BURRRR!!! Time to Winterize your Mani/Pedi!!!

The leaves are changing. The Temperatures are dropping. We’re starting to pull out the sweaters, jackets, coats, gloves, and boots. You’re probably starting to see a change in your skin. While we are much more attentive to our hair and facial skin, we often overlook our hands and feet. 
It’s time to “Winterize” our mani/pedi regimen.  Our hands and feet tend to get extra dry during the colder months. Some of the culprits are forced heat and fireplaces that dry out the air and skin, the increased hand washing and use of alcohol-laden hand sanitizers during the cold and flu season.  Moisture is key to preventing dry, flaky skin.
Here are a few suggestions to help “Winterize” you hands and feet.
  • Use warm water instead of hot. Hot water strips the body of its natural oils. The more oil removed, the drier the skin.
  • Use a mild, moisturizing cleanser. Many of the soaps and cleansers contain alcohol and are also striping the body of its natural oils.  One line of cleansing products that I like are the Bed & Body Works, Anti-Bacterial, Moisturizing Hand Soaps.
  • Exfoliate your hands and feet. Dry skin, flaky skin acts as a barrier and prevents the moisturizing products from doing their job. So exfoliating your hands and feet helps to remove the layers of dry, dead skin leaving behind soft, supple, radiant skin. And allows the moisturizing products the ability to get the job done. There are several drug store brand scrubs and exfoliants, as well as several recipes for Do-It-Yourself scrubs and exfoliants. Two of my favorites prepared scrubs are Philosophy Hot Salt Scrubs, and Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs.  One of my favorite websites for Natural DIY recipes can be found at Natural Nail Care Recipes
  • Moisturize nails and cuticles throughout the day. I have been beating the moisturize drum since the beginning of my blog and long before then. I moisturize my nails and cuticles every morning before I shower. My reasoning is that I believe that nails are like sponges; they can only absorb but so much liquid. I prefer they absorb the benefits of cuticle oil over water.  I also moisturize throughout the day, especially after washing my hands.  Also pushing back my cuticles during this process. Lastly, I moisturize before bed. I use a cuticle oil and a hand cream: Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Skin Therapy Lotion with Shea Butter with Shea Butter or my own Whipped Shea Butter mix.
  • We must not forget our footsies.  During the colder months, our feet are probably the most overlooked part of our body.  Just like our hands, our feet are quick to show signs of dryness and the need for extra care. Every night, before I go to bed, I apply Vaseline Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly or Palmer’s Foot Magic.
  • There are times when I may feel the need for an extreme moisturizing treatment. It is then that I may go that extra step and do an extreme overnight treatment.
    • For Hands: I apply a cuticle balm to my cuticles and slather on my cuticle oil mix, and a hand cream or body butter. And sleep in moisturizing gloves (found at most Beauty Supply Stores).
    • For Feet: Before showering, I use my Ped-Egg to remove the dry, flaky skin. Once out of the shower, I apply my cuticle oil mix and a Vaseline Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly or Palmer’s Foot Magic.  I then sleep in moisturizing socks.
  • Some people also suggest using a humidifier to restore moisture to the air. While I don’t do this, whatever works for you.
So my Moisture Mavens, don't forget to keep you hands and feet moisturized, especially during these colder months. Your fingers and toes will show their appreciation.

Grace, Peace, and Blessings.

NOTD: Orly Galaxy Girl

I know I am really late with this polish but better late than never.  Who would have ever thought that the colors of a bruise would make a gorgeous nail polish? LOL!  Orly Galaxy Girl is a very pretty violet, purple, brown duochrome with green blue flecks.  It's part of the Orly Cosmic FX collection that was introduced during the fall of 2010.  Since there is not much I could say that has not already been said, so I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

TAG: 15 Facts About..Me!

I found this post on Nouveau Cheap's blog and decided to use it as an opportunity to get to know me a little better, if you care.
  •        My father had a nickname for me and we will leave it just between the two of us. LOL!
  •        My mother also has a nickname for me and now only uses it when she is trying to be funny. We shall leave it between the two of us also.
  2.  What's a weird habit of yours?
         Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t mix my food when eating. When I eat a meal, I eat all of each food, one at a time.
  3.  Do you have any weird phobias?
       I don’t think it’s weird, I have a fear of dying in a fire.
  4.  What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
        Janet Jackson’s Black Cat. This is my roll-down the windows, pump up the volume song.

  5.   What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
          You paint a house! You polish your nails!
  6.   What's one of your nervous habits?
        I think I really don't have one but when I get stressd my eye twiches. 
  7.    What side of the bed do you sleep on?
          The right side, unless one of my fur babies beat me to it.
  8.    What was your first stuffed animal and its name?
          It wasn’t a stuffed animal but a small white doll. BTW, I am African American. LOL! I didn’t get my first AA doll until I was about 5 years old.
  9.   What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?
          Peppermint Mocha
  10. What's the beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice?
          I don’t always remove my makeup before I go to bed. I know. Shame, Shame, Shame!
  11. Which way do you face in the shower?
        I face the water, unless I'm rinse out shampoo/conditioner or letting the shower head pulsate against my back.
  12. Do you have any weird body skills?
          I can crack my ankles just by twisting them. Comes with age. LOL!!!
  13. What's your favorite comfort food that’s 'bad', but you love to eat it anyways?   Doritos and Ice Cold Coke.
  14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? Grace, Peace, and Blessings.
  15. Time to sleep - what are you actually wearing? Winnie the Poo t-shirt (comfort); satin gown (styling, wink) 
I tag all of you! Please post your answers in the comments! Of course, if you have a blog and/or YouTube channel, you're welcome to reply there too. I'd love to hear your answers!
  1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
  2. What's a weird habit of yours?
  3. Do you have any weird phobias?
  4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
  5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
  6. What's one of your nervous habits?
  7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
  8. What was your first stuffed animal and its name?
  9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?
  10. What's the beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice?
  11. Which way do you face in the shower?
  12. Do you have any weird body skills?
  13. What's your favorite comfort food thats 'bad', but you love to eat it anyways?
  14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?
  15. Time to sleep - what are you actually wearing?

REVIEW: Dept Store vs Drug Store Mascara

Where I will spend upwards of $15-20 for a nail polish, I had always said that I would not spend an exorbitant amount for mascara. I had always found that I get a great results from the drug store brands of mascara so I saw no reason to spend $20, $30, $40 for a department store mascara.  

But back in September, Ulta had their 21 days of Beauty in which they had Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, Buy One, Get One Free; not 50% off, but FREE.  So that put them at $8.50 each. That was a price I could tolerate. And this gave me the opportunity to actually do a comparison between drug store and department store mascaras.
So I decided to compare it to Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express; which I had been using for several months.  Maybelline is a drug store brand that can be found everywhere, Walmart, Walgreens, grocery stores, Target, and CVS.  It averages $7.49 and can often be found on sale, Buy One, Get One at 50% off.  Maybelline had been one of two brands that I had used for decades. Whenever I found a duo pack, I would stock up. But I was adamant that I would not spend a lot for mascara.

Both are water-proof and did not flake. Both gave me the volume I was seeking. Both are washable and easily removed with "soap and water". I use Philosophy Purity Made Simple as my facial cleasner and have no trouble removing the product. Comparing the brushes, I preferred the Maybelline Falsie "Spoon" brush over the Tarte brush. It is suited to prevent clumping, but separating. And makes getting to the shorter lashes easy.  On their own merits, I had no issues with either.  But is one better than the other, or is the more expensive mascara "better than" the drug store brand?  I'm going to let the results speak for themselves. 
To the left is the Tarte, Lights, Camera, Lashes before and after. To the right is the Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express before and after.

What do you think? And which do you prefer department store or drug store mascaras? What is your favorite mascara? I am happy with both. But I prefer the results of the Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Mascara, therefore, there is no need to spend unnecessarily.  I am excited to compare the Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express to the Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Flared. Will I get my Angel Wings? LOL! 

Grace, Peace, and Blessings. 

*FTC Disclaimer:
  • These products were purchased with my own monies.
  • I am not being compensated in any manner for this review.
  • I am not affiliated with either company.
  • These are my honest opinions of these products. 

11/11/11 Haul (Sephora, MAC, Fashion Fair, Icing, & a little extra)

I am venturing out a little from my normal type of posting but if you have been following my blog from the beginning, you will remember that I mentioned that from time-to-time I may post about other beauty items. And as fate would have it, I did some hauling today that in addition to some polishes, include some beauty products. So I thought I would share my recent purchases with you.

I have seen several postings about Icing polishes. I had never tried this line but just so happens there is an Icing store in one of my local malls. So I decided to get a few. Icing seems to be similiar to Claire's in that most of their inventory is Buy 1 Get 1 50% off. So I picked out 4 polishes. I stuck with the glitters. I picked up the much talked about Epic Winning; I also got Birds of Paradise, Starlight and Glamourous.
The main reason for going to the mall was to get a new foundation. Fashion Fair has been the only line that had a powder that perfectly matched my skin tone. My Oil Control Pressed powder in Pecan has long since been a Holy Grail product. So I got the Fashion Fair Oil Free Perfect Finish Cream-to-Powder Foundation in Tender and the Oil Control Loose Powder in Pecan. The sales associate was very helpful and knowledegable. She also gave me a free sample lipstick in the shade Naked. Which is a good thing because I have been looking for a good naked shade of lipstick.

Across from the Fashion Fair counter in my local Belks, is a MAC counter. I wanted to get a new Eyebrow Pencil. So I picked up the MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Stud (Dark Brown).

After leaving Belk, I headed to JC Penney to go to the Sephora counter. I was looking to pick up another eyeliner, either my normal Smashbox Jetset or try something new. The last time I was in Ulta they were out of Tarte Emphaseyes in Black but today Sephora had it. So I picked that up. Bonus is that Tarte Emphaseyes comes with a dual-ended brush. While at Sephora, I also got samples of Murad Oil Control Mattifer and Juicy Couture Original Fragrance.

Lastly, something I had been thinking about for sometime was getting my eyebrows threaded. Just so happens there is a Brow Art 23 franchise in the same mall. So I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time. My experience was not bad. If you have ever had your brows waxed you should not have a problem with threading. Granted they itched for a while after, but that only lasted about an hour.
So today ended up being a pretty good day. It's Veteran's Day and I thank each and every person that has ever served this great country. We, as a country are ever in your debt.  Grace, Peace, and Blessings.



China Glaze Introduces Six New Innovative Glitter Polishes for Winter 2011

Los Angeles, CA – (October 2011):  Forget diamonds!  This winter China Glaze introduces a nail industry first: utilizing 3-D glitters in its new “Eye Candy” collection.  Inspired by Marilyn Monroe and her timeless allure, this innovative new glitter technology provides a knock-your-eyes-out, super sparkly effect to your manicure.   Multi-sized and differently shaped glitter particles are cleverly combined to create a sexy, super decadent, 3-D finish in six bright, eye-popping shades.  Whether you prefer gleaming gold or glamorous smoky grey, China Glaze’s “Eye Candy” collection adds a dazzling finish to your holiday look with a glimmer that is sure to catch everyone’s eye!  Colors in this collection include:

·         Love Marilyn: Vivacious Red with Shimmering Silver Particles

·         Blonde Bombshell: Glistening Multidimensional Gold Flecks

·         Lorelei’s Tiara: Sterling Silver Infused with Blue Sprinkles

·         Material Girl: Posh pink with Holographic Bubblegum Glitter

·         Some Like It Haute: Graphite Gray with Holographic Glitter

·         Marry A Millionaire: Alluring Amethyst with Multi-tonal Fibers

Celebs like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Ivanka Trump, Rosario Dawson and Emmy Rossum regularly rock China Glaze and now you can get your bling on with “Eye Candy.” 

The China Glaze “Eye Candy” collection will be available in an amazing 3-D 12-piece counter display and as open stock colors.

China Glaze is free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde.

China Glaze nail lacquers are available through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. For more information, visit: www.chinaglaze.com or follow China Glaze on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ChinaGlaze

China Glaze is a division of American International Industries.

About American International Industries

For nearly 40 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women.  Our product lines include Ardell, Andrea, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, Jeris-Lustray, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks,  Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website: www.aiibeauty.com 


October, 2011 Favorite Products...

Last month I decided to start doing periodic favorite products postings. I have since decided to make this a monthly posting, similar to how many do monthly favorite videos on You Tube. I know that I appreciate the efforts others make to show their favorites. They often introduce to me products I have never seen and/or considered. Again, these are items that I either consider my holy grail items or are products i've recently come across and am currently loving. I will be listing items from Hair Care, Skin Care, Bath & Body, Make-Up and of course Nail Care. I hope that my experiences with these items will be able to help someone along the way...As my blog title touts, For Me, It Works.

1. Category: Hair Care - Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Replenishing Conditioner As I mentioned in my first favorites posting, I started a healthy hair journey almost 2 years ago. One of the goals for healthy hair is to find a balance between moisture and protein. Most products have an emphasis on one or the other. However I was fortunate to find ORS Replenishing Conditioner which has has a balance between the two. I love this product, not only does it give me the strengthening effects of a protein conditioner, it also provides moisture which leaves my hair soft yet strong; all this with a great citrus scent. One of my favorite ways to use this product is to do a deep conditioning on dry hair. Before shampooing my hair, I apply this product to my hair and either sit under a hooded dryer or heat cap for about 30 minutes then proceed with my shampoo process. Uber soft.

Stats: African-American, with 4B relaxed hair, stretches my retouches to about 10-12 weeks. Avoids products with mineral oil, and petroleum.

2. Category: Nail Care - Polar White Buffer Block Anyone that has worn a dark green or navy polish has had issues with staining. Some of my favorite polishes are the ones that stain the most. Of course I have in my arsenal, lemon juice, and denture whitening tablets, but what I have found to work the best for me is the Polar White Buffing Blocks. Just a few strokes and my nails are back to normal. Of course we must always be careful not to over bluff as that contributes to the thinning of your nails. So the next time you find your nails stained give the Polar White Buffer block a try. Pros: It works! Available at Sally Beauty for $1.19 per block. Cons: As with any buffing, be careful not to over buff and cause damage to your nail beds.

3. Category: Make-Up - NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils Whereas I have been wearing makeup for decades now, I only recently started incorporating primers and bases to my regimen. Recently I was introduced to NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils to use as eye shadow base. I had seen this product line before but never stopped to consider it. But after viewing several You Tube videos and so many were raving about this product I had to give it a try. Eureka! I had been sleeping on a really good product. Applied over my eye lid primer, these pencils act as a base beneath my eye shadows that punch up the shadow. They come in like 25 colors and are available online and at several retailers from Ulta to my local beauty supply store. They are not pricey and range in price from $4.49 at Ulta to $3.49 at my local beauty supply store. The application is smooth and creamy. I really need to look at the other products this line offers. Being a brand snob has its drawbacks...I have missed out on some really good items.

4. Category: Skin Care - Burt's Bees Lip Balm
There is one thing that I absolutely cannot stand and that is dry skin, including my lips. I don't even remember when I started using this product. It just always was. Burt's Bees Lip Balm. This stuff is excellent. IMO, it is far better than the old Chapstick from years gone by. It keeps my lips soft, moisturized, and protected from the elements. I keep tubes of this stuff everywhere; purse, backpack, car, nightstand, office desk absolutely everywhere. I have recommended Burt's Bees to many of my friends because it works! It is readily available in stores and online at www.burtsbees.com, in addition to not being too pricey. So before you go out into the sun, don't forget to protect your lips also with 100% natural Burt's Bees Lip Balm.

5. Category: Body Care - Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs I am very critical of body scrubs. I do not like oil based scrubs or really creamy scrubs. So up until recently the only scrub that I could find that I liked was a department store brand that was $25 a 23oz tub. I recently came across the Tree Hut brand and their Shea Sugar Scrubs. The consistency was very similar to the sugar scrub I was already using but like at a third the cost at $7.49 for 18 oz. They are fairly easy to find in my area, as Wal-mart, Publix, and Ulta carry the line as well as online at www.treehutshea.com. So I went to Ulta to take a look. I must admit, some of the scents, I flat out did not like, the Brazilian Nut , and the Original Shea did not appeal to me at all, but the Coconut Lime and the Hawaiian Kukui were coming home with me. And as or the results, I was not disappointed. I apply the scrub to dry skin and rinse it off in the shower. It leaves my skin soft and supple to the touch. This product will definitely be replacing my scrub of old. The Tree Hut line also includes lotions, body butters, and body wash. I will need to visit some of these products also.

I blog for the fun of it and hope that along the way, some of my experiences can help someone. What are some of your favorite beauty products?

Grace, Peace, and Blessings.

*Note: All of these products were purchased with my own monies. None of these reviews were sponsored, and these are all my own personal opinions.

NOTD: OPI Rising Star, another gold finger...

A few months ago I blogged about Orly Glitz, since then I have seen several people on MUA ask about different gold polishes. It seems that gold is undergoing a resurgence in popularity. Maybe because of the fast approaching Christmas holidays. But whatever the case, I will admit, and it is probably the same reason I prefer gold jewelry, I love the way it compliments my skin tone.

So today, I am finally sharing a polish that I have had since last holiday season. I'm certain that I am not the first to speak of this polish, but it is always good to see a shade on other skin tones.

For the winter/holiday season of 2010 OPI introduced 12 new polishes which made up the OPI Burlesque Collection.  Today I am reminding you of OPI Rising Star.  Rising Star is a gorgeous warm gold metallic foil. Whereas Orly Glitz is a butter yellow gold, OPI Rising Star is a cross between bronze, gold, and copper.  I must admit that this was a difficult shade for me to photograph. Depending on the lighting it took on several different shades, although it’s not a duochrome.  As you will see in the photos below, there are several different looks, all from the same polish.

NOTE:  I had to help with a move recently and to prevent any major damage, I filed  back my nails. It was successful, only casualty was a chipped thumbnail on my non-swatch hand. LOL!

Have you added any gold to your collection?

Bottle:         15 mL – 0.5 Fl Oz
Brush:         OPI Exclusive ProWide Brush
Price:           Reg. $8.50 however, I bought it on clearance for $4.99
Availability:  Discontinued. Some of the etailers may still carry it
Application: Normal for OPI, Smooth. In these pictures, I am wearing BC/TC, and 2 coats of NP
Selection:    This was part of a 12 color collection, but has since been discontinued.  OPI has a large ever changing selection.  They come out with several new collections throughout the year.  OPI also maintains a strong core collection readily available.

Remember, treat your nails and jewels not tools. Grace , Peace, and Blessings.