Merle Norman Brand Review and Spring Launches


Look at the elegant, classic packaging!  This is the brand Merle Norman. It was created 85 years ago and is only available through independently owned and operated Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios in the United States and Canada.

I was recently sent a selection of the products for my honest review.


I received the Skintelligent skincare system to test.  The line consists of a toner, cleanser and moisturizer.  The cleanser is exfoliating and it gives a rigorous scrub.  I don’t know if I would use this every day, because it is such a strong exfoliator. But, boy did it exfoliate and help reduce the size of my pores! I do like it and will use it a few times a week.  If you do like stronger exfoliation, this would be a great pick for you!

The toner, on the other hand, is very gentle.  It claims to protect against environmental stressors with probiotic technology. Extracts of Alpine Willowherb and Ginseng energize, hydrate and help tighten skin while reducing the appearance of pores. Together these ingredients leave skin refreshed and help absorption of serums and moisturizers. I do really like how this feels on, it doesn’t sting or irritate my sensitive skin and I will continue to use it everyday.

The moisturizer is nice as well.  This also protects against environmental stressors and contains  Elixir-IRTM and Resveratrol to help improve elasticity and texture.  I typically use a moisturizer with SPF in the day time, but I will use this at night more and see if I see any changes in my skin.

On to makeup!

IMG_0846IMG_0847 These are products from the spring 2018 collection.  There are other great products like a pink toned blush, an eye shadow quad and eye shadow sticks.

The Lasting Cheekcolor ($17 SRP) blush compact is gorgeous!  I love the holographic cover.  The shade above is Halo, a fresh peach shade.  It’s very pretty on.

Soft Touch Eye Pencil ($14 SRP) This pencil is very creamy and is easy to blend.  It comes in a new shade called Ocean Blue. It’s a pretty turquoise perfect for spring and summer.

Lip Pencil Plus ($14 SRP) This dual-function wood-clenched lip pencil is one versatile product, with 2/3 lip color and 1/3 lipliner. This is in a new shade Sweet Marmalade. This is one of my favorite makeup products from Merle Norman.  The lip liner is gorgeous and creamy, and stays put.  The lip color is creamier and blends nicely over the liner.  It also has shimmer so makes lips appear larger.  The line has a whole bunch of shades, so you can find a perfect one for you.  I love this color combo for spring and summer, but would love to try other shades!

Creamy Lipcolor ($15 SRP)  A supremely cushiony moisturizing formula which offers luxurious color in one creamy stroke! The newest shade is Gold Plated Bronze.

Lip Topper ($15 SRP)  This is another favorite from the collection.  A gloss which creates a shimmering, magical effect on lips. Available in shades Cosmic Rose & Sugar Crystals.

I also received a couple other favorites from the brand:

Fat Lash Mascara — Features a unique flat yet slightly curved brush designed to hug the curve of lashes, even those pesky fine lashes. Flake-, smudge- and transfer-proof formula separates while enveloping each lash to maximize its biggest potential.

I really like this.  It separates and defines lashes really nicely.  It also gives my short lashes volume and some length.  This is a great every day mascara!

Knockout Nudes palette — features ten sensational neutral shadows so you can explore looks from soft and romantic to sophisticated and dramatic. Includes ten shades. There’s a nude for every mood: Moonstone (matte), Rose Quartz (luminous), Gold Star (luminous), Smitten (matte), Caramel (matte), Bold as Brass (metallic), Beauty Mark (matte), Tiger Eye (metallic), Cosmic (luminous), Cafe Society (matte).

I don’t know if you can see from the photo, but I didn’t get the Beauty Mark shade (4th from the right). Instead it looks like a second Tiger Eye shade.  I think it’s just a mistake made when putting together the palette.  It’s still really pretty!  The shades are nice for everyday looks and blend really well.

Merle Norman Cosmetics can be found at a studio near you.  You can look on their website at

Have you tried Merle Norman?  What do you think?



Maybelline New York Color Sensational Matte Metallics and Powder Matte Lipsticks

I recently received some gorgeous Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipsticks to for my honest review.  I love Maybelline New York.  The products are really nice quality and affordably priced.

I want to focus my review on two of their lipsticks lines — the Color Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick and the Color Sensational Powder Matte Lipstick:


So pretty!  Doesn’t this make you want to play with lipstick? This is almost the full shade range of the Metallic Mattes ($7.49 USD).  I am only missing the shade Silk Stone.  The shades I have are from left to right — White Gold, Pure Gold, Copper Spark, Hot Lava, Copper Rose, Molten Bronze, Smoked Silver, Gunmetal and Serpentine.

Here are the swatches:



This give a very matte finish with a subtle metallic gleam. It feels comfortable on even though it is matte. It does have honey in it for hydration.

I really love most of these shades and can see myself wearing the first three. They will be especially gorgeous in the summer time  The others are a bit bold for me, but maybe for nights out.  But if you want a bold metallic matte, try one of the more fun colors like Copper Rose or Serpentine.


These are the shades available in the Color Sensational Powder Matte Lipstick ($7.49 USD).  These colors are cool, concrete colored shades: Cruel Ruby, Nocturnal Rose, Carnal Brown, Concrete Jungle and Smoky Jade.

Swatch time:


You can tell that this is an extreme matte finish. It goes on matte and stays matte for hours.   Cruel Ruby looked the best on me, which is strange because I usually only wear nudes and pinks.  This is a gorgeous shade, though.  Really rich.  I think I can pull it off because it is a matte.

I think both of these collections are really different and fun. I think that if you like unusual shades along with pretty reds and pinks, you will enjoy these lipsticks!

What’s your go to lipstick brand and shade?

Eva Gutowski + ColourPop Collab Review!


I have a ColourPop haul and review to share.  I just realized that the lip trio’s box is upside down.  Oopsies!  I have other photos that I will add below that hopefully won’t be as crazy!

I placed a ColourPop order a few weeks ago for items from the Eva Gutowski collaboration, plus a No Filter Concealer.  The were selling a bundle with the cheek duo, lip trio and one of the eye shadow quads for $35. I think I had a 20% off coupon and paid about $32 for everything including the concealer (+free shipping).

There, that’s a better photo!  This is the She’s a Beach Babe Lip Bundle.  It includes one Ulta Glossy Lip in Just Surfed (warm beige gloss drenched in silver and pink glitter) and two Ultra Blotted lips — Love Bite (soft pinky nude) and Party Wave (soft terracotta).

I love all of these colors.  I like lighter lip colors, and these are perfect for me.  This is the first time I’ve tried their Ulta Blotted formula.  I like it.  I’m not much of a matte lip girl, but the colors are really fresh, and the glossy lip is a good topcoat that helps with moisture.

This pretty palette is the Mermaid Glow Pressed Powder Face Duo.  I have lots of ColourPop eye shadow palettes, which have cardboard packaging without mirrors, so I was excited to see this is plastic and has a mirror!  It’s so cute and is great to pop in my purse.  I love having a mirror for on the go.

I think these shades may be better suited for a little deeper skin tones than mine (light).  but I do really like them.  The blush is a matte peach, and the highlighter is a soft golden champagne. So pretty! I think it will look amazing when I get my faux tan on this summee. (I have swatches of everything below).

IMG_0806IMG_0807There were two choices of eye shadows (two different bundles).  I chose the one with the cool toned palette Vacation Mode Pressed Powder Shadow Palette.  There is also a warm toned palette called It’s All Wild. That has orange and brown mattes and a copper gold metallic.  I have tons of orange and brown ColourPop shadows and I wanted to try a cooler toned palette.  And these colors are so pretty.  They are creamy powders that blend really well!

On to the swatches:IMG_0808

On the left is the concealer.  I will review that below.  Then the lip colors, blush and highlighter and eye quad colors.  Here’s close ups:

IMG_0809IMG_0810None of the powder products swatched very well on my arm, but they are pigmented on my face.

This bundle is not available any more, but you can purchase that products separately.


Last but not least, I did finally purchase the ColourPop No Filter Concealer.  The claim on this is, “Our lightweight, creamy concealer was formulated with soft blurring pigments to give you a creaseproof, matte finish. No filter needed.”

They have added a lot and renamed most of their concealers.  When I ordered it, it was called Fair Neutral 10, when I received it, it was called Light 12.  The shade is pretty good.  I might need one shade lighter.

I’ve used this a few times and I like it okay.  It does have a matte finish and it covers well.  I think I need to use it more, though, because it hasn’t left much of an impression on me. I’m not a fan of the applicator.  It’s kind of flat and scratchy.  I don’t know…meh.

I do love ColourPop as a brand.  Their products are mostly gorgeous and so affordable for the quality.

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think?  And, what’s your current fave ColourPop product?

BoxyCharm Subscription Box Review — April 2018



My April BoxyCharm finally arrived.  It was supposed to be here last week, but stopped moving on Friday.  I got it yesterday and I was so happy!

Boxycharm is just $21 a month for 5-6 beauty items, most of them full-sized.

Here is what I received:


I am so happy with this box — even though I will probably only use two or three of the items.  Spoilers were released saying that we would get 1 of 5 variations of the ColourPop palette.  I have 3 of the 5 that were shown, so I thought for sure I would receive one I had, but I got a new one (to me)!  And I really wanted the Element of Surprise!
Lets start with that:


First of all, I love the color purple.  The packaging on this is stunning! This is a pretty neutral palette with a couple of pops of color and a couple of shimmers/glitters. I think this will be amazing for all seasons.  I will do a palette review of this sometime — I’ll just add it to the pile of palettes I need to review!

img_0862.jpgThis is the other item I was really excited about.  I’ve used them once and like them okay,  they are a little larger than the blending and shadow brushes I usually use. I need to play with them more.  They are beautiful!  I love the colors and the little gems.  The brushes are P15, eyes shadow brush (pink) and the L34 Blend Beauty (purple).  The handles also say BoxyCharm, so they must be a collaboration.

img_0867.jpg I’m not sure about this.  I do have larger pores, but I think its due to aging.  And my pores are always larger during allergy season, so I don’t know if I want to mess with them.  We’ll see.  I might sell this on eBay.

img_0868.jpg This brand gets really good reviews.  But I can’t use this.  My brows are so dark their almost black.  I will pass it on to my daughter who is blond.  She will love it!


I have no idea what to do with this!  I found out a couple of months ago that we were getting MAC in a future box and I was so excited.  The issue is that I wear nude or light pink lip colors.  Plus, I don’t know who I could give this to — I don’t have any friends wh like Gothic purple lips!  Lol!  I’m sure someone could rock this, so I might sell it on eBay.

Next month the spoiler brands are Pretty Vulgar, Cover FX and Pur Cosmetics.  I like all of those brands.  The Pretty Vulgar is a pot of cream or gel eyeliner.  It’s super cute packaging.  I haven’t heard of the others yet, so we’ll see.  I think I’ll stay with BoxyCharm at least one more month.  Honestly, even thought it’s always an amazing value, I only use one or two of the products I get each month.

Do you subscribe to BoxyCharm?  What palette did you get this month?



Julep Maven April 2018 Subscription Box Review


I have been so busy with reviews that I haven’t had a chance to post my April Julep Maven box.

I have been a subscriber for 5 years now.  And I love it!  You don’t have to take a box each month, you can skip if you want to.  Which is so nice if I’m short a month or if I’m not feeling any of the items.  The cost is $24.99 a month ($19.99 a month with a 3-month subscription).

I also love that you can customize your box.  When I first started subscribing, I could choose from curated boxes, but now, I get to curate my own!  This month I chose the Way Butter Hydrating Lip Sheer in Macaroon and two shimmery nail polishes.  I also recieved a third polish (the reddish one) as a freebie!


This month had glittery polishes and the amazing lip butters!


I chose the colors Maribel (Caribbean Surf Iridescent Chrome) and Danielle (Cerulean Wave Duochrome).  The free polish wasn’t from this month’s collection, but it does fit in.  The shade is Lula (Pomegranate Multidimensional Glitter).  These are all gorgeous for spring and summer.  I wore Danielle last week and it is bright!


This is my favorite product this month.  They had these last summer or the one before and they had a different name.  So I have a couple in darker shades.  I really love this nude shade Macaroon.  It’s gorgeous for anytime of the year.  Plus it feels amazing on.  I love the gunmetal packaging, too.  The lid is magnetic so it clicks shut, which is so much fun.  This costs $20, or $16 if you’re a Maven.  Being a Maven gives you a discount in everything you purchase.  It’s a better deal to subscribe, though, and you can choose one or two of these in a monthly box.  You can subscribe here.

Are you a Maven?  What did you choose this month?


Fresh and New Spring Makeup Part 2

Happy Sunday!  It’s snowing in Kansas City, the second weekend in a row!  We don’t get a lot of snow, so this is pretty irritating.  My daughter’s lacrosse game has been cancelled again — she’s still waiting to play the first game of the season!

I did a new (and new to me) Spring makeup post last week.  You can read it here.  I still have  more products I have been trying for the first time that I wanted to share.  Here are some of my new faves:


Hard Candy Fox in a Box
Hard Candy Fox in a Box

Hard Candy Fox in a Box Scented Marbleized Baked Powder ($7 USD) The packaging on these powders are so fun and they smell good, too! The packaging has a scratch and sniff sticker, so you can see what the powder smells like.

There are five shades, 3 bronzers and two blushes. That’s what the Wal-Mart website shows. I do have the lightest bronzer called Girl Boss. It’s so light and shimmery that I use it as a highlighter. It’s very glowy. I also have the blush Girl Next Door. It’s a pretty soft pink.

The Hard Candy Fox in A Box Scented Marbleized Baked Powder are available at Walmart and

Pixi Beauty Palette Chloette
Pixi Beauty Palette Chloette

Pixi Beauty Palette Chloette ($24 USD) — This palette is a collaboration between Pixi and You Tuber Chloe Morello.  The palette contains Chloe’s favorite shades inspired by love and romance.  Super silky blush and eye shades bring that “in-love glow” to your complexion & lids. Plus, there is a trio of matte eye contour & liner shades that double as brow powders to define.

This colors are really soft and pretty.  The shimmery eye shadows can double as highlighters.  This will be really nice in the summer and it will be great to have one palette that takes care of most of a makeup look.

Purchase at, and Target stores


Maybelline New York Eye Liners
Maybelline New York Eye Liners

Maybelline New York Master Precise Ink Metallic Eyeliner ($8.99 USD) — This broad range of eyeliners provides brilliant metallic, pop and glitter finishes for show stopping eyes. The high impact shades come in 7 vibrant colors that last up to 12 hours!  This works well for a cut crease or a pop of color.  I have the Solar Gold shade and it looks really nice over a black liner.

Maybelline New York Curvitude Liner  ($8.99 USD) Maybelline’s first angled eyeliner hugs tightly to the curve of the lash line for the most sensationally refined eyes. The angled pen reaches over the lid and effortlessly fills above and behind lashes, while the 0.2MM flex tip precisely glides between every lash to create a fuller lash line.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but I think it would make doing a winged liner easier.

Maybelline New York Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($9.99 USD) Combining the precision of liquid eyeliner with the ease of a gel formula, Lasting Drama gives intense color that stays all day. The gel formula holds more pigments than a traditional liquid liner, to create the most intense color. This comes in 4 shades — Blackest Black, Brown, Charcoal and Eggplant.  I don’t usually wear black liner, but this one is so pigmented and rich!  I love it for waterlines and tight lining and the other shades for definition and color. You could definitely do a wing with these, too.

***NEW Maybelline New York Master Fixer Makeup Remover Pen*** ($7.99 USD) Everyone makes mistakes! See mishaps disappear in the blink of an eye with Maybelline’s makeup corrector tool. Now, correct liner mistakes instantly, all without ruining your look. Maybelline’s makeup remover pen touches up any smudges or marks without leaving behind a greasy feeling.

Available at


ybf Fall in Love Lipstick & Lipgloss duo
ybf Fall in Love Lipstick & Lipgloss duo

ybf Fall in Love Lipstick & Lipgloss duo ($22 USD) — This lightly scented, hydrating lipstick and lip gloss duo is suitable for every skin tone and will leave lips looking bold and voluptuous. With a creamy paraben-free formula infused with Smart Active Complexes, lips are rich, luminous and smooth for a soft n’ silky, pout.

The lipstick comes with a convenient case with a protractible mirror attached, making it the perfect lip essential to take and apply on the go.

The shades are Passionate Pink (in the photo above), Bloomin’ Berry/Rockin’ Raspberry, Regal & Romantic Red, & Kissable Coral.  The lipsticks are very creamy and moisturizing. My favorite is the gloss.  It is gorgeous, hydrating and not sticky at all!

Available at

What products have you been loving this spring, and are looking forward to using in the summer?

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty Haul


I did just a little shopping in the recent Ulta 21 Days of Beauty.  I waited towards the end to shop because I was trying to be good and the items I most wanted were at the end of the sale!

I went to the store at the beginning of April and picked out a few things, then made an online order on the last day of the sale.  Here’s what I got:

img_0828.jpg The day I went in was just for the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I’ve needed an eye primer and I realized that I’ve never had a full tube of this with the wand, just samples sizes! I believe this was $12 on sale.

My pores get larger during allergy season, so I asked a girl who worked at Ulta for a drugstore primer that helps with enlarged pores.  She suggested the NYX Pore Filler.  And since NYX was BOGO half off, I also picked up the Total Control Drop Foundation.

I am really liking the primer.  I just use it on the areas that have large pores and it does help fill them.  I’m still trying to figure out how to best apply the foundation.  If you have any tips, let me know!

IMG_0829  On the last day of the sale, I placed an online order because I really wanted to try the Mac Fix+ setting spray.  I’ve heard so much about it and am excited to try it.  It was on sale for $13, a great price!

I’ve only tried samples of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.  This was $11.50 on sale.  I really like the full size.  The tube is really luxe.

And I received a deluxe sample of the Clinique Deluxe Liquid Facial Soap in Mild.  I might take this on vacation, or try it later.

This last product was not on sale, but I have been wanting it!


This is the Too Faced Life’s A Festival Eye Shadow Palette.  Ulta describes it as a “a duo-chrome eye shadow palette that contains ethereal pigments that reflect different colors depending on how light hits them and is infused with rose quartz for added love energy. Matte & pearl shadows are highly pigmented and compliment duo-chrome tones. Large center half-moon pan is a highlighter with an iridescent finish that can be used on the eyes, face, and body, plus there’s a magical citrus scent for limitless festival vibes.”

Here’s just a quick swatch of a few of the shades:

IMG_0834 So pretty!  Real talk here — I’m not planning to go to a festival and I’m going to be 50 in a couple of months — but, I really love duo-chrome eye shadows!  This just makes me so happy and ready for the warmer months! Plus it smells good.  The Ulta website said it’s citrus-scented, but I think it smells like Smarties candies! I’m going to play with this and do a full review soon.

I usually don’t get beauty products for my birthday, so I’m starting to purchase things for myself since it’s a HUGE birthday year!

Did you purchase anything at the Ulta 21 Days sale?  Also, make sure you check out their current sale, the Spring Haul.  Some of the products are up to 50% off.  I placed an order today.  And on Sunday the deals will switch for the next week.  And I’ll probably be shopping again. Lol!