Monday, December 16, 2013

GIVEAWAY -- Hobby Polish Bloggers' Winter Giveaway! $200 Grand Prize, Two $100 Runners Up!


Happy Monday, everyone! Well, if your Monday isn't happy yet, it's about to be! I'm back with another multi-blogger cash giveaway for you! This one is brought to you by the Hobby Polish Bloggers! And it will have THREE winners!

Grand prize is $200, and there are two Runner Up prizes for $100 each! That's so awesome! I wish I could win!

To enter, please allow the Rafflecopter widget to load below. All Terms and Conditions may also be found in the widget. Please visit the following Hobby Polish Bloggers members who are bringing this to you! You may enter using Rafflecopter from any of the below blogs but your entry will only count one time. You may, however, tweet about the giveaway (the last option) once a day for the duration of the giveaway.


Hobby Polish Bloggers

A far from perfect mom
Be Happy and Buy Polish
FashionFooting
I Feel Polished
Imperfectly Painted
Jen Likes Polish (and some other things)
KellieGonzo.com
Love. Varnish, chocolate and more...
Lucy's Stash
Lustrous Lacquer
MandysSecrets
manicure addict
Pamper with Polish
Polarbelle
polish insomniac
Polish Obsession
Polished and Glittered
PolishGalore
PolishNV
pretty tough nails
Refined & Polished
The Dalai Lama's Nails
The Mercurial Magpie
The Sparkling Hoard
TrailerHood Chic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 15, 2013

REVIEW -- #F030 Frames from Firmoo.com + A GIVEAWAY!!!


Image Source

Good morning, everyone! Today I wanted to share these super cute free eyeglasses that I received from Firmoo.com!

I had so much fun browsing through the site and looking at all the awesome frames that they have to choose from, and selecting your perfect pair is incredibly easy once you upload a picture of yourself to your Firmoo profile.. it automatically "tries on" all the pairs for you!

I instantly fell in love with Frame #F030 in Brown,Red. It's a trendy Wayfarer style frame, made out of clear pink "jelly" acetate on the top and a swirled (alomost tortoise shell) brown and clear acetate on the bottom half. They are super fun and I've gotten so many compliments on them every time I wear them!


The frames retail for $39 (what a steal!) and come free with standard 1.50 single vision lenses. You can upgrade to thinner lenses for lighter glasses, or add on additional protective coatings as well. My glasses shipped very quickly and arrived securely packaged with a hard case, a soft case, and a pale pink lens cloth for cleaning. I love that Firmoo includes both hard and soft cases for your glasses! You never know when you will need both!

Even better, if you're a first time buyer from Firmoo.com, you can get your first pair of glasses FREE!

I'm loving my new glasses! They're fun, and comfortable to wear. The only complaint I have is that they do get a little heavy after 10-12 hours of continuous wear, but that's because I have the standard 1.50 lenses instead of getting an upgrade to a thinner set of lenses like the website suggested that I do.

I love that Firmoo gives you a pair for free, and their regular prices are pretty amazing, too! If you wear glasses and like to change up your style frequently, you could totally get 3-4 pairs of really awesome glasses for the price of one pair at your optometrist! Plus, it's super easy to input your prescription, and they also have sunglasses, safety glasses (goggles), transition lenses and bifocals.

Firmoo.com and the #F030 frames get a 5 out of 5 star rating from me! No complaints here!


RATING: 5.0 out of 5 STARS

BUT WAIT.. THERE'S MORE!

Firmoo.com has graciously given me a $30 off promo code for one lucky MandysSecrets reader! It can be applied to their Classic Series frames.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:
  • Prize is for one (1) promo code for $30 off one pair of glasses from the Classic Series collection on Firmoo.com.
  • Prize will be fulfilled by Firmoo.com. Mandy McCullough is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
  • Must be 18 years of age, or have a parent or guardian's permission before entering.
  • Entries will be collected through the Rafflecopter widget below. Any entries that cannot be validated by Mandy McCullough will be deleted without warning or notification.
  • Giveaway will run from 12/15/2013 - 12/29/13.
  • Winner will be notified by the contact email they provide in their Rafflecopter entry. They will have 48 hours from the notification email being sent to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within 48 hours, it will be forfeited and another winner will be selected.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

REVIEW -- Surya Brasil Sapien Women Collection



Good morning, everyone! Today I have a review of Surya Brasil's new Sapien Women bath collection. If you remember, I did a review of their lip balms back in January and loved them! Here are my thoughts on these new products...
After describing the scent which all of the products share, I'm just going to take the products one by one and tell you about them individually. I think that will be easiest!

The scent is a very light, pleasant orange creamsicle scent. If you're familiar with an Orange Julius, the products smell almost identical to that!

SHOWER GEL
  • Eco-friendly and Vegan.
  • Natural and rich in Amazonian ingredients like:
    • Pracaxi Oil
    • Aloe Vera juice
    • Cocount & Mango Essential Oils
    • Amaranth Protein, and
    • Vitamin E
  • Free of BHT, EDTA, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Synthetic Fragrances.
  • 98.8% of the total ingredients are of natural origin and 12.09% are from organic farming.
  • 10.14 fl oz / 300ml, retails for $21.50.
I found the Shower Gel to have a nice lather, and it left my skin feeling clean and soft. I also used it for bubble bath and it gave a decent amount of light bubbles, but they didn't last very long.

BODY SCRUB
  • Made with organic Amazonian ingredients:
    • Coconut bark and Organic Buriti are 100% natural exfoliants.
    • Amazonian White Clay enhances the exfoliation power.
    • A high concentration of organic Aloe Vera juice provides intense hydration.
    • Also contains Coconut & Mango Essential Oils.
  • Free of BHT, EDTA, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Synthetic Fragrances.
  • 98.80% of the total ingredients are from natural origins, and 23.27% are from organic farming.
  • 10.14 fl oz / 300 ml, retails for $28.50.
The body scrub is very gentle, and I tend to like a grittier scrub. It still left my skin feeling smooth and polished, but I wish it was a little coarser. 

SHAVE GEL

  • Eco-friendly and Vegan.
  • Contains exotic organic Amazonian ingredients like:
    • Cupuaçu Butter
    • Pracaxi Oil
    • Macadamia Oil
    • Vitamin E
    • Coconut & Mango Essential Oils
    • Organic Aloe Vera juice, and
    • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Free from BHT, EDTA, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Synthetic Fragrances.
  • 98.80% of the total ingredients are of natural origins, and 13.62% are from organic farming.
  • 6.76 fl oz / 200 ml, retails for $17.
The Shave Gel was the absolute standout of this collection for me! It gives the closest shave EVER and leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth! It's similar to using conditioner to shave with, except this rinses out of my razor cleanly and doesn't gunk up in it or leave buildup or a weird residue behind.

BODY MOISTURIZER
  • Eco-friendly and Vegan.
  • Contains Organic Amazonian ingredients:
    • Cupuaçu and Murumuru Butters
    • Pracaxi and Açai Oils
    • Amaranth Protein
    • Vitamin E
    • Aloe Vera juice, and
    • Coconut & Mango Essential Oils
  • Free from BHT, EDTA, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Synthetic Fragrances.
  • 98.88% of the total ingredients are from natural origins, and 18.88% are from organic farming.
  • 6.76 fl oz / 200 ml, retails for $23.50.
The Body Moisturizer provides a light, non-greasy layer of moisture that absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. 

FACIAL SCRUB
  • Made with Organic Amazonian ingredients:
    • Coconut Bark and Organic Buriti are 100% natural exfoliants which remove dead skin cells and impurities.
    • Coconut & Mango Essential Oils.
  • No Ethyl Alcohol, Sulfates, or Silicone.
  • Free from BHT, EDTA, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Synthetic Fragrances.
  • 98.88% of the total ingredients are of natural origins, and 13.34% are from organic farming.
  • 3.38 fl oz / 100 ml, retails for $16.99.
The Facial Scrub has a very similar consistency to the Body Scrub. It's very gentle, and I wanted it to be a bit more coarse. However, if you have very sensitive or delicate skin, I think the gentleness of this scrub would be a perfect match for you. I did notice that it made my face extremely oily the morning after each use, but I did not have an increase in breakouts while testing it.
I think the Surya Brasil Sapien Women Collection is a great line if you're interested in using natural, vegan, and eco-friendly products. The quality is good, but there were some I enjoyed more than others. The Sapien Women line is available for purchase at the Surya Brasil website. Overall, I'm giving the collection 3.5 out of 5 stars!


RATING: 3.5 out of 5 STARS

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

REVIEW -- Beauty Junkees Flaweless Beauté Makeup Applicators



Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Beauty Junkees makeup application sponges. I've gone through phases where I've used those cheap-o wedge cosmetic sponges to apply my foundation, or flat foundation brushes, or my fingers (depending on my level of laziness), but I've never used shaped sponges before!

I love the bright, fun colors that these come in, and each shape does something different:

PURPLE PEAR: Hourglass figure helps for a better grip and is used primarily on wider areas of the face.
PINK TEARDROP: Base is best used for wide areas of the face such as cheeks, forehead, and jawline. Pointed tip is handy for use around the nose, eyes, and lips.
BLUE SCULPTOR: Wet or dry sponge whose flat surface helps to finish a look by blending areas of contouring or the overall look by using all over the face.
GREEN SPADE: Dual uses for the makeup perfectionist. Use where you are wanting exact application OR use it as an eraser to fix mistakes.

Each sponge is latex free, non-allergenic, Vitamin E infused, washable and reusable, and works with cream, liquid, powder, and mineral foundation.

I also love that I was sent instructions on how to use and clean my sponges, and tips on what each sponge is used for. Because let's be real, I don't always have the best critical thinking skills. I would probably have been looking at the sponges like "What do I do with these?"
Before using my sponges, I cleaned all of them as the instructions suggested. I used my ELF brush shampoo, but you can also use baby shampoo, hand soap, or olive oil. The instructions also suggest to wet your sponges prior to use, and to clean them after time.

I tried applying my makeup two ways with the sponges: by using the sponge to apply and blend the liquid foundation and then by using my fingers to apply my foundation and blending it with the sponges. I found that the second way gave me an easier, more flawless application.

I generally use the pink or purple sponges for the wider areas of my face, and the green one for smaller areas around my eyes and nose. Then I use the flat edge of the blue sponge is to apply setting powder after my foundation is done. (I don't wet the blue sponge to apply powder, but I do wet the other 3.)

I always wash my hands after I apply my makeup, so I give my sponges a quick wash as well and leave them out on our bathroom counter to dry. The instructions were very clear not to seal your sponges in any bag or container to prevent them from growing mold or mildew.
How do I love these makeup sponges? Let me count the ways:
  • PRICE: At $12.97 for the entire set, you're getting 4 sponges for about the cost of ONE sponge in another brand.
  • VALUE: The foam density of these sponges doesn't soak up excess product like less expensive cosmetic wedges, saving you both product and money when it comes to foundation. And if you use expensive foundation, this is even more important!
  • EASE OF APPLICATION: Even if you feel you're not the most "application savvy" person out there, the Beauty Junkees sponges are essentially goof proof and give you a flawless application every time.

Ok, so three ways. But those are three seriously AWESOME ways and it's enough to seal the deal and ensure the Beauty Junkees Flaweless Beauté Makeup Applicators a PERFECT RATING in my book!

RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS


Have you tried the Beauty Junkees makeup sponges before? If not, what do you use to apply your foundation? Let me know in the comments! :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

BIRCHBOX -- November 2013



Hey everyone! Thankfully Birchbox has redeemed itself after last month. And I'm actually getting my November box posted in.. you know, November. Look at us. Winning all around!

Here's what I got:

ALOXXI ColourCare Volumizing & Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner | $22, $23 -- The shampoo is free of sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride. Both are cruelty-free and supposed to help prevent breakage. They smell similar to Pantene.

COLOR CLUB Baldwin Blues | $8 -- A dusty cerulean blue, Baldwin Blues is the perfect fall-to-winter transitional shade. My fellow MABB member, Brittney from BellBelleBella was kind enough to let me share her swatch with you:


CHELLA Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil | $18 -- I originally got one of these in one of my first Ipsy bags. It's a good pencil, but I don't know about it doing "10 different things." I use it on my bottom water line to keep my eyes looking bright and alert.

FATTY SUNDAYS Chocolate Covered Pretzel (Lifestyle Extra) | Pack of 5, $6.95 -- I got the Toffee Crunch sample and it was okay. Could have used more toffee flavor, even though it was completely coated in the stuff. I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase them.

This month's box also included a holiday pamphlet. I haven't looked through it, and I'd have rather had an extra item than the book, but I'm sure some people enjoyed it.



Like I said, better than last month. However, I'd rather have gotten a new item versus one I've already gotten from Ipsy (I know that's the chance I take with subscribing to both, but it's still kinda disappointing) and maybe another item than the holiday book. All in all, not a bad box though!


RATING 3.5 out of 5 STARS