Equal.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others."
~Will Rogers



One of my closest, dearest friends on earth is a gay man. I love him and have since we became friends in college--even though it took him forever to return my Billy Joel's Greatest Hits CD to me. I apologize for being snotty about having my CD for so long. And I am so forunate to have gotten to know you. I am a better person for having known you.

Even though a few hundred miles separate us, he is always in my heart and thoughts and I am so proud of the person he has become. 

He is a compassionate, kind, generous, intelligent, amazing human being. He was there with me at my wedding. And I should be able to be at his wedding one day too. He has that same right that Tom and I had when we exchanged vows and promised to love, honor & cherish each other.

He is in Washington right now with his sign in front of the Supreme Court. I wish I could physically be there to stand along side him with a sign of my own. He is a human being. He has the right to love.He happens to love men. He was BORN that way, just as I was born this way, as a woman who fell in love with a man. He deserves the right to get married one day. Why is this even an issue?

This is not about religion or what YOU think is right or wrong. It is about human rights.

I support marriage equality.  



Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Monday, March 25, 2013

Color shown is #340 Flower Power



As you know, I love having my nails painted as much as I love to wear lipgloss and earrings. I feel naked without color on my nails.

I am taking a little break from gel polish right now, especially since I have been busy with painting projects (again!) and other home improvement projects (new kitchen floor in the next week or two when I get the motivation).  I'm getting gels again before our summer vacation, but for now, I am taking a little break.

While strolling down the aisles of Wegmans the other night, I passed through cosmetics and these nail decals from Sally Hansen jumped right out at me with a loud "Buy me for spring!"

I thought "Why not?" and added them to my cart.

I put them & the picture above is from about 10 minutes ago.

This was my second time using something like this.  In December, I tried Jamberry Nails, which is a similar concept, although the JN are not stickers.  Click here for my Jamberry Nails review. Since then, I have been sporting Jamberry Nails every few manicures. I love them, but change it up because I never can stick to one design for too long!

The Sally Hansen product gives you 16 nail sticks (8 in each individually wrapped package). It says it is for one manicure. Now take note--unless your nails are LONG, only open one of the packages. You will only need 1. Leave the other one sealed so you can use it another time. IF YOU OPEN THE OTHER PACKAGE, you are out of luck. They dry out QUICKLY upon opening and you will end up wasting the rest. There needs to be a better way, Sally Hansen!!!

I cut each of the nail strips since there was enough length for two finger nails on each strip. I thought the nail stickers were not that sticky and were a bit firm to work with following the package insert.  On their own, they LOOK LIKE STICKERS and nothing more. They look like they are just kind of sitting there. What I did was use the method I did for Jamberry Nails--warming the strips with my hair dryer, applying, trimming, and then setting with the blow dryer again. This made them go on much better and become more flexible.

This method worked really well and it took all of ten minutes for me to do both hands.

At Wegmans without any coupons, the little kit was $8.99 (it comes with mini orange wood stick to push back cuticles and multitasking little emery board/buffer). So it equals $4.50 per manicure if you can use each kit twice.

Considering this is supposed to last up to 10 days -- I will follow up with results on this one -- it is a cute looking manicure for $4.50.

Have you tried these before?  What were your impressions?

UPDATE: These nail stickers lasted me 2 days before chipping. The designs flaked off like polish specks :(

Help! Zits!

Friday, March 22, 2013

I am actually sharing this post again because a lovely reader, Jenna, asked me for some help with acne skin care. Here it is!



acnerelief




I am usually not a skin care "kit" person, nor do I typically suggest you run out and buy something you may have seen on TV.  This is the exception.  Juice Beauty, a line I adore and have oodles of respect for, has a kit designed for acne-prone skin.

The ingredients, as with all Juice Beauty items, are stellar.  I've never had a Juice Beauty product that wasn't formulated well, and the reviews online of the system are fabulous.

This would be my first choice if I were trying to combat breakouts. What I would recommend is buying the kit, which will cost you $39 (it's billed in two payments of $19.50). After you've determined how well everything works for you, then I'd probably end up purchasing the large sizes on my own to save money.

Other skin care product recommendations for acne:

Aunt Nancy's Lemongrass and Sea Clay Soap -- Lemongrass essential oil is a gentle antiseptic and is beneficial to acne-prone skin. It also helps clear the pores and firm the skin. Sea clay helps to draw out impurities and control the oilies. This also contains rice bran and grapeseed oil, which I recommend for oilier skintypes as well. $6

One Love Organics My New Best Friend Skin Shammy -- Don't waste your money on the overhyped Clarisonic. You don't need it.  I highly recommend the dermatologist-grade microfiber cloth from OLO. It helps to rid the skin of bacteria, excess oil, environmental debris, etc.  $12

Dickinson's 100% Natural Witch Hazel -- While I typically do not recommend skin care products formulated with alcohol, I make an exception for this all-natural witch hazel (which is 14% alcohol). It soothes sunburns, helps sore and irritated skin, and is a wonderfully effective astringent.  A bottle will cost you about $3 and last many months!

Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Maximum Strength Spot Treatment -- This contains a natural form of salicylic acid called white willow bark. It contains 2%, which is ideal for acne. Salicylic acid, unlike alpha hydroxy acids, is oil soluble so it can get into the pores and pull out excess sebum and grime. Please note, it is not recommended that you apply any form of salicylic acid while pregnant. $13


Review of Today's Special Value on QVC

Monday, March 18, 2013

Last week I told you about a line of paraben-free cosmetics called It Cosmetics.


Photo from QVC



I am a huge fan of the Celebration Foundation and have now had a chance to try everything in their Hello, Beautiful Anti-Aging 5 Piece Color Collection, which is Today's Special Value on QVC right now.

I am always skeptical about these color collections because you very often find that you can only use about half of the items.  Not this collection!



Here are my thoughts on each item in the collection--

Celebration Foundation - 

I am completely and madly in love with this foundation! I was sent Fair, which is very much like Creme from 100% Pure. It is perfect for right now, although in a few weeks it will be too light. Super pale girls like me will love it, as it is NOT pink. I hate fair shades that add pink to my already rosy cheeks. It is light though, so if you are between colors, go up a shade. Also, if you usually need a deeper shade in the spring/summer, go up darker than you think you will need.

The foundation is a pressed powder that feels like silk. It buffs beautifully with the brush and delivers a soft focus airbrushed finish. No caking. No fading. No melting off. No settling into lines. It is fabulous.

I love the fact that there are actually skin-benefiting ingredients in this, such as grape seed extract, papaya, niacinamide, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. No parabens. No petrohemicals. And no artificial fragrance!

This is a great product and I think this is going to be my go to foundation from now on!!!

Grade: A+

Vitality Flush Color Stain Stick in Je Ne Sais Quoi

I love this.  It reminds me very much of Vapour Organic Beauty's Aura Multi-Use Blush stick, but with a better texture and easier blendability.

It looks colorless in the stick, but when you apply it to your cheeks (or lips), it adds a gentle hint of blush.  It has a beautiful texture and it gives a subtle glow and color. You can use it to highlight, as a blush, and on the lips for a tint.

Grade: A

Tightline Full Lash Length Black Primer  - 

This is a neat idea. My lashes are naturally long and dark, so to be honest with you I am finding that I do not need to use this. However, if you have skimpy lashes, you may find this to be beneficial. It does coat the lashes and is designed to work as a lash primer as well. I cannot say how this would work on someone else, but this is one of those products that I did not find to be of use for me.

Grade: B- (did not work for me personally, but I can see how it could work for some)

Hello Lashes 5 in 1 Mascara

There are mixed reviews online of this mascara, so I wasn't expecting to love it.  I do adore it, though! I like it even more than my beloved Jumbo Lash from Organic Wear.

First of all, I love the handle! It has a special grip on it to allow you complete control. It isn't a thin applicator, so you really have control over the wand. Like I said earlier, my lashes are long. They are flimsy little things, though, with no volume.

I do curl my lashes in the morning first (like I always do) and then I apply this mascara. I love it.  Unlike others, it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes.  It never flakes, doesn't melt off, and contains so many great ingredients such as green tea, peptides, Vitamin A, C, E, and B5.

I also love that the color is an ultra deep black shade.

Grade: A+

Heavenly Luxe Airbrush Foundation Brush

I kid you not--this is the BEST FOUNDATION BRUSH EVER. See all of the 5 star reviews on QVC here. I have used so many fabulous brushes over the years, from very affordable to super high end when I was working as a makeup artist.  This is a TRULY luxurious brush.  It sells for $48 in its own, but is included in this kit!  It is cruelty-free and applies both pressed and loose powder foundations flawlessly. No shedding--this is fantabulous!

Grade: A+


The Chic & Green Bottom Line

I absolutely love this collection and am really looking forward to trying more from It Cosmetics.  In fact, I am going to order some items today, including the brow pencil that gets such raves.

This collecion is a great deal at today's price of $54.96.  You are getting 5 full-sized items and if you add up each product individually and were to buy them all that way, you would be spending more than that just for 2 products alone.

I don't usually love these tv deals, but this is a great set of makeup!

Click here to buy it.



*Disclosure: I was sent the Hello, Beautiful kit for review consideration.  This in no way has influenced the outcome of this review and all opinions, as always, are my own.

Add Some Color to Your Life!

Thursday, March 14, 2013



I love jewelry. In fact, I wear earrings every single day of the year unless I am sick and not going out. And I probably wear necklaces and bracelets about 350 days a year.

I was thrilled when the sweet ladies at Color by Amber contacted me about being part of their blogger community and offered to send me some pieces from the new Vibrante collection.  What impressed me about Color by Amber before I even received my jewelry, is their commitment to sustainability and the empowerment of women.

In fact, much of their collection uses materials purchased from women in Nepal, Senegal, and more--women from all over the world. This creates business opportunities for women, providing them with jobs, health care, educational opportunities, and more.

Click here for a great video about these women called Full Circle.












I love the pieces I was sent. I snapped a picture of the bracelets on my arm above for you to see. The quality is nice and the colors of the Vibrante collection are, well, VIBRANT and cheerful.

I look forward to trying more pieces from other collections because they're really quite lovely.

To see some of the other ways I wore my Color by Amber bracelets, check out my pics on Instagram.

To connect online with Color by Amber:

Instagram
Pinterest
Facebook
Twitter
Website



*I received jewelry at no cost and am a member of the Color by Amber blogger community.  This is no way has affected the outcome of this piece.

My New Favorite Makeup!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I was super fortunate to be send a beautiful collection of cruelty-free cosmetics from IT Cosmetics by Jamie Kern.


In fact, I was sent the not-yet-launched collection that will be debuting as a Today's Special Value next week on QVC and I am loving my sneak peek.

Here is a picture of it on Instagram so you an see what I was sent. Yes,  Instagram. I have  finally joined and I know I am behind the times here, but I am new there and if you'd like to follow me, I will be posting regularly!

Back to my makeup discussion. I have only had a chance to try to of the items from my new kit, the Anti-Aging Celebration Foundation and the lovely brush that comes with it.

I am completely and madly in love with this foundation! I was sent Fair, which is very much like Creme from 100% Pure. It is perfect for right now, although in a few weeks it will be too light. Super pale girls like me will love it, as it is NOT pink. I hate fair shades that add pink to my already rosy cheeks.

The foundation is a pressed powder that feels like silk. It buffs beautifully with the brush and delivers a soft focus airbrushed finish. No caking. No fading. No melting off. No settling into lines. It is fabulous.

I love the fact that there are actually skin-benefiting ingredients in this, such as grape seed extract, papaya, niacinamide,  peptides, and hyaluronic acid. No parabens. No petrohemicals. And no artificial fragrance!

This is a great product and I think this is going to be my go to foundation from now on!!!

My grade: A+

I will be back this week to do more reviews of It Cosmetics as I try the other items from my collection. Stay tuned!

*Disclosure: I received products from It Cosmetics at no cost. This in no way has influenced the outcome of this review.

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's all about LEMON today on the blog. Lemon yellow. Lemon flavors. Lemon scents...




Enjoy!
lemon




Zoya nail polish in Piaf is a soft lemon metallic hue.
J. R. Watkins Lemon Body Cream
Stash Meyer Lemon Caffeine Free Tea
100% Pure Meyer Lemon Body Soap
Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree Deodorant
Dr. Hauschka Lemon Body Wash

Congratulations! Lady Soma Giveaway Winner Announced!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Laney S. is the winner of the Lady Soma Giveaway! Lady Soma will be sending Laney her products! Stay tuned for our next giveaway coming soon!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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