SAMPLE SIZING IT~hey honey good morning serum

Honey is in plentiful supply in the fall in rural America and we use it in everything, including our beauty routines.  And this Hey Honey Good Morning Serum is quite a delightful treat.
I chose to use this serum on make-up free days, and did not apply moisturizer but instead applied my face sunscreen over the top. I found the serum to be pleasingly hey honey insert.jpgscented and it did leave a fresh sheen to my face. I also felt it left my skin satiny smooth like a rich day cream might and I was pleased with the appearance of my bare face after use. While I did not take the opportunity to use this serum under makeup, I can understand how makeup would glide on smoothly over top as the finish was very smooth. I felt this serum left my skin feeling nourished and hydrated and feel it’s a good product for normal to dry skin types.
Hey Honey Good Morning Serum retails for $45.00 for a 1 oz. bottle and is cruelty-free, of course.
As always, live beautifully!

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SOAP & GLORY ULTIMATTE COLLECTION EYESHADOW PALLET~

Now that I no longer work full time, there are many days I go without any makeup. And when I do wear makeup, I’m seldom concerned with it lasting 10 or more hours. So, I had to ask myself, is there any reason not to try more ‘drug store’ range, cruelty-free cosmetic products instead of purchasing everything from high end lines? The answer: No, there is not.

I have had my eye on a very high-end matte eyeshadow pallet for more than a year now but have resisted the urge to bite. In part because I don’t really need it and also because I am scaling back on how much I spend on luxury items. I keep telling myself I still have a lot of makeup to use in my existing stash, despite not having a couple of the colors I was interested in. Recently I was once again hemming and hawing over the purchase when I stumbled upon this all matte pallet in similar, as well as other shades, from Soap & Glory. And at only about one-third of the price! Cha-ching!

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I have played with this pallet for a couple of days now without disappointment. The colors I have used blend easily enough, although there is a bit of fallout so you need to prepare for that. Otherwise, the colors are rich and held up very well for several hours over top my primed eyelids. You may need to layer a bit if you want more dramatic color payoff, and I don’t know that all these colors would last for a twelve-hour day, but for five or six hours, they did just fine. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t keep you going through an eight-hour work day or a long, weekend date.

This pallet is beautiful for those of us in our mid-years who prefer a little less glitz on an average day and the color options allow for a lot of different looks, from no-makeup makeup days to more dramatic evening affairs. And for twenty bucks, you will have money left over for a new lipstick, too.

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Soap & Glory is a cruelty-free company and this ULTIMATTE COLLECTION EYE PALLET retails for just $20.00.

As always, live a beautiful, cruelty-free life!

JAPONESQUE GO CURL EYELASH CURLER~

Always on the go?  I purchased this Japonesque Go Curl eyelash curler on the spur of the moment and I’ve been more than pleased. I’ve considered purchasing a few Japonesque brushes based on reputation alone, but to date, I haven’t truly needed to replace any of my brushes. But as I do a bit more traveling these days, gizmos and gadgets that are easy to pack and make my travel life simpler are becoming much-needed staples.

This little eyelash curler will literally slip into a key pocket so it consumes almost zero space in a makeup bag. Don’t be fooled by the tiny size however. This tiny tool does a nice job at curling lashes without having to carry a full-sized eyelash curler in your luggage or purse. Whether you are traveling once or twice a year, or you prep at the office for every Thursday’s night-out-with-the-girls, this curler will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Two new eyelash pads are included and you get free pads for life for your Japonesque eyelash curlers, which you can easily obtain online.

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Japonesque is a cruelty-free company and makes a wide range of makeup tools and brushes. I’m almost looking forward to the day when I can justify purchasing another product from their line. Let me know if you’ve used any and how you like them.

As always, live beautifully!

 

SAMPLE SIZING IT~becca shimmering skin perfector

I’m late to the party with this one. Everyone has been raving about Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector for eons but I never took the bait. I have a few highlighting powders in my cosmetic drawer already and I just can’t justify purchasing another highlighter when I have products I’ve been perfectly happy with. That said, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try this sample and a little certainly goes a long way. No need to purchase a full-sized product when this one will last for quite some time.

becca open 2.jpgMy sample of Becca Skin Perfector is in the color Opal and while it might be a shade or two darker than I would have chosen for myself, the color is suitable for my still slightly tanned face. I used this shimmer powder to add just a touch of highlight to my cheekbones and temples and I was more than thrilled with both the application and the subtle glow. Younger gals and guys might layer this product for a more severe sheen but a little goes a long way on us middle agers. Nonetheless, this is a stunning product and well worth the investment if you are in need or want of a highlighting powder.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is available in 7 shades and retails for $38.00 for .28 oz. of pressed product. Best of all, Becca is a cruelty-free brand.

Live a beautiful life!

SHEA MOISTURE FACE MASKS~

I’ve been enamored with the Shea Moisture curly hair care products and when I happened upon these face masks, I was more than happy to try them. I selected two versions, the African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask and the Radiance Mud Mask.

I used the ABS Clarifying Mask on a recent trip after a long day of sightseeing outdoors. IMG_20170822_190707The mask dries like a typical mud mask and is easily removed with a wash cloth and warm water. I was left with a clean but moisturized complexion, ready for a bit of spot treatment for a pending spot, and my nightly skincare treatments.

I used the Radiance Mud Mask during a Sunday morning, at-home spa pampering session. After being exposed to both sun and wind on a recent walk, this mask provided a nice boost of hydration and fresh glow. I followed up with my daily IMG_20170822_190215moisturizing SPF lotion and went make-up free for the day. It was likely no coincidence that I received not one, but two compliments on my skin that day.

The Shea Moisture line is cruelty-free and available at many locations nationwide, including Ulta, Target and CVS among others. The affordable price makes these masks a treat everyone can afford. And I was able to get two masks out of each pack when used sparingly for an added cost savings. And that’s always a good thing.

As always, live beautifully!

WHAT’S IN MY BAG~Summer Edition 2017

I know summer has, for the most part, concluded but I am still enjoying my summer IMG_20170817_134859handbag and stash.  I have been loving this Joop! satchel that I purchased for myself in Munich as it’s just the right size to tote all the necessities of my life without being oversized or bulky. There is a cross-body strap included with this bag but I usually carry it with the tote handles.

The first thing I pull out of the top of my bag is my Liz Claiborne Sunglasses. For whatever reason, I’ve had terrible luck with OTC sunglasses, breaking them at every turn. I just decided there was no point in buying high glassesend or designer glasses because I never could seem to keep a pair for more than a few months. I picked up two different pair of these at my local JCPenney store during a spring sale when I had a bonus coupon. I still have this pair left. That reminds me, I should scan the clearance sales for a few more pair.

After my sunglasses come my reading glasses. This pair is from SightStation and I purchased them a year or so ago at CVS. I couldn’t resist the animal print and the neutral golden color is the perfect complement to my gold flecked eyes and brown hair. I’m lost without reading glasses and have them in almost every room of the house, my bag, and both our cars. Yet I always seem to be searching for a pair.

Tucked inside my glasses pocket is one of the reusable, foldable tote bags we received on one of our Condor flights. I love these things and use them all the time as they are super small and now, always available, for a spur of the moment trip to the market.

Next in my bag is my Fossil wallet which I have been carrying for three or four years. It’s just the right size for my debit and credit card, store club cards and a bit of cash, as well as driver’s license, any coupons I want to make use of and my sales receipts.

Beside my wallet is this pretty little cosmetic pouch I nabbed from the sale bin at Ulta several weeks ago. I love the bright floral print and the size is ideal to hold my necessary personal items. I carry a hand sanitizer or two, a tin of mints, floss picks, one or two lip colors, a mirror and a few bits and bobs that seem to appear from nowhere but occasionally come in handy.

I never go anywhere without a notepad and pen. So often I think of something I want to jot down like a grocery item or someone’s email address. I keep little pads and pens tucked in thIMG_20170817_141928e pockets of all my handbags and I’m never disappointed for having them.

Last is my phone. I upgraded to the Google Pixle phone a couple months ago and it’s my first smartphone. Yep, my first one. I chose this model for the phonereviews of the great camera and I’m glad I did. I took hundreds of pictures on my recent vacation with this phone and got some great shots that are suitable for framing and card making, and I am by no means a good photographer. I also love the pretty sparkle protective case I added and no, it’s not on the recall list, as of yet.

That’s it for my summer handbag contents. I prefer to keep my bag tidy and light and I don’t let clutter accumulate. I’m quick to file receipts, toss out used Kleenex and napkins and I keep my bags regularly cleaned and fabric protected. My handbag is one of the most versatile accents in my wardrobe and I love a pretty bag. I hope you have a few well-loved bags of your own.

As always, live beautifully!

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SAMPLE SIZING IT~Tarteist Liquid Lip Paint

Fall is a fabulous time to try something new and as these little lip goodies just reminded me of the pending warm, fall colors, I took them out of my sample stash and added them to my purse makeup bag.  While I’m just not a fan of liquid lipstick or gloss, Tarte makes some amazing cosmetics so I had to go ahead and give these a decent try.

The first, Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit is a matte finished liquid lipstick. I don’t care for a matte lip so this isn’t something I would purchase for myself, but I like the neutral color for my slightly summer tanned face. The second is a Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint which I much prefer over the matte finish. Unfortunately, this mini trial tube doesn’t have a color or number listed on the tube so I can’t give you the exact shade but I can tell you I was much happier with the finish and texture. Again, being someone who is just tarteist.jpgenamored with old fashioned, creamy lipsticks, this isn’t something I’m going to purchase.  That said, the staying power was better than I expected and definitely lasted longer than tradition lip gloss of old. I’ll finish up the last of these little tubes in the coming couple of weeks and recycle the packaging but thereafter, it’s back to traditional lipsticks for this gal. If you are a fan of liquid lipsticks, I would absolutely give these a try for both color payoff and wearability.

Tarteist Lip Paints retail for $20.00 for .2 oz. tubes and best of all, Tarte is a cruelty-free company.

As always, live beautifully!

A BRIGHT, WHITE SMILE~

A bright, white smile is always in vogue but I’m one of those people whose teeth don’t ‘whiten’ and by that, I mean my teeth don’t toothbrushwhiten to the startling bright white that requires sunglasses for everyone else in the room. I’ve used over the counter whiteners and professional whitening systems provided by my dentist and my teeth never get any whiter than they already are. Fortunately for me, that is fairly white. What I, and probably a lot of people, really battle is teeth staining. I drink coffee and red wine daily and indulge in the occasional cup of tea or cocoa and that takes a toll. But there is a means to keep your pearly whites as pearly white as nature intended, for just a few pennies a day.

530886911My mother taught me the old trick that her mother taught her and you only need your regular toothbrush and toothpaste and two additional, inexpensive ingredients: a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a box of baking soda. And generic will do.

To polish my teeth to a pearly sheen on a daily basis, I need to remove any coffee or wine discoloration from my regular indulgences. I keep a bottle of .99 cent peroxide and a mini container of baking soda next to the Tom’s Whole Care toothpaste in my bathroom cupboard for twice daily use. I also keep a little glass bowl nearby. I pour just a few drops of peroxide into the bowl and dip the bristles of my brush in it. Then I apply a dollop of toothpaste to my brush. Thereafter, I touch the toothpaste into a little container of baking soda to pick up roughly an eighth of a teaspoon and then begin to brush, making sure to pay attention to each tooth, front, back and top. I spend at least two minutes thoroughly brushing my teeth and then rinse with cold water from the tap. I finish off with a swish of Tom’s Mouth Rinse which gets rid of any residual ‘grit’ from the baking soda. And ta-da, a bright, white stain-free smile.

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This little home remedy has whitened my teeth as well as any whitening trays or strip products and costs much less. Regular dental check-ups are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums and if white teeth are an issue of great importance to you, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening options. If, like me, your teeth are as white as they are going to get, or as white as they can get, consider saving some money and using this old home remedy for a healthy smile.

As always, live beautifully!

white smile

*Photos courtesy of freeimages.com

SAMPLE SIZING IT~Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner

I have naturally curly hair and while that is, in and of itself, a blessing, curly hair tends to lack moisture and benefits from fewer washings and lots of conditioner. But curly and other dry hair types know that over-conditioning can weigh even heavier curls down so we have to draw the line somewhere. That’s where these ‘no shampoo shampoo’ concepts come into play. I’ve used a few of these products in the past so I was familiar with the benefits and concepts.

unwash insert.jpgUnwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner is a product intended to replace shampoo while leaving hair cleansed and manageable. Safe for color treated hair, it contains no sulfates or parabens and claims to remove build-up without stripping hair of its natural oils. Here’s my take on this product: yes, it cleans my hair just fine and leaves it soft and manageable. Yes, I can step right out of the shower, apply a bit of curling cream, finger style my pixie and go. Perfect! What I can’t do is use the product exclusively. After a few days, my scalp still needs to be thoroughly cleansed and I still feel that a good moisturizing shampoo is best for that purpose. I also like to remove the build-up of the styling product I use and I also think a regular moisturizing shampoo does a better job at that. So like with other ‘non-shampoo’ cleansing products, I rotate this in my routine. Two or three days of the Unwash Bio-Cleanser and then the next day I give my scalp and hair a good cleansing with a moisture rich shampoo, followed by a rinse off conditioner. Once a week or so I use a heavier conditioning mask on my hair just to help maintain a good moisture balance.

As ‘no shampoo shampoos’ go, this one is as good as any other I have tried. It’s also cruelty-free, or it wouldn’t be reviewed on my blog, nor would it go on my list of products that I’d gladly purchase. Unwash retails for $29.00 for 13.5 oz. Not inexpensive but not above and beyond similar products. If this type of product is for you, you might want to make the investment and see how it works for yourself.unwash extra.jpg

As always, live beautifully!

AHAVA PURIFYING MUD MASK~

Ah, face masks. They’re as essential to a bright appearance as your favorite lipstick. I love these little single-use masks from AHAVA for both price and portability. I’ve previously used the AHAVA Extreme Radiance Lifting Mask and picked up the purifying version a recent trip to Ulta. As I still periodically battle the occasional spot I do like to treat my skin to a good deep clean from time to time, especially after a day of extreme exercise or outdoor activity. And this one didn’t disappoint me. This AHAVA mask is rich with… and provides a thorough cleansing without being overly drying. I used warm IMG_20170822_190839water and wash cloth to remove the majority of this mask after it dried and then proceeded to rinse clean with tepid water. I was left with a radiant glow and ready for my nighttime skincare.

AHAVA is a cruelty-free brand on the higher end of the ‘drug store’ spectrum. It is widely available at Ulta and they provide a range of face and body care products made from Active Dead Sea Minerals. I have had the opportunity to try a couple other AHAVA products in the past and will continue to explore their product line as time permits. For now, I will continue to enjoy the remainder of the AHAVA masks I purchased on upcoming at-home spa days. No matter what your skin type or issue of concern, there is an affordable AHAVA mask for you.

As always, live beautifully!