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Winners, Backlog, & Other Jazz

8 Oct

WOW I am way behind. I have so many reviews to share and just no time lately to do it! Baby is coming in 10 weeks (!) now, so the heat is really on. I’m going to try to cover some ground this week – thanks for bearing with me!

First up, the BUXOM contest closed, but the winner never replied to my emailed request for a mailing address. I gave her a week, but have now announced a new winner – Erina B! Erina, I sent you an email – please reply with your mailing address within the next week, and I’ll get your set out to you. Otherwise, I will draw a new winner next Monday and keep going until I can get a response.

Second, I’ll be posting another blog with a NEW contest (only a week late) – this month the winner will receive a Tarte Statement Lips 5-piece LipSurgence Collector’s Set! I LOOOVE the Tarte Lip Crayons and I think you will too. Another of Kate’s favorite things! Sorry I can’t give you a car like Oprah, but it’s a close second, right?

Finally, reviews. Hoo boy, I have some reviews! Before bed lip gloss, bath bombs, a certain subscription sale site that begins with a Z, and pregnancy in general. Is there something you’d specifically like me to test and review? Please let me know! You can comment, Tweet, or email me with ideas. I know I owe Shari a liquid eyeliner review, and I will work on that tout suite.

Okay, next up – contest blog! Thanks again for your patience, lovelies!

August’s Contest!

24 Aug

 

There’s less than a week left to enter August’s Caudalie giveaway, and only 20 entries so far – so if you’ve entered, your chances of winning right now are pretty darned good!

Also, I decided I will throw in a mix CD for the winner, which is just an added bonus. 🙂

As a preview, next month’s giveaway will involve another of my favorite brands – BUXOM! So keep reading for chances to win!

In the next week, I am hoping to review you some Rodan + Fields lip serum and reveal the reason why people seem to keep telling me I’m “glowing” (I’m pretty sure it’s not the pregnancy)!

 

Anastasia Hydrafull Gloss

1 Aug

Meh.

Sephora was giving full-size tubes of this stuff in “Moi” away for free (I dunno if they still are, but you can try – the promo code is MOI). That should have been a clue that maybe I wasn’t going to love it (nothing good comes free in full size, in my experience). But enough parenthetical statements (okay, just one more, for funsies).

The gloss is thick and a little sticky, which is okay. The color is nice, a good neutral on me. And the smell is nice – a kind of pleasant vanilla sugar smell. But the applicator ruins it all! They show it above – see the image in the upper right that looks like it’s going BOI-OI-OI-OING? That’s it. The applicator is a paddle (?) type – flat plastic. I have used this type of applicator in the past with success but there’s something different about this one – perhaps it’s the width of it, or the thickness of the gloss itself. Either way, me no likey. It gives NO precision, which is pretty imperative with a semi-opaque gloss, and I ended up either applying too much or too little and then having to smooth out with my finger, which completely defeats the purpose of the applicator. After two uses, it’s being relegated to my giveaway pile, which is sad, because it has everything else going for it.

Re-release in a foam-tipped applicator wand, Anastasia! Do it!

Weleda Everon Lip Balm

22 Jul

I have been looking for a lip balm in a tube that I really love. After trying Weleda’s Everon Lip Balm, I am still looking.

Here are my criteria:

  • easy to open and apply
  • glides on smooth
  • looks glossy
  • stays on a reasonable amount of time
  • nice but not overpowering scent
  • nice flavor a bonus
  • no spf (because that always messes with the scent and flavor. ALWAYS.)
  • natural a big plus

As you know, I absolute LOVE Korres little gloss pots, but I don’t always feel like getting a messy finger applying them – sometimes, like at bedtime, I just want to twist up a balm and be done with it.

For awhile I was using Clinique’s balm at bedtime. It fulfilled a lot of the above criteria, but it had a couple flaws. One, it is a BITCH to open – the smooth, shiny metal tube slides out of even the most lightly moisturized fingers. Two, it has no real flavor or scent, which I kind of miss. At bedtime, it’s fine, but I’d like a balm to carry with me during the day, and then, I don’t know, scent is a plus. I have also tried Caudalie’s balm. Same story – good, but it’s not glossy enough for day wear and it doesn’t have much of a scent. Sigh, my life is so tough.

I decided to try Weleda’s Everon balm, and am currently using it at bedtime. MEH. It has a nice, cocoa butter sort of smell and is easy to open, but it’s HARD, so it is kind of tough to put on, and it’s not at all glossy. I’ll keep using it at bedtime, but the quest for the perfect day balm continues.

Birchbox

26 Jun

What do I love as much as product? Getting things in the mail. So when I heard about Birchbox, a subscription service where for $10 a month you get a box of product samples shipped to you, I yelled, “ALL IN!” I did not research. I did not waffle. I did not ask around. I SIGNED THE HECK UP.

I have been a Birchbox member now for six months. Some months have been unimpressive. Some months have been pretty cool. One month I even got a free, special bonus box (in addition to my regular monthly box), full of Vichy products. Quelle belle surprise! Until this month, only one product had hooked me, and it’s actually one I have since blogged about – Orofluido’s hair oil. I got a nice little tester of it that lasted me for a good week, really enjoyed it, and ended up buying stock in the company. Okay, not really, but I should, because I have bought it for myself twice since and recommended it both personally and in my blog. I also got another product I blogged about, the Miracle Skin Transformer, which I did REALLY like but found to be a little too expensive for the size you get.

Anyhow, I have gotten some other great stuff, but nothing to write home about, until June’s box. June’s box has not just an eyeliner, not just a lip stain, not just a Borghese bath soak… BUT ALL THREE! And some other crap too! Not just one packet of the Borghese bath soak, either, but TWO packets of it, so you can really decide if you like it before ordering.

Damn, Birchbox. You got me. I am hooked. And I can now endorse you fully, far and wide. If you can cut out two Starbucks lattes a month, you can afford a Birchbox subscription. And if you love product even half as much as I do, you can’t really afford not to.

You can only choose one!

25 May

I learned some time ago – on my own, and I have read it since in fashion mags – that to pull off “sexy” (as opposed to trashy, trampy, whorey, or one of their cousins), you have to choose.

Cate Blanchett, the epitome of style and class, rocks the cleavage and covers the legs.

Do you want to show off legs? Or do you want to show off cleavage? Or – in rare instances – do you want to show off back?

Back in college, I used to go dancing at least once a week. I’d carefully choose my outfit before, and always noticed that if I paired a short skirt with a cleavage revealing top, my outfit took a very quick turn from Sexyville to Skankytown. I cannot explain the reasoning behind this, other than the obvious: a little skin is sexy, and leaves something to the imagination; too much skin looks like you’re selling a peek at what little is left to the imagination. If you want to show off your sexy upper half, wear a skirt that comes nearly to your knees or lower. (Or at LEAST reaches past your fingertips when standing with your arms straight by your sides.) If you want to display those gorgeous gams, then choose a more modest shirt that’s not too clingy or low-cut. You may put on a micro mini and a low-cut, tight-fitting top and think, “Damn, I have a smoking bod!” and hey – maybe you do! (And good work on that self-esteem, sister!) But if you’re going anywhere nicer than a dive bar or seedy nightclub with anything more in mind than scoring free drinks and lots of propositions (and I don’t mean the kind that come with a ring), then tone it down a little and you will class it up a lot. Since I came to this conclusion on my own, I have read the same advice in multiple magazines. So choose one and go with it. You can always choose the other the next night!

I’ve come to realize the same thing applies to makeup. I shy away from a bold lip, I always have. I prefer gloss to stick, I never use lip liner, and although both my birth sign (Aries) and my coloring (fair-haired blonde) are meant to wear red well and often, I rarely do. I don’t know why – I think part of it is the fact that I have a hard time finding a red I like, and part of it is that red is hard to apply – it smudges easily, stains the skin around my mouth, and since I am not a lip liner girl, bleeds into the lines around my lips. YUCK. Additionally, in the past, I have found it hard to figure out what to do with the rest of my makeup once I do the red lips – I am used to playing up my eyes, and if you go all crazy with the eye makeup and then throw on some red lipstick, guess what? You look like one of two things: a woman with WAY too much makeup on, or a clown. Neither is good.

Well, I finally realized two things. One, if I’m going to wear red, it needs to be a red with a blue base. Reds with a yellow or orange base are bad bad bad on me – it’s the yellow undertone in my skin. You can pull off a yellow- or orange-undertone red if you’re a) olive complected, or b) super fair with rose (not yellow) undertones. How do you know what color your undertone is? Do you tan or burn? If you tan easily, you’re probably yellow, like me. If you tend to burn, or can’t tan, you may be a rose. Anyhow, number two is that if you want to play up the eyes, go for a nude or understated lip. If you want to go with a bold lip, stick to a neutral eye. SO EASY!

Scar Jo knows the trick.

Now on the off times I feel like going red, I do a little brown shadow and I’m done. But if I’m feeling like being EYE-catching (get it?), I go with my old gloss standby. Just like with the top and bottom in clothes, it’s as simple as A or B – one or the other but never together!

Finally, on the off-chance you’re having a bad skin day (I am all the time, lately – thanks, fetus), steer clear of red! Or really ANY deep, dark shade. I tried to apply that Stila Lip Stick I blogged about this morning and disaster! Dark colors of lipstick will just emphasize flaws and inconsistencies in your skintone – stick to a neutral gloss to downplay any blemishes.

Hope these tips were helpful!

Stila Long Wear Lip Color

25 May

On that previously mentioned trip to Sephora with Dina, I of course couldn’t help browsing about for myself. I am pretty set currently in the cosmetics department (GASP!) so I haven’t been going too crazy lately, but of course there’s always room for one more fantastic lip product (see blog title). I have used and like Stila products before, so when I saw they were making a lip crayon, I was delighted. I checked every color for one I thought I could pull off on a regular basis, and settled on Serenade, a nice peachy mauve. Of course, that was the one color Sephora was sold out of – D’OH! I left Sephora that night not empty-handed (I got some makeup removing towelettes and some face wash), but not with anything new or exciting, sadly.

Naturally I went online the very next day and ordered myself a stick of Serenade. I wore it for the first time last night, and I have to tell you, it is freaking awesome! I applied it at about 5pm. It went on smooth and slightly glossy, but with a definite lipstick finish. There was no noticeable taste or smell (for me), and it made my lips feel soft and conditioned, not stiff and dry like some long-wearing lip colors. On the way home at about 8pm, after NO reapplications, a few light snacks, and a bottle of water, I flipped down the visor in the car to discover THE LIPSTICK LOOKED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS WHEN I PUT IT ON. Have I been missing the boat?!? Is this what all long-wearing lip colors are like these days??? I tried long-wearing lipsticks many moons ago and could not stand the fact that I had to apply gloss over top just to make my lips feel normal.  My lips felt completely normal last night, like I had a light coat of gloss/color on, and it really and truly stayed on for three hours!

I may have to investigate further with different colors of Stila’s Long Wear Lip Color. And can you blame me?