Monday, August 9, 2021

KBShimmer Farmer's Market Sugar Scrub for the August Polish Pickup

 Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to a fabulous start! Today is the last day of the August opening of the Polish Pickup, so let's jump right in on today's blog post.

One of the highlights for me when it comes to the Polish Pickup is the sugar scrub offering from KBShimmer. The theme this month is "The Four Elements", and Christy of KBShimmer has created a scrumptious "Farmer's Market" scent, inspired by the Earth element, to pair with her wonderful sugar scrub formula.

Getting up early on a Saturday morning can be a true treat for the senses. The crisp morning air, sunlight casting a golden glow, and soft sounds of waking birds welcoming the new day and inviting is to take a stroll to enjoy the earth's bounty. Head over to your local farmer's market and you can find an array of fresh fruit, vibrant blooms, and a fresh pastry to enjoy on your market stroll. Tables covered in gingham boast ripe apples or juicy cantaloupe, while a neighboring stand offers fun stories about chickens while selling their wares.

Farmer's Market Hand & Body Scrub celebrates the earth's bounty found at local markets. This fresh summer scent starts with a melody of fragrant clementine, ripe apple, and sweet melon. A bouquet of blooming lily, delightful freesia, and soft lilac adds fresh floral notes, while a base of musk, amber, and rich vanilla adds a lasting depth pleasing to the senses. This creamy scrub is swirled with a dash of red, orange, and green, for an earth-inspired scrub that would be at home at any farmer's market.

I'm definitely a fan of KBShimmer's sugar scrubs, and I always have a jar by my sink upstairs, one downstairs, and another for use in the shower. The texture is coarse enough to exfoliate away dead skin cells (and those pesky bumps on the back of my arms) without being too harsh on the skin. As for the fragrance, scent preferences are so personal, but I enjoy this combination. Not too strongly scented for my sensitive nose, it is a really well balance of fragrances- not too fruity (which I still would like anyway), not too floral (which would be a big NO from me), and not too warm. If you don't fall into a very strict "must be _fill_in_the_blank_", it's a good relatively neutral option and sure to be a crowdpleaser.

The Farmer's Market Hand & Body Scrub retails for $10 a jar.

It is available for purchase from the Polish Pickup here, but you'll need to act fast. Today is the last day to get this pre-ordered.

Please allow three weeks for shipping within the US as all orders submitted to the Polish Pickup are submitted as a pre-order. While there may be a wait, one big bonus is US shipping is only $3 for all products on the site, and orders placed from Friday through today can be combined for this low shipping rate.

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

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Get Clean Skin with Kimtrue Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm and Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser

Gifted Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! What could be a better way to start off the way than by how I like to start (and end) my day: with fresh, clean skin! I've had the pleasure of testing out two skincare products from the brand KIMTRUE, and I am here to share them with you today. Before I jump in on the review, let me give you a little more information about the brand!

Based in Los Angeles, California, KIMTRUE is a new brand that will be hitting its first anniversary next month. Per the brand itself, KIMTRUE stands for the following: KIM- brilliance, TRUE- real, accurate. Part of KT laboratories, this emerging brand offers quality skincare and haircare products formulated with non-traditional and cutting-edge ingredients. For today's post, I have two face care products to share with you: the Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm and the Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser. Let's do this!

Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

Kimtrue Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

The Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm is designed to do just that- melt away even the deepest layers of makeup from your face, all while providing a gentle cleansing to the skin and leaving no gunk-filled pores behind.

The Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm is formulated with moringa seed and bilberry fruit extracts. This dynamic duo works together to thoroughly cleanse the skin- including removing air pollutants- while simultaneously soothing the skin and strengthening the skin barrier.

This cleansing balm is may pack a powerful punch when it comes to your makeup, but it is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin and for daily use for those that wear makeup every day.

So how did it perform for me?

I'm historically not a fan of cleansing balms as I have tried many that felt so heavy on my skin and left a nasty residue that would take multiple followup washings to remove. I had a lot of hope when I saw the ingredients list of this product - mineral oil is a big NOPE for me and this is NOT found in this products. I am so pleased to report I really loved using this product! I tried it out with both lighter and heavier makeup application days, even daily wear which I don't normally do in the summer, and the Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm worked like a charm! I found a little goes a long way, and even in it's original thicker balm-like state, it didn't feel overwhelmingly gross on my skin.

Once I started to add in a little water, the texture changed and my makeup flushed down the drain easily without any harsh scrubbing. These are features that you want in a cleansing balm in general, but what really sold me on the KIMTRUE Makeup Cleansing Balm (in addition to the ingredients list) was that I did not have to follow up with a second cleansing product! Crazy, right? Not only was all the makeup gone, but my skin felt (and looked) clean and soft. I have personally only come across one other product that behaves like this, but not in this easy to use and transport balm formula. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to try this product (and didn't shy away from it based on past experiences with other brands' products) as this is currently hands down my number 1 new-to-me product for 2021.

Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser

In addition to the Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, I had the opportunity to try out the Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser.

This cleanser was created to thoroughly but gently cleanse the skin. For those that keep their makeup application light, the Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser can still emulsify and remove those layers if you prefer to stick with a one and done cleansing step.

The lightweight formula lathers nicely and leaves the skin with a clean finish.

This cleanser has some ingredients of note- Portulaca oleracea extract, or Purslane, is very soothing to the skin. It is also high in antioxidants, although when used in a cleanser that gets flushed down the drain, you're not likely to get the antioxidant benefits. I also love that it contains lemon peel oil, as this is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic. This will take care of killing off bacteria that may be hanging out in your pores- definitely a win! One major drawback for this product for me (on a personal level) is it contains geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens), something I have discovered I am sensitive to in recent years. I'm not sure how I overlooked this ingredient, although in truth, I think I just opened the container and used it before checking.

A little bit of lather and a lot of clean!

This photo was taken immediately after using the Amino Acid Gentle Facial Cleanser. While I did not have any issues while in the process of using the product, my face did end up getting a little red and puffy shortly afterwards. Further investigation- actually LOOKING at the ingredients label in this case- has me convinced my skin was just reacting to the geranium flower extract as it has with other products that contain the ingredient. As much as I love y'all and testing out products for you, I had to draw an end to testing this particular product after just the single use. This may not be as thorough of a review of this particular product as I would like to provide, but it stands as good reminder to check your ingredients, especially if you have known allergies or sensitivities!

In spite of mixed results from trying these two products from KIMTRUE, where the only negative was due to my own skin sensitivity, I am really excited about the possibilities of the products created by the brand. They also offer body care products and haircare products, the latter of which has caught my attention. I am eager to see if the brand's other products can win me over as much as their Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm!

Have you tried these of other products from KIMTRUE? I'd love to hear what you think!

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

Monday, June 7, 2021

KBShimmer's take on Rainbows for the June Polish Pickup: nail polish and a sugar scrub!

Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you feel refreshed after a weekend and ready to tackle a new week. Today is my kids' last day of virtual schooling, and I cannot tell you how excited I am about it! It has been a struggle to get anything done on my end as I've had to constantly watch them to make sure they were paying attention and doing the correct work. I have sorely missed having something of a routine when it comes to the blog, and no longer having to monitor schooling will be a huge relief! Now let's get to today's post since it's already going up later than I wanted!

 Press Sample

Today is the LAST DAY of the June opening of the Polish Pickup, and for today's post, I wanted to share with you the goodies being offered by KBShimmer. There is a nail polish and a sugar scrub for your enjoyment, so let's get to it!

Rainbow Shaved Ice Sugar Scrub

I love nail polish- the colour combinations and finishes get me every time- but there is something extra special about KBShimmer's Hand & Body Sugar Scrubs that get me every time. Not only are they a work of art to look at- the colour combinations and beautiful layered pattern is an impeccable eye for detail- but the added complexity of scents take my mind to far off places and times. This month, KBShimmer pulled their inspiration from Rainbow Shaved Ice, sending my head on a whirlwind trip back to all the festivals and small town events with food trucks and selecting my flavor(s) du jour.

Thanks to the heat living in Arizona has these arriving a little melted on my end, but that in no way affects the quality of the product itself. Some of the biodegradable glitter top may be lost in the mix, but a little fluffing up and mixing the oils back in has the sugar scrub as good as new!

Rainbow Shaved Ice Hand & Body Scrub smells just like those cold summery treats it is named after. The scent of ripe fruits like orange, peach, and raspberry give way to hints of sour lemon, vanilla sugar and wild strawberry jam.

I'm drawn to fruity scents this time of year, so this one is a big WIN for me. Scoop up as much or as little as you want; these scrubs are amazing whether you use them on your hands, feet, or anywhere in between! The sugar adds gentle exfoliation to the skin, and when rinsed off, the remaining oils keep your skin soft and deliciously scented. I keep a jar (or two) just outside my shower for full body use and another by the sink for my hands.

Retail: $10


I'm So Over It

With a name like "I'm So Over It", I was really eager to find out what inspired this particular shade! After all, there is A LOT to feel this way about right now. In the case of KBShimmer, this polish is inspired by the break through of rainbows after far too many overcast skies, drizzling rain, and thunder storms. I'm a sunny girl myself, and I am SO GLAD to be back in sunny Arizona and away from Northern California where a long stretch of 3-4 months of overcast and rainy days tore at my mental health. This polish is perfectly timed on my end as well as we're going to be going into monsoon season next month which comes with brief afternoon downpours to be followed by many rainbows. Having briefer periods of rain allows me to enjoy it so much more, and I get excited every time I see a rainbow. Back to the polish....

I'm So Over It is a nod to those rainbows peeking through storm gray clouds. A pale base accents a shifty shimmer that shows of hues of pink, gold, green, and, at some angles, fuchsia and aqua. Floating in the gray crelly base you'll also find holo glow flakes for a rain-like twinkle.

KBShimmer really nailed the inspiration with this beauty, although I have to admit catching the shift with the camera was trying on my end. You just have to chalk this one up as far better in person; you really have to see it to believe it. Insert more platitudes here, Jen, why don't you. Ha!

Retail: $11

Both these beauties by KBShimmer were created exclusively for the Rainbow-themed June Polish Pickup. As the Polish Pickup is only open the first weekend of the month, there is not much time left to get these pre-ordered. Today is the LAST DAY, and you don't want to miss out! 

Orders can be placed on the Polish Pickup website. Please keep in mind orders are submitted as a pre-order and to allow three weeks for domestic (US) shipping. Shipping is a flat rate and orders are combined and extra shipping charges reimbursed to you.

Have you picked up either of these this weekend? I'd love to hear from you!

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


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Saturday, June 5, 2021

Rainbows and Pink Floyd for the June Polish Pickup with ellagee polish!


Press Sample

It's the first weekend of June, and that means it is time for another Polish Pickup! The theme for this month is "Rainbows" and ellagee polish has added an extra special twist inspired by Pink Floyd.

Dark Side Of The Rainbow is an emerald jelly polish with bright green shimmer and trippy rainbow iridescent sheer micro flakes. If you're not entirely sold on green nail polishes yet, this one is sure to make you step back and give them a serious go! I love this shade of green in general, but the rainbow micro flakes add a particular WOW factor that has me swooning.

Dark Side Of The Rainbow is available exclusively at the Polish Pickup website this weekend through Monday, June 7th ONLY, so be sure to pick it up before you miss out!

Retail: $11 per bottle

Please keep in mind orders submitted to the Polish Pickup are placed as a pre-order and to allow three weeks for domestic shipping. As always, shipping is combined for multiple orders placed during this month's opening; if you haven't ordered this beauty yet, there is time to do so and not have to pay extra shipping fees!

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

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Monday, May 10, 2021

KBShimmer, Polish Pickup, and Guilty Pleasures

 Press Sample

The May "Guilty Pleasures" Polish Pickup is in full swing, so today's post is about two offerings by KBShimmer for your consideration. If you haven't nabbed these from the website yet, be sure to do so before it is too late!

Freshly Blended Hand & Body Sugar Scrub

I'm a big sugar scrub fan, and I especially love those from KBShimmer! I use them for both manicures, pedicures, and as a body scrub and have a jar at my sink and another in my shower at any given time.

Living in Arizona, sugar scrubs can get a little melted in transit coming my way. It may disrupt the pretty swirled colour pattern and the placement of the decorative glitters on top, but it has no impact on the quality of the scrubs themselves.

A quick little mix helps to redistribute the oils that sometimes start to separate out, and it's as good as new!

Freshly Blended is a blend of cantaloupe, lychee, and fresh berries. The scent is rounded out with sweet sugarcane and vanilla orchid. I am a huge fan of fruity scents, especially around the summer, and this is a winner for me! You see a lot of watermelon-type fragrances this time of year, and I am delighted to see cantaloupe getting some time to shine with this sugar scrub. I may not like to eat the fruit (I'm convinced my mom ate far too much while pregnant with me), but I really enjoy the way it smells. Cantaloupe is the predominant smell in this scrub to me, but the remaining scents add that something extra that takes the scent to the next level.

Everything Is A-Bouquet

In addition to Freshly Blended Hand & Body Sugar Scrub, KBShimmer has also created a beautiful nail polish that is perfect for spring and summer!

Everything Is A-Bouquet starts off with a deep grape-hues jelly base. The base is loaded to the gills with a green-to-blue shimmer that accents the purple base brilliantly.

In brighter lighting, the green shimmers give way to hints of gold and royal blue for a dazzling multichrome look.

In lower lighting, the shimmer shifts to a more indigo blue.

I've used three coats for opacity plus top coat for these photos.

Have you picked up either of these items from the May Polish Pickup yet? Which is your favorite? I'd love to here from you!

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

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Ellagee Returns for the May Polish Pickup

 I don't know where the time is going, but it's a new month and just about time for the opening of the next Polish Pickup! The theme for May is Guilty Pleasures, and having quite a few myself, I'm eager to find out what everyone else is enjoying and possibly find yet another rabbit hole for me to fall into. The world has been crazy and intense the past year, so give me all the guilty pleasures!

Press Sample

Ellagee Tiktok on the Clock

For today's blog post, I have Laura from ellagee polish's guilty pleasure to share with you: TikTok! Those of you that spend countless hours on social media when you probably should be working (yep, guilty over here too) likely already recognize the colours of the TikTok logo in ellagee's offering, TikTok On The Clock.

Ellagee Tiktok on the clock

There is something so refreshing about a white crelly nail polish, particularly when the temperatures start rising! This TikTok inspired beauty starts off with a white crelly base and contains an exquisite glittering of red and aqua shimmers. Turquoise, red, and black matte glitters add extra interest and nail the TikTok inspiration perfectly.

Ellagee tiktok on the clock

TikTok On The Clock applies easily although you may have to dab a little here and there if you want very specific placement of the glitters. The red and turquoise glitters came out of the bottle easily enough in their own, but I did have to dig around a little to get some of the extra black round glitters.

Ellagee tiktok on the clock

I applied three coats for full opacity on the nail and then followed up with top coat.

TikTok On The Clock retails for $11, and there is no limit to the number of bottles available for purchase. That being said, it is exclusive to the Polish Pickup and available this weekend only so you don't want to miss out!

ellagee tiktok on the clock

The May Polish Pickup is open for shopping this Friday, May 7th through Monday, May 10th although you can now visit the site and add items to your wishlist now to make shopping day easier. Please remember that orders submitted to Polish Pickup are submitted as a pre-order and to allow two weeks for domestic shipping.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team


Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour is currently running a giveaway! Be sure to enter and win some goodies from Yubi Beauty and Doubledown Cosmetics!

Prime Beauty and Fashion Flash have the best Mother’s Day inspired giveaway – try for books, cosmetics, fragrance and a $100 Amazon gift card!!

If you’re still shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for a skincare enthusiast, Never Say Die Beauty has four luxury skincare brands that she enthusiastically recommends!

Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog is obsessed with high quality makeup brushes, and just reviewed the Hourglass NÂș 7 Finishing Brush. This gorgeous multi-tasking Kabuki-style brush is perfect for laying down and blending cream, liquid and powder products. A+

Permanent Makeup? How does it sound to not have to reapply your eyeliner everyday? Have your eyebrows already arched to perfection or a lip color that won’t smudge? Well, now you can with Permanent Makeup. Find out “The Pros And Cons Of Permanent Makeup” as shared by Barbie’s Beauty Bits.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Starting With My Foundation: Pink Super Moon Giveaway

 Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I missed you last week, but my second Moderna vaccination really kicked my behind and I was not particularly functional. I'm still not fully *there*, but tonight is the Super Moon, I've been thinking A LOT about things, and I have been putting off this giveaway far too long already. It's time. Let's do this.

For those that have been following me for the past year or more, you already know I've been through a lot physically and mentally the past 13 months. While my blog is usually my sanctuary against the stressors of day-to-day life, it just because too much for me to keep up with. I certainly tried, but there was always another hurdle presenting itself. I had this giveaway planned for my 9th blogiversary earlier this year, but it got pushed back with my brother's sudden passing. I thought perhaps I would turn it into a Galentine's giveaway; that obviously didn't happen. Then I thought maybe my birthday.....and nope, the mental toll of my knee surgery setback paired with my 1 year COVIDversary was too much. I've had this prize pack sitting on my table in the office, and I kept thinking "now should be the time". After much introspection for reasons that really don't matter here, it's time. Tonight is a full moon, the first Super Moon of the year. Tonight's full moon is in Scorpio, and it brings about transformation as we are challenged to confront our past traumas and fear and pushes us to take control of our boundaries, anxieties, and obsessions. After walking by this bag "starts with foundation" earlier today, I realized there really is no better time for me to hold this giveaway. So let's do it, dear readers, let's finally make this happen!

This prize pack consists of the following:

-Starts With Foundation Cosmetic bag (Doubledown Cosmetics)

- The Standard blush (Doubledown Cosmetics)

- Trio of Vegan Lip balms: The Present, The Punk, and The Future (Doubledown Cosmetics)

- Blend Sponge Set with Travel Pouch (YUBI Beauty)

Enter with the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Nitric Oxide Activating Serum: Your one and done serum for your skincare needs!

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful week! It's been an intense one around here as my physical therapy activities have changed. I don't mind the extra pain it brings on too much except it amplifies my insomnia which then trickles down to how functional I am during the day. I'm running on caffeine at the moment, but I really wanted to get this post up. While I have a few minutes to myself now, I better get to it and put this post together. Let's do this!

Press Sample

I've been mindful to follow a good skincare routine for the past several years in general, but now that I hit the big 4-0 two weeks ago, I really need to be making some serious commitments to certain products. One such product that wandered into my life is the Nitric Oxide Activating Serum by Pneuma Nitric Oxide, LLC. N1O1 is the first anti-aging skincare that uses a Nobel Prize winning discovery to defy aging skin by correcting the cause of wrinkled and damaged skin. Now I will tell you I am always quick to raise an eyebrow and say "mmh hmm" when I see a brand tout a claim using key words, but this has been backed by 20 years of research and shown effective in four clinical studies. Now that's not something to ignore!

The Nitric Oxide Activating Serum comes in a two chamber package system. Simply pump once from each chamber, mix together, and apply to your clean skin twice a day.

This is what the serum looks like when pumped onto the hand. I've not yet mixed these together, and you can see one side is clear while the other is an amber shade due to the Vitamin C in this portion. While the larger bubble is just from dispensing one of the pumps, notice the small bubbles where the two sections meet together.

Here, I have mixed the serum together and let it sit several seconds. The nitric oxide gas has been activated, which is causing all the bubbling. This is then applied to your skin. As a result of the nitric oxide activation, certain skin types could show a pink tone, but it is temporary and disappears after a few minutes. This was disclosed to me before trying out this product, and I can confirm both: my skin does turn a little pink and it does not last long at all.

After mixing together the serum a little more and letting it sit for about five minutes, the bubbling is present but minimal. I'm not sure exactly how long you can let this sit before applying before it loses effectiveness, but you don't want to mix it and let it sit around in a container, for example.

N1O1 Nitric Oxide Activating Serum can be used as a stand-alone skin serum; it has been shown to:

Decrease wrinkles
Decrease the appearance of pores
Increase skin tone
Improve skin texture
Decrease pigmentation (Including those stubborn spots on my skin)
Decrease oiliness (A note of this below)
Decrease redness, and
Decrease acne

All in as few as four weeks! As I already mentioned, this can be used as a stand-alone product, but it can be used with your already existing skin care products. Due to nitric oxide's ability to improve circulation and get nutrients to the cells of your skin, it will enhance the effectiveness of your current products.

I have really enjoyed trying out this product, but I do want to give a little caution, particularly when it comes to decreasing oiliness in your skin. It is extremely effective at doing so, and I noticed this result after just the first day of use. As a combination skin girl with slight oiliness overall, I did find it left my skin feeling more dry than I prefer. For those that like to use a serum and skip the moisturizer, you may not be able to do this comfortably with this product unless you are already starting out with extremely oily skin. Based on my use, I found my skin could only use it once a day -OR- I had to use a richer moisturizer both day and night; I already used a richer one at night prior to testing out this product. Because this is a luxury skincare product and I'm not fond of a richer moisturizer under my makeup, I have opted to use it just once a day, even if the results may take a little longer to be noticeable. I have noticed a rapid fading of recent hormonal acne-caused dark spots and I have a couple stubborn spots that look less noticeable. As I typically only have one or two pimples pop up around my menstrual cycle I am not the best judge about its effectiveness on decreasing acne, but I can say I didn't have my usual hormonal acne this past cycle. I cannot promise it is due to this product or just a fluke as I haven't used this for months on end, but it is promising!

The N1O1 Nitric Oxide Activating Serum is available for purchase here. It retails for $245, but it is currently on sale for $180 at the time of this post. It is most definitely a luxury skincare product, but if you have the means to try it out and incorporate it into your skincare regimen, it's worth it!

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