Tuesday, July 31, 2012


TheBalm Overshadow - Work is Overrated from lashline to brow
Aromaleigh Livewire to wetline
Black with green glitter gel liner from Physicians Formula
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara
Korres Soft Eyeliner - White on waterline

Morgana Cryptoria Violet Banana lipstick

Cheeks: Physicians Formula pH booster - Light Bronzer

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Sunblock: Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40

For today's Sunday Sunblock, I am reviewing Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40. It comes in a 3 oz. tube, and is available at stores like Whole Foods, online, and at various web-based health-foods stores. Above, I made a dab on my hand, and rubbed some in to the right of that. You can see that it's a bit shiny and a little white, but not as much as some others I've reviewed. It feels a little oily to the touch, and it's a little tacky until it sets. I have not noticed any additional breakouts from this, and while it doesn't dry as clear as it states, it dries a lot clearer than some others. I would not wear this alone on my face because of the shininess, but it works well enough for body use. Now, for whole body use, you're supposed to use a full ounce, so this is only good for three shortish trips to the beach, but I have been using it on my face, neck, chest, and arms. It has an annoying tendency (like most physical sunscreens) to gather in white streaks in the creases in my elbows and on my neck, but I can't really feel it on my arms right now, and I applied four hours ago. I was outside in bright sun for about forty minutes during peak sun hours, and I have not burned. 

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 10.00 %; Titanium Dioxide 7.50 %.

Inactive ingredients: Aqua, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin-D), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin-C), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Price: $16.99

Price per ounce: $5.66

Buy again? - Maybe. Not full price, but as a throw-in to a LuckyVitamin order. I like the SPF 40, I like the fact that it has Vitamin D in it to make up for the fact that I'm not getting it from the sun, and it wears ok under makeup.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hot Pink Disco Half Moons

Still working on manicures utilizing some sort of sticky paper thing to block one color off before applying another. I'm getting better at keeping the edges neat, but need to work on my patience. I always want to put the stickers and second colors on before the first color's dry! This, I am learning, is a no-no.

This time, I used Julep Rose as a base, and butter LONDON Disco Biscuit as the top color. Disco Biscuit is a cooler hot pink, and it really warms up next to Rose's warmth.

I did this during a mild obsession with Milani's green nail art polish (a.k.a. the only nail art specific polish I own), but my recent acquisition of a double-ended nail art brush/dotting tool should really open up some possibilities in this arena for me. The lady at Sally's told me to use acetone-free nail polish remover to clean it. Do you concur?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The difference lipstick color makes

Hey! I'm still here, just, it's been a stressful past few weeks. I finally finished my masters' thesis, so now I'm just waiting for feedback so I can revise it and defend this fall, but getting that plan set in place was kind of a mess. Also, I'm stressed about work and my professional life in general, for reasons I'd rather not go into right now. Anyway, onto the makeup.

I've been into a new-to-me blog the past few weeks, drivel about frivol, which is great for many reasons. I like Kate's writing primarily because it's fantastic, but specifically because she focuses really intently on the intent behind her color choices. She's written a lot about her take on minimalism and makeup, and her looks are always very carefully considered. I've also been playing around with the idea that your choosing blush and lip products on the opposite side of the warm/cool spectrum from your eye makeup enhances the other one through contrast.

So, I played with this idea and came up with the look on the left. Later in the day, I wanted to try out a lipstick I'd impulse bought and decided to see how the same look would compare with a different color on my lips.

On the left, I'm using Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint in Bare Coconut, which is a pale, shimmery nude. On the right, I'm using Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in 15, the "smoky top coat" color - it's more of a deep browned purple with shimmer than anything.

I think it's a softer look with the nude balm, more vampy with the purple.  Somehow, though, the first one is edgier - the orange eyeliner pops in an otherwise neutral look.

Shadow - 50/50 mix of Urban Decay Primer Potion - Greed and Too Faced Lockdown Cream Shadow - Jailbait on lids to browbone.
Liner - Sephora + Pantone Universe Tangerine Tango
Mascara - probably CoverGirl LashBlast

Sadly, I forget the exact blush. It's a cool, clear, bright pink.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zoya Zuza

Because there have been so many text-only posts...

Zoya Zuza on all nails
Accent - Clinique Fuschia Kisses and Milani Green Sketch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skincare update

I am down to about six remotely angry zits and they're all on my jawline, plus a bunch of scarring and redness on and under the jawline.

Current routine:
*Wash face with First Aid Beauty cleanser
*Wipe face with First Aid Beauty exfoliating pads (full of glycolic and lactic acids!)
*Moisturize/boost with Desert Essence Age Defying Pomegranate face serum
*Apply sunblock - right now I'm using up Lavanila The Healthy body sunscreen
Do makeup

If face is super gunky feeling, maybe remove makeup with either a self-made oil cleanser, Simple eye makeup remover, or Caudalie cleansing water.
*Wash with CeraVe foaming facial cleanser and a face brush.
Tone if I feel like it - currently using witch hazel beefed up with tea tree oil, but the Thayers cucumber aloe witch hazel I ordered FINALLY came in the mail today. The packaging is still in a heap by my feet, lol.
*Apply Silk Naturals Super Serum (vitamin C, niacinamide).
*Apply Peter Thomas Roth retinol serum.
Moisturize if I feel like I need it with 365 facial moisturizer, Lucy Minerals ambrosia serum, blend of tea tree and lavender oil, or any combination of the above.

* These are things I am doing every day. Nonstarred items I only do if I feel like it.

My skin hasn't gone downhill since running out of the Philosophy Booster C sample, so I'm probably not going to go run out and buy that. I don't personally think that the cleanser is that important. I mean, yeah, you should wash your face, but these specific products aren't Holy Grail items, just things I happen to have - the FAB cleanser came in a set with the pads, and I like to keep my acids for A.M. and my niacinamide for nighttime - both seem to be useful but they don't play well together. When I run out of those, I have roughly 16 oz. left of a fragrance free body wash that also works as a facial cleanser.

The exfoliating pads, Super Serum, and possibly the retinol, have contributed the most to my skin's improvement, I think. The other antioxidant stuff and the sunblock address my other concerns of not wanting to age prematurely and definitely not wanting a repeat of my skin cancer experience.

What has helped you clear up your cystic, hormonal acne? Has anything really helped you with the scarring?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tiny rant and plea for help

I'm sure that if you read my blog, you must follow some of the other big bloggers. If so, you probably know that Milani has new powder shadows out, that they are five bucks each, and that they are GORGEOUS in all the swatches.

I have been to at least ten CVSes in my fairly large Midwestern city and cannot find them at all. The website has them, but won't ship them to me for free, and one three of the colors I want most (tickled pink, the purple one, and the dark brown pearl) is are out of stock and have been for days. I also don't know if I can use my extrabucks on them online, which is significant because I have enough to cover three of them. Milani's website has them, but again, no free shipping, can't use the extrabucks, and they're charging a dollar more.

Has anybody actually seen these? I'm beginning to think they're f***ing mythical or something. Any insight on if I can use extrabucks online is also appreciated.

UPDATE: 7:48 p.m. EDT Monday - I called CVS today, and was informed by the rep that these lovely shadows are not in stock anywhere in or near my city, and that they also have no way of knowing when they will be. Guess I'll just have to wait for serendipidity or a good Milani coupon code.

Sunday Sunblock - Josie Maran SPF 30+ Argan Sun Protection for Body

 Last year, I bought and used a bottle of Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+. I enjoyed it, and it felt like a nice, luxurious item.  I did not enjoy the idea of spending $32 for two ounces of it. So, I asked the nice lady at Sephora for a sample of the less expensive body version, and she gave me two very full pods of the stuff.

It feels like whipped cream and sinks right in - the part on my hand where it's been rubbed in is to the left of the swatch. There's a bit of a white cast at first, but that goes away and covers with makeup really easily. I like this product a lot. I bought a full size, so that should say something. I've also noticed that it's out of stock frequently on Sephora's website, which must mean it's popular.
And, I haven't burned while wearing it.


Size: 4 oz.
Availability: Sephora
Price: $24
Dollars per Ounce:  $6

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide (5% each)

Inactive Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernal (Argan) Oil, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Natural Vegetable Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla Bean) Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Sclerotium Gum, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polysorbate-60, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5).


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Sinful Colors Under 18
Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
Julep America

Now let's go watch fireworks!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June Used It!

Alba Botanica Even Deep Sea Mask*
- Buy again? No. I didn't find that this either degunked or soothed enough to really do anything.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hibiscus Toner* (not pictured)
- Buy again? Probably not. This was my second round, because I was tempted when it went 50% off at CVS, but like the mask, it didn't really do anything special.

Anthony Logistics for Men Glycolic Cleanser
- Buy again? Maybe. I kind of liked how I could use it as a mini-peel by leaving it on for a few minutes prior to rinsing, so it's good if you don't like foaming and do like multi-use products.

CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara - Very Black*
- Buy again? Most likely. It would be nice if they sold it in smaller sizes so it wouldn't dry out and clump up on me before I'm done, though. 

Ecco Bella Botanicals Long Lasting Lip Crayon - Raspberry Port*

- Buy again? No. This product would have worked so much better in a slimline twist-up tube, and the color was also REALLY DARK on me.

E.L.F. nail polish - Golden Goddess*
- Buy again? No. I'm starting to get really annoyed with most glitter polishes and I end up using them up in crafts projects.

Josie Maran Argan Sun Protection for Body SPF 30 sample
- Buy again? Yes! Stay tuned for next week's Sunday Sunblock feature to learn more!

Korres Mattifying Pomegranate Primer sample

- Buy again? Undecided. I think I might like it as a no-foundation foundation, but it did nothing as a primer and I'm not sure if it's worth the cost.

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet foundation sample decant

- Buy again? Maybe. I'll have to do a half face test with this (I have another sample, the Sephora lady forgot to write the shade on it the first time!) and Revlon Colorstay first.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub*
- Buy again? No. It smells floral, and I don't think it scrubs quite enough.

Nuance Salma Hayek Cooling Eye Gel*
- Buy again? No. It sometimes felt burny, which is not what I want on that delicate skin!

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging eye treatment sample packet (x2)
- I used both of these and did not notice any change to my undereye area, so I will not be buying this.

Pacifica Body Butter - Tuscan Blood Orange (2.5 oz)
- Buy again? Nope, but only because I like the solid perfume format better. This is really quite amazing if you like citrusy scents, which I do. A lot.

Philosophy vitamin C powder sample decant
- Buy again? Maybe? I'm not sure it did enough to be worth the extra cost or extra step in the routine, but it did seem to brighten my face a little.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 30 sample tube
- Buy again? Probably not, unless it was on sale. See this week's Sunday Sunblock for more!

Philosophy Marshmallows for Toasting 3-in-1 4oz size
- Buy again? Nah. I think I'm over the Philosophy 3-in-1s. They're a lot more drying than I expected.

Real Purity foundation sample
- Buy again? No. It was an ok foundation, but I'm uncomfortable with a water-based product that does not use any preservatives at all. 

Shea Moisture African Black Soap shampoo*

- Buy again? No, but only because my water's too hard to rinse this out properly without an acidic rinse. If you have scalp issues and like herbal scents, you should try this.

Silk Naturals Camellia Moisturizer sample
- Buy again? No. I like my moisturizers either serumy and packed with goodness or creamy and cheap!

Tarte Aqua-Gel eyeliner - brown*

- Buy again? No way. For the price, you get a teensy tiny amount, and the tip breaks off super easily, which I find annoying. It does have a nifty cooling feel when you apply it, though.

Wet'N Wild Gray's Anatomy nail Polish*
- Buy again? No, but only because butter LONDON Knackered is a lot alike but so much nicer, what with the sparkles. 

* - full size product

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunblock Sunday - Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 30

 This week's Sunblock Sunday is about a product I got as part of the 2011 Sephora Sun Safety kit that is no longer available at Sephora, but you can buy on Philosophy's website. Philosophy Hope in a Jar Oil-Free SPF 30 moisturizer is not a bad product, but I'm still not sure it lives up to its name.

As you can see, it blends out pretty invisibly, which isn't surprising, considering the formula uses a mix of physical and chemical blockers. It's also a pretty great texture and doesn't smell funky. I used it as my travel day cream for several trips to various destinations, was outside for large portions of the day, and did not burn. It's not bad stuff! That said, I've found less expensive products I liked better.

The deets:

Size - 2 oz.
Price - $39
Availability - Philosophy website
Dollars per ounce - $19.50

SPF - 30

Active Ingredients: octinoxate 7.5%, octisalate 5.0%, oxybenzone 4.0%, zinc oxide 4.5%.
Inactive Ingredients: water (aqua), c12-15 alkyl benzoate, dibutyl adipate, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, glycerin, potassium cetyl phosphate, behenyl alcohol, butyloctyl salicylate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, arachidyl alcohol, hydrogenated palm glycerides, dimethicone, behenoxy dimethicone, sodium stearoyl glutamate, hydrogenated lecithin, rubus fruticosus (blackberry) leaf extract, arginine, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, polyhydroxystearic acid, beta-glucan, tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis leaf powder, arachidyl glucoside, maltodextrin, benzyl alcohol, xanthan gum, disodium edta, citric acid, triethoxycaprylylsilane, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.

Thoughts? Input? Anything you'd like me/my readers to know?