Dupe Star

I have been gone for quite some time and I am so sorry. It’s just that I’ve been on a very important mission. One that distracted me from writing about anything else. My favorite product in the entire world- the best primer, the best sheer foundation, the best touch up liquid powder, my go to the store or gym and have practically perfect skin- had been discontinued and I only had my one tube left, and it was going, quickly. To be honest, it wasn’t entirely discontinued…stateside yes, across the pond, this fabulous product was still easily found. But, alas, I was not going to the UK anytime soon (or distant future for that matter). And I did not know anyone who would be travelling in that direction either. So what is a girl to do?

My tube of Boots No7 True Identity Foundation in Light was quickly disappearing, and despite my best efforts to keep this product for as long as possible, I knew that I needed to find a replacement…n before I ran out! And of course, one that I would love just as much. One that was also affordable (No7 True Identity only set me back about $13.00 for a tube). I travelled from store to store…looking at prestige as well as mass products and everything in between. I went on various blogs to find out what bloggers were recommending. I searched Ulta’s website, Sephora’s too. I even asked Google. Nada. 

My mission became exhausting. I asked beauty advisors in stores if they knew a good dupe for my No7 True Identity. But everything they recommended were products I had already tried. I needed a new product. Finally, on a whim of sorts, and really because I was exhausted from searching, I came across mixed reviews for a Physician’s Formula product, specifically, the Super CC Color-Correction + Care All Over Blur Primer Stick SPF 30. All the positive reviews were things that I knew I wanted my primer to do…provide me with a little coverage, but more about evening skin tone and removing any visible redness as well as reduce the appearance of my pores and fine lines. The negative reviews were mainly due to skin type, as oily skins were not fond of this product. I am not oily, so I thought, let’s give this one a try.

Since I no longer live near an Ulta or Sephora, I went into my local CVS. But, wouldn’t it be my luck that the one product I wanted to try was sold out? My head dropped in disappointment and frustration. But as I picked my head up, my eyes wandered over…next to the empty space was a similar product…maybe even more of what I was looking for, Super CC Color-Correction + Care All Over Blur CC Cream SPF 30. It didn’t say primer (but neither did thecc-cream-pf No7 True Identity Foundation), so I was even more intrigued. What the heck, I need a replacement and I’m tired, (no exhausted) of searching. So, in my hands it went and I made my purchase.

I’ve been using this product for about 3 weeks now, and it is my new go to primer. I love it so much that I am now using more of Physician’s Formula products (I’ll share some of those on another day). It does everything it says it will. I even like the color more that the No7 True Identity, as it is more flesh toned. It is sheer, provides a bit of color correction to my skin, and does the impossible of minimizing my pores and making my fine lines less noticeable. The consistency is a bit more preferred as well, since it has more of a lotion consistency than powder finish, but both were loaded with dimethicone. So I see why someone with an oiler skin wouldn’t like the feel of this product, however, I never felt oily nor did I get oily throughout the day from this product.  The price point is a bit higher…roughly $15 for a 1.0 oz tube. But I can get over that. The one drawback for me however, is the smell. While I don’t mind a scent to products, I want to like that scent and maple syrup is not a scent that I would ever want in a beauty product. However, that smell does dissipate after a few minutes, so I easily got over it. Some of the reviews I read on Ulta’s website did comment on the smell, but it was a positive review, so go figure. If you like what I think is maple syrup, then you would love this product!

I love to use this as a primer as my makeup absolutely lasts all day with out any wear off or creasing in fine lines. I can also wear it alone for when I am just running errands and want to look more presentable. For the times that I want to look more presentable with just a smidge more coverage, I’ll use a powder over and it is the best no makeup makeup look.

I have finally found a dupe and it’s a star!

 

Have you tried Physician’s Formula Super CC Color-Correction + Care All Over Blur Cream SPF 30? Do you love it? Not your favorite? Share with a comment below!

 

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

The “D” Word

The dreaded “D” word in beauty, I’m talking about your favorite products being discontinued. I understand why companies do this, I just don’t like it when it happens to my favorite product. I guess it isn’t so bad when the product is being replaced with updated packaging or a better formula (although we all know when that formula changes it no longer is the same or has the same effect that we all once loved) or sometimes it’s the same product but a new name. Unfortunately, this is not the experience with what has happened to a favorite product of mine. My favorite primer ever (read about it here) has been discontinued. The only place I have been able to find it is on eBay, for like $40, when

TrueIdentity

Image from us.boots.com

the original price was only $12.99. I also think that it is available in the UK under a different name, but I can’t be totally sure and I am not headed in that direction, and unfortunately, the UK retailer does not ship to the US. On the plus side, I still have some left, which will buy me some time to try and find a dupe. However, there is going to be the day, after scraping every last bit out, that it will be gone. Forever. And right now, I’m not ready for that day.

What did you do when your favorite product was discontinued? Find a dupe? Use the replacement product the company came out with? Purchase every last piece in the store? Share your discontinued experience below!

 

Everything Is Coming Up Roses

Oh my, how time flies by. I guess I didn’t realize how quickly one day turns into 5…5 days turns into 2 weeks and now it’s been just over 2 months since my last post. Life’s been a bit chaotic with a newborn and toddler…and I’m the hostage. However, life has finally become a bit more…um, normal. I guess I can say that now. I think I’ve finally figured out a bit of a system, although that system is definitely flexible. One thing I try and do every day is to get dressed and put something on my face. This actually gives me motivation to do something. Whether I go for a walk with the dogs and kids or we go to the park or I have the opportunity to do a little Tracy Anderson workout, or even do a little cleaning around the house,  I feel productive that day. The days I don’t do a little makeup, I find myself sitting on the couch watching some series on Netflix or Hulu until the Husband comes home and finds me exactly where he left me…and I end up feeling a little hopeless.

Recently, I have seen a trend in some of the products I have recently picked up, received and already have. I think part of it is my subconscious giving me signs that things are going to be okay, things are turning around. If you read some of my previous posts, I was not only pregnant but kinda homeless (not really…just in limbo!). Well, my family and I found an area that we like that is also in close proximeter to both my job and the Husbands; the kid arrived and in great health and he’s pretty darn cute too. Life is blooming…and the products I have been using seem to be a reflection of this as well. I’ve been a little obsessed with rose in products. When a friend gave me the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Plumping Mousse, after using it and obsessing about not only the amazing bounce, lift and overall life my hair had, the smell gave me a little bit of happiness. Every time my hair bounced a little aroma of rose filled my personal space and I couldn’t help but smile. So I immediately purchased the shampoo and conditioner in the same formula. Which I also absolutely love! Again, the smell is amazing!  IMG_20160620_130829 (2)Captivating! And my fine hair loves the fullness and volume I get everytime I use the two together. Especially the conditioner, as volume conditioners have a tendancy to not really condition my hair or leave it dry and tangled, the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Conditioner makes every strand silky smooth, with out weighing it down! A must try if you have fine thin hair like mine. One of my go to easy products has been the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses CC tinted moisturizer in Nude mixed with my favorite No 7 True Identity Foundation in Light (you can read about that post here). The duo together create just the perfect amount of coverage, making it look as though I am not wearing anything at all, just perfect looking skin! And it just so happens, every time I apply the 1000 Roses CC tinted moisturizer, a little smile emerges on my face.

Another recent obsession of mine has been the Stila Set & Bronze Baked Powder Trio, a rose hued bronzer that I found in Marshall’s for only $7.99, which I like to use as blush. This provides a rosy bronze gleam to my cheeks and looks as though I just came back from vacation. I think I love it even more because it was only $7.99! Unfortunately, it looks as though Stila has discontinued this product, as I don’t see it on the website…but I found a posting on eBay (although it was over $20…not the same deal I received..boo!) and you might also be able to find it on amazon. Another one of my go to products is from a line called, Catrice, that to my knowledge is only available at Ulta in the states. In fact, I have only ever seen the products on the Ulta website. But if you are looking for on trend products at a mere fraction of what even drug store products sell for, then this might be a new obsession for you as well! Anyway, I’m loving the Catrice Absolute Rose eyeshadow palette, which is only $6.99! While the pigment is not comparable to Urban Decay (which I don’t always like anyway) when used with a primer, these colors are just as beautiful and last a good 10-12 hours throughout the day (or night!)

So, for the past few months, these rose hued and rose scented products have really kept me going. Which begs the question, why? Well, I guess it’s not surprising that makeup and really any beauty product will make me feel better, but then why not just use anything? It turns out that the aroma of rose has medicinal properties that have been known to help with depression as well as stress (and a whole lot of other ailments!). So every time I’m taking a whiff of my shampoo or tinted moisturizer, that smile that sneaks across my face is a natural side effect of that rose aroma. No wonder people tell you to stop and smell the roses…not only are they telling you to slow down, but to relax, de-stress, unwind…give yourself some you time. So, while life can definitely be challenging, unpredictable and down right crappy at times, don’t worry, go grab the shampoo or tinted moisturizer and take a good whiff, because everything will eventually come up roses.

 

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

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My Rosy Makeup Look

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.

 

My Favorite Primer…Ever.

This is a bold statement. I mean, it seems like even when I find a product I love, I think, “What if there is something better?” And so it goes, I try the so called next latest and greatest, only to be disappointed and ultimately return to the product that I originally loved.

Well, I have finally learned my lesson and found the absolute Best. Primer. Ever. It has now been about 3 years and I have yet to find or try anything else out there that performs the same. Nothing has come close.

Why is this primer so amazing? Well, it hides and disguises fine lines and pores, making them less noticeable. Also, my foundation layers beautifully, and I don’t need to use as much either, because the primer has a little bit of coloring to also disguise any imperfections on the skin. On days I want a “No Makeup-Makeup Look” this is my immediate go to. Just a dab will give me the, “I have perfect skin” look with out it looking like anything is on my skin. I have received compliments on my skin when I wear this primer alone. On days when I want the full coverage look, I start with my primer and do a light layer of foundation followed by a light layer of powder and I never get the cake-y look (You know what I mean, when you need a chisel to remove that full coverage foundation).

Now, I have to be honest with you. The product I am speaking of doesn’t really exist. I mean it is actually two products. Years ago, I was bored and after playing around I discovered the amazingness they created. I fell in love with the results and have not changed since. Okay, so what are the products I so highly speak of?

The first is from one of my favorite lines, Becca, and the product is the Shimmering Skin Perfector in White Pearl.

Image from Beccacosmetics.com

Image from Beccacosmetics.com

This is a wonderful highlighter that can be used alone or as I have done, mixed with another

product (you can even mix with your foundation for a more radiant, glow-y, finish). The second product is from Boots No7, the True Identity Foundation in LightYes, it is called a foundation.  However, it is so very, very sheer, and the texture and finish is so similar to the Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer, that really, it should be listed as a Primer, but, hey, I didn’t name the product, I  just use it. True Identity has a light tint that minimizes redness in the skin, but has the benefits of a primer, filling in fine lines and pores so they are less noticeable. The product has a matte look with the feeling of a powder. It can also be used to touch up your T-zone throughout the day with out becoming cake-y like a powder can do when you reapply during the day to those oilier areas.

Now, both products alone are fabulous. However, combined, they truly are the ultimate primer. Your skin will look naturally flawless, not too matte, not too dewy, just the perfect combination. I have found that my perfect combination is a 1:1 ratio. You may want to play with the ratio a bit more if you tend to be on the more oily side (more No7 and less Becca) or if you are on the dry side you may prefer more of the Becca product and less of the No7 product. I myself am Normal – Dry, and find the 1:1 ration is perfect for me.

If you are on the lookout for a perfect primer, I urge you to give this a try. Another benefit of two products is that it will last twice as long.

Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector retails for $41 for 1.7 ounces and can be found on the Becca website, Sephora and Ulta to name a few.
Boots No7 True Identity Foundation retails for $12.49 for 1.35 ounces and can be found at Target, Drugstore.com or the Boots website.

Image from us.boots.com

Image from us.boots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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