Worth the Hype

New Brand Discovery: Heroes Beauty

In the beginning of 2017, I was extremely lucky to have won an incredible IG giveaway that the beautiful and hilarious @stevie.cakes was gracious enough to sponsor. There was an awesome array of products and I literally had to pick myself up off the floor when I found out I won! I anxiously awaited my goodies and, after going through the box of fabulousness, there were four products in particular that stood out.  I had never heard Heroes Beauty before . I was now the very proud owner of a new lip liner, lip gloss, blush and quite possibly the most outrageous, professional set of cosmetic brushes I’d ever seen or used in my life.  I decided to check out their website www.heroesbeauty.com to find out a little more. They have a full line of face, body, eyes, lips, cheeks and brushes. Plus a really neat sample size of foundations and primer that you can get for $1 – 3. All products are made in the USA, ship free with in the USA and best yet, NO ANIMAL TESTING!!!  Could it get any better? Yep — they donate 5% of their annual profits to “Heroes”:  veterans, abused women, foster children and other national and local charities. I was already in love with the company but what about the actual products?

OMGosh YES!! I received the blush in the color Bashful, a versatile peach color that I can wear with both warm and cool toned looks. I was very surprised that this color did not turn orange on me, as most peach tones tend to do on my pale skin with a lot of redness in it. It was highly pigmented, no glimmer or shimmer, just a perfect shade. If summer was a color, this would be it!

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Champagne lip gloss over my own coral lipstick, and Bashful blush.

The lip pencil is in the shade Rosebud, which is almost a dupe for my all-time favorite lip liner from Clinique in the shade Cocoa Rose. Rosebud shows up on me as a neural rose color that I can use with my nudes, neutrals, pinks and roses. I’ve yet to try it with my reds but I have a sneaking suspicion that it would work. It’s very creamy, long lasting, glides very easy and I’ve yet to make a mistake lining my lips, which I still tend to do after all these years. (My top lip is very misshapen but I’ll never admit that to anyone….). It’s wonderful to completely fill in your lips as it’s non drying.

My lip gloss shade is Champagne, which is a 90% dupe for my MAC Lipglass in C Thru. It’s a gorgeous champagne peach color, which has the most adorable iridescent sheen on me. It’s beautiful by itself or on top of the Rosebud liner.  But I guarantee you that if you have a drawer full of unused lipsticks you don’t wear, put this gloss on top of them and you now have an entire new wardrobe of colors. The formula is non sticky, non-goopey and feels nice when you are wearing it. If happiness was a color, this would be it!

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Champagne lip gloss and Bashful blush

The true star of this remarkable show is the 18 piece brush set. I’m obsessed with any kind of brush, high end, low end you name it. Working for Estee Lauder and Lancome spoiled me, as I got used to working with some pretty excellent tools. But I have never found my perfect foundation or lip brush until now. The foundation brush just lays down the product and blends it out perfectly. No streaking whatsoever! And the lip brush has the most perfect tip so I can finally line my lips to perfection with a liquid lipstick! There is a blush, powder, contour, fan, stipple, eyeliner, concealer, lash comb, spoolie, crease and different sizes of eye shadow brushes. Maybe the neatest is an eye shadow applicator brush with additional, removable sponge tip applicators. They are easy to wash, don’t lose hairs and you will honestly notice a huge difference on how much nicer your makeup goes on! The black roll up case has a space for each individual brush to call home. Grade A brushes these are!brushes

This may be my first post where the Dark Side Diva didn’t have a single negative thing to report, except that I don’t have enough of these products in my life! It was such a wonderful surprise winning Stevie’s giveaway, but to receive such beautiful, professional products was just too much! So do I recommend Heroes Beauty? Absolutely 100% I do! RUN, don’t walk and check out a beauty brand with one of the biggest hearts you’ll find!

ColourPop Cosmetics

I’ll admit I jumped on the ColourPop train a little late. I had seen this line all over social media and got intrigued with the whole Kylie Jenner/ColourPop saga.  You know, the controversy about both lines being made by the same manufacturer but KJ’s was way more costly?  After seeing all the neat products launching and learning it is a cruelty free brand, I had to go for it!  I’ve placed 3 orders so far – eye shadows, highlighters, lip pencils, stix and liquid lip products.  Here’s the Dark Side down-low:

SUPER SHOCK SHADOWS These shadows are a creamy, powder formula.  I wasn’t impressed with them at all the first time I tried them.  They were weird and just didn’t “lay” right.  However, I’ve learned some tricks since then and my opinion has changed greatly.  Because the shadow has a “bouncy” texture, I have to apply it with either my fingers or a firm eyeshadow brush for the colors to really POP on me. It’s really the only way these work.  I can use a fluffy, blending brush to smoke out the colors in my crease or to soften the color if I want.  I’ll even put some setting spray on my brush to make the colors more dramatic and easier to apply.  I have tried the ColourPop shadows in the following colors: Coconut, Lovely, So Quiche, Hammered, Bubbly, Sugar and Catnap.  They are gorgeous and last all day, but I always use an eye primer.  As with all ColourPop formulas, you absolutley MUST make sure that the lid is twisted on tight or the powder will dry up and get all funky.

SUPER SHOCK CHEEK HIGHLIGHTER I have one shade and I love it. It’s called Churro and it has the same creamy, powder formula.  I saw it on Instagram and knew I had to get it. It’s a beautiful, pale gold on me that I can build on without it being over the top.

LIPPIE PENCILS These are very long wearing, easy to apply, pigmented and, best of all, they do not feather. My only downside is that these pencils need sharpened and I hate wasting product!  My fav shades are Wet and BFF3.  Many of the ColourPop lip colors also have a coordinating Lippie Pencil.  So if you do not have the time to try and match products, they are right there on the website for you.

ULTRA MATTE LIP I only have one of these and unfortunately I do not love the color so I really can’t give a completely negative review on this.  The formula is creamy, lightweight, very long lasting yet comfortable.  However, the color Lychee looked horrendous on me.  I will usually try to give a bad color a second chance, which I did with an entirely different color scheme in makeup that day.  Nope.  I would absolutely give the Ultra Matte another try, but with different colors.

ULTRA SATIN LIP This formula isn’t as long lasting as the Ultra Matte, but it comes pretty darn close.  It’s creamier and comfortable, but it did a little disappearing act throughout the day.  Nothing major, I just needed to reapply it one time.  I have the quite a few of these, Mess Around, Magic Wand, Too Lips, Stud, Marshmallow, Bijou and Dopey.  For you makeup junkies, Marshmallow is almost an exact dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lip in Clover. But the price difference is unbelievable.

LIPPIE STIX I have 3 of these in a matte, creme and pearlized version.  And I adore them!  Fun to apply, very creamy, and long lasting.  I would have dozens of these if I could.  And let’s face it, I probably will!  I have tried I Heart This, Wet, and the limited edition Hello Kitty shade Konichiwa.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The products I purchased were all between $4 – 8.  Shipping and handling is free with orders over $30, plus they have special promotions all the time where the S/H is free with any order.  I would consider ColourPop to be a very high-end drug store brand.  Not quite prestige, but a lot better than your standard drug store or Walmart brands.  The color ranges are out of this world, they have special collaborations and just all around fun products.  And the postcards they send with your orders are just something special they do to show that they go out of their way to make sure you enjoy their line.

Do I recommend ColourPop? Absolutely!  Will I be buying more in the near future? Absolutely!  Will I be satisfied with every product I receive?  Probably not, but I sure will have fun finding out!

www.colourpop.com

Dark Side Hall of Fame

Having spent almost 5 decades on the Dark Side, I’ve used and tried thousands of skin, hair, and cosmetic products, both high and low end. What do I consider to be my top 10 of all time? Read on, you may be surprised by the range of items I adore!

TRESOR  I’ve been wearing this classic Lancôme fragrance since 1990. It was the second “grown up” perfume that I bought myself (Calvin Klein’s Obsession was the first).  It has notes of rose, apricot, and iris and is simply beautiful.  I’ve been followed around department stores by women wanting to know what my perfume is because I smell so nice!

CLINIQUE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT MOISURIZING LOTION  This has been a skincare staple of mine since 1988.  It’s remarkably simple, nothing fancy.  Everyone recognizes the signature yellow lotion that is lightweight and very effective.  It provides me with all-day hydration while strengthening the skin’s natural moisture barrier.  I use it twice a day, after cleansing my skin but before any other skincare.  For those of you that need a lighter or heavier product, it now comes in an oil-free gel or a rich cream formula.

LANCÔME DEFINICILS MASCARA  I’ve tried almost every mascara out on the market, but I always come back to the classic from Lancôme.  It gives me loner, fuller, perfectly separated lashes that look like I’m wearing falsies.  It doesn’t smudge or irritate my eyes, and has what I think to be the best wand out there.  And the Deep Black shade is the perfect inky black, dramatic color.

CARMEX CLASSIC LIP BALM  You’re all familiar with the yellow and red tube of lip balm.  You can get it for $1 and I have tubes everywhere – in my purse, on my nightstand, in my car.  It’s medicated, soothes and protects your lips, and  has a SPF of 15.  I started out with the jar and moved to the easier to apply tube.  Best of all, Carmex does not test on animals!

COVER GIRL CLEAN POWDER FOUNDATION  I started using this when it was known as “Simply Powder Foundation”.  CG changed the name and packaging, but not the formulation.  It covers like a liquid but feels like a powder.  I use it on its own or on top of my liquid foundation when I need a heavier coverage.  It stays all day, is convenient to toss in my makeup bag, and costs around $7.

ESTEE LAUDER ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR SYNCHRONIZED RECOVERY COMPLEX II  Otherwise known to Estee Lauder fans simply as ANR, it is the #1 repair serum on the market.  It helps fight the key signs of aging to help reveal a smoother, more radiant, younger-looking face.  I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in dryness, dehydration, wrinkles and dullness.  When I try something less expensive, my face pays for it and the signs show! ANR is oil and fragrance free and will not clog pores.  While it’s best known as a nightly product, I use it twice daily.  All over my face and neck and a trick that an Estee Lauder coworker taught me is to use it on the back of your neck where signs of aging show sooner because of sun damage!

IVORY SOAP   I will never have a shower or bath without this 130 year old classic bar of soap!  It provides a simple, effective clean, is free of dyes and heavy perfumes, and is 99.44% pure. I adore this product and its mild scent.  And it’s still made in the USA!

AUSSIE MOIST 3 MINUTE MIRACLE  Every gal has used Aussie products at least once in her lifetime. The familiar purple bottles and that instantly-recognizable fragrance that takes you back to 8th grade – it was awesome until you got caught in the rain and the smell intensified.   And if your friends had used it too…  Anyways, it hydrates and deep conditions my old, wavy, war-torn hair, making it smooth, soft, shiny, and frizz-free.  I use it a couple times a week as a deep conditioner.  For $3, it’s a steal!

CETAPHIL DAILY CLEANSER  This has been effectively cleansing my face for years.  The mild, non-irritating formula gently removes excess oil.  However, it does not remove makeup, so if you have a full face on you will have to use a makeup remover first.  But sunscreens, dirt, and environmental crud wash away like a dream.

REVLON COLOR SILK PERMANENT HAIR COLOR  This may or may not come as a surprise to some, but the Dark Side Diva has been coloring her hair since she turned gray at 16.  That’s 30+ years of being just about every color in the rainbow (and then some). This formula completely covers my gray roots, is ammonia-fre, long lasting, and doesn’t fry my hair. It’s very easy to use and costs around $3-5 a box, conditioner included.

So that’s my Dark Side Beauty Hall of Fame.  I could have added some red lipstick, cleansing conditioners and facial masks, but that’s for another time.  Stay tuned to see what products end up on the Death Star’s Hall of Shame!

Spring 2017 WalMart Beauty Box

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There are so many subscription boxes on the market these days. You can get monthly or seasonal boxes containing everything from health and beauty items, fitness and pet supplies to ready-to-prepare meals.  While the prices vary considerably, one of the most inexpensive boxes to try is the seasonal WalMart Beauty Box.  It comes out four times a year and you pay only a $5 shipping charge.

Now remember, this is from WalMart, so you will not be getting any high-end health and beauty supplies.  Each box has a retail value of at least $15 and has a variety of drug store products.  The Spring 2017 box included the following:

  • 1.7 oz Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Repair Shampoo and Conditioner Extreme Damage Repair
  • SOO AE Nature Collagen Essence Sheet Mask in Vitamin Pure Brightening
  • Pure Ice Nail Polish in Tickle Me Pink
  • 2 oz   Jergen’s  Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer in Fair to Medium Skin Tones
  • .75 oz Colgate Optic White Beauty Toothpaste
  • 1.5 oz Ban Powder Fresh Roll On Antiperspirant/Deodorant
  • 2 oz   Soap Box Sea Minerals Body Wash with Shea Butter

I have wanted to try the Gliss shampoo and conditioner for months, as Claudia Schiffer is the spokesmodel for the brand.  Who doesn’t want Claudia Schiffer’s bouncy, shiny hair?  If it’s good enough for her, then I’m all in!  The size of the bottle will get my ear length curly bob at least 3 if not 4 uses. It’s highly concentrated, so I needed very little and it made my hair soft, shiny, and extremely manageable. I loved it and will definitely be purchasing the larger sized bottles in the future.

I have used SOO AE Nature Sheet Masks before, so I knew I would enjoy this brightening version.  They are easy to apply, stay in place on your face, work well and are an excellent way to relax and chill out for at least 20 minutes.

The Pure Ice Nail Polish is a pretty, soft pink shade, perfect for spring and summer. You can even manage to do a French manicure with this color.

The Jergen’s Moisturizer was the only bust for me.  Even after multiple uses, it didn’t add any color at all to my skin.  I have always had trouble with fake tanning and any product that promises to add color, however light, to my skin.  So I shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed, yet I was. The only thing it managed to do was make my shower floor slippery and dangerous.  So I’ll pass on this.

The remaining products, toothpaste, deodorant, and body wash will be going into my travel bag. They are the perfect products and sizes to save for out of town trips.

For the price of your morning latte, you can get an impressive selection of sample-sized, drug store beauty products.  Each seasonal beauty box retails for around $15, so this is a steal.  Plus, you can go back to the Walmart site, www.beautybox.walmart.com and order additional boxes (as long as they are available), and you should receive different products.   This Dark Side Diva is very impressed with WalMart’s Spring Beauty Box!

Farsali Rose Gold Elixir: Worth the Hype?