Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Empties #1

The entirety of the time I've been writing this blog I've had the intention to include empties posts but never really actually compiled anything - I'd always forget to hold onto things. Needless to say, now I have a pretty little pink "empties box" and every time I fill it to the brim, you'll be seeing an empties post from me. Yay! Lets (dumpster) dive right in!


Makeup - 


- Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat: This is my second bottle of this...and the second bottle that got too goopy to use before I even finished 2/3 of it. I don't feel that I should have to buy the thinner to make this thing work for me - a product shouldn't need another product to make it work. I also didn't like that this isn't 3 Free so I will not be purchasing it again. I recently replaced it with Out The Door which is 3 Free, but I've yet to try it.

- L'Oreal Magic Smooth Mousse Foundation: I picked this up on clearance a long time ago and although I really did like it, its just too old and I need to toss it. Sadly, its been discontinued for a while.

- Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray: In all honesty, this didn't keep me any more matte than I started out as; but I really liked this for refining the texture of my makeup when I applied it too cakey. I have a mini of this that I'm working through that was a gift with purchase, but after I'm done with that one I probably won't repurchase. I'm quite interested in trying the Ben Nye Final Set instead.

- Flower Easy On The Eyes Longwear Eyeliner in Aubergine: I reviewed this just over a year ago (click here to read my thoughts) and it had a really nice formula, but to be honest...the packaging sucked. It was very flimsy. Fast forward a year and it is literally so dried out that it was abrasive to my hand to even swatch it. No thanks, I don't think I'll be getting another one of these.

- Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil in Soft Brown: This was my holy grail brow product. Emphasis on the was...Maybelline has broken my little heart and reformulated this. Now the reformulation isn't awful, but it's just not the same. Not to mention I have to sharpen it every single time I use it, which is really annoying. I'm almost through another one of these and I bought a backup on sale, but I have an uncertain future with this one. I've also just switched to the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel, and I can definitely see the hype.

 Skincare -

 - Freeman Facial Brightening Rose Paper Mask: Can I just start off by saying that sheet masks are so weird looking. And huge! I doubt anyone has a face that big! I love the rose fragrance, but this was highly synthetic in my opinion. This was also a huge mess and left my face feeling too sticky. I wont be purchasing more of these.

- Freeman Acai Facial Purifying Clay Mask Travel Size: I actually really liked this one because it made my face look so clean and even without being irritating. However, my sister is highly allergic to Pomegranate which I'm fairly certain this has in it and I don't want to run the risk of her using this on accident or anything of the sort, so if I purchase this one, its going under lock and key.

- Montagne Jeunesse Green Tea Peel Off Masque: In all honesty, this one was quite forgettable. It did the job but wasn't life changing. 

- Freeman Cinnamon & Moroccan Lava Clay Mask Travel Size: I think this one is fairly new because there isn't a full size of it yet but I really hope they make one. I LOVE this. It doesn't irritate my skin and makes my pores look so clear. I'm really sad to see it go.

- Boscia Luminizing Black Mask: This is probably the deepest cleaning peel off mask I've ever used. I picked up this sample size in a kit on Black Friday and hoarded it as long as I could. $34 for a mask is painful, but maybe...

- The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask: This is definitely the heaviest duty of the clay masks, having both Kaolin and Bentonite Clay and while I really, really liked it, its a bit much to use as often as I use masks. I'd use this one every two weeks to a month depending on my skin, and thus it dried up before I could use it all...which actually makes me feel pretty decent about the fact that I'm putting something fairly natural on my face. The next time The Body Shop runs a great sale I might pick this up again.


- Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cream Cleanser: I have a lot of redness in my skin both genetically and due to breakouts and while this wasn't a holy grail, it didn't make matters worse. I'd probably repurchase it.

- Garnier + Clean Blackhead Eliminating Scrub: I've actually already repurchased this twice if I'm not mistaken. I have oily skin and I feel like this does help keep oil a at bay for a bit and I really like the texture of it, as the charcoal granules are quite small.

- Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: I've tried this so many times, but I'm just too cheap to purchase it on a regular basis. I really actually enjoy it - the fragrance is quite tolerable and faint and its not too watery of a texture. This was a sample size, but if the price was a bit lower, I'd use it more often.

- Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away: How many times have I purchased this? I've honestly lost count, but I really, really like it. It has kaolin in it which fares well with my skin and makes it a really great morning cleanser to give me a matte canvas to start with, without drying my skin out. Right now I'm trying a cleanser with rice protein in it as a mattifying agent, so I'll soon have a comparison between the two.



- Absolute Makeup Cleansing Wipes in Vitamin C Extract: I use these mostly for eye makeup and swatch removal. I firmly do not believe in spending a whole lot of money on makeup removing towelettes and my mom finds whole 5 or 6 packs of these for $5 or less. It beats spending $6 for one pack from Neutrogena.

- Mario Badescu Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream Sample: I'm quite torn on this. While it was definitely moisturizing for my eye area without making my lids more oily - and had an impressively short ingredients list to boot - it simply didn't keep. I use eye cream every night and it turned to a weird consistency before I used it all. Maybe it was the sample jar packaging? I'm working through an Ole Hendrickson eye gel right now, but I may consider this one in the future after a bit of research to see if this was an issue across the board.

- Garnier Moisture Rescue Refresh Gel Creme: This was my daily moisturizer for literally years as it efficiently hydrates my skin without making it more oily than it already is. I'm using a mattifying day creme from Boots Botanicals right now that's a completely different texture, but I would repurchase this one - I'm just not sure which I like better right now.

- Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30 Sample: I really liked this because it didn't make my skin more oily and had a decent SPF, but I had the same issue with this as I did with the other Mario Badescu sample as it didn't keep. Not only did it not keep, but it literally fused itself shut!

Body - 


- Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash: This was limited edition packaging, but is still available in the Aromatherapy line. I've been using this fragrance for years and I'm still not tired of it. I literally have almost every form; body mist, rollerball, lotion, bath soak, candle, scentportable, etc. I love, love, love it!

- St. Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Wash: Since I've been eating so much healthier and losing weight, I've found myself much more sensitive to smells than before and I have no idea why. Needless to say, I'm a pain in the butt when I have to buy things like shampoo and body wash because I have to smell everything and I'll probably hate a good half of it.This was one that I liked, but the formula was just so-so. It wasn't as nourishing as I anticipated.

- Caress Emerald Rush: I believe this is new for the spring. I'm definitely not a stranger to Caress' line, and I do prefer some of their other fragrances to this (my all time fave is Scarlet Blossom, which I can't find anywhere this time of year!) - I really like the White Tea note to this, as it reminds me of a discontinued fragrance that I loved from Victoria's Secret called White Tea and Sage - but I wasn't too keen on the Gardenia. It didn't smell like Gardenia to me, and pulled to waxy citrus-y scent that didn't impress me. I have Daily Silk in my shower right now, which if I'm thinking correctly, was the first one I used from the brand.  I'm fairly certain that these do have sulfates pretty close to the beginning of the ingredients list, but they don't dry out my skin. I honestly really like the range of fragrances in this line.

- Victoria's Secret Perfect Body Pink Sea Salt Body Polish: Before you listen to me swoon over this, keep in mind that it's discontinued. This was a mini size I got in a kit. This scrub has the most lovely texture, and has the exfoliating agents suspended in a body butter like base that turns into a milky consistency with water. I could use this every single day and not have my skin feel irritated or over exfoliated at all because of it. The full size is a good four or five times larger than this sample size and when it went on clearance, I didn't just buy one or two, but three of these!

- Aveda Personal Blends Bath Salts in #2 Key Element Water: I've been receiving a free Personal Blends item during my birthday month for the past few years from Aveda and I hope they didn't do away with the fragrance because this smells divine. Its a mix of Rose, Geranium and Eucalyptus and is unlike anything I've ever smelled before. I'm hoarding a small bit of body wash in this scent for a rainy day and I also have it in the lotion and the perfume spray. If Aveda ever does (or has) decide to get rid of this, I will RIOT! 

- The Body Shop Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt: Honeymania is one of my favorite fragrances from The Body Shop - right up there with Shea and my oh so beloved Almond. I actually really liked this product. In the bubble department, its not in Lush Bubble Bar territory but it still provided a good amount of bubbles. What really impressed me was how crazy fragrant this was. It engulfs the entire bathroom in the Honeymania fragrance and lingers on the skin afterward. I really liked this, but I went through it so fast that I'll probably wait for an offer to repurchase.

Haircare - 


- Pantene Pro-V Volume Triple Action Mousse for Fine Hair: I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it, so this provided enough hold without being too overly crunchy. I'm trying something new at the moment for the sake of trying something new, but I've repurchased this before a good two or three times.

- Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo: This is awful...literally awful. I purchased this because it was in a two pack so I could give one to my sister and we both threw them away before using even a fourth of them. This only absorbs oil for a very short amount of time and then you're left with greasy hair with a nearly gummy finish to it. Not okay. 

Miscellaneous - 


- Publix Brand Baby Shampoo: I wash my brushes with baby shampoo and I just buy the generic to save money. This time it was Publix - shout out to my fellow Floridians who shop at Publix!


- BioTrue Contact Solution: Remember when I had an allergic reaction from trying a new contact solution? After that nightmare I vowed to never use anything else but BioTrue. If you wear contacts, this will speak to you; BioTrue, to me feels like the solution that your contacts are originally in when you first open them. 

- Acuvue Oasys: If my memory serves me correctly, I've always been an Acuvue wearer and they get better with each new release. I could probably count on one hand the times since I've used Oasys lenses that I've felt the whole "wow, my eyes feel dry" sensation. I don't feel these when I'm wearing them - which is part them being really great and part the fact that I've been wearing contact lenses for nearly ten years now (Man, I'm getting old!) but it still impresses me since I have a slight astigmatism. 


- Yankee Candle Island Spa Tart: I have such a collection of tarts that I'm trying to burn though some of them before I allow myself any more - in my defense, I used to work for the brand! Island Spa is a great summer fragrance with mandarin orange and lemon verbena. Its citrus-y without being too sweet and I really like it. The soft teal color was a nice touch as well.

- Yankee Candle Black Coconut Tart: This one says that it is Coconut, Cedarwood and Island Blossoms, but I swear that there has to be a touch of Tonka Bean in it. I like that this isn't your average Coconut fragrance that smells like a mixed drink, it has a sophisticated air to it.

- Yankee Candle Turquoise Sky Tart: Oh, Turquoise Sky. I found myself really obsessed with this last spring and stocked up. I still have a couple left and I'm still not tired of it. It's a perfect fresh fragrance with notes of sea grass and musk. And I know I said that I'm trying not to buy more tarts, but I made the mistake of going on Yankee Candle's website to look up fragrance notes and I may or may not be feeling a mighty need for some (or all) of the new fragrances. Darn it...

If it could have taken me any longer to finish this post, I swear we'd be in some post apocalyptic world where my empties are the least of our concerns, but finally we've hit the end of my first empties post! Later this week I'll have my April Favorites posted, maybe actually before the first of the next month for once? 

We can only hope. Have a great day/night/what have you, everyone!








Saturday, April 5, 2014

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Swatch-A-Palooza!

Revlon's standout products would most definitely have to be their lip products. For the most part, the brand can boast not only great formulas (if we just forget the Suedes...ick!), but pretty wide shade ranges - there's literally colors for anyone!

When I first started out with drugstore lip products, Revlon was the brand that I really gravitated toward. In all honesty, I think it set the bar high from the get go for me, especially with the Super Lustrous Lipsticks. There's a reason why this line has been around for ages.

To dive right in, I've swatched my entire collection of the Super Lustrous Lipstick line by finish, and I'll provide my thoughts along the way!

Super Lustrous Shines -



The Shines range is the newest addition to Revlon's Super Lustrous line, and were released about the middle of last year I believe, along with the repackaged and reformulated Super Lustrous Gloss. The shines are meant to be sheer lipsticks with a glossy finish, but that have a thinner texture than Lip Butters. The most similar comparison I have is shades like Roman Holiday from Nars. They have a translucency to them that is almost gel like. I have;

- Lover's Coral: I may or may not have purchased this one for the name, because it's just too cute! This is the closest I can get to Corals/Oranges, because while this shade is still quite warm and orange toned it also has a sheerness to it that is quite wearable.

- Pink Cognito: This is one of those "keep in your bag" lipsticks that goes with everything. I can wear this to look polished if I'm doing a super smokey eye and don't want my lips to look too overdone - but at the same time, I can throw this on if I'm running to the pharmacy in yoga pants and a messy bun because I forgot to pick up my prescription on the way home from work this AM (*cough, cough* today..) and look a little less like I've been up since 4AM. It just works with everything. 

- Berry Couture: This is my compliment getter of the three. We all know how I feel about darker lipsticks, and this is a sheerer take on that very thing. It's especially great if you want to get into the vampier lip trends, but want to ease yourself into it. I get asked what this is every single time I wear it.

Super Lustrous Mattes - 


Real talk, the Mattes in this line can be a touch hit or miss - but of the ones I have, the good does in fact outweigh the bad. This is definitely more emollient feeling of the matte formulas I've tried from other brands (and is definitely a whole lot better than the Suedes that Revlon tried to pass off as matte and longwearing), but they still don't have any shine or glossiness on the lip at all. I have; 


- Nude Attitude = Alright...its a concealer lip shade. I need more rosiness in my nudes to make them wearable for me. This is similar to MAC Myth, but a bit more yellow toned. I definitely need to use this with a gloss or a lip liner of a different shade to mix it and make it work for my skin. You win some and you lose some. The opacity is pretty great though!

- Pink Pout = This is most definitely my most worn of the mattes of the Super Lustrous range. It's a subtly cool toned light pink without being too baby pink and it really fares well with my complexion. I think this is one of their most popular mattes, and for good reason. It is also somewhat similar to MAC Pink Plaid.

-  Wine Not = I'm fairly certain that this one has been discontinued, as it is no longer on Revlon's website. Wine Not is a deep Bordeaux shade that is quite similar to MAC Diva in shade and finish. 

- Stormy Pink = I love the shade of this one; its a strong blue pink without being too overly bright. However, the formula on this one is lacking - quite patchy and powdery and emphasizes lip lines and dryness like a magnifying glass. Such a shame. 


- Smoked Peach = What a pain in the butt this one is to find! Goodness gracious. This shade is unique to everything in my collection, because while it is definitely strongly orange toned, it has a muted quality that makes it more wearable on my skin. The formula on this one is pretty great; nice and opaque but not too powdery.

- Sky Pink = I don't know why I thought shades like this looked good on me (i.e. NYX Strawberry Milk, etc.) but no. Just no. Don't get me wrong, I love pale pinks - but pale pinks like MAC Snob and Saint Germain and the aforementioned Revlon Pink Pout. The common denominator? Strong blue tones. I'm quite cool toned - almost too cool toned as my skin can get very pink, very quick! - and warmer pale pinks like this just don't flatter me. This shade also suffered from the formula issues that Stormy Pink did, but I'm not going to lie and say I shed a tear about it.

Super Lustrous Pearls - 



I'm not one for much frost, but some of the Pearl shades in this range have a really understated frost to them that really just appears on the lip as glossiness. I can't speak to the entire Pearl sub-range as I avoid some of the frostier looking shades, but the ones I have (minus one) wouldn't strike me as a Pearl finish if I wasn't already the wiser. I have;

- Violet Frenzy = One of my all time favorite Revlon lipsticks. It definitely is a deeper violet shade, but the translucency of this shade is what makes it so wearable. Applied lightly and its almost like one of those "popsicle stain" shades, but it does build up on itself well without having too much slip to it. A very easy shade to wear, given how intimidating it looks in the tube.

- Cherry Blossom = Did the name of this one have a big part in my choice? Probably. It is a bright cherry shade (no?!) and really doesn't have any detectable pearl to it, in my opinion. Very, very similar to Cherries in the Snow, which is one of Revlon's most iconic and oldest shades still in circulation.

- Gentlemen Prefer Pink = I think this was my first lipstick of the entire Super Lustrous range and yes, the name of this one probably had a lot to do with it as well. Its a light to medium toned slightly cool pink that has a bit of a rosy quality. Again, no detectable pearl to this one as well.

- Porcelain Pink = Why did I buy this? Is it 1995? I think I liked the hue of this shade but just didn't realize how frosty and dated it was. Pretty shade, too much pearl.

- Fuchsia Fusion = You know those Fuchsia shades that feel more like a red fuchsia than a blueish fuchsia? This is one of them. Its definitely a unique one in my collection. The pearl to this one really just translates as shine rather than frost, and it cloud be a touch duo-chrome-y in certain lighting. This one is more opaque than the rest of the Pearls I've tried.

Super Lustrous Cremes -





Alright, we're going to be here for a minute. Can you tell my preferred finish in this line? Revlon just does a really great creme finish. Across the board, they're mostly opaque and incredibly smooth, but yet really don't slide around too much on the lip. And, if you're lucky enough to suit the brown-er lip shades without looking like you're channeling your inner Drew Barrymore circa 1993 (girl, I feel you. That trend just wasn't for girls of our pallor) then Revlon really does have a great range of those hues to choose from in the Creme line. I have;

- Cherries in the Snow = This shade has been around for 61, nearly 62 years! It was launched in 1953 and is still one of the highest selling shades in the range. The reason? Its so flattering on nearly any skin tone. It's definitely your bright, power red that tends to lean a touch pink. Cherry Blossom is very similar, but has a touch more pink and not nearly the cult following this shade has.

- Black Cherry = Again, another cult favorite. The shade is just as the name implies, a deep, blackened cherry shade. A colleague of mine counts this shade as her signature and it is absolutely stunning on her rich, deep skin tone (I think a MAC NC50) and even though my skin is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum I just had to have it. We need to start correlating when we're both going to wear it so we can wear it on the same day!

- Just Enough Buff = This shade is far more translucent than the remainder of the cremes, but it is a neutral toned nude that isn't too overly pale, at least against my fair skin tone. While I prefer rosier nudes, this one definitely does have its place.

- Berry Haute = Definitely a "me" color. This a more purple take on berry rather than a more red one, which makes it a pretty unique color. Many find this similar to MAC's Up The Amp, but in my opinion it is far more muted. I really enjoy this one.

- Va Va Violet = Another pain in the butt to find, but so worth it. A lot of my dark purple lipsticks are matte, so this having a creme finish really sets it apart from a shade family that I tend to, well, hoard. Va Va Violet is really multitasking shade as well; dab it on for a sheer stained look or apply over a lip liner and after a couple coats you've got a vampy, lacquered pout. I love it!

- Primrose = Another one of my favorite shades from Revlon; I actually just talked about this one in my March Favorites! It's literally the perfect pale pink that doesn't lean too overly cool or warm which makes it quite wearable across the board.

- Coralberry = I bought my sister this one a while back because she has warmer skin than I do and out of curiosity I tried it on and loved it, so I picked up one for myself. This is about as orange as I can comfortably go, thanks to the slight pink tones in this shade.

- Temptress = If Primrose is mostly neutral, Temptress is slightly warm. Being that it has enough depth to it, it actually looks quite nice on my lips with the right look.

- Fifth Avenue Red = Why is this guy by himself? This shade was recently re-released in a blast from the past collection that Revlon just put out, which was based on our votes to see what shades we wanted to see again! This shade is pretty much a universally flattering, only slightly blue toned red and was released originally in 1958! I'm sure I have very similar reds in my collection, but hey, it's vintage right?

Revlon has been around for 80+ years for a reason. It is a brand that has consistently delivered on great product and has a timeless way of captivating its customer. The great thing about the Super Lustrous line is there is literally something for everyone regardless of skin tone, age, anything! When you add quality to that, you can't go wrong!

If you've enjoyed this post, let me know as I am strongly considering doing the same for other brands if that is something that you all would like to see! Have a wonderful day/night, wherever you may be!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Broadway imPress Press On Manicure in Chic Mystique.

Some people have all the luck with nail products...as a general rule, I am not one of those people. I don't know if it is my naturally thin, brittle nails or my body chemistry in general; but nothing short of salon acrylic nails will ever last more than a few days on me. It actually royally sucks.

To throw another wrench into the equation, I work backroom stock for a popular retailer - which isn't a job that is easy on the nails. I deal with so many cardboard boxes a day and when you mix that with heavy lifting, using cleaning chemicals and generally working a maniac it makes for a very short lived mani...

I say all of this to convey that just because a nail product doesn't last forever on me, it doesn't exactly mean it won't on you. I'm just incredibly rough on my poor little nails.

Influenster sent me these last week and I took advantage of having a day off on Monday, so I decided to put these on Sunday afternoon. They're just SO. DARN. CUTE.


I'm just going to note right here that I think the packaging is adorable. Little nails in a package that looks like a bottle of nail polish?? I almost didn't want to open them for that reason! The carton claims that the product "lasts up to a week*" but I couldn't find where the explanation for the asterisk was. I could just be terribly blind (which is usually the case) but I also didn't think it was a ridiculously long claim either.


Inside the carton is the "bottle" as well as a prep pad, which I believe was just a wet towelette with isopropyl alcohol. It was nice to be included so I didn't have to go find my own to prep the nail (lazy? maybe). There are also 24 nails included in the bottle - 12 sizes with 2 of each size. I did not have a problem finding the right fit for each of my nails, and I have quite petite hands (we'll talk about this later...). Each nail has a very small number from 1-12 on the underside tip to make sure you have it's buddy on the opposite hand if needed.




Hundreds of cardboard boxes a week = please don't judge my cuticles. They need love...

The application of this product was actually quite easy. On the box it notes to save thumbs for last...this is important. What you do is you peel off the backing to uncover the adhesive that holds this glue free nail to your actual nail. The film backing is on there pretty snug, so it takes a little elbow grease - which is why the thumbs are important. Next, you press the middle of the nail down onto your nail firmly and then press the sides firmly on as well. Also, avoid water for 30 minutes to allow the adhesive to grip the nail completely.

I applied these Sunday afternoon and the first nail came off early Tuesday morning on my way to work. At work while processing shipment, I broke a remaining seven and pulled the last two off on my break because I looked plain silly. The last product I tried of the like was from Revlon and I had about the same wear time.

I really do like the way these look. They have an adorable design and a nice gloss to them. I also like the thickness to them - they looked about the thickness that acrylic nails normally do. These were also in the short length category, but since I'm simply not used to having long nails, they didn't seem all too short to me! You know how when you put socks on dogs and they walk funny? That's basically me faux nails.

The way I see it, if you have a special occasion or fare well with nail polishes and other nail products having a good lasting time, these are a good option. Especially for the special occasion part. I may pick up some of these the next time I have a job interview or function that requires me to actually deal with my nails. In the short time they stayed on me, they looked really cute! The brand also has a good selection of colors (which can be seen here) and I've seen these already at my local drugstores. 

Long story very short - they are a yes and a no for me. Yes, for a short term option that looks polished and chic, but no if you're expecting to have these on for a great deal of time.

Oh, and the "petite hands". Every single time I see this commercial, I think of myself...enjoy!



* NOTE - The product in this post has been provided to me free for review from Influenster. If you have any questions, visit my disclosure page*

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

February/March Favorites!

Since I was definitely out of sorts the whole month of February, not much liking of basically anything was happening during that time - plus, its a short month right? I decided to just combine the two and make a supermonth!

And apologies for not being able to think up a good name for said supermonth. Farch sounded...odd. Mebruary? Maybe?

These are the things I've been loving within the last two months!


(I'm from Florida...you'll have to deal with my citrus bowl in the background. I've been on a tangerine binge lately since I've been eating so healthy as of late. They're my go-to snack.)


In terms of eye products I've been rediscovering old flames and trying to create looks with them that I've yet to try, so I'm all over the place. As many of you know, I have quite oily lids, so primer on its own simply does not cut it for me - so a eyeshadow base is necessary for me. These are two somewhat new acquisitions; the MAC Prolongwear Paint Pot in Stormy Pink - which is a matte, pink-ish taupe that is the me-est me color that has ever existed, and the Maybelline LE Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment - which is again...a taupe, but the range really lacked that! I love this under Pewter from the Lorac Pro, MAC Satin Taupe, yadda yadda. I could go on for hours.


Although I've been trying to "shop my stash" this month to rediscover old flames, I was really enamored with new items, which make up three of the four in this group. I purchased MAC Viva Glam V in either late January or early February and it stayed in my purse for a majority of the time since. I get the hype on this one now. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Primrose - I feel like I underappreciated this shade when I initially purchased it. I bought this a couple years ago when I was initially getting into MAC lipsticks, so I was used to the huge amount of color they impart and this kinda wasn't doing it for me. I was recently swatching all of of my Super Lustrous Lipsticks for an upcoming post (hint, hint!) and I really just fell head over heels for this one. Its about time. I feel like no one else was as in love with this shade as I am, but I just really adore the L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire in Purple Prelude. We all know how I feel about purple lippies and this is a great addition to my collection because it's purple without being purple, if that makes any sense. It just goes so well with my skin tone and is very comfortable to wear. I have two other shades from the line as well. Last, but very much not least is the Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color in Violet Addict. I held off on this for so long because I have so many colors in the bright violet family and I thought this would be too similar. After I watched EmilyNoel83's video  about this line, I was sold. It's a lot more pink than the packaging lets on, but not so pink that its a fuchsia shade. Not to mention, it was super comfortable to wear and doesn't feather.


I've been a fan of the understated cheek color within the last month as well. I really enjoy the texture of the Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light Blush in Nude because it has such a fine glow to it. For a drugstore highlighter/blush, I expected this to be super chunky and awful but it is literally so great! I'm quite fair, so I wear this as a blush (while most find it too light) and just pack it on. I really wish Maybelline would extend their shade range for these! Something strange also happened earlier this year. I've owned bronzer's previous to this, but they've been a once in a while thing and I wasn't confident in them. Long story short, I was wearing Ruby Woo from MAC and I forgot to wear blush, so I tried this Victoria's Secret Baked Mineral Bronzing Powder in Glowing on just to put some life back into my face. It is the lightest shade in the range and has a moderate shimmer, but I wear this in place of a blush at least once a week and I adore it. Now, this next one is so old that it doesn't even have a label anymore. (props if you guessed it right though!) I've had a rekindling with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent and I'm revealing more and more pan each day. The last product in this group, Maybelline SuperStay 24HR Foundation in Classic Ivory is another rediscover. I adore the coverage of this one because it looks like skin and it covers my redness remarkably. However, the shade is ever so slightly a bit too dark for me. I can make it work, but it is definitely one of those that I have to apply in good lighting just to make sure. There is a shade coded as "light 20" whereas this is "light 30" but I'm not certain if it is lighter than this one or if it just has a pinker undertone than this one, which would defeat the purpose of neutralizing my skin a bit. I also don't know if this foundation is on it's way out because, to put it blatantly, the color selection of this one on the brand's website sucks!


There has been an effort made to do my nails so far this year, I swear. It seems useless at times, seeing as I have to open more cardboard boxes in a single day than some people do in an entire lifetime, cute manicures don't last too long for me. While I haven't been too on board with the textured nail trend, there are a couple that sneak in sometimes, and L'Oreal Too Dimensional? is one of them. The color is very unique, as it is a base of a nearly navy blue with silver shimmer and gold shimmer that peeks out every so often. It is very pretty. The next one is nearly impossible to capture true to color in photographs I was wearing Butter London Wallis not too long ago and tried to Instagram it to no avail. It's literally GORGEOUS.


As someone with oily skin, facial oils completely freak me out. I receive the Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil as a 100 point perk from Sephora and thought "what the heck, why not?". However, I tend to get patches of dry skin around the sides of my chin and occasionally right under my nose (I don't even know...) and this works as a great spot treatment for that. I don't use it everyday, but I don't have a need to either. I use it at night occasionally and by the morning the dry patches are gone and do not return for a good week or so or until I'm a little too harsh on my skin - which I've been known to do. The struggle of oily skin is real!


Thanks to this thing right here, I was able to go on an extra "Back2MAC" trip. I'd been wanting to depot my MAC blushes for some time now to save some space (minus my one and only special edition packaging one of course!) and I caved and got a Large Duo MAC Pro Palette. I don't understand the hype about the Z-Palettes now, because this was only $8. I now have this and two Single palettes, one for my MAC shadows and one for my Urban Decay shadows.


This is what it looks like open - I like the idea of the double sided for blushes because if I finagle it right, I may be able to fit 14 in here. And, although the MUA at MAC warned me about depotting blushes, I'm glad to report no issues! 


Usually during the early spring months, I find myself wearing Floral fragrances nearly exclusively. So far this spring has been different and I'm quite weirded out by it. The Jergen's BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream in Light wasn't something I initially was going to purchase because I have so many lotions already, but my mom has a light/medium skin tone and purchased this shade and found it did nothing for her skin. So she gave it to me and I fell in love with it! It's just a touch glowy and smells so nice and warm and sweet without being vanilla-y. This next fragrance is sadly discontinued, so I apologize, but I've worn it at least once a week for the past two months. Victoria's Secret Dream Angels Forever again, is a warmer fragrance and definitely nice for the winter months, but the thing about it is that it lasts FOREVER on my skin. I can spray this on at 5am and still smell it a bit over 12 hours later. That is some lasting power!

My goal for April, beauty wise, is to find some more products to rediscover - because it seems that I'm having luck with that so far! I'll have more for you guys in a few days!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's Here! Influenster UniVoxBox!

I'm telling you what; few things make me stalk the poor postman more than knowing I have a box from Influenster on the way. Since I received notification that I was picked for this round, I kept a close eye on both my mailbox and my inbox to make sure I didn't miss a thing.

I don't know how, but this box is was literally made with my needs in mind - not kidding! Check it out!



 VoxBoxes are like a mini Christmas morning for me! I avoid spoilers as to whats in the box like the plague!


First, we have the Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in Light Porcelain. Now, I've already purchased this and have been testing it, so if I end up really loving it then I won't have to repurchase as soon. I'm pleased to see that they sent me my exact shade thanks to their pre-survey!


This is the Red Rose Real Tea  Premium Water Enhancer. I may or may not be sippin' on this right now...and its actually really good! I'm definitely a tea snob, so I was a little iffy about the whole "water enhancer" aspect of this but I'm finding it quite enjoying. My favorite part about it is that it is only lightly sweetened, and there are only 5 calories per serving (which is great since I'm on quite a strict diet nowadays!). There are no dyes or coloring and a very short ingredients list. I like the sound of that! This also came with a $1 off coupon.


NYC is a brand that I've never really dabbled in. I've picked up a few pieces here or there, but I've never sought it out on purpose. From the swatch of this one, it actually has really good color payoff and doesn't have a fragrance to it. Not to mention, the color is right up my alley. This is part of the Expert Last Lip Color range and the shade is Forever Fuchsia. If I like this one, I might try out some more from the line.



I'm not all too sure how well I'm going to be able to keep track of this one to be honest. I lose pens like it's my job. I forget them in my hair, my car, at work, the grocery store - anywhere. I thought this one was cute though, as the color is inspired by Pantone's picks for the best colors of spring. The first time I wrote with it, it didn't take any warming up and wrote immediately. This also has a coupon for $1.50 for a 3, 4 or 5 pack of these.


Lets see how long these stay up to my job - I work in backroom stock, so its a lot of carrying things, opening boxes, etc. so you can imagine that my nails aren't always too great looking. The last press on nails I used were from a different brand and didn't last all too ridiculously long, so I'm hoping I'll have better luck with these. The design on their website is called Chic Mystique and it is the short length (thank goodness). They're definitely really cute for spring!


Okay, okay. I'm going to blog about tampons now - All I'm saying is...good timing! TMI alert! I've actually not tried Playtex in a very long time, so we'll see!

Allrighty then! I'm pretty excited about this box being one half makeup and the other half super useful. Expect to see in depth reviews for the makeup products and some updates on the others in the near future!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Begging the Obvious Question - Where Have I Been?

I would like to start this blog post by taking a moment to apologize for my sporadic posting schedule leading up to my complete absence recently. There were times where I would come back to writing and posting and promise over and over again "I'm back! Don't worry!" and fall off the grid again. Given the lack of consistency, I'm very thankful for my readers whom have stuck around during my absence as well as the new ones gained during said hiatus - Welcome! Its not always like this!

I figured due to a hefty mix of wanting my readers to understand why I fell off the radar for a while as well as a good amount of catharsis for myself, I would share what has been going on with me.

Before anyone begins to worry - nothing lifechanging or terrible happened, just my own personal problems I had to deal with.

If I'm going to give you the short story, its this; I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression - I have for the better part of 10 years now. It normally does not have drastic effects on my day to day life, but is more something I can live with.

This is where the story gets a little bit longer. The ending part of last year was actually quite positive for me, in hindsight, but the excitement of it was kind of lost in translation for me. It wasn't that I lacked the passion for things I normally enjoy, but rather I lacked the motivation. November through January became work, eat, sleep, repeat for me with little time on the things that I enjoyed outside of work. I felt like I was in a rut, and you know what? That's okay. Its normal and it happens to me every once in a while. I'm accustomed to that being part of my life.  February is when things started getting really difficult. Around the second or third week of February, I had a massive panic attack on a Wednesday morning out of the blue. No trigger, just woke up and could hardly get the words out to my mother (who has been my biggest supporter though this) that I thought I might be having one between hyperventilating. These giant panic attacks don't happen often - there will be years in between them sometimes - but they are a pain in the royal rear end to shake. Taking into account how much love and dedication I have to my job - I was out of work for a week. Better yet, I couldn't get myself out of bed for a week. When I have these "episodes" (as I refer to them), they throw my life for a loop. I couldn't sleep, but I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I lost five pounds in a week simply because I could not eat. It made normal tasks into mountains for me.

So I went back to my doctor, and we changed my medication. I'm very blessed to have a doctor who not only understands my condition, but has it herself! She doesn't make me feel like a crazy person, which was the fear that kept me away from getting my initial help until 2010 (when I had my first "episode" in 2005...)

How am I doing now? I would say if before November was a 10 (10 being my "normal")  and February being a 1, I'd probably be somewhere between 7 and 8. Almost back to my normal self. I've come to terms that this is something I may have to deal with for the length of my life, and I'm okay with it. We all have struggles and illnesses and what have you, and this one is is mine. I'm very blessed to be surrounded by such a great "support group" of my family and friends and doctor.

So this is a good enough time as any to say, I'm back! I wanted to wait until I felt that I could be consistent and I feel like I'm in that spot again. I have a lot of great new ideas too!

Again, I want to extend thanks to all of you for staying with me - it means the world to me.

I'm going to leave you with a song today. This was written and recorded by one of my nearest and dearest friends who is a very talented musician. Out of all of his songs, this one is my all time favorite and it really speaks to my heart, especially now, so I wanted to share it with you all. Have a wonderful night/day and you'll hear from me very soon!

Travis Mashburn - Faith (Demo)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Favorites!

I'm going to knock on wood here and say that my computer, as of last night, is finally fixed! I had a broken hinge that was messing with the connections to the monitor, so I couldn't see anything. Long story very short, I brought it to a computer repair shop that had good reviews in my area and they quoted me at nearly $500 dollars for the repair, and then never called me to bring my computer back in once they found the part. What?!

My dad is an incredibly talented mechanic...but I didn't know he (nor did he) that he could be a computer tech in his spare time. I woke up one morning and the entire machine was completely disassembled on the breakfast bar! After he had a week or so to order a part, I saw him tinkering with it again and by the time I got home from work last night, I had a shiny, clean and FIXED computer charging on the table. My dad is a total ROCKSTAR! I have to be gentle with the hinge and the wireless antenna isn't what it once was (which is a quick fix with a USB) but other than that, it's literally as good as new! What I was being quoted at $500 at, my dad was able to fix in $7...with shipping! I can't even believe it.

In the meantime, I was also able to find the charging issue with my camera, and it looks like I'll only need a cable that I was able to find for $5 on average on Amazon. The first few days of February have been a blessing in terms of technology, so I hope that's a sign for the rest of the year!

Now, onto what you're probably here for to begin with, my January Favorites. Because I didn't post a favorites post for December due to the 2013 roundup, I do have a few items that have been getting a lot of love since then - and some new in's from Christmas and my Birthday. Yay!


Eyes:


I'm going to be straightforward - all of these are new in's. There were lots of new discoveries for me in terms of eye makeup this month.

- Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Stash: Around my birthday in December, I received an e-mail from Urban Decay with a coupon for a free full sized 24/7 Liner in the color of my choice with any full priced purchase as a birthday gift. I chose another set of deluxe sample sized liners which had the shade I wear almost all the time (Zero) and one I've wanted for a long while (Rockstar), so after searching for swatches, Stash really stuck out to me. Its the perfect olive toned gold shade and actually works very well on the waterline!

- Clinique All About Shadow eyeshadow in Black Honey: I actually found this shade at a CCO when I was mall hopping with one of my best friends after she got home from Africa. I saved $5 on a permanently available eyeshadow and its gorgeous to boot. Its a reddish brown that is incredibly wearable, and makes my blue eyes stand out!

- Stila Kitten: One of my best friends bought this for me for Christmas after he and I were swatching it in Ulta. Between the amazing color payoff and the versatility of it, I've been wearing this at least 2-3 times a week. Not to mention, its a good sized pan!

- Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette: When Ulta released their Friends and Family coupon at the beginning of the month I went in without an itinerary...uh oh. I left with this and also got another $8 off thanks to my holiday shopping. I LOVE this palette. I definitely didn't need another neutral palette, but this one is a more colorful play on neutrals that makes it unique. And it smells like chocolate...c'mon.

- Urban Decay Naked 3: Yes, just like everyone else. This palette lives up to the hype, especially if you're looking for more office friendly neutral shades. 

- Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara: Every year, my mom leaves a mascara in mine and my sister's stockings - its a bit of a tradition. I'd never tried this one before, but my sister LOVES it so I was excited. I like the volume this one gives without a touch of clumpiness. 

Lips - 


- Revlon Violet Frenzy: I don't know why I haven't worn this all too much until recently. It has the perfect texture for a dark, yet somewhat sheer lipstick as it adheres to the lips well and doesn't wear off quickly. And its purple...you know.

- MAC Blankety: I featured this in my 2013 favorites, but it bears mentioning again. This is a lovely nude that doesn't wash me out.

- MAC Viva Glam 1 Lipglass: I adored the lipstick for this and bought the lipglass on a whim. It wears a lot longer than I anticipated and still has that brick red hue that the lipstick does!

- L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire in Purple Prelude: The gloss/balm/liquid lipstick hybrids have been all the rage as of late, and I'm super fond of the formula. This shade is a winner as well - its the perfect mix of pink and lilac and I couldn't have made a better shade for myself. I love it!

- H2o Plus Aqualibrium Lip Mender: Another stocking stuffer this year and a total gamechanger! My lips have never felt so incredible until I started using this. I apply this every day on my commute to work and wipe off the excess right before I put on my lipstick (in the parking lot...don't judge me.) and my lips feel wonderful thanks to it! If you wear lipstick on a daily basis, especially mattes, or just have dry lips, you NEED this.

Face:


- Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in Charmed: Revlon's cheek products are on the more expensive side of the drugstore, so I haven't hauled any of the other blushes and highlighters that are new for 2014, but I had a coupon and really like this formula, so this one happened! I like that its a mid toned berry, as it makes it a day to day blush but perfect for winter!

- The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Light Matte: Its very strange for me, but I've been purchasing a lot of bronzers lately. 9/10 I wear them just as I would a blush as I prefer a cooler toned contour. This shade is very light for a bronzer, but the perfect shade just to give me a bit of sun. And, most importantly, not the tiniest bit orange!

- Darling Girl Ramblin' Rose Spectral Shift: This shade is a dusty bone shade that has a very pretty and unique rosy red shift. I have nothing like it in my collection and it makes an awesome blush!

Fragrance:


- Vera Wang Lovestruck: This was a Christmas gift from my parents, and I don't know what I like more - the fragrance itself or the bottle! I've been very into florals lately and that's exactly what this is (along with the other two that I'll talk about in a moment!). This is a blend of Guava, Tuberose and Musk and smells like a floral with a bite. There's a unique quality about it that I can't put my finger on but it makes it so special!

- Michael Kors Gold Rose Edition: Another Christmas gift from my parents - I made out like a bandit this year! Another floral, this one features Tuberose (are we sensing a pattern here?), Gardenia and Pink Pepper. This one will last forever on the skin as well! And the bottle matches my watch. You know, the little things in life that make you smile..

- Michael by Michael Kors Rollerball and Gloss: This fits into two categories, as I love the pinky nude gloss with this as well! This was a Christmas Gift from my sister and is MK's signature fragrance. The notes in this one are Freesia, a very not shocking Tuberose and Vetiver. It feels so glamorous to wear!


Tools:

- Michael Kors Makeup bag: I'm loving me some MK lately! This was a birthday gift to me from my sister and it's been in my handbag ever since! Its the perfect size to hold my essentials, but not so huge that it takes over my bag.

- Sonia Kashuk Domed Powder Brush: This brush and the one following were part of the Lavish Luxe Brush Set that was released around Christmastime. I'm glad I picked this set up as there wasn't a brush I didn't like but there were a couple that definitely stood out to me. This brush is big enough to set my whole face without taking forever, but still rounded enough at the top for a less precise application of bronzer or blush. 

- Sonia Kashuk Pointed Blending Brush: I have not had a brush blend like this one does. Every time I use it to blend out the crease shade of my eyeshadow I'm impressed once again!

Thankfully, now that I'm part of the tech world once again I can finally get some content up on a regular basis again! I have quite a few photos taken already for upcoming posts so stick with me later this week. Thanks for your patience during my computer-pocolypse, guys!