Saturday, December 29, 2012

Influenster Holiday Vox Box 2012

My Holiday Vox Box from Influenster recently came in the mail. Inside was the Goody QuikStyle Hair brush (outside of packaging since I have already tried it), Eboost Energy Supplement, Quaker Medleys Summer Berry Oatmeal+, Kiss Nail Dress stickers and NYC Liquid lip shine in Nude York City. The box also included a coupon code to use on INFLUENSTER25 will give you $25 off your first purchase through January 31, 2013.

So far, I haven't noticed that the hairbrush dries my hair any faster but I tend to let my hair air dry. I'm not sure if it would be more helpful with a hairdrier. The oatmeal is coming with me to work on Monday!

Disclosure: Items received through the Influenster program. Anyone can join though, you don't have to be a blogger.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

NOTD: OPI Designer... De Better!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas, whether you celebrate traditionally or like my family with Chinese food and the movies. Unfortunately, I'm feeling rather ill and was not able to partake in the normal festivities but my dear husband did go out to get me some wonton soup in the spirit.

I'm not the biggest fan of OPI polishes as they tend to chip on me more than other brands; however, this glittery, almost chrome polish has been on my nails since Sunday and so far no chips (no top coat either)! I love this shade from the OPI Muppets collection. Designer... De Better is really neat, it's very fine micro-glitter/shimmer in golds silvers and a bit of red which makes it look different depending on the lighting. Underneath the lights at work, it almost looks like a silver chrome, just without the brush strokes that chromes usually have. These neutral glitters are easier to get away with at the office than some other glitters. I really like this shade and it was opaque in 2 coats.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals Choc Lip Chocolate Moisturizing Lip Balm

I've been a fan of the Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals line for sometime now and a few months ago, this popped up as a Bloom bonus so I quickly added it to my order. The Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals Choc Lip Chocolate Moisturizing Lip Balm is your standard lip balm twist up packaging. It comes with .15oz of product and retails for $7.50. It has a nice short ingredients list, convenient see through packaging (is it weird that this is the major selling point for me?), and smells like cocoa butter.

Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals describes it as an "intensely moisturizing and emollient lip balm" which "restores silky softness while helping to prevent dry, chapped lips". It is very emollient and quite soft. I actually prefer my lip balms a bit more waxy than this but it isn't a bad one. I always find that with new balms, I need to use them a few times as like them more as time goes on. While I wouldn't go out of my way to repurchase this one, I have few complaints. Major selling points again for the clear packaging so I can see how much is left!

Ingredients: Sunflower Oil (Helianthis Annus), Beeswax (Cera Alba), Coconut (Cocus Nucifera) Oil, Chocolate Flavor Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis), Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

As an aside, did I mention I'm done with my graduate program, you may now all call me Jeweled Thumb, MS ;)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Birchbox

My December Birchbox finally arrived in the mail and I am quite pleased with the contents this month!

Included was a full size ModelCo Shine Ultra Lip Gloss, a nice deluxe sample of the Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream and chocolate!

Benefit Cosmetics It's Potent! Eye Cream .1oz (full size .5oz $32)  worth ~$6.40
Model Co Shine Ultra Lip Gloss full size $16
Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique Protect 2x .34/10ml sachet (full size 150ml $42) worth ~$5.60
Juicy Couture Juicy Couture perfume sample
Emily's Chocolates Dark Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Fortunes 1 cookie (full size 6 cookies $5.99) worth $1

I've already eaten the chocolate and it was delish.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NOTD: Essie Bordeaux

Technically, I suppose I should call this weekend nails as the polish went on my nails on Friday. This is Essie Bordeaux, a deep red-wine color, perfect for the fall and winter time. It's one of those slightly jelly-ish reds that looks different in different lighting. Very fitting name and part of the regular line. I cut my nails down quite a bit and I think it works for this color. Now off to write my final paper of my Master's degree!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: The Body Shop Coconut Beautifying Oil

I don't recall when The Body Shop launched these but they are fairly new to the product line. The Body Shop Beautifying Oils are dry oils that can be used on hair, face and body. To be honest, I haven't tried this on my face as according to the ingredient's list, there is added fragrance, but I have used it on my hair and body.

The Body Shop Beautifying Oils come in a 3.3oz flip top bottle and retail for $14. They aren't cheap full price but if you ever shop at The Body Shop, you should know that they have crazy deals fairly often and you can usually get their products 40-50% off at least once a month. I'm not the biggest fan of the container, but it's light weight and does the job. The opening is small enough that a quick shake gets the right amount of product out but given the delivery method, the bottle does get oily so bear that in mind if you are clumsy!

The line currently has 11 different scents, most of The Body Shop's popular scents are included. The Coconut one is a nice, light tropical scent. It's not overly strong or overpowering. It does stick around for awhile which some may like more than others.

I've been making a point to moisturize while my body is still slightly damp as my skin in general has been super dry with fall and winter upon us. Because this is a dry oil, it sinks in super quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue. As long as you're careful with the bottle, it's great for those of us that want to quickly moisturize and not wait eons for super heavy creams to sink in. All in all, it's a nice product and I've enjoyed using my bottle. 

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Emollient), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Cocos Nucifera Oil/Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Emollient), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil/Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil (Emollient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (Emollient), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Antioxidant).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

October and November Empties

So today I present you October and November empties! To be honest, I was expecting there to be quite a bit more in this post but apparently I have a cleanser and scrub that just won't die. Anyway, onward!
Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water - This is a really nice micellar water. It does take off mascara and it was pretty successful with harder to remove mascaras too. My one complaint, as I mentioned in my review is the added fragrance. Nonetheless, it is gentle on the face and eye area. I'd repurchase.
Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick - This I was less enthused with. I didn't find it moisturizing and while I prefer this to the delivery method of the pot, it isn't something that I would go out of my way to try again. It does smell like chocolate oranges which is very pleasant but I wasn't the biggest fan.
Eve Lom Cleansing balm sachet - I did really like this, but I doubt I'll repurchase due to the price.
Babor Anti-Stress Anti-Jetlag Cream - Babor is the only brand that I've ever seen do heavy glass sample jars! This 1/2 ounce deluxe sample came in one of my beauty boxes. I think it was Beauty Army. I liked this cream but I wouldn't go out of my way to repurchase, especially since the full size is over $70! I found it nice and moisturizing but light on the skin. I've enjoyed everything I've tried from Babor so far.
Nuance by Salma Hayek Detoxifying Cleansing & Toning Towelettes - You probably shouldn't be surprised to see another one of these in my empties posts. I buy them if I can manage to get them under $5.
Softsoap Pampered Hands Foaming Hand Soap in Pampered Plum - This came in an Influenster box. I liked this hand soap but the scent wasn't my favorite so if I repurchase, it would be a different "flavor".
Abba True Curls Curl Enhancing Conditioner - Someone remind me to stop buying liter containers for hair products! This lasted forever. It smells like lemon heads and has oregano and rosemary in it which are great ingredients for temperamental scalps. It has no chemical preservatives, sulfates and is DEA free. It's nice but I had it for far too long and I am looking forward to using a different conditioner!!
Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake shower gel (3-1) - This was last years Sephora birthday gift. I'm not a huge shower gel person in general but I've been making a point of using up some shower gels I had laying around. This was creamy, smelled good and produced a nice lather. I used this with my exfoliating gloves and the combination was nice. In fact, I've actually started using shower gel over soap in the shower lately. Shocker!

What have you used up recently? I recently hit pan on my MAC Studio Fix powder and I sincerely hope my face wash is gone by the end of December since I'm getting tired of it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

November Birchbox

First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm a little late posting my Birchbox for November. It arrived late due to Sandy and between work and school, I've been a bit preoccupied. This was an alright box in my opinion, nothing ground breaking but some nice samples were included, one of which is a pricey eye mask making the box well worth the $10:

Masqueology Revitalizing Eye. 1 mask. (retail 3 masks $24) "worth" $8
MCMC Fragrances Phoenix 1.6ml/.05floz (retail 9ml $45) "worth" $8
Kiehl's Creme de Corps 1.0floz (retail 4.2floz $18) "worth" $4.25
Stila all over shimmer liquid luminizer 1 of 3 (pack of 3 $20) "worth" $6.50
+ Masqueology Masque Cleanser sachet
+ Masqueology 7D Moisture Cream sachet

Only, I don't give much value to perfume samples, however pricey the full sized bottle is and the Stila luminizers are on sale at Sephora for $10 for the trio but still, a pretty decent box for the price.

Did you get anything good in your November Birchbox?

Disclosure: Referral link included.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where's Jeweled Thumb?

It is heading towards the last 5 weeks of my very last semester ever and I have pretty much disappeared from social media entirely. Fear not, once I get that piece of paper in December (as long as I pass this class), I will be back to normal posting. I appreciate all of you that are sticking by me even though my posts have been lacking. I have barely been able to read other blogs let alone get onto Blogger myself. Not to say I'm not buying makeup as I definitely am and I have a ton of things to review!

I look forward to blogging without graduate school soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: EVE LOM Cleansing Balm

A sample packet of the EVE LOM cleanser came in the October Birchbox. I've been wanting to try this cleanser but the price point is pretty ridiculous and while I have paid what I consider high prices for skincare items, $50 for 50ml seemed too high to me especially with the high mineral oil content.
I almost immediately transferred the little packet into a Sephora sample jar. It's almost a creamy gel with particles in it that melt as you rub the mixture into your face. Not a lot of people mention that due to clove oil in the formula, it basically smells like pumpkin pie. I found this cleanser quite luxurious. It smells good, it feels good on the skin and it becomes more of a milky consistency after you include water. This is a perfect cleanser to use when my skin is feeling dry or tight and it doesn't leave a residue.

So I do really like it, and think it's a great cleanser for the winter time, but I don't think I'll be buying it any time soon if ever.

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG 30 Lanolin, Bis Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate 2, Aluminum Stearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, PEG 75 Lanolin, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Humulus Lupulas (Hops Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, P Chloro M Cresol, Eugenol, Isoeugenol

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Weartime (review follow up)

The true test of longevity for nail polish for me is my Thursday night water Zumba class. Chlorine combined with vigorous arm movements pretty much kills any nail polish for me. The Sally Hansen Salon Effects however, did surprisingly well. This is a photo taken when I got home from my water Zumba class tonight. I applied these babies on Sunday evening. That is pretty awesome. I removed the polish tonight as well which was a pain in the neck but I'd imagine they would have at least lasted through the weekend, though I did experience some chipping on my dominant hand (right - this picture is of the left). I'm impressed and will pick up a few more packs if I find them on clearance or at Five Below again!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween NOTD and Sally Hansen Salon Effects Review

I picked up the Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Spun For You (spiderwebs) for Halloween. I found them at Five Below for $3 and I had been meaning to try them but hadn't quite gotten around to it. First of all, I thought they would be a lot harder to apply than they actually were. I can be a bit shaky handed and combine that with very thin strips that can easily rip didn't seem like a great combination. I was pleasantly surprised, although I did make a few mistakes. However, I managed to do both hands with only one of the packs which means I can keep the other pack for Halloween 2013 (I even had 2 leftover)!
I can't speak much for wear time and this post is pre-scheduled ahead of Sandy since who knows whether or not I will have power on Halloween. Fingers crossed though.
The finished look.
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Dermaheal Conditioning Shampoo

I was recently sent an offering of products as part of the Bloom Ambassadors program. One of the items was the Dermaheal Hair Conditioning Shampoo. I'm not exactly in Dermaheal's target audience as I don't suffer from hair thinning. I lose a lot of hair but I sure do grow enough of it as is. My hair is generally thick and healthy and I don't have any female-baldness problems to speak of. So a $40 shampoo "treatment for male- or female-pattern baldness to halt hair loss and stimulate new hair growth" is not really applicable for me.

While I didn't find the shampoo anything special, I enjoyed the pump bottle and the fairly unoffensive scent. I didn't find it conditioning but most shampoos aren't enough for my dry curly hair. I can't say I recommend it since I didn't get any of the claimed effects but then again, I don't have the issue the shampoo is supposed to treat.

Disclosure: Received for review purposes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

SkincareRx Apothica Skin Botanica Super Sale!

Forget about the Sephora Friends & Family sale, the company that owns Skincarerx, Apothica and Skin Botanica has put out an amazing beauty sale! You can get Stila compact eye shadows for a measly $1.80! Other brands featured are Napoleon Perdis, Becca, theBalm and others. The savings are pretty ridiculous, way more than 20%!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Philip B. Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo

Philip B. is a line that doesn't seem to get a whole lot of love, likely due to the price point. I hesitate to spend anywhere near $30 on a shampoo but SpaceNK sent out a code and I had some of their reward dollars to spend and I said what the heck. As most of you know by now, I suffer from a very temperamental scalp and I have tried loads of anti-dandruff shampoos in the past. I generally go to The Body Shop Ginger Care Shampoo which I think is amazing for one that actually smells decent but if I use it too often, it seems to stop working. T-gel works beautifully but dries my hair out and also makes my hair smell disgusting for 24-48 hours (yes, my hair clings to scents like no other). I was ready to try something new and I've heard a lot about this relief shampoo.

The Philip B. Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo comes in several sizes but the most standard is the 7.4oz bottle for (breathe) $35. It is meant to "heal and soothe dry, oily and flaky scalps". Here's the thing with a lot of these types of products (note T-gel complaint above), a lot of them are meant for oily scalps, not dry scalps. My scalp and hair for that matter, rarely get oily, but they can get flaky, tight and the skin can hurt as if it's pulled too tightly. When getting rid of the flakes is key, I also don't want to dry it out further as that will exacerbate the problem.

I've used this several times over the last few weeks and I really enjoy it. It smells horrible, but the scent does not cling to my hair like T-gel. Honestly, that's worth it to me. It does also work and I don't need to use it very often for it to do the job. If you can afford to spend $35 and you have dandruff or a temperamental scalp, I'd give this one a shot.

It's available at spacenk, dermstore and several other e-tailers. Around here, the only chain retail store it's carried in is Blue Mercury.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels Winner

Congratulations to Patty M.! Patty, I'll be e-mailing you to get your address shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered. Another larger giveaway will be coming soon! =)

October Birchbox

My October Birchbox came in the mail today and I'll admit, I'm a bit disappointed with this month's box. I've been wanting to try the Eve Lom cleanser but was hoping for at least a mini container so I could try it a few times before deciding whether it would be something I would ever purchase in the future (unlikely due to the price but I'd consider it if it was awesome). Also, how on earth does Eve Lom get away with selling 3 muslin cloths for $22 (making my 1 cloth "worth" $7)? The Chantecaille mascara is a nice size and I'm curious how it performs though I don't think I'd splurge on the full size as it's a jaw dropping $42. The amika nourishing hair mask looks nice but it's a sample packet again. And the DDF serum is unexciting and I am 28 so I don't have any wrinkles (yet at least). I actually don't mind the nibble as I can always use an extra nutrition bar to keep at the office for late nights. I know this box is worth well over $10 and I'll be trying most everything out (though I'm tempted to give the DDF to my mother). Still, I'm not blown away.

Eve Lom cleanser packet .16oz (full size 3.3oz $80) worth $3.87
Eve Lom muslin cloth 1 cloth (full size 3 cloths $22) worth $7.33
Chantecaille mascara .14oz (full size .32oz $42) worth $18.37
amika nourishing hair mask .67oz/20ml (full size 60ml $12) worth $4
DDF wrinkle resist plus pore minimizer serum .23oz (full size 1.7oz $85) worth $11.50
Luna Lemon Zest nutrition bar 1 bar (15 bars $18.75) worth $1.25

So if you break it down, the box is worth $46. I don't know, maybe I've been spoiled in the recent past and I was so hoping the Eve Lom would be a reasonable size!

Disclosure: referral link.

Monday, October 8, 2012

NOTD: Julep Demi

Fall has definitely made its way to the DC Metro area. It's chilly and there's a briskness in the air. I felt the pull towards a dark raspberry shade, Julep Demi. This came in my first ever Julep Maven box and made me fall in love with the formula and brand. Due to the jelly-ish nature of the shade, it pulls much more vampy and darker in person even though it looks like a pretty standard red in the photograph.
This is 2 coats, though I really could have gotten away with 1. Again, this is more of a deep raspberry color. But as you can see in my original post, it changes with the lighting. I love the Julep formula (aside from the metallics) and have continued the subscription though I rarely post about it.

Has it felt like fall where you are?

Disclosure: Referral link utilized

Sunday, October 7, 2012

September Empties

It's been a little busy here at Jeweled Thumb headquarters. I had my wisdom teeth removed on Friday so I'm still recovering but I do feel 10x better than when I got home from surgery. Obviously, I underestimated post surgery exhaustion since I planned to blog for the last few days but I was just soooo tired. Anyway, here are my September empties.
Renpure Organics Amazing Miracle Deep Penetrating Reconstructor -  I really enjoyed this deep conditioner. It smells delicious and seemed to moisturize my hair well. I would repurchase.
Befine Night Cream with Cocoa, Millet and Rice Bran - As I said in my review, this a nice light moisturizer but it wasn't quite enough for me, though I'd recommend for those that have more oily skin.
Neutrogena Visibly Bright Daily Facial Cleanser - I'm pretty sure this came in one of the Target beauty bags. I used this for quite awhile and it is a decent cleanser though it felt a little drying for my drier skin. I also found it slightly amusing since it is shimmery. Thankfully, the shimmers are easily washed away but it's a little weird to apply shimmery facial cleanser. The grapefruit smell was pleasant but I don't think I'd repurchase.
Nuance Salma Hayek Detoxifying Facial Cleansing and Toning Towelettes - Whenever these go on sale, or I get a particularly high value coupon, I tend to pick these up. Nice wipes and I repurchase if they come to under $5 but not at their nearly $8 regular price! I've used quite a few of these up over the last few months.
eos lemon drop SPF lip balm - Even though you can still see some balm, it's pretty impossible to get to at this point so I consider this done. The lemon drop is not my favorite of the eos balms as I don't find it as hydrating. I kept this at work and untwisting and twisting the little sphere did prove as a stress reliever but I don't think I'd repurchase this flavor.

What did you use up in September?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (+ giveaway)

I was fortunate enough to receive a package of these as part of the Bloom Ambassador's program. The Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels come in a package of 8 and is from a brand that hopes to calm stressed skin. I know my skin wigs out on more than one occasion so I was intrigued by these little, albeit pricey, eye gel pads.

If you've heard my moaning on twitter, you should know that I have horrible allergies. I have persistent dry eyes and when you combine that with allergies, it's not a pleasant picture. After an exceptionally long Monday back at the office, these seemed like the perfect item to test.

The pads are long adhesive strips that contain various ingredients to de-puff including good 'ol H2, antioxidants, seed oils and a bunch of ingredients that claim to tighten and soothe the eye area. My first reaction when sticking these on my eyes? "Ohhh, that's nice" which I said out loud in my small yet spa-like (in my head) bathroom.
They are a little bigger than I think is needed which would suggest that you could cut one pad in half and make them last a bit longer with the addition of a zip lock baggy.
While I didn't notice any real de-puffing, the gels are deliciously cool and retain their iciness for long past the 10 minutes they recommend keeping them on. My under eye also felt more firm and softer to the touch. They didn't appear to really help with dark circles and I wouldn't expect a 10 minute treatment to work miracles but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

I enjoyed these little gel pads and will keep them around when I'm feeling like I need some TLC. Given the price ($30 for 8 packs) they are a lot more than I would spend on an eye treatment though they do have the convenience - unlike some of the eye masks - of allowing you to see and move around while you have them on.

A last minute thought, these would be exceptional on long flights but we rarely travel far enough distances to do so by plane.

Thankfully, my Beauty Army subscription also allowed me to sample these so I have an extra  new pair of eye gels (note, this is one pair and not an entire bag) to give away to one lucky reader. Please enter using widget below!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Models Own 50% Off!

Back in 2010, Models Own had a similar sale on their website for reaching so many followers on Facebook. Well they are doing it again after reaching 100,000. Until October 2nd, you can save 50% off the majority of the Models Own website (there are some exclusions such as boxed sets) with code SUMMERSALE. Those that live stateside will still have to pay the slightly ridiculous shipping costs but if you've been eying their polishes, this is a way to get them, and with the discount, shipping becomes less of an issue.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation #Light 42

I recently purchased the Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation when Sephora was running their VIB bag promotion. The foundation comes in 14 shades and retails for $34. While I'm not a huge fan of full coverage makeup, the color range of this new foundation was a big selling point for me. The shade Light #42 is the lightest shade and is perfect for my skin.
It is super pigmented, long wearing and held up through a hot day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. My favorite way of wearing it is using it with a damp beauty blender. That way I get the coverage I need in some places and a more sheered out look on the areas of my face that are looking decent. You only need the tiniest amount of this stuff to get good coverage so it should last a long time and I love the hygienic pump! For my dry skin I need to heavily moisturize underneath, but once I do, it goes on like a dream.

Basically, I have nothing but good things to say about this product and if you are curious, I'd go to your local Sephora store and get a sample.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September Birchbox

My September Birchbox finally came in the mail! I was a little worried it was lost as my tracking information never updated but it arrived today safe and sound. This month's box had a nice assortment of products, though no full sized items like previous months.

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel 1.69oz (full size 5oz $26) ~$8.75 worth
Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream SPF 25 .1oz (full size 1.7oz $32) ~$1.80 worth
Color Club Put a Pin in it nail lacquer .25oz (full size .5oz $8) $4 worth
La Fresh Instant Body Soother wet wipes 2 wipes (full size 24 wipes $9.99) ~$1 worth
The Brush Guard 3 guards (full size set of 4 $5.50) $4 worth
twistband hair tie 1 tie (12 hair ties $22) $1.80 worth

Definitely worth the $10 and I love the Color Club color so much I swatched it below!
A very nice non-brush-strokey metallic. I'm actually excited for the La Fresh wipes for my pool bag and I've been wanting to try the brush guards but never got around to buying them.

Disclosure: Referral link.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Befine Night Cream

Long time no see! No real excuses. Just busy and tired for the most part. My very last semester of graduate school is starting soon and I'm excited to be done but I am not "into" the idea of school right now. Some semesters I've been excited or at least curious how the class would be. Right now, I'm dreading this final "known to be the hardest of the program" class. Anyway, I've been meaning to use up some of my skincare samples and while this one wasn't perfect for my skin type, those with more normal skins would probably love it so I'm sharing.

It's the Befine Night Cream with Cocoa, Millet and Rice Bran. I received a decent sized .5oz sample with one of my beauty boxes (I think it was Beauty Army). This is a very light moisturizer and for me, wasn't enough for nighttime but it was a nice cream that sunk in quickly and didn't leave behind a thick or sticky residue. That's why I think it would be great for people with more normal to oily skin. It didn't make me break out either. I used this mostly during the day under foundation which worked beautifully, but also used it a couple times as a quick first step before my super mega rich night cream in the evening. I know that seems a bit silly/redundant but it was really nice and light and perfect in the summer when I tend to get overheated straight out of the shower.

The night cream normally comes in a 1.7oz pump bottle for $30 which is a little spendy but it's available on sites that offer decent discounts or like Birchbox where you can spend your points on it. I wouldn't repurchase myself as it's not quite right for me even in the summer (though I did finish my tube), but if your skin is more normal or oily, I'd definitely give this cream a try!

Disclosure: Referral link

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review: nuNAAT NAAT Treatment Repair Care with Açai Berry and Keratin Collection

I was recently given the opportunity to try a line of hair products called nuNAAT. nuNAAT is a Brazilian line that was originally founded to include some powerhouse ingredients typically found in the Brazilian rainforest region. The full line is huge and has a bunch of mini collections. I tried out the NAAT Treatment Repair Care line with Açai Berry and Keratin. Açaí is a palm tree typically found in the eastern Amazon. The fruit is rich in astringent, antioxidant and antibacterial agents, and contains proteins and vitamins A, C, B1 and E. I was pleasantly surprised to find the line is quite affordable (under $10) and is available for purchase at Walgreens, Sally Beauty Supply and though the availability is limited.

There are four products in the Treatment Repair Care line: shampoo, conditioner, an intensive hair mask and a leave-in treatment.

When it comes to picking hair care products, I always have some problems and can rarely pick all the items from a full line to use. While my hair is generally dry and has a natural curl, I need something that doesn't irritate my very picky scalp. If you've been reading with any regularity, I generally need to use a quite harsh shampoo and then follow up with deeply moisturizing conditioners. With the Treatment Repair Care line, I was able to forgo the scalp shampoos for the majority of the weeks likely due to the açaí, though there were times when my scalp was just too angry and I had to revert back to my much hated T-gel.

The line was fragranced with what smelled exactly like grape jolly ranchers. The smell wasn't overpowering and didn't linger in my hair long after showering.

I'm not a big regular shampoo user and the shampoo from the line burned my eyes so it wasn't something I reached for and the conditioner did a decent job of moisturizing my hair but wasn't amazing; however, I absolutely loved the intensive hair mask and the leave-in treatment! The intensive hair mask is unusually slippery and light but unlike some heavier masks which only seem to coat your hair, my hair absolutely drank this up. It left it soft and manageable but not weighed down.
The leave-in treatment seems like a lighter version of the mask and keeps my hair soft but again, not weighed down at all. It's not oily or almost slimey like some of the crazy silicone-loaded products on the market (Moroccan oil, I'm looking at you!).

As you can see, I've made a pretty good dent in the mask and will continue to use it and the leave-in treatment until they are gone and if I ever spot them at my local Walgreens or Sally Beauty Supply, I'd purchase with my own funds. The shampoo and conditioner were ok but I won't be purchasing those in the future.

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Disclosure: Items provided for review by nuNAAT. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Elizabeth Arden Rose Illumination - Quick!

There was a bit of a too-do with this Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter in Rose Illumination. It was part of their Spring/Summer collection and was selling out like hot cakes. I'm not sure if they've made it permanent but they have certainly restocked and it is available on their website. Plus, through tomorrow, you can get 30% off the site and free shipping over $40 (if you go through Mr. Rebates, you'll also get yourself 6% cash back). I haven't found this 30% anywhere other than Mr. Rebates as you'll see it as an option with the link (but no code), though there is a 25% off code RMN25 available.

Disclosure: Referral link.

Review: Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick

I recently purchased the Nuxe Reve De Miel Moisturizing Stick and was really excited to try it out. I've heard a lot of great things about the Nuxe line and have also purchased the pot version of the lip moisturizer to try. I'll cut right to the point and say that I was not impressed with the stick version. It's in a lipstick type of tube and is a bit hard but does melt into the lips eventually. I found it moisturized my lips while it was on, but the minute the balm wears off, it's almost as though I had never applied it. After wearing it overnight, my lips didn't have the same level of moisture I usually get from some of my other lip favorites. It smells like chocolate oranges which is light and nice. After purchasing it, I've read quite a few reviews indicating that the pot version is significantly better than the stick so I hope I'll have better luck with that. At $9.50 for .14oz it's a little too pricey to be just OK.

Ingredients: Octyldodecanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Polyethylene, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Oryza Sativa Cera Bran Wax (Rice), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Glyceryl Dibehenate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Jojoba Esters, Tribehenin, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Sunflower Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Behenate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Hordeum Vulgare Cera/Spent Grain Wax, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Mel/Honey, PEG 8, Aqua (Water), Citric Acid, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals

When Nuxe recently opened their new US site and had a promotion, I ordered a few items I've had my eyes on from the line. The first being the Micellar Cleansing Water with Rose Petals. I've made it a point of trying multiple micellar waters on the market. I've enjoyed quite a few so far although I haven't yet tried the famous Bioderma, maybe one day. Until then, we have quite a few options that are far easier to get a hold of in the states.

I am by no means a lover of rose, but the scent in this micellar water is pretty light and doesn't give me a migraine, a good thing since this is a great micellar water. It removes face makeup easily though it does require saturating quite a number of cotton rounds. My biggest surprise was it removed eye makeup. Not just any eye makeup either, the super long wearing Lashfood mascara which even my Makeup Forever Sens'Eyes has some trouble with.

I do have a few complaints: 1) I don't know why they felt the need to add fragrance to the product; surely the rose water already listed is sufficient? Is it not fragrant enough? 2) The price, at $23.50 for 6.76floz it's up there though not ridiculous considering you could get away with bringing a decanted bottle of this on vacation and have makeup remover, cleanser, toner and a refresher all in one (more than I can say for some of the others on the market). The added fragrance doesn't irritate my skin but I'd rate this a little more if they removed it.

If you like roses and you have been curious about this cleansing water, I would definitely pick it up as it truly is an all in one product. Me being the product junkie that I am went out and bought the Caudalie one as well. So I'll be testing that out and reviewing after I've finished the Nuxe.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

August Empties

I'm seriously a bit disturbed by how fast the summer has gone. Probably more so because I took the semester off from school and my final class is starting in just a few short weeks and I am not looking forward to it (looking forward to being done but not at all to the work load). Anyway, here is what I used up in August.
*Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel Pads - As I mentioned in my review, I was not terribly fond of these as I found them a bit too strong for my sensitive skin, but I try to select the regular strength as my free sample with the online sites that offer them as they are great as a once weekly skin pick me up.
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - I really like these wipes as they are huge and reasonably priced. These were a sample from one of the Target Beauty Bags, but I would definitely buy them with a sale and coupon.
Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes - This sample pack came in a Birchbox and I like these so much more than the cucumber ones. The scent of these is very light and pleasant and not too overpowering and the wipes did a good job of cleansing my skin and didn't cause irritation. At $7.99 they aren't cheap but not ridiculously priced. I'd buy them on sale.
You can barely see it in this horrible photo, but I used up another of the *Sundari Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil sample packet. I'm really trying to hold out from buying the full size till I whittle away some more of my hair stash.
*Grecian Oil Body Cream - Holy cow I love this stuff. It is perhaps the best summer moisturizer ever. I's more like a gel cream so it sinks in quickly and leaves legs moisturized but not sticky or greasy. The fact that I rarely use up moisturizers but this made it into an empties post should say it all. And similar to the reference of buying the Sundari above, I really shouldn't buy until I've used up some other moisturizers and this is best suited for the summer months which are nearly over.
*Madre Labs Moisturizing Body Wash Rosemary Mint - Unlike the C.O. Bigelow which didn't actually have any mint, this actually had a pretty impressive ingredient list. That is why I was a little naughty and didn't use this as a body wash. I used it as a shampoo. Now hear me out. Pretty much all of my dandruff shampoos have rosemary and mint in it but can be drying. This has some natural oils as well and really did a better job at keeping my scalp happy then a lot of other products that mention the scalp. I'd definitely purchase this in the future!

What did you use up in August?

Disclosure: Items marked with a * are press samples. Birchbox referral link utilized. Obviously, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Limited Edition Maybelline Color Show Fall Fashion Week 2012 Nail Lacquers

I've been a very bad blogger lately. I have a lot of items to review but I don't seem to have the time nor the energy. But, I found these nail Color Show Nail Lacquers at CVS tonight and I just had to show you guys. First of all, these Color Show polishes retail for a pretty nice $4.19 and the whole Maybelline line is often on sale and of course Maybelline always has lots of coupons. Anyway, these are from a new Limited Edition  Fall Fashion Week 2012 collection. I believe there are 6 total and the display that I saw only had a few per color which is pretty annoying. Nonetheless, here they are!
From left to right, we have Avante Green #700, Auburn Ablaze #705, and Metal Icon #710
To be honest, I wasn't even going to buy Avante Green as it looks like nothing in the store, but the minute I got it home, I saw that it had the neatest duochrone! Auburn Ablaze doesn't have the cool duochrome that Avante Green has but it's a pretty fall color nonetheless though I don't find it particularly unique. Metal Icon is awesome. It's kind of a dupe for Chanel Graphite but I can swear that there are blue flecks in it. These were all 3 coats, but Auburn Ablaze and Metal Icon could have been 2 easily. Avante Green was a bit sheerer and definitely needed the third.
The next three are Boho Gold #715, Pink Cosmo #720, and Downtown Brown #725
As you can see, Boho Gold is another Chanel Peridot dupe but it is super super sheer. This was pretty much 4 coats. I'd imagine it would be better over a black or white base. It's pretty though and less prone to brush strokes than some of the other look alikes. Pink Cosmo is also super sheer but very pretty and I bet it would come alive over a black (it has a grey/green/pink shift). Also about 4 coats. If you work in a conservative office but still want to wear some duochrome-y goodness, this would be your shade. Downtown Brown is pretty much Club eyeshadow from MAC in nail polish form. This isn't the best photo of it but you can see the duochrome a bit more in the background bottle picture.

I was so excited to find these in one of the random CVS stores near me as I have not found the range anywhere else.  The Color Show Fall Fashion Week 2012 collection also has lipsticks, eyeshadows, blushes and an illuminator but they didn't thrill me like these!

Have you found these yet? What did you think?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Review: C.O. BIGELOW Lavender & Peppermint Shampoo

I had high hopes for the C.O Bigelow Lavender and Peppermint shampoo that came in the first Glossybox I received a few months ago. First of all, I have an unfortunate scalp and ingredients like peppermint make it tingly and feel a bit better. I brought this to use in my shower as I had recently used up another product. The first time I used it, I was majorly underwhelmed. First of all, the shampoo is super liquidy and I lost a bit as I wasn't expecting that (and the whole being near blind without my specs). Second, there was no tingle. I thought that it was a bit strange as some peppermint oil - even a minute amount - creates some tingle. So I looked at the ingredient list. There is no lavender. There is no peppermint.

The C.O. Bigelow line always seemed like a more natural, at least homeopathic line... but it looks like this is basically fragranced to make it seem more natural? I, for one, am not impressed.

Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide Dea, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Chloride, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Gluten, Polyquaternium-7, Parfum (Fragrance), Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool.

Disclosure: The said Glossybox was a PR sample.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Shea Terra Organics Menthe Cardamon Whipped Shea Butter

The Shea Terra Organics Menthe Cardamom Whipped Shea Butter came in the June Glossybox. I wasn't terribly excited about using this product but cracked it open after I finished one of my other body moisturizers. The Shea Terra whipped shea butters come in a variety of scents and this 1oz size retails for $6 on their website. Mint is not usually a favorite of mine for body products so I didn't think I would like this scent but there's something about it that I quite like. Maybe it's the base of the shea butter but there's a creaminess to it that makes it quite pleasant and far from the overpowering scent I was expecting.
Per the name, you'd expect this to have a light whipped consistency, but I found it rather thick and somewhat heavy. It does sink in, but at first, it feels waxy and somewhat sticky on the skin. I also felt that it was a little hard to spread, probably due to the wax content.

I've been interested in trying the Shea Terra Organics line in the past, but I'm not sure that I would repurchase this product though I will use it up. If I'm going for a thick butter, I prefer the Mor line as it is thick but it does melt into the skin a bit better than this Shea Terra butter. Still, I've heard great things about their skincare and I have a body wash to try out too from another beauty box so all hope is not lost (plus, this is ideal for my tired sandal wearing feet).

Disclosure: Received as part of a PR sample (Glossybox).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: LashFood Conditioning Drama Mascara

I never thought this review would ever happen. I find it horrible writing lukewarm reviews. If I don't absolutely love something or absolutely hate something, the review writing can be a bit of a chore. I've had the Lash Food Conditioning Drama Mascara for a few months now. When I first tried it, I didn't love it, nor did I hate it and I didn't review it. I don't know whether the mascara itself has grown on me recently or whether letting the mascara dry out a bit brought on this new found love for this product. Either way, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

If you didn't already know, I have stick straight yet long lashes. It's a bit of a curse really because most mascaras out there don't hold a curl well. This is one of very few mascaras out there where I don't need to curl my lashes before I apply it and the lift stays for several hours.
This picture was taken on hour 7 after being out and about and all I did was apply the mascara, no curler. Usually by this point, it no longer looks like I ever curled my lashes.

I have some criticism for the product; first, the brush is massive and makes it very easy to dot mascara on your eyelids; second, it costs $20 and I don't notice any additional lash growth as the line promises. And one item that is a plus and a minus; this stuff stays on, through allergy eye tearing and also is impossible to remove (but that's what you get when you wear long-wearing products). I'm happy that it doesn't irritate my eyes, it doesn't flake or smear, it contains decent ingredients, the tube has a nice weight to it, and it's made in the USA. Honestly, I'd consider purchasing this with my own funds (this was a press sample).

I was looking up the price just now and noticed that Bloom is currently running a deal on the LashFood line. If you buy the LashFood Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner (reviewed here), you can get the LashFood Conditioning Drama Mascara FREE with purchase using code LASHFOOD.

So I've become surprisingly impressed with this product and have been reaching for it a lot over the other mascaras that I have currently open.

Disclosure: Received this for review purposes. Also referral link.