Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Light by Physician's Formula

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Physician's Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer ($14.99) has gotten a lot of love from the beauty world, so when there was a 40% off sale going on at my local Rite Aid back in October, I picked the Light Butter Bronzer. After using it for close to two months, I thought it was time to add my thoughts to the mix.
First off, you are getting a generous 11 grams of product for your money. The packaging is classic Physician's Formula, which means it's a bit on the bulky side with an applicator stored in a bottom compartment.
The applicator is foam and does do a nice job of picking up product, but I prefer to use a brush. Using a brush does kick up some powder, but I'm okay with that. The Butter Bronzer does not look powdery on the skin in the least, which could be because it contains several different "butters", namely Murumuru, Cupuacu, and Tucuma butters. I've linked each butter to more information about them, but one interesting takeaway is that both Murumura and Tucuma are referred to as "vegetable silicones", in that they leave a protective film on the skin without clogging pores. I like!
The Butter Bronzers are available in two shades, but my Rite Aid only had the Light in stock. It's definitely more suited for those with fair/light complexions, and I like how easily it blends into my skin for a touch of color without looking obvious or overly ruddy in tone. I do use this to contour as well, and it also makes for a nice eyelid shade, especially as a subtle crease contour.
Overall, I think the Butter Bronzers are worth the hype! I almost picked up the darker version during Ulta's Black Friday sale, as all of the Physician Formula products were 50% off. I restrained myself as the lighter shade is working quite well for me, plus I have to draw the line somewhere. It's definitely been conspicuous consumption season around here.
Light Butter Bronzer as eyeshadow

Sunday, November 27, 2016

More Black Friday Sales That Got My Money: Tarte. Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques, and Andalou Naturals

Gosh, but the sales have been good this year! I stocked up on some favorites as well as a few Christmas gifts for my mom. Tarte tempted me with 25% off, so I picked up another one of their custom magnetic palettes in Gold Digger ($17). I love the cover design on this one, but seriously, these are as good if not better than Z palettes. While the shape is different, it fits the same amount of product as a large Z palette, and it feels much sturdier. I've now got 3 of them, as I got another of the leopard print design during Sephora's VIB sale. That's how much I like them.
I've gotten to where I prefer using mini sizes of mascaras, as full sized ones tend to go bad before I finish them up. The limited edition Triple Threat Mascara Trio ($18) will be a gift for my mom and includes mini sizes of the:
  • deluxe tarteist™ lash paint mascara
  • deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara
  • deluxe lights, camera, flashes™ statement mascara
Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques had a 30% off sale, so I picked up what their Creme Foundation in Cool No. 30 (review here). This has become my favorite foundation, with it's skin loving ingredients and smooth finish. I also got the Silk Veil ($18) in medium as a finishing powder for the foundation. It's supposed to be good for normal to oily skin and considering the foundation does best when set with a powder, I'm hoping the two together will be a powerhouse combo. I will report back.

The Lash Conditioner ($12) is something I've used before and really like. It's got new packaging which I think should preserve the formula better. I will do a review on this as well, so stay tuned.
Andalou Naturals makes my go to sunscreen, the DIY Booster SPF 30 Facial Serum ($19.99, review here). For years I was reluctant to wear sunscreen on my oily skin, and this is the first one I've wholeheartedly embraced. Looks like Andalou has redesigned all of their packaging.
I've had my eye on the Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum ($24.99) and this sale seemed like the right time to pick it up. I use turmeric powder almost every day in my morning smoothie, and I'm interested in seeing how this powerful anti-inflammatory works in skincare.
The Kukui Cocoa Body Butter ($13.95) sounds lovely with its argan oil, shea and cocoa butters, aloe vera, Hawaiian kukui and evening primrose oils. Another gift for mom, however, so I'll have to ask her if it's as good as it sounds.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bubble & Bee Body Butters

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
It's that time of year where I break out my heavy hitter body moisturizers, as falling temps and dryer air take a toll on my skin. Bubble & Bee recently held their Friends & Family sale, which I used as an excuse to replenish my stock of their organic body butters as well as pick up a Christmas gift or two for family, all at 30% off their regular $24.95 price.
If you are unfamiliar with Bubble & Bee Organic, it's a company based in Utah that makes natural and organic deodorants, body butters, soaps, lip balms, facial toners and cleansers, and well, lots more. I'm partial to their deodorants and body butters, although I did branch out and buy a few other products this go around, which I'll talk more about in another post.
I purchased the unscented version as a gift for Scrooge an aunt , but she has now decided we don't need to give gifts to each other this Christmas, so it will be staying with me. When I'm attending meetings at the hospitals I try to not wear scented products, plus on days I want to customize scent I think adding a few drops of my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils to this will work quite well.
The Almond & Coconut is a gift for my mother, as I know she enjoys both of those scent notes. I have not smelled this particular scent yet, and I'm interested in how the cinnamon essential oil fits in.
For myself I chose the Peppermint & Vanilla and the Sugar & Spice scents. I finished my first tub of Sugar & Spice last year and it's the perfect scent for fall and winter. It's a seasonal scent that is not available year round, but I've truly not found a more realistic spice scent than this one - which makes sense seeing it does contain actual spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger and brown sugar). The shelf life on these is listed as 10 months after opening, but I had one open for three years that did not go bad.
Peppermint & Vanilla sounded perfect for this time of year as well, and it smells minty and warm at the same time. Is that possible? The mint is the more dominant scent, yet there is an underlying richness that comes from the vanilla and gives it a bit more complexity.  I do find that the scent on this one fades after a few hours, whereas the Sugar & Spice fragrance lasts all day.
The texture is whipped yet dense, and since these are composed of various oils plus shea butter, will melt when exposed to high temperatures. I opted for the cold pack shipping feature as temps here in Mobile were still in the 80's when I ordered, and everything arrived in good order.  I find these are heavier than most other body butters, but they do melt/absorb nicely into the skin and their concentration is what makes them such heavy hitters when it comes to winter dry skin.  Their density is also because they are not water based, so a little goes a long way.
The label around the containers peels off, and on the inside was some info about nourishing your skin from within with their FlaxPro Flax seeds ($14.99). Since I did order a container, I thought I would show you that as well. I liked the idea of being able to eat these without having to grind, and they do have a nice nutty taste. I've added them to my smoothies and think they will make a nice salad topper as well.
Bubble & Bee Organic has periodic sales that you can be notified about if you sign up at their site. I've also got a 20% off code that was sent in my box "share20", so I'm passing it along to you (it is not an affiliate code and I get no benefit).  Sample sizes of many of the products are available, which is how I tried out their many deodorants before happening upon my favorite (Vanilla Orange).  The Vanilla Orange body butter is fantastic as well, but I've still got half a tub of that one ☺☺☺☺.  Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Black Friday Sales That Got My Money: Le Couvent des Minimes

Apparently, Black Friday sales now start way in advance of even Thanksgiving, but that's fine by me. I'm definitely an online shopper as opposed to fighting crowds in stores, plus I like to take advantage of ebates and get a little cash back with my purchases. If you have not signed up for ebates, you really should. Here is my referral code to sign up, just in case (I get referral bonuses that would be lovely to accrue, but you can also go directly to ebates.com to sign up).  Back to the sales that I decided were just too good to pass up.
The first one that caught my eye is from Le Couvent des Minimes, where you can get 30% off if you spend over $50, up to a maximum of $45 off a purchase of $150. No code was required when I went through the email link, but BLACKFRIDAY16 is what was at the bottom of the email if the discount does not automatically show up in your cart. There is also a nice PWP deal on the Sereine Holiday Tote above ($46), making it $15 with any $45 purchase. I got one, along with The Delicateness Kit ($29.50):
The Loving Pouch ($29):
Exfoliating Shower Pulp ($12):

All totaled, I saved a little over 50%, which is not bad. I love Le Couvent des Minimes fragrances and always get compliments when I wear them. I'm wearing the Botanical Cologne of the Missions as I type this up, which is an inexpensive gem that has been described as a "boozy vanilla". Check out Fragrantica for more reviews on it, but it's a definite love for me. A warm weather favorite is their Botanical Cologne of the Minims, which features a bracing blast of citrus with it's grapefruit, blood orange, and lemon top notes. I took advantage of an Ulta sale to pick up the Botanical Cologne of the Morning and the Botanical Cologne of Love (and should be arriving today), so between the two sales I now have all of the fragrances offered. I'll do some reviews soon. What Black Friday sales are you taking advantage of?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wet n Wild Megaglow Highlighting Gold Bar

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Wet n Wild has been hitting it out of the park when it comes to highlighters this year.  In fact, two of my favorite highlighters are from them: the MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals, and now the Holly Gold-head MegaGlo Highlighting Gold Bar ($3.99).
I was lucky enough to snag both at my local Rite Aid, which was pure luck considering there were only a few on the display.  Good news regarding Precious Petals:  it is now availabe on Wet n Wild's site if you would like one. I don't know if it's just a second run of a limited edition product or if it's permanent, but I would jump on it if you missed out the first time around.
Seriously, how pretty is this thing? I've been using it for over a month now and it ranks up there with any of my higher end brand powder highlighters. The soft yellow gold shimmer can go either bold or delicate depending on how much you use.
It makes a great eyeshadow color as well, and I've been enjoying it as an inner eye brightener or to add a pop of gleam to the middle of my lid.
The top swatch is the gold bar, while the bottom swatch includes the peachy star portion as well. The difference is slight, but the peach does had a bit of warmth to the gold. I love the colors captured in the sun, and find the powder is finely milled and gives such a nice sheen to skin.
Hopefully Wet n Wild will realize that making the Gold Bar a permanent item is in everybody's best interest. I'm definitely glad I was able to get my hands on one!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Light and Shadow: November Julep Maven Box

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
November's Julep collection focuses on shimmery, harvest inspired hues.  The two nail polishes I gravitated towards are the sheer holographic nude Carrie Ann and the deep wine shimmer Syd.  I've been wearing variations of these two colors for the past 6 weeks, with nudes on my hands and wine shades on my toes. No telling how much longer that trend will continue, but I'm going with it.
November also saw the release of more Eyeshadow 101 shadow sticks, and I opted for Gunmetal Shimmer and Midnight Blue. I don't have anything like them in my stick shadow collection, which helped me bypass the warmer tones I usually go for.
The formula of the Eyeshadow 101 sticks is comparable to Laura Mercier Caviar sticks, and I like using darker shades like these as eyeshadow bases. These are billed as cream-to-powder eyeshadows, but I think that's a bit misleading. You do have a short time to blend these before they set, but once they set they are budge proof, which is why I disagree with the "powder" portion of the description.
So far I've only played with Gunmetal Shimmer, which I used as a base with a blueish silver Estee Lauder shadow from the 2016 Color Portfolio on top. I like how this look turned out!
I paid $19.99 for my box (I was grandfathered in at the lower price), and used my Julep points to add on Carrie Ann. All total the value of the box is $64, which goes to show how deep of a discount these monthly Maven subscriptions can provide.