The Life Of A Frustrated Beauty Product Mad Scientist

Sometimes I just want to experiment with makeup and see what will turn up. I have been doing this since I was a kid and would mix up baby powder, hand lotion, aloe juice and swipe it on my hands with Q-tips. I was like 7 years old and I was playing with beauty products! Now, I can get my hands on the good stuff! It doesn’t always turn out great but the trying is the fun part.

I also like to try different nail polishes together, working with various top and under coats to see what transpires. Here’s one that I thought about for quite a bit and finally just went ahead and did it. I used Maybelline’s Color Show ‘Emerald City’ and Cult Nail’s ‘Angel Whispers’…

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Each of these polishes is adorable on their own. ‘Emerald City’ truly is more green than the photos show…

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And, Cult Nail’s ‘Angel Whispers’ is beyond charming with it’s soft and demure sparkle…

DSCF0038 DSCF0037 Although it isn’t going to blow up anyone’s Pinterest board, it was just fun to see what would turn up…

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Have you ever had a handful of polishes sitting in front of you and you want to see what they look like thrown together? That’s what I did. Truthfully, each of these have way more merit on their own than playing together.

Do you have either of these lovely polishes?

 

 

Maybelline’s 24 Hour Tattoos: Dare To Go Nude Collection

Obviously, I love makeup. I couldn’t be a makeup blogger if I didn’t. And, a few of the items I get, I become obsessed with. Maybelline’s 24 Hour Color Tattoos are some of them. I know I’m not the only one either. You know how you find out you are obsessed about particular makeups? You get overly giddy when you find that limited collection and find it ridiculously hard to remain calm, cool and collected. You also have to hold your hand over your mouth when you pay for them because you are extremely giddy about it and want to blab your good fortune to the uninterested  (I promise) checkout person. But, when I can run home and photolog them…sigh…sweet bliss…

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These are from Maybelline’s Dare To Go Nude Collection. Yes, I know wearing makeup and calling it nude a nude look is an oxymoron. That’s the fun of makeup.

I paid about $8 a piece for these. Considering they are some of the best products to wear as eyeshadow primers, I think they are a very worthy investment. Especially when I can put one on, do some eyeliner and mascara and I’m rather ready for work. Great payout for a little effort. And, the name ‘tattoo’ is meant to mean they.stay.put. With one exception that I’ll get to, that’s what these do.

The lightest shade, ‘Pure Nude’ makes for a flirty, shimmer eye primer. But, you can go it alone and call it almost a Marilyn Monroe look with a very dark eyeliner…

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Next is ‘Stroke of Midnight’. I think this is probably 11 minutes after midnight because it turns into something way different, like once it’s past midnight, than the other five tattoos. You’ll get a shot of that in the swatches…

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‘Nude Compliment’ is a name that makes me giggle. Compliments on my eyes, I’m totally sure is what it means. This is the best taupe eye shadow primer/cream I own. If you get just one, this would be the classic for your Vanity…

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I know ‘Caramel Cool’ isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, the effects it has with green and yellow eyeshadows is so worth the investment. You will be pushing all of your eyeshadow looks to new limits with this one…

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Now, if you only get TWO, you should get ‘Sleek & Spice’. I love this one as a stand alone. I used my richest brown eyeliner (*cough Beauty From The Earth’s upcoming ‘The Last Drop’ eyeshadow cough*) and I have made the fastest smoky eye in the West…

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Last is ‘Beige-ing Beauty’. What looks like a peachy-nude, actually has this orangey duo look to it. Totally awesome. Totally unexpected…

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The swatches in non-direct sunlight…

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And these are high noon light…

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‘Stroke of Midnight’ was so patchy that it had to get a severe pat-down and, that still didn’t quite do the trick. I am going to have to fiddle a lot with that one. My next trick will be to see if I can use it as a cream eyeliner. I won’t be using that one much as a primer or shadow, I can tell. The others, they are work horses. I love them all and am pleased without any doubts to add them to the Vanity.

I found these at Walgreens in a display and have been seeing them more and more. But, they are going fast because I haven’t seen a full display with all six shades since I picked these up.

Are you game?

 

Sonia Kashuk: Limited Edition Red Matte Lipstick

This was a VERY exciting find. On soooo many accounts…

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Even this…

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Maybe you are like me and when you find something like this you canNOT believe your luck. I don’t have a single bit of regret on snagging this one up…

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I’m very surprised it doesn’t have a real name, though…

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But, it’s gorgeous…

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Oh, yea….embossed love too…

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It is hard to do that first swatch to mar the embossing, but with a deep breath, I went for it…

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Goodness gracious, matte creaminess!!! It wasn’t drying. It didn’t drag. It is a sublime red shade. I love how it applied and stayed on for hours and hours…

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I can easily say that if Sonia Kashuk creates any more matte lipsticks, I will purchase them. This has to be one of the very best wearing red matte lipsticks I have ever tried. It looks great with my skintone and I am enamored by it.

Sonia Kashuk is at Target. Have you tried any of her other lipsticks?

 

Softlips: Cube Lip Protectant With Sunscreen

This is Softlips new product: a cube.   I got this just a couple of days ago. I wanted to try it as soon as I heard about it…

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I love their sticks and I wasn’t disappointed by this little cutie…

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I went with the traditional mint flavor…

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This lip balm does it all:

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While I would like a lip balm with a higher SPF than 15, especially if I was outside for more than 10 minutes, this one is fine for indoor use and going to and from my car. These ingredients make the product glide on even nicer than their stick balms and I didn’t think that was possible!…

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Where Softlips competitor has a round package, this one is way too hip to be called a square…

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The balm has a cool mint feel and makes my lips feel completely soothed and smooth. Springtime in Denver means chapped and dried lips for me. Now I have something that will keep all that at bay. This was around $2.50 at Walgreens. They also had a vanilla flavor as well as a blueberry pomegranate one.

I offered this up to my husband who has chapped lips year-round. I turned him on to Softlips stick and he liked it much better than Chapstick because it is creamier. He liked this one too.

ave you seen Softlips new cube?

Physicians Formula: Brow-Tweez 3-In-1

Of course I have tons of makeup! But, the one type of product I don’t have a lot of is brow items. I found this Physicians Formula Brow-Tweez 3-In1 at the Dollar Tree and hey, what’s a buck?…

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I have dark blonde hair *cough, cough* so I picked up the Dark Blonde shade. If anything, I have three tools in one that would be good for traveling…

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I don’t think I have ever seen tweezer instructions before…

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But, it’s good info to know! These tweezers are super stiff. Yet, ironically, they are able to grasp the tiniest of hairs. I have grown to like them a lot…

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I bet you can tell by the look of the product that it’s gonna be hard…

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Once I got it rolling on my brows, it did a bit better but this didn’t seem to be a good start…

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After using this for a week, the product did get just a wee bit less hard but it still has a lot of drag. But then, I did get it at the Dollar Tree so it would stand that this is a discontinued product by Physicians Formula. Again, I can see throwing this in my travel makeup bag for the tweezers alone. I don’t feel I wasted my money just to have a nice pair of tweezers.

Nothing but a clean face and Physicians Formula Brow-Tweez 3 In 1…

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Since leaving Florida, over a year ago, I haven’t found anyone around the Denver area that does brow-threading. I wish I could find someone. I’m just on my own for now.

How important is brow grooming for you? Do you like brow pencils, liquids, powders, or something else?

Freeman Beauty: Facial Hydrating Paper Mask Blue Agave

This happened last night…

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No, I haven’t become a Jason from Friday the 13th groupie. I have really dry skin during this time of the year and I needed moisture PDQ.

A month ago, I purchased a bunch of Freeman single use masks. Because the skin under my eyes and on top of my cheeks feel so dry, I was looking for a moisture treatment to soothe my skin. This is the one I picked to use…

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Yes, my skin IS thirsty. The humidity is super low in the early Spring in Colorado. Last year, my first Spring here, my lips got so chapped. My hair was beyond parched. And, even my sinuses were dry and hurt. I’m doing better this year because I started my ‘stay moisturized’ regimen early and, I have vamped it up, overall, as well. However, my face still needs extra and Freeman’s Facial Hydrating Paper Mask was just the ticket.

This paper mask was so easy to use. There’s nothing to it, really. The serum on the mask is thick but not tacky and the minute I had the mask on and in place, it was immediately cooling and I could feel my skin drinking in the hydration…

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Hooray for Freeman Beauty not testing on animals!!!

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This is what the mask looks like coming out of the envelope…

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I open it up and separate the mask from the backing…

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Then it is just positioning it on and letting it sit for 10 minutes. After the time is up, I throw away the mask and massage in the serum that is left on my skin. Again, it isn’t sticky, it doesn’t smell at all and my skin felt ‘ahhhhhh’. About 2 hours later, right before bedtime, I did put on some extra moisturizer under my eyes and on my cheeks where it had felt dry and tight before using the mask. I did that just as an extra measure.

What a treat this was! If you are experiencing dry skin any time of the year, I recommend Freeman’s hydrating mask. I got this one at Walmart for around $1.50 and, it is one that I definitely will get again.

Have you tried any of Freeman Beauty’s paper masks? How do you combat seasonal dry facial skin?

L’Oreal: Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo and Triple Resist Ultimate Strength Solution

I have challenged myself, as a beauty AND animal lover, to each year eliminate one beauty brand that still does animal testing from my shopping list. I have to say that picking L’Oreal this year has been a challenge. I love L’Oreal products. However, I hate animal testing more.

You will continue to see reviews from me on various L’Oreal products, all of which I purchased prior to the end of 2013. These are two that I have just finished up using; Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo and Triple Resist Ultimate Strength Solution…

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I moved to the Denver area 14 months ago from Orlando. Good bye humidity; hello dry skin and hair. It has taken longer for my hair to normalize than for my skin. But, I didn’t waste any time in purchasing products that gave lots and lots of moisture to both.

Just last year, L’Oreal came out with several new niche products for various hair-related issues. I was eager to try some of them out. First was to get a hydrating shampoo as that is the quickest product that can make or break (literally!) hair!…

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Power Moisture Hydrating Shampoo made my hair instantly soft. I tried this product after going through 2 previous bottles of L’Oreal’s Total Repair 5. That was more moisturizing than Power Moisture however, I was experimenting to see if it was better than Total Repair 5.

The aroma is full and you get creamy suds which I know some may not care for. Since my hair is long, I do use a nice size dollop of ‘poo. I felt I was able to rinse out the shampoo very easy and my hair did feel very clean and healthy. Since I always follow up with conditioner, since I get massive tangles,  Power Moisture worked very well with whatever the conditioner of the moment was.

The after shampooing and conditioning care of my hair is probably more important than the washing part! This is where I can get a lot, no wait…..A LOT of breakage and shed. Earlier this past Fall and early Winter, I had so much breakage that I was alarmed. Before I decided to head off to the doctor, I switched up to a haircare product specifically to strengthen my locks before my hair became visibly thinning. Personally, I felt I could see that is was thin but to anyone else, I sure they wouldn’t have seen what I was seeing. Vanity isn’t used too flippantly around me.

Once more, picking out a newer L’Oreal product, I tried ….

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Let me tell you that this product is awesome. It did make my hair stronger and has been vital in being part of my regimen to keep my hairs in my head. I didn’t have to drench my hair with Triple Resist either. I just did a few squirts at the roots, temples and ends and gently. with a wide-tooth comb, comb through my hair.

The fragrance is so mild that I had to open the bottle to even find an aroma. This spray isn’t sticky or greasy; nothing! But, oh, did it work! The info on the bottle was convincing and it wasn’t until I got home that I read through all the ingredients. Here’s your opportunity to read them too…

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Did you know amino acids are the building blocks to your body AND your hair? Arginine is one of those and it creates a bonding effect with hair, which is a protein. Proteins are made with a combination of amino acids. I was pleasantly surprised to see the ingredient Arginine as the third listed one and not WAY down the list. And is that citronellol I see listed? Extra points for keeping mosquitoes away!!!!

Triple Resist has a very cool delivery system. This type of nozzle really does help me from OD’ing with too much product…

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Even though I thoroughly believe these two L’Oreal products have helped my hair return to a healthier state, I have had to make new product choices. I have discontinued purchasing Essie and OPI (a choice I made last year), which wasn’t near as difficult. And other brands have been even easier yet to leave behind because of their animal testing. Much like when I gave myself a year challenge of eating no fast food, it wasn’t easy at first. In fact, I still have people ask me in amazement ‘You don’t like fast food!!??’ Well, no, I did like fast food and many items I bet I still do. I have just made a choice to not use those products because I do not believe them to be healthy from my body. I’m choosing to not purchase L’Oreal products because I do not believe it is necessary to test on animals and I do not wish to purchase from them because of that.

I’d like to challenge you to give up one brand this year that isn’t cruelty-free. Which one will you pick?

Pure Ice: The ‘Free Spirit’ Is Willing; The Manicure Is A Fail

Only one day away til the first day of Spring! I have always love celebrating that day because….it’s my birthday!!!

Here is a manicure I played around with for St. Patrick’s Day. I found that so many of my green polishes didn’t want to be opaque. So, I took white polish to try underneath with this one…

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This isn’t a nice-looking manicure at all. Here’s what I used…

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I started out with love and beauty’s ‘White’…

 

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Then I topped it off with Pure Ice’s ‘Free Spirit’…

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Each, in the bottle are so pretty and gave me hope. Can you see a bit of shimmer in ‘White’?…

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I left my pinky with just ‘White’ on it to see if the shimmer would show. After two coats, it really wasn’t going to happen. And then, literally, slapped on ‘Free Spirit’ because I could see I wasn’t going to get the effect I was looking for. And, I put on three coats…

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“Free Spirit’ has sparkly teal glitter but it became dull and uninteresting on my nails. This St. Patrick’s Day manicure wanna-be only lasted one day. It was a fail.

And, a bit of a confession, I did my right hand with just ‘Free Spirit’ and that’s why I went with a white polish underneath on my swatch hand. I couldn’t make either of them mind!!

I’m glad to move on from green manicures for now. How about you? Ready for other Springtime pretties?

St. Patrick’s Day Manicure

Yes, I am part Irish and I align myself with my Irish heritage strongly. So, you won’t find me going without wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day!

I have been wearing green polish for the past 3 weeks but this last one has been my favorite…

DSCF0049 DSCF0052‘Emerald’ from Forever 21′s love and beauty polish line is not a new polish. I know I’d had it quite some time. However, gosh, what a sparkling beauty. After using a coat of Lumos bottom coat, I had to put on FIVE coats of ‘Emerald’ to get it this opaque. And, actually, I am not totally happy with just five. It’s still a bit weak, but it is a jelly so…

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My camera did great picking up the sparkles WAY better in the bottle than what it shows on my nails…

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Besides having holo green sparkles in there, there are also green and gold shard glitter pieces. But, they were super bashful. I did get a few on my nails, however, they didn’t show up obviously. I did top my manicure with Color Club’s Eco Chic Top Coat. It wasn’t so strong in preventing tip wear.

Nonetheless, I LOVE ‘Emerald’! If you are going to go Irish, love & beauty’s ‘Emerald’ will keep you from getting pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.

I also wore green Docker’s. Did you have a green manicure and/or wear some green clothing?

Laissez Faire: A Christmas Palette For Fun

I guess I got a lot on clearance from Walgreens after Christmas because I’m still photographing and playing with items I have in the ‘need to review’ box. Yet, even though I have a lot in there, I didn’t pay much at all. Seriously! Look at this cute Profusion palette that was $5 at regular price and I got it for $2.50!…

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Gosh, I’m hypnotized by the case’s pattern…

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There is quite a bit going on inside the case…

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And that is just the top case! Look what is in the second side…

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Let me start with the second side. The neutrals here are very, very soft…

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When you look at my swatches, I used my usual Q-tip swab swatching and I scrubbed! I picked three shades to swatch and you can barely see the color on the very far left…

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The far right swatch is the pink blush, the one at the top…

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This is just fine if you want a very subtle look. Of course, a decent brush picks up, and transfers, the powder a bit better. Oh, and the lippies are glosses. When I placed my lip brush into them, it sunk right down to the bottom of the pan. They are so creamy I do not know how they keep from dripping out of the palette. So, naturally, they don’t last but a brief moment on the lips. As pretty as the lip shades are, they have no lasting power at all. The blushes, however, build so nicely and I love both shades.

Here’s a snapshot of the top palette right after I swiped my Q-tip swab on some of the shadows to swatch…

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Whoa! Super-ultra powdery!! But, look at the payout…

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No scrubbing required! I loved the way these all blended together and I didn’t mind the fallout because they applied so creamy and dreamy.

For $2.50, I am very happy. The colors blend, albeit with fallout from the top palette, yet not a crumb from the bottom palette. The two blushes are perfect, either together or on their own. The lip glosses are fun to play with but they don’t last but an hour, if that. This is the type of palette I’d take on a road trip because I would be able to make a lot of different eye looks with it but also, if it got lost, it wouldn’t break my heart a lot.

I am usually closely supervised when doing photographs. My big bear, Sebastian, just hangs out in the laid back mood…

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Can you be so laissez faire about a cheap palette?