Where to find plus size halloween costumes.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara

Revlon sent me their latest mascara for review. The Bold Lacquer by Grow Luscious is in a snazzy blue basic tube. According to the packaging this product offers length, volume, and intense color. As well as being a high shine formula, it contains “lengthening fibers”.

One of the most important features when it comes to mascara is the brush. This tube has the standard brush we are all used to — it does the job. As you can see on the tip there is one of the fibers. I find it is pretty inconsistent when the fibers will show up.

A look at the mascara brush for this product.

I have worn the mascara four times. I find the first coat goes on nice but with each layer it gets harder to control the amount of product going on. Two coats is the most I can get out without it looking clumpy. It product also seems to have become goopy the longer it’s been open which is less than two weeks.

My eyes with no make-up, 1 coat, and 2 coats.

As for longevity this product did not work for me; within a few hours it was flaking off on my lower and upper eyes. Definitely not a favorite because of this. The mascara didn’t completely flake off but enough for people to notice. It brushes away easily enough but honestly for this price point I shouldn’t have to. It does maintain its color though.

Have you tried Revlon’s Bold Lacquer, did you like it or hate it?

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Topic Links
* Revlon’s official website

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge

I couldn’t find the Miracle Sponge by Sam and Nic Chapman (if you don’t follow these two on Youtube subscribe now because they are awesome) locally. I couldn’t even find it in Ulta in Watertown when I went cross border shopping (you can buy it online there but they don’t ship here hence why I went cross border). At the time I had to order it online from Amazon which is not bad per se because I love Amazon but it cost a bit more. But it was worth it.

First, why the Miracle Sponge? Well, I blame it on Cora, another beauty guru you should be following, and her comparison of this sponge with the Beauty Blender I felt I needed one and she was right. Here’s her video:

I love this sponge. I really didn’t think it would make as much of a difference from a regular wedge sponge. The texture of the sponge is fine and the density of it makes me think of Memory Foam. I love how it feels in my hand, how it feels against my face, it is so soft, and of course how it blends.

For the most part, I currently only use BB creams and loose powder and not always a full face of it especially with the warmer weather. I find it so much easier to spot touch up with this sponge and blend it especially on the cheeks and around the eyes.

The egg shape is easier to hold and the flat and point tip offer versatility of application. The flat edge is for “contours around eyes and nose”, the sides are to “blend large areas”, and the tip “covers imperfections”. But really you can use it however it feels comfortable in your hand.

It’s easy to care for — only needs to be washed with shampoo every 1 to 3 uses. It does stain a bit depending on your cosmetics. My BB creams didn’t stain but I had a sample foundation I tried wouldn’t completely rinse out.

Here is the official tutorial on how to use it:

I mentioned I bought mine from Amazon, the price has actually gone up extremely from when I made my purchase but you can order direct from the Real Techniques website and they now have international shipping.

I ordered two more from the Real Techniques website.

I ordered two more (at $6 a piece) to have on hand and it cost me $2.60 for shipping which is awesome. My package arrived just over a week later.

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Topic Links
* Get your Real Techniques Miracle Sponge from official site
* Follow Sam and Nic on YouTube
* Follow Cora on YouTube

Summer Hair Care (Psst… Waxing)

I have been pretty open with the fact that I wax my upper lip; well, I don’t wax it, I pay someone else to do it. But that is as far as I go. No eyebrow, waxing, no armpit waxing, and definitely no Brazilian waxing. And it is not just because of reasons like Christine Lakin’s Holiday Wax Nightmare although as you will see in a minute it is a good reason not to wax your feminine parts.

Thanks to Christine I am definitely firm in my belief that hair down there is even more acceptable than it was before — to each her own. Now back to my other lips… I’ve been using Inhibitif which I found makes waxing my lip a little more bearable. So much so I decided to try waxing my upper lip myself instead of going to the salon — sometimes it’s just a pain (har har) to go across town for less than a fifteen minute appointment.

When I was at Sally Beauty last week I was checking out their waxing section and came across GiGi Microwave Sensitive Tweezeless Wax for facial hair. It was about $8 and the associate said I could get a few lip waxes out of it. Cool.

Wax Night: I had to bring a mirror into the kitchen because that is where we keep the microwave. I followed the directions and heated the wax for 15 seconds and went to stir it — rock hard. Nuked it for another 15 seconds — still rock hard. This went on for three more tries before I finally went up to 30 second intervals and felt like I was getting somewhere. Finally I had a pliable enough wax to start applying it to my upper lip. The actual waxing wasn’t too bad. I was able to control how much and where unlike when someone else does it. The downside, no bathroom lighting and having to put it back in the microwave after each attempt. The container — a total mess — and I can’t see me getting another use of it because the wax really did not cooperate.

My attempt at some summer hair care.

One of the things I remember seeing in the wax isle was a wax tub for melting wax and I have to admit that plugging a little heating tub in the bathroom seems like an attractive option at about $45. I could stay in the bathroom and heat up the wax whenever I wanted. But I am undecided and think I will try some other self-waxing options first.

As luck would have it a rep from Nad’s (“Australia’s favorite hair removal brand”) emailed me this morning with some tips from the founder Sue Ismiel. And while I haven’t tried the product yet (it is available in the U.S. and Canada) I thought I would share her tips with you in case you are thinking of doing a little summer hair care yourself.

Sue’s General Guide to Waxing

  1. Clean and dry the area to be treated. Ensure all oils, makeup and moisturizers are removed.
  2. Apply wax slowly in the direction of hair growth
  3. Firmly smooth over strip 3-4 times
  4. Quickly remove strip holding skin taut in opposite direction to the hair growth.

Home Hair Removal Methods/ Tips

  • The quicker you pull the strip back the more effective the hair removal. Don’t forget to hold the skin taut and pull the strip back as close to the skin as possible. Bruising may be a result of not holding your skin taut.
  • On some parts of your body, like for example your underarms or your center brow, hair can grow in different directions. Always assess carefully before applying the wax.
  • Make sure the hair is at least 3-5mm long; otherwise the hair may not be removed.
  • Check that you are not perspiring or that your body is too hot (i.e. if you have just come out of the shower) as this will prevent the wax from adhering to the hair effectively.
  • Try to avoid waxing just before or during your period. Your skin is really sensitive during this time.
  • For optimal results, exfoliate your skin no sooner than eight hours before hair removal and 48 hours after. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells and maintain vital skin health. It also helps minimize ingrown hairs.
  • It is normal for the skin to appear red after waxing. Remove any residue then soothe your skin following hair removal with a cooling aloe vera, this helps to soothe and calm the skin after hair removal. Can be used daily as soothing moisturizer.
  • If you breakout or suffer skin irritations after facial waxing, apply a cold compress immediately after waxing. If the redness is still noticeable apply calming Aloe Vera Gel which will help to reduce redness and irritation after hair removal. To prevent breakouts, apply an antibacterial lotion to the skin after waxing. Nad’s Ingrown Solution is perfect as it contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Ensure your skin is held taut before removing the backing strip
  • Ensure you pull off the strip close to the skin rather than upwards
  • Ensure the hair length is at least 3-5mm long

Do you wax at home, at a salon, never?

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Topic Links
* Check out the Nad’s website to find out where to find
* Purchase Nad’s Products from Amazon

My Favorite Scent — Citrus

Scent is a funny thing. You either like it or you hate it. I’ve always been attracted to lighter citrus scents more so than flowery scents for myself (although I often enjoy flowery or rose scents on others). I have been wearing pretty much the same scent for over ten years — Clinique’s Happy. I have taken breaks to try other scents along the way but I have always found myself going back to Happy because it makes me, well, happy. The name alone even makes me smile.

I’m not sure where my love of citrus began — I can tell you a story from my childhood where overeating mandarin oranges led to disastrous effects — so much so you’d think I’d be turned off citrus for life. But no, I definitely consider it my scent.

I find Clinique’s happy to be very light. It provides enough scent that I feel fresh but not so much that it inspires a headache in my migraine suffering spouse. I like the feel of the glass bottle and how it sprays just the right amount of scent in two presses. And that one small bottle lasts a long time — I don’t know the time frame exactly but it’s long. Which is good because $50 is nothing to sneeze at. When I need a new bottle it is usually timed right for when one of their promotions is on and because of the price I end up with a free kit which usually includes a lipstick, eye shadow, or mascara as a bonus.

Clinique can be found at department stores like the Bay or Sears. Or if you are in the U.S. you can buy it from their official website.

Do you have a scent that you just can’t let go of?

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Topic Links
* Get your Happy scent from Clinique

Favorite Dry Feet Remedy

When it comes to beauty products there are some items we never stop using or return to again and again. For me Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is one of those items. It is a multi-use beauty product that can be used to soften the elbows or soften the feet. It can relieve the tight dry hands of winter or protect abrasions. It can be used every day or stored for occasional use. And it is not just for women — my husband will turn to it when the school chalk becomes too much for his hands to bare. Of all the things I have used it for over the years I think the best use is on my feet with a pair a woolies at bed time — it is my favorite dry feet remedy — and incredibly affordable, something often not associated with beauty products.

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Topic Links
* Stock up on Vaseline Petroleum Jelly from Amazon

Schick Intuition Review

For the last few months I have been using Schick’s Intuition Moisturizing Care women’s razor for shaving my legs. I am hooked. I will probably never go back to a regular razor and shaving cream. Besides giving me a nice shave and automatic moisture to my dry legs I also do not have to deal with knocking over the shaving cream (or accidentally spraying it on the shower curtain) and chasing my old razor around the tub.

The starter pack I purchased originally came with one refill of Soothing Moisture with Milk and Honey and one of Advanced Moisture with Shea Butter. I have continued to buy the Shea butter refills since then because they are my favorite.

Intuition cartridge container.

The starter pack also came with a suction cup and a holder to conveniently store my razor in the shower area. It helps it drain dry so it is ready for the next use. I actually didn’t think the suction cup would hold it but I have only had two mishaps both while cleaning the shower stall.

Intuition razor hanging in its shower casing.

Each cartridge easily snaps into place and there is a release button on the handle to remove it. As you can see from the picture below the 4 blades are surrounded by what looks like bar soap. While it does produce a little lather when it gets wet I do not get all sudsy like a bar of soap. It is more of a slick feeling than a soapy feeling. Sometimes I turn it over and will rub the bar on sensitive areas for a little extra lather — like around ankle area.

Close up of the four blades.

Instructions say to change the cartridge when you start to see a bit of green showing through from the moisturizer wearing down. I don’t do this. To me the blades are still perfectly usable and I continue to use until I absolutely cannot get a comfortable shave from the lather produced.

Side view of the Schick Intuition Razor.

I still do not throw out the cartridge. I carefully separate the blades and keep the remainder to lather my underarms and use my original razor. This is the waste-not person in me who just can’t help it. Here is a back view of the tilting blade cartridge.

Backside view of the cartridge.

As I have already pretty much said, I love this razor. It does not feel messy to work with, it is comfortable to hold, it provides enough lather for shaving, the four blades give a close shave, and my legs do not feel dried out after my shower. If I am in a hurry I can get away without lotion for a day.

I was sick of fighting with the shaving cream and this has been a rewarding alternative all around.  The downside though, is it is not cheap. The starter kit ranges from $11 to $15 depending on where you buy it; with the 3 pack cartridges being about the same price. Are there other options on the market that offer more blades and last longer? Definitely, but if you are looking for something that offers a little more pampering then this would be it.

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Topic Links
* Get your Schick Intuition from Amazon

Nivea Cleansing Wipes Review

While going through the drug store a couple weeks back I happened to notice that the Nivea Gentle Cleansing Wipes were on sale so I picked up a package for dry to sensitive skin. The small plastic package contains 25 wipes.

Soft facial cleansing wipe.

The wipes are super soft, softer than any wash cloth could ever be, and they are lightly moistened and have a light scent that I do not find obtrusive or offensive. Each wipe is about an 8″ square and the material is super stretchy but does not rip easily.

Soft facial cleansing wipe from Nivea.

According to the directions all you need to do is gently wipe the cloth over your eyes, face, and neck. Rinsing is not required.

Cleansing Full Face versus Light Face Make Up

Depending on the day a full face for me means a liquid cover up or BB cream followed by a layer of loose powder, eye shadow, liner, mascara, blush, lipstick. On a full face day I did not find one wrap gave me a full clean face feeling especially where cream make-up was concerned and I would use it as a pre-wash and follow-up with a cleansing lotion and water, toner etc. to feel like the make-up was completely removed.

Light face make up for me means loose powder all over the face, mascara, one color of creme shadow on the lower lid, and lipstick. Using one Noxema cleansing wipe on this kind of face day I did not feel like I needed to follow up with additional cleanser and water for my face to feel clean. I also did not feel the need to rinse or to apply moisturizer afterwards. That being said this is not something I would want to use every night but for those times when I was a wee bit too lazy to go through my whole cleansing regimen. My some-what sensitive skin has had no issues with these wipes.

I have also used a few of these cleansing wipes through the summer on make-up free face days to freshen up my skin and remove sweat and oil buildup caused by the joys of humidity.

After using ten wipes the re-sealing tab stopped working and I had to use a clip to keep the package closed and the wipes moist. I have not decided if I will keep using these on a regular basis or not after this package is finished. Perhaps if they are on sale again but I do not think I would pay full price (about $9 depending on store) for these.

A plastic package of Nivea cleansing wipes.

Have you tried these or any other cleansing wipes?

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Topic Links
* Visit the official Nivea site for other product information

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion

Hawaiian Tropic sent me two samples of their latest skin products via Klout Perks: a 59 ml bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 30 (for UVA/UVB), a 59 ml bottle of After Sun moisturizer with shea and cocoa butters, and a $4 coupon for a future purchase of either of these products.

My Klout Perk from Hawaiian Tropic Skin Care.

A Little About My Skin

I have fair skin that is sensitive, burns quickly and freckles easily. I have combination skin on my face and fairly dry skin everywhere else. I redden easily from exertion, heat, and after about 30 minutes in the sun. I tend to use a lot of sunscreen on my upper body as it burns quicker than my lower body.

On the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration

I did not try this lotion on my face as most things tend to make me break out — I only applied this to my legs and arms. This lotion is very thick.

Hawaiian Tropics Silky Hydration Lotion Sunscreen.

It goes on like any other lotion but does not have that slippery/sticky feeling that most sunscreens do. It soaks in almost immediately leaving skin soft to touch, a feeling that lasted all day. After a few days of using the product in a row I thought there would be a built up feeling but there was not. I did not develop any itching and my skin still feels silky soft. Even on a hot humid day it was not super sticky (just the usual unavoidable humid sticky).

Lotion leaves silky skin behind.

The only downside is that it does have a strong sent. Fine for the beach but not for everyday wear. I want to be able to wear my own day scent. It is pretty in small amounts but after putting all over my arms and legs I found it to be a bit overpowering; so anyone sensitive to scent may not enjoy this — and if you work in a scent-free work environment this would not be an option. The scent is very strong for the first few hours.

This lotion is advertised as having “12 hour moisturization” but it is important not to confuse this with sun protection which is only two hours, barring water, heavy perspiration etc. If spending time outdoors reapplication is still necessary.

There is no doubt that Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion lives up to the hydration properties.

The After Sun

I did not think it could be possible but the After Sun is creamier than the lotion and I definitely prefer the scent, Lime Coolada, which is fresh, not nearly as overpowering, and less sweet smelling than the silk hydration. Unfortunately there is no sun protection in this one. It is a straight moisturizer. Again producing a soft silky feeling with no residual stickiness.

I guess for me the hardest thing is getting over Hawaiian Tropic only being a sunscreen. It was fun trying out these two samples and I like the idea of my lotion having some sun protection. If I were to purchase either of these two products I think it would probably be the After Sun, not because I would use it for after sun care but because I like the lotion and scent. But for a sunscreen option I definitely like this Silk Hydration over my standard sunscreen.

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Topic Links
* Hawaiian Tropic Official website
* Klout Perk Official website
* Purchase online from Amazon.com

Double Agent Butter

Since I am getting near the end of my Belle Butters jar of Double Agent Shea Butter and I planned to order more it seemed like a good time to tell you about it.

My empty jar of Double Agent shea butter.

I first heard about Belle Butters online (shocker there, right?) when I met the owner and chief chef Tasha on Twitter. I was already going through a shea butter phase and I liked the idea of supporting an independent especially when I saw the many options she carried on her Cartel site. From other reviews I read, Double Agent was the must have item to start with so I bought a couple ounces.

The Double Agent butter is firm to touch but melts into your skin as it is applied. A little goes a surprisingly long way and it is hard to get used to if you have been using regular lotions for a while. Because it is quite slick I prefer to use it a night as an intense therapy for my lower legs and hands.

The creamy Double Agent Butter quickly dissolves into an oil state to be absorbed.

This Belle Butters item contains shea butter, refined avocado butter, acai butter, jojoba oil, cranberry seed oil, camelina seed oil, fragrance, and optiphen as a preservative. Speaking of fragrance, I find it to be heavily scented with something yummy. Seriously, my husband says I spell yummy when I have it on. It lasts for a few hours and is strong enough I do not want to spray on my regular light scent. I am not a smelly candle kind of person, they tend to make me nauseous and annoy me, but I love the scent of this stuff. As I said, it is yummy.

Waiting for butters to be absorbed.

The skin feels silky smooth for days after one treatment. I say treatment because it is a small jar and it is a treat for me to use. It also costs $15 for 4 ounces so I cannot bring myself to use it every day. I use it when my lower legs get especially dry and my regular lotion does not appear to be cutting it, about once a week.

When I place my next order I also want to try the Neutralizing Butter for Oily Skin and the Orange Dream Cream Butter.

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Topic Links
* Get your Double Agent Body Butter

Au Natural but with Polish

When I was in college self-expression via your nails was pretty much discouraged but I liked to have a more polished look then just clean cut nails. For me, a French Manicure was still too bold and every time I looked down at my nails I thought they looked like little white beacons.

One day I discovered, quite accidentally, the natural manicure which is basically a French Manicure with a sheer white instead of an opaque white. It produces an au natural finish with a polished look — if your tips and nail beds are not defined it will give a brighter appearance without being extreme. Over the years I have come back to this look again and again.

Do not be scared off by the term “French Manicure” this option is easier and more forgiving.

Sheer French Manicure How To by Moe

Here is a five minute video I recently created sharing the products I use and how I do it.

It does not make a considerable difference but it does make a noticeable difference, if that makes any sense. I hope you will give it a try.

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Topic Links
* Check out some of my favorite polish colors, tools, art, etc.

Gift Idea for Mom

If you are stumped with what to get Mom for Mother’s Day take a look at the gift package Julep put together to make shopping easier. The Helping Hand is chock full of product.

The Helping Hands gift set includes the Glycolic Hand Scrub, Julep Essential Cuticle Oil (currently using and like), Rock Star Hand Creme (have not tried yet but heard on Instagram that it is awesome), Sienna shimmery gold nail polish, January tomato red nail polish, a black make-up bag, AND a $25 gift card so mom can pick a few more favorite color polishes for herself.

Julep's Helping Hands package for Mother's Day.

There are two great colors of polish you can borrow from your mom *wink*. The regular price for this gift basket is $84 but if you become a Maven (takes seconds) it is $64 plus you get free shipping right to mom’s door (US and Canada). They have smaller gift sets too!

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Topic Links
* Get your Mother’s day gift from Julep
* My first Maven experience
* My second Maven experience

Ally Blue Nail Polish

My add-on polish for my April Julep package is called Ally. And I simply adore her. Seriously, I was constantly looking at my nails and thinking, “I LOVE THIS COLOR”. I know blue is my top favorite color but I really enjoyed this one.

Julep-and-Polymer

It is similar to the Blue Iris form Jin Soon I was coveting and finally purchased from Sephora but different. It has a very fine sparkle to it.

Blue sparkle nail polish from Julep.

I applied two thin coats of the Ally nail polish over two coats of base color because you never know with blues (or reds) if they will leave a residue (it did not). I applied Julep’s Freedom Polymer top coat (quickly becoming my fave) but it was super shiny beforehand.

Julep's blue Ally nail polish and polymer top coat.

The polish lasted about five days before I chipped it doing yard work. Bear in mind that I have been heavily conditioning my cuticles and nails (I find this produces early chipping) and file them every day to keep me from picking at them.

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Topic Links
* Shop polish at Julep or become a Julep Maven
* My first Maven experience
* My second Maven experience

Revlon Lash Potion Review

Revlon sent me a tube of their new Lash Potion by Grow Luscious. It is a volume and length mascara that offers “spell-binding volume and length”. With a name like “potion” it has to be magical right? Let’s see.

A surprise package from Revlon in a bright pink metallic bubble wrap.

The shade of mascara they sent is 001 Blackest Black. Normally I wear a brown black because I am sort of blonde and it looks more natural to me but I recently went bold dark brown so this color actually works for me.

Lash Potion from Revlon

According to the Revlon packaging this mascara formula has “strengthening proteins, amino acids and essential vitamins that revitalizes lashes”. It goes on to say that the “Illusionist Wand” will drench lashes for dramatic volume and comb through my lashes for a clump free length. This is not my favorite kind of wand. It is very fluffy and I feel it pushes my lashes more than it combs through them but as you will see it gets the mascara on the lashes.

The wand for the Lash Potion mascara.

There was nothing on the package saying it was OK for sensitive eyes or contact wearers but I wore it anyway and surprising to myself, no irritation whatsoever. Here are my lashes without mascara — you can tell they are there but they are pretty much invisible.

What my lashes look like without mascara.

Obviously, because I do not normally wear black I noticed that first. But after I got over the color one of the first thing I noticed was the lift this mascara gave my lashes. I am not an eye lash curler kind of girl — a mishap in high-school swore me off them forever so my lashes kind of do their own thing; but I definitely noticed a lift upwards.

Here are my lashes with one coat of Revlon’s Lash Potion. I would be perfectly happy with one coat. It provides enough definition to make my eye stand out.

My eyes with one coat of Lash Potion.

And here is my eye with two coats of Revlon’s Lash Potion. For some reason I decided to put it on my bottom lashes. I never put mascara on my lower lashes as I tend to touch that area a lot (to put in eye drops, itch or whatever). But for some reason I did. A few hours later specs of mascara from me touching it were on the under eye instead of the lashes.

Here are my lashes with two coats of mascara.

The formula is not waterproof or even moisture proof (it does not claim to be). I suffer from dry eyes from past eye surgery so being able to apply eye drops throughout the day is a must. Earlier today I actually forgot that I had this mascara on and wiped my eyes after drops, not thinking, and had smudged mascara everywhere. Eye drop tragedy aside when I cleaned up my eye area I was impressed to see I still had enough color on my lashes to look made up.

And just to prove I do have more than one eyeball with lashes, here are both of them.

I do have two eyeballs.

If you can keep your fingers and moisture off your eyes Lash Potion produces a great looking lash with nice color, length, and added lift. I have only worn it a few times so I cannot comment on whether my lashes feel less brittle because of the “conditioning formula” but I will add an update in a few weeks.

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Topic Links
* Learn more about Revlon costmetics
* You can purchase Revlon cosmetics from Amazon