Don’t Feed It After Midnight: The Beauty Gremlin in My Brain


I’ve noticed a change in my beauty buying habits over the last couple of years. I feel like I put a lot more thought and care into my purchases. I like to think I now go into the beauty department armed with a strong sense of self: I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I don’t waste as much money as I used to, because I’m critical, analytical and smart. I weigh the options, read the fine print and, most importantly, see through all the marketing hype. Generally speaking, this is true. Every once in a while, though, I still make a purchase that defies logic. It’s like there’s a little gremlin in the beauty center of my brain that causes a short circuit that leads to bad beauty decisions. You didn’t know there was a beauty center in the brain? Sure there is. I’m pretty sure it’s next to the hippocampus.

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Review: Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore


I got a text from my sister the other day informing me that our Walmart now carries Flower Beauty products. Flower is Drew Barrymore’s brainchild and boasts that its products offer the same quality as high-end brands, but at Walmart prices. How do they keep the cost down? Apparently by using Drew to promote the brand, they don’t have to pay astronomical sums for advertising. You can check this out for yourself on the company’s website.FlowerBeautyHaul

New drugstore lines don’t come around very often, so I had to check this out. I made the half hour trek to Walmart and was blown away when I got there. This line is huge! I wasn’t expecting so many different products. It’s going to take me some time to fully explore the brand, but for now, I can offer some thoughts on the haul pictured above.

I treated myself to an eyeshadow quad, a couple of cream shadows, a mascara, a concealer and a powder brush. All of these items were priced around $8-$10 with the exception of the brush, which was about $13. So do the products deliver? Read on…

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Game Changers: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment


neutrogena-oil-free-acne-stress-control-3-in-1-hydrating-acne-treatmentI decided to dedicate the second post in my Game Changers series to Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment from their Oil Free Acne Stress Control line.

The first thing I want to say about this product is that I’ve been using it daily for over TWO YEARS! That tells you something right there, because it’s rare for me to finish a skin care product let alone repurchase one. I have been through countless tubes of this stuff and am never without it. As I’ve mentioned before, I have oily, problem skin that is prone to breakouts and clogged pores. Anyone with this skin type knows how tough it is to find acne treatments that aren’t too harsh, irritating or just plain useless. I have never committed to a skin care product the way I’ve committed to this one.

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New: Game Changers Series


I’ve been a self-professed beauty addict for about 8 years now, and in that time, I have tried and tested countless beauty products. Now, I want to put that knowledge and experience to good use here on Fifty Shades of Taupe with my new “Game Changers” series.

We beauty addicts are a fickle bunch. I’m the first to admit that I have a very love ’em and leave ’em relationship with most of the products in my stash. Even the best performing products can be cast aside if something more exciting comes along. Am I right?

There are a few exceptions though, special products that are at the top of their class. I’m talking about the ones that I have actually used up and re-purchased, the ones that I would be lost without. Seriously, tears will be shed if any of the products featured in this series are ever, heaven forbid, discontinued. The posts in this series will be reviews of some of my absolute favourite products, but more importantly, they’ll be mini histories of how I discovered these products and how they changed my life forever. Too dramatic? I didn’t think so.

I’m going to kick off this series with a product that I discovered near the onset of my beauty addiction: Urban Decay Primer Potion.

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My Own….My Precious


Ring-18102014 002Ever get the urge to treat yourself to something sparkly? I know I do! One day last week I had what can only be described as a “Samantha Jones moment,” one of those moments where you find yourself considering an expensive purchase, and the only justification you can come up with is: I work hard. I deserve this.

I don’t have many rings in my jewelry box, so I treated myself to this one. It’s a lavender amethyst surrounded by white sapphires. The setting is rhodium plated sterling silver. It really catches the light and appeals to my inner magpie. Opting for silver and sapphires, rather than gold and diamonds, appeals to my inner Scrooge McDuck. It was an affordable way to get some bling, and it looks more expensive than it is. It almost feels like cheating!

I would link to where you can buy this beauty, but I think I got the last one, because it’s no longer on the site.