Lazy Perfection

Electra Lane was created because I wanted to demystify makeup for normal women who don’t get their inspiration from flamboyant YouTube stars (not that there’s anything wrong with that – they are extremely talented and likable, but their looks just aren’t going to cut it in my day-to-day routine).

Almost every woman who has been in my makeup chair, while they love having their makeup done, in reality just wants to know how to do her own makeup for every day circumstances, then how to pump it up for a night out. In fact, many women I know are too busy to apply daily makeup, but they still want to feel pretty.

My answer was to start a blog that (hopefully) speaks to that demographic, but an incredible resource and guidebook has just arrived on bookshelves:

Lazy Perfection: The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying by (makeup artist and makeup brush connoisseur) Jenny Patinkin will rock your makeup world in the best way. Whether you’re a busy mom, never learned how to put on makeup, and/or just want to refresh your look, this book is for you. And, she conveniently lays out different “tracks” you can follow – simple, sophisticated and sexy – based on your overall personality and/or you makeup needs for the day.

Patinkin goes through how to purge your makeup bag, shop for new makeup, and what exactly you need in your personal makeup kit (and, of course, how to apply it!). With all the overwhelming, and sometimes confusing, beauty products available, I love having this road map.

After you order or pick up Lazy Perfection I can’t wait to see your revamped makeup kit, so please tag me on Instagram @ElectraLane! I thought I’d kick things off by showing my current Lazy Perfection kit, and next week I’ll show you my LP-approved every day look, so stay tuned.

A quick note – I’m not taking the time to add links to the products listed below because, frankly, I’m not getting compensated. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me (Jessica@ElectraLane.com), but most of these items can be found at Sephora, Beautylish.com or your local drug store.

Brushes

Jenny Patinkin takes all of the guesswork out of choosing brushes with her curated kits, so Google where to find them if that’s something that interests you.

Foundation and Concealer – my fingers!

Blush – Wayne Goss Air Brush – it’s limited edition from Beautylish.com, but the #14 brush is also incredible and will be back in stock soon

Highlight – any fan brush – I love this Sculpting Set from Real Techniques, I purchased mine for $11 from Amazon, and you get great, budget-friendly blush, bronzer and highlight brushes

Bronzer – MAC 168 angled brush

Shadow Brushes – the Wayne Goss Eye Set, which has five brushes, but all you need is a pencil brush, a fluffy brush, and a couple of crease brushes (like MAC 217) – one for the crease and one for blending

Brows – Anastasia Beverly Hills 12 because it has a small angle brush on one end and a spoolie on the other

Makeup

Primer – Laura Mercier Primer – Protect for sunscreen; Becca Backlight Priming Filter for a luminous base (sometimes I’ll mix them)

Eye Primer – Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer

Foundation – MAC Face and Body mixed with primer as a tinted moisturizer; Armani Luminous Silk for photos; IT Cosmetics CC Cream for everything else

Under Eye Corrector – Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector – you don’t need this unless you get really dark circles

Concealers – Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer for face and REALLY heavy duty under eye coverage; IT Bye Bye Undereye Illuminating for under eyes; Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer for brightening (the same one I use for shadow primer)

Powder – Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush (pressed); RCMA No Color Powder (loose)

Bronzer – NARS Laguna, but let’s be honest, there are a million amazing bronzers…just do what works for your skin tone

Highlighter – The Balm Mary Lou Manizer

Blush – I don’t have a ride-or-die, but anything by NARS is worth the investment – Sex Appeal is a favorite

Four Eye Shadows – Cockwise from top left: Soft Peach and Bengal by Anastasia Beverly Hills, New York and Galapagos by NARS

Liner – MAC Smolder (black) and Teddy (brown) for pencils, Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner for gel, and Urban Decay Blackout eye shadow for powder

Brows – MAC Brun eye shadow and a clear brow gel

Mascara – Maybelline Falsies in Blackest Black

Lashes – Ardell Medium Individuals, Demi Wispies strip, KISS clusters

Lip Liner – MAC Subculture

Up to Four Lip Glosses – Marc Jacobs Enamored gloss in Sugar Sugar, any NYX Butter Gloss (but I love Creme Brulee), NARS Turkish Delight and Charlotte Tilbury Seduction

Up to Six Lipsticks – This is a bitter topic because my favorite NARS Lip Laquer in Chelsea Girls, a stunning gloss/lipstick hybrid served up in a pot, was discontinued. I’m stretching my stockpile as long as I can, but nothing has measured up – even the Chelsea Girls gloss NARS came out with to “replace” it. It’s darker, thinner and just not the same. SO I’m including NARS gloss in Chelsea Girls as a favorite lipstick…but I’m not happy about it. Other favorites include Charlotte Tilbury Valentine and Nude Kate, and MAC Snob and Hue.

{Charlotte Tilbury Nude Kate}

{MAC Snob}

Tools 

Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler; Beauty Blender; tissues; Almay Oil-Free Makeup Removing Sticks, pointy Q-Tips; powder puffs; Tweezerman Tweezers; DUO clear lash glue; two sharpeners, one for lip liner and one for eye liner

In Conclusion…

Get the book, read the book, change your (makeup) life. CHEERS! – JY

 

 

 

 

Images c/o Sephora.com, Beautylish.com, MACcosmetics.com, Amazon.com, thebalm.com, drugstore.com, CharlotteTilbury.com, Jessica Yost

Sun Saviors

Despite temps hovering in the 50s last week here in Alexandria, VA, we are, in fact, on the verge of Memorial Day, aka the unofficial kickoff to summer. Which means more outside time. Which means more opportunities to get wrinkles, sunspots, and leathery skin. We don’t want that (and skin cancer is a real thing), so after much trial-and-error, please allow me to introduce my favorite sunscreens.

Face and Body

When I’m walking my puppies (@thesuperbeagles) or hitting the beach, my tried-and-true sunscreen that works on my face and my body is the Everyday Sunscreen by Supergoop!

It’s light and hydrating without the greasy feel you get with most sunscreens. There is a light scent, but the fragrance hasn’t irritated my sensitive skin yet. I keep the tube right by the front door so I’m sure to apply it before I leave.

Under Makeup

Also one that I’ve used for years, the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Protect is a face primer and sunscreen in one:

With an SPF of 30, I feel confident this protects my skin. I have tried several everyday/under makeup sunscreens, and I’ve always come back to this one because it’s non-irritating, I don’t get slimy throughout the day, and, most importantly to me, it doesn’t break me out. And, bonus, my special tinted moisturizer mix is a squirt of this plus some MAC Face and Body Foundation (an exceptional, lightweight, waterproof (!), buildable foundation that works on your – you guessed it – face and body; this smaller tube lasts forever and is only $28, it’s a makeup artist secret and a staple in many kits); I put it on my face, neck and chest for all-day coverage and protection.

TBD

I am so looking forward to trying this – Glossier’s Invisible Shield sunscreen for the face:

I ordered this a few minutes after it launched, and it literally just arrived, so I can’t speak to its efficacy. What I can say is all of Glossier’s skincare products are fantastic, and this serum-like sunscreen is receiving rave reviews. I’ll keep you updated, but if you’d like to give it a go here’s MY LINK for 20% off your first Glossier purchase.

In Conclusion…

Sunscreen is non-negotiable. I’m not obsessive about it, but I know that I’ve used a daily facial sunscreen since I was 10 years old (seriously) and thankfully don’t seem to have any significant sun damage yet. And, remember, sun damage can take years to show up, so it’s super important to cover up even if you don’t see any adverse reactions.

Make sure to subscribe to this blog – you don’t want to miss next week’s post! Until then, let’s hang out on Instagram @ElectraLane. Thanks for stopping by. -JY

Images c/o Supergoop.com, Sephora.com, Glossier.com and Jessica Yost

When Makeup Marketing Goes Too Far

For my “day job,” I’m a public relations consultant, so the PR and marketing campaigns behind our favorite beauty products fascinate me (dream job = beauty editor *cough* just saying). I like to stay up on new product launches, and one in particular has really piqued my interest…so I started asking some questions. At what point do we become so demystified by the marketing that it turns us off from the product? Just how much will we pay for the brand name of a consumable item? Is the efficacy of the product really all that matters? To get to the bottom of these questions – and to make sure you get the best products at the best prices – let’s dig a little deeper into the world of makeup marketing.

History

Arguably, Estee Lauder was the original queen of makeup marketing. When it came to spreading the word about her products (before the internet existed), her motto was “telephone, telegraph, tell-a-woman.” She also invented the concept of offering a gift-with-purchase to draw in customers. As someone who worked for a company under the Estee Lauder Companies umbrella, I can tell you that those practices are still very much used today. Her approach was anchored in making women look, and therefore feel, better about themselves, and the industry really hasn’t moved beyond that method.

Today’s Tactics

While I believe most beauty companies have good intentions, they still have to turn a profit in order to stay afloat and be competitive. The good news is that the makeup industry is, for the most part, recession-proof. However, one can’t deny several brands use campaigns that promote a distinct focus on youth, looking flawless, and the general feeling that their beauty products will make us “perfect.” That notion, coupled the new Influencer culture (which is nothing new, but Influencers themselves have taken on a new arena – think bloggers/social media personalities/celebrities who peddle this or that product that “you MUST try!” only because they are getting paid to promote said product and/or were given the product for free) can breed a skeezy atmosphere, that, frankly, turns me off completely.

Doing a Double Take

That launch I referred to earlier is the new Pat McGrath Labs eye shadow kit, Dark Star 006. You receive five eye shadows, an eyeliner, and a brush with a price tag of $130.  That comes out to $18.57 per item, and, to be sure, these are expertly crafted products. Plus, the packaging is so cool – everything comes encased in a bag that, once opened, scatters iridescent sequins.

The campaign is built around scarcity (her first few offerings flew off the shelves, never to be created again), exquisite imagery (just scroll through her Instagram feed), and targeted Influencers. It was genius, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy the kit even though I’ve purchased her incredible products before. What halted me was the price tag – I just didn’t think the products were collectively worth that much.

And I’m not alone. Here are two screen shots I grabbed from Sephora.com’s reviews of the kit:

So, getting back to my original questions: while Pat McGrath is beyond respected in the makeup artist industry, her name alone isn’t enough for some (myself included) to justify spending that amount on this kit even, as one reviewer notes, if one can afford it. Personally, when I debated getting the kit for 15% off during the recent VIB Sale (bringing the price down to $110.50, or just under $16 per product), I still couldn’t pull the trigger; after being honest with myself, the only item I really wanted was the sparkle gloss, which I can easily make on my own, and I wanted to say I owned the kit. Thus, those reasons weren’t enough for me to purchase the kit

{A previous Pat McGrath Labs purchase}

In Conclusion…

I believe that many luxury products are worth the money, but I also believe in getting the best value. For example, I use La Mer and LXMI moisturizers, but drugstore mascara. And, yes, in many cases you’re paying for packaging and the brand name, so you have to discern whether or not something is worth it for you and your lifestyle. One way to do that is subscribe to this blog (shameless, I know) so you can get honest reviews as I am neither on anyone’s PR list nor sponsored (yet??).

Thanks for taking time to stop by Electra Lane, and feel free to hang out with me until next week/leave your comments on Instagram @ElectraLane! -JY

 

References:

7 Brands That Changed the Beauty Marketing Industry

Boosting beauty in an economic decline: mating, spending, and the lipstick effect

EsteeLauder.com

Yost, J. (2013). Defending Public Opinion Towards Beauty. (If you actually want to read this, email me.)

Photographs c/o The Next Web, Google Images, EsteeLauder.com, Sephora.com, and Jessica Yost

 

Game-Changing Skincare

For all the alleged negatives surrounding social media, all that face time has made many people up their skincare and makeup games, which has forced skincare and makeup companies to create phenomenal products. Additionally, there’s a demand for social consciousness – sustainability, giving back, superior ingredients and humane testing practices – so if your company can crack that code, it will set itself apart in a beyond saturated industry.

Especially when it comes to skincare, I think there’s added pressure because, since we now are so aware that skin is our largest organ, folks are willing to pay a premium price for the good stuff. Not to sound hyperbolic, but

I have found the all-around, perfect skincare.

When I worked for La Mer, the vast majority of my clients are what I referred to as the “teachers and soccer moms” demographic – super hard-working women who had a ton of responsibility, not a ton of disposable income, and wanted to take excellent care of their skin by purchasing the best anti-ageing skincare they possibly could. So, they would purchase one ounce of La Mer and stretch it as long as they could; and their skin – and confidence – improved.

There’s plenty of conspiracy surrounding La Mer, but as a devotee for nearly seven years, nothing else works as well for my skin. Still, I realize it’s not for everyone, and I also realize this area isn’t where many want to spend their money. So, all things considered, I would like to introduce you to a beautiful company that checks all the boxes. Meet LXMI.

Derived from the pit of a nut from a plant that grows in the Nile Valley called Nilotica, this relative of shea butter has incredible restorative, healing and hydrating properties. LXMI (pronounced luxe-me) offers two moisturizing formulas – the Pure Nilotica Melt, a buttery “balm-to-oil” that sinks into skin without feeling greasy, and the Creme du Nil, aka Cream of the Nile, which is a lighter formula containing Nilotica and other delicious ingredients.

I’ve tried both products by purchasing travel sizes, and I ended up buying the full-size Creme du Nil to seal in my serums and potions at night. I’ll get the Pure Nilotica Melt for the cooler months as it’s marketed as a sleeping mask, but it’s a bit too heavy for me right now.

You might be thinking, “If this is so great, how come it isn’t widely available?” According to the website, Nilotica needs to be sourced in a sustainable matter (and that’s expensive), plus, it’s a newer company. The genius behind the brand is that they take care of the sourcing issue, as well as giving back to that community, by employing local women to harvest the Nilotica. I mean…LXMI’s official hashtag is #BeautyforHumanity. Wow.

So how much will it cost you?

$300? No. $100? Nope. For 1oz of the Pure Nilotica Melt, it’s $48; 1.2oz of the Creme du Nil is $58. It’s available through the LXMI website, as well as Sephora. I highly recommend stopping by the website, though, and read all about this brand, how great it is for your skin, and all of the good that it does for the women of Uganda.

In conclusion…

If you’re looking to elevate your skincare routine with a whole product that is good for your skin, good for the planet, and one that supports and empowers women, take the leap into LXMI.

Enjoy your weekend!  JY

 

 

Images c/o Author, quickmeme.com, and LXMI.com

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale – Spring 2017

Twice a year, I love to stock up on my favorites from Sephora during their sale – especially the luxury items. Before you can even start shopping, though, make sure you’re a part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. It’s free to enroll, and you can work your way up to some amazing perks – think free two-day shipping, free deluxe samples, and early access to sales PLUS extra percentages off items (like this one!). Here’s this year’s schedule:

VIB Rouge: 15% off from 18 – 24 April with code ROUGESPRING

VIB: 15% off from 19-24 April with code VIBSPRING

Beauty Insider: 10% off from 20-23 April with code BISPRING

For an added bonus, Sephora works with Ebates, the site/app that literally pays you for shopping online. Sign up HERE (Full disclosure, I get a kickback when at least two people sign up, so THANK YOU for using my link! Once you sign up, you’ll get your own to share.).

If you’re like me, you keep a running list of your wants and “needs” – I’ve been prepping for this sale for weeks – but if you need some inspiration, here’s what I’m picking up.

Hair

Invisibobble Original Traceless Hair Ring

I’m so excited to try these because as someone with slippery hair, these promise to keep everything in place during a run.

dpHUE Clarifying Shampoo

I love this new-ish brand by Kristin Cavallari’s longtime colorist and am excited to restock this product. A clarifying shampoo dissolves not only all the product build-up, but also all the natural oils your scalp produces; a GOOD clarifying shampoo does all of this without stripping any of the good stuff. I’ve always used the shampoo by Neutrogena, but this one is a game-changer. I thought my hair was clean, but I had to apply this shampoo THREE times to finally get a gentle lather.

Skincare

Dermarche Labs Roloxin Lift – Gold

These masks are like a face lift that also plumps. I have a pretty deep laugh line – after using this mask, it was gone! The results only last a day, but if you have a special event this. is. a. miracle.

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask

We know how much I love a sheet mask (more HERE), and I recently used this one before a big night out – it was perfect. This is an excellent prep before makeup because it leaves your skin slightly tacky, which is the best canvas for long-wearing makeup.

Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

My friend Kristin introduced me to this little gem (shout out!). While I still love my Bioderma to remove makeup, this product cannot be beat for dissolving all traces of glitter and eyelash glue.

La Mer

La Mer has landed at Sephora! In other words, we can actually get it on sale now. If you’d just like to dip your toes into La Mer (see what I did there?), I can’t suggest The Lip Balm highly enough. Find a dupe, also available from Sephora, HERE.

Makeup

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Plus SPF 50+

Restocking this amazing cream – it slides on your skin and makes it look perfect, while providing sunscreen, all day long.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Eye Shadow Palette

Every shadow color you will ever need! This palette covers all the bases for any look you desire, and you can purchase a separate shimmer or metallic shadow if you want a little oomph. Read more about this palette and how to use it HERE.

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer

You know the concealer I’m constantly raving about (if not, more HERE)? Now’s your chance to try it yourself.  My favorite use for this is as a highlighter at the end of my makeup to bring everything together.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored High Shine Lip Lacquer Gloss

As I mentioned last week (check it out HERE), I use this gloss as my everyday go-to. It gives you a gorgeous, high-shine finish with zero stickiness. There are so many colors, from sheer to opaque finishes, and this will absolutely carry you through the Summer months.

~~~

Please *SUBSCRIBE* to my blog so you never miss beauty tips and tricks – it’s like a little nugget of fun dropped right into your inbox every week. Also, come hang out on Facebook and Instagram (@electralane) for even more makeup and skincare fun. Have a great week! -JY

Images c/o Author and Sephora.com

 

%d bloggers like this: