Halloween Manicure: China Glaze & Cult Nails

My nails haven’t had the limelight at the Vanity lately. I have been wearing polish and enjoying a lot of the Halloween polishes I purchased lately, though. This one seems to not only be my favorite but also the one where my cuticles look their best…

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The base color is Nevermore by Cult Nails. This one-coat black is a staple for me. I love it! The glitter polish is China Glaze’s Rest In Pieces. More than just a glitter polish with orange bar glitter, this one also has orange hex glitter and smaller green iridescent micro and bar glitter. I like that it gives the polish more dimension than with just the orange bar glitter alone.

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I have been using Nailtiques Formula 2 as my base coat and have been for over three months. The goal is to strengthen my nails without drying them out. It seems to have helped but, I also have been putting on some sort of cuticle oil, body oil or hand lotion on at least once an hour to get moisture into my nails and cuticles.

After the Nailtiques, it was one coat of Nevermore and one coat of Rest In Pieces. I topped it off with Seche Vite Top Coat and have been enjoying my spooky nails since.

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Have you had as much fun as I have checking out all the blogs showing their Halloween nail art and makeup looks?  There are some very creative and fun looks this year.

Toss Or Trash: September 2014 Part 2

This is Part 2 for September’s Toss or Trash segment. If you missed Part 1, click here.

This one could be subtitled ‘Suds and Soft’. All these items were purchased with the intention of cleaning and softening. Let’s check out how the items I tried held up.

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My shower doesn’t have a lot of room for products however, I do the best that I can. My husband only needs one corner, right? Ha! When I was working as a merchandiser, it was really easy to get swayed to try out products that I handled day after day. Suave’s Natural Infusion All Day Body Conditioner says that it rivals Pureology. If you check out the price of Pureology, you know that it is one of the higher priced hair care items at the drugstore. Suave has their prices at the other end of the spectrum. Even if the price was a bit higher, I would still use this Suave conditioner. It smells so nice and it made my hair super soft. I have dry hair and it is thin so, I can’t use a super heavy conditioner. I think this one got it just right for my hair needs.

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I bought Caress’ Passionate Spell because I found some that had leaked all over in the store while I was merchandising. Since I was working for the company that makes Caress, it was my job to make the display look nice and presentable, I cleaned it up. Lucky me that it was body soap!! Passionate Spell has the fragrance of Passionfruit and Fiery Orange Rose. I don’t think I have ever smelled a fiery Orange Rose but I can tell you this; Passionate Spell is divine! I would definitely pick up this wash again. It cleans well without leaving my skin the least bit dry.

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To keep my skin soft, here are a couple of body butters I tried out…

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I’ll be honest with you; Pacifica is not a lotion you want to hoard. I really loved the smell of Indian Coconut Nectar, a lot. I guess since the bottle isn’t very big at 2.5 ounces, I wanted to stretch it out. Then, it got shoved to the back of the drawer. When I rediscovered it, the lotion had gone rancid and I had to throw it out with about a third still unused. What a loss! So, use my bad lotion management to your advantage. Do try this but, don’t expect it to last over a year. This body butter is ultra-moisturizing and the fragrance lingers…

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Lucky for me that the Crabtree & Evelyn body butter doesn’t spoil as fast. I know I’ve had this at least 2 years. Again, it got pushed to the side as newer products came to my vanity. Naturals Nourishing Body Butter is another lotion that is very thick and luxurious. The fragrance was nutty and soothing. You can just tell by the ingredients, all that nut butter is going to pamper your skin…

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Everything in this post is trash, which means, I used it up (well, except for the Pacifica) and I would buy it again. I learned my lesson, yet again, to work on using up what I currently have before moving on to something else. Yea….right. Like that’s gonna happen!!!!

Have you tried any of these products? What product have you hoarded only to have it spoil?

LA Colors: Bright Shadow Holiday Palette

Walgreen’s is not keeping their Holiday makeup up on those high storage shelves for very long. The two stores in my town have put the makeup sets and kits out on the display shelves at the front of the cosmetics department and have the Holiday perfume and bath sets waiting up on those high shelves. Fine with me!!! I like the Holiday makeup being more at eye level! Here’s one of my first Holiday makeup buys; For a measly $3, I took a chance on this LA Colors 28 shade bright palette…

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The display had two different palettes; this one with brights and another one with neutrals. Keep reading and you’ll see why I went back and got the neutrals.

I love to photograph ‘virgin’ makeup before I swatch it. The unspoiled, pristine blocks of color make me happy. I don’t know why, but it’s so beautiful to admire. Maybe I am weird but, I used to do that with new boxes of crayons when I was a kid too…

DSCF0019 DSCF0020 DSCF0021 DSCF0025 DSCF0022 Now that I have preserved the untouched look of the palette with photos, it’s a bit easier for me to move on to swatching. And, when I purchase these lower cost palettes, I know it’s hit or miss as to how they will perform. I also have to figure in, how many of these shadows have to be ‘hits’ in order for me to feel like I not only wasted a bit of money but also, that I haven’t wasted my time on getting it set up for a blog review. In other words, I fear I will be let down.

Hooray!!! This LA Colors palette didn’t diappoint! I did just random swatches on my arm using shadow primer and swabs…

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I can tell you that the glittery shadows really have some sparkle going on. There’s tons of shimmer as well. And, even though there is fallout with many of the shadows, all the colors do deliver. I have been playing with this palette all weekend and have found every shade to be blendable and pigmented. None are chalky. There’s no way I can tell you that these will compete with high-end or, even middle of the road, makeup. But, for just $3, only the very most persnickety will feel they didn’t get their money’s worth.

When I got a free rental code for Redbox this weekend, I made my trip very economical by going back to Walgreens and picking up the other LA Colors palette. As I await for sunny skies to photograph that palette, I’m enjoying all the fun combos I’m creating with this bright one. Oh, and these work really well with the Profusion palettes that I reviewed earlier too.

Do you see any colors that you like? Do you know anyone that likes to play with shadows and can see this in their Christmas stocking?

Facial Wipe Wednesday: Target’s Up & Up Brand

As facial wipes become more and more popular, stores are putting out their own brand, as well. I picked up Target’s house brand, Up & Up Facial Wipes. This package of 25 towelettes was around $2…

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I am glad I chose the 25 count over the larger packaging. The first week of using these, I found the clothes to be on the dry side. I don’t like scrubbing my eyelashes hard to remove my mascara. However, I found that I actually needed to in order clean the mascara off.

Let’s step back a bit…I picked Up & Up Cleansing Towelettes in the Sensitive because they mention they are comparable to the Simple brand. I reviewed Simple for a Facial Wipe Wednesday installment here. I wanted to see how the two compared. I found the Up & Up stung my skin and, I was rather glad when I passed day 15 of using them. I stopped then. It mostly stung on the tops of my cheeks and right under my eyes. Also, I felt that my skin became drier than usual from using these even though I continued to use the same moisturizers I regularly use.

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As I mentioned, the first week, I was so disappointed that the towelettes were so dry. However, as I worked my way down the pack, they did get more moist. That’s one of the drawbacks, I have found with wipes: There’s no way to tell how long they have been on the shelf. The Up & Up Cleansing Towelettes have been the most pronounced at being dry in the beginning.

Even when I did get down to more moist towelettes, I found these to not clean my face very thoroughly. I use a toner after cleansing to see if there is any remaining dirt on my face. The entire time I used Up & Up towelettes, the cotton pad I used with toner finished up with lots of mascara residue. I never felt like my skin was completely clean just  imagining I was smearing makeup all over.

The packaging states that the towelettes are made with Botanic (TM) fibers…

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It doesn’t say anything more than that on the package other than the company that makes it…

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While these towelettes don’t have any scent, they don’t have much cleansing ability, in my opinion. I was rather turned off by how much dirt was left over after using these and, that my skin started to sting. For a product stating to be for sensitive skin, I cannot recommend these to anyone, especially since I don’t have sensitive skin, myself.

Have you tried Target’s Up & Up Facial Towelettes?

 

Profusion 22 Color Fan Palette

If you have been a faithful reader, you know one of my favorite things are what I call ‘pleasant surprises’. It can be someone opening a door for me when my hands are full. It can be finding that my husband put all of his laundry in the hamper before laundry time. It’s just the times when you get a little more than you expected.

Now, these palettes gave me a huge pleasant surprise…

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I really set myself up for this, though. I saw these palettes and wanted them but didn’t truly look to see that it does say 22 shades. So, when I opened them up and saw this…

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I had to sit down and just gawk! All gorgeous mattes.

I saw these on a display at my local grocery store, King Soopers. And, get this: these were $2.99 each! I know I have to go back and get the other sets. Take a look at this one, first…

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There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the chosen shades in each palette. And, without seeing the inner shadows, I just picked these randomly. So, on that concept, just randomly swatched shades…

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I didn’t do these over any primer. For the most part, the shadows seem fairly pigmented. Also, some did have more fallout than others. The black and the green, above, were very powdery. And, the white was very, very light.

I picked this next one because I did see a white shadow…

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I also liked the idea that there was a gray as well as a black.

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And, I like the rich burgundy shades. Oh, and these oranges have been more fun to play with for Halloween looks!…

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Although I didn’t swatch all the shadows here, I have been mixing and matching like crazy with my looks of the day. Can you blame me?

These palettes are by Profusion and they can be hit or miss as far as the quality. However, for a meager investment of $3 for a 22 shade palette, I’m very happy with what I got. None of the shadows seem to be dupes from one palette to the other; there’s just enough variance. And, that makes for great blending.

Were you pleasantly surprised by the shades of the unseen colors? Have you seen these in any stores?

I found the swabs that I used for swatching to be just as colorful…

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BFTE Cosmetics: New Baggy Sample Size Added

I’m SO excited to tell you about a new sample size that I just added to my company’s availability. Beauty From The Earth Cosmetics now offers a $1 baggy sample that contains approximately 1/8 teaspoon amount of product. This is for all eye shadows with the exceptions being the Color Of The Month shadow, blushes and foundations.

Let me show you examples of the three size options you have when you order a BFTE Cosmetics mineral eye shadows:

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The baggy sample, first, is a 1″ square baggy that has approximately 1/8 teaspoon of product inside. The middle jar is our sample jar, which has always been available on the site, called a 3 gram jar. This jar has .3 grams of product in it. The larger jar, on the far right, is the full-size jar. It is called a 5 gram jar and it holds 1 to 3 grams of product before a sifter top it put on. More coming on that.

The baggy sample, as mentioned, has approximately 1/8 teaspoon of product. It all depends on how lightly or, heavily you apply your mineral shadow as to how many applications you can get from a baggy sample. The idea of a baggy sample is definitely a ‘try before you buy full-size’. With a smaller financial investment, you are able to see exactly how the product feels, looks and works with your face before you decide on the larger jar.

The jar sample is the next size up…

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This jar is called a 3 gram jar. I put in at LEAST .3 grams of product in it. Because some minerals are denser than others, not all amounts can look like the same amount. Shadows with lots of glitter can be very fluffy and it will take more of that product to weigh .3 grams. A shadow that has a lot of mica content can be denser, such as a matte shade, and it takes less volume to weigh .3 grams. Again, it all depends on your own applications on how long a sample jar will last you. Sample jars are not sold with a sifter however, you can purchase them separately on the website if you want to add them to your jars.

And, the full-size jar…

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As mentioned, since some shadows are fluffier than others, the weight amount of each shade can vary. From the beginning, BFTE Cosmetics has filled the full-size jar to capacity so you get the most that can be packed into that jar. Do know that settling, naturally occurs, so that’s why I mention that when I hand-pack each jar, it is to the fullest I can make it and thus, the weight of the product will vary from 1 to 3 grams. In the above photo, I have tapped down the shadow (as I do with each of the full-size jars) and this is as full as it can be before putting on the sifter top.

Check out the jar weighing in…

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I zeroed out the scale (that’s what the TARE button is for) so it doesn’t count the weight of the jar. This jar has 2.12 grams of product in it.

There’s a side-by-side comparison of the sample jar to the full-size jar…

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Here are comparisons of the the amounts of the three sizes…

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I’d like to thank ‘Paris’, the pink shadow I used in the photos, for being my utterly gorgeous model. Since ‘Paris’ can be used not only as a shadow but also mixed to make a lip gloss, added to clear nail polish and even used as a blush, you can see how your mileage can vary on how far any of these amounts will last.

Adding in the addition baggy sample has been a lot of work. There are a LOT of behind the scenes things that have to happen to make something that, from the consumer standpoint seem easy, needs to be in place. I spent 2 solid days changing the sample jar weight, on the site, to reflect the .3 gram weight. I’m still finding ones that didn’t get changed. How frustrating! Now that the baggy sample is available, I will have to go in to each shadow listing and add that to the wording. If I don’t, I still get emails asking what the amount of the sample baggy is. So, please understand that there are going to be those glitches. Trust me, don’t let them be the end of your world!! I am doing my utmost best to make sure you get awesome products, that you get what you ordered and, in a very timely manner.

My goal, with Beauty From The Earth Cosmetics, is to get these awesome products into as many hands as possible. I have been a mineral makeup user for over 11 years and have enjoyed using it immensely. Owned this business has been a huge challenge but at the same time, my heart has soared being able to express myself creatively. The positive feedback I get from wonderful customers far outweighs any of the little bumps that happen in owning my own business. I love mineral makeup and want to share that with anyone that is interested. And those that are not interested, let me convert you!!! :)

Also, I am always listening to my customers. If you have a question, you can contact me at info@bftecosmetics.

Walgreens: It’s Time To LOOK UP!!!

Every year at this time, I eagerly await to show you the beginnings of Walgreen’s gift boxes. The high up shelves have been in place for about 2 or so week, so I knew the products were on the way. I saw this yesterday at one of my local Walgreen’s…

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I figure if you read beauty blogs, you want to know what is coming up! How about more elf beauty books!…

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These must be a hit since they had so many out this year. I’m a collector! These two will be coming home with me and going to my elf beauty book shelf.

The Color Workshop has collections that have a bit of everything in them. I was impressed with the shadow color choices available…

Color Workshop Walgreen kits

 

And elf has several $3 gift boxes which I think make excellent add-ons to Secret Santa gifts or just as stocking stuffers…

 

 

Walgreens elf sets

 

This Wet ‘n Wild Fergie collection endcap subtly hints at being for the Holidays but it doesn’t have any holiday designs on it. Either way, I’m reading several reviews on these items and, will be getting that huge makeup box very soon. Last year, I didn’t wait and bought the makeup box at full price only a couple of weeks later to have to go to half price. So, I’m going to hold out…just a bit…not much longer! I did purchase the elf beauty books that you see at the base of this display and will be reviewing those here soon…

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Is anyone else collecting the elf beauty books? I’ve bought one Christmas gift, so far? How are you coming along?

 

Toss or Trash: September, Part 1

I have learned, since becoming a beauty blogger, the true value of completely finishing a product. Goodness knows, I used to be a one-trick pony using only one shampoo until it was all gone. Never changing facial washes until the one I was currently using was used up. Now, I have no less than 4 shampoos in the shower and at least 3 conditioners going. So, when I finish up ANYTHING, it’s worthy of a post!

I have quite an assortment to show…

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From haircare to skincare, this Toss or Trash segment has a main theme of MOISTURIZE. Starting with the big ass can of hairspray…

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Tresemme’s most popular hairspray is the Extra Firm Control, all day humidity resistance. Does this one do the job? You bet! And this can lasted me for months. Not that I’m light on the spray, mind you. What I didn’t like was that this hairspray has dried out my already dry tresses. Even applying gently, at least in my mind, it has dried out my hair. I used it all up but, I will not be purchasing this one again. I need a hairspray that puts back in some moisture.

My skin is also dry and, getting drier by the minute. So, a moisturizing wash is a must…

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I received this small bottle of Shea Terra Organics African Black Soap Body Wash in one of my monthly subscription boxes. I’m sorry that I don’t remember which one. This sample was Menthe or, had a peppermint oil in it. Fabulous! It wasn’t over the top peppermint like some body soaps can be. This was delicate and still refreshing. I liked the way this felt on my skin after a long morning run. I loved using it on my face as well as my body. I didn’t feel like my skin’s acid mantel was being stripped off with this wash. I felt super clean. This is one that I would replace.

After washing with Shea Terra, the next step is to dry off and moisturize my body…

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The fragrance of Suave’s Moroccan Infusion body lotion is divine. My skin drank this up. I could tell it was doing my skin good because my normally, very dry elbows stayed smooth. I did feel that the staying power of the moisturizer wasn’t there all day, however. I have since gotten into the habit of reapplying a lotion before bedtime. So, I am rather surprised that with all the moisturizing properties listed in this lotion that it didn’t last the entire day. My skin didn’t seem any more radiant, either. For that reason, it’s trash and I won’t be replacing it.

I’m super fussy about getting moisture into my hair but I’m even more fanatic about it with my face. My age and the dry climate where I live are not doing me any favors!! The war is ON!!…

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Kiehl’s is my saving grace. I’m SO happy I have discovered this brand. I received this eye cream at a store grand opening almost 2 years ago. Even though I have not used it regularly, as I test other eye creams out, this was my go-to when I wasn’t testing. I’d say it’s my staple. Rosa Arctica Eye Cream is thick enough that I instantly feel the moisturizing happening. However, it isn’t so heavy that it makes my foundation look off or clumpy. There isn’t really any smell to it but I can tell that it is a higher-end product by how well it performs. I am definitely replacing this.

What’s in your arsenal for keeping moisture in your hair and skin? Have you tried any of these products before?

Halloween Pumpkin Skull Nail Polishes Found At Rite Aid

When Halloween rolls around, I get excited for all the new nail polishes. I was super excited to see SKULL GLITTER!!! And, not just black and/or white but other colors!

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These pumpkin polishes are adorable! I got these three at Rite Aid for $3 each. Even though they are pretty to look at, they are a pistol to get that glitter out and on the nails.

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I will be OK with just two or three pieces on a nail. I used Cult Nails as color base coats on these. I used ‘Nevermore’ and “Let’s Get Dirty’…
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The skulls I like are the cutesy kind, not the biker kind, so these are right on the nail for me! Ha!!!

Do you like Halloween polishes? How about skulls?

Reviva Labs: High Potency Elastin Serum

I have been testing a product that I simply love and have, actually, gone past my regular 3 to 4 weeks of trying it out. This is because I’m hooked!

Here’s what I have been using: Reviva’s Elastin Serum…
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As we age, we lose that elastic ‘snap’ to our skin. I first started noticing it on the back of my hands. But, trust me, it is happening alllll over your body. Fortunately, Reviva Labs has created a serum that helps keep that bounce and firmness in tact. In fact, they were the first cosmetic company to introduce ‘elastin’ to the US market…
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High Potency Elastin Serum is used on those places on the face that show the first signs of aging: the outside corners of the eyes, the corners of the lips and, right under the eye area. However, I have been using Elastin Serum all over my face, as well as down my neck area too.

Just as the name implies, this is a serum and my skin drank it up readily. I can’t say that I would use this serum alone, as it made my skin feel tight (yea, it worked that fast!), however, I noticed a difference within a week of starting this serum. The product has the feel of a thin gel…
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But, you can see that once I rub it in, it has soaked right in and has gone to work restoring my skin to a youthful plumpness that I do want!…
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As with all Reviva products, this one is not testing on animals and is vegan-friendly. The pump bottle made dispensing the serum uber easy. I used the serum right after I had washed my face and used a toner. Once I put on Elastin Serum, I allowed it to soak in while I brushed my teeth. After that, I put on my nighttime eye cream and skin cream and that was it. After one week, I thought my fine lines around the outer corners of my eyes where softening. By day 10, I knew for sure they were plumped up to the point I was squinting really hard to even make those lines appear!DSCF0352

I find my Reviva Labs products at Ulta and at Kroger’s owned King Sooper grocery stores. You can also purchase their products from their website: www.revivalabs.com

It’s studied that after the age of 25, the everyday environment starts taking its toll on our face and we start to lose the elastin in our skin, which gives it elasticity. I suggest you start being proactive right now, whether you are 25 or more than that, and feed your skin Reviva Labs High Potency Elastin Serum. Your skin will find it yummy and you’ll reap the benefits of youthful skin for decades to come. This

It’s also recommended for the back of your hands too. I’m using it there, as well. Have you tried High Potency Elastin Serum yet?