Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Reflection of 2013

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When I look back on my on 2013 one thing is blatantly obvious, beauty products took over. It started simply enough with a free box of hair color from BzzAgent. In the event you are curious, the post can be found here. It wasn't necessarily a direction or a vision I had for my blog, it's just something that happened organically. So I let it take me where it was going.

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Beauty products hold a special place for me. Let me explain why. On any given day when I sit down at my makeup table I usually feel like horrible. Because of the symptoms I live with I don't understand just feeling tired or a little under the weather. I have barrage of symptoms going on at any time. I frequently wake with a pain level of 4 to 6 in numerous parts of my body. I don't sleep like the average person so I wake exhausted. Nerves in several different parts of my body are twitching at really odd intervals. Typically, I have some sort of confusion or brain fog going on so I can't think clearly. I can't imagine how I am going to get through the day. Life seems overwhelming and I should probably go back to bed.

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As I begin to look at the colors, the textures, the finishes of the products in front of me I realize that I don't have to figure it all out right now. For now, I just need to focus on what shade of eyeshadow I am going to wear. Am I going to apply a nude lipstick or a bolder one? Will I apply false lashes for a dramatic eye or just keep it natural? These are simple questions that I enjoy answering. It's easy to focus on the beauty of cosmetics and leave the rest of the problems for later. I like the feel of soft fluffy brushes against my skin. As I apply foundation, eyeliner, and blush I begin to see a transformation in the woman in the mirror. She changes from a sick, disheveled woman to a confident, beautiful, polished woman capable of handling what lies before her. Feeling like a beautiful woman makes me believe that I can cope with the challenges I face.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Beauty Crown Week 5

The Beauty Crown Awards are a yearly favorites collaborative effort including beauty bloggers around the globe. The Beauty Crown Awards were created by Lily from Beauty with Lily Liz from My Pretty Obsessions, Jackie from Five Two Certified, and Shalunya from Shalunya & Boyet. We felt that a collaborative effort from a large number of beauty bloggers would be much more interesting to our readers and would garner more attention. The Beauty Crown Awards are a 5 week event with each week covering types of products.

All of my favorites can be found by clicking each week below
Week 5 - Facial Care Products & Tools - Dec 30 - Jan 4, 2014

Week 5 of the Beauty Crown Awards covers Facial Care Products & Tools. Below are my selections:

L'Oreal Ideal Clean 
I love this cleaner as it leaves my face clean but not dry and tight. 

Skin Effects Advanced Brightening Complex

Moist Towelette

Simple Radiance Cleansing Wipes


Derma-e Microdermabrasion Scrub
Thank you Ipsy! I love this scrub! 

Freeman Facial Enzyme Mask Pineapple
I enjoy all of them but the Pineapple one is my favorite

Real Techniques 

Trim BeautyCare Mini Set

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beauty Crown Week 4

The Beauty Crown Awards are a yearly favorites collaborative effort including beauty bloggers around the globe. The Beauty Crown Awards were created by Lily from Beauty with Lily Liz from My Pretty Obsessions, Jackie from Five Two Certified, and Shalunya from Shalunya & Boyet. We felt that a collaborative effort from a large number of beauty bloggers would be much more interesting to our readers and would garner more attention. The Beauty Crown Awards are a 5 week event with each week covering types of products.

Week 1 - Personal Care Products - Dec 2 - Dec 8, 2013
Week 2 - Facial Products - Dec 9 - Dec 15, 2013
Week 3 - Lip & Nail Products - Dec 16 - Dec 22, 2013
Week 4 - Eye & Misc Products - Dec 23 - Dec 29, 2013
Week 5 - Facial Care Products & Tools - Dec 30 - Jan 4, 2014

Week 4 of the Beauty Crown Awards covers Eye & Misc Products. Below are my Week 4 selections:

ELF $1.00 Primer

Pressed Shadows
Wet n Wild eyeshadows


Clump Crusher Extensions

Milani Infinite Liquid Eye Liner

Cream Shadows
Maybelline Color Tattoo

Tarte Starlet Palette

Brow Kit
Milani Brow Fix Kit

Beauty Subscription
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Beauty Product from Subscription
Derma-e Microdermabrasion Scrub

Friday, December 27, 2013

Too Faced All I Want for Christmas

Christmas eve I had gone to Ulta with the intention of purchasing the Smashbox Wondervision Mega Palette since it was on sale and I had a 20% off coupon. I couldn't just walk in purchase that palette and walk out. That would be entirely too difficult. It's mandatory to walk around Ulta a browse, right? Well, that's what I believe. I discovered that this wonderful little Too Faced kit had been marked down from $45 to $36. And I had the additional 20% discount coupon as well. 

Truthfully speaking, the thing that really sold me on this kit was the lipstick. I have been wanting to try Too Faced lipsticks for quite some time. I have heard really great things and I really just wanted to try this formula. The lipstick itself sells for $21 and with discounts I bought this kit for less than $29. So it's like I get to try all these other products for only $8. I know I love their Shadow Insurance! That alone sells for $20. So it seemed like a no brainer but my husband was actually the one that actually put this kit in my hands.

The All I Want for Christmas kit includes full size Shadow Insurance, deluxe sample Perfect Eyes eyeliner, compact of blush and shadows, a full sized La Creme cream lipstick and a deluxe size Lash Injection tubing mascara. It comes with this super cute mint and gold chevron print barrel bag which is a perfect for traveling. 

This compact contains a beautiful peach blush with gold shimmer. It's a delightful blush which gives you this gorgeous glow. The Ulta website claims that this compact contains a bronzer. However, this bronzer contains waaaaaay too much shimmer. It's practically metallic. This would not work as a bronzer for anyone. When you check the Too Faced website it is listed as a shadow which is much more believable. These shadows are listed as dark brown and matte vanilla. I love that this compact contains a lovely matte shade. It's really amazing. 

The item I was most excited about is the La Creme lipstick in the exclusive shade Believe. The formula of this lipstick is so creamy and it has a lovely shine to it. There is no need to top this lipstick with a gloss! 

Believe is a beautiful spiced coral shade. It leans a bit brown but it has just enough peachy pink in it that it becomes a great a great my lips but better shade for me. I love the way this lipstick feels on the lips but because of the shiny, creamy nature I don't find it particularly long wearing. 

Overall, I am completely delighted with this kit. I love the blush and the eyeshadows and I can see myself reaching for that compact frequently. Of course I already love Shadow Insurance and I am certain I will enjoy the mascara. The lipstick is a great shade for me and I will use the heck out of it. The only questionable item is the eyeliner but only because I don't typically wear pencil liner. This kit is a winner at $45; but it's a steal at less than $29. At the end of the day, I am quite delighted that hubby encouraged me to purchase this kit as it has some real delights in it. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Smashbox Wondervision Mega Palette

Welcome to my happy little blog where talking about makeup helps keep me healthy and happy. Although that may sound absurd, it's the truth and it's an important key to keeping my health stable. So it seems that there was a last minute trip to Ulta on Christmas eve.  I had heard wonderful things about the Smashbox Wondervision Mega Palette and when I learned that Ulta had dropped the price from $49 to $39 I began to get excited. Then I learned that I could use an additional 20% coupon which had been mailed to me. Yep, it had to be mine. Currently, this palette is still on sale for $39.00 at Ulta exclusively which is an excellent bargain considering the quality of this palette.

Just in case you don't know which palette it is that I am talking about; please allow me a moment to show you! The Smashbox Wondervision Mega Palette is a gorgeous gem of a palette which contains 30 creamy, buttery shadows, 3 blushes and 1 bronzer.

We need to spend a moment talking about the beauty of just the packaging. I am not certain exactly what it is but this combination of reflective silver combined with pinks, purples, blues and greens that just sucks me right in. 

Then when you take the palette out of the packaging, you have this stunning reflective silver simple, yet elegant, palette. That right there is enough for me to open my wallet. 

Then you open the palette and your eyes feast on the gloriousness that is this mix of matte and shimmer shadows, blushes and a bronzer. There is a nice mix of colors and neutrals, as well as, bold and smokes. 

One of the greatest things about this palette is that is has a large mirror which will stand open at a nice angle when applying your makeup. This would be THE palette to take when you travel. It's compact, has everything you need. and that mirror is perfect. 

Let's talk about the shades that are offered in this palette. This first row of shadows are all beautiful shades of brown and they are predominately matte. There is only one really nice mid-toned brown which is a shimmer. These mattes are a beautiful formula which are buttery soft and blend beautifully. There is a touch of fallout which is easily controlled by tapping your brush. This palette includes a rich, deep chocolate brown. Finding a really nice matte black can be challenging enough but finding a rich chocolate brown is like finding a a rare gem. 

The next is a row of really warm toned shadows which lean toward neutral. This row just screams fall to me. The lightest shade can be described as a matte with a touch of micro glitter. All the rest are definitely shimmer. The darkest shade in the row is a rich chocolate brown with a blue-green duochrome effect. The deep cranberry color is an absolutely stunning!

Next up is a row of cool toned blues and greens. It begins with a matte light cream color. Next is a light off white shimmer has the slightest touch of lime green in it. It reads as an off white on the skin but has something extra that makes it so special. There are two beautiful mid-toned greens, one brighter and one richer, a mid-toned periwinkle blue and a deep almost navy blue shimmer with glitter. 

Next is a row of pinks and purples. The lightest color is an off white, light pink frost. When you apply it very sparingly, you can see that it is loaded with the most beautiful micro glitter. There is a light pink matte with glitter, a bold matte mid-toned pinky, purple and an icy lavender shimmer. There is a deep, smokey purple matte with gold glitter. This is THE purple for a smokey amethyst look! The last shadow in this row is a wonderfully pigmented matte black which is just soft and buttery. 

The last and final row of shadows is your smokey look row. It starts with a creamy, saturated silver which could become my all time favorite silver. Next there is a blue based gray satin, followed by a dreamy taupe shade. Then there is a matte chocolate brown with multicolored but mostly gold glitter. There is also a rich gunmetal gray which is just amazing. The final shadow is a lovely dark black with gold glitter. 

The first blush is a matte baby pink which shows up beautifully on my super fair skin as a lovely flush of light color. This will be perfect if I am doing a really bold eye. Then there is a matte rose pink which also looks great against my fair skin. The next blush is the only one with shimmer and micro glitter which gives the skin a lovely glow. The bronzer is a medium toned shade which I will have to be careful with as it could easily turn muddy on me. 

The interesting thing about this palette is that it has these overlay cards which give simple instructions on how to achieve a particular look. You simply lay this care over any four shadows in a row and it will tell you where to place each shadow. This is great feature for those who might have a limited experience with shadows.

 There are actually four different looks which include a soft cat eye, Wondervision color, smoldering eye, and drop shadow. I am really impressed with this feature. I think it's a really neat way of ensuring the purchaser knows how to use the palette to achieve numerous looks.

Overall, I am blown away with the shades in this palette. They are creamy, blendable, buttery shadows made with a great formula. The shimmers are beautifully shimmery and the glitter is all very fine. The blushes could fall flat for some because they are best suited to fairer skin types but they are smooth and almost creamy. I can see this palette easily becoming my favorite palette. It is so beautiful, offers a nice mix of matte and shimmer and a wide range of colors. When I envision a well rounded palette that provides me with a wide selection of colors and finishes, I don't think I could build one better than this. How often do we find palettes that are missing key elements like a mid-toned matte to blend out the crease, a matte highlight, a rich deep color to deepen the outer v or a pop of color to add something special? This palette has everything. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream

Welcome to my blog where I talk about my love of makeup and how I use it to help me cope with a chronic neurological condition. I am very excited to talk to you about a sample I recently received from BrandBacker. Prior to receiving this sample the only thing I knew about Studio Gear Cosmetics is that they have great brushes that are available at Ulta. I didn't realize that they also made makeup. 

I received a sample of their new Hydrating CC Cream. According to Studio Gear, "Hydrating CC Cream transforms and enhances your complexion in an incredibly light, smooth formula. This foundation simultaneously fights aging, retains moisture, and covers and treats blemishes with a non-oily, perfectly radiant finish.

Key Benefits:
- Prevents fine lines and wrinkles with collagen-building ingredients.
- Restores skin elasticity by promoting moisture retention.
- Brightens and illuminates skin with a non-oily, complete coverage application." 

One of the things that I was most startled about is the fact that this product comes out gray. I thought, "How is this supposed to match anyone's skin color?" My skin definitely is not gray, so I wondered if this product would work for me. 

However upon super close inspection, I noticed that this cream is loaded with tan beads of pigment. As you begin to rub the cream into your skin the tan beads burst open and the cream magically transformed into a flesh toned cream. 

As you can see the cream completely transforms from a gray cream into a flesh colored wonder. I was mesmerized by this and was glad that the camera was able to pick up this transformation. Initially, I was a bit concerned that this would be a bit to orange or too dark for me. However, I found that not to be the case. 

 I found that Hydrating CC Cream gave a natural finish and light coverage. I found that did balance out some of my redness and still allowed my freckles to show through. It feels light rather heavy or cakey. It leaves your skin feeling moisturized and supple. The natural, slightly dewy, finish may be best suited for those of us with normal to dry skin rather than oily or even combo skin. I really love the way this feels on my skin and will most likely wear this under foundation rather than a standalone product as I prefer more coverage.

The Studio Gear Hydrating CC Cream sells for $34.00 on http://www.studiogearcosmetics.com. However, I am pleased to announce that Studio Gear is offering my readers a 10% discount. This discount does not apply to just the Hydrating CC Cream but it applies to your entire order!! Just use the code SGCC when checking out to receive your discount. 

I am thrilled and honored to say that I was offered this opportunity to sample this product for review purposes through BrandBacker. However, that does not alter my honest opinion of a product. Thanks for reading and have a very Merry Christmas!