Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MAC Peachstock & Ever Hip Lipsticks Review, Photos and Swatches!

MAC Peachstock and Everhip Lipsticks

I was fortunate enough to get both shades when they first came out in a swap! A girl was nice enough to go to the MAC counter and pick these up for me to swap for a couple of LE lipsticks I owned.

MAC Peachstock Lipstick is a warm, creamy, opaque peachy-beige with a satin finish. I'm actually not a big fan of MAC Satin formula lipsticks, but Peachstock actually looks great on it's own. I have to say that this is probably one of the most flattering nudes I own for my skin tone (MAC NC40). I highly recommend this shade if you're olive skinned and its hard for you to find the correct nude that won't wash you out or give you the appearance of concealer lips.

MAC Peachstock is a MAC Pro lipstick and can be purchased at your local MAC Pro store.

MAC Everhip Lipstick is a vibrant, coral-pink with a semi-shiny finish. It's the MAC Cremesheen formula, which I love, but for some reason Everhip doesn't seem to glide across my lips as easy as my other Cremesheens. It's creamy nevertheless, but it's pretty sheer, and I find myself swiping it several times before I'm satisfied with the opacity.

MAC Everhip is a limited edition shade, and will only be around until supplies last.

Left: MAC Peachstock, Right: MAC Everhip

A Peek at my New Betsey Johnson Handbag!

Early this week, my soon to be mom in-law treated me and my soon to be sister in-law to a new handbag! We went to the Saks Fifth Avenue (OFF 5TH) Outlet store. It was my 2nd time shopping there. When I walked into the handbag dept, I walked into heaven! LOL. I forgot what the discount was, but there was an extra percentage off of the already discounted price. I think 20-30%? So it was a great deal on lots of bags. I showed a little bit of interest in one bag in particular, and within an INSTANT, she ended up grabbing it and purchasing it for me. I'm still excited about this bag, I love it so much. I've been wearing it every day, but I think I'm going to empty it out and only wear it when I go out. I don't want it to be an every day bag and ruin it. It ended up costing under $150.. I don't remember the exact amount.

This bag is definitely my style. I love bows, gold hardware on bags (gold in general), chain straps and really, anything different/unusual.

It's a very luxurious bag. It feels like soft glove leather and has a polished look. It fits my large cosmetic bag, small cosmetic bag (for brushes only) and my large clutch wallet.. and it's not too heavy.

I really like this feature. Its like a little lock. To open the purse you have to turn the little square in the middle of the bow.

The interior is beautiful as well!

They also had matching wallets.. and this beautiful LOVCAT wallet I really wanted. It was a peachy pink with a gold rhinestone heart. My heart is jumping at the thought of it.. lol, but I can't find it in google images. My "sister in-law" got a beautiful, ruffled black Kenneth Cole bag for an amazing deal.. I can't find any pictures of it either.. :( If you have a Saks outlet near you.. I urge you to check it out!

Thanks for reading, lovelies!

NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer Review, Photos & Swatches!!

NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer

Nars Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer ($24) is described as a nude beige high-shine lip color with a unique texture to prevent the color from bleeding. It can be worn alone or over other lip colors.

I would describe the color as a neutral, muted mauvey pink with a hint of warm beige. I was actually very surprised with the texture. It's very thick and applies very opaque. I definitely thought it was going to be more sheer and have the consistency of a lip balm. It has a heavy, slightly sticky texture to the touch, but once applied to the lips it isn't very sticky.

On my lips it reminds me a lot of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte #2, but slightly pinker. The color is long lasting (because of the texture) and I think its a pretty universal color that would be flattering for light to medium skin tones.

The finish is shiny & it didn't dry out my lips.

The only negatives about this product I can think of are, the pot is so small and deep that its sort of a pain applying the product. I have long nails so I can't really use my fingers, so I have to use a brush, which isn't very convenient. Something like the packaging of MAC tinted lip conditioner would work better for me. (A larger, less deep pot) Also, I don't really like the smell of the product. It has a yucky, very strong chemical smell. Also, since the product is so thick, I can see myself running out of this very quick. Nevertheless, I'm very happy with Chelsea Girls. :)

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink + Photos & Swatches! PLUS BB Cream Shadows!

I thought I would give a little update on how my Bobbi Brown Gel Liner has been working out for me lately.

I am still in love with it! My opinions about the product remains the same. It doesn't smudge on me, doesn't flake off, lasts all day and is very pigmented!

I received Black Ink in a swap recently.. maybe around two weeks ago and I've been using it just about every day. Other days I use Graphite Shimmer just to switch off. The colors are somewhat similar, but Graphite Shimmer is a little more of a charcoal black with a touch of shimmer and Black Ink is a flat, intense black. It is by far the blackest liner I own. (Hooray! I'm always on a conquest for the blackest blacks) I am still rating this product a 5 out of 5! ♥
And a side note, I came across some full size BB gel liners at my CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet). Unfortunately, none were sold separately. They were all a part of various BB makeup sets. They did have some Cream Shadows (which I thought were liners at first because of the same packaging) I like the consistency of them. They are buttery soft and apply very smooth. They also had several palettes that have a mixture of gel liners and cream shadows. (I actually got a brand new one in a swap.. pics at the end of my post!) I have heard from many others that they have found BB gel liners at their CCO's sold individually, so if you're interested in purchasing one, check your local CCO first! :)

And, this is the palette I received in a swap. What i love about the palette is, it's soo sturdy and each liner has a tight lid so the colors won't dry out. Thank you, Bobbi Brown for using your brains with this! :) haha.

Bobbi Brown Honey Glaze Long-Wear Eye Palette

For whatever reason, it was impossible to get a good picture of this palette. I didn't swatch any of the colors yet because.. well, It's so pretty I don't want to ruin it. LOL But, if anyone wants swatches, I'll gladly do that for you. This palette was available at my CCO (In Aurora, IL) and I caught a glimpse of it on http://www.allcosmeticswholesale.com here. OR you can purchase it directly from Bobbi Brown here. I'll post a review once I use it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Part 2: So, you'd like to swap, aye? Here are some tips! (LONG Post!)

I get loads of questions from bloggers asking about "swapping". Some of you may know what swapping is, and some of you may not. I'm hoping this post will give you a better understanding of swapping and what to look out for when you're swapping.

What is swapping? Swapping (in the makeup community) refers to an exchange of some sort. Typically, it will be a beauty product for a beauty product (new or used). It doesn't strictly have to be a beauty product. You have the option of swapping clothing, accessories and more.

How exactly does it work? The two main sites I'm familiar with are http://www.makeupalley.com and http://specktra.net. I'll explain how it works with both sites. (So far, Ive only explained makeupalley. I will update it later with Specktra.)

Swapping on Makeupalley:
Step 1:
First you need to create an account if you don't have one already. (See my part 1 for info about getting started with makeupalley) If you don't have an account, create one here.

Step 2: Go through your beauty products and pick out the items you want to part with. Gently used items are preferred. Although, many users like to give products a try without having to purchase the full size.. so putting up items for swap that are only good for a few uses would be acceptable as long as the products aren't very old. (Nobody wants your foundation that has been sitting in your bathroom settling for 5 years with 20% left or your Chanel lipstick you've had for 10 years. But hey! I'm just speaking for myself. You never know.)

Step 3: (Optional but recommended) Take a wipe or a dampened towel and clean the products casing. I always keep antibacterial towelettes on hand and clean off any tubes, compacts, etc that I'm swapping. Sending cosmetics that look like they have rolling around your makeup bag for ages is tacky in my opinion. If it is a lipstick for example, wipe off the top where the product has touched your lips. (Again, optional) There are people out there that prefer to wipe if themselves. It is always nice to ask the other person if they would like you to wipe it off. Keep all of your swap items in a convenient place so you won't have to go on a eyeliner hunt through your room after you've agreed to swap with someone. I keep all of my items together in a small box.

Step 4: Log on to makeupalley.com and click "Swap" at the top of the page. On the left sidebar under My Swap Info, click "Swap Items". Then, click "Add a new Item".

Fill out the information for each swap item. Choose the Category, Brand, Title and Description of your item/s. You can use HTML in the description box if you'd like.

Your description should include:
How much product remains
. State if it was used 1x, used 2x, used a handful of times, used a dozen times. If you don't remember how many times you've used it, take a close look at it. If it's a lipstick, try comparing it to a new one (if you have one on hand) perhaps there is 3/4 remaining, or maybe 90% remaining. If it is a blush, eye shadow, powder or etc, look at it from the side and see if the product is starting to dip. Mention that there is a small dip or a large dip forming. Mention if the products hetchmarks are still visible (indentations on powder products when they are new and untouched). BE HONEST AND USE YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT! When I am unsure, I usually round down to be on the safe side. If I think there is 95% left, but I am unsure, I will say 90%+. If it's really hard to tell, your best bet it to take a picture of the product and post it in your description.

The Functionality/Condition of your item. Is it in perfect working condition? Does your lipstick slightly slant and rub against the tube? Have the letters and numbers faded off your MAC brush? Does your compact close properly? Again, BE HONEST. Don't be embarrassed to write the true condition of your product if the packaging has seen better days. If your blush compact has a million of scratches on it, there will be some people that don't mind and there would be some people that would mind. Don't risk not mentioning it and end up swapping with someone that would of minded. There is nothing worse than being excited and opening up a disappointment!

What you'd like to swap it for. State if you are strictly wish list (We are getting to this next!), if you are only interested in swapping it for a certain item or if you are open to all swap requests.
A Picture. (*optional*) I prefer to take pictures of my items so the other person knows exactly what they are getting. I think many people prefer to have a visual. If you have tons of items on your swap list of unfamiliar brands, how is anyone supposed to know what they look like? Many people don't like to be troubled with having to google all of your items to see what they look like. If you don't want to add a picture, its always nice to add a short description. Say its a random eyeshadow. State that your random eyeshadow is a frosted medium brown. A lot of items don't require photos.. such as familiar brands (MAC, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Dior, Stila, etc). If you have MAC Freshwater Eyeshadow up for swap, it will be easy to find a picture of. Your eyeshadow they don't sell in stores that you purchased from a discount store that is now discontinued won't be as easy. You can either upload your picture to a image hosting site and put the link in your description, or you can add a picture to your profile pictures and put the link in your description. OR state that the picture of the product is in your profile photos.

This is an example. Make it short and simple. Don't put anything that is not necessary. You don't have to write complete sentences. It makes it much faster for the other person going through all of your items this way.

Create Your Wish list
Creating a wish list is fun! On the left sidebar, under My Swap Info, click "My Wishlist". Its the exact same format as your swap list. Click "Add a New Item". One by One add items you want and would like to potentially swap for. You don't have to write anything in the descriptions unless you have a preference about an item. For example, If you don't want any depotted products or if you prefer that the item is new/gently used/tested.

Create your Swap Notepad (optional) What a notepad is basically, is your own little page where you can design and add any extra information you want others to know. It is technically your swap notepad, but you don't have to use your notepad for swapping purposes if you don't want to. If you have lots of items for swap though, I recommend you to add additional information on your notepad to clarify some things you want others to know. When someone clicks on one of your swap items, your notepad will show up on the same page (directly under your swap listing) all they have to do it scroll down.

Things you can write on your notepad: # It's always nice to write a couple of short sentences about yourself so the swap is more personal and you won't feel like you're swapping with a complete stranger.If you aren't wish list only, write a few sentences of the kinds of items you're interested in swapping for. Also include the types of items you do NOT want to swap for.

Here's a couple quick examples: "Currently, I'm only interested in swapping for high end eye shadows and lipsticks. My favorite eyeshadow shades are browns and purples. My favorite lipsticks are non-frosty, neutral pinks and corals. I am not interested in swapping for any drugstore items. "
"I'm open to all requests. I'm mainly looking to swap for makeup and hair products. I love bright colors & anything pink. I am not interested in swapping for clothing. Please do not send me a swap request if you only have clothing listed on your swap list."

* Some other things to consider including in your notepad are: Do you swap internationally? How flexible your schedule is. Do you visit the post office once a week? Twice? Do you typically ship the following day? Will you be using First class? Parcel post? Will you offer Delivery Confirmation? Do you prefer the other person to ship your package with Delivery confirmation? Adding all of these factors will make the other person feel more at ease because they know what they are getting.

Extras! Extras is a very fun part of swapping. It's completely optional and mainly depends on how much a person has on hand. Extras are goodies people like to include as a little bonus with swaps. Not everyone sends extras, so don't get your hopes up for receiving any. Extras typically consist of product samples and testers & lightly used makeup items. If you're lucky, you may get some awesome extras if the person you're swapping with is generous. I have been lucky enough to get some really wonderful extras.. such as high end items that the other person didn't have any attachment to and didn't want anything in return for it. A lot of times, people will add extras if their item was worth less than the other for compensation. Again, this is all optional. Don't get stressed about it. Some people keep millions of samples & have huge makeup collections and others (like me) use all of their samples and don't have extra makeup on hand they don't use. I try to pick up goodies as I see them if I see a good deal. Lots of times I'll see good stuff on the ULTA clearance rack. ;) It is always nice to state in your notepad, if you were to be sent extras, what kind of extras you like. I don't think it sounds greedy.. I appreciate notepads that list what they like. It makes it so much easier! Some people may say they like tea bags, empty jars, nail polish, glitter, pigment samples, skincare samples, fragrance samples.. etc!

Search! Now its time to search for the items you'd like to swap for! Click "Swap" at the top of the page. A list of the latest added swap items will appear. If an item interests you, click on it to view their description of the item. If they are wish list only, view their wish list and see if you have anything they want. If they aren't wish list only, send them a message! It can be very brief. For example:

"Hi! I'm interested in swapping for this blush. Please take a look at my swap list to see if there is anything you would like to swap for! Let me know either way. Thanks! Signed, Your Name."

You can also click "Product Search" under "Swap" on the left sidebar and specifically type in the item you are looking for. You can do a wish list search as well. For a wish list search, you would type in an item you have up for swap to see if its an item on someones wish list. If you do end up having an item that is on someones wish list, you can view their swap list and see if there is anything you'd like to trade that item for and then contact them.

Be Courteous If someone sends you a request, it is polite to respond. Even if there is nothing on their list that you want, it's nice to say "Thank you, but I didn't see anything on your list I'm looking for right now." You may end up contacting them in the future because they have an item you really want. It's not fun waiting for a response you'll never receive. Let them know so they can continue contacting others.

Be Responsible Do not disappear half way through the swap. Wrap the item your sending very well so it won't break or shatter in transit. I have received broken powders and blushes before that could of been avoided by being wrapped better. If it's a blush or a fragile item.. write FRAGILE on the mailer. Wrap the item in bubble wrap. Keep up with good communication through the swap. You want a good reputation and for the other person to give you a positive token so others will swap with you (Just like ebay!).

Be Cautious. AVOID BEING SWAPLIFTED! Always view the other persons profile. Is it empty? Are they a new member? Do they have any swap tokens? Is any information filled out?

* Read their swap token comments. Previous swappers may of given them a positive token, but wrote that their communication could of been better.. or that it took a long time to receive. Determine if they seem responsible. When was the last token received? If their last swap was months ago and they have under 30 tokens, there is a chance they were a trusted swapper at one point to gain tokens and trust and then return to MUA and send many users swap requests and let them send first and never send anything in return. See if their last tokens are recent. Do they have 100% feedback?

* Is their profile blank? An established user or a reputable user will most likely have their profile filled out along with a wish list and a notepad. Do they have lots of reviews? Do they post in the boards? If it looks like they do not use the site for anything but swapping, be more cautious. Many swap lifters only use the website to steal from others.. they typically don't post in forums, give advice, ask questions, write reviews, post photos, etc. Many swap lifters like to remain anonymous & don't establish an identity.

* If it seems like they are in a hurry and are rushing you to send, don't get overwhelmed. Do the swap at the comfortable pace for you. If they are rushing, ask additional questions.

* If you feel skeptical, tell them makeupalley is taking a long time to load and ask them if they have an email you can reach them at so they can respond to you faster. Having their real email is a good tool. You may be able to track them down on other sites.

* ALWAYS, if a person has less tokens than you (or no tokens), let them send first. Have them take a picture of what they are suppose to be sending you. If they make excuses, use your best judgment. You can ask them to write their username on a piece of paper and put it next to the product they are taking a picture of, so you can make sure they do have the product they claim and in the condition stated. After they sent you a picture, have them ship with delivery confirmation and have them notify you of the # after they have shipped. If you feel at ease at this point and are in a hurry to ship, you may do so. If you're in no hurry, it's not really necessary to ask for confirmation unless you really want to track it.. just wait for the package to arrive. Because even if they take a picture of an item, it's not guaranteed that's what you'll be receiving. There are always people out there looking for new ways to scam.

* If you do happen to send out first, and communication seems to stop and you haven't received your end yet, print out the conversation between you and the swapper in case they delete their account so you'll have proof there was an agreement.

What you should do if you've been swaplifted

* Do some research on the person. Google their username to see if they have accounts on other sites with the same username. Also, google their actual name. See if you find anything useful.

* Go to http://whitepages.com and type in their last name and city, state. If you're lucky, you may find a result for their exact address and there will be listings for each adult that lives in the household. It states the age range of the individuals and it includes their home telephone number. (With my experience, the girl's family was listed. I determined by the age of her parents that she was definitely under 18 years old. Her phone number was listed and I was planning on calling her parents since I knew their name and explain that their daughter robbed me.. or I had planned to write letters to her house addressed with her parents names on them. Everything ended up getting resolved though before I had to take any action. So all was well).

* If they are not listed in the whitepages, you can try writing a letter to their address. Have the envelope typed (not in your handwriting) and have it titled "Mr ____" or "Mrs ___" or homeowner, etc. Include your telephone number so they can contact you. Let them know its a serious matter and you plan to report it to their local police department if you don't receive a response in however many days. Not only that, but you also plan to file mail fraud and internet fraud charges. Some parents don't know what their kids are up to.. so it's worth a try. I would think any parent would get pissed at their kid and send your item back. (I've read a few instances of this)

* If you received no response, take the next action. Call their local police department. You may receive positive feedback, but you may not. I have read a few cases where swaplifters have gotten in big trouble from being reported to their local police. (Hooray!)
* File mail fraud and Internet fraud charges.

* Report them to the swaplifters page so their name and address will be added.

Mail fraud link: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

Internet fraud link: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

I hope this article helped a little! Always be careful & Happy Swapping! :)

Part 1: How to use Makeupalley (for beginners/new users!)

(This post started out as a post about swapping & tips, but I started writing more in detail about the website itself. So, the post about swapping will be Part 2. This post will just talk about what makeupalley is, and some useful tools.)

What is makeupalley? Makeupalley is a beauty social networking site. There are users located all around the world all sharing an interest in Beauty. Makeupalley is free of charge and is loaded with helpful advice & information to make shopping for beauty products much easier! There are many things you can do on makeupalley.

If you don't have an account already, create an account by clicking Join Now! on the left sidebar of the homepage. Verify your email.

Get started by clicking "My MUA" at the top of the screen. Then, on the left hand side of the screen, click "Change Profile". Fill in your Name (If you'd like to remain somewhat anonymous, you can put a nickname), Location, Birthday (All of this is optional of course, but recommended) . It also asks for your Hair Color, Hair Type, Hair Texture, Skin Type, Skin Tone, Skin Undertone and eye color. Why?? You ask? Because if you write a review, let's say for a foundation, readers will see what type of skin you have and it will help them relate to your review.. they may notice you have dry skin and they may have dry skin as well. They will better relate to your review than someones review that has oily skin. Or possibly you're looking at reviews for a certain lipstick. You are olive skinned and you see that other reviewers with the same skin coloring rated this lipstick 5 stars. There are many factors why a certain product worked for you and not someone else. It can be your skin type, coloring, etc. Also, If you ask questions in a board, anyone will be able to see what type of skin/hair you have and it will make recommending a product to you easier.

You can view ratings and reviews of products you're interested in by clicking "Product Reviews" at the top of the page and selecting the Category (ex: Eye Shadow, Foundation, etc) the Brand and the Name of the product (ex: Blacktrack Fluidline, Smolder Eye Kohl, Last Blast Mascara, etc).

Then, click Find Products.

You will see a rating (out of 5), the number of reviews for the product, and the Buy back percentage rate (Each reviewer was asked whether they would purchase it again. When more reviewers select Yes, the percentage is high. When more reviewers choose No, the percentage is low. I would consider 70% and higher being a product to consider trying. And, 80-90%, I personally would consider items definitely worth trying. (Based on many reviews of course).

If you would like to see what products have the most reviews, leave the Category, Brand and Product blank and click Find Products.

A bunch of random product reviews will pop up. (This is what came up for me. Yours may be different.) Then, click reviews.

The products with the most reviews will show up. You can do the same for Rating & Buy Again. I only click reviews because if you click ratings, it will list items rated 100% first, and typically it will be a large list of items with 1-10 reviews. I prefer reading reviews with over 100 reviewers. Most of my favorite products were discovered this way! I get questions all of the time saying "How do you know what's good?" "How do you know what to buy?" I never purchase a product without checking the reviews first.

This is what came up after I clicked reviews. The list will be in order from the most reviews to the least. As of this moment, Maybelliene Great Lash Mascara has the most reviews. You can add your own review by clicking "Product Reviews" at the top, and then click "Add a Review" on the left sidebar.

Other than reviews, there is a Forum (Boards) with several topics (Makeup, Nails, Hair, Fitness, Etc) I always post questions in Makeup Boards. They are always extremely helpful! Another tip is, you can research to see if anyone asked the same question you would like to ask. When you click on "Boards" there will be a small search box. Write the general idea of your question. For example, my question is: What is a good blush for a NC40 skin tone? I typed in "NC40 Blush". 

My Results:
I found pages of results! This question has been asked several times by many different users.

Create a question in a board by clicking the category that relates to your Question/Comment and click "Post a Message". Subjects can only be 100 characters long. So if your question exceeds 100 characters, cut it short and place "ROP" (Read on Please) OR "+" at the end and continue your message in the message box. Readers will know to click on your post to read the full question/comment.

There are LOTS of abbreviations for phrases to cut messages short. You can view a list with the meanings by clicking "Abbreviations" at the top on any of the message boards. Here is the direct link: http://makeupalley.com/board/abbreviations.asp

Any messages or replies you post, will copy to your profile.

Besides the boards & reviews, you can view thousands of members pictures. Lots of members post pictures of products, fotds, etc. I find makeupalley incredibly useful in searching for pictures of products. I always check MUA's member pictures before purchasing a product. For example, I'd like to see pictures of MAC California Dreamin lipstick so I can get a better idea if I'd like to purchase it. Click on "MY MUA" at the top and click on Search (Pictures) on the left sidebar. Type the name of the product in the keywords. You don't always have to be specific. I typed in "california dreamin".

Great Results! I found loads of pictures and swatches.

You can upload your own pictures to your profile and write descriptions so they will be searchable in member photos. You are allowed up to 200 uploads.

You can add any photo/review/board messages/users to your makeupalley favorites by clicking on the little red heart. Anything you favorite will save to your favorites section. Find it by clicking "Favorites" at the top of the screen. You can create groups for your favorites and file them all. You have the option of having your favorites public (will be listed on your profile) or private (only you can see them).

Another fun tool is the Diary! A diary is basically a list where you can keep track of all of your purchases. Add all of the beauty products you purchase, each time you purchase any, and you can keep tabs of how much money you spend on makeup! You don't have to limit your diary to makeup, you can put all of your expenses if you'd like. Click "Diary" at the top of the page, and "Add Entry" on the left sidebar. You can make your diary private (for your personal records) or public (members can search for it, and it will show on your profile). To update your settings, click "Preferences" on the left sidebar.

I just started mine this month! I haven't updated it though in a couple of weeks.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me! You can also contact me on makeupalley via messages. My username is nattyngeorge.

Part 2 of the post is on it's way!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Article: 10 Myths About Dieting

I don't normally read articles regarding diets and weight loss because everyone has their own theory. You may read one thing is good for you and you may read somewhere else that you should stay away from it. I don't ever really follow any plan, but my own. I don't know how I came across this article, but I liked it so I thought I'd share..

Debunking 10 Myths About Dieting
Misinformation about dieting is everywhere. How can you drop those unwanted pounds safely and successfully, without falling for bogus claims? Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the chief medical editor for NBC News, has written a smart, comprehensive new book debunking the myths that abound: Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat.

1) You can eat after 8:00 P.M.
It doesn't matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. No matter when you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat. If you want a snack before bedtime, think first about how many calories you've eaten that day.

(Something I always debate. I always feel guilty eating late. I try not to eat after 6-8PM, but I go to bed at around 2AM every night, so its a very large gap not to have any food. I do believe that it depends on what you eat and your physical activity throughout the day. If you're going to be sitting on your butt anyway, there's really no difference than just going to sleep.)

2) There are No Negative Calorie Foods
You may have heard that some foods, because they are difficult to digest, will make you lose weight. Dubbed "negative-calorie foods," citrus fruits and celery have both basked in this flattering light in fad diets over the years. The problem is that it's not true. The calories your body burns in fueling the digestive cycle are minuscule compared with the calories in the food itself. Although chewing celery might seem like a strenuous activity, it burns about the same amount of calories as watching grass grow.

(I never believed in negative calories. So many people call beer negative calories. I don't understand that theory. The only negative calories are the ones you're not eating.)

3) Liquid Calories Count
If and when you tally up your calories at the end of a meal or a day, do your calculations take into account what you drank? Do you remember to include that can of soda, smoothie, cup of latte, or cocktail? People tend to guzzle their calories and it really adds up, often more than they realize. For example, that can of soda you drink each morning is the calorie equivalent of a piece of fruit and a slice of toast, about 150 calories. A smoothie can run up to an extra 500 to 1,000 calories despite all the good stuff added in, and a 16-ounce latte with whole milk packs 260 calories. The average margarita — my favorite — has more than 500 calories. What's more, the brain doesn't seem to register liquid calories as accurately as calories that are chewed, and it doesn't send stop-eating signals to keep you from eating more food. If you're taking in only 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, save those calories for food. Liquid calories add up quickly, so stick with water and calorie-free beverages, and you could lose a pound or more a week. I lost 5 pounds last month because I decided not to have a cocktail periodically with friends.

(I always watch what I drink.)

4) Dessert Can Be Dinner
Don't call the food police on me for this one, but I say you can enjoy a Rocky Road ice-cream dinner "now and then," which means as an occasional deal and not a steady routine. Don't deny yourself certain cravings. Make a meal out of a favorite treat and you'll be less tempted to overindulge on your splurge foods. Just swap the steak out for the sundae and know that this tactic is for the occasional treat, not the everyday occurrence — and it may help you be more successful in controlling your weight over the long term.

(I do this a little too often. LOL)

5) Moderately Overweight Kids Shouldn't be put on Restrictive Diets
If you have kids who are 10 to 15 pounds overweight, the current thinking is that they should not be put on restrictive diets. Instead, it's better to help them make basic improvements in their diets, ramp up their activity, and give up some TV and computer time. Perk up your kids' diet by adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while cutting back on the junk foods. That way, you'll automatically slow the rate of their weight gain while they continue to grow in height. Children go through dynamic phases of growth, and a low-calorie diet is not what they need. They need nutrients and activity.

(Lol, I remember trying Weight Watchers when I was 10 because my aunt was on it.)

6) Calorie Free Soft Drinks May Make you Fat
I've never been a big fan of diet drinks (I prefer good old water), and now I'm glad. A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio followed over six hundred people ranging from twenty-five to sixty-four years old for up to eight years and found that those drinking diet soda — even as little as one can or bottle a day — did not lose weight and were significantly more likely to become overweight than those who drank regular soft drinks or none at all. How can this be? No one knows for sure, but scientists think that artificial sweeteners, perhaps even the caramel coloring, may muddle brain chemistry. The brain in a sense gets a reward, and the desire for more sweets is intensified. The more of these fake sweet products you eat or drink, the more sweets you want.

(I definitely agree with this. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it. Once you cut table sugar and sugar substitutes out of your diet, your cravings will subside. I was the biggest diet coke addict and I cut out sweets and diet coke and haven't had one craving for a diet coke. I use to seriously shake if I didn't get my diet coke.)

7) You can Lose more in Cold Weather
Some people swear they gain more weight in the wintertime. Frankly, I think it's because we're not quite as active in winter. But the reality is, your metabolism revs up to keep your body warm in cold temperatures. This may mean marginally more calorie expenditure each day.

(Never knew this.. pretty interesting.)

8) Yo-Yo Dieting Won't Wreck your Metabolism
Because of all the ups and downs I've experienced with my weight through the years, I was afraid that dieting might have messed with my metabolism. Now I've learned I don't have anything to worry about. While extremely low-cal diets temporarily lower your metabolism, recent studies suggest that the effects don't last. Researchers in Canada looked at fifty-two overweight women who'd been dieting on and off for an average of eighteen years. They measured the women's resting metabolic rate, then compared those numbers with what their metabolism was expected to be based on their weights, heights, and ages. The result: There was no difference between actual and predicted metabolic rates in all but four dieters. So even if you've lost and regained weight countless times, don't give up. Yo-yo diets don't hurt you; they just don't get you anywhere.

(I wondered about this. It always worried me that because I've been on so many diets, I ruined my metabolism and its gets harder for me to lose weight each time.. This makes me feel better. I think It's just an excuse a lot of people give their selves.)

9) There's no need to Shun Red Meat on a Low-Fat Diet
While it's true that prime and choice grades of meat are high in fat, lean cuts with fewer than 30 percent calories as fat are available. When buying meat, it's best to look for "select" grades of lean cuts like top round and tenderloin as well as extra-lean ground beef. They are among the lowest in fat.

(I always eat Beef tenderloin and Pork tenderloin.. yum)

10) Diets Do Work
The phrase diets don't work has been drummed into us by book titles, advertising slogans, and other such mantras. But the truth is, you can lose weight following pretty much every diet on the bookstore shelf. The problem is that unless the diet fits your lifestyle, it's bound to fail, and your weight will creep back on. You want a diet you can live with. If you like sandwiches for lunch, for example, you'll have trouble sticking to a low-carb diet. If you hate counting calories and find it much easier to follow rules — like avoiding carbs — Atkins may be for you. And if you really love your olive oil, the Mediterranean diet is more appealing than a true low-fat diet. If you're trying to lose weight, you have to exercise your options.

(Yep, any diet will work in the short term. You have to make it your lifestyle.)

-Article from Time.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Made a Twitter! Follow me! :)

I was very bored, so I decided to make a twitter! Follow me and add your link so I can follow you! :)


**I absolutely no idea how to use twitter, so bare with me. Lol

FOTD (using nars night clubbing)

These pictures were taken at the end of the day, so I was super shiny..

This was a really quick look I did, I didn't like the outcome too much, but I thought I'd share anyway. Next time I'm going to pair night clubbing with maybe browns/golds.

Face: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Barcelona
Lancome Effacernes Concealer in Light Bisque (too light =\)
MAC Select Cover-up NW25
MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Natural/Med. & Shimmer (I love this, but it doesn't keep my shine away for more than a couple of hours & I don't even have oily skin. I use the nat/med all over my face and the shimmer on my cheek bones)
BE Well Rested e/s (under my eyes)
MAC Smooth Harmony Beauty Powder (as an all over bronzer)
Estee Lauder Matte Bronzer (to contour)
Chanel Orchid Rose Joues Contraste Blush

Eyes: MAC Bare Canvas Paint (lid primer/base)
NARS Night Clubbing e/s (all over lid)
Bobbi Brown Graphite Shimmer Ink (lined my eyelid, bottom lash line and waterline)
(smudged night clubbing into bottom lash line)
Green pigment called chit chat with riff raff (someone sent me this as an extra in a swap. I have no idea what brand it is/who makes it. It's a sheer shimmery green) (I blended this into night clubbing)
Everyday Minerals Pearl Mint (corners of my eyes)
Covergirl Lash Blast Luxe Mascara

Lips: MAC Oak Lip Liner
Smashbox Sand Lip Gloss

Essence Cosmetics - New to ULTA!

While browsing at ULTA yesterday, I noticed a new display of a brand called Essence. The Display had a bunch of pamphlets about the brand and their products (pictured below) Essence is a German brand (low end/drugstore brand) that is available to parts of Europe (The site says its available in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and Austria) and its now available in the US. Pretty cool!! Everything is pretty much under $5 and by the looks of it, its very girly and aims at a younger crowd. Maybe like Wet n Wild? I only purchased one baked eyeshadow and a brow pencil to try them out and decide whether I'd want to purchase more. Click here to view all of Essence's products on the ULTA website or click here to view the official website. Oh! & they don't test on animals. :)

I wore the shadow today on my eyes. I just took a bit (dry) and used it as an all over lid color. Its a very nice gold. It slightly started to fade, but overall it works pretty well. I'd purchase other shades since they're only $2.99.

If you'd like me to take a swatch of the brow pencil, let me know. I haven't tried it out yet. They also had another new brand. I can't remember the name and I can't find any info on it. It is LA something. I thought it was LAColors but there is already a brand named that.. hmm confusing. Its a little more expensive than essence.. I would compare the prices to Milani (for example.. they had really pretty jars of eye dusts for $5.99 each) I really wanted to get a couple, but I'm going to wait till there is a sale on it. Any thoughts on the brand?

NOTD: Orly Cotton Candy!

I saw this nail polish in LisaLisaD1's youtube video (link) on Friday and ended up purchasing it. Orly Nail Polishes are now on sale at ULTA for $4.99 (regular $7) and I believe a coupon starts today for $3.50 off your $10 purchase up that is valid till the 13th. This is a beautiful summer/spring color. It's a creamy, opaque, bright pink with a hint of coral. It's a color that would look gorgeous both on hands and toes. I think this is currently my favorite pink polish. This shade of pink is actually my favorite color (peachy pink) It's so hard to find this exact shade.. I've purchased many polishes hoping it would look like this and was left disappointed. I've been eyeballing Essie Van D'go from Essie's Spring Collection.. It looks somewhat similar to this polish but more on the peach side. Hopefully I'll be picking it up this week.

Orly Cotton Candy Nail Polish Review

Orly Cotton Candy

Orly Cotton Candy

This is two coats with no base or top coat. The finish is very shiny! But I think I will go back and add a top coat.

By the way, Does anyone know a good top coat? I don't think the ones I use work the best. My nails usually get dull in a couple of days. I was going to purchase an OPI top coat, but I wanted to do a little research first. Any suggestions would be great!

I'm in need of a cuticle cream. My cuticles are so hard and cracked. I'm planning on picking up Burt's Bee's Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and giving it a try.

My Lovely Haul! MAC, Inglot, YSL, OPI!!! With many thanks to Sarah (iheartcosmetics)!!

Hi Guys! I have lots of posts to share with you. :) So If I do a million posts today, I apologize but I try to take advantage of my free time by blogging!

I wanted my 1st post to be about the giveaway I won!! I have never won a giveaway, so I was so overjoyed about winning Sarah's 500 Follower giveaway. I couldn't believe all of the nice things I was going to receive!! It arrived a few days ago and it came on such a perfect day because I was in such a sad/upset mood and it really turned my day into an awesome one.

Sarah is such a sweet girl.. It was incredibly generous of her to purchase these things (which are so expensive!) for her bloggers. If you aren't a follower of her blog, you should definitely check it out. She has really good, useful posts about makeup, self-tanning, etc. We have very similar (if not the same!) tastes in makeup, so I love reading her new posts. Thank you again, Sarah!! I ♥ YOU!

Follow her Twitter! http://twitter.com/sarahloolaa

Here are some pictures and swatches of my prize!

I opened everything while I was at work. She included a very cute, witty card that's displayed on my desk now. Lol, I love cards.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Graphite Shimmer + Photos & Swatches!

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner

Product Description - This award-winning liner offers the precision of a liquid liner and the ease of a gel-based formula. Awarded: "Elle" Magazines's ‘Top 5’ (Nov. 2009), "In Style" 'Best Beauty Buy' (2008), and "Allure" ‘Reader's Choice Award’ (2008).

To apply: Dip tip of Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush into gel formula (coat both sides of brush head). Wipe off excess on tissue before applying to eye. Work quickly as product becomes transfer-resistant once dry.

This is a product I've been wanting to try for EVER! I picked Graphite Shimmer Ink. On the website, it says that it is a dark gray. I would maybe call it a deep charcoal gray with silver flecks. Once applied, it looks much darker. It basically looks black. Its very creamy and spreads very well. For me, it doesn't fade throughout the day. And, at the end of the night, I don't have trouble removing it. I usually will powder my lids so my liner won't smudge or budge, then apply it to my lash line with an angled liner brush. I've been using Sigma's angled brush. I prefer BB now, over MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Stila Smudgepot & Wet n Wild Creme Liner.

Here are a few descriptions of what I like and don't like about the following liners..
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline - I love this, but the texture always gets dry for me halfway throughout the pot. I LOVE when I first purchase it, but it doesn't ever stay creamy. I can tell its a bit thicker than the other creme liners mentioned. Also, this sometimes crumbles on me. What I do like about it is, it is extremely black and the lasting power is pretty good. I have repurchased this several times.
Stila Black Smudgepot - I love the consistency of this product. The consistency is somewhat similar to BB. It is very creamy and light. It applies very nicely & black. For me though, it fades throughout the day and I'll have to reapply. I'm not sure If I would repurchase this.
Wet n Wild Creme Liner - Again, good creamy consistency. It doesn't crumble for me, but just like the Stila Smudgepot, this fades throughout the day. Great deal though and will probably repurchase b/c of the price and it works well.

Here are some swatches, courtesy of kmbirkel. Indigo Ink & Ivy Ink look gorgeous! They look like they would go well with any of the NARS eye shadows I posted in my previous post! I think Black Ink will be my next purchase.

Do you have a favorite gel/cream liner? What is your preference or HG liner?

Monday, March 1, 2010

NARS Night Clubbing Eye Shadow + Photos & Swatches!

I'm on a complete NARS craze. I got my first single eye shadow and I think it may be my favorite eyeshadow I own, or at least in the top 3.

NARS (powder) eye shadows are broken down into 3 categories-
The Matte Collection: Ultra velvet, non shimmering shades with high pay off. Great for lining & creating depth.

The Shimmer Collection: Rich, soft, lustrous shades with a subtle sheen.

The Nightlife Collection: Ultra velvet shades with tone on tone sparkling effects & high pay off.

Night Clubbing falls into the Nightlife shades. It is a rich black with golden shimmer. With the mixture of gold and black, it sort of plays tricks on your eyes and makes it appear olive colored. Olive is the color you would get from mixing black and yellow/gold together. The payoff is absolutely amazing. To get the swatch I only had to touch the eye shadow I didn't even have to swipe my finger across it. It is very intense. You could also intensify the color by applying it wet. I bet this would make a pretty amazing liner applied wet.

I'm wearing it today smudged into my black liner and I'm in love :)

How beautiful is this!? The pigmentation is crazy!

The color somewhat reminds me of MAC Gilt By Association or MAC Carbon with Antiqued Gold Pigment over it.

I'm so excited to get my hands on more NARS. Some eye shadows I've got my eyes on next are:

Ashes to Ashes, Baby Girl, Cairo, Fathom, Fez, Galapagos, Mekong, Night Porter & Voyage.

Here are some pretty awesome swatches of the Night Collection I found..

Do you have any favorites????