Sunday, March 30, 2014

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup

First Impressions

I decided to try a new foundation: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Makeup. This is a new and different formula from the first Age Rewind foundation, the Eraser Treatment Makeup, which I've also tried. I liked it a lot except it had this horrible sponge applicator that meant you could not open the top at all to get the product out, and the sponge just flaked and disintegrated VERY quickly so I had to throw out a ton of product. NOOOOO. Of course, you don't have any options but to apply it with that stupid sponge tip, which applies streaky and blends horribly. You are forced to use your fingers to try and smooth it out. Blech. I like to apply my foundation with a flat top kabuki or a blender sponge.

THIS foundation you just twist off the cap and pour it on out! Thank goodness for that little revision. Here is the info on the new formula (you can still get the other one, but I don't know why you'd want to!):

Goji Berry + Caffeine

SPF 18 Sunscreen
For All Skin Types
Instant Results:

Radiant look
Smooth and even skin tone
Firm skin
The Secret?

Formula with Goji Berry and Caffeine visibly firms and improves skin's condition.

I was a little nervous at first because, while it looked like the right color in the photo, and I selected the lightest shade available (Creamy Ivory 120), it's quite common for the product to look a lot darker than it looks in the photo. It's also pretty common for the product to look dark in the bottle. Ivory is ivory, so I expect it to look LIGHT. I have very fair skin.

Sure enough, it looked several shades darker than in this photo AND compared to my skin. Damn. But when I rubbed some in to the skin on the inside of my forearm (the best place to test it, as it's closest to your face, unless you want to match it to your neck when your tan, then test it on your neck), it blended and melted right in. Excellent match.

I wore this foundation all day, and it covered nicely and wore well. My skin looks nice and even. So far I really like this foundation and the sun protection it offers, but mostly because of the bottle and application, as well as the finish it gives my skin. Natural looking is a MUST. (Tip: To avoid caking, take a tissue and blot your face. It takes off that layer that sits on top of the skin and leaves it looking fresh and natural)

As far as the claims of visibly firm and improved condition of skin? Of course, I can't comment on that yet. I don't wear foundation every day. I RARELY wear it. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to make a decent assessment of my overall skin's condition/firmness over time. However, I read quite a few customer reviews and overwhelmingly, this foundation scores high with the pros being: Blends well, easy to apply, goes on smoothly, lightweight, and good pigmentation.

Customers' opinons as to best uses are: Light to medium coverage, for mature skin, full coverage (little contradiction there, and it was almost an even split! Let's just say that it is buildable coverage, and the overall coverage is good), and for normal to dry skin. But I have combination skin that can get oily, and after I set this with translucent mineral powder, it was not cakey at all and did NOT make my skin oily or turn it oily throughout the day. The consistency is pretty creamy, a bit heavier than I'm used to, but not unpleasant.

With Gogi Berry as an excellent anti-oxident to promote radiance and caffeine to firm, I think it's worth a try. It's a good price at about $8.99 for a generous sized bottle. It will last a while.

I hoped to try L'Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup, but the color was completely different than the photo despite being a light ivory shade, it's no match for my complexion, so I have to send it back. I won one and lost one.

I am alternating between this foundation and the Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish, which is the foundation I've been using for a few years now. I like an airbrush finish. I haven't decided which I prefer yet. I feel like the Age Rewind had a nicer finish than the airbrush, but it could be the finishing powder I used and the Nyx Dewy Finish Setting Spray I used with this one, so I'm going to suspend judgment for now. They are both nice foundations. It just depends on your preference and what you want to achieve with the product.

I wore all natural mineral blush and translucent setting powder over this foundation, Nyx HD Concealer (under eye), and L'Oreal DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer (conceal/brighten outer under eye area). Nyx Dewy Finish Setting Spray. E.L.F. eyeshadow primer.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Masks

Pore Refining, Smoothing, and Moisturizing Facial Treatments on a Budget

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Masks:

Avocado & Oatmeal Clay
Chocolate & Strawberry Clay
Pineapple Facial Enzyme
Golden Grain Facial Brightening
Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing

Price: $3.99 for a 6 ounce tube.

My Facial Treatment Routine (using the Chocolate & Strawberry Clay, the Pineapple Facial Enzyme, and the Golden Grain Facial Brightening masks):

I've used several of Freeman Masks now, and I really like the results. I have NOT had any skin irritation or reaction, and my skin is looking better with continued use.

I love the Chocolate Strawberry Clay Mask, but I'd say that between this one and their Avocado and Oatmeal Mud Mask, I prefer the Avocado. They both clean your pores out with kaolin clay, and they both provide nourishing benefits (strawberry, chocolate, shea and cocoa butter moisturize and chocolate is a great anti-oxidant that improve skin tone/diminishes pores, while avocado and oat offer nutrients like vitamin E, firms and smoothes and draws out excess oil and dirt). I will probably alternate between the two for the purpose of purging my pores with a kaolin clay mask.

I use this mask (clay) once a week, or if I'm having a particularly bad skin week (acne prone w/ hormonal shifts), maybe twice. You can also use this as a spot treatment. Yup! It works! Kaolin dries out a pimple like nobody's business. This is the idea behind Proactiv. You know the commericals? They make a mask that you dot on to your pimple and it will dry it out by morning, stopping it in its tracks. Well, you don't need to buy a acne treatment system for that (not saying you shouldn't if you struggle with Acne--Proactiv is still the best on the market until someone comes up with something better--Well, I think I found a better one, but that's another post coming soon!).

I would probably choose the Avocado Clay Mask for this because the chocolate makes me want to eat sweets. :) Whatever you wish, but you want to use the clay mask with kaolin. Kaolin is what extracts the junk from your pores. Take a little and dab it on to the blemish, covering it. It will dry quickly. Go to sleep, and when you wash it off, you should see a reduction in size and redness. This will depend on the pimple, size, and if it's cystic, etc. You may need to repeat this until the blemish goes away.

About 2-3 days after using the clay mask, I do a mini home facial with the Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask and the Golden Grain Facial Brightening Mask. You do NOT want to do the clay mask AND the enzyme mask on the same day. They enzymes plus the alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids in the Pineapple Enyme Mask is going to exfoliate your skin, which you already do, in a way, to your pores with the clay. It's too much, and you're likely to irritate your skin. I don't think you would damage it because these products are gentle, but it's not good to go overboard. At the very least, you may break out or have a reaction.

I use RoC Daily Resurfacing Disks first (Aveeno makes a great daily exfoliating disk, too). They are THE best, gentle for daily use, exfoliating product. This preps my skin to absorb all the goodies in the mask. The disks are so gentle, they don't scratch or anything. They just help buff and polish skin. Afer the disk, I put on the Facial Enzyme Mask. In my upcoming skin care post, I'll talk about how good alpha hydroxy, glycolic acids and fruit enzymes are for anti-aging skin care. For now, I'm focusing on the benefits of the masks. The enzymes slough off dead skin and all the congestion that collects in your skin throughout the day (gross, huh?). But they are also MOISTURIZING. So you're not just taking stuff out, you're putting vital moisture back IN to your skin. The result is a beautiful glow and more radiance. This is great if you have dull skin. Those with chronic illness, like me, often struggle with dull, sallow skin.

Bonus for the 35-45 group:
You also get great anti-aging benefits. One of the main processes that occurs when we age is a major reduction in cell turnover. While we sleep, our skin cells die and then create new ones. We also produce collagen while we sleep. When we're young, our skin is quite efficient at this regeneration process and so we look fresh and dewy, firm...YOUNG. :) Young skin also retains moisture. As we age, the moisture barrier breaks down, so our skin does not hold moisture it needs. Cell turnover also slows down, so the result is that our skin starts to look tired, loose its plumpness and elasticity, we get fine lines and sagging, our pores enlarge, the skin around the eyes gets thin and crepey, and with stress and fatigue come dark circles. Collagen breaks down. Our skin is T-I-R-E-D. These treatments are a great way to encourage aging skin to behave more like it did when we were in our teens and 20s.

After about ten minutes (I stay at 10-15 tops, some go longer, but it's not necessary, and it may start to irritate--it's got those enzymes and AHAs!), take a wash cloth, preferably a baby wash cloth because it is way more gentle, and wipe off the mask with warm water. Pat dry.

Now you're going for a deep moisturizer. You've exfoliated. You've deep cleaned and refined your poresand now you want to replace the moisture. This is an important step. Remember, if you don't properly moisturize your skin, your skin will respond by producing MORE OIL and then more break outs. Many do not understand that and avoid moisturizing out of fear the moisturizer will break them out. It's actually the opposite. There are many oil-free and oil-control moisturizers on the market! Plus, if you have dry skin or mature skin, you need something extra to keep your face from looking dull. We're going for glowing skin!

If you wish, you can skip the mask and use your preferred moisturizer(s).

Some people do not favor this gel mask. Freeman Golden Grain Mask is definitely very moisturizing with natural, essential oils and extracts. It is also a brightening treatment, and it's very hard to find moisturizers with brighteners in them (or you'll pay BIG bucks). This mask costs around $3.50-$3.99 for a generous sized tube, it's cruelty free, and has mostly natural ingredients.

Personally, I need a good moisturizing treatment even though I have combination skin with some oily patches. As I approached 40, my skin did get a bit drier, especially around my nose. I also have sensitive, acne-prone skin. Our hormones play a big role in this. This mask will moisturize acne-prone oily skin without clogging pores. Remember, when you use a cream, you have that cream on all night and even non-comodogenic products, because they are filled with chemicals that many are reacting to but don't realize it, can lead to a fresh batch of pimples when you wake up. This is why I would go with a moisturizer that I know doesn't break me out (will be posting about this in my skin care routine blog later) and for more intensive moisturizing, use a weekly mask treatment, which is washed off my face so the oils are not sitting on my skin all night, but has absorbed the good oils that my skin needs.

This Golden Grain mask is a gel, and some don't like how liquid it is. This is not an issue for me. What it does: natural Golden Grain helps lift moisture levels for a dewy-smooth look and super softness. Vitamin C, a very imporant ingredient to have in your anti-aging regimen helps control the formation of dark spots, firms, and brightens. Bottom line, it's very soothing and nourishing for dehydrated skin. If you use acne products, your skin can get dry, flaky patches, and this mask will correct that and help fade the spots left behind. It's also good for sun-damaged skin and those pesky brown spots. It leaves a nice glow. And then you can go ahead with your regular skin care routine to care for your skin and treat other skin problems you may have.

I apply this mask, and I leave it on a bit longer than suggested (10 minutes). I wipe it off with warm water using my baby wash cloth.

I usually do this facial at night, so I finish off my regular skin care routine (serums and night time moisturizer).

I wake up with soft, glowing, toned skin, a more even texture, and a brighter complexion. My skin is also very smooth. At my age, I should have issues with englarged pores, but my current skin care routine has greatly diminished the appearance of my pores.

Please remember that you should always do a patch test (I do it just under my jawline) to check for allergic reactions and skin irritations. Everyone is different, and you could react poorly to just one ingredient. I found that even with my sensitive skin, I did not have any irritation with these masks.

For the price and the benefits, I think I'll keep using them. Some people prefer Queen Helene masks. I've used a couple of their clay masks and found them to be great for pores, but I didn't find that they moisturized or nourished my skin.

Home Facial Treatment Mask Recipes:

If you'd rather try making your own masks try mixing 1 tablespoon of water and three tablespoons of natural brown sugar. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. While the melted sugar is still hot (be quick!), mix in some baking soda and some pure cocoa powder (add little by little until the consistency is like brownie batter). In another bowl, mix an egg white with one tablespoon milk and whisk. Add the chocolate/brown sugar/baking soda mixture until you have a paste. Apply and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and baby wash cloth.

Another mask recipe: Five tablespoons of whole wheat flour, add 3 tablespoons of natural honey, squeeze in some lemon juice (REAL lemon).

Or mix some plain yogurt with some oats, cream, and lemon juice (lemon evens skin tone by diminishing dark spots).

The Hot New Glam Glow Treatment:

For those of you who do have the cash, there is a product called Glam Glow Hydrating Treatment that all the YouTubers swear by. It gets great reviews. I have not tried it because it's insanely expensive, so I cannot vouch for it. Keep in mind that companies send girls with YouTube beauty channels products, so you'll see them all using this one product and raving about it. There are benefits for them, of course. Not saying that all of them are dishonest, but sometimes a product becomes popular on YouTube and the goal is to get you to buy it. People become obsessed with something and there are just as many good products out there that do the same job for a lot less.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pinterest Board, Dia's Fashion & Beauty Favorites - Almost 6,000 Pins!

Hi Dolls!

I'm very excited for my Pinterest Board, Dia's Fashion & Beauty Favorites 2014! I've been on a short hiatus to catch up on months of fantastic fashion magazines (I read Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, W, Nylon, InStyle, Allure). I didn't realize just how overwhelming it is to keep up with so many magazines! I like to read them and then share my favorite trends and tips in fashion and beauty on my Pinterest board.

What's coming: Fashion week Spring 2014 Collections (New York, London, Paris, Milan); New York Fashion Week Fall 2014 Collections (Happening NOW!). Tons of special features and my favorite/top picks in beauty, fragrance, and much more.

If you haven't followed me yet, please come hang out. I want to be one of the best in women's fashion on Pinterest! My goal is 500 followers this year, and I'm up to 293 as of this month.

Follow Asleep by Dawn Dia's board Dia's Fashion and Beauty Favorites on Pinterest.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Fashion & Beauty Favorites Pinterest Board Reaches 3,000 Pins; Over 100 Followers!


I just finished a few features on my Pinterest board, Dia's Fashion & Beauty Favorites: Etro, Oscar de la Renta, Paris Street Chic, and Anna Sui. AND I reached the big 3,000 pins! I'm so very proud. I also managed to gain 100 followers in less than two months. My goal is to make my board one of the most popular boards for women's fashion on Pinterest.

If you love fashion, you'll love my board! Three thousand pics of the most beautiful clothes: Ready-to-Wear and Haute Couture runway shows, Street Chic, and features on handbags, jewelry, etc. Showcases of designers/brands and my "Faves" review of select runway shows, including NY Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.

I'm still exploring and discovering myself. Certainly, my board highlights any and every look that captures me and makes me "Ooooooh" and "Aaahhh," but I also love combing through archives to look at slideshows of collections from my personal favorite designers and brands: Chanel (my love affair), Dolce & Gabbana, Anna Sui, Mariella Burani, Christian Lacroix, Missoni, Oscar de la Renta, Blumarine, Mui Mui, Badgley Mischka, Givenchy, Dior, Alice & Olivia, Valentino. 

I also feature trends (I keep up on them by reading all the top fashion mags, in particular Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, and W), and my favorite beauty looks and products. I really love to do features on handbags and jewelry. 

The photos are endless, so be patient and be sure to scroll, scroll, SCROLL to the end! It's worth it!

Come hang out!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Don't forget AbD is on Pinterest and Dia's Fashion and Beauty Favorites has hit over 1,000 pins!

Don't forget to visit me on Pinterest!

I have several boards that I'm building, but my most popular board is Dia's Fashion and Beauty Favorites. Please check it out. Repinning is a great way you can support me and help me build my brand. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I'm very proud of my fashion board. All my favorite designers and brands and some of the most beautiful clothing you'll see in one space! If you want to pin any of my pieces, there is a "pin" button in the upper right corner of the blog.

My board gains several new followers a day and tons of repins. It's a lot of fun for fashion lovers!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Additions to the 2013 Design List! Something for Everyone!

The new concepts are popping into my mind at record speed! That's a very good thing!

Here are some of the new design concepts that I've added to the list:

Dark Fairy Forest (with a very, very beautiful ribbon and matching cord for companion accessory HairWear) - smokey blues, purples, golds, greens and glitter thread down the middle

Enchanted - super gorgeous "dancing fairy" themed piece, silk wrap style and likely a variant in Treasure Trim ingorgeous rich pinks, corals and lots have to see it to get the full picture. Enchanted is a Soul Circle fairy-inspired beauty, dancing free, joyous, love, wishes, magic, whimsy, fantasy. Everything I love about fairies. This one is about DREAMS and believing in ourselves. Fairies are there to remind me that there are other worlds to explore, endless possibilities as long as I'm open and willing to see. This piece is all about self-empowerment, finding joy through a state of inner piece, dancing to your own song that the fairy sings just to you. I imagine her whispering in my hear when I feel confused and need clarification. She gives me guidance, but it is a bit cryptic, and she leaves me to figure the answers out for myself since everything I need is already within me. Dreamworlds are like coming upon a secret garden paradise deep within the woods, full of flowers and a softly trickling stream, butterflies (of course) and the fairy folk in their mushroom houses. It's a place to retreat to, absorb the wisdom of nature, lay among the flowers and the chittering forest creatures...and DREAM!

Imaginarium - A Gothic circus theme mixed with celestial and ribbons in deep dark blues, inspired by the music of Nightwish. is inspired by the band Nightwish, and specifically, their new magnificent album, Imaginaerum. Done in my beautiful Charmed Treasure Trim style, the ribbon and handcrafted beads are done in navy shades of blue deepening into almost black and then fading to almost white, like moonglow. The ribbon is edged in dark glittering thread, custom moon and star beads and charms, rhinestone studded silver star charm, circus themed--tent, carousel, and hot air balloon, ship's anchor, music note, and piano charms, and "imagine" word charm. Truly MAGNIFICENT. If you want to know more about the particular charms chosen for this piece, check out Nightwish, Imaginaerum album and film to be released, as well as the website of composer and synth player for Nightwish, Tuomas Holopainen. I will likely make two of these, as the first one is being sent to Tuomas and Nightwish in Finland.

Mariposa - based on the painting of a gorgeous richly colorful butterfly fairy by Myka Jelina. Mariposa means "butterfly" in Spanish.

Rainbow Rose Garden - This one is also inspired by a photo, this time of a garden of rainbow roses. This will, of course, have lots of handmade rainbow rosebud beads and charms and a matching glitter ribbon and beads in a variation of rainbow colors: Fuchsia, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, and purples. This is an enchanted woodland fairy garden, so this piece will surely be Charmed with a fairy and butterflies (they love roses, too!). This is a very lovely, joyous piece, that celebrates the art and beauty of Nature, soothes and uplifts the soul, with Serenity for the wearer. Perfect Soul Circle for someone who adores and appreciates the magic of COLOR!

Queen of the Nile and Valley of the Queen - I have been drawn to Egyptian mythology since my childhood, and ancient Near Eastern mythology is one of my research specializations--It's a natural extension! :) More detailed descriptions to come. Desert colors in sienna, russett, brown, tans, gold done in 1/8 inch silk cord with Egyptian charms: Eye of Horus, ankh, Nefertiti, pyramid, winged Isis. Perfect in honor of the Egyptian Goddess!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Night Magick Elixir™ Soothing Herbal Tea Blends

Herbal tea blends specially formulated as a natural, organic herbal sleep aid for people struggling with chronic pain, made by someone who knows what it's like to have trouble getting sleep when you are in constant pain.


My tea blends start with a basic recipe, which I owe to an herbalist friend of mine. My mother also taught me a lot about herbs and had several herb gardens in our backyard. She took me with her on regular trips to the famous Caprilands herb farm in Coventry, Connecticut. The tea was wonderful, but it still didn't quite do the trick. I knew I needed to research other herbal remedies for the symptoms I suffered from that left me tossing and turning--more like writhing around-in bed. People who suffer from chronic pain and illness need something more. Herbs that can provide some pain relief. I started there, and after a few hours of initial research, Elixir™ Sweet Deep Night Blend was born! Then I added additional herbs for variations:

Sweet Deep Night Blend - Sleep
Moonshine Harmony Blend - Sleep + Relaxation (muscle spasm)
Tranquil Twilight Blend - Sleep + De-stress (anxiety, emotional stress, well-being)
Eventide Blend - Sleep + Anti-Inflammatory (muscle ease; relieve soft tissue swelling)
Sweet Dusk Support - Sleep + Cleanse + Support (immune system; liver and gallbladder; digestion)

These ingredients promote relaxation and sleep. You'll also enjoy deeply inhaling the aromatic steam and the wonderful flavors of nature's flowers. Some include, chamomile, lavender, and mint. Sleepy time herbs like passion flower and skullcap will help you actually look FORWARD to slipping into a warm bed! Finally, herbs like hops make this a powerful potion.

From there, I add to the recipe various herbs with potent healing properties that help relieve underlying symptoms that keep you from sleeping, such as inflammation, spasm, stress/anxiety, and even help support your body and promote healing with herbs that boost your immune system and gently cleanse your liver and gallbladder and relax your abdomen, encouraging proper digestion and ease cramps.