Archie Comics MAC products

Get the Betty or Veronica look!

Some makeup brands have the whole using media favorites to sell makeup thing down to an art. I remember buying nail polish and lipstick in the Max Factor brand when I was a teenager because they were advertised as the “looks” of Rose Dewitt Bukater of Titanic (AKA Kate Winslet, whom I still love dearly) and the fairies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which came out a bit later, I believe. I have since seen teen girls purchase products marketed to make them look like Bella from Twilight (which is unfortunate) and Katniss from The Hunger Games (who is a BAMF) and I can relate.

MAC now features a line of products based on the Archie Comics series. I’m a little too young for these, but I do remember looking at the comics my grandmother had in the house (she read pretty much everything). These “looks” are modeled after the comics’ heroines, Betty and Veronica. If I recall correctly, Veronica was a rich girl and a bit of a snob while Betty was the girl next door, into sports and being herself or something like that. Archie pretty much dragged them both along, so I don’t know why anyone would want to be either of them—unless they gave him what for, and then I say go for it!

The MAC product line is called MAC Archie’s Girls, which I also think is unfortunate—being named after the guy who wants you half of the time sucks. Veronica’s products are supposed to be on the darker side while Betty’s are brighter and more pastel.  The logo will feature—guess who?—Archie between the two girls, which is also annoying. I doubt anyone is trying to get his “look.” I guess it’s really just the reverse love triangle of today’s popular two guys to one girl; only in today’s trios, a couple usually walks off into the sunset rather than a trio…

If anyone wants to start a comic book line of makeup, I’d totally be down for X-Men—or better yet, Batman! Who wouldn’t want the “look” of Poison Ivy, Batgirl, or Catwoman, the most awesome females among the comic pages? Some Storm, Jean Grey, or Rogue wear would also be pretty cool. I would definitely buy some Phoenix lip gloss if it had my favorite character on it. What can I say, I love her.

That said, if we marketed products to bring out the best in you as you are, right now, I think it would be the coolest ad campaign ever. I would happily buy those products!

Nail art options

Today’s choices outnumber my teen options by a dozen to one.

Though I never was a fashionista, I really enjoyed doing my hair, makeup and nails at varying stages of my adolescence. My favorite thing to do was paint my nails—probably because I chose dark, bold shades of black, green, and blue that made my uncles frown at me. “Did you drop a can of green beans on your toes?” I remember one drawling at me. It was a way I could rebel without really making anyone angry.

But today’s nail choices are incredible! Have you seen what’s out there? From jewelry to crackle art, flashy colors to even pieces of paint you can peel and stick to your nails in complete patterns of animal stripes, tattoos, and more, there’s something for everyone. Even my daughter, who doesn’t like makeup, was impressed when she looked at these.

It’s absolutely amazing—from Scrabble tiles to strips of gemstones, there is something to wear for every occasion. And you would still have plenty left over for every other year of your life! Remember when all we had was the French manicure to look stylish? Those days are certainly gone. I’m not sure if these styles should be considered fun or freaky (a la The Capitol in The Hunger Games), but they sure are interesting to look at.

Urban Decay: Cosmetics Worth Your Time (and the Price)

Urban Decay is a chic, contemporary cosmetics company that was started by David Soward, Patricia Holmes, Wende Zomnir, and Sandy Lerner in 1996. It has hone a long way since then, making its way as a staple at high-end shops. You can order it online or find it in boutiques and stores like the chic Ulta and Sephora, where you have the privilege of being able to try on any of the cosmetics before you actually buy it. Macy’s is also a recent carrier of this loved brand.
 
Unlike many cosmetics companies that are still in the dark ages when it comes to ethics, Urban Decay has never tested on animals. Also, it makes things easy for animal lovers by marking on its package which products that it considers vegan.
 
The company did make one faux pas when it released an adorable palette that had art that was somehow both pretty and adorable that boasted on how the company does not test on animals. It, in fact, asked how anybody could? Good point! One of the reasons we love Urban Decay. However, the faux pas that happened was that it included a side product with the palette, and that product was not vegan. This disappointed the vegans who had purchased the set, and it was later made clear on the website before the product was discontinued altogether. 
 
The quality of the product you’ll find at Urban Decay is superior to even some of the most high end brands. The colors are fabulous. If you like glitter (as I very much do), you want to check out some of their more playful colors. They all have fun names no matter what your style is.  If you like something a little more sophisticated, Urban Decay is still for you.

Cosmetic Ingredient Found in Breast Tissue of 99 percent of Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer has impacted the lives of many women worldwide. There are few people who have not either had this cancer themselves, or had a close family member or friend who has been affected by this type of cancer. It has long been suspected that a common preservative that is contained in many cosmetic products has been a contributor to the development of breast cancer in women. A recent study actually showed that 99 percent of breast tissue samples of women that had to have a mastectomy procedure because of breast cancer contain this chemical. An astounding 60 percent of these breast tissue samples contained at least five varieties of this specific chemical. What is this common cosmetic ingredient that has been found directly in breast tumor and the other breast tissue of women who have had breast cancer?

The answer is the common cosmetic preservative called paraben. There are many varieties of parabens, but it seems like all of them can contribute to breast cancer, from the conclusions of this study. The suspicion that these chemical preservatives were dangerous has not kept American cosmetics companies from continuing to use them in their cosmetics formulations. There are many several alternative cosmetic preservatives, but many cosmetic companies choose not to use them because it may cost them a few more cents per batch of cosmetics to use. I find this fact extremely disturbing.

What can you do? Do you have to stop wearing cosmetics to prevent breast cancer? No. There are cosmetics companies that sell cosmetics with no parabens in their formulations. You just need to do a little searching to find these companies. Also, read labels at the drugstore. These formulations are harder to find, but they do exist. Any cosmetic product that is labeled organic or all-natural most likely will not contain these parabens, as well as any brands of mineral cosmetics.
 

Madonna's Material Girl Makeup Line

Madonna has long been known as a fashion and style pioneer, doing things her own way. From her rebel look in the 1980s videos such as “Like a Virgin” and “Lucky Star” to her sophisticated looks in her “Ray of Light” music videos. Madonna was even recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000 for having the most costume changes. Her makeup looks are also legendary. 
Now Madonna has teamed up with her teenage daughter, Lola, to create their clothing, shoes, and makeup line. The line is cutely called Material Girl in homage to Madonna’s hit song from 1985 and the subsequent nickname critics and fans then called Madonna. Aimed at young ladies but also sized and styled to fit women of all ages, the line is chic, fun, and funky. 
 
There are two different eye makeup sets. One is called Smoky and Sexy, while the other one is called Soft and Pretty. Each kit comes in a cute palette with four original Material Girl eye shadows, a dual-ended brush make-up applicator, and an eyeliner.
 
The Material Girl lip glosses are sheer and high quality. Younger girl will want to stick to soft shades like the innocent sheer pink shade appropriately called Sweet Baby Mint. The Cranberry Crush is a deep, true red. The Plum Like It Hot, a nod to the classic Madonna film called Some Like It Hot, is a vampy purple, shimmering shade. Other shades include Lollipop (a bright pink), Blackberry Blast (a dark, edgy shade), Smores (toasted marshmallow), and Butterscotch Sundae (a color that is like a dirty butterscotch shade). 
 
The makeup line includes several unique nail polish colors that come in square-shaped bottles containing 0.4 fluid ounces. The colors include Rose Bud (an iconic pink), Hot Holly (an outrageous red), Pink Peony (a suave baby pink), Labyrinth (pink glitter), Phantom (a black shimmer), Psychedelic (shimmery violet), Midnight (sapphire blue), Guilty Conscience (bold coal), Wild Flower (glittering rose), and Harlequin (shiny green). 
 
Being the proud owner of some of the Material Girl glosses, eye makeup, and nail polish, I can say that it is of the best quality, and it’s also really fun, even for grown-up girls like me! Madonna fans will inevitably smile a bit, too, seeing the fun logo with their long-loved song title and new brand on their shelves. 

Look Your Best for the New Year: New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

With a brand new year upon us, everyone is making resolutions to improve themselves. They vow to lose weight, make more money and improve their health. These resolutions all take months, if not years to achieve. One resolution that can be achieved quickly and easily is to vow to start using the proper cosmetics to help look your best. Here are some tips to help you to create a New Year’s resolution that you can experience quick results from and help you to look your best:

1. Vow to washing and moisturizing your face every night. So many women go to bed with a full face of makeup on and do not realize that they may be harming their skin. Your skin, along with the rest of your body, repairs itself while you sleep. Wearing makeup to bed interferes with this rejuvenation, and may even leave you with a face full of blemishes in the morning. Wash your face before bed, apply moisturizer or an acne treatment, and see how quickly your skin begins to glow.

2. Vow to take better care of your teeth. Many do not realize the affect that having a bright, white smile can have on their appearance. Start taking better care of your teeth now for healthy teeth in the future. For a quick fix to a brighter smile, invest a few dollars in some Crest Whitestrips or another teeth-whitening product. There are even kits that can whiten your smile in only an hour or so.  You can then have a more beautiful smile in the blink of an eye.

3. Vow to start using the proper cosmetics for you. Many women do not wear the proper cosmetics for their face. This can mean wearing not only the wrong colors, but also the wrong cosmetic formulations. An easy way to find out what makeup colors and formulas are best for you is to schedule a makeover at a department store cosmetics counter. These makeovers are often free, and you have no obligation to purchase the cosmetics used on you. It is polite to purchase at least one product during your visit, since the makeup artist does make his or her money from commission. If you are on a budget, you can then purchase drug store cosmetics in similar colors to recreate the rest of the look.
 

Cosmetic Items Make Great Last-Minute Gifts

Christmas is quickly approaching and, if you are anything like me, you are nowhere near done with your Holiday shopping. It can be hard to find just the right gift to purchase someone, especially when you are stressed out and on a time crunch. Thankfully, there are many cosmetic items for men and women that make great last-minute gift purchases. If you have enough time, you can purchase something from a department store, but you can even find cosmetic gifts on Christmas day at your local drugstore!

You may be thinking, "What about the men on my list?" There are many cosmetic items that men can appreciate and get lots of use out of, too. Cosmetics are not only for women, after all. No, I would not purchase your brother a bright red stick of lipstick, but a he would appreciate a nice, men's gift set. Here are some great last-minute cosmetic gift items for friends and family of both genders:

1. Axe has a great gift set out that includes Axe body spray, an Axe deodorant and an Axe shower wash. There are several scents available, and what man could not use these products? You could not get away with wrapping up a bottle of deodorant as a gift, but when it is included in a gift set, it is okay!

2. There are many types of colognes and perfumes available from department stores and drugstores. This is a classic cosmetic gift. Even drugstores now sell top-of-the-line perfumes and colognes. Your gift recipient will think you spent hours at the mall selecting this gift, when it really may only have taken a quick stop at CVS.

3. There are many women's makeup sampler sets available only this time of year. If you are going to purchase makeup for a woman's holiday gift, a sampler set is the way to go. That way, your gift recipient will be able to use at least a few of the items, even if she is fussy about what colors of cosmetics she likes.

4. Many high-end brands of hair products are even available in gift sets. Every woman loves "expensive" shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays. Little does she know that these gift sets are sold at great bargain prices this time of year; many of them are even sold at drugstores.
 

Retin-A: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Most women who keep on top of their looks know that a good skin product can make a large difference in their appearance. There are few skin products that can make more of a difference in a woman's (or man's) skin than Retin-A. This product has been on the market for decades. It is still used by many men and women for a reason: it works. There are few products on the market that treat acne and prevent wrinkles as well as Retin-A does. It is called tretinoin in its generic form, which is what I purchase for the best deal. I began using this cream in my early 20s to get rid of a mild acne problem and now that I am 30, I am beginning to cherish its wrinkle-preventing properties as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of using this (almost) miracle cream:

Pro: Retin-A is great for getting rid of acne, because it thins out the skin and helps to unclog pores. It is also an exfoliant, which means that it will get rid of those dead skin cells that can clog pores.

Con: Beginning Retin-A users may experience extreme redness and drying of their face if they use a formula that is too strong for them. This cream comes in several strengths: 0.25%, 0.5%, and 0.1%. No matter how bad your acne is, start out with the lowest strength for a few months, until you build up a tolerance to it. If you start with 0.1%, you are unlikely to stick with using it because of the dry, red skin you will experience.

Pro: Retin-A promotes collagen production in the skin, so that users have a more youthful appearance and develop fewer facial wrinkles than non-users.

Con: When using Retin-A, sun exposure must be avoided. This means that those who are accustomed to tanning need to change their habits while using this cream. They can burn extremely easy, even if the cream is not currently on their face. For best results, use Retin-A only at night, and apply a light sunscreen to your face during the daytime.
 

How to Get the Best Deals on Premium Makeup During the Holidays

"Equal opportunity savings can’t be beat."

If you are like most forward thinking fashionistas, you like to find a good deal on luxurious name brand cosmetics. There’s probably no better time to find ultimate savings on your favorite beauty indulgences than during the 30 days before Christmas. So read up on how to find the greatest deals on the best products. Who could ask for anything more?
 
First of all, get the notion out of your head that coupon clipping is for broke 1950s housewives. Think again. Coupon clipping is the “in” thing during a season of endless special offers that can save you hundreds if you are looking to give beauty gifts as well...or simply if you want to stock up for yourself. 
Whether it’s printing out a coupon that your favorite department store sends you for being on its mailing list or typing in a special code as you place an online order, using coupons for discounts is smart. Even if you do have a lot of money, you didn’t get it by spending frivolously. So dare to whip out coupons at the cash register of even the most chic store in town.
 
Another way to find the best deals is to carefully read the ads each week starting in mid-November. Sale ads mean a product is the same price for everyone! Equal opportunity savings can’t be beat. The thing that most people don’t realize is that the best deals aren’t necessary found on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Good deals are offered throughout the season. So pick your brand of choice and wait until irresistible deals appear before you open your wallet. You could end up with twice as much of the product if you spent your dollars right.

The Cutest (and Kindest) Lip Balm Ever

Alright, so when you are on the look out for the cutest new lip product, it probably doesn’t cross your mind to check out an animal rights group, but PETA has taken the cosmetics world by surprise by creating a really effective, oh-so-cute, perfectly packaged and totally fun lip balm. 
 
Do you get disgusted by the fact that beeswax serves as a main ingredient in nearly all mainstream chapsticks and lip balms? After all, beeswax is made up of fatty acids as well as long chain alcohols. In addition to the gross-out factor, it’s mean to bees so PETA deserves some applause for offering lip balm that protects your lips without any of the negative stuff that comes with too many commercial lip products.
 
Perhaps the best part of the lip balms, though, are their creative containers. There are four lips balms, and each one contains adorable art of an animal with clever slogans. The tangerine flavor features a lion and says “Animals Out of the Act.” The fruit smoothie has a fox and implores everyone to “go faux fabulous.” The peppermint flavor, which is perfect for the holidays, features a monkey and asks you to “cut out animal experi-mints.” Last but certainly not least, the vanilla bean flavor has a pig and says “Viva Las Vegans.”
 
Included ingredients in the lip balms are cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, candelilla wax, sunflower oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, avocado oil, essential oils, and flavor oils from vegan sources.

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