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These are the things that rocked my soul as I spent the last several days with Dad in Port Aransas, Tx:

Long car rides with comfortable silence.

Deeply familiar places.

The Gulf being a place that only Texans can fully appreciate.

Sharks everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Dad’s sense of adventure, which I believe he passed to me.

Still loving drip castles.

Dry sand warm and soft on my bare feet.

A full spectrum of outdoor experience– rain, thunder, wind, warm sun, clouds, cool air, humidity.

Being carded, I’ve still got it.

Tall golden grass that shimmers in the wind and looks velvety soft.

Having a quiet mind and heart.

Sea shells.

Cozy island coffee shop.

I ams so grateful to have had that time. So, so grateful.

I had some PTO stacked up and so I’ve been off for the last week and this weekend my niece, sister, and I came to Corpus Christi to visit one of our other sisters.  I just spent the day on the beach listening to the sound of the waves and building sand castles. My hair is a shade lighter and my skin is a shade darker! Perfect for the beginning of fall, right? It’s so worth it though, we’re having a blast.8435_151102621783_540671783_3305034_5334162_n After an amazing dinner at Water Street Seafood Co. ( the crawfish chicken is to die for!!), we ran into HEB (local grocery store) for things to make brownies and I took a peek at their cosmetics section because I saw some things I didn’t recognize.

It’s no secret that I’m a makeup snob.  I work with the best of the best in cosmetics on a daily basis, so to say I’m spoiled is a bit of an understatement. I’m always curious about what’s out there though and I’m alway interested in trying things. I have this irrepressible urge to know that the products I recommend to my clients are better than all of the “cheap stuff”. So this evening I came face to face, in HEB, with NYX Cosmetics and e.l.f. Cosmetics, neither of which I have personal experience, but both of which I’ve heard quite a bit about. I like to watch a lot of makeup tutorials online, it’s a good way to stay current and just see how other artists are doing things. I’m using the term artist very loosely here, and I don’t mean that as an insult to the majority of the people making the tutorial videos, but I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and learning from some very talented, experienced, and successful artists and while I don’t consider myself the worlds most amazing artists, I do know a thing or two about technique and so there are few who I personally consider real artists. Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of people using NYX and e.l.f. and so I get curious about them, I have a lot to compare them to and I just wonder how they’d hold up against my personal favorites.

Of course HEB had no testers, (another thing I’m spoiled to), so I would have to actually purchase and play with some of the stuff in order to find out just how well they worked compared to the products that I normally use, which isn’t something I’m opposed to doing, but before I made the investment I wanted to sit down and read some reviews first.

The trouble I have with reviews is there seems to be no one in my shoes doing any of these reviews.  Every review I could find was done by someone who’s cosmetic exposure was limited to MAC at it’s high point. No offense to MAC but they aren’t the end all, be all, to cosmetics, so I’d really appreciate a more well rounded approach to some of these reviews.  In all of my searching, I found not a single review that I felt I could trust given the amount of product knowledge I have at this point.

What I did find out is that the general consensus is that NYX is pretty darn good. According to the reviews I both read and watched, the price point is low and the quality and pigment payoff is high. I can personally attest to the price point. It is low. I loves me some glitter, and NYX has a glitter palette of 5 shades that immediately caught my attention and they were only $3.99. The trouble I run into is that age old adage, you get what you pay for. This has always rung true for me when it comes to my hair, skin care, and my makeup too. I spent countless hours in front of a mirror when I was younger trying to reproduce the looks I found in magazines, only to be disappointed. And then I was introduced to real pigment, primers, different mediums and it’s been an on going love affair ever since. I know what it takes to get good pigment and so it’s a bit hard for me to digest that a company can afford to pull it off and still be able to charge $3.99.

Another thing I found a little curious was that all of the packaging I looked at said that they products are cruelty free and hypoallergenic, however, when I checked out their website (http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/index.php) I couldn’t find anything that talked about those points. I know a lot of lines that go to quite a bit of trouble to be cruelty free, and while not every line can afford that cute little bunny logo stamped on their brand, they still make quite a bit of noise about it because it’s something that’s extremely important to a lot of people.  I don’t know… I guess I’m going to have to do some more research.

So all of that to say that I’m considering doing product reviews myself… because I wont know until I try these things myself, and I wont be satisfied until I know. =)

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