Browsing Category

Cosmetics

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

Dreaming of the perfect lashes

May 13, 2016
IMG_2322

We all want long, lush lashes, right? Just amazing peepers.

But only about one in 100 of us are lucky enough to have those lashes without enhancements. So the other 99 of us need a good mascara. Preferably one that won’t flake, clump or itch.

And some of us want that mascara to be cruelty free, too. When I decided to switch all of my cosmetics to cruelty free products, my mascara was the last to go. I was without hesitation in love with my CK One mascara, but I was determined to switch (The CK One has since been discontinued, thus eliminating my ability to go back to it).

So I set out to research the best CF mascaras and try them. Keep in mind that everyone’s eyes are unique and respond differently.

Before we go too far, I should say I tried the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($22 at Ulta) first. I wore it two days before I took it right back to Ulta for a full refund. I can highly recommend Ulta’s simple and easy return policy, but I cannot recommend the mascara. My eyes burned and itched something awful.

I have since tried it Cosmetics Superhero Mascara ($24 at Ulta), Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes ($21) and what the CF supporters online proclaim as the best CF mascara out there, Lily Lolo ($19.50).

The it Superhero gives really great lash length. And Tarte gives excellent fullness to my lashes. Neither made my eyes itch or burn. But by late day, both began to flake a bit, which did cause me to rub my eyes, which isn’t the best look.

The Lily Lolo, though, is very gentle. Easy to apply and remove. Never burned, itched, clumped or flaked. It really was as kind as everyone said. It wasn’t, however, as stunning as the CK One I had hoped to replace. Even after multiple coats.

I will admit, though, that with the three available to me on a daily basis, if I don’t have a specific reason for wanting one of the other two, I go toward the Lily Lolo on a daily basis and will most likely buy it again, so I suppose that makes it my favorite.

So there’s my story. Tell me your’s. What is your favorite CF mascara?

Cosmetics Skin care

I Can Do That! – Tips to Make Your 40sRestyle Beauty Routine Fab

March 26, 2016
abstract-art-mother-earth

Our 40s are wonderful. At 40sRestyle, we work to stay current with trends. Any trend must be modified for your own style. Makeup trends must especially be customized whatever age we are. That doesn’t mean tons of time and effort, either. Being 40-something doesn’t mean we should hang up our makeup brushes. It just takes a bit of tweaking for makeup to continue to flatter us. No extra time involved. I promise. Here’s some simple tips:

Start With A Good Canvas
A gentle cleanser is best for the delicate skin on the face. Anything too harsh will dry the skin on the face and neck. Choose a cleanser that effectively removes makeup but without scrubbing and rubbing too hard. Also follow with a moisturizer twice a day on the face and neck. If the skin on and around the eyes or on the neck is dry, consider investing in a good eye cream and/or neck cream to moisturize, as well.

Matte Lipstick And Eyeshadow
Matte colors look more natural. Leave the glitter to the 16 year olds. Shimmery, glittery, or frosty lipsticks and eyeshadows settle into the creases of the lips and eyes and exaggerate our age. Go for a matte shade instead. For a bit of pop, a lip gloss can help. Lip gloss isn’t the sticky mess it was in the 80s. (Now, Michele disagrees with me on this one, but she can tell you about that in a later post.)

Cream Blush
A cream blush works well for skin as it gets older. It doesn’t look too powdery and helps with the dry patches that appear in the 40s. Also be careful with application. Smile when applying blush and only put it on the apples of the cheeks. Don’t try to sweep it from just outside the nose to the hairline like we did in the 80s. It dates the look.

Eyeliner
Shop for a gel liner or a liner that twists up. These dry out less than a pencil does. As the eyes age, we should be particularly gentle with the delicate skin around them. Using a very dry eyeliner drags and pulls the skin around the eyes. Find one that goes on smoothly and gently. Be wary of eyeliner trends such as wings, cat eyes, or other very noticeable application techniques, too. First of all, trendy techniques like those make it appear as if we are trying too hard. Work on getting a nice curved line very close to the lashes instead.

Eyebrows
Eyebrows should be defined, filled in, and trimmed. Too bushy and natural or too over-plucked and arched doesn’t really work for any age. A brow powder and pencil work well together to fill in and define the brow. Use the pencil to define and follow with a powder to fill in. Finish by running a spoolie or brush against the hair growth to blend for a natural look.

Highlighter
Let a highlighter or illuminator be your friend. A quick dab across the top of your cheeks and under the brow offers a bit of a glow without looking sparkly.
Foundation
A medium coverage foundation offers coverage of flaws but doesn’t look too thick. Go for a foundation that isn’t too dewy or glossy and isn’t too matte either. A matte foundation can look dry and settle in lines and wrinkles. One that is too dewy can come across as oily or shimmery and also accentuate lines and wrinkles.

Finishing Spray
A finishing spray can tone down a foundation that looks too powdery. It can keep eyeshadow and other makeup in place so it doesn’t smear or accentuate lines, as well. It helps add a youthful dew to the skin also.

SPF
A moisturizer and foundation with some SPF is a good thing for skin at any age. Some have very sensitive skin that reacts to ingredients in sunscreen. There are sunscreens out there for sensitive skin. These can be applied before the regular beauty routine. For those who do not have sensitive skin, always try to look for products with an SPF.

Dry Skin or Blemishes
As skin ages, it looses elasticity and gets drier. Even after moisturizing, there can be tiny pieces of dry skin visible. Use a toothbrush dedicated for this task or a pointy pair of tweezers to remove those tiny pieces of dry skin. Blemishes too, can still be an issue in our 40s. Hormonal changes, in particular, contribute to that. Don’t resort to harsh acne treatments. They can create even more dry skin. Do not skip the moisturizing step either thinking it contributes to oiliness or blemishes. Continue to moisturize. Our skin can try to compensate for lack of moisture with more oil.

These tips shouldn’t add any time to the regular beauty routine, but can make a tremendous difference in how great we look. Forty is fabulous. We should look as fabulous as we feel.

Cosmetics Cruelty Free Fragrance Skin care

Top 10 Holiday Wish List Products

November 25, 2015
urbandecay_nakedpalette007

We’ve been gone. Did you miss us? Sure you did.

LeeAnn wrote her list of products she’d like to try in 2016 (go on, call it a Wish List), and here is my list to go along with that. Keep in mind that we shop differently. There are products on my list that I already know I love but that I’ve just been too cheap to replace.

We hope you find some things in one or both of our lists that you decide to try and that become favorites.

1. Vera Wang’s Hippie Princess perfume ($60 for 1.7 oz)

Blame LeeAnn for this one. She suggested I smell it & tell her what it was like because she likes the other scents in this line. I now can’t go into Ulta without spraying this just all over me. My daughter also likes this one, which isn’t a real selling point for me.

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54)

This is the benchmark of nude and near-nude palettes. There are multiple options to choose from within the Naked line. I prefer the Naked 2, but I swear, I’d take any of them. I’ve reached a point in life where I prefer a muted eye with a darker liner as opposed to the brighter shadows I wore when I was younger. These palettes have just everything. And Urban Decay is a Cruelty Free brand.

3. Lily Lolo Mascara ($20)

I am a dedicated user of my CK One mascara, but I’d like to try a CF brand. The Lily Lolo is the highest rated CF mascara I can find. Whether I love it or hate it, I’d like to try it.

4. MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub ($18)

This is one of my favorite finds from PetitVour. This fruit enzyme scrub is wonderful. You can leave it on just a few minutes or a few minutes longer, depending on how your skin reacts. It smells wonderful and leaves my skin feels smooth and clean.

5. Tarte LipSurgence (Holiday Set $34 for 9 minis)

If you haven’t tried these lippies, you’re missing out. They feel like a balm and look like a great lipstick. Now, I’ll admit, I don’t like the matte options. But the others are amazing. For several years now, I’ve bought the holiday set (it’s a super value), and divided it up between gifts for others and for myself.

6. Tokyo Milk ($20)

I love this hand lotion. It is hydrating without being greasy, and the scent lasts forever. My favorite scents are the Dead Sexy and Kabuki No. 9. Every handbag should feature something this lovely.

7. nyl Skincare Organic Shimmer Sugar Scrub ($38 for 8 oz)

Ever since I started getting PetitVour boxes, I’ve been eyeing this sugar scrub. Who doesn’t love a sugar scrub? One that gives your a golden shimmer? Even. Better.

8. 21 Drops ($29 each)

I want all of these. Just all of them. We have the Sleep oil and love it. I’d like to try so many of these. They do have some holiday sets that might be good starting points.

9. BITE Beauty lippies

I am in love with BITE’s lip mask. In. Love. And I’d like to try one of their other lip products. Just any other one.

10. Anything LUSH

Seriously. For real.

Now, share with us your wish lists. Maybe we’ll add some of your products to our lists.

 

Cosmetics Skin care

LeeAnn’s Shares Her Current Wish List

November 8, 2015
10155483385_35af38bd81_b
I’ll never try them all. Never!  I’ve come to terms with that.

There is no way I’ll ever get to sample all the beauty products out there.  There are always a few that stand out, though. Products that do something new or are an amazing price always get my attention. As the year is closing, here’s my Wish List of products that made their appearance this year that I’d like to try, along with a summary of their reviews.

1. Ciate Kiss Play and Stay ($14)
What is it?  It’s a clear lipstick seal that is meant to keep lipstick from smudging or smearing throughout the day.
What do the reviews say?  It works for most of the day according to the reviews. The sealer comes off easily and application is simple. Reapplication of lipstick over the sealer wasn’t necessary, but could be weird according to some.
2. Tom Ford Extreme Mascara ($45)
What is it?  A mascara promising a great many things such as lash filling powder to keep clumps and caking at bay.
What do the reviews say? Most of the reviewers like the mascara and says it does prevent clumps and caking but that other mascaras make their lashes look longer than this one does. It does stay in place with no smudging through out the day.
3. Dr. Dennis Gross Color Smart Cleanser ($28)
What is it?  This cleanser changes colors as you use it to show where you have cleansed properly and where you need to pay more attention.
What do the reviews say? Reviews were mixed. Those who loved it, could not say enough good things. Claims include that visible skin improvement was noticeable after only a few days.  Others claim this is great for combination and normal to dry skin. Some reviewers complained about mess during use and a film left on skin for oily skin.
4. Murad Rapid Collegen Infusion for Lips ($24)
What is it?  In short, this is a thin clear gel to plump lips for a fuller appearance and reduce signs of aging like wrinkles and creasing.
What do the reviews say? I found nothing but praise for this product. Reviews include praise for being a wonderful base for lipstick, having a pleasant feel because some plumping lipsticks have a tingly feel, and fewer lines in lips after the first use.
5. Perricone MD Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatment ($45)
What is it?  This is a no rinse “system” that cleanses, exfoliates, and conditions the skin.
What do the reviews say?  Reviewers, who love Perricone MD, said they like current products by the company better. Besides some odd ingredients like salmon egg enzyme, it just didn’t do everything. It cleansed well but most reviewers felt the need to still moisturize after.
6. Glam Glow Super Cleanse Mud to Foam Daily Cleanser ($39)
What is it?  A cleanser that switches from Glamglow’s famous mud to foam.
What do the reviews say?  Reviewers really liked this product.  It cleans all traces of makeup and leaves a clean feeling. Some thought it was best to use it only once a day. Others said they used it twice. All agreed it was a good cleanser.
7. Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58)
What is it?  This is an eyeshadow palette with five seamless colors to easily blend.
What do the reviews say?  There is a lot of chatter around this product with all of it being amazing. Everyone agrees that the color options are vast, the color when applied is beautiful, and it stays put all day. It’s easy to blend the colors for a unique look.
8. Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfollient ($16)
What is it?  This is a tin of exfollient balm especially for lips. It was meant to be applied to lips, wiped off, and lipstick applied normally.
What do the reviews say? Love love love all around for this product. Reviewers claim lipstick application is easier after use of the exfollient. Also, this exfollient is supposed to moisturize lips well.
9. 100% Pure Product Line (prices vary per product)
What is it?  This is a complete line of makeup, hair, face, body, and nail products. There is even a line of baby products.   The makeup is a natural fruit pigmented line. The products are vegan and cruelty free.
What do the reviews say?  Reviews claim this is a gentle product line. It’s easy on skin. The natural pigments do not last as long as some products, but overall the reviewers like this brand.
10. Redken Metal Fix ($28)
What is it? This is a pomade that comes in either silver or gold to add special highlights on a semi-permanent basis.
What do the reviews say? Mad love abounds for this product. The word is that application is simple and are able to control how many highlights are added. It’s called the next trend in hair color.

 

Photo Credit: Fons Heijnsbroek

Cosmetics Cruelty Free Nail care Skin care

10 Best Inexpensive Sensitive Skin Care Products

October 23, 2015
12543207913_0b19d70023_b

I’ve gotten several positive comments on a recent post about some of my favorite sensitive skin products. One of the items on the list peaked the curiosity of several people because it was inexpensive and a great product for those of us who battle sensitive skin. It was suggested I continue that list to include some budget-friendly options. So here you have it!  These are my choices for non-budget busting beauty products.

1. Simple Skincare Cleansers ($5.99)
Let’s start with the brand that initiated this post. I professed my love for Simple’s Kind to Eyes Makeup Remover Pads. So let’s continue spreading some more love for the brand. The Simple product line has several cleansers. Foaming, micellar, moisturizing, and a smoothing scrub are all part of this line. It’s easy to find one that is just right.  The entire line of cleansers contain minimal ingredients and are super gentle. No dyes, perfumes, or known irritants make it perfect for sensitive skin.  Many gentle cleansers don’t always remove all the makeup. That isn’t the case with these. Skin feels clean and not overly dry. Added vitamins make it extra good for your skin. My personal favorite is the Simple Smoothing Scrub.  It isn’t harsh like a lot of facial scrubs either. Both of my kids use this product line. Gentle but effective, and budget-friendly make Simple cleansers great. Oh, and this line is cruelty-free. Winner!

2. Burt’s Bees Cranberry and Pomagranate Sugar Scrub ($13.00)
Most people think of lip balm when thinking Burt’s Bees. I love all their lip balms, lip tints, and lip glosses. I have them in the car, my purse, everywhere.  I also like BB’s all-over body scrub because it exfoliates skin for a nice glow and soft feel. I’ve avoided body scrubs in the past since I have sensitive skin. That much abrasion irritates sensitive skin like crazy. This scrub by Burt’s Bees doesn’t do that. Natural ingredients I can pronounce like sugar, cranberry seed, shea butter, and sunflower oil make me feel good about what I’m using. There are no tiny plastic scrubby beads either so it’s environmentally friendly and it is cruelty-free.

3. Gud by Burt’s Bees Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, and Lotion ($7.00)
Since we are talking about Burt’s Bees, let’s talk about their Gud product line. This is a line of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body wash, and even body wipes. What I like most about this product line is I can have the same scent in all my products. I like that layering option. My favorite is Mango Moonbreeze. There are five other great scents, too. Similar to the Burt’s Bees line, ingredients are minimal and pronounceable. There is no irritation or redness when using these beautifully scented products, either. It washes off clean, leaves a great scent, and does a great job of cleaning. Of course, this line is cruelty-free. It’s a great line to start a tween on, too. Thumbs up!

4. Albabotanica Good and Clean Pore Purifying Mini Peel ($8.99)
The Albabotantica line is pretty extensive.  Ive not tried all the products in this line but I do particularly like the mini peel with Alpha Hydroxy. Using it a couple times a month gives a deep clean and smooth feeling to my skin. Like so many other products, I’ve avoided peels. After a disasterous peel that left my sensitive skin red and irritated for days, I avoided them like the plague. Why I bought this on a whim, I can’t say. I’m glad I did.  There are no artificial colors, fragrances, or other ingredients I don’t feel good about. Again, it’s cruelty-free. What’s not to love?  I plan to explore this brand further and blog about this line more.

5. Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Foundation ($14.95)
There was a time when makeup was just about the last thing on my list. With two small children, studying for graduate school, and a husband who worked crazy hours, it was progress just to shower most days. When I did wear makeup, it wasn’t pricy. It was what I could grab in the drug or discount store as I purchased other items for my family.  Most of the makeup I grabbed quickly I didn’t like. Physicians Formula foundation was one I found in the big box store that I actually did like.  It goes on light, but it can be added to for more full coverage. It looks natural and not cakey. It isn’t greasy. There are several shades to choose from. Application is smooth. There is no irritation or redness after removal. It’s a solid foundation when you are on a budget.

6. Pacifica brand makeup, body care, fragrance ($5.00–$30.00)
I think this is my favorite cruelty-free brand out there right now. (Okay, I may have said that about the Simple line, too?). Pacifica works hard to make sure their products are safe for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin folks. Their fragrance line has 17-18 different scents to please everyone. Tahitian Garden is my favorite. The fragrance lasts most of the day – like the majority of the perfumes out there. Their Skin Renewal Micro Dermabrasion Scrub is fabulous, too. Again, no irritation because what goes into Pacifica is good. If you only pick one product line on this list. Pick this one. From makeup to hair care to perfumes and scented lotions, Pacifica will have something for a sensitive skin gal.

7. Sally Hansen fingernail polish ($3.00–$7.00)
Michele, will disagree on this one, but I’m not quite as into polish as she is. I like this polish. It gives good coverage, most of the time in one coat. It lasts as long as any other polish does on me. This polish is always forgiving and easy to use. It does not irritate the skin around my nails. It comes in millions of colors and lasts several days.  At this price you can buy ten polishes and paint every finger or toe a different color.  I do not think this line is cruelty-free, though. Thumbs down for that, but it’s a solid purchase overall.

8. Almay One Coat Lengthening Mascara ($4.97)
Almay is not cruelty-free, that’s for sure. It IS recognized as a good brand for contact lens wearers or those with sensitive eyes, though. I suppose there is some give and take here on the whole animal testing issue and making the product extra safe. My point isn’t to argue either side but to list budget-friendly products I like. I like this mascara. It’s gentle. It comes off easy at night and it doesn’t smear during the day. Best of all for this redhead, it comes in a brown color. That is harder to find than you think. This mascara stands out above most for those with sensitive eyes.

9. NYX Finishing Makeup Setting Spray Matte or Dewy ($7.99)
On the previous list I told the Internet of my love for Urban Decay Setting Spray. I stand by that completely. If you are on a budget and find that one out of your price range (which I do a lot) NYX has a good spray also. I like that you can choose between dewy or matte finish. I’ve bought both and like them both, though I tend to buy the matte more often. NYX keeps the makeup in place, doesn’t make my face itch, and the price is right. I think Urban Decay keeps my makeup in place longer than NYX, but I’ve done no official test. Overall, NYX does the job for less.

10. LUSH Bath Bombs, Bath Melts, and Bar Soap ($5.00-$8.00)
What list of loves doesn’t have at least one LUSH item on it?  Especially if it’s on this blog site. It’s LUSH love around here all the time. Yes, some of their products like facial moisturizers are a bit pricy (but worth it). While others are very reasonable. LUSH is a believer in scent affects mood. I am, too. A yummy smelling soap, or calming scented bath can change my mood instantly. There are so many fabulous scents by LUSH in their soaps and bath products to have a different one everyday for weeks. There are no harsh ingredients. No irritation. No weird ingredients. LUSH is a sensitive skin girl’s dream. With a few dollars, LUSH gives a spa-like experience with no worries. The brand is environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, and just all-around the best.

So there you have it–my picks for budget-friendly beauty products. They are out there. Let us know what your faves are.

 

Photo Credit: Taryn Nefdt

Cosmetics Cruelty Free Fragrance Skin care

10 Best Products for Sensitive Skin

October 16, 2015
5335735363_ac2b8eeb66_b

Sensitive skin is the worst. The itchy red patches, the bumps or welts, all make choosing beauty products a tough job. Just because a product says its for sensitive skin, doesn’t mean it will work.  In many cases, those of us with sensitive skin have full-blown allergies to deal with, as well. But I’ve found a few products made for us that are worth the hype.

1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39.00)
This foundation actually feels good going on. Tarte isn’t into using a lot of chemicals so their foundation is much less irritating. In fact, they pack a lot of good things into this foundation to help soothe skin. There are tons of shades to choose from so it’s easy to find a perfect match to your skin tone.  The coverage is a good medium coverage, in my opinion. It’s buildable though, so it could very easily be a full coverage foundation like the name describes.  Tarte is cruelty-free, too. Yippie!

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush ($28.00)
This blush glides on. You can use as little or as much as you’d like. It blends like a dream, and my cheeks don’t itch or break out after application like with many products. Again, the ingredients are minimal and great for sensitive skin. There are tons of colors so it actually made picking one difficult. Oh, and being cruelty-free like the rest of the Tarte line makes it perfect. Tarte for the win!

3.  It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil ($24.00)
I snickered at the term “universal.”  Not only do I have sensitive skin, but I’m a redhead. They seem to go together. Finding a “universal” product that includes us redheads is impossible. Or so I thought. This pencil works great. It makes my brows look natural, but gives them color and depth. No itching or redness around my brows either. Oh yeah, this line is cruelty-free, as well.

4. Bare Minerals Powder Eyecolor ($14.00)
Really any of the Bare Minerals powder in their foundation, blush, and shadow lines are good for sensitive skin. There isn’t a lot of unnecessary ingredients and all their products have staying power. I never worry about the sensitive skin around my eyes when I use Bare Minerals. Some brands of eye shadow have made my lids itchy and red with weird dry patches. Not Bare Minerals. It’s a great go-to brand when all the others get tossed aside. Bare Minerals is also cruelty-free. (I’m seeing a pattern evolve here.)

5. Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray ($14.00-$30.00)
This is one of my favorites that isn’t cruelty-free. While some label the brand CF, its parent company is not. Is that splitting hairs?  Maybe. I’m just giving the information. I love the spray, honestly. Something that gets put on the entire face makes me nervous. An itchy red eyelid or patch on the cheek is bad enough, but to have your entire face react to a product is the pits. Unfortunately, it happens to those of us with sensitive skin if we aren’t careful.  Urban Decay’s setting spray really works, and my skin feels great when I use it. It dries fast. Makes my makeup look dewy but not oily. It has no discernible  scent. Best of all, it makes my makeup last longer without crazy reactions.

6. Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser and Oil-Free Moisturizer ($22.00 and $28.50)
Awhile back, I wrote about my search for a new cleansing system because Origins is not cruelty-free. I’m still on that search. Origins is hard to beat for sure. I have not found a product line I buy into and love as much as Origins, but I have promised myself I would. I’d like to phase out all the products that aren’t cruelty-free eventually, so the search for great CF products is ongoing. For now, I have to give Origins props for helping out those of us with sensitive skin. The cleanser gets rid of all traces of makeup. It does not over-dry the skin. The moisturizer is light, not too oily, and keeps skin with just the right moisture balance. Origins, if you were only cruelty-free, I’d sing your praises more.

7. Dr Brandt Pores No More Refiner Primer ($15.00-$45.00)
Here’s a product line on the pricy side, but good heavens does it work!  On a whim I bought this primer. I bought a small one so I didn’t feel too guilty if it didn’t minimize pores like many products claim to do.  Wow!  I loved it. It isn’t greasy. My pores around my nose disappeared. My sensitive skin felt wonderful, and my foundation went on smoothly over this primer. It’s a dream. It’s cruelty-free, too.  I’m in love with whoever this Dr Brandt is. After trying some sample sizes, I’d say the Dr. Brandt product line would replace my disappointing love for Origins if I could afford their cleanser and moisturizer ($35.00 and $60.00).  But alas, I can’t. For now, I’ll sing the praises of the primer though, and pray Origins becomes cruelty-free or Dr Brandt goes on sale permanently.

8. The Clean Perfume Line ($18.00-$72.00)
For those of us with sensitive skin, it doesn’t stop at the neck. Many perfumes and perfumed lotions make my arms and legs itch. Spraying perfume directly on the body is like dipping some sensitive skin people in acid. More often than not, I spray the perfume on my clothing, not my body. The lotions, I choose carefully. The Clean line is not like that for me. I don’t itch when I apply the lotion. The perfume does not make my neck turn into one giant itchy welt. Oh, and every one of their scents smell amazing. Yep, the product line is cruelty-free, too.

9. Simple Kind To Eyes Makeup Remover Pads ($5.99)
God bless a cruelty-free product line that is less expensive. Michele already talked about how going cruelty-free is not always cheap. This is one product that can be found in most drug and discount stores. The skin around the eyes is very delicate for everyone, not just those of us with sensitive skin. These inexpensive rounds remove all traces of eye makeup without making my skin feel like it’s burning. Contact lens wearers also worry about harsh makeup removers. Not with Simple. This product gets a very big thumbs up for being budget-friendly, cruelty-free, and great for sensitive skin.

10. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer ($22.00)
Let’s end where we began. Oh Tarte, I love you more everyday. Like I said before, delicate skin around the eyes needs special care for everyone. I worry about eye makeup and what goes into it. Least of all, I don’t want needless wrinkles that didn’t come from living life. While worst case scenario, I don’t want to harm my vision. I never worry with the Tarte product line. This primer really does help my lashes look longer and thicker. It doesn’t clump or smear. It helps my mascara stay in place. I don’t notice dark circles under my eyes at the end of the day where my mascara gradually leapt from my lashes to under my eyes. No itching or redness from Tarte’s primer either. (Now, Tarte, please make a brown mascara for us redheads. Pretty please. I promise to write about it.)

Okay sensitive skin peeps–speak up. Tell us what products you love, or hate. These are mine, and I’m sure my list will always be changing as I find product lines I love AND can afford.

 

Photo Credit: garlandcannon

Beauty Boxes Cosmetics Nail care

Another reason to love Julep

October 13, 2015
12070671_1647498315534921_2101796264_n

I like a good surprise. I do. What I like more is picking things I enjoy.

As I continue to receive Julep boxes, I discover that they let you be surprised or pick what you want, and it’s that ability to choose that makes me love them more and more.

My daughter is 12, and we share the box (she currently has orange and black nails for Halloween), so we want to make sure that what we get each month has something for both of us. Each month, Julep sends an email to a link that tells exactly what we’ll receive.

Last month, she really wanted a new green polish. We weren’t scheduled for one, so we picked the color we liked least and hit the ‘Swap It’ button. That brings up a screen full of options we can choose instead. She chose a deep, forest green polish named Anya.

IMG_1170

In some lights, it’s a deep green, but in others, it’s almost black. It’s just beautiful. Perfect for fall.

We knew we could swap one product, but we decided to test it and see how many we could customize. We ended up swapping all three of the products in our box for ones we chose ourselves. We got the Anya green polish, a bottle of the Julep polish remover and an eye shadow.

Now, we’re pretty devoted Zoya polish remover users. It’s in a groovy, no-spill pump, and it smells good, which is unheard of for a remover. But if we could try the Julep as part of a box, we decided it was a good deal. Their’s, too, comes in a no-spill pump, and it’s moisturizing, too, for your nail beds. We’ve only used it once, so we’re still deciding. We’ll let you know if we prefer it to the Zoya.

She picked the polish, so I picked an eye shadow. It’s called Feels Like Velvet, and it does glide on really smoothly. I haven’t had any trouble with it coming off or fading during the day. I also find that I can apply it with a dry brush for a sheer look or with a wet brush for a darker, more intense look.

IMG_1169

 

In this box, all subscribers received one free extra product (in both of the boxes I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten an extra product – one their new signature shade & then this). It’s one of their It’s Balm lip colors. I admit I’m loving it, too. It goes on like a nice lip balm but with more than a hint of color.

IMG_1174

We loved all of these products. Why wouldn’t we? We picked all of them. The ability to swap out things we don’t like – even if it’s every single product – is a big bonus for Julep and their boxes. Will I do this with every box? Probably not. A surprise here and there is good. And if I get something neither of us like, I can always gift that to someone else.

But to be able to try their beauty products and to know that we’re going to like what we get is a huge deal for me. You can try Julep for as little as $3 for your first box. After that, boxes are $24.99. In addition to having the ability to swap out products, you have the ability to say that you don’t want a box that month or to gift your box to someone else that month.

You’ll fill out a survey to determine your best box – your Maven Style Profile – and you’ll be off and running. You also have the option at various times to purchase additional add-ons and mystery boxes, all at vastly reduced prices (I bought 10 polishes which typically run $14 each for $20. Birthday goodie bags had very nice $2 polishes this year.).

Choice. I’m a fan.

 

Photo Credit: Julep Maven via Instagram

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

CF Drugstore Brand Reviews

October 2, 2015
5386652226_b44ecaf24a_b

Here’s the thing. Buying Cruelty Free can be expensive.

There. That’s out there. Now, I told LeeAnn when she first began her 40s ReStyle that she didn’t have to switch her products that she didn’t have to make a complete switch or even switch everything all at once (all of which I’m pretty sure she ignored).

The testing process is more expensive when it’s done ethically. But most of us don’t have an endless supply of beauty-dedicated funds, so we began to search out and try CF lines that you can get at your fave Target or big box store.

We tried NYX, e.l.f., and flower (Drew Barrymore’s line at Wal-mart) for cosmetics. We’ve also tried some inexpensive skin care lines, but we’ll cover those another day.

There were some hits and misses here, mostly misses, I’m afraid.

NYX

You can buy this at your drugstore chains, Target, and Ulta. I bought a mascara (trying to give up my favorite CK-1) and a lipstick. The lipstick was nice. It was creamy with a full pigmentation. I’ve had lip issues this year, so I’m particular. This didn’t dry my lips out, so I was pleasantly surprised. The color was a little off for me. though. The downside of a less expensive brand is that you can’t swipe a test patch on your hand before buying. LeeAnn now has this tube and likes both the color and the creaminess.

I would, however, give the lipstick another try in another shade.

The mascara, on the other hand, not so much. Whatever I paid for it was a waste. It was like I was waving an empty wand over my lashes. Nothing ever happened. Ever. I was startled at the difference between the CK-1 I had been using and this. Please don’t buy this.

e.l.f.

I was very excited to try this one because I had read such glowing reviews. Again, I bought a mascara. I added an eye shadow to this purchase. The eye shadow didn’t have enough pigment to give me much coverage at all. I had to add layer after layer to get any color on my lids. I added the mascara to my lashes, and they did look fuller, which was nice.

It took about three minutes – max – for my eyes to begin to burn. And I’m not talking a light tingle. I’m talking I couldn’t wash my eyes fast enough. I threw both products out immediately. Do. Not. Buy. This. I’m not sure what’s in these products, but anything that makes skin & eyes burn has to be bad.

flower

I wanted to try these myself because I might have a girl crush on Drew Barrymore, but I refuse to shop at Wal-mart, so LeeAnn bought and tried these. She bought multiple eye shadows. The shadows looked good but within a few days, her eyes were itching and watering, a result of a reaction to the new shadows. So, again, we have to suggest, don’t do it.

Other Options

More expensive brands like Tarte, Urban Decay and Bare Minerals all have good products. Sale shopping can make a more expensive brand close to equal in price, especially if a sale is combined with coupons at places like Ulta. Much as I love fabulous cosmetics, I’d rather have three or four really great products that work beautifully than a drawer full of things that harm my skin and don’t work well at all.

Let us know what your favorite CF brands are so we can try them. Or if you’re looking for a specific CF product, let us know that, too, and if we don’t already have a brand we love & can suggest, we’ll do some testing. For now, buy the NYX lipstick & skip the others.

 

Photo Credit: Wonderlane

Cosmetics Skin care

10 Tips to Help You Create Your Own Best 40s ReStyle Look

August 10, 2015
4810251509_6f8e4a6c9b_b

I recently read an article filled with makeup tips. Some were useful. Others…not so much. Most were too specific, not age appropriate, or too complicated. All these tips got me thinking.  What are the basics of good makeup habits?  What are some tips and tricks I wish I’d known sooner?  I bet there are thousands of things, but here’s what came to mind first.

1.  Keep it in place.

A setting spray can extend the life of your makeup. Especially if your skin is oily or you live in a humid area like I do, a setting spray can be a life saver.  Also, when using powder over foundation, it can cake and look like I stuck my face in a bowl of flour if I’m not careful. A setting spray tones the powdery look down.

2. Have kissable lips.

It’s one of the first beauty products we use as pre-teens for good reason. A good lip balm is worth a million dollars. Whatever the brand of choice, lip balms keep lips from chapping, cracking, and peeling.  Wear it under lipstick or apply it each night before bed for beautiful lips.

3. Moisturize!  Moisturize! MOISTURIZE!

Even if you have sensitive or oily skin, MOISTURIZE!   Our skin craves moisture.  Find a moisturizer for your skin type and use it.  For that matter, find a body lotion you love and put it on after a shower for maximum impact. Your skin will thank you.

4. Eyebrows matter.

Most prefer a natural brow, but don’t skip the brow altogether or forget to trim them from time to time.  Brows frame our faces and are one of the first things people notice.  Forgetting the eyebrow may be a no-no, but overdoing it may not be the best approach either.  Try not to over-arch, over-pluck, or over-color the brow. A perfectly arched, filled-in brow can make a complete difference in how we look, and it works with any makeup style.

5. Blend!

Blend your foundation into your hair line and along your neck. Blend your blush to look natural. Blend your eye shadow so it’s not striped or streaky. Blend for heaven sakes!  Blend!

6. Add a glow.

A strategic touch of illuminizer on cheeks, chin, and nose adds just the right glow. A little goes a long way. You don’t want to sparkle like a teenage vampire.  Illuminizers can also be used under brows to give a wider eye and on the center of lips to make them look fuller.

7. Keep it balanced.

Don’t skip your bottom lashes. Take the time to put a bit of mascara on them. Heavy mascara on top lashes and nothing on the bottom looks unbalanced.  Yes, they are harder to do, but worth the time.  Also, since we are talking mascara, do both sides of those top lashes.

8.  Nix facial hair.

Wax it, shave it, or use a hair removal cream.  Facial hair between eyebrows, on cheeks, and lips can take the focus off of gorgeous qualities we try to enhance. However, you chose to do it…remove it.

9. Make that eyeshadow last.

There are a million products out there to make your eye shadow last all day. Primers and creams galore promise to make your eye shadow stay.  One simple tip is to wet your powder shadow. A dab of mineral water or contact lens solution on your applicator brush makes the color stick around a lot longer.

10. Say no to Benzoyl Peroxide.

Even at this stage of life, going through my 40sRestyle, I still have a pimple occasionally. Spot treatments with Benzoyl Peroxide dry my skin out so badly.  It peels off in layers leaving a scabby ugly spot that takes days to heal. Instead of using harsh acne treatments, dab a small amount of Neosporin on the spot.  By the next day the pimple is all but healed. The skin around the pimple isn’t dry either so it’s much easier to apply makeup over it.

So 40sReStylers, what are some more must-share tips? Feel free to add yours.

 

Photo Credit: Courtney Rhodes

Beauty Boxes Cosmetics Cruelty Free Skin care

Cruelty Free Subscription Box: PetitVour Review

July 6, 2015
IMG_0657

For Christmas last year, I got each of my kids a subscription box as a gift. The teenage boy received Loot Crate, and Little Bit received Boodle Box (she has since switched to iBBeautiful on LeeAnn’s recommendation).

Soon after, LeeAnn said she had begun receiving the ipsy bag. Loads of folks on my Facebook feed were raving about their ipsy hauls, too. I’m rarely a joiner, but if we’re talking beauty bags, I wanted to play. So I looked around at the options, and I bucked the trend and went with Birchbox instead. Birchbox seemed to offer more skincare than cosmetics, and that’s more my style. I got the box for three months, and was pleased with the samples I received on the whole.

For $15 a month, I was introduced to some nice products (one, in particular that I will stick with for a while) and was able to share some products that I didn’t so much like. But I was already a little bored, so I started looking around again and found PetitVour, a box with all Cruelty Free and vegan products. Same price. Products more in line with the way I think and shop. So I dropped Birchbox (but not before cashing in my points and getting a free product) and picked up PetitVour.

The full contents of my first PetitVour box.

The full contents of my first PetitVour box.

 

While there were only four products in the PetitVour box (and I usually received five in Birchbox), I have loved all of them. With the exception of the 100% Pure cleansing brush, I will most likely purchase either a full size version of each of these products or I will buy another product from the company sampled. And in the case of the brush, they just gave me what I would have needed. And it’s really nice – such soft bristles for massaging cleansers or masks into the skin.

I think that for a sample box, this was a pretty good return. For less than the cost of a lunch out, PetitVour introduced me to four new companies and shown me four really great new products.

The Fior Minerals eye liner is wonderful. I’m not a young woman, and I have a difficult time finding liners that I like. I’m not steady enough to use liquid liners well, but I need a soft liner so it doesn’t tug at my eyelids. This eye liner is super soft and smudges beautifully. But it is also highly pigmented, so the color stays all day. And it arrived in brown. I get so annoyed when sample eye liners are always in purple (maybe just mine?). I cannot tell you how many purple eye liners I have.

IMG_0713

It looked like a small, sample sized eye liner, but when I took the lid off, I realized the lid hid half the liner. It appears to be a full size liner. I’ll buy more of these in different colors.

I’m a sucker for fun company names, and Meow Meow Tweet wins this box’s prize for that category. In this month’s box, everyone got to sample either the Facial Cleanser or the Spot Serum. I lucked into the cleanser. I’m not going to lie, it’s odd. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and only this week have I decided that I really do like it. And I mean I really like it.

IMG_0712

The Meow Meow Tweet cleanser is a liquid that is supposed to be gently massaged onto your face. It has a milky appearance and feels almost as an oil on your skin. But when I rinsed my face, all of my makeup was gone, and my face didn’t feel dry or oily either. It just felt really smooth and soft. Again, it took me a while to decide I liked it, mainly because the whole experience was just so different. But my skin looks good, and it feels good.

I like the fact that you can order the smaller, 1 oz. sample size on the website, too, to try before buying the full size version. Many of their products offer the mini versions for sampling. Given what products cost, in general, this is a big bonus in my book.

The dark horse in this race was the Jacq’s Organics face mask. It looks unassuming in packaging and when opened. But it’s ah-mazing. Truly. I like every, everything about it.

IMG_0711

This mask is a dry powder. You add your own water to activate the mask. I adore this. Seriously. Any product that arrives in my possession as a dry powder asking me to add my own water is automatically in my top 20 list. Dry products conserve water in general, which is important for our environment. They also last longer because there is no risk of contamination. You can set that sucker on your shelf forever if you want. Love.

I also like that you can add exactly as much water as you want. Add more if you like a thinner paste, less for a really thick paste. Love.

It smells wonderful. My husband suggested it smelled like pine trees, but all I could smell was the peppermint oil. My pre-teen daughter and I both used it at the same time, and she hated it because it dried on her skin. She hates a drying mask. It’s a shame because her skin honestly glowed when she took the mask off. It sucked up all of the awful pre-teen facial oil and made her skin look lovely. It still looks good days later.

With my dry skin, I was worried it would make it even drier, but I applied a really thick coat of the mask so it didn’t dry out too much, and it was really nice. I applied a good moisturizer right after, and all was well. This is the 1 oz. sample size, and I expect we’ll get six or eight uses out of it.

I’m already excited to see what new products will be in my next PetitVour box. (Let me know if you’d like to try it. I’ll give you my info & I think we both get a little something happy.)

Now, the PetitVour points system isn’t great, from what I can see so far. Best I can tell, Birchbox has the best points system. In three months, I earned enough points to get a $20 product for free. But I think I’ll enjoy the PetitVour products more, so that’s good enough for me.

If I had unlimited disposable income, I’d subscribe to multiple, multiple boxes. Alas, you noticed I mentioned the children.

But I like them, so for now, PetitVour and iBBeautiful are the boxes we’re enjoying around here.