Favorite skin savers for 2015

HoneyWhen thinking about the year that just finished it’s hard to pick from all the products that I’ve been using but sometimes items just stand out and I can’t help but want to use them over and over again. I know I’ll miss mentioning some great items and regret that but here’s a roundup of things I’m loving and think you will too.

*some pr samples and affiliate links

CHOP SAVER LIP BALM

Chop Saver Lip Balm

Chop Saver Lip Balm *

I’ve been slathering this on day and night lately. My bedroom is dry and I like how this helps keep my lips moisturized at night without disturbing my sleep (yes little things like this can disturb my sleep).

DELECTABLE FRAGRANCE FREE BODY LOTION

Delectable Scent Free Body Lotion

Delectable Scent Free Body Lotion *

Totally in love with this. My legs aren’t flaky!! That alone is enough to recommend it. As much as I like Delectable in Lemon & Cream, it’s the scent free one that is my savoir. I even bought two of the Delectable Scent Free Hand Cream from Kohl’s before Christmas so I could have one upstairs and one downstairs.

FARMHOUSE FRESH WATERMELON BASIL VODKKATINI BODY SCRUB

Farmhouse Fresh Watermelon Basil Vodkatini Body Scrub

Farmhouse Fresh Watermelon Basil Vodkatini Body Scrub *

This scrub is so heavenly. I wanted to just stand in the shower and sniff it. But even better than the way it smells is the way it works. It’s a sugar scrub with just a tiny bit of salt in it. It’s definitely exfoliating but without overdoing it. It leaves just enough oil behind on my skin so that I’m moisturized without being greasy. Farmhouse Fresh has made me a convert with their fragranced products – I never envisioned that happening.

OIL ESSENTIALS SWEET ALMOND & MACADAMIA

Oil Essentials in Sweet Almond & Macadamia

Oil Essentials in Sweet Almond & Macadamia *

Oil Essentials is another favorite. I use this in the morning on my legs and/or hair. It’s a very light oil and doesn’t leave me the least bit greasy. I can apply this on my legs and put on my clothes right away without worry. Oil Essentials created a great combination of Sweet Almond and Macadamia Oil with added benefits from jojoba, it’s rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 & E. This cruelty free product smells so delicious and works so well. Plus at $10.99 the price is very right.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY AUTHENTIC SKINCARE

Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Recapture Day w/SPF 30 and Recapture 360 Night Anti-aging Treatment

Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Recapture Day w/SPF 30 and Recapture 360 Night Anti-aging Treatment *

Christie Brinkley’s line amazed me. While I continue to test other brands and have found some that I like a lot, right now her line is the one I keep going back to. I recently repurchased the Recapture Day + IR Defense since I’m dangerously low on my original jar and bought the Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash for my next cleanser.

DR. BRANDT XTEND YOUR YOUTH DUAL FUSION WATER

Dr. Brandt Xtend Your Youth Dual Fusion Water

Dr. Brandt Xtend Your Youth Dual Fusion Water *

I need to make my New Year’s resolutions and the first one should be getting ready for bed earlier than I do now. I find that many days I do resort to a Micellar Water at night. But I also love this in the morning on the days I need to cleanse and tone without adding any soap/cleanser to my face. Dr. Brandt has come to the rescue with this Dual Fusion Water many nights and almost every morning.

SIMPLE MICELLAR REMOVER WIPES

Simple Micellar  Remover Wipes

Simple Micellar
Remover Wipes

I buy two packages at a time since I don’t want to run out. These are great at night when I’m too tired to cleanse and just want to jump in bed. They are also great after the gym, to just refresh your face during the day, and to add hydration. I use a lot of wipes from a lot of brands but what makes these stand out is that they are refreshing and fragrance free.

REVIVA LABS NOURISHING CREAM

Reviva Labs Nourishing Cream

Reviva Labs Nourishing Cream *

It’s hard to pick only one product from Reviva Labs because everything is wonderful. The Nourishing Cream is like wrapping my face in a warm blanket made of cashmere. It’s the most soothing moisturizer I own. When my skin gets wacky from testing so many products this cream is what I revert to. It’s wonderful for face, hands, and body. I am so glad I was introduced to this in 2015.

LINDI SKIN EYE HYDRATOR

Lindi Eye Hydrator

Lindi Skin Eye Hydrator *

The hardest product for me to pick just one of is an eye cream. There’s a special reason why I chose Lindi though. Lindi Eye Hydrator is the most moisturizing eye product I’ve tried this year. It’s not the one to pick if you want to focus on dark circles or puffiness. It is the one to chose though if you have sensitive eyes, want to mask your fine lines, and/or need extra moisture under your eyes. This was developed for cancer patients and is a line I love using. Lindi Skin Face Serum is another product that they make that I’d recommend for anyone needing amazing moisture.

9 out of probably 190 is a small number but these 9 are products I’ve either repurchased or will repurchase in 2016 without hesitation. They’ve proven to me that they are the best of the past year. I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds! Have you tried any of these?  — Marcia

*samples sent for consideration, all opinions are 100% mine; some affiliate links used

Top 10 Under $10

Top Ten Tuesday is always fun but today is especially so. I got to pick out 10 items that cost $10 or less to show you. With the winter holidays peeking around the corner you need to find some stocking stuffers or just something to perk up your own life. Here are some of my favorite cosmetic items. I’d love to learn what yours are too. — Marcia

LIPS

1.  PIXI BEAUTY SHEA BUTTER LIP BALMS ($8) come in 5 colors plus clear and they are totally awesome. They are a combination of a nurturing lip balm and a lipstick except they aren’t sticky at all. My blog partner Lisa raves about these constantly so I had to see what the fuss was about and now I agree with her. Pick from Ripe Raspberry, Coral Crush, Pixi Pink, Natural Rose, Honey Nectar or clear. I can’t wait to go back to Target to pick up Pixi Pink.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose

2.  COLOURPOP is the hot brand of 2015. Their products are all so reasonably priced ($5-$8). They are known for their Ultra Matte lipglosses but those don’t do it for me. I do like their Lippie Stix though and I have several including the sheer Juice Bar in the collage. While not my favorite I appreciate all the choices and that they have matching Lippie Pencils for most of the Lippie Stix ($5 for the Lippie Stix, $5 for the Lippie Pencils). Totally fun pick me up and if you use the code “thanksbabe” you’ll get $5 off your order.

.

BLUSH

3.  Speaking of ColourPop, they have 24 shades of blush in three different finishes (matte, satin, and pearlized). The texture of ColourPop blush and eyeshadows is not what you expect. They have a spongy feel to them and are a bit tricky the first time you apply them, but after you get the hang of them you’ll come back for more.

4.  MILANI ROSE POWDER BLUSHES aren’t in my collection but they need to be. There are nothing but raves for these. At $7.99 if you see them, grab them.

.

EYES

5.  HARD CANDY SASSY EYES SULTRY PALETTES ($8) are in sturdy metal palettes with shadows that belie their price. There are 3 variations of these and if they are anything like the Smokey Eye Palettes that I have from the spring, then they are top rate. I still use my Smokey Eye Palettes all the time.

6.  SLEEK I-QUAD EYESHADOW & EYELINER PALETTES  ($8.99) are on my wishlist. There are 3 different palettes with three eyeshadows and a gel eyeliner. I’d have chosen one of the I-Divine eyeshadow palettes if it were under $10 but those are just above the limit at $11.99. This is a brand that I’m loving the more I use it.

.

NAIL POLISH

7.  SINFUL COLORS ($1.99) amazes me. I’ve had the opportunity to review quite a few of their polishes and they last a full week on me. I know I mention them often but there’s a good reason for that.

8.  PIXI BEAUTY NAIL POLISH ($8) is another polish brand you’ll hear about from me over and over. I love how easy these are to find at Target, I love the colors, I love the wear. I just bought Olive Gold at Target after craving that shade for so long.With 40 shades you’ll easily find some you’ll crave too.

.

HIGHLIGHTER

9.  e.l.f. ILLUMINATING PALETTE ($6) will satisfy your craving for highlighting aka strobing. 4 shades, $6. Can’t be beat. I just wish I could find the newer e.l.f. in stores.

.

CLEANSING

10.  SIMPLE SKINCARE MICELLAR MAKEUP CLEANSING WIPES (approx $6) don’t totally fit this week’s theme for me but I just bought them and I’m impressed with a capital I. These wipes are different than the other brands I’ve tried. They are refreshing and remove cosmetics really well. They are gentle enough for my eyes which surprises me. Normally I use a separate eye makeup remover but so far I’ve even been able to get away without that. These may end up on my Top 10 list of the year.


Five essential tips for transitioning into fall – with a little help from Meijer

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

Everything you need to transition into fall from Meijer!

I guess it is officially fall…I saw my first Christmas display at the store today!! I also saw my first red and orange leaves on the trees in my yard. I’m breaking out my heavy jeans, sweaters, and jackets – so much fun to rediscover a whole new season’s wardrobe. Meijer sent me a fabulous box of goodies with everything needed to also change my skin care and cosmetics wardrobe and it reminded me of the five essential tips for transitioning into fall.

Rethink your skin care

Rethink your skin care

1.  Rethink your skin care.  With the weather turning cooler, the air inside gets drier which changes your skin care needs.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

A terrific option for makeup removal and toner is Simple Cleansing Micellar Water ($6.29). It’s all the rage right now and for good reason. This is gentle and easy to use, and most importantly it doesn’t dry out skin. In fact, the micellar water boosts skin hydration 90%. The price is right too, making it a no-brainer for fall.

Switch your hair products

Switch your hair products

2.  Switch your hair products to compensate for dry indoor air.  Just like skin, hair changes with the seasons, and fall brings dry, frizzy, static-filled hair. Go for moisturizing hair products, like Pantene Expert Collection Dry Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($8.39). This ultra-moisturizing duo tackles even the most parched hair, taking care of frizz, split ends, and static.

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant

3.  Try going natural for toothpaste and deodorant. My daughters have completely switched to Tom’s of Maine products and swear by the AntiPlaque and Whitening Toothpaste ($4.49) and Natural Deodorant ($4.49). The toothpaste is flouride-free and fights both cavities and plaque, and the deodorant is aluminum-free with 24 hour odor protection that really works. Not only do these natural products truly perform, Tom’s of Maine walks the talk as a planet friendly line that is truly natural, sustainable, and responsible.

Update and invest in new fall colors

Update and invest in new fall colors

4.  Update old products and invest in some fun fall colors.  It’s a great time to invest in some new makeup brushes, and definitely time to throw out your old mascara, lip gloss, and foundation and get some fresh new shades.

Fun fall shades and products to update

Fun fall shades and products to update

I am so happy to see that the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Makeup Brush Collection ($12.59) is available at Meijer. Marcia first introduced me to these brushes several years ago and they are absolutely fantastic. This set comes with a cool travel case and it includes my favorite brush of all time – the Domed Shadow Brush.

Mascara needs to be replaced every 2 months or so, and there are great sales at Meijer for the fall season so take advantage! Two picks for long and lush lashes include Covergirl The Super Sizer ($6.99) and Maybelline Volum’ Express the Colossal Chaotic Lash ($6.99). Why not go big this fall?  The Super Sizer makes lashes as long as they can get.  Don’t give up on the Colossal Chaotic Lash…once I figured out how to use the brush both vertically and horizontally my lashes went from ok to incredible.

Lippies need to be updated too…throw out those gross old lip glosses and sticky lipsticks and try something a little different. I can’t stop raving about the Covergirl Outlast Lipstick in Into the Fuchsia  This is a bright, bold shade with a hint of shimmer and the opaque coverage really lasts. It’s a cross between a lipstick and a gel-based balm and it feels divine on the lips.

And how perfect is that Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Eyeshadow Palette in Surreal ($6.59)? Interestingly, this was part of the Summer 2015 Collection, but I think the gold and green shades are truly perfect for fall.

New season, new scents!

New season, new scents!

5.  Switch to new scents for the new season.  It’s time to say goodbye to soft summer scents and go a bit bolder. For women, I love Versace Bright Crystal ($73). The top notes are pomegranate, Yuzu and frosted accord. Mid-notes include peony and magnolia, and base notes include amber extracted from plants, musk and red woods. I think of this as a ‘frozen flower’ scent…great for transitioning into colder months!

For the man in your life, I am totally gaga for Hugo Man by Hugo Boss ($19.99). The top note is green apple, with aromatic notes and a base of fir balsam. Makes me picture a buff guy in flannel, riding a horse, stopping to pick me an apple as we ride through an orchard…ah, you get the idea. It’s fabulous and you want your guy to smell like this.

If you need an excuse to go shopping, you’ve got two here – you need new things for the new season and Meijer has great sales going on right now. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get ready for fall!  – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Simple Eye Make-Up Remover – does it remove?

The question of the day is “Does Simple eye make-up remover actually remove eye makeup?”

Simple eye make-up remover from simplyskincare.com

The answer – not for me. I almost always write positive reviews but I just can’t stop thinking about how disappointed I am with this product and that I want to warn others about it too.

Why don’t I like it?

1) It simply doesn’t remove my makeup. At first I thought it just didn’t remove my eyeliner. Since I wear mostly gel liners or pencils like IT Cosmetics long wear type liners, that would make sense. But then I realized it wasn’t removing my mascara well either. Yes some comes off but not all. And their website says it removes waterproof mascara (???). That wasn’t making me happy but the icing on the cake was that my eyeshadow didn’t come off cleanly either. HUH? Eye makeup remover that doesn’t remove even eyeshadow. What’s the point??

2) Maybe I’d have forgiven Simple but I keep losing eyelashes. I have to soak a cotton pad deeply to remove anything, then I hold it against my eye. When I remove the pad I too often find eyelashes under my eyes and on my cheeks.

3) And to top it off…. it stings my eyes because I have to use so much.

There is good to it though. I love the flip top packaging. I like that it’s oil free. Even the price is pretty good since you can almost always find a special on Simple (I paid $8.47 for two bottles and got $5 back in CVS bucks). But the good doesn’t outweigh the bad and I can’t recommend it.

flip top lid

Here’s what Simpleskincare.com has to say about this product:

SIMPLE GOODNESS
1 ADDED VITAMIN
   PRO-VITAMIN B5 known to help restore, soften and smooth
NO OIL
NO GREASY residue
NO DYES
NO ARTIFICIAL PERFUMES
NO HARSH IRRITANTS to upset skin

   Dermatologist tested
   Ophthalmologist tested
   Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens users
   Hypoallergenic
   Noncomedogenic

I’d love to know if you’ve tried this product and what your reaction was to it. I hate to write off the whole brand because of one bad product but personally I’m very leery of it all now.  — Marcia