Retro Corner: Maybelline’s Shine Free Line

26 09 2009

By Taryn

Back in the late 80s, early 90s, Maybelline had a line called Shine Free cosmetics, and my gosh, how I loved that brand.  They had dozens of little lipsticks packaged in the cutest pink tubes with the best scent (well, it was that phony lipstick scent, but I still liked it back then).  They also had eye shadow singles, powders, foundations and mascara, and the line had a very colorful ad campaign.  One of my favorite ads is the one below:


That was 1988 for you – full of bright, tropical makeup looks and colorful packaging.  I fondly remember slathering on their frosty pink lipsticks and neon blue mascara.

Anyone else out there remember Shine Free?


My Own Quest to Finding the Right Red Lipstick

25 09 2009

By Taryn

Piggybacking on Jessi’s excellent The Perfect Red Lip post, I figured I’d offer up my own experiences in finding the right red lipstick/gloss…

Up until a few years ago, I had always favored dark, matte lip colors like MAC’s Rocker, Russian Red, Ruby Woo and most of all, the now-discontinued Benefit Dietrich, which was a matte, blood red with cool undertones. Here’s a shot of it in the tube:

Oddly enough, when photographed in certain lights, it appeared to be more of a tomato red, which wasn’t accurate at all. Regardless of the color, however, it gave me “Joker mouth” and was hardly flattering to my chalk-white skin. My skin, BTW, also amazingly appears much lighter in this photograph of my lips (as if it couldn’t get any lighter!). Also, notice how much smaller and less plump my lips look when wearing a harsh, matte lipstick:

While I could marginally pull that off a few years ago, now it would just look aging. So, I decided to come up with a softer red lip that I could wear more often since I really missed wearing the most glamorous of lip colors. Here’s what I came up with:

It still has pigment, but a much softer finish. Here’s what I used to get the look:

  1. Lined lips with Kevyn Aucoin’s The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Medium
  2. Put a touch of Benefit’s Cupid’s Bow in the bow of the lips
  3. Drew in lips with Shiseido’s Automatic Lip Crayon in LC4, which is a berryish-red
  4. Took MAC’s Red Romp* Lipglass and wiped the wand on a tissue before applying all over, and blotted lightly once again.

*Red Romp was LE, so you may want to check out Russian Red as a duplicate.

Red is wearable for anyone; it’s just a matter of experimenting, finding the right MA to work with you, and getting the right texture and shade for your skintone!

Ellis Faas Lipcolor Review

24 09 2009

By Taryn

While scrolling through the comments on another blog, I saw someone talking about Ellis Faas lip products and how good their reds are.  I went to the website, intrigued, and saw that her products come in three formulas: Creamy Lips, Milky Lips and Glazed Lips.  Bright reds are not really flattering on me anymore, but I can wear a sheerer red, and that’s where the Glazed Lips come in.


Packaged in sleek, bullet-like silver tubes, all Ellis Faas lip colors are in a click-pen format.  The Glazed Lips almost have a watercolor-like consistency, where you can see through them yet they still provide a good amount of pigment.  They come with brush applicators, but I have better luck using my own lip brush rather than their applicator, which tends to just spread the color around, making it look uneven and slightly messy.

I’ve also found that wearing a lip liner under these will give your lips a cleaner appearance, as well as slightly better coverage and lasting time.


Glazed Lips L301 and L303

While these are expensive at 24.95 Euros (about $36.87 USD), they made for a nice splurge and definitely have a unique look to them.  I wish the applicator was easier to use and the product blended in a little better, but so far I haven’t found lip colors that look this wet and watercolor-esque from any other brand.

They can be purchased at

Summary: Expensive, but unique liquid lip colors that have a thinner consistency yet brilliant pigmentation.

Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil Review

22 09 2009

By Taryn

Awhile ago, I ran out of my DHC Cleansing Oil and decided to try Origins’ new Clean Energy product. I like cleansing oils because they thoroughly remove makeup, are water soluble, non-drying and you’re not tugging at your face to get it perfectly clean.

Origins has not let me down and they have created a very good product. Clean Energy smells better than the DHC, has a lighter consistency, has all-natural ingredients and works just as well. The essential oils in Clean Energy may be irritating to some skin types, but I found I didn’t have a problem other than it stinging a bit if I got it in my eyes.  Still, it is paraben-free and that’s a big plus for me, since the DHC contains one paraben.

What’s also nice about the Origins product is that you can pop into Macy’s or any other store they sell the line in to purchase it, rather than having to get it online. I like online shopping, but it’s nice to have the option of buying something in a store if you realize you’re suddenly running low. Another plus is not having to pay the shipping fees.

The Origins is 6.7 fl. oz and the DHC also comes in the same size. One downside is that the Origins comes with a screw top, and you have to buy the pump separately for $1. Still, with the added cost of the pump, the Clean Energy comes out to $19.50 and the DHC at $25, which is a pretty significant price difference for a product that does essentially the same thing.

Summary: Both remove makeup very well; DHC is slightly less irritating for sensitive skin, yet Origins will work for most skin types, is cheaper and contains no harmful chemicals.

My Second Favorite Lip Balm

22 09 2009

By Taryn

As you’ve probably guessed, I have a lot of favorite lip balms, with Bloom’s Aromatherapy Lime Balm being my favorite.  Ah, but there is another that works extremely well, especially in the wintertime when my lips are chronically chapped.  It all began when I went up to Canada a couple of years back to hit Shoppers Drug Mart for some Smarties and discovered the previously-unknown-to-me Labello lip balms.  This was before they hit the US market.  I bought a few and found them to be good, but nothing spectacular.  When I went back a few months later, I discovered Labello had a Med Protection version of their balms. I honestly don’t know what is medicated about it as there is no tingle or medicinal smell, but this is one of the most moisturizing lip balms I’ve ever used.  It’s thick and creamy and lasts all night long when I apply it before bed.  The cost was about $4 or so, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it in Canadian pharmacies since then.

All is not lost, though, as you can purchase it for $7.95 at The price is significantly marked up so it may be worth Googling and searching around a bit for a better price (perhaps on ebay), but whatever it is you pay for it, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Summary: A thick, creamy balm that lasts a long time and has no fragrance.  It is getting difficult to find, but is worth paying the extra money for at

How to Achieve Skin as Smooth as Glass for Mere Dollars

21 09 2009

By Taryn

I’ve used some pricey exfoliators, but most of them aren’t really any better than the budget-friendly alternative I’m going to share with you: the Salux wash cloth. This is a cloth made of nylon that is sold in various Asian markets and online, where it’s slightly more expensive. This is not for people with sensitive skin and active blemishes, as it’s quite coarse and needs to be used very gently. It’s made for the body, but I find it works wonderfully on the face as well.

I simply lather it up with my favorite facial cleanser and proceed to go over my face in a circular motion very gently. I can’t emphasize how gently you need to use this because otherwise you will end up with irritated skin. Used properly, however, it will leave your face feeling smooth as glass and flake-free.

I was fortunate to find these in Marukai Supermarket in Little Tokyo while I was visiting Los Angeles, but if you don’t have an Asian market nearby, I’ve found to have excellent customer service, fast shipping and reasonable prices. They also include free samples of various Asian products as well.  Additionally, they have an Amazon storefront.

Another bonus? These are machine washable.  I’ve washed mine with a delicate detergent in my front-loader several times without it falling apart.

Not a bad price for saying adios to those irritating flakes that ruin your makeup application, huh?

Review: Chantecaille Lip Chic Lipsticks

18 09 2009

By Taryn

I don’t own a lot of Chantecaille products, but what I do have is of excellent quality.  So when Sarah recommended that I try the Lip Chic lipsticks, I jumped right on the bandwagon. The clincher for me was that these are paraben-free. To read more about parabens and the controversy over them, click here. I can’t keep parabens out of every product I buy, but I do try to keep them out of my lipsticks to avoid ingesting them.

Anyway, these feel similar to Clinique’s Buttershines, minus the greasy feel the Clinique ones seem to have. They are extremely moisturizing, give a plumping effect to my lips and lasting a decent amount of time considering that they’re more of a cross between a gloss and lipstick. I reach for these all of the time because my lips are chronically chapped and they are very soothing and almost feel like a lip balm.

The Lip Chics come in cute little black satchels and are packaged in sleek silvery black tubes. I purchased Dahlia, which is a berryish red, and Ceylon, more of a brownish berry.

Everything about these lipsticks is luxury – the feel, the packaging, and unfortunately the price. At $30, they certainly aren’t cheap, but the quality is superior and unlike anything I’ve found in a drugstore or even in other upscale brands.

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a really luxurious lipstick, consider giving these a try.  They are available at




L to R: Dahlia, Ceylon