Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ipsy - May 2013 Glam Bag - Swatches & Review

Ipsy - May 2013 Glam Bag

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Zoya Nail Polish - Blu

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Click to Enlarge - Excuse the gross polish job!

-Zoya is sold at many online stores and averages at about $8.00 US per bottle.
-A great place to get a good deal is Beauty Lounge which sells them for about $6.50 US
-If you are an Ipsy member they are currently having buy 2 get 1 50% off deal.

I am a huge fan of Zoya nail polishes! They use a non toxic forumla (5free - free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthlatates) and camphor) They have a great color selection and the application always goes on so nice and buttery smooth with little to no streaking. While I love the product I can't say that I am crazy about the shade that was sent to me (opaque powder blue) although I would love it as a wall color. The good thing about me is that my taste in polish colors change constantly so there is a huge chance I will wear it at some point in time :-)

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss - Pink

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-Juice Beauty is also sold in many online stores - Ulta, Dermstore, Amazon, etc.
-Price is $15.00 US for 0.28 oz
-Ipsy Deal - Receive 20% off any purchase of $30 or more at juicebeauty.com/ipsy

Juice Beauty is another brand that I really like for it's eco-friendliness and great variety of products. Alicia Silverstone is a contributor which is another huge bonus for me because I absolutely adore her! I am really looking forward to trying out her makeup line - check it out here.

As for the gloss, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the formula was. It made my lips buttery soft smooth without feeling filmy and sticky. The color is very sheer for my pigmented lips but I do not get the impression that it is supposed to be a heavily pigmented item. Overall I really like the gloss but I would only re-purchase it if I had a discount.

Pacifica - Coconut Crushed Pearl - Luminizing Body Butter

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-Pacifica products are sold in Sephora, Amazon, Target, Drugstore.com, etc.
-Price is $7.00 US for 2 oz. tube
-Ipsy Deal - Receive 20% off any purchase at pacifcaperfume.com with the code Beauty20.

I am not very familiar with the Pacifica brand but I can safely say that I really like what was given to me in this month's bag. 

This cream has a wonderful beachy scent and it makes my skin feel very fresh and smooth. The shimmer is slight and tasteful but I would prefer my lotions to be shimmer free. I would definitely re-purchase when I run out although I can't say that this is going to become a staple item. Not yet at least! :)

Pacifica - Island Vanilla & Tahitian Gardenia - Perfume Roll-On

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-Pacifica products are sold in Sephora, Amazon, Target, Drugstore.com, etc.
-Price is $12.00 US for .33 oz
-Ipsy Deal - Receive 20% off any purchase at pacifcaperfume.com with the code Beauty20.

I really like this scent. It's slightly sweet and very summery without being completely overpowering. Definitely a great roll-on perfume to slip into my bag. Not sure if I would re-purchase just yet but I can safely say that I will have my eye on Pacifica products going forward. 

Yaby Concealer in Buff

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Click to Enlarge - BUT BE WARNED! 

-Yaby Cosmetics are sold at http://www.yabycosmetics.com/ & camerareadycosmetics.com
-Price is - Palettes range from $12 - $21.99 US - Concealer Refills are $5.06
-Ipsy Deal - Receive 20% off your purchase with code ipsyluvsyabycc20

I have no experience what-so-ever with Yaby cosmetics but I have heard great things about the line. Stage makeup products are usually great.

As for the concealer, it really didn't do much for me but keep in mind that my under eye circles are VERY severe and puffy so this would probably work out well for a person with light - moderate discoloration issues. The texture was okay...a bit too cakey for me but I also have very crepey eyes.

I found this bag to be an 8 out of 10 in excitement value. I was very underwhelmed by my first few Ipsy bags but lately they have been quite amazing! 
A 7 out of 10 for providing products that I typically want to try out.

How did you like this month's Glambag? Which items did you receive?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Birchbox - May 2013 - Swatches & Review

May 2013 - Birchbox

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Click to Enlarge to read the description & price of all the products below.
Beauty Protector - Protect & Detangle

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I am definitely looking forward to trying out this product as there are already many rave reviews on the Birchbox website. I will make sure to update with my own review! 

COOLA - Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face

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A friend of mine was just raving over this sunscreen (she tries to stick to Organic products as much as possible) so I was pleasantly surprised to see it in this month's box. It is way too soon to provide a full review but I can definitely say that the lotion absorbed into my skin immediately! Which is a huge difference from most sunscreen products that I have tried as they tend to be very greasy. I have read several complaints about the odor but I do not mind it at all. The smell kind of reminds me of melons. 

Joie - Folle de Joie eau de parfum

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I found the scent of this perfume parfum very mediocre at best. Most of the time I tend to gravitate towards expensive clothing and accessories but thank goodness that hasn't extended to perfumes. $98 dollars for a full size bottle? Sorry! I will stick to my 2 for $20 Bath & Body Works mists :) 

Sumita - Color Contrast Eyeliner

I am VERY impressed with this eyeliner. The minute I swatched it on my hand and saw how smoothly it glided on (with such strong pigmentation) I immediately though of my UD 24/7 pencil and took a comparison shot. Over 7 hours later the Sumita liner hasn't creased or faded at all and the UD lost some of it's brilliance and left a ring on my crease area (having oily hooded lids is a b**ch!) At $11 per liner I definitely plan on purchasing and I look forward to trying out their other products. Here is a site that sells the brand. 

Yes To Grapefruit - Daily Facial Scrub & Dark Spot Correcting Serum

I have never tried any of the Yesto products so it's pretty nice to have received this as a bonus. I just have to make sure to use it as I find that I don't try out these paper based samples that often. 

I found this box to be a 7 out of 10 in excitement value only because of the Sumita eyeliner. 
A 5 out of 10 for providing products that I typically want to try out. 
My last rating will come after everything has been sampled. 

How did you like this month's Birchbox? I would love to hear! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

*Loving* Alex and Ani Bracelets - Charity by Design

Alex and Ani Bracelets - Charity by Design

For the past few months I have been OBSESSED with Alex and Ani bracelets. If you haven't heard about them they are a company that creates STUNNING (average of $24-$38 per bracelet) jewelry all made out of eco-friendly materials with an emphasis on positive energy and charity. 

My favorite items are the charm bracelets (all expandable so they can fit everyone!) due to the large amount of symbols they have to offer which makes each piece you purchase so much more than just a fashion statement. 

I currently own the puzzle piece, which represents my oldest son who is Autistic, the Phoenix, Water Droplet, and my initial. All bracelets come in a choice of silver and Russian gold and they are all made in America. They also have earrings, key chains, rings, rhinestone bracelets, etc. 
Honestly speaking, I really haven't seen any piece that I don't like! 

You can purchase these beauties in person at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Alex & Ani stores. The best places to purchase them on-line are at Zeeberry and of course alexandani.com

A couple of my bracelets - The Water Droplet came with a $5 gift card that can be applied to the location of your choice so they  receive clean drinking water for people in desperate need. 

The Alex & Ani story - Please go visit the website to find out more! 

Alex and Ani, LLC offers eco-friendly, positive energy products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit, designed by Carolyn Rafaelian and made in America. Rafaelian believes that every individual has a positive message to share with the world and by incorporating powerful symbolism and design into each (+) energy piece, Alex and Ani provides a vehicle for the wearer to express their individuality in an organic, spiritual way. She believes it is her life’s work to support communities and organizations while inspiring her customers to relish what is unique and authentic about themselves, revealing the beauty that resides within.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Too Faced - Matte Eye Shadow Collection - Review & Swatch

Too Faced - Matte Eye Shadow Collection 

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Price: $36.00 US (ULTA & Sephora) 
*Cruelty Free*

-Versatile color collection
-Very high color payoff
-Decent staying power
-Extremely soft consistecy
-Reasonably priced ($4 a shadow)

-Packaging is cute but doesn't hold up well over time
-Pigmentation isn't extremely strong (which isn't bad as it is build-able)

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These colors were so close to my own skin tone that they were difficult to swatch on my arm/hand.

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Overall: If you are looking for a versatile matte palette this is a great buy! Huge shout-out to my friend Lydia for giving this wonderful palette to me for my birthday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amazing & Inexpensive - Essence Silky Touch Blush - Secret It-Girl - Review & Swatch

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Essence Silky Touch Blush in Secret It-Girl

Peach w/slight gold shimmer. Price: $2.99 US (ULTA) 

-Extremely inexpensive
-Very high color payoff
-Decent staying power
-Color is flattering for all skin-tones

-Packaging breaks easily
-A lot of fallout when swirling your brush in the product
-Slight (very slight) chalkiness

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Indoor Lighting

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Outdoor Lighting

Overall: I have to say that this blush is a winner - especially for the price! I have mentioned in a previous post that I have had very bad luck with drugstore blushes (except NYX) and this one was definitely an exception to the rule. In good conscience I can not say that it compares to department store quality but I have paid a lot more for way worse. 

Give it a try and let me know how you like it! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

NYX Round Lipstick - Pumpkin Pie - Review & Swatches

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NYX Round Lipstick in Pumpkin Pie

ColorPale Peachy pink color with a very slight shimmer.
Price: $3.99 US (ULTA) 
$3.00 US (cherryculture.com) 

-Low price
-Cute packaging - A lot of people hate the plastic packaging but I like the fact that you can see the color on the bottom of the lipstick. 
-Nice color for people who do not have very pigmented lips.
-Soft texture.

-Smooth texture yet settled into fine lines and made my lips appear dry and cracked. Very strange
-Pigmentation was decent when swatched on wrist/arm area yet had very little color payoff on my lips.
-Soft texture yet it can border on greasy. Almost as if it doesn't sink in.

Click to enlarge - You have been warned.

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Top is layered twice and bottom is swiped once.

Overall: This lipstick was definitely not for me but I wouldn't say it is the worst product in the world. Once again I think it is best suited for people with lightly pigmented lips. The drying/greasy effect I can not explain but it doesn't seem to happen to everyone. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Glam Bag~Love Is In The Air Theme

My Glam Bag
~Love Is In The Air Theme~

Studio Gear Complete Color Lipstick in Caramel
Decent consistency and pretty fall color. I probably wouldn't purchase this lipstick on my own but I am glad to be introduced to the brand.

Philosophy Love Sweet Love Perfume Sample
Not crazy about the scent at all. It's kind of fruity and strong. It's a shame because I ADORE the Unconditional Love body spray and lotion.

My Glam Concealer Brush
Great brush for concealing the inner eye and any other small hard to reach areas of the face.

My Glam Defining Eyeliner Brush
I haven't tried it yet. I will update when I do.

Miss Beauty Nail Bling
I am not a nail bling kind of person but I think it is a very cute addition.

Makeup Bag
Cute! Cute! Cute!

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Excuse the braces and crooked smile lol

I enjoyed this month's bag but all of my products looked kind of beat up by the time it got to my house (hopefully it was just bad handling on the part of the post office/UPS) and although I shouldn't compare I feel like My Glam Bag pales in comparison to Birchbox. All that being said...I look forward to the June bag and I hope it gets better.

Let me know your thoughts!