The Aveda Institute – Gorgeous Gloss with a Global Perspective

This just makes me feel happy!

This just makes me feel happy!

I’m all about Aveda. There’s something about the luscious smell that emanates from everything they create. It’s warm, earthy, and comforting. There’s no denying that epic hit of Aveda love that wafts into your nostrils when you enter every one of their places, be it a store, salon, spa, or Institute.

 I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Carolie Estes, one of the retail managers at the shop at our local Aveda Institute, and graduate of the Tucson Aveda Institute.. At each institutes, students learn the ways of the Aveda philosophy. Great deals about – like a 60 minute facial for $35 bucks, or heck, for $10 more try a 90 minute facial. What a deal! Students and faculty make sure the experience is relaxing and memorable. Check out my interview with Carolie, and discover Aveda Lip Glosses!


Gorgeous Carolie Estes in Ginger Lily Lip Glaze.

Gorgeous Carolie Estes in Ginger Lily Lip Glaze.


Lip Gloss Addict: Why Aveda?

Carolie Estes     : I believe Aveda is definitely the best beauty school, and I really wanted to learn about their protocol. Aveda is sees wellness and health as a part of beauty, and that was important to me.



LA: There are 3 kinds of gloss at Aveda. Tell me about the differences.

CE: The first is the Uruku Color Gloss ($16). It’s organically grown, and comes from the Uruku pigment. Aveda partnered with an indigenous tribe in Brazil. All of the reds and browns that you see in the pigments come from this plant. This partnership creates jobs for women, as the women harvest the crop. The Uruku Gloss, of all our glosses, I would say tends to be the most sheer. Still a lot of color, though.

Uruku Gloss on top - Berry, Lip Glaze in Morning Rose and Lip Shine in Pomelo on the Bottom

Uruku Gloss on top – Berry, Lip Glaze in Morning Rose and Lip Shine in Pomelo on the Bottom

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Happy Day of Overeating, Glossies!

May your gloss be gorgeous and your bellies full, and may we ALL be grateful for the good things in our lives, the people we love, and the opportunity to love them back!



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Lip gloss in the coconut?

The great and mighty coconut!

The great and mighty coconut

So I was doing so pre-Turkey errand running with my friend, and decided to get coffee because DUH.  The lovely gal at Nami, Rosemary, had great gloss and I wanted a picture for my Instagram.  So, as I was whipping out my trusty phone to get the camera ready, she said she wasn’t wearing gloss. No problemo, I said – what kind of balm? It had to be Kiehl’s, or Rosebud Salve, I was thinking.

Nope. Coconut oil.


Genius, I thought! Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride. That gives it all kinds of health benefits. It’s also a great eye makeup remover. And, it is often a main ingredient in hand-made soap. Heck, I usually have a giant stash of it in many forms in my beauty lab.


Here’s the rundown of the 3 primary types of coconut oil and how to use them as gloss and balm, counting down to my #1 coconut oil favorite.


3. Good Old Fashioned Coconut Oil – This is what you are going to find at about any grocery store these days. In fact, my local Target carries it now, so in about 5 minutes they will have their own house brand for bigger savings. This is great as a balm, and I tried it over a lip stain, and it worked really well.  Transfer it to a smaller container, like pill boxes our grannies used to carry. BE CAREFUL – this stuff is ONLY solid at room temperature. It means in your car with the heater on and it will melt. For me that means a MESS.  This is often expeller or heat expressed, which means in the manufacturing process, its the last attempt to get anything of use out of the poor coconut.



Notice the texture difference? It's more whipped.

Notice the texture difference? It’s more whipped.

2. Virgin Coconut Oil – No, this doesn’t come from lonely coconuts. It’s actually the first cold pressing of the coconut, similar to the variations in olive oil. Because it is the first pressing, the texture is different. It’s lighter, more whipped in consistency, and smells way more coconut-y. You’ll smell like an island vacation, if you’re into that kind of thing. Transfer to a container to keep it with you at your own risk. I find the whipped texture makes it more melt-y.




This is how FCO looks, it's a clear oil.

This is how FCO looks, it’s a clear oil.

  1.  Fractionated Coconut Oil – This is not from coconuts that are good at math.  You will find this listed as an ingredient as Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride.  This is a carrier oil (which means it can be blended into all kinds of beauty products from perfumes to massage lotions to scrubs), and comes from processing the coconut oil (solid at room temperature) and removing a molecule. This does 2 things. First, it keeps it liquid, and second, extends the shelf life so it ALMOST won’t go bad.  I LOVE THIS STUFF. I use it as lotion, lip balm, makeup remover, and in almost every beauty product I make. You can buy this all over the web, just ask the google ;).  Transfer this to tiny bottles, the kind you borrow from hotel visits (ahem). Just clean them in VERY VERY hot soapy water to kill any bacteria and fill ‘er up! Just be careful- this is an oil. Spilling in your handbag equals disaster (or a new handbag, if you’re me, so technically it could be a win).





So go forth and use coconut oil as a balm. It’s inexpensive.  Think about it – for less than $10 you can buy a full pound. That’s at least 100 lip balms! Just don’t spill it – you’ve been warned!

Check out my Instagram (lipgloss_addict) to see a picture of Rosemary at Nami looking lovely in coconut oil! Follow me on Instagram to send me great pics of you – be sure in tag what you’re wearing so we can admire your taste in gloss!


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Lip Gloss Q & A – When Good Gloss Goes Bad!


Sad, sad, sad!

Sad, sad, sad!


Hello #GlossyArmy!  I hope everyone is having a fantastic week.  This is my first reader question, and I am so excited to be able to answer. Please keep sending me questions, and Monday will be the day where you find out the answer.  Email me by using the link on the Contact tab or by emailing:

So here’s the question, and its a good one:

You seem to buy alot of lip gloss.  Please address the question:  How do you know when lip gloss has gone bad.



Yes, it’s true – I do buy lots of gloss. And, sadly, goes bad before I have a chance to use it. This is one of the reasons that I love smaller glosses –  it means that I have a chance to use it ALL before it goes funky.  NOTHING makes me sadder than tossing out lost gloss.  Maybe global warming and homeless animals, and eating the last bit of chocolate when I’m too tired (and by tired I mean lazy) to go get more. But I digress.  Here are the 3 ways to know when to toss that gloss!


1. When the ingredients separate, your gloss is gone, girl!


Commercial gloss must pass an FDA challenge test to be sold at most major retailers. This means the product (any product, actually) will be heated on 100 degrees, and cooled to room temperature 3 separate times. Stabilizers are added so that heating/reheating process still leaves a blended product. You DON’T want an oil and vinegar thing, where the ingredients are separated. So when you see that happening in your gloss, it’s over.


See how the product looks dried out in the tube?

See how the product looks dried out in the tube?


2. When the texture or consistency changes, wave goodbye.


Sadly, glosses dry out. It’s frustrating, since usually glosses are anhydrous, meaning there’s no water. But they will still dry out. The consistency will also change over time. I notice this in particular with Stila glosses, as they will become more tacky and sticky over time.  When that happens, into the trash it goes.


Check out this MAC Viva Glam GaGa 2 Lipglass.  I love the color. You can see that the product no longer slides down the bottle. The same ingredients that make it shine should also be the ingredients that keep it from leaving dried out streaks on the bottle. This gloss is basically past it’s prime.  Bye Gaga 2, I loved you!





3. When it starts to smell funky, get rid of it.

Yes, that does happen.  Gloss goes on your mouth, a pretty sensitive part of your anatomy. When the funk runneth over, and not in a good way, its time to go! I consider it pretty dangerous to let what could be brimming over with bacteria on my lips. When the smell goes, it usually means the preservatives are done preserving, and it is no longer worth keeping.  Adios, gloss!

I hope that helped, #GlossyArmy!  And keep the questions coming by emailing:! Monday is Gloss Q & A day, and I can’t wait to answer more of your questions!

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Bunky is Beautiful & so is Rachel!

Pretty as a picture!

Pretty as a picture!

Lip Gloss Addict: Bunky Boutique has such cute clothes, what made you decide to make lip gloss?
Rachel Malloy: Well I’ve known the owner of 3 Custom Color, Chad Hayduk, since I was a child. He is a family friend and when I was about 10 or 11 years old I visited his studio and he made me a custom lip gloss – I was completely enamored! The memory stuck with me. Chad did my makeup for my wedding and so when I started thinking about ways to expand the Bunky brand, he immediately came to mind.

LA: Your style is classic, with a twist. How does that translate to lip gloss?
RM: Lip gloss is such an easy way to push the boundaries of one’s comfort zone! Your entire look can be classic or simple and then you add a seasonal shimmer or uncharacteristic sparkle and you are immediately on trend and taking a beauty risk.




Supermodel Rachel wearing gloss and clothes from Bunky Boutique!

Supermodel Rachel wearing gloss and clothes from Bunky Boutique!


LA: Tell what it was like to design a lip gloss?

RM: Designing a lip gloss activated a creative part of my brain that I didn’t know I had! It wasn’t all about “what color is pretty”…instead it was about consistency and the feel of the gloss on the lips. Our Signature Bunky gloss has a stain to it so that you can apply chap stick over it and it still stays on. It literally can last you almost an entire day and it doesn’t feel sticky or make your lips dry!

LA: What made you pick the color?
RM: The most difficult part was narrowing it down to find just the right shade for our classic color. It had to be a shade that worked on all skin tones, which this particular blend of fuchsia does! I wanted something that was fun and bold without being intimidating. It represents Bunky because it’s happy and bright and makes you smile.

LA: What is the color name?
RM: The color name is Bunky Signature. It’s our gloss that we always have in stock and the one that will represent us because of it’s beautiful tone, excellent staying power, and fantastic quality.
We have more colors in the works for the future too…our next gloss will be in the spring…hint hint…ballerina lovely.

LA: How old were you when you started wearing make up? What did you wear?
RM: It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that I first started wearing makeup, much older than most of my friends. I was raised my Dad so makeup tips never came up! lol When I was a junior in high school my Grandma Bunky took me to the Chanel makeup counter in Palm Springs, CA and let me get a tutorial and buy my first makeup! I remember going home with a bag full of makeup and then having no skills once I tried to put it on myself at home! To be honest, not much has changed since then. I typically only wear a tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss – hard to mess those items up! Someday I’ll figure out the liquid eyeliner!

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Benefit and the Tragedy of Ultra Shine Gloss

Ultra Shine Gloss in Life on the A-list. When its gone, its gone!

Ultra Shine Gloss in Life on the A-list. When its gone, its gone!

Benefit Cosmetics has my heart. They make great products, and they have the BEST backstory of any beauty line. Former models and twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford flipped a coin to see if they’d start a cosmetics line or casserole cafe. Tails won, so The Face Place was born in 1976.

Created for an exotic dancer as nipple tint.

Created for an exotic dancer as nipple tint.

When you think it couldn’t get any funnier, their first product, Benetint, was created when an exotic dancer wanted a nipple tint. So, Benetint was created for that exotic dancer, and remains their best selling product. Next time you wear it ladies, remember it was originally created for boobies!

With such a great sense of humor, you think they’d not want to break my heart on the regular!

Benefit Ultra Shines are one of my favorite lip glosses ever. Here’s the catch – once a color is created and sold out, that’s it! It’s a once and done for each and every Ultra Shine product.

They aren’t the first line to do this. MAC’s VIVA GLAM line does a similar thing. But Benefit takes it many steps further.

This is the only product they make in that chubby bottle, so its the MOST product for the money, making it a great value. It’s their only gloss with the brush applicator (others use the doe foot applicator, or a tube you squeeze), it’s the only super shiny gloss, and those colors! They don’t live anywhere else in their product line.

I’ve been holding on to this tube for ever. I’m scared to use it, because once it’s gone, it’s gone. This line for me has the perfect coverage, buildable color, and gorgeous shades. Please don’t take Life on the A-List Away from me! I’ll be so sad when it’s gone!

It’s the most perfect nude color on earth. I swear. I’m getting all misty here just thinking about it going away for good. You’ll see a picture on Instagram today.

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It’s Beginning to look a lot like Lip Gloss!

Feels Like Home!

Feels Like Home!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year for lots of reasons. You know, friends, family, gloss. This is the time of year when stores pull out all of the stops, and you can find great sets of glosses at great deals.

Everyone knows about Sephora. But I’m late to the party for Sephora at JC Penney’s. My sister introduced me to this last Christmas. My JC Penney is in a sad mall. So sad, that the anchor stores are Super Target (yay), Costo (yay), and Walmart (not yay, for me at least). So when my JC Penney launched their in-store Sephora I was THRILLED! The sets are mostly different that what you’d find at a brick and mortar Sephora, and therefore less expensive. DOUBLE YAY!

Here’s what I found:

Who doesn't love Buxom?

Who doesn’t love Buxom?

Santa - I've been soooo good!

Santa – I’ve been soooo good!

I love Buxom Full-On Lip Gloss. This year we have 2 choices – Winner Takes all – 6 great mini’s for $32, or The Roulette of gloss, where everyone wins! 15 mini’s for $59!

OCC Lip Tars Gift Set

OCC Lip Tars Gift Set

I love the OCC Lip Tar’s – 5 mini tubes come in a clear makeup bag AND a lip brush. Seems like a steal at $29.


Smashbox has 5 shades for $28. The new packaging is great, you get more product, but the swatches I tried of this just wipe off. I wish they’d improve their formulation.

See more gloss and what I bought on the next page…

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Gluten-Free Lip Gloss?

The other day, while I was getting my Trenta Iced Coffee with cream and 3 sweet & lo’s I heard 3 words so foreign they made my head whip around like an old school sprinkler: gluten-free lip gloss.

I get it. Celiac is a real disease. When my cousin, who suffers from Celiac Disease, comes to visit it’s Def-Con 5 in my kitchen. Everyone is careful and there is no pizza. Beyond that, I spent 3 years as a Lancome Girl and I make my own cosmetics. I’ll upload a picture of my Beauty Lab soon. Lip gloss is a monster to make! It basically takes a degree in chemistry and the patience of a saint, and I have neither. It takes about 20 minutes to fill a tube with a teeny tiny dropper, and I’m more of an instant gratification kind of gal.

Since I’m no newbie when it comes to cosmetics, manufacturing OR wearing, I was shocked hear anyone say anything about gluten in gloss. Unless someone is shoving wheat into a tube, I’m really not sure how gluten would show up in cosmetics. It’s sort of like whey in protein drinks. By the time it has been so thoroughly manufactured and processed, it no longer contains enough of the original element to qualify as dairy. At least that is what is says on the back of most protein powder bottles.

So, today I thought I’d compare the ingredients to a certified and organic gluten-free gloss to the ingredients in what I am wearing today, Mally Beauty’s Lip Magnifier in Blush. I’ll post a pic of me wearing it later today on Instagram.

On the next page you can find the results of my investigation.

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Feeding The Addiction on a Budget – Ipsy to the rescue!

The Ipsy theme for November is Glitter!

The Ipsy theme for November is Glitter!

One of the occupational hazards of being a Lip Gloss Addict is the cost. Let’s face it, I’m hooked, and there is no way that I plan on stopping the accumulation of gloss. But there are some tricks to grow your stash that don’t cost a lot of money.

My favorite way is through beauty subscription boxes. These are services that send you a monthly present of goodies. I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs over Ipsy.

For only $10 a month, a super fun present arrives in my mailbox. The first step is to register a profile that indicates your coloring. Allegedly this means that your 5 products that come in the adorable makeup bag every month are semi-tailored to you. That appears to be close, since on the Ipsy forums, there are differences in what products folks get. So for my coloring, I am the So Pale you are Translucent (that is NC minus 2 for MAC fans), Fire Engine Red curly hair, and blue eyes. I’m practically Merida.

This month, the theme is Glitter. HELLO glitter is my favorite color! The makeup bag that the products were delivered in, as you can see, is a super cute silver glitter color. I’ve been subscribing to Ipsy for a couple of years now, so these makeup bags are all over my house. Note to friends – they may be your Christmas Presents this year. Act surprised!

Here is my haul this month! Love the cute bag!

Here is my haul this month! Love the cute bag!

Here’s the array of goodies I received:

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Hairspray. Not bad, it will fit in my purse.

Be a Bombshell Eye Shadow Base in Submissive. I love their products and will review a gloss from them soon.

Temptu – Highlighter in Pearl

Elizabeth Mott You’re so FINE Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Glitterati.


J.Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in Queen of Hears (109)

This gloss is awesome. It’s opaque, so the finish is like a dewy lipstick. The color is seriously intense, and doesn’t move around. This is good news, but be warned – since the color is so rich, if you are not careful, it will stain your lip line if the application isn’t controlled. It wears nicely, and doesn’t need constant reapplication. I love their logo, as the T in Cat is a kitty (awwwwwww), and all of their products are cruelty free. To seal the deal, these are only $4.99.

So, sadly, I was not able to take a color swatch that didn’t look like black ink. I’m hoping Santa brings me the gift of a Photo Light Box, killer camera, and the services of Demarchelier. Until then, please forgive me as I cheat and send you a link to their site so you can peep the color yourself here.

Here’s how it looks on me – its a great dark raspberry color, with slight hints of deep dark purple. Outside, you can see undertones of red.

Check out my Instagram (lipgloss_addict) to see how it looks on me!

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My First Friday Interview: Heidi Abrahamson

Heidi loves kitties!

Heidi loves kitties!

Heidi Abrahamson lives a life surrounded by beauty. She works in a stunning Mid-Century loft were she crafts beautiful, modern pieces and curates visually stunning Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram accounts (all can be found by her name) where she meticulously documents her architectural looking kitties, fabulous jewelry, and all sorts of Modernist pieces where ever she finds them.

I was fortunate enough to visit her as she works, in what is truly one of the last remaining unadulterated Mid-Century places left in town. It was so inspiring just to sit there, as the natural light filtered in. It was so calming and exquisite and aspirational that I was certain being there would enable me to create something lovely.

Inside her stunning studio!

Inside her stunning studio!

Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

So, without further ado, here’s the interview! You’ll love the picture of the inside of her make up bag. It’s as modern and minimal and fabulous, just like Heidi!

Lip gloss Addict: How long have you been making jewelry?
Heidi Abrahamson: Well, I was baking beads and at that time everyone was making beads. I liked it, but it just wasn’t enough. I looked at my collection and thought, Why couldn’t I do this? I studied Fine Art, and used to be a painter. I failed miserably! Then I went back to school for Interior Design. I worked in Visual Merchandising for Disney and Burberry. Burberry was great, I got to bring my daughter to work while I did the windows. I just wanted to do something on my own. Doing metal work one day, I had an idea. I was at the Gemstone and Mineral Museum before it closed and I took a class at the Lapidary Center and just went from there.

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