DS Quickie!

Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip

Sephora holiday collections are highly anticipated and tend to sell out in stores rather quickly. They really outdid themselves with this one! Here are some fast facts about this beautiful lip wardrobe.

sephora lip

Limited Edition, Mega Lip Set

15 lipsticks, glosses and creams

5 full size and 10 deluxe sizes

Well-known brands such as: ABH, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown, Dior, YSL, Sephora, Tarte, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, Smashbox and Marc Jacobs

Up & Coming Superstars such as: Huda Beauty, Touch In Sol, Hourglass and Wander Beauty

$254 value for $68

Colors range from berries, reds, mauves and nudes

Wearable colors and formulas for everyone and every style

Excellent gift idea for the Diva on your list. There is a shade for you, your mother, grandmother, daughter, niece, friend, you name it. Age appropriate for teens on up.

My only wish is that the set included a lip liner or two that would coordinate with the colors. But that probably would have jacked up the price another $20. I’ll survive using what I already have in my beauty collection!

The Dark Side Diva recommends this set 100%! Let me know if you get it and if you’re able to part with any of them. I’ll let you know if I did!


September 2017 Allure Beauty Box – Allure Best of Beauty


This is my first Allure Beauty box, which is your standard, monthly beauty box subscription. Unlike IPSY, the editors of Allure magazine choose current products that all subscribers will receive. It’s $15 a month but when you sign up your first box is $10. Here’s the 411 on September’s box.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush

I received the shade “Blushing Bride”, a pretty petal pink that’s very wearable. This is a full sized blush that retails for $30, so this one product is worth the price of the entire box. I’m a big fan of Tarte products, especially the Amazonian Clay line so I’m thrilled with this!

Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast

At first I thought this was a dry shampoo, which I absolutely hate. But it’s actually a spray-on mist that claims to volumize your hair to make it look like you have twice as much. I’ve played with this several times and it does give great volume to second day hair. I’m not usually a fan of Living Proof products so I’m pleasantly surprised with this one.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream .5oz

I couldn’t wait to try my first Drunk Elephant item! This whipped, unscented, velvety cream made my combination skin feel wonderful. It hasn’t made me shiny and my makeup has stayed on all day. I’ve used it at night also. This cream has a combo of oils, glycerin and hyaluronic acid and I can see it becoming a staple in my skin care routine.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye .1oz

It says .1oz but the itty bitty tube was MAYBE filled halfway. I doubt that I’ll see any results with this tiny amount of product. Kiehl’s has been around forever and I’ve used several of their products so I’m disappointed with this embarrassingly small size. It smells like lavender, absorbed very quickly but will be gone long before any true results are seen.

Beauty Blender Micro Mini

Beauty Blender can do no wrong in my eyes. This miniature size is perfect for blending under eyes and around the nose. Love it!

I give 4 of the 5 products in Allure’s September Beauty Box positive reviews and truly it could have been 5/5. Getting the full size Tarte blush was worth the price of admission, but when will these subscription boxes start to realize that teeny tiny skin care products are a waste of time and effort? I’d rather get a tiny fragrance sample so I can try the scent to see if I like it. Three days of an eye serum mean nothing to me!

Aging Gracefully into the Next Galaxy

This December I will turn 50.  There, I said it.  I didn’t mind turning 30 or 40, didn’t have a care in the world.  But 50 is like an obscene F word to me.  I hear someone talking about dropping an “F Bomb” and assume that they are also approaching 50.

The funny thing is, I’m constantly told that I don’t look anywhere near my age.  When I was 44, I took one of those high falutin’, fancy 3D skin analyzer tests.  I answered a bunch of questions, placed my face in this contraption and a couple minutes later had a print out that said I looked…..28!!!  Imagine my mid 40’s joy when I saw those results!


This is what 39 looks like

Let’s face it, the aging process is not fair to women.  When men age, they look like Sean Connery.  Unfortunately when women age, they also look like Sean Connery.  I’m doing my best to avoid that scenario!  Here are a couple very easy and effective age-prevention steps I’ve been doing for years, and have no intention of stopping!

Triple Cleansing — I know it sounds a bit much, but when you wear as much makeup on a daily basis as I do, it’s makes a world of difference.  I start with a makeup remover wipe, Neutrogena or any of the packs from Marshall’s that you get for $2.99 work quite well.  Wipes are a quick and easy way to remove that yucky first layer of foundation, powder, and eye makeup.  I follow with a makeup removing cream, oil, or balm.  These break down and gently remove all traces of cosmetics and sunscreens.  Clinique’s Take The Day Away Balm or Burt’s Bees Makeup Removing Oil are excellent products.  The third step is a face cleanser that will remove dirt, oil and environmental factors that accumulate on my face during the day.  I prefer Oil Free Cetaphil or Clinique’s Oily Skin Liquid Facial Soap.  I have a rotating facial brush that I use a couple times a week with this step.

Products Galore — I like to rotate and try new skin care products constantly, as I feel my skin does better this way.   And when I return to my favorites, they work even better.  This step may not work for you, but you know your skin better than anyone!  The one product I cannot and will not be without is Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair.  I wrote about this serum in my “Hall of Fame” post.  I use this twice a day without fail.  I believe in both chemical and manual exfoliation and love Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion #4.  It’s the highest strength, but my skin has built up to that level of exfoliation.  This is not the Sea Breeze or Ten O Six Lotion that we used in middle school!  Apologies to you Millennials who have no idea what those products are!   PSA!!!!!  I do NOT use my rotating brush on the nights I’ve used the Clarifying Lotion.  Much too strong and your face will pay for it!  Additional lotions and potions on the Dark Side vanity are Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Lancome’s Renegie Lift, Lauder’s Resilience Lift, anything from the First Aid Beauty or Philosophy lines, and facial oils from Tarte, Farsali, and Josie Maran.  Stay tuned to the Dark Side blog for more detailed posts about these products!

SUNSCREEN –This is, HANDS DOWN, the most important anti-aging preventative.  A sun burn is a disaster for a fair-skinned brunette like me.  I stay out of direct sunlight and always, always make sure my skincare or cosmetics have an SPF in it.  And I reapply.  I simply do not forget.  I use SPF 50 or greater on my body, and at least 25 SPF on my face. This step truly is a no brainer.


49 and feelin’ fine

Following these steps has made this almost 50 year old look 34.  I would like to think that if I took another skin analysis test it would read the same, if not better!  So I’m going to continue with what got me here, aging gracefully, headed into the dreaded F Bomb Decade!

I’d love to know your tips, tricks and products!  Comment below and let me in on your secrets, I promise I won’t tell!

Dark Side Hall of Shame: High-End Edition

This is a painful post for me to write.  I have to admit that there are certain high-end and drug store beauty products that were complete fails for me.  Please don’t think I’m crazy!  I gave these products a great try, but to no avail.  So today, I focus on the high-end beauties that get a thumbs-down from the diva.  In no unfortunate order they are:

Happy fragrance by Clinique:  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a beauty advisor for Clinique and we were expected to wear Happy.  Every.  Damn.  Day.  I can still remember the top notes without looking them up:  red grapefruit, boysenberry, bergamot, and mimosa.  A migraine-inducing, citrus exploding scent of horrendous proportions.  When combined with my body chemistry, it turned completely rancid.  To this day I can still smell this perfume from a mile away.  And I most certainly am not “Happy” about it!

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Cream:  Not so long ago, I was also a beauty advisor for Lauder.  Therefore, I was a test subject for this anti-aging, collagen-boosting cream.  It not only failed to live up to those claims, it also clogged my pores and turned my face into a shiny, greasy mess.  Imagine your face covered in frosting mixed with baby oil.  That’s exactly how I felt, even without makeup on.  A “Supreme” fail to say the least.

Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara by Tarte:  Messy, clumping, and disgusting.  And that’s just the wand.  I had such hopes for this mascara, as it has quite a cult following.  It claims to lengthen, curl, add volume, and condition. All it did for me was run, smudge, and make a tremendous mess.  My lashes never looked any different at all.  In full disclosure, I have not tried the waterproof version. And in all honesty, I never will.

Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation:  I absolutely love Josie’s line. Well, 99% of it.  This foundation is the 1% that does not work for me.  It claims to be a lightweight, medium to full coverage product.  I used the lightest shade called Dynamic and it just wasn’t fair enough for my skin tone.  I could never even get it to a medium coverage and it was so oily on me.  That surprised me because I can use all her other Argan Oil products without any problems. I will continue to use her line because the products are cruelty free, made of all organic ingredients, and are made in recyclable containers. I truly wish this foundation would have worked for me!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer:  I’m probably going to get grief over this one, but I absolutely despise this primer.  It claims to be lightweight and blur pores. Unfortunately it did the opposite on me.  It made my pores embarrassingly exaggerated no matter what foundation I used or how much of the product I used.  With or without makeup on, using this primer makes my face look atrocious.  And for $36 a tube, that’s a major disappointment.

Unfortunately, these high end beauty bombs will never see the dark side of my vanity. They had a fighting chance, but as with all things beauty, brand name and price sometimes cannot save a product.

Check out my next post where I discuss the 5 drug store products that caused me major grief!