Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sephora Collection: J Goldcrown Bleeding Hearts Train Case

I am a sucker for packaging and anything to do with makeup.  I had already purchased the J Goldcrown Bleeding Hearts the Universalist Ovepacker bag so decided to also purchase the soft Train Case. 

It's a great size (10.75W x 6.5D x 6H), has two zipper compartments, a place to secure your brushes, a mesh zipper pocket and another zipper pocket.

The zippers themselves are heavy-duty and the bag itself is a great material that will hold up well and clean easily.

They are currently on sale and going fast.  

Saturday, July 21, 2018

2018 Summer Favorites (So Far)

algenist, gold bond, feet, c booth, sandals, lotions, reusable straws, deodorant, suntan lotion, water bottle
Summer has finally arrived in the PNW and here are just a few things that I am enjoying almost every day!

Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen Lip - This isn't your typical lip treatment.  It is like applying a thin serum but I have definitely noticed a difference using this every morning.  My lips are softer and do feel fuller.  The recommendation is to use it twice a day and apply another lip treatment over it.  I have just been using it in the morning under my lipstick trio.

Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal - This is a THICK lotion that has coconut oil, cocoa butter and African shea butter. Amazing ingredients and lasts all day!

A past favorite, Anthony No Sweat Body Defense - I use this on my girl parts. It is safer to use than those body sprays and works better without smelling like whatever scent is in your deodorant.

e. Booth Foaming Dry Body Polish - This is the perfect product for removing dead skin.  It does foam/clean and leaves your skin oh so soft!

Emjoi Micro Pedi with Aquaphor Healing Ointment - Another mention from the past but too good not to keep sharing.  I use the Emjoi first and then at night smother my feet in the Aquaphor and put on light socks to really get it to penetrate and soften my feet.

Hawaiian Trop Silk Hydration Weightless - This is amazing lotion.  The smell, the consistency and also the fact that it doesn't make me break out.

Dolce Vita Sandals - Have a few colors of this sandal but the one I wear the most is the silver.  They are comfortable and a little dressier than the typical flip flop.

Hydro Flask - I have this with me everywhere I go.  At home, by the bed, in the car, at work...I am never without water.  Hydro Flask is more expensive than most but love the color of this one and hard to find with other brands.  If color isn't important, search Amazon as there are a lot of options and they all work well.

Reusable Straws - I found the Straw Envy straws while visiting the Maui Aquarium.  They had just gotten them in.  The best part is the case.  I keep it in my purse so I always have straw available.  I wanted to have other options and found the stainless ones on Amazon and they came with the silicone tips.  Perfect for not burning/freezing your lips while drinking.  

Have a great summer!

Monday, June 11, 2018

First Impressions: GoTubb Travel Containers

travel containers, small, plastic, flight approved,
I finally got to go on a trip where I needed something to store some of my skincare products.  One of the GoTubbs was filled with my Paula's Choice BHA Gel and the other with a new product, Completely Bare Completely Smooth.  

Unsure how it would perform, I put them inside a plastic bag just in case.  Good thing I did because both of them leaked!

They are the perfect size and are pretty cool but I would say they are best used for creams, not gels or liquids.

On a positive note, the Completely Bare, Completely Smooth was a total hit!  Look for an upcoming review if you have any swimsuit vacations in your future.  

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lip Plumper Battle - e.l.f vs Dior - Who Wins?

dior, e.l.f. cosmetics, pink, beige, lip plumper, lip maximizer
I've tried a few lip plumping products, including:

Too Faced Lip Injection

The recent Lip Mask

Dr. Brandt Needles No More 3D Lip Plump FX

Lip Fusion XL and Dior Addict Lip Maximizer

Besides the lip mask, the other glosses run about $30.  I tend to reach mostly for the Lip Fusion and Dior.  Neither one is too tingly and feel they both do a good job at minimizing the fine lines.  Do they really plump, maybe a little but I don't know that it is that noticeable.  

My son's girlfriend turned me on to the e.l.f. Lip Plumping Gloss.  I bought the Pink Cosmo not knowing that it also came in Champagne Glam (which I found and purchased when she told me that is the color she bought).

Now, how does it compare to the Dior Addict Moisturizer 001 (pink) and 006 (nude)?

On the lips, I would say that the e.l.f. is a little more tingly feeling.  The colors are so similar that I would say that they are the same.  As far as plumping, like I said I don't know that I think that they make lips look bigger, maybe a little, but they seem to minimize the lines for sure.  

Who wins?  e.l.f. Lip Plumping Gloss

I think it actually out performs the Dior AND at a much lower price point.  I don't feel that either one dries my lips and find that I reach more for the e.l.f. than I do the Dior.  So before you spend $34, get the $5 version.  I think you will be impressed!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

First Impressions: Avatara Lip Mask

collagen, face mask, lip plumper, hydration, gel, target, lip moisturizer
I'm always looking for a good lip mask.  While roaming around Target without a list (never a good thing) I ran across the Avatara Tart Orange Hydrogel Lip Mask Collagen.  Looked interesting and I think was less than $2 so put it in my cart.  As my lips were feeling a little dry I decided to see what it was all about.

First thought after discovering what the mask looked like was "how will this ever stay on my lips?".  

Second thought was that it was a weird texture so wasn't sure how it was going to work.  

Put it on my lips and found that if you pressed all over it would actually stick pretty well but still found myself tilting my head back a little.  I also felt like it didn't get the part of my lips where they close.

I let it sit for 20 minutes.  The back said 10-20 minutes.  To be honest, I don't think they really felt any different other than perhaps a little plumper due to the fact that there was something "wet" on them for 20 minutes.  No plumping, not moisturizing and not impressed.  I will stick with my nighttime Aquaphor lip Repair Ointment.  It work amazingly well, even after having badly sunburned lips.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Amazon Lightening Deals Part 2

nail polish holder, travel bra container, champagne glasses, prosecco, amazon deals, lightening deals
As mentioned in my previous Amazon Lightening Deals post I am hooked on browsing through them and with that have discovered quite a few treasures. 

Espare Champagne Flutes ($13) - The picture doesn't show it but they are beautiful insulated glasses.  They are a nice weight and you can put them in the freezer.  One of my glasses had a blemish on the bottom so I reached out to the company and they went above and beyond my expectations!  They do actually keep my Prosecco chilled for quite awhile!

Makartt Universal Clear Nail Polish Organizer Holder ($20) - I had all of my nail polishes in a little bin, which made it a hassle to find the color I wanted.  This organizer solves that problem as well as provides a more compact storage solution.  Problem is that I have more polishes than containers so I am going to need to get more.  It is double sided and latches on each side so that they are easily accessible. 

Bra Travel and Organizer Case ($12) - Don't you hate packing your bras in your suitcase and situate them in such a way to prevent the cups from crushing only to have TSA rummage through your suitcase and move everything around?  This will solve that issue.  This case is made of pretty sturdy plastic, fits I would think at least 3-4 bras as well as your underwear. 

Urban CoCo Women Bohemian Neck Tie Vintage Printed Ethnic Style Summer Shift Dress ($16) - Wow that is a long one!  It is really light weight and will be a great swimsuit coverup that you wouldn't be ashamed to go out shopping or dining while wearing.  If you are trying to decide on sizes, to with the larger size as the dress is fitted pretty straight, not flared at the bottom. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Oprah's Favorite Things 2017 - Bombas

women's socks, no seam, comfortable, oprah's favorite things
I just love that word.  Bombas.  But after putting the socks on, I love, love, love the socks themselves even more.  They are cushiony, soft and there isn't a seam at the toe so nothing to dig into your toes when you put on your shoes.  The colors are also beautiful and bright!  I tend to lean more towards black, white and gray but I busted out of my box.  Why go plain with so many colorful choices, right?

Did I also mention that their business is similar to Toms in that when you buy a pair, they give a pair.  You could say "well at that price, they can afford to do so", but look at all the companies that make shoes for $1,000 a is up to them if they choose to donate profits or not.  it isn't in their business model.

Click here to save 25% on your first order and I get 2 free pairs, which is awesome because as comfortable as they are, they aren't cheap!  Thank you if you choose to use the  link but definitely not required.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Which Unscented Deodorant Works Best?

antiperspirant, secret, speed stick, ban, dry idea, arm & hammer, secret, degree, unscented, mens deodorant, womens deodorant
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been on the search for an unscented deodorant because I hate it when I get sweaty and my deodorant overpowers my perfume.  I also don't care for the scent of the majority of women's deodorants.  They are too perfumey and change scent when doing their job.  So, as you see above, I have tried quite a few and here are the initial results.

The brands below didn't work in colder weather so there is no way I would trust them in the summer months:

Secret - Lasted about 5 hours before it quit doing the job

Secret Clinical - About the same as above but with a higher price AND made my armpits itch

Speed Stick-I thought perhaps they might perform better because we all assume that men sweat more than women but it doesn't appear to be the case.

The remaining:

Arm & Hammer - This is another one that I think does a good job for a longer period but probably not a full 8 hours.

Degree - This one really isn't unscented I don't think but it didn't say on the packaging.  It did a pretty good job of controlling stink and what scent did present itself wasn't bad.

Dry Idea - This one was pretty impressive on first impression but I need to use it again to share with you for how long it held up

Ban - This is a brand that I have NEVER used nor have I known anyone who has used so it really surprised me that it preformed the best. In the first place, it is a roll-on deodorant.  Not my favorite application but I just put it on while I am getting ready so it dries before I get dressed.  this stuff works ALL day, through workouts and warmer temps. No stink!

I will continue testing them out and sharing any updates.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First Impressions: Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender

Two day extender, dry shampoo, volumizing, fine hair, styling products
By mistake I tried a sample that I had received of the Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender.  Was it a bust or a must have?

I received the sample in an order from Ulta quite some time ago.  I actually put it on my hair one morning thinking it was the one that makes your hair dry faster.  Turns out it was a dry shampoo.

Before I tell you my thoughts, my hair is fine and flat with somewhat of an oily scalp that requires me to wash my hair daily.  With that, I am always on the hunt for a good volumizing hair product and have tried MANY brands and types.  

The day that I used this turned out to be a great hair day!  I had volume, no white residue (that you usually have with dry shampoo) and it had a nice, clean smell.  Day two, I used it as you normally would, only on clean hair, at the roots.  Wow!  It created some great volume that lasted throughout the day!  And as a bonus after working out, hair still looked good.

I went on-line to order and was surprised to find the reviews on Ulta were not that great.  Thankfully I tried it before reading it because I think it is better than Batiste dry shampoo which was my favorite before this find.  It is now a part of my everyday hair routine.

If you have fine hair, give it a try as a styling product and tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Under Eye Duo For Brightening

mature skin, brighten, fine lines, concealer, corrector
By themselves, it Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector are great products.  Combined, they are AMAZING!  I didn't really realize that until I ran out of the Becca and quickly had to place an order on Sephora with 2-day shipping.

My skin-type is combination skin, fine lines around the eyes but thankfully no dark circles.

First I apply my primer.  Right now I am mostly grabbing either Lancome or Dr. Brandt.

Once the primer sets, I take a little dot of the Bye Bye and then a swipe of the Becca and rub them together on my fingertips.  A little goes a long way. Once evenly combined, I just dab it under my eye.  Don't rub, just dab to blend.

After that sets for awhile I apply my foundation and let that set for a bit before applying my under eye powder. The fine lines are diminished and under eye brightened.  LOVE LOVE LOVE these products!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Amazon Daily Deals - I'm Addicted

amazon, prime, daily deals, coupons, knives, shampoo, jewelry
The majority of my on-line shopping addiction is due to Amazon but not just Amazon but their Daily Deals.  Specifically, their Lightening Deals.  I have two more on the way but couldn't wait so decided to share the three pictured, now.

First Botany Activated Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo - $10.95 - The first thing that impressed me was that it had a screw lid on the bottle but it came with a flip lid and a pump lid so you could pick which one your favorite.  The second thing was the scent. It isn't strong but it is a clean smell.  Not flowery/perfumey.  Lastly, the shampoo itself which is black.  Kind of weird to get use to but it left my hair feeling really soft without even using a conditioner.  A full review will be coming after I have used it a few times.

Bellemain Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set - $16.11 - I wasn't really expecting much. I just wanted some everyday serrated knives.  These were impressive.  A good weight, one piece so you don't have to worry about the blade breaking off, stainless steel and a nice look.  I will probably be purchasing another set!

"Be Graffiti" 18-inch Charm Necklace - I just realized when looking up the info that it wasn't a daily deal but worth sharing.  It took a long time to arrive as I think the package got lost in the mail.  I cannot say enough about the customer service at Amazon!  So many companies could learn from their model.  Anyway, because it took so long I ordered a different one but ended up sending it back after this one arrived.  I did change the chain to another one that I purchased at Amazon but the charm itself is fun.  I would highly recommend.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fenty Beauty Review

primer, foundation, rihanna, velvet matte finish, older skin, combo skin
I don't know how many foundations I have tried but I think I have finally found one that is as good as it as going to get with combo, mature skin!  

When I first pumped the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation on my Beauty Blender, I wasn't too sure about it.  It was pretty thin (watery) and thought perhaps that it meant poor coverage.  Boy was I wrong.  


Great coverage

Nice finish - demi-matte 

Doesn't accentuate dry spots

Doesn't settle into fine lines

Wears off rather than gathering in oily areas

No blotting really necessary (winter weather, not sure about summer yet)

Packaging is glass and slim and I love the pump 

Doesn't bother my sensitive skin

Great color selection

Long wearing


$34 is a little spendy but better than others I have tried

I need to use a little over a pump but it is easy to control the amount that comes out

As far as the Fenty Pro Filt'r Primer, I think it performed pretty well but noticed that my skin reacted a little bit to it so I sent it back.  If you don't have sensitive skin, I would definitely give it a try.  It reminded me a little of PoreFessional but in a thinner version.  

I have found great success using the Dr. Brandt Pores No More primer with this foundation. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Current Audible Love - The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon, Audible Books, historical fiction, drama
For those of you who do not have STARS, I highly recommend giving the Outlander audiobooks a try for various reasons:

Narration - Davina Porter is amazing!  She gives each character their own charm speaking both Scottish and British.  

Story - I love a good historical, be it fiction or non-fiction, story.  This particular series has comedy, tragedy, magic, heroism, romance, drama and characters that touch on every emotion.  I often find myself laughing out loud but there are also times where I just cringe.  The brutality of the era.  

Value - With each book being at least 30+ hours, when you use your credits on Audible, you are getting a good bag for your buck.  

I am only on book two, "Dragonfly in Amber", but I will definitely be purchasing the entire series and perhaps the DVDs when I am finished.  I haven't heard how well the tv series follows the books but I don't want to chance it until I am done.

Monday, February 19, 2018

DIY Doorstop

fabric bag doorstop, rice for weight, diy, doorstop, cosmetic bags
This will be quick as it is SUPER simple. 

We have double doors in our bathroom, which has tile floors.  One door, that has the long mirror on the back, won't stay closed.  The other won't stay open.  We had a really cute cast iron doorstop but when you were trying to be quiet, moving it on the tile was very noisy.  I even put felt on the bottom and although it helped a little, still not ideal. I went on a search for another doorstop but there weren't really any options besides those UGLY rubber wedges.  That got me thinking...

Since I am a beauty addict, many times the free gift includes a little bag.  I have a few of them!  The one pictured I think was a Clinique gift with purchase.  I took a ziploc bag, filled it with white rice (but you could use anything that is cheap - beans, etc).  You could even add some essential oils to make it fragrant.  Anyway, be sure to get as much of the air out as you can so that it will form to the inside of your bag.  Put it in your beauty bag, tie it tight and you have an inexpensive doorstop!  

I didn't have matching bags but I like the added color that they bring, they don't make any noise and when they get dirty you can just throw them in the wash.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Discovery of Spanish White Wine

Martin Codax, Granbazan, Albarino, Rias Baixas, white wine, seafood wine,
While visiting my son and his girlfriend, they took me to a great little Tapas restaurant.  It was a small restaurant and VERY popular but they did it right in that they have an area to wait and while you wait will serve you drinks and appetizers.  

Not being familiar with Spanish wines, I looked to the server to suggest a white wine and his recommendation was the Granbazan Albarino Etiqueta Verde.  OH MY GOSH!  It was, I think, the best white wine that I have ever had.  At least in recent years as I have been on a Prosecco fix lately.

I am not great at describing wine/food but I will give it a try.  It is definitely bright tasting, not at all heavy like an oaky chardonnay.  It isn't sweet at all.  I guess it could be described as dry.  Really refreshing.  Great with seafood, chicken or just to enjoy with friends whenever you want no matter what you are eating. 

Winemaker notes:  "Pronounced varietal personality, with notes of fresh fruit, citrus, floral aromas, pear and green apples. Highly aromatic and nicely balanced, with an elegant, dry and slightly salty finish."

It is difficult to find and runs around $20/bottle.

An easier to find version from the same region is Martin Codax Albarino Rias Baixas.  It has similar notes.  "Rias Baixas, Spain- Medium to light-bodied white wine that is rich with peach and citrus fruits while the aromas tend to the floral and slightly nutty end of the spectrum. The wine has bright acidity and an easy-drinking quality."

It is around $11 a bottle and can be found at Total Wine & More, various super markets with a good wine selection and on-line.  I will still go to the effort to find the Granbazan as it is worth the splurge.