Paula’s Choice – my four favorite products


They rule, you need them, and they are:




Why is Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes discontinued?

why is paulas choice great big lashes discontinued

Discontinued? Unavailable on every shopping site known to US citizens?

How can this be? For four years my pendulum swung between mascara that made my eyes itch and water, and was clumpy and unattractive, and mascara that was around $20. This budget conscious beauty junkie does not want to pay $20 for mascara.

Then one day – after a four year search, Great Big Lashes. By Paula’s Choice.

I loved it. Nate loved it. My readers loved it. It was simplicity and confidence in a bottle.

I owned one bottle ever. It cost $9 and last 7 months. Now it’s gone.

After fishing the discarded bottle out of the trash (and it wasn’t even closed, the wand and bottle were in different places – gross), I realized I couldn’t really wear that, and rushed to Ulta to get the one mascara everyone has been raving about that I could possibly imagine filling my GBL shaped hole – Benefit They’re Real.

I was disappointed. There really was no difference. I could imagine one if I tried really hard, but that is nothing to pay an additional $14 for, and the definition is inferior to GBL.

You might be a beauty junkie if this image makes you tear up:


Or this:

or this

Or this:

or even this

No explanation. Not even a “this product has been discontinued.”

Now I will have to go back to buying and returning products, something I’ve done enough of for 6 people for 3 lifetimes I’m sure. I’ve even paid people to return products for me.

When I return the mascara, it will either be because they disappointed me, or I just can’t stomach the price tag.

I will have to return to reading hours of blogs by others to see what they recommend, to feel a lump of hope inside, to buy the mascara, only to apply it and think, “it just doesn’t look like Great Big Lashes.”

Or to get almost excited about a new and probably over-priced mascara, resigning myself to its over-priced-ness, calculating how many months it needs to last to justify its drag on my bank account, only to see the empty bottle of Great Big Lashes lying on my vanity, and feel sick to my stomach. Then I will throw it all back in the orange bag with the receipt and say, “I have to go back to the plaza tomorrow, Nate.”  And I’ll fall asleep dreaming about the money I’ll get back when I make the return, and maybe stay up late trolling all the world’s shopping sites for Great Big Lashes.


Maybe. But not much.

Paulas Choice Order – Best Face Forward Foundation New Packacking

paulas choice best face forward foundation

Best Face Forward Foundation New Packaging and Lip Samples:

I think the new packaging is very sleek and more sophisticated than the old packaging.

paulas choice best face forward foundation

The Lipstick Samples were not on flat pieces of paper like I thought they would be, but cute little fullsize lipstick applicators.

paulas choice best face forward foundation review

I’m wearing Sherbert.

paulas choice lipstick in sherbert

I’ve also styled my hair with Bumble and Bumble products and am still loving the results. (Dryspun and Hair Powder).

Best of Summer from Allure: GOLDEN EYES AND CHEEKS Julianne Hough

I was going to jump right into my fall makeup series but when I saw the Best of Summer from Allure online magazine, I had to insert another summer series, this one based on celebrity looks.

julianne-hough-comparison-for-web (1000x600)

Paula’s Choice Ultralight Resist Antioxidant Serum – a MUST in my book. My skin was freaking out without this. This went all over my face and under my eyes.

Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lipgloss in Coral.

Tarte Cheek Stain in Loving.

DSC08501 (1024x768)

My base after skincare was Tarte TM Agent 06 and Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, powdered lightly with Paula’s Choice Pressed Powder and the massive Real Techniques powder brush.

DSC08502 (1024x768) DSC08500 (1024x768)

Allure magazine said strong brows were a must to ground a golden look so I used Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert Brow Palette – an incredible tool to both shape and set your brows. Bronzer went on outer temples and outside/top of cheeks.

  DSC08498 (1024x768)

My Real Techniques Brushes – so versatile.

DSC08503 (1024x768)

I used two Inglot Eyeshadow for this look, but one was the hero – I even used it as a highlighter (I used the contour brush to use it as a highlighter). The bright angel gold eyeshadow below which is a staple color for me. I put the gold on the inner apple of cheeks, across them middle of my forehead, and all over the lid up to the brow bone, and used a brow brush to apply it to the inner corner of my eyes, including the bottom lid.

The pale champagne pink in the upper left corner, I applied with my finger to the outer above-the-crease-area of my lid – a light blush kind of effect.

DSC08504 (1024x768)

How could I have forgotten to include my favorite mascara? Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes. I will be reviewing this mascara in the next week along with a lineup of other mascaras. But it missed the photoshoot.

Another staple product that missed the photoshoot was one of my NYX Retractable pencils in bronze. As with many looks, I applied this to the outer half of my top lashline and the outer third of my bottom lash line.

Wouldn’t believe how many products a “simple” look takes!

DSC08492 (1024x768)


New York weekend goodies for my friends wedding

kaboodle makeup case sonia kashuk paulas choice tarte and inglot

I didn’t know I had a lot of makeup until I got this case.

kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot

I kind of like it.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

A few of my favorite things.
sonia kashuk ultra luxe glosses and bronzer

I remember kaboodle as a pencil case from childhood. I was going to get a SoHo, but this did the trick.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

I hope my hair and my friend’s makeup hold up (she’s the bride).not your mothers hair brands

Some days you gotta rock some Sonia Kashuk lip sheer in melon.
sonia kashuk lip sheer melon

Or Fuschia.
sonia kashuk lip sheer fuschia
Make sure you take the pictures while seat belted. That’s important.

And Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes.
paulas choice great big lashes

Neither of which will break the bank.
So we can afford dog food.
And wedding trips.
bernese mountain dogs

Congratulations Michelle and Tim!!

A Life Changing Product – Paula’s Choice – Anti Aging Clear Skin Hydrator

I developed a chocolate allergy or sensitivity about 4 years ago. The tiniest crumb of chocolate would cause huge flareups of very unsightly rashes on my face that looked like really infected acne. But it was accompanied sometimes by hives so I considered it an allergy. Also because so many people told me chocolate doesn’t cause acne – it was easier to say, “I have an allergy,” than “it gives me acne,” and then listen to people try to persuade me that chocolate didn’t cause acne.

Paula’s Choice CLEAR system (update coming soon) is the very best system for acne I have ever found – my skin has truly never been the same and I’ve been using it since January 2013 – a pretty good track record for acne treatments! Often they work for a couple of months and then lose their efficacy.

However, wanting a light hydrator I also tried this Paula’s Choice RESIST product – Anti-aging Clear Skin Hydrator – “Skin Remodeling Complex.”

paulas choice antiaging clear skin hydrator

This product has one of the most interesting list of ingredients I’ve ever seen in a moisturizer. Things like niacinimide, vitamin C, and a list of enzymes.

I’m not sure which of these 3 magical ingredients (the niacinimide, vitamin C or the enzymes) did the trick – but I noticed that my reactions to chocolate became less and less inflammatory only when I used this product. Then they went away completely. When I ran out of RESIST AACSH, I had breakouts every day. I quickly re-ordered and my skin healed rapidly again, and has remained clear since.

“I can eat chocolate again.” I commented on someone’s blog in response to a conversation we were having about chocolate and skin. I didn’t expect the magic to last but it has.

I can eat chocolate again. I consider that lifechanging.

I also use at as an eye cream at night – it’s brightening.

paulas choice antiaging clear skin hydrator ingredients

Getting ready to blog.

paulas choice antiaging clear skin hydrator cure chocolate breakouts

More details:

Key Ingredients: niacinamide, adenosine  , antioxidant, vitamin C, Boerhavia diffusa root extract, glycerin, glucose, epigallocatechin gallate, cell-communicating ingredients, lactoperoxidase, sodium ascorbyl phosphate

Product Ingredients:

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate (thickening/skin-conditioning agent), Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer (silicone texture enhancer), Glycerin (skin-identical/repairing ingredient), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (stabilized vitamin C), Cetyl Alcohol (thickener), Niacinamide (cell-communicating ingredient), Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate (thickeners), Polysilicone-11 (film-forming agent), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase (skin-clearing agents), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (plant extract/antioxidant), Xanthan Gum (binding agent/emulsifier), Glucose (skin-identical/repairing ingredient), Ceteareth-20 (solubilizing agent), Decyl Glucoside (emulsifier), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

A Chance to Win A Favorite Brand, Paula’s Choice Animal Photo Contest


Hi lovely supporters and blog-friends!

Paula’s Choice is doing a contest called We Love Our Animals to celebrate their cruelty-free status. This is the last week to enter. The winner will get a lot of Paula’s Choice stuff for free!! How fun is that?

This is the last week to enter – so jump in!  I know a few of you have furry friends to show off, so hurry – post your photo!

If you don’t enter though, I think my photo is pretty cute, so consider voting for my Berner Holly! If you enter, I do not expect you to vote for my photo is that would be a conflict of interests.

So join in the fun! Enter and vote! Happy FRIDAY!

Wear Your Vitamins

So when I started this blog I explained in my About page and early posts about my Wear Your Vitamins philosophy. I explained that I believed everything you put on your skin (including makeup) should have a beneficial long term ingredient and not just a cosmetic purpose.

I’ve come to know so much more about skincare and makeup since then, and discovered new brands, and read the book, “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me.” book (I recommend – it’ll rock your world).

So here’s the problem with believing that every cosmetic you buy should be bursting with organic vitamins and herbal miracle potions. 1. It’s expensive. 2. It REALLY limits your choices. 3. It’s expensive.

What I’ve adopted is a slightly modified approach. Wear Your Vitamins, in your skincare. Then adopt a more neutral approach with your makeup. Make sure you understand the ingredients in your makeup (and your skincare by the way) by using a website like,, and If it is buffered with good for you things, great. But if it is harmless, nontoxic, non-irritating, doesn’t cause breakouts, is good for your skin type, applies well and stays well when applied properly, looks beautiful, is formulated well, and works well with your other favorite products, then consider yourself blessed. This has been my approach and my skin is healthier than ever.

It’s no secret that I’m a big Paula’s Choice fan. I’ll have to post my skincare routine soon, it has been amazing! I’ve never been happier with my skin. Because of this amazing skincare routine, I’m free to buy my favorite budget brand again, Sonia Kashuk. And explore other things like Revlon and E.L.F.

I used to wear only Sonia Kashuk, but I did nothing else to take care of my skin so I was drawn away by expensive skincare makeup. Skincare makeup is great! And I loved using it for quite awhile. But like I said, it’s expensive and can limit your options; it’s a lot to ask of your foundation to be beautiful, fit your skin, last long, not settle into fine lines, not be cakey, and be the fountain of youth! (Come to think of it – it’s a lot to ask from a skincare product, too).  I’m having a lot more fun with my makeup options now that I wear my vitamins in my skincare products instead of trying to get that all out of my makeup! Now I’m loving my favorite brand again – it’s just so right for me as far as color options and formula.

Above I have posted some of my favorite products. My Paula’s Choice Skincare must haves and more.

There are a ton of skincare and beauty posts under the menu item “Beauty” so be sure to check them out. 🙂

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum

resist ultra light super antioxidant serum

What if your skincare was a primer? What if your primer was a top notch eye serum that was the perfect morning potion for your eye-area, diminishing lines wrinkles? What if all 3 of these things was in one perfect product?

Out of all the things I got on my Monday order from Paula’s Choice, this product might be my favorite. If you’re looking for a makeup primer/serum/skincare/eye serum for oily skin at a decent price, look no further.

Creates a much better finish for my makeup and feels wonderfully light on the skin. Not to mention the fact that all other primers seemed to be harder on my skin than the makeup, as far as breakouts are concerned. Not this one. It’s not silicone-based, and the super-silky texture creates a wonderful base for makeup. It’s my perfect morning eye cream, hydrating and refreshing the area and diminishing lines.

Ingredients listed on website:

Key Ingredients: vitamin E, niacinamide, vitamin C, ubiquinone, bisabolol, phospholipid, glycerin, adenosine  , beta-glucan, resveratrol, hyaluronic acid, sea whip extract, epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin

Product Ingredients:

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Butylene Glycol (slip/water-binding agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Polysilicone-11 (film-forming agent), Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone (silicone polymer), Hyaluronic Acid (skin-repairing ingredient), Resveratrol (antioxidant), Niacinamide (cell-communicating ingredient), Quercetin (antioxidant), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (skin-repairing ingredient), Ubiquinone, Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidants), Sea Whip Extract, Bisabolol, Beta Glucan (anti-irritants), Phytic Acid (chelating agent), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (film-forming agent), Sodium Hydroxide (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent).

Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Tint Review – updated with more pictures

paula's choice barley there sheer tint in sunlight

This will partly be a Paula’s Choice Barely There vs. Tarte Tinted Moisturizer, because hencetofor (is that a word?) Tarte TM has been the winner of all TM’s.

This is quite possibly the most perfect thing I’ve ever had on my skin. It’s perfect for a no makeup makeup look.

This is what it looks like in natural sun lighting.


I got Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Tint in Light/Fair. I originally got it two shades darker and customer service was AMAZING when I called to ask for an exchange, not requiring me to send the original product in. What an easy exchange!.

I am wearing the color straight out of one of their samples which they sent to me free of charge when they heard I was having color difficulty.

Here’s why it is the only tinted moisturizer I have found so far that could hold a candle to, and even replace, Tarte TM. I have been wearing it for days (in various shades), and it has definitely not had a breakout effect on my skin. Most tinted moisturizers do. (Wanted so to love Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer because I just truly love that lady and her brand and her colors are amazing, but it made me break out. Wanted to love Philosophy’s Healthy Tinted Moisturizer (or something like that) because it was made with olive oil and that sounded oh so natural but my oily skin + olive oil don’t mix).

The silkiness of this product is evident right away. And it spreads really well, making a little go a long way.

I love that it’s

  • made with mineral-based sunscreens,
  • love that it has antioxidants like Vitamin E and C (gotta have my vitamin c!!!),
  • love that is has Sodium Hyaluronate (yeah for anti-aging stuff in your makeup),
  • love the way it feels
  • love its coverage! I don’t want to see my makeup. I want to look more natural than I do with the foundation I’ve been wearing. I want to even out my skin tone and use concealer where needed. I have been watching lots of Lisa Eldridge and she has convinced me this is definitely a better approach.
  • love that it is only $15. I actually got mine for $12.00 and change with a discount and am feeling very happy and clever.
  • it does not cause breakouts and feels very calming on my skin

It is a tinted moisturizer – so it’s sheer (I’m going to review the foundation as well soon).

It actually has some similarities with my beloved Tarte Tinted Moisturizer, the antioxidants, vitamins and sodium hyaluronate. It has some similarities in the way it feels, too. I noticed it when I started applying it and with the calm way my skin felt when I have it on.

I wear it with concealer (not a great one) and a very little bit of setting powder.

See I actually have been looking for another product to interchange with Tarte Tinted Moisturizer anyway for the following reasons, which are all very personal and not a reflection of the wonderful product Tarte Tinted Moisturizer, (which I still love and think is a great product). The price and the fact that it didn’t look the way I wanted on my skin.

But Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Tint fits the bill.

You can find it here. Paula mentions that this is very much like a beauty balm.

Active: Titanium Dioxide 5%; Zinc Oxide 5% (mineral-based sunscreens); Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Propylene Glycol (water-binding agent), PEG/PPG-18/18-Dimethicone (silicone-based emulsifier), Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate (thickener), Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane (silicone slip agents), Talc (absorbent), Phytantriol (water-binding agent), Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (antioxidants vitamin E and C), Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid (thickeners), Triethoxycaprylylsilane (slip agent), Boron Nitride (absorbent), Sodium Dehydroacetate (preservative), Palmitic Acid (thickener), Dextrin Palmitate (emulsifier), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben (all preservatives). May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide (pigments).