Friday, June 23, 2017

Bobbi Brown Gave Me that Sun-Kissed Glow

Because I don't get out in the sun too much anymore, I've been using the St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. But I was worried about using the mousse on my face because I didn't want it to come out too dark or look splotchy so I decided to invest in a bronzer.

I was always hesitant about trying bronzer. I'm not sure why, but my makeup artist-friend always finished off every look with bronzer so I figured it's worth a shot.

So I splurged on Bobbi Brown's Bronzing Powder in Natural and I completely love it. And I got the perfect blend with my BlendSmart brush. Plus, if I ever put too much on, I can dust it off with my brush.

I give it 5 kisses.



It's available on www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com for $42.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beach Day Revised Thanks to St. Tropez

First things first, it's a self-tanning product, which automatically means it's not the perfect shade for your skin. For me, St. Tropez's Self Tan Bronzing Mousse was too dark, but it did look a lot better after a few days, as was expected.

It's hard to work in the mousse around your knees, elbows, and feet without making them orange so it might be a good idea to keep a damp cloth near you during application to pat away some of the product.

This self-tanning product surprised me with how fast it dried! It didn't get on any of my clothes or sheets, which is definitely a notable aspect for self tanner!

Ultimately, it's great for quick color.

I give it 4 kisses.



It's available on www.jet.com for $41.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bobbi Brown: A Rosy Kiss

I've always found that on my olive skin, some blushes look completely different in different lighting. In other words, I love it in the store, but I hate it when I get home.
So this time at Sephora, I had an associate help me because those individuals know their makeup. We picked out Bobbi Brown's Blush in Sand Pink.

And I absolutely love this color! It works amazing with my BlendSmart brush and looks beautiful on my skin tone. I definitely recommend it for anyone who shares my struggle to find a great blush for olive skin.

I give it 5 kisses.


It's available on www.shop.nordstorm.com for $28.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Not So Crepe-y Crepe Cream

I usually don't buy anything off of informercials, but as I was lying in bed, this crepe cream called me somehow. And of course, knowing it won't fix crepe-y skin, I bought it anyway.

So my TruFirm Complex Crepe Erase cream comes in the mail and the directions instruct me to use only a pea-sized amount. And I was glad I read the instructions. This cream is incredibly moisturizing, it has a similar consistency to Crisco, which doesn't sound appealing, but this cream is definitely the fix for dry skin!

Naturally, it does nothing for crepe-y skin, but at least it smells like magnolia flowers.

I give it three kisses for false advertisement.



It's available on www.QVC.com for $120.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Simple Human The Sensor Mirror Pro Wide-View: A Poorly Lit Reflection

I went into Neiman with a gift certificate from a client. I didn't necessarily need anything, but don't we all need something from Neiman every once in a while? I was ecstatic to find Simple Human's The Sensor Mirror Pro Wide-View because it's supposed to adjust to different lighting. So in theory, if I want to look in the mirror and put on my makeup with lighting that reflects dawn, I could.

But in reality, I can't. While the lighting does change, it's not significant enough to justify this product's cost.

It does have some major pros, though, I must add. The light can be controlled with an app on your phone or tablet! Plus, it functions without a plug. It has a rechargeable battery that you just need a USB port to juice up again, but unfortunately, the mirror is heavy, which makes it a little difficult to move. So while the idea is not to have to move it, you might need to to charge it.

And the mirror itself tilts, which is perfect for applying mascara or false lashes!

But yet again, I was disappointed by the magnification in the mirror. I could've used a more significant magnification than the mirror gave me. Not to mention, the side mirrors don't stay angled unless you hold them. When I grow a third hand to hold my BlendSmart brush and the mirror at the same time, putting on makeup will be easier to manage.

But at least it looks gorgeous sitting atop my vanity.

I give it 3 kisses.



It's available on www.neimanmarcus.com for $400.00.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Marc Jacobs: the Right Choice Brought to You by The Informed Choice

I've had my quarrels with Marc Jacobs. I mean, that giant (and neon yellow) cloth tote that everyone had in 2010... Really? But alas, I have dismissed my prejudice and was happy to find his lipstick at a routine Sephora visit.

Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick is his peace offering (after I had to see that neon yellow bag every day of my high school career) or at least, that's how I'll take it. This creamy, hydrating stick is easily a new favorite. I picked up the shade known as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is a baked rose, and was happy to find there was no running or smudging after application. Of course, there was transfer of color around the top of my beer bottle, but the lines on my lips were crisp and remained so.

So Mr. Jacobs, apology accepted. I give your lipstick 5 kisses.





It's available on www.sephora.com for $30.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Chella's Eyebrow Pencil: A Savior or a Tease?

I love doing my eyebrows, they're probably my favorite part of my makeup ritual so when I came across Chella's Eyebrow Pencil, I was, naturally, over the moon.

I was surprised to learn there were only 3 colors--taupe, ebony, and auburn (sorry blondes!)--none of which seemed to match the dark brown look I was hoping for, but I decided to give the taupe shade a chance.

And somehow, it matched my hair! The mechanical pencil (thank God) is thin enough to give you constant control of your shape. Whether you like your brows thin or extra thick, this pencil can do it all. And of course, let's not forget, if you're going for the most natural look possible, you can always smudge and blend the pigment for a lighter look.

It's fair to say I ended up more than please with Chella's eyebrow pencil.

I give it 5 kisses.



It's available on www.chella.com for $18.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Manna Kadar Cosmetics is the Man of the Hour

Looking for a lip color that stays all day? Well, sit back and relax. You and your wallet don't have to do the research because I've done it for you! Manna Kadar's LipLocked Priming Gloss Stain is everything you're looking for.

With 11 fabulous shades, I picked up Rosette, which the brand describes as a poppy pink, an accurate description. When I first opened the tube, the gloss seemed sticky and thick, but first impressions aren't always accurate. This gloss is smooth and hydrating with a color that will last you all day long.

The only flaw I hate to bring up is the gloss' scent. Nothing fruity or sweet, but instead an artificial, processed fragrance that's reminiscent of clay.

But fret not, if you use the brand's replenishing services, you can subscribe to automatic refills every 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 6 months and you'll never run out!

I give it 4 kisses.



It's available on www.mannakadarcosmetics.com for $24.

Friday, May 26, 2017

NARS: A Girl's Dream Come True

I have to bring up my foundation. While some women have a love-hate or hate-hate relationship with their foundations, I have a love-love. You'll never hear me say I don't have good coverage or my foundation slides off my face. If you love liquid foundation, I highly suggest you splurge for NARS.

NARS' All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is an amazing product. I use shade Sante Fe (or Medium 2) and with its peachy undertones, it perfectly balances out my skin. And believe me when I say it never looks like the wrong color after application.

For those looking to cover imperfections or even out their skin tones, NARS is a girl's best friend. I promise.

I give it 5 kisses.



It's available at www.sephora.com for $52.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Salon Quality Roots!

For the days we don't have time to spend 3 hours in the salon, we turn to drug store hair dye to touch up our roots. And in this case, mine were past overdue. I'm very hesitant about my hair. I don't like going to new salons because I never know how dark or light my hair will be when I walk out. If I'm skeptical about new salons, you can only imagine how nervous I get about selecting hair dye at Target. If you couldn't already tell, my hair is a very important feature to me. Like my eyebrows, I feel like it makes or breaks me. The years where I was blonde, for example, broke me. So I dye my natural light roots to a deep brown.

Revlon's 33 Dark Soft Brown, to be exact. I can't express enough how much time and money Revlon's hair dye saved me.

Well, actually, I can. Instead of the usual $120 salon treatment, I spent $2.84 on hair dye. $2.84. Granted I have plenty of salon experience so I've caught the main gist of how to dye roots (I know to dye my hair piece by piece and comb the color through), but I felt like I walked out of a salon after my hair dried.

The dye kit comes with instructions, gloves, the die and an applicator-type bottle, and of course, conditioner. (And the conditioner smells so good!) It's really everything you need in a box. It's important to note that while I did get dye on my fingers, it was gone after less than 12 hours. And I did get some on my favorite sports bra (learn from my mistake and avoid wearing something you have to pull over your head when you dye your hair), but it came out with immediate attention, and soap and water.

I give Revlon's ColorSilk Beautiful Color 5 kisses.
It's available at www.walmart.com for $2.97.

Friday, May 19, 2017

E.L.F. Brings Christmas to You Year Round

Ladies, the best drug store makeup is here and it feels like Christmas! Okay, well, it's been here, but we're here now to discuss their product that feels like a gift! E.l.f.'s Contouring Blush & Bronzer Powder.

They offer three different combinations, of which I chose St. Lucia because includes a light pink blush and a deep brown bronzer. Both are thickly pigmented for the perfect application. Between the shimmer and the soft feel, I fell in love after just one use. I was happy to find a powder contour duo that could do the work of a cream contour kit but without the heavy feel and breakouts!

My only complaint is that I go through the bronzer faster than the blush!

I'd give e.l.f.'s Contouring Blush & Bronzer powder 6 kisses if I could, but it deserves 5 at the very least.


It's available on www.elfcosmetics.com for $4.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Nice to Melt You, Too Faced

Too Faced's line of Melted Matte Liquid lipstick is a must for any woman who loves a matte finish! I was curious to see how the product would feel and look because my liquid lipsticks clump and cake so easily. And leave me with chapped lips!

Luckily, Too Faced impressed me on that level. No caking, peeling, or dry lips! I had nice even coverage that lasted until I ate, which is the usual and all you can really ask for. I picked the color Child Star while desperately searching for a good nude lip. And while nude is a little too pink for my liking, it was a cute hue!

I give Too Faced Melted Matte lipstick 5 stars!


It's available on www.sephora.com for $21.

Friday, May 12, 2017

If Sinful Colors is Wrong, We Don't Need to be Right!

Let's talk about our nail polish when it comes to taking a step back from the salon and into the drug store. My favorite brand? Sinful Colors. While it doesn't have Essie's reputation, it also dries 5 times faster, or so it feels to my impatience.

Sinful Colors gave me a thick, even coverage. Dare I say, I only needed one coat! And thankfully, I found the bottle design and brush to be much more conducive to painting your nails as compared to other brands like Louboutin or NARS, who take package design to a whole new level, leaving usability in the dust.

With a range of colors sure to please any and everyone, I went with Black on Black, possibly their darkest hue. And for a drug store brand, their polish was just as shiny as my manicures look when I come out of the salon.

I give Sinful Colors Black on Black 5 kisses.



It's available at a variety of locations for $1.99 on average.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Smoothies Will Always be a Favorite

While everyone is doing their smoothie and juice cleanses to prepare for beach season, my lips are preparing with The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick. Yes, it's a love song to PB & J sandwiches in the form of lip color. How cute!

I'm usually not a fan of lip crayons because I can never create defined lines with them. Realizing that's perhaps a flaw of my own, I gave The Beauty Crop a shot because how can anyone deny a cruelty-free brand?

And Lord, was I happy I didn't! You can kiss your ChapStick goodbye once you get your Smoothie Stick. The creamy, tinted lip crayon is my new go-to with its hydrating (and cute!) color. Formulated in Italy and distributed by the English Brand The Beauty Crop, this Smoothie Stick is made with almond butter and goji berry--they call it a "healthy addiction."

I was lucky enough to pick up their Saucy Marsala, which is a red-brown and compliments my skin's pink undertones perfectly.

And with that, I give it 5 kisses.



Available for $14.95 on thebeautycrop.com.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Not a Perfume is Not my Favorite Perfume

And by that, I mean Juliette Has a Gun's perfume is definitely my new favorite. I'll be honest and say I judged this book by its cover, but who wouldn't when the brand's name is Juliette Has a Gun? It gives the illusion of an aggressive and positive alpha female persona. At least, that's what I first thought.

The company plays off of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The revival of Romano Ricci, a Parisian perfumer, this feminist perfume "illustrates modern femininity's paradoxical desire for romance and independence," according to Sephora. Those are some big concepts to place behind a perfume, right?


"This time, I have created a perfume out of this one ingredient. A perfume that won’t be one, in the conventional sense of the word." -- Romano Ricci

But it makes the brand seem bold and strong, which made me buy in. The concept comes full circle when you smell the fragrance. It's earthy and clean, but a little sweet. Definitely a light scent, this perfume doesn't have the capability to be overpowering and instead, gives us a perfect balance of natural and candied.

And it contains only one ingredient: Cetalox. Surprised? I was, too. Cetalox is usually used as just the base scent in perfume. But Romanco Ricci thought it was paradoxical to use a single ingredient as described in the quote above, so of course, it fit's the brand's vibe.

I give the scent 5 kisses.

It's available on www.sephora.com for $100.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Prescriptives Wowed Me

I have to admit, I had some prejudice against Prescriptives. My mom used to use the brand and I didn't think of it as a MAC or a NARS so I wasn't impressed by the name. But I also live by the rule that first impressions never do you wrong.



And Prescriptives did me so right. Their False Eyelashes Plush Mascara is smooth and dark. The mascara stuck to every eyelash, even the ones in the corner of my eye that are so hard to get.

But I really have to rave about the applicator. I usually stick to Covergirl's LashBlast mascara because their applicator is the only one I've found that doesn't end up clumping mascara onto my lashes. But their brush has been challenged. Prescriptives False Eyelashes mascara was thin enough to be able to make out every lash after applying and thick enough to make a dramatic difference.

It's safe to say Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara is a new staple in my cosmetic bag.

I give it 5 kisses.


Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara is available on www.prescriptives.com for $23.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm is a Miracle

To match my dry hands, my lips always seemed to be chapped, too. I may have gotten myself addicted to Chapstick, but not to worry, Dr. Lipp helped me out. I can thank BirchBox for introducing me.
Dr. Lipp's Miracle Balm is a multifunctional tool no human should go without. For your brows, lips, hands, eyelids, anything really, this balm is the fix. It can prime and shine all in one.

But be aware, this isn't a thin gloss. It's goopy and thick, but that's what gets the job done. And when I say goopy and thick, I don't mean it's going to look chunky on your lips. I mean you'll feel it on your skin, but you'll also feel it doing its work. 

Dr. Lipp has perfected a never-fading shine that will make your lips glossy for the day. I give it 4 stars.

It's available on www.birchbox.com for $16.50.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nuxe Paris Treats Me like a Queen

I've always had a soft spot for hair oils so when Nuxe introduced their Huile Prodigieuse, I was dying to try it out. Leave it to the French to create the best products.
For this multi-use product, Nuxe combined macadamia, hazelnut, borrage, almond, camellia and St. John's wort oils to create the most moisturizing oil I've come across. Instead of sitting on top of your skin and creating a thin layer of grease, Nuxe's oil absorbs almost as soon as it makes contact with your skin. My hands felt smoother after just a few minutes.

But I wasn't totally sold on the product until I used it on my hair. I was in desperate need of trim; my ends were broken and splitting. A complete disaster. But when I applied this oil, not only did my hair smell amazing, but it looked amazing, too. I usually have pretty dull hair, but Huile Prodigieuse gave me the perfect, natural looking shine.

Though fainter than a perfume, the oil is distantly reminiscent oh Chanel No. 5.

I give this oil 5 kisses. (If I could give it 6, I would.)

It's available on us.nuxe.com for $29.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Last Kiss Stole My Breath

I found this lipstick at The Cosmetic Market here in Alpharetta, Ga. and after being drawn to the great colors Last Kiss/DMA offers, I learned about the creator, Dani Taverna, and her story. Taverna, a young woman from Florida, has been a bridal makeup artist for 13 and would hand out lipstick samples for brides to use for pictures and all their bridal occasions. She has since been inspired to create her own line of lipsticks and lip liners known as DMA by Duality Artistry, which has launched on her website.
And aside from her story, the product itself is great. Her lipsticks are smooth and creamy, a godsend for someone like me with dry lips.
I give Last Kiss/DMA lipstick 5 kisses.
Last Kiss/DMA Matte Lipsticks are available on her website for $23.

Monday, April 17, 2017

NYX Butter Lipstick Feels like Butter

NYX's Butter Lipstick and I had an immediate affair. This lipstick feels so great on. It's soft and smooth--just like butter. I found it didn't slide off my lips like most do and it lasted. I used the color "Lifeguard," which NYX describes as a deep, classic red, to give me the perfect night look.
I give the lipstick 5 kisses. But now, I'll give the floor to my millennial counterpart, Eileen.
Eileen here. Before NYX was the total rage, I invested in two of their butter lipsticks: "Afternoon Heat," a red, and "Thunderstorm," a deep purple. Like Carol, I fell in love with the lipsticks and for just $6, how could I say no? But as the day went on, I found my lipstick bleeding off of my upper and lower lip. Not a lot! But just enough that I would suggest purchasing the coordinating NYX lip liner with the butter lipstick.
I give the lipstick 5 kisses, too.
It's available on www.nyxcosmetics.com for $6.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trish McEvoy Disappoints with Eye Shadow Primer

I had high hopes for Trish McEvoy's Eye Base Essentials Brightening Eye Shadow Primer. I wanted something to make my eyeshadow pop, make it look brighter and more pigmented, maybe to cover up my wrinkly eye lids.
So I opened up the primer and applied it to my lids and quickly learned that I need to exfoliate my eye lids. With the primer on my lids, my lids were flaky and dry. If you run into the same problem, I suggest using the Vic Face and Body Cloth--it's thin, rough cloth that's perfect for exfoliating any dry skin. So the Jury is still out on Trish McEvoy. Sometimes it seems too white for my skin, perhaps I have the wrong color for my skin. Either way, I'm not thoroughly impressed, but feel free to try it for yourself.
I'll give it 3 kisses.
The primer is available on shop.nordstrom.com for $29.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Plastic Surgery Record: the U.S. Spent $15 Billion


The U.S.'s budget for plastic surgery surpassed $15 billion, Reuters.com reported last month, giving the industry a new record of revenue. Non-medical procedures rose in popularity by 11% in 2016 so there's proof that our baby boomer ladies love their tummy tucks, breast augmentations and lip injections, but so do our millennials. 


Maybe we can look to personas like Kylie Jenner for that trend as our young adults try to preserve their youthful looks based on Instagram feeds and Snapchats.

Plastic surgery's revenue hit a new record with $15 billion spent in the U.S.
"Cincinnati-based psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke, who specializes in treating women with body dysmorphic disorder, plastic surgery addiction and other disorders, said social media has added pressure to women striving to meet a standard of beauty defined by looking young."  
--Reuters.com


My response? Not surprised. With a feed of women who are constantly made up, photoshopped and ultimately flawless, plastic surgery has become the norm. The public's view of beauty has once again regressed in age with young celebrities' claims to fame, like Jenner, who launched her cosmetic line at just 18-years-old.

Jenner, like many, was instantly idolized at a young age for her image and by no fault of her own, helped to bring a new, not necessarily positive definition to the public standard of beauty. 

As a millennial, I've realized my personal Instagram feed is filled with makeup gurus, work out videos, and a luxury lifestyle, my Snapchat inhabited by videos of celebrities' private jets, their thin waists and thick hips.
"A 2011 Norwegian Social Research study of 1,597 people over 13-years-old found adolescent girls and young women who underwent cosmetic plastic surgery were more likely to suffer depression, alcoholism and other disorders." 
-- Reuters.com
I've deleted celebrities, including Jenner, off my social media feeds because I noticed it was making me feel poorly about myself. I started comparing my waistline and curves to people who make a living off their looks and then found myself comparing my body to immediate peers. It was a downward spiral, to sum it up.

So in other words, social media seems to have a direct influence in the depleting ritual of self esteem and rising popularity of cosmetic surgery, while cosmetic surgery in young adults has a direct correlation with mental disorders. Do your brain a favor and don't let your Instagram search page be the last thing you look at before bed.

Now of course social media and cosmetic surgeries have their benefits, but just remember ladies, as my elementary school health teacher used to say, too much of anything isn't a good thing.

If you're considered cosmetic surgery, make sure you're doing it for yourself, not because of your social media feed.

Read Reuters.com's piece here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

L'Occtaine Heals My Hands! Again!

Remember the last L'Occtaine hand cream I raved about? Well, here's another. The L'Occtaine Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion, a necessity for anyone struggling to get through the winter with dry skin.
I always smell everything I apply to my body before I apply it, I think that's good general rule of thumb, and when I smelled this lotion, I knew it was going to be a good decision. The scent reminded me of baby oil and I instantly loved it. It was light, fresh and clean. I have to mention the lotion is a little greasy, but that's hardly noticeable because it absorbs so quickly. L'Occtaine works great on my hands.
I give it 5 kisses.
It's available on www.sephora.com for $32.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Use Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer to Say Bye Bye to Under Eye Bags!

IT Cosmetics has produced the Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer and I couldn't be more excited.
I seldom buy makeup I see advertised on TV, but I did this time. I first got it in a little sample bag and quickly skipped over the directions because who needs those, right? The concealer was thick and hard to spread and I immediately didn't like it. But then I decided to give the directions a try. So it says to warm up the concealer in between your palms or fingers first, which solved my problem. I only needed a tiny amount for amazing coverage that lasts all day. It's by far the best concealer I've come across. And when you order the concealer from QVC, you'll get a free brush for application. It's a nice brush, but it has a cap that bends and breaks the bristles when you put it back on. I'll give the brush 3 kisses and stick to the blendSMART brush because it's gentle enough to blend this concealer with my foundation under my eye.
I give IT Cosmetic's Bye Bye Concealer 5 kisses.
It's available on www.sephora.com for $24.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler Redefines a Curl

For someone with straight eye lashes, this curler is a dream.
Its wide opening allows you to get every eyelash in the curler for the best and even curl. I actually heat my eye lash curler with a blow dryer for about 3 seconds before I use it and then hold it on my lashes for about 10 seconds. I've found that waterproof mascara holds a curl better than regular mascara does, but either way, I'll never go without my Keyvn Aucoin Eyelash Curler again. Thanks Kevyn!

I give it 5 kisses.
Available on www.sephora.com for $21.