Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Clean (and sanitize!) Your Beauty Blenders

Dirty Beauty Blenders. Not something any of us should use on our face. Dirty Beauty Blenders (or any brand of makeup application sponge) not only don't apply your makeup as well as clean ones, they are vectors for spreading old makeup, dead skin cells, oil and billions of bacteria living in that stew of goo in your sponge. Bounce that hot zone all over your delicate flower face and you run the very real risk of breakouts and possible skin infections. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds nasty. And not like anything I want anywhere my face! And I'm willing to bet that you feel the same way. 

Washing Beauty Blenders is a pain in the ass. I get it. But it needs to be done and 'tis best it were done well, don't you agree? Today, I'm going to share with you just how I clean and sanitize my Beauty Blenders so that they are safe for my skin and give me the best makeup application possible.

Just look at those dirty birdies. Foundation, concealer, all of the rest happily residing in the many, many little nooks and crannies of my sponges. EWW! It all needs to go. Now!

Artsy fartsy lighting alert! Toss those manky sponges into a microwave safe  - I'll explain why, later - vessel of your choice. Mmm... Coffee...

With what do I cleanse my Beauty Blenders? Dawn dish washing liquid. It breaks down oil and silicone, helps the spongy cells to release their goopy load of gross and leaves them sparkling clean and virtually stain free.

Everyone into the pool! Nice warm water and a generous dollop of dish liquid. Plenty of swish and squeeze. Now comes time to soak. I like to let them float for a few hours. If you have to take off, just leave them treading water while you are at school or work or getting on with the rest of your day. After they soak, (check the bottom of the bowl and see all of the makeup that has come free of your sponges, it's eye opening) more squeezing to get the rest of the makeup out of the sponges. If there is still residue, I like to add a couple of extra drops of detergent to stubborn spots and gently but firmly work them clean.

Time to rinserinserinse! Rinse and squeeze until the water runs clear of soapy bubbles. Squeeze them out well and set them on a clean surface to dry.

About once a week or every five washings or so, I like to sanitize my Beauty Blenders to help kill any residual nasties that may be lurking in the deep recesses of my sponges.

Rinse the bowl in which your sponges were washed and soaked and add about an inch or so of water and drop in your saturated, now clean Beauty Blenders.

Pop the container into your microwave.

And cook on high for about a minute and forty seconds.

Beep! Fresh, hot, sanitized Beauty Blenders, ready. Grab a pot holder! Remember, the bowl and contents will be hot.

Transfer carefully to the counter and set it in a safe place, out of reach of kiddos and pets.

Allow the water and sponges to cool until they are safe to handle. Squeeze out the water and set your sponges on a clean surface to dry.

And there you have it. Sparkling clean Beauty Blenders, all ready for a healthy, flawless application of foundation and concealer, once again.

Don't have a microwave? An alternate way to sanitize your sponge is to pour some 91% rubbing alcohol into a small bowl, saturate the sponge, squeeze it out and set it on a clean surface to dry. As the sponge dries, the alcohol scent will dissipate. Just never, ever use bleach! Trust me on this. Bleach will destroy your Beauty Blenders. I learned that one the hard way.

Gentle reader, how do you clean your Beauty Blenders/makeup sponges? Any good tips you can pass along? Anything I should try? Please share.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Kleem Organics Intensive Rejuvenating Vitamin C Serum

**press sample** **affiliate links**

Kleem Organics Intensive Rejuvenating Vitamin C Serum, 1 fl oz. $22.99 is a lightweight treatment serum that contains "Stay C 50" stable Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel and Arginine to help brighten skin, moisturize, tone and possibly boost collagen. 

Formulated with 98% naturally derived, 72% organic ingredients, this serum is cruelty free. The serum is nearly scent neutral, it is supposed to have an orange scent, my bottles haven't really had much, if any. Which is fine... I don't mind. I like orange scent in skin care products but if it is not there, I am not going to cry about it. 

Key Ingredients:
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) - 20%, Aloe Vera, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Vegan Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, Carbomer, Arginine, Ferulic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Organic Gotu Kola Extract, Organic Dandelion extract, Organic Horse Tail plant extract, Organic Geranium Extract

This serum is packaged in a sleek plastic vacuum pump bottle with brushed silver tone trim. It looks elegant and refined on my dressing table, among my other skin care products. 

The serum is very thin, almost watery, a small amount spreads easily over the skin, is instantly absorbed and leaves a soft, velvety finish. This serum can be used twice a day and I don't experience any stinging, redness or warmth upon application. I use this as my first treatment step after cleansing, before applying other serums, eye cream and moisturizers. 

I have been using this serum consistently for a couple of months, now and I am seeing results. My skin is brighter, the surface is more refined and smoother, overall. I don't know that I look any "younger." I wasn't expecting that, to be perfectly honest. This serum performs, it does what it says it will, it has improved my complexion. 

Every time I go in to have my hair done, my hair stylist, who is a very enthusiastic washer/rinser normally washes off most of my makeup, leaving only a little in the center of my face and my eye makeup. She was doing my blowout and actually turned off the blow dryer and complemented me on my skin. Not my makeup... Which was mostly gone! But my skin. It's been a long time since I received such a compliment. And I believe it was due, in part to this serum and it's brightening and refining properties. 

To be told, at fifty that I have pretty skin? I'll take it! 

Kleem Organics Intensive Rejuvenating Vitamin C Serum is available from Amazon and from their Website. It is affordable, efficacious and I recommend it. When I run out of the sample I am currently using, I plan to purchase and keep using it. 

Have you tried the Kleem Organics Intensive Rejuvenating Vitamin C Serum? If so, have you seen results? If you haven't, would you try it? Please do share, I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

**press sample** **affiliate links**

A Simply Elegant Manicure Featuring Zoya

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Accent nails aren't just for the weekends or for us polish fans. Accent nails can be elegant and can be worn by anyone, just about anywhere as this manicure featuring Zoya Dove shows.

This is Zoya Dove and an accent nail of China Glaze Glistening Snow. My top coat is Essie Good to Go Top Coat

Zoya Dove is a soft, balanced grey crelly. Perfectly opaque and smooth in two very pleasurable to apply coats, Dove smooths up the nail without streaking, pooling, running, dragging or bubbling. This polish self levels beautifully and with a fast dry top coat dries in good time. I had my Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler on under this manicure and I got a solid five days out of it. I almost fell over! My manicures almost never last that long. I've noticed that the ridge filler seems to help my polish hang in there a little longer. 

Or maybe I'm crazy. A distinct possibility. 

Sadly, China Glaze Glistening Snow is not easily available, any longer. However, if you like this look and were thinking of recreating it, any fine silver glitter polish that will get opaque in a couple of coats would do the trick. A foil, like Orly Shine or holo like ILNP Mega would be beautiful, too. 

What do you think, gentle reader? Do you like this polish combination? If grey and silver aren't your cup of tea, you could try pink and silver, pink and gold, red and gold, black and silver, green and... Well, you get the idea. 

Have you tried accent nails? Would you? If you haven't, I encourage you to try it. If you are into wearing accent nails, what are some of your favorite combinations? Have any I should try? 

**affiliate links**

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rituel De Fille for Gloss 48 First Impression

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Rituel De Fille is a new line to online indie beauty seller, Gloss 48Rituel De Fille was created to help you unleash your inner badass. I can dig that. I have two products from the line, and I'd like to share my first impression of them. Let's take a look, shall we?

The boxes and packaging are black, printed in silver and decorated with sprays of tiny silver stars. So pretty and delicately whimsical in a slightly hard bitten fashion.

Forbidden Lipstick in Written in Blood $18.00. ($23.00) Packaged in a slender, twist up tube, this is a matte, beautifully balanced, flattering true red. This lipstick applies and wears much prettier than it swatches. Really! I have it on my lips to test the wear and comfort level, as I am typing this and it's so pretty! I dabbed it on, then smoothed it gently into place with my finger and oh, my gosh, gentle reader. My lips look bitten. As if I've been kissing. Bee stung, in the best way. Comfort is okay for my sensitive lips. 

Inner Glow Cream Blush in Desire, $20.00. ($24.00) This soft, creamy blush is encased in a round black plastic mirrored compact. This blush is a gentle nude/pink shade that is very subtle when applied to the cheeks. I think it would be very pretty for Spring and Summer with a tinted moisturizer for that no makeup makeup look that everyone is so hot for, right now. This blush is very smooth and works easily into the skin. 

So, have you tried anything from Rituel De Fille? Are you a Gloss 48 Shopper? What are your faves? The Rituel De Fille goodies are on sale until February 1st 2015. So hurry to take advantage of the lower prices. 

Check out Gloss 48 and follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

**press sample** **affiliate links**

Friday, January 23, 2015

Say Goodbye to Flat Hair with Voloom!

#voloom #iFbboMember  **press sample** **affiliate links**

The Voloom Hair Volumizing Iron is the first ever of it's kind. This patented heat styling tool was created solely to impart volume and lift to your hair! Not a straightener, not a curling iron, this breakthrough design is unlike anything you have ever tried, before.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Six Beauty Goals for 2015

My Beauty Resolutions Goals for 2015 are simple and straightforward.

Gentle reader, I don't do resolutions... I find them too easy to brush off and to break. It is far too easy to open my hand and let them fly off into the wind like dandelion fluff. Goals, I find a little harder to ignore. Goals just feel more reachable, for me. So goals, it is. 

What are my beauty goals for 2015?

1. More Masking! I am pretty damned good about my skin care; I cleanse, never sleep in my makeup, use serums like I am getting paid for it, I moisturize like a fiend and I try to protect my skin from the sun. Where I fall down on the job is masking. I know that masking can infuse more moisture into my maturing, very dry skin helping it to look and feel better. 

2. Finally Find a Holy Grail Under Eye Corrector! Dark circles are an unavoidable part of my life. I have fair skin, it is thin, maturing and dry under my eyes. I endure year round allergies, acute migraines and crappy sleep patterns. My dark circles aren't going anywhere. Creams, vitamins, gallons of water, more sleep... Nothing banishes those suckers. But I know. I just know that there is a corrector/brightener out there, somewhere that can cover them up, brighten them up and help me look better and feel better about myself and less self conscious. 

3. Wear Colourful Eye Shadow More Often! I own a shit ton of neutral eye shadows and gentle reader, I am not finished buying more. I am a sick, sick, addicted woman and I can't lay off the eye shadows. It is what it is. I'm okay with it. Sprinkled in among all of those glorious neutrals I love so are beautiful colours. Some brights, a handful of glowing jewel tones. I think I even have a few that would qualify as Marsala! I really do like the colourful shadows I have and I want to utilize them more often. While I will never be the Phyrra of the makeup world... And let's face it, who else could be! I have been inspired by her beautiful and bold eye shadow looks to branch out more and wear more colour. 

4. Play with False Lashes More Often! I have several pairs of beautiful and wearable false lashes languishing in my makeup case. I did manage to wear one pair, late last year and I really did enjoy them! I need to break them out and use them more often.

5. Do More Nail Art! I enjoy doing nail art. However I am not all that talented at it. And... I'm a lazy slag. And, often, when I do actually get going on my nails, I over do it and it isn't so much art as hot mess. If you search "Nail Art" on this blog, you will see pathetically few posts on the subject, considering that this was, for years, a nail polish blog! I can dot. Stamp. Paint little impressionist roses and leaves. I have guide tapes, and shapes, even some stones and decals. I just need to haul them out and use them. 

6. Pamper My Hair Back! My poor hair has been through it, in the last year and a bit. It is beginning to come back, slowly but steadily. However, I have grown careless, I have been heat styling too much on top of having colour and blonde done and in addition to everything else it has been through, it is in dire need of more pampering, more moisture treatments, more gentle care and less heat, less stress. It's going to be so hard to not reach for my flat iron as often. So. Hard. Help Me! 

Oh! I just thought of another one! Buy and Start Using Lip Liner! Not just the clear barrier pencil I swear by and love almost as much as I do my only child, but lip liners that will coordinate with my various lipsticks and glosses. I have stubbornly resisted their use, as I have never realy liked them but... It's time. My lips, while still looking pretty decent, no longer have that firm, crisp line that they used to. They are beginning to, for lack of a better word, sag a little bit and I think that using lip liners, especially with more deeply pigmented lip colours will help me to wear them more successfully. 

So, there it is, gentle reader. My six... No. Seven Beauty Goals for 2015. I can hit these, without too much trouble. And I think that I am going to enjoy doing it! 

Do you have any beauty resolutions or goals for this new year? Are there things that you want to improve, change, start or stop? Please share in a comment. Inspire me. Inspire your fellow readers. Inspire yourself. 

This is a collaborative post in concert with other bloggers of The Beauty Council. Please don't forget to scroll down and check out my fellow Beauty Council bloggers and their Beauty Resolutions posts.