Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beauty products I'm liking lately

Yesterday I posted on facebook about how much I like Walmart's Equate brand Eye Lifting Serum.
After reading a recommendation from my cousin I decided to buy it. Ten days into using it I found myself trying to get better light under my eyes in the mirror so I could cover up my dark circles---I couldn't find them! I realized, truly amazed, that they were mostly gone. I have never had noticeable results from an eye-care product. At $13 it is a steal compared to all of the other pricey creams on the market. I don't usually have puffiness under my eyes, but I'm pretty sure if I did that the bags would be gone too.

Another thing I'm liking is also Equate brand's Naturally Beaming moisturizer. 

It's the knock-off of Aveeno's Positively Radiant moisturizer that costs $15. I can't remember exactly what I paid for the Equate brand, but it was probably about $5. This is supposed to smooth, tone, and clarify. Probably it does that. The thing I like the best is that it has spf 15 in it. A ton of other products with spf in them have made me break out terribly---even my Mary Kay something or other made me break out. With this moisturizer I can put a bunch of it on, and my skin doesn't react at all. It works really well too, because I've been out a couple days already this year where my face was the only thing that didn't burn. My skin is soft all day, and it might have a more even tone, but I'm pregnant and that changes your skin, so I can't give a real great opinion on that right now.

I've mentioned it before, but I'm a big fan of Oxy Clinical:
I used their entire system early last year to clear up some bad (bad in my opinion, probably just-past-mild in the real world) acne I'd had for 3 years. It cleared up pretty quickly and has basically stayed away. I use the foaming face wash in the shower and it seems to keep break-outs away. Again, it could be the pregnancy, but who knows. I sure like this stuff though. Too bad the Walmart near me doesn't carry it anymore. I ordered it on Amazon last week.

About a year ago I switched my mascara. I have used Lancome Definicils since 2001, but after more than a decade I've found a new love in Mary Kay's Lash Love Mascara. 

I was hooked from the moment I first used it. It makes lashes thick, while not sticking together. It makes them long, while not being so long that you get that spider-leg look. It stays on all day, comes off easily, and doesn't flake. I'm super picky with eye stuff because of all my eye problems, so a switch from Lancome was a big deal for me. I've been through a few tubes and haven't paid full-price for one yet. At full price, it's $15. A bit much for makeup, but less than Lancome. Whenever a consultant has a sale on mascara I buy 2. Also, my prosthetic eye gets allergic reactions to stuff easily, and this hasn't bothered it at all. 

Lastly I'm liking L'Oreal's De-Crease Eye Shadow Base:

I'm on my third tube of this stuff. Now, the bad part is that the packaging has a serious flaw. The top unscrews and you use a little brush applicator. That stupid applicator can't reach all of the product in the bottle. I hate it when I can SEE the stuff in there and can't get it out. I may have resulted to using a Q-tip to dig around on Sunday mornings when I've suddenly run out of what the applicator can reach. And probably I do that on other mornings because I'm cheap. Anyway, despite that, I really like this stuff. I don't get creases in my shadow, and the shadow stays on all day unless I rub my eyes a lot (which happens with allergies). I know there are other products out there that do this, but what I like about this one is the color (others I've tried are clear). It's tinted just right to be the same color as eyelids, and my shadow goes on with a true color instead of an opaque color. More shadow sticks to it, so I feel like I'm using less because I'm going back to my compact less.

Oh, one more thing: I have a set of nice, real, professional brushes from Nu Skin (one of my fabulous gifts and prizes from winning Miss Utah). 

I'm still using them, and happy with them, and it's been 12 years. As luck would have it my dad's cousin is one of the big-wigs at Nu Skin, and he scored me an extra set of them. I keep them, still bubble-wrapped, waiting for the day that these current brushes are done. I take good care of them though, so I don't think I'll need the new brushes for a few more years. I love using real brushes instead of included applicators for my blush and shadow and powder. I think they are worth the investment, and I just feel so fancy using professional stuff. My favorite brush, by far, is the eyeliner brush. I use a powder for eyeliner instead of a pencil, and I love the soft look you get from powder---plus it has to be so much better for my eyelids than rubbing a pencil along them every day.

I need to make myself buy AND USE a night cream now. From recommendations on facebook, it looks like Olay's Regenerist Cream or the Equate knock-off is the way to go. In the past I've loved the night cream that has come to me in my Lancome gift, but that's probably more than $10. I'll be picking this up at my next (daily) Walmart trip:

Do you have any favorites to share with me?

Oh, and where were my kids when I was typing this? Super busy with a couple of these:

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Yesterday Kyle was cleaning up his bedroom. Claire and I were cleaning the bathroom right next to his room. He came into the bathroom with a huge red mark around his neck, barely able to talk. He reports that he was trying to clean his window. He either jumped from the sill onto his bed or from his bed to the floor (it's hard to get a 4-year-old to correctly provide a detailed story). Either way, somehow he ended up with the cord from his blinds around his neck. He has rope burns and a raspy voice to prove it.

When I hung the blinds I was aware of the safety issues surrounding the cords. I made sure that the strings weren't looped and that they weren't excessively long. I cut them so that they are less than a foot long when the blinds are down. Of course this means that they still extend beyond the sill when the blinds are fully raised---which for some reason his were yesterday. Although the cords are hanging individually, they still managed to become tangled and choke him. When I inspected the cords they were still tangled, so I guess he somehow managed to get free.

I don't think I was being negligent. He's half-way to being five years old. He certainly spends some time every day without my supervision---especially if he's in his room playing where I thought there was nothing that could harm him.

I definitely had tears in my eyes when he told me what happened. And my heart broke this morning when I saw the real damage it caused. I'm very aware that this story could have ended very differently. I am so grateful that he has a couple (maybe a couple dozen) guardian angels watching out for him.

I was looking online this morning to solutions to the cord problem. Even if the cords remain untangled and hanging individually, apparently kids tend to twirl in them and get them wrapped around their throats. Most sites recommend using a cleat to wrap the cord around when the blinds are raised, like so:
Honestly when I saw that I thought, "What a pain to have to wrap the cord around that EVERY time I put the blinds up." Plus, I doubt it's very possible to teach Kyle first NOT to put his blinds up, or if he does to make sure to properly wrap it up. And then it also looks like a great hook to catch an eye on (I worry about these things). But I think I'll pick up a couple because it's better than nothing. We use cleats for our Roman shades downstairs (they wouldn't stay up otherwise), and it's not really a big deal. (By the way, I just learned the official name "cleat" today.)

Anyway, I thought it was worth writing about to make sure other people realized that there is a danger there even with the "safe" individual cords. I'd love to hear if anyone else has better suggestions on how to solve the danger.

We'll definitely have this experience on our grateful list for a long time.