Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 4.26.2015

Today was the first lawn cutting of the year. We have windows open and the scent of freshly cut grass is filling the house. If the scent of freshly cut grass wasn't enough to be the official signal of Spring arriving, then certainly looking at the colors on my lips and nails scream Spring! Summer isn't my favorite season but Summer lip and nail colors are! Give me a bright pink or coral and this girl is happy. Especially on my nails since I look at them all day.

Xen Tan Scent Secure Moisturizer
The other sure sign of Spring is plunging into the adventure of self-tanning. Immediate 10 pounds gone over night, what's not to love? I always apply tanner at bedtime so I can shower off the dreaded scent in the morning. I take very quick showers but on the morning after self-tanning, I try to slow down to give my pores plenty of time to open up and let the water and soap wash away the tanner. I'm not loyal to any self-tanner. I mix it up. I had a deluxe sample size of Xen Tan Sparkle which I used earlier this week. Must say, I really like the color. I went over to Nordstrom's site to order some and, interestingly, I found that Xen Tan has a moisturizer specifically made to cancel out self-tanner odor. I'm tempted. Even though I shower it off, I still get whiffs of it during a hot flash. Bet your Mama didn't tell you about that! Honey, let me tell you about self-tanner and menopause. Here's a link to the Scent Secure by Xen Tan if you're interested. Let all of us know if you've used it, especially if you are part of the hot flash gang. By the way, I don't have 'personal summers,' no rose bushes blooming around me, I have a soaking wet, horrible, ready to scream, strip off my clothes, stink like a truck driver in August, flipping hot flash.

Nail Polish News
Social Ladder, Soul Mate, Boogie Night
Sinful Color Boogie Nights
Bought three new polishes this week from Sinful Colors at Walgreens. Social Ladder, a micro shimmer, slightly holographic white; Soul Mate, a creamy, dusty coral peach cream; and, Boogie Nights, a bright coral tangerine cream. I'm not keen on any of them. I will probably like Social Ladder when my nails get a bit longer. It's kind of a retro 60s look but I like that look on longer, but not claw length, nails. Soul Mate looks dull on my nails. I don't like the formula of this color, either. I won't be giving it a second chance. Then we come to Boogie Nights which I am wearing right now. By all accounts, I should love it but I wish it was a tad brighter. First coat was a little streaky but second coat cleaned up nicely. Great tangerine color without being a screaming neon.

Wish List Adds
Sephora Collection Liquid Moisturizing Skin Concentrate - This is a toner type product, a bit thicker than typical toner but not quite gel-like, that I'm hoping will work as my summer moisturizer. Finding moisturizer for my 50 something year old very oily skin is a challenge. It's hard to explain how very oily skin can also be deyhydrated, but it can be. Oil slick on top of dehydrated skin is not a good look at any age. Hydrated skin looks younger.

Sephora Collection Rouge Cream Lipstick in It Girl, Seduce and Jealous - I'm pretty sure I'll never buy these. Well, never say never. There's a sweet bit of satisfaction adding something to my Sephora "loves" list. It's as though I can now erase it from my mind. I have wish lists everywhere from ebay to Nordstrom to Tiffany. By the way, this is the Tiffany Sixteen Stone Ring, she's a beauty, isn't she?
Tiffany Sixteen Stone Ring
 Xen Tan Scent Secure Moisturizer - mentioned above

Shiseido UV Protective Liquid Foundation SPF 42 - This has been in and out of my wish list for 5 years I think. I'm not sure why I haven't bought it considering I buy just about any foundation that I lay my eyes on. Great SPF plus reviews indicate it keeps skin matte. I am going to buy this. Finally. Maybe.

Kao Biore UV Milk - A Japanese SPF 50 skincare product that is supposed to be very mattifying. I'm hopeful. I ordered it on Amazon and should be here before June. As they say, slow boat from..... Japan.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrub in Brazilian Nut - the best body scrub ever. Not that I have tried every body scrub out there but I dare say I've probably tried a couple dozen. There are others I adore but this one hits all my buttons. Wide mouth plastic jar easy to scoop into, perfect amount of scrubbiness and grit size, no oil slick, stays stuck together (that's a scientific term) so it doesn't spill all over the shower floor, lots of wonderful scents, available everywhere, great price. By the way, Brazilian Nut has a chocolate scent more than nutty. The Coconut Lime scent screams Summer.

Joy & Karma 20% Vitamin C
Joy & Karma 20% Vitamin C Serum - This made me feel famous! It's the very first (and only) product scent to me for review. I had to read the email three times when they offered to send it to me. Me? I actually had bought this serum before and loved it so I sure as heck was happy to accept a free bottle. I'm currently using Foxbrim and usually buy Foxbrim unless another brand has a better price on amazon. Lots of great 20% Vitamin C serums from smaller companies that sell via amazon. Since they were nice enough to send it to me, they get their own photo!

Tan Towels - one of the self-tanning products I always have in rotation. Best prices, by far, are on HSN. They usually have two Today's Special events each year and prices are really crazy good on those days. Super easy and neat. It's like a giant Wet Wipe and you wipe wipe wipe, wash your hands afterwards, dries immediately, done. It gives me an even, average color tan. If you want to be really dark, this will not do that but it is a great quick, maintenance product.

Minoxidil, generic Rogaine - using this daily was one of my 2015 Beauty Resolutions. It works. Takes months and months to see results so it is hard to stay with it but if you do, I promise you will see results. Costco Kirkland brand is the best price or check on ebay, too. Curious about all my 2015 Beauty Resolutions? Here's a link to my blog post.

Vita Liberata Self Tanner - this was a deluxe sample size. They claim this does not have a self tanner odor. I disagree. After 5 or 6 hours, I still get that odor. It is less strong than other self-tanners but it is there. This develops too brown on me, almost ashy. Bare Minerals Faux Tan is also too brown for me. Darn. I need something with more red or even a bit of an orange (eee gads!) undertone. I think if you are olive, this would be a great color for you because it has that green tint to it. From what I read, most who use this one love the color.

eSalon Hair Color - I was supposed to cancel this service but I'm rather enjoying it. It's not that the product is better than any other, it's more that it arrives every three weeks and is helping me keep another 2015 Beauty Resolution which is to color my roots every three weeks. Yes, yes, yes, I could simply by a box of Feria at Walgreena every three weeks, heck, I'm in there every week. But the fact that it arrives in the mail, in a cute box with a cute label that says it was made just for me (stop rolling your eyes) makes me want to color my roots. That's a lie. But it works. By the way, at the end of each month I do a report card on how I'm doing with my 2015 Beauty Resolutions. Here is my March report card link.

Skincare News Flash
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask - This is a peel off mask for the strong of heart. It is like putting on a layer of thick black tar. Many peel off masks are more like a thin coat, a second skin. This one is thick and gooey and takes at least 30 minutes to dry. I use flat, paddle type foundation brushes to apply all my masks and peels. I don't like that shape for applying foundation but love them for neatly and quickly applying peels. Peeling this off takes off every dead skin cell, and then some, plus all your peach fuzz. Yowza. Pulls gunk out of pores, too. If you have used those Biore strips, picture one big one all over your face. It's luminizing because your face is throbbing! But I loved it.
Who is this crazy lady?

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Friday, April 24, 2015

My Opinion: Brutally Honest Anti-Aging Ideas

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If you think I'm about to use this opportunity to sing like Madonna about SPF, nope. This is a beauty blog. Shallow is completely okee dokee around here. Heck, I dissect the virtues of mascara wands. This is not about deep thought and world peace. My first little tip brings Madonna to mind. I'm thinking about her boobs. Actually, I'm thinking about your boobs and I've never even seen them!
Remember those really pointy boobs? Of course, you do. They just about defined her. Ladies, look down. How are your boobs defining you?  Spare the world the look of saggy, deflated boobs.  We might not get back to perky but we can sure as heck find a bra that hoists them up.

Get a great bra. Note, a new bra is not the same as a great bra. An expensive bra is not the same as a great bra. A great bra pulls you up, points you forward and pulls them together. Got it? I'm not a bra expert, I can't talk to you about proper size or fit. I only know that when I see a woman wearing a sloppy bra, I want to
start singing the glorious song that closes the first act of Wicked, "Defying Gravity" and hoping she gets the hint. Ladies, If you are trying to defy gravity (you sure as heck better be!), let a great bra do the work -  lifting boobs by adjusting the strap is not the method of choice here. That is not how you defy gravity. That is how you make yourself look ridiculous from behind because all you've done is yank the back band up to your neck. Isn't that a pretty picture right next to the back fat?!? Let's all get that image out of our minds right now and pinky swear we will not use straps to hoist the girls up.

Defying Gravity
When you go shopping for a new bra, wear or take something along that is painfully true, ie, a body hugging garment. You know, that thing hanging in your closet you are determined to fit into again someday. C'mon you can do this! It's only you and a mirror, no Olympic judges holding up score cards. Ain't none of this gonna' be pretty! Reach up, reach down, look at yourself from every angle. Are they pointing forward or down? Are they spread apart or pulled together? Take your time. This most likely is not a one trip mission.

I'm filled with delightful topics. Let's talk teeth, white teeth. People who live near the airport stop hearing the planes after a while. That's similar to what happens as we look in the mirror, we get (too) used to what we see. Our teeth look fine and a week later they are fine and a month later they are fine and so on. But at some point, unless you are paying attention, the teeth are getting yellower as you get older. Have you noticed or are you like the person living near the airport who no longer hears the planes. It's a slow process getting your teeth white on with your own efforts, probably slower than finding a great bra. Use those tooth whitening rinses - store brand is just fine! Use the best whitening tooth paste you can afford. There is a great product at the drug store or discount store called Plus White Five Minute Whitening Gel. It's like a tooth paste. You can use as directed by brushing it on and leaving it on for five minutes followed by your regular brushing. Or do what I do, just add some on your toothbrush along with your regular tooth paste. It will work! Be patient...keep that long life ahead of you in mind. Teeth didn't get yellow over night, did they? They're not going to get white over night.

I'm going to stay calm on this puppy. Do you wear glasses? For the love of all things good, when was the last time you got yourself new frames? Shop around. Lots of places to get inexpensive frames. I understand that if you have a complicated prescription, new frames might only be a once every few years kind of splurge. Give your glasses some thought. Are they TODAY or are they 2010? Don't even tell me they are turn of the century! Honey! Doesn't cost anything to look. Next time you're at the mall or Costco or WalMart or where ever they sell frames, go try a few on. If you are going to ask someone's opinion, you need someone who is wicked honest. Since I can't fly across the globe and help each one of you, you're on your own to find that true prize of a friend who tells you the truth. Take a selfie with at least five different pairs. Go home, download them onto your laptop and look at them over and over and over.

Do the glasses hit too low or are they trendy? Hmmm.
This last one is very personal. I'm whispering. Lean in. Your hairstyle. Or lack there of.  Let's put the debate over going grey aside. There are mountains of websites with hair styles. Go find them and use them! Google is your friend. Would a three inch trim give your hair more bounce?  Will layers make you a bit more TODAY? Think about Samson. He was his hair, ask Delilah. Farrah. Talk about a hair style defining an entire generation! Is your hair style still a good look? If it  is, then rock it as they say. If you love it, then swagger when you walk and hold your head high. But if you are wearing your hairstyle by default, because it is what you have done for years, all I'm saying is take a look around. There's a world of style and adventure our there. Afraid to take the plunge, go try on some wigs. Visit websites that let you download a photo of your face and "try on" different hair styles. Take your time. Let it "grow" on you a bit. Deep breaths. Crack out of your shell. Make it a six month plan, little steps, little changes. No need to be drastic all at once.

Everyone is running around like Chicken Little looking for the latest and greatest ingredient in skincare to turn back the clock. That's a litany of blog posts for another day. For today, look at things you can actually control. Don't hurry. No need for an instant makeover. Be happy, be calm, be thoughtful. Make a plan. Ease into the plan. Except for bra shopping. Start that NOW!


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 4.19.2015

My week has been consumed with the Sephora VIB Rouge sale. How do I love thee, let me count the ways. I tried to stay on line so as to resist sensory overload. I placed one order. Then two. I had some things to return from a month or so ago and decided might as well go in person. I was going to print my "loves" list but according to my printer, it would have been 18 pages. Seriously? I'm a little eccentric but I am not walking into Sephora with an 18 page list. There's a limit to my craziness.

What's a girl to do? Of course, I have the Sephora app on my phone but I find the wi-fi is a bit spotty at the Sephora I go to. I carefully looked over my list, made myself a cup of coffee and proceeded to hand write a list of some of the items I wanted to swatch, test, sniff or sample. I crack myself up!

Haul-A-Lulu Palooza!!!
Lancome La Base Pro Pore Eraser Perfecting Makeup Primer - This is absolutely the winner winner chicken dinner best purchase of the palooza. Pore minimizing primers have come a long way. Benefit Porefessional, move over, there's a new kid in town! I am still very impressed with Smashbox's relatively news Pore Perfecting Primer but this one by Lancome is even better. At the store, I tested it on my hand and it looked as though I Photoshopped my skin. When I got home, I washed off my makeup and applied a fresh face of makeup using this primer and one of the new foundations I bought. I wore the same combination today. In love.

Sephora Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation - A company puts "ethereal" in the name of anything and I'm trying it. Kind of like youthful or svelte, there are certain words that sing to me. This foundation lives up to its name. This is the foundation I tested over the Lancome Primer. (Maybe it's the primer?) This is similar to a serum style foundation but it is thicker. It glides on like a serum foundation, covers beautifully in a medium plus coverage but easily could be applied sheer or built to full, and has a completely natural finish. Wore 8 hours on me. I did not set it and based on how it looked when I washed it off, it could have gone 10 hours. I'm going to do a side by side experiment with my Dior Nude Air, which I love and bought in a second color. I think I might like the Sephora better and it is half the price. I bought the shade Sand to match my NC 30-35, medium with yellow undertone skin color.

Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able Full Coverage Concealer - This might be the most luxurious under eye concealer I have ever used. It comes in a pot but turn into liquid butter the moment your finger touches the product. Very pigmented and glides on. There is zero tugging. I use my finger and simply pat pat pat and it blends into my skin. And the it happened. It creased. My Maybelline does not crease. My MAC Prolongwear does not crease. As a matter of fact, I don't think any of my dozen  or so concealers crease on me. I never set my under eye concealer. I tried setting it today with Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Diffused, the yellow one. By the 4 hours mark, my eyes were a dry mess. I am determined to make this concealer work because it is the PERFECT shade for me in 4 Glow. I don't use concealer anywhere else on my face so no idea how it performs elsewhere.

Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation in Naked - What the heck is this thing? True Confessions. I fell off the wagon for one of my 2015 Beauty Resolution. We already discussed the shower gel fall off the wagon here, but this is the 'no more matte lipsticks' resolution. However, if I must defend myself, I read multiple reviews and watched multiple YouTube videos that this Buxom product filled in lip lines. That's my issue with matte lipsticks, my lips are too wrinkly and lined. Aha! A product to fill in the lines! Well, I have no idea what all these other chicks were reviewing but it sure as heck wasn't this. Or they have no idea what real wrinkly lips look like. C'mon over to my dock, baby. This is a fail and will be returned. P.S. this one has no color. Buxom has a few of these in various shade of nude but the "Naked" is clear.

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Beauty - This color really is a beauty. A very medium, neutral pink. Soft yet has plenty of color. I think even those of  you who are afraid to put color on your lips would like this if you wanted to dip your toe in the world of big girl lipstick.  I spend a lot of time looking at other women's lips. Remember, one of my 2015 Beauty Resolutions is to get every woman in the world to wear lipstick every day of her life. I am green with envy each time I see beautiful full lips wearing matte. I'm even jealous of skinny, spinster lips that can wear matte. I might have been able to get past my lip wrinkles but it showed every dry speck on my lips. I exfoliate my lips regularly, thank you Sarah Happ Cake Confetti, and wear balm to bed every night. My lips might be wrinkly but they are hydrated. Not in this lipstick!

Sephora Lip Cream Stain 07 top & 09
Sephora Collection Lip Cream Stains - I had high hopes for these. They come in a matte or satin finish. I chose colors that were satin. Excuse me, but they sure as shootin' look like matte on me. Maybe a tad less than a typical matte but not satin for sure. The colors I bought are delicious. They are very pigmented and the doe foot is a bit challenging. I put a clear gloss on top and they looked very good. You might wonder why I can't put a gloss over the Clinique Soft Matte which is a good question. It's the clinging to dry specks that really ruins the Clinique. I'm using these Sephora as a true stain so they are not accentuating my lines too much.

Formula X Nail Polish in Unstoppable - Applied this last night and not liking it. Went on streaky and stayed streaky with the second coat. I won't use a polish that requires three coats. It didn't puddle at the cuticles but it didn't level, either. I'm looking for a brighter but still baby pink that does not have too much white in it. The search continues.
Formula X in Unstoppable
Dior Nude Air Foundation in 40 - I have this in 30 and it is an excellent color for me. I adore this foundation and wanted it in a summer color to match my self-tan. Now that I've discovered the Sephora Teint Infustion, the Dior might go back and I'll buy the Sephora in a summer color.

NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Frenzy - My heart be still. I bought the Dual Intensity Eye shadow and it is almost a foil finish. From looking at this blush on line, it has that same foil look in the pan. While at Sephora, I swatched it and it was more of a satin sheen. Blended out without effort, no patchiness, no powder in the pan, sold! My only complaint is that the pans are small so you need a slightly smaller than usual blush brush. I like paddle style blush brushes, Tarte is my favorite, and that works well. If you like the big fluffy ones, could be a challenge. I think the e.l.f. small stipple would work well, too.
NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Frenzy
Cover FX Custom Color Drops - This is my second bottle.  I wanted a color to use in the summer.

I'm waiting for a few items that should arrive tomorrow.  Sephora Collection Vitamin C blotting papers, Shiseido cotton, Bite Beauty Lip Stick in Vouvray, and Ardency Inn Modster Long Last Lip Vinyl in Studio Mix. 

I asked for samples of 
Dior Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (perfume) 
Maison Martin Margiela Replica Jazz Club (perfume) 
Laura Mercier Oil Free Silk Creme foundation in Cashew Beige (a possible summer color for me)
Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mas (wanted to see if has a scent since I hear it can be used as a mattifying primer but sulfur stinks!)
Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes (before I drop $62 on an eye cream, it had better beat out my Shiseido Benefiance or Kiehls Rosa Arctica) 
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-free Mattifying Gel (every mattifying whatever always disappoints, I've learned to always get samples first)

I hope you all had a chance to take advantage of the sale! 


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Falling Off The Wagon

When you're cruising up and down the highway, do you always do the speed limit? Have you ever done 62 in a 55? I'm in deep thought. What exactly is that line between entitlement and being a criminal? I'm entitled to do 62 if I'm late for work (right?). Doing 90 mph, however, would be reckless and criminal. So what is that line?

I struggle with questions like this when I'm staring at shower gels. Really, what is the line in the sand of breaking a 2015 Beauty Resolution?  If I find a shower gel in the clearance bin, does it count? If I pass up the $18 Philosophy Pink Frosted Animal Cracker (bowing my head in a moment of silence) then how is it possible a $1 shower gel could be considered cheating? That's like doing 62 in a 55! Actually, that's more like doing 57 in a 55! I don't know of any law enforcement officer who give out a ticket for doing 57 in a 55. Sure, for those of you who are all about rules, I suppose 57 is technically breaking the law. For a normal human being, who is late for work and still needs to apply mascara 57 is the exact same thing as 55. The logic then follows that spending $1 on a shower gel is like spending nothing at all which means I did not break a 2015 Beauty Resolution.

Let me take you to the scene of the crime, I mean the scene of innocence. This year I seem to be on the hunt for a perfect brow product. Which means if I have less than 10 brow products in my arsenal, I will not rest at night. I try to be judicious when selecting beauty products because it is downright painful for me to part with anything and that includes returning an item. I ordered Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Taupe. Very nice. But not perfect. A tiny tiny tiny bit too warm. No one would notice but me. Every time I looked in the mirror. Any mirror. Even mirrors that only existed in my mind. Enter IT Cosmetics Build A Brow 5 in 1 Micro-Fiber Creme Gel Stain. Does that not sound like utter perfection? The color? Universal Taupe. I'm universal. Heck, before I used that tiny tiny tiny bit too warm Tarte Brow Mousse, I would see Miss Universe when I looked in the mirror instead of auburn caterpillars lurking above my eyes. Ordered the IT Cosmetics from Ulta. It arrived. I used it. Perfect! Well, almost perfect. It was a tiny tiny tiny bit too dark. I decided it was best to simply not look in the mirror. Darn it, I looked. And there was Bert from Sesame Street looking back at me. I had to return both brow products.

Off to Ulta I go. There was a line at the register. Maybe if I walked around, did a little swatching, a little spritzing, the line would go away and I could go right to the register and not have to stand in the aisle of evil fighting off temptation. For those who do not know what the aisle of evil is, it is the very clever brainchild of some marketing genius. All those little bins of goodies that line the wait aisle for the registers. TJ Maxx and Sephora have this down to a science. Who knew a little display of gum in the grocery aisle would give birth to mile long aisle of evil at TJ Maxx?  Never mind that all my swatching and spritzing would lead to inevitable purchasing of said items. At least I was choosing to buy those rather than being tricked into buying evil aisle products. I will not be tricked!

I know you are expecting me to list all the items I  CHOSE to buy. But no, you will not read that. I bought nothing. The line was down, I walked calmly through the aisle of evil (keeping my eyes averted from the bins) and then up to the register. And then it happened. My mouth went dry. My heart was pounding. My hands began to sweat. A basket of Easter clearance items on the register counter. Nestled among the bunny lip balms and egg shaped who knows what, were two miniature bottles of shower gel in Candy Egg scent. "Ma'am, how can I help you?" "I have returns." I wonder what Candy Egg scent is? I don't think I've heard of that scent. Maybe I should take a little sniff. It's probably sickeningly sweet. "Ma'am do you have your receipt for these?" Oh hush, leave me alone, I'm thinking about Candy Eggs! I hand over my receipts. Is it my fault this very sweet cashier is painfully slow and chatty? "Oh, I was thinking of buying this brow gel, you didn't like it?" "No, I looked like Bert from Sesame Street." I didn't mean to scare the poor girl but I was not thinking clearly. There was a $1 shower gel in the clearance bin within 12 inches of me and it was named Candy Egg.

Is doing 57 in a 55 really a crime? Is spending $1 on a shower gel really breaking my 2015 Beauty Resolution? No one would know. It's not as though Ulta was going to post a picture of me on their Facebook page, "Former shower gel addict caught falling off the wagon!" Darn this chatty cashier. "Those are some great deals in there, the lip balms taste like Peeps." Hush you crazy cashier, who cares about lip balm when there is Candy Egg shower gel screaming to give it a sniff. I could hear the theme song from Jaws in my head. It was getting louder and louder. I picked one up, ever so gently, and gave it a sniff. Honestly, this was the best shower gel I have ever sniffed. Better than Pink Frosted Animal Cracker.

Swing low sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home.....

To review all 12 of my 2015 Beauty Resolutions click here and see #11.


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 4.12.2015

The ends of my hair are so dry! I'm wearing my hair longer than I have in years, maybe decades, which means the ends of my hair are very old. They've been through a lot. I will not give up blow drying and or using my flat iron. Ordered a new blow dryer that is supposed to dry hair faster from some magical technology or minerals or unicorn tears. Continue to search for a deep conditioner or leave in or overnight mask along with regular trims.  I use a heat protectant, too. I'm newish to hair spray and I think that might be a contributing factor to this dry feeling.

I've been a little crazy this week trying to use samples from Sephora I've gather over the past few months. It's Sephora VIB Rouge sale week and I'm trying to decide what to buy. First world problem. To maintain some semblance of sanity, I'm trying to select products only available at Sephora such as Marc Jacobs, Bite Beauty, Buxom, CoverFX and Sephora Collection or brands that never go on sale elsewhere such as Dior, Guerlain, Hourglass, YSL and all their friends. That's the plan, at least.

Sephora VIB Rouge Wish List (if dreams came true!)
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains in 04, 05, 07, 08 and 09
Buxom Pink with Envy Full On Lip Polish Set
Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush
Dr. Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Luminous Light
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Micromist
Replica Beach Walk Roller Ball
CoverFX Custom Color Drops N50 (shade darker for summer)
Marc Jacobs ReMarcable Full Coverage Concealer 03 Youth
Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Highlight Pen in 00 Bright Idea

Marc Jacobs Understudy
Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy - this was described as a Terracotta Pink. In my book this is a Peach.  Pretty color that is a very light shade for me. I'm trying to be fair, truth be told I'm on the fence. I've been putting it on each night when I get home from work, trying to ease into this light shade. Maybe if I have a little more self tan color, it will have a bit more of a Brigitte Bardot look. Nah. Maybe I need to use a lip liner in a slightly darker shade. For those who care, this is not at all a long wearing formula, it's very different than his regular line. This is more slippery and wears off very quickly. I crack myself up....Brigitte Bardot.

Ipsy April Subscription Box - Love this $10 monthly surprise. I think these subscription box are about having the right attitude. If you want $10 box with a value of $100 all in perfect colors and formulas, you either need to learn to live a bit more spontaneously or better yet, skip the subscription box trend. This is about fun, a little surprise, a little swatching and testing and then most likely never using the items. Which is fine by me. This month's box was probably one of the best I've gotten in two years but I have no doubt, someone else is saying this is the worst box they've ever gotten.
April Ipsy Subscription Box
Set of 10 Makeup Brushes from Amazon - I'm going to include a link (not affiliated!) because for $9.39 and free shipping, this is outstanding. I'm not saying these are IT Cosmetic, Suqqu or Wayne Goss, I'm saying these are outstanding for $9.39. They are synthetic, soft, good handle weight, and so far no shedding. I think they may be about as soft as Real Techniques. The eye brushes are soft but a
little firm for these aging lids - you know how the skin moves with the brush. Ugh. But 3 of the 5 eye brushes are thumbs up. The 5 face brushes are very nice. They are not as dense as IT Cosmetic brushes, they have more give. Denser than e.l.f. brushes. I like cream blushes, these are great. I also like them with thicker foundations because they don't move the foundation around. I used it with Laura Mericer Oil Free Supreme, Dior Star and Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse which is as cream foundation. Today, this brush set is $8.59.10 Piece Brush Set

Soap & Glory Hand Food in Sugar Crush - this is a sweet lime scent and thought it would be nice for the Summer. Not in love with the scent and I'm all about scent. If I don't love it, I won't wear it.  That's why I love philosophy shower gels so much, because they are an "in shower" only scent
experience. Love smelling like a Cinnamon Bun in the shower but have no desire to smell like one all day! How did I get off topic? Me and shower gels. Heavens! Back to this hand cream, eh. What happened to the days I didn't need a hand cream? You know, back when  I had nice firm lids. Nice firm everything. Oh well. When I hear a woman say, "I want to grow old gracefully" I swear I just want to smack her up side the head.

Urban Decay Melted Metal Liquified Lipstick - love this puppy! I'm a huge fan of the original Urban Decay Melted line and this new Metal line is right up my alley. The high metallic foil finish hides all my lip wrinkles! Bought this in Peony, expecting it to be a bit darker but this is fine. It's a beautiful light to medium neutral pink. To me this is light but for most, this might be a medium pink. Gorgeous!
Urban Decay Melted Metal in Peony
Philosophy Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel 24 pack - sad this is gone. This was a supersize deal on QVC and hoping they do it again. The price was ridiculous wonderful. I was on auto-delivery but the program has now ended. There are lots of "peel" pads out there but this one has azaleic acid, along with other exfoliating acids, which is excellent for brightening.

Zoya Nail Polish Remover - I've heard good and bad about this remover. Some say it causes nail to peel after continued use, others say it has saved their nails because it is so gentle. I got this free with a Zoya order. I'm a 100% acetone girl.

Abreva - a miracle product for me. I've been cold sore prone for as long as I can remember. I get them 6 or 7 times a year, usually during times of high stress. The minute I feel that tingle, I grab for Abreva and apply it constantly. Since discovering Abreva about 5 years ago, my cold sores rarely turn into a full flown glob. I have tubes in my desk, in my purse, in my car, on my nightstand. You really do need to use this as soon as possible when that tingle starts for Abreva to be fully appreciated.

The Balm Staniac - one of the original lip stain products, almost identical to Benefit Benetint. Now that stains are available at every price point, no need to repurchase.

8 Sephora Custom Samples - Sephora knocks it out of the park with  their very generous sample on request policy. It has saved me tons of money and has helped me spend tons of money. Most of the time, though, it saves me money because I find the product does not match me or work for my skin type or whatever.

Anna Sui Cotton Pads - complete luxury item, what can I say? These are similar to Shiseido cotton pads but are lavender. I still use store brand cotton pads for nail polish removal but if a cotton pad is touching my face, it will be Shiseido or Cotton Clouds from amazon.

Manicure News
Essie Madison Ave-hue
Essie Madison Ave-Hue - Spring has sprung on my nails! This is a pink that leans purple but not quite bright enough to call is fuschia. In the bottle, it appears to have a micro-shimmer which does not translate on the nail. First coat is a bit streaky but cleans up nicely on the second coat. No puddling in the cuticles, one of Essie's better formulas.  Base coat was Revlon Colorstay and Top Coat was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in the red bottle.


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Beauty Resolutions: March Report Card

This was a very good month! Straight A's on keeping all my 2015 Beauty Resolutions in March! I may have to fall off the wagon in April, don't want a reputation as a high achiever. Yes, that sounds like a plan.

1. Continue my passion for foundation with testing and buying ~ Grade A ~ I bought 2 new foundations in March and tested 3. Lately, in case you're curious, Dior Nude Air and L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte have captured my heart.

2. I will not buy any more matte lipstick ~ Grade A  ~ This was easy in March. I struggled in February to meet this resolution. Matte lipstick didn't even tempt me this month.

3. I am re-committing to using Rogaine twice daily ~ Grade A- ~ Done!

4. I will color my roots every three weeks ~ Grade A ~ Done! It's a really nice feeling to not have horrible grey growth staring back at you from the mirror.

5. I will do everything that is humanly possible to resist cutting bangs ~ Grade A ~ One of the beauty gurus I watch on YouTube had bangs cut. I swooned over her new look. took 10 years off of her, seriously. No trips to the salon last month so temptation was avoided. April will be another story since I'm due for a trim. 

6. I will depot all my single eye shadows and organize them into Z-palettes ~ Grade A ~ I started depotting - hear the crowd cheer? Once again, YouTube influenced me. There was a video of depotting the Urban Decay Naked Palette which was the nudge I needed. I started with the UD and then moved on to singles. My depotting is a sea of neutrals. Hmmm.

7. I will not buy any eye liners. I rarely, more like never, wear eye liner with these hooded lids of mine ~ Grade A ~ Easy! 

8. Lip liner - Either I'm committing to not buying more or I'm committing to using the ones I have ~ Grade A ~ Of the 31 days in March, I actually used lip liner 5 days.  Still not a fan but using a lip liner those 5 days helped convince me there is no need to buy any.

9. I will train myself to gently pat my face dry instead of rubbing the heck out of it with the towel ~ Grade A ~ This has been the hardest resolution to keep. Putting a little sign near my towel rack was the magic sauce for me. 

10. I will not buy any more vintage perfume from ebay no matter how spectacular the ebay feedback is or how sterling the seller's reputation is on the secondary market ~ Grade A ~ This was another easy one for me in March. I started forcing myself to spritz my perfume samples in hopes of finding a new favorite. No such luck but it's also keeping me away from vintage shopping.

11. No more buying body wash until I'm down to three or four or five bottles ~ Grade A ~ Still a very, very difficult resolution for me to keep. Philosophy relaunched some of their beachy summer scents, Dial or maybe SoftSoap came out with new scents at Walgreens and let's not even go down the path of the new scents at Bath and Body Works. Heavens! I predict complete abandonment of this resolution in April. 

12. I will continue my personal campaign to encourage all women everywhere to wear lipstick all the time ~ Grade A ~ Never fear, this is sealed deal for the rest of the year.



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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 4.05.2015

Self-tanning season has started for me. April 1 is always the day I start and usually by June 30th I'm dreading it. Last year was different, though. I started using a tanning mitt late in the summer of 2013 and fell in love with how easy it made self tanning. Used it all last season and found myself still happy about self-tanning until the end of September. I use it with every kind of self-tanning product. I don't have a favorite tanning product all I know is they all perform better and are easier to apply when I use a mitt!

Early Edition
Cover FX Custom Color Drops G40
Cover FX Custom Color Drops - Not quite ready to say this is a slam dunk winning product but must say my initial impression is very positive. This product is liquid pigment that is intended to be mixed with other products to create or adjust color. Mix it with your moisturizer to create a tinted moisturizer, adjust your foundation to match you summer color, add some to your primer, or a facial oil. I have discovered the Custom Color Drops do not play well with all products. My first attempt was using them with my moisturizer. It looked great but the color had no longevity. Foundations have ingredients to help them wear. The Custom Color Drops can increase coverage and longevity of foundations but I find this principle does not apply to skincare products. This made me think about using the drops with one of my mattifying primers. It was better but the primer I used was too silicone-y and I couldn't get the coverage I wanted. Not to be deterred, I tried it with Laura Geller's Spackle primer which is a much more liquid gel texture primer. Laura Geller has several varieties of her Spackle and I chose Ethereal. The end product of Custom Color Drops + Ethereal was breathtaking. My mature skin looked outstanding, my pores were covered, my skin looked as close to flawless as it could. Was this a fluke? I wore it again. It looked beautiful again. I used a larger than normal size dollop of Spackle and 4 drops of pigment in the palm of my hand and mixed it with a makeup spatula.

Skincare News
Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Scrub - let's begin with the fact that this is just plain fun to use! Spreading black goo all over your face is a unique experience, makes one feel like you're living dangerously. I couldn't find this in any of my local big box store so I landed up ordering it online. I'm sure there are more effective charcoal masks, Boscia comes to mind, but for the price this one was great.

Restorsea Eye Cream - the packaging is soothing to look at which I think is what initially took me in. After reading up a bit more, I found that its claim to fame was a natural enzyme, something about baby salmon, that provided extremely gentle exfoliation. Aside from having an extremely dry under eye area, it is also very sensitive. Most eye creams sting and then I get the uglies. The uglies are when my under eye area gets red, swollen and flaky. As the area swells, the lines become more pronounced. Halloween, here I come! It takes me over a week to recover. Natural enzymes tend to work, though, without irritating me so this eye cream had me very curious. Restorsea is fluffy, almost mousse like. Glides on but it takes surprisingly long to absorb.
Restorsea Eye Cream

Because of the fluffy  texture, I expected for it to absorb quickly but it takes a good 3 or 4 minutes. After using it both night and day for a week, it's not hydrating enough for my extremely dry under eye area. Is this worth the price tag? As an eye cream, for me, no.  I'd take Algenist Eye Balm for day and either Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Balm or Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 for Eyes over the Restorsea for the hydration I need. I'm going to use this up at night for the exfoliating feature and then top with one of my other night eye creams. If your under eye area is normal or even dry, this is a lovely eye cream. If you are extremely dry, I would pass. However, if you need an under eye exfoliant that is gentle, I strongly recommend this. This is sold at Bergdorf Goodman and I think I originally read about this in New Beauty or some other magazine.

Avene Retrinal .1
Avene Retrinal .1 - Here's a very short chemistry lesson. Retinol, an active ingredient available over the counter for anti-aging, has to go through two transformation to work on the skin. Retinol through various reactions with your skin becomes retinaldehyde and then retinaldehyde reacts further and then becomes retinoic acid. It is the final stage, retinoic acid, that is actually anti-aging. Retinoic Acid is known to most of us as prescription Retin A.  Avene Retrinal is retinaldehyde. It is gentler than Retin A but considerably more effective than retinol. I've used prescription Retin A for well over a decade, almost two decades if I think about it. I've noticed over the last year, my skin is getting fussier about Retin A. I've had to cut back to every other day. I've begun using the Avene Retrinal on my off nights from Retin A. So far, so good! Very, very cautiously and slowly, I'm going to try incorporating this into my eye routine.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Rose and Magnolia - I love this lipstick! These are my first two tubes of this formula and no doubt, I'll be picking up some more. Sweeps on and deposits lots of pigment, did not feather on me, felt beautiful on the lips. It does not claim to be long wearing. If I'm not eating, it lasts about two to three hours. For those who have been reading my blog, you know that I love applying lipstick so long wearing is not important to me. Both these colors are gorgeous for Spring and Summer if you like color on you lips. If you are a natural, neutral, nude lipstick kind of person, my sympathies.
Revlon Ulta HD Lipstick in Magnolia (top) and Rose (bottom)

IT Cosmetics CC Your Way to Radiant Skin - this was a "Today's Special Value" on QVC. This kit had five components. The Vitality Disk is one of my favorite makeup products and was happy to get a second one to keep at my desk. Vitality Disk contains a matte bronzer, blush and highlighter. IT Cosmetics also launched their Illumination CC Cream which turned out to be a bit too luminous for me.  I mentioned this new CC cream in my blog post earlier this week as one of the "misses" in my March purchases. The kit also contained an almost perfect eye shadow trio and two of IT's most incredible brushes, one for face and the other for shadows.

True Beauty
I don't take too many selfies but I snapped this one spur of the moment today at Easter festivities with my Mom! She's 87 and was at my house on Friday baking up a storm!


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 New Purchase Hits and Misses

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It was a great shopping month. Isn't it always? Began buying Spring shoes, dresses, skirts and a little jewelry here and there. We have a "dress for your day" dress code at my company and most of my days call for dressing a bit more upscale rather than casual. Admittedly, I like to wear dresses and skirts regardless of what meetings are on the calendar for the day.

But we are here to talk about Beauty products! As I look over my list of purchases, unlike my shoes and dresses which definitely had a Spring twist, my beauty purchases were all over the place, mostly seasonless. It was hard to whittle down the list. Most of the items I bought were good and performed the way I had hoped for. Happy Dance!

I had lots of Silver Medal purchases this month but these took Gold!

L'Oreal La Palette Nude 1
L'Oreal La Palette Nude 1 - I think this was $15ish at WalMart. For me, this is a better palette than Urban Decay Naked (and a hush fell over the room). Almost all the colors are wearable for me in La Palette with a nice balance of mattes and shimmers. These blend beautifully, don't kick up a lot of dust, no fallout and deposit the right amount of pigment for my preference. I don't go gaga over highly pigmented shadows or blushes as I find they take too much caution and effort to apply. La Palette wears all through my workday and beyond. P.S. I always use primer on my oily lids.

Alba Botanical Papaya Enzyme Mask - pleasant scent, easy to apply, very slight tingle as the enzymes start to gobble up the dead, dull skin cells. Skin is soft and smooth, makeup glides on and zero irritation. My only complaint is that the gel-like formula takes a little extra rinsing to completely remove, best to use before a shower. If rinsing off in your sink, use a very wet wash cloth to help things along.

Best of Becca LE Ulta - jaw dropping excellent. Swoon worthy. This was a Limited Edition set only available at Ulta. It sold out within days. Each of the items in this set is perfection and includes Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold, Shimmering Skin Perfector in Spotlight, Beach Tint in Guava, and Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Watermelon/Moonstone. Be still my heart!
Ulta LE Best of Becca Summer 2015
Not everyone can win a medal, some are eliminated after the first round of try outs.

The Wet Brush Detangling Shower Brush - am I the only person this does not work for? I don't have tangly hair but bought this as an extra precaution to do everything possible to keep my hair intact and keep breakage to a minimum. I find a wide tooth comb works much better for me The Wet Brush.

IT Cosmetics CC Illumination Cream - everything about this seems to be as wonderful as the original version but is simply too dewy for me. My skin almost looks wet. A dewy finish is usually lovely on mature skin but this seems to take it beyond dewy. The video below captures the dewiness.

OK, But....
These are generally loved and recommended by many but as for me and my stash, eh. I know I'm probably the Lone Ranger in my opinion on these. 

Ole Henrickson Truth (Vitamin C) Serum - This has a  thicker aloe texture  as compared to most other Vitamin C serums that are almost a water consistency. I like my Vitamin C serums to be more pure and to the point which is usually the case with the more watery delivery systems. Truth Serum has a long list of ingredients and something in there does not play well with several of my primers. The primers ball up. It's the worst with Make Up For Ever Step 1 Mattifying primer. Ewwww. Heck no. I shop amazon for 20% Vitamin C serum. Most recently I've bought Foxbrim, Joy & Karma (they also sent me a bottle for review which was pretty cool since I was already a customer!), and InstaNatural to the best of my recollection. I shop by best price on the day I'm ordering.

Laura Mercier Ritual Blush Bronzer
Laura Mercier LE Ritual Blush Bronzer - I'm probably going to get myself banned from the beauty blogging community for calling this out as 'just ok' for me. Laura Mercier released this LE in 2013 and it sold out in a flash leaving many of us in the dust. As soon as I found out she re-released it, I was on it and bought it online. This is a swirl of colors type product which means it's the luck of the draw as to the balance (or lack of) of colors your compact will have. Mine does not have enough pink, thus, comes off muddy on me. I plan on returning mine and seeing if I can find one in store with more pink. Very sad.

I love these products enough to buy again which means they are probably as near to Holy Grail status as can be for me!

Yardley Lavender Bar Soap - the best lavender scent ever! The scent lasts till the the very end.

Target Hair Wrap
 Target Hair Wrap, dupe of Turbie Twist - the blow the original Turbie Twist away. The ones sold at Target are not in the beauty section, they are near the bath towels and bathroom accessories. Thicker, prettier designs, sturdier and more absorbent than the original and come two in a box.

Philosophy Footnotes - my absolute favorite foot scrub, found a great deal on amazon.

Tarte Eye Lash Curler - This curve shape and width fits my eye. I like the amount of give in the handles and I like the soft, wider curve of the rubber pad.

Palmer's Skin Success Eventone Fade Milk - I apply this every other night to my hands and arms to keep those pesky age spots away. I use the version with 2% hydroquinone only found online. WalMart carries a more natural version but I've not used it.


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