Snacking on Clinique: Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

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I was shopping on Sephora's website, one day (I have to shop on Sephora's website because they won't build me a store, where I live) and before I checked out, I went site sifting for bonus goodies and so forth. In the Rewards Bazaar was a 500 point box of little Clinique yummies, one of which was a snack sized jar of Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. I've been intrigued about this product for a while, now so I sacrificed some points and tossed the box in my cart.


Described as
A trasnformational, lightweight makeup remover that goes from balm to oil to milk to melt away every trace of eye and face makeup and sunscreen.

The balm is housed in a clear purple jar with a sleek silver cap. Tres Clinique. 


 I have have really gotten into two step cleansing, lately and I have been enjoying Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm as step one in my cleansing routine. After using this balm, my skin feels clean and not at all tight or stripped. I could stop here and use toner and do the rest my skin care but I like to use another cleanser and my Foreo Luna to deep cleanse and massage my skin.

I do not use this cleansing balm to remove my eye makeup. The one time I tried it, my eyes were not happy campers so I use my usual proven eye makeup remover or micellar water first, as usual. Does that make my routine three step?

Do you use Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm? Have you tried two step cleansing? Want to hear something kind of nuts? Seven layer essence. Yeah, baby! Been playing with that one, lately. I'll do a post on it, soon and spill the deets.


Less Frizz and Silkier Tresses with StriVectin HAIR All Smooth

//products were sent to me for editorial consideration//all opinions are wholly my own//affiliate links that cost you nothing extra to use and help support my blog are in use// 


I am forever on the prowl for hair care products that can tame my wurly, frizzy mop and transform it into smooth, soft, shiny tresses. When StriVectin sent over their Frizz Control Line for me to test drive, I was delighted. Formulated with specialized ingredients like their NA114 technology and a Hydrosmooth Anti Frizz Complex, StriVectin Hair Frizz Control hair care is created to lock in moisture, replenish strands and reduce porosity to smooth and calm that wild frizz. Sounds like exactly what my crazy hair needed! Did it live up to my hopes and expectations? Read on.


Let us begin with StriVectin Hair All Smooth Shampoo. This creamy white, lightly pearlized shampoo has a light, warm vanilla almond scent and works into a generous, cushioning lather to thoroughly cleanse my hair in just one shampooing then rinses away to leave my hair clean and fresh but not feeling stripped or squeaky.

Aqua (Water, Eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Fragrance (Parfum), Myristyl Nicotinate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Polyquaternium-70, Phospholipids, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Oat Amino Acids, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.

Next up is StriVectin Hair All Smooth Conditioner. This thick, creamy stuff spreads easily through my hair to saturate every inch. I could wish for it to be more slippy, especially for wet comb out but it does leave my hair feeling softer and bumps up shine and smoothness.

Aqua (Water, Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Ethylhexanoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Myristyl Nicotinate, Propanediol, Polyquaternium-70, Phospholipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Oat Amino Acids, Phenoxyethanol, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal.


SrriVectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. This is where the rubber meets the road. Wash and condition with the matching shampoo and conditioner and then spray this mist into my hair, add a little oil - I always oil my hair - and blow dry with a paddle brush. Why, hello, there, smooth, shiny, swingy hair! My tresses don't end up flat or limp; they still have their natural body and bounce but they are so silky and have that lovely swish! 

Aqua (Water, Eau), Ppg-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Isohexadecane, Myristyl Nicotinate, C14-22 Alcohols, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Polysorbate 60, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Dimethicone Peg-7 Panthenyl Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Edta.

I also received the StriVectin Hair All Smooth Overnight Anti Frizz Serum however, I can't use it because it contains a chemical sunscreen. Would someone please explain to me why a chemical sunscreen would be included in the formula for an overnight hair treatment? A serum we apply before we go to bed to lie, inert in the dark? Because it makes no sense to me. Anyway...

Aqua (Water, Eau), Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Myristyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Myristyl Nicotinate, Acetamide Mea, Polyacrylate-13, Peg-8 Stearate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Ptfe, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panthenol, Polyquaternium-7, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyisobutene, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Paraffin, Bht, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Polysorbate 20, Sericin, Laureth-7, Sorbic Acid, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Sorbitol, Sodium Cocoyl Collagen Amino Acids, Cocoyl Sarcosine, Wheat Germ Acid, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 80, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Sodium Hydroxide, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Hydrolyzed Oat Protein, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Benzyl Alcohol.

Overall, I like the StriVectin Hair All Smooth Hair Care. It smells nice and with heat styling it makes my hair look and feel so silky and smooth and gives it that coveted swish I love so much. I do wish that the overnight serum didn't have chemical sunscreen in it so that I could have included it in my routine. Of the two StriVectin Hair lines I've been lucky enough to test drive, the All Smooth is definitely my favorite.


LATHER Lavender & Bergamot Natural Deodorant

//product provided to me for editorial consideration//

Natural Deodorant is something that I've avoided using for many years. I've tried it in the past, only to have the stuff fail me terribly at the worst possible time, leaving me ill inclined to ever try it, again.


I recently received Lather Lavender & Bergamot Deodorant Creme to take out for a test drive. Considering my prior not-so-fresh experiences with natural deodorants. I have to admit, I was wary of this stuff and I left it sitting around, staring at me, daring me to try it, for almost a month. Then, one morning after my shower, I thought, "What the hell? I might as well just get it over with." Yeah. I was that skeptical.

lather-lavender-&-bergamot-natural-deodorant 2

Lather lavender & Bergamot Deodorant Creme is a Shea Butter and Coconut Oil base with fine ground Bamboo Stem Powder to help absorb moisture, Arrowroot Powder to give a dry, powdery-clean feel, Baking Soda to absorb and neutralize odor and Lavender and Bergamot Essential Oils to add a soft, naturally pleasant unisex friendly fragrance.

maranta arundinacea (arrowroot) powder*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, sodium bicarbonate, bambusa arundinacea (bamboo) stem extract, cera alba (beeswax)*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) oil*, mixed tocopherols (vitamin e). *organic ingredient


The thick, fairly stiff cream melts quickly on contact with warm skin and is easy to rub in. I don't experience any rings or stains on my clothes and I love that it doesn't ever sting, after shaving. I do find this deodorant creme difficult to wash off. I can scrub with my mesh pouff and body wash and still have to finish wiping it away with my towel when I am drying off. Ugh. It's not a major thing but I'd prefer that it cleaned thoroughly away in the shower without so much work.

How does it perform? Well... Not bad, actually. As a hardcore antiperspirant user, I had to go through an adjustment period that almost made me quit and go back to my beloved Degree spray. I stuck with it, tho and after about a week of being convinced that this stuff would never work, it suddenly started to! I feel clean, fresh and odor free or odor minimal from one shower to the next and it is nice to be using a product that is better for me. Would I trust this deodorant in a high-stress crowd situation or a long, hot day out and about? Nope. I want the assurance of antiperspirant in those situations but for day to day, in the comfort of my air conditioned home or light activities, yeah, I go with it and it performs well.

You may be asking, "How long does a jar last?" Well, I don't know, yet. I've been using this deodorant consistently for almost a month and I just have a good dip in it; I think that it's going to last me at least a couple of more months. At $14.00 it's a little more spendy than the stuff I pick up at my drugstore but if averaged out over the amount used each time and length of time it lasts, I'd say the price isn't at all out of line.

If you haven't tried a natural deodorant before and are curious about it or like me, have tried it in the past and not been thrilled with the result, give Lather Lavender & Bergamot Deodorant Creme a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

Lather Lavender & Bergamot Deodorant Creme is cruelty free but is not vegan, as it contains beeswax.


Fashion Flash and Giveaway Alerts

Fashion Flash is live and being hosted by Second Lives Club. This week's line up of articles offer the best in beauty, fashion. lifestyle for the forty-plus woman in the know.

Some of the ladies of Fashion Flash are hosting fabulous giveaways sponsored by Peace and Love Jewelry, Invicta and Evine Home Shopping Network so be sure to swing by all of their blogs to enter to win.

Makeup Wars - My Affordable Skin Care Favorites for Dry/Very Dry and Maturing Skin

//samples sent for editorial consideration//self purchased items//affiliate links that cost you nothing extra but pay me a small commission and help to support my blog are in use//

This week, Makeup Wars presents our favorite drugstore and affordable skin care!

Skin is our largest organ and it requires specialized care. Care that, it turns out doesn't have to cost a fortune. While spendy skin care is a lovely, luxe indulgence and I admit, one of my favorite beauty experiences, I regularly use and get good, solid results from high quality, affordable skin care, much of which I buy at my local drugstore, Ulta Beauty and from Amazon.

Today, I have some of my favorite affordable skin care items for face and body. This is going to be a long post... I seem to not be able to edit myself when I'm pulling products for Makeup Wars posts so settle in and get comfy, you're going to be here, a while.


Cleansing. The first step in any good skin care routine and one of the most important is cleansing. I have a few favorite cleansing products that never fail me and help me keep my complexion clean, clear, soft and smooth.

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser and Makeup Remover. Wow, That name is a mouth full! This is my favorite affordable eye makeup remover and after cleansing toner. I never wear waterproof mascara so this stuff removes all of my eye makeup and never stings or irritates my eyes. I also use it, along with a cleansing wipe for lazy cleansing when I don't feel like going to my sink and doing the whole rigamarole.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. These are my all time favorite makeup remover wipes. They never fail me and I will only buy something else if I can't, for some reason find these in stock. This packet is slit open because I store all of my makeup wipes in a zipper freezer bag. Read about it, here. I just took a look at this older post and, while I still store my wipes this way, I need to rewrite the post. It's kind of a mess.

Yes to Coconut Utra Hydrating Melting Cleanser. This coconut scented cleansing balm melts away makeup, dirt and the day and leaves my very dry skin feeling clean, soft and comfortable.

Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk. This lovely, peach and mint scented cleanser washes away my day but never leaves my skin feeling dry, tight or stripped.

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub with Dead Sea Salt. We've had a chat about this stuff, before. This is such a good scrub! When my skin needs a good, down and dirty sandblasting, this is one of the scrubs in my arsenal I reach for and it does the job.

Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal (or Mature) Skin. Okay, I know... At $169.00 this is not an "affordable" or "drugstore" skin care item but, if you are going to save up and splurge on one really, really good skin care item/device, I recommend the Foreo LUNA. This ultrasonic skin cleansing device gently yet thoroughly cleanses the skin and it is, in my opinion worth every penny of it's asking price. I've had mine for a couple of years, now and I love it more, each time I use it. And, I've only had to charge it a few times! Let me let you in on a little secret; there is a Foreo LUNA 2 available but I don't see that much difference between that version and my original LUNA. If you're on a budget, save yourself a significant chunk of change and get the same benefits.


When it comes to pampering and making marked improvements in my skin, Masking is my go to. My skin likes highly effective, deeply hydrating clay, goopy honey and herbs and of course, sheet masks. Good masks that deliver real results don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

The Body Shop Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask. A little up there, for an affordable skin care product but the heavy, amber glass jar holds many deeply hydrating treatments and you'll get your money's worth. I like this mask, it makes my dry skin feel like silk. I just wish that it smelled like honey! It smells herbal and interesting but the name promised me honey, dammit!

Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Mask Squeeze out onto the back of my hand, grab a synthetic foundation brush, smooth on, let sit for twenty minutes and rinse. Lovely! And it smells lightly of coconut so it's like going on vacation in the tropics. Okay. Not really but, it's still pretty relaxing.

Speaking of coconut mask, Montagne Jeunesse Creamy Coconut Masque. Two bucks, smells nice and it is a nice mask! I'm a fan of this brand, there are several I keep in stock and use, on a regular basis.

Masqueology sheet masks are insanely affordable and they do a good job. I like their creme masks and Collagen Gold Mask. Take note, the Collagen Gold Mask, while nice and hydrating and yes, firming! is very perfume-y. If you are sensitive or don't like perfume-y scents, avoid this mask.

Sephora Collection Face Masks. I know that Sephora isn't a drugstore but their in house collection face and eye masks are splendid and at six dollars or less per, are very affordable! There are different varieties to cater to different skin types. My faves are the Rose, Lotus, Avocado, Pearl and Pomegranate.

Naisture White Rose 15 Minute Sheet Mask. Ten masks for ten bucks and they are nice! Hydrating and soothing and, while they are called white rose, they don't smell like rose. In fact, they don't smell like much of anything at all. I like these, a lot.


Serums. Created to deliver concentrated percentages of my skin's power ingredients right into my skin, serums are a must have for me. And the good news is, I can get good serums for not a lot of money. If you are new to any of these ingredients or have been using them in lower concentrations or have very sensitive skin, go in slow. Test for sensitivity then apply once or twice a week, assess your skin's reaction and move up, from there.

With many actives, like Vitamin C or Retinol a small amount of warming or light, short lived sting, perhaps a bit of pinkness are normal. They should be temporary and not too uncomfortable. If discomfort persists or you get a rash or other signs of irritation or reaction stop use immediately, cleanse your skin carefully to remove the serum, treat topically and if necessary, consult your physician or dermatologist. When using actives, skin turns over at in increased rate, don't forget to protect your new, glowing complexion from UV exposure by wearing an effective sunscreen.

My Chelle Perfect C Serum. At 17% this is a good "step up C serum" for someone who has been using lower concentrations and is ready to up their game or for an ambitious beginner who wants to see real results, fast.

My Chelle Remarkable Retinol Serum with Vitamin A and Plant Stem Cells. Yeah... This is good stuff. A little on the spendy end of affordable but a solid performer.

Oz Naturals Anti Aging Retinol Serum. One of their new Cold Pressed serums, 2.5% Retinol, Vitamin E and Astaxanthin combine to deliver real results. Retinol is cumulative, the longer you use it, the better the results and it has to be continued to keep enjoying those results. I started using Retinol years ago to try to fade the awful post acne discolouration scarring I had on my face. It took time and dedication but those marks have faded to almost invisible. When I started cocktailing Retinol and Vitamin C, my results really ramped up!

My skin is not flawless but I went from not ever leaving my house without heavy, full coverage foundation and at least two different concealers to using merely a tinted moisturizer or going foundation free with confidence. I believe in Retinol. It works and I'll never be without it. If you have acne prone skin, Retinol can be helpful to you, as well! Ask your dermatologist for the best concentration for your skin type. If you are pregnant or nursing, have a chat with your OB before beginning Retinol. You'll likely be advised to wait until after you are done giving birth/nursing.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C + AHA Serum. If you want bright, glowing, firmer, fresher skin, Vitamin C is the ticket. Add Alpha Hydroxy Acid and you have a one-two punch that delivers the goods. I don't cocktail this particular Vitamin C serum with Retinol because of the AHA. I use a different C. I do cocktail this with Hyaluronic Acid and of course, HA with Retinol. If you're new to cocktailing serums, again, start slow and see how your skin feels about it before you step up concentrations or frequency.

Oz Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Hyaluronic Acid is a must for well hydrated, plumped, soft skin. Hygroscopic, Hyaluronic Acid draws moisture to the skin and holds it there. It also helps to replenish the natural Hyaluronic Acid found in healthy young skin that begins to deplete as we age. I get as much of this active as I possibly can onto my skin in the form of this serum and moisturizing creams. If you're young and fresh, try this serum, it may be enough hydration for you without having to use an additional moisturizer.


Moisturizer is crucial for all skin types and is a step we shouldn't neglect, be it for our face or hands. These are the affordable moisturizers that work for my Sahara Desert dry skin.

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. This is a Holy Grail Status eye area treatment for me. I've used it for years, blown through countless tubes and I won't be without it. If they ever discontinue this eye cream, my shit fit will be epic. I use this lightweight, silky, non irritating, yet highly effective cream as a first step eye area treatment. I apply under my eyes, to my mobile lids and right up to my brow bone and out onto the area where crow's feet can show, when I smile. I let it sink in a couple of minutes and follow up with a hydrating/firming eye cream. My eye area doesn't look 25 but it looks good, for my age. And, my mobile lids are smoother and far less crepey than they were in my twenties! This eye cream delivers real results, when used consistently.

Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm. I am always amazed at just how soft and silky this affordable, yet effective eye cream leaves the skin around my eyes. It is gently coconut scented but non irritating.

Derma E DMAE Firming Eye Lift Hello, firmer, smoother peepers! Seriously, after I apply this eye cream, I can feel it gently tightening the skin in my eye area. The result is, of course, temporary but can be maintained with consistent use and at the price, that isn't difficult!

Derma E Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. Another exceptional skin care product from this exemplary line. Hydrating enough for even my very dry skin, this is a much loved part of my skin care arsenal.

Derma E Firming DMAE Moisturizer with Alpha Lipoic and Vitamin C Ester. I received the little, half ounce jar pictured, above from Derma E. From the first time I applied it, I was hooked! Soon after I smooth this thick creme into my face, I can feel it working. Firming, gently tightening. My skin along the tops of my cheekbones and across my forehead looks and feels firmer and when I apply my blush, my face looks and feels a little firmer and more lifted than it used to. Sadly, I am out of this cream, at the moment. I will buy a full sized jar as soon as I finish up the remainder of an older jar of firming cream that's been lying around and am through testing a new to me firming cream for review. Want to know a secret? In my opinion, those two more expensive firming creams are very nice but to be perfectly honest, they aren't any more effective than the Derma E! And the Derma E is a fraction of the price.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre is the famed moisturizer that is beloved by makeup artists and beauty lovers, alike for very good reasons. This white, mild mannered, softly scented lightweight creme is beautifully hydrating enough for even my skin, for day but is also appropriate for less dry skin types. Gorgeous under makeup, this moisturizer also serves as a foundation primer and even a gentle makeup remover. This is another Holy Grail Status skin care product in my arsenal. I go through tube after tube and I will always repurchase.

Mineral Sunscreen. I use mineral, exclusively as I am allergic to chemical sunscreens. Two that I really like for my face, right now are My Chelle Replenishing Solar Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen and Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30. Both of these moisturizers hydrate my skin, wear nicely under makeup and protect my complexion from the harsh Arizona sun. The MyChelle sunscreen is certified reef safe, making it the perfect face SPF for the beach.

Hand Lotions. As a certified old hag with very, very dry skin, you can well imagine how bad my hands can look after my normal housework and the frequent hand washing I tend to do. Without rich, deeply hydrating lotions, my poor hands would be toast. My Holy Grail, can't live without it hand lotion is Curel Ultra Healing Lotion for Extra Dry Skin. This is the savior for my hands. I love and use other lotions but this is the one. The lotion that makes my hands feel baby soft and look as smooth as humanly possible. Honorable mention goes to Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia Hand Cream. A gorgeous, hydrating hand cream that smells like gardenia and jasmine and makes my hands feel lovely. This hand cream was a gift from a friend and I'm grateful for it. Now that I've tried this hand cream, I'd love to try more Pacifica products!

Lips. Vaseline Lip Therapy - Rosy Lips. When it comes to my lips, I don't mess around. Recommended by my dermatologist for my lip condition, this is the balm that I depend on to keep my lips soft, comfortable and protected and I keep it close at hand, no matter where I am. Seriously. I have tins of this stuff everywhere... in my bag, on my nightstand, living room side table, dressing table, my car. Yeah.


Body Care. The skin on our bod needs to be taken care of just as much as the skin on our face. To keep dry, flaky, itchy skin at bay, I employ hydrating body washes, scrubs, oils, lotions and body butters. Here are some of my easily accessible, affordable favorites.

Dove Beep Moisture Body Wash. This is one of the best body washes for my skin. Believe me, I've tried so. very. many. This one works, so I use it. If I could buy this body wash by the barrel, I probably would!

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish. Oils and fine and coarse sea salt and that delicious scent combine to lift away dead, dry skin and rinses clean to leave me feeling soft and smooth all over but not oily or slippery. This scrub doesn't make my shower a hazard zone, either.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion. For lightweight all over hydration, I reach for this stuff. It drops right into my skin, leaving it feeling soft and smelling so good.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter. For deep moisture this is my fave. It doesn't require endless rubbing, never leaves me feeling sticky or slimy but it deeply hydrates and that scent! Ahh, yisss! In the dead of winter when the temps and humidity can drop to skin searing lows, I double up on the lotion and body butter for extra dry skin relief.

I love a good body oil and two affordable and effective options come from OGX. The Hydrate + Repair Argan Oil of Morocco Miracle In Shower Oil is for hair and bod. Last thing before I turn off my shower, a little through my ends and length then smoothed into my skin, all over. Rinse, pat dry. Or for right out of the shower there is Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil. This lighter weight oil is nice in the summer, when it's humid and I don't need as deep moisturizing. I like to apply it to wet skin then pat dry. I don't know why my label is all curled and funky. Doesn't matter. The product works and that is really all I care about.

Shit. This isn't just a roundup of favorite, affordable skin care products is it? It's the War and Peace, The Riverside Shakespeare, The fucking Oxford Compact English Dictionary of roundups of affordable skin care products. As usual, I went a tiny bit overboard.

Okay. A lot overboard.

If you read this entire TL/DR post, I salute you. If you skimmed, stopping only to read up on something of interest, I am not mad. Truly, I'm not. I just hope that either way, you found it helpful and informative and perhaps a little bit enabling. I'd love it if you'd share! There are buttons to your left and at the end of this post for your convenience and it would mean so much to me. 💖

If you want even more affordable skin care ideas, be sure to scroll to the end of this post and check out the InLinkz gallery of other Makeup Wars bloggers and see what they love.


Pur Cosmetics Vanity Palettes -- Dream Chaser and Goal Digger

//products provided to me by Pur Cosmetics for editorial purposes//all viewpoints are my own and wholly uninfluenced by the company or PR//affiliate links that, should you chose to use them cost you nothing extra but pay me a small commission that helps to support my blog are in use//

You know that I love me some Pur Cosmetics. A couple of my favorites from this line are their Love Your Selfie 2 Palette and of course, the oh-so-adorable Trolls Eye Shadow Palette. Pur Cosmetics recently released two new palettes that are perfect for getting your gorgeous on, both at home and away. Say hello to the Pur Cosmetics Vanity Palettes.


When these palettes first landed on my doorstep, I got excited about them. Two slim, portable round palettes; one warm, one cool packed with beautiful, wearable face and eye colours and a pop-up primp yourself pretty on the go mirror that is big enough to use for a full face of makeup. These versatile palettes contain shades that can create a beautiful day look then transition effortlessly to an evening out look in just minutes.

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Each of these palettes contains a face highlighter, blush, bronzer and four coordinated eye shadow colours in a mix of matte and shimmer. Goal Digger supplies cooler shades, including a lovely purple, a glowing pink, charcoal grey and silver. The warmer version is Dream Chaser, with shades of peach, golden champagne, soft brown and rich burgundy.

My patented crap swatches are below. The eye highlight shades don't show up in these photos because they pretty much blended right into my skin. But they are there and funny enough, they do show up on my eyes.


Yeah. That swatch of Motivation. I'm so proud.


The quality of these palettes is nice! The mattes feel a bit stiff to the touch and they don't swatch the very best but they perform when applied to the face and eyes. The eye shadows all apply, build and blend to create beautiful looks. Fantasy and Good Intentions require a little more care and blending but they deliver the goods. I like the blushes and highlighters a lot and the bronzers, buffed in with a light hand warm my skin up and give me a soft, sun kissed glow. My one gripe? The eye shadows are pressed in together, two to a pan without dividers. Deep colours are up against very light and this can result in the shadows spilling in on one another and making a mess of things.

Ooo! have you tried PUR's Pro Eyelashes? They are created with the softest, silkiest cruelty free synthetic to mimic mink lashes. There are styles from understated elegance to full on glamazon to enhance and make your look. Treated and stored with care, they can be worn again and again.

Have you tried the Pur Cosmetics Vanity Palettes or their Pro Lashes? What do you think of them?

Pur Cosmetics is cruelty free.


Bargain Beauty Find! Jesse's Girl Matte Finish Lip Color -- Angelic

//product sent to me for editorial consideration//

I love it when I encounter a product that I can unreservedly declare a Bargain Beauty Find!


Coming in at a wallet pampering four dollars and available in five shades, Jesse's Girl Matte Finish Lip Color in Angelic is described as a caramel-nude. In my experience, it is a beautiful, neutral dusty rose pink that would be flattering on many people.


 A doe foot applicator precisely lines and smooths the thin, slightly mousse-y formula onto the lips in a few easy swipes that sets quickly to a soft matte, transfer resistant finish that doesn't feather up into vertical lip lines and wears for hours. Best thing about this lippie? It doesn't murder my delicate little snowflake lips. I can wear this matte liquid lipstick now and then and enjoy a decent level of comfort. This may sound like a so-so report on the comfort of this liquid lipstick but believe me, it's high praise, indeed! If your lips aren't prone to dry out and trauma when certain lip colours just look at them funny, you should find this formula extremely comfortable, indeed.

Swatches are below. The shimmery stuff is a swipe of the Twist and Shout Lip Balm in Bobby Soxer, a sheer, shimmery Tangerine scented lip balm that I have managed, somehow to lose and I'm pissed, because I liked it, dammit!


Be careful when you apply this stuff! You'll see below where I goofed up a little and ended up with a light pink stain on the skin above my upper lip. It wasn't really visible at a casual distance but I sure can see it with the macro action all up in my grill.


So what say you? Like what you see? You can find Jesse's Girl Matte Finish Lip Color on their website and in stores that carry Jesse's Girl Cosmetics for a very reasonable $3.99. At that price, it's easy to have one, two or all of the pretty shades available.

Jesse's Girl Cosmetics is cruelty free.

Have you tried Jesse's Girl Matte Finish Lip Color? What are your favorite shades?


My Favorite Overnight Face and Body Treatments for Soft and Glowing Skin

//products provided to me for editorial consideration//affiliate links that help support my blog and cost you nothing extra are in use// 

Soft and Glowing skin. I want it. And I have to work for it. Happily, there are fantastic overnight face and body treatments that do some of the work for me, while I sleep!


Night time is the right time to give my complexion some extra tender. loving care thanks to these easy to use skin care products.

Exfoliation is one of the best treatments I can do. It clears away dead, dry, loose skin cells and leaves my skin ultra soft, smooth and ready to receive and drink up the hydration to come. I use a one-two approach to exfoliation, chemical and physical. One of the chemical exfoliants I rely on is Derma E Overnight Peel with Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Derived from sugar cane and fruit acids, this gentle 5% concentration sinks into my skin and, while I'm dreaming sweet dreams, lifts away the gunky, old skin cells and, upon cleansing in the morning, reveals a glowing, fresh complexion. While this treatment is easy on the skin, if you are sensitive or your complexion is under a dermatologist's care, test first and go in slowly. My skin is used to acid treatment and I can use this as often as I please without worrying about it.

When it is time to drive hydration into my skin, overnight treatments are my play. For my eye area, VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask is amazing. After I cleanse and tone, I apply these to my under eye area where they stick on and stay put until I rise and shine, the next morning. The difference in the skin under my eyes is marked! Softer, smoother, even silky with reduced appearance of lines. I don't use these all of the time because they are spendy! But when my eye area needs that extra love, these eye masks deliver. They stay in place very nicely for me because I sleep on my back, like a vampire.

Another spendy but oh-so-good! overnight skin pampering treat is the Exuviance Overnight Recovery Masque. This gel is a long, cool, refreshing drink for my Sahara Desert dry skin. After cleaning and toner, I smooth this gently into my skin then I let it sit a bit and follow up with a rich night cream and lights out. In the A.M. my complexion looks and feels soft, plumped and glow-y. If your skin is dry, stressed and unhappy, try this. I think that you'd love it!

While not specifically an overnight treatment, I never drop off into Dreamland without a generous coating of a deeply hydrating lip balm. I'm just using up my Lather Sugar Plum lip balm from the holiday collection, I'm going to need to need a new Lip Conditioning Balm. Packed with Avocado, Sweet Almond and Evening Primrose Oils, Cactus and Aloe Extracts this lovely stuff is one of the few "natural" lip balms that actually works for my very finicky lips.

As I get older, I find that my sleep patterns getting more erratic; I have a harder time falling and staying asleep and I can use some help drifting off. Lather Quiet Night Relaxing Balm is a lovely mix of Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Calendula in a base of Rosehip, Sunflower Oils and Beeswax. I dip my finger in and pick up a little of this lovely, melts on contact balm and touch it to the back of my neck, my temples and a little under my nose. The gentle scent is so pleasant, soothing and instantly calming, helping me to relax, quiet my mind and drift off to sleep.

I can't talk about Lather products without mentioning this gorgeous Lavender Aromatherapy Candle. Formulated with paraffin free 100% Soy Wax, pure Lavender Essential Oil and a Beeswax primed, 100% cotton wick this candle burns clean and throws a lovely, clear lavender scent into the room. This is my current favorite candle. I use it in some of my blog post photographs and I love the scent, while I'm working at taking pictures.


Before bed is the perfect time to indulge my bod and hands in some extra pampering moisture, as well. Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie! Cream Shea Butter Whip is a delicious, vanilla creme treat for body. This rich, lightweight cream drops into my skin and goes instantly to work so that I wake up soft from my neck to my toes. Whoopie Cream Shea Butter Hand Cream hydrates and nourishes my hands and cuticles so that they look their very best, which isn't bad, if I do say so, myself.

So there we have it, gentle reader. Some of my favorite overnight beauty treatments for soft, and glowing skin. What are your favorite sleepy time treatments? Please share in a comment. And, while you're at it, take a little time to enjoy my fellow Makeup Wars bloggers' get gorgeous goodies. The Inlinkz gallery is below!


Fashion Flash - May Day Edition

Sorry that this is posting late. My laptop, which is going on three years old is behaving more and more like a recalcitrant toddler than the good old 'puter I have come to know and love, so much. It has moments and meltdowns and it threw a major tantrum, this morning. It's about time to replace it. *sigh* While I enjoy a shiny, new, fast, feature packed laptop as much as anyone, the process of selecting, purchasing and getting it all set up the way I like it and want it to be is a huge pain in my ass. I'm not looking forward to it. I will say this; when the selection of my new lappie is made, Geek Squad can do the initial setup and move all of my files from my old one to my new one 'cause I'm not doing THAT, again.

Anyway, me ranting about my computer and what I will and won't do isn't why you're here.

Fashion Flash - May Day Edition is being hosted by the fabulous and adventurous Inka of Glamour Franny Travels. There is lots of good stuff in this edition. I hope that you enjoy it.

I hope that you are all having a great week and hopefully, I'll see ya soon.

Julie G Spring Nail Polish Collection - Photographs and Swatches - Plus... A Special Surprise Giveaway!

//samples provided to me for editorial consideration//an Amazon affiliate link is in use//if you buy the product through my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you//

I'm making a return to my roots to bring you nine beautiful Julie G nail polishes, including new for spring shades! This is my first experience with this brand and I was really excited to try them out and share them with you.


All nine of these polishes have been swatched over base coat and topped with Seche Vite. Overall, the formula on these polishes is excellent. With the exception of the neons, which gave me a little bit of back chat, all of these polishes applied without streaking, dragging, running or pooling. I had a little bit of bubbling with Cabana Boy but that may have been my over agitated base coat, not the polish, it's self. All of these polishes are opaque in two coats (the neons over a white neon base) and dry in good time, with a quick dry top coat.

Would you like to see swatches?


Three soft, dusty shades perfect for spring!


Dream in Pretty is a lilac creme.


Santorini is a pale blue creme with a nearly hidden silver micro shimmer.


Rio De Janeiro. Dark dusty rose creme. This was almost a one coater. If it weren't for my stupid ridges...


Here are three fun, saturated brights. I'm really digging these, right now.


Tropical. I love this bright turquoise green!


Julie's Fave. And of these nine, mine, as well. This sun drenched coral is right up my alley.


Cabana Boy is a rich blueberry creme. Now, I don't like to eat blueberries (sorry not sorry but blueberries, to me smell like ass) but I love this polish.


Ready to get your neon on? All three of these polishes were applied over a generous coat of white neon base to allow opacity in two coats and pop the true, bright hues.


Bikini. This retina scorching orange/coral is a joy to look at. Unfortunately, it is NOT a joy to apply. This polish wanted to streak, drag and get lumpy. Lots of polish on the brush, working fast and plenty of Seche Vite to smooth it out, gave me the best finish.


OH EM GEE this neon fuchsia is so pretty! Like many neons, this one is a bit snotty to work with but a white base and plenty of polish on the brush help. Besides, this insane colour is worth the effort.


Fierce and Fab is a violet purple neon. The formula on this one is a bit more biddable than the other two neons.

I am so impressed with the quality of the formula of Julie G Nail Polish and the colours are gorgeous. I am so happy that I got the chance to try these beautiful polishes and I am really enjoying wearing them. If you like the look of these pretty, pretty polishes, non affiliate links are provided for your shopping pleasure.

What are your favorites of these nine beauties? I ask because, as a reviewer I have been given the happy task of sharing with you a special giveaway opportunity! Starting today, April 27th and running through May 4th, CLICK THIS LINK to enter to win your choice of one of three 3 Polish Packs. (Colours swatched in this post.) There will be four winners, in all. This giveaway is administered by Jessie's Girl/Julie G and is subject to their terms.


Fashion Flash

Fashion Flash is live and is hosted, this week by the lovely Allison of Never Say Die Beauty. Pop over, say hi and catch up on what the ladies of Fashion Flash have been up to.

Have a great week!

Hi Mirror Plus -- A Tech and Skin Care Fanatic's Dream

//this is a sponsored conversation about the Hi Mirror Plus through the PRIMP Network//all thoughts and opinions about the product are honest and my own and are not influenced either by Hi Mirror or the PRIMP Network//

Say hello to Hi Mirror Plus, the next generation, souped up version of the acclaimed Hi Mirror, the advanced smart beauty mirror that is a tech and skin care fanatic's dream and my new beauty companion.


Out of the box, Hi Mirror Plus is easy to mount on a mirror or wall or set up on a table top in a sturdy easel or plate rack, fire up and get going. I started by watching a quick video tutorial right on my mirror that would guide me through the easy and quick mounting process (had I not decided to use an easel). I was dismayed to see that the woman featured in the segment teaching how to mount this device to a mirror was replaced by a man when it came time to mount it to a wall. What? A girl can't use a power drill, hammer and drywall anchors? Huh. Then who mounted my shelves in my laundry room? I know... Let it go. Nope. I feel that the video is sexist and I'm going to ding it.

After I uploaded the Hi Mirror and Hi Skin Apps to my smartphone from Google Play (or The App Store for IOS), getting my mirror in action and my first skin analysis took only minutes. Everything is laid out, step by step. Follow the yellow brick road, it's easy-peasy. When I first turned my mirror on, I opened the camera and let the mirror take a picture. Then, I was asked to speak a phrase to it to teach it my voice. The beauty of this mirror's software is that the advanced face recognition and voice recognition make it possible for up to six people to use the mirror, each with their own personalized settings.

The main way to navigate through the menu and various other features is with a hand gesture. I learned, after much trial and error that holding my hand with my fingers in tight, my hand fully upright and canted at a slight angle (as if I'm going to snap off a salute) works best. The mirror taught me the correct distance from the surface and the speed at which to move my hand. The gesture recognition is not perfect, I often have to repeat and can, at times get a little frustrated and I find myself wishing that the mirror understood and responded to more voice commands. It's easier, for me to say, "Hi Mirror. Listen." and give it the command. But so far, it only seems to let me in and to take me to my Home screen by voice.


I wanted to get a picture of my skin analysis on my mirror, but my camera and lighting could only do so much and I'm not a crack shot with Photoshop. I hope that it gives you an idea, tho.

In addition to my Hi Mirror Plus, I received the Hi Skin attachment, a little skin analysis tool that gives an even more in depth picture of the skin's condition, both in individual areas and overall. I've not played with it, all that much because honestly, I'm just enjoying and getting good feedback from the in mirror photo feature.

Getting a skin analysis couldn't be easier! Turn on the mirror, sign in by camera or voice and the mirror will scroll through local weather and a headline or two then offer to take a pic and check my skin's condition. The mirror guides positioning, so that I'm at the right distance and angle, then it snaps the shot, analyzes my skin, according to what it sees then it pops my results. Quick and painless.

Now, skin care is important to me and I spend a lot of time and money taking care of my skin and I was happy to see, according to Hi Mirror Plus I am doing a good job! Texture, wrinkles, pores, tone, brightness all in the upper 90%. Brightness is a little lower, due to my monstrous dark circles. Since they are hereditary and exacerbated by allergies, those babies aren't going anywhere. While I definitely have some room for improvement, I was really happy to see that overall, my skin is good.

I was curious about how this mirror would judge my skin, as a 52 year old woman, as opposed to how it would judge the skin of a 25 year old. The mirror, upon setup asks for age and date of birth so my skin is analyzed on my own level, not against parameters set up for someone half my age. Well done!


Hi Mirror Plus can store my favorite skin care products and give me recommendations on new or different ones to try to further improve and maintain my complexion. Hi Mirror is a full service Personal Beauty System, not only does it analyze my skin, it can, with an attachment help to track weight, as well.


When it's time to put on my makeup, I get to fire up my favorite feature. The light strips. A few touches to the contact points and I have light, customized to my specifications of the day or evening. You know what I'd like on my mirror is a magnification feature. 3X, 5X, 10X at a touch of a button so make checking eye liner, lashes or plucking and so on easier would be great! #getoffmylawn

I am still enjoying getting to know all of the features and nuances of my Hi Mirror Plus. I am looking forward to the day it will synch with my Pandora account because, Mama likes her music when she's getting ready.

 Is Hi Mirror Plus something that you'd like to pick up for yourself or someone special? Imagine the look on your mom's face, when she opens this bad boy on Mother's Day! If you are ready to invest in a smart beauty mirror that can help guide you to the best skin of your life, use code 139XO to receive a 5% discount. This is not an affiliate code, it is a special discount, just for you.

Please check out Brooke's and Sheila's posts for their take on the Hi Mirror Plus.