Author Archive: Karen

10 Things That Go Through Your Head When You’re Growing Out Your Bangs

Published in: Just For Fun

Me and my bangs in happier times

  1. What possessed me to do this!? Why did I ever think that bangs would be a good idea? I’m never, EVER doing this ever again. (Side note: If I had a dime for every time I said that during this process I’d be a rich woman, LOL!)
  2. What the hell!? My leg hair, the hair on my big toe, my mustache, even MY CHIN — why does the hair grow so fast everywhere else EXCEPT for where I actually want it to grow??
  3. I should invest in a company that makes bobby pins, seeing as how I’m probably keeping the entire bobby pin industry in business. I walk around leaving a trail of bobby pins in my wake! I find them in the shower, the corners, the kitchen counter, my nightstand, and I may or may not have found a bunch around my feet in HIIT class at the gym.

    I also may or may not have seriously considered picking one of them up and using it to put my bangs back.

  4. This freakin’ cowlick! How many cans of super extra hold hairspray will this take!?
  5. If I put on this cray-cray pair of false lashes, it’ll distract people from looking at my cowlick. Yeah, that seems perfectly logical…
  6. Good grief. I’ve only been growing out these bangs for five days, but it feels like FIVE YEARS.
  7. I feel like a shaggy sheep dog…
  8. I am starting to feel personally offended by my baby hairs, because they absolutely refuse to listen to me. RUDE.
  9. What should I do today to get these out of my face? Braid them? Twist them? Slick them back? Wear a headband? A hat? F*ck it. Maybe I’ll just wear that itchy blue wig I got from Party City, since that would be easier than dealing with these bangs.
  10. I’m never, ever, EVER getting bangs ever again.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


MAC Eyes on MAC: Semi Sweet Times Nine

Published in: MAC Makeup

mac semi sweet times nine

Eyes on MAC Semi-Sweet Times Nine Eye Shadow X ($32)

Hi, guys! Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog, and my molar back here is feeling a little achy because I’ve got a sweet tooth! (badum-tish!)

Yes, I’m sure you know how much I like puns by now. 🙂

I’m sweet on the Eyeshadow X 9: Semi-Sweet Times Nine Palette from the new MAC Eyes on MAC collection, which is a little awkward to say out loud, yeah?

OK, so this one’s coming out on March 2nd, which is in just a few days, and will be online and in stores until April 13th.

It’s all about the six X 9 Eye Shadow Palettes, four of which are new, and two are re-promotes from the permanent line. They’re $32 each.

mac semi sweet times nine swatches

Swatches of MAC Eye Shadow X 9 in Semi-Sweet Times Nine

I wouldn’t normally get too excited about these palette because…I dunno…in the past, I just haven’t been too crazy about them. They aren’t… The shadows in them just aren’t of the same quality as the full-size MAC pans. I have to push a little harder to get them on my brush or layer a little more than I’m used to with the regular MAC shadows… Oh, and clean up more fallout, too!

mac semi sweet times nine

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The Massively Moisturizing Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shines

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Neutrogena, Product Reviews

Sorry, guys, these new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shines will do absolutely nothing to keep your socks dry during a torrential downpour.

That’s unfortunate because, as you know, wet socks are the worst!

These Lip Shines can, however, help you in a myriad of other ways. For instance, they can help you stop sounding like a broken record, because if you use them, you won’t have to keep telling people that your lips are perpetually dry… Plus, they can help your ponytail stop getting stuck in your gloss, since they aren’t sticky. And they can even help your lips remain glossy after you have a cup of coffee.

Basically, they’re helpful like that.

Neutrogena recently added these super shiny lippies to their permanent collection, along with the Hydro Boost Tints, which are FANTASTIC, and their Hydro Boost Concealers, which I think are just meh… Thankfully, like the terrific Tints, these are total hits.

Hydration elation

They come in eight shades for $8.99, so they don’t cost an arm and a leg. I really like that they tick the top box on my dry lip lady list, which is hydration.

Normally, I wouldn’t reach for a gloss when my dry lips are like crispy bacon, but I’ll grab these quicker than a tabby can twitch a whisker because they’re mega moisturizing.

Polybutene, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Octyldodecanol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Tribehenin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, BHT. May Also Contain: Red 7 Lake, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Red 22, Yellow 5 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Red 6, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Blue 1 Lake

neutrogena hydro boost lip shine 60-vibrant-raspberry

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine in Vibrant Raspberry 60

Look at that pigment payoff!

Especially among the brighter and darker colors like Flushed Coral 30, Vibrant Raspberry 60, Velvet Wine 70 and Deep Cherry 80.

The lighter shades, though — Soft Blush 10, Berry Brown 20 and Pink Sorbet 40 — look pretty similar on my lips, but I’m not hating them. They still apply incredibly smoothly and moisturize like a mofo. Plus, it’s not easy to find light lip glosses that aren’t milky, don’t settle into lip lines, and don’t look weird. And these don’t.

neutrogena hydro boost lip shine 70-velvet-wine

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine in Velvet Wine 70

Are they a Chanel dupe?

If you’re a devotee of House Chanel, these might remind you of the Glossimers. They have a similarly smooth, shiny, non-sticky formula, and I swear, they seem more expensive than they are.

neutrogena hydro boost lip shine 50-flushed-coral

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine in Flushed Coral 30

Work those biceps!

The only thing I don’t like is the applicator…

The bulky tear-dropped shaped paddle is great in some ways (it covers a large area), but sometimes it’s hard to get it and out of the tube… It’s just plain awkward, but it’s more of a minor aggravation than a major quibble.

The final verdict

These are definitely a DO! For $8.99, I think they’re fabulous. Most of them are potently pigmented, and all of them are comfortable, shiny and smooth. If you happen to want three or four of them, then you, my friend, are my lipgloss spirit animal.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 464

Published in: Just For Fun

So…what is the Monday Poll?

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past 10 (!) years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine. 😊

1. So, your makeup routine — what’s the easiest part?

Of my regular routine? My brows, for sure.

But they used to give me so much grief. Now, though? Ever since I grew them out? All I do is I fill them in with a brow pencil, which is usually the amaze-balls MAC Brow Sculpt. Then I comb through them with spoolie on the back end, and end with a little bit of Benefit Ready, Set, Brow Gel.

That’s it, and it all takes less than a minute.

Granted, I’m not obsessed anymore about getting my brows to look perfectly symmetrical. I used to be a few years ago, but I don’t mind now when they look a little messy and more more naturally bushy and unkempt.

2. And what’s the hardest part?

Skin. My foundation, concealer and powder. It’s because I’m admittedly obsessed with getting my skin to look as natural as possible, and the microsecond that I start to feel like my coverage looks heavy, I just can’t take it. I’ll remove everything and start all over again.

As I’ve gotten older, my tolerance for full-coverage foundation has decreased, even though I still think it looks amazing in pics. I still wear full-coverage sometimes, but now I generally spend a lot of time blending and layering to end up with something that looks like I’m not wearing anything at all… It’s sort of a catch 22. I spend a lot of time figuring out what formulas are going to work for mu skin on any given day.

So, yeah. Skin. By far, it’s the most complex and time consuming part of my rigmarole.

3. How well do you think you’d handle super stardom/being a famous celebrity?

If we’re talking about Katy Perry-level famous, I don’t think I’d handle it well. I can’t imagine not being able to leave my house without dodging photographers in my front yard.

On the other hand, if I were indie film star famous, where I could still get a cup of coffee down the street and maybe only be recognized by a handful of people, I think I could handle that gracefully.

But anything more than that would push my ability to be polite.

4. How often do your nails break?

Almost never (knocks on wood)! That said, I have other beauty struggles. Like, my hair is hard to manage, I have a bald spot in my brow that just won’t go away (I’m talking to YOU, Raul), and I dealt with acne when I was younger, but I’ve never really had to worry about my nails breaking.

Here’s a funny thing, though: I realized that I might be pregnant when my nails started breaking! Several fingernails and one of my toenails broke over a short period of time, which had never happened before. So I knew something was up.

5. Metallic lips: yes or no?

Yes-ish. I like ’em, but I’m more of a light opalescent metallic kind of girl.

I can’t deal with full-on melted metal lips.

6. Can you share a piece of life/beauty advice?

Uh…beauty-wise, don’t hang out on Instagram too much or it’ll give you a complex.

Life-wise, here’s something that my friend Erika said to me the other day, and it really resonated. She said that some days you have to be comfortable lowering the bar for yourself — lowering your expectations, LIKE REALLY LOW. In other words, sometimes giving your best has to mean just allowing your house to be a complete mess or accepting that the baby is still in her pajamas at 3 p.m. or and making cereal for dinner. And you have to allow yourself that sometimes and be fine with it.

Happy Monday, my friend

My brushes are washed, my desk is devoid of piles of paper, and I’m excited because… Connor turns one this week!!! Yup, officially, she won’t be an infant anymore. She’ll be a toddler. Her birthday is this Thursday, but we’re going to have a little party for her with just us and the grandparents on Saturday.

I’m also starting to get spring fever, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about that. I can’t wait to wear dresses and sandals again…

Oh, sandals! You know, at this point, after the winter we’ve been having, I’d even be happy with open-toed ankle booties. I’m that desperate.

Did you watch the Oscars last night?

I hope your week gets off to a brilliant start and that you feel clear-headed and strong. I also hope that whenever you need to find something in your house, office or purse, it’s right there at your fingertips when you need it, because that’s such a great feeling, isn’t it?

Have a good great one! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Here are the poll questions to copy/paste:

1. So, your makeup routine — what’s the easiest part?
2. And what’s the hardest part?
3. How well do you think you’d handle super stardom/being a famous celebrity?
4. How often do your nails break?
5. Metallic lips: yes or no?
6. Can you share a piece of life/beauty advice?

P.P.S. Did you watch the Oscars last night?

Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 438

Published in: Just For Fun, Tabs

Tabs is very unhappy with Ryan Gosling this year. A lot of people don’t know this, but Tabs was supposed to play the lead in La La Land, but they gave the role to Ryan. Tabs is pretty sure it was because Ryan showed an aptitude for piano and, lacking opposable thumbs, Tabs didn’t.

So tonight’s the big night! Oscar night.

While Tabs didn’t have the lead, he did still have a part in La La Land. He played Dancing Cat#3 in one of the big routines…

Tabs always looks forward to Oscar night. As you know, he has 17 Academy Awards (more than any other cat actor), but he’s only up for one award this year. He was nominated for Best Cat Actor for his emotional portrayal of a kitten who falls asleep on a milk truck and wakes to find himself in a totally different neighborhood.

There’s some confusion out there because it’s also called Lion and stars many of the same people as the other Lion starring Dev Patel, which is also up for an Academy Award.

Anyway, the one with Tabs is the one we’re rooting for. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,

Karen and Tabs

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