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Skin care

Masks 101… the 40s ReStyle Way

June 30, 2016

A mask is the favorite part of a facial for most women. Skin can feel clean and bright. It can feel tighter and younger looking.

IF – and that’s a big IF – the right product is used.

If not, the skin can turn out red, irritated, broken out, and itchy or burning. Then, we just want to hide for days. Bottom line is: that sucks!  Read on for some useful info about masks. Hopefully it will help in choosing the correct one a bit easier.

ūüíčThere are three main types of masks:¬† Clay, Cream/Gel, and Setting masks.¬† Clay masks, including mud masks, help absorb oil. Cream and gel masks are designed to provide deep moisture. Setting masks turn hard and are meant to peel off. Their job is to cool and refresh tired skin. Knowing your skin type is important so the right masks can be applied. For example, my skin tends to be oily. A cream or gel mask is probably not what I need. I’d opt for a clay mask or a nice refreshing setting mask.

ūüíčThat brings us to goal. What is the reason for a mask treatment?¬† While I narrowed down that a cream/gel mask isn’t right for my skin type, I need to decide next if I just want to pep up tired skin or soak up oil. Once you know your skin type, decide next what you hope to accomplish.

ūüíčSteer clear of masks with a list of ingredients a mile long. The more ingredients, the more things the skin can react to. Masks stay in contact with the skin for as much as fifteen to thirty minutes. That’s a lot of contact with ingredients that can help or harm the skin.

ūüíčTry making your own mask. Common ingredients such as honey, baking soda, plain yogurt, eggs, and many fruits and veggies are excellent ingredients for a mask. Look online to find millions of recipes for millions of skin concerns. No need to worry about tons of ingredients then.

ūüíčRemember any allergies. If it causes an allergic reaction when ingested, it can do the same if it comes in contact with the skin–and vise versa.

ūüíčSensitive skin trumps all advice. Some people, no matter how much they would like to use some beauty products, just can’t. Some skin can be so ultra sensitive to products that doing masks and such are just not possible. If that’s the case, then don’t do it!

ūüíčIf while the mask is on, the skin gets itchy, red, swollen, too tingly (some masks are made to tingle), or just down right burns or hurts, remove immediately. Cleanse gently and follow with a moisturizer. If the pain, itch, or swelling continue contact a professional.

ūüíčTry a pre-mask treatment. These primers help prepare skin for the mask.

ūüíčTry using multiple masks at once. This works especially well for those with combination skin. Try a clay mask on areas that tend to be more oily like the T-zone and a cream mask on cheeks that need more moisture.

ūüíčSome masks do double duty as a scrub (exfoliant) and mask. If it doesn’t work as a mask, try it as a scrub before you write it off completely.

ūüíčTry the latest trend in masks–the sheet mask. They are paper masks with precut holes for eyes, nose, and mouth. The product is on the paper. Sheet masks do much the same thing as clay, cream/gel, and setting masks with the added convenience of not having to apply it. (I have trouble with them slipping, but I’ve heard others rave about them.)

ūüíčSome masks I’d recommend are: Origins Retexturing Rose Mask, Origins Charcoal Pore Cleaning Mask, the GlamGlow line, First Aid Beauty Oatmeal Mask, Jacq Organics Green Smoothie Mask. Also try the Origins Mask Primer.

ūüíčLastly, try a cruelty free mask, one with sustainable or recyclable packaging, or one that comes in a powder to use minimal water. You know, because doing something good for the world feels good, too.

Now, go be fabulous!

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

Dreaming of the perfect lashes

May 13, 2016

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

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.

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 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.

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.
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.

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.


13 Fragrances to Lust After

December 22, 2015
I have an obsession. ¬†I love perfume. Love love love it! ¬†It’s one of those things that enhances my mood, makes me feel pretty, and it’s what I most closely associate with femininity. ¬†When I was a child, the women in my life all wore perfume. While none of my grandmothers or my mother were super girly and into cosmetics, perfume was something they did wear.

As I got older, I wanted to wear makeup, yes. I really, REALLY wanted to wear perfume, though. ¬†I wanted all the perfume sets that came with lotion and powder (Yes, powder was included back in the day.). Commercials for Enjoli, Charlie, Gloria Vanderbilt, Poison, Obsession, Love’s Baby Soft, Exclamation spoke to me. (Yes, I grew up in the 80s.).

If it was popular, I wanted it. I had no regard for what smelled good on me. I knew nothing about body chemistry or top notes and base notes. I just knew that to feel grown up, I needed the most popular perfumes. As I’ve gotten older, I have not lost any love for perfume, and I can still sing the Enjoli song, too.

There was nothing subtle about the 80s. Perfume was as bold as the neon colors that were all the rage. We really didn’t give a thought to how over-powering our perfume was. Times have changed, and so has the approach to perfume. Today we are more conscientious about offending others with our perfume. Our goal isn’t to go big anymore. It’s about leaving behind a tiny hint of something wonderful.

Today’s approach is more about leaving them wanting more, not have them begging for you to leave. I’ve learned to be more subtle with perfume, but I still like to experiment. ¬†I like to change scents with seasons or on a whim. While I’ve learned what smells best on me and how to wear it, there’s always something new out there. I’m always looking.

One of my favorite things are perfume samples. Seriously! ¬†Who wants to drop $100 on what you think is a great perfume and then have it smell horrible on you? A quick spritz in the store isn’t an accurate picture of the fragrance. Recently, I’ve made it my mission to find new perfumes to try.

To do that, I need samples. ¬†I’ve subscribed to perfume sample boxes, requested samples in stores, used my points at Sephora and Ulta on samples, or even purchased small coffret bottles from various designers to check out the entire perfume line. There are some amazing perfumes out there. These are the ones that stand out to me. Some are individual scents. Others are complete product lines with lots of choices. Maybe you’d like to give them a try, too.

1) Roses de Chloe

I tend to shy away from strong rose scents. It always seems old fashioned to me. It reminds me of a turn-of-the-century female character in old movies dabbing on a small bit of perfume. That is NOT Roses de Chloe. This one is pleasant, subtle, and long-lasting. ¬†It doesn’t smell old fashioned or out-of-date like some rose scents do. It’s a crisp, crystal take on a traditional scent. It ain’t your grandma’s perfume.

2) See by Chloe Eau Fraiche’

Here’s another from Chloe. I drug my feet in trying any of the Chloe scents mostly because I remember when the original came out years and years ago. ¬†(In fact, you can still buy the original on Amazon. ¬†I can only imagine what it smells like after decades.)
I didn’t want to smell as if I were stuck two decades in the past, but the bottle was beautiful and a quick sniff at the store had me requesting a sample. Once I gave it a shot, I appreciated this fragrance. See is a watery floral scent. Hyacinth is the top note. This Chloe fragrance is subtle and a fresh take on a traditional scent, too. It’s feminine and floral without being too much of either. ¬†This ain’t your momma’s perfume.

3) Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume

I’m going to jump from two traditional scents (rose and hyacinth) to something modern. This is a fragrance that celebrates the untraditional. ¬†There are eight different scents in the Juliette Has A Gun series. My favorite is called Not A Perfume. Not A Perfume is a one note fragrance advertised as the anti-perfume. Clear and mild, is how I’d best describe it. It really is the anti-perfume of the heavy 80s and 90s fragrances. Sophisticated and understated sums up Not A Perfume. This one is young and modern and not what everyone is wearing – but probably should be.

4) Philosophy My Philosophy

This is a line meant to be mixed together to discover your own signature scent, but each smells equally amazing alone. There are six single note scents that are never too much. ¬†Philosophy also makes suggestions on which scents mix well if you fear doing it yourself. ¬†My favorite is Grateful, but honestly, I like them all. ¬†This is your chance to not smell like everyone else out there. If you ever “kind of liked” a perfume but there was just something off about it, try this line of fragrances. Start simple and add only the scents you like. Mix florals, citrus, woodsy, or marine scents for your own personal fragrance.

5) Bvlgari Au The’ Vert

I do believe this one has been around awhile but Vert is crisp, clear, and discreet. Vert is a citrusy scent. It reminds me of a sweet and fruity drink. Bvlgari Au The’ Vert is part of a line including Bleu and Blanc and there are newer Bvlgari fragrances out there. Vert is fun. It’s managed to stay relevant for quite sometime. That isn’t easy in such a competitive market.
6) Vera Wang Hippie Princess
I must admit, the name drew me in and scared me simultaneously. I worried a bit because “hippie” anything makes me think earthy, burning incense, or patchouli. I’m not a big fan of those scents. If you are a fan of those, this isn’t for you. This is a fruity-floral that lingers politely. It’s one of those fragrances that makes you happy when you smell it. ¬†You won’t over-power anyone with this fragrance. You might even have people follow you around asking what perfume you wear. Everyone who smells this one seems to love it.
7) Olivine Atelier She Belongs There
The top note of this scent is gardenia. That has to be one of my favorite floral scents. This is a pure oil vegan fragrance and it is long-lasting and sensual without a heaviness. The scent is natural and alluring. ¬†There isn’t an alcohol scent to this since it’s a pure oil. As it dries down, it tends to keep a similar top, mid, and base note. Think a night in Hawaii. ¬†Who doesn’t love that?
8) Terra Nova Aire
This is a vegan scent for those who want to wear perfume, but don’t want to wear it either. It is there but it isn’t. I know, why buy and wear perfume you can hardly smell? ¬†Just when I thought this scent was gone for the day, I’d catch a whiff and love it all over again. It’s a clean mix of floral, fruit, and white tea. If I imagined a perfect breathe of fresh air, it would be this scent. The entire Terra Nova line is simple and broad for all tastes if Aire isn’t for you. I haven’t tried them all, but if Aire is any indication, Terra Nova is a winner.

9) Clean Cool Cotton

This fragrance line is also broad. It is simple and not the least bit fussy. For days you want to convey a less formal attitude, Clean is the brand you want. It makes me feel like “yeah, I smell this way all the time.” ¬†Cool Cotton smells like soap or laundry detergent to me. Some may turn up their nose at that description, but come on. Who doesn’t like the smell of something fresh and clean? ¬†All the Clean fragrances have that sentiment at heart, but Cool Cotton reminds me of freshly washed sheets and towels or just stepping out of the shower. ¬†This is another fragrance line most people enjoy–even the people who dislike perfume.
10) Kate Spade Walk On Air
I admit, maybe I like this one because I have a soft spot in my heart for an older Kate Spade perfume called Twirl. I liked Twirl because it was “perfumy” for lack of a better word. Twirl reminded me of the ¬†smell of the cosmetic section in a department store. Walk On Air is much lighter than that, though. For those of you who hate the cosmetic section, don’t count Walk On Air out because it is opposite of Twirl. While it is heavier than some on this list, it has a pleasant scent that smells sweet and green. I’d envision this as a first date perfume. It leaves behind a scent your date would remember without drowning them in perfume.
11) Bobbi Brown Beach
Most of favorites listed here have a crisp, clean aspect. While they may be citrusy, floral, green, or marine, they all have a common thread of being lighter. This one feels different to me. It is a heavier scent in my opinion, although I see it listed and described by many as light and clean. It has a summer cocoa butter soul, but a cool beach breeze intertwined. I know, that sounds silly. It reminds me of sun tan lotion, ocean water, and sand. I think Caribbean island when I wear this one. I might not wear this one year round or everyday, but it’s different from my usual. Sometimes, we all need to switch it up once in awhile.
12) Dior Jadore–When discussing classic or iconic fragrances, Dior is usually mentioned. Some find the classics too over-powering (like the cosmetic counter scent I described). Some just don’t want to smell like everyone else or walk around wearing a scent that’s twenty years old or older. ¬†I get that. Yet, there is a reason some fragrances are classic. They never feel old or out-dated. ¬†Jadore just seems to do that. It smells great on everyone. It is as floral as a perfume can get. It mixes floral scents from all over the world. Jadore lingers, but in a pleasant way. It is sophisticated but not too stuffy. Old and young both identify with this fragrance. It’s a keeper on my list.
13) Marc Jacobs Daisy
I’ve worn Marc Jacobs Lola, Oh Lola, Dot, Honey, and Daisy. I like them all. I find myself at the Marc Jacobs section in stores a lot. I have for years. Somehow this designer has managed to stay in-style for a long time. Today there are several different Daisy perfumes. I’ve sampled them and worn them, but I always go back to the original Daisy. Strawberry, violet, and vanilla are all present in Daisy. Jasmine is in there somewhere according to the manufacturer’s description, but I don’t notice it much. It is advertised as “sunshine in a bottle.” I’d say that is pretty accurate. It’s bright and summery. It lingers, but with style. Although summery, wearing it year round makes me happy. Maybe it’s the hint of vanilla, but it works in winter too.
There it is–my list of the top perfumes today. Catch me in a week or two and I’ll probably have a new one to add to the list. I’m always looking and trying new scents. ¬†Remember, perfumes smell different to different people. They also smell different when mixed with our own body chemistry. Let me know what you think about these. Feel free to share others you love, as well.


Beauty Boxes

“How to Be a Redhead” Box Rocks the Ginger World

December 15, 2015

Bags and boxes are everywhere. A subscription box with a theme, a cause, a target audience – there’s something for everyone. Subscription boxes are big right now and I wanted them ALL. We know I’m not brand loyal on most products. I want to try everything. So of course a subscription box appeals to me.

Finding the right box that works best for me was not as appealing–or easy.¬† I love love love the idea of a subscription box. Getting to discover new beauty products is so fun. For people like me who are always looking for that next great item, it’s a dream come true. I tried a couple different boxes.¬† While there was a product here or there I liked, overall the experience rated no more than an “Eh, it’s alright.”

I kept wondering, “where is that dream box with tons of samples, a full size item or two, and it’s all things I want to keep and use?” ¬†Reviews online mention them. Others have had great luck with them (i.e. Michele and PetitVour).¬† I wanted MY box.

Enter H2BAR
As I lay in bed one night, I received a message from Michele. “Here’s the box for you.” It had promise. I signed up and fell asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a minor panic attack. I had an email waiting on me from How To Be A Redhead. The email said they appreciated my interest but that I was on a waiting list. Oh crap!¬† I gave all my important info to some company I didn’t even investigate. What the hell Ambien?

My husband was going to kill me for doing this. Within hours another email arrived saying I was going to receive the November box and gave all the shipping information.¬† I hadn’t even canceled yet and decided to ride this impulse purchase out. Fingers crossed…

I studied up a bit more on H2BAR while I waited on the box.¬† I just knew it would be disappointing. But wait!!¬† Hhhhmmmm, turns out the reviews are really good. Turns out I can cancel anytime, and there is never any pressure. Turns out these boxes are amazing according to reviewers and worth every cent of $19.95. Oh, and best of all, these boxes are curated by and for redheads JUST like the name says. It isn’t a gimmick. It’s just for us.

You may ask why that is such a big deal. Yes, gingers really are different from others. Our skin is sensitive -ultra-sensitive at times. Most colors of makeup look strange on us. Our hair reacts in strange ways to products. We are different. I’m embracing it – after 40 years – but buying the right products can be tough.

Finally, the box
The November box arrived, and by this time I had fully investigated H2BAR.   I was getting excited. Rightly so. Holy moly!  This box was amazing. Seven items were in the box. Three of them were full size. THREE.  It contained a perfect shade of nail polish, a full size perfect shade of eye shadow, a full size moisturizer with spf for sensitive skin, a full size color repair spray for redheads, sample sizes of shampoo and conditioner, a sample size oil-based lotion, and a sample size exfollient.  Retail value was around $200. Geez!

The next question is how many of these were usable products–that I kept. All but one I kept. ALL BUT ONE, people!¬† (Michele got a sample size.) Best of all, not only were they usable by me, but they were AMAZING products. I began working all of it into my daily beauty routine and loved them all.

My favorite item was the Clearista Retexurizing Gel. It’s an exfollient that does what most exfollients claim but don’t deliver. There will be more written on this one in the future.

Customer Service
Now let’s talk customer service. Since I was immediately in love with the November box, I signed up for the December box with no reservations. Very quickly I got an email saying I was already signed up and there was no need to do so.¬† I was cool with that.¬† The email went on to say that since there was confusion on whether I should renew each month a surprise was headed my way. An October box would be sent to me as an apology. Huh?¬† For real?¬† I messed up, and YOU are making it right?¬† I could not love H2BAR more. Or so I thought…

The October box soon arrived. It was equally as wonderful. It also contained seven products, four being full size. I’m keeping all of them. The box contained a full size sunscreen for sensitive skin, a full size box of sunburn alert stickers, a full size reviving red oil for hair, a sheet mask for sensitive skin, shampoo and conditioner samples, a full size lipstick that is the perfect color, and a redness reducing moisturizer for sensitive skin. The moisturizer was my favorite and there’s more to come on that one, too. Retail value for this box was nearly $200 as well. Wowzers!

So H2BAR rocks. Really!  Honest to God, it is the best thing out there in the subscription box world. Yes it is for redheads or want-to-be redheads. I only hope all you other beautiful women find a box you love this much. It is worth it. I have found that dream box. Michele was right. It was the box for me and I should have known to trust her instincts and mine, too Рeven when half asleep.

Addendum: The December box arrived. I was just as pleased. Not one bad box yet.


Photo Credit: photo care of the H2BAR website

Cosmetics Cruelty Free Fragrance Skin care

Top 10 Holiday Wish List Products

November 25, 2015

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
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

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

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

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.


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.



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.


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