Friday, May 31, 2013

New Sephora Online Sale Items

First thing every morning, I check the Sephora sale section.  It's just part of my early morning, wake up with my coffee, surf the web routine.  Lots of new items were there today, so wanted to point out a few that caught my eye.
$33 ($90 value)
I remember seeing Tinsel Town during the Christmas holidays but didn't bite.  It got me this time.

I couldn't pass up the Sephora+Pantone Universe Shades of Nature eyeshadow palette at just $17 dollars.  Crazy!  It's now sold out, so they must have had like, three or so of them :-)

Another item I have and like on sale are the Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencils by Sephora.  I've got one in Gorgeous Peach, and 3 colors are currently listed.  They are going fast, however, as there were six colors earlier this morning.
Just a quick public service announcement in case you were unaware!

Update:  Sephora emailed me on June 4th saying that my items were out of stock so they wouldn't be filling the order.  Don't list items if they are not in stock- bad Sephora!

NOTD: Daisy by Julep, Mad Men, and Sentimental Musings

I don't have cable, so every Sunday night I go over to my mom's to watch TV.  Specifically, shows from the AMC channel:  The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and this coming Sunday, The Killing.  Yes, I've turned my 70 year old mother into a fan of all of them.  She's always been cool :-)
So, if you've been watching Mad Men this season, you know they are entering the late 1960's, with all it's political and social turmoil.  I particularly love the attention to detail with the clothes, interior design, and music.  Megan's mini-dress!  Betty's hair sprayed to within an inch of it's life for the formal politico event!  I asked my mother if watching Mad Men made her remember that time, and she said yes, especially the hair - "I wore those hairdo's".  So here is my nod to what's coming next - the summer of love, hippies (the I-Ching tossing Wendy Gleason), sit-ins, and peace, man.
Daisy by Julep is the first yellow polish I've tried, and I was curious to see if it had any of the common problems I've read about with yellow polishes.  It was patchy and a bit thick, so I ended up using 3 coats before I was satisfied.  I used Julep's base coat and gel top coat.  There were a few bubbles, which may mean I didn't wait long enough between coats?  I do like how it came out though, so nothing insurmountable here.
A  few nail stickers, which is the closest I'll probably ever get to nail art, and I'm almost finished.  The edges of these wanted to curl up a bit, but another layer of top coat (or 2) fixed that.  Or so I thought.  After showering, I now have "pea" intead of "peace" :-)

Don't forget to enter my first giveaway!

Disclaimer:  I purchased these.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

e.l.f. Earthy Mineral Eyeshadow: Review, Swatches and Comparison

The second out of four e.l.f. shadows that I purchased a while back is Earthy, a spring green shimmer.  I love this color of green and am attracted to it in almost any form - furnishings, paint colors, clothes, eyeshadows.....
Earthy is a soft color and  you can see silver and pink shimmer bits in it, which gives it a hint of a glowing quality on the eye.  The consistency was very nice and I found that it spread easily and smoothly, with minimal fall out.  It wore well over primer, with very light creasing after a full day's wear.  My lids are quite oily, so wear time may be even better for others.
Late afternoon shade that had this interesting glow
The only other shadow I have that I could think of as a possible dupe was the bareMinerals Glimmer loose shadow Magnetize, which I picked up several years ago.  However, once I put them side by side it was evident that Magnetize has much more yellow in it, making Earthy look positively minty in comparison.  Comparisons like these really help me to get a better since of undertones and color families, as I would not have though of Earthy as "minty" prior to this.

Magnetize, Earthy
Earthy, Magnitize
I really like e.l.f.'s Earthy and think the quality is there.  Factor in that it is so inexpensive at $3, and you've got quality + inexpensive = winner!

Don't forget to enter my first giveaway!

Update:  Just received an email from e.l.f. and they are having a sale:  40% off if you spend $30 (code MORE40) and 25% if you spend $15 (code MORE25).  Sale expires on June 3rd.

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this and have no affiliation with e.l.f..

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NYC Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss in Supersized Red

NYC released several new lip products this spring, and today I have Supersized Red from the Big Bold Plumping lip glosses to show you.  I actually like the tingle that plumping lip glosses tend to have, although I'm not sure I really see any plumping action going on in any of the ones I've tried.

These are supposed to plump your lips by 50%, which is a rather ridiculous claim, IMO.  Does that mean your lips would get 50% bigger, and if so, wouldn't that be more akin to an allergic reaction?  Regardless, Supersized Red gives a mild tingling sensation that goes away after a few minutes.  You are left with a nice glossy finish in a sheer poppy red. This is not an opaque gloss by any means, but it does impart some color, and I think it will be a good layering gloss over lipstick as well.  In the tube you can see a fine gold shimmer, but it's not readily apparently on the lips, although you can see it if you click on the swatch above.
Wear time is supposed to be up to 5 hours, but I'd say it's more like 2-3.  I wore it during a recent presentation where I was doing lots of talking, and I found it to be very comfortable and not sticky at all.  The bottle is larger than most glosses, and the wand is honkin' big.  The doe foot applicator actually feels very plush, just be careful when pulling it out as a fair amount of gloss comes with it.
There is a faint scent that I found hard to identify until I went online and saw where someone said it smelled like baby powder.  Yes, that's it!  Not exactly how I want a gloss to smell, but I can't smell it after it's applied, so no biggie.  Overall the comfortable wear, nice sheen, and hint of a tint - all at $3.99, make it a good budget option, IMO.
Don't forget to enter my first giveaway!

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Eco Emi: Kick Off the Summer

My initial impression of Eco Emi's May box - it's stellar!  Christine, the founder of Eco Emi, notes that the box is a blend of products from new companies as well as some or her favorite staples, which makes for a great box, IMO.  Add in the fact that most of the items are beauty related, and it's a winner:-)
In the new to me category are a nail polish and a natural mascara from Suncoat Girl.  The nail polish is actually marketed towards both children and adults, due to it's water-based formula that is free of Phthalate plasticizers, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Acetates, Alcohol, Glycol ethers, FD&C dyes.  Wear time is going to be briefer, with the removal method being soaking fingers for 3 minutes in warm water and then peeling the polish off. Sample value is $7.99.
I was excited about the mascara, as it's a gorgeous true navy blue with a glossy finish.  Made with natural sugar-based biopolymer, kaolin clay, earth pigments and enriched with vitamin E, the texture is rather thick.  I did have a chance to wear it Sunday and due to the texture, I found it a bit clumpy and difficult to apply.    If it was a tad thinner, it might have been a winner :-( Sample value is $14.99.
The lip balm this month ('cause there's one very month, which is fine by me), is Mongo Kiss Honey Vanilla by Eco Lips.  It's larger than most lip balms and features Mongongo oil sourced from a rural village in Zambia, Africa.  It feels good on, and has the added benefit of being USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified.  Love a good lip balm, they are a must have item for me that I keep in strategic places all around my house.  Sample value is $1.99.
There are two samples from All Terrain - a waterproof sunscreen and a natural, DEET-Free insect repellent that uses six natural oils.  I'll be interested to see if the insect repellent works, as I'm already starting to see bug bites on me from working out in my jungle of a yard.  Mosquitoes are the bane of my existence - I secrete something that calls all of  them within a 5-mile radius, it seems like!  Value for both samples is about $1.11.
Some staples from Christine's favorite companies start with the Pink Champagne powder eye shadow from Laurent Brooke Cosmetiques.  Pink Champagne is high shimmer and very nicely pigmented.  I'm looking forward to trying it out, as I gravitate towards this kind of color.  Sample value is $9.00.
The Seaweed Bath Co. has shown up several times in previous boxes, and this time I got a lavender scented powder bath soak.  I don't take baths, but I do use products like these to soak my feet in when I give myself pedicures.  It makes the process a bit more enjoyable.  Sample value is $3.89.
I was impressed with an unscented body moisturizer I previously received from Beauty Without Cruelty, so I'm exited to try their aromatherapy shampoo in Rosemary-Mint-Tea Tree.  It smells really nice and sounds like it will be good for my oily scalp/hair.  Sample value is $2.99.

There was one food item this month, a Pomegranate bar from Athena Bars.  I enjoy getting these, as I frequently end up eating them for breakfast.  It definitely sounds healthy, with 40 antioxidants, 2 full servings of fruits and vegetables, 10 grams of protein, and 3 probiotics.  Better than the McDonald's sausage McMuffin I often get!  Sample value is $1.89.

All total, this month's box value is $43.85, making it one of the higher value boxes I've received from Eco Emi.  This month featured 3 (4 if you count the bath soak) full sized items, which definitely ups the value.  Item size and value don't really mean anything if the items are sub par however, and in my experience, that has generally not been a problem with Eco Emi.  They remain one of my favorite subscription boxes!

Don't forget to enter my first giveaway!

Disclaimer:  I subscribe to Eco Emi for $15/month.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My First Giveaway!

I love giveaways and enter lots of them, mainly through the various beauty blogs I read.  I've even won a few, which makes for an extra nice week!  I decided it was time to host my own, and while it's not really to celebrate any particular event, the idea came about when I purchased the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault.  I knew I would end up with duplicate eyeliners, and I doubt I really need backups of any of them, as I've yet to make it through a full one yet.  So, my excess is your gain!
I've also included some other duplicate items I've bought (sometimes by mistake, as I swear I don't remember getting two of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Sweetheart).  I got a back up of Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Barely Beige because I love it so much and it was limited edition and hard to find, but now that the similar Barely Branded is part of the regular lineup, I can let it go:-)  To help you remove all these products, I'm also included a deluxe sample size of Lancome's Bifacil makeup remover.

The items included in this giveaway are:

Urban Decay full sized 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in:
  • Hustle:  metallic brown shimmer
  • Junkie:  metallic teal shimmer w/gold micro-sparkle
  • LSD:  navy shimmer w/bright turquoise micro-sparkle
  • Mushroom:  metallic taupe-pewter shimmer
  • Perversion:  blackest-black matte
  • Psychedelic Sister:  bright purple cream
  • Rockstar:  darkest eggplant   
  • Stash:  dark green/gold
  • Zero:  zealous black
Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in Barely Beige

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart/Valentine

Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (deluxe sample size)

The giveaway is open to readers from the U.S. and Canada only.  To enter, see the Rafflecopter options below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I purchased the items for this giveaway.  I am not responsible for items lost, damaged, or stolen in transit.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The All Natural Face Bubblegum Cream Blush: Review, Swatches and Comparison

The All Natural Face now has cream blush versions of all 27 of their powder blushes, and I recently bought 4 to try out:  Bubblegum, Peachy Rose, Everyday is a Good Day, and Really Red.  Today I've got Bubblegum for you.
Bubblegum is medium pink that really does capture the tone of pink bubblegum.  I wanted to compare the cream version to the powder version of Bubblegum to see how similar they are.  The cream version packs more of a color punch, although you can control the amount of color quite easily.  The powder is more sheer and has sparkle, and I found it more difficult to build up color.
Bubblegum cream blush
The finish of the cream blush is more dewy, although nothing that veers into greasiness.  The texture is actually quite lovely and natural looking.  It spreads nicely and I had no issues with patchiness or settling into pores.  The powder version is more matte, and surprisingly, I liked the finish of the cream better.
Bubblegum powder blush
What really got interesting is when I layered the powder over the cream, as there is a very slight blue tint that was evident at certain angles, plus the color was punched up some more. 
Bubblegum cream layered with powder on top, powder alone on bottom

To apply, I've been using my fingers to lightly dot along my cheek bone and then blending with a stipling bush.  The all natural formula is organic jojoba oil, organic argan oil, candelilia wax, mica, titanium dioxide, boron nitride, and oxides.  It's hot here in Mobile now, and some of the oils collected the rim of the container during shipping.  It didn't seem to affect the blush, but something to be aware of if you live in a hot climate.  The cream blushes are lip safe as well, although I find them a bit dry for that purpose.  I'm wearing Bubblegum on my cheeks and lips below.
Here you can see how Bubblegum is a bit rough looking alone on my lips, although it looks much better with a bit of gloss on top.  
Without gloss
With gloss
The cream blushes are very reasonably priced at $5.75, and they are on sale for $4 through May 31st.  The All Natural Face is also offering free shipping for the Memorial Day weekend, ending at midnight May 27th (I have no affiliation with The All Natural Face, just want to let you know about available deals). 

I'm impressed with both the color and wear of Bubblegum, and look forward to seeing how the others perform!  Tempted to pick up some others during the sale, but we shall see.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

Friday, May 24, 2013

NOTD: Blue Mosaic by Revlon

I've probably had Blue Mosaic for 2 years now, and this is my first time wearing it.   It was originally part of the Expressionists Collection released in Fall/Winter 2011, but Revlon later re-released it in 2012 as Radiant.  I'm not sure why I haven't worn it til now - as I love the color combo and different sizes of glitter in the mix.  Maybe because it's a bold polish that makes a disco ball statement, and I have to be in the right mood for that :-)

When I wore Blu by Zoya last week, I made a mental note to layer Blue Mosaic over it after a few days.  I like how it turned out - apart from messing up my ring finger, which must not have been completely dry when I went to bed.

As a total aside, my car's color is called Aquarius Blue, and I went to graduate school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, whose colors are light blue and white.  So I definitely have a fondness for these shades of blue!

I used two coats of Blue Mosaic over Blu, followed by one coat of Gelous and one of Julep's fast dry top coat.  I probably could have used another layer of topcoat, as there is still a bit of texture.  This is definitely a glitter that is meant to be layered over other colors, as it would probable take a good 3-4 layers to achieve opacity on it's own. The combo of Blue Mosaic over Zoya's Blu is wearing like iron, as I've got minimal tip wear after 6 days,  Makes me a bit worried about getting this off.
Without a doubt, this baby is bright and blingy, and from a distance it looks like solid metallic turquoise! 

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

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