Friday, December 28, 2012

Review! - L'Occitane Cleansing & Soothing Shower Oil With Almond Oil

I love L'Occitane Cleansing & Soothing Shower Oil With Almond Oil.
I get mine from Sephora, and Sephora has this to say:
What it is:
A decadent body cleanser that transforms into a deliciously scented, moisturizing foam.

What it does:
This foamy favorite is perfect for cleansing, hydrating, and even shaving. The unique formula is rich in almond oil, grape vine, rosemary, and nourishing lipids for silky smooth skin. The gentle almond fragrance is suitable for both women and men. 

I've been using this shower oil for the past two winters, and it is definitely on my permanent rotation.  I get very dry skin in the winter, and lotions don't cut it for me.  I don't have the time nor desire to re-apply lotion to anything except my hands throughout the day, so I need something that will hydrate my skin and then be done with it.  L'Occitane does what it says it will do... it cleans the skin while adding a ton of moisture.  What it does not do, is exfoliate the skin.

I rotate my wash routine to work in exfoliation but still put enough moisture on my skin.  I use a body poof and whatever body wash I have to exfoliate, and then I use almond oil (food grade) in the shower as a moisturizer.  I use this shower oil on alternating days.

I could just use the regular body wash followed by almond oil instead of using the L'Occitane, and that certainly is a cheaper alternative, but there is something more luxurious about the shower oil.  I liked that I could try out the small bottle for less than $10, and then this year I bought the bigger size.  The little bottle lasted all last winter, and I'm still using it, because I do rotate with the other products.

If you want to try just some plain almond oil, I have purchased mine at Target and Whole Foods.  I use the food grade oil, so you'll find it with the cooking oils.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Beauty on the Cheap! - Pore Cleanser and Refiner

Well, I didn't believe it when I first heard about it.  But, I was about to spend a lot of cash on several products to try to clear out my pores and make them look smaller.  And I do mean a LOT of cash.  I don't like spending a lot of money on something if it isn't worth it.  If it's a good product, I don't mind paying for it... but to just TRY it, to see IF it will work?  Ugh.

So, this is what you do:

Step 1 - Wash your face with an exfoliating cleaners.  I like the apricot scrub types.  Scrub scrub scrub.  Get rid of all the dead skin you can without hurting yourself.  The more dead skin you get off with your exfoliant, the better the second treatment will work. Rinse your face clean.

Step 2 - Take 1-2 tablespoons of Baking Soda (I used Arm and Hammer brand) in your palm, and add some water until you have a thin paste.

Step 3 - Spread the paste over your face and gently rub, in small circular motions, all over your face for 30-40 seconds.  Count it out; you don't want to leave it on too long and irritate your skin.  Don't scrub this paste into your skin... be gentle!  You want to press firmly enough so that it is cleaning your face, but you already exfoliated, so don't try to use this as a facial scrub.

Step 4 - Rinse very well.

Step 5 - Pat your face dry and inspect your pores.  See any blackheads?  How about big ol' pores?  No?  Me either!

Step 6 - While still bewildered, apply your serums, then your moisturizers.

Step 7 - Inspect your face again to see if you were maybe just seeing things or something.  Still amazingly clear skin?  Me too!

Step 8 - Save all that money you were going to spend on all those facial cleansers and toners, and go get a few pedicures instead.

The lovely lady whose video inspired me to try this is here!  You can watch her video to see the process in action.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Review! Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer

The Tarte website has this to say about their MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer:

An eyelash primer infused with high-performance natural™ ingredients to increase the appearance of lash volume and increase the appearance of lash length as it preps and primes your lashes—making it the ultimate base for bombshell lashes. The precision bristles of the cone shaped brush separate and evenly coat every last lash to deliver conditioning nutrients that stimulate lashes from root to tip.

Product Performance: This primer combines natural plant waxes and film formers to extend and increase the appearance of lash volume, while our clinically-proven HydroPlant™ peptide, a soy-amino super protein, helps improve the appearance of lash length and growth. To achieve maximum volume, use as a part of the multiplEYE™ 3-step regimen for naturally enhanced lashes without the prescription or the harmful side effects. 

Powered By: HydroPlant™ peptide: a naturally derived, proprietary blend proven to increase lash volume while increasing health and appearance of length

Overall, I feel like this product basically takes the place of the first coat of mascara.  If I rubbed my eyelash, the mascara still flaked off.  It certainly did a good job of coating my lashes, and it did make them appear thicker.  I don't have much experience with lash primers, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but this did a good job of lengthening and thickening my lashes, so eyelash primer is definitely something I would like to play around with more.

One coat of lash primer:

As an aside, I like the look of the white... I wonder if there is a white mascara out there to make "Winter Wonderland" looks?

Anyway, after!:

What do you think?  Do you like eyelash primers?  Are there any you would recommend?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review! - Stila Jewel Eye Shadow in Golden Topaz

image from
Image from

I purchased my Stila Jewel Eye Shadow in Golden Topaz at Sephora, and they have this to say about it:

What it is:
A highly pigmented eye shadow that creates a glittering wash of sequin-like sparkle.

What it does:
This eye shadow delivers instant glamour in a perfect blend of pigment and pearl that glides on smoothly and delivers a weightless wash of vibrant shimmer on the eye. The high-tech formula provides excellent color release and all-day wear, plus the shadows are buildable and can be worn either wet or dry.

Size: 0.08 oz

I bought this shadow to wear over the matte orange eyeshadows I bought the same day.  I don't care for matte shadows, simply because I love the sparkly things in life, and this orange undertoned silver sparkly stuff seemed the way to go to allow me to wear the bright oranges I was finding in mattes, and sparkle-i-fy it for my preference.

When I swatched it out, it did turn more taupe than orange when applied over primer.  I have mixed feelings about that.  For good, it is a nice, neutral shade that will work year round, and never look trendy.  For bad, I like orange eyeshadow, so I would have liked it to be stay more orange.

So, I swatched it out, and found that applying it to bare skin made it sheer and sparkly, while over a primer really deepened the color but kept the sparkle to about the same in real life.  In photos, the shadow applied over the primer shimmered like crazy.  I preferred the sheer and sparkly look, because it looked more spritely to me.

(top with primer, bottom without)

Then... I tried to take it off.  I scrubbed at it with a baby wipe.  The color came off reasonably well.  But, that glitter wanted to hang out and play.  It looked like a baby fairy foofed on my forearm.  Those sparkles stick!  Now, to me, as a glitter lover, I like it that the glitter is sticky.  That means I get a lot less fallout without having to wear primer.  Indeed, when I wore it again this weekend on bare lids, I barely had any fallout, and the amount that did fall out looked pretty, flashing here and there on my cheekbones.  But, if you don't like sparkle that much, just do yourself a favor and steer clear of this eyeshadow.  Even if you want to use it as a highlighter, you'll end up with glitter stuck to your eyelids face for at least another day.  Glitter lovers won't care, but you matte ladies will probably hate it.  You've been warned.

Overall, I really like this eyeshadow, and I would definitely re-purchase it.

Have you tried it?  Do you have a glitter eyeshadow that you love and you think I should try?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tutorial - DIY Ombre Hair

This post talks about going to an ombre look, starting with hair that is dyed all over a lighter color than the roots coming in are.  The basic idea is to extend your root color farther down the length of the hair, and leave the tips the lighter color they are already dyed.  If you hair is dark all over, and you want light tips, this tutorial will not work for you.

I recently DIY-ed my hair to an ombre, with dark at the crown, fading out to auburn tips, with highlights of auburn throughout.  I started out with dyed red hair, with roots coming in.  I had dyed it red twice, and was getting tired of the upkeep.

To start, here was the red when it was first done:
The fade out.  This was so pretty; I loved it!:
Then the second application of red.  Oops!  That got darker than I wanted!:
 The fade out... It lost a lot of copper in the front, but the back and tips still had a lot of auburn in them:
Then, I clarified my hair with a baking powder and shampoo paste.  It got rid of a lot of the darkening, which was an unexpected result.  However, that left my roots even MORE noticeable.  It also showed a strange area at the crown that took the dye in a different manner from the length, and it was more of a burgundy red than the rest of my hair, which was now a coppery dark blond.  Yes, it looks fine in the picture.  In real life, though, it was driving me nuts! (Yes, that is my natural hair texture, and yes, that is in my bathroom, and YES, I AM wearing a towel.)


What do you think?  I loved the red, but the upkeep was killing my hair.  Since the roots were coming in so dark, I thought I'd try to work with it.  Also, since I already had the length of my hair red, I thought I'd try out the ombre look.  I did it a lot more subtle than some of the looks out there, and I think it looks pretty natural.

I did it by using a box dye that seemed to match the color of my roots (dark brown).  I mixed and applied the dye as if I were touching up my roots, and then pulled the color another 5 inches or so through my hair.  For this application, I made sure as much of my hair within that 5 inches was colored.  

I left that on for 10 minutes, then put more color on and pulled the color down another 7 inches or so.  For that section of hair, I was less thorough about making sure the color was all over.  I knew I wanted to leave some red highlights throughout, so I did not saturate the hair.  I left that on for 10 minutes.  

Finally, for the final 5 minutes, I put more color on, and pulled it through to nearly the ends.  Then, as the clock ticked down, I pulled the color randomly to the very ends, two symmetrical spots at a time.  For example, I pulled the color through to the tips on the two pieces that frame my cheeks.  Then about 20 seconds later I pulled the color through the two pieces that are on each side of the nape of my neck.  The goal is to mimic the natural color variations that occur around the head.  On me, they tend to be symmetrical.  So, what I did to one side of my head, I did to the other.  To ensure that it timed correctly, I did the corresponding pieces at the same time.  Wow, it's confusing to try to write that out!

Total processing time on the box, for touch-ups, was 25 minutes.  I was sure to not exceed that time.  Then I just rinsed it out, conditioned it heavily, and viola!  No more visible roots!  Yay!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review! - Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in Orange Coral Matte 05

Image from
Image from

Make Up For Ever (MUFE) is sold at Sephora, and Sephora has this to say about the eyeshadow collection:

The unique texture of MAKE UP FOR EVER Eyeshadow is due to its high pigment density, which makes them last and last. You can obtain maximum coverage with the Matte texture; the Semi-Matte has a silky satiny feel; and the iridescent shades give a transparent sheen.
Dany's Tip "If you have dark skin, try applying a light-colored shadow over the entire lid first before applying a darker color, for luminous highlights."

Sephora is the exclusive beauty retailer for this product.

The color in life is true to the image from (at very top).  My lighting makes the color in the pan look much paler and pinker than reality.

I picked up Orange Coral Matte 05.  True to its name, it is an orange coral, with zero sparkle.  "Orange coral" doesn't conjure up the image in my mind that this color really is, though.  When I look at it, I see so much more depth than that; in the pan, I see summer's ripe papaya...  Burnished into my skin, I see a fiery sunset glow...
 (top swatch with primer, bottom swatch without)

When I first swatched it out in Sephora, it came out of the pan powdery and very dry.  Had I not paid attention when I was removing the color from my finger, I would have passed it up.  As soon as the liquid hit it, it warmed up, and the overly-powdered look disappeared.  I re-swatched, and this time rubbed it into my skin;  the color deepened, and it almost looked luminescent, even though there is no shimmer at all.    When I swatched it with a primer, the color brightened, as well as deepened.  This color is a chameleon!  There are three distinct looks you can get, depending on whether you apply it dry, wet, or with primer.

 To get this look, I applied Orange Coral Matte 5 all over my lid.  Then I applied L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow Duo Desert Sunrise, using the light coppery-gold, shimmery shade, from the crease to the browbone, and lightly blended the seams.  I'm pretty sure that is a discontinued color, but a similar shimmery color will work just fine.

I love orange eyeshadows.  The color brightens the eye area, helps counter dark undereyes, and basically makes me look more awake.  Orange also plays up blue and green colored eyes.  It can be scary to put on orange for the first time, but I'm so glad I tried it!  I like to keep the brighter oranges just on the lid.  Then I just get the flutter of color when I look down or blink, and it makes it more subtle for daytime.

What about you?  Do you have any orange shadows you love? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review! Undereye Concealers - Hard Candy and Clinique

Today I'm trying out two concealers:

Hard Candy Nobody's Perfect Concealer Palette
Hard Candy Nobody's Perfect Concealer Palette

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector (this is a sample packet that came with my online Sephora purchase).
Clinique Even Better Eyes
On one eye I used the Hard Candy concealer (I used the yellow) , and then covered that with Clinique's Even Better Eyes.  I had used the darker concealer this summer when I had a tan, but I didn't like it very much.  The product dried out quickly in the pan, and formed a skin on it nearly every day.  You can see in the photo above how I was scraping at the product to get the skin off, which only exposed more of it, which caused even more product loss.

Here we go, one eye before:
And after:
Then I topped it with the Clinique Even Better Eyes, because the Hard Candy is a color corrector, and not intended to be used without another concealer on top of it:

On the other eye I used Clinique alone (the right side).

I did not feel that the Hard Candy did a good job of correcting the color tone.  In fact, it seemed like it made it stand out more in person, although in pictures it looks alright.  Over the course of the day, it did seem to melt in a little and look better, but I was so unimpressed that I threw out the palette.  I feel like I can find a better yellow corrector stick.  It lightened the area, but it didn't make the dark tones disappear and give a flawless look.

My feelings are mixed on the Clinique Even Better Eyes.  I used it as a concealer, but it is intended for use as a long-term treatment.  The website says to use it twice daily, reapplying as needed throughout the day.  To me, that sounds like I'm about to marry an eye product.  I don't like to reapply my makeup.  At all.  I barely tolerate lipstick.  I do, however, enjoy putting on all my potions (serums and moisturizers) in the mornings and evenings.

On the one hand, once I put on a few layers, it did a decent job of disguising my dark circles.  On the other hand, it is thin, and it took several layers to achieve an acceptable result.  As the day wore on, the product creased, and it made my mascara run a bit.  I do like how well it moisturized the skin, though.  I will continue to use up the sample in my morning and evening routines, but I am unsure that I'll purchase it as a concealer.  I don't think it is realistic for me to re-apply the product throughout the day.

The Clinique website says:
Lightweight, hydrating eye cream is clinically proven to visibly lighten dark circles by 30% in 12 weeks. Skin-strengthening ingredients make skin less transparent. Cooling massage tip breaks up puffs. Sheer optics instantly brighten all skins, from fair to deep. Oil-free. Ophthalmologist tested.
  • Use twice daily, reapplying as needed throughout the day.
  • Gently squeeze a small amount of product and glide contoured applicator back and forth across the undereye area.
  • Use finger to smooth in any excess until absorbed.
What do you think?  Have you used either of these concealers?  I'm on the hunt for a fabulous undereye concealer; what do you recommend?

Monday, December 17, 2012

GIVEAWAY! - Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad

I reviewed Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad HERE, and I love it.  The colors work wonderfully together, go on like silken butter, wear all day, and even work outside of the palette with other colors in my eyeshadow collection!

I thought, hey, wouldn't my readers just love to try this for themselves?!?  I think, YES!

To thank all my lovely readers and Facebook followers, I am hosting a quick giveaway!  You have just a few days to enter... It starts today, and ends Thursday at midnight!  The lucky winner will have a full week to claim her prize, and I'll notify her vie email, Facebook messaging (if possible, some privacy settings won't let me), and all over Sugarpot Beauty's Facebook page!

All you have to do is like Sugarpot Beauty's Facebook page, click on the easy link for Rafflecopter to confirm that you like our page, and wait to see if you won!

The winner will receive a brand-new Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Eyeshadow Quad.  I purchased it myself.  I did open it to make sure the colors were intact (to ensure the box hadn't been dropped and the colors shattered), but it has not been used in any way, and the seals were sealed when I purchased it.

This giveaway is open WORLD-WIDE, because I like for everyone to join in the fun!  I'll ship it to your lovely hands, no matter where you live!  If you are under 18, please do have your parent's or guardian's permission to enter.  

Good luck, ya'll!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tutorial! How to Prep the Outer Lip Line

Today I have a tutorial on how to prep the outer lip line.  I wish I had discovered these tricks years ago.  I have some redness around my lips, and it makes my lipline look sloppy if I don't cover it.  I used to just apply foundation and powder around my lipline, but that tended to crack and drastically age my face.

This technique uses two products:


NYC Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in White 
I found my NYC pencil in Walgreens, but I'm not sure if they carry it anymore.  In any event, and soft eyeliner will work, just make sure it is pure white, and very soft.

Here I am, with foundation applied,  You can see the redness around my lower lip line, and the odd little lines on my top lip:
First, line the outside of your lips with the concealer pencil.  Put down a good layer of it. 
Now, with either your finger or a concealer brush, blend the concealer lightly.
Next, line a thick line of white pencil around your lips.  Don't be shy!  
Again, using your concealer brush or your finger, blend the color all the way to your lips and all around your mouth.  You want to make it lightly fade into your regular makeup.
You'll notice that some of the concealer is still on the lip.  That's ok.  You can either leave it there, to be covered by your lipstick, or you can carefully wipe it away.  It won't mess with your lipstick color.  The concealer will make your lips look more defined, and the white pencil will highlight them and make them look fuller.

I recommend not powdering around your lips unless you have oily skin.  I find that powder settles into fine lines and ages me a lot.

Now here is a pic with some lipstick applied!
What do you think?  Do you use white pencil to highlight your lips already?