Tag Archives: body

Fave Beauty Companies-2016

19 Feb

sephoraaislesAround this time, I start thinking about the products that I fell in love with last year. As I sat at my vanity today, I realized I fell in love with A LOT of things in 2016! Skin care, makeup, fashions… you name it. I think I have my visit to The Makeup Show in NYC last May to thank for that. I learned about so many big companies as well as “indies” that had products that were above so many others. Not to mention, I was able to ask questions about their ingredients so it could help me decide on possible items that my sensitive skin wouldn’t protest. So instead of me singling out each product that I am crushing on big time (and trust me—there are many), I thought I would talk about some of the companies that have given me items that are now a part of my regular beauty and glamour routine:

twinmedixTwinMedix: None of my makeup products would look or feel good on my face if my skin wasn’t in great condition. I had been using a “variety” of skin care products from different companies to try and get my skin to a place where I was happy. I admit, I am fighting the clock when it comes to anti-aging skin care for my face. I thought I was winning, but then I began to realize that all the different products I was using were usually created to work their best with other products from the same brand. Sometimes those sister products were hard to find, very expensive or even irritated my skin. I was kind of at a loss as to what to do. That was until I attended The Makeup Show in NYC. I was honored to meet and be able to have a little one-on-one time with the fabulous makeup artist, James Vincent. I asked him what smaller, unknown companies at the show should be on my “must see” list. His first answer?—TwinMedix. I stopped by their booth and met their fabulous President, Michelle, who was a sweetheart. I told her about the problems I was having with my skin and what I wanted to achieve in the long run. She introduced me to the ENTIRE line from TwinMedix. If I was going to try this brand, I was going to do it right and use ONLY that product….and I am so glad I did! My skin has NEVER looked and felt as good as it does now. I have been using each product faithfully since last May and I love the results. Their state-of-the-art technology enables them to create the purest and most professional formulas that integrate pharmaceutical-grade vitamins to treat and protect your skin. It is so high tech that there are very few products that are needed—a great cleanser (O2), a phenomenal exfoliator (X), and vitamin enriched serums (C10,E5 A15) that are used each day and night. For a redhead with sensitive skin, I have to say my face has never looked and felt so good. The vitamins they use are known to help fight against aging, and they are abundant in the TwinMedix line. As hesitant I was to try a skin care line without research, Michelle told me how to use each product and why! She even told me to let her know what I thought after I used them for a while… and I did. I am glad I found the TwinMedix line of skin care products. I still don’t like getting old but now I have the goods to help me help kick over the hourglass in the aging process!

katvondKat Von D: Being in the tattoo industry made me aware of the KVD line of cosmetics as soon as her line was released. Anyone who follows her knows that she doesn’t blend in with the crowd and she is proud of it. After many years of “blending”, I finally found my voice (and pen!) and began being the sassy redhead I am now. When I am out in public, I like doing my makeup in different ways. No matter what the attire is for the day, my makeup always has a pop to it. Sometimes it’s a bold lip, sometimes a rocker eye look. When the winged eyeliner look took off, I was lost. VERY lost! I couldn’t get it to look good like some girls that came to the tattoo shop. I watched videos, I played dress up, I tried. Then I learned that it might be easier to get the look I want if I used a better liner. What did everyone suggest? You got it… Kat Von D’s. It all started with her famous Tattoo Liner. I fell in love immediately! The long wear formula and easy peasy pen design let me get the winged liner look the way I liked. It even gave me the precision of the thin pen design to create some fun, “out there” looks. My next love was her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. It is no secret that I like to talk. If I am out and decide to have a cup of coffee with a friend, I don’t want my ordinary lip color to end up on my teeth or all over the coffee cup. I want it to stay put for a long time. KVD’s Liquid Lipstick does just that! If it is on, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The colors she has are awesome—bold, flawless and long lasting. She even has colors that are REALLY bold, like purple, hot pink, blue and black. What I like to do is create my own color of the day. I pick the shades of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick that I want to blend, use a clean lip brush, and apply my own shade that will last. I don’t think I have ever created the same color twice! The possibilities are endless. My lip look can be as neutral or as strong as I want. In fact, when I went to order my latest KVD lip color, I had the opportunity to get a sample of her Lock It Concealer Cream. When it came, I thought I would just try it out since I don’t really have dark circles under my eyes. Well, that may be true but I couldn’t believe how “bright” my makeup looked on my face when I used it. The color was spot on (which is difficult for a redhead to find) and it carefully hid the flaws that I didn’t know I had! I was in awe and I ordered the full-sized product that week. I will be looking forward to sampling different things in the KVD line when I get the chance to get to a Sephora and adding to my favorite cosmetics. (Oh, by the way? Do not overlook her makeup brush collection. She may not have many of them but the ones she does have in her line are FABULOUS!)

makeupforeverMake Up For Ever: This is a big name when it comes to cosmetics. That’s probably because they are masters of just about everything in the industry! If you are looking for a product that you loved from another company and it recently got discontinued, I suggest you look at MUFE. They even have things I never knew about or thought I needed… but now are part of my makeup routine. One of those items is their Aqua XL Eye Pencil. I love my liquid liner on my top lid, but when it comes to the waterline on my bottom lid, it is hard to get any liner to stay there for a long time. The Aqua XL is perfect for just that. Not to mention, it is a pencil you have to sharpen yourself so you can get a nice tip for precise application. It is a product I use EVERY day. I am also a big fan of MUFE’s Aqua Seal, especially since almost all of my eye shadows are mineral loose powders. If I need to keep my eye look in place through the craziest of situations (all-night dancing, tear-jerker movies, photo shoots…in the rain), I will use a just a little on my eye shadow brush and pat it on using my shadows. It does dry quickly, so have an idea of the look you want before you start because it is meant to stay and IT DOES. This is also great to use if you want to create eye liners in wild shades. Using an angled liner brush, dip the tip in the Aqua Seal, pick up a bit of pigments from shadow pot and apply along the top lashes or in/below the bottom lash line. The bottle lasts a long time, just keep it sealed tight. When it comes to finding a foundation, I will take and suggestion or recommendations (let’s not forget about samples!) really help me decide on one I might like to try. I find my skin to be very sensitive to department store & drug store liquid make-ups. When I had the chance to pick the brain of a professional makeup artist, I asked what his go-to foundation was. He didn’t hesitate: Make Up For Ever’s Water Blend Face and Body Foundation. It is SUPER light but buildable. It doesn’t “hide” my skin but in fact makes my skin look natural and flawless. Again, the bottle is REALLY big and lasts a long time. Some might be put off by the price, but if a bottle lasts an entire year, that breaks down to pennies a day. Then, to complete my look, I like to give my face a nice dusting with an HD powder. It sets my makeup and leaves my skin flawless. The finishing powders I had used in the past left my face looking “cakey” so I was hesitant to try them again. Then I received a sample of MUFE’s HD Microfinish Powder and I’ve been using it ever since. It was hard to process that a powder could be white but it truly is colorless and anyone can use it. A nice, light finish for all day wear and perfect for movies, videos and photos. I always keep an eye on Make Up For Ever to see if they have any new items that I might love as much as these.

lamineralsLA Minerals: “Who?” you ask. Exactly. LA Minerals is a small indie company that I stumbled on while looking for products that wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin many, many years ago. I was able to try many different formulas and shades (which they have many of!) to see what mineral powder foundation would work for me. They have samples available for almost all of their products so it was nice to try ones I liked and see after a couple of uses whether it would work for me. Well, they did. They ALL did! I ended up getting hooked on a light coverage formula (Valley Girl) for summer when I just need an all over dusting in the heat; a heavier coverage mineral makeup foundation (Hollywood) during the colder months when my skin is a bit is a little paler and uneven toned; a pure, no talc blush in a color that goes with everything I wear without giving me itchy skin; an oil-controlling finishing powder that keeps the shiny-ies away when my skin gets a little oily in the summer and during workouts; “diva dust” that works as a fantastic high-sparkle cheek, lip and eye highlighter; and pure mineral eye shadows that can go on wet or dry, contain no talc, and requires very little product for a great look. What is nice about LA Minerals is that they have a “frequent flyer” code every month for returning customers. You will never see this company in magazines, on TV, or in cosmetic stores. It is all done by one fantastic woman with a great product that thrives on referrals. I have been singing her praises for MANY years and will continue to do so! (Footnote: LA Minerals just released a pure mineral LIQUID foundation which its AWESOME, especially on my dry, winter skin.)

Paul Mitchell: If your skin and makeup are looking great, you might as well make sure you have beautiful hair too! After a horrid hair decision over 3+ years ago, I had to find someone that would fix my mistake and get my hair healthy again. My BFF at the time said he knew just the person and set up a time for her to come discuss my options. She was a miracle worker! She still keeps my hair, even today. I still have a bit of damage to my ends, but they are almost completely grown out. Whenever I would go see her for my appointments, I would ask her what items would work best on my hair to do this or that. The first item she suggested was a Paul Mitchell spray called “Hot off the Press”. It was a multi-function styling product that could be used with hair appliances to hold the style or after I was completely done with my hair for a good hold that wasn’t sticky or damaging. It was exactly what I needed and there is always 1-2 cans in my loft at all times. Since I had been “enhancing” my hair color over the past several years, it was important to find the right products that would extend the life of my color without causing more damage. PM came out last year with a fabulous line of products just for that! The Ultimate Color Repair line not only helps repair current damage but also seals in color preventing fading and keeps hair shiny & soft. This has been my go-to line ever since it came out to keep my auburn tresses bright and healthy! In addition to those favorites, I also have other Paul Mitchell styling products that I love that helps give me a fab look for the day/night. You will find Super Skinny Serum, Stay Strong, Thicken Up, Extra Body Finishing Spray in my collection at all times. Even with that chaotic hair experience, my stylist along with Paul Mitchell’s great products has helped my hair to get healthy again… and has what I need to keep it that way!

We all know that when we see an advertisement in a magazine or on TV for a beauty product, our ears perk up and we try to justify how this great product could fit into our beauty routine. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. As I have gotten more mature, I have learned that new doesn’t always mean better. Although for us makeup junkies, it is hard to turn away from something new that looks great. Nowadays, I find myself asking “Is it worth the time and money to try this or should I stick with the product I already have that I KNOW does exactly what I want it to do?” Sometimes I do venture off and try something new, but I am also finding that loyalty has its privileges…and results!

Let me know what you think about this: Do you have a brand that you are completely loyal to? Do you have any “must have” products from different brands that do what you love and won’t try anything else? Or are you an “I have to try it!” person who is always looking for something newer/less expensive/better? Let me know your thoughts on brands or products you LOVE!
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PRODUCT REVIEW: ‘Tis the season for…. Exfoliation & hydration

21 Dec

winter
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”**

Oh joy, oh joy—winter is upon us. Don’t bother looking at the calendar. I can tell you first hand… it is winter. It’s cold, I’m layering, I’ve been wearing a heavy coat for weeks, I bought new gloves. Three pair. And I even invested in a mini ceramic heater for my vanity room for extra warmth when I put on my morning makeup. When it comes to winter, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…. then it probably flew south already. Just saying.

When the temperatures get colder, taking care of your skin becomes very important. Not only do you need to moisturize more frequently but you will need to possibly use something a bit heavier. This not only applies to your face but to your whole body–head to toe. I recently was sent some items after a product from a distributor in my hometown was featured in the How to be a Redhead subscription box few months back. It was a salt scrub with a nice, gentle scent. When I asked the distributor if there were other products that she liked herself, she sent me some great items to try. I was quite impressed.

shemenlogoLet’s talk about the company for a little bit. Shemen Amour is a woman-owned company that offers a great line of Certified Organic Israeli Dead Sea products. They carry products for face, body and hair for both men and women which is great because men sometimes forget that skincare is just as important for them too. The ingredients in their products have great healing benefits that naturally occur in the minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea. Every product they carry is 100% cruelty-free—part of the Leaping Bunny Program as well as “Beauty Without Bunnies” program certified by PeTA–and is environmentally conscious with each item they carry. That is something that is very important to me.

The local US Distributor was sweet enough to send me a few face and body products to try. I got them very quickly! My first reaction was WOW!—the packaging is huge. You certainly get a lot for your money! I decided to work my way “up” the line in order to give myself a chance to really try them all and see their benefits. Some results took some time to see, some were immediate. I’ll share about each:

img_2922img_2921FEET: Summer is over and it’s time to get rid of “sandal feet” and get them ready for winter. The first thing I used was the Mineral Foot Peeling Cream. I will admit—this was weird! I have used many foot scrubs over the years, but this one confused me at first because it had nothing “gritty” in it. So I wasn’t really sure how it was going to shed the dead skin off my feet. I put a decent amount of the cream in my hand and began to rub my feet with it. HOLY SMOKES! In a matter of seconds, I saw “beads” of dead skin falling off my feet! At first I was shocked but then realized what was happening: I was giving my feet a “chemical peel”. I rubbed the Peeling Cream into both feet for about a minute each then rinsed them with luke warm water in the tub. I could already feel a difference in how smooth my feet felt. It was amazing. Afterwards, I applied the Mineral Foot Cream. I loved how this moisturizer felt on my tootsies. It absorbed quickly, wasn’t sticky or heavy, and made them feel even smoother than before. Again, you don’t need a lot… just a small dollop was enough to moisturize for a day. The scent was gentle as well. I liked that it kept my feet soft even after a few days. It is a really great formula. If you do like things with a soft scent for your feet, they also offer a foot cream with a lavender scent. I tried that one as well and liked it. It seemed to give my feet a gentle cooling sensation as well which was nice.

img_2919-1img_2918BODY: One of my favorite scents when it comes to body products are fruit scents. They awaken my senses and leave my skin feeling and smelling fresh and sweet. When I saw that I got two body products to try from Shemen Amour in a passion fruit scent, I was psyched! The first item was a VERY large “tub” of Aromatic Body Scrub. Enriched with Dead Sea Salt, herbal extracts and nourishing oils including olive, avocado, jojoba, sesame and sunflower, this body scrub exfoliates AND moisturizes at the same time. I found that before I use it, it is really important to SHAKE THE CONTAINER! It will separate if it sits around, so to get the oils into the salts, mixing is really important. It even contains aloe vera so as it removes the dead skin, it soothes too. After the shower, my skin felt smooth and silky… not dry or irritated at all. That is how you want your skin to feel after a mineral salt scrub. When the shower is over, you want to lock in the benefits of the soft skin you have just achieved, and the best way is with a matching body butter. I was sent a “tub” of Shea and Passion Fruit Body Butter to try with it. Again, the scent was awesome! A nice fruity scent without being overpowering. The body butter is enriched with the Dead Sea Minerals as well as vitamins, oils and fruit extracts. It wasn’t “heavy” but it was super moisturizing. The formula did not irritate my sensitive skin, absorbed quickly and didn’t feel greasy. My skin felt noticeably softer to the touch and eliminated dryness immediately. This product is gentle enough to use on your body daily or when you need a boost of moisture… especially this time of year.

img_2920HANDS: I was also sent a tube of the Mineral Hand and Nails cream. We all know that there are endless hand creams on the market with all kinds of ingredients. The thing I like about this hand cream is it doesn’t just moisturize and condition my hands but it also conditions my nails and cuticles. There are a lot of separate products for your nails and cuticles but this one product does both, saving you time and money. The tube is LARGE and I leave it right next to my couch so I can just give my hands a little bump each day, especially this time of year, to keep my nails from splitting, my cuticles from cracking, and my hands from getting rough and dry. If they need a good exfoliating treatment first, rubbing & washing them with some of the Aromatic Body Scrub helps shed the dead skin first before applying the hand cream. An extra boost for those cold months!

img_2924EYES: One thing I learned early on in my glamour career is that there are three areas of the body that will tell your age better than your driver’s license: your hands, your neck and the skin around your eyes. For that reason, you can imagine how many products I have tried for each of those area just to keep my lie about my age as “realistic” as possible. Because of my sensitive skin, the hands and the neck areas aren’t too bad to keep in check. My eye area, however, has been a challenge. I wear contacts, I have allergies, and random things can make my eyes burn terrible. I find that the more natural a product is, the less problems I have with it. That is why I was eager to try the Shemen Amour Black Mud Eye Cream. This cream was actually designed for the sensitive skin eye area. The Black Mud Eye Cream states that it rejuvenates the skin in the eye area, smooths wrinkles, improves elasticity and increases blood circulation which decreases puffiness and dark circles. A product like this doesn’t show the results immediately. Plus, it is the responsibility of the user to make sure it is used day AND night. Apply it with a gentle tapping of the finger under the eyes and around the edges near the temples. Do not get disappointed when you don’t see results in 24 hours. I had been using it about once a day a couple of weeks and did notice some improvement in the fine lines in my eye area, but it wasn’t until I became truly faithful about using it day AND night that I began noticing a significant difference. My fine lines were very less predominant, the skin was much smoother, the dark circles that were beginning had stopped and even lightened. Concealer was now an option—not a necessity. I like the fact too that it is suitable for all skin types. So in the winter when my skin is dryer, I can give my eye area a double dose at night. In the summer, a light layer is more than enough. The jar that it comes in is VERY large and a little goes a long way, but don’t think you have to be stingy with it. It absorbs quickly and if it absorbs very fast, the skin around your eyes may need more than you think. Don’t be put off by its color in the jar either. Just because it is dark like mud doesn’t mean it stays dark on your skin. Once it is absorbed, the color is gone. I really like the Black Mud Eye Cream. I can already see a difference and my sensitive skin and eyes are very happy with it as well!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try these products, thanks to the lead from my family at How to be a Redhead. You don’t have to be a redhead to enjoy these great beauty products from Shemen Amour. They are on track with other, more known brands as far as treating you with ingredients that will help you achieve or maintain younger, healthier skin. The state of the art minerals and salts found in the Dead Sea give you the anti-aging benefits without heavy chemicals. Anyone who likes to use natural products which are good for the skin would not be disappointed with the product list from Shemen Amour! I am very happy I was able to give them a try and will add them to the products I have come to love over the years.

You can check out their entire line at www.shemenamourusa.com!

S.O.S. — I’ve “Hit Pan”!!!!

19 Apr

Running outIn the dark world of us makeup addicts, we often use a secret phrase: “I’ve hit pan.” This is a secret code us color junkies use to tell others that we have run out of a product we love. Usually us makeup lovers know when we are getting low on a fave and pick up a backup for a smooth transition when we run out. Of course, certain products we won’t stress too much about because, since makeup addicts are always trying new things, we may have already found a new love with a different brand of a former mainstay. But every glamour guru will have a few select items that are always–ALWAYS–around. And when we see the bottom, we tend to panic a bit. But we are professionals. We will fix it. And fast.

So, a few things started to get low–or worse–disappear this week in my makeup drawer. A couple I tried “alternatives” to, maybe to test the competition or save a buck or two. But the fact is that they are items I will be loyal to till someone says they aren’t around anymore. (*Gasp*–don’t even want to think about that!). Here is what I have/had to restock in my makeup drawer recently:

Lancome**Lancôme CILS Booster XL**: I never thought I needed a mascara primer…until I used a mascara primer! This was the first one I bought after a makeover day at a local department store. I bought it immediately. I used it only when I wanted really *POW!* lashes like for a night out or a dinner date. I started running low, plus it started to get some age on it, so I grabbed an inexpensive drugstore brand to see if I could save a few dollars with the same results. Yeah….no. The drugstore brand did nothing really–not like Lancôme’s did. It probably is the most expensive on the market, but you do get what you pay for. My lashes are longer, thicker, bolder when I use Booster XL. And it puts a nice barrier of Vitamin E between my lashes and mascara, keeping them healthy and preventing lash dry-out. Heading out tomorrow for a new tube! Macys.com, $25

Maybeline**Maybelline Fit Me® Shine-Free Foundation**: The weather here at home is (finally!) changing. Temperatures are changing and my j*o*b is throwing me a little stress. Let’s add a few hormone issues I’d prefer not to speak of, and the result is a skin texture and tone that is hard to work with. My winter moisture-packed foundation is too heavy; my powder mineral foundation is too light. So I dug out what I had put off to the side and found my Fit Me® foundation from last year. After using it just once this year, I knew it was now my go-to foundation for the season. After a week, I noticed my ‘swivel’ was tapped. I was at the end! Next day on my way to work, I made sure I stopped at my local drugstore to get another. My face looks smooth, natural, and the foundation controls oil, fading and streaking all day. I don’t have a lot of free time for makeup touch ups during the day–I want to do what I can to make sure my look stays put all day. This Maybelline foundation helps to make sure that happens! CVS, $8.99

Rimmel**Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sparkling Black**: I did a whole eyeliner comparison last year–drugstores vs. department stores, waterproof vs. long wear, liquid vs. pencils. I think when it was all said and done, my go-to brand ended up being Rimmel’s Scandaleyes. The color variety was huge, the stay power was great, nothing smudged or ran ALL DAY, and oh–the price was EPIC. Even though I tend to always use black on my waterline with color underneath, I had began using the sparkling black because the hint of glitter softened the heavy black and gave it a nice glimmer. I ended up buying another one so I had two: one for home and a backup in the purse. Well, I switched them out when home’s got low and now sharpening is getting difficult again. So it’s time for a new full one–that kind, that brand, that color. Walmart, $3.97

image**Perfectly Posh’s The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub**: Okay, I have to be honest here. This is not the first time I have “hit pan” with this product. In fact? I think I’m probably on my 6th container of this little beauty. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a coffee fanatic. Then to find a natural bath product that does what I want with the feeling of bathing in an espresso is even better! The Daily Grind energizes skin and gets your blood pumping with a cup of coffee before you get out of the shower. It’s packed with the cleansing and rejuvenating properties of coffee, as well as clearing, anti-cellulite and energizing traits. This scrub cleanses as well as removes the dead skin cells keeping your skin soft, fresh and glowing. Oh, and did I mention it smells damn good? I don’t even want to think of this gem not ever being in my bathroom. I shudder at the thought. PerfectlyPosh.com or an Independent Represenative, $24

Simple**Simple Facial Wipes**: I will forever stand firm on something a friend told me years ago. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it was enough to scare the mascara off my eyes. “If you fall asleep with your makeup on, your face will age an extra six days.” Okay, ummm, NO! I’m fighting against time now and my age lying is getting pathetic even for me (although no one usually questions it.) I did a little reach on my own and did find articles that say not washing your face before bed WILL age your appearance. The good news? No one is sure how much. The bad news? Six days was the LOWEST number! Eeek! So, since then I try to remember to take off my face for the day with a nice gentle cleanser then treat it with a good serum. But, I will admit, I get tired, get upstairs in bed, then realize I forgot my bedtime facial. So, let’s just say I’m a bit lazy. If I’m in bed?…I’m in bed. I have phones, remotes, food, reading material and ice packs on a rough day. So, I figured if I can make sure I have a “stash” of goodies for lazy evenings, I can include skin care too. I have a little bag with skin care necessities: hand cream, cotton balls, mini eye makeup remover, trial sized night cream and eye cream, and my Simple Cleansing Wipes. They do the trick when I need to get the “crud” off and prepare myself for a night of cell rejuvenating. The formula doesn’t bother my sensitive skin, it gets off the toughest makeup, eye color, eyeliners and mascaras. They aren’t abrasive, they do the trick, they are easy to keep where I need them and they aren’t expensive. I have gone through two packs of Simple Wipes and a pack of a different brand. I went right back to Simple’s. They just did the trick–no fuss, no muss. And no more waiting…I need a new pack tomorrow! Walmart, $4.49

So that, my makeup beauties, is what it means to “hit pan”. I’ll be anxious to see if I find any other products this year that I will fall in love with, worthy enough to create chaos if I “hit pan”. I’ve tried a few new products recently: a new face wash, a perfume, new body cream, long wear mascara. Will any of them make themselves worthy to enter the “hit pan” elites? I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a lot of time ahead, a bunch of products to trial, and a whole lotta time to see what other items big named cosmetic companies come up with.. Let’s see if anything else in my makeup drawer becomes worthy to enter my “I hit pan” club soon!

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“Perfectly” Perfect… (part one)

19 Jun

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there was a redhead who was waist deep in a home based business. The economy turned, women got too busy for parties, and comparable items were available in the local mall or drugstore for less. Soon, reports came out about company animal testing, non-USA made products, and some added ingredients that were on an “unsafe” list. Was this an organization I wanted to be a part of? Nope, no more. I was done–REALLY DONE. I did however learn a lot about the skin care industry, found a few products I liked, then stepped away… giving me time to do a lot of researchPosh and follow my dream to write. I learned about what was good for the skin, what was not, what ingredients were healthy, what ones were certainly not. I couldn’t learn enough! And OH!…the things I learned.

After six years of researching, investigating, writing, testing and trying various products (including some I made myself), I became very particular about what was going on my face and body. General rule of thumb for my skin became “If you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t use it.” Most of my bathroom vanity consisted of natural products I had found, free of unhealthy additives and chemicals. A lot I had made with simple products found in most peoples kitchens. Some things weren’t easy to find–more so makeup items than skin care–but with a lot of hunting, I was able to find mineral face, eye and cheek cosmetics and homemade lip products that were to my liking. Still, I wish that I could find safe, natural, good-quality skin care products without harsh chemicals, additives, and ingredients that would I wouldn’t react to, for sale on the open market. Plus, I wanted to support my neighbors, people who worked and produced products like this in the US. I wanted products that contained ingredients I new that were originated in towns I had heard of! Oh, and was it too much to ask that products like these could be sold at a price that wouldn’t break the bank? Almost sounds virtually impossible, right? For a while, I thought yes… but then I found Perfectly Posh.

Now, we know that I manage a tattoo shop part time to keep myself sane (yeah, process that!) One of our regular customers whom I had the pleasure of meeting shortly after I started there came in for an appointment one evening. I had left for the day when she came in and was sad I had to miss her. Shannon is a doll and there is always a fun time when we are all together. When I came in the next day, however, I found a beautiful pink gift bag stocked with samples of all kinds of “pampering products”. Okay, first let me say DA-ROOL!… I’m a sucker for samples that make me feel & smell delish! As I investigated further, I found they were from Shannon, as she was a consultant with the Perfectly Posh organization. At first, I’ll be honest, I was very skeptical–my home based business radar kicked into high alert. Memories of stalking unit leaders and free pink car drivers reciting monotonous mantras began replaying in my head. I honestly took out each sample while surrounding myself with a brick wall so no song, dance and mind-game manipulation would get to me. And if this stuff WAS so good, why hadn’t I heard about it before now, hmm? So like every good writer, I decided to research the company AND the products to see how they compared to or exceeded similar items on the market. Let’s start with what I learned about Perfectly Posh and their product line:

The company wants you to know that YOU deserve to be pampered. (I agree with this 100%. If you don’t take a few minutes each day to make yourself feel special, you’ll get eaten alive in this world. I’m not saying you need a whole day at the spa, but take some time, each day, for you. It will liven your mood to be a better mom, wife, student, employee, boss, whatever. Take time for YOU!)

  • Posh strives for quality. They use gentle ingredients. The avoid dangerous fillers.
  • They love natural ingredients like butters and oils.
  • They WANT you to read their ingredient lists and labels so you know what is in everything and where it is from so there is no deception or hidden secrets. (Big plus with me. I’ve done my research so no one is going to b.s. This redhead. And they didn’t. What they said was there, was there; what they said wasn’t, wasn’t.)

I found a peace of mind when I learned the following about Posh products–

    • All products paraffin-free. They are also free of sulfates including SLS.
    • Their items also do not contain any petroleum-derived ingredients, parabens, or gluten ingredients.
    • There are no soy fillers, and no lanolin.
    • They use the highest-quality essential oils and fine phthalate-free fragrances.
    • Products are very natural and consequently gentle–read the labels.
    • They use natural enzymes and gently moisturizing vitamin E to preserve the life and look of our pampering products.
    • All of their products are cruelty-free with NO testing on animals.
    • Perfectly Posh does things differently. They offer your pampering products made from the best ingredients mother nature has to offer. They source gentle, nourishing, and the best ingredients from all over the world, then create great, natural products right here in the United States.

Maybe for some, those thing mean very little, maybe they don’t mean too much at all. But TO ME??? They meant a lot! So when I went through my big bag of samples to play with, I took out “The Posh Paper” (their catalog, printed on recycled paper) to learn about the benefits of each product I was trying, its ingredients, and how i could benefit from it. The first thing I noticed it that every product, in addition to its ingredients, has a Posh Product Key. The Key Codes help you find products with particular features while looking at the catalog. For example:
N = Natural Fragrance… No Color = No Color Added…..
D-Tox = D-Tox Ingredients Added… FF = Fragrance Free…..
EO = Essential Oils… V = Vegan…..
These little guides can be very helpful when looking for products that can interfere with a customer’s senses, allergies, or personal preferences.

After about a week, I had managed to try almost everything I got a sample of. Almost everything I tried, I liked. That’s good! The ingredients were things I had tried or used in the past and liked, but had trouble finding in products on store shelves. Everything seemed very clean, organized, informative and easy to try. It didn’t take me long to find a few I absolutely loved.

So, what did I put on my first order? Well let’s break down my favorites:

Look Natural

Moisturize 911

 

 

 

 

Face Care:
Having sensitive skin really reduces my options for products to not just clean and calm my face, but also keep me looking young. Finding ones that do that on a natural level is almost impossible! Posh’s “Look Natural” line has an array of face products that give my skin what it needs without the ingredients it doesn’t. Important features that this skin care line has are:

  • Gentle 100% Vegan Blends
  • No fillers
  • No parabens or sulfates
  • No dyes or phthalates
  • 100% natural fragrances & essential oils

I was lucky enough that Shannon was able to sample me almost every “Look Natural” item. I was glad because this really gave me a chance to see how my skin would react first before purchasing anything. Now that I have, I can share!
BFF: Best Face Forever wash was an immediate score. A gentle exfoliant is what my face likes 2-3x a week, and this gentle wash with very fine microbeads does just that. It’s surrounded by a combination of refreshing grapefruit and peppermint oils to help wash, freshen & soothe. Not too harsh at all to cause any discomfort, burning or reaction. A definite win! $20 (V, No Color, EO)
Delish! fashwash is what I turn to when I just need a simple, natural face wash. Nourishing & non-drying, this gentle cleanser removes dirt, oils, makeup & dead skin with natural fruit extracts. Being non-exfolliating, it can be used morning and night in between BFF treatments. And the scent is tasty too! $20 (V, No Color, N, EO)
Moisturize 911: This was a must-have item from Posh’s “Pretty” line. Even though the Pretty items kind of target the younger market, the formulas are spot on for people of all ages, especially ones that want to fight aging before signs creep in. I had done enough research over the years to learn that small amounts of caffeine in some skin care items can provide fabulous benefits–they tighten and brighten even the tiredest of faces and skin. This twice a day caffeine-infused glycerin moisturizer leaves your face a wake up call in the morning by firming and brightening. At night, I just let it do its magic while I sleep. It’s absorbed into the skin quickly, leaving a fresh, smooth feel while evening out your skin tone. A no-brainer for those who want to start a good skin routine or keep healthy skin looking its best! $16 (V, EO, N, No Color)

Daily Grind
Skindelicious
Body Care:
Since Perfectly Posh focuses on taking some time for you, to make yourself feel pampered and pretty, a home spa day definitely is going to focus on products to make you feel special from head to toe. Not only do you want to relax but you also want good, natural, products to make this happen. Now, I myself, am not a bath girl. I like my showers, and if allowed, I’ll stay in till every last drop of hot water is used. (I know–bad for redheads. Very bad!) So I am going to look for things that will make me feel good when I’m in and when I get out! That’s why I love:
The Daily Grind: Hello?…Who doesn’t like to start their day with coffee? Okay, so not everyone, but I do! The Daily Grind is a great body scrub that eliminates the dead, dry, top layers of skin while limiting the breakdown of skin structure. That’s thanks to the natural cleansing & clearing elements of the coffee bean which is also a huge benefit to aid in the prevention of cellulite. Plus the scrub isn’t too abrasive so it preserves your beautiful surface skin. Cleanses and clears in one step. Love the smell, love the results! $24 (EO, V, No Colors)
Skindelicious: Your body’s skin needs to stay moist, and unnatural & pore-clogging petroleum based products are not the answer. I have been raving about the benefits of natural oils and butters for years, so to see a company that actually agrees with my way of thinking is a big deal. (Yeay!–applause for Sassy!) Posh’s Scrumptious Body Butters contain nothing but the best moisturizing and hydrating ingredients that you can feed your skin to keep it feeling soft and fresh all day long. Some like to use it before bed, others like to start the day off with an all-over blanket of moisture and freshness. With eight formulas to choose from, you should have no problem fining the scent/formula that will help keep you get the most for your best skin ever! My pick? Mango Marshmallow–luxurious mango butter with nourishing marshmallow and vanilla extracts to increase the skin’s natural cell regeneration process. $22 (V, No Color)

Okay, I’ve got more to talk about, but we will stop for now. Like I said, Perfectly Posh has great products to pamper you from head to toe and next time we will talk about pampering some if those other parts that need a little TLC too: lips, hands and feet. So, for now, if you are interested in reading more about the Perfectly Posh company and the great products Shannon has graciously let me try (or others you might like!), check out Shannon’s page at: www.perfectlyposh.com/sls

And if you want to ask me about anything I’ve tried? Don’t hesitate to ask. Click the *Click Here To Contact Sassy* link and ask away! I’ll be honest about what I’ve used, and my thoughts and results with each. And have you had experience with Perfectly Posh products. What did you think? Add you comments below! I’d love to know what my readers are thinking!

Now, what are you waiting for? Go make a cup of tea/coffee/fresh lemonade, kick back, relax, and take some time for you. YOU deserve it!!Now, what are you waiting for? Go make a cup of tea/coffee/fresh lemonade, kick back, relax, and take some time for you. YOU deserve it!!

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It’s New… But Is It Good?

10 Sep

Back to schoolSchool is back in session and with that come all new fashions and cosmetics to help you get your vogue on! New styles, hot looks and chic accessories to help you make the start of the new season first-class fab! Today I stopped to talk to my favorite glamour consultant who was filled with the latest info on what was new on the market. What was cool is some of the things she showed me I had already tried, so I was able to give her my personal opinion as well. She helped me, I helped her!

So what are THE hot new makeup and glamour items out right now? Let me show you a few:

image1. Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Waterproof Mascara – The thought behind this product is supreme! Why someone didn’t think of it before now is beyond me. The concept is simple–the purple end of the mascara has a long, big brush to coat your top lashes to look full . The opposite black end has a very thin, comb-like brush to get at every skimpy lower lash to make them stand out. You can even use this brush to get in the corners of your eyes to coat those hidden lashes. My experience? I have been using this mascara on and off for a month now. The brush idea is great! I am really able to “get in” and coat ALL of my lashes with both brushes. The mascara formula? I’m not completely thrilled with. It does stay ALL DAY–doesn’t smudge or flake–but I don’t think it makes my lashes as “lush” as other formulas. I’m not quite sure yet if I’d buy it again myself. But for the price and stay power? Completely worth the purchase!

image2. Bath & Body WorksSignature Fragrance Collection Shimmer Mist in “Beautiful Day” – If you are a glamour girl heading back to school, then this is your time to shine! a shimmer mist gives you a flirty scent with an all-day sparkle to make you look, feel and smell fab. This scent paints you with a crisp top scents of fall apples, pears, peonies and blonde woods. Delish! My experience? I love, love, LOVE this new scent! It’s fresh for spring but has the scents of fall fruits to keep it seasonal. I layers this scent to help it last its longest: shower gel, triple moisture body cream, and the shimmer mist. No matter what is on my agenda, this scent just keeps me smiling all day!

image3. Maybelline FitMe Shine-Free Foundation – If you are like me, the thought of any type of foundation in a stick sounds like it would be heavy, greasy, any not in a shade that would match my skin at all. And up till now, that has been my experience. But Maybelline went a step beyond. They put a foundation in a gel with anti-shine core that neutralizes oil the minute you put it on and keeps absorbing to give you an all-day matte finish. Convenience combined with clean coverage–perfect! My experience? If the stop making this foundation, I’ll cry for years. In all my years of wearing, trying and testing foundations, I have never used one with such fabulous coverage but still feels light as air. I don’t have to worry about shine no matter what. It stays put and does slide off my face like liquids do when it’s hot. And convenient? The gel stick makes it a breeze to just swipe, wipe & go! A MUST-HAVE.

image4. Hard Candy All Glossed Up – I grew up on the glamour and convenience of pencils in a beauty routine and I’m very psyched when I see a company nowadays revamp the old crayon into a new, luxe makeup item. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss. The sad fact is, though, that crayons have a limited style life so they may be hot and hip with the current colors but then the seasons changes and the colors and sticks are gone. What is nice about these Gloss sticks is they are über glossy, but are infused with the long lasting pigments of a stain. Long lasting color with a non-drying formula. Exactly what a girl on the go needs! My experience? I really love this gloss stick. I have yet to find a straight-up stain that stays put, doesn’t dry out, or doesn’t stay true to its original color. Although this goes on like a colored gloss, the base color does stay true like a stain. Even if the gloss disappears during coffee or lunch breaks, the stay will “stick” around. Then I can just add a moisturizing gloss if my lips start to get a bit dry. Available in 8 go-with-all shades–great long lasting, drenching color that lasts. I will be getting more because they are SO convenient and simple!

image5. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments Loose Powder Shadow – Maybelline is no stranger to the long-lasting eye shadow concept. Now they have come out with a loose powder with high pigmented color with no fall-out glitter. Yeah, I said those two things in the same sentence–no fall-out and glitter. In order to have this stay power in the past, shadows had to be a cream with a built-in primer and sealer. But now they have a loose powder in power colors that do the same!! My experience? Gotta say, I haven’t used it. But boy am I intrigued! I have more eye shadows than I know what to do with. But it might be a nice in an all-over highlighter color for me to build off of. Especially if it is high in sparkle and low in fall out!

Get ready–here comes the yellow bus! It doesn’t matter if you are getting ready to get on yourself or if you are putting on one of your own. Make sure you look your best! The glamour industry has so many innovative products now. Daily touchups are barely needed. Don’t think that these long-lasting make-up items are all hype. Seriously, most do what they say they will. I can’t tell you how convenient is not to run to the restroom every two hours! And as a student in school? It is a blessing. These all-day products certainly get an A+!!

Butter up, Buttercup!…

30 Mar

imageI‘ll be honest, when I hear the word butter, two things come to mind:

  • Cholesterol
  • Homemade sugar cookies

Since my medical numbers are good and I’m pretty fit, I thought I should look beyond these butters and research some of the “butters” that are on the market for us glamour junkies. A “butter” in the beauty field usually refers to a rich, emollient cream that is very thick–almost solid–to help moisturize some of the driest parts of your body. Oh and trust me, there are quite a few that don’t just work good but smell good too. Maybe not warm sugar cookie good, but pretty close.

Over the years, here are a few “butters” that I have found are a must in my beauty routine….not in your kitchen. You may want to get a batch for yourself:

imageKorres Lip Butters – Oh, as soon as cooler weather rolls in, I start stocking up. When I first tried Korres Lip Butter about 3 years ago, I found it purely by accident while waiting I’m line to pay for a Christmas purchase at Sephora. They had a display of inexpensive items that would be good stocking stuffers. This was one of them. It was Guava (clear) scented which was great because I was mainly planning to use it at night. Since then, they have expanded their colors and “flavors” to include shades such as pomegranate (sheer coral), quince (sheer rose), and plum (sheer lavender berry). I like the fact that the lip butters now come in a variety of tints so I can just smooth on some moisturizer AND color without a big mirror/makeup ensemble. Natural oils and extracts help to soothe and condition lips. Shea butter and rice wax provide lasting hydration and softness for a long time. Seriously?…. Get one in every flavor/color! (Available exclusively at Sephora, $12 each)

imageBliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter Maximum Moisture Cream – Voted best scented and body moisturizer by Sephora regulars several years in a row, it’s easy to know why. This rich cream is packed with things like coconut oil which softens skin and soybean oil which protects the skin with a moisturizing barrier, enabling the skin to get back its soft smooth texture. And the scent is perfect… for men and women alike! This body butter goes on like silk and leaves the skin soft, smooth and moist–not greasy at all. Great for hands, feet or all over! (Available at Sephora, $29 for a large tube)

imageAlmond Hand & Nail Butter – No matter what the season is, your hands are always out there taking a beating. Chapped from winter winds, dry from spring cleaning, rough from summer gardening, you name it. You need a cream specifically for hands, nails & cuticles because they take on abuse the rest of you body doesn’t get involved in. This fabulous butter restores moisture to dry skin for up to 24 hours. Not only that, it takes care to prevent dry, brittle nails and rough, cracked cuticles. It contains sweet almond oil and has a silky-smooth, non-greasy finish. This long-lasting moisturizer is topped off with a delish sweet almond scent! (Available at The Body Shop, $15)

So, if your doctor allows, put yummy butter all over your popcorn, your warm muffins and your tasty crab legs…. dig in!! But if you want to limit your fat intake, enjoy it on the outside instead of the inside. These fabulous “butters” with keep your skin soft, smooth, rich and moisturized from head to toe!

Once, Twice, Three Times with Sassy…

17 Feb

3+
Without researching, I would be willing to say that there are over a million different makeup, skin care, hair and nail products on the market. That doesn’t even include the various colors and formulas of many of them. It is not easy for a company to get a consumer to buy a product once. The money they put into television and print advertising is beyond comprehension. Now, to hold the customer’s interest with eye-catching displays, money-saving deals, and quality results in order to get them to be a repeat customer is pretty amazing. After that, it’s a crap shoot. The cosmetic company now hopes they have gained your loyalty and business. They hope you love it so much that you would not even consider shopping out the product and buy it a third time—THAT is a cosmetic company’s dream come true, and an accomplishment beyond words.

I can totally relate to this as a glamour junkie. Commercials, displays, magazine ads and samples could literally get me to jump the fence on almost anything I use with the right tactics. Even if I’m thrilled with the product I am currently using, I can justify in my head and heart to try something else, even if it’s just once. But really… isn’t that what the cosmetic companies want? Just a chance? They know I’ll either say, “Wow, this is the best xxx I have ever used! Why haven’t I been using this before? I’ll never use anything else ever again!” Or I will give it an immediate thumbs down, kick myself for being a traitor to the product I had been using before, beg for glamour forgiveness and go back to using the one I had loved all along. Not to mention, with me winning contest prizes, getting products to try or review, or sending away for samples for me to try on my own, I’m always getting “teased” with things that are new, improved or could be better. That’s what the companies are hoping for. Some times, I admit, it works. But for a few products, I won’t even bother to deviate. I stick with what I love. Not just once, or even twice…. but have bought them three times or more because to me, they far exceed anything else I have tried or tested. I have found they truly are my favorites at what they do.

So what are these heart stealers that have shown me that “third time’s a charm”? Here are my ultimate favorite products that you will always find somewhere in my beauty ensemble, either in my drawers or on my vanity:

OleFoam**Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser** – Having sensitive skin has made finding the perfect cleanser difficult for me. I want something that washes my face, fights aging and doesn’t strip it of its natural oils, drying out my skin. I have tried a LOT of cleansers, I fell in love with Ole’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser after their customer service department sent me a sample because I thanked them for their “Three Little Wonders” box set I got for a holiday gift one year, which stole my heart. The cleanser immediately became my favorite face wash. My skin felt and looked noticeably healthier, it didn’t irritate or make my skin burn, and the foaming formula really made it so you didn’t need a ton. Plus, in combination with Ole’s other products I had, I really noticed an overall improvement in my face’s skin. I have been using the African Red Tea cleanser pretty consistently for over two years now. Even though I have tried a sample of other cleansers here and there, I always use Ole’s at least once a day. Happy to say, I’m on my fourth bottle! (Available at Sephora, $30)

BurtsBeesHandCream**Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream** – I never used to be a hand cream kind of girl. I never had to be. My hands never got dry, cuticles were healthy and I had no problems. Then came this year. I don’t what changed but my cuticles turned into corn flakes, my hands felt dry and the tops of my hands looked…old !!(*GASP!*). Oh no, no, no. My years in the cosmetic and skin care industry taught me that your eyes and your hands can tell people your age better than your driver’s license can. The minute I felt my hands drying out, I went looking for something good. I tried several simple “squeeze” lotions for my hands, but they didn’t seem to keep them moist for too long. Burt’s Bees caught my eye because of the Almond Milk in the name. I love the scent of almonds and know that almond oil is fabulous for moisturizing skin naturally. The beeswax is perfect to lock it into the skin and really keeps the hands, nails and cuticles soft. And the scent is to die for! I just dove into my third jar last night—and I’ve only been using it since November! (Available at most drugstores, $9)

TreeHut**Tree Hut Brazillian Nut Shea Body Butter** – The more natural you can keep your health and beauty products, the better they are for your body. I have always turned to almond or coconut oil to keep my body soft after a bath. In the colder months, however, I need something a bit more rich when my skin begins to get dry and itchy. I saw a review for Tree Hut’s Body Butter on a review site once, and remembered seeing the product at my regular retail store, so I thought I would look into it a bit more. It had my two favorite natural moisturizers that I love in it: shea butter and cocoa butter. In addition, it also contained Brazil nut and safflower seed oil, both rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help to keep the skin healthy. The smell is divine… like a yummy latte from your favorite coffee shop! I like the fact that it is not a liquid or a lotion—it is a solid “butter” which goes on thick and melts into the skin. This leaves the skin soft and moisturized for a long time. Since I first discovered this about four years ago, I have purchased at least six jars of this gem. Currently I have one in my bathroom AND bedroom! (Available at some local retailers or drugstore.com, $7.49)

NYCliner**New York Color Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil** – Eyeliners are a dime a dozen. I’ve seen some liners as cheap as 99 cents and some as expensive as $30. It is not too difficult for me to describe what I want in an eyeliner. The problem is… finding it. I want a DARK black pencil that I can sharpen myself so I can get a crisp, tight line. It has to be soft enough to go on with ease but tough enough to not smudge or run. And it has to last—I mean LAST ALL DAY last. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, right? Ha, that’s you think. I have tried so many liners over the years, it’s crazy. The fact is I’ll probably continue to try different liners, depending on the look I am going for. But if someone said I had to grab ONE liner to use for the rest of my life? I’d take NYC’s Waterproof Eyeliner. It can sharpened to a good point, soft enough not to tug at my eyes, cry-proof, rain-proof, sweat-proof and even swim-proof. It. Stays. Put. No smudging, no running. Even though I have tried gels, liquids, minerals and kohl liners for different looks, my go-to everyday no-fail eyeliner will always be NYC’s. Oh, and by the way? It won’t drain your wallet. And that is always a plus! (Available at Walmart & other retailers, $3.99)

I can’t deny that I don’t like to try new things. I’m a girl. It’s not just my nature but it’s also my job! There is nothing wrong with seeing what is out there. What is good for me may not be good for you. And what is good for you might just be what I am looking for! Times and styles are constantly changing so it is expected that cosmetics are going to change right along with it. These items I mentioned might be my go-to products for what I am looking for right now, but who knows if they will even be available in a year! I’d like to hope so, but in case they aren’t, I need to keep track of what other options are out there in case I need to switch. But today?…I am pretty content with these products for their specific purpose and will love ‘em till they are gone!

How about you? I am sure you have a couple of “must have” items of your own. No matter what else is out there, you will use them regardless of the competition. Are they makeup items—a favorite lipstick color? A blush? What about skin care—an eye cream? A moisturizer? Maybe it’s a nail polish remover. Or a can’t-live-without hairspray. Let me know what items are staples in your routine and I’ll let you know if I agree!