Sunday, August 26, 2012

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

This is, by far,  my FAVORITE Eyeshadow Base / Eye Shadow Primer! 

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

As I get "older" and my skin changes, my eyelids have changed as well. Eyeshadow base is a must for me now as my lids get slicker and slicker. 

I have tried a few bases... 

The obvious - UDPP (in original, Sin and Eden), Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC paint pots, Paula Dorf

The not so obvious - Lumene Eye Makeup Base, Np Set Eye Primer, & the list goes on.

This NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is by far the best I have tried. It is very lightweight, goes on white but dries quickly and sheer and absorbs any oil you might have on your lids. Bonus - no fragrance! It last ALL day and my shadow (both creams and powders) does NOT budge. It's a little expensive - for a .26 oz tube (with a doe foot applicator) it runs $24. 

I only wish it came in a squeeze tube. CAN YOU HEAR ME NARS?

Now that I think about it, I might test drive this on NARS Cream Eye Shadows, which crease horribly on me, no matter what primer I use. This could be the ultimate test for me. If it doesn't crease with their own cream shadows, it will stay my HG!
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics

Super important. Please take the time to check it out!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Beauty, from the inside out!

There is nothing more fulfilling than walking out to your very own  backyard and plucking fresh vegetables! Everything tastes better (have you ever bought a tomato from the store that had no flavor? YUCK!) when you grow it yourself. I love that YOU get to control what goes on your food, npesticides or chemicals. EW! Best of all, you can save tons of money!
 Artichokes are not only good for you, but they're fun to eat!

Yummy heirloom tomatoes. There's nothing like 'em.
When we pulled so many cucumbers, I thought what are we going to do with all of this abundance? I gave a lot away to family and friends (another plus to growing your own food - you get to share!), I made a cucumber salad, then it came to me! A spa I once went to served cucumber water. It's so refreshing, good for you and it's easy to make too!
1 cucumber, sliced and unpeeled (I have seen people peel the cukes too but because it's organic, there's no need), 1 1/2 to 2 liters of flat water, half a lemon, sliced and unpeeled, ice cubes, a few mint sprigs if desired. I have also used orange slices instead of lemon. Change it up. It's fun and delicious! I suggest chilling it in the fridge at least 2 to 8 hours and adding the ice cubes just before serving. ENJOY!
A bowl of fresh raspberries and blackberries. They taste like jam, they are so sweet!
Fresh pulled carrots. 
My favorite. I call her the dancing carrot!

Right now we are growing about 4 different varieties of tomato, chives, cucumbers, corn, bell peppers in all colors, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and we just ate the last of our artichokes! Herbs we are growing are rosemary, cilantro, thyme and basil. We are also lucky enough to have a giant pomegranate tree. I can't wait for those ruby red pearls of goodness. Our next step is to grow our own lettuce in a salad table that we already built. It's an above ground table so you can have home grown salad all the way through November! 
Last night we made this amazing CapreseWe bought some crunchy French bread, drizzled some really good olive oil on it and threw it on the panini maker until it was golden and crisp. We took a clove of garlic and scraped it up against the warm bread. YUM! We then topped each slice of bread with a few slices of basil and a few slices of tomato from our garden, sprinkled a little salt and pepper over it, added a slice or 2 of fresh mozzarella and added another sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Of course, you have to drizzle more olive oil over the cheese, how can you not? I have been trying not to eat dairy, but this was a REAL treat for me. So yummy! Maybe next time I will try it with farmer's market avocados...

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a self proclaimed lip balm addict

Pronunciation: \ə-ˈdikt\
1 : to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively ed to gambling>2 : to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)

I have been using lip balm since I was pre-teen. It was my Mom who introduced me to Bonne Bell. The innocence of being young and naive.  Fast forward 20 years when I was first introduced to Carmex. Oh Carmex. I was addicted. I had one in my purse, one next to my bed, one at work, one in my bathroom, and so on. I had one in my desk at the office. I would take it with me to staff meetings and sneak in a swipe as I started to go through withdrawals. There was no hiding it either. Everyone knew that I had to have it at all times. That little glass pot with the bright yellow tin top. I loved it. Until one man told me that he couldn't stand it anymore. The taste was unbearable to him. If I wanted to continue getting kisses, the Carmex had to go. WHAT? So, I had to break the habit from Carmex. I thought, but what if I find something he likes? Something with vanilla? Something sweet? and so began my obsession for lip balm. I mean, there was no way I was quitting.
Smith's Rosebud Salve 
Of course I had to have all of the balms that Smith's makes. Of all of them, the Minted Rose Lip Balm is my favorite! It has rose oils with peppermint oils to create a refreshing lip balm that is perfect! It's a multi-purpose lip balm that is not only for lips, but it's meant to calm and heal irritation, and soothe the sting of minor burns. Personally, I only use it as a lip balm. They say to try dabbing on dry elbows or knees to condition, and relieve dryness. I also love the original Rosebud Salve. Both the minted and the original are at my bedside table as a part of my nightly routine. I don't care for the Strawberry Lip Balm or the Brambleberry Rose Lip Balm. If I am desperate for something strong, I reach for the Smith's Mentholated Salve. Sometime I mix it up with the Mocha Rose. I love that Rosebud strives to keep their products as "Made in the USA" as possible. The salve tins are manufactured in Maryland, and the product is mixed and poured on the east coast of the United States. For those of you who don't like sticking your finger in the pot, they now have Rosebud Salve in a Tube
Eve Lom Kiss Mix is a very moisturizing lip balm but has a strong menthol scent which is meant to "cool" and "freshen". It's gives you a nice shine and a little bit of tingle. Kiss Mix contains Zinc oxide which acts as a natural sunscreen, which I like. However, I like to wear this at bed time. I usually wake up and it's still on my lips! Should set you back about $25.00
Ingredients: bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cera microcristallina (microcrystalline wax), menthol, zinc oxide, cera alba (beeswax), dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben.
Another favorite of mine is MAC Lip Conditioner SPF 15. It's lightweight yet super conditioning.  I love the vanilla flavor. Another one I like to put on at night time, but this is great for day with the spf.  Contains Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, vitamins A and E. Petroleum based to seal in moisture yet smooth to apply, non-sticky on. $14.50 at MAC. 
The Lip Slip by Sara Happ is a very rich, clear balm, but very glossy and super hydrating. I wear it during the day but it's great for overnight. It doesn't budge. Infused with Sweet Almond, Jojoba & Macadamia nut oils. I love that the website says that the inspiration was the supple feel of a shimmery gold YSL calfskin bag. A bottle of Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. Your favorite camisole; soft, sweet, nude, girly and grand. The world doesn’t need another lip balm. It needs the right one. Slip into this. I picked mine up for $24.00 
Who could blog about lip balm and not talk about the cult fave by Terry Baume de RoseThey say Baume de Rose is for double use: lips and nails. I would NEVER use this on my nails. What a waste! It’s too precious of a balm to use anywhere but my lips! It is creamy, non-sticky, humectant and soft and has the yummiest, delicate rose fragrance. It’s got SPF15 and is made in France. I have used this so sparingly, that I still have the old packaging! Is it SUPER expensive? At $58, you bet! Do I covet it? Um, yeah! Would I recommend it? In a heartbeat.
La Mer The Lip Balm La Mer claims that their products are transformational.  They say that The Lip Balm infuses a potent concentration of the original Miracle Broth™ with marine extracts, botanicals and vitamins to regenerate the delicate lip skin. This luxurious emulsion works on contact to soften roughness, relieve dryness and flaking and help heal seriously dry lips. 
A patented Lip Lipid Complex is the first line of defense. It delivers moisture, strengthening the lips' minimal moisture barrier and helping to prevent further damage. An essential protein found in the arctic helps insulate vulnerable lip skin from extreme conditions of heat and cold. Mint comforts the lips and enhances the balm with a cool, refreshing flavor. Like Crème de la Mer, the results are immediate – lips look and feel smoother, softer, plumper – yet long lasting. I don't know about any of that. I know at $45, it's expensive for what it is. It's not magical. It didn't change my life. It feels good, it's minty, it's a luxury item that I didn't have to have. With that said, I do like it, but I won't be running out to buy it again. Especially with this long list of ingredients: Petrolatum, octyldodecanol, microcrystalline wax, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, phenyl trimethicone, polyglyceryl-10 pentaoleate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, seaweed extract, emerald, algae extract, tourmaline, sesame oil, eucalyptus oil, sesame seeds, alfalfa seeds, sunflower seeds, powdered almonds, sodium-potassium-copper-calcium-magnesium and zinc gluconate, vitamin e succinate, niacin, fish protein, castor oil, phytosphingosine trehalose, polybutene, tocopheryl acetate, cholesterol, glyceryl distearate, purified water, glycerin, menthyl pca, oleic acid, palmitic acid, sodium saccharin, fragrance, sorbitan sesquioleate, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, bht propylparaben, blue 1 lake, yellow 5 lake. Darphin age-defying lip balm is described best by Darphin: Aromatic, age-defying lip balm in a rich, indulgent, creamy formula, instantly melts onto the lips. Nourishes, smooths the appearance of lines and renews suppleness. Lips appear softer, smoother, plumper...rejuvenated. Mostly true. A nice product that feels great. Not sure if it's age defying. I hope so at $40.  Ingredients: Argan Oil, Candelilla Wax, Kokum Butter, Mango Butter, Rice Bran Wax, Rosemary Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Virgin Prunus Oil.
Christian Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm  is a smoothing, rich, hydrating lip balm with SPF 10.

They say that
Crème de Rose is a lip balm that is plumping, or re-plumps, but I don't think that they mean that in the bee stung kind of way. I think they mean that it's super moisturising, which it is! This lip balm comes in one universal petal pink shade and features a delicate rose scent, which I love.
It has the same classic white packaging that Dior's legendary Crème Abricot, a nail care product dating back to the 1960s has.  $25
-Anti-Aging Complex: Rose of Damas essential oil.
-Energizing Vitamins A and E
-Smoothing Shea Butter
-SPF 10
Another long list of ingredients: Octinoxate, (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate): 7.5%, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane: 1%, Isononyl Isononanoate, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Microcrystalline Wax, Shea Butter Extract, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ribose, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Parfum, Tribehenin, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sunflower Seed Oil, Trimethylolpropane, Triisostearate, Bht, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Propyl Gallate, Alcohol, Phenylacetaldehyde. [+/-: Ci 12085 (Red 36, Red 36 Lake), Ci 15850 (Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), Ci 15985 (Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake), Ci 17200 (Red 33, Red 33 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 45370 (Orange 5, Orange 5 Lake), Ci 45380 (Red 21, Red 21 Lake, Red 22 Lake), Ci 45410 (Red 27, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake), Ci 47005 (Yellow 10, Yellow 10 Lake), Ci 73360 (Red 30, Red 30 Lake), Ci 75470 (Carmine), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77002 (Alluminum Hydroxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), Ci 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77742 (Manganese Violet)].
Here is a small window into the lip balms that I keep in rotation next to my bed. Maybe one day I will do a post that is just one long list of balms I have. One that I LOVE from the balms pictured here is the Yves Saint Laurent Baume nourrissant levres et ongles moisturizing lip and nail balm. It is a great lip balm that I have bought over and over. I would never use this on my nails as it's too good for them! This is another balm that is still on your lips in the morning if you apply it before you go to sleep at night. Highly recommended. Plus I love that it's in a tube, the fruity smell is so yummy and although it's orange in the tube, it's clear and it gives off a great shine. $25
DISCLAIMER: This blog is mostly about cosmetics and beauty products. This entry contains my own thoughts and opinions, they are not influenced by anyone or any company. It is not intended to endorse any particular products or services, but is intended to share information that I have found useful. It is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than myself.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Change your nail the sun!

Del Sol is a company that makes all sorts of fun stuff that changes color in the sun. When I saw the nail polish today at my local drug store, I had to check it out. Luckily, there were testers for me to try. I slathered on Ruby Slipper, pictured above (indoors) and I went outside to see if it was fact or fiction. Oh it works alright! I went back in and handed over my $8. I even said to the guy at the register, I can't believe this polish changes color when you go from inside to outside! The colors vary depending on the day's UV-Index, the number of coats you apply and the temperature. Del Sol has 23 different colors to choose from, all toluene free. Very fun!
Ruby Slipper on clean bare nails, inside.
Ruby Slipper changing to red, outside.
Ruby Slipper (outdoors)

DISCLAIMER: This blog is mostly about cosmetics and beauty products. This entry contains my own thoughts and opinions, they are not influenced by anyone or any company. It is not intended to endorse any particular products or services, but is intended to share information that I have found useful. It is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than myself.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Dr. Ohhira saved my skin

For months, I was struggling with a cluster of what I thought was tiny pimples on my chin. After 2 weeks of them not going away, I noticed they spread to the other side of my chin. Because I am one of the millions without health insurance, I went straight to the Internet. I did my homework. I googled for hours for all kinds of things that could be causing this breakout on my face. All my life, I have been blessed with nice skin, so I couldn’t understand it. Could it be eczema? Could I have developed rosacea? Is it a bacterial infection? Is it stress? Is it my diet? From looking at pictures and reading detailed descriptions of what others were experiencing, I came to the conclusion that it was Perioral Dermatitis. I did tons of research on how to cure it naturally, at home. I wasn’t about to go to my dermatologist so that she could put me on antibiotics. I read that most docs like to prescribe skin creams containing steroids, because they work, initially. But then your skin condition comes back – and worse. No thanks. So, as I searched for answers, I did everything that was recommended. I switched to fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate free toothpaste. I like Sea Fresh Toothpaste by Jason. I think it works and tastes the best. I started taking Oil of Oregano. It's a natural antibiotic and it’s supposed to destroy organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems. Instead of using any sort of facial moisturizer, I started to slather Nutiva’s Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil all over my face. I switched my cleanser to Epicuren’s Herbal Cleanser and would only wash my face once a day. I switch all of my shampoos and body washes to SLS free. Sometimes if I was feeling really u-g-l-y, I would dab some Tea Tree Oil on my chin. I used Emu Oil because it reduces irritation and inflammation of the skin. I stopped wearing makeup! I even went on a cleanse. I stopped eating eggs, meat, dairy, sugar and anything white. I was taking probiotics called BioK. I made sure to take my fish oil and evening primrose oil, which is believed to be beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of conditions such as  Eczema and  skin irritations like atopic dermatitis. Apparently our body does not produce essential fatty acids, making it important to bring in these nutrients through diet and skin care. 
After all this, I started to notice that my chin was clearing up! YAY! Then one morning, I looked in the mirror. There it was. On my left eye. A cluster of little red bumps right below my lower lash line! NO! This can’t be happening to me! Then I noticed it spread to my right eye. WHAT? Why? In my continuous search for new and amazing beauty products, I came across a soap at one of my favorite grocery stores, Henry’s. It was the most expensive soap on the wall, but it said that it was a probiotic. I figured I would try it. Dr. Ohhira's Probiotic Kampuku Soap. I didn’t dare use a bar soap on my face, but on my body, it was great. When I was done with the bar, I went back to my favorite bar soap, Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Coconut Soap. In the meantime, I was reading one of my favorite websites by Ann Louise of Fat Flush fame. She was discussing cancer causing Cosmetics and Shampoo. She mentioned Dr. Ohhira's soap and how much she loves it for fighting germs. I ran right back out to Henry’s to buy another bar. While I was there, I was talking to a sales associate about Kombucha Tea. I asked if he thought it would clear up the skin around my eyes. He tells me that they carry a soap that people swear by. They use it on their face and it clears everything up. He tells me it’s by Dr. Ohhira. I show him that I already have it in my basket. I go home and wash my face with it that night. It has been three days and I kid you not, these bumps are almost completely cleared up. I am in amazement.
It’s described as a beauty bar with natural plant extracts and essential herbs that leaves skin radiant, supple, and youthful. Not only does this beauty bar keep skin moist but it’s also a deodorant. His soap is free of artificial colors and fragrances, stabilizers, chemicals, preservatives, and I LOVE it! They say it’s ideal for dry or oily skin. I have dry skin. I have seen it retail for anywhere from $9.00 to $12.00 and it's worth every penny. If you suffer at all, learn from my experience. Go out and get yourself this soap. If you do, I would love to know if it worked for you. I will keep you updated on future posts as to it effectiveness.

Product of Japan

Ingredients (Percentage & Purpose)
Fatty Sodium 94.8% - Detergent
Lactic Acid Bacteria Extract (Probiotic)* 4.0% - Humidifying Agent
Mountain Spring Water 0.7% - Solvent
Carame 0.5% - Humidifying Agent
*Ingredients in Lactic Acid Bacteria (Probiotics) Extract. Extract is comprised of natural, wild growing plants hand-harvested from the vast mountain region of the Chugoku district of Japan, seaweed from Japan’s ocean and mountain spring water. Raw ingredients are apricot, mugwort, brown seaweed, oleaster, plum, wild strawberry, mulberry, sea tangle, Chinese bayberry, wild vine, Chinese matrimony, shiitake mushroom, Chinese cabbage and loquat. Raw ingredients are carefully blended, naturally fermented and matured for up to five years.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is about cosmetics and beauty products. This entry contains my own thoughts and opinions, they are not influenced by anyone or any company. It is not intended to endorse any particular products or services, but is intended to share information that I have found useful. It is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than myself.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

CREED Sublime Vanille

While I love the first fragrance in the new CREED collection called Royal Exclusives, CREED Sublime Vanille is not something that I will add to my collection. Yes, it's beautifully bottled in a hand-blown Pochet glass etched with CREED’s famous crest, and is huge at 8.4 ounces, but it's $475, and for me, it's just not justified. The fabric pump is a nice touch, and when not in use, the pump is easily removed and replaced with a multifaceted hand-cut glass stopper that turns the bottle into an art piece. For travel, the glass top can be covered with white Italian leather, secured with a gold cord.
So, there I am, standing at the counter, dousing myself with this juice. I can still hear the Neiman Marcus SA now. "In a week, that price is going up $100." It left such a bad taste in my mouth.
With that said, this smells so delicious. On first whiff, I got the citrus and vanilla. As time passed, the vanilla stayed and the slight musk came through.
It does not have long lasting power which is why I would never drop that much money on it, even if it's a lovely scent. By the time I got home, I asked my husband what he thought. He says, "It smells like baby powder. Nothing special..." Within an hour, there was no trace of it. Such a disappointment.
Top note: Vanilla from climbing orchids of Tahiti, heady Bourbon vanilla of South America.
Middle note: Luscious Tonka bean for profound depth.
Base note: A touch of bergamot orange for a citrus accent with a bracing dab of Calabrian lemon. Rare musk.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is mostly about cosmetics and beauty products. This entry contains my own thoughts and opinions, they are not influenced by anyone or any company. It is not intended to endorse any particular products or services, but is intended to share information that I have found useful. It is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than myself.
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