Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Two Winner Giveaway! Enter Now!

Have you had a chance to breath since our last giveaway? lol This one has a lot of room for entries on all types of social media platforms, so you'll probably find your favorite.  For a lot of the entries, you'll have to click on it to see who you're following...has something to do with how Gleam hosts giveaways.  Onto the show:

 I’ve teamed up with a group of awesome bloggers to bring you a FABULOUS giveaway! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! It will have TWO winners, and the winner will get a $300 gift card to either Sephora or Target (Winner’s Choice). All you need to do is enter below for a chance to win!



Winner's Choice (2 Winners) $300 Sephora or Target Gift Card

Monday, February 29, 2016

Get Your Charcoal Off The BBQ And Onto Your Face With Derma E Purifying Charcoal Mask

Over the past year, the exquisite use of charcoal as a skincare ingredient has graced my facial consciousness and made me a believer. I used to think charcoal was just those little black squares that you throw in a grill and douse with lighting fluid. I've come to realize its far superior use as a skin purifying treatment with products like Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask, (1.7 oz/$19.50).

I'm going to give you the description from the Derma E website first:

Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask deeply detoxifies skin of harmful micropollutants in two ways: (1) Natural clays infused with Kimarine® Wakame, Bladerwrack and Activated Charcoal lift out dirt, oil and bacteria to decongest pores as the mask dries; (2) Apricot Seed Powder exfoliates away dead skin cells and captured debris upon removal. Kaolin and Bentonite Clays absorb excess oils and impurities, relieving skin congestion. Kimarine® Wakame is a potassium-rich, magnesium-rich seaweed that is clinically proven to protect skin against environmental pollutants (exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, heavy metals). Bladderwrack is an antioxidant-rich, mineral-rich seaweed known for its water-binding properties, supporting healthy skin hydration and nourishment. Activated Charcoal, known for absorbing 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities, purges pores of deeply rooted toxins, then Apricot Seed Powder gently exfoliates away micropollutants. Ideal for oily, active or urban skin types, even safe for reactive skin (minimal ingredients and allergy-tested), used this formula once or twice a week for skin that looks dramatically fresher, healthier and purely glowing. 

This product is a facial mask with a dual purpose.  The use of charcoal lifts out the gunk and goo that tends to build in your pores and the clays absorb other oily gunks.  When the mask is gently exfoliated away, it takes nasty impurities and bacteria with it.  I've found charcoal to be an ingredient that pulls every nasty thing beneath my skin's surface out, cleanses and clarifies the pores, and dries up the oily residue.  It's perfect for acneic skin as well as my dry skin.

My skin never feels cleaner than when I use a charcoal cleanser or mask.  I love it.  I love this mask.  First I apply it, concentrating mainly on the cheeks and T-zone because that's where I see my pores starting to enlarge now.

I can, and should, put this all over the face but I concentrate so much on the area you see above that I forget to get to the outer of my face by my hair.  You can see it begins drying immediately.  You don't have to wait long.  The suggested time to leave it on is five minutes.

In just about a minute, I look like an extra on The Walking Dead.

The ingredients are, (from the website):

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida (Wakame, Kimarine®) Extract, Charcoal Powder, Epilobium Angustifolium (Canadian Willowherb™) Extract, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Menthyl Lactate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Once it is dry, I take my hands, or a washcloth, get it wet and rinse the excess off while rubbing lightly here or there, wherever I feel needs it and my face comes out squeeky clean.  My yuck spots are clean and closed up, and I don't have any excess oil.  My skin never feels softer than when I use a charcoal treatment.

Derma E is a fragrance-free line, allergy tested, formulated by doctors and clinically tested for efficacy.  There is a whole brand new Derma E line called Purifying and you should be able to find them locally at Target , Ulta and Whole Foods.  You can find the brand online at Derma E's website, Drugstore.com, TargetAmazon, and Ulta.

If you want to remove deeply rooted toxins fom your skin, exfoliate, oxygenate and promote healing, I would highly recommend this product for cleaner glowing skin.  I love charcoal in my skin care!!!  It's one of my favorite ingredients because it is SO good for skin and I notice a huge difference in the health of my skin when I use it.  You can learn more about the company on their website.  Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTubePinterest, and Instagram.  You may follow their latest skincare tips and information on their blog.

Have you tried skincare products with charcoal?  What is your experience with it?  What is your favorite Derma E product?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pur HydraFluid Water Serum Foundation Review and Swatches

Known as The Complexion Authority(tm), Pur Minerals, a cruelty free company, has entered the serum foundation game with their brand new HydraFluid Water Serum Foundation, ($39/1 fl oz).  I was really excited to receive this!  The advent of skincare into foundation has been extremely good for my skin with other items and I expect no less from Pur.  I love being able to treat my skin while I smooth and hydrate it with a good base for my other facial makeup.   My skin is quite dry so if I hear hydra, water, serum and foundation all in the same sentance, I'll belly up to the bar and ask for a double shot!


This water based foundation is currently available in five colors and provides a near-medium strength luminous finish.  Let me tell you, once you're over 40, matte is not where it's at.  I'll take a luminous natural skin finish over matte every time.

A sleek tip is at the end of the tube that dispenses product when you squeeze.  I LOVE this!!!  I have a couple other foundations from different brands that have dropper bottles inside.  It's a nightmarish mess to use them.  This keeps everything clean and tidy.  I'm going all Monica Bing over this tube!!


The color variety isn't huge yet, but the colors can be mixed and combined to make your perfect shade.  I'm currently using Light, which is seen at the bottom on the photo above, and it's a really good match while I am the palest I've been since birth.  From bottom to the top, the colors are Light, Medium, Tan, Dark and Deep Profound.


The only complaint, per se, that I have on the packaging is that there is no shade name on the tubes.  It can cause some confusion if you have five tubes in your lap and need to figure out which is which.  The color name definitely needs to be added to the tube so until it is, or if it isn't, keep the box so that you remember which shade you purchased.

Here they are smeared a little:

These are the claims made by the company from the website:

PÜR’s encapsulated water complex delivers Swiss Alps-sourced water to hydrate the skin for lasting radiance while providing silky, medium coverage. HydraFluid water serum foundation is incomparably lightweight yet offers the perfect amount of coverage and satisfies the desire for dewy, breathable, luminous looking skin. This is the chosen foundation to create “bare-looking” but perfect complexion whatever your skin tone or type. Water sourced from the Swiss Alps is known for its high purity and is the ideal mineral water to refresh skin.

Now, I want to tell you that I'm really liking this!!!  It's a good fit for me.  I never liked matte finish, always prefering a satin, because matte looked masky on me.  This water based serum foundation gives me the natural glow that I crave.

I'm really enjoying this and it is what I'm currently reaching for when I do my makeup.  It even held up well today when it was unseasonably warm and my face got sweaty.  Two big thumbs up from me...for wear, not for the sweat, lol.  I get a really smooth, even, and glowing nearly medium coverage with this foundation and I'm quite pleased with it.  It's a good addition to the foundation market.

You can purchase Pur at Kohl's, Ulta, Beauty.com, and the Pur Minerals website.  I have quite a few looks I've posted lately on my Instagram and Snapchat where I'm wearing this foundation.  I'm definitely a fan.

Have you shopped Pur lately?  What have you liked?  What do you think of serum foundations?  Have you tried any?  Any favorites?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I've Been Enjoying Pantone 2016 With Youngblood Cosmetics - Read On For More!

It's always fun when the Pantone color of the year is announced and we find out what colors will be big for the new year.   For 2016, two colors were chosen: Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue, a baby pink and baby blue that will coordinate well together.  Beauty mavens generally desire to work the Pantone inspired colors onto the eyes, lips, hair or fingertips and enjoy wearing the colors of the year.  Today I am bringing you some suggestions from Youngblood Cosmetics that I've been wearing to bust out my best Pantone 2016 moves!

My first foray into Youngblood, (a cruelty free luxury mineral cosmetic brand), was their cobalt blue mascara that you might like to read about.  I believe a good color of blue mascara is a staple in every makeup bin.  It's also hard to find, especially in a cruelty free brand.

All of the above brings me to today's feature:  Youngblood Cosmetics pressed mineral eyeshadow quads in Glamour Girl and Vintage, and Pink Lust lipstick.  (In the picture below, you can see where I slipped and dug my thumbnail into the top pink.  Ugh.  Long nails.)

Each eyeshadow quad, (4 gm / $43), can be used wet or dry and has matte, pearl and shimmery finishes.  The quads have a full mirror on the lid.  The shades apply well, blend easily and wear for a full day.  I didn't have any patchiness from the mattes, or any of the other finishes.  I found the colors to be well suited in the way they were picked for the quads.  I have my eye on another even as we speak.

I love that you can use the shadows dry or wet for an intensified look.  Let's look at Glamour Eyes first; the blue and brown quad containing the shades Enticing, Alluring, Stunning and Charming.

The next picture shows some use as I've worn this a few times already.

The swatches I have are all done dry...I apologize, I should have done them wet, too.  I'm just so used to swatching everything dry.

And then I swatched Pink Lust lipstick next to the quad.  The work SO WELL together!  Pink Lust is a really gorgeous peachy pink with some gold shimmer.  It looks warmer in the tube and on my arm than it does on my lips.  The first two pictures are in my studio set-up.

And the following picture is outside.  You can see in my pictures how the shine of the colors picks up in bright lights.  Look at the gold shimmer of the lipstick!  Mmmmmmm.

The lipsticks, (4 gm/$19), are also outstanding.  On my lips, the color lasts a really long time.  I can't really say how many hours because I drink water or soda constantly.  But hours.

How about a pinky kissy kissy?  I love this lipstick SO much.  It's a nice wet looking pink shine.

My third item to tell you about today is Vintage pressed mineral eyeshadow quad.

The coordinating pinks and mauves can give a sweet feminine feel.  Or pair it with the Glamour Eyes quad and create your own special look.  Vintage also plays nicely with my Pink Lust lipstick.

The first swatch picture of Vintage is taken outside in full sun.

The other two are in my studio.

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics are formulated with minerals and are free from most allergens.  You can read more about the product formulas HERE.  You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.  You can subscribe to their newsletter and purchase at this link.

 I should tell you there are some mineral brands I can't wear because they make me itch but Youngblood and I are a match made in Heaven.  The makeup is pure, smooth and doesn't cause me any skin problems.

Have you tried Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics yet?   What are you wearing on your face or nails to celebrate 2016's Pantone inspired colors?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day Nail Art with KB Shimmer and Painted Polish

I've had a nail art idea in my mind for awhile that I wanted to try close to Valentine's Day.  I used 3 KB Shimmer nail polishes and one holo jelly from Painted Polish.  I've really enjoyed it the past week.  These are the polishes I used for my manicure:

nail art, Falling For Hue, holo, Foiled, Frisky In Fuchsia, Leaf of Faith

From left to right as you read:  KB Shimmer Falling For Hue, KB Shimmer Foiled, KB Shimmer Leaf Of Faith and Painted Polish Frisky in Fuchsia.

nail art, valentine's day, manicure

I just ADORE the off-white with glitter crellies by KB Shimmer.  I'd like to say they're my favorite of her line, but I feel that way about every one of her polishes that I use.  Having said that, the crelly shimmers are my favorite, and Falling For Hue is my favorite of the crellys.  :)  There are purple and red glitter specks of all shapes and sizes that reflect color as the light hits.  Each glitter speck provides holographic depth to the white crelly.  It applies like a dream and I used two coats on my middle finger.  Sad to tell you it is a retired color.

KB Shimmer Foiled, ($9.25), well the name just does a great job of describing it.  It is loaded with small silver metallic flakes.  It applies so smoothly!!!  I was really curious about the silver metallic polishes at KB Shimmer, and whether they would buckle as the flakes hit each other....I was so silly!  I should have known they'd be absolutely smooth as glass.  Just two coats are used as a base for the nail art on my thumb, ring and index fingers.  It's hard for me to take a great picture of this because it's so reflective, so bear that in mind when you see the manicure pics.  Foiled is everything I ever could have hoped it would be.

holo, holographic, jelly, red, nail art, manicure

Leaf of Faith, ($8.75), is a deep red jelly with red, gold and orange glitters that make this polish really come alive!!  I think a plain red jelly in this color would be super fantastic, too.  You can see the random holographic specks in Leaf of Faith to really draw you in.  I used this for nail art on my ring finger.  If I hadn't already had so many fingers full of polish, I would have done a full finger in this, too.  The sad part is that the nail art on my ring finger is really hard to photograph given the sparkle of the polishes and the size of the nail vinyls that I used.

nail art, Valentines Day, nail vinyls

Holy snap!!!  Painted Polish Frisky In Fuchsia, ($10), is everything you could ever want in a pinky fuchsia holographic polish!  It looks like a delicious jam and the holo is mainly red and violet and can spark shades of gold and orange.  It also applies smoothly and with ease.  I used two coats on my pinky and one coat with a nail vinyl on my index finger.  Obviously I'll need more polishes from this line.  Everything about this polish was outstanding.

nail art, metallic, holographic

So that's my mani.  Those are lips on my ring finger plus a heart shaped jewel.  I just couldn't get it to come out in photos.  Don't you think that KB Shimmer needs to bring back Falling for Hue?  Love that white crelly glitter!!!  Shoot, I really love all the polishes I used.

You can shop KB Shimmer's nail polish along with bath and body products HERE and Painted Polish HERE.  Their websites contain links to all their social media sites.  I love a great indie nail polish and these are.  They make me feel all lovey and mushy....just like Valentine's.  Who needs chocolate when you can have nail polish?!?!?!?!

Please visit the other blogs linked for more manicure ideas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Revlon Hair Products Review AND Valentine Blog Hop Giveaway Plus A Suprise!

I'd like to invite you to join a Valentine's Blog Hop set of giveaways by the Beauty Blog Coalition.  The links to them will load at the bottom of this list after my Rafflecopter widget.   For my giveaway, I have a set of Revlon hair care items.  They sent me a set to try out and tell you about as well as a set for a giveaway!!  Very nice of them, AND they told me about the One Step Blow Dryer and Stying Tool, which I bought as soon as it came out.  I'm indebted to Revlon forever for telling me about this tool/blow dryer because it has truly changed my life.  You can read about that in the previous link.

One lucky winner will get the following from my giveaway.  I'm so sorry but due to size and weight, I must keep the entrants to Canadian and US shipping locattions only.  :(  However, if you do the manatory entries on each blog, worldwide entrants are eligible to win the grand prize.

Lorac Champagne Dreams palette

Oh wait!!  There's a Lorac Champagne Dreams palette!!!  I put that in the giveaway so that you'll be able to fix your hair and your face up for all your date nights...or everyday wear.

I had a Revlon brush, kind of similar to the one in the middle, all through the 70s and 80s.  We moved and I lost it somewhere in the process.  It styled my hair like nobody's business!  I'd been looking for something that I liked ever since.  I've bought fancy brushes and I've bought cheaper brushes.  I'd use them and toss them out of frustration.   But, for some reason, I thought I had to find the right brush in a salon.  It should have been so simple for me to think of trying another Revlon brush.  Anyway, fast forward to now and enter the Revlon Scalp Sensations Styling Brushes.

The big paddle brush on the bottom is my favorite.  All the brushes are ionic for less frizz, and have nice nylon bristles with little bulbs to be soothing to your scalp.

The brushes are extra gentle, suitable for all ages, and retail for less than $10 each!!!  It's a steal.  Here are the other two.

Whatever your brushing preferences, there is a shape for you.  The other Revlon items will be an answer to prayer, especially if you have thick hair.  This is what you're dreamed of!!  (I have thick curly hair which I straighten).

XL elastics for hair!!!!  If you know the struggle of "2x isn't enough, 3 is too tight", you'll love these!  You can actually get these around your hair and have a secure hold!!

You also receive a striped headband...and look at this thick haired people!  Clips with grips!!!!  It can be so hard to get a clip to stay in thick hair!!

You can find these Revlon items at Target or any other drugstore that you choose.  And check out the new blow dryer.  It's changed my world!!!!!!!!!

So the surprise part of the giveaway is the Lorac Champagne Dreams palette that I added.  It's so pretty.

Enter my giveaway via Rafflecopter.  There are two items that are mandatory, as you'll see, and then many other options to build points toward winning.  Then hit up the blogs in the link as well to be eligible to win those items.  Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For this super-awesome Valentine's-themed blog hop, 38 fabulous bloggers have teamed up to give away some epic prizes, all beauty-related, of course! If you've been wanting to splurge on some fun items for yourself...you're in the right place!

Here’s How it Works: Each of the blogs participating are giving away their own prize on their blog. Yes, you heard that right — this blog hop has 38 separate giveaways that you have a chance to win! So after you’ve entered my giveaway, make sure you hop to all the other blogs (linked below) for more beauty products that you could win!

GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY: Because we like to spice it up a bit, we didn't stop at 38 giveaways...we wanted to make it a nice, round 40 with an epic grand prize that you could win! So, if you go around the blog hop and enter all the giveaways, you’re eligible to enter to win a $400 eGiftcard to Sephora or Ulta (winners choice!). If you live in a country that Sephora or Ulta doesn’t ship to, no worries! You’ll be given the money via PayPal to use at whatever beauty store you have nearby!

International Readers: There are some blogs who do not have their giveaway open worldwide, but you can still enter to win the grand prize giveaway! Here's how that will work -- for all the blogs in this hop that do not have their giveaway open worldwide, all you have to do is check out their giveaway, complete the required entry, and leave them a comment on their giveaway post letting them know you’re international but still did the required entry so that you can have a chance to win the grand prize! Then click the link below that will take you directly to where you can fill out the form to enter the grand prize giveaway.

You got all that? Any questions, just ask below! Let’s get into this hop!

In the event that you get an ERROR message when clicking on any of the links below, try clicking on the HOME page of that blog. Or come back later and try again. There are often hiccups that happen in the beginning of a pre-scheduled blog hop such as this. Thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Osmosis Skincare Watercolor Pigment Eyeshadows With Review and Swatches

If you're familiar with the brand Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, you're probably most familiar with the items of skincare that they make. I'm currently testing some and I'm impressed so far! You may not know that Osmosis also has makeup products. What I have for you today are two of the Watercolors, a loose type of eyeshadow that is vastly different than any others you've used.  I hope this post can convey the differences accurately and the superiority of this products.

On the left you will see Onyx and the right is Pink Champagne, (0.075 oz ea.).  And you can see that the properties of the shadow accurately describe their names.

I think I'll just tell you right now that these are by far the best loose pigment makeup I've ever used.  I've used several brands of loose shadows, starting with Mac pigments.  When I started doing makeup, access to different brands, formulations and colors was fairly limited, so I used a lot of pigments and loose makeup to get what I needed.  In the last few years,  I gradually got away from them when the ease of pressed shadows from every internet nook and cranny satisfied my color cravings.

I didn't expect to love the Osmosis.  I assumed they'd be messy and like any other pigment I've used.  Not.  Sooooo not!!  I'll stop my story right here so that you can look at swatches...mean, right...?

When you move and the light hits different facets of the color, the shimmer will show either more or less.  They have multi-faceted color vallues.  They are superb.

The first time I used these, I held my breath and steadied my hands, expecting a Mac-like experience.  The formulation seemed somewhat different...they feel hydrating to the touch.  The company claims that they are a hydrating eye formula offering a radient glimmer to the lids without creasing.  I can tell you this is TRUE.  I've had zero creasing with these shadows which are infused with green tea, vitamins A, C and E, and goji berry.

More importantly, I've had zero fall-out from them, whether we're talking about dipping into the pot with a brush, applying the shades or wearing throughout the day.  I've had NO fallout!!!  And here's the other thing, I just slapped them on, without any special glitter primer or anything like that.  They wore really really well.  And I have had no fall out.  How is that even possible?

In the picture above, I'm not all dolled up or anything but this was my first run of the shadows.  And I took more pictures when I got home after running around all evening, probably five hours later.

I find the wear really impressive.  That's the Pink Champagne in the inner eye and Onyx at the outside.

Another time, I tested the shadows while going to see zoo lights.  Again, I had no fallout applying or later after we got home.  It's simply amazing.  AND...these are by far the best loose shadows I've ever used.  I wish we had feel-o-vision so you could feel the texture.  It's really cool.

Bottom line is the Osmosis Water Colors are the best loose makeup I've ever used.  I've said this 40 times already but you have to understand how impressive it has to have had no fallout in application or during wear.  And NO creasing!!  I'm truly amazed at this product.  Of course I want all the colors now, lol.  They are really terrific!!!

You can follow Osmosis on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and you can read all kind of useful information on their blog.  Osmosis is available for purchase on HERE.

I'm going to leave you with my smoldering look....and ask....

...do you have a favorite loose shadow you'd like to tell me about, brand, color or both?

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