Thursday, December 10, 2015

My November Beauty Favorites!

November was a great month of beauty finds for me!  This month's products were all new to me.  I have been trying a variety of things, but these were my standouts.  I am so impressed with all of these items that I think they will work for most everybody.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Hydroxy Extra Strength Daily Peel

     I received these from a Sephora shipment as a sample.  I have never used an at home chemical peel treatment, so I really had no expectations, but was very curious to see the results.  I have been going to an esthetician once a month from a year and a half now.  I have had many chemical peels during that time, and wanted to see how these at home peels compare.  I was actually shocked with the results!!  They instantly made my face look brighter, smoother, softer, and more plump.  I really couldn't believe it!  It is an easy 2 step process.  After cleansing your face, you use step one (a small cleansing towelette) all over your face and neck in circular motions.  After two minutes, you move onto step two, which is another small towelette and repeat what you did on step one.  When you are finished, you will feel a bit of a tingle, but nothing uncomfortable.  You do not rinse or wash your face after the treatment.  Just apply moisturizer as usual.  You can use this treatment daily, in the am or pm.  I have done six treatments myself and I am just so happy with the results.  I have purchased more and now have my mom using them, and she loves them as well.  I have told all my friends about them and anyone else who will listen.  I love skincare and always have.  I have found 2 great skincare products this year, and this is definitely one of them.  They come in 3 different strengths......sensitive, regular, and extra strength.  I have used the regular and extra strength without any problems.  If you are interested in trying them, you can purchase 5 treatments for $16.  I just received my order of 35, because I never want to be without these.  You can use them daily, but you don't have to.  I have used 6 in two weeks with excellent results.  You can only find these at Sephora. My best friend went to purchase these last weekend, and they were sold out, so you may want to purchase online.

Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer

*swatches: Top - swirled together 
Middle - left side of bronzer
Bottom - right side of bronzer

I bought a small kit from Sephora that included many deluxe samples of products that I have been wanting to try.  This bronzer was included.  I have been wearing the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer for a very long time now, and really love it.  This is also a very pretty bronzer, but looks quite different from the Chocolate Soleil.  This product comes with two different lighter and one darker.  Both shades have a soft shimmer in them, that gives a warm sun kissed look.  You could apply these separately or swirl the two together.  I prefer to swirl and apply all over my face on the points where the sun would naturally hit.  The Chocolate Soleil I use as a contour.  This product is definitely best as a bronzer, because it is more golden and adds the soft shimmer.  This bronzer looks great on it's own without blush or highlight, which is great for everyday wear.  Who doesn't love an all in one product when you are rushed for time and trying to get out the door??  This bronzer retails for $30 in the full size.

Too Face Love Flush Long Lasting 16 hour blush - Justify My Love & Love Hangover

*Love Hangover & Justify My Love

These also came in the same kit as the bronzer.  I had heard a lot of great things about this line on youtube, and definitely wanted to try them since I am a total blush junky.  These are gorgeous!  They are soft and apply so smoothly to the skin.  They are also very pigmented and very long lasting.  For many people, blush is the first product to fade throughout the day.  These don't fade on me at all!  I can't say if they wear for 16 hours or not because I don't wear makeup that long, but they definitely last until I remove my makeup at night.  These blushes retail for $26 for the full size and the line offers 6 different shades.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

Most beauty junkies know about this highlighter, because it is a cult classic.  Probably the most popular item from Becca, yet I had never tried it.  This highlighter really packs a punch!  It is not for someone who likes a more natural or subtle makeup look.  It is a champagne gold and looks so beautiful and illuminating.  It is very pigmented so you don't want to go too crazy with it, but it blends into the skin flawlessly.  I find it to be similar to The Balm's Mary Lou-Minizer in pigmentation, but think it is a little more golden.  If you love to have that "shine bright like a diamond" highlight, you will love this!  I think this will be gorgeous for the holidays.  It retails for $38 in the full size.

Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick - Sultry Mauve

Another new product for me!  I had never tried a Buxom lipstick before, but had heard good things about this line.  I know that matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks are so popular right now, but I am not a fan of those.  I find most of them uncomfortable and I really don't like anything that is a matte finish.  That's just my preference.  These lipsticks are just the opposite in look and feel.  They are a gel formula, so they are very moisturizing and have a shinier look to them, but not too shiny or frosty.    And even though they are a shinier formula, I don't find that they slip outside my lip line or fade too quickly.  These are not long wearing nor do they claim to be, but they do last me quite well.  I also love this color for the fall and winter months.  The packaging is also really good.  It is a black shiny bullet that also has a magnetic close, so you don't have to worry about the lid coming off and getting makeup all inside your purse (I think we have all been there).  The only negative I have on these is that the actual lipstick bullet is on the big side, which makes it a little more difficult to apply, especially if you have smaller lips.  It doesn't have that point at the top like a traditional lipstick does. I think that's a small thing though compared to the formula, packaging, and beautiful colors that the line offers.  This line offers 30 beautiful shades and retails for $22.

Am-Big-U-Ous You Mineral Blush - Rosy Cheeks (matte) & Peachy Glow

*peachy glow & rosy cheeks

I live in the Columbus, Ohio area, and I found this natural mineral makeup line at a vintage store that I love to go to, De Mar's in Grandview Heights.  It is just a few steps away from my favorite tea house, so I like to stop there after my afternoon tea.  To my surprise they carry an ALL NATURAL, VEGAN, HANDMADE, LOCAL  skincare and makeup line.  My husband actually saw it first and brought it to my attention. Having eczema and psoriasis, he knows that I like to use as many natural products as possible.  Though I have tried and liked very few brands.  It has always seemed to me that many natural makeup lines don't give the same pigmentation and quality as traditional makeup lines.  The lasting power usually isn't the best.  After trying the samples, I saw that the pigmentation was there without a doubt.  My first purchase was the rosy cheeks blush.  I love this blush!  It is the most gorgeous deep rose blush shade!  It is super pigmented, and long lasting.  It goes great with whatever makeup look I am doing, whether it is more natural or more dramatic.  The product comes loose and in a sifter container.  You need to apply very sparingly, because it is so pigmented.  It blends out to be silky smooth and can build up without looking cakey.  I absolutely loved it so I bought the peachy glow blush on my next trip.  This blush is different, but equally as beautiful.  I love peach blushes, because they compliment my warm skin tone, but this blush for my medium skin color is really a highlight.  It has soft, golden shimmers that give a gorgeous reflection on the skin that blends out softly and doesn't look gritty.  This is the same type of loose powder as my previous blush, and requires just a touch to really get that sparkle.  If you are quite fair, you may get some peach color to your face, but if you are darker than that it will look like a golden highlight.  These blushes sell for $12 for 20g of product.  With as pigmented as these are, I promise that this will last an eternity.  This line also offers bronzers, foundation, mineral veil, eyeshadow, and a large assortment of skin and bath care items.  I have not tried any of these, but definitely will in the future.

If you are in the Columbus area, you can go to to find out what locations they are being sold at and any upcoming craft fairs that they will be attending.  If you are outside the Columbus area, or just prefer to shop online, you can find them at

Too Faced Small Cosmetic Bag

I ordered this bag from Sephora just to up my purchase price, so I could get free shipping.  With all my Ipsy bags I really didn't need it, but it is the cutest little makeup bag ever!  I have some of my essentials in it that I like to keep in my purse.  It has a plastic over coating so it will not get dirty or grimy, you can just wipe it with a damp cloth.  It is small in size, so this won't replace your makeup bag, but it is perfect for throwing in your purse or computer bag when you are on the go!  It retails for $5 on

I hope these reviews are helpful, and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.  I hope everyone is having a great week, and a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Newest Find: A Drugstore Dupe For Mac's Pro Long Wear Concealer!

I have been wearing my Mac concealer for a long time now.  I think 2 years or so.  I had it in 2 colors, NW 20 and NW 25.  I go a shade lighter than my foundation color to highlight my under eyes.  In the summer, I was tanner so I was using NW 25.  I gave the NW 20 to my mom, because she ran out of hers.  Then fall came, and I was paler as usual, but I no longer had my color.  So, I ran to the drugstore to pick up a concealer in a hurry.  I ended up picking up the Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflage Concealer and loving it!!  It is so  similar to the Mac that if it was in different packaging, I wouldn't know the difference.  It is a thinner consistency, but has full coverage.  I set it with powder as I do all my concealers, and get no creasing.  I have high end and drugstore makeup, but I get so happy to find the drugstore equivalent of a high end product, because it is usually at least 50% less than high end.  I find the Maybelline concealer to be just as good, if not BETTER, than the Mac!

Mac Pro Long Wear Concealer in NW 25

Maybelline Master Conceal in Light

The Maybelline Master Conceal comes in a range of colors......Fair, Light, Light/Medium, Medium, and Medium/Deep.  It retails for around $9, and can be found at your local drug or discount store.  While Mac retails for $20.  If you have been wanting to try Pro Long Wear or currently use it, but don't like paying $20 per bottle, give the Maybelline a try.  I don't think you will be disappointed!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My October Lifestyle & Beauty Favorites!

I haven't posted in awhile, because a lot has been going on in my life, but I think things are getting back to normal.  I didn't wear a lot of makeup in October, but when I did I was always grabbing the same things.  I was on a no buy for the month of September.  I didn't buy anything till almost 2 weeks into October.  I guess once I got out of the habit of buying, I just didn't have that itch to do so.  I ended up buying a Laura Geller Beauty Box that had a lot of products in it.  This was my first Laura Geller purchase, and I did like everything in the box.

Laura Geller Baked Balance & Brighten Blush - Tropic Hue &  Berry Trifle - I love blush, and I am a total blush junkie.  I was so excited to try these, because I have always heard great things about this line.  I really enjoy these blushes!  They are pigmented, apply smoothly, and give a soft glow to the cheeks that really brightens up the face.  This is very much a two in one product.  There is no need to add a highlight to this blush.  Funny enough, on the day that I purchased this blush, I also got a deluxe sample of it in my monthly subscription service (Ipsy, I believe).  I'm loving both shades and wearing them often.

Tropic Hue & Berry Trifle

Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer - Champagne - I love face primers and use them most of the time.  I am also a fan of a luminous or natural finish to the skin.  This primer definitely delivers, if a luminous finish is what you are after!!  The primer is lightweight and doesn't make my face oily, and I have normal to oily skin depending on the time of the year.  This primer luminates so well that I don't wear a highlighter with it.  I like to wear this with more of a natural to matte foundation.  I think it would be too much with my L'Oreal True Match Lumi.  If you are looking for that J. Lo glow and only want to use one product to achieve it, this product will easily and quickly give you that glow!

Laura Geller Baked Balance and Brighten Foundation Powder - I love my Too Faced Amazing Face Powder, so I was kinda iffy about whether I would even use this product.  I am glad that I have it though.  It is very different from my Too Faced powder.  The Too Faced is a powder foundation that adds extra coverage, but can also be worn on it's own.  The Balance and Brighten powder has a much lighter feel to it.  It doesn't add any additional coverage, but it does blur any imperfections and brighten the complexion leaving your skin looking fresh.  I think this powder is more of an everyday powder when you are going for a more natural daytime look.  It has never become heavy or cakey on me.

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner - I knew of this product, but hadn't tried it.  I was so surprised when I went to my hair appointment, and my hair stylist had bought this for me as a nice surprise!  I really have enjoyed this product!  It makes doing a cat eye so much easier.  Cat eyes have been the hardest thing for me to master.  Makeup application has always come so easy to me, but the cat eye technique can be so frustrating.  It takes practice for sure.  I wish I would have found this product a long time ago.  It has more of a gel liner consistency than a liquid one, which I have always preferred gel to liquid.  I find it easier to work with.  The color is very black, but dries nice and matte.  I like to do a cat eye, because I find that if I do, I don't need to do much else to my eyes.  I usually do a light overall lid shade, and a medium brown in the crease for definition.  It's a great addition if you want to go from a day look to an evening look.  Just add the cat eye, and a deeper lip color.....VOILA!

ELF Eyeshadow Quad  - Tantalizing Taupe  - I wasn't sure about this product at first.  I have used lots of good ELF products, but with the shadows being strips, I wasn't sure that I could get to the product well.  I was wrong.  I had no problems getting my brush into the shadow, and I was so surprised at how much I loved this palette!  My looks came out great every time that I have used it, and my shadows never faded or creased.  I used an eyeshadow primer, but I use one with all my shadows.  I didn't get much fall out either.  This is a versatile, inexpensive palette that is great for everyday, natural looks as well as a more dramatic smokey look.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi - I have done a full review on this foundation, so I won't spend too much time on it, but it is one of my favorite drugstore foundations.  With the weather turning cooler, I really like to have more of a luminous finish.  I don't wear this foundation as much in the summer, because I can get too oily.  It is perfect for the colder months or someone with normal to dry skin.  If I want more coverage, I mix it with my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation.  If you would like to see a full review, Click Here!

Black & White Toile Curtains - I love to decorate my home, and I always have!  My home is quite modern, but I have always loved toile.  I really never thought that it would work with my decor, but I found these on Amazon, so I had to try them.  I am a prime member, so I received them in 2 days.  They look even better than I imagined!  They are great quality with a great price.  Toile is so hard to find, and when you do it is usually very expensive.  I am so happy to have found these.  They also come in red and blue.  My mom loved mine so much that she got some for her home in red.  She is very happy with hers as well.  If you are interested in a closer look or purchasing them just search for Victoria Park Toil Curtains on Amazon.

*These panels are not as wide as standard panels.  I have two on each of these windows, but had to use four for the slider in my dining area.

This toile comes in different curtain lengths, a cafe curtain, and a few different styles of valances.  The panels also come with tie backs.  I didn't use them, because I have hardware tie backs.

The print in red.

DoTerra Petal Diffuser - I started using DoTerra about a year ago.  It has helped me with multiple ailments, and I am thankful that I found it, but this is my first DoTerra diffuser.  I have two others that I bought from Amazon, which I like and am happy with.  This one is a little different though.  It runs for one, two or four hours.  It has a soft white light that can be turned off if you prefer, but what really sets this diffuser apart from my others is the gentle water sound that comes from it.  It sounds like a small fountain or stream that is so relaxing.  It is also very easy to clean and operate.  I use my diffuser most nights before bed, and in the afternoon if I am taking some time out to relax or read with my tea.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekly Beauty Deals From 11/15/15 - 11/21/15


-  Sally Hansen Nail Products - Spend $15 get $5 Reward Bucks

-  Almay Products - Spend $12 get $4 Reward Bucks

-  Buy Any 2 L'Oreal Products - get $5 RB

-  Wet N Wild Nail Polish and Kohl Crayon Eyeliner - BOGO 50% Off


-  Cover Girl Eye Enhancers Eye Shadow - BOGO 50% Off

-  Revlon Shadow Links Eye Shadow - BOGO 50% Off

-  Wet N Wild Creme Lip Liner Pencil and Nail Color- 40% Off


-  Almay Eye Shadow - BOGO 50% Off

-  L'Oreal Eye and Lip Cosmetics - Buy 2 get 2,000 points added to your card

-  Cover Girl Eye Shadow - BOGO 50% Off

*These are National deals and can vary from state to state.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Makeup Essentials: Products I Use Every Time or Almost Every Time I Use Makeup!

I have noticed that there are certain products that I always use, and I am never looking to replace, because I love them so much.  I'm not saying that there is definitely nothing better out there for me, but if there is, I haven't found it!  All of these products, I have been wearing for at least a year or more.  If someone were to say to me, which products do I definitely need in my collection, this would be my list.

NYX Powder - I bought this product pretty much on a whim.  I hadn't heard anything about it, but was looking for a brightening powder.  I was using the ELF Under Eye Setting Powder, which I really like, but was hoping to find something just a little more brightening.  This definitley did just that!  I have been wearing this powder for over a year.  I love it, and haven't even wanted to try anything else.  It sets my under eyes perfectly, while giving me just enough of a brightening effect.  It doesn't crease, and lasts all day.  I have NEVER had to touch up!  I found mine at Target.  I believe it was in the 8 - 10 dollar range.

Too Faced Amazing Face Foundation Powder - This is another product that I had never heard of, and for the life of me, I can't understand why!!  I wanted a finishing powder with extra coverage that would set everything, and not look cakey.  I went on Too Faced's website and just started browsing (in the past 6 months or so, I have really come to love this brand).  I read reviews on all the powders that I was considering and decided on this one.  I am soooo glad I did!  This one is a game changer for me.  It is light-weight, provides excellent coverage, never ever cakes up (and I use a lot), and it really perfects the skin in a way that no other powder ever has for me.  As soon as I tried it, I loved it and couldn't wait to tell my mom about it.  She tried it and loved it just as much as me.  She ordered hers the very same day!  I am in my 30's and my mom is in her 50's, and it works for both of us.  I never have to touch up my powder, I never get oily, and my makeup lasts all day!

MAC Pro Long Wear Concealer - I have been wearing this concealer for over a year now.  I still haven't ran out of product from my original purchase, and this concealer covers up my dark circles so well!  I don't have a little bit of circles, mine are quite blue in the inner corner, but you wouldn't know it after I apply this product.  I always use a good under eye and face moisturizer to prep my skin.  As long as I have that on, I will not get any creasing.  This isn't a thick formula, but it covers like one.  I have never met anyone who doesn't like this product!

*Since writing this post, I have found a drugstore dupe for the Mac Pro Longwear.  Try the Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer for half the price!*

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer - Brightener - I have been using this concealer even longer than the Mac one.  I have probably been wearing this for 3 or 4 years now.  This is a thinner formula than the Mac and not as opaque, but it really brightens in a way that the Mac concealer doesn't.  These two are the perfect companions!  I apply Mac first, and blend.  Then, I apply the Maybelline brightener, blend, and set with the NYX powder.  Absolutely love this combination!

NYX Eye Primer- Skintone-   I started using this at the end of last year/beginning of this year, I believe.  I also heard about it from youtube.  I've tried several eye primers.  All have done a pretty good job for me, but this one is different.  Not only does it prime your lids so your eyeshadow application is smoother, colors are more vivid, and creasing doesn't occur, but it also is an opaque formula that conceals all veining or pigmentation that is on your lids.  it's actually an eye lid primer and concealer in one.  I haven't reached for another primer since I bought this.  I found mine at Target for around 9 - 10 dollars.  I do have a dent in mine, but this will last me for so long.  It comes with a lot of product!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - I bought this at the beginning of the year, and I have been using it ever since!!  I had always hear good things about it, so I had to try it.  It is amazing!  It gives beautiful volume.  The brush is large, so I don't use it on my bottom lashes.  I always do 2 - 3 coats.  Anymore than that, I think it will get too thick and clumpy.  I am on the same tube that I purchased in January (I don't wear makeup everyday.  Probably 3 or 4 at the most!).  I have repurchased, but am trying to use up every little bit before opening.  I can't imagine not using this mascara!

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara - I tried this mascara for the first time in December of last year. I instantly loved it!  It has a mousse type of texture that goes on very smooth.  The formula isn't too wet though.  It gives length and volume, but the great thing about this mascara is it's lengthening and separating.  That's why I almost always pair this with the Too Faced Better Than Sex.  The only time I don't wear them together is if I am doing a natural makeup look.  In that case, I just wear the Tarte.  Since I have started wearing this combo, I haven't worn fake lashes even once, and I used to wear them quite a bit!  I'm not saying I'm done with falsies, because that is just crazy talk, but the two mascara's are so beautiful together that I just haven't felt the need.  I am still using the same tube that I bought in December, and it is still working great for me!

*With both mascara's I have no flaking or transfer.

I also wanted to add that all of these products I introduced to my mom, and she loves them as well!  She wears them pretty much on a daily basis.  I think it's important to note that, because I am almost 38 and she just turned 55.  We also have different skin types.  Her's is dry and mine is normal to oily.  Knowing that they all work great for both of us shows their versatility, so I have to believe that most people would enjoy these products.  My mom is my best friend, so when I find something I love, I just can't wait to tell her and have her try it!  I get really excited about great products :)  If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments section!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Drugstore Beauty Deals From 10/04/15 - 10/10/15


-  Spend $15 on any Revlon products and receive $5 Reward Bucks

-  Buy any 2 L'Oreal products and receive $5 Reward Bucks

-  Buy any 2 Maybelline eye, powder, foundation, blush, or concealer and receive $5 Reward Bucks

-  Cover Girl Cheekers Blush BOGO 50% off

-  Spend $20 on any Physicians Formula cosmetic and receive $10 Reward Bucks

-  Rimmel Eye Pencil BOGO 50% off


-  Cover Girl Enhancers Eye Shadow BOGO 50% off

-  L'Oreal Eye Shadow Singles BOGO 50% off

-  Revlon Colorstay Eye Shadow BOGO 50% off

-  Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Liner BOGO 50% off

-  Maybelline Eye or Nail item spend $15 get $3 Point Rewards


-  Almay Eye Shadows 40% off

-  L'Oreal Eye Shadow BOGO 50% off

-  Cover Girl Blush BOGO 50% off

-  Maybelline Eye Shadow BOGO 50% off

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Benefits Of Black Tea & Why Tea Is Such An Important Part Of My Life

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am a serious tea lover.  I first started drinking tea in college, but just here and there, and mostly in the evenings to calm me before bed.  Two years ago, I really started trying out different teas, and completely fell in love with it.  I started drinking it simply because I love the taste, and my heart is very sensitive to caffeine.  I didn't start drinking coffee till 32 or so, but it did give me heart palpitations on a regular basis and really started to irritate my stomach and make me very nauseous.  I don't miss my coffee in the least, and I love that by simply drinking something I love, I am helping my body be healthier.

We hear a lot about green tea and it's contributions to health, but rarely do we hear about the benefits of  black tea.  I drink all types of tea, but mostly green and black.  I love earl grey and english breakfast tea in the morning.  I haven't drank coffee in so long, the black tea gives me a little morning pick me up.  Aside from a little caffeine boost, these are some other reasons to add black tea to your diet.

For Oral Health - Black tea helps prevent plague and cavities.  The polyphenols found in black tea help kill bacteria and hinder the growth of bacterial enzymes that helps plague stick to the teeth.

For Bone Health - Some studies show that regular black tea consumption strengthens bones and helps  prevent arthritis because of the phytochemicals that it contains.

For Heart Health - Research shows that those who consume green and black tea daily and consume 3 or more cups per day, lower their risk of stroke by 21%.

Lowers Your Risk Of Diabetes - Research shows that regular consumption of 1 - 2 cups of black tea a day, lowers the risk of diabetes in the elderly.

For Stress Relief - Studies have shown that black tea can help you relax and concentrate. Black tea has also been shown to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, with moderate daily consumption.

Boosts The Immune System - Black tea contains alkylamine antigens that boost the immune system, and helps fight viruses.

Increased Energy - While black tea has caffeine, it is much lower than most caffeinated beverages.  The low amounts increase blood flow to the brain without overstimulating the heart which can cause palpitations.  It also stimulates the metabolism, respiratory system, and kidneys.

Contains Antioxidants - Antioxidants are an anti-ager.  They help block DNA damage, and aid in cell turnover.

I have to say that drinking tea is just as much about the experience as it is the tea itself.  I love brewing loose leaf tea, and using a tea light to keep it warm.  It gives it such a pretty glow that I also find relaxing, especially at the end of the day.  I also love finding new teas, visiting local tea salons on the weekends, and getting tea tableware. I have a curio cabinet with my best stuff in it.  I have english and asian tea sets.  I love the delicate plates that come with it, along with the beautiful patterns.  I also love the little tea spoons that just add the perfect little touch.  Add a shortbread tea cookie, and.......perfection!  It is so nice to make tea for your loved ones and just sit in your kitchen or dining room and stop to relax and just spend time talking together.  With the way we live our lives today, it is nice to take the time to enjoy the experience and one another.  I was born way too late, it has always been very apparent to me, and taking the time for tea gives me a feeling of stepping back in time, slowing down, and appreciating the moment that I am in.  Not only does tea offer physical well being, but I also find it to provide mental and emotional well being.

If you are in the Columbus area and are interested in learning more about tea, and trying new teas, I would encourage you to check out some local tea salons.  I love going to Zen-Cha tea salon!  They have so many different types of tea.....English, German, Asian, African, and so on.  They offer a full menu, with brunch on the weekend, samples to taste, and a relaxing atmosphere.  I have also gained some good brewing information while speaking to the wait staff.  They have 3 locations.  One downtown, one in the short north, and one in Bexley.  We do have other tea salons in the area, but I like this one so much, that that is where I keep returning.  If you would like to visit Zen-Cha or get more info, you can visit them at

*Pictures from last weekend at Zen-Cha with my mama.

Monday, September 28, 2015

My September Favorites!

This month, I was on a no buy, so I got into my collection and tried some things that I haven't been using regularly.  Which is really why I wanted to do the no buy.  When you have a lot of makeup items, you tend to forget what you have and end up neglecting great products.  The downside was that we got a brand new Ulta in my town, so that was quite torturous for me!  Anyways, this is what I used over and over for the month of September.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette - I have had this palette for over a year now, maybe two, I'm not sure, and while I used it and liked it in the past, I just kind of forgot about it.  As the name indicates, these are all matte shadows.  There are 9 in all, and the colors range from white, to rich browns, and neutral grays.  The size of these shadows are actually quite large for being in a palette.  You get a good amount of product and quality shadows for a really good price!  This palette is great on it's own as well as a companion palette for shimmery eye shadow palettes.  It is also lightweight, has a full size mirror, and a magnetic closure.  With the range of colors, you can create so many great looks.  I bought my palette on Hautelook.  They have flash sales and The Balm is on there quite often.

Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach - I heard of this concealer from a youtuber that I have been watching for a long time.  I was interested in it, because I have pretty dark circles with some veining, especially under my left eye.  I wanted a correcting concealer to use under my regular eye concealer, because I had never tried one.  I have been using Maybelline's Dark Spot Eraser Concealer in Brightener for a very long time, and I think it is a fantastic product, but I use it after my concealer and it is a thin formula.  I wanted to see if I could find something that is a little thicker and really correcting.  This Pixi corrector is just that.  It is in a pot and it is much thicker than my Maybelline Dark Spot Eraser.  I apply it under my Mac Pro Longwear Concealer.  It is a salmony-peach color that blends well and really does a great job in correcting and brightening my dark under eyes.  I blend mine out with a damp beauty blender, which makes it very quick and easy.  I also set it with my favorite under eye setting powder, the NYX  Radiant Finishing Powder in Brighten.  You can find Pixi products at your local Target store.  I think it retailed for around $10 - $12.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Pencils - Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliners have been my favorite since I first tried them a few years back.  But over the summer, I didn't find myself wearing eyeliner.  I guess I just didn't want to mess with it because of the heat.  So, I either wore none or used shadow as liner.  Now that the weather is changing, I am reaching more for eyeliners and I remember why I love these pencils so much!  They are creamy, pigmented, have lots of shades, and last all day.  They are waterproof, so smearing or having watery eyes shouldn't affect the look.  They retail for around $5.

*If you are looking for a great lip pencil, try the Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners.  They are also my favorite liner, with lots of great shades and a terrific formula!

Essential Oils - I have been using my essential oils for an array of things from health to skincare, and I have seen results and am really enjoying them.  I diffuse them, put them in oils for my skin, put them in all natural cleaners that I make at home, and use them with baking soda as all natural room deodorizers.  If you would like to learn more, please check out my recent blog post by clicking here!

Sleek Blush in Antique & Suede - This is my first Sleek Cosmetics purchase.  If you haven't hear of these, it is because they are a UK brand.  I have heard about them for a long time from youtube, and decided to order 2 blushes in August (I was sick in August and did my share of online shopping, which also prompted my no buy:))  I really like these colors for fall.  They are unique and unlike any other colors in my collection.  Since they came from the UK, the shipping did take longer, but the shipping cost was only $2, which I thought was excellent.  With shipping, I paid around $15 for both blushes.  I am very happy with my purchase, and would order again.  The only complaint that I have is that the packaging on these blushes is very hard to open.  I have to use my tweezers to pry it open, which is slightly irritating when you are getting ready, but it wouldn't keep me from buying from them in the future.  If you would like to see the Sleek Cosmetics line, go to

Suede & Antique 

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Touch Of Spice - I think this matte line came out last year, and I have to say that for someone like me, who isn't a fan of matte lipsticks, this is a really nice formula.  I know matte lipsticks are all the rage right now, but I find many formulas uncomfortable and very drying.  I don't have small lips, so mine tend to get chapped as it is.  Plus, I'm not a huge fan of the look of a matte finish.  I don't mind to wear it once in awhile, but I really prefer a creme finish that has some shine and is moisturizing.  Having said that, these lipsticks do not look, feel, or wear like a matte finish.  They are actually creamy, don't look drying, and last well on the lips.  Plus, I really love this color for the cooler weather.  I think it screams FALL!  If you haven't tried this formula or are someone who isn't in love with matte lipsticks.....try these.  I think you will be surprised!  These retail for around $6.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Drugstore Beauty Deals From 9/27/15 -10/03/15

CVS Deals

-  Any Revlon Cosmetic:  Spend $15, get $5 in Reward Bucks

-  Buy 2 Garnier Skincare Products: get $5 Reward Bucks

-  Buy Any Nivea Lotion or Cream:  get $3 Reward Bucks

-  Buy Any 2 L'Oreal Cosmetics:  get $5 Reward Bucks

-  Buy Any 2 Maybelline Eye, Blush, Concealer, Foundation, or Powder:  Get $5 Reward Bucks

Walgreens Deals

-  Revlon Eye Shadow:  BOGO 50% Off

-  Cover Girl Eye Shadow:  BOGO 50% Off

-  L'Oreal Colour Rich Lip Balm:   BOGO 50% Off

Rite-Aid Deals

-  Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eyeliner (My favorite!):  BOGO 50% Off

-  Revlon Color Stay Eye Shadow:  BOGO 50% Off

-  Physicians Formula Cosmetics:  Spend $15, get $10 Plenti Points

-  L'Oreal Go 360 Scrub (6oz.):  BOGO 50% Off

-  L'Oreal Eye Shadow Single:  BOGO 50% Off

-  Maybelline Eye & Nail Items:  Spend $15, get $3 Plenti Points


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

For Allergy Sufferers: Tips To Help Keep You Symptom Free!

I have severe allergies, especially to ragweed.  I am allergic to everything, but food.  Most of the year, I live a normal life, but when ragweed comes around my life drastically changes.  I do all of these things during ragweed season, because I have to.  Some of these may seem a little extreme, but that depends on how bad your allergies are.  If yours are mild to moderate, all of this would not be necessary, but incorporating a few could make a big difference in how you feel.

-  Netti Pot - This is awkward to use at first, but really helps with nasal allergy symptoms.  You can find these at your local drugstore or pharmacy.  Just empty the saliene packet into the pot, and fill with warm water.  Hold the pot up to your nostril, bending forward and tilting your head to the side.  Breathe through your nose, the entire time.  Those who don't end up feeling like they are drowning. The solution will drain out the other nostril, getting rid of mucus, allergens, and other debris.  This really helps with clearing the nasal passages, and relieving sinus headaches.  I like to do this at the end of my day.

-  Eye Wash - I do this every evening and sometimes in the mornings.  You can find this at your local drugstore.  It comes with a cup and solution.  It is easy to use, and feels quite soothing.  You just fill the cup up to the line with the solution, hold it up to your eye, and tip your head back.  Look up, down, and side to side to cleanse.  I always follow up with allergy eye drops.

-  Essential Oils - I have really gotten into essential oils lately.  I tried them for the first time over winter.  I was sick for four months, went to two doctors three times, was diagnosed with sinusitis and an upper respiratory infection, on 3 different antibiotics, and nothing was making me better.  I would feel better for a few days only to get worse again.  I was told that if the last antibiotic didn't work, I would have to see a specialist.  Needless to say, the last antibiotic was as successful as the previous two.  I was sick of being sick and did not want to see another doctor.  So, I took matters in my own hands.  I used my netti pot twice a day and a blend of essential oils from Doterra called breathe.  I used breathe in my diffuser only.  To my surprise, I was finally cured.  It took a few days, and I was feeling better, and haven't had a virus since.  If you would have told me that these things would have healed me when 3 antibiotics couldn't, I would have said that you were a nut bag!!  I am always a skeptic, but now I am a believer.  I started using essential oils again with my allergies.  I diffuse them in my diffuser and use them in a carrier oil (I like olive oil) to apply topically.  I have made up an allergy blend that consists of peppermint, lemon, and lavender.  I have also made a roller ball of this blend to keep in my purse when I am on the go.  I use a variety of essential oils every single day for different reasons.  They are helping me so much.  I could go on and on.  Do a little research online, and check out some books from your local library.  I have learned so much, and love using all natural products instead of over the counter and prescription drugs.  If you would like to learn more about what essential oils I use, and how I use them, Click Here!

-  Wear Large Sunglasses - Wearing sunglasses really helps keep pollen from getting in your eyes.  I have severe eye allergies where my eyes and face will get very red and swollen.  I have had my eyes swell shut on many occasions.  It is very itchy and very painful.  Once I swell, it is hard to get back to  normal, so I wear the biggest sunglasses I have.  It also helps if they wrap around the sides of the eyes.

-  Saline Nasal Spray - I don't use this a lot, but it is good to have on hand to use away from home or if you don't have a netti pot to flush out your nasal cavity.

-  Local Honey - People have used local honey for years to aid in allergy relief.  The idea is that if you consume honey from your local area, it will have some pollens that are indigenous to your region, that over time in small doses will help you to develop an immunity to those pollens.  Pretty much how allergy shots work.  I take honey everyday.  I put it in my tea or yogurt.  Sometimes I just drink it straight from the bottle.  I love the taste!

-  Apple Cider Vinegar - ACV offers a variety of health benefits, but did you know that it also helps with seasonal allergies?  ACV is a natural antihistamine.  People who suffer from allergies have very sensitive immune systems that overreact to pollen and other allergens.  Their bodies release histamines to defend against the harmless, yet foreign substance, which causes the body to bring on the typical symptoms associated with allergies.  Antihistamines helps to stop the release of histamines, that bring on the nasty symptoms.  I drink ACV daily, by diluting it in a glass of water.  I usually do 2 tablespoons or so.

-  Hygiene -  If you have spent time outdoors, take off your clothes immediately when returning home,  and wash them or put them in a clothes bag.  Take your shoes off outdoors, or keep them contained somewhere in the home.  Wash your body and hair as soon as possible.  Pollen collects on our clothes, hair, and skin, so being diligent in these areas will remove them quickly, and keep them out of your home or at least contained.

Also ask family member to at least remove their clothing and shoes as quickly as possible when arriving home.  Sitting on furniture with pollen filled clothing will contaminate the home.  If you have a dust allergy, you are probably use to dusting and sweeping a lot, but be extra diligent about it during that times that you are also fighting seasonal allergies.  I try to do my home twice a week, and mop at least once a week.  It is beneficial to wear a mask over you nose and mouth while doing this type of cleaning.

Another thing to consider is our pets.  The longer they are outside, the more pollen they are collecting on their fur and bringing into the home.

-  HEPA Filter and Room Air Purifiers - I use both during the worst times of the year.  Have a quality furnace filter that you can out regularly will help keep your home cleaner from allergens.  I also have an air purifier in my living room and bedroom.  I turn them on high when I leave the room or home for extra cleaning power.

-  Do Not Open Windows -  This goes for the car and your home.

-  Limit Your Time Outdoors - I go out as little as possible, but it's not like I can stay indoors for several months of ragweed season.  So, I park as close to stores as possible, and if I am with someone else, I have them drop me off at the door and pick me up.  I cannot attend any activities or functions that are outdoors.

-  Take A Probiotic - The verdict is out on probiotics on allergies.  There are studies that show probiotics show a decrease seasonal allergy symptoms, and other that show no change.  The theory is that because we live in cleaner environments than ever before, and everyone is always dousing themselves in antibacterial soaps, hand lotions, etc., our bodies have weaker immune systems, because we haven't been exposed to as many germs.  Being exposed helps build our immune systems and make them strong.  90% of our immune system is in our intestines.  Probiotics increases the amount of good bacteria in our intestines making them better equipped to deal with foreign bodies and viruses.  I take a probiotic every day along with my multivitamin and other supplements.  I also eat Activia yogurt most days of the week, because it also has live cultures to help the intestines/immune system.

-  Vitamin D - There are studies that have found that children with seasonal allergies are 20 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those who have no seasonal allergies.  Vitamin D was shown to decrease allergy symptoms across the board.  They studied even further finding that those who took 600 IU's of vitamin D3 showed improvement in hives associated with allergies, but those who took 4000 IU's of D3 showed a 40% improvement.