May 28, 2012

Snappy Sorbet Nails


Yesterday I painted my nails with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in "Snappy Sorbet" (460).  It's a nice bright tangerine shade - which I love. I have to say though, I'm not a huge fan of the polish itself.


 First of all, the brush is huge and wide so it's not very easy to work with. Second, the polish is super thick and since it dries fast you don't have much time to spread it around your nails. If you do it right, the finish looks great, but if you don't it can give your nails a clumpy appearance. It was under $4 at Walmart, which isn't bad, but I'm not sure I'm willing to give it another shot with a different color.




May 24, 2012

Influenster Spring Beauty VoxBox

Have you heard of Influenster? It's a community of people who qualify to test products, get exclusive deals on great brands, and get the chance to give their feedback on them. Members who are considered influential may be picked to get a free VoxBox full of products that fit their lifestyle.  Did I mention membership is free?


I qualified to test and evaluate the Spring Beauty VoxBox this month. When I found out, I was so excited to see what would come in the box. I was given 7 full-size products to try. Let's take a look at what I got....


Sheer Cover Duo Concealer
This Duo Concealer contains 2 shades which can be blended together or worn on their own. I chose Medium/Tan for mine but there are other duo shades as well. This concealer has a creamy consistency and is supposed to hide imperfections without being too heavy. The only thing I don't care for is that you can't buy this product by itself. You have to buy a one-month supply kit of makeup items from Sheer Cover for $29.95 that includes this concealer.







Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
I like that this body wash not only cleanses your skin but moisturizes it as well. It's affordable, hypoallergenic, and has a nice light scent. You can even use it as a shaving lotion - which is probably how I will use it.








ChapStick Lip SHIELD 365
This ChapStick product is rated SPF 50+ so it will protect your lips from the sun and also throughout the seasons from other various conditions. It's also very moisturizing. I use lip products daily to prevent chapping so this is something I will definitely use up.









Sally Hansen Salon Effects
I have been wanting to try these nail polish strips forever! I love the idea of them and the design I got (440 Animal Instinct) is a hot pink and black zebra print. They come in a cute little pack with 16 strips, little tools to help you apply, and detailed instructions. You apply the strips with no dry time (love it!) and they're supposed to last up to 10 days. You use polish remover to take them off.







Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist
I was thrilled to see a Bath & Body Works product in the box. I'm a total fan of the brand  and frequent the store often to stock up. The scent of the fragrance mist is Sweet Pea which seems to be a favorite among many.








SOYJOY Bar
This natural bar contains fruit and whole soy. Mine came in the flavor Blueberry. I'm always a little hesitant to try these but it looks like it might taste good.






Dr. Scholl's For Her - Ball of Foot Cushions
I've seen these in the store plenty of times and am always tempted to try them out. They are massaging gel cushions designed for women's shoes. They help to prevent ball of foot pain and toe scrunch. Next time I wear heels I will definitely place these in my shoes.










I'm happy to have found this community and had the opportunity to test these products. It's a lot of fun and the best part is that it's free.
If you're interested in joining you register on the site:
Influenster


Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. The box was sent for free to test out but there was no obligation for me to review it. This post includes my honest opinions. 

May 21, 2012

Smashbox Beauty Exposed Kit



I got this Smashbox Beauty Exposed kit at Ulta for $39 ($149 value). I mainly wanted it for the palette but I was also happy to have the other products included with it as well. The kit came with 5 great Smashbox products: foundation primer,  blush, eyeliner, lip gloss, and palette.




The Beauty Exposed palette, shown above, contains 4 eye shadows (Bare, Camel, Marble,and Oak) and 1 highlight shade in Moonstone. The quality of the shadows are really nice and apply smoothly. It's a nice neutral palette to throw in your purse. There are, however, a couple of drawbacks for me...the shades are too close to each other - there's not much of a range of colors. I find that I have to add more shadows from other palettes so my look shows more dimension. I would've liked the darkest shade to have been darker or for there to have been one more dark shade included in order to make a smokey eye.

As for the highlight, I do like it. It has a very fine glittery sheen to it. I don't love it but I like it enough that I'll use it up.


This blush is in the color "Peony". It's a matte medium pink shade that applies very easily. It doesn't take much product at all to give your cheeks a pink flush. I like this blush a lot.


This eyeliner in "Stone" is a dark espresso brown. I've used it one time but couldn't tell if I liked it or not. It didn't go on as smoothly as UD 24/7 liner. 



The Photo Finish Foundation Primer! I've heard so many good things. I've used it for awhile but I won't say much about it now - I'll wait until I review it (hint: I like it!)



This is a lip enhancing gloss in the shade "Starfruit". If you look at the swatch below you might see that the formula contains small gold flecks. It's really pretty!




Overall, I like this kit and think it's an awesome value, especially for those who haven't been able to try much from the brand. The colors and products are all pretty basic and would be good choices for most people. I would also recommend this kit for someone starting out with makeup or looking to build up their collection.

May 17, 2012

Beauty Tip: New Products

As a beauty blogger and makeup enthusiast, I'm always trying new products. Not every product agrees with my skin though. My skin is pretty sensitive so it's important for me to be aware of everything I'm using on it and know which products will create problems.

The short version of this tip:
Introduce new products to your makeup or 
skincare routine one at a time.

Here's my explanation:

When you get home from shopping with big bag of new products in hand, no matter the brand or store it came from, you're eager to try it all out (and I don't blame you!). The problem with trying a variety of new products all at once is that if your skin does react with irritation and breakouts you won't know what caused it. Then you pretty much have to go by process of elimination and since your skin is already irritated it might take a while to figure it out.

It's best to use new products one at a time (meaning one new product per daily routine) so that if your skin does freak out, you'll know why immediately. I mainly apply this rule to products I use on my face, such as foundation, blush, concealer, powder, primer, moisturizer, cleansers, scrubs, etc. My eyes and lip area are not sensitive to products nor is my body but you can adjust this rule to your benefit.

May 12, 2012

Gossip Girl Birchbox: Caudalie, Fusion Beauty, Ojon

It's that time of the month again (no, not that time) - it's Birchbox time! It came really quick this month. Usually I get it in the middle of the month but I have a feeling it has a little something to do with this month's theme....Gossip Girl! It's one of my favorite shows for sure. Can I just say that I'm so bored by Blair and Dan? I'm eager to watch what happens in the finale on Monday (really hoping for Chuck and Blair to be together again!).

Anyways, back to the point of this post. This month I was excited to see what would come in my box obviously. Gossip Girl always has such great fashion, makeup, and hair looks. This box was bound to have some great products...

What came in my box?





Arquiste Flor y Canto
Full size $165 (55 ml)

This is a gorgeous scent - and good thing too because I spilled it all over me trying to get it open! It's a floral scent inspired by an Aztec summer festival circa 1400. The notes include Mexican Tuberose, Magnolia, Plumeria, and Marigold. Would I buy the full size? Probably not considering the price tag. 
My sample size: 1.13 ml






Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream
Full size $19 (75 ml)

This cream comes from a French brand and acts as an anti-aging treatment. It is meant to keep your hands soft and your nails in good condition as well. It's made with grapeseed oil, orange pulp, and avocado. It has a slight fruity scent. I like it.
My sample size: 15 ml






FusionBeauty LipFusion Balm
Full size $22 (.17 oz)

This is a balm that does it all! It has SPF so it protects your lips from the sun, it's moisturizing, and has a bit of a plumping affect. The awesome part is that I was given the full size in my box, so this product alone makes the purchase of this Birchbox worth every penny. 
My sample size: .17 oz (full size)




Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner
Full size $25 (8.5 fl oz)

I've heard of the Ojon brand a lot over the years but I've never tried anything. This conditioner claims to repair damaged hair and prevent future damage while also deep conditioning your hair. I haven't been able to used it yet but I'm definitely willing to give it a shot.
My sample size: 1 fl oz.






Extra 
Birchbox Notecard
Set of 12 $10

Birchbox created these notecards and in a set of 12 you get 4 different colors. Very cute. I'll use it for a special note.
My sample size: 1 card



My thoughts?
This box was pretty good and well worth the money. The monetary value of the products I received adds up to around $33 - more than triple what I paid! I haven't really been disappointed with Birchbox yet so I will continue with it as planned. Keep the awesome boxes coming!


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Join Birchbox for $10/month
Want more Birchbox reviews? Find them here.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid review. All opinions are my own. A referral link was used.

May 9, 2012

Minerals Mate Review + Giveaway!





I recently had the opportunity to try the Minerals Mate Mineral Makeup Application and Mixing Tray. It's made to help you manage your mineral makeup in a better, cleaner way. Mineral makeup can be extremely messy when you're using it - it seems to get everywhere! That's one of the main reasons I don't use it very often. It's just a hassle and for makeup I want an easy and clean routine. The Minerals Mate provides the perfect solution to these problems.



Each tray is made of professional-weight plastic. It's super sturdy and not cheap feeling in the slightest bit. There are 7 wells, large and small, ideal for different types of makeup as well as mixing products.  Each well has it's own cap so you can store leftover product when you're done. There's plenty of room for whatever your needs may be and being able to use just one portable, mess-free surface is the great part. The tray includes a grip area where you can hold it or wipe off your brushes. 



The Minerals Mate comes in two different color combos. Mine is the 'Double Platinum' tray which has a black and gray design. The other option is 'Red at Play', a red and white design. (Read further to find out how you can win one!).

I think this product is awesome and solves problems many people encounter when using mineral makeup.
Find more information on the website: Minerals Mate

Interested in purchasing one for yourself? Get a 25% discount through May with discount code: 2468MineralsMate

Now for the giveaway!

I was given an extra Minerals Mate tray to give away to you guys! It's the Red at Play tray (Shown below) and there are several ways to gain entries into this giveaway. Use the Rafflecopter widget to complete all entries.
This giveaway will end Wednesday 5/16/12 and is open to U.S. residents

Source: Minerals Mate

Disclaimer: These products were given to me for review/giveaway purposes. I am not being compensated for this post in any way and all opinions are my own. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 8, 2012

Purple Eyes and Nails



Right now I'm loving purple shades (when do I not?? ) so I did a purple smokey eye today and painted my nails with a bright purple polish I just bought. 

On my eyes...


 I applied a muted pink to the inner half of my eye and a vibrant purple shade to the outer half. I blended the outer corner with  a dark purple shadow to deepen the look. I applied these shadows wet so they would appear their brightest although the look doesn't appear as bright in pictures as they did in person. 



For the crease, I swiped on a light glittery gold towards my inner corner and a bronze color to my outer crease area. 



I lined my eyes with black gel liner and smoked it out with matte black shadow. I completed the look with a matte natural highlight below my brow and 2 coats of mascara. 


On my nails...

Piggy Polish "Strong Like Jazz"

I just got this polish at Ulta the other day. I had never tried this brand before but the color really jumped out at me. It dries matte (which I'm not a complete fan of) so I added a shiny top coat to make it look glossy. 


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