The Vanity Calamity

Cosmetics, Bath&Body, Skincare, Nail beauty-topic is off limits here at the Vanity Calamity, my personal blog dedicated to all things beauty related. From product reviews, tips, and tutorials, I hope you can find something here that keeps you coming back for more! Any Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

skincare update 1.0

Well, the skincare routine I had outlined a few posts down hasn't been to great. Well, frankly, it has made my skin worse! I don't know if its the actual products itself, stress, diet, or hormones, but either way, I need to figure out what is going on. I have read that you should give yourself 2-3 weeks into a new skincare regime to see results, and determine if you want to continue or make some changes~or in my case, an overhaul. So, I'll continue using this combination of products, but I have a feeling that this may not be in my best interest!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not Pedeggerific

I totally bought into the hype of the Ped Egg. And I wish I hadn't. The Ped Egg did nothing for me. In fact, you could say it made my heels worse off! Granted, my feet are nowhere near what they exaggerate in the advertisments. You know, how the foot is all calloused and crusty and looking like something on a prehistoric animal...But yes, the skin on my heels tends to get harder and somewhat rough on the heels from just everyday wear and outdoor exposure. Plus, I live in South Texas, where the weather is a seemingly constant 75 degrees in the winter. I practically live in a combination of either sandals, flip flops, and flats year round. I need to keep my footsies pretty, right?!

So, on to the review. I really wanted the Ped Egg for one big reason: convenience. Yes, the packaging is cute, it easily fits in the palm of the hand, and the greatest selling point is its ability to contain the foot 'shavings' for easy clean up. Nice, right? I mean, nobody likes having to buff a foot precariously over a trash can! After I purchased the Ped Egg (the LE Pink one, to be specific) at Walgreens for about $10, I was excited to give it a test run. So, I followed the instructions and used it. Here's how the transcript would read: Buff, buff, buff, ow, buff, buff, ow, ow, buff. And so on. It only made my heels sore and rough with torn areas of dry skin! Unsightly and painful. After trying the Ped Egg on several different occasions, unsucessfully, I have decided no longer to invest my time and effort into the Ped Egg.

What works best is the cheapie LA Cross foot board I own, and a slather of BBW C.O Bigelow Mentha foot cream. Viola. You'll get smooth and sandal-ready feet in an instant.

You know, what I expected from the Ped Egg was really for it to be a foot product revolution. What I got was something you'd expect to get from a late night infomercial. At least Billy Mays wasn't selling it. Thank God.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I made my first ever bath of bath fizzies yesterday, and I must say- I did pretty darn good! I was totally expecting to have a disaster. But, I did lots of research before setting forth and embarking on this fun endeavor. I read and read and read a bit more about what ingredients to use and of course, how to use them effectively. It takes some learning, I must say. But I decided that 2009 is the year that I will begin making my own bath and body products. And with this goal in mind, I won't half-ass it like I sometimes tend to do on projects.

No, they weren't perfect by any means, but they mean something more. I actually did something from start to finish, and although it didn't turn out perfect, I feel proud and delighted that an idea conjured up in my head was eventually created with my own two hands. I'm definitley hooked, and the possibilities are flooding my brain with ideas and plans for making more soaps and bath products.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

mini haul

Hopped on over to my lovely CVS today and took advantage of the little Covergirl deal that is going on this week. It's when you buy $10 of CG products, you get $3 Extra Bucks. Extra Bucks (EB's) are just like cash, only you can use it at CVS. You can use EB's on anything throughout the store, except to purchase gift cards, alcohol and tobacco.

I bought the CG Everbloom Kiss lipstain (~8.50) and a CG Eye Enhancer in Indigo Impact (~3.50), used a $2.50/2 coupon. I payed 9.50 out of pocket and recieved $3 EB's. So, basically I got these two products for about $6.50! Yay!

I had really been wanting to try out one of these new lipstains from Covergirl. Ever since I first saw the ad on TV for them with Drew Barrymore, I was seriously drooling over them. A Lipstain is my absolute favorite lip medium. I love the matte look, staying power, and finish of a lipstain. I can apply it in the morning and not have to worry about constant touch-ups throughout the day.

Excited to try this out, I ripped open the packaging and tested this baby out. This lipstain is in a marker format. It is just like a sharpie! Gotta love it. First impressions: It applies very smoothly and with high pigmentation. The color glides on the lips and dries fairly quickly. It is easy to go overboard though, so blotting the color with a tissue will help disperse the color in a softer, more natural way. After 2 hours, I still have a lovely, natural pinky/plum lip coloring. I can add a shine inducing lip gloss to add a kick of reflection, but I prefer the matte look (look 2 posts below).
For reference, I have tried Revlon, Vincent Longo, Liplicious, and Bliss lipstains, and have found that they all are great, but it just takes practice to get the application right. Exfoliation is the key. Simply massaging the lips gently with a soft toothbrush, or washcloth before application will assure a smooth and desirable finish. Believe me, it is very easy for lipstains to apply unevenly especially on dry and chapped lips.
As for the eyeshadow, it reminds me of Urban Decay's Deluxe Eyeshadow in 'Adore', which I recently aquired. I should have remembered this before purchasing, as I am not too much of a 'blue' girl. But this was the shade that really caught my eye. It is a bright, almost electric blue. Unlike most CG Eye Enhancers, this shade has a lot of pigment, and can easily be applied for a soft finish, or layered for a more dramatic look. Not bad for $3.50!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

ChG Blue Sparrow

This shade was really a tough one to get right. I first fell in love with Blue Sparrow when I spotted it among the 2008 ChG Ink collection. It was really the standout shade. In the bottle, Blue Sparrow is a sunny aqua blue with silver micro shimmer throughout.

Now, Blue Sparrow was a PITA. It dried bumpy and uneven. Not what I wanted to achieve. For starters, its a matte polish. Mattes and I don't really mix. It's like we're rivals in the nail polish world. I'm more of a creme, shine, and jelly-formula finish gal.

Blue Sparrow is so eyecatching in the bottle, but that darn matte finish only diminished and underscored the effect of the shimmer quality. So it took a good serving of a base coat (Orly Nail Armor), 2 coats of Blue Sparrow, and 3 coats of a shine topcoat (Revlon Colorstay). Yep, lots of steps but I was able to get achieve a shiny and smooth finish that really gave Blue Sparrow its best showing. I even applied another topcoat after 2 days of wear to add more glaze and shine. Lasted a good week before I moved on to another mani.

Retails for about $6.50-$9 at select beauty retailers, or be a saavy girl and get a Sally's Beauty Discount card to get a bottle for $3 and some change.

Rating: 4/5.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Revlon Matte Collection

There is another new drugstore brand collection out there on the shelves at your local drugstore. Yes, there are tons of new sub-lines that come out every season, but this new collection offers something fresh. The Revlon Matte Collection promises to give a matte and contemporary finish for a soft, yet modern look.
Now friends, here's a deal thats too good to pass up, especially if you are in need of a new blush!Walgreens is currently offering you your choice of a Revlon Matte Collection blush FREE up to $10, after mail in rebate! Horray! So, all you need to do to get in on this awesome offer is:

1-Walk on in to your nearest Walgreens and purchase any shade of Matte Collection blush

2- log online to their website and enter your reciept information along with your personal info

3-pick your choice of payment to get either a check for the item amount, or a Walgreens giftcard to get the item amount plus 10% mailed to you asap! make this deal sweeter, you can use a mfg. coupon when you buy the blush and spend even less than what you'd be getting back (they don't deduct coupons on rebates)...Yay!
I am gonna either pick up Barely Buff or Rose Rapture (pictured). Apparently word around is that Revlon's Barely Buff is a dupe of Chanel's Joues Contrast in Nude! Nice

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Monday, January 12, 2009

and so it begins...

A new semester, that is. This only means I am going to enter a bad skin phase, complete with breakouts and all...thank you stress! But in all seriousness, I decided to revamp my daily routine in regards to facial treatments. You can call it a mini-experiment. Since my face is sensitive, combination, and prone to breakouts, I have decided on a facial cleanser that will address my concerns, as well as remove makeup effectivly. These are the products I have chosen to be in my daily routine:

~Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover Cleansing Effects Gentle Foaming Cleanser (2x day)
~Noxema Anti-Blemish Astringent (using sparingly)
~Skin Simple Eye Priority Eye Creme (both day and night)
~Cetaphil Daily SPF 15 Moisturizer (1x day)

Occasional treatments with Masques (Queen Helene Mint Julep) and Aspirin Masques. I will describe in detail the greatness of an aspirin masque in another post soon.

So far, I have used this routine for 2 days now, and I am loving the cleanser. It really lathers well and removes my mineral makeup easily. It smells, a bit, because it has no fragrance, but thats good! Fragrance and facial skin aren't best friends and eventually lead to breakouts! The Skin Simple eye priority is such a great eye creme! This little tub, less than $4, has been the best moisturizer for my eye area that I've ever tried. Cliniques All About Eyes was such an epic fail. That formula irritated my sensitive eye area and cause me some problems. Skin Simple is made by the same company that develops and manufactures Elizabeth Arden. So you're gonna get the high quality ingredients at a fraction of the cost. Yup, its all about the packaging sometimes.

I'll update once a week as to how this routine is working out. For now, take care....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hard Candy Sale

This is old news to me, but online at Hard Candy's website, all items are half off! This includes everything! I know they have sold out of a lot by now, but there are still lots of great beauty goodies remaining. A few months back, the site was all 75% off, and I was able to get some of their fragrance (LOVE this) and a couple makeup items for really cheap! Hard Candy is Urban Decay's little sister, so to say. I would recommend:

Super Shine Lipgloss in Pixie: the perfect bubble gum pink lipgloss with staying power! And it smells like cake batter...yum

Super Slim Eye Penci in Vibe: Great for adding a vibrant splash of color to the waterline. A bright purple shade

So, go check out and you're bound to find some great beauty goodies at an equally great price!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

BBW mini-haul

So, I wandered aimlessly into a flagship Bath and Body Works the other day, and walked out with some super deals. I am proud of myself.... I actually limited what I bought! But man, was I tempted by all the great deals going on during their semi-annual sale. I am learning to practice self-control when it comes to bath and body product shopping!!

What I need to do is use what I already have in my collection. Just because it's all on sale, doesn't mean I always need it. Or do I? hmmm... Anyhow, this is what I got:

Tropical Passionfruit Body Butter 75%off
Frozen Daquiri body lotion 75% off
Orange Freeze body lotion 75% off
Frosted Orange Creme antibacterial hand soap 75% off

Look at the texture of this body butter~so rich and creamy! This smells so dreamy!

Oh, and how could I not buy this cutie lip butter, in a yummy orange scent? I was *this* close to getting the pink lemonade, as well!

And my bloggie friends, my grand total? Under $11 *cheers*

I absolutely love the Orange Freeze Temptation line at BBW. Last year they said they were discontinuing it, so I was really down when I only had 1/2 bottle left of this lotion...and then I found another...and at 75% off!!! It smells just like a tart, and sweet orange cremesicle...yum! Perfect for those chilly winter days when you want to escape to a summer vacation...

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Monday, January 5, 2009

(mis)adventures in mineral foundations

I remember the days when I wore liquid foundation. And I cringe at the thought. Hey, I know there are some great liquid foundations out there, but almost ALL of them have not worked in my best interest. They are harder to apply, usually difficult to blend in, easily allows that dreaded 'mask' effect, and clog my pores instantaneously. My face can't breathe in a liquid or creme foundation. Throughout most of my high school career, I wore this one particular Cover Girl foundation that was entirely too wrong for me. It washed me out in all my photos and never failed to cast a grey shadow as it oxidized on my face throughout the day. Whenever I look at my sophomore year dance team photograph, I shriek at the eerie ghost that showed its face in my photo that day...oh wait, that's moi.

I just don't do liquid foundation anymore. Sure, I pick some up every now and then to try them out, but nope, never works out. That said, I LOVE MINERAL FOUNDATION. LOVE IT. My skin type is a pain in the butt, but also typical of the average young adult. This being a combination skin type and prone to breakouts. Sucks, right? Yeah, but I have found that mineral makeup works best with my skin type.

Okay, on to mineral foundations that I have tried in the past and my two cents. (In no chronological order):

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Foundation: NO THANK YOU. This foundation made me look like a miner. Mining silver ore. Cast a grey sheen on my face almost instantly along with some shimmer. this foundation made me itch!! It was the bismuth in it, I can betcha. Known to cause breakouts, itching, and rashes. No thanks...Color selection is very limited and very pricy, as well. Returned kit promptly. Used $$ to buy sandwich at Charley's Grilled Subs. yum

Philosophy the supernatural mineral Foundation: The packaging was just really bad on this foundation. It was a glass jar with a puff applicator. The foundation itself wasn't so bad (some shimmer, though). The puff was really hard to work with, and made coverage unreliable. Color selection, like BE was limited.

Covergirl TruBlend Pressed Minerals Foundation: Not so shabby, Covergirl. I actually liked this foundation! It came in a (cheap) flip top plastic packaging along with a brush. Might as well throw away this brush instantly because it is lousy. I used a soft, dense brush to apply the foundation. Coverage was light/medium. The only reason I don't rebuy is the ridiculous color selection~couldn't get the right shade without bringing back the 'ghost'. 6 shades, come on!!! People aren't: pale, not so much pale, dark, a bit darker, super dark, darkest ever....

Maybelline Mineral powder foundation: A commendable effort on Maybellines behalf. I found the packaging great. The screw top container with the sifter was reminisent of BE. The mini-'buki brush it came with was horrible. It was like a 5 y/o's play makeup brush. The coverage was hard to work with and tended to dry out my skin and feel heavy. It either applied too dense or light, even with patience and practice. Color selection was pretty diverse.

L'Oreal Bare Naturale mineral foundation: The best foundation I have tried. Continually go back to Bare Naturale. They actually have a great variety of colors available for most complexions, and even my perfect shade 'light ivory'. It really is a great foundation. Coverage is buildable. Easily covers any redness and breakouts. I have had no adverse reactions/breakouts directly from its usage. I can put this foundation on in less than a minute, and without a mirror! Only qualm is the packaging, I don't exactly like the kabuki they put on the lid, as it sheds its bristles during application occasionally.

Milani Minerals Compact Makeup: I've only tried this a couple times, but each time am more and more impressed. Milani didn't use talc in their formula for this foundation. This means it won't irritate most sensitive skin users or oxidize throughout wear. This foundation easily neutralizes redness. Consistency is silky smooth. Puff included is useless. Use a nice dense brush for application for best results. Just writing about this makes me want to try again! Found at CVS for less than $8.

Revlon Colorstay Mineral Foundation: And the winner of the losers goes to Revlon. Wow, this foundation was as useless as a hat on a car. No coverage, lousy packaging, and chalky formula.

Okay, I am sure I have tried others, but these are just the ones that pop into memory at this time. Mineral foundation has really changed my beauty routine. And for the good. I love how my foundation doesn't accentuate dryness or uneven tones like liquid foundations have perpetually done in the past. It really is trial and error, though in figuring out what works best for your skin and skin background.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vanitizing on the cheap!

On my other blog, I detailed how I made my own makeup vanity for under $80! Check it out....

Hello New Year, and Hello Ulta Deals!

I'm a big fan of Ulta. A lot more so than Sephora. Whenever I walk into Sephora, I feel overwhelmed by all the choices, and cosmetic lines to choose from. But the most intimidating factor shopping at Sephora, are their prices. Seriously. I mean, sure, I've forked out $18 for an eyeshadow many times before at their store, but in these shaky economic times, it seems a bit overkill when I can get nearly the same comparable item for a fraction of the price at a discount retailer. Ulta offers a lot of the same high end cosmetic names as Sephora, but also has a huge collection drugstore cosmetic brands. I can easily compare a $16 Too Faced eye shadow to a $6 Revlon eye shadow in the same place and decide wether or not to spend the extra cash on the h/e brand.

Ulta offers a membership program that accrues points whenever you use their card at checkout. Each quarter, you can redeem these points for free and discounted merchandise. Sephora offers a similar card, but at a steeper price to recieve goodies and promotions. Like $100 later to get a crummy bodywash worth $5.

At Ulta, you can combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons to maximize the savings. After registering for an Ulta loyalty card, they will begin sending you catalogs that frequently have $3.50 off a $10 purchase, or 20% one item....nice. There are restrictions that limit the coupons use to mostly drugstore brands, but ocassionally they loosen up and allow coupon usage on brand names such as Bare Escentuals, Urban Decay, and others.

Anyways, from Jan 4-17, Ulta offers a selection of great deals and offers for an economic beauty junkie, like moi. Here's a sneak at some of the better deals:

~L'Oreal cosmetics/skincare is buy one, get one free
~Almay Pure Blends is buy 2, get 2 free
~Sally Hansen Nail Care is buy 2, get 2 free
~Physicians Formula is buy 2, get 2 free
~Neutrogena, Max Factor, and Cover Girl are all buy 1, get 1 half off

These are only some of the deals going on at Ulta for drugstore names. You can check out the ad scan in your area here:

Here is a scenario that I will be doing for to maximize the savings! Since I need some (more so, want) more neutral eyeshadows at the moment, I am going to do the Almay Pure Blends deal, which is Buy 2, get 2 free:

4 Almay Pure Blends eyeshadow singles @ 5.79 each

Subtotal: 23.16

-Ulta B2G2 sale (-11.58)
-Ulta in-store coupon (-3.50)
-(4) Almay $1 off/1 Manufacturer coupons (-4.00)

Total: 4.08+tax for 4 eyeshadows! That's four for less than the price of one!

I also may do the L'Oreal deal and pick up those new HiP Kohl Liners. I can use another Ulta store coupon and combine it with manufacturer coupons that came out in todays sunday paper. I can easily score two of the liners for under $7 or so....

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