New Drugstore Faves and Haul Previews!

Hi Ladies!

Is it Spring yet? I am grateful for the sun today, that’s for sure, but I am ready for some 40+ temps, aren’t you? Thanks for sticking with me through this winter! I wanted to show you some of my recent drugstore favorites, and then tease you with some haul pictures. I will have reviews of my haul goodies coming soon, I had a great class at MAC yesterday, and last week I popped into Benefit for some new products, and I am having so much fun playing with everything.


Ok–this L’Oreal Volume Filler Thickening shampoo and conditioner are so far the best I’ve seen for volume, and they run about $5 each–sweet, huh? They are made with Filloxane–which I have never heard of, and might be a made-up word, but the products deliver on their promises of full, bouncy hair.

The blue bottle is called Miracle Leave In by It’s a 10. My sister got it as a freebie at ULTA, and I am hoping it helps strengthen all the baby hairs I have on my hairline–something my stylist said she sees on almost all new mommies. Did any of you have these? I never had clumps of hair fall out after my son was born, which I have heard women complain of, so I’m grateful for that, but these wispy baby hairs are bizarre. Remember Katie Holmes after Suri–when it looked like she had funky bangs? That’s me, but at least they’re growing. Hopefully this keratin treatment helps.

I’m also trying Suave’s version of Moroccan Oil (since I ran out of the real deal!) and for a cheapie, it’s ok. I don’t think it delivers on the shine as well, and I don’t love the fragrance. It helps make my hair a bit silkier and at about 1/8 the cost, I can live with it for now. It’s made with coconut and Sweet Almond oil, but also a bunch of other ingredients ending in “-cone” so it’s pretty synthetic and when I replenish my Moroccan Oil I will be comparing ingredients. Usually, you pay for what you get!

Now for the previews—first up, Benefit!


I am loving the Big Easy Bigger Than BB Cream for casual, everyday coverage. Lollitint MAY unseat Cha-Cha tint from my list of Top 5 products—we will have to see! And I of course had to stock up on the Porefessional and They’re Real–duh.




You could almost do your whole face (minus brows) with just these products!

Okay, here’s my MAC haul:




I took a Master Class at MAC PRO yesterday–WOW. Romero Jennings taught the class on mature skin and he was great. I learned a lot about technique, in particular in regards to foundation, concealing, and eye sculpting. Can’t wait to get my hands on some “mature” ladies. I have an upcoming Makeup and Martinis night, and those women will be the first to benefit from all my new skills. He also used brushes in ways I’ve never considered, so of course I had to get 6, and wanted at least 10 more.












I’ve got lots more in store for you ladies, something BIG is coming this Friday–make sure you don’t miss any updates. Follow me on Facebook where we talk about everything beauty and I dole out advice.

ALSO–Instagram, my new obsession! Follow TriciaCMakeup for looks of the day, pictures of fave products, and also foodie pics and the occasional appearance of my little man!

Thanks ladies, stay pretty!

February Empties!

Hi ladies!

It is already March 8th so it is time for my February Empties post! Here it is! (or here they are)!


This month’s round up features a lot of hair conditioner–funny I ran out of so many all at once. Not surprising though, considering the length and severity of this winter, I’ve been slathering my body, face and hair with moisture at every opportunity.  I’ll start with those.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Multi-tone Revealing Moisturising Conditioner: This is one of my all-time favorite drugstore hair buys, it works well and hydrates and detangles without weighing my hair down. It is also what I was using when I started dating my now-husband, and because scents are so evocative, whenever I use it I am immediately taken back to those pre-date showers when I would be getting ready and so excited to see him again! Will I re-purchase? Absolutely!

Bed Head by Tigi Urban AntiDotes Damage Level 2 Conditioner: I found this massive bottle at TJ Maxx in early November, having used it previously on my stylist’s recommendation. I truly love this conditioner but I don’t know if it is still made! It smells so freaking good my husband started using it on his curly, coarse (read: grey) hair and so we went through it pretty quickly. I hope I can find some more! Will I re-purchase? Totally, if I can!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deeeep Conditioner: This was hanging out in the shower for a looooong time. It is decent thick, rich conditioner, found in most drugstores, but Aussie reformulated their products a few years ago, and I just don’t love the smell of the new ones. I think the old formulas are still available in Europe so I will be looking next time I am in Ireland! Will I re-purchase? Yes, because it is a good, basic deep conditioner, but I will try other brands for fun first.

Moving right along, out of the shower now!

No. 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator: My enthusiasm for this scrub waned as I continued using it. It feels a bit too much like a micro-derm treatment to be enjoyable for twice weekly use. Read my full review with edits hereWill I re-purchase? Probably not, but I will try other No. 7 products.

Lumene CC Cream in Light: This CC cream was my second favorite makeup discovery of 2013 and I have recommended it to scores of people. I wore it so much this summer, it is lightweight, but gives good coverage and made my skin look bright and healthy. It has an SPF of 20 and is like a tinted moisturizer on steroids. The only drawback is the slightly strong fragrance which I don’t really mind but which might be a problem for those with sensitivities. Will I re-purchase? Totally.

Lumene Pure Radiance Night Cream: Lumene actually sent this to me to try after my review was chosen for a feature on their Facebook page. It is a totally satisfactory night cream and left my skin comfortably hydrated, and absorbed quickly. Read by first thoughts on it here. I can’t really tell if it helped brighten my skin, then again, this never-ending winter has been rough so I don’t really know what could have helped! As with the CC Cream, there is a stronger fragrance than I usually enjoy in my skincare, but it is a good drugstore option for a richer, quick-absorbing night cream. Will I re-purchase? Maybe, but not right away. I want to try the new Reviva line I keep hearing about first.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream: I remembered I had a sample of this when I was starting to get bored with my Lumene cream. The side effect of being a beauty addict is one frequently becomes bored and is always looking for a new favorite! As you know, I love Kiehl’s and this is no exception. I actually had a full size tub of it at one point, but that was pre-pregnancy and my skin was different, so I gave it away! BOO! Now I love this and want a big jar again! Will I repurchase? Yup! Add it to my wishlist of Kiehl’s products!

Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation: Hands down, best thing I discovered last year, this foundation is great! Full coverage, but feels really lightweight on the skin. It’s very easy to blend. The pigmentation is also such that it is easy to build–making modern foundations light years better than their predecessors. I wore it almost every day since I purchased it in early December, and just ran out of it this week. It comes in a wide range of shades and is worth the price–read my full review here. Will I re-purchase? Yes!

Thanks for reading ladies! Have you used any of these products? Have I piqued your interest to try any of them? Let me know!


Stay pretty, girls! xoxo

Review: CoverGirl Bombshell Mascara

Ladies, you know I love me some mascara. It is my number one, cannot live without, must have beauty item. I wear mascara every single day unless I am super sick (like last week)! It makes a huge difference on my face, and pretty much everyone else’s, for that matter!

My favorite mascara is CoverGirl LashBlast, and I have tried every version…for example, see my thoughts on LashBlast fusion here. I swear by the original in the orange tube. So when CoverGirl launched Bombshell, how could I NOT try it? It’s pink! The CoverGirl is Sofia Vergara! It’s called Bombshell, Hell-OH! Of course I NEEDED it. And I really wanted to LOVE IT.


Turns out, I hate it.

Hate is a strong word, but I was so bummed with this mascara! The idea is great, a double ended mascara to give both volume and a shiny, super black topcoat for lustrous, thick lashes. And when I first saw the brushes themselves, I was excited.

Side one looks like regular LashBlast, with teeny, rubbery bristles that grab every lash.


Side two looks more like old-school mascara wands–the spiral of synthetic fiber bristles.


Great concept–but it didn’t live up to my expectations. It is hard to use and not significantly better than other mascaras. Both wands themselves are short, and the rest of the tube is massive and hard to hold.  I find myself trying to delicately get my inner lashes without jabbing myself, and doing the outer corners is hard too, without getting mascara on my orbital bone! I feel so clumsy whenever I use this.

I will admit the mascaras layer well without flaking. Sometimes I’ve tried layering two different mascaras with disastrous results. This doesn’t happen with Bombshell, but I also didn’t notice that much of a difference between Bombshell and good old regular LashBlast! And Bombshell costs a few dollars more, and to me it’s just not worth it.

Here’s me with mascara on my right eye only.


Here’s both lashes with mascara






No big wow here, right?!?!?! BUMMER.

And here’s my face of the day. Very minimal, as I am still home bound with a sick baby! I think sometimes when the weather is dark and stormy I compensate with a brighter cheek and lip. I will do a separate post on other products I used if I get requests. Leave a comment!






So, bottom line on Bombshell–big hype, little results. I will stick to my other favorites. 

Have you tried Bombshell or any CoverGirl mascaras? What did you think?

Stay pretty, ladies!

Review: L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

Good morning, ladies!

Thanks to my friend  (and fellow product junkie and bookworm) Em’s suggestion, I picked up a L’Oreal eyeliner last week at Target. Oh Target…how come I never spend less than $100 when I visit you? I only needed kleenex and dish soap! But, I digress…   🙂

Em said L’Oreal’s Infallible is her fave drugstore eye liner, and I was pleased to see the range of shades available, from black to brown to gray to combinations of shades. I wound up getting Black/Brown because they were out the Dark Brown. There probably isn’t much difference between the two!


While I was there I got a compliment on my lipstick! I had chosen it because I needed a shot of something bright and cheerful in this never-ending winter we’re having. (Insert Game of Thrones joke here.) I love talking makeup with anyone and everyone so I was excited to tell my fellow shopper it was NARS Carthage , which I bought because I read in InStyle that Ginnifer Goodwin wears it on days she needs to perk up and look pulled together. Mission accomplished, don’t you think?


Like my little buddy clinging to my shoulder, trying to get into the picture? He is a ham already!

Ok so back to the eyeliner. I have to say, it is pretty good. Not as budge-proof  as my trusty Benefit Waterproof eyeliner, but half the price, and it self-sharpens so I am not constantly having to whip out a sharpener, which is great because I usually make a mess. I was impressed at the different thicknesses I could accomplish with this pencil too.


I chose the Black/Brown shade because I will wear it the most. It stays put fairly well–I notice a bit collecting in the corners of my eyes when I apply it to my waterline, but it doesn’t get sloppy.

I’m pleased so far! I’ve worn it 4 times, and will wear it again today. We’re getting over massive sickness in our house–so I just went FIVE WHOLE DAYS without mascara, can you believe it? I can’t!

Here’s to sunshine, bright lipstick, and spending too much at Target!

Stay pretty ladies!

Review: Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy

It’s official!

I have a new drugstore favorite shampoo and conditioner!


Thanks to all who voiced their opinions on my facebook page last month…I love hearing from you and it is one of my favorite ways to find new products to love. For the last few days I have really been enjoying the Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner.

I bought the set created for Damage and Color Repair, which won out just slightly over Volumizing Root Boost. I was please to find quite the range of options, in addition to the ones that I was torn between, there was also Frizz Control, Total Care, Strong Lengths, Dandruff Control or Ultra Shea. Each bottle retailed for $4.99 and I got mine at Target.

The selling point of this line is that it nourishes the scalp, and the products I chose contain a number of beneficial oils: sunflower, sweet almond, and coconut, along with aloe vera and lysine. There are no claims that the products is paraben-free, although I don’t see any parabens listed.

Some of the first ingredients listed are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (a sudsing agent) and Fragrance–not surprising considering the price point. As I’ve said before, you do pay for what you get, and when looking for drugstore bargains, I don’t expect to get $30 quality for $5–what I am expecting is good basic cleansing from the shampoo and detangling from the conditioner, that’s all! So far, I’ve enjoyed that the shampoo cleans all my product residue from my hair and I don’t usually need to lather twice. Also, I don’t have to use gobs of conditioner in my long hair to get a comb through it. I don’t notice a film on my hair and it blow dries nice and bouncy–just like I like it. It also air dries smoothly if I skip the blow dryer. (Just ask my stylist, I usually ask for Mermaid or Victoria’s Secret model hair. I can’t help it.)

I look forward to trying some of the other recommendations you all raved about! With 5 people swearing by the Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy though, I had to try these first! For a readily available, affordable brand, I think these are pretty sweet!

What do you think–have you tried any Clear products? What’s your fave drugstore shampoo and conditioner?

If you haven’t, join the conversation with Tricia Clarke Makeup on Facebook!


Stay Pretty ladies!

January 2014 Favorites-Makeup

Hello ladies! Well, it’s February 8th, and high time I posted my January favorites! I’ll make this post strictly about the makeup I’ve been loving, and post tomorrow about skincare I’ve used the most.

The absolutely freezing and super snowy winter we’re having here in Chicago means I have been stuck inside with my little guy since the end of November. My complexion is looking so dull and gross! My goal for the last two months has been to give my skin a glow, and not look so washed out and lifeless. I am hoping I only have to do this for a few more weeks! I think I’ve accomplished this pretty well by focusing on strategic brighteners and highlighters. These are the products I’ve found myself reaching for on a daily basis.


Face Basics:

I start with Benefit’s That Gal, a brightening primer. It was one of the first Benefit products I ever bought and have replaced it faithfully over the last 5 years. It is a good primer for casual everyday wear, and works on a variety of skin types. I even out my skin with my Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation. I blogged about this here, it is seriously one of the best foundations I’ve come across for regular wear. LOVE IT. Once that’s done, I perk up my under-eyes and cover any blemishes with Chanel’s Correcteur Perfection Concealer. It was too pale when I first bought it, but it matches my ultra pale skin perfectly now! The wand applicator is super convenient.

Color and Contour:

There is no shame in doubling up on blushes, you can combine formulas for extra-long wear, add a pop of color or play around with different fun combos. I apply Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint on my lips and cheeks, this is a color that looks great year round. Definitely in my top 10 fave products of all time. Looks shockingly orange but really brightens my skin. I highlight my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose with Josie Maran’s Cream Highlighter Compact. Easy to blend, and a highlighter gives me back some radiance that is sorely lacking.

To finish restoring some glow, I apply Smashbox’s Fusion Soft Lights Bronzer in Baked Starburst along my hairline, under my cheekbones, and blending onto my jawline and down to my neck. It is a great bronzer for fair-skinned girls and gives me just enough warmth without looking over done. I layer a touch of MAC’s Sheer Tone Shimmer Blush in Springsheen on the apples of my cheeks, the light-reflecting particles in it perk up my complexion and I love the look of it over the Cha Cha Tint.

In December I picked up a Shiseido lash curler at Sephora. It’s great. My trusty Cover Girl one bit the dust–I decided the Cover Girl one is a good drugstore option, but you can’t expect to get more than a few months out of it before it loses it’s power. It kinda stretched out and just stopped working as well. The Shiseido one is $20 and well worth it. I also didn’t include a mascara in this post because I have been trying a few different ones and don’t have a favorite.

For every day I don’t normally wear eyeshadow or liner. I spend about 5 minutes on my makeup if I am just staying home or running general errands, and I see bigger results by focusing on my skin (covering and concealing) and cheek color and highlighter.

What about you? What is helping you survive this never-ending winter and look cute while doing it?

Stay pretty ladies!

Rusk Thermal Flat-Iron Spray

Good morning ladies!

I am in the process of writing a post about my January favorites, which I briefly mentioned on Facebook the other day. If you haven’t seen my page yet, stop by!

In the meantime, although I don’t straighten or curl my hair every day (my at-home mommy style is pretty wash and go!) when I do style my hair, this spray has become a go-to product! I wanted to make sure you knew about it!


I was introduced to Rusk Thermal Flat Iron spray by another makeup artist who I really respect, and now we both use it in our kits, it is great for bridal and bridesmaid hair! I use it on myself and my clients.

Like most thermal sprays, it is misted on the hair prior to using a heated styling tool, either a curling iron or straightener. It is not meant for use prior to blow-drying. I love that the mist is very fine and controlled, so it dries almost instantly and you can style your hair quickly. I used to be a big fan of Redken HotSets but you really have to let that dry after spraying and it can be super crunchy.

This Rusk spray protects your hair during heat styling, and it also helps your style last much longer. Just as I advocate the use of a face primer to ensure your makeup lasts after being carefully applied, if you are going to take the time to heat-style your hair, you may as well get great, long-lasting results!

As you may realize by now, I cannot use products that don’t smell good, and I enjoy the smell of this spray! I picked mine up at ULTA.

Have you used this spray? Do you use other thermal styling sprays you swear by? Let me know!

Stay pretty ladies!



January Empties–aka, Would I Re-Purchase?

Hi ladies! This is my very first empties post!

I have been sitting on a couple of these empty bottles for a while now, and I’ve amassed quite a pile! So I will keep each description pretty short and sweet. As you can see in the picture, there is quite the mix of products: skincare, makeup, hair care, and also high-end and drugstore items.


  • Moroccan Oil Light: I cannot LIVE without Moroccan Oil! I use it every single day. It is the #1 reason why my hair is shiny and healthy (and was that way even when I heat-styled it EVERY DAY).
  • Simple Skincare Moisturizing Face Wash: I’ve been using this wash for a couple months–great basic cleanser. Doesn’t dry my skin out, and a bargain too.
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: My favorite high-end facial cleanser. Totally non-drying, smells lovely but not perfume-y. Lasts for ages. I had this and forgot I’d set it aside to blog about! I also found a back-up this week and squealed with excitement! Bonus in my closet!
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer: This stuff is legit! In my first few months of motherhood, I was able to fake a few more hours sleep by dabbing this under my eyes, and the formulation actually works well on blemishes too. Lasts ALL DAY and comes in tons of shades. It is a fave I mention in my video 5-Minute Face you can check out here.
  • Benefit Waterproof Eyeliner, Espresso: Yes, those 2 little nubbins are eyeliners. I love the Benefit pencils, they glide on smoothly and last all day. My only beef is I go through them so quickly! But the pencil is so convenient and looks natural.
  • Bumble & bumble Thickening Shampoo: B&b are some of my high-end luxuries, I haven’t splurged on them in awhile. I made this bottle last for eons by alternating drugstore shampoos and using this when I wanted big ‘ole Southern belle hair. Smells divine, and really works to give your hair sexy oomph.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light: I use this ALL THE TIME in my pro kit, it is great on most skin types (I use the regular version on more mature or really dry skin). I love it for myself as well. A little goes a long way.
  • Benefit POREfessional: I use this as a primer when my pores are really driving me nuts. The mattifying aspect tends to wear off if it is super hot or my skin is acting really oily, but I swear, a dab of this on my t-zone and cheeks before my foundation makes me look airbrushed. And if someone sits in my chair when I am doing a wedding and their skin is not the smoothest, this is the first thing I reach for.

So, will I re-purchase any of these?

Yes! To be honest, if I don’t love a product, I usually don’t use it up! I give it away to someone I think it will work better for.  That being said, I am always trying new stuff, so just because I will buy these again, doesn’t mean I won’t try others in the meantime. So, while I can’t live without the Moroccan Oil, I might let other primers, concealers, face washes and shampoos go for test drive.

What do you think? Have you used any of these products? Love? Hate?

Tell me what you think about my first empties post!

Stay pretty ladies!

love, Tricia

Review: Boots No. 7 Total Renewal (Facial Scrub)

Another drugstore discovery!

As you may have noticed, I was M.I.A. for a bit during December. Well, I wasn’t writing much, but I was still on the lookout for fab new products to test and share with you!

A friend turned me on to this little treasure, the Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator from Boots No. 7!


As far as I know, Boots products are relatively new here in the States. There are Boots stores in the UK and Ireland, and they remind me of ULTA stores here. They carry a variety of brands and are actually where I discovered the Simple line that recently arrived in the U.S. I love that the Boots line is now available here, and I found this scrub at Target.

My all-time favorite exfoliator is the Microfoliant by Dermalogica, but as you may know, I am always searching for great drugstore products that are less than $20.

Do you use an exfoliator regularly? You should! Unless you have seriously sensitive skin, it is a good idea to exfoliate your skin gently about twice a week. Why? Well, in winter, you can slather on all the lotion you want, but if you have dried-out, dead skin cells piling up on your face, your moisturizer can’t really penetrate and do its job. So your skin won’t feel as comfortable and hydrated as it should.  In the summer, the build-up of oil, sebum, sweat and dead skin cells also needs to come off so you get the benefits of your sunscreen and moisturizer too.

Of course, you can be economical and use a washcloth for a gentle scrub, or I often use white sugar mixed with  my face wash, but I am a product junkie, so if there is something new to try, I’m gonna try it! (Let’s be honest!)

So, ladies, here’s the deal on the Total Renewal. It is made with Aluminum-oxide micro-crystals to help slough off dead surface cells. It really does feel similar to a spa micro-dermabrasion session. I can’t say it is quite as effective, but so far, I like it. I really struggle with black heads, so I like that this helps to get off gunk on the surface without over-drying (which can be a vicious cycle, causing more blackheads) and I think it is helping my moisturizer absorb better. It is still early, but I do notice my skin is slightly more radiant.

I use my regular cleanser first, and then use this scrub. I use it in the morning in the shower. Honestly, it would probably be better for me to use it at night before I apply my serum and night cream, but I have to force myself to take my make-up off, I am not likely to do the whole exfoliation thing at night. So, mornings it is!

I will update when I have used this for a month. Have you tried any Boots products? I hear good things about their masks, too. Let me know if you’ve had good or bad experiences!

Stay pretty, ladies!



2/20/2014      Now that I’ve been using this scrub for a month, I have to tell you, I don’t love it. I have to use a big dollop of it to feel effective, and the beads feel pretty harsh. The slight harshness is what reminded me a spa microderm session, but for my regular use, I just don’t love it. I prefer Benefit’s Refined Finish. I won’t repurchase this, but will still continue to try other Boots products.

New drugstore favorite bronzer/blush duo! (elf studio)

You know what happens…you go to Target with a list, and wind up finding 12 other things you just NEED to have immediately. Well, I was good and only purchased one (okay, two) extra things but wait until you see what my new favorite is!


This elf studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder caught my eye because it looks sooo similar to the iconic NARS Blush/ Bronzer duo in Orgasm and Laguna! I’ve been lusting after that little trinket for ages now…but it’s $41! And lately I have been much better at exercising restraint at Sephora (I know, it’s hard to believe!) so I have told myself, on numerous occasions, that I don’t actually HAVE to have another blush or bronzer.


The elf studio duo was right in front of me at Target–for THREE DOLLARS!

Now, I am sure that the NARS duo is made of superior materials and for a host of reasons is worth the $41, and I have no qualms as a general rule about shelling out for high-quality, luxury cosmetics. I also have learned though, that not everyone can spare that kind of money. If they could, they might choose not to spend it on cosmetics. So, I LOVE to find good drugstore dupes of high-end classics.

Ladies, this elf studio duo is great!

I was on my way to a party and under the fluorescent lights of the fabulous Tar-jay, I thought my complexion could use a little pick-me-up. So I grabbed this little packet, and headed to check-out. When I went to use it in the car, I was dismayed to find it didn’t come with it’s own brush. I am used to higher-end products coming with applicators, so I hadn’t even considered this compact wouldn’t have a brush in it. However, I was carrying my trusty Benefit Hello Flawless powder compact, which comes with a brush AND a sponge, so I swiped that brush and BOOM–bring on the glow!

I’ve used this bronzer/blush duo for the last few days, and here are my thoughts.

  • I have to be very careful with my blending. In general, high-end powders are milled very finely, so tiny little particles are the blush or bronzer are picked up by your brush and are easy to apply with little streaking. This drugstore brand is not milled as finely, so I really need to buff it onto the skin and make sure it looks smooth and blended.
  • The colors are great and will flatter most skin-tones from very fair (just be careful with the bronzer, blend, blend, blend!!!) to darker olive, which could probably use the bronzer all over, as opposed to just for contouring.
  • It will be great to keep in my bag as a perk-up, because I won’t cry if it breaks!
  • This is a great way to see if you like the colors included before you splurge on the similar but more costly NARS original.

So ladies, if you’re already pasty winter skin is in need of a little glow, go crazy at your local drugstore and check out elf studios–for $3 it sure is a fun way to feel pretty! I’ll try and take a picture tomorrow to add so you can see it in effect.

Stay pretty, girls!