Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hey everyone! I'd just like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered my Halloween Giveaway! I had over 795 entries, which just completely blew me away.. and I'm thrilled that several of you even came back daily to retweet about the giveaway for additional entries!

I picked a winner through Rafflecopter and she has already claimed her prize, so without further adieu...

Congratulations to...

Her winning entry was for tweeting about the giveaway! I hope she loves her prizes. Those tombstone polishes just get me every year.. they're so cute! The Sally Hansen strips are always perfect in a pinch. I love the skull & crossbones design.. And you can ALWAYS use a matte top coat! The Butter London is definitely one of the better ones that I've seen!

Monday, October 15, 2012

REVIEW -- Simply Bags' NEW Custom Tote Bags

Hey everyone! Last month I was contacted by a really nice man named Bob.. He and his wife own Simply Bags and they're developing a new line of Custom Tote Bags and graciously offered to let me try one. If you know anything about me, you know that I can't turn down any type of bag. I have a huge collection of totes, purses, clutches.. you name it, I own it. Of course I was thrilled to say yes!

The Custom Tote Bags come in three colors: turquoise and orange (pictured above), and green (pictured below). They are lightweight and highly stylish and functional. Measuring 19"W x 15"H x 5" across the bottom, this bag is definitely big enough to fit your every need. They retail for $22.95.

I love that it has multiple side pockets on the front as well as on the inside (with an additional zipper pocket!), and it's got sturdy web handles, is lined, and has a snap closure for added security. You can also choose to monogram or embroider your bag from a selection of colored threads for added personalization.. at no additional cost!

I selected the turquoise bag and had it monogrammed with my initials. I most recently used my bag on my best friend's wedding day because I was a bridesmaid and had a TON of stuff to carry with me to several different locations.. and my tote bag was able to accommodate it all!

I snagged a couple of quick pics to show you just how much was in my bag, but you can't even come CLOSE to seeing everything. I'll include a detailed list below.

Here's a list of everything my bag held comfortably:
  • Shoebox (with shoes)
  • Large Vera Bradley makeup bag
  • Hoodie
  • Undergarments
  • Wallet
  • 2 smaller purse-size makeup bags
  • 3 full size bottles of nail polish
  • Pack of bobby pins
  • Pack of fashion tape
  • Bottle of water
  • Full size can of hairspray
  • Clutch purse for the wedding
  • Full size bottle of Motrin
  • Full size bottle of perfume
  • 2 bags of snacks
  • Phone Charger
  • Camera
Color me impressed.. I knew the bag was big but I did not think all of THAT could fit in it at one time! I'm super bummed I didn't have this back when I was teaching dance or in school. It would have been AMAZING. Since my major was dance, I usually had to carry 2 bags with me around campus because I could never find a bag big enough for everything. This would have definitely been the solution and I've already shared it with my friends who are still in dancing their way through college!

Bottom line: I. LOVE. MY. BAG. It's huge and functional.. Chris and I had a great brainstorming session for all the uses it could have. This is what we came up with:
  • Dance bag
  • Weekender bag
  • Diaper bag
  • Gym bag
  • Pool bag
  • Beach bag
  • Picnic bag (for blankets, etc)
  • Reusable shopping bag (save the trees!)
  • Work bag
  • Laptop bag
  • Carry on bag (for air travel)
  • Kids' bag for going to see grandparents
  • Car bag
..The possibilities are endless! Chris was also pleased that it comes in gender neutral colors, as he got stuck carrying my bag out of the wedding venue that night and for once it wasn't hot pink (such a shock!).

Simply Bags has a HUGE selection of bags for every need and situation you could ever want and most of them are super cute able to be embroidered! If you're looking for a new bag for any reason, I would definitely recommend them. Bob is incredibly nice and shipping was very fast!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wear Your Wine! Beautifying One of Fall 2012's Hottest Shades

Wear Your Wine

Wear Your Wine by mndymccllgh featuring urban decay eyeliner

Hey everyone! I got bored the other night and decided to give Polyvore another try. I signed up like a year ago and never even used it. I have no idea why, making this board was fun!

Every fall, some version of burgundy, maroon, or wine comes back as THE vampy color for the season. Fall 2012 is no exception, although I think this year's version is a bit more in the vein of oxblood. Nevertheless, it's still in the wine color family, and quite honestly.. "Wear Your Oxblood" just doesn't have the same ring to it amiright?

My Polyvore set is a quick introduction into how to incorporate a vampy, on-trend color into your everyday beauty wardrobe using products that you might already have or can find fairly inexpensively!

Here's the shopping guide:

Lip gloss

Lip pencil


Urban decay

Urban decay eyeliner
$21 - debenhams.com

Revlon beauty product

Nail polish


What do you think of the Polyvore sets? Love them? Hate them? I kind of like them, and it's a great way for me to show you a roundup of selected products.

Let me know your thoughts!

Friday, October 5, 2012


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Today I'm most definitely running around like a crazy women because my best friend is getting married and I have about a billion things to do!

But there's always time for a quick giveaway, right? :)

There will be one prize up for grabs:
  • 1 Butter London Matte Finish Top Coat
  • 4 Fantasy Makers Polishes -- Nail in the Coffin, Once Upon a Time, Go With the Glow (Glow in the Dark), and Rest in Pieces
  • 1 Sally Hansen Salon Effects Strip Pack in Numbskull
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. And yes, I will be verifying ALL entries, so if you plan on cheating please just save us both the time and don't even enter.

Now for the rules and stuff:

Contest open to continental US residents, age 18+. Contest will run from 12:01am EST Friday, 10/05/12 to 12:01am EST Saturday, 10/13/12. Winner will be notified at the email address they provide in the Rafflecopter widget below and will have 48 hours from my email being sent to claim their prize. If they do not claim the prize within 48 hours of the email being sent, they will forfeit their prize and I will select a new winner.

There are two mandatory entries: You MUST be a GFC follower of MandysSecrets.com and you MUST provide a valid email address to be contacted at in case of winning. All other entries are optional and may be done one time, except for the "Tweet About the Giveaway" entry which may be done daily for additional entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And I'll leave you with a picture of Earl being incredibly helpful while I was trying to take a picture of the prize... He's so awesome like that. :)

Good luck!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NOTD -- Piggy Polish Easy Come, Easy Glow

Hey everyone! Today starts the beginning of a very hectic weekend for me! My bestie is getting married tomorrow, and I'm honored to be one of her bridesmaids.. so I have her rehearsal dinner tonight and all the wedding festivities tomorrow. Then on Saturday, I'm going to watch Hubby play Frisbee (his team this time is The Fighting Mongooses.. it's a Futurama reference), and we're going to visit his dad's farm after that. We haven't been up there since July 4th, so I'm excited to see it now that it's officially fall! Then Sunday I'm back to work again.

Funny how even when I get days off, I don't really get days off. Stupid life.. It's always getting in my way. I kid, though. I'm super excited about all of these things and know they'll all be a blast!

To get back into the swing of things here at MandysSecrets, I decided to do a quick NOTD. I haven't posted one in a while and I miss them! This is one of Piggy Polish's new Halloween polishes and it's called Easy Come, Easy Glow. It's a very sheer orange glow-in-the-dark polish. Here I have 2 coats of it layered over 1 coat of Color Club's Wham! Pow!

I'm not sure why I feel compelled to own every color of GITD polish ever.. I rarely wear them and they irritate the crap out of me when I try to sleep at night. (I'm the person who needs complete darkness to sleep and having little green glowing nails outside the covers drives me bonkers!) But as soon as I saw this one, I knew it had to be mine.

I feel like the glow factor was pretty good. My nails glowed brightly and for a decent amount of time, provided that you give the bottle a vigorous shake before applying it. 

Even I have to admit that it's a little bit creepy...

What do you think of glow-in-the-dark polish: yay or nay? I think it's especially fun at Halloween, but don't really wear it throughout the rest of the year. However, since I have about a billion colors of it  now (blue, pink, green, orange) maybe I should start!