Friday, January 31, 2014

NOTD: Cocoa Cabana by Le Métier de Beauté

Cocoa Cabana's name promises warmer climes and tropical drinks, which made it a perfect choice for my week of ice and sleet storms.  On the plus side, Tuesday and Wednesday were off days for me due to the inclement weather, but on the down side, I'm not sure my feet have warmed up yet.  It probably didn't help that I was outside in my thinly soled house shoes taking these pictures :-)
That's not snow, it's solid ice, which I haven't seen in over 10 years.
Part of the Fall 2012 "Cocoa Crazed" collection, I received Cocoa Cabana ($18) as part of Le Métier de Beauté's February VIP subscription box, which I'll be showing you more of next week.  It's a lovely lighter golden brown cream, and since I have a thing for brown creams, puts a little jump in my step.  I've also decided that brown is one of the dominant winter colors, at least based on how my yard looks, so it's quite appropriate despite the warm weather name.
The formula was easy to work with and I really liked the brush, which seemed to help with getting a straighter edge along the cuticle line.  Speaking of which, my cuticles and hands in general are suffering big time from these winter conditions.  I don't know how those of you in live in cold weather climates do it.  I may have found a holy grail item for conditions like these, but want to give it a few days before I make my decision and post about it.  What do you use for winter ravaged hands and nails?
The dogs main interest was in licking the ice. Fortunately, no tongues got stuck.
 Linking up with The Nail Files hosted by Jennie at Well Shut the Front Door!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Eco-Emi: Pamper Yourself

January's Eco-Emi features items designed to pamper yourself from head to toe for pure relaxation.  I can roll with that.  By the end of my work week I'm usually a bit deflated and looking for some serious R&R....So let's take a closer look!
I wish I had a great bathtub to soak away my worries in, but I don't.  Consequently, products like the Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Foam Bath Soak in Tangerine & Grapefruit get used as foot soaks when I'm giving myself a pedicure.
I do find citrus scented products to be energizing and refreshing, so I'll be giving this one a try very soon.  Sample value is $3.29. 
According to a card provided in my box, Sweet Riot supports fair trade and sourcing directly in Latin America, which directly supports a better life for farming families through fair prices and direct trade.  These dark chocolate squares got eaten immediately and were delicious, and sample value was $1.
The sole makeup item this month was a lovely pink lip gloss called Love Struck from Marie Natie Natural Cosmetics.  I've yet to find a natural cosmetic line lip gloss that I thought was stellar, but my initial impression of Love Struck is very positive.
I love the way it feels on, nonsticky but with some substance, and am pleased that it does provide some color.  Marie Natie is a Canadian company and the full sized gloss goes for $18 CAD, so these are on the pricier side.  I'm estimating sample value at $3.
There were quite a few skincare items this month, starting with a set of foils from Derma|e's Evenly Radiant line.   I received a cleanser, night cream, and dark circle eye creme.  This formula features Vitamin C and a host of other antioxidants in order to even out skin tone, promote skin clarity, and boost radiance.  I like that I received several products, as it does have give a better feel for the line.  Sample value for all 3 foils is $3.65.
More skincare items came from a brand called Herbalista MD.  Based on what I could find at their etsy shop, I received the trial sized sample of the Organic African Black Soap Acne & Razor Bump Kit, which is $5.95.  Both items are rather small, but I'm looking forward to trying them out. 
I also received a sweet little Chocolate Raspberry Soy Candle.  It's small, but does have a realistic scent that is not overly sweet.  Sample value is $.70. 

Is it strange that I get excited about things like laundry detergent or cleansers in general?  Because I do, and I'm liking how the Natural Flower Power in Lavender smells.  This all natural cleanser is antibacterial, antifungal, and hypoallergenic, plus it contains a blend of therapeutic grade essential oils.  Cool.  Sample values is $.57
Last is an item from my neck of the woods - a natural sea sponge from the Gulf of Mexico.  Sample value is $1.10, which brings the value of the entire box to $19.26, slightly higher than my $15 purchase price.  I'm happy with the items and always enjoy the new discoveries that Eco Emi brings my way:-)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cashmere Hydra-Crème Lipstick by Le Métier de Beauté

Cashmere is the second of the new Hydra-Crème lipsticks by Le Métier de Beauté that I acquired a few months back.  Similar in color to Sahara but with a more mauve cast, it's also the one I'm less enamored with color wise.  I think the slightly gray cast (mauve has a gray undertone) makes it less wearable for me than the warmer toned Sahara.  I've found a few ways around that, however, which I'll share.
The formula of the Hydra-Crème lipsticks is lovely:  smooth, moisturizing, and very comfortable to wear.  They are buildable in color, taking a few swipes to give a more opaque look.  I'm interested in getting a  darker color in this line as I really do like the formula!
To make Cashmere more wearable for my complexion, I've been wearing it over a darker lipliner like Urban Decay's Naked.  You can see here that they are similar in tone, but the slightly darker combo of Naked + Cashmere works better for me.  I also like the intensely creamy finish, and find that it extends the length of wear as well.  I somewhat stumbled upon this combo, as I originally thought I'd just use Naked to outline my lips, but it was obviously darker. 
Cashmere and UD's Naked blended together
The Hydra-Crème lipsticks by Le Métier de Beauté are $25 each, and I'm eyeing Mondrian or Butterfield 8 next:-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette by Wet 'n Wild: Review and Swatches

Comfort Zone seems to have been the 8 pan eyeshadow palette that put drugstore brand Wet 'n Wild in league with big dog, considerably more expensive brands, at least as far as eyeshadows go.  I've had Comfort Zone for over a year but never delved into it sufficiently until this past week, when I chose it as part of The Monday Club.  The Monday Club is composed of a group of similarly makeup obsessed women, and we chose the items we want to wear for the week and stick only to those items.  It's a great way to shop within your own stash and show some love to neglected items, plus it's helping me stick with my no-buy!
The shadows are not named (con), but boy are they smooth, pigmented, and easy to work with (pros)!  They are also a bit on the shimmer rich side (con for me), but somehow they still managed to look good on my less than smooth lids (pro).   They have a complexity that goes beyond flat color, which helps.
I found every shade wearable, with the exception of the last color, the duochrome red with greenish teal shift.  While I love the concept of it, I'm not sure it looked good on me.  I played up the green  shift by applying Urban Decay's Loaded along my upper lash line.  I used Maybelline's Tough as Taupe as a base, which seemed to cut down on the redness, but also lent a bit of patchiness.
The greens and browns were my favorites, no real surprise there.  Really lovely colors.
Wet 'n Wild does seem to suffer with inconsistency in quality with some of their other eyeshadow palettes, but Comfort Zone definitely lived up to it's positive reputation.  Factor in the $4.99 price, and you've got a winner!
I'm not sure if hell is freezing over or what, but I've got the day off due to an ice/sleet/snow storm here along the Gulf Coast.  That's pretty unheard of for this area.  What a crazy winter the entire country is having!

Monday, January 27, 2014

L'Oreal Rose On and On and Lilac Ever After Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stains

Marketed as a next generation lip stain, these Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stains are supposed to combine the lasting color of a  lip stain with the high shine of a lip gloss.  Best of both worlds, right?  I've got mixed feelings about them....but a bit of background first.
Rose On and On
These are supposedly dupes for the more expensive Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains.  L'Oreal is the parent company of YSL, so that could very well be, as we do occasionally see similar products released across the brands at different price points.  The reviews I've seen comparing the Caresse Wet Shine Stains with the Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains do say they have similar formulas, but the less expensive L'Oreal version has less of a color impact.
Based on my experience with the two I've got, Rose On and On and Lilac Ever After, I'd say the sheerness claims are true.  One layer gives a sheer gloss look, but successive layers (I averaged 2-3 layers when I wore them) build up color, although they still look sheer to me. 
Rose On and On, Lilac Ever After (2 layers each)
Stain left behind
On the plus side, they do have a glossy shine and I found them fairly long wearing at 3-4 hours.  They also leave a slight stain, as evidenced by my arm swatch after I wiped them off.  I also found them comfortable to wear, although I would not call them hydrating despite their 30% water content or the Omega 3, Vitamin E, and Argan oil in them.  My lips did feel slightly rough the next day, so I'd say they are a bit drying, although I couldn't tell while I wore them.
Rose On and On
On the negative side, they don't really look like the colors in the tube, and the difference on the lips between the two colors I got is slight.  Again, applying multiple layers helps deepen the color, so I would put on a layer, do my brows, put on another layer, apply mascara, put on another layer....you get the idea. 
Lilac Ever After
I'd say overall the positives outweigh the negatives for me and I do like them.  I bought mine from Ulta when they were having a BOGO offer, which made them less expensive then their normal $9.99.  If you've tried these, what did you think?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Accountability Sunday: Resolution Progress for the Week v.4

We are approaching the end of January (that flew by), and I've been practicing my resolutions now for 26 days.  Habits are formed through repetition, or if you want to get scientific about it, when our synaptic pathways get worn in through repeated behavior.  So how close to forming a habit am I with my resolutions?
  • eat better:  start cooking more and eating out less
  • exercise more: practice yoga/Pilates again, use a standing desk at work
  • declutter house
  • no buy on makeup/beauty items Jan-March:  can develop a wish list and purchase one or two items from it in April
I've definitely cooked more and eaten out less this month, so that's good!  I wasn't in the mood to cook this week, however, so I relied a lot of some nutrition bars that I recently bought for breakfast.  I'll be making slow cooker oatmeal again today, as I don't want to get in the habit of relying on processed food, even if it is relatively healthy.
The first thing of I thought of when I unwrapped the Raw Revolution Spirulina Dream bar was "Soylent Green".  I'm guessing that 9 out of 10 people who read this post will have no idea of what Soylent Green is.  I won't ruin it for you, but if you don't know, this is worth a look.  It got imprinted on my mind many years ago.
Fortunately, I like the taste of Spirulina Dream, even though it doesn't look very appetizing!
I'm happy to report that exercising no longer feels forced and I actually look forward to it each morning.  I've been researching scoliosis and exercises to help out with the muscle tightness I've been experiencing on the right side of my body, and everything I've read indicates I'm on the right track with the yoga and Pilates.
The Pilates Power Ball Sculpt Workout s kicking my butt - I still can't do all the reps for each position, but I can tell I'm getting stronger.  The exercise depicted on the cover actually reinforced what I've been reading regarding the muscle imbalances that result from a misaligned spine, as the muscles on my "loose" side were very sore afterwards, almost like a muscle pull or spasm. 
I'm also continuing to make small strides in decluttering my house.  This week I tackled the area in my bathroom where my skin and hair care items have taken over.  Kind of like Tribbles.  I'm just full pop culture references from the 60's and '70's this week, aren't I?
I also went through all my open mascaras and threw out more than a few.  Here's the combination of the mascaras and items I weeded out of the mess that was in my bathroom.  Some were expired, some were empty or nearly so, and some I didn't care for.
Now you know why I'm on a no-buy until April :-)  Speaking of, my no-buy is going strong, although two items are being added to my wish list:  Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush and Clinique's Cheek Pop Blush.  I'm not sure what colors I want in either yet, but I've got plenty of time to decide.
Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat (source Hourglass)

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Peach Pop (Source Clinique)
Are you happy with how your January has gone?  I'm pleased that some new behaviors do appear to be taking hold, although I know backsliding can happen in a heartbeat.  So far, so good though!