Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Glossybox USA May 2012 Unboxing Video

My first Glossybox arrived today. I have literally been stalking the Glossybox USA website ever since I saw that Glossybox was going to be coming to America. Glossybox is a similar service to Birchbox and MyGlam. Basically, you pay a monthly subscription fee and you receive a box every month of deluxe samples. Glossybox is more expensive than any of the aforementioned services. The monthly subscription fee is $21 compared to the $10 charged by other services. With that being said, I'll go out there and say I'd rather pay more money each month and actually get a box that makes me smile than pay less money and receive a box that makes me think "what the...is this?".

I can honestly say that I will gladly use all but one of the things in my box. Here is a picture of the box and its contents.

I taped an "unboxing" video. It is my first to upload to YouTube. Honestly, the quality of the video isn't all that. I don't really know what I am doing yet. :-) I thought some of you out there might enjoy seeing it anyways.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer 2012 Color Trend : Hot Pink and Vibrant Teal

The other day, I decided to wander about my local drugstore. In truth, I entered the store to buy a coke, but something else (something bright and sparkly :-) caught my eye. The other day, I posted about my new Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Animal Instinct. They are animal print over a hot pink background. I was in love with the gorgeous colors and the ease of application. However, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to use the product all of the time. Well, I believe that I have found a middle ground and I am so excited to show my photos!! I found...the most gorgeous, most vibrant, most sparkly nail polishes ever!!

The polishes are by Color Club. I chose the bright glittery teal and hot pink. Also at the store was a bright orange version which I will undoubtedly return to pick up. The teal color is called 'metamorphosis' and the hot pink is called 'wing fling'. 'Wing Fling' looks identical to the hot pink in my beloved 'animal instincts' nail stickers. The polishes retailed at $4.99 each.

When I saw these, a brilliant idea came to mind. I can use these polishes to help "stretch out" my Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. You see, they come 16 in a pack but separated into two packets of 8 each. I'm thinking I will use eight stickers (four on each hand) and then paint my ring fingers with the corresponding Color Club Polish. I'll even add some rhinestones and decals so that it looks like an "accent nail". The nail stickers I applied earlier in the week are still looking great, but, when I go to redo my nails, I will repost to show everyone how I got on with my plan.

Since I came up with this brilliant idea to stretch my money, I needed more nail stickers to test out the plan with. I bought another set of my "Animal Instinct" and also picked up "You're a Star" - a bright iridescent teal with black stars.

Like I said, I'll take pictures after I've tested my plan. For now, my manicure from earlier in the week looks exactly the same as the day I did it. This says a lot since polish usually chips on me after a day or two.

I bought my polishes at Rite Aid, but, I can't find them on the website. However, I've just "googled" it and found them for $3.25 on ebay (now I feel a little ripped off :-). Definitely check them out if you like bright colors. I will definitely be sporting these polishes around the pool this summer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Battle of the Hot Cloth Cleansers : Liz Earle vs. Soap and Glory vs. Elemis

I am a huge fan of hot cloth cleansers. They are perfect for me because they do not dry out my already parched skin. Additionally, I simply love the fact that with each cleansing, I am actually gently exfoliating my face. Hot cloth cleansers appear to be most popular with British skincare brands. Each of the three hot cloth cleansers in my arsenal are made in the UK. I started using the Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser about two years ago. Since then, I started testing other brands - Soap and Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser and Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

The Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser is my newest purchase. I wanted to start this review by talking about this product partly because I think it is amazing, but also partly because I was just so thrilled with Liz Earle's customer service. Because there are currently no stockists for the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare range here in the United States, I ordered the product online. I had a hunch that I would love the product, so, I ordered a set of three cleansers.

Each of the Cleanse and Polish bottles came neatly wrapped in tissue. I opened my package and thought "how lovely!" ..they've wrapped me little presents!! Later on, I thought, "I'll keep them wrapped so I can tell the one I've started using from the new ones. :-)"

Also in my package came a little surprise which I had not ordered. Liz Earle sent me a complimentary 1oz. Travel Sized Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and one of her lovely muslin cloths. I have checked the website - the products she sent as a gift were worth over $10.

Little extras go a long way with me - it is so rare (it seems) for companies to go out of their way to impress you. I will definitely be looking into the other products in the Liz Earle Skincare range.

The other two products I mentioned are pictured below:


I've spent so much time gushing about Liz Earle, that I almost forgot to do the comparison review. In all honesty, the products are all fairly similar. I will compare the three products in three areas - scent, price, and simply how my face feels after each product.

Scent: All three products have a similar plant based lavendar like scent. However, they are slightly different in that the Soap and Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser has a slightly more orange scent than the other two. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish definitely has a slight scent of Eucalyptus which the other two do not have.

Price: Of all three of the products, the Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser is the most expensive. It retails at $47. However, the bottle it comes in is the largest - around 5 oz. in comparison to the other products which are approximately 3 oz. sizes. Technically, the Soap and Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser is the least expensive of the three products. It retails for $20. However, I purchased my set of three Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for $58.50 - making each $19.50. Plus, I got free bonus products which make the deal even better in my opinion!

How My Face Feels After Each Product: Ironically enough, the products which make my face feel the best after using are the ones which are less expensive. This rarely ever happens for me. My favorite is the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I think that the Eucalyptus Oil in the product just helps my face feel more refreshed. The Soap and Glory Fab Pore is definitely "runner up". Elemis Pro Radiance is nice and I used to really love it. I think they may have changed the formula though because I loved my second bottle far less than my first. The consistency seems to have changed. Additionally, the Elemis products really sticks to my lashes in the morning. I wear contact lenses and if I don't follow the Elemis with a toner, I will get a greasy film on my contacts (not fun). I'm going to use the Elemis Pro Radiance up just because I hate wasting money. However, when I need more hot cloth cleanser, I'm definitely going with Liz Earle!!

I gushed so much about Liz Earle that I'm afraid people will think I've been put up to writing this. This review was not sponsored or encouraged in any way. :-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bright Pink Leopard Nail Stickers : Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Today, while I was out and about, I just happened to be in the Ulta vicinity. For me, being within 5 minutes of a beauty products shop requires stopping by. When I went in, I had a mental list of beauty items I was hoping to buy : a bright pink, shimmery, summery blush (as if I don't already have enough of those), possibly some hair clips, and a hot, trendy nail polish (I was hoping for something bright and holographic). While strolling through the store, I found these gorgeous bright pink leopard print nail stickers. They are by Sally Hansen in the shade "Animal Instinct" (number 440) and their proper name is Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.

In person, you can see a gorgeous glitter running through the pinky parts. Under different lights, the glitter shines different colors. I, personally love animal prints, especially in smaller doses.

This is what the packaging looks like:


Here are the contents out of the box:

And this is a close up of one of the nail polish strips:

As the name suggests, these 'real nail polish strips' must be actually made from nail polish. The nail strips come packaged in two little foil peely type containers. There are 16 strips total - 8 in each little packet. As soon as I peeled the foil part off, I smelled nail polish. The instructions state that once you have opened the little foil packet, you are to use the strips and must dispose of the extras. I guess that would make sense - they would probably dry out anyway once the packet is open.

So, what are my thoughts? They are hot! Bright pink, glittery, leopard print nail polish that took me 10 minutes to do. The best thing - I emptied the laundry machine 2 minutes after I finished putting these on! The downside? The price - they cost me $10. According to the packaging they will last up to 10 days. If so, maybe they are worth the money. I certainly won't be making a habit of it though. However, for a special occasion, I would definitely go for them again.

Have any of you used this type of nail product before? Any favorites? 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sparkly Red Lip - A.K.A I Love Glitter

This morning, I felt like playing with my face. It is Sunday, and what better thing is there to do on a lazy Sunday morning other than have a little girlish fun. Some may say that I am a bit too old for glitter. At nearly 32 years old, perhaps, they would be right. However, I embrace my individuality and today I felt like doing something sparkly. Here is what I came up with - a sparkly red lip.

It was quite simple - red lipstick, red lipliner, and a bit of glitter on top. Try though I may, my camera still refuses to take pictures which reflect the vibrancy which was in real life.

The products that I used were Make Up Forever Aqua Lipliner in 8c, Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Paris, and MAC Glitter in Reflects Pearl.

I've done swatches of the Chanel Lipstick and Make Up Forever Lipliner just in case anyone is interested in buying these and would like to see what they look like.

I had planned from the start to apply the MAC glitter. However, I took a picture pre-glitter for those who would prefer a less sparkly look.

I'd like to say that I was all professional, and gently dabbed the glitter on with a lip brush. It was just so much easier and time efficient just to stick my finger into the glitter pot and tap it over top of my lips. (There is glitter on the floor now, though :-)

There are so many ways to wear a red lip. If you'd like to see my bolder, slightly more gothic red lip, click here.

What is your favorite way to wear red? Any favorite products?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bright Summer Pink Nail Polish : Happy Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!!! I love it when Cinco de Mayo is on the weekend. Although I'm much less of a party-er than I used to be, it is still much more comforting to know that any partying that I do will not end in a rude awakening at 7 am tomorrow morning. Today has come to a very slow start. I am starting to decide on what to do today, what to wear, etc. I want something vibrant and festive for the holiday.

Coincidentally enough, I had been scrolling through some of my old facebook pictures and found this.

I was obsessed by this Chanel Nail Polish in Rose Insolent for the longest time. It is actually my only nail polish by Chanel. With those prices of $26 combined with grad school tuition bills, Chanel polish definitely goes into the "I'm going to find a dupe for that one" pile. However, during wealthier days, I bought this polish from Nordstrom and just checked - it is still available. I just dug it out of the nail polish bin and am off to paint my nails. Have fun everyone!!

By the way, for anyone wondering "What is Cinco de Mayo?". I mean, really...what is it? I've asked my husband - the resident Hispanic culture expert and he tells me that it is the celebration of Mexico's victory over Napoleon? Apparently, there was an epic battle in which the people of Mexico were greatly outnumbered and pretty much doomed to failure - but they won! Woo hoo! That's definitely worth wearing bright pink over!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring and Summer 2012 Color Trend : Turquoise / Aqua

I just got back from one of my favorite places - Nordstrom. Affectionately, I call Nordstrom "the mothership", as I feel as though I emanated from it - a place where I will be able to find almost anything that my heart desires. While I was having a browse, I was inspired by all of the colors. Bright blues, greens, and oranges filled the store. I wrote a few posts back about some of my favorite orange beauty products. To read that post and see swatches, click here.

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is that we go from neutrals to bright, bold, colors. I find it uplifting and see it as a reminder that nomatter how hard the winter of my life may be, the beauty of summer will always come again. Today's post is dedicated to the color turquoise and its little cousin, aqua.

I was so inspired by colors today that I rushed home to add a little more color to my life - by painting my toes. Most beauty bloggers paint fingernails to show off, but, I'm a bit lazy with my fingers since I work with my hands - polish rarely stays looking nice on my fingers. Honestly, I must apologize for my feet - they are not the most dainty, but they are mine and I shall have to accept them as they are. Here are my aqua toes. If anyone is interested, my cute bow flip flops are by Guess. They are called the Tutu flipflop. I bought them at - Surprise! - Nordstom.

I started off my painting my toes with Color Club Neon Nail Polish in Age of Aquarius. I received this little sample in my April Birchbox. Then, I topped it off with a golden glitter top coat by OPI. Here are the products I used.

While I was in my beauty bin, I decided to pull out one of my favorite matching eyeshadows. Aquadisiac by MAC is a beautiful shimmering aqua. If I want a simple look. I will just sweep Aquadisiac on my eyelids, curl lashes, and use tons of black mascara. It looks lovely with a tan.

My last turquoise colored love is my new bracelet that I ordered from Silpada. The company works a bit like Avon or Tupperware parties. You attend a party and play with jewelry. The bracelet I bought is about to be retired. I have no idea why though since it is absolutely adorable.

So there you are - my obsession with the spring and summer color trend continues. Thumbs up for the courage to put my toes on the internet.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Red Lip : Subtle to Dramatic

Today, I decided to have a little experiment with some of my red lip products. Typically, I find red lipstick to be too high maintenance. However, I have also started getting into brighter lip products, so, I thought I'd give red another chance. I've photographed my journey which begins with a simple red lip butter and ends with something a bit more dramatic. I will also mention that what you see in the photographs is only a fraction of the vibrancy I see in front of the mirror. I haven't quite gotten the nack of taking these pictures without the colors looking a little bit washed out. C'est La Vie!

The supplies that I started out with were my Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple, Le Maquillage Concealer, Lip, and Cheek Palette, and my Real Techniques Detailer Brush. I added a fourth item later.

First, I started out by moisturizing my lips with Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple.

As you can see, it gives a very subtle, wearable, daytime red. Normally, I would stop here simply out of laziness. However, for the purposes of writing this post, I endeavored on.

 Using the red color from my Le Maquillage Concealer, Lip, and Cheek Palette, I added a more opaque red pigment in order to make my red lip more bright.

If I were to have stopped after this step, I would say this was the perfect red lip for a glamorous evening out in a pretty dress. (Ha! She must be dreaming...I fantasize about evenings like those!)

I wanted to give a bit of contour to the look, so I used the deeper burgundy color from the same palette and applied to the outer edges of the lips only.

I still wasn't quite satisfied, and there is this lovely gold shade in the palette...

Oh, but, now, you can barely see the contouring anymore...ugh!

Back to the makeup bin she goes. And, what does she find? Black eyeliner...

Tada...here it is...my bold, contoured, golden, glimmery red lip. The next time I get whisked off for a romantic evening and have fifteen minutes just to dedicate to my lips, I will definitely go for this. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm calling this last photo "The Ugly Truth" because it seems appropriate and because I'm quite tired now.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring and Summer Color Trend 2012 : Orange

Every time that spring and summer come around, I always see the color orange. The color trend for 2012 has been no different and it makes sense. Bright orangey colors look lovely on sunkissed skin. I also love the look of bright pinks and turquoise on a tanned face and body (by body, I am referring to these colors on clothing - not putting makeup on the body :-). About a month ago, I received a bright orange beach bag from Nordstom as a gift with my cosmetics purchase. It was then, that I realized orange was back again. The other day, I decided to raid my makeup collection for bits of orange. Here is what I found:

I selected my four favorite orange lip colors, orangey color quad, and two orangey blushes. The lip products are below. Three of the products are lipsticks and one is a lip stain. On the top left is the Liqui - Gel Stain from Beaute Cosmetics in the color Flouron. Next to Fluoron is Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in the color Tutti Fruiti. On the far right is Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in the color Liberte. On the bottom is Dior Addict Extreme in Riviera.

Here are the colors swatched, from left to right, they are Beaute Flouron, Revlon Tutti Fruiti, Chanel Liberte, and Dior Riviera. As you may be able to tell, the boldest of the colors is Fluoron. The other three colors give the lips the trendy orange look in a much more natural way.

The next item is the Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Cognac Sable. I find that this quad looks lovely with blue eyeliner. Blue and orange are on opposite ends of the color wheel and they bring each other out. My eyes are brown, so, I will often wear a metallic blue eyeliner on my upper lash line to make my eyes stand out. Pairing the blue with the orangey color from the palette gives an almost fiery look.

Last but not least are the cheek colors. My skin is dry so I tend to prefer cream products. On the left is MAC Cream Color Base in Virgin Isle. On the right is Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in the color Hot Tamale. Neither of the colors come off orange on the cheeks. They both turn into more of a bright pink. On a side note, the bouncy blush truly is bouncy...Quite fun to play with if bored. :-)

Here are the colors swatched. On the left is Virgin Isle and on the right is Hot Tamale.

I love the colors of spring and summer. Moreover, I love makeup that looks daring and fiery. What better a color to pull of a bold look than orange! Thank you for reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

I love watching beauty videos on youtube. I know I could be doing much more productive things with my time, but, it relaxes me after sometimes hectic days. I have my favorite beauty gurus, most of which originate from the United Kingdom. Perhaps, I find the English more sophisticated or perhaps, I am drawn to their accents. I'm not sure which is the case. Anyways, the Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag has been circulating the internet quite a bit during the month of April. I think it is quite fun, so, I thought, why not do a blog post about it? Here are my picks:


What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?
My most inexpensive beauty item is the Rimmel Eye Trio in Tempting. The colors are absolutely beautiful and the shadows blend nicely. It is difficult to tell from the photo but there is a golden sheen to each of the colors in the trio. I find that these colors really enhance my brown eyes.

Here are some swatches of the trio just so you can get a somewhat better idea.

I bought my Rimmel trio at Target and had a coupon. I paid a total of $0.99 for it! Bargain!

On the other side of the coin, my most expensive beauty item has got to be the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask. I bought this because of Ruth Crilly's post on AModelRecommends. I love reading her blog. She is so funny and can make the most ordinary things sound interesting.

I actually do really like this mask. It has become a Saturday morning ritual. I do a good exfoliation, then layer this mask on. I lay about all day with it until I have something worth leaving the house for. My skin is dry, so, it just soaks this product right in, leaving a lovely sheen behind. I just apply foundation right over this mask - no need to rinse off. It cost me approximately $150.00 from Neiman Marcus.


What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?
The product that I have a love/hate relationship with is my Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara. I absolutely love love love it during the day. It does not flake, does not irritate my contact lenses, and is such a great black black. However, I hate this product at night. It is murderous to try and take it off. I've given up, you see. Most of the time, I go to bed with remnants of mascara still on my lashes because I fear I'll accidentally tear lashes out trying to remove it.

I purchased my Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara from Sephora for $19.

The product which has been hardest to get is my Le Maquillage Petite Palette. I fell in love with this when I saw Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo use it in her Angelina Jolie tutorial. The palette is called the Le Maquillage Professionel Concealer, Lip and Cheek Petite Palette and I bought it from PAM. After pounds were converted to dollars and international shipping was added, it cost about $50.

This product was worth the wait. It was out of stock for months, then took a few weeks to arrive after I ordered it. I may do a separate post on this with swatches. It is a great multipurpose palette and the textures are so smooth.


What are your most delicious beauty products?
My husband bought me a set of EOS lipbalms for Christmas. My favorite is Strawberry Sorbet. It smells scrumptious and keeps lips feeling soft.


What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?
I'm not really sure if I neglect this product because of laziness or if I'm not sure I like using it. My pick for this category is the Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer. Actually, I neglect any under eye concealer. Many people complain about concealer setting in to fine lines. I've got the opposite problem. The concealer pulls away from the lines. One way or the other, nomatter what concealer I've tried (and I've tried alot) it never looks attractive after a few hours have passed. I find it easier to simply dab some of my Origins Ginzing under my eyes. It brightens just fine and doesn't either settle into lines or pull away from them.


What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?
I love eyeliner. Making my eyes stand out gives me the most self confidence. I've got big brown eyes which many may say are pretty. They are pretty, however, I've always envied those with sexier shaped eyes. Using eyeliner in my waterline narrows my eyes a bit and makes them look sultrier. My current favorite is Costa Riche by Mac. It is a warm, reddish brown.

 I never thought to look at this color until the beautiful Jemima Chatfield used it in her Brooklyn Decker video. Thank You JemimaLou!!


What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?
I'm not sure what this question has to do with beauty, but, I love a good sense of humor. My husband is thoughtful, sensitive, strong, and determined to better himself. These are the character traits that drew me to him. He also has the most lovely blue eyes, is tall and slender. Almost anything will look good on his build.


What items would you most like to receive as a gift?
Tough question. When I want a beauty item, I want it right now. I'm not very patient when it comes to these things. I have no problems waiting to open up a package full of clothing, shoes, or handbags, but, when it comes to makeup, I'm like a kid in front of a plate of cookies. I can't wait!! The last beauty item I received as a gift was the Dior Garden Clutch Palette.
I hope you enjoyed my Seven Deadly Sins! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Revlon Lip Butter Swatches and Review

As much as I love the look of a bold pigmented lipstick, in truth, I am a very low maintenance girl when it comes to my beauty routine. Lipstick often feels drying on my lips as well. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Revlon Lip Butters. I am always a little bit wary of budget beauty products, but, I was actually quite impressed by these. The look and feel of this product is not cheap the way that I thought it might be. I purchased the colors "Tutti Fruity" and "Lollipop". Both of these colors are great for the Spring 2012 trend.

I just love these colors. They are so wearable.

The consistency is sheer but vibrant as well and the texture is smooth and creamy.

This is the color Lollipop.

And this is Tutti Fruity.

If any of you have tried any of the other colors of these lip butters, I would love to hear which are your favorites!!