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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: LORAC Pro 2 Palette

Hello gentle reader.

The Lorac Pro 2 palette is a makeup item I was excited to get my greedy paws on the moment I heard that a second! Lorac Pro palette was coming out. I love the original Pro, I only bought it this last Spring and I am so happy that I did. The quality of that palette is absolutely stellar and I knew that if this follow up was as good that I would love it.

The Lorac Pro 2 palette is a cooler, more vibrant counterpoint to it's warmer, neutral sister, the original Lorac Pro. The packaging is the same, save the colour. The original is in a black palette, this one is a charcoal grey. The sleek, flat, coated paperboard palette is slightly "rubbery" to the touch, the palette is lightweight and slender enough to be held comfortably in the hand during use, yet it is substantial enough to have a presence on your vanity. I love that this palette, like it's predecessor, stores easily, taking up very little room in it's drawer. If I could lodge one gripe about the packaging it is that the somewhat rubberized coating on this palette grabs on to dust and makeup flotsam and jetsam and is a bit difficult to keep clean.

Inside the sleek packaging is sixteen individual pans of eye shadow. The top row is all matte shades, the bottom, shimmer and metallic shades. There is a nice large mirror in the lid for your application convenience.

A closer peek at the shadows. This palette is cooler toned and contains neutrals and some brighter shades, as well. This is a fantastic addition to a palette collection. It can mix and match with the rest of your stash yet it is complete enough to be the one palette you toss in your carry on for a weekend or vacation getaway. The softer, more neutral shades will get you through your work day with style and the fun colours will amp up your look for a hot date, dinner out with your special someone or a night out with the girls.

You know that I swatched this baby. Let's take a look, shall we?

From the top row we have the mattes. All eight of these shadows are soft, smooth, slightly creamy to the touch. They are very pigmented and have great payoff on the eyelid. These shadows can be packed on for maximum impact or applied with a light hand for a soft, subtle accent. They go on without annoying fallout, patchiness or skipping and blend flawlessly. Buff, the lightest matte shade is extremely close to my skin tone, rendering the swatch difficult to see but the quality of the shadow is excellent. Don't let the picture scare you!

On the bottom row live the shimmers. All of these shadows are velvety, soft and intensely pigmented and the payoff is fabulous. These shadows apply and blend out like a dream. They work to create a beautiful, gleaming eye look and blend impeccably with their matte companions for a balanced, chic eye.

Gentle reader, I love this palette. It is beautiful, versatile and if you are on the lookout for a cooler toned eye shadow palette that will give you neutral and fun shades all in one and be a beautiful addition to your makeup stash or perhaps serve as your one fantastic, go to palette, I happily recommend the Lorac Pro 2.

If you wold like to buy this palette, it is available from Ulta stores, the Ulta website and the Lorac website. This palette contains 8.8 g./.32 oz. of product and retails for $42.00 and includes a bonus mini Lorac Behind the Scenes eye shadow primer.

Do you own the Lorac Pro 2 palette? Do you like it? Love it, as I do? What are your favorite, most worn shades from this palette?

Thank you so much for swinging by and reading my review. Take care of yourself and have a beautiful day.
*Links provided for the convenience of my gentle readers. I derive no benefit if they are clicked or a purchase is made using these links.*

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Derm Organic Hair Care

*Press Sample - Affiliate Links*
Hello gentle reader.

Derm Organic  hair care. This review was supposed to be written Sunday afternoon or evening to post for Monday. However, I got distracted. By what? You might ask. Not what. Whom. Sherlock. On Nexflix. I told myself that I could watch one episode then to work. Next thing I knew, it was two in the morning and I had binge watched the entire series and was too fried to write my name, much less a blog post. Lesson learned. Stay the hell off of Netflix until after my work is done! We won't discuss how I binge watched all seven seasons of The West Wing in about a week... 

Moving on.

Derm Organic  Argon Hair Care is a line specially formulated without artificial preservatives, sodium chloride,salt, MEA, DEA or artificial dyes. This hair care line is sulfate, paraben and propylene glycol free. It is pH balanced and formulated without heavy artificial fragrances. Derm Organic hair care is vegan, gluten free and cruelty free.

Okay. That all sounds good. But, does it work? Let's run it down and find out, Shall we?

Derm Organic Daily Conditioning Shampoo is a gentle, sulfate free formula that none the less gets my hair lovely and clean without leaving it feeling dry, stripped or unhappy in any way. My hair doesn't usually like sulfate free shampoo, most of them leave it angry, staring and looking as if it had been washed in rocket fuel. This shampoo, while gentle, cleanses very well. I can usually get my hair clean in one good shampooing, even after using product, including hair spray, heavy silicone treatments and oil. Impressive. And no straw stack head.

Derm Organic Daily Hydrating Conditioner is a lightweight, silky formula that spreads evenly through the hair, moisturizes and gives pretty impressive wet slip for combing with the conditioner in my hair and after rinsing it out. This conditioner rinses out quickly, leaving my hair feeling light, soft and bouncy after it dries. I just have to ask, why do hair care companies release smaller bottles of conditioner than shampoo? I go through more conditioner, faster than I do shampoo. Yet, smaller conditioner bottles. No bueno.

Derm Organic Daily Conditioning Shampoo. This pearly, white creamy shampoo has a very light, clean scent that reminds me of Ivory soap. The scent is not obnoxious and it doesn't linger so it would probably not be irritating to but the most sensitive.

Derm Organic Daily Hydrating Conditioner. This medium viscosity white creamy conditioner has a lightly naturally sweet scent. Again, the scent is very subtle and doesn't linger.

Derm Organic Intensive Hair Repair Masque. I am always wary of hair care line claims of repairing or healing damaged hair. Bottom line, our hair is a dead thing, it is incapable of healing or being repaired. It is possible for ingredients like silicone and oil to temporarily coat, smooth, "glue" splits and weak areas, leaving the hair looking and feeling smoother and softer. This masque does that admirably. I like this on it's own as a deep treatment or mixed in with my Daily Hydrating Conditioner to give it an extra hydration bump. I also like to take a little bit and run it through my dripping wet length and ends as a leave in.

Derm Organic Intensive Hair Repair Masque. This is a smooth, thick, creamy conditioner that is super slippy and deeply hydrating. It has a slightly stronger naturally sweet scent that doesn't linger long.

Derm Organic Firm Hold Volume Foam. This product works pretty well. Like all mousse like foam hold products, there is potential for stiff, slightly sticky hair if it is abused. I like to use this when I want to wear my hair in it's natural wurls. It also does a good job of volumizing my roots when I blow dry. I currently have much thinner hair than normal so I have to use this with care or it will overwhelm my hair and leave it looking like 80's moussed perm hair. Not what I want to see in the mirror.

Derm Organic Firm Hold Volume Foam. Is mousse. A mousse by any other foamy name is still mousse.

Derm Organic Leave In Spray Therapy is a beautiful spray shine enhancer and hair smoother. I like this as a finisher and my dry, chemically blonde hair loves this used as a leave in treatment, when applied while my hair is damp. As with any product of this type, it can make the hair look oily if too much is used. This shine spray has a bit more scent than the other products in this line but it doesn't linger long.

Derm Organic Fast Dry Shaping Spray. This is a pretty good hairspray. It isn't heavily scented, it does dry pretty quickly and gives firm, flexible hold. I can feel this hairspray in my hair more than I really care for but it is still pretty good and I am cheerfully using it.

So you are probably asking yourself, "Does she really use these products or did she just give them a sniff and a swatch, fire of her pictures, stuff the bottles in a box  and write up her review?"

I really use them. Check out my shower caddy.

I like the Derm Organic Hair Care Line. It is effective, gentle and for a specialty line, affordable. This line is available from the Derm Organic Website, Ulta, Amazon. I have seen random products from this line at stores like TJ MAXX, Beall's Outlet, Ross. Keep your eyes peeled, they aren't hard to find. I would be happy to purchase any of the products in this line, save for the hairspray. I like the hairspray well enough but it isn't my favorite. Hairspray is one of those products that is very personal. We like what we like... And to be perfectly honest, I love another.

If you would like to keep up with the latest from Derm Organic you can Like them on FacebookFollow Derm Organic on TwitterHit Derm Organic up on Instagram.

Have you tried Derm Organic hair care? What do you think of it? Love? Leave? Are there certain products that float your boat and others that kind of sink it? Please do tell, I'd love to hear what you have to say about this line.

Thank you so much for reading this long review. Stay cool and have a beautiful day.

*Press Sample - Affiliate Links*

Friday, August 15, 2014

Zoya Tinsley: Review and Photographs

Hello gentle reader.

Zoya Tinsley is one of those shimmer jellies that Zoya does so very beautifully. This grapefruit pink jelly base is packed to the rafters with gold fleck shimmer. In some light, it is pink with sparks of gold and in others, it turns to blazing golden coral and shifts back and forth depending on the light and movement of the hand.

This mani was two coats of Zoya Tinsley and topped with two coats of Posche`.

Taken in my impromptu photo studio under my new lights.

In the sun.

And a shot taken in the light coming in through my window. Oh, spank me!

The formula on Zoya Tinsley is stunning. Fluid, smooth and oh so easy to apply. I enjoyed putting this polish on. It flows off of the brush, sits down where it is told to, doesn't streak, drag, run, pool or bubble. Dry time isn't bad. Better with a fast dry top coat. This polish is thirsty; I used two coats to get it as smooth and shiny-shiny as I wanted it to be. Wear time is pretty good. I got three days out of this which is about normal for me with Zoya. I don't know why my stupid nails don't wear polish with more grace for longer periods of time. They just don't. I don't blame the polish, (unless it is just bad). Shorter wear time for me is just the way it is. I'm good with it.

Zoya polishes can be found on their website, many walk in retailers, including Ulta and online from various retailers. Zoya retails for $9.00 a bottle and is, in my not so humble opinion, worth it.

Do you love some Zoya Tinsley? Zoya polish, in particular? What is your favorite shade of Zoya polish? Please drop me a comment and tell me all about it.

Thank you so much for reading this review. Have a fab day and may your polish never bubble.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush in 03

Hello gentle reader.

When Ulta held a (not so) recent beauty steal event, one of the products I decided to pick up is the Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush in shade number 03. This blush normally retails for $22.00 but I was able to snap it up for a mere $11.00. Eleven dollars very well spent, as it turns out.

Look at the box. It goes with my blog, don't you think? *grin*

The packaging. Oh! The packaging! Gentle reader, it is gorgeous. The heavy plastic is smooth, silky and as shiny as a polished piece of agate. The corners are rounded and the compact feels lovely in the hand. This is luxury level packaging for a mid tier makeup product and I love it.

The front view. I can't stand it! Oh! So nice! Just look at that subtle bevel and the rounded corners! You should hear the solid snap! when the packaging is closed. So satisfying.

Have some details. We all need a little information. I need to learn how to photograph shiny packaging without showing the reflection of my camera or self.

Inside the compact is a cake of beautiful pink toned coral blush and a mirror in the inside of the lid.

Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush in 03 and my favorite brush for applying this particular product, my Luxie Lush Large Powder Brush.

A swipe and brush blended swatch on the back of my hand under my OttLight.

The same swatch in direct sun. This lovely pink leaning coral has an ultra fine gold shimmer that gives an instant highlight in the sun or bright light. No need to apply additional highlighter with this pretty stuff. Unless you want to.

Japonesque Velvet touch Blush in 03 is a finely milled, smooth powder that applies and blends in like a dream. There is a little powdery puff up when a brush lands on the cake but there is no fall down on the face upon application. Wear time is good for me with this blush. It wears all day without needing to do touch ups all the time. I had to do a light touch up one day after about eight hours of wear. Colour me impressed. And happy to recommend this beautiful blush to you. If you would like to experience this blush, you can find it here.

Have you tried the Japonesque Velvet Touch Blushes? Do you like? Love? Please do tell.

Thank you so much for reading and have a beautiful day!

*Link Offered for the Convenience of My Gentle Readers. I Receive No Compensation if the Link is Used.*

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Luxie Lush Pink Perfection Professional Brush Set

*Amazon Affiliate Link in Use*
Hello gentle reader.

Makeup brushes. I am turning into a damn ass hoarder of makeup brushes. Since the fist of the year I have switched out my few very, very old, very, very bedraggled makeup brushes for lots and lots of brand new, very nice makeup brushes.

One recent acquisition is the Luxie Lush Pink Perfection Professional Brush Set. This set of brushes was a gift to me from my husband. I like to spam his e-mail with stuff on my Amazon wishlist just in case he gets it into his head to pick up a little something for the old ball and chain. This brush set is one of those little somethings.

Comprised of a synthetic leather covered two piece travel cup and twelve hand made synthetic makeup brushes, the Luxie Lush Pink Perfection Set is a complete set of brushes that can work as a minimalist's sole set of makeup brushes or is a beautiful addition to a makeup brush hoard collection. This brush set is perfect for vegan and cruelty free beauties, as the bristles on all of the brushes are synthetic. No soft creatures are harmed or bothered to produce the brush hairs.

The Luxie Lush Pink Perfection brushes are just so pretty. The lightweight wooden handles are painted in a slightly pearly light pink. The Luxie Lush name is embossed on the handles in silver and the ferrules are rose gold tone metal. There are no numbers or brush designations on the handles. Some users may find this to be an inconvenience but I don't really mind. I tend to use brushes as they best work for me, not according to what the brush maker tells me that brush is "supposed" to do.

Let us explore this set of brushes, shall we?

First we have four face brushes. From the top:

  • 502 ~ Large Powder Brush 
  • 508 ~ Duo Fiber Stippling Brush 
  • 504 ~ Large Angle Brush  
  • 510 ~ Foundation Brush 

The eye brushes. From the top:

  • 205 ~ Tapered Blending Brush 
  • 213 ~ Eye Shading Brush
  • 209 ~ Large Shader Brush
  • 207 ~ Medium Angled Shading
  • 217 ~ Pencil Brush
  • 211 ~ Precision Concealer Brush
  • 215 ~ Small Angle Brush
  • 219 ~ Point Eye Liner Brush
The only brush in this set for which I have absolutely no love is that stupid paddle foundation brush. Why do brush companies insist upon saddling us with that brush in every frakking set? Does anyone really use them? In my opinion, they are a waste of money and space. Offer them separately for those who love and really want them and give us a brush we will actually get off on owning and using, regularly. Like, a nice blush brush or a big tulip shaped all purpose face brush or even a big, super soft, heavenly huge fan brush. (Hint. Hint.)

The bristles/brush hairs - whatever you like to call them - on these brushes are so soft yet densely packed and firm enough to pick up products, apply and blend them out beautifully. These brushes are useful when applying powder, liquid and cream products. Not one hair has shed. Not one hair has broken. These brushes feel sturdy and well made but are light and comfortable in the hand. So far, the ferrules are nice and tight, no wigging or gluing.

These brushes clean up beautifully. I can use them to apply the most richly pigmented products, the stickiest silicone based foundations and concealers and upon cleaning, the silky, synthetic fibers release product easily and come out spic and span. No staining, no holding on to nasty bits, deep in the brush head. If washed in soap and water, these brushes take a little longer to dry. I routinely clean my brushes in 91% rubbing alcohol and these brushes dry fast. Eye brushes in just minutes, face brushes within an hour or so.

I like the Luxie Lush Pink Perfection Professional Brush Set. For a twelve piece, quality synthetic brush set, the price of $110.00 is a touch spendy but I don't feel as if husband person paid too much, really. And he certainly didn't object; in fact, he expected them to be more expensive. The prices are about the same, maybe a few dollars lower than Sigma and similar tier brushes.

I received a coupon with a discount code with my brush set that I can use when I shop on the Luxie Lush website. And I plan to shop on their website. I would like some more of their beautiful, useful brushes in my collection.

Have you tried Luxie Lush brushes? Do you like them as much as I do? Please hit me up in a comment, I'd love to hear what you think of this brand.

Thank you so much for coming in and reading my blog and have a beautiful day!
*Amazon Affiliate Link in Use*

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Derm Organic Skin Treatment

*Press Sample*
Hello gentle reader.

Derm Organic  Signature Argan Skin Treatments are formulated with good things like argan extract to help protect, treat, and moisturize your skin. Gentle formulations are pampering and efficacious. My very dry skin really digs this line.

Derm Organic Skin Care is vegan and cruelty free, they use no artificial preservatives, sulphates or gluten. This line is free of sodium chloride, salt, MEA, DEA and dyes. It is oil and fragrance free. These products are paraben and propylene glycol free and are pH balanced 4.5 - 5.5.

Let's take a look at the four products that were sent to me to test drive:

Derm Organic Hand and Body Moisture Lotion: 12 oz. $20.00. This lotion is lightweight, a little goes a long way, spreads easily and evenly across the skin, sinks in fast and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth and comfortable.

This lotion is wonderful as a body lotion for me, it doesn't have enough oomph to work as a hand lotion, for my skin. Few do, so that is not a knock against this lovely product.

Next up:

Derm Organic Soapless Facial Cleanser, 8.5 oz. $20.00, is a gentle, softly clean smelling creamy cleanser that carefully cleanses without foaming up. It just smooths over the skin and does it's job without stripping or leaving my skin feeling tight or uncomfortable.

This cleanser is so gentle that it doesn't do a stellar job at removing eye or face makeup. I suggest using a makeup remover for eyes and face, first, then cleansing. As long as I use a makeup remover, first my face is nice and fresh and clean, after using this product.

Our next contender is:

Derm Organic Daily Moisture Renewal Face Moisturizer. 3.7 oz. $20.00. I had to turn this one over to my mother in law to test out for me, as it contains a chemical sunscreen. My mother in law loves this moisturizer. She adores the lightweight feel and how soft and velvety her skin feels. This moisturizer leaves her with no oily after feel.

Derm Organic Facial Moisture Lotion. I couldn't swatch this on my skin, I pumped a bit out on a surface, instead.

And, last but not least:

Derm Organic 100% Pure Argan Oil. 1.7 oz. $36.00. This is a little bottle of golden magic for the skin, cuticles and hair. I love pure, natural oils and use them in various ways from head to toe.

The Derm Organic Pure Argan Oil is lightweight, powerful and has become an indispensable part of my skin care arsenal. I like to use it for pre and post wash oiling of my hair, as a cuticle oil, on my face in place of my regular moisturizer or, layered under my moisturizer when my skin is being insanely, not just extremely dry. This oil softens elbows, knees, heels and soothes dry, itchy skin in the cooler months. Everyone should have at least one bottle of high quality, pure oil on hand at all times. This is a good one to keep at the ready.

I like this skin care line. With the exception of the facial moisturizer, which I can't use I would be happy to purchase any of these products for continued use. I recommend this line and encourage anyone to give these lovely products a try.

You can buy Derm Organic Skin Treatments from their website, at Ulta stores and on Amazon. This line is available in sets and for individual purchase.

Like Derm Organic on Facebook. Follow on Twitter.

Have you tried Derm Organic Skin Treatment? How do you feel about this line? Does it work for you? Please share your experience and opinion in a comment, I'd like to know what you think.

Thank you so much for coming in and reading this review. Take care and have a beautiful day.

*Press Sample*