Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 2013 Birchbox



Hey everyone! Sorry that I'm just barely squeezing Birchbox in by the end of the month this time. It came later than it normally does, and then it was a pretty "meh" box for me, so I just couldn't get motivated to sit down and write the post. But here it is! Better late than never, right?

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss | $18. I received the shade Precious Petal which is a pale, peachy-pink gloss with golden shimmer in it. It's supposed to moisturize and plump the appearance of lips. I saw no plumping, and the sticky consistency made my lips dry and peel halfway through the day. (Uh, gross?) However, the vanilla frosting scent is pleasant.. but not something I would associate with a higher end product for adults.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive | $39. I have had reps try to give me samples of this product probably 100x over while I'm at work and I always decline because I absolutely can't stand the smell of it. Opened this to smell it thinking maybe I could get past it since I actually have it to try now.. Nope. Not a chance. Into the donate pile it goes.

Ruffian Nail Lacquer | $10. My shade is called Fox Hunt. This might be the first nail polish I've received that I'm pretty 'meh' about. I don't know, I just can't get behind this one. The color is okay, but I feel like the ruffian trend Birchbox keeps trying to initiate is like the equivalent of 'fetch'...


Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray | $25. This is a nice light hold hair spray that smells good and also protects hair from UV rays. I'll probably try this on curly days. When I wear my hair straight, I like a stronger hold hair spray to keep my slippery strands in place all day.

*BEAUTY EXTRA*
Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream | $26-38. Again with the stupid sachets! Birchbox, hear me loud and clear when I tell you that I FREAKING HATE THEM! I'd rather get nothing than get a sachet. I'm dead serious. Straight into the donate pile it goes.


This box was a bust for me. I'll eventually get around to using the lip gloss and nail polish, and I'll give the hair spray a solid shot. But I'm not over the moon about any of them. 2 out of 5 stars this month. Hopefully next month's box will be better!

RATING: 2.0 out of 5 STARS


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 2013 Ipsy Bag



Hey everyone! This month's Ipsy Glam Bag is based on the theme of "Classic Beauty." The bag is bright blue with a black, lacy design printed on it. This month's bag also included a fun extra: a look at Michelle Phan's new Em cosmetics line. (Michelle is one of the Ipsy Stylists!)


FREEMAN Facial Paper Masks. I got 3: Brightening Rose, Purifying Star Fruit, and Hydrating Blue Agave. I love masks, and ones that I can literally peel and stick are right up my lazy alley! So far I've used the Blue Agave one and really liked it. The serum in it didn't leave my face sticky afterwards or turn me into an oil slick the next morning! Win win! But then again, I have yet to find a product from Freeman that I don't like. Promo offer: Receive 44% off Feeling Beautiful Sweet 16 Sachet set and receive a free gift at freemanbeauty.com/IPSYFEELINGBEAUTIFUL with promo code.

EM COSMETICS The Life Palette Career Life Sample. Full size palette includes 36 shades for eyes, cheeks, and lips and creates 4 curated look for endless possibilities. Looks include: Power Suit, Girl in Charge, Out to Lunch, and Natural Talent. Each look has 6 eye shades, 2 lip shades, and 1 cheek shade. The compact comes with a double ended shadow/liner brush, and the equivalent of a nail art dotting tool to pop shades out of the palette, which is really convenient.

The sample that I received was of 3 shadows and the blush from the Natural Talent quad of the palette. The textures were both awesome! Very soft, silky, and smooth. The blush is a gorgeous soft, rosy pink with gold shimmer. The shadows were okay. The lighter shades weren't exceptionally pigmented, but I also didn't swatch them over primer either. The darker shade was more pigmented, but I think it still needs the help of a primer as well. No promo code was offered for purchases of Em Cosmetics.

CAILYN COSMETICS Tinted Lip Balm. There are 18 shades, but all Glam Bag subscribers received the shade Big Apple. The color is a little 'meh' but I think the built in brush is super convenient, and I am a lip product hoarder so I'll keep this around! Promo offer: 30% off any purchase at cailyncosmetics.com with code.

STARLOOKS Obsidian Kohl Eye Pencil. Everyone that got this pencil got the same shade (Obsidian), but there are 11 shades in all. The pencil goes on smoothly, but it takes a few swipes to build up pigmentation. I haven't actually worn it out yet, but no matter how long I let the swatch sit on my hand, I could still smudge it out. Since I only use pencil liners in my water line, that's not really a good thing for me. And one very random complaint: the cap on this pencil feels so flimsy.. almost like I could crush it in half? Promo offer: 20% off purchases of $35 or more at starlooks.com with code.

ELIZABETH MOTT It's So Big Volumizing Mascara. By now you should know that mascara is like my crack (along with lip products, and face scrubs), so naturally I was thrilled to get another new pretty to add to my collection, although I haven't exactly tried it yet.. I'm waiting for my Benefit Bad Gal mini to run out before I start using this one. It looks promising, though! I love the hourglass brush! Promo offer: 50% off any purchase at elizabethmott.com/shop/ipsy with code.

NYX Single Eye Shadow. It looks like Ipsy subscribers got a variety of shades with this sample. The one I received is Charcoal, which is a shimmery, silver graphite color. It's pretty, and I absolutely adore the quality of NYX shadows (and products in general), but I need another eye shadow like I need a hole in my head. One of my friends was looking through my Ipsy bag when she came over last weekend, so I sent this home with her. Promo offer: 30% off NYX eye shadow bases and HD eye shadow bases at nyxcosmetics.com with code.


I really liked my Ipsy bag this month! Even when I get products that I don't need/won't use, I'm willing to give them a pass as long as they interest me so I'll give this bag 4 out of 5 stars!


RATING 4.0 out of 5 STARS

Sunday, September 22, 2013

REVIEW -- Perlier Volcanic Thermo Renewing Scrub

Press Sample(s) | #PerlierOnHSN


Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Perlier's Volcanic Thermo Renewing Scrub, which can be found on HSN!

Containing volcanic rocks, micronutrients, and natural minerals, the scrub is a true beauty spa treatment for your body. It contains larger mineral particles that work with the thermal water to regenerate skin, while the finer powders smooth, remove dead cells, and leave skin feeling super soft.


Upon first glance, the scrub looks gelatinous and like it has very fine particles, so I was a little concerned that it wouldn't be great at exfoliation.. but I am pleasantly surprised to say that I was wrong! The gel base quickly disappears when you rub the scrub in, leaving behind decently sized salt crystals to get your skin smooth.

I use the Perlier Volcanic Thermo Renewing Scrub on my legs before shaving, but I don't think I would use it on the rest of my body. The salt crystals are fairly rough on my skin and I don't think I'd particularly enjoy that on softer, more sensitive areas of my body (like my torso, for instance). This is definitely a "legs only" scrub for me, and not something I would use if I were looking to exfoliate before self-tanning.

Since the gel base is so thin, I also find that it takes a pretty good size handful of product to adequately scrub my legs. At $25 a tub, I wouldn't be thrilled to be scooping handfuls of scrub out every time I want to use it.

However, I will say that it does smell absolutely AMAZING. The first day I got it, I just kept it open next to me so that I could smell it's perfumey awesomeness. Is that smell worth $25? Not to me.


All in all, I think the Perlier Volcanic Thermo Renewing Scrub has some good qualities, but it's a "meh" product for me. I don't dislike it, but it hasn't done much to wow me besides smell divine.. and I don't need to pay $25 to get a good smelling scrub.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5 STARS

If you're interested in trying Perlier products for yourself, you can use the promo code iFabbo5 to get $5.00 off your Perlier purchase on HSN.com.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Incoco Nail Applique Giveaway Winner! :)



Happy Friday, everyone! Today I just have a quick post to announce the winner of my Incoco Nail Applique giveaway. And the winner is......

RONNIE!

Ronnie actually has an amazing beauty blog called Bows & Curtseys, so I highly suggest that you check her out if you've got a minute! I get so much inspiration from her blog, and her makeup looks are absolutely flawless. 


I'm sorry I've been a little MIA this week.. life has been crazy, and I'm still trying to adjust to being a working mom. (Trust me, it's harder than it looks!) Tomorrow is my day off, and I plan on using it to get caught up on blogging, so I should return to business as usual next week!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

REVIEW -- Ageless Derma Satin Lip Gloss in Cafe Rose



Hey everyone! Today I have a review of Ageless Derma's Satin Lip Gloss in Cafe Rose! Ageless Derma products are formulated by doctors and contain the finest pharmaceutical grade ingredients, potent antioxidants, and 100% pure minerals.

Each lip gloss is made with Vitamins A & E, aloe vera, green tea extract, and a hint of peppermint oil to moisturize and protect lips! There are 12 shades in all available on the Ageless Derma website, and each one retails for $15.


Cafe Rose is kind of a burnt orange color, and looking at it in the pot.. it's not something that I would typically choose to wear. 


I was pleasantly surprised that the color turned into something very neutral and wearable when I applied it. You know what that means.. This is a color that would be flattering on many different skin tones!



I don't smell or feel the peppermint oil in this gloss, but I can say that it is moisturizing, and non-sticky. The color payoff is nice, and you have a nice, light stain left behind after the product wears off.


Overall, I think the Ageless Derma Satin Lip Glosses are a good product that would be perfect for anyone with sensitive skin, or very dry lips. Sometimes it seems like you have to choose between color payoff, or a moisturizing formula, but that's definitely not the case here!

Have you tried any of the Ageless Derma products? If so, let me know which ones are your favorites in the comments! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MABB -- Recap of Our Last Meet Up on 08/25/13

Photobucket


On August 25th, the Metro Atlanta Beauty Bloggers got together in Roswell for a meetup! We had a fantastic afternoon catching up, chatting 'blog talk' in person, and swapping makeup goodies!

When I started MABB last June, I was incredibly nervous as to whether or not it would be successful. I didn't know if anyone else would even want to venture on this journey with me, but I have been so humbled by the amazing bloggers who have joined me along the way! I've made great friends and learned so much from these women, and am so thankful to each and every one of them for the support and camaraderie that we share. MABB truly is like a little close knit family, and it is definitely one of the best and most fulfilling highlights of my blogging career!

- - - - - * - - - - -

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
Dawn from Ritual Beauty
Dionne from Glittery Fingers & Sparkling Toes
Emma from Manicurity
Harri from TrailerHood Chic
Kaitlin from Blushing Beauty
Pam from Pammy Blogs Beauty
Quinn from Mama Fashionista

If you would like to see previous bi-weekly questions and answers, you can do so by viewing the Question Archive here.

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, September 6, 2013

August Empties!



Hey everyone! I was inspired by my good friend Harri from TrailerHood Chic to start doing a "monthly empties" series.

It seems like I always have a billion products and I never use up ANYTHING. My hubby goes through deodorant, shower gel, and shampoo like no one's business.. and I never seem to throw any bottles away! Sure, I purchase toiletries just about as often as he does, but I have found that I tend to rotate through items and then shove them in our bathroom cabinet versus actually using them up. Keeping up with this series should help me eliminate that bad habit!

Since I decided to do this halfway through the month of August, there were a couple of things that I had already thrown out that didn't make it to this picture. Specifically a PUR Minerals bronzer, and a huge bottle of bubble bath. RIP, beauty goodies. You will be missed!


PUR Minerals Impact + Mascara -- I got this as gratis from my work and it took me forever to start using it, but it's actually really good mascara! It's great for lengthening and defining lashes. I might repurchase it at some point.

ELF Liquid Liner in Black -- This is by far one of my favorite liquid liners.. and it's only $1! You can read my full review of it here.

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Remover -- Ok, this is one thing that I do religiously use up. It's the only eye makeup remover that I use and it's amazing. Here's my original review of it.

Garnier Olia 6.35 -- I actually used 2 boxes of this, but only bothered to save 1. In July I dyed my hair with Garnier Olia 6.3 to try to cover up the blonde highlights in my hair. It didn't take at all, but matched my salon color perfectly. Tried to re-dye in August, but couldn't find shade 6.3 anywhere, so I went with 6.35 instead, thinking that there wouldn't be much of a difference. Wrong. SO wrong. 6.35 turned out way more red than I wanted, and it still didn't cover the blonde at all.. But the dye was extremely gentle on my hair. In the end, I wouldn't repurchase it.

Pond's Exfoliating Renewal Wet Cleansing Towelettes -- I couldn't find my new favorite ELF makeup remover wipes, so I went with these instead. You can read my original review of these wipes here. They're okay.. but seriously just okay.


And there we have it! A few things out of my burgeoning stash, so I'll call this month a success! Let's see if I can get even more products used up during this month. Fingers crossed!

Have you ever used any of these products? If so, what do you think of them? Let me know in the comments!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

REVIEW / FOTD -- BA STAR StarDust Mineral Shadow in Deep Plum




Hey everyone! Today I have a review of BA STAR's StarDust Mineral Shadow in Deep Plum! BA STAR is a brand marketed for performers: cheerleaders, gymnasts, and dancers. They have great kits for teams, fundraising options, and will even create custom face charts for you. Plus they have their own makeup tutorial videos on their site! How awesome is that!

In case you don't know, I have a very strong background in dance: 22 years of dance training and experience, B.A. in Dance, and I've also worked in several dancewear stores, stage managed, taught dance at multiple studios, and even spent some time as a dance photographer. If anyone knows what it takes to have makeup stand up to prolonged wear at performance level standards, it's gonna be me! I was really excited to put the BA STAR Stardust shadow that I received to the test!



The Stardust Mineral Shadows retail for $8.75 a piece, and I also received the BA STAR Glue Base to keep my shadow intact. It is sweatproof and also retails for $8.75. After photographing the swatch below, I decided to do a mini-wear test and see how well it would hold up. Since the swatch was on the inside of my arm, it definitely rubbed up against my clothes a decent amount. After 3 hours, I had a little bit of loose shimmer on my clothes, but no color transfer at all. The shadow even stayed put in the shower that night until I finally washed it off with my loofah!


For my actual FOTD using the BA STAR StarDust shadow in Deep Plum, I combined the loose shadow with my Sigma Paris palette since it's been forever since I used that thing. I was curious to see how well the Glue Base would work with pressed shadows. Actually, it worked really well! I had no problems blending the shadows together at all! Color me impressed!


FACE
TARTE Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hour Brightening Primer
MAYBELLINE Dream Fresh BB Cream (Light/Medium)
MAYBELLINE Cover Stick (Ivory)
NYC Loose Powder (Naturally Beige)
NYC Sun 'n' Bronze (Fire Island Tan)
SIGMA Paris Palette (Rouge) for blush
NYX Loose Shadow Single (Iced Mocha) for brows

EYES
BA STAR Glue Base
SIGMA Paris Palette (Notre Dame on inner third of lid, Elsyees on outer third, crease, and lower lash line)
BA STAR StarDust Mineral Shadow (Deep Plum) on center of lid and lower lash line
ULTA Shadow Single (Naked) on brow bone and inner corner
PHYSICIANS FORMULA Eye BOOSTER Liner (Ultra Black)
URBAN DECAY 24/7 Pencil (Perversion) on top water line
BENEFIT Bad Gal Mascara
MAYBELLINE Volum' Express Mascara (Blackest Black)

LIPS
REVLON Kissable Balm Stain (Honey)


For a wear test this time, over a 16 hour period I: took a 2 hour nap, sweated outside at the dog park with out pups (in the 90 degree heat and humidity of Georgia in late August), came home and showered to freshen up, and finally took a very hot bubble bath that night (where I also sweated). The shadow held up great! It faded just a smidge over 16 hours, and some of the pigment had settled into the creases on my lid, but from a distance you would never have been able to tell it at all.

 
The BA STAR Stardust Mineral Shadow I received is pretty awesome! Application was great. I used the patting method, and I only had one tiny little bit of fallout that was easily brushed away.

I really put this shadow through the ringer to see how it would hold up over the course of a hectic day. When you're at competitions, recitals, games, or performances you really don't have time to check your makeup frequently or reapply and you're often in it for HOURS. I think the BA STAR Glue Base does a fantastic job of adhering the shadow to my lid and I would certainly agree that it is sweatproof, which is super important under those hot stage lights!

I'm very excited to give the BA STAR Stardust Mineral Shadow and Glue Base a PERFECT SCORE! There's not one thing I dislike about either product!


RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS


If you're thinking about trying any of the BA STAR StarDusts, you're in luck! I have a special promo code for you to take 50% off ALL StarDusts through 09/30/13! Use the promo code BBDUST during checkout to take advantage of this fantastic deal!

I know there are definitely some other things on their site that have piqued my interest, starting with this 2 piece glitter lip kit! Hot pink glittery lips?! HECK YES! I can't wait to give those a try. :)


The samples in this post were provided as compensation in exchange for my honest reviews of the products. This post was powered by Brand Backer.