Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 5.31.2015

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Summer is here! To me, June 1st means summer. You'd never know it with the weather we've had in the Chicago area this weekend with temps in the 40s and 50s. Grass sure is green with all the rain and cool weather, though.

The big beauty news this week is that I came out of hibernation from YouTube filming. Inspiration to film came from a new self-tanner, Tanwise. I like it better than Vita Liberata, St. Tropez and Fake Bake. I bought mine on amazon but I understand that Sally's carries it. (link to video)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm - This is Tarte's latest foundation, it's a cream foundation. I didn't expect to be blown away, especially for my oily skin, but this went straight to my top 10 list. I took a chance and ordered it in Tan, hoping I could use it for summer. Score! It was a perfect match to my self-tan. First day I wore it, I applied too much. After removing some with tissue and rebuffing, my skin was almost flawless....not easy with this uneven skin tone and large pores, know what I mean? Less is more with this foundation. The other key is it has to be applied with a brush and then buff buff buff. When you're done, buff some more. It wore all day on my oily skin when it was set with NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder. I used a sponge, with the press and roll technique, on my forehead, nose, chin and a bit on the cheeks. I love this powder for setting foundation. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Smoothing Balm
This foundation came as part of a kit from a Today's Special Value (TSV) on QVC a few week's ago. To my knowledge, it has not launched in stores yet. The TSV also contained a shadow quad, lip crayon, eye liner pencil, mascara and a foundation brush all by Tarte. Read on about the brush that surely was made in heaven by the hands of angels. Typically, I have a hard time finding a match in Tarte foundations, they tend to run too yellow even for my warm undertones. I'm hoping when they launch in stores there will be more colors than carried on QVC. If I have to buy two colors to create my own non-summer match, I will! This formula is not what I consider a good summer foundation for me and my oily skin but it's lovely for me and my mature skin. Ahhh, the ying and yang of makeup on mature skin. With the temps still cool, I'm glad I was able to wear it.

The brush! Hold on, I can't believe I'm about to say this.....this might be the best foundation brush I have ever used. Marc Jacobs Face II brush has held that honor for at least a year. I'm guessing I have 8 or 9 foundation brushes I adore so for me to say I'm giving the Queen Bee crown to this newcomer is astounding. What makes it so incredible? I like the the diameter which is larger than most foundation brushes. The bristles are synthetic making the brush very soft and easy to clean - bonus! Hard to describe but it is the equation of the bristle length (longer than most foundation brushes) + density (dense) + shape (not flat, slightly rounded) + flexibility (even though it is dense, it has a lot of give but not too much). If you could hear me, I'd sound giddy! Those longer bristles give it the perfect "give" or movement. I tap this brush into the foundation, quickly stipple onto a section of my face and then buff away. This brush moves the foundation effortlessly without brush marks. The name of the brush is Bamboo Smooth Balm Brush. In my book, it's named Nervana. 
Tarte Bamboo Smooth Balm Brush

Nail Polish News
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pink Point - Avoid this temptation at all costs. This may be the cutest darn summer pink you've seen in years but hide your nails and avert your eyes. Typically, Xtreme Wear is an excellent formula. This color, however, is disastrous. Streaky, drag marks, uneven edges, pooled in the cuticles. Ugh. I had to remove it the same night I applied it. 
Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Pink Point

Summer Essentials
15 dozen packs of blotting papers (at least)
Mattifying pressed powder in the car, desk drawer, and purse
Mattifying primer (still looking for a favorite)
SPF lotion on my desk for applying to arms and hands before I leave the office
SPF loose powder in my car to brush on my arms and hands, just in case
Hair ties everywhere to pull back my hair
Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF 50 PA++++ (new discovery!)
New self-tanning mitts
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
ClearTan Biosphere Bronzer (this is a liquid body bronzer, unbelievable) link
Philosophy Soul Owner foot cream (all year but especially in summer!)
Fresh Sugar Lemon EDP Rollerball in my purse
Stila Sun Gel bronzer (to adjust foundation color)
Sexy Hair Soya Want It All Leave In Conditioner (only thing that slightly tames my frizz) link

As always, thanks for stopping by!


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Beauty Sample Saturday #4

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This is the last edition of Beauty Sample Saturday as part of the challenge to use 31 samples in 31 days. I might continue this as a self-challenge because I absolutely enjoyed using my samples. Rather like giving myself a bit of a present every day!

You'll notice three days of mascara. There's a stash of mascaras I need to get through to pick the winners and losers. Earlier this week, I placed all the mascaras into a basket and each day, I'm reaching into the basket and using one. Just so happened that three days in a row they were the sample size. Each night, on my Facebook page, I'm posting a pic of what my lashes look like after a full day of wearing that mascara. Here's a link to my FB page, let's be friends! The page is public in case you don't have a FB account.

A bit of history behind Sample Saturday..... Early this month, two wonderful BeautyTubers (YouTubers who make videos about beauty) I follow started a challenge for May. They wanted to use one sample each day, 31 samples in 31 days, followed-up with mini reviews. They invited other BeautyTubers and subscribers to join in. Here I am!

The two YouTube Beauties who motivated me to do this are:
Olivia and here is her video (channel name: makeupfunwitholivia)
Cherylene and here is her video (channel name: Cherylene)

There are two more YouTube Beauties participating, too.
Cheryl and here is her channel (channel name: Cheryl's Corner)
Cindy and here is her channel (channel name: Old Broad)

May 23 Buxom Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation in Meet Me Latte
This was a Saturday of not leaving the house so I fel typically not the kind I would reach for. I'm not a sheer to light coverage kind of girl. If you are looking for a sheer to light foundation, this is nice. I would call this Sheer+ but some might call it Light coverage. This did not even out my skin tone, age spots and general blotchiness. It made them slightly better, very slightly. For instance, broken capillaries were pink instead of red. This does have SPF 30 so it could make a good base if you like powder foundation. It was difficult to judge wear time since there was hardly anything there to begin with. I'm hoping you can see where I put the foundation on my wrist and that it hardly covered my vein. That was a pretty thick swatch, too.

Buxom Show Some Skin in Meet Me Latte

May 24 Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Repair
Philosophy Miracle Worker
Eye Repair Treatment
My under eye area is extremely dry, sensitive and reactive. Most anti-aging eye creams sting. Eye cream samples are my best friend since I know immediately if I can use them. Miracle Worker Eye Repair did not sting me so that was good. However, it felt like pure silicone. If you've used the original Smashbox primer, this is its twin sister. I didn't expect that! I looked at the ingredients, sure enough the first two ingredients are both silicones, third ingredient is water. The Miracle Worker line was developed around a retinoid that was not irritating and I agree!  Unfortunately, my under eye concealer would not apply, it kept sliding along with my finger. Maybe it would play well with another concealer, I used MAC Prolongwear.  At night, I need deep hydration which silicone sitting on my skin is not. Very nice pump style packaging. I'm not quite giving up on this yet. I really want to use a retinoid under my eyes and this did not sting. Maybe layer it over my night eye cream?

May 25 Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle Body Creme
Heavens! This is a beautiful bakery scent. As the name implies, it smells like creme brulee, a delicate vanilla with a hint of caramelized sugar. But there's something else that makes it feminine, beautiful and grown up. Some type of floral. Vanilla based body lotions do not mix well with my body chemisty, they inevitably turn into an ashtray scent. I think the little bit of floral saved this one. It was hydrating and took about 5 minutes to fully absorb. My skin felt soft for hours. I'm adding this to my Christmas list (which I start each January 1st).
Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle Body Cream

May 26 Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Of the three mascaras I sampled, this was the most wow. Very black, built volume and length. Interesting brush. I would absolutely buy this in full size. Winner winner chicken dinner!

May 27 Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara
This mascara was a nice daytime look. The wand was traditional, it built a bit of volume, a bit of length. Overall a nice mascara for those who need to wear mascara but don't want to look over the top. Absolutely no clumping, it was a clean, defined look. I think there are plenty of drug store mascaras that are as good or better such as CoverGirl Clump Crusher.
Top to Bottom
Too Faced Better Than Sex
Too Face Lash Injection
Benefit They're Real
May 28 Benefit They're Real Mascara
I like this mascara. Benefit made a big deal about the brush because it has bristles all the way to the tip of the wand ending in a ball tip. The ball tip is designed to find those tiny lashes. The wand did its job! Nice volume, nice length, nice definition. IT Cosmetics Hello Lashses mascara is a better formula for me. more definition and more length, and has the same style ball tip brush.

May 29  Briogeo, Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
There's a strong theory among hair fashionistas (does anyone still use that word), particularly the
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair
naturally curly hair ladies, that silicone is not healthy for hair. Some hair likes it, some not so much. My hair loves silicone. Briogeo is a silicone-free hair product. It most likely is very nourishing for hair but I'm used to that silky kind of slip silicone hair products leave on hair. Although this is a deep conditioning mask, it felt more like a light weight conditioner. If you have fine hair, you might like this since it was not heavy at all. My hair looked good and felt good once it was dry! I won't buy this because I like silicone and so does my hair.

May 30 Benefit Stay Flawless Primer Stick
Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer

It would help if I actually read what these products are. I thought this was Benefit Fakeup, which is their hydrating concealer in stick form. I applied the Stay Flawless under my eyes and nada. What the heck is this supposed to conceal? I don't use concealer on my face but for the heck of it, I applied some over an age spot. Nothing. Hmmm. Maybe this is one of those products that develops color as it mixes with your pH. I waited. Still nothing. I had no time for this nonsense. I had to get out the door and over to Cracker Barrel. Priorities! It wasn't until I was writing this post that I realized this is a primer. Ohhhhh. Oops. Well, why the heck are they putting a flesh colored primer in a stick form? Pfffft. I seriously doubt this would work on my oily skin particularly for 15 hours. I'm not sure what the advantage is of having primer in stick form vs the typical tube or pot other than confusing people like me. I will say it is awfully cute packaging with polka dots.

It was a good week!


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 5.24.2015

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I haven't posted a Haul-A-Lulu in a long time. Or is that referred to as a hot minute? Or is a hot minute the same thing as a New York minute which would be a very short time rather than a long time, right? Talk amongst yourselves. I've been hauling, weekly, but I don't want these Weekly Edits to be about hauls. Every once in a bit, it's fun. The best part of hauling this week? Seedless watermelon from Costco! Just call me a P-I-G hog! In case you don't know, that is pronounced with PIG spelled out...pee eye gee....and then simply followed by the word hog. Got it? Feel free to use it the next time you eat an entire 16 inch pizza or half gallon of chocolate ice cream. Also bought cherries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Do not be afraid - I also bought mashed potatoes, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate covered peanuts.

Skincare News Flash
Medicell Instant Brightening Peel - Love cruising the Dermstore website. Lots of great info, lots of interesting skincare that is typically not found in the mainstream. There is often a 20% site-wide coupon code and they accept Mr. Rebates, free shipping shipping and returns. This mask, I wouldn't call it a peel, has both lactic acid and azelaic acid, both know for skin lightening. Not sure there is enough in this product to make a difference but I do a mask or peel twice a week and my stash was getting low. Low by my standards. Ahem. This is clay based and has very, very tiny scrubbies in it. Pleasant, light scent.
Medicell Brightening Peel

Glycolix Gly-Sal 10-2 Pads - I always have a jar of these on hand. They are exfoliating pads with both an AHA and a BHA or more precisely 10% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid. There are many versions of exfoliating pads but the reasons I choose these is they don't leave my skin tacky, are a reasonable price for a 60 pad jar, and as mentioned have both AHA and BHA. Pads aren't big but they are saturated. I cut them in half for extra mileage and store the jar on its side so the pads stay evenly saturated from first to last. 

This contains alcohol so if you are avoiding skincare that contains oil, this is not for you.  A very well-known, well marketed and well respected beauty and skin care formulation specialist (some would say expert), Paula Begoun, the  Cosmetic Cop and founder of Paula's Choice Skin care (I love, own and use some of her products) has been very vocal in her opposition to alcohol in skin care. There are other experts, including medical doctors, who disagree. For every article Paula has written, there is probably another article that counters her belief. Here's one that gives a good "alcohol is fine" in skincare perspective, even beneficial in a good formula.
Topix Glycolix Gly/Sal 10-2 Pads
Bronze Babe
I love the look of a tan, although not a deep tan. Maybe something between a kiss of color and a deep tan. Never, though, will you see me in the sun unless I have layers of SPF on. First, skin cancer is about each and every person, not something that happens to someone else, secondly, I can't stand hot weather and, lastly, sun equals wrinkles, age spots, sagging. Skin cancer is serious and I hardly even want to type that out but the fact is, skin cancer is on the rise. Stay out of the sun. Or wear a big hat.

My collection of bronzers is either insane or impressive. Depends on one's perspective regarding makeup collections in general. For me? Go big or go home.  This week, I selected a few to rotate through the week.
Starting at Top and Clockwise
Dior Diorskin Nude Tan Light, Bare Minerals Bronzing Mineral Veil, MAC Golden, IT Cosmetics, Smashbox Halo Glow
It'a all about the brush, in my opinion. It's very easy to go over the top with bronzer. You need a fluffy brush that has lots of give. Personally, I like a natural brush for bronzer but a synthetic bristle will be easier to control. The reason I like natural bristle for all face products, not just bronzer, is that it picks up more product with less effort which means I get less dust kick up in the pan, my number one pet peeve. I do prefer synthetic for foundation because they are easier to clean. Practice at night right before you wash your face, if you're new to bronzing or using a new bronzer or brush.

Merry Mascara
I used a different mascara each day I wore mascara this week. I like most mascara so I'm not sure my reviews are helpful. The same Fairy Godmother who saves me from chipped nail polish, regardless of brand, base or top coat, is the same Fairy Godmother (maybe her sister) who saves me from flakes, transfer, and smudging. My lashes are long from using Latisse (generic Careprost). I need volume and color so the lengths shows up. Part of me thinks the reason I don't have issues is because I only use one coat of mascara. My lashes are stick straight and point downward. Using a lash curler is a non-negotiable.

Maybelline Falsies Flared
YSL Baby Doll
Bare Minerals Lash Domination (my top 5 list)
Maybelline Colossal Cat Eye Waterproof (my top 5 list)
Tarte Lights, Lashes, Camera (my top 10 list)
Maybelline Full N Soft
Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous

Deletes and Edits
Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation in 210 and 220 - There is not a color match for me. I rarely can find a color match with Covergirl, I find the warmer shades run peachy instead of yellow. If a foundation doesn't match me, I won't even wear it for a test run. Many reviews said this foundation is great for mature, oily skin. If you can find a color match and you have combination to oily skin, you might give it a try.

Timeless Squalane Oil

Timeless Squalane Oil -  Squalane should have zero scent or odor. This one smells awful, processed, chemical. Bye bye. Squalane comes from olives and very closely resembles sebum, the skin's natural oil. Sebum actually has a component of sebum in it. Because squalane is so similar to the make up of sebum, the skin recognizes it, gladly accepts it and absorbs it quickly. Squalane is filled with anti-oxidants, skin loving fatty acids, and in turn helps with keeping the skin in good shape to fight the hands of time.  However, Timeless brand is not for me.


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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Beauty Sample Saturday #3

There's a saying in the beauty community to "shop your stash" so you can use items you forget about, particularly those that have a shelf life. If you find yourself on a budget or need to divert fun money to another cause for a while, shopping your stash is a blast from the past. Lots of treasures in that beauty graveyard we all have! Some graveyards are a little bigger than others but we won't talk about that right now. Ok?

Negative Review Lulu
aka Evil Queen
The thing about shopping my stash is that I already know those products. As much as I enjoy rediscovering a blush I love, I already know that blush, good or bad. But shopping my sample stash is filled with surprises.  it's a new discovery every day.  Also good about samples is when I don't like something, it's no biggie! Don't have to deal with getting back to the store to return or mail back. It's even a bit of Evil Queen fun to discover I don't like something and share on here. Evil, evil, evil.

How did Sample Saturday start? Early this month, two wonderful BeautyTubers (YouTubers who make videos about beauty) I follow started a challenge for May. They wanted to use one sample each day, 31 samples in 31 days, followed-up with mini reviews. They invited other BeautyTubers and subscribers to join in. Here I am!

The two YouTube Beauties who motivated me to do this are:
Olivia and here is her video (channel name: makeupfunwitholivia)
Cherylene and here is her video (channel name: Cherylene)

There are two more YouTube Beauties participating, too.
Cheryl and here is her channel (channel name: Cheryl's Corner)
Cindy and here is her channel (channel name: Old Broad)

This week's beauty samples and mini-reviews!

May 16 Vita Liberata Self Tanner
Vita Liberata pHenomeal
I have 10 things I want to say about this self-tanner all at the same time. Where to start? I will not purchase. I have used this in previous years and recall not being happy with the tone for my coloring. This time of year, all the raves start up again and I get swept up so I selected this as a perk on Sephora with a deluxe sample coupon code. Maybe I'll like it this year? As in previous years, this was fine but others that are better on me. But, I also had a new discovery about Vita Liberata this year and not a good one. In the evening, I was epilating my legs and as I was up close and personal to my legs, I noticed that my legs were speckled. Not good! This self-tanner has two claims that are highly unusual in the self-tanner world. First claim is it lasts 2 to 3 weeks if you follow the directions of 1) applying 2 to 3 times over a 12 to 24 hour period, 2) shower only with water prior to each of those applications, and 3) do not use moisturizer.  In my opinion, you might, under a microscope, have some color left after 2 weeks. Under a really strong microscope. Second claim is it does not develop that dreaded self-tanner stench. On me, it does develop the stench. Is it as prominent a stench as other self-tanners? No. To be fair, I've read many reviews that agree with this no stench claim. All I can say is after 6 or 7 hours, I absolutely get whiffs of that stench. I haven't made YouTube videos in over a year. The speckling of this PLUS the discovery of a very inexpensive, outstanding self-tanner, Tanwise, moved me to come out of hibernation and make a YouTube video. It will be posted this week. I'm having some technical difficulty as well as old age memory loss of how to upload and combine two videos into one. 

May 17 Clean Skin EDP
Escada Delicate Notes
Clean Skin
Last week I sampled and reviewed Clean Warm Cotton, here's a link to that post. This week I sampled Clean Skin and I think I'm going to buy it!!! I find it to be a delicate white musk. It's not a heavy musk. If you recall the original Alyssa Ashley (in the 70s) or Jovan White Musk, this is very similar to both but Clean Skin is lighter. NOTE: If you have sampled either Alyssa Ashley or Jovan White Musk in the past decade, horrible!!!! I'm talking the originals. None of the EDPs by Clean have longevity. This is not an all day wearing scent. It has some floral, maybe that is what makes it more subtle. It does not, in my opinion, smell like any philosophy scents, namely Amazing Grace or Pure Grace, both of which I own and love. Some musk scents are considered unisex, I think this is definitely a feminine scent.

May 18 Escada Delicate Notes EDT
Most of Escada's scents are limited edition. Before posting, I checked and this one is available at the online outlet sites like overstock or fragrantica. This is not a scent for me. Top note is rose. I keep trying to like rose, but I don't. Love a fresh rose to sniff but when it comes to wearing anything with predominant rose notes, I can't. The rose notes in Delicate Notes simmer down quickly, maybe within 30 minutes, and become more subtle. However, when you don't like something, that "something" sticks out like a sore thumb whether it's a flavor in a food dish or a note in perfume. To me, once the rose tapers off, what is left smells like an inexpensive shower gel labeled "floral" but with a slight men's cologne edge to it. Bleh. Even if you are a rose lover, I would not recommend this one.

May 19 Lancome Nude Miracle Foundation
Like this a lot. In general, I'm really liking the new technology of "serum" foundations. I think the only one I didn't like was the Bare Minerals version. I've probably tried 10 or so because you all know, foundation gives me life. And lipstick. The Lancome Nude Miracle dries down to a powder
Lancome Nude Miracle
finish which is good for my oily skin. Within an hour or two, it was a lovely satin finish on me. I think if you like satin to dewy, maybe not a good choice for you. Also, if you have dry skin, not so sure if you will like this, it might be too flat for you. Had very good pore coverage. I used primer on one side of my face, Lancome La Base Pro Pore Eraser, and none on the other but pores looked pretty good on both sides. Good medium coverage, seems like it would be buildable. This is going on my buy list. I like this better than the Armani Luminous Silk I sampled last week, Nude Miracle is better with my oily skin.

May 20 Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
If you are looking for a 100% natural and non-toxic (say what?) enzyme facial exfoliator, this is one to consider. All natural is not important to me and for the money, I will not repurchase this. I think there are more effective enzyme exfoliators, Zia Pumpkin, Zia Papaya, Alba Botanical Hawaiian Facial Mask, Platinum Skin Care Antioxidant Enzyme Mask, Makeup Artists Choice Triple Enzyme Peel are some options. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask has a medicinal scent, is gel like, dries in about 10 minutes, and rinses off easily. Very little, if any tingle.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
May 21 St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Facial Lotion
I think is as good as any other facial self-tanner I have used. I self tan my body and I want my face to match so that when my foundation wears off, I don't look like a ghost head. I apply a facial self-tanner every night as the last step in my summer skin care routine. Right now loving St. Tropez Self Tanning Facial Oil. I have the Clarins drops on the way. The St Tropez Facial Lotion has a bronze tint to it but it is very subtle when applied. It has a perfume-y fragrance added to it.
St. Tropez Bronzing Lotion Face Self Tanner
May 22 (sorry, no sample on the 22nd)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beauty Words: Botox for Ordinary Lives

That moment when your friend whips out her phone to share pictures from the last week's BBQ at her house and all you see is your back fat. You have no idea what your friend is babbling about or pointing to because the music from the Psycho shower scene is screeching in your head. You make a mental note to burn that t-shirt when you get home. As you finally start to recover your composure. the Psycho music in your head starts again! When the heck did my "elevens" get so bad? You excuse
yourself for a moment, go to the ladies room and stare in the mirror. All you see staring back at you is a Shar Pei puppy. You quickly make a note to check out some of those blurring products that are all the rage right now. Better yet, you might take a quick trip to Sephora to take a look at that Dr. Brandt line, something about needles no more or extending youth. At those prices they have to work, right?

Hellooooo? Botox, ladies, Botox!

I hear it now. I would never do Botox. No, not me. I won't do that. That's just not for me. WHY? I'm afraid of needles, it's too expensive, I don't know anyone I can I trust, I earned these wrinkles, I've never been to a med spa, I'm not that vain, it doesn't last long enough, I'm not one of "those" kind that get Botox......which of these excuses fit you?

I'd like to walk you through my experience with Botox and perhaps dispel a few urban legends. Lots of this will be opinion, some will be humor, some will be facts. Pretty sure it will be easy to tell what is what.

This is 2015. What year was it when you first heard whispers about Botox? Flipping through People magazine and wondering who had Botox.....2000? 2005? Things have changed a bit since then. Heck, I can get coffee in 20 flavors and I don't need a key to start my car. C'mon, grab my hand, I'm trying to pull you out of that time warp.

Cliches are cliches for a reason. First impressions are lasting impressions. I think the first impressions most of us had with Botox were not positive. There are still a lot of Hollywood personalities who look awful from Botox. Tabloids are more than happy to point to these Botox disasters and we are flooded with these images and headlines weekly in the grocery check out lane. Better yet, remember hearing about those by invitation only Botox parties at "someone's" house where a nurse would show up who had access to Botox? Horror stories shortly followed.....usually started by someone who was jealous they weren't invited to the party. You're not in Hollywood. You are in an everyday world with an everyday life albeit with 10 bottles of blur products and 8 bottles of anti-aging serums. Let's not even count how many lotions and potions we've tried on our necks during the last 12 months!

Botox is not expensive. Go sign up for Groupon or Living Social or Amazon Local or some other type "flash sale" service in your area. It's about $150 to do average elevens (those are the two frown lines between your eyes, on your forehead above the bridge of your nose - some of us only have a onesie) or average crow's feet. What's average? Look around the grocery store or yoga class or Panera the next few visits. Are your crow's feet average, deeper, lighter? If you don't have Groupon type sites in your area, call a local med spa or large hair salon or dermatology practice and ask. To do average elevens, it takes about 20 units of Botox. Dysport is an alternative to Botox but the units are double. Still the same price of about $150 but it would take 40 units of Dysport. Is one better than the other? Not in my non-medical opinion. Go for the better price or more convenient location.

What needles? Hog wash you're afraid of needles. That's a convenient excuse. We're not talking about a ten inch needle they inject into your brain! Have you ever seen a full Botox procedure for the elevens? The needle is minuscule, much slimmer than a sewing needle but bigger than a strand of hair (once again, I know I amaze you with my scientific knowledge). And they don't "inject" you. Don't be thinking flu shot! Don't be thinking a blood draw! Don't be thinking Novocaine at the dentist
office! This is a series of quick pricks, barely barely breaking into the skin. For my eleven, one line took maybe 5 or 6 pricks and time wise, maybe 30 seconds? Both lines of my elevens, maybe a minute total. It's very very fast. I went back to work afterward. No redness, no band-aids, no blood.  NOT injections, pricks. Tell the receptionist that you don't like needles and could they please remove the instruments from your line of sight before you enter the room. Keep your eyes closed, tell the clinician your fears.

Botox is not permanent. Well, thank goodness for that! Seriously, would you want something that was permanent? That would be a whole lotta potent. In 20 years, I might want to have elevens so I can look mean on Halloween! It takes about two weeks to see the full effect. You will start to notice it working in about 2 or 3 days. You'll try to frown, any will be able to frown!, and it will be a little resistant. In two weeks, it will be very resistant. But you will still raise your eye brows, you will still smile widely. In my world, I'm ok with not being able to furrow my eyebrows. But I want to be able to raise them in shock when I see someone wearing the wrong color lipstick with their blush. Know what I mean? For me, my elevens and crow's feet looked darn non-existent for about 4 months. Between 4 and 6 months, they crept back. I can say I typically do not frown but I do smile a lot. I'm not a squinter. I did not have bad crow's feet to begin with but I was talked into it during my appointment with the plastic surgeon. He said it was preventive which made sense, and he would charge me the Groupon price for the second batch.

Expert? Let's say this together. It's 2015. Botox clinics, med spas, doctor offices up and down the street administer Botox. We're not talking the first artificial heart here. We're talking very ordinary Botox. What was once a secret party in someone's basement given by nurse wearing a mask, is now available in the grocery aisle. Not really, but you get the point. It is no longer an exclusive club membership or PhD needed to administer Botox. Open up Groupon, do a search for Botox, close your eyes and point. That's who you should go to. Fine, do a bit or research and read some reviews. Pick three and call all three offices and tell them you are thinking about buying their Groupon, have never had Botox, can they explain the process. At the end of the day, which phone call did you like the best? Once again, this method comes from my scientific mind.  Hold the applause.

You won't look frozen!!!
Can things go wrong?  Yes. I'm not a medical professional but my guess is that 20 units of Botox can't distort your face. Allergic reactions? That subject is beyond my scope and is very important to discuss with the clinician. Botox is very ordinary and routine in 2015. Everyday people living every day lives look a bit fresher, maybe a bit friendlier, maybe a bit younger. Everyday people do not look frozen or artificial, this is not something that is going to happen to you. If someone looks frozen, it is their choosing. They are going too often or having it done in too many places or asking for extra units. Don't experiment! Stay with the safe stuff like elevens or crow's feet.

How much do you need?
  • In the glabella, which is the area between the eyes (elevens) usually in women takes between 16-28 units and in males takes between 18-30 units
  • For correction of crows feet bilaterally 18-24 units 
  • Horizontal forehead lines 8-16 units
  • Bunny lines on the nose 4-6 units 
  • Upper vertical lip lines 4-8 units are needed
  • For a gummy smile bilaterally 2-4 units
  • Marionette lines bilaterally 2-8 units, and for chin dimpling 4-8 units.
If you're wondering how much "liquid" 20 units of Botox is my easiest explanation is that 20 units of Botox is about 1/30 of an ounce. This why the needle thing is not a big deal. These are not injections! That 1/30 of an ounce is distributed among 10 to 12 pricks on your elevens. This is minuscule and each prick takes a flash of a second.

I don't know that anyone notices when I have it done. Again, mine are not deep to begin with. I myself hardly notice when I have it done. What I do notice is when they come back! It's an odd result. I don't notice I look better with Botox but I do notice I look worse without it. I'm sure that is clear as mud.

Getting Botox should not be a snap decision. This post is meant to be light-hearted and informational. Probably, the most important thoughts I wanted to get across is that these are not injections like a flu shot and secondly, you won't look frozen. Whether $150 - $300 is expensive 3 times per year is for you to decide. My point is that it is about $50 month and it works. It works. After a week or two, you will look in the mirror and the elevens or crow's feet will be gone.


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 5.17.2015 ClearLift Laser Treatment

Breaking News
I went for my first ClearLift treatment. It's a laser treatment and in about 4 months, I might notice a bit of lifting and firming. If I do, I will rename it the ClearMiracle treatment. All the literature (of course) and most of the reviews said it does lift. We're not talking face lift territory, so don't get all excited.  It's a series of three treatments, each one month apart. I bought a Groupon. Groupon is fabulous for any face treatment kind of thing whether it is Botox or a chemical peel. Do a search on Groupon for pricing in your area.

I really need IPL treatments but I don't like pain. I have a very low threshold for pain. For example, I started asking for an epidural in my 7th month of pregnancy. Then I bought a t-shirt to wear to the hospital that read Epidural Now! Extra Strength! I'd rather not think about that.

The worst part of the ClearLift treatment was the smell. A little like burning hair and a little like the inside of a car repair garage. Most reviews said that the client would not feel anything. Well, I will disagree. I barely felt anything but I did feel it. If you took the tip of your fingernail and tapped it lightly (don't leave a dent!) on your forehead, that kind of quick snap. The aesthetician moves the laser, which is blinking (another scientific term I use) across your face in a grid pattern, takes about 20 minutes. Science behind it is the laser frequency doesn't effect top layers of skin but does heat up (burn?) the layers beneath. When skin is damaged in any way, it reacts by creating collagen. You know that scab? That's a whole lot of collagen! The more collagen in your skin, the firmer and stronger it will be.

I asked the aesthetician what is the procedure to remove red capillaries. IPL. Age spots? IPL. Does it hurt? She said you definitely feel it. Ok, in my mind that is a yes. We talked about it so that I could understand the level of pain. Like the ClearLift, it is done all over the face. I'm not sure I could take pain all over my face for 20 minutes. Tracey, the aesthetician, said if I was up for it, she could give me one sample snap of the IPL either before or after my ClearLift. At first I said no and then I thought about it and decided to go ahead and do a test run after my ClearLift. The intensity (aka pain in my book) can be adjusted. With lower intensity it might take more treatments but results would be the same in the long run. I asked her to set it to average, whatever that is. She set it in the average range but a tiny bit on the lower side. To the best of my ability, I warned her about my possible reaction.

Holy smokes! How do you ladies do it? She chose the age spot on the left side of my cheek. She explained it would turn down, like scab but not feel like a scab and eventually fade back to normal but with the age spot lighter. It turned dark that night! Tracey was quite the trooper, she didn't laugh at me at all.

I'm in a beauty group and one of the posters (thank you Karen!) said she gets IPL treatments and everyone is always commenting on how creamy her skin looks. No age spots, no capillaries. I started looking around on Groupon. I'm thinking the clinic would match the price. Thanks to Karen, I'm getting braver. But then do I have black spots all over my face as the age spots go through their transformation? I have a career outside the house but I can work from home depending on my schedule. There is no way concealer or foundation would cover this. It's just about black, a very dark brown. Like coffee without cream. Once again, for pricing I suggest doing a search on Groupon.

Nail Polish News
My heart be still. Do you have a certain color of nail polish you are drawn to? I don't necessarily mean your favorite. My favorite nail polish color is a warm, medium pink cream, leaning slightly bright. OPI Elephantastic Pink comes to mind. But I'm drawn to greige colors and deep smoky plums. I found a beautiful dark smoky plum this week. I'm not sure the color will come across as true.  The color is New Oxford Street by Nails, Inc.
Nails Inc New Oxford Street
Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF 50 PA ++++I don't think I've lectured yet about using daily SPF. Sorry, the spf in your foundation hardly counts but it is better than nothing. I'm talking an actual SPF product that you use every day, 365 days of the year, rain or shine, indoors or outdoors. There is no better anti-aging product at any price than daily SPF. Lots of great multi-use products that allow you to take care of two steps in one product, ie, moisturizer with spf, primer with spf. You use so little foundation that it's not enough. Sunscreen is measured at 1/2 teaspoon on the face and neck. I ordered this on amazon and it was shipped from Japan.  It is wonderful! Very, very liquidy, absorbs almost instantly, spreads like a dream and no white cast even though it is a white liquid. Allegedly, also great at mattifying. It's doing ok in that arena so I'm happy. Here's a link. Only $10 for 1 oz. After trying, I ordered another since it takes a bit to arrive. If you order, keep in mind the date on Asian cosmetics is the date it is manufactured, not the expiration date!
Biore UV SPF 50 Face Milk

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Beauty Sample Saturday #2

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Early this month, two wonderful BeautyTubers (YouTubers who make videos about beauty) I follow started a challenge for May. They wanted to use one sample each day, 31 samples in 31 days, followed-up with mini reviews. They invited other BeautyTubers and subscribers to join in.

The two YouTube Beauties who motivated me to do this are:
Olivia and here is her video (channel name: makeupfunwitholivia)
Cherylene and here is her video (channel name: Cherylene)

May 9 Urban Decay B6 Complexion Prep Spray
This served no purpose on my skin. It is used before applying makeup for "redness reducing, pore minimizing and oil absorbing." It did none of the above for me. I don't really have a redness issue other than the broken capillaries around my nose and nothing short of IPL will help those. But I do have pore issues and oily skin. I tried this three days in a row with three different foundations. Worthless.

May 10 Givency Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara
What is up with this brush? I actually had to go look up some info to understand the method to the madness behind this brush style. Nope, nothing. The only thing I can think of is that G thought their novel brush style on the Phenomen Eyes Mascara (spike ball tip) was better in threes? Or maybe the designer has a fascination with caterpillars. The 4 in 1 claim is that it creates intense volume (yes, did volumize if you could get the clumps out), strong curl (nope), infinite length (infinite?) and complete lash care (I have no idea how to measure this so I'll give G the benefit of the doubt). This brush is extremely difficult to use, particular on my smaller eyes. I couldn't get to the base of my lashes with this brush and when I tried, it deposited too much formula and I had little globs on my lash tips. Completely impossible to do the bottom lashes. This might be a great formula but the brush ruins it. I feel like I've tried this style brush before, Mally, perhaps?
Givency Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara
Spike ball x 3?
Givenchy Phenomen Eyes Mascara
The original spike ball brush

May 11 Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
Winner! This was great in the morning with the refreshing, lemongrass Suki scent. The scrubbies are sugar which is nice because they start out rather scrubby and then dissolve to get gentler. I prefer non-foaming cleansers because (shield the children from the rest of this sentence...) I get foam up my nose. So ladylike as I snort them out. This was a reasonable amount of foam and I was able to maintain my decorum in the shower. I'm thinking Emily Post didn't have etiquette lessons on snorting bubbles or did I miss that chapter? I'm ordering this cleanser!

May 12 Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil
There is very little true oil in this. It's extremely liquidy as it is mostly fractionated coconut oil which is very different than whole coconut oil. It's a chemistry thing and the INCI name (fancy, eh?) is caprylic/capric triglyceride. You see that all the time on ingredient decks. Now you know! If you want to know what they do to coconut oil to transform it into fractionated coconut oil, well, that's what Wikepedia is for. Knock your socks off. This was nice but it's not my kind of thing, thus, this will be a no judgement review other than ridiculous price for a what appears to be mostly fractionated coconut oil. Shu makes a few cleansing oils - this one has a wee bit of salicylic acid in it and is marketed for oily and acne prone skin.
Shu Uemura Skin Purifying Oil Cleanser
May 13 Clean Warm Cotton edp
In my world, warm cotton smells like Tide and Bounce. If I'm in a frugal (aka cheap) mood when shopping, then it smells like Costco's Kirkland dupe for Tide and Bounce. I did get whiffs of Tide, maybe Downy,  in this but not as much as some "clean cotton" or "summer linen" or "clothes line fresh" genre of scents. This has a bit more floral than most laundry scents. It's a nice scent but scent is very personal and although I could be on an elevator with someone who is wearing this (unlike, heaven forbid, Giorgio, eeee gads) and not glare at them, this is not a scent for me. If you like clean cotton, linen, laundry scents but find them a bit too much like Tide, you really should give this one a test. It's quite pretty for a cotton type scent.

May 14 Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil
I almost demanded my money back but couldn't since this was a free sample. Or maybe this came in an Ipsy or Birchbox? I don't care what it came in all I know is it went out with the trash. I actually had to dig it out of the trash to take a photo.  The box said something about don't weigh your hair down with silicones, use this wretched thick goopy sesame oil blend instead. Perhaps I'm exaggerating. I use hair oils all the time, I know how much to use. My hair looked and felt horrible with this one. It was stringy. Stringy! Not that edgy, piecy, sexy, bedhead look. Noooo, this was a bag lady who hasn't washed her hair in 3 months kind of look. It felt even worse, as though I coated it in wet sand. Don't, just don't.
Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil
"No, just no!"
May 15 Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Giorgio Aramani
Luminous Silk Foundation
Really, really like this. I bought this about 10 years ago and I don't remember liking it. I didn't like pesto back then, either. I still don't like pesto but I do like this foundation now. You're probably wondering what pesto has to do with foundation. Absolutely nothing. My skin looked smooth, youthful (winner winner chicken dinner), and polished. This is not a long wearing foundation. This is a going out to lunch, going to church, going to a morning seminar kind of foundation. In my world, it's also a going to the grocery store kind of foundation because, yes, I wear makeup to the grocery store. And to Dairy Queen. And to pick up the dry cleaning. For the record, I don't wear makeup when gardening. Then again, I don't garden. Oil broke through at about the four hour mark, it started to wear away by the five hour mark. That's ok, it doesn't take me five hours to eat lunch. The sample was shade 5.5, I added Cover FX Custom Color Drops in N50 to deepen the 5.5 to match my self-tan.

I'm having a blast with these samples! Once again, thanks Olivia and Cherylene for this challenge!

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekly Beauty Edit 5.10.2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Mom, the most beautiful woman I know!


and Now
Wayne Goss Brushes #04 and #05
I bought these brushes earlier this year. For those who may not know, Wayne Goss is a professional makeup artist who has become quite the phenomenon on YouTube. He's gotten a wee bit too commercial but his tips and tricks still hit the mark. I applaud his years of hard work which has now payed off in success. Last year, he developed his own brush line. These brushes are remarkable and although do not quite rival Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo or Suqqu, similarly each of his brushes are cut by hand by Japanese artisan, each hair has a with a natural end and  are made of highest quality, cruelty free, hair. They are only available in the US via beautylish. I highly recommend this online beauty etailer, the packaging will make you feel like a princess. They also define the art of customer service.

Wayne Goss 05 on left, Wayne Goss 04 on right
When these brushes arrived, I was more impressed by the beautylish packaging than I was by the brushes. These were not inexpensive. I thought about returning them but all reviews were extremely positive. What was I missing? I kept them. About two months ago, I used a somewhat difficult to blend eye shadow. I had no time to start over and the brush I was using was moving my crepy eye lid back and forth instead of blending out the shadow. Can you relate? I looked at my shadow brush holder, don't ask, saw a blending brush that looked clean. I started to blend and swans were swimming! (Everyone always says angels were singing so I'm trying a new phrase out, swans were swimming. Have you seen how beautiful swans are when they float a pond?) This brush effortlessly blended the impossible to blend shadow without moving my lid. Unheard of! The bristles are so soft they do not remove shadow, but are stiff enough to blend yet not too stiff to grab the thin, aging skin of my eye lid and move it back and forth. 

I now use the 04 and 05 almost exclusively and thinking about buying two more. I have small, hooded eyes. Did I mention they were thin and crepy, too? The 05 is small and fits my small lower lid, I think the new term is mobile lid. I can place my lid color precisely without getting it up in the crease. This brush rarely kicks up dust even with my dustiest, most powdery shadow. The 04 is the perfect blending and crease brush.  My original wishy washy review is now a swans are swimming review!

From the Archives
Mally Pilar Pink Lipstick - There is a story behind this limited edition color lipstick. This is completely coincidental but I realized while I was writing this blog post how appropriate I'm blogging about this lipstick today. It's a beautiful story.  Mally created this lipstick color and sold it on QVC in memory of her mother who died from breast cancer. I still distinctly remember the presentation. If you've ever seen Mally Roncal on any presentation, her energy and joy are contagious. To see her talking about her mother, was moving beyond words.  Mally named her first born daughter after her mother, Pilar.  Of all the pink lipsticks I own, this one is in my top 10, maybe my top 5. It is simply the perfect pink on me. 
Mally Milar Pink Lipstick 
MAC Sea Me, Hear Me LE Blush
MAC Sea Me, Hear Me Extra Dimension Blush - I think the MAC LE Alluring Aquatics Summer 2014 collection was the prettiest MAC packaging ever. Some MAC LE packaging might be cuter but this one was my favorite. This blush is similar to Tarte Exposed, Chanel Jersey, (maybe) NARS Douceur, and Color Cosmetics Coconut. It's described as a beige pink. It's a neutral, somewhat sheer tawny shade. You can't see where the blush begins or ends on your cheek, only that you look more finished, more defined, more healthy without being flushed. 

L'oreal True Match Foundation - An oldie but goodie that I enjoy every time I return to using it. This is one of those foundations that is perfectly middle of the road. Not too matte, not too dewy, not too heavy, not too light, medium coverage you can sheer out or build up. Use your fingers, use a brush or use a Beauty Blender - this foundation plays nicely with all of them. It lasts long enough, gets me through most of my workday with a few touch ups. All this at a very affordable price point and shade range that spans just about every woman on earth. That's an exaggeration but not by much. I own two colors. Most of the year I'm W4 and in the summer I mix with W7.  

Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Primer - Dreadful. This is a highly fragranced, thick, silicone primer. I feel like I'm putting a layer of Crisco on my face and then spraying it down with the inside of Ulta on Christmas Eve. Ugh. Mattifying? No. Suffocating? Yes. 

Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Primer - No!
Nail Polish News
Orly Free Spirit LE Elsa Collection - This entire collection was magical. I snagged three of the colors on clearance at Walgreens. Free Spirit is a purple pink creme.  Applied Revlon Colorstay Base Coat, two coats Free Spirit and NYC In a New York Minute fast drying top coat. Applied nicely but I had a difficult time getting a defined edge around my cuticle. Maybe difficult is too strong a word. Wasn't thrilled with the brush, the formula was fine. Brush in this LE is a little thin and a little stiff. 


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