Thursday, July 28, 2011


Nothing says I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired like throwing on some cheery perfume and bright eyed shadow! If I have to feel like butt, I can at least trick myself into pretending otherwise!

Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara is a bit of a misnomer, I wouldn't say it actually doubles the lashes (go to Lancome Hypnose for that) but it does a wonderful job of lengthening and separating. It's a perfect mascara for daytime use when you want your lashes to have some flash but don't need nighttime Kim Kardashian action. It gives some curl and is marvelous at catching even the tiniest, featheriest lashes with it's tapered brush. If you use mascara on your lower lashes like I do, it makes them look perfect- a pretty framing fringe without making them look all fake and creepy and spidery. It stays in place even though it's not waterproof; in the Texas heat I need that since a trip from your car to the front door causes a mask of sweat to cover your face. A good, affordable daytime use mascara. Available at Sephora, Free Caudalie Vinoperfect moisturizer with any $25 or more order ($23 value). Enter VINOSPF at checkout.

Coty Celebrate! perfume is a floral, but instead of being sweet, it's a sharp floral, if that makes sense. I suppose you'd say a sweet citrus. It's a very clean scent, very summery. It smells like how I feel after a cool shower on a hot day. I like to spray it into the air around me and let the mist fall over me as opposed to spraying it directly on the skin, or I spray it onto my clothes before I hang them in the bathroom to steam out wrinkles. Available at, FREE Shipping

Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion is not for those with chapped lips. It can be a bit drying if you already have a problem, no doubt about it. It works by providing your lips with a smooth dry surface to apply your lipstick to, causing the lipstick to adhere more readily to your lips. It works best if you exfoliate your lips regularly (with an actual exfoliating scrub or even by using your toothbrush) so it has a nice smooth surface to cling to. If chapped lips aren't your condition, then Prime away! I have a massive blabbermouth, so it seems like my lipstick comes off from the sheer force of the air propulsing offa my lips, but when I use this I find my lipstick rocking steady all day long. I've read reviews where people whined about what an awful lip balm it is. HELLO! It's a primer. Caveat emptor: if you use this, you'll have difficulties applying a liner- which is pointless anyway if you're using a primer. Duh. I like to use it with lip glosses, because it gives them the staying power of a lipstick while letting you still have a sheer, natural colored lip. Bonus! It has an SPF 15 to keep you from getting wrinkly old scabby lips! YAY! Also available at Sephora, with Free Caudalie Vinoperfect moisturizer with any $25 or more order ($23 value). Enter VINOSPF at checkout.

pop Beauty Lid Neon is one of my favorite sets ever! I can be in the mood to kick puppies and then I put on these colors and suddenly I'm breaking out into song! Just like the nail polish I raved about a few days ago, the colors are 100% true. Wild, crazy, psychedelic true! And while you may be asking, "what's that burnt orange doing with all those bright colors?" It works as the perfect foil to every single other color in the set, and can even be used as your main color with the others used for tiny bits of color highlight if you're afraid. Not for the meek- these are bold and brazen and scream LOOK AT ME! pop Beauty- I love you.
p.s.- normally enclosed sponge applicators bite, but I actually like this one. The tips have a point, making them perfect for doing fine, defining work. These are for doing eye art. Available at Ulta
FREE Shipping on orders all orders of $25 or more with coupon code 55061. Now through Saturday.

L'oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base "You take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both and there you have the facts of life- the facts of life..." Pro: you can now buy primer at the chain stores. Con: not nearly as good as brands like Laura Gellar, Smashbox or Urban Decay. It works well for the first bit of the day, but I noticed that it was not up to my standard 12 hour blow and go. When you first apply it, it does give a lovely airbrushed effect, but it feels a bit heavy and doesn't apply as smoothly as some of the other potions on the market. I'd rather use this than nothing, as I have large pores, but it won't ever be my go-to. If you don't want to shell out for the pricier brands, I say give it a shot as it works decently well just not like some of my more beloveds. I have tough standards. Oh- and it's in a jar with no scoop so it gets under your fingernails. Ick. I'd use something to get it out to avoid contamination if I were you.

e.l.f. Mineral Booster proves that I am not a price tag queen. $5 for a big ass jar! That's right- FIVE DOLLARS. If you are super crazy pale like me, the sheer is not as sheer as I'd like, it has just enough of an pinkish tone that it'd be perfect on those with a bit of color to their face but I have to be careful with it. I just use a tiny light dusting to set my makeup (which it does perfectly), but super pale needs to go for the Shimmer shade, or if you have redness go for the corrective yellow. It's vitamin infused so it feels extremely luxe and soft on the skin and it really evens out your skin texture. It's really long lasting without being drying and absorbs excess oil wonderfully.
It applies beautifully with another great e.l.f. product- their Complexion Brush #91201. This antimicrobial Taklon brush is crazy soft and applies powders evenly and smoothly. It holds onto your powder so that it doesn't fall all over the place, and it gets into all of your cracks and crevices. The bristles don't shed either! And it's only THREE DOLLARS! Just as good (if not better) than some of my expensive fancy pants brushes. (ahem, bare minerals...) AND they're vegan friendly!

e.l.f. Mineral Lip Gloss in Au Naturele completes my e.l.f. triad for today ;-) It's quite neutral but slightly glittery, so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time and could have just worn lip balm. It's got shine without feeling overly gloppy or sticky and has great staying power. It's never going to give MAC a run for their money, but it's also not going to give my WALLET a run for it's money! Another $3.00 bargain! " Infused with Coconut Oil and key vitamins A & E to protect and moisturize your lips. All our mineral makeup is 100% mineral based with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes" As seen in Glamour magazine's article, 6 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Makeup Bag! (they called this shade "a go anywhere, nude lipgloss") 
And right now, they're having a huge birthday sale with special pricing, shipping deals, contests and more!

Birthday Palette!

Okay, enough with the e.l.f. already! I just used up the last of my Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage Eye Cream SPF 15 today, and I must admit I'll be a bit sad.
After a month of use, my verdict is that it didn't clog my pores, absorbed quickly, felt rich but not greasy, and gave me the peace of mind of SPF. Why oh why do more eye creams not have SPF? Isn't that one of the most ravaged parts of our face? COME ON, PEOPLE! A great eye cream that you can get at the corner store. Bonus- I got some in my eye the other day and it didn't even burn or make me go blind. SCORE!


Mama Love Perfumery

I'm having some help with my crankies today. I'm sure many gals can sympathize- I'm in the "cry at phone commercials, crampy & whiny" time of the month. Luckily I have a full bottle of organic flower essence aromatherapy perfume oil from Mama Love Perfumery.

Mama Love products are all natural and handmade using 98-100% organic ingredients: ethically wildcrafted or biodynamically grown flower essences, therapeutic grade mostly steam-distilled essential oils and 100% organic jojoba. Eco-friendly and vegan-friendly, too. (Member of EtsyOrganic Team!)
Mine is for PMS, Postpartum, and Menopause support. Well, I don't know about postpartum or menopause- but it calms my PMS Monster into, well, at least just a tiny PMS bridge troll. And it smells DIVINE! I like to actually put a tiny dab just under my nose so I can continually inhale the scent. Useful AND lovely!
Ahhhhh, now I don't have to murder anyone :-)

Sisobaba Soaps

I’m so very grateful for my Almond Butter Vanilla Soap from Eugene Oregon's Sisobaba. It's lightly scented so that it doesn't battle for dominance and is nicely unisex. It's gentle enough to be used on your face and has a lovely exfoliating effect. I could feel it sloughing off all of the funk and I felt like a new person! I'm surprised that there wasn't a ring around the tub like I'd just given the dog a bath when I was done! When it’s summer in Texas, just walking from the door to the car can make you feel gross, so this soap is perfect for turning yourself back into a human.

They have awesome sampler sets. Their guest soap samplers are an incredibly cheap three bucks and would make an awesome gift or simply set out to make your guests feel pampered (my mother-in-law loved the bar I put down in the guest bathroom.) They have great Etsy feedback, so give 'em a shot- you won't be disappointed. (Plus, they also sell affordable and adorable totes and ceramics as well!)

 I'm in love with the Cream Concealer in Fair. This was the first cream mineral concealer I'd seen, and it blends perfectly with my skin and covers any and all imperfections. It's made with jojoba oil, so it's an anti-inflamatory- perfect for blemish prone skin. I've been using it to cover up the areas of my face that aren't healed up after my accident, and a number of people that see me every day were asking me "wow! How did you get your face fixed up so fast?" No one believed me that it was this concealer because it looks so natural- not at all thick or cakey. I just say I'm Wolverine's little sister ;-)

The Mineral Lip/Blush Duo in Egyptian Sunrise is a lovely dual use color and gives a healthy glow to the cheeks and a natural sexy pout to the lips (I applied it over a clear lip balm). I can never resist a multitasker!

Appetite Synergy in Warm Spice
I like to actually dab a little of this onto my wrists so I can sniff it whenever I get the nibbles. It's such a beautiful spicy scent that it doubles as a fragrance! It works too! (Obviously it's not going to keep you from starving to death, but it does seem to affect those craving sensors.) 
From the website:
"Stop the food craving when it starts with a warm blend of your favorite spices! "Spices" is a earthy blend of 100% pure allspice, coriander, clary sage, vanilla, and black pepper essential oils. Directions: When you are sitting down to eat or when the food craving begins take 3 whiffs in each nostril of the synergy blend, breathe as deeply as you can, partially closing one nostril and enhaling with the other. The most effective weightloss is obtained with 3 different synergy blends, varrying one oil for every few days. Please remember that you must still exercise and keep healthy eating habits for the best results!"

All natural perfume in Jessamine 
Jessemine is a fruity bouquet of rare white florals, with a burst of tropical citrus, that dries down to a soft note of precious heartwoods. Subtle and flirty and without the heaviness of so many synthetic scents, but still a true perfume, not just a heavy essential oil sledgehammer.
Did you know that 90% of all commercial perfumes are dangerously toxic because of unregulated ingredients which are hazardous and used because they are cheap? Jenuine Beauty Botanical Perfumes are 100% natural and made from exotic essential oils like Tuberose, Pink Lotus, Ambrette, Rose, Orange Blossom, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Geranium, and Sandalwood-as well as many others:  Combine them with beneficial Organic Jojobba oil-a valuable skin renewing plant oil that is good for your skin- And you get an exotic highly beneficial perfume which is suited to your unique body chemistry and perfect for that night out!

Rainforest Lipgloss is a light,shimmery gloss that goes on nice and slick- no rubbing crayons on your mouth here!

 Two products that I got to try out that are not yet available commercially (whoo hoo! Prototypes!) were the
Botanical Pressed Mineral Foundation in Blushing Ivory and the Acne And Pain Relieving Serum.

The pressed foundation is the first of it's kind that I've seen in the indie makeup market. So much more convenient for travel or for applying on the run!

The serum has been a
 lifesaver for my arthritis. I keep the bottle in my purse and rub it into my hands when the joints get all achy. It's truly amazing, and I love that it actually smells nice- no nasty old man Ben Gay smell!
"Finally makeup, skin care, personal care, and perfumes which are toxin free and good for you!
From the About Me Page
My name is Jennifer Bingham. I have dedicated the last 9 years of my life to making revolutionary beauty products that are toxin free,  and enhance the health and beauty of my clients. To date I have developed over 100 recipes, each one carefully crafted and fully researched and tested.  I use only the finest vegan, organic, and natural ingredients sourced from all over the world: many of which are rare and exotic-each one selected for it's healing properties and natural beauty enhancing abilities. Please, browse my site and enjoy what I have worked so hard to offer to you."

 Jenny is an absolute doll and a really neat lady, so go and check out her site today! 

Something that I love about sampler boxes is the tons of independent companies I get to find out about that I would probably never have stumbled across on my own. Sometimes I even fall rapturously in love!

Take for instance Stinky D's. Their body lotion is DIVINE. Natural ingredients, highly emollient without being greasy, and quick to absorb. Simply a perfect lotion. I have it in Laid Back Lavender and I love to slather this on before I go to sleep so that the lavender will send me off to pillow island. And it's cheap too! a 2oz bottle is only $3.00! 
Stinky D's is a 2 woman operation in Utah that started out by selling their products at Utah farmer's markets. Before you know it, their concoctions were highly sought after, and it's easy to see why! My only criticism is that they need to update their website with shopping info or a link to their Etsy shop- I had to really hunt to find out how to purchase their products online! I would also like to see that information given on their bottle labels, especially as they're branching out into the cyber marketplace.

Another indie that I love is Gumdropz Luxury Bath Products. I have their solid lotion bar in Creamcake Coco-Cabana. Again, the only complaint I have is that they make themselves very hard to track down. Nowhere on the label does it say the name Gumdropz- I actually thought the company was called Coco-Cabana (the scent name) because it's the only identifying name on the label. Come on guys! Let us know how to buy from you again and send you business! 

Onto the lotion itself......

This HIGHLY concentrated form of lotion is a solid. You run your fingers across it to warm it up and make it easy to use. Solid lotions will last nearly forever- I have been using this one for a few months and there's barely a dent in it. Because it's a solid, these are perfect for keeping in your purse or for travel. Particularly good for rough patches like feet or elbows and great for the cuticles too. I keep mine at work because I wash my hands so frequently, and this keeps my skin soft without having to reapply after every handwashing. I also don't have to worry about it spilling, and in a solid form it confuses my co-workers who leave it alone :-) I wouldn't try to use this for my body as it's so concentrated it seems like it would take forever to use on such a large area, but for the hands and target areas it's c'est magnefique!

Not to be a broken record here, I realize that I am continuously praising this company to high heaven- but I have to say, the Lush Locks Leave On Conditioning Spray has saved me with my currently disabled arm. To lift my right arm to be able to wash and condition my hair is still a horrible pain in the, um, arm. With this spray, I can use my good arm to spritz and brush through and my hair is soft, bouncy, shiny, and smells like a zillion bucks. I love that it has vitamin B5 and wheat protein in it (so it truly is a conditioner, not just a shine spray).

I use the Bergamot & Coriander in the morning for a wonderful pick me up to start the day, and when I do a night hair washing, the Honey Pear & Praline is a soothing midnight snack as I drift away. Of course there are hundreds of scents to choose from, so you can find your own Nirvana. There's even a new scent called Good Karma, and any items chosen in that scent will have 100% of the profits donated to the Willamette Humane Society! That right there makes me want to give these guys a big smooch! Vegan and cruelty free products handmade in small batches as you order them, Cherry City just keeps getting more and more awesome. I am proud to have watched the evolution of this dynamo!

One of the biggest complaints I hear about mineral veils is that many people don't like the shimmer that accompanies so many of them. For those, Ferro's Matte Veil is the answer to their prayers. I have it in nude, and it truly is a matte. It has excellent staying power and keeps your makeup fresh all day, whether used as a primer beneath your mineral foundation to lessen the appearance of pores, or as a touch up to absorb oil as the day wears on. I love that it doesn't become cakey or look piled on- you simply have fresh, clean looking skin.

While they do not make sunscreen claims (for which you have to go through the FDA) it does contain titanium dioxide, so it does act as a sunsceen.

"Ultra-fine mineral veil in pale beige naturally reflects light and conceals acne, dark spots and under-eye circles for fresh, luminous skin. Tinted with pale beige minerals for a fresh, neutral glow."
 Another Ferro fave is their Winter Kiss Glow Bronzer. A lot of bronzers look downright creepy on me because I'm such a pale kemosabe, but a lil dab of this on the apples of my cheeks and I just look healthy and vibrant. It's the perfect alternative to standard blushers for a natural, yet glowing look. While they talk about it warming up pale winter skin, for someone who's ghostly year round like me, this is the perfect shade. 

"Add warmth to the crispness that is winter with a spectacular peachy-colored mineral bronzer.  Skin kissed in a peachy glow brings warmth during the doldrums of winter."

I've used a lot of mineral foundations, and I have to say that their Ultimate Foundation is one of the best I've ever used (and I mean that to include the big department store brands!) I have it in Fairest Honey, which blends in so perfectly with my skin that it looks totally natural. It's light enough to match my skintone without looking pasty or mask like. What I really adore about it though is that it's so finely spun that it doesn't cake up or need any blending and it doesn't creep into pores or fine lines. 

One of the great things about Ferro is that you can order a foundation starter kit. It includes 3 Ultimate Mineral Foundation and 3 Radiance Foundation Mini’s in your skin tone. Includes makeup brush, application sponge, directions for finding and customizing your right shade, and a $5 Coupon towards your full size purchase. The minis are actually a good size too, so you really can spend some time playing with them and testing them out. 

Now something I really think makes them a cut above so many mineral makeup lines is their Eye Candy. They have them in mattes, pearls, shimmers, and the awesome 3-in-ones! 

Their bestselling shade is the fabulous Dirt, which is one of the 3-in-one shades. It can be used as a shadow, an eyeliner and a brow definer and is easy to take from very soft to intense depending on your level of layering. I love to apply this as a liner, because it doesn't crease or fade and is a magnificent compliment to almost any color of shadow. It's a cool toned deep matte brown, but it has green mica flecks that add an unexpected extra depth. It blends fabulously with almost any highlighting shade, and like their other products, is finely milled for smooth application. 

In their Pearl Eye Candy line, I have Come Hither, which is a lovely pearl shimmer. This is the one for those who want a little extra pizazz above a matte shade but don't want the full on glitter effect. Come Hither is an extremely subtle peachy nude, providing the perfect bit of highlight and blending beautifully with bolder colors. This one is also great for toning down colors that got applied too heavily or for adding shimmer to a matte shade without altering the color itself too drastically. 

Ferro Cosmetics is the brainchild of Krissy Ferro, who is a delightful woman. She helped me to pick out the best shades for my skintone and made great recommendations for me, which I truly appreciate. 

About Ferro Cosmetics from Krissy herself:
"An advocate of natural skincare products, I soon became unsatisfied with trendy brands and their mineral counterparts. It was difficult finding mineral makeup that was truly all natural and toxin-free. And when I found products that met those qualifications, I grew discontent with the lack of colors, overly shiny and dull finishes and mediocre results. Thus the seedling of Ferro Cosmetics was planted. Our wide selection offers a little bit of everything for every woman. Besides our continued effort to present you with a dazzling array of colors, we also offer several finishes that best suit your skin type.
A single mother of two rambunctious boys (ages 3 and 6) and business owner, I understand the time-restraints we face as women. Whether you have four or 20 minutes to spare for your daily beauty regimen, Ferro Cosmetics offers all natural, non-toxic mineral makeup and tools to achieve that desired flawless look. After years of research and trial-and-errors, we offer an unrivaled selection for everyone - from the supermom juggling a busy career and children to the ferocious trendsetter who is always experimenting with her look. Mature women enjoy their youthful glow with our age-defying products, while women with darker pigments have wider selection of products that won't leave their skin looking ashy. By matching our customer's exterior to her interior, we can reflect just how fabulous she truly is."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Deals Exclusively At Sephora

Sew Sweet Children's Clothing Patterns Giveaway

Sew excited to be featuring Sew Sweet Patterns today! Patti + Angi are a mother/daughter team offering sewing-patterns for seamstresses at all levels of ability. The patterns are emailed to you within 12 hours of purchase -- all including step-by-step instructions with photos of the steps! Each pattern includes several sizes too -- perfect for making matching outfits for your daughters or sons. (love that.) Plus, you may use their patterns to create clothing to sell in your own shop (as long as you give them credit for designing the patterns, of course.)
There are patterns for boys' clothing - 
asher shirt || boy's shorts
girls' outfits...
izzy ruffle pants set || happy skirt || hayden dress
and even sweet patterns for doll attire (+ matching daughter/doll sets)...
kate wrap around child + doll set || gia pleated dress child + doll set
~ Checkout the Bundle Pack deals too - order several patterns and save!
Giveaway! One winner will receive a 5 Pack of Children's Patterns! Your choice of any 5 children's patterns. 

Brigitte's Boutique

I've mentioned this site before and how much I just love it, but now it's even better! Brigitte's Boutique is an online resource for astounding deals on high end makeup brands. I love to troll their clearance section (when they have one) and get brands like MAC at half their retail price. Now they've updated their website to make shopping even easier, including a countdown that tells you how many of a particular product they have left.

An example of some current deals?

MAC Eye Shadow Palette

DEVOTED POPPY: 6 Classic Eyes
From the Christmas 2008 Collection!

Shades Include:
Sweet Eyes (S)
Young Thing (S)
Amorously (F)
Awaken (F)
In Awe (V)
Fall Deeply (F) 

Bright Red jeweled case includes brush 213SE

Retail: $49.50 
Our Price: $29.95

DuWop Venom Rocks lip Venom Trio
Limited edition trio contains mini lip venom in Garnet, Pink Quartz and Amethyst.

BOXED .06 oz (1.8ml)

Retail: $21.00 
Our Price: $12.50

NARS Blush and Bronzing Duo - HUNGRY HEART

Retail: $75.00 
Our Price: $32.00

They have dozens of brands available and a constantly updated selection, so check 'em out today!

Get Courtney Cox's Ageless Skin

Pssst! Wanna know an A-List secret? It's dermatologist - recommended Kinerase which is proven to ameliorate the look of sun-damaged facial skin and erase the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It’s a favorite of celebs everywhere, from Paramore's Hayley Williams to Hollywood heavy hitters like Kate Beckinsale and Robert Downey Jr. If the fountain of youth exists, it’s sure to be flowing with kinetin, the plant-based antioxidant contained in all Kinerase products that moisturize skin, making it luminous, youthful and wrinkle-free– even after
overexposure to the sun.


She may boast that “two is better than one,” but to get flawless skin like Taylor Swift’s, all you need is one bottle of Kinerase’s Ultimate Night Moisturizer. Let it nourish your skin as you sleep and wake up with a more radiant complexion. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

With a new baby boy and a busy tour schedule, Sheryl Crow’s sure to spend a few sleepless nights on the road, but nobody will notice any dark circles under her baby blues, thanks to Kinerase’s Pro+Therapy line’s miracle eye cream. The innovative formula gently cools the delicate skin around your eyes as it reduces puffiness and slows aging.

Whether she’s singing onstage as herself or her alter-ego, Miley Cyrus is sure to be blemish-free, and it’s all because of Kinerase’s Clear Skin Blemish Dissolver. With soothing botanical extracts, it prevents irritation as it heals and is guaranteed to provide blemish relief for a clearer complexion in no time. Sing about that!

Trips to Cabo and Malibu bungalows aren’t all that Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston share; they both also share a love of Kinerase’s Cream. All beauty brands want such sought-after actresses to be the faces of their products, but according to Courtney, she “only trusts her skin to Kinerase.” And why wouldn’t she? It’s a simple, anti-aging, moisturizing facial cream that’s sure to leave your skin soft and younger-looking in no time. For those of you with oilier skin, try Kinerase’s Lotion instead!
All Available at Dermstore

Free Shipping at DermStore