Tag Archives: visine

What’s Cooler than Being Cool? – Rohto Arctic Eye Drops

13 Oct

As I’ve been mentioning non-stop on this blog, I recently was a bridesmaid in and a makeup artist for the wedding of one of my closest friends. Before I left for Roanoke, I bought a new product, which proved to be indispensable.

But I have to say, guys – my gal Coco (Chanel) wasn’t kidding when she said you’ve got to suffer to be beautiful.

I first heard about Rohto eye drops in beauty vlogger Michelle Phan‘s popular Lady Gaga Bad Romance YouTube tutorial. I’m always on the hunt for something to make the whites of my eyes (sclerae!) brighter, and when Visine isn’t pulling its weight in that department – though you have to admit, it can do a lot of different things – you want something that can. We all stay up late, staring at computers, doing whatever, and get red eyes. My contacts make my eyes really red, but I am far too stubborn to wear my glasses. (Hey, I don’t want to sacrifice peripheral vision!) I did a little googling, and this blogger, Your Every Woman, said that the Rohto eye drops hurt. A lot. I was unfazed. Since you guys know I’m willing to put myself through a great deal of physical pain for beauty, I went out that day and picked up a bottle.

Rohto Arctic eye drops

Rohto Arctic eye drops (picture courtesy of travellady.com)

I chose Rohto Arctic, because that was the one that Michelle used in her video, but to be honest, I couldn’t really see much of a difference between the two boxes. It cost about six dollars – same as Visine – at my local drugstore, and it even had an instant $2 off coupon attached to the front. I waited until that night to use it.

I was glad I did. I put a drop in each eye and it was AS IF I HAD CLIMBED MOUNT EVEREST WITHOUT GOGGLES. I’m not sure where the readers of this blog live, but for those of you with distinct seasons, imagine winter. Now imagine really a windy, cold winter, and that you are walking into the wind. And that your eyes are tearing, and how cold those tears are streaking down your face. That is Rohto Arctic. These eyedrops are like having the coldest and worst part of winter in your eyeballs. And you’re going to feel like that for at least 45 seconds.

But when I opened my eyes, they were much, much brighter. And I was really awake! A few minutes later and I kind of wanted to do it again! (Clearly, I am a glutton for beauty punishment.)

I was glad I brought them with me on my bridal excursion to Roanoke. The bride had very red eyes this weekend before the wedding, probably due to lack of sleep. I had been telling her all about Rohto Arctic before I had arrived – how great the product worked – but how it hurt, and she said she would never try them. Hours before the ceremony, however, the tables had turned, and she was cursing as I was applying drops to each eye.

And then, later, asking me for the brand name so she could recommend it to her new husband.

Pros: They work really, really well, are easy to find, and are inexpensive.

Cons: They hurt like you wouldn’t imagine. This wears off, though. And then look at how pretty you are! Also, put your makeup on after the drops, because as soon as you put them in you’re going to cry like you did when you heard that Stabler left Law and Order: SVU. And wait to put your contacts in until after you’ve used the drops.

Interested in torturing your eyes into beautiful submission? Check out your local drugstore or pharmacy, or find Rohto Arctic here at drugstore.com.

Have you tried these? You totally should! They don’t hurt that badly. C’mooonnnn, you know you want to try them.


Top Ten: Beauty Tricks I Wish I’d Learned Earlier

1 Sep

Sure, I have a beauty blog, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning about makeup! I’m learning new things all the time! I always thought in college that the professors who felt that they knew everything about their subject were (a) full of it and (b) usually wrong in this belief. There is always more to learn about your favorite subject. Well…maybe if it’s Latin…

Anyway, today I have a top ten of beauty tips and tricks that I wish I’d discovered earlier in my beauty career. Some may be glaringly obvious to you (perhaps #3 in particular), but hey, life is a learning process! Read on and learn from my happy surprises and frustrating mistakes!

10. Salespeople are called SALESpeople for a reason. They’re in the store to get that cash out of your wallet and into the cash register. Some are quite honest, some will convince you to buy the wrong shade of foundation in order to make a sale. Trust your own opinion (or a trusted friend’s) first.

NARS Night Star

Bummer...NARS Night Star eyeshadow, picture from kaboodle.com

9. On a similar note: in all department stores and higher-end beauty stores, the lighting is designed to highlight the product’s appearance, but not necessarily how it looks on you. I learned this the hard way in high school (before Sephora’s new and AWESOME return policy) when I bought NARSNight Star eyeshadow. I was seriously into sparkle then, and in-store, Night Star appears to be a flashy, glittery nude. At home, it was a mild, pearly match for my skintone. Lesson learned: try on what could be a fabulous product, and go outside into natural lighting to see if it is as wonderful as it appeared to be inside.

8. Olive oil is a great, inexpensive moisturizer that you probably already have in your kitchen. Be sure to use SPF if leaving the house!

7. Feeling like a yeti but can’t place why? Trim your eyebrows. Brush them up (with a toothbrush if you want), trim with a manicure scissor, and return them to their original position. Fill in your brows with matching powder or pencil as needed – there, you look well groomed with a crazy amount of ease.

6. Most people that know me are well aware that I’d rather stay up late and hit the snooze button (fifteen times) instead of go to bed early in order to seize the day. I only learned a few months ago that if I go to bed with wet hair and wake up with a rat’s nest on my head the next morning, I can blow it out straight with little difficulty and a paddle brush.


You again?! Visine rules. (picture from crazycouponsavings.com)

5. Did your pot of cream eyeliner dry out? Add a few drops of Visine and stir with a toothpick – it’ll be as good as new. I did this with my Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner and it was like I had only bought it a few weeks ago. (And from now on, put the cap back on or place the pot upside down on your vanity between application to each eye to prevent the product from drying out!)

4. Letting your skin soak up a moisturizer before you apply foundation makes all the difference, but combining that with a foundation brush for the first time is pretty much a religious experience.

3. You really can’t – and shouldn’t – give yourself a Brazilian wax, no matter how high you think your pain tolerance is. It’s not that high. Sure it is when you’ve paid for it, but not when you’re the one applying the wax. Leave it to the professionals, even though you may not want to spend the money: some things are worth paying for.

3a: Things generally worth paying (prestige) for: good tools (eyelash curler, tweezer, brushes), skincare, intensive waxing and spa treatments. And, in my opinion: lipstick, eyeshadow, and blush.

3b: Things generally not worth paying for: foundation, mascara, nail polish, lipgloss, bronzer, trend items, minor waxing and spa treatments.

3c: Ambivalent: fragrance, eyeliner

2. (Continued from 3b) Once you master precision with your non-dominant hand, you can give yourself a much longer-lasting manicure (and pedicure!) than anyone could ever give you. And, oh yeah, it’s free. (Get someone else to give you the massage.)

1. If you wear crazy makeup – or even no makeup at all – with all of your confidence, I guarantee that you’ll be the most gorgeous one in the room.

Yes, I know that #3 was a bad idea. Sigh. Do you have any late bloomer beauty tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

How To: Hide a Pimple

29 Aug

After posting about Mario Badescu last week, I realized how difficult it can be to hide a really obnoxious pimple. Among the swelling, the redness, and the fact that the makeup just WON’T hold on, concealing a blemish can be a really traumatizing and stressful experience – and stress is the last thing you need when you have a skin issue. I thought I’d do a little how-to on how to cover a pimple without freaking out.

  1. OMG you have a pimple. You have a party to attend! Everyone will see! What do you do now?! DON’T PICK AT IT. I know, the temptation is completely overwhelming, but 9/10 times you are only going to make the situation worse. Just don’t touch it – you’ll spread bacteria.
  2. Take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. If your blemish hurts, then this will help with the pain – and, more importantly, it’ll reduce the swelling in the area.
  3. Clean the area with a cotton ball moistened with hydrogen peroxide. It’ll kill the germs on your skin and help dry out the pimple.
  4. Visine

    Visine - your new partner in crime. (Picture from onlinecouponsavings.com)

    Get some Visine – the redness-reducing kind – and a Q-Tip. (You should always have these products on hand – they are insanely versatile and quite inexpensive.) Moisten an end of the Q-Tip with the Visine and hold it to your blemish for a few minutes; it’ll help cut some of the redness.

  5. Get your primer out! I use Smashbox Photo Finish, but anything with dimethicone listed high in the ingredients will do. (I imagine that you could use Urban Decay Primer Potion on it and that this would be just as effective.) Apply directly to your pimple and blend it out to the surrounding area. You can use a brush here or not, but you’ll definitely need one for the next step.
  6. This is the most important step. Break out your concealer brush – I recommend one with synthetic fibers and a flat, tapered head. This one from Sephora is a nice option. Dip your brush into a cream concealer that matches your skin perfectly (or do what I do: use the thicker product buildup in the cap of your foundation) and, using a patting/dabbing motion, carefully apply directly to your blemish, blending the color out. When you’re done with this step, your spot should be mostly invisible (look, I’m aware that you know it’s there and are hypersensitive to its presence. By this I mean that the average observer shouldn’t be able to see it). Don’t let your makeup get too cakey! It’s better to do multiple thin layers of a lightweight product than to do only a few with a thick product.
  7. Let the makeup on your skin dry – you can work on other aspects of your makeup, like your eyes, while waiting.
  8. Apply a loose powder to set the concealer using a fluffy brush.
  9. Ke$ha Makeup

    I had a pimple when I wore this makeup. Can you tell where it is?

    Depending on where the pimple is, you might want to wear a little bit more blush than usual. If you’re really self-conscious about it, you can always wear more makeup to focus the attention to other areas. For example, if the pimple is on your chin, you could wear a smoky eye. If it’s on your forehead, wear a bright lip.

  10. Go out and have fun! Your pimple doesn’t look that bad, I swear.

That’s all, everyone! Not too difficult and it definitely makes you feel way more at ease with your appearance. Do you have any pimple-hiding tricks? Let me know in the comments.

We R Who We R – Ke$ha Concert Beauty Breakdown, Part 2 (Glitter Unicorn Princess)

23 Aug

Hey pals! Happy Tuesday. Wasn’t it nice out yesterday? The weather almost made up for the fact that it was a Monday!

Today on the blog, we have the makeup I put on my friend Katie for the Ke$ha concert we went to this past weekend. You saw my look yesterday – kind of a dark, vampy and mysterious trailer trashy style. With Katie, I went completely in the opposite direction. She’s a pretty free spirit and I wanted to reflect that in her makeup – so these colors are fairly hippie-ish, with a heavy-handed dose of glitter. What do you think?

Ke$ha Concert Makeup on Katie

Ke$ha Concert Makeup on Katie

I used colors from Urban Decay‘s very first Book of Shadows, a discontinued LE product that came out in 2008. It had a pop-up book style cover and came with two brushes and a mini UDPP. The shadows were in a little pull-out drawer. Check it out!

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 1

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 1, photo courtesy of pinksith.com

I started with a base of UDPP all the way up the lid to the brow, followed by a Visine-heavy (to prevent glitter fallout) coat of Midnight Cowboy. Midnight Cowboy is a color that you can find in almost every palette Urban Decay churns out – a nude shimmery shadow jam-packed with silver glitter. I added Grifter, a shimmery pink-based lavender with silver glitter, to the outer two thirds of the lid, and Mayhem, an iridescent royal purple, to the crease. I darkened that up even more by applying Last Call, a shimmery burgundy, to the outer V.

Around here, I stepped back and asked myself if there was enough glitter or color on Katie’s face. Of course there wasn’t! This is Ke$ha we’re talking about. I added Shattered, a frosty sky blue duochrome with a green cast, to the inner V, and Absinthe, a shimmery light green duochrome with a gold cast, to the inner third of the bottom lid. (You can’t get the palette anymore, but you can buy the individual shades here or here.) I finished up Katie’s eyes with black eyeliner and lots of mascara. I cleaned up the glitter fallout that Visine didn’t catch with some Scotch tape – it’s not as aggressive as it sounds, and works really well!

On her cheeks, we used a blush of hers, a rosy mocha shade. I suggested a lipgloss of mine, MAC Prrr, to pull the whole thing together. (I think the frosty peach gloss makes the look even sweeter.) Katie dug the look, as you can see by this picture.

Katie and her Ke$ha concert look

Katie and her Ke$ha concert look!

And, for good measure, a picture of me creeping behind Katie.

Katie before Ke$ha, me lurking

Creeper AKA me (back left), Katie with glittery eyeshadow (front right)

What do you think of this glitter unicorn princess look? Is it totally Ke$ha or totally kindergarten?

We R Who We R – Ke$ha Concert Beauty Breakdown, Part 1 (Trailer Trash Chic)

22 Aug Close up on my eye

Hey, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend – and that you stayed dry! The weather has been a serious bummer, but luckily, it didn’t totally rain on my parade these past few days. I was fortunate enough to go to a Ke$ha concert this weekend with a friend of mine from college at Jones Beach! I was so psyched to do my makeup for this concert, and ended up doing my friend Katie’s makeup too, so I got to try out two different Ke$ha-inspired looks.

When I think of Ke$ha, lots of different things come to mind. Glitter, for one. Lots of glitter. (At one point during the performance, she said, “I’M NOT WEARING ENOUGH GLITTER!” and someone came out from backstage to apply more.) Grimy, grungy, and trashy all apply, too, though not in a bad way. Katie said I looked like “classy trailer trash,” which I couldn’t have said better myself. When putting on my eyeshadow, I realized that it was starting to look a little Jersey Shore – and I was terrified that I kind of liked it. There’s nothing subtle about what I did with my makeup. Nothing. See for yourself.

Ke$ha Concert Makeup

Ke$ha Concert Makeup!

Here’s another picture where I’m looking down, so you can see the eye makeup better.

Ke$ha Concert Makeup

Ke$ha Concert Makeup, looking down (and sort of suspicious)

I know, seriously intense. I also know that I’ve said strong eye OR strong lip and never both, but this is show makeup – those rules don’t apply for performances, Halloween, or anything like that.

So what did I use? (At the time, I felt as if there was nothing I didn’t use.)

I started with a clean, moisturized face, curled my eyelashes, put on my L’Oreal True Match Foundation, and then applied Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I’ve said in the past that it’s not my favorite, but unlike my beloved Painterly, UDPP is great to use with creamy products. I then smeared MAC Shadestick in Sharkskin on the whole lid, past the crease but not to the browbone. (This product has since been discontinued, but you can try MAC Paint Pot in Blackground – it’s the same idea, and that way you can eliminate using a primer.) Warning: you will be terrified by how much makeup you have on once you complete this step, and this is just the beginning. Ride out the fear!

I then buffed out the edges of the shadestick using my Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge brush. (I don’t use brushes that often, but when it comes to precision, I’ll make an exception.) After this, I dug out a bottle of Visine (the kind that helps with redness) and used it to moisten my brush. For some reason, Visine helps shadows and pigments, especially glittery or shimmery ones, really stick on. I like using shadows wet because it intensifies the shade, but make sure whatever product you try this trick with is wet/dry – I’ve ruined more than a few eyeshadow pans with water.

The first shadow I used was Urban Decay Baked – I applied it to a third of my lid, starting from the inner corner of the eye. I also used it carefully on my lower lid. (If you don’t have the Naked Palette yet, this color is in it and is just one great excuse for the palette purchase!) I made sure that the color was the most intense at the inner corner and faded out into the rest of the lid. Using the same brush with more Visine, I added MAC Solar Bits Pigment in Black Ore, starting where I had left off with Baked, around a third of the way in. This product was limited edition – and kind of difficult to work with if you’re not adding Visine. I’ve never really seen anything else like it, but if I hadn’t used this, I probably would have used NARS Night Series Eyeshadow in Night Clubbing instead.

I lined my waterline (top and bottom) with black eyeliner – you already know that I use Urban Decay 24/7 in Zero, but it’s up to you. This is around the point in my look that I realized I don’t have a legitimate black liquid liner, and became angry with myself. I would have used normal black liquid liner if I had one on hand, but I used a limited edition product from a few holidays ago, Victoria’s Secret Heidi Klum Collection Glitter Liner in Licorice. It’s black with green and gold glitter – and not the best quality to be honest. Lots of people make glitter eyeliner if you want to try one; Urban Decay’s is seriously sparkly. I finished with way too much mascara and added extra glitter to the tips of my lashes.

Close up on my eye

Closeup on my eye! (Yes, I wear contacts.)

From here, I added bronzer – MAC‘s Solar Riche, but any bronzer you have will do – to contour my cheekbones, chin, and nose, and a light dusting of NARS Orgasm blush.

Deciding what lipstick to wear was a hard decision. I tried a VERY fair nude, but didn’t like how that looked and MAC St. Germain seemed a little bit overwhelming for the occasion. In the end, I had my friend Katie pick. “I feel like you need something red with that leopard top and dark eyeshadow,” she said, “to complete your trashy look.” I went with Tarte‘s Natural Lip Tint in Lust, though when I got to the concert I wished that I’d brought my MAC Peacocky blue lipgloss – Ke$ha was wearing her signature blue lips! I really didn’t want to leave the house ‘without my lips on,’ and I have a pretty strict “don’t leave the house with a limited edition MAC product” policy, so red lip stain it was. A syrupy red lipgloss would be great too. Or bronze! Which I didn’t think of last night.

Ke$ha Makeup

The final look!

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how this came out. What do you guys think? Stay tuned for the makeup I used on my friend Katie, whose look was inspired by the concept of a glitter unicorn. No, I’m not kidding.

What did you do this weekend? Was glitter involved? Or umbrellas?

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