Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder

I have been hot and cold to contouring but mainly because it never worked for me. Another hypothesis (and a very viable one) is that I did not know how to do it well and have the right products. To end this turmoil and resulting muddy looking cheeks, I started on a quest – a quest to find the right contour for me and to learn how to apply it on MY face.

I have followed the craze of buying the multi-color palettes out there such as the Kat Von D Shade & Light contour palette, the Tarte Tartest Contour Palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palettes. I even ventured to trying the Nyx contour products. In the end, they all ended up not quite working as well as I had hoped OR only two of the colors in the palettes worked for me. Have you encountered this?

So…that is the history behind my pursuit of a contour palette. And, now, I ventured into a different quest. Contour palette – yes; but the focus here is on finding the compact that holds only the powders that I really like and work for me (sometimes those two goals are not mutually exclusive!).


IMG_0837It is beautiful, isn’t it? The case feels so rich and wonderful and who does not love that little button to open it? The size is quite large but it is so thin – sort of reminds me of my 13” Mac Book Air! And the mirror inside is wonderful and large enough to actually use! The feel of the compact reflects the price tag though – at $49 it is pricy – but on par with the other palettes that I had purchased and not used all the products inside (well the Tarte one is rather nice all around!). Okay, so the compact is divine but that is not what I bought it for, right? How does it work and how are the powders?


There are three different color options with this palette: Mirage Filter 40 – light gold/ light bronze; Dream Filter 20 – soft pink/ medium bronze; and Hi Fi Filter 60 – warm peach/ deep bronze. After consultation with the Sephora associate, I opted for the Dream Filter 20 with the subtle pink highlighter and medium bronze contour. This actually surprised me because I intended to purchase Mirage Filter; however, after trying them on we decided that the yellow toned highlight was aging on me! See, I told you I am not great at picking out the colors!

I was so excited to try this out on my own after seeing how wonderful the contour powder looked on my skin! And the powders were so smooth and blendable but still showed up on my skin without looking muddy. The real test though is whether I can make it look right as well and…it worked! I was so thrilled with the result of the contour! The highlight however works for me color-wise and helps sharpen up the color I apply under my cheeks (mega chisel look) but does not play well with my under eye area unfortunately. That is okay though as I am starting to shy away from applying anything to that delicate (and aging quickly) area.


Overall, I am very happy with this palette and can definitely see me using it and ALL of it! The size worries me a bit though in regards to traveling but I will see what happens there and let you know. Although I am thrilled with the Marc Jacobs Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder, I do have the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder on its way to me…the search has not officially ended I guess..

Here is my video review so you can see it in action too!

Thanks for taking part in this quest! What is your favorite contour palette or compact?

Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette

It is hot and it is amazing! The NEW remix eye shadow palette by Kat Von D – Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) Remix Eye Shadow Palette. An incredible assortment of 24 shadows (matte and shimmery) for $59. Click here for a link

This palette features 24 eye shadows in the following colors:

  • Muse (lilac purple),
  • Echo (purple glitter),
  • Dark Wave (deep navy),
  • Synth (electric blue),
  • Hyperballad (sea blue),
  • Lemmy (grass green),
  • Misfit (kelly green),
  • Vinyl (neon green),
  • Legend (golden yellow),
  • Fran (deep mustard yellow),
  • Analogue (burnt orange),
  • Harpsichord (metallic bronze),
  • Rewind (aubergine),
  • Destroyer (bright strawberry),
  • Swoon (fuchsia),
  • Love (shimmery rose),
  • Anthem (purple),
  • Vox (chocolate brown),
  • Moulder (butter yellow),
  • Noble (nude),
  • Skulls (iridescent pearl),
  • Black Metal (matte black),
  • Lyric (white pearl),
  • Strutter (taupe)

Beyond the beautiful colors, what do I think about the palette?  Well, it is amazing but may be a bit outside my comfort zone!  I love neutrals, browns, brick colors, and some plums (deep ones), but this has some colors that are probably not going to work for me.  I will definitely give it a try to use them however!  The shadows themselves are right on par with what you expect from Kat Von D – smooth, blendable, but with some fallout in the tray.  The pigment is perfect.  The one that did not transfer well was such a dark purple (Echo) that I was glad it did not layer too heavily!

On the down side, the packaging is heavy duty cardboard, so I am not sure about its durability.  It also is rather large and would never travel with me.  I also had a tough time finding a place to store it!

In the end, I will highly recommend this palette to anyone who likes to be creative and appreciates the colorful assortment offered!  The shadows are wonderful.

What do you all think? Will you be purchasing this palette? It is out of stock right now but should be back – fingers crossed! A holiday mix of vibrant colors and a few neutrals.

Here is my YouTube video where you can see the swatches and view one of my eye shadow looks created with the palette – very unlike me with purples!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing September 2015

It is that time of the month – unboxing of subscription boxes!  I have been getting Ipsy boxes for about three months now and am enjoying them quite a bit.  There always seems to be something fun.  If not, the bags are always adorable (not that I really NEED any more bags though!).

In case you do not know about Ipsy – It is a monthly beauty subscription box – $10 month and you can cancel when you want. You get 5 products each month and a (usually very cute) bag! If you are not signed up and want to investigate, click here. It is a really fun subscription service (one of the only ones that I consistently keep).

Here is what I got this month and what I think of the product:

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub – Nice face scrub that left my skin feeling refreshed.  Not sure of the impact of it yet but it felt like it was doing something good!

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

Pixi by Petra Brow Powder Trio – When I first opened my Ipsy bag, I thought this was an eye shadow trio and wondered why it did not transfer well.  But, of course, that was wrong.  It is a brow trio and a rather nice one too.  The neutral color is a nice addition to help clean up around the brow area.

Pixi Brow Trio Colors

tre”StiQue Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude – This is a very neutral or nude color that just does not show up on my lips in a flattering way.  I have found that it works well as a base for other colors though!

Tresique Lip pencil


Temptu Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer – A very shimmery liquid highlighter.  So very pretty but too pink/peach for my coloring and also probably too shimmery.  Pretty none the less!

Temptu liquid highlighter

Nyx Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio – This was a surprise to me – it is really nice!  The colors are rather pigmented, not much fall out, and they blend fairly well (but not as nice as some other higher end ones).  The colors are very pretty and work well for me as long as I go light on the shimmery shade.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Nyx eye shadow trioNyx eye shadow trio                                 thumb_IMG_0283_1024


The bag is also adorable! Isn’t it!   thumb_IMG_0277_1024

So what did you all get in your Ipsy bags this month?  I am also going to share my first BirchBox soon!

Here is my video review of my Ipsy bag.  Please sub to me on YouTube too!

Thanks All!  Until next time…have great days and evenings!

Fall (or Autumn) Favorites Tag Video

It is almost Fall or Autumn depending on what seasonal reference works for you.  I have never made a TAG video before so I hope this works well.  I also filmed the video I included below at the beach so feel free to watch if you need the scenic version!

I have 12 questions listed below that serve as the foundation for the TAG video.  I have answered them, tagged a few others to join in, and hope that this will be shared several times over with all new viewpoints on fall favorites!  Here are the dozen questions for the Fall Favorites Tag.

Favorite Fall Things TAG Questions:

  1. Favorite thing about fall?
  2. Least favorite thing about fall?
  3. Favorite fall holiday?
  4. Favorite clothing item for fall?
  5. Favorite makeup trend for fall?
  6. Sweaters or sweatshirts?
  7. Do you change your makeup or skin care routine for fall? If so, how?
  8. Favorite fall food/drink?
  9. Favorite fall scent?
  10. Fall TV show premiere you’re looking forward to most?
  11. Favorite sports team (if any)?
  12. Favorite fall tradition?

I am TAGging:

Geeks and Beauties From Geeks and Beauties Google+ Community:

      Laney Estell from Zaney Laney

Sasha from FizzyFreeze –

Desiree D from Desiree D




Women Supporting Youtube forumFrom Women Creators Support Forum Google+ Community – who did a great job explaining TAG videos on her community page. Thanks Cecily!

Cecily Jamelia from Cecliy Jamelia






Here is the Fall (Autumn) Favorites TAG Video.  Enjoy!

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August Favorites

August Favorites!!

Already? Yep – so here goes! Let me know what you all think too!

Tony Moly Peach Hand Cream – $12

  • Love this hand cream both for the way it moisturizes and for the smell – amazing!

Boots Extracts Coconut Body Butter – $9.99

  • A great exfoliating lotion that smells wonderful and also is rather inexpensive!

Scentbird – monthly perfume subscription – This is my link and I do get credit for it if you follow it. (just wanted to let you know!) –

  • I am enjoying this perfume subscription box!

Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara – – $6.99

  • Amazing mascara and it is less than $7!

Sigma Sinuosity mascara – $19

  • I am just starting out my full experimentation with this mascara but so far it is receiving big stars!  It volumes and helps curl my lashes, and they need it!
  • Here is a photo of before and after using the mascara.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo in soft brown – – $23

  • I love the natural look that this gives your brows and it is fast!

Make Up For Ever Pro Fusion Bronzer in Matte Sand – – $36

  • Subtle almost mistake proof bronzer that melts into your skin!

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Invisible Foundation in Y315 – – $45  Here is a link to a video review that I have done on the foundation.

  • Love, love, love this foundation!!  It has reached Holy Grail status!

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour – $46  Here s a link to a video review that I have done on the contour palette.

  • Why did I wait so long to purchase this??  I adore it so much!!  All matte shades that blend easily.  I use every color in the palette too!  I like this much more than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour palette.  Read my post and watch my videos for more details but amazing!

Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye palette – – $46  Here is a link to a video review that I have done on the eye shadow palette.

  • Another – why did I wait so long to get this eye palette?  Holy Grail status here!  Read my posts on it and watch my video but amazing!

Graze monthly subscription snack box – – Use my code (DALEC7GPE) if you want to help me out too!

  • Enjoying this snack subscription box and love how you can create it to meet your needs and tastes.  Monthly boxes include 8 snack packs for $11.99.  You can customize it to be super healthy or less so and also indicate items that you like and do not want.  No nuts – no worries just let them know.  Great for lunches!!  Worth trying out and remember you can cancel at any time!

That is all for this month!  Already scouting for my September Favorites!  Let me know if you have feedback on the items that I shared!

And for more detail and visual fun, here is my video review:

Acne, Hyperpigmentation, Wrinkles – Oh My! My skin care routine to counter these villians!

My Skin Care Routine

I have a feeling that I am not the only one who deals with a range of issues keeping his or her complexion from being flawless (if that is even a worthy goal).  Over the years, I have battled most of the common skin issues including cystic acne that left awful scars and sometimes even craters in my skin.  On top of that medications the medications I was taking left my skin so sensitive to sun damage that even when my skin did clear up a bit, I had muddy looking patches on my cheeks from hyper pigmentation remnants.  Fast forward a few more years, and fine lines (aka wrinkles) started making their presence known.  Over the course of the past 20 years, I have been on antibiotics, creams, Retin A, Accutance (3 times!), and countless over the counter products!

Now that you know my dermatological history, where am I now?  Presently, I still deal with some cystic acne and take prescription meds for it (Spirolactane) and use Retin A every other day to counter the scarring that I get when those flair ups arise.  My skin care routine, however, focuses on the use a few products that in combination seem to work really well to address all my needs!


Here is a list of what I am using:

In the Morning:

In the Evening:

  • Simple Micellar Facial Cleanser Water  –  – $6.99
  • Clarisonic Mia 2 – – $149
  • I use Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar –  – $2.66 for 4 bars with my Clarisonic!  It works so well!  Just wet the brush on the Clarisonic and with it turned off, rub the brush on the bar of soap to create a nice foam.  Love this combo!
  • Origins Starting Over Eye Cream – – $41
  • Clinique Take the Day Off eye makeup remover – – $19
  • If I am not using my Retin A (every other night), I use Paula’s Choice RESIST SUPER ANTIOXIDANT CONCENTRATE SERUM – – $36
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer – – $26



If needed for breakouts:

Does anyone use any of these products? Any thoughts or suggestions?

If you want to see my video describing this routine, click below.  Have great days everyone!!

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Lorac Pro to Go – Review, Demo, and is it travel worthy?

Lorac Pro to Go thumbnail

Lorac Pro to Go palette ($38) holds a pretty combination of blush (2), bronzer (1), and eye shadows (3 matte and 3 shimmery).  It has a handy way of folding up so that you can open the shadows, blushes and bronzer or have it all open at once.

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The eye shadows span a neutral range:Pearl (Shimmer), Chai (Shimmer), Mink (Sparkle), Shell (Matte), Café (Matte), and Black (Matte).  See the swatches below:

Lorac Pro to Go Shadow Swatches

While the matte bronzer aligns well with two blushes: shimmery coral and a matte pink.

Lorac Pro to Go cheek Swatches


So how do they perform?  What do I think?  Do they play well with mature skin?  Should I buy it?  Is it travel worthy?

So many questions!  So, what do I think…  I love the eye shadows in the palette!  They are beautiful colors that transfer well, have only minimal fall out, and blend so nicely (just not as buttery as for example Make Up Geek shadows – but still really nicely).  The colors leave lots of room for creativity even though there are only six colors. I really enjoy blending the shimmery with the matte colors!

As for the bronzer and blushes.  Slightly different review here.  The cheek colors are all nice and bendable but the colors are kind of boring to me.  The blushes are standard pink and coral.  I tend to prefer mixes across colors.  The bronzer is very nice as well but just not anything fabulous.  It does apply well and seems to be a suitable color that will work for most skin colors; however, when I put it on it did not make me go “wow”!  Good – maybe very good – but not amazing.

As for working for mature skin – no problems at all.  The products all blend well and given the minimal fall out, they do not stray into off limits territory (under eye lines).

Is it travel worthy.  First, would I be happy taking just this palette for my cheeks and eyes?  Yes, I would but if i was traveling for more than two days, I may want to bring another cheek color.  The palette itself is constructed so well, and I love the way it opens up!  It also comes with two very small brushes, but I found those to be useless to me.  This compact also is rather rugged so I think it could handle some rough and tumble in the baggage claim.  All in all – yes!  I would travel with this especially because I LOVE the eye shadows!!

Here is my overall rating:

Ratings image


If you want to see my “live” review and application, check out my video on YouTube.  I would love to hear what you all think as well!

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Contouring, Brightening, and Highlighting – Does it Make a Difference?

Half and Half  Thumbnail



Does highlighting, brightening, and contouring really make a difference in how you look?


That was the question I wanted to answer.  To do this, I opted to do a “half face” look with half of my faced being adorned with all the extra goodies and the other with only typical blush.  


Here is what I used on all of my face:


Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation – $48 –
Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – $37 –
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush in Glisten – – $28


Shadow: Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette Unearthed blush – – $38
Shadow Primer: Mac Paint Pot in Painterly – – $22
Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof – – $8.99
Brows: Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Neutral Brown – – $20; Nyx Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe – – – $9.99; Milani Brow & Eye Highlighter in 01 – – $6.99


Lipgloss: bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Maverick – – $18


Here are the extra goodies I added to the left side view of my face (your left):


Bronzer: Nars Blush Bronzer Duo in Laguna and Orgasm – – $42


Contour:  Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette – – $40


Highlighterthe balm Mary-Lou Manizer – – $24


Brightening under eyes: Under Eye Cream: Pixi Color Corrector Cream – – $12; Under Eye Powder: Besame Brightening Violet Powder – – $22


And here is the result – Can you see a difference?  Is the extra time and money invested in products worth it?  Or is the extra pampering that results from you applying the products the underlying benefit?  



What do you think?  Do you see a difference?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and then I will add mine!

Here is my video of the entire process.


Becca Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfecter: Pop or Flop?

Does it live up to the hype AND how does it perform on mature skin?

So I admit that I gave in to all the hype around this highlighter and had to try it – Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Champagne Pop.  It was hard to resist as I love highlighters but have difficulty finding one that looks “natural” if a highlighter can look natural on me.  I also have difficulty with ones that have a lot of fallout as that transfers on my skin as a cloud and then finds its way to areas I do NOT want to highlight (you know the lines and crevices that are continuing to emerge under my eyes).  So how did this perform?

First of all, the outer packaging is beautiful!  I do love packaging but then again when you see beautiful packaging, it raises your expectations for the product, does it not?  Inside the box, you find typical Becca powder (reminds me of the old TV show “Lost in Space”) container.  These you either love or hate?  I am not as fond of them but that is not a problem yet…  Inside is what is awesome!  The powder is beautiful to the eye!  Definitely fall out and dust in the containers so heed care if taking this with you while traveling!  This also sent up warning flags to me – will it create that dust cloud as I apply it?

First step – applied on the back of my hand – it was beautiful!  Wow!  First step to falling in love with it.  Now for the true test as I do not plan to wear highlighter on my hand: application on my face. I used a fan brush and delicately applied to the tops of my cheekbones.  It was gorgeous!  I LOVED the color on my complexion.  It was not too white as I have found with Becca’s Moonlight Shimmering Skin Perfecter and not as “pinky” as the Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfecter.  Thumbs up for color on my skin tone!  Next and a very important one for me and for my passion (finding beauty products that continue to work for women as they mature): Does it work for my mature skin especially since I am applying this so close to my aged eye area (does that sound any better than lines under my eyes?).  Okay…this looked good but not great in the lighting in my room but later when I went outside in the daylight it hit bottom.  The beautiful powder in all its glory had found a nice hang out in my (not so fine) lines under my eyes and dry patches in the outer corners of my eyes.  Ugh….so sad!

Overall, this powder is gorgeous!  Thumbs up to Jacklyn Hill and Becca!  Does it work for me and potentially others with more mature skin?  Probably not unless you can control where you apply it and make sure it does not migrate to areas where you do not want glow.  I am so sad about this because I ADORED the color.  Maybe I could find a way to keep it only where I want it?  Any suggestions?  The other thing that I have to consider is that this is pricey ($38), and I have other highlighters that I like (Laura Mercier Baked Radiance and the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer – see photos below.


outside others inside others


So here are my final ratings.  What do you think?  Have you tried it?

CP ratings


And here is a link to my video review:

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Enjoy some fun and laughter today!