Monday, October 31, 2011

September & October Empties

I barely finished any products in September so I decided to compile September & October empties into one post. To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed with my progress. And I still haven't managed to finish the H2O cleanser which is a bit insane all things considered! Onward.
Missha Green Tea Sheet Mask - This is a nice, light and refreshing mask. I bought a few of these Pure Source masks when Missha had a sale and they are quite nice. This one is meant to be moisturizing and brightening. I'm not sure I noticed any brightening but it definitely was moisturizing and I didn't need to apply my nighttime moisturizer after using this in the evening.
Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads - I think this might have come in a Birchbox? Either that or one of my Bloom orders. These helped my flakies a bit when I used it but I doubt I'd spring for a full size box of them as they are quite pricey!
Nuance Salma Hayek Detoxifying Facial Cleansing & Toning Towelettes - I know I was a bit lukewarm with these in my review but that's mostly due to the price compared to other towelettes (and my Epielle's) on the market. I actually re-bought them when Nuance was on sale, though these are the original pack. The slight nubby texture on them really helps pick up makeup.
OPI Polish Remover Non Oily - This is a sample size that came in a kit. Not impressed enough to seek this out when I need remover.
The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care - No one should be surprised finding another one of these in my empties post! Holy grail!
Biolage Delicate Care Organic Certified Oil - This stuff lasted forever! Granted, I've had the opportunity to try loads of different hair oils since trying this out but this one has been pretty nice. Once I get through the copious Birchbox samples and my generic moroccan oil, I'd definitely consider repurchasing this one. The price isn't too bad, it smells nice and the dispenser is probably the best of the ones I've tried. I'm actually tempted to keep this bottle and just decant my other oils into this container!
Lancome Nutrix Soothing Treatment Cream - Great stuff if you have dry and sensitive skin and even though it is very rich, it doesn't break me out. If anything, it calms down the breakouts I have and brings deep painful ones to the surface faster. I'll be using my H2O one now but the Lancome is definitely richer. If you have a recommendation for a similar cream I'd love to hear it (or what will happen is I'll likely just repurchase this one).
Caudalie Nourishing Body Lotion - This is a really nice lotion but I highly doubt I would pay the full retail price which is a bit ridiculous. It has a light slightly citrus scent and sinks in quickly. I wouldn't say it is the most moisturizing lotion on the market but I tend to prefer lighter ones even though I really need one that's heavy duty.
Mor Belladonna Body Butter - This was a sample that came in my last Bloom order. I really like this body butter. It isn't so thick that it is sticky or greasy, but you can definitely tell that your skin is moisturized. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the scent. It is a nice warm scent but there is a baby powder note that I don't enjoy. But again, these are crazy expensive in the full size and I think they only come in tubs which I don't prefer (though they do make a few lotions in pump bottles). Anyone else remember when they carried Mor at Sephora?
Caudalie Lip Conditioner - I really liked this lip conditioner. What I didn't like was towards the end of the tube, the product is a lot lower than is convenient to actually use. So you either dig all of it out or let it go to waste. I of course dug with a lip brush to get all the product out but it's definitely not convenient to do so.
Makeup Forever Aqua Smoky Lash mascara - I'm actually a bit surprised how long this lasted given the usual consensus regarding MUFE mascaras. I quite liked this. It holds a curl and is definitely waterproof. My only complaint is towards the end of the tube, it started transferring on me which is a bit weird. It's one of the most expensive mascaras I've tried and honestly, it doesn't perform that much better than drugstore mascaras. I'd probably rebuy during a sale or if I had a gift card.
Makeup Forever Sens'eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser - I'm sure you are all shocked, absolutely shocked that I went through the bottle of this. Just teasing! Yes, I used up my mini bottle and now I have a full sized bottle that should last me quite awhile. This is probably one of the most gentle eye makeup removers that truly removes any type of mascara. I love it and will always have a bottle on hand.

Whew. Well another month has passed and I still have not finished eyeshadow or blush. Maybe next time?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: Bumble & Bumble Tonic Shampoo

As you may remember, I got the Bumble & Bumble Tonic Shampoo for an amazing price at Big Lots, $6 versus the $22 the bottle is normally. Sephora describes it as a "daily, stimulating cleanser" that is meant to combat dandruff and "invigorate" the scalp. I've gone over my hair issues before. I have dry, thick hair. Unfortunately, the skin issues I've mentioned before are a major issue on my scalp and I either use scary prescription strength steroid ointments or make do with slightly more abrasive shampoos and heavy conditioners. My holy grail shampoo is The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo which I've also mentioned before. But finding a high end brand at Big Lots in a product you would actually use is so momentous that I had to buy it.

I find this a lot more stripping than The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care. It tingles more and my hair is "squeaky clean" after washing it out. Personally, with my hair as dry as it is, I can't use this daily as Sephora recommends and instead, I've been alternating it with a regular shampoo. As it is, I do not wash my hair everyday so I use this probably twice a week. It is your standard tea tree anti-dandruff formula (another reason I like TBS's as it smells like ginger - something other than tea tree oil for once!) and is a slightly thicker gel (the TBS is more runny). It definitely tingles and you can feel it a bit after showering which is refreshing.

I feel the price is a bit ridiculous, but then again, it is Bumble & Bumble. I'd probably recommend it if you have dandruff and oily hair. My dry hair doesn't like it so much. I have noticed that my scalp has stayed slightly less itchy but my scalp probably got used to the TBS as I haven't mixed it up in awhile. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to find me paying full price for this. There are tons of tea tree oil shampoos out there that do the same job and are probably less stripping to boot!

Disclosure: Shopsense platform utilized.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Beauty QVC Test Tube

Youtube has been a buzz for quite awhile regarding the New Beauty Test Tube program. Many Birchbox subscribers have been switching over and while I tried the New Beauty Test Tube back in 2009, it looks as though it's gotten better since then. Today I received an e-mail from New Beauty indicating that their Test Tube was coming back to QVC tomorrow and after scouring the QVC message boards, I've got the dirt (and the links). You can always buy the New Beauty Test Tube directly from their website, but apparently the QVC one is different as it has products that QVC carries meanwhile the New Beauty could potentially carry anything. The price is $29.96 with the option of 2 easy pays and of course QVC shipping is atrocious so it'll likely be just under $40 with tax.

Algenist Anti-Aging Moisturizer 0.5 oz. - Value $22.50 (Full size is $90)
New Beauty Magazine - Value $9.95
Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste 1.75 oz- Value $8.75
Perricone MD Firming Neck Therapy - Value $11.88 (Full size is $144)
Philosophy Shower Gel in Snow Angel - Value $1.67
Malley Evercolor Liner - Value $15.00
Laura Geller Baked Eye Shadow - Value $23.00
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil .17 fl.oz.- Value about $3
WEN Cleansing Conditioner 6 fl oz - Value $18.00

I ordered one and I'm blaming a newly discovered youtube guru for this, jalapena2007.

Regular 1-time shipment 
Auto Delivery

Don't forget Ebates!

Disclosure: Ebates referral link.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sephora Haul

My Sephora Friends & Family order arrived in the mail yesterday and I thought I'd show you what I picked up for myself. There were a few other things in my package for others (a CP and some gifts). I feel as though I did pretty well, definitely stayed under budget. I guess the one time use code isn't so bad after all if it makes me spend less money!

I bought a nice big bottle of the MUFE Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser which as you know from me going on about it is awesome, the Fresh Mini Sugar Kissing Trio, the Tarte Lip Service Collection and the 2 NARS nail polishes that are on sale for $8 (Pokerface & Bad Influence). Not to be forgotten is the massive 12oz bottle of the Philosophy Purity 100-point perk.

What did you get for Sephora Friends & Family?

*hint* If you have a post on your haul, feel free to link it below!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review: Babor Camouflage Cream in Ivory

As someone that has porcelain skin, I am always on the lookout for the best concealer that actually works with my skin tone. Most concealers are far too dark and wind up simply drawing more attention to blemishes. The ones that I find are light enough are usually thin concealers meant for the under eye area.

In my last Bloom order, I stumbled across the Babor Camouflage Cream and I decided to give it a shot. With Bloom's return policy, I really couldn't go wrong and the price was nice. At $14 for 4.5 grams it's a very reasonably priced concealer from a higher end line. I picked the shade Ivory #6 - the lightest they carry.
The packaging is pretty minimal, the product comes in a plastic jar with a screw top lid. It's very similar to how professional makeup lines tend to look - nothing fancy.
The shade Ivory is a milky yellow and the little pot is literally filled to the brim. There's a white cover over the product so the concealer doesn't get on the lid itself.
As you can see, this is a very pigmented product. It promises to hide discolorations while still looking natural and is smudge proof and waterproof. I've found this is the perfect color for blemishes. And it isn't too dark, too yellow or orange for me.
I've demonstrated a bit with a scar on my hand. Granted, after quickly applying the concealer, the area around the scar now looks much redder, but I hope you can see the subtle difference. Now you can only see the outline of the darkest part of the scar. You should be able to see where I applied the concealer on my hand but not in a cakey way.

If you are pale like me, I'd definitely give this a shot, especially if you have ruddiness or break outs. As I said, most concealers are too dark. I can't wear MAC concealers and the Vichy Opal long-wear one is much too dark as well. Don't even get me started on Lancome or Estee Lauder or any drugstore brands!

I've kind of dubbed this the long-wear high pigmented concealer for pale girls.

Disclosure: This post includes my referral link to Bloom. I've spent... ahem quite a lot of money on that site already and have had nothing but good experiences.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Favorite Fragrances

I've hinted here and there about some of my top fragrance choices. In general, I tend to prefer warmer scents. I gravitate towards scents with main notes of vanilla but I'm not a fan of smelling like a cupcake. I thought I would share some of my top fragrance choices and since the weather has gotten a bit cooler, I'll bet I'll forget to mention some of my summer picks.
The scent that I've been reaching for lately with the pretty significant weather change here has been the Victoria's Secret Body By Victoria Comfort Body Mist: Warm Vanilla. Even though this is technically a body mist and not an eau de toilette or eau de parfum, this has amazing lasting power. I apply right before dressing around 6am and it's still around when I get ready for bed around 9pm. Unfortunately, this particular scent is discontinued and Victoria's Secret has a habit of discontinuing all of their vanilla scents but Vanilla Lace and Amber Romance are also quite nice.
One of my mainstays is Philosophy's Falling in Love which smells of vanilla & blackberry. This is quite a sweet scent but something that I wore everyday for years. I discovered this in college. Actually, a bit of a story. I think it was my sophomore year that Philosophy offered an amazing promotion of a bottle of this and the shower gel free with any purchase. As I was a poor college student, I didn't usually spring for fragrance but the deal was too good so I got it. I fell in love with the fragrance and have gone through countless bottles of this ever since. I also wore this when I met my husband so he considers this "my" fragrance.
Lolita Lempicka's L eau de parfum is a fragrance I started wearing when I worked at ULTA. Before each shift, I'd walk over to the perfume area, spritz my pulse points with this and then spray Kenzo Amour generously all over. The slightly smoky smell of this mixed with the Amour smelled absolutely delicious. I don't currently own a bottle of Kenzo Amour but it is also one of my favorites. L reminds of me cigar smoke, in a pleasant non-cough-inducing way and also like the first whiff of a Diet Vanilla Coke (which I think they stopped making). Either way, it smells really good and is definitely a more grown up vanilla.

I think that's enough vanillas for now, don't you (though there are plenty of honorable mentions I've not mentioned)? I thought I'd mention two scents that I adore that are no longer available and are slightly different from my normal picks.
I've been shopping at The Body Shop for years as I've mentioned and now you probably believe me as I have a long discontinued but much loved bottle of The Spirit of Moonflower. This I keep stowed away, safe from light and it still smells good and I wear it occasionally. This is one of the few floral scents that I can tolerate and is a great day time scent. Not too powdery, not too sweet, I am still mad at The Body Shop for discontinuing this. I wore this during high school, early college and have gone through multiple bottles.
Fresh Memoirs of a Geisha came out in 2005 with the Memoirs of a Geisha movie (clearly) and was a great light summer fragrance that I still love. It's not quite as sour as their Sake fragrance and is nice and light, great for spring and summer days. I've gone through quite a few bottles of this too, even though it's not my usual fragrance.

Ever since I worked at ULTA in the mid 2000s, I have definitely branched out from my usual mainstays; not to mention the going from a bottle or two of fragrance into a collection. These days, I tend to repurchase my favorites that can still be bought fresh and buy new scents that I enjoy in rollerball format or at the most, the 1 ounce sizes.

What are some of your favorite perfumes?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sephora Sale +

As everyone should know by now, the Sephora Friends & Family sale actually happened. Granted, it's not quite as good as from previous years. It involves a one time only code, but something is better than nothing. Simply visit to get your unique code good on one purchase through November 2nd.

In case you felt a little annoyed at Sephora's dramatic denial of the sale, you might be interested in these other sales:
The Body Shop is offering 20% off from October 20th through 23rd with code FF2011 (that's more like it)!
And for something a little more wallet friendly, Cherry Culture is offering 20% off everything in store through the 23rd with code JTH20.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Have You Gotten Your Free Hand Cream Yet?

L'Occitane hand cream is a cult favorite and they are giving away free coupons for the 30ml size for reaching 250k fans on their facebook page! Simply go to their facebook page, like it, and fill out the form to receive your coupon. I received my coupon already via e-mail and it comes with a 15% off discount for use in store when I pick up the hand cream! This promotion is only available in the US and can only be redeemed (to my knowledge) at L'Occitane boutiques.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tada Beautysak GC $10 for $20!

I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm subscribed to 2 million sample sale or flash sale sites. In just moments, my e-mail inbox gets flooded on a daily basis from these sites. However, occasionally, there is a deal worth sharing (I've stopped posting about the Hautelook ones as they have been so underwhelming lately! Please say I'm not the only one who thinks so). Anyway, Tada is having a giftcard sale ending in ~2 days for a site called in which you pay $10 for a $20 e-gift card and you can buy 2 of them (aka pay $20, get a $40 giftcard). Beautysak offers tons of mid-high end lines and I took a quick look around the site and I'd imagine most people would be able to find something on there! 

The link again as I included it in a big body of rambly text

- Get $20 to shop at Beautysak
- Limit 2 per customer; may be stacked and used together on a single purchase or for 2 separate purchases
- Promotional value ($20) expires on 10/18/2012; original purchase value ($10) never expires
- Full value of e-Gift Card must be redeemed in 1 order only
- e-Gift Cards are not returnable or redeemable for cash
- $6.95 flat rate shipping applies; free shipping on orders over $50 after e-Gift Card is applied

The bolded section "free shipping on orders over $50 after e-Gift Card is applied" is the only annoying part of this deal. Basically, if you don't want to spend an additional $50 (and some of you very well might, the holidays are right around the corner), you are going to spend the $6.95 to ship your order so make sure to factor that into the deal. I like that the credit doesn't expire until a year from now. Some sites are really stingy with the time frame and you barely have any time to use it!

Disclosure: Tada doesn't have an affiliate or referral program so I am not making anything from posting about this. And I didn't even post my Hautelook link!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Operation MAC Lipglass

There comes a time in every makeup lovers life where she realizes that she does not have enough lip real estate in order to apply her lip products. Or really, when reality hits and you have the how-am-I-going-to-use-this-up-before-it-goes-bad minor anxiety attack. Granted, this is probably not an issue for most people with manageable collections and probably isn't an issue for me either unless you're talking about the lip products that I rarely use. Enter MAC lipglass (minor correction, enter all MAC lipgloss). Though I really like their lustreglasses, I don't reach for them as often as my other lip products (also, I've found they leak in my handbag which means I don't carry them with me and they don't get used). And yes, even I own some lipglasses, thanks to either holiday sets or the odd present.

So, I'm going to try to use them more and they may ultimately meet their demise with my Back2MAC bag after going bad but at least I will have made an effort.

I think the above photo shows the majority of them. I may have a couple others floating in makeup bags (if they are lustreglasses it means I need to replace said makeup bag). The above photo has 3 lipglasses, 3 lustreglasses, 1 lustreglass mini and a lipgelee.

Obviously, I hope a few of these empty tubes will make their way into one of my Empties posts. We shall see.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Essie Polishes $4!

I must have been living under a rock, but I only found out about this through a dear friend, Kelly of Jellyminx Thinks yesterday during her nail polish haul. She mentioned something about Transdesign having Essie polishes for $4. Lo and behold, I go there tonight to check and yes, all of the Essie polishes on the website are $4 including the new fall and winter collections (and I think it might run through the end of October)!

So if you've been wanting some Essie polishes, I would seriously go over and take a look! It's very seldom that one can find Essie polishes on a discount (aside from the buy 2 get 1 free offers Ulta occasionally has).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Salma Hayek Nuance Walnut Facial Scrub

When I tried and reviewed the Salma Hayek Nuance Walnut Body Scrub, I was really impressed by the texture and thought that it was similar to my much beloved and discontinued MAC Microfine Refinisher. Now, clearly the body scrub is not meant to be used on the face, but the line also contains a Walnut Facial Scrub which I clearly bought as I'm reviewing it for you now. As you can imagine, I'll be comparing the two in this review, especially since I bought it hoping it would be a dupe!

The Nuance Walnut Facial Scrub comes in a thin white squeeze tube and has a flip top and a small hole to squeeze out the product. It comes with 4oz of scrub and retails for approximately $8, though so far I've noticed that the pricing of the line has not been consistent among all CVS stores and their website so you may pay a bit more.

The product is the same unfortunate color of the body scrub which I'll refrain from showing you as it resembles slightly frothy mud. Either way, the product is quite good. As with the MAC Microfine Refinisher, this scrub is a cream with suspended scrubby bits in it. I found the Salma Hayek Nuance one a bit less dense (less scrubby bits) and had a variety of sized particles. This is probably due to the fact that it's actually walnut powder so I would expect there to be differing sizes. However, I did find them very similar. After using the Salma Hayek Nuance scrub, my skin was equally as soft (as one can predict) and did not feel stripped. While there did seem to be less particles suspended in the cream, it wasn't a significant amount and felt just as exfoliating as the MAC. One of my major pet peeves is buying something that claims to be an exfoliating product and there's hardly any particles in it to actually exfoliate! That wasn't the case with this scrub.

I'm pleased that the products are close enough that I can stop worrying about finishing up my MAC backups and scouring at places like the Cosmetic Company Outlet and simply buy the Salma Hayek Nuance one instead. At the $8, it's a third of the price that the MAC one was anyway, so it's a bit of a bargain, really.

So while it's not the exact same product, I'd say it's about the same as far as consistency and scrubbiness are concerned. Really, it's a bit hard to say skincare items are dupes unlike makeup items. Anyway, I'd definitely rebuy this and I'd recommend it as an alternative to the MAC Microfine Refinisher.

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, Menthol, Caramel, Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Aminomethyl Propanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Annatto (CI 75120), Red 40 (CI 16035).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: TheBalm Balms Away Eye Makeup Break-Up

There had been talk that quite a bit of The Balm products, or theBalm per the packaging, had made their way to TJmaxx. Well, given that I love a bargain, I took a look and managed to find theBalm Balms Away Eye Makeup Break-Up cleansing balm. I don't think I've ever used one of these softer-solid oil based cleansers to remove my makeup, but I know they are quite popular (Egyptian Magic, straight coconut oil and Albolene are ones I've heard of).

Who could resist the retro packaging, the cute reusable tin or the price? It looks like I missed the majority of theBalm items as this was was on clearance for $8 (regularly $20 at Sephora). Thankfully, I visited a TJmaxx that locks away all of their makeup and skincare items in clear boxes that can only be opened at the cash wrap so everything is pristine (this also comes sealed for those wondering).
But a deal isn't a good deal at all if the product doesn't work. While the texture of this is quite emollient and a bit strange for me after using the cooling gel/lotion texture of the Makeup Forever Sens'Eyes, I was pleasantly surprised that this took off my Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Aqua mascara (which is the true test for makeup removers). I applied a small dollop of the Balms Away, massaged into the eye area for the recommended time frame (30 seconds), took a slightly wet cotton round and held it over the eye and wiped away and everything looked gone. But the true test was I then took a q-tip and applied some of the Sens'Eyes, expecting that there would still be a bit of black on the white tip. Nope. Nothing more came off.

After removing the balm, my eye felt as though it had a bit of residue but in a pleasant way. It felt as though I had applied eye cream that sunk in. Honestly, my eyes would probably prefer if I switched to this remover as my skin breaks in the line under my eyes which feels like a paper cut and is very painful if I'm not careful. 
The packaging is absolutely adorable and even though the ingredient list doesn't have the most expensive ingredients (mineral oil is the first ingredient), the product is made in the US which gives me some assurance. Really, it's absolutely adorable and even if I don't repurchase as I prefer the texture and feeling of the MUFE, I'm definitely going to use this quite a bit this winter when I know my skin is going to crying for some much-needed moisture.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Target Beauty Bag Arrived

My Target Beauty Bag arrived in the mail today. I was pretty excited. I love getting mail and who doesn't love free stuff!? Anyway, would it be awful and/or annoying to say I was a little disappointed that Maybelline palette that they showed in the original photo wasn't in it? I mean, did I really expect them to put in a full size item? Not really but it would have been nice! Either way, the bounty:
Mostly haircare samples. What I'm most excited about is the coupon book. With the last beauty bag, I got some awesome steals using these coupons on some clearance items. There's even a Sonia Kashuk coupon and Target rarely puts those out! The bag is adorable and I love the print so I'm still pleased and again, who doesn't love free stuff?!

Did you get one of these in the mail?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Current Fave: Mango Mend

Early on in my blogging "career" if you will, I mentioned the California Mango products. Since then I have continued to use them especially the Mango Mend around my cuticles at night time. While the product comes in a giant vat of a tub normally, every so often they come out with reasonably sized tubes (this one is about the size of my palm). This does an excellent job of softening the cuticles and the skin around my nails and stops hang nails as well. I can tell I really like this because in a fit of unrestful sleep, I managed to knock this off my nightstand and missed it enough to spend a good 20 minutes looking for it and moving it from underneath my bed back to its proper location. Yes, it's a bit greasy and takes some time to sink in completely but it really works. If you have a Sally's near by, I'd definitely look out for the tubes (they generally come out around the holidays) though you can find the regular vat on sites like Amazon (and also on the Sally's website).

Monday, October 10, 2011

October Birchbox

My October Birchbox arrived and I just got the chance to open it and look through the contents. To be quite honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. Not that I expect hope for full size products in all of the boxes (ok maybe I do a little bit), but when places like Bloom are giving 3 deluxe samples when you spend $50, as much as I love the Birchbox concept, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be a subscriber unless they bring a really awesome box fairly soon.

The contents:
*Ahava Rich Cleansing Cream .68 floz (full size 3.4floz $30)
* Befine Lip Serum .34 floz (full size .5 floz $20)
*Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer in Bronze .5oz (full size 2oz $25)
*Orofluido Beauty Elixir .17 floz (full size 3.4 floz $29.99)
extra The Laundress Delicate Wash Laundry Detergent

I'll admit that the Befine Lip Serum is a really good size (more than 1/2 the full size) but the line was originally available at CVS and that has kind of ruined the prestige-ness of the line for me. What I am excited about is the Orofluido Beauty Elixir which is a hair oil. I opened up the vial to sniff and it smells delicious! It's a lovely smokey amber vanilla scent and I'm kind of disappointed it's a hair oil and not a perfume!

So while I was kind of bummed the box didn't hold a full size item, I am excited to try out all of the products and maybe I've been spoiled by my earlier boxes. At least this month didn't have a dinky perfume sample.

What did you get in your October Birchbox?

Halloween Beauty Blogger Giveaway $500 Sephora GC

I have joined together with a fabulous group of beauty bloggers for an amazing Halloween giveaway! We are giving away a $500 E-Gift Certificate to Sephora!

To enter, wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load below. Comments are welcome but they do not count towards entries. Each action in the Rafflecopter widget below earns you another entry. Actions will only be counted one time – even if you click on the widgets on the other participating blogs. You may tweet once per day – just come back here (or any of the blogs listed above) and submit a new tweet! 18+, International Entries are welcomed!

Please make sure to check out all the great bloggers that contributed to make this happen!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review: Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging Eye Primer

As part of the Beauty Stat Blogger program, I was recently sent a sample of the Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging Eye Primer. It promises to be crease-proof, act as a corrector and also minimizes the appearance of fine line and wrinkles.
I've been testing it out for a couple of weeks and while I don't feel it has the major longevity of the Urban Decay Primer Potion, it does last for a significant time without creasing on my lids (I got a good 6 hours before I had creasing and what I had was minimal). What it does have that many primer products don't is a tint. This is both good and bad. It's great for those of us with fairer skins that could use some concealing on the lids. However, it doesn't work on all skin tones as the clear versions do.

I also found that it was a bit harder to blend color on top of this primer. This is usually a non-issue for me as I don't often wear more than a simple color all over the lid, but lately, I've actually been blending a color into the crease and applying color over the product isn't easy without dusting a light shade or clear powder prior to doing the actual crease work.

What I've really enjoyed using this for is when I'm too lazy to do an actual eye look and I just wear this with mascara. I also don't find this as drying as the Illuminare colors.
The packaging is a standard doe foot applicator and the regular size comes in a slim tube, containing .14oz of product and retails for $21 which I feel is a little bit high. However, Korres is well known for putting out high value sets. For instance, right now you can get the Quercetin & Oak Anti-Aging Eye Primer, the Anti-Aging Face Primer ($33) and the Anti-aging and Anti-wrinkle Concealer ($22) all for $28.

I was impressed by the wear time I got and if you are fair to light, I'd definitely try this as an alternative to some of the other eye primers out there. I'm not sure if those with oily lids would get great wear time but it doesn't hurt to try or seek a sample from a store like Sephora.

For more information on the KORRES® products, please visit

Disclosure: I received this sample from Beauty Stat but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Current Skincare Routine

I thought I would do a post on my current skincare routine because my skin has never looked better. I haven't broken out in anything more significant than a clogged pore which presents itself as a tiny pin-sized whitehead that you can't even see unless you look up close for weeks now. I must be doing something right! As a beauty blogger, I try lots of skincare. Some is sent for review, some I buy myself. The whole reason I started a new routine (which is really a piecemeal of old routines) was to use some products up so this was all by chance. The interesting thing is, my routine concoction is from many different lines; in fact, I'm not sure there's a repeat among the lot!

For reference, my skin is dry, sensitive and prone to breakouts around the time of the month. I do not suffer from "acne" but have seborrhoeic dermatitis which can sometimes mimic acne.
First I remove my makeup. I start with my eye makeup remover, the ever reliable Make Up Forever Sens'Eyes, reviewed here. This takes every lick of mascara, liner and eyeshadow off my eyes and doesn't irritate them. Then I move in with the NYX Makeup Remover Gel Type reviewed here all over the face if I'm wearing a long-wearing foundation or only between around the eyebrows or other particular dry spots if I'm not. I know that sounds a little weird but I noticed I was getting breakouts between my eye brows because foundation was sticking to them even after using a makeup wipe and cleansing my face. The same tends to happen on dry spots or around the hairline for me so I make sure the foundation is long gone before moving on with my routine.
Then I remove all of my face makeup off with the Epielle Cucumber Cleansing Tissues or any other makeup wipe I'm currently testing out (or got on sale). If I applied the NYX Makeup Remover Gel Type, that also comes off with the wipe.
At night, unless I'm showering, I've been using my H2O Sea Pure Creamy Facial Cleanser reviewed here. I don't usually wash my face in the morning but instead go over it with the Vichy Cleansing Micellar Solution (and 2-3 cotton pads so I ensure I'm not rubbing dirt and remnants of moisturizer all over my face) reviewed here. If I haven't overslept (rare) or am not feeling lazy (even more rare), I'll cleanse with the H2O in lieu of the Vichy. The H2O is nearing the end of the tube and it has lasted forever even with daily use! You seriously only need a tiny bit of this to cleanse your face.
For exfoliating purposes (which I tend to do in the shower), I alternate between the MAC Microfine Refinisher reviewed here (and discontinued, I'm working off of backups) and The Body Shop Vitamin Cleanse Face Polish. The Body Shop is the discontinued version and more of a regular facial wash than a heavy duty scrub. So it's perfect for the alternate days where I don't want the heavy duty scrubbiness of the MAC.
With the weather change, my skin has been particularly parched, so as a moisturizer I have been using the Lancome Nutrix Soothing Treatment Cream reviewed here which is very rich but has made my skin look fantastic! It's nearly out and I'll be switching over to the H2O Sea Pure Deep Moisture Cream which I bought another jar of after my "for review" version was finished.

As far as extras are concerned, you should all know by now that for blemishes I absolutely swear by the Sircuit Skin Fixzit Blemish Drying Serum and when I remember to apply something underneath my eyes, it's usually the Garnier Eye Roller. As far as masks and stuff is concerned, I try out new things all the time and very rarely rebuy the same mask twice!

What's your skincare routine?

Disclosure: Received the H2O items for review.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lip Fusion Super Sale - Hurry!

Sephora has put their entire stock of Fusion Beauty on sale including the ever popular Lip Fusion! We are talking a serious discount on these pricey products and things are starting to sell out so if you're interested go go go fast (it looks as though things are priced at 75% off or more)! I'll be sitting this crazy clearance sale out as I have enough lip products to last a life time and I'm not a fan of these types of products but don't let that stop you from getting a great deal!

Zoya Promo

Zoya is running another promo. Buy 1 Zoya nail polish, get 1 free. There is a limit of 2 FREE bottles (you can buy up to 2 and get up to 2 free). The code is BOGO4 and it is good through October 5th.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil in #10 Almost Famous

Whenever I go to ULTA, which I have been visiting lately more often than I should due to their awesome promos, I always pass by the Essence stand, especially if I'm looking for something cheap to get me to the dollar needed to use one of the drugstore coupons. One day I saw this and picked it up. I thought that this long lasting eye pencil in the light pink color would be perfect for the waterline and at $1.99 it's not exactly breaking the bank.
The shade Almost Famous #10 comes packaged in a slim light pink twist up pencil containing .01oz of product. It's basically a pearlescent pink color, very reminiscent of the Benefit Eye Bright chubby pencil.
This is a horrible swatch as it is not a true color representation, but it took me forever to get one that showed up and focused so it's staying!
The difference from the Benefit is this one does have some glitter in it, which I discovered upon removal. Not truly an issue as the pencil isn't terribly soft and is much better suited to the upper lashline. If you like the wide eyed brightening color peeking through your lashes like I do, then you will love this pencil. And it literally stays on all day.
I applied this morning around 7am and I literally just took this picture (it's 8pm) and as you can see, the liner is still going strong! Definitely impressive for $1.99.

Don't forget that if you received an ULTA circular and live in the region where you accrue points to take dollars off a purchase, there should be a 10x multiplier coupon good till the 6th for you to use on your purchases. Spending around $30 should net you just over 1200 points which is good for $10 off your next purchase unless you save them for a larger splurge!