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.

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?

Nature’s Gate: 40th Anniversary Herbal Body Wash

I know I’m not the only one that works hard at keeping her skin in tip-top shape. Sure, I want it clean but, I also want it to be healthy too. My skin is my armor, if you will, to keeping all the environmental hazards at bay. I don’t want my body soap stripping down my barriers either. Dry, itchy skin is not fun. I found a bath soap that keeps me healthy in more ways than one.

Nature’s Gate Herbal Body Wash is one of the most simple body washes around. I have used their body wash, lotions, deodorants and oral care items many times before because they are a known and trusted brand. Here’s a body wash I received in my Bulu box a few months ago…

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I know they have been quite a staple in the holistic bath section of stores for some time and they now celebrate it with a 40th anniversary herbal bath wash.

Just what I have come to expect from Nature’s Gate; lots of goodness…

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Number one: they are cruelty-free. They always have been! They leave out the sulfates and parabens that can wreck your skin’s acid mantle and put in all the body-friendly oils and herbs. You bet this smells divine!! I had no problems washing my face with this when I showered. This pump bottle is 16 ounces and it lasted me for months. I loved how clean and refreshed this herbal wash left my skin. I can easily recommend this wash to practically anyone.

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I don’t mind that Nature’s Gate wash has lots of ingredients. Just look! These are all healthy and vegan ingredients. And, this is made in the USA.

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When you purchase from Nature’s Gate, you help the environment as well. The company works diligently on keeping our drinkable water supply clean. I learned from their website that if you put all of the Earth’s water into one bucket, only one TEASPOON of it is drinkable! I want to support that cause!

Have you tried any Nature’s Gate products? You can purchase from them online or, use their store locator to find a store near you.

BFTE Cosmetics’ Back To School Collection

It’s old news however, I am the owner of Beauty From The Earth Cosmetics. I purchased the  6 year old business last April. And to say that I have been busy could be an understatement. I just released my sixth collection this Saturday. This is the Back To School collection

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I asked my niece to collaborate with me on this one. She’s 15 and will be a sophomore this year. She loves using BFTE shadows and I thought it would be cool to give her the opportunity to have a hand in the creation of a collection.

There are four, full-size shadows in this collection and, it is available 8/2 to 8/17/14. These are all brand-new colors and are limited editions. The set is $20.

First, I want you to know that I NEVER, EVER had Detention when I was in school. I was a good student and didn’t get into trouble. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with Detention. This shadow was created knowing that some mineral makeup users love to use it as eyeliner. So, BFTE’s Detention can be foiled for a serious purple eyeliner or, use it to create a smoky eye that just doesn’t play by the rules…

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The first swatch is over eye primer, the second is swatched with BFTE’s Mix and Fix sealant.

Where’s Your Hall Pass? is almost the same shade of pink the hall passes were when I was in school. We hardly ever used them because there were only 100 students in the entire high school!!! Nevertheless, this pink invoked a lot of fun memories…

Pass Pile Hall Pass swatches If you have to take a bus to school, that has to have its own set of school time anxieties. I was lucky. I lived only 4 blocks from the school. We didn’t have bussing until we consolidated with a couple of other towns my freshman year. I lucked out. The building that was only 4 blocks away continued to be the same school I went to from Kindergarten until I moved away my Senior year. Missed The Bus is the yellow color without all the hassle…

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Missed The Bus swatches watermarked

The top swatch is dry over eye primer. The bottom is using Fix and Mix fixative.

Waiting On The Bell is a brilliant bronze shadow with bright pink sparkles. Way more interesting than waiting for the bell to ring. Life never went so slow at waiting for the last school bell to ring. This shade is meant to transition right into being an early Fall color…

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Again, the top swatch is dry over eye primer. The bottom, foiled with Fix and Mix sealant.

For my look of the day, I foiled Detention with Fix and Mix sealant for my liner. I used Missed The Bus in the inner corners, Where’s Your Hall Pass? over the lid and blended up to the brow. Then I used Waiting For The Bell in my crease…

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And my complete look using the Back To School collection: I used BFTE’s Ivory foundation, Aruba blush (soon to be added to the site), Translucent powder, and the shadow Stunning mixed with a lip balm for my lips…

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Have your tried Beauty From The Earth Cosmetics? I invite you to come take a look at the site.

Kiehl’s: Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash and Micro-Blur Skin Perfector

I am excited to share with you two new products from my favorite skincare line: Kiehl’s. Kiehl’s has been my ‘go-to’ skincare line for the past two years. So, let’s talk about these two new kids on the block. One is a cleanser called ‘Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash’ and the other is a skin treatment product named ‘Micro-Blur Skin Perfector’…

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Let’s discuss the Micro-Blur Skin Perfector first. It’s a new favorite!…

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It is so good to my skin! I use it every morning after I hydrate. I use this whether I put on foundation afterwards or not. I can’t say that this hides my imperfections but it does blur the appearance of large pores and fine lines…

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This product glides on. It doesn’t pill up even if you tend to overwork it. Truthfully, it doesn’t take much product and lays across the skin smoothly. The sample I put on the back of my hand is enough for me to use across my entire face and down my neck…

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It’s subtle but it does soften the spots on my skin. There is a slight fragrance that might give issue to those with a very sensitive nose but, I found that the smell didn’t linger one bit. It’s not claiming to be a primer but I use it as such. Since this is recommended for all skin types and is paraben-free, you should try it!

Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a long title for a face wash that is simple. It contains no parabens and is soap-free. It really cleans your face; makeup and all! This wash foams up good and sudsy, which is surprising since it contains no soap. It smells just like Calendula flowers and, is such a wonderfully relaxing fragrance to unwind to at the end of the day. I look forward to using it because of that!…

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You will notice that this is recommended for normal to oily skin types. Well, I sure don’t have oily skin. So you can imagine how skeptical I was that this was going to make may skin feel OK after a good washing. So, yes….WOW! I always follow up after washing with a moisturizer anyway (I use Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and Midnight Recovery Concentrate at night) however, my skin didn’t feel extremely tight or dry afterwards. It just felt super clean. And I loved how it tackled removing my makeup without needed to use a separate product for that…

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Even my husband likes using Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. He likes the foaming action and how clean his skin feels afterwards. Also, since the fragrance is more of an herbal note, I think this wash is great for men and woman. It sure doesn’t take but a partial pump to get enough wash to completely wash my face and neck.

You can purchase these two products and other awesome Kiehl’s items from their website, stand-alone stores that are popping up across the country or, at fine department stores like Nordstrom’s and Dillards.

 

These products were provided to me for review. These are my own, honest opinions. 

Toss or Trash: It’s Been A While But I Have A Pile

It’s been a while since I blogged a Toss or Trash post. I’ve been saving up my empties and putting them in a box. This weekend I went to look for something and I found two boxes full of trash! Yuck! I photographed these and got them out of the house!!!

Let’s start with the hair products. I just finished up L’Oreal’s EverStrong Overnight Hair Repair Treatment. I love that stuff! And, I’m going to miss it. I gave up buying L’Oreal products this year.  I am choosing to stop purchasing from, at least, one company a year that continues to test on animals. Thus, I won’t be replacing any of the L’Oreal haircare products that I have used for so long. And that includes the Total Repair 5 shampoo and conditioner. Here, you see that I finished the conditioner. As much as I love these two products, I love animals more…

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Suave’s Moroccan Deep Conditioner has made my hair super soft. And, the smell is lovely!!!! I found that I needed to use a lot of it for my hair to turn out soft though. I couldn’t be stingy and still get my wide-tooth comb through my hair. All in all, I would say that all of these are trash, meaning I would buy them again. But, since L’Oreal and I have parted ways, these won’t get replaced with same. And the Moroccan Conditioner was just OK. I am placing that in the trash column. (Yes, I know Suave is made by Unilever who still tests on animals.)

Next up are two spray leave-in conditioners…

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I purchased both of these over 2 years ago at a beauty show in Orlando. It’s funny how both of them became empty at about the same time.

First, Black 15 in 1 is a brand I had high hopes for. When I purchased this leave-in conditioner, I also purchased the shampoo and conditioner by that brand. Of the three, I did like the leave-in conditioner the most but, it is not a product that blew me away. I have no intention of repurchasing it…

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I have quite a love affair with leave-in conditioners. As I have aged, my hair is getting thinner and becomes dried out faster. I knew this was coming as I saw it happening to my mother. At least I am working on being proactive and treating my hair the best that I can. 12 Benefits leave-in conditioner is a winner because I feel that it helps keep my hair healthy. I would repurchase this one if I knew where I could readily pick it up. However, I have never seen it in any store or salon that I have visited…

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Next are the face products. Kiehl’s is my go-to brand. They give out samples and that’s what wins me over. I used Avon’s Anew line from the beginning, however, when I went to a blogger event at Nordstrom’s and Kiehl’s gave their demonstrations and I took home samples, that’s all it took for me to fall hook, line and sinker! I won’t lie; the Midnight Recovery Concentrate is expensive. This bottle is $70 and it’s only 1.7 ounces. It does last me a year, though. I use about 5 to 6 drops per night. When I am not testing out another product for a review, Midnight Recovery Concentrate is my best and favorite love.

Reviva Labs Vitamin E Stick was a discovery from doing a review for them. This simple little balm stick does a lot of different jobs. I use it on my lips and all around my mouth, for my dry cuticles and I will rub some of it under my eyes when I feel like my skin is especially dry there. I also put it on pimples so they don’t scar. For $2.50, you get a work horse! I have already replaced this as I don’t want to be without it. Now, for Avon’s Lip Treatment…

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OK, this stuff is great! What is not great is that I had to swipe my finger in it to use it. I know I could have used a Q-tip (too hairy) or a lip brush (too much of a hassle at bedtime) but, it just got to be gross. And, since I have medium-length nails, it really got to be a hassle towards the bottom of the jar. And, I think this little, bitty jar lasted me like over 2 years!!! It just couldn’t be used up!!!! I was so happy to finally finish it! As much as I liked how it worked on my lips and kept them moist, I don’t like the packaging so I will not be repurchasing this. Look, the label didn’t even last as long as the product!…

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I moved from Orlando to Denver last year and came out here before my husband. He stayed behind for several months to not only pack up our house but to deal with selling it and all that. When he told me he went to Bath and Body Works and asked for empty boxes to pack all my products from them, and they gave him CASES so he could pack up all my candles, lotions and potions from them, I was shamed into facing the fact that I owned my own B&BW!!! I have diligently worked on not only reducing my inventory but also, not so readily buying their new fragrances every season. Here’s what I have used up in the past few months…

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But, don’t you just LOVE getting those minis to try out fragrances!!!! I do! And, their Stress Relief body wash and lotion are stables at the vanity. That’s a good thing!!! I loved all of these fragrances. The ‘Be Enchanted’ was a hot passion for me when it first came out too.

Last, are the body and hand lotions…

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La Source is from Evelyn and Crabtree and I love their hand lotions. There was an outlet store I visited often when I lived in Orlando so I had quite a few of these around. Now I’m seeing the end of them and miss that store! If you are looking for a very moisturizing hand lotion with instant results, you will want to get yourself La Source. There’s not much of a fragrance to this one; it’s busy being therapeutic!!!

Proclaim’s Coconut & Macadamia Nut Oil hand lotion didn’t smell as nice as I thought it would. Coming from Sally’s Beauty Supply, I thought it would be a winner. But, I won’t be seeking to replace this one just because it wasn’t all that great.

Jergen’s BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream lotion smells very nice. And, I liked how it made my skin soft. But, that’s about all it did. So, there’s no ‘illuminating’ and ‘firming’ like the claims state. I’m rather disappointed too.

Have you tried any of these products? See any that you want to try out?

NYC’s Expert Last Lip Color: Blue Rose

This fact surprised even myself, but, I don’t have many fuchsia lipsticks. But then, how many is too many? And, how many is not enough? For less than $2, what can one more hurt?

NYC’s Expert Last Lip Color lipstick in ‘Blue Rose’ is just the shade to perk up my Summertime look…

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This fuchsia shade is perfect for my complexion. I don’t actively seek a tan and only get a bit of color from my early morning runs and the late evening porch sits. Even then, I make sure I have at least 30 SPF on. However, I have a fair complexion so when I want some color, I go for the eyes and lips. ‘Blue Rose’ gives me awesome color…

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I couldn’t wait for the next sunny day so I could take photos of it. I was itchin‘ to wear this and brighten up my look…

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If you are looking to add color to your lips and, to your life PERIOD! Get this! The staying power of ‘Blue Rose’ out of this world. I used Laura Geller’s lip primer, lined my lips with the first liner I found in a bright pink shade (it is a no-name one I’ve had forever) and applied ‘Blue Rose’ over all of that. Over 5 hours, folks!!!!! Even from drinking water from my sports cup, I didn’t lose color.

I always tuck my lipstick of the day in my purse before I head out the door in case I need a touch up. I didn’t need to touch it up once. This NYC lippie hung on all.day.long.

This lipstick applies smoothly, doesn’t feel sticky or dry and has no taste or smell…

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A bold color like ‘Blue Rose’ helps balance out my features since I have thin lips. And for a measly $2, I have seriously brightened my day.

I purchased this NYC Expert Last Lip Color at Target. Have you seen this new color?

 

BeautyBeam: Give Your Makeup Brush A Headlight

A month ago, I posted about the BeautyBeam tool for nail polish bottles. Today I have a review on the BeautyBeam for makeup brushes…

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There’s only two pieces to this tool; the light itself and a silicone sleeve that holds it on the brush…

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There’s only one button that turns the light on and off…

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I picked out a few of my most used makeup brushes to see how it goes…

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Since I had practiced with putting the BeautyBeam on nail polish tops, I didn’t have much of a learning curve this time. And, makeup brushes are more balanced to work with than a nail polish bottle. Once you get the silicone sleeve around the light and the brush handle, it’s fairly easy after that…

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I didn’t always worry about the sleeve being on perfectly. The more I messed with it, the more I was stressing it out and possibly causing a tear. If I got it on to this point, it was still on there firmly and I was good to go…

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I found it best when the light was close to the bristles

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I didn’t quite get used to the extra weight at the end of the brush…

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I think this is a very clever idea. If you are putting makeup on in a dimly lit room, you need this. However, it wasn’t as practical for me to use as I found with the nail polish BeautyBeam. I have a large, lit makeup mirror mounted to the wall and I can put my face right up to it. Also, with one eye closed and, with the fast sweeping motion of the brush, my eye had a hard time tracking the lit area. It worked better when I made very slow movements, but that seemed unnatural for me. I attempted to go without the mirror’s light and just use the BeautyBeam once. As long as I had both of my eyes open, this was good. So, when I was brushing on a highlight shadow on my brow bone, I liked this.

Also, when I used the BeautyBeam on a smudge brush for under my bottom lash line, and I could keep both eyes open, it was quite nice. I liked that the best, actually. Mainly because the brush movement I make when doing that is much slower.  Right now, I have my BeautyBeam on that smudge brush and am leaving it on that brush.

You can purchase the BeautyBeam at their website or, on Amazon. They used Kickstarter to help with funding and they made their goal. 

 

This product was provided to me for review. These are my own, honest opinions.

Forever 21: Love & Beauty’s Hot Pink Pigmented Finish Gloss

It’s been a good, long time since I have been to Forever 21. I miss not being able to step into one every week. However, the last time I was at the mall, I sure did make it a point to stop in. I picked up this lipgloss

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Anytime I see the words ‘pigmented’ with lipgloss, I’m drawn like a moth to a flame. Even though I love me some gloss, these highly pigmented ones allow me to skip out on the lipstick color all together. And Forever 21’s love and beauty line didn’t disappoint me one bit.

This is ‘Hot Pink’ and boy, is it ever…

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Forever 21 has the ‘good’ symbol on it…

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It’s a bit on the tacky side, so I would suggest using a lip liner to keep the gloss from traveling outside of the lines. But, maybe a bit of a tacky texture helps hold it in place…

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However, they are not lying when they state that there is pigmentation going on. I didn’t have to pack this on my lips at all. And, there is even a mint feeling and smell to it. Not so much a flavor, but then, that’s quite alright. I don’t need to be licking this gloss off!…

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I can’t say that the gloss last a long time; it hangs around for about 2 hours and then starts to fade away. Yet, for the price, it’s pretty nice. As you can see from my lips, it has not only lots of pigmentation but a high gloss shine. I tried using ‘Hot Pink’ just once over a complimentary lipstick and my mileage did improve just a bit.

Have you bought any Forever 21’s love and beauty lately?