Browsing Category:

Beauty

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!

Top 10 Ways You’re Aging Your Skin

Top 10 Ways You’re Aging Your Skin (Prematurely) (and how to avoid it):

Nobody wants their skin to look older, especially before it’s time.  And if you’re like me, you’ll do just about anything to preserve your youthful glow for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, most of us engage in habits every day that can contribute, and even quicken, the aging process.  Here are the top 10 ways you’re aging your skin, possibly prematurely, and how to avoid doing it.

Sun Exposure

Look, I live in LA.  I was a lifeguard for seven years growing up.  I went tanning.  A lot.  Before that, I would often look at family vacation videos and think, “Who is that really tan child?” before realizing it was me.  But the sun worship has to stop sometime.

So stay out of the sun as much as possible.  Wear sunscreen, at least SPF 15, higher if you can.  And for god’s sake, do not go tanning.  I don’t even understand why these things exist anymore.  If you need color, get a spray tan or apply self tanner.  Just as effective, and you won’t wrinkle at 25.

Not Drinking Enough Water

Top 10 Ways You're Aging Your Skin - Water

If you dehydrate your insides, you can bet that your outsides will suffer as well.  The old adage of eight glasses of water per day exists for a reason, and you can bet your skin will thank you for it.  Plus, you might even feel better.  Dehydration can cause all kinds of problems, including poor digestion, moodiness, and exhaustion.  Chug some water.  You’ll thank me.

Sleeping in Your Makeup

When I look back on my teens and college years, I cannot believe that I did this.  I can barely stand to wear makeup for an entire day now, let alone sleep in it.  When you sleep in your makeup, it increases your exposure to free radicals, which leads to collagen breakdown, which ages your skin faster.  Plus, sleeping in makeup just feels gross.  You can get eye infections.  All kinds of yucky stuff.  So just don’t.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

We have all been guilty of this at some point in our lives.  I’m an insomniac, and I can definitely tell when my bouts of this glorious disorder are happening.  I look at least five years older than I usually do.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin doesn’t repair itself.  It messes up your pH levels and causes dehydration (see above).  You get dark, puffy circles under your eyes that no amount of coffee can banish.

Now, I believe the term “enough” is relative.  Enough sleep is different for every person.  I need around nine hours; my husband needs five.  But whatever your body needs, listen to it.  Your skin will thank you.

Smoking

You guys, we all know smoking is bad for you in about a million ways.  We know.  But I still get it.  As a former smoker, I understand why people smoke.  But it will age you faster.  There is no doubt about it.  Smoking causes wrinkles; dull, sallow skin; and again, dehydration.

I’d love to say I don’t smoke anymore for my health, but to be honest, I think it’s more out of vanity.  I don’t want to age any faster than I have to.  So if you smoke, stop, or your skin will pay the price.

Not Exercising

I have friends who swear by not exercising, and I don’t understand this.  I’ve always needed it, if not to regulate my weight and combat the many, many marshmallows I consume, then to regulate my moods.  I suffer from depression and insomnia, and damn, can I feel it when I don’t exercise.

Since exercise literally gets your blood pumping faster, so it improves circulation, giving your skin a more youthful appearance.  I believe that a good sweat session can help clear impurities from pores, but I don’t think that’s been scientifically proven.  Again, your body will thank you.

Being Overly Rough While Cleansing

This is a tough one, especially in the advent of the Clarisonic brush and the many exfoliating sponge-like things I see floating around.  I bought a facial brush convinced that it would clear out my pores, only to have my aesthetician tell me a year or so later that those brushes can cause tiny tears in your dermis, damaging your skin more than helping it.

Roughly cleansing your skin can cause irritation, which can cause premature aging.  It’s enough to simply cleanse gently to remove pollution, makeup, and dirt.  You don’t have to take a layer off while doing it.

Top 10 Ways You're Aging Your Skin - Sun Hat

Making Repetitive Facial Expressions

I mean, look, you can’t stop your face from expressing.  It’s life.  It’s what makes us human.  Short of getting Botox to freeze your face, it’s difficult to train your eyebrows to stop jumping up at a moment’s notice when something is funny or surprising (trust me, I’ve tried).  If Botox is your cup of tea, that’s one way to go.  I have a thing with needles, so I haven’t tried this avenue.

But there are things you can do, like wearing sunglasses when it’s bright so you aren’t squinting all the time, or being cognizant of frowning while working and avoiding the dreaded “11s”.  I am guilty of that and have to constantly think about relaxing my face while I work.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Again, I get this one.  I like my wine.  But we’re living in a time where I see increasing articles about women over-indulging in alcohol.  Going home and having a glass of wine after work sounds like a great idea.  Why not make it two or three?  Next thing you know, you’re half a bottle in.  It’s easy.

But alcohol is dehydrating. It’s rough on the skin.  It doesn’t do your pores any favors, and if consumed really excessively can cause broken capillaries on the face.  So maybe just pay attention.  “Excessive alcohol” is generally classified as more than one drink a day on average for women, two for men.  Plus, if you overindulge in alcohol, you tend to make poorer food choices. And no amount of Khloe Kardashian’s skincare routine can repair that.

Eating Junk

Which brings me to my next point: healthy eating.  I like my junk food as much as the next person, but it’s important to consume the fruits and vegetables that will give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best.  And you can take a multi-vitamin, but experts agree it’s better to get these nutrients from food.

Once again, it’s an inside out thing.  We’ve all had those friends who can eat boatloads of sugar and dairy and carbs and stay thin and have skin that would make Sleeping Beauty jealous.  Good for those people.  I’m not one of them.

Bottom line here is good skin, for most of us, takes some work.  Take care of your insides and your outsides will show it.  Protect your skin and care for it. 🙂

Got a top 10 you want me to do?  Leave me comment or message me here!

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask

Today fun with face masks continues!

Although I suppose it never really stopped, just took a pause long enough for me to regroup after the Blackhead Mask disaster.  I’m trying out Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask.

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask
Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask - Beauty Chaos
Jason? Michael Myers? Leatherface?

The Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask is one of the newfangled sheet masks that everyone is raving about.  As I’m writing this, it sits on my face like a horror movie killer mask.  Seriously, I’m scaring the cats.

I bought the Leaders Brightening Mask on my most recent trip to Ulta, aka beauty mecca.  Ulta and Sephora each jockey for that position in my heart.  On the one hand, Sephora is amazing, but it’s  expensive and there’s no other options but the expensive stuff.  Ulta, alternatively, has an entire section of drugstore products.  It’s a tough choice.

Choices, Choices

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask - Ulta HaulOne of my favorite things to do, when I have time, is wander around Ulta and look at the different displays they have.  This is probably how I end up with a bag full of products, as you can see on the right.  Hi, I’m Amy and I’m a cosmetiholic.  That’s why I have this blog ;).

The Leaders Mask happened to be on a display with a bunch of other sample-ish sizes at the end of one of the skincare aisles.  It was right next to the Skyn eye masks, which I will definitely be trying out this week.

There were a bunch of masks to choose from sitting on the display, but I decided to start simple with one.  My skin has been looking a little dull lately, so I thought the Coconut Recovery Mask would be a good fit.

First Impressions

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask Face - Beauty Chaos
Feeling a little more relaxed as time goes on

So the Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask comes in this little pouch that you tear open.  The pouch is squishy, and feels like it’s full of gel.  When you pull it out, the instructions are to “peel off protective film from one side.” However, the mask is folded up and, having never done this before, I struggle a bit.  But I am a college graduate, so I eventually figured it out.

The actual mask is sandwiched between two paper sheets.  I believe the mask itself is made of cotton and soaked in the serum. The active ingredients are Telangyn, a skin tone improving compound; and Niacinamide, a brightener.  Since I have never heard of these ingredients, I’m sure nothing can go wrong.j

Experience

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask Face - before and after
Before (Top) and After (Bottom)

Like most masks, the Leaders is uncomfortable, but not intolerable.  It’s cool on my skin and stays in place, which I find pretty impressive.  Peeling the mask off is easy, and leaves a residue of serum on my face.  As instructed, I pat the excess serum into my face, leaving it feeling a little sticky, but definitely moisturized and better than it felt this morning when I woke up.

I left the mask on for 20 minutes.  The instructions say 10 to 20, and since I’m a beauty extremist I went for the full 20.  My skin feels moisturized, for sure, and I feel like the clock has turned back a few years…or at least to yesterday before I drank that red wine last night.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I bought my mask at Ulta for $7, which I see now that I’m doing research was kind of a rip off, since MaskSheets.com has it for $2.  $2! I definitely overpaid.  MaskSheets.com, however, requires you to pay shipping unless you order over $40 worth of stuff.  I guess I’ll have to stock up on my masks and write a bunch of reviews.

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Face Mask Pin - Beauty ChaosSumming Up

This is a good mask.  I think it would work best on those with more dry skin.  Since my skin is oily it feels a little sticky and slick, but I’m glad I tried it. For $7 if you’re looking for a little pick me up or need some pampering/self-care, I think it’s manageable.  Or if you feel a mask frenzy coming on, try MaskSheets.com and get yourself a bunch.  They have crazy sales on their site and you can get a lot of sheet masks for $1 in their Sale area.

Have a mask you’d like me to try out?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On my recent Ulta trip, I got a great haul of products.  To be honest, I went in knowing I wanted to make the trip a big one.  I didn’t just lose control and buy everything that I saw (not that I haven’t done that before).

This time, I tried to exercise a modicum of restraint and purchase only those things that I needed.  Or had really wanted to try for a long time.  I mostly succeeded 😉

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Try It Kit

One of my purchases was the Smashbox Try It Kit, which contained several primers, including Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water.

The kit included four of Smashbox’s most popular primers, including Photo Finish Primer Water, Foundation Primer, 24 Hour Shadow Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish line of primers is their most popular, but they make a bunch of other primers for different purposes.

At first, I picked up a full sized bottle of Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as I recently ran out of my ELF Poreless Primer and needed something to replace it.  However, during my hour or so of wandering around the store, I found the Try It Kit and decided to give it a go.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Try It Kit - Beauty Chaos

Four products to try in one box?  Yes, please.

It’s a good thing that I purchased the Smashbox Kit when I did, because soon after I was hired to work on a CBS show.  I’m not allowed to say which one until it airs (the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club).  But it’ll be on in late July and I’ll let everyone know then.

During the day, my makeup has a tendency to melt and smush in different ways.  It’s one of the drawbacks of living in the hot desert climate – no matter how much powder you apply, makeup will run.  So I decided to try a few different tactics in order to keep my makeup in place this time.

One of the main reasons I like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is that there are several different ways to use it.

First, you can spray it on as a primer (hence the title) to prep skin for foundation.  Next, it can also be used as a setting spray after you apply your makeup, to keep your makeup in place all day.  Finally, makeup artists swear by using it throughout the day to keep makeup set and freshen throughout the day.

Also, Smashbox Cosmetics is cruelty free, which is always a wonderful bonus.  I can’t wait for the day when all cosmetics are cruelty free.  Can I volunteer to be their lab experiment subject?

The online reviews for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water are pretty great.

According to the Ulta website, 93 percent of women said it left their skin instantly hydrated.  90 percent said it absorbs quickly and their skin felt refreshed after first use.

I had much the same experience with the Primer Water.  As soon as I sprayed it on, my skin felt refreshed and hydrated, and my skin didn’t feel as heavy as if I’d applied a creamier primer.  Major plus, since my skin is oily and feels like I have a slick on it most of the time.  I didn’t take it with me to freshen during the day, and I didn’t use it as a setting spray.  I purchased a different setting spray that I wanted to try, but next time I’ll give this a shot.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Pin - Beauty Chaos

On a 90 plus degree day, my makeup pretty much stayed put.

I wore the Primer Water under a BB Cream and not foundation, which may have contributed a bit to the smearing, but not much.  My makeup stayed in place for the hour drive to the studio, five hour wait, one hour of shooting, and hour drive home.  Considering the heat, I’d say that’s a win.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I got my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water at Ulta in a primer kit.  The kit cost $29, which I thought was a steal considering that it contained four primers.  The full sized Primer Water is 3.9 ounces, which goes for $32.  The Smashbox website has it for the same price. eBay has it for around $23, if you’re willing to take a chance on that.

Summing Up

I think Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a great buy.  You get three products in one, and it keeps makeup in place really well.  I’m excited to try it with a foundation instead of BB Cream.

What’s your favorite primer?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!

Micro Rolling for Anti-Aging

I am an adventurous person when it comes to skincare, haircare, pretty much anything related to beauty.  Trying new products gives me a special thrill.  So when the micro rolling trend started popping up on a bunch of my friends’ profiles who were selling Rodan & Fields, I was curious.

And seriously, talk about something that’s taking the skincare world by storm; I feel like I woke up one morning and 80 percent of my Facebook friends were peddling the R+F products.  Spread faster than Kool-Aid at a cult.  And the results these women were posting were amazing.  Nothing short of miraculous was happening to their subjects’ skins, and I wanted in.

So I started doing my own research.

Since I wasn’t feeling particularly in need of completely changing up my skincare regimen, I began looking at some of the specific products.  The micro roller caught my eye.  Micro rolling for anti-aging has been used by aestheticians in offices for a while.  But it wasn’t until relatively recently that these handy products became available to the general public.

Now, I should pop in a disclaimer here.  The effects of micro rolling or micro needling or dermarolling or whatever you want to call it are heavily debated by dermatologists.  Many say that the needles that are sold for public consumption are not effective, and that the only way to see real results is by having it professionally done.  Others say that it’s dangerous to do at home, and to stick with having a professional do it.

Never one to shy away from a skincare tactic because it’s dangerous, I decided to go ahead and try.  As I’ve said in previous posts, though, my skin is pretty tough.  When I was in high school I sometimes used rubbing alcohol as astringent.  So those with fair skin, be forewarned.

There are many different sizes of micro roller for anti-aging that are available to purchase.  This website does a really great job with charting the uses, safety precautions etc.  But I’ll outline them below as well.

Micro Rolling for Anti Aging Pin

Sizes of Micro Roller

0.2 to 0.5 mm rollers are the smallest available for home use.  These are used to thicken the top layer of the skin, stimulating collagen.  They help with large pores, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and shallow scars.  Said to be mildly to moderately painful, with no to minimal bleeding.  These rollers can be used daily, but can cause redness, dryness and irritation.  With 0.5 mm rollers, care should be used not to overdo use.

0.75 to 1.0 mm rollers are the mid-level players.  They work in the same way that the smaller rollers do, with the added benefit of helping with deep acne scarring and stretch marks.  Said to be slightly to moderately painful, with possible slight to moderate bleeding.  These rollers are good for all skin conditions.  They should be used anywhere from four to seven times per week, and should be monitored closely.

1.5 to 3.0 mm rollers are the real heavy hitters.  These micro rollers are not for use on the face.  They can be used for severe scarring

or stretch marks, and are generally used only in dermatologists/aestheticians offices or for use on the body.  Said to be very painful, with bleeding occurring.  Six to eight weeks is the optimal recovery period for these rollers.

Personally, I went with the 1.0 mm micro roller.

As I said, I have pretty thick skin (purely externally) and I didn’t think the 0.25 mm and 0.5 mm would do much for me.  My suspicion was correct.

There is a specific technique to micro rolling.  The roller should be used horizontally, vertically, and diagonally over the whole face (avoiding the eye area) for a maximum of two minutes.  I usually go around my whole face horizontally, then vertically, then diagonally.  Generally, I roll back and forth a couple times in about one inch sections all over my face.  There are YouTube videos on technique if you need instruction.  I did.  I watched a YouTube tutorial.

Now, I’m not going to lie.  It hurts a little.  Not a lot, but it doesn’t feel like a nice massage in the way some other skin treatments do.  It pretty much feels like you’re running little needles over your face.  But the results are worth it.

The idea with micro rolling for anti-aging is to use the roller, then apply your serum or treatment so as to achieve better absorption.  For my regimen, I used the roller, then my trusty ice, then applied serum or moisturizer.

The results are pretty insane.  I swear I can see a different in my skin’s texture after one use.  Suffering from a little residual acne scarring from my teen/younger adult years, I’ve tried everything from microdermabrasion to lasers.  But this roller works.  My skin is slowly progressing towards no-makeup status, which for me would be heaven.

As far as I understand, there are no scientific results to back this up.

However, my results have been fantastic.  I will continue using the micro roller a couple times a week for the foreseeable future.  It’s a quick, easy, inexpensive step to throw into any beauty routine.

I would suggest doing research to decide which roller is right for you.  Overstock has this nifty little four-in-one kit with different sizes, which might be good for experimentation.  I found mine on Amazon, which has about a million of them.

Random Thoughts
Micro Rolling for Anti Aging - Beauty Chaos - Moonie
Moonie
Micro Rolling for Anti Aging - Beauty Chaos - Kiki
Kiki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for my life this week, the foster kitties, Kiki and Moonshine, have had an application and a visit with a potential new family!  So we might be down two kitties in the near future.  Also, the pool is finally ready, so I’ve been spending some quality time floating around in there — usually after work and before I write.  Since I’ve been fighting off this cold, I’ve also been doing water aerobics, which I used to think was just for seniors but I’m finding quite enjoyable.

Questions?  Comments? Concerns? Compliments?  Comment or message me here! And if you like my writing, please subscribe!  I’d be eternally grateful and maybe even invite you over for a swim.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Today we’ll be looking at the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette.  This has quickly become my favorite shadow palette, hands down.

But first, some weirdness, or else it wouldn’t be my blog.  I woke up this morning and immediately smashed my shin on the corner of our bed.  Now, I should preface this with letting you all in on a not-so-well-kept secret: I’m incredibly clumsy.  Like, not in a funny way, in a did-that-girl-just-legitimately-hurt-herself kind of way.

Clumsiness has been as much a part of my life as my love of pizza, and I do not remember a time without it.  I remember one of my parents saying to me at one point, “How are you so clumsy when you take so many dance classes?”

I don’t know.  Maybe I grew taller than I was supposed to.  Perhaps I have an undiagnosed inner ear problem.

At any rate, my husband is extremely familiar with my, um, ailment, so prior to moving into our current house, the bed had been, well, “Amy-proofed.”  He put foam bumpers on all the exposed corners so that if *cough*when*cough* I ran into them, I wouldn’t hurt myself.

However, as we were moving the foam fell off, and it hasn’t been replaced.  So this morning began with a super duper gash to my shin.  And the day just kind of went downhill from there.  My computer kept crashing.  The internet was going down at pretty regular intervals.

The only saving grace for this day is that I managed to use the word “druthers” and the phrase “clap back at you” during some banter with my husband.  And I ate a lot of chocolate Chex, which helped.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette - Beauty ChaosSo back to the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  I have the original, but there are several other iterations of it, Naked2, Naked3, Naked Heat, and Naked Smokey.  There’s even a smaller one, Naked Basics, which has only six colors.  For the purposes of today, I’m referring to Naked…original.

The palette consists of 12 colors in gorgeous neutral shades, perfect for a natural look or smoky, if the mood strikes.

I was really late to the game on this one.  Having tried a bunch of imitations, I finally decided to just spend the money and get the real Naked palette.  Boy, did I waste my time with the others.  There is something about the quality of this eyeshadow that really makes it worth the price. I think UD refers to it as their “Pigment Infusion System.”

Each palette comes with double ended brush, fluffy on one end and stiff and straight on the other.  The colors included in the Urban Decay Naked Palette are:

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette Swatches - Beauty Chaos
All the colors listed below, with Virgin at the top and Gunmetal at the bottom

Virgin: cool pale beige shimmer

Sin: pale nude shimmer

Naked: nude matte

Sidecar: beige shimmer with silver glitter

Buck: fawn brown matte

Half Baked: golden bronze shimmer

Smog: deep coppery bronze shimmer

Darkhorse: deep mocha shimmer

Toasted: antique copper penny shimmer

Hustle: plum-brown satin

Creep: black shimmer with sparkle

Gunmetal: dark metallic gray shimmer with silver glitter

Most of the time, I use Naked in the crease, Sin on my lids, and a light line of buck under my eyes.  I finish with some brown gel liner on my upper lashes and occasionally blend Darkhorse over the line.

Cost and Where to Buy

You can pick up the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette on the Urban Decay website, Sephora, or Ulta, and it’s listed on all three for $54.  I know, it seems a little expensive, but think about this: a) you’re getting 12 colors and b) as I said, I’ve tried the knockoffs.  This is the best quality. Plus all three of these sites have free shipping over $50.

Just briefly, since I haven’t tried them but they are similar, here are breakdowns of the other two palettes’ colors, courtesy of the Urban Decay website.

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette Pin

Naked2

Foxy (cream bisque matte), Half Baked (golden bronze shimmer), Bootycall (cork shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Tease (creamy pale brown matte), Snakebite (dark bronze shimmer), Suspect (pale golden beige shimmer), Pistol (light grayish brown shimmer), Verve (oyster shimmer), YDK (cool bronze shimmer), Busted (deep brown shimmer) and Blackout (blackest black matte)

Naked3

Strange (pale neutral pink matte-satin), Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter), Burnout (light pinky-peach satin), Limit (light dusty rose matte), Buzz (metallic rose shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Trick (light metallic pinky-copper shimmer w/tonal micro-sparkle), Nooner (medium pinky-brown matte), Liar (medium metallic mauve shimmer), Factory (pinky-brown satin), Mugshot (metallic taupe shimmer w/slight pink shift), Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin) and Darkheart (smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle)

Naked Heat

Ounce (ivory shimmer), Chaser (light nude matte), Sauced (soft terra-cotta matte), Low Blow (brown matte), Lumbre (copper shimmer w/gold pearl shift), He Devil (burnt red matte), Dirty Talk (metallic burnt red), Scorched (metallic deep red w/gold micro-shimmer), Cayenne (deep terra-cotta matte), En Fuego (burgundy matte), Ashes (deep reddish-brown matte), Ember (deep metallic copper-burgundy)

Naked Smokey

High (pale pink-nude shimmer w/ micro-sparkle), Dirtysweet (medium bronze), Radar (metallic taupe w/ iridescent micro-glitter), Armor (metallic silver-taupe w/ tonal sparkle), Slanted (light metallic gray), Dagger (medium charcoal w/ micro-shimmer), Black Market (jet-black satin), Smolder (deep plum-taupe), Password (cool taupe matte), Whiskey (rich brown matte), Combust (soft pink-taupe), Thirteen (light beige satin)

If you’re looking for a great palette of neutrals, Urban Decay’s Naked Palette is definitely the way to go.  I love mine and I can’t wait to check out the others.

Have you tried a different Naked palette?  Got a different favorite eyeshadow?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Phyto Secret De Nuit

As I sit here with my wet head of hair waiting for it to dry, I am concerned.  Fortunately, I have a bottle of Phyto Secret De Nuit in my medicine cabinet.

Let Me Explain

I have been sick with this horrible bronchitis-cold hybrid for three weeks.  Three full weeks of coughing and wheezing, telling myself that it would just go away and that was normal.  It wasn’t normal.  I ended up at urgent care two days ago, finally, where they prescribed some lovely inhalers and an antibiotic.

Funnily enough, they also forgot about me while I was there.

This normally would have really frosted my cookies, but I was trying to finish “American Gods” for my book club and had brought it along.  So two hours at the doctor’s office waiting for a breathing treatment was not all for naught (see what I did there? ;)).

What being asthmatically challenged for three weeks has meant is that I can’t work out.  While this might be perfectly okay for some, I do not cope well with this.  And it’s not for purely aesthetic reasons.  Having struggled with depression for a lot of my life, a daily dose of exercise really helps with keeping me level.

Why don’t you walk, you ask?  That’s a perfectly reasonable question.  California is in the middle of a heat wave, and in the valley it feels like it’s 120 degrees.  Fortunately I have a solution: I have a pool.

 

Phyto Secret De Nuit Review

In a lot of the country, having a pool in your yard is a luxury.  In the San Fernando Valley, it’s less rare, and if you’re ever flying over the Los Angeles area, I’d suggest you look out the window and observe the landscape dotted with little turquoise puddles.

So I’ve been doing a lot of swimming.  I’ll either put on some music and take myself through a bitchin’ water aerobics routine (not just for senior citizens, I’ve discovered), or I’ll swim breaststroke laps back and forth.  The pool isn’t big, but as long as I’m moving I feel like I’m doing well.

The downside of all this swimming is that: a) I have to wash my hair every day; and b) I’m concerned that, as a result, my hair is getting damaged.

Fortunately, I found Phyto Secret De Nuit

Phyto Secret De Nuit Review - Beauty Chaos

This nighttime hair treatment is designed to work on your hair while you sleep, leaving it “supple and hydrated.”  Now, there’s conflicting instructions on how to use Phyto Secret De Nuit.  The bottle says to apply a small amount, the size of a hazelnut, through hair before bed.  In the morning, style as usual. The Ulta website says to use Phyto Secret De Nuit three times per week.

When I first got the Phyto Secret De Nuit, I was using it every night.  While my hair didn’t seem particularly over-moisturized, I did find that putting it in my hair and trying to “style as usual” in the morning was a challenge.  My hair felt greasy and, well, like I had put conditioner in it and slept.

However, when I began using the product as the Ulta website instructed, it worked really well.  I feel like my hair is getting the extra boost that it needs after being depleted by chlorine and washing too much, but I don’t think I’m overdoing it.

Cost and Where to Buy

I bought my Phyto Secret De Nuit while I was out shopping at Sephora for around $40.  However, when I was surfing around trying to find it, I discovered that Phyto Secret De Nuit is not listed on the Sephora website anymore.  Ulta has it listed for $19.97 (obviously where I should have gone to get it).  The next best price I could find was Walmart, which listed it for $21.99.

Phyto Secret De Nuit Review PinSumming Up

I think I’ll be doing away with my 1 to 10 rating system.  But I love this product, especially at a $20 price point.  For $40, it felt a little on the expensive side for my taste, especially when I was using it every night. All in all, Phyto Secret De Nuit is a great buy to help replenish and repair your hair.

Want me to keep the numerical rating system?  Have another overnight treatment I should try? Leave me a comment or message me here!

DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs

As with many of the products to which I have been introduced, DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs is another from my mama.  She is a font of wisdom when it comes to new products.  This was no exception.  Funnily enough, the DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs have become one of my favorite stocking stuffers at Christmastime, second only to my engagement ring.  And maybe candy.

First Impressions

I think of DHC as kind of a sleeper brand.  As I said, my mother introduced me to it.  She started using their eye makeup remover (an amazing product), and also uses their Deep Cleansing Oil. The oil is a product I might consider trying once my Kardashian experiment is over. Since I can’t read the packaging, I went to the DHC website to check out their spiel.

DHC Olive Virgin Oil SwabsThough I’ve been using the DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs for a while, I didn’t realize that olive oil is the entire foundation for the DHC brand.  Being half Italian, this makes me super happy, as I basically think of olive oil as being magic and the cure for all ills.  Kind of like what Windex was to the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  I also remember my grandmother talking about holding a bowl with water and olive oil over your head or something to ward off the evil eye?    Maybe.  She’s almost 100 and knows all kinds of kooky Sicilian rituals.

DHC’s history is interesting, as they began as an educational translation company in Japan in 1972.  They launched their beauty division in 1980 with three products, and olive oil became the foundation for their gentle skin products.

Experience

Well, these lil’ things are handy!  They are individually wrapped, and made to “fix eyeliner and mascara mistakes, and condition cuticles and hard to reach areas.”  I’m not sure what those hard to reach areas would be, and I’m not sure I need to contemplate that too hard.  Never having used the swabs on my cuticles, I can’t speak to their effectiveness there, but I will be trying that out in the future.

However, if you’re anything like me, there is no moment in life when my hand is steady enough to not get mascara all over my eyelids.  I also tend to poke myself in the eye occasionally (read: often) when I put on mascara.  Also, I tend to sneeze right after applying mascara so it gets all over my undereye area.  I think the general consensus here is, I’m a mess.

The great thing about the DHC Olive Virgin Oil swabs is that when you use them to correct these mistakes, they do not take off the rest of your makeup.  When removing the excess mascara from, say, my undereyes, my concealer remains completely intact.  All I have to do is dab my finger across where the swabbing took place and my concealer looks as though nothing has happened.

DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs Pin - Beauty Chaos

Cost and Where to Buy

DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil Swabs can be found on the DHC website for $7.50.  Each package comes with 50 double sided, individually wrapped 100% cotton swabs.  The only ingredient listed is olive oil.  You can also find them on Amazon, $15.00 for a pack of 2, or a Subscribe & Save price of $14.25.

Summing Up

Out of 10, I give DHC Olive Virgin Oil swabs a solid 10.  The price is right, the ingredients are natural, and they work exactly as they’re supposed to.  So go get yourself a pack!  Or ask your mom to get you one ;).

Have you tried DHC products?  Want me to try another one?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Dior Addict Lip Glow

Okay, a little disclaimer on this one.  I love Dior.  I haven’t found a product by them that I haven’t liked so far.  So this review of Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm might seem like I’m being biased for some reason.  I’m not.  I just love their products.

First Impressions

I was first introduced to Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm by my friend, Missy, while we were out having lunch one day.  Now, I’m usually skeptical of products that promise to enhance your natural lip color.  These lip glosses usually either a) don’t do anything for me or b) turn a ghastly shade of ’80s pink.

However, Missy insisted this was a great product, and I had recently read about it in Glamour magazine, so I decided to give it a go.  The packaging is elegant, distinctly Dior, and I decided to get the classic pink color as opposed to the coral or lilac.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if I was aware that the coral or lilac was available when I first purchased the gloss.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow Lips
See how shiny?
Experience

To my surprise and delight, Dior Addict Lip Glow works just as it promises.  I have a very pale lip color to begin with, and the gloss adds just a hint of color.  It’s perfect for days where I don’t wear much makeup, or when I’m doing a smoky eye and need just a hint of color on my lips.  I really envy the woman who have lovely, naturally berry colored lips.  If I don’t wear some sort of color on my lips, I tend to look sickly.

Dior Addict Lip Glow moisturizes as well, which is nice because I have a nervous habit of biting my lips.  I end up in a state of perpetually chapped lips, which is not pleasant, and requires lots of moisturizing. Matte lips are usually a no-go for me.  Lip scrubs are my friend.  But the Lip Glow has become a staple in my purse.  I carry it with me wherever I go for a quick perk-up.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow
I know it looks like I’m wearing more makeup in the second photo, but I swear it’s only the lip gloss that’s different. I also need a selfie stick…
Cost and Where to Buy

Dior Addict Lip Glow can be found on the Dior website for $33.00.  You can also get it at Sephora for $33.00.  I know it sounds like a lot for lip gloss, but I’ve had mine forever and it’s still kickin’.  eBay doesn’t have it for much less, just in case that’s tempting.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pin

Summing Up

I would give Dior Addict Lip Glow a 9 out of 10.  I’m only deducting for price on this one, because $33.00 does seem like a lot for lip gloss.  But try it, you won’t regret it.  Sometimes spending a little more on cosmetics is worth it, in my experience.

Have a favorite lip gloss you want me to try?  Want me to try something you don’t want to buy first?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base Coat

Good day, beauty lovers.  I recently read a blurb that suggested using white polish as base coat.  The article claims that it will make your polish stand out better than a regular base coat, and protect your nails in the same way a traditional base coat does.  I am skeptical about the protection angle, but why not?

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatI happen to have some white nail polish laying around.  Not long ago, the white nail polish trend hit and I decided I could probably do a white manicure on my own.  Boy, was I wrong.  The problem inherent in the white manicure is that the polish around the cuticles must be impeccable. Since I am more of a “wear light polish, flaws disappear” kind of person, the white nail polish experiment didn’t work out well.

Interestingly, white nail polish shows flaws around the cuticles even more prominently than colored or even black polish.  I know, it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true.  Hopefully, this experiment won’t end in me having wasted an hour just to dump a bottle of remover on my hands and restart.

I started off with Essie’s Blanc as my base coat.  Just a classic white, nothing fancy, probably meant for French tips.  The base coat goes on a little less than perfect, which I think negates the point of a base coat.  This does not bode well for the rest of my experiment.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatThe next two coats are my personal favorite New York manicure standby, Essie’s Hi Maintenance.  I usually use two coats of Hi Maintenance with a regular base coat.  Hi Maintenance ordinarily hides flaws very well, and when I use it with the gel top coat, can last for up to two weeks, depending on how fast my nails are growing.

Finishing up, I apply a nice, thick coat of Seche Vive Gel Effects Top Coat.  If you’ve read any previous blog posts, you’ll know that this is one of my absolute favorite products.  It preserves a manicure like a dream.  I seldom even have chipping, which is amazing because my nails take a beating during the week with all the typing I do.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base CoatAfter the gel top coat, I wait for about a minute and apply a drop of Orly Flash Dry to each nail.  This product is another awesome time-saver, as it sets nails immediately.  Though it doesn’t harden the polish completely, it does dry it, making nails less susceptible to smudges. The polish hardens within about 15 minutes.  It’s a life saver.

At the end of the day, I can safely conclude that I prefer a regular base coat. Though I might try the white nail polish trend again now that I have a bit of a steadier hand.

Tricks for Painting Nails – White Polish as Base Coat Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

You can find Essie’s Blanc and Hi Maintenance on the Essie website for $9.00 each.  Essie polish is also carried at Ulta, although there’s no guarantee that they will always have these colors in stock.  See my previous post for Seche Vive Gel Top Coat for a review and where to buy.  Orly Flash Dry is available at Ulta for $10.00.  It’s a little expensive, but at one drop per nail, one bottle lasts for a long time.

Summing Up

Ultimately, this experiment using white polish as base coat didn’t work out that well.  My nails chipped a lot, as white polish is likely not meant to be used as a base coat.  But it was worth a try!

Got a nail experiment for me?  Leave me a comment or message me here!