It's Time for the New Beauty Blog Hop Giveaway!

This giveaway is closed. Thank you all sooo much for entering and supporting our giveaway! I love you all. Stay tuned to my blog... More giveaways will be coming soon! 




Today I've teamed up with 16 fellow beauty bloggers to bring you a fast and furiously fun Fall Blog Hop GIVEAWAY! 

If you are unfamiliar with just what a blog hop is, it's simple. Each lady in the hop is giving away a beauty related prize in her own blog giveaway and all you have to do is enter my giveaway first (in the Rafflecopter widget, below) then, once you've finished entering my giveaway, you click the link provided for your ease and convenience to the next blog. Enter that giveaway and so on around until you complete the loop, landing right back here where you started, on my blog. That's all there is to it! Easy-Peasy! And because the loop is only seventeen blogs long, entering all of the giveaways will not take too long.

NOW FOR THE KICKER! 

Besides the chance to win 17 different new beauty prizes, after the Blog Hop Giveaway has ended and we've drawn the winners, ONE very lucky person from the pool of 17 winners will receive the GRAND PRIZE of a $300 gift card to their choice of Sephora or Ulta Beauty. Just think, three hundred clams to blow on some of those oh-so-coveted limited edition holiday beauty goodies. Yassss!



Remember: If you want to up your chance of winning that sweet, sweet shopping spree at either Sephora or Ulta Beauty, you must follow the rules carefully; be sure to jump to every blog in the the loop and enter all of the giveaways. Make sure that you follow all of the rules of every individual giveaway to avoid being disqualified. This giveaway loop will run for 2 weeks, ending on September 14th at 11:59 PM EST. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada. 

Are you ready to start hopping? Well, first things first -- You've gotta enter my giveaway!

The rules are simple: The giveaway runs in the time, stated above and is open to residents of the US and Canada. You must be 18 or older or have a parent's or legal guardian's permission to enter and give me your contact information. This is a one and done, if the prize is lost or damaged in the mail, no replacement will be made. No cash substitution is offered or implied. Any taxes, customs fees are the sole responsibility of the winner. This giveaway is void where prohibited by law. I will draw a winner at random at the close of the giveaway and contact the winner by e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If I don't hear from the winner by that time, a new winner will be drawn and contacted.

Enter by completing as many opportunities as you please, in the Rafflecopter widget below, after completing the mandatory entries. Please do not e-mail or put your entries in comments, as those entries will be voided. 

So, what am I giving away? Gorgeous skin care to nourish and protect your complexion now, and into the Fall. The winner of my giveaway will receive a brand new, full sized jar of StriVectin Repair & Protect Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This is a prize with a retail value of $89.00!



Fashion Flash is Live!

Welcome to another edition of Fashion Flash! This week is being hosted by the oh-so-fashionable Josephine at Chic at Any Age. Please pop over to enjoy a range of articles written by some of the best bloggers over forty. I hope that you enjoy this week's Fashion Flash and that you will join us again, next week!

Just Another Mani Monday Featuring OPI and China Glaze

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It's been a while since I've done a polish post so I thought it would be fun to share my current mani.

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I was in a bit of a dither over what to put on my nails, yesterday. I kept picking up this polish, that polish... Nothing really fired my desire. Until I ran across OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today. I have had this polish lurking around for... A couple of years and I've never worn it. I applied my usual base then smoothed on two easy coats of OPI Sorry I'm Fizzy Today and good old Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

Polish, pretty! Yesss! Take a closer look. Bubbles! Shit! I didn't feel like taking my polish off and starting over with a different colour so... Time to cover the bubbles. With what? Dots? Nah. Not in the mood. Stamping? Nope. Glitter? Yeah. Glitter is fast and easy. Glitter should work just fine. But which glitter? Back to the polish rack. This one? No. Won't work with my polish colour. This one? Nope. The formula is crap. So why is it still in my life? I need to deal with that. Later. Wait... There's that glitter I received in a holiday swap. What's it called, again? China Glaze Glitter Me This... Perfect. One coat of this gorgeous mix of tiny to large gold, white and pale pink hex pieces in a clear base. A perfect mate for the coral OPI creme.

Glitter Me This... went on very easily, I didn't have to fight with it and did minimal patting or placing. China Glaze does such good glitters. Another coat of Seche Vite and I was good to go. Sit down at my computer and edit photographs. Wanna know what I was working on? Stay tuned.

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Look ma! No bubbles! And sparkle! What more could a polish lover want?

Great... Fuzz in my picture. Why didn't I catch that in editing? Wait, it's not fuzz it's... Fine details. Yeah. That's what it is.

So, gentle reader, what's on your nails?

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Sample Saturday | Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Creme

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It is rare that I encounter an all skin types moisturizer that can stand up to my very dry skin and actually make it feel lovely and hydrated. Surprisingly, Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Creme is one of those rare moisturizers.

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A lightweight, unscented gel-creme that feels cooling, luxurious and silky; it spreads readily across my skin and drops in to provide hours and hours of hydration, plumps my skin and leaves it feeling velvety soft, smooth and comfortable. This moisturizer is free of chemical sunscreens. Each sip sized sachet packet is enough for one application, for me hairline to bustline.

My preferred use is for day, under makeup and it's especially nice after I've exfoliated or done a little peel as it is soothing and very gentle. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Creme is a lovely product and I now have a big jar of it on my Sephora Loves List to pick up in the near future.

Are you a fan of Clinique skin care? Have you tried the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel-Creme? If you're interested you can pick it up at SephoraNordstromMacy'sLord & Taylor and other fine retailers that carry Clinique.

Don't forget to use E-Bates and get paid to shop! Not yet a member? Just click the link to join for free and start getting cash back on online purchases.

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My Play! By Sephora Beauty Subscription Box for August | First Impressions

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So, it's nearing the end of August and I have my Play by Sephora box in my hot little hands and ready to share with my gentle readers. The theme for August is "The Eye Openers" and the contents is geared toward having fresher, prettier peepers.

Let's take a look at what's in da box, shall we?

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Let us keep to a natural progression and begin with skin care then work out, from there.

  • Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm: 0.5 oz. $62.00. Lift and lifting in the same name... Now, that's just bad staff work. I haven't tried anything Caudalie, before so I am excited to get into this stuff, soon but it needs to wait it's turn as I'm in deep with testing a different eye cream. 
  • Lancome Energie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer. 1.69 oz. $55.00 Try shoving that name into a tweet! There'd be no room for rants or raves. Or my link. I included a bit of this in my skin care-a-thon, last night. The thin, semi clear gel like fluid felt quite lovely going on; cool and refreshing and it has a light, fresh, pretty scent that doesn't linger much past application. Is my skin transformed? Yeah. I look like one of those Jenner chicks, now. 
  • Makeup For Ever Artist Eye Shadow Full Size $21.00. Want to know what is more frustrating than trying to explain algebra to me? Trying to sort out or find a specific shade in the MUFE number/letter system. I tried. I really did try to narrow down what shade my snack sized Artist Shadow is. There are now huge clumps of hair all around me and I'm six sheets to the wind. Okay... Maybe I'm exaggerating. A little bit. But damn! I never did find, I think it's 6P01? The shadow is a shimmery cocoa with a bit of a rosy undertone. Perfect for the upcoming Fall season. The texture is lovely and it swatched like a dream. 
  • Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12 Hour Waterproof $10.00. I received the shade Flirting Game, a shimmery taupe with a hint of gold fleck. I really dig this shade! The texture is smooth, creamy enough to swatch like a dream but not so soft that it falls apart or melts on contact. I wore the swatch around until I needed to wash my hands, again. It survived soap and water but once I dried my hands, it came away on my towel. I call that a winner... I don't wash my eyes multiple times a day in soap and hot water so I think that this will wear very nicely, even on my hooded eyes. 
  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara Full size is $22.00. I really, really, really like this mascara so I was thrilled to receive another sample. I've had snack sizes, a travel size that came in my Naked on the Run palette and I've purchased a full size. I like this formula in the full size but honestly, I prefer the snack size... I think it's just that little bit better. 
  • CLEAN Blonde Rose Eau de Parfum 3.4 oz. $90.00. I'm not so sure about this one. I like CLEAN fragrances, they are so fresh and lovely. Blonde Rose has notes that I love; Aldehydic Watery, Rose, Peony and Jasmine as well as musk. I'm okay with Sandalwood, as a supporting note but I'm not wild about Cedar. The top notes are pretty woody but once it dries down and the top notes fade the fragrance wears as a softly powdery floral with a warm hint of musk that I very much enjoy. 

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Swatches of the MUFE Artist Shadow and the Sephora Collection eye liner. Aren't they pretty? So wearable and easy. I'm going to enjoy these. 

What do I think of my Play! By Sephora Beauty Subscription Box, this month? It's a hit. I'm always down to try new skin care, the makeup items are beautiful, good quality; I will make good use of them and all are in contention for future full sized purchases. I'm not crazy go nuts for the fragrance and I wouldn't consider buying it.

Play! By Sephora Beauty Subscription Box is a very affordable $10.00 a month and it beats Ipsy all hollow, in my not so humble opinion. It's easy to sign up for however, there is a waiting list on which I had to languish for well over a month before I got my fist shipment in July. So far, I'm happy with this service so we will be carrying on, together. 

Are you subscribed to Play! By Sephora? What do you think of what you are receiving? If you haven't yet tried it, do you think that you will? Please do tell. 

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Madam C J Walker Beauty Culture Brassica Seed & Shea Oils Silkening Leave In and Blow Out Creme

 Every revolutionary step we take has been paved by trailblazing women before us. Madam C.J. Walker was a woman who lived with a vision that was beyond her time. America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam Walker defied history and expectations and built a global beauty empire that empowered women to be their best – while enriching communities across the nation through her generous philanthropy and activism. Whether you are building a business, getting an education, raising a family, ascending the corporate ranks, serving country and community through public office, the military, non-profits or volunteerism, or any combination of these and more – you are a Modern Day Madam…a woman defying the odds every day to create the life you desire.

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Inspired by the original Madam Walker, Madam C J Walker Beauty Culture is more than a brand, it is a legacy. Reimagined for modern beauties and our specific hair needs, these are performance driven products formulated with natural, high quality ingredients that deliver results and help us all to be unapologetic in the expression of our individual beauty.

I received two items from this line to try. I was encouraged to peruse the  Madam C J Walker Collection on Sephora's website and choose a couple of products that would best suit my own tresses. I went right to the Brassica Seed and Shea Oils Smooth Style line. I have long, rather thicker than normal, wurly, frizz prone hair that is dry and damaged, thanks to my affinity for being blonde and playing with creative colours. My hair needs deep hydration, tons of slip and to be coated, cushioned and protected from friction, heat and just day to day living. Madam C J Walker delivers.

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Madam C J Walker Brassica Seed & Shea Oils Silkening Leave In is formulated with Brassica Seed Oil, a natural alternative to silicone that provides the slip, smoothness and luster I desire without creating buildup or weighing my hair down. This rich, balmy stuff smells absolutely delicious with notes of Spun Sugar, Red Velvet Creme and I detect Musk, as well. The scent is prevalent without being overwhelming and it lingers softly, beautifully in my hair for days. Oh, and it leaves my hands smelling nice for hours, even after multiple hand washings.

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I like to apply Silkening Leave In after I wash my hair. I put my freshly washed and conditioned hair loosely in my turbie for a couple of minutes then let it down, divide it in half down the back and apply about a nickle size dollop, first to one side then the other, concentrating on my length and ends then finishing up at my roots and crown. I get a little extra to work into particularly dry/frizz prone areas of my canopy then I detangle, working gently from my ends upward, using my wide tooth comb. The Brassica Seed and Shea Oils provide the slip I need to nearly effortlessly work the snarls from my tangle prone wurls and deeply hydrates and softens my distressed tresses. If I'm air drying, I add a little hair oil to seal in all of that good moisture and further soften and condition. I then damp bun or let it hang loose to dry. From my first use of this gorgeous product, it became a favorite.

Ingredients:
-Brassica Seed Oil: A natural alternative to silicone. 
-Shea Oil: A natural deep conditioner for hair. 
-Sage: Supports scalp health.

Water, Glycerin (Vegetable), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides (Coconut Oil), Behentrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, Glyceryl Caprylate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Symphylum Officinate Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Coco-Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Algin, Chitosan, Gellan Gum, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend). 

*Certified Organic. 
+Fair Trade

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Blow drying or as I like to call it, "blow frying" is a step I have to take if I want the sleek, smooth look I prefer for my hair. Being absolutely hopeless with a blow dryer and round brush, I rely on my Revlon One Step Hair Dryer and Styler and of course, Madam C J Walker Brassica Seed & Shea Oil Silkening Blow Out Creme.

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The Silkening Blow Out Creme is, in reality a thin, quite liquid-y formulation that contains Brassica Seed Oil and Shea that provides natural heat protection and brush glide to reduce tug, friction and breakage. This blow out creme has the same delicious, delightful scent as it's sister product. When I use this product before I blow dry, my hair comes out so soft, silky-smooth, shiny and it stays that way for days and days, even when I wear it up then let it down, again. If you follow me on Snapchat, you will have seen my hair in it's sleek, shining freshly blown out glory. I am so impressed with this incredible stuff!

Ingredients:
-Brassica Seed Oil: A natural alternative to silicone. 
-Shea Oil: A natural deep conditioner for hair. 
-Sage: Supports scalp health. 
-Panthenol (Provitamin B5): Blocks moisture and keeps hair shiny. 

Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin (Vegetable), Diheptyl Succinate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glyceryl Caprylate, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Panthenol, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Glyceryl Undecylenate, PVP, Polyquaternium-7, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Coco-Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Algin, Chitosan, Gellan Gum, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend). 

*Certified Organic. 
+Fair Trade
I am not, however impressed with the packaging. The tube in which my Silkening Blow Out Creme arrived has a large opening and merely tipping it down to dispense the product results in a gusher with splashing and blow out creme running down my shirt. *sigh* I have to be very careful about how I dispense this product for use. If you ask me, this gorgeous stuff needs to be in a pump bottle or, just switch the packaging of these two products. Put the blow out creme in the disc top cap bottle and the thick leave in in the tube.

Packaging aside, I am deeply impressed with Madam C J Walker Beauty Culture products and their mission statement. The Brassica Seed & Shea Oils Silkening Leave In and Brassica Seed & Shea Oils Silkening Blow Out Creme are beautiful products that deliver the results that they promise. Both products are free of Sulfates, Parabens and Phthalates and this line is Cruelty Free.

Madam C J Walker Beauty Culture has a full range of products designed to address the concerns and unique needs of every hair type. Have you tried this brand? What are your favorites? Please do tell.

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Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Snapdragon

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A little while back I entered a giveaway hosted by the lovely Amber of Daydreaming Beauty. The prize was the winner's choice of one of two shades of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush. Much to my delight and intense gratitude, I was one of the lucky winners and my shade choice was...

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Snapdragon! I know. You're shocked. Erika went for the coral/pink. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush is housed in Becca's signature chic, industrial style packaging that fits neatly into makeup case drawers and looks great on my dressing table.

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This velvety soft powder is beautifully pigmented and silky to the touch. Just a tiny bit on my brush supplies a luminous, translucent flush with a soft, golden glow that makes my cheeks look lit from within. This blush blends beautifully and it wears, on my skin all day long with no need to ever touch up.

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Swatched in a swipe and blended out with a brush. I swear, I need to improve my lighting, my swatch photos are a nightmare! But I hope that you can see just how gorgeous, pigmented and softly translucent this blush is.

I have my greedy eyeballs on a couple more shades of the Becca Shimmering Perfector Luminous Blush. In addition to my now beloved Snapdragon, I believe that Camellia and Foxglove would suit me, quite nicely.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush is available at Sephora, it is Paraben and Sulfate free. Becca is Cruelty Free.

Are you using, loving these blushes? What is your favorite shade?

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Sample Saturday | Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation & Concealer

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Foundation. It is a makeup item that is for me, fraught with angst. For that reason, I have very few foundations in my life and I tend to remain extremely faithful to them. But like anyone, I like a new foundation, now and again and it's fun to try samples of the latest and greatest, on the off chance that I will encounter a winner.

 Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation and Makeup Forever Ultra HD Concealer. I had been eyeing the foundation on the Sephora website and arguing with myself about whether or not I should order it. Most of the reviews I have read and seen on YouTube were quite positive, some call it Holy Grail. However, most of the people doing those reviews are substantially younger than I and do not share my particular skin concerns.

 As there is no Sephora store in my immediate area, I can't just run out to get samples and let's face it, $43.00 is a bit much to risk on a flyer. I know that I can return but wrapping and packing it back up, sending it back, waiting for my refund... Raggle Baggle I don't need or want. So, I was happy to receive these samples in a recent Sephora order. Finally! I can see what all of the hoopla is about!

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The Claims:
Developed specifically for the film and TV industry's most advanced technology, Ultra HD Liquid Foundation creates a naturally flawless complexion—in and out of the spotlight. Invisible under the latest, super-focused 4k lens, this revolutionary foundation features uniquely-coated pigments that provide medium to buildable coverage with an even lighter weight, second-skin texture that looks just like skin. This formula leaves your complexion with the same flawless results that you’d achieve with a flat foundation brush in a tap and stretch motion. It contains hyaluronic spheres to ensure comfortable wear on all normal, dry and combination skin types, and it lasts all day, leaving a natural-looking finish. Now available in an expanded range of 40 shades to match all skintones, Ultra HD is the perfect everyday foundation for a flawless complexion—and it doesn’t require touch ups. 



The Reality:

Wow. Where do I start?

Shade: Too dark and far too yellow for my fair, neutral skin tone. No worries, in this case as I was testing formula, not shade. I figured that if this stuff did blow my doors off, I could get matched, next time I'm in the Valley and can pop into a Sephora.

How Does It Apply? Smooth, easy. I applied it once, with a brush, once with a damp Beauty Blender. The brush gave me fuller coverage, the Beauty Blender more sheer.

Finish? Very smooth, supplying a perfected, blank canvas. I actually kind of loved that aspect. My skin, at least for a little while looked as near absolutely flawless as it could be.

How Does It Feel? In a word, heavy. This makeup feels like a mask on my skin. It is suffocating and after a few hours, I was ready to claw it off my face.

How Does It Look? On me? Immediately upon application, lovely but that didn't last for long.

How Does It Wear? This is where this foundation really came off the rails for me. Wear is abysmal. This foundation soon started settling into every fine line, wrinkle, fold on my face. I was able to gently smooth it back out and setting it with powder helped it "hold the line" for a little while but by my next mirror check, about an hour later, my face looked like fifty miles of bad road. Every little line, deeper line, the tiny cracks around my mouth and chin. My forehead. Oh. Lord. No! Aside from the setting and cracking, this foundation did hang together beautifully without fading, clotting or transferring. It even held up to my allergy stricken beak being blown a million times. That's impressive!

The Verdict: 

Guilty of being utterly incompatible with my skin type, texture and tone. The concealer, while a lovely match for me, did a halfway decent job on my dark circles, for a little while then just devolved into a mass of lines and faded to allow my darkness to take control, once again. So it's a no, as well.

Please understand, I am not trashing these products. I am just saying that they are not appropriate for my own skin. I have seen this foundation and concealer work beautifully for other people, mostly those much younger than I. I believe that this makeup was designed with young, firm, line free, oil prone skin in mind. I just don't slot into that category. If you do, I suggest that you take this stuff out for a test drive, you might really love it. You can get free samples from your local Sephora and I strongly suggest that you go in and swatch and get samples. While Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is available in a wide shade range, their undertones are pretty limited. R for pink, Y for yellow. There are no neutral tones so finding a shade match may be a challenge.

I had fun trying this foundation and concealer out and I'm happy that I had samples with which to play before I made the what would have been for me huge mistake of purchasing this foundation.

Do you use Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation? How about the Ultra HD Concealer? What has been your experience with these products? Please do tell.

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Youngblood Lunar Dust in Twilight Lights Up My Complexion

Hi. My name is Erika and I am a highlighter freak. Next to eye shadow, highlighters most rock my happy little makeup world and no matter how many I acquire, I want more.

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Basically.

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//product provided for consideration//

Youngblood Cosmetics has a beautiful light reflecting mineral highlighter they so aptly named Lunar Dust. I received the shade Twilight to add to my little highlighter hoard stash and share with my gentle readers.

Ingredients:
Mica (CI 77019), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Corn Starch Modified, Lauryl Lysine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).

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Packaged in a sifter jar is a blend of ultra fine minerals, good-for-your-skin-oils and shimmery goodness. This pale, radiant white highlighter has the softest hint of gold and multidimensional colour shifting particles that feel silky to the touch and impart to my fair complexion a beautiful, luminous glow that is never invisible or "too much."

My favorite method of application is; with a soft highlighter brush, sweep it gently along on top of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, across my forehead and above the arch of my brows then buff a little on my chin and cupid's bow. This beautiful powder can also be mixed with a favorite moisturizer, lotion, primer to impart a glorious glow all over my face or any part of the body I please.

Youngblood Lunar Dust in Twilight is ideal for very fair to medium complexions, the hint of soft gold gives it the ability to work for both cool and warmer toned light complexions. For tan to deep skin tones there is the beautiful Dusk, a gorgeous, glowing rose gold.

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Swatched here, in a swipe and blended with a brush. I believe that I photographed this swatch in natural light coming in through my window. If you follow me on Snapchat, you would have seen this highlighter in action on my face.

 Youngblood Cosmetics are available from their website or find local stores with their handy-dandy store locatorYoungblood Lunar Dust is Cruelty Free, Vegan and Gluten Free.

Have you tried this beautiful highlighter or it's sister shade? What are your favorite Youngblood Cosmetics?

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//product sent for consideration//

ERASA XEP30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate | My Notes

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I was offered the opportunity to try the ERASA XEP 30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate. This new to me product is a unique treatment that temporarily firms the skin and can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and smooth and reduce the look of pores and other skin texture issues. Over time, with consistent use, may help to reduce muscle contractions and smooth fine lines or wrinkles and uneven colour and age spots can be diminished.

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From the Website:
ERASA XEP-30 is an entirely new, luxurious concentrate that introduces the power of the patented neuropeptide XEP-30 for the very first time to the cosmetics market. XEP-30 is a biomimetic, synthetic neuropeptide that relaxes the surface of the skin and may help diminish the appearance of wrinkles -- including deep frown and expression lines. 

ERASA combines the exclusive XEP-30 peptide technology with two other powerful neuropeptides, creating the ultimate tri-peptide complex. This complex, which is delivered by our patent-pending delivery system, works gently beneath the surface of the skin day-by-day*, it may help to relax muscle contractions and may be smoothing lines and wrinkles. With continued use, wrinkles and lines are smoothed and filled without blocking movement or causing “frozen face” a common side effect of injectables.

Notice over time as age spots, uneven skin color and even dark under-eye circles diminish as ERASA helps correct and repair loss of elasticity and dullness improving skin tone and texture leaving you with luminous, rejuvenated younger looking skin.

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Contained in a sleek, 1.7 ounce pink and rose gold tone bottle with a pump dispenser, the packaging keeps the product within light and air safe. The bottle looks beautiful on my dressing table and feels nice in my hand.

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How do I use ERASA? I like to use it during the day, under makeup. I smooth one pump gently over my face, avoiding my immediate eye area and then get a little more to do my throat and neck. Then I follow up with my regular moisturizer, eye cream and makeup.

I enjoy the firming sensation that this treatment offers and how my skin looks a bit more toned, a bit "lifted" at my cheeks and brow line. I don't have any age spots (yet!) and my skin tone is pretty even so I'm not noticing much difference, there. I tried to use this as directed morning and evening but it's a bit much for my very dry skin to wear, all day and night, every day. ERASA XEP30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate works better for me as a part of my makeup routine. I do think that if you have less dry skin, you may really like what this product can do for your complexion!

Ingredients:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Squalane, Amodimethicone, Steareth-21, Mica, Creatine, Niacinamide, Whey Protein, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Mu-Conotoxin Cniiic, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-52, Pamitoyl Heptapeptide-18, Algae Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, , Glabridin, Sucrose, Glycine, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Caffeine, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Magnolia Grandiflora Bark Extract, N-Acetyl -D-Glucosamine, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Oleic Acid, , Laureth-12, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, VP/VA Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Darutoside, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Dimethylacrylamide/Acrylic Acid/Polystyrene Ethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Carbomer, Dextran, Polysorbate 80, Potassium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Red No. 4, CI 77891

 ERASA XEP30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate is $160.00 for a 1.7 oz. bottle that should last 8 - 10 weeks if used as directed. You can purchase from the website and from Amazon.

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Fashion Flash - Summer Games Edition

Hey, everyone! Barbara at Best of Everything After 50 is hosting this week's Fashion Flash.

Barbara decided to do a Summer Games theme. Hop on over to read up on posts sharing the best of the Summer season.

Thanks for dropping in and we'll we you next week!

Dry Skin Complexion Perfection with Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation and Brush

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Foundation is, by far my biggest beauty challenge. Finding just the right match to my fair, not porcelain neutral skin tone, a formula that is hydrating to my very dry skin yet doesn't feel wet or sticky, that gives me my perfect, desired coverage but won't settle or cake into my fine lines and wrinkles. I love a foundation that feels exquisitely weightless on and it must be absolutely free of any trace of chemical sunscreen. Finding a foundation that meets all of those requirements is a challenge.

Hourglass Cosmetics said, "Challenge accepted!" And did they ever pull through for me.

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The new Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is an exquisite addition to my makeup routine. Packaged in Hourglass' signature glossy brown and gold in a triangular tube is a highly pigmented multitasker that can work as both foundation and concealer in one.

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My poor, mangled stick! When it arrived, the foundation and it's base had come out of the bottom of the tube and it was stuck up in the cap. I honestly believed that it was utterly ruined but a good tap of the rim of the cap on my dressing table top dislodged the foundation stick from the cap and, since it was largely intact, I was able to drop it back where it belonged and happily, the twisty-up and down is working just fine. So, it wasn't as pristine as I would have liked but perfectly usable. Damn this Arizona heat! I'm convinced that had a lot to do with it. Anyway...

This unique poured liquid formula sick contains double the amount of pigment found in most foundations to offer flawless, up to full coverage in one effortless application.

Research Results:
In a consumer study of 31 women after 1 week of use: 
- 100% reported product was fast and easy to use and apply 
- 97% saw an instant improvement in skin appearance 
- 97% reported product effectively covered redness and skin imperfections 
- 94% reported product blended seamlessly into their own skin 
- 94% reported product effectively covered skin discoloration, pores, blemishes and dark under eye circles
- 90% reported product effectively covered hyperpigmentation and dark spots

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I was sent the shade Blanc. It is just a little bit light and a touch cool for me, on it's own but once I set it with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in a combination of Dim and Diffused Light, it matches me quite well. I think that to get a more perfect match, I need to pick up Porcelain. Then I could use Blanc for subtle highlighting. Yes... That is what I need to do.

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Swatched, you can see how pale this foundation is. I hope that you can also see just how creamy soft and pigmented it is. Gentle reader, if you are very, very fair and have trouble finding a gorgeous foundation that matches you, Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Blanc may be your jam.

Application of this foundation couldn't be easier. After cleansing and skin care, I smooth on Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre for a little additional moisture and to prime then touch the stick to my skin and do a few quick, light swipes. The makeup begins to melt on contact with warm skin and using the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush, I can quickly and easily blend the foundation into my skin. That brush is a beautiful tool. The glossy brown handle is long enough to be comfortable to hold and short enough to be perfectly packable. The synthetic bristles are soft as a bunny and densely packed and formed into a soft angle to deliver an absolutely seamless, silken smooth finish.

What I love about the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation is that I can sheer it out on areas of my face that don't need much coverage and to avoid settling into my fine lines and wrinkles then add a tiny bit more and buff it in to areas that need a little more perfecting. This foundation covers redness very well and takes care of any uneven skin tone like a boss. The feel on is absolutely weightless, I literally can not feel this on my skin! Sadly, it does naught for my dark circles. I had a tiny bit of hope. Nope. I get all day wear from this foundation. It hangs together so beautifully and my complexion looks as good when I am ready to take it off, as it did when I applied it.

My one tiny complaint about this foundation is that, while it is gorgeous for dry skin, it will catch on and enhance any dry patches. I have to be sure that my skin is very well exfoliated and nicely moisturized before I apply this foundation. I'm going to be frank, here. I don't think that this foundation is made for oily skin. I know that in my oily days, there is no way I could have used and loved this foundation. My feelings aren't hurt. We dry skinned creatures need more gorgeous foundation options.

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My face draped in this beautiful foundation. Yes... I went way overboard correcting my dark circles in editing. I had to... Those nasty jerks were out. of control. and I hated the look of this pic with no other makeup so I "applied" some in editing. Heh! Heh! The rest of my skin, tho is wearing only the foundation and a little powder and a hint of blush. I did no photo editing on the rest of my complexion. I am not wearing any additional concealer. My skin doesn't look absolutely flawless in macro but at a casual distance, it's, well, kinda perfect. My husband, who rarely comments on my makeup did a double take and told me that my skin looked amazing. High praise, indeed from Mr. Reticent.

What all of this babble breaks down to is, Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation is pretty much my dream foundation for my dry skin and the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush is the perfect tool with which to apply it. At $46.00 for .25 oz. this foundation is not inexpensive but I use so little of it, it is going to last me quite a while. The brush is also $46.00 and in my opinion, it is worth the asking price. I am going to enjoy this brush for a long time to come.

Are you interested in trying the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation for yourself? Pick it up from Sephora and Nordstrom. Grab the brush here and hereHourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Stick Foundation is free of Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates and is Cruelty Free.

Are you using this exceptional foundation and/or the brush? Please tell me what you think. I'm interested in the experiences of users of different ages and skin types.

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Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil for Soft and Glowing Summer Skn

Soft and glowing skin is almost a requirement in the Summer and one of the best ways to get it is to use a beautiful body oil.

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//product sent for consideration//

Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil is my current favorite way to get that beautiful, soft, glowing skin I crave. Packaged in a heavy, sleek glass bottle with a pump dispenser is a body oil rich in Olive Fruit, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Apricot Seed and Sunflower Seed oils enhanced with Orange Peel and skin loving Vitamins that deeply soften and comfort my very dry skin. This body oil smooths easily across and drops right into my skin, leaving it feeling so very velvety soft without any greasy, slick or slimy after feel. 

I love to use this body oil right after a shower, when my skin is still damp and steamy. After my shower, I push the excess water from my skin then nip into my bedroom, grab my bottle of Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil and smooth this oil all over, sealing in the moisture  from my shower. Okay, why not use this in my bathroom? Well... A klutz, a heavy glass bottle, wet and oily hands and hard bathroom surfaces are not a good combination. I am not about having this beautiful bottle slip from my grasp and land in a mess of shattered glass and oil all around my bare feet. At least if I drop it in my bedroom, it lands harmlessly on soft broadloom. 

Let's talk scent. Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil has a light, fresh, green/herbal scent that softly fragrances my skin and delights my senses. I like the scent but I don't find that it lasts over long on me. This scent works well with my lotions and perfumes, as I tend to wear light, fresh, floral fragrances, especially in the Summertime. 

Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil is an affordable, gorgeous treat that will give you soft, delicately scented, glowing skin all the rest of the Summer long and well into Autumn, too. Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Cilantro Body Oil is 96% Natural, Vegan, Gluten Free and of course, Farmhouse Fresh products are Cruelty Free. 

Have you tried this beautiful body oil or any other lovely Farm House Fresh products? What do you think of it? What are your favorites from this wonderful line? Please, do tell. 

//product sent for consideration/

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Paradiso

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I own a very tight, carefully curated luxury lipstick collection and one of my recent additions to that little group is the Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Paradiso. This beautiful lipstick, available in two shades was created to deliver glossy, semi sheer colour that perfectly enhances glowing, tanned Summer skin. Or glowing, pale Summer skin, for those of us who don't tan.

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Crisp white and gold embellishes a squared tube that feels solid and weighty in the hand and looks just as pretty as I could ask it to on my dressing table. Sadly, that is where my love affair with this packaging ends. The cap, which I would expect to have a strong magnetic close or at the very least a secure click closure has neither and I have to be very careful about how this lipstick travels in my handbag. Do all Tom Ford lipstick tubes have this wimpy closure?

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Dodgy cap security aside, the lipstick bullet is absolutely gorgeous! With it's precise, clean finish, sharp cut upper edge and embossed logo, this lipstick quietly affirms it's place in the luxury category.

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This is my kind of lipstick! The beautiful, semi sheer lipstick is softly shiny, silky smooth and exquisitely comfortable to wear, thanks to the formula enhanced with Vitamins C, E and Shea Butter that bathe lips in hydration and pampering care. Application is effortless, a few quick swipes give complete, perfect coverage while that lovely, sharp upper edge allows precise placement. At least for a few applications. I wish that the edge lasted longer, as it really was very handy.

Wear time? Not bad. These soft, hydrating semi sheers do not last for hours and hours but this one gives me longer wear than any of my other shine formula lipsticks. Travel, this lippie will into fine, vertical lip lines so be sure that you rock your barrier pencil pre application. Sensitive beauties shouldn't have difficulty with the faint, natural vanilla scent. It is but a whisper and doesn't linger after application.

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Glossy, pink-y coral goodness all over my lips. I just adore how this lipstick makes my pucker look so pillowy soft and feel so happy and loved.

Wussy cap lock aside, I am so very happy that I purchased my Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Paradiso. The tube is sleek and chic, the lipstick quality is first rate and let's be honest, here. Who doesn't love a luxe lippie in their bag or on their dressing table?

If you are in the mood to treat yoself, I highly recommend that you pick up a Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer from Sephora and Nordstrom.

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Welcome to Fashion Flash

Hello and welcome to Fashion Flash for the week of August 8th. It is my great pleasure to be hosting our amazing group, this week. Please settle in, hop blog to blog to read some of the best of lifestyle, health and wellness, fashion and beauty for all fabulous people of a certain age.

Let's get started, shall we?




From Prime Beauty; Tarte and Grav3yard Girl have teamed up to bring you the Swamp Girl Eye and Cheek Palette. See if you'd like to take a trip to this swamp!



Gearing up for a midsummer trip? Jackie Silver from AgingBackwards.com has a traveler's guide for healthy eating on the road.



Deb of No Nonsense Beauty Blog shares her favorite facial.




Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50 and AARP contributer has a few secrets to keep hair looking full and fabulous... even when it starts to get a bit thin.




Inka of Glamour Granny Travels tests fabulous travel clothes from Miami based designer ANATOMIE.



What is wellness, anyway? Mirabai Holland from Moving Free Certified Health Coach and Exercise Physiologist gives you the answer.



Blue and white linen. A Cool Colour Combination for a Summer's Day.



Society Wellness shares a delicious pasta recipe that will inspire you to use that beautiful and abundant summer squash.



Beauty Info Zone has a waterproof travel kit organizer that is probably what you've been looking for and didn't know how to find. Now you will and you'll love the price.



Sometimes stepping back and looking at your current career from a different perspective can lead to your second career. That's what happened to Francine Kaufman. Here's how.


Are you in to beauty subscriptions? Think that one might be fun? I am currently subscribed to one;  the Play! By Sephora Monthly Beauty Subscription Box. In my post I dish the details.

I hope that you enjoyed this week's Fashion Flash. Thank you so much for joining us and don't forget to swing by next week.