Tag Archives: Beauty

12 Months of Beauty Products Review: Fall Edition

Katherine’s back with her ongoing series reviewing People Magazine’s “Best of” Beauty products as described back in January. Take it away, Katherine:

After a very busy start to the school year, I’m back with my reviews for September and wondering what I should blog about in 2017? So let’s get started.

September left me not wanting to walk away from summer, which was reflected in my two beauty picks.

Best Body Wash winner: Nivea Coconut Body Wash

Summer or winter, I love to pamper myself with shower creams that leave my skin soft and smelling great. Nivea is one of my favorite brands for these products because I like its price point, fragrance, and lather.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.01.21 PM

The consistency is medium to light and honestly, I found this one to be a little less creamy than other Nivea shower creams. It does have a nice summer smell (light coconut fragrance, not overpowering). The formula contains Jojoba oil, which leaves your skin smooth and well moisturized. I also loved the lather. It did not leave my skin dry after the shower, which was another plus–especially going into winter months.

Overall, I would buy this one again.

Now for the Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Foam

Let’s be honest, this is a mouthful to say and I didn’t love the packaging. It did not last very long, either (and I only used this product in the mornings while in the shower).

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.03.56 PMIt was creamy and had gently exfoliating micro beads that I did like. This product promised to brighten my dull and uneven skin. It also said it would give my skin a smooth, conditioned, and even texture.

So did it deliver?

Well, I loved the smell–fresh and citrusy. The gentle exfoliator did not overpower my skin, and my skin was slightly brighter. But the even texture? Not so much.

Overall, Olay is widely available with a line of products to address any skin need, but this product did not WOW me. I look in the mirror and say to myself, “Time for a peel.”

Coming up for November- time to prep for winter! I’ll start with the Best Exfoliator winner, Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer ($8.99). As most of you know, charcoal is the new “it” ingredient and I have yet to try it.screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-53-40-am

Along with the exfoliator, I am going to use the Best Eye Cream, Best Cleanser, L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal ($24.99). screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-7-55-21-amThis little overachiever battles dark circles, fine lines, puffiness and bags–who doesn’t need help in that area?!

Look for my review at the end of November.


Now, start thinking about 2017. More beauty, or maybe some recipes, or a combination of both?

Please tell me, what would you like to read about in 2017?



12 Months of Beauty Products–August Edition

Everyone welcome Katherine back with her ongoing year of testing the so-called “Beauty Product Top Picks.”

Hard to believe that summer is almost over. While I am sad to see it end, I do look forward to the school year routines. I’m also a sucker for fall clothes, cooler weather, and heavier food. Bring on the sweaters and stews!

If you remember from my prior post, I was looking forward to trying out the Best Lip Balm, ChapStick Total Hydration, and the Best Face Wipes, Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes.

Here are my thoughts on both:

ChapStick Total Hydration.  If you’re looking for total lip care with no color, look no further. Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.22.29 PM

The ChapStick Total Hydration is a collection of three flavors (I picked Soothing Oasis) and has one of my favorite ingredients, Shea Butter! To mix things up a little, I shipped this little goodie off to my daughter who was spending a month in Texas at summer camp.

As in 100+ degrees, sunny all day, and no air-conditioning summer camp.

Being outside all day long made her desperate for a good lip balm. I’m pleased to report that, shortly after delivery, a nice little note arrived from my daughter telling me how much she loved the ChapStick. She said it was highly moisturizing and, better yet, long lasting. She reported that it worked great under a lip gloss or lipstick and that her lips felt great all day. ChapStick is a tried-and-true brand and was easy to cart around while doing all of her camp activities. Yay! This will be a staple for the upcoming winter months.

Simple Skincare Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes

Let me first remind you that I was traveling all summer to various lacrosse fields, where I sat for hours in the heat. Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.23.47 PMBy the end of each day, my makeup had pretty much melted into my face. I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel and wipe off my face with these wipes. Not only are they the perfect size to handle my face and neck, but also they are the softest cloths that I have ever used when compared with other drugstore facial towelettes. Second, I loved that they removed all—yes all—of my makeup with very little effort. They even removed all of the sunscreen. My face felt very clean. Bonus: they are fragrance-free, so there is no eye irritation like I have experienced with other towelettes. I will definitely continue to keep these cloths in my travel kit!

Coming up in September.

I’m going to hang on to summer a little longer and give the “Best Body Wash” winner, Nivea Coconut Moisturizing Body Wash, a test. Along with the body wash, I am going to use the “Best Cleanser,” Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Foaming Cleanser.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.01.21 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.03.56 PM

Look for my review at the end of September!

Here comes Fall, ya’ll!


12 Months of Beauty, Part 4

Hey Ho…Katherine here with the beauty updates on the two new products I mentioned back in March.

With spring here and summer knocking on our doors, I have found the perfect razor for you gals.  After over a month of using the SCHICK HYDRO SILK TRIMSTYLE, I’ve had a while to get acquainted with this 2-in-1 razor and bikini trimmer. Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.30.13 AMNote: before trying this product, I was a daily shaver.  You heard me right! I’ve been shaving my legs and under my arms daily for the last 30+ years until I found this little beauty.  Overall, this product has made shaving a slightly less annoying experience for me.

This razor gives such a close shave, I don’t need to do it daily.  Also, it has a moisture strip that, in my opinion, works just about as well as shaving cream. The razor glided right over my skin, removing hair quickly and easily with little irritation.  I usually get a lot of irritation when using other razors, especially the disposable ones. Due to habit, I did sometimes use shaving cream with this razor, and that works, too. Either way, you get a very smooth finish!

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.30.50 AMUnfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to sample the COMPLETELY BARE MOISTURIZING NO BUMP SHAVE GEL that I had wanted to test.  Why?  Because I couldn’t find it anywhere! I tried CVS, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.  If you find it, please let me know where.  I would still like to try it (even though you really don’t need shaving cream with this razor).

I enjoyed the razor very much, and for this reason I would most likely be willing to purchase this product again.


As for the bikini trimmer…that was a winner for me too.

I haven’t ever used one before, so I have nothing to compare it to. As for the features, it has an adjustable guard to keep you from nicking your lady parts, which is good to have while you’re experimenting. You can also remove the guard, if you’re looking to get a closer trim. There are four adjustable lengths, but I didn’t really check those out.  I am a girl that likes a nice bikini wax, so this will not really replace that for me, but it does extend the amount of time between waxes (which is a good thing for the checkbook)! I’ll say that using a bikini trimmer can help you cut back on (or get rid of) the irritation you’d normally get with saving.  And if you’re completely intolerant of the pain you’d experience waxing, then this may be for you.

Another plus to add to the list of pluses-the whole thing is waterproof. I was highly skeptical of this at first. But when I turned on the electric trimmer after having gotten some water on it and safely avoided being electrocuted, it kept working.  Also, interestingly, the product twists open in the middle so you can replace the battery. One was included in the package, in case you were wondering. To date, I have not had to replace the battery.  Also, all of the trimmer parts are detachable for easy cleaning, yet another plus.

In summary, I would give this razor and bikini trimmer a 9/10 collectively. 

What’s up for May?  Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.14.08 AMI am out of the Hydro Boost Water Gel that I liked so much over the winter months.  So instead of purchasing a new jar, I am going to try the Best Night Cream winner, GARNIER ULTRA-LIFT MIRACLE SLEEPING CREAM.  This product contains hydroxy acids that smooth your complexion, and lavender (I love anything lavender) oil that soothes your skin —while you are snoozing!

I’ll be back in May to review this product and introduce one or two others from the list of top beauty products I mentioned back in January. Until then, enjoy the beautiful spring weather!


Age and Beauty

I’ll be fifty later this year. When I say that aloud, it still shocks me. I don’t feel a day over thirty-five—until I look in the mirror.

Sometimes my heart aches a little when I take stock of my thinning hair, my saggy middle (no, not the one plaguing the first draft of my current manuscript), my wrinkles and age spots. Of course, there are other things I love about being this age, most significantly my experiential wisdom. There’s nothing quite as reliable as education acquired through the school of hard knocks. It yields hard-earned knowledge, which in turn inspires a sturdy kind of confidence. The kind that awakens a different kind of beauty: the beauty of empowerment.

Sure, by every objective measure, I was physically prettier at twenty-five than I am today. Yet, I wouldn’t trade a tighter body (or even my thicker hair) for the self-assurance, courage, and freedom I know at this age. I’m still a daughter and a sister and a friend, but I’m also a wife and a mother. I’ve learned to persevere, to let go when I must, to grab for what I want, and to handle rejection. I’ve learned that I am not defined by the way that I look, but rather by the limits my own fears and doubts impose. That understanding makes it easier to clear away doubt when it crops up (which, of course, it still does, although with less frequency).

And what I think I’m finally accepting, despite the reflection in the mirror, is that I am more beautiful as this woman than I ever was when my muscles were taut, my hair glossy, and my skin still wrinkle-free. I hope my daughter (and other young women) learn this secret much sooner than I have, because then they can waste less time blowing out their hair and more time dedicated to the things that bring them genuine fulfillment.




Katherine’s 12 Months of Beauty–No. 3


I am one of those gals that loves to be pampered, but the reality is that my daily beauty rituals are whittled down to a super-speedy routine. Then I met this little product…Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.37.44 AM

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer allowed me to pamper myself in seconds every time I stepped into my shower. My skin felt smooth as silk from the second I put this product on, and it lasted all day. I was worried when I first bought this lotion that it would be greasy, slippery and an overall mess in the shower, but it wasn’t at all. This lotion soaks into your wet skin magically, and by the time you grab your towel to dry off, it has already evaporated. My skin looks, feels and smells amazing in seconds! I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!


Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 9.36.59 AMWith the Maybelline New York Lip Studio Color Blur Matte Pencil. Yuck…it was dry, dull, and cakey. There is a white tip on the end that I had no idea what to do with. Was it an eraser, sponge, etc? This product did not even last one hour on my lips. It was so dry that I kept applying my lip gloss over it. I tossed it after 10 days.

This product was a bust in my book.

Next up for March…Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.30.13 AM

Best Razor- Schick Hydro Silk Trim Style ($13.99 at drugstores). Reviews claim it offers a close, lasting shave (including intimate areas. #summeriscomingwinkwink.)

Best Shave Cream- Completely Bare Moisturizing No Bump Shave Gel Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 9.30.50 AM($8.99 at CVS). Reviews claim that the exfoliating beads means no more razor burn, nicks, or ingrown hairs.

Have you tried any of the products that I have reviewed? If so, which ones and what did you think?