January 29, 2013

Zoya - My 3 FREE Polishes

A couple weeks ago on Twitter I saw people talking about a promo from Zoya to get 3 free polishes. I've seen the deal offered before, but this was the first time I decided to take advantage of it. I cannot pass up deal like this as a blogger. I have to save money whenever and wherever I can because I cover a lot of products on here, including pretty nail polishes!  The deal didn't require any other purchase or anything, just use the code and get free polish. I just had to pay $10 for shipping, which isn't bad considering one Zoya polish is normally $8. I don't have many Zoya polishes as it is, so I jumped on the website to choose three.

I chose Jinx, Meadow, and Shivon.
I was drawn to these shades because of their golden glows. In hindsight I realized I should've picked colors that were more geared toward Spring instead of ones that were ideal for Fall. I think Meadow is appropriate for any season though.

Jinx is a rich bronze color with faint golden sparkle. When the light catches the gold, it really shines. It goes well with my skintone, as many fall colors do.

Meadow is an instant favorite! It's a beautiful muted pink with gold shimmer. It's delicate and leans a little toward the nude side. Like I said before, I think I'll be wearing this one all the time no matter what the season is (but can you imagine this one in Summer?!).

Shivon is one of those colors that's hard to define. It contains shades of burgundy, gold, and brown. Like the other two it shimmers in the light. It has a nice satin finish.

Did you get 3 free polishes from Zoya too? Which ones did you get?

Zoya's Website

January 27, 2013

EOTD - Silver Smoke

I really don't do enough of these posts showing you my EOTD (eye of the day). Normally, there's nothing too exciting going on with my eye makeup. I stick to neutral colors for daytime eyes. This time I created a look with more intensity and cooler tones.

Here are the shadows I used:
All shadows are from Urban Decay palettes

Money - A silvery blue from UD♥NYC. I used this as my all over lid color.
Verve - A shimmery taupe from Naked 2. I lightly applied this shadow to my inner corner.
Blackout - A deep matte black from Naked 2. I used this shade on my outer corner and outer crease area to add depth.
Buck - a medium brown from Naked palette. I used this in my crease.
Foxy - a cream shade from Naked 2. This shade was perfect to use as my highlight color.

I created a basic smokey eye and added black eyeliner along with a couple coats of black mascara. I only applied a little black liner to my lower lashline because I wanted the majority of the drama to be on my lid and top lashline. You can tell from the pictures that this look made my brown eyes pop, which I love.

January 23, 2013

Bargain Haul - CK, Physician's Formula, & N.Y.C.

Today, I decided to drop by Tuesday Morning, which is a discount store that carries a little bit of everything from gifts to home goods. I hardly ever go in the store because my first impression was that it was just a mediocre store that threw a bunch of crap on the shelves. At second glace, I found that it offered more than I thought. I noticed brands like Hot Tools, Elizabeth Arden, Revlon, and others. I never realized that it had a makeup section, but once I found it, I spent a good amount of time browsing it. It wasn't a huge section and I could tell that they probably put out different products all the time since the area wasn't very organized. Everything was placed randomly.

I picked out 3 items: 2 CK Calvin Klein polishes and a Physician's Formula Shimmer Strip. Then I stopped by Dollar Tree and picked out 2 N.Y.C. quads.

The Physician's Formula Shimmer Strip was just $4.99 marked down from $10.95! I've never seen Physician's Formula priced that low and they actually carried quite a few products from the brand.

It's meant for blue eyes, but can be used with any eye color. I would use all of these shadows on my brown eyes.

The CK Calvin Klein polishes were $4.99 instead of $10. I was surprised to stumble upon them and had to choose two bold hues.

They are the Splendid Color Nail Enamels in Bombshell and Electric Blue.

The N.Y.C. quads were just $1 each at the Dollar Store. I looked them up online and their average retail price is $3.99.

They're the Metro Quartet Eye Shadows in Queens Boulevard and Gothic Harlem.

If I had bought these items new, it would run me around $40 and I paid about $18 for everything. Less than $20 for these products? What a deal!

January 22, 2013

January Birchbox: Ojon, theBalm, Lashem

There were a couple problems with my box this month. The contents were fine - I wasn't displeased by them, but I didn't receive what I was supposed to in the first place.  I checked the site to see what I was getting before it arrived and was happy to see Alessandro nail polish, theBalm Put a Lid On It (eyelid primer), and Fresh face cream on the list. When I opened the box, I noticed that those three samples weren't in it. I took a look at the card and it had a different list than the website besides one sample. Furthermore, there was one product that still didn't match the card exactly. I'll explain in more detail below as well as go over my thoughts on the samples I was given.

In my box...

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre 
24-Hour Miracle Cream
Full size: 30 ml - $16
My sample size: 5 ml

A moisturizer with a silky finish. It contains shea butter and aloe vera and can be used on all skin types. It can also be used as a makeup remover, baby cream, after-shave cream, and repairing mask!
My thoughts: Creams aren't always my favorite samples to receive. They just aren't very exciting products compared to eyeshadows, lipsticks, or polishes. This one is cool though because of it's multifunctional abilities. I love products that can be used for different purposes. It seems like a light cream with very little fragrance.
Would I buyt it? To be determined. I'm not sure how well it works yet.

Harvey Prince Skinny Chic
Full size: 50 ml - $55
My sample size: small vial

A fragrance that mixes apple, mint, grapefruit, and amber for a fresh scent.
My thoughts: This is a pleasant light and crisp scent. I didn't mind it all, except for the fact that it didn't last past 2 hours. Most of the scent faded away by that time.
Would I buy it? No. I like my fragrances to last longer.

LASHEM Eyelash & Brow Enhancing Serum
Full size: 3.5 ml - $69.99
My sample size: small tube

A serum to stimulate lashgrowth that keeps working long after initial application. It is recommended to be used only once a day on clean skin. Also for contact wearers like me, take your contacts out before applying.
My thoughts: On the card inside the box, it lists the LASHEM Double Trouble Lash Mascara, which this is clearly not. My guess is that the mascara probably looks similar and it was a simple mistake. While I like trying new mascaras, I'm actually happy that I got this serum instead. I've always wanted to try this kind of product to enhance my lashes.
Would I buy it? Not sure yet. It's a little pricey, but if it works well then I might be willing to splurge.

Ojon rare blend oil Total Hair Therapy
Full size: 1.5 fl oz - $35
My sample size: 0.07 fl oz

A layered hair serum containing Ojon oil that prevents heat damage and adds shine.
My thoughts: Instead of this sample, I was supposed to get the Restorative Hair Serum from Ojon. From what I read about both products, they seem to provide similar results. Any sort of hair oil or treatment is always welcome in my boxes. I try to find new products to repair and protect my hair often. The scent isn't my favorite (think pepper) and if it's noticeable throughout the day, then it could be a major deal breaker.
Would I buy it? Probably not

theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama
Full size: 7.08 g - $20
My sample size: 1.0 g

A pink powder with a golden glow which can be used as an eyeshadow, highlighter, or blush.
My thoughts: Originally, I was supposed to receive theBalm Put a Lid On It (eyelid primer), but I'm happy that I still got a product from theBalm. I love the brand and I will get more enjoyment out of this sample than the primer. I got another power from theBalm in a previous box and I use it all the time. I like that I can use this on my cheeks or my eyes.
Would I buy it? I think so!

In addition to the samples, a poster was included in the box with various tips to make 2013 a great year. I like reading things like that. I was surprised, though, that I didn't get a lifestyle extra in this box.

I emailed Birchbox today about the issues I mentioned, asking if things were switched up this month on accident or what. I'm not really mad over this situation because I'm still happy with what came in my box. I'm lucky that I haven't any problems worse than this. I know other people have had bigger issues with their boxes. I am a little bummed, however, that I didn't get those 3 products because I was looking forward to them. After I hear from Birchbox, I'll update this post to let you know what they said.

To those of you who have/had a Birchbox subscription: Did the same thing happen to you this month or any other month? Let me know in the comments!

Join Birchbox for $10/month
Looking for more of my Birchbox reviews? Go here.

Edit: Birchbox emailed me back saying the list on the site was wrong. They said I could email them my reviews to get credit for the points but I didn't because it seemed like too much of a hassle.

Disclaimer: This box was purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. A referral link was used.

January 18, 2013

Conair Infiniti Pro Steam Waver + Giveaway

It's about time for another hair post again! It's been awhile since I discussed the topic (right?!) and that's mainly because I don't have much to update on. I've been using the same products and the same tools...except for now!

Today I have something new to share and a small giveaway! I was offered a few items from Conair to review. The main item was a hair tool - the Conair Infiniti Pro Steam Waver. I also received the Topsy Tail and Impressions Cushion Brush.

I was pretty excited to try the waver. I have a waver from another brand, but I don't use it that much because it's heavy and seems like it takes forever to style my hair. It's more hassle than it's worth. I wasn't sure how well this one would work given my previous experience.

About the Steam Waver
-Creates sexy waves
-Ions and steam combine to protect hair and seal in moisture
-Tourmaline ceramic plates
-30-second heat up to 437 F
-For all hair types
-Auto off
-Frizz control
-Average retail price: $68.99

I used the waver to style this section of hair. You can tell it added shine and kept the frizz away while adding sleek waves. It's so much easier to use than my other waver. It's not awkward in my hand, not heavy, and it works quickly. I barely have to touch it to my hair and I have instant waves. It takes little time to create a full style with this tool.

I didn't use it to create a full head of waves, but random sections peeking through the rest of the hair. I like it better this way than waves all over. 

Conair Impressions Cushion Brush
Average retail price: $7.99

This hair brush is great! I normally use combs on my hair because I feel like brushes can be damaging. This one glides through my hair with ease and detangles without breaking or snagging my strands. My mom tried it as well and loved it so much that she made me get her one too. It's perfect for all hair lengths and made to work on wet or dry hair. 

Conair Topsy Tail
Average retail price: $4.99

This is the TopsyTail kit. It comes with a TopsyTail, TopsyTail Jr. and 3 elastics, plus you get a little booklet that shows you how to create 6 easy styles using the loops. It's another cool way to make different hair styles and easy to use.


One winner will get the Conair Impressions Cushion Brush and Conair TopsyTail. 
Open to U.S. residents only
Prize will be fulfilled by the sponsor
Winner will be chosen at random and notified by email
Entries will be handled through Rafflecopter widget
Giveaway runs 1/18 - 1/25

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review. I am not being compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.

January 14, 2013

Beauty Posts of the Week

Check out these beauty posts from members of the Beauty Blog Coalition.

  • Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom: Destany swatches (and swoons over) two gorgeous Pure Ice polishes!
  • BeautyTidbits: Harshleen looks back on her favorite skincare products from 2012.
  • BlushingNoir: See why the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette should be your (and everyones!) must have for 2013!
  • TheFabZilla: TheFabZilla shares the highs and lows of Buxom Big & Health Lipstick & Amplified Lash Mascara
  • Emily Hudspeth, hair design and makeup artist: Ask me anything! Post your questions on the Facebook page or Twitter about makeup/hair/working as a makeup artist and I will answer with a YouTube video or blog post (or both!)
  • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: DermOrganic Argan Oil Infused Haircare Cleansing, Conditioning & Treatment products are so amazing that Lola's Secret Beauty Blog wants the world to know about this phenomenal line!
  • Fabulous Awesomeness: Mina Slater shares swatches and a review of CoverGirl Blast Flipstick shades Minx, Stunner and Vixen.
  • datyorkLOVES: datyorkLOVES Weekly is back! Catch up on mani's, reviews and a blog sale with FREE shipping!
  • Advice Sisters Web Site: Argan oil is a super-trendy ingredient. It has many benefits and uses in beauty products. Alison of the Advice Sisters reports on a bunch of hair care and beauty products featuing argan oil. Which one will be your favorite?
  • The Lacquered Lady: The Lacquered Lady shows of her favorite polish from the China Glaze Cirque du Soleil collection.
  • Lipgloss Break: Enter to win a Julep Maven box with nail polish to match your style!
  • Beauty Professor: Can titanium really make a difference in a hair straightener? The Beauty Professor tries the Blowout Beauty 1" Titanium Straightener and discovers the answer!
  • Beauty by Miss L: Miss L tried another natural, vegan & cruelty free eye makeup remover.
  • Mama Fashionista: Julep is starting the year of (b)right with their Resort Collection! Check out what Quinn received in her Julep Maven It Girl box this month.
  • Polarbelle: Polarbelle found the perfect all around palette in the Too Faced Return of Sexy palette set.
  • The Beauty Delicacy: How to keep your peepers pretty + hydrated this season with Ahava
  • Peek & Ponder: Ashley from Peek & Ponder reflects on her most popular beauty posts of 2012
  • Pammy Blogs Beauty: Do you have any New Year's Beauty Resolutions? Pammy Blogs Beauty shares hers here!
  • Painted Ladies: Make Up For Ever's New Pro-Multi-Use Powder Foundation Has Entranced Sheila from Painted Ladies
  • Midnight Manicures: Midnight Manicures: Find out which Skin Care Treatment is one of Jeanie's must haves for 2013, Reviva Labs Non-Chemical Skin Peel to the rescue!
  • January 13, 2013

    Birchbox Haul: Laura Geller, Stila, Amika, Deborah Lippmann

    After a year of being subscribed to Birchbox, I've collected a lot of points from giving feedback for each product I tried. I had $80 to spend in the Birchbox shop and I found it quite a challenge figuring out what I wanted. Did I want one expensive product that I wouldn't buy normally? Did I want products I already use on a regular basis?  I wasn't sure. I spent a couple of hours browsing and considering my options. There are tons of products in the shop - it's overwhelming!

    I finally decided on four things I had never tried before:
    -Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten
    -Stila Kitten Eye Shadow
    -Amika Nourishing Mask
    -Deborah Lippmann - Let's Go Crazy

    Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten 
    Baked Cheek Color - "Boysenberry"

    I've heard nothing but great things about Laura Geller blushes. They are pretty pricey, so this was my chance to try one. I read that this blush would complement any skin tone. It's a beautiful blush that I don't even want to touch. I'm sure it will last a long time too.

    Stila Eye Shadow

    Can you see where I dropped it? I was so mad at myself. It was out of the box for 5 minutes and as I was setting it up for an Instagram pic, it fell to the floor! It could've been a lot worse though. 
    Anyway, can you believe I don't have this eyeshadow yet? It's a cult favorite champagne shade. When I swatched it on my skin it was very frosty. It will make a good highlight color.

    Amika Nourishing Mask
    For Hair

    This mask is meant for intense conditioning and repair. It can be used weekly or daily. The amount I got wasn't much more than a deluxe sample. I wasn't aware it would be so little, but then again, I don't have much experience with the brand. I received an oil treatment in a Birchbox before and I liked it (even though it leaked all over the box - luckily, I loved the scent). I've used this treatment a couple times already in the shower. I've noticed that I need a lot to cover my hair, so it's running out quickly. I'm not certain that I'll want to repurchase or not.

    Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer
    "Let's Go Crazy"

    Check out that macro shot! I've been having so much fun with my macro lens lately - can you tell? This is a gorgeous polish and my first Deborah Lippmann! So-very-exciting. The polish turned out to be different than I expected, but it's not a bad thing. It's a dark purple with colored glitter all throughout, however, I wish there was more glitter. Even still, I love it and want to just stare at it all day long!

    I was able to use a 25% off discount code on my purchase for being a loyal customer. So, instead of $80, I only spent $60 worth of points  and I was able to keep 200 points ($20) for a future purchase. This whole haul was free for me. No shipping or anything. Success! So, I'll let my points build up again and then go on another mini shopping spree. I'm already excited for it.

    Join Birchbox
    Want to see my Birchbox reviews? Find them here

    Disclaimer: The items discussed in this post were purchased by me. I am not affiliated with the company. A referral link was used.

    January 10, 2013

    Mia Mariu Makeup Review

    I was able to pick out some products from Mia Mariu awhile ago to review. I was so excited to be able to try some of the products from this brand. They also included a few samples for me to try.

    Mia Mariu offers a variety of products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, and nutritional supplements. The products are formulated with high quality natural ingredients.

    Here's what I picked out:

    Perfecting Finish Mineral Foundation
    Perfecting Finish Mineral Foundation Primer
    Mineral Cream Concealer
    Mineral Eye Shadow Duo
    Hydrating Stick Gloss

    A liquid oil-free foundation that provides all-day coverage. Suitable for all skin types.

    My thoughts: I really like this foundation. I strictly use liquid foundation because it's what works best on my skin. This liquid foundation lasts all day without touch-ups and gives a natural finish. It applies easily and requires very little to cover the entire face.

    This primer is perfect to pair with the Mineral Foundation. It enables the foundation to apply smoothly and last even longer. It also minimizes the appearance of pores and is rich in antioxidants and botanicals. Suitable for all skin types.

    My thoughts: I notice that my skin appears smoother (like porcelain) when I wear this primer in conjunction with the foundation.  It also helps my foundation and other face products stay in place throughout the day. 

    An oil-free mineral concealer that covers imperfections to create a even skin tone.

    My thoughts: I've been using this concealer daily since I've run out of my other ones. I haven't felt a need to purchase any others at the moment because this one does a great job at covering my imperfections. It's not a super soft cream, more of a solid one. I think it will last me quite awhile.

    This duo is made with pure minerals and is formulated to last without smudging, fading, or creasing. It comes in a few other color combos too.

    My thoughts: This duo is amazing! I love the colors, love the finish of the shadows, and love the overall quality. It's one of my favorite products to use and I know I won't come close to running out of it anytime soon.

    A hydrating gloss combined with color in a stick form. It provides sheer color and a smooth finish. Contains Vitamins A, C, and E to nourish lips.

    My thoughts: One of my new favorite lip products! I use this one a lot as I love its smooth texture and natural color. There is a good assortment of colors offered on the site. I'd love to grab a few more!

    I could see myself using Mia Mariu products regularly. I think the packaging looks great, the prices aren't bad, and the products are high in quality. This company gets my stamp of appoval!

    Visit the Mia Mariu site to check out all of the products.

    Disclaimer: These products were sent by the company for consideration. I am not being compensated for this review. No affiliate links were used in this post.

    January 6, 2013

    Popular Posts of 2012

    Looking back on my blog posts of 2012, I found that there were some that were much more popular than others.  I gathered 8 of my most prominent posts of the year to highlight. So, in case you missed them the first time, or would like to take a second look, here is the compilation.

    To visit each individual post, click the title or the picture.

    For this blog post, I showed the steps to create both of these lace nail designs. Both were fairly simple and turned out really pretty. I added plenty of pics and I even included a hand drawn diagram for each design.

    I was able to try this gloss set and review it. The 6 colors of the set are very flattering. I included swatches and extra info in the original post.

    Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

    These trios from Wet n Wild are incredibly sought-after and well-liked, which is why I decided to review one. 

    In my review, I added an eye look that I achieved by using the trio.

    I've been a MAC fan/user for years now. I've used a  variety of products over that time. In this post, I weighed in on each product I've tried. I also discussed my thoughts on quality, prices, packaging, etc. 

    This was the first beauty balm I tried. I posted a full review on the product along with all the specs. 

    This was one of my favorite boxes from Birchbox. It included products from Stila, Color Club, Boscia, and others. Check out the post to find out everything I got. 

    In this post, I featured the lip products I like to carry with me. Some are drugstore products and others are more high end. Among them are some of my absolute favorite lip products. 

    I made a step-by-step tutorial on how to create this glowing purple eye makeup. I listed out each product I  used  and described each step to go along with a corresponding picture. 


    So those were my popular posts of 2012. I hope you liked them (or liked revisiting them). It was fun to take a look through my posts of the year and see which ones were liked the most. In a couple months I'll be celebrating 2 years of blogging and I'm so excited! I've hit some great milestones already and I can't wait to grow my blog even more. Thanks for all of your support!

    09 10 Subscribe