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10.13.2012

Return in Progress, or, A Not-So-Brief Update

Two years have passed since my last post...I started Cinnamon Tiger as a means for myself to discover and enhance my own abilities with makeup while documenting my steps and opinions, in the hope that others, like myself, would have a place to go to actually see the results of a product without having to waste money and hours of googling as I have been oh so prone to do.  Two years ago my life was relatively simple.  I was a divorcee who had, for the first time, found a good man, and more than that, the right man, a collegiate working on getting her first college degree, and a loving mom with two normal, healthy boys.  Now, it is much more complex and my blog will inevitably morph alongside.  Let me catch you up to date, dear readers:

The semester I finished my Associates Degree, I moved out of my hometown (a lifelong goal and dream) to begin work on my Bachelors.  Although it felt very strange and yes, sad, to leave behind my family (especially my parents, who I have always been very close with), it was also exhilarating and gave me a profound sense of accomplishment and direction.  We were moving up from a duplex to our first house in a quiet little country town and life seemed to be flowing so smoothly.  College work kept me too busy to post, and I admit that I seldom even wore makeup most days. The university had it's own special challenge, which was that being a financial aid student who had recently (and personally and completely paid for) changed back to my maiden name, I had to wait for the record to catch up.  I'd be damned if I'd let the name of a man who held me back rather than helped me be on those degrees.  The school promised me that this would process before the end of the semester and "everything would be fine". 

On November 27th, 2011-the Sunday after Thanksgiving-the largest (or at least a tie for) tragedy of my life struck.  My mom had died suddenly.  I had seen her barely 2 weeks before and she was happy and in good health, I will never forget how proud of me she was for making it to the university she'd always admired and for accomplishing so much.  There was no warning, and the scar that it has left still bleeds with so much that I cannot put into words...Months later we found out that she had a stomach infection that had punctured a hole and leaked into her body.  She was only 65. 

After that, there was too much tears and depression for makeup.  We had always shared that, doing each others makeup, shopping together, and finding stuff for each other.  It was very much part of our bonding and relationship.  I still have her makeup case, though I only open it now to smell her...

The semester ended, I finished all my classes.  I had all wonderful professors, except one, and although they offered to let me postpone the finals, I knew Mom would have wanted me to finish and so I did.  The financial aid did not come through, and to this day I am still struggling to make payments so that, years from now, I can finish school and earn my PHD... Being out of school after the immense struggle it took to get in and to get through was a horrid blow.  I had already felt so lonely and isolated in this new city, where I knew no one and felt as if I mattered not.  I felt like a failure.

Then, one day in the beginning of January 2012, my youngest son (who had just turned 4 on Dec. 10th) developed a bad cough.  A trip to the library around this same time had resulted in a fall on the snowy ground that caused him to limp.  Over the course of the next week, his energy dwindled and he got much sicker.  He could barely walk.  We took him up to the local family practice clinic twice, once for the cough and leg (which resulted in a diagnosis of "common cold" and the doctor moving around his legs and pronouncing them fine), and then again 4 days later when he could no longer walk on his own and was only getting sicker, having developed tiny red "blood-freckles" all over his body and face.  The doctor swabbed his throat and diagnosed him with strep throat, stating that the red bumps were scarlatina. He was prescribed Amoxicillin and we went home, anxious for him to get better.

He didn't.

On January 16th, my oldest son celebrated his 10th birthday.  Despite the cake and activities, Chance could only lay in my lap, with his exhausted and tiny yellow body curled up like a baby.  By this time he couldn't even go to the bathroom on his own.  This was extremely worrisome, because he was an early potty-trainer and had never had one accident since.  He's a very clean person and he would cry at these accidents each time, even though he was too weak to call for help beforehand. It was only the cries that signaled the mishaps.  Even moving the mattress to the floor and putting his old potty chair by it didn't help.  He couldn't eat the cake, and could only weakly mutter the names of his brother and the other boys as they ran around him, an activity he normally would have been the leader of.  That was the final straw.  The next morning we drove him up to the city and admitted him to the ER, fearing an allergic reaction to the antibiotic that could indeed cause severe joint aches and yellowing of the skin. 

It turns out that the local clinic won't test blood on children under 6 years of age, but thank God that Mercy did.  There was a full team of doctors, nurses, and paramedics all there for us.  His blood counts came back the lowest that they had ever seen.  Our smart, talented, and kinder-than-Snow-White son was on the verge of death. 

He was officially diagnosed with B-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; cancer of the blood) by the wonderful team at the Children's Hospital and began his treatment on January 19th.  The "Scarlatina" was actually petechiae, which looks nothing like the other and was a sign of internal bleeding due to the cancer.  We had caught it in time, since it is acute it develops quickly.  We met a lot of other families who had very similar stories and time-frames to ours.  It's important to talk to these families who know what you are going through and can identify and sympathize with you.  "Normal" families start to feel like outsiders that you can no longer identify with...

 You never think that this will happen to you, that you will become one of those families.  We were so terrified of losing him to either the cancer or the chemo, and for the first time I didn't even have Mom to get me through it.  She was always the strong one.  Luckily, so is my Charles.  I'm not sure where my head was most of the time during those first months, so much reading and thoughts and worries and forcing myself to be strong in front my kids. No 4 year old, no child, should have to go through this.  I love these kids, they inspire me to no end.  You have not seen strength until you have seen this children smile and color and play and laugh and so much more in the midst of the whirlwind that is treatment and hospitalization.

But we persevered, having become much stronger and appreciative of the love we have and these moments in life that are so brief and fragile and precious.  Chance is in 100% remission and has now started the maintenance phase of the chemo, and we know he is a survivor.  Boys have 3 years of treatment, so we are not at the end of the road but I feel that we have gotten over the worst.  What's more, is that he is beating this cancer without a single cry or tear at a needle (I cannot even do this!) smiles, love, and caring for all the staff and the other kids, and so much more strength and sweetness that I never knew a kid going through such a tough battle could have.  When he stays inpatient, he actually goes room to room to check on the other kids!  Much of the hospital staff has become an extended part of the family, and provided so much strength and support to us, I love them for it. 

Yes, there have been ups and downs and horrid scares-but that is, perhaps, a story for another time.  Now that Chance is in good health again, and we are preparing to move into an apartment close to the hospital, I will try my utmost best to post again, to share my story.  Sometimes God opens doors we wouldn't have opened for ourselves, and I hope to share our journey through what-happens-next.  And, occasionally, to post up some new reviews and how-to's!



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4.27.2010

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Color Correcting Powder

Has anyone else been super-excited to try this new powder by P.F?  Lured in by oh-so-cute swirls of pink, yellow, green, and beige that promise to fight all of our discoloration needs?  Well, if you're as curious as a chesire cat but reluctant to believe the marketing, I've compiled an in-depth review to (hopefully) ease your mind and show and tell you everything you wanted to know.


Claims:
Powder-
-Hypoallergenic. Fragrance Free. Paraben Free. Dermatologist Approved. Non-Comedogenic.
-3-In-1 Corrector + Primer + Powder

-Versatile powder color corrects the most common skin imperfections, smoothes skin texture and evens out skin tone.
-All colors blend together to create a perfect canvas finish: Pink brightens, Green tones down redness and Yellow adds warmth.
-High-tech Japanese formula delivers a natural-looking finish that won't cake, crease or settle into fine lines.

Concealor Trio-
-Hypoallergenic. Dermatologist Approved. Fragrance Free. Non-Comedogenic. Paraben Free.
-Essential cream concealer trio provides medium coverage for any and all imperfections.
  •  1. Soft Yellow- Color Corrects dark circles & other bluish imperfections.
  •  2. Natural Light- Conceals imperfections
  •  3. Pink Highlighter- Illuminates brow bones & temples
-Light reflective pigments optically blur skin imperfections and diffuse the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
-Ultra convenient and portable vials snap together and pull apart for easy touch-ups on the go!

Source: Physiciansformula.com

Oh-kay, you had me at green.  I have super-pink/red skin, especially around my nose and while I love my Luara Mercier green tinted powder, that stuff is pricey and not readily available. Plus, right now you can get the P.F. powder + bonus concealor trio for only $10!  That's an actual deal-sometimes "drugstore" cosmetics can get pretty pricey.

Packaging

The packaging for this is genius.  I love the lucite case and adorable tri-color half-moon brush.  This is one of those items you actually love taking out of your purse.  Everything about this is travel friendly, the powder, mirror, and brush are all stored in a snap-tight case, and the concealors snap together fairly securely and are just the right size for purse travel.  The only real hang-up in the packaging itself is that the powder gets all over the top lid and looks a little less attractive.  For review purposes, I used the Translucent shade.

The real question is whether or not you would actually want to apply this on-the-go or in front of other people (who wants to be watched while they have to blend away streaks or reverse raccoon eyes?), in which case, you're in luck because I'm brave enough to look like crap on the internet on a pretty regular basis in the name of fair reporting.

Just kidding.  Kind of...

On to the brush itself.  I know, this is the part you've been dying for.  Not literally I hope, but between us, this is one of the man reasons I "had to have" this compact.  I've been wanting to try a half moon brush and the colors are neopolitian-alicous.  

But there's a catch, if you want to see how it looks you'll have to keep reading ahead!

(Okay, if you're really dying to see how it turns out, check out the bare-faced application towards the bottom to see brush coverage..)






*Application*

Okay, now on to the fun stuff.  I'm going to do two different applications, one with both items in the set, and one with only the powder so you can see the differences in coverage.  I'm hoping this will give a true showing of the coverage this provides, and who wants to do all the steps all the time anyways?

Pre-Application


Bonus Concealors

Step 1-Yellow

These P.F. concealors come with sponge tip applicators, and pick up a lot of product.  They blend in to skin fairly well though, with minimal line settling.  They are very thick and dry quickly so work fast and blend, blend, blend!


Actually, the yellow wasn't as extreme as I thought it would be.  Even though I have more purple toned eye circles, I thought this did a good job of brightening up my eyes.  I think I should have used a little less product, but I was really surprised by the full coverage.

Step 2-Beige/Natural Light

This is supposed to be the "regular" concealor in the set.  It's meant to be applied directly over the yellow and anywhere else you want coverage.  This was just a little off for my skin tone, but not by much.  I was actually a little surprised that this was a pretty close match.


As you can see, it did cover up the yellow.  I didn't like the feel of the layers though, it felt a little thick and tugged at the skin under my eyes when I tried to apply it over the yellow.  It was just a little more noticable than the pictures show, but once again it gave full coverage.  I think it did a really great job of covering up my dark circles and blemishes.  Also, the more you layered it, the more visible the product was.

Step 3-Pink


Don't go to closely by the picture on this one, it really looks much pinker in person.  This has a good amount of shimmer to it, and is the trio's highlighter.


The highlighting on this was so subtle, I'm not sure if I really saw any difference.  But at least I didn't end up with a face full of glitter. 

All in all, the concealors offer thick coverage but for some reason they made my skin burn.  I'm not sure how this happened, since they are supposed to be hypoallergenic, but something in this really irritates my skin.

Powder + Concealers

As you can see, there's a clear stripe of product when you first apply.  The brush is a little stiffer than I'd imagined it would be; it's a little scratchy on my face but it's not harsh.

To just a clear idea of coverage, the right half of my face is completely bare. You can really tell the difference, but the powder is a little noticable.  I wouldn't exactly describe it as "cake free".


This stuff photographs fantastically, it in fact looks better in photographs than real life.  I found the application to be a little cakey, very noticable that I was wearing powder.  I couldn't get a close up picture to turn out with my camera to show this though.  :(

Bare-Face + Powder

half-face

I swear, looking at myself in the mirror I could see almost no difference in my skin.  While I could see the powder and my red spots were a little lessened, I wasn't that impressed.  However, in this photograph it looks pretty darn good!


Full face coverage sans concealer trio; I liked this better since I prefer an almost natural look. 

I wasn't real impressed with this powder over-all for a few reasons.  My biggest problem with it was that the powder just sat on top of my skin looking pretty noticable.  Despite the heavy look of the powder, my face was left still shiny looking.  In natural lighting I didn't see the pretty, even coverage that came through in the pictures.

Despite my attachment to the clear lucite case and artsy brush, I disliked having to wipe all the excess powder off the lid and my arm.  This stuff is m-e-s-s-y, it spreads everywhere!  I took a pic of what happened to my arm in just 2 swipes and had to share it.
It's no match for my beloved Erno Laszlo duo-phase powder, nor my d.s. (drugstore) standby Almay.  I wouldn't wear it for everyday, but however I think it makes a fabulous powder for photographing. 
Despite it's photo-merits, I don't really want to clutter up my makeup bag with something I'll only use once in a great moon, I would love this if it wasn't so cakey.  I'm strictly matte-face, but I don't want to look like a powder puff.  IMO, this just isn't a match for the Laura Mercier green pressed powder either.  I don't think I'll be repurchasing this, unless I need to grab something just for pictures (in which case I'd return it when finished).

I think the concealers are better, and despite the irritation I exprienced, the coverage was so good and the application so easy, I might just buy these 'lil guys seperately.  (If you buy seperately, there's a combo w/ yellow,beige,pink and one with green,beige,pink).

Rating:
3/5 (I gave it points for the cute brush, and awesome photo coverage)

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4.26.2010

You're Beautiful (It's True!)

It's not that I hate you Allure, it's just that you have some shallow qualities that need to be worked out; especially if you plan to empower women in the 21st century.  For now, let's just call it a 'growing distaste'. 

Perhaps it's just in my mind, but something in a recent article titled 'What Makes a Person Beautiful' rang off an alarm.  Perhaps I read too much (is there such a thing?) but I just finished reading an article titled Racial Disparities Threaten Economic Vitality in my Latin America course yesterday, and it talked about "racial conditioning".

You see, "when Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, the ensuing panic by a minority, white elite, gave birth to a whitening program...Brazil encouraged and subsidized massive immigration of Eurpeans, whose "superior" blood would prevail in race mixture and slowly eliminate the "inferior" black component.

In other words, instead of seperating the races and protecting their 'purity', the elite opted to eliminate Africans by means of race mixture itself."

Those white elites are still at it today, using poverty as their weapon.  The whole thing is disgusting.  But what does that have to do with Allure? 

"a new study from Cardiff University in Wales shows that people may find mixed-race faces the most attractive—and this may be a deeper, more lasting kind of appreciation. In the largest study of its kind, Michael Lewis of Cardiff's School of Psychology, collected a random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed-race faces. Each face was then rated by a panel of participants for its perceived attractiveness to others. In a similar earlier study, a psychologist at the University of Western Australia found that when Caucasian and Japanese volunteers looked at photos of Caucasian, Japanese, and Eurasian faces, both groups rated the Eurasian faces as most attractive. Scientists do have a hypothesis for why people might prefer a melting-pot ideal—and it isn't because of a passing beauty trend. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that it's because humans may be hard-wired to seek out mates who clearly have genetic diversity and are therefore likely to be healthier."

Is it hard-wiring?  Or is it something else?  The fact is, throughout history the mixing of races has been used both for integration and 'ethnic cleansing'.  The following qoutes were taken right out of my Psychology textbook, Our Sexuality (it's a human sexuality course, and one I believe everyone should take).

"In wars instigated by ethnic conflict, as in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Darfur, mass rape is used as a military strategy to terrorize and demoralize a whole population, to destroy it's cultural integrity...thereby acheiving the goal of 'ethic cleansing'."

There is always a dark element to humanity, ones that need not ever be.  This makes me sad in so many ways.  I don't think 'race mixing' is a horrible thing in itself.  If two people come together, in mutual love and create a child, well that's one of the great joys in life, no matter what your ethnicity.

But what about when it comes about through obvious force or subtle social conditioning?  Allure, I'm sure you meant well, but please remember.  We are ALL beautiful, and should take pride in who we are, whether that's Caucasion, African, Asian Hispanic, Mestizo, Native American, Eskimo, Greek, Italian, etc. or a mix of these.  Beauty is not only skin deep, it comes from the inside.

After all, what's beauty without brains?



Above quotes taken from the following texts;
Global Studies:  Latin America, Paul B. Goodwin, 13th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2009
Our Sexuality, Robert Crooks and Karla Baur, 10th edition, Cengage Advantage Books, 2008

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4.25.2010

I-Spy...or do I?


Look closely.  Do you notice anything a little off about this picture from Allure.com?  Yep, she doesn't have a damn stretch mark on her body.  I'm not sure why, but it outrages me when they post something about stretch marks and then use a model with a flawless body.  I mean c'mon!  I know there are PLENTY of real women out there, not to mention all the celebs and models who have stretch marks.  I guarantee that it doesn't make them look even an iota less sexy.

It's ironic considering #24 in the "Allure Guide to Looking Good":

 "There's nothing positive or attractive about criticizing another woman's appearance," says self-esteem coach Laure Redmond. "Even sitting around with your friends talking about how fat a certain celebrity looks or calling women 'cougars' is destructive—and it certainly doesn't make you feel any better about yourself."

Well then Allure, don't critize our natural, beautiful bodies.  You don't have to airbrush away stretch marks, cellulite, or scars to make a woman appear beautiful.  I find a woman who is comfortable in her own skin the sexiest thing of all.

I wonder, how is refusing to portray the honest beauty of a womens body instead of this flawless-as-a-newborn-baby image supposed to make us feel any better of ourselves?

Oh and one more thing, open up an issue of Womens Muscle & Fitness, Oxygen, Shape, or any other fitness magazine and see for yourself, some women DO have real six packs.

If you'd like to read the original article (there are some good tips there) then follow this link:
http://www.allure.com/magazine/2010/05/looking_better_naked?slide=28#slide=1

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Coming up: Spartacus: Blood and Sand Behind the Scenes!



Like the rest of us die-hard Spartacus fans out there, I'm at a loss with what to do on my Friday nights now that season 1 has ended.  It wasn't just the glued-to-your-couch plot twists and action that sucked me in, it's also the style.  Every episode seems to have outdone the last in some way, and as with the rest of the show they really payed attention to detail and what would have been used at the time.


In the next few weeks or so, I'll be pulling together a comprehensive guide on how to recreate the Roman/Spartacus make-up guide for the rest of us. I've been sending off some e-mails to try and get an interview with the cosmetics department, and doing a whole lot of independent research as well. 


There's a possibility I might break it up into different "episodes" for each character so I can include some of the exquisite costumes and be able to go more in-depth with each woman. I keep bouncing back and forth over whether I want to get ballsy and send some e-mails requesting small interviews from some of the actresses...Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in!


BTW, that's Lucy Lawless (Xena) as Lucretia!


I think it'll be a lot of fun, and it'll bide my time until season 2!


What would you like to see as part of this how-to series?

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Is Your Blog Carbon Neutral?

carbon neutral offers and shopping with kaufDA.de

Today I got a great e-mail from SITS that offered me an opportunity to take part in an initiative that will plant 1 tree for every domain that posts a blog about their program.  That's a pretty sweet deal, I'm a huge believer in the power of trees.  Yep, I even consider Arbor Day to be a genuine important holiday right up there with Halloween and St. Patrick's Day.

Blogging, since it's electronic, creates carbon emissions.  By planting a tree we can help offset those emissions.  Interested?  Check out this website to found out how you can join and grab one of their earth-saving badges for yourself!

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4.24.2010

Lookin' For Love in All the Wrong Places

Don't let the title mislead you, because I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Online shopping is a boon for those of us who love to window shop and/or are looking for variety.  Most of us are searching for those unique pieces that speak to us and that we know someone else didn't grab off the same rack.

With sites like Forever21, ModCloth, and even E-Bay, there's no shortage of great fashion sites or finds.  But here's one you might not have heard of:  the Pyramid Collection.  Well known in "goth" circles for their amazing period throwbacks and spiritual accesories, they also offer a treasure trove of amazing dresses, purses, shoes, jewelry, and so much more.  Don't worry if you aren't into black lipstick or pentagrams, because the clothing here is anything but doom-and-gloom.

Thanks to the good folks at Polyvore, I've been able to create some outfit sets complete with prices and descriptions.  The first one I'd like to showcase is one of my personal favorites-the Kimono dress. I'm not sure which decade to place this in; but it's the stuff dreams are made of.  Can't you just imagine this beautifully detailed slip peeking out from underneath your dress? (and yes, that's a perfume necklace so you can smell incredible and they'll never quite be able to put their finger on why.)




The next piece I'm showcasing is the Zelda dress.  Don't worry if you weren't born a princess, because you can still dress and feel like one (at least you won't have to wait for a 12 year old in a keebler elf costume to come rescue you).  This dress is one of their most beautiful pieces, and perfect for spring breezes and lazy strolls.



Looking to unleash your inner goddess?  Then slip into one of these silky scarf dresses and pour yourself a glass of wine.  My favorite is the blue one, but I love their silky texture and ability to sashay with the breeze or with the toss of a hip.  Now all I need is an island vacation!


Perhaps I'm saving the best for last; I can't quite make up my mind.  The Anastasia dress is soft, delicate, and flowing and speaks to times of yore.  I would balance the feminie attitude of this dress with accessories that give the opposite effect.  The Telltale Heart' in celebration of the author's anniversary.  But am I finished yet? Qoute the raven, "nevermore".  Sorry, couldn't resist.  The glass purse is something Cinderella would have adored.  The necklace is actually a clever take on Edger Allen Poe's 'Add a blazer or the fitted denim jacket below and while you're at it, you might want to invest in a jeweled corset (you know, just in case anyone mistakes you for the real Anastasia).



I know, I said the last showcase was the last, and it was.  The last single piece showcase anyways.  Here are just a few more pieces to strike your fancy and offer proof that the best things really do come in the most unusual places.
more to love

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REN Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Night Cream

After a few I-don't-know-what days, I'm getting back to some reviews!  My first skincare review is on the REN Frankincense and Boswelia Serrata night cream.  I received this little bottle as a free sample from Sephora, and to be honest, I put off trying it for about 2 months after it came in the mail.  I wasn't nervous to try it or anything, but I've been reluctant to use free samples or trial size things.  Something about how adorable some mini-packages are or knowing that the product will run out all too soon without a replacement have made me steer away.  Ususally, I like to save such things for "special occasions", but due to the fact that I'm a bit absent-minded and a procrastinator, I usually just put it off or forget about it until it's too late.  No more though.  I've decided that I will use all teeny products as a mini-treat for myself (that's what they are aren't they?).

Besides, I still can't let go of that Aussie hair mud envelope from high school that I never tried.  That was before Aussie was sold at Wal-Mart and they don't make it anymore. :(

Frankly, I bought this because I love incense and I was hoping for an night cream that would have the same relaxing kind of scent due to the Frankincense.  Even though I have sensitive skin I really love things that smell good.  Have you ever noticed how bad some of that "odorless" stuff smells?

Anyways, back to the formula.  I decided to do an actual "skincare challange" with this and post pics. of my process along the way (gulp).  That meant taking pics. of myself first thing in the a.m. without any makeup on.  Please don't judge too harshly! 

Hehe, ok time to be serious.  Let's start with...Oh yes, the claims!

Claims:
"What it is:
A bioactive-packed moisturizer that rejuvenates the complexion as you sleep.


What it is formulated to do:


This luxuriously textured, nutrient-rich cream melts softly into the skin and harnesses the power of natural age-fighting agents to renew youthful qualities. Boswellic acid from Boswellia Serrata Bark works in harmony with resinoid from Frankincense to relax facial muscles and ease micro-contractions, helping to reduce and prevent the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C and citroflavonoids from Calabrian Oranges and vitamins A and E boost collagen formation and cell renewal to firm and repair the skin.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:

- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals

What else you need to know:
Famous in ancient Egypt for its preserving benefits, Frankincense has been used on skin for centuries. This skincare essential does not contain T.E.A, D.E.A, glycols, silicones, or PEGs."
Source: Sephora.com

That's a lot of stuff, thank God for copy + paste!  I actually didn't read the claims until my "trial" was over, but I found the ancient Egyptian skin care idea intriguing, I'm a sucker for old things made new again.  I distrust general claims of "chemical free" products and am curious as to why glycols or silicones weren't added.  Basically, it's supposed to fight wrinkles, even skin tone, and provide moisture and antioxidant protection.

The cream is indeed "luxuriously textured" and felt a little greasier than I expected.  It looks something like Vaseline in a tube (same color and all!), but it feels very silky as you apply it on your skin and it's texture means you only have to use just a small dot for each part of your face; less than a dime sized amount of product for your entire face.

It didn't smell exactly like incense, but it does smell really good.  I'm a big skeptic of wrinkle creams, especially since this one made claims to relax wrinkles.  In my experience, the only thing to do about a wrinkle is to apply a good moisturizer to it at least 3-4 times a day.  While using this my fine lines and my one big "laugh line" did indeed plump to match the rest of my skin and was erased in the morning and the effect lasted for a couple, maybe even a few hours.

*Application*

Notice any difference?  Maybe it's the lighting, but I really believe that it evened my skin tone.  After using this product, I finally understand how skin can look "clarified".  Because mine does now!  I woke up with greasy-face, but not the dreaded icky, sticky feeling right under my eyes that happen when they aren't super-moisturized.  The grease was no where near as bad as with Cetaphil either, I might add.  I always wash my face in the a.m. so the greasiness didn't bother me a bit.  In fact, if I needed to skip my morning wash, there was just enough moisturizer left behind to allow me to apply my makeup with a decent base.

My skin seemed more plumped, lifted, and clarified.  While it didn't decrease my wrinkles to a botox-like extreme, I did notice a softening of both fine and major lines (I know, I only have one major line-but it counts!).  It seemed to have tightened/lifted my skin somehow because it feels as if my skin just "hangs" better.  Wow, there has got to be a better word for that...

It's a great moisturizer, but at $55 a bottle you could get an equally moisturizing night cream for much less.  My boyfriend has been telling me that "I have great skin" lately, and my own gut-instinct says that there is something to this formula that's really working.  Still, I can't spend $55 on a night cream so there will soon be a day when my tube will run out and this will be a memory.  I just think it's overpriced (read=wayyy overpriced) for what it does.

No skin irritations or breakouts here, and I even discovered an added bonus to this cream: it is the best hand cream ever!  After feeling how soft and smooth my fingers were from applying this, I started rubbing it into my hands.  Well, I'm happy to report they stayed soft for hours, even after washing dishes they retained some moisture.

Since the end of my 1 week challange, I've been reserving this to only applying it once or twice a week, and only on my face (poor hands!) to keep up the benefits that it's given me.  Other nights I just apply my faithful pink Olay fluid or some Cetaphil cream.

If I did have that kind of  money to throw at a cream, I might consider purchasing it (if I could get past seeing the amount in my shopping cart) and I would recommend it, and repurchase it.

Rating:
4.8 (loses points for price only)

(This review was written solely by me.  Although the product was provided by Sephora as a free bonus; they had no involvement in my review process).

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4.22.2010

Happy Earth Day!



In celebration of Earth Day, I wanted to post up some Pachamama (that's Mother Earth in Spanish!) friendly causes and links.  Not sure which charity to get involved with?  Check out this website which lists the top 12 environmental organizations who use their donations well or visit Care2 where all you need to do to support a cause is point and click!

What's even better about Care2 is that as you click, you earn Butterfly Points which can then be used to send gifts such as "a day of safe water", "a mesquito net", "a school meal for a child" or to "plant a tree".  Don't see a cause listed that your interested in?  Then you can create one here and get the word out. 

One of the most exciting "green" projects I've read about recently is the Gaviotas project in Colombia.  In a country ridden with crime and the rainforest being cleared, 2 men sought to change the planet- by replanting the barren land with a singled tree, Honduran Pine.  The trees now support a diverse ecosystem with over 200 different species of plants and animals, and 2 villages that are using "green" engineering in amazing ways.  (More on that later).  Proof that by working together and using our creativity, we can change and restore the earth!  Interested in learning more about Gaviotas?  Check out more info. here.

Of course everyday should be Earth Day, so use today as the first stepping stone in a much larger path.  Peace!

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Your Lipstick Horoscope and more!

Totalbeauty.com keeps me going back daily with all their quizzes, reviews, articles, and a whole lot more.  Today's quiz is a fun and telling one.  Horoscopes can be eerily accurate, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who fits their stellar sign to a T. 
But, did you know that your sign has it's own corresponding lip shade?  Check out Your Lipstick Horoscope and they'll match your sign to your personality and ideal lipstick shades.


So being a sweetheart is part of my sign?  I'm never going to be able to live that down (because let's face it, it's true.)  I'm not a bold lipstick kind of girl either, although sometimes I feel like wearing a bright red or orange lipstick.  I think this Nars shade is dreamy, and it's fun to see how these things turn out-especially when they're correct!

If you're still intrigued, then check out Your Eyeshadow Horoscope for even more Zodiac fun. I think this is based more off of your signs color, because purple is the color for Aquarius.  It's my favorite color though, so I was happy to see it listed and perhaps I'll start wearing it as eyeshadow too!


What's your Zodiac pallete?  Do you agree with your sign shades?

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