Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Tangle Teezer

I tweeted recently that I found the Tangle Teezer at CVS. I was thrilled, as British bloggers have been talking about the product for quite some time and even ones with thick hair seemed to have nothing but good things to say about it. Given my hair's natural state, a detangling hairbrush that fits in the palm of your hand seemed like the perfect option for me. At my local CVS, it was priced at around $10 but I had a 30% off coupon so it was a bit cheaper. I, of course, went with the pink option.
While, I think this did a decent job of detangling, it did not go deep enough and I still had to section off my hair prior to brushing (and this was after a good cut)! The "revolutionary" teeth simply weren't long or firm enough to get anything more than the top layer of my hair and even sectioning it off, I still really had to work to get the teeth through the top layer. Typically, I brush my hair prior to taking a shower so that the water and my shampoo/conditioner have an easier time at penetrating since I have a lot of hair and it's quite thick. I haven't yet tried it on wet or damp hair as I typically finger comb my hair in the shower while disbursing product.

So while I think this maybe a great option for those with finer hair textures, for my thick and somewhat unmanageable hair, it's not so great.

Have you tried the Tangle Teezer? Did you read the back of the box with your husband in a poor British accent and start laughing hysterically? 'Cause I did.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Models Own Beetle Polish Deal & Giveaway

After a particularly stressful work day, I made my way over to the mall to browse and I found these at Urban Outfitters on sale no less. Urban Outfitters is currently running a 30% off sale on current markdown items and these babies are on sale for $4.99 ($3.50 with the extra percent off). My store only had these 3 colors available though the full range has 8 shades. Nonetheless, I think the price point is pretty ridiculously awesome considering these were usually $10 at Urban Outfitters and are £5.00 on the Models Own website (current exchange rate makes that just under $8 without their shipping costs).

The colors I found were Purple Blue, Aqua Violet and Golden Green.
left to right Golden Green, Aqua Violet and Purple Blue
I wish Golden Green and Aqua Violet were a little less prone to brush strokes but they are still super pretty. Purple Blue is my favorite. No brush strokes and tons of multicolored shimmer.

The next day, I was determined and went back to Urban Outfitters to purchase 3 more bottles (1 of each shade) for you all. I know I haven't had a giveaway in ages but I thought these might be of interest. One person will win these 3 gorgeous shades. Please see the widget below and note that this giveaway is US only. Sorry guys but polish is a pain to ship out of the country and girls in the UK can get these much easier than we can across the pond. Obviously, you will receive 3 sealed bottles, I showed my own for color reference. Good luck!

Birchbox Store Haul

One of the reasons I love Birchbox is that you can accrue points with various methods. In each box received, you can review each of the items (each review gives you 10 points) or you can receive points by having referrals (50 points per referral). Over the course of the months if you are diligent about reviewing the products you can manage to rack up a number of points and 100 points is $10 that can be redeemed in the Birchbox shop. Birchbox runs promotions every so often and when they sent me an e-mail with a 25% off code, I jumped on it.

I bought the Fresh Rose Lip Treatment, the Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm, the Zoya Bloggers Collection Trio, the Stila In The Moment palette and Cleanwell Hand Sanitizing Wipes. I paid all of $1.36 after my points and percent off coupon code.

I think the points system makes Birchbox the stand out subscription service currently out there. Getting something in the mail each month is fun and getting full sized items in the mail at a discount or free is pretty awesome.

For a more in-dept review of my thoughts on the Birchbox subscription service, click here.

I was asked more specifically about how to get points, and here are the steps:
1. Log in.
2. Go to Box
3. Click on one of the big product pictures that came in your last box.
4. Click "give feedback"
5. Fill out survey (important that you're logged in)
6. You should get a screen thanking you for filling out the survey and awarding you 10 points.

Disclosure: Referral link utilized

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NOTD: Dermelect Above It

I was recently sent an offering of Dermelect nail colors to try as part of the Bloom Ambassadors program. Above It - a sky blue was the one I tried first. It was the most "me" color out of the ones I received. Once I try the other colors, I'm going to be doing a more comprehensive review of the formula, drying time and the longevity of the polish, but I'll mention the formula briefly here.

I found the polish a bit thick and hard to work with and it could benefit from some thinner. The first coat went on a bit streaky but it evened itself out on the 2nd (and 2 was definitely enough). I experienced some bubbling issues as it was hard to do thin coats due to the thickness of the formula. Otherwise, it dried fairly quickly without a fast drying top coat and I didn't get any nicks in it (I'm very impatient so it isn't unusual that I get dents in a new manicure).
First coat.
 Second coat.
Here's slightly different lighting and you can see the bubbles a bit better in this shot.

If the other colors have a similar issue with the formula, I'll apply some polish thinner prior to application. There was a bit of cuticle drag due to the thickness but overall, it was pretty easy to apply.

Dermelect polishes retail for $14 and come in .4oz bottles. The polishes are free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde and contain a type of peptide protein to strengthen nails.

Disclosure: The Dermelect polish was received for review as part of the Bloom Ambassador program. Also note referral link.

Allure Fall Beauty Box Live!

Allure is offering up one of their famous beauty boxes for the fall season. Today, you can get everything in the above picture for $39.99 plus shipping and taxes. If you're interested, hurry because these go quick!

Here's the link.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sephora Platinum Edition Brushes (on sale!)

If you have a Sephora in JcPenney in your area, run do not walk to the nearest store as you can get the Sephora Platinum Collection brushes for 50% off. It appears as though Sephora is replacing the Platinum line (silver handles) with the Professional line (black handles). I'm not sure if this sale is happening at regular Sephora stores (and the brushes appear to be off the website). If you've been wanting some of these silver handled favorites, get thee to your local Sephora in JcPenney store!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Fair

I've had the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Fair for a number of months and haven't quite gotten around to doing a review. I bought this at ULTA during one of their 20% off F&F periods which included the prestige brands. The 1oz tube has a retail price of $39 which is around the same price as other BB creams (other than the US drugstore knock-offs) on the market. I've tried quite a few other BB creams, my favorite being the Missha Perfect Cover in #13.
In my opinion, this resembles a BB cream more than a tinted moisturizer. It's thick just like the Asian creams and patting it in on the face is a better application method then rubbing or sweeping. Generally, unless I am dealing with massive breakouts, this covers my imperfections without needing additional concealer or powder. As my skin is on the drier side, I do not need to set this during the day and I get a good 10 hours of wear in air conditioning.
The Fair is a pretty good color match on my NW10 (or thereabouts) skin. It is a touch too dark but it isn't super obvious. It oxidizes a bit but not nearly as bad as the Cover Girl Natureluxe. As far as scent is concerned (one of the only negatives about the Missha), this smells like sunscreen but it's not super overwhelming or offensive and with the SPF 35 I'm not complaining.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with this product and it's been my go-to "foundation" for the last few weeks. Again, patting this on with fingers produces the best finish for me which is great since it means I don't have to wash makeup brushes!

Have you tried the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream? What did you think?

*Apologies for my absence. Work has been taking over my life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Birchbox

This month, Birchbox teamed up with Glamour to create a box for all of your senses. I was actually pretty happy with this month's box, even though I know I won't be able to use one of the products (I've swatched the Boscia BB Cream before and it is simply too dark for my pale skin).

Included in my box:
Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien perfume vial
Boscia BB Cream SPF 27 PA+++ sample tube .35oz (full size 1.75oz $38)
Stila lip glaze in Camera .05floz (part of 3 piece set for $12)
Color Club mini polish in Blue-Ming .25 (full size .5oz for $8)
lifestyle Minteas Resist 1 tin (3 tins for $9.95)
bonus Birchbox Earbuds Headphones

All in all, I'm pretty happy with this box. I won't be using the BB Cream but aside from that, it's definitely worth the $10 this month, plus who can complain about an extra pair of headphones?!

Disclosure: Referral link utilized.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Renpure Organics Amazing Miracle Deep Penetrating Reconstructor

I don't remember when I picked the Renpure Organics Amazing Miracle Deep Penetrating Reconstructor but it's been lurking around my cabinet so I thought I'd put it to use. As some of you may know, my hair is dry and has a natural curl. I usually keep it up in a bun especially in the summer since it's heavy, thick and sweat-inducing. Unless I want hair that feels like steel wool, I can't use conditioners for normal hair, I usually use masks as normal "every day" conditioners. You don't want to know how long I can go without washing my hair. I've gone a week and it seems to get drier rather than look oily or greasy.

Anyway, I generally don't remark on a product's effectiveness till I've used it a few times, but I used it for the first time last night and I'm in love! First of all, it comes in a squeeze tube which more of these masks/deep conditioners should because tubs in the shower are not my favorite. Second, I felt a noticeable difference right out of the shower, but the biggest plus is now, 24 hours later, my hair is still soft without feeling heavy or weighed down.

Witness household conversation:
"It does feel softer than usual" remarked dear husband who then insulted the normal texture of my coiffure "I wouldn't call it sand papery..." (digging hole deeper) "it's just usually more coarse" he quickly commented. Thanks dear.

Later, "oh look at this, it does feel nice - I actually want to touch your hair". Someone knows a pull out couch that's looking for a visitor tonight! Joking aside..

I am absolutely thrilled I found a bottle of this in my bathroom. According to the Renpure Organics website, the line is available at several websites, drugstores and grocers.  The only negative is there is a type of silicone in it which I tend to shy away from, but otherwise, it's full of healthy oils and extracts and the products are color-safe, made in the USA and aren't tested on animals. Non-offensive sweet smell too.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Silk Amino Acids, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-12, Cetyl Esters, PEG-10 Soy Sterol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

June Glossybox

I'll be honest, a Glossbox was perhaps the last thing I was expecting to show up on my doorstep. I didn't subscribe to the service and my last box was a PR sample. The June boxes haven't all been the same; some have received a mini Burberry lipstick. This box is much more true with what they were going to be offering and it's a nice box but I still don't think it's worth the price tag.
This month's box includes 1 full sized item (as promised) and 1 retail size. The First Aid Beauty Shave Cream is a retail size and sells at Sephora for $7.50 - not too shabby.
The full size item is a mascara by Beauty Addicts which retails for $20. I've never heard of the brand but I do like the packaging.
The more deluxe samples include a Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment (.84oz), a Shea Terra Organics Ultimate Body Creme (1oz) and a Kinerase Restructure Firming Cream (.24oz). The perfume is by a brand by Perfume Organic and is considered an extra.

Glossybox provides a nice offering of products this month but I still feel as though the price tag is a little high though they do have the nicest actual box for the products which I'll be reusing.

Disclosure: This was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

May & June Empties

Well I was less successful than I had anticipated finishing things in June. I haven't been wearing much makeup due to the heat and I've been switching up my skincare due to boredom. Well, enough excuses, onward.
Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream - As you can see, I had to cut the tube in half to get all of the product out. Due to the thick consistency, there's tons more in the tube after you think you've completed it. Can't repurchase due to the fact it's not available in the states, but I may be asking for a favor next time winter rolls around.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir - This was the lone item I finished in May and sometimes I enjoyed after feeling lukewarm about. Even though the Boscia is pretty comparable, I think I will be repurchasing this soon, there's something about it that's great for super hot days which we've been having non stop.
Lavanilla Healthy Body Butter sample - I got this little sample at Sephora. Really unimpressed to be honest and won't be purchasing. It was thick but didn't seem to be really moisturising.
Bath & Body Works Shea Cashmere Hand Cream - I really enjoyed this when I first got it but lately, I haven't been. The scent for me has become a bit cloying and if I have a migraine, it makes me nauseated. Not good. Really glad this tube is done and I won't be repurchasing.
Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-Minute Mask - I really enjoyed this but I'm not sure it's worth the price. The normal size is 7oz and retails for $39 which I think is ridiculous. It did make my hair soft and I'd happily receive another sample (this was a 1.7oz tub)  but I don't think I'd repurchase.
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner - This little 1oz tube lasted for all of 2 seconds. I didn't find it really did much more than any other moisturizing conditioner and definitely not at the price point. This came in a Birchbox and it was a nice sized sample but I wouldn't purchase the full size. Plus, there was something about the scent, maybe the Ginseng (?), that I wasn't a fan of.

Yup, that was pitiful. What did you finish in June?