beauty

May Empties

It’s time for another empties post! I’m still committed to using all of my excess/duplicate products and documenting my progress in minimizing my “stuff” and only replacing items as I completely use them up.

Yesterday, I discussed the Pixi Rose Tonic that I enjoyed, so that empty won’t be discussed here. However, there are several other empties that I’m going to mention today, as some of these are items that I will purchase again, while others are items that have been discontinued or that I don’t need to replace.

I’ll start off today’s post with a supplement that I’ve been using for several weeks now. I’ll be discussing this supplement in this week’s Fibro Friday post, but for now, just know that I have already purchased another bottle of chelated magnesium. Magnesium is essential for normal body functions and nearly 70% of the population are magnesium-deficient. I have enjoyed using this supplement to support my fibromyalgia relief regimen.

Country Life Chelated Magnesium

Next, I FINALLY finished off this ancient jar of moisturizer LOL! I found this unopened jar of Far Away by Avon among my mom’s old products and decided to use it and see if it was still fresh/uncontaminated. The product worked just fine and I used it up in less than a month. I typically do not like Avon fragrances but due to the age of this product, the scent had faded tremendously and I enjoyed the much lighter concentration of the fragrance.

Avon Far Away Perfumed Skin Softener

Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in the shade Almond was my go-to face product in 2016. I loved how it looked on my skin and I really liked the fact that a little product went a long way. While I love the product, I won’t be replacing it soon, as I already have a TON of foundation and concealer that I need to use before I justify an additional purchase. However, in the future, if I decide to get another stick or cream foundation, this is the one I will purchase.

Hourglass Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Another Avon product that I found in my mom’s old product box was the Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in the Strawberry & Guava fragrance. I loved this light, fresh fragrance and I really enjoyed the fact that it didn’t leave my skin feeling too dry and stripped. I don’t know that I’d go as far as calling it “hydrating” – I didn’t feel that significantly added moisture to my skin – but I feel that it worked well and didn’t aggravate my somewhat dry skin. This isn’t an item that I’d seek out to use again, but it was fine and performed as expected.

Avon Naturals Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in Strawberry & Guava

Finally, I used the last of my Mary Kay (MK) Timewise Night Solution. MK has changed their product lineup and this item is no longer available, but since I enjoy using gels and serums, I continued to include it in my routine along with my many products from The Ordinary. I like how it kept my skin hydrated overnight without making my skin feel greasy. If it ever becomes available again, I’ll certainly repurchase it.

Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution

Those are my May empties! I’ll be back next month with a whole new bunch of empties to discuss. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

This post contains affiliate links.

beauty · luxury

Review: Kandi Koated Finesse Concealer

Here’s another beauty review! I have a few items that I’ve purchased over the past few months that I’m eager to review, and I’m sharing one of those products with you today.

A few months back, I was introduced to Kandi Koated Cosmetics by local entrepreneur Mesha Cousins. She was professional and it was such a treat to work with her. These cosmetics are developed and branded by Kandi Burruss, singer and reality TV star. I ordered two items from the Kandi Koated collection: a lip product (that I’ll review in a future post) and the Finesse Concealer, the subject of today’s review.

Screenshot 2020-05-24 at 5.01.22 AM

The stunningly beautiful Kandi Burruss

I was excited to get my products quickly, and in a gorgeous package to boot! I wish I had taken a picture of the packaging: it was girly, pink, and fabulous! In any case, I quickly tried the products and was excited that they performed well and looked great. The product itself arrived in a stunning rose gold tube, and it looked very beautiful and sleek.

In the case of the concealer, however, some disclaimers are needed. Yes, this product absolutely conceals well and the shade – Mocha Deep – was flattering on my complexion. But, it’s worth noting that Mocha Deep isn’t a deep shade at all: it’s more of a dark beige/light brown hue. When it comes to brown skin, this wouldn’t be considered a very “deep” shade at all. Also, Mocha Deep isn’t available on the Kandi Koated website, though it may still be available through individual cosmetic reps (like Ms. Cousins, mentioned above).

img_0927

Swatching the product

This product isn’t super-creamy like LA Girl HD Pro Concealer. Because the formulation is a little “drier”, it is a much easier product to control, though it probably isn’t ideal for delicate undereye skin (that generally needs a creamier formulation). I used this product to sculpt my brows, and I loved the subtle highlighting effect that it creates. I apply, gently tap around the edges to blend, then set with powder. It lasts all day and looks fresh without needed touch-ups. Though I haven’t tried it yet, it would also work really well for reverse highlighting the hollows of the cheeks, as well as providing a smooth, even colored surface for the eyes.

Do I recommend this concealer? Absolutely! I love it though I didn’t think it would work that well under my eyes. I also wish that the company had more colors available, so I could see if I can get an even better color match.

Have you used any of the Kandi Koated Cosmetics products? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty · luxury

Bath Bombs: The Finished Product!

Happy Friday, friends! I’m skipping Fibro Friday since I wrote about my fibro experience a couple of days ago, which was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. So, instead, I figured I’d used this Friday to post an update of the bath bomb project that I mentioned previously.

I looked at a couple of recipes, all of which had a basic set of shared ingredients. I ended up using this one posted on the Byrdie website. I purchased everything I needed from the Dollar Tree and Amazon. I purchased a bath bomb/ice cube mold but, if I may be honest, I don’t think you need it. Decorative mold trays are much better, as are the inexpensive condiment containers (usually with 8 or 10 containers in a pack) that you can purchase at the Dollar Tree.

Here’s the bath bomb mold I used: I preferred using a condiment container as a mold instead. I’ll end up using this for large ice cubes instead.

I used the basic recipe as shown on Byrdie, then I added my own twist to it. I put in 4 drops of yellow food coloring (just to give a hint of color) and several drops of lemongrass essential oil. I also unraveled a single chamomile tea packet and threw the contents into the bath bomb mix, for flair.

Here’s the finished result!

img_0752

I love the intoxicating smell of lemongrass. If you love citrus scents that have herbal/grassy notes, then lemongrass is one that you should try for yourself. This bath bomb smells heavenly. I’m not concerned with it being moisturizing: I really made it for the aromatherapy benefits. However, the bath bomb also has coconut oil, so it shouldn’t leave my skin feeling stripped and dry.

I’m excited to try this! Have any of us you tried anything similar? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

(This post contains affiliate link)

food · life curation · luxury

Learn About Tea – For Free!

On Facebook, I recently saw an ad from The Republic of Tea, offering a free email course about tea. Tea 101: An Educational Email Series promised to deliver, over a 6 day period, information about the “nuances and complexities of premium tea”.

I’m a sucker for nuance and complexity, so I happily dove into the emails as they arrived.

Mustard and Olive Chic Lifestyle Blogger Blog Post Social Media Graphics

The lessons cover the different aspects of distinguishing between and enjoying tea. The lessons are brief and to the point, so they are perfect for busy people.

I especially enjoyed the emphasis on the fact that herbal teas aren’t true “teas” (the only true “tea” is the leaf of the camellia sinensis plant). However, the company still took time to explain the benefits of herbal “teas” and blends. I also liked the description that Republic of Tea provided, regarding the caffeine levels in varying tea varieties. It was good to see which teas provide light, medium and heavy caffeine.

 

beauty · luxury

Review: Givenchy Teint Couture Everwear Foundation

Here’s a sample that I have had for a while, and I’ve been looking forward to reviewing it. I enjoy luxurious cosmetics and I was excited to try a foundation that I’ve never used before.

I got this sample of Givenchy Teint Couture Everwear Foundation in one of my Sephora orders last year (I will share my current opinions on Sephora in a future post). The shade closest to my complexion is Y400 (a medium-to-deep shade with warm undertones). The sample had enough product for two applications, so I tried two different application techniques. The first time I used it, I used a foundation brush, while the second application was done with my fingers.

Both times, the product applied smoothly and had a beautiful color. Unfortunately, it oxidized a bit more than I liked, and the best way to keep it from being too dark on my skin was to make sure that I highlighted my face heavily (more than I normally do). Also, I tend to do better with neutral undertones, so while it’s a beautiful product, I would need to try a different shade.

img_0424

A swatch of Givenchy’s Teint Couture Everwear in Y400

I was excited to try it, and honestly, I wasn’t completely disappointed. The color wasn’t a perfect match (once it oxidized), but the coverage was good and the product felt lovely on my skin. This product is a little pricier than my normal foundation (it’s $52 per bottle) but if I found a perfect shade match, I’d be willing to invest in a bottle.

My skin with the product applied, two different light settings used

Have you tried this product before? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty · life curation · luxury

Getting Crafty: Planning to Make Bath Bombs

Since we’re all stuck in the house for the indefinite future, I figured this would be a great time to explore some of the curiosities I’ve had for a while. One of those curiosities involves those neat little fizzy bath bombs. I knew that these were frighteningly simple to make, but I’ve never had the ingredients to make my own. Until now.

Untitled design (11)

First, I looked up some basic recipes to see which ingredients and tools I need. I’m using this recipe from Our Oily House as a guide, because it has great reviews and looked simple enough. I went ahead and invested in a few supplies so that I can start making my own bath bombs at home. I went to Amazon and picked up a mold:

I also got some citric acid:

I ordered some epsom salt as well, but then I found a more affordable salt at a local store, so I’ll be returning that to Amazon this week. I already had baking soda, essential oils, cornstarch, and coconut oil, so once the rest of my order is received, I’ll be ready to experiment.

I can’t wait to share my fizzy goodies with you all! I’m so excited to try this!

 

 

(post features affiliate links)

luxury

A New Way of Defining Luxury

Since purchasing my home last year, I have thought carefully of what I consider to be luxurious when it comes to my surroundings. I am committed to creating a beautiful, inviting space that feels opulent and elegant. But, I had this nagging feeling that maybe I’m “missing the mark” when it comes to TRUE luxury.

Untitled design (10)

An opulent room that is just a wee bit too extravagant for me

I got back to basics and look at what defines luxury. Luxury is –

“the state of great comfort and extravagant living”

Luxury, then, could be filling a space with items that cost significant amounts of money (that would be extravagant but not necessarily tasteful). But this lacks the personal taste that I want to infuse into my space. I want my version of luxury to reflect my own preferences, regardless of the cost of the items.

In this way, a new (or better) way of defining luxury for myself is creating a beautiful and comfortable environment irrespective of the cost of the objects I buy. And true luxury could also include the intentional absence of excess, as well, so long as the absence of excess creates more comfort in my space.

I’m curious about minimalism but I’m not committed to the aesthetic. So while minimalism has defined luxury for many affluent Gen-Xers and Millenials over the past couple of decades, I’m declining to hop onto that trend, and I’m aiming for a balance between excess and the Spartan approach.

So far, I’ve added some art, antique furniture, and a few rugs. However, I’m not aiming to cover every surface of my home: I’m content to have a few things here and there to display my personal flair without cramming each room. I’ve got a lot more to do before the house is exactly where I want it to be, but I’m delighted that I’m defining luxury for myself and enjoying my home in the process.

That’s all for today, friends. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

beauty

Rest in Peace, Brandon Truaxe

A few days ago, the founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe, passed away. Truaxe’s brand is brilliant: it finally brought professional grade skin care to the masses at affordable prices. The Ordinary’s powerful, effective serums and solutions have been a staple in my routine for quite some time.

Truaxe experienced a tumultuous year, and was eventually ousted from the company that he started. Aside from the controversy surrounding his company, I suspect that he was deeply troubled and experiencing many personal struggles as well. I hope that he is able to finally rest in peace.

img_9024

 

(Photo courtesy of DetailOrientedBeauty.com)

luxury

Little Bit of Luxury: High Quality Dinnerware

Happy Monday friends! This past few days has been quite chilly, but here’s hoping that getting through this period of cold weather will lead to much warmer day sooner than we think.

Recently I purchased a few things on Amazon that I both needed and wanted. I love to inject luxury into my life and small ways, and one of the ways that I do that is by using the best quality dinnerware and flatware that I can afford. I love eating off of beautiful plates and using lovely knives, forks, and spoons when eating my lunches, so I have a set that I use exclusively in my office.

But,  one of my worst nightmares occurred when I broke one of the pieces to my dinnerware set. I look to see if I could find a replacement piece, but I couldn’t locate the singular item that I needed to complete my set again. I also misplaced one of my spoons that was part of my flatware set. These two things happening within a 2 month timeframe  signaled to me that it was time to upgrade.

So I treated myself to new flatware and new dinnerware for my desk. Behold!

img_6586

I saw Mikasa’s “Love Story” design and had to get the set. I got the Mikasa Love Story 5-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1. The set has a salad plate, dinner plate, dessert plate, saucer, and cup.

To flesh out the set, I also bought the Mikasa Love Story Coupe Soup Bowl, 8-Inch. When I purchased it, it was discounted a bit, so I purchased it for a great price.Of course, I couldn’t forget flatware! I also got the Ginkgo Royal Chippendale 5-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1. My original set was Oneida, but I couldn’t find the design that I had previously, so I got a brand new set.

There’s something exhilarating about using your personal best as much as you can. You deserve to feel luxurious, pampered and distinguished at all times, and it can start with something as simple as what you use to eat your meals. Treating yourself includes investing well into things that you use regularly and enjoy. So, maybe dinnerware and flatware isnt’ your thing: whatever makes you feel amazing, make sure that you invest in it. Don’t save it for a “special day”: use it now!

I hope you all stay warm and cozy! I’ll be back tomorow with a VERY special post: I’m so excited! Talk to you all soon.

beauty · luxury

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation

Happy Friday, friends! We’ve made it through the week and now we have a reward of Saturday and Sunday ahead. It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty review, so I was excited to prepare this one for you. I think it’s about time, don’t you?

Though I love luxury beauty products, I can’t believe that I’ve never tried Lancome. I’ve had a few perfume samples before, but never have I tried the company’s cosmetics.  I was excited to finally try the Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation when I got a sample over the summer in a Sephora order.

Screenshot 2019-01-17 at 11.00.30 PM.png

Initially, I was concerned about the shade. I received shade 500, which I suspect it would be a little too light for me. Based on the beauty vloggers I’ve seen on YouTube, I suspected that I probably wore a 510 or 520. But 500 was the closest shade to my complexion, so I decided to try it. I got it when I still had a bit of my summer tan, so I figured it might be a little too light. To my surprise, it was a perfect match then, and still a pretty great match now.

Both sides of my face with the foundation applied

You can see for yourself how flattering the finish is. I love this foundation. It felt light on the face and, while I use a primer underneath it, I didn’t use powder over it, so I got to see just how the foundation performed without any products topping it. I got a little oily throughout the day, but that’s fairly standard for me with any foundation. I didn’t feel that this formulation made my skin any  oilier than normal. just a dad was enough to give me a good medium coverage. I experimented with it on a different day and I found that it’s very buildable: this coverage could easily go from medium to full without weighing the face down. I don’t have many facial lines, but I also found that this foundation doesn’t exaggerate the lines that I have. Win!

img_6515

My adorable foundation sample

I’m so excited to have another  foundation in my arsenal! This foundaton performs just as well as I would expect it to, since it retails for $47. I’m going to experiment with a few other shades in the Teint Idole Ultra Wear line just to see if there’s a better match than this one, but if I can’t find anything that matches more perfectly, this will be just fine. I love it and can’t wait to try more!

That’s it for this week.  I’ll be back Monday with more posts for you. Take care, and enjoy your weekend!