Buh – Bye Dry

Living in Southern California a majority of my life, I’ve never really suffered with dry skin. Even after spending day after day in the salty Pacific Ocean.  I’ve experienced mini bouts when I traveled to Arizona where it truly is super dry, however, my skin would just get dry and when I used moisturizer (it didn’t really matter which one) my skin would positively respond.

Well, when my family relocated to the Tahoe area, in the middle of winter, with snow and super cold weather, my skin (and even my toddler’s skin) freaked out. My poor little kid’s face got all red and cracked, while the skin on my arms and legs developed these little scabby bumps (sorry, kinda gross, but not that gross…promise). From my wrists to upper arms as well as all over my upper legs, these little bumps were everywhere. It wasn’t eczema or psoriasis, and it for sure was not chicken pox. My doctor let me know that it was a skin condition known as Keratosis Pilaris, which is a harmless yet common skin

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Image of Kerattosis Pilaris on the arm – taken from Google images

condition that causes small hard bumps on the skin that can make it feel like sand paper.

But why me? Turns out being pregnant can make you more susceptible as well as the condition can worsen during winter months when there is less moisture in the air. And what do I do when it’s cold outside? Take a steaming hot shower…which also makes the condition worse. While I was using moisturizer every day after the shower, nothing was  helping. I was embarrassed as it looked as though I had some nasty contagious skin disease.

Doctor, what can I do? Apparently there is no cure...however, there are treatments you can do to make the skin look and feel better and eventually it can go away as well. For example, using a topical exfoliant to remove the buildup of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Another option is to use a topical retinoid to prevent the hair follicles from getting plugged in the first place. Well, the doctor advised me to avoid the retinal option since I am pregnant. But at the same time, the exfoliant option can result in mild burning or redness when applied, and I was already embarrassed by how my skin looked now…what would happen when I added redness and irritation to the area? The next option was to use a rich moisturizer. I thought I had been using one, so I used this as the perfect excuse to by another skin care product for my body.

I went to Target, because well, Target is awesome. Of course, there is an entire aisle devoted to body moisturizers…I just had to figure out which one to purchase. The current moisturizer I was using for myself and kid, was a “dermatologist recommended” product that specifically said for super dry skin (okay, so maybe it didn’t say super dry, but something close to that) and on a day to day basis, it was a decent moisturizer, even though my kid’s skin would still experience patchy dryness on his legs or arms. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I grabbed the basic Nivea Original Daily Moisture Lotion for normal to dry skin. You know the one, in the dark blue bottle. Mainly it was because I was with the NBC_Original-Daily-Moisture_bottle_2016-02-24husband and kid at the time and they were both getting anxious after I was in the aisle for about 5 minutes too long.

I started using the Nivea Original Daily Moisture lotion that very same night after taking a shower and continued to use it the rest
of the week, not only on myself but on my kid as well. I kid you not, it wasn’t a full 5 days later that my skin was totally clear. I was surprised and excited at the same time. In addition, my kid’s skin was totally clear. No more dry eczema patches on his arms or legs, his face was back to its normal cute self and he was back to just perfectly soft baby skin. I was even more surprised because it is a very basic and inexpensive moisturizer and because of the results, I am still using it today!

So, what exactly is so great about Nivea’s lotion? I read the ingredients and immediately saw why it was working so well…Lanolin. Some people are not a fan of Lanolin as it is a by product of Sheep’s wool. While sheep are not harmed in the process of extracting the lanolin from the wool, if you are allergic or sensitive to wool, you most likely want to avoid this ingredient all together. For everyone else, lanolin is the perfect ingredient for skin that is especially dry because it penetrates deeper in the skin and doesn’t just moisturize but creates a barrier in the underlying layers of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping. This keeps the skin supple longer so that when you use it you do not have to apply it as often as other moisturizers not containing lanolin. In addition, the moisturizing properties of lanolin can help ease itching often associated with dry skin. Now that winter is over and it officially is Spring (even though Tahoe hasn’t gotten the memo yet) as we start to wear sandals and have our feet exposed to the elements, using a lanolin based moisturizer on your feet and heels will allow tools that exfoliate those areas to work better preventing that thickness of dead skin that happens so often when sandals or flip flops are worn throughout the Spring/Summer season (and for those in Southern California, so many of us wear flip flops and sandals year round!).

While I am a big fan of Nivea because of the lanolin (as well as other awesome moisturizing ingredients) I know there are other products that also contain lanolin as a moisturizing agent, I just haven’t tried them all!

Are you a fan of lanolin? What products would you recommend that contain lanolin?

 

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed above nor did I receive compensation for this blog post.

Beauty Sleep

I just woke up…or at least as I am writing this, I’ve just woken up. It’s about 1:30 in the afternoon. This has been my routine for the last six weeks. Every time the kid goes down for a nap, I too take this time to catch some needed shut eye. I’m about 2 weeks away from delivery and while I have been taking it easy (went part time with work, staying in the room and playing with the kid when I’m off) I have not gotten a good night’s sleep since…well, possibly the past 3 months. Every time I move at night, I wake up due to pains in my groin and then it’s time to go to the bathroom and then right as I am ready to fall asleep, the husband’s loud snores keeps me awake for the next 2 hours. Before I know it, the alarm is going off and it’s time to start the day.

The necessity of a nap is definitely required while pregnant, however, I think napping is much needed for everyone. I remember when I was a kid, my dad would come home from work and while not every day, but maybe 3-4 days out of the week, he’d take a nap before dinner. He’d first make sure that he had done everything he could before he went down, but he would take a nap. My mom would do this occasionally too. While not as often as my dad, she would indulge in a nap every now and then.

Since taking my daily naps with the kid, I’ve found myself to be a nicer person during the day, no longer groggy in the morning or immediately after the nap, and an additional bonus, my skin is looking clearer, brighter and more radiant.

It turns out there is truth in beauty sleep. In fact, WebMD informed me that getting enough sleep will provide six key beauty benefits, which include:

  1. Fewer Wrinkles- skin creates more collagen while your body is in sleep mode, and more collagen means less sagging which means less wrinkles. At the same time, not getting enough sleep can create more wrinkles, as the skin can become drier and make wrinkles more visible. During the night is also the time that your skin goes into repair mode, and not having enough sleep, your skin can’t do the full repair that it needs to do.
  2. A Glowing Complexion – While sleeping, your body boosts blood flow to the skin, which promotes a brighter, more glowing complexion. Skip the zzzz’s and your skin can look tired, ashy or grey even lifeless. When your body misses out on the much needed sleep, your skin isn’t getting the blood that it needs which results in dull skin and no more rosy cheeks.
  3. Brighter, Less Puffy Eyes – Anytime I don’t get enough sleep, extra concealer is definitely required! My go to is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, however, even better is to get enough sleep so you don’t have to use concealer. Puffy eyes can also be a symptom of lack of sleep. Just getting enough shut eye will keep your eyes looking bright.
  4. Healthier, Fuller Hair – Hair follicles receive their nutrients from blood flow and when you lack sleep, the blood flow slows down as well, and your hair has a greater difficulty growing. In addition, when we lack sleep, stress can increase as well. When stress increases, the hormone cortisol increases which has the side affect of hair loss.
  5. Happier and Healthier Appearance – Lack of sleep can cause the corners of your mouth to droop, making you look sadder than after a good night’s rest. Has anyone ever said you look tired? Well, that’s because you probably do. Turns out there are subtle changes in facial expressions that can make us furrow or frown more making us look, well, tired.
  6. Products Work Better – Your skin can focus on repairing itself when you are sleeping, especially since it doesn’t have to defend itself from all those elements/free radicals you face everyday. In addition, blood flow is more consistent, and this allows your skin to benefit from the flesh repairing ingredients in your skin care. However, skin can lose more water while sleeping than during the day (unless you drink water while sleeping) so make sure you are applying a creamier moisturizer at night (ever wonder why the beauty counter girl is trying to sell you the day cream and night cream? It’s not just about having you spend more money, but truly about getting the most benefit from your products…your skin needs that extra moisture at night!)

All in all, sleep looks good on everyone. If you don’t normally get a full night’s sleep (8-9 hours), maybe scheduling a nap would be a good thing for you. Don’t think of it as being lazy but a much needed prescription for your beauty routine.

 

Are you a napper? When do you take a nap? Daily, or just when you feel you need a few extra zzz’s?

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed, nor did I receive any compensation for this blog post.

Can An Apple A Day Keep Wrinkles Away?

One of my son’s favorite foods is an apple. If he sees one then he wants one. He’ll continue to say, “app-ul”, until myself or the husband gives him one. Apple yes, candy bar no. I am also a fan of apples. The crisper and sweeter the better. It was when I was slicing an apple for my son and he continued to say “app-ul”that I began to think about the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. I totally get that yes, it’s a fruit and its good for you. But what makes it so great that I wouldn’t need to see my doctor? To Google!

After a little bit of searching, it turns out that apples are loaded with good for you nutrients that do really good things for you. Not necessarily enough to skip that annual check up, but maybe enough to keep your skin looking younger.

Apples (green or red), contain a fair amount of Vitamin C. It just so happens that Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant (think free radical scavenger…protects your skin from all the harmful environmental factors that contribute to ageing skin).  Vitamin C also is a natural skin brightener, as well as collagen promoter…that means firmer and more radiant skin, both signs of  younger looking skin.

Apples also contain polyphenols. For an apple, that means sun protection, but for you and me, polyphenols in apples have been shown to regulate your blood sugar levels.

Apples also contain fiber which helps keep you full for a longer period of time. There are suggestions out there in the internet world that recommend eating an apple before a meal to help reduce the amount of calories eaten at your next meal which in turn can help you lose weight. Many studies have confirmed this as well.

But back to the beauty benefits of an apple. I gotta say that it basically comes down to the Vitamin C in an apple and the benefits Vitamin C can provide for your health and skin. Most apples contain about 17% of your daily intake needs of Vitamin C, however, if you haven’t ever tried an Envy apple, I highly suggest you go to your local grocery and pick one up. Not only do I find Envy apples to be crisp and juicy, but they also tend to have more flavor too. I used to be a fan of the Fuji apple until I tried an Envy. Best. Apple. Ever. What’s even better about the Envy apple? It naturally contains a higher amount of Vitamin C, which also helps prevent the apple from turning brown once cut. No wonder its called “Envy” as I can only imagine other apples would love to be just like it. Of course, for you and me that means more antiageing benefits!

While I won’t stop using my serums and creams, I will continue to incorporate apples into my daily food intake. Who knows, maybe I can even skip that visit to the dermatologist.

Do you think an apple a day can keep you looking younger? What food do you rely on to prevent the ageing process?

 

Want to learn more about the incredible, edible apple? Check out the following websites where I received much of my informtaion.

http://www.whfoods.com

http://www.paulaschoice.com

envyapples.com

http://www.webmd.com

 

 

 

The Weirdest Mascara that You Just HAVE to Try…

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Look Ma!  They’re not falsies!

I am a Harpers Bazaar Style Ambassador and so occasionally they will send me products to play with and then review.  I’m always excited when I see a box in the mail from them.  I’ve gotten neck creams, moisturizers, and all sorts of goodies.  Some good, some meh.  All pretty normal products…except this one.  This last box from them contained the weirdest mascara I have ever seen or used.  And it’s one that even if you don’t love it, you HAVE to get it simply to try it.

Physician’s Formula has just come out with their Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit.  I’ve seen all sorts of things used to extend the length of your lashes…fibers, tubes, cellulose spheres.   But this…this is beyond crazy.

It’s a two-step process which you can do multiple times to get the look you want.  You start with a layer of the mascara and then, while the mascara is still wet, you brush on the powdery, fluffy extensions and then top with another coat of the mascara to seal it in.  You can repeat this process as many times as you’d like to get the look you desire.

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You can see the fluffies coming out of the “Extensions” tube.  Don’t stand in front of a fan!

To test it out, I did my normal face, just stopped at mascara.  I needed a “control”, so for this test, I only did one eye to be able to compare the differences.  The photo below shows the results as I went.  The top row is doing the procedure once and the bottom is after going another round (so doing it twice).

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Top is one coat, bottom is two coats.

Let me say that this process is beyond awkward and weird.  For starters, DO NOT put on this mascara with a fan going, a window open, etc.  The slightest hint of a breeze and you have the black fluffiness in your eyes.  Speaking from experience, it’s not fun.  And do not put your concealer on before this mascara.  You WILL get black fluffy fall out under your eyes and while the fluffies don’t stain, you do have to brush them off which could disturb your concealer.  Once done though…WOW!!!  Lashes are long and thick.  Only one coat made them look nice and lush.  Two coats though looked like I had falsies on!  Not the big, fat, crazy falsies.  More like the “natural” ones, but falsies just the same.  I was really, REALLY tempted to put another coat on to see what it would do, but I have a PTA meeting tonight (I’m the president) and I could only imagine what the moms would all be thinking (Seriously!  She had to wear fake lashes to the meeting!  Gosh!).

Am I going to wear this mascara every day?  Absolutely not.  I simply don’t have the time required to mascara, fluffy and then mascara my way through the morning.  But, I can say that for any special occasions, I will ABSOLUTELY use this mascara as while I’m a makeup artist and extremely adept at putting falsies on, I can’t stand the feeling of wearing them personally.  This gives me the wide-eyed look of falsies, without the physical drama of falsies.

I’m anxious to see somebody put on three or four coats of this stuff.  If you do, post a picture and tag us in it.  I’d love to see how it does!

 

Note: While I am a Harpers Bazaar Style Ambassador, I do not get paid for any of my reviews.  Also, while I do get the product for free, I am not required to write about it unless I love it.  I do not work for Physician’s Formula, nor did I receive any compensation from them for this article.

Beauty’s 50 Power Products…

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I am an absolute sucker for beauty lists, top 10, top 20, top 30, they all get me excited.  So when I read an article the other day on Women’s Wear Daily written by Peter Born where they listed the top 50 power products that made a significant difference in the beauty industry, I was SUPER excited!  Basically it’s the top 50 best, the power players, the big dogs, those products that other brands copy.  The type of product that can “generate enough enough cash flow to sustain itself for years, if not decades.”

So, of course, me being the curious beauty junkie that I am, I had to read the list and see how many of these products truly impacted my beauty life.  Here’s their list in alphabetical order…

1.  Axe Deoderant Body Spray
2. Bare Escentuals Bareminerals Powder Foundation
3.  Benefit Brow Zings
4.  Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
5.  Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray
6.  Calvin Klein CK One
7.  Chanel Vamp Nail Color
8.  Chanel No. 5
9.  Clairol Nice’N’Easy Root Touch Up
10.  Clarins Body Shaping Cream
11.  Clarisonic Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush
12.  Clinique Chubby Sticks
13. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
14. CND Shellac
15.  Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara
16.  Dior Diorshow Mascara
17.  Diptyque Paris Scented Candles
18.  Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel
19.  Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
20.  Frederic Malle Editions de Parfum
21.  fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
22.  Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
23.  Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup
24.  Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment
25.  Issey Miyake L’eau D’issey
26.  Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
27.  JLo Glow
28.  John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum
29.  Josie Maran Argan Oil
30.  Klorane Dry Shampoo
31.  La Mere Creme de la Mer
32.  Lacome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate
33.  Lancome Juicy Tubes
34.  Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
35.  L’Oreal Paris Mousse Absolue Hair Color
36.  MAC Viva Glam
37.  Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream
38.  Nars Orgasm Blush
39.   Proactiv Solution 3 Step System
40.  Pureology Serious Color Care
41.  Revlon Colorstay Lipstick
42.  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
43.  Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask
44.  Smashbox Primers
45.  Thierry Mugler Angel
46.  Tom Ford Oud Wood
47.  Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
48.  Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer
49.  Yves Saint Laurent Opium
50.  Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat

Honestly, some I could care less about.  Quite a few of things I had never tried, but am absolutely in love with copy-cats.  There were some though that did change my life!

Chanel No. 5-  To me, it’s magical.  You can be having a bad day and you spritz it on and somehow the day is a little bit better.

Clarisonic Facial Brush- Own one!  I am a tech gizmo nerd, so anytime I can mix that with beauty, I’m a happy camper!

John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum- Made me like my hair again.  Enough said.

Lancome Juicy Tubes- Defined the late 90s for me.  Was my first “big girl” cosmetics purchase.  Nothing better than buying them at Macy’s during GWP.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel-  The only way to get my nail color to last longer than 12 hours.  No more acrylics for me.

Which ones on the list surprised you?  Which ones changed your life?

 

*Note: We do not work for nor received compensation of any kind from any of the companies listed in this article.

The Benefits of a “Signature” Face…

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Being in the beginning of early menopause, I typically wake up each morning not knowing who I am that day.  Am I my typical, get out of bed, ready to start my day, positive mood, optimist?  Or will the night sweats have had their way with me, not allowing me any sleep whatsoever, and have me awaken as a zombie, a vampire who doesn’t want to see the light of day, a grump, negative ninny, pessimist who wants nothing more than to zone out in front of the television because just the thought of moving down the hall to your bedroom to take a nap requires too much energy.  A little to realistic for you?  Yeah, me too.

In today’s day, it’s hard for women to know who they are anymore.  We have so many titles, so many hats to where.  When someone asks you what you do, how can you whittle it down to one thing?  Today am I a mom?  A wife?  A significant other?  A friend?  A housekeeper?  A career woman?  What am I?  I know I’m a mix of all of them at any one time, so how do you define yourself?

I am all of the above.  I am a mom.  I am a wife.  I am a friend.  I do keep our house cleaned.  I am a PTA leader on TWO different boards.  I do run SIX websites/blogs with another being birthed very soon.  I’m also a make-up artist, a hair stylist, a clothes stylist, art director, photographer’s assistant.  You can see where between my health issues and my work issues that I sometimes don’t quite feel like myself.

But, on the days when I don’t feel like myself or I’m having trouble finding myself, I always have one thing that I can always fall back on…and that’s my “signature” face.  Just like a signature haircut is one that when you have it, you instantly feel like yourself, a signature face helps you feel like yourself.

When I put on my signature face and look in the mirror, I recognize who the person is in front of me again.  It looks like me, even if I don’t feel like the “me” I’m used to.  In an ever changing world, it’s nice to have something that can stay the same and help to anchor me.  Sounds silly, the power of makeup, but it’s so very true.

Now, my signature face does gradually change as I gradually change as a person.  My signature face no longer includes tons and tons of eye makeup like it did in my twenties and the signature face I have now most definitely won’t be my signature face in 10 years, 10 months or possibly even 10 days.  What’s important to remember, is that my signature face is there for me when I need a little reminder as to who I am.

Here’s what my signature face includes today:

Face:

W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist cream stick in #7 (for contouring my cheeks)

Sonia Kashuk Foundation Stick in Flax (for all over.  I usually like my W3LL PEOPLE Narcissist in shade 2, but I’m out and waiting for my gratis to come in).  🙂

W3LL PEOPLE Universalist color stick in #1 (for adding that perfect goldish pink to my cheeks)

W3LL PEOPLE Bio-Brightener Stick (to give me that glow that everyone always raves about in my photos)

Brows:

No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Trio in Classic Matte (having lavender hair, I use the middle shade as a brow powder)

Maybelline Brow Drama gel in Clear (love how it sets my brows and keeps the powder in place)

Eyes:

No7 Stay Perfect Shade & Define in Pink Pearl (a super soft glistening pink for all over the lid, really water resistant, crease resistant, and stays on all day)

No7 Stay Perfect Shade & Define in Cool Mink (does the most amazing super subtle contour and used under the eyes lends itself to that “cool girl”/”I slept in last night’s eye make-up and it smudged” look)

No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Trio in Classic Matte (used the middle shade on the brows, the darker shade perfectly darkens my lash line giving a naturally defined look that a pencil just can’t do)

L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Brown (I love the W3LL PEOPLE mascara when I want more drama, but as it only comes in black, I use the L’Oreal one on my *hopefully* drama-free days.

Lips:

Only the best…Good ole fashioned Chapstick Original

 

What do you use as your “signature” face?  Who are you when you put it on?

 

*Note: While I do work for W3LL PEOPLE and Idid get the products as my quarterly gratis bonus for doing a good job, I did not in any way get compensated for this article.  With regards to the rest of the companies listed, I do not work for any of them, nor was I compensated in any way for this article.

Pink, It’s Not Just a Color, It’s an Attitude!

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I’ve gone pink!!!  No, not my hair.  It’s still purple (or will be once I touch up my color tonight!).  And not my wardrobe.  That is very happily a colorful collection of black, grey, charcoal, light black, oh and I have some white thrown in there for variety.  I’ve gone pink with my make-up!

I’ve never been a pink chic.  Even as a little kid.  While every other little girl wore frilly pink dresses, I tended to wear polka dot dresses in primary colors, floral dresses in blue and white, and yellow was my favorite color.  But something happened to me once I died my hair purple.  Brown tones (even cool ones) felt too brassy on me.  Charcoal greys and soft slates looked nice and became my new neutral for eye make-up.  But the weird color I’ve kept gravitating to is pink shades.  I have quite a few pink eye shadows that came in palettes, so I started playing around with them and I’ve got to say, my new go-to shade is pink!

Here’s my new favorite “pink” products…

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Eye Shadow in #105 Rose for Romance.  A beautiful quad.  I use the darker rose color all over, the soft brown in the crease, the light pink as the highlighter and the dark brown as a powder eye liner.

Benefit Dandelion Brightening Face Powder.  A gorgeous pink glow to put on top of an existing blush or bronzer.

W3LL PEOPLE Universalist Colorstick #1 Creamy Pink.  A fantastic creamy stick that gives a golden pink glow without being flat.  Also makes a beautiful cream eye shadow base.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Pink Pearl.  For those days when you need a quick eye that will last all day and then some.  A cool, slightly shimmery pink that brightens the eye up.

Sonia Kashuk Lip Definer in Pink Whisper.  A totally natural pink.  For me, it’s the perfect nude as most nudes are way to brown/taupe for me.  And the pink tone doesn’t go all cotton candy on your lips.

L’Oreal Paris Glossy Balm in #260 Vintage Rose.  For when a soft pink is too pale and you need a little pop of color, but not too much of a pop.  No thick or goopy.  Reapplication is a breeze with no flaking or chapping.

Chanel Glossimer in #94.  Hello!  It’s Chanel!  That’s why I love it!  🙂  No, really, it’s a beautiful soft shade of pink.  Not too thick, not to sticky.

L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire by Colour Riche in #103 Blushing Harmony.  For those days I want more coverage/opacity than a traditional gloss, but don’t want the commitment of a lipstick.  Thicker so it stays put longer, but not sticky.  Reapplication is easy, peasy too.

And my most favorite right now?  The new eye shadow palette from Maybelline, The Blushed Nudes.  A stunning, satin flesh tone for all over the lid, a dark rosy pink for the crease, and a multitude of highlighter colors in various undertones as well as a variety of dark browns to further emphasize the crease and to line the eyes.

What other pink products should I try?

What make-up colors did you think you would never ever try in a million, zillion years, but once you did, you fell in love with?

 

Note:  While I do work for W3LL PEOPLE, I did not receive any compensation for this article and I received the product as a quarterly gratis benefit for working for the company.  For the rest of the companies, we do not work for any of them, nor did we receive any sort of compensation or freebies for writing this article.