Mar 31, 2014

Nail Polish Change - Wet n Wild Megalast in Candid Affair & Revlon Nail Enamel in Girly

Hey There!

Did you see when I posted my NOTD on my Instagram feed? I really liked this combo and I couldn't wait to share it with everyone. I was feeling very spring-like (even though it's cold and mostly rainy here in Atlanta). I used my Wet n Wild spring color and a Revlon "party nail" color.

I know it's supposed to just be an accent nail but my accent nails have been more along the lines of party nails. Don't you think that this week's accent color is reminiscent of colorful confetti? Me too. It's the Revlon Nail Enamel in Girly. It's a good brand of polish that I've purchased for years. The drugstore retail for this polish is $4.99 but you know to always buy BOGO 1/2 off and/or use a coupon. I can't remember what I did but I'm sure I didn't pay full price.

The other 8 fingers enjoyed Wet n Wild Megalast Salon Nail Color in Candid Affair all week. It's such a pretty sparkling lilac color. I really liked it and of course, I like the WnW formula and brush. I used 2 heavy coats (not just a swipe) and didn't have any streaking. My nails lasted quite a long time before chipping. I only paid about a dollar and change after a BOGO 1/2 off and a coupon.

I liked both colors a lot and plan on adding them to my spring time rotation.

What are you wearing this spring? Are you into the pastels or the nudes?

Mar 30, 2014


It's empties time! I like empties. It's a nice review time of things that I've used for the month. I get to reflect on if I liked a product or if I'm scratching my head and wondering why on earth I bought it. So let's get to it!

I used 2 face masks and 1 eye mask this month. I just reviewed them yesterday. I know. I'm a slacker. I'm going to do better in April. I picked up a few samples from Sephora and I am so excited to try them.

Avon Bubble Bath. Don't judge me! LOL. There are 3 bubble bath's this month; Fresh Peach, Dark Orchid & Raspberry and Vanilla Cream. I liked the Vanilla Cream the best. It's a soft, clean scent. Fresh Peach is next. It's very peachy but not overkill.  The Dark Orchid & Raspberry is last. It was ok. The scent wasn't bad, it just didn't wow me. I have 5 or 6 bubble baths open at a time. I like to have a variety to choose from each time I take a bubble bath. That's why you see so many empties at one time.

Keeping with the bath time theme, I have used a CVS brand Comfort Moisturizing Body Wash. This one was a brown sugar scent. It was a nice scent, good lather and of course, a really good price. I bought mine on sale and I had a CVS coupon. I have a few other CVS scents that I am working my way through. There will probably be more next month. I also have a TON of shower gels and body washes open at any given time. It takes a lot to get through them because I keep switching it up.

I used a Secret deodorant. Probably a bit TMI for you but Secret is the only deodorant that I use. It's the only one that works for me. I've tried other and well, they tell on me.

There's a Sephora sample of YSL Éclat Radiant Touch that I was not fond of (I know, I must be the only person in America). I tried it several times but it just didn't work for me.

I finished a bottle of Mizani Spradiance High Gloss Serum. I go through a bottle every 3 or 4 months. I love it. I use it when I flat iron my hair and I mix it with leave in conditioner twice a week and then let my roots soak up all its goodness. It's expensive but the cheaper ones don't work as well.

Yes, that is pure acetone remover. Don't yell at me. I only use it once a week or so and I've been using nail treatments after each polish removal. They are getting strong but they aren't growing longer. I don't know the answer folks. I just keep trying to bring them back to life after my gel nail fiasco. It takes me a loooong time to use a bottle so you probably won't see another one for quite a while.

I finished a pack of Equate brand Original Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes (comparable to Pond's Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes). My purpose for buying these was makeup removal. I've discovered that most towelettes don't remove enough makeup for me. I just don't feel clean after using them. I currently use them to when going on vacation or staying in a hotel. I don't like putting other people's towels on my face so I use these as my towels (cray cray fact about me). I also use these for hand swatch removal or makeup incidents in the morning (mascara wand hitting the nose, dark blue eyeshadow fall out, you know the deal). I probably won't buy any more of these. They just don't do the trick. I have a drawer full of different types and some of those work a bit better than these.

I've begun using exfoliating gloves. Hellojerree on YouTube got me to try them. This isn't really an empty because I'm currently using the gloves but, I don't plan on showing you the gloves when I'm done. Yuk! So far I've used the gloves once. They do exfoliate and your skin does feel good afterwards. You do wonder if you are scraping your skin off if you aren't gentle though. I'll keep using them and I'll let you know what I think next month.

And, I'm a tossing out 2 makeup brushes. It makes me feel better to toss old brushes when I buy new brushes. This month I'm tossing a Wet n Wild makeup brush that I tried out and an e.l.f. smudge brush . The Wet n Wild makeup brush was terrible so I would never buy it again. The e.l.f. smudge brush was fine but it started shedding sooner than I like. I did get my $1.00 out of it many times over but I've invested in a few better smudge brushes.

And that's what's in my trash this month! A lot of tried and true things that you will probably see again. What's in your empties? Will you repurchase? What are you kicking to the curb?

Mar 29, 2014

Behind The Mask

I'm a slacker. No, I WAS a slacker. Not so much anymore.

I originally chose Sunday afternoons to be my mask time...AND my nail polish change time...AND my makeup brush clean time...AND my rest and relax time. That's a lot of stuff to do on a Saturday afternoon. Makes you tired just thinking about it!

So, I changed things up. After missing a few weeks of masking it up, I changed my mask night to Friday or Saturday night while in the tub or putting things away. It's more relaxing then. I'm beginning my weekend with it instead of ending my weekend with it. I know, it doesn't seem like such a hardship but I have to spend my Sunday evening getting my mind ready for work Monday. I need at least 5 hours to do that properly!

Anyway, I tried 3 masks this time. 2 of them were very pleasing. 1 of them possibly caused me grief.

Let's begin with the one that possibly caused me grief, shall we? I was really excited about the Ellen Tracy Fresh Revitalizing Eye Masks. There were 4 pairs of eye treatment masks formulated to reduce wrinkles, smooth fine lines, improve dark circles and instantly soothe & hydrate tired eyes. Well, it did instantly soothe and hydrate my eyes, however I may not have heeded the "do not get product into eyes" warning. Two days later I noticed my eyes were runny and seemed to have a film over them. I don't know if it was this mask or the under eye cream I had been using for a week but I discontinued both and will not try them again. I went to my doctor because I was sure if it was pink eye or not (and I DO NOT play with my eyes) but she said nope, not pink eye. I had some type of eye infection (I believe cooties is the medical term). This eye mask was slippery and slimy and while I can't be sure it was the culprit, I won't try it again.

1 week before this unfortunate incident, I had used another face mask; Foodaholic Super Food Skin Care Green Tea Natural Essence Mask. It promises to use Green Tea extracts to make skin more elastic and soothing. Not sure if my skin was more elastic but I liked the mask! It was a thick face mask (not that paper thin stuff that I have used before). There were slots for every part of your face and slots to contour the mask to your face. It smelled nice and felt very good. I wore it for 25 minutes and then rubbed the mask serum into my face. This $1.99 mask is definitely going to be repurchased.

After my eyeball incident, I gave myself a week off. I was gun shy (and lazy). I got back on the horse though and tried Absolute! Brightening Essence Mask Tissue. It was an extremely wet mask that was thick and comfortable and also fully covered my face. It had just a hint of a smell. I really liked this mask. It has cucumber extract and has vitamin E + arbutin to soothe, brighten and moisturize the face. What is arbutin? Well, a week after using the mask, I discover (much to my chagrin) that it is a product extracted from the bearberry plant that prevents the formation of melanin and therefore is used as a skin-lightening agent. I'm a big girl and I understand that a small amount of certain things in cosmetic products can be so minute that they don't affect anything at all. BUT a skin-lightening agent really isn't something that I want on my face. I'm very comfortable with my complexion and don't want to do anything that might cause permanent damage. That being said, I might have pooh poohed the amount of arbutin in this product because I really did like the product BUT the additive is 5th of a list of 32 ingredients. Sighhhh, that does give me pause.

So, I had 2 really good experiences but only walked away with 1 take home product. I am really going to have to read the back of products! Face masks seem to have been my down fall the last 2 months (you do remember last month's face mask issue?) But, I won't get discouraged. I will keep masking it.

Have you been masking? Is there one that you prefer?

Mar 28, 2014

Wet n Wild 8 Pan Palette Walking The Red Carpet

I don't want to get on  the bandwagon but I think I have to.  I think Wet n Wild 8 pan pallets are made in a different factory than the 3 and 5 pan pallets.  I mean really. 

I recently purchased the Wet n Wild 8 pan in Walking The Red Carpet and got ...

a pink that is more chalky white than pink,
a silver white that might be useful,
a taupe that might be useful as a blending color,
a glittery gold that is chunky and a bit too young for my eyes,
a brown that doesn't show up much and what does show up is very bland,
a gold that might be useful,
a dark drown that is so chalky, I'm scared the fall out will ruin the rest of my face,
and a warmer brown that might be useful

So 3 are usable, 2 are too bad to use and the other 3 might be used to enhance something else.

I read the reviews but I had hope. I wanted to believe.  The last 4 pans that I bought were fabulous (Silent Era Film, To Muse and Carouse, The Naked Truth & Floral Values). They were nicely pigmented and even the colors that were too bright for me (aqua blue and lilac) were still nice to wear. Someone else could have worn them with no problem.  This latest 8 pan? Not so much. 

I don't want to go too hard on Wet n Wild because they make some really nice products. These just seem to be disappointing each time. 

I think the problem is that we keep buying them. They are only 4 or 5 bucks and we keep believing that this next 8 pan will be different. 

And they aren't. 

So, will I buy the next one that comes out? Very possibly. 

Sighhhh. And that's the problem. 

If I keep buying them, they will keep making them. 

What about you? Have you tried the latest 8 pans palettes? Did you like them? Do you plan to keep buying them? 

Mar 27, 2014

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss

I mentioned a while ago that my stores were putting up new, bigger Milani stands and I talked about loving the Milani Color Statement Lipsticks that they have. I do love them but I'm still a gloss girl and Milani has added some new glosses to their line.

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Glosses are soooo nice. They run about $4.99 (I of course, got mine with BOGO 1/2 off) at the drugstore. They are moist and they last a long time (I eat and drink all day and I got 4 good hours plus 1 "color still there" hour). These colors stand on their own. With 2 or 3 swipes of the doe foot applicator, you have a powerful bit of gloss. They are a bit sticky and I'm not a fan of that normally but with these glosses, the stickiness doesn't drive me crazy. They have a slight smell that's not unpleasant and they don't leave that line on your lips.

The website shows that they come in 14 different shades and most of the stores that I've been in have about 8 - 12 of those shades. So far (yes, so far) I've picked up Mai-Tai, Luminous, Mauve Fetish and Pink Lady. I have my eye on a few others (Sweet Grapefruit, Coral Crush and Ravish Raspberry are on my list).

I like to wear lip liner so I line my lips and then pop some Brilliant Shine Gloss over them and "BAM" you get a beautiful color. I added a picture of the day that I wore Pink Lady with a Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Eastend Snob (got the idea off of Pinterest). Are you for real?! Isn't that gorgeous?!

Oh I have plans for these glosses. I think that have slipped in as my spring fave ladies. If you haven't tried these out you need to run to the store and pick up some. I'm serious. Stop reading this and go now!!

Mar 26, 2014

Naked! Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal

You know that I love (almost) all things Rimmel. It's not a secret that between their lip gloss, lip sticks and mascara, my makeup counter is covered in the brand. Well, Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal is no different. I have almost all of the colors. They are rich colors that stay on your waterline beautifully. The formula is one of my favorites. When Rimmel comes out with new colors, I am one of the first ones in line for it. If there is only 1 and you reach for it, expect a jab in the stomach and I pluck it from your fingers. Yes, it is just that serious (not really, but kinda).

Trends? I'm not much of a trend gal. I like classic, tried and true, timeless. I don't jump on the trend bandwagon that much. I'll look, see if it's for me and then keep it moving. So, when I saw the nude liner trend, I wondered if it was for me. 

I don't always get my 8 hours of sleep so I'm searching for ways to look more awake and refreshed. I was excited about the nude liner trend. Bloggers and Vloggers touted the magical ability of nude liner. It could give you that "I just slept a full 8 hours," look. If it could make me look like I got a great night's sleep then it's the thing for me. I wanted to see if it worked. didn't work. I tried both nude and taupe liners and ended up looking washed out and tired. It actually enhanced the redness in my eyes. I had to go back over my waterline with a brown liner. The nude and taupe liners did the opposite of what they were supposed to do. 

So I went back to my other liners-- the ones with color. They seem to do the trick. Although, I'm sure 2 hours more sleep each night would work too!!

Have you tried nude liners? Did they work for you? What trend did you try and it just didn't work for you?

Mar 25, 2014

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Blush

No hand swatch because you really can't see it on my hand.
I really like bronzer. It give a warmth to my skin that blush just can't give. I like blush but it's not the same as bronzer. Blush gives me that pop of color. Bronzer gives that glow. Yep, if I had to choose one or the other, bronzer would win every time.

I picked up the Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Blush in 2166 Warming Organics from Big Lots on one of my scouting missions. It couldn't have been more than $2 or $3 because that's the price point for almost all the makeup at Big Lots. I knew that it would probably be a onetime purchase because Big Lots is like a hospital for makeup. Sometimes makeup goes there because it's getting a face lift or reformulated. Other times, it goes there because it's being sent out to pasture.

Well, I really like it no matter if it's future is reformulation or pasture. The color on me is like a cross between blush and bronzer. It's not a wine or pink or peach or anything but it's not bronzy brown. It's more of warmth, you know like the Bare Minerals warmth. It gives a hint of color to my cheeks, that flushed look. It gives me a touch of summer time tan, which is what you need after a winter like the one we've had.

I've used it for a few weeks and now that I've played with it, I will use it on days when I am doing basic makeup (the weekends). I kinda hate that it's at Big Lots. It think that it would have been a product that would have been in my regular routine.

Mar 24, 2014

Nail Polish Change - Wet n Wild Protective Base Coat & Undercover

Happy New Nail Polish Day!

Again, ignore the nails. I kinda feel like they are growing "backwards". They get worse each week, I think. I'm still trying to keep the cuticles moist and be gentle with them. One day.

I have to say, I am very happy to be able to start checking out some of the colors that I've been picking up. For the past 6 weeks I've been testing the L'Oreal Color Riche Colors so I've stayed true and only used those colors. Man! It starts off fun but when you get down to it, it's not as fun as you thought. Being locked into polish for 6 weeks is hard! Especially when everyone come out with new colors. No worries though. I have still been buying nail polish colors so I have plenty to show off.

This week I wore a Wet n Wild polish. I began with my Wet n Wild Wild Shine Protective Base Coat. It seems to work well. I can't see a difference in the base coats that I've used. It keeps my polish colors from staining so that's a plus.

The actual color that I wore is one from one of the latest "new lines". I'm not sure which "new line" but the color is 206 Undercover. The Wet n Wild formula is nice. You have to use 2 very good coats. You can't go light or you'll need a third coat. I tend to go heavy so I'm ok. The color seemed to last the same as the other brands I've used. I saw chipping about day 3 or 4. The brush is nice. Now that I've discovered that tapered brush style, I like finding nail polish lines that have it.

It's a nice color - a deep cinnamon color. It goes well with my skin tone and I got a lot of complements on it. I think it's better for fall though. It's a bit too deep for spring even though it's supposed to be nude.

I like it. I'll be using it again but a little closer to fall. I just mentioned to a friend that I'm getting ready to pull out my spring colors. Are you ready for that folks? Nice, soft, floral colors. It's cold where I am so hopefully they'll bring some warm, bright days with them!

Mar 23, 2014

Waste Not Want Not - Creams, Potions & Lotions

This post began as a review post and then morphed into something completely different.

You know one of my favorite pastimes is watching YouTube. Once of the channels I've been watching is hellojerree. I really like her! She has some great suggestions for skin care and over health. Her voice is very calming too! Any who, I had been watching some of her older videos and she said to use things that don't work in one place in another place. I let that go in one ear and out the other until I was reviewing moisturizers that didn't work for me. I had already placed the very full containers in my empties bin and then I remembered what hellojerree had said! So, I've been using my creams on...get ready for elbows, knees and feet!

I know, that sounds cray cray but they have been working really well in those spots. Waste not, want not people! An eye cream that didn't work on my eyes, works very well on my elbows. A moisturizer that was really too perfumey to use on my face is now on my feet because, let's be honest -- my feet don't care about perfume! I've mentioned before that I purchased eye makeup remover wipes and they stung the crap out of my eyes. I use those pads to wipe swatches off my hand or clean my concealer brush between cleanings.

Now, I don't throw away things that don't work in one area. I've learned that repurposing is a lot better than throwing away. I don't have plans of repurchasing those items, but I don't have to be wasteful either.

What can you repurpose? Think about it before you throw that cream away. Your elbows, knees and feet might like them better than your face!!

Mar 22, 2014

It's A Haul Y'all!

Hey there!

So I've been doing what I do best, shopping!! I haven't done much this past week, but I have done some. I've picked up little odds and ends and of course, I thought I'd show you.

I have to begin with the item that I am the proudest of. I found a pack of L'Oreal Paris Ideal Clean Makeup Removing Towelettes at my local Wally World. You see from the little sticker that they were marked down to $2.50. I had a $2.00 off coupon! I know, how awesome is that?! It doesn't even matter if they are any good because even if they are only used to wipe swatches off my hand or clean up mascara mistakes, for $.50 it's a steal!

I also picked up the NYC Color Wheel Palette in Bronzed Pink. I'll be honest; it's not the one I meant to pick up. I meant to pick up Pink Cheek Glow. No worries. I'll pick that one up later and I'll tell you how I liked both of them!

I have an eye primer experiment coming up so I used a coupon (and a BOGO 1/2 off) and got the Rimmel London Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer. And, you cannot have shadow primer without eye shadow. I decided to check out the Black Radiance shadows and see if they are anything like the Wet n Wild shadows. I mean they look exactly like them! We'll see. I did like the fact that Black Radiance has darker colors and shades better suited for darker skin. I'm excited to try them.

And of course I got some lippies. I can't come home without a lipstick (I just picked up another lipstick organizer today!). I had a coupon for Revlon so I added a Colorburst Lip Butter to my collection - Pink Truffle. I also had a coupon for the Wet n Wild Mega Lip Color so I picked up Pink Slip. You know I love my Wet n Wild Mega Lip Color. I also picked up one of the new Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Glosses in Mai Tai. One of my bloggy friends mentioned how much she liked this one and it looked so pretty on her that I had to pick one up for myself.

My local Target just put on their big girl panties and got a real ELF section so I was able to purchase the Eye Refresh that they have. Spoiler alert - I have tried this and I don't know if it is working but it feels good! I guess that makes it worth the price of admission, huh?!

And last, but not least, last Sunday I found a Tarina Tarantino Gem Gloss. Well, I actually found a few of them, but this was the color that I thought I'd try. I've never tried their gloss before so this should be a real treat.

So there it is lovely ladies (and maybe a few guys, I guess, I dunno). My small, but mighty haul. Hopefully everything is wonderful and delightful and I have only good things to report back.

But we all know that 'aint happening!

Mar 21, 2014

Quickie Review - Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat - Radiant Touch

I think I'm about to upset quite a few of you. Sorry in advance.

I picked up a sample of Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat (don't you love saying that?) - Radiant Touch in 5.5 Luminous Praline. So many YouTubers and Bloggers have sung the praises of this luminizing pen. According to the Sephora website, it "brings light and radiance to the skin, immediately erases any signs of fatigue, and brightens the complexion". My friend at the Sephora counter squeezed out a sample of the $41 elixir so that I could see the results for myself. He too sang it's praises.

I did exactly what my Sephora friend told me to do. I followed his directions to the T. I tried this lovely little sample out for 4 days and I did not sing. Maybe I didn't use it correctly. Maybe I don't look at sleepy as I thought I did. But, this stuff did not work. It magnified the creases and illuminated my tired eyes. It didn't make me look more alive just older and more tired.

Don't be too angry with me folks. I don't blame this magical potion for what it didn't do. Sometimes the mere mortal holding the potion doesn't know how to use it properly. This is the 5th or 6th magic potion I've tried and they all do the same thing.

So, the magical YSL Touche Éclat did do something pretty magnificent. It made me realize that perhaps my wrinkles and tired eyes don't look so bad at all. Maybe all those lotions and potions can't fix my eyes...

...because they aren't broken.

I'm glad I didn't pay $41 plus tax for that!!

Mar 20, 2014

Bronzed Beauties

So let's keep on our love fest tour and talk about the 3 bronzers I'm in love with right now. Blush, well I've had a few. I can play with a blush and make it work but a bad bronzer? Well, you just have to let that go. 

And I've been lucky. Out of the last 4 that I've purchased, I've loved three and kinda liked the fourth.  I'm just going to talk about the 3 I love.
2nd purchase but at $3, who wouldn't buy a second one!!
My first good bronzer was that famous Nars dupe, E.L.F. duo in Laguna. The blush in the duo didn't work for me so I used it as a eyelid color. But, the bronzer side--I hit major pan before I decided I should look at other bronzers. I thought that bronzer would be my end all be all.

My second bronzer was Revlon Photo Ready Bronzing Kit in Bronzed and Chic. WOW! That was a game changer for me. One swirl of all the pretty colors and my face was ready for action!  You know I love my browns and this was just 4 of the prettiest bronzer shades I had ever seen. It took me a minute to get the nerve up and dip my brush in. Magic! I was over the moon so I didn't press my luck. I used it every day until I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon watching videos on YouTube. 

That Saturday, I kept hearing the same bronzer over and over again.  It didn't matter who it was, when talking about bronzer, they had this one in their collection. Everyone kept talking about the NYC Bronzer in Sunny. At first I ignored it because folks that talked about it weren't women of color. It couldn't possibly be for me! Besides, I had my Photoready. I was good!

But, my local Rite Aid had a BOGO sale (which is waaay better than a BOGO 1/2 off sale). I had 3 NYC items in my hand. I just needed one more so after hemming and hawing for a good ten minutes, I decided to drink the koolaid and get the bronzer. 

I. Am. In. Love. It is fantabulous! It's a beautiful shade and you can lighten or make darker. It is smooth as butter and it's darn near makeup worship to put it on. I have to make sure all the other bronzers are put away before I pull this bit of heaven out! I wouldn't want the others to get jealous.
I have NO idea why I added this one. You can't see that bronzer! But, It's there. Trust me. Why else would I take the picture? I'm not totally crazy...well, you know what I mean.
I know, I know. I tend to be all dramatic but really, playing in makeup is fun and when you find colors that make your face look awesomer (it IS a word!), you go for it. When you find face products that enhance your already beautiful mug, you reverently pull it out every time you can.

I may try other bronzers and fall in love, but you always remember your first love....

....your first 3 loves.

What's your first (3) bronzer love(s)? Are you still as in love as the first day you met?

Mar 19, 2014

Wet n Wild Mega Lip Color

Top - Make Me Blush, Middle - Ring Around The Rosy, Bottom - A Currant Affair

So let's continue our theme of things we love. Let's talk about these Wet n Wild Mega Lip Colors. 

Make Me Blush, Ring Around The Rosy and A Currant Affair are the three shades that I currently own. The color pay off is nice. The colors are all shades of brown (surprise!) but they are nice colors that vary in their "browness". You know what I mean. We've all purchased several shades of some lipstick brands only to discover they were all the same shade or so close to it that you should have only purchased 1. That is not the case with these. All three colors stood on their own.  
Top - Make Me Blush, Middle - Ring Around The Rosy, Bottom - A Currant Affair
I was surprised how moist they were.  I didn't need to pre-balm as I do with many lipsticks (you know, add lip balm before adding lipstick). I just added my liner and went to town. 

They lasted several hours of my talking and eating and reapplied well. Now, I did notice that if I didn't remove the old lipstick, I'd get that annoying line but it's worth it for the moisture. 

I can also complain a bit about the packaging but then I'd have to take it right back. Wet n wild used so much plastic and sticky tape on these that it takes forever to get into them. But, that means no one tried them out before you so, see? I can't really complain!

The price? Really? You have to ask? These lipsticks are next to nothing at $2.99 each and drugstores always have a BOGO 1/2 off going on. Stock up then. 

All in all, these lippies are the best. If you don't have some of these in your collection, you are making poor life choices. 

Make better choices people. Pick some of these up. 

Mar 18, 2014

What I Use - Spradiance High Gloss Serum By Mizani

I'm like many of my sistas with coarse hair that has been relaxed in that I have to keep my hair moisturized but not wet. That seems like an easy thing to do, unless you have coarse hair that has been relaxed. Then you learn quickly that you have to have a good balance of wet and oil. Too much wet and your relaxed style frizzes up. Too much oil and you can't style your hair at all, so ponytail it is.

So I use products that walk that very fine line. My go to hair oil is Spradiance High Gloss Serum by Mizani. I've been using it for about 4 years and it hasn't let me down yet. If I go too many days without it (4 or 5), my hair gets frizzy and dry looking. But, if I use it 2 days in a row it looks greasy and there's not much I can do with my hair but put it in a ponytail.

I wash, condition and dry my hair and then wrap it up and sleep on it one night. The next morning I spend about an hour pulling it with a flat iron (no, I haven't made that flat iron purchase yet). Before I put heat on each strand, I coat it with a little of my High Gloss Serum. It helps smooth the hair and protects it from the heat. Then I wait 4 days before squeezing a nickel sized amount in my hands, warming it by rubbing my hands together and then running it through my hair making sure to get the tips. I pin it up with a hair clip and let it soak up all the goodness inside.

And just what is the goodness inside? Well, it's an alcohol free gloss with dimethicone, fragrance and a few other goodies. Cheaper products that I've tried have had alcohol in them and that dried my hair out almost immediately. I needed to treat it with other products within hours. The fragrance in hair products has to be kept to a minimum for me. I can't stand strong smelling hair products. This serum smells really good -- musky would be the scent I'd use to describe it (but I've never proclaimed to be good at describing scents, now have I?) The dimethicone seems to not be a terrible product according to the website, but I'm pretty sure that many of the other products I use on a daily basis are listed as horrible so I guess everything all works out in the end. For me, the dimethicone (a silicone based polymer) is what keeps my hair smooth and shiny. I've noticed that products with this ingredient in them seem to work best on my hair in small doses. It's probably why I can purchase a more expensive product...because I only use a tiny amount of it.

Yes, this is a pricey product. I pay $18 - $21 for a 5 oz. bottle and the bottle lasts about 3 - 4 months, depending on the time of the year (i.e., how dry my hair is). I've tried cheaper brands but I keep coming back (running back is more like it) to this one. It just works for me and that means it's totally worth the price.

What do you use on your hair that's expensive? Is it worth it or did you just buy it once and would repurchase it again? 

Mar 17, 2014

Nail Polish Change - CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant in Bombshell & Essie in Fair Game

You like my nail polish wheel? I know, I like it too. I've been meaning to pick up a pack for weeks now because otherwise, there is nail polish that you fine folks will never see.

You will never see my toe nail polish. It's a shame really because I keep my toesies painted and I use bold, bright, sometimes unusual colors on them. But, I just don't want to go flashin' my toes on the world wide web. Crazy, I know but I just feel better doing it this way. Heck, you may not want to see my toes (and then there are the folks that do)! So, I'll just paint my nail polish wheel (1 coat, 2 coats, 3 coats) and let you see the color that way.

I've worn 2 tootsie polishes this past month. Normally, I can get away with 3 full weeks of color before the new nails comes through. But, I've been using pedicure products that remove some of the shine off the polish so I changed them after 2 weeks. I've worn the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant polish in 330 Bombshell and Essie polish in 1002 Fair Game.

I purchased the Essie polish from an end cap at my local Walgreens and got really excited because it was under $3. Normally Essie polish is $8.50 or more. The color is actually one I'd wear on my finger nails but I had just spent the last 6 weeks testing the L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Collection Privée nail polish so I would have had to either wait till the series was finished (LOL - I have a blog series. How cool?!) or try it on the tootsies. The tootsies won.

Well, it was...fine. Not great, not brilliant, not life changing. It was just a fine pearly gray/blue polish. And in my book, that's good for a $3 nail polish. That's NOT good for a $8.50. The color was pretty. I'll probably find colors that match and use it as an accent color. The formula was fine. It lasted well (but then polish on toes lasts much longer than polish on fingers). I expected a better brush though. It was thin and the top/handle was small. That made it a bit tricky to hold when painting my nails. I'd probably buy an Essie polish again for $3 but not for $8.50 unless it was an amazing color.

The next 2 weeks belonged to CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant polish in 330 Bombshell. Very nice. The color was a pretty, sparkly cranberry color and I'd gladly use it on my fingers except  I found the consistence to be a bit thin. I know that sounds weird but it wasn't a rich polish consistency. It was thin, more along the lines of a cheaper polish. I laugh as I say that because of course it was an end cap purchase and I had a coupon so, I only paid $.88. The brush was normal but the cap was weird. I had to get use to holding a cube in my hand and painting with it. Still, I'd purchase other colors (and have) because the selection is pretty good.

So there you have it -- toe nail polish colors on a nail polish wheel. Exciting stuff.

Just wait till you see what's coming up next week!

Mar 16, 2014

International Envy - Face Masks

Last month I mentioned that I have a touch of International Envy (a big touch). They are so many great makeup lines here in the United States but I've discovered there are many more outside the US and I need to play with that makeup too! But, International Envy doesn't stop at makeup. No, no, my friends. I am envious of nail polish, skin care and ... face masks.

I've only been playing with face masks for a few months but I really like what they are doing for me. I mean, they may not be doing a thing but I feel pampered when I do it and my face feels nice when I'm done. And really, if a product makes you feel good, isn't it worth it?!

I decided to try weekly face masks when watching iluv faces1042 on YouTube do Mask Monday. I hadn't thought about it before but I realized that I should probably do more for my face, pamper it a little bit and watching this lady here -- if you aren't cracking up by the end of her pieces your laugh box must have been removed. She is awesome and when she gets with her daughter...well, that's another post. While she luvs faces, I luv watching her videos.

When I first began purchasing masks, I thought they were all the same. I thought they were all wet pieces of fabric that made your skin feel soft after 10 minutes. I quickly discovered that they are not all the same. Some masks are bad, some are great, some are made with fruit essences (and thusly break me out) and some are plant based. Some are for eyes, some are for the entire face, some are for hands and some are for feet (yep, I know!). They all have one thing in common though -- I'm a sucker for them all. I like masks now and I've found that there is a certain type I like better than the rest. The international ones.

The bulk of the masks I've tried are made in Korea or China and really, if you turn that packet over, you will probably see that 75% of your masks are international as well. The international masks seem to have a lot of natural ingredient bases. Yeah, I know. I've heard that you have to be careful with some international face products but there is something nice about applying a green tea essence or cucumber extract or lotus flower & ginseng mask. Lotus flower people! That can't be bad!

And, to be honest, the mask that broke me out was make in the USA so....

I have really enjoyed wearing masks. I haven't branched out to the pricer ones from Sephora or Ulta but I have scoured my local TJ Maxx and Marshals for face masks. I've found some good ones there and the drugstore but I tend to hit pay dirt at my local beauty supply stores. I've gotten to know several ladies at my beauty supply stores (when you visit 2 - 3 times a week they become your BFFs, and no, I'm not embarrassed!) and I asked them if they've tried certain masks. They point to the ones that they have used and those are the ones I go for. Yes, they could be lying, how would I know? But so far, they haven't steered me wrong.

And until they do, I'm going to indulge my mask International Envy to my hearts content.