Friday, May 22, 2020

Endless Knot Nail Art with Zoya Calm Collection

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers; I hope this post find you well! It's been a little crazy around here, but now I can officially cross virtual schooling off the list. Yesterday was the last day of school here, and while I'm still going to use some programs to keep the summer slide minimal, it is nice to no longer *have* to stay on top of a workload each day. Here is hoping my sanity holds up now that it is officially summer, when the days are already feeling endless!

Speaking of endless, I was feeling inspired by the Zoya Calm Collection and wanted to enjoy some nail art. It's no secret that the world has become rather strange lately as we deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, and it has left me thinking a lot about not just those that have died, but my friends that are expecting (one little boy was born yesterday). It got me thinking about Samsāra, the buddhist cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The cycle itself is supposed to be unpleasant and filled with suffering, and the only way to break the cycle is through meditation. Whether or not you are Buddhist or believe in karmic rebirth or reincarnation like some other beliefs, I do think any sort of meditation that gives insightfulness is helpful. I opted to create a simple nail art look featuring an endless knot. I hope you enjoy it!

I created this easy look by painting my nails with the shade Laura. I then randomly dry brushed Leif, Vee and Emerson onto my nails.

Once my base was dry, I used Total Eclipse by KBShimmer with the endless knot pattern on MoYou London's Asia 02 stamping plate to stamp on to my nails. I then topped my nails with KBShimmer's Free & Clear top coat for a shiny finish. 

I hope you've enjoyed today's quick nail art post!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy a (hopefully) long holiday weekend!

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Use It or Lose It April: Pan and Purge Project 2020

Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I've been laying low since a surgery Friday morning, and thankfully I've been up and about without too much issue. I still have more testing ahead of me, but it's one day at a time as I get through this. Now on to today's post!

It's later than I would have liked, but here is my post featuring my Pan and Purge Project items from this year. I decided to set of goal of 175 products to leave my beauty stash. While it may seem lofty, this goal includes not just products I have emptied but those that don't work for me and have decided to destash. April wasn't a particularly productive month, but I definitely made some progress towards my goal. Let'e jump in and I'll share what I used up and what I opted to let go during the month of April!

Use It: The Empties

As the subtitle suggests, these are the items I have finished up this month.


GLOW Glycolic Boost Brightening Infusion Sheet Mask | PIXI Beauty

I'm a fan of Pixi's Glow Tonic, and this is another way to get the glycolic acid experience with a little extra self pampering of a mask. I don't have a lot of time for masking right now with the kids home all day, but this was still a nice little treat. I kept this (and the last remaining one) in my fridge so it is delightfully cool, especially now that it has gotten hot around here. I'm not looking to purchase single use masks so I won't be replacing these when I use my last one.

Starry Eyes Indulgent Self-Warming Eye Mask | Popmask London

I'm generally a fan of a cool mask, so this is an interesting experience for me. I applied this mask just before going to bed, and the warmth has help to send me off to la la land. I have another one of these waiting for me, but again, I don't anticipate replacing these when I use my last one.

Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule | MIZON

I've been a fan of snail mucin-based products, and this particular one my MIZON is one I have repurchased several times. I prefer to use this in the evening as it pills up on my skin under makeup when used during the day. As much as I have loved this, I actually like the following snail mucin product more so I may finally have moved on.

Advanced Snail Repair Cream | THEPURI

It may be called a cream, but the texture is much closer to a lightweight gel moisturizer. I like that it has a high snail mucin content- a whopping 92%- and it is rather affordable at less than $20! It plays well under makeup, and now that my moisturizer needs are even less with the hot summer months upon us, this is actually enough for me for most days. I've got another one open and in use now!

First Care Activating Serum | Sulwhasoo

I was really interested in trying this product out as a first step in my post-cleansing routine, and I'm afraid to say it didn't have the WOW factor I was expecting. It is reported to help hydrate and firm the skin, but I didn't notice anything spectacular that other products I enjoy can do. Add the much higher price tag to this and I don't think it is worth it for me.


Rainbow Sherbet Lip Balm | Epically Epic Soap Co.

I'm not sure how much I would consider a lip balm a cosmetic item, but this is the closest I got to completing one this past month. I really like the Epically Epic Soap Co. brand, and the flavor options are always fun and interesting. Sadly Rainbow Sherbet is no longer available, but with other great options to choose from, I'm not too broken hearted to see this one empty.


Pistachio Macaron Cuticle Oil | Bohemian Polish

Cuticle oils really have been my BFF lately with so much hand washing, and I have systematically been going through my collection of oils! This one by Bohemian Polish is such a good cuticle oil, and a brand I am happy to recommend if you are searching for your perfect cuticle oil. I really enjoyed this scent, but the brand has so many others to select from should Pistachio Macaron not appeal to you. I'm still trying to work my way through other cuticle oils I have on hand, but I am very likely to pick up another one of these once I have done so!

I LOVE with Bath & Body Works offers retired scents! White Tea and Ginger is one of my favorites from B&BWs, so I always grab several when this becomes available. Other than the scent, it isn't a spectacular body wash and leaves my skin a little stripped and needing a lotion application follow-up. I don't mind it too much but I may finally be at the point where I stop picking these up. I may have my last one in a different scent left, so my time with the brand may be coming to an end this year.

Lose It: Purged Products

These are the items that are not empty but I have decided to let go.


I picked up this oil-based serum as part of the Cosmoprof North America Boutique last summer, and after multiple uses, I finally decided it was time to let it go. Every time I used it on my face, I would break out horribly, and it was just not the right feel that I want for in my hair. I suppose it could be used on the rest of my body, but oils aren't really my thing so it's just time to let it go. 


This is one of those products that I should have finished, but unfortunately it just smells off and not something I want to be putting on my face at this point. I came across it while searching for something else, opened it, and noticed a very unpleasant plastic scent. It's a pretty pink-brown hue and one I enjoyed for awhile there.


 And this, dear readers, concludes the products I either finished off or decided to purge during the month of April. Let's check out my stats to this point!

Monthly Stats
Empties: 8
Purged: 2
Total: 10

Yearly Stats
Empties: 50
Purged: 47
Total: 97

April may be my least successful month this year, but I am still well on my way to hitting my goal! Being sick has really slowed down my product use and testing, but if I can keep up at this pace, I should still be able to meet my goal.

Have you tried any of these products? What have you finished up lately? I'd love to hear about your empties, especially which products you have loved!

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

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Highlights from The Beauty Spotlight Team

Greetings, dear readers! It's time for another post from the Beauty Spotlight Team! Each of the posts have a direct link so you can easily head on over to those that catch your attention. Enjoy!

Jen over at Laugh, Love Contour decided to revisit her #TBTBeauty series this week as a tribute to Little Richard. Six years ago, Colors by Llarowe released the stunning Good Golly Miss Molly, and Jen opted to dig it out of her stash to celebrate the life of the rock’n’roll legend.

If you are looking to make your home smell delicious, then Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has rounded up the most covet-worthy fragrance candles, room sprays, diffusers and oils for you.

Are you a fan of Ofra Cosmetics? Do you need a new blush, bronzer, highlighter, or liquid lipstick and lip gloss? Whether you answered yes or no to those questions you might want to check out Southeast by Midwest's review and swatches of the Ofra x Samantha March Collection.

The use of hand sanitizers has come to the forefront during the pandemic. Why not find one that's moisturizing and smells good too? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone has found that exact product by Biosilk that you will want and need.

Have you tried using a dermatologist-created system of skincare products? Never Say Die Beauty has been using Theraderm Clinical Skincare Anti-Aging System created by Dr. James Beckman for the past 6 weeks. Click here to find out if using a system makes sense for you.

It’s easier than you think to create a spa-like treatment at home to help get you through until salons and spas are open again. Head over to The Makeup Obsessed Mom Blog to see Stacie’s suggestions.

Prime Beauty needed a solution to her fine hair that gets frizzy. She found that in Rahua's Leave-In Treatment. Is this the solution for your hair?

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Throwback Thursday Beauty: Colors by Llarowe Good Golly Miss Molly

Saturday morning started out like our typical Saturdays around here: the kids woke up early- they clearly don't believe in sleeping in on the weekends; my husband kept them busy and relatively quiet while I attempted to get a little more rest, and we had family breakfast together. I had sat down to paint my nails, and after applying my base coat and browsing my phone while it dried, I saw the news: Little Richard had died. To say Little Richard was a rock 'n' roll icon is a massive understatement. As someone that was so influential for other musical icons, he truly was rock 'n' roll personified. I don't remember what I was originally planning to put on my nails Saturday, but I immediately switched gears to a beauty I haven't worn in quite some time. It's been awhile since I've visited my Throwback Thursday Beauty Series (#TBTBeauty), but what could be better than Colors by Llarowe Good Golly Miss Molly, worn in memory of a rock 'n' roll legend!

For some, it may seem frivolous or silly to celebrate someone by painting one's nails; I disagree. Those that are particularly interested in nail polish can look at a colour and know it by name and understand the inspiration behind it. It isn't "just a colour" but instead another form of creative expression. The inspiration may vary across different brands, but there is no doubt that those that design collections do so carefully to fit their specific themes.

Good Golly Miss Molly was a limited edition release back in January 2014, and it sold out very quickly! I was so thankful to have purchased a bottle, and as you can see from my old blog post back then, it is still as lovely now as it was six years ago.

It feels like it has been a difficult few years as beloved celebrities and legends have died, some of which have had a strong impact on my childhood. I know it is the nature of life- it always comes to an end, but it still is shocking somehow. A part of me always feels sad, but I like to celebrate someone's life after they have passed. I'd like to think Little Richard would have approved of this interpretation. It certainly has been my pleasure to wear it in his memory this week.

Unfortunately, Colors by Llarowe is no longer creating nail polish other than possibly on occasion for the Polish Pickup. I generally try to keep unavailable products off my blog posts, but I had to make an exception for this post.

I hope you are doing well this week! Until next time, dear readers, please stay safe and healthy!

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Makeup look for OMNIA's Off the Charts Contest and Link to Vote

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend to recharge for another week. It's been very low-key around here with not being able to go anywhere, but we still enjoyed ourselves by swimming and watching my all time favorite movie, Labyrinth. We're back into the swing of things this morning with school work, and I wanted to take advantage of some alone time to get this post up.

I decided I wanted to participate in OMNIA's Off the Charts makeup competition after I saw makeup artist Clint Brock was one of the first round winners. I had the pleasure of meeting Clint several years ago, and he is a delight! I just knew I had to recreate his look, and now I need YOUR help with votes so I can win.

This was Clint's winning look. Pretty fun, right? It's part practical for every day and a little funky and I love it! Here is my version:

How fun is this design! I'm actually a little sad I ended up creating this design in the evening and didn't get to enjoy it all day. At least I have pictures I can look back on until I have the chance to do it all over again!

Products used:

Cover FX: Power Play Foundation
Nomad Cosmetics: Antilles Palette
Nomad Cosmetics: Marrakesh Medina Palette
Finding Ferdinand: Custom lipstick shade

I don't have the specific products Clint used in his design, my face shape is a little different, and I certainly don't have blue eyes, but I think I got pretty darn close to his face chart design with what I had to work with! I really love the way it turned out! I cannot take too much credit as it truly is Clint's masterpiece, but I did enjoy bringing it to life.

Now I need YOUR help! Please visit the contest page here and vote for my entry. I've heard that the page isn't particularly Firefox friendly (vote buttons are not showing), but it works on at least Chrome. Thank you so much for your support!

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

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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Happy Saturday, dear readers! It's time for another post to highlight some of our favorite posts by the Beauty Spotlight Team! As always, links for each post can be found within their own respective blurbs to make it easier for you to head on over to the posts that catch your attention. I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

If your skin is dry and parched from the winter, give it a big drink of water with KORRES Cactus Pear Body Wash and Body Butter!

Never Say Die Beauty is devoted to firming her jawline. And her skincare arsenal just got another big gun: City Beauty just launched their new UpLift Firming Serum with active ingredients from the deep ocean. With her coupon code, you can get 25% off on this new power serum!

Are you tired of the wave after wave of new releases? Is your budget too tight to partake in the sales constantly bombarding your email? If so, why not go through your stash and rekindle your love of older favorites! Jen over at Laugh, Love, Contour has been doing this all year with her monthly Favorites From My Stash series. This week, she shared her four favorites from the month of April.

Rahua Leave-In Treatment Light is a hydrating, frizz-fighting gem of a product that offers serious heat protection from styling tools. Lola's Secret Beauty Blog gives it an A+ 

Stacie advocates for melanoma awareness since her mom passed away from this terrible cancer. See her advice on protecting yourself on The Makeup Obsessed Mom Blog.

Are you ready to get away from it all? Hide away with a beauty treatment day and Pixi Skintreats. Beauty Info Zone has some new products that you'll want for some ME time. This set would make a great gift too. Let's see what it's all about.

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

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Find Your Inner Peace with Zoya's Calm Collection

Greetings dear readers, and happy Friday! This past week has felt particularly busy; I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to a weekend of relaxation! Thankfully the hubby will be home to help keep an eye on the kids and I can hopefully get some alone time to get some work done as well. Wish me luck!

This past week, I shared on Instagram a preview of Zoya's new summer collection that will be launching next Friday. I'm excited about the vibrant hues that are coming, but sometimes you want something a little more mellow. The spring's Calm Collection really spoke to me with the softer shades. Colour really does have an impact on my mood, and this collection certainly has a calming effect! Let's check out each of the shades in this collection.

Press Samples


A delicate pink cream with a warm undertone.

Colleen was one of my favorites from this collection. It's a pink that is actually flattering on my skintone! The first coat applied a little on the patchy side, but it evened out nicely with the second coat.


A subtle, sparkling blush with a gorgeous copper micro-shimmer.

AJ is slightly darker than Colleen with the extra interest of the micro-shimmers. It's fun and interesting without being too much for those work places that permit only "natural" nail colours. It was a little streaky for me, but using Zoya's wide brush and fewer strokes kept it from being an issue. I used two coats for opacity here.


A modern baby blue cream.

I love this colour in the bottle, but Emerson isn't really a good shade for me. Like Colleen, it was a little patchy on the first coat but evened out in the second. I did have a touch of bubbling, BUT that is most likely my issue as I'm fighting with the high heat and high settings on my air conditioning.


A soft pink toned ivory cream.

Laura is another shade I really enjoy from this collection. It's a more nude version than Colleen, so if that is a little too pink for you taste, Laura may be what you are looking for. Shown with two coats.


A gentle and harmonious light sage green cream.

While I was happy overall with the rest of the collection, the formula of Leif was disappointing. I found it to be oddly thin but still gloopy at the same time. I added in a few drops of nail polish thinner which seemed to help some, but it was still a little problematic. I may just need to use more thinner or let it sit longer. I did have a little bit of bubbling, but between the heat, ac, and shaking in thinner, it's not too surprising. Shown with two coats.


A muted French lilac cream.

Out of all the shades in this collection, Vee was hands down my favorite. I'm a sucker for more muted warm toned purples, and this certainly fits that description! The formula was also on point with no issues to report. I used two coats for opacity.

The Zoya Calm Collection is available for purchase now. Each shade retails for $10. Whether you are trying to find your inner peace or need an escape from vibrant shades this summer, this collection is here for you!

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

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

April Product Favorites from My Stash

Greetings, dear readers, and happy hump day! Yes, this is your notice that today is, in fact, Wednesday! I might have cried a little Monday evening when I realized it was still just Monday. Virtual schooling has been going pretty ok around here in general, but Monday was a particularly rough day for both me and my 7 year old. Thankfully he's back into his groove, but is was an intense start to the week.

For today's blog post, I wanted to continue with my series sharing the products I have been loving the past month. I didn't want this series to focus on just the newest releases, especially since we're constantly bombarded with new things. Instead, these are products I've used in the past and have either rediscovered while hunting around in my beauty stash or purchased again and the love kindled. Let's check out the products I found myself using over and over again in April!

This is a product you've likely seen pop up on the blog with some regularity and for good reason- it's a good sunscreen! We all know we're supposed to wear sunscreen every day, and I am willing to admit I used to not wear sunscreen anywhere near as often as I should. Thankfully, I found a few sunscreens over the past several years, such as this one, that I really enjoy.

Why I love it:

Say farewell to that horrible white cast that you experience with many sunscreens! This baby is lightly tinted so I don't look like I am trying to imitate Casper the Friendly Ghost with each application. Even better, this sunscreen leaves an ultra smooth finish on the skin, making it ready for immediate makeup application! If you are looking for a good sunscreen that lets you skip the added step of a makeup primer, this is for you!

All this extra hand washing and frequent use of hand sanitizer what little I have left my house has been rough on my hands! I've used a few different moisturizers and lotions, but I opted to go back to an old tried and true that has always helped my hands!

Why I love it:

Some hand lotions leave my hands feeling soft immediately after application but feeling tight and dry not long afterwards. The bottle may be small and seem unassuming, but a little of this hand cream goes a long way! Not only do my hands feel better immediately after use, the results are long lasting. You do have to take care to not use too much as the formula is thick and can leave your hands feeling almost greasy. My hands have definitely appreciated having this around!

I may be stuck at home with nowhere to go, but that doesn't mean I want to be suffering with dry, cracked heels! I'm still wearing my new sandals I bought prior to the lockdowns around my house, and I had noticed my heels were not looking too great. I had this sitting in my office and decided to give it a go. My feet are now thanking me!

Why I love it:

While it may be packaged to look similar to sprays, this is most definitely a light, mousse-like texture. Even though I knew that, I was still a little surprised the first time I used this. I admit I wasn't expecting much from a product that seemed so light, especially when thicker creams weren't helping much, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cracking in my heels has healed over (see what I did there); my feet are looking so much better! This is rich with lipids to really nourish your feet and I am delighted to have acceptable-looking summer feet for a change! Now if only I can get the hubby to use this.....

I picked up this perfume last spring when I stumbled into Bourbon French Parfums in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I had worn it a few times in rotation with my other scent selections, but it really became a star this April. Perhaps it's because of feeling like we're living a new life for the time being, or perhaps I just wanted to embrace something more floral with all the blooms in my garden; whatever the reason, this is such a lovely perfume.

Scent description:
This is a light citrus with a white tea bottom note. A light blend of lily, vanilla, tuberose, and dark musk in the middle. The top notes are grapefruit and bergamot.

Why I love it:

Scents are always so personal, and I cannot quite pinpoint exactly what it is about this scent I find so endearing. I tend to gravitate towards warmer scents, so the vanilla and dark musk really suit my fancy. The warmer scents are so perfectly balanced with the florals, and this scent really does remind me of New Orleans. I always find myself visiting the city in the spring when the days are getting warm and humid. My trip last month with the hubby may have had to be cancelled, but I still felt like I kept New Orleans close in spite of the distance.

Are there any products you found yourself gravitating towards last month? I'd love to hear about any old favorites you may have rediscovered!

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

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Monday, May 4, 2020

May the Fourth Be With You Nails: KBShimmer Beach Break Collection

Happy Monday, dear readers, and more importantly, happy Star Wars day! It's been a few years since I have had my nails ready for May 4th as I've been traveling to New York City for The Makeup Show the past few years. That definitely has not happened this year, and since I was home all weekend, I couldn't resist the urge to get my nail art on and participate in the holiday.

As you've seen mentioned here on the blog, I've been really sick for the past month and a half, and that has kept me from doing some nail swatching. I had received the Beach Break Collection by KBShimmer just as I was getting ill, and it has been sitting unloved for far too long. I really wanted to give my bottles some love and thought they would give a fun spin on my typical Star Wars-inspired nails. Often, my Star Wars nails are on the darker side, and no, I don't mean in support of the Empire! The colours tend to fall on the darker side of the colour spectrum, so this gave me the opportunity to create a look that was brighter and more fitting for this time of year in general. While it's not what I normally would wear for today, I'm actually digging this look!

I used the following KBShimmer shades to create this look:

I also used assorted Star Wars-inspired nail decals from YouPolish and Toadarrific Vinyls. I then topped my nails off with KBShimmer's Free & Clear top coat. It's a little hot here and with my ac going, I had a little bit of bubbling once I added on my top coat. I'm going to have to be more careful in the future as it's only getting hotter around here for the next four months! It's nice having nail art on my fingers again!

Are you doing anything special today to celebrate Star Wars day? I think we're going to watch one of the movies later today when the hubby is home from work and my oldest is done with all his virtual schooling!

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

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