20 Apr

Happy Tuesday: an interview and a giveaway!

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little intimidated when I hit up the beauty counters in a department store.  The girls behind the counter are so adorable, and somehow I always end up there on the days when I choose to forego makeup.  Well, my days of beauty counter intimidation are over (and your will hopefully be too), thanks to an awesome chat I had with former Lancome employee, Megan McCauley. (And find out at the bottom of the page how you can win a sample of one of her favorite beauty products— Lancome Genefique!)

Megan says she has been interested in the beauty industry since about preschool (her first beauty product was a strawberry Lipsmacker— remember those?) Since then, she has taken in any and every beauty tip that she could. She just recently resigned from her job as a beauty advisor for Lancome to finish the last leg of her English degree at the University of San Francisco. Until then, she remained the go-to stylist and on-call makeup artist for all of her roommates and friends and family!

Check out our interview:

{blending beautiful}: What interested you about working in the beauty industry?

Megan: I think that beauty and fashion are extremely important. A lot of people view the entire beauty industry as vain. I began to understand this stereotype after working for Lancome—the cattiness and the immaturity that many of my coworkers displayed was astounding. This was a large part of why I left the job. However, this is not to say that this is representative of the entire beauty industry. I think that it is easy to get caught up in the idea that looks are all that matter. However, the thing that interests me about beauty is that it can do wonders for every part of your life. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you’re confident, and when you’re confident, you can literally do anything. The best part of working at a makeup counter was the women who would come by looking insecure, looking simply to refill their face cream, or their mascara. My favorite thing to do was to sit them down for ten minutes, and give them a fresh makeup look. They would walk away feeling so much better about themselves, with colors that they normally would never try. To me, beauty is not about getting guys to look at you, or even having people notice. It is about that amazing feeling you get when you know you are looking good that day, that may lead you to nail the job interview, or rock your final exam.

{bb}: What are your top 5 favorite beauty splurges and why?

M: 1. Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion: This is the do-it-all hair product! Spray it on wet hair before you blow dry for a sleek, shiny blowout, or spray it on your towel-dried hair for beachy looking waves!

2. MAC StudioFix Fluid Foundation: I have tried so many liquid foundations over the years, and while I worked at Lancome I tried to switch over to their products, but I never could stray from MAC’s formula. This foundation makes my skin look literally airbrushed. Every time I wear it, I get compliments on how great my skin looks! The only downside to this product is that you can NOT sleep in it! MAC is great for the daytime, but if I even sleep in this foundation one time I get an immediate break out.

3. Genifique Eye: I have to admit, I would never buy this if I hadn’t had the ability to sample it at work first. However, after I used it for a week, I was hooked! This is the essential eye cream for the college student. I use this over my regular eye cream to banish dark circles and puffiness. Although I don’t have fine lines yet, I still use an eye cream to prevent those. However, I DO have dark circles and puffiness already at the ripe age of 22 (all nighters or long nights of drinking, anyone?). Genifique Eye works instantly to banish dark circles—I see a brighter result almost instantly. I know this sounds like a Neutrogena commercial, but it really is true.

4. MAC 109 Small Contour Brush: Before I talk about this brush, I should probably admit that I live at the MAC counter. I love this brand. Their skincare is terrible, but their color and their brushes are unbeatable! This brush will change your life. It is a smaller buffing brush, but it can be used for foundation, bronzer, and blush! Sometimes I even put a bit of bronzer on it and buff it over my eyeshadow to blend it all together.

5. Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner: I am a big fan of the cat eye look for Spring. The Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner gives the perfect cat eye. I use an eyeliner brush from Sephora to apply it, and I just sweep it at the corners of my eyes, then run it over the base of my eyelids, as close to my lashes as possible. The only thing about this product that I don’t like is that it’s high-maintenance: you have to close the lid really tight after every use, or it will dry out. Also, you have to clean the brush after every use, or the bristles will get hard and gunky.

{bb}: What are your top 5 favorite inexpensive beauty products and why?

M: 1. L’oreal Vive Pro Shampoo and Conditioner: These shampoos and conditioners are super affordable, but the formula is amazing! Their line for color treated/damaged hair is amazing! I used to use Bumble&Bumble shampoo, and this beats it by a mile!

2. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser: For awhile, I was a slave to the makeup removing wipes. They were easy, and they took my makeup off quickly. However, they left my skin feeling slightly sticky and I noticed my skin breaking out more than usual when I used them. I started to use this face wash instead to remove my makeup, and it is actually quicker than the wipes! This cleanser also leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean.

3. Vaseline! I use it for everything, but mostly on my hands and my lips. I have really sensitive skin and this is one of the few things I can use to moisturize my lips without irritating them!

4. OPI by Sephora Nail Polish: This nail polish is amazing. It doesn’t chip easily, and they have the cutest colors!

5. Ardell False Eyelashes: These are my beauty secret when I am ready for a night on the town. I save my eyelashes for the night by not putting on mascara, and put these on instead! I get the thin, more natural looking ones and no one can ever tell that I am wearing them! One tip that I have learned is to cut them to fit, and also to make sure to let the glue sit for about 30 seconds before you apply them to your eye.

{bb}: You have great skin. Do you have a skin routine? If so, what is it?

M: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize! I always washed my face and moisturized… but until I worked for Lancome, I never realized how important it is to tone in between those two steps! If you don’t tone after you cleanse, you are missing the important step of sweeping away the dead cells. Ever since I have followed these three steps, I have had glowing skin!

{bb}: Are there any at-home beauty remedies that you use? If so, what are they?

M: I’ve never been very creative when it comes to at-home beauty remedies. But I am a firm believer in breaking open Vitamin E capsules on my scars. I have a lot of scars on my feet from blisters and such (too many nights in painful high heels…) and this always cures them!

{bb}: I posted an article claiming that men take longer to get ready than women. How long do you spend getting ready in the morning? And do the guys in your life take more or less time than you?

M: I take about an hour to get ready in the morning. I feel very accomplished that I have gotten my routine down to an hour! The men in my life are probably the lowest maintenance possible. I would say they all spend about twenty minutes tops.

Thanks so much to Megan for talking beauty with me!  Interested in trying one of her favorite beauty products?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a sample of Lancome Genefique! Entries are due by midnight on Thursday— the winner will be announced Friday!

Update: Congratulations to Annie, the winner of this week’s giveaway!  If this is you, email me within 24 hours to claim your prize!

{ posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 }


Comments: {48}

  • Lina Correa writes:

    Amazing skin!

  • shannon Baas writes:

    I would love this.

  • TIFFANY LANE writes:

    THANKS for the great giveaway!!

  • Noel writes:

    What a great giveaway. I really want to try the MAC StudioFix Fluid Foundation after the way she described it. I have such a hard time with foundation and I’m always a little weary because I don’t want to look like I have a mask on.

  • Stephanie V. writes:

    would love to try – thanks!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  • maryjcw writes:

    would love to try this

  • Lori W writes:

    Puffy Eyes begone I hope with Genifique Eye!

  • Elaine R writes:

    Love trying new products!

  • Amber G writes:

    Wow, this sounds like a great new product!

  • Cam writes:

    Awesome giveaway!

  • annie writes:

    thanks for the beauty tips! great giveaway

  • Anne Taylor writes:

    I agree with the vitamin E suggestion! Thanks

    (in Canada)

  • brenda f writes:

    I want to try the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

  • cathiem writes:

    Looks like this would really work.

  • Vicky Boackle writes:

    she had lots of great suggestions.

  • Mary B. writes:

    I would love to try all of her suggestions, most of all the Genifique Eye if it can banish dark circles, which I desperately need.

    This kind of article on experts reporting about what they love is really helpful when shopping. I learned a lot of great products this way.

    Thanks for writing such good stuff!

  • evelyn writes:

    sounds good

  • Marta D writes:

    Thanks for the great giveaway, i would really like to try this.

  • Shawn writes:

    I would really love to try this.


  • Happi Shopr writes:

    I’d love to try the MAC StudioFix Fluid Foundation.

  • Linda Lansford writes:

    I can use this fully

  • Jennifer B writes:

    I love Lancome! Thanks for the chance

  • J.R. writes:

    I could really use this! I love Lancome, too.

  • Carolsue writes:

    This would be nice to win! I’d like to try it.

  • Min K writes:

    I’m also a big fan of Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (and I’m almost 60!).

  • K.J. writes:

    Lancome is the best.

  • david writes:

    Would love to try this.

  • Jennifer Bobbitt writes:

    I would love to try the eye cream.

  • Lean writes:

    Hey I really like Lancome products. this is great!

  • donna writes:

    sign me up

  • Sue S writes:

    Have heard great things about this product.

  • Tina writes:

    Yay Megan! I heard “walk on by” recently and thought of you <3

  • Lucy Schwartz writes:

    Lancome is a trusted name . I would try this product.

  • Eve writes:

    I love OPI by sephora too! Nice list I will have to check out the rest of the products.

  • getpalmd writes:

    Count me in :-)

  • Rosie writes:

    Great interview! I am in desperate need of new beauty products!!

  • celia writes:

    I agree Vaseline is great! You can use it for many things, I certainly keep a pot on my vanity case and love it. Cliniques has been a favorite brand for years, and most of their products deliver.

  • MELANIE writes:

    She’s got beautiful skin!

  • Deb K writes:

    Please enter me in this great giveaway!


  • Chris A writes:

    I would love a chance to win this!

  • susan smoaks writes:

    great giveaway, very beautiful!


  • Leslie Price writes:

    Thanks for the tip about using a toner between the cleansing and moisturizing. I never knew why that was important!

  • Miranda Allen writes:

    This is Great Thanks

  • Pamela S writes:

    Great interview with lots of helpful info. Thanks.

  • marc-andre taillefer writes:

    Wow, this sounds like a great new product!

  • chastidy writes:

    Thanks for the great tips Im gonna have to try out MAC foundation :)

  • Sand writes:

    What great recommendations!

  • Semi Permanent Makeup writes:

    It sounds great. This is really awesome interview.

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