Category Archives: Nivea

14 Best of 2014

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Best of 2014

Best of 2014

It is time for my wrap up of the products that I liked best in 2014.  These are products that didn’t necessarily come out in 2014, but that I loved and used in 2014.  It’s basically my most favorite of all my favorite products for the year.  If you have been paying attention over the last year, all of these products should be familiar to you.  I have mentioned all of them in at least one “Favorites” post, though I do try not to be too repetitive in those posts as much as possible.  These are definitely the products that I have been reaching for throughout the year, so let me get started.

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

First up, let’s talk skincare.  In 2014 I discovered Derma MD when they sent me several products for review.  The product that I have loved most from the brand is the Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer.  This is my third bottle, and I am sure that I will continue to use the Copper CoQ10 for a while.  It has helped reduce my redness so much, which is my number one skin concern.  I love the moisturizer because it is not greasy or oily in the slightest, but delivers a ton of hydration that lasts for hours.  It is extremely lightweight and absorbs into the skin so easily that you don’t even notice it.  I think that it would be appropriate for all skin types, oily or dry.  It is a great product, and I recommend it to anyone.  Derma MD is often featured on sites like Hautelook and Rue La La to cut the cost by a significant amount.  I also have a 50% off promo code at dermamdskincare.com for my readers.  Enter code beautybudget at check out to receive the discount.

The Body Shop Honemania

The Body Shop Honeymania

Moving away from the face to the body is the Honeymania scent from The Body Shop.  I love this scent so much.  I have body butter, lip butter, and shower gel in Honeymania.  It smells like honey and wild flowers, and is just a gorgeous fresh scent.  I actually prefer the formula of the body butter more from The Body Shop than from Bath & Body Works.  It is less greasy and absorbs into the skin better.  Honestly though, I almost don’t care what product it is as long as it is in the Honeymania scent.  😉

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Moving on to tools, the Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer is a dead-on dupe for the Sigma F80, but for a fraction of the cost.  This is my favorite style of brush for blending in foundation.  I have a review for all of the details about how the brush performs.  The bristles are soft and densely packed, making it a fantastic foundation brush because it feels comfortable on the skin and blends everything out easily and evenly.  The handle is shorter than most, so the brush fits much easier into makeup bags than similar brushes.  I have washed it countless times, and have had no issues with shedding or bleeding.  The Bionic Flat Top Buffer is very well made and a high quality brush.  If you are considering getting the F80 you should consider this one first.

Sigma E-36 Blending Brush

Sigma E36 Blending Brush

One brush from Sigma that is 100% worth the hype and the money is the Sigma E36 Blending Brush.  This brush is essential for me.  I have hooded lids that aren’t too big, and this brush fits in the cease perfectly.  I can lay down dark crease shades without them getting out of control and taking over my look.  The E36 is very thin and has long, slightly firm bristles.  The small fluffy brush is just perfect for precision blending and I use it all the time.  It may be too small for those with really large eyes, but it’s so perfect for me.

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

When it comes to face makeup, my foundation and powder are repeat favorites that I had from last year.  I am combining them and only counting them as one because it is the pair of products used together that is my true favorite.  I am talking about the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation and the Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder, both of which have me scraping the bottom to get the last bit.  The Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous is really great and unique because it works equally well for those with oily or dry skin.  Very few products truly are for all skin types, but this foundation really is.  CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous is mattifying, without drying out your skin.  It has solid medium coverage, but is still lightweight and not cakey.  The best part is that it lasts all day long, even in the worst heat and humidity.  I definitely think that it is one of the best drugstore options for foundation.  Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder is such a good product that if you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely must.  I love how light it is, and the soft focus effect it gives to my skin is lovely.  It blurs the imperfections and makes me look younger.  Revlon Nearly Naked is (for me) the absolute best powder in the drugstore and definitely one that I will repurchase.  It’s tough for me to use up products all the way because I have so much makeup to choose from.  It says a lot that both of these products are basically empty.  I highly recommend them both.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Hopefully you aren’t sick of me talking about the Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic, because it was definitely a major favorite for me this past year.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion and on many different skin tones.  The Forever Blush formula is so great in general.  The blushes apply smoothly and evenly, and they have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes.  Poetic is my favorite, though, because it is such a universally flattering shade.  I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

I haven’t mentioned the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve since the Spring, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been using it.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes, especially when I want to skip highlighter and use a blush with some shimmer.  It is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade that is different than any other shade I have in my collection.  The shimmer particles are finely milled and do not look chunky or glittery.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  A little goes a really long way, so I’ll have this blush for a long time.  I really love it.

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

There is no way that I can talk about my favorite products of 2014 without mentioning the Lorac Pro Palette 2.  It is probably my favorite palette of all of the palettes that I own, which says a lot because I have so many of them.  For me, the Lorac Pro 2 has such a perfect mix of shades that I can easily come up with dozens of looks that are beautiful and distinct without having to think too much about it.  I love that, unlike the Naked palettes, there are plenty of matte shades as well as the shimmers for looks that have more complexity and that wear better on aging eyes.  The neutral everyday shades are appropriate for any situation, and the few colorful shades add some whimsy and set the Lorac Pro 2 apart from most other neutral palettes.  The mix of warm and cool tones makes the palette universally flattering and a good choice for anyone.  All the shades have great pigmentation and blend very well with each other without getting muddy.  I personally don’t need primer when I use LORAC shadows to get crease-free wear that lasts all day.  I can not recommend this palette enough.  Feel free to read my full review of the Lorac Pro 2 with swatches for more information on the palette.

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

In 2014 I discovered bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow and have been so impressed.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try bareMinerals, but I have really been enjoying the brand.  I first tried a mini bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Epiphany” that I got in a kit over the Holidays last year.  I could not get enough of the creamy, silky formula.  I reach for that duo all the time.  Next, I purchased the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Soundrack” and that same buttery texture had me hooked.  The shadows feel so luxe and expensive on the skin- a real high quality experience.  My most recent bareMinerals purchase is the READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Happy Place” that was just delivered a week or so ago.  It is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to play some more with it.  BareMinerals READY Eyeshadows are a little pricey, but they are worth it in my opinion.

e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic

e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic

How many times have I talked about e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic this last year?  I have enjoyed the Smudge Pots in general, but Cruisin Chic is the number one “must-have” of the bunch.  The gel formula doesn’t crease, but also doesn’t dry out my lids.  It is lightweight and hardly noticeable.  It lasts all day long without fading.  And the best part is that the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic is only $3 (e.l.f. recently raised their prices).  Be sure to check out my review of the Smudge Pots.  Cruisin Chic is gorgeous brown-based metallic taupe.  It is a great everyday option that looks so multidimensional that I can get away with wearing it all by itself, but it still looks like I put way more effort into the look.  It couldn’t be easier to apply with either a brush or your fingers.  I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t get it.  Trust me, you need this in your life.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Another products that should be no surprise to find in my Best of 2014 roundup are the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments.  Though I had tried them before this last year, I became obsessed with them in 2014.  I love the way that they make my lips feel.  The Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments are so hydrating and have a beautiful sheer wash of color that looks so natural and pretty.  My two favorite shades out of the line are Sugar Rose and Sugar Berry.  Sugar Rose is very sheer, but still gives my lips some life.  The look is almost like my lips have a fresh kiss blush that is quite attractive.  Sugar Berry is a plum-toned berry shade that has still has decent pigmentation, despite being a sheer balm.  It is what I wear when I want color on my lips, but still want my lips to look natural.  I have really fallen for the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment line.  They are definitely a splurge, but I really think that they are worth a go.

Nivea Kiss of... Lip Care

Nivea Kiss of… Lip Care

My other lip love of 2014 is much more affordable, but just as wonderful.  I am addicted to the Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey and Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon lip balms.  I am a lip balm junkie, and I continue to try new lip balms when I get them in Ipsy bags or something like that, but I keep coming back to Nivea.  These balms are so extremely hydrating.  I have really dry lips, and am constantly re-applying my lip products.  The Nivea balms last longer than most, and the formula is lightweight and silky without being greasy or waxy.  They have no noticeable taste, and the pleasant scent is extremely subtle and only lasts during application.  They are fantastic, and I can’t live without them.

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

One of my favorite new discoveries from 2014 are the Water Decals that I’ve been getting from the Born Pretty Store.  I had never heard of water decals before Born Pretty contacted me.  There was a steep learning curve for figuring out how to use water decals, and the first two attempts were somewhat painstaking.  By my third try, however, I had my technique down and they were easy as pie.  I absolutely love how professional water decals make my nails look.  I don’t go to the salon to get manicures, and I have extremely limited talent when it comes to nail art.  Let’s be honest, I can barely paint my nails without making a mess.  But the water decals make my clumsy efforts look expertly executed.  They are basically a temporary tattoo for nails, and (once you get the hang of it) really easy to use.  I have gotten all of my water decals from the Born Pretty Store, so you can either type “water decals” in the search box or just click the Born Pretty category on the right hand side of the page for a closer look at the manicures that I have come up with using water decals.  They are really fun and my new favorite way to do nail art.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

Finally, my favorite fragrance has been Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia.  Oh my god, you guys, it smells so good!   Acqua di Gioia is a fresh, clean aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  It instantly transports me to a villa in the Mediterranean, and I can’t get enough of it.  The image in my head when I smell Acqua di Gioia is of clean blue water and fluffy white towels.  The name means “water of joy” and I can’t think of a better and more accurate name for the scent.  My husband also loves it and always compliments me when I wear it.  In fact, he liked it so much he picked up the men’s version for himself.  You have to smell Acqua di Gioia, if you haven’t already.  It is truly lovely.

And that completes my Best of 2014 post.  These posts are hard to do because I have used so many great products over the year.  I do think that I was able to round up the best of the best, so to speak.  These are the products that have gotten the most love over the year and that I would recommend the most to you.  I hope that you saw something that you like.  Let me know what your favorite products have been throughout 2014.  Are there items that I really need to try?  Tell me about them in the comments below.

July 2014 Favorites

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Monthly Favorites for July 2014

Monthly Favorites for July 2014

It’s the first day of August, so you know what that means.  It’s Monthly Favorites time!  For those of you who are new to the blog, Monthly Favorites feature those products that particularly stood out to me and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  July was a lot of fun.  I celebrate my birthday all month long, and my niece came in from out of town, so I was pretty busy and there were several nice dinners out.  I did a lot of experimenting with makeup this month, so my favorites were a little harder to narrow down because there was so much variety.  These were the products that anchored my looks.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner

First, let’s start with skincare.  I ran out of my Michael Todd Cranberry Antioxidant Toner, so I went back to the Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner.  I remembered really liking it, so I wanted to give it another chance.  What I like about it is that it is really gentle, alcohol free, fragrance free, and lanolin free.  It’s a basic, gentle toner formulated for sensitive skin.  When push comes to shove, I do prefer the Michael Todd Cranberry Antioxidant Toner, but it is $18.  The Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner is less than $5.00 at Target, and does it’s job very well.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia  and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

I have been really into perfumes lately, and have been trying to remember to apply a different scent every day.  The two scents that I am just loving are Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia  and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance.  Oh my god, you guys, they smell so good!  I like rollerballs because I can have many fragrances without having to invest in an entire bottle.  Acqua di Gioia is probably my absolute favorite scent right now.  It is a fresh, clean, aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  It transports me to the Mediterranean, and I can’t get enough of it.  Also, I smelled the men’s version recently and it is just as divine.  I may have to pick it up for the Hubs.  Midnight Romance is a little heavier.  It is really a beautiful fragrance that is feminine, sexy, and sophisticated.  Feminine florals combine with a little bergamot and black vanilla and a slight touch of berry that keeps it from going too dark and heavy (without turning fruity).  I fully recommend both of these fragrances.  They are not similar, but they are equally fabulous.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

So, we need to talk about Coastal Scents Forever Blushes for a moment.  They are so good!  I have a full review coming for the seven shades that I purchased during the last half off sale, but I had to mention Poetic in my favorites post because I have been really loving it.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish.  It is gorgeous, and so great for this time of year.  I tend to stick to blushes with a brown-ish undertone in the summer, and Poetic is lovely.  The Forever Blush formula applies smoothly and they blushes are crazy pigmented.  I will definitely be reviewing them soon.

 

NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler

NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler

For lips, just like last month, I am still loving bright orange and coral.  I am also still loving the NYX Butter Gloss, this time in Peach Cobbler.  I have been really impressed with the Butter Gloss formula, and find them very comfortable to wear.  Peach Cobbler is a fiery red-orange shade that really pops.  It is a great summer shade.  I am not usually a gloss lover, but NYX really won me over with these Butter Glosses.

Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm

Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm

Next up is the Nivea Kiss of Cherry.  When I didn’t have bright lips on, I went very natural with this tinted lip balm.  It feels just like a regular Nivea lip balm, which are my favorites, but it has just the slightest light red tint to it.  The effect is just enough to brighten your face up a little, but it is extremely sheer.  The lightweight formula is so comfortable and works so well at keeping my lips healthy.  I do wish that the color was a little less subtle, but I am still enjoying it.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Last but not least, is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer.  Summer is the time when bronzing is at it’s peak for me.  Chocolate Soleil is a medium matte brown that looks great as a contour shade.  It isn’t too warm like some bronzers can be, and it doesn’t give you that odd orange cast.   And yes, it does smell very convincingly like chocolate.  Yum!  This is a deluxe sample size, but I can definitely see myself purchasing the full size when I am out.  If you have very fair skin, Milk Chocolate Soleil would be a better shade for you than the original.  Otherwise, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is a very good choice.

July 2014 Favorites swatches

July 2014 Favorites swatches

Here is a swatch of the color cosmetics items mentioned in this post.  Everything looks pretty spot on, except that the Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm is pulling very cool toned next to that fiery NYX Lip Butter.  (Natural lighting, what can you do, you know?)  It looks almost berry in this shot, but in real life it is more red.  It is definitely that sheer, though.  I hoped that you liked my favorites for July and saw something that sparked your interest.  What were your favorites this past month?  I am a little sad that July is over.  I had such a good Birthday month.  I am excited that we are progressing through summer rather quickly, though.  It is my least favorite time of year, but I love fall and winter.  August can not go by fast enough for me.  On the horizon are more giveaways as we celebrate three years of doing this blog.  My three-year Blogiversary is August 12, so keep an eye out for good stuff coming your way.

Monthly Favorites June 2014

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Monthly Favorites June 2014

Monthly Favorites June 2014

I have my June Monthly Favorites for you today, and there are some really great products in this bunch.  For those of you who are new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that I reached for over and over or particularly stood out to me throughout the month.  I’ve been having a lot of fun with color throughout the month of June, and I’ve also been experimenting with new products.  A couple of old favorites caught my attention as well.  So let’s get started.

Inglot Palette

Inglot Freedom System Palette

I have really been loving my Inglot palette all throughout June.  I’ve been meaning to do a full review for months now, and I will get to it soon.  In the meantime, though, I just want to say that the Inglot shadows are fantastic.  They are extremely pigmented and easy to apply.  For those unfamiliar with Inglot, this is a Freedom System palette, meaning that I bought the empty palette and then filled it with any shadows I wanted.  The shadows are huge, and come in hundreds of shades in a variety of finishes.  I chose greens, oranges, pinks and gold with a few neutrals to anchor the palette.  There are so many different looks that I can get out of these shadows from extremely bold and colorful, to a neutral day look.  I love it, and will be reviewing and (more importantly) swatching soon.

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

Another build-your-own palette that I have been loving this month is the Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette.  I was looking for new brow powder, and my favorite shade to fill in my brows was in the Coastal Scents 88 Warm palette, but I used it up.  I’ve made do with other shadows, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for, so I went searching for some Coastal Scents Hot Pots.  They do sell a 4-pan magnetic palette designed for brows with the same shades as my top two shadows (Light Taupe-A deep, exotic taupe hue with a matte finish“, and Timeless Taupe- “An antique brownish-grey hue with a matte finish”), but I didn’t like the other two shades involved.  Instead, I chose Gypsy Green– “An opaque wash of verdant beauty with a slight satiny finish” and Cherry Moss-A reddish-brown hue with green iridescent shimmer” to top off the foursome.  I am enjoying all four shades, but especially the brow colors.  Coastal Scents Hot Pots are a pretty decent size, and I have always had good luck with them.

Derma MD Copper Co-Q10 Moisturizer

Derma MD Copper Co-Q10 Moisturizer

I have already reviewed all of the Derma MD products that I was sent and mentioned that the Copper Co-Q10 Moisturizer was my favorite.  Click this link to read the full review of you missed it, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.  I am positive that this product above all the others has helped reduce my redness so much.  I love the moisturizer because it is not greasy or oily in the slightest, but delivers a ton of hydration that stays put for hours and hours.  It is extremely lightweight and absorbs into the skin so that you don’t even notice it.  I think that it would be appropriate for all skin types, oily or dry.  It is a great product.  There is a coupon code toward the bottom of my review for 50% off, if you are interested.

NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee

NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee

I received the NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee from Ipsy in my June Glam Bag.  I did not expect to like it because the color is very light for me.  It is lighter than my natural lip color and nudes my lips out, which is just a bad look on me.  But I love the formula of these Butter Glosses.  They are so comfortable on the lips, and the moisture sticks around for a long time.  What I’ve been doing with Crème Brulee, is layering it over some of my darker brown lipsticks to lighten them up for the summer.  The result is more on the rich, pinky-brown side, much more appropriate for this time of year.

NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee

NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee

Here is a swatch of NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brulee by itself.  It is a very pretty color, just not my bag.  But if you like natural pink-toned nudes, Crème Brulee is a great option for you.  The formula is fantastic, even if you are not usually a gloss lover.  It layers beautifully, and has made some very interesting shades when paired with other lip colors.  I’m liking it a lot.

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

I have to tell you about the Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer.  It is extremely similar to the Sigma F-80, but it is only $6.95 as opposed to $24.  Per Coastal Scents: “The Bionic Flat Top Buffer is perfect for buffing in foundation, blending in powders, and applying bronzer. The durable, dense bristles offer great control and a full coverage application.”  I will definitely have a full review coming on this brush, but let me just say that I have been using it all month and my foundation has looked fantastic.  Love it!

Nivea Lip Butter

Nivea Lip Butter

I decided to give the Nivea Lip Butter a try again, mostly because of how much I loved the taste and smell of Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss.  The scent is warm vanilla bean with rich nuttiness that is just heavenly.  I am still not a fan of the tin packaging, and the formula has a lot more slip that I prefer, but the Nivea Lip Butters are very moisturizing, and make my lips feel good.  I can’t use it all the time, but every now and again, I want to go through a tin of Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss because that flavor and smell make it all worthwhile.  Yum.

Orange and Coral lips

Orange and Coral lips

Finally, I’ve been busting out my orange and coral lip products.  Summer time is when I love bright lip shades, and there is something about orange and coral lips that makes me so happy.  My favorites are Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, Maybelline Color Whisper in I Crave Coral, and Rose Rush from the Maybelline Baby Lips Pink’ed collection.  I have reviewed all of these products in the past, so go ahead and search for them using the search box on the right for more information on the individual formulas.  The Revlon Balm Stain is definitely more on the orange side of the fence, where the Color Whisper is an orange-toned coral shade.  Rose Rush is a pink-toned coral.  Here are some swatches.

(L-R) Rendezvous, I Crave Coral, Rose Rush

(L-R) Rendezvous, I Crave Coral, Rose Rush

From left to right: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous, Maybelline Color Whisper in I Crave Coral, and Maybelline Baby Lips Pink’ed in Rose RushRendezvous is also the more opaque of the bunch, while Rose Rush is on the sheer side giving just a hint of that coral color, noticeable but still subtle.

That’s it for my June favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  I am happy that July has arrived because it is Birthday month!  Yes, I like to celebrate all month long.  🙂  We have some nice dinners planned, and I know that I’ll be doing a little bit of shopping.  I’ve been very good so far this year, so it’s time for a little splurge.  Things are still stressful and up in the air as far as moving plans, but I am feeling better about the situation and am doing well.  I’m looking forward to what life brings me in July.  What were your favorite products from the month of June?  Let me know in the comments below.

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

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Nivea Kiss of Care & Color

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color

If you have been paying attention the last couple of months, you may have noticed that I completely fell in love with the Nivea lip balms.  I featured both the Kiss of Milk and Honey and the Kiss of Olive Oil and Lemon in favorites posts.  They are really great lip balms, and I am obsessed.  So, I was very anxious to try the new(ish) Nivea Kiss of Care & Color line.  I am a fan of tinted lip balms because there are definitely days where I want a low-maintenance lip and I can always use more moisture.  My hope was that the Nivea Kiss of Care & Color balms would be just like the regular Nivea balms, but with color.  Read on to see how that worked out.

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color comes in four sades: Sheer Pink, Sheer Coral, Sheer Berry, and Sheer Crimson.  The display that I found was pretty picked over, and the only shades left were Sheer Pink and Sheer Crimson, so I chose the latter.  Nivea Kiss of Care & Color balms are the same size as the regular Nivea balms (4.8 g) but they cost around $2 more.  If you are interested in trying Nivea Kiss of Care & Color, be sure to get them on sale because I have seen them as high as $5 each, which is a lot for a tinted lip balm.  Nivea Kiss of Care & Color have a moisture core, surrounded by the color balm.  From the swatches and reviews that I have seen online, the best color pay-off is from the Sheer Berry and Sheer Crimson shades.  As you can probably tell by the name, even the dark shades are pretty sheer color.  From what I’ve seen, Sheer Coral has some tint, but Sheer Pink is very light and hardly shows up.  They all provide a decent amount of shine though, so it all depends on what look you are going for.

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson is a sheer brick red that looks very pretty and would be very flattering on a variety of skin tones.  It is a warm shade, so those with very cool tones may want to avoid it, but those with warm and neutral tones should love the color.  Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson does not feel like the regular Nivea balms at all, which was a huge disappointment for me.  The main difference, and the thing that I am the most disappointed in, is that Nivea Kiss of Care & Color contain menthol, giving them a minty taste and feel.  Damn that minty tingle!  Why, Nivea, why?  So, to be fair, the tingle is lighter than some lippies and lasts for about twenty minutes.  But it is a completely unnecessary addition and kind of a dumb idea for a lip balm.  Beauty companies, please stop adding IRRITANTS to your lip products!  Perhaps you can tell that I have a problem with this?  I am pretty sensitive to menthol, so all I can smell and taste with the Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson is mint.  The menthol ruins the formula for me because instead of feeling nice and moisturizing, it irritates my lips and feels kind of drying until the menthol dies down.  It’s weird actually.  The immediate application is moisturizing, but after the first few minutes it feels drying to me.  Then, after the twenty minute mark or so, it starts to feel moisturizing again.  But by that time, the product is going to start to break down because it’s a tinted lip balm and you are only going to get an hour or so of wear-time at best.  All that to say, if you are not a fan of minty lip products, stay away.

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson

Here is a swatch of Sheer Crimson.  It’s a decent bit of color.  I do really like the color that Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson gives my lips, and I think that those who are not sensitive to menthol may like the product.  Perhaps if I wasn’t such a fan of the regular Nivea balms, Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson wouldn’t have been such a disappointment.  However, I was so hoping that it would be as moisturizing and comfortable as the regular balms, and it simply isn’t even close. Especially now, when my lips aren’t in the best shape because of the cold winter, I just can’t do minty tingles.  I am going to try Nivea Kiss of Cherry, because I have heard that it feels just like a regular Nivea balm (it’s part of the regular line, I believe) but has a light red tint to it.  So that will hopefully be a better fit for me.  Unfortunately, Nivea Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Crimson was a fail.  Have you tried any of the Nivea Kiss of Care & Color line?  What did you think?  Am I crazy with my abhorrence to menthol, and do you like that minty tingle?  Let me know in the comments below.

February 2014 Monthly Favorites

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February 2014 Favorites

February 2014 Favorites

It’s the last day of February, and you know what that means- it’s time for my Monthly Favorites.  For those of you who are new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  To be honest, February was kind of a blur.  I feel like maybe I was on auto-pilot for some of the time because I am not getting as clear an impression of the month as a whole as I usually do.  I’ve been under a lot of stress and I’m having a hell of a time with my insomnia.  You know how it is sometimes, just going through the motions day after day.  Sleep deprivation had a lot to do with it.  Nonetheless, I do have some favorites that made an impression, so let’s get into it.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

In case you couldn’t tell by the rave I gave it in my previous post, I really loved the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes in my collection.  I find that I am less of a fan of pink blushes.  I like less traditional shades like bright coral or plum.  Mauve fits right in with that.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  You should definitely check it out, especially because Maybelline is so often Buy one Get one 50% off at Ulta and certain drugstores.

Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon

Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon

Last month I showed you Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey in my favorites.  This month I have the Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon.  I love this line of lip balms!  They are creamy without being waxy, and so moisturizing.  Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon has a subtle herbal scent that is simply lovely.  It’s a very unassuming scent, so it doesn’t get in the way.  Just like Kiss of Milk & Honey, Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon feels fantastic and leaves my lips hydrated and very happy.  The lightweight formula is comfortable and works so well at keeping my lips healthy.  Love it!

NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer

NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer

I discovered the NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer and have really been enjoying it.  My favorite primer is Smashbox Photo Finish, and this NYX primer is very similar, but only a fraction of the cost.  It’s very smooth and wears well.  I’m not going to go into too much detail right now because I plan on doing another Battle of the Drugstore Primers soon, but just know that NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer is fantastic, and well worth a try.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask has been a lifesaver this month.  According to paulaschoice.com: “This rich cream mask calms redness, stops flakes, and rekindles the glow.”  The combination of experimenting with skincare (more on that later) and the cold temperatures requiring us to let the heater run so much made my skin super dry and flaky.  No bueno.  The Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask is one of the strangest “masks” I’ve ever used.  It’s a thick cream like a heavy moisturizer that should be left on the skin for at last 20 minutes, or you can also use it as an actual moisturizer overnight.  It doesn’t feel sticky or greasy, absorbs easily into the skin, and works like a moisturizer, so that’s how I have been using it.  The difference in my skin is obvious.  Within two days, my skin looked noticeably healthier and felt much better.  If you have issues with dry skin, I definitely recommend the Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask.  The only down side is that you have to order online.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

I have been loving my new Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia rollerball.  I wanted a perfume that was a little more sophisticated than the scents that I usually go toward (Juicy, Ed Hardy) but not too heavy.  What’s great about Acqua di Gioia is that it still smells fresh and clean, but with a grown up sophistication.  It is an aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  The scent reminds me of a villa in the Mediterranean, so beautiful.  I can see myself wearing this constantly during spring and summer.  Love it!

Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber

Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber

This month I pulled out my Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber Body Lotion and Shower Gel.  It’s is such a lovely and sexy fragrance.  Bath and Body Works describes Sensual Amber as: “The exotic scent of lotus petals enveloped by golden amber and blended with succulent plum and creamy sandalwood.”  This isn’t a year-round scent for me because it is a little more perfume-y than most B&BW scents, but I love it for late summer/early fall, and also late winter.  It’s a great scent for February, especially around Valentines Day.  Sensual Amber is a warm, seductive scent, but not so heavy that I feel weighed down by it.  I really like it.

Lorde Pure Heroine

Lorde Pure Heroine

My final favorite is a lifestyle favorite.  I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve been obsessed with Lorde’s Pure Heroine album.  Beyond just “Royals” which is a great song, the album as a whole has a cool, indie-pop sound with witty, intelligent lyrics.  The extended version has six additional songs from The Love Club.  It’s a really good album and probably 90% of what I’ve been listening to this month.  It’s hard to believe that Ella Yelich-O’Connor  is so young and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

That’s it for my February favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know your thoughts.   Leave me a comment below.  And let me know what your favorites were for February.  I am looking forward to March.  I think I am getting my sleep under control, so fingers crossed I will have better luck with it next month.  Things are slowly moving forward with our upcoming move and we still don’t have details like where and when.  The going theory is that we will be moving in late summer, like August or September.  Having a work-related move with the company relocating us is a lot different than our previous moves and a lot more stressful.  We should be getting more details soon, though, so I am hopeful and excited.  It seems that winter is pretty much over in these parts.  I will miss it when it’s gone.  I have really loved the cold temperatures and snowy weather.  Call me crazy, but winter is my favorite time of year, and I’ve enjoyed it.  I can see spring peaking around the corner, trying to take its place.

Monthly Favorites January 2014

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January 2014 Favorites

January 2014 Favorites

Today’s post is the first monthly favorites post of 2014.  For those of you who are new to the blog, monthly favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  January’s favorites are more focused on skincare than makeup, but I do have a couple cosmetic items to show as well.  So, let’s get started.

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Soap & Glory Hand Food

I’ve been loving Soap & Glory Hand Food for my dry winter skin.  When the weather is dry and cold like this I feel like applying lotion often, and Soap & Glory Hand Food is very nice and the scent is delightful.  What’s great about it is that Hand Food gives me the moisture that I need without feeling greasy.  The lotion dries down pretty quickly.  I hate lotions that linger after I rub them in and make me want to avoid touching anything for a few minutes.  No one’s got time for that.  Hand Food smells amazing and makes my hands soft without taking up too much of my time.

Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food

I’ve been using Weleda Skin Food off and on for about a year, but it has been a real savior for me the last two months.  For some reason my feet decided that they wanted to resurface themselves, so they’ve been extra dry, cracking and peeling.  I don’t know what happened because I didn’t to anything different, but my skin just freaked out in a major way.  Using Weleda Skin Food really helped and healed my skin.  It’s a thicker balm-type of product, so it’s great for nighttime use.  It has a very earthy smell, which could be a turn off for some, but it is a little miracle worker for troubled skin.  Weleda is sold at health food stores like Earth Fare and it’s also sold at Target, as well as online.  If you have super dry areas that need a little extra help, I really recommend Weleda Skin Food.

Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey

Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey

I have a new favorite lip balm in Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey.  It is creamy without being waxy.  There is no noticeable taste or scent.  It’s a very unassuming lip balm that feels fantastic and leaves my lip hydrated and happy.  I enjoyed the Nivea lip butter in Macadamia kiss, but don’t like balms that come in a tin.  I prefer this type of convenient mess-free balm.  I really like the formula because it’s extremely moisturizing, but also lightweight.  I am definitely going to stock up.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

I bought this Too Faced sample kit from Sephora over the Chistmas buying frenzy, and the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer was one of the included items.  I have heard so much about what an awesome product it is that I decided I needed to see for myself.  Honestly, bronzer isn’t an item that I get very excited about, so I wasn’t sure how much I’d like Chocolate Soleil.  As it turns out, I really like it a lot.  It’s such a great shade for contouring.  The picture above makes it look warmer and lighter than it does in real life (sorry, I was having lighting issues because of the weather).  In reality, it is a medium matte brown that looks great as a contour shade that’s not too orange, but those with lighter skin may want to use caution.  It would be too dark for fair skin, or those with light skin that use a heavy hand.  (If that’s the case, Milk Chocolate Soleil would be a better shade for you than the original.)  And yes, it does smell very convincingly like chocolate.  Yum!

Maybeline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk

Maybeline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk

I pulled out Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk this month and have really been enjoying the looks I am creating.  It looks beautiful alone, and also as a color base to use with my Naked 3 palette.  I forget how great these Color Tattoos are, and then I pull one out and get obsessed all over again.  They are especially good for quick and easy looks because you can definitely wear them all by themselves applied with a finger, and they last all day without creasing or fading.  At least they do for me, but I don’t have oily lids to contend with.  Pomegranate Punk is a beautiful shade for brown eyes like mine, and I definitely need to use it more often.

Chocolate Soleil Bronzer on top and Pomegranate Punk on the bottom

Here is a swatch of the makeup items.  Too Faced Chocolate Soleil is on the top, and Pomegranate Punk is on the bottom.  January was a really good month.  2014 has kicked off to a great start and I am looking forward to the months to come, but it has been stressful.  I will be moving across the country later this year and I am realizing just how much is going to be involved in that trek.  I don’t have all of the details (it’s a work thing so there are other factors) and the not knowing is a major stressor in my life.  I am a little “OCD” and find comfort is lists and plans.  Not knowing the when, where, and how is going to cause me issues, so the next few months will be all about a growing experience in learning to let go and trust that things will work out in their own time.  Wish me luck.  :/  On the upside, I have been enjoying the cold winter weather.  I know that many of you are praying for Spring, but I am happy as a clam snuggling up in my sweaters and slippers.  Things are good.  🙂