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.

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

Beauty Snob?

I had a very big need for a little retail therapy after a visit to the doctor’s office (don’t worry, I’m okay, the little unborn kid is good too, I just didn’t love the visit) Anyway, I decided to go to Ulta to grab some makeup goodies, as I have been seeing so much about some of the new products being launched. Since this visit I didn’t have my gold card with me, I opted to look mainly in the mass brands half of the store. I was in search of something new…something that maybe could change my life. Okay, so not my life, but maybe my brows? Or how about perfect looking skin?

With my wish list in hand (and coupons and of course sales galore — this is Ulta after all) I stepped in side all for a little retail therapy. I B lined for the mass department and not only saw a few items on my wish list, there were new products I had not yet heard of or seen. Oh, a feeling of beauty euphoria was warming my soul.

On my visit, I ultimately ended up grabbing a Rimmel foundation – Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum (not a new product, however, new packaging – I  read some really fab reviews, and thought what the heck. $6.99? I’m gonna go for it). Since it was buy 1 get 1 50% off, I also went for the new Brow This Way Eyebrow Gel(in hopes in would be a dupe for the Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel). While I’ve been loving my current mascara, the new Maybelline mascara -Lash Sensational Luscious Washable Mascara – was intriguing me…so I put that in my Ulta shopping tote too. Since that was buy 1 get 1 50% off, I grabbed yet another brow product to see how it compared to my NYX Micro Brow Pencil or Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil, the Maybelline Brow Define And Fill Duo – Again, I was hoping I would find another dupe. Then I grabbed a couple other NYX products, NYX Hydra Touch Brightener and  Soft Focus Primer, “cause guess what? Buy 1 get 1 50% off those too. After points and my $3.50 off $10 coupon, I walked away not spending more than a week’s worth of Starbucks Grande White Mochas. I felt better. Much better. That feeling of beauty euphoria had enveloped me and that doctor’s visit was a distant memory. But alas, I had to go to work, so I had to wait a full day before I could even start to play!

The following day I decided to start off with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Rimmel FoundationFoundation With Comfort Serum  and to be fair, I had to stick to my otherwise normal routine. I mean, I’d hate to try the NYX primer and Rimmel foundation and not like the finished look. Then how would I know which product, if any wasn’t right for me? So, starting with my current priming team (Boots No7 True Identity in Light and Andalou Naturals BB Cream; equal parts mixed) I then followed with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum. So far so good. I chose the right color. As reviews had indicated, nice coverage, satin matte finish and a flawless coverage. Setting powder I later learned was really optional, depending on how much more matte you would like to be vs a natural finish without powder. Now, I’m focusing on this product because prior to the Rimmel foundation, I was using the Dior Star Fluid Foundation, which I was really enjoying. Nice medium natural coverage, long lasting, satin finish…I loved every aspect of the product, except the color. I just couldn’t find a color that I felt was a perfect match…not even really a good match. Just decent and that was with some bronzer and blending. Back to the Rimmel foundation. Overall, it really has exceeded my expectations. But I think the part that blows my mind the most is the price. After coupons and discounts it was just over $5 for a 1 oz bottle. The Dior Star Fluid Foundation? Just a bit over $40 and that was with my 20% off Sephora coupon I had. While I was really crushing on the Dior Star Fluid Foundation it wasn’t until I noticed how hard it was to get the color to work with my skin, (but that is what happens when a store doesn’t have the best lighting to choose your best color and the other choices were not even close to a match), that I realized how disappointed I was. However, the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum seemed to meet all of my requirements and it was just about $5. And with that, I felt even better about my Ulta shopping session. Who needs a therapist when there are beauty products?

Prior to my cheapie foundation discovery, I have always believed that foundations from prestige brands were better. Not only can you sample them, you can make sure the color is best for you, and of course the packaging and marketing make me fall in love with them even more so. I mean, I still have my Dior Star Fluid Foundation. The bottle really is fabulous…but it now just sits there. I know that it will sit there until it goes rancid or I find a friend or family member that can use it instead. As with my  Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum, maybe because it is a UK brand and in Europe there are just higher standards when it comes to the ingredients and making of a product. The packaging is okay, I didn’t buy it because it looked beautiful, but more so because the reviews it has received were high. Oh, and the price…how could I not try a raved review product for just about $5? While I have purchased cheapie foundations in the past, I never stuck with them. It was an impulse purchase because at that time I was selling products that competed with those cheapie brands and I wanted to know what those other products could and couldn’t do. However, I would still wear my prestige foundations 95% of the time…Looking back, I’d totally call myself a foundation snob.

I guess now, especially being in different circumstances to where I was when I could easily purchase the prestige/higher end products I never really gave those mass brands a chance. Now that I really can’t just go to Sephora or Ulta or visit the beauty counters in the department store and drop some serious cash, I really have been able to see that many mass brands in fact do live up to the quality and performance of those prestige brands.

If you are a current beauty snob I suggest heading over to your local drugstore or Ulta and checking out some of the mass beauty products. There are some really great finds that will meet and or exceed the expectations of some of your current prestige products.

Are you a beauty snob? Or do you like to mix and match? Or do you stick to mass products that have received the top notch reviews for quality and performance? Leave your comments below!

Happy Birthday To Me

 

Image from Google

Image from Google

When I was a kid birthdays were great. Parties, friends, cake, presents and of course another year older, which meant closer to getting my driver’s license or able to purchase cigarettes (no, I don’t and didn’t smoke, it was just being able to purchase them) or whatever else that next year entitled you. Now, as an adult, if I want a party, I have to plan it (and that’s not fun for me). Cake? Buy it or make it myself. My close friends do not live near me, although getting a happy birthday via text or Facebook is nice, or even a phone call from a friend is something to look forward to on my birthday. And of course when it comes to presents, I’m all over that by myself too. (The Husband likes to buy me something when I am there so he gets it right, but he is anti beauty anything as he thinks I already have too much and why would I want more?) So, this leaves me with figuring out which amazing 1 or 2 products I can afford to purchase for myself, and this is especially hard when there are lots of new products I’ve been dying to try! So below is my little wish list of beauty goodies…even if I can’t get them all, you may want to give one a try yourself or add it to your birthday wish list. Or give me your two cents on which ones I should try!

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Image from Lancôme-USA.com

First, I’ve been wanting to jump on the contouring train, and currently the Lancôme Le Duo Stick has caught my eye and I’ve been wanting to give it a go. Especially with all the tutorials/how to videos that everyone is putting out there. Anyway, I’ve always had a love for Lancôme products and maybe it’s the packaging…but this is a great time, because there is also a pretty good GWP at Nordstrom right now.

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Image from Ulta.com

What’s great about the timing of my Birthday is that it coincides with Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, where there are some super fab beauty steals and sets exclusive to Ulta for some great prices. Well, it just so happens one of my favorite brands, Becca, has an awesome just for Ulta set that has already sold out online, however, still available in the store near me. It contains the best items of Becca, many of which I already own, I just don’t have the colors that the kit includes. This should be a must for me as I also have $10 towards the purchase of any product during my birthday month (it pays to be an Ulta rewards member!)

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Colour Riche La Palette Nude Image from http://www.lorealparisusa.com

I tend to be a palette whore…more so, I love to collect them. Which is ridiculous, I know, but sometimes beauty can be a little bit ridiculous! Anyway, L’Oreal just came out with two palettes which is rather interesting as L’Oreal now owns Urban Decay…could the L’Oreal palettes be a dupe for any of the Naked palettes? Not sure, but I’d love to get my hands on one and find out! But of course that would mean I need to own one of the Naked palettes as well…I’d love to get my hands on either the Urban Decay Naked Palette (original) or the Naked 3 Palette. (I know, how do I not yet own one of these? I must be 1 of 10 people who have yet to purchase one!)

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Image from Sephora.com

Did I mention I like palettes? Okay, so I am also lusting over Nars’ Virtual Domination Cheek Palette. It’s Nars…need I say more?

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Image from Sephora.com

I used to have a fabulous Solano blow dryer, but after many years of daily use, it finally gave up on me during my friends weekend wedding. Since then, I have yet to replace it with another pro dryer. I’ve been eyeing the GHD Rose Gold Deluxe set which includes a blow dryer and flat iron which is featured on Sephora.com. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the brand and the fact that this set is Rose Gold!?! LOVE.

 

So, that is my beauty birthday wish list. Of course, I never think I’d get every item on my list, but I just need to figure out which one(s) I will be getting for myself. However, if you’ve tried any of the above or have an opinion on which one I should get, please let me know by commenting on this post!

 

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

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.