Mini Reviews: Skin Peel, At Home Gel Manicure, 12-Hr Blush, Lip Butters

March 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Makeup, Nail Polish, Skincare | Leave a comment
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A few of the beauty products I've tried recently

It has been awhile since I posted to My Ray of Beauty, but it isn’t because I don’t love you and want to share all my beauty adventures and finds! So, to try to make up for lost time, here are a few beauty products that I’ve tried recently with mini reviews. Stay tuned for full-length posts on each. In the meantime, please ask me in the comments or email if you must need to know more scoop immediately. Trust me, I get the urgency when it comes to beauty, haha :-).

  • Melanage Peel: The next level of the Vi Peel performed at a medical office followed by a two-week home care system (I recently completed this newer peel developed to attack dark skin blotches, especially Melasma)
  • Nutra Nail Gel Perfect: At home version of the shellac-style gel manicure, however no UV light is needed (polish dries completely within 5 minutes, looks glossy and stays on, but it started cracking at Day 4)
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush: New shimmer colors were added to this best-selling line (this blush has amazing staying power; I have super oily skin and there is still noticeable color at the 12 hour mark…a definite must-buy if you have oily skin)
  • Tarte Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner: Line, smudge and smoke with this multi-tasking pencil (I was so impressed with the blush that I had to try the liner; it stays on well for a few hours but starts to wear off by the afternoon)
  • Maybelline Baby Lips: New SPF 20 Lip Balm (this softens lips nicely, offering some relief for my dry, cracked lips; they are still dry but better)
  • Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter: A lipstick and lip balm in one (I LOVE the Cotton Candy color; it’s a pretty shade of shimmer pink and offers some moisturizing properties)
  • L’Oreal Balm: A lip balm with a hint of color (I prefer the Revlon, it delivers more color and moisture)

All About Nails: Shellac, Duri, and Nail Love

November 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Nail Polish | 1 Comment
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One of my New Year’s 2011 beauty resolutions is to get gorgeous nails. With just 1.5 months left in the year, I still have a long ways to go! However, among the many products I’ve tried this year I am most impressed with It Cosmetics Nail Love and Duri Rejuvacote. I’ve also considered taking the plunge to gel nails.

Shellac Manicure

I’ve shied away from gel manicures, like Shellac, because of mixed reviews about post nail damage. Curious about the process, I tagged along with my friend Joy for her first Shellac service. The mega shine and ultra long-wear were remarkable, but Joy did experience some post-removal nail issues (she estimates her nail health decreased by about 10%). Joy removed the polish at-home, so perhaps it’s less damaging if you get it dissolved at the salon. Have you tried it? What do you think? Curious how it works?

Step 1: Pick a color, any color! Gel nail polish is housed in opaque bottles to protect it from light. Since you can’t visibly see the color, swatches are the guide.

Step 1: Pick a color!

Step 2: Apply base and color polish. Between each coat, polish is “cured” under the light. Thumbs are treated separately since they can’t lay flat with your other fingers (it’s true, I tried it!).

Step 2: Apply base and color with light between each coat of polish

Step 3:  Voila! Incredibly glossy, pretty nails with zero chipping and minimal wear after even two weeks.

Freshly applied Shellac (l), After 2 weeks (r)

Duri Rejuvacote Nail Growth System

Duri Rejuvacote

I came across Duri Rejuvacote while searching for a miracle to rescue my peeling nails. On my favorite review site, Makeup Alley, Rejuvacote received a 4.7 out of 5.0 rating, and 88% said they would purchase it again. These are impressive results! I like Rejuvacote alot and think it’s better than other nail treatments I’ve used. The polish isn’t long-lasting, so frequent coats are required. As a bonus, the pinkish tint gives the look of a healthy nail — instantly. My nails definitely look better. But, in true beauty junkie fashion, I’m holding out hope there’s a product that will make them look downright amazing!

It Cosmetics Nail Love

It Nail Love Holiday 2011 Gift Set

I often base product results on if I’d buy it again. In the case of It Cosmetics Nail Love, I purchased it three more times! Nail Love has improved my cuticles, which peel just like the nail. It’s a thick gel, rich with oils and antioxidants (not at all greasy). Within a few weeks, my cuticles were smoother. Until I ran out and my cuticles quickly returned to ragged! I found a holiday set of 3 Nail Love’s at Beauty 360 for $29 (a savings of about 22% off the individual retail price; also available online). I now keep a Nail Love in my handbag, work office and home office.

10 Takeaways From The September Beauty Magazines

August 30, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Hair, Jewelry, Makeup, Nail Polish, QVC | 1 Comment
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First, a quick note to let you know that Nordstrom just announced FREE Shipping & Returns on ALL online orders, no minimum. It’s like an early Christmas gift!

More than 2,700 Pages of Reading Material

Each August, I start daily checks of the newstands for the September issues of fashion magazines. When the magazines arrive, I devour the pages in search of the latest, greatest beauty items. Come to think of it, I do this every month! According to my sister Sandi, I used to hide magazines behind my textbooks in high school, so the obsession started early. For the record, I don’t recall such a thing 🙂

These are my Top 10 “ooh’s” and “oh my’s” from the September 2011 beauty magazines:

Seen in People StyleWatch: Play Tunes on Your Flatiron. What will they think of next?

10. With the InGlam MP3 Musical Flatiron, you can play up to 500 songs on your hair straightener. “Whip My Hair” is a catchy tune and perhaps your iPod is full!?

9. Rich, Jewel-Toned Polish is hot for the nails and toes. Think sapphire, ruby and jade in creamy or shimmer finishes. According to People Stylewatch, apply just one coat on short oval nails to avoid chips. Also look for new scented nail polish. Lilac has to smell better than toxic chemicals.

8. Jewelry continues a love affair with rose-gold. I hope this relationship is forever!

7. Man-Repeller Fashion is “in.” Coined by the blogger of, this term refers to women’s fashion that men find unsexy. But being single and 40’s, I’m trying to attract not repel y’all!

Seen in People Stylewatch: Dior Eyeliner Stickers

6. Dramatic Winged Eyeliner is the height of Fall fashion. Dior even created “Velvet Eyes” eyeliner stickers for goof-proof application. Personally, I’m filing this under “man-repellant” (see above), along with…

5. Bold Red lips are everywhere and every shade: matte, glossy, stained, bright or dark. If you follow My Ray of Beauty (thank you, BTW), you already know I’m not a fan. Ruby lips may say “look at me,” but pink shades are much more youthful.

4. QVC has a several page ad spread in Vogue. As you know, I heavily shop the Q, but Vogue? Really!? Seems like a stretch.

Seen in Glamour: I Can Spend Hours Watching Kandee Johnson Makeup Videos

3. Bloggers are rising stars! One of my favorites, Kandee Johnson, is featured in Glamour (you go girl!). And bloggers take the role of models in ads for Cover Girl and White House/Black Market.

2. I’m really liking the Undone Bun for hair: a loose knot updo that’s soft and feminine. My tresses need regular breaks from the flat iron and a ponytail is ho-hum. I’m still trying to perfect this look and when I do, you’ll be the first to see it!

1. My favorite trend for Fall is Metallic Green Eye Makeup. I’ve already been experimenting for the perfect shade (blog post to follow). Speaking of eye makeup, Teal Eye Makeup is still “in” for another season (see my post for an age-appropriate version)

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