Review: Lorac Eye Shadow (single)

Some of my all-time favorite eye shadows were in a LORAC set I got as a gift years ago.  Admittedly, I held onto that set for WAY longer than I should have, just because I loved the eye shadows so very much.  (It was almost physically painful to throw it out!)  So, when I saw this lonely eye shadow in my recent raid of the clearance section of a Sephora-inside-JCPenney store, I couldn’t resist – especially since it was in a nice golden color I like to use to “highlight” the area under my brows…

Pros:  Contains botanical ingredients (cornflower, calendula, and cucumber).  Can be used wet or dry.  Texture is very smooth, soft, and light-weight.  Shimmery, but not sparkly.

Cons:  Contains parabens (high in ingredients list, indicating a larger percentage of them than some eye shadows).   Expensive – if not on sale.

In Summary:  Considering the (regular) price, I feel like this item should be paraben-free, cruelty-free, etc.  I would never pay $19 for a single eye shadow that contains parabens.  Quality means a lot to me, but if two items are equal in quality, I will always choose the one that speaks to my conscience, even if it costs a little more.  If I were in the market for a $19 single eye shadow, I would buy one from Urban Decay instead. (Read my review of the one I recently purchased here:

Note: If you love Lorac eye shadows, check out the new “Dazzling Dozen” set at Ulta for $35.  The shadows contain parabens, but the price is reasonable.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars   3-stars

Price:  $19 (when not on sale)

Available at:,*,, 

* currently on sale here for $6

LORAC eye shadow single

Shown in the color I bought: “Serenity”.


Love This! Urban Decay “Fun” Palette

I am a sucker for a cute palette.  I’m simply unable to resist a collection of beauty products in pretty packaging.  When it’s a great deal I’m absolutely defenseless.  So, when I saw this set at for only $16 (and I was ordering some gifts anyway) I added one to my cart.  Despite my love of all three versions of the palette (also available:  “Dangerous” and “Feminine”), I chose the one I thought would have the most colors that would work for me…

Contents:  6 eye shadows and a mini “Lip Junkie” lip gloss in a pretty zipper bag.  The contents can be removed so the case can be used again.  Here’s a photo of the eye shadows on my arm.  (awkward photo – had to use my phone and it has a “flip case” getting in the way!)

Urban Decay Fun Palette

Shown left to right: Maui Wowie, Deep End, Sellout, Fishnet, Stray Dog, Freakshow



Pros:  Paraben-free.  Cruelty-free, like all Urban Decay cosmetics. (Leaping Bunny & PETA approved)  Deeply-pigmented eye colors that go on smoothly and stay in place.  Lip gloss is in a thin plastic tube, so you can squeeze it to get more of the contents out.  Lip gloss has a pleasant “sweet mint” flavor. Large mirror.

Cons:  The reusable bag contains a magnet to hold the contents, so you can’t put your credit cards or cell phone into it.  The eye shadows very greatly in their “finish”.  Some are shimmery (almost metallic) and others are glittery.  If you only like a certain kind of eye shadow, this may not be a good choice for you.  Lip gloss is a little on the “sticky”/”heavy” side and is very small.  (The packaging had enough room for a bigger lip gloss.)  No applicators, making it a little inconvenient for “to go” use.

In Summary:  Love this.  One of the colors is a little too “sparkly” for everyday use (Maui Wowie) and another is just a color that doesn’t look good on me (Deep End).  However, I adore the palette overall.  The eye shadows are smaller than standard Urban Decay eye shadow pots, but that’s OK with me.  I don’t like keeping makeup too long (OK, sometimes I do it – guilty!) so at least I might come closer to using it all up before I have to throw it out.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4.5-stars

Note: Since these are on sale, they probably won’t be available for very long.  Shipping for most orders is $8.  If you have a login for the site, it’s free if you spend $35.

Price: $16 (on sale)

Available at:, (“Feminine” only)


Liebster Blog Award version 2.0

I’ve gotten this award before, but I’m very flattered to be nominated again!  (After all, you don’t hear actors complaining about “another” Emmy/Oscar/whatever, right?)  The “rules” have changed a bit from the last time, but I’m glad not to have to come up with 11 (allegedly) interesting things to say about myself.  🙂   Thanks for the nomination, Cherry Hues (Sana)!

About the Liebster Blog Award:  The award is meant for blogs with under 200 followers and presents an interesting way to be seen and discover new blogs.

(disclaimer:  I didn’t bother to look to see how many followers my “nominated” blogs had.  My to-do list for the day is haunting me and I need to get this post done!)

 The Rules:
  • When any of your fellow bloggers nominates you, you will need to accept it and make a post about it in your blog.
  • Then, answer those 11 questions that are asked by the blogger who has nominated you.
  • And, nominate (you cannot tag back) your favorite 11 bloggers who you think deserve this award.
  • Finally set 11 questions for them also and that is all.
  • After you are done this, you can add The Liebster Award badge to your blog.
Questions I Was Asked:
  • Describe your blog in 3 words.

Practical, honest, real

  • Favourite drugstore product.

Cover Girl Brow & Eye Maker Pencils

  • Brownies or Cookies.

(Cheating!)  Cookies made of brownie mix.  DELICIOUS!

  • Bold Lips or Smokey Eyes.

Bold Lips

  • Favourite Holiday Destination.

There’s no place like home. (But if I could teleport myself to someplace with snow for Christmas Day only, I would!)

  • Lipstick or Lip gloss.


  • Your number 1 make-up tip.

Try anything.  Twice.  Just in case.

  • A product that you like but often tend to skip in your daily make-up routine.

Facial moisturizer.  Hard to find one that’s good with my troubled skin.

  • Do you have any pets? If yes, what kind.

Yes!  An adorable dog named Reba, who we got from a shelter.  She’s a mix of Australian Cattle Dog & German Shepherd. (I think!)  I’m adding a photo.  Because she’s just so cute. The photo is a little old and she’s got some grey hair now, but this is the only photo I have handy.


  • Any one thing that you would like to change about yourself.

Only ONE?  😉   My skin.  Wish I had that naturally gorgeous, no-makeup-needed kind.

  • Your favourite eating point.

A local park.  I like to pick up lunch at my favorite market and go there to relax, then feed the ducks and other miscellaneous creatures afterwards.

My Nominations for the Liebster Award:

Pink Lady Beauty

The Oxford Owl

Beauty Expression by Luchessa

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

Sunny Sleevzez 

A Lot on Your Plate 

Everyday Beautiful

Making Up the Midwest

Everyday Makeup with Angie

Mae’s Beauty

Beauty & the Best of the Rest

Questions to be Answered:
  1. What makes you feel beautiful?
  2. What do you avoid when buying beauty products?
  3. If money were no object, where would you like to live?
  4. What’s your best feature?
  5. What’s a personality trait you can’t stand in other people?
  6. What’s the last book or magazine you read?
  7. Which is better:  Shopping online or shopping in stores?
  8. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  9. What’s the last thing you bought that you regretted purchasing?
  10. If you had to choose to only dream about one thing every night, what would it be?
  11. If you could create any law, what would it be?

OK, so that’s it!  Hope you all have time to post for the Liebster Blog Award.  But if you don’t, I totally understand.  It took me almost a week to find enough time to get it done!

liebster logo

It’s Only Hair

“It’s only hair.”  I’ve found myself saying this many, many times in my life.  When I got a color I didn’t love (Thankfully, I use non-permanent color).  When I got a cut I didn’t love (many, many times).  When my kids wanted to do something new with their hair.  It’s only hair.  To us.  But to someone with cancer, having hair can be the difference between feeling like a person and feeling like a victim of a cruel disease…

My Love Affair with Hair:   I love my hair.  It’s actually one of the few things left on my body that I do like.  Yes, I have a couple greys.  A pair of tweezers takes care of them when they show up.  No, my hair doesn’t always “behave”.  I live in a hot, humid climate.  My hair reminds me with regular episodes of frizziness.  But still, I love my hair.  I get compliments on it regularly – sometimes strange ones like “What is that color called?”  (My hair hasn’t been colored in a long time, but it has natural high/lowlights that people love.  It’s a fair question, since lots of people my age do color their hair.) But as much as I love my hair, I realize someone else may love it even more.

Bye, Bye Hair:  Today, I got my hair cut so I can donate it to Pantene’s “Beautiful Lengths” program.  I got about a foot of it cut off.  I have so much hair, it had to be cut off in 3 separate pony tails. My hair will be combined with other people’s hair – all colored to match – and will be made into a wig.  The program has donated over 24,000 real-hair wigs in conjunction with the American Cancer Society.


The hair formerly known as “mine”.

Yes, It Was Hard:  Since I mostly fear commitment, this is kind of a big deal.  I was actually more nervous about doing this than I have been about anything in a while.  I’m pretty sure I was less freaked out about my recent surgical/medical procedures than I was about the idea of getting my hair cut off.  (Let’s face it – haircuts can go very, very badly!)

Why Not?:  Donating my hair costs me nothing and will help make a difference in someone else’s life.  The Aveda Institute salon where I got mine done even cut and styled it for free, since I was donating my hair!

Adjustment Period:  For the next week, I will forget I have short hair.  I will put too much shampoo and/or conditioner in my hand when I wash it.  I will try to pull it out of shirts and jackets.  But eventually, I’ll get used to it.  I don’t actually love short hair on myself, but it will grow back.  When it does, I will donate it again.  Because it’s only hair.

"Before" hair donation.

“Before” hair donation.

After hair donation.

“After” hair donation.


Review: Korres Vitamin E Face Primer

I like the idea of face primer.  Ideally, it would allow me to use less foundation.  However, most of the ones I like cost as much as (or more than) my foundation, so that’s not a great selling point.  Smoother makeup application should be worth doubling the cost of my beauty regimen, but it’s not – not to me, anyway.  Since I want to use primer, and my supply of samples has run out, I got this primer at the recent Sephora clearance sale.  Worth a try, right?

Pros:  Lightweight.  Fresh, fruity fragrance. Doesn’t contain sulfates, synthetic fragrance, synthetic dyes, mineral oil, petrochemicals, phthalates, parabens, or GMOs.  99% natural.  Ecocert certified.

Cons: Contains glycerin, which seems to make my skin break out and/or clog my pores. (I scanned the ingredients, but somehow missed the glycerin.)  Only available at Sephora.  Expensive (unless you get it on sale, like I did).

In Summary:  I like the texture/”feel” of this primer.  It’s not as heavy on my skin as many other primers – even some of the oil-free ones.  I love that it’s mostly natural.  However, it’s not the best primer for my oily skin.  Korres also makes a “mattifying” primer, which I’ve used but didn’t like.  Until I get a good primer that’s designed for oily complexions, I’ll probably only use this on days when I’ve over-dried my skin with harsh facial cleansers or whatever.  So, if you have “normal” or dry skin, this might be a great product for you to use, especially if you prefer more natural products.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars  4-stars

Price:  $28 (listed as a “sale” price on the Korres site)

Available at:  Sephora

korres vitamin e primer

Love This! Urban Decay Eyeshadow (in “Blackout”)

I have needed to get out and buy a new black eye shadow for a while now.  You see, I’m eyeliner-challenged.  I cannot “get the hang” of using an eyeliner pencil to save my life.  So, my solution is to use an angled eyeliner brush and black eye shadow to create a “liner”.  A recent rash of what I call “eye allergy attacks” (intensely painful, burning sensation that occurs suddenly – sometimes while I’m driving!) has motivated me to take the leap and spend a little money on a good eye shadow.  (The one I’ve been using is good, but very old.)  Also, I got a $10 Sephora gift card for $5, which I used to justify spending the money on this product…

Pros:  Vegan. Cruelty-free. Paraben-free.  Not made in China. Deeply pigmented. Matte finish makes it versatile for use as an eyeliner, or as a way of “darkening” lighter colors. (Note: Also available in not-matte black shades.)

Cons:  Expensive.  Container is a little difficult to open.  (I have long fingernails and am always worried about damaging them – or my nail polish…)

In Summary:  This eye shadow works perfectly for what I need.  Although I haven’t used it as an actual eye shadow (only liner), its deep, dark color is impressive.  It goes on smoothly and stays in place.  I may even invest in some more colors in the near future – if I can get a good deal on them!

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  5-stars

Note:  Normally, I would only give it 4.5 stars, because of the price.  However, since it’s a great product AND it’s cruelty and paraben-free, I think it’s worth the extra money.

Price:  $18

Available at:,,,

urban decay blackout eye shadow