Monday, June 29, 2015

June Favorites

Is it really the end of June??  Since I have done a couple of posts on products I would not purchase again and a review that wasn't so great I thought I would put up a post about the things that I currently in love with and WILL repurchase.

The first is a hair serum that I received in my June Boxycharm - since my hair is always heat styled and its high lighted I am all about the hair serums and protecting my hair as much as possible. This serum is called hair silk and that is not a lie.  This gets my hair even softer and shiner than Bio-silk.
Right now I am so in love with Oscar Blandi's Daily Silk Serum. Its not to heavy nor dos it leave my hair greasy. I will say though I have super thick coarse hair, it just doesn't feel like that with this! I will be repurchasing, it has over thrown my holy grail Bio-Silk.

Next up are two primers - yes I use two actually three at the moment but as I am still playing around with the third I am not including it as a favorite yet. First up Makeup Forever's Step One Smoothing Primer. This keeps me so matte its insane. My T Zone is usually a shiny mess by noon - except when I use this. Some days I don't even need to touch up its just all depends on the humidity.  I will say though if you are dry skinned you will not like this. It will make you dryer. I've mentioned this primer before when I first got it and was testing it out. It has truly preformed well and hit holy grail status.

This primer is Two Faced Primed and Poreless I use this for a setting power and for touch ups through out the day. It really does make your pores vanish and does not make things cakey. It is completely colorless though it is scary white in the pan.  

I have been mixing a few drops of this Maybelline Dream Finish BB Bronzer in medium/deep sheer tone in with my foundation this Summer. I am so fair that its hard to find a foundation that matches me in the Summer. One to two drops of this makes things perfect. I wouldn't use it alone as it would be way to dark for me. Mixed in I get a healthy glow that looks like I have been tanning without the scary side effects of tanning. 

I have really fallen in love with  bronzers this Summer and I have been using Sephora's Medium Fiji 4 as a light contour and a base for my blush. It looks very dark in the pan, however it is just a nice wash of color with a hint of shimmer on the face. I add just a dab of blush to balance it out. Here lately I have really been all about a soft glow, 

If you like your contour without a shimmer and are looking to keep everything matte, skip the expensive contour pallets. Especially the bigger ones, unless you are a makeup artist you are not going to use all the colors in the pallet and they are retailing for $40 and more. Wet and Wild has perfect ones in their Color Icon line. These are pretty good dupes for a few of the contour duos out there. This one is in Carmel Toffee. These are exclusive to Wal-Mart I have heard. Best part its under $4 instead of $40 or more. They are harder to find at the moment as they sell out quickly. I grab one every time I see them there for back ups.

I have a few more things that are headed toward favorite status to review but I want to use them a bit longer before I add them to the will repurchase list. What are your favorite things this season???

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Milani Bella Shadow Line Review

So last week I picked up some Milani Bella shadows when I stopped in at CVS. I have never used their shadows but they do have a blush and some nail polishes that I really like so I had high hopes for these shadows. I had also heard some really good things about them from some YouTubbers.

I chose three shades in a golden/bronzey trio. Bella Sand which is supposed to have a shimmer finish.

Bella Cappuccino, with a satin matte finish

and Bella Diamond, an intense white shimmer highlight.

I have been getting into the golden sunkissed look for summer after watching sever Kathleen Lights tutorials. I am loving this look this summer. I was looking forward to seeing how these shades would look on the eye. They looked awesome in the packaging.

I am not impressed they do not even swatch well. Not even with a high def eye primer.  They are chalky, hard to blend and don't feel nice. I have tried them several times, trying them in various ways with different primers. Each time has been a huge disappointment.

The first swatch is with no primer, as a side note they were swatched in the same order at the same time.  From left to right - Diamond, Cappuccino and the Sand. I was surprised to see that Diamond, the highlight lost its intensity with primer.

and with NYX High Def eye primer: 

As you can see there really isn't a ton of difference. I have used the NXY High Def primer for a few years now and it has always delivered a HUGE payoff. Even most super cheap shadows with no pigment and payoff can generally be made super intense and well pigmented.

After about 40 minutes I did finally get a decent color payoff, however that is far longer than I want to spend on what should be a simple easy eye look. I was hoping to find a new easy go to every day look. This isn't it! Milani is by no means expensive, but save yourself the money and frustration.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Make Your Movement Matter!

Have you seen the latest "movement" taking a stand against "makeup haters" apparently on Instagram there is a #ThePowerOfMakeup challenge? movement? hell I don't even know what they are calling this. I know I am calling it a far reach.

Ladies makeup is not under a ban. When did you ever think it was? Wear it, wear as much of it as you like, no one is trying to take that right away.  Stop giving a shit what others think.  Make THAT your movement.  Put your energy into movements that are not frivolous, that actually make a difference. Lend some time to ending childhood hunger and abuse. Visit your local pet shelter.

Hell, if you want to make, makeup your movement, contact the local battered women's shelter and donate your time and some makeup to these ladies. Many times they not only need the actual product but some tips on how to use it.  They are trying to rebuild their self esteem, their view of the world and their actual standing in the world. They need a job, they need a friend and they need to feel like they matter again.  Those women need you more than a half done face selfie on Instagram does.

Put your energy into something that will make a real change in your world. That will make a real change to a woman in your community. Honestly when you get right down to it doing half your makeup and putting a selfie on Instagram really isn't changing a thing.  Wear your makeup, then go give someone a hand up, and there is your movement.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ultimate Straight Hair with L'Oreal Paris

I received the L'Oreal Ultimate Straight system from Influenster a few weeks ago.  It is a 4 step system that promises the ultimate straight hair for 48 hours. All the opinions however are mine.

Step one is a shampoo that you use normally then there is a pre-conditioner that you work in to your hair from root to tip and leave for 1 minute - you don't rinse this after that minute then you add the conditioner to the mix and leave on for 3 minutes. Now you can rinse.  After you finish your shower and towel dry your hair there is a leave in balm that you are to use a dime sized amount of.. This girls got thick hair - took more than a dime!

After the balm you are supposed to blow dry your hair. I have started to let me hair air dry for about an hour before I finish it off with a blow dry and flat iron. Since my hair is chemically lightened and flat ironed on the regular letting it airdry at night before the flat iron has made a huge difference. However with this system that messed it up. The heat is what activates the system. Don't skip it!

My honest opinion is that while it was fun trying it, and I really like being given the opportunity to review things and see how they work before investing in them, I wouldn't repurchase this.  I think the texture and the nature of my hair worked against it. I have naturally curly, wavy and frizzy hair.  The leave in Keratin coated my hair giving it even more volume than it naturally has and seemed to dry it out more than it usually is.

While it did stay straight I didn't like the feel that this system left my hair with. It felt even more coarse than normal. I do think that is really due to how my hairs texture is. I feel that its better suited to someone with wavy hair but not naturally curly and coarse. I did pass this along to a friend of mine who has hair that is just waves and a bit of frizz, but not coarse. She loves it, it leaves her hair soft for the full 48 hours.

For me this is a pass, I will go back to my regular routine for my hair. I was hoping that this would cut down on the steps and products I use but it has just as many steps and products and the results are not exactly what I would have hoped.

***I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes***

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Playing Catch Up

What ten days its been.. D had surgery which was made up for 3 total procedures in 7 days. My daughter had a seizure which resulted in a ambulance ride to the ER. Both are fine, it just takes awhile to recover. I just haven't had a chance to stop and blog. When I have been stopping its to sleep.

In the midst off all this I managed to piss off/hurt my mother's feelings. the night before D's procedure she called and asked if I wanted her at the hospital waiting with me. Honestly I did not and I told her so as nice as I could given the fact that one my mother is a HUGE drama queen and two shes an even bigger Debbie Downer. I politely told her thank you but no thanks I would be fine. It was a short procedure after which they would be getting him upstairs and situated into a room for the night where he would sleep all day.

In short I didn't feel like entertaining her while my husband was in surgery. I didn't feel like listening to her complain and rant. I really didn't feel like being subjected to what I call the "organ recital" in short, its the list of everything that is wrong with you when you are 73. I know she's my mom, yes she aging yes I will miss her when one day shes not here. Don't judge. I grew up with the biggest of drama queens who find away to either make everything about them or give you the biggest guilt trip ever, and not only is my mother 150% Southern shes Catholic. So shes got both skills down in SPADES.

In short she's not speaking to me at the moment and I have been to busy/exhausted to call her and "beg forgiveness".  No worries she will throw it in my face for years to come, I'm still hearing about shit I did at 17.

Things will start calming down here soon enough, D goes back to work Thursday after being off since June 3rd. When its a bit normal around here I have plans to clean the house, go through some old items and toss or donate.  I have been reading up on the KonMarie method of organizing and I am intrigued enough to learn more.

I have a few reviews I am working on makeup, products, a book review. I ordered some new makeup brushes to share with y'all. I am also contemplating splitting out the blog and starting a new one for just makeup and products and possibly just vlogging those. I am not sure yet. Its still in the thinking process.

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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Makeup Products I Would NOT Purchase Again

This is totally my opinions on things that did not work for me or that I just didn't like. If they work for you, awesome. If you are on the fence about a purchase maybe this will help.  Its no secret I buy a lot of makeup, skin care and hair care products. In the words of my husband a metric "shit ton" of stuff. This is a small list of what the hell was I thinking about products I have purchased in the past few months.

Lets start with skin care, skin care is not a place you should skimp. Lets be real here - your skin is where just about everything in your life shows up. Sick, tired, stressed it will all show up on your face. I have started to use anti aging products - I have yet to find anything that is my "holy grail" so the search continues.

I purchased this - with high hopes -  it will be passed on.

This broke me out and I did not like the scent. While it does contain sunscreen there are conflicting reports that you should use retinols with sunscreen. Honestly the scent alone and the fact it broke me out is enough for me to say nope.

Next up ELF Studio makeup remover cloths:

These burned my eyes. The scent is strange. I bought them for quick use on days I don't wear makeup or to correct small mistakes, Given the fact that I have to rinse my face after I use this the quick corrects are out. I do use them on non makeup days and then rinse my face after or to remove the makeup off the back of my hand when I use that to mix shades and apply foundation. In the respect they are fine, but its a waste and even through they were only $3 I won't repurchase when they are gone.

This next product is blowing up social media and I can NOT figure out why. Its very expensive and honestly a horrible product. 

 This stuff is called "Instantly Ageless" ummm okayyy. It was designed to get rid of bags under the eyes and wrinkles. It DOES deflate the bags. HOWEVER, huge however this will create MORE wrinkles that you started with. it drys out the under eye makes fine lines more prominent, your makeup will settle funny over the product therefore insuring that you highlight what you tried to hide and make it all worse.  I don't know about y'all but I don't need MORE fine lines than I actually have thanksbutnothanks.

Moving on to makeup - Primers.

 This is the first primer I had ever tried. It felt great in the store on the back of my hand - that is where it ended.  Once on the face the product pilled and refused to smooth out. I ended up buffing most of it back off just to get my foundation to lay properly. Not a great payoff for a product that claims is a perfecting base.

The next primer is also a Loreal primer - one of their newest products. Honestly I think this would be fine for someone with dry or normal skin. Anyone who has an oilier skin will do better with a powder highligher. I also didn't feel that this product gave me that "lit from within" glow I was hoping for after hearing the Youtubers rave about it.


 Physicians Formula Nude Wear Line.

Part of this is totally my fault for expecting more from a product in a "Nude Wear" line. I am a full coverage girl - just always have been. I picked this up with hopes of being able to build a full coverage yet still have that light foundation feel for the hot humid Kansas City Summer.  Another issue is that there are not a lot of shade choices in the line. This is Light/Medium in any other line this would fall into the beige range - not something a fair skinned girl can pull off.  This also oxidized badly and in just a few hours I had full on bad tan oompa loompa orange going on.

The other issue I had was the foundation brush Physicians Formula provided with it.

What the hell is a girl supposed to do with that??? I actually used it to blend concealer - it sucks for that as well. Do yourself a favor and throw this out, invest in a real foundation brush. I prefer a kabuki style over the flat paddle foundation brushes. The kabuki gives you a finished airbrush effect, the paddle brush leaves streaks and its hard to use to blend out foundation.

Speaking of tools - stop wasting money on beauty blender knock offs. They are hard as a rock - they don't blend well and they will beat your face - and not in the good way. You have heard that term, when everything is blended perfectly and someone says I got a beat face.

This thing doesn't even swell and soften with water. I tried to use it one time - after this its trash bound. Now I have heard that the ONLY decent dupe is the Real Techniques sponge. I have ordered one from Ulta with my last makeup order and will be giving that a spin.

Coverup/highlighter combo from ELF. Seriously I have to stop buying ELF. I have YET to find any actual makeup they produce that I like. Now they do have a studio brush that I love to use for setting concealer and I like the lip exfoliator - buts that it.

This concealer highlighter duo was horrible the concealer doesn't blend and the highligher is the consistency of putting frosting on my face. Do yourself a favor and spend more than $3 on these products - it DOES make a difference.

Last on my list today is an eye shadow trio from NYC in Late Night Latte.. Even with a kick ass primer I only got one color to show up and it creased and was gone by midday. Not my goal with my eye shadow. There are much better drug store eye shadows out there with way better color payoff and they last all day with a good primer. 

Notice the fall out. It was worse on my face.

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Shore (Book review)

I received this book in exchange for my review - the opinions are all mine.

I am an avid reader so I was thrilled to join Blogging for Books. I looked through the books that were available for review in my favorite genre. I chose The Shore by Sara Taylor.

This is Sara's first novel which is pretty much a fictional family history through hundreds of years. Sara takes each chapter and dips into a few characters from the family whom have all called the same island home, each generation have all lived in the same land and most in the ancestral home or one of the smaller homes on the land.

With the exception of a few characters Sara never really does anything but scratch the surface of their stories, which I found extremely frustrating.  Some chapter felt out of place and a stretch for content others felt rushed with a few sentences at the end, meant to wrap things up quick and tie it with a bow. It was those chapters that frustrated me the most. Those characters were the ones that pulled you in  made you want to know their story and explore it more. You wanted to know HOW the arrived at the rushed ending, you wanted to make that journey with them.

A few chapters I sat scratching my head wondering if I had stumbled into the wrong book somehow. You get a feeling of what the author was hoping to achieve, yet she didn't really didn't.  The whole book felt like a collection of shorts, trying to be tied together with a small thread of similarity.  I got the sense that the author is a wonderful story teller, she just needs to slow down and tell the story, one story instead of throwing things at a wall to see what sticks.

I would love to read an entire story and walk with Letty and Mark from chapter two. Chloe and Renee's story is also one that should be explored. The chapter about the strange sexual disease that wipes out most of the population and leaves the survivors living in a post apocalyptic type world needs to be left out, it felt like it was just space filler to hit a certain word count required by a publisher. I'm sure it would make its own fantastic scifi thriller on its own but tossed in The Shore on its own was just to much of a reach.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Whats in a Name.

Did y'all see Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover that was shown everywhere Monday?? Sure you did. It was nothing short of awesome. What you may not have seen is the Meme that went viral that states your Mama named you Bruce so Imma call you Bruce.  That pissed me off, bad, and it has nothing what so ever to do with her being transgendered.  It has to do with respect.

A little over 10 years ago I legally changed my name. I did not like the name I had been given. I never had. I grew up being teased relentlessly over it all through school. I never thought it was "me" or even fit. I attempted in middle school to be called by my middle name. My mother threw the hissy of all hissy fits. She's Southern so that hissy fit was a major event. So I dropped it, but I wasn't happy about it. I was resigned that if I made to much of a fuss over it or asserted any right to what name I went through life with that "I'd hurt my mother's feelings".

In my early twenties I was to busy being a young mother and wife.  I was in a horrible marriage to an abusive man.  At that point I was mainly called mommy by my young child. I was called numerous things by my ex-husband, generally NOT my name.  By the time I crawled out of that situation I felt very dissociated with the name I have been given at birth and even LESS like it was me than I had before. At that point I really didn't want to be her . I wanted to start completely over. I wanted to be a woman I was proud of, a women who was getting her shit together and was going places.

In my early thirties with the full support of my new husband I set out to finally change my name legally and complete my "starting over". I did not have the support of quite a few members of my own family. I have a sister who has never spoken to me after the mothers day phone call she made to me 11 years ago and yelled at me for 2 hours over it. My mother will only recognize my legal name when forced to by a situation like emergency contact forms.

I got a lot of grief over the change, and a lot of respect lectures. Here is the real deal however, it IS a respect issue but the point they miss is, its respect for ME. I am a full grown woman who has made a decision about MY life and how I choose to live. It has NOTHING to do with them. The staunch refusal to acknowledge my right as a grown woman is disrespectful to me. One thing that they have never understood is that my decision was never about THEM, it was always about ME.  I have the right to go forth in the world and be called whatever I want to be called.

The world would be such a better place if people just respected each other and found tolerance of one another. So yes, Caitlyn should be called Caitlyn, just as if someone you have know as Sue for thirty years lets you know that they now want to be called Wilma. It doesn't matter if they are your friend, your sister, your daughter, your son, or your brother. Keep in mind its really not about you and its not personal against you. It is however about them and personal to them.

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Just Finished - Mother, Mother - Koren Zailckas

Ever have a book that once you finish it you have no idea what to read next because nothing sounds good after the world you just finished. ...