July 30, 2012

Fading Leopard Nails

I have another manicure to share with you and this one is wild! It's leopard print! I've always wanted to do this but lacked the tools for it. Since I recently purchased a dotting tool/detail brush from Sally's I've been trying all kinds of patterns on my nails. For this one, I used a nude color to cover my nails and used multiple colors for the pattern. I'll explain more but here's how it turned out:

It's a slightly different (and a little messier) version of a leopard print, but I love it! Keep reading to find the colors I used and steps for making this design.

July 29, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Posts

Here are this week's blog posts from members of the Beauty Blog Coalition. 
Check them out, these blogs are awesome!

July 28, 2012

Hello, Red Lips!

I have to admit, I've never tried red lips before. It wasn't even until a few years that I really got into wearing lipstick but even then, I would stick to pinks and nudes. I always thought I'd try a red but not until I could try a few on at the makeup counter and pick the perfect one. I guess you could say I was also a little bit afraid to go so bold. Awhile back I was looking through the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss collection and I was immediately drawn to the red one (01) - it doesn't actually have a name. I didn't buy it right away but I kept thinking about it. Eventually, my curiosity became too strong so I went to the store to snatch it up.

I like the black packaging and isn't that red such a gorgeous shade?!

Here's a swatch.

Of course I had to do a whole look centered around my new lipstick right away. I applied neutral shades to my lids accompanied by black liner and I also added a set of very natural false lashes. I kept my face pretty natural and layed down one thick, even coat of lipstick.

After I applied the lipstick I cleaned up the edges with concealer.

I wanted my hair to complement my makeup so I went with big loose waves that I created with my curling wand. This whole look made me feel like a different person, but in a good way! I felt like I was exploring a new side of myself. It was fun. 

It turned out that the red was a perfect shade - not to orange-y, not too dark.; just vibrant and bold. Also another great thing is that this lipstick really has staying power! It lasted for hours on my lips just the way I applied it. Now I'm excited to try more reds and bold colors.

Do you wear red lipsticks?
Let me know your favorites!

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored review. Products mentioned in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are honest.

July 22, 2012

Glamour + Birchbox: Stila, Color Club, Boscia

This month, Birchbox paired up with Glamour to celebrate the senses of summer. In the box, there are various products that cover each sense: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

In my Box...

Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
Full size $85 | 50 ml

The designer, Annick Goutal, took inspiration from Italy to create this scent. It has notes of citrus that are supposed to mimic sun-ripened fruit in a Tuscan orchard.
My thoughts: I have to say I'm not a fan. To me it smells like an orange peel and while I like that scent for cleaning supplies, it doesn't appeal to me as a fragrance I would wear. It's not horrible but it's just not for me. If you like strong citrus scents you may like it.

boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++
Full size $38 | 1.75 oz

This BB Cream is self-adjusting to match your skin tone. It moisturizes, soothes, and firms your skin while covering imperfections and flaws. It also protects your skin from the sun with SPF 27.
My thoughts:  This is the second BB cream I've tried lately. I haven't completely tested it out yet with a full application but I did play around with it a bit. I blended it into my skin and to my surprise it actually did adjust to my skin tone. I love the idea of BB creams, especially for summertime.

Color Club Summer Pastels
Full size $8 | 0.5 fl oz

Color Club's Summer Pastels Collection come in 6 different colors for bright summer nails: Factory Girl (blue), Peppermint Twist (pink), Coral Clambake (peach), Blue-Ming (turquoise), Lavendarling (violet), and Hydrangea Kiss (blue).
My thoughts: I've seen people use Color Club polishes a lot for their nails but I've never tried them myself. I received Blue-Ming in my box. If I had the choice, I probably would've picked a different color for me but I don't have a turquoise in my polish collection so maybe this is my chance to try one. I'm currently building up my nail polish collection so I'm happy with any polish I get.

stila lip glaze
Set of 3 $12

Birchbox teamed up with Stila to make a limited edition set of three shimmery glosses. The 'It's Go Time Lip Glaze Trio' includes shades named Lights, Camera, and Action. Stila's Lip Glazes contain Vitamins A, C, and E and come in a click pen.
My thoughts: I have wanted to try Stila products for a long time so finding a Lip Glaze in my box was very exciting.  I was given Action, which is a rosy shade with golden shimmer. I'm not a huge gloss fan in general but this one lasts a long time and complements my skin tone. I think $12 for the set is a really good price.


Tea Forte minteas
3 tins $9.95

These mints are all-natural, sugar-free, and come in various flavors. I thought this was a cool extra. There are 75 mints in one tin so it will last awhile. The only problem I have is the flavor. Mine is lemongrass yuzu - it's not so bad that it's inedible, but it's not an appealing flavor for me.

Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds
These were made just for Birchbox subscribers. I thought it was awesome to get these in my box! I love that they're neon and I'll be keeping these in my beach bag.

This month's box was pretty good. There were some products I was absolutely thrilled to receive and a couple that I was more indifferent about. I know I'm not going to love everything I get every single time. To me, it's still very much worth the $10 a month. My points have been accumulating from giving my feedback on each product. I have almost $50 to spend and I can't wait to use it on more beauty products in the Birchbox shop!

Join here to get your own monthly Birchbox!
Want more Birchbox reviews? Go here.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or compensated review. The box was paid for by me and reviewed with my honest opinions. 

July 19, 2012

Day-to-Night Nails

We always think of ways to transform our makeup and outfits from day to night or casual to dressy, but have you thought about doing the same for your nails? Would you consider slightly changing your polish  from a day at the beach to a night on the town? Or would you just keep them the same? Today I wanted to share a manicure that I took from neutral to embellished!

First, I covered my nails with a base coat from Revlon. Then I swiped on 2 coats of Essie's Buy Me a Cameo, which is described as a frosted satin mocha. This color is a gorgeous glowing nude that I would wear to the beach or for a casual day out in the sun. 

It makes my nails look sun-kissed!

To dress it up I added 2 glitter top coats also from Essie, Set in Stones (silver) and A Cut Above (pink). I know I use these a lot (and can you blame me?!) but this is the first time I've used them together. Adding them transformed my nails from casual to dressy, and oh-so-sparkly!

Now my nails are ready for a night out and it was a simple addition that made a big difference! I happened to plan this out but if I needed a quick change, I would probably do something like this rather than try to repaint my nails. Quick polish jobs never work out for me!

How do you like my nail transition?
Do you dress up your nails for nights?

July 16, 2012

Julep Maven Review + Giveaway!

Are you a Julep Maven? I just got an introductory box this month. Read on to see what came in my box and enter the giveaway at the end of this post!!

July 15, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup

July 13, 2012

Half Lash Trick

Thick, full lashes are desired among many, myself included. Wearing false lashes is an easy and quick solution to amp up your eyes. Sometimes I find that the full lashes are too intense or maybe they don't fit my eyes the way I thought they would. This is where half lashes come into play. They look more natural but also play up your eyes without the obvious false lash look.

Take a look at the Before and After of my eye. On the left, I have some eye makeup on and as you can see my lashes don't stand out very much. On the right, I've added a half lash to the outer corner which has made my entire eye stand out more.

You can obviously buy half lashes at the store but you may already have some lashes on hand that you can cut in half.  I did this with a pair of lashes that I wasn't too fond of.

I took the tapered ends that are normally applied to the inner part of the eye and placed them on my outer lashline. I blended all the lashes, real and not, with the Anastasia Lash Genius (find my review here). Then I added mascara and my look was complete.

In this pic I have my half lashes on but to me they aren't super noticeable. They look natural enough and make my eyes stand out more. They don't feel as heavy and were easier to apply. 

Do you prefer wearing half lashes or full lashes?

July 12, 2012

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm

BB creams have popped up everywhere in the U.S. lately. There are high-end brands as well as drugstore brands that are starting to carry this type of product. A BB cream is similar to a tinted moisturizer but has many more benefits.

I've been wanting to try one ever since I heard about them years ago. I was browsing around Ulta awhile back and discovered the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm. I knew this was a perfect opportunity to feed my curiosity.

Keep reading to learn the details of this product as well as my thoughts on it...

Some main features of this product:
  • Broad spectrum SPF 20 - sun protection is always a good thing!
  • Comes in 4 shades:  Vanilla Glow (lightest), Cream Glow, Nude Glow, and Beach Glow (darkest)
  • Can be worn by itself or under foundation
  • Oil-free
  • Moisturizing
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Soothing and nourishing
  • Suited for all skin types

The beauty balm has a creamy consistency that is lightweight but provides a good amount of coverage.  I chose the shade Cream Glow as it seemed to be the closest match to my skin tone. I've been wearing it daily for about a month and found two ways I like to wear it.

2 Ways I Wear It:
The first way is for the days I want light coverage.  I apply the beauty balm all over my face and then use concealer to cover imperfections that the balm missed. Then I add powder on top to finish it off. This combination provides me with a natural finish that looks and feels weightless. This is my favorite combo.

The second way is for those full-coverage days. I spread the beauty balm all over and then add my foundation on top and mainly in areas that need more coverage. I still add a little concealer where/if it's needed. I apply a little powder to set everything. When I wear it this way I notice my makeup doesn't wear off as easily and lasts all day.

I'm wearing the beauty balm in this picture

Packaging and Price:
First of all, the packaging is very pretty. I was drawn to it immediately while browsing the Too Faced display. The tube is a sandy beige color with a pink iridescence and gold and black lettering. A tube is great because you can really squeeze every bit of product out. It's also easy to throw in your purse or bag without worrying about it spilling out or breaking open.

The Tinted Beauty Balm retails for $32. It may seem like a lot to shell out for one product but I think it's totally worth it. It has already lasted me awhile and I don't see it running out anytime soon. I think it's a great product and perfect for summer. If you're curious about trying a BB cream this is a great one to try!

Did you find this review helpful?
Have you tried a BB cream?

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored post. I purchased the product myself and this post contains my own honest opinions.

July 3, 2012

Target Summer Beauty Bag

Free beauty samples? I think so! Awhile ago I took advantage of the free Target Summer Beauty Bag when they were being offered. I signed up for one on the Target Style Facebook Page.
I received a cute little bag full of deluxe samples and a booklet of coupons.

This is how my little package came.

The bag! A very cute summery bag that can go in my beach tote.

Tresemme Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner
Reconstructing products that supposedly reduce split ends and strengthen hair.

Aveeno Daily Detoxifying Scrub
A gentle exfoliator. Oil-free and soap-free. It has a beautiful floral scent. 

Garnier Fructis Color Shield Shampoo and Conditioner
For color treated hair. These products contain acai berry antioxidant and grape seed oil. The idea of these products is to keep your color looking vibrant and shiny. 

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock - SPF 70
A decent-sized sample. Waterproof and fast absorbing.  Has a light pleasant scent.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Pretty color but felt gritty on my lips. I've heard good things so maybe I'll try out a different one.

A little booklet with 13 coupons for beauty products at Target including coupons that apply to the products in this beauty bag. This is great! I always try to use coupons drugstore products, especially if the product is new to me. 

This is a cool idea. People really go crazy over free samples; just look at all of the sample subscription services out there! The fact that this was free was even better. I liked that the bag included coupons. I'm not sure when the next one will come along (I'm guessing there will be one for Fall), but they go pretty quickly so if you're interested, keep an eye on the facebook page for Target Style. 
Also, on the topic of samples, Target also has an area on their website where you can request samples of select products. The sample page can be found here.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. No affiliate links were used.

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