Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eye Shadows 7 & 8

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Quick and easy cream eyeshadows have been my most worn eyeshadows of the moment. In an attempt to try something similar but different, I decided to try a couple of the Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eye Shadows.

These shadows are not cream eyeshadows, but the packaging is the same. The best way that I can describe these is that they're a pressed pigment in a pot. They come with a little stopper that you keep in with them and keeps the product from crumbling. If you decide to get one, then make sure you don't throw it away!

L-R: 7-8 indoor artificial light
Top-bottom: 8-7 direct sunlight
As you can see, I got numbers 7 and 8. I thought both of these would look great worn alone or worn together. Usually, I will start out meaning to only wear one, and I end up applying the other one too! In the pictures below, I have 8 on the lid and 7 in the crease and outer corner. I also like to wear 7 on the lid and into the crease and then apply 8 to the inner 3rd of the lid and around the inner corner. Number 8 looks really nice as an inner corner highlight.

No. 8 on the lid and 7 in the crease and outer corner

These are pressed pigments, so you get a lot of fallout when you use a brush to apply these eyeshadows. I prefer to just use my fingers to apply these. I don't get any fallout when I use my fingers, and I get a smoother application. The shadows applied just a little bit patchy when I used a brush. 

Overall, I'm really liking Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eye Shadows. I really love the whole pressed pigment idea! As much as I love cream eyeshadows right now, I get so disappointed when they dry out. These eyeshadows make it easy to achieve a high shine glam look without a lot of effort, but they manage to be very wearable at the same time. I like to think of them as being wearable but special. 

Have you tried these? Are there any other colors that I should try? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Check out my cleanser giveaway (CLOSED) before you go!

-xoxo Lauren

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Easy Uses for Tea Tree Oil

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If you know any people at all, then I'm pretty sure you have been invited to some kind of essential oils party. You either know someone or know someone that knows someone that sells some kind of oils. Everyone seems to be jumping on the essential oils bandwagon. While I am reluctant to say that they are the cure-all magic concoction of life, I do think that there are practical ways to add them to your daily routine to cut down on the amount of harsh and often dangerous chemicals we encounter on a daily basis.

I received this gigantic bottle for review purposes from Apothecary Extracts. Typically essential oils come in half once/15mL sizes like the Aura Cacia one below. The one for Apothecary Extracts is a whopping 4 ounces, so I will probably be using this for a really long time.

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that makes it great for treating acne, which is my main use for it. I like to dab a drop directly on to the breakout. Tea tree oil is one of the few essential oils that can be used without needing to be diluted, but I do suggest diluting it with a carrier oil (I like jojoba oil.) if you have super sensitive skin. 

Because of the antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is also a good ingredient to use for homemade cleaning products. Although I would like to get into making safe and natural cleaning products, I'm not really a DIY kind of gal. I'm getting better at it, but it takes baby steps. Here are some of the ways that I use tea tree oil.

  • Clay mask -- add a little water to bentonite clay, then add a couple drops of tea tree oil -- You could use apple cider vinegar instead of water, but it's really intense!
  • Epsom salt bath -- handful of Epsom salts and 8-10 drops of tea tree oil in your bath water -- I love this after a workout!
  • Treat skin infections or conditions -- I put this on acne.
  • Antiseptic for cuts and burns
  • Steam treatment for colds -- pour steaming water into a large bowl (be careful), add a couple drops of tea tree oil, hold your head a safe distance to the steam while still being close, cover your head and bowl with a towel, breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes. This also works without the added tea tree oil, but I like the oil when I'm really congested. 

Use tea tree oil with your Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay  
Have a relaxing bath!

Getting creative and coming up with different uses for my giant bottle of tea tree oil has been a lot of fun! This is a great deal at $24.99, especially for a bottle that is eight times larger than a typical bottle of tea tree oil. If you decide to order from Apothecary Extracts, they will send you a free e-book with uses and recipes that range from beauty remedies to cleaning supplies.

Have you jumped on the essential oils bandwagon? How do you like to use your oils? Let me know in the comments below!

Chek out my cleanser giveaway before you go!

-xoxo Lauren

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Summer Empties! A Stash of Trash

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I'm always so happy to see September roll around. Not only does it mean that fall is on the way, but my birthday is at the end of the month. While I'm not one to go all out for my birthday, there's something about having a special day during one of the first days of fall that I really enjoy. 

As the official end of summer approaches, I thought I would do some throwing out of my trash and show you the beauty products I have used up this summer. 

Jason Long & Strong Jojoba Pure Natural Conditioner: I did not like this at all, and it was just sitting in my shower. I used this as a shaving cream just to get rid of it. It did not moisturize at all. I won't buy this again, and I don't recommend it.

Mineral Fusion Anti-Dandruff Shampoo: This is my favorite shampoo, and it really helps keep my oily scalp under control without being too abrasive. I already have another one of these in my shower. I get this at a local grocery store, but Amazon has it for the same price!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle: Most of you have heard of this and know how great this deep conditioner is for the price. I will definitely purchase this again. Go try it if you haven't!

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner*: I wrote a review of a the entire Keratin Protein line, and I really like this deep conditioner. It made my hair feel really smooth and hydrated and banished that crunchy feeling. I would purchase this again, but it really needs better packaging.

Hask Argan Oil Healing Shine Hair Treatment*: I also reviewed the Argan Oil line in that same review. I really liked this hair oil. Only a little product was needed for all of my hair, so this little tube lasted much longer than I thought it would. I would repurchase this.

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Shine Oil*: This was a very smoothing oil, and I think this was my favorite of the two hair oils. My only complaint is that the lid was not secure at all. This spilled a couple of times just sitting in my stash. I would repurchase this if I can find a tube with a secure lid.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes: I used up around three or four of these since the last empties post. I get a box of these at Costco. These are my favorite makeup wipes, and I will keep repurchasing them.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash: I got this as a free gift from Ulta before they changed their rewards system. I really like tea tree oil, but this cleanser felt a little too abrasive for my taste. I wouldn't repurchase this, but I would like to try something else from The Body Shop's Tea Tree line. The Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash is probably best for teens.

Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap: I love this as a facial wash. It does a thorough job cleansing my face without stripping it. It is wonderful for problematic skin. I need to get another one! I get this at Target.

GlamGlow Youthmud: I have a review of this mask where I talk about how much I love it. I was so sad when I finished it. This mask has a pretty hefty price tag, but I found it on Amazon for around $40! I will definitely repurchase this, especially now that I know I can get it for less than the full price of $69.

Origins Youthtopia Age-correcting serum with Rhodiola: This serum didn't really work for me. It's just a little too rich for my skin, so I think I may give what's left of this to my mom. I think Origins has discontinued this, but you can still find it on Amazon. It has great reviews for mature skin, but it's just not right for my oily/combination skin.

Victoria's Secret Amber Romance Silkening Body Splash: This is a very old bottle of this that I was holding onto for sentimental reasons, but since I have another one, I decided to use it up. I will probably always have a bottle of Amber Romance.

Ziaja Natural Olive Body Butter: This is a sample my mom gave me. I really liked this body butter. It was very thick and creamy and moisturizing. It had a pleasant smell without being strong enough to compete with a fragrance. I would purchase this. You can purchase this for yourself from the Ziaja site or you can get it from their store on Amazon.

Ziaja Cocoa Butter Body Balm: This is another sample that I got from my mom. It has a thinner consistency and has that cocoa butter smell. I liked this one too, and I would purchase this if I needed another body lotion. This product can be found on the Ziaja site, but it is cheaper on Amazon.

Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap with Lavender: This is a travel size that I got in the travel size section of Target. I got this for a short trip to use as an all-purpose soap. I ended up liking this best for washing my makeup brushes. I would repurchase this.

elf Complexion Perfection: For only $3, you can't beat this for a setting powder. You can purchase this at Target or online from elf. I was running out of this, and I dropped it. So, that was the end of this. It's supposed to color correct, but it's really just translucent. I would repurchase this.

Revlon Grow Luscious mascara: This is a total fail product that I could just not suffer through. It was difficult to remove, and my lashes were falling out. I won't be purchasing this again!

L'Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Noir: I really liked this eyeliner. It is very similar to the Milani Liquif'eye liners. I think I got this from Target or CVS. This liner was a really intense black that was really easy to use. It was just old and dried out, so I am tossing it. I would purchase this again in a different color. I have too many black eyeliners right now!

That's all of my empties. Time for me to take out my trash! I'm quite surprised that I don't have any sunscreen here because I wear it every day. There are a couple that are coming to an end, so they will probably show up later in the fall.

What have you used up recently? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
-xoxo Lauren

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Products marked with * were sent for review. Regardless, all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Back to Work Beauty Essentials

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Even though I'm no longer in school and don't have children, it seems that without fail my life gets dramatically more hectic after school starts for everyone else. It seems to be back to the grind for everyone this time of year. While I see so many things for girls going back to school and tips for mommies with kids going to school, I can't help thinking that the adult modern woman could use a little encouragement for this busy time of year too. This is for you, busy ladies! Here are my time saving beauty recommendations! All of these products are what I use when I have to take my makeup on the go. These are easy to work with and aren't fussy.

The Wet Brush
The Wet Brush is an item that I got rather recently and I don't know what I have done without it for so long. If you have hair that tangles or breaks easily, or if you just need a brush that easily glides through your hair wet or dry, then this is for you. Brushing through my hair takes no time now. I have the mini size for on the go.

Moisturizer with SPF
This has got you covered with your sunscreen and moisturizer. It's just one step and you're done with moisturizer and sun protection. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair SPF 30 and Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer With SPF30 for Sensitive Skin are two of my favorites. I like the Neutrogena for the colder months and the Olay for during the warm months.

Powder Foundation
I don't think all powder foundations are created equal, but the Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder is so amazing. The loose powder is also great, but the pressed form is more convenient for how I use it. My Wednesdays are so crazy that I have applied this in my car before. (Not while it's moving, though! Don't do that!) It always looks great. I just apply it with a flat top brush, and it looks beautiful. I don't have to think about it at all, and it saves so much time!

Natural Looking Blush
I prefer a nude blush when I'm on the go because it can also double as a bronzer in a pinch. Nude goes with any eyeshadow or lipstick you apply. MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul is my favorite right now. It's a little shimmery, so I don't need highlighter at all. This blush is really quick and easy, and it goes with any eyeshadow or lipstick.

No Budge Cream Eyeshadow
The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks are my favorite quick and easy eyeshadows. This one in Copper is the perfect color that goes with anything. The Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows are another favorite. I love this one in Birthday Suit because it looks beautiful on its own or as an eyeshadow base. Both of these products set and will not budge until you remove them.

Easy to Wear Lipstick
When you're constantly on the the go, you need lip products that apply quickly and easily and can be reapplied without too much trouble. Revlon's Lacquer Balm in Provocateur is my red of choice when I travel. It's easy to apply, and I don't need a liner. The Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie is a product that I like to throw in my purse and take with me because it's easy to apply, and this color goes with everything. The same thing can be said for the Rouge Coco Shine in Fetiche. It's a great natural looking color.

Nude Nails
I always opt for nude nail polish when life gets a little crazy or if I'm traveling. Nude nails are appropriate for any season and occasion. It's a wonderful color to go for when you are traveling a lot because it is not as noticeable if it chips. Chanel Frenzy is a favorite in my collection because it always looks great. For those of you on a budget, I think I have found a dupe! Covergirl's Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Always Naked is a very close match to Chanel Frenzy! OPI Tickle My France-y is another nude that has been in my collection for long time. It looks great on fingers and toes.

Travel Size Body Spray or Perfume Sample
I'm not a huge fan of body sprays, and I really prefer a fine fragrance. There are some days that I have to take a body spray with me to freshen up before the end of my day. It's just enough fragrance without being too much. You could also take a perfume sample, but for me, it's too much to reapply an eau de parfum before an evening rehearsal. It would probably be appropriate for a different work environment. I have been taking Paris Amour from Bath & Body Works with me a lot. It smells really watered down to me, but it's just enough to get me through the end of the day.

These are just a few of the products that I use when I am in a rush. What products do you use on busy days? Leave a comment, and let me know! Make sure to enter my cleanser giveaway before you go!

-xoxo Lauren

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Gleam by Melanie Mills

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*I was sent these products for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own. You guys know I'm tough on my beauty products!

It doesn't matter what the season may be; glowing skin is always something we want. Whether you have tan skin and want that bronzy glow, or you want to rock the ethereal pale look; lit from within is in! Gleam by Melanie Mills has got you covered in the glow department.

I was sent the Lip Radiance in Unstoppable, the Radiant Dust in Light Gold, and the Body Radiance in Rose Gold for review purposes. I put all of these products to the test when I went to the Bellacures Grand Opening. You can go to that post to see more pictures of me wearing these products and them in action.

Subtle shimmer on my leg.

The Body Radiance is a multi purpose product that can be used as an all over moisturizer, highlighter, blush,  or eyeshadow. Once this sets, it will not transfer or stain your clothing. I decided to try this to add a bit of shimmer to my legs. I don't normally wear pantyhose, but this would be a great product to replace them if that's a look that you like. Since I've never used a product like this, I wasn't sure about it. I really liked how it looked on my legs, and it lasted all evening without transferring to my clothes. It was even still on my legs the next morning!

The Radiant Dust can be used in the same way as the Body Radiance. It's just in a loose powder form. For the event, I used it as an eyeshadow and lightly dusted it along my decolletage. 

How cute is this packaging? I love it!

The final product that I received was the Lip Radiance in Unstoppable. Unstoppable is a pigmented and vibrant true red. I was pleasantly surprised by this gloss because it was more than a gloss. It has the typical doe foot applicator that I really like with a pigmented gloss like this one. On the lips, it feels very moisturizing and hydrating but doesn't bleed. The color lasted through the entire event even though I was eating here and there. It left a nice stain on my lips.

Swatches in direct sunlight

Artificial light - Indoors

I got a case of the giggles while trying to take this picture and get my decolletage in the shot. I dusted the Radiant Dust along that area. It was fun, and I like it! hehehe

In the pictures above, I'm wearing the Radiant Dust in Light Gold on my eyes over Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow in Mutt. (I don't see this on Sephora, but Amazon still has them.) I'm also wearing the Lip Radiance in Unstoppable. 

Overall, I am super impressed with the Gleam by Melanie Mills products. They are great to enhance the last your radiant summer skin as the days of tank tops and shorts draw to a close, and looking ahead, will come in quite handy for parties during the holiday season. 

Be sure to head over to the Gleam by Melanie Mills site and take a look around. Let me know what products and colors you would like to try! Also, make sure to enter my giveaway before you go!

-xoxo Lauren

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