Never Say Die Beauty - Get the Inside Scoop on Beauty
Allison has beauty ideas for women over 40 based on her 20 years traveling around the U.S. as a focus group moderator and market researcher talking to women about what´s important to them when it comes to beauty and beauty products.
Wow, how did it get to be mid-June already? My beach club is opening for the season today, and hopefully the temperature will be approaching 80 for the first time this season. Then, several days in a row with more rain. Oh well, there’s a good exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum if it’s not outdoor weather.
What are you up to this weekend? Any Father’s Day plans? Hope it’s fun whatever you do.
If you have a chance, check out this week’s posts from the Beauty Spotlight Team!
Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm Coconutter is the most incredible healing balm that leaves skin remarkably soft, smooth and deeply hydrated. Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog is absolutely obsessed with Lanolips, and highly recommends this magical healing balm! #lanolips
In the summer, antioxidant-rich berries are everywhere! Never Say Die Beauty is harnessing the power of berries for brighter, smoother skin with new Paula’s Choice Power Berry Serum, a delightful natural pink lightweight serum!
The rising temperatures can only mean one thing- neon nails! KBShimmer has launched their new Seas The Day Collection this week. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has created a few nail art looks using the collection and has them up on her blog. Check it out to see how you can have your nails match the heat this summer!
The heat is on and what could be more refreshing, this time of year than nice, chilly skin care? Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table thinks that a skin care fridge is just what everyone needs for their summer beauty routine.
Time for another Ipsy Plus subscription box. This month, the theme is Block Party.
I thought Ipsy Plus had dispensed with themes since they are seemingly unnecessary. But Block Party goes well with summer, and what’s in this month’s Block Party box does fit the theme. So let’s see what I got!
The first item that jumped out at me when I opened the familiar hot pink shipping box was the raspberry pink tube from PUR. I thought it was a pink lipgloss, and I was so excited. Turns out, it’s not lipgloss at all: it’s mascara. That’s why it has Big Look on the tube, though in my mind, I thought that could also fit with lipgloss Especially since it doesn’t say mascara anywhere on the tube. But it’s mascara, and though I would have preferred an opaque bright pink lipgloss, I’m always happy to try a new mascara.
PUR tends to have big wands, and this one is no exception. The long, rather fat wand with plastic teeth is a little too big for my liking, but I got the hang of it. While I thought it required repeated strokes over my lashes, it did make my lashes look quite striking, I think. While I don’t like it as much as my favorite mascaras, I am very impressed with the final look. I will definitely continue to use it.
When I first saw “matte color”, I thought I might have to give away this pretty lip crayon. But then I discovered the cleverly hidden lip balm in the base of the stick, and I was in business!
I love the deep red shade of the lipstick that they call “Belize Bordeaux”, and the “Grenache Balm” is more or less a sheer slightly pink shade that is very hydrating.
I love the clever way this lip duo is put together, including the magnetic case that goes over the lip crayon with a secure snap. I’m a fan of tresTIQUE anyway, but this is the first full size product from the brand that I have tried. So happy I didn’t give this one away!
BTW, here I am wearing the PUR Big Look Mascara and the trestique Lip Crayon and Balm. Kind of a goofy photo of me on a day when I am not feeling well, but I want you to see what they look like on.
Because it’s pricey, the only Sunday Riley skincare I’ve used have been samples and travel size products I received in Sephora Play bags when I used to subscribe. So I was excited to receive a full size jar of Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream. Not surprisingly, I opened it right away.
Inside is a rich pale yellow cream with a citrusy scent. I actually love citrus scents so I really love this. The scent goes away on contact with my skin.
The cream is quite thick so I think I may save it for autumn and cold weather, and continue using the PRAI Vitamin C Cream that I also have that is more of a summer weight. Nevertheless, I am glad to have both of these vitamin C gems.
Though I often avoid clay for my dry skin, I’ve found that it makes sense for me to read the ingredients before giving clay masks away. It definitely appears that hydrating, collagen stimulating and soothing ingredients like desert lime and aloe vera in this pretty purple mask mitigate the effects of the deep cleaning kaolin and bentonite clays. In addition, the mask contains AHAs from the super fruit Davidson plum to brighten and rejuvenate skin. I’m in. I will give this mask from Australian brand, Generation Clay, a try.
TETRIS X Ipsy Block Party Eyeshadow Palette $24
Every month, Ipsy includes a palette in the Ipsy Plus box. This month, Ipsy teamed up with the iconic video game that I have never heard of, TETRIS, to create a shadow palette to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the game.
As you will see, the palette is a mix of neutrals and brights, mattes and shimmers. I have my eye on the champagne shade, t-spin. They recommend trying some of the shades as liners, and that’s how I intend to use the deep ocean blue shade, top out, though I think it will also be a good shade for the V. The neutrals always come in handy. I’ll do some experimenting with the raspberry shades.
I’m very happy with at least 3 of the items, and I will definitely try the Generation Clay Mask and the TETRIS X Ipsy palette that are somewhat out of my wheelhouse. The value of the 5 full size items is $174. I paid $25. I still really love this subscription. Originally, I thought I wouldn’t want full size products, but boy, was I wrong! I have discovered so many great products with this subscription. And if I weren’t blogging, I probably would never buy any cosmetics again because I could just use what I get in my Ipsy Plus box.
Fragrance is my jam, but lately nothing seems to last on me. Not eau de parfum, not eau de toilette, not straight extrait de parfum. Everything disappears within a hour or even less, including my signature scent Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle. I’m not sure why this is happening. I’ve tried layering my perfumes over matching body lotion or cream, and that helps a little. Maybe it’s my sense of smell disappearing, but I don’t think so.
I think this has happened occasionally in the past. And what I did then was switch to perfume oil. I seem to be out of my go-to perfume oil, Hippie Chick, and I can’t remember the name of the woman who I used to buy it from. When some of the folks on Facebook Fragrance Friends started chatting about Winter Witch from Spirit Nest, it got my attention. In the photo posted on FB, Winter Witch was a deep amber color, the shade of many of my favorite scents, so I guessed that it would have some of the fragrance notes I tend to gravitate toward. I clicked over to the Spirit Nest website to take a look.
Winter Witch is a perfume oil that comes in a glass rollerball tube. Essential oils are mixed with coconut oil as the carrier oil. Here’s how Spirit Nest describes Winter Witch:
“A sultry and sensual blend of patchouli, frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and a hint of seductive rose.”
As you can tell from the description, Winter Witch is a heavy, winter scent, but I wear scents like that year round. In spite of having a number of key fragrance notes, I find it to be a relatively simple like many perfume oils, yet it has a rich, spicy, warm, deepness to it. It is somewhat strong so that I can smell it, but it stays pretty close to my skin. In terms of lastingness, it does last longer than the spray fragrances that I use most of the time. I’m happy with my purchase!
Winter Witch is handmade in the U.S. by ollie & max soap company. It’s cruelty-free, vegan, organic, and non-GMO. The rollerball tube contains 7 ml/0.24 fl. oz. and is priced at $12. I bought it during one of their frequent sales, so I paid around $10 for it. If you sign up for emails, you get an instant discount.
Spirit Nest is an indie brand that carries clothing, accessories, home, beauty, and fragrance products with a witch or wiccan theme. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be a witch to shop the website. There are plenty of more mainstream items to appeal to a variety of tastes including items on a celestial theme, hearts, peace signs etc. The best part is that Spirit Nest products tend to be affordable. If you’re looking for a treat for yourself or someone else, click over to Spirit Nest and take a peek.
I love berries! They are one of my favorite parts of summer. Not only do they taste fresh and delicious, they are packed with antioxidants and they don’t have a lot of calories. Yum! So, I try to eat them as often as I can to get their benefits for my skin and overall health.
This pale pink 95% natural lightweight serum is made from 13 different berries to pack in the antioxidant power with vitamins and secondary metabolites like polyphenols, lignans and more, that help combat environmental damage to skin. Since I am outside a lot now that the weather is improving, I’m looking for added protection for my skin.
Here are the benefits of 6 of the berries in the formula:
blueberries: a potent source of vitamin C that helps intercept and block UV damage
Goji berries: contain the antioxidants that calm and soothe irritated or sensitive skin
raspberries: rich in vitamin E for supple, smooth skin
Acai berries: blocks free radicals that cause skin aging
elderberries: rich in vitamin A that helps fade dark spots and prevent or lessen wrinkles
sea buckthorn: an anti-inflammatory that’s rich in antioxidants.
The serum also includes squalene, one of my favorite ingredients, that is an excellent emollient as well as source of antioxidants.
Paula’s Choice Power Berry Serum is a joy to use. First, I love the natural light pink color derived from berries. Who doesn’t want to slather pink on their face? Plus, the fragrance-free lotion-y consistency absorbs almost on contact.
My skin feels softer, more hydrated, and looks brighter after using Paula’s Choice Power Berry Serum. It’s so easy to add this serum to my day and nighttime routines.
The bright green tube holds 1 fl. oz./30 ml and is priced at $31. As with all Paula’s Choice products, it is cruelty-free. It’s sold on the Paula’s Choice website and on Dermstore.com. (BTW, Paula’s Choice is having a 20% off anniversary sale, though this new product is not included. It’s a great time to purchase your old favorites. And kits are 30% off.)
During Sephora’s sale in early May, I was browsing the store – always a dangerous thing for me to do. The 15% off for VIB isn’t that big a discount, but the siren song of skincare products and makeup gets me every time.
One of the new products I came home with is Rose Hydrating Gel Cream from Fresh. I hadn’t used any products from the brand in several years, but I was drawn to the ROSE on the jar in all capitals. I love almost anything rose so I bought it.
When I got it home and opened the jar, I was surprised, shocked actually that the product doesn’t smell at all like rose. It smells like cucumbers. Now I am a big fan of eating cucumbers, but I was looking forward to a rose-scented eye cream experience.
Next, I was also surprised that it has the most unusual consistency. The jar said “Gel Cream” so that’s what I was expecting, something like the Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb that I love. Instead, it is soupy. It is runny.
On the plus side, Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream is very gentle and it does feel hydrating. I like to use it in the dry corner of my crease where it sometimes feels like I have eczema. It also feels good on my dry eyelids. Another plus, is that a little goes a long way.
According to Sephora, the key ingredients include:
Rosewater: Helps soothe and rose oil helps nourish.
Golden Root Extract: Offers antioxidant protection.
Hyaluronic Acid: Helps attract and maintain moisture to enhance suppleness.
It’s recommended to address dryness, puffiness, and loss of firmness. Actually, loss of firmness was what I bought it for. But the soupy consistency doesn’t dry down and firm quite the way I hoped it would. Nevertheless, it is a nice soothing drink for the delicate skin around the eyes, especially for those who have very dry skin and/or sensitive skin around the eyes like I do – although it is recommended for all skin types, and I can see that it would work even for those with oily skin.
Because I am still “on the fence” about this eye gel cream, I decided to read the customer reviews on Sephora.com. The product is rated 4 out of 5 stars by 481 reviewers. I read some of the reviews and respondents like the fact that it is very hydrating even for those with dry flakey skin around the eyes, it’s gentle, it dries completely without stickiness, and it improves the appearance of the eye area. A number of reviewers with dry flakey skin mentioned that using Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream hydrates their flakey skin so well that they can wear eye makeup again. It gets great reviews from women of all ages.
So, it you are looking for a lightweight but hydrating eye product, do take a look at this one. But if you can, check out the tester before purchase so you won’t be surprised like I was.
This was a beautiful spring week, here in Massachusetts. My garden is at its spring peak! This week, I cut down and dug up a huge 15 year old golden mop cypress that sadly bit the dust. I’m so proud that I did it myself! I’m replacing it with a stunning rhododendron with deep purple flowers. The irises are in bloom, and the peonies are getting ready to open. I love this time of year!
Prime Beauty is trying to add more all natural products into her beauty routine and YULIP Natural Lipsticks fit the bill perfectly! Plus they have gorgeous shades!
Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog rarely gushes over mascara, but the Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara has proven to be covet-worthy. It separates, lengthens and thickens lashes without clumping, flaking or smudging– plus it is perfect for sensitive eyes, and it is 100% Cruelty-Free. #HourglassCosmetics
Wouldn’t you want to win a $50 Ulta gift card along with a Father’s Day gift and a fun novel? Beauty Info Zone is giving you a chance with their latest giveaway. Don’t miss out on this if you live in the US or Canada.
Itchy scalp from the sun, swimming in a chlorinated pool or just dryness? Got flakes? Never Say Die Beauty had occasional dry scalp to go along with her dry hair, but now it’s gone with Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner, and her hair is silky soft and manageable too!
Have you ever made your own beauty products at home? Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom reviewed a DIY book on her blog that features 100 recipes for products that duplicate product favorites and are made with all natural ingredients.
Need a little something special in your mailbox? I Know all the Words dives into the June Nourish Box to see if it’s worth your hard earned coin.
Back in October, I received a knockoff Artis-style “velvet” brush as part of a giveaway I was hosting. It was an inexpensive brush that doesn’t even have a brand name written on it. Nevertheless, I fell in love with it because it was a terrific all-purpose brush for me, so handy for applying foundation and blush. In fact, I liked it so much that I picked up a similar brush from Precision Beauty a couple of months ago at Ocean State Job Lot. I think I paid about $2.99 for it. For both brushes, the head is about an inch and a half long and just less than an inch wide. It’s the perfect size for my face.
I also decided to try one from Real Techniques. This time, I got a larger size that was supposed to be similar to the Artis Oval 7 that is recommended for applying foundation. Sadly, this brush did not become a favorite of mine for two reasons:
the size is just too large and too awkward for my face
it has white “bristles” and it never looks clean.
As a result, I don’t use it very often.
Around Memorial Day, Artis had a rare half off sale. I decided that I needed to find out if it was important to own an “original” rather than knock-offs.
I landed on the Artis Oval 6 from the Brushcraft series that I believe is Artis’ least expensive brush line. The regular price is $24.50 for the Oval 6, and I paid $12.25. Brushcraft brushes have a curved neck and are made from a heavy plastic. Months ago, when I was trying to decide whether to buy an Artis brush, I read online about many consumers complaining that the neck snapped when applying makeup on some of the Artis brushes, and there was no recourse with the company. It doesn’t seem like the Brushcraft brushes would have this problem because the plastic is so stiff, it doesn’t bend or move.
How Is the Artis Brush Different from the Less Expensive Competitors?
To be very honest, I am not sure.
The Artis Brushcraft Oval 6 has a longer handle than the similar size brushes from Precision Beauty and the no name brush. Frankly, I don’t find the longer handle to be a benefit.
The curved neck of the Artis Brushcraft is different from the competitors that were design to be more similar in style to the Artis Elite brush line.
The Artis Brushcraft Oval 6 came in a big non-recyclable hard plastic box. I think it was overpackaged, and I was disappointed that the plastic box wasn’t recyclable. Boo.
When it comes to the velvety bristles, I can’t really tell the difference. They are all super soft and very densely packed with fiber bristles. I like the darker color of the Artis bristles, but that’s not so different from the two similar sized brushes that it makes a big difference. The dark bristles are definitely better than RT’s white ones that won’t come completely clean.
In terms of application, I find the three similarly sized brushes to be the same.
When it comes to lastingness, I will be curious to see if the Artis Brushcraft Oval 6 holds up better than the knock-offs. So far, the knockoffs look good, showing no real signs of wear, but they are both less than a year old. I hope that the Artis will ultimately outlast them!
So would I spend the money for more Artis brushes? Probably not, but that’s just me. I’m not a makeup brush expert, by any means.
Artis Cleaning System Products
I decided to take advantage of the Artis sale further by trying the Brush Cleansing Foam Aerosol at half price. The regular price is $25 for a 6 ounce spray can.
The foam creates lots of tiny bubbles that remove product residue on the fiber bundle without drowning it in water.
Artis sent along a Brush Cleaning Microfiber replacement as a gift that you’re supposed to place over their rectangular pad that holds it in place. I’ve been using it on its own by swiping the brush’s fiber bundle against the microfiber. It seems to help clean the velvety fibers fairly easily.
In addition, the Brush Cleansing Foam dries much faster than using solid brush cleaner and water that I had been doing previously. Nevertheless, I’m not sure that I’d pay $25 for it. I’ll have to see how long it lasts.
If you’re interested in learning more about Artis, it’s sold on the Artis website, Sephora and Macy’s and more.
Are you a lover of real Artis brushes? Which is your favorite and why?
Scalp-oriented shampoos and conditioners have been having more than a moment. They’ve been quite the thing for more than a year. When they first came out, I avoided them because I didn’t have dandruff. But I do have dry hair and a relatively dry scalp that occasionally feels itchy. Since scalp-focused haircare first arrived on the scene, I have tried a couple of brands, and found that they are terrific haircare products for my rather dry hair and scalp, even though I don’t have dandruff.
So I was more than willing to give Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner a try when the Derma E box landed on my doorstep.
Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner
The shampoo and conditioner are described by Derma E as follows:
“Works in four ways to gently cleanse, de-flake, soothe and nourish the scalp and hair. This doctor-developed, clinically tested formula works in four ways to gently cleanse, de-flake, soothe and nourish the scalp and hair. Using our proprietary Therapeutic Psorzema® Herbal Blend plus healthful vitamins and botanicals, this shampoo calms a dandruff-prone, itchy, irritated scalp and refreshes the hair, from root to tip. ”
Key ingredients include:
Therapeutic Psorzema® Herbal Blend (Neem, Burdock and Bearberry): replenishes a dry, irritated, scaling scalp, helping to promote optimum scalp and hair health.
Tea Tree and Menthol: help calm and cool itch on contact and help maintain scalp purity over time.
Salicylic Acid: penetrates to lift away excess flakes and surface buildup.
What comes across to me about Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner is that this is serious stuff for dry scalp. In fact, when you read about the ingredients, it might make you wonder what it’s like to use Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner. Well, it’s actually great!
Let me tell you about what it’s like to use Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner.
Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo is a clear gel. It makes oodles of rich suds. It smells both herbal and minty and really good! I love how the shampoo rinses completely clean and gives my hair a slight squeak. Maybe you don’t aim for squeaky clean hair, but I like it. I only wash my hair every 4 or 5 days in order to protect my red color. Plus with all the gardening I’ve been doing for the past several weeks, by the time I wash it, my hair is really dirty. It truly feels delightfully clean after washing with Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo! And yes, Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo is safe for color-treated hair.
Derma E Scalp Relief Conditioner is a white medium weight cream. I have a lot of thick hair, so I apply about a half dollar amount from roots to tips. I leave it on for about 3-5 minutes. Like the shampoo, it has an herbal and minty pleasant fragrance. It’s kind of like aromatherapy for my hair! It has a cooling, very slightly tingly sensation that must be due to the menthol. It feels really nice. It’s easy to rinse out, and it takes out all my tangles.
In years past, no one wanted to use dandruff shampoos if they didn’t absolutely have to because of a concern that the medication might interfere with having soft, manageable, attractive looking hair.
Every time I’ve used Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner, my hair is silky smooth and manageable after I dry and flat iron my hair.
Initially, I was afraid that maybe my hair would get oily before my usual 4 or 5 days. But I was truly surprised that I even waited 6 days at one point. My hair didn’t feel oily, but the occasional itchiness that I used to feel on my scalp is gone. I’m impressed.
If you have dandruff or any scalp issues, I strongly recommend Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner. Heck, even if you don’t have scalp issues, you would most likely love this duo as much as I do!
Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo and Conditioner come in 8 oz. plastic tubes and are each priced between $9.40 – $11.75 depending on where you buy it. You can buy Derma E Scalp Relief on their website, at Ulta, Walmart, Amazon, LuckyVitamin.com, iHerb.com, Pharmaca.com, Vitacost.com, Lovelyskin.com, Strawberry.net, and other sites.
While I was waiting for my appointment at the ophthalmologist today, I was browsing through the June 2019 issue of ELLE magazine. I came across an article by Kate Foster about a new-to-me beauty procedure, “Lip Blushing”. I googled lip blushing, and it appears that lip blushing, a form of permanent makeup, has been around at least since 2013.
What is Lip Blushing?
Lip Blushing is a semipermanent tattooing of the lips using needles with an indelible tint in custom blended, subtle shades of pink, red or coral. The tattooing can be done as fine lines, dots/pixels or wider sweeps. The tint can last up to two years. And you can get touch-ups, if needed.
The goal of lip blushing is ultimately to make lips look fuller and more youthful. An indistinct lip line can be corrected with lip blushing. If the upper lip is thin or small compared to the lower lip, it can be enhanced by redrawing the lip line.
Where is it done, how much and what’s it like?
Kate Foster of ELLE magazine decided to undergo the procedure in NYC at FFrankMD Salon with a specially trained technician. At that salon, the process was done with a digital machine with 15 needles that apply organic pigments. The procedure typically costs between $1200-1500, and a touch-up session is $350. Kate chose a soft rosy color with a slightly lighter shade applied in the center to give the lips more dimension and the look of plumpness. She admitted that when the tech first started tattooing, she felt a sharp pinch and her eyes watered. But as the process went on, she said it felt “like a finger running over (my) lips” and that she almost fell asleep. (Hmm, why don’t I believe that?)
Another permanent makeup artist, Jackie David from Jackie David Skincare also in New York, that I read about in an April 2019 article on the ELLE website, uses a “rotary pen” to line and deposit color on the lips. The rotary pen is similar to the tool she uses for microblading eyebrows She was even more candid than Kate Foster. Jackie David warned that the lips are one of the most sensitive parts of the body so pain can be considerable. She said that she gives clients a prescription topical numbing cream that is applied 15 minutes before the start of the procedure. She also mentioned that the process takes about two hours. She charges about $1200.
Because the pigment fades as the lips heal over the first couple of weeks, the color initially looks much darker than the final result. Kate admitted that initially her lips felt dry and sore and after a couple of days, they began to peel while the outline of her lips continued to look dark. By day 5, she said her lips looked and felt more normal. After a month, she got the rosy pink tone she was promised. Nevertheless, Kate Foster still wears lipstick. But when she forgoes lipstick, she says she feels more confident.
As for me, I’m a total chicken. I detest needles so there’s no way I would consider any of those procedures. Also, I don’t consider myself a real candidate for lip blushing. I adore lipstick, and I have no problem applying and reapplying lipstick, gloss or tinted balm most days. Even the Kate Foster admitted that she still wore lipstick just about as much as she always did.
Nevertheless, I can understand doing lip blushing if you want to redefine the outline of your lips to balance uneven lips. Also, lip blushing would be very helpful to those who have very thin and/or colorless lips. The photos I saw looked much plumper, better defined, and fuller as well as well balanced, size-wise.
But in my case, I’ll stick with my lipstick.
Let me know what you think about lip blushing in the comments. Any interest?