Random Finds

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I thought it would be fun to start a weekly post on “random finds” to share with you. I know for myself that when I don’t have time to page through magazines, I love being able to quickly read and see a picture that will hopefully stick in my memory when the need arises.

Random finds could be anything from cosmetics to clothes.

The first random find I want to share with you is a new product I discovered at the Kiehl’s counter. You may remember me singing the praises of Kiehl’s self tanner a couple of years ago. I do love this brand even more as I continue to try different products. It’s available in most major departments stores, online, and well, we even have a Kiehl’s store in the Portland Airport now.

I tried a sunscreen that is the lightest, freshest sun care product I’ve put on my face in a long time. You can add this to your daily routine right after your moisturizer and before you put on foundation, or you can use it just on your face before hitting the beach.

Most day moisturizers and some foundations also have a fairly high SPF so you might be full protected. However, in this day and age, as we become more in the know about the damage the sun can do, sunscreen is  super important daily if you are out/about at all.

I also tried a body lotion that was wonderful. I do not like heavy lotions or ones with strong scent. This was perfect.

I typically don’t buy the largest size of something when I’m trying a new product–even if that is the better deal. I bought the 4 oz. instead of the 8 oz. Most counters will also throw in some samples of things for you to try. It’s the best way to get a taste before stepping up and spending a bundle. So here are my random finds. Let me know if you try either of these and what you think.

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What’s in my Makeup Bag Part 2

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After giving an overview of all the neutral products I use, now it’s time to talk about eyes.

I’ve already highlighted the cream eyeshadow I use for a base. One reason I was drawn to Bobbi Brown products was the neutral eye shadows. I’m not sure, perhaps it’s the memories of using blue eye shadow in the seventies that has me turned off, but I don’t like a lot of color on my eyes. It’s crazy because evidently I have one of those eyelids that every makeup artist loves to work on.

I also do not like any shimmer or sparkle on my eye lid. I like it on other people, but on on me it just looks heavy. 

I use a Bobbi neutral on the lid (cement) a darker neutral in the crease, with really light shades in the inner corner and below the brow. I like a charcoal, dark brown, green or purple in the crease. My biggest tip with eye color: Blend, blend and then when you think you are finished, blend again. I’ll get to brushes in a minute, but a good blending brush is your friend.

I have used the Dior palettes in the past and love them. I’m trying one in shades of purple to get a litttle more color on my eyes. I’d love to achieve something like this.

Eyeliner: You can use a number of eye shadows as liner just by putting a little water on your brush. However, I prefer the gel eyeliners. Previously I used Bobbi Brown, but just recently realized they changed the formula. I now prefer Laura Mercier. It’s creamy and glides on.  I do NOT put any liner on my my lower lid. I had read about this trend some time ago, and my Bobbi Brown artist really encouraged it, but it was a very hard habit to break. I’ve worn eye liner on my lower lid forever!  A year later, I like it so much better. The brush shown below is a must have for this gel liner. You want your liner to be an extension of your lash line so a good brush and steady hand is important.

Mascara: I use drugstore mascara with a primer. Just recently I found this Dior product that is supposed to promote growth. I’m anxious to give it a try.

Last, you cannot achieve a natural and professional look without the proper brushes. There are a great deal of brushes out on the market. I have gone cheap and had the bristles falling out. Since then, I’ve slowly purchased Bobbi brushes. I have also tried and liked a few brushes from Sonia Kashuk from Target and they are very reasonably priced.

I plan to try some ideas and take photos so stay tuned for Part 3 in the next couple of weeks.

I’d love to know what you love when it comes to eye make up. What are some of your favorite products?


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Self Tanners

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In many parts of the country you’ve had summer weather for weeks or months. Here in the Northwest, we’re still struggling a bit with that. We get a glimmer of hope here and there, At any rate, many of us have decided it’s time to pack away the boots, get out the skirts or shorts and bare those legs.

It isn’t easy. Since pantyhose are out and bare is in, it is a dilemma for many women on what to do if your legs haven’t seen the light of day.

I’ve been using self tanner for about ten years—about the same time I gave tanning beds the boot. There has been some trial and error involved but I’ve learned along the way.

There are number of good products out there, both in department and drug stores with the price points varying.

The days of orange streaks are gone, but you still need to cautious on how you use this product. Whatever you choose, here is my best advice.

  1. Exfoliate before you begin the process especially with legs. There is nothing worse than a self tanning product working unevenly on dry skin.
  2. Find an old tank top/shorts/swim suit you don’t care about to wear when applying. I like to let it dry LONGER than any directions say and am cautious about my clothes.
  3. Rub evenly. When you think you are finished rubbing, rub some more.
  4. Be extra cautious around your ankles, wrists, knees etc. It doesn’t mean you totally avoid, just don’t use as much product. Apply sparingly to the tops of your feet; it is difficult to make it look natural. If you can’t get it right-skip these areas all together.
  5. Choose a time when you are not in a hurry and can apply and let it set without dressing immediately. Then it will take a few hours to become “tan”.
  6. Wash hands and palms especially thoroughly.

There are sprays, lotions, and towelettes. I prefer the lotion because I feel I have the most control getting it even.

There are dozens of products on the market and just as many opinions. If you hear/read about something, I suggest doing a search to read reviews. This can be helpful and confusing at the same time.

Personally I do not like the gradual tanners. They don’t seem to work for me, but others give rave reviews.

I’m going to recommend two of my favorites. This spring my sister told me about Kiehl’s self tanner which she gave a big thumbs up. I LOVE their products and this one did not disappoint. Many lotions will do the same for less, but I haven’t found another formula that didn’t have that self tanner smell. Kiehl’s is ODOR FREE! Available at Nordstrom.

The first time I used it on my legs I got it just right. The next time perhaps I didn’t heed my own of advice of rub, rub and rub some more and it was a little less even. (I’m also convinced I have weird uneven pigmentation on my legs) Then I tried it on my neck and chest. I couldn’t believe how natural it was. Next I tried my arms (I’ve never done that before) I wasn’t as careful on my arms and know now to watch my wrists and just rub the whole arm  not worrying about where my natural tan line is.

Another favorite product for me is Bobbie Brown Bronzer for my face. I used this the first time when I was in Hawaii last year. I have not let much sun get on my face in years. Ok I over did it a bit, but can you see why a bronzer was the clear ticket here? I would have looked like Casper the Ghost next to “Johnny Dark Tan” husband.

Below is another photo that shows a more natural look. This was taken last summer.  I can’t say enough about this product. Just helps take away the “white”!

Check out All Things Chic for another opinion on self tanner for the face. Musings of a Housewife and the blog hop has even more fashion info today for you.

Let’s get the conversation started. I know there is a lot out there so let’s hear it. What has worked for you?

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Ulta Review: Mascara

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When I started my blog a year and a half ago, I told everyone I’d be writing about everything from body types, to mascara. Well, it’s taken all this time to delve into makeup. While fashion is my forte and focus of most posts, overall appearance coincides directly with the level of a woman’s confidence. This includes clothing, hairstyle, skin care and makeup. I encourage subscribing to All Things Chic where you will get a variety of  posts on many topics.

I chose Ulta as an affiliate because of the wide range of products I will eventually write about. I love this store. Ulta opened a couple of years ago just minutes from my house. I could easily kill an hour looking at all the products. I love the variety and sales they have.

When choosing a popular cosmetic, it seems fair to start with mascara. You read so often that this is one product most women cannot live without.

Statistics show that a tube of Maybelline Great Lash mascara in the infamous pink/green tube is sold every 1.6 seconds in the US. The price point is great, it’s often recommended by professional make up artists world wide. Personally, it’s not my favorite.

Take a look at the space devoted to mascara in an Ulta store. How does a girl even begin to choose? There is lengthening, strengthening and conditioning. Each claims not to clump and make your lashes the longest or fullest ever.

The big companies have gotten creative with names:  Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Falsies and Lash Stiletto to name a few. Then recently vibrating mascaras hit the shelves. What next? While looking at the choices in Target one day, I struck up a conversation with the district manager from Maybelline. She suggested Colossal. I liked it. I also like Cover Girl’s Lash Blast.

Several years ago, In Style magazine raved about DIOR. I’ve always purchased drugstore mascara and didn’t see the need to spend the money. I liked this mascara a lot for a while. Then it got really thick and didn’t apply well. I read in a magazine that when this happens to put a couple of drops of Coca Cola in the tube. The ingredients in Coke brought back the perfect consistency. Ok that is a bit of a scary statistic but then this is not a nutrition blog!

The best match for my thin, short eyelashes (yes my two boys have longer, thicker eyelashes than I do) is L’Oreal’s Double Extend. Half of the tube is a primer which lengthens and strengthens. Then you apply the mascara. This has made a world of difference for me.

Over to you. Do you have a favorite brand you swear by? What about Latisse–anyone out there tried it?

Go to Ulta.com for 20% off one item Code: 64450 Check out all the other offers as well!

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Giveaway from BeautiControl

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If you subscribe to my blog or receive it in Google Reader you may not ever see my “Home Page”. I encourage you to click on the title of the article which brings you directly to that page. I now have a “Favorites” and “Partners” tab. Check out all my shopping sources and businesses I have partnered with. I have a great shopping and referral source right here–just click on the tabs. I’m always looking for great products. If you would like to be featured, check it out. 

Let me introduce my newest business partner, Jenni Jackson.

 After 13 years in marketing and graphic design, Jenni Jackson launched her BeautiControl business with the idea of helping women look and feel their best. After all, when we look good, our confidence increases and we’re better at all parts of our life! It may seem silly to some, but sometimes a clear, youthful complexion, soft hands, or the right shade of lipstick can make all the difference.

Jenni has built her BeautiControl business over the last 5 years and leads a team of just under 100 like-minded women. Contact her at  jenjack@opusnet.com for a free facial, anti-aging, or makeover appointment!

Jenni and I met two years ago when our tables were next to each other at a Holiday show we worked to promote our businesses. We struck up a conversation and we’ve been in touch ever since. As you read above, her philosophy is right in line with what believe about women looking and feeling their best. Skin care is just as important as clothing when it comes to improving your overall image. I’m going to be writing more about it in the next months.

When I met Jenni, I was already using a different skin care line, but I’m always up for trying something new and LEARNING! Jenni is an excellent source. She not only knows her product, but has so much valuable information to share about skin care. If you are local, I highly recommend scheduling an appointment. And of course there is a Giveaway which means any of you can enter! Check out the website link above and keep reading..

GIVEAWAY: Product description
Warming Trend Green Tea Masque

This self-heating masque bathes skin in restorative vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and D. It deep cleans the skin of dirt, oil and residue. Self heating and aroma therapeutic benefits moisturize the skin, leaving it softer, smoother and healthier looking. Use it alone or as part of the “Busy Woman’s Facial” regimen or use it while shaving for soft, smooth skin! 

Karen’s Review: I asked Jenni to giveaway this product because it is my ABSOLUTE favorite. In addition to the deep cleaning, I love the fact that I can squeeze it out of the tube and it is WARM. It just feels so great on my face before jumping in the shower. I like many of BeautiControl’s bath products. I have also tried a  few products that help soothe and moisturize tired, sore feet which have been great. 

All this to say, even if you are tied to a makeup line or skin care products you love, don’t rule out BeautiControl for so many other options. AND if you don’t have a regular skin care routine, it’s important to start now. Take a look at Jenni’s site and call or write her. She pops things in the mail promptly–her Customer Service is the best. You won’t be disappointed. Would you like to win the Warming Green Tea Masque? Write me a comment and you’ll be entered. Deadline: Thursday, Sept 23 @ 9 AM PST.

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Perfume Dilemma

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Thanks to everyone who participated in my first Giveaway. Congratulations to Annette, winner of the pedicure from “Nails by Kimberly”!

I’m not much of a perfume person. There, I said it! I’m sure many women will find this very hard to believe. I don’t have any allergies or strong aversions to perfume. I love it when I smell a really nice fragance on someone else, but when it’s on me I feel like it is strong and overpowering.

Typically I like a perfume with a light and fresh scent. Unfortunately those type of perfumes seem to last about 5 minutes. The women behind the cosmetic counters have advised using it with the accompanying shower gel or lotion. That works–sometimes.

Perfume is a very personal thing. I don’t recommend giving it for a gift unless the request is specific. My husband has given up on perfume gifts for me. What he enjoys smelling and I enjoy wearing are two VERY different things. One year he guided my two boys to purchase perfume for my Christmas gift. They spent a great deal of time looking and smelling, but sadly the choice was just not me. I felt bad. I tried to wear it numerous times. The bottle had a unique shape; they would know if I exchanged it. My son noticed one time that not much was used…So goes my love/hate relationship with perfume.

I’ve learned to ask for small vial as a sample rather than purchase a whole bottle. (also very convenient for travel) Somehow, the way perfume smells on a small card can be very different than wearing it. After a while they all the smell the same in the store despite a whiff of coffee beans. This time of year the stores are happy to give out samples. Gift sets often include small bottles and the lotion/shower gel options. I love the small Versace bottle shown in the photo. As I explained my tastes to yet another sales person at Nordstrom, she  suggested the brand new Bvlgari supposedly with a longer lasting formula. I liked it in the store. We’ll see how I do with this new scent. Do you have a favorite scent you buy again and again or do you try new fragrances as they come out? I would love to hear if you have a perfume dilemma.


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