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Cosmetics Cruelty Free Fragrance Skin care

Top 10 Holiday Wish List Products

November 25, 2015
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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.

 

Beauty Boxes Cosmetics Nail care

Another reason to love Julep

October 13, 2015
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Choice. I’m a fan.

 

Photo Credit: Julep Maven via Instagram

Cosmetics Cruelty Free

CF Drugstore Brand Reviews

October 2, 2015
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Cruelty Free Skin care

Meow Meow Tweet – Silly Name, Sensational Skin Care

September 25, 2015
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One of the first samples I received from PetitVour was from Meow Meow Tweet, a small-batch skin care line located in New York.

The packaging in adorbs, without a doubt. (If all 40s ReStyles could look that good.) It was a little odd, though. It was a pump bottle, and the cleanser was a milky liquid that was really quite runny. I wasn’t at all sure it would take off all of my makeup and sunscreen.

I’ll go so far as to admit that I was a little skeptical even as I used it for a week or so.

But then we vacationed in a hotel. A hotel with the pristine white wash cloths that show every bit of makeup when you take it off at night. And by darned if that cleanser didn’t take just all of my makeup off every night, as evidenced by the multi-colored cloth.

I was leaning toward buying a bottle of it for real, but unlike my lovely LeeAnn, who will drop and buy the entire set, I couldn’t spring for it. Lucky for me, MMT offers samples of all of their products at very reasonable prices. The one ounce bottle of cleanser that I got in my box lasted me a little more than a month. I ordered another sample of it (same size) at a very reasonable $8.  I’m not quite finished with it yet, but I’ll buy a full-size bottle when I do finish.

Picking a moisturizer was complicated, and I almost didn’t. Luckily, I found a handy tool on their blog that helps you determine what you need based on your skin type. For my dry skin, it suggested either their body oil (what?) or their baby body balm (again, what?). I ordered samples of both.

The Frankincense & Flowers Body Oil sample is one ounce and was $8. It smells amazing. The mini Baby Body Balm was $5.

The baby balm was way too much, even for my dry skin. But I think it would be just divine on a baby’s skin. It is smooth and only every so lightly scented. And new moms could rest easy knowing only natural ingredients were going on their baby’s skin.

I will without a doubt buy the body oil and keep using it on my face – on everything. Never before have I used a product on my face and had both my husband and daughter say to me after I prepped my skin at night, “you smell good.”

Recently, I had a small surgery and didn’t leave the house for several days. I didn’t put on makeup & thus, wasn’t as diligent about my skincare routine. After a few days without the oil each evening, my skin was dry and flaky. This is good stuff, adding good stuff to my skin.

Yes, MMT is Cruelty Free, and yes, they are vegan. I’m all for both of those. More than that, though, I like to support small businesses when I can. They are absolutely a new part of my personal 40s ReStyle.

And seriously, these products are lovely. And the packaging is just almost as wonderful. Go visit their site. Order a few samples. Let us know what you think. We’re interested.

Beauty Boxes Cruelty Free Nail care

Do I have to choose just one?

August 18, 2015
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Nail polish is my guilty pleasure. OPI and Essie are my favorites. I polish my nails easily twice a week with complete color changes. I know the difference between polish and lacquer (polish is thinner, easier to layer… lacquer is thicker and heavier).

How could I resist the lure of a Cruelty Free polish subscription box? Or two.

For the record, there are well more than two such subscription boxes out there. I might have considered just all of them. I settled on Square Hue (partially because it is based in my current home state & I feel some loyalty to buying somewhat local if possible) and on Julep. My theory is that I will get a couple of boxes of each and try the polishes and decide which ones I like the best. Then, I’ll choose which box to keep. It’s the theory at least.

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Other than the fact that Square Hue is based in Miami, I also liked that it allowed for you to select from two options. You can select two or three polishes per month, with two pricing tiers. I chose the two polishes, which is priced at $10.99 per month. I thought that was an exceptional deal… right up until I realized that they do not include shipping in that price. The $5 shipping isn’t unreasonable, but all of the other boxes I’ve received in the past have included that in the price, so keep that in mind.

One other great thing about Square Hue is that they give a portion of the proceeds each month to a different charity. The hippie in me likes that.

Each of their boxes are themed, and the first box we got was a 1970s theme. We received a shimmery silver polish that is perfect as a top coat, and a shimmery blue. Both are thinner polishes that go on more like a gel consistency. The blue has a royal color with just one coat but builds to a really nice darker blue color with multiple coats. The shimmer in the blue is subtle, but with the silver on top it’s got a really beautiful pop.

My daughter has pronounced Square Hue her favorite after just the one box.

We’re also trying the Julep Maven box. Julep lets you select options as well. There are options with three polishes and options with two polishes and one beauty product. I received a Welcome Box with three polishes, two little buffers, and their Oxygen Bonding Base Coat. The base coat is said to allow your nails to breathe while serving as something akin to sticky tape for your nails. I’m not sure how it works, but it did seem to help the polish stay on my nails longer than usual.

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The Julep polish is thicker, like an OPI lacquer, with a wider brush. And the shine on these polishes is astounding. This one is, however, more expensive. For the two polish/one product or three polish option, it is $24.99. Shipping is included.

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This is the pretty purple included in the Welcome Box. The initial box after that is curated for you, but by your second box, you have the option of switching out colors. You can also choose to suspend the box for a month or to send the box to a friend.

I know that we’re supposed to narrow it to just one next month. Maybe.

If anyone wants to try one of these boxes, let me know & I’ll get you an invite. And if you already subscribe, leave a comment telling us what you think. If you happen to get one of the other polish boxes – Black Dahlia, in particular – let me know what you think of it.

Polish on.

 

 

 

Skin care

Going back to school – with better skin

July 21, 2015
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LeeAnn and I both have two kids – a teenage son and a pre-teen daughter. Yes, we planned it that way.

As we navigate our own 40sRestyle, we are also trying to help the four of them navigate their youth. And teenage skin is a mess. Frankly, it may be worse than I remembered.

My son is the oldest of the four, so he was the first to get his own skincare routine. And because I am a little obsessed with good skin, it was introduced to him probably not so subtly. I had mentioned to him in elementary school that he needed to begin good skin care maintenance. He ignored me.

Later, when he was in middle school, and his skin was a mess, I didn’t suggest it. I might have mentioned that girls didn’t date boys with icky skin. He might have said that girls weren’t that shallow, and I might have said he clearly didn’t know teenage girls. It was a conversation that might have led to me admitting to have rejected boys for shallow things – no need to be specific here – and to him finally agreeing to use whatever products I gave him as long as they were easy to use.

It was during this phase that we, as a family, voted that he had to stop trying to asphyxiate us with his Axe product use. He was annoyed, but our lungs were better for it.

I gave him Coalface and Dark Angels from LUSH, and within weeks his skin was beautiful. Seriously, this kid has some of the best skin I’ve ever seen on a teenage boy. He uses The Body Shop’s tea tree oil spot treatment for those rare times when there is a problem, but those days are rare. Some day, he will thank me. (Maybe.)

The soon-to-be sixth grader looked at me one day at the beginning of summer with a forehead full of pimples. I was shocked. Knowing the answer to the question (the proof was staring at me), I asked, “are you washing your face every day?” “Yeah, sure.” “Liar.”

Maybe I didn’t call her a liar, but I did slather a face mask on that forehead and talk to her about her skin care and about how middle school girls are mean.

She’s using LUSH’s Fresh Fharmacy soap every day now, with a face mask once a week, and her little face is nearly as clear as her brother’s.

Good quality products – simple with few chemicals – are important. But more important for teenagers, I think, is the simple act of actually cleaning that skin. Day in and day out, setting good habits that will follow them for a lifetime.

And anything – even something as small as good skin – that can make those teenage years easier is a good thing.

Beauty Boxes Cosmetics Cruelty Free Skin care

Cruelty Free Subscription Box: PetitVour Review

July 6, 2015
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For Christmas last year, I got each of my kids a subscription box as a gift. The teenage boy received Loot Crate, and Little Bit received Boodle Box (she has since switched to iBBeautiful on LeeAnn’s recommendation).

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

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

The full contents of my first PetitVour box.

The full contents of my first PetitVour box.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Skin care

BITE me, why dontcha? BITE Beauty is all that.

June 14, 2015
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I’ve never been a fan of lip scrubs until recently. I know that the skin on your lips is delicate, and I never could see the point in putting something rough on something so tender. I’m a bit of a lip balm addict – if sent on a show such as “Naked and Afraid,” it’s possible my one tool might be a good lip balm.

My family has affectionately dubbed 2015 as ‘the year my body turned against me.’ Suffice it to say, I’ve had some medical issues. It’s a bit of a 40s ReStyle that I didn’t exactly choose.

One of the odder issues – or maybe one of the odder side effects of one of the other issues, who knows – is that the skin on my lips began to peel at some point. (WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGERY AHEAD.) Imagine a sunburn on your lips. Always. The corners of my lips cracked and never healed. The skin would peel off completely, multiple times a day, and sometimes my lips would bleed. My lips always stung and hurt.

I had to give up lipstick. It was an unhappy situation.

I explained this to a doctor. “Seriously. No lippies makes me unhappy. I need you to fix this.” She seemed less than concerned about my cosmetic concerns, but did make notes about my health comments.

I tried every lip balm on the market. Really. I could buy a new outfit for what I have spent this year on lip balm. As time went by, thankfully, they began to heal some and were only peeling once a day or so. Trust me, this was serious progress.

The lovely LeeAnn is married to a pharmacist who suggested I throw out all lip balms and other lippies and start over. Shudder! I did it, though. At that point, I was ready to try anything.  My husband bought me a LUSH lip balm for my birthday. It was fresh and new, and it was all I used.

LeeAnn suggested a BITE Beauty product she had seen on Sephora, and I thought I’d try it, too. I was at a point by then that my lips were only peeling every few days (often enough for me to think I was healed, only to have them peel & shatter my dreams of wearing lipstick again). So I dropped $15 on BITE Beauty’s 5 Night Fix for Lips. It’s the cutest little jar with a tiny lip scrub stick and tube of agave lip mask.

You’re supposed to use the lip scrub (in whipped cherry – I hate cherries, but at that point, I’d have rubbed raw cherries on my lips if necessary.) and then follow with the lip mask right before bed. Five days later, and I swear my lips were better.

Now, sure, they were getting better all along.

Was it coincidence? Probably.

Do I care? No.

This is a wonderful little jar of a product. And I’ve been using the five day supply for about 30 days now, on and off. I have about one more day of the lip scrub, and I’ll replace it with a LUSH scrub (did I mention I hate cherries?). But I’ve easily got half a tube left of the lip mask. It’s a thick gel that really does make my lips feel better by the next morning, even now that they aren’t peeling (though admittedly, they do still get a little weird some days. When they do, I use the scrub & mask & they’re fine by morning.)

I’ll buy more of the lip mask when I use up all of this tube.

BITE Beauty is cruelty free, and the products are made with food grade ingredients, so if you happen to lick your lips a lot, it’s all good.

This little sampler is a good way to try two products at once with a tiny investment price. I’ll be buying more of this brand. Just no cherries.

And yes, I’ve been able to add a lippie or two back to my makeup routine. Happy days.

 

Photo Credit: Courtney Rhodes

Skin care

Confessions of a LUSHie

June 13, 2015
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Nearly a decade ago, a friend told me she had found a great new beauty store. We went to the shop in New Orleans, and I fell in love. I’ve been a devoted LUSHie ever since.

I’m a firm believer that a beautiful face doesn’t begin with good makeup but with good skin, and good skin is always a result of good skin care. And it’s important that what we put on our skin is sometimes as important as what we put into our bodies. Our skin absorbs what we put on it. I’d much rather put creams and lotions on my skin that don’t contain a lot of chemicals than ones that do. I should admit up front that LUSH has started offering makeup, but I haven’t tried any of it. Thus far, I’m just a skin care girl with them.

My lovely partner here, LeeAnn, just wrote a post about being a LUSH virgin and about how overwhelming it can be to see that they feel strongly about recycling and about not using excess packaging. Those are some of the reasons I love the company. They are also strong water conservationists, and are dedicated to giving funds to various causes around the world through their Charity Pot program. Since 2007, the program has raised nearly six million dollars for more than 600 grassroots charities in 35 countries around the world.

I want to support companies like this. The fact that they have amazing products that do what they claim is an amazing bonus.

That day in New Orleans, I started off with an array of products, mostly colorful and sparkly.

LUSH’s bath bombs and bubble bars are beautiful ways to make a bath special. Space Girl is my favorite. Any other one I have at the time is also my favorite.

Do your cuticles need help? Lemony Flutter will fix them. I pick my cuticles obsessively. They look horrible all the time. But Lemony Flutter keeps them hydrated, even when I am awful to them.

I’ve used several of their cleansers, both bar and scrubby. I’ve Fresh Farmacy, which is the perfect gentle cleanser. I’ve got both of my kids using Coal Face. It uses licorice root to clear up blemishes. I buy the soaps in small chunks and then cut off slices to use. I store them in the freezer, and on hot days, it’s nice to use the frozen pieces.

In combination with the bar cleansers, the people in our house use a variety of the scrubby cleansers. My teenage son uses Dark Angels. I can look at his face and tell when he isn’t using it. When he is, he’s got fabulous skin for a teenage boy. I – and my pre-teen daughter – use Angels on Bare Skin. It smells like lavender and is gentle and calming. My new favorite scrub is Let the Good Times Roll. I use it each morning in the shower. It’s super. Smells great. Leaves my face smooth.

We haven’t even begun to touch upon all that I use from LUSH in terms of skin care. There’s the Dream Cream lotion that really is a dream. A hydrating lotion that’s oddly light. The massage bars. Multiple bars. Seriously. Everyone should have at least two. Get the Wiccy Magic Muscles for when something aches and then another for when something doesn’t.

LUSH’s Fresh Face Masks are quite possibly the perfect masks. Made from fresh ingredients without preservatives, they are good for your skin while being good for your skin. I like the Sacred Truth for aging skin, while my daughter likes Cupcake for oily or spotty skin. Cupcake smells like chocolate. We try really hard not to snack on it.

I also use their Lip Scrub (Mint Julep) and their Lip Balm (Lip Service).

The boys in my house like LUSH’s shower gel in the Grass scent. It’s clean and masculine. Happy Hippy is nice, too. If you want a very sweet scent, look for the Snow Fairy scent around the holidays.

I could go on, but I think you get where I’m going with this. I’ve never tried a LUSH product I didn’t like. I’ve tried scents that didn’t appeal to me (see the Snow Fairy referenced above). And I’ve had favorite products that were retired. But I’ve never been disappointed.

One really wonderful thing about LUSH, especially in terms of the shops, is that they are liberal with samples. If there’s something you want to try before buying a full-size product, ask for a sample. Most of the time, they’ll provide you with a sample. And with the soaps – I didn’t even talk about the soaps! I love them, too! – you can request that they cut you a very small slice to try.

Good skin starts with good skin care. LUSH can help you with both.

 

Photo Credit: Miran Rijavec

Skin care

Don’t Test on Fido. Really.

June 7, 2015
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I’m a bit of a hippie, worried about the planet and the things and people on it. I carry my reusable bags to the market, recycle just anything possible, and want to make sure the products I buy are helping, not hurting the Earth. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that several of my favorite brands are not Cruelty Free.

After reading this, I was reminded that I need to pay more attention to the brands I use. Cruelty Free Kitty has several posts about which products that are cruelty free and which aren’t. That blog is about to become my new go-to site before I try a new brand.

And I’m going to have to review the brands I already use. It’s a process, though, because there are levels, people. Just because one brand doesn’t test on animals, that doesn’t mean its parent company doesn’t. And some brands are owned by companies that do medical research, which is an entirely different situation. In my opinion, there is no one right answer. Everyone has to make his or her own decision.

For now, for me, in every case possible, I’m going to avoid brands and companies that do any animal testing. A 40s ReStyle doesn’t mean giving up what I believe in about the world around me.

Unfortunately, that means giving up brands I enjoy. If you read my post about my skin care plan, you know I primarily use LUSH and Neutrogena products. Of the two, I’ll be keeping the LUSH. So I’ll be looking for something new here soon.

I’ll also be working through some of my makeup brands and doing some replacing of some of those. I’m thankful that most of the brands I enjoy are on the good list, certified by Leaping Bunny and approved by PETA. A few, though (I’m looking at you Benefit), not so much. If you look through the good list and see something you love, let me know. I’m happily taking suggestions.

 

Photo Credit: Logan Ingalls