Thursday, July 21, 2016

**MAKEUP** Rimmel Eyeliner & Bitzy Lip Colors

Don't think that I consider myself a diva or anything, but I wanted to share a little style tip. If you are of a medium, deep, or dark skin color, you probably use dark brown or black for your eyeliner. That's what I've always done. I always thought that going dark to match my eyelashes and brows was the way to go. And dark liner does look nice, but it doesn't pop as much against darker complexions unless it's worn heavy or dramatic. The same goes for lipsticks and glosses: get out of the nighttime colors and go for something with a bit of brightness and pop.

Lately, I've been mixing some of my cream liners - the lighter ones or sparkly ones with my blacks and browns - or I was using cream eyeshadow pencils. Then I found this eyeshadow shade by Scandal Eyes:

It's shade number 004 and is called Guilty Grey, and I love it. I found it at Walmart for around $4.

I had trouble fully capturing the visual effect with my laptop camera but, try to trust me and know that it's a nice (yet subtle) change-up from a basic eyeliner shade.

The main thing that I like about this shade is that it works to draw attention to my eyes the same way a dark liner does for someone with a paler complexion. I wish I had thought to do this long ago. When I was younger, I would occasionally wear eyeliner and I remember going through a phase of wearing blues and greens.

By the way, I think that a grayish or shimmer shade might look good with any skin color - just as black does with all shades. Going lighter is just a new thing for me. (I will warn you that, because this is an eyeshadow, you won't want to use it to line the inner part of your eye. I did that the first time and got some in my eye while wearing my contacts. Oh, mama! Danger, Will Robinson, danger!)

The other thing that I really like about wearing a grey/gray shade is that I get just a such a different look without having to overdo my makeup. When I first wore this shade in public, one lady actually commented on it. Of course, this is Alaska and strangers chat with each other all the time but, still. She just mentioned that she liked the way I had highlighted my eyes. As if I had done more than change my liner shade. (I've also stopped going so dark & red with lip colors and have been giving lighter shade and shimmers a try.)

This is one of the lighter lip colors I've been wearing:

I have to admit that I'm going to be looking for my next light eyeliner in the Bitzy brand. These little things are so cheap that I can try lots of different colors and shades for less than what some brands charge for a single full-size item.

These are two of the Bitzy "Lip Stacks", which are like tiny samplers of lip glosses. (Note that the other photo I just showed up above is what's considered a "full-size" gloss!)

If you've never tried the Stacks before, each of the 3 colors has their own sponge applicator.

The only downside to the Bitzy Lip Stack is that, once you find a color you just adore, you might not be able to find the shade in a full sized tube. That's what happened to me when I fell in love with the very bottom shade in the Irresistible stack. There's no identification of each shade. Even the clerk couldn't find it in the full size. That's how I ended up with the Beautiful shade. I like that one a lot, but I'd still like to find the other one. I think it must be either Candy or Nude.

The Lip Stacks are perfect not for just sampling shades, but also for having a variety to change up your look throughout the day. I keep both of mine in my purse and love being able to play mix-and-match.

Those Lip Stacks, by the way, are quite small. I have small hands and can hide one in my fist. Here are the Stacks along side the "full size" gloss.

Don't go looking for a Bitzy website. Until I was writing this post, I didn't realize that Bitzy is a Sally Beauty Supply brand. That's where I've always bought my Bitzys, but I never thought about where they came from until I was trying to find a link for Arcadia Beauty Labs - which is the imprint on the Bitzy product labels. Check out all the various Bitzy items available on the SBS website! Hot diggity. I might never buy another full sized product again! I'm going to have to talk to the manager at my local SBS to see if she can get more of these items into the store. (By the way, I think I caught a sale when I bought my gloss and stacks because all I paid was a dollar for each item.

All "grayed out" & Bitzy'd up!
(It looks good in person. Really.)

I never wore much makeup when I was younger. About ten years ago, I started experimenting with the basics, so I'm not a woman who goes all out with her makeup. At the most, I like a little lip gloss, maybe some watered down foundation or light powder, and mascara-or-eyeliner. I apply everything with a light hand. I'm older now and I think of makeup as either my "war paint" (to hide my insecurities) or as window-dressing (to accentuate a feature).

If you're wanting to try something a little different with your makeup, give a different eyeliner (or mascara) a shot. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has other tips for jazzing it up with makeup.


**REVIEW** Art Naturals Fractionated Coconut Oil

This is probably the eighth FCO (fractionated coconut oil) that I've used. I think I have reviewed at least 3 or 4 of them in the past few years. I wanted to come and do a review on this one because I think it's going to be a new favorite.

You wouldn't think that there'd be much of a difference in FCO's, no matter the brand, but you'd be so wrong. I've liked almost every FCO I've tried, so if I had to pick one of those over another, it would come down to price. Since this one would rate well in the price criteria, I'll go over what else I do like so much about it.

First off, it's not rank, stale, or stinky. I hate to speak ill of local stores, but good quality and price are two main reasons I usually order certain products from Amazon. When I picked up a bottle of FCO from a small store in a local mall, I thought it would be okay. The oil was in a smaller bottle (I think it was 8 ounces), but wasn't too expensive. I had previously gotten some scented lotions and fragrance/warmer oils there and wasn't too underwhelmed. Plus, I was trying to buy local. I don't know if it was a batch problem or what, but that FCO was "off". It had a rank/dank odor. I returned it and the store explained that I must have just gotten a bad bottle. In addition to my refund, the clerk was nice enough to give me a sample bottle of fragrance oil.

Next time I bought some FCO locally, it was from a store I generally trust. The oil itself was pretty good as far as the moisturizing properties. The problem I had was that it was labeled as "pure" (or maybe it said "whole" I can't remember which) and there was a light coconut scent to it. As far as I now, pure FCO does not have a scent. That's one of the things I like about it. I don't want to use anything on my face if there is a scent involved.

Anyway, there were two reasons I applied to try this FCO from Art Naturals. One reason is I was out of FCO, period. LOL The second reason is that I'd been seeing other Art Natural products (tanning creams, Argan oil, face serums, etc.) on the brand review sites I use. I was curious about the brand, so...

My order for this FCO was placed via Amazon and the price was really decent. Like I said, the price is going to be a big part of the decision to purchase a quality oil. And, trust me, the  prices vary a lot. The 16-oz size is pretty standard, but just go and check out how many price ranges you can find. It's crazy. If you go over to Art Naturals, you'll notice the price for the FCO is dang good.  And, there are two extra reasons for shopping from the site (especially if you aren't an Amazon Prime member):

  1. Shipping. Standard is FREE & Expedited is only around $6.00 (I didn't even see any exclusions for Alaska or Hawaii!)
  2. You can sign up for their mailing list for a chance at free products in exchange for reviews. I think you have to stay tuned for when they are running a campaign but, still.
See the site's FAQs for info on all that. By the way, I noticed that they also have a magnesium oil. Interesting, huh?

I can tell you that I'm happy with the FCO from this brand. Like I said, I had run out since the last bottle that I bought (and liked) at a local health store. I used this one almost as soon as the FedEx guy handed me the box. 

In case you forgot or never knew all the ways FCO can be used:
  • Moisturize skin & hair. Depending on your skin type, you can try using this as an overnight face and body treatment. The good news (especially for you loving couples) is that FCO doesn't stain sheets and clothing. Moving along...
  • Remove your makeup (or just clean your face) with FCO. When the weather or my meds have my skin feeling extra dry, I will use the FCO with a damp face cloth so that some of the oil is left on my skin. Otherwise, I'll wipe the oil off with a cottony baby wipe. That cleans the oil completely off.
  • Hot oil treatment for skin and hair. For the skin treatment, I like to slather on the oil then sit on some towels in the bathroom with the shower steaming the room. (Just be careful that you don't slip-slide and bust your pride!)
  • The oil is great for shaving. I don't have to shave my legs, but I love putting FCO on my pits and leaving it while I shower, then shaving just before rinsing off.
  • For those of you who need scalp moisture, you can apply this to wide parts in your hair and then brush.(I use it a little heavier after I've got my hair twisted for the night.)
  • For people with a smoother (less kinky) texture of hair, a tiny bit of oil can tame or even prevent the "splits". FCO is a nice hair oil because it is so light (and remember - no staining).
  • I've heard that "brushing" the skin is a trend these days. I am thinking of trying that but, for now, I know that applying some FCO and exfoliating is nice. You can try using the oil with sugar, coffee grounds, baking soda, rice powder, or some other mild scrub. I used to use sugar, but now I use the finer-grained rice powder or baking soda. One day, I'll have to experiment with a fine-grained salt.
  • FCO makes a good cuticle oil, lip balm (try mixing it with an EO of your liking). Of course FCO is a wonderful carrier oil for using with EOs.
  • This last one is a personal goodie that I will dare share with the ladies, but guys might want to try it: Throughout those hot (or extra active) days, try cleaning your "private places" with some FCO and a baby wipe. You can grab some small, cheapie plastic bottles at Walmart to keep a portable supply of FCO on hand. This is a nice way to keep fresh on days when you feel self-conscious for whatever reason. I'm just sharing a tip.
If you think that using oils as a part of your hair and skin care routines is worth it, let me share a photo of my 55-year old self. And be sure to keep in mind that I haven't always taken as much care with the rest of my health as I have with my skin. I smoked cigarettes for most of my life, not always eaten well, and messed around and acquired a chronic immune disease. Still...

Born with good skin genes. Upkeep with oils and other moisturizers.

So, yes, there are so many ways to use a good FCO. The one use that I haven't ever thought too much about until I saw the Art Naturals label: "Medicinal". They don't mean for internal use but as a wound cleaner. I thought that was interesting and will have to look into it more.


DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned in the post free of charge in exchange for providing a fair & honest review.