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.
It’s here! It’s here! The new Urban Decay Naked Reloaded Palette has arrived and Christa from Realizing Beauty is so excited to share her review and swatches with you. Can it possibly live up to the original Naked Palette?
Being removed from a PR list doesn’t slow Blushing Noir down! Was the February Boxycharm worth the $21 investment? Click to find out.
As I mentioned in another polish review recently, my nails have been surprisingly good this winter. I think it must be because it hasn’t been such a bad or cold winter here in Massachusetts this year. So I have been wearing polish more often. Also, I follow a lot of nail bloggers these days, and everything they show is so tantalizing.
Over the past few weeks leading up to PolishCon and other polish launches from indie brands, I kept seeing the Glam Polish Hundred Acre Wood collection that launched early this month. A couple of the polishes really spoke to me, and I ended up buying two. Today I am showing you Heffalumps And Woozles, a white polish with a ton of different shaped multi-colored glitter with a pink/gold undertone from the gold flakies that in certain light makes the shade look off-white.
Truth be told, I was surprised when it arrived because, for some reason, I was expecting it to look much different than it does. I thought it had round flakies that looked like little polka dots. Then I realized that is what the other polish I bought looks like, and I’ll show that to you soon, after I try it. But Heffalumps And Woozles is still a cute polish. It’s the kind of polish that is perfect for a birthday party! It also reminds me of an angel food cake that my mother used to bake that had colored “jimmies” in it. So cute.
I would describe this polish as translucent. At first, I applied two coats, and I got decent coverage, but you can see my nail through it.
But I decided to go back the next day to apply a third coat, and I like it better: the effect of the gold flakies shows up more, the glitter is well distributed, it is more opaque.
The polish is on the thin side, easy to apply, and it dries in a minute. No kidding.
The brush is a traditional thin brush, and as much as I prefer the fat brushes, it works very well.
Usually, I would wear red or pink polish to go out for Valentine’s Day, but so far Glam Polish Heffalumps And Woozles is wearing like iron after several days, so I don’t have the heart (get it?) to change my polish.
I bought the limited edition Heffalumps And Woozles on the Glam Polish website for $12.50. Although Glam Polish is an Australian artisan brand, I got my delivery two days after placing the order. How did they do that? I’m guessing they have a U.S. distributor. If this isn’t your jam, take a look at Glam Polish’s other gorgeous offerings.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I may have done a similar post a few years ago, but my heart collection has grown since then. I’m not exactly sure when I started collecting heart-shaped or heart-imprinted things, but it was a long time ago.
Today, I’m doing a Valentine’s Show & Tell, lol. Showing how my heart collection continues to grow, and rediscovering a few things that I forgot I had.
CVS is one of my favorite places to buy heart-shaped things, especially after Valentine’s Day when they have a big sale. But this year, I picked up a few inexpensive things while I was shopping a couple of weeks ago. I love holiday socks so the multi-colored socks that combine hearts with my favorite polka dots and stripes jumped out at me. I needed another pair of sleep socks, and at $2.99 minus my coupons, the price was right for the red and white striped & hearted fuzzy socks. The tissues with the pink hearts aren’t from CVS but from one of my favorite cheapie stores, Flying Tiger from Copenhagen. Flying Tiger opened at a local mall in October, and they sell very inexpensive household, holiday, craft, and beauty items for less than $10. Heck, most are less than $5. And the inventory changes every couple of weeks.
I have so many heart-shaped pieces of jewelry and accessories, it’s difficult to choose which to wear! So in February especially, I try to wear it all, but not all at the same time
Last month, I received an unexpected gift package from a very generous online friend who lives in Ohio, so I haven’t even met her in person. She told me that she is an antique collector and dealer, and she sent me several pieces that she wasn’t wearing or selling. How generous she is! I couldn’t believe it when I opened the box. In fact, I discovered the heart and bird necklace with the unusual black chain, and I was so thrilled with it that I stopped there, not realizing there were more goodies yet to be discovered under the cotton in the box! The hearts and birds seem to be made out of porcelain. I’ve never seen anything like it.
As I finally dug into the box, I found the red wooden heart hand painted with flowers and golden basket for of hearts. Both are perfect to wear on my jean jacket, once the weather warms up. Both of these came from my antique collecting friend. I’m wondering what period they are from? The basket of hearts, maybe from the 1950s?
My heart-shaped black metal and crystal-encrusted earrings on gold wires are from Alexis Bittar, one of my favorite jewelry designers/brands. I bought them a few years ago, and I wear them often. They are very lightweight, and I love it when the red and orange crystals catch the light – they’re beautiful.
I’m still not finished with the gifts from my friend in Ohio. I have been wearing this most unusual black wire and red/purple crystals bracelet since I unearthed it in the gift box. I have never seen anything like this! It goes with so many of my outfits and it’s very comfortable to wear. In fact, I am wearing it tonight when Jeff and I go out to dinner. I am guessing that the bracelet is from the 1960s??
The last item from my friend is a gold heart-shaped spade pin with a pearl that arrived attached to an antique queen of hearts Canasta card. My mom used to play Canasta, and this pretty pin on the Canasta Queen of Hearts is a nice memory of her even though it’s from my Ohio friend. I will eventually take it off the card, and wear the pin on my beret
Next are a pair of earrings that I bought online a couple of years ago from Disney Couture Jewelry. I love the look of these earrings. The mini red hearts remind me of Red Hots, the hot little heart candies from back in the day. The earrings have black chains and pins on them as well as red crystals at the top. Sadly, whatever the posts and backings of the earrings are made of (surgical steel, I think) does not agree with my ears, and I find them incredibly itchy to wear. So I mostly just look at them, boo hoo. Maybe some day, I’ll take them to a jeweler and have the posts replaced with sterling silver so I can wear them.
Years ago, I bought the pretty girly double heart crystal barrettes at a shop in Rockport, I think. They are so cute, but I think I might be too old for them. What do you think?
My Brighton heart charm bracelet is a bit different and less Valentine-y because the charms are peach and green – one of my favorite color combinations. I think I bought it at a Brighton shop in the West Palm Beach airport a while back. I love it. It’s so springy.
Finally, two non-jewelry items that I keep on my vanity along with about a million other heart-shaped things that you can see in the background. Several years ago, I was in San Francisco as part of a long business trip, and Jeff flew out for Valentine’s weekend to celebrate with me. He bought me the red heart paperweight at the gift shop of the de Young art museum. The lovely artisan-made glass perfume bottle was a gift from an old boyfriend. I still love it!
So I better quit while I’m ahead! This is long enough. Hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day whether you are celebrating with a loved one or with friends, or having warm memories of Valentine’s past that were celebrated with those who are no longer with you, or ignoring it altogether!
Every year, I try to remember to take advantage of the Winter Clearance Sale at Sand Castles, a cute clothing, accessories and gift boutique in scenic, oceanside Rockport MA.
It takes place after Christmas in January and February to make room for the summer merchandise that’s their bread and butter during the tourist season. In fact, the discount gets larger as the winter months go on. Right now, it’s 50% off! Unlike most of the stores in Rockport that close for the winter or at least close during the week in winter, Sand Castles stays open every day. I love shopping there during the winter because I’m always the only one in the shop!
As I mentioned, I went to Rockport on Monday to do an errand, and I remembered about the sale at Sand Castles. There was plenty of parking (during the summer, there’s almost none), so I stopped in. I’ve been shopping at Sand Castles for years, and only yesterday did it occur to me that they primarily sell tops and sweaters at Sand Castles with a few dresses and skirts. No pants. Odd. Also, they tend to carry only 5 or 6 brands, and mostly brands that I only see in boutiques rather than department stores or stores like TJs/Marshalls etc. Interesting. Actually, that’s what makes Sand Castles different.
I came away with a few very good deals: a sweater ($23), a cozy top ($19), a vegan handbag ($23), and an oilcloth tote bag ($12) that will be perfect for the beach. Four items for $77!
The sweater is made from a cozy but lightweight silky acrylic bouclé. I’m a fan of the raspberry color, and I like the black accent trim around the neck, bottom and the cute pocket.
I will pair the sweater with black pants or black jeans and my bright, fun silk and burnout velvet polka dot scarf that I got several years ago on sale at Sand Castles.
In fact, I may wear it for Valentine’s Day. Jeff and I are going out for a casual Indian dinner, so I don’t need to get dressed up which is good because it’s going to be about 30 degrees. I think the raspberry color of the sweater will be Valentine-y enough!
The navy blue cotton top is nice and cozy because it has a fleece-y interior. It feels like thin sweatshirt fabric! This top is perfect for the end of winter and early spring when it’s still cold around here. I love the scoop neck. The sleeves are just the right length for me (sleeves are often too long for me). Plus, it has a unique flared shape at the bottom that gives it a dressier look than it would have had if it had a traditional bottom. I’ll pair the top with either blue jeans or grey jeans. And I could wear lots of different scarves if I want to dress it up. I think the navy blue silk scarf with white polka dots that my friend Tata from NYC gave me decades ago will be just the thing.
The two tops are from essentially the same brand, WindRiver and River, both boutique brands.
I’ve been eyeing the vegan bags from Joy Susan for about a year. In addition to being sold at Sand Castles, I also saw them at the gift shop at the Peabody Essex Museum, and another small shop as well. Joy Susan makes a hobo style bag that comes in a huge selection of wonderful color combinations, but sadly, I am too small for it! There were also three cute mini backpacks including an adorable bright red one.
It also comes in a large variety of colors and color combinations (12 in fact!), but at the Sand Castles sale, the choices were more limited: black with cedar strap, grey with a black strap, navy with cedar strap. I chose black with the cedar strap, thinking ahead to spring, when I can wear it with either my black or brown jackets.
The bag has a zippered closure under the flap. Inside is a zippered pocket and two other unzipped pockets.
On the back of the bag is a zippered interior pocket where I keep my phone. The Jane Medium Crossbody is significantly smaller than the purses I’ve been carrying lately, and thankfully, it is much lighter weight. Honestly, I have gotten sick of carrying such heavy leather bags (thus one of the reasons for my switch to faux leather), and I am trying to cut down on what I’m carrying inside. I may switch to my polka dot smaller wallet, and see if that will fit better in the new bag than my Kate Spade clutch wallet.
• 8″ (height) x 11″ (width) x 3″ (depth)
• Front flap and zip top closure
• Inside zip closure pocket
• Two open pockets inside
• Two changeable straps
• Short strap drop 8″-10″
• Long strap drop 18″-23″
• Back zip closure pocket
Last, I have been wanting a fun, retro oilcloth tote bag from Sand Castles for years.
And at half price, now was the time to buy one. I got the sole remaining large tote bag that will be the right size for me to use as a beach bag this summer. The sunny yellow fruit print is perfect for summer, and I love the blue gingham interior.
So that’s my winter splurge. I wish they had a website so you could shop for bargains online. But if you are ever in Rockport MA, it’s one of the shops that you should visit!
Today (Monday) was a bright and sunny day in spite of the cold 30 degree temperature. We’re expecting a snow storm on Tuesday and heavy rain on Wednesday, so I felt like I really needed to spend time outdoors rather than staying inside and writing a blogpost.
I hopped into my 27 year old little red Miata (that I have to drive every now and then so the battery doesn’t cut out), and I drove to beautiful Rockport MA, a seaside town that is a former artist colony. Now, it’s still lovely, has lots of cute shops, and only a few art galleries. Here’s a photo of the harbor taken early last spring with red Motif No. 1, the most painted building in the U.S., in the midground.
I did an errand that I needed to do before the snow storm, and then I stopped into one of my favorite boutiques that has an off-season 50% off sale every January-February. More about that tomorrow.
Next, I headed to Gloucester and drove past Good Harbor Beach and the Back Shore (the Atlantic Ocean). I didn’t take any photos, but the sky was cloudless and deep blue and the ocean was deep, deep blue and completely still – no waves whatsoever. Truly the calm before the storm!
Then my friend Laura texted me about going for a walk with her, and I decided that I would rather go for a fast walk in the woods with her than write a blogpost. So we walked through the woods around a couple of ponds for about an hour. Laura walks very fast, and I always get a great workout when I walk with her. Got back a little before sunset. Lovely! I hope you had as nice a day as I did.
On to this week’s Fashion Flash hosted by Ladies Roadmap. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Ladies Roadmap created the Journal that I am giving away on Never Say Die Beauty as part of the Beauty & A Book giveaway via Fashion Flash! I think it’s one of the most creative, inspiring and easy to follow journal I’ve ever seen. Plus it has the cutest drawings that illustrate the journal. If you haven’t entered the giveaway yet (there are also several makeup and beauty products that are part of the giveaway too), you really must! And that’s my entry in this week’s Fashion Flash.
Other posts you’ll find in this week’s Valentine Fashion Flash include:
review, swatches and pix from one of the most gorgeously package nail polish I have ever seen
getting ready to date again
an adorable heart-shaped stamp blush – unlike any blush I’ve seen
I received my January Ipsy Glam Bag Plus about three weeks ago, but one of the items that wasn’t wrapped in bubble wrap arrived smashed.
Fortunately, Ipsy said they would replace it, and I just received the replacement the other day. It came in a padded raspberry pink metallic envelope that we all associate with Ipsy, and though the item wasn’t wrapped in bubble wrap it survived shipping this time.
I am going to try to fix the initial Smashed OFRA Highlighter, and see if I can give it to someone who would like it. I’ll see how it comes out.
But back to the bag and the goodies. I’ve been very happy with my Ipsy Glam Bag Plus subscription. I have been using most of the products I received, and I would say the assortment has gotten better each month since the new subscription’s inception. I’ve discovered some terrific products that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. And the value of each bag well exceeded $25; actually the value of most items was around $25 or more.
I got 6 full sized products in the January bag instead of 5, perhaps because they decided to drop the makeup bag from the mix?
OFRA Highlighter in shade, Rodeo Drive: The compact itself is beautiful, a very sturdy white plastic box with a large interior mirror and a lovely embossed pan. The shade is somewhere between rose gold and yellow gold, IMHO, so it seems a little unusual. It’s buttery, silky and super smooth. It’s not glittery, and it’s not overly shiny. I can wear it without looking like a disco ball. I love it! $29
Vasanti Matte Crush Lipstick Pencil, shade Berry First Kiss: I probably should have just given this away when I saw the word “matte”, but the red berry shade was so appealing that I had to try it. As usual, my finicky dry lips find it drying after a few hours, but I will try again after making sure to put on lip balm first. It goes on very smoothly and is long lasting. Very pretty. It also comes with its own separate pencil sharpener. $23
Violet Voss HG Fun Sized Eye Shadow Palette: I have been wanting to try Violet Voss eyeshadow, and this travel sized palette has given me the chance. The HG shades are warm-toned neutrals with a couple of reddish-leaning shades that have been popular for a while thrown in the mix. The shadows are easy to use and blend, with a mix of matte and shimmer shades that are perfect for everyday or for going out. Love it! $18 for the mini (full size HG palette $45)
Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume & Curl Mascara: I’ve been hearing about Wander Beauty for a while, but haven’t had a chance to try anything from the brand, so I was excited to see this mascara in my Ipsy Plus. It comes in a tube-shaped tube, if you know what I mean, and it has a bristled wand with a curve at the tip, very different from the plastic or silicone wands with teeth that I usually prefer. After the first time I tried it, the formula just didn’t seem to do anything for my lashes, and as a result, I was hesitant to try it again. But I tried it again yesterday, and I hate much better results. Both the wand and the drier formula are much different than what I typically prefer, but who knows maybe it will continue to grow on me. $24
Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil: I just re-found this bottle of Murad Multi Vitamin Infusion Oil in the storage area of my bathroom vanity, and I had forgotten about it! I have about a million face oils, but I love them so I will definitely try this one that claims to boost hydration, brighten, protect skin from free radicals with antioxidants and give skin a dewy glow that I can certainly use. It’s a daytime and nighttime oil, so I’ll try it today for daytime and continue to use my StriVectin STAR Retinol Oil at night. $72
I liked the January Plus bag a lot even though the Wander mascara wasn’t my fave, and my dry lips have a hard time with mattes. I was so happy that the customer service from Ipsy replaced the broken product – though why they didn’t wrap the highlighter in bubble wrap like they did the Violet Voss shadow palette is beyond me.
The value of the Plus Bag continues to amaze me. For $25, I think Ipsy Glam Bag Plus is a steal. If you want to take the plunge, please consider using my referral code.
What do you think? Would you be happy with any of these products?
Wow, it’s the full employment act this weekend, here at the Beauty Spotlight Team! We have several new members – Jessica at Be Happy And Buy Polish and Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table – as well as returning members – Brooke from Blushing Noir and Shipra from Taneja’s Bride. We’ve got lots of beauty reviews, Valentine’s ideas and giveaways for you. Take a look! And be sure to enter the Beauty & A Book giveaway on my blog (see the link below) and the giveaway on Beauty Info Zone. Have a good weekend!
Jessica at Be Happy And Buy Polish has put together all of her Valentine’s Day manicures for your convenience. You’ll be inspired with all the choices you have!
Do like you to glitter on weekends?! Try glittering at work! BeautyJudy shares tips on work appropriate eye looks with pressed glitter shadows!
Do your lashes need a pick me up for Valentine’s Day (and beyond)? Have no fear, ColourPop has a NEW mascara and it will be YOUR NEW BFF. Shipra of Taneja’s Bride shares BEFORE and AFTER images for your viewing pleasure.
Are you looking for affordable hair products to repair dry or damaged hair? Look no further than L’Oreal Elvive. Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom has a review and a coupon for you.
I’m a big fan of First Aid Beauty. In fact, I’m starting on a big full size tube of FAB Pure Skin Face Cleanser now after having used several travel size tubes from my Ipsy and Sephora Play bags in the past. PS I got the full size tube of FAB Cleanser in my Ipsy Glam Bag Plus!
Back to the new Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream. I saw an ad on Facebook, of course, offering a free travel size tube, and you know I can never pass up something free from a brand that I love. I signed up for emails from FAB, and I received the product about a week later. I also got a coupon code for 15% off any FAB purchase.
The Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream is a white gel-cream. It’s fragrance-free. And it reminds me of Belif Moisture Bomb. Although initially the cream seems as if it is going to be thick, it actually isn’t. It feels light but very hydrating on the skin. However, I found it to be a perfect night cream. I use a few serums, and it felt like I was applying a sleeping mask on top. I loved it.
Here’s some background info from FAB on what’s in it and how it works that I think is worth knowing:
“Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream contains lipids that bio-mimic the natural composition of the skin barrier*, helping to fortify it and maintain its healthy state. Triple-Weight Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant, helps draw external moisture into skin while adaptive hydration technology aids in stimulating the skin’s ability to replenish its internal moisture reserves as needed. Colloidal Oatmeal and antioxidant-rich Vitamin E help calm, soothe and condition skin for an allover healthy, glowing complexion.
Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream features an innovative Oxygen technology that helps deliver actives more deeply into skin. This technology reacts with air, causing the cream to foam and shrink so it appears to always be on the move. As the cream expands, it is transformed into a unique foam.”
Frankly, I don’t know about the “foam” analogy because it went on smoothly. They must mean that’s how it acts on or under the skin?
Although FAB Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream is recommended for normal and combination skin, it worked very well on top of my serums for my dry skin. It’s also allergy-tested and safe for sensitive skin. Here’s all the stuff that it doesn’t have in it:
Allergy-Tested, Gluten-Free, Non-Comedogenic, Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Soy-Free, Suitable for Sensitive Skin, Vegan, Nano-Free, Safety in Use Tested, Cruelty-free
The key ingredients include:
CERAMIDES: A lipid that naturally occurs in skin that helps strengthen the skin barrier and moisturize.
LINOLEIC ACID: A lipid that naturally occurs in skin that helps fortify and restore the skin barrier.
TRI-MOLECULAR WEIGHT HYALURONIC ACID: Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant in three molecular sizes, that helps boost skin’s moisture content, plump and smooth skin on multiple levels.
COLLOIDAL OATMEAL: Helps calm and soothe dry or distressed skin.
I could definitely tell that it had ceramides and HA in the formula.
A 1.5 oz. tube is priced at $30, not a bad price. First time purchasers on the FAB website can get 15% off plus Ebates cashback. It’s also sold at Sephora, Ulta, Dermstore, and QVC. After I make a dent in all the skincare that I have, I will buy a full tube. The lightweight consistency will be perfect for warmer weather to come!
Have you heard about this new moisturizer from FAB? Any interest?
For the past few months, I had been slathering my feet every night with shea butter and other balms and putting on sleep socks to try to keep them softer and smoother. I frequently use my Amope Extra Coarse Electronic Foot File (reviewed here) to file off dry skin. But in spite of this vigilance, my feet were still dry, especially my right foot.
So when I had a chance to try Legendary Apothecary Smooth Feet, I decided to go for it.
Legendary Apothecary Smooth Feet has a decidedly old-timey look about it. The logo looks like it’s from the 19th century, and it comes in a dark brown glass dropper bottle. It makes sense because the recipe for Smooth Feet was inspired by Co-Creator, Sara Saidy’s grandmother Masy who used to make this century-old recipe at home. It’s been passed down within the family through four generations. Though an old recipe, it is in keeping with trends today: organic (USDA Certified Organic), vegan, cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny and Peta Certified).
The formula is crafted in Los Angeles with simple ingredients sourced and made in the U.S.: vegetable glycerin, pure lavender oil and non-drying grain alcohol. The alcohol is sourced from organic sugar cane and is denatured with lavender oil. The alcohol when mixed with glycerin, in a higher concentration than the alcohol, forms a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss. In addition to using Smooth Feet for soft, smooth, hydrated feet, it can also be used for a foot massage, though I haven’t tried that yet.
According to the instructions, Smooth Feet works best after a bath or shower. They recommend using it every day for 7-10 days. I usually shower in the morning or in the afternoon after jogging, so I was a bit dismayed when I read that using it after a shower or bath is best since I wanted to use Smooth Feet at night before bed. Though my pre-bed beauty regimen is long enough as is, I decided to turn on the warm/hot water, step into the tub and let the water soften my feet for a couple of minutes. Then I dry my feet and apply one dropper full of clear Smooth Feet to each of my feet.
I’m a fan of lavender, so for me the scent is relaxing and perfect to use before going to sleep. Then I sit for a few minutes while Smooth Feet dries. I put on bed socks because my feet are always cold, and that’s it. Smooth Feet doesn’t stain the sheets because it’s clear, and it doesn’t contain oil.
I’ve been using it every night for a week. Surprisingly, after the first night, my feet were already softer. My feet were softer than they were after using shea butter or foot balm. I thought it was quite miraculous. I didn’t expect this thin tincture to work better than shea butter, but it does. It works by penetrating the skin and then sealing in the moisture. At this point, I don’t think I need to use Smooth Feet every single night. Instead, I’ll probably apply Smooth Feet 2-3 times a week through the winter to keep my feet soft. Actually, I’ll probably use it in the summer too because last summer my feet were dry in spite of walking through the sand. Right now, I’m very satisfied with this artisan-made product, and I look forward to continuing to use it throughout the year. It’s quite amazing!
The bottle of Smooth Feet contains 1 fl. oz., and the MSRP is $35. It’s sold on the Legendary Apothecary website, and through 2/9/19 you can get 20% off with the code LUV20. It’s also sold on Amazon. There’s free shipping.
Legendary Apothecary has more products in the pipeline, and since I’ve had good results with this one, I am curious to find out what’s next.