Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alternatives to Expensive Makeup Brushes

I have appreciated and enjoyed various gurus on YT, who take the time to do reviews of various makeup brush sets or singles. In some cases, this has required a substantial financial investment on the part of some gurus, who in turn, state clearly that purchasing some of the higher end brushes are indeed, an investment.

However, not all of the subscribers and followers of the various gurus and makeup artists can afford these particular and often prohibitively expensive tools. What then are our options? (and in my case, even if I can or could, if I know that I can get something equal in quality, and will the do the same job just as well, I will invariably choose the less expensive option if I know there is one).

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite YT ladies, Debbick1. I only recently started subscribing to her, and let me tell you, she is one savvy makeup guru. I like her honesty and forthrightness in letting her subscribers know what options are available to us as makeup junkies!

Debbick1 just posted this wonderful video on YT, and I would like to share it with you. Please subscribe to her channel as you will not be disappointed in her or what she has to share with you :)


Review of OPI's "Sapphire in the Snow' Nail Polish

Due to the lawsuit launched by OPI against E-tailers that have been fraudulently selling OPI polishes at discount prices, many of us innocent consumers are being punished with OPI now making their products higher in price, and completely unreasonable shipping/handling charges.

I have stated that I wouldn't purchase OPI polishes until this was resolved and we could look forward to purchasing a reasonably priced polish again.

Well sue me! lol. I relented only because this polish was priced at $2.99 Cdn. plus taxes.

I was attracted immediately to the gorgeous purple colour, the bottle laying amidst other OPI polishes in a small basket on the lower shelf of the polish section at my local drugstore.

I talked myself into it only because of the awesome price!

Once home, I had to try it. I sadly removed my Sally Hansen Jade polish, but with some excitement, polished my nails with the stunning purple. I noted that it took two coats to cover my nails, where the Sally Hansen only takes one.

"Ok, well it's a different consistency", I said to myself.

Yesterday, after doing dishes and doing a very minimal clean of my bathroom, I saw that the OPI has worn off at the tips of my nails. Hmm. I wore the Sally Hansen polish for five days before it began to show signs of wear.

Later yesterday evening, I saw now that I had to do another layer of OPI to cover what had worn off. I also noticed that a couple of the nails also weren't solidly coloured and one could actually see light from the other side of the nail.

I painted another coat over all 10 nails, hoping that this would perhaps helps in it's wearability factor.

Nope. I did minimum work with my hands today, and I now find that I either have to put another coat on, or simply take it all off and redo.

Final opinion? I am not one for base or top coats. I don't have the time more often than not, nor the patience. This OPI will definitely require at minimum a top coat to prevent wearing.

I am still preferring the Sally Hansen Instant Dry for its colour and durability but I am willing to do the top coat over the OPI and see how that works :) For 2.99 I think I can handle a bit of top coat!

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cellex - C Products - Lovelovelove them!

Just before my 50th birthday, whilst looking in the mirror, bemoaning the wrinkles around my eyes, I suddenly noticed with dismay, the folds of skin on my neck that were threatening to fold over on each other!

EEK! Noooooooooooo! Not turkey neck!

Off I ran and I mean ran! to my local beautician's shop, looking for something that would either stop this sure sign of OLD! or at least delay it somewhat.

I had recalled another 'older' friend of mine lauding CELLEX-C, Advanced-C Neck Firming Cream. Woohoo, there was one jar left!

$100.00 Cdn. lighter in the bank balance, I went home with this elixir of youth, praying to the Goddess that this would at least provide me with some source of comfort, and more, that this product would do as the product brochure stated it would.

After washing my face, I admit I used a tad more than recommended (more is more right?) and realising that a watched pot never boils, I engaged myself in other actitivies (eyebrow plucking, shaving my legs) and quite frankly, forgot about my 'turkey neck' because I became so upset at the ridges in my toenails! Where the heck did they come from!

Later that evening, I was brushing my teeth when my eyes noticed that my neck no longer looked like the sleeve of a crepe dress, and that the skin looked plump and essentially wrinkle free!

I nearly cried with joy! I suddenly felt about 10 years younger, and relieved that my investment had not disappointed.

Though it is a pricey product, I am now on my second jar, and I lovelovelove it. My skin feels silky and soft once the cream has saturated into my skin, and the wrinkles? Barely there!

You can order all of the Cellex line here:

I can't say enough positive things about how well Cellex-C Neck Firming Cream has worked for me!

If you have tried their products, let me know how they worked for you !


Plus Size Fashion and Links

I was browsing the other day for something casual to wear over my footless tights - which are a staple of my wardrobe, especially in the summer. They are so easy to carry in my purse, and pull on when the air gets a bit cooler in the evening, under whatever I'm wearing (usually a dress or long white shirt).

Now, I have one of the bodies that is deemed apple shaped. The Goddess above did not bless me with large breasts, and instead, seemed to have miscalculated her dimensions ... so I swear my large breasts are my stomach and vice versa!

So finding clothes that fit my body can be challenging. I am a size 12 upper, and my lower body is 12 -14 but my waist makes it that I have to look at size 18!!! Well, if you've been through this, you will know that sure it fits my waist, but then I've got this enormous airy pocket of fabric around my hips and crotch!! Sigh.

Then I came upon a wonderfully cheery woman on YT, and whoever you are, if you recognize yourself in this blog please let me know so that I can credit you with providing the links that I going to post here! She did alot of work in finding these links and posting them, so I want to ensure that you get to know her and check out her channel!

Fashion is fun, and it is fun for all women of all shapes and sizes. I have never subscribed to that theory that larger ladies have to wear black (though I happen to quite like the black/white look myself!) or caftans or mom jeans! Big, bold, bright and crazy patterns are for all of us! Are you listening designers that only create clothing for women whose dress size is the same size as my ankle!!!!

Please do check out these links, let me know if you find something fabulous or tweet me @CaresBeautyBlog and let's share the look so other women can be fabulous as well!

And if you know who the lovely woman on YouTube is that posted these links originally, please let me know asap!


Has Crystal Renn let down her 'plus size' peers and fans?

After posting the article on Plus Size Models, it was a tad disconcerting to see this article. :(

What is it in our culture, that we condemn other women for being larger than a size 0 - 2? Perhaps all of the hype around Crystal's size caused her to become even further insecure, perhaps she simply wants to be able to model for other designers who are not as tolerant of a size 12?

I far prefer to watch a designer who takes into account the larger picture (excuse the pun!), and who designs for all body types. Perhaps because of the ridiculous prices that are charged for some of the designers's pieces, they can afford to pick and choose the type of women who wear their work. Shame.

Let me know your thoughts? Are you for the designers expanding their minds and their designs to fit the normal figured woman, or are you ok with being pushed to the sidelines in favour of malnourished skeletons walking the runways?


Crystal Renn Noticeably Thinner At Chanel Show (PHOTOS)
First Posted: 05-13-10 11:50 AM | Updated: 05-13-10 12:37 PM

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viewsRead More: Chanel Cruise Show, Crystal Renn, Crystal Renn Chanel, Fashion, Karl Lagerfeld Crystal Renn, Style News
Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to the Chanel Cruise Collection Show--okay so, we weren't exactly invited--but Vogue's editor at large Andre Leon Talley was there. Talley offered his insight on the models Lagerfeld used:

Lagerfeld had cast the show with a slightly more curvaceous model named Crystal Renn, not seen on any Chanel catwalk before. This in itself was groundbreaking for the house, but there was also the return of personality models encouraged to be themselves instead of robotic look-alikes. "Each girl was cast because of her sense of individuality," Lagerfeld said enthusiastically. How great to see Karolina, in a pair of black fishnet wide-legged trousers, and Jacquetta Wheeler, in a perfect nile green safari shirt and trousers, feet bare. A silk printed caftan on Natasha, with gorgeous salmon-pink sandals in hand, was exciting, and there was a Bardot vibe to Magdalena (who also played Brigitte in Lagerfeld's film) in a black-and-white maillot.

While Andre calls Renn's walk "groundbreaking," we could hardly pick out the supposedly "plus-size" model when looking through the show's thumbnails. Check out Crystal at Tuesday's Chanel show and her in 2005 with Jean-Paul Gaultier:

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are Size 16 Models a Step Too Far?

Blog Post by Jeremy Waite,

I recently read this interesting artice by Jeremy, and I thought some of you might like to have a read as well.

"When you've got charm, size doesn't matter". Crystal Renn
Vogue’s model of the moment, size 16 super model Crystal Renn, is spearheading the launch the new Italian on-line magazine, Vogue Curvy. Initially I was fascinated and excited about the launch of their brave new venture, but the more I think about it, the more I think we are being sold half a story without seeing the full picture.

Personally, I find curves much more attractive than stick thin super models. I recently wrote about Kate Moss, but because of her talent and longevity, not because of her shape. I’ve never been a fan of heroin-chic, so I’m as guilty as anyone of celebrating ‘real women’ on the covers of fashion magazines or in advertising campaigns, but I also seem to have missed the ‘real story’.

Size 16 'Supermodel' Crystal Renn
“As a size 16 model, Crystal Renn is over-weight. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘size zero argument’, but the UK has a much bigger problem with obesity and over-eating than it does with anorexia. It is far more important for the media to promote healthy models”. (Jessica Lovell, Nutritional Therapist & Wellness Coach)

Chatting to Jessica today made me realise that whilst it is admirable to showcase curvy women, there is a difference between curvy women and unhealthy women. It’s a provocative argument, but is it unhealthy to be larger than a size 16 – or is the plus size argument just the media going to the other extreme of the ‘size zero’ debate? The argument came up again today when American tv networks banned the new Lane Bryant ad for showing too many curves. Now, I don’t blame Lane Bryant, Bravissimo or Simply Yours for making a profitable living out of selling to plus-size women, but I do think there is a much bigger issue at stake here…

In the UK, nearly 2 in every 100 secondary school girls suffer from anorexia or bulimia BUT 27% of young women are over-weight or obese. [STATS]

The Beth Ditto Issue
Does it help a magazine to put a plus size model on its cover? Of course it does. LOVE Magazine had one of the most successful media launches in recent years, thanks to the huge amount of PR they received by putting a 15 stone (naked) Beth Ditto on the cover.

It all seems a perfect example of what can happen when news stories and corporate campaigns get caught up in media hype. Whilst Unilever’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty‘ continues to be a fantastic campaign, their media coverage has spawned hundreds of other promotions featuring plus size models, many of which do feature over-weight models. A recent study proved this by discovering that 250 high street shoppers thought anorexia was a significantly larger health risk than obesity, even though scientifically it is nowhere near as much of a health threat than anorexia.

The lesson here for business owners and brand managers is not to be seduced by headlines. ‘Jumping on the band wagon’ is an over used cliché, but you might want to dig a little bit deeper before basing your next campaign on a provocative trend, headline statistic or news feature. Searching out the truth behind the story will often provide you with a completely different angle. It may also inspire you to create a much more original and effective campaign entirely.

I completely agree and support Jeremy's perspective. Beauty is the eye of the beholder, and like art, is subjective to the viewer.

Your thoughts?


Inexpensive Facial Lemon "peel"

I am one for seeking budget beauty where I can. If there are things I can do at home, make at home, and use at home, I will. I am not loathe to purchase higher end cosmetics and skin care, but I do know there are so many alternatives that you can find in your fridge, or around your home.

Kandee Johnson, makeup artist extrordinaire, has one such tip for cleaning your skin, and leaving it fresh and baby soft. All you're going to need is a lemon, sugar, hot water and your fingertips!

I tried this out yesterday, and oh my, what a difference! All for the heady sum of a quarter!

Let me know if it works for you - or not!!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mini Haul Revlon, Maybelline and Almay

Just a little haul from the local drugstore.

I've been looking for a bright deep purple eyeliner, and Almay produces this Intense i-colour in 01 Purple Ametrhyst. Tried it this am, and while I am uncertain as to it's coverage (didn't have foundation or base on), I think I am going to like it. It's definitely a lovely rich dark purple, so that's going to make me happy! Reasonably priced at $4.99 Cdn.

Saw this quad (Revlon Illuminance in Wild Orchid), and loved it only because it's purple tones! Lovelovelove my purples! I haven't tried it yet, but I did some research on it on YT, and found several reviews on this Revlon product. pinkiecharm
did an excellent review on it, and after listening to her tips on how to make the most of this quad, I shall be trying them out later today. I'll let you know what I think!


Last but not least is Maybelline's 355 'Tinted Taupe' lipstick. I wore it over Aveda's 672 'Night Iris' Lip Shine. It's remarkably similar to the Lip Shine, went on smoothly, and despite having drunk a couple of beverages, it did not fade nor did it come off on the can or glass I was using. For $3.99 Cdn (on sale) I am happy so far with this product.

I am not a makeup snob. I think there are so many fantastic products out there, and I don't feel that I have to spend hundreds of dollars to look good. I do like MAC, Lancome and other top line brands, but I also like lower end priced products! If it works then it works and I don't personally care who makes it!

Anyway that's it for now ... Hope you're all having a nice day, and called your Mum to say Happy Mother's Day and your friends who aren't mothers cause we count too! Some of us don't have children for whatever reasons, but it doesn't stop us from nurturing children in our lives, even if some are now adults! :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Decluttering and Moving and wanting to send them down south!

Hello hello! It's another gorgeous morning here on the West Coast, and apparently it is going to be like this for a few days - Yippee!

I am moving in a couple of weeks, and with the flood in Tennessee, the still ravaged Haiti, I am wanting to send all of what I don't need/want/can't use to people who do.

Everything will be sorted as women's clothes, pants, shirts, t-shirts, socks and shoes, household goods etc, and boxed up ready for shipping.

I have no idea where or whom to contact in order to get these items to those destinations. If you have contacts, or addresses, please let me know :)


Affordable Foundation and Concealer Brushes

I have taken copious notes, from watching many many YT makeup guru tutorials, and reviews on which brushes to use, and which are the best ones. Now I agree that purchasing quality is preferrable, but what do you do when you are on a budget and just can't afford a MAC brush? but still want your foundation and or your concealer to look as flawless as possible?

AllThatGlitters21 recommended that you can find serviceable brushes at Michaels' Craft Store, and that is exactly where I went!

I purchased the short artists' brushes (see photo) and I am happy to say that I am finding both brushes to be excellent for their individual purpose.

There is no shedding, they feel lovely and soft on my skin and do a fantastic job at covering my skin with both products to an almost air-brushed quality.

So before you go out and spend $30 - $80 on a MAC brush, when you truly can't afford it, take a trip to your local Michael's, or any craft store and pick up a couple of flat brush artist's brushes. You'll spend significantly less, and you will have the same flawless look! and maybe even enough left over to get that nail polish or eyeshadow you've been wanting!

** I would like to one day get the Sigma Professional Brushes, as they are half the price of one MAC brush, for a full set of professional makeup artist brushes. I'll have to wait til my piggy bank is better filled! Until then I am happy with the ones I have :)


MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF35

After a recommendation (well several actually!) the second purchase I made at the MAC counter was MAC's Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35 in NW20.

I am loving this product. It goes on smoothly, and is extremely blend-able. I wear it either under or over, MAC's Studio Sculpt SPF15 Foundation in NW15. I've worn it on it's own, mixed with my moisturizer and am very impressed with it.

Friends and family have all commented on how "pretty" I look, when they've seen me in the past three weeks since I started using both products. Now, I am not sure what I looked like prior to this! lol ... but all have commented on soft and smooth my skin looks, how much healthier it is looking.

I credit that with the fact that since I decided to make the plunge back into the "beauty" world, moisturizing is primo in wearing any foundation, and certainly with price of MAC products, one must ensure that they have done their best to provide the best skin canvas on which to apply these products.

So thank you to all the YT makeup gurus who have recommended these products to me as viewer of their vlogs. I am having a wonderful time with them, and am thoroughly enjoying the compliments and the looks from men along the way!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

"If You Have to Cry Go Outside" Kelly Cutrone

This is a book that I had been wanting ever since I had heard that Kelly Cutrone had written it! I think there was a three gap between it coming out and my seeing it and prioritizing it over the chocolate bars and extra junk food in my shopping basket!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough - to any woman, of any age, in any situation! Her wicked, sarcastic wit will have you laughing in spite of yourself.

Her loving approach to the education and rearing of her daughter Ava makes me mourn for the mother I never had (I do have a living mother but she was completely the opposite of Kelly - the man comes first while you verbally berate him to everyone around, and depend on him financially even though you are the major breadwinner)- here's a little snippet on Kelly's succumbing to having Disney videos in her home - Kelly's way!

"I eventually adopted an "If you can beat 'em, join 'em" attitude about the whole thing. I'd say things to Ava like, "What do you think would happen if Belle didn't meet the Beast? Would she still be living in the castle?"
"No," Ave would say.
"Because it's the Beast's castle!"
"But don't you think maybe Belle could've bought her own castle too?"

The story of Kelly's journey to becoming one of the most powerful woman in her business, and in fact, just in business itself, was and is for me after reading this book, a friendly kick in the ass to get on out there and don't let anyone push me around. Being a self employed business person has it's ups and downs, and for that past three years personally, there have been what I have felt, more than my fair share of downs! lol

If you love a woman who can hold her own, make it in this world on her own terms, and still be ethical, loving and kind then this is the book for you!

It's available at Chapters, Canadian Superstore, and of course online at Amazon.

$13.99 plus s/h.

Let me know how you enjoyed it (or not and why :)).


Hello from the West Coast and a new Blogger!

Hello from the West Coast of Canada!

I recently jumped back into the world of makeup/beauty/fashion/accessories and just plain ole’ fun. At the age of 50, and after 3 years of personal and professional challenges, and the very recent death of my father, I found myself re – assessing my life and what I want to do with it. My father had always wanted to travel, but never got to do as much as he would have liked. He had dreams that he never attained for various reasons. I have been thinking about my life and what haven’t I done yet and why not? I’ve spoken with close friends, family and strangers alike for help with this need for insight.

What truly set me on the journey were a couple of YouTube makeup gurus! Lollipop 26 (Laura), and AllThatGlitters21 (Elle), both lovely young gals, though living on each side of the Atlantic, share a passion for life and for beauty!

Laura was the first one I began watching – I was entranced with her soft English way of speaking, her clear love for what she does on YouTube, her frankness about products whether it be makeup, clothing, jewellry, shoes or anything to do with this weird wonderful world of beauty! She is as frank about the integrity of companies who manufacture these products, and I personally found and do find this to be particularly refreshing! Well educated, well traveled and well spoken, she is a joy to watch and listen to.

Lollipop26′s Blog – and her YouTube channel –

Elle is a bubbly, blonde night owl, who is also a passionate southern belle, who’s humour and love of all things beautiful inspires her viewers to be the best that they can be. She is just graduating from college this month (Congratulations Elle!) and I hope that all that she has worked for in the past 4 years will lead her to a very bright future indeed! Elle’s tutorials are professionally done (though she is not a professional). She is thorough in her walk throughs as she shows you how to do a certain look, explaining an individual product, and of late, she has thoughtfully begun to list all the productsand prices of same, of all the makeup/brushes she used in the look of each tutorial. I have found this immensely helpful!

Elle has a younger sister, Blair, who also has a channel on YouTube, and both young women have their own blogs, as well as an online store that stocks some of the cutest products! Blair is now 17, and she is a mentor for many of her viewers around the world, many of whom are younger than herself, and again I feel this is a valuable service to young girls, who want to know how to use products and makeup properly. Some people do question as to whether or not these younger girls should be wearing makeup at all. Personally, having fostered and raised several young girls into adulthood, I say if they are going to do it, then I prefer that they have someone like Elle or Blair to show them the way.

AllThatGlitters21 Blog – YouTube channel –

JuicyStar07 (Blair)’s Blog – YouTube channel –

Their online shop –

So this is the first of many blogs to come as I wander through the path of beauty. It has helped me to start to feel better both inside and out, and I hope you will find something in this that will help you, inspire you, make you feel less alone in a personal or professional struggle, and generally, perhaps help you feel as if you’ve got a new friend in the world.

Many many thanks to the ladies I have acknowledged here, and I will be posting about many other wonderful girls and women who are on YouTube or have fantastic blogs that have enlightened and lightened up my world! and I hope you will be inspire by some of them even if you’re just a mascara and lip gloss kinda gal!


EEEK! What do you mean I have menopausal acne?!!!!!

Ah yes the joys of the dreaded M stage of one’s life. Never mind the increased sense of bitchiness, the tiredness, aching bones and joints or feeling that senility is now a way of life! What made me the most depressed was that for the first time since adolesence, I now suffer from what I simply thought was pimply skin.
It seems to be the worst under my chin or around the edges of my lips. I initially thought it was due to the plucking of those glorious thick black hairs that had mysteriously started to appear (joy oh bloody joy!)
I tried everything I could think of. Herbal salves, natural healing lotions that contained chamomile, a toner that I had been using for years from Yves Roche – nothing! was helping.
One day I went up to the local drugstore, and fortunately an acquaintance of mine happened to be working in the cosmetic section. I asked her where I could find either hydrogen peroxide or saline solution. She asked me what it was for and I told her.
Well .. lol she rather indelicately said oh yes I noticed that you have an issue going on with your skin – I mean how could anyone not when my chin looked like mosquitoes had had been having a feast on my skin!
She said ever so matter of factly that it was “menopausal acne”! I nearly fainted in disbelief and just looked at her with obvious dismay. “No way” I declared. She laughed and told me it is very common and very easy to treat and cure.
First step is to wash your skin thoroughly with an antiseptic cleanser. For me she recommended Spectro Gel cleanser twice a day, morning and night.
Second step was to use the Avene Toner (as shown in thumbnail to the left) after washing my skin.
The Spectro Gel is about 10.99 plus taxes, and the Avene Toner is about 23.99 plus taxes. (at Pharamave Drugstores).
I was so grateful to have found firstly someone who knew what I was suffering from, and second that I had been saved from burning my skin off with an inappropriate product! lol.
I went home and that evening, did as she directed. I continued to this for a couple of days, and on the third day I was pleased to see that all but the very minor of the spots and acne had disappeared! None of the redness remained and my skin once again felt soft and without bumps.
So, for those of you that are suffering from ‘menopausal acne’ or breakouts due to hormonal imbalances or PMS, I would recommend both of these products without hesitation.
* I did later find that the Avene toner and other Avene products can be purchased at London Drugs for about $2 less than Pharmasave, and they often are on sale, with gift additions for some of the products.
Happy Skin Care ladies!

Purse/Handbag Organization- what a concept!

While I was looking at a new site to me called I came across this at first humourous advertisement – humourous in it’s cheesy presentation, but when I really paid attention to it I thought you know, that really is a splendid idea.
I am a fan of oversize bags, and I’m constantly looking for that one thing that I need right now, which can be guaranteed will have fallen to the bottom of the bag!
The ‘Kangaroo Keeper’ is a great idea for someone as OCD as I am about organization!
At 19.95 plus postage and handling, with a 2 for 1 sale presently on their website, how can you go wrong. I think one of these would be an awesome prezzie for a student, a mum, or just a good friend!
I think it’s worth what I save in frustration and using bad language when I can’t find something!