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Paula's Choice Skincare To My Rescue (+ 20% Off Code and Free Shipping!)

Advertorial content. Product sent for review. Product purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

Paula and I years ago. Such babies!

You know all about Paula Begoun, right? She was the first person shouting reviews from the rooftops way back when you had to buy her books and bloggers were not yet a thing. Paula is the person who taught me all about ingredients, forced me to wear sunscreen every day and convinced me I didn't need a separate eye cream in my 20s.

My point? Paula knows skincare. The fastest way to cut through the hype of beautiful magazine ads and retouched photos is to see what Paula thinks works the best, based on the chemistry and science in the formulas. No time for cross checking ingredients and packaging and formulation? Save your time and try the products she's personally developed. Each one is hard-working and lives up to everything Paula preaches: effective products, stable packaging, fast results. (Check out Beautypedia if you want to see how your products currently stack up.)

I've got dry skin, with fine lines, some sun spots and a little redness. I chatted with one of Paula's skincare pros to figure out exactly what would deliver the results I was looking for.  They have products for every skincare woe and aren't shy about answering questions!

Quite an overhaul, eh?
The Paula's Choice Skincare Consultant suggested we start from the ground up and revamp my entire routine. I know my skin can take an aggressive approach, so we decided to stagger the addition of some serious treatments into my daily plan to really make my skin look amazing.

To make sure my skin is clean without being stripped, they suggested the Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser. This helps cleanse dry to very dry skin without giving you the post-wash "itchies" (it's great for people with rosacea, too!).

Although I'm not always a huge fan of toners, they suggested I try one to make sure no makeup is left behind. Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner soothes dry skin and instantly re-hydrates.

Serums are the fastest way to make major changes to your skin. To help my skin look more radiant and healthy, they suggested the Skin Recovery Antioxidant Serum with Retinol as my everyday serum.

One of my biggest battles is with sun damage. The best way to fight this problem is to purge tired, old skin cells and reveal, younger, brighter and clearer skin. It's strong, but results are practically guaranteed with Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant.

My skin still needs moisture, so we added a Skin Recovering Replenishing Moisture to keep my skin hydrated and supple.

Finally, we finished my daytime routine with a daily Skin Recovery 30 SPF. (You wear one of these everyday, right? Please tell me you do!)

My nighttime routine is similar, but we decided to pay close attention to getting rid of my sun damage. While a few products do work together to make a difference, Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment is a hard working treatment that should finally help deliver that Downtown Abbey glow I'm after.

Because I've only seen real results with a peel or laser, my skincare consultant at Paula's Choice suggested I hedge my bets and use a 1% Clinical Retinol Treatment. This, combined with the rest of my plan, every other night, should turn my skin "on", making it work like an engine to turn over new cells quickly.

Because hydration is so important, we added two more products. The first is a mask that boosts hydration like crazy. The Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask calms skin, soothes redness and boosts hydration. Plus, you can leave it on overnight to really boost your glow.

Finally, we added a few drops of Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster to my regime every day. All of the sun damage repair can be really drying. This oil is amazing and boosts my overall hydration throughout the day, not just when it is initially applied (that's a major distinguishing point, btw!).

It's been about a month since I started my Paula's Choice Skincare plan. My skin is super smooth! I mean, super smooth.  The redness on my cheeks has lessened and the fine lines around my eyes are better. The texture around my nose has improved and my skin is more radiant overall, smooth and even-toned. My skin has more bounce--meaning it has more elasticity and looks younger. You can't be disappointed by the results you'll get with Paula's Choice. Fun fact about Paula's Choice: She doesn't believe in eye creams. She doesn't have products for the eyes only. Instead, she suggests using your regular products on the periorbital area. Cha-ching! That's money you aren't spending! And speaking of saving money...

Want to try it for yourself? Check it out on the PRIMP app and get 20% off + free shipping. Or shop the Paula's Choice site directly via this link and save 20%.  If all else fails, just enter PRIMP20 at checkout and save. Any way you slice it, I've got you covered to save 20% on your best skin ever, plus free shipping. Sweet action! Try it and tell me what you think!

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Find Kelly on Google+, Twitter or Facebook. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here. Like this post? Subscribe and never miss a thing! Copyright 2009-2015, Gouldylox. All Rights Reserved.

Makeup Wars: Favorite Beauty Trend Prediction for 2015

Makeup Wars is all about beauty trends for 2015. Everyone has been predicting them, myself included. What is happening now is really interesting to me, but not because of the trends themselves. Instead, it's because of how blogs and sites like Pinterest and Instagram are dictating the trends. Stick with me on this one.

For the last year or so, women have been obsessed with contouring their faces. MaskCara developed her own line of products specifically for this, released Thanksgiving Eve, 2014. But Kevin Aucoin published books about its transformative powers forever ago. There are tons of tutorials on how to make your face skinnier, your nose smaller and your eyes bigger. And honestly, I feel like the internet is over hyper-contouring. It's just played out. Extreme contouring is over.

Who cares, right? Well, starting at the beginning of February, almost every line with gondola (shelf) space at Sephora released a contouring palette. These were released  a month after the consensus that hyper-contouring was over. Manufacturers literally cannot keep up with what bloggers, content creators, and Pinterest MUAs are doing.

The bloggers, those who do FOTD's are setting the trends. Not the magazines, not the Kardashians (although they are trend setters for some) and not the designers, but us. We are setting the trends. We are telling the cosmetics companies what we want to see. And based on the very late release of all of these contour palettes, they can't keep up with us. We are the ones in control.

I want to see a return to natural beauty, without a focus on looking so artificial. Maybe that's just me, but I think we are all beautiful in our own ways. If you want to accentuate your gorgeous brown eyes with electric green liner, winged to your ear, then go for it. But I hope we stop contouring, bleaching our skin (which is different from lightening dark spots on already light skin) and hating what we aren't. Because we are already pretty great.

So I ask you--what is next? What do you think we'll see? What has you excited on pinterest? What are you searching for ways to do?

Check out the trends my Makeup Wars Warriors predict will be big this year! Click on the tiles below:

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Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here. Copyright 2009-2015, Gouldylox. All Rights Reserved.

Lipstick League: What Beauty Routine Aspect Is Most Neglected?

Question of the Week: What is the one part of your beauty routine that seems to get neglected most often? I am terrible at washing my brushes. Maybe it's because I have so many available or maybe it's because there are only so many hours in a day. Either way, I fall down on this job more often than not. You?

  EauMG - takes a stroll down memory lane and finally reviews one of her favorite masculine fragrances. She can’t believe that this fragrance is celebrating a 20th birthday this year...oh, how time flies.

  Glitter.Gloss.Garbage - Cinderelly! Cinderelly! Glitter.Gloss.Garbage swatched MAC Coupe D’Chic from the Cinderella collection, so check it out before the store launch!

  Gouldylox Reviews - These palettes have not gotten much love and I'm not sure why. They are absolutely gorgeous to look at and to wear!

  Love for Lacquer - Must have date night essentials? Love For Lacquer shares hers!

  Nouveau Cheap - You know I love finding dupes for popular, expensive palettes. So did I strike (rose) gold with this one? Come find out.

  Prime Beauty - asks what happens when unique packaging and quality products come together? Stix Lipstiks! 

Phyrra - Want a new miracle skin product? Check out Phyrra's First Impressions of the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream!

  Vampy Varnish - Sometimes matte polishes look much better with a top coat, which Kelly shows you with some of the new Essie Cashmere Matte shades.

  we heart this - want to try Neutrogena's new Hydro Boost Water Gel? How about winning it, along with a $200 GC to MyHabit? Well then, click here!

  Beautygeeks - Meet your dry-lips superhero. Your wallet will love it, too.

  Beauty Junkies Unite - If there really is shaving nirvana, Amber has just found it with the new Gillette Venus Swirl Razor. See what makes it a sublime shaving experience!

  Clumps of Mascara - How many beauty thangs can you score for $50 at CVS? Check out what I grabbed and enter a giveaway so you can score $50 worth of beauty items, too! (Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.) G

uest Post of the Week, as chosen by EauMG - One of my favorite perfume blogs, The Candy Perfume Boy, simply explains one of the most amazing technologies in the perfume world, headspace. It sounds so sci-fi and well, it sort of is. These are machines that captures smells. Yeah, really.
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Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here. Copyright 2009-2015, Gouldylox. All Rights Reserved.

Ulta Gilded Gold Natural Eye Shadow Palette

Purchased by me. Affiliate links.

I've never bought an Ulta shadow palette. None of them ever appealed to my senses before. Yet the Gilded Gold Palette managed to capture my attention. The LORAC Unzipped Gold Shimmer Palette was twice the price, so I dove head first into the unknown.

And by diving into the unknown, I mean I was talking to myself in the store, rationalizing beauty math, as I do every time I shop:

"I really like the idea of an all-golds palette. Yeah, but I don't need another palette. Even though the LORAC one is gorgeous. If the Ulta version is nice AND it's half the price, then it's a fair compromise and I'm saving $22 for something else. And if I hate it, I can always return it."

Never let me balance your accounts. Under any circumstances.

That said, I grabbed the palette and set out to create something fabulous. The shadows are more than a little on the dry side (I know the LORAC ones aren't!). But once you've blended them on the eye with primer, they are fine. I guess. I do wish there were more colors that had gleam. Sure, there are mattes and glitters and shine. But I just wish the pigments had a little more glitter and shine--know what I mean? Oh yeah, and a little more pigment! The swatches below were impossibly hard to get. I honestly got mad and gave up trying.

Overall, this palette is uninspiring at best and straight up bleck at worst. Plus there is nothing golden or gilded about it. If you need another nude palette and hate makeup, be my guest and grab it.

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Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here. Copyright 2009-2015, Gouldylox. All Rights Reserved.

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Graphite

Sent for review. Contains affiliate links. 

Let's discuss these new palettes from Hourglass. They are amazing to look at; one color rolls into the next in a seamless stream of beautiful pigment. Yet quite a few makeup lovers have been hesitant to crush on them. People always seem to misunderstand Hourglass products when they are first released. Then they fall head over heels in love when the products are almost out of stock (Ambient palettes, anyone?). I'm quite certain any "chalky talk" is another case of misunderstood identity.

Because these shadows are not flat in a pan and have peaks and ripples, swatching them with fingers will make the delicate points crumble. So don't do that. These aren't meant to have your fingers sploshed into the pigments. Think of it as wearable art (and if you aren't into that kind of thing, then don't drop the money on the palette).

The Modernist Palettes are different from other shadows, thanks to the multi-press technique used when creating the palette. Matte, shimmer and super-pigmented shades are all blended together, giving you extreme flexibility and control of your look. The shadows can be layered, built up or worn effortlessly sheer. It's important to remember to pat these shadows on to the brush when you are applying the shadow to the brush. You can't treat these multi-pressed shadows like a Vice palette. Pat, pat, pat the shadow on to your brush and then apply as you normally would. It makes all of the difference between a mess and a beautiful look.

When applied properly, the shadows in Graphite go on evenly and stay perfectly for no less than eight hours. They are easily blendable and look stunning on the lid. Instead of sitting on top of the lid, looking like makeup, the shadow looks as if it had been airbrushed. Few shadows actually wear this way and it's such a treat to find beautiful colors that play on the lids the way that these shadows do.

All Modernist pigments can be used wet or dry, depending on how much color you want. Of course, adding water, moisturizing eye drops or a mixing medium to your brush will give you more shine. Applying the matte colors damp won't do much other than slightly intensify the overall color. The shadows aren't damaged by using them damp and apply normally as soon as they dry out.

There is something to be said for a palette that is as beautiful to use as it is to wear. The Modernist Shadow Palette in Graphite delivers. If I was made of money, I'd buy all of them. (If I was really made of money, I'd buy them for you, too.)

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Find Kelly on Google+. Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here. Copyright 2009-2015, Gouldylox. All Rights Reserved.

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