#TBT Makeup-Style Taking a Second Look at Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

#TBT Reviewing a Modern Classic - Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation Stick

#TBT Reviewing a Modern Classic – Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick


Cosmetic companies are pretty savvy, especially when it comes to making money. In an industry where buzz is everything and new stuff hits the shelves every day, cosmetics that don’t sell, don’t stick around for long. So when a makeup product has been around more than two decades, you know that product has found a niche in the market. When a product has that kind of longevity, you can bet it has some worthwhile features and deserves a 2nd look, or review. That’s certainly true of Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick.

Few things have changed about this foundation since it was first introduced nearly 25 years ago. The name has been changed from simply, “Foundation Stick,” to “Skin Foundation Stick,” and the shade range has expanded. Most recently the formula has been tweaked slightly to include what Brown calls “skin tone-correct pigments” which she promises will result in “an incredibly natural look.”

What You’re Promised: Bobbi Brown says this foundation is ideal for all skin types, stating it has a texture that is “creamy yet weightless,” and which “applies effortlessly and blends seamlessly.” Like many brands today, Brown promises this foundation has the somewhat magical ability to simultaneously moisturize and control oil, claiming this stick is composed of, “An innovative blend of emollients—like olive extracts and shea butter—help to moisturize skin (and lock it in), so skin stays looking soft and smooth all day.” She goes on to explain this foundation contains “light diffusing powders and oil-controlling minerals.” According to the company, these special minerals manage to “perfect the appearance of skin while reducing shine (even in sweat, water and humidity).”
screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-7-26-47-pm
Price: $46 for 0.31 oz.

What You Get: As noted above, for the price you’re not getting a lot of product. That tends to be true for most stick foundations. Users that love stick foundations tend to enjoy and value portability and are willing to pay more per ounce for the ease and convenience of a portable foundation.

Color Range: Bobbie Brown has long been praised for her neutral color range, especially among her foundations. Over the years, Bobbi Brown has expanded the color range of this foundation to an incredible 31 shades, from a very light cool-toned (i.e. yellow-based) Alabaster to deep Espresso and Cool Espresso. The original shades leaned heavily toward yellow undertones, but newer additions include warmer pink to red undertones to accommodate most skin tones. The shade range is really impressive and worth applauding!

An early Neiman Marcus ad for Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. Photo from EverythingBobbi.com

An early Neiman Marcus ad for Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick. Photo from EverythingBobbi.com


Application: Bobbi Brown recommends starting with moisturized skin and applying this foundation “lightly” across forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Brown states that this foundation may blended with fingertips, sponge, or a foundation brush. Unlike many stick foundations, this one glides over the skin with very little drag. This is a very creamy foundation. Unlike many stick foundations, this one applies easily with very little drag over the skin. The creaminess allows you to easily blend it out with your fingers or a damp makeup sponge. Applying this with a brush would likely result in steaks (because it’s so creamy). Despite the creaminess, you’ll definitely want to prep the skin first with a good moisturizer, and preferably one with a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30 due to the absence of SPF in this foundation. Those with large pores will want to take time to prep with pore-camoflaging primer before applying this foundation as well. The prep is necessary because this foundation tends to cling to any dry patches or large pores and emphasizes any flaws.

Coverage: This foundation offers a light to medium coverage. It easier to sheer out than to build to full coverage due to the amount of slip (creaminess) during the application. It’s tough to achieve full coverage because the product tends to slide around when you go in with additional layers. Trying to pile on too many layers tends to be counterproductive because the bottom layers never set, causing the additional layers to just slide around.

Texture + Finish: While you’d expect this to be (like most stick foundations) a cream-to-powder, it isn’t. It never dries down to a powdery finish. So you’ll need to set it with a powder. Otherwise it remains fairly creamy and tacky. It will stay somewhat shiny and, depending on your skin type, you may risk it slipping all over your face.

Wear: Again, setting it with a powder to improve its longevity and staying power. You should also plan on carrying this stick foundation with you because it will require some touch-ups after 4-6 hours of wear. It’s light and portable and unlikely to create a mess in your purse. It was designed for use on the go, after all.

Skin Beneficial Ingredients: The formula does include the touted olive extract as well as some Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), but those antioxidants will be rendered inactive when exposed to light and air (due to the stick format of this foundation). That’s not a deal-breaker since most people get their antioxidants etc. from their skin care, not their foundation. The formula also contains shea butter which has emollient properties (as mentioned above). So this is not an ideal foundation for all skin types as advertised.

Also, I currently have dry, sensitive skin (thanks to a Retin-A treatment regimen), and I didn’t find this foundation particularly moisturizing or my skin noticeably smoother after applying it. In fact, despite my best pre-application moisturizing prep and a good moisturizing foundation primer (in this case Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Radiance Boosting Foundation Primer), the foundation still clung to and emphasized dry patches on my face and magnified my pores (flashback to my Clinique’s CC Cream experience). I applied a different stick foundation (Napoleon Perdis’ Foundation Stick) to half my face and Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick to the other half and asked my family which side looked better. Both my mother and husband agreed that the side with the Napoleon Perdis foundation looked better than the Bobbi Brown side, and they both said they chose that side because my pores looked smaller and skin smoother.

Summary and Daily Beauty Wisdom Rating: As I mentioned at the beginning, this foundation has been around for a long time and for good reason. Bobbi Brown’s shade range is fantastic and most are incredibly skin-like. The stick foundation concept is wonderful and very convenient for anyone needing a portable option for touching up their foundation during the day. The formula of this one is obviously not my favorite, and I would dispute the claim that this is “ideal” for all skin types. But this foundation obviously resonates with many women. If you are willing to spend the money and plan to use this sparingly, this could work well for on-the-go touch-ups (bring along a setting powder or blotting papers too).

But I would not recommend this as a primary foundation. For one thing, it’s really expensive. Its $46 per 0.31 oz. price tag translates to a whopping $148.39 per oz.! And for another thing, I think there are other, superior stick foundation options currently available. Among them: the aforementioned Napoleon Perdis Stick Foundation (from $35.70 for 0.5 oz at Dermstore); the NYX Cosmetics Mineral Stick Foundation ($9.99 for 0.21 oz.); and Shiseido The Makeup Stick Foundation SPF15-18 ($38.50 for 0.38 oz.).

Additional Reviews:
1. Beautypedia Reviews (Expert Rating – 4 / 5 stars; 4.33 / 5 star rating among Beautypedia Community Reviewers)
2. Total Beauty Reviews (7.1 / 10 Rating)
3. Makeup Alley Reviews (3.5 / 5 lipsticks rating)
4. Influenster Reviews (4.4 / 5 stars rating)

Bobbi Brown Website and Full Product Detail Available Here

Wisdom for the Day:
“You make wine to cheer human hearts, olive oil to make faces shine, and bread to strengthen human hearts.” ~Psalm 104:15 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.

Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray (Strong) – Product Review

I’ve written previously about having fine hair. I’ve struggled with it my whole life. That’s a slight exaggeration. I’ve probably battled my hair since puberty, which is when I really started to care about making it looking a certain way. And I wanted it to look thicker, shinier and to stay in place once I fixed it. I think I’ve tried virtually every product I could afford (and some I couldn’t) if that product promised fuller, thicker,and/or shinier hair. So when one product comes along promising all of the above, I’m intrigued. The product in question – Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray. The hairspray comes in 2 options – medium and strong hold. I’ll be reviewing the “Strong Hold” version.

What You’re Promised: Moroccanoil® states this product is ideal for all hair types and says it’s “a flexible hairspray for building long-lasting styles with movable yet strong hold.” The company also describes this spray as “lightweight and workable,” stating that it “brushes out easily and leaves no flakey or sticky residue.” Sounds great so far. But the line that really hooked me was Moroccanoil’s promise that this “firm-hold finishing” spray, “blankets hair in a reflective shield of shine that fights fizz and humidity,” and is “infused with a combination of advanced ingredients, including antioxidant-rich argan oil.” So you’re telling me, this hairspray provides strong hold; builds texture; fights frizz while providing shine and antioxidant ingredients – and all without leaving any sticky residue or flaking behind; AND infusing my hair with that glorious Moroccanoil® fragrance? Wow! That sounds the like the only product I’ll ever need. Ever! Sign me up!

Price: $10 for 2.5 oz. or $24 for 10 oz. (per Moroccanoil® website). Certified stylists may purchase for lower prices at stylists-only beauty supply stores.

Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray Strong Hold. Photo from Moroccanoil® website.

Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray Strong Hold. Photo from Moroccanoil® website.

Where to Buy: Moroccanoil® recommends the purchase of their products from professional salons. Find a Moroccanoil® salon near year through this link. You can also purchase Moroccanoil® products online from their site store. Non-affiliated online mega-stores such as Amazon.com and eBay also sell this product for similar prices. However, Moroccanoil® strongly opposes sales of its products outside of professional salons. Read more about the company’s stance here.

Expect this hairspray to become part of your hair styling arsenal, not to replace all your current favorite styling products!

Expect This Hairspray to Become One of Your Styling Favorites. It Cannot Replace All Your Favorite Styling Products!

What You Get: A medium to fairly strong hold hairspray that helps build texture for styling and thickness and works as a finisher to hold styles in place, providing a small amount of luminosity without obvious shimmer and zero stickiness. This is not a stand-alone styling product so don’t toss all your other styling products. This product can replace that so-so hairspray and/or texturizing spray you’re not sold on. And it makes your hair smell terrific!

Scent: This hairspray has the same deliciously ethereal signature Moroccanoil® scent that is instantly recognizable but strangely indescribable. In fact, most review sites include comments calling the brand’s signature scent “pretty but hard to describe.” If I were to forced to describe it, I’d say it’s a unique clean floral with slight hints of musk and perhaps some vanilla. I find the scent more potent and longer-lasting in the aerosol products (i.e. hairspray) than in their original oil or cream-based treatments.

Hair-Beneficial Ingredients: Argan oil is present in this hairspray, but it’s 8th (2nd to last) on the ingredient list. The 1st ingredient is alcohol, and the 2nd is hydrofluorocarbon. Otherwise, the ingredients here are pretty standard for aerosol hairsprays. Be careful not to use this stuff near an open flame or near babies (moms of young children, i.e. me). Truth is, hairspray ingredients are almost all the same, especial among aerosols.  Here’s the full ingredient list:
img_5678

Texture + Finish: As promised, this product is not sticky, and does not leave your hair with any tell-tale “you just lacquered your hair down with hairspray” white flakiness, even if you brush through it. It add some texture and thickness with successive applications.

What I Like/Love: I love the signature Moroccanoil® scent. It’s really beautiful and is the only thing I’ve found that rivals the Oribe scent. This product had good hold especially in comparison to previous Moroccanoil® hairspray I’d tried. I was especially impressed with the “memory” of this product in that my hair continued to return to the original style after several brush-throughs. It played nicely with styling products from several other brands and layered well, especially when compared to another product with similar promises from Sexy Hair (their Big Sexy Hair Get Layered).

What I Don’t Love: I was a little disappointed by the promised luminosity. It didn’t provide the type or level of shine and texturizing as I get from say, Oribe’s Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray (yes, I am totally obsessed with that product). This hairspray also doesn’t have the kind – wow shine of say, Nick Chavez Starlet Shine Spray. On the other hand, neither of those offers the memory and hold of the Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray. Also, the amount of good-for-you ingredients is slightly overstated. Most of the ingredients are standard for most hairsprays. The Argan oil is present, but it’s the 2nd to last ingredient on the list, so keep that in mind and keep your expectations in check.

This Hairspray May Help You Consolidate Styling Products!

Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairspray May Help You Consolidate Styling Products!

DBW Rating and Summary: If you’re looking for a multi-tasking product that offers hold, some thickness without stickiness or flaking, along with a little shine and that great Moroccanoil® scent, then this may be a wise purchase for you, especially if you don’t tend to overuse hairsprays. If you’re looking for a straightforward hairspray product to hold your style in place – and you’re less concerned about scent, buildable texture, thickness or shine, then you’ll likely find this product too expensive. Something like Sebastian Shaper Plus or the excellent generic equivalents would be your best bet.

So while this hairspray won’t be replacing all my styling products, it has replaced the Big Sexy Hair Get Layered (which I’ve given away) and I’ve almost completed retired Starlet Shine Spray (still in a drawer somewhere but likely to be given away soon).

Additional Product Review Sites:
1. Total Beauty Reviews (10 / 10 highest rating)
2. Makeup Alley Reviews (3.7 / 5 lipsticks; NOTE – Composite score includes reviews for both Medium and Strong holds Moroccanoil® Luminous Hairsprays. Individual reviews for strong hold formula appear to be higher than medium hold version.)
3. Influenster Reviews (4.6 / 5 stars)

Full product info available at the Moroccanoil® product page located here.

Wisdom for the Day:
“I want women to show their beauty by dressing in appropriate clothes that are modest and respectable. Their beauty will be shown by what they do,[a] not by their hair styles or the gold jewelry, pearls, or expensive clothes they wear.” ~I Timothy 2:9 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.

E.L.F. $1 Essentials Eyebrow Stencils – Product Review

I’ve struggled with my eyebrows for decades, DECADES! My God-given brows are very dark brown and full. In my early 20s I went blond and decided those dark brown brows were way too harsh. But instead of doing the wise thing (i.e. tinting them a lighter shade), I plucked them until they were nearly invisible. Hey, thin brows were the thing in the late 1990s / early 2000s. Still, when I look back at pics of myself from those years, I shudder. My whole face looks weird.

On the left, 11 years old with natural (untouched) hair and brows; At right, 20 years old with big blond hair and barely-there brows.

On the left, 11 years old with natural (untouched) hair and brows; At right, 20 years old with big blond hair and barely-there brows.

When I finally put down the tweezers, my brows did grow back, albeit less full and with a few holes. But I found myself completely unsure about how to style them. I spent hours browsing (pun intended) IG pics and video tutorials for #Instagrambrows, #browsonfleek, #browsheldhigh, and so on. I bought tons of brow products – gels, powders, pencils, combs, spoolies, brushes, etc. Finally I decided I needed some sort of guide. I found this video from Angie of Hot & Flashy.com.
In this video Angie demos and highly recommends an all-in-brow kit from Too Faced. The kit retails for $39 and contains 3 stencils, 2 “universal” brow powders, a wax, one pair of tweezers, a mini slanted brush and a mini spoolie brush.

So, I started thinking, I already have most of those products. What I need is stencils! After searching for several weeks I found these at one of the Wal-marts in our area, but I’d probably checked 3 or 4 before finding them. E.L.F.’s Essential Eyebrow Stencils are one of the best, most cost-efficient beauty purchases I’ve made in years. They’re incredibly easy to use; easy to clean; and (as I’ll explain) offer options for just about everyone. Since I began using these stencils a couple weeks ago, I received multiple compliments on my brows. The first compliments my brows have received since…well, since I went blond.

Brows again at last!

Brows again at last!

Price: $1

What You Get: 4 Flexible brow stencils in different sizes/shapes in order to accommodate different natural brow shapes or different styles you may want to try. The shapes included are fairly standard (though many kits only offer 3, not 4 stencils) and are as follows:
• Soft Arch – the most natural option
• Structured Arch – the highest arch with a sharp tail
• Curved Arch – a nicely curved arch and gently tapered tail
• Full Arch – the shape I chose, the most voluptuous shape with a fuller arch and tail

Special Features: A few aspects of this bargain-priced kit are special – The individual stencils are divided by a white piece of paper which has a cutout of the brow shape on the stencil behind it. That helps brow novices know for sure which stencil they’re looking at – i.e., “is this a structured or the full arch?” You can also hold the papers up to your own brows to try out the looks before committing to one of the stencils. When you select one of the stencils, you’ll find that the brow shapes are stamped onto the square silicone stencils but the brow shapes are not “punched” out. That means, if holding paper up to your brows didn’t help you select a stencil, you can pop out the individual shapes brow shapes and place each one over your own brows to determine which one/ones suit you best. You can also use those pop-out shapes to guide you in removing errant hairs outside your preferred shapes, especially helpful if you’re like me and tend to be tweezer-happy.

Lastly, these stencils are very flexible. They mold to the shape of your face and stretch slightly (but not overly so) to accommodate longer brows. That may seem like a small thing but some brow stencils are hard and inflexible which is strange because faces are not flat and because brows vary in length. The thin material of E.L.F.’s stencils warms to your skin’s temperature, allowing it to better adheres to your eye area, and making it much easier to hold the stencil in place with one hand. And that allows you an easier, quicker and more precise brow application every time!

Where to Buy: I found it at Wal-mart on the E.L.F. display. The selections vary store to store so you may have to check different Wal-marts if you can. Some drugstores, like CVS, also carry limited selections from the E.L.F. product lines. The only guaranteed way to purchase this or any E.L.F. product is from E.L.F.’s website. Shipping costs vary by location (E.L.F. offers free shipping to all USA sites for all orders of $25 and up).
See full product info here.

E.L.F. Essentials Eyebrow Stencils (photo from E.L.F website)

E.L.F. Essentials Eyebrow Stencils (photo from E.L.F website)

Summary: If you are brow-challenged or are a makeup beginner, this E.L.F. Essentials Eyebrow Stencil Kit is definitely worth the small investment!

Wisdom for the Day:
“My bride, my sister, you have charmed me. You have charmed me with a single glance from your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace.” ~Song of Solomon 4:9 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.

Giorgio Blue by Giorgio Beverly Hills – Fragrance Review

The Lovely Aquatic Giorgio Blue

The Lovely Aquatic Giorgio Blue

There’s an unspoken belief, particularly among perfume aficionados (like myself), that a perfume must be expensive in order to be good. I, for one, have always gone by the rule that you get what you pay for. There’s plenty of inexpensive (even cheap) perfumes that start out lovely but soon either disappear completely or dissolve into something so disastrous you can’t wait to take a shower.

Giorgio Blue by Giorgio Beverly Hills is one of those rare jewels that, despite being quite reasonably priced, is well-balanced, pretty, and somehow manages to last all day without overwhelming its wearer or offending those in the vicinity. For this reason, it’s a true beauty bargain. But Blue has other impressive qualities.

Giorgio Blue manages to pull off a feat few perfumes at any price point accomplish these days – it’s not particularly derivative or reminiscent of anything else on the market. It’s an aquatic white floral but doesn’t contain the most commonly used aquatic notes (think watery notes, watermelon, cucumber, etc.). Here the water essences are evoked by means of water hyacinth, juicy guava, musky essence and driftwood.

I’ve seen it compared to Aqua di Gio, but the latter is a very complex almost fussy perfume with a cacophony of notes mixed together (full review here). At such a low price, if you’re a fan of Aqua di Gio or aquatic florals, you may want to try this one for yourself.

Price and Where to Buy: Online is your best bet for purchasing Giorgio Blue. Some retailers like Kohls, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx carry it in stores but selection can be hit or miss, so I recommend the following online options:
Amazon.com – 3 oz. from $22.48
Fragrancenet.com – Usually a very reliable vendor but sold out at time of this writing.
FragranceX.com – 3 oz. from $16.82 plus shipping
Jet.com – $27.96 with free shipping
Walmart.com (sold through an affiliate vendor) – $27.98 for 3 oz. with free shipping

Notes: When first sprayed, you get hit with juicy orange and guava. But those quickly fade (as citruses so often do) and you’re notice something watery grounded by earthy moss and a very pronounced musk. As the fruits continue to dissipate, the white florals – jasmine, water lily, hyacinth and a fairly benign (to my nose at least) tuberose (which can if not tempered can ruthlessly overtake a fragrance); base notes are vanilla, musk, oak moss and driftwood. See below for additional detail on my own experience on the unfolding of the notes over wear-time.

Sillage: Moderate. 2 Sprays will get you a fragrance trajectory of around 2-4 feet depending on your body’s own chemistry, the weather, air pressure and environment, other scented lotions or products you apply, etc.

Longevity and Experience: This wears at least 6-8 hours (at least on my skin which eats fruity florals by breakfast). You’ll catch whiff’s of this all day, especially during moments of increased body heat (i.e. when your coworker does something that causes your temperature to raise). As it dries down, the musk and driftwood notes become more prominent. But you’ll still get occasional wafts of guava blended expertly with enough water lily, jasmine, and tuberose to feel bright and feminine but there also enough musk mixed in to warm things up and make the whole mélange feel a bit sexier, warmer and more summery somehow. It’s not a beachy fragrance per se, more like a romantic walk evening stroll by the lake.
img_5511
The Bottle: The bottle is shaded blue cut glass with gold cap. The bottle will may not rival Viktor and Rolf’s BonBon but (IMO) it’s as pretty as any those crazy-expensive Bond No. 9 New York bottles!

More Info:
Giorgio Beverly Hills burst onto the scene in the late 80s and faded almost as quickly. The company had all but disappeared from perfume lexicon as the early 2000s. That obscurity is a good thing for anyone preferring a unique personal fragrance instead of smelling exactly every other woman. Most recently the company was bought by Elizabeth Arden and Giorgio Blue was released in 2016, mercifully without any reformulation of changes to this magnificent and wonderfully hidden gem of fragrance.

  • Fragrantica’s Reviews of the original 2009 Giorgio Blue EDT and the 2016 release (not reformulated) following Elizabeth Arden’s purchase of the Giorgio Beverly Hills brand.
  • Makeup Alley’s Review may seen here.
  • FragranceX Review (NOTE this is a vendor site) may be seen here.
  • com Reviews (NOTE – this is a vendor site. Reviewers are Amazon purchasers) may be read here.

Wisdom for the Day:
“Oil and incense make the heart glad, and the sweetness of friends comes from their advice.” ~Proverbs 27:9 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped™ Crème Makeup – Product Review

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème™ Makeup - Could This Be Your HG Foundation?

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème™ Makeup – Could This Be Your HG Foundation?


Revlon Colorstay Whipped™ Crème Makeup is one of the line’s mainstays and one of Revlon’s few foundations not reformulated in recent years. That’s a good thing because this a great medium-full coverage cream foundation without sunscreen for those with normal, combination, slightly dry to slightly oily skin.

Price: Varies by store. Walmart offers most colors for around $11 for an 0.8 fluid oz. jar. Some shades cost a little more and are only sold only with shipping fees upwards of $5. ULTA and many drugstores (CVS, Walgreens etc.) sell this foundation for $15, but these vendors frequently offer Buy One, Get One 50% Off deals on Revlon products (which translates to 25% off or $11.25 each when you purchase two or more).

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup Photo from Revlon.com

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup Photo from Revlon.com

Color Range: Revlon markets 12 shades from the very light “Ivory” which has a neutral yellow undertone to deepish “Caramel” which has a more warm reddish undertones. However, most major retailers – ULTA, CVS, Walmart to name a few – carry only 8 of the 12 shades in stores. And different retailers tend to stock different colors. That’s either good news or a giant hassle based on your color needs and shade availability in your area. The good news is that drugstores and large discount retailers like Walmart have return policies almost as lenient as Sephora’s (generally allowing you to return opened/used products within 90 days of purchase with a valid receipt), so you can usually exchange it, provided you can find a suitable color match. The color range is mostly neutral. The deeper colors are not all that dark, or at least they don’t appear to be online. Unfortunately, most retailer don’t carry the darkest shades in store which is disappointing because shipping can be expensive due to the heavy glass jar packaging (more on that below). I’ve actually purchased 4 different shades and find my skin varies from 200 to 250 depending on the season, and shade 150 works very well as cream highlight.

The thick and creamy texture of Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (Shade 150)

The thick and creamy texture of Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (Shade 150)

Application: This foundation is (as you might expect) thick and creamy. Revlon describes this as a “bouncy, whipped” formula with a “mousse-like texture that feels like silk on your skin.” I wouldn’t expect an airy whipped cream texture because it’s definitely thicker than that. And it’s heavier and creamier than the mousse that you use in your hair. But it does feel silky, with enough “play time” to allow you to blend it in without steaks.

Because this foundation is packaged in a jar, you’ll need to use clean hands every time you apply this foundation and/or be sure to use a clean brush or sponge each time you dip into the jar. Otherwise you risk contaminating the product and creating a breeding ground for bacteria or other contaminants that could ruin the foundation (or worse) cause acne, breakouts or other skin reactions. So, be careful.

Coverage: A thin layer, applied with your finger or a damp BeautyBlender-type sponge yields moderate coverage with an attractive (though slight) luminescence and skin-like finish. Two layers will get you fuller (not quite “full”) coverage and a finish similar to the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation.

Left-Right Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation (Medium 54); Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation (Light-Medium Sand); Milani Conceal+Perfect (03); Becca Ultimate Coverage (Noisette); Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (250)

Left-Right Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation (Medium 54); Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation (Light-Medium Sand); Milani Conceal+Perfect (03); Becca Ultimate Coverage (Noisette); Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (250)

Texture + Finish: Revlon claims this foundation has a “mousse-like texture feels like silk,” on your skin and the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. Revlon also promises that their Colorstay Whipped™ Crème is capable of self-adjusting to your skin’s needs, magically balancing out any dry or oily patches for a perfectly flawless look. Yeah, no foundation is capable of doing that. This one looks good on your skin as long as you’ve taken the time to prep your skin first. Despite Revlon claims Whipped™ Crème “never looks cakey,” if you pile on too many layers, it can look slightly cakey. Even then it can be sheered out with a damp sponge and a spritz of moisturizing setting spray.

Wear: Continuing with Revlon’s amazing claims for this product, they promise an astonishing 24-hour wear-time for this foundation. First of all, barring some major disaster or unforeseen event, nobody should be wearing their makeup for 24-hours straight. That said, this stuff will not last for 24 hours anyway. It breaks on me (at least) after about 10 hours, even with a great primer and periodic touch-ups. But that isn’t a deal-breaker. The best makeups require touch-ups because the skin on our faces is always producing oil; shedding skin cells. We sweat; talk on the phone and smudge makeup off. Whatever. Life happens. With realistic expectations, this foundation wears as long as some of the most expensive products with similar formulations. All matte, liquid foundations (e.g. Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet SPF 15) will always last the longest and perform the best in high humidity, but those foundations also have the greatest likelihood of emphasizing wrinkles, fine lines, etc.

Skin Beneficial Ingredients: This product does contain several emollient and skin-beneficial ingredients. Among them – Glycerin (skin replinisher), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyaluronic Acid (emollient), Silk protein (may have antioxidant properties). The Vitamin E and Silk protein’s antioxidant properties will lose efficacy after a few weeks of regular usage due to product’s packaging. The sodium hyaluronate may eventually lose efficacy as well. The emollients will not be affected unless the product becomes contaminated as described above.

Revlon chose to house this foundation in a (very) heavy glass jar. Jar packaging is not my favorite due to sanitary concerns and because jar packaging means repeatedly exposing product ingredients to air, thereby decreasing effectiveness of fragile ingredients like antioxidants, etc. But I don’t usually rely on foundation for antioxidant or skin treating ingredients. Typically I applies those things as part of of my skin care regimen prior to applying my makeup. The heavy glass jar means you won’t want to carry this in your purse. So using it for touch-ups is out. And the absence of sunscreen means you’ll want to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (preferably one that includes some antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, etc.) of at least SPF30 before applying this foundation.

Find the full list of ingredients here. To read more about the problems caused by jar packaging, see note below excerpted from this review at Beautypedia.com.

Summary: This is a great bargain for your beauty dollars and all-around wise purchase if you have normal, combo, or slightly dry to slightly oily skin and you’re looking for a medium to almost full coverage foundation with an attractive skin-like finish. This one comes in a wide array (for drugstore foundations) of neutral shades, but most retailers do not carry the full range of color option. The absence of sunscreen means this foundation won’t interfere with any selfies or photography you may encounter, but it means you’ll need to pair this with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 if you plan on using this as your everyday foundation.

Wisdom for the Day:
“Who is wise? And who knows the meaning of anything? A person’s wisdom brightens the expression; it changes the hardness of someone’s face.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:1 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.

+++More Info on Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Gloss – Product Review

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Raspberry - Simply the Best!

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Raspberry – Simply the Best!

Matte lips are a big trend these days. Practically every makeup line from low to high end offer liquid lipsticks, lip paints, lip tars and stains. As with most makeup trends, the look is incredibly flattering on some and not so pretty on others. Trends are by definition cyclical – going in and out of style – and I suspect the matter lip trend to be no different.

Something that never goes out of style is plump, moisturized healthy-looking lips. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from Superbalm™ – an all-time favorite lip gloss from Clinique. Here’s my review:

Price: $17 for a o.5 oz. tube.

Color Range: A total of five shades are available. Four are available from Clinique counters and at Clinique.com and a Fifth is available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.
Lilac – a light purpley pink with more blue undertones
Grapefruit – a very light neutral pink that doesn’t lean too orange or too blue (my all-time fav topper for nude lipstick)
Raspberry – a brighter cherry red/pink with blue undertones
Currant – a slightly deeper mauvey purple that still leans toward pinky tones, especially when applied on bare lips

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Gloss in Currant. Photo from CLNIQUE.com

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Gloss in Currant. Photo from CLNIQUE.com

The Sephora-exclusive shade, Black Honey, is probably the most popular. Black Honey is a deeper wine-like shade that is perfect for fall and neutral enough to compliment a variety of skin tones.

None of the shades contains shimmer. Some previously available colors did offer shimmer but have since been discontinued. So if you’ve been afraid that gloss will make you sparkle like a glittery 70’s disco-ball, don’t worry. This one won’t.

Application: Superbalm glosses have a plastic slant-tip applicator which has a tiny hole through which the product dispenses when you squeeze the tube. That applicator is actually part of the tube. It’s actually more sanitary than the removable doe-foot wand applicators commonly used on many recently-launched lip products. When you remove a wand/applicator from a liquid cosmetic product and apply the product directly to the skin, you expose the applicator to bacteria and other contaminants in the air and on your skin. Those contaminants are then introduced to the product when put the wand/applicator back into the product. An external applicator (especially a hard plastic one) may be cleaned to remove dirt and contaminants. But an internal applicator, especially one made of spongy material, cannot. We spend so much time cleaning our makeup sponges and brushes, but I for one never consider the fact that I constantly reuse doe-foot applicators that I cannot clean. Something to consider.

Superbalm™ Has an Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Clean Applicator

Superbalm™ Has an Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Clean Applicator

Coverage: Each shade is sheer without shimmer, providing a tint of color and big-impact shine. Superbalm™ is designed to be worn alone or layered over color lip products. Because the colors are so sheer, you can literally layer any shade, with the possible exception of Black Honey, over any lip color. Even Black Honey won’t dramatically alter your basic lip color but will darken and warm it slightly while adding shine and moisture. Grapefruit is probably the easiest shade to pair with other lip products. Because it’s a nearly clear pink, it’s unlikely to alter the shade of a lipstick when layered over top. But because it’s so light, Grapefruit provides no meaningful coverage on its own. It will highlight your lips own natural beauty and make them look fuller and more attractive naturally.

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Shade Grapefruit

Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Shade Grapefruit

Texture + Finish: This is big glassy shine, so expect some tackiness after application. I find the texture very similar to NYX’s Butter Glosses but more sheer and far more moisturizing. Some Sephora reviewers describe Superbalm™ as sticky but I don’t find the level of stickiness to be problematic and certainly no stickier than other more expensive glosses on the market. The glass-like shine lasts at least 30 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color remains about 30 minutes after the shine has dissipated depending on the shade (with deeper shades like Black Honey and Raspberry sticking around longer).

Wear: The glass-like shine lasts 15 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color hangs around another 30 minutes+ after the shine has dissipated. The moisture remains at least another hour which is fantastic, for anyone with chronically dry lips, those living in a dry climate, or anyone who gets chapped lips during colder winter months. So basically everyone can enjoy this product at some time or another!

Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Clinique includes several proven moisturizers like petroleum, wax, soybean oil, linoleic acid and squalene. Also included are several antioxidants – retinal palmitate (Vitamin A derivative), Vitamins E and C. This gloss is also fragrance-free.
Full list of ingredients available at here.

Summary: This is a terrific lip gloss suitable for all skin types and anyone looking for a hint of color along with big shine and a healthy dose of moisture. These glosses look great on their own but work very well with just about any type of lip product (the possible exception being liquid lip stains that specifically instruct you to avoid glosses that contain any oils). Otherwise, these glosses will play nicely with just about any lipstick in your collection! At $16 each, Superbalm™ glosses qualify as wise beauty buys!

Additional Comments and Notes: If you already love this gloss and live within driving distance of an outlet mall that has a Cosmetics Company (Estée Luader Outlet) Store, I encourage you to head on over to said mall and stock up because Cosmetics Company routinely sells these glosses for just $11-12 each. And the deals don’t stop there! You can save on all kinds of Lauder-owned brands of fragrances, skin care, hair care, and makeup (M.A.C., Clinique, Smashbox, Bumble & bumble, and more!). Click here to locate a Cosmetics Company Store near you.
img_5425
Wisdom for the Day:
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will tell about your praise.” ~Psalm 51:15 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Product Review

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I love a good BB/CC Cream, and I’ve been a fan of Clinique since my earliest days exploring skin care and makeup.

Moisture Surge CC Cream Product Photo from Clinique.com

Moisture Surge CC Cream Product Photo from Clinique.com

I first purchased this a couple years ago during a particularly dry phase for my skin (due to heavy Retin-A usage). At the time I was big into layering BB/CCs over high SPF sunscreens and wanted the most emollient products available. I purchased this one based on positive reviews, describing it as extremely moisturizing, offering greater coverage than most of other available options. Broad spectrum sun protection is present through the following actives: Titanium Dioxide 5.2% (UVA/UVB), Zinc Oxide 3.2% (UVA), Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB), and Octisalate 5% (UVB).

After a few tries, I found that the product applied unevenly on my skin. I couldn’t achieve the flattering finish I’d expected. It never absorbed to dried down but seemed to shift throughout the day. I decided it just didn’t work for me at that time and gave it to my mother (a Clinique devotee). I recently decided to give this CC Cream another try and my own thoughts and review follow based on most recent testing of the product. I’ll preface my opinions by saying my mother still adores it!

First Swatch - Arm

First Swatch – Arm

img_5393

Left Side = Concealer Only, No Foundation             Right Side = Concealer + Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector SPF30 (note difference in pores)

Price: $38.50 for 1.4 fluid oz.
Color Range: 6 shades available, ranging from “Very Light” to “Deep” (for reference, I were shade “Light Medium”). I would add that the mineral sunscreens in this product may look a bit ashy on darker skin tones. Mineral sunscreens actives can also look a bit shiny and reflect camera flash exaggerating skin imperfections so keep that in mind if you’re expecting to be photographed.
Coverage: Clinique states this product provides “Sheer to Moderate” coverage. I think “moderate” coverage is more accurate. It would be difficult to get this down to sheer coverage without it looking very patchy and streaky. And trying to build up multiple layers is likely to feel heavy and look very unnatural. Several Sephora reviewers of this product state this product has been reformulated, that the original offered smoother, fuller coverage.
Texture+Finish: The texture is thick but expected that given the touted moisturizing properties. The thicker texture makes blending tough. If you skin is sensitive in addition to dry, that’s going to be a problem for you. I found that I had to rub more than bounce my makeup sponge in order to blend this in. All that rubbing kicked up some flakiness in my skin and resulted in more redness after application that before. Not a good result for a foundation-type product! But my biggest complaint is the finish. I found that it tended to exaggerate my pores. I never really think about having a problem with my pores, at least not until I tried this stuff again. Made me think, “man, my pores are huge! I better start using that Retin-A again. But if I do that, I can’t really wear this stuff anyway…” You see the dilemma.

Arm swatch blended. Despite nearly flawless skin on my inner arm, product still settled into pores and fine lines.

Arm swatch blended. Despite nearly flawless skin on my inner arm, product still settled into pores and fine lines.

Wear: I did have to touch up about midway through the day. But with all that’s not a huge problem for me. I usually touch up with a mineral powder sunscreen because it reassures me that I’m getting additional sun protection in areas where my foundation already tends to break up – around my nose and chin, a little across my forehead. This product did oxidize a bit on my skin, turning a bit darker later in the day. However, I’m reluctant to blame that entirely on the CC Cream as I was piling on several layers of emollients underneath. The pore issue cannot be attributed to other products as I tested this product with a pore-minimizer primer underneath and even without any other products underneath (when going out after dark) – same pore magnifying result.
Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Primarily the broad spectrum sunscreens along with squalane, a couple of lecithins, and a tiny bit of sodium hyaluronate (moisturizers); as well as linoleum acid; Vitamins E and C (antioxidants).
Summary: Between the difficult application, relatively high price point and less-than-flattering final result, I’d say this is a pass. There are wiser purchases for your BB/CC/Tinted Moisturizer dollars. I will say my mother loves it and still uses this product. But as I mentioned my mom is totally devoted to Clinique. Mom has very sensitive skin and sometimes “forgets” to remove her makeup at night. So she tends to favor makeup that won’t irritate her skin even if she sleeps in it. While I never support sleeping in your makeup, you cannot argue Clinique’s status as a leader hypoallergenic makeup and skin care products.

Note the appearance of pores around my cheeks (I intentionally left the product clump on my neck to illustrate difficulties I had with blending)

Note the appearance of pores around my cheeks (I intentionally left the product clump on my neck to illustrate difficulties I had with blending)

Additional Comments & Notes: Despite the SPF30, if you love this CC Cream, I would recommend you always layer this over a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30. If you’re unsure about which sunscreen is best for you or just confused by all the sunscreens on the market today, check out this in-depth article breaking down the best high-SPF sunscreens under $15.

Wisdom for the Day:
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness on the horizon. Those who lead many people to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. ~Daniel 12:3 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.

#SeptemberWhole30 Days 8-9

…Remind Me Again Why We’re Doing This!

So here we are more than a week into our second #Whole30. I won’t presume to speak for Hubs, but I am struggling! When I say struggling, I’m talking about something that goes well beyond the simple “I just want a nap” kind of thing predicted for days 6-7 by the (suddenly difficult to locate) official Whole30 Timeline 2.0. I’m talking about a level of fatigue that I feel down into my bones; that requires giving myself a pep talk just to get out of bed; dragging myself through the day; drinking extra coffee in order to formulate a coherent sentence. I don’t remember being this tired last time, but Hubs assures me I was. I’m taking his word for it, mostly because I’m just too tired to argue the point.

Before I go into all that, some positives. There are a few things actually making this round easier than our first Whole30 in April.

First and foremost – Nut Pods Coffee Creamers (I’m sure I’ve probably mentioned these delicious creamers before because I’m a tad coffee-obsessed, and I was desperate to find a way to keep putting creamer in my coffee during our first Whole30. If you’re a mom you can relate to just how crucial coffee is. It’s basically fuel new moms run on, but I digress).

Whole30 Mama Needs Caffeine!!!

This Whole30 Mama Needs Caffeine!!!

Next, I’m so happy that we invested in a couple of cases (seriously) of different flavors of these yummy La Croix flavored sparkling waters. Yum. O. Now that it’s football season, I can park it in front of the TV with a nice cold glass of fruity, bubbly La Croix and not feel the least bit deprived. We’ll definitely continue drinking these post Whole30!
img_5308
Lastly, I am still really excited about this Daily Beauty Wisdom green tea + collagen recipe. It’s the only green tea drink I have ever consistently drank in my life. For more on green tea’s health and beauty benefits click here and here. This drink is delicious and has some great beauty benefits that others are starting to notice. Here’s what happened:
IMG_4104
I had a long, busy day yesterday, with several errands to run, including a much-needed hair appointment. Of course, I also had to make sure our daughter was fed, changed and happy, and all her needs met. So, I needed 3 cups of coffee (thank you again Nut Pods!) and 2 cups of green tea just to get through the day.

I know, that’s a lot of caffeine. But, like I said. I had a lot to do, and I’ve had like NO energy. Still, I did have one briefly exhilarating moment yesterday when my hair stylist commented on the growth and thickness of my hair. She said she could really see a difference in the overall condition of my hair and that my supplements were starting to make a difference. Wow! Score a big win for the collagen drinks!

Delicious and beautifying with a hint of caffeine to boot!

Green Tea + Collagen + Vitamin C – Delicious and beautifying with a hint of caffeine to boot!

Genetically, I have extremely fine hair, which has been made fragile by years of frequent coloring (read bleaching). Then in the last 15 months or so, I’ve been pregnant twice (I had a miscarriage just prior to getting pregnant with our almost 11 month-old daughter), so I shed a ton of hair postpartum, leaving me with even thinner hair. For my stylist to say that my hair stronger and longer, was a big deal! But alas, my exhilaration was short-lived.

I soon found myself dragging again and questioning my commitment to this “whole” Whole30 thing. Then last night, after having (finally) gotten baby girl to sleep, Hubs and I collapsed next to one another on the sofa. We debated whether to eat dinner or just go straight to bed as we were both equal parts tired and hungry. Though we agreed “we should probably eat” in order to avoid waking up hangry in the middle of the night, neither of us moved immediately, so I turned to him and whined, “I’m so uncomfortable. Remind me again why we’re doing this.”

Hubs – in his (frustratingly) infinite wisdom and patience asked, “If you need some motivation, why don’t you go back and look at your #NSV Checklist from last time? Or read over those things you said you want to accomplish this time? It’s only 22 more days. We can do it.”

I hate it that he’s always right! But I followed his advice and took a look at my #NSV Checklist from Round 1 and reviewed my goals for #SeptemberWhole30 as listed in my Kickoff Post. Here’s a list of the goals I said I hoped to achieve and a status report as of day 9:
• More energy to play with our daughter – No increases on this front
• Improved attention span – About the same
• Fewer ADHD symptoms – Same
• Fall asleep more easily – YES, I fall right asleep and I sleep deeply. Waking up on the other hand…not so easy, hence the coffee!
• More energy to exercise – Exercise is a struggle, a big one!
• Be outside more – No change
• Create and try new recipes – I have one new recipe for a delicious Whole30-compliant Sausage + Apple Soup, but I’ve been too tired to post it!
• No more under-eye circles – I haven’t noticed a change
• Brighter eyes – I don’t notice any difference
• Clothes fit better – I still can’t fit into some of my pre-pregnancy jeans BUT today I easily fit into a new pair of pants that I ordered in a smaller size so I’d say that’s progress, right?
• Looking younger – No real change there
• Fewer seasonal allergies – Maybe a slight improvement
• Less fatigue – Yeah you know the answer to that one
• Practice mindful eating – Honestly, I think there’s been some improvement here

So in total, for 7 of 14 (50%) of my goals, I’ve seen no change.
For 5 of my 14 goals (roughly 36%) there’s been at least some improvement or progress toward my stated goal.
And in 2 of my pre-Whole30 goals (about 14%) both of which relate to energy, there’s been movement in the opposite direction.

So it looks like we’re in this for the long run, or at least for the whole 30 days. And, I’ll close this post by quoting a verse I shared a few days ago: “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New Living Translation) So I guess that will be the Wisdom for the Day. And I’ll just go reread it a few more times just to remind myself that finishing is indeed better than starting. Read more here.

#Whole30 Round 2 Days 4-5

….Kill ALL the Things? No, But I Might Trade Our Shiba Inu for a Pepsi Maxx!

Are You Talking about Me?

Are You Talking about Me? You MUST Be Talking about Me. I’m the Only Shiba Inu Here!

During our first Whole30, I relied heavily on the official #Whole30 Timeline 2.0 available on the Whole30 website. The timeline served as a sort of roadmap, reassuring me that I was more or less staying on course and that my struggles were normal, especially during the difficult days. This time is no different. The following is an excerpt from the official #Whole30 Timeline 2.0 for days 4-5.

“Days 4-5: Kill ALL the things! Day 4 dawns and you tentatively step out of bed, expecting to feel like you took a strike from Thor’s hammer in the temple. Instead, your head is surprisingly clear. Your limbs all feel functional. This could be a good day! You walk into the kitchen and as you’re greeted by the smiling face of your significant other you are suddenly overcome…with the desire to punch them in the face for smiling this early in the morning. Congratulations! You’ve made it to day 4…It’s probably because your brain is never very happy when you tell it that it CAN’T have something, and take it out of it’s habitual and accustomed comfort zone. An unhappy brain is a stressed brain, an anxious brain, a fearful brain. No to mention your hormones are desperately trying to keep up with your new food choices, your gut is trying to heal, you’ve had a headache for the last three days, and you REALLY MISS YOUR DIET COKE. So yeah, maybe we do know why this is happening now…”

In all honesty, I probably entered this second go-round a tad over-confident, and my recent pre-Whole30 diet hasn’t been as clean as I’ve been telling myself. As I’ve written previously, we’re prepping for our daughter’s first birthday party. And I’ve been using the upcoming celebration as an excuse to test out several new cookie recipes including my pretty Pink Paleo Macaroons and not-yet-published Paleo/Vegan Magic Cookie Bars recipe. Truth is, I probably ate cookies (plural, as in more than one) every single day in August. I’d also resumed the nasty habit of consuming 1-2 diet sodas daily, and boy am I paying for it now! My body is seriously craving sweets and caffeine. I’m suffering from major headaches, brain fog and irritability. Mercifully, this round is MUCH easier thanks to the recent Whole30 approval of Nut Pods Unsweetened Coffee Creamers!

Whole30 Mama Needs Caffeine!!!

Even Whole30 Mamas Need Caffeine!!!

I’m not homicidal. Thank goodness! But I am seriously lacking (my normal) patience for dealing with our dogs, especially our poor Shiba Inu, CJ. Poor CJ. He such a sweet boy…most of the time. He adores our baby girl. But sometimes that’s the problem. He’s constantly circling around her, especially now that she’s attempting to eat solid foods. He’s always underfoot as he forages around her highchair for her droppings.

Doggies circling like vultures

Doggies circling like vultures

The little terrier, Brewster, is stealthy, and is the first to pounce on any baby food that hits the first. CJ moves slower and more deliberately, determined to pick up ay small pieces Brewster missed. But CJ gets himself stuck in the most unfortunate positions – like this one (which happened when he was nosing around after crumbs), leaving me to have to help him get “un-stuck.” IMG_4758
And CJ tends to bark repeatedly every time I get the baby down for her afternoon nap. So frustrating! I then find myself barking (shouting) back at him to “shut up, you’ll wake the baby,” which of course wakes her up immediately making me even more frustrated, mostly with myself for having an argument with a dog.

Luckily (for CJ’s sake), the Whole30 folks state that this phase doesn’t last. And, I’m doing my best to remind myself that I made it through these rough patches last time and the rewards are more than worth the discomfort. So, I’ll have another cup of Nut Pods-spiked coffee and look forward to some yummy (leftover) rotisserie chicken stir fry for dinner, one of my favorite recipe discoveries from our first Whole30.

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Stir Fry with Riced Cauliflower

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Stir Fry with Riced Cauliflower

Beauty Resource for the Day:
Anyone who’s read my posts knows by now I love Tati Westbrook, AKA “GlamLifeGuru.” Love. Her. Her most recent video is the perfect example of why. Unlike many YouTube gurus who tout the most expensive department store makeup products, Tati has created a new video tag titled “Nothing over $10,” the challenge being to create a beautiful full face of makeup look using only products under $10. Watch as she executes the challenge flawlessly and jot down the excellent and inexpensive products she uses:

Wisdom for the Day:
“Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New Living Translation)
Read more here.

#Whole30 Round 2 Kickoff

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 5.29.38 PM

Happy September & Happy #Whole30 Kickoff!

Immediately following completion of our first #Whole30 (May 1, 2016), Hubs and I agreed that we definitely wanted to do another round sometime this year. Not yet confident in our ability to adhere to the program rules over the food-centric Thanksgiving holiday, we decided September was our best bet for a successful Round 2. So off we go on our second Whole30 adventure!
doing-the-w30-fb-cover
During our first round, I relied heavily on the resources and downloads available at the Whole30 website. One resource I failed to mention during our first go-round was the #Whole30 Non-Scale Victory (#NSV) Checklist – available for download here. The NSV Checklist is a 2-page list of positive results (separate from actual pounds or kg. lost) achieved by Whole30 completers. I encourage you to check it out if you’ve never seen the NSV Checklist. Folks have reported some amazing achievements like “Whiter Teeth;” “Looking Younger;” “Longer, Stronger Nails;” and “Increased Libido.”

As a motivator, I reviewed my NSV Checklist results from our first round. Then, I made list of the #NSV items I hope to achieve this round. Here’s my list of benefits achieved during our April (2016) Whole30:
1. Less dimpled skin
2. Flatter stomach
3. Leaner overall appearance
4. Clothes fit better – this was huge!
As pictured below, I was (finally) able to fit into 2 pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans for the first time in a year!

Woohoo! Back in my fav jeans!!! (excuse the messy bedroom)

Woohoo! Back in my fav jeans!!!
(excuse the messy bedroom and my unattractive socks)

5. Less bloating
5. Feeling more confident in my appearance
6. Fewer PMS symptoms
7. A more regular monthly cycle
8. Less stomach pain
9. Less gas
10. Reduction in food allergies (symptoms)
11. Improved blood sugar regulation
12. Less stressed
13. Fewer carb cravings
14. Improved body image
15. Improved self-confidence
16. Friends and family came to me seeking food and healthy lifestyle advice or healthy recipes
17. Eating to satiety
18. Listening to my body
19. No longer afraid of dietary fat (this was a BIG paradigm shift for me!)
20. No longer using food as a reward
21. More nutrition in my diet
22. Food no longer had unwanted “side effects” (similar to #11)
23. Energy levels more even
24. I no longer got cranky when I needed to eat
25. I needed less caffeine
26. I became more consistent with exercise
27. I discovered lots of new recipes (see list at bottom of post)
28. Our meal prep was more organized and efficient
29. Our healthy eating habits brought us closer as a family
30. People asked what I was doing differently (esp. how I lost the baby weight)
31. Feeling in control of food (not the other way around)

Wow! That’s a whole lotta benefits. Just typing them out makes me really excited to see what successes we’ll achieve this time. In keeping with Hubs’ recommendation‘ to set goals before undertaking any lifestyle changes, I’ve identified a few more potential results from the NSV Checklist I’d like to see happen this time. Here they are:
• More energy to play with our daughter (this is always my #1 goal as she’s always our #1 priority)
• Improved attention span
• Fewer ADHD symptoms
• Fall asleep more easily
• More energy to exercise – I’m hoping to add a walking regimen to my existing routine of MUTU + 45-60 min yoga/daily
• Be outside more
• Create and try new recipes
• No more under-eye circles
• Brighter eyes
• Clothes fit better – I still can’t fit into several pair of pre-pregnancy jeans.
• Looking younger
• Fewer seasonal allergies
• Less fatigue
• Practice mindful eating

Speaking of mindfulness and improved mental focus, I’m adding a goal not listed on the NSV Checklist. By then end of September, I want to be practicing EmWave for at least 15 minutes each day.
Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 6.38.09 PM
EmWave is a mental training product of the HeartMath company – available as an iPhone app, a stand-alone handheld device, or computer program teaches you to use “Balanced Breathing” to normalize your and balance out your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, thereby improving your focus and attention. If you’re unfamiliar with Emwave, check out their website for more information on the science and research behind this training, the benefits available from just a few minutes of practice each day.

Wisdom for the Day:
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” ~Job 13:11 (New International Version)
Read more here.

Beauty Resource for the Day:
Ever wonder why all the beauty bloggers and social media makeup gurus have such huge beautiful eyes? Are they all just genetically gifted? Nope! They use special eye-tricking techniques to make their eyes appear larger. In this video the absolutely stunning Stephanie Lange shares her 8 best tricks for making eyes look bigger. It’s worth the less than 4 minutes of your time just to hear her adorable accent!

Be Sure to Check Out These #Whole30 Recipes from Daily Beauty Wisdom:
#Whole30 Creamy Spinach Stuffed Turkey or Pork Roulade
#Whole30 Veggie Puffs for Kids & Adults
Whole30-Compliant Sloppy Joes on Sweet Potato Toasts
Super Simple & Sumptuous Sweet Potatoes
Stupid Easy Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce #WHOLE30 #Vegan #Raw
QUICK & EASY BEAUTIFYING PAPAYA SALAD #WHOLE30 #PALEO #VEGAN
Presto Peachy Lime Vinaigrette #WHOLE30-compliant #Vegan #Paleo #Raw
Split Second Strawberry Vinaigrette #WHOLE30 Compliant (#raw, #paleo & #vegan)
Fix-It-And-Forget-It: Simply Beautiful Southern Greens Crockpot #WHOLE30 Compliant
Quick & Easy Paleo Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing #WHOLE30 Compliant
Chicken Tri-Almandine Casserole
WHOLE30 Stuffed Zucchini 2 Ways
Easy Cheezy Chicken & Broccoli Soup with Crispy Potato Croutons

Hi I'm Karen.

I appreciate you stopping by Daily Beauty Wisdom.

I hope while you're here you find some tips, tricks and recipes to help you feel healthier and prettier, save some money, and live a life filled with wisdom and beauty.

Before you leave, don't forget to enter your email in the subscription box below. You'll automatically receive all new DBW posts and content sent directly to your mailbox of choice.

So be sure to subscribe and never miss another dose of Daily Beauty Wisdom!

us-2

Subscribe!