Sunday, April 26, 2015

OZ Naturals 20% Vitamin C Serum | My Early Thoughts

::press sample/affiliate::

Serum junkie. 

Yeah. I think that is an apt description of moi. Add one more Vitamin C serum to my growing hoard stash. 

OZ Naturals 20% Vitamin C Serum with an Amino Acid blend and Hyaluronic Acid is from OZ Naturals, a top Amazon seller and ALLURE Magazine Best in Beauty award winner. This Professional Anti Aging Serum carries some pretty hefty claims in it's delicate glass bottle. 

About this serum, from the brand:
ALLURE MAGAZINE'S Best In Beauty Vitamin C Serum - It's widely considered to be the most effective organic vitamin c serum available & is proven to dramatically increase the production of collagen and cellular turnover - Resulting in a much smoother texture and even skin tone - We guarantee you'll notice a much more youthful and radiant glow!
CLINICAL STRENGTH 20% vitamin c serum for your face + vegan hyaluronic acid is the absolute highest quality vitamin c serum available.
THIS VITAMIN C SERUM is guaranteed to leave your skin radiant and more youthful looking by neutralizing free radicals & is proven to stimulate collagen & reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
CRUELTY FREE, ORGANIC vitamin c serum does not contain alcohol, parabens or sulfates and is safe for all skin types.
MADE IN THE USA in a state of the art FDA registered facility - OZ Naturals formulates the most effective anti aging products on the market - OZ Naturals products work & they work extremely well - We guarantee you'll get results!

Packaged in a light resistant bottle to protect the efficacy of the Vitamin C, with a glass dropper delivery, this serum is easy to dispense and to use. Simply draw some of the serum into the dropper, dispense into the palm of the hand, lightly rub hands together and pat and gently massage the serum into place. This serum has a very faint, slightly honey or linden flower scent that dissipates quickly; I can only perceive it if I hold my hands right up to my nose. It spreads easily across the skin, sinks in swiftly and feels a bit tacky for a brief moment until his has fully absorbed and dried down, leaving a soft skin behind. I like to use this serum in the morning, after cleansing, before I apply moisturizer, mineral sunscreen and makeup. 

I do not experience any stinging or other discomfort while using this serum. My cheeks get a little pink for a couple of minutes, but that happens with any higher concentration Vitamin C serum I use. I am not feeling any dryness, flaking or sensitivity and it doesn't bother my eyes, even tho I take it up fairly close to my eyes. 

I haven't been using this serum long enough to know whether or not I am getting solid results from it. I can say that it is slotting very nicely into my skin care routine and has taken over for another Vitamin C serum I recently ran out of. So far, I like it. I'll do a follow up, in the future to give a full review, based on longer term use. 

The ingredients list is short but impressive. This serum is 100% Vegan and it is cruelty free. 

So, what are my early impressions of OZ Naturals Vitamin C Serum? Positive. I am a huge fan of Vitamin C for the face and the fact that this one includes skin loving Amino Acids and Hyaluronic Acid, well all the better. As of now, I would purchase this serum, myself and I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable and effective Vitamin C serum. 

You can find the OZ Naturals Vitamin C Serum with Amino and Hyaluronic Acid, $22.49 for a one ounce bottle on Amazon. If you have Prime or just place an order for $35.00 or more of qualifying products, shipping is free. Being a rather rabid Amazon shopper, I still don't have Prime. Can you believe it? 

Do you use Vitamin C serum? Would you consider trying this one? I have to tell you, gentle reader, I am constantly amazed at the incredible quality, well priced skin care that is available, if one is willing to try a brand that is perhaps not so main stream or familiar. 

::press sample/affiliate::

Giveaway Alert! My Instagram MAC Lipstick Giveaway is Live!

I am having a giveaway over on my Instagram. The prize is a brand new MAC lipstick in Oxblood in the limited edition Toledo packaging.

This giveaway is open to US residents for shipping reasons. If you think that you'd love this lipstick and you want to enter to win it, clickity-click through 5/1/15.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sample Saturday | Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar


For my sample on this Saturday morning, I am sharing my thoughts on a new moisturizer by the skin care powerhouse company Philosophy. I have used and loved various Philosophy products for years so I was excited to give a sample of their new moisturizer, Renewed Hope in a Jar a try. 

From the Philosophy Website:
philosophy skin labs’ original breakthrough moisturizer is changing the face of skin care again. the revolutionary lightweight, whipped formula of hope in a jar is renewed and infused with a new innovation: clinically proven skin renewal technology. this groundbreaking formulation features a triple blend of alpha hydroxy acids, 3 forms of hyaluronate plus an asian fruit extract, delivering an even longer-lasting glow and continuous hydration benefits. reaffirm your commitment to beautiful skin with renewed hope and face the future with a whole new outlook.

aqua/water/eau, cyclopentasiloxane, stearic acid, glycerin, butylene glycol, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, glycolic acid, dimethicone, polyacrylamide, cetearyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, c13-14 isoparaffin, dimethicone crosspolymer, ceteareth-20, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, polysilicone-11, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, laureth-7, citric acid, chlorphenesin, mandelic acid, tocopheryl acetate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, ethlhexyl palmitate, propanediol, parfum/fragrance, disodium edta, adenosine, evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract, limonene, faex/yeast extract/extrait de levure, magnesium stearate, opuntia coccinellifera flower extract, silica dimethyl silylate, caprylyl glycol, bht, ethylhexylglycerin, hyaluronic acid, silanetriol, sodium hyaluronate, sorbic acid, hexylene glycol, bismuth oxychloride (ci 77163).

My Experience:
This cream is very lightweight and silky with a softly clean/spicy scent. It spreads smoothly across the skin, sinking in quickly and easily without leaving behind any greasy after feel. Upon first being applied, my skin felt lovely and velvety soft and nicely hydrated, about how I like a good day cream or lotion to feel for under makeup purposes. However, that hydrated feeling didn't last long. Within half an hour, my face felt very dry, tight and uncomfortable and my skin was screaming for moisture. 

Unfortunately, as much as I wanted this beautiful new product to work for me, perhaps as a new day cream, it just doesn't pack the moisture punch that my maturing, very dry skin requires. However, if your skin is less dry, if you are... I would say combo to normal, normal or even normal to somewhat dry, this moisturizer may suit your skin beautifully and I would encourage you to give it a try. 

You can buy Renewed Hope in a Jar and other beautiful Philosophy products from their websiteUltaSephoraNordstrom (who, as of this post being written are price matching and offering this product at a lower price for a limited time) and other retailers who carry Philosophy. 

Have you tried Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar or any other Philosophy skin care? What are your favorites? 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beauty at Any Age | I'm Fifty

#boldernotolder ::affiliate::

Beauty at any age. What does this mean, exactly? It means something different to each and every one of us. To me, it means feeling good about what I am doing and being happy with what I see when I look in the mirror. 

As I have moved through my twenties, thirties and forties to fifty, my beauty needs have grown and evolved. What looked great and worked for me in my twenties or even five years ago no longer do. I have learned to not only move with the times, but with my own changing taste. And I have come to realize that life is too short for stupid beauty rules. Good taste is one thing. Being hidebound because someone else tells me that I am supposed to be? No, thank you. I'm doing it my way. 

This could be a long exposition on beauty from the inside out. I could go on about nutrition, hydration, so on and so forth. But I'm going to be utterly shallow, today and just talk about the exterior. And, I am going to start with my hair. 

The Pureology Precious Oil line of hair care products provide gentle, pampering care for my highlighted, dyed tresses. These products are spendy but, as I have gotten older, I don't have to wash my hair as often as I used to so they last me a long time. In between wash days, I can stretch with dry shampoo and updos, so I really only have to wash my hair a couple of times a week. 

At my advanced age, I had fun coloured streaks put in my hair. Right now, I have a little bit of teal running through the corners, as my stylist calls it. It's funny that I would go for teal in my hair, now. When I was in my twenties, the very idea would have been unthinkable, to me. I love them. And I'm thinking of adding some blue to the party, at my next appointment. 

Skincare is incredibly important to me, it is practically a full time job! I used to neglect my skin, terribly and I'm actually amazed that it has bounced back as well as it has. The power of good products and lucky genetics, I guess. Besides cleansing, exfoliating is a crucial part of my routine. My maturing, very dry skin responds well to mechanical and chemical exfoliation so I do both. Exfoliating aids in cell turnover, brightens and refines the skin and sloughs off dead skin cells that would block the absorption of some skin care elements. Serums that are rich in good for the skin ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid treat and help to slow the march of time across my face as moisture rich creams and lotions and regular use of masks temporarily hydrate, plump and make my skin look and feel softer and healthier and help to minimize some of the early signs of aging. 

I'm a bit mercurial when it comes to makeup. The majority of the time I reach for neutral shades and tones, they are my favorites and I always know that I can put together a solid, fail safe look with little worry or fuss. But I also enjoy reaching for and wearing vibrant and bold colour, from time to time. 

One thing I love and use regularly is shimmer. Now, I am told that someone my age has no business using shimmer, that it will emphasize my fine lines and crows feet and pores and make me look older. I beg to differ. I believe that some well placed, properly applied shimmer is just what the doctor ordered to add a lovely, youthful glow to maturing skin. The secret is to find shimmer that is very finely milled, looks and feels supremely smooth and adds radiance, not too much shine or overt sparkle. 

For my makeup look for this feature, I used makeup items in my collection and from the new, limited edition Sonia Kashuk Sahara Sunset Collection available at Target online and in stores, now. This collection is warm, shimmery and very beautiful. I apply with a deft hand and while the end result is softly glow-y it is not overly shiny or sparkly. No disco ball, here. 

These are the colour products I used. The eye shadow palette, highlighter, blush and lipstick from the Sahara Sunset Collection

My eye look is soft and shimmery but not glittery or too much. I feel that anyone, of any age can wear these eye colours. Using the Desert Escape Eye Shadow Palette I applied over primer, the soft taupe-y brown from the right hand side, just in from the outer strip, all over my lid, stopping just shy of my inner corner. I used the other wide strip in my crease and up a little onto my orbital bone. I used the center brown nearly matte in my crease and along under my eye to shy of my inner corner and pulled up to transition over my orbital bone. I used the peach outer strip in my inner corner and along my lower lash line to spark that part of my eye then Foxy from my Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette as brow highlight and another shade from that palette for transition. I lined and darkened up my outer V with the aubergine shade from the Sonia Kashuk palette, curled my lashes and applied Urban Decay Perversion mascara. 

My cheeks got a dose of Casablanca Blusher. This sweet, warm coral has a dash of pink and a hint of luminescence and it gives a beautiful flush to the cheeks. My highlight is the Arabian Dreams Highlighter. This gorgeous multi tasking powder has five colours that can be worn separately as eye shadows or swirled together on a soft brush and lightly buffed onto the high points of the face and a touch under the brow bone to add a perfect radiant glow. 

I finished my look with the Luxe Sheer Lip Colour in Eden, a juicy, glossy semi sheer tangerine coral that, on my red lips looks more pink grapefruit. 

I am really happy with how the finished makeup look came out. I am just bummed that my hair, which I thought was having a good wurl day went totally sideways on me, just as I got ready to take pictures. Isn't that always the way. I'm not going to take any pics or go anywhere, I step out of the shower, hit my hair with a little oil and curl stuff and without even trying... BAM! Perfect wurls. I pick up my camera or my car keys and my hair, asshole that it is falls and explodes on one side and just goes quietly crazy, on the other and there isn't a damned thing I can do about it except put it up. Which I did but I didn't like any of those shots for this post so... Crazy hair it is. 

I knew that I should have blown it dry and used my flat iron or rollers. I just knew it. Anyway...

My nail look was pure, insanely bright fun. I used polishes from the China Glaze Electric Nights 
Collection to do a retina scorching flower design. I don't care what anyone says, I do not think that I am too old to wear neon, nail art or glitter. Or all three at once. Anyone who thinks I am can bite me. 

#boldernotolder Get it. Break the rules. We only get one spin on this rock, we might as well have some fun while we're at it, don't you think? 

What are your favorite beauty secrets at your age? What do you do to look your best and to throw off convention a bit and just have a little fun with it all? 


This is a collaboration with the talented ladies of the Beauty Blogger Collaborative. Below, you will find a rougettes gallery of beauties awaiting you. Please take some time and go visit and see what they have to say about Beauty at Any Age. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom Lipsticks | Review


As you are probably aware, if you read here with any regularity at all I am kind of a fan of Bauble Bar and their pretty fashion jewelry. Particularly their Monday and Friday deals and of course, their sale section! Well, I was doing a little sale section splurging, recently and in my packages arrived not only the sparkly stuff I ordered but lipsticks! In all I received six tubes of Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom Lipstick. Five tubes in Petal Pink; I kept one and passed four along because I don't need five tubes of mod pink lipstick! And one in Lilac Flush. I thought I'd share them with you, today. Tell you what I think of them. 

Let us first examine Petal Pink, shall we? Maybelline calls this line pastel rebels in vivacious shades. I call it a throwback to another era. These lippies feel very late sixties, early seventies, to me. I remember my mother and her friends wearing shades like these and envying them. Petal Pink is a pastel pink creme, almost sugar almond pink but a little richer, slightly more blue toned. 

 Lip swatch. The lighting was a little goofy, that day. I really need to sort out my lighting because the inconsistencies I suffer under shooting in natural light are not to be borne. Anyway, as you can see, this is a very light, cool toned pink. It barely covered my naturally pigmented lips. I should have used a primer to blank them a bit but by the time I got around to swatching these lippies, my lips were screaming at me. Primer wasn't happening.

Yes, I wear glasses. #blindasabat I don't know... I think this shade suits me okay. Especially since I was kind of bronzed up.

Lilac Flush is a bright pastel lilac. This one runs a little more blue than red.

This shade has a nearly neon pastel quality to it. It's very different from any other lipstick I own. 

From my expression you can probably guess that I'm not so sure about this one. I kind of like it, it's definitely different, for me and very outside of my comfort zone but I don't know if it really looks well on me. It's one thing to push your personal envelope. It's another to push it and look like a fool. I can't decide whether this lipstick is helping me do the former or the latter. 

The formula on the Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom Lipsticks is pretty good. They have that typical Maybelline lipstick scent, a little waxy/old school but it isn't unpleasant to my sense and it does dissipate. Application is a bit of a challenge. This lipstick feels stiff and it drags at first touch, it softens and loosens up to the warmth of the lips and gets creamier and easier to apply as you go. Getting a smooth, even coat takes some doing, I had to apply, smush, apply, smooth, apply a little more. 

Wear time is not sensational and I experience a good bit of breakdown at the moisture line with these lipsticks. It isn't all that obvious at a casual distance but even shortly after application, you can see it in my close ups. Happily, touch ups are not as labor intensive at the initial application. I don't have to work as hard for it, when I reapply, as long as I still have some on my lips. 

Comfort is a huge factor for me when it comes to lipstick. I own several other Color Sensational lipsticks and find them fairly comfortable to wear. These are about the same for me. They aren't super comfortable and I don't find them moisturizing but if I prep with a nice balm, first I can get through the day with these quite nicely. 

I'll enjoy these two lipsticks but I doubt I'll purchase any more shades of the Rebel Bloom lipsticks. I don't have a problem with them at all, they just aren't ringing my bell hard enough to make me want to run out and buy more. 

Do you own any Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom lipsticks? What shades did you get? What do you think of them? 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Nail Art | Featuring China Glaze Electric Nights Polishes

Here is the next nail art look featuring China Glaze Electric Nights polishes.

I polished my pinkie and middle nails with Treble Maker, ring with Daisy Know My Name? and then masked off a diagonal line of negative space with narrow striping tape and did a half and half on my index nail. I used Can I get an Untz Untz (I cringe when I type that. Seriously. Who named that polish?) on ring and half of index. Then I dotted first with white then Daisy Know My Name on the Treble Maker nails in patterns on the fly. I think I used top coat for this mani. Yep. It's really shiny.

Daisy Know My Name? Need sunglasses highlighter yellow.

Treble Maker. An insane neon green.

Can I get an Untz Untz. Yeah... That's a bad name. The glitter is great, tho. Neon green, yellow and purple pieces in clear base. So cute!

All three of these polishes perform beautifully. I still can't get over just how well these neon/brights apply and behave. Sometimes polishes of this ilk can be a real bear to work with, but China Glaze has come up with a winning formula. These are truly terrific.

Have you picked up any of the polishes from this collection? Which ones are you loving or craving?

Midi rings are from Amazon. Stackers. I can't find the listing for the set with the bow ring.