Monday, April 30, 2012

REVIEW -- Veet Ready-To-Use Wax Strips

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Veet's Ready-To-Use Wax Strips. Now let me preface this post by saying that I have never had success with at home hair removals: Nair, waxes, etc. Besides shaving and occasionally waxing my eyebrows, I leave all hair removal to the professionals. With that being said.. let's see how the strips fared!

The Veet wax strips are for legs and body, including underarms and the bikini area. They have a sensitive formula, and are made with almond oil. In addition, they also contain new HairCoating Technology, which makes the wax act like a liquid during application and coats hairs of different lengths (even those as short as 2mm). When you remove the strip, the wax locks onto the hair for "perfect results that last." In fact, the packaging says that Veet can give you smoothness that lasts up to four weeks.

The strips come in a box containing 20 full size, dual use strips (40 total), 6 Perfect Finish Wipes, and an instructional leaflet. It retails for around $10.

There are just 5 steps to long lasting smoothness:
  1. Rub the wax strips between your hands to warm the wax.
  2. Slowly pull the strips apart.
  3. Apply the strips (toward the ankle, if using them on the legs) and rub repeatedly in the direction of the hair growth.
  4. Pull the strip back on itself very quickly and in 1 swift motion, keeping the strip as close to the skin as possible. Hold your skin taut to avoid discomfort.
  5. After waxing, remove any excess wax with a Perfect Finishing Wipes.
Even though I've had bad luck with at-home waxes, I didn't think twice about heading to the bathroom to try my hand at tidying up my bikini line. Hey, it's less commitment than trying to wax my legs, after all!

The pamphlet in the box suggests cutting the strips in half for use along the bikini line, and you're supposed to bend your leg outwards and pull the skin taut. I cut the strips in half width-wise, but they were still too big and cumbersome for the area. Then I rubbed the strip between my hands to warm it up and applied it in the direction of my hair growth and rubbed again. Using the classic "3, 2, 1.. RIP!" method, I ripped that sucker off with no fear.. but ended up with a lot of pain. Ahhhh, it was like fire near my crotch! No bueno!

It removed some hair, but definitely not all.. so I cut the remaining side of the strip in half (now 1/4 of the original size) and applied it to the area and tried again.. I had a few more hairs come off, but I also lost some skin along the way. Red, bloody, cursing, and covered in leftover wax.. I opened the Perfect Finishing Wipes expecting something nice and cooling. No, it's like a handiwipe that's been saturated with baby oil. And it doesn't do so well at removing the excess wax. I had to scrub my raw and bleeding skin to try to remove it and it took several minutes before I succeeded.

I think y'all know where this is heading.. I officially hate this product. I'm ashamed that I got my hopes up in thinking that it would actually work for me when (many) other equally painful past experiences told me it probably wouldn't. And there's no way in hell that I'm going to try it anywhere else on my body to see if it works any better.

If you have success with at home waxes, I say give this one a try. However, if you have very coarse and stubborn body hair, like me.. You might want to pass it by. I think it has potential, but anything that makes me lose skin near my lady parts gets a 0-star rating in my book.

Lesson learned.. I'm definitely leaving certain hair removal procedures to the experts from now on. >_<
RATING: 0 out of 5 STARS

I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout Influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.

Please see my Disclosure & Policies page for more information.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

REVIEW -- Güd Vanilla Flame Body Mist

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Burt's Bees new Güd Vanilla Flame Body Mist. I recently reviewed the Güd Orange Petalooza Body Wash, which you can read about here.

There are several scents in the Güd line, and each one comes with a complete selection of products: shampoos, body washes, body butters, body mists, etc. The body mist comes in a 3oz bottle and retails for around $5.99.

Vanilla Flame is the scent of Vanilla and Rice Milk. It contains no parabens, phthalates, or chemicals, and is not tested on animals.

In the bottle, Vanilla Flame smells really awesome. It's light, but sensual. Definitely a scent worthy of a summer date night! Unfortunately, it turns slightly sour smelling when it combines with my skin, so I can't continue to wear it. :\

Another problem I found when I wore it was that the scent doesn't last very long at all. Maybe a couple of hours? I've heard that complaints from several other people who have tried it.. and the Orange Palooza body wash that I have doesn't have a long-lasting scent either.

I'd like the Güd Vanilla Flame Body Mist more if it didn't react poorly to my body chemistry, but I do enjoy the scent itself.

I think the Güd products just have light scents in general. I'm not crazy about a line where I have to use every single product to build up a long lasting scent. First of all, I like to mix and match my products, and I already have so many that I'm not looking to add 6 more products to my collection.. maybe just 1 or 2 here and there. However, if you're brand loyal or are a person who enjoys buying a collection of products, I think you might enjoy the Vanilla Flame scent from Güd.

I'm going to give Vanilla Flame Body Mist 3 out of 5 stars. It's not great, not terrible.. just not for me.
RATING 3.0 out of 5 STARS
I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout Influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.
Please see my Disclosure & Policies page for more information.

Friday, April 27, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- Nine West 'Love Fury'

Hey everyone! Happy (very late) Friday! Today's Friday Favorite is Nine West's newest perfume, Love Fury. We recently got it in at work and most of us fell in love with it instantly.

Love Fury contains some of my favorite notes: amber, sandalwood, and musk.. but it's not a heavy fragrance. It's actually very light and floral-y, with a slight powdery undertone to it.

I think the touch of having a stiletto heel 'piercing' the bottle is a cool touch, but I can't say that it's my favorite design element. This isn't one of those gorgeous bottles that I'd set out on a vanity table to display, but it's definitely a nice addition to my collection.

If you shop at Ulta, you can currently snag a Nine West Love Fury bag with a $55 purchase and until May 12th, you can also get a free tote with each qualifying $30 fragrance purchase! It'd make a great Mothers' Day present! :)

Hope y'all enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meet Dottie, the Newest Addition to the Family! :)

Hey everyone! Today's post is totally non-beauty related, but I'm so excited that I just had to share! If you "like" me on Facebook, you know that my parents put their dog, Daisy, down a month ago yesterday. They adopted her from our local animal shelter the summer before I went into 8th grade, which was.. ohhhh, about 13 years ago. She was 6 weeks old, born on my birthday, and completely adorable..

Unfortunately, she developed a bladder tumor and as her health continued to deteriorate, my parents felt it was best to humanely euthanize her. Let me just say.. it takes a lot to make my dad cry, but even he couldn't stop the tears that day. I know they've had a huge whole in their home since she's been gone, and when my mom started browsing, she saw Dottie's picture and was immediately smitten. You'll notice that she looks awfully familiar...

Don't be alarmed, that's my mom's phantom arm in the background.. haha :)
She showed Dottie's picture to my dad, and he was interested.. so Mom and I went to look at her today. She's a 3 year old Pointer mix and has the sweetest personality, so naturally she came home with us (after spending the last 6 months at the shelter). She's so curious and full of energy, but she's also very quiet and calm and knows how to entertain herself with toys. And she has the prissiest little walk! Ah! Such a diva.. I love her already! :D

While we all still miss Daisy very much, I'm so excited that I have a new sissy to spoil and love on! And after like 20 years, I finally have my very own Spottie Dottie! :)

Spottie Dottie, the fashionable pup!
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Story aside, it's always a great reminder to remember how awesome shelter and rescue dogs can be. And I'm thrilled to say that Dottie's kennel-mate was also adopted out today as well! Pets are a huge responsibility, but also a wonderful addition to your family.

And no, this isn't a sponsored post for PetFinder. They don't know I'm writing this, and I'm not getting anything out of it.. I just wanted to take a moment to share our new baby with you and promote awareness of adopting shelter dogs. :)

Look at that face!! How can you NOT love her?!

Monday, April 23, 2012

NOTD -- Max Factor Fantasy Fire over Revlon Royal

Hey everyone! Meet Max Factor Fantasy Fire.. aka, The Sexiest Polish I Own. When Fantasy Fire first came out and I realized how tiny it is and how ridiculously hard to find it was going to be, Clarins 230 dupe or not.. I just couldn't justify embarking on a potentially frivolous wild goose chase.

Thankfully I have amazing friends! My dear friend Bridget texted me one day and told me she left me a surprise package at my work. Inside was Fantasy Fire AND Cult Nails Scandalous! (Swatch coming soon!) I nearly fell over from shock..

Naturally I will hoard the hell out of my precious Fantasy Fire bottle, but I couldn't resist putting it over Revlon Royal, because a polish this beautiful deserves to be worn! Can I tell you how many times customers chewed me out at work after asking where they could get the polish and I had to tell them it was basically impossible? Haha, oops.. :X

Here's a pic of the color shift from red to gold/green:

Sexy, no? It's official.. I'm obsessed. I could NOT stop staring at my nails, and I know this will be in my top polishes of 2012!

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Again, HUGE thanks go out to Bridget from Polish, Make-Up, and Cars, Oh My! for hooking me up with the most amazing polish everrrrrr! ♥

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NOTD -- OPI Don't Touch My Tutu / Pirouette My Whistle

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! I'm posting ridiculously early because I have to be at work at 7am (YUCK!), so I need to get to bed. The one nice thing about working early on Sundays though, is that we get to spend time with Chris' dad after I get off.. so we're definitely both looking forward to that. :)

In other news, this entry marks the first time I've used a picture on this blog that was edited by something other than my beloved Picnik. They finally closed on April 19th, and it makes me SUPER sad. I used them for EVERYTHING.. and PicMonkey is pretty okay, but it's just no Picnik. So I'd like to have a moment of silence in honor of the awesomeness that was Picnik. :'(

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Aaaaaannnnyyyywho, today's NOTD comes to you from the new OPI NYC Ballet collection, which is a partnership between OPI and the New York City Ballet. (*swoons*) Clearly, I bought this whole collection because it's ballet-themed nail polish, which also means that my life is now basically complete.

All of the polishes are sheer jellies, and I'm sure they'll be making their appearances here as well.. (That's the beauty of not being a full polish blogger: No rush to post all the swatches in one post! Aha!)

Don't Touch My Tutu is probably my surprise favorite out of the bunch. I'm not a fan of white polishes at all, but this squishy, milky white just ends up looking so dainty, clean, and ethereal on the nail that I can't help but love it. It definitely reminds me of Odette from Swan Lake..

Teresa Reichlen as Odette for the NYC Ballet's Swan Lake. Source.
I topped Don't Touch My Tutu with Pirouette My Whistle (Really, OPI??), which is a clear base with lots of silver micro glitter and bigger silver hex glitters. It's nothing amazing, but it does spread nicely on the nail. I used 4 coats of DTMT and 1 of PMW. DTMT goes on nicely and is self-leveling, which makes me love it even more.

This is the third time I've worn this combo and I got so many compliments on it each time!

Hope you enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ralph Lauren's NEW Big Pony Women Fragrance Collection

Hey everyone! So, I have to admit that it's definitely been a while since I've been THIS excited about a fragrance line launching! I've loved the Ralph Lauren Big Pony Men collection for a while, and always wondered why there wasn't a matching Women collection.

Well.. HERE IT IS!!!

Like the Mens' collection, Big Pony Women consists of 4 scents.

Big Pony 1 is a sporty citrus, containing grapefruit and blue lotus. It is aimed at the fearless and confident woman.

Big Pony 2 is a sensual floral, containing cranberry and Tonka mousse. It is aimed at the seductive and spontaneous woman.

Big Pony 3 is the free-spirited fragrance, containing pear and mimosa. It is aimed at women who are rebellious and independent.

Big Pony 4 is the stylish fragrance, containing wild cherry and purple amber. It is aimed at the fearless and dynamic woman.

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Of the four, 2 and 3 are my favorites. Big Pony 2 is very sweet, and Big Pony 3 is a little more tart. I love pairing them together because the combination of the sweet and tart scents creates a truly unique scent. Big Pony 4 is my next favorite, and unfortunately Big Pony 1 does not do well on my skin at all. It still smells great in the bottle, though!

The Ralph Lauren Big Pony Women collection is currently available at Ulta and other fine retailers.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today's Friday Favorite is one that I've been dying for for.. well, like ever. POTTERMORE IS FINALLY OPEN!

If you're a Harry Potter fan, you definitely need to give it a try! You get to experience each HP book chapter by chapter.. with new material written by J.K. Rowling exclusively for the website. And you get a wand, get to be sorted into one of the 4 Hogwarts houses (I'm in Hufflepuff), and do cool hands-on activities like make potions and cast spells in wizard duels! You also collect points for your House just like in the books!

It's official.. I'm obsessed. And writing this is cutting into my precious Pottermore time. Soooo... yea. Hope everyone has a great weekend! ♥

BTW: If you already play Pottermore, or are going to sign up.. Feel free to add me! My username is UnicornRook10903 :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

REVIEW -- Güd Orange Petalooza Body Wash

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Burt's Bees new Güd Orange Petalooza Body Wash. I feel like the Güd line is Burt's Bees way of trying to re-invent their products and market them towards the teens/20s age group.

There are several different scents in the Güd line, and each one comes with a whole selection of products: shampoos, body washes, lotions, body butters, fragrance mists, etc. The body wash comes in a 10oz bottle and retails for around $7 and is available at drugstores, Ulta, Walmart, Kroger, and Target.

Orange Petalooza is the scent of blood oranges and hyacinth. The body wash is supposed to create a rich lather and contains no parabens, phthalates or pertrochemicals. It's also not tested on animals, which is always a plus.

Orange Petalooza smells just like an orange and is actually clear. No dyes here, folks! It smells great while you're using it, but the smell doesn't last at all. This can either be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. On the one hand, if you like to mix and match your bath/body products and your perfumes, it's nice to know that the scent won't clash with anything. On the other hand, if you want the scent to last past your shower.. you're going to have to follow it up with more products from the Güd line.

Personally, I don't love that the smell doesn't even last til I step out of the shower, but since that's the only downfall I can find with the product.. It's not the end of the world.

The body wash does create a nice lather, and I feel clean afterwards. Other than that.. there's nothing truly remarkable enough about Orange Petalooza to make me want to purchase it with my own money. Granted, I have about 20 bottles of Bath & Body Works and Ulta shower gels to work my way through, so I definitely don't need to purchase any more body wash for a while.. but I just didn't feel like Orange Petalooza was anything to write home about.

It's a good body wash at a semi-decent price, compared to other drugstore brands (Caress, Soft Soap, Village Naturals, etc.). However, if you're looking for an all-natural body wash, or are just a Burt's Bees devotee.. I think it's definitely worth trying.

I'll give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. Decent, but not mind-blowing.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 STARS

I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout Influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.
Please see my Disclosure & Policies page for more information.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NOTD -- Zoya Charisma

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! Today I have another mani from the vault to show you. This one is Zoya Charisma.. which is basically an exact dupe for Sinful Colors Dream On. Or is it vice versa? Either way, I suppose.

Charisma is a neon blue-toned fuchsia creme that dries matte, but looks amazing with top coat. I think this is 2-3 coats. There's still a tiny bit of VNL, but it wasn't as noticeable in person. Unfortunately, this one chipped within one day on me and I haven't worn it since. Maybe I'll have to break it back out, because it's a perfect spring/summer color!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REVIEW -- Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

Hey everyone! Today I have a review of the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes for you. Simple is a relatively new brand that is supposed to be "naturally good for skin". My work recently started carrying the Simple line of products and my coworkers and I had our interests piqued when we couldn't keep them in stock. Naturally, I jumped on the chance to snag a couple of products to review from Klout.

Simple's Cleansing Facial Wipes come in a plastic, resealable package that contains 25 wipes and retails between $5-6. Simple markets themselves as the "Sensitive Skin Experts" and  promise to be "kind to skin."

The wipes contain 1 "vital vitamin," Vitamin B5 which helps restore, soften and smooth the skin, and they are free of alcohol, oil, perfume, and dyes. They are supposed to be non-drying, leave no greasy residue, and contain no harsh irritants that can upset your skin. The wipes are also dermatologist tested, ophthalmologist tested, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic. Oh yes, and they can remove waterproof mascara.

I really appreciate that the resealable packaging is well-made. The flap closes back securely, unlike other brands where the packaging gaps open and the cloths dry out before you can finish the package. 

The wipes have a light, unobtrusive botanical scent and they are soft and have a nice thickness to them. Unfortunately, this is where my praise of the products ends... 

I find the wipes are a bit dry for my preference, even with the excellent resealable packaging. I have to "scrub" my face back and forth to remove my makeup, sometimes even using 2 wipes to clean my entire face.. and no matter HOW hard I try, they never remove all my (non-waterproof) eye makeup. And the final nail in the coffin is that they leave behind a residue on my face that I can't stand. It's like a sticky/greasy hybrid feeling and every time I've used the wipes, I've had to follow up with a wet washcloth to end up feeling completely clean.

To say that I was pretty bummed about my experience with the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes is a complete understatement. I had such high hopes for it, but the product just didn't meet my expectations at all. I still have another product from the Simple line to review, so hopefully that one will work out better.

I think I would have appreciated the product more if it hadn't left behind a residue. I could have even given it a pass on its sub-par cleansing abilities.. I have no problem using a wipe just to quickly clean my makeup-free face in the morning before getting ready, and the Simple wipes would have been the perfect solution. Heck, I even like that they're supposed to be natural and good for your skin! But.. as much as I  want to, I just can't love this product.

I'm sad that I have to do it, but I'm giving the Simple Cleansing Wipes 1 out of 5 stars. And the one star they're receiving is purely because I like their resealable packaging.
RATING: 1 out of 5 STARS

I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout Influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.
Please see my Disclosure & Policies page for more information.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NOTD -- Eva Supreme #185

Hey everyone! Happy Monday...? Mondays are always my day off, but I have a TON of errands to run today, which is kind of lame. Some of them will be fun, though. I'm going to make my monthly drugstore runs to see what new beauty goodies I can find! :)

Today's NOTD is one from the vault. This is Eva Supreme #185. Steph picked this one up for me a while back as a surprise. Apparently it's only available at Walgreens in Florida? We're not really sure.. and there's no information about the company online.

I think it's kind of lame that they don't name their colors! #185. It's so.. clinical. And lame. Oh well. #185 is a sheer blue violet with an awesome pink shimmer. It dries matte, but looks totally awesome when you apply top coat. I think this is 3 coats? I can't remember. It bugged me that there was still VNL, though.

Judging from the smell, this one is not Big 3 Free, but that doesn't make me love it any less. Word of warning, though: If you try to use B3Free base/top coats with Non-B3Free polishes.. epic failure will result. I used a Zoya base and top coat with #185 and it had completely peeled off of my nails within 6 hours. :(

Friday, April 13, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- MandysSecrets / Giveaway Winners

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! No, I haven't forgotten about y'all.. I've just been a super busy girl. I took some time off from my real job to do dance photography (which meant 12-16 hour days), then went right back into the real job and got a promotion.. then there was Easter, which was a hard one this year (and I worked the entire day).. and yeah. I feel like I haven't had time to even stop and catch my breath in over 3 weeks.

With that being said, I've missed blogging terribly. There's nothing like not having the time to do something that makes you miss it that much more. I've missed y'all, I've missed writing, photographing, and editing my entries. I've missed it all. So I thought it was only fitting that my first entry "back" would be one where I talk about how much I love my little blog. :)

Mushy stuff aside, I hope you've all been doing well.. and I have some fun news! My 1 year Blogiversary Giveaway recently ended and I just picked the winners!

won first place


won second place

Congratulations to both of these ladies! They have already been emailed and will have 48 hours to claim their prizes.

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Stay tuned! I should be back in full force next week with tons of NOTD's and product reviews for you. Hope everyone has a great weekend! ♥

Monday, April 2, 2012

NOTD -- Autism Awareness

Hey everyone! Sorry for my absence.. Pulling 12-16 hour days doesn't leave much time for blogging. :\

April is Autism Awareness month, and today is actually World Autism Awareness Day. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but are almost 5x more common in boys (1 in 54) versus girls (1 in 252). Unfortunately, there has been a severe rise in the prevalence of ASDs over the last decade. Currently, 1 in 88 children are born with some form of Autism, versus 1 child out of 150 back in 2000.

I think most people now know (or know of) someone who has Autism. I had the privilege of teaching several Autistic children when I taught dance a few years back, and they truly were some of my favorite students. It is in honor of them that I chose to do this mani..

One of the their favorite class activities was when we did the "Bean Bag Dance", so I decided to do a blue background with multi-colored blue "bean bags" (aka dots). The base is Zoya Yummy, the bright blue dots are Zoya Tallulah, and the dark blue dots are China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway.