Month: November 2020


November 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Back in Full Force

I was prepared to cancel my subscription before I opened this month’s box, but it was *just* compelling enough for me to wait and see what next month brings…

I’ve been using Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum for the past week. It does sting a tiny bit when I apply it, but it absorbs very quickly. I have no idea which ingredient is doing that – maybe the salicylic acid?

Oooh…Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub! This will go great with the shampoo I just bought (but haven’t posted about yet).

Also in this month’s box: Josephine Cosmetics Eye/Dazzle The Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in “Leona” (haven’t tried yet, but intrigued); Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Moisturizing Lip Mask; Skinmedica Instant Bright Eye Mask; Neogen Dermalogy Real Ferment Micro Essence (it’s made of ferments yeast and rice – I’m scared); When The Last Choice Sheet Mask; and Acure Ultra Hydtrating 12 Hour Facial Moisturizer (excited to try this one – Acure is a great brand).

Is the quality of the boxes FINALLY starting to improve? Or is this a fluke? Stay tuned for next month’s decision…

The Allure Beauty Box recently increased their price from $15 to $23/month. They also offer an option for $250/year – a savings of $26. Sign up via my referral link.


Harvest Blooms

So one of my sisters-in-law sells Color Street Nail Strips and she sent some Thanksgiving strips – “Harvest Blooms” – for me to try. My only experience with nail strips are Jamberry, and these are quite different.

While Jamberry strips are like thick vinyl stickers, Color Street are much thinner and more flexible…and more fragile. I managed to tear a few of them trying to apply them. They don’t require a heater though, which is nice.

I must have strangely shaped fingernails, but the strips didn’t really fit my nails well – do I have huge fingers? The largest strips (toe size?) barely covered my thumbs, but the next size down didn’t cover any of my nails very well. Also, my nails are fairly long right now, so the only nails that I could use one strip on two nails was my pinky – the rest were too short. I wouldn’t get two full uses out of 16 pack, which makes them less than economical for me to use – although they are VERY pretty!

Color Street Nail Strips Retail for $13 for a set of 16 double-ended strips, comparable to Jamberry…I think? I don’t recall what I paid for Jamberry years and years ago.


November 2020 Ipsy Bag – Be Present

November’s product choice hit it OUT OF THE PARK. I chose Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick Mini in “Dead Roses” and this is now my signature color! I swore that I would never go back to regular lipsticks after experiencing liquid lipsticks…but this lipstick applied like a dream and stayed put all day – even under a mask! It did get all over the inside of the mask, but that’s kind of unavoidable.

I sprayed on Commodity Gold and it was a very musky vanilla fragrance. It was alright, but I feel like I got a major headache after wearing it. I knew I had received a sample of it a few years ago…and it turns out that I HATED it. Ha.

Also in this month’s “Be Present” bag: Context Skin Nail Lacquer in “The Morning After”; Item Beauty Lid Glaze in “Desert Weekend”; and Lasting Smiles Vanilla Bean Blended Beverage Organic Lip Balm.

This month’s bag was a great selection of products – keep it up, ipsy!

I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link.


Shower Together

China Glaze “Shower Together” is just your basic teal crème polish. It is another polish shared from my friend, Lisa – and it was really striking on my nails.

This is two coats of “Shower Together” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. The shiny top coat really makes it POP!

The polish went on great, even though it’s fairly ancient, by polish standards. It was released back in 2008, as part of The Eco Collection! I have had several more recent China Glazes dry up already, but “Shower Together” is still going strong.

I have a lot of teal polishes, but they all seem to be shimmers, like China Glaze “Brought to You By…”, Sinful Colors “Magic Dragon”, Sally Hansen “Reflection Pool”, Formula X “Prismatic”, and Julep “Cozette”. I guess “Shower Together is more unique than I thought.



Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in “Irene” was in my October Allure Beauty Box – an almost nude, rosy pink. The brand is new to me – it’s quite good quality.

This is two coats of “Irene” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. My pinky is glossy with Glisten & Glow Top Coat, but I like the other matte nails, topped with Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat.


Edge of Reality

It’s a bit odd that Ulta is now carrying KVD Vegan Beauty, as it’s a Kendo (a subsidiary of LVMH, like Sephora) brand, but okay…

The new KVD Vegan Beauty Edge of Reality Fully Recyclable Eyeshadow Palette ($45) is the first big release since the exit of Kat Von D from the brand. The aesthetic is the same, the quality is the just as nice and frankly, I’m here for a goth-y brand that doesn’t have a nutcase attached. I’ve been using the palette all week and it blends like butter. There is a fair amount of fallout with the shimmer shades, but it’s not too bad – and it gives me an excuse to use the Ulta Makeup Correcting Sponge ($4.99 normally, but $2.50 at BOGO 1/2). This sharp edged sponge is much better than using a wet Q-tip!

The first half of the BOGO 1/2 was a backup Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil – I’ cannot go without one. I also got two more Ulta Foaming Hand Soaps in “Pink Grapefruit” ($6, BOGO 1/2 as well) – they smell SO good. All of these Ulta Collection buys qualified me for a free 10 piece gift. Inside the pink snakeskin pouch: an eyeshadow palette (shimmery neutrals, perfect for the holidays); Luxe Lipstick in “Barely There” (almost too barely there for me – needs a liner maybe?); Mattifying Face Primer; Matte Eye Primer in “Nude”; Shiny Sheer Lip Gloss in “Bare”; New Heights Lifting Mascara in “Black” (will open and try soon); a Crease Eye Shadow Brush; a Flat Precision Eye Shadow Brush; and a Makeup Removing Cloth (I like using these on glittery eye pigment).

Oh, and of course a Zoya Remove+ ($10).

I was able to use a $15 off $75 coupon – MUCH better than Sephora’s 15% off code, which was running at the same time I made this purchase. Just $174 to Diamond in 2021…I’ll definitely make it, because I have a hair appointment next Saturday AND I placed an order this morning…


Put the Top Down

Nothing like a little neon pink for Halloween…

This neon pink – Orly “Put the Top Down” – was perfect for this year’s Halloween costume – pink flamingo. I literally dressed like a pink plastic lawn flamingo – it was my daughter’s idea.

Yeah, I’m about a week late – but this nail polish is SO outstanding that I’ve been wearing it for 9 DAYS. As a matter of fact, I just removed it a few minutes ago. Orly is just one of the best polishes out there. My only complaint is that there were a few thin spots in the coverage, even after the second coat, but c’est la vie.

This is two coats of “Put the Top Down” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat.


Twisted Toffee

In my experience, toffee isn’t quite this orange…but I’ll allow it.

Sinful Colors “Twisted Toffee” is the other new Halloween “Candy-Inspired Spooky Polish”. It seems more caramel-y than toffee, but I’ll eat either.

Like its sister “Sour Apple Killer”, “Twisted Toffee” has an abundance of glitter – no fishing!

This is three coats of “Twisted Toffee” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat.