Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Been Awhile...

I had noticed a serious lack of posts from beauty bloggers that love deals (such as myself) about Big Lots sightings. I figured this was a prime time to spot some fabulous deals that hadn't already been picked over by resellers, beauty bloggers and other makeup fanatics that read beauty blogs! I was right!

Bumble and Bumble BB Tonic Shampoo ($6) which as luck would have it, is their shampoo for dandruff and usually retails for $22 at Sephora and other beauty stores and salons!
They also had these discontinued Cover Girl Boundless Color nailpolishes for a mere 50 cents a piece. My guess is these retailed for $4 when they were in stores. The middle one has holographic glitter!
I had a major flashback when I saw these Naturistics Sweet Lips lipbalms in packs of 2 for $1! I used to absolutely adore these and they have been gone for quite a few years now. I wonder if they are still good? I remember the whole squeeze tube lipgloss trend; Stila also did one that is now long discontinued. Glosses in the foil packaging was very popular for some reason.
I also saw a few EcoTools products (though no brushes) including this bath set for $7 (there were also loofahs available from the line). And next to it was a line that I was intrigued by but didn't buy - the Dead Sea Collection. Anyone heard of this? I did a quick search on google while in the store and I didn't find much though apparently the products are made in Israel.

Of course in addition to the photos I took, there were Epielle Wipes, lots of haircare, the makeup section was slim but there was a ton of the moving Maybelline mascara which didn't seem to sell well at the normal drugstore price.

Have you sighted anything lately at Big Lots? Planning to make a trip now if you have one local?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Packaging

Packaging is a major selling strategy for makeup companies. Many makeup lovers who say they care about packaging usually really care about the status the packaging supplies. Who doesn't love the iconic "double c's" of Chanel or the sleek yet functional squared designs of Shu Uemura? And most spend the $30 odd dollars knowing that they will likely never hold one of the iconic quilted Chanel bag or sport any of the luxurious clothing. However, when comparing packaging between high end and drugstore products, Revlon recently added some quilting and imprints to their newest Colorburst line but that doesn't stop people from buying the Chanel.

Honestly, when I finally got a hold of a Chanel Quad, I thought the plastic felt a bit cheap. I was surprised at how lightweight it was, especially at the $57 price point. Still, there's a certain thrill when you use a product so status-worthy. You whip it out of your purse and feel special applying it - friends and coworkers might notice and ask "ooh, is that Chanel?" and you respond positively with an easy grin.

I rarely see packaging that is fun just for the sake of it rather than for reasons of status though many brands tend to draw a common theme with their packaging, especially if the makeup is born from a larger brand (think Tokidoki or Tarina Tarantino).

So I was very surprised to see a line of lip glosses where the packaging is standard but the colors and designs are mostly just for fun.
And where the packaging is less of a status symbol.

I recently had the chance to try one of Lip Savvy! Plumping Lip Glosses and while I wasn't a big fan of the sticky long-wearing formula, I was so intrigued by the packaging. Sure you see the Lip Savvy! written on each tube, but the design on the tubes is so fun and doesn't really scream "I am a brand". The packaging and formula are much like the Stila Lipglazes or MAC Lipglasses. So if you like long-wearing and sticky formulas, I would give these a try. They retail for $18 and come in 22 shades.

It's interesting to see, aside from the name, the lipgloss is not heavily branded. I'm curious how well it will fair among brands that are heavily branded. I think most makeup enthusiasts recognize major brand packaging, even some drugstore packaging. With this, I'm not sure there's any automatic, "Oh yeah, that's Lip Savvy!" so we'll see.

Disclosure: I was sent a Lip Savvy! for review and I didn't care for the tackiness so I didn't want to devote a full review for my blog. However, the idea that the lipgloss packaging was unlike pretty much every brand I've ever seen really piqued my interest and made me think about branding and packaging and what that means for a brand and the consumer. The most deviations from packaging within a particular product in a line has been color - the color of the product might be different in a line of lipglosses or lipsticks, but the rest of the packaging is fairly homogeneous (for example, Revlon Colorburst lipsticks all have the same quilted exterior and the caps have different colors to be able to tell the color of the lipstick inside). What are your thoughts? Have I been in graduate school too long? =p

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Maybelline Baby Lips and Unadvertised Deal

I finally managed to track down the new Baby Lips - the new tinted lip balm from Maybelline. I am a huge fan of tinted lip balm so this was a must find for me. Since Maybelline is buy 1 get 1 50% on all lip and eye products, I didn't feel guilty purchasing these without having my coupons with me (though it would have been an even better deal had I had them). Each was a little over $4 and all 4 cost me about $13. I bought Cherry Me, Peach Kiss, Pink Punch & Grape Vine. I've tried Peach Kiss so far and it smells like peaches and has more pay off than I was expecting. I tried it on super chapped lips (I didn't drink enough water today and it shows - too busy) and it didn't improve them dramatically but it didn't make them worse so I wouldn't say these are intensively moisturizing, but on lips that are already in decent shape they should keep them soft.

Anyway, what really surprised me and made me want to jump on here asap was the unexpected Extrabucks that printed after my purchase. Apparently, there's an unadvertised deal with every $10 or more Maybelline lip & eye purchase, you get $3 in Extrabucks back! And it didn't say that I had met the deal limit on the bottom of my receipt so you may be able to do this multiple times! Pretty awesome if you combine with the current sale and coupons!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Beauty Blender

If you haven't heard of the Beauty Blender before, you may be living under a beauty rock. The Beauty Blender has garnered much praise from beauty addicts and major publications. I bought the duo + cleanser set in January from so I have had plenty of time to test it. I had a gift card and was curious, what can I say?

First of all, I know some of you would never pay $19.95 for a makeup sponge and that is absolutely fine. As much as I feel as though the right tool can really help achieve a great makeup look, I am the girl who has done paintings with the brushes that come in the Crayola watercolor sets [I was once a poor college student] and most people would never be able to guess.

The Beauty Blender is best suited for a foundation that would usually look unnatural and mask-like if you were to try to apply with your fingers or a foundation brush. It is for the foundation that streaks on your skin and doesn't seem to blend no matter how hard you try. So, in my opinion, this is best used with full coverage foundations, though it works fine with foundation that are lighter.

Wetting the sponge and squeezing out the excess water is recommended. That being said, I find that if I use the sponge to apply my foundation, it doesn't last during the day. The best way of applying it for me is to apply my foundation (with fingers) and then lightly bounce the slightly damp sponge on my face to soften any streaks or cakey spots. I also get the best coverage with this method.

The only major problem that I've had with my sponge is it bleeds.
Every time I wash it.

While the pink color is pleasant, it's not what I was expecting from a $20 sponge. I do have a second sponge in my pack and I haven't tried that to test the bleeding, but I was hoping to keep that as a back up as they do recommend that you replace the sponge (with much more frequency than I plan to be doing).

I think I got a dud but I think there was that little voice in my head saying I'll just try "one more washing" and it should "be fine" and well, it still hasn't stopped bleeding and it's too late to return. At least it hasn't stained my face pink.

Don't get me wrong, I do love the little sponge and use it frequently. I would recommend this or one of the various dupes out there if you want to try using reusable sponges with your foundation. Bleeding aside, my sponge has remained soft and bouncy. It has no tears, has retained its original shape and hasn't gotten discolored. It cleans thoroughly and doesn't stain. It feels soft on the skin dry or damp and it is very helpful when I'm trying to blend something like Makeup Forever Mat Velvet+ which tends to cake.

So, all in all, I do really like the sponge and I sincerely hope my little bleeding issue is merely a defect and doesn't occur on a larger scale. You can buy the Beauty Blender at Sephora, and many other e-tailers. The single sponge sells for $19.95, the duo $25.95 and the duo + cleanser for $39.95. 

If you own or have owned a Beauty Blender, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Cherry Culture 25% Sale!

Take 25% off everything at Cherry Culture with code CC5Y from September 26th through September 30th!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

NARS Eyeshadow Steals - $8 at Sephora!

I was procrastinating from doing homework and surfing on the Sephora website and found this awesome deal. Granted, these are not my colors and I won't be ordering, but if you are warm toned, have green or hazel eyes or generally look good in coppery shades, I would definitely at least pick up California - $8 for a NARS single can't be beat!

You can also get Night Sun for $8 but from looking at the reviews on the site so far, it doesn't look like a shade many would like- still, if you've been tempted to try some NARS, here's your chance at drugstore prices!

Salma Hayek Nuance Line On Sale Again!

In case you missed the promotion where Salma Hayek Nuance products were buy $20 worth, receive $10 of Extrabucks back, you're in luck. The same promotion is running this week, starting tomorrow. It says limit 1 in the circular but maybe it will be limit 2 again like last time? Either way, I thought I would compile the posts I've done recently for the brand in case you were interested in picking up a thing or two from the line.

Nuance Dark Cacao & Coffee Firming Body Cream, Nuance Flawless Wear Tinted Moisturizer (light swatch only), Nuance Ultra Shine Lip Gloss

Nuance Detoxifying Facial Cleansing & Toning Towelettes

Swatches of the full range of the Nuance Flawless Wear Tinted Moisturizer

Nuance Walnut Body Scrub 

Nuance Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio Pewter/Silver Shimmer 065 

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy shopping! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment

As you may remember, the Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment was one of the items in my September Birchbox. I like to call myself a lip balm connoisseur so I was definitely happy this was included in the box. At $14 for .33oz it's on the higher priced end of lip treatments but it's comparably priced to the Caudalie or the Jan Iredale (actually it contains almost twice the product as both these twist up versions so it's a better value).  The texture of this manages to be thin but not greasy. It almost has a dry texture which is unusual for a tube lip product. Like some of my comparisons, this makes an excellent lipstick base. It has a very slight rose scent that is far from overpowering and doesn't bother my sensitive nose.

I don't find that this plumps my lips like it claims though if I concentrate really hard, I think I can feel a very slight tingle, but I don't consider my lips thin to begin with. It's a pleasant product but I'll admit, I prefer twist up application methods (even though you typically get less balm for the price) and I don't feel as though this is as moisturizing as some of the other balms I've mentioned. Either way, I was definitely happy to try it out and will happily use up my tube!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stila Friends & Family!

It's time for Stila Friends & Family! Take 20% off your purchase including free shipping with code FRIENDS2011 through September 27th. Don't forget to use Mr. Rebates (6%) cashback or Ebates (also 6%).

Disclosure: Referral links included.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Did You Forget Concealer?

My skin has been freaking out a bit lately - not to the extent it was earlier in the year - but with the weather changing from summer to fall, I've had a few breakouts. As some of you may know, the majority of the time I wind up doing my makeup in the car before work. If I'm already at work, I'm way less stressed and am less likely to stick the mascara wand in my eye or sweat off my makeup en-route.

Because my skin has been pretty awesome lately, I haven't been carrying around concealer with me, but I had a pretty obvious spot that needed the extra coverage. Here's how I covered it without concealer!

* Apply foundation (in my case tinted moisturizer) as usual
* Dot a small amount of said product on the spot
* Do your eye makeup, blush or lipstick
* Come back to the area that you've applied the product and pat it in like you would a concealer

You'll find that the product has gotten less liquidy as it's been exposed to air and the pigment will have had ample time to stick itself to your blemish. Pat it to blend it in like you would a regular concealer and you will be amazed that your blemish is covered. A side note, this is especially good for those of us with dry skin where highly pigmented concealers tend to cake and look even worse than before covering a blemish.

I've now discovered that I don't have to add a product to my makeup bag and that makes me a happy girl!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FREE Revlon Colorburst Glosses

Many of you should know that various Revlon lip products are $6.49 with $5 Extra Bucks back at CVS this week (limit 6). Well, I would keep an eye out for the above display (sorry it's a bit fuzzy - I get this weird guilty feeling when I take pictures in stores and my iPhone goes all shaky). It includes a very large selection of the Colorburst glosses and each gloss has a $2 off coupon stuck to it. This makes your glosses FREE (actually, you'll make about 50 cents on each in the end) after Extra Bucks! Pretty awesome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Nuance Salma Hayek Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio Pewter/Silver Shimmer 065

As you'll remember, I picked up the Nuance Salma Hayek Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio Pewter/Silver Shimmer 065 (.115oz, $8.99) this past week when I did the CVS Nuance Extrabucks deal (which ends tonight). The pewter/taupey color on the end definitely piqued my interest. Well I've had a decent amount of time to play with it and see how it wore throughout the day.
From looking at the product, you can't really tell much about it, other than perhaps a general color scheme and that it contains 3 different products in a container a bit longer than a regular mascara tube. When you twist it open, you see the following:
A taupey/pewter shimmery cream eyeshadow
A shimmery white eyeshadow stick, and
A black retractable eyeliner
I think the idea of the set is quite fun, but given the general set up, I was expecting one of the ends to contain a loose eyeshadow, like the Tarte Lock & Rolls.
Eye Shadow at at ShopStyle

The white stick highlighter is not something that I would use on the brow bone; it's too stark and too metallic and shimmery looking for my tastes. I personally would have preferred a powder eyeshadow the same color as the cream.

As I mentioned, I played with this quite a lot during the week. As far as wear time is concerned, the cream eyeshadow creased pretty significantly during the day and I doubt it lasted for more than an hour on its own. I also layered it with Urban Decay Primer Potion and it lasted a bit longer. It lasted all day on me with Primer Potion and another powder eyeshadow on top. However, the eyeliner lasted all day with only minimal fading even without the Primer Potion. It's a very deep black color and goes on opaquely. It is a little harder than most of the eyeliners I prefer these days, but I didn't find that it tugged or irritated my eyes. I wish they would put out this retractable eyeliner separately as I doubt there's very much product in this particular product (I know they have regular stick gel liners but I love the ease of the twist up especially for work mornings). The white cream eyeshadow... eh - again, there's no way I would wear this on my brow bone but it's an ok inner corner highlight. Again, I would have preferred they replace this with a powder eyeshadow.

For $8.49 it's a convenient little set for traveling or to stash in your hand bag. My only complaints is I wish the cream eyeshadow was more long wearing on its own and that the metallic white stick wasn't included. I was really impressed with the eyeliner and would definitely buy that separately if it was available.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Salma Hayek Deal Limit 2!

You guys all should know by now regarding the Salma Hayke Nuance deal at CVS. This week (ending tomorrow), if you buy $20 worth of the Nuance line, you receive $10 Extrabucks back. Combine this with coupons and you are bringing down the price of the products significantly. The ad indicates that this deal is limit 1 (ie, you can only do the deal once), but they increased the limit to 2! So you can roll the deal or just use the Extrabucks for another beauty (or some other item CVS sells) product. Basically, you can now get $40 worth of the line for $20 after the Extrabucks back!

Remember, this deal ends tomorrow if you want to take part!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wet n Wild Prowl

We interrupt your regular scheduled programming to bring you...
Prowl! I found it! Well, most of it. Behind Closed Doors was already sold out but maybe I'll find it at another area drugstore.

I popped by a CVS on the way home from work and finally found the new Wet n Wild Prowl Collection. I have to admit, Wet n Wild really hit it out of the park with this collection, though a couple of them were a bit of a disappointment. For instance, in the CVS lighting, Buy Me A Drink seemed to have an orange duochrome but when I brought it home and swatched it, zip zero zilch. And like most, I did not buy the black cream.
Cougar Attack (gold glitter), Ready to Pounce (blurple with shimmer/sheen), Jungle Fever (green chunky shimmer)
Tangled In My Web (black chunky glitter), Correction Tape (multicolored glitter), Buy Me A Drink (wine with shimmer/sheen)

(the glitters are over Revlon Powder Puff)

I think my favorites are actually the first three I swatched. Cougar Attack, Ready to Pounce Jungle Fever. The chunky glitters are fun but as with most glitters like this, application takes some effort and removal is a pain in the behind. I found the best way to apply is to really work your brush into the bottle to get the most glitter on the brush and then instead of sweeping, almost stipple it into your nail. And then you can add a little more clear if you want to move the dots around. Again, not the easiest or fastest but it brings the best results for me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Body Scrub

I should probably just go ahead and deem this Salma Hayek Nuance week!

Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Body Scrub retails for $7.99 online and comes in an 8oz squeeze tube (I paid $8.50). I've found that the prices are a bit higher in store, so if you can manage without the immediate gratification, it may be worthwhile to order from the website especially if they are running a coupon code.

Given my lackluster opinion of the Nuance line so far, I wasn't expecting to like this. I will go through my reactions:

"Salma - again with the brown color? Ugh"
[applies scrub]
"I wonder if they make a facial scrub like this!"

Really. Would you want to rub that all over your body? I did in the name of blogging and I'm glad I did!

Originally I wasn't really excited as I couldn't see any visible exfoliating bits but when I started to rub it on my body, I noticed the texture reminded me of the MAC Microfine Refinisher! It has tiny little sand like particles within the cream and does a great job of exfoliating. The color I could do without. The smell is pretty unoffensive and is pleasant enough. What I love about this is even though walnut is in the product, there are no obnoxious large bits of walnut that don't really do much for your body unless they happen to scratch you on a jagged edge, but manage to get caught in your drain. A plus, it's not a sugar or salt scrub so the particles don't actually dissolve the minute they hit water and it's not oily so it doesn't make your floor slippery.

If you have been wanting a scrubby yet not abrasive body scrub, I'd definitely try this one. I was quite impressed and if the review online is any indication, the facial scrub in the line is similar. Possible a replacement for my much loved MAC facial scrub?! We shall see!

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Polyethylene, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Bixa Orellana Seed Oil, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Caffeine, Butylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum), Caramel, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Annatto (CI 75120), Red 40 (CI 16035).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Swatches: Salma Hayek Nuance Flawless Wear Tinted Moisturizer

As I mentioned in my CVS haul, the Salma Hayek Nuance line is offering more samples than most drugstore lines and it's a good thing too, considering the price range is a bit higher than most other drugstore brands. The Flawless Wear Tinted Moisturizer comes in 5 shades and retails for $13.99. Since I picked up testers of all the shades, I thought I'd share swatches here.
 Light, Light/Medium, Medium, Medium Deep, Deep
The shades do adjust a bit once on the skin, you can see in the packet, the darkest 3 shades look nearly the same and they only look slightly different once swatched. I also found it weird that the Light shade looked much lighter than the original sample I showed so I'm not sure which shade it actually is, though it appears too yellow for my skin tone regardless. Medium and Medium Deep are practically the same color, with Medium Deep being slightly more orange and Medium being only a tiny bit more neutral though it's clear that all of these shades run warm.

I hope this was helpful!

Monday, September 12, 2011

September Birchbox

I received my September Birchbox in the mail today and I'm actually really excited about almost everything in this month's box. Included is the following:

* Blinc Mascara .02oz (full size .21oz $24)
* Girly Harvey Prince Eau Flirt perfume carded sample (full size 50ml $55|100ml $98)
* Incoco Nail Polish Applique (this is enough for both hands but I think the "full size: gives you a few extra if you mess up) ($7.99-$10.99)
* Jouer Lip Enhancer .07floz (full size .33floz $14)
* 2 Lash Cards (10 cards $4.99)

The box was super light this month so I was a little worried but I'm quite happy with everything. The only issue is the leopard print for the Incoco Appliques really aren't my style.

This box also comes with a friendship bracelet but my box was missing it. Birchbox has always been great with responding to these sort of problems, so I imagine it'll be on its way shortly.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

CVS Haul

There are quite a few good sales at CVS this week, although I've only participated in 1 of the beauty related ones. I'm referring to the buy $20 worth of Salma Hayek Nuance get $10 in Extrabucks back. I would also recommend that you look around for the temporary displays as they have samples which include $2 off coupons for her skincare and cosmetic items. I was able to use 2 of these coupons that brought my out of pocket expenses (after extrabucks) to around $6. These coupons are great either way, as the line is quite expensive.

I also highly recommend to seek out your store's clearance displays. It changes depending on your store. Sometimes they are in the back in bins, sometimes a shelf is selected randomly where items are marked down. Some of the items in today's haul were from these sections (I also found some batteries on clearance but they aren't included in this post).
I love my microfiber hair turban so much that when I found these towels on clearance, I quickly scooped them up. Microfiber is much more gentle on hair than a regular towel and cuts down on frizz for us curly girls. These towels were regularly $5.99 which is pretty cheap anyway but since they were marked down to $1.49 a piece, they were definitely a steal!
In the clearance section, I also found Orly Here Comes Trouble marked down to $1.74 - bargain! Body & Soul blogged about this Pin Up Collection back in April. The opacity of this glitter looks amazing.
And the Salma Hayek stuff I picked up: I bought the Walnut Body Scrub ($~8.50), the Light Camera Action Eye Trio in Pewter/Silver Shimmer (~$8.89) and to put me over the $20 mark the mini size of the Blue Agave Curl Cream ($~3.50). I sincerely hope these impress me more than the other Nuance items I've tried but considering the price I wound up paying, it won't be a huge loss.

Also, the red machine of awesome was spitting out coupons for free Newton Thins cookies, and a $10 off $50 purchase coupon. Between that and the free allergy pills, free tampons and other great deals, CVS is definitely a great place to stock up on essentials this week!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NOTD: Zoya Petra

During the last Zoya promo, I picked up Petra from the Fall 2011 Smoke & Mirrors collection. I clearly have a thing for slightly murky purple toned polishes and Petra sums that description up perfectly.

Depending on the lighting, it can look anywhere from a deep gray-almost black color to brown to a deep shade of purple.

The opacity of this polish is excellent. It went opaque in just 1 coat (though extra passes were needed as it's been sometime since I've done regular manicures).

The minute I got this on my nails, I thought the base color bore a striking resemblance to Revlon Perplex.
The base colors are nearly identical and if you own Perplex, you would know that the shimmer rarely makes an appearance on the nails unless you're under the right kind of lighting.
Both appear slightly darker swatched than in the bottle. They are basically the exact base color. I'd say if you missed out on Perplex, Petra would give you the same color, although you obviously would be missing out on the shimmer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: Inis Energy Of The Sea Cologne Spray

I was recently contacted by Fragrances of Ireland and asked if I wanted to try their Inis - the energy of the sea perfume. They generously scent me the full 50ml bottle to try. Per their name, Fragrances of Ireland is a small fragrance house based in County Wicklow, Ireland and Inis was launched in 1998 coinciding with the Lisbon World Expo and the UN year of the oceans. It reminds us that "we are all connected, by seas, by oceans, by dreams, through keeping the channels clear" - it definitely is a nice and slightly unusual message for a perfume in a "sea*" of perfumes that are at-times provocative.

I'm going to be honest and say that I really didn't care for Inis when I first sniffed it. Although, I do delve a little into "fumes", I mostly prefer scents that have more warmth to them or are brighter citruses. The marine scents aren't usually something I would buy for myself. Back when I worked at ULTA, I could give you a list of notes from the perfumes the store carried and I would typically ask customers, "what perfume do you like" or "what notes do you like" and walk over to a perfume and know that they would absolutely love it. I've since lost my touch a bit. I will say that although this is marketed as a unisex scent, I think it's a lot sweeter than a lot of the marine scents on the market that are either unisex or catered to men, and a lot stronger. When I first received my bottle, I sprayed my wrist and went to bed a few hours later. In the morning I could still smell it!

However, I will say it grew on me and I started reaching for Inis everyday. It's a great summer scent. It has major longevity and there is a sweetness to it that I quite enjoy. On first spritz I get the marine note, the citrus notes, a bit of sparkle and also a spiciness. A few seconds later, the marine note overwhelms and it smell much more masculine. However, after it melds into the skin, it develops a sweeter base and the musk and sandalwood really start to come out (with hints of citrus, light floral and the marine note). I was shocked to discover that this did not give me a migraine but also that if I'm feeling poorly, this isn't something to wear.
As I mentioned, this has major longevity and also is a whole lot stronger than the cologne name would lead you to think. This is not a perfume to liberally douse yourself in unless you want the entire office to smell like you! Nonetheless, I'm glad I was given the opportunity to try this. Too bad summer is almost over, my muskier vanilla scents don't really work well during hot weather.

Slightly unrelated. I liken this scent (though not in exact smell) to something like Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea which is fabulous in the spring and summer months.
I really enjoy the simple bottle with the etched letters. The perfume isn't tested on animals. It comes in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes, the smallest being $35. Given the amount you need, I feel that's quite reasonable. I've been wearing it nonstop for a few weeks and I haven't made a dent.

After looking through their website a bit, I also found that 2ml samples of the brand's perfumes can be ordered through the website for a small fee that will be put towards a future purchase if you chose to order. This is quite smart given the brand is not carried most places although I believe you can buy it in some select boutiques (also I saw a listing on Amazon).

You can find all information on Inis and their full range of products on their website or

Disclosure: This was sent for review.
* I clearly think I am very funny. Pun intended.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Great Deals @ Sephora

It is taking all of my willpower not to put in a Sephora order right now. Not only is Sephora (or as of when I received the e-mail a couple days go) offering a free full sized Michael Kors Very Hollywood Rollerball free with purchase with code KORS.
But they also just put a bunch of stuff on clearance...

For instance, this Josie Maran Natural Wonder Powders Palette ($80 Value) (Original Price $35) for only $18
Bare Escentuals Buxom Samantha's Smoky Eye ($70 Value) (Original Price $42) for $32
And a whole load of other stuff too.

Maybe if you all buy everything, I won't be tempted?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Nuance Salma Hayek Detoxifying Facial Cleansing & Toning Towelettes

The only skincare item that I've tried from the new Nuance line so far are the Nuance Salma Hayek Detoxifying Facial Cleansing & Toning Towelettes. Think they could have come up with a longer name? Anyway, these retail for a slightly high price of $7.99 for 25 pre-moistened wipes. If I remember correctly, I think they were priced slightly higher at my local CVS but I've now misplaced the receipt. The towelettes are also on the small side: They are slightly smaller than some of the other wipes I've used in the past and measure approximately 7.5"x 5.25" (for reference Garnier wipes are ~$6 at 5.9" x 7.8").
I found these did a really good job of removing all of my face makeup but I need a stronger remover for my eye makeup as I wear waterproof mascara (thank you MUFE). They are slightly textured so they pick up a lot yet are soft so they don't irritate. They come in a baggy but with a flip-top plastic cap to keep the moisture in. I did rub it over my eye area after the initial pass with the remover and they didn't burn my sensitive eyes. They smell like laundry detergent which may bother some but it far beats the sickly sweet cucumber scent from the Yes To Cucumber ones for me. I still prefer the cucumber scent from the Epielle and the Garnier one is also pleasant but as long as it's not overpowering, I'm not too picky.

These can obviously found only at CVS stores and online. This was nice to try and I'll finish my pack but I won't likely repurchase (unless there was a particularly good sale - $8 seems ridiculous to me after spending $1 on the Epielle ones for so long).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Additions to my Holy Grail List

As a blogger, I try many different products. Actually, it's mostly because I'm a product junkie and I love to try new things. However, I thought I would share a few things that recently made Holy Grail (HG) status for me. These are things that I make sure I have a proper backup or a plan of action if I were to use it up. Really, nothing has quite compared to these products.
Makeup Forever Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser - Can you tell I like it? I'm hoping to survive without it until I can buy it during Sephora Friends & Family when I finish it. This is, hands down, the best eye makeup remover I have ever used. It's not liquid so it goes a long way and there's no waste on cotton pads. It doesn't burn my sensitive eyes (even removing liner on the water line - I've used this to remove the shadow/liner gunk that builds up around the inner corner). It removes everything. Basically, even though the full size is $23 I will continue to buy this. It is so worth it especially if you wear waterproof mascara.
Sircuit Skin Fixzit Blemish Drying Serum - One word: amazing. Seriously, the most effective spot treatment I've ever used and I've also managed to convince DH of it's awesomeness. Always have a bottle on hand.
Epielle Cleansing Tissues in the Cucumber scent. Absolute bargain, large and soft sheets, lovely scent and they don't sting my sensitive eyes. All in all a fabulous product (and I'd probably pay a bit more for them too if need be).

Some other things that made the short list: Garnier Anti-Puff Eye Roller, MAC Microfine Refinisher (but discontinued... sniff sniff), Haus of Gloi Soft Bubbling Scrub (various scents)

It's a shame I can't find any color cosmetic holy grails!

Monday, September 5, 2011

NOTD: Butter London No More Waity Katie

I know I bought this ages ago but I finally painted my nails with Butter London's No More Waity Katie which is a murky purple sheer base with lavender glitter. It's gorgeous but super sheer. Certain angles make it look even more sheer.
That's the same hand by the way!

The polish is pretty and I don't have anything else like it but I absolutely refused to do 3 coats (this is 2 plus my lovely Dazzle Dry) though it could have used it. I've heard the sheerness is unusual for Butter London polishes so we'll see if whatever I pick up during the ULTA promo is any better.