Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cult Nails Haul

I was so excited to buy my first Cult Nails polishes during their last $5 sale where you could choose 3 polishes from a certain selection for $5 each.  I have also been eyeing Seduction for some time so I added that to my order, too.
 I love the little polish burritos!
Iconic, Living Water, Let Me Fly, Seduction

This photo really shows off all of the colors in Seduction. You can click the image to enlarge it. I love it!

I can't wait to try these! 
Have you tried any Cult Nails polishes? 
What is your favorite?

Want to try them? Go to CultNails.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rite Aid Clearance Haul: Revlon Mascara and Eye Shadow Swatches

You can click the photo to enlarge and read the color names.  The matte on the bottom left that is not labeled is Aubergine.

 With the exception of Wet N' Wild, I really don't buy a lot of drugstore eyeshadows. It has been a long time (I'm talking years) since I have purchased a Revlon eye shadow, so when I saw these on clearance for $1.32, I bought one of each shade available! I was excited to swatch them.
Aubergine - a matte dusty purple.   For a matte, it was very creamy and easily blended.

Violet Starlet - a pinky purple with silver pink and blue glitter.  This has the same glitter as Black Galaxy below.  It was creamy and blended easily. I think it will be lovely paired with Aubergine above.
Polished Bronze - a shimmery, golden bronze. Hello Lover! This is my favorite of the bunch! I love colors like this year round, but especially in the Summer.  I think Polished Bronze & Rich Sable (below) are going to be best friends this Summer :) It is very pigmented and was also the creamiest of the bunch.

Rich Sable - a matte brown. It looks a little chalky in my finger swatch, but it feels soft and creamy.  It is not very pigmented and applies much lighter than it looks in the pan, but I still liked it.  I will surely get a lot of use out of this one!

Black Galaxy - a charcoal gray with silver, blue and pink glitter.  This one was nicely pigmented and easily blended.
I couldn't resist trying out a new mascara for $2.24! Although, if I like it I won't be able to repurchase it.  I am pretty picky about my mascara so I just picked up one, but there were a few left.  The wand looks really cool. You turn a dial on the wand to change the way the bristles are configured to achieve different looks.  My Buxom mascara is almost finished and I think this little baby just jumped to the front of the line in my backup mascara basket :)

Have you seen these on clearance in Rite Aid?
Are you now going on a hunt for any of these?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Magnetic Mondays: Julep Kylie Magnetic Nail Polish Swatches

I liked my first magnetic polish so much that I bought a bunch more!  So, I thought I would post a new series, Magnetic Mondays to share them with you.

Kylie is a beautiful plum purple magnetic polish. I got Kylie in my May American Beauty Julep Maven Box. Click Here to see my post that shows everything I got in my May Maven Box.


This polish was a dream to apply and only needed one coat.  I messed up a couple nails with the magnet so two nails ended up with two coats.


I have only tried one other magnetic polish, so I only have Nails Inc Trafalgar Square to compare it to.  Trafalgar Square had a much stronger magnetic effect than Kylie, but I'm not sure if that is because of the magnet or the polish.  Want to see a magnet comparison post? I do, so I will try to do one soon :)  The magnet wand that came with this polish (pictured below) does not have a lip to rest on your finger, but I still found it pretty easy to use.  


This lovely polish lasted for 3 days on my nails with only minimal tip wear!  I took it off on day 3 because I wanted a color change, but I think this could easily wear for 5+ days.

Right now you can join the Julep Maven monthly subscription program for 1¢!  If you want to try the Julep Maven Box they are offering a promotion where first time members can get their first box for only 1¢! Click Here and enter COLORS4ONE at checkout.

What do you think about the magnetic polish trend?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May Bye Bye Loves: Makeup and Fragrance


Bare Minerals - Blemish Therapy - .03 oz. $18 bareescentuals.com
I LOVE this product!  It is now in new (smaller) packaging at a lower price, listed above.  It comes with a mini concealer brush which is helpful so you are not using your other face brushes on your blemish.  I experience occasional breakouts and while this is not a miracle overnight fix, it does help to make your blemishes go away quickly.  Most importantly, it does it gently! Most products I have tried for breakouts are so harsh and leave dry patches where the blemish was afterwards. This heals the problem area and conceals it at the same time.  When I get a breakout I just use this and nothing else; it conceals every bit of redness. I love, love, love it and will always repurchase it.  In fact, I already have :)

Rite Aid Renewal - Gentle Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes - 10 pack Rite Aid
I bought this 10 pack for a trip I went on last month and I really enjoyed them!  The towelettes are thick and textured. One towelette removes all of my makeup and it doesn't leave a tacky residue behind.  I have other makeup removing wipes that I am trying now, but I have a feeling that I will pick these up again.

Philosophy - Falling in Love Perfumed Body Spritz - 8 fl. oz. $25 qvc.com
I love all of Philosophy's fragrances, but Falling in Love is my all time favorite!  It was the first fragrance I ever tried by Philosophy (almost 10 years ago) and I instantly fell in love.  I would have to say that it is my favorite fragrance, period! I have gone through quite a few bottles of the Spray Fragrance over the years and I continue to repurchase it.  It is sweet, but fresh smelling at the same time.  If you have not tried it, you must!  This is the first Body Spritz that I have tried and it smells just like the Spray Fragrance, it just doesn't last as long.  I usually keep this one in my car or purse to reapply throughout the day.  It is great for travel because it is in a plastic bottle.  The only thing I didn't like was that I couldn't use it all.  There still is a bit left in the bottom that I can't spray out. I will definitely be repurchasing this one, though :)

Bath and Body Works - Dancing Waters Body Splash - 8 fl. oz. $12.00 bathandbodyworks.com
I really loved this fragrance! So fresh and clean with a hint of citrus. A perfect everyday scent.  I also liked using it throughout the day because this scent did not compete or clash with any other fragrance I was wearing. The hand soaps are still available online, but it looks like the Dancing Waters body care has been discontinued. I would definitely repurchase.  Maybe I will find it during their semi-annual sale next month.

CVS - Strengthening Nail Polish Remover - 10 fl oz CVS
This was fine.  Not amazing, not awful... its polish remover.  Does anyone "love" their polish remover? I would repurchase, but there isn't a CVS within my typical travels these days, so now I am trying one from Rite Aid.

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May Bye Bye Loves: Bath and Body Products

photo from Lush.com
Lush - Pop in the Bath Bubble Bar - 3.5oz. $6.95 Lush.com
I got 4 super bubbly baths out of this bubble bar.  I should have taken a photo before using it because there is no packaging! So, sorry for the stock photo above :) If you are new to Lush and bubble bars, you just crumble a bit of it under running water. It smells like bergamot, lemon and mandarin and it makes a crazy amount of bubbles.  It is also moisturizing.  My skin feels so soft after using this bubble bar.  Pop in the Bath is one of my favorites and I will definitely repurchase.


Bath and Body Works - Very Merry Cranberry Bubble Bath - 12 fl oz  $10.50 Holiday Collection bathandbodyworks.com
Yup, another embarrassingly old product from Bath & Body Works! But, now it is gone!  I really liked this bubble bath. My boyfriend did, too. He never recognized the fragrance but always asked what it was after I used it, lol. I answered "Very Merry Cranberry" so many times that by the end of the bottle I would finally say "What do you think it is!?!"  It had a nice, sweet, crisp cranberry scent and made lots and lots of bubbles.  I just may pick up another if they release it again this winter, which they probably will :)


Bath and Body Works - Vanilla Bean Noel Body Lotion - bathandbodyworks.com
I forgot to include this one in last month's Bye Bye Loves.  This is a staple body lotion for me in the colder weather months.  Something about the sweet, sugar cookie like smell is just so warm and cozy!  I buy a new one (or two) every Holiday so I am never without it.  I will occasionally use it in the Spring & Summer, but I always use it in the Fall & Winter and whenever I do, I get compliments on the fragrance.


Elariia - Rain Body Cream with Aloe Vera and Mint - 7oz  $24.50 HSN.com no longer available
I'm sad that this one is now discontinued! The scent is amazing.  It is fresh and clean with a green note that smells a bit like fresh cut grass.  It feels really moisturizing but it is still easily absorbed and does not leave that sticky feeling on my skin that some heavier creams do.  I would repurchase this if it was still available.  I guess I will have to try some of the other fragrances that Elariia offers in this body cream.


Le Couvent des Minimes - Honey & Shea Repairing Hand Cream - 1.7oz $14 drugstore.com
This is my all time favorite hand cream! I bought an embarrassing amount of these when they were discontinued at Bath and Body Works, but I am so glad I did!  I got an mazing deal on them, but I will certainly pay full price for them at drugstore.com when I run out. I'm just so glad that they are still available somewhere!  I LOVE the honey fragrance and the cream is so thick and moisturizing.  I shudder to think what my hands would look like without this cream.


Le Couvent des Minimes - Gardener's Hand Healer - 2.6oz $18 drugstore.com
This hand cream feels the same to me as the Honey & Shea Repairing Hand Cream, just with a different scent.  This one has a crisp, lemon and verbena scent.  I like this fresh fragrance for the Spring and Summer when I just so happen to do a lot of gardening :)  I highly recommend checking out this hand cream when your hands are in need of some extra help.  It is a few dollars more than the Honey Cream, but the tube is larger so it is a better value.  I will certainly be repurchasing this one, too.


Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Milani Mr. Sandman and Sephora by OPI Don't Be Eggnog-ious Swatches

I won this Milani Mr. Sandman polish (and six others) in a Giveaway from Nails by Diana.  Click Here to see my Giveaway Haul post.


I really liked the color, but it has a frost finish so there were visible brush strokes and it showed every imperfection in my nail bed and right now there are quite a few!  When my nails are in better shape I may try to wear this again alone. But, for now I needed to add something...


So, I pulled out Sephora by OPI's Don't Be Eggnog-ious, a copper glitter in a clear base.


I love how firey it looks in this light.  I ended up really loving this combo.  Don't be Eggnog-ious disguised all of the flaws that Mr. Sandman amplified on my nails. It wore nicely for 3 days before I ruined it gardening :)

What do you think of this combo?
Have you tried either of these polishes?


Monday, May 21, 2012

May Gossip Girl Birchbox Review


The May 2012 Birchbox has a Gossip Girl theme.


I have never seen the show, but I was still excited for the "glamourous, high end, trendy" theme.


And, it was packaged adorably as always :)


Here is everything I got in this month's Birchbox

Dr. Jart+: Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF25+ - .06 fl. oz.- First of all, the size was really disappointing! The tube looks like a nice size, but it only has .06 fl. oz. inside it!  It only lasted for 2 uses.  This bb cream applied smoothly and blended easily into my skin.  It had a very natural finish and it really improved the look of the texture of my skin and even minimized the appearance of my pores.  I just wish it provided better coverage.  It claims to be a "four-in-one moisturizer, serum, sunscreen and skin perfecting tint" so there is "no need for foundation or cover-up."  It is so sheer and provides very little coverage. It is buildable, but to get any kind of real coverage you have to really pack it on and then there is a bit of a white cast to your skin, not pretty.  It really can not replace a tinted moisturizer or foundation. When I used it I had to use a concealer or another foundation on top of it before being seen in public.  So, no... not going to purchase this one.- Full Size 1.7 fl. oz. $32
Color Club: Nail Polish - Disco Nap - .25 fl. oz. - This is actually my very first nail polish from Color Club.  Disco Nap is gold with a metallic finish. One careful coat provided complete coverage.  It does dry quickly so you really can't go over a spot you already painted without dragging if you don't work quickly. I love a great one coat polish and this gold color is nice and will look even better with my skin tone once I get a bit of a tan. I might use it more as a full mani in the Summer, but I think I will reach for it most often for an accent nail as I did HERE. I won't get the full size of this color because I am sure it will take me a long time to get through this one, but I am definitely going to check out more polishes from Color Club! - Full Size .5 fl. oz. $8
Stila: Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - Curacao -  1.7 ml - A full size Stila eyeliner! Wahoo for Birchbox!  When I saw that the Curacao eyeliner was blue and sparkly I was a little scared but it is really beautiful!  It is a very unique shade of blue and a bit sheer so it is really nice layered over other liners.  The sparkles are blue, silver and pink giving the liner a periwinkle blue/purple color from a distance.  I'm not so sure that the sheer nature of this liner will translate as well in the brown and black shades that are offered, but this blue shade is really beautiful. I should also mention that I am not a liquid eyeliner girl and I found this one really easy to use and it lasted  a good 12 hours (when I took it off) without smudging or flaking. - Full Size 1.7 ml $22
Natural Light Cloudy Day
Artificial Light with Flash
Kerastase: Cristalliste - Lumiere Liquid - 3 ml - I didn't want to love this, but I do!  I use mostly drugstore hair care, with a few exceptions.  For added shine, I really like Fekkai's Glossing Cream, but this is even better!  This made my hair look so smooth and shiny but it didn't make it look oily or weigh it down at all. I get a similar result from the Fekkai Glossing Cream, but the application with the Kerastase Lumiere Liquid is so much better! You put a dime size amount in your hands and run it through dry or towel dried hair, avoiding your roots and focusing on your ends.  You apply the Fekkai the same way, but it leaves your hands feeling very tacky and it is easy to apply too much in one area, creating an oily look.  The Kerastase felt silky on my hands and applied smoothly with no patchy, oily spots.  Its a big price jump from the Fekkai ($25) to the Kerastase, but I think it is worth it for the ease of application.  When I run out of my Fekkai I think I'm converting :) - Full Size 50 ml $42

Extras...
Kerastase: Cristalliste - Bain Cristal - 10 ml - Full Size 250 ml $36
Kerastase: Cristalliste - Lait Cristal -  10 ml - Full Size 200 ml $38
These were one time use sample packettes.  The shampoo and conditioner were really nice, I'm just not sure they are worth the price tag, for me.  I usually do not splurge on hair care.  I went through a Fekkai phase and I've been debating my first Ojon purchase, but I usually shop at the drugstore for my hair care.  After using these my hair was soft and had a bit more body than usual.  I shampoo & condition every other day and the best part about this duo is that my roots did not look or feel at all oily on the end of the second day.  This duo is really nice, I just don't know that I saw enough of a difference to justify a $74 purchase.


Notecard - 1 note card - So I guess XOXO is a Gossip Girl thing... I have never seen the show, but XOXO is pretty universal.  I was just disappointed in the quality.  The card stock was light weight, not the quality of stationary I usually use. I still may have used it for a quick note but the blank side of the card is mostly white and had black smudge marks. I would have rather had nothing that something cheap and damaged that I will throw away. These are "sold out" on the website. I'm not sure who would pay $10 for 12 of these. - Full Size set of 12 $10
Trivia Sweepstakes - There was also a card for a Trivia Sweepstakes on Facebook to coincide with the finale of Gossip Girl with the chance to win a $500 Birchbox shopping spree. It is a great prize and I would totally enter if I followed the show so this is nice for all of you Gossip Girl fans out there!

This is only my second Birchbox and I am very happy I joined. 
I loved everything in my box last month. Click here to see my review of last month's box.  This month there was nothing that I didn't like and it had some real stand outs like the Color Club polish, Stila Eyeliner and Kerastase Lumiere Liquid.

Do you subsribe to Birchbox? What did you get this month?
Have you tried any of these products?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Samples: Julep Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub

 I got a 1oz. sample size of Julep's Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub in my May Cinco De Mayo Surprise Box.

So, Julep says...
Julep Facial for Hands is based on our very popular Julep Girlfriend’s Glycolic Manicure.  Potent glycolic acid combined with apricot seeds provides powerful double exfoliation that leaves your hands feeling noticeably softer and looking younger after just one use.  Naturally scented with orange oil for a refreshing aromatherapy boost with each use.

The Girlfriend’s Glycolic Manicure is $58 in our parlors – but just one at-home tube provides over 30 uses.  And as our Parlor Members know, commitment to a glycolic regimen produces more dramatic results.  This product is perfect for anyone battling dry, dull skin, age spots and fine lines on your hands. 

The full size is $32 or $25.60 for Julep Mavens... but the website does not specify the size of the tube.


You apply a dime size amount to damp hands and scrub, scrub, scrub.  The orange scent is faint, but nice.  I really like that the glycolic acid is providing a chemical exfoliation while the apricot seeds exfoliate manually.  It has just the right amount of scrubby apricot seeds.  You can really feel it working, but it doesn't feel harsh or scratchy.  The bottle says it is gentle enough to use every time you wash your hands... That is a bit excessive.  I think my hand would greatly benefit from using this once a day.  After using this scrub my hands feel softer and smoother and my hand cream really sinks right into my skin.

So, to buy or not to buy?  It depends on the size I guess.  $25.60 could be a lot for a scrub depending on how much you are getting and I was disappointed that the website does not say how many ounces the tube holds.  But, I do really like it so I may just splurge on it and find out myself :)

Has anyone tried this scrub? Do you know how big it is?




Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wedding Weekly: Flower Girl (Nail Challenge Week 5)

My flower girl dropped fuchsia rose petals as she walked down the aisle.  I decided to make a jelly sandwich, inspired by the rose petals on the ground. 

 1 coat each 
Jesse's Girl - Stiletto
Icing - Party Confetti
OPI - My Pointe Exactly
I really like how it turned out!  My plan was to use a true gray as a base to represent the stone pavers that the petal were scattered on, but it turns out I don't have one! Huh, I guess I have to add that to my shopping list :)  All my grays (including stiletto) are a bit purple, which ended up working well with this mani because there were purple hex glitters hiding in Icing's Party Confetti!  They are more obvious in the bottle shot below because of the flash, but in person I really didn't notice them in the bottle.  I only ended up with 3 of the purple glitters on each hand which you can see in the photo above.
I don't have a good photo of the rose petals, but here are a few of my flower girl, my adorable niece.




I hope you are enjoying these Wedding Weekly Challenges created by Pink By Stephanie!  I know I am!  It is fun to share more personal photos with you. You can still join in!



 Rules
- Link to your blog all the participants
- Be creative (You can use any technique) 
- Post the image of inspiration for all of us to see!  
- Share a little story about your day (optional) 
- Most importantly HAVE FUN WITH IT! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

May Glam Bag - My First Order From My Glam

I have heard mixed reviews about the Glam Bag monthly subscription service from MyGlam.com.  But, I thought for $10 a month I would give it a try for myself.


This is everything that was included in my May Glam Bag.


It arrived in a hot pink, metallic bubble mailer. (I often wonder what my mail man must think of me, lol)


Inside the bubble mailer was a card and the bag for this month with all the goodies inside it. If you are unfamiliar with the Glam Bag subscription, you receive a cosmetic bag with your samples every month.  I love organizing and separating things in my purse and I thought this was a great idea.  The bag is cute.  Its nothing fancy but I will definitely put it to good use :)  I think I will keep it in my purse to keep all my lip products together. But, if you subscribe to this service for a long time you are going to end up with a lot of bags!



This is the card that lists the samples included in the bag. So it looks like the 2 brushes count as the 4th deluxe sample... I guess I just don't understand including brushes in a $10 sample box at all. People that are going to sign up to monthly beauty boxes like Glam Bag are obviously into makeup and already have makeup brushes and probably of better quality than these.  The quality of the brushes is about that of a drugstore brand. They are ok; I will use them, I just would have preferred getting something else.  This is the last month they are sending out the brushes so hopefully next month will be better.

Studio Gear Complete Color Lipstick in Cinnabar: Full Size $15 Studiogearcosmetics.com  I was a little intimidated by this dark, vampy color, but it is a bit lighter when applied.  Still, this is the May bag and I certainly will not be using this lipstick anytime soon.  Even in the Fall and Winter, I rarely wear such a dark shade.  I am not sure why a lighter, trendier, more universally flattering color wasn't chosen for this Glam Bag.  The formula was nice.  It went on smoothly and had a shiny finish that you can see in the swatch below.  The color of the swatch below looks lighter than it does in person, though.

Miss Beauty Nail Bling. These look really fun!  I don't think I could pull it off as a full mani but I can't wait to try them as accents!  Maybe on a pedi? We'll see :)

I have yet to meet a Philosophy product that I didn't like.  And more than anything, I love the Philosophy fragrances. That is the only reason that I am giving this Glam Bag a free pass for trying to   pass off a perfume vial sample card (that doesn't even spray) as one of 4 "deluxe samples."


Overall, I am satisfied with my first Glam Bag. It is about what I was expecting based on the review I have read on several blogs.  I love the Philosophy fragrance, but I probably didn't have to try it to know that I would.  I am sure that I will get a few uses from the lipstick & brushes, but I would have certainly preferred getting something else that made more sense in this bag. I am excited to try the Nail Bling, although I don't know where it is sold?!  On MyGlam.com you can click on the products that were in your bag to see where you can buy them and the Nail Bling was missing that info.

If I am comparing the Glam Bag to Birchbox, Birchbox wins hands down.  Birchbox lets you review products and rewards you points for reviewing them.  They also give you points for your purchases.  Every 100 points you earn = $10 that you can use toward purchases on their site.  Glam Bag does not even sell the products on their site, MyGlam.com. For the same price you are getting more samples and better quality samples with Birchbox.  Glam Bag has potential, though. I really like that Glam Bag is more focused on makeup products.  I just think that they need to include makeup samples that will appeal to a wider audience.  If they do, I would keep my subscription to both services.  As of now though, I am on the fence about Glam Bag.  I will give them a couple more months.

What do you think of the Glam Bag?
Do you or have you tried their subscription service?