Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not a Sales Pitch - A Testimonial You Might Find Interesting

If you know me, you know I am not a pushy sales person. If you don't know me personally, well now you know that about me. If you know me, you know my husband has Cystic Fibrosis, considered to be a terminal childhood illness. If you know my husband, you'll know he's WELL past childhood. If you've known us for long, you'll know that the past six years, every June his allergies have set off his CF and he's gotten critically ill...every June....six years...every time we thought he might die. I am not embellishing nor making it a bigger story than it is.

This June, we tried something new. I have my cousins to thank for introducing me to Cie Aura. I thought it was all heebie jeebie wierd stuff, which I'm not totally adverse to necessarily, but hearing about it, I thought uh huh, sure. But a cousin that I really trust told me she tried it and it worked. So I tried a couple things based on her testimony.

They have an allergy/sinus chip. Everyone in Alaska has sinus problems. Ok, that might be an overstatement, but most people I know do. I could instantly tell the difference and when the chip was done after it's three day time period, nobody had to tell me, I KNEW it. I thought if this worked for my husband, maybe he wouldn't get so sick in June. So I forced him to try it, like any good wife would.

It's just a doggone miracle. He has survived his June allergie season with NO occurance. He's not had a Cystic Fibrosis episode; no trips to the hospital and I am thanking God for finding these chips and thanking my cousins for telling me. I really am so thankful that I thought I should tell people. It really is a true miracle that he hasn't gotten sick this year in June.

If you'd like to find out more about it, you can visit my website here.

I know this isn't my usual kind of post, but I feel strongly enough about what it's done for my sinuses and for my husband's illness, that I wanted to share. So, want a pretty picture? Here's just about half of my Maybelline quads. They ROCK!

Maybelline Eye Studio Quads

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Review

The June Birchbox...what? You haven't heard of Birchbox? Well, it is this wonderful box that you can sign up for that delivers every month and is full of samples to try of all kinds of different cosmetic items. Sometimes they're even full sized. It's an incredible value and loads of fun for only ten bucks a month. Check it out on

So anyway, my Birchbox came this month packed full of goodies. They always make it fun and it's like unpacking a specially wrapped gift from your bestie. View the photo and cue the singing angels.


Looking in my box of wonder, it occurred to me I could not ONLY use these products, but I could tell you about them. We call this a lightbulb moment, only it should have been obvious. At any rate, let's get to the review. I'd been dying to try this product by celebrity nail guru Deborah Lippmann anyway because her polishes rock so I figured her remover would as well. I pulled it out of the box.

I love a nail polish remover that is portable for travel. Ever tried to get nail polish remover thru airport screening? No, me either, but sometimes you just need it and you take the risk when it's in your luggage that your clothing might smell a bit like acetone at the end of the journey. I was instantly intrigued by this Deborah Lippmann Stripper to Go, labeled for go-go girls. As a girl on the go, I figure I qualify. And lavendar scent? That beats remover scent, for sure.


Do you see the next line? It says finger mitt. What? An individual finger mitt to remove polish? I said to myself, "self, I gotta see this". But before I show it to you, look at the back of the package.


This Stripper to Go mitt contains Aloe Vera Extract, Lavendar, Acetone, and Glycerin. All good stuff for polish removal. And it promises that one mitt will work for all ten fingers!! So I opened the package and this is what's inside:


It really is a finger mitt. It is soaked in the remover fluid. It's a pretty good size, going down to the middle of my finger. Once I put it on, I began to rub and roll. I got five fingers cleaned and felt like my stripper was winding down. I looked in the package and there was more Stripper!!

I rewet my mitt, but as with most Stripper promises, I felt a little let down when I didn't get all the way there but only got 7.5 nails clean. Still, I found that rather impressive for a little finger mitt. Even if my Stripper didn't totally deliver, I got 75% of what she promised and I was pretty satisfied. It was a fun way to take off polish and smelled good doing it.

As far as the actual remover fluid itself, I have to say it's probably the best remover I've used. It worked quickly and well and I am likely to buy it when I run out of what I'm currently using. These retail at $10 for a box of six stripper mitts.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taken Ill for Two Days of Blogus Interruptous

I didn't quite know how it happened, but I couldn't blog for a couple days.  It wasn't a lack of desire, a writer's block, lack of interesting products to write was a simple case of Blogus Interruptous.  I maintained Twitter contact with my Tweeps, so I knew it wasn't too serious.  Well, I had to google this to find out what the problem was.

In layman's terms, this is called "Family Vacation".  It's a time when everyone pulls Mom in different directions, and Mom is pulled aside herself by all things new and sparkly.  There are stores only found on these "vacations" that have to be properly surveyed and investigated to be able to bring you, the reader, really pretty pictures.  This is not a serious condition but rather a momentary distraction.  Going through a tank of gas every two days must stop and blogging must resume in the regular fashion.

Just keep in mind there may be a relapse here or there, such as when the Nordstrom stores here get the new fall stuff to preview...(I'm looking at you Chanel and Guerlain!).

Now the really good news is that in a couple of weeks, Rita Brown who did my Dior makeover in Anchorage, will be here to make me into something new yet again!  I'm so excited for that, I can't even tell you.  She is a beautiful person inside and out and I can't wait to see her magic of the month.

I get bored with posts without pictures, maybe I'm ADD...look, here's something shiny!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Revlon Custom Eyes Eyeshadow Palette 030 Rich Temptations Swatches and Review

Drugstore eyeshadow brands have come a LONG way since I first started wearing makeup. My favorites are Wet-N-Wild, Revlon and Maybelline. These brands pack a punch with pigment, apply smoothly and don't crease when worn over a good shadow base. I recently felt like living on the edge and trying something I hadn't yet...Revlon Custom Eyes Eyeshadow Palettes. These are a win, win, win!!! Today I am reviewing the palette 030 Rich Temptations.

This palette has a lovely mix of colors. On the back of the palette is a small drawing that shows you one option of usage but you can do whatever you want with it, combining the shades in any manner that suits you. I could do the mathematical calculations and tell you exactly how many combinations there are, but eh, who cares? lol. Let's just say hundreds for under $10 and often on sale!

Revlon Rich Temptations

I swatched the colors on my hand to show you what they look like, although I didn't do it in the order of the palette, but I know you can tell which corresponds to which of the lovely textured shades. I find these palettes really pleasing to look at and the mix of shades so interesting and easy to use.

Revlon CustomEyes Rich Temptations 030

I've worn this palette quite a bit since I purchased it. Again, these shadows do NOT crease on me over my lid primer. They apply buttery soft and wear all day and into the night. The shades look as fresh on my lids when I apply them as they do after a nap and even when I wash my face before bed. I'm just really impressed with the wear of them.

Here's a couple photos of the palette in actual application.


I am wearing my go-to mascara in the photos, LORAC 3D.


Revlon Custom Eyes Rich Temptations Palette

I am loving Revlon these days and have several more palettes to review along with their Color Stay lipsticks. LOVE!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lancome Kissed By Gold Color Design 5 Shadow and Liner Palette Swatches and Review

If you'd like to see some of the other 5-in-1 Brightening Color Design Eyeshadow Palettes by Lancome, please see my other reviews for:

      Taupe Craze

      Emerald Boudoir

      Amethyst Glam

But today, I have for you the 5 color palette Kissed By Gold.  I'm just feeling like a crazy kinda rebel today so I'm going to start with the swatches.


And now the palette. It's gorgeous. Don't forget to ooooo and aaaaaah. I'm leaving it bigger than usual cuz it's just so darned pretty.


The palette comes with an insert that folds out and shows you how to use it to create a day look and a night look. It's pretty nifty.




I did a quick and easy look with this palette that I'll show you now. I have to warn you, tho, I left my hair natural instead of straightening, (big hurry), so I am wearing what I call my cray-cray hair cuz it's crazy!



Lancome Kissed By Gold, as well as the other 5-in-1 shadow and liner eye palettes retail for $48 in the US. You'll find so many variations; they're all fun and there's truly something for everyone.

Now for the cray-cray hair:
Lancome Kissed By Gold

I had no creasing or any other adverse effect with this palette. It wore very well and the shades apply well. I already have two more palettes on pre-order for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Call me addicted!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's a Nail and Makeup Haulapalooza!

My men made a mistake and turned me loose yesterday for five hours on my own. They went to see Lord Of The Rings and I went to every Sally's and Ulta, plus a few drugstores, as I could before everything closed. The movie was an excuse, cuz I would have done that anyway. So hang in lovelies, I have pictures to take and products to try, but it's all I'm so excited!! And some stuff to review from before I left home.

I am DYING to tell you about some Revlon and Maybelline eyeshadows and lipsticks that I've been picking up for a bit. Oh so good!

You've gotta see this! It's so pretty.

And one more you like Crocs? Do you like bling? Do you see where I'm going with this?

Stay tuned....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Neon Eye Application Featuring Milani Paint Eyeshadow Palette Swatch and Review

Just below this post is my introductory post to The Milani Paint Collection of all neon colors, featuring their neon nail polishes, as well as a clear top coat, and the star of the show the Milani Paint Eyeshadow Palette.

As stated below, my initial swatch impression was that the shades were chalky. I had to try it to see how it worked in application in order to give a proper review. I primed my lids with my go-to duo of Mac Prep and Prime Virbancy Eye Primer with Mac Prep and Prime Highlighter Pen in Bright Forecast on top. Before these came along, I was a die-hard Too Faced Shadow Insurance girl. Urban Decay Primer Potion was too dry and Nars Smudgeproof didn't provide the color to even out my one lid that is more discolored than the other.

I hesitantly applied the lid colors with my Mac 246 brush, and when I swept the crease, I used my 217, which applied MORE than enough color! I was really surprised. The shadows applied like a dream. I had ZERO problems with fallout, or chalkiness or creasing. I wore them all day and still at the end of the creasing! By the shadow anyway, I do have creasing of skin that just somehow isn't where it used to be. grrrr. :)


I was surprised to find I liked this look. It even passed the husband test. I really thought he'd ask if a clown threw up on me but he liked it. Score! And when I went to Nordstrom later, the Chanel MA was wearing almost the same look, and I was stopped by at least four MAs from different counters asking me which counter did my shadow. Perhaps they were scared and wanted to avoid that counter, but they were surprised I'd done it myself. I don't know if that's good or bad, LOL


I'm really not snarling in the above picture, but the sun was out and no matter how I try, I can't not wrinkle up my nose like a little hamster. I think that the shadow was more vibrant and looked better in real life.



In my previous post, someone suggested using a white primer pencil underneath the shadows to really make them pop, and *in hushed tones*, I really think I'm going to try it. This isn't for every day, but it was fun on a day that the sun made it's rare appearance so far this summer.

I loved the white in the middle. It's great for brightening or for highlighting, just stupendous. Loved it so much more than I thought I would. I found that I wished I'd gotten a bigger splotch of orange...what was I thinking??? The pink applies like butter. It is vibrant and with my 217, I got on far too much. I toned it with the purple and threw a little orange under it and wiped over it with the white.

And on the lid, I used the yellow and green. Never in a 100 years would I have imagined I would use a Neon Yellow shadow!! But I liked it. Next time I will combine a different color on the lid with it than the green because they tend to lose their individuality when used closely together, and my objective of this application was to get a real feel for the palette and each color. So I would do that differently next time. All in all, this is total fun to play with and I'm super happy that I picked it up.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Milani Paint Collection... A Neon Swatch Extravaganza

While on a wander thru my local Fred Meyer, (Fry's or Kroeger's for those of you not in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska), I was blown out of my shoes by a stunning display of bright color. The advertising board simply says Milani Paint. The boldness totally took my breath away. I looked shyly to the left and right to see if anyone had noticed because this is a new and innovative expression for makeup.


Kudos to the development team because as a lover of all things color, there was no way I could just walk by as it caught my eye. It literally stopped me in my tracks and I was compelled by my curiosity to investigate. I was drawn to it by a force beyond my control. I had to read the display a little closer to be sure of what I was seeing. I mean Neon Eyeshadow?? That's bold! That's innovative!! That's daring!


I had to pick it up the multicolored neon round thing to be sure it was really eyeshadow, and it was. It is labeled 01 Paint Eyeshadow Palette. Each display holds just four of the eyeshadow palettes and they are all different. Each has a different amount of the seven possible colors, so choose your palette wisely. It is about the size of my palm, and comparable in size to a Mac Beauty Powder, if you're familiar with those. This palette retailed for $8.49 at my store.


The nail polishes in the display were existing Milani colors, mainly Neons. There were 2 Rad Purple, 3 Pink Hottie, 2 Dude Blue, (all pictured on the left side of the first photo). On the right side were 2 Totally 80's, 3 Quick Dry Top Coat, and 2 301 White.

I'm including some swatches of the eyeshadow palette and then I'll talk about my impressions. It is a bit impressionistic, isn't it? haha, art humor.


The display shows the model wearing all the shades together. I kind of doubt I'll do that since I'm not under 25...just doesn't seem like it would look right on me. I'll probably enjoy a color or two as accent to whatever else I'm using.


These are finger swatches onto my hand. My initial impression was that everything was quite chalky except the pink. The pink went on like butter, but it might take some work to use the other colors and get them to show up as well as to get them to stick. But I will find the answer to this puzzle in the next day or two and tell you what I've learned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OPI Unveils the Miss Universe Collection Nail Polishes - Sneak Peak

Last night, at the Miss Universe Pageant, OPI did the contestants nails with their special collection called Miss Universe.  Appropriately named, don't you think?  They unveiled it at the contest and have showed us pictures online to make us drool with anticipation.

From left to right, the colors are Congeniality is My Middle Name, It's MY Year, Crown Me Already!, Swimsuit...Nailed it!  What a fun debut it must have been and these look like colors I'd really like to see!!

My Quest for Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duo Flourescent Nail Polish in Aloha

Wandering thru a department store, as is my customary habit, I swatched one thumb with the latest nail polish from Dior. It was a gorgeous tangerine orange called Aloha and came in a duo with a glossy top coat. I had been hunting for my perfect orange polish. Just craving an orange polish that would be slightly red toned, rather than yellow. I was trying a new system of and walk away. If I really like it, come back and get it or order.

Part of why I didn't purchase it at the time was that it came with a top coat and gee whiz, why would I need another top coat? Well, my wisdom and frugality was a joke on me. I couldn't get the lovely color out of my mind. Decidely, it was my perfect orange. Oooo la la.


The next day I called Nordstrom and asked the person on the phone if they had it in stock. Here's where I'll skip to the end of that little story...she lied to me when she said she pulled it and I ran down there before the store closed to find out it wasn't available. I was a bit agitated to have left the girl jewelry party I was attending to go downtown for a product that wasn't being held and wasn't even in store, and I found out later that our store only received three sets anyway and had been long gone. Not one to wallow in my pity for long, I ordered from the dot com as soon as I got home.

So my order arrived while I was away on a mini-vacay, and when I got home, I couldn't wait to open it. I couldn't get the polish out of the box. It was really super stuck! I had to rip the box only to find that the bottle was broken. *sob*

With a visit to my Dior MA, and all my sob stories, she checked the Nordstrom inventory to see if any stores had it. There was a store that had one. If you've ever done an inventory search with Nordstrom, you'll know that one means haha, it's not really there, inventory wasn't updated in the computer yet and you're out of luck. Well, it was a miracle cuz that store actually had it!! The order was placed ASAP.

Applying the Aloha orange polish was a dream. It has this new brush that I thought was really funky because it's shaped like a mini cat tongue. I thought it would be unworkable, but it really applied the polish well. And I swear it was swell with just one coat. But being a two coater, I applied the second coat. Rarely have I seen anything so delicious or so shiny!!


The box tells you that the polish needs to be protected from light, so I keep it in the box. I don't know why; I haven't heard the sales pitch. I assume the top coat is some kind of formula to protect the polish from light, but I don't know that. It's just an assumption.

This top coat is to die for, tho, it is SO shiny and it dries the polish uberfast!!!! $25 was a bargain for this combo. It wears extremely well, it feels solid, like it will wear like iron. I'm on day four and have one tiny little wear spot on a nail from getting new invisalign trays for my teeth. They're super tight at first and have to be pried with a nail, so all in all, I'm really impressed.

Nobody likes to look at toes, but here's what I'm sporting this week, fuchsia toes and orange nails. Am I breaking any nail laws? I hope not, but I like it so I guess I don't care. Except that I'm showing you my toes. Oh, the horror!! And the photo was taken late at night so the lighting was sketchy, sorry.


FDA Applies New Rulings for Sunscreens

.Wearing sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or greater is more important than ever. The FDA has determined that claims of sweatproof and waterproof are a little exaggerated. Please read up on this because skin cancer is a growing epidemic. I was surprised at what I read in the following article.  Please check this out.  It's not an overstatement to say it could save your life or the life of someone close to you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review of Dior "Diorskin Airflash" Spray Foundation

Remember when Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation came out and there was all the hooplah about it? People wondered if it would be a cheaper alternative to using a professional airbrush makeup system. Having never used a Temptu or anything like it, I can't compare that process to the Diorskin Airflash Spray, but I can tell you about this foundation.

My favorite foundation finish is a natural looking satin, although from time to time I change it up with something more matte or a tinted moisturizer. I guess I go through foundation phases. I am really dry skinned so I've been searching for a foundation to fake a glow. Well, let's investigate some of the details of this foundation.


Diorskin Airflash comes in a spray can that contains 2.3 ounces of product and retails for $60. Sounds like a horrifying price, but it will last for a long time. This product is touted as "instant coverage in a flash". The MA told me she just sprays it on her face and she's done because she's been using it a long time, but she suggested to me to spray it on a brush and apply it that way. I used the color 300, Medium Beige. This product comes in five different colors and I found that 300 was a bit too light for me, although if you only saw my face, you would think it was a good match.

I took pictures with it and the other foundation I was test-driving, and boy oh boy was there a difference. Of course, in real life, I don't live in a camera, I'm in 3D flesh, so I have to consider how it looked in person, too. Looked ok in person. Looked not ok in pictures.

So I tried it a couple more days, alternating foundations, trying the husband test. That was a waste..."uh, am I supposed to see a difference?" I needed for some chicks to check me those days, but I didn't think of asking any. Shoot. Opportunity forgotten is opportunity wasted, but there were so many other things to talk about like kids and shopping.

Well, this is what I can tell you from my real life observations. It evaporated off my nose, which I didn't ever notice till the end of the day, cuz remember I'm dry, so I don't have to check and powder thru out the day. Oh, embarassing. And I had a skin reaction to it where each time I wore it, I got three little blisters. I'm not acne prone but I recognize these as little allergy type blisters. They'd be there in the morning after I'd worn the foundation and gone the next day I didn't.

Thirdly, you can get foundation everywhere spraying that thing. I don't want foundation all over my sink, my bathtub, or any of my other makeup. I really wanted to like it, I really tried...but because of the bumps, I knew it wouldn't work for me.

And then....I was going thru pictures and trying to figure out why the heck I took pictures just wearing a blush. And why would I wear a blush without foundation? I never wear blush without foundation; it just adheres better and looks smoother. I resorted to asking my son if he knew why I had taken pictures a couple days before because I had these horrifying pictures. I have wavered over whether to show you or not, because this will be the most embarassing moment of my life, but I think you need to see it.

Really embarassing:

It's a very natural finish. If I wanted to look that natural, I wouldn't wear anything, cuz it sure looks like I'm not. I think you could easily achieve this natural look with just a primer or something. All I know is it wasn't for me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

China Glaze Let's Do It In 3D Holographic Nail Polish Swatches and Review

Today we have for you a holographic nail polish from the China Glaze Kaleidoscope Collection titled Let's Do It In 3D. It is a gunmetal grey without sunshine on it, looking most like the ring and pinky nails in the following picture. The first two nails caught a bit of rainbow under the cloudy sky.


With sunshine coming thru a window, you can see that the holographic rainbow begins to form, giving this color a little bit more interest.



In a full on "hurry, capture the thirty seconds of sunshine this summer" mode, I caught some rainbow pictures on my cell phone while out garage saling. You can see that it's a strong rainbow from purple to silver. Holographic polishes are always fascinating when the sun shines on them. Just fabulous!!! Without sunshine, this one was a bit dark for me for summertime.



I thought it would be interesting to try a holographic polish as a base for crackle. I used OPI Blue Shatter but it didn't work the way it does with a regular polish. Don't waste your time or polish trying it, just look at mine and you'll see there's a problem with the formulas jiving to create a crackled or shattered effect. It could be because it's an older polish and created differently from the Big 3 Free polishes or it could be simply the grainyness doesn't lend to an easy shatter. Only China Glaze knows for sure. :)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Winner Chosen for Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure Salon Effects Giveaway

A winner was generated thru and has been emailed the win notification. Congratulations to Sarah Diamond. Of course, if the email goes unanswered, we'll pick another. Thanks to everyone who entered and check back for more giveaways in the future.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lancome Color Design All-In-One 5 Shadow Palette Taupe Craze Swatches and Review

It's my opinion that the Color Design All-In-One 5 Shadow palettes are the best eyeshadows Lancome has ever made. In each palette, you have a base shade, a lid shade, a crease color, a highlight and a liner. Of course you can use any of the shades in any pattern that you wish, but there is a plastic covering over the shades that designates these colors as such, if you desire to use them that way. Taupe Craze is....well, just brimming with Taupe.



Most of the shades have a little shimmer, except the middle shade, (the crease shade), it is a matte taupe. The hand swatch shows the base shade, lid shade, crease shade, highlight and then the liner, in that order.


In case you lose the little insert and aren't sure how to apply the shades, Lancome has provided a nice fold out insert in the packaging that shows a day look on one side and then how to boost it up to a night time look on the other.

I have the fold out insert pictured in my review of the Lancome Amethyst Glam Palette.

Additionally, I have tried to show the palette in use. The first picture is a little blurry, sorry, but it shows the color well.



I have reviewed three of these palettes so far and have purchased four, so I still have a review to go. I have had great wear from all the shades with the exception of the crease shade in this palette. For some reason, crease is the word that describes it well. I've worn it about four times and every time it has creased on me. The Emerald Boudoir Palette has a very similar crease shade but I've had no problems with it whatsoever. In both pictures, I am wearing Dior Aurora bronzer on cheeks with LORAC 3D mascara.

Ok, and in the second picture, I was going garage saling at some unGodly hour so I'm looking a little rough, but you get the idea of the 5 shadow palette in use.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How To Layer Shatter And Crackle Nail Polishes

I got this great idea so I had to try it. I did a manicure with a fuchsia base and a LaRosa white Crackle Shatter over the top. I thought wouldn't this be great to layer Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Fuchsia Shock reviewed here.

The only problem was that it didn't work. It didn't really crackle. So I tried OPI Turquoise Shatter over that. It didn't shatter. I put OPI White Shatter on top thinking maybe the two brands being the same would do something. Nada. All I got was a mess.


I removed these lovely accent nails and repainted them in the original fuchsia, with the conclusion that you can't crackle/shatter over crackle/shatter. I haven't given up...I feel confident someone will have a way to do this eventually. After all, who wouldn't want a crackle sandwich?

Here's my lovely manicure now, zzzzzzz:


You never know till you try, right?