mom who works

the joys and challenges of being a working mom trying to find "balance"

The eyeliner that doesn’t look like eyeliner May 25, 2012

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 8:00 am
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Tightline eyes:

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I am a fairly no-fuss makeup kind of gal. I’ve always relied on an excellent base (Laura Mercier, natch), great mascara (all my faves always get discontinued, but L’Oreal makes excellent ones) and a standout lipcolor (big fan of Clinique lip colors for their great formulation and reasonable price). I’ve never really been into eye makeup. I just think that with a bold lip, a done-up eye looks, well overdone on me.

Recently, on my twice-a-year visit to Blush Beauty in Milwaukee I sat with the owner Sarah Brucker who was helping me select a new Laura Mercier foundation (change of seasons, change of skin tone … you know how it goes!). Quick PSA: Blush Beauty is an excellent local, independent, high-end beauty store – what I love about them (besides the fact that I love to support local businesses) is that they have great staff and these amazing, 15-foot high windows so you can try your makeup on in natural light. BIG difference from sitting in the florescent glow at a department store! At any rate, as Sarah was finishing my face she asked if I ever tried a “tightliner.” A whaa??

I know now that this has been around for awhile, but as I said earlier, I’m not an eye makeup kinda gal. Sarah explained that it’s an eyeliner you apply just under the lash line. It just sort of “beefs up” your lashline without looking as if it’s all done up. I was happy to give it a go. She dipped a flat, straight eyeliner brush (especially made for “tightlining”) into a cake liner (she chose Laura Mercier’s Blue Marine which is a beautiful deep navy) that had been moistened just a bit, and dabbing it ever so gently in between my lashes (but not straying into the white area that touches the eye), being careful not to move into the very corners where I don’t have any lashes. I tell you, I was shocked. It looked amazing! It didn’t look like I was wearing eye makeup, but my lashes and eyes just “popped.”

eHow has a tutorial on how to do this, there are also various how-to videos on YouTube. Even better if you have a great local beauty store like Blush in your town, set up an appointment for a demo!

Stay pretty out there!


It really is magic February 2, 2010

Filed under: beauty — Deborah @ 9:56 pm
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Laura Mercier Brightening Powder

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I am addicted to Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder. There, I’ve said it. Now it’s not a “secret” anymore. Well, it probably still is because I think there are only about 2 people who read this blog (including me), so Laura’s secret is still probably pretty safe.

Seriously, though, this stuff is amazing, and not even something I would “typically” use.

I’m a bit of a makeup minimalist. I find what works and stick with it. I have worn the same exact daily lipcolor (Clinique’s Long Last in Vintage Wine) for about 15 years . My only eye makeup is a good tube of brown/black lengthening mascara (current favorite is L’Oreal’s Panoramic Curl). However, I have experimented a bit with foundations because that is where I was having some issues a few years ago – that is until I discovered Laura Mercier.

I was desperate. My makeup was making me look older than my years, settling into creases, streaking, making me look pale and ashy. True to form, I did some research, and Laura Mercier’s foundations were consistently coming up top-in-class. There is only one store in town that sells Laura Mercier – Blush Beauty in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. I made an appointment, and was expertly helped by the staff at Blush to choose the right formulation (although I’ve tried at least 3 “Laura” formulations and all are great), the right color, and the best application. That was 3 years ago and I never looked back.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of drugstore cosmetics. I believe that 90% of the time the drugstore version is just as good, if not better, than the expensive designer/department store version. But Laura Mercier foundation – well, let’s just stop the train right there, get off, open up that wallet, and be prepared for some of the best quality, best looking, best feeling makeup you will ever wear.

So, back to the Secret Brightening Powder. When I first went in to get my Laura fix, I left with a straightforward primer-foundation-concealer-powder combination. After a while I felt that I could use more help with my undereye makeup, and made an appointment at Blush when the Laura Mercier rep was going to be there. She evaluated my setup, and recommended just 2 additional products that would take me truly to Mercier’s “Flawless Face,” one of which was the Secret Brightening Powder (I won’t tell you the other one – that’s a SECRET!). This incredibly fine powder goes on with a small brush, and only goes over the areas where you applied concealer (typically under eyes and maybe the side of the nose). It’s incredibly subtle, but it sets the undereye concealer and gives you a little brightening “boost” where you need it most.

For us moms, who frequently have to conquer the world on less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the Secret Brightening Powder is an important tool in our arsenal. Go forth. Use it. Use it well.