Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 5.1.2016

Thank you! I imagine I'll hit 40,000 views in the next month or so. It's hard to wrap my head around that number. Stats show many new subscribers come from my readers sharing my blog posts with their network. The posts take off from there and spread around the world. You will notice there are no links or ads on my blog. I do not nor do I want to earn a penny from this. I do it because I love it. My tombstone will read Wife, Mother and Beauty Maven with tubes of lipstick etched into the headstone.

It is my hope this little beauty blog of mine attracts all ages and budgets. I may wax poetic about how something works on mature skin but more than likely, I'm going on and on about how it works on oily skin which runs amok on all age groups. I shop all brands and price points and love them all. If something is good, it's good. If something is disappointing, I am as disappointed over a $2 lipstick as I am over a $50 lipstick.

APRIL was a holy smokes fabulous month for beauty in my world. Ulta's 20% off everything coupon and Sephora's VIB Rouge sale made for a bevy of shopping online and in-store. Tom, our UPS sweetie, even mentioned I seemed to be having an extra good time. Spring clothes, shoes and handbags rounded out the wild ride. Shoes are very pretty this season. I'm not an outlet shopper but had to get to a Bali store and they;re all in outlet centers. Major success at Bali and then.....A few doors down was the Kate Spade outlet. Heavens! I literally walked in and stopped dead in my tracks. My husband was behind me and walked right into me. I was frozen in a permanent state of shock and awe. It was a very good month.

Lien.Do by Seychelles Durango Kitten Heels

Most everything I bought in April was spot on what I had hoped for. However, there were definite favorites that made me giddy. Then again, there were also those that didn't!

Favorite April Beauty Buys
Burberry Cashmere Foundation (heavenly)
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Foundation (reliable and beautiful)
Minnie Mouse LE Lipstick, Sephora (cute as you can imagine)
Mally More is More Mascara
Wet and Wild Metallic Liquid Lipstick (all six)
Lipstick Tower for 116 tube
Buxom Lip Polish in Tonya
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 11 Gold (gorgeous!)
Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash Off Treatment
Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream (repurchase so you know I love it!)
Sephora Collection Minnie Mouse LE Lipstick Red
Essie Gel Setter Top Coat (another repurchase, my new favorite top coat)
NYX Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation (like silk!)
Burberry Cashmere Foundation
Disappointing April Beauty Buys
Hourglass Illusion Hydra Tint Foundation (beautiful but not for oily skin)
Sephora Collection Coutour Inner Rim Gel Liner in Wide Eyed Nude (lasts about 60 minutes)
RCM No Color Powder (have no idea what they hype is, left a gray cast on my medium tone)
St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Gradual Tan Anti-Aging Face (didn't see enough tan develop)
Ariana Grande eau de toilette Parfum Spray (love first hour but not the dry down)
Hourglass Blush in Incandescent Electra (gorgeous blush, I have others, this color is too light for me)

I finally got my lips done!!!! I had them done on Thursday, one syringe which is 1 ml. I will post before and afters once I heal. The day after was scary and painful. Not painful, tender is more accurate. The swelling was horrendous, holy smokes, I was not prepared for that. My lips were huge, I looked like Donald Duck's sister. The doctor's office called to follow-up and I expressed my surprise. I was relieved when they said it was very normal. As I type this, it is 72 hours later and I am loving them! The top lip is still slightly swollen with minimal bruising showing. I think it is ever so slight a difference but enough that I'm thrilled. My disappearing top lip is back. My bottom very wrinkly lip is smoothed. I will be able to wear matte lipstick without looking like a giant prune.


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 3.06.2016 Beauty Resolutions Report Card

Time to keep me honest about my 2016 Beauty Resolutions. If you're new to my blog (thank you!) or missed my original Beauty Resolution post, here is the link.

I'm happy to report the state of my resolutions is strong. Did that sound a bit presidential? Good. Temptation and habit have almost destroyed my resolve but so far, I'm at 100%.

Here's a progress report along with the challenges I have overcome.

Make it through the year without re-organizing my lipstick storage system
Earlier this week I finally ordered two additional Zahra Lipstick Towers. Once they arrive, I'll be much less tempted to re-organize my lipstick collection. One of my other resolutions has made me a bit twitchy to do some reorganizing. Instead of reorganizing, I've been throwing my new lipsticks and those I have used into a decorative box.  The box is now overflowing. However, I'm convinced there is no better system for housing my lipsticks than the Zahra towers. I will wait patiently for them to arrive.

Whittle down my makeup up brush collection by half
I have started this painful and arduous process. One of my fellow YTers and Facebook friends had asked if I might be willing to send any unwanted eye brushes her way. Yes! As luck would have it, I had already started whittling down my eye shadow brushes making it easy enough to send her a care package of shadow brushes. She's in cosmetology school and hopes to become an independent makeup artist. Admittedly, I have thought about starting on my blush brushes every weekend and every weekend I find a way to procrastinate. There's 10 more months to get this done. It will take the entire 10 months. 

Wear my entire perfume collection
This has been an absolute joy! There are woman who love perfume in all its genres. They embrace florientals with as much passion as a gourmand or chypre. Not me. I will buy a lipstick or blush that is ok but for me to buy a perfume I have to love it, more than love it. It must make my toes tingle and my head swoon. It has to evoke an emotion. The emotion can be happy or pensive, romantic or silly but it must evoke something. Every perfume I have in my collection meets all these criteria yet most of the time, I wore either Jessica McClintock or Amazing Grace.  Justin Bieber's Boyfriend, Clinique Happy, Gianfranco Ferre, Faith Hill, Tresor and so many others that had been neglected until now. I own 16 fragrances and have loved rediscovering each one. 

No buying single powder shadows
Easy peasy on this one. Not too much to say other than I had one momentary temptation. All I can remember is that it was a NARS single, part of their Dual Intensity line. It wasn't so much of a temptation as it was I forgot about this resolution. When I put it in my Sephora cart, I remember and removed it promptly.

No buying under makeup primer
I thought this one would be easy but has proven to be difficult. I'm not sure if my quest for a perfect primer is more about the pursuit of younger looking skin or matte skin. I did buy the new Benefit Matte Rescue Gel  more as skincare than a primer. In any event, I returned it. About 10 years ago, I had very dry skin. Primer was easy back then. With oily skin, not so much. I keep telling myself that if I haven't found the magic primer by now, it simply doesn't exist. Unfortunately, I'm not convincing myself. Two months in, I'm good on this resolution. Come summer, this might break me.

Use Rogaine every day
Not easy, but keeping to this one. I'm also using a laser helmut thing. Raquel Welch wigs are next.

Do not wear the same lipstick two days in a row
This has been fun and hard at the same time. The habit of grabbing the same lipstick I tossed on my vanity from the day before is a much bigger habit than I realized. There are some mornings I negotiate with myself on whether I'm going to get a different lipstick or wear yesterday's. I have a large armoir and chest of drawers right outside our master bath which holds my makeup collection. It's all of 10 feet to go grab a new lipstick. Yet, I'm still drawn to the one on my vanity. Thus, the overflowing box of lipsticks. Trying to help myself, I now take the lipstick I wear and instead of tossing it on my vanity, I'm tossing it in the box on top of the chest of drawers. 

Get a handle on all my samples
I'm using more samples which is a step in the right direction. I still haven't given any away with the exception of my perfume samples. I have a friend in Idaho who loves perfume and I've been sending her bags of samples. Feels good to send them to a good home. On a positive note, I cancelled all my subscription boxes which means less samples coming into the house. This resolution requires a bit more thought on my part. 

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.14.2016 Morning Skin Care Routine

Thank you! I've hit a milestone with 30,000 views. Smooches from me to you!

I've had every kind of skin type from extremely dry to extremely oily. Most women tend to get drier with the years, I'm going in the opposite direction. I'm getting oilier. About 10 or 15 years ago, I had very dry skin. I would slather olive oil or shea butter on at night and still wake up with flaky skin. Luckily, I have never had sensitive, reactive or break out prone skin. The only exception is my under eye area. It is highly reactive, sensitive, flakes at the drop of dime and Sahara Desert dry.

Let me back up a little. I love research. Ingredient decks give me butterflies in my stomach. I remember helping my mother put away groceries. It was impossible for to put anything in the pantry until I read the ingredient list. Of course, ingredient lists were much shorter back then! When I'd eat cereal, I would put the box in front of me so I could read the back over and over and over. Fast forward, I feel the same about the ingredient decks on skin care products. Some people bookmark vacation itineraries, I bookmark skincare articles.

Simple but effective is my goal when it comes to skin care. These are my issues today, these are issues I want to prevent, what ingredients will help, what ingredients are pointless. Next, wrap that up with personal preferences. How can I address all that with the least amount of products in the shortest amount of time? In the morning, I want to cleanse, prevent, hydrate and protect. You may want to exfoliate, firm, fight acne, uber moisturize, mattify, etc.

Purity Made Simple cleanser by Philosophy
I don't like foaming cleansers. To me, it's feels like cottage cheese on my face. Plus the foam is always going up my nose. Apparently I'm a heavy breather when I wash my face. Personal preference is no scent or a slightly herbal scent, nothing fruity or floral. I don't like to feel overly moisturized from a cleaner nor do I want a tight, squeaky clean feeling. For me, the answer is Purity by philosophy. It is the longest used product in my entire beauty, hair care, or skin care arsenal. I've used Purity for at least 15 years. Plenty of other cleansers have come and gone in that time and I always come back to Purity. Bonus point is it leaves skin at proper pH, therefore, no need for toner.

Next step is an anti-oxidant serum. I'm not loyal to any particular brand but what I am loyal to is rotating between a 20% Vitamin C serum and a potent, blended anti-oxidant serum. My number one most annoying skin issue is uneven skin tone and discoloration. Do wrinkles make me crazy? Yes. Does sagging skin make me cry? Yes. For me, though, uneven skin takes the cake. Vitamin C helps slow down the clock on discoloration and may even lighten spots. Based on research, Vitamin C also helps new collagen to form. If you the read my blog post about anti-oxidants, collagen is key! I'm losing a lot of collagen at my age. If a product can build a tiny bit back, happy dance! Good collagen levels help prevent wrinkles and keep skin bouncy. The other anti-oxdiant serum needs to have multiple anti-oxidants in it and I don't much care which ones they are since they're all good. Personal preference is watery Vitamin C serums for quick absorption.  Whichever 20% Vitamin C serum is the best price on amazon is the one I buy. At the moment my blended, multi-action antioxidant serum is Paula's Choice for combination or oily skin.
Paula's Choice Resist Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate
Majectic Pure 20% Vitamin C serum with Vitamin E and Ferulic
I list this as a separate step but with my oily skin I don't need this to be a step on it's own. My preference is for hydration to be taken care of as part of the Protect step below. If we are having a bitter cold day in the Chicago area, I'll use a separate product for moisturizing. When I reach for a moisturizer, I always choose one that also has anti-aging ingredients. Heck, if I'm adding a product it better give me more than moisture. Right now, my moisturizers of choice are Philosophy Hope in a Jar or Algenist Anti-Aging Moisturizer.

This is the most important step in my routine, the SPF. I don't like layers and layers of product on my oily skin. This step must combine a highly effective SPF and hydration or SPF and primer. If I can get anti-oxidants thrown in, the more the merrier! Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 is my go to. It is broad spectrum, loaded with anti-oxidants, and just enough moisturization for my skin. As importantly, there are two things it does NOT do. Many SPF products make oily skin even oilier. This does not. Some SPF products cause other product to ball or pill up. This never does that. If I know I'm going to use a foundation that is not great with pore coverage, I might use a a primer with broad spectrum SPF 30.

It is my opinion that SPF is the single MOST important step in anti-aging and skin care. Period. Chase your retinols, peptides, anti-oxidants and exfoliators all you want. If you're not using an SPF every day of the year, you're missing the boat on skin care. Heck, you're missing the entire ocean.
Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
Bare Mineral Prime Time SPF  30
Murad Invsiiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus
Colleen Rothschild
Wei East Eyes Alive
My under eye area has a mind of its own. I need serious hydration. For whatever reason, the majority of eye creams sting the heck out of my under eye area. Stinging is always followed by red, flaking, uber crepy skin within 24 hours and will last at least 4 or 5 days. If a product is geared for dark circles or puffiness, it is usually a no go for me. If a product contains retinol that is also a deal breaker. Most odd, no matter what, I can't use an eye cream for more than two weeks. At about the two week point, my under eye area rebels. As much as I need deeply hydrating and emolient eye cream, I do wear under eye concealer so it can't cross the line of being too emollient. During this snapshot in time, my under eye area will tolerate Clinique All About Eyes, Kiehls Rosa Artica, Colleen Rothschild, and Algenist Eye Renewal Balm, Wei East Eyes Alive and Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus. I apply the Wei East Eyes Alive OVER my concealer two or three times a day by using a tiny bit and patting it on so as not to disturb my concealer.

I always bring the Vitamin C or antioxidant serum down to my neck as well the SPF. Next comes the neck cream. Skinn Neck Armour, sold on evine shopping channel, is incredible. Neck Armour, a thick cream, "glues" the neck in place for about 4 or 5 hours. At about the 5 hour mark I try to add a moisturizing cream to rehydrate.  I'm repurposing my failed eye creams into mid-day neck creams. Because they are small, it easily fits on my purse. Plumping up the neck skin with moisturizer is the answer to firmer, less crepy skin.
Skinn Neck Armour
It really is simple. Purity cleanser, 20% Vitamin C or Anti-Oxidant Serum, and broad spectrum SPF 30 moisturizer.

As the hands of time keep ticking, I need to consider upping my AM game a bit.  Thanks to the internet, Westerners are quickly learning about Korean skin care. Skin care claims are much more closely monitored and measured in Korea as compared to the US. If a product claims a certain outcome, Korean regulations say prove it or we'll yank it. Well, maybe not in those words but you get my drift. In turn, this has made Korean consumer very critical of skin care claims. If a skin care company want to succeed in Korea, they had better deliver as promised. Korean essences are catching my eye. It would be an easy, fast step to add right after cleansing. I'm thinking about it. Need to do my research!

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.07.2016 Mascara and Foundation

Is anything more hotly debated in the makeup world than mascara? Yes, foundation! Foundation and mascara. I'm active on a number of makeup boards, groups, forums and inevitably someone will ask the group for a recommendation on either. If there are 100 replies, 95 of them are different. I understand why there is variance in foundation recommendations but it does surprise me how the same mascara can react so differently from person to person. There's not a lot of real estate when it comes to eye lashes so what the heck makes mascara so gorgeous on one and go wonky on another? For Pete's sake, it's an eye lash!

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, I have two very odd beauty attributes. Nail polish does not chip on me and mascara does not smear, flake, transfer, smudge on me. Brand does not matter in either case. I often post pics of my manicure after one week of wear and not a chip to be seen. I will be asked what brand, what base, what top coat but I tell you, it does not matter for me. My nail polish does not chip 99.9% of the time. I change my polish because I want a new color, not because I have to.

Sorry, had to stop and watch the half-time show. I'm guessing most will not give it a thumbs up but I loved it. It was happy and joyful!

At this very moment I have, never mind, let's just say I have a lot of mascara. Most expensive is Serge Luten and least expensive is Wet N Wild. Do I love them all? No. But not one has ever flaked or smudged on me. My biggest concern is if a mascara will hold the curl. In the event you don't know this tidbit, waterproof mascara will hold your curl better than non-waterproof due to the higher wax content in waterproof. The only possible reason I can think of for mascara not misbehaving on me is my application.  I only use one coat which I define as one dip of the brush in the tube. I apply using many very fast, short strokes and don't go to the root most of the time. Thanks to YouTube makeup tutorials, I've watched many women apply mascara and it seems my method is unique. If I'm going to an event and want a very done and made up look, I'll apply a second coat to the tips only. The brush is more important to me than the formula although I prefer a wetter rather than dry formula but only by a tinge. I like traditional vs rubber bristles, curved shape, small brush, short bristles and length over volume but getting both is a bonus.

I can do calculus and I can do foundation. I find them both equally challenging. I choose my foundation each morning based on the day. What's the weather? How long do I need it to last? Do I want to look done or natural (almost never)? What am I wearing? Do I want to look really great for a short time or so so for a long time? Will I spend more than 5 minutes outdoors? As you can see, my morning starts with a vigorous workout for my brain. Gets me ready for my day, which trust me, is not for the faint of heart. Some eat their Wheaties, I choose my foundation. Personally, I think it's easier to pick a winning stock than it is to pick a winning foundation.

The question I get asked most is what foundation I recommend or which foundation is my favorite. Impossible. If you ask me this question, be prepared for a barrage of questions. What do you want your foundation to do? Is your skin dry or oily? Do you use a primer? How are your pores? Do you sweat? How long will you be wearing the foundation? What level of coverage do you want? Is there a preference for serum, liquid, cream or powder? Do you apply with fingers, brush or sponge? Do you want to set with a powder? Where do you shop? What is your budget? Do you regularly self-tan? What is your undertone? Do you like a matte, demi-matte, natural, satin, luminous or dewy finish?

For me, the number one most important factor is color, I want a perfect color match. Second, I want medium coverage. Third, I want a satin finish.  Fourth is pore coverage and fifth is long wearing. Can I get all these in one foundation? No. Do I want all these factors every day? No. When I'm going to an event, I want a luminous finish. I also don't care about pore coverage because if I'm going to an event, I know I will use a primer which will take care of the pores. However, I will also want full coverage. If I'm in the office all day in office lighting, I need a different tone than when I will be attending a graduation party outdoors in natural light.

I'm thankful I have the resources to chase my windmills when it comes to foundation. I bought three disastrous foundations last month. I always experiment on weekends because I have the freedom to wash them off. And I did. There is no doubt in my mind each of these three foundations are someone else's holy grail. As a matter of fact, yesterday I read a post about One by Kose gel cream foundation. The poster said she finally found "the" perfect foundation. Her search was over. I bought that foundation and it arrived last week. Wore it to breakfast yesterday. As soon as we got home, about two hours later, I washed it off immediately. My face was so greasy and shiny someone could have used it to send Morse code to the moon. When I first put it on, One was gorgeous, simply gorgeous. There's another lesson. Give foundation time to marry with your skin before judging.

This internet is a wonderful thing. Plenty of reviews, plenty of videos, plenty of information. My most important advice is to know what you want your foundation to do for you. When reading reviews, check to see if the the reviewer's skin type is mentioned. You might have a favorite YouTuber but if she is 20 years younger with oily skin and you have menopausal dry skin, think twice about a foundation she loves. Right now there are lots of  'how to' makeup looks for Valentine's Day. Sitting across the table in a dimly lit restaurant is very different than working under the florescent lighting of a hospital or chasing around second graders in the playground.

Happy hunting!

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 1.31.2016 Lipstick Discoveries

One of my 2016 Beauty Resolutions was to not wear the same lipstick two days in a row (resolution blog post here). Last year, I had gotten in the habit of picking up the same lipstick day after day. For a lady who own more lipsticks than there are countries in the world, this was a problem.
Chubby lipstick pencils - my favorite for applying
Keeping this resolution has been a blast. So much so that I've gone a step farther and wore a different lipstick each day in January.  Equal opportunity is the name of the game, from Wet N Wild to Cle de Peau. There was a time when peach, coral, brick made up the bulk of my collection. Slowly, I've come over to the cool side of life and find I mostly buy pinks, reds and berries the last few years.

It is always the color that catches my eye rather than the brand, price or packaging. Luxurious packaging does score points with me, though! I have bought and returned more YSL lipstick than I care to admit. I love the packaging but can't stand the scent. The packaging grabs me, I'll try again and turn green from the scent and taste of roses on my lips. What was I talking about? Oh, color is my guiding force. I think that is fairly typical but I do have friends where formula or brand are the guiding force to buy or not buy. Luckily, I like all finishes except matte. It's not that I don't like the look of matte but on my small heavily lined lips, matte does not do me any favors. A matte red on full, plump lips makes me weak in the knees.
YSL and Dior, some of my favorite packaging
This past month has enlightened me on my lipstick preferences. I have a clear preference for the chubby pencil packaging. I do not at all like the application methods for liquid lipsticks. Doe foot for gloss is fine, for saturated color lipstick, no.  Medium to slightly deep pink, either warm or cool, is my favorite color but I am starting to pick back up on my love of deep peachy corals. Finally, lipstick that stains is the best thing since the invention of waterproof mascara!

Contrary to many women, I don't at all care about how long a lipstick lasts. I enjoy applying lipstick. I have to admit a lipstick that barely make an hour on my lips is not acceptable. Two hours at a minimum is my bar for making the grade.

If I had to pick favorite formulas, it would be the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy and the Too Face La Creme lines. Bite Beauty Maybelline could be on this favorite formula list. Yes, they should make the list. It may be heresy but I'm not a fan of the NARS Audacious line or Tom Ford. As far as the chubby pencils, hands down I love Jordanna, Wet N Wild and Revlon. I wish they'd both expand the color selection.

What do I own the most of? Maybelline followed by MAC, Too Faced, Estee Lauder and Dior. I was surprised I owned as much Dior as I do. It's the packaging!
Two of my favorite reds, Chanel Pirate and Lipstick Queen Have Paris
I don't think I have many rules when it comes to lipstick other than scent and feathering. If I don't like the scent, out it goes. Not any color, formula or packaging will win me over if I don't like the scent. Feathering is another issue I won't tolerate. I don't wear lip liner. There are too many wonderful choices out there in lipstickland to suffer through either of these issues.

Almost forgot to mention, if a lipstick tube has a magnetic snap and feels heavy in the hand, my heart be still!

Thanks for letting me post about my favorite subject!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit: 1.24.2016 Anti-Oxidants, Free Radicals and Wrinkles

This blog post comes with a warning. The warning is that this is going to be the most simplified explanation of anti-oxidants and free radicals you will ever read. There will be no footnotes or references to scientific thesis or whatever they are called. This is all coming from my head. I will say that I'm a great student of skin care. In my free time I read ingredient decks. Not really. In my free time I read foundation reviews and swatch lipstick.

We hear about anti-oxidants and their anti-aging benefits all the time. What is an anti-oxidant? Why are they anti-aging? How do they work?

Two "ingredients" in your skin that keep it firm, bouncy, plump and smooth are collagen and elastin. Both are plentiful in young skin. As the clock ticks, our bodies produce less and less of both. With less collagen and elastin, the skin loses its firmness and becomes weaker. Aside from age, another enemy of collagen and elastin is free radicals. What is a free radical? It's an oxygen molecule that has mutated and gone radical, gone crazy, gone off the deep end. Oxygen that is external or internal can mutate into a crazy free radical. Your skin is getting attacked from all angles by these bad rads. What makes an oxygen molecule go crazy? It sniffs pollution. It gets too much sun. It can't take stress and boom, a normal oxygen cell goes nuts and mutates into a free radical.

Free radicals have a voracious appetite. You and I like to munch on Hershey Kisses and Doritos. Free radicals like to munch on collagen and elastin. Lovely. As we age we are producing less collage and elastin and what little we do produce is being munched away by free radicals.
People munch on Doritos (good) ~ Free radicals much on collagen and elastin (bad)
Enter your knight in shining armor aka an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals and chase them away. Sound the trumpets in victory! This means you get to keep more of your collagen and elastin and your skin stays stronger, firmer, bouncier. If your skin is stronger, it is more difficult for fine lines or wrinkles to form.
Anti-oxidant = Knight in Shining Armour
If you fold a piece of paper, the crease stays. If you fold a rubber band, there is no crease. The more collagen and elastin your skin has, the more it will act like the rubber band and resist forming creases and wrinkles.

There's zillions of anti-oxidants. Each anti-oxidant is a bit different and each fights different types of free radicals. They are all good, though!  If possible, you want to get a variety of anti-oxidants on your skin. Some free radical damage causes wrinkles, some causes age spots, some causes sagging, some causes loss of barrier function which leads to sensitive, easily irritated skin, some free radicals get the skin so angry that it becomes inflamed at the cellular level. You want as many different possible anti-oxidants to fight all the different free radicals and the damage they cause.

You might be wondering which anti-oxidant is best? It depends on your issue. Some anti-oxidants are better at fighting free radicals that cause age spots. Some anti-oxidants are better at fighting free radicals that cause inflammation. Chances are you want to fight all free radical damage. Some anti-oxidants make the skin so strong that they can actually rebuild collagen and elastin. In other words, they can reverse the signs of aging.

The above is very simplistic but I hope it helps you better understand why free radicals are bad and why anti-oxidants are good. Some popular and potent anti-oxidants in skincare are Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Resveratrol, Coffee Berry, CoQ10, Acai, Niacinamide, Grape Seed, and Vitamin A (more popularly known as retinol in over the counter products and Retin A the stronger, by prescription only version).

It is preferable to use anti-oxidants both night and day but especially in your morning routine. Most free radicals are created from UVA/UVB light, namely the sun but UVA rays also are in artificial, or indoor, lighting. It makes sense you need more anti-oxidants during the day. Some anti-oxidants also strenthen the skin and rebuild collagen and elastin so it's a good idea to use them in your night time routine as well.

I hope you found this very simplistic explanation helpful.

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 1.10.2016 Some Favorite 2015 Purchases

Lots of beauty bloggers and YouTubers are putting up their Best of 2015 Beauty lists. My list is more about my favorite purchases. If I were to make a list of fails, it would be equally as long! These products were new to me in 2015, not necessarily new to the market.

L'oreal Brow Stylist Plumper
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Wayne Goss #4 and #5 Eye Shadow Brushes
Maybelline Bouncy Blushes
L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation
Surratt Lash Curler
Smashbox Pore Minimizer Primer
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
Lancome La Base Pro Pore Eraser
Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit
Sephora Teint Infusion Foundation
CoverFX Custom Cover Drops
St. Tropez Self Tanning Face Oil
YSL Full Metal Shadow
Laure Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation
Too Faced Melted Lipstick
Emjoi Micro Pedi - Electric
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Mono Cream Eye Colour
Redken Anti Snap Leave In Hair Treatment
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit
Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder
Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick
Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book of Sculpting II
Sephora Ombre Blush Palette
Tom Ford Noir fragrance
Marc Jacobs Mod fragrance
YSL Black Opium fragrance
Ariana Grande Ari fragrance
Conair Infiniti Pro Blow Dryer

It was a great year! I look at the above list and I get misty eyed. Such wonderful new friends I have made.

How does a product make the list? I don't have any formula for success. Most products I buy work as expected but some make a little magic along the way. One criteria is that it can't be fussy. If I have to work to get it to work, it won't make the list. Actually, the easier it is to work, the more likely it is to make the list. I wear most of my makeup to work. That means I'm applying it in a hurry in the morning. I'm not a morning person.  What else? If a product make me feel special, it makes the list. On the other hand maybe not. I always feel special when I use a Chanel blush yet none of them made the list.  I recently bought my first Tom Ford blush and it also did not make the list. Trust me, I sure as heck feel special when I use it. Guerlain Meteorites are pure luxury. Now that I think about it, probably should have added them to the list but this year's Holiday Limited Edition packaging bugged me because it was plastic. See? One little thing and the product doesn't make the cut.

I'm going to do more in depth blog posts on two skin care contraptions I'm using. I've been dermarolling or microneedling since mid September. In my signature side by side experiment, I'm only using on one side of my face. It's the only way I can truly tell if something is making a difference. I think this dermarolling is working better than Retin A for reversing signs of aging. I hear you all gasping.

The other interesting tool I'm using is the Tria Age Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser. Say what? Started using this device on Christmas Day, and again, only using under one eye. Need to use it nightly for 8 weeks. According to the company, results can show in as early as two weeks. I'm at the two week mark. I don't see results but my husband says he does. Smart man!

Still need to make the appointment to get my lips done. I am most excited about this. Then what am I waiting for? A great groupon.

I hope your New Year is off to a smooth start~!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 1.03.2016 Drives Me Crazy

When it comes to beauty products, all my problems are first world problems. I get it and I'm plenty aware of that. This is a beauty blog, ie, vanity thy name is Lulu. I blog about lipstick and whether foundations come with a pump. These pet peeves of mine do not keep me up at night. Maybe my hunt for a nude pencil liner that stays on my waterline does. Given the choice of being kept up at night between an infestation of grubs in my lawn or the search for a nude pencil liner, I'd rather think about the liner.

I put together a list of my first world beauty product pet peeves. This is product oriented, not people oriented. That would be a book (hint.... dark liner with light lipstick....chipped pedicure with open toe shoes.....super thin eye brows....).

When I place my brush in a pressed powder product and a Dust Bowl from the 1930s suddenly appears before my eyes, that product promptly meets its death as I push it over the ledge into the trash can. It can be workable, I know, but I am not a patient person. Too many lovely products to put up with a dust storm.
Fall Out
No, I will not sweep it off my cheeks. No, I will not do my eyes first and then let the foundation take care of fall out. No. If eye shadow is going to spill off my lids and onto my cheeks either during application or as the day goes on, off to Death Valley it goes. About a year or two ago, I bought a Dior Fusion Mono Eye Shadow in Mirror, a most beautiful buttery yellow, not quite gold, with a shimmer. I like wearing light colors with shimmer on my lids because it is the only way anyone can tell I even have lids. But this shadow was ridiculous. I swear I found sparkle in my freezer from this beast. Could I put some MAC Fix + on my brush? Of course, but if I have to work to make a product work, nope. Too many fish in the sea to put up with such nonsense.

Nude Pencil Liner
A brand can make a perfect, long lasting, wear for hours on the waterline black pencil liner. That same brand can make that same pencil in a nude color and it is gone off the waterline within an hour. NARS, Tarte, Stila, Laura Geller, IT Cosmetics, Urban Decay, MUFE, I can go on. One hour and gone. Gone, I tell you! If I ever had Lasik, they'd wonder what the heck is all that beige good behind her eyeballs. It's her nude pencil liner! When I hear complaints about a black liner not lasting all day, I roll my eyes. Honey,(don't you love when I call you Honey - kind of like a waitress wearing bright red lipstick while smacking on some bubble gum) try finding a nude pencil that wears more than 60 minutes!!! Rimmel seems to be the best at two hours. I wear nude pencil on my waterline because I have very red eye rims. It is not optional, it is a necessity. Did I mention first world problems?

Nail Polish Puddles
I can tolerate a nail polish that goes on streaky during a first coat as long as it fixes itself with the second coat. But puddling? Zero tolerance on my part. And inevitably, those that puddle also leave drag marks. How doe these companies test their products? It's not operator error. If I may brag on myself a moment, I'm excellent at applying nail polish. When you place the brush on your nail and all the polish runs to your cuticles and forms puddles, this is a formula issue. A formula, meaning some human actually created this nightmare, quality assurance let it go to mass production followed by marketing who wooed me into buying it. This is why I only buy cosmetics from stores with reasonable and customer oriented return policies.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Fragrances
When I put on a fragrance that smells like gardenias, I want it to smell like gardenias from beginning to end. I don't want to smell like sandalwood three hours later. All this gibberish with top, middle and bottom notes makes my head spin. I get it that perfume transforms but to go from a lush green meadow to the depths of a mold filled cave, I don't think so.

Mascara Tube Rings
There is a great deal of engineering that goes into the mascara tube. Most of us care about the shape of the brush and the formula but the neck of the tube is important! The ring of the tube determines how much mascara stays on the wand. When I pull out the wand and it is globbed with mascara, what is that about? Do they seriously think I'm going to wipe it off on a tissue? Why, I ask you, why?

Old Products on the Shelves
I'm calling out Walgreens and Ulta on this one. How many times have you seen bottles of foundation or nail polish that sit on the shelf and the contents is separated? Who is merchandising these displays? Does anyone ever buy a bottle of foundation that is separated? I think not. I happen to like the Maybelline Dream Bouncy blushes. I was looking at the display in my local Walgreens and noticed they now had a highlighter color. Upon closer examination, it was a typical color blush that had faded to pale yellow.

Odd Shaped Lipstick Tubes
Yes, MAC, I'm talking to you. Rimmel, you listen up as well. Dior, join the party. Lancome's new line is guilty, too. Those of us with large collections, those of us who keep you in business, want to see the name of the lipstick color. That means we need to store the tube upright. I admit, I'm a sucker for Dior Addict lipstick packaging, my heart be still, however it has actually stopped me from buying more of it. Now that I have my Zahra lipstick storage towers, I'm at peace with all tube shapes. But for the last three decades, this has caused me heartburn. If you read my 2016 Beauty Resolutions post (link), you know I have an obsessive issue with lipstick storage systems. It's because of MAC and Rimmel and Dior and some others I can't think of at the moment! I'm getting heart palpitations right this very moment.
These won't stand up!
I'm going to stop here although my evil twin would like to continue this list. Neurosis runs in my family. That's my excuse.

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit: 2016 Beauty Resolutions

I love January! Usually it means lots of cold and snow and I'm a cold and snow kind of girl. Chicago area is more like the tropics right now but I'm sure January and February will bring the snow. Snow is life as far as I'm concerned.  The other reason I love January is because it's time for fresh goals, lots of positivity, and the hustle of the holidays is gone.

Speaking of positivity and fresh goals, it's time to announce my 2016 Beauty Resolutions. I did fairly well with the 2015 Resolutions, here's a link to my results. Perhaps I will inspire you!  I find the key to NY Resolutions is to be very specific. Instead of saying you will drink more water, commit to drinking two glasses of water before noon. Makes sense? I find the same is true with beauty resolutions.

Here we go.....

Make it through the year without re-organizing my lipstick storage system
My two favorite categories of makeup are foundations and lipsticks. Lipsticks, however, slay me. How is it possible to walk past a lipstick display and not buy one...or two? This is inconceivable to me. I digress. I have reorganized my lipstick collection every year. I buy gadgets, I buy acrylic organizers, I buy stacking drawers, I buy dividers. Then I arrange them by color family, change my mind and arrange them by brand, change my mind and it all starts again. At some point last year, I bought two lipstick towers. Love them. Love. I'm ordering a few more and that is it. I'm done. I'm sticking with this system. Very easy to find lipstick and you can store 81 lipsticks in what I consider a tiny foot print. Organizing my glosses....that's another story and not part of this resolution.
Zahra Lipstick Tower

Whittle down my makeup up brush collection by half
Ouch, ouch, ouch. If someone asks me, I will tell them how many lipsticks I have. No problem sharing the number of foundations in my foundation drawer at this very moment. But I will not tell anyone how many makeup brushes I own. This may be the most difficult of my 2016 resolutions.

Wear my entire perfume collection 
The older I get, the wines I like are getting lighter and the perfumes I like are getting heavier. My favorite note has always been Lily of the Valley so to find myself liking oud is startling! Jessica McClintock (primary note is Lily of the Valley) has been in my collection since it launched in 1988. I remember it clearly because it was the year my first son was born. I still love it and wear it 4 days out of 7, some weeks it is 7 days out of 7. Tom Ford has introduced me to an entirely different genre (fancy word alert) of perfume. I detested his scents when he launched his fragrance line. Somehow, as he launched more and more scents and I kept sniffing, I found myself gravitating to them. I have enough sense to know that his scents are not mainstream which means I need to use caution for daytime. I work in an office. I like lots of fragrances but I have to move away from Jessica McClintock and Amazing Grace. I love my perfume collection but every morning, I reach for Jessica or Grace. Time to crack out of my shell.

No buying single powder shadows
Just as lipstick and foundation are my favorite categories, eye shadows are my least favorite category. I reach for my palettes every day or my cream shadows. Single shadows do nothing but take up space. Last year I tried to depot but that was the resolution I failed at so at the very least, this year I will not add to the collection. Earlier today I was at Walgreens and had a new L'oreal single in my hand, Cafe au Lait. Almost bought it. Girl!

No buying under makeup primer
In my humble opinion, primer is a bunch of hooey after the first couple of hours. Keep in mind, I have very oily skin. To me for my oily skin, foundation is the key along with setting powder. I have primers to mattify, blur pores, and increase longevity of foundation. Not falling for it any more.

Use Rogaine every day
Back in the saddle again. Enough said.

Do not wear the same lipstick two days in a row
One would think this is not difficult for me to do but, alas, it is. (was that another fancy word alert?) Yet, I wear the same lipstick three or four days in a row. This is not quite so serious as my perfume issue. I own about 10 perfumes. However, I own hundreds of lipsticks. Calm yourselves, I don't own hundreds of long as you don't count eye shadow brushes. I crack myself up!

Get a handle on all my samples
The nice thing about samples is that they are sealed which means I can in fact give them away. My mother lives in an independent retirement community.  I might start leaving baskets of samples in the common area and also taking a bunch on Saturday mornings to the food pantry that serves our community. I know this sounds insane but it is very difficult to donate single use items to women's shelters unless you have dozens and dozens of the exact same, identical product. At least it is in DuPage county Illinois.

There you have it. Do you make beauty resolutions? Have I inspired you? Let me know!

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!

Facebook: (send me a friend invite!)

Instagram:  LuluOnBeauty


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit: 2015 Beauty Resolutions Year End Report Card

In my most humble opinion, I deserve an A+.  However, if a B is indicative of "above average" then I will be happy with a B.  For the record, though, for pain and suffering alone I should get that A+.

The original post with my 2015 Beauty Resolutions can be found here. For those of you in a hurry, after all it is the Sunday before Christmas, here's a quick rundown:

1. Continue buying and sampling most every foundation I can get my hands on.
2. No buy on matte lipstick
3. Recommit to using Rogaine twice daily
4. Color my roots every three weeks
5. Resist cutting bangs
6. Depot all my single shadows into a Z palette
8 .No buy on eye liners
9. Commit to using lip liner or no buy on lip liners
10. Gently pat my face dry rather than rubbing it dry
11. No buy on body wash
12. Encourage women everywhere to wear lipstick daily

Let's break this down
Continue buying and sampling most every foundation I can get my hands on: Grade A
This was effortless. I actually had to hold myself back a bit. I think the older you get, the more important foundation becomes. For you it might mean wearing less of it or more of it but either way, do not settle for anything less than perfection after you hit 40.

No buy on matte lipstick: Grade A-
I love the look of full lips with a bold, matte lipstick. Problem one is that my lips are not full. I wanted to get injections before Christmas but that's not happening due to a never ending dental issue. Second issue is that not only do I have small lips but they are also very lined. They are not dry, only deeply lined. Small, wrinkly, lined lips do not do well wearing matte lipstick. Good new is that technology moves quickly in mobile phones AND matte lipstick! Matte lipsticks have come a long way in the short span of a year. I think they were "the" biggest beauty trend of 2015, even surpassing contouring.  Within the last month, I bought a few matte lipstick and have to say, I was very happy with them, Kat Von D and Revlon's new HD one.  They did not magnify my wrinkly lips. After I finally get the injections, I'm going hog holly wild on matte lipstick.

Recommit to applying Rogaine twice daily:  Grade C-
Why is this so darn hard for me to keep up with? I have no idea. If you were to ask me about my number one beauty concern, it would be my thinning hair. I started the year off great, slacked a bit in the Summer but quickly got back on the wagon. In October I ran out of Rogaine. I'd look right at it in the hair care aisle but not buy it. This will be a repeat on my 2016 Beauty Resolution list.

Color my roots every three weeks: Grade A
Done and done. Not much else to say. Maybe I went 4 weeks a couple times this year but this is still an A in my book. Coloring my roots is my most dreaded beauty routine and I routinely stretched it to 5 weeks in 2014. 3 weeks is perfect.

Resist cutting bangs:  Grade A
As I was writing my 2015 list, I had huge doubt I would keep this resolution. No one is more shocked than me that I made it an entire year without cutting bangs. Granted, there are 10 days left in the year....

Depot all my single shadows into a Z Palette: Grade D
I took the easy way out and gave away most of my single shadows.  Of those I have left, which is still quite a few, I only depotted maybe 25% of them. I'm not putting this exact resolution on my 2016 but I will have a related resolution. Depotting is simply not going to happen unless I hire someone. Help Wanted: Shadow Depotter.

No buy on eye liners: Grade A
I had to think really hard about this to ensure I'm being truthful about giving myself an A. To my knowledge and memory, I did not buy any eye liner this year. I did buy kits and liners are sometimes part of a kit but I think I'm being fair by saying that doesn't count. I wasn't about to not buy a great kit because one of the items was a liner. I've given quite a few of my pencil liners away which made me and the recipients happy.

Commit to using lip liner or no buy on lip liner: Grade A
This girl took the no buy route. I might have bought a couple of lip liners, I have a vague memory of buying Urban Decay lip liners but can't find them in my collection. I may have given them away or returned them. Or was that 2014? When did the UD Revolution lipsticks launch? Maybe it was 2014. Why a no buy on lip liners? I don't use them but yet would buy them. I don't have an issue with lipsticks that bleed. If one does bleed, it gets tossed or returned. I've tried to slightly over line my lips to give the illusion of fuller lips. Um, no. I don't use lip liners.

Gently pat my face dry rather than rubbing it raw: Grade A
This took quite a bit of re-training on my part. At one point, I had to put a note on my towel rack to remind myself. Even after almost a year of good behavior, I still will catch myself rubbing the towel on my face. On the up side, at least I catch myself in the act! This was a tough one for me.

No buy on body wash: Grade B+
Holy smokes, Sweet Mary Mother of all Things in the Shower, this was the absolute hardest, worst, most painful resolution. The struggle is real! The struggle was weekly, 52 weeks of the year. Every Bath and Body Works order, every trip to Walgreens, every trip to the grocery store, shower gels would call my name. I'd pick them up, pat them, talk to them and lust. Their fragrance would slowly reach my olfactory senses. A tear would spill down my cheek as I placed the bottle back on the shelf promising to come back for it on January 1, 2016. Some of you dream about chocolate cake, I dream about shower gel. In 2015 temptation won a handful of times. One was a Shamu sized philosophy Lemon Custard in 64 oz. Yes, half a gallon. The other really big fall was again, philosophy. They offered a 12 piece collection in 4 oz bottle. For Pete's sake, 12 scents in one purchase. And 4 oz bottles are so stinkin' cute. Around Easter, I bought a tiny candy scented bottle at Ulta. I will NEVER make this resolution again. Ever. Am I making myself perfectly clear?

Encourage women everywhere to wear lipstick: Grade A-
I've learned that telling complete strangers they would look better wearing lipstick is not always a smart thing to do. I've also learned that even friends don't want to hear the truth. Why does anyone want to look.....fragile, sickly, plain, angry,void of life? How flipping hard is it to swipe something on your lips???? Sheesh. Buy a tinted lip balm which you can apply without a mirror. If I hear that they'd rather let their natural beauty shine through, let me be the first to tell you....don't hold your breath waiting to be blinded by that shine. Live a little! Put some lipstick on. I get it that mascara can smudge, blush is easily overdone, foundation does take time but tinted lip balm is boom and it's on.

I like New Year Resolutions. I start to plan my "life" resolutions late in October, make a list and whittle it down to my top 5. I've been doing this for well over 20 years. Over the course of 20 years, I believe I have kept 80% of my resolutions all through the year and beyond. As silly as it sounds, they have a lot to do with who I am, both personally and professionally. The Beauty Resolution are much more frivolous but I did make them thoughtfully and did intend to do my best to keep them. I scored 100% on my 2015 personal resolutions.  Giving myself a "B" on my Beauty Resolutions makes me darn proud.


Follow me on Instagram
Let’s connect by email at
Send me a friend invite on Facebook
Here's my YT channel 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 11.29.2015

Well, hello there! I think Lionel Richie put this into a song. Is it me you're looking for?
I took a break. Now, I'm back. That's all. No big stories, no drama, no illness, no travel, no anything. Slowly, skipping one Sunday turns into two turns into three and then it's a habit to NOT blog.

I've had more than one shopping frenzy while taking a break. If I posted all the pics it would be worse than Aunt Betty's cruise to Alaska pictures. How many icebergs can a person look at? Right? That's pretty much how it would be except you'd be looking at lipsticks and foundations. Maybe some blush. Highlighters for sure. Not too much eye shadow. Went on a mascara bender. Nail polish, of course. Added a bit to my concealer and primer collections. Just a wee bit. I'm learning that primer is a waste in my routine. Best way to keep up with me is on Instagram, link is here.

Exciting news is that I'm starting to put together my 2016 Beauty Resolutions. I did very well with my 2015 Beauty Resolutions. Here's a link to that blog post. Maybe next week I'll do a Beauty Resolution report card for my time away. Bit of a spoiler is that I succumbed to shower gel just a few times. Staying away from matte lipstick was extremely difficult, I'd say it's the top trend for 2015! However, just recently bought a matte lipstick because they've come a long way in the last year and based on reviews, I tried the Kat Von D in Outlaw. My heart be still. What a gorgeous flipping red and it looks good on my small, wrinkly lips. It will look even better after I get my lips done. I'd like to get them done before Christmas but I'm running out of time.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw
What else is new and exciting? I've started brushing my brows upward. I'm not one for dramatic brows to begin with but this softens them even a bit more.  Started "needling" about three months ago. That's been interesting and easier than I anticipated. Clay based masks are driving me batty and I've completely given up on sheet masks. Taking them out of the package and unfolding them makes my stomach turn. I'm really enjoying enzyme masks and hydrating masks. Another blog post!
Serge Lutens Mascara

Tom Ford Noir
The most ridiculous thing I've bought is Serge Lutens mascara from Barney's. I bet you thought they only made niche perfumes. Um, no. They also make a ridiculously expensive mascara that is average, at best. My best splurge was on Tom Ford's Noir. My taste in fragrance and wine has changed this year. I'm liking my perfumes heavier and my wines lighter. My love affair with Jessica McClintock will never end, it's on my burial list, but lately the incense, amber, heavy vanilla notes are calling to me. My burial list is a list of beauty items I want buried with me. Wow, that could be another blog post.

Love my new hair dryer. $20 at Costco, a Conair. It has changed my hair. Seriously. My hair is no longer frizzy and has a natural shine. My middle name was Frizzy. Thinning hair is getting worse but breakage has stopped thanks to a recommendation from a Facebook friend, Maria, to use Redken Extend Anti-Snap. It's a miracle.
Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave In Treatment
Ordered a few more lipstick towers. They are on a slow boat from China. Lipstick towers are life changing. Yes, I said life changing. It's rather like having your closets done or hiring a landscaper. Life changing. Speaking of life changing, if you don't own MAC's Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul, you must, you absolutely must buy it. It is right up there with Chanel's Jersey.  Thank you to my YouTube friend, Ruth, for finally convincing me to buy Warm Soul. How did I live without it?

MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul
It's been a delight to blog again. I could write a book but enough. I will resume YouTube filming soon, in about two weeks. That's another story.


Follow me on Instagram
Let’s connect by email at
Send me a friend invite on Facebook
Here's my YT channel