China Glaze All Aboard Swatches and Review

Well. That was a busy weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you know what part of my weekend was spent doing. I'm tired and I'm happy to have a new week begin. Maybe I can relax a little.

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Today I have some China Glaze fun for you. I told myself no more buying entire collections unless they are quite exceptional. well, guess what? Yeah. 

I decided to do something different, for me. I usually only post one or two polishes at a time or I hit you full on with the whole bunch, at once. This time I broke this review in half. The shimmers and the cremes and glitter. Today, I am sharing with you the shimmers. All polishes are swatched over China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat and topped with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Let's get this journey started, shall we?

First of all, Lug Your Designer Baggage because I'm not carrying it for you! 

Rich slightly greyed down brown crelly packed with gold flakies give your nails a luxe finish in just two easy coats. 

Hey, where are you going? Bar car? I'd like a martini, please. Vodka. Up. Big. Very dry, three olives. Oh and when you change cars remember to Mind the Gap! And don't spill my drink... Mmmkay?

This delicate semi sheer chartreuse shimmer is infused with gold and blue shimmer. Jelly like base with a lot of shimmer dust, this polish is a bit persnickety to handle. It doesn't like to be over worked; if you even think about it, it will drag a bald spot. Don't believe me? Look at my ring nail! Otherwise it didn't give me much trouble. Just be deft with it. This is three coats.

Why so blue Darling? Don't you know that always, always, I Choo-Choo-Choose You?

This is the polish in this collection that everyone is so ga-ga over and I can see why. Gentle reader, this polish is gorgeous. This dusty purple crelly with a shimmering green to gold duochrome shift is just the kind of thing I like to wear on my nails. This swatch is three easy, smooth coats. This polish is a hot ticket! I suggest that if you like what you see, you get one, toot-toot-suite! 

Hey you! Yes, you! Nice Caboose

Even nicer than the nicest caboose is this juicy deep raspberry pink jelly glowing with fuchsia shimmer and silver flakies. Well... There were supposed to be flakies. They were all at the bottom of the bottle and precious few landed on my nails. I think that had the flakies done their job, this polish would have been elevated from pretty to pretty spectacular. The formula is great, tho. Two easy-peasy coats did the trick. 

Conduct Yourself . I was just having a little fun! Railroad officials, these days... Take their jobs so seriously. 

How do you like chocolate plummy goodness with a hidden pink shimmer that fires in bright light? This rich, delicious creme is flawless in two dreamy coats. 

Uh-oh! Someone was running late. There's a man running alongside yelling to the conductor to Stop That Train! 

A bright orange-red metallic with gold shimmer that in my own opinion doesn't quite go with this collection. It is definitely the outlier of the bunch. Beautiful but... A strangeling. This polish was perfect in two easy coats. If your nails are ridgey, save yourself some grief, use a good ridge filler. 

So, there we go. The shimmery half of the China Glaze All Aboard Collection for Fall, 2014. See anything you like? Anything you already own? If you are in to them, they are available at Ulta, online and in store, from Amazon (that is where I got mine), Sally Beauty Supply and various other beauty supplies and retailers that carry China Glaze. 

Stay tuned for the cremes and glitter. And until we meet again, travel safe!
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The Beauty Council: Beauty Products I am Thankful For

Thanksgiving is upon us, here in the U.S. and The Beauty Council bloggers are presenting our lists of the beauty bounty for which we are thankful. What products made my list? Please read on:

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First on my list is my new foundation love, IT Cosmetics CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation SPF 50. I was extremely skeptical when I bought this foundation of it working for me but I decided to take a chance and this foundation has become my new even out my skin tone love. Bonus, chemical free SPF 50. 

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer. I have this in two shades. It isn't perfect but it's a heck of a lot better than anything else I've tried. I get enough correction and concealment of my insane dark circles that I feel okay stepping out the door. 

The Beauty Blender. The best makeup application sponge. I have tried others, they are okay but in my opinion, the Beauty Blender is the best. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe. This pencil is my holy grail create my brows item. I lost an eyebrow in an accident when I was a child and there was some question as to whether or not it would grow back. It did. All kinds of wrong! Over the years I have tried many ways to get two brows that look as if they belong on the same face. The only thing that works is to pluck both down to nearly nothing then recreate them from the ground up. It is a royal pain in my ass and yes, I live with obviously drawn on brows but the alternatives left me really looking like a freak. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. Hello transformation in a compact! This powder is light as air, soft as an angel's kiss and when applied with a big, soft brush smooths, softens, diffuses and gently brightens all in one sweep. It is not drying, it doesn't settle into my pores or fine lines and wrinkles, it sets my foundation and makes my skin look better. It's spendy but I feel that it is worth every penny. 

Alterna Repair Rx Re-Texturizing Protein Cream. When I want to smooth frizz, amp up shine, fake a flat iron job after blowing my hair dry, I reach for this product. It also makes for glossy, smooth curls and helps with heat styling. It's expensive but a little goes a long way. I'm still using the same tube I bought over a year ago and have a lot left. 

Alterna Bamboo Beach Summer Ocean Waves Tousled Texture Spray. This little bottle of delicious, Summer candy scented magic is the only product I have ever used that can tame my crazy hair and let  me wear my natural wurls. If Alterna ever discontinues this, I will cry into my pillow, every night. 

Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover. Why? Why did I ever use my little sample of this product? It. Is. So. Splendid. Removes even the heaviest eye makeup, liner and mascara easily, doesn't sting or irritate my very sensitive eyes, doesn't leave an oily residue on my eyeballs or skin and it smells like roses. 

Philosophy Purity Made Simple . My holy grail facial cleanser. I run out of this, try others, am happy enough, for a while then go running back to Purity. Every time. This cleanser just meshes with my skin. It cleanses beautifully, doesn't sting my eyes and it doesn't strip my dry skin. I just love this stuff. 

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. This is another product that pulls me back if I stray away to try something else. I usually just get the original, in the blue pack. I enjoy the Night Calming and the Hydrating just fine but the good old Original is my bestie. I don't use these to remove eye makeup. I have yet to meet a makeup wipe that can remove eye makeup to my satisfaction. But these are tops for the rest of my face. Confession: I will sometimes remove my eye makeup, grab a couple of wipes, cleanse with the wipes, slap on my serum and moisturizers and call it good. #lazyoldslag I can get away with this as these wipes cleanse so well and I am not breakout prone. 

Those are the ten beauty products for which I am most thankful, at this time. I say at this time because as any beauty lover knows all too well, things can change, often just by trying something new. 

You know what, I did forget one very important product! If you read here with any regularity, you know what it is. Good old Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. The best. The top coat of top coats. 

So... Eleven! Eleven fantastic products that work so well, make me happy and feel good when I look in the mirror. 

Do you have holy grail getting gorgeous products for which you are thankful? Please do tell. And don't forget to visit my fellow Counselors! Their links are below. 

Thank you for reading and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating. If not, have a beautiful day! 
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For Soft, Touchable Tresses...

If there is one thing I have learned from being a blonde by choice for so many years is that caring for my tresses is crucial. Depending on how you take care if it, chemical blonde hair can either look great or trashed and it is a very fine line between the two. 

Lightening hair from dark to pale is a perilous, damaging process. I don't care what products you use, whether you do it at home or have it done in a salon, the procedure is the same: The natural pigment must be stripped from the hair with bleach and peroxide then a new tone deposited onto the hair. This is a harsh and hostile thing to do to your hair, making it prone to stretching, split ends and breakage. It also dulls the shine and can make it feel rough to the touch. 

As a chemical blonde, I struggle with the side effects of the things I have to do to my hair to have my chosen colour. What do I do to keep my blonde hair healthier looking, shinier and touchably soft? I have an arsenal of hair care products at my fingertips but one of the most effective techniques I practice is the simplest. I oil it!

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I like to oil my hair both before and after I wash it. My pre wash oil treatment is always an overnight process. One oil I love to use is Derm Organic Pure Argan Oil. I also enjoy coconut oil; my personal favorite is Spectrum Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil. I also really dig Jojoba Oil. Which is not really an oil but is a natural plant wax. Not only is jojoba great for your hair, it is fantastic for skin and cuticles, as well. 

To deep oil my hair, I brush it smooth then put a small pool of oil in the palm of my hand (if I am using coconut oil, I melt a marble sized ball between my palms), rub my hands gently together then work the oil through my hair, concentrating on my length and ends but not neglecting my crown, roots and scalp. If I need a little more oil, I get more, work it in until my hair is evenly coated but not saturated or dripping. Then I brush or comb my hair, gather it on top of my head in a coiled bun anchored with a couple of little jaw claws. (When my hair is longer, I braid it.) I lay a soft cloth over my pillowcase to keep it clean, then I sleep with the oil in my hair. 

In the morning, I wash, doing one good shampoo. As long as I didn't over oil, one shampooing is all that is necessary and doesn't strip my hair, negating the benefits of the oil treatment. I then condition as normal, add a little leave in, blot my hair and...

Oil it, again! 

For my post wash oiling I use either my usual natural oil or I'll grab an oil/silicone mix hair treatment like One 'N Only Argan Oil Treatment or Moroccan Oil  (the two are basically the same thing) or something similar and put a small amount in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and work it through my damp length and ends. If I have any left on my hands, I'll smooth it over my crown and roots. If you have oily hair, you can skip that last part. Comb, dry and style. Or wet bun it and let the oil and moisture deeply infuse my strands. As long as I don't overdo it, my hair never looks or feels "greasy" but it feels soft and shinier and better conditioned when I use oils consistently. 

If you haven't tried oiling your hair, I encourage you to give it a go. You don't have to go out and buy a bunch of spendy, specialty oils to start.  Just look in your kitchen cabinet! Do you have a bottle of olive oil? Some walnut or other light nut oil? A jar of coconut oil? Even a good, light weight vegetable oil will work. Grab that bad boy, pour a little out into a non breakable container with a tight fitting lid and take it into the bathroom and experiment. Even if you overdo it or it turns out that you don't like oiling your hair, no harm. All you have to do it wash it! And, you never know... You may really love it. And then go buy a bunch of oils just for your hair. 

Do you oil your hair? Do you have any favorite oils that you like to use on a regular basis? If you haven't oiled your hair, before do you think that you'd like to try it? Please share. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, I'll help if I can. 
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Orly Mirrorball

Hello gentle reader.

The Orly Sparkle Collection for Holiday, 2014 is quite a stunner. So much so that I bought all six. Today, I am sharing one with you.

Orly Mirrorball is an incredibly beautiful slightly blue tinted silver linear holographic with tiny holographic glitter pieces mixed in. The sparkle and rainbow effect from that combination is simply magical. This polish shines, dances, sparkles and glows, all at once. It is amazing.

This manicure is two coats of Orly Mirrorball over base coat and Barielle ridge filler topped with Seche Vite. My photographs don't do this polish justice, but I tried.

Indoors, under my lights.

Outdoors in the sun.

And one more in the sun.

You really need to put this on your nails and let it enchant you in person to get the full effect. Trust me, that is a feat of which it is fully capable.

The formula on Orly Mirrorball is just as fabulous as the polish is gorgeous. Smooth, jelly, easy to apply, it sits down where it is placed, slinks up the nail and self levels like a dream. I didn't experience any difficulty with running, pooling, bubbling or dragging. I only had to do fussbudget refining cleanup. Top coat (I use Seche Vite) doesn't dull the holo. Don't hesitate to apply it for maximum sparkle and shine.

Dry time isn't super fast, even with Seche Vite, I needed to be a little patient with this baby but it was worth the extra dry time. Wear time is pretty good. I smashed my left middle nail into my chair arm and chipped my polish (I smacked the nail so hard, I'm lucky I didn't break it!) but the rest of my nails, on day three of this manicure are looking fine.

What do you think of Orly Mirrorball? Isn't it gorge? Did you get it, yet? Plan to? Please do tell.

Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette for Holiday, 2014

Hello gentle reader.

Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette. Hello gorgeous! You know how sometimes you see something that you don't need but you need? That is what happened when I was drifting around on the Sephora website, one day and I saw this cheek palette. It was a "Come to Mama" moment. And I didn't hesitate.

I have to admit, one of the first things to attract me was the packaging. Look at it. Look at it! The sleek, clean, sharp palette embellished with the frosted illusion Laced with Edge special edition design. As pretty as it is in photographs, it is even prettier in person. The palette feels cool, smooth as glass and weighty in the hand, almost as if it is made of ice. Lovely.

Pop open the top of the Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette and inside the lid is a full sized mirror for your primping pleasure. In the body of the palette, laid out almost Mondrian style are three blush shades, a highlight and a bronzer. There is Lady Liberty, a sheer, golden champagne highlight. I think that technically it is a blush but... It's a highlight! Below that is Sex Fantasy. Beside that is Final Cut and above that is Deep Throat. To the side is Laguna bronzer.

Laguna bronzer is 0.35 oz. A full size Laguna, sold separately is 0.28 oz. so, the bronzer in this palette is a little larger. Right? (It hurts to be this brilliant, let me tell ya.)
The blushes and highlight are 0.15 oz each. Just the tiniest bit smaller than the full size individual blushes that weigh in at 0.16 oz each.

The Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette sells for $65.00. Not cheap but, when you consider how much beautiful product you get, its a bargain! Think about it... I was going to buy the three blush colours in this palette, separately and I was seriously considering the Laguna bronzer, as well. That purchase would have cost me $128.00. If I had skipped the bronzer, I'd still be out $90. for the three blushes and I wouldn't have the bronzer or the highlighter.

More Beauty Blogger Math. Because sometimes we just need a little enabling.

A little swatch action. Miss Liberty is a barely visible, golden champagne shimmer. So beautiful as a highlight. Sex Fantasy is a cool, lilac/pink matte. Deep Throat is a beautiful coral with a gold shimmer. Final Cut is a juicy, warm matte orange. Laguna Bronzer is a very shimmery light golden tan brown.

In case you were wondering, Deep Throat and Orgasm (one of my all time favorite blushes) are not dupes. Deep Throat is coral and gold shimmer, Orgasm is more a pink leaning peach with a stronger gold presence, especially in the sun. Both gorgeous! Not dupes.

In this photograph, I am wearing Nars Final Cut blush and Miss Liberty highlight. I love how that very orange in the pan blush buffed down to a very flattering, natural looking flush on my fair skin. Miss Liberty adds light and emphasizes the high points of my face but doesn't make me overly shiny or sparkly. Mmm! I just love it. 

The quality of Nars blushes is first rate. They are pigmented, smooth and easy to work with. A small amount is needed to add a beautiful flush to the cheeks. There is a little bit of dust kicked up when the brush hits the powder cake but it isn't a huge amount and quite frankly, the blush performs so beautifully, I don't care. A quick blow and the dust is gone. No biggie. 

The Laguna bronzer is a bit gorgeously ridiculous. Smooth, creamy and pigmented, it is a beautiful, warm tan brown with a lot of gold shimmer. This bronzer is not appropriate for my colouring, this time of year as I am pretty pale but I think, come Summer, when I get a little natural colour and I use a little sunless tanner, it will be a lovely addition to my routine. I can see it on my eyes, as a highlight, on my chest, collarbones and so on. 

I love my Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette. It is packed with gorgeous cheek colours, is a terrific value and it is a makeup item I reach for frequently and really enjoy using. If you are a Nars collector or if you don't have many Nars cheek colours and would like to try more and don't want to break the bank, you could do a lot worse than this beautiful and highly functional palette. If you do want it, get it, while you can. This is a Limited Edition and once it's gone, it's gone. 

Do you own this cheek palette? What do you think of it? Do you like it as much as I do? Do you own these colours individually and wear and love them? Please do tell. 

Hourglass Indestructible Matte Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Hello gentle reader.

This is more of a first impression type of thing than a full on review.

Hourglass Indestructible Matte Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick is an Hourglass product I am not so sure about. Do I love it? Do I not? I don't know...

I bought this teeny-tiny luxe looking travel sized tube (I love that even the minis have gorgeous packaging!) of the Hourglass Indestructible Matte Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick when I placed a recent Sephora order. I have read a lot of reviews and I needed to try it so I bought the mini. It was only ten dollars and I could choose between Icon, their signature red and Canvas, a soft, rose beige.

Inside the tube is a velvety, extremely flexible elongated applicator. It can apply a very precise line and also fill in the lips quickly and smoothly. Once I got the feel for it, I really liked it.

A quick swatch of the Hourglass Indestructible Matte Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick. It is a thick, creamy smooth, densely pigmented formula that starts out glossy and dries down matte. While it dries quickly enough that you aren't sitting around all day, waiting for it to set, there is plenty of time to work with it before it does. 

On my lips you can see the colour and finish better than the swatch. I applied this thicker, at first and it was just too heavy and sticky. I didn't like how it looked or felt so I blotted off the excess and used my finger to smooth and even it out and once it set, I liked it much better. 

The finish is matte and velvety soft, like a young rose petal. It remains flexible and fairly comfortable. There is a tiny bit of tack when I press my lips together but it doesn't stick, grab or pull apart. It is definitely different. The texture and wear are something to which I am not at all accustomed but it is certainly not unpleasant. I love that this lipstick, once in place doesn't move. It barely transfers, it doesn't run up into the little lines around my lips, I don't have to worry about it. 

Removal is... A bit of a bear. I used a makeup remover wipe to take off the bulk of the colour then I used some balm and a Q-Tip to finish cleaning off my lips to ready them for another lippie. 

I really like Canvas. I think that it works with my skin tone. The formula is densely pigmented enough to stand up against my naturally red lips, even when applied in a very thin layer. I love that it doesn't move or crawl all over my face. I need to wear it more to determine if I am going to want a full size tube. We'll see. So far, I like but I am happy that I am working with a mini, at this point. I'm still not sure if I want to commit to a full size. 

Have you tried the Hourglass Indestructible Matte Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick? What do you think of it? If you would like to grab one to try, they have a full sized tube available in nine beautiful shades for $28.00 and the mini travel sized tube available in two shades for $10.00. I am seriously tempted to pick up the mini in Icon, next time. That red... It's calling my name. 

Bargain Beauty Find! Milani Anti Feathering Lip Liner

Hello gentle reader.

As you probably know, I am fifty. Yep. Fifty.

One lovely thing about getting older is all of the wonderful lines and wrinkles that come with the passage of time. Especially those adorable, tiny vertical lines that radiate out from your lips... Those are simply the best! They sure make wearing lip products, especially gloss and dark lipstick just so super fun. There is nothing like applying your lippie and looking in the mirror an hour or so later to see it climbing off of your lips, into those lines and forming a lippie-coloured halo around your mouth. Sooo attractive! Sooo youthful!

Happily, there is a product that can help. Clear barrier lip liner pencils are a boon to us 40 - 50+ somethings. They help to corral your lip colour and keep it from crawling all over your face. Today, I wish to share my current favorite barrier pencil, the Milani Anti Feathering Lip Liner. This five dollar wonder is available from the Milani website and wherever you buy Milani in your area.

The packaging is bare bones drugstore card and blister pack. The pencil is a basic, wood pencil painted in glossy black and trimmed and printed in gold. My only gripe with this pencil is that it has to be sharpened. I hate having to waste perfectly good product in the process of sharpening a pencil! And as this is a soft pencil, it requires frequent sharpening.

The Milani Anti Feathering Lip Liner is a soft, white, waxy pencil that applies clear, forming a nearly invisible barrier or "dam" around the lip line to help fill in those tiny lines and hold lip colour in place.

This pencil can also be applied all over the lips as a primer to help lip colour last a little longer. I don't use it in this capacity as my lips don't like it. But, they are a picky pain in my ass, so don't listen to them. Try it for yourself.

As you can see in this macro shot, my lips were pretty heavily lined with this pencil and it is barely visible. You can't see it at all at a casual distance. I am wearing an intensely pigmented lip paint in this photograph and it had been on for about an hour or so when I snapped this shot. There is only the teeniest bit of bleed, at my cupid's bow on one side but for the most part, it didn't jump the barrier and slither all over the place.

I have found that I get the best result if I stretch my lips into a wide, horizontal "smile" then draw the liner just outside my vermilion line, pressing a bit to get it into those lovely little lines of mine then gently pat-pat-pat to kind of set it into place. Then I go over it, again. I relax my mouth, apply my lip colour and if it is a very intense shade, like the lip paint above, I'll run over the line one more time, just to be safe. I will often carry this with me when out and about to refresh and keep my lip line clean and crisp. Getting older is a lot of work, gentle reader.

I like the Milani Anti Feathering Lip Liner. I have been through a couple of them and will continue to buy them as long as Milani makes them. They are, at only five dollars a piece, a terrific Bargain Beauty Find.

Have you tried the Milani Anti Feathering Lip Liner? What did you think of it? Do you have a tried and true method to prevent lip colour bleed? Please do tell.

November Ipsy Bag

Hello gentle reader.

So... My November Ipsy Bag.

This month's theme is Girl Meets Glitter. Did this girl meet glitter in her Ipsy bag?

Observe. Oh, I got that glittery vinyl bag... I don't hate it. It's actually super sparkly in the right light.

Inside I had a tiny tube of  Sea Rx Skincare Birchsap Moisture Lotion. It was okay... Smelled lovely and was surprisingly moisturizing. My hands liked it. Sadly, there was only about three uses in that teeny-tiny tube. At $32.00 for a full size, I'll stick to my tried and true Curel.

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray. This is a purse size can. It's not too bad. I like a lightweight, non sticky, non gunky hairspray that is either scent free or smells good. This one stacks up. I tossed the can in my handbag for windy day emergency hair fixes. I won't buy the full size, I love my old faithful.

Starlooks Gem Pencil Eye Liner Pencil in Ultra Olive. I was so excited about this shimmery, golden olive liner pencil. It is so smooth, creamy and it applies a beautiful line nearly effortlessly. Tragically, it doesn't set and transfers badly. I have hooded eyes, I can't have a liner that transfers. I'm really bummed about this one.

J Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in Mad Splatter. Boy, do I like the colour of this lippie! It is a cool, juicy pink-berry red. This stuff needs to be applied extremely carefully, with a brush. Don't put on too much or it will travel all over your face! I also used my barrier pencil with this to keep it corralled. I wore it for about an hour, it didn't really jump my clear liner and it didn't feel very drying. It stains lips and skin and it wrecked my favorite concealer brush. Now lip brush. This full sized tube will last a long, long, long time!

 IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Natural Medium. When I saw the box, I was highly annoyed. I thought for sure it would be way too dark from the shade indicator on the box but it turned out to be the right shade to work with my fair skin and to help further correct my Dark Circles From Hell. I will most likely buy this in the full size, once this travel size tube is gone.

Swatches of the IT concealer, the Starlooks liner and the J Cat Lip Paint.

J Cat Lip Paint in Mad Splatter lip swatch. Applied very precisely and with a light hand.

I am not supah-thrilled with this Ipsy bag... Not totally pissed at it. I do feel let down by Ipsy's shilling. They Instagram and Facebook photos of Ipsy bags with Laura Mercier, Nicole by OPI polish and other pretties I would love but I get... This. I seem to be on the Boring Bag List and I can't get off of it, no matter what reviews I give or how I tweak my preferences. I think I'm going to cancel. I'm over it. Maybe I'll get the December bag. I don't know. I have a few days to decide before the next one is ready to go.

If you want to try Ipsy, sign up is free, the bags are ten dollars a month, shipping is free of charge. If you do sign up, they will put you on a wait list. There should be a link to an option to get off the wait list, right away. No sense waiting around for your stuff. I just hope that you do better than I have.

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? Are you happy with the contents? Over it, as I am? Please do tell.

Easy Holiday Glamour with Esqido Little Black Lashes

:press sample: :affiliate:
Hello gentle reader.

The holiday season is upon us. The hustle, the hurry. Shopping, cooking, baking, parties and gatherings. The whirl can be overwhelming. In the midst of the busy days and festive evenings, we want to look our very best. My favorite holiday makeup look is a classic, neutral eye paired with a great red lip. It's a look that works for just about everyone and is easy to pull off. Especially when you add beautiful, natural looking false eye lashes as a finishing touch.

Esquido Mink Collection false lashes are some of the most luxurious, natural looking false lashes on the market. Fashioned from naturally shed mink hairs affixed to soft, pure cotton bands, these lashes are long lasting; they are made to be worn again and again, up to twenty-five times with proper care and storage. Lightweight and soft, they are comfortable enough to wear all day or all night long.

Esqido lashes come to you in a lightweight snake skin look paperboard presentation box with a flip top lid that has a magnetic closure.

Inside, the ESQIDO mink eye lashes rest securely on their plastic mounts. I received the Little Black Lash to try. These are Esqido's most natural looking false lashes and, I think my favorites.

I followed the application instructions after watching a few YouTube videos to refresh my lash application know how. I suppose I need to confess here that it has been a long while since I last wore false lashes and the experience wasn't the happiest one... Which was probably why I have been avoiding them, since.

I found these lashes to be easy to work with. The bands are soft and flexible but not floppy, they went on without too much drama or fuss. Removal wasn't bad, I used a Precision Tip Q-Tip with eye makeup remover on it and they came right off. Cleaning the glue off was a bit of a pain but not too bad. I lost a few lashes in that process. I need to be a little more careful, next time I use these, as I want them to last the maximum number of uses possible.

Once I had them cleaned off and sanitized with a little alcohol on the bands, I let them dry and tucked them securely back in their little case and put them away. I'm already trying to decide when I'm going to next wear them.

My eyes, with no false lashes. Just a generous coat of mascara. I have pretty respectable lashes, not outrageous but not too bad. Having hooded eyes really overshadows them.

With Esqido Little Black Lashes. I love how these lashes add a bit more length, a bit of volume but they aren't "too much." My application is a bit off. I did okay with the right lash but the left ended up a little too far over toward the outside corner of my eye. But it isn't drastic. I think, for not having handled lashes for so long, I didn't do too bad a job. I'll get better with more practice.

Full face, no lashes. #wethairdon'tcare My eye look is from my Urban Decay Vice 3 palette. On my cheeks, Nars Final Cut, lip colour is Hourglass Canvass.

You think I'm going to... Cook? Yeah. Right. Full face with the Little Black Lashes and I changed my lip colour to Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Pomegranate. Hair dry, up in an easy twist anchored with some old favorite hair sticks. With simple, elegant jewelry, all I need do is change my outfit and I am ready for anything.

I just love the way that these lashes look! They give me the extra lash oomph I crave but they aren't overwhelming. Not too long or too thick. Huge lashes just aren't my personal style. I love how they look on other people but on me, I feel that they are ridiculous. The Esqido Little Black Lash is exactly what I like. Have I mentioned how soft these lashes are? They are. Soft. The hairs feel almost as soft as my own natural lashes. They are not stiff or staring and while they have a natural gloss, they are not artificially shiny or "doll lash" like.

Something else I like about this particular style is that I can wear them with my glasses and don't have any annoying bumping and swishing up against the lenses.

Okay, let's talk price. At $34.00 these lashes are not inexpensive. I get that they may be a bit spendy for everyday wear. But for a special occasion; a wedding, a holiday get together, an anniversary dinner or a night out with your special someone, these lashes will make you look and feel beautiful and special. They are, in my opinion, worth the splurge. I would definitely treat myself to a new pair, when these are past their life cycle. I don't wear lashes often so they will last me a long time. And, if I break it down, these lashes cost just $1.36 per wearing, if they last the full twenty-five uses. So really, the price is pretty reasonable.

You can buy Esqido Mink Collection Lashes here. Styles range in length and thickness from the subtle, elegant Little Black Lash for $34.00 to the full on glamazon Amp it Up for $42.00. There is a style to suit every false lash lover and every occasion.

You can follow Esqido on their social networks: Like them on Facebook, follow on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Google+.

Have you tried the Esqido Little Black Lash? Any other Esqido lash style? Think that you might? Which is your favorite? Please share.
:press sample: :affiliate:

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask Review

Hello gentle reader.

I received a sample jar of the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask in a recent Ipsy bag and I gave it a go. I thought that I'd share my thoughts on this deep conditioner with you.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask is packaged in a 5.25 ounce jar and retails for $26.00 on their website.

What Briogeo says about their deep conditioning mask:

Fortified with ultra-hydrating avocado, sweet almond & argan oils, strengthening keratin protein, power-conditioning rosehip oil, soothing aloe, and super hair-essential vitamins B5, D, A, E and biotin.  This unique complex of targeted ingredients helps increase hair elasticity and moisture to prevent breakage, promotes healthy shine and luster, and replenishes strength.  
Who it's for:  Those suffering from dry, damaged, breaking or lifeless hair, often caused by chemical or color treatments, heat tools, or climate changes.
What it does:  Delivers an optimal blend of transformative hair nutrients, such as b-vitamin complex, rosehip & avocado oils, collagen, and silk to restore and replenish damaged hair to a shiny, healthy & lustrous state.
In a blind clinical trial study:

- 80% of women reported a noticeable improvement in the hydration of their hair
- 90% of women reported they would use the product in the future or recommend it to a friend

Cruelty-free. Gluten-free.

What I say:

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask is a thick cream conditioner that didn't spread easily or smoothly through my hair. It took the entire contents of the one ounce sample jar to evenly coat my just below shoulder length, no so thick hair. Once my hair was coated, I ran my fingers through it and encountered a lot of resistance. There was just no slip with this mask in my hair. I clipped my hair up, saw to the remainder of my showerly duties, leaving it in a good while then rinsed. This conditioner rinses quickly and easily.

After rinsing, my hair didn't feel sleek or slippy, wet comb out was very poor. My hair felt very grabby and tangly. No bueno! For a chemical blonde, grabbing and tugging leads to splitting and breakage. I let my hair air dry with no leave in or other treatments. My hair dried pouffy, tangly, straw like and staring. There was some shine near the crown, where my hair is less damaged but there was absolutely no improvement in the overall condition or feel of my hair. 

This mask didn't work for me. I had hope that it would be great but sadly, my hair just didn't like it. 

I know that a lot of people absolutely adore this deep conditioner. I have read lots of rave reviews. If you would like to try it for your yourself, you can find Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask on their website. Briogeo will be launching with Sephora, soon, so I imagine that you'll be able to pick it up in their stores, too. 

Do you use and love this deep conditioner? Is there a deep conditioner that you love that I need to try? Please do tell. I like to try new things. 

Zoya Pixie Dust ~ Vega

Hello gentle reader.

Sometimes I just need to cover my nails with sparkle. Zoya Vega, one of their Pixie Dust polishes supplies plenty of that much desired sparkle with that matte factor that I have grown to enjoy. These polishes look like the surface of raw granite, broken open and exposed. That gritty quality, that sparkle that rises when the light hits it just right, that potential for polished, gleaming perfection suspended in a moment.

Zoya Vega is a slightly greyed blue with a hint of green. There are different size glitters in that sandy, dries matte base. The formula, while a bit grainy and oddly dry in a funny way none the less applies amazingly easily. Have plenty of the polish on the brush and it will sit down where it is placed, move up the nails without running, pooling or flooding the cuticles. This polish can drag, if overworked. Be deft applying each coat, wait a minute or two in between and it comes out beautifully. I had a perfect, uniform finish in two coats. I did little cleanup, thanks to how easily this polish applies.

Dry time isn't too bad. This polish dries to the touch fairly swiftly but it is still soft and vulnerable to marring until it cures. As I learned when I shot the above photograph and killed my thumbnail dragging it against one of my lamps. Want to know the good thing about polish like this? If you muck it up, it's easy to repair! I just pushed the polish back into place and smoothed it as best I could, grabbed the bottle, filled in a tiny bald spot, let it dry. Once or twice as the nail dried, I further smoothed the area, as it was a tad bumpy. I'm looking at my thumb nail right now and the only reason I can see the repair site is because I know precisely where it is.

I usually get several days out of Zoya Pixie Dust polishes before my nails decide that they have had enough and it starts to chip. That's fine, with me. By then, I'm about ready for a polish change, anyway.

Zoya Vega is available from the Zoya website and other retailers that carry Zoya polish.

Have you tried Zoya Vega or any other Pixie Dust polishes? How do you like them? What is your fave? Please do tell.

Paint Shop Polish Swatches and Review

Hello gentle reader.

:press sample: :affiliate:

Paint Shop Polish  is a new to me indie polish brand. Handcrafted, five free, and cruelty free, this brand features a variety of finishes including shimmers, semi matte, duochromes, toppers and of course, glitter fun.

I have three polishes from Paint Shop Polish to share with you, today. Let's take a look at them.

Naughty List.  5 mL Mini $6.00, 15 mL Full Size $10.50  A delicate, semi sheer blurple jelly with a beautiful pink and lavender shift depending on the light, is accented with tiny, scattered holographic sparks. This is three coats and top coat, over a clear base coat. It photographed a bit more translucent than it appears in person. I wore this swatch for four days, without wrapping my tips, I had only normal tip wear, no chips. I was seriously impressed with the way this ethereal polish wore for me!

Naughty List, one coat over Cult Nails Nakizzle's Shizzle, with top coat. This is a beautiful layering polish, as well. This polish applies like a dream, it sits sweetly down where it is placed, it doesn't run, streak, drag, pool or bubble. Dry time is respectable, especially with a good quick dry top coat. As I said earlier, I got very good wear time out of the swatch I test wore.

Hellcat 5 mL Mini $5.50 15 mL Full Size $10.00 This absolutely adorable black leopard feature glitter mix is a purrrfect accent to any creme or shimmer base colour you might choose to wear. I have swatched it over OPI Alpine Snow and topped it with Seche Vite. A clear base is swimming with matte black tiny, medium hex, jumbo rounds, random shreds and leopard shaped feature pieces. I am not the biggest fan of animal prints but I have to say, I love the way this looks. I didn't want to remove this swatch after I wear tested it!

Minted Mouse 5 mL Mini $5.50 15 mL Full Size $10.00 I squealed when I saw this simply darling glitter polish come rolling out of it's shipping cocoon. Mousies! Red and white mousies! And square and round and hex glitters in red and white. I admit it. I am a complete sucker for the cute. This is serious cute. I swatched this glitter over OPI Mod About You! and topped it all with Seche Vite.

Okay, gentle reader. We need to talk about the formula on these glitters. I had a bit of a time with them. I had to pull a lot of the polish out of the bottles with the brush and wand, clean it off onto a bit of foil and spend time painstakingly placing most of the glitter pieces onto my nails. I expect to have to fish for feature glitters like stars, hearts and so on but the background glitter should be easier to work with. It should load onto the brush and apply with little trouble, maybe a bit of patting and coaxing onto the nail. Just using the brush, I barely got any glitter at all and I think that was because these are mini bottles and the ratio of glitter to base is lower.

I strongly recommend that you buy full sized bottles of the glitters. In my experience, full sized bottles have more glitter to base and they are just easier to work with and apply. Otherwise, the formula was good. These glitters dry fast and wear well. They are smooth and glossy with just one generous coat of top coat.

Paint Shop Polish is a lovely indie brand. Pretty polishes, good formulas, five free and cruelty free and reasonable prices. I recommend them. I do suggest that glitters be purchased in full sized bottles for easiest application.

Follow Paint Shop Polish on Twitter and Like on Facebook for news you can use.

What do you think of Paint Shop Polish? Do you own any of their pretty polishes? See any that you might like to? Please do tell.
:press sample: :affiliate:

Holiday Gift Guide

Hello gentle reader.

The holiday season approaches and with it, the mad, mad, shopping season. I think it is safe to say that anyone clicking on and reading this blog is most likely interested, as I am, in receiving or treating one's self to getting gorgeous goodies. And, perhaps something beautiful to carry them in?

In this feature, I have included some of the beauty booty that is at the top of my holiday lust list. Spendy and a little more affordable. I am sharing eight of my dearest wishes to stock my makeup case and grace my arm.

My Holiday Gift Guide

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lip Colour Pink in Jungle $35.00

Are any of these pretties on your own Holiday Wish List? Feeling enabled?

If you are still making your list and checking it twice, please don't forget to visit my fellow Councillors for even more ideas. I know that I will be.