not so naked face (giveaway)

I mentioned last week that I rarely wear makeup anymore. I’ve never felt like I needed to wear makeup to coverup, but the truth is, I actually love makeup for the fun factor of it all.

I love bright colors, I love being able to change my look with just a few different products. I love treating my face as a blank canvas. Unfortunately though, my eyes and skin are both extremely sensitive and I’ve yet to find very many cosmetics that play nicely with my face. I’ve tried drug store brands. I’ve tried premium brands. I’ve tried organic. I’ve tried for sensitive skin and eyes. I’ve tried mineral. I’ve tried all-natural. I’ve tried not all-natural. I’ve tried it all, and it almost always ends with a nasty reaction. I normally save makeup for special occasions. And even then, it’s with the understanding that I’m going to end up paying a really uncomfortable price later.

But I refuse to give up. I’m constantly trying new brands and new formulas in the hope that I’ll find something that doesn’t make my eyes puff up and turn red or my skin break out. So when I got the opportunity to test out some of Mary Kay’s most popular products through BlogHer, I was excited to see if maybe they were the answer.

The nice people at Mary Kay sent me a crazy impressive sampler (stay tuned for an opportunity to win your own) and I was really excited to see so many different kinds and formulas of makeup. I especially was happy to see three different types of mascara. Nothing would make me happier than to find a black mascara that (a) I didn’t have a reaction to and (b) didn’t rub off on my chubby cheeks.

I’ve been trying out all my Mary Kay products for the past few weeks, and I’m really impressed with all of them. I’ve never bought Mary Kay before and was quite surprised at how high-quality everything looked and felt. I was also really happy to find out that Mary Kay is committed to not testing on animals and has a strong philanthropic presence (Mary Kay’s foundation focuses on funding research to end breast and cervical cancers and education and awareness to help stop domestic violence).

They also have an initiative called Pink Doing Green aimed at making their environmental impact as low as possible. Last Arbor Day, they planted over 300,000 trees in National Parks and encourage consumers to send back their empty plastic containers for recycling by the company. The best part? They started their recycling program in 1989, way before it was “trendy” to be green. Very cool!

I was so happy to find out Mary Kay was such and up-and-up company, but unfortunately, the search continues when it comes to my eyes, because none of the eye products (their mineral eye shadow, lash primer or mascaras) worked for me. I’m incredibly sad because I actually loved both the eye shadows and mascaras. All the mascaras went on smooth, didn’t clump and stayed on all day long. Yay for no rubbing off on my cheeks! But unfortunately, within a few hours my eyes were red, puffy and watering. Womp. Womp.

But! Some of the other products I got to try out were absolutely right for me! I fell in love with the NouriShine Plus™ lip glosses. They sent me three different colors and all of them are shiny, creamy, and not sticky. The Café Au Lait color is perfect for every day. The Mango Tango is an amazing orange-y/red color that’s perfect for summer. And the Rock ‘n’ Red is an amazing classic red that feels more like a lip balm than a lipstick. Since I don’t wear a lot of makeup on my eyes or face, I use lipstick a lot to show some flair, and these glosses are a great addition to my collection.

I also totally fell in love with their TimeWise® Microderabrasion system. I actually don’t have a skin care routine. At all. And my system (or total lackthereof) has done me pretty well for years. But as I get older, and now that I’m spending more time outside, I’m starting to notice my skin is looking a little bit duller. I saw an immediate difference after exfoliating and moisturizing with the TimeWise® system. I don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles, so I can’t comment on how it works on those, but it definitely leaves my skin hydrated and helps my skin look brighter.

Are you ready to try out some Mary Kay products for yourself? You could win a nice gift basket packed full of new and popular Mary Kay products, to get entered, all you gotta do is:

Tell me the greatest beauty tip you’ve learned for an opportunity to win a fabulous Mary Kay gift basket.

official rules and legalese:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 19 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/19/1212/31/12.

Be sure to visit the Mary Kay page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

I was provided with Mary Kay products to use and review, and was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own.


  1. Candace says

    Ooooh! This looks like a fun giveaway. The best beauty tip I’ve learned is if you don’t have time to put on a full face, you can still look put together with just mascara, blush, and lip gloss. It has earned me a few extra minutes of sleep on many mornings. :-)

  2. Cassie says

    I recently discovered applying foundation with a brush. The $30 brush was totally worth all of the compliments I’ve been getting on my “Flawless Complexion”

  3. Allison says

    I think my personal advice is always to moisturize, and it doesn’t have to be a fancy “moisturizer” — I just use lotion. My skin is a bit sensitive, so I kind traditional moisturizers to be stingy and too oily. I use Jergens Intensive Moisture on my face and hands, and then a lighter lotion (generic Aveeno) on the rest of my body. :)

  4. says

    Contour! It does amazing things for making your face appear slimmer. And use eyeshadow primer – a quality one like Urban Decay. Your shadow won’t budge.

  5. Angela says

    My beauty tip is go for white eyeliner or a white eyeshadow to line the bottom of your eyes. Does amazing things for your eyes. I always get compliments!

  6. Rachel says

    Here are two! Use a baby or child’s toothbrush to “brush out” your eyelashes and then apply a tiny bit of vaseline to the tips with a q-tip. I have the same problems with mascara, and I’ve been doing this for years. Also, scrub your face in the shower with two or three disolved asprin once or twice a week to keep your complexion glowing. The salicylic acid in the asprin is also good for keeping break-outs under control. I keep an aspirin bottle in my shower.

  7. says

    i’m like you in that i have no skin care regimen whatsoever…i need to get in that habit of moisturizing–both face and body. tsk tsk, i need to stop being lazy. would love to try MK’s skincare samples.

  8. Laura says

    The greatest beauty tip that I’ve ever learned is to just be yourself – there is nothing more beautiful than a woman living her live authentically!

  9. says

    What a fun giveaway! I adore make-up and Mary Kay makes really high-quality products.

    My favorite beauty tips are making your own sugar scrub. I simply combine a table spoon of white granulated sugar with a smidge of water and rub onto skin in a circular motion for 30 seconds. It has buffed dead skin and other impurities from face better than anything I could buy from the store! Cheap and good for the earth!

  10. says

    Put a dab of a shimmery shadow in the inside corner of your eyes — it will make them look more open. Also sunscreen and moisturizer… and ALWAYS, ALWAYS wash your face before bed.

  11. says

    Heat your eye lash curler with the hair dryer for a couple of seconds before curling. It sets the curl and gives you a bigger curl before you add mascara. You could do this since you cant use mascara!

  12. Rosanne says

    I’m very similar in that my skin is extremely sensitive. I have had good luck with Neutrogena’s lash “tint.” It goes on much lighter than a regular mascara; it darkens the lashes without really putting a lot of buildup on them.

    I never have been a big makeup wearer, but my biggest thing is moisturizing. I really notice a difference in the feel of my skin if I don’t moisturize for the day!

  13. Alyssa Hult says

    My best beauty secret is to drink lots of water and wear a good foundation (MN Mineral Foundation for me!) Thanks for the entry!

  14. says

    I’m like you, Cassie – I don’t wear make up very often but I enjoy the pops of color for special occasions. My favorite beauty tip is “you’re never fully dressed without a smile!” 😀

  15. jeri says

    I’ve recently discovered ostrich oil (we have an ostrich guy at the famous Union Square Greenmarket). I get so dry and chapped this time of year, and the stuff is pretty magical. They say the molecular structure is similar to human fat so it absorbs almost immediately and doesn’t irritate. Of course it’s made from ostrich fat, so it’s not something you’d use if you were a vegan. But it uses part of the animal that might normally go to waste, so in that sense it is both green and respectful of nature.

  16. Jaclyn says

    Use a makeup brush (real techniques makes a “buffing brush” that is both affordable and AMAZING) to apply foundation. I know this sounds like a complete no brainer….but I recently started applying it with a brush and the application is flawless compared to my old ways (finger, sponge…that sort of thing) I could honestly never go back.
    Also, wash the brushes each time (sounds annoying, but it’s an easy habit to form. I have sensitive skin too so that’s a must)
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity :)

  17. Melissa says

    Eating whole foods and drinking lots of water is my number one beauty tip. I also take biotin to make my hair and nails nice and strong!

  18. Leah says

    The best beauty tip I’ve gotten is to wash your face before you go to bed (and moisturize). I do this every night, no matter how tired I am.

  19. amanda june says

    oh man, what a bummer that your skin and eyes are so reactive!

    greatest beauty tip: a tie — on the more practical size, moisturize (while you’re young, when you think you don’t need to!)…on the more abstract side of things, confidence is what’s really attractive!

  20. Julie says

    I never wear makeup but I would like to start so I can wear it for special occasions. But it is so expensive! And I don’t think I could ever get in the habit of putting it on every day. I love reading these tips though, there is so much I didn’t know about makeup!! The best beauty tip I have heard is to drink water, lots. And smile :)

  21. karenmed409 says

    I use a moisturizer under my makeup and switch out in summer months to wear a sunscreen under my makeup instead. It does the same trick and doesn’t dry my skin

  22. says

    Have you tried Liz Earle? I love their stuff and her 3 step cleanse, tone and mosturise is fantastic. It’s sorted out the teenage godchildren’s spotty faces and given them an easy skincare routine (the boys too!). I think that you’d love their principles about what they put in their produces too. It’s also really good for sensitive skin and they do a make up range, might be worth a try. As a contact lens wearer, I’ve found Lancome Hypnose is great for my level of sensitive eyes and doesn’t come off or flake. But it is pricy, you could maybe ask for a sample!

  23. Britnee H. says

    My best beauty tip is to by foundation and moisturizer separately. That way you can buy exactly what you want and you can mix the two together to get a tinted moisturizer. You can also use one or the other whenever you want, with out being stuck with a tinted moisturizer!

  24. says

    One of my favorite beauty tips is that moisturizer is actually a really awesome makeup remover. If I smudge a little bit of mascara, instead of using a little bit of makeup remover that might get in my eyes or remove makeup I don’t want it to remove, I just dab some moisturizer on there and rub gently with a q-tip to get the smudge out. Works perfectly every time!

    Have you tried looking at the ingredients on your makeup? Compare ingredients on all the kinds that you’ve tried that don’t work and see what the common ones are. Maybe you’re just allergic to one (or a few) different ingredients that are commonly used in makeup. The challenge would be to then try to find makeup that doesn’t use those ingredients. I don’t know if that would work (or if you’ve already tried doing that), but it might help :)

  25. Sanah says

    A sheer black lipstick actually brings out your natural, darker hues. Awesome for a night-out paired with a light sparkly eye!

  26. Lisa Brown says

    Greatest beauty tip: don’t stress. Stress is so hard on skin and can prematurely age you.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  27. Luann says

    Apply moisturizer while your face is still wet to seal in the water.

    I also cannot wear mascara, have the same reaction as you do. Found out I’m allergic to preservatives and cannot use any eye products that contain them. So until they have single use mascara that’s preservative free, I have to go with naked lashes. Totally sucks…

    • Andrea says

      My Mom taught me to put a little bbit of petroliumjelly o my lashes and brows just no close to he base of lashes. I have dark hair and it maks them so shiny and appear longer. Thank You Mom!!

      I Love and Miss You Terribly!!!!! <3 <3

  28. Becky B says

    Best beauty tip that I have received- don’t wear blue eyeshadow with blue eyes! It’s too much; you want a contrast instead.

  29. Michaela says

    All of this makeup looks fantastic, but it’s important to always remember to take it off at night!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. Esther says

    The best piece of advice I got was to always wear at least SPF 15 on your face, even in winter. Prevents wrinkles, and more importantly, skin cancer :)

  31. Jen G. says

    I love the Mary Kay TimeWise products!! My beauty tip is this: even if you have oily skin (like me!), you should still use moisturizer every day, even in the summer. If you deprive your skin of moisturizer, your skin will produce MORE oil to compensate. That is the opposite of what I want!!!

    Thanks for the great give-a-way!

  32. Sara M. says

    When putting eye cream on under the eyes and then concealer always use your ring finger as it has less strength in it and will not pull the skin as much. I learned that from some Mary Kay ladies!

  33. Sara McManaway says

    My greatest beauty tip is….. if nothing else is possible, running late to work, school, not time for primping….Always keep a multi-use product (bb cream or powder/foundation combo compact) , a good tube of Masacra and a eyebrow/eyeliner duo pencil handy as well as a neutral tinted gloss…. 4 products make you look alive anytime anyplace , on the run

  34. Kathy Lane says

    I guess the best tips would be to drink plenty of water,and always clean your makeup off before you go to bed at night.

  35. Therese says

    I have always tried to drink plenty of water and get the sleep I need between the hours I need them, along with adequate walking/exercising (T-Tapp) for healthy hormones:-)

  36. says

    The best beauty tip/advice I got was from my Grandma. She said whatever you do to your face, as in exfoliating, moisturizing, masking-also do to your hands and above your breasts/neck. We often forget to take care of these areeas.
    I lost her last year but she made to 93 yrs old and you would never know by looking at her…or her hands. I hope to look half as good as her at that age!

  37. says

    the best beauty tip I’ve ever heard is to work on beauty from inside out…drinking lots of water and eating good food does more wonders for my skin than any goo I’ve ever used!

    I do love a good lip gloss though…I might have to track that red one down!

  38. Wild Orchid says

    My favorite beauty tip is to put a little white eyeliner along the inner corner of the eyes to make them appear bigger.

    Thanks for the cool giveaway!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  39. says

    The greatest beauty top I’ve learned is put on a moisturizing mask before putter on makeup. You skin will absorb the foundation much better.

    Amy [at] utry [dot] it

  40. Debra Ford says

    Over the years, the best advice that has helped me long term to to use the best moisturizer you can possibly afford – now that I’m older, I go for the best serum I can afford!

  41. Lisa Garner says

    My best beauty tip is to use an under eye concealer because it really helps make your face look younger.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  42. anash says

    a beauty tip that i received was to put vaseline on your hands and cover with cotton socks overnight forsoft hands! Thanks for a super giveaway!

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