Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Loves & Lemons | March 2015

Hi lovelies!  Today's the last day of March, and I couldn't be more ready for warmer temps, cherry blossoms bursting to life, and all of the spring things.  Plus, I'm excited for April 26th as it will be our first wedding anniversary!  I can't believe it's almost been a year!  To celebrate the end of March, it's Loves & Lemons time!
Chanel Glossimer 179 Murmure: What a gem this is!  It's a soft coral pink creme (no shimmer) that feels ultra hydrating on the lips.  Very close to the feel of a lip balm.  I see why non-sticky gloss lovers go bananas over Glossimers!  Murmure gives my lips a healthy, rosy look.

Clinique Extra Mild Facial Soap: I used Clinique bar soap as a teenager and on into my young twenty-something days.  After playing face cleanser beach blanket bingo for several years, I decided to go back "home" to Clinique and I couldn't be happier about that decision.  I've only had a couple of breakouts in the 2 months that I've been using this, versus the handful of cystic breakouts I was experiencing every other week before.  Also, can we talk about how incredible it is that this baby is only $13 bucks?!  The Extra Mild is perfect for me as it leaves my face feeling clean and balanced without being tight.

Lancome Trésor Eau de Parfum: Reviewed.  When I corralled my Loves for this month and photographed them, I later realized Trésor was a February Love!  I decided not to swap it out for something else since the duplication happened organically.  Trésor's two month reign is a testament to how much I love this scent!  

MAC Viva Glam V (Lustre): This shimmering peachy pink has just enough of a hint of brown to make it a "throw and go" shade for me.  You guys know I live for fuss-free lipstick application, so the sheerness and slip of MAC Lustres are my absolute favorite.

NARS Angelika Lip Gloss: This non-sticky, blue-based pink gloss contains micro shimmer, yet is so comfortable to wear.  It's one of my favorite shimmery glosses because I don't feel the glitter grit (gritter?) once it's on my lips.  The blue pink color makes my face look instantly more alive.

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado: This has a strange texture to me; it smoothes on nicely at first but then gets squeaky as you work it in.  I've never experienced anything like it.  I also think it smells a little synthetic.  I used this religiously for over a month and didn't notice any change to the skin around my eyes.

Did you have any loves or lemons in March?  What lipstick or gloss did you wear the most?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Review! | Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo: This is the one dry shampoo I have repurchased time and time again!  Since I've gone through countless cans of Clean Freak over the years, I thought I should share it's glory with you, my lovely readers.
I'll answer what I consider to be the top 3 most critical dry shampoo questions:
1.) Does it absorb oil and allow you do go days before shampooing your hair? It absorbs oil really well and allows me to wear my second day hair up in my go-to messy bun without the roots looking disgusting.  I don't get days on end of seemingly clean-looking hair with the Not Your Mothers, but I've never been able to go more than a day with any other product either.  My hair is very oily; if yours isn't, chances are you could work 2-3 good hair days out of this dry shampoo.

2.) Does it leave white marks in your dark hair? Yes, until I floof my hair about and work it in, then it disappears.  It has a matte finish, which is great because the last thing my oily hair needs is added shine!

3.) How does it smell?  Clean and not overpowering in the slightest.  The scent fades almost immediately.

There is nothing I don't love about Clean Freak, from it's excellent price ($5.99 USD for 7 fl oz) to it's accessibility (it's available at all major drugstores, grocery stores, big box retailers, and online from Drugstore.com, Amazon, Target, Walgreens, etc.  I like to use Google Shopping to find the lowest price plus shipping), to the fact that it does exactly what it claims.  I've tried numerous high-end and drugstore dry shampoo options, but I've always returned to Clean Freak because, in the words of Tina Turner, it's "Simply the best!  Better than all the rest!" ;)

Have you tried Clean Freak or any of the other offerings from the Not Your Mother's line?  What's your favorite dry shampoo?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

FIVE FAVE! | Single Eyeshadows

When one of my Instagram friends from Germany tagged me to share my 5 favorite single eyeshadows, I was inspired to turn it into a blog post.  While I consider myself to be a palette girl at heart, I have a few single shadows that I absolutely adore.  Read on to find out which one of these beauties I wore on my wedding day!

BURBERRY Midnight Brown: This beautiful brown is so multi-faceted, it gives the appearance of a 3 step eye look in a single swipe.  The creamy, ever-lasting formula is one of the best I've ever tried.  Midnight Brown was my wedding day shadow!

CLINIQUE Black Honey: This red-toned shimmery brown looks smashing against every eye color, much like the universally flattering lipstick of the same name. You can amp up the rich burgundy tones of this one by applying it wet. | '90s Neutrals FOTD tutorial here.

L'OREAL Bronzed Taupe: Bronzed Taupe is a gorgeous, cool taupe with a hint of brown.  This is another mono shadow that looks like a multi-step eye once applied to the lid. 

URBAN DECAY Hijack: This blue-based teal shimmer is a stunner!  One of my favorite eye looks is to apply Hijack on the lid, blend out the crease with MAC Free to Be (a matte coral) and line the upper lashes and outer portion of the lower lash line with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie. | Review of Junkie here.

WET N' WILD Nutty: Nutty is a near exact dupe for MAC Satin Taupe, but the texture is even softer.  Oh, and it's only $0.99 cents USD!  I use it ALL the time.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen Nutty winking back at you from my daily makeup pics! ;)

What are some of your favorite eyeshadow singles?  Do you have a single that you've worn for a special occasion?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review + Giveaway! | Gold and Glitter Cushion Makeup Brush Holder

How do you store your makeup brushes?  In an upcycled candle jar or a pretty mug?  What about when you're waiting for them to dry, post-washing?  The sweet and creative Torey from Beauty and Beatitudes makes the cutest and most unique makeup brush holders and was kind enough to send me one to try!
Not only is this quite possibly the cutest brush holder I've ever seen (GOLD!  GLITTER!), the cushions are genius because they fit every brush in my arsenal.  From the itty bitty Anastasia Beverly Hills brow brush to the wide-handled Real Techniques blush brush, they all fit securely into the slots.
This brush holder is also brilliant for drying your freshly washed tools upside down to prevent water from leeching into the base of the brush (which causes the glue to break down and bristles to loosen and, eventually, fall out).
G I V E A W A Y !
If you'd like a chance to have one of Torey's brush holders to call your own, simply visit her Instagram here, follow her, like the picture below on her feed, and leave a comment.  Torey will draw a winner Thursday, March12th and contact them via direct message on Instagram on Friday, March 13th.  Good luck!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Loves & Lemons | February 2015

It's Loves & Lemons time again, ladies and gents!  February is a tough month because you've endured winter for what feels like eons and you're practically screaming for spring.  This year, February turned out to be the month of lemons for me, LOL!  Which is amusing since last month I had none!  Luckily there were a few loves to balance it all out.

Gillette Foamy Lemon Lime Shave Foam: I know shaving cream isn't the most exciting thing on earth, but holy smoked salmons, this stuff is AWESOME!  It smells amazing, is thick and rich, and I got the closest shave ever when I coupled this with a BIC Soleil razor.  While I've been loyal to the Schick Intuition Moisture razor (a/k/a the lazy gal's BFF) for years, I've found I get a closer shave that lasts longer when I use the Gillette Foamy and a disposable razor.  This combination is also cheaper, which is always a bonus!
Lancome Tresor Eau de Parfum: Warm, soft, and timeless, this lovely perfume has been my cold weather staple!  | Full review here.
MAC Craving Lipstick (Amplified): I could not get enough of this beautiful, blue-toned plum!  It's incredibly creamy and pigmented, and I'm able to get over 6 hours of wear!  See Craving on The Misty Mom here.
Bath & Body Works Merry Cookie Nourishing Hand Cream: I figured this would be a slam dunk since I love the candle version of this scent, but this hand cream didn't deliver on the moisture front.  In fact, my hands felt dry the mornings after I'd use it.  It did smell very nice, though.

Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub: I've tried to like this for months, but it's 99% emollients, 1% scrub beads.  It feels like rubbing Crisco on your lips with the occasional fruit seed floating in the mix.  This is the only Bite product that I haven't fallen in love with.  I prefer a lip scrub to be much more exfoliating.  You (and your wallet!) are better off mixing sugar with honey if you like to DIY, or just picking up the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub for $9.95 USD (full review here) if you want something pre-made.

C.O. Bigelow Lemon Cream Body Wash: I absolutely love lemon anything.  Lemon cake, lemon cookies, lemon candles, lemon soap, even lemon lip balm.  As a general rule, if it's lemon, I love it.  I guess it's ironic that I called this column "Loves & Lemons", since for my nose, at least, the two would be interchangeable!  Anywho, this body wash failed me.  It smells more like industrial cleaning products than lemon, and I didn't find it to be hydrating, either.  Me and the Lemon Lip Cream are still ride-or-die, though.
Dior Montaigne 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette: Billed as a "splash of color for the eyes", this was hands-down the most disappointing eyeshadow formula I've ever come across.  Calling the pigmentation sheer would be a compliment; I had to dip into the pans 6-7 times and swirl the brush around to get a slight tint to show up on my primed lids.  I returned this, and I never return eyeshadow.  Definitely swatch this in store if it speaks to you.
What were some of your loves and lemons last month?

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol. 3: If You Could Start Your Blog Over

If you could start your blog all over again, what would you do differently?
RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
If I could start my blog all over again, I’d skip the first few years of terrible product photos! And I’d start on WordPress this time, tagging everything extensively, so that none of my old posts would be weighed down by unchangeable Blogger styling and old posts would be easier to find. Day to day, however, I think it would be run much the same as it is right now — it would just have a better archive.
SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud
This is a hard question because I am not blogging for a such long time (less than 2 years). I believe I would invest in a light box a little earlier than later. I am still struggling to find the right lighting for product and portrait photography. Since my lights are not bright enough, it takes longer to edit the photos. I have just installed a new banner this summer. I wish I could have done it before because it changes the website a lot. But the most important of them all, I would write PR of the companies before the first year is over. I always waited for the right moment, the right page hits etc. only to find out much smaller/newer blogs keep the available slots occupied. Another thing I would do would be starting with social media as early as possible, because it takes time to build it up. But whatever you do, do things you like because it is your hobby and not a job.
MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
I’d probably think things through a lot better. When I started my blog I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. It was so cringe… My lay-out was a nightmare, my photos were embarrassingly bad and I just basically had no idea what having a beauty blog really meant. Of course over the years I learned a lot and I’m very happy with where I stand now with the blog, but if I could do it all over again I’d definitely do more research before launching myself as a beauty blogger and I’d try to approach it all a lot more professionally and less than a hobby.
LAARNI | Philippines | Xoxo Laarni
This is a funny question because I already started my blog all over again. My #1 reason was my old blog’s niche was too broad. It was running for five years but I eventually got tired of it. Also, it was penalized by Google because of sponsored posts so buying a new domain name was my best option.
KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
I’d focus on spending money on products that are exciting to me, even if they aren’t new to the market, and not go broke trying to keep up with every new release.  There’s no sense in spending so much money on each new collection when there are already blogs upon blogs that cover these releases that receive the items gratis from PR.  I also started out posting 7 times per week which quickly became exhausting (blogging is not my full-time job).  I decided to only post when I was inspired and that decision has led to 2 years of happiness!
JAA | USA/Thailand | Hello Jaa
I’d start experimenting with portrait studio lighting sooner. My older posts would have been more complete. I’d also make sure to choose a layout that accommodates larger picture size because I believe larger photos create higher impact. Another thing would be to tell myself to not be shy and connect with other bloggers sooner! It is more fun to have someone with the same interest to talk to and you just learn so much from them! Last thing would be to implement a Pin It button on all my photos right away because Pinterest is among the top three social networks that drive traffic to my blog the most.
[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*hellojaa.com]