My Revolutionary War Novel — Free Kindle Giveaway!

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In a brief recess from makeup, I wanted to share news regarding my historical novel, Cadence to Glory!



When I was eleven, my parents took me on vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, capital of Virginia during the American Revolution.  As I stepped back in time, shadows of the Revolution spoke to me.  Characters began to emerge in my mind, and I began to write after returning home.  Although I cycled through countless drafts since that trip, my childhood spirit is still entranced by that time and place upon which the subsequent history of our nation turned.  The journey to publication, however, was a long one — and took me through seven harrowing years of medical school and residency.

I decided to publish on CreateSpace in November 2014.

Life as a self-published author (and physician on the side!) has not been simple, and I have been introduced to the harsh reality that self-published authors, no matter how talented, must pay ample amounts to publicize their work.  

However, last month, my novel received a very positive review (and recommendation!) from the prestigious Kirkus Reviews — and was even featured in the February 2015 issue of Kirkus Reviews magazine!

You can read the full Kirkus Review of my novel on their website here.

For 5 days only, beginning today, the Kindle edition of my novel will be available for free on Amazon!  Please follow this link.

If you decide to download the book (and if you like it!), please post a review on Amazon.com since this helps propel sales.

I’ll leave you with a snapshot of the back cover (and a summary) of my novel below.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!  😃




Review: Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara!

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My experience has always favored high-end, as opposed to drugstore, mascaras as the best option for a feminine, flirty fringe. However, I recently tried a $3 mascara — at the drugstore — and would like to share my thoughts!

Hidden in the corner of Walgreen’s is the (rather obscure) Jordana display. While passing by the display, I picked up the Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara along with a few of their Modern Matte lipsticks (that review coming soon, too!).

The packaging is sturdy but standard:

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The formula is not too wet, but not too thick (or gel-like).

And now for the before & after!

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(Top to bottom –> Bare Lashes, 1 Coat, 2 Coats)

The result is thick, voluminous, dramatic lashes — comparable to my Holy Grail mascara, Too Faced “Better than Sex” mascara. These lashes do not flake off throughout the day, as so many drugstore mascaras tend to do. There is a small tendency to clump, but I feel this is always part of the territory with the most volumizing mascaras available. I’ve been reaching for this mascara every single day since purchasing it.

The best part about this mascara? It’s a killer bargain — at $3.

Can’t wait to try out other Jordana products!

Verdict: 4.5/5 Stars

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Availability: Walgreen’s & jordanacosmetics.com for $3

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Belated Valentine’s / Date Makeup Look!

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Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

I was planning on uploading this makeup look prior to Valentine’s Day but fell victim to a viral upper respiratory infection at the week’s end!

Featured Look:

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FACE PRODUCTS USED

Foundation — Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation in Shade #3
Undereye Concealer — NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in “Porcelain”
Powder — Physician’s Formula Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder in “Translucent”
Highlighter — Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed) in “Moonstone”
Blush — Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty”
Contouring Powder — Inglot 504
Lipstick — Too Faced Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in “Melted Strawberry”

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EYE PRODUCTS USED

Inner Lid — Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow “In the Spotlight”
Outer V — Mac “Cranberry”
Crease — Makeup Geek “Cupcake”
Eye Primer — Mac Paint Pot “Soft Ochre”
Brow Bone — Mac “Nylon”
Brows — Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in “Medium Brown”
Eyeliner — Jordana Cat Eye Liner in “Black Leather”
Mascara — Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara

Hope you enjoyed the look — and had a great Valentine’s Day!

I’ll seal this post with my favorite love poem — “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns 😊

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Review: CK One Color Airlight Powder Foundation!

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Nothing quite suits traveling like compact makeup, and especially powder compact makeup (which conceals and mattifies in one step!).

I recently tried CK One Color Airlight Powder Foundation (SPF 15) for this purpose, and would like to share my thoughts.

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The compact is very handy, and is indeed ideal for travel. In short, the packaging is sleep and ergonomic:

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On first swatch, the foundation itself is very pigmented and finely milled — both signs of high quality. Indeed, it feels silky to the touch upon first application. The shades are all yellow-based, which is usually helpful in canceling redness. For reference, my shade is “Porcelain” (100), which is the fairest shade in the bunch. This product comes in 6 shades.

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Now, for the before and after

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Left to right (bare face, foundation applied, full face of makeup)

The initial application covers beautifully, and my first reaction was one of excitement. Compact powder makeup, small enough to fit in a travel bag, with SPF 15 and a beautiful finish…What more can you ask for?

Alas, the good impression was not to last.

Despite its initial finish, this foundation begins to get patchy and streaky as the day progresses. Unfortunately, it also does nothing to control oil, either; the T-zone definitely shines throughout the day after applying this product. The foundation wears off so badly that, without fail, you have a red nose by mid-day. That is pretty bad.

Despite its promising beginnings, this foundation simply does not make the cut. Don’t waste your money.

Verdict: 1/5 Stars

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Availability: ULTA
Price: $26

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Makeup Geek Cosmetics! (Part 2–Blush)

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Following on the heels of my Makeup Geek eyeshadow post, I wanted swatch and review several of the company’s blushes, which have received much hype recently in the YouTube beauty world!

Makeup Geek offers 13 blushes — in compact form for $13 and in pan form for $10 — relatively affordable prices which place these products in the “drugstore” price range.

I’ll show swatches first, then examine each blush — one at a time:

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Note: Please excuse the curling iron burns on my arm! ☺️

“HEAD OVER HEELS”

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Website Description: “Light bubblegum pink with slight shimmer”

This blush is a cool-toned baby pink, but with silver shimmer. As you can see in the picture, the silver shimmer even enables the blush to double as a highlight! An absolute dream on fair and medium skin. A sweet girly shade!

Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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“SECRET ADMIRER”

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Website Description: “Light Orchid Purple”

This blush is a must-have for porcelain skin tones. I slightly beg to differ with the description; this shade is an even combination between orchid purple and “Barbie” pink. It provides the perfect flush reminiscent of that achieved after coming in from a cold winter’s day. Unlike “Head over Heels,” this blush is matte — no shimmer present.

Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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“HONEYMOON”

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Website Description: “Light pink with mauve undertones and silver specks”

This blush is definitely the least pigmented of this very pigmented group of blushes. It is quite shimmery (like “Head over Heels”) but with less pigmentation. It would only work on the fairest of the fair; it would not even show up on medium and dark skin tones. I would probably not re-purchase this one.

Verdict: 3/5 Stars

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“ROMANCE”

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Website Description: “Soft rose with gold shimmer”

This shade has been called a dupe for Nars’ iconic “Orgasm” shade, but I disagree — it’s better than Nars’ “Orgasm”! This shade is universally flattering — with its gold shimmer suitable for warm/darker skin tones and its pink/rose base suitable for cool/lighter skin tones. It is like a blush form of Makeup Geek’s gorgeous “Cosmopolitan” shade, which is rose-gold (swatched in my last post). Ladies, it doesn’t get much better than this. (Can I just eat this blush? I love it that much.)

Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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“SPELLBOUND”

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Website Description: “Light tan with salmon undertones”

This is another universally flattering color, with its dueling pink (cool) and peach (warm) themes. Since it is matte, this color is very much a functional, “everyday” color. It is reminiscent of Mac’s famous “Melba” blush. If you own the “Melba” blush, you do not need this one as well. However, if you can only purchase one Makeup Geek blush, this is a safe bet. No matter what your skin tone, I guarantee it will look good on you.

Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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Overall thoughts

These blushes, with the exception of “Honeymoon”, impress me most in their vibrant pigmentation and finely milled quality, two characteristics most characteristic of high end (far more expensive) blushes. They are somewhat powdery, but this causes no real harm and is not sufficient to cause untidiness at your dressing area. In addition, these blushes last all day, without fading, which is also impressive.

For $10 (pan form) and $13 (compact form), you cannot find blushes anywhere of such superb caliber.

See you next time! 😉

Makeup Geek blushes are available at makeupgeek.com.

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