Zoya Nail Lacquer in Indigo

I’ve swatched this in the past, but I want to revisit it today.



Indigo is a deep navy blue, bordering on nearly black. It contains very tiny silver shimmer.



It’s a fan favorite among nail polish enthusiasts. Do you own this one?

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Swarovski Pearl Drop Earrings

I mentioned in my last Current Favorites post that I am really liking “Downton Abbey”.

If you all know me by now (and you should!) you’d know that I love jewelry. It should come as no surprise that I’m mesmerized by all the jewelry worn by the actresses on the show.

Small pearl drop earrings were, of course, a staple in any Edwardian woman’s wardrobe. I used to think they were too simple for my tastes, but seeing them on Lady Mary Crawley made me change my mind about them.

Photo credit: www.pbs.org

Photo credit: http://www.pbs.org

I purchased a pair of pearl drop earrings from a European seller whose shop is named Jewelry by Indrea



The earrings arrived in a cute white box tied with red ribbons. Indrea included a very nice handwritten note. It was a lovely gesture, especially in an age when people rarely write notes anymore.



The earrings are Swarovski pearls (6mm) on sterling silver hooks.


I’ve been wearing these a lot lately and I really like them. They’re subtle and conservative enough for the doctor’s office I work in, but they still make me feel like I put effort into my whole look. :)

Here is the shop’s listing for more earrings like mine.

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NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in London and Abu Dhabi

Today I’m showing you the two nudes that are as nudey as I can get without making my lips look like they’ve been smeared with zinc oxide.

I dunno why I would smear my lips with zinc oxide, but I have a reputation of being quite odd, so it’s not a far-fetched scenario.

I rarely wear nude lipstick, but I’ve still been on the hunt for one in case I ever needed it. Neutrals and MLBB lip colors have always worked best for me (I have large eyes, so neutral eyes and color on the lips is the best look for me). Nudes have taken a backseat in my makeup life.



London is on top and Abu Dhabi is at the bottom.

London is more of a neutral nude. Abu Dhabi is more pink and a little darker than London. They’re both creams with no shimmer.

They both look very close in shade on my lips. They offer a little color on me. They’re the best nude for my brown skin I have ever found. If you’re MAC NC40-42 or thereabouts, check these out if you want a nude lip color.

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Use It Up: Vol. 2

I’m quite proud to see that this “Use it Up” post has a more crowded cast of characters.



-Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Gel Cleanser- this is amazing for summer. It rinses off all the makeup, sunblock, oil and grime my face accumulates during the summer.

-Dickinson Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner- A no-frills, effective toner that picks up the traces of makeup after I wash my face. When I use this every night during the summer, I don’t get breakouts on my face. It has a slight witch hazel scent, which I can live with. It’s a toner the whole family can use!

-Ayur Herbal Toner- this was purchased from an Ebay seller because I can’t find it in the U.S. It’s made by an Indian company. It’s a nice toner, but it does leave behind a slight sticky feel. I rinse it off with warm water and my skin fine after that. It has a strong rose scent.

-Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover- While this won’t usurp Almay Oil-Free makeup remover as my favorite, it gets the job done.

-Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Oily Skin in Golden Caramel- I’ve been buying this foundation for years. I used it as a concealer this past summer. It works best as my winter shade, but I find that if I am very careful and use lots of sunblock and stay out of the sun as much as I can, I can wear it during the summer.

-Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 04 Medium Deep- I bought this a while back when I finished my MAC Studio Sculpt. It’s a decent concealer, but I do wish it was more budgeproof. I’m guessing my skin is too oily for it.

-Too Faced Shadow Insurance- This is a great eyelid primer! It’s better for my oily lids as a winter primer, but it worked pretty darn well for me during the summer.

-Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mascara- I like this one. It gives my lashes good definition and emphasis. It wasn’t clumpy at all either.

-Makeup Forever Smoky Lash mascara sample- This was decent. I don’t think I had any major issues with it. I have another sample of this I need to use up. I’ll have to use that one up too and write a proper review on it.

Items I Will Repurchase:  Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Gel Cleanser, Dickinson Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner, Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Oily Skin in Golden Caramel, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mascara. I would potentially repurchase the Neutrogena eye makeup remover if I couldn’t get my hands on Almay Oil-Free.

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Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum Vitamin C 20%

Now that I am three decades *cougholdladycough* into my lifetime, I’ve been looking more and more at serums and products aimed at decreasing wrinkles.

I agreed to test out Valentia Even Glow serum because I can’t say no to a serum that claims to brighten one’s skin.

I wouldn’t say no to a Hawaiian vacation either, but that opportunity hasn’t shown itself just yet.




The serum comes in a glass bottle with a dropper applicator.



even 2



The bottle feels substantial and not cheaply made. The applicator is easy to use and sanitary as well (no sticking your fingers in a jar).

even drop

The serum itself feels slightly sticky, but it works into the skin nicely if you rub it on well.


Valentia’s website offers the following information about this serum:

EVENS SKIN TONE: Vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration, replacing uneven and ill-textured skin with smooth, wrinkle-free skin that leaves you looking flawless and ageless.

INCREASES GLOW & RADIANCE: Revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leave skin smooth and radiant. Smooth skin capable of reflecting light will give your skin a youthful glow and a brilliant shine for that well-rested and refreshed look.

ABSORBS RAPIDLY: Moisturizes skin due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather.

BOOST COLLAGEN PRODUCTION: The presence of Organic Rosehip Seed oil increases collagen, In a 2013 study ¹, The Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology identified natural retinoic acid (Tretinoin, commercially, Retin-A) as the active factor in rosehip seed oil. Tretinoin has been successfully used to treat numerous dermatological conditions and increase collagen production. Resulting in smooth and supple skin that you’ll love.

REDUCES WRINKLES & FINE LINES: Reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of our foundation 20 % Vitamin C. Special ingredients such us Sea Buckthorn oil plump up the skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin so it is smoother, clearer and younger.

My experience: I used a few drops of this on my face at night before bed. I squeezed out some of the serum onto my fingertips and gently rubbed it into my skin.

I wasn’t expecting much, but I did see great results with this product. I have two (sort of) faint lines on my forehead. With regular use of the serum, the lines decreased in appearance. I was really amazed at how well the serum worked on them.

I also noticed the dark acne marks on the side of my face fading quite rapidly. I was very pleased with that.

My skin did feel smoother and more supple after a few days of use. As for a more glowing complexion? I noticed a slight increase in this regard, but not as much as I would have thought. Still, a little brightness is better than none at all. My face had a better glow than it normally does, which is something.

I would purchase a new bottle for myself when this one finishes.  It fulfills many of its claims, and I’m very pleased with the ingredient list (there are many natural ingredients in this one).

Pros: Fades dark marks, reduces lines, makes skin smoother.
Cons: Doesn’t seem to brighten skin that much.

Grade: A

You can see the rest of Valentia’s products on their website. 

Even Glow Serum is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Full Disclosure: Product samples were furnished by the manufacturer for consideration. I do not write paid reviews. All opinions are my own.

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Current Favorites: Beauty and Life Vol. 16

I’m back!

I apologize for recent site issues. I’ve renewed my domain name so everything should be working just fine.

I’ve started working in a doctor’s office, and that is……interesting to say the least. Lol. We do have some colorful patients! But seriously, it’s very educational and rewarding to work in a medical office and know that you’re helping sick people get better. I’ve been at this job for about a month so far.

Here’s what I’ve been loving recently.

1) Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino Coffee Drink: I get a kick out of the fact that this is called a “coffee drink”. Or should I be alarmed? In any case, I’ve been purchasing the 4 packs and popping them in the fridge the night before work. In the morning I take one out and take it with me to the office. This is my caffeinated beverage for hot summer mornings. I sip it while I answer the phone and sign patients in. 

2) Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum: I’ve been using a small sample sized bottle of this hair serum. I’m not one for celebrity lines, but I will say that this product has been taming my frizzy strands like a lion tamer tames Simba.

Well, not Simba. He could never be tamed. Also, he’s a cartoon character. :P

Photo credit: www.ebay.co.uk

Photo credit: http://www.ebay.co.uk

3) Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette (the neutral shades): I really, really want Wet n Wild to divide this palette into halves and sell me the neutral shades. I’ve been using them on my eyes for work mornings. The colors are gorgeous on me and aren’t too frosty. Someone please show Wet n Wild this post so they can help me realize my dream of owning the first four shades. :P


4) Downton Abbey: I always do this: I arrive late to everything. When a new TV show becomes a smashing success, I say to myself “Pffft! It’s all just hype”.  And I don’t jump on the bandwagon.

But I actually watched Downton Abbey’s first season and would you believe that I really, really enjoyed it? I love the costumes and jewelry, but the acting is also superb! And who can resist that cute dog, Isis? I am now on Season 4, almost on Season 5.

5) The Writings of Fallen Kittie: Fallen is a friend of mine (so I’m slightly biased, haha) and she just released her second book. She writes erotic fiction, and while erotica isn’t my most beloved genre, I am quite impressed with her writing style and descriptive language. If you’re into erotica, you should check out her website: http://www.fallenkittie.com/

I own a copy of “Mercy Me”, and I really like it so far!

Photo credit: www.amazon.com

Photo credit: http://www.amazon.com


What have you all been enjoying lately?

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Summer Beauty Basics: Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100

There are only 3 weeks left to summer here, but I wanted to tell you all about my current sunblock situation.

I had $10 in CVS Extracare bucks, and Neutrogena sunblock was on sale, BOGO 1/2 off. I really wanted a sunblock that was effective at keeping off the sun’s rays, dried down matte, and didn’t make my face too greasy. I purchased two tubes of this particular sunblock for just about $9. I badly needed a decent sunblock. For $9, this Neutrogena sunblock seemed to be a good deal. If I didn’t like it, at least I could say I didn’t waste too much money on it.

From Neutrogena’s website:


Now, Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ is proven to protect skin from over 99% sunburn damage. Plus, with an unbeatable PFA, nothing provides better UVA protection. Infused with a light, fresh scent, this elegant formulation is fast-absorbing, non-whitening, water resistant and lightweight. Neutrogena’s Dry-Touch technology provides an ultra-light, non-shiny finish and leaves skin soft and smooth.

This product features Helioplex®, a breadth of stabilized sunscreen technologies that delivers superior protection from the sun.

  • Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB
  • Water resistant (80min)
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Oil-Free
  • PABA-free


Photo credit: www.target.com

Photo credit: http://www.target.com


Well, I can tell you I am very pleased with this and I think my $9 was well spent! It has done a superb job of keeping my skin protected. I even noticed a reduction in the hyperpigmentation on my face and neck! It dries down mostly matte, and one tube has lasted me all summer.

My face does get a little oily, but it is not too bad and it’s to be expected: I have oily skin and many sunblocks I’ve used do increase the amount of oiliness happening on my face. I can forgive the slight oiliness considering how well this has worked for me in other regards.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (6%)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Silica, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyglycerin, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, PEG 100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, BHT, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Methylisothiazolinone, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (1334-164)

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Vintage Metropolitan Museum of Art Leopard Brooch

I think brooches are an underused jewelry item nowadays.

I’ve been looking for vintage brooches on Etsy and Ebay.  I’m amazed at how well preserved some of the older ones are! They really look almost brand new.

I’ve also been looking at the Met Museum’s store for beautiful jewelry. When I found this leopard brooch for only $10 on Ebay, I couldn’t pass it up. The cat lady in me loves all things with cats on them.

Photo credit: jmt426 on Ebay

Photo credit: jmt426 on Ebay

If I had the time to take photos, I would show you that the back is signed “MMA 1985”. This piece is from the museum store’s 1985 collection.

Do you wear brooches? Do you think they’re too old-fashioned? Should they make a comeback?

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Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

I love me some natural skincare products. Everyone who knows me can depend on my advice for the best calendula cleansers, tea tree oil scrubs and oatmeal bath soaks.

Despite my love of all natural bath products, I’ve been looking at Dermalogica more and more. The thought occurred to me that if I’m traveling, or I move to another country, I may not have access to the brands I have come to love. Therefore, it might be a good idea to test out some mainstream products that I know will work for me.

Having said that, watch me park my butt in the same damn city for the rest of my life. :P

I wasn’t sure if I would use up a whole bottle of Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, so I opted for an Ebay purchase of 6 sample packs. I used up all the samples before I took a photo, so here’s a photo I found online.

The cleanser is a clear gel type. It foamed up nicely and wasn’t too runny. I massaged it onto my face for a few seconds and rinsed it off. There wasn’t any residue left behind and my face felt really clean. I used toner on a cotton pad to wipe my face afterwards, and the pad was completely clean. There was no dirt or makeup on it.

I noticed that my face burned just slightly if I rubbed the product on for more than 10 seconds. Considering that this does contain salicylic acid, I wasn’t too surprised by that discovery.

Here’s the full ingredient list:

Active ingredients: Salicylic Acid .50%. Other ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Angelica Archangelica Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Allium Sativum (Garlic) Bulb Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Ophiopogon Japonicas Root Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lactic Acid, Algae Extract, Menthol, Sodium PCA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Camphor, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl PCA, Disodium EDTA Copper, Citral, Limonene, Geraniol, Citronellol.

Here’s what the full-sized bottle looks like:


It’s $36 for an 8.4 ounce bottle.

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China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Mommy Kissing Santa

I think I swatched this shade previously, but since obtaining a better camera I’ve been  wanting to re-take all the old photos on this blog. So here we are with a swatch of an old favorite.



It’s a run-of-the-mill, deep red with lots of pretty shimmer and gloss. It covers well in two coats.

My bottle is old and on its last legs, but when it was new the formula was beautiful.

This particular shade is from China Glaze’s Holiday 2010 collection. I told you it was old. :P

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