Game Over for Stellan’s SVT!!

Jennifer just posted this today; what a blessing!

My Experience with MAC Cosmetics

Normally, I am that girl who doesn’t venture beyond the aisles of Target when buying make-up.  But last month my buddy Ingrid visited from California, and we decided to go to the MAC Cosmetics store in the Mall of America and get makeovers.

Let’s just say I left with my wallet a little bit a lot lighter.  After using the products, I wanted to review them for you here, in case any of you are considering making purchases there.

1. Holiday Brush Bags – I purchased this one since it had the foundation brush I wanted.  It also included a blush brush and three good brushes for eyes.  I am not impressed.  To be fair, my consultant warned me that the brush sets aren’t as high quality as the individually-sold brushes because they are machine-made, not hand-made.  But when I pay $49.50 for 5 brushes, I don’t expect them to shed 47 bristles onto my face every morning, which is exactly what the foundation brush does.  I end up having to use a different brush to get those bristles off my face.  I have a brush set I got at Target last year for $10, and those brushes are, in my opinion, far superior to the MAC ones.  They are softer (making application less harsh-looking) and have hardly shed a single bristle.  Save yourself $40 and buy these somewhere else, ladies!

2.  Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit – Another one of the holiday kits that I bought to try and save a little rather than buy three separate items (bronzer, blush and iridescent powder).  I’m pretty neutral on this one.  It gives my cheeks a nice glow, but I’m not sure it’s that much better than my previous Cover Girl blush.  I may change my tune in a couple weeks when my skin has taken on its usual “death” pallor for winter.  That bronzer could be a winner.

3.  Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Though, again, much more pricey than my normal Cover Girl pressed powder, this one is worth the money ($25).  I get a nice finish by dusting it over my makeup with a brush, and I’m not greasy (I’m prone to that in my T-zone) for hours.  Sometimes I don’t even have to reapply it all day!  It also works great when I don’t have time for anything but a little mascara.  It goes on more evenly than the Neutrogena mineral makeup I was using for those gotta-get-out-the-door-now mornings.

4. Paint Pot in Rubenesque – Far and away my favorite product purchased.   This glorious, shimmery little pot acts as a base for eyeshadow, but unlike another color they sell, Painterly, Rubenesque has enough color to it that it can actually function as eyeshadow if I don’t have time for anything else.  And the most amazing part–it lasts ALL. DAY. LONG.  No creasing, no smudging; this stuff stays put.  Even after an 8-hour day behind my camera, which usually has my eye makeup in ruins, I came out looking virtually the same as when I’d started that morning.  Worth every penny of $16.50.

5.  Eyeshadows – My consultant informed me that I would save money by getting a palette of these and inserting these little pots ($11 each), but that they contain the same amount of product as the individually-sold eyeshadows ($14.50 each).  I currently have three colors – one for filling in brows, one for my crease, and one for highlighting below the eyebrow.  I am still waiting for them to call me telling me they have re-stocked the fourth one (for my lid), and Rubenesque has been filling in as my main shadow.  MAC is known for their highly-pigmented products, meaning you have to use very, very little to get a saturated look.  I merely tap my brush on top of the makeup and it’s enough to begin application.  No smushing or swirling my brush to get enough on, which is nice (plus, it doesn’t leave layers of eyeshadow dust all over everything!).  These shadows also stay put (I’m sure partially due to the paint pot product) and will no doubt last me a long time.

6. Fluidline Eyeliner – Normally an eyeliner pencil will last me several years.  I just don’t wear enough to put much of a dent in it.  So when MAC girl put what looked like a thick black inchworm on my upper lashline, I wasn’t terribly excited.  However, I decided to give it another chance and had her switch it to a dark brown.  This looked much more natural on me.  After a couple of days, I got used to applying my liner with a brush rather than a pencil, and again, this takes very little product to make a huge impact.  It will probably not last me as long as a pencil, but it doesn’t smudge all over my face like pencil does, either.

There you have it–my experience with MAC.

I have continued to use my own cheaper mascara (Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof–love the stuff!  And pros use it.) and foundation (Cover Girl TruBlend), since I had just purchased new of them both and I didn’t particularly care for MAC’s version of either (my face was THICK with foundation; I looked fake).

What makeup do you use?  Have you ever gotten a counter/store makeover done?  Did you fall for it as hard as I did?  Have you stuck with any of the products?

Sunday Sunshine 11.01.09 – Rotund Edition

This is the first time I’ve posted any pregnancy pictures anywhere this time around…I’ve gained about the same amount as I did with Anja, but I’m decidedly more rotund (as discussed earlier).  I’m 29 weeks along.  We don’t know what we’re having.  The pregnancy has been much the same as it was with her, just more water retention (lay off the carbs, said my midwife), more hip pain at night, and I’m carrying a little lower.  Could be a boy, could be a girl, and I can’t wait to meet him/her!

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I’ve been really bad at updating this baby’s pregnancy journal.  I had so much more time when I was pregnant with Anja, though.  I was only working 4 days a week at my construction job, one at home, and I didn’t have a toddler to run after.  These past couple months I’ve been working 20 hours outside the home (plus about 3 hours per week of commute and picking up at daycare), 30-40 hours a week at home, plus watching Anja full time on the days I’m home.  Sleep has been lacking and stress has been plentiful—not the best conditions for growing a baby!

Speaking of which, this past Thursday was my last day at my construction job.  After many months of prayer and a unique opportunity, we have decided to take the plunge into having me home full time.  My photography business has pretty much supplanted my construction income, so it was either return to work full time when the baby arrives to be able to afford two kids in daycare or take this step of faith.  I’ll miss my co-workers, but they’ve invited me to visit anytime, and having me home with our kids is something Husband and I have wanted for our family since we got married.

Any prayers for my sanity are much appreciated!  Though it is wonderful to have 23 more hours in the week to be taking care of things at home, I don’t anticipate my photography workload slowing down much until close to Christmas (and the baby is due just a couple weeks later).  I think  I will savor my maternity leave this time SOOOO much more.  🙂