Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eek! Hurry! Code Expires Tonight!

So, I'm going to apologize because this code expires tonight. Here's the thing, I'm almost done with the bottle that SkinMD sent to me a few months ago to review. I've been using it on my face (well till Saturday when I started testing the new skincare routine), I've been using it on my hands, on any healing scrapes or especially dry skin and I've even used it under my arms when I've had razor burn (and of course on my ears as I've mentioned in my review). So I was thinking that I'd just post my "Empties" post at the same time as posting a code. Well, that little bit at the bottom has lasted longer than I expected it to, so it's not empty and I'd feel slightly guilty saying I was finished with the bottle when I wasn't. Anyway, till tonight you can get 20% off your Skin MD Natural order with code SUMMER10.

I ordered 3 bottles: 1 for me, 1 for my husband so he stops stealing my bottle and 1 for my MIL since she apparently has been looking all over north Georgia for it but can't find it anywhere (I let her try it when we visited and she was really impressed) and honestly if you're only ordering 1 bottle, the shipping is a little high even with the discount code. If you order 3 you get free shipping (even with the discount code).

So there you go. Apologizes! But you'll be seeing my first bottle in my "Empties" post shortly. I also think it says a lot knowing that not only do I like this and am buying a replacement bottle but that my MIL and husband also both like this product.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review: Dylan's Candy Bar Lip Saver Coconut Bon Bon

This was another one of those products I bought from Sephora to get to $50 for free shipping. I wasn't expecting to like this at all to be quite honest, but since I'm a well known lip balm connoisseur, I had to try it. The line has gone on clearance and the lip savers are now $4 instead of the $8 retail (which is honestly way too much for an unknown low-mid end brand).

The clear balm comes in a little plastic .71oz jar that twists open. By now, you all should remember my dislike for potted balms, but even though it is potted, I apply the balm directly to my lips from the jar just like the One balm.

The texture of this is kind of a gel. It's quite hard and you can't really press your finger into the product, which I like and makes it perfect to apply from the container. It smells like candied coconut and not as fake as I was expecting (my only complaint is it has a slightly bitter taste - it doesn't taste like it smells). Maybe my super low expectations for this product impacted my review but it's not bad! It's moisturizing, it smells good, it's cheap(er) and it made me not have to pay shipping on Sephora's site. What could be better? Haha, anyhow...

Have you tried any of the Dylan's Candy Bar products or thinking of it before they leave Sephora forever? I'm not going to be trying anything else from the line but I'll certainly use this up, more like if I ever use this up, since I seem to be incapable of using up anything.

Monday, June 28, 2010

B-Liv by Cellnique: A Pre-Review

I was recently contacted by B-Liv by Cellnique to review some of their products. I shared my skin concerns with the lady that contacted me and she sent a few products that she thought would help. On Saturday evening, I started using them and I thought I would share some of my first impressions before I forget.

Now, I tend to be on the lazy-ish side when it comes to my skincare, so to be quite frank, I would never have bought so many additional lotions and potions to add to my skin care regimen. I'm going to give them their fair shot though and use them for the few weeks and see if I see any changes or improvements.

I was sent 3 items:
Off with those heads
Shrink and Tighten +
Submerge Me

Price: USD $63 Size: 45ml
Main functions: clear blackheads + whiteheads

Purified Water (Aqua), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) Extract, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Extract, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Menthol, Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Oil, Poly(Oxy-1,2-Ethanediyl)Α-(Donyl Phenyl)-Ω-Hydroxy, Sodium Hydroxide, Peppermint (Metha piperita )Oil, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.

The Witch Hazel, Menthol, Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Oil create a very subtle tingling sensation. I apply this everywhere I have blocked pores morning and night. We'll see if it works.

Price: USD $49 Size: 15ml
Main functions: pores reducing + firming + brightening

Glycerin, Purified Water (Aqua), Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Extract, Vitamin B5 (D-Panthenol), Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) Oil.

More Witch Hazel. This is a bit of a peculiar product. You affix a dropper-like object and the liquid is clear and slightly runny (kind of like a light oil). Upon application, I feel a slight warming sensation, no burning or tingling really. This is supposed to tighten pores, promote cell renewal and various other things. Again, we'll see if this works. I use this at night.

Price: USD $49 Size: 45ml
Main functions: deep moisturizing + brightening + age preventing

Purified Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Isononanoate, Ceteareth-6 Olivate, Trehalose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Ceramide III, Ceramide 6 II, Dimethicone, Ceramide 1, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, Triethanolamine, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Strawberry Begonia(Saxifraga sarmentosa) Extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) Fruit Extract, Sorbitan Olivate, Methylparaben, White Mulberry (Morus bombycis) Root Extract, Baikal Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) Root Extract, Propylparaben.

Yowza ingredient list. I actually really like this. It's very lightweight and absorbs quickly. Right now, I can't really say whether or not it's making my dry skin better, but I'm not disappointed and so far it hasn't made me break out. I use this morning and night.

As I mentioned above, I tend not to use a whole lot of skincare. On a normal day, I use 1 cleanser, 1 toner, and 2 moisturizers (one for day with SPF and one for night without). I kind of wish I would have received more general products, a cleanser, a serum and a moisturizer, instead of 2 treatments and a moisturizer but beggars can't be choosers and I'm happy that I was selected to receive these products to try out. Another thing is that the line is rather expensive and generally I use drugstore or less expensive lines (The Body Shop for instance) - $49 for a moisturizer, $41 for the night treatment and a jaw-dropping $63 for the pore treatment. I can't say whether or not I would spend my own hard earned cash on these products until I give them the regular 3-4 week test I generally do with my skincare.

Disclosure: These products were sent by the brand's PR for review purposes. I am not receiving any monetary compensation for posting about these products and though I was asked to do only 1 review, it was my choice to share my initial thoughts on the products and do 2. Any question, ask! I want to be as transparent as possible with these sorts of things.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

NOTD: Essie Overnight

This is a pretty boring color, but I've been into sheers lately as well as the muted lilac shades I posted about in my recent Current Faves post. Overnight is one of those pink sheers but it does have very very subtle glitter flecks in it (which unfortunately don't translate as well on the actual nails). Also, to me, this kind of shade makes me think of fake nails so I may layer something else on top.
I wish my nails had that shimmery glow!
Also, since the white part of my nails is longer than the bottom bit, it makes me think my nails are too long and claw-like. I might trim them down so they don't look so over the top. This was two coats of Overnight.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Foundation Woes +

I am pale and pink. "But Jeweled Thumb, I'm sure you can find plenty of foundation matches" as they look at my profile picture and wondering if I've been smoking crack. That ladies and gentlemen (?) is bad lighting and flash photography. In this particular picture, I am wearing custom blend foundation by the sadly discontinued Prescriptives line. Which to me is worth its weight in gold. You see, the lightest shade in practically every line is too yellow for me (including Px). It may be workable and not appear so bad, but it irks me that it takes so much effort to find a good foundation match. I don't agree with makeup artists that say, oh yeah, yellow is great because it counteracts red. Well, this is all well and good but what if your face is splotchy like mine? It's not all red! So in the spots where it isn't red, it looks like I have yellow smears on my face, like a 5 year old playing in mommy's makeup: not attractive.

Anyway, since I can't get my cold grubby fingers on anymore custom blend, I'm left with trying to find new foundations that work for me. And while some of the ones I've tried are decent (Exuviance which I'm nearly done with but is a bit too drying or MUFE mat velvet+ which is again too drying), it certainly doesn't help that my combo yet seemingly bone dry skin holds onto foundation like I haven't been feeding it and creates those lovely ugly flaky patches.

Anyway, enough rambling. I'm going to review some of the foundations that I've been trying out lately.
Apply this velvety confection when you want to hide imperfections and create a perfectly smooth canvas.

Tarte Peach & Cream oil-free liquid powder mineral foundation SPF 20 in Fair - So amazing in theory. I bought this one of their recent sales though the retail price is $35. A decent amount of SPF, a cute rubbery purple tube (what? packaging matters!) but this foundation was all wrong. Since it's liquid to powder it feels really dry on my skin. And fair? Hahaha. This isn't fair.

Do you see the line? Nuff said.
I am wearing clothing here. My tank just slipped off my narrow shoulders!
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in #1 Porcelain Ivory - I picked this up on sale before they changed the packaging and the shade range numbers. Mine doesn't have the metallic sheen. Anyway, this was less yellow than the Tarte and matched better but wasn't perfect.To me it looks a bit worse in the photo but definitely looked better in real life.
See, stripe #2 (and tank strap!)

Neither of these foundations are bad, per say and they probably don't look as bad as they are in person as my camera has a habit of washing things out, but try comparing the face to my shoulder which is my true pasty color, notice a minor difference?

And I want the fairy tale, dammit. I want a foundation to blend seamlessly into my face and just look like I have perfect skin! Also, these both caked up around my dry patches (well that would be most of my face) and I actually had to mix the Tarte with my moisturizer so it would actually blend.

Still seeking WSF* for long walks on the beach, lunch dates and more.

* white single foundation

Playing With My Jouer Haul

No, I'm not talking about swatching anything or looking at any pretty colors, I'm referring to me playing legos with my new cosmetics and I thought I'd show how neat they are. So if you are expecting swatches (coming in another post), I'd not read further but if you are interested in how you can actually play legos with these products, keep reading.
Here's my Jouer Gilt haul in its entirety. I bought the blush set in Peony, the skin tint in Pearl and the eye set in Khaki.
Of course I made a wild unboxing dash for the products that you can actually play with. Pretty eyeliner, pfft!

Each interlocking product comes with two ways of attaching it to another.
You can either snap the product directly on top of each other like so
There are tracks on each side of the product to slide them in side by side.
Pretty cool, huh?

The neat thing is that even if you stack them directly on top of each other, you can still access both of the items.
It's kind of hard to see, but look slightly right and down of my thumb. That's the top of the other eyeshadow opening up to see the color directly beneath the top eyeshadow.
And there's your makeshift palette of them all attached together.

Color me stupid, but it took me a bit longer to figure this out than I thought and I was actually really scared to accidentally break the plastic putting them together and especially pulling them back apart. But I did it a few times and no breakage. I'm not sure how if it would withstand the pressure in a suitcase getting jumbled around traveling (especially in the sliding configuration - I bet it would be fine when they are locked on top of each other) but the idea is so fun! I've tested out only one of the products on my skin so far (the tint) but I'll come back with another post on my thoughts when I stop playing with the packaging and commence playing with the actual products!

Disclosure: I bought these products from Gilt, a sample site. This post includes a referral link.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Current Faves

I thought I would share some of the products I've been loving recently. These are in no real order and encompass everything from nail polish to sunscreen.

One Shea Butter Lip Balm in Cherry Pie - I reviewed this product back in March and if you remember, my only qualm was that it was potted. Well, I have come up with the solution of applying the lip balm directly from the pot onto the lips and it has been perfect. Since the product comes right to the top of the pot, it's not like Korres where you eventually have to stick your finger (or lip brush) in when you get past the first couple of layers, this is very easy to continue using directly from the pot. I've been keeping this on my desk and using it non stop. Love!
Blue-ish Gray-ish Lilac-y polishes - I think it goes without saying that I've been loving muted tones this summer while everyone else seems to be into brights. Brights are nice for some things, but they aren't really me.
The Body Shop Roseflower Lipstick in Soft Pink - This is a fairly neutral glossy pink that seems to match everything and it smells like candied roses. While it is no longer available for purchase, it came out with one of the previous summer collections and you might be able to find it on Ebay or at The Body Shop stores during sale time. I love this shade and keep it stashed in my purse. It seems to instantly brighten my face whenever I wear it and the formula is light and moisturizing - perfect for summer.
Urban Decay Primer Potion and Benefit Creaseless cream in Honey Bunny - I've been using this combination under my eyeshadows for several weeks now and it keeps them crease-free and vibrant all day long. Honey Bunny is just a tad too dark for my skin on its own but under shades it works great to enhance the colors!
Stila Kitten and Stila Wheat - I've already mentioned how these have been my go-to shades recently. I admit, I've been lazy and simply do a wash of color on my lids and (under my base combo above) these stick around all the way through my 9+ hour work day!
Coola Unscented Total Body Sunscreen SPF 30 - I happily bought this on clearance a few months ago and I've been loving this when I'm out in the sun longer than a few seconds (the usual amount!). This formula says it's moisturizing, hypoallergenic, water resistant & paraben free and it's unscented. I'll admit this is the least "sunscreen" scented sunscreen I've tried. They also make a Mango version that I also picked up and love. Even my husband likes this stuff. At the price I paid $6 it's nowhere near the somewhat crazy retail price of $30, but I'll be loving this until I run out this summer. You can see we've made quite the dent in the tube already.

So those have been some of my favorite products recently. What have you been loving?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

ELF Studio Blushes & A Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, ELF sent me some of their new(er) Studio Line blushes to review. In case you didn't already know, I am a huge fan of the ELF line and to be honest, those were some of the only products from the Studio Line that I didn't already own!
I was sent 3: Fuchia Fusion, Pink Passion, & Gotta Glow. All come housed in ELF's signature black plastic packaging. The packaging resembles NARS packaging except it has a window and a mirror and it's substantially heavier than the NARS rubber cases.
Before I go on, I'm going to mention that although I do own 2 NARS blushes, the one I could find (Mata Hari for reference) does not match up with any of these shades and I do not own Albatross so I'm sorry there's no comparison between that and Gotta Glow (however, even though I have no idea where it is, the other NARS blush I own, Angelicka seems like it may be a dupe for Fuchsia Fusion, but I might only be thinking that since they both have silver glitter!). However, I did try to compare the blushes to some of my others powder blushes in my collection.
From left to right:
ELF Fuchsia Fusion, Fresh Petal, The Body Shop Roseflower Fuchsia 02, ELF Pink Passion, TBS Roseflower 01, TBS Cool Dusk
Similar order for swatches (though I ran out of room and the next row are just the subsequent blushes after Pink Passion - I swatched TBS Cool Dusk trio individually aside from the super pale pink shade). I'd say the Fresh is mostly a dupe for Fuchsia Fusion, but it's more of a satin with no silver glitter.
The first possibly dupe shade that I thought of was I saw Gotta Glow was a shade from Bare Escentuals called Gossamer which is an all over face color that came out with one of those multi-product collections on QVC.
From left to right we have:
ELF Gotta Glow, Laura Geller Highlighter in Amaretti (part of the Boysenberry blush n brighten) and Bare Escentuals Gossamer. As you can see, Gotta Glow is much more of a refined shimmer than the fairly evident shimmer/glimmer in the Bare Escentuals.

Gotta Glow is one of those great multi-purpose products. Highlighter? No problem. Inner corner highlight? Done. Brow bone highlight? Great! etc etc etc. My only complaint about the shade is it a touch powdery, but even so it's fairly easy to work with.
I'd like Fuchsia Fusion a lot more if it didn't have the silver glitter. Even though I'm in my 20s, I still prefer a more subdued glow on my cheeks, however, the glitter is easily buffed away and the color is quite pigmented and pretty.
Pink Passion was a lot less bright and pigmented than I thought it would be, but I like it because it's a matte buildable shade that is perfect for those mornings where you don't want to have to think a lot. I'm not sure how successful it would be on darker skin tones though but on my fair skin it's quite pretty.
And now the exciting part.

I have the same 3 blushes I reviewed to give away to a lucky reader! Fuchsia Fusion, Pink Passion & Gotta Glow. The giveaway is open to anyone in the US & Canada (sorry International readers!). If you win, you will be sent the blushes directly from ELF (hence the location rules). Anyway, this giveaway is super easy. Leave me a comment telling me the following:

- your name or alias
- your blog URL if you have one
- your favorite blush!

You do not need to leave an e-mail address for me to contact you. However, I will be posting the name of the winner (so at least give something descriptive and not anonymous when you post!) on the blog on July 17th. You must contact me at within 48 hours with your mailing address. If not your win will be forfeited and I will pick a new winner. Since my spam folder ate previous giveaway winner's e-mails, if I don't respond to you within 24 hours, please comment on a recent blog post in addition to your e-mail.

You must be a follower of Jeweled Thumb to enter, but that's really easy too, right? =)

This giveaway will end July 16th @ 11:59 EST. Good luck!

disclosure: The products I reviewed were sent by ELF and ELF is sponsoring this giveaway. I was not compensated in any way for this aside from the free products.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Models Own Discount!

Models Own promised a pretty awesome discount if England won a game during the World Cup. Until today, they came up a bit short, however, they won! Hence you can now get your very own Models Own polishes and other assorted goodies 25% off till tomorrow sometime... not sure of the exact time the discount disappears.


Yes, even if you aren't overseas, you can still take part in this offer, however, shipping is £9.95 -

Monday, June 21, 2010

NOTD: L'Oreal High Tide #604 +

I've had this L'Oreal polish for quite awhile and ever since Nouveau Cheap featured it, I've been wanting to try it. However, you know how it goes, new pretty polishes arrive and the polish you've been wanting to try mysteriously never gets worn. But here it is!

Like many other bloggers, I found the formula on these a bit difficult to work with. It's quite thick but does seem to settle eventually on the nail. I also got a few bubbles which is why I eventually layered something else on top. Any guesses? It's super easy.
High Tide by itself. I believe the 2nd picture is the most accurate. It's a very subtle blueish gray or grayish blue? There is a very very subtle silver shimmer that's nearly undetectable so from far away it pretty much is a cream.
But of course everything is better with some Hidden Treasure on top!
I really like Hidden Treasure on top of pastels or lighter colors like this. It's subtle but it makes your nails sparkle and kind of looks like glass was layered on top of your polish (and a plus it also hides the bubbling).

Have you tried one of these LE L'Oreal polishes? You may be still able to get them. My CVS still has the displays up and stock sometimes gets replaced.

The Body Shop Semi-Annual Sale!

Well it appears The Body Shop hasn't been advertising for this year's Semi-Annual Sale. I have not received an e-mail about it, but if you go on the website, it's very obviously being held and while there isn't a ton of makeup on sale, the bath & body deals are pretty darn good!

I'm quite interested in their new DeoDry deodorant and during the sale, they are offering it for half price at $4.00 - not too shabby and in line with deodorant at the drugstore (for now anyway - the $8 original price is a bit up there). The formula contains no aluminum salts or parabens which will certainly make some of you happy and intrigued! If you prefer roll-on deodorants (I prefer sticks myself), The Body Shop is offering refills which is a pretty neat idea and certainly less wasteful.

As always, The Body Shop offers free shipping over $60 and if you have a love your body card (as I do), you receive an extra 10% off your purchase.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NOTD: Zoya Ivy

This is actually a "nail of the (fri)day" as that's when I applied this manicure. DH and I went to Lake Anna, VA to visit a friend at his parent's lake house literally right on the lake. It was absolutely gorgeous and the weather was perfect. We swam, (I) napped, went canoeing and kayaking and spent time with friends of ours. Perfect weekend. My manicure suffered a little bit as sand is generally unkind to polish but it was totally worth it.

Ivy is sort of a weird color, to be quite honest. I absolutely hated the color inside as it appears coppery, but in the sunlight, it's more of a warm red. DH really liked it but it's a color I bought because of the name: this is my Zoya namesake so I'm going to keep it around regardless.
A reminder of the bottle picture. This was taken indoors.
The first picture was taken on Friday inside and the 2nd was taken inside tonight as I'm sure you can tell with the pretty evident tip wear.
Indirect natural light.
Slightly more direct natural light. The color appears a bit more cranberry. I was not able to take a picture in direct natural lighting but it gets even more red or pinky toned in the sunlight. It looked gorgeous on the ride down but it's nearing on 8pm so there's no real direct sunlight to speak of so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Beauty Blog Link Love - 6/19/10 - #12

Over at theNotice, Rae talks about a new Burt's Bees lip balm... and how it reminds her of an old Lip Smacker!

Maggie shares this Foxy dupe of Too Faced's Sexpresso and Peachfuzz duo over at The Polka-Dotted Apple.

Kim Porter talks about a miracle moisturizer that's also a makeup primer, remover, and more!

Vesna from Beauty addict blog discovered one of her blushes is fake, so read this post to find out how to spot a fake Benefit Coralista!

Head over to Beautifully Glossy to discover a lip balm that GlossQueen thinks is an essential.

Glitter Geek is obsessed with everything sparkly, and she puts a glistening spin on the summer smoky eye.

Need some wedding makeup ideas? Check out Audrey Dao's wedding looks!

Pop over to melovemakeup for swatches and thoughts on the New Revlon Colorburst Lipsticks!

Get the only 10 tips you'll ever need for a fool-proof fake tan on

Champagne, French macarons and make up... Hellcandy spends an indulgent afternoon with Terry De Gunzburg, founder of By Terry.

Vex in the City takes a look at Mai Couture's Blush Papier - blush with a difference!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed discovers the joy that is cream blushes!

Eyelining Obsession thinks you shouldn't have to spend a fortune on great eye brushes.

You can wear nudes too! Spiced Beauty shows off MAC Lovin' it Lipstick with lip swatches.

Jen from A Beauty Junkie in London has been feeling all posh whilst checking out Estee Lauder's new Pure Colour Shadow.

Retrodiva splurges a bit with Chanel's Coco Rouge and Red Shine Glossamer. Find out if she thinks it's worth it!

Want to win a $100 gift voucher for all your skincare needs. Head over to Yinnie's blog to check out the details!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Zoya Exchange Haul

Wow, I wasn't expecting to receive my Zoya Earth Day Promo Haul before they received my trade-in polishes. I sent them ground so Zoya hasn't gotten them yet.

Either way I thought I would share real life non-website-swatches of my haul. I can't guarantee these are the most accurate photos but I tried my best to get them as accurate as bottle pictures could be.
Jade Aria Lindsay
Anastasia Ivy Pru
Reece Happi Cassi
Ibiza Lael Rea
Envy Suvi Jo
Vegas Freeze Venus Perrie
Astra Nova

These were taking without the flash on. I depended on an overhead light to pick up any duo chrome or glitter in the polishes so the flash wouldn't wash them out entirely.

There's still time to do the exchange (till the 30th of June) so don't wait too long if you're interested.