Beauty, Skin and Hair Care Freebies!

So Happy, I love FREEBIES!Got Spring fever? I’ve got (a) cure. Try something new. Better yet, try something new for FREE. Here’s a list of current freebie sign-ups, but click quickly because most are available for a limited time only.

Makeup tips and skin care help for dry eyelids from

Outer-corner creases and under-eye circles are obvious places to dab your eye cream—but your lids and brow bone need love too! And if you wear powder eye shadow, subbing in a moisturizing alternative during the colder months could help. For starters, try Paul & Joe’s Limited Edition Spring Eye Color Palette: The hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, orange flower water, rosemary extract, and white lily extract in these shadows help smooth out those fine lines on your lids.

Other eye shadow stand-ins include Sue Devitt Microquatic Hydrating Marine Mineral Palettes, The Body Shop eye shadows, and gloMinerals eye shadow trios. Sue Devitt’s formulation contains sea butter, Shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and other nourishing ingredients, while most of The Body Shop’s eye colors have marula nut oil, Shea butter, and Vitamin E. The shadows in gloMinerals’ line include Vitamins A, C, and E plus green tea extract.

Makeup tips and skin care help for dry eyelids on

article courtesy | Photo courtesy of Paul & Joe Beauté

Botox Follow-Up: WTF

Virginia BotoxSince my last post, I’ve all of a sudden become keenly aware of the new(est) Botox TV ads. The one that’s particularly bothersome, annoying and OMG-are-you-kidding-me features Virginia Madsen smiling dumbly, hanging out at the beach with her real life son, and blathering on about Botox.

I used to respect this actress…thought she had amazing talent…and was all about aging gracefully. I’m beginning to wonder.

The clincher Ms. Madsen closes with is, “Botox. It’s all about freedom of expression.”

And that’s where I go, “WTF?!” Did she honestly say that?

I can only imagine they’re paying her loads of dough because the entire goal of Botox (which is botulin toxin…the nasty germ that gives you killer food poisoning) is to freeze your face, preventing expression. Hello! I know lots of advertising distorts the truth (Extenze?), especially in the beauty industry. But come on. Botox takes the cake. Good luck “expressing yourself” with a face full of injected poison.

Is it just me, or is this really fucked up? Discuss.

Get Rid of Your "Stress Face"… Permanently?

Remember botox and restalyne? Well, apparently the newest trend in cosmetic surgery to get rid of the dreaded “elevens” aka furrowed brows, aka “stress face” isn’t an lifetime series of injections in your head. On the contrary, it’s simple and permanent…and was discovered accidentally (of course).

Don’t get me wrong. When I say simple, I don’t mean easy. In truth, it’s a little horrifying — or maybe a lot horrifying depending on your level of comfort with medical procedures.

A few years ago, it was discovered that the removal of a certain facial muscle called the corrugator (yes, I did say REMOVAL) was quite effective in helping ease the pain of migraine sufferers. Well, guess what? A side effect of this muscle removal was a nice, smooth forehead.

Corrugator Excision: Before and AfterSo (surprise!) the cosmetic surgery community has latched onto this new procedure and are selling it as the next fountain of youth.

A onetime procedure that costs about the same as two years of Botox (wow!) will remove the corrugator muscle that creates vertical wrinkles between the brows. It’s usually done in conjunction with upper-eyelid surgery (might as well, right?).

If you’re not down with spending $8000 and removing facial muscles at this juncture (or any juncture) in your life, GirlPaint recommends a far less painful and somewhat more affordable option: face cream. More particularly, Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream with Biospheric Complex.

Offering a botanical alternative to injection treatments, Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream uses gABA technology derived from tomato, ginseng, and portulaca extracts to help relax and smooth tension lines, brow furrows, fine lines, and wrinkles instantly.

Yep, good ol’ gABA. It’s quick, almost instant in fact. The worst that might happen is that you experience a little stinging (gABA is known to sting a little bit, especially when you first use it). One caveat: the effects don’t last, so you gotta apply  Skyn Iceland Stress Defense Cream with Biospheric Complex every day to get the de-creasing benefit (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

image courtesy Michael R. Schwartz, MD, FACS

Skin of a Goddess: A Simple Salt-Scrub Recipe

Goddess Salt ScrubHere’s a lucious recipe for a classic salt scrub that’s especially luxurious, feminine, but not childish. Bolivian Pink Salt looks gorgeous in the scrub, but you can use your favorite fine-to-medium grain salt.

Cherry Kernel and Mango Oil give this scrub a moisturizing-yet-light base; Sweet Almond Oil, which can obtained at your local health food store, will do just fine though if you don’t have these exotic oils on hand. Scented with Rose and Sandalwood, the recipe is exquisitely goddess-like. In fact, the finished product is fit for the gods!


1/2 cup Bolivian Pink (or your favorite) Salt, Fine-to-Medium grain
1 ounce Cherry Kernel Oil
1 ounce Mango Oil
30 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil *
15 drops Rose Otto Essential Oil *

*For a more wallet-friendly version of this scrub, 3/4 teaspoon of Sandalwood Fragrance Oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Red Rose Fragrance Oil can be substituted for the essential oils and Sweet Almond Oil for the Cherry Kernel and Mango Oils.

Recipe and image courtesy @ The Natural Beauty Workshop blog

Economy Busters: Eight Beauty Discounts and FREEBIES Not to Be Missed!

Elf CosmeticsE-gads, can you believe this economy? The news only seems to get worse.

But, just because the economy s*cks doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy, beautiful skin, hair and face! In fact, now more than ever is the time to take care of yourself. The added stresses of these trying times can wreak havoc on your looks, so fight back — in smart style — with these terrific specials on beauty favorites:

  1. Through April 1, MD Skincare is offering 25% off (wow!) your next purchase. Just enter “THANKS” in the space for coupons and click the “use coupons” button when you check out. Plus, they’re having a sale (save up $75 and more) on select Gift Sets. Note: these savings cannot be combined, so one or the other, People!
  2. exclusive: FREE bag designed by Shoshanna and filled with deluxe samples with your $100 purchase! A cute floral print bag contains $120 worth of deluxe samples from top brands like LORAC, ARCONA, stila, tarte, Smashbox, and more. While supplies last
  3. Also at Get $10 off any $60 purchase. That’s a full 20% off any $60 purchase…nice
  4. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is offering free shipping on any $60+ purchase. Plus you get free samples
  5. Lancome Canada online exclusive: free 7-piece gift ($125 value)plus FREE shipping with a $50 purchase
  6. you pick your favorite five samples FREE with ANY order. Good this week only
  7. Feel sexy on the cheap: 10% off any order at Booty Parlor. Enter the promo code “RISKY” when you check out
  8. 10% off E.L.F. (where almost everything is $1 already!). Enter promo code “EGTENAZ” when you check out

Blushing beautifully: A recipe for cherubic cheeks

This morning I was getting ready for my day with a simple, clean daytime look and, even in with enormous collection of blushes and cheek tints, that I couldn’t find that “just right” color to set off my clean eye makeup including simple almost-black liquid liner, perfectly groomed brows and neutral lids. I’m sure you can relate…no?

Face Atelier Ultra BlushAfter digging for about five minutes, I finally found the right color — Face Atlier’s Ultra Blush in Pink Satin — but in a powder, which, for me, doesn’t last through the day. In fact, I’m lucky to make it to lunch without looking sad and sallow. To top it off, I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to refuses to touch-up.

My solution? Being a hope-to-die DIY’er, I would craft my own long-lasting cheek tint!

Which is precisely what I did…with perfect results at that.

My recipe? Simple.

Into the lid of a leftover mineral makeup sample (I have so many…seriously), I added about 1/8 teaspoon of plain glycerine, which I always have on hand (great for a quick ‘n easy moisturizing “sheen”). Then, using a sterilized metal nail file, I scraped a little of my lovely Face Atelier blush into the glyercine. Then I mixed, mixed, mixed. If I was to guess, I’d say I all in all, I added a little over a “dash” of blush powder. BTW, in cooking terms a dash is a little more than 1/16 teaspoon and less than 1/8.

Models present creations by Belgian designer Veronique LeroyWhat I ended up with was a rosy-pink tranlucent liquid gel. I was tempted to keep adding more blush scrapings, but I resisted and tested the mix.

Guess what? Perfection!

I had a lovely pink glow. My faced looked like I’d just taken a brisk walk through snowy Central Park.

And did my glow last? Only all day and then some.

So there you have it. A lovely, simple, quick and oil-free cheek tint recipe, practically guaranteed to last and last.

PS – Pink lips and cheeks are VERY hot this Spring and into Fall and Winter ’09, so get the look while it’s still pipin’.

If you can’t find FACE Atelier in your area, GirlPaint recommends LORAC Blush in Pink

Blusher image courtesy Face Atelier. Catwalk image depicting creations by Belgian designer Veronique Leroy as part of her Fall/Winter 2009/10 women’s ready-to-wear collection for French fashion house Leonard courtesy REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Want to look flawless? Here's the 1-2-3

Flawless Faces1. Apply a good foundation, like Make Up For Ever’s new HD Invisible Cover, to your cheeks, forehead, and chin using a foundation brush or round sponge. Then BLEND the foundation all the way to your natural hairline with long, light strokes. Check your face and neck in natural light to make sure the foundation is completely blended in all areas.

2. If under-eye circles or red spots remain, do not add more foundation; it can look heavy and cakey. Instead, try a concealer. Yes, you can apply concealer over foundation.

3. Set your foundation with a light dusting of powder like Benefit’s “Hello Flawless” blendable powder. BONUS: “Hello Flawless” has an SPF 15 and can be applied dry or wet.

Tip: Choose the shade of your foundation carefully. When testing shades, pick one that matches the tone of your jawline exactly.

Tip: Begin by applying a small amount of foundation then increase amount to achieve the degree of coverage that suits your skin. But beware: don’t apply too much or you end up in cake city…definitely not flawless.

Tip: For daytime, mix your foundation with a light SPF moisturizer before applying for a smoother, more sheer application. GirlPaint loves Sharps Barber and Shop Daily Prep Oil Free SPF 15.

Flawless-finish tool:  Beauty Blender at Cult Beauty LTD.

image courtesy of Make Up For Ever at Sephora

Longing for Spring? How to get a sun-kissed look without the sun

With the latest blast of winter weather, many of us are yearning for a hint of Spring sun. If you’re one of us, check out this video which will show you — in about a minute and a half — exactly how to get that lovely sunkissed look, minus the sun (and the UV damage). Your friends, family and colleagues will swear you snuck away to the beach!

Applying Makeup Foundation for a Bronzed Look — powered by

Kelli LaBar is a NC make-up artist and esthetician. Check out her Bronzed Makeup video series here on expert village.

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