Blush Mystery Beauty Box January 2014

Blush Mystery Beauty Box January 2014

Being the product junkie I am, I have tried many monthly sample clubs. My favorite is Blush’s Mystery Beauty box. First, most of the products you receive are full size. Second, they actually introduce me to new, prestige brands that have cosmetics, skincare or tools that I would want to purchase. Finally, most of the boxes are valued way above the monthly $24.95 cost.

For January 2014, the “star” product is Le Edge. Le Edge is a razor looking object that exfoliates your body. The metal piece at the tip is thick, not sharp and you gently swipe it across dry skin prior to showering. It’s a similar process to dry brushing the skin prior to showering. I am quite the exfoliation junkie, so I was thrilled to get this and I hadn’t heard of it before but I’ve been enjoying the super soft skin that comes with using Le Edge.

As for the other products, here is what I received:

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper
Color: Tokyo
Size: Sample

This was a waste. I love Jane Iredale, but this color on my light skin, looked muddy. Plus it was a sample size and I honestly find sample size lip glosses and lip sticks disturbing.

Osmosis Skincare
Harmonized Water Digestive Health
Size: Full

This is water that is supposed to alleviate bloating and balance the digestive tract. I have been taking it twice a day as suggested but haven’t really noticed any difference.

Goldfaded MD
Wake-Up Call
Size: Deluxe Trial

So I used this the very day I received it. There’s no scent and it’s a cream that you slather on at night after cleansing. I broke out the very next day on my chin. So I’m not sure if it’s the product or not but I chalked it up to the product and began my Mario routine to get the blemish gone.

Klorane Hair Mask
With Desert Date
Size: Full

I haven’t used this yet but I’m excited to! I have a hair appointment in 2 weeks and I’m saving it for after that. :-)

Glytone Hydrating Eye Cream
Size: Sample

Another product I haven’t used but I’m always in the market for a new eye cream. This one focuses on lines and wrinkles that I don’t really have butI do love the brand… so I’ll probably try it anyway.

Did you get a Blush box? Tell me what you received in the comments!

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My complexion is golden with Amazing Cosmetics VelvetMineral Pressed Powder Foundation!

Amazing Cosmetics VelvetMineral Pressed Powder Foundation in Medium Golden

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you will of course know that I love skincare. I sometimes play favorite with brands (ahem, Mario!) and express a deep love of scrubbing, but something working for Shiseido in the corporate office taught me and I’ve never forgotten is that foundation is the final part of skincare and the first step in makeup.

I have to confess, I don’t wear foundation. Ever. I might wear a Tinted Moisturizer (still loving Nars Pure Radiant) but I never, ever wear foundation. I don’t have a need. I know how that sounds… but honestly, my mother is in her 60′s and doesn’t have wrinkles! If she wore sun protection back in her 20′s, she wouldn’t even have a spot. I have worn sun protection for much of my life.

Hell, I worked for two international cosmetic companies that are famous for their sun care! I still swear by Clarins… but I digress. Foundation hasn’t ever been a priority. I swear by Amazing Cosmetics Concealer so when I was in the market to try a powder not too long ago, I bought their VelvetMineral Pressed Powder Foundation.

So the word foundation at the end scared me. I mean, did that imply heavy? The lovely Tyler at Sephora on 34th Street swore this stuff wouldn’t feel heavy and would feel silky. She was right. This powder has medium coverage, which honestly is perfect for me. It’s dense enough to cover enlarged pores on my nose and a fading blemish (UGH!) but is so fine that you don’t feel like or even look like you’re wearing powder.

One thing I love about Amazing is their “no skin tone left behind” philosophy. I have very gold skin. Not olive. Not Pink. A very yellow undertone and my biggest issue is large pores in the summer and bags under my eyes. I need a powder that isn’t going to feel caked on and heavy but is going to help minimize those problem areas while working with the yellow.

This stuff works for me. It’s paraben free, allows my skin to still breathe while maintaining a certain amount of coverage. It’s a matte finish, which I like and can be pat on with a sponge or brushed on with a kabuki brush. It’s on the expensive side at $36 but there are a few areas where you need to splurge and complexion enhancing products are one of them.

And in case you haven’t tried their concealer yet, try it! It’s the BEST concealer out there! :-)

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Get hot lips with Buxom’s Katie Lip Gloss

Buxom Katie Lip Gloss

And with a new year, and new goals come some old habits too hard to break. Like say, searching for the perfect pink lip gloss. Still searching… and our latest contender comes from Buxom. I got my hands on a sample of Buxom’s Full Bodied Lip Polish from Sephora. The color was “Katie” – the “original pale pink”.

So I’m not really sure why this is a polish and not a gloss. It promises to make your lips plump, tingly and shimmery. And I can 100% say it does 2 of those.

I’m not totally there on the whole plumping thing. I don’t want to tingle… well I do… but not all the time. This polish didn’t exactly tingle as much as it felt like that muscle stuff, icy hot. It felt JUST LIKE THAT only on your lips. And you know something? I really didn’t like it.

BUT I completely loved the color! It really is a perfect pale pink. That said, the gloss has lasting power. It lasted on me through 2 cups of coffee and toast about 3 1/2 hours. And my lips were icy hot that entire time.

Buxom’s Lip Polish is $19 and they have tingle free versions… I just didn’t get one of those for free. :)

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Fragrance Friday: Escada Cherry in the Air

Escada Cherry in the Air

I have a definite preference of types of fragrances. I like them fruity, but not too fruity, light floral, Amber, vanilla but not sickeningly vanilla… and Escada isn’t a normal brand for me. But I received a sample of their Limited Edition Cherry in the Air fragrance and I tried it.

I kind of spritzed then didn’t think about it until a woman ringing me up at CVS asked what I was wearing. So I told her and shrugged that off. Until checking out of a specialty food store, the woman behind me asked the same question.

Cherry in the Air is obviously a fruity, cherry fragrance but the heart of the fragrance is marshmallow and Coconut Orchid. The base is woody – which I normally despise but the woody base, warm middle and fruity top really blend well and make for a super attractive juice.

The bottle is simple but the art on the box… is so adorable and I can’t believe I’m admitting this because I never buy a perfume after receiving a sample… but I’m totally heading to Ulta to purchase a bottle.

If you want to buy one, you can too at Ulta for $74.

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Rimmel Scandalized me with the new Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I’ve moaned and groaned about it. I’ve tried to grow them. And I try new mascaras like a mascara whore but the truth of the matter is, I have not yet found a mascara that gives me that long and lush look I pray for. Instead I’m left with blonde, short and stubby lashes. That are straight. STRAIGHT! The hair on my head… wavy. My eyelashes, straight. Seriously, someone messed up the order. Just sayin’.

Anyhoo… I am on a Rimmel kick. I tried one mascara and I loved it. It was natural looking but still pumped up my lashes a bit. The black didn’t absorb into the blonde of my lashes… LOVED it. So when I saw a new Rimmel Mascara Called Scandaleyes Retro Glam. I was interested.

I did hesitate. I’m a stickler for mascara wands. I like ‘em big (get your mind out the gutter!). Fat, voluminous mascara wands are the only thing I can really count on for lushness. This wand was hourglass shaped. I debated. I walked around CVS with it, then decided to get it. Why not.

Oy Vey. Even with wiping the wand, I get clumps. The packaging said… NO CLUMPS. I get clumps after 1 coat and I definitely need more than 1 coat on these skinnies.

I’m probably going to go back and get the other one I had (I have NO idea what the name is!) from Rimmel. Very sad. I so wanted this to work out…

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Organix has quenched my parched hair!

Organix Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo
Organix Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Conditioner

I’ve been on quite the hiatus. I know it’s been a long time and I’ve posted my woe as me story about infertility but I am getting back into the groove in 2014 so here we go…

My favorite drugstore haircare brand Organix has released a few new editions to their line. I picked up a bunch of stuff from CVS and the first I’m excited to try is called Organix Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner.

For dry, damaged hair, the shampoo and conditioner have sea minerals and algae that help hydrate and heal as well as Sea Kelp to soften brittle hair. Both products are scented with a very soft, beachy scent. It’s very clean and fresh smelling and it’s not overpowering at all.

The conditioner is very creamy and very hydrating. I felt an immediate softening to my color treated Keratin-ed hair and there was a noticeable lightness to my hair despite the feeling of a creamy conditioner.

As usual, the products are $7.99 each and available at your local drugstore.

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Getting back in the swing of things: Ballet Beautiful Cardio Fat Burn

I am not going to lie. It’s been a rough few months with a roller coaster ride of emotions and spectacularly anti-climatic ending. The end of anything is always transitional but the end of your desperate willingness to have baby #2 without a pregnancy is beyond words. I didn’t choose this ending, this path. I have a lot of pent up anger and agression, sadness and pathetic hope and I’m a firm believer that stagnant energy like this is bad.

So after noticing that one of my favorite ballet workouts had a new “fat burn” DVD, I ordered it and tried it over the weekend. I have to be honest, Ballet Beautiful is a great workout but I wasn’t getting a good sweat from it and I felt like I needed that burn, so I haven’t done them in a long while.

That is not the case with this workout. The total workout is about an hour and you do Cardio intervals mixed in with Toning exercises. The toning sections cover the arms, inner thighs, abs.

You start off with a quick warm up and stretch, then go into the longest Cardio section, then abs. Back to Cardio then arms… you get the idea. By the end o the workout, my calves and thighs were aching.

I’m happy to report that I’m a delightful shade of sore today. I feel like my body was worked and I sweat – a lot! If you think Ballet is easy and there’s no power to this, I’d point you to this workout to show you how wrong you are!

If you want to purchase Ballet Beautiful Cardio Fat Burn, you can do so at Amazon or Target for about $10.

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Personal Post: Empty

I have been quiet for some time now on this blog. Writers block always comes at the most unexpected times. And I have certainly felt quite blocked in terms of any sort of writing. Whether it’s my book, this blog or my journal, the empty pages stare back at me when I try to empty my head of the many thoughts that is filling my brain.

For the past 2 years, Andrew and I have been trying to conceive #2. I had a third micarriage in late May of this year and after that we went for help with the doctor that helped me carry Drew to term.

While trying to conceive Drew, we were getting pregnant but experiencing miscarriages. This time, things were different. We weren’t getting pregnant. Until that May. But it turned out I was “barely pregnant” and miscarried days after finding out.

Over the past half a year, I have tried pills (Clomid) for a few cycles along with an IUI – Intra Uterine Insemination. They take your husband’s sperm and place it with a catheter directly through your cervix and into your uterus. I’ve injected myself with Follistim to create more follicles and therefore more of a chance to get pregnant. I’ve injected myself with drugs to stop me from ovulating so the follicles can get to be the perfect size and I’ve even injected myself with other drugs to help me release all the follicles at once.

I’ve done about 10 IUI’s.

And I am not pregnant.

This month, I experienced such discomfort, fevers and pain in my uterus when sitting, walking or doing anything that when I saw my doctor for our second IUI of this month, he had to abort that plan and treat a raging bacterial infection.

I don’t know why my body is failing me and hearing my doctor tell me that on paper, there is no reason why I’m not pregnant really doesn’t help.

We don’t want to go into debt to have a second baby and therefore IVF is out of the question. But there’s an emptiness there. A sadness and disappointment that I can’t give my husband another baby. An anger that everything I do in life is met with hardship and strife and nothing I ever get comes easy. I have to fight for everything.

And usually, I’m determined. But my body is tired. And my heart is broken. I’m empty. And uninspired. I’m angry at God. At my body. I don’t understand and I can’t go through another month with black and blues all over my stomach. I would rather put my money, my time and my attention to my son.

So it looks like having a second baby is something I’ll never have. And I have to admit, it’s going to take me some time to accept this. I’m not great at giving up. I’m not wonderful at accepting defeat. I’m a sore loser and this defeat will sting.

One day, I hope to know why God chose this path for me. This amount of disappointment and sadness. But I won’t appease him now by saying that I understand. I don’t. But maybe, one day I will.

I’m going to move forward and focus on the love of my life – my son, my husband and love fully, live happy and find contentment somewhere. I’m lucky that I have Drew. I know better than anyone how many women have to give up without ever conceiving a child of their own and I have that.

I guess it was selfish to want more.

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Where in the world have I been?

A few weeks ago, I woke up and felt like I couldn’t open my eyes. I thought I was super tired but then I realized that my eyes were pretty much swollen shut. It was terrible. It lasted about a day, then went away.

The next week, same day… same thing happened.

And then this week, same day, same thing happened.

My eyelids get so enlarged that it’s not only difficult to see, it’s hard to do much of anything. Turns out Honey and Bee Pollen are big ingredients in cosmetics right now… and I am highly allergic to anything that stings. Like anaphylactic shock allergic. SO… Yep.

That’s where I’ve been. Hazard of the blog is trying new products all the time. Guess I should start to read the ingredients though.

I’ll be back this week! Starting tomorrow with some goodies!

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Can you see my radiance? FAB (First Aid Beauty) Facial Radiance Polish has me glowing!

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish

So last week I won a First Aid Beauty collection that was valued at $96… and I was so thrilled to receive it! Particularly because the collection is focused on providing radiance to the skin. I love that word radiance… it implies even, glowy skin, doesn’t it? Sigh…

The first product I tried, of course, was the scrub. You know I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! It says that it’s a “daily exfoliator” so I expected something light and I was right. There’s really no scent to the scrub and it’s creamy base is filled with nut shell powder to slough off dead skin.

What I love is that it’s gentle enough to use on an everyday basis. I love to scrub and the more abrasive scrubs really can’t be used everyday or mayhem in the form of redness and pimples all over your face ensues. This stuff is so gentle but incredibly effective and without nasty parabens and sulfates, which of course makes happy. :-)

First Aid Beauty says this stuff is dermatologist tested and can be used on sensitive skin… and I’d actually believe them. This stuff is that gentle. My skin has been smooth and clear for the past 6 days that I have used it.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is $24 and can be purchased at Sephora.

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