Monday, March 23, 2020

Birthday Giveaway!

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! This post is a little later than I had hoped, but with the sudden school closure and having my kids at home, my schedule I had in place is suddenly out the window. My birthday was the weekend before last, so at least this giveaway is going live in the correct month! We also celebrated my oldest son's 7th birthday last week, so I guess we can always say it's a celebration from the two of us!

I'm keeping this giveaway short, sweet, and simple because I need something easy in my life now that I'm homeschooling two littles at different stages, all while trying to keep them quiet enough for the days my hubby gets to work from home. Because this prize pack includes gel nail polish and there are restrictions with international shipping, this particular giveaway is open to residents ages 18 years and older in the US only. I am putting a second giveaway up on IG today that is open internationally, so for all my international readers, please enter to win a prize over on Instagram!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When you're done here, be sure to keep an eye on my IG account for my giveaway prize pack to be posted there! It's a different set of goodies, and this one will be open internationally!

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

Connect with me on Social Media!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Greetings, dear readers! I hope you've been enjoying your weekend thus far as much as you can! We're sticking around the house for the time being unless absolutely necessary to go out in an effort to see things stabilize with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many are stuck at home for the foreseeable future, how about some posts to keep you entertained? Below is a collection of posts from the Beauty Spotlight Team that I think you will enjoy checking out. The direct link to each post in in each blurb for a quick jump over to the page. Happy reading!

If you can't visit beautiful Iceland, Prime Beauty says to turn to Village Naturals' new Iceland Collection. From fiery volcanos to icy glaciers, the collection has everything you need to relax with the legendary healing benefits of Icelandic Moss.

Aftelier Perfumes Vetiver & Frankincense Face Elixir is the most unexpected, sophisticated, refined and intoxicatingly beautiful face oil that could only have been imagined by Mandy Aftel. Lola's Secret Beauty Blog loves that this otherworldly elixir is mystical, sublime, deep, warm, creamy, soothing, woodsy and ethereal, and it immediately calms the spirit while deeply nourishing and hydrating the skin.

Clean beauty is all the rage right now, although in truth, it is a buzzword/phrase that some companies use to convince you to buy their products. Rather than just a buzzword to grab your attention, dome BEAUTY is EU REACH Compliant, which means it doesn’t use any of the over 1300 ingredients banned by the European Union in their cosmetics. Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour had the opportunity to try out a few items from the brand and she is hooked! From keeping beauty products truly clean to giving back to girls and women than may otherwise miss out of their dreams, this is a company worthy of your attention!

Need a quick pick-me-up to get your skin in tip top shape for spring? Never Say Die Beauty is holding a giveaway of 6 pore-shrinking, exfoliating, nourishing peel-off masks from cruelty-free, natural 7th Heaven!

Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in magical makeup? Lisa from Beauty Info Zone hopes you do since she has a mascara from Fresame that she thinks is right in line with magic.

A makeup fave! Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table is loving the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade FU$$Y Come check it out.

Tarte's Cue the Confetti Eyeshadow Palette is a neutral palette that tarte released in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Southeast by Midwest has her thoughts on who exactly this palette is meant for along with swatches.

Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom is taking some interesting supplements for health and wellness that have a great reputation. See what they are over on her blog now.

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

Connect with me on Social Media!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Natural Beauty Look with dome BEAUTY Eyeshadows and Eye Brushes

Press Sample

I'm currently in the process of getting a new passport (not that I'm going to be needing it for the time being, especially with the coronavirus situation), and with that comes a new passport photo. While facial recognition should not be an issue regardless of the amount of makeup used, I prefer to keep my makeup for passport photos looking pretty similar to how I look when I'm going to be stuck on a plane for the rest of my life hours on end. On long trips, I generally opt to keep makeup very light if I don't skip it altogether. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to test out some products I received from dome BEAUTY. I had received two eyeshadows and an eye brush set from the brand, and I am so excited to share them here on my blog!

I briefly introduced you to the brand this past summer as I selected one of their items on my Tools of the Trade post after attending Cosmoprof North America. As much as I loathe the buzzwords "clean beauty", dome BEAUTY truly is the epitome of the expression! Products are sulfate, paraben and phthalate-free in addition to being cruelty free. If you really want to stick with a brand that is "clean" dome BEAUTY is a great option as they are EU REACH Compliant. This means they don't use ANY of the over 1300 ingredients the European Union has banned for use in cosmetics; for comparison, the FDA has only banned 30. Now THAT impresses me and a large reason why I was excited to have the opportunity to work with the brand. Now let's get a closer look at the products!

Move aside eyeshadow palettes, single eyeshadows are making one heck of a comeback! dome BEAUTY offers single Metallic Diamond Eyeshadows in 9 stunning hues. If you're a major fan and exclusively use bright colours, let me just stop you right here and tell you this brand may not be for you. Instead, if you are looking for less "crazy" hues, dome BEAUTY just may be what you are looking for.

Amber Legend - Sienna Stone

I was provided with the shades Amber Legend and Sienna Stone, and are they lovely! First of all, I have to tell you that these eyeshadows are incredibly soft. The pigmentation is quite lovely as well, and you get a good amount of colour with minimal effort. Using a finger swipe (as shown above) or a densely packed brush, these eyeshadows can pack quite a serious punch! As I was going for a more natural look, I opted to use a lighter application method using their eye brush set (coming up next), and the final result was pretty. I always use an eyeshadow primer thanks to my oily, hooded lids, and the colour has stayed on my eyes all day for multiple trials. I quite adore the formula of these and will have to add more to my collection!

Retail: $23.00 each

I am a sucker for good brushes, and after some of the less-than-pleasant eyebrushes I've tried out recently (a hint of something you can expect on my purge post for this month), and these are divine! This trio of brushes is ideal for those who tend to prefer more simple eye looks- no multiple cut creases here! Made of 100% synthetic material, this set is sure to suit the needs of many, particularly those that prefer fast, on-the-go looks. The set includes the following:


This is the largest brush of the set, and I can admit I was weary of it at first. Having hooded eyes means less space to work with and usually a need for smaller brushes. I personally prefer ponytail brushes when it comes to blending, but this does blend edges out nicely. It's a great brush for adding a little highlight to your browbone, but my personal favorite is to add a sweep of colour across my lids in one swoop. Obviously I wouldn't want to go this route for vibrant colours, but it you are using a neutral or like to add a little setting powder on your eyes to help keep oil under control (HELLO!), this brush is for you. I didn't expect to love this brush, but I actually do!

While sill larger than I like for ultra precise work, I found I really like this brush as well. I'm generally one for slowly building up colour, no matter what the shade, and this brush allows me to do that nicely. It still covers a relatively sizable area so it may not work for all application needs, but it does the job nicely. And lest I forget, it is super soft and feels so good on the eyes! Actually, all these brushes are incredibly soft, so no uncomfortable eye scratching here!

I'm generally not one to use liquid eyeliners (except on a few random occasions) and usually grab for my gel eyeliners or use eyeshadow to line my eyes for a softer look. This is a great brush for me as it suits my needs perfectly, and I find that I reach for it often. As it is narrow and comes to a bit of a point, you can actually do quite precise work with it! I'm personally a fan of using it to smoke out gel eyeliners on my lashline.

Retail: $65.00 although it is currently on sale for $55.00 at the time of this post.

This is the natural look I ended up going with for my passport photo. I used both the eyeshadows (Amber Legend and Sienna Stone) to create this look using the eye brush set.

My final look is soft and natural and very much ME. My husband actually isn't fond of the days when I go all out and create more elaborate and colourful looks, and I think this is arguably his favorite makeup look he has seen me done yet.

Naturally, my passport photo came out looking, well, odd. Having to stare straight on to a camera without even a hint of a smile makes for less than flattering pictures. This one here certainly isn't flattering either, but it may actually be more flattering than the one on my official documentation!

I've had a great time testing out these products from dome BEAUTY. Both the eyeshadows and eye brushes have quickly found their way into my regular beauty routine.

If the quality of the products paired with the clean beauty aspect wasn't enough to convince you to try out the brand, I've got one more reason: they have an incredible way of giving back to the community! dome BEAUTY supports two incredible foundations: Miss Amazing and Step Up Women's Network. Miss Amazing is an organization that provides girls and women with disabilities a forum to showcase their talents and special qualities, helping them build confidence and self esteem in a loving and supportive environment. Step Up Women's Network is a network of professional women who support girls from under-resourced communities to pursue their dreams and make the most of their potential. I am delighted to feature such an incredible brand here on my blog, and I truly look forward to seeing them grow!

Have you tried any products from dome BEAUTY? If so, what are your favorites that I should try out next? What products are you most interested in?

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

Helpful Links

Connect with me on Social Media!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Today is International Women's Day, so what could be better than sharing some posts from the women in the Beauty Spotlight Team! As always, the links are included with each blurb so you can check out the specific posts that suit your fancy.

Looking for a lightweight, fast absorbing, luxurious but effective eye cream? Never Say Die Beauty has been using lovely CIREM Cosmetics Jardin des Fleurs Rose and Lavender Eye Cream. Find out if it's worth the splurge!

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog just featured the top two cruelty-free ultra-luxe tinted lip oils, from Kosas and Hourglass, that are must-haves for dry lips and the cold weather. Unsurprisingly, they are both gorgeous and nourishing!

Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom Blog is currently obsessed with a lip product from Stila. Head to the blog to find out all about it.

This week Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour shares her take on a grungy “on Wednesdays we wear pink” theme. Be sure to check it out and sport your own black lips!

Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table is sharing why she loves the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra - Fine Face Mist so much and she thinks it's the perfect complexion refresher for spring and summer too.

The latest brand that the Beauty Info Zone team has fallen for is Mambino. This week we introduce you to the gentle, effective body wash. We'll have more to come.

How do essential oils help? Prime Beauty introduces as to a variety of products from Utuma Spice that use essential oils. These are handmade from ethically sourced and sustainably produced materials in Bail, Indonesia. Some things you'll want to use in your home.

Connect with me on Social Media!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

On Wednesdays We Wear Black: A Look With Dirty Mind Cosmetics and BYS Cosmetics

Happy Wednesday, dear readers! I hope you've had a wonderful week so far!

We're all familiar with the iconic quote "On Wednesdays we wear pink!" thanks to the movie Mean Girls. Sixteen YEARS later (Yikes!), many of us still participate with this Plastics' rule, whether it be with our clothing, our nail polish, or our makeup. While I am a far cry from being Plastic, I still have fun with it from time to time. For today's blog post, I wanted to share one of my recent pink looks.

I can hear you all now: But Jen, your post title says "We Wear Black"!

While my makeup look may have originally started with me thinking pink, I couldn't resist adding a dark spin to my look. Let's check it out and I'll show you what I mean!

Here we are- a little bit pink with the far more obvious black! I love wearing black lipstick and honestly don't know why I don't wear it more often. I had other lippie plans when I first sat down to do my makeup, but I just wasn't feeling the original plan when it got down to the wire. Normally this would irritate me (I was really set in my plans, something that doesn't usually happen), but I'm glad it forced me to go a different direction. I know I'm biased, but black really does complete the look perfectly!

Key Products Used

BYS Cosmetics: Think Pink Eyeshadow Palette
KISS: Lash Couture Triple Push Up Corset
Nomad Cosmetics: Positano Sunrise Blush
Dirty Mind Cosmetics: BJ Lipstick

Are you wearing pink today? What colours do you like to pair with pink? I'd love to hear from you!

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

Helpful Links

Connect with me on Social Media!

Monday, March 2, 2020

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

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! It has been quite some time since I've posted on a Monday here on the blog! I have a few things I really would like to try to post this week, and I figured an early jump might help with those plans. Whether or not it all happens is another story, but I'm certainly going to try! Now let's get to today's post!

I decided once again to challenge myself to use and/or destash my beauty products this year; my goal for 2020 is to pan and purge a total of 175 items. While it certainly would be a lofty goal if all I did was pan items, destashing products that I just don't use or really enjoy (but still held onto as if my life depended on it) makes my goal attainable. My numbers for February pale in comparison to January's, but I'm hoping to make good progress testing out my potential destash pile this month.

These are the items that have left my stash in February. 

Use It: The Empties

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


I have a variety of open foundations, so it took some time to get these empty, but I did it! These are the original matte formula, and since wet n wild didn't have my exact shade, I ended up purchasing two and tweaked them to get pretty close to my colour. It's not been kept secret that these have a rather unpleasant chemical smell, but I found the smell disappears rather quickly, allowing me to use these until completion. I actually really enjoyed these as an affordable drugstore option, but I really wish they had a bigger shade range. The brand's cruelty-free status has been a hot topic since it has been discovered they sell in China, so between these points, I don't foresee repurchasing these.

Nourishing Lip Polish | PIXI Beauty

I have bent and twisted this tube so much to get every drop out I could that the writing on the the tube has come off! I've been using this product (not this particular tube!) for a few years now and really like it! The textured silicone applicator allows for gentle exfoliation, but it is the product itself that I like. Filled with shea butter and a blend of oils, the Nourishing Lip Polish has saved my lips from being wrecked when I end up with a cold and cannot breathe through my nose. I actually use it when I'm not sick as well, but the fact that my lips can sail through a cold without any noticeable difference speaks wonders about this product. It's a must have for me, and I already have a replacement open and in use.


Rice Flower and Shea Shower Gel | Bath & Body Works

This is one of my favorite scents from B&BWs, and naturally it means that had to discontinue it! Every once in awhile they would have a clear-out, either in store or online, where I happen to stumble across a bottle or two, and I would snap them up quickly. I don't feel particularly strongly about B&BW's shower gels- they smell nice and leave my skin clean. It doesn't have the rich and luxurious feeling as some other brands, but I've never minded when I can get them on sale. As this is discontinued, I'm not so likely to replace this, although never say never!

Sugar Scrub (Cocoa & Cookies; Astronaut Ice Cream) | KBShimmer

I really enjoy sugar scrubs by KBShimmer, and these scents were no exception to that rule. Both these scents were exclusive to the Polish Pickup and unfortunately cannot be replaced, but KBShimmer offers a selection of 6 scents permanently on there site. Further, they have another Polish Pickup exclusive scent available coming this Friday; there's really no excuse to not be able to enjoy these! In an effort to work through my open stash, I've held off on getting more, but with two more jars close to completion, I think I'm about ready to start adding more for future enjoyment!

This was my first experience with this brand, and WOW, did I love this body moisturizer! It is creamy and moisturizing without a greasy after-feeling. My skin really loved this tlc this dry winter season, especially after the occasional leg shaving session! The smell is refreshing- light and clean. I have some other moisturizers I want to try to get through first, but I'm thinking about picking up another one of these when those are empty.

White Tea & Ginger Body Lotion | Bath & Body Works

White Tea & Ginger is my other favorite B&BWs scent, and of course, this one is retired as well. I'm not sure if my nose has become even more sensitive, but this (and another B&BWs lotion I'm using) smells stronger than I remember, so much so I cannot use it straight from the bottle as is. The lotion is light and not as moisturizing as I would like anyway, and I mixed this with another unscented moisturizer that felt more nourishing to the skin. I'm just not thrilled with the quality of these and won't be repurchasing, even if I do find my favorite scents, in the B&BWs lotion,


Smooth Blow Dry Anti-Frizz Cream | Garnier Fructis Style

I don't have too much issue with frizz in my hair, and generally whatever styling products I use end up combating that regardless of whether or not they were designed to prevent frizzy hair. The real reason I picked this up was because it offers heat protection for your hair, and that is something I do need. I wash my hair every three to four days, and unless I'm not feeling well or want it straight, I typically blow it dry. If I want my hair to be straighter, I have to take a flat iron to it. Even though I use a low temperature setting (I want to flatten my hair, not bake it), I still want my hair protected from the heat. This is a great and affordable option for me and a product I'm probably going to repurchase when I finish off another heat protector I'm currently working through.

Lose It: Purged Products

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

This brown sugar and shea butter scrub + balm was an exclusive to the Polish/Indie Pickup and I snapped it up immediately. While it can be used on either your cuticles or your lips, my main interest was as a lip scrub. Other scrubs often come in pots, requiring me to pinch it out with my fingers and rub onto my lips. I do it because that's just what you do, but I love when I come across lip scrubs that are in a tube and can be directly buffed (gently!) on the lips before rinsing off. I actually used this tube most of the way through before setting it aside to try to get through one of my sugar scrub pots. Unfortunately, when I picked it up again, it had dried out just a little too much to be comfortable for use on my lips. I probably could still use it, but I think it is best to let it go. As this version was exclusive to the Indie Pickup I won't be able to replace it, but I definitely will be picking up the one they offer of their website once I finish up my open lip scrubs!

This little sample tube was an option to spend some of my Sephora points, and while I'm in no rush to use my points, I was interested in trying out this primer on my oily, hooded eyes. While the rest of my skin is normal to slightly oily, my lids are, pardon the expression, oily as fuck, and very few eye primers work well for me. I was actually pretty impressed with how well my eye makeup would hold up with this primer, but it feels so thick going on, no matter how tiny amount I would try to use, and it actually left my eyelids feeling uncomfortably dry. I had pretty high hopes on this one since I know others really enjoy it, but sadly it just did not seem to work with my body chemistry.

Master Pro Blush Brush | Royal & Langnickel

Royal & Langnickel chooses to describe this brush as soft on their website, and all I have to say is soft, my ass! Maybe I've just been spoiled by the soft synthetic brushes that have found there way into my brush collection, but this brush does not feel very pleasant on my face. It isn't the worst thing I've used, but I like my back scratched, not my cheeks. This brush is just not for me and I won't be missing it.

Master Pro Tapered Blender Brush | Royal & Langnickel

I have a weakness for eye brushes, so I was pretty excited to test out this brush after it arrived in my Royal & Langnickel Deluxe Mystery Box (like the previous brush, by the way). As it's in my destash list, it obviously did not perform well for me, and I've be struggling to figure out exactly why. I liked that it is fairly thin, as the wider blending brushes can be a little unwieldy with my hooded eyes, but I found it just did not want to actually blend colour at all. It was the same results regardless of primer or eyeshadow I would use, and I don't like having to put in a lot of work to try to make a product work when there are others on the market that do. I'm wondering if the bristles are either just not quite dense enough or a little too long, or just a combination of both, at least to be used with my techniques. I am disappointed to let this go, but I've got new brushes entering my life soon so I'll get over it.

Monthly Stats
Empties: 10
Purged: 4
Total: 14

Yearly Stats
Empties: 25
Purged: 29
Total: 54

February may not have been the most productive month when it came to pan and purging, but I still made respectable progress towards my goal of 175 products. I have a few products that I know will be empty before the end of the week that I thought would make it to my February list, but alas, it looks like they're just holding off. I didn't purge as much as I thought I would, but this month I plan to take advantage of my kids being out of town for Spring Break with the hubby, leaving me as quiet a week as my dogs a troublesome feline can manage. Overall, I would say that February wasn't great but not bad. At the end of the day, I still managed to remove 14 products from my life, and that ultimately is the goal.

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

Connect with me on Social Media!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog just reviewed Graydon Super Sensitive Skin Stuff Face + Eye Ceramide Cream, and while the name might suggest that this is just for sensitive skin, it is a great choice for all types of skin. It is also the perfect post peel and exfoliation cream to soothe and calm skin.

Looking for affordable, cruelty-free, natural, but luxurious skincare products? Never Say Die Beauty loves the anti-aging skincare products she has been using from indie brand, Gold Mountain Beauty

Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has made it her mission in 2020 to really use and appreciate the products she already has on hand and it has resulting in rediscovering favorite products! This week, Jen has shared the items she has been grabbing for over and over again this past month. Perhaps you’ve tried some yourself or you’ll discover new favorites you might want to add to your own beauty routines!

Electric razors sure have improved! Prime Beauty is so impressed with the new Philips SatinShave Advanced, she says it's a must-have in your beauty arsenal AND she's giving one away!

Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table asks why she loves the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask so much and if it is her holy grail lip balm.

Both Marcia and Lisa from Beauty Info Zone have something out of their normal realm of products that they are using. You'll enjoy learning more about Cheeky Physique once you see what they are all about.

Connect with me on Social Media!

On Instagram

© Laugh, Love, Contour. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.