Winner of the Bioelements Skincare Giveaway! + Long weekend with Flight of the Conchords & Beard Papa's

Hi everyone! Before I head out today, I'd like to congratulate Rocaille Writes for winning the Bioelements Skincare Wardrobe Giveaway. How exciting it is to pick out a new Bioelements skincare regimen tailored for your skintype! Happy skincare-shopping, Rocaille.

A big THANKS to Bioelements for providing such an amazing opportunity and thank you to my blog readers for participating. I'm looking forward to more exciting giveaways so I can share with you other farmgirl-approved skincare products. Stay tuned!

And happy long Memorial Day weekend to all my U.S. readers! I'm heading out in a few hours to see Flight of the Conchords live at the Hollywood Bowl- very excited! We'll also be having some pre-concert dessert at Beard Papa's (Best cream puffs EVER.). Make it a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Bioelements Skincare Wardrobe Giveaway! + My Fave Beauty Tip of the Moment

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since I started my blog! To celebrate, I’d like to revamp your skincare routine! Get your skin in tip-top summer shape with Bioelements, one of my favorite skincare lines. (1) blog follower will be randomly chosen to win a Bioelements skincare wardrobe worth $250. The lucky winner will speak one-on-one with a Bioelements Esthetician about his/her skintype, skincare concerns and select their ideal skincare wardrobe.

How to qualify:

  1. Be a Brilliant Farmgirl’s Beauty Secrets™ blog follower!
  2. For an additional 3 entries in the drawing, share your favorite beauty secret! It can be anything pertaining to skincare, makeup, health and fashion. Simply leave a comment with your beauty tip of the moment.

That’s all there is to it! Contest will close on 5.29.10 at 11.59pm PST and winner will be announced by 5.30.10. This giveaway is open to all U.S. Residents (For international blog followers: most of my future giveaways will be open to all, so stay tuned!). If winner is under 18, parental consent will be requested.

To kick things off, let me share my favorite beauty tip of the moment. I've been looking for ways to add volume to my thin brows so a friend recently shared her brow-perfecting secret: apply brow powder in 2 different natural shades to add dimensions and natural bulk to brows. Now I know why many brow enhancers often come in 2 complimentary shades (thanks, Susan!).


Drugstore alternatives for my makeup must-haves

Not long after sharing my go-to beauty stash with you all, I left for a last-minute trip and forgot to pack my blue beauty stash bag. Now, I’m known for being an absentminded packer, often forgetting essentials like socks and underwear (gasp!). But when it comes to my beauty stash, I check and double check. Not only does it contain beauty necessities like mascaras and SPF powder, it also holds my skincare arsenal. Unless I’m begging for a face full of rashes and pimples, I absolutely cannot subject my skin to drugstore or department store skincare products. Ok, so maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic, but I wasn’t thrilled about dealing with bad skin while traveling.

I was stunned for about 2 minutes while I contemplated the detriments my skin was about to suffer for the next 1.5 weeks without my essentials. But I quickly became excitedly distracted by the prospect of drugstore makeup shopping. I’d like to share with you the drugstore goodies that came immediately to mind as great substitutes for my current cosmetic faves. This fling with drugstore makeup has re-familiarized me with some great drugstore brands and I’m seriously considering introducing some of these products into my current beauty stash.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Pressed Powder SPF 16 in Translucent: If you’re interested in mineral makeup and only have access to drugstores, I highly recommend that you check out this entire line. Not only do they have a full range of mineral face and eye makeup, the texture is high quality. Even though they all contain mica, an ingredient that usually make me itch, the mica in these products does not induce itchiness. I first bought the loose version of this. It was velvety smooth going on but the lightest shade was still too dark for me. The pressed version still has the velvety smooth texture, it is more matte and glides on like a creamy powder. You can really pile this on and not feel cakey, which makes it ideal for touch-ups. The physical SPF 16 is such a plus. My only reservation about this product is I don’t know if Physicians Formula uses micronized minerals (which should be avoided). I have reached out to PF about this and hopefully I’ll have an answer for you guys by today. Tip: Physicians Formula always includes a signature crappy brush with their face powders- please keep this away from your face. It is rough and does not do this powder justice. You’re better off buying some smooth cotton squares and storing it in the convenient brush compartment for hygienic applications. Edited to add: Finally received news about whether PF Mineral Wear uses micronized minerals- Yes, they do. This is unfortunate news for me as I was really liking this powder. I think I'll keep this as a back-up, perhaps I'll store it in my luggage in case absentmindedness strikes again.

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black: I knew there are currently no drugstore polymer liquid liners so I wanted to find a stable liquid liner that is dark, performs well, stays all day and washes off with no residue left on my lashline. This one passed the test with flying colors. I just recently began winging my lines and its sponge tip does it with ease. One downside: I get extremely oily around my eyes and while the line stays perfectly intact on my upper lashline, it does transfer a bit onto my under eye area. People who don’t have freakishly oily skin should be fine though.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Eyeliner in Black Night: I usually like to smoke out my eyes with a little bit of grey or charcoal eyeshadow. After buying and returning several, I realized that the pencil I keep in my purse is better than any of the dark eyeshadows I tried. This pencil is fairly soft so it performs almost like a jumbo pencil. It’s in a base of jojoba oil and beeswax so it is going to fade and crease after a while, but it fades and creases in the most natural-looking way, making your eyes look like it’s naturally shaded.

L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara in Black: In the U.S., there are currently 2 drugstore polymer tubing mascaras on the market- this one and Prestige Lash Matrix. The L’Oreal version is far superior than the Pretige version in every way. Only downside: the brush is too big; I was tempted to trim the bristles down with scissors! Tip: This is advertised as a 2-step mascara- you are to apply the white base first, tubing mascara second. For me, I like to apply it 3-step to really maximize the volume- 1. Tubing mascara, 2. White base, 3. Tubing mascara. I’m not crazy about the ingredients in the white base so this really helps to trap the white base between 2 layers of the tubing mascara.