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Looking Back at April Favorites 2015

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I think I tried doing a few posts that looked back at my favorite items from prior years sometime last year, but I went back so far that most things I kind of ditched for something newer and shinier. I thought I would dust off the concept and try again with April (I actually wrote a post for March, but never managed to post it so if you’d like to see that, let me know!). Instead of going back to the beginning of my favorites posts, I thought I would just go back to 2015 and stay a bit more relevant. So without further ado, let’s see what I loved in April of 2015 and how I feel about those things today (and check out the 2015 post here)! 🙂

Farewell Miserable January! – January Beauty Favorites 2016

Ugh! It’s January! Well…I’m looking back at my January Favorites. Tell me, does anyonelook forward to January? My birthday is during that bitter cold misery stricken month and even I don’t look forward to it! JDark, dreary, bone-chilling weather aside, it was still a rather odd month for personal reasons, but on the beauty front it wasn’t so bad! J Let’s take a trip down memory lane at the stand-out products in my rotation during January and look forward to Spring…it’s coming relatively soon, right? Please!!! J Right. Back to the topic! January Favorites….

Favorites & Feeling Festive ~ September 2015

Well September is over and Fall is officially here. Despite the shorter days and the dropping temperatures, I’m kind of enjoying this transition into Fall. It’s been a relatively good month and I have a decent collection of Favorites to share with you today! I may not be a huge fan of the Autumnal chill, but I have to admit that I loveFall makeup!!! JSo let’s take a stroll through the most fantastic of the beautiful things that Fall had to offer this month. JI present to you my September Favorites!

July Favorites & an UNfavorite! Ciate, ColourPop, the Balm, Too Faced, Urban Decay & More!

As always, Summer is just flying by! I feel like it’s been a busy month, but I can’t really think of any significant events that occurred. Regardless, Summer is nearly over…I know, it’s not really but when the back to school ads and sales begin, you know the end is near. So, July was a decent month beauty-wise though I had an issue a week or two ago. We may have the first unfavorite mentioned this month! JApologies for the drought of posts lately. It’s just been rather hectic and time and energy have been scarce. No need to get into life nonsense, let’s just get into the best of the best beauty in July!!!

I’m going to begin with the most spectacular of nail polishes. Special enough that I devoted an entire review to it (you can check it out here). It is the Olivia Palermo for Ciate Polish in Sunday’s.” Since I did review it, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but it is absolutely the prettiest pinky-nude shade that goes with anything. I love the gel-like formula as well and it is just stunning – in presentation, color and formula. Hands down favorite nail polish…maybe ever!

I’ll also briefly mention my favorite-ist of favorite mascaras – Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. I’ve reviewed this as well and you can read more here, but I felt like I needed to try something new for a while so I took a break. For that, I deeply apologize Better Than Sex because you are pretty close to the most perfect mascara in the world! JIt is a bit tricky to apply without getting all over your lash line and I don’t like to attempt it on the bottom lashes, but the volume is to die for. It’s ok for length too, but it really shines in the volume department, which is what I’m most after. It definitely brings the drama! I still have a few sample size tubes around so I have yet to buy a full size, but I definitely will the moment I run out of samples! And, not a complaint, but what’s up with so many ways to get another mini tube? May you never run out of or cease making the Better Than Sex Mascara, Too Faced! J
Since I’ve been using a different mascara on my bottom lashes, I’ll mention that as well. It’s only been recently that I’ve started adding mascara back to my lower lashes and the Tarte Gifted Mascara has been spectacular! It’s a great mascara in general – though it’s no Better Than Sex! – but it is excellent for the lower lashes because the wand is relatively thin and it doesn’t smudge or transfer. Again, I have a baby size and I reviewed this many moons ago (see it here), but I’ve been loving it for lower lashes as well as less dramatic mascara days.
Something else that I’ve been using pretty much every day, but never mention is the Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach. Concealer just doesn’t quite cancel out my under eye discoloration as well as I’d like without really caking it on, so this definitely helps. I’m still not sure I love it, but it’s doing the job and it’s a semi-affordable cruelty free option. To be fair, I haven’t really tried many other correctors because I don’t know of many that are still cruelty free. If you need something that helps, the Pixi Corrector is a good option.
For covering up blemishes, redness and any other just undesirable-ness on my face (not my under eyes), I’ve been reaching for the Bare Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer in Bisque. I’m not usually a huge mineral foundation kinda gal, but I really like using this on top of liquid foundation to just add needed extra coverage. It really does provide coverage and I feel like it also helps set everything in that area since it is a powder product. It’s also pretty quick and easy so I absolutely love the Bare Minerals Bisque lately.
I have an oldie but a goodie for an eye shadow favorite this month. It is Urban Decay’s Roach.” I have always loved this shade. In fact, I think this is the first Urban Decay shadow I ever purchased and possibly the first “high end” shadow I owned. It’s a red-dy bronze that I love just putting all over the lid for a lazy girl’s smoky eye. Mine is still in the older UD packaging with a slightly different formula I believe, but it’s still a fantastic formula. It’s more the color that I love and “Roach” is freakin’ fantastic! J

For a quick and easy blush, I’ve been reaching for Hot Mama from theBalm. Hot Mama is one of those blushes that just kind of works with everything. It’s a subtly shimmery peachy-pink. It is essentially a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm, but I think I like Hot Mama better because I feel like it takes less building, it seems smoother and I don’t notice any glitter, which I sometimes see with Orgasm. Hot Mama is just a great don’t-have-to-think-about-it kind of blush. Lovely!

Depending on my eyes, I was reaching mainly for 2 different lip colors. With the smokier “Roach” eyes, I’ve been tending towards the Christopher Kane for NARS Lip Gloss in “Glow Pink.” Yet again something that I’ve reviewed here. I swear I didn’t intended to have so many links. Proof that I love what I review! J I’ve also been reaching for this gloss with minimal makeup. It’s just a great, comfortable subtle flush of a slightly purple-pink. Other days, I’ve been grabbing for the Lippie Stix in “Brunch” from ColourPop. I love everything about this little tube of amazingness! It’s a satin finish lipstick, but it really looks more like a not-quite-matte. However, it is insanelycomfortable! The color is a gorgeous and wearable orange-y coral. I never thought I would like a color like this on myself, but I adore it! And the Lippie Stix are so freakin’ amazing that I want to own them all!!! It’s been one extreme or the other for my lips in July. J

L to R: Colour Pop Lippie Stix in Brunch & NARS Lipgloss in Glow Pink
Now quickly for my unfavorite. It’s actually a spectacular product that does what it’s supposed to, but it made me break out because of it. It is the Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Lava Rose-Vedic Masque. It’s a mud mask that’s supposed to help pull all of the gunk out of your pores…and it did. My face didn’t much like having all that crap near the surface and it broke out more than it has in quite a while. Fortunately my skin is clearing up now but it was rather unhappy for a week or two there. If you need a good mask for clearing out pores, this is fantastic but for me right now, it just wasn’t a good choice. J
I think that’s going to do it for my July Favorites. It’s been a good time beauty-wise, despite the skin freak out from my poor masking choice. I think I am actually going to post some random favorites next (probably on Friday). I’ve never done that before, but I have enough miscellaneous items for July that it just makes sense. I hope you will come back for it, but I love you even if you skip it. JUntil then, thank you so much for stopping by!

April Favorites 2015 – ColourPop, Nails Inc, Cover FX, RMS Beauty & more!

Another month has come and gone, which means we’re one step closer to Summer!!! There’s something about the rapidly approaching Summer that is always exciting to me. But, first we need to fully experience Spring. J This month has brought some absolutely spectacularfavorites…and potential holy grail status items! With something like that to look forward to, let’s not f-around with this chit chat and get on with the wonder products. J

This is really starting to become a trend to the point that I’m wondering if I can ever do another favorites without one of these suckers! If you haven’t guessed what it is, it is yet another Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick. This month’s go-to shade is “Streak.” Definitely my favorite color for Spring…so far! It’s a lovely coral that is not too in-your-face thanks to the sheer formula, which makes it wearable for pretty much any occasion. It’s so beautiful! I actually have the original Revolution Lipstick in “Streak” as well, but I never reach for it because I feel like it’s toopigmented. Not so with the “Sheer” version. Clearly I am obsessed with these lipsticks. They’re just so comfortable, easy to wear and can be worn for pretty much any occasion. They’re definitely my go-to these days! J

Another makeup favorite that may indeed reach holy grail status is from Cover FX. If you’ve seen my review (linked here), you know that I absolutely love the Custom Cover Drops. I was really a bit skeptical about how much use I would get out of these, but I actually find I use them even more than traditional coverage products. They are totally customizable and, depending what I mix them with, make my skin look better texture-wise than anything else I have tried! I won’t ramble on since I just reviewed them, but seriously they are amazing…and unlike so many other reviewers lately, I have absolutely no affiliation with Cover FX.
As I said in my review, I love mixing the Custom Cover Drops with the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. This stuff is also spectacular. The combination blends so quickly, easily and seamlessly. The texture of my chemo-ravaged skin looks better than with any other foundation because the Invisiblur really does help to blur enlarged pores and general imperfections. It does have that silicone-y slip to it, so if you’re not a fan of that feeling, you may want to steer clear. I don’t mind it and find that it feels completely weightless and it lasts all day without any trouble. Oil is no better or worse than with most other foundations (I need to blot once or twice perhaps, but nothing excessive). If you’re drier, I find that it glides right over dry, flaky areas without settling in. This stuff is pricey in my eyes, but it’s also worth it!
Moving on to cheeks, I’ve been reaching for a lot of different blushes in April. However, my favorite and most frequently repeated choice is “Fox” from ColourPop. I really love the ColourPop Super Shock Cheeks. They’re so unusual, but they look really pretty and wear like iron. The $8 price tag is pretty sweet too! JA gentle flush of “Fox” stippled on with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush just livens up my dull, pale complexion. Love!
Sticking on the ColourPopband wagon, I have been loving their Super Shock Shadow in “Dare” this month. It is an absolutely spectacular purple shade. It’s kind of duo-chromey and glittery and just unusual, beautiful and striking. I have gotten so many compliments every time I’ve worn this shadow this month. Rather a rare occurrence for me. I just apply it with my finger and gently blend the edges out a bit with a different clean finger. Quick, easy and eye catching. J
I have a different highlighter favorite this month! I never used to be even remotely interested in highlighters, but lately I feel almost undone without one. Anyway, for April I seem to have switched to a cream highlighter. It is the Living Luminizer from RMS Beauty. I’m not big on the glittery, sparkly, in-your-face kind of highlighters and this is definitely not one of those. It is very much a subtle burst of illumination wherever you place it. It looks like nothing in the super cool frosted glass pot, but definitely perfect for that oh-so-pretty luminous glow. Again, my fingers seem to be my tool of choice here. I can build it up a bit for more impact, or blend it out a bit more for a subtle hint of illumination. There’s a lot of hype over this product, and I think I see why. J
For skin care favorites, I’ll just direct you to my Skin Care Game Changers post, because the Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA, the Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment, and the Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips & Carrot Perfecting Serum are definitely stand outs from the past few months.
Moving on to something I’ve had for a while, but stopped using for no apparent reason. I use it as a detangler for my hair, though it’s really much more than that. It is the Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment from Pureology. I actually really like the entire Perfect 4 Platinum line (well, that I’ve tried) from Pureology, but this is perfect for making my Tangle Teezer glide through my hair like a hot knife through butter without weighing my hair down. That’s my main reason for using it, but it has so many benefits as well! It has some sort of protein-filler type technology that helps with strength and breakage too, though I can’t say I see a definite difference in much other than the manageability of my hair. This makes such an amazing difference and detangles so beautifully that I’m kicking myself for forgetting about it!
One last favorite for April and it’s a nail color. Well, technically a collection of colors. I have been really in love with The White Collection from Nails Inc. I think I’ve worn one of the three shades that I have pretty much every day this month. I can’t really pick a favorite…and I’m really annoyed that they took Lily Road off the shelves before I had a chance to add it to my stockpile. The most neutral shade that I have is “Whitehall” and I’ve probably been sporting it the most. It’s a not-quite-white with a subtle tint of peach, though it looks pinkish on my skin tone. I cannot find fault with these polishes. The brush is absolutely prefect – flat and somewhat wide – and the formula, despite being quite light in tone, is not at all streaky and covers pretty well in only two coats. Love, love, love Nails Inc.’s The White Collection!
Swan Street, Whitehall & White Horse Street

Whitehall
I guess that was April! I have made some really fantastic discoveries this month. Have you found anything worth raving about in April? Leave it in a comment so that everyone can check it out! J I hope you’re enjoying the milder weather…well, I guess that depends on where you live, but it’s such a welcome change around here! And I hope you’ve had a lovely April. Here’s to an even better May and hopes for more sunshine, slightly warmer temperatures and just plain old good times! JThanks so much for stopping by and I hope to see all of you again soon.

One of my favorite signs of Spring!
Another favorite Springtime treat 🙂

Skin Care Game Changers – Shea Terra Organics & Paula’s Choice

I had planned to post another Spring-themed something today, but clearly I’ve gone a different direction. JInstead, I thought I would tell you about some Skin Care Game Changers that I’ve discovered! These products have made a significant, and quick, difference in the texture and condition of my skin. I do not have anywhere near good skin, so any improvement is highly welcome. These little miracle workers are the Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA and the Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment, as well as the Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips & Carrot Perfecting Serum. Of course these are all cruelty free, but I believe they are also all vegan! I’ve been using these together for at least a few months now, so I feel I can share – no, need to share – my experience with you!

Let’s start with the basics – my skin type, texture, issues, etc. Most recently (since stopping dermatologist recommended “treatments” – that alone improved things, but I plan to discuss that more in a different post) my skin has been pretty normal or even normal to dry, but congested, blotchy and with a lot of residual redness from past acne and the above “treatments” (yes, the quotes are necessary!). Oh, and who can forget the giant pores mainly on my cheeks (not to mention the new scarring from the aesthetician)? Hoping to cure these ills myself, mainly for lack of time to seek out a new dermatologist, plus a bit of fear in their methods, I have been trying some new products on my own. The following are the things with which I have found the most success!

Didn’t wanna include this, but I think it shows the difference. Look at the pore size!
My skin is by no means perfect (who’s is?), but I feel like it’s greatly improved.
So depressing finding these photos!

Let’s start with the first product I added to my routine. It is the Paula’s Choice Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment. This is a highlyconcentrated topical Vitamin C that is intended to be used only on specific areas that need help. It targets brown spots and prior redness from acne. It claims to help with deep wrinkles as well, but I don’t have those yet, so I cannot comment on its efficacy in that field. What I can tell you is that this is mother-freakin’ spectacular for red spots! I’m not referring to a condition like rosacea, but definitely post-acne scarring is tremendously improved by this treatment! The difference was noticeable within a day or two. I had been using a Vitamin C serum for a while and felt it helped with redness, which is actually why I had some hope for this, but I was actually so surprised by how effective this treatment was / is! Granted, I still have redness, but it has faded so dramatically and so much faster than with just a standard Vitamin C serum.
I only apply this to red spots, not to my entire face (though the redness makes up a decent span of skin on my face). Also, this is something you need to use a good SPF 25 or higher while using. I pat this on redness twice a day, every day (not sure that’s recommended, but it’s working for me). It is by far the best product I have tried for reducing post acne-scarring. If you are worried about anything of the sort, you need to try the Paula’s Choice Resist 25% Vitamin C Treatment!
The next product I decided to try is also from Paula’s Choice. It is the Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5%AHA. AHA is also known as Glycolic Acid and is an anti-aging exfoliating treatment typically used for drier skin types. In contrast, BHA (or Salicylic Acid), is typically used for oilier and acne-prone skin. I had been using a prescription Salicylic Acid treatment for a long time and came to realize that my skin actually became oilier and more red while using it. Plus it wasn’t helping much at all with the congestion of my skin. I had tried everything imaginable with little success, and thought why not give AHA a go? It’s a chemical exfoliant as well, but different ingredients work with different skin, so I tried the AHA version of the Daily Smoothing Treatment. Again, somewhere between 1-3 days, the bumps in my skin lessened. They are by no means gone even months later – not sure how to solve that entirely – but they are significantly improved and I’m not collecting more. My acne hasn’t returned outside the occasional spot, nor are the existing bumps getting worse. Plus, without the Salicylic Acid (this does have 0.5% BHA, but no where near the doses I had been using before), my skin has resumed its prior state of being relatively normal in terms of oil-production.
Again, I use this twice a day, every day and it is another product that you’re going to want to follow with a good sunscreen. It has a light texture that glides smoothly over the skin and will definitely make a noticeable difference in the softness of your skin…well, it has mine! I also feel that my crater pores began to shrink a bit after starting the Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA! Seriously impressed with this as well.
The newest, and most shocking, addition to my skin care arsenal has been the Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips & Carrot Perfecting Serum. I added this in place of Argan Oil. It is essentially 100% pure Rose Hips Oil blended with cold-pressed Carrot Seed Oil and Seabuckthorn Seed Oil. No need to double oil! Rose Hips oil is thought to regenerate skin, reverse sun damage, decrease scarring, and improve acne and rosacea according to the Shea Terra Organics website. Also according to their description, the Egyptian Carrot Seed oil is high in Vitamin E and beta-carotene, which helps prevent moisture loss, improves smoothness, and soothes irritated skin. The Seabuckthorn oil is thought to heal skin and improve inflammation. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check and check! It literally does seem to do all these things for my skin and, most shocking of all, my pores have definitelyshrunk since adding this serum! I’ve gone from craters to pin-points. At various points during the day, or with certain foundations, my pores can look somewhat larger again, but nowhere near the size they used to be. I really don’t know how that’s possible, but it seems to be the case and I’m not complaining! J
I can’t say with certainty that this serum repairs damaged skin, enhances healthy cellular growth, improves acne and improves and balances the skin’s moisture levels as the description touts, but I definitely have noticed a positive difference in the condition of my skin! If there is just one of these products that I think everyone needs to try right now, the Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips & Carrot Perfecting Serum would be first on the list. It seriously is a true game changer.
Obviously everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to products, but for me, the Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Face Treatment with 5% AHA, the Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment and the Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips & Carrot Perfecting Serum have been total game changers. I do not know how I was living without these products on my face! If you have similar issues to mine, or even if you don’t, I think you could greatly benefit from adding at least one or two of these products to your routine. I don’t think I have ever been so impressed with the results from any other skin care products before. Definitely game changers! J

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