Saturday, April 30, 2011

NOTD: Milani Bare To Wear

It's been a long time since I've done a nail of the day but I figured I'd paint my nails as I've finally got them around the same length.

This is Milani Bare to Wear that came out quite awhile ago. It's a lovely gray beige color and is the perfect office appropriate subdued color. I decided to be the tiniest bit daring and add a subtle glitter just on my ring fingers. I used a coat of the Revlon Glimmer Gloss in Pina Colada Pop. It adds a very subtle non chunky glitter to the nails.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend. My husband treated me to a yummy sushi lunch and I came home and watched the 5th Harry Potter Movie. I am so psyched for the last one coming out this summer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Flash Reviews

I want to first apologize for my recent absence. I started a new job about a month ago but only recently started having a decent amount of work to do there and being busy during the day. By the time I get home I want to sleep, not blog. Either way, I've been trying some new things (and not so new) out lately and I wanted to share my thoughts without a long lengthy review that requires multiple pictures and swatches.

SIRCUIT®SKIN Cosmeceuticals Fixzit™ / Blemish Drying Serum ($30)
I bought this in a Bloom Circle order since my skin has been freaking out lately. I went from the odd pimple/bump to my chin covered in them and even a few popped up on my usually very dry forehead. The issue is that I can't use something super strong and many are very pricey. This seemed to be a reasonable price and so far has been working very well. I tweeted that the majority of the spots are gone after about a week of nightly use. I did take a before shot and in a week or so I'll do a proper review of this product.

Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipstick (~$7.49)
I picked one of these up recently in the CVS sale. I don't remember the color but it was a light slightly coral tinged pink. I'm not a fan of these so far. The one I got was super pigmented, yes - but not moisturizing and made my thought to be well moisturized/exfoliated lips peel. It's definitely one of those lipsticks that you can't really apply from the tube, at least not for me!
Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Mineral Foundation ($25)
Since the recent skin freak out, I'm back to layering Bare Minerals Foundation in Fair over tinted moisturizer. Gives a good finish and coverage and doesn't make my skin freak out. I'm nearly done with my pot of this stuff and it has lasted forever.

Epielle Wipes
Oh my gosh guys, I am not sure how I lived without these wipes. The lovely Nouveau Cheap recommended them after my lukewarm review of the Yes To Cucumbers ones. These rock and they are super cheap. My Big Lots had them for $1 a pack and I hear you can sometimes find them other places too. I bought a couple of the different scents and I'm using the cucumber ones now and it smells like straight cucumbers, not floral-cumbers. I'm in love and the next time I'm at Big Lots I'll stock up if they still have them.
True Blue Spa Shea Cashmere Hand Cream ($6-$10)
I am absolutely loving this slightly pricey hand cream. It sinks in quickly, it smells like subtle cake (?) to me and it leaves your hands silky soft, not greasy at all. I've been keeping it on my nightstand and applying it close to bedtime. I find the scent pretty soothing.

I'm sure there's more but more reviews coming soon!

Disclosure: Post includes a referral link to Bloom Circle

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bath & Body Works Into The Wild

I had a soon to be expiring Groupon that needed to be used so I made a Bath & Body Works order. On the site, I noticed that they were showing a new fragrance called Into The Wild and as a promotion, it was only $1 so I added it to my order.

Bath & Body Works describes it as:
Our exclusive Into the Wild is a seductive blend of exotic mandarin, lush petals, and white woods inspired by a sensuous escape into the jungle

For me, my first reaction was, Escada! And then when it melted in a bit it smelled exactly like Jennifer Lopez's Live fragrance. A quite sweet, citrus blend with hints of pineapple, quite tropical without being beachy. There is no sun-tan lotion note. If you like Escada scents and JLo's Live, you will love this. It is one of those not quite memorable but not very offensive (unless you bathe in it) scents. I personally like it. It's definitely worth picking up in the sample size if you want to give it a try. I personally hope the EDT and body mist in the same name are the same scent, unlike the Country Chic fragrance where the mist and EDT were too strong for me but the lotion was perfect.

Disclosure: This post includes a Groupon referral link.

Beauty Blog Link Love - 4/23/11 - #32

See some before and after photos in My Lips But Better's review of the new Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation.

Queen of Turquoise reviews lipstick with polka dot packaging!

Sarah from Iheartcosmetics finds the best bikini wax in London town, at Strip.

Have you encountered the awesomeness that is Sugarpill Cosmetics yet? If not, then you're in luck, because Krasey Beauty has the scoop on the line!

Were the Cucumber Wipes a 'yes'? Find out over at Jeweled Thumb.

Find out why Urban Decay Good Karma Brushes remind Makeup Morsels of Martin Luther and his 95 Theses.

Daily Polish shows off a gorgeous blackened blue nail polish you can buy for a steal by drugstore brand Sleek.

Retrodiva knows it's spring when she suffers from her first sunburn of the season. Find out her tricks for treating it and preventing peeling.

Phyrra debuts Geek Chic Cosmetics new collection, N7 and gives you a sneak peek of an upcoming collection, Mana Screwed!

AOYV suggests five must have coral blushes to try this season.

Creamy pink lippies go head to head in The Lip Print's Pink Month featuring Lime Crime, MAC, Maybelline and more!

Remember those really expensive Rock and Republic blushes? Musicalhouses has found a cheap dupe of Rock and Republic's Kinky blush!

Whether you're a beauty blogger or just a product lover, you *need* to check out theNotice's first tips for beauty bloggers photography post!

K at Beautifully Addicted To feels the Pinch with Topshop blushers.

Audrey Dao is giving away $400 worth of NuMe hair styling products, including a hair straightener valued at $300!

What would you choose with a $50 Gift Card from Apothica? Enter to win at Prime Beauty!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Zoya Nail Polish Exchange!

Out with the old - in with the new! In honor of Earth Day from April 20, 2011- April 27, 2011(11:59PM EST) Zoya Nail Polish will exchange your old, out-of-style, unwanted nail color and replenish your nail polish supply with fresh Zoya fashion colors. All you pay is $4.00 per bottle for shipping and processing. Choose from over 300 formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, long-lasting, award winning, healthy colors to replace your old color! Zoya will properly dispose of your old polish.

Here’s all you need to do!

1.    Go to and pick out the polishes you would like and add them to your cart. You must select at least 6 bottles  and no more than 24 bottles of polish (Salons accounts minimum 12 maximum 48 bottles.)
2.    Apply the code. EARTHZOYA
3.    Your order value will be adjusted to reflect the promotion
4.    SUBMIT your order!

More info on Zoya's website. Will you be participating?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How To: Liquid Lipsticks

I know liquid lipsticks get a bad name and one of the reasons why is the instructions for applying them doesn't get the best results. What do I mean? Well aside from the fact that several don't even come with instructions, they take slightly more effort than your typical lipstick, gloss or stain. I like to think of them as cream stains.

The problem with a liquid lipstick is you want to whack them on like any lipstick or gloss. You just can't and make it look nice and wear comfortably. If you apply them from the tube without some care, you either get a thick gloppy mess or wait - a thick gloppy dry cracked mess. Basically, it's a hot mess.

In this post, I'm going to show you how I apply liquid lipsticks with the best results.

Start off with well exfoliated, moisturized lips but have no residual moisturizer on the lips. Then take your tube of choice and take out the wand (here is Revlon's Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in 010 Premium Pink). Don't touch your lips with this yet, it has way way way too much product on it!
Think of when you are wearing a lip stain. You don't glop the stain on! Same concept here.
Apply a couple dabs on the lips and mush the product into your lips with your finger (you can pat it in but sweeping it produces the best looks for me). Give it a moment to dry and then top with your favorite balm or gloss. Easy peasy and not thick, goopy or plasticy.
For me, this lasts through coffee in the morning and straight till lunch, but disintegrates the moment I eat anything with any added or natural oils.

Of course, I prefer more natural looks, but you can do light layers to built up the color's opacity. I prefer this to lipsticks as this definitely lasts longer, doesn't transfer (my husband will actually kiss me in the mornings without the fear of "lip stuff") and allows you to apply balm on top for moisture.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes

I've heard good things about these towelettes so a month or so ago, I picked these up at my local Rite Aid (also found at Walgreens and some Targets). The Yes to Cucumbers Natural Glow Facial Towelettes come in a package similar to other facial wipes, however the case has a plastic flip top opening which does help in keeping the wipes moist. They retail for around $6 for 30 wipes.
First, I want to go into why I use facial wipes. If I'm feeling well, I use these before I clean my fave with another more involved cleanser. If I'm feeling poorly, in a perfect world, this would remove all of my makeup in an easy swipe and go.

I found that these wipes can only be used when I'm feeling well and wind up cleansing my face twice. They do not get rid of all my makeup, not even the foundation that I use which is usually a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer. Granted, my skin is dry and every foundation-type product I use clings to dry bits and is therefore harder to get off, but the La Roche Posay Cleaning Gel removed everything and the Vichy does as well with slightly more effort involved.

The other issue was the scent. I suffer from sinus headaches and/or migraines and this smell just puts me over the edge if I'm already feeling poorly. It is Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon times 100. It is very strong and quite cloying. If you are a migraine sufferer, please be careful with these. One sniff and I felt the familiar zap and nausea.

So, these are just not for me. I'm going to finish my pack but not repurchase.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Dupe

I've long been a fan of the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment but not the price. At $22.50 for .15oz of product it's a little much for my wallet for as much lip balm as I go through. As you may recall, I was introduced to a site called Bloom Circle (actually by a facebook ad, not PR) and they were running a promotion that I couldn't refuse and I made an order. When I made my first order, I picked up the Jane Iredale Lip Drink Lip balm.
Similar sleek packaging, same lemon smell, same SPF 15, slightly bigger and about half the price. I don't have a Fresh lip balm in my stash right now to compare, but this is very moisturizing and a similar texture and $11.50 for .18oz. I prefer the thin, slightly lighter metal sleek blue Jane Iredale tube to the massive heavy copper tube from Fresh and will be purchasing this from now on.

Even though this isn't a "drugstore dupe", it's a huge savings! 

A plus, till April 22nd, Bloom Circle is giving you $4 Bloom Bucks per written review (up to $20 Bloom Bucks you can redeem for product) and you get 10% back on all your purchases. They are continuing to add brands and it looks like they are going to start carrying more fragrances, including Viktor & Rolf. Maybe I'll save my bucks and get a proper bottle of Flowerbomb!

Zinc Oxide 8%. Ingredients: Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Beeswax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sunflower Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Carnauba Wax, Candelilla Wax, Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Lemon Peel Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

Disclosure: This post includes my referral to Bloom Circle. If you sign up through my link, I'll receive $10 in Bloom Bucks when/if you make your first purchase.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Real Techniques Foundation Brush

When Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo came out with her own line of brushes, I'll admit, I was intrigued. I picked up two of them during the most recent ULTA promotion. They are in the drugstore section of ULTA and thus are pretty reasonably priced. I'm pretty sure not one brush is over $10. The one I was most interested in was the slightly angled foundation brush.

Even though the standing on it's own is a neat feature, I didn't find it all that convenient. First of all, you can't dry a brush with it standing up as the water will just drain down into the ferrule and it could damage the glue that holds the brush hairs in place. Two, even though it's fairly thick at the bottom, it still falls over. So take me, near blind without my specs, and give me a towering thin brush to knock about, well - it isn't a pretty sight. And some other negatives, doesn't fit easily in a brush roll, brush belt, brush jar etc. etc. etc. Cool in theory but not as nice in practice.
The brush itself is interesting. The duo fiber end helps cut down on streaking though not removing it entirely. I found when the brush was slightly damp, the hairs kind of clumped up and made streaking worse. I wish the brush was slightly more dense and slightly wider so that you didn't have to apply foundation with the normal flat side down stroking method. It would be a superior foundation brush if you could apply using solely the fat white end. This is not an option as it's not dense enough to withstand any amount of pressure (other than stroking down with the brush flipped onto the long side in very soft short strokes - which defeats the 5am rush foundation application routine).

Anyway, whether or not this review made any sense is up to you. The upshot is, it's ok, but could be better. The Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Foundation Brush retails for $7.99 and can be found at ULTA.

Monday, April 11, 2011


ULTA had their Friends & Family sale and I figured I would treat myself as I've been super busy after starting a new job. I popped in and picked a few things at 20% off that I had been wanting. Here's the loot.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Roll-on 
LA Splash glitter top coat in Mua! (sheer pink base with glitter and little hearts)
2 of the Real Techniques brushes (so far I'm not impressed but I hope that changes with some use)
Dermablend Leg & Body in Ivory
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (been wanting to try this for ages and I could really use it - my skin is so inflamed!)

I didn't do too badly and survived without buying any lip products!

Anyone else haul during the ULTA 20% off promotion? No worries as they have these at least a couple times a year if you missed this one.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beauty Blog Link Love - 4/09/11 - #31

Did you get a chance to buy any MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks? Visit StealMyHeartLovee for swatches of her two favourite lipsticks from the permanent collection.

Makeup Morsels participates in a Dare to Wear challenge for Japan with this cherry-blossom inspired eye look!

New and improved Dior Addict lipsticks?! Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed couldn't wait to try them out so come admire her lips!

Beauty Info Zone shows you 2 of the amazing Real Techniques brush sets created by Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo.

Hot Beauty Health shares 4 sure-fire ways to becoming a top-notch professional makeup artist.

Do you like crackle top coats? Find out how Anita got on with the new 17 Nail Xtras crackle top coat over at Pleasureflush!

Summer is almost here! You know what this means - Musicalhouses does a bright teal summer eye!

Phyrra’s Independent Spotlight for April is with Venomous Cosmetics! Learn about Tracy & her fascination with the vibrance of creatures found in nature, as well as her makeup.

Find out the brand Audrey Dao is raving about that costs only a fraction of high end brands but performs like one!

In spirit of the upcoming royal wedding, Miss Beauty Nerd shares the 3 must-have skin care products for brides-to-be. sheds light on such beauty terms as 1661, plastic fantastic and the new new face in its all new Beauty Fictionary.

AOYV insists that Chanel Coco Rouge is the perfect present for Mother's Day.

IHeartCosmetics reviews Elemis FreshSkin, a brand-new range designed specifically for young people.

Love corals for the spring? Check out Jacquelyn at FabDiva20 for a gorgeous coral FOTD!

Beauty takes on a charitable twist when done in honor of Japan by Socialite Dreams, geisha style.

Goudlylox Reviews gets to the bottom of the inspiring story behind BE Cares new shadow, Sweet Smile, and has one to give away!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bath & Body Works April Gift

I finally got to Bath & Body Works early in the month (or in this case, the very first Thursday) just in time for April's gift for the LUV BBW Club. This month's gift is your choice of mini True Blue Spa product (they are all $6 but of various sizes - hand creams are 1oz body lotions are 2oz, etc). I chose the 1oz Shea Cashmere Hand Cream as everyone has been raving about it and it's the perfect purse size. To be quite honest, the idea of paying $6 for this tiny little thing, no matter how cute, is a little ridiculous but I happily picked it up as it's free.

And they tie it up all nice and cute too! Nice touch BBW!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review: Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Calming Cleansing Solution

Everyone has been gushing over Bioderma, a french pharmacy brand that makes a Micelle/micellare (and various other spellings depending on if you are trying to spell in french or english or what I like to call frenglish). The only problem is getting a hold of the product. Apparently it's quite cheap in France but not so much in the states. To buy the 250ml Bioderma Créaline H2O you can order from Amazon for upwards of $33 including shipping or you can attempt to order from China or figure out the translation to order directly from France. Not only do you have the hassle of ordering internationally, but you run the risk of being allergic, or sensitive to the product and you can't return it!
I've spoken highly of the gel version of the La Roche Posay range's micellar product and when I was poking around a new to me CVS I found the majority of the Vichy range as well and within it the Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 Calming Cleansing Solution. Its' micellar product comes in a 200ml bottle (as does the La Roche Posay version) and clocks in at $16 US dollars (plus tax obviously - the La Roche Posay version is $20). And you can return it if it doesn't work.
Obviously as a deal seeker I was all over this. I've been using it for a few days now and aside from my dislike for all things without pumps, I love it! Doesn't burn my sensitive eyes, doesn't burn my skin, removes makeup, haven't tested on waterproof mascara yet but I imagine it'll be fine like most other products with the technology. Honestly, I'm quite pleased! Definitely check out your local CVS if you've been wanting the Bioderma. Cheaper and much closer to home!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Playing with MUA Shadows

I've had a really boring weekend as I've been sick with a cold and aside from sneezing my way through a box of tissues, drinking tea and sucking on cough drops I've done nothing exciting, I haven't even left the house. However, whenever I am bored and stuck at home, I always feel the urge to do crazy makeup looks and I had some uber crazy dark shadows from my swap with Kelly so I decided to try them out.

The MUA or Make Up Academy range in the UK retails for £1 which comes out to about $1.60 USD if my latest calculations are correct. That's very cheap and I had heard that the eyeshadow pearl range was fantastic so I was super excited to receive them from Kelly.

Seriously... look at these
They are the same two swatches but the light picks up the colors slightly different, #14 on the left and #13 on the right. So beautiful!
I used #14 all over the lid and into the crease (and the blended to soften) and #13 to line the lower lid. These are gorgeous shades that blend well and are super pigmented even on the eyes. I only used UDPP as a base, nothing else. Well, aside from the mascara of course!

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday. I'm off to make myself another pot of tea and maybe some more sorbet!
My disheveled state! I only did one eye.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March Empties

I admit, I'm a bit pleased with the products I've finished in March. Not a huge amount, but a little from each category.

Goldwell Dual Sense Sun Reflects Leave-in Protect Spray - This has been reviewed and praised by me for quite awhile now. I never did find it at ULTA or any of my local hair salons but I've managed to find some from other brands that are very similar. Still this is one of my favorite leave-in conditioners and I adore the scent!
La Roche Posay Rosaliac Micellar Makeup Removal Gel - La Roche Posay has discontinued this particular product but they make a micellaire cleansing water that I'm going to be picking up soon. I found that my CVS near works stocks the full La Roche Posay (and Vichy) lines so much more convenient than ordering online.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner - I've mentioned before that I used to use the full range of the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree line, however my husband isn't the biggest fan of the scent of tea tree oil and to be quite honest, it isn't my favorite scent ever. This is more minty which is also not something I am a huge fan of so I'll be slowly finishing my back ups.
Haus of Gloi Soft Bubbling Scrub in Hearth
Haus of Gloi Sugar Exfoliant in Depravity
Stila Lip Glaze Stick in Apricot - Stila discontinued the lip glaze sticks a couple years ago but has occasionally brought them out during their sales and I adore them. I find it interesting that tons of companies are creating these sort of products but in my mind, Stila has been and always will be the best. Apricot is a sheer peachy color with no shimmer or glitter and all of the sticks are scented like their namesakes which I find quite fun (and definitely an improvement over something boring like mint - hint tarte). I have a few other colors currently in rotation but I love Apricot with a smokey eye, it creates a great nude-ish lip without looking like you have concealer on your lips. Some of the darker shades are pretty pigmented though more of a jelly finish and almost act like stains. Stila, bring these back please!