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Taking My Skincare Up A Notch With InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer and InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

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Thinking back on 2014, I have to say it was a great year of improvement for my skin’s health. Vitamin C was the ingredient that brought renewed vitality to my face and became a must have for my skincare routine. I’ve been testing InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer along with InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum, and both products are integral parts of my current product rotation.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum and InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer

While it’s a brand that’s new to me, I’ve been really pleased with several InstaNatural products I’ve tested recently. Over the past couple of months, I’ve found InstaNatural skincare to be effective, gentle,  and the prices are right, in fact they’re just plain awesome. You get more than you pay for with InstaNatural products and I’ll definitely be back for more.

I’ve been layering the InstaNatural Vitamin C ($16.97) underneath the InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer for optimal results. The serum has a fresh citrus fragrance and is packed with ingredients that will add a glow, moisture, plump, firm, and re-texturize your skin.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

The key ingredients of this wonder serum (that I’m totally repurchasing) include 20% Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Oil, Plant Stem Cells, and Pomegranate.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum Review

The orange color of this serum is due to the Sea Buckthorn Oil, which adds a lot of moisture.

Review of InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

This serum is comparable to similar serums I’ve reviewed in the past, and I like the results just as much. The price is fantastic, so it’s a winner, for sure, in my book.

The InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer ($19.95) contains a plethora of antioxidant-rich ingredients, namely 20% Vitamin C, 5% Niacinamide, 5% Hyaluronic Acid, and Plant Stem Cells.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer

You can use this both morning and night to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, as well as improve dryness. My skin is so different in Winter and I do need added moisture, so this has really hit the spot!

Review of InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer

Both products skin into my skin with ease and aren’t greasy, nor do they irritate my skin.

My Final Thoughts: Overall, I’m really pleased with the antioxidant-rich InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum and InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer. With price tags that won’t break the bank, you’ll be able to treat your skin right.

Rating: A

Price: $16.97 – $19.95

Availability: www.instanatural.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

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My Beauty Resolutions For 2015

Even though the Holiday season is barely over, it seems like it was months and months ago we celebrated the turn of the New Year. Wasn’t it? Today I’m collaborating with my fabulous beauty blogger pals from The Beauty Council and sharing my beauty resolutions for 2015.

2015 Beauty Resolutions

1. Help My Hair!

So, I got my nail situation handled, got the errant skin in check, now it’s time to tackle my curls. I love my curls, but I am definitely seeing the need to take even better care of them than ever before. My hair has been the same length for years because my terribly split ends fall off when I comb through my curls. 2015 will be the year I get some hair length going on!

2. Get Organized … Really

This has been on my resolution list for years! A couple of weeks ago I shared a peek of my organization situation on Instagram, and it is an ongoing source of frustration. What I need to do is spend some time creating a makeup inventory on Excel, and invest in some good drawers for storage. You might really be a makeup junkie if you start thinking about spreadsheets, but hey!

3. Use What I Have

I have a lot of makeup. A lot! It’s par for the course and time for me to shop my stash more often and give life to makeup from days past.

4. Challenge Myself, Creatively

Just like everyone else, I get into creative ruts. I’m always inspired by some incredibly talented makeup artists on YouTube and Instagram, and I’m ready to break out my creative brushes.

5. Meet My Health Goals

Looking back, 2014 was a year of renewal. I finally got my health on track and feel entirely thankful for all the times I cried at the gym because I finally feel good again. Seriously, my legs were in agony!

In 2015, I will achieve my goal, which seems far off from where I am, but I have made it over the half way point. I am determined and I’ve learned slow and steady win the race.

6. Practice Nail Art

I’ll admit to feeling intimidated by nail art that goes beyond my favorite easy techniques. I’m going to pick up a stamping kit and spend some time figuring out how to make pretty patterns on my nails.

What are your beauty resolutions for 2015?

This post was done in collaboration with The Beauty Council.

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Visit the blogs below to read up on our resolutions.

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Lipstick Love: ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind

Another day, another shout out to my new favorite beauty brand, ColourPop Cosmetics. Today on Lipstick Love I have ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind to show you.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind

Grind is a purple matte that’s described as being a “vivid blue violet”.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind Review

As with all ColourPop Lippie Stix, the pigmentation is incredible, as is the wear time. For $5, these lipsticks are some of the best deals in the beauty industry. For reals.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind Swatch

ColourPop sells coordinating Lippie Pencils for each of their Lippie Stix, but you can wear any neutral liner to pair with the lip colors. In my case, I reach for Milani Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil, which is clear and goes with anything.

Swatches of ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind

I was playing around with some eyeshadow combos and paired Grind with a smoky eye look. The actual eye look didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would, so I’ll spare you the close up.

In other news:

a) I am so happy with the ring light I recently invested in, which you can see in the reflection of my eyes. It’s given me the ability to bust out makeup looks in the evenings when Andre has gone to bed, and that’s a really great time because I’m relaxed and am not rushed at all.

b) My skin has seen better days these days. Why you gotta play me like that, seasonal allergies and irritation? If you had any idea how itchy my skin is at the moment, you wouldn’t blame me for currently being makeup-less with a face covered in Aquaphor. This too shall pass, but in the meanwhile, thank you Aquaphor for being so soothing!

Here’s a list of some other ColourPop Lippie Stix I’ve featured in the past, with  a couple more features coming soon.

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Tipsy

ColourPop Lippie Stix in I Heart This

My Final Thoughts: Long live ColourPop. ColourPop Lippie Stix in Grind is a statement purple and I predict lovers of bold lip colors will love it.

Rating: A

Price: $5

Availability: www.colourpop.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

Gluten-free? Yes

Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder Could Be My Favorite Loose Powder

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Awesome product alert: I may have found my perfect loose powder in Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder.

Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder Light Neutral Review

If you’ve been reading the product descriptions of my Makeup Of The Day posts for the past couple of months, you will have noticed that I am pretty much exclusive to Smashbox HALO in Light/Neutral. It’s just that good!

Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder

In fact, HALO made me gasp out loud in amazement the first time I used it, giving my skin a gorgeous, lit-from-within illuminated glow. Never overly powdery, what I get with Smashbox HALO is a nice, long-wearing finish that sets my foundation and concealer products perfectly.

BFTE I Believe In Reindeer & I Believe In Santa  FOTD

So, what is it that makes Smashbox HALO so great? Well, the fact that you shave the product off with a built-in tool that makes it completely un-messy is pretty darned cool. Besides that, HALO is talc-free, oil-free and includes built-in, anti-aging skin benefits. The ingredient list includes pure gold, 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide, and a patented hydration system to provide hydration to your skin as long as you wear it.

Review of Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder Light Neutral

Available in 8 shades, Light/Neutral is actually a great color for my medium/olive skin. If you are of my skin ilk, I’d also recommend going up a shade darker to Light/Medium. At $49, there are definitely less expensive powder options, but I do say I find the finish to be exceptional, so it’s worth it’s weight.

Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder Light Neutral
My Final Thoughts:
Having used scores of beauty products through the years, anything that becomes a mainstay in my collection deserves all the raves it can possibly get. Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder offers a gorgeous, illuminated, long-wearing finish and sets foundation perfectly.

Rating: A

Price: $49

Availability: Sephora.com and Sephora stores

Cruelty-free? No

Paraben-free? Yes

4 Easy Nail Art Techniques

I Bought It

Today I have 4 easy nail art techniques that are guaranteed to spruce up any ordinary nail polish in your collection. While my polish application technique has definitely improved over time, I’ve always struggled in the area of nail art. In the interest of time and inexperience, I’ve learned to embrace easy techniques that give my basic nail colors an added boost.

4 Easy Nail Art Techniques

Nail art can seem intimating but with a little know how, you’ll be sporting fun nails in no time.

Easy Nail Art Techniques

Technique 1: Fan Brush

Fan Brush For Nail Art

Using a fan brush to stipple color across your nail makes it seem like you’re doing something much fancier. For best results, use 2-3 colors on top of your base manicure, and clean your brush with acetone afterwards. I’ll admit this was a bit tricky for me to master, but I realized that applying polish directly to the tip of the brush yields the best results.

Technique 2: Dotticure

Dotticure Tools

When it doubt, dot it out! The Dotticure is my fail safe that I use on so many occasions. I’ve always used the end of a bobby pin, but I just started using a dotting tool from the Kiss Salon Secrets Nail Art Starter Kit and I have to say it’s a great one for achieving a fine point. To properly dot, I pour a bit of polish into a plastic container and dot away.

Dotticure Tutorial

Technique 3: Tape it up!

Scotch Tape For Manicures

Scotch Tape is actually a fantastic general beauty tool, but that’s another post for another day. It’s great to use to create straight lines, as I did here. I just laid down the tape, polished over it, removed, and voila!

Tape For Nail Art

Using Tape For Manicures

Cool, geometrical nail art in a flash!

Technique 4: Glitter Overcoat

Milani Rainbow Prisms

Perhaps the easiest technique of all, you can’t fail with a pretty glitter overcoat on top of one (or all) of your nails. Make sure to use a really great nail polish remover, because most times glitter polishes require a lot of elbow grease to remove!

With all of these fun nail art ideas, make sure to seal your nails with a final layer of top coat.

The Not-So-Snazzy Before

Milani Corrupted Coral

The Super Snazzy After!

Easy Nail Art Techniques

Hooray for easy nail art!

The nail colors I used in this tutorial are Milani Color Statement Corrupted Coral, Milani Color Statement Blue Print, Milani Color Statement Rainbow Prisms, Madam Glam Lilac Madness, and Sinful Colors Snow As White.

What are your favorite nail art techniques?

Get Healthier Nails With New Cutex Nail Care Products

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Have you ever come across products that you generally don’t have overwhelmingly high expectations for, but end up being some of the best you’ve ever tried? That’s exactly how I feel about a few new nail care products I’ve recently tested from Cutex.

Cutex

A leading nail care company since 1911, the folks at Cutex have been hard at work developing some new products that will bring your nail care game up a few notches.

Cutex Nail Remover Products Review

Today I’m going to tell you about Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, Cutex Advanced Nail Polish Remover, Cutex SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover, and Cutex Baseworx. These area all winners, and I’m far more impressed with their stellar performance than I ever expected.

Cutex Advanced Nail Polish Remover Pads

I have to start with my very favorite, the Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads ($3,99, box of 10), which are going to be kept in stock with backups in the nail care section of my beauty pantry. Long story short, one little pad was able to remove layers of polish and glitter and holo from all of the nails of one hand with minimal elbow grease required on my part. I still really can’t believe how well it worked, and the best part is they’re easy to carry around for those nail polish removal emergencies. Please don’t ever discontinue these pads, Cutex!

Cutex Advanced Nail Polish Remover Pads Review

The Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover  ($2.99) itself is just as great and is formulated to nourish nails with a combination of acetone, and botanical oils from apricot seed, flax seed, and the perilla plant. It’s also the first nail polish remover to receive a U.S. patent in more than 15 years.

Cutex Advanced Nail Polish Remover

If you love to wear glitter nails, you will LOVE the Cutex SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover ($3.98), which worked extremely well to remove the layers of polish, glitter, and holo adhered to my nails. This remover is designed to work with glitter, Shellac, or gel nails and works as well as pure acetone, but with nourishing oils to keep your nails and cuticles from drying out.

Cutex SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover

Cutex Baseworx ($7.99) is my new go-to base coat.

Cutex Baseworx

It’s based on bio-ceramic technology and formulated with a fine powder that bonds with the keratin in your nails to strengthen nails, fill in ridges, and help extend the wear time of your polish. It can also be used alone if you prefer a natural and shiny look.

Cutex Baseworx Review

My Final Thoughts: If your nails are in  need of some TLC, turn to Cutex. I found the products I tested to work quickly, effectively, and love that they’re gentle on nails.  To boot, they’re a steal! Costing between $3 – $8, these new products from Cutex won’t break the bank.

Rating: A+

Price: $3 – $8

Availability: Mass market retailers and drugstore.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Makeup Of The Day 71 With ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Dare And Chipper

Press SampleI Bought It

So, today I thought it would be fun to shake things up a bit. I put together a super fast video so you could see today’s ColourPop makeup inspiration in motion. Let me know what you think!

Makeup Inspiration With MAC Fiction ColourPop Dare ColourPop Chipper Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow Inspiration With MAC Fiction ColourPop Dare ColourPop Chipper

MAC Fiction ColourPop Dare ColourPop Chipper

Face

Luminess Air Luminizer & Foundation Shade 3

NYX HD Concealer in Glow

Cover FX Cream Concealer in G Medium-Deep

Smashbox Halo Loose Powder in Light

It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette

Eyes

Base: Milani Eyeshadow Primer

Inner Lid: ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Chipper

Lid: ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Dare

Outer Corner/Lower Lid: MAC Fiction

Browbone: MAC White Frost

Browbone: Wet n Wild Brulee

Liner: Urban Decay Zero

Brows: Paula Dorf 2 + 1 For Brows in Brunette

Mascara: L’Oreal Miss Manga

Lips

Milani Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil

MAC Nymphette Lipgloass

My Instagram Life, 1-18-15

A look at the week that was on Painted Ladies and a peek into my life, as seen through my Instagram account.

A past tutorial given new life with a new layout. It’s my recipe for flawless red lips.

Flawless Red Lips Tutorial

We don’t have a Costco card, but when we go with grandma we hunt down allllllll the samples.

Costco

This week I finally indulged in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit and gave you my honest thoughts.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Review and Swatches

A shimmery mermaid green eye to inspire you.

Shimmery Mermaid Eyes

Andre and I love to watch Diners, Drive In’s, and Dives together.

Paintedladies_Sheila Instagram a

Behind-the-scenes as I was cooking up some ColourPop goodness.

Creating a makeup look with ColourPop

Ground zero of my life as a beauty blogger and this is the very tip of the iceberg. Sigh. 2015 is the year I WILL get an organization system in place.

Paintedladies_Sheila Instagram b

A pretty pic of some falsies.

Falsies

This past week was my 36th anniversary of coming to the USA as a 2 month old. I slept in a box for my first few days!

Paintedladies_Sheila Instagram c

Say hello to purple eyes.

Purple Eyeshadow Inspiration ColourPop Dare

I really and sincerely got amazing customer service at a trip to Planet Beauty for a small purchase. Kudos, Planet Beauty!

Planet Beauty Shopping Bag

Shopping with my stylist who was too busy to weigh in on this potential purchase.

Paintedladies_Sheila Instagram d

Yee haw! He said he wanted to ride on a horse and whistle like cowboys – too cute!

Paintedladies_Sheila Instagram e

Last night I revived some gooey nail polishes with a bit of nail polish thinner, which makes it seem like I have some brand new polishes again!

Nail Polish Thinner

Here’s to a blessed week!

Tom Ford, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Skin Care Tips And More On The Beauty Blog Coalition

Here’s a look at some of the best blog posts from the members of the Beauty Blog Coalition from this past week. Enjoy!

 

 

I Have A Blush Crush On Paula Dorf Cheek Color In Passion

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Yes, it’s true. I have a crush. No, not my gym crush, a blush crush on Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion.

Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion

In my makeup artist days, one lesson I learned early on was the power of blush to perfect a makeup application. There’s something to be said about just the right cheek color to balance a face, and even more so for shades that just seem to work universally along a wide variety of skin tones.

Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion Review

I’ve been using Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion for a few weeks and I have to admit it’s one of my current go-to blushes.

Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion Swatch

This is a medium rose matte blush that builds up beautifully and doesn’t disappear at the blink of an eye. I tend to favor high-end blushes, finding they have a lot of color payoff and last longer. I found that this particular blush stuck around for about four hours after application.

MAC Bitter ColourPop Animal Violet Voss Golden Fairy FOTD

Need help figuring out how to apply blush? You need to check out a tutorial I posted in the beginning of Painted Ladies. It’s going to improve your blush game!

If you’d like to try this blush for yourself, enter code CHEEK at checkout over at www.pauladorf.com for a 20% discount!

My Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for an universally-appealing, long-wearing blush, you’ll like Paula Dorf Cheek Color in Passion.

Rating: A

Price: $23, use code CHEEK at checkout for 20% off.

Availability: www.pauladorf.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? No

Gluten-free? Yes

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