Friday, November 30, 2012

A Fragrance Review - Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray ($105, 1.7 oz) is a fragrance I've been wanting to try for a long time now, mostly out of curiosity because of it's large fan base, and was ecstatic when it was offered as a 100 point perk at Sephora recently.

Flowerbomb is quite different than what I expected it to be. I love florals, so I expected nothing other than the name suggests, flowerbomb, to be an intense explosion of different floral notes. Something obvious - like a punch of geraniums, lilac and roses. Maybe even obnoxiously so, but it's not the case at all.

Notes: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli.

Upon the first spray, it's only strong for a moment (maybe a minute or so) before it already starts to mellow. It's not a punch of flowers as expected, but a soft and sugary sweet (not sickly sweet) tea floral. It's soft, slightly spicy (like spice tea), and after it has really eased in, you get those subtly sweet chocolatey notes (not imitation cocoa, something more refined). Flowerbomb is shy, flirty and feminine - not too complex, but classy and reserved.

It's kind of a like a grown-up tea party in cotton candy clouds, where you're wearing your finest pearls and silk gloves while eating cupcakes and truffles as flower petals fall from the sky. Or the delightful smell of a morning tea latte sprinkled with sugar crystals and a single flower waiting for you on a Victorian tray by your bedside. It isn't loud or overbearing. It's very daytime appropriate, as you don't really notice it's there (but I suppose that depends on how much you spray).

Regardless, it's not something I'd particularly choose to wear at night, I'd choose something a little louder and sexier like Narcisco Rodriguez which I can smell on my skin for hours. I prefer a scent that I can smell on myself since I'm the one who wants to enjoy the scent I'm wearing, but it's nice to wear when you want something subtle, and only very noticeable when someone comes very close. I like to put some on my hand/wrist so I can smell it throughout the day.

I think it's easy to wear, and those who like sugary sweet scents will like this. Don't confuse sweet with cheap or adolescent though - it doesn't have the caramel/vanilla notes that I find can sometimes cheapen a sweet fragrance and it doesn't make me think of highschool.

The more I wear this fragrance, the more I like it, but I don't think it's something I'll be purchasing myself. I really enjoy it, but for my signature scent, I prefer something slightly less sweet. If I collected perfumes, I'd probably get a bottle. 

A really pretty fragrance, but I'm not sure that it's unique enough to match the price tag. It's a I feel like I can find something similar if I look around Victoria's Secret. It's a luxury perfume and a treat for sure, but $160 for 3.4 oz... ouch!!

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Comparisons to Flowerbomb

In comparison to other florals/sweet fragrances, it's nothing like Prada Candy, which is also sweet, but Candy has strong notes of caramel and vanilla (dare I say cheap?), which are absent in Flowerbomb which is more complex. Coach Poppy Flower is more youthful , fun, fresh and fruity, whereas Flowerbomb is a little more mature and doesn't contain any fruity notes. Gucci Flora Eau Fraiche is a little more in-your-face citrusy-floral and can be smelt a mile away, while Flowerbomb is so much more sweet, subdued and reserved. It's often compared to Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber, which is one of my favorites, and although I agree that they are similar, Sensual Amber is a bit younger and much fruitier and less sugary. But they are both light and share some familiar notes. Also, those that tend to like Thierry Mugler Angel seem to like Flowerbomb, but it's not a fragrance I really care for. They do share the notes of Patchouli and Chocolate, but Angel is much stronger and a much warmer, spicier (almost somewhat masculine) oriental fragrance overall. More of a nighttime fragrance, which Flowerbomb can go either way. The patchouli in Flowerbomb isn't as earthy, and almost barely there (which is a plus for me). I also read if you like Aquolina Pink Sugar, you might like this.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Have you tried Flowerbomb? What's your current favorite fragrance?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekly Poll Results - Which Area of your Makeup Routine Needs More Work Perfecting?

Which Area of your Makeup Routine Needs More Work Perfecting?

In this weeks poll I wanted to see which area of your makeup routine do you struggle with. Maybe you can't get your eyeliner to match, or maybe no matter how hard you try to apply your blush as best as you can, it always comes out uneven. Even if you've been a lover of makeup from the beginning of time, I still think that many of us have things we'd like to improve - small or big.

I think I manage pretty well, but if I could improve on something, I'd pick eyeshadow 100%. I don't have trouble with blending or anything - I think it's mainly technique and shadow placement. Sometimes when I want to try something new it ends up being a muddy mess, so I tend to stick with looks I've done before that I know work, or "safe" looks. I suppose it all comes with experience, though! Or maybe creativity? Whatever it may be, I give tons of credit to those who have the ability to wear different eye looks every day.. I'd love to have skills like The Queen of Blending.

The Results Are:

Foundation and/or Powder - 81 votes (29%)
Blush Application - 34 votes (12%)
Bronzer and/or Contouring - 95 votes (34%)
Eyeshadow - 96 votes (34%)
Eyebrow Filling - 50 votes (18%)
False Lashes - 59 votes (12%)
Lips - 19 votes (6%)
None! I think I manage pretty well with everything. - 11 votes (3%)
Other (not specified) - 14 votes (5%)

This poll received 277 votes. (Voters were able to choose multiple answers)

There votes were really close. It looks like the majority struggle as well with eyeshadow being the #1 answer. With one extra vote, Bronzer/Contouring takes second place and Foundation and/or Powder takes third.

If you voted, which did you vote for and why? If you didn't vote, let me know what your answer would be in the comments!

*The weekly poll can be found on the right side-bar. Let me know if you have any ideas for future polls! A new poll will be up shortly.

Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk - Laura Mercier Flawless Best Sellers.

Laura Mercier Flawless Best Sellers Kit

In my five years of being a Sephora Beauty Insider, I've never cashed in on my 500 point perks. I guess I never find them to be that amazing, and usually wait around for some really awesome 100 point perks (such as fragrance minis!) Well, I thought the Laura Mercier Flawless Best Sellers Kit was a pretty sweet deal and decided to cash in on some of my points.

The Laura Mercier Flawless Best Sellers Kit contains:

I calculated the values based on the full-size products, and the total value for this kit adds up to $61! It sure as heck doesn't look like it, but Laura Mercier is a pricey brand. I think the 500 points was well worth it!

I have yet to try the products, but I've had samples of both the Laura Mercier Primer and Tinted Moisturizer and really liked them. You can see my past review for the Tinted Moisturizer here. Granted I haven't tried any other tinted moisturizers, I think it's quite good for some of my more "natural" days. I'm not sure how the shade Nude (light beige for fair/light skin) will work out, but if anything, I can most likely mix it with other foundations to sheer them out. 

From left to right: Golden Mosaic swatched individually and swirled together, Wheat Eye Basic, Nude Tinted Moisturizer and Primer. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My November Favorites!

November Beauty Favorites

I know I rarely ever do monthly favorites, but I had to do a favorites list this month since there are several products I've been loving lately and have been getting most of my attention! The list can pretty much go on forever, but I'll try to keep it short!

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation - I've had a few samples of this and loved it, but have only finally purchased a tube this month. It's probably one of my favorite cream foundation as it's full coverage, yet it looks like skin. It's comfortable to wear and the color Bamboo Beige is perfect for me when I am in the MAC NC30 color range. My only gripe is that it's not budge-proof and starts to get a little shiny and fade around my mouth around 5-6 hours in wearing it. Despite that, I really do love this foundation.

MAC Bombshell Lipstick - This has been the only lipstick I've been wearing all month. It's such a pretty rosy pink with a hint of frost. It can look a little bright sometimes, so when I want something more subdued, I like mixing it with a lighter shade, such as MAC Creme D' Nude.

Revlon Bordeaux Lipgloss - Bordeaux has been my favorite pick for an easy berry lip this Fall. I love how pigmented and moisturizing it is, and that I don't have to bother with a lip liner. Definitely recommend if you're looking for a very wearable berry.

MAC Bamboo Eyeshadow - Bamboo is a fairly popular shade by MAC, but it's never one that I thought I needed. Well, I was wrong and this light beige-peach with a matte finish has found it's way into my MAC Everyday Palette, and has been a color I tend to reach for just about every day. Fabulous for warm skin tones, it's a great blending color and pairs well with copper, golds and browns. It leans slightly orange, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for cool skin.

MAC Mulch Eyeshadow - Mulch is another great shade by MAC that I surprisingly didn't own. Although it's pretty much a standard dark bronzy-brown with reddish undertones, it compliments my skin really well and I find myself using often.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nars Friends and Family + Other Great Cyber Monday Deals!

NARS Friends & Family 2012

Starting at midnight last night, NARS began their Friends and Family sale! You get 20% your order + Free Shipping!! It's a great opportunity to pick up some of your favorties that Sephora doesn't carry, or for those of you that missed out on your Nars favorites during Sephora's F&F and VIB sales.
Use Code: NARSFF2012. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your purchase to save an extra 4%)

*Ebates is also doubling their cash back on many stores, so I've included the savings for each store listed.

Some other great sales:

Coastal Scents
Coastal Scents Black Friday is extended until Wednesday! Take 50% Off Everything!
No code necessary.

40% Off Everything + Free Shipping! Ends 11/26.
No code necessary.

Free Shipping with no minimum + up to 70% off on select items! Ends 11/26.

Josie Maran
For those of you who are running low on your Josie Maran Argan Oil, now is the chance to buy! Take 25% Off Josie Maran's Featured Products + Free Shipping on orders over $25! Ends at 11/26 11:59PM.
Use Code: ARGAN25.

Take 20% off your order at Lancome now through 11/30 11:59PM EST. Also, enjoy Free Shipping on orders of $49+.
Use Code: HEARTS. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your Lancome purchase to save an extra 14%!!)

20% off all items + Free Shipping on orders over $40! Also, 30% off all eye and lip sets!
No code necessary.

It's the final day to make your purchases at Origins for $10 off your orders of $25 + Free Shipping!
Use Code: TENOFF. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your Origins purchase to save an extra 12%!)

Free Mystery Sample bag with $25 purchase! Ends 11/26.
Use Code: UNDERWRAPS. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your Sephora purchase to save 8% on your purchase!)

Shu Uemura
Stop by Shu Uemura and take 20% off your order of $50 or more + enjoy Free Shipping! Ends at 11/27 11:59PM EST.
Use Code: WISH2012. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your order to save an extra 10%!)

It's the final day to make your purchases at Smashbox and receive 25% off your order of $50 or more + Free Shipping and Free Samples!
Use Code: FRIENDS2012. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your Smashbox order to save 12%!)

Take 25% off your order + Free Shipping on orders of $40 and more! Ends 11/26 11:59PM EST.
Use Code: CYBER. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your Tarte order to save an extra 4%!)

The Body Shop
50% off the entire store + Free Shipping on orders of $30! Ends 11/26.
No code necessary. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your order for an extra 10% savings! 6% for Canada.)

Too Faced
Take an additional 50% off Vintage Items! Ends 11/26.
Use Code: BLACK2012. (Don't forget to use Ebates on your order for an extra 4%)

Free Shipping on all orders worldwide! Ends 11/26 23:59 PST.
No code necessary.

Shop Cyber Monday Deals + $10 off $50 and $20 off $100. Ends 11/26. Also, free beauty bag containing 15 samples with any $35 purchase! Ends Tuesday.
Use Codes: 85224 for $10 off $50 and 85118 for $20 off $100.

Let me know in the comments if you know of any great Cyber Monday deals!

I will be updating the list shortly with more deals.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Step by Step Autumn Smokey Eyes Tutorial!

Autumn Smokey Eyes Tutorial

I wanted to show you an eye look that I've really been loving lately, and have been recreating on most days I've been going out. The star of this look is MAC Club Eyeshadow, which is a really beautiful soft brown with reddish undertones and a metallic green duochrome. What I love about it is that it can transform with whatever base you use. In this look I've layered Club over a black base, and it makes the green tone really stand out and appear as a beautiful, rich emerald green. On the rest of the lid where the black wasn't applied, it appears as a reddish-brown. So before I even picked up any other eyeshadows, it looked like I've already used more than one. 

For a cheaper alternative to MAC Club ($15), Wet n Wild has a great dupe in their Comfort Zone Color Icon Palette ($4.99). You'd actually be able to re-create most of this look with the Comfort Zone palette.

Products Used:

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Bobbi Brown Black Ink Long-wear Gel Eyeliner 
MAC Club Eyeshadow (red-brown with greeen pearl)
MAC Bamboo Eyeshadow (light peach-beige, matte)
MAC Jest Eyeshadow (soft peach with icy shimmer)
MAC Mulch Eyeshadow (red-brown with bronze pearl)
MAC Woodwinked Eyeshadow (warm antique gold)
Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara
False Lashes (cut in half)
L'Oreal Gold Charge HIP Chrome Eyeliner 

*For this tutorial I used the site Beauty Sets to quickly and easily create a collage of images. Please let me know if you find this method of tutorial confusing. It's much easier and less time consuming for me, but if they aren't helpful, I'll continue doing them the way I did before. Thanks!!
Step 1: Prime your eyelids. (Photo #1)

Step 2: Apply black cream/gel liner to the top lash-line. It doesn't have to be perfect, because in the next step we are going to smudge it. (Photo #2)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Final Chance for Black Friday Sales!

Last Chance Black Friday Sales!

As the Black Friday sales are coming to a near end, here's a list of sales that are still going on right now!

20% Off Everything site-wide! Expires 11/25 @ midnight PST.

Banana Republic
25% Off Your Purchase of $150! Expires 11/24.

$20 off $50 + Free Shipping! Expires 11/24 @ midnight PST.

Coastal Scents
50% Everything Site-wide! (A great time to purchase brushes or eyeshadow palettes)
(No code necessary)

Charolette Russe
20-50% Off + Free Shipping when you spend $50! (Great deals on trendy shoes!)
(Discount is automatic at checkout)

Cherry Culture
20% Off Everything Site-wide! Expires 11/25.

E.L.F. Cosmetics
Free Shipping on Orders over $30 + Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off! Expires 11/24 @ midnight.
(Although the code ECD2 gives you 50% off Studio products, so if you're only purchasing Studio products, it would be a better code to use)

Eve Pearl
40-60% Select Products! Expires 11/27 @ 11 AM EST. (The Salmon Concealer is 40% off if you've been curious about it!)

$15 off $50
$30 off $90
$60 off $180
2476 (Or print in-store coupon here)
Expires 11/25 11:59 PM ET.

Forever 21
Extra 50% Off Sale Items! Expires 11/25.

Giorgio Armani
20% Off + Free Shipping on Orders of $75! Expires 11/25.

20% Off Everything Site-wide! Expires 11/26.

25% Off Your Purchase In-store and Online + Free Shipping on orders of $150! Expires 11/25 @ 11:59PM ET.

Get 50% Off Your Entire purchase!

Get 25% Off Your Entire purchase!

20% Off Orders of $50+!

Victorias Secret
$30 Off $150 + Free Shipping when you spend $50! Expires 11/27 @ 11:59 EST.
FREE50 & 30OFF150

20% Your Order!

Up to 50% on Select Items + Free Shipping!
(no code necessary)

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Original Tangle Teezer Review!

The Original Tangle Teezer

I stumbled across the Tangle Teezer ($12.99) in Sally's recently while I was on my venture to find some new hair brushes. I remembered seeing the little handle-less hair brush featured on many British blogs a while back and with it's promises of leaving the hair tangle-free, I was sold.

Some of the product claims are that the Tangle Teezer works to detangle the hair quickly, painlessly and better than any other hair brush. The Tangle Teezer glides through wet, vulnerable and colour treated hair with no pulling, tugging or yanking. 

  • Use in the shower on wet hair to distribute the conditioner evenly throughout the hair. (many of us apply a big glob of conditioner to the ends of our hair, and it doesn't get evenly distributed unless it's combed through) 
  • Use after you've exited the shower to rid the hair of any tangles and knots.
  • Use after you've applied any leave-in treatments, serums and heat protectors to evenly distribute the product through your hair. 
  • Works on all hair types. 
  • Works on wet, dry and synthetic hair.

I have naturally thick, fairly fine/brittle, curly hair. I don't use combs on my hair (even wide tooth combs) because they always get stuck in my hair. I know I've said it before, but I've broke many combs in my day, and my Mom went through truckloads of Johnson's No More Tangles as a kid. Brushing my hair when I get out the shower is usually a struggle, and if I wait to comb my hair after it has already started to dry... forget about it. At 50% dry, my hair is completely frizzy, tangled and pissed off. 

I'll keep this review short, because how much can you possibly say about a hair brush. Well, what I can say is that it works! 

I use it after every shower and there is absolutely no struggle getting through my hair. It's nothing short of a miracle. I don't know how it does it, but it does it. It detangles my hair better than any of my other brushes, and I even find that my hair dries slightly quicker when I brush my hair a few times while it's drying. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekly Poll Results - How do you typically get through reading blog posts?

How do you typically get through reading blog posts?

In this weeks poll I was curious to see how you all tackle keeping up with your favorite blogs. Now, the list of blogs I'm subscribed to is enormous. I've subbed to just about every blog that I've found interesting over the past few years. Many of which I'd love to read on a daily basis, but between keeping up with my favorite blogs as well as my favorite YouTube channels... I have to do a lot of skimming, or I'd never get anything done throughout the day.

I can honestly say that if a post doesn't have photos, chances are I'm most likely not going to read the post - unless the post has a catchy title or talks about something I'm particularly interested in. I love looking at photos. I'm guilty of buying magazines only to look at the photos. Sometimes I won't even read one article. Is that weird? Many times, I'll look at the photos of a blog post and maybe read a couple of the main points and leave. Sometimes I'll read the whole post and get addicted and go through every single post until I realized an hour or two passed and I'm not being productive with my day.

So, I wanted to know how you go about reading blog posts!

The Results Are...

I read everything - 47 votes (29%)
I skim everything - 47 votes (29%)
I mainly look at the photos - 58 votes (36%)
I skim to the conclusion/end - 10 votes (6%)
I only read it if it's regarding a product I'm interested in - 81 votes (50%)
I do not read reviews for products that aren't available in my country - 11 votes (6%)
I glance and leave - 3 votes (1%)

This poll received 161 votes. (You were able to choose multiple answers)

This brings me to the question.. Do you have a strategy you stick by or does it differ from blog to blog? Do you read some and skim some? Do you skim because of the text overload? Time management, laziness, lack of interest or because of the author? In regards to your favorite blogs, will you read posts about products you're unfamiliar with because you want to learn something new, or do you typically skip?

For myself, it differs from blog to blog. I skim and look at photos for the most part. Depending on the author, I may read the full post. I only read reviews/posts about products that aren't available in my country/products I'm not familiar with if I have extra time to kill, otherwise I stick to reading about products that I might want!

Thank you all for participating! Let me know if you have any ideas for future polls.

Nars Sin Blush Review, Photos and Swatches!

Nars Sin Blush

Nars Sin Blush

Nars Sin Blush ($28) is described on the Nars website as a berry tone with gold shimmer. Sin is actually one of the top 3 best selling Nars blushes, but it's never a color that really appealed to me in the compact. In the pan it appears to be a dusty mauve-plum with fine golden shimmer. I always assumed it would look dull or dirty on my cheeks, but I guess it's a best seller for a reason, so I decided to give it a try.

Once the color hits my cheeks, the color seems to come alive, and it changes from the boring and dull color in the pan, to a soft rosy-berry color on my cheeks. It does definitely pick up some of the warmness from my skin, but I love that the color doesn't completely change once it hits my face. Because of my prominent warm tones in my skin, blushes usually morph into a warm peachy shade, but Sin doesn't seem to do that. The color is soft and muted, yet completely sophisticated. It's subtle enough for every day, and for intense eye looks. The shimmer in Sin is very refined, and doesn't make the cheeks look shimmery - just a soft glow.

The blush itself is pigmented, and all I need is a touch of the brush. To avoid looking bruised, I always make sure to powder my cheeks after my foundation and apply the blush very lightly on top so it applies smoothly with a seamless finish. I like using a brush that isn't dense, so it won't apply too much color in one spot. (I've been using the Sigma Large Angled Contour Brush and it works great!)

Sin is exactly what I've been looking for. A blush that is soft enough for every day - something soft and neutral that won't wash out my complexion, and something different than the average pink neutral or nude blush.

I'm particularly excited that this blush is perfect for the Fall, and pairs really nicely with my warm eyeshadow colors and plummy pink lipsticks.

Nars Sin Blush

Wearing Nars Sin Blush
Nars Sin Blush on my cheeks

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to Apply the Perfect Winged Eyeliner Every Time!

Applying winged eyeliner is difficult, even for those who apply it every day. I've been winging my eyeliner since I was around 14 or 15 years old, and I still don't get it right on many days.

There are so many methods for applying winged eyeliner, but today, I'm going to over the way I typically like to apply pen style eyeliners. I find that when I use this method, my liner turns out perfect every time! And, it's super quick!

The eyeliner I'm using in this mini tutorial is my one of my favorite eyeliners - the Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. It's incredibly easy to use, the tip is perfectly shaped for a thin, precise line and it never dries out or frays.

Step 1: In the first photo I started out with a clean eye. Typically, the ideal time to apply eye liner is after your eye shadow and before your mascara. (For the records, I'm wearing mascara for this tutorial, but it's much easier to apply eyeliner without mascara, as your lashes won't get in the way as much.) *If your eyelids are prone to getting oily, powder your lids and apply an eye shadow base.
Step 2: Examine where you want to start your wing. Use your bottom lashline as a reference. In photo #2 you can see the arrow going from my bottom lashline extending diagonally outward. You almost want it to look like a continuance of your lower lashline.
Step 3: With the tip of the liner touching the very end of your upper lashline, draw a thin diagonal line (45 degree angle) upward as shown in photo #3. It should be going in the direction of where your eyebrow ends.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Preview of Sephora Black Friday $10 Deals!

Black Friday is always an exciting time to see what cool deals brands will put out, and I'm always really eager to see what my favorite stores have to offer so I can plan my shopping accordingly!

Every year Sephora puts out products and sets that you can purchase for $10, but are worth more. I remember being a little underwhelmed by the selection last year - this years selection isn't bad. There are a couple I'd probably purchase.

All Sets are $10 Each

  • Sephora Collection Gilded Brush Set Trio
  • Bare Escentuals Let it Glow Set
  • Boscia Best of Boscia Set
  • Ole Henrikson Three Little Holiday Wonders Set
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple 12 oz
  • Stila Travel Palette & Deluxe Kitten Lip Glaze
  • TokyoMilk Femme Fetal Trio
  • Too Faced Deluxe Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder & Travel Kabuki Brush
  • Tarte Full-sized Gifted Mascara & Mini Multipleye Lash Primer
  • Jack Black Comfort Joy Shave and Lip Duo
  • Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes & Bear Naked Nail Wipes
  • Tocca 3 Mini Rollerballs
  • Bite Mini Lipstick Palette
  • Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer and Shadow
  • Buxom In the Spotlight Set
See anything interesting? I'd probably be the most interested in getting the Ole Henrikson Skincare set - I've tried samples of their products many times and have always liked them. I'd also maybe get the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer since it's such a popular bronzer. I never wanted to purchase the full size since I don't really need any more bronzers, but I'd definitely purchase a mini.

These products will be available in-store and online on Friday, November 23rd.

*Prices in USD. CAN $12. While supplies last. Limit 2 per item. Not available inside JCP. Not available in Canada.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snowman Holiday Nail Polishes 2012!

Holiday Snowman Nail Polish

Around the holidays each year you might spot these cute Snowman Nail Polishes at your local drugstore for an average of $2 to $3 a bottle. They're only around for a couple months, and they're totally adorable and make for great stocking stuffers.

The Snowman Nail Polishes are available in a fairly large selection of fun holiday colors and some really pretty glitters. Although I see these polishes every year, I've never used them. I know some nail polish junkies love these, so I picked up a couple bottles to give them a try.

The odd thing is that neither bottle is labeled with an actual name or color, so I couldn't tell you the name of these, but I thought I'd share with you a couple of photos.

The pink polish is a raspberry pink filled with purple shimmer. It reminds me a lot of Essie Jamaica Me Crazy. The formula is really easy to work with. It's thin, yet it's not very sheer. I found that it dries very quickly and I don't have to wait much time at all to apply my next coat. It's opaque with two coats. It has a dull finish, so I applied two coats of a shiny top coat (Seche Vite).

The glitter polish is a festive combination of chunky silver, gold, blue, red, purple and green glitters. It's sheer with one coat, but the glitters get distributed pretty evenly across the nail. It's a really fun polish to top off your nails with.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Final Day for Sephora VIB Sale!

Final Day for Sephora VIB Sale

If you're a Sephora VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider), today is the final day in Sephora's exclusive VIB Sale. Everything is 20% off, so stock up on some of your favorites!

This is the first year I wasn't a Sephora VIB (I was $43 away), but someone was kind enough to share their code with me so I can receive the discount on my online order.

I've never experienced ordering online (I usually shop in-store) for this particular sale, but I was really surprised to see so many items sold out, including items that I was planning on purchasing. Almost every Nars blush is sold out!

Here's what my order looked like-

I wanted some new Guerlain Meteorites (my favorite setting powder) so I thought this sale was a great chance to grab one, but unfortunately, I waited too long to place my order and within a day every shade sold out. So, I was stuck getting the Limited Edition Emilio Pucci Meteorites from the Summer Collection. I'm hoping they'll work out fine - which I'm sure they will.

I also picked up my favorite facial self tanner Clarins Intense Bronze Self Tanning Tint (must-have!) and one of my favorite brushes for bronzer, the Sephora Pro #40. Since the brush is already on clearance, it was too good of a deal to pass up, and I could always use an extra.

I've been curious to try the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector for a while now because of the rave reviews, so I picked up the shade Opal. If you want to see a quick review/comparison, Bloomin Beauty Blog has an awesomely helpful post.

I tried a generous sample of Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation last year, and I thought it was amazing so I finally ordered a full-size!

Lastly, I cashed in on 500 of my Beauty Insider Points and got the Laura Mercier Best Sellers Kit which includes: Foundation Primer (0.5 oz), Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in Nude (0.5 oz), Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic (0.14 oz) and Eye Basics in Wheat (0.1 oz).

That's it! Nothing too exciting, but I was happy to save $40, and using Ebates, I was able to save an extra 4%, which ended up being a little over $6.. yay!

Did you end up getting anything?

*To become a Sephora VIB, you must spend $350 at Sephora in a calendar year. (read more)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer Review, Photos and Swatches!

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer 

When you're looking for a picker upper, what's better than indulging in sparkly and needless material things? Or maybe taking a stroll through Godiva or See's Candy for a piece of ridiculously overpriced, yet completely delicious chocolate. I like browsing the Chanel counter, and that's how I came across this little gem. Absolutely necessary? Absolutely not. Gorgeous? You bet.

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer ($29.50) is a vibrant pink with a purple pearl. You could also call it a glistening fuchsia. (Jalousie means Jealousy in French, btw!) This shade launched in the Roses Ultimes De Chanel Collection earlier in the year. As far as I know, it's limited edition, but is still available online.

If I was rolling in money bags, I'd love to own every shade of this angelic gloss, but for now I only own a few, and I don't wear them daily because they are just that precious.

Glossimers differ in terms of color payoff, some are sheer, but Jalousie is opaque with one swipe. As it wears down, the color sheers up slightly, but it still provides full on color.

It of course looks great on it's own, and it pairs really well with other pink lipsticks to make them a little brighter and pinker. You could also layer it over a similar fuchsia lipstick, such as MAC Lickable Lipstick or MAC Girl About Town for an intense pink lip. 

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer

Chanel Jalousie Glossimer Swatch
Chanel Jalousie Glossimer on my lips.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Poll Results - What's Your Favorite Drugstore Brand for Most/All of Your Needs?

What's Your Favorite Drugstore Brand for Most/All of Your Needs?

It's that time of the week again! The results of another weekly poll. If you haven't noticed already, each week there's a new question on the right-hand side of the page.

I was curious to see which are some of your favorite drugstore brands. It's hard to say which is the best because each brand might excel in a category, while another category is a complete fail. For instance, Revlon has amazing products - especially their face and lip products. But their mascaras stink! Maybe their PhotoReady Mascara is so-so, but the rest of them are a waste of money. (This is my opinion only of course!)

So my question was, What is your favorite drugstore brand for all or most of your needs? Theoretically speaking - if you happened to lose all of your makeup and were given the money to purchase a whole new collection, and you could only purchase everything from one brand, which would it be?

It makes my head hurt just thinking about it. But here are the results!

The results are...

Revlon - 74 votes (38%)
Covergirl - 13 votes (6%)
L'Oreal - 48 votes (25%)
Maybelline - 64 votes (33%)
Rimmel London - 14 votes (7%)
Milani - 6 votes (3%)
Wet n Wild - 20 votes (10%)
NYX - 44 votes (23%)
Physicians Formula - 8 votes (4%)
Neutrogena - 6 votes (3%)
Annabelle (Canadian Brand) - 2 votes (1%)
E.L.F. - 39 votes (20%)
Other - 7 votes (3%)

This poll is based on 191 participants.

The #1 crowd choice is Revlon with the first runner up being Maybelline and the second being L'Oreal.

I'd have to go with the crowd pick and choose Revlon too. My main focus of my makeup is having a good base makeup, and Revlon does some really good foundations - in my opinion, better than what the other drugstore brands have to offer (in terms of coverage and lasting power). I prefer long-lasting cosmetics, and with Revlon's Colorstay line, they have tons of products that will get you through the day with minimal touch-ups.

I'm also a big fan of Revlon's lip products - and some of their eye products aren't too shabby either. Also, I know this shouldn't really be a factor, but I thought it was worth a mention that Revlon has good eye appeal. Although I'm not a makeup snob, I still don't want messy, broken tubes and compacts before I'm even done using the product. The packaging on most of their products is very classy and chic and doesn't reflect the low price.

I do have to say though, if I really did have to only choose one brand, it'd be pretty hard to give up my Maybelline and Covergirl Mascaras.

(photo credits: makeupandbeauty, vampy varnish and lipglossiping.)

If you participated, let me know why you chose your answer! Is there one product in particular from the line that persuaded you to choose it? Or multiple products?

If you didn't participate in the poll, let me know which brand you'd choose! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

MAC Staunchly Stylish Pro Longwear Lip Pencil Review, Photos and Swatches!

mac staunchly stylish

MAC Staunchly Stylish Pro Longwear Lip Pencil 

MAC Staunchly Stylish Pro Longwear Lip Pencil ($19.50) is a soft, rosy-beige long-wearing and transfer-proof lip pencil with a creamy, "fluid-like" texture that glides to the lips with rich, saturated color.

Lip liner is one of those things that I neglect to use every day, even though I prefer the look of my lips with lip liner. I suppose it's mainly a convenience thing - I like a simple daily routine, and most of the time I just apply what I find is necessary. I do love lip liner though, especially MAC Lip Pencils. It's pretty much the major brand I use, with Oak, Stripdown and Subculture being my go-to shades. I became curious about their Pro Longwear line of lip pencils that launched late last year, as often times I only apply my liner in the morning and it's gone within a couple of hours, so finding a lip liner that will last me for several hours would be wonderful!

The formula of these pencils are pretty nice. They are no doubt creamy and glide easily across the lips. The liner doesn't tug or pull at the lips - just smooth sailing. They dry down to a budge-proof matte finish.

Alone on the lips, the pencil makes my lips look dry and crackled, as the formula really "clings" to the lips. So, I wouldn't wear it on it's own (or this shade anyway). I like wearing it as a base for my lipstick, or simply applied lightly on the outline of my lips and blended in. I don't find it to be drying when combined with another lip product. I also notice that when it's on my lips, it feels the slightest bit tacky - kind of similar to some formulas of long-wearing lipsticks.. dry, but somewhat sticky? Very minor, though.

MAC doesn't give a length of time that these lip pencils should last, but I find that it holds up really well throughout the day. It holds up well after my morning coffee, and partly goes away with a meal (which typically would be completely gone). If I don't eat or drink, it doesn't budge. It's hands down the longest wearing lip pencil I own.

mac staunchly stylish

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pink with Glitter Reverse French Nails of the Day.

Reverse French Manicure with Glitter

I've been wanting to try a reverse french manicure with glitter for a while now after seeing several photos on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a shot today. I've tried the regular reverse french and liked it a lot, but I thought adding glitter would be a fun twist since I love glitter tips in general. 

I used french manicure guides that I purchased from my local beauty supply store, but you can use tape if you'd like (just make sure to cut it so it's rounded) or garage sale stickers, reinforcement stickers, etc.

how to create reverse french manicure with glitter

It's that easy! You just have to be sure that your glitter is completely dry, otherwise the sticker can pull the glitter off. As an alternative to glitter polish, you can actually apply a clear coat of nail polish to the bottom portion of your nail, and spill some loose glitter on top. 

For the glitter, I used Maybelline Color Show Sequins Nail Polish in the shade Gold's Night Out with Milani Silver Jewel FX on top. 

The color on my nails is Essie Lion Around. I picked it up recently at my local TJ Maxx.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winner of the Physician's Formula Boost Your Beauty Giveaway!

The WINNER Announced!

I sincerely appreciate your participation in my recent Physician's Formula Boost Your Beauty Giveaway, and as always, your participation in each giveaway hosted on my blog. I love reading through the entries, and receiving feedback of what I can do to change or add, to make my blog better for all of you! Thank you so, so much!

There were 86 entries in total, and the winner was picked at random using

And, the winner is...


Congrats! I'll be contacting you shortly.

The Physician's Formula Boost Your Beauty Contest is still running on the Physicians Formula website until Dec. 16th. Make sure to enter for your chance to win a pair of diamond earrings worth $4,000 and lots of Physicians Formula Cosmetics! Entering is easy. Click here to enter.

Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush Review, Photos and Swatches!

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush

Nars Penny Lane Blush ($28) is described on the Nars website as a nude pink. It's a very soft and delicate bridal pink with neutral undertones. If you look closely, it has a little bit of a white pearl, but it looks mostly matte on the skin. It's a great every-day blush that you can't really do wrong with. It's very subtle, yet it gives your skin a hint of color that your cheeks need to look healthy and lightly flushed. It's very similar to the effect MAC Cubic Blush would give me (one of my favorite neutrals).

Nars Cream Blushes are a cream to powder formula, and are very soft and creamy to the touch, but they blend into a seamless powder finish on the skin.

For Penny Lane in particular, I've used a few different methods - a small stippling brush, a foundation brush and my fingers. Because the color is so light, it's not a shade that you can easily overdo. So, I don't find a stippling brush to be necessary, as it doesn't apply enough color to the cheeks unless I pack it on the brush. Although I rarely like using my fingers for application of makeup, I find that the fingers give me the best control and color.

To be completely satisfied with the color, I usually apply two layers. I think this blush is best suited for light skintones, but can also work well for light-medium and medium skintones. I'm around the MAC NC35 coloring right now, and I can tell if I were any darker, it may start to show up ashy. If you're darker than the MAC NC40 coloring (medium-dark/tan), you may want to skip, otherwise you can use Penny Lane as a base for a neutral blush that suits your skin better.

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Wearing Nars Casino Bronzer all over my face, with Nars Penny Lane on my cheeks and MAC Superb across the top of my cheekbones.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winner of the Pick Your Palette Giveaway!

The WINNER Announced!

I wanted to thank you all so much for entering my recent Pick Your Palette Giveaway! I had no idea I was going to receive so many entries. It was so much fun to host, and I loved reading through all of the comments! I'm already planning out the next giveaway, so stay tuned! :)

It literally took me over four hours to count all of the entries. I went through each entry, making sure to count every one and sort through any duplicate entries.

There were 833 entries in total, and the winner was picked at random using

Without further anticipation, the winner is....

Khalia @glamourandlove

Congrats! I'll be contacting you shortly!

I will also be announcing the winner of my Physician's Formula giveaway later on today. Thank you all again for reading my blog, and entering my giveaway!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Revlon Cherish and Charm Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains Review, Photos and Swatches!

Revlon Charm and Cherish Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains ($8.99) is a lip balm infused with a lightweight stain in a convenient retractable crayon.

These have been pretty popular in the beauty blogosphere over the past few months, and although I admittedly don't like giving into products that seem to be fads of the moment, I've read nothing but good things, so I had to give them a try.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are available in (12) shades: Honey, Crush, Darling, Cherish, Lovesick, Sweetheart, Smitten, Charm, Rendevous, Romantic, Precious and Adore.

I have two shades: Cherish, a light, cool-toned pink. The cool blue/purple undertones are so strong that when built, it looks rather purple on my lips. With a light wash, it's a pretty natural pink. The other color is Charm, a light, warm peachy nude.

The balms are very firm/waxy and keep their shape well. Even after several uses, they haven't placed much of a dent in the tip.

I would have never expected these balms to be moisturizing - you never really think of a product labeled as a "stain" to be anything but drying, but these are shockingly moisturizing on my chronic dry lips. I wouldn't use it to replace an actual lip balm, but they keep my lips moist and don't dry them out.

The pigmentation is very good. They are sheer, but very buildable. After the color has been on my lips a while, Cherish stays just about the same color and brightens just slightly. Charm darkens a little bit from a light nude to a light coral. If I wipe my lips off, Charm leaves an orange-red stain behind, which is something I really don't like about it. It's not exactly the look you want if you're going for a nude lip. Cherish leaves a bright pinkish-red stain behind.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains

Thursday, November 1, 2012

E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator Review!

E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator

E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator

E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator ($3) is a stick made up of sugar, vitamin E, shea butter, avocado, grape, jojoba oil and waxes that together work to remove dry and chapped skin as well as smooth and condition the lips.

Directions: Apply to clean, damp lips and massage the lips in circular motions. Use a moistened cotton pad with water to gently wipe away the scrub (or just simply rinse with water). *It's important that the lips are damp so the skin will remove easier.

As a part of my morning routine after I brush my teeth, I always use the E.L.F. Studio Lip Exfoliator.

What I love most of all is the convenience of this product. I have very dry lips 24/7 and I need a good daily scrub for my lips, but I rarely ever do it. Between managing my crazy hair, plucking the hairs on my face till my hands cramp up, exfoliating, cleaning and moisturizing my face - I try to get away with the least steps possible. Most often my lips are neglected.

The stick takes a few uses before it reaches the grit, and because there are some large pieces of grit it can sometimes feel a little scratchy, but overall it feels really good. What surprises me every time is how soft and supple my lips feel right after. I apply some lip balm on my lips to keep them from drying out, and I'm done in less than a minute. It's not at all messy so I can use it without disturbing the makeup around my lips if I'm using it mid-day or on my way out the door.