Monday, July 6, 2020

Pucker Up with Lipglosses by Doubledown Cosmetics

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! For today's post, I wanted to share with you the most recent cosmetic addition to Doubledown Cosmetics' lineup: lipglosses!

Gifted Samples

Doubledown Cosmetics now has three ultra-flattering lipglosses in the brand line-up. I've had the opportunity to try them, and I'm not sure which one I am enjoying more! These lipglosses apply easily and are comfortable on the lips. They are lipglosses so they don't dry down completely on the lips, but they aren't particularly sticky either. The composition of these lipglosses include 14 certified organic ingredients and vanilla extract. While the vanilla is present and you can smell it in the product, I don't find it to be too intense and overpowering. Let's get a closer look at each of the three shades!

The Renegade: a smooth crimson red

The Runaway: a peachy nude with rose gold shimmer

The Rebel: a smooth raspberry pink

The colours are stunning, but you really need to put them on your lips to see just how much they shine.

The Renegade

The Runaway

The Rebel

Retail: $17.50

All three shades are truly stunning! If you're like me and like to mix up your lip shades often, it's really hard to pick a favorite! In that case, you can purchase the trio!

Retail: $52.00
These (and other Doubledown Cosmetics products) are well worth the full price, but if you're wanting to try them out and save a little money, Doubledown Cosmetics is having a sale for Cape Verdean Independence Day (it was yesterday). Save 30% through today with the code CV! I picked up a few eyeshadows that I've been needing to add to my collection! If cosmetics aren't your jam, be sure to check out my recent post on Doubledown Cosmetics' new skincare products.

Have you tried any products from Doubledown Cosmetics? I'd love to hear about your favorites!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, June 29, 2020

KBShimmer Brings Back Pimp My Pride for a Limited Time

Press Sample

Happy Monday, dear readers! I can't believe that June is almost over and this is a holiday weekend! I've not had the energy to do any nail art lately, but I have been able to get my nails ready thanks to KBShimmer's Pimp My Pride!

This polish was originally released in 2013 and had been retired, but brand owner Christy Rose opted to bring it back for a limited time with their new updated packaging.

Pimp My Pride is a white based polish filled with metallic red and blue glitters. The glitters are hexagon shaped as well as thin, short bars.

This polish applies easily, although you may have to push a glitter back up onto your nails or pull them off as they can sometimes hang over the nail bed. I used three coats to reach full opacity and topped my nails off with two coats of KBShimmer's Clearly on Top Quick Dry Top Coat for a smoother finish.

This polish is only available for a limited time, so be sure to snag this beauty before it is no longer available!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Doubledown Cosmetics Branches into Skincare

Happy Friday, dear readers! I don't know about you, but I am so glad the weekend is just about here! I don't have anything special planned, but my health has been on a downward swing this week, and I am looking forward to having my husband home to help with the kids. I am exhausted, but I still wanted to get this post p this week. Let's jump in!

Gifted Samples

Earlier this year, I shared a post featuring Doubledown Cosmetics on my blog, and I am so excited to bring the brand back today! Doubledown Cosmetics has branched out into skincare with two clean beauty products to have your skin looking its best. These products are simple, but they pack quite a punch! Let's get a closer look at them!

French Green Clay and Rosewater Mask

This face mask is literally two ingredients: green clay and organic rosewater. I really love clay based masks as clay draws impurities out of your skin. The result is clearer and calmer looking skin. Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties and can calm irritated skin as well.

I don't like to dip my fingers into my skincare products if I can avoid it, and I keep a small collection of spatulas on hand for scooping. This mask does not come with its own spatula.

The texture of this mask is light and a little thin, and even at room temperature, it still feels a little cool when I apply it to my skin. Simply apply to the skin, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

I have normal to slightly oily skin, and I have been using this mask once a week. Letting it sit on the skin too long can leave your face feeling a little dry, but if you follow up with your skincare routine, it leaves the skin feeling incredibly smooth and supple.

I've not made it a secret that I'm not crazy about rose scented products, but because it contains actual rosewater instead of a synthetic fragrance, I actually really enjoy this mask! I doubt that rose will ever make its way into being my favorite scent, but I really appreciate products that incorporate actual rose ingredients. My nose can definitely tell the difference between real and synthetic, at least when it comes to roses, and my response is radically different between them!

Retail: $22.99

Organic Rose Hydrosol Spray

Doubledown Cosmetics continues to stick to their standard of using high quality ingredients with their Organic Rose Hydrosol Spray. As the name implies, this spray is made from organically grown roses. It is such a great product for your skin, and it can be used as a toner, a hydrating boost in your skincare routine, or just as a quick refresher throughout the day. Some even use it as a makeup setting spray! I'm not really sure if its effectiveness as a setting spray varies due to skin type, temperatures, combination of other skincare products with cosmetic composition, or a combination of the above, so results can vary on that. It is not quite enough for me as a setting spray with our 110˚F+ days right now, but I will have to try it when it cools down again!

This spray bottle has arguably the finest spray I have ever come across for a non-aerosol pump. It dispenses a respectable amount of product with each pump, and I really like that it is dispersed nicely rather than localizing into a small area. Because it is very dry here, I like to do a spray on each side of my face for the ultimate hydration boost!

When it comes to keeping my skin hydrated, I am a big fan of using hyaluronic acid, but HA only works effectively when there is moisture from outside the skin cells. I get that moisture by spritzing on this rose hydrosol after HA application and again periodically throughout the day if I feel my skin needs a little refresh. I never really thought I would become a rose hydrosol fan, but here I am! Even my 7 year old insists on getting a hydration boost on his face whenever he sees me grabbing for my bottle!

Retail: $25.00

Both of these products are excellent for any skincare routine. If you're having trouble deciding which one you want or if you already know you want them both, you can pick up the set as a bundle and save a little money.

Retail: $45.00

I'm enjoying my one-a-week mask routine and using the rose hydrosol daily! Which one are you most excited to try out? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend!

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Get a Summer Glow with Cuccio Bronze Shimmer Butter

Gifted Sample

Since we're all reaching for an applying (and reapplying!) our sunscreen, we're having to look into using products to help give our skin that gorgeous summery glow. I've been trying out the Cuccio Naturalé Bronze Shimmer Butter in the Dark version, and I am obsessed!

The Bronze Shimmer Butters are available in both 4oz tubes and 8oz jars. The Bronze Shimmer Butter comes in both a light and a dark option, so you can select the version that suits you the best. I have a light-medium skintone initially, but I tan like there is no tomorrow no matter how often I apply sunscreen. I like to use an spf of at least 30, but my Mediterranean skin just loves to show off a tan once the word spring is mentioned.

When I first squeezed the Bronze Shimmer Butter onto my body, I was a little afraid it would be too dark for me, but it blends out and melts into my skin perfectly. The formula is so smooth and creamy, and the mango seed oil, moringa oil, and shea butter gives your skin an ultra hydrating boost. The addition of mica leaves a stunningly beautiful glow on the skin, so you can look radiant both indoors and out!

The Dark Bronze Shimmer Butter is such a good match for my tan skin and the shimmer is gorgeous! I have no doubts this particular version would look incredible on those with darker skin. My husband is paler than me, and he begrudgingly tested this out on his skin for me. While it did blend in well and not make his skin look darker, the bronze shimmer did stick out a lot rather than looking like a healthy glow. If you are paler then me, I recommend sticking to the lighter shade.

I really enjoyed trying out the Dark Bronze Shimmer Butter by Cuccio Naturalé! It's already become a go-to product for me this season. I love that the shimmers leave a radiant glow on my skin, and I can appreciate the extra hydrating boost as well!

Have you used the Bronze Shimmer Butter or other spa body products from Cuccio? I'd love to hear about your favorites!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Love Sun Body: A Truly Safe and Natural Mineral Sunscreen

Gifted Sample

Can.....anybody.....find me.....somebody

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Friday! Does anyone else have certain songs pop in their heads when it comes to product or brand names? I keep finding myself singing this line from Queen's song every time I think of the brand Love Sun Body. Thankfully this brand also allows me to answer the question with a resounding YES! Yes, you CAN love both your body AND being out in the sun thanks to this natural mineral sunscreen!

We all know we're supposed to be wearing sunscreen every day, and we're also supposed to be reapplying it throughout the day. I was gifted a travel sized bottle of Love Sun Body's Fragrance Free SPF 30 to try out, and I really enjoy this sunscreen. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sunscreens on the market to choose from, but many use chemical filters as their active ingredients along with inactive ingredients that are hazardous to your body. When I'm applying sunscreen so often, I want to know that I am protecting myself from the sun without causing other issues because of the included chemicals! Love Sun Body sunscreens are the first and only sunscreens in the US that have been certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural and both meets and exceeds the FDA OTC Monograph System, the European Commission's recommendation on UVA protection and Health Canada Natural Health Products Regulations. This sunscreen is reef safe, so I can use it without worrying about runoff destroying my beloved oceanic ecosystems.

The first thing I noticed about this sunscreen is it is thick. It came out of the bottle without much effort, but now that I'm on the last half of the bottle, I'm starting to struggle to squeeze product out.

I split the initial line of sunscreen from above between my forearms, and it is definitely covering my skin!

Between the thick formula and it being a mineral sunscreen, this sunscreen takes some work to blend it in. I have it mostly rubbed in here, but there is still a little bit of white cast on my skin. In the grand scheme of things, it's a price to pay for wearing sunscreen and protecting my skin from the sun's harmful rays, but I did want to note I still observed it on my skin.

This is a pretty good mineral sunscreen option for those that want a healthier sunscreen! I'm not crazy about the white cast, but those with paler skintones than me likely won't notice it. I would love for Love Sun Body to release a tinted version to help combat the white cast finish. It may not be a deal breaker for me, but I am less likely to grab for sunscreen as much as I should when I know it's going to have that effect on my skin.

The other drawback to this sunscreen is the thick formula is not particularly compatible with the packaging. As I mentioned already, I have about half a bottle left, and I'm really struggling to squeeze product out at this point. I'm not sure if this issue is observed with the full sized bottles, but I can only write about what I know, and that is this travel sized bottle.

Love Sun Body sunscreens can be purchased from their website here. They are available in SPF 30 and SPF 50 options as well as with a Fragrance Free and Lightly Scented option. The lightly scented option is a combination of tiare (a gardenia like floral from Tahiti, and one of the few floral scents I like) and vanilla. The Fragrance Free version does not have added fragrance, but because one of the inactive ingredients is almond oil, my sensitive nose can still pick up a hint of almond.

Have you picked up your sunscreen yet for this summer? How are you spending your time outdoors? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Testing out 3 products by Hard Night Good Morning

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed the weekend and your week is off to a wonderful start! For today's blog post, I wanted to share a few skincare products from the brand Hard Night Good Morning and give my thoughts on them. Please keep in mind that this post reflects my opinions after my use of the products. This is extremely important for me to mention upfront. I have very mixed feeling about writing this post, and I strongly encourage you to follow along and read my final thoughts at the bottom. Ready? Let's do this!

Gifted Samples

Since washing my face is the first step in my skincare routine, I figured this would be the best product to start off this post. As I've been holding off on writing this post for many months now, this cleanser has had a packaging and name revision. The ingredients list is the same.

I personally prefer to do my exfoliating at night, especially on days when I've worn a full face of makeup, and I have used this cleanser both in the morning and at night as part of my skincare routine. It contains jojoba beads to gently exfoliate the skin and a multitude of fruit extracts to provide a lot of antioxidant goodness to your skin. It also contains witch hazel and other extracts to help soothe your skin and heal acne. I actually enjoy a lot of the ingredients in this product although I am not crazy about washing them all down the drain rather than letting them be absorbed for full skin benefits.

This cleanser has a gel formula, and it did a great job cleaning my skin without stripping it dry. While not the most expensive cleanser I have tried, I don't like watching my money wash down the drain and think there are plenty of other face washes that work just fine for a fraction of the cost. The ingredients list is quite impressive, but I want them to be staying on my face to get the full impact.

Retail: $32

There's no doubt about it, you're going to be feeling fancy any time you are using skincare products that contain gold! Gold has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it is no wonder it has found its way into skincare over the years.

That being said, these eye masks are more than just gold! They also contain hyaluronic acid, algae extract, and licorice extract, ingredients that help hydrate, soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles.

They are easy to apply to your under eye area and stayed in place for me for twenty minutes. They are a little delicate and I did manage to push a fingernail through one of them during the application process, but they were a snap to use. I can't really say I saw any real changes to my under eye area after use, although the skin did feel nicely hydrated. It takes more than a single use to see any real noticeable results.

I was provided with a single set to try out, but these are purchased in packs of 3 sets. The individual packaging for the sets is so wasteful, and I hope Hard Night Good Morning considers repacking these in the future.

Retail: $15

This is another product that has had a name change since trying out this small sample jar. This products contains a lot of good ingredients to nourish, soothe and hydrate your skin: marine algae, argan oil, collagen complex, and jojoba seed oil.

I have combination normal to slightly oily skin, and a little goes a long way on my skin. A couple dots on my face is enough to rub into my skin and feel soft all day long.

I like that this moisturizer left my skin feeling soft, and I had no issues with applying my makeup after it was fully absorbed.

Retail: $40

I would say this is a great moisturizer and one I plan to pick up a full size, but I have a BIG PROBLEM for a sample that is so small. Not included in this post is a sample size of the eye cream I was also provided to try out. I used it for a little over a week and really enjoyed it, so much so that I actually bought a full sized jar at my local Whole Foods store. The quality between the sample I was given by the brand and the full sized jar I purchased was night and day.

The full sized jar I bought was part of my purged products list to end 2019. Yes, dear readers, as much as I loved the sample enough to actively buy the product for myself, the jar was so bad I threw it away LONG before finishing it. My purchased product created a horribly burning sensation under my eyes and left the area red and puffy. I had the opportunity to speak with someone from the company on the phone, but because it was purchased from Whole Foods, one of their suppliers, and not directly from them, they simply shrugged their shoulders and said there was nothing they could do to help me. When I enquired about leaving a lot number for the jar, I was told by the company representative that those numbers were meaningless. My under eye area thankfully returned to normal within a day or two, but to say I was left with a negative lasting impression of the company is an understatement. The discrepancy in product quality between gifted blogger samples and what is available for consumers concerns me. I'll probably never know why I had such a bad reaction from the jar of eye cream after such a positive experience with my sample only a month or two prior. I can only form opinions on products based on my experiences, and given the conflicting results with what should be the exact same product and their lack of customer service, I have no choice but the stay away from the brand. If I cannot trust the quality of my gifted samples will be the same as what is available for purchase, how can I expect you to do the same? I had high expectations from the brand and I was sadly left disappointed.

Have you tried any products by Hard Night Good Morning? I'd love the hear about your experiences!

Until next time, dear readers, have a great day!

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