elf Studio: HD Blush

Since I haven’t quite my ‘day’ job as a merchandiser and am in retail stores as a JOB, I was definitely going to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales this past holiday season. One particular site was going to be elf makeup’s. I think it was 50% off. I do remember I got lots of goodies! Here are a couple in the blush department and, from their elf Studio line, I purchased…

DSCF0019 DSCF0024That worrisome little HD Blush is going to get all the attention in this post. I’ll save the Baked Highlighter for another day.

HD Makeup? What is ALLLLL the fuss? Well, that would be a GREAT topic for another post, as well but, if it means Heavily Dried-up, then elf HD Blush fits the bill…

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Yep. I hadn’t even swatched or opened it when I spotted this during the photo shoot. I was beginning to see what 50% off meant. Grrr…

To start, I thought ‘Encore’ was a pretty color; it still is, of course,…

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But, when I couldn’t pump any of the product out, yea….it’s all becoming clear now…

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So, by the time I discovered that the blush is all dried up, I’m already ticked. But, when it was a wrestling match to just get the top off, now I’m really pissed!!! Then, I ended up doing this to my backdrop…

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My Christmas spirit had been vexed, for sure. Oh, and the top doesn’t go back on either! Ho Ho Ho!!!! But then, look at the color…all sitting in its jar…probably facing abandonment…I was feeling my heart palette melt. I mean, look, just look at that color…

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I swatched it and it was and still is very pretty…

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It’s a hard working HD blush. Very pigmented and looks well on my cheeks. So, I am keeping elf HD Blush to pamper it and work with it. Heck, I’m only out $1.50. I was able to take a small swipe off the jar and warm it up so it was pliable to put on my face. Seriously, a speck is all I used for the hand swatch!

I can easily purchase another jar but, I’d have less gratitude if the price was higher. However, for $1.50, I ‘m not willing to contact the website and voice a complaint. I am getting some use of it, I just don’t know how long it will continue to stay workable.

Some tips for those that do want to try it out; seriously, a little goes a long ways. I had to give this a try several times before I got to the point I didn’t look like a clown. The HD isn’t fooling around! I warmed up the product between my finger and thumb before using a dampened Beauty Blender sponge to tap it on my cheeks, lightly, and then blend out. With my semi-dry skin, this blush didn’t budge.

I have since purchased another shade but this time I bought it at Walmart where I could not only check to see if it was dried out in the jar beforehand, but also take it back on my next visit if it proved to still be dried up.

A sidenote: I don’t like those types of bottles that have this type of pump. They don’t get down to the bottom of the jar. Again, I think I just gave myself another topic for another blog for another day. Oh, and OxyClean Laundry Stain Remover got the spot out. That stuff is awesome! Use it on your sneakers before washing them and they will look brand-new!

Have you tried elf’s HD Blushes yet? How did it go for you?

Sinful Colors: Crystal Crushes Polish

Are you reading other nail/beauty blogs where the authors say they are not tired of textured nail polishes yet? I’m reading that a lot and I’m in those ranks. I still enjoy textures. This is one that I picked up prior to Christmas and I like it a LOT…

DSCF0060 DSCF0056‘Blue Persuasion’ is tricky though. If you were someone who didn’t read nail/beauty blogs (GASP!!! Say there are no such people!!), you might not be prepared for the awesome surprise awaiting you.

Look at the polish in the bottle. This is a collection called Crystal Crushes from Sinful Colors. Even though it is pretty…

DSCF0059 DSCF0057You are not going to be prepared for this look…

DSCF0063First, I want to talk about the vibrant blue shade. It’s a perfect blue. Right smack-dab in the middle blue tone. My husband is blue/green color blind and I feel sorry for him because this color eludes his eyes. Therefore, those of us not color-blind need to thank our lucky, twinkly blue stars we get to enjoy seeing this fabulous color.

Now, for the texture…

DSCF0054 DSCF0055Why, it’s almost as gritty as the background! Which, by the way, is the little rail fence on my front porch. Embedded in the blue are magenta sparkles and their role is to make that blue POP! Success!…

DSCF0053This ‘texture of textures’ by Sinful Colors came from Walgreens. There were other shades within this collection just as pretty; I just limited myself to one. However, after revisiting these photos, I think I may allow myself to purchase other shades if I find any on clearance.

Here’s the deal: If you love textures, you are going to love this one. I only wore it for one day so I can’t say how the wear is. (My own manicure look was awful since my nails were all broken to the quick and the cuticles looked like sticker bushes.) I put a top coat on a pinky and it ate it up. It didn’t soften the texture or make it shiny either. And, when I removed the polish, I got blue all over. It was messy. I used Zoya’s Remove+ which isn’t the strongest polish remover. I had to give my hands and cuticles several washings and STILL had to wait for some of the blue stain to fade from my super dry cuticles.

Did you delve into any of Sinful Color’s Crystal Crushes?

Wet ‘n Wild: My Signature Red Hot Lipstick Look

Of all the red lipsticks I own, and a blue-red being my very, very favorite and, red is the shade I own the most of, I love Wet ‘n Wild’s red lippies the most…

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You know that question: If you could only have one lipstick color for the rest of your life…or, if you could only have one makeup item, etc. Well, here is my answer…

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Wet ‘n Wild’s ‘Cherry Frost’ isn’t frosty at all. It’s shimmery. And it is a shimmery blue-red that livens up my face. If I’m in a super hurry, I don’t need any other makeup if I can just get my hands on my red lipstick.

Cherry Frost Lips

This would be my one and only lipstick if I could only have one and, it’s my signature color. Now, more about ‘Cherry Frost’, itself other than my love for the shade; it is super creamy.  It’s creamy and it gliiiiiides on. My lips felt smooth all day with this on. And I only needed to touch up right after lunch. But even then, with a lip primer, this kisser stayed kissed!

I posted several years back about how I come by loving red lipstick genetically. My maternal Grandma wore red lipstick. She had to ‘put her lips on’ anytime we were going to take photos. I put a small blue-red lipstick in a box that was buried with my Grandma’s ashes.

Tell me what your signature lippie is.

Facial Wipe Wednesday: Noxzema Clean Moisture Makeup Removal Cloths

Did you know that the Noxzema brand is 100 years old this year? I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been around a long time! It’s trademark cobalt blue jar is a beauty icon.

Even though you can say that your Grandma used Noxzema, don’t let that shy you away from giving any of their products a try. In the spirit of Facial Wipe Wednesday, I tested out how their wipes fared…

IMG_1678 IMG_1679I know that they have one other type of wipe for oil control but, since I have dry skin, I went with the ‘clean moisture’. The ‘new, fresh fragrance’ is rose. I can’t say it’s a light fragrance but it wasn’t heady and I found it to be very pleasant. It did linger too. So, if you are some sort of meany and don’t like roses, you might just want to move on to something else with your mean ol’ dirty face!

The packaging promises a lot…

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And, you can rest assured that Noxzema isn’t going to stick around for a century if it can’t pull off most of these claims. I can attest that it does, indeed, do exactly as it claims. And it does it without hard scrubbing or irritation. I loved the way it left my skin feeling as soft as a rose petal.

It comes in a package of 25 wipes and they are what I call an average size; just enough for me on full-on makeup days…

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Noxzema wipes have just the right amount of moisture. It didn’t dry up on me before I was finished. I’ll say that the resealable flap was adequate; nothing special about it. It didn’t leak and continued to stay sticky enough to seal tight.  I purchased this package at Walmart and paid $4.97.

One extra tidbit: I found that even though I kept this package in my bathroom vanity, the clothes, though very soft and not scratchy at all, felt cool to my face. I got out another brand, Simple, and found that it didn’t have the same temperature feel. So, I’m filing that bit of info away for possible use this summer where I can see it being of benefit. We got some surprise snow this morning here in Denver, so I truly will be filing that AWAY!!! But, there is something in Noxzema that creates this cooling sensation. I liked it.

When was the last time you gave Noxzema a try?

Addendum: These are my first blog photos with my new macro lens. Although I don’t find my photos magically better, I know I made a step towards improvement.

 

ELF Disney Villain Palette: Maleficent

The ELF Disney Villain palettes were released late last summer at Walgreens but, I’m still enjoying the looks. Maleficent it my second favorite next to Ursula!…

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For some status quo reason, women villains, most often, have red lips. We can talk about Freud on that all day! So, if you like sultry, red lips, you’ll get them with Maleficent, unlike with Cruella…

DSCF0103 DSCF0106This is truly a gloss. As you can see, in just the short moments of application to getting the photo snapped, the gloss settled into the lines in my skin. I made sure to use a lip liner when I wore this one on my lips…

DSCF0112I can tell in the photo that the gloss is just itchin’ to bleed outside my lip line! Yet, this gloss did have some staying power with the help of ELF’s lip primer. I was more than surprised. And, the Prestige lip liner was a must. I still love this shade of red though. In a sea of blood reds, this one isn’t the same ol’ same blue red. I like it. I just wish it didn’t want to make such a speedy exit off my lips.

All four of the villain sets come with a very nice shadow brush, a black pencil eyeliner, a black liquid eyeliner, eye shadow primer and a mascara that is the true villain in these collections. It’s dry, flaky and worthless. When you get these sets, just toss that right out. Truthfully, the shadow brush more than makes up for it. I’m happy to have more than 4 of the same ones.

The shadow palette is a mixture of shades that don’t seem to coordinate but, you are being fooled if you think that!…

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Do you have a ritual you use when you know that your shadows are going to be heavy with fall-out? You’ll want to plan for that. Other than that, this powders have some great pigmentation and play together swimmingly…

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The matte, inky black is perfect for those that like to use a powder shadow for an eyeliner rather than a pencil or liquid. I used the shadow first and then used the liquid to edge right into the lash line. I had ultra-staying power for the entire eye look. The silvery shade in the lower left-hand corner brightens up the inside corners of my eyes for a wide-awake look. These shades are devilish fun to play with…

DSCF0128 DSCF0118Inside the top flaps, you get a tutorial on a vampy day look…
DSCF0133 DSCF0130And, a sultry night look…

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Be inspired by Maleficent’s look but, know that when you look in the mirror, you ARE the fairest of all.

I was the kid that would ask questions that couldn’t be answered. I always wanted to know why Snow White’s dad thought Maleficent was a great wife and why didn’t he just hire a nanny to take care of her? I told you I asked the hard to answer questions!

 

 

Carrie Underwood’s ‘Lips Are Dripping Honey’ by Nicole of OPI

Carrie Underwood got her own series of polishes with Nicole of OPI. While I’m not a fan of hers, my niece thinks she’s all that and a KitKat. My hope for Miss Underwood is that she continues to be a strong and positive role model for teens and young women such as my niece. And I have no doubt that my niece spent even some of her own money on some of Miss Underwood’s polishes. I got me this one…

DSCF0091 DSCF0090It was those dadburn sparkles that look like they can go with just about anything that caught my eye. ‘Lips Are Dripping Honey’ sounds messy but I wanted to add this one to my collection…

DSCF0097Large hex glitter that throw off all sorts of different colors. I spy magenta, blue, turquoise, yellow, purple, green, and on and on. Then there is the micro glitter that gives a backup assistance. These glitters are a soft gold shade but it takes light, fractals it like a thousand broken Tennessee hearts. (I’ve lived in Memphis AND Nashville and I think there are more fractured dreams there than talent.)

I needed a trusty cream base polish to show off this honey of a polish and all I have to do is grab my Cult Nails box of polishes to find a match. I landed on ‘Lamestain‘ without even needing to give it a consideration. It was one, perfect duet…

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‘Lamestain’ is a vampire blackened red cream and it is a pistol to photograph in natural light. As deep a shade as this cream is, it didn’t overpower ‘Lips Are Dripping Honey’. In real life, these two are power-ballad badness…

DSCF0082 DSCF0087I used two coats of ‘Lamestain’ and just one coat of ‘Dripping Honey’. Only downside I see of these two pairing up; glitter removal. Other than that, these nails rock!

Are you a Carrie Underwood fan? My niece went to one of her concerts last year and she floated on that until…well, I think she still is floating! It was only a matter of days that the Taylor Swift posters were off the wall and replaced with Carrie. As for me, I am not a ‘new’ country fan and I am happy to not live in Tennessee anymore. However, the polish is a hit.

 

 

 

 

Toss Or Trash: Pretty Cool When Even The Trash Smells Good

The Toss or Trash series hasn’t been around in a while however, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been anything tossed or trashed! I’m still working on where to take my blog photographs now that it’s too cold outside. I also, confessingly, haven’t kept up on photographing the used items and then physically throwing them away. Eeewww! Luckily, nothing is rotten or gross.

As a refresher, here’s how the Toss or Trash series works: Toss means I have no intentions of buying that item again. It gets a thumbs down. Trash means I used it up and, would purchase it again. There can be middle of the road too but, I always give my opinion on why it is either Toss or Trash

Look! This one even works to keep odors away!!!…

auto curler swatches 019Let’s just say that my husband has different closet habits than I do. I don’t share my closet with him because of that. But, they both do get air fresheners. I like Renuzit’s Super Odor Killer fragrance, which I always get from his closet. I buy these by the half dozen and use them also in the kitty room too. So, it is easier just to buy the Super Odor Killer fragrance and use it everywhere. I get them at Walmart for a bit less than a dollar. If they have price rollbacks on any, I’ll get them for my closet. However, this rather neutral fragrance works without complaints in my husband’s closet and in the kitty room.

Milani Cosmetics is one of my favorites. They make several different mascaras, and one of my top favorites (that would be Total Lash Cover Mascara), but this one isn’t one of them. I did a review on this one called ‘Runway Lashes’. Oh, it’s Trash….I’m just done with it. And, I do like it…

auto curler swatches 041 auto curler swatches 042Its time to go arrived. I do NOT like spiders and just the thought of the so-called ‘spider leg’ lashes curls my TOES!!! So, there i’\ wass no internal mental struggle about throwing away mascara that is done dried up.

As as mentioned, this one isn’t a favorite mascara but it is a 6 on a scale of 10. There are just so many other mascaras I like better.

If I want my closets to smell fresh you can bet I love fresh-smelling laundry. Bath and Body Works makes my favorite fresh-washed laundry fragrances in a body wash;

auto curler swatches 040‘Sea Island Cotton’ is a core fragrance with Bath and Body Works. I used this one for the first part of last year while I lived with my brother and his family while I transitioned from Orlando to the Denver area. My brother is extremely sensitive to odors so this one was a good choice as it isn’t over-powering. It is also a good crossover fragrance for men since it smells like laundry and not flowery. My husband doesn’t mind using it. This is Trash because I already have a replacement.

I talked about my favorite cuticle oil, Dadi Oil, in a past radio show. You can find the link to that here. My raving comments have not waned at all for this cuticle oil. It’s Trash but I do have one beef with it; it’s hard to come by. It is sold through nail salons and I have found only one that sells it here in Denver. But, she only sells the little sample bottle. This one was the last of my full-size…

auto curler swatches 069And I SWEAR!!! This is NOT real chicken POOP!!!! Not even close!!! I’m having a hard time finding more Chicken Poop, because I want more Chicken Poop for my lips!!! I already reviewed this and told you why…

auto curler swatches 068Seriously, one of the best lip salves I have ever used! It’s Trash and I want a replacement!! Who would have thought Chicken Poop would be so hard to come by. Hmmmm…..

Ah, I feel slightly unburdened getting rid of the used-up beauties. Share with me which ones you have tried before and if you liked them.

Too Dimensional? From L’Oreal’s Color Riche Gold Dust Textured Collection

Textures and glitter and matte, oh my!!! Take a look at my first polish color for 2014…

DSCF0239 DSCF0242 DSCF0252I’d rather clean my house with a tooth brush than go on a no-buy rule. However, I have many brave friends that are doing just that. What I can do is slow down and not buy ALL THE COLLECTION!!! This is my attempt at that and, a successful one at that! ‘Too Dimensional?’ is from L’Oreal’s Color Riche Gold Dust Textured Collection.

It’s just a busy lil’ polish, I tell ya…

DSCF0255 DSCF0246If you don’t like your polishes rough, you may or may not care for this one. However, I think it is practically smooth compared to most glitter polishes. This polish, even though it was on the thicker side, laid down flat and easily. It isn’t glass smooth but has the feeling of a very soft linen cloth.

I have on three coats. Two would have been just fine. I was just blogging and reading blogs and was putting on a third coat before I even realized it was #3…

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Quite a dazzler, in my opinion. I didn’t bother with a top coat as I love the matted look. As of today, I have had this polish on for 7 days. I have worked 3 of those and don’t have but the most microscopic wear. For $3.99, I picked this up at Rite Aid and I am getting my money’s worth.

Even though I didn’t apply this mani in 2014, it has carried me over into the New Year. Over the weekend, I will pick a new mani but, it hasn’t been hard at all wearing this one for over a week. I am not tired of it.

This shade is sort of blue. It’s sort of gray. It’s sort of purple too. And, it’s festive enough to not seem like a New Year’s Eve party leftover.

With all the dimensions that are going on with ‘Too Dimensional?’, what will they come up with next for 2014? I’m super curious! Have you heard anything?

 

 

How I’m Finishing Off At The Vanity For 2013; What Is Going To Happen During 2014

I am testing out a Noxzema facial wipe and haven’t completed at least 7 days. My own rule is to test out the facial wipes for a week straight before reviewing them and, that hasn’t been completed. But, I will share with you a few things that have happened in the last 10 days. I got fed up with my own crappy nails. They are dry, cracked, broken, etc. So I went to the nail salon to get non-soak off gels. It started off like this…

1024x768_bestfit (5)But I ended up with this…

1024x768_bestfit (8)My hair has been breaking and falling out too. My little fun excursion of getting two ‘peek-a-boo’ purple chunks at the nape of my neck have left me with only 2 inch long here there. The bleach broke my fragile hair. And, I had it done professionally. So, I got a haircut, trim actually, as I didn’t change the style. I haven’t had a trim since May and I was ready. Here’s what it looked like right afterwards…

256x256_fit_one_bestfitIf you have curly hair, they will blow it out. If you have straight hair, hairdressers will take a curling iron to it. Have you ever noticed that??

Here’s what my hair looked like after I washed it and let it be its own curly self…

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I got almost 1-3/4″ cut off the back. Check your drugstore and mass merchandise stores for new hair products. Garnier, Tresemme, Suave, Nexxus and others are launching lots of very specialized hair care items. I’ve got some to share with you later on.

And a very special love/obsession has grown for me this past Fall, right on into the Winter. I can’t get enough of Solstice Scents. Even though fragrance posts are hard for me to do, I won’t let that stop me from sharing my experiences with these unequalled and completely unique scents. Here’s is how my Winter Collection order came…

1024x768_bestfit (12) 1024x768_bestfit (14)Those are some rusted jingle bells in that package along with real fir tree trimmings and my full-size roll-ons in a burgundy satin bag. I’m blown away by their presentation!!

Feel free to check out Solstice Scents at their website.

Other things to come in 2014: a HUGE makeover of the blog. It’s been in the planning stages for months as I gather up and present my ideas to the designer. I’m going to revive my fashion blog; sister blog to the Vanity and, I’m adding another blog to the ‘pink’ family dealing with health, fitness and healthy laughter. Also, I’m trying to decide what blogging/makeup/beauty national show to attend this year. Let the planning begin!!!!