I Caved

This post is to celebrate all those times we fall into an irrational purchase for the pure beauty of it. Because...this happened...

***Item purchased by me. Affiliate link included.***

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

I think the first time I saw promo pics for this Chanel beauty of a highlighter/powder thingy was on British Beauty Blogger back in March. I was so bummed to read it was only going to be available in France and the UK. I obsessed for a few weeks trying to figure out how I might be able to obtain one - Ebay??? After awhile I forgot about it. Until I read it was going to be a Nordstrom Exclusive for the Anniversary Sale. Helloooooooo!!! Obsession re-ignited!!!

Tell you what though...I was really good and actually swatched this in store before purchasing. I know. GASP. I was afraid it was going to be a little too bronzy, but the gorgeous swatch session proved otherwise. Of course, I have yet to wear this because I can't bear to lose the lace pattern. And I can assure you it will go away - I went in the morning on the first day of the pre-sale and it was already well worn and it looked like any other compact except around the outer edges. I apologize...no swatches...maybe someday. For now I wanted to share my excitement and Rocky moment for having (finally!!!) been able to purchase this!!! Yaaaaay!!!

Ok, a couple more Chanel pics :-)

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

Chanel Dentelle Precieuse Illuminating Face Powder

For more pictures, reviews and beautiful comparison swatches, please see The Beauty Look Book and Sara @ Color Me Loud

This is still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, HERE. And if you happen to use Ebates, Nordstrom is 10% right now :-)

Have you caved on any pretties lately that you've been obsessing over??!

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Beauty Thoughts II

First round of Beauty Thoughts can be found HERE. If you thought I was done spilling, guess again ha ha! Here's Round II...

1. I'm finally admitting that the thrill of the makeup chase is more exciting to me than actually using it. 

Bronzer Bunny and I have talked about this quite a bit, where we wonder why we buy so much makeup when we hardly wear it. I'm not sure when she realized it, but I remember texting with her not too long ago and she flat out said she liked buying makeup more than wearing it. At some point she said I was the same way, but I didn't put much thought into it until recently. And most notably the last few days. Not that we don't like wearing makeup - we love it!!! But we aren't wear-a-full-face-of-makeup-everyday kind of girls. I think we are good if we manage a few days a week. And even then it's probably not a full face. 

Anyway, she's totally right. I love reading reviews, watching videos about the products whether it's in a review, favorites, empties, disappointing products or whatever type of video. I love googling swatches and comparing them to each other and wondering which is closest to how a product might appear on my face. Sometimes I can't sleep because I'm thinking about how I could otherwise be reading more reviews or talking to other people about the products. Or I could be on Instagram looking at all the pictures from people who already have them. And there's the constant obsessing about how it'll fit into my current collection or not - oh, and will I like it more than that other thing? Oh, crap...am I going to need to purge again to make room or is there place for all of it?? See, it's a whole thing. A process!!

If something is LIMITED EDITION, I love the thrill of wondering if I need (and by need I mean want it enough) or not...oh, and then commiserating with fellow beauty lovers over the gorgeousness of said LIMITED EDITION product and whether or not they are going to get it. If I finally decide to get said LE product, then the chase is pretty thrilling and rather heart-pounding especially if I've been to several stores or sites and it's been sold out. Oh. My. God. And then there's the ultimate prize...I finally find the beautiful unicorn and it's mine...aaaaaall mine. I can pet it and marvel at it and bask in the magic and pretty, pretty colors and utterly amazing packaging.

Oh, and then there are the Gift With Purchase purchases. Sucker. I'm a total sucker. Throw in a cute little bag I'll never use and I'm totally hooked. Then I'm obsessing about what I don't need trying to justify the GWP. Such magic in those letters. G.W.P. Free shipping with that? Yes, please. Coupon for a future purchase, hell yeah. Chance I won't use most of the samples in the GWP - cloudy with a 90% chance they will end up in the giveaway pile. But it's FREEEEEEEEE!!! Get it??? I'm totally buying something I wasn't even thinking about before and not really even sure I want it now, but hello I'm getting something FREEEEEEE!!! 

And then I can imagine all the ways I'll wear all these things. Oh, it'll work this way and that! I was totally missing that color! Oh, I absolutely needed another taupe-leaning-mauve-leaning-brown-leaning-grey because guess what it actually ends up leaning oh-so-slightly-purpley-plum-charcoaly and is totally different than the one that ends up leaning charcoaly-plum with a hint of blue shimmer and the other one is matte so I totally needed THIS one!!! And anyway, so-and-so has it and I saw her swatches and they are GORG and she wears it with those 2 other things I already have so it's like it was tailor-made for my collection. 

Yep, that's me.

2. I REALLY, really, really dislike the brush on Chanel polishes. 

I realize something like this is completely personal preference, but seriously I can't do it anymore. And when I say I can't do it anymore, I mean I'll resist and resist until that one totally unicorn tear of a color comes along that is irresistible. And it's OOS everywhere. And it's is LE. Whoops, and there I've gone back on my word.

It's such a conundrum because I think Chanel does some beautiful and unique colors, but that brush :-(  For me, it's too long and floppy and skinny and it always messes me up somehow. And it's tough to get the right amount of polish on the brush because of the weird length...like I completely swipe polish off the one side and then it's too long to get the right amount on the other side...and then it's this struggle to get it out of the bottle and I end up with either too much or not enough polish. Too much is a problem. Not enough is a problem. Ugh.

Notice it's the brush's fault, not remotely user error ha ha! I feel like I get a smoother application with a wider brush, oh not to mention a wider, more substantial brush (like YSL's) gets the job done more quickly. Plus I rarely have the patience for 3 coats, and for some reason that darn too-skinny-too-floppy brush just makes things uneven in the weirdest way and I often feel I should do one more coat no matter the color. But generally that's not gonna happen. I came to this conclusion tonight while trying to paint my nails with Tutti Fruitti! 

3. Painting your nails well takes practice. Lots and lots of practice.

And by painting your nails well I mean by NOT painting them to look like I'm a 2 year old who's just learning how to color. Wait. Do 2 year olds color yet??!! Seriously, I don't know. Do they???

I would see all these bloggers and pics on Instagram of ladies who had immaculately painted nails and wonder, how the heck do they get them to look like they were done at a salon??? Surely there's got to be some tool, some trick, some Tom Foolery that I don't know about yet that will give me the same results. So I started asking these ladies, how do you do it?? They all had the same answer: PRACTICE. Ex-squeeze, me?? Practice?? Um, ok, whatever. I kept asking until I was assured there is no magic trick. There is no perfect nail painting gene. Seriously, it's practice. 

Riiiight. Still not convinced, I finally hunkered down and committed to painting my nails as often as possible. First time painting post commitment and the manicure didn't turn out very well. Hmmmpf. I scoured ULTA and Sephora looking for tools that might help get that perfectly clean line around the cuticle. Guess what. They helped, but nothing actually did the work for me. But by this time I had painted my nails quite a few times within the span of a couple of weeks, and guess what...it didn't look any better. KIDDING!!! 

I found I was getting slightly more speedy, and by that I mean I was shaving seconds off of my total manicure time. Hey, it adds up at some point! But the main thing was that my hands were less shaky and I was slowly starting to kinda get the hang of getting a clean line around my cuticles. At this point, I'm not going to be Deborah Lippmann anytime soon and I still need to keep at it. But my Physical Therapist always compliments me on how good my nails look -she even told someone the other day that my nails always look like I had them done at a salon! Helloooooo!!! Yeah, that's me!!! Progress, people...progress and PRACTICE!!! Yep, all those ladies were right! 

4. I've suddenly got a hankering for Chanel. Lots and lots of Chanel. 

Which might seem strange, given #2 above, but eh...   *shrugs shoulders*

I've always had an appreciation for Chanel beauty, but never really was that into it. There'd be products here and there that I liked and purchased, but the brand as a whole never grabbed me. Until now. And suddenly I want what seems like everything!! Except for polishes. Maybe.

For instance, I never glanced twice when the Les Beiges powders came out last year and suddenly I want to try one. I didn't give a thought to the Les Beiges Multi Colour powders, but now I want both colors. That compact - love the cream and I feel like I need one in my life! Blushes - sooooo many colors that look right up my alley! I bought items from the Fall collection and was really interested in checking them out even before they hit stores.  Not to mention a (cough) few of the new shadow quads. Oh, and the gorgeousness that is the Dentelle highlighter!! And now I can't wait to see what the next collection holds!! Help - who am I?!!!

Sooooo...written down I suppose it doesn't seem as bad as it has seemed in my head. But much of my time lately has been devoted to looking up Chanel swatches and reviews that I feel like I've got a Chanel tick or something. 'Cause I can't help it. 

LOL of course I can help it, but do you ever get like that about a brand, or perhaps a particular product where you are completely obsessed and overtaken by it??? Almost as if the obsession has a mind of its own??? It's crazy. Or I'm crazy. Or both!

5. I think that's enough for now :-) xo

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I Love My... Office Supplies!

As a way to sometimes get my mind off the 24/7 world of beauty, I'd like to occasionally show you some other things I love! Here's the first one...

Geeky as it sounds, I absolutely and totally love office supplies. Container Store, Staples, Target...you name it...it it's got an office supply section (or better yet is an actual office supply store!!) then I'm all over it!! Growing up, though I hated the thought of going to school, I used to revel in the school supply lists and subsequent shopping outings and being able to organize it all. Sigh :-)  

And lately I've been trying to organize the World of Gummy Vision - blog thoughts, To Do's & the like - to hopefully be more productive and not forget things?? Hmmm...it's only the beginning so we'll see how that goes LOL! Buuuut...to get myself off on the right foot I've ordered some things to help, and thought I'd share some of those with you. 

***All items purchased by me. Non-affiliate links provided.***

Click image to enlarge

What did I order?? I had a field day on Amazon and have many more things on my Wish List, but here's the latest and greatest:

Martha Stewart 8x10 Shagreen Journal in Blue - You can find this at Staples, but they were out of this color online and I didn't want the other color. It's also $10 cheaper if you can find it in a Staples store or happen to catch it in stock, but it's proved to be hard to find. I love the color, the larger size and that I can still divide it with the removable tabs I also bought! This will serve as my main blogging journal.

VELA Series-A2b Compact Computation Laboratory Notebook, Ruled 9.25"x7.5" - The Martha Stewart journal is a little large and because it's hard sided, just a little heavier than I'd like to travel with (or to just keep in my purse). I wanted something lighter, so I settled on this notebook. The plan is to transfer to the Martha Stewart so that everything still remains in one place. 

Post-It Super Sticky Notes, 4x6, White with Blue Grid - I didn't want a permanent To-Do list section in any of these notebooks, as those type of lists can be never-ending! Instead I'm going to place these graph Post-Its to the inside of each journal...I figure much easier to replace with a new Post-It when I'm done with the list rather than worrying about running out of room or something in the journals. Plus I think it will just look more tidy as I cross things off - the more items that are crossed off I can just copy the few left to a new sheet!

Martha Stewart 3 Color Assorted Tabs - And the genius is that these are removable! 

Staedtler Ballpoint Stick Pens (10pk) - I've had a set of Staedtler fine point markers (properly called the Triplus Fineliner Pens) for awhile now, and really love how they write and the colors they come in. Soooooo...only natural that I'd want to try the ballpoint pens, yes?!!

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen (20 colors) - While I already have some of these colors, I don't have ALL of them!! And who doesn't need backup markers anyway?? I love the cases these come in because you can wrap the lid around so that it makes a stand for the markers as you use them. This brand is also fantastic because you can leave them uncapped for awhile without them drying out (supposedly for days, but I've never tested it that long). 

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen Pastel (6 colors) - Uuuummmmm...HELLO...of course I needed the pastel ones, too :-)

Do you have an office supply obsession too?!!! I wanna hear about it - let me know I'm not alone ha ha! xo

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Update: African Botanics Pure Marula Oil vs. Garden of Wisdom Marula Oil

A couple of months ago, I shared an updated Skincare Routine (HERE) where I reviewed the African Botanics Pure Marula Oil. Here's what I wrote:

Bronzer Bunny suggested many times that I try the African Botanics Marula Oil because she is a big fan of the line in general and she also knows how much I love my oils! She was kind enough to give me this luxury sample size, but I didn't try it until I decided to eliminate Emu Oil (review HERE) because of the rash. Woooow...I thought the Emu Oil was really good, but this Marula Oil is even better!! It's lightweight, is nicely moisturizing and absorbs easily even without spritzing water beforehand. It makes my skin very soft and naturally glowy, but not shiny-over-the-top. 

What I most loved about Emu Oil is that it seemed to heal my skin, and this Marula Oil does as well as Emu if not better. Case in point: once I started using Marula Oil, my rash diminished in size and frequency and did so much more quickly than anything else I had been using (except cortisone cream). I also had some weird rough patches on my shins (it's like the hair follicles were growing out of themselves or something? Idk but it wasn't regular dry skin) that cortisone cream wasn't doing much to help. Enter Marula Oil and those rough patches are almost gone. 

And if all that wasn't good enough, I haven't had an active breakout after using the Marula Oil for a couple of weeks. I've had some clogged pores here and there, and some random sore spots that never came to pimple fruition...nothing that isn't normal or that I can directly attribute to the Marula Oil. And all those have gone away after using my spot treatments. But with any other oil I've tried I always had a zit at one point or another, even if they were less frequent. I also feel this has helped speed the fading of old acne marks, moreso than anything else in my routine. 

On the aging front, I've also been using this on my crepey eye lids, and it's helped a little :-) Nothing short of plastic surgery or lid replacements will completely get rid of the crepe, but I'll take what I can get ha ha!! 

I purchased a full size already, though I opted to go the Garden of Wisdom route. The African Botanics version is $80 for just over 2oz, and the GOW is $12.30 for 1oz. Plus, the African Botanics has added fragrance, which I'd rather not have and I'm not fond of the way it smells. Think I mostly don't notice it now (it's been over 2 months) but I still catch a whiff of it every so often and...well...I'd rather not. I'm assuming the GOW version will work the same on my skin, but in the off chance it doesn't I'll be more than happy to purchase the African Botanics one despite the fragrance and price, I'm loving it that much. Fingers crossed though! 

***All items purchased by me. Affiliate links included.***

African Botanics Pure Marula Oil, Garden of Wisdom Marula Oil, 1/2 oz dropper bottle with Garden of Wisdom Marula Oil

Crossing my fingers in this case didn't help!! Perhaps I should've crossed them more often or also crossed my toes too?!! Oh, but what happened???

After using the Garden of Wisdom Marula Oil for about a week, I noticed I was getting more clogged pores than I had previously had. As time went on, the rash on my forehead became progressively worse and I suddenly had irritation bumps on my cheeks. The bumps on my cheeks grew worse, both in number and in size of the affected area. I thought it might be a sample I used but it didn't get any better after stopping said sample. Cortisone cream seemed to provide some relief, but wouldn't quite go completely away and my skin started to have somewhat of a sandpaper feel. UGH. Also the GOW version didn't quite have the same hand feel, nor did it seem to feel as silky?? Hmmm...maybe that was in my head...but I do know there was something different in how it felt upon application. 

So I stopped using the Garden of Wisdom Marula Oil and tried to go back to the Garden of Wisdom Passion Fruit Seed Oil. The reaction got a little better, but was just really really slow in getting back to normal and it seemed like I was getting clogged pores again and actually had a few zits. So I bit the bullet and ordered the African Botanics Pure Marula Oil. The price made less painful by a 20% off coupon I found (while Googling) to Beautybar.com, oh plus no tax and no shipping. Still...$64 is a lot more than the GOW version, so I was a little disappointed.

Buuuuuuut!!! I also feel very relieved because my skin is almost back to normal!!! It's taken a good couple of weeks but I finally feel like my face looks and feels like it did when I was using the African Botanics Pure Marula Oil before...really healthy, with that natural luminosity and clarity others may not notice but I certainly do. And that's what matters :-)  I still stand behind everything I wrote before, which is more firmly cemented now that I have tried another brand. Oh, and I don't notice the added fragrance anymore so that's good!

I'm not particularly sure why the Garden of Wisdom version didn't work as well?? The African Botanics site says the Marula Oil they use in their products is organic (HERE), while the GOW version is not (HERE). Perhaps they are sourced from different parts of Africa and that makes the difference? I don't know. However, I do know that I'm now stuck with 2+ bottles of the GOW Marula oil, because I thought it would be fine and didn't want to be caught without a bottle. Another lesson in not buying backups lolol :-)

Whatever version you decide to try, I'd still recommend getting a dropper bottle to decant into. These provide much better control over how much is dispensed. I buy mine in bulk from Amazon (no particular seller just whoever comes up cheapest and as Prime eligible). 

African Botanics Pure Marula Oil may be purchased from Beautybar.com, Spacenk.com, Bloomingdale's. It can also be purchased but is currently out of stock at Skinstore.com, Dermstore.com and Beauty.com. If you don't want to commit to the full size, and are perhaps interested in trying a few other African Botanics products, SpaceNK has a trial set of several AB products for 50% off, HERE

I'm super curious now to try the African Botanics version with Neroli Oil. Has anyone tried this one?? What do you think and how is it different?? 

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