Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Protect Your Skin with All About Soo's Sun Stage Sunscreens

 Happy hump day, dear readers! I hope you've had a wonderful week so far! The temperatures are suddenly soaring this week after several chilly days last week, and I am loving it! No matter what the weather is like, it is still important to wear sunscreen. Obviously it is much easier to remember to do so what it is sunny and bright outdoors. With the weather heating up and more people wanting to be outside (although sunscreen inside is still recommended!), what could be a better time than to share new-to-me sunscreens? Let's do this!

I had the opportunity to try out two sunscreen products from Korean brand All About Soo. Both offer high protection at SPF 50 and conveniently offer a mostly hands-free application.

Sun Stage Mega Cushion SPF 50+ PA++++

Cushion compacts are popular with Kbeauty products, and we're certainly seeing them more here in the US! While I'm not an expert in Kbeauty products, I haven't seen a cushion compact sunscreen before.

As expected, it opens up to the puff applicator on top.

Simply remove the puff, flip the top layer up, and the cushion containing sunscreen is below. A quick dab with the puff transfers the sunscreen on to the puff for easy dabbing on to your face.

This sunscreen is quite sizable and is larger than the size of my palm!

Sun Stage Cool Stick SPF50+ PA++++

Another option is this twist scroll-up sunscreen applicator. The Cool Stick SPF contains Glacial Water and water mint to instantly cool the temperature of your skin.

Simply remove the cap, scroll up the product, and swipe across your skin for both a subtle cooling affect and protection from more of the sun's rays!

The packaging is a little smaller than the cushion compact sunscreen, but it is still quite sizable and fits comfortably in the palm of my hand.

Left: SunStage Cool Stick
Right: Sunstage Mega Cushion Compact

As you can see, not only are the application methods different, the sunscreens look quite different from each other when applied to the skin. The cool stick applies with just the slightest bit of blue-green which blends in with the skin. It leaves a dewy finish to the skin: great for dry and normal skin types, but not so ideal for those with oily skin. That said, it plays well under makeup so the dewy finish can be hidden with cosmetic and powdering options! That makes the cool stick a good option for those who have a darker colour and want to avoid the white cast of many sunscreens.

As you can see in the photo above, the cushion sunscreen does leave a white cast on the skin, so it is more suitable for paler skin tones or those that wear makeup to bring your skin back to its normal colouring. It dries down to a softer, skin-like finish: not dewy but not a harsh matte either. I think this formula would work well for any skin type.

I'm not really sure which of these sunscreens I prefer. I personally prefer the finish of the cushion as a combination skin girl (not to mention the heat is going to make me glisten with sweat very soon), but I'm not too crazy about the white cast. While I do wear makeup, I don't wear it every day. The white cast does make it a necessity! As for the cooling stick, I like not having to worry about the white cast but I don't need extra shine on my face. I suppose a quick pop of powder would mute that dew quickly. I've been using the stick a lot on my upper body lately: chest and shoulders, as I don't mind the glow there!

I was provided both these sunscreens for review/consideration directly from the brand, but if you are US based, you'll have to purchase from a Kbeauty supplier. I have included links about for these specific products from ECosmeticWorld as they carry both of these products, but they can be found elsewhere. I have no affiliation whatsoever with ECosmeticWorld, so please feel free to shop wherever you prefer! I just wanted to provide a convenient location to purchase should you be interested in both of these items.

Have you tried either of these sunscreens from All About Soo? If so, which did you try? If not, what style of application would you prefer to use? I'd love to hear from you!

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

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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team


Have you had a busy week? Have you not had the time to catch up on blog posts from the week? If so, the Beauty Spotlight Team is here for you to help you play catch up on our group's favorite posts from the week. There is a little something for every beauty lover out there, no matter what your preferred product type! Without further ado, here's a latest set of links to check out!

Are you using EXPIRED beauty products? If you are not doing a yearly Spring Cleaning, you are. Find out when your beauty products expire and how to prepare our beauty stash for Spring as Barbies Beauty Bits shares HOW TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS!

Jen over at Laugh, Love, Contour has really thrown herself into the Spring season this week, and it shows! One of her posts this week features nail art using shades from Zoya’s new Darling Collection for spring. If you’re hunting for nail art suggestions, be sure to check out her Impressionist painting inspired floral look for a quick and easy nail art design!

Red Eyed Lacquer released her Think, Think, Think Collection this week and Kristi over at BeginNails has swatches of her Winnie The Pooh inspired collection

Have you ever had a hot flash? If so you’ll really appreciate Hot Girls PearlsPrime Beauty shows you how pretty they are and how very useful especially with warmer weather heading our way.

Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog gave you a preview of Boxwalla’s April Beauty Box: Spring in Spain featuring Twelve Beauty, and now you will want to read the full review. This is an amazing value featuring two ultra-luxe, and highly effective, products!

Are you interested in makeup subscriptions? Ipsy has grown through the years and the boxes are no longer just samples. Allison from Never Say Die Beauty found some keepers in her latest bag. Would you?

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Zoya Naturel (4): The Cool-Toned Collection for those Who Aren't Quite Ready for Spring Yet and Just Like a Bit of Grunge

 Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you've had a wonderful week and have something to look forward to this weekend, no matter how small! I've been hardcore focused on Spring this past week, and even the weather in Arizona decided to remind me not everyone is in Spring mode right now. I'm actually wearing a sweater while I type as it has been chilly (for us) the past couple of days. I suppose this makes it the best time to share off Zoya's Naturel (4) Collection!

Press Sample

The Zoya Naturel (4) Collection was launched as a transition between the Winter and Spring seasons, but I personally find these shades to be timeless and can fit in at any season. This six piece collection is really geared towards those that like to wear pink and purple cool tones, a very welcome addition to the Zoya lineup!

There are five creams and a shimmer "special effects" nail polish in this collection. Let's get a closer look at each of these shades!

Barrett is described as a taupe-violet cream. It is one of Zoya's more opaque shades and will yield full coverage in two coats depending on how thickly you apply your polish.

Evelyn is described as a soft, cool-toned pink blush. It is another two coater depending on how thickly you apply your polish. Often these lighter shades have iffy formulas, but I was pleasant surprised with this one!

Vivian is described as a dusty grape cream. It is another opaque beauty so two coats should suffice for most people.

Cami is described as a pale mauve taupe cream. This is likely to be a two coater for many, although those with really long nails or very stark nail line may find they need to add a third coat.

Adeline is described as a deep fig taupe cream. This is another very opaque cream, and two coats should suffice for most people.

Marlowe is described as a duo-chrome with a rose-gold shimmer and slate blue base. This is one of Zoya's "special effect"finishes, designed to be used as a topper although it can be built up on its own. Due to the design of this polish, this shade is on the sheerer side  You might be able to achieve full opacity with three thick coats, but you're more likely to need four, if not five, coats to reach opacity if you want just this colour. Rather than applying so many coats, your best bet will be to layer it on top of a nude colour similar to your skin tone or on top of a similarly blue-hued shade. You can always layer it over a variety of other shades to change up the base in particular. I was playing around with Marlowe and regret not taking a photo of it layered over Evelyn; the combination is a delicate silvery blue-gray that wasn't particularly flattering on my skin tone (greys rarely are) but I strongly recommend it for cooler-toned and grey-loving polishers!

Zoya's Naturel (4) Collection is giving off some serious grungy vibes, and I am here for it! I don't gravitate towards cooler purples often, but give them that touch of smoke and you won't be able to pry them away from me!

Have you picked up any shades from the Naturel (4) Collection? What shades are your favorites? I'm personally partial to Barrett and Adeline, but you really cannot go wrong with any of them!

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Monet-Inspired Floral Nail art with Zoya Darling Collection

 Greetings, dear readers, and happy hump day! I hope the first half of your week has been wonderful, or at least uneventful! It's been a weird week around here as I've been dealing with horrible insomnia again and I'm not entirely sure what day it is most days at the moment. That seems to be par for the coarse right now with the way the world is going, and I have a feeling many of you know this feeling all too well. Now let's hop in to some nail art!

Press Sample

Zoya has launched their Darling Collection for Spring 2021, and the colours are perfection for the season! The collection consists of 6 shades, and four of them played together perfectly with a look I wanted to created. I did opt to pull another older Zoya shade into the mix because it completed this quad impeccably.

Because these shades felt floral to me, I opted to go with a Claude Monet-inspired floral type nail art look.

One of the colours Zoya did not include in this collection that I really wish they had is a nice soft green. I opted to pull in the older shade Neely to use as my base for this look.

On top of Neely are the following shades from the Darling Collection: Ella, Kayleigh, Val andJoyce. I created the pattern by dropping each of the shades on the surface of water and then spraying with alcohol to break it up. I then picked up the broken polish webbing with a stamper and then placed it onto my nails.

I love love love this look! Using the alcohol spritzing technique really givens that scattered colourful look that I love from Impressionist paintings, especially in this colourway!

The Zoya Darling Collection is available for purchase from the Zoya website here. If you want to add Neely to your order (because a good minty green is always a good pick in the spring), you can get that here. Each of these polishes retail for $10 a piece.

Have you picked up any shades from the Zoya Darling Collection? If so, what are your favorites? What sort of nail art has this collection inspired you to create? I'd love to hear from you!

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

Monday, March 22, 2021

Simple and Fresh Makeup Look for Spring

 Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! It's been awhile since posting! Every time things settle down enough and I think I'll get back to something resembling a routine, something pops up. If it's not something physically stopping me, it's my mental health taking a nosedive. I greatly appreciate your patience with me this past year, and what a year it has been! Yikes! Now let's leave that craziness behind and jump in on today's post!

This weekend marked the start of a new season, and I wanted to create a fresh makeup look to mark the occasion. Check it out!

I was really feeling the shades in the Viseart Petite Pro Chou Chou palette and had to put them to good use this weekend! While the palette is not available right now, it should be coming back in the next couple of weeks. I kept my application light handed as I wanted a more subtle look, but it is such a great palette that will carry you from spring and into summer with the vibrant hues!

I also used my go-to coral blush, The Standard by Doubledown Cosmetics in my look. It's not the easiest to see here as I do keep my blush application light in the first place plus added to the bright lights for photos, but it is such a good coral hue!

I completed the look by applying a coat of Viseart Moisture Boost Lip Shine in the shade Scala. This lip oil is a bronzy caramel hue, but the pinkness in my lips tones down the brown to give me the colour I wanted for this look.

Did you do anything special to mark the start of Spring? I'm having to lay low at home between my knee injury setback and being high risk with COVID, but it was beautiful here and I spent a lot of time outside with the hubby and kids. I am enjoying being outside as much as I can right now before it gets too hot and I have to spend most of the day indoors.

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

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Thursday, March 4, 2021

KBShimmer offerings for the March Polish Pickup: With The Band and Restoration Drops Polish Thinner!

 Greetings, dear readers! It's been a hot minute since I've posted on the blog, but I really just needed the past two months away. I feel like I've lost so much time over the past year where I have needed to focus on my health issues and recovery, first from COVID and its devastating aftereffects and then from my knee injury and subsequent surgery. As you all know, when it rains, it pours, and that it did this year as my brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. While I had been able to push through some of my physical limitations, albeit slowly, it was my brother's passing that ultimately broke me. Right now I'm taking things one day at a time, and today that means getting a blog post up! Let's do this!

Press Sample

With it being a new month and the Polish Pickup set to open with its monthly offerings tomorrow, what could be better than a post sharing the items available from KBShimmer! The theme for March is Spring: Birds, Bees, & Butterflies; I am really excited about both products coming from KBShimmer. Let's start off with the nail polish because I'm in the mood for some colour!

With The Band

Flock, gaggle, flamboyance, herd; groups of birds have interesting names. One that I find most amusing is the term for a group of pigeons: a band! I don’t know if that came from the banding of homing pigeons, but I just keep imagining pigeons saying, “I’m with the band,” and I chuckle. One of the most beautiful pigeons is the Nicobar pigeon, the closest living relative to the now-extinct dodo. Deep blue in color with vibrant plumage that shines in iridescent blues, coppers, and greens, the Nicobar pigeon sports a rainbow of metallic-like feathers.

With The Band is a deep, navy blue jelly nail polish. Bold color-shifting flakes mimic the feathers of the Nicobar pigeon, with hues of red, orange, yellow, and green showing as you change your viewing angle. At certain angles, hints of aqua come out to play, especially in lower lighting, which will also show off the flakes best. This jelly shade builds easily in 2 coats, but longer nails may prefer 3.

Y'all, when I first heard what inspired this polish, I thought Christy, the owner of the brand, had lost her mind. We've been fighting pigeons that have taken up roost at our front porch since before we moved into our house here in Arizona; needless to say, i don't think too fondly of these birds. Still, I have fallen in love with so many beautiful KBShimmer shades, and I just had to see this beauty in person. Even having an idea of what to expect based on the description, I was still blown away when I saw this polish in person.

With The Band is incredible, and in true KBShimmer fashion, it applies like a dream. The stray flake at nail tips can be pushed back on easily or simply removed, and a little dab here and there can add flakes in spots where you might want a little more colourful pizzazz. I'm a sucker for jelly polish in general, and this one is quite breathtaking. I've used three coats here plus KBShimmer's Clearly On Top top coat for a smooth and shiny finish.

Retail: $11.00

Restoration Drops Polish Thinner

Over time, nail polish can get thick and stringy. This is due to the evaporation of Butyl Acetate and Ethyl Acetate, two of the main ingredients in all nail polishes that help the polish to dry on your nails.

To restore thick polish, use our KBShimmer polish thinner, Restoration Drops. For slightly thickened polish, start with 2-3 drops, shake, then check the consistency. Repeat until you are happy with the result. For dried out or severely thickened polish, we suggest that you fill the bottle with thinner to the fill line, let it sit overnight, and then shake in the morning. You may need to use a toothpick or paperclip to stir, allowing the thinner to reach the bottom of the bottle. As always, we highly suggest cleaning the necks of the polish bottles after use to allow a good seal. This will reduce polish evaporation in the long run.

To prevent evaporation of the thinner, store with the regular top.

I'm sure you know how it goes- you're ready to apply your favorite nail polish, but when you open it and pull out the brush *gasp* the formula is thick and goopy because you didn't close the bottle tightly enough. Thankfully, KBShimmer has come to the rescue with their new Restoration Drops Polish Thinner! With as few as a few drops, your nail polish can be good as new and ready to use because we all know by now we should NOT be putting acetone in our bottles to thin it down. This polish thinner ships with a regular flat screw cap in addition to the dropper cap. The dropper cap does not close to a tight seal so you will want to save the flat cap and use that for storage. This will not only prevent this thinner from evaporating, but from making a mess when your cat intentionally knocks it over while wanting around on your desk.

Not only have I not been blogging lately, I've mostly lived with naked nails the past two months. As a result, my top coat, which I usually go through reasonably quickly, has gotten thick and goopy: not exactly the ideal formula. A few drops of the Restoration Drops Polish Thinner has restored it back to its usual viscosity and it's ready to go!

Retail: $7.00

The March Polish Pickup opens tomorrow, Friday, March 5th at 11am Eastern Time and will remain open through Monday, March 8th at midnight Eastern Time. These items have been created exclusively for this event, and this is the only time and location to purchase either of these items. You do not want to miss out!

Orders submitted to the Polish Pickup are pre-order only; please allows up to three weeks for items to be shipped out to you from Polish Pickup headquarters. While you may not be able to receive your items in just a few days (or a little longer with the continued USPS delays *ahem*), you really cannot beat the opportunity to shop with so many indie brands all at once and only pay $3 for shipping within the US!

Are you ready for tomorrow's Polish Pickup? What items do you have on your wishlist? I'd love to hear from you!

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

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