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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

e.l.f.& It! Cosmetics Haul!

Howdy Friends!

With the exception of a half way decent day here and there, I've been down for the count and out of commission for the past several weeks. There just seems to be something about the transition of the seasons that puts my brain and my body into flare mode. My pain levels spike and my activity levels and alertness all but disappear. It's very much like "the crash" that I wrote a post about a while back, but in this case, I'm not getting payback from a period of over-exertion. It just happens. Go figure! I'm not sure that I'll ever get this Lupus thing down. I don't honestly know that anyone really does...

In the meantime, I just thought I'd share a couple of the purchases I've made recently! I'll be giving you some first impressions here and then some more educated thoughts and/or reviews on the products in an upcoming post.

I have to say that the items from this e.l.f. haul that I've used so far, are all winners. I did do a quick swatch of the "Mad For Matte" eyeshadow palette for you ...and as for what I think so far? Well, let's just say that I use at least one or two of the shadows in this palette, pretty consistently.

So for now, please enjoy the eye (lip and face) candy! LOL

I've gradually become a big fan of e.l.f. Cosmetics. Of course, it wouldn't be fair to compare their products point by point to higher end brands, but in my very humble opinion, for a drugstore makeup that sells for what I think anyone would have to call very reasonable prices, they put out a really decent product line. What I like most about them, is that they're adding to and improving the quality of their products all the time. They've even started a skin care line and I decided to give a couple of the offerings from that category a shot this time around.

I'll elaborate further on these in a future post, but I have to give e.l.f some major kudos for these matte lip colors. I only have one issue with them and that's their current packaging. It's a good idea from a concept perspective, but the product is a bit too loose and wobbly inside the twist-up case. So much so, that every time I use them, I'm careful not to exert much pressure because I'm afraid that the tip of the lipstick will snap right off. So, if anyone from the company happens to read this (yeah, right Mary lol) please reconsider how you've chosen to package these very lovely matte lippies!

Being an ultra fair skinned Irish lass, I'm not really into the super bright or extra dark colors for my lips, so I was pleased to find that they had a decent selection in the more nude, or natural range.

A lot of matte lipsticks out there right now are intensely deep red, burgundy, or plum shades and of course there are the sassy and sultry trending fashion shades like blacks, blues and dark purples that look amazing on the younger gals (and guys!) but can tend to be a little bit freakish on very pale, middle aged women like me. Not that I haven't see my share of more mature women rocking these trends, but I'm just not one of them.

The color sticks are nice. They give a subtle glow wherever you use them. I'm not used to using cream products on my cheeks, but these go on quite nicely and blend easily.

I haven't used the Lock & Seal yet, but I have a couple of loose pigments that I've received in Ipsy bags and I'm looking forward to giving it a go!

I really didn't think that anything would ever come along to make me switch from my It! Cosmetics Brow Power, but I'm actually liking this more than I thought I would. It's definitely something that I'm sure I'll use when I have extra time to put my makeup on, because it's more of a three-step process... but I'm impressed.

Haven't tried either of these yet, simply because I have similar products from other lines that I want to use up first.

Considering the fact that I am an admitted brush snob, this little contour brush is really pretty awesome!

Perfect size; no shedding; soft, yet densely packed bristles; solid ferrule and cleans up beautifully! That definitely passes all of my tests!

I'm a liquid or gel liner gal and this is a pretty good one. The tip could be just a tiny bit less rigid for my taste, but overall, not bad at all.

OK, so this isn't the most highly pigmented palette I own, but the shadows are quite buildable and very silky. I was surprised to find that there's not at all the amount of fallout that you usually see with even some higher end matte shadows.

I can't say that it quite equals my It! Naturally Pretty palettes, but I do use several of the shades on a regular basis.

Sorry, these aren't the best swatches, but I'll do some that are more detailed in a review post. There are actually two shadows before the dark tan shade, but in the light that I was working with and my very fair skin, they were a bit too light in color to show up. (The swatches are in the same order as the palette and they're the first two shadows)

I have to admit that I haven't used any of the nail polishes yet. Not because I don't like the colors... It's really just that I have so many open polishes that I really need to use up or "retire" soon.

And now... the It! Cosmetics kit that I purchased, specifically because I was dying to try their "Bye Bye Foundation". Anyone who knows me well, is very much aware that I am already an It! Cosmetics addict. I've worn the CC+ Cream and the Celebration Foundation for a few years, but let me just say right up front, that I'm beyond happy that I did, because this "no foundation" foundation, is some pretty amazing stuff! Especially during the Summer months.

In an upcoming post, I'll be adding more of my thoughts, along with some photos of the coverage it provides. I'll also share my opinions on the rest of the products in the kit and do some swatching. For the moment, this is what came in the kit:

This particular kit came with two bonus items that were stored in this frosted vinyl bag. The gifts were quite nice all by themselves and the bag should come in handy for traveling!

You can see that lovely brush right away...

But, what is it that's wrapped in the tissue?

I already have this "Heavenly Luxe Double Ended Foundation and Concealer Brush" in my collection, but when it comes to It! Cosmetics brushes, you truly can't ever have too many!

Unwrap the tissue, et voila! Aside from the Bye Bye Foundation, what I was most excited about was this Vitality Face Disc. I have a similar palette from another It! kit with slightly different products in it, but I'd been hearing so much about this face disc through YouTube and other social media, that I just had to experience it for myself! Briefly speaking... I am NOT disappointed!

I love the fact that Jamie always includes a thorough and very helpful booklet with all of her kits. In case you aren't familiar with the brand, Jamie Kern Lima is a former news anchor and the founder of It! Cosmetics.  She also happens to be their best - and bubbliest - spokesperson! Just click on her name (above) to read an article from Entrepreneur.com about how she started the company and got her big break on QVC.

Along with the Vitality Face Disc, the products that are new to me are: The Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-Powder, the Bye Bye Foundation, the Vitality Lip Flush and the Bye Bye Waterproof Concealer. I already own and use the Brow Power, No Tug Waterproof Gel Liner and a different incarnation of the Hello Lashes Mascara.

The Hello Lashes has a very nice, not too wet formula, that lengthens and adds volume ...and it holds a curl like nobody's business!

Sorry about all of the out of focus photos in this post. I just didn't have the time to take them over for this "haul" post, but I'll be doing reviews etc. in upcoming separate posts on each of these products and I'll (hopefully) have much better photos to go along with it.
Haven't used this powder yet but I'll be doing some close-ups in my review post, so... beware! Yikes!

Oh my! I won't go on about it now, but this Vitality Lip Flush is simply lovely! I will be buying this product again and again - you can safely bet the farm and just about anything else you'd like to, on that declaration!

Definitely one of my go-to liners! And they are not kidding when they say waterproof!

Hands down, THE best brow product I've ever used... and I tried quite a few of them before finding this one! I believe it would be safe to say that this is my holy grail brow product!

I've been using It! Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer for some time now and I love it, but this might just be my new favorite! It has the same amazing coverage, but they've thinned out the consistency a bit (which has been one of the major issues for a lot of Bye Bye Undereye's critics from day one) and I think it's better suited to be used as a stand alone, or foundation replacement on those days when you're feeling like a full coverage foundation or a BB or CC cream aren't necessary.

Well, here it is, in all of it's splendor! Stay tuned for a full review in the not too distant future, with swatches and before and after photos included! Those of you who are easily frightened by, or uncomfortable with, close up photos of slightly enlarged pores and/or wrinkles, might want to avoid that one! Ha!

But seriously, please do come back and visit me again. If you are curious about either e.l.f Cosmetics or It! Cosmetics, I promise you that whatever I share here on the blog, will always be very thorough and very honest.

Thanks so much for stopping in to say hello! If you have any questions or any specific things you'd like me to address in either the e.l.f. review and swatch post or the It! post, please leave them in the comments below. I'm really very happy to oblige in any way that I can!

In the meantime, stay as beautiful as you are... both inside and out!


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pura D'Or Challenge

Hello my friends!

It's been a long and sometimes challenging Summer and I have all kinds of good stuff to share with you, but I wanted to let you all know about one particularly interesting challenge that I've agreed to first!

The very kind folks at Pura D'Or have generously sent me their argan oil rich Premium Organic Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo and Healing Conditioner, as well as their 100% pure, cold pressed Argan Oil for hair, face and body to try out. As many of you know, I have very fine, thinning hair and super sensitive skin, so I have to be very careful about what I put on my face and what I use to cleanse and condition my scalp and hair.

After reading about this company and checking out several other reviews by trusted bloggers and vloggers, I agreed to accept their challenge! Of course, the fact that their products are organic, plant based and gluten free, with no parabens, SLS or other harmful chemicals played a big part in my decision. I'll be giving my review of their products a full 60 days, so that I can be completely sure of the results and give an honest and fair review, but I'll be periodically updating all of you at different intervals during the process. So stay tuned!

** This is not a sponsored post. The above products were sent to me by the manufacturer, but I am not being compensated in any way for my review(s). Any and all opinions are 100% my own.

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