In Like Finn—The Most Natural Wig You’ll Ever See!

It’s no secret that I’m thoroughly thankful for wigs.  Because of the irreversible damage I’ve done from the picking and pulling from Trichotillomania, the crown of my noggin is bald.  The hair ain’t ever growing back.

Image result for atypical60 hair loss

This was taken two years ago.  My noggin is more hairless these days!

Luckily, wigs have given me back self-esteem and more.  And I’ve made great friends with the people at Estetica Designs.  Last week, I was very honored to receive one of the brand’s new wigs to review.  I’ll be honest, I had a bit of trepidation simply because their bob, Jamison, is my number one favorite wig of all time.  It’s the hair I always wanted and never had.

Jamison, I still love you but there’s a new gal in town–and her name is Finn!

The hair I did have was coarse and wiry and wavy and curly.  There was a two-to-three-year period back in the mid to late 1980’s when my hair was cut to enhance the layers.  I have to admit that I loved that style.  It had pros and cons.  The pros were when the weather permitted, i.e., dry, no humidity, no precipitation, cooler weather, the style looked fantastic.  The cons were during those summer months of humidity and haze, the cut morphed into a mass of steel wool.

My 80’s hair in the summer. It got really big!

It was so much upkeep that eventually I let the cut grow out and wore my wavy hair loosely pulled back.

But despite those too-short bangs,  this style behaved so well in the cold weather. I didn’t even have to blow dry it!!  I really loved this style!

But back to the wig.

Estetica created a new layered wig and named her Finn.   My first impression of the stock photo was that the unit reminded me of how I used to wear my hair back in the 1980’s.  But since I have become so used to bobbed wigs, I was slightly unsure of how she would look. I’m going to tell you right now, I am not unsure anymore!

Let’s face it, I’ll never look as fetching as this model but the hair is sooooooo fine!!!

In fact, I’m in love with Finn.  And there are quite a few reasons why.

Let’s take a look at her and I’ll explain.

The layering is outstanding.  I do not know how they managed to design a wig with such intense layering, but the layering is soft.  It’s slightly choppy but not uneven.  It is layering at its best.

Take a look at this layering.  It’s absolutely stunning and it is layering done right!  The wave pattern is gorgeous and the color!!!

Here’s a better look at the back.  I could faint!

Another shot of the side.  The cascading of the layered waves is just perfect!  Better than real hair!

Wednesday night. Straight outta the box, I didn’t even put my fingers through.  I knew immediately that Finn was special!

Now…the color Estetica sent me is Caramel Kiss.  This happens to be one of my favorite wig shades of all time because it’s so incredibly flattering for all skin tones.  A medium brown base with lots of light brown and golden highlights—it’s the perfect color for those of us who do want to go a few shades lighter than our dark natural hair color that was befitting of us in our younger days, and as we’ve aged, we’ve realized that darker shades aren’t as flattering anymore.

Hot Diggity Dawg, Finn is just gorgeous for we of the mature demographic! And the Caramel Kiss color has got to be one of the greatest shades of all time!

The construction.  There’s permatease but not a lot.  In fact, the permatease helps to keep the rest of the wig in perfect proportion.  The layers give the wig some bigness and a bit of lift is important on the top so that the wig doesn’t appear uneven.

There’s a bit of Permatease in the crown.  Mommy loves that!  But the small amount really adds to the porportion of the wig!

The cap is comfortable as all get out.  Bendable ear tabs are made for a comfortable wear all day.  The lace front hairline is magnificent (as are all Estetica lace hairlines). Finn has a partial mono top which allows for multiple parting—whether in the middle or off to the side—whatever fits your face—you got it!

Bendable fabric covered ear tabs.  Comfortable and a friend to those of us who wear eyeglasses!

Dig that lace front.  Estetica has the best and most even hairlines.  The partial mono allows for multiple parting.

The soft lace at the crown also adds to the comfort and the wefting is nicely constructed as well.

The soft lace at the crown adds to the comfort –and keeps that permatease in place!

Adjustable bra straps to give the wig a better fit. When I put Finn on for the first time, she was a perfect fit.  There was no adjusting for me at all.  She’s large head friendly which is a good thing because quite a few wig brands have a very snug and more geared to the smaller head.

Adjustable straps in case you need a better fit and the wefting is nicely spaced!

She’s dense without being unmanageably thick.  The density is beautiful.

Dense without being overly thick.  

Again, the wave pattern is just so natural.

But there’s more.

The layers frame the face.  This is a gift for those of us with square faces and very angular jawlines.  The layers soften those square lines.  In addition, for those of us in the mature demographic, our aging faces lose the tightness we once had and we get those jowls.  The soft layering detracts from those jowls.

Finn is a miracle worker in softening a square face–hey, I don’t even have to contour!!

The length is perfect.  Below the jaw and resting on the shoulders.  I do not foresee any damage from textured sweaters with this—but we’ll see how she wears.

A perfect length Finn grazes the shoulders without being too long!

To test the waters, I wore her to work on Thursday—and Friday and the consensus was so positive. In fact…everyone loved her more than Jamison.  All votes from my coworkers were that Finn is the best and flattering wig I’ve ever worn.

I wore her to work and was bowled over by the compliments received!

See how natural she looks?  

The husband loves Finn.  His only “thing” is that he wishes I had a darker color.  This is for sentimental reasons.  When we first met, I had darker hair and he loves my hair slightly darker.  I’m very happy with Caramel Kiss!

Frenchman approved (but he still prefers a darker shade)–he is in love with these layers.  And check out the hairline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact, I can’t stop wearing her.  She’s been on my head all weekend.  She really changes my entire look -I honestly feel she makes me look a bit younger and softens my lines!!

Earlier this morning getting ready to run errands!  I can’t stop wearing her!!

My overall rating:  A++.  Finn is a wig that is flattering for women of all ages, but for the mature woman or the woman with a square face, she’s even more flattering.

Yup!  This is an A +++ all the way!

A little bit Farrah, a little bit shag a little bit 80’s and a lot bit beautiful!   I’m in like Finn!!

Image result for farrah fawcett hair

A bit of Farrah iconic hair!!

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A bit of the shag do!

Finn by Estetica Designs is definitely a winner.  If you are new to wigs or if you wear wigs regularly, this should be a part of your collection!

Here’s my YouTube review so you can get a better look at her!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Let’s Talk Highlighters For The Mature Woman–You CAN Do This!!

If you aren’t familiar with highlighters, might I suggest you take a look at one of the many random photos on Instagram of makeup artists and you’ll get the full gist of what they are!

THE GLOWWWW

Source: Instagram/mariya.ae–This blogger made her entire face made up with highlighter.  It isn’t an attractive every-day look but this makeup trend has just gone completely out of hand! Why would such a beautiful woman do this?

Yes.  Those in the makeup community seem to overdo the highlighters.  I truly don’t think it is an attractive sight to see someone walking around as though they stepped into radioactive fluid.

Are we trying to look radioactive?

And I’m not too fond of walking around like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz unless it’s for a costume party.

Who could have ever predicted that The Tin Man look would come into cosmetic fashion?  It ain’t my thing–but I’m not against highlighters by any means!

But that’s just me.

Anyway, there’s a belief that the mature woman shouldn’t wear shimmery makeup.  As in the shimmery eyeshadows, lipsticks and highlighters. I put that belief straight into the trash bin with all those other things that mature women should not wear—like hoop earrings, miniskirts and bikinis!

Image result for makeup don'ts for older women

I almost needed a Depends when I saw this photo.  Airbrushed, photoshoped, botoxed and nowhere near upper 50’s or 60’s.  THIS is the beauty industry’s idea of the older woman.  But her highlighting is on point!

And I’m sure that ridiculous belief that our demographic shouldn’t be wearing these highlighting and illuminating products because the “experts” feel those products would accentuate and enhance our lines and wrinkles.

I’m dimly lit and that’s the way I like it!!

But we  do have lines and wrinkles so the objective here is to work with and around those lines so we don’t enhance the lines but that we enhance our bone structure and features.

And you know what? Highlighters can actually enhance the gorgeous bone structure  we have. They can illuminate your face and cast some dewiness.  A subtle touch is all you need.  Trust me on this one.

I am wearing the subtlest touch of highlighter here. I’ve worn it all summer because I love the soft glow when certain light hits your face!

My skin is on the dry side and now with the coming of the cooler weather, that dryness will surface and I’ve found, through trial and error that when used with a light touch, and applied subtly, highlighters can really make you look quite lovely.  The glow from the light detracts from the dryness giving a dewiness and an illumination that is very attractive on dry skin.

The lighting in this photo shows off my lines and wrinkles but I don’t give a $hit. I love the soft glow on my upper cheeks and my nose and it’s so understated!

There’s quite a bit in my little collection.  I’ve got powders and creams and they all serve a purpose.  Let’s take a look:

A look at my powder highlighters:  From top left  Laura Geller Baked Body Frosting, Jeffree Starr Skin Frost, Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife, Laura Geller Gelato Highlighter, Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter.

And the non-powders:

From top left: NYX Bright Idea stick, iT cosmetics Hello Light Creme Illuminator, Wet n Wild Hello Halo and Revolution Cream Contour Palette (It’s got a great highlighter inside)

The powders, below,  Laura Geller’s Baked Body Frosting has a bronze glow that is fantastic on bare shoulders and legs in the summer.  It comes with a big puff but I like applying it with a hugh brush.  It’s a great product that lasts forever!

Laura Geller’s Baked Body Frosting is a true bronze that is flattering on all skin tones because when applied with a brush on shoulders, neck, legs, it just blends in and leaves a healthy glow.

Jeffree Starr’s Skin Frost in Sarcophagus.  This is my favorite powder highlighter.  It comes in a compact but the powder is so delicate and powdery soft.  All that’s needed is such a slight touch and it is beautiful.  I pretty much wear this every day!

I paid $29 for this and it was worth it because it’ll be around for a long time.  I use just a touch and it gives a subtle glow..

Swatched, it is very pigmented and that’s why I use such a light touch!  Everything about this is beautiful.

The Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter has more of a pink tone.

Nicely pigmented, this is a great value for the money, I think I paid five bucks for this and it’s nice on top of a rosy blush.

Laura Geller Gelato–this runs around $26. I think that’s pricey considering it’s not a large amount of product but a small amount goes a long way.  For the record, I did not pay $26 for this–it was part of a kit that I purchased over a year ago.

More golden than rosy this is a nice summer highlighter–it’s got good pigmentation as well!

Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife.  As much as I love this–it works far better as an eyeshadow for me than a highlighter.  The yellow doesn’t look that great on my cheeks.  I think this is a wonderful highlighter for all women of color and women who are olive-toned.  For fair skin, this is a great eyeshadow for special occasions, date nights and holidays!

This packs a wallop!  But the gold is too yellow for my face. It’s a great eyeshadow though. Pigmented as all get out too!

The cream highlighters. These work well in the winter when skin has a tendancy to be dry.  In addition, they aren’t as pigmented as the powders so it gives just a hint of glow which is actually a great thing.

Revolution Ultra Cream Contour Palette. I LOVE this contour palette. It was $12 at Ulta. I purhased it at the end of the winter and in this palette is a great highlighter. I wore this alot during the cooler weather. It glides on the skin and gives a beautiful barely-there luminosity!

Wet n Wild Hello Halo.  I like this a lot–it was really inexpensive and gives a nice rosey glow over blush. Watch out though because the doe foot applicator takes up quite a bit of product!

More of a liquid than and actual cream, this casts a pretty rose glow and I wear it on top of blush. It looks great just under where my eyeglasses it on my cheeks!

It looks pretty but you have to go super light or quite a bit of product will be deposited as you can see!  Oops!

NYX Bright Idea.  I LOVE this cream stick illuninator!  I wore this a lot last winter. It’s very, very subtle and isn’t very pigmented but picks up a nice amount of glow!

I have a back up of this!  That’s how much I like this!!

You can see it isn’t very pigmented but it’s just so light and glowy and really picks up the light. If you are unsure about highlighters but would like to experiment, I strongly suggest buying this as your first highlighter!

iT Cosmetics Hello Light Creme Illuminator.  This is an unusual product because it really isn’t a true cream–or creme–it’s more of a powdery cream–or a cream with a powdery texture.  I’ve had this for a long time because it came with a brush and I’m a huge fan of iT brushes.

It isn’t super-pigmented but it has a very, very light glow–this is a good one for everyday.  It’s also good because it goes on so light that you can’t overdo it!

The highlighter goes on last when I do my “face” in the morning.  To add a bit of glow on the cheeks, I’ll use a rosier or pink-toned highlighter on top of my blush.

Ready for the office in subtle highlighter!  See–you CAN highlight without looking radioactive!

Other times, I’ll take my Morphe fan brush (it came in an inexpensive brush kit) and very lightly run the brush over a powdered highlighter. Then I’ll apply to my upper cheekbones, down my nose to the tip and a bit on the cupid’s bow area of my mouth.  All done extremely with a light touch.

This fan brush from Morphe was in a kit. It’s not the greatest quality but it gets the job done.  It doesn’t pick up a lot of product so it’s even better when it comes to highlighting!

Oh–before I forget–don’t forget to add some highlight and shimmer to your eyes.  The color I have swatched, Oh Heavens–did it for me. It was the shade that made me make the purchase of the palette and I’m so happy that I did!!

Oh Heavens–from The Wants eyeshadow palette by The Emily Edit from Revolution! It’s a gorgeous highlighting shadow!

Have fun with highlighters!  I swear, I’m having more fun with different products now than when I was younger–and for your, I’ve created another idea list from my Amazon page–here it is for you to peruse. I’ve added many of the items in this post and then some:  Highlighters and Illuminators Idea List

I’m cross-eyed as a bat naturally but I don’t care!  I love a bit of highlighter on the tip of my nose!  It’s all fun!  And we can’t take ourselves too seriously now, can we?  So go out and have fun!

That’s right ladies!  Go out and get lit!! But have fun and do it subtly!  All this talk about highlighters is reminding me of one of my favorite Spin Doctor songs–Pocket Full of Kryponite (Jimmy Olsen’s Blues)!

 

Posted in Fenty Beauty, Jeffree Starr Cosmetics, Laura Geller Cosmetics, Nyx, Revolution Cosmetics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

THE Only Travel Palette That You Will Ever Need!

Do you have an at-the-ready travel bag of cosmetics?  If you do, then you know what I’m talking about.

My travel cosmetics bag, which I’ve edited!!

If you don’t, might I suggest creating one and stashing it in a weekender or piece of luggage that you regularly use.  Why?  Well, because when you have that travel stash of makeup and skin care, it’s just one less thing that you have to think about before traveling.

Hmmm. Did I pack my blush, concealer, contour, mascara, foundation, skincare, deodorant……..

 

Bonaparte and I are spending next weekend in D.C.  We haven’t been there in a while and he thought it would be a good time to visit, have a nice dinner and peruse a few museums.  Besides—today is our Wedding Anniversary and Labor Day Weekend is just not the weekend to get away for a quiet weekend together!

The first weekend in October, I’ll be flying to Cincy to assist Oona in looking for a wedding dress and in November the husband and I will be in Paris for the Thanksgiving weekend!

Image result for a line wedding dresses

If mommy has her way, Oona will be walking up the aisle in something like this.  Ohhhh.  Wait. It isn’t about me–it’s about Oona!!!

Worrying about what makeup I’ll bring is the last thing I want to be bothered with.

I do have a travel makeup collection. It’s housed in one of those hanging cosmetic bags which comes in so handy.  All that’s needed is a door knob to hang it over.

And in that bag is a small eyeshadow palette.  This palette served me well for many years.  Chippy snacked on the edges of the palette.  The palette dropped and the mirror broke but I still used it.  I’ve hit pan on two of the shadows and just hit pan on a third.  But the issue is that it’s by Urban Decay and I purchased it before my “fallout” with the brand.  (Urban Decay sent me  a condescending email after I inquired about why their 24/7 pencil was so hard to sharpen:  OMG It’s a Crisis). What I loved about the shadows in the small palette is that they were totally neutral. And I’m a fan of neutrals.

Chippy must have thought this was a candy bar because he munched on the edges…..

The mirror broke, I’ve hit pan on two shadows and just hit pan on Venus–but I absolutely refuse to purchase any more UD items–and trust me, I LOVED this palette!!

Besides that, when I’m traveling I don’t want to lug a ton of cosmetics around with me.  I also prefer traveling with drug-store brands rather than luxury brands.  It is simply because if I leave a luxury brand behind, I’ll be angry with myself for a while.  I honestly won’t feel that bad if I leave a less expensive product behind. And I’m not saying this to be snotty because I love my less pricey makeup–I just will feel worse about the amount of money spent!

Anyway, lately I’ve even been trying to cut the amount of “stuff” I carry in my travel makeup bag.  Unless I’m staying somewhere for two or three weeks, there’s not much I need other than foundation (and in the summer I don’t even bring foundation along on trips), eye makeup, blush, contour/bronzer, lip gloss and a few skincare items.

As far as skincare goes, I’ve got a massive amount of samples that come in handy while traveling.

Keep those samples in your travel bag–they come in very handy!!!

But cosmetics is another thing.  I’m a fan of eyeshadow palettes and God knows I have enough of them, but I’ve never bothered with a palette that would give me a complete look.

Until now.

Makeup Revolution, an affordable brand, is a brand that I’ve liked for a few years now. The eyeshadows are a good quality and nicely pigmented.  Basically, I’ve never had an issue with any of the products I’ve purchased.  I did purchase their banana powder but the yellow didn’t work for me—and I’ll be giving it to my daughter Oona because it’ll work very well with her complexion.  But back to the palette.

Revolution’s Cream Contour Palette is incredible!  The shades are so cool-skin friendly and just blend so well…

Image result for atypical60 makeup revolution

One of the Revolution Palettes made my Best of List.  I’ve since hit pan on so many of the silky shades!

Emilynoel83 is one of the YouTube personalities I follow.  Like Wayne Goss and Tati Westbrook, I trust her.  Her reviews are honest and greatly detailed. If a product doesn’t work for her, she’ll let you know the cons without trash talking.   And it just so happens that Makeup Revolution collaborated with her to create two palettes.  The Collab is The Emily Edit.   The pallets are The Wants and The Needs.

This is the back side of  the box that The Wants palette comes in.  There’s a lot of color in this but I’m still intrigued!

The Wants is an eyeshadow palette which I’ll write about in another blog post.

The Needs is the palette the was so appropriately named because, I swear, we all need this palette. In fact, this should be the go-to palette for every woman who travels—whether it’s once in a while or on a regular basis!

The Needs—everything you need in one palette!

Let me show you and explain just why I feel so strongly about this.  First of all, the price point is phenomenal; $15 for a face-full of product.  She’s curated the products so carefully and selected them from other collections that Revolution created.  A rather pragmatic choice if you will.

The Needs palette measures 7 inches by 4 inches—making it compact enough to fit into your travel bag.

It fits beautifully into the bottom zippered section of my travel makeup bag!

The case itself is a sturdy plastic with a built-in clasp that is just as strong.  Open it up and there is one of those clear protection sheets which I happen to keep as it’ll make the mirror stay clean. And speaking of mirrors—this mirror is great!   It’s large enough that you can actually see what you are doing.  Believe me, if your eyesight is as bad as mine, you will appreciate that!

A full mirror and very good quality too!  I appreciate that! Hopefully I won’t break it!

The products are one highlighter, one blush which appears to be very warm but goes on peachier—making it pretty universal, and one contour.  We also have six shadows which are very neutral-friendly and there is also another eye highlighter.

Face colors on the left.  Shadows on the right.  I like the names of these too. Everything is just so well-thought out and curated!

The shadows are matte—with the exception of Passion, which has a small amount of glimmer, making it perfect for those evenings out—are well-pigmented and not ashy or chalky.

I used the palette yesterday to test it out and was so happy with the results that after my manicure, I drove to the Ulta in Collegeville to see if there were any palettes available.

I had my nails filed down too because  they were getting in the way of my tapping at the keyboard at work! OPI Big Apple Red–the only color I put on my nails!

I picked up a second as a backup and picked up The Wants as well.

A backup of The Needs was very much needed.  And I could not pass up The Wants.  And look!  I got a free gift!  A cute little palette!

OK everyone. I actually took my glasses off so you could see the subtle softness of the shadows from The Needs! Yesterday’s look…

Oh Sweet Lord–I feel more comfortable with my glasses on.  Here’s another look.  The contour, blush and highlighter were also used.  It’s just such a subtle look but if you want, you can build the colors up!

Today, on our First Wedding Anniversary, I decided to use the palette for a subtle look because The Frenchman loves a subtle makeup look!

My finished look for today!  I must say, this is a great palette for the “Over 50 and 60” demograph due to the subtle quality.  Very natural!  Don’t judge me for having Sriracha Sawse and a half-full bottle of wine on the counter.  I’m still nursing this vile cold that is now in my chest!!!

Here’s how I used it:

I first brushed Kindness all over from lid to browbone.  Oh..I have the snail pads under my eyes. They multi-task as protectors against falling shadow! Then I brushed the shade peace over that as a transition shade.

 

These colors are nicely pigmented and can also be built up!

The shade Hope was used in the crease and blended out with a Morphe blending brush.

Then I took this brush by elf–I paid a dolla for it–yeah–a dolla!  I lightly lined under my eyes with the color Hope. LIGHTLY!!!!!

Those little silicone pads are greatness as is this brush for lining the under lids!

A little Kindness under the brows….

Mascara and  a tightline,  foundation and we are almost done!

Contouring with the shade Courage and using a fluffy brush by iT cosmetics…

A hint of peachy color with Joy!  I topped it off with highlighting with Gratitude but was interrupted when Oona sent me this photo from Florence, Italy…

Oona and my future son-in-law, Sam, were enjoying fancy coffee and pastries laden with Pistachio nuts.  Now I wanna go to Italy.   

Back to my look:

Thank you Emily Noel for curating such a pragmatic, useful and beautiful palette that’ll go from everyday to weekend trips to across the Atlantic!  The Needs will definitely be seeing a lot of new places!  And thank you to Makeup Revolution for collaborating with an honest and thoughtful woman.  You and Emily are a great combo!

I’ve emptied out my travel case of a few items.

Bronzer, contour, shadows and a blush.  Products that are very good but take up too much room since I’m using one palette with everything!

That’s it.  A great palette that is now in my travel case.  I want to add two things. Sometimes a cream blush works better for me—especially in the winter.  This cream cheek color, Maggie by Thrive Causemetics is in my travel bag.  At one end is the product and the other is a dense brush—which means less brushes to carry!  It’s all about incorporating products that are handy while traveling.

I threw this cheek color into my bag because it comes with a built-in brush. I can also use it as a lip color!

And although I did use The Ordinary’s Serum foundation for my two looks, I will be throwing the Wet ‘n Wild Cushion foundation into my travel bag.  The foundation is compact, spill proof, hydrating and perfect for travel!

I loaded up on these cushion foundations during a sale and have five of them…

This is a great travel foundation because it won’t spill but there’s not much product so a few trips and you’ll run out!  Still is hydrating AF!!

What’s in your travel cosmetics bag?  Do you have one at the ready?  I’m curious because I’m not the most organized person in the world but with my travel makeup, I’m pretty obsessive!

I realize that I haven’t been that great with posting outfits that I’ve worn this summer but I’ve dont a ton of repeats.  I’m not purchasing new clothes either because Oona’s wedding is next summer and I want to save for her wedding.  In the meantime, here’s my Labor Day Weekend outfits!

Saturday started out rainy and cool I spent the day baking but before I did, I wore an 
All-American outfit of blue denim shorts, a classic white tee and saddle shoes!  I wanted a pair of saddle shoes just because.  Perhaps I was feeling nostalgic but I love the way they look!

Sunday was a camo tee and white shorts.  When I went out I wore a pair of  flip-flops because it got really hot.  

Today Bonaparte and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary!  We’ve been together for 14 years but as Mr. and Mrs. Lartigue–for one!  I ordered this pair of 2017 sandals from a Jack Rogers sale because I wanted to wear them for our anniversary–this way The Frenchman will never forget the year we were married!  I’m also wearing a white shift that I should have been wearing all summer but didn’t.  And this is why I will not put my summer clothing away until the end of October. It’s still hot!!!!

Have a great Labor Day and I hope your weekend was a stellar one. I’ve got more makeup reviews coming up!!!!

 

Posted in Makeup Revolution, The Emily Edit, travel bag | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

It Looks Like $hit, But It’s the Best Fake Tan Ever—It’s Perfékt-shun!

Seriously, I’m a bit shocked at myself for waiting this long to write about this fake tanner.  I ordered it back in either late June or early July and have been using it regularly.

Nothing like a box of goodies–especially when you order them on sale!!

In fact, I never even got around to getting sprayed this summer!  It’s been an odd summer season, it has.  Between working and little weekend getaways, the summer has almost faded into oblivion.  And out of the entire summer, we made it down the shore three times.  Most weekends were gray and rainy.

I’ll tell you though, my legs managed to look like I was basking on the ocean’s front for weeks. And it’s all due to this body gel by the brand Per-fékt.

Forget about basking in the sun because we didn’t have many sunny weekends.  I basked in my makeup room admiring the color that this unusual body gel gave my legs!

One of the Instagrammers I follow @turtlelovesbeauty posted that the brand was having a sale and she had a code for ten percent off, and I hit the keyboard on my laptop and went perusing!

My purchases were a gold body illuminator that isn’t bad but the piece de resistance is the “body per-fékt matte body perfection gel” in tan.

Don’t even ask me what a ceramide is because I have no idea. All I know is that this gives a beautiful and natural color to the skin.

If you follow this blog you are well-aware how I love my fake tanners.  After having Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my face, I am now extremely cautious of the time I spend in the sun.  The days of roasting my body like a rotisserie chicken are over.

I’m no longer roasting my body although I’m pretty much stuffed at this time!

At the sale price on Per-fékt’s website, I couldn’t resist.  But just how did this product work?

Let’s take a look…

First of all, I was somewhat confused about this tanning product.  Is it a true self-tanner?  Is it simply body makeup?  Well…it’s kind of a combination of both.  I will call it an “instant tanning product” because it sounds more diplomatic.

Keep reading–you’ll understand my surprise!

When I first squeezed the product out, I was shocked because it didn’t look like any other gel I’ve ever had.  I was expecting it to be very gelatinous and somewhat slippery and shiny and blending into the skin.  But boy—did my eyes pop when I saw what made the exit through the small hole at the top of the tube.

Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph–just what WAS this anyway?  Didn’t look like any gel to me!

I was in such a state of shock that my naturally crossed eyes almost straightened out!

It looked like $hit.  I’m not kidding.  I was a cross between the kind of soft and slightly solid waste that you find in a baby’s diaper and what comes out of a smaller dog.  My initial reaction was “Caca de vaca”—what is this anyway?

And naturally, since I’m very clumsy and a total slob, some fell on the floor–this is NOT Chippy’s doing!!

I was a bit nervous about using this and I gather many others who purchased this had the same initial reaction as I did!

Then, as I went to spread it on my legs, it kind of morphed in front of my eyes to have the appearance of chocolate frosting.

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I had an immediate of my daughter, Oona’s, first birthday.  I allowed her a piece of chocolate cake in exchange for this Kodak Moment and spent over an hour cleaning the cake and chocolate frosting from her face, hair and those folds of babies bodies!  I shoulda saved it as fake tanner!

Seriously.  It went from looking like something completely disgusting to a delightful chocolate ganache frosting of sorts–I was tempted to eat it!

Mesmerized, by this strange substance, if you will, I never heard the Frenchman as he opened the bathroom door; and he was aghast at what he saw.  You see, some of this stuff fell on the floor and he thought I had an accident.  This scared him terribly.

And he started speaking in French, while holding his hands to his head, Ricky Ricardo style.

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“Elle est Folle!!”  Is what my French Ricky Ricardo kept saying.  It transcribed into “She’s Nuts”!!

And when I looked down at the floor and saw the little mess, I realized it was bits of the gel tanner.  Things got worse when I bent down to pick it up with a tissue to show him it was just another beauty product—but he calmed down when I explained that I was just clumsy with the self-tanner!

The Frenchman was traumatized by the sight of my and the product that looked like an accident occured!  He won’t be a knockin’ on anymore bathroom doors anymore!!

He hasn’t barged in to any bathroom that I’ve been using in the house ever since!

But let me tell you more about this stuff!

After the initial shock of the appearance, I did rub it into my skin and regardless of the now chocolate frosting look of it, it blended into my pale skin perfectly.

The gel morphed into a very blendable substance and even though it’s matte, it doesn’t dry the skin at all!

It was an amazing experience!

The color was a true brown with absolutely no traces of orange. It never oxidized and it dried instantly! and when I say instantly, I mean instantly.

Both legs had a very even-toned color!  I did have to clean up a little bit of the gel that I dropped but other than that, it applied beautifully.  No streaks whatsoever and dried IMMEDIATELY!!!

No odor—and that’s the big fault with many self-tanners.  There’s a chemical and sometimes kind of dirty scent that’ll dissipate after a while, but the scent can linger.  This doesn’t smell.

The scent of no odor is a blessing because nothing will interfere with my perfume!!  Honestly there is absolutely no oder from this gel!

It does not, and I repeat, does not transfer onto clothing.  Today I’m wearing white shorts and I refreshed my legs a bit with this before I got dressed.  No product transferred.  Nada!  My white shorts are white!

I’m wearing white shorts today and not one trace of the tanner is on my shorts. And I didn’t even wait five minutes after I applied.  I lit-er-ull-ee applied, ran to my dresser and put these on!

I applied some yesterday too and nothing transferred onto my new Saddle Shoes!  Don’t you just love these shoes?  In my world it’s hip to be square!

It doesn’t come off unless you scrub it off.  Seriously.  I’ve shaved my legs while taking a bath without scrubbing my legs and it stayed put.  But if you’ve had it on for a couple of days and want to take it off, scrub off with body wash or soap and it’ll wash right off, giving you a new, clean palette for re-applying.

 

It even looks great on my feet and I’m generally pretty sloppy with applying any fake tanner on my feet.  I’m thrilled with Body Per-fekt Body Perfection Gel (or whatever it is)

I paid $14.40 for three ounces on sale.  I’ve since purchased another one for backup and have noticed that it is still available and still on sale I’ll be purchasing a third.

I’ve used quite a bit of this but it’s just so darned good!!  Luckily I have a backup and it’s time to order a third!

Per-fékt came up with a winner with this body perfection gel and I don’t know how they did it and considering what it looks like when it comes out of the tube, I don’t think I want to know.  All I know is this is a great, great product.

Other than getting sprayed, I don’t think I’ve ever had a tanning product that looked this natural or didn’t smell.

Whether you self-tan because you don’t want to sit out in the sun to bake your body or whether you want to make your legs look darker in the cooler or cold months because you hate wearing pantyhose (as I do), this is greatness.  A small amount goes a long way and the shade is just so flattering.

Here’s a photo of me from last summer–I got sprayed before we went to France and I swear the color of Body Per-fekt is just as good a match for my fair skin.  

Proof that one should never judge a book by its cover—or what comes out of the cover until you try it!

I’m gonna apply some to my arms tomorrow.  I honestly recommend this to all of you!

Have a trip to a southern climate or an island coming up this winter?  Might I suggest purchasing this and applying it to your body before getting on the plane—your skin will thank you!

And it works on mature skin too.  My legs have a bit of old lady crepe paperness to them but they still hold up fine with this product!

And with that, I give you a fun song from one of my favorite musical party groups. Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns.  From 1981, his song Caca de Vaca!   (I’m putting this song on Oona’s Wedding playlist for dancing!!)

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Can We Just Let Summer Be Summer? Please?

While sitting in my car on the commute home from work, in the long parking lot known as 422, the worst road in the Philadelphia area, I glanced quickly at the dashboard and noticed that the outside temperature was 96 degrees.

They say L.A. traffic is bad……………Route 422 is worse!

And it didn’t surprise me because we are in the throes of summer.  I honestly think that people forget that summer—especially late summer is generally very hot.

It’s hot and sweltering and I love it!!

It’s my kind of weather.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a four-season kind of gal.  Fact is, I love the seasons because each one has its own personality and each season has a special quality.

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I’ll take those four seasons–in due time!

Fall brings that first day of the year known as sweater weather.  There is something so glorious about the air that changes from hazy, humid and hot into crisp, cool and breezy.  It makes you feel alive and the colors of the foliage are vivid and bright and life is toasty.

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And Fall brings Halloween.  I’ll tell you, I loved making my kids’ Halloween costumes–it was my favorite thing about Fall!

Paris. Montparnasse cemetary. Another view of the falling leaves against the stiffs

In October 2015, Bonaparte’s Aunt Daniele passed away.  I remember the Fall weather being much cooler in Paris than it was here and even though this is a photo of the cemetary in Montparnasse where she rests, this is one of my favorite photos of Fall.

Winter brings us The Holidays!  My favorite time of year.  Days are short and hot chocolate and tea are plentiful.  Sleeping with a ton of blankets is very comforting and it’s time for the stick-to-your-ribs food and al those wonderful baked goods and good cheer and family and friends!

Best part of Winter!  Christmas!!!!!

Worst part of Winter–having to put a hat and coat on just to run to the grocery store!

Snow may be pretty as it falls, but it turns into a slushy mess after a few days–and I miss sitting out on the deck!

But Holiday Dressing Up is fun!

And just when we’ve had enough of sleet, snow and ice, Mother Nature gifts us with Spring!  I always get a happy, tingly feeling when I see that first sprinkling of trees in their Crayola Spring Green leaves!  The sun is warming up, flowers are blooming, people are out and about and happy that winter is gone for another year.

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And those April showers in the Spring–they don’t bother me that much becawz…..

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The grass turns green, we get to wear our sneakers outside without socks and the flowers start to bloom!

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And–as in Fall, it’s the other season where I can wear my beloved blazers as outwear!

When Spring grows up, she turns into Summer.  And she’s one hot ticket!  Now’s the time to get rid of the shoes and dress your feet with sandals and flip flops.  It’s the time when Life’s a Beach! No coats, sweaters or panty hose needed—its time to bare those limbs!!

Ohhhhhhhhhh summer!  Boats and the sea…

Tans (fake, of course) and dresses you can slip into..

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And Sandals…

 

And bare feet…

And resting beach feet!!

Oh yes. It’s true. I thoroughly enjoy each season for what it means to me.  So why, then, must we rush summer?  The other three seasons never seem rushed to me.  I’ll hear people saying that they can’t wait until Winter is over but not with the ferocity that they will complain about their hatred for summer’s end.

Why?  Why can’t we just let summer be summer? In three weeks, Autumn will be a knockin’ at the door and guess what?  It’s still gonna be hot outside!!! My cool/cold weather clothing will be packed away until the first true frost!!

Being home from work and nursing a cold yesterday, I read in the news that it was day that Starbucks released its infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Sorry folks, but I won’t be ordering one any time soon.  I’m still in the Iced Tea/Lemonade frame of mind because it’s still summer!  I don’t even like pumpkin spice and everywhere I go from here on in, I’ll have to smell that artificial scent of pumpkin and those disgusting cinnamon-scented pinecones that give me headaches!

As much as I love Starbz (my “special” name for Starbucks),  I’ll stick to the Skinny Chai Latte.  I can’t stand pumpkin anything!

Wegmans has Halloween candy on full display.  Halloween is two months away—has anyone given any thought to the freshness of the sweets that’ll be passed out to the goblins, ghosts and superheroes?  It would make me feel so much better if the candy wasn’t put out for the public until at the least, September’s end.

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The worst thing is that if I bought this stuff now, I would eat it all!

Why is everyone talking about transition wardrobing when it’s this hot outside?  I am certainly not ready to make the switch from sleeveless comfortable swing dresses to long sleeves?  Please don’t even mention the heavily-textured fuzzy scarfs or boots yet.  My feet are enjoying being sensually bare or enjoying the freedom of sandals.

Here are some Fall 2018 Trends–and speaking of rushing the season, it looks as though this photo was taken early last spring–check out the foilage.  PS.  I am happy that I’m not this trendy!

The flowers—or rather the flowers I haven’t killed yet are hanging out in the sunny atmosphere.  My fake tanner is doing its job so pleasantly.

Our flowers are still enjoying the summer and they’ll stick around for a while!

As is the air conditioning in my car!

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I would much rather be in an urban setting where I can take public transportation.  But as long as the A/C in my car works–I’m happy!

Earlier I was aghast while watching QVC.  Philosophy was selling some of their many bath and skin products and each one of them had a fall scent.  Apple Cider and Cinnamon Buns among the products and the hostesses of the show were getting all orgasmic about the “fall” scents of Apples and Cinnamon and they could feel the cold.  I would gather they were feeling the cold because the studio where they film is heavily air-conditioned.

I had to take a photo of this because the women on QVC were going all porno-crazy over the apple cider and cinnamon bun scent.  Ugh.  Stop. Just. Stop it already!!!!!

Why rush the season?  Why rush life?   I think one of the worst things that could have ever happened was sending children back to school in August.  That’s one of the main culprits.  After all, back in the day, we started school in September.  After Labor Day.

back to school summer GIF by Look Human

You got that right.  I’m a firm believer that kids should go back to school in September!  Let ’em enjoy a full month of August!

People were still enjoying the last of the late summer days.  That last week in August was a time when families used to go on vacations.  Now they get ready to organize car pools for extra-curricular activities that the children will be taking part in.  Why?  Why can’t kids just be kids and enjoy the end of August doing nothing?

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Get back to the beach one or two last times!!

What is the point of sending a child to school when it’s 90 something degrees outside?  They should be swimming.  They should be reading a book under a shade tree.  They should be playing stick ball or continuing to play Capture the Flag or Manhunt at night.

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The hot summer nights were made for neighborhood kids getting together for a game of Capture the Flag or more fun.  Summer + Kids is a great equation!

This is the time when you can still enjoy the longer days and the hot weather.  You don’t have to put a heavy layer of clothing on just to run to the store to buy bread or milk or something that you forgot.  You aren’t stuck indoors because it’s too cold to go outside.  You can enjoy the scents of the great outdoors such as grass that is still being mowed or the scent of the ground after a rainstorm!

ladybug rainstorm GIF

Enjoy that summer rain the way this little ladybug does!

So, let’s not rush it.  Enjoy the next three weeks as we bid farewell to Summer 2018 and welcome Fall!

summer dancing GIF by Fandor

Do the happy dance because soon it’ll be too cold to go outside dressed like this!

Speaking of seasons—how’s about a little Vivaldi??

 

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Snailed It! A Look at Korean Skincare!

Skincare products.  Can we have too many of them?  As my skin continues to pro-age, I’m always on the lookout for hydrating products that don’t cost a fortune.

This is just one minisule sampling of the skin care products that are in the house…

Let’s face it.  The promises that luxury brands make can be so misleading.   $100 and up isn’t going to make that pricey cream stop the process of aging.

Crème de la Mer, 16.5 oz.

Forget the $100!  16 ounces of this costs $2,160 at Neiman Marcus–but you get free shipping! I would rather put the money in a savings account for a neck lift.

If it did, we would all be strutting our stuff wrinkle-free like Perma Prest clothing—and even Perma Prest needed to be ironed!

Remember Perma Prest? My mother would iron Perma Prest clothing on the lowest setting. 

At this point, the most important quality of any skincare product I use these days is hydration.  Having skin that feels a bit plump, soft and full of moisture is paramount these days.  Nothing is getting rid of my lines except a face-lift or fillers that I cannot afford.

And for what it’s worth, I use cosmetics to even out my skin tone and get rid of the redness.

I am also well-aware of supplements that are taken in capsule form or powder form and consumed because “beauty starts from the inside out”.  That’s why I eat vegetables and fruit.  I’m not putting any supplements into my body because who knows what the long-term effects are? I’ll take my chances with putting stuff on me instead.

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I know many believe in putting this stuff into their bodies.  Unh Uh not me.  I’ll eat pig’s feet for collgen and vegetables and fruit for vitamins.

That being said, lately, I’ve been intrigued  by Korean skin care products containing snail slime or snail mucin—the benefits that it is natural and moisturizing.

Would I let snails crawl on my face?  Of course I would!  But it’s more pragmatic if I just buy products containing snail slime!

So off to Amazon I went and I let my fingers do the shopping at a snail’s pace! (Caveat–the prices on Amazon are better than on some of the Korean brands’ websites some of which are not secure sites so I didn’t add links)

I did go shopping at a snail’s pace

Not wanting to overspend, I limited myself to three products:

All In One Snail Repair Cream by Mizon, a Korean beauty company

The All In One Snail Repair Cream

Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule, a serum also by Mizon

Snail Repair Ampoule–a wonderful serum!

Gold and Snail Hydropatch by Petitfee, another Korean beauty company

In this little jar lies the most fun…under eye patches!

All three products contain snail slime.  All three products are extremely affordable.  For the 60 eye patches, the price was $11.15 and for the two products by Mizon, I paid $15.44 and I will purchase again.

Let’s take a look at the products.

Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule, Ingredients:  Snail Secretion Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Ethanol, Panthenol, Glycereth-26, Punica Granatum Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Trehalose, Copper Tripeptide-1, Human Oligopeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Adenosine, Coptis Japonica Extract

It warms my heart to see Snail Secretion Filtrate as the first-added ingredient.  80 % in fact.  I’ll say that’s a darn good amount!

It’s a clear thicker liquid but very moist and spreadable!

The serum is a clear substance that drops out in a perfectly round little circle.  And that one little drop spreads all over your face evenly.  It does feel refreshing and hydrating.  It did not and continues to not irritate my skin.  It has no scent and dissipates quickly.   I’ve been using this before I add the…

One drop is all you need because…

It spreads beautifully and oh boy–it’s very hydrating!

Mizon All-In-One-Snail Repair Cream.  Ingredients:  Snail secretion filtrate, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, glyceryl stearate, hydrogenated vegetable oil, dimethicone, triethanolamine, carbomer, butylene glycol, peg/ppg-17/6 copolymer, polyacrylate-13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, sodium polyacrylate, caprylyl glyocol, adenosine, ethylhexylglycerin, tropolone, sodium hyaluronate, portulaca oleracea extract, betula platyphylla japonica juice, arnica montana flower extract, artemisia absinthium extract, achillea millefolium extract, gentiana lutea root extract, alcohol, camellia sinensis leaf extract, centella asiatica extract, copper tripeptide-1, Rh-oligopeptide-1, propylene glycol, rubus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract, beta-glucan, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, disodium edta.

There’s a ton of moisture in this small jar..

….slightly tacky at first but that feeling disipates and the moisture is sealed in.

It’s nice to know that this contains 92% of the snail secretion filtrate!  This feels so nice because it glides on.  Slightly tacky but very “wet” with moisture when it dries the skin feels soft.  It isn’t like other moisturizers in that they can sometimes feel “filmy”—this has no filmy feel whatsoever after drying.  A small amount goes a long way!

Again.  This is no miracle product where your lines will completely disappear.  But it does give your skin a softness and suppleness that comes from hydration.

Gold & Snail Hydragel Eyepatch. Ingredients :   Water, Glycerin, Calcium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Snail Secretion Filtrate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethanol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, CI 77861, CI 77491, CI 77891, CI 77480, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Artemisia Princeps Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Fragrance.

The opened jar of the silicone eye patches.  They are floating in moisture.  These feel so freaking good it’s crazy!!

I was surprised to see that the Snail Secretion Filtrate was the ninth ingredient listed!  Considering water and glycerin as the first two ingredients added, though, made me realize why these patches are so moisturizing.  Do they work to get rid of wrinkles?  No. At least not for me they don’t.  But—they feel so freaking refreshing on the face.  And they do plump the undereye area up.

You can see from the photo that the patch covers a good area of skin under the eyes.  I’m telling you, I LOVE these!

Proof for me—I have a cold.  And a bad one at that. I woke up this morning and yesterday morning and my eyes were puffy in a very bad way.  My eyes looked like two little slots.  Very hooded and just sick looking.  I placed one under each eye and went back to bed to relax for a while.  After 15 minutes I placed the pads on the top of my eyelids and puffiness subsided.

Before and after.  I have a really bad cold and am home from work today.  When I woke up, my eyes were so affected by this cold that they were puffy and swollen.  I did use all three products today but I relaxed in bed for a while with those patches on my eyes and the puffiness went down as you can see in the after photo.  I also have makeup on but the makeup doesn’t get rid of puffy eyes!

These little silicone pads are also great at multitasking.  After using them for their original purpose, I reuse as “guards” when applying eye makeup.  They work wonders against shadow fallout and bottom lash mascara!  Of the three, this is my favorite simply because of the multitasking and the fact that my eyes feel great after using these.  I feel awake.  It’s a nice feeling!

We all like affordable.  We all want products that work to some extent.  I can honestly say that these products snailed it!

Seriously.  I’ve been using these products for almost two weeks now and I’m pleased.  

All of these products were purchased by me on Amazon.  I’m now waiting for the snail foam cleanser and the blur/primer to arrive.

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Eagerly waiting for this cleanser to arrive!

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I’m interested to see how this primer works.  It isn’t expensive and hopefully it will do the job of being a decent blur product!

The price was right on both.  Have a look at my Korean Beauty Product Idea List to see some of the products and browse through Amazon to check out the products. It’s fun!!

You know–this whole aging skin thing can be somewhat daunting when you look in the mirror and realize that the face looking back at you has just gotten……well, old!  And we can’t erase the years away but we can still look our best!  We  need to work with what we have and try new items.  I have to say, I’m glad I hopped aboard the Korean beauty train.  The prices are right!

Have you tried any Korean beauty products?  Let us know in the comments!!!  And thank you!!

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Pro-Aging My Teeth By Whitening At Home!!

Earlier this summer, I received an email from Smile Brilliant, a company that created a tooth whitening system which can be used within the privacy of your own home.  And—it’s far less costly than whitening at the dentist’s office (and does  insurance even cover the cost of whitening your teeth at the dentist’s office anyway?).  They asked if I would be interested in trying out the Smile Brilliant Whitening System for review.

It was intriguing to me because as I’ve aged, my teeth aren’t as bright as they used to be in my younger days.  A lifetime of drinking tea (I come from an Irish tea-drinking family), decades of drinking coffee, red wine and just the nature of things have caused my teeth to fade into a lighter shade of yellow rather than a lighter shade of pale!

I’ll explain how I went from more yellow on the left, to a brighter shade of pale on the right!

But—the good thing is genetically, I’ve got strong choppers.  Other than a front capped tooth from opening a package of hot dogs with my teeth (don’t ever do that—I ripped the enamel right off my tooth), every tooth in my mouth is mine.

Regardless, I thought it would be a good idea to try the Smile Brilliant system out to see if it worked.

When my package came in the mail, I was both excited and apprehensive.  And the box was chock-full of materials to use along with reading materials and very specific instructions on how to use them in order to start the process of brightening my dull teeth!

Simple packaging but when opened…

It was Christmas for teeth!  I’ll admit it was a bit overwhelming–with the base paste, the catalyst paste, the trays for the molds, the whitening and desenitizing gels!  Would I be capable of using this?

These plastic trays would be filled with the putty made for taking impressions of my teeth…

These pastes would make the putty to take the impressions and Smile Brilliant gave a good amount of this!

And last but not least are the two gels that would bring brightness back to my dull, aging teeth!

The instructions were very clear and concise and definitely easy to follow.

The first step was to make the impressions of both my upper teeth and my lower teeth.  To do this, the catalyst past and the base paste are kneaded together until a blue putty is achieved.  The putty is then placed into a blue mold and then you put the mold with the putty in your mouth.  If you mess up, the kit comes with extra catalyst and base pastes.

I bit down on the cold putty that was in the blue tray and relaxed a bit…

Then I repeated the process on my bottom teeth.  You can see from this pic that my top teeth are looking a bit on the dull side..

I followed the directions, and when I took the mold from my mouth, I compared it to the photo of the “good” impression that came with the instructions.  It looked fine to me –and so, I placed the molds in the pink envelope that Smile Brilliant included and sent it off! I was trying to imagine what the clear custom fit trays that would be sent back would look and feel like!

I must say, I was impressed with my impressions!  For once in my life I followed instructions!!!

I filled out a little card, placed the molds in this pretty pink envelope and waited!!

There’s nothing like anticipation.  And I was really getting excited about the clear trays being sent back to me.  I was also nervous that I would get a notice that my impressions weren’t good and I would have to redo them.

Alas!  The trays for my teeth arrived and they were perfect!  They fit my teeth like a glove. I’m not kidding—but more on that later.

I was so excited to receive the envelope containing my clear trays molded to my teeth!!

The clear trays came housed in this cute little case.  My main objective beside bleaching my teeth was making sure Chippy wasn’t able to find this and snack on it.  He’s the dog who will eat anything in his path!

Here’s the trays.  They were molded beautifully!

The night before I planned to start the process I was eating pistachios and cut my gum on a shell.  Don’t judge.  Yes.  I was opening the shells with my teeth—you would think that after my hot dog package incident I would learn my lesson.

So, a few days later and I was finally able to start the bleaching/whitening process.

TThe first step is to line the molds with the Desensitizing Gel that comes in plastic syringes.  This is key for the comfort of your gums.  Following the instructions to snap open the cap of the gel, I filled the trays with the proper amount, fit into my mouth and kept it there for 25 minutes.  The instructions state from 15-20 minutes but I gave myself an extra five.

I lined the clear trays with a light coating of the Desensitizing Gel..

And waited 25 min.  YOU CANNOT TELL I HAVE THE TRAYS IN MY MOUTH!!!! The fit is THAT good!

When time was up, I spit out the gel and after wiping the trays from the desensitizing gel,  applied the whitening gel to the trays and popped them back in my mouth.

Next step–Whitening Gel!!!

I did a teeth-whitening Flamenco dance!  In place of a rose in my mouth, I danced around with the syringe!

Easy peasy and quite fun.  I’m just in love with these clear trays!!

Ain’t gonna lie.  I love the trays.  They feel so good and the way they fit is just so perfect.  You can’t even tell you are wearing them—I went shopping with them on.  A slight lisp was the only detection that I had them in my mouth.  The other great thing about these trays is that I’ve worn them without the gels because they are a great diet aid!  I don’t eat anything when the trays are on my teeth!  Smile Brilliant should only know that the clear trays are multi-taskers!  Add to that, when I slept with them on, I didn’t grind my teeth!

Oh and these trays are a great diet aid and keep you from grinding your teeth at night!  Now if they could only pick out a winning lottery ticket for me…

You can whiten your teeth anywhere in the window of 45 minutes to three hours.  It depends on your sensitivity level.  I’m about as sensitive as a moose in the forest during the middle of a snow storm so for me, I went the full three.

After the first session I did notice brightening on my top teeth, and were surprised that my bottom teeth were noticeably lighter.

First session over and I noticed a difference.

The second session had me admiring the job on my top teeth a bit more.

A lazy day with not much to do–but a great day for taking care of my teeth!

I even managed to film a YouTube Chat video with my clear trays intact.  I’ll be doing a video review on the teeth whitening sometime next week!

Getting brighter after the second session!

Now—I did an experiment during the third session.  I didn’t use the desensitizing gel.  Since I was reviewing, I wanted to be completely transparent and wanted to see if the desensitizing gel really worked.

It did.  Without prior application of the desensitizing gel, and straight to the whitening gel, my gums burned.  But not enough to make me stop the session.  The burn went away after a half hour. Still, I would not advise using the whitening gel without using the desensitizing gel first.  It really is a very necessary step.

The end result after four at-home sessions is that I’m very pleased.  I’ll definitely be using this before Oona’s wedding next summer.  Did my teeth become the pearly white chicklets that we see on celebrities, models, and Instagram beauties?  No. They did not—and I wasn’t expecting them to either.  Although my teeth needed brightening, I’ve never had pure white teeth.  They’ve always been more of a vanilla shade.  And the years have dulled them.  In fact, I’ve had my teeth professionally whitened when I was in my thirties and Smile Brilliant did as good a job if not better!

There are different kits to choose from with price points of $149 up to $189.  The kits come in a variety of strengths.   And it’s worth the money.  Another good thing is that the whitening and the desensitizing gels can be purchased separately without the kids.  I plan on getting more!

Overall, how would I rate this?  A solid A.

My rating is based on the comfort and ease in using the system and the fact it does what it says it will.

As we age, so many body parts change.  One of the changes is with our teeth.  Our enamel isn’t as strong as it once was.  Years of coffee, tea and wine stains can make our aging teeth dull and discolored.  Smokers have it worse.  And the other thing is that many are on fixed incomes and this is a more affordable way to add some luster and brightening to your teeth than to go to the dentist.

Toothcare is more than just brushing and flossing our teeth and this is more of a beauty product for your teeth!  And that’s a good thing because our pro-aging teeth should be beautiful too!

Like the rest of me my teeth are pro-aging.  And they have gotten lighter and brighter!   Enter the giveaway because you’ll have nothing to lose!!  I won’t steer you wrong!

Wanna try to restore your teeth to their youthful and brighter beauty?  Here’s a coupon for 15 % off your purchase. Copy and paste  atypical6015 to yourSmile Brilliant purchase!

And, for an additional burst of brilliance, there’s a giveaway!!! It ends two weeks from today–on September 6th!!!  And is open to all my friends in the USA, UK Australia and Canada!!!!!

Giveaway link: http://www.smilebrilliant.com/g

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