Friday, June 29, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- Five Below


Well hello, everyone! And happy Friday! I hope you didn't think you were going to have to send out search parties for me.. :(

I got so overwhelmed with work last week, and I didn't have time to prepare any posts for this week.. and then I misplaced our camera and had a freak out of epic proportions.. so I couldn't even take pictures to post anything! Blech. Thankfully I'm back to being (mostly) organized and I even found our camera somewhere along the way. :)

Today's Friday Favorite seriously just has me SO excited! All the girls at my work have been raving about this store called Five Below.. and I had no clue what it was. When Hubby and I went to go buy a shade tent the other day, I saw it and we went inside.. Oh my gosh, I think it's my new favorite store!

Everything in the store is priced $5 and below.. and it has awesome products like cute clothes, trendy beauty accessories, tech accessories, room and party supplies, candies and snacks.. and even movies! Basically, if I designed a dollar store, it'd be like this. 

I managed to pick up 3 boxes of Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips (which you know I love!) for $3 A BOX! They're like $8.50 most places! Granted, they only had the solid colors, but I don't care! I'll show you one of the colors I got at the end of this post! I also got a super cute tie-dyed t-shirt for $5, and some awesome candy: Sour Dots, Butter Rum Lifesavers, and Fruit Stripe Gum!

I can't wait to go back and indulge in more awesome goodies! If you have a Five Below by you, I totally suggest checking them out!


Here are the Sally Hansen Salon Effects in RED-Y FOR TROUBLE. Even though I know the name says "red", I promise that the photo is color accurate. They're definitely a very orange-leaning, bright (almost neon) coral.. and I LOVE them! It's the perfect color for summer and would look great on any skin tone! I'm actually really sad that I have to take these off tonight, but I still have the other half of the package to use later. :)

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I'm going to try to get at least one more post done tonight and scheduled for this weekend. If time permits, I'll do two. Chris has a frisbee tournament all day Saturday and Sunday, so we will be SUPER busy but we're both definitely excited for it!

Like I said, we picked up a HUGE new shade tent since our other one got destroyed in a storm last year and we also got some water misting thing to help keep us cool.. The high for Saturday is supposed to be 108 degrees! And we'll be on soccer fields with absolutely no shade. Hopefully we'll all stay hydrated and no one will get heat stroke. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

I'll be sure to post pics from the weekend early next week.. and I'm even planning on doing some themed nail art to support his team! You know I'll have to share it with you! :D

Hope you all have a great weekend and I'll talk to you soon! ♥

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NOTD -- Euro Cup 2012 Nails.. GO ENGLAND! :)


Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I actually had Sunday and Monday off, which was AWESOME! Bad news is that now I have to work 3 shifts in 48 hours, but.. I'll live. I just might be really, really cranky..

As soon as Chris saw how awesome my new Del Sol polish is, he asked me if I could do a color-changing English flag for the Euro Cup. See, all of his family is in England and he's a bit of a soccer fan.. and he's been OBSESSED with the Euro Cup since it's been on. He has the app that sends all the updates to his phone.. and the live wallpaper to go with it.. So I've pretty much heard nothing but "Euro Cup this.." and "England that.." And, yea. Basically when Hubby asks me to do nail art.. Hubby gets what Hubby wants. :)

So I gladly obliged him. I used my new fancy-shmancy striping tape to get nice, crisp lines for the flag.. and then I felt like something was missing, so I went in and did the EURO 2012 logo on one thumb and a soccer ball on the other with a small detail brush. My soccer ball needs some work, but I think it's pretty obvious what it is.. right?

I LOVE my Del Sol polish! It's so awesome that it's like "Boring white nails.." and then I go outside and "BAM! ENGLAND PRIDE!" I'm pleased to say that Hubby is thrilled with my nails and can't wait to show them off to his family!

For the record, England plays Ukraine today at 245 EST.. and if they win, they'll be in the quarter finals so cross your fingers for them! I don't want a devastated husband, lol!

POLISHES USED:
Orly -- DayGlow (White)
Del Sol -- Ruby Slipper (Color Changing Silver Glitter/Red)
Wet N Wild -- Ebony Loves Chris (Black)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

REVIEW -- Exuviance Daily Antioxidant CA10 Peel


Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Exuviance's Daily Antioxidant CA10 Peel for you. All of my coworkers have been raving about these, and I finally got a chance to try them! Are they worth the hype? Read on to find out! :)

THE PRODUCT
If you buy the product itself, the pads and liquid come separately. Before the first use, you pour the liquid over the pads and then discard the bottle. This ensures that you get the freshest pads possible, and I think it's a really great idea. The 2 pads I received are pre-moistened and individually packaged. I don't think it changes the quality, but is probably worth mentioning.

The CA10 peel contains 10% Citric Acid and is gentle enough for daily use to effectively exfoliate and smooth skin. It delivers potent antioxidant protection and defends against aging while also neutralizing damaging free radicals. The best part of the peel pad is that it is truly one step and doesn't require additional rinsing or neutralizing.

For best results, you should swipe one pad over your face (I also do my neck) in the morning. Gently massage in any remaining fluid, and then follow up with any serum or moisturizer if you desire. The pads are recommended for AM use, but can also be used at night. Since they contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid, you should also use sunscreen daily and even up to one week after discontinuing use of the product to protect against sunburns.

36 pads will set you back $65 and they can be purchased at Ulta. Unfortunately, Exuviance is considered part of the "Advanced Skin Health" section, and doesn't qualify for coupons.. but there are usually free gifts available with a product purchase to help offset the blow a little bit.

MY RESULTS
I've been honest that falling asleep with my makeup on is definitely my worst beauty sin. No matter how often I tell myself I'm going to stop, 8 nights out of 10 I stagger to bed with my makeup still on. Eventually my skin starts to suffer and I swear I'll change my ways, only to revert right back when my skin clears up. It's a vicious cycle and I hate it.. but it is what it is.

I'm currently in the middle of a "my skin's jacked" cycle, so not only did I have some active breakouts, but I also had dark spots from past breakouts.. and I wasn't feeling so good about my complexion. Seriously.. if you ever think you're neurotic about your appearance.. imagine trying to sell people hair/makeup/nail products for a living. I have an intense personal pressure to always look perfect. After all, my image is how I establish credibility and.. well, I digress.

I used my first CA10 peel pad and instantly my skin felt super smooth and moisturized. My packaging didn't say to use it in the morning, so I used mine at night. Yes, a night where I actually took my makeup off and washed my face. :P 

By the time I woke up, I noticed a reduction in the size of my active breakouts and also saw that my dark spots seemed a teensy bit lighter. Seriously nothing that anyone but me would notice, but it was light enough to make them finally be completely covered by my concealer. And hey, to me.. that's a BIG deal.

The next night I used the second pad and again my skin felt so smooth and soft. Seriously like a baby's butt! When I woke up again, my dark spots were even lighter and this time hubby noticed the change too! When I went to work, several coworkers told me my skin looked brighter, and customers complimented me on my complexion. Maybe I'm a big sucker for compliments, but I was like "THESE THINGS ARE AMAZING!"

FINAL VERDICT & RATING
I think the Exuviance Daily Antioxidant CA10 Peel pads are great! They really do work from my trial of them, and they have great reviews online as well! I like that they are gentle enough for everyday use and that they truly are a one-step process.. compared to other peels on the market. I didn't follow up with a moisturizer out of sheer laziness, and my skin (which can get dried out easily) was absolutely no worse for wear. In fact, it was much improved and I actually think the pads may have helped control my oily skin a little bit!

The only detractor for me is the price. $65 for 36 pads breaks down to $1.81 per pad, but with the dramatic and practically instant results that I've seen.. I think it's worth the money. Still, I don't necessarily have $65 to plunk down every month for a skin peel. I'm thinking about investing in them anyways, and maybe using them every other day or only twice a week.. we'll have to see how it goes.

Bottom line: if you've been looking for a good, gentle peel or are interested in warding off signs of aging, I say give them a try. Ulta has a 60 day money-back return policy as long as you've only used 3/4 of the product and have the receipt. I think you'll know in 3-4 uses if the Exuviance pads are right for you or not.

I'm giving these 4 out of 5 stars, deducting only for the price point.
RATING : 4.0 out of 5 STARS








I was provided two sample pads of the product by an Exuviance vendor, with no obligation to review them on this blog. This review is not sponsored by Exuviance and all opinions stated here are my own honest thoughts.

Friday, June 15, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- Crack Leave-In Hair Fix


Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I'm working a weird shift this morning (9a-2p).. normally I close on Friday nights, but I'll gladly accept a day shift! Sometimes it's nice to be able to leave and not have to deal with closing the store down, you know?

Anyways, today's Friday Favorite is a new hair care products that I'm literally obsessed with. Or.. should I say addicted to? Haha! It's called Crack and it's a leave-in treatment for your hair. Again, I have to credit the discovery of this to my bffl, Steph. Can you tell that she's been hooking me up with TONS of awesome stuff lately?! ♥ her SO much. Seriously.

You know that I've been working my way blonde.. well.. along the way I had a hair disaster that resulted in me getting bleached/dyed twice in two days, and my hair has been an absolute disaster ever since. Dry, brittle and fried.. and when it's wet it turns gummy and snaps. Ugh. Total nightmare.. Especially when I have to go to work and recommend hair products to people! On the plus side.. I'm now a total blonde! And I love it! Always look on the bright side, right?

Steph promised me that Crack would give me instant hair results, and I was initially skeptical.. but she let me try her tube and I was immediately blown away. Crack is a thick creme.. and you just squeeze a little out into your palm and emulsify it between your hands before working it into towel-dried hair. It smells like lemon and absorbs instantly, leaving no heavy residue behind.. but the results.. Omg.

Not only is it a thermal and UV protectant, it also protects against chlorine while it smooths, shines, and nourishes your hair thanks to the Acai extract and wheat and silk proteins. It makes my hair look and feel like my natural hair did BEFORE it got bleached!

Seriously.. I've told everyone I know about this damn product, and I'll keep singing its' praises for as long as I can!

If you're interested in buying some Crack (ahhh, I can't say that without cracking up!), you can get it for $19.95 on Folica.com.. or get the exact same product for $10.94 + free shipping on Amazon. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

NOTD -- Del Sol Ruby Slipper


Hey everyone! Today I have an AWESOME polish to show you! I've been drooling over Del Sol polishes for a while, and my amazing bestie Steph stepped in to save the day again! She sent me Ruby Slipper, which was actually her first Del Sol polish back when she was like 14! I love sappy stories like that! :)

Anyways.. what makes Del Sol polishes so amazing? Only that they CHANGE COLOR IN THE SUN! Above, I have 3 coats of Ruby Slipper layered over 1 coat of NOPI Others Pale By Kimparison. As you can see from the bottle, Ruby Slipper is just a silver glitter in a clear base. And.. yea.. I needed underwear for it. I just can't rock silver glitter on my nails and I couldn't get it to build up to full coverage on its own, but I wanted a base color that would still be unobtrusive and not alter the color change when I stepped outside. I wasn't asking for much, was I? lol

What's super cool about Del Sol polishes is that they change instantly when you get into UV light! There's no waiting around.. it's like BAM! New color! And you can control the intensity of the color changed based on how many coats of the polish you use! 1 coat gives you a subtle change, while 3-4 coats gives a much more intense payoff.

But enough talk.. Here's what happens when I stepped outside:

No, I don't have gross cuticles.. it's Del Sol polish that I missed during clean up because it's clear! :\
AWESOME, RIGHT?! I know. I'm in love! You can buy Del Sol polishes from their website for $10 each, or you may be lucky enough to have a store located near you! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Milani 'Shadow Eyez' Swatches & First Impressions


Hey everyone! Today I have my first thoughts and swatches of Milani's new Shadow Eyez eyeshadow pencils to share with you! I received these as a gift from my wonderful friend Steph. Actually, she was sweet enough to give me a TON of Milani products to try, since my area never has a good selection of Milani products to choose from and it's a line I've been dying to experience. :)

The Shadow Eyez pencils come in six colors, and are supposed to provide 12 hours of wear. They have a highly pigmented formula, metallic finishes, and are water-resistant, crease-proof, and also paraben free. They can be used as a shadow or a liner, and can be sharpened with any large sharpener.

I'll show you swatches of each one on bare skin and give you an individual breakdown of the colors..

From L-R: Royal Purple, Aquatic Style, Green Safari, Winter White, Champagne Toast, and Brown Deluxe
Royal Purple is the lease metallic of the group, but it does have a little bit of blueish-purple (blurple!) glitter in it. Still a gorgeous color, though!

Aquatic Style is a gorgeous bright turquoise blue with a strong shimmer.

Green Safari is a lovely metallic emerald green. 

Winter White is a shimmery white.. very similar to NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese.

Champagne Toast is a shimmery, creamy nude.

Brown Deluxe is a metallic copper.

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First impressions are good! I love the color selection.. nice variety of neutrals and "funky" colors. I only wish there were MORE colors to choose from! A metallic pink, anyone?! Yes, please!

I haven't used them for an actual eye look yet, so I can't comment on their wear time or how crease-proof they are, but I'll update you on that as soon as I find out!

I'm not honestly sure how you would wear these as a liner, though.. The pencil tips are similar to the size of the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, and I think it would give you a HUGE line that would be hard to control size-wise.. but maybe I'm just missing something?

Lastly.. Shadow EYEZ? Seriously? I have mistyped that every single time in this post mainly because the perfectionist in me hates "catchy" misspellings. Ugh. Haha, oh well! The product is still pretty cool! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NOTD -- Neon Skittles Mani Using Striping Tape


Hey everyone! Today I have my first striping tape mani EVER to show you! AND I LOVE IT! I've been hearing about how amazing striping tape is from numerous nail bloggers, and finally broke down and got some.

Mine came from a random seller on ebay.. 12 rolls of tape + shipping for only 99 cents? Yes, please! And shipping was pretty fast, considering that it came from China!

This mani was seriously so ridiculously simple to do, even though it looks complex! I painted all of my nails a different color and waited for them to dry, laid down tape, painted on black, peeled off the tape and... Tada! AWESOMENESS!

I think I *may* have been subconsciously inspired by the new swimsuit that I just bought. Hubby looked at my nails and went "Trying to match your suit already?" I was like "Ummm... No?" but I think he has a point:

Hooray for happy accidents?? :)

Colors used:
  • Urban Outfitters -- Hot Tub (pinky)
  • Zoya -- Paz (ring)
  • Color Club -- Almost Famous (middle)
  • Sinful Colors -- Irish Green (over white, index)
  • Sinful Colors -- Why Not (thumb)
  • Wet N Wild -- Ebony Loves Chris (black on all nails)

Monday, June 11, 2012

EOTD -- Sigma Paris Makeup Palette


Hey everyone! Happy Monday! Today I have an EOTD featuring shadows from the Sigma Paris Makeup Palette that I did a full review on yesterday! (Click here to be taken to that review.)

These shadows are so amazing.. incredibly pigmented, soft, and blendable. I'm just in absolute love with them!


I used:

  • Notre Dame (lid, lower lash line)
  • Triomphe (crease)
  • Eiffel (outer corner)
  • Versailles (brow bone, inner corner, center of lid)
  • Essence Liner in Almost Famous (lower water line)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Perversion (upper water line)
  • ELF Liquid Liner in Black
  • Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
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Clearly it's time for me to get a new liquid liner. I know mine's dried out a little bit, but I didn't think it was as bad as it is until I saw these pics. Oops! Guess I'll be running by Target soon!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

REVIEW -- Sigma Paris Makeup Palette


Hey everyone! Today I'll be reviewing the Sigma Paris Makeup Palette that I received from my friends April and Claire for my birthday! The palette was a collaboration between the company and 7 well-known beauty bloggers/YouTube makeup gurus. It retails for $59, and is available exclusively through the Sigma website

The Paris palette comes housed in a protective sleeve and contains 8 shadows, 3 cheek colors, 2 brushes, a mirror, and an informational booklet about the inspiration for the palette. The shadows offer a wide spectrum of color options, and the cheek colors can be used alone or combined for contouring. The brushes included are an Eye Shading Brush (E55) and a Large Angled Contour Brush (F40).

Inside the palette.

The informational booklet, which showcases each blogger and the inspiration for their shadow.

Closeup of the brushes. Both feature reddish brown handles, holographic lettering, and the "Paris" logo on the opposite side of the handle.
I have been wanting to get my hands on Sigma's legendary brushes for a while, and these two do NOT disappoint! Both are well-made and very soft. They deliver flawless application of my products, and I love that they are themed with the logo of the palette!

Now let's look at the swatches and I'll give you individual descriptions of each color. All swatches will go from L-R as they are displayed in the palette...

Click to enlarge.

Eiffel was inspired by the Eiffel Tower and created by MakeupbyTiffanyD. It's a gorgeous black shadow infused with multi-colored glitter, which actually does show up on the eye! It adds a wonderful extra dimension to any look.

Seine was inspired by the Seine River. It is a lovely midnight blue shadow that has a subtle blue shimmer infused in it.

Louvre was inspired by the Louvre Museum. Petrilude strove to create a shadow that would compliment the structure. Thus, this almost matte teal shadow was created. If you look VERY closely, you can see sparse flecks of pink and gold glitter scattered throughout, but they do not translate to the eye.

Orsay was inspired by Impressionism art and a famous Van Gogh self-portrait and was created by MacNC40. The turquoise shadow has a strong gold sparkle in it, which shows up amazingly well on the eye. The glitter is prone to a bit of fallout, but nothing that you can't clean up with just a brush.

Elysées was inspired by the famous fashion district the Champs Elysées and created by DulceCandy87. It's a deep reddish-brown burgundy with a copper shimmer. The shimmer doesn't really translate as well to the eye, though.

Notre Dame was inspired by the famous Cathedral of the same name and created by xteeener. It's a lilac-y purple with multi-colored shimmer and stronger, more prominent flecks of gold. This makes a fantastic lid color for days when you need to have an overall neutral look, but still want to wear "colored" shadow.

Triomphe was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe and created by FromHeadtoToe.. and seriously takes the prize for being the coolest shadow in the entire palette. Why? It's a DUOCHROME. Seriously. Look closely at my swatch.. It changes from burgundy to a blue-ish green! 

Versailles was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors inside the Palace of Versailles and created by xSparkage. The gold shimmer is the perfect highlight color for brows, inner corners, and even the center of your lid!

Click to enlarge.

The cheek colors in the Paris Palette were specifically chosen to match all skin tones. You can either use one base color and a highlight, or use all three to truly contour your cheeks.

Rouge is a blue-based mauve with the slightest hint of shimmer. As the darkest color, it could be used either on the cheeks as a blush or below the cheekbone to contour.

Pêche is an orange-based true matte peach.

Lumière is a pale pink highlight. It doesn't really have much of a color payoff, but it does illuminate whatever you place it on, which makes it ideal for highlighting and contouring.

FINAL THOUGHTS & VERDICT
If you had to ask me to pick favorites out of this palette, I honestly couldn't do it. I seriously love every last thing about it. It's extremely well made, the shadows and blushes are super pigmented and blendable.. the color selection is amazing, the brushes are outstanding.. I'm just SO in love with this palette!

Even on days when I've used other shadows, I'm still reaching for the Paris Palette to use Versailles and Lumière as my highlights. If you've been thinking about this palette, or debating whether or not you need it.. Trust me, you do! You won't regret the purchase. I think it's worth every bit of the price, and am actually considering ordering myself a backup because I don't want to run out of it... ever!

Final verdict? I'd give this thing TEN stars if I could. Yup. I love it that much. But.. since my rating only goes up to 5 stars, I guess that'll just have to do. :)
RATING: 5.0 out of 5 STARS

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Stay tuned tomorrow! I have an EOTD using some of the Paris Palette shadows to share with you! (Click here to see it!) I'd originally planned on including it in the review, but I feel like this is already long enough and I refuse to hide posts behind a jump.

Hope you've all had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

NOTD -- Wet N Wild Spoiled 'I'm So Jaded'


Happy Saturday, everyone! Except for me.. today is more like Wednesday. And I'd honestly be okay with that, except all of my shifts have been opposite since I got back from vacation.. which isn't so bad until I have to close and then turn around and open the next morning. Yuck, right?! But enough complaining.. I have pretty polish to show you! :D

This is 'I'm So Jaded' from the Spoiled line of polishes by Wet N Wild. The Spoiled polishes are only sold at CVS.. and in my opinion, they're overall pretty dupe-y to Sinful Colors.. but this one struck my eye! It's a bright lime green that's not quite neon, but it has a lovely gold shimmer running through it that makes it very unique in my collection.

I actually picked this one up on our trip to Orlando, and it was the first polish I used as soon as we got home! I got tons of compliments on it at work, so it must be pretty awesome! Shown above is two coats with a top coat.. and I really think I could have used three coats (you can still see some VNL), but I was lazy and wanted to go to bed!

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Hope everyone has a safe weekend, and I'll talk to you later! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Orlando 2012! :)

Soaking up some sun by the pool!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today's our first day back from vacation and I have to start getting ready for work as soon as I post this. And Chris has to work tonight as well.. Blech. Definitely time to get back to the real world, I suppose!

Anyways, we had a wonderful vacay in Orlando! I had originally planned to go down to cover the Premiere Orlando show.. (which is really a topic for another day) but our plans ended up changing. Instead, I got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful friend Steph of Imperfectly Painted, who made us feel right at home and took such great care of us! Seriously, y'all.. southern hospitality at it's best. You should all be jealous!

We didn't really do much because by the time we factored in travel, we had 2 days to spend in the city. We shopped, lounged, ate, and laid out by the pool.. and it was nice to just have some time away from our daily responsibilities. :)

On the other hand, we were definitely glad to get home and see the pets again. As crazy and obnoxious as they can be sometimes.. we miss them like crazy when we can't see them everyday.

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I'm looking forward to getting back to posting! I have so many wonderful things to show you! :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- VACATION!!!


Happy Friday everyone! Today my stress level is reaching stratospheric (read: toxic) levels. We're leaving for vacation tomorrow, and while I'm SUPER excited about it.. I haven't even started doing anything. The car needs an oil change and tire rotation, hubby needs a hair cut, we both need to pack, and I have to clean the entire house.. and do about 10 loads of laundry. And we're having lunch with Chris' mom.. and I have to run by my parents' house. And.. yeah. I could keep going. My head is spinning!

But stress aside, it's going to be so worth it! We're going to Orlando and I'm going to get to see my friend Steph from Imperfectly Painted.. which is going to be awesome! 4 days of much needed relaxation.. I can't wait!

I think our hotel has wi-fi, but so did the one we stayed at in Vegas and that was useless. I don't think I'll be blogging until we get back, so I hope you'll all make do without me!

Sorry to unload on y'all.. I just have so much stress and I can't vent at Chris anymore than I already have. He's got that deer-in-the-headlights "I don't know what to do to avoid getting yelled at?" look on his face right now.

Oh yes.. I definitely need a vacation! lol

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I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend! I'll be sure to post trip pics when we get back. :)