Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 2013 Ipsy Bag

The other day I was reading a post from my coral-loving Belgian friend Sunny at Mostly Sunny about the Deauty beauty subscription box, and I left her a comment about my great experience with Ipsy.  She inspired me to finally get off my duff and post about Ipsy here on my blog!  It's not the most well-known subscription service, but to me it's one of the best and I think y'all need to know about it!  :)

Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that allows you to narrow down your preferences (so if you don't want perfume samples, you can specify that!) and ensures a bag that's more personalized to your likes.  It costs $10.00 USD and you are auto-billed every month.  You can cancel the subscription at any time if you aren't in love with the service.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

REVIEW! | NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio

If you know me, you know I love anything French or anything that has a French connection, so to speak.  I could spend hours looking at pictures on Instagram tagged with #paris, #france, #marseille, and so on.  I have a dedicated Pinterest board titled J'adore France.  I took French in high school, and again post-school through Emory University's night courses for working adults just for fun.  Visiting France has been on my bucket list since I was a teenager!  When I saw NARS had an eyeshadow trio called Douce France in lovely shades of rose, I was in.

Douce France debuted in the NARS Spring 2012 collection and was recently on sale for $25.00 USD on the NARS website.  NARS trios typically retail for $45.00, which I think is quite steep considering one could pick up the entire Naked or Naked2 palette from Urban Decay (which contain twelve shadows, a brush, and a mini primer potion or a mini lip gloss for $50.00 - just $5.00 more).  At nearly 50% off, picking up this trio seemed like too good a bargain to pass up.
The shades are described as shimmery icy pink, shimmery rose petal pink, and matte deep rose. The color payoff was good for the medium pink and phenomenal for the rose, while the lightest shade seemed a bit powdery and required some layering.  I was really attracted to this palette because I don't own anything like the medium pink or cranberry shade and I thought it would be a fun addition!  Douce France wore perfectly all day over eyeshadow primer.
I absolutely loved the finished look! I used the lightest shade to highlight the brow and inner corners, the medium pink on the lid and crease, and the matte rose all over the lid and blended upward into the crease.  I lined my upper and lower lashes with black liner to emphasize my lash line and I finished up with two coats of black volumizing mascara (L'Oreal Voluminous, to be exact).
After seeing these shadows on Laurie from 312 Beauty, I'm convinced anyone with blue eyes should own this trio because it really brings them out!  I'd also love to see this on someone with dark eyes and dark hair.  The lightest shadow would really stand out beautifully on darker skin and the warm rosy shades would be quite stunning.

If you simply cannot live without Douce France (which translates to "Sweet France"), it is limited edition and will disappear from the NARS site at some point.  If you're intrigued but are willing to gamble, sign up for NARS emails and hopefully you can pick it up for a steal the next time they have a big sale.  You can also find this trio for sale on Amazon and eBay, but be careful because counterfeit makeup shows up on eBay quite a bit and can be a little difficult to detect in photos.

What's your favorite NARS trio?  Would you ever wear cranberry shadow?

My Rating: B+
Where to Buy: NARS

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

wish list wednesday 6/26/13

1.) MAC Pigment in Circa Plum.  Have you seen this swatched?  Oh my, it's LOVELY!
2.) Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Honey Bear.  A lovely neutral mauve with a creamy texture.
3.) Diptyque Baies Candle.  Berries!  Roses!  Yes!

What's on your wish list this Wednesday?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mani Monday - Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish

Happy Monday, you stone foxes!  Hopefully this Monday finds you doing well after a good weekend.  :)  I hung out with my mom a bit and finished up season two of Downton Abbey!  I loved the last episode because it was set during Christmas, which is my favorite time of year.  Does anyone else start longing for that festive Christmas feeling in say...June?  I definitely have frequent visits from the holiday spirit fairy throughout the year and it always makes me feel excited, even when December is 7 months away.  Hey, it's never too early to start tucking away a few trinkets for the holidays, right?!  I've always wanted to be one of those people who has their shopping done in September like a boss.  It might actually happen this year!

Today's Mani Monday is the beautiful Zoya Destiny, one of the Pixie Dust formulas.  Destiny is a bold orange-red with a textured finish.  Two coats and we were fully opaque, though you can see some nail lines in the photos below due to the flash.  The textured finish is awesome; to me, it feels similar to a layer or two of a chunky hex glitter polish.  It's not smooth, but it's not rough or scratchy, either.  
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
This is definitely my "gateway" polish into the world of textured lacquers.  I think the name is quite fitting, as it's now my Destiny to try other colors and textured formulas (like OPI's Liquid Sand).

Zoya polish is BIG 5 FREE (formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate {DBP}) and Vegan friendly.
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
If you're the type of person who "ain't got time" to toil away removing nail polish, don't let the texture finish scare you!  I expected a battle royale to unfold, replete with 82 cotton balls, tin foil, acetone, swearing, and an hour of my life gone missing.  I was quite delighted that this polish removed just as easily as regular formula polish!  Winning!
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust Nail Polish
Do you like textured polish?  Would you ever try one if you haven't before?  If you love 'em, what's your favorite?

My Rating: A+
Price: $9.00
Where to Buy: Zoya

Friday, June 21, 2013

REVIEW! | The Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask

I picked up this mask during a 40% sale at The Body Shop site.  It's the first mask I've ever used from The Body Shop and let me say that I'm impressed!  Tingling goodness that results in extremely fresh, smooth skin?  Check!

The Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask is supposed to cleanse, exfoliate, and purify your skin.  You apply a layer to freshly cleansed and dried skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.  When you're done, you rinse it away with warm water.  I like to use a washcloth soaked in warm water to remove it completely and aid in the exfoliation process.
It does tingle quite a bit for about 60 seconds once applied, but it's never more than slightly uncomfortable and then it settles down.  Once I remove it, my skin glows and feels fresh and smooth.  It has a smell that reminds me of herbs and baby powder, which sounds bonkers but is quite lovely!
You get a very generous 4.2 oz, which is probably enough for 20-25 applications, for $17.00.  Sign up for email alerts from The Body Shop so you'll be the first to know about new products and sales and maybe you can pick this up during the next 40% off sale for $10 clams!

If you've never shopped at The Body Shop site, let me just say that their customer service is excellent.  One of the best experiences I've had shopping online.  They pack their orders with such care that it feels like opening a gift from a friend who really knows a thing or two about presentation!  I emailed them after I received my order letting them know how much I appreciated their packing and the quality of their products.  I got the kindest personalized response back from one of their customer service representatives thanking ME for the email in great detail!  It was so thoughtful and I couldn't believe someone went to that kind of trouble to respond.  A+ service like that is rare these days, and I think they're such a great overall brand.

What's your favorite TBS product?  I can't get enough of their body butters, especially the smaller sized mini tubs that are great for tossing in a bag, desk drawer, or setting on your night stand.  The Mini Strawberry Body Butter (mentioned in my April Favorites post here) I ordered went fast because I couldn't stop using it!

Happy Friday!

My Rating: A
Price: $17.00 USD
Where to Buy: The Body Shop

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wish List Wednesday

wish list wednesday

1) NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow
2) China Glaze Shocking Pink Nail Lacquer
3) Slatkin & Co./B&BW candles (The 3 wick varieties are on sale for $11 bucks this week!)
4) I need to buy foundation that suits my summer skin tone as all of my go-to foundations are WAY too light right now.  I've narrowed the field to the Tarte Amazonian Clay or Laura Mercier Silk Creme.  If anyone has any thoughts on them, please let me know!

What's on your Wednesday Wish List?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MAC-tastic Tuesday!

MAC has restocked the lipsticks (and a few blushes!) from the All About Orange collection!  If you missed out the first time, you may be able to pick up what you wanted now!

And this is just a friendly neighborhood reminder that RiRi MAC Summer will go live today at 12:00 EST if there's something from the collection you've had your eye on!  Good luck!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mani Monday | Butter London Trout Pout

Happy Monday!!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Did you do anything fun?  I had a great weekend, myself.  Friday night I met 3 of my friends out for dinner and we had so much fun getting caught up and laughing.  Afterwards, we went back to Emily's house where I got to spend some quality time with her cat Moe, one of my favorite "O.P.P.'s" (Other People's Pets).  I love that cat.  Saturday I had a blast hanging out with my mom!  We went to Ted's Montana Grill and each ordered a different signature burger, cut them in half and split them.  She ordered the Avalon ("Melted Gruy√®re with a hint of Bleu cheese, crumbled bacon, roasted garlic aioli and baby arugula") and I got the Canyon Creek ("Cheddar cheese, smoky bacon, blackberry jam and a fried egg") and they were awesome. There's something so right about a juicy, messy burger topped with an egg.  Sunday I got caught up on blogging, worked out with Jason, and had a mini-marathon viewing session of Downton Abbey.  I'm still on season 1, and it's just so good!  Have y'all seen it?  The Dowager Countess' facial expressions and zingers are priceless.
In honor of my recent Downton Abbey viewing and my general love for England (apparently some of my ancestors hailed from Hastings), today's Mani Monday is Butter London's Trout Pout.
Butter London Trout Pout
Butter London describes this shade as an "opaque cantaloupe" but I find cantaloupe to be a bit peachier, typically.  Trout Pout is a beautiful coral creme that looks lighter and pinker in outdoor lighting.  Indoors, the orange tones come out to play and the polish looks a bit more bold.
I picked up Trout Pout and Teddie Girl during a fantastic sale (I think they were 2 for 1!) at a few months ago.  Originally, I wasn't on fire about the formula as I found both polishes required 3 coats to achieve fully opaque coverage.  However, I've since changed my mind after wearing Trout Pout several times.  I can easily get 2 coat coverage by applying a slightly thicker second coat.  The wear time is pretty fantastic; I got 5 days of chip-free wear with very minimal edge wear.  I only had minor chipping on my thumb on the 6th day because I tried to pry open a box with my bare hands like a wild animal.  Note to self: Get scissors next time.  

I feel like Butter London's bottles are made for nail bloggers!  That rectangular shape makes for a perfectly flat display area to show off your tips.
Butter London Trout Pout
Like similar packaging from Dior and Chanel, the top slides off to reveal a much more user-friendly brush handle. 
Coral is one of my favorite colors, so it's no surprise that I love this polish.  I think it would look amazing with a grey and white chevron accent nail or a chunky silver glitter gradient (if you have the patience to remove said glitter later on, lol)!
Butter London polishes are 3 Free, meaning their formulas are free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.  Butter London is currently having a Friends and Family sale on their website for 30% off your entire order with coupon code "FFSUMMER".  I checked and the sale is good on their US, UK, and Canada sites!  If you've been curious about the brand, or you're already a faithful BL devotee in need of one of their new shades, now's a great time to pick one up!

What's your favorite Butter London polish?  What are you wearing on your nails this Monday morning?

My Rating: A
Price: $15.00
Where to Buy: Butter London, ULTA

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tio Nacho Crema Body Lotion with Royal Jelly and Coconut Milk - Review, Photos

I picked up Tio Nacho Crema Body Lotion with Royal Jelly and Coconut Milk because I thought it was shower gel.  I didn't notice it was lotion until I got home, and I must say I'm glad I realized this before I hopped in the shower and the mishaps continued to unfold!  I'm quite happy my powers of observation were set to "barely operable" that day, though, because this lotion has been my post-shower BFF ever since.  
It goes on like a creamy body lotion and absorbs very quickly.  My skin feels perfectly hydrated and stays that way until it's shower time once again the next day.  I think this is such a perfect summer body moisturizer because it's creamy and hydrating without being heavy. 
I have seen Tio Nacho for sale at Walgreens and was always curious about it and thought the packaging was cool.  Honey comb pulls me in like a tractor beam!
I know a lot of folks avoid products containing honey because they find the scent cloying and overpowering but this body creme does not fall into that category at all!  It's hard to describe the scent; it's a tad bit fruity and soft.  I don't really smell that overpowering honey scent, and though this is made with coconut milk, I don't smell coconut, either.  So if you fall into either of those camps of loathing, rejoice!  Those scents aren't hanging around in this body moisturizer!

My Rating: A
Cost: $10.99
Where to Buy: Drugstores (US), available online at The Latin Products

Friday, June 14, 2013

REVIEW! | theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer, Balms Away Eye Makeup Remover

When I found out theBalm was going to be on HauteLook, I was excited to try a few items from a brand I've never used before at a 50% discount.  Who wouldn't be?  50% off?  Who isn't all about that?!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

May Favorites

May 2013 favorites

1. eos Medicated Tangerine Smooth Sphere Lip Balm: This is the 1st medicated eos sphere I've tried and it's AMAZE.  If you like a little medicated pizzazz in your lip balm, this is the ticket!  It's like Carmex's less feisty sister, with a twist of tangerine.
2. Beautisol Dark Self Tanning Lotion: Best. Self. Tanner. EVER.  No streaks, no stink.  It actually smells GOOD!  The color is so natural looking and lasts me over a week.  Full review here.
3. MAC Twig Lipstick: Pinky-brown lipstick paradise.  Don't leave home without it!  Full review here.
4. Tio Nacho Royal Jelly & Coconut Milk Crema Body Lotion: Perfectly hydrating for summer, soaks in effortlessly, and smells beautiful.  Full review here.
5. The Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask: This mask will b-tch slap your face into clarity, like a really caring-yet-sassy friend!  Full review soon.
6. OPI Cajun Shrimp Nail Lacquer: I painted my toes with this gorgeous orangey-red a couple of weeks ago and haven't had any desire to change it up!  It's such a happy pop of summer color that looks great in flip flops or peep-toe heels.

What were your May favorites?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

REVIEW! | Beautisol Dark Body Self-Tanner and Need I Glow More Face Self-Tanner for Normal - Dry - Sensitive Skin

Best. Self. Tanner. EVER.  And I've tried a LOT of self-tanners.  I've found my HG and I wanted to share it with you!

I first heard of Beautisol through one of my faves Amber at Beauty Junkies Unite.  She's a long time lover of this product and had the opportunity to go on HSN to demonstrate and talk about it with the founder Sinead Norineus (AKA The Queen of Self-Tanning and founding member of iFabbo).  I set up my DVR because how cool to see Amber on TV, right?!  I honestly had no plans to buy Beautisol; I just wanted to see one of my favorite bbloggers rockin' it live on the tube!  However, I was convinced Beautisol was the self-tanner I'd been looking for after only the first few minutes of the segment!  The results on the models, Sinead, and Amber were like WHOA, and I needed it!

I used to bake in the sun without any sunscreen and while I did go from Snow White to Pocahontas, I saw that my sun habit was leading to hyper pigmentation that didn't fade away after the sun set on summer.  In later years, I started to develop what I called the "sunstache", a nice term for melasma appearing above my mouth.  It took months to fade away.  The last straw was when I had to wear concealer on my upper lip for six months after my last sunbathing excursion.  That was a few years ago, and since then, I've worn SPF daily and avoided my previous inclinations to spend hours soaking up the sun without sunscreen.

While I know I'm doing positive things for my skin, I sometimes long for that golden bronze glow.  I've used many a self-tanner and never found one that looked believable, didn't smell to high heaven, and didn't lead to break outs.  That is, until I found Beautisol!

How is Beautisol different from other self-tanners?  It features Pure Scent Technology so it smells fresh and clean when applied and while it works.  There is no trace of that tell-tale "self-tanner stink" that calls to mind baked chicken with a side order of chemicals.  Beautisol smells GREAT!

The color is so natural looking and lasts me over a week, even with regular use of masks and scrubs.  One really important factor for me was that this face tanner did not break me out.  This is a first!!  Every facial tanner I've ever used has led to some kind of zit flare-up.  I've been using both the face and body tanner for 3 weeks and haven't had any issues.

You can see instant bronzing results, and the color fully develops after about 6-8 hours.  The mitt makes even application a breeze and keeps your hands clean.
It has a guide color, allowing you to see exactly where it's going.  I think anyone who's used self-tanners without a guide color can attest to the importance of this feature!  I know I've personally thought I did a bangin' job of blending in colorless tanner only to wake up the next day with splotches and streaks.
Guide color
Guide color
Before & Immediately After - No makeup (apologies for my brows - they need to be threaded again!)
Beautisol contains no parabens, propylene glycol, or sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate and is vegan and cruelty-free.  I purchased both the Complete Self-Tanning Kit featuring the Dark Body Self-Tanner and mitt for $24.90, and the Need I Glow More Facial Self-Tanner from HSN, and it's also available for purchase directly from Beautisol's site and

If you've been looking for a self-tanner that doesn't stink, streak, or lead to break outs, you should definitely give Beautisol a look!

My Rating: A+
Where to Buy: Beautisol, Dermstore, HSN