Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Skin care review: SK II Emulsion and Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Firming cream

These are two of the things that I bought during Sephora's 20% off sale.  I'm always searching for good skin care that I can afford.  I used to use Skinceuticals' Phloretin CF serum, which I liked a lot, but I just can't afford it right now.  So I searched Sephora for skin care that had good reviews and that targeted skin that was losing elasticity.  That is my big problem now, and although my dermatologist said there isn't a skincare product that can tighten skin once it gets to a point like mine, I want to believe something can at least help.  I had heard good things about SK II's masks, and it's facial lift emulsion had mostly good reviews, AND it came in a nice big size (3.3 Fluid ounces).  Considering how much I was getting, the price was the same as many others like Estee Lauder that were cheaper but smaller.  Also most reviewers said that a little went a long way.  That is absolutely true, btw.  A pea sized amount covers my whole face. It feels good when I apply it and I feel like it's moisturizing. and my skin seems better overall, I'm not breaking out as much as I used to.

The other item I bought was Caudalie's Resveratrol Firming eye cream.  I've read some good things about resveratrol in general, so I thought it would be a good thing to try.  I've been using Skinceutical's Eye Balm for awhile, and I do think it helps the skin on my eye lids a bit and it definitely has kept me from getting crow's feet by my eyes.  But it is expensive, so I've been looking around for something else.  I like the consistency of Caudalie's cream, it's easy to dot onto my eyes.  I think it takes more than a month to see the results of any skin care product, but I don't think the Caudalie cream is going to last more than a month.  I seem to be going through it pretty fast.  I do think the skin on my upper eye lids is a bit tighter and not as puffy, which makes me happy.

Overall I feel positive about the SK II, and I like the Caudalie cream, too.  I will definitely buy the SK II emulsion again and also the Caudalie.

Another skin care product that I keep purchasing is Strivectin's Neck Cream.  I've been using it for a few years now and aside from some fat from being overweight, I think the skin on my neck looks good.  So I do recommend it, as well as Skinceuticals Phloretin CF if you can afford it.  If any of you have eye cream or skin care that you just love, please share!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sephora's holiday sale

For the past 2 years every time Sephora had it's annual holiday discount for Beauty Insiders, VIB's, and VIB Rouge's, I've been too broke to buy anything. This year I finally had some money to take advantage of it!

I'll be posting some snaps and swatches of what I got as soon as I can. I seem to have somehow unpublished the post that I made about this before.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MAC's Magical, Enchanted Eve

I finally got snaps of all of my MAC holiday goodies.  I had a sick kitty to deal with and that comes before anything.  Sadly, when the E.R. vet X-rayed him she found a tumor that had spread throughout his little body. It was preventing him from gaining weight, and finally was making it hard for him to even breath, so there was no treatment for it.  It broke my heart and who feels like writing about make-up when you lose a fur baby? And this was the 2nd one I lost in 5 months, which made it even harder.
But I'm trying to take my mind off of it now, so I thought I'd post my pictures. I haven't gotten to actually wear anything yet, but I've swatched some of them.

Ascent of Glamour, Tonight's the Night, Night Thrill

Left - Tonight's the Night, Right - Ascent of Glamour

Evening Rendezvous swatch

Evening Rendezvous on left, Dark Side on right

 I love, love, love the lipstick bullet!

Extra Dimension skin finish in Oh, Darling

Oh Darling is rumored  to be very similar to Whisper of Gilt. I don't have Whisper of Gilt but this looks pretty beautiful to me!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Holiday beauty collection time is here already!

Cosmetic companies are releasing their holiday collections already, and for a change I was totally unaware until last night. I've not been buying much make-up lately because I have everything I need. It seems like there is no lipstick color that I don't already own several of, so I can't justify buying any lippies, and the same with eye shadow. The only thing that I actually need is good skincare products, and it seems like they don't sell specially-priced/good value collections of those.
BUT, the packaging on MAC's holiday things is too beautiful to pass up. Shiny PURPLE and TEAL packaging? I've got to have a few of those.  I ordered Evening Rendezvous and Dark Side. And the eyeshadows look interesting, so I had to order a few of them. Last, I heard the "Oh Darling" mineralize skin finish was similar to "Whisper of Guilt", which is many people's Holy Grail of highlighters.  So of course I had to try that, too.  I totally missed MAC's online release, but I lucked out and was browsing online when Nordstrom released everything.
I will do some swatching when I get my goodies. In the meantime, most of it isn't sold out, so you can check it out online now, and in stores October 22nd.  And since it's holiday, I'm sure it will be restocked between now and December.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lippie of the day - Which Witch?

Fall and dark lipsticks just go together.  I love most dark lippies, but plum and/or purple are a big favorite.  I have quite a few already, so I'm trying not to buy anymore, but most of mine are matte.  When I saw that MAC's Brooke Candy collection had an Amplified dark purple named Which Witch?, I had to try it.  I love it.  It gives me the dark, vampy look that I love but it's creamy so it goes on smoothly and isn't so obvious about my lip lines.
These pics are lipstick only, no foundation, mascara, or anything. Imagine how good it will look with brows pencilled in and a little eye make-up!  
Which Witch is still available on MAC's web site, btw.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't like lipgloss? Take a look at MAC's Vamplify collection

I like lipgloss. It's great when my lips are dry, or when I want a sheer color with a wet look. Or when I just want a wet, sexy look.  And the older I get, the more lip lines it fills in.  In fact I'd say I like lip gloss a little TOO much, which is why I quit buying it. I have enough to last for several years (or until it goes bad).  I know other women who don't buy it, though, because they don't like it. It's too sticky and they don't want their hair getting stuck in it. So I suspect many of us were skeptical about MAC's new Vamplify glosses.  Yes, the swatches looked very opaque, but still, it's a gloss.
I stopped by the MAC counter at Nordie's tonight just to look around, and I had to try some hand swatching of these.  Oh. My. God.  They are stunning! Super opaque color, very thick-looking gloss.  And yet, when you put one on your lips, it feels very lightweight and smooth.  Amazing! The lip gloss research & development people have out done themselves on these.

Yes, it is still a gloss, but it doesn't feel like the tacky glosses.  As of yet it's not a perm product, so if you're curious go try them out before they're gone. These are one of those things that you can't "see" online, you really have to try them in person.  (And that's rare for me. I'm a big online shopper.)
Here are a few quick pics of the ones that I got (so far).


She-Rebel (the name and dark purple color made this a given for me)

What's Going On?
What's Going On on my lips. The feel of them is quite thin with a bit of slip, but they stay put and seem to dry down

Hyper fabulous on my hand (sorry no lip swatches yet)

She-Rebel on my hand - look how thick it is!

She-Rebel on my Lips. This one probably does need a lipstick or lip pencil underneath to keep the color even

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Haute Dogs collection swatches

Yes I know that I'm behind on collections. I haven't had much money lately, and unfortunately I don't get free samples.  So I get what I can when I can.  Two things I love are fall-themed lipsticks and MAC's Mineralize lipsticks for when my lips are dry (like in winter). The older I get the more I like creamy lipsticks that don't show all of my deep lip lines.  As I said in my last post, once you get to a certain point no over-the-counter lip treatment can get rid of the really deep ones. Primer helps but that's another post. When I'm in a hurry I like a lipstick that can look good all on it's own.  Most of MAC's creamy formulas do that for me, but the Mineralize ones FEEL good, like a lip balm.  So I wanted to get some nude/light colors to use this winter.  I picked up 2 from Haute Dogs that I thought would work.  The first, Rare Breed, isn't an overly noticeable color but I love the way it looks on me - a perfect pinky nude.  The other, Barking Gorgeous, does show more lines because it's a milkier peach color, but from a regular distance (vs. an up close photo), it looks nice.  Both are keepers for me.

I'm doing okay for my age, I think (let's just say over 45). Wearing Rare Breed here
Rare breed swatch and Barking Gorgeous swatch

Rare Breed
Barking Gorgeous

Rare Breed on my lips.  I love love love it

Barking Gorgeous is not quite as forgiving of lip lines due to it's more opaque peachy color

Friday, August 28, 2015

MAC Veluxe a Trois collection lipstick swatches

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to post.  I have gotten a few lippies from MAC collections that surprisingly didn't sell out right away.  I am very surprised that as I type this, they're still not sold out. I like all of the ones that I got, and am liking the Cremesheen texture better as I get older.  Sadly, the lip lines aren't going to go away until I can afford some sort of plumping injection, but at least the creamier textures don't call as much attention to it.
I truly love all 3 of these, but my brain is in "autumn color" mode now so I'm really loving Royally Riotous. Such a gorgeous, rich brown! It's right up there with Shitake, Photo, Film Noir and Styled in Sepia for me.
If you haven't looked at this collection yet you really should.

Heaux lipstick from Veluxe a Trois

Quelle Surprise

One swipe of Quelle Surprise

Royally Riotous

Saturday, August 15, 2015

MAC Patentpolishes

If you didn't try MAC's lip crayons the first time that they came out, you have another chance.  I know that I'm "MAC biased", but between Nars, Urban Decay, and MAC's crayons, I like MAC's the best because I don't have to sharpen them. Plus the rounded tip makes them very easy to apply, even without a mirror. They only come in 1 finish, so if you're looking for a variety of finishes this isn't for you (try Nars in that case). These usually have a slightly glossy finish, but they're not tacky. They work wonderfully on lips with deep lip lines, they float over the lines but don't bleed.
This time around I bought 2 to try, French Kiss, a nude that was originally released with the Osbourne collection, and Ruby.  I don't remember if Ruby is a re-release.  Anyhow, here's a hand swatch in natural light:
French Kiss on the left Ruby on the right
And below swatches on my lips.  I love both colors. I heard that they were making these permanent and I really hope that's true. Stop by your MAC counter and give them a try.  I hope that you're enjoying your weekend!

French Kiss only (no liner or primer)

Ruby (again no liner or primer)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Catching up

I've had a few months off, adjusting to being without my 18 year companion (my cat Scully, the only companions that stick around for that long). I've kept quite busy with our other cats, one of which made the transition from "too afraid to be touched" to "I trust you now and want you to pet me every chance you get".  He is the one-eyed cat in my previous post, and he is such a love.  I have never heard this cat hiss, growl or seen him swat at anything.  I was finally able to get him to the vet, which terrified him, but since he is such a skinny little boy I really want to figure out what is wrong with him.  The vet visit ruled out a few things, but didn't give me any answers.  So I'm still researching.

I've also been going to the gym more often, slowly getting back in shape. It's amazing how hard it is to lose weight once you get older.  And the weight that's hardest to lose changes with age.  I had always had a thin waist, even at times when my hips had too much to them. Now I can't get rid of the weight around my middle.  I continue to be amazed at how bodies change once you reach a certain age and how little I knew about it. You hear about wrinkles and that's about it. No one tells you about the sagging skin, everywhere. Your eye lids, your facial skin, your arms (the super-annoying "Hello Helens"), your stomach, and of course your breasts.  I actually think I'm too old to go without a bra now. This is a first for me, as I never had very large breasts. In the summer I could throw on a cami or tank and I was good.  Yeah, that goes away as you get older and gain weight.  Young women, enjoy bralessness and little boobs while you can! You'll miss these things once you lose them.

As a result of these lovely aging things, I've been spending more money on skincare and less on cosmetics. I actually don't have many true wrinkles, just fine lines and lax skin. And the lovely little "age spots" are starting to appear in more places.  Unfortunately when I was younger we didn't know how bad the sun was for your skin.  "Laying out" was the thing to do in my teens and early 20's.  Thank God I got into computers and became a mostly indoor, geek girl. That has probably had a lot to do with my skin still looking pretty good. You can avoid the majority of problems that they call "age-related" if you avoid the sun or wear sunscreen.  I don't like wearing it, to be honest, because I don't like the feel of it on my skin, but if I'm out in bright sunlight, I force myself, especially on my hands. I have Clarins, but I recently tried a sample of Skinceuticals and it's amazing! It's not sticky or greasy, and it's tinted so you don't get that white cream that you have to rub in.  It's not cheap, but I'm going to try to save up for a full bottle.

As for make-up, I continue to be mostly a MAC girl, but I did get 2 things from Urban Decay's summer collection. I LOVE the packaging on it, especially the Afterglow blushes.  I also had to get 2 lipsticks from MAC's Giambattista Valli collection. Who could resist those colored bullets?  I also liked the packaging from MAC's Wash n Dry, and picked up several things from that.  I'm a sucker for special packaging, although my favorite MAC collection this summer was Le Disko.  Those shadows were/are to die for! Such tiny shimmer particles and beautiful duo chrome formula. No special packaging needed for these beauties!

I was also happy to see MAC add a lot to their permanent line. I'm a big fan of shopping perm products.  I was happy to see the Patentpolishes come back, as they work great on my aging lips (the time has come when light colored matte lippies are not so good on me.) I've been trying more of MAC's skin products, and I really like the Prep + Prime color correcting products, especially the powders. The yellow one gets rid of red marks on the skin very well.  I'm surprised that the last collection with the cremesheen lippies and Veluxe Pearlfusion shadows doesn't have anything sold out yet. That's unusual for MAC collections, especially ones with online exclusive lippies. I bought the Heaux lipstick, Quelle Surprise, and Royally Riotous. I'm tempted to buy one of the other nude/brown shades as well, but I'm low on funds so I have to wait a bit.  I love my brown and purple lippies! Who am I kidding? I love pretty much every shade, except most all white-based colors (see Bianca B from Giambattista Valli).

So that's a quick overview, and hopefully now I can post a little more regularly. What were your favorite beauty products this summer?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

GoFundMe page for Zeus and Gray

I've started a GoFundMe page to raise money for 2 stray cats who desperately need medical care.  If you have even 5.00, please help them out.  This is the link to contribute: (Link for Zeus and Gray)

Zeus is a beautiful tuxedo boy who needs to be neutered so he'll stop getting in fights.  We help the best we can with Neosporin and anti-biotics put in his food, but he's lost a lot of weight recently and his hair is falling out.  He also has gotten scratches and bites all over his head, and one got infected.  He has an open wound that I'm trying to keep clean but it's hard because he won't stay inside, he freaks out.

Gray is a tiny little boy with only 1 eye, just a few teeth, and he is skin and bones even though we feed him several times each day.  He just recently trusted us enough to touch him, so we couldn't tell how skinny he was.  He is super affectionate but still very fearful.

I'll add updates about them on my "Hep Cats" page and on Instagram.  Thank you for any help you can give, and ask any questions you have.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Beauty posts will come back eventually. Or not.

I'm well aware that I haven't written much about beauty products lately.  There are things to write about, of course, just like fashion. I just can't bring myself to write about them.  I finally posted under my "Hep Cats" page about the death of my much-loved little 18 year old cat, Scully.  I've had 2 cats for most of my adult life - Buddy and Scully.  Both were girls, both lived with me in Atlanta, then California, then in my hometown close to Pittsburgh.  Both were very attached to me as I was to them, and both lived to be 18 years old.  When Buddy died 2 1/2 years ago, I was devastated, but I still had little Scully.  When my Dad died sooner than expected in 2013, I felt lost, but I still had my Scully.  And now Scully has died and I honestly feel that I have no one.  It's a long story and not one that I'll write here. You can read a little more about it on my cat page or my Instagram.  I can't talk about it anymore now or the tears will never stop.  Another reason that beauty just isn't at the top of my priority list right now.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First look at MAC's Wash and Dry collection

I haven't been buying many beauty products lately, although I'm LOVING Hollywood Cerise lipstick from the MAC x Phillip Treacy collaboration. Such a gorgeous shade of pink!

But since MAC put their big summer collection out, I had to buy some from that.  I just got them yesterday and I've been too sick to feel like doing my make up.  My long-time fur baby companion passed suddenly this weekend and probably as a result of that stress, I got a cold, so I'm looking at my goodies but not up to applying them.  (There will be a post coming soon in the "Hep Cats" section about the cause of my sweet girl's paralysis and resulting death and some information about the signs so any of you cat parents can be aware of it.)

But without further ado, here's a few pics of my MAC goodies....

Crisp Whites blush (L) and Golden Rinse bronzer (R)

swatches of Crisp Whites on top finger, and Golden Rinse bronzer on 2nd finger
Laundry List lipgloss

Steam Heat lipstick (it's a GORGEOUS Red)
Hipness blush
Tumble Dry lipstick
The lippie packaging
It comes out in stores today, so if you're in the mood for some bright, cheery summer colors for your make up, go load up!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lippie of the day - Nars Rikugien

This is one of Nar's Satin Lip crayons . Such a nice color and the texture works on older lips (this is something that is becoming a regular part of my assessment of a lip product).  I think this color would look pretty on any woman.  As usual, this is just the lip color, no primer or lip pencil underneath. (Although I am beginning a comparison of lip primers and I'll post my results once I get to try a few.)