Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Halle Berry's Exotic Jasmine Eau de Parfum Takes You on a Whimsical Journey!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Halle Berry Exotic Jasmine parfum.jpeg
Exotic Jasmine Eau de Parfum

Academy Award-winning actress, Halle Berry's sixth fragrance for Coty Beauty that recently hit store shelves this 2013 is a bouquet of dainty floral beauty.  This fragrance is fresh but not overly sweet with a lovely air about it that is whimsical as well as enchanting.

Exotic Jasmine opens with notes of the violet leaf and airy cyclamen.  The mix is so soft that it is almost floating as it encounters the neroli, washing that sheerness with freshness. 

Jasmine sambac, plumeria blossom and fluid hedione are the notes that cause this joyous awakening in the heart.  Swirling around each other, those floral notes unfold with beauty of romance and sweetness.

Unknowingly, this fragrance has the power to innocently seduce at the same time from notes of white cedar, soft vetiver, and skin musk as it dries down in the base.

The longevity of this fragrance can last for several hours before you will want to reapply.  

This is a gentle floral that can bewitch any floral fragrance lover.  I do recommend looking into Exotic Jasmine.  You can find it at Kohl's, drug stores, or Halle Berry Fragrances.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are You Having Problems With the Look of Your Under Eye Concealer and Need a Solution?

Has this happened to you?   You apply that favorite brand of under eye concealer that has served you well over the years and now you notice there is a loss of elasticity when trying to spread it.  

The first thought may be the company must have changed the formula.  Instead of calling or writing the company to complain of your disappointment, you may finally decide it is simpler to just shop for a new brand of concealer.

However, you may be wasting your time.  Your concealer may not be the product to blame.  Now that you had a few more birthdays, spent too much time in the sun, or even because of your own genetics, the product you might want to consider replacing is the type of eye cream that you are putting underneath. 

A better suggestion is to look for eye creams that have peptides and retinoids that will trigger collagen production in the delicate under eye tissues.  This will save you grief, money, and lift your spirits because this will do more good than constantly piling up your makeup junk drawer with concealers!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**
IT Cosmetics logo.jpeg
IT Cosmetics


One of the things that I love the most about IT Cosmetics is how they engineer their anti-aging cosmetics to really compliment any woman, instead of just the really young.  Founder, Jamie Kern truly understands the special needs of those of us no longer twenty something with the best colors and formulations to focus attention where needed and distract when necessary.  A prime example is with their new Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette that I was sent to review.   

Inside this palette are 14 beautiful matte shadows in a range of coordinated colors that are basic neutrals and very suitable for day or night.  These shades are especially wonderful for creating smoky eyes with.   In addition, there is a transforming pearl powder to bring a gleam to any of the matte colors. 

These colors work well together whether using individually as they are or mixing together.  Below I photographed the palette for you.

Starting with the top row and going from the left in the photo is Sheer Joy (soft peach), Soft Light (cool beige-brown), Warmth (soft warm brown), Soulful (copper-brown), Mocha (cool medium brown), Violet ( subtle medium purple), Midnight (gray-black), and Noir (black) on the right.  

In the bottom row, starting on the left is Love (soft pink), Sunrise (camel-brown), Sunset (orange-toned brown), All Heart (plum-brown), Java (dark warm brown), Iconic (deep cool brown) and ending with the Transforming Pearl on the right.


IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette.jpeg
The colors look lighter in the photo than in person.

To make any of the colors glisten, all you need to do is just dip the brush into the matte shade first before tapping the brush into the pearl powder and applying.  By doing so, I did obtain gleaming, but a lighter shade of any of the mattes that I used it with.  Unless you want lighter shades that have a shimmer, I suggest using the darkest colors with that pearl powder to best appreciate that effect. This transforming pearl powder also makes an ideal highlight color if you prefer to keep those matte colors darker.

Just like their other eye shadows, these buttery, well-pigmented eye shadows are formulated in such a way that they adhere so nicely to your lids with velvety smoothness for as long as you need thanks to their innovative hydrating age reverse and prevent complex infused with peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, silk, anti-oxidants, and drops of light technology.

Take it from this IT Cosmetics girl, this palette has everything you could possibly want when it comes to wearable colors and performance from these shadows.  Do check this palette out.  

Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette retails for $42 on IT Cosmetics website.  You can also find this at QVC and QVC.com, Ulta Beauty, and the Shopping Channel and shoppingchannel.com.  

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meet Your New Sultry Winter Scent--L'Occitane en Provence's Ambre & Santal Eau de Toilette (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

L'Occitane en Provence's Ambre & Santal Eau de Toilette.jpeg
Ambre & Santal Eau de Toilette

L'Occitane en Provence welcomed another beautiful addition to their La Collection de Grasse in 2013.  Ambre & Santal Eau de Toilette is a surprisingly soft woody oriental fragrance with a haunting warmth and sophistication from perfumer, Karine Dubreuil, that will brighten any cold day.  


This is a fresh take on spice that you will want to wear forever from the gentle way this lovely amber fragrance develops.  

With opening notes of bergamot and rosemary, you can't help but become fascinated from the beginning.  

The fig leaves and rose notes in the heart give it a delicious, almost gourmand quality lending some sweetness to that warmth that is luscious as well as intriguing.  

As it dries down with sandalwood, cedar, labdanum, and vanilla, the woody base turns creamier and so sensual as it melds with your body chemistry, making it even more enticing as it effortlessly seduces with elegance.

I loved the complex layering that went into this fragrance.  The traditional spicy notes are tempered against the other notes in such a way the fragrance takes on a unique sheerness that is exceptionally alluring.

If you tend to gravitate toward to a spicy fragrance and want something totally unforgettable, then you owe it to yourself to stop at  L'Occitane en Provence and sample Ambre & Santal.  The 2.5 oz. eau de toilette retails for $75.   



Monday, January 27, 2014

NEWLY FORMULATED Mineral Fusion Natural Brand's Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner Makes a Shining Difference (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Mineral Fusion Fortifying Shampoo and conditioner.jpeg
Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner

You will give your hair a beautiful new direction once you discover Mineral Fusion Natural Brand's newly formulated  Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner.  I was sent the duo to try and must admit that my hair has been looking healthier.

The ingredients include cranberry seed oil, aloe, olive leaf, rose flower, pomegranate, and jojoba seed oil besides a mineral rich clay for delicate cleansing to protect fragile strands and strengthen the hair in the process.  There are no glutens, parabens, sulfates, or artificial fragrances in either of these cruelty-free products. 

Instead of a liquid, the new formula now comes in a tube, which I really liked.   The shampoo and conditioner have a nice, thick consistency and a light, pleasant fragrance.  

The shampoo foamed up well while the conditioner was great when it came to conquering knots.

Minus the long list of chemicals, this natural shampoo and conditioner allowed my hair to breathe and flourish.  My dry hair also felt softer as well with exceptionally more shine. My guess is the addition of more essential oils such as sunflower seed, argan, and flax seed oils that is now in the conditioner helped make that a shining success.  In all honesty, it is hard to say since I used both products together, but I liked what the pair did for hair! 

Both products retail for $9.99 each for a 8.5 oz. tube.  Buy the Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Conditioner at Mineral Fusion or Whole Foods Markets.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  Free products were provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Try My Frankincense and Lavender Foot Soak and Rejuvenate Feet and Mind!

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After you try this DIY foot soak, your feet will feel better and smile if they could.


Frankincense is a marvelous essential oil for many different reasons.  When used for aromatherapy, it can calm through its sweet, but somewhat spicy smell.  It also has an anti-inflammatory property that can help with muscular aches.  Equally impressive is what else this particular oil can do for improving the condition of your skin.

When you add some lavender essential oil to this foot soak, the calming effect is intensified.  This wonderful homemade skin care recipe will allow your mind the peace and serenity it needs from its aromatheraphy benefits while making those feet feel and look better than before you emerged them.

Though as tempted as you may be to apply this or any essential oil directly to your skin, I do not advise it because these oils are quite potent.   You can risk severe allergies so always mix an essential oil with a carrier of some sort.  If you have a health condition, you should check with your physician first because certain essential oils like rosemary for example can affect blood pressure. 

My Frankincense and Lavender Foot Soak

7 drops of frankincense essential oil
1 oz. of a carrier oil (olive oil or sweet almond oil, safflower oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil)
5 drops of lavender essential oil
1 gallon of warm water

Mix the essential oils together with the olive oil or whatever carrier oil that you want to use before adding them to the gallon of warm water in your basin.

Soak your feet for about 30 minutes.

You can soften your feet further by exfoliating with this fantastic recipe of mine and pampering with the foot butter recipe that I previously shared. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This Arctic Weather May Get You Down, But My Divinely Delicious Peanut Butter Bars Will Pick You Back Up!

Thanks to this punishing Arctic cold spell, many of us are confined to our homes while watching all that snow fall and accumulate.  Instead of letting this weather ruin your weekend any further, I have just the thing to take your mind off the current situation.  Now is the perfect time to do a little baking and treat yourself and the family to a batch of my Divinely Delicious Peanut Butter Bars!  

These luscious peanut bars are soft, chewy and tasty enough to eat plain.  However, I like to sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot bars once it comes out of the oven so it melts over them.  Though as yummy as that sounds, I top that chocolate decadence with another layer of a confectioners' sugar and peanut butter icing to compliment the bars even more.

Do try my recipe because I think you will love it.

Divinely Delicious Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup of margarine (not spread)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (leveled)
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of flour
1 cup of quick-cooking oats

First Icing:

1 cup of chocolate chips

Second Icing:

1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cream together the margarine, sugar, and brown sugar thoroughly with your electric mixer.

Add the egg and beat through before adding the 1/3 cup of peanut butter, salt, vanilla, and oats.  Sift the flour with the baking soda and finish combining with the other ingredients.

Grease a 9- x 13-inch pan.

Spread the batter in your pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until nothing sticks when tested.

While the bars are still hot, pour the chocolate chips over them and spread to melt in.

Beat all the ingredients for the second icing together in another mixing bowl until creamy.

Wait until the bars cool a bit before drizzling and spreading this second icing over your bars.
  
ENJOY!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Review + SWATCHES: IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliners (Black, Slate, Plum, Silk Taupe, Lucky Jade)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

IT Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner (Lucky Jade).jpeg
This is IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Lucky Jade Eyeliner.

When you think an eyeliner pencil can't get any better, those beauty innovators at IT Cosmetics come up with a more amazing one.  I am referring to their new line of No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliners.  These little gems can do more for your eye glamour than you can possibly imagine and I can't wait to tell you why.

The answer lies in their revolutionary anti-aging formula.  With hydrolyzed collagen, silk, green tea, jojoba, pomegranate, aloe, chamomile, vitamins, avocado and cherry oils, this soft pencil glides against your eyelids like a dream as well as lasts all day without smearing, fading, or running!  

If that is not enough, then wait until you see how well they work to smoke out your eyes.  After you line, you have about a minute or two to smudge for that smoldering effect before the formula sets.  After it does, you need to use a waterproof eye makeup remover to take it off because that liner isn't going anywhere, which made my day.

The range of rich colors can boggle your mind from matte to a bit of gleam.  Lucky Jade is forest-green surfacing from within inky black.  Black is a true coal-black.  Slate is a deep, smoldering gray.  Plum is black awakened with purple tones for a sizzling hot plum.  Silk Taupe has a bit of gleam to this gorgeous cool brown that seems to light your eyes up beyond belief. 

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Next, take a peek at Black.

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This one above is Slate.


IT Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner (Plum).jpeg
Take an appreciative look at Plum.
Honestly, I can't rave enough about these five, but my favorite was the Silk Taupe for the incredible effect against my dark brown eyes.  Once you play with these, you are going to want them all--just as much as I do.  


IT Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner (Silk Taupe).jpeg
I adore Silk Taupe.  What do you think of this shade?
Below I swatched all five pencils for you.  


IT Cosmetics Gel Eyeliners swatches.jpeg
Starting at my wrist and working down my arm is Black, Slate, Plum, Silk Taupe, and ending with Lucky Jade on the left.

No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner retails for $22 on IT Cosmetics website.  You can also find these at QVC and QVC.com, Ulta Beauty, and the Shopping Channel and shoppingchannel.com.  

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Meet L'Occitane en Provence's NEW Fleur d'Or & Acacia Eau de Toilette--A Beautiful Way to Chase Away Those Winter Blues! (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**


L'Occitane Fleur D'Or & Acacia eau de toilette.jpeg
Fleur D'Or & Acacia


Despite the harsh realities of a winter landscape, there is delicate floral beauty blooming to counteract that bleakness thanks to L'Occitane en Provence founder, Olivier Baussan and perfumer, Karine Dubreuil.  Due to the expansion of the La Collection de Grasse of perfumes, which draws inspiration from the historic essences of the region that made Grasse famous for perfumery, there is reason to celebrate because Fleur d'Or & Acacia is here!

The fragrance is like an unexpected bit of bright summer as it opens with juicy notes of lemon and bergamot.  You can almost feel the sun on your face again as that aroma of citrus ripens somewhere in the distance.  The effect is light and refreshing.  

Once the floral notes of mimosa and acacia emerge in the heart, Fleur d'Or & Acacia becomes a powdery yellow floral with a tempting honey-like sweetness.  Suddenly you find yourself in a field surrounded by wild flowers and trees with low-hanging fruit that you have an innocent urge to pick.   How you arrived there is curious, but you find it the most beautiful, romantic place imaginable with almost a golden glow to it just like this fragrance.

The way the base of white woods and musk temper that lush golden floral sweetness is haunting and softly seductive. 

Fleur d'Or & Acacia is very feminine as well as a graceful, golden floral fragrance that I found quite enchanting.  There is a delicate airy quality to this floral that is precious and unique just as much as the others in the La Collection de Grasse perfumes that I have shared with you with Jasmine & Bergamote, Magnolia & Mure, Vanille & Narcisse, and The Vert & Bigarade.

Take it from Mary, picking up a bottle of L'Occitane en Provence's Fleur D'Or & Acacia  is the perfect way to feel the sun's golden rays again.  The 2.5 oz. eau de toilette retails for $75. 



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Obsessing Over This Cozy Winter Scent--Pure Vanilla Healthy Fragrance From Lavanila Laboratories (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**


Lavanila Pure Vanilla Healthy fragrance.jpeg
Lavanila Pure Vanilla Healthy Fragrance


Be warned.  Once you experience Pure Vanilla Healthy Fragrance from Lavanila Laboratories, you might become addicted to its sweet and luscious aroma.  How this perfumista could have overlooked this delicious Oriental Gourmand when it launched in 2007 is beyond me.  Yet, I have found it now just in time for winter because this fragrance offers comforting vanilla warmth when you need it the most.

Unlike typical vanilla scents, this one is a formulation of deep vanilla that is complex instead of syrupy-sweet.  Due to the freesia and the heliotrope to its Madagascar vanilla and tonka bean, this fragrance turns powdery sweet as it develops, wrapping around you like a soft, cuddly blanket.  Wearing it is a pampering experience.  At the same time, it is a sensual one as well as that subtle blending works its seductive magic against the heat of your body.  You won't be able to let go of its hold on you--and neither will he. 

Pure Vanilla is a beautiful natural scent to brighten up a cold winter day that uses the best essential oils and botanicals.  Furthermore, there are no risky chemicals such as parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or aluminum that may pose a health risk.  

This fragrance is very long lasting.  One tiny spray was all that was necessary to keep me smelling irresistible for hours. 

If vanilla fragrances are your passion or, perhaps, you're searching for a surprisingly soft winter scent, then I recommend picking up Pure Vanilla Healthy Fragrance from Lavanila Laboratories.  Trust me, and you will be glad that you did!  The 1.7 oz. size retails for $58.  

*Disclaimer:  Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Great Winter Rescue for Lips--NYC New York Color's Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms (Review)

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

NYC New York Color logo.jpeg
NYC New York Color


Beautiful color is important, but keeping lips drenched with moisture is especially crucial in harsh winter weather.  In fact, I just discovered a great way to do both inexpensively with NYC New York Color's Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms that I got to try.

These little tubes are amazing finds for color delivery and hours of lip comfort.  The reason they hydrate exceptionally well is due to vitamin E, shea butter and two oils, jojoba and avocado.  

I was sent five of the ten available shades in this line for this review.  These included consist of: Applecious Pink (355), Apple Blossom (354), Garnet Gala  (358), Apple Plum Pie (359), and Chocolate Apple (352).

Each has color on the outside with a pale apple-shaped inner core stored with moisture.  Your first thought may be the color might be too sheer.  However, you would be mistaken because these shades can pass as a lipstick without disappointing you.  They also smell deliciously of an apple, which I liked as well. 


NYC New York Color's Applelicious Glossy lip balms.jpeg
Starting on the left is Applecious Pink (a gorgeous medium pink), then Garnet Gala (a bronze-red), Apple Blossom (a berry-pink), Chocolate Apple (a bronze with pink), and ending with Apple Plum Pie (a deep plum-wine) on the right.

You simply can't miss with these lip balms.  As to my favorite, how can you decide when they all are so pretty? 

They retail for $2.99 a piece.  The line also has Big Apple Red, Blushing Golden, Caramel Apple, and Pink Lady.  I am definitely picking up more on my next shopping trip.

I highly recommend stopping at the drug store or where you normally shop for NYC New York Color and load up on these Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms because your lips will thank you! 
*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  Free products were provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Monday, January 20, 2014

How to Switch Out Your Handbag Quickly!

I love changing my handbags to help give my outfit a different spin.  The only thing I hate is rooting through what I normally carry in my bag and transferring it from one to another.  However, I found a simple way to save time and speed up the process.

Try to find a clear pouch that will fit inside most of your handbags.   The size needs to accommodate a few other colored pouches or zippered bags for things you always carry.  For example, your cosmetic bag may be blue, another for your wallet could be red, one for your phone could be yellow, etc.  The whole idea is to have one big pouch ready to go when you need to transfer bags.  

Coordinating the colors of the smaller bags makes it easy to distinguish what is what through that larger, clear bag, especially when sizing down on tiny handbags such as a clutch.

Sewing your own bag system is another option.  You can get as creative as you like, but the same principle applies with smaller bags of different colors that you can quickly recognize.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Your Complexion Will Love What My Homemade Lemon Exfoliating Facial Peel Will Do!

Any complexion type will benefit from what this homemade skin peel recipe can do with its brightening, exfoliating, and softening powers.  In addition, it has anti-bacterial properties from two sources of honey and lemon to help heal and protect skin, which is another endearing quality of why I love it. 

Furthermore, whipping up a treatment doesn't cost you very much, take a lot of time to prepare, or require many ingredients either.  So I do hope I can tempt you to try this sometime because it does make your complexion thrive with renewed radiance.

If your skin is on the sensitive side, you might want to switch out the regular sugar with brown sugar.  This will be a gentler texture when exfoliating against your skin.

Homemade Lemon Exfoliating Facial Peel

2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

Mix together and massage gently to exfoliate your freshly washed skin before rinsing off with tepid water.

Give your skin a final splash of cold water to seal the pores.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Delicious Cheesy-Chicken Microwave Casserole Is Quick and Easy!

My Delicious Cheesy-Chicken Microwave Casserole is a simple comfort food dish oozing with a velvety cheese sauce through macaroni, chicken, and olives accented with curry powder that does incredible things for the taste buds in such a combination.

I love this recipe for several reasons.  It tastes great, doesn't take long to make and uses cooked chicken or turkey.  In fact, this is the perfect way to incorporate that leftover chicken into a casserole.  You can just as easily substitute leftover ham or beef for the same amount of cooked chicken and it still is scrumptious, only somewhat differently.

I do hope you will try this recipe.  I think that you are going to like--no--love it!

My Delicious Cheesy-Chicken Microwave Casserole

1-1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 cup of milk
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1-1/2 cups of cooked chicken (or turkey, ham, or beef) cut into small pieces
1 cup of Velveeta cheese
1/3 cup of pitted olives

Combine together the macaroni, soup, milk, salt, pepper, and curry powder and place in a 2-quart casserole.

Be sure to cover tightly and microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes before you will need to take it out and give it a quick stir.

Cover the casserole again and return it to the microwave for 3-4 more minutes on high.

Remove from the microwave and add the chicken, cheese, and olives into the mix with macaroni. 

Cover again and return the casserole to the microwave. 

Adjust the temperature to medium-high power and cook for about 8-10 minutes before you will need to stir.

Cover tightly again and continue cooking again for about 10-12 more minutes.  (However, the cooking time can vary depending on the wattage of your microwave.  You will be best able to predict if it is ready by testing the macaroni to see how tender).

Let the casserole stand for about five minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Smooth Those Dry, Chapped Lips With My Fabulous Homemade Exfoliating Lip Conditioner!

Dry, chapped lips hurt as well as make a horrible surface with that rough skin for your lipsticks and glosses.  Here is a wonderful fix that you can make in your kitchen that helps get rid of that flaky skin and smooth as well as condition those suffering lips. 

This recipe is simple to make and won't cost a lot either.  Another plus is that you probably have all the ingredients at home! 

Do try this because it does incredible things for lips.  Besides that renewed soft smoothness, the lips gain a prettier color after a treatment.

Homemade Lip Exfoliating Conditioner

3/4  teaspoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E
1 teaspoon of honey
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

All you do is mix everything together and apply on those lips.

Keep this mixture for about 20 minutes.

The rubbing action against your lips when you wash will exfoliate that problem skin.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Master Creating a Perfect Classic Red Lip!

Trying to pull off gorgeous, classic red lips can be an especially intimidating task.  However, there is a fabulous technique to get your application right every time.

Before you begin, you will need a lip liner that is the same shade of red as your lipstick.  Now fill in the color of your mouth with that liner--not the lipstick.

Next, you grab the lipstick and apply it only to the center of your lips.  You can use a lip brush or just dab carefully.  I found a lip brush is much easier and more accurate than trusting your aim with the tube.  Anyway, you will need to use that lip brush for the next step.

Take the lip brush and blend the lipstick color smoothly to the corners of your lips.

Now, grab a tissue and blot.  By doing so, you also will be grounding in the color for longer wear.

You take your lipstick and apply it to the center of your lips again.  Afterwards, make sure to smooth out your work.

This last step is crucial if you don't want that red color or any lipstick for that matter to land on your teeth.  Wash your hands first and then stick your index finger between your lips when you form a small o shape with your mouth.  Your finger grabs any excess color so you don't get embarrassed later with color showing on your teeth!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Get the Shiniest Hair of Your Life!

You may think that you already are doing all you can when using shine serums and sprays to make your hair shinier.  However, you would only be halfway right.  Those products are important, but there are other things that can make a difference in getting more of a brilliant gloss.

Styling products weigh hair down and make it dull over time.  So if you are wondering why that expensive shine enhancer isn't doing much for you, a product buildup could be the culprit.  Ask yourself how often you use a clarifying shampoo to remove those layers of gunk from your hair.  

Make it a habit to give yourself a treatment at least every two weeks to keep the hair at its best.

Dr. Oz had a wonderful tip to make your own homemade clarifying shampoo that is fantastic.  All you need is one tablespoon of baking soda mixed in with two tablespoons of your current shampoo.  This really works better than a lot of clarifying shampoos I have tried.  In fact, you will be shocked when you look and feel your hair after shampooing with this mix.

Now that you have virgin hair again is the time to consider what type of shine product that you are using.  Those with thick or coarse hair need a silicone-based serum or styling cream to give them the maximum wattage.  Start out with some on wet hair and then finish with a bit more when dried.

On the other hand,  a shine spray would do more for those with a medium-texture of hair.  You'll find this product works best after blow-drying, spraying a few inches from the bottom.

If you have a baby-fine texture of hair then look for an extra-light formula of shine spray and concentrate over your ends. 

Another fantastic help is picking up an at-home clear gloss treatment to treat those strands with.  A gloss treatment has intense shine enhancing capabilities with ingredients like silicone, vitamins, and luxurious oils such as jojoba.

I hope you try these tips because they will make you more beautiful!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Get More Variety Out of Your Lip Color With Just a Little Know How!


Here's an easy way to change the look of your lip color into a stunning, new shade.  All you have to do is be a little creative by layering it with something else. 

For instance, a shimmering gold gloss over any color will warm up the shade for a beautiful change.  A tube of a gleaming gold lipstick over top of any color will also achieve the same result only without that excess shine.  Regardless of the shade underneath, you can create new countless colors from what you have already.

I like to individualize my look and often mix and layer color from several different tubes to get just what I'm after.  This artist-like approach can often get you closer to the ideal color you need if you intend to wear it with a hard-to-match outfit.  Lining up your stash at home with that outfit in view and playing with color is far simpler and less expensive than mistakes from guessing that exact shade from memory.

You can also sheer a color by layering lip balm before your color.  This method will make the shade less intense and keep your lips better moisturized.

Try this trick and watch how many extra compliments follow.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Warm Up With a Bowl of My Hearty Broccoli Soup!

The colder it becomes, the more you appreciate a hot bowl of homemade soup.  The recipe that I want to share with you is satisfying enough to serve as a simple meal along with a thick slice of French bread, a salad and a vegetable.   

My Hearty Broccoli Soup has a velvety cream base enriched with chopped ham, cheese, and lightly seasoned with nutmeg and parsley that is delicious and a sure way to warm the family up with its rich goodness.

This is the perfect soup to have on hand in the winter.   After that bone-chilling blast of Arctic weather we had just had last week, this is a great, easy recipe to make.  I do hope you try it sometime.  After all, we still have many more weeks of winter to go.  This soup can come in handy!

My Hearty Broccoli Soup

3 cups of milk
3 packages of frozen broccoli (10-oz. size)
1 cup of cooked ham, cooked in small pieces
1/2 pound of grated Cheddar cheese (any variety) or Swiss cheese
2 cups of chicken broth
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 cup of light cream or half-and-half
1/4 cup margarine (not spread) or butter
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes

Cook the broccoli in one half of the chicken broth.  Make sure to cover the broccoli while cooking.

Take the broccoli when tender off the heat and finely chop it.  Set aside.

Next, add the rest of the chicken broth, milk, cream, ham, nutmeg, parsley, and salt to your pot.

Bring those ingredients to a boil, then stir in the grated cheese, broccoli, margarine to melt and thoroughly combine.

ENJOY!

Friday, January 10, 2014

NEW Rimmel London's Stay Glossy 3D Lip Gloss (303 Candy Floss, 123 Back Row Smooch, 113 Popcorn for Two, and 603 Lights, Camera, Action) Review + SWATCHES!

**Disclaimer:  This post has been compensated through a free product (s) or monetary payment.  Opinions are solely mine. All links are "no-follow" links.**

Left to right is Rimmel Stay Glossy 3D Lip Glosses: 123 Back Row Smooch, 603 Lights, Camera, Action, then 113 Popcorn for Two and ending with 303 Candy Floss.

Rimmel London did something exciting when they developed their new Stay Glossy 3D Lip Gloss.  They jazzed up that vinyl-like shine with underlying color to make it multidimensional when the light hits it at various angles.  I have three to tell you about today.

Before I get into the colors, I want to fill you in on how comfortable these glosses feel on your lips.  They aren't sticky or wander over your lip line and end up on your teeth.  I happen to think these last for quite a few hours.  If you do eat or drink, you can expect some to come off.  Otherwise, they can hang in there with that shiny, moisturizing color for at least three or four hours.

The flat-tipped sponge applicator made application easy and precise.  The design really of that sponge really helps give you more control as you work.

113 Popcorn for Two is what I would describe as a nude pink with a peach overcast with a pale blue or teal sort of iridescent-like shimmer to give it a cool tone.  The effect is very soft, but just a tad too pale with my coloring.


Here I am wearing 113 Popcorn for Two.

123 Back Row Smooch is a gorgeous medium pink overcast with a violet-blue sort of iridescent-like shimmer.


This is 123 Back Row Smooch, a very appealing shade with just enough color that was more my style.
303 Candy Floss is a bright berry-pink approaching fuchsia that is overcast with a lovely violet-red iridescent-like shimmer.


Here is 303 Candy Floss.
603 Lights, Camera, Action is a peach-coral sort of orange color overcast with riveting bursts of medium pink iridescent-like shimmers.


This is 603 Lights, Camera, Action.  Notice how the pale orange is further enhanced with bits of pink showing through.

The multidimension effect is a very subtle one, but you can pick it up depending on the light.  Though it is not as dramatic as you may have hoped, it does lend a beautiful extra fullness to the lips in the process.

I loved the Stay Glossy 3D and already have my sights set on 703 Love At the Movies and Red Carpet Glam.  Have you tried any of these Rimmel London glosses yet? 

Do pick some up your drug store because these are great!

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided solely to facilitate this review.*

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Here's to Making Your Mouth Appear Larger When Using Dark Lip Colors!


Dark lip colors are so gorgeous with all the fashionable winter shades available this season.  The only problem is that the deeper the color, the smaller your mouth can look.  If you are one of those lucky ladies blessed with large, full lips, then you don't need to worry.  On the other hand, those with a small mouth such as mine might be interested in how to wear those shades without them swallowing up your lips in the process.

I found several great beauty tricks that do seem to help in making dark-colored lips to appear larger.  Apply the dark color and then dig through your beauty stash for your concealer and concealer brush.  Make sure it's a lighter shade than your foundation like the one you use for under your eyes. 

Now brush some of the concealer along the outline of your lips. Blend carefully and you will see how much bigger your mouth will look from the contrast of light against dark. 

Another helpful tip is to take a white pencil and focus attention on the bow of your lips.  Be sure to make that white subtle and not too thick to pull this effect off.  You will be surprised at the difference this trick makes to bring out the lips.

Last of all, when wearing dark lip colors you might want to experiment with is dabbing some highlighter in the center of your lower lip.  This will throw light, making your mouth look fuller.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Power of Perfume!

For some reason, my side of the street always seems to get more snow than opposite us.  There was just enough snow still falling to wet your coat and hat, but I wanted to clear my sidewalk for my mailman and any deliveries before the temperatures plunged into the negative range.  I wasn't out there all that long and then something horrible happened once I tried to let myself back in.

The latch on my storm door had frozen shut.  Thank goodness, I thought because there was someone in the house to let me back inside.

I knocked and knocked, but my attempts went unanswered.  When the wind picked up, I pounded against that door as loud as I could.  Still, no one came to my rescue.

Disgusted, I trudged up my long driveway and headed to the front of my house.  I tried ringing my door bell, but that thing had frozen and was of no use to me.  

I tried to open the front storm door, but I also found it had frozen shut.  Therefore, I began pounding at the front door this time.  Surely, I thought I would be heard--or at least missed.

After waiting and pounding without any luck, I marched back down my driveway.  I thought maybe I just might have been overlooked on route.  My person could be waiting for me at that other door--at least, I was hoping that would be the case.

Now, you probably are thinking why wouldn't I just head over to a neighbor and seek their help.  Simple.  Everyone left already for work.  Otherwise, I would have got them to call over to my house to let me back in.

Unfortunately, it took a couple of laps and lots of pounding before I was finally discovered. 

After I got warm with a pot of tea and had use of my brain again, I remembered that perfume can melt frozen locks.  I knew it worked on frozen car door locks, but I wasn't sure how well it would be on a storm door latch.

Without waiting another second, I grabbed a bottle and headed back down to my door.  I sprayed a few times and watched the ice melt before my eyes, dripping away.  Because of perfume, the latch was unfrozen and opened easily again.

I do keep a small spray bottle of perfume in my handbag, but when you go out with your shovel or broom, you don't usually carry anything else. From now on, I plan to keep a small bottle in my coat pocket to avoid being stuck in the cold. 
 
Thank goodness for perfume because it can save your life besides just beautify it! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Stressed Or Feeling Tired, Then Try Whipping Up My Aromatherapy Bath Salts!

Life can really take a toll on us as far as stealing our energy or stressing us out.  When that happens, a bit of aromatherapy with some time in the tub can help to benefit mind and body. 

This particular recipe can definitely help you feel more like your old self again because it can be easily adapted to whatever currently ails you.  Just by changing an essential oil to power it up, you can vary the formulation.

For example, if you're anxious and can't relax, lavender essential oil can be the ideal fix. 

Bergamot essential oil is especially helpful when depressed.  Another soothing essential oil that comes in handy when sadness sets in is lemon balm.

On the other hand, rosemary essential oil can stimulate and energize to help when overly tired.

As to the other ingredients, you will need Epsom salt, baking soda, sea salt, and whatever essential oil of your choosing, and a carrier oil.

Remember to use essential oils safely to avoid any adverse effects.  Anyone that has allergies or any health conditions, I suggest checking with your doctor first before experimenting.   

I recommend buying a carrier oil to dilute your essential oil in first such as sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba, vitamin E oil, or wheat germ oil, regardless if the essential oil is advertised as neat.

Also, do not make your bath water overly hot because it can reduce the effectiveness of the essential oils.  

Remarkable Aromatherapy Bath Salts

2-1/4 cups of Epsom salt
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of sea salt
3 to 4 drops of your desired essential oil diluted in 1 teaspoon of your chosen carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, vitamin E oil, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil)

Combine the salts and soda with the drops of your essential oil that has been mixed with the carrier oil.  You might want to add a bit more essential oil (up to 8 drops) so that it has some scent, but you don't want it strong.  However, if you added too much essential oil, this dilutes when you pour this into your bath.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to Best Avoid Foundation From Settling Into Facial Lines

If you are starting to notice your foundation settling into your lines, you may be tempted to just use less of the product near the area.  However, you would have better luck if you applied an anti-aging serum first before priming.  Another suggestion is to look for a primer that has anti-aging ingredients built into the formula.  This is the first step to take.

The second thing you need to consider is maybe switching the type of foundation you currently use.  Look for a lightweight liquid formula with light-diffusing particles to best conceal those lines.  The subtle shine from this variety of foundation can work to your advantage because light reflects from the contours of your face.  In the process, those lines are less obvious to the eye.

Just as important to the mission is the method of application.  You might want to try investing in a flat synthetic brush to use with that liquid foundation in place of your fingers.  Synthetic hairs are what you want because they will grab onto that product and glide over the complexion so much better than a natural-haired brush in this instance.

The final step once you finish your foundation is start using a makeup sponge.  Dampen it and press your sponge gently over your face.  This delicate dabbing will help soften the effect as it picks up excess foundation that could land up in the lines.

These tips will not solve any wrinkle problem, but these do help those lines from looking worse!