Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Favorites! ♡

I've been pretty bland this month, as far as makeup and beauty goes. I've been incredibly busy the entire month and I really haven't had any time to experiment with makeup or do any bold looks. That being said, I compiled my top favorite beauty products this month (surprisingly there were 10 of them)! From strong brows and bold liner to matte eyeshadow and innocent lipsticks, I've been keeping it pretty casual this July.

Victoria's Secret Summer Seduction Eye Kit- Though I'm not typically the biggest Victoria's Secret Makeup fan, I fell in love with this little palette. The matte colors have been my go-to shadows all month!
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in 'Black'- I found this gem in my July Birchbox and I have never been quite as pleased with an eyeliner! I've tried felt tip eyeliner before, but this is definitely my favorite.
Color Club Nail Polish in 'Blue-Ming'- This one also came in my July Birchbox and I am so grateful for it! The color is perfect for me and the formula & brush are stellar!
ELF Single Eyeshadow in 'Pebble'- This has been sitting around in my collection for awhile and I had previously ignored it, but when I ran out of my brow powder, I gave this a shot and it was perfect.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Fix- I picked this up with some of my Birchbox points and I'm loving my transition from brow gel to brow wax. Also, I have been a wee bit obsessed with Birchbox this month.

MAC Lipstick in 'Creme Cup'- I've been a fan of this lipstick for awhile now, but it's been my go-to color all through July. I'm usually more of a bold lipstick gal, but natural makeup roped me in this month.
MAC Lipstick in 'Viva Glam Gaga'- While bolder than 'Creme Cup', it's still a gorgeous light pink (and it was limited edition, I believe) and that has been my M.O. lately.
Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Makeup in '250 Pure Beige'- I purchased this on a whim one day when I had run out of my previous foundation. I ended up falling in love with it. I'm planning on doing a Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse vs. Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse blog post coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that. I only wish there were a little more product in it!
Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush- I just became a Sigma Affiliate this month (yay!) and I had to celebrate by picking up a couple of brushes. This one has been a staple for contouring and blushing my cheeks!
John Freida Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Styling Spray- Though this definitely didn't keep my hair straight for 3 days like it promised, it totally softened my hair and made it not only easier to straighten, but even easier to brush through! I love how my hair feels after using this.

Check out my video for more information on each product and for my song and TV show favorites!

Monday, July 30, 2012

SoftLips Pearl Gloss: Review!

First off, I'm not the biggest fan of lip glosses in general. They always remind me of being young and slathering on way too much sticky lip gloss at middle school dances. However, I'm a sucker for new makeup and when I saw that SoftLips had released a lip gloss (they're known for their lip balms), I snatched one up for review purposes.

When swatched, the color of this gloss is basically clear. The gloss is is SPF 10, which is always a bonus, and retails for around $4. It also features a doe-foot applicator. Now, if you're looking for a baby pink gloss, steer clear of this (not enough pigmentation), but if you're looking for a sheer/clear non-sticky gloss, I'd give this one a try. It's incredibly smooth (not even the least bit sticky) and has a pretty standard weartime. The only really annoying thing about this product is that not a lot of product comes out on the applicator, so I had to dip it back in a couple times, to achieve maximum glossiness. Overall, i was really impressed by how non-sticky this is and if you're in the market for an inexpensive gloss, look no further!

Have you all tried any of the SoftLips products, aside from the lip balms? Are there any you think I should check out?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NOTD: Black & White Polka Dots!

I first tried out the Sally Hansen nail polish strips back in December. I've worn several different designs of them a few times now and I love that I always get compliments when I wear them! They're really easy to put on, albeit a little time consuming. If you're in the mood for some fun nails (or even just an accent nail), I'd defintiely recommend nail polish strips.

Have you all tried any of these nails trips? If so, what patterns have you loved?

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Box of Beauty Backups!

I don't know about you all, but when I find that holy grail, amazing beauty product, I ensure that I never go a day without it. Not to say that I wear the same lipstick everyday or always use the same mascara, but I like to be sure that I have a backup stash of the product (especially for those limited edition items). I wanted to give you all a look into my little box of backup beauty products. Some of these are products that I purchased extras of because they were on sale, some because they were limited edition, and some because I'm a makeup hoarder.

First up are the fragrances. The two in the little boxes are the Warpaint Beauty perfumes in Indie and Untouchable. These are miniature sizes and I did a blog post on them awhile back. They're always super cheap on sale at Hot Topic (I picked these up for $1 each!) and the scents are delicious! I've also got a backup rollerball of the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume. It's such a fresh, classy floral scent!

First, I have my Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Soft Plum. I adore the consistency of these blushes and I wear this particular shade often. There had been rumors of these blushes being discontinued, which is why I snagged a backup, but for now, they're still being sold in my area. The second blush is a MAC Blushcreme in Lillicent. This is one of my all-time favorite blushes and it's a total summertime essential. I got this at a CCO as a backup, because the color was limited edition (though I'm hoping MAC will eventually re-promote it!)

Next up are my backups of different lip products. I've got the MAC Viva Glam Nicki lipstick, which is probably my all-time favorite lipstick. I have a backup of my favorite nude, the Revlon lip butter in Creme Brulee. The Physician's Formula Happy Booster Lipstick in I Heart Rose is another of my go-to lipsticks. Plus, there was a coupon at CVS one day for $7 off of any Physician's Formula products, meaning I snagged this for only $3! The Stila Lip Glaze in Apricot is also tossed in here. I rarely wear lip glosses, but I adore this one!

Urban Decay makes up a good portion of my makeup collection, which is why I have backups of these favorites. There's the Urban Decay Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer (in the vintage packaging), the Urban Decay Primer Potion (also in vintage packaging), and finally the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Flipside.

Lastly are the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Teal With It and Cry Baby. I got these 75% at CVS one day and I love how they don't require a dry-time, which is why I don't mind wearing them in solid colors!

Do any of you have a stash of backups? If so, what's in it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's In My Beach Bag?

I thought I'd give you all a little sneak peak at what's in my beach bag. The bag is a tribal-inspired backpack that I picked up from Target back in May. My most used items in my bag are my XOX Betsey Johnson sunglasses (RIP to the Betsey Johnson company) and whatever book I'm reading at the moment. Currently, it's The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. To see what else is in my beach bag, check out my latest video down below.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Top 5 Books I've Read In 2012! (So Far!)

I know that my primary focus on this blog is beauty & makeup (along with a little bit of fashion), but I wanted to switch things up today and divulge you all in one of my other passions. I'm a huge fan of reading. My collection of novels exceeds 400 and it grows constantly. Though I haven't done as much reading this year as I usually do (so far I've read 19 books in 2012), I decided to show you guys my top 5 favorite books I've read this year! I'm not saying all of these books are literary gems, but I enjoyed reading them all and really connected with them!

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You by Kelly Cutrone
3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
4. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
5. The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown

What are your favorite books you've read so far this year? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: June Glossybox USA!

When I initially heard that Glossybox was coming to the US, I was ecstatic! In case you missed it, I did a video review on the May Glossybox. Now, I know it's already July and I'm a little late posting this, but I wanted to give my two cents on the program. For the record, I did receive it at the beginning of July, not in June. Glossybox is another one of those monthly beauty subscriptions. It's $21 a month, so it's more than some of the other services, like Birchbox, which is only $10 a month.

This month, my box boasted 6 products, all dedicated to summer beauty. Off the bat, I want to say that I'm not entirely pleased with Glossybox. I think that there are decent-sized products and some good products in these boxes, but spending $21 a month ($252 a year) is a little steep. 

1. Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment (Full Size- $12, Sample Size- $1.99)
  • This smells like your typical, citrus hair cream. I love the citrusy smell this gave my hair (perfect for summer) and it definitely moisturized. This product does what it's supposed to and I really like it for that! My hair is definitely on the drier end of the spectrum, so this was an ideal product for me. I wish the sample size was a little larger, just so I could get a better feel of the product, but I think I might end up purchasing the full-size anyway!
2. Shea Terra Organics Ultimate Moisturizing Body Creme (Full Size- $18, Sample Size- $2)
  • First off, I'm not a huge fan of the smell of this. It says that it's a lavender-scented shea butter and typically I'm a lavender lover, but something about this scent is a kind of off-putting, though not intolerable. Aside from the smell, I actually found this product to be oddly drying. I won't be using this.
3. First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream (Full Size- $16.50, Sample Size- $4.85)
  • I adore this! I would like to note that it's a larger-sized sample than the previous two products and instead of being a kind of mousse/foam texture like most shaving creams, it's an actual cream! The full size price of this product is a lot more than what I want to spend on a shaving cream, but it's great. Because it's a cream, it does't lather a lot (so it's not so irritating on skin) and leaves skin more moisturized than your typical shaving cream.

4. beautyADDICTS Show-OFF Mascara (Full Size- $20)
  • This product is full-sized, which is awesome! Opening up a sample box and seeing something full-sized is always a really nice surprise. I've never heard of this brand before, but I actually really like the mascara. In general, I'm a sucker for mascaras. I've got about 25-30 of them (excessive, I know), but I always love finding new ones! I'd say this does a good job at lengthening and volumizing. It's not a holy grail product for me, but it really is great! I definitely want to look into trying out some of their other products, because I'm loving this one.

5. Kinerase Restructure Firming Cream (Full Size- $98, Sample Size $13.84)
  • This is a fairly small-sized sample, but it's a hugely expensive product, so the small size is understandable. I've only used this twice and I haven't really noticed much in those two uses, but it does have a perfectly creamy, yet firm texture and it seems to moisturize nicely (though I don't think it was created to moisturize). It also kind of fills in fine lines on the face, which is nice. The smell is a little funny, but nothing too awful. I like what it did, but I'm not sure it's worth the almost $100 price tag.

BONUS: A Perfume Organic Urban Organic (Full Size- $65, Sample Size- Unknown)
  • This is described as a sweet, citrus daytime scent. I thought that this actually smelled putrid and I despised the scent. Even thinking about the smell makes me cringe a little.
Monetary total of my June Glossybox: $42.68

Technically, the box was well worth the $21 price tag. However, I'm not a fan of enough of the products for me to be totally satisfied this month. Can't win 'em all, I suppose. I'm hoping for some products that I like more in July's Glossybox!

Do any of you all have any experience with Glossybox, specifically Glossybox US? I've checked out some of the other Glossyboxes (UK and Canada) and I have to say I'm a little jealous of the products they're getting.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sleek Makeup: Review + Swatches, Part 2!

Yesterday, I did a post talking about some Sleek products that I purchased. Sleek is a UK-based company that makes affordable, high-quality makeup. For the second part of my little spotlight on Sleek Makeup, I'm going to be talking about their Face Contour Kit, blushes, and lipsticks.

First up is the Sleek Face Contour Kit. I've heard a lot about various Sleek products from different beauty gurus, but I haven't heard much about this kit. There are three shades (Light, Medium, and Dark) and I opted for Medium. The bronzer is insanely pigmented. The first time I used this, I was shocked by how dark it was on my face. Of course with proper blending, it ended up looking great, but you really have to be careful with this one and if you can't decide between two different shades, go for the lighter one. Part of the reason I also decided on Medium was because of the gorgeous golden highlight color. I like the highlight because it looks really natural, though it wasn't spectacular or anything. You can pick up the duo for $10.

Next is the Blush by 3 in 'Pink Sprint'. As the name suggests, it's a trio of blushes in one, sleek compact. They have several color options for these palettes and because I'm a sucker for any overly-bright and pigmented makeup, I chose the brightest trio. The blushes are extremely bright and pigmented, so if you're just starting out with makeup, I'd steer clear of this. If you're comfortable with brighter blushes and know how to blend them to your advantage, give this baby a try! It's $15.99 for these three full-sized blushes.

Finally, I purchased one of the True Colour Lipsticks in the shade 'Candy Cane'. For only $6, I thought it was worth a try and I am so pleased that I decided to get this lipstick. It's so pigmented and smooth and just everything you could want in a lipstick. I wasn't sure what lipstick color I wanted, but as y'all know, I'm a sucker for bright makeup, especially a bold lip. When I was looking online for swatches of some of the lipsticks, I noticed a lovely blogger, fromnatalietoyou, comparing MAC 'Party Parrot' with Sleek 'Candy Cane. When I saw her swatches of the two, I was thrilled and promptly places the lipstick in my online shopping bag.

Overall, I love Sleek!! I'm trying to cut back on my shopping, as I'm moving in the next couple of months, but I can't wait to get my hands on some more of these Sleek products. Every product that I purchased was great and worth more than the low price tag on them.

Have you ever tried any of the Sleek products? Can you recommend some that I should try out?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sleek Makeup: Review + Swatches, Part 1!

A few weeks ago, I placed a long-awaited order with UK-based company Sleek Makeup. I'd been wanting to try out their products for awhile and I was thrilled when the package arrived. If you haven't already seen my most recent makeup haul, then these products will be a surprise for you! For this post, I'm going to focus on the two eyeshadow palettes, but keep in mind that I will talk about the other three products I purchased in an upcoming post.

First, I picked up the Sleek i-Divine Bad Girl palette. It's perfect for a smokey eye and the colors are gorgeously pigmented. The entire palette is cool-toned and mostly shimmer. There is a dark, matte gray and matte purple in the palette, as well. If you're on the hunt for an inexpensive, high-quality palette for nighttime looks and smokey days, then I'd definitely give this one a try.

 The other palette I snagged was the Sleek i-Divine Original palette. This palette features 11 shimmery shadows and a matte black. This palette is probably my favorite of the two palettes, because there's such a variety of colors. There are some really bright, almost tropical looking colors (purple, turquoise, green, and a yellow), along with some more subdued natural colors. The matte black in this palette is a little less opaque than the other colors and needs to be layered a bit to create that complete matte, black look. The other shadows, however, are practically flawless. The nice thing about this palette is that it can be used to create a ton of different looks.

Overall, I absolutely adore these Sleek palettes. They feature some beautiful colors and the pigmentation is wonderful. They're super smooth and the actual packaging is really compact and clean. Best of all, they're only $10 a pop!

Have you all tried any of the Sleek products, specifically the eyeshadow palettes? What do you think of them? Also, keep a look out for my upcoming review & swatches of the blushes, lipstick, and contour kit from Sleek.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July Birchbox ♡ Glamour Magazine!

This month, Birchbox teamed up with Glamour Magazine to create a box designed to tickle each of your senses. If you're not familiar with Birchbox, it's basically a $10-a-month subscription service that comes to your door near the middle of every month. You can expect 4-5 deluxe beauty samples, though sometimes you'll end up with teeny, tiny samples and sometimes you'll snag amazing full-sized products. I was especially excited to open my box this month, because Birchbox tends to have better (and more full-sized) products when they're teaming up with someone else.

There were a total of six products in my box this month (four beauty items and two lifestyle extras) For those of you unfamiliar with Birchbox, they often include "Lifestyle Extras" in their boxes, jut to add a little more value and depth to your box. This month, the lifestyle extras were a tin of Tea Forte mints and specially-designed Birchbox/Glamour earbuds. Though I've yet to try the mints (I'm not a fan of tea or anything tea-flavored), the earbuds were an adorable touch to the box. Check out glamour.com/spotify for Glamour's perfect "getting pretty" playlist.

 Aside from the adorable little lifestyle extras, I managed to get some decent products in my box. Though I wasn't too impressed with the Harvey Prince perfume sample and Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (decent products, but small sizes), I was pleasantly surprised by the Color Club nail polish and Eyeko Eyeliner. Instead of a full-size polish, there was a miniature minty green/turquoise Color Club nail polish in the shade Blue-Ming. For those unaware, I am a nail polish addict and my nails are ALWAYS painted. The color was also absolutely superb, as it's probably my all-time favorite type of color (I'ma sucker for those minty hues). The Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is full size (and retails for $15!) and fabulous. It features a long marker-like tip and a rather delicate brushstroke.

 Overall, I was pleased with this month's Birchbox. In general, I think Birchbox is one of the best monthly beauty box subscriptions out there. Though they have their hits and misses (as mostly all companies do), I've been subscribed for nearly a year and I anticipate keeping my subscription for awhile!

Have any of you tried out Birchbox? If so, what did you guys get in your box this month?

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