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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 – even 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 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

Cruelty Free

Make your 40sReStyle a Little Kinder

August 21, 2015

Honesty time…
Pure, unvarnished truth coming your way…

I’ve occasionally gotten frustrated with people who claim to only buy cruelty- free products. They have, at times, come across as condescending or superior in their thinking and life-style choices. BUT before you want to string me up with all-natural hemp rope and torture me with videos of sad bunnies, know that the opposing camp frustrates me, too. Those who claim it doesn’t matter what products we purchase irritate me just as much. So that group can string me up with something equally as strange or heinous and test ugly neon pink blush on me for that last comment. (I hate ugly neon pink blush. Sorry if you love it, but I said I was being honest today.)

Truth be told, this isn’t a black and white issue. I bet those who jumped on that cruelty-free bandwagon have no idea how many of the products they use everyday are tied to companies testing on animals for one reason or another. Also, the other side has no clue what is involved when someone says a company promotes or conducts animal testing.

Where someone draws the line on animal testing is a personal choice. I’m not going to tell someone where they should draw their line. That’s not the intent of this post. To further complicate things, though, companies are not always clear on what they consider acceptable practice. While some companies produce some cruelty free products, not all their lines are cruelty free. Still others have policies opposing animal testing in one country, but not in others.  So claiming you buy only cruelty-free products OR disregarding the subject all together isn’t a realistic approach in this day and age as a consumer.

I’m assuming if you are still reading this, I haven’t made you too mad.  So what is the solution? A wise person once told me that this whole thing was a process. Once I decide to do something, I’m in 100%.  As Michele and I started this 40sRestyle, I wanted to dump all my products in favor of cruelty- free ones. I wanted to trash everything not certified by Leapingbunny.

Personal care products, beauty products, cleaning products – all were about to be given the boot in my house. Not even acknowledging the hundreds of dollars that I would have wasted had I done that, I was in no way prepared to replace everything. I hadn’t researched the companies, I hadn’t sampled products I’d like for my skin and hair type.  I hadn’t done anything other than decide where I drew my own personal line in the sand.  I was in no position to make a purchase yet.  THAT is my point in writing this. Going cruelty-free is a choice requiring some work. It isn’t a fad we follow and brag to our friends about, and it isn’t an impossible task we should just ignore, either.

Looking back at the process and emotions I went through switching to cruelty-free products, I realized the process is not easy. And I am, by no means living 100% cruelty-free, but I’m getting there little by little. Will I ever be 100% on that bandwagon?  Probably not. It’s a full time job just keeping the list of cruelty-free companies current. Leapingbunny and PETA admit they do their best, but their lists are not all-inclusive.  They do an excellent job, but if the animal advocates themselves find it hard to keep up with all the companies that come and go in one way or another, I’m pretty sure I’m going to slip up.

So, we are back to the topic of solutions. Read a label. Look up the company’s policy on animal testing online.  Search the aisles of your local store for that little section of cruelty-free personal care products. Start small with one product. I think both sides I mentioned today will be surprised. One side might find out that their favorite products are not quite as cruelty-free as they thought, while the other camp may find a product they love that is cruelty-free.

Start somewhere. Start small. But, for heaven sakes, START!

Don’t be intimidated by the task and don’t smugly assume you know all about it.  Maybe you want to start with a product line you already know and love like Bath and Body Works. They are NOT a 100% cruelty free company!  They do have a line called Aromatherapy that is. Vote with your purchases. That is possibly the most effective way to convince huge corporations to make changes. Look for “all-in” companies such as Pacifica, Juice, AlbaBotanica, Simple, Gud, or LUSH (Yeah, yeah!  I know. We have mentioned them a few times on this blog.).

Leapingbunny has an app for smart phones to look products up while you are at the store to see if they are cruelty free. I use it all the time rather than just assuming the product is. Check it out because product names can be misleading.

The bottom line is, DO SOMETHING.

Keep learning and help each other. In the words of the great twenty-first century philosopher Jimmy Buffett, “You got to bend a little one way or the other.  You got to leave your mind open to discover.  Seems we’ve been fighting it all along, but you got to bend a little no matter which side you’re on.”  (Yeah, I just did that. You read it right. I connected Jimmy Buffett and beauty products together. You can thank me for that later if you haven’t made me watch sad bunny videos or put pink blush on me.)

Now go do something to support cruelty-free products or someone who doesn’t know where to start. Go on…you know you wanna.

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

Beauty Boxes

ipsy… or don’tsy?

July 21, 2015

It’s no secret that Michele and I are fans of subscription boxes. I’ve been getting the Ipsy Glam Bag for several months, and here are some of my thoughts on the bag.


Ipsy is a monthly subscription of cosmetics, skin care, and perfume.
It costs $10 a month.
Cancel at anytime for no charge.
The bag contains 5-6 items each month.
All items are sample size.
Ipsy has a points system to earn free items by rating products and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
Some products that have been in past bags are available for sale.

It only costs $10 a month to try new beauty products.
Cancellation is simple.
Samples let you try a product before purchasing a potentially pricy item.
Receiving a little goodie in the mail each month is fun.
A profile including your likes and dislikes, favorite products, skin type, and personal style help to customize your bag.
IpsyCare answers emails promptly and politely. Their customer service rocks.

There is no option to choose cruelty-free products.
Most items in the Glam Bag are not cruelty-free (if that kind of thing bothers you).
Even after filling out the profile, products still seem to be very generic.
It takes forever to accumulate enough points to get a free item, unless you want to bombard your friends with Facebook and Twitter posts about your Glam Bag each month.
When you have accumulated enough points for a free item, there are usually only a couple items available.
Items available for points, or to purchase, go fast.

I’m known for being the queen of indecision when it comes to beauty products. I can love and hate a product in a few short hours. You’d think a bag of samples would be right up my alley. No beauty product has made me waffle more than this bag.  While the anticipation was enticing, the let-down was equally disappointing.

I always had high hopes for the next bag, but usually only found one or two products I liked enough to keep and use. The others I passed on to friends. There were also very few products I purchased later because of Ipsy. After the new wore off, it seemed to take forever to collect enough points for a free item. The bottom line is that the anticipation and excitement kept me going, while the desire to collect points for a free item kept me from canceling the subscription all together.

Weigh the pros and cons for yourself. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the subscription game at a low cost. However, I will probably use my money on a cruelty-free box in the future.


Photo Credit: Amber

Cruelty Free Skin care

I changed my mind. I’m a LUSHie now.

July 6, 2015

Hi, my name is Lee Ann and I’m… Ah, you know the rest.

Admittedly, I’m a product addict. I feel loyalty to very few brands, and have a need to try them all–yes all!  I’ve been known to purchase, use, and discard a product within hours. No, I probably did not give it a fair chance. Yes, I know it is wasteful and excessive. Yes, I feel guilty but do it again and again. (We can discuss commitment issues another time.)  Ironically, beauty products are something I have to be one hundred percent sure about before showing true loyalty to the brand. Yet, I’ll jump from brand to brand not finding much I really love. Expensive to budget-friendly, I’ve used and abused many a beauty product, only finding a handful I’m sold on.

As I get older and become more aware of my waste and its impact, I find myself investigating a product more before purchasing it. This 40s ReStyle has me doing things differently. After attempting to go Cruelty-Free and FINALLY listening to my co-blogger, I researched LUSH Cosmetics. LUSH, with all its vegan-this and natural-that, was intimidating at first. I felt scared, excited, overwhelmed, and elated all at once. It’s where I decided to make my entrance into the Cruelty-Free world, though. I call it losing my LUSH virginity. I even posted about it here.

I first got excited about LUSH after looking online. After I felt comfortable with the entire premise, I embraced it. Recycled packaging, minimal waste, and charitable giving were all ideas I could support. So many of their products looked interesting, but I couldn’t smell and feel the items that interested me most.  Problem solved on a recent vacation. I stumbled across a LUSH store.  Within minutes I went from “LUSH virgin” to…well…”LUSH experienced.”

From the baskets of bath bombs to the shelves of soaps, the store was enticing.  At LUSH, I could have broken the bank, but didn’t because they are wonderful about giving samples. After I told the sales associate that I did not have a LUSH store near me, she proceeded to shower me with sample after sample to try and purchase later online if I chose. By the way, she was just about the most helpful sales person I’ve come across in a long time. She knew her products and gave me legitimate advice. A personal pet peeve I have is any store associate passing out bad/misleading/dangerous information to make a sale. She wasn’t overly clingy or overly complimentary. Both are pluses in my book, as well. The entire LUSH experience was better than most stores I’ve been in recently.

Now that I’m “experienced” in LUSH ways, there are some products I’d recommend. I’m still exploring and there is always something new, but here’s what I love so far.

  • The Dirty product line is fabulous. It’s for men or women and smells so clean. Im not a lover of unisex smells, but I am a fan of clean smells. It’s amazing.
  • Also try Fresh Farmacy facial cleanser. It’s great for oily skin. This cleanser gives a squeaky clean feeling.
  • The tea tree toner.
  • Ice Blue soap.
  • Steamers feel so good on your skin.
  • Of course, the bath bombs, bubble bars, and lip balms are fabulous.
  • Many of the soaps are cut off a larger block, weighed, and wrapped for you when you purchase them. That was cool.

The black pots the lotions, facial scrubs, shampoos, and conditioners come in are encouraged to be recycled back to the store. Makes sense.  They also have a charitable product with all proceeds going to a charity on a rotating basis. Love. Love. Love. There are bunches of unique items such as solid shampoo and conditioner, shower jellies, and massage bars to make LUSH unique.

Wander around a store or the website to get a feel for what LUSH is all about. It’s worth it.  Don’t be a LUSH virgin. Add this brand to your list of brands to show a little love.