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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shopping My Stash: Makeup Edition #4

Since I've started a low-buy, it is  important for me to use the products I have in my current makeup collection. If you would like, check out my last shopping my stash post.   I love the idea of going through my makeup and rediscovering some new loves. This week I will be using the following products for makeup: 

1. Urban Decay Naked Foundation in #2: I do like the coverage of this one. My skin is behaving pretty well right now, so I'll bring this one out when I wear makeup.  

2. Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder Translucent: This is my holy grail powder although I do wear LM smooth finish foundation powder too. This is so light and nice for drier skin types like mine. 

3. NARS LE Guy Bourdin Blush in Day Dream and Stila Convertible Color in Rose: New blushes (Yay!) I love Day Dream ,as it's a beautiful peachy pink without glitter that's perfect in any season. I forget how much I love Stila's CC, and this shade is a pretty rosy shade perfect for fall.  

4. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette:  I jumped on this as soon as it was available. I've owned all of UD Naked eye palettes,  and the only one to disappoint me was Basics. I'm still in the first stages of discovering the palette, but the darker shades make this one worth buying in my opinion. Included was a packet with each of the UD primers ( a weeks worth of each), so I'll use those to prime my eyelids. 

5. Bare Minerals Around the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 8 pm: I pulled this out after talking with Joyce on twitter. I'd forgotten I had this eyeliner.

6. Revlon Grow Luscious Lash Potion Mascara Waterproof: For a $5 mascara , this works pretty well. It adds tons of volume! 

7. Benefit The POREfessional: I use this sparingly just in my t-zone to blur pores. I'm finding this is working well to prime. 

8. MAC Cremesheen Glass in Private Party/Satin Lipstick in Twig: I'm loving this duo for a toned down berry look. Plus, for a change of pace, I'll use MAC VIVA GLAM I Lipglass-- a perfect warm toned red that's not over the top. 

9. Nail Polish: For toes: I'm going bold navy with NARS 413 BLKR.  I'm splashing out red for nails in Essie Twin Sweater Set. 

10. For scent, I'm loving LaVanilla Vanilla Blackberry for Fall. I'm almost out so I need to pick another one up soon. 

What are you wearing this week? Do you stop your stash? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Em Pillow Plush Cushiony Lip Balm in Bubblegum

I received this as part of my November Ipsy Bag. I am a fan of lip balms especially with the upcoming colder weather. I was happy this was one of the items I received in my bag. Sadly, I was disappointed when I tried the product.

I expected this to be very hydrating and smooth on the lips. Instead, it is very sticky and heavy. It does not glide on the lips as one would expect a lip balm.  It pulls on the delicate lip area. As well, it reminds me more of a lip gloss than a balm. It never settles completely and remains tacky through out wear time.

As you can see, it is very light in pigmentation with a slight sheen.  However, one positive is that it smells very much like vanilla which I do enjoy. Unfortunately, I think this one would only work well if you like a sticky glossy feel on the lips. In terms of wear time, it lasted about 2 hours, but my lips felt drier after using the balm.

I  cannot recommend this product or encourage you to try this one out. It retails for $15 on em cosmetics.  Thankfully, I paid $10 for the complete bag.

Have you tried this lip balm? What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Many (Not So) Happy Returns

I'm totally copying this idea of post from GummyVision. Because, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right??  No, I love this post not only because I'm nosy, but I think it's helpful and can give information how a product might not work. It might even save money!  Of course, I don't mean for this to be a review of each item. My intention is to let you know exactly why I returned the product. On to the returns:

1. Kiehl's Acai Damage-Fighting Serum: Although meant to work for sensitive skin, this broke me out after a few uses.
Kiehl's Since 1851 Açaí Damage-Repairing Serum
2. Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes:  I bought this due to hype. After receiving it, I realized I didn't like the colors.

3. Origins Night-A-Mins High Potency Cream: I've used this before in the oil-free version but picked up the traditional version this time.  This felt unbelievably heavy on my face, took forever to skin in, and I woke up with my face a mess.
Origins - High Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream
4. MAC RiRi Smoked Cocoa Eye Shadow Quad: Another hyped-up bye that I regret purchasing. I have so many neutral eye shadows that I could not justify keeping this one for the limited edition packaging.

5. Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil: I wanted to like this so bad! But, this wrecked havoc on my skin.

6. Bobbie Brown Night Every Day Pretty Eye and Lip Palette: An unnecessary impulse buy!
Everyday Pretty Lip & Eye Palette

7. Tarte Lights Camera Flashes Mascara(part of GlossyBox)- When you have the worlds worst lashes, you gamble every time a mascara is bought. This really did nothing for my lashes. I gave this away.
Tarte - Lights, Camera, Flashes™ Statement Mascara

8. Acure Seriously Firming Facial Serum: This is an organic oil based serum, so I thought I would be ok with this.  Unfortunately, it caused an allergic reaction.

9. Cover Girl Whipped Creme Foundation: I know better than to buy foundation at Walmart where I cannot test. Furthermore, I've never found a good match for my light neutral skin. Why do I insist upon doing this?

10. Chanel Khaki Discreet Eyeshadow Duo: Not sure why I bought this in the first place. I don't wear khaki!

Any recent returns? Also, please check out Gummy Vision's post.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

SOS Prescription : Fall/Winter Facial Skincare

My skin has been going C-RAZY this week from changes in weather. Recently, in the deep south, our morning temps and overnight lows registered in the 25 degree F range. This is especially cold for us at this time of year. The chill in the air and the addition of heating wrecks havoc on my skin. And, to my dismay, my face is a mess: irritated, sensitive,red, dry patches, and sore to touch.  Time to bring out the big guns to battle with my skin. Here are the products I've been using at bedtime to help with my skin. 

1.Cleanse:   For cleanser, I switched to an all natural balm like cleanser: Worker B Honey Face Wash. This does not foam or strip skin because it has no soap products in the ingredients.Look at those healthy and simple ingredients! I treat this like an oil cleanser. Apply to dry skin, add warm water, place an organic washcloth on face, leave for a minute, repeat a few times, and then rinse with cool water. This method leaves no oily film or residue. Then, I cleanse again with Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk to add moisture. It's not necessary, but I like to!

2.Calm: To calm irritated and upset skin, I slather on Dermalogica Ultracalming Relief Mask (here) for about ten minutes and then rinse with cool water. This is very nourishing and will help clear redness and sensitivity away.

3. Tone: While I love my DeVita Natural Skin Care Cool Cucumber Toner, I switch out my toner at night with Aubrey Calming Skin Therapy Toner as this provides another level of moisture. This calming and hydrating alcohol free and fragrance free toner is targeted to calm skin and relieve redness with anti-oxidants and aloe vera. Full review of the toner is coming soon.

4. Treat: Of all the products I use to help when my skin is irritated, this is the best weapon. Clarins Gentle Care Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate SOS Treatment is loaded with soothing and calming plant extracts such as lavender and marjoram. In addition, avocado and olive oils help to heal skin emergencies and sensitivity. I know it's pricey, but it's the only product that completely soothes and desensitizes my skin. I first used this when I had a severe allergic reaction to a product, and it cleared up the painful red rash and soothed almost immediately. I do recommend getting a sample first if you are sensitive to essential oils. You only need a few drops to see results. I put this on after I've spritzed my toner and gently press into skin. I cannot recommend this product enough-- it really does what it claims.

5. Repair/Moisturize: Lastly, I smooth on my fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex. This moisturizer is very cooling and gentle. I do not slather on heavy creams, as those tend to break me out and irritate even more. Instead, I prefer to layer with moisturizing products like those mentioned above.  This fresh moisturizer has a  creamy gel-like texture, but works like a heavy duty cream. It has high levels of anti-oxidants and hydrates the skin very well. I've seen a great difference with hydration for my skin since using the moisturizer.
And, if I am feeling really dry and irritated, I add one drop of Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil.

Antioxidant Facial Oil

How do you treat your skin when needing extra TLC? What are your go-to products that calm down the skin? I'd love to know your regimen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: DeVita Natural Skin Care Cool Cucumber Toner

Recently, it seems I am obsessed with skin care products.  I've been spending the majority of my budget on new skin care. Today, I have a new toner I would like to review for you. I always go for an alcohol- free and no fragrance added product. I tend to react to fragrance, and alcohol can dry out an already dry skin type. Plus, I look for all natural toners with witch hazel which tend to work well with my skin.  

I've been looking for a more healthy exfoliating toner, as I'm no longer using physical exfoliators. These tend to be to harsh for me and leave me with red bumps and make my skin even more sensitive. I've found that fruit and glycolic acids in small amounts work well to exfoliate and remove dry patches. Also, I use a gentle glycolic overnight exfoliating serum that works in tandem to keep my skin smooth and healthy.

DeVita Natural Skin Care is a new brand that I discovered while shopping for natural skin care at    If you've not heard of DeVita before, it's an all natural 100% Vegan skin care line that caters to anti-aging products. This toner is gentle and safe for all skin types. It smells so luxurious, and I quite enjoy the spa-like feel of the product. It contains healthy ingredients such fruit and glycolic acids to exfoliate, hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, and aloe vera and chamomile to calm and soothe.  All ingredients are natural and safe which is so important for healthy skin care in my opinion.

I've noticed a significant improvement in my skin tone and texture since using this toner. As well, there is no sting or tightening when using the toner. I like for my skin to feel refreshed after toner, so this is a definite win for me. I love the frosted glass bottle and spray nozzle, as it feels so luxurious and expensive. However, it's quite affordable at less than $17 for 5 ounces of delicious product.  I plan to check out more of the line in the future. I recommend this product if you are looking for an all natural toner with exfoliating benefits.

You can find this product and other Devita skin care at For more info on these products check out Devita's website. Or you can find products in-store here.

And, if you would like to save $10/30 order at, I have a referral link here where we will both save money.

Do you have any toner that your love and recommend?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Small Blog Sale:

Welcome to my Blog Sale.  If you see something you like, please email me:    Please do not comment here, as I do not check daily.  

My mua username is mbtmom.  eBay feedback: winston-2012 100% positive. All items come from a smoke-free home. We do have pets, but they are not near the makeup.

Everyone is welcome. International shoppers: Shipping will be higher of course, but I am happy to ship.  Please email for a quote.  I use info given to me from I refund gross overage on my part.

Here are some guidelines:  

Items are first come/first served.  Questions regarding items do not hold or pend items. Offers do not pend items. 
However, I am very easy to work with.  I've had to revise my guidelines due to pending items and non payers.   

 will be made using paypal .  Payment is kindly requested within two hours. 

Paypal gift or invoice but fees will be added.  No e-checks please unless we agree before payment is sent. 

Shipping: US purchases are shipped several times during the week. I provide delivery confirmation on all US packages.  I will on occasion reuse shipping materials. All items will be carefully wrapped and shipped in either bubble wrap padded envelopes or boxes if needed.

I ship internationally once per week . I will let you know when items are shipped and scan a receipt of shipment.  I cannot provide D/C, (unless you are willing to pay said cost), as it can be cost-prohibitive. 

Shipping CostsUS only:  For 1st class shipping :$3.50 for the first item and additional $.50 will be added for most  items. For heavier items, I will either note the additional or send an estimate if you prefer. 

Please do not ask for free shipping.  However, I may discount pricing for multiple items. I will at times reduce shipping if you are buying a great deal or if the item is small. 

International shipping has increased so understand that I charge what USPS charges me. 

For instance, first class international costs start at around $8-11 for less than 1lb to give you an idea.  

Minimum order $10  please  before shipping.  

Pictures are provided for verification. Please google for actual swatches as I've  had to use my phone for pics.  

I take very good care of my makeup and will ship to you as safe as possible.  I am not  responsible for items once they are shipped.  
Furthermore, I will leave cleansing to the purchaser. 

All items are authentic and purchased by me either in-store, online or gifted unless otherwise stated. 
RIS= received in swap 
NIB= New in box

SIB= Still in box 

NWOB= New without box

Laura Mercier Artist Palette For Eyes NIB $50 (this includes price I paid plus tax)

fresh Soy Face Cleanser NIP 1.7 oz $8 
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Powder Buff 04 Deluxe Sample used 1x $5 -- this is a very generous sample with many uses. It was a tad too dark for me.(I'm NC15/20 for reference)

NIB Deluxe Sample Too Faced BB Cream Nude Glow $3
Anastasia Brow Gel used 1x $5 
NARS Orgasm/Laguna Mini blush used 1x, bronzer New $12(retails $24)
UD mini 24/7 eyeshadow pencils all used 1x except Sin has been sharpened once: JuJu, Rehab,  Delinquent $4 each Sin $3 

Origins GinZing Eye Cream 0.5 oz(full size) used 2x still 99% full $14 (back left photo)
Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil used 1x $5 (0.5oz)

Shopping My Stash : Makeup Edition Week #3

Since I've started a low-buy, it is  important for me to use the products I have in my current makeup collection. If you would like, check out my last shopping my stash post.   I love the idea of going through my makeup and rediscovering some new loves. This week I will be using the following products for makeup: 

1. MAC Temperature Rising Quad in Bare My Soul: I love all of the shades, but the green copper shade(When in Rio) is my favorite. It looks stunning on all eye colors especially blue.

2. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream Light Beige(N.21): I'm trying to use this one up. I do like the formula and coverage. However, there are a few questionable ingredients like parabens that I try to avoid if possible. 

3. Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder:  A recent purchase for me, and I love the coverage. It works well with BB cream, as it provides a little extra coverage than a setting powder. 

4. MUFE Aqua Eyes in Forest Green 20 L:  Purchased last year in a gift set, this one looks great with Bare My Soul Quad 

5. Elizabeth Arden Cream Blush in Honey: Such a beautiful shade for fall. 

6. Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Primer: I received a sample in a current order and used once and was not impressed. I'm going to give it a second chance and see how it works out. 

7. Givenchy Le Rouge in 103 Brun: A VIB perk that's been added to an overflowing lipstick box. I'll get this one out to wear this week. 

8. Marc Jacobs Dot Fragrance sample: I have so many little sample vials that I need to use up... this week it will be this one. 

Are you shopping your stash too? Let me know in the comments. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review: Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk

I am very particular about facial cleansers. To be honest, I'm always searching for the perfect cleanser. I've tried numerous brands,but I have to be extremely careful with ingredients due to my sensitive skin. Also, I prefer a cleanser with nourishing ingredients and no added fragrance. I know it just goes down the drain, but I want the cleanser to benefit my skin as well as other products. Some of my current cleansers are listed in my post here. However, recently I've added a few more and will review others in upcoming posts.

Great skin care does not have to be expensive.  And, it's doesn't have to be dirt cheap either. If a product works for me, I will spend the money. However, I do love when I find healthy skin care products at a nice price. Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk covers all the requirements for my choice of cleanser. And as an added bonus, it's less than $10/6 oz of completely healthy product for skin.

This cleanser is formulated for dry/very dry/sensitive skin as part of Andalou Naturals anti-aging line. However, I wouldn't hesitate to use this on normal/combo skin as well. As it is a cleansing milk, it has a creamy texture and has minimal foam. If you prefer a highly foaming/soapy type cleanser, this may not be for you. Unlike other cleansing milks I've used in the past, the texture is quite thick and doesn't feel like thin lotion. I don't like thin textured cleansers! It feels very nourishing and moisturizing on the skin. In addition, the cleanser rinses off very easily without an oily film or residue left on the face. It does not strip the skin either. As an added bonus, it smells heavenly. You won't find a fake floral scent in this one. It smells just like fresh apricots, and is in no way overbearing or irritating to skin.

 If you are looking for an affordable, cruelty-free, free from and moisturizing cleanser, check this one out. I purchased mine at here for less than $9. Or it can be purchased directly from Andalou Naturals. It can also be purchased in store:

Do you use this brand? Have any recommendations for cleansers that I might like? Thanks for reading and commenting.

 **Purchased with personal money. No affiliate links**

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Skin Care Routine: Skin Care Masks

I love how pampering a mask can feel on my skin. I've just recently explored this area of skin care products and feel like I've found a few gems. I alternate between products to meet the needs of my skin. For reference, I have dryish/sensitive skin ,so I look for masks with an eye toward ingredients that will benefit my skin. However, most of the masks I use can be used on any type of skin. I try to find products that are free from parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, strong preservatives, and added fragrance when possible.  Here are the masks I am enjoying in my regimen.

1. Hydrating Mask: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask $24/3.4 oz. : This is chock full of healthy skin ingredients such as Apricot Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Almond Oil and Mango Butters. I lather this one before bedtime ,and my skin is replenished and glowing in the morning. This also works as a calming mask as well. If I've had a reaction or break out to products, I apply this mask, and my skin recovers well by morning. The only issue I have is the mask has PEG's. So far, it's not caused issue with my skin. But, I prefer to leave those out of my regimen if possible.

2. Exfoliating/Brightening Mask: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask $11/1.7 oz: I recently discovered Andalou products, and I'm so glad that I did! The products are free from GMO, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, colors, and preservatives. In addition, all products are cruelty-free. In my experience, the products are high quality and very economical. I love finding high quality and free from products that are affordable. The mask is quite gentle for a glycolic mask and really nourishes and softens my skin. The mask looks like pureed pumpkin and feels like you are feeding your skin great things. In the past, I used Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, but this is very comparable in quality and performance without the huge $85 price tag! I use this just once a week now. But with the winter brings drier air and skin, I will increase usage to twice weekly. I highly recommend this product. I purchase all of my organic/free from skin care on

3.Pore Cleansing/Refining Mask: Alba Botanica Pore-fecting Papaya Enzyme Hypo Allergenic Face Mask $7/3 oz:  Not only is this mask a great deal in value, it works well to reduce pore size and brighten dull skin. The mask has a gel-like texture, and is smooth on the skin. The fruit enzymes work without harsh exfoliants that can damage skin. It is my favorite summer mask because it's very cooling and thinner than typical pore masks. Plus, it's very healthy for your skin. If you have very sensitive skin, try this! It should not cause discomfort or reaction. My skin reacts to just about everything, and I had no issues. I do recommend leaving the mask on the smallest time limit to start.

4. Anti-Aging Mask: Sesha Rejuvenating Anti-Wrinkle Mask $9/1 sheet mask: I discovered this brand in a recent GlossyBox(US) , and  it literally changed how I feel about sheet masks. I will tell you that after using this mask the first time, my husband commented how nice my skin looked after the treatment. It's full of  healthy skin ingredients like hyaluronic acid, nutrients, vitamins and peptides, and it made a huge difference after just one use in my skin hydration and skin texture. I recommend this one if you want anti-aging benefits and/or hydration.

5. Calming Mask: Dermalogica UltraCalming Relief Face Mask $46/2.5oz: I know this one is pricey, but let me tell you my experience.  A few years ago, I was using a certain three-step system. Now to be fair, the cleanser/moisturizer were not to blame. It was the toner! After using for a week or so, my skin was burned. Yes! I ran into Ulta in tears and the sales associate introduced me to Dermalogica Ultra Calming line.  I purchased the starter pack, and my skin was 100% improved within a week. Since then, I've moved on to different products, but I always have this mask in my collection. If I have a reaction or my skin is feeling sensitive, I apply this mask, and it clears my skin very fast. Recently, I had a reaction to the detergent I was using in the washcloths I use to clean my face. This mask came to my rescue and soothed my skin beautifully. Give this one a try if you have sensitized and reactive skin.

What masks do you use? Are there any others that I should try?