Friday, June 27, 2014

BA Star Tropical Eyeshadow Palette Swatches, Review, Giveaway - Plus Body Shimmer Base Review

If you're at all like me, you may have eyeballed some of the neon and bright eyeshadow palettes that have made their splash on the makeup scene recently. Oh how I longed for a couple of them...and yet the prices stopped me because they were just a want and not a basic need. If you hoped for a great pigmented bright eyeshadow palette that was really affordable with high quality, look no further than the BA Star Tropical Eyeshadow Palette, a mere $8.75 for five coordinated cruelty-free eyeshadows!!!

swatches, review, neon, bright, giveaway

Check it out in the direct sunshine.  Pretty!!  You can really see some of the shimmer when the light hits.

swatches, review, giveaway, bright,

Would you like to see some swatches? Well, I'll show you but first I have to tell you, each color is wonderfully pigmented. You won't find cheap makeup in this palette. BA Star was formulated for performers and cheerleaders, in particular, so you know it has to have rich color and be long lasting, wearing thru sweat, movement, and for long periods of time. I don't have a face of the day, (FOTD), to show you, but when I applied the swatches below on my arm, (no shadow base under them), they stayed all night through my sleep and I still had color on my arm in the morning. Wow.  I'd say they pass the wear test!!

bright, shimmer, review, giveaway

Closer up:

Review, Bright, Giveaway, summer makeup

review, summer makeup, cheerleader makeup, giveaway

The eye palette comes with a brush that has a small nylon brush on one side and a sponge type applicator on the other. Go ahead and use the sponge but the nylon brush has got to go! Don't use it. It won't get you anywhere.

swatches, review, giveaway, bright summer makeup, sponge brush

With my eyeshadow palette, I received a tube of Body Shimmer Base. This is something that I don't see on their website but because it came with the palette, I am guessing it's the Glitter Glue and Eyeshadow Base.  I'm going to clarify with the company, but I know that's what my friend Sheila received if you look at her review and gorgeous makeup application here.  I would really urge you to view her post because she did a really fun application.

The Body Shimmer Base looks just like what Sheila received.

review, give away, glitter glue, summer makeup, cheerleading makeup, stage makeup

These are the directions and ingredients:

Now I assumed I had a highlighter. And I swatched it on my skin. It wasn't until the night before I am writing this review that I saw the one on Painted Ladies and thought maybe this was a base for the eyeshadow. Notice the nice highlight on bare skin.  The first picture shows it swatched on part of the back of my hand.

And the next picture shows it swatched on the base of my thumb.  See, just a nice shimmer that would show as a gentle highlight when the light hits it.  I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!!

review, giveaway, cheerleading makeup, dancing makeup, stage makeup

So...then to write this post, I didn't have time to contact the company first, but I thought I would try this as an eyeshadow base on my arm and see how much difference it made. It made the shadows somewhat denser, but it's not dramatic or remarkable.  Just in case it's not easily seen, the Body Shimmer Base was applied under the top swatches.

This is my bottom line honest opinion:  Let's all run, not walk, to the BA Star website and get us some eyeshadow!!!!!!!  This stuff is awesome!!

And don't be scared of brights.  You can wear them heavy, light or as accents.  I will do some fotd's in the future using this palette and show some of my interpretations.

Before the giveaway:  BA Star is running a special just for you readers.   You will recieve a 50% discount when you use the code 50TROPIC at checkout.  This code is valid until July 4th, 2014.

GIVEAWAY:   Two lucky readers will each receive a free BA Star eyeshadow palette and the glue.  Go enter.  Tell you friends because we have room for TWO WINNERS!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beautisol Exscrub Me? Citrus Face Exfoliant Review

When I have a product to tell you about that is like Beautisol Exscrub Me? Face Exfoliant, it makes me wish that we had smell-o-vision for the computer because let me tell you, to smell the aroma is the first step in appreciation of this facial scrub. It smells DELICIOUS!!! I am partial to citrus scents and this has all the good ones in it....grapefruit, tangerine oil, orange peel oil, lemon peel oil and more in this cruelty-free, certified organic facial exfoliator. Let me first show you the ingredient list:

Aqua (Water), Polyethylene (Beads), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Jojoba Esters (Beads), Behenyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glyceryl Stearate, Sucrose Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Squalane, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Tocotrienols, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Phytic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Alcohol, Tocopherol (D-alpha), Passiflora Incarnata (Passionflower) Flower Extract *Certified Organic

This scrub was formulated to give you very smooth skin in preparation for a flawless sunless tan, but you can use it whether you use Beautisol sunless tanner, another brand, or just for a manual exfoliation. Again, the smell is just delicious!!! It's aroma therapy in a scrub!!!!

Squeeze a small amount out of the tube and you can see the little jojoba beads, (the pink), that will do the manual exfoliation while the citric acids do the rest of the work. Dampen the skin, apply the small amount of exfoliator, (smaller than the amount on my arm), rub gently in circles and rinse very well.

It's pretty...reminding me of birthday cake frosting somewhat. Exscrub Me? is formulated for all skin types and PETA certified. You can purchase this product on and it retails for $17 for a 2 ounce squeeze tube.  There is a discount code that is valid thru 6/30/14 that is a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!!!  Use the code:  BOGO2014.

My personal experience:  I have to include this in order to tell you a bit more about the product.  The first time I used it, I assumed it was like most other scrubs and I rubbed it around and then used my Sonic Spa to electronically exfoliate and remove the scrub and followed up with retinol before bed.  I do this with every other scrub because they don't seem to work unless I really scrub hard and help the product out.

Not so with the Beautisol Exscrub Me?!  I don't recommend using 2 or 3 methods of exfoliation at the same time.  In fact, you need to be gentle with Exscrub Me? and don't use a chemical exfoliator like retinol the same day.  All you need is Exscrub Me?.  I was thrilled to find this scrub actually worked all on it's own and didn't take a gallon of elbow grease!!

Be sure to follow Beautisol on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.  Have you seen founder Sinead Norenius on HSN displaying her products?  Have you tried Beautisol?  What are your favorite exfoliation methods?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LA Girl Pro Conceal HD High Definition Concealer Swatches and Review -The One You Want

PR Sample & I Bought It

Today I am bringing you an analysis of LA Girl Cosmetics Pro HD Concealer, (under $5/.25oz).  If you follow my Instagram or Twitter account(s), you've seen me post pictures and talk about this product quite a bit ever since I received it as a gift from the company last summer while attending Cosmoprof North America,, where  La Girl Cosmetics had a booth displaying their products.  I have received more comments, questions, interest and anticipation of this post than just about any other I've ever done.

Pro Conceal, HD, High definition concealer, makeup

LA Girl Cosmetics had a nice booth there.  I didn't have an appointment set up but stopped by the booth to deliver a message from a friend.  Oh gosh, they just couldn't have been nicer!!!  I chatted with one of the ladies for a bit while waiting to deliver the message.  She showed me products while I was there and asked if I had any questions about their products.  This is where I interject my personal story as well as my testimony about this product.   It has taken a year for me to work up the courage to show you my unretouched very personal pictures.

I had a bi-level cervical, (neck) fusion last May, (2013).  I have a couple of places where my skin is extra sensitive to pressure due to autoimmune disease and in the process of the surgery, I laid on my face for over 3 hours.  My nose is one of the pressure sensitive areas and I sustained some tissue damage from surgery.  It hadn't yet healed by the time I got to Cosmoprof in August, and it has taken a year to heal, (a story for another time).  I forgot to take concealer of any kind in my luggage and when I got to Cosmoprof, I'm telling you, I was desperate.  I asked her to tell me about any concealer they had and if she knew if I could buy it nearby the convention.  Gosh, imagine my surprise when she told me to pick a color out to take with me.

I eyeballed the tubes and picked what I thought looked like it might match best and picked Creamy Beige.

concelear, makeup, hi-def

In the first picture above, Creamy Beige is second from the BOTTOM.  It matches my skin very well, whether I am my palest or have a light tan.   Below you will find when I swatched this for the camera, I had a light tan.  I prefer to swatch toward the palm of my hand as I find that is the most like my face.  I have two pictures; the first being brushed on the hand from the container, and then the second is where I blended it in a bit more.

swatch, swatches, review, makeup

review, makeup, Cosmoprof North America

Let me tell you a little about the product.  I was told this is a high definition concealer.  The way I relate to high definition is that under the strongest of lighting and the greatest scrutiny, the product will meld with skin in such a way that it will conceal and even skin tone while providing natural coverage.

From the LA Girl Cosmetics website: 

Pro Conceal

Crease-resistant, opaque coverage in a creamy yet lightweight texture. The long-wearing formula camouflages darkness under the eyes, redness and skin imperfections. Provides complete, natural-looking coverage, evens skin tone, covers dark circles and minimizes fine lines around the eyes.

I've had so many questions on if this concealer is any good.  Yes it is.  Does it conceal?  Yes it does.  Does it cover undereye circles?  ABSOLUTELY.  It's THE ONLY concealor I've used that covers undereye circles and DOES NOT CREASE.

Did you hear that?  It covers without creasing, cracking or looking crepey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And trust me, I have tried almost every high end brand.  A lot of money!!!  And to think I could spend less than five bucks and get the best concealer I've ever used!!!!!  I want you to know this is my own honest, unpaid opinion.  This is my experience.

If there are still any doubts, let me tell you in pictures, showing my face and the tissue damage:

You can see, I also had a few small pressure wounds by my mouth.  As a "beauty" blogger, this was horrifying, to say the least, and with the following two surgeries, (one with a latex mask and myself having latex allergy), this damge got a whole lot worse before it got better.  It has been a very long year.  I have looked like Frankenstein most of the year.

In under a minute after the first picture, I used only LA Girl Pro Conceal concealer and I looked like this:

Ten minutes later:

hi-def concealer

Thanks to LA Girl Cosmetics, this is how I looked while I ran around CPNA, making professional contacts.  Nobody could tell whatsoever what I was hiding.

I've often been asked what I use to blend the concealer under the eyes.  My trusty Mac 187 duo fiber brush will do nicely!  If I'm not in a huge hurry, (rare), I remember to use my eye cream and then the concealer.  Sometimes I forget.  Sometimes I blend the concealer and the eye cream.  It has all worked.  And for me, it works best to brush it on with the applicator at the top of the tube and then just blend with the 187.  Sometimes I need a little bit more, so I go back for a second layer.

LA Girl Cosmetics Pro Conceal High Definition Concealer has been a life-saver to me in a year that was the most challenging and the hardest my skin has ever been through.  No exaggeration.  I mean, I just can't tell you how bad this year was for my skin.  My friends know...they say it.  You'll know soon as I talk about some skincare that helped.

Because the concealer has proven to me that it is worth FAR MORE than the pennies I pay for it, I got several different colors to mix and match in my artistry kit.  I truly believe this is something that every Pro Makeup Artist needs and can easily afford in multiple colors to stock their kit.   The following picture corresponds to the first picture at the top.

swatches, review

Here are swatches for these colors:

From the left:  Natural, Creamy Beige, Classic Ivory, Nude and Pure Beige.

And one more picture from the same week as my bare faced pic:

In summary, this is the best concealer I've ever used.  Never before have I had anything that covered undereye circles and looked natural doing it, without creasing or caking.  It is so inexpensive, it's just unbelievable.  It's nowhere in Anchorage, where I live, but I have ordered online.  You can find this cruelty-free cosmetic on-line at LA Girl USA and also at, where it is currently $2.99.

Run, don't walk to buy this awesome concealor.  Again, the opinions and experience are my own and not at all influenced by the gift of this concealer.  It is just really awesome, so I want you to use it.  You can find LA Girl Cosmetics on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Follow them.  You'll be glad you did.

Have I answered all the questions you have about this concealer?  Don't hesitate to ask!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pixi Beauty Peony Pink Nail Polish Swatches And Review

Pixi Beauty has started something new and fun - a color of the month for the rest of 2014!!! The color of the month for June 2014 is Peony Pink. It is a hot reddened pink creme. Pixi describes it as a hot raspberry creme. It's hard to capture accurately with a camera because it has the nearly neon tone, but not a true neon.

nails, June 2014 color

Whether you are in the land of Pixi Beauty, Australia where it is winter in June, or you are in the Northern Hemisphere where June signals summer, this color is appropriate for all that you will be doing.  It's very pretty.

Did you want to spend an afternoon at the beach with friends or at the park with your family?  Pixi Peony Pink is the perfect polish to wear!  Bright and cheery!!!

beauty, swatches, review

Do you like to have a summertime BBQ or a winter dinner with friends? Peony Pink is again the perfect polish to wear while you show off your best faux-fishing while lighting the grill.  Isn't this the cutest lighter ever?

review, Pixi Beauty

In all the pictures, I am wearing two coats but you can easily wear just one of this nail polish and have full coverage.  I used two because I'm just a two-coater by nature but also because I stuck one finger on another while polishing, lol.

I have to tell you something REALLY IMPORTANT before you go.  I had never done a wear test of a Pixi nail polish before and I thought I really needed to do that before I should write up this polish.  I wore this nail polish for a FULL and COMPLETE 7 days and removed it on the eighth day.  I didn't have a single chip!!

NO JOKE!!!  I only removed it because I needed to test some other things.  SEVEN FULL DAYS.  And, I did everything...opened boxes with my nails, jammed them in my teeth instead of toothpicks, packed stuff for garage sales, cleaned, computered and on and on.  I gave it a real work over and I'm telling you, Pixi Beauty nail polish is perfect for my body chemistry.  No CHIPS!!  A total winner!!!

You can find Pixi's nail polishes on their website as well as at Target  I hope that you will get a week's worth of wear like I did for the small price of $8 a bottle.  I'll have more coming up from Pixi and I'll be sure to do it in my best Australian accent, (don't have one), but I'll try.

What are your plans for the summer?  Where you could see yourself wearing this beautiful nail polish?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Algenist Friends And Family Sale

Save 25% off all Algenist products from now through Friday, June 20th, 2014 using the code FAF25. 

My picks are the Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil, the Eye Balm, the new mask and Genius cream.  These are the best prices on Algenist all year!!

The Eye Balm was my pick of the year for 2012.  The Repairing Oil earned Best Product of 2013 from me.  Search my blog for more information, but I hope you shop in the meantime!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Opening A New Door... From Sea To Shining Sea

Life is all about changes. If it is stagnant, there is something desperately wrong because we all grow, both mentally and physically, and change all throughout. You can even watch your pets change their habits, likes and dislikes, along with their size and even hair color as they trod along with us. We've changed our hair, restyled our clothes, seen babies born and grown... all the changes of life.

My family is experiencing the opening of a door that takes us to a new life and we are summoning the courage to walk through.  This year, my husband recently retired. He was fortunate to have began his career as a police officer at a young age so he could retire young. For so many years, I just longed for these days so that we could spend the time together doing different things as we did when we were dating. The stress of his job changed him to become more serious, quieter and less willing to do the things that we spoke of doing in retirement. Over the few months that he's been away from work, I've seen him begin to relax a little more and to be willing to do things he would never conceive of before... like driving through quitting time traffic, lol.

The passage to retirement is met with excitement to do the things we've dreamed of.  First is finding really good bicycles and taking them around the country to see famous sites I've only read about; monuments, battlefields, and natural wonders. Living in Alaska all of my life, it has always been my desire to see this great land we call America and really experience the flavor of each different region. One time, on a vacation visiting family, we took off on a whim to go see Mount Rushmore. Now that he is retired, we can do these kind of things at will. Anchorage is a very transient area. The military and oil companies are the largest employers in the state. We've known so many great people who have either retired and moved away, been transfered or left to be closer to family. Alaskans come to expect that people may not stay and the real excitement in that ends up being that we know people who live all over the country. Good friends, close friends. We're going to visit the people we've missed for so long.

The bicyles will bring us better health and visiting our friends will bring much love, laughter and the lightness of being that comes from such beloved visits. We've lived in the land of "purple mountains majesty" for so long that we're ready to see the "amber waves of grain" and "the fruited plains" of this land that I love. We've spent a lot of time in the Pacific Ocean and just dabbled our toes one time in the Atlantic, but our plan is to spend more time exploring "from sea to shining sea."

The doorway of this great change that we are standing upon is beginning to open. We excitedly look forward to jumping thru the door and hitting our next life full-on, with freedom and abandon. I don't know where the first place is that my bike will take me but you can bet that I'm looking forward to it BIG TIME! (Say hi to my dog:)

Have you been considering opening a new door in your own life? Read below to find out how you can enter for a chance to win $10,000 to help make your dreams come true.

Merck Consumer Care, the makers of OXYTROL FOR WOMEN – the first and only over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder – and MORE magazine are launching the “Open A New Door” program to help women 50 and over overcome barriers when pursing their passions.1,857 women 50 and over on MORE’s reader panel were surveyed to reveal what dreams they want to pursue in their second stage of life and what barriers they would face trying to reinvent themselves. In a perfect world, 97% of the women surveyed would choose a variety of ways to reinvent themselves in the near future. However, nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) of these women admit they would face obstacles in their quest for reinvention.

One woman who enters the “Open a New Door” contest will be awarded $10,000 to help her realize her reinvention goals in the areas of professional development, volunteerism or travel, in addition to a personal coaching session with Pamela Mitchell, founder and CEO of The Reinvention Institute. Women 50 and over can visit to enter. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN IN THE OPEN A NEW DOOR CONTEST. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. Starts 8:00:00 am ET on 5/20/14, ends 11:59:59 pm ET on 6/30/14 (“Promotion Period”). Open to women who are legal residents of 50 United States and District of Columbia and 50+ years. Void where prohibited. Subject to the Official Rules, inclusive of the entry judging criteria, available by visiting during the Promotion Period or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope for receipt by 8/4/14 to: Open A New Door Contest RULES, P.O. Box 13106, Bridgeport, CT, 06673-3106. Sponsor:  MSD Consumer Care, Inc.”

The Beauty Spotlight Team Weekly Gazette

Blushing Noir stepped out of her comfort zone this week and proved that people over 35 can wear pink eyeshadow & shimmer! Check out h...