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Sephora September Play! Box

Greetings! Happy Sephora September Play! Box Day! The happiest day of the month. It’s kind of like Rex Manning Day, only for adults…and about makeup…and not sucky.  Okay, it’s nothing like Rex Manning Day.  And if you don’t know what Rex Manning Day is, please go watch ’90s classic Empire Records immediately and report back.

This month is doubly exciting because I made a video to accompany the post! It was nerve wracking, so I hope it’s not terrible.  It accompanies the launch of the new YouTube channel, and I welcome feedback.  Just not too harsh, please!

So what do we have in the Sephora September Play! Box?

First, the cute makeup pouch with “A Change of Face” on it.  I love these little pouches.  They’re so handy when you need to just throw a bunch of stuff together and go.  As I apply my makeup, I throw it into one of these bags and then just tuck the bag into my purse for the night.  Easy peasy.

Sephora September Play! Box Pin - Beauty Chaos

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof

Guys, it’s like Sephora knows exactly what I want.  I would say they’ve bugged my house, but I don’t think I’ve said this out loud, so perhaps they’ve bugged my brain.  The thing is, I’m incapable of wearing black eyeliner without it getting all over my under eye area and making me look a) incredibly tired and b) kind of old.  I chalk it up to having oily skin.  But I’ve never tried a waterproof eyeliner, so I’m very excited to give this one a go.

Algenist POWER Recharging Night Pressed Serum

I had to go to the Sephora website to look up what a pressed serum was, and discovered that this stuff goes for $95 a pot.  See, the Sephora box is awesome.  I never would have purchased a full sized container of this because, what if I didn’t like it?  Then I’m out a hundred bucks.  This way, I get to try before I buy.

Serums have seriously become one of my favorite skincare products.  They do so much with so little.  This one promises a radiant and smooth complexion in 10 days, so I’m hoping there’s enough in this lil’ guy to get me to 10.

Sephora September Play Box

IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

I have to admit, I find this packaging odd.  There are photos of girls whipping their hair around and swimming.  And yes, while I would like to look like these girls, this packaging looks like it’s targeting men, TBH.  On the plus side, it is vegan and cruelty free, and promises to revive stressed hair.  Since my hair constantly takes a beating from hot styling tools, I welcome any product that can restore its shine and softness.

Belif – The True Cream Aqua Bomb

This one I had to look up as well, just because I’m unfamiliar with the company.  So this stuff is cool because it’s oil free, which is great for skin like mine which is oily and has large pores.  According to the Sephora website, in clinical tests subjects experienced a 70% increase in their skin’s hydration levels.  I wonder how they test that…

Sephora September Play! Box

Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Amulet

Another waterproof wonder, this lipstick shade is described as a matte brick rose.  While I love the brick rose color, I’m personally nervous about a matte lipstick.  I don’t wear it very often, as it usually dries out my lips and leaves that weird rim around the edges when I eat or drink anything.  Still, the reviews are great, so I’m happy to try it out.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow

Y’all, I’m very, very happy to get this one.  Benefit’s big thing is brows these days, and although I haven’t visited their brow bar yet, I have been eyeing Gimme Brow for a while.  The packaging promises that it will volumize and tame brows while staying natural looking.  I’ve seen some pretty messed up brows before, and I usually stay away from any kind of fillers for that reason.  It would be just my luck that I’d leave the house thinking my brows looked amazing, then getting out into natural light and realizing I look like a mental patient.

That’s it for this month’s haul.  If you liked the review, please share it!  What do you guys think is the most promising product in here?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Arbonne Grab Bag

One of the things I love most about being a blogger is the connections I make with people all over the world. Shortly after I launched Beauty Chaos, a woman named Holly Brown contacted me.  Holly is an Arbonne representative, and also has a lovely website, Living Like Lotus. Holly sent a message asking if I would like to try some Arbonne stuff out for Beauty Chaos. Ummmm, hello, freebies? Of course!

So here’s the awesome thing: Holly is from Peterborough, U.K. So after just launching my website, a new friend from across the globe reached out and got in touch.  This Internet thing, I tell ya, it’s simply amazing.

About a week later, my package arrived.

Not only was it addressed to my new business, it was packed to the gills with stuff.  And it had a customs declaration.  How cool is that?

Arbonne - Beauty Chaos

Now, onto the good stuff.

Included in my Arbonne Grab Bag was: A sampler pack of the Calm Skincare line; a sampler pack of RE9 Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare line; “It’s a Long Story” Mascara; FC5 Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream; an “It’s All in the Eyes” eye shadow sampler in a neutral palette; Perfecting Liquid Foundation & Makeup Primer; Smoothed Over Lipstick; and Glossed Over Lip Gloss. It was like I had died and gone to beauty heaven.

Arbonne has been around for almost 40 years.

Although I had a friend who was a rep when I was in my early 20s, that was the first I had ever heard of the company.  As I understand it, they function kind of like Avon, R+F, Mary Kay, etc., in that you have to get the products directly from their Independent Consultants.

Best of all Arbonne is vegan, gluten-free, and doesn’t test on animals.

Huge plus. Huge.  The company formulates without a whole mess of chemicals and contains no animal byproducts as well. The company is focused on sustainability, leaving a small carbon footprint, and has led the way in the green movement in the U.S., with their commitment to sustainability beginning all the way back in 1980.

Arbonne - Beauty Chaos

So, are their products any good?

In a word, yes, they are. I began my sampling with the Calm skincare line, which included the Gentle Daily Cleanser, Soothing Facial Serum, Gentle Daily Moisturizer, and Soothing Eye Gel.  Arbonne’s Calm line is designed for those with sensitive skin, as the name alludes to.  The key ingredients are aloe vera, cucumber, licorice, and chamomile, to name a few.

To be honest, this isn’t the line for me.  As I’ve stated in other posts, my skin is incredibly oily and can withstand a lot – I used rubbing alcohol for a time as a toner when I was in high school – so I need something with a little more kick. But I think this line would work well for someone with sensitive skin, as it did not make me break out.  Most products do.  And what struck me was how little of the product I needed with each use.  As Holly quipped when I told her this, “A dot does a lot!”  So my little sample bottles lasted about a week with twice a day use.

Next, I moved onto the RE9 Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare Line.  I’m at that weird point in my skincare life where I’m still breaking out, but having to fight wrinkles at the same time.  It’s magical, folks.  The RE9 line had so much stuff.  There were seven little bottles for me to try!  These included Smoothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner, Intensive Renewal Serum, Corrective Eye Cream, Night Repair Cream, Restorative Cream SPF20, and Extra Moisture Restorative Cream SPF 20.

Arbonne Grab Bag Pin - Beauty Chaos

I love this line, especially the Intensive Renewal Serum.  Whatever the magic ingredient is, it worked immediately.  My skin felt more supple, smooth and firm.  I have rarely found products that work this quickly.  The Restorative Creams with SPF were very light, and break my skin out.  And the Night Repair Cream left my skin feeling well hydrated.  All in all, this is a line I will likely use again.

My name is Amy, and I am a hand lotion hoarder.

Not all hand lotion, mind you.  But whenever I stay in a hotel, I take the little bottles of lotion and put them in the cosmetic pocket of my purse.  Last time I cleaned it out, I believe there were five in there.  And I wonder why my purse weighs 10 pounds.

The Arbonne Ultra-Hydrating Hand Creme has been added to my pouch, and this is a great one.  It is very lightly perfumed and doesn’t feel greasy after application, both of which are pet peeves of mine when it comes to lotion.  I will definitely carry around a bottle of this with me in my purse from now on.

Onto the makeup portion of today’s show.

When it comes to mascara, I am of the more is better mentality.  If I were only allowed one cosmetic item, mascara would be it.  There’s something about how it transforms my face that wakes everything up.  I feel like I can leave the house wearing only mascara (and concealer.  and a little lip tint.  and maybe some blush.  Oh, who am I kidding?)

That said, I tend to go for the formulas that promise big, bold, voluminous lashes, like Diorshow or, one of my personal favorites, Too Faced Better-Than-Sex Mascara. So I was surprised by how much I liked Arbonne’s “It’s a Long Story” mascara.  Having been blessed with long lashes to begin with, I don’t usually look for lengthening formulas.  This mascara lengthens, but does so without looking like you’re wearing mascara.  It’s pretty cool.  I found myself putting it on every time I would run out of the house and needed a little pick me up, but didn’t want to put on a full face of makeup.

All the colors of the rainbow.

The cool thing about the samples Holly sent is that each one contains all the colors of the collection.  With the foundation, I got to try a couple of colors before finding my perfect shade (Fair/Pale for when I’ve been staying out of the sun diligently, Buff/Chamois when I’ve overindulged in my pool time a bit).  The Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation offers nice, light coverage, perfect for everyday use.  Also included in the sampler pack was their makeup primer, which prepped my skin perfectly.

Arbonne
Mwah!
S.W.A.K.

I’m not a huge lipstick wearer,  so given the choice between the lipstick and gloss, I would choose the gloss.  But the lipstick offers a large variety of shades for all skin tones, and does have a hydrating feel.  As I’ve said before, when I get nervous I bite my lip, so lipstick never lasts long on me.  But for a night out, I would definitely carry this one in my clutch.

The Glossed Over gloss is great, leaving shine without being sticky, and layering easily over the lipstick.  With the sampler pack I was able to try quite a few combos, with some great results.

Overall, Arbonne’s selection impressed me.  There are a few other products in the catalog Holly enclosed that I’m planning to try, including The Real Conceal concealer and Sheer Glow Highlighter.  They even have a line of nutritional products ranging from green powder to protein bars to vitamins.  And with their commitment to being cruelty free, vegan, and green, Arbonne stands out as a company that cares.

Got a line of products you’d like me to try? Thoughts on Arbonne?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall

  • By Guest Contributor Brigitte Evans

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before FallWell, summer is slowly coming to an end, and with it our cozy dreams of long, warm vacations and lazing around the house without a care in the world. It’s time to focus on the fall, with its rainy skies, hot coffee and beautiful warm-toned colors of fallen leaves. Fall usually means back to school or work for the most of us. Thus, we want to make sure we begin the new season ready for the new challenges, looking better than we ever did before. Want to know how to start off fall in the best way possible and look like a stunning bombshell? Here’s a few secrets.

New hair for new you

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall

There’s nothing like a new haircut to update your look. Since fall is coming, a visit to the salon is a must. If you want, you can stick to just trimming the ends to give it a healthier appearance. But why not be bold and try something different? A sexy, voluminous lob is all the rage. You could go for more layers and volume, or even try a pixie cut. Talk to the hairdresser and let them give you tips about what kind of cut would suit your face shape. Another thing you definitely want to do is visit your colorist. Butterscotch blonde, honey tones, and pastel strands are popular. So try something new and fun to wow people around you.

Manicure for perfect hands

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall

Technically, you can do this all on your own. But there’s just something nice about going to a salon and letting the professionals take care of you. Get a pretty manicure and pick a fall-inspired nail polish color, like burgundy. Once that’s done, go home, and right before bed indulge in some easy hand care. Grab a pair of old cotton gloves, slather on a thick amount of hand cream, pull the gloves on and go to sleep. When you wake up, you’ll have gloriously soft, lush hands.

Weight loss shortcuts

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall

Most of us pay attention to our diet right before vacation, but as soon as we’re back home, we treat ourselves to a bit too much candy and greasy food. Unwanted pounds are a common issue, and we’re often too busy to figure everything out as we rush to readjust to the hectic September days. Worry not, because there are shortcuts you can take that provide excellent results and can help you shape up in no time. Cavitation treatments are non-invasive and effective, and less risky and costly than liposuction. Paired with a healthy diet and some cardio, you’ll be that va-va-voom bombshell that draws sighs all around her.

Multitasking skin treatment

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall

The best thing about this is that you can do it at home. We want to look good, but using twenty different products every night to help us deal with our skin issues is just exhausting. That’s why finding the right treatments is critical, preferably ones that target more than one problem and ensure you have supple, amazing skin. Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask or similar products can help you get rid of wrinkles, dullness, and even help soothe your skin and give it a smoother appearance. DIY masks are also a good choice, and can give you incredible benefits without having to visit the salon or spend tons of money.

5 Beauty Treatments You Should Have Before Fall Pin - Beauty Chaos

Clean up your brows

If you’ve done it before and are sure you can do it well, ust grab some tweezers and clean up your brows for a neat, fresh look. Or go to a salon and let them shape and pluck your brows to perfection. If your brows are too thin and sparse, microblading is all the rage these days. It will give you a fuller look, it’s semi-permanent, and it’s an easy way to get those perfect, Instagram-worthy eyebrows.

Beauty treatments help us feel good and beautiful. Whether it’s something as simple as doing a hand mask, or something more complicated like Botox, it’s on us to decide what we need. We hope these easy little tips help you so you may start this fall fresh, gorgeous and happy.

Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 2, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.

Bliss Multi-‘Face’-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask

I bought the Bliss Multi-‘Face’-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask at the same time I bought the Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask.  And seriously, the title is cute but again with the novels.  How about something simple for once, guys?

Bliss Multi-'Face-'eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask

The title is technically Bliss Multi-‘Face’-eted All-In-One Anti-Aging Clay Mask, but that’s a pain so I shortened it.

Anyway, I love the Triple Oxygen Energizing Mask, so I thought, why not try another Bliss mask?  On the Bliss website, the product is described as, “a flexible clay mask that helps correct the six most visible signs of aging.”  It’s supposed to smooth the appearance of lines, even skin tone and texture, soften, brighten, and shrink the look of pores.  The website also boasts pretty positive reviews of the mask, so I had high hopes.

The active ingredients in the Bliss Muti-‘Face’-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask are 10% glycolic acid, to dissolve dead skin cells and help clear skin; quartz, to smooth rough texture; kaolin, a mud that draws out impurities; carbon, a natural purifier; kojic acid, an antibacterial that has brightening properties; and jojoba oil, a non-greasy moisturizer that leaves skin soft and supple.

Bliss Multi Face-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask Pin - Beauty Chaos

With a lineup like this, I have high hopes.

Plus, it’s Bliss, which is historically an amazing brand. So I wash my face, and as per the instructions on the side of the cute glass pot, apply a thin layer.  The application feels like it’s exfoliating my skin, which I assume is the small pieces of quartz, and is a sensation that I really like.  Having grown up with tough, oily skin, exfoliation is heavenly.

I wait around seven minutes, remove with a wet washcloth, and pat dry, as per the instructions.  And my skin looks…kind of dirty.  I’m prone to blackheads and clogged pores on my nose and T-zone anyway, but this seems to have magnified the problem.

However, I’m no quitter.

Bliss Multi-'Face'-eted Anti-Aging Clay MaskPlus, for a brand like Bliss which has so many great products, I figure maybe this product has a cumulative effect and the results will start to show in a week or two.

So I try again.  And again.  And again.  And…see where I’m going with this?  I become the very definition of insanity.  Unfortunately, the mask provided the same results every time. And I had such high hopes.

Maybe I got a bad batch.  Maybe it’s my skin type.  Maybe I’m using the wrong stuff for my skin and I don’t need this level of anti-aging yet.  But this is not a good product for me.

Cost and Where to Buy

By all means, try this out for yourself.  Not every skincare product works for every person.  You can find the Bliss Multi-‘Face’-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask on the Bliss website for $40 (which is 20% off their regular price), and on Amazon for $50. I’m thinking it might be being discontinued, because Ulta and Sephora have stopped carrying it.

In other news…

I had a whole bunch of stuff to talk about before I started writing this. Then husband and I came home from the grocery store and discovered that there seems to be a dead animal under the house. There is a very distinct smell emanating from one of the screens on our raised foundation, as well as a family of flies buzzing around. Ah, the joys of homeownership.

Bliss Multi-'Face'-eted Anti-Aging Clay Mask
I don’t have any photos of dead animals. And I don’t hate you guys. So here’s me on a pizza float that my nephew bought for us.

Having never experienced anything like this, my first thought was, “Who do I even call for dead animal removal from under my house?” Fortunately, the Internet exists. Yelp immediately told me that a pest control company can come out and take care of this problem.

Husband is having a crisis about this because he feels like he should be the one to don a hazmat suit and respirator, crawl under the house and find whatever the source of the stench is.  Being who I am, I have no idea why anyone would have this sort of existential crisis.  Why would you want to go under the house to find the dead animal?  Why is this something that you feel should be your job unless it is…your job?

So the pest control guy is coming first thing in the morning.

I think a couple hundred bucks is a reasonable price for someone to crawl under my house and remove something dead. Especially something that has been dead long enough to start to smell and attract flies.  As I’m starting to gross myself out (and hopefully haven’t grossed all of you out too much) I’ll leave it at that.  Oh, and needless to say, WINE.

Do you have any home horror stories?  Or back to the subject of the post, want me to try some other face mask treatment?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer

There’s no doubt about it – my skin is changing as I get older.  Not necessarily for the worse (yet, LOL), but I’m able to use things that I wasn’t when I was younger.  The Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer is one such product.

As a teen and in my 20s, anything not oil free was a no go.

I would spend time looking at night creams and products that promised to stop aging in its tracks with moisture, but as soon as I got one of those miracle creams near my skin, I would break out. Looking at the description of the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer, I thought I would have the same problem.

The Perricone website describes it as, “A luxurious, rose-scented anti-aging moisturizer that helps to restore moisture, radiance, and firmness to the skin for a hydrated, smooth and luminous complexion.”  To me, that translates into one thing: breakouts.  Combine the fact that the lotion is perfumed with the oil that it surely contains, and I thought I would be fighting a breakout for weeks after using this new lotion.

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer Pin - Beauty Chaos

Here’s the special part.

Perricone’s moisturizer has some elements that make it special.  First, there’s a fat soluble form of Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is an incredible ingredient for anti-aging.  I haven’t tried a product yet with Vitamin C that I didn’t love.  This particular strain of it is good for sun damaged skin, and it brightens the appearance and reduces discoloration.  As someone with melasma, this is great for me.

The cream also contains something called DMAE, which I didn’t know much about.  Dimethylaminoethanol , or DMAE for short, is a vitamin supplement that can be taken orally or found in skincare products. It is an antioxidant found most frequently in fish that stabilizes cell membranes, helping protect them from free radical damage.  In skincare products, it is used to increase the firmness and tone of skin.

Then, something amazing happened.

I started using the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer, and I didn’t break out.  Instead, my skin felt…pretty amazing.  I hadn’t read any of the information on the product before use.  To be honest, I wrote it off immediately as a lotion that wouldn’t work for me.  But it did.  It worked wonders.  My skin was hydrated, toned, and as a bonus, I smelled like roses.

Sephora July Play BoxUnfortunately, I only had a small sample pot of the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer that came in my Sephora July Play! Box, so I didn’t get to use this one for very long.  But that’s the beauty of beauty boxes (see what I did there?): you get to try little samples before investing in the big product.

The sample size was big enough to give me a sense for what this moisturizer can do.  Also, as with a lot of skincare products these days, a little bit goes a long way.

Cost and Where to Buy

The Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer can be found at Sephora, Ulta, or on the Perricone website for the same price, $69.  One Amazon store has it listed right now for $51.83, and with a Prime membership, shipping is free.  That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Summing Up

Overall, the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer is a great product.  I will be adding it into my rotation as soon as I run out of my current lotion.

And now, random things.
Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer
Not clouds, smoke. Pretty terrifying.

The weirdness continues in La-La Land this week, y’all.  There’s a huge fire raging north of Burbank, and it’s wreaking all kinds of havoc on the city.  According to Variety this morning, it’s the biggest fire in LA City’s history.  That’s a pretty crazy title, considering that there are fires all the time here.

We can see the smoke from our backyard, which is also crazy.  I thought it was clouds when I went outside yesterday, but nope, huge plume of smoke.  Couple the fire with the heat wave we’ve been having (over 100 degrees for the last week) and the conditions in LA are less than enjoyable right now.

The Van Nuys Animal Shelter is evacuating their animals and placing them with the East and West Valley Animal Shelters, which means those shelters are looking for temporary fosters for as many animals as they can find to make room.  Do I need more cats?  I mean, they’re like potato chips, right? You can’t have just one, or five, or…you know, 100.  I don’t think husband would be very pleased if I brought home more animals right now, but we’ll see.

If you’re in the LA area and have the resources, please consider temporarily fostering.  If you want more info, leave me a comment below or message me here.  And stay safe.

In other news…

I bought husband’s birthday present this week, and it’s kind of also a present for me and I cannot wait.  Unfortunately, I can’t reveal what it is, as I believe he has actually started reading the blog, LOL.  If you want to know what it is, message me! Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until late October…

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask

In the immortal words of Eugene Levy as he sits in the dentist chair in “Splash,” what a week I’m having.  I will get into it more later, but first, a review of Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask.  What is with these products and their titles lately?  I feel like everything is a novel.

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning MaskIn all seriousness, between the Sephora Play! boxes and my Influenster box, I’ve tried some great products in the last couple of weeks.

The Madam CJ Walker Deep Conditioning Mask came in my Sephora July Play! box, and I have used it a couple of times. As a side note, as I write this the mama foster cat, Kiki, is sitting next to me on the couch purring and staring adoringly at me.  It’s too precious.

Madam CJ Walker Dream Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask
How do you not just put that in a pita pocket?
Back to the Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask.

This mask promises to deep condition and rehydrate dry, damaged, and/or color treated hair.  It has notes of white flower and warm vanilla listed in the scent description and I have to say, it does smell delicious.  It is free of all the parabens, sulfates and phthalates that clog up a lot of other hair products.  But seriously, I have no idea what those things do.  I just know that they’re bad.

For optimal results, the mask is to be used once a week.  You’re supposed to section towel dried hair and saturate it from roots to ends.  Then, you wait 15 minutes, rinse out, and voila! Perfect hair.  I followed these instructions to a T and also applied some light heat from my hairdryer for deeper conditioning.

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask Pin - Beauty Chaos

Afterwards, my hair felt amazing.

My hair isn’t in really bad condition, but I do blow dry it every other day because when I don’t I look like the Fear the Walking Dead kid (see Carol’s Daughter Leave In Conditioner Spray for an explanation). That coupled with the fact that I haven’t had a haircut since … I can’t remember the last time I had my hair cut.  So it’s been a long time.

Needless to say, my hair needs some care and this mask does the trick.  My hair felt silky and smooth even after a blowout, and that softness lasted all week.  Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Cost and Where to Buy

Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioning Mask can be purchased at Sephora for $32.  I got the little bottle in my Play! box, but I think the product is worth it and will definitely purchase a full-sized bottle when I’m ready. I also found the conditioner on Amazon, but it’s listed for $52.99 so, yeah, go to Sephora.  I’m also interested in trying Madam Walker’s Pre-Wash Protein Treatment.

Now, onto my week.

Or I should say, last couple of weeks.  Husband and I decided to rent out our guest room, which was always the plan when we bought the house.  We didn’t want to get a permanent roommate, so we decided to rent out the room for temporary stints through a website.  Let’s call it LandCoC.

These guests were supposed to be here for a month.  However, we had to evict them after just under two weeks.  They were awful.  Two guys, they never left the house, didn’t follow our “House Rules” (which are not unreasonable.  Just, you know, don’t eat our groceries and try not to die in the pool which means no diving because it’s shallow, dummies.)  and were just generally rude.

I’ve been feeling kind of depressed as a result of being in the house with them.  Since I work from home, there was no escape from the madness.  Although it did get me back to Cardio Barre, so I suppose I owe them a thank you for that.  Seriously, best workout ever.

The final straw came on Sunday.

One of the men left for a while and came back really drunk.  He hit on me and was trying to get me to go in the pool with him.  Husband was at work, but he was not pleased when I told him about this.  We went out for dinner and frozen yogurt, and when we came home we discovered that the same man was running around our house in his underpants.  Not modest ones, either.

I don’t know about you ladies (or gentlemen), but the thought of being in a house with someone who gets drunk, hits on me, and strips down to his underwear every day while my husband isn’t home does not sound pleasant.  So I contacted LandCOC, who advised that they were going to remove him.

Madam CJ Walker Dream Culture Wonderful Deep Conditioner
All the wine.
But did they go gently into that good night?

No.  No, indeed.  They had to be threatened with police intervention.  Can’t make this stuff up, people.  Finally we got them out, but that was a huge problem as well.

So yes, I missed Monday’s post. I also need all the wine.  I’m still reeling from the experience as it was, you know, our first one.  Not sure if we’re going to do it again.

Aaand that’s my story for the week! Got any horror stories of your own?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Sephora August Play! Box

I’m just as excited to have received my Sephora August Play! Box as I was my July one.  Perhaps it reminds me of being a kid, when getting mail felt magical.  Less so now; now it just feels like bills, LOL.

My apologies for being absent last week for my second post.  Husband and I are hosting our first Airbnb and it’s…interesting.  I have had a lot on my plate.

So now, onto the Sephora August Play! Box

Sephora August Play! Box - Beauty ChaosThe box again arrived with a cute little “Makeup Geek” bag, as well as an “Elements of Beauty” periodic table.  Adorable.  As I described previously, there are specifications you get to enter when you subscribe for the Play! box, so they’re kind of individualized, which is awesome.

Contents

beautyblender micro.mini This thing is just adorable.  I have wanted to try the beautyblender for a while, and this little teeny bugger is the perfect size for a test run. Reading the description in the pamphlet, I’m surprised to find out that beautyblender has been around for 15 years.  Clearly, I’ve been missing out!  It’s a great shape to get into the under eye area for concealer, or dab on little blemishes (not that any of us get those).  The description promises it will double in size when wet.

Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil I almost can’t believe it took a company this long to invent a mascara remover in a mascara wand form.  Sounds elementary, I know, but after years of rubbing at my lashes with makeup remover and scrubbing my face, something I apply directly to lashes before wiping is innovative. I usually wear a coat of waterproof mascara over my regular mascara so I don’t get smudges, so I’m excited to try this one out.

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme Concealers are a difficult area for me, I have to admit.  Either they don’t provide enough coverage for my Italian-heritage under eye circles, or the coverage is so heavy that when I smile it creases and I end up looking at least 10 years older.  I’m not sure I need the 24-hour coverage that this concealer promises, but the “high-pigment, crease-proof formula” is a definite plus in my book.

Sephora August Play! Box - Beauty ChaosKopari Coconut Melt So…this one confuses me.  The pamphlet shows it as a cream, but mine is completely liquefied.  It’s been inside since it arrived, so I’m puzzled.  The instructions are to “melt a dollop in your hands and apply,” but it’s already melted.  And leaking.  Not great.  Hopefully, the product will be good enough that it’s worth it.   This jack of all trades promises to function as a lip balm, nighttime moisturizer, makeup remover, and more.

Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfume Two perfume types to try here, folks.  Between Sephora Play! and Influenster, I have perfume coming out of my ears.  SAINT is a more floral scent, with notes of mandarin, jasmine, and tiare flower, with a base note of musk.  SINNER is in the warm and spicy family, with orange blossom, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Sounds like smelling like a scone.  In all seriousness, they both smell pretty good, so hopefully that’ll translate into smelling good on me.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo OMG, I could not be more excited about this one! All I’ve read is that this is the BEST dry shampoo on the market, bar none. Supposedly there’s a “new patented molecule” that allows Living Proof’s dry shampoo to absorb oil more effectively than any of the competitors out there, leaving hair truly voluminous and refreshed.  Will it make me look like Jennifer Aniston?  It’s worth a shot.

Sephora August Play! Box Pin - Beauty Chaos

That’s it for the Sephora August Play! Box

I’m super excited to try out these products and see which ones work, especially the two in here from my “try” list.  See, this is why I joined the beauty box program.  I knew that at some point, they would send me something I’ve been wanting to try.

What was your experience with subscription boxes?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Don’t forget to check out my 30-Day Pamper Yourself Challenge!

BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask

I was first introduced to the BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask when I was in my early 20s.  And seriously, what is with these long, long names of products? Anyways, I was visiting a friend who was living in New York City, and she had this mask.

As with lots of girlfriends, one of our favorite activities had always been a spa night.  So she produced multiple face masks and we slopped on one after the other.  I remember the BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask being one of my favorites of the visit.

Introduction

BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face MaskSold at Ulta, one of my favorite places, the BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask promises to brighten, detoxify, and refresh skin for a youthful glowing complexion.  It contains vitamins C and E, as well as grapeseed extract, rice bran, and green tea.  Sounds like one of my smoothies.

According to the Ulta website, 100 percent of women ages 19 to 65 agreed that their skin was more radiant after use.  The reviews are largely very positive, with only a few negatives.

Experience

I follow the instructions on the Ulta website to use a generous amount and lather into a foam.  The BLISS Oxygen Mask has a light, citrusy scent that I really like. During the five minutes suggested to leave it on, I can feel the mask bubbling and frothing on my skin.  This is actually a pretty pleasant sensation, except that it feels like it’s dripping into my mouth at times (it’s not).

After I rinse my face and inspect my skin, I see that it looks slightly more glowy.  My skin feels clean and refreshed, as promised.  I’m not sure if it’s any brighter, but that may take some time.  Since the bottle is pretty big, I’ll be able to use this over a period of several weeks and see if anything else changes.

Cost and Where to Buy

You can find BLISS Triple Oxygen Energizing Face Mask at Ulta for $56.  Macy’s, however, has it for $27, and I’ve definitely seen it at TJ Maxx before (though I’m not sure what the price is on it).

BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask Pin - Beauty Chaos

Summing Up

I like the BLISS Triple Oxygen Energizing Face Mask enough to add it into my regular skincare routine, which is saying something. There haven’t been many face masks lately that have met the requirements.

Random Thoughts

BLISS Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask - Beauty Chaos
I’m ready for my close up

Have I mentioned that my cat is a model?  Or almost, anyways.  I file this in the “only in Los Angeles” category of my life, along with seeing Matt Leblanc buying frozen lasagna in sweatpants, or my husband getting asked for a beer recommendation at the grocery store by Jon Hamm.

I submitted for an acting job with a pet supply company a little while back, and I had to include a photo with one of my kitties.  Anya fit some of the specs they were looking for, so I chose her.

Well, the company contacted me.  Noooo, no, no, they don’t want to hire me! Silly girl.  They want to hire my cat.  I mean, she is gorgeous.  But only in LA.  At least now I don’t have to worry about getting her an agent; I bet she’ll get scouted on set.

Got a face mask you want me to try?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

I was super stoked to try Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels.  Having read about these quite some time ago, when I went to Ulta recently I was so excited to see them.  They are heralded as a “celebrity favorite,” therefore sending them directly to the top of my list.

Skyn Iceland is also free of parabens, formaldehyde, and all the other chemicals I can’t pronounce or spell.  Best of all, they’re vegan and cruelty free.  Score! And Rachel Zoe loves them.  Did anyone else watch that show?  Bananas 😉

Rachel Zoe is the only celebrity listed under those who love the product, but it has been featured on Rachael Ray, Good Morning America, and a whole host of other relatively well respected TV shows.

Introduction

The packaging is simple and clean, just the way I like it.  Had I not seen this in a magazine previously, I would have been attracted to the packaging on the shelf for sure.  At around a $24 price point I feel like it’s a tad expensive, but there are four pairs of eye gels to a package so it’s not entirely unreasonable.

Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Gels - Guitar Piks! Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels look like little wings.  Or spatulas.  Or weirdly shaped guitar piks.  Oh, and look, you can see where I ruined the coffee table with nail polish remover to the left of them.  Shhh, don’t tell husband.

The instructions state to stick on the Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels under your eyes and leave them for 10 minutes.  The package promises they will firm, de-puff, reduce dark circles, and prevent future damage. I am excited.  They have CoQ10 in them, which is generally taken in vitamin form to help prevent a whole host of maladies including heart failure, cancer, and muscular dystrophy.

Experience

As I take the eye gels out of the package, they feel pretty much how you might think – soft and cottony on one side, a little gooey on the other.  I peel them off, stick them on and set off to make my kettle corn, aka dinner while husband is away.

Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Gels
Every time I take one of these, I realize how badly I need to wax my eyebrows

They’re kind of itchy, to be honest.  But they feel like they’re working. And when I say “stick them on,” I mean it.  These things stick.  I tried to kind of adjust after I slapped them on my face, but they were not budging.

I think I put them too close to my eyes, which is why I was trying to kind of move them.  So they’re kind of uncomfortable.  But I pour myself a glass of wine and deal with it.

After the 10 minutes are up, I gleefully ran to the bathroom to remove the  gels.  They peel off easily, which is a relief because after not being able to budge them, I was a little afraid.  I look in the mirror and feel…confused.  There is no discernible difference.  I pat my under eye area gently, thinking it might be like a face mask and I have to pat in some sort of serum, but there is nothing there.

Now, this may not be the case for everyone.  Perhaps I don’t have the right problems for the Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels to fix.  My under eye area is plagued by dark circles, but I seldom experience puffiness.  I’m starting to get fine lines, but they’re not terrible.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing can help the expression lines when I smile. That’s just part of aging.

Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Gels Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

You can find Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels on the Skyn Iceland website for $30.  Ulta has them for the same price.  Walmart has them for $23.87.

Summing Up

The Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels have great reviews on every site I’ve visited.  I think perhaps I’m not the correct audience.  Or perhaps tomorrow, I’ll wake up and something miraculous will have happened overnight.  For now, I don’t really see a difference.

Have you tried the Skyn Eye Gels?  Leave me a comment or message me here and let me know what your experience was!

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Hello, ladies! (and gents.  If there are any gents.  If there are, welcome.)  Today, we’ll be having a look at Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer.

Thoughts

This lovely gem came along with the “Try It Kit” I got not long ago during my Ulta trip.  I have no idea how I’ve gone so long without under eye primer!  This stuff is amazing.

I suffer from unfortunate dark under eye circles which require concealer even on my best days.  Usually, when I wear concealer I end up fussing with it all day/night, constantly wiping my under eye area to make sure it’s not caking, clumping up or otherwise contributing to making me look older.

The Smashbox Primer is light, and you can definitely feel the hydration as soon as you pat it on your under eye area.  You don’t need much of it, which is nice since I only got a small tube of it in the kit. I have a feeling even that will last me for quite a while.

Smashbox Try It Kit - Beauty ChaosI let the primer dry for a few seconds before applying my concealer.  Immediately, the stuff stays put.  I mean, it is not going anywhere.  So I have to now practice NOT touching my under eyes and constantly wiping away my age.  When I do try to wipe at it, I feel almost as though I’m going to take my skin with it.  So I would advise keeping your hands away from your face.

The great thing is, when I go to look at myself in the mirror partway through the day or night, my makeup is all still intact.  As a matter of fact, when I get home at the end of the day, my makeup is still intact.  I find this amazing, as I have VERY oily Italian skin, which is a blessing and a curse, and I’ve usually melted within a few hours.

Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is available at Sephora and Ulta for $29.  However, when I did a search I found a site called Glambot which has it listed for $14.50.  Knowing nothing about this site, I cannot recommend or not recommend it, but for half the price of other places it’s worth a shot.

Also, if the Smashbox Try It Kit is still available, I’d highly recommend this.  There are four primers in one box for $29.  As I said, you don’t need much, so it’s perfect.

Summing Up

As I said, I cannot believe I went so long without using an under eye primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is going to become one of my go-to products for both everyday use and special occasions.  LOVE IT.

Other Things
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Beauty Chaos
I am wearing the under eye primer in this photo. I know, you can totally see it.

And now some randomness, as usual.  As I write this I’m sitting in the guest room at my mother’s house in Ohio.  I flew in for my grandmother’s 100th birthday, which was a smashing success.  She loved it.  It was amazing to witness.

Getting to see all my friends here is also amazing.  I usually come here a couple of times a year, and it feels as if no time has gone by.  Everyone needs friends like that.  And they all showed up to my grandmother’s birthday party – how amazing is that?

Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Jack
Jack, the wonder cat.

 

I also get to visit with my mama’s kitties, old-lady Skittles and the ever-unforgettable 20 pound wonder, Jack.  He is a lover.  They both sit with me as I work in the dining room table with my computer, flanking me on each side, sleeping soundly in their respective chairs.

At night, Jack will join me for some TV time, insisting I pet him by snuggling up to me and touching me, usually on my face, with his outstretched paw.  It’s nice to have lovey animals everywhere I go.

However…I haven’t been taking very good care of myself while I’ve been here.  I find traveling and balancing visiting with everyone, working, and keeping to my workout routine/nutritional plan to be very difficult.  Physique 57 reminded me that I’ve missed four workouts (thanks, guys) and I’ve eaten pizza for almost every meal.

Insomnia is also a problem.  I suffer from it anyways, but when I’m jet lagged or dealing with any time change, it takes me forever to adjust.  By the time I’ve gotten used to it, it’s time to leave.

So while I’ve very much enjoyed spending time with my people and furry friends, I look forward to getting back into a normal routine and taking care of myself again.

Have a favorite primer?  Got a concealer you want me to try out?  Leave me a comment or message me here!