Pure Beauty? Pur Minerals Now at Ulta

Intrigued by my foray into mineral makeup (bareMinerals) a couple of weeks ago, I decided to explore the Pur Minerals brand that is now being sold at Ulta.

The first item I tried was the 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15 ($24.50 US). This is a very nice product. It is a pressed powder that glides on smoothly. It is made of, “pure mineral pigment ground to the smoothest texture and bound with soothing Shea Butter and Vitamin E”. This formula is good for my combination skin. It doesn’t cause breakouts or leave dry patches.

I also really liked the Mineral Eye Defining Pencil with Smudger ($16.50 US). I tried the Smoky Graphite pencil, a nice dark gray. This is a “state of the art, waterproof, smudge resistant eye color. Glides on easily and resists bleeding even when wet.” And it did stay on all day.

The third item I’m reviewing is the Mineral Lip Tint SPF 15 ($16.50 US) in Sandy Quartz, a pinky-peach color. The color is natural and pretty, but the feel of the product was a little dry. Some of the ingredients are Olive Oil, Mango Seed Extract, and Cocoa Seed Butter, so it should be a little more hydrating.

Another thing I really enjoy about mineral makeup is that after wearing for a while, my skin seems to improve. It becomes clearer and glows, even when I’m not wearing it.

I think the next time I try a mineral makeup it will be a drugstore brand. It would be nice to find a product that has the same benefits, at a more affordable price.    

Fun Fragrances From Gwen Stefani — Harajuku Lovers

Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers

In the 90’s, I was a huge fan of No Doubt, mostly because of the irrepressible Gwen Stefani. She was tough and cool — a completely strong, sexy woman.

She still is. Her music is pop now, not the cool alternative songs she used to sing, and so not much to my taste. But her style is original. And so are her fragrances.

I think her first fragrance L.A.M.B. is nice, but a bit understated for Gwen. her new fragrance line, Harajuku lovers, is inspired by the trendy Harajuku shopping district in Tokyo. The perfume decanters are in the shape of cute dolls and are named G, Love, Lil’, Angel, Music and Baby.

I have tried them all, except for Lil’ Angel, which wasn’t at the Ulta I visited. I really liked G, which is floral and fruity and Baby which is soft and musky. Love is very floral and Music is sweet. They are all really distinctive, and I would recommend trying them out– maybe there’s a Harajuku Lover for you!   

Here’s a short description of each:

G —  Notes: Mandarin, Coconut, Apple Skin, Jasmine Sambac, Freesia, Magnolia, Coconut Cream, White Sandalwood, and Cottonwoods
Love — Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pomelo, Peach, Bamboo Leaf, Watery Peony, Living Hydroponic Lace Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Nectarine Blossom, Creamy Paperwhites, Egyptian Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Musk, and Blond Wood.
Lil’ Angel —  Notes: Raspberry, Cranberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, Pear Blossom, Violet, Rose, Lollipop Accord, Hinoki Wood, and Crystal Amber.
Music —  Notes: Clementine, Pear, Jasmine Sambac, Sweet Pea, Honeysuckle, Vanilla, Skin Musk, and Sleek Woods.
Baby —  Notes: Freesia, Bergamot, White Rose, Orange Flower, Tiare, Jasmine, White Musk, Soft Woods, Heliotrope, Vanilla, and Violet.

L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara — Natural Ingredients, Wow Lashes

L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara
L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara

Mmmm mascara. I do love it. Especially when it makes my lashes longer and fuller and doesn’t smudge. L’Oreal’s new Bare Naturale Mascara ($9.99 US at Walgreens) does this, with the added benefits of natural ingredients.

Actually, I was quite surprised with this product. With a name that has the word “Naturale” in it, I automatically think that my lashes will appear bare.  So I chose the darkest color, Blackest Black, for a better chance at the dramatic look I like. When I sweep it on, my lashes instantly appear longer and thicker.  This mascara is a good day look, but not too natural. There is a bit of drama there!

The formula for the Bare Naturale mascara includes jojoba oil, vitamin E and aloe to condition lashes. L’Oreal claims that, “the innovative formula contains 86% natural-origin ingredients, shine-enhancing minerals and is both parabin- and fiber-free.” The brush is made with natural bristles that are not supposed to tug on lashes.

I like that the cosmetics companies are leaning towards natural ingredients. It makes me feel a little better about covering my face in lotions and powders, and especially mascara. Mascara defines the eye and gives a glamorous look. And now it is good for you too! Yay!

Well Hello, Bright Eyes…Almay’s New Line

Almay Bright Eyes Eye Base + Concealer
Almay Bright Eyes Eye Base + Concealer
Almay Bright Eyes Liner/Highlighter Duo
Almay Bright Eyes Liner/Highlighter Duo

With my kids and husband back in school, I am getting less sleep doing more work. So my eyes are looking kind of tired. At forty, I do not want to look tired. That’s why I was drawn to Almay’s new Bright Eyes line.

The claim for this line is that it, “instantly refreshes and enhances your eyes. Now, you can always have the natural radiance that comes with a great night’s sleep.” The main brightening ingredients in the line are white tea and marine extract, whatever that is. 
 There are three products in the line, the Liner/Highlighter Duo, the Eye Base + Concealer and the Eye Shadow. I purchased the Liner/Highlighter Duo in Dark Chocolate/Shell and the Eye Base + Concealer in Light.

I usually wear black, purple or navy eyeliner and I usually wear eye shadow as liner. I haven’t purchased a dark brown eyeliner in years. It’s nice, though. The eye liner is a little hard and tugs at my eye lids a bit, but I like the color, it’s a rich dark brown.

The highlighter on the other end is very soft.  On my first use, I didn’t see any color when I used it. Then I looked at myself in natural light and noticed a soft, light pink shimmer. Very nice. I use the highlighter below my browbones, in the inner corners of my eyes and on my cheekbones. Can we say youthful glow?!       

The concealer is wonderful. You sqeeze the tube and the product comes out through the brush on top. I dab it on then rub it in gently with my finger. It instantly brightens up my eyes. I also use it as an eye shadow base and I have to say, my shadow seems to stay on longer.

If you are looking for a youthful eye look at a reasonable price (both were $8.99 at Walgreens), check this line out.

Hey All! Enter my 100th Blog Post Giveaways! I will be giving away products from It Cosmetics, Yes to Carrots and EcoTools! To enter, just leave a comment on ANY of my posts between 4/26 – 5/2. I will draw 3 names on Sunday 5/3/09 and notify the winners! To see exactly what I am giving away, check out my post http://tinyurl.com/dgnxda. Good Luck!  

Oh No, Dry Skin — Say Yes To Carrots!

I love going to Walgreens. It’s the best of both worlds. You can get two for one reasonably priced cosmetics and discover higher end organic products such as Yes To Carrots, a skincare and haircare line.

Yes To Carrots claims to, “combine the fresh, unadulterated goodness of organic fruits and vegetables with the purifying and moisturizing properties of 26 minerals harvested from the ancient world’s most renowned spa- the Dead Sea”. It also contains beta carotene and it’s “anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties assist the bodies natural process in enhancing your glow.”

I have tried two of these products, the C Through the Night Moisturizing Cream and the C Through the Dry Spell Deliciously Rich Body Butter. Both  of these products are very rich creams that smell faintly of carrots. The night cream is very luxurious and although my skin can get a little oily, it didn’t feel greasy at all.

The body butter is also nice, especially on damp skin after a shower. It holds in the moisture nicely and makes my skin feels very smooth and soft.

The Yes To Carrots line has recently been joined by two other lines, Yes To Tomatoes and Yes To Cucumbers. The Yes To Carrots line is for normal to dry skin, Yes To Tomatoes is for oily to combination skin, and Yes To Cucumbers is for sensitive to normal skin.

I would say check these lines out if you are into natural, organic products.

A Mineral Make-up Virgin No More — bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals

bareMinerals 4 Piece Introductory Kit
bareMinerals 4 Piece Introductory Kit

I don’t know why I’ve been so hesitant to try mineral make-up. Everyone raves about it. It has changed lives, well, at least it has changed the look of people’s skin.

The honest truth is that I love liquid and mousse make-up. I love slathering on a creamy potion that matches my skin tone and evens out my skin’s texture. The idea of exchanging my Cover Girl TruBlend (what I use now) for powder just hasn’t appealed to me.

But since I am now blogging about cosmetics, I think it’s fair that I touch on many of the trends, including mineral make-up.

I decided to try the most popular brand, bareMinerals, while browsing through Ulta last weekend. They had a 4 piece introductory set on sale for $15.00 USD. “Wow, what a bargain”, I thought to myself. And it is. The set includes two .03 oz foundations, a .03 oz mineral veil, and a mini kabuki brush.

I purchased the Light kit which includes the Light and Fairly Light foundations. Ulta was nice enough to color match my skin and the Fairly Light was my perfect color. I of course tried it as soon as I went home. The steps included are:

1.  Swirl a small amount of bareMinerals in the lid with the brush until all the bareMinerals are tucked into the bristles.

2. Tap away excess. There should be no visible bareMinerals on the outside of the brush.

3. Buff bareMinerals onto the skin in a circular motion, starting on the outside of your face near the cheekbone and swirling as you go. Buff until you are satisfied with the coverage.

I followed the directions. The look I got on the first day was glowy, but a bit powdery. I have used this product all week and I tried different ways to apply it. I used it with primer, without primer. With the mineral veil and without the mineral veil. I think I have become pretty handy with the brush, but I have noticed that my skin looks and feels much drier than it did in the beginning of the week.

So my verdict is…still out. I like the glow I get using the minerals. But I don’t like the dry feeling or the work it takes to apply it perfectly. I will try it again in a week or two to see if I like it better.

In the meantime, if any of you wonderful readers have any tips or tricks or another mineral product you love, please leave a comment. I am keeping an open mind!

Long Lashes That Don’t Smudge? Try Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point Mascara!

Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point Mascara
Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point Mascara

I love me some mascara! I love long, thick, eye-opening lashes and many of the modern mascaras give me just the look I want. Not natural, or sweet. I’m 40. I need WOW eyes, 24-7.

It wasn’t always like that for me. I used to hate mascara. It would clump and run. And not really make my tiny lashes look much bigger then they were. But so many new, wow formulas and brushes are afoot, and that makes my eyelashes much happier. 

One good example of a great new mascara is Too Faced Lash Injection Pin Point Mascara. This is a mascara with a smaller wand that gets even the puniest lashes and lengthens them.

The cool thing about the Lash Injection Line from Too Faced is that “Lash Injection Pin Point’s exclusive 3D polymers build waterproof tubes around each lash that expand and stretch far, far beyond the natural lash while the sleek pinpoint precision brush separates and curls for the most divinely detailed, healthy lash look imaginable. Like paraffin dip treatments, moisture is locked into the lash by each tube, and lashes stay conditioned and hydrated.”

The tubes are cool, but difficult to remove. You need a good, oil based remover to get it all off. Lancome’s Bi-Facil is a good one. But this mascara WILL NOT SMUDGE, so it is worth the work to remove.

Priced at 19.50 USD this mascara is a bit of a splurge, but it is worth it if you like long lashes. Another good skinny-brushed mascara at a cheaper price is Maybelline’s Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Waterproof Mascara. This one is priced for $7.29 USD at Walgreens. It also grabs all of your lashes and is waterproof so it rarely smudges. Both of these mascaras are worth checking out if this is the look you are going for!

FFF’s Skin Care Musts — Hydration and Protection

Hope In A Jar SPF 20
Hope In A Jar SPF 20

Luckily, I have been blessed with pretty good skin. But as I get older (40!), I have noticed my skin looking a bit dull. So I have turned to — gulp — anti-aging moisturizers.

This is new to me. In the past I have only worried about SPF in my moisturizer, but now I’m looking for ingredients that will keep my skin looking fresh and slow the onset of wrinkles. Yes, I am vain.

Oh, well.

So to begin my quest I am reviewing two anti-aging products with sunscreen. Philosophy’s Hope In A Jar SPF 20 ($45.00 USD) and L’Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15 Lotion (20.99 USD).   

I really like the classic Hope In A Jar. It is a heavy cream, but it makes the skin very soft and glowing. So I was really excited to hear of the Hope In A Jar SPF 20. But would it be the same wonderful cream, with the added benefit of SPF? Not really. It does have a little of the lavender scent of the original, but with a slight sunscreen smell to it. When I first put it on, it is very greasy and it never really sinks it, just gets less greasy over time. My skin is combination and still breaks out sometimes. This has not helped and I seem to be getting more breakouts.

As much as I wanted to like the Hope In A Jar SPF 20, I don’t agree with the claims that it “hydrates the skin, provides a gentle exfoliation, and helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and tone.” If it didn’t make my skin so oily, I might over time find that it does all it claims. But I will not be continuing using this product to find out.

L'Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15
L'Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15 Lotion

With this next product, the L’Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15, I did something crazy. I bought it without trying it first. I was hoping that it would be a light lotion that would soften my skin, make it glow and protect it. Tall order, yes, but this product delivers.

This lotion claims that it “reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, combats the signs of aging, helps to even skin tone and texture, helps to firm and tone skin, helps moisturize dry skin”. I don’t really have wrinkles yet (knock on wood), but this lotion does reduce my pores and makes my skin glowy, without leaving it greasy.  

I think the best advice I can give while looking for a skin product is to keep your skin type in mind. Having combination skin, I shouldn’t be looking for heavy creams. But as I’m aging, I do need to look for skin brighteners, pore minimizers and especially, SPF.

Ojon Revitalizing Mist — Frizzy Hair Fix

Ojon Revitalizing Mist
Ojon Revitalizing Mist


I was strolling through Ulta a couple of weeks ago, browsing through the cosmetics aisle, when I looked up and noticed that Ulta also has a pretty large haircare section. Touching my extremely frizzy hair, I made my way through the aisles and noticed that they had testers available. I stopped in front of the Ojon display, having read about it online, and sprayed some Revitalizing Mist leave in conditioner on my messy mane. I then ran my fingers through my hair and looked in a nearby mirror. Oh my! I couldn’t believe how soft, smooth and bouncy my straight, dark hair appeared. It looked fantastic!

I moved to Kansas City, Missouri from Portland, Oregon two years ago, and my hair hasn’t been the same. The humid summers and dry winters kill my hair. But the Ojon mist rescued it. It didn’t make it super shiny, but it looked very healthy.

What is this amazing mist made of? On the Sephora page it says that it is formulated with 100% pure Ojon palm nut oil. This oil is harvested in Central America and was originally used in the hair of native Central Americans to keep it healthy.

The price for this wonder product is $26.00 USD.  I would recommend the splurge if your hair is trouble like mine is!

New Beauty Products at Target Part 3 – JK Jemma Kidd

JK Jemma Kidd Front Cover Touch-Up Concealer


Possibly the most glamorous of the three new make-up lines at Target is JK Jemma Kidd. The pink and black packaging lends an old Hollywood feel to the products. The colors are very glamorous as well. There are lots of light, shimmering lip glosses as well as deeper lipsticks — which is the trend this fall. Also, there are many different eye shadows to choose from, including deep brights and soft neutrals. Kidd refers to the line as “catwalk-chic” and that’s a good description, I think.

The item that I really enjoyed is the JK Front Cover Touch-Up Concealer. I’m always on the look out for a great concealer with a little glow to it to camouflage my dark under eye circles. This one features Vitamin E to smooth and moisturize the under eye area. I also like the brush applicator that with a couple of clicks, enough product is distributed to be brushed on as needed.


JK Jemma Kidd Lip ID Color Adapt Lip Gloss

Another item that interests me is one that it not yet for sale. This is the JK Lip ID Color-Adapt Lip Gloss. Like the Smashbox O-Gloss, this product claims that it “reacts to natural lip PH for a completely individual, perfect color match” and that it is “non-tacky and hydrating; glides on transparent and colors lips naturally”.

As soon as this product becomes available (in 2-6 weeks according to the Target website) I will try it out. I like the Smashbox product okay, but the color is a little too neon pink for me. I am hoping that this color is more natural.

I hope you all enjoyed my breif forray into Target’s new make-up lines. I will be reviewing products more in depth in the future, so keep reading!!!