Friday, February 11, 2011

SUYL: Beauty Secrets

What better way to jump back into blogging after a brief hiatus than to participate in my first SUYL from Kelly's Korner!

I don't know that I have any real secrets, but here's my beauty routine:

As far as makeup is concerned, I use a mix of Merle Norman and Clinique with some other brands thrown in every once in a while. 




Morning and Night: I use Merle Norman LUXIVA Brillant-C Cleanser to wash my face both morning and night.  I then use steps 2 and 3 from Clinique's 3-Step.  I use Clarifying Lotion 2 to exfoliate (Step 2) and then follow that with Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (Step 3).  Before the gel formulation was introduced a few years ago, I used the regular lotion, but once I turned to the gel, I haven't looked back.  If you use the 3-Step and haven't tried the gel, I'd encourage you to. 

Night: To take off my eye makeup, I use Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover from Target.  I have always used Clinique's Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips, but at $18 it's nearly four times the cost of Target's version (and nearly an ounce less!) which I find works just as well as Clinique.

I use All About Eyes along with Superdefense (both Clinique) every night.

Primer, Concealer, Foundation, Powder
After finishing my hodge-podge 3-Step in the morning, I use MN Foundation Primer.  I absolutely love this stuff!  I can tell a huge difference when I don't use this.  I have faily normal skin, but my T-Zone can get oily especially between my eyes and this makes all the difference in the world!  

After the primer, I use Clinique All About Eyes Concealer under my eyes and if I have a "spot" to coverup, this works great for it as well.  This isn't something I technically need to use everyday, but I do.  I need to get out of that habit. 

My favorite foundation EVER is MN LUXIVA Lasting Foundation.  I have tried practically every Clinique foundation, several mineral ones, and regular Revlon from Target, but none work as well as this.  It only takes a dab and stays on and even all day even through a workout.

I then use Ultra Chiffon Power (I can't seem to find a link to this product) and top that off with LUXIVA Flawless Effect Loose Powder (both MN).  I've found after using only a pressed powder or only a loose, the combination of the two make really sets well.

Eyes: No matter what, I always use either MN LUXIVA Lasting Cream Eyeshadow or Clinique Quick Eyes Cream Shadow as a base.  I've used the Clinique (in all it's forms included Touchbase) since I started wearing makeup when I was 13 or 14, so 10-11 years ago and recently tried the MN Cream Eyeshadow.  Both the creams work well, but I've been using the MN consistently for the past few months.  To me, it feels creamier and lighter than what I've always used. 

I have tons of eye shadow, so I thought I'd share my daily colors with you.  Depending on what I'm wearing, I either do browns or silvery grays for eyeshadow.  I usually use two or three colors.  I use these colors for nights out as well, but make them more dramatic. 

Clinique:  Coulour Surge Eye Shadow Duo Like Mink,Coffee Shop.  These two duos are a staple. 

Merle Norman: LUXIVA Lasting Eye Color Rosewater, Lava, Ebony & Ivory.  I use these three together.  I also use Champagne, Cocoa, and Chocolate Sun. 


Merle Norman: Soft Touch Eye Pencil  Teak, Hazy.  I don't think the colors on the website show true for these two.  I use Hazy almost everyday.  It's a dark gray on me.  Teak is a brown. 

Clinique: Quickliner for Eyes  black/brown; Cream Shaper for Eyes  Egyptian.  Egyptian doesn't look as green on me as it does online.

Clinique: High Impact Mascara  black.

Merle Norman: LUXIVA Supreme Lash Mascara black

Clinique: Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher  Pink Blush; Fresh Bloom Allover Color  Peony, Posy, and Almond Blossom

Merle Norman: I can't find it on the website, but I love the loose mineral blush.  The color goes on so easily and stays on all day.


This photo shows what's currently in my purse.
Merele Norman: Lip Pencil Plus Dessert Rose, Wild Berry; Automatic Lip Pencil Plus Fiesta Rose 

Clinique:  High Impact Lip Color  Rose Spectrum; Butter Shine Lipstick  Delovely, Rum Kiss, Pink Goddess, Raspberry Rush

Estee Lauder: Pure Color  Rose Tea; Pure Color Gloss Pink Kiss, Plum Divine

Burt's Bees: Beeswax Lip Balm.   I can't live without this.

Other Products:
Merle Norman: Clay Clarifying Mask.  This mask works great.  I try to use it every week or every other week.  LUXIVA Micro-Refiner.  I try to use this the weeks I don't use the clay mask. 

Clinique: Moisture Surge Extended Thirt Relief.  This is an awesome product.  I use it in the summer when I've gotten too much sun on my face, shoulders, and chest.  I also use it in the winter when my skin feels dry from the heat.  If you have chapped lips or really dry lips, I'd recommend putting just a dab on your finger and smoothing across your lips at night. 

Hair and Body Care:
I use a lot of different shampoos.  I like Herbal Essence, Aussie, ISO, and another kind I bought at my salon, but I can't remember the name of it.  I love the Herbal Essence and Aussie conditioners.  I have thick hair that has some natural wave in it, so I try to use a smoothing conditioner.  I don't condition my hair every day.  Actually, I probably only condition it twice a week.  Some mornings, like today, I use an Aussie spray on conditioner.

I blow dry my hair, flat iron it, and use a curling iron to curl the ends most days.  I've been wearing it straight the past two days though.  It's long with long layers, so I'm really lazy in the mornings and use my curling iron as an excuse to not straighten it all the way.  If anyone has tips on how to get gorgeous, smooth hair, please share them!

I switch shower gels a lot.  I use Bath and Body Works, Caress (I love Tahitian Renewal Body Wash) , and whatever else is in my shower. 

I love Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator and Olay Quench Moisture Body Lotion as well.


  1. Great tips :-) thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I have used Superdefense for years (oily formula) and LOVE it. I use it every morning since it has SPF. I used to used the Luxiva Ulta power foundation and loved it... you are the second person I've seen mention MN on SYUL today- I think that means I need to check it out again!