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No7, the Light to My Dark Circles

Dark Circles Under eye bagsEver since I hit puberty, I was cursed with not only zits but dark circles and bags under my eyes. My 6th grade classmates were the first to point it out to me. So I've been wearing under eye concealer ever since I was about 12.

It wasn't until well into my adulthood that I started using eye cream that actually helps with dark circles under the eyes. I fell in love with Hydropeptide Eye Authority. This under eye treatment did wonders for my dark circles. I found myself using less and less concealer. But this stuff quickly started wearing on my budget. So I searched around for a replacement.

I tried all the eye cream samples I could get my hands on. I bought different prestige brands as well as drugstore brands. But mostly I was looking for a fairly-priced drugstore brand in order to save money. I even tried putting cold tea bags and cucumbers under my eyes, to no avail.

It has taken me about 2-3 years of trying different eye creams until I finally found something that worked. And at long last, I have found the holy grail of under eye dark circle / bags creams for me. It actually works even better than the Hydropeptide Eye Authority that I once loved.

In my search for the H.G. under eye cream, I tried to narrow down what ingredients might have been the key ones to help combat dark circles and bags. A lot of eye creams use caffeine for that, but it wasn't doing the trick for me. After much trial and error, I came up with two ingredients that appeared to lessen the dark circles and bags under my eyes: Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone and Haloxyl.

My next step was to find a decently-priced eye cream that contained these two ingredients. Around that time, a popular UK skincare brand, Boots No7, was making its way into the U.S. market and gaining popularity here quickly. No7 started coming out with different skincare product lines for different age groups of women.

I'd already been using the No7 Lift & Luminate product line. But later, they came out with a new line called  No7 Restore & Renew. I was told it was for women who were in their sixties and above. No matter, I looked at the ingredient list of that new line and found it to be pretty impressive. I checked the Restore & Renew eye cream. And lo and behold, it contained the two ingredients that I was on the hunt for. Plus a slew of other amazing ingredients, like peptides, Rosehip oil, ceramides, and more.

At around $20 for the tube, I was sold. As with all the other eye creams that I had tried, I used it diligently morning and night. After a few weeks, I noticed that my under eyes, sans concealer, were starting to look less dark. I was almost tempted to go without the concealer altogether. But I still patted on a little, just to further brighten up my under eyes.

I have been using the No7 Restore & Renew Eye Cream for months now, and I will not stray from it. The price is right, and the product works wonders for my dark circles and under eye bags. I may not be in my sixties, but I think this eye cream is tailor-made for me, plus I love to wear purple.

I won't say that my dark circles and bags are totally eradicated by this eye cream. But they are greatly improved. So much that I don't ever want to be without this eye cream. I still always wear concealer whenever I go out. And that's okay. I think that is just one of many facial flaws that I accept and deal with as best I can.

EttelLut Yoga and Workout Leggings

I got these EttelLut yoga and workout leggings online. Wasn't sure of the size and fit, but they were a decent price, so I thought I'd take a chance. It turns out I really like them. They were a really good price, much cheaper than buying them at Target or Wal-mart. And the quality is great, too. They are fairly thick and will be great for winter workouts. Or for just going out and running errands. Actually, I might even sleep in them in the winter so that I can wake up and do my morning workouts at home straight away. But they are almost too cute to sleep with. So I might save them for going out :-)  I am 5ft and 115lbs, and I got a size small. They fit perfectly. I especially love the pink stripe on the side. In case you don't like pink, there are other colors to choose from. I'll probably get more of these at such a good price online.


Floral Print Corduroy Skirt for the Fall

I got this Mossimo Floral Print Corduroy Skirt for the fall. The corduroy is the perfect weight for fall as well as winter, with tights. Today started out as a gray rainy day, typical of Seattle fall weather. So I decided today was a good day to try the skirt out. I wore it with short sleeves and no tights because I knew it would get sunny and warm-ish later in the afternoon when I was running errands.

It turned out to be a very comfortable skirt. The corduroy is nice and stretchy and soft. I like the zipper detail on the front. The floral print has nice fall colors of flowers. The flowers are pretty small, but the color combination of them is really nice. There are purple, gold, white, and rose colored flowers. I can see myself wearing this in the fall with long sleeve tops of any of those colors.

Yes, I'm starting to shop for fall now. I don't like missing out on the prettiest things for the season. If I wait until fall to buy them, my size usually ends up being sold out. I am 5ft 105lbs, and I got a size 0. These photos of me below are before I washed the skirt. I am hoping it shrinks a little as it seemed like it had a little extra wiggle room. 


Revlon Emeryl File

Revlon Emeryl FileI always see cute foam nail files at the store. And I have purchased some of them. They seem to file nails just fine, but after a few uses, they start to fall apart. I finally ended up getting a Revlon Emeryl File. It is a metal nail file. It is just the right size, not too big and easy to handle. It is about 5 inches long and has a nice black plastic handle to hold while filing your nails. I found myself using this nail file most of the time because all my cute foam nail boards are all bent and ripped. The metal Revlon file has definitely outlasted the foam nail files.

I have used this Revlon Emeryl File to file other things, too. Sometimes we have something like a toy or piece of costume jewelry that has a sharp metal bur sticking out. This Revlon metal file has filed it off to a nice smooth, safe surface.

I've been wearing Invisalign clear plastic teeth straighteners for over a year now. The aligners sometimes have sharp edges where the plastic scratches the inside of my mouth. This Revlon Emeryl file has been a life saver when it came to filing down the Invisaligns. What a big difference it is to have sharp scratchy trays in your mouth versus smooth trays that you hardly even notice.

I also love to paint my nails. Sometimes I get some nail polish around my cuticle or on my skin just outside my nail. I use the Revlon Emeryl file to scrape it off and wipe it on a napkin. That helps a lot to make my manicures look professional. When I've gotten my nails done at the salon, they usually use their own nails covered painted with gel coating to scrape off the excess polish they got on my skin. When you are doing your own nails with regular nail polish, you can't really do that. So this Revlon nail file is a quick and easy way to do a clean-up as you go. I used to use a nail clean-up pen. But those things dry out so fast, and they are a little awkward to use. This nail file seems to last forever and will always be there for your manicures.

Finally, this metal nail file is a also great help when you need something strong but thin to pry things open so that you don't break your nails. For all kinds of uses, the Revlon Emeryl file comes in handy to have around the house. Maybe one in each room!

Women's Basic Short Sleeve Henley T-Shirt

Women's Basic Short Sleeve Henley T-shirtI got this Women's Basic Short Sleeve Henley T-Shirt to run around in this summer. It is a fairly light-weight fabric, made of rayon and spandex. I was afraid it would shrink, so I got a medium, and it did, and luckily it fits fine now. I am 5ft 105lbs. I normally wear a small or x-small in clothes, but the medium worked with this Henley top after I washed and dried it.

This top is has a few real buttons to button up in the front. Then it also has a few fake buttons, that don't have button holes. This is a cute style. It makes it look like you left a few top buttons undone.

The overall length of this top is a bit long for me. You can see how the bottom of the top bunches up below my waste. I do have a shorter torso. But perhaps it was also because I got the size Medium, which is bigger than what I normally get at the store.

They have this in a ton of different colors. I've been dying to get my hands on a dusty salmon colored one, but they never seem to carry that color anymore.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked Heat PaletteI finally got a hold of the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I had a feeling it was going to be something special, and I was pleasantly right! This palette is so unique in it's shimmery copper shades. They are the perfect set of colors for a warm summer as well as into fall and winter.

I have so many eye shadow palettes that it has been hard to warrant getting any more for fear of duplicating too many colors. But this palette has shades that I have been searching for for ages. I love these shimmery orange-rust earthy colors. The shades stay true to the "naked" theme in that they blend very naturally to accent the eyes with a pop of autumnal color.

For once, I also love the dual-ended brush this palette came with. Normally I don't use brushes that come with palettes. Instead I use my favorite Ecotools Duo Eye Brushes. The brush this palette came with has a flat brush on one side. This flat brush is great for applying overall lid color as well as for general blending of shadows. The other end has a small round brush that works well for applying shadow to the outer V corner of the eye as well as in the crease.

I created this look for a music video of me playing guitar and singing. The eye shadow seemed to show up pretty well in the video.

For the look I created below, here are the shades I used:

Dirty Talk (a shimmery orangey-copper)  for overall lid color. I used the palette's flat brush to apply.

Lumbre  (a lighter and slightly more sparkly version of Dirty Talk)  for just above the lash line and in the center of the eyelid to add dimension to the eyes. Applied with flat brush end.

Embre (a darker coppery brown) for the outer V (corner of the eye) and into the crease with the round end of the palette's brush.

Ounce (a pale, satiny cream color, with a hint of sheen) for the brow bone, just below the outer half of each eyebrow

Ashes (a dark matte plum) for eye liner. I applied this with a damp e.l.f. small smudge brush to make it go on darker.


Finally, I used Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara and Lancome Color Design Lipstick in Sugared Maple.

Going-to-the-Park Look

Updated 8/23/2017

Urban Decay naked Heat Natural LookToday I wanted to try out a different color in the Naked Heat palette. I was going to take my son to the park to ride his bike around the loop, as I got a little cardio in, walking around the loop (hmm, maybe next time I should run...). So I didn't want to go too glamorous on the makeup, but I did want to try the Naked Heat palette again. So I thought I'd try out one of the matte shades for a more natural look.

Here are the shades I used for today's look:

Low Blow (a medium orangey-brown matte) for the crease color, blended to just below the brow bone

Lumbre (a medium-light sparkly peachy-orange) for the lid 

Ounce (a pale, satiny cream color, with a hint of sheen) for the brow bone, just below the outer half of each eyebrow

This look would have been more natural-looking had I not used Lumbre. But I just couldn't help it. It is such a pretty color. I think it is my favorite shade in this palette.

For eyeliner, I used Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey (my favorite color of eyeliner).

For mascara, I used Lancome Definicils Mascara.

For lips, I lined and filled in my lips with Laura Geller Lip Liner in Spice. Then I went over it with Makeup Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Natural N9.

Scorched Look

Updated 8/28/2017

Naked Heat Palette lookNaked Heat Scorched LookI found my new favorite color in the Naked Heat palette. It is called Scorched. It is similar to Dirty Talk and Lumbre, except it has a little rosiness to it. Maybe it's supposed to be like a sunburn color or something??? It is a shimmery rusty-pink color. I would say Dirty Talk is a shimmery rusty-orange, Lumbre is a shimmery rusty-peach, and Scorched is a shimmery rusty-rose. I did my makeup for another music video today, and I like how the color showed up, even with low light, I like how it was coppery-rose looking.

Shades I used for today's look in order of use:

Sauced (matte medium peachy-brown) for the crease

Scorched (shimmery rusty-rose) for the lid color

En Fuego (matte burgundy) for the outer V corners of the eyes

Ashes (matte dark burgundy-brown) applied wet as eyeliner

Ounce (a pale, satiny cream color, with a hint of sheen) for the brow bone, just below the outer half of each eyebrow

I don't think I'm going to use the Ashes shade as eyeliner anymore. I don't think it shows up very well. And it takes a lot of effort to get enough of it on. I even used the eyeliner brush wet in order to get more product densely applied. But it still didn't too much. Plus, I had a bit of product fall-out with the Ashes shade. There are other better and darker colors in other palettes that I can use as eyeliner.

After applying the Naked Heat eye shadows, I used Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, and Makeup Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Natural N9.

After the third look I've done with it, I'm still lovin' this palette. I am glad that I got it for the tail end of summer, and I'm excited to use the rust and burgundy colors in it this fall.

Ashy Look

Updated 8/29/2017

Naked Heat LookNaked Heat LookToday I wanted to try a different color combination of the Naked Heat colors. I heard some people say that all the looks created with this palette turn out all about the same. But I don't agree with that. You can go more orangey, more rosey, more brown, darker, lighter, etc.

Colors used for today's look:

Low Blow for the crease

Ashes for the outer V corner (this Ashes color doesn't appear to be as well-pigmented as the other colors, but it does blend well)

Scorched for the center of the lid (my favorite color of the palette)

Ounce for the browbone

I used Mary Kay eye shadow in storm for the eyeliner, Lancome Monsieur Big mascara.

For the lips, I used Marc Jacobs lip Creme in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I really like that color. It is a medium pink that is not too bright, but still colorful and interesting.


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