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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

NOTD -- OPI It's Frosty Outside



Hey everyone! I'm so excited to have a NOTD post for you today! Can you even remember the last time I did one? Yeah, me either. It's been entirely too long. At least I'm redeeming myself with a beauty! 

OPI It's Frosty Outside is a liquid sand polish from the 2013 Mariah Carey Holiday collection and it is perfection.

Formula and opacity were good. I used 1 coat of OPI Nail Envy, and 2 effortless coats of It's Frosty Outside for the picture above. The upside of liquid sand polishes is that you don't have to topcoat them (unless you really want to remove the textured aspect of the polish) and that they last forever! Textured polishes are the only ones that will hold up through my shifts at work these days, so it's become my mission to buy as many of them as possible.

One thing I really love about this polish is that the "larger" pieces of silver glitter are super sparkly and really stand out against the more matte micro-glitter, making your nails shimmer and twinkle in the light!


Have you tried any of the OPI 2013 Mariah polishes yet? Let me know which ones are your favorite in the comments!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

PRESS RELEASE -- Adea's New Fall Lookbook


ADEA UNVEILS ITS FALL LINE OF LAYERING TOPS, CAMISOLES, AND LINGERIE  

COLLECTION FEATURES “SUPER” FABRICS THAT ENHANCE AND SMOOTH A WOMAN’S SILHOUETTE

Visit MyAdea.com  to See the Fall Lookbook With

New Shade: Ox Blood

Shrewsbury, Mass. (September 1, 2013) – Luxury brand Adea introduces its Fall Line, which builds upon the label’s already existing high-end wardrobe basics and lingerie pieces women depend on and love. The Fall Collection continues Adea’s commitment of combining fabric technology and style to create superior quality, long-lasting women’s wear that is lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, and resistant to pilling and fading.

Adea’s long-lasting layering tops are designed to stand the test of time and in many cases outlast a woman’s taste. Adea combines fabric technology with style to create superior quality, long-lasting women’s wear that is lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, and resistant to pilling and fading. Consumers can easily care for these items because they can be machine washed and air dried quickly, in under an hour. The wrinkle-free, UV protected material makes Adea garments ideal for women who travel and are constantly on the go.

“No matter what a woman’s size is, she should be able to buy high quality tops made from luxurious fabrics,” said Christina Di Pierro, president and founder of Adea. “When women look good, they feel good, and Adea is happy to be making this possible for many more women by expanding our size offerings.”

Adea’s layering garments and intimate apparel feature a European fit and high-end Italian, “intelligent,” all-direction stretch fabric. Each item is designed to enhance and smooth a woman’s silhouette while contouring to her curves. Women who wear Adea tops and lingerie will enjoy the comfortable feel of the buttery soft material, which creates a luxurious feeling of second skin. Adea garments are available in U.S. sizes 0 to 16 and in some select styles up to size 22 and come in nearly 30 brilliant colors. Because of the garments’ opaque fabric, Adea pieces are extremely effective at filtering the sun's rays, offering twice the protection of cotton with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (U.P.F.) of 50+.

About Adea
Adea, based in Shrewsbury, Mass., was founded on the belief that every woman’s wardrobe should have a solid foundation of affordable high quality basics that are reliable, flattering and comfortable. Adea uses high-end Italian fabrics to create pieces that reflect the Italian passion for fine quality, expert tailoring and impeccable fit. Visit www.myadea.com for more information, to make an online purchase or to find a retail store near you. 
# # #


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MABB $150 Holiday Giveaway!

Photobucket

This week, the Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers have a very special surprise for you! To give back to our wonderful readers and show our thanks for all the love and support you’ve given us, we’re giving you a chance to win $150!

By completing actions in the Rafflecopter widget below, you will be entered to win $150 in the form of a gift card to the website or e-tailer of your choice OR as an instant PayPal transfer.

The giveaway runs now through Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST. Regardless of which blog you use to complete the Rafflecopter widget, your entries will only count one time. However, you may tweet about the giveaway (the last entry!) using the approved message ONCE PER DAY to gain additional entries. Visit any of our blogs to take advantage of that opportunity!

Full terms and conditions may be found in the Rafflecopter widget below. Please be patient and allow it a few moments to load. Mandatory entries include providing a valid email address so that we may contact the winner, and following each member of MABB either through GFC or another method of their choice. Once those entries are completed, all other entries are optional and can be completed for 5 additional entries each.

A winner will be selected within 48 hours of the giveaway ending, and will have three (3) days from the email notification being sent to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed within three (3) days, it will be forfeited and another winner will be selected.

- - - - - * - - - - -


- - - - - * - - - - -

Be sure to check out the other Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers' blogs!

Ashley Elizabeth from Ashley Elizabeth's Beauty Blog
Brittney from BellBelleBella
Christine from Simply Stine
Cleo from Pretty Little Syko
Dawn from Ritual Beauty
Harri from TrailerHood Chic
Kaitlin from Blushing Beauty
Quinn from Mama Fashionista
Tiki from Grow It Girl

If you're a beauty blogger in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to join us, please visit our website! We would love to connect with you!


Friday, November 8, 2013

October 2013 Empties



Hey everyone! I've been sitting here for a good 10 minutes trying to think of a creative or witty intro for my empties post, but.. uhh.. yeah, I got nothing. So let's just jump right in, shall we?


SONOMA SPA BUBBLE BATH | Ocean Spa & Vanilla Sugar -- As y'all learned last month, I *love* me some bubble baths. 2 jugs in a month is about average in our household. Love both scents!

BATH & BODY WORKS Shower Gel | Pink Chiffon -- I got this mini for free with a coupon, so that was pretty awesome. Pink Chiffon is a light, sweet, very girly fragrance. I think it's better suited for spring, but I didn't mind using it in fall.

GILETTE Venus & Olay Exfoliating Shaving Cartridge | Sugarberry -- I'm still not sure how it's exactly supposed to exfoliate, but it gives me a smooth shave and I guess that's what matters most.

BIC Razor | ??? -- It's been forever since I've had to use a disposable razor (I'm testing out a new shave gel!) and when I do, I usually just steal one of Chris's. Does anyone else do that?! This is a men's BiC disposable razor, but unfortunately we threw the packaging away so I couldn't tell you what the name of it is.


HAIR OFF Instant Eyebrow Shapers -- I think I've had these things since before Chris and I got married. So.. 4+ years? I keep them around solely for emergencies.. namely when I've decided that I've just absolutely had it with my brows and need to do something about them right that second. They're great for "in a pinch" fixes, but I generally prefer to leave my brow maintenance to the arch experts at my work. 

MURAD Intensive-C Radiance Peel -- I got this sample as a GWP when I purchased some MURAD cleanser and I really liked it! A little goes a long way, and it smells like oranges. Sometimes it gives you a slight tingling sensation, and it made my skin look more refreshed after using it.

MURAD  Acne & Wrinkle Reducer -- I've had this stuff forever. It's more of a general daily treatment than a spot treatment, and I got slack on using it for a long time. Once I saw that it was about to expire, I went ahead and finished it off. I don't think I'd repurchase simply because I don't have enough acne on a daily basis to warrant using it. You can read my original review of the product here.

MURAD Intensive Resurfacing Peel -- My poor little bottle got stained red from a bar of soap that I had floating around in my shower. Bottle discoloration aside, this stuff is so awesome! I originally received these to review back in 2011, and they've been one of my "special treats" for myself ever since! I definitely don't use them as frequently as you're supposed to, but when I do use them my skin looks absolutely radiant afterwards and feels so soft and smooth! Love these, and think they are well worth the investment.

ELF Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths (2 packs) -- Love these things. I say that every month. They're getting harder and harder to find locally, so I think I'm going to have to break down and order multiple packs online just so I have a supply of them.

AVEENO Smart Essentials Daily Detoxifying Scrub -- I originally got this as a sample in one of my Target Beauty Bags, and it's okay. It smells nice, but it seemed like it never really rinsed off of my face completely, I don't know. I just didn't love it.


SONIA KASHUK Makeup Remover -- This stuff has officially reached HG status for me. I will never use another makeup remover as long as I live. Here's my original review of it, which is actually one of my first posts ever! 

REVLON ColorStay Gel Shine Top Coat -- Another HG product, I absolutely love this top coat. 2 coats truly does give me gel-like nails that last several days, which is good enough for me. Between work, housework, and handwashing baby bottles every day, I'm extremely hard on my nails!

BENEFIT BADgal Lash Mascara -- I got this as a free sample from a Birchbox order and I fell in love. It's a fantastic volumizing mascara that also provides good definition to your lashes as well! Since receiving this, I've bought 2 full size tubes and 2 minis. Safe to say I'm obsessed!

MODEL CO Fibre LASHXTEND Mascara -- I got this (full-size!!) mascara from a Birchbox and loved it. The fibers never irritated my eyes, but did make my lashes look amazing. Plus, the tube has a small mirror on the back of it to make touchups quick and easy.


16 products down this month! Not bad! I love being able to throw a big bag of stuff away after finishing my empties posts every month. It's such a small thing, but it feels like such an accomplishment!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

October 2013 Ipsy Bag



Hey everyone! Today is a quick look at my October Ipsy bag! This month's theme was 'The Art of Beauty' and the bag had a cute little saying on it to reflect that.

Sexy Hair Blow Dry Gel. I hadn't tried this before, but I've fallen in love with it! It does wonders for giving my fine, oily hair lift and volume.. without making it sticky or greasy! I will definitely purchase a full-size version of this when my sample runs out!

LA Fresh Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes. At first, I didn't like the smell of these when it was near my face, but the more I used them the more I got used to it. They did remove my makeup well, and they left my face feeling clean and refreshed with no residue. Plus, they didn't make my skin turn into an oil slick by the time I woke up the next morning. I wouldn't actively go out of my way to purchase these (mainly because I have no clue where to buy them) but they weren't bad at all!

Zoya Neve. Described as a "sapphire metallic blue," Neve is a great color for fall and I bet it would look even prettier with a matte top coat over it!

Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush BR-C-N02. I haven't tried any of the Coastal Scents brushes before, but I do rather like this one! The bristles are soft and it didn't shed when I washed it before using it. It's good at both packing shadow onto your lid and smudging out your crease. I'd think about purchase more brushes from Coastal Scents the next time I'm in the market for some.

Wet N Wild Fergie CenterStage Collection Photo Op Eyeshadow. Love Wet N Wild shadows, but do NOT love these colors. I know they'd look awesome with my blue eyes since orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, but I have no problem being honest with myself (and you) and saying that I will never wear these. Like ever. So it's going into the donate pile.


So even though Birchbox was a total bust for me this month, Ipsy still managed to hit it out of the park! This is why I'm glad I keep both subscriptions, because even if (or when) one (read: usually Birchbox) fails me, the other (read: so far always Ipsy) manages to come through and give me some pretty awesome stuff! Even though I won't use the eyeshadow based on the shades I received, I still like the brand so I'm giving Ipsy a perfect score this month! Huzzah! 
RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October 2013 Birchbox



Hey everyone! Ok seriously.. where did October go? It seems like no sooner did I get my subscription boxes last month than it was already November. That's not okay!

I know I always try to get my box posts up in the actual month, but better late than never amiright?

Here's what I got in Birchbox this month:

Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation | $38. I mean.. Well, it would have been nice to actually receive a shade that would match my skintone. I don't know why on earth they would ever think I'm a "Skintone 3" but that's what I was sent. Wearing this would either make me look like an Oompa Loompa or Snooki's skinny, long-lost cousin. Into the donate pile it goes.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser | $21.50. Part of a 2-step process that is supposed to purify and exfoliate your face. The cleanser smells nice, light, and fresh and I always like new face things to try.

Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloth | 2 cloths, $6. This is the second part of the 2-step process. Honestly, I could care less about the cloth. I'm not going to use it, I think it's silly. I might see if my mom wants it since I can't really donate half of a "kit."

POP Beauty Aqua Lacquer | $14. The shade I received is Flowering Fuschia. It's a sticky, sheer gloss that smells and tastes like peppermint. I've been a fan of other POP lip products, but I can't get behind this one. It literally made all the skin on my lips gunk up and peel off within an hour of putting it on.  And yes, I exfoliated my lips beforehand. Uhhh... No. No. NO.

ChapStick Hydration Lock (Birchbox Find Alert) | No price listed. Every so often, Birchbox does these little random "extras" of regular stuff that they love. I need another lip balm like I need a hole in my head. I could have done without this, although it is better than the Bic pen that I received last time. Not that I minded receiving a pink pen.. but a pen? Really?


Ok, so is it wrong of me to rename Birchbox "Bustbox" this month? Seriously, I'm not impressed. This box gets one star simply because I might like the face cleanser once I get around to trying it after I'm finished reviewing some other face products. Hopefully my November box will be better!

RATING: 1.0 out of 5 STARS

Friday, November 1, 2013

REVIEW -- BA STAR Lip Pencil in Holiday Red



Hey everyone! Today I have a review of BA STAR's Lip Pencil in Holiday Red. You can read my review of BA STAR's StarDust Mineral Shadow (as well as a write up on the brand itself) here! Y'all know that I love me a good red lip, so I was super excited to give this one a try!
The BA STAR Lip Pencils come in 4 colors total (Holiday Red, Cranberry, Passion Pink, and Bronze) and retail for $8.75 each on their website. The pencils are full-coverage, long-lasting, and easy to sharpen with any dual hole sharpener. They dry to a satin finish, but you can top them with glitter or gloss for added shine.


Forgive my crazy hair and super casual (but oh-so-comfy) hoodie in my full face picture, I didn't think I would end up looking like such a slob when I was taking these, but this is.. this is pretty much what I look like on my days off from work when we head out to run errands. Stunning, I know, but some days comfort just wins out! :)

Anyways, back to my review...

Precise application with red lips is a must, so I was hoping that the pencil would be easy to apply. Thankfully it is! The tip is small enough to get into the corners of your lips and your cupid's bow, and turning the pencil on its side makes it very easy to fill in your lips with color quickly.


As you can see in my extreme closeup swatch, I have almost perfectly smooth edges and I did absolutely no cleanup after applying the pencil.

Holiday Red is a pinky-red with just enough blue in it to help your teeth look a little whiter. It's a lovely color and I think it would go well with all skin tones. What I loved about the pencil is that even after eating and drinking, I was still left with a reasonable amount of stain on my lips to where I could go without reapplying the pencil. Another thing I loved is that the pencil isn't drying, even though it is a long-lasting product.
I think the BA STAR Lip Pencil is a great value for the price! The quality is excellent, and you'll definitely get hundreds of uses out of a pencil that size. I also like that you are able to sharpen the pencil to keep the tip pointed. While I love the convenience of twist up lip pencils or crayons, I hate that it's hard to get a precise application once the tip starts wearing down.

There's also a promo code (BBLIPS) for 50% off of your order from BASTAR.com! I'm thrilled to give the BA STAR Lip Pencil a perfect review of 5 out of 5 stars!

RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS

Powered by BrandBacker