A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

An Afternoon with Charlotte Tilbury

Sometimes I intentionally seek out brands, other times I stumble upon them purely by my own foolishness. This occasion is definitely the latter. As I packed up the last few items for a recent trip, I somehow forgot all of my makeup and brushes. I would have let it slide if it wasn’t for the fact I was traveling for work and honestly wouldn’t have felt comfortable going to a meeting with a bare face.

So I decided I would pick up at least a foundation, if not concealer at Nordstrom. Listen – before you roll your eyes and say “just go to CVS,” you clearly do not know what it is like trying to color match a shade light enough for my NW10-15 skin. I’m also not willing to screw around buying and returning 10 foundations that will probably not work. I wanted to find a reasonably priced product, in the correct shade, that I will continue to use.

A quick lap of the store landed me in the hands of a very nice gal named Page at Charlotte Tilbury… yes – a counter exists! I know the Brits know fair skin so I sat down and let Page go to work. She started by removing my existing makeup (minus my eyes) with the Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask and Balm. She used water and cotton to remove – it came off so easily and left my skin soft and smooth. I loved the way my skin felt! After waiting a couple minutes, she prepped my skin with the famous CT Magic Cream. I see why this is a favorite – it smelled amazing and left feeling really hydrated without being greasy.

The next step was a layer of the Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash – a seemingly shimmery/pearlescent cream. It did leave my skin looking pretty radiant. My pores seemed less noticeable – like someone used a nice filter on it. We then tested out the fairest of the fair shades in the Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation coincidentally called Fair… perfect color match. It is a buildable, yet light-coverage foundation that lasted 8-10 hours in high humidity. It was easy to apply with fingers (and just as well WITH my brushes at home).

The next step was to disguise the dark circles.  I tried The Retroucher Conceal and Treat Stick (lightest shade) first and followed by the Mini Miracle Eye Wand. One side is an eye cream/primer and the other is a beautiful, pearl-pink highlighter. It actually reminds me quite a bit of my beloved MAC Highlighter in Radiant Rose with a bit more shimmer. Using the same under eye triangle technique, the light easily reflected up and minimized my stubborn dark circles. This combination lasted about 12 hours with very minimal creasing.

The next step was adding in a bit of color – Page broke out the much talked about Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Light to Medium and did some subtle contouring and highlight. Does this live up to the hype? Absolutely! This added some beautiful color to my skin and a little bit really carved out my cheekbones. I did not purchase this, but I probably will. It’s amazing.

We then added in a bit of color with the Beach Stick in Las Salinas – a really subtle coral that warmed up my skin. It is buildable and can be used on the cheeks, lips and eyes. We added in a pop of Las Salinas to my existing eye makeup and it just added a simple, but dramatic pop of color.

This is where I should have put a photo of the final look. I somehow forgot to do this… so here are a few swatches instead:

The goal was to find products that I could apply without brushes and provide coverage without being heavy. So I went with the most versatile products – the Light Wonder ($45 for 1.4oz), Mini-Miracle Eye Wand ($45 for 0.10oz) and Beach Stick ($45 for 0.23oz). And to be honest, I grabbed some lesser priced eye products at CVS – they were perfectly fine and will be featured in another blog post soon.🙂

 

Other things I wanted to try but resisted temptation… eyes, lips, look in a box.. All so dangerous!

Overall, I was fairly impressed with all of the products that we used. I’m definitely excited to try some of the other makeup and skincare products. However, I can’t say that anything I purchased stands out any more than products from say Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown – they offer great, classic beauty products that perform consistently well. In the instance of me leaving my makeup behind, I found everything that I needed and it did exactly what I needed it to do… in that case, that’s a brand I will go back to.

Special thanks to Page and Nordstrom at Pentagon City for putting up with all of my questions and panic about leaving my products at home.. and to my friend Billie who left covered in 20 different Jo Malone scents – she was getting creative while I was testing out makeup.

Have you tried anything from the brand? What are your thoughts?

 

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Current Quick Summer Makeup

Hello everyone!

I hope summer is being kind to you and you are staying cool! It’s been not only hot, but incredibly humid the last few weeks. I’ve basically abandoned my normal makeup routine to adapt to the weather – if you are looking for a nice, matte finish, forget it. It is just not going to happen. I’ve been using primarily cream blush and shadows and have abandoned my makeup brushes… setting powder? Why bother? If you read my recent favorites, you may have noticed there were a handful of stick and cream shadows that are in constant rotation – that has not changed… there is no point of using a powder shadow that will crease the second I step outside.

I thought this post would be perfect timing as I recently had to recreate my regular routine. As I landed in DC for a work trip, I realized in horror that I didn’t remember packing my makeup back – everything was still in my bathroom back home. Shit.

I documented a quick visit to the Charlotte Tilbury counter to find some foundation and concealer.. I  picked up the Light Wonder Youth-Boosting Perfect Skin Foundation in Fair, Mini Miracle Eye Wand and the Beach Stick in Las Salinas – all things that I could apply without brushes and provide coverage without being heavy. For the rest, I went over to CVS and picked up 2 shades of the Rimmel ScandalEyes Eye Shadow Sticks and the Maybelline Colossal mascara.

No kidding, this is a 5 minute face.

The foundation needs a quick shake and using my hands, I can easily apply the foundation all over – using a touch more on some red spots. It builds easily and still remains sheer. The second step was using the Illuminator under the eyes in a triangular shape to draw the eye down and away from the under eye area. This also helps to reflect the light up. For more on the how-to, check out my old post about the MAC Prep+Prime color correct line.

Step 3 was applying a sheer wash of the Beach Stick on the apples of my cheeks and blending out. This gave a sheer, sun kissed look without looking like a heavy blush. My go-to is the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Watermelon/Moonstone and this provided a similar light color wash.

For the eyes, I used the eyeshadow stick in Black Betrayal (a shimmery brown/black) to line the top and bottom lid. I smudged out the top lid a bit to soften the line and blend it up the lid. Then I applied the second color in Bulletproof Beige on top and continued to blend it up towards the brow and also applied to the inner corner of the lower lid to soften the darker shade. You can also use this as a cheek, brow bone and cupid’s bow highlighter. These pencils are incredibly smooth. The final step was a few coats of the Colossal mascara.

If you have a few more seconds, you can add a quick swipe of something like Benefit’s Gimme Brow to give a more polished brow look.

Without a setting spray or powder, there is a bit of fading and shine after a few hours. But let’s be real..  in high heat and humidity, neither of these things will really make a significant difference. I carry blotting sheets with me all of the time in hopes of eliminating some shine throughout the day.

But there you go. Quick summer makeup that you can do in 5 minutes or less. What are some of your quick summer makeup staples right now?

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Use It: July 2016 Empties

Hello again!

How on earth is it already August? What the heck… I swear I just got caught up on June.. I’ve been working on a few drafts, so will hopefully have those complete in the next few days. There has been a lot of travel and then I got sick… ugh. Excuses.

This month did not yield a ton of empties, so I will just list everything alphabetically rather than my usual categories. I contemplated just waiting until next month, but I really hate having all of these empty containers sitting around.

Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Control – so this did nourish, but it did not control dandruff. I feel like it was actually worse after using this shampoo. It wasn’t deep cleansing or anything spectacular for that matter. Thumbs down. Available at Target for $6-$7 for 10.5oz.

Avene Hydrance Light Hydrating Cream – this was great for colder weather. But once the weather turned and the humidity went up, this left my face feeling really greasy. I did finish this up on my neck and décolletage and it was fine. I would consider repurchasing for the fall/winter months if I can find the version with SPF. Available at Birchbox for $32 for 1.35oz.

drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – this stuff stinks…. but it works so well! This mini version lasted almost 2 months – a little bit really went a long way. A couple sprays distributed enough dry shampoo to eliminate all of the oil from my hair and helped extend time between washing. I don’t think I could repurchase though because the smell bothers me that much – I might be one of the few people that actually dislikes all of the drybar products. Available at Sephora for $13 for 1.4oz.

e.l.f. Shine Eraser – yes… another. I think I am finally using my last pack. Again, they are fine and were being sold at closeout at Target for $0.85.

Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat – I have been using this for a while and haven’t noticed much change… I started using this when my hair and nails were all messed up after some surgery a couple years ago. I don’t know that I can say it did that much repair – I think it just needed time… not this base coat. On that note, this is a decent base coat. It is a bit tacky and helps the color really adhere to the nail. I have a couple other base coats so I probably won’t repurchase right now. Available at CVS and Target for about $8.

Julep Nail Color in Farrah – this is a really interesting cool toned, purple-grey shade. This is the Silk Finish formulas – in the bottle it looks super shimmery, but dries sort of matte. With a good top coat, it has a lot of depth and shimmer. I have no idea why anyone would want to wear this as a matte! This wore for 4-5 days. I would not repurchase only because I have a ton of nail polish. Available at julep.com for $14.

Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Blue Eagle Shave Cream – this is the sensitive skin version, and yes it’s for men. My skin reacts so poorly to most shaving products, so I get really excited when I find something that doesn’t cause horrible razor burn. I’ve been using this for a while and just keep coming back. Dear Kiehl’s, don’t ever stop making this. I have backups of this. :)  Available at Kiehls.com for $16 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps – I have to be honest… I don’t get the hype. It’s a perfectly fine lotion. I think there are a lot of other lotions out there at a lower price point. Kiehl’s makes a lot of really great products, but this is just ok. Much like the drybar products, I’m sure I’m in the minority on this. Available at Kiehls.com for $11 for 2.5oz.

One ‘n Only Brazilian Tech De-Frizz Wand – this is an absolute life saver in this humid weather. A couple quick swipes tames flyaways and keeps my curls from frizzing. I originally received this in an Allure box and I repurchased a couple at Sally Beauty – they are not currently on the website. I’m going to stalk these down in my local store and hoard them away! If you can find them, get them… buy one for me too. I think they ran around $6-$7.

Rusk Dry Finishing Spray – this was a nice, lightweight spray that helped bring my curls back on second day hair. After brushing out my hair, I would dampen it and then spray on a small amount and re-scrunch the curls. Full size is available at Birchbox for $18 for 8oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 9

Body: 13

Hair: 9

Makeup/face: 17

other: 4

Nails: 6

Samples: 24

Sheet masks: 9

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

What all did you use up this past month? Any favorites?

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April, May and June 2016 Favorites

Hello everyone!

I’m not sure how this happened, but I haven’t written a favorites post since March! As I mentioned in my recent empties post, the end of May and beginning of June were a bit of a wash due to my husband’s surgery… but I have no idea how I missed April. Oops.

I can say without a doubt my April and May favorite was the KOI Vitality Turmeric Supernatual Beauty Bar. During the peak of the dermatitis treatment, my friend Heather reached out and asked if I wanted to try some of her soaps. I was still looking for any and all relief and she gave me 3 bars to try out – Purple Corn, Turmeric and Wheat Grass. The Turmeric was immediately added to my morning routine and helped reduce the lessening inflammation. I still use this every single morning and love how it makes my skin feel and it looks balanced, clean and bright. These bars are a very generous size and will last forever – I actually cut my bar down and use it in smaller chunks and store in an airtight container. This limits exposure from light and the air since the product is all natural. From the website:

KOI Beauty Bars are hand crafted in small batches using only natural and organic ingredients. For us – less is everything. We’ve believe that if we stick with only vital ingredients, there is no need to put a bunch of “stuff” into our products. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare, and also the likelihood KOI Beauty Bars are safe even for the most sensitive skin.”

I love the messaging behind KOI’s products and the quality of the bars. Available for $20 each on the website: http://www.koivitality.com

On the complete opposite end of natural skincare is the return of Bath and Body Works throwback favorites and my beloved Freesia. You. Guys. I am so incredibly happy about this. It smells exactly the same as I remember! I stockpiled it years ago when I found out it was being discontinued, found some more on eBay and then nursed along the last bottle for probably close to two years. I have no idea when I actually ran out, but am not ashamed to admit that there might have been tears. Within minutes of getting this home, I cleared out a spot in the shower for immediate use! Before the sale ended, I may have even gone back for more. If I ever run out, I will be devastated all over again.

A few months back, I bought a tube of Benefit They’re Real in Blue. I’m not sure why, but I was so drawn to the vibrant cobalt shade and just had to have it. Well… then it sat unopened until mid-June. I wear a lot of navy and neutrals in summer and decided it was time to break this out and fit it into my summer look. It is the They’re Real formula that I love with a twist. The blue isn’t really noticeable unless you are really up close and personal, so I guess this is the one way I can still be a bit edgy and have fun during the workday. This comes in brown also, but my Ulta still has green and purple in stock!

With the arrival of May and subsequently an official summer, the Midwestern humidity is out of control. Using powder makeup is a challenge as it just melts away the second I step outside. I’ve definitely given up on powder shadows and have been using mostly cream shadows and pigmented shadow sticks. Some of my favorites (which include a couple repeats) include the Guerlain Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sand from 2015 (originally discussed here), MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Colour Stick in Tea Leaves and Lilacked, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sugar Frost and the Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Gunmetal Grey (pictured in order left to right).

Contrary to many reviews, I find the MAC Colour Sticks to have the longest wear – the color fades a bit throughout the day, but after 12 hours there is zero creasing. The Boots and Laura Mercier sticks have the most depth and versatility. They all just so easy to wear and hold up well with the humidity and last all day without moving all over my eyelid and never end up somewhere they shouldn’t!

So there you have it… playing a whole lot of catch up! Whew!

What are some of your favorites from the last few weeks/months?

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Use It: May and June 2016 Empties

Happy Summer, everyone!

Sorry to be a bit MIA for a bit… My husband got very sick and ended up having emergency surgery the end of May/beginning of June, so life got a little crazy. He is finally on the mend, but still has quite a bit of recovery to get back to normal. Obviously blogging took a backseat for a few weeks.

So in an effort to play catch up both my empties and favorites posts will cover both May and June. With a long weekend I’m also able to get caught up on a backlog of reading and writing – so bear with me!

As always, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKINCARE

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Cleansing Foam – what a fantastic face wash – I used this primarily at night after an oil-based cleanser. It would remove any traces of eye makeup and leave my skin feeling soft, hydrated and refreshed. I would definitely purchase this – I love everything in this skincare line! Even though this is a 1oz tube, it was a GWP from Saks. The full-size is 4.2oz and runs about $105 (YIKES!).

Pixi Glow Tonic – I don’t get the hype. There. I said it. I am probably one of the few people who feel this way and I’m okay with that. I really disliked the scent and it didn’t do anything noticeable for my skin. Would not purchase. Available at Target for $15 for 3.4oz.

Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate – I can’t say much about this. While this little tube lasted for about 2 months, I can’t say that I noticed a difference. It was a very nice, lightweight serum but that’s about it. Thanks to Allure for sending this for testing! Available at Macy’s for $65 for 0.5oz.

Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes – very rarely am I impressed by makeup wipes. They all seem to serve the same purpose, right? This is the first time that I used a wipe that can remove all traces of a dark lipstick or a lip stain. I would definitely repurchase these! I think these were part of an Allure box a while back, but can be purchased for $5-$6 on Amazon.

MAKEUP

Benefit Roller Lash – this is not the first time I’ve used this… I do find that I like it more every time I try it. There is a bit of a trick to getting the lashes to hook just right into the wand. I would probably not purchase, but only because I like They’re Real and Bad Gal more.🙂 Available at all Benefit counters for $24.

e.l.f Shine Eraser – I mentioned these in a previous post – I stockpiled them on clearance at Target for $0.85. Not bad for 50 sheets! Unfortunately I have not been able to find them again, so my guess is that they have officially been discontinued. Bummer.

Le Métier de Beauté Precision Liquid Liner in Noir – a heavily pigmented liquid black liner with a felt tip. I’ve been using this way longer than one should use a liquid product.. oops. I loved this so much. It was perfect for tightlining and deepening darker pencil shades. I would purchase this again in a heartbeat if it wasn’t $42.

NYX Green Tea Blotting Paper – oh hey.. more blotting paper! I think I have tried every version of the NYX blotting papers, and these might possibly be my favorite. They are very absorbent and the larger sheet covers more areas of my face. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – I don’t know what it is about this, but I really dislike this formula. After a couple swipes, it feels like you have one giant, clumpy eyelash. I had to find a second wand to declump it after use. I love big lashes, but this didn’t get anywhere near a good result for me. I did like that it was a very deep black pigmented mascara, but it also felt like it never dried down. Definitely would not purchase. Available at Ulta and Sephora for $23.

BODY

Bath and Body Works Peach and Honey Almond Body Scrub – I love, love, love this scent and am so bummed that this was a one-time seasonal scent. Fortunately I still have a body wash and lotion that I have been using sparingly! I also really appreciate that this scrub was made from walnut shells and not micro-beads. If this ever comes back, I am going to stockpile! Similar scrubs available at Bath and Body Works for $12-$13 for 6oz.

LUSH Charity Pot – I love the messaging behind the annual release of the LUSH Charity Pot. I selected the pot that featured the Women’s Empowerment International Foundation. The scent is not my favorite – heavy ylang-ylang and gardenia are really opposite of my preferred scent range… but that isn’t why I bought it. I will probably pick up another on my next trip to LUSH. Available every year for a limited run (and supports a variety of charities) for $6.95 for 1.7oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works Candle in Fresh Sparkling Snow – this was such a happy scent! It was clean and fresh and wasn’t too overwhelming for warmer months. The one complaint I have again and again with their candles is that there is always a ton of wax left in the bottom. It is so frustrating. I would purchase again this winter! The 3-wick candles are $22.50 but don’t ever pay the full price… they are always on sale!

 

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 8

Body: 11

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 16

other: 4

Nails: 4

Samples: 20

Sheet masks: 7

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

There you have it! Another round of empties! What did you use up recently and love/hate?

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Finale: No More Perioral Dermatitis

Hello again everyone!

I guess you could say that for now, this is the final installment of the dermatitis updates. It has been a while since my initial post and then the follow up, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging! There haven’t been any major revelations over the last couple months, just lots of healing! As I’m wrapping up the last few days of the 3-month cycle of doxycycline, I decided to jot down a few thoughts for you all:

1 – Eliminate stress. Easier said than done, but it takes such a toll on your body.

2 – Treat problems early. As I mentioned in my initial post, I tried to treat this incorrectly for about a month before even calling the dermatologist. By the time I could get into the doctor I was miserable and much of the pain could have been prevented with an accurate diagnosis.

3 – Use targeted skincare. If you are a regular reader, you know that good skincare is a priority for me. It becomes even more of a priority when you have to address a specific issue. Finding some (of the right) treatments for the problem in addition to the antibiotics really helped reduce the pain and inflammation quickly.

 

Thanks for sticking with me through this – I hope you have found this series to be informational and interesting. It has been a long 3 months and I’m really looking forward to moving on and hopefully keeping this at bay!
Have a great weekend!

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Rant and Rave – Kat von D

Hello everyone!

I wrote this draft a few months ago and honestly kind of forgot about it. In addition, I have a bunch of handwritten notes and a backlog of photos with the intention of being converted somehow to content, but it just never happened. I have really wanted to get back to some individual product reviews and share swatches but have gotten a bit lazy… I want to be able to share some positive and negative feedback outside of a little blurb on Instagram.

One topic I wanted to discuss was some Kat Von D. I love Kat – I enjoyed her show, follow her on social media, bought her books and have visited her tattoo shop. It would only make sense that I would love her makeup also, right? I’ve read so many great reviews on the foundation, lip colors, eye pallets, etc. so purchased some of the lip products a while ago and realized I’ve never really discussed the brand on the blog.

I was so excited to receive a small version of the Lolita matte liquid lipstick in a Sephora Give Me Lip set a few months ago. The shade was everything I hoped it would be – a whole lot of brown with a touch of pink. It takes me back to the 90’s and it makes me so happy. The texture however, is a bit too drying. I get that it is a matte, but it really dries out my lips regardless of how much I exfoliate and prep. My trick to wearing this is to apply a light balm, then 2 coats of the color and top it off with a little bit of clear gloss. This keeps my lips from feeling really uncomfortable.

While I think the dryness factor is just my preference, I can’t say enough about the lasting power of this formula. This lasted easily 4-5 hours and throughout dinner and drinks. I was about to reapply after dinner and realized I still had quite a bit of color. It also wore evenly and didn’t come off in patches or flake.

The second product is the Studded Kiss Lipstick in shade Gothica, an interesting red/brown color with a copper glittery finish. This shade had some mixed reviews, but a decent rating overall and the swatches online were really beautiful.

When I finally received this I was seriously shocked by the amount of glitter.  After applying it, I was really disappointed in the overall look and feel. The color did. not go on evenly and ended up very patchy and my lips were covered in glitter. Listen, I love glitter but this was a bit ridiculous. I wore this out to get some drinks (THE TRUE TEST FOR ANY COLOR) and checked it throughout the night. In a span of a couple hours, it went from patchy to nonexistent except for… you guessed it… the glitter. It was all over my face.

  

I have tried to wear Gothica a couple more times and the glitter has been a bit more manageable, but only because of some gloss holding it in place. This was a major disappointment because this shade is gorgeous.

Overall, both the liquid lipstick and the Studded Kiss are a fail. I have figured out how to make them work for me, but that isn’t how it should be! I like products that are easy to use, enhance a feature or are fun and neither of these products fit that description. Its highly unlikely that I will repurchase any of the lip products. I did purchase the Shade and Light eye quad in plum that is (so far) very nice.

So tell me, am I the only one who feels this way? Has anyone else been really disappointed with the lip products? Share below!

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Use It: March and April 2016 Empties

Hello again!

Welcome to another round of empties! This is one of my favorite type of posts to write and read. It makes me really take a good look at my purchases and consider if they were worth it. It also puts in perspective how many other things I have to use up!

As always, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle.

SKINCARE

Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover – I don’t get the hype. This is a fine eye makeup remover, but it isn’t great. More often than not, I would wake up with leftover mascara and eyeliner caked under my eyes (gross). I expect a lot more for this price point and definitely would not repurchase. Available at any Lancome counter or online for $30 for 4.2oz. Nordstrom does price matching and you can purchase there for $27.

MAKEUP

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium – what a great, easy to use brow tint and filler. Benefit calls this a “volumizing fiber gel.” Just a few swipes fill in sparse areas and the formula holds unruly hairs in place. This little tube lasted 6 months, but I would say its worth it and consider repurchasing. Available at Ulta and all Benefit counters for $24 for 0.1oz.

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Currant – this is a fabulous neutral shade gloss. Bite makes wonderful lightweight glosses that aren’t sticky or clumpy. All of their products are made with natural oils and are scented like fruit. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Sephora for $22.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rose – I’ve gone through so many of these – granted, I have a stockpile of the minis… This balm is lightweight, non-greasy and provides a lovely, sheer wash of color. I will purchase a full size if I ever run out.🙂 Available at Sephora for $24 for 0.15oz.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara – I received this through Influenster a few months agoand used it religiously up until a few weeks ago. I read see feedback from another blogger that she knew its time was up when it started flaking throughout the day. and flake it did. This was fantastic until then – this wand separated each lash and the formula coated evenly every time. This lasted easily 10 hours every day. But yes, at the end of its 3-month life cycle, it definitely flaked. Maybe more companies should create a built in reminder when you should toss? Overall I really liked this and would purchase again. Available at Sephora for $26.

Neutrogena Glow Sheer in Ivory to Fair – my friend Laura gave me this forever ago when she was decluttering and I didn’t love or hate it.. perhaps that’s why she passed it along also? The definition of sheer is spot on – it provided little coverage and left a nice dewy finish. It made a great weekend errand-running foundation. Sadly, this has turned and now separates upon application. I have plenty of foundation, I don’t see myself ever repurchasing. Available at Ulta, CVS and many other locations for $12.99 for 1.1 oz.

Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner in Oscar Fish – I love the Smudge Stick formula so I’m very sad to see this go! This was a great chocolaty brown that I featured in a quick makeup recommendation post last year.  Will not repurchase right now, as I have a few similar shades that I want to finish. Available at Sephora for $22 for 0.01oz.

BODY

The Body Shop Body Butter in Cranberry Joy – I’ve reviewed this product, as well as many other things in this scent. I love cranberry! The body butters from TBS are so great – very hydrating and the scents last all day. I will repurchase this again and again – and I probably don’t need to… I think I have backups. This seasonal scent is available starting in September for $21 for 6.7oz.

 

Saint Augustine & Suds Scrub Down – this is a great coffee scrub from my favorite local gal. They just reformulated this and want to test it out! Its hydrating and exfoliating at the same time. Visit the website to check out when the new scrub is up as well as see her gorgeous soaps!

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter – this was my first Soap & Glory product and I thought it was so great – definitely makes me want to try more from this brand. This little tub sat on my desk for quite a while – a little bit went a really long way. It was very moisturizing, but not greasy and really helped my hands survive winter! Available at Ulta for $4 for the 1.69 mini or $15 for 10.1 oz.

HAIR

Biologe Color Care Shampoo – this is my favorite shampoo. I might change from time to time, but I always come back! It gets my hair incredibly clean without harming my color. I will always repurchase. Available at most salons for $13-24 (this older 16.9oz is no longer sold).

Biolage Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray – this is part of a shampoo and conditioner set that I finished a while ago (these sets never finish together..), so I used this in combination with my regular Biologe color treated shampoo. A few sprays left my hair smooth and shiny when used with high heat. I would consider repurchasing after I downsize some of my current products. Available wherever you can buy salon products for $23 for 6.8 oz.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – I think this would be better for fine hair – it does an okay job of absorbing oil.. it is fine for about 4 hours before my hair starts to feel greasy. Will not purchase again. Available on Birchbox.com for $20 for 3.2oz.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – this was.. fine. It was a perfectly fine dry shampoo. It did fairly decent job of absorbing oil for 5-6 hour, but after that just completely disappeared. I also felt that this was good for like 1-day, but given that I usually only wash my hair twice a week, it did nothing to extend my style or time between regular shampoo. And for such a “clean” line of products, this smelled like chemicals. Would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $12 for 1.8oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Vampire Blood and EEK! – yes. These are from Halloween and I love the cheesy names! I have a bunch of different scents hoarded away and will not be repurchasing any for a while. Available at Bath and Body Works for $1.75 for 1oz.

Julep Nail Color in Shari, Claudette and Margot – yes, I finished 3 nail polishes in the last couple months… Julep has so many great shades, however they are very dupable. I love the message behind the brand and like supporting an all-female business, but the Julep formulas frustrate me as a whole. I can get 2-3 days before they chip even with a durable topcoat. They also get really gloopy towards the end, the exception being Margot (gold) and I was able to use every available drop. These colors were beautiful but I will not be repurchasing any of them – especially at $14 each.

Ulta Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – I’ve written about this several times. I’m not super picky about polish remover. This works fine and is cheap. I have backups.🙂 Available at Ulta for $2.99 for 6 oz.

TOSS

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black – when makeup artist extraordinaire Lisa Eldridge (bow down!) recommends a product, I take that pretty seriously. Unfortunately this was an absolute fail for me. This constantly smudged onto my brow bone and under my eyes with and without primer. After a week of trying to make this work, I GIVE UP! Ugh!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 4

Body: 9

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 12

other: 3

Nails: 4

Samples: 13

Sheet masks: 4

All of my sample and sheet mask reviews are posted regularly on my Instagram (@lvp8779) as well as random other beauty things.. stop by and say hi!

I hope you have a wonderful May!

 

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Update: Progress with Perioral Dermatitis

Hello everyone!

My photos and links on my Instagram (@lvp8779) sparked some great conversation about dealing with and treatment of perioral dermatitis. It is reassuring to find others who have dealt with this, as well as be able to offer my own experience and treatment recommendations.

In my last post, I shared the backstory to discovering the problem and my over the counter attempts to treat it. There were a couple First Aid Beauty products that really helped reduce inflammation and reduce the pain.

When I last posted, I was  day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using the Sensodyne toothpaste. The photo below is day 14 of antibiotics week 4 of the FAB products:

This is bare skin, just serum and moisturizer. A few days prior, I added in the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum which, like all of their products, contains colloidal oatmeal. This is a gentle anti-inflammatory that eliminated the residual dry skin.

I have been careful not to use any harsh peeling treatments, scrubs or masks the last several weeks. One of the best changes has been that I no longer need 3 concealers to cover up the redness. As you can see, the inflammation is minimal – hallelujah!

So here is a photo from a few days ago:

 

 

This was day 21 of doxy and week 5 of the FAB products. My skin is no longer inflamed and painful… it is always a bit red, so this is nothing unusual. I am only using the Maybelline Master Conceal as needed and have put the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and the green MUFE primer back on the shelf.

So I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Thank goodness. I even left the house without concealer or foundation the other day. I just wore the IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ in Fair and felt really comfortable and not a bit self-conscious for the first time in months.

I’m so glad to be able to see this improvement and hope it has been helpful to any of you with PD. Please feel free to share any of your own experience or tips for dealing with PD. Stay tuned for more updates!

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March 2016 Favorites

Hello again!

Welcome to the March edition of favorites! Another month has flown by – I know, I know… doesn’t everyone say that? We started off spring so well – 60-70 degrees, lots of sun and flowers blooming everywhere. In the last couple days, however, we have regressed to winter. It has been snowing, windy and downright frigid for the last few days. Wtf? I didn’t sign up for this

If you read my last post about addressing and dealing with my perioral dermatitis, you already know about how much credit I give First Aid Beauty for helping calm the pain and redness. I’ve been using the Face Cleanser following a gentle cleansing balm at night and Ultra Repair Cream morning and night. I was worried about the cream clogging my pores, but it hasn’t caused any negative reaction whatsoever. What a life saver!

The nice folks over at Influenster sent me 3 of the new Amuse Bouche lipsticks to test and review. I received Pepper, Gazpacho and Beetroot which are all lovely! The formula is great – solid pigmentation and my lips stay hydrated for hours without needing to reapply. I liked these so much that I purchased a 4th shade in Nori. There has been a ton of press on this launch, so I won’t get too wordy… but the Amuse Bouche formula really reinforces my love for this brand. I love all of their products and believe in what they do. Now if only they would bring back my BB for lips…

 

So there you have it – short and sweet! What were some of your favorites for March?

Have a wonderful month!

 

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