products I mention will do exactly for you what they do for me!!

I did some before and after pictures of my skin for you to see how I get my skin to go from drab to fab!  
1. My before picture with only mascara and lip balm.

Doesn't everybody like some good before and after pics??  I will share with you my steps of how I apply my makeup to make a cashmere-like complexion.

1.  Face primer applied to clean and moisturized skin.  I like Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36), it's won tons of beauty and magazine awards so I trust it.  And I've used it for years.

2.  Foundation.  This is where it can get tricky because you must choose a foundation formula depending on your specific skin type.  I have fairly dry skin, so I choose a more hydrating foundation like Maybelline's Dream Smooth Mousse in color creamy natural ($9).  So if you have oily skin, obviously go for an oil free foundation.

2. My after picture with all the steps completed except for blush

3.  Concealer.  I have on my pricey Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat in color 2 ($40).  This is applied under the eyebed, along the corners of my nose, and sides of my mouth.  It has slight luminizing properties in it which keep my skin from looking too matte, with just enough dewy-ness!

4.  Translucent powder.  This can be pressed or a loose powder.  But I like to press mine into my skin with a powder puff in rolling motions.  This sets the foundation and concealer and fills in any cracks before adding color, ie., bronzer and blush.

5.  A matte bronzer.  I keep reading that matte bronzers look more natural and realistic than the ones with shimmer in them, which I own a ton of.  But truly, the matte bronzers in the mosaic forms with multiple bronze colors in them, I find DO look most realistic bc there are more color options blending together.  I have on Palladio's herbal mosaic powder in sun kissed ($8).

3.  After after picture with my blush applied.  It's like icing on the cake;-)

6.  Blush.  A good flush of color will always ramp up the rest of your skin look and make it look super healthy.  Again, since I have dry skin, so I used a cream stick blush for more hydrating purposes and for a more natural look.  Nar's The Multiple stick in portofino ($38) did the trick with it's shimmery peachy properties.

And before even all of this makeup was applied, I relied on my affordable night cream that seems to be truly working wonders on my skin.  I feel I have fewer fine lines (not saying this takes away deep wrinkles or anything crazy like that-I said fine lines!), brighter skin, and more even skin tone.  It's by Avon, their Reversalist Night Renewal cream ($30) and it is quite lovely. This picture to the right is obviously after all of my makeup was applied, but it still shows that my skin is looking pretty darn good thanks to this product.  Gotta have a clean canvas before you can paint your masterpiece right??!

September 26, 2010

JennySue Makeup Product Review :: Allure's Best of Beauty Buys (For Eyes)

I don't mean to be Negative Nancy on my blogs because I know no one likes to hear negative stuff all the time (that's what your local news is for!), but I must give my honest opinion on things when they come to my mind!  Isn't that what blogging is all about...honesty is the best policy!!!

My exhausted face and baby Vivian in my Peanut Shell sling (this thing is great-obviously not a negative- and reversible to black!)

So before I get into the beauty side of things, I'll be quite honest about how exhausting it is to go to the circus with two toddlers and an infant!  What were my husband and I thinking venturing out with all three of them in the heat??  Maybe we weren't thinking is the issue.  Well, we thought they would really enjoy it and that it would be fun to shake up our daily routine of school, come home, tv, dinner, bath time and bed.  We certainly shook things up- dinner consisted of funnel cakes and popcorn and no television was needed for entertainment.  Nice.

My boys and my girl in front of the Cole Brothers Circus sign.  My exhaustion is masked by my Ray Bans!

A little beauty pick me up is needed after sweating and slumming it up at the country fried circus!!  I turn to my October Allure issue with their much anticipated Best of Beauty Buys section (232 of the winning products discussed).  And of course I had to run out and buy a couple things that just sounded wonderful and amazing.  Both of these items were recently on the Today show also being touted as the next best thing...we'll see about that.

Here's what I bought and what it won for:

1.  Best Volumizing Mascara - Maybelline New York The Falsies Volum' Express Mascara ($5).  I do recognize that this mascara is only 5 bucks, so I shouldn't be too critical.

This is Maybelline's ad campaign for the Falsies.  I'm no rocket scientist, but I think she might be sporting some false eyelashes in addition to the mascara.  Is that "false" advertising??

But the fact that they suggest this is the best "volumizing" mascara, meaning it should make them fatter/thicker, is a joke.  It's tubelike approach made my lashes a bit longer but definitely not fatter.  The first picture on left is with 3 coats of Falsies mascara and a dark line of eyeliner. Do I look anything like Erin the model in their ad campaign?? I think not.  My lashes aren't even close to touching my eyebrows!

I believe my after Dior Show mascara photo below right ( 3 coats also) is much more impressive, with no dark line of eye liner to create the illusion of a thicker lash line.  My lashes just look thicker here, not as spidery as with the falsies above. Here's my negative take on the hype- it's not worth the hype and does no better than the old cheap Maybelline standby in the green and pink tube.

2.  Best Eyeliner.  Cover Girl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner Pencil in Brown Blaze ($7).  Now, at first I wasn't so immediately impressed with this eye liner that has gotten so much hype.  It is said to smudge like a pencil (with it's patented "smudger" located on the end of the pencil) with staying power of a liquid liner.  But after a couple days of using it, then switching to my other pencils, I realized this really is a great liner!  It has a super smooth application and looks very dark and rich like a liquid once applied- but the line you get is not quite as thin as a liquid would be.

And it actually doesn't smudge very much (that's the actual "smudger" being put to work) once applied, but I kinda like that.  So this does get a two thumbs up in my opinion.  Hopefully it sharpens well and doesn't break off like so many soft pencils do- so this will be a big test for me, but I can't comment on that point now since it's still fairly new!

So to recap JennySue's opinions on these two products:

  • CG LiquilineBlast eyeliner gets 4 stars out of 5 
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara gets 2 stars out of 5
  • Going to the circus in the heat with 3 kids under 4 yrs of age, gets 3 out of 5- one star for each sweet child 

...Minus 2 stars for how fat and unhealthy I felt after consuming an unnecessary funnel cake;-)  Although it was soooo good going down!!!

September 23, 2010

I Disagree With Glamour Magazine's Best Beauty Trends

Eye makeup on the Derek Lam 2010 Fall runway show

I love me some Glamour magazine.  I've been subscribing to it for years.  But as I was flipping through the recent issue with "Glee's" Lea Michele (she is so dang cute) on the cover, soaking up all the info and trends I could find on each page, I had to stop and scratch my head at their article on "the best beauty trends out there."  

This article had taken all the recent hair and makeup trends from the 2010 fall runway shows and laid out the most "wearable" for the masses.  Or so they say.  I agree with the neutrals idea, the messy chignons, winged eyeliner, and other trends mentioned.

But when I got to the "all over shadow" I took a double take.  Before you get all huffy and say, "but JennySue, it's high fashion/runway and it's supposed to be a little more out there, creative, and done with an artistic approach."  Well yes, I agree with that, FOR THE RUNWAY-not real life!  All over eye shadow is NOT, in my opinion, flattering at all.  It makes me think 1980's Cyndi Lauper and that my friends, is not a cute look (but I did love her music, just not her eye shadow at that moment in time!).

Eye shadow all the way up to the brow bone just looks plain messy.  You need to see a little bit of skin peaking through on top when doing your eye makeup please.  Am I alone in this way of thinking??  I believe if I were to show up with my eye shadow looking like this before heading out to dinner with husband, he'd ask "how'd ya get the black eye??!"

Like I said, Cyndi was cool back in the day, but her makeup was scary and it continues to be scary in 2010.  Glamour, you should be a bit more discerning in what you print next time.  Just because it's runway worthy, doesn't mean it's real life worthy.  But I still love your magazine and will continue to read it;-)

September 21, 2010

Black and Gold...The Chic Yet Edgy Makeup Look

I wanted to fierce up my look for today (without looking too freaky, I am a mother of 3 and I'm just headed to a taco joint for lunch) so I did it by mixing two rich colors together...Black and Gold.

There is no easier way to get a dramatic, but wearable, look than with black.  And by adding a little gilded gold, well then you've immediately got your fierce look!!

The three main products I used to get this look were:

  1. A good rich black liner.  I used Rimmel London's Exxagerate liner in "noir."($6)  I used it on my upper lid and on the lower and inside the lower rim.  Black out the whole lash line for a dramatic effect!
  2. Shimmery gold shadow.  I used a loose Bare Minerals glimmer powder in "true gold."($13)  This was applied on top of my Stila "twig" (a shimmery earthen brown, $18) eyeshadow pan as well as along the lower lash line all the way into the tear duct area for a golden glow!
  3. A gold toned lip gloss or lip stick.  I love love L'Oreal Infallible lip gloss in Dulce de Leche ($9). It's a beautiful neutral brown color with just enough golden sparkle in it.  I've read it's one of Eva Longoria's fave colors.

This is how the complete look turned out.  It looks slightly rocker chic edgy right??!

I even slept in wet hair so that I got a wavy texture "just woke" up type of look to add to my edge.  I did add a large barrel curling iron to a few random pieces in the front so I had a bit of polish to my look and not like a huge lion mane!  And hey- sleeping in wet hair is actually a huge time saver when you're waking up with a baby in the wee hours of the morning!

And to completely finish off my look, I channeled celeb stylist Rachel Zoe who is always wearing tons of jewelry on her wrists (she's a more is more kinda gal, love that!) and stacked up some bangles and bracelets along my wrist in a black and gold color palette.  Looks pretty tough right?? It's the center gold bracelet that makes this look work though- it's my mom in laws who was kind enough to let me borrow it for an extended period.  I think it's originally from Thailand and is a priceless gold piece of artwork in my opinion!!

So next time you want to easily rock a chic and edgy look, just channel the black and gold combo.  You can't lose.

September 18, 2010

My Courtney Cox "Cougar" Look

I am only 32 years old and constantly tell myself that the 30's are the new 20's.  I say this because I live in a college town (The University of Georgia- rated #1 party school in America this year - um, yeah) and tend to feel a bit older than the rest of the 18-20 something sorority girls parading the city.  Especially when I've got two toddlers by my side and a baby attached to me 24/7.  Three children tend to age you a bit... or at least make you appear a bit older than maybe you are when you are toting all three of them around!!

My husband has called me a "cougar" in a town of "kittens" before, which he has said as a compliment.  However, I don't exactly fall into the cougar category, because the exact definition of a cougar is an older woman dating/married to a younger man.  My hubby is two years older than me.  So Demi Moore (married to Ashton Kutcher) or Courtney Cox (married to David Arquette), I'm not.  But I appreciate the thought honey;-)  I also think cougars must be over 40, so I've still got a couple years left in me!!

This cougar talk leads me to the "Cougar Town" star, Courtney Cox who was recently featured on the cover and in the August issue of InStyle magazine.  And wow does she look FABULOUS at 46.  Her makeup inspired me to try to recreate her look because I loved the heavily lined eyes with the peachy pink cheeks and lips-it was the perfect balance of dark and light.

Here are the basics of how I mimic-ed Courtney's look:

1.  Dark black liquid liner on the top lash line along with a soft black pencil along the lower lash line.  Make sure to set the liners with a similar black eye shadow color to soften the lines and for staying power.

2.  A taupey/grey eye shadow in just the crease of the eye lid.  I used Bobbi Brown's "slate" shadow($22).  It's the perfect neutral color.

3.  Cheeks were perfected with Nars "orgasm" blush ($25).  Is there really any other blush color choice?? Ha!  I say this bc I wear it all the time.

4.  Skin is perfected with Benefit's High Beam complexion enhancer ($24).  I used short strokes of the highlighter along the bridge of my nose, top of cheek bones, and above the bow of the lips.  This is a subtle trick but keeps the skin from looking too matte/old by giving it a bit of youthful dewiness.

5.  Lips are simple.  I only used Victoria's Secret Perfect Lipstick in "satin sheets" ($12) which seems like a perfect match to Courtney's look above.  It's a very soft pink with a touch of shimmery peach.

The thing that makes this look work on Mrs. Cox, is the great balance between the really dark lined eyes along with the barely there lips and cheeks.  And after reading the interview with this "cougar," sounds like she is a well balanced broad too.  She touches on everything from being raised in the south and how it has influenced her manners in saying "please" and "thank you" (I'm right there with ya sister being from GA!) to admitting to using a little bit o' Botox every now and then.  I can appreciate a Hollywood woman being up front with having some help with her looks rather than passing them off as "good genes" like so many celebs fib about.  But at 46 with a face like Courtney's, I'd say Botox isn't looking half bad!

September 15, 2010

Best Eyebrow Tips

I am obsessed with eyebrows.  I believe they are the frame work of the face.  If the brows are unkempt or too thin or too busy or just plain not taken care of- then the rest of your makeup doesn't even matter, you've ruined your look in my opinion.  Is that too harsh??!

So here are my favorite tips for creating the perfectly filled in eyebrow.  Tweezers go without saying that you should tweeze until clean, but never tweeze on top/above your brows, only below. You will need:

1.  Eyebrow comb/brush combo, with stiff bristles preferably.  You will need this to brush all of your brow hairs downward.  Most people think you should brush the hairs up to fill in, but if you do them down, you see the natural shape of your arch better and should fill in along the upper hair line.

This pic shows my right brow hairs brushed downward so I fill in along the natural top line of the brows.

2.  Two colors of eyebrow pencil.  I use an exact hair color and one a shade or two lighter than my natural brow hair.  You can also change consistency in pencils if you like.  My exact one is a waxier pencil that helps some of the hairs stick in place and my lighter colored one is a drier consistency.

3.  Qtips.  I like the specialty kind that has a pointy tip to them for a more precise  hand- you can find them at beauty supply stores and some grocery stores (my Kroger sells them too).  These are to help wipe away any runaway pencil if you got too overzealous in your filling in, like I always do!!!

4.  Clear mascara.  I use this to set my brow hairs in place once they are finished.  It's a cheap and easy product to find.

And in case you were wondering or even care, my top celebrity picks for the best and worst eyebrows in the business are: 

Best:  Megan Fox

Absolute worst:  Pamela Anderson & Andy Rooney

 Less is definitely not more in Miss Pam's case.  The fuller the brows, the more youthful one looks.  But also let's remember to keep a happy medium with our full brows, and not to go overboard.  We don't want any Andy Rooney look-a-likes;-)

September 12, 2010

Perfectly Purple Nails Perk Me Up

I have been trying to figure out a way to perk my look up now that I am not in maternity clothes anymore, but still can't quite fit back into my normal sized clothes.  Needless to say, I'm kind of over being in that in-between stage...ugh.

So what is a girl to do when she wants to add color to her life without breaking the bank by buying new "in-between" clothing?? I go and paint on a fabulous shocking nail color!  A fresh coat of unexpected color in your fingernail polish is the easiest way to update your look without being married to it- or having to FIT into it. Nail polish fits every size!  My recent purchase of China Glaze polish in purple color "spontaneous" ($5) was just what the doctor ordered.  The perfect matte purple to perk up my dreary outlook.

I don't usually paint my nails and toes the same color because it seems so repetitive, but this color made me so happy I decided, why not?!

Another way to jazz up your look without going too crazy is to work the ombre nail idea.  I haven't implemented this idea, yet, but found it on  I recently talked about how the ombre fad has hit the hair world (think Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore,right) and now you can do the same idea for nails- love bringing out the unexpected with the little details:-)  I'm totally trying this very soon, check out the how to on the Instyle link above.

I could actually see Drew wearing this purple color couldn't you?? She's a cool rockin chick who likes to push the envelope and has great quirky style!  So if you are in a style rut but don't want to make a major wardrobe overhaul, just switch up your nail color!  It's as easy as paint by number.

September 9, 2010

I Love Shopping At Target...For Makeup And Everything Else!!

It is a given that I love makeup.  I am a makeup artist, so I guess that's a good thing.  And since the birth of my daughter, I am finding my love of makeup to be increasing.  Lots of people ask me when they find out I have a newborn as well as two other children, "how do you have any time to put on all that makeup and look so put together??"  Simply put...I make time.

Looks like I got my hair chopped into a bob doesn't it?? This is actually my very long hair pulled back with just my front layers hanging down.

There are lots of things women and moms make time for in order to make themselves feel better just to get through the day.  Some people splurge on manis & pedis to feel good (I hate pedis bc I am so ticklish on my feet, so no thank you), some people splurge on making time to exercise to feel good (I have two toddler boys to chase after ALL day long so I categorize this as exercise), and I make time to apply my makeup in order to feel good AND more human!!  And since I don't get much sleep at this point and time, more concealer and makeup tricks are extremely necessary so that I don't look like Halloween has come early.

Since I use all types of makeup, high end department store and low end drugstore brands, it was good to find a recent article on Yahoo Finance, that listed 4 things you should and shouldn't buy at my favorite store in the world, TARGET.  And thank goodness, one of the things you SHOULD buy at Target is cosmetics.  Woo hoo!!  This was great confirmation since I've been buying a ton of my products from there in the past couple years.  They have the best selection of old school brands such as Revlon as well as hard to find brands like Iman (designed by the iconic supermodel Iman for women of color) and Napoleon Perdis that rival department store brands.  

Now I'm sure you're wondering where the peacock issue comes in.  Well, my little girl was given a really cute peacock balloon romper that came from Target ironically (shown above), that I literally would wear myself if it came in my size!  I love the whole peacock design and colorings of this blue bird, so it was an inspiration for my latest look.  The eyes were my main focus here with representing the blue/teal/green coloring, and then I added hot pink cheeks and pale pink lips.  

Here's what I used to get peacock pretty:

Eyes.  MAC's 6 Mystick Cool eye shadow palette.  This was from Christmas, so I don't think this is still available, but I used their "blue enchantment"-deep teal green and "deep secret"-navy blue as the two main shadows.  Eyeliner is by Too Faced, Metal Eyed Liner ($17.50) in "twilight" which is a sparkly blue.  On top of it all is MAC's Reflects in "antique gold" which is a loose glitter that has a greenish-gold tint to it-also an older product.  But so pretty and the perfect thing to top off this look.  Mascara is L'Oreals extra volume collagen mascara in black.

Cheeks & Skin.  Napoleon Perdis colour disc in #92, which is a super hot pink eye shadow I used as a cheek color.  You can get NP at Target now;-)  Foundation is L'Oreal True Match in color N3.

Lips.  "Pinky" lip ink/stain by Palladio with MAC's lipglass in "underage" on top.  This lipglass is a saucy white based light pink gloss that I love!

Something interesting I found on is that peacocks symbolize some of the most desired human characteristics such as glory, vision, awakening, and spirituality.  It is a reminder of the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors.  No wonder I find this bird so fascinating- maybe it should be JennySue's new mascot!!

September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day PLUS A JennySue Makeup Product Review:: Once Opened Expiration Kit For Beauty Products

Happy Labor Day to all!!  I absolutely love holidays because it means my hubby gets to take a day off from work and hang out with me and my kiddos!  So it's not such a "labor" day for me because I have help!!  And our Labor Day has been all about deep house cleaning- so much so that we got our two boys involved (baby Vivian got lucky because she can hardly even hold her head up at 2 weeks old, so she got out of cleaning)- don't they look so happy to be wielding rubber gloves and a dust pan??!  Cleanliness is next to Godliness, right?? "No children were actually made to do manual labor in this photo;-)"

Not only did we clean the pantry kitchen, but I figured it was time to clean out my makeup drawer(s).  Dum dum dum duuummm.

Ugh, this is quite a task.  I mean check out this disaster of a drawer, and it's only one of three!  My reasoning behind cleaning out these drawers- besides the fact that they were an absolute natural disaster- is mostly because I know I have too much old makeup in there that should not be touching my face.

In walks my saving grace for deciphering what's old and what's new in my makeup drawer... Once Opened Expiration Kit For Beauty Products.    I just received this kit in the mail (Many thanks to  you Lorraine, somehow you knew I needed this product!) and have already been sticking these makeup expiration stickers on everything I can get my hands on!! So what and who exactly is this kit for you ask??

  • Great for makeup artists like myself who don't want to use old/expired makeup on my clients.  A breakout or an eye infection as a result of using old makeup would be a disaster I want to avoid!
  • It's inevitable that we all forget when we bought certain makeup products, even our own personal ones in our makeup bags and drawers, so it's very helpful to have these dates right on the product.
  • Beauty products are not required by the FDA to have an expiration date on them, however, once those tubes and bottles are opened and air and bacteria hit them, they are on their way to being expired.  You wouldn't drink your milk past the expiration date, so why would you put old bacteria filled mascara near your eye??
  • This kit comes with:  small circular pink labels with a clear laminate to protect the date, tiny permanent markers to write the date of when you opened your products, a life expectancy guide for individual products so you know how long each should last or be tossed, small black box to hold all the contents in.  The labels take the guess work out of "when did I buy this??"
As you can see, I've put these stickers on the products I think go bad the quickest and would make the biggest and bad impact if used after their prime.  This goes for mascaras, liquid eye liners, cream and liquid foundations.  The great thing about this kit is that it will eventually save me a lot of time and money, because I won't go buying more mascara and foundation than I need for jobs for fear they are too old, bc I know exactly how old that bottle or tube is by looking at my little pink label!  

"Once Opened" is offering some special pricing for JennySue Makeup readers once you go on their official website, just use the following promo code:

Special of $6.95 plus FREE S&H, with promo code:  user-beauty; pass-clean310

Hope you all have had a wonderful and productive Labor Day like I have, or, if not productive at least a nice relaxing non-labor-like day!!!