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DarqueDreamer M.
Review for Kat Von D Lock-it Makeup Setting Mist - 1 month, 1 week ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
The Kat von D Lock It Makeup Setting Mist seems to work pretty well. I wouldn't give it 5 stars because it is not the best setting spray I have tried, but it keeps the makeup in place all day, and minimizes rub off. It doesn't seem to keep it from breaking in my problem spots as well as I would like, but it works pretty well still.
Medium
Combination
Acne, Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Redness, Uneven Skin Tone
Brown
Review for Dermalogica UltraCalming Calm Water Gel 1.7oz - 1 month, 2 weeks ago
By itself, the calm water gel soothes and moisturizes my face. We have hard city water, so my entire body usually itches after my shower. My face has always been red (rosacea is suspected) and usually has dry, irritated spots that tend to cause problems when I wear makeup. After using this product for several weeks, my face has felt smoother, more moisturized, and has less redness. My foundation also seemed to lay better around my problem areas.

Thank you to Influenster and Dermalogica for sending me these products for free in exchange for my honest review.

Picture is before and after. Less redness and more moisture!
Review for Dermalogica Barrier Defense Booster - 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
I tried the defense booster under my makeup the couple days that I went out in the sun recently and I felt like it was an extra layer of protection. Living in the desert, it is extremely dry here and the sun is always out, so having that added layer to protect from the dryness and the harmful rays is a plus. I felt like the defense booster did its job and kept my skin from feeling dry and irrigated after my time outdoors.

Thank you to Influenster and Dermalogica for sending me these products for free in exchange for my honest review!

Picture is Before and After where you can see the rednesss is calmed.
Medium
Combination
Acne, Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Redness, Uneven Skin Tone
Review for A Monster Calls - 4 months, 1 week ago

This story transcends reading levels by connecting to the reader on a deeply emotional level. You know what is going to happen, but you are able to connect with the main character and the story through empathy. For anyone who has ever lost a loved one to cancer, prepare yourself for a tear-jerker. For those lucky enough to have not experienced that type of loss, this story will send you on the emotional roller coaster that those of us have ridden before.
Review for A Little Princess (Hardcover) - 4 months, 1 week ago

"Everything's a story. You are a story--I am a story..." (Burnett, p. 92).

A Little Princess is a timeless classic; an enchanting tale. It is full of magic and wonder. This book is the epitome of imagination and childhood fancy.

The Plot: Seven-year-old Sara Crewe has always been a princess at heart, as well as a princess in her own, wealthy home in India with her loving father. When her father decides to invest in a business venture, he takes little Sara London to Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies. There she is envied and adored by her fellow pupils. She begins to find her place in the school, making friends, and telling fantastical stories, until news of her father's passing yanks her from the fantasy she has created. Left penniless and without care, Miss Minchin decides to keep her as "charity" and forces her to move in to the attic with the servant girl Becky. Working and living as a beggar weighs heavily on her heart and her fancy of pretending to be a princess. Can she overcome the obstacles life has thrown at her and prove that all girls truly are princesses in their own rights?

‚ÄúWhatever comes,‚ÄĚ she said, ‚Äúcannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.‚ÄĚ (Burnett, p. 108).

A Little Princess has always been one of my all time favorites stories (and favorite childhood movie). I love the morals portrayed in the story and the imagery the author uses to make you feel like you are in London during this time frame. I am in awe of the fantastical imagination that Sara has and I love the childhood nostalgia the book emanates. The characters are well written and I have always loved the faerie-tale like feel of the story.

Before we discuss the characters, let me talk about the morals and theme of the story. A Little Princess is known most for having the theme that all girls are princesses no matter their appearances or wealth. This is such an important theme, especially in this day and age, when girls are so focused on their appearances and social media statuses. Girls are so mean to each other, and a lot of girls think they are better than others. This book teaches young girls to value themselves and to believe in their self worth. Some amazing morals found in this book are: to treat others with respect, help those in need, pay it forward, and to never give up. Sara lived the life of a spoiled, rich girl, but never once acted like one. She treated those around her with kindness, even when they did not deserve it, and, even though she felt like giving up at times, she never did.

Sara Crewe is a beautiful, intelligent, lovable little girl. She is kind, caring, and selfless. She is full of imagination and personality, and is most definitely a true princess at heart. Her character is proven time and again when she does things that seem too wise and mature for a seven-year-old to do, such as taking little Lottie under her wing when she realizes how badly she misses her deceased mother, befriending the servant girl Becky when she is told not to friend those beneath her, and giving her food to a beggar child even thought she is hungry. We could all take a lesson from Sara on how to treat others and I think we would all be happier if we could use our imaginations the way she can.

"She was a child full of imaginings and whimsical thoughts, and one of her fancies was that there would be a great deal of comfort in even pretending that Emily was alive..." (Burnett, p. 18).

Miss Minchin, head mistress of the school, is a horrid, ugly woman. She spoils Sara thinking that it will earn Captain Crewe's respect, therefore causing him to pay her more money. She praises Sara in the presence of others, not because she actually believes her praise, but to better her status in the eyes of the other pulpils' parents. She is selfish and cruel, the only reason she allows Sara to stay in the attic as a servant is because she is worried about her reputation if she throws her out on the streets.

"She was very like her house, Sara felt: tall and dull, and respectable and ugly. She had large, cold, fishy eyes, and a large, cold fishy smile." (Burnett, p. 10).

Ermengarde St John is such a lovable, contrasting character to Sara. Though she shares the same kind, selfless qualities, she is different in appearance and mannerisms. Ermengarde does not share the ability to pretend and imagine as Sara does, thus she becomes enamored with Sara's stories. She doesn't carry the confidence and the quick learning like Sara, but she makes up for it with her ability to become a caring friend with a big heart.

"He'll like it if I learn anything in any way," said rueful Ermengarde..."Perhaps," she said, "to be able to learn things quickly isn't everything, To be kind is worth a great deal to other people." (Burnett, p. 136).

This truly is a beautiful, magical story. It will forever hold a place in my heart and I hope it continues to spark kindness and imagination in the hearts of others. The morals and theme of the story bring tears to my eyes and I will always love the beauty and enchantment of Sara's character and her fantastical stories and "pretending".
Review for The Fault in Our Stars - 4 months, 1 week ago

I don't think anyone could depict this book any better than Jodi Picoult did when she described it as, "Electric...filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." The Fault in Our Stars isn't your average story about a teenager fighting cancer. It's a story about a teenager LIVING with cancer in every sense of the word. Cancer isn't the enemy here, dying is. Cancer is trying to live and grow as much as the person it becomes a part of. 

We learn right from the beginning that Hazel is terminal, and expect to lose her at the end of the story. What we don't expect is the relationships she builds when she meets Isaac and Augustus, and the twists the story takes as it unfolds. We expect the world around these kids to stop moving because they have cancer, as if hit by a "grenade". We find out that life does go on, for those with cancer and those without.

I found myself filled to the brim with emotion while reading this book. Many different emotions. I went in to this expecting to be overcome with nothing but sadness and pity for Hazel and, instead, found myself living through her, feeling happiness, humor, excitement, and grief. I fell in love with Augustus, felt pity for Isaac, and felt joy for Hazel. I felt the friendship between Augustus and Isaac and felt the passion between Hazel and Augustus. I learned what it felt like to be a parent to a child with cancer. 

The Fault in Our Stars became one of my favorite books over night and I only wish I was able to properly convey how full my heart felt after reading this. John Green infused this story with so much emotion that you feel like you are living Hazel's life with her. Cancer is that "four letter word" that no one wants to hear or live with. It is automatically assumed that the quality of life, for both the cancer patient and those around them, suffers and leaves no room for love, laughter, and happiness, but life still goes on, and these precious moments are still felt and lived, despite the sadness, sickness, and impending demise.
Review for ZenniOptical.com - 4 months, 2 weeks ago
Zenni Optical is incredible! Their glasses are stylish, sturdy, and super affordable. Every pair I have gotten has been accurate, long lasting and better quality than pairs that cost $300+! I love being able to afford multiple styles too! The wait time is not bad at all either.
Review for Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Color Protect Sealing Spray 3.3 oz - 4 months, 2 weeks ago
The Pravana vivid color protect sealing spray is a great addition to my hair care routine. It can become oily if too much is used, but it detangles, smooths and prolongs and protects vivid color.
Review for Aveda Control Force‚ĄĘ Firm Hold Hair Spray - 4¬†months, 2¬†weeks ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Review for: 9.1 oz more...
Aveda Control Force has perfect hold. It has a pleasant smell and it is easy to use. I am able to stand my mohawk up when I use Control Force, but I can also use it lightly for every day hairstyles. I can do wonders with it when styling my 50's hairstyles too!
Black
Dry, Color Treated
Color Protection, Hair Loss
Review for Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick - 4 months, 2 weeks ago
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Review for: Ruthless more...
I was lucky enough to receive the Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks, in the shades Dominate and Ruthless, from Influenster, and Laura Mercier, for testing purposes, in exchange for my honest review. So, I will begin by reviewing the lipsticks together, and then continue on to review each color.The packaging of the lipsticks is very nice. They have the twist motion to expose more lipstick, or to expose less to protect it. They also have sharpeners on the opposite ends. The packaging is sleek and black, with the names in a gold/white font.The shape of the lipsticks look and feel like crayons. The sharpeners work to an extent, but can be a little messy with the shavings. The lipstick also feels a little like a crayon consistency when applying it.Ruthless is the first shade that I tried. I was not a fan of this one, unfortunately. I felt that it looked, and felt, chalky, and was definitely more pastel pink than nude. It was too matte and dry, felt like I was using a crayon when applying it, had to apply it over a few times to get a decent coverage, and crumbled when it was re-applied. It also did not stay on my lips through eating and drinking. The only positive thing I can really say it that it did not stain my lips, or skin when swatched. I would give it a 1.5 to 2 star rating because I would like to try it again after a good lip scrub and moisture treatment.
Medium
Brown
Black
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