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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

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

CF Drugstore Brand Reviews

October 2, 2015

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.


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.


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.


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

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


Here they are: Products that didn’t make the 40s ReStyle cut.

June 28, 2015

We’ve all heard that warning “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Or come sit by me and say something that isn’t nice.”

Regardless of how YOU view saying not-so-nice things, it kind of makes me uncomfortable–especially in a public forum such as this. Yet, that is what this forum is for. I’ve shared with you my love for Bare Minerals, Origins, and even Loreal. Today I feel the need to discuss two products: Sephora Eye Mask and Urban Decay shadow primer.

I will start with saying that I love Sephora. I love their products, samples, VIB Beauty Insider club, and helpful staff.  I love it all. I love their line of makeup and their online store. I buy all my products there. I research new products there. I create long list of things I love because who knows, I might get amnesia and can’t remember what products I used and loved.

I bought two products recently from Sephora.  The Sephora Eye Mask ($6.00 for one mask set) and Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion Tube Original ($12.00–$20.00 depending on size).

The Sephora Eye Masks come in eight different scents and are supposed to do different things.  I purchased the pearl one. It felt good and smelled good. It was supposed to help irregularities around the eyes and help their contour. Again, it felt good and smelled good, but I did not see any of the results they suggested. My husband is a pharmacist. He said to put tea bags on your eyes. The caffeine will help them puff up a bit and you will look rested and have fewer wrinkles temporarily. He also suggested I could use them cool or warm. Whichever I liked. I think I’m going to embrace that home remedy and save the $6.00 I spent on the Sephora Eye Mask.

The Urban Decay shadow primer reinforced my fear of wrinkles. It showed every little crease on my eyelid. The combination of primer and eyeshadow made me look like I had wrinkles all over both lids. The worst was that my eyeshadow faded after a few hours. So wrinkles and faded eye shadow puts this product into the not-worth-it-give-it-to-a-friend-pile.  The next day I used some of the Bare Minerals primer on the eyelids. It worked as well as Urban Decay to keep my eye shadow on most of the day. It also didn’t settle in the wrinkles either, making them more obvious. My take, use your face primer on your lids, and get some tea bags for your eyes.

See, I just saved you money. Go me.


Photo Credit: Courtney Rhodes


Deslick that Oil with Urban Decay

May 17, 2015

Something happened when I hit 40. After revamping my skin care and foundation, I felt the need for products–lots of products.  I had success with a new skin care line and new foundation. I suppose I was giddy with success.  I was full-on 40s Restyle.

A product would claim to get rid of wrinkles?  Don’t mind if I do.  Highlights eyes?  Well, who wouldn’t want that?  Makes your eyes bigger and lashes longer?  Yes, please.

I asked my long time friend and makeup guru, “Do I need a finishing spray?  I just started using a primer. This is really starting to sound like I buy all my makeup in the paint section of a hardware store, not a cosmetic counter.”

Whatever it sounded like, I suddenly felt the pull to purchase primers and finishing sprays and everything else, though. I was a salesperson’s dream. Where did this come from?  I had no idea. I waffled between buying it all and thinking so much for fresh faced and minimal. I kept telling myself that I was getting into serious makeup now. I’d ask myself if I really wanted this.  Sometimes I laid out all my new makeup purchases and still felt like a little girl playing in her mother’s makeup drawer. So why did I feel the need to purchase these products at forty-something but I never felt that way before?

I quickly realized some of these products lived up to the hype. Some products were kind of decent. Other products were a load of crap, and I wished I’d never given money for them.

One product worth every penny was Urban Decay Deslick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray (1 oz. $14.00). It gives a dewy glow without being shiny and oily looking. It really does help the makeup last longer throughout the day. I have also noticed far less oil as the day progresses. Best of all, in my opinion, it cuts down on the powdery look that is easy to get as we get older when using a setting/finishing powder over our foundation.  The spray has not caused my sensitive skin to breakout either–big plus and a deal breaker if it had. So to answer my own question, evidently I do need a finishing spray–but only if it’s Urban Decay.


Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley